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DT 27585

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27585

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

I always enjoy puzzles from Jay. They are (usually) not too difficult and the clues are invariably fair and straightforward. This one is a bit top-heavy with anagrams, but not as bad as yesterday’s Toughie (or so I am told, as I stay sane by having absolutely nothing to do with Excalibur puzzles).

For references in this review to “the usual”, please see The Usual Suspects page. Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    Informed about origin of dubious promotion on the web (6)
ADWARE: an adjective meaning informed or enlightened around the initial letter (origin) of D[ubious]

5a    Money firm when invested in central heating (4,4)
HARD CASH: an adjective meaning firm or solid followed by a two-letter word meaning when inside the abbreviation for Central Heating

9a    Elector not sure to be forgiven a lot, possibly including treason without cause (8,5)
FLOATING VOTER: this elector who is not sure which party to support comes from an anagram (possibly) of FORGIVEN A LOT around (including) T[reason] without reason (cause)

10a    Available when needed, but moaned about empty neighbourhood (2,6)
ON DEMAND: an anagram (about) of MOANED followed by N[eighbourhoo]D without its inner letters (empty) – “about” can indicate including or, as here, an anagram

11a    Fixed with diplomatic handling, reportedly (6)
TACKED: sounds like (reportedly) a diplomatic manner of handling an issue

12a    What may tie up call on the way? (6)
STRING: a verb meaning to call on the telephone preceded by the two-letter abbreviation for a way or road

14a    Poles given to eating nuts and flowers (8)
GENTIANS: the two poles after an anagram (nuts) of eating

16a    Monitor lively chat by women and follow (8)
WATCHDOG: an anagram (lively) of CHAT preceded by W(omen) and succeeded by a verb meaning to follow

19a    Careless young lady attached to soldiers (6)
REMISS: a young lady preceded by one of the usual regiments of soldiers

21a    Cut dead awkward Luddite ignoring theologian (6)
DILUTE: this verb meaning to cut or water down comes from D(ead) followed by an anagram (awkward) of LU[DD]ITE without the DD (Divinitatis Doctor, theologian)

23a    Area island group use up creating pollution (4,4)
ACID RAIN: A(rea) followed by the two-letter abbreviation for a group of islands and a verb meaning to use up or exhaust

25a    Screen worker’s nude game? (9,4)
BLINDMAN’S BUFF: a screen followed by a worker, the S from ‘S and a word meaning nude, usually preceded by “in the” – this seems to work better if you consider the last part as being “worker is nude”

26a    Practise, seeing Shearer troubled before Newcastle’s final (8)
REHEARSE: an anagram (troubled) of SHEARER followed by the final letter of [Newcastl]E

27a    Tracks I’d found in grass (6)
SIDING: these railway tracks are derived by inserting I’D into a verb meaning to grass or inform


2d    Dead time after month full of enjoyment (7)
DEFUNCT: T(ime) after the three-letter abbreviation for one of the months of the year, the latter around a word meaning enjoyment

3d    Trouble about love? (5)
ADORE: a three-letter word meaning trouble followed by a word meaning about or concerning

4d    Alienated journalist swigging rum (9)
ESTRANGED: the usual journalist around an adjective meaning rum or odd

5d    Shamefaced Government supporting party after swing (7)
HANGDOG: G(overnment) preceded by a party and then preceded by a verb meaning to swing or dangle

6d    Runs one to check pin (5)
RIVET: R(uns) followed by I (one) and a verb meaning to check

7d    Questions of a religious nature caught a chemist out (9)
CATECHISM: C(aught) followed by the A from the clue and an anagram (out) of a CHEMIST

8d    Operator performing under sudden influx (7)
SURGEON: This operator usually works in a hospital, but sometimes on trees! – the usual two-letter word meaning working preceded by a sudden influx

13d    Comprehensive is undecided, with no study (9)
INCLUSIVE: start with an adjective meaning undecided and drop (no) CON (study) from inside the word

15d    Plant caught, surrounded by angry Russians (9)
NARCISSUS: C(aught) inside (surrounded by) an anagram (angry) of RUSSIANS

17d    Good-humoured sailor in a 4 x 440 yds (7)
AMIABLE: one of the usual sailors inside the A from the clue and a distance which is 4 x 440 yds

18d    Allocate a position to person with BSc, but without university (7)
GRADATE: start with a person who holds a BSc, or BA, MA etc., and drop the U(niversity)

20d    Tighten up, seeing nurse welcome spat (7)
STIFFEN: put a three-letter abbreviation for one of the usual nurses around a spat or disagreement

22d    Bush makes appearance in newsreel, derided (5)
ELDER: hidden inside (makes appearance in) the clue

24d    Three minutes’ boxing gets you shot (5)
ROUND: two definitions – a period of three minutes in a boxing match and a shot or bullet

If you fancy having a go at reviewing puzzles like this one, then please let me know. Scchua’s departure has created an opportunity for someone new to take up the challenge. If you are worried about the technical side then there is lots of help available from the team – just ask Kath and Miffypops!

The Quick crossword pun: lest+tusk+wear=Leicester Square

67 comments on “DT 27585

  1. I too really enjoyed this in spite of all the anagrams. Many thanks Jay and indeed BD. My fav was probably 14a when penny dropped. I suppose 18a means “allocate a position”. Solved 1a but was new word to me. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif***/****.

  2. I’d put this at 1.5 on the grounds that there weren’t any obscure words I had to look up and (if BD is right about the anagrams, although I haven’t counted) not much in the way of heavy duty scribble on the bottom left of the back page.

    Good job as I had a terrible night’s sleep and now needing mega caffeine break…..

  3. So far I’m the first to comment – I bet I won’t be by the time I’ve fiddled around as I usually do! I agree with BD’s ratings.
    I thought this was at the easier end of Jay’s range of difficulty as so often I get terribly stuck on my last few and that didn’t happen today.
    Being the ‘technotwit’ that I am I’ve never heard of 1a but it didn’t cause real problems.
    I spent a bit of time trying to make 17d something to do with a relay race – not quite sure why, now!
    Lots of good clues – 16 and 27a and 2 and 5d. My favourite was 25a.
    With thanks to Jay and BD.

    Now I’ll just trot off for a little while and have a think about who to nominate/press gang into doing some hints. BD is right – everyone is very encouraging and supportive.

    1. Ha! Agree about the relay bit, but then I thought, hang on, why 440yds? Remembering school when that was the length of the grass circuit ( winter toggling as hockey pitch).

        1. My sister is completely incapable of translating imperial weights and measures into metric so she has a series of little rhymes.

          A litre of water’s
          A pint and three quarters

          2.2 pounds of jam
          Weighs about a kilogramme

          A metre measures 3ft 3
          It’s longer than a yard, you see

            1. So do I but my sister’s brain works in mysterious ways – sometimes we’re not sure that it works at all! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

          1. We still use imperial measures over here. I have a handy little conversion gizmo on my desktop screen. Very useful to work out that when the UK newspapers trumpet ‘Heatwave” it’s really only in the high 70s Fahrenheit, which is a nice comfortable day for us.

    2. Having already ticked off mainland Europe, Asia and North America as sources of reviews I think it’s about time we had one (or two) reviewer(s) from Australasia. :D

      1. Yes – I’d wondered about them too. They also have the advantage of two heads – between them I mean!
        Any other thoughts? I’ve had a few.

  4. Enjoyed this one – exercised the brain but very fair and I thought it had some good clues. Liked 25a.

  5. A**/*** ,is 1A a real word ? never heard or it, derived the solution from the clue ,but needed the blog to confirm it was correct- thanks BD, surprised no one else has mentioned it , Anyway the rest very logical and enjoyable.

    1. I’d never heard of 1a either so ‘invented’ it and then looked it up. It’s in the BRB so I reckon it is a real word.

      1. I did mention in Comment 1. above that it was a new word on me so I too needed to confirm in dictionary.

  6. Thank you Jay, enjoyable and quite difficult for me. Never heard of 1a, so needed your hint BD – for which many thanks, and for the review as well.

  7. Second time I’ve seen Adware in the last week. I though screen worker’s could be simply blindman’s. As in the blindman’s coming to fix the blinds – didn’t think to separate them. I tried relay as well! I’m not so good with plants, but i enjoyed this puzzle and finished it fine. I liked 2d and especially 4d.

    many thanks Jay and Big Dave

    1. The blind man reminds me of a joke – I’d better think about it for a while as sometimes I open my big trap a bit too quickly!

  8. Enjoyable crossword if a shade too many anagrams for my personal taste, thanks to Jay and to BD for a superb review. The toughie today is of a similar standard and definitely worth a go.

  9. I rattled through but was sad to finish quickly as it was so enjoyable. Some nice surfaces, particularly 26a. You know you are in crossword fantasy land when you see Newcastle and final in the same sentence (exit stage left, ducking).

  10. Thanks Jay & BD. The anagrams led to a straightforward solve.

    The first part of 25 is given as one word in the BRB.

    I liked 5d & 16, which had something in common.

  11. As always from Jay, a nicely crafted puzzle with plenty to enjoy. Thanks to him, and to BD for the review.

  12. Managed without help but had to think hard about some of the clues. I had to check that 1a actually was a word (which I now know it is!) and, coming as I do from Jersey, I was embarrassingly slow to get 23a. All in all a very enjoyable puzzle so many thanks to Jay. 2.5*/3*

  13. Had to look up the answers to 18d and 25a. The game in question is in fact a French game called Colin Maillard named after a war hero who continued fighting even though he lost his sight. My favorites are 14a as my father used to distill gentiane to make a lovely eau de vie. The other one is 17d. Another lovely French word often used to resolve conflicts. Thanks to lovely Big Dave for the solutions needed and to Jay for the grid.

  14. Another highly enjoyable puzzle from Jay which took me a bit longer than usual to unravel so I’d say **/**** . Thanks to Jay and BD.

  15. We have to agree with BD’s opening comments. Enjoyable, as usual, and not too taxing. **/**** from us as well.

    No stand-out favourites today, as it was all pretty good, but 4d and 5d are both worth a mention for their surfaces which raised a smile .

    Thanks to Jay and BD.

    Surely there must be someone out there who will volunteer to join the team . . .

  16. For me a dreadful crossword, managed just four answers. The rest are far too tough for me. *****/*
    Very little enjoyment at all.

  17. I would have got 1a and 18d without BD’s help. 23a was entered early but I had no idea why. Many thanks to setter and BD. This one stretched me somewhat, perhaps because I tackled it after my siesta instead of before breakfast.
    ps. Re my earlier comment on the League Table – BD is quite right about the cheats, but competition with those in the same section of the table adds a little spice.

  18. I am one of those who found this quite hard work and I gratefully accepted several hints (4 actually ). I was going to use a different word for quite (no , not that one) but I decided we are all too polite here for that and anyway it is me who is lacking. Wavelengths , I suppose. I liked 1a, 9a, 12a, 17a and all the anagrams. Thanks to all concerned.

  19. I loved this, thank you Jay. I never did get 1a, am a technotwit too, Kath, and far too stooooopid to work it out, thus I had to check the answer from BD’s excellent hints. My favourite is 25a, though it beat 2d and 5d by a nose. Thanks to BD for the review.


  20. I panicked on first look, but once the bottom of the grid went in the rest fell in to place. An excellent set of clues with 1d being my favourite. Many thanks Jay and BD for the hints.
    Ps, I did enjoy the Quickie pun!

      1. I looked at that pun several times at lunchtime, thinking something was wrong in my answers – at last the penny has finally dropped!

  21. Thanks to Jay and to Big Dave for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle from Jay, a touch on the gentle side. Started with 5a, finished with 14a. Favourite was 21a. All completed by the lakeshore when I took a break from circumnavigating Buttermere.

  22. I am still enjoying this one with three to go. I came to it late but have enjoyed it immensely thanks to Jay and also to Big Dave

  23. Thought I was going to have real struggle but once I had got going it fell into place. The child in me enjoyed 25a but I am also a serious fan of anagrams so it was a good day. Thanks BD?
    P S I love reading what everyone has to say keep up the good work.

    1. I agree about 25a and I love anagrams too – they’re such a good way into a puzzle, assuming you can do them that is!

  24. 9a was most appropriate for us as NZ goes to the polls in a little over two weeks so madness reigns on the media. One of us starts work next week in an Advance Voting Place and then, all day on Election Day. It will be quite a change after several years of retirement, but looking forward to it. We enjoyed the puzzle as we always do on Wednesdays. They are such a yardstick for consistent cleverness.
    Thanks Jay and BD.

    1. Did you notice gazza’s reply to my comment No 3 today – what do you reckon? Just a thought . . .

      1. Yes Kath we did read it and have been doing some pondering. The next couple of weeks will not be possible but after that ………We have a few other things to consider too. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

        1. Yes – please do give it a go. I would never have had the nerve to do it alone but pommers made it possible because he was a safety net (not to mention did all the clever bits that I still can’t do). BD does all that . . .
          It really is fun and I think that the two of you are the obvious choice – go on – just do it! If there are Wednesdays that you can’t do then I will, as long as I’m not doing the next day i.e. the Thursday – think that husband might draw the line at two sleepless nights in a row and I still get the jitters the night before which means that I can’t sleep and, if I can’t, he doesn’t either.

              1. Purr!

                What do you mean, where have I been, I’ve been gone two days? I brought you a mouse! Freshly caught, and still half-alive! Why are you looking angry? Don’t you like it?

          1. I wondered about this myself. If 2 Kiwis are about 12 hours ahead and I am 5 hours behind, will that mean i get to answer Sunday’s on Thursday??!! All a bit confusing for me.

            Tonight’s (Thursday, I think) was quite fun – apart from a couple!

    2. It is not really very hard once you get into the way of doing it. BD will put things right.. If he misses something others will comment. I make mistakes most weeks and find it funny to see where they are. It is lovely to get the thanks in the comments as well. What a wonderful community we are.

    3. Sorry if it looks like we have been ignoring these comments. It was just that it came time to go and play golf. All the comments are noted and will be part of our cogitations. Cheers.

  25. This one went in quite easily (particularly after getting only 2 in my first look through the Toughie!). I would score it at 2*/3* or thereabouts, and can’t decide between 2d and 23a as my favourite. VMTs to Jay, And to BD for the review. Now – back to that damn Toughie…

  26. Just a last point before I go to bed and this is one for the pedant’s corner.

    19a -‘Young lady’ does not equal MISS. Miss is an UNMARRIED woman – who might well be 90 years old or more. I had a great-aunt who died at age 86 and was always refered to as Miss Winnie.

  27. I enjoyed this puzzle very much. 2*/4*. Favourite clue today was 26a.
    Thanks Jay, and also BD for the review

  28. Read and write for me, but nonetheless enjoyable, as I have to be up with lark for radio duties. Lots of good clues , but none that stretched the overworked and under-beered brain cells. 2*/4*. Thanks to Jay for making life easier than it has been, and to to BD for explaining why 23a was right

  29. Folks, I just have to say this with regard to a new reviewer or reviewers. I think it’s wrong to pressure anyone, even with the best of intentions. We don’t know what other commitments they might have in their daily lives, or how they feel about it. And I don’t see why anyone should have to justify their decision publicly. Let Big Dave approach someone he thinks has potential, based on their solving ability or other suitable criteria, privately. It’s hopefully, for the blog, a long term commitment and it’s not one that I think we should be trying to drive.

  30. I enjoyed this puzzle. I liked 11a, 8d and 17d amongst others. 25a was my fave.

    Everything went sailingly until I got stuck on 16a and 18d. Thanks very much for the enlightenment, Big Dave. Glad to say I had no problems with the rest of the clues.

    Many thanks to Jay for the entertainment and to Big Dave for the excellent review. (The illustration of 15d reminds me of a beautiful book of Greek myths I had as a child. It had lovely colour plates.)

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