DT 27586 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27586

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27586

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja where the heat wave continues! With my track record of spotting setters you never know but I’m pretty sure who set this one! It has all the hallmarks of a RayT – Her Majesty, short clues and a bit of innuendo.

Most of the puzzle’s construction is fairly straightforward but there are a few slightly unusual definitions and some obscure  synonyms which caused me to slip just into 3* territory. A tip from me would be to start with the downs. I found them considerably more benign than the across clues of which I only got four on first pass! Perhaps it was the slow start which caused the third star as it all fell together fairly quickly once I got going on the downs.

Answers are under the ‘click here’ buttons and, as usual, the ones I liked most are in blue.

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           Pretty dull chaps with time for flattery (12)
BLANDISHMENT: Pretty dull would be ‘dullish’ so what you need is a synonym for dull, add the ISH and then some chaps and a T(ime).  That’s one of those that’s far easier to solve than to hint!  There’s a few more like that in this puzzle.

8a           Rolling Stones employing tenor for top cover (7)
STETSON: It’s an anagram (rolling) of STONES with T(enor) inserted (employing).  This was one of the four.

9a           Reason some police use bad language (7)
DISCUSS: This is reason as in argue.  Take the abbreviation for some senior policemen (Lewis is one of these) and an informal word for to use bad language or swear.

11a         Copy almost cutting record by Queen in comeback (7)
REPLICA: Take a word for cutting or tart and remove the last letter (almost). Follow with one of the usual records and her majesty. Then reverse the whole lot (in comeback).

12a         European meat with alien name (7)
EPITHET: Start with E(uropean) and then meat as in the essential or important part.  Follow with our favourite alien and you get a word for a nickname.

13a         They’re not usually dressed, exposing skin initially (5)
NUDES: First letters (initially) of five words in the clue.  Cue photo opportunity – I think this one’s by Claude Monet.

14a         In hotel even, session breaks for morning drinks (9)
ELEVENSES: Kath’s favourite type of clue. The answer’s hidden in (in) HOTEL EVEN SESSION.

16a         Communist accepts finest amending for ‘Little Red Book‘? (9)
MANIFESTO: You need the communist who’s little red book could be said to be his one of these and insert an anagram (amending) of FINEST.

19a         Scientist annihilates laboratory centre (5)
TESLA: A slightly obscure scientist who has the SI unit for magnetic flux density named after him is the five central letters (centre) of ANNIHILATES LABORATORY.

21a         Anorak around a Northern railway station, we hear (7)
CAGOULE: A type of anorak (clothing not a trainspotter) is a one letter abbreviation for around or about, A from the clue and then five letter which, if pronounced, would sound like (we hear) a town and inland port in Yorkshire which is known for it’s railway.

23a         Devout deserve good man holding evensong opening (7)
EARNEST: A word for to deserve or to merit followed by the usual good man and insert E (Evensong opening).

24a         Supplies Rolls-Royce distributed separately in recycling deals (7)
LARDERS: Supplies of food, or where they are kept, are an anagram (recycling) of DEALS with R(olls) R(oyce) inserted but not next to eachother (distributed seperately in).

25a         Studio devoured story, Wilder’s last (7)
ATELIER: Charade of a word for devoured or consumed, an untrue story and an R (WildeR’s last).

26a         Cross endless river on container ship (12)
CANTANKEROUS: Take a Yorkshire river (where the town in 21a lies) and remove the last letter (endless). Place it after (on) a container followed by a large type of ship.


1d           Soundly jump in the sack? Cut out obscenity! (7)
BLEEPED: What is done to take a swearword out of a TV interview for example.  Take four letters which aren’t a word but sound like (soundly) a jump and insert into (in) what the sack is a slang term for – not losing your job but where you kip.

2d           Sailor reportedly glides and descends by rope (7)
ABSEILS: A bit similar to the last clue.  Take the usual sailor and then five letters which aren’t a word but sound like what the sailor does.

3d           Some clothing, Sun agreed, is wrong (9)
DUNGAREES: Anagram (is wrong) of SUN AGREED.

4d           Close to herbaceous border plant (5)
SEDGE: S (close to herbaceaouS) followed by a border or rim.

5d           Fail to get the compiler’s message (7)
MISSIVE: A word for fail followed by how the compiler might say he has gives you a message or letter.

6d           One hundred minus one leaves two… (7)
NOUGHTS: I think this counts as an all-in-one.  Write one hundred in figures and remove the one and what are you left with two of?

7d           Huge romantic also getting sloppy (12)
ASTRONOMICAL: Anagram (getting sloppy) of ROMANTIC ALSO.

10d         Planted one’s plant all right (12)
SATISFACTORY: Charade of a word for planted or placed, IS (ones) and a plant as in industrial site.

15d         Free from former wife with ace figure (9)
EXONERATE: The usual former wife followed by the number represented by an ace and then a word for figure, as in charge, fee or tarrif.  Told you there were some slightly off-the-wall bits in this puzzle!

17d         Country‘s state, say, during rising (7)
NIGERIA: You need a word for state, as in say or express, the usual abbreviation for say or for example and then a word for during as in inside.  Then reverse the whole lot (rising in a down clue).  The answer to this was pretty obvious from the checkers but parsing it took some serious head scratching. Think I’ve got it right! This has to be the most off-the-wall of the lot!

18d         Most obscene left us confused about love (7)
FOULEST: Anagram (confused) of LEFT US placed around (about) O (love).

19d         Weapon shot conserving power before discharge (7)
TORPEDO: Take a word for shot, as in ran very fast, and insert a P(ower) and follow with a word which can mean discharge as in ‘discharge your duty’.  Another slightly off-the-wall clue!

20d         Sort of inoffensive case wearing glasses (7)
SPECIES:  Start with IE (InoffensivE case) and insert (wearing) into an informal term for a pair of glasses.

22d         German city of Cologne perhaps, without Church (5)
ESSEN: Take a word for what eau-de-cologne is an example of and remove the last two letters, which happen to be the abbreviation for the Church of England (without church), and you’ll be left with what must rank as crosswordland’s favourite German city.

Lots of good stuff but my runaway favourite has to be 6d.  What about you?


92 comments on “DT 27586

  1. A very enjoyable solve with some excellent clues. I found it pretty tricky on the RHS and would rate it ***/**** too. Thanks to pommers and Ray T.

  2. Can’t really quibble with the ***/****,great fun . Thanks to Pommers for the blog and pics , have to agree that the 19d clue was ,i quote-“a bit off the wall” (known in the trade as a Michael Jackson) rest of the clues well up to standard. Favourites 12a,11a.

  3. Thanks for the tip Pommers, the downs were much better and thanks for the tips. Also, to RayT for another fine puzzle. Even Brian would like it

      1. I didn’t think that ‘pith’ was meat as in 12a and I thought that 4d was difficult to figure with ‘close to’ meaning the ‘S’

        1. I thought of it as the core, as in “the pith of the argument”, as well you might say “the meat of the argument”.

        2. . . . and I think that it’s ‘close to (herbaceous)S’ – i.e. the last letter (close to) of herbaceous . . .

  4. We had to call on Mr Google for help with the place in 21a that we had never heard of. Part of the challenge was that we only had a homophone to work with for the search. However we did get it sorted eventually. Certainly quite challenging for us and lots of fun.
    Thanks RayT and Pommers.

    1. 21a – I also had to Google “Goole” and Google’s first response was “Did you mean: google?”

      Never heard of the place!

  5. Very enjoyable puzzle Ray T thank you, all very clever ! Having driven through the Yorkshire town many times on the way to Blacktoft Sands reserve, I could understand why it would be well known for its port, but it never crossed my mind that it was a famous railway station ! Many thanks Pommers for your hints and review and pleasant photos. Hope the decoke goes well.

  6. This one took me a little longer than normal to finish off, getting tangled up trying to justify my answer to 11a, where initially I was juggling around EP for record, and R for queen… until I finally put the right bits into the right order!
    3*/4* for me. Many thanks to RayT, and to pommers.

  7. Definitely a meaty one today. I struggled to get going until the long anagram at 7d opened up the left hand side and then worked my way up finishing in the NE corner. 4d/12a were the last to go in. A very fair challenge, although I gave up trying to parse 17d as it was so obviously right. Favourite definitely 6d – I like quirky!

  8. ***/*** I enjoyed this one. The left side went in fairly quickly but a little help needed for the rest. Favourite 22d.
    I hadn’t realised the electric car company was named after the scientist. Interesting.

  9. At least 3* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I found this pretty tricky – I think I only had a couple of across answers but I agree that the down clues were a bit easier.
    Being slow to get 1a didn’t help as I had no starting letters across the top.
    I never did quite manage to sort out 11a (I went the same route as Jezza but didn’t get to the finishing line) or 19d so needed the hints for those.
    Sorting out 17d took ages even though it had to be what it was.
    I’d never heard of the 21a Northern town/station.
    I liked lots of these clues so it could be a bit difficult to pick only a few but – 9, 13 and 16a and 6d. My favourite was either 1a or 1d.
    With thanks to Ray T and thanks and congratulations to pommers for managing all the sorting out! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  10. Many thanks to RayT and pommers, a delightful and quite tricky crossword and a most amusing pictorial review.

  11. Yes, a bit of a tricky puzzle but very enjoyable – a sense of achievement after a bit of a struggle!

    3*/4* is my choice too.

  12. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif Some headscratching with this one but it all fell eventually into place. I felt quite chuffed to get some of the answers – sign of a good puzzle? Still not sure about 21a – what else could it be from the letter but is the Yorkshire town’s most famous item not our ex-deputy PM??
    Thanks to RayT and I’d give it 3*/4*

  13. …just found your site…saved me from sitting and puzzling over ‘torpedo’ for too long …found DT quick crossword rather tricky today too..actually I often find Thursday’s are a bit tricky…

      1. I found the ‘quickie’ harder than the cryptic today – SW corner is, I fear, unsalvageable after the mess I got it into.

  14. RayT at his annoying best. !d was a pearler but it took me ages before the penny. 5 19 [well hidden again] 20 and 26 were not far behind. Lots of innuendo as usual. Thanks to RayT for making a dull morning a lot brighter.

  15. A peach of a crossword today! Good range of interesting clues leading to a real tussle to solve. Lovely! Thanks to RayT and Pommers for his hints. Four days in a row without needing them…. the crash back to earth is looming….
    Favourite clue? 26a I think.
    As for the Quickie, definitely the Not-so-quickie I thought!

  16. Thank goodness I’ve found you all ! Thought I was living in ‘ why the h… is that the answer’ land all on my own. Trying REALLY hard not to look at the hints until I’m absolutely desperate!

      1. OK – could pretend that I haven’t needed any help in the past …….. or could be honest and admit that I thought the only recourse was to wait for the answers to be published and then try to figure out the ‘why’ all over again! Busy life means that I sometimes don’t get to start the puzzle until the wee small hours – that’s when the ‘hints’ are really useful!

  17. Finished about 2/3rds and came to bit of a halt. Then completed the rest by just using the clue words. Had to check with the blog to find out why they fitted. So thanks RayT and pommers for another interesting crossword. I would say 3*/3* for me.

  18. This was no walk in the park for me – more of gentle climb up a hill – but I found it most enjoyable, especially as no clue fully defeated me. I just missed the parsings of 17d and, annoyingly, 13a. Also, I’m with those who hadn’t heard of the 21a station.

    I have a long shortlist of favourite today: Either of 1d and 13a might have made it on another day. I liked 7d (I have dabbled enjoyably in astronomy) and 19a, which reminded me of this cartoon. 6d might have to win though, because it was a bit different and I enjoyed puzzling it out.

    Is this your first solo review, Pommers? I liked the pics! Many thanks for all the untangling :).

    Thanks also to RayT for a generous helping of delicious, proteinous brain-food. (Hmm, I suspect I might not have had a big enough lunch!)

    Difficulty: meaty
    Enjoyment: satisfying

    1. Pommers has been doing the hints for several years – he only took me on so that I might be able to learn how to do it and I was much too scared to do it on my own so we’ve done a few joint ones to get me started.

  19. Miffypops, I didn’t see yesterday’s blog after I checked in briefly in the morning. Kitty doesn’t always come when called, but only when it chooses to! I’m very flattered by your nomination, and thinking it over. (And, while I agree with Expat Chris and Cryptic Sue, I’m personally ok with discussing it publicly, so will return to the subject in a later comment http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif.)

    1. Kitty, you’re obviously a whizz, not only at completing the puzzles but also attaching emoticoms to your postings. How do you do it? Every time I ‘click and drag’ it just transforms into a website address for Big Dave!

        1. I’m sure there’s a joke or a crossword clue in there – just give me time! Tried just clicking – brings up an even longer list of http etc. Also, just to add to the confusion, got a message in my junkmail asking me to verify that I wished to be e-mailed re: responses. ‘Just click on the link’ – said link isn’t highlighted, so this technophobe can’t do it! Promise you – I am a bit better when it comes to solving crosswords!

          1. The long list of stuff will transform into a pretty picture when you post. Or you can use the shortcodes given in the FAQs (see the tab at the top of the page).

            The unhighlighted link can be followed by copying the text from your email and pasting it into the address bar at the top of your browser page.

          2. It’s nice to have another technotwit around – perhaps we could form a little club. Does anyone else want to join?

            1. My secretary was once overheard describing me to a customer – she said I was about 45 going on 12 and something of a ‘Technopeasant’ when it came to computers http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      1. Well, Jane, BD has already answered your question, but thanks for calling me a whizz! Makes a nice change from moron…

          1. Agreed. But in this case it’s only me talking to myself. And I have been known to balance it out with the odd moment of smug too http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif.

    2. Speaking from my own experience, the first ‘on the day blog’ is scary enough when only a couple of people know you are going to do it; much easier to sneak in under the radar rather than having all the posters and lurkers waiting to see how you get on.

  20. I was right on wavelength today and only missed one answer, 5d. I convinced myself the answer was “fail to get”, why I don’t know. Easy when you know the answer.
    I had never heard of 21a before, but I knew it had to begin “cag….” , so quick look in the dictionary sorted that. Funny sort of word, doesn’t sound at all like an anorak or any sort of raincoat for that matter.
    There were so many good ones but 6d has to be a runaway favourite! Thanks to RayT and to Pommers for the review.

  21. Ray T. You never fail to please. Fantastic. Thank you. Pommers. I am glad I did not have to blog this one. Well done you..

  22. Teeth de-coked, shopping done and lunch eaten or, more accurately, drunk (hic!).

    I see you’ve been busy during my absence, and have you noticed I’ve got the difficulty level right two weeks in a row – must be a first http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

      1. Well in that case please remember me and make a few allowances – I get into a pickle with Mondays quite often although they’re usually the kind of pickles that I can get myself out of, unlike Fridays – I really find them the most difficult of the week.

        1. I find every day EXCEPT Monday a challenge. For some unknow reason I can usually manage Rufus puzzles. Much to pommers annoyance ! :)
          Friday’s – well I love “The Don” even though I find his crosswords difficult.
          Sunday – Brain Greer’s are again tough but I can get there . . . eventually.
          But I REALLY struggle with Wednesday and Thursday.
          I have todays printed out and will have a go tomorrow on my own without my persoanl blogger for any help.
          But from what I can see – I may well struggle! And no I’ve not read the hints . . . yet but may need them tomorrow!

      2. My problem with Mondays is the double defs that Rufus seems to like. If you have a two word clue you have nothing to work with – it’s spot it if you can!

        1. The four letter double definitions are usually the last to be solved on a Monday Rufus. I try to do it all myself but have to admit that on very rare occasions Mr Google steps in to help. If all else fails Big Dave usually has the answer.

      3. Afraid to say that, like Kath, I find Rufus puzzles very difficult. Only very occasionally can I do them. I found this RayT very much easier than the latest Rufus. I could only answer six Rufus clues! I have saved the puzzle for later…

  23. Well managed about half which isn’t bad going for me on a Ray T effort.
    Not much fun as most of it I didn’t understand, nothing new there then!
    Still don’t get his way of crossword ing, too offbeat for my mind I’m afraid.

  24. Good puzzle, although I never heard of that 21a Northern town.
    It was nice to see Tesla on the anniversity of his birthday. When Einstein was asked “how does it feel to be the cleverest man on earth ?” He replied “I don’t know, ask Tesla “.
    I liked 1d and 10d amoungst others. Quite a few anagrams, which was no harm. Thanks pommers and Ray T.

  25. Long time lurker, first time poster.

    Just to say, 19d, I think the discharge reference is D.O. Short for the military term Discharge Order.

    1. Welcome to the blog Nigel

      Now that you’ve de-lurked we hope to hear from you more often.

      Re19d you could well be right. I’ve never heard the term but then I’ve never served in the military. I was never really happy with DISCHARGE = DO.

      RayT sometimes comments on here so perhaps he’ll call in tell us what he meant.

    2. As a long time commenter welcome to a long time lurker.
      As for 19d I gave up completely and left it to a superior solver to explain – the same for 11a which was a bit silly really . . .

  26. After another very early start I finished this on the Victoria Line (northbound for those who are interested…..!). First in was 22d (I still work backwards!) and last in was 5d. 6d was rather nice as was 9a. Looking forward to 27,587. Thanks to The Compiler and for the review of course. Off for a pint. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  27. So cleverly crafted, thoroughly enjoyable.
    SE corner held me up which took me beyond my ‘par’
    Many thanks indeed RayT.
    Loved your illustrated review, pommers, nudge, nudge, wink wink.

  28. Evening all. Thanks very much to pommers for the review and to all who left an observation. The ”do’ in 19d was just ‘discharge’ as pommers correctly stated.


    1. Ray – really sorry! I got interrupted by a phone call and completely forgot to add a planned line to the intro.

      “I solved this puzzle with either a furrowed brow or a wide grin depending on which clue – what more can you ask from a crossword?”

  29. I hate Thursday, by this time in week my ancient brain has all but given up. However, for some totally unknown reason I got 1a and 10d fairly quickly which seemed to inspire me to great heights. I have to admit that the supertoy was employed a couple of times so not all good news. Very pleasant day in East Suffolk.

  30. Great fun, for which my thanks to Ray T, and l too agree with the 3*/4* rating. I thought 26a was wonderful, and am still amazed that l spotted it! My last in was 19a, which l took ages to crack – even though it was staring me in the face all along. Thanks to Pommers for an entertaining review as well.

  31. Enjoyed this one too. A steady solve. 6d was my favourite today.
    Thanks to Ray T for the entertaining puzzle and to Pommers for the entertaining illustrations. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  32. This has been a weight on my shoulders for most of the day as I left and then returned to it later several times. I just managed without hints but I did need you, pommers, to parse at least six answers for which many thanks and also to Ray T for the puzzle although I’m afraid it didn’t really float my boat today. Sometimes the difficult ones can be satisfying and entertaining but not this one. ****/**. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  33. Thanks to Ray T and to Pommers for the review and hints. A fantastic puzzle from Ray T, had to think laterally, but got there in the end. Just needed the hints to parse 17&18d. Glad Tesla got a mention, he was brilliant. Started with 2d, finished with 20d. Favourite was 10d. Great fun. Was 3*/4* for me. Had a great walk to Grisedale Tarn today.

  34. After RayT’s confirmation that I got 19d right pommers is now officially a ‘smug person of unmarried parents’ http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

    It’s very nearly midnight here and it’s still 26C as heatwave continues – thank God for the aircon in the bedroom http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    . . . and so to bed.

  35. Must be at least 4* difficulty this one. I was very proud to manage all but four of the answers before coming to your forum. Too many words which were only just in my passive vocabulary. For instance got 1a from the clue but never really knew exactly what it meant.
    As you say although 17d was obvious from the completed frame it has to be one of the most convoluted clues ever. Enjoyed it as a challenge, but if it were this difficult every day I think I would defect.

  36. **** for enjoyment for this puzzle. RayT is one of my fave setters, and I thought this puzzle particularly good. Fave was 6d, but I also much liked 1a, 9a, and 26a amongst many others.

    I wasn’t certain how to parse 17d, but now it has been explained it is perfectly clear! Thanks very much for that, Pommers. Other than that, had no problems and did not need any hints. It has, however, been valuable going through them now to check that I had followed the correct wordplay.

    My thanks and appreciation to RayT and Pommers.

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