DT 27590 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27590

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27590

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

We don’t normally get anything too scintillating or thought-provoking on Tuesdays and this week is no exception. Do leave a comment with your assessment of the puzzle.

If you click on any of the areas showing ‘Click here!’ you’ll see the actual answer so try not to do it by accident.

Across Clues

7a Name a soft extremity (7)
APPOINT – A (from the clue) and the musical abbreviation for soft are followed by an extremity or tapered end.

9a Fascinating attraction of good US actress (7)
GLAMOUR – G(ood) and the surname of the US actress who appeared in several of the Crosby/Hope ‘Road’ films.

10a Holding dog with no lead (5)
ASSET – drop the leading letter from a type of hound with long drooping ears.

11a ‘Standard’ therefore will be touching on ruin of Athens (9)
PARTHENON – a charade of the standard score for a golf hole or course, an adverb meaning therefore or in that case and ON (from the clue).

12a Cinzanotwo words for it (7,8)
ITALIAN VERMOUTH – what Cinzano is a type of is also what IT is an abbreviation for. I would have expected some indication that Cinzano (a proprietary name) is a definition by example.

13a Late goal that leads nowhere (4,3)
DEAD END – late (as in passed on) followed by a goal or objective.

16a Monster  movie (7)
TITANIC – double definition, the second being the movie about the ill-fated ship (a film that I’ve been very successful in avoiding).

19a Gay stage entertainment? (3,7,5)
THE BEGGAR’S OPERA – not gay in its modern sense but the surname of John Gay (who was a former pupil of my old school). This is a cryptic definition of his most famous work.

23a Gathering of young kids in drama school (4,5)
PLAY GROUP – when I first read this clue I expected goats to feature in the answer – sadly that’s not the case. It’s a charade of a drama and a school (of artists, fish or card players, perhaps).

24a Newly-built Loire college (5)
ORIEL – an anagram (newly-built) of LOIRE gives us an Oxford College.

25a Dr No, I suspect, shown in ad for a robot (7)
ANDROID – an anagram (suspect) of DR NO I goes inside AD.

26a Urge to meet chief quiz specialist? (7)
EGGHEAD – a verb to urge followed by a chief or leader. There’s a quiz show on TV where a number of these form the resident team.

Down Clues

1d Tree in River Indus American pulled out (8)
TAMARIND – a river in the South-West of England followed by Indus without the abbreviation for American.

2d Bitter speech from attorney about island race (8)
DIATRIBE – the abbreviation for a US public attorney (those of us old enough will remember the unfortunately named Ham(ilton) Burger from the Perry Mason series who lost a case every week but never lost his job) contains the single-character abbreviation for island. After that we need a race or ethnic group.

3d Pest, unfortunately, elected to intervene (4,2)
STEP IN – an anagram (unfortunately) of PEST followed by an adverb meaning elected.

4d Make sense of female, mostly relaxed (6)
FATHOM – start with the abbreviation for female then add a phrase meaning relaxed or comfortably familiar (2,4) without its last letter (mostly).

5d Sad act in decline (8)
DOWNTURN – an adjective meaning sad followed by a stage act.

6d Pull young girl across river (6)
WRENCH – an old word for a young girl containing (across) R(iver).

8d After last of frittata, spaghetti? (5)
PASTA – a preposition meaning after or later than is followed by the last letter of frittata.

9d Man has upper limb stuck in article of clothing (7)
GARMENT – a posh man contains (has … stuck in) an upper limb.

14d Deposited in a river in Australian city (8)
ADELAIDE – a verb meaning deposited or set down goes inside A and the name of a Welsh or Scottish river.

15d Tree‘s shadow over golf club (7)
DOGWOOD – a verb to shadow or tail precedes (over, in a down clue) a type of golf club (the equipment, not the place).

17d Complete, from beginning to end, hiding nothing (8)
THOROUGH – a preposition meaning from beginning to end contains (hides) the letter that resembles zero.

18d Circumspect about youth becoming a cleaner (8)
CHARLADY – an adjective meaning circumspect or hesitant contains a youth.

19d Hot tap dances in this film? (3,3)
TOP HAT – a good semi-all-in-one clue – an anagram (dances) of HOT TAP.

20d Drink, say, before gong used (6)
EGGNOG – the abbreviation for say followed by an anagram (used) of GONG.

21d Rex, on a jetty, finds sword (6)
RAPIER – string together the abbreviation for rex, A and a jetty.

22d Select rice, finally — low in calories (5)
ELITE – the final letter of rice followed by the food manufacturers’ description of low in calories.

The clue I liked best was 19d. Which one(s) appealed to you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: SEEK + WRIT = SECRET

65 comments on “DT 27590

  1. Worked through this one in quiet periods between voters at the local library where I am working in an Advance Voting Place for the couple of weeks leading up to our General Elections. I would pick 11a as favourite because I had managed to convince myself that Athens was partial anagram fodder (ruin) for some sort of flag. Clever misdirection I thought. Perfect level of difficulty for the circumstances.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

  2. A bit tricky in places. I sat for a long time on 1d, realising what the answer must be but not seeing why for the life of me – trying to take the letter R for river and fitting a tree in between. Then the penny finally dropped!

    2*/4* for me today.

    1. I do remember something similar before. Since I don’t enjoy non-cryptic crosswords I only ever solve the Quickie down far enough to get the pun, so I’m doomed to miss anything on the bottom line.

        1. Well that wasted 8 mins of my life! Not seen it before though and fairly clever. Perhaps someone bright will put one into the Cryptic one day! (Shock, horror, gasp!!) It ought to have a name! Perhaps a duopolism? Any suggestions!! (I know I’ll get a myriad of why nots!)

    2. I’ve seen it where the pun phrase continues across the bottom line – but no-one much ever notices – but I don’t think I have seen an example of today’s ‘double’.

  3. A moderately enjoyable coffee break puzzle this morning. I found 12a to be a little ‘weak’, 17d fun and 26a had me stymied for awhile! It subsequently amused me when I got it, realising I probably don’t fit into that category! Thank you to Gazza for the explanations.

  4. 19A could have been a general knowledge crossword clue – the answer when straignt in without a moments thought

  5. Thanks for the hints especially 19 a which became obvious but otherwise mystified me .
    ***/*** from me .

  6. I think I’ll go for a 1* difficulty and nearer a 3* for enjoyment.
    I wasn’t held up by anything much today – a rarity for me as there are usually a few that I get stuck on at the end.
    I didn’t put 12a in immediately as I thought it might be a trick clue – it wasn’t.
    I’ve never heard of the 9a actress or the 19d film but the answers were fairly obvious and Mr Google came to the rescue.
    Mr Google also explained to me why 19a was Gay – again, the answer was pretty clear – I just didn’t know who wrote it.
    Not many anagrams today.
    I liked 23a and 15 and 17d. (I know what the BRB says but I still think 15d is more of a shrub than a tree). My favourite was 10a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to gazza – I love the 10a cartoon – that’s why it was my favourite!

    1. Kath, in the USA at least, Dogwods are most definitely trees. They’re very prevalent where I live and are beautiful, spring-flowering specimens. My neighbor has a huge one in his garden a good 35 to 40 feet tall.

      1. OK – I give in. Most of the ones here – perhaps I should re-phrase that and say the ones that I know – are not very big and grown more for bright coloured stems in winter than their flowers.

    2. Kath, the dogwood is my provincial tree and very pretty it is too but I would have been with you when I lived in England – we had this shrub in our garden.

    3. Kath, my 15d is very definitely a TREE and I have just had it professionally pruned. In fact I’m not too keen on the scent of the blossom and the birds demolish all the berries so it’s not one of my favourites. Also IMHO what a lot you have missed by not being aware of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers’ dancing in 19d nor indeed 9a’s (she died 1996) performances with people like Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

      1. The “road” series; The Road to Rio, The Road to Bali, etc. I remember them all. We thought she was sooooooo “glamorous”.

    4. Oh dear – I knew should have kept quiet about the Dogwood and 19d. One day I’ll learn to keep mouth shut – but not yet.

  7. Quick solve which slowed down in SE – last fills were 22d, where i was looking for an answer meaning low in calories, and the oxford college – i don’t know my oxford colleges and don’t particularly want to learn them. i thought 12a (it) and 16a (monster movie) were weak, but the rest was ok – 19d is very nice, one of those clues waiting to be made. I liked 4d too.

    many thanks setter and reviewer

  8. Surprisingly straightforward for a tuesday, when I’m rarely on the right wavelength. 2*/3* for me. Last full day in Boa Vista – not looking forward to UK temperatures tomorrow!
    Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza – loved the Fred Bassett cartoon.

  9. No difficulty in solving today. I would rate this 2/2 It seemed to lack humour and no particular clue jumps out as a favourite. Thanks to Gazza for his reivew, I particularly liked his choice of the Fred Bassett cartoon.

  10. Thanks Gazza The lovely cartoon made up for the dull, humourless crossword. I’m still smiling

    1. You took the words right out of my mouth.
      I think if you are going to go for full grid length or width answers it is important to make the clue a good one. Both here were weak and set the tone for a rather dreary puzzle that was soon over.

  11. Oo-er, this can’t go on… two gentle puzzles in a row? We will pay for it over the next few days I tell you, we will pay…
    Anyway no problems today and for some reason I liked 17d.
    Thanks stanXYZ for pointing out the Quickie bottom line, I had missed that!
    Thanks also to Mr Ron and Gazza.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  12. Got the answer for 19a, but didn’t know that Gay wrote it. Wondered whether 20d would start with a U. Good crossword. Last in was 13a

  13. Late starting today – been out bird-watching (Little Stint, Curlew Sandpipers and Kingfisher, if anyone’s interested!). Easy puzzle – 7a and 4d the only ones that took time (don’t know why). 19a came v. quickly but left it blank until I could be sure – not well up on the works of Gay.
    Another glorious day here on Anglesey – always the way when the holidaymakers have departed!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    1. Yes Jane always interested ! We are on Mull at the moment – enjoying great views of both eagle species. 2 snow buntings on the cottage feeder this morning ! I follow a “Jane” on Twitter who leads birdwatching groups on Anglesey. Enjoyable puzzle – not too hard, which suits as I can’t get a paper till the afternoon. Thank you setter and Gazza for your review and hints.

      1. Umm….. interesting. Don’t think I know that particular Jane. I do take out groups of the U3A variety but the most excellent birding outings on our patch are conducted by Alan and Ruth of The Biggest Twitch – look them up on line. Really jealous of your eagle sightings – will endeavour to make you jealous in the future!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  14. I am truly downcast about the answer I wrote in for 5d! Am I the only one to fall into this trap?

    1. What did you put in for 5d? Whatever trap you found either you were the only one to fall into it or no-one else has dared confess.

          1. I pencilled in ‘turndown’ fairly absent-mindedly, then couldn’t work out why 12a didn’t fit when I knew it was right!!!

  15. I have been doing really well this week but was stuck on 7 across and 22 down (I’d used up all the letters), but now its complete, thanks again for your helpful explanations

  16. Pleasant puzzle not at all hard.

    Faves : 10a, 12a, 19a, 1d, 15d & 22d.

    Weather still good here in NL.

  17. I found this to be another kind puzzle. I agree with Gwizz above, we’re going to pay dearly! I liked 9a, and, yes, I do remember her. I needed the hints to know why 19a was correct. Fave was 11a, runner up 9d. Thanks to setter and to Gazza.

  18. Mixed bag for me today. The least satisfying clue was 12a and 19a was not much better. 1d went in without a full understanding why – thanks to Gazza for the hints.

  19. Very enjoyable, nice little puzzle. Is it my imagination or has 26a been in a number of puzzles recently?
    Don’t quote understand why 19a is Gay? Does it have a lot of men in it? Not being at all fond of this musical genre, it’s a bit of a mystery to me.
    Thx to all

    1. Sorry must read the hints before commenting! Now I understand the Gay reference. Never heard of him but no surprise there.

  20. Just back with the online crosswords after a couple of years break – though had the usual problems getting access, sorted out by a nice lady on their phoneline this morning.
    Nice easy one to start with, got it 100% the first time I clicked submit (and without using any of your tips). I half expected the ‘gay’ in 19a to have other meanings…

    1. You’ve changed your alias since your last comment nearly three years ago so this needed moderation. Both handles should work from now on.

  21. Finished quickly this morning. I was wondering which clues you would illustrate. I thought maybe 19d 16a and 11a so I got two correct. Thanks.

  22. I found this a puzzle of two halves as the bottom half went in fairly easily but struggled with the top half when I was way off the setter’s wavelength. It does appear to have been just me! I loved the cartoon Gazza. I had a good giggle at a cartoon I saw yesterday …the heading was ” the oldest trick in the book” the picture was a map of the UK with a gap between Scotland and England. Scotland says ! “I’m leaving”. England says ,” I’m pregnant”. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  23. I was a highwayman in my youth in a production of 19a. The musical first appeared in a theatre managed by John Rich. So they say that it made Rich gay – and Gay rich. 2.5*/2.5* for me. Thx to all.

    1. I agree the South went in without too much trouble and then the North more slowly fell into place with the exception of the NW corner which took a while to fathom. For me this was probably 3*/1.5* and I’m with Gazza in that there was not really too much to commend it. Thanks anyway setter for your effort. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  24. Managed to enjoy most of this but was stuck on 1d having never heard of the tree or the river. 12a threw me – I had the second word but needed to view the answer for the first. 19a was another impossible clue for an opera ignoramus. ***/*** for me. :-)

  25. I am jumping up and down with joy (at least I would be if I could) because I got all the way through without any electronic help. I am definitely very ancient because I had no problem with 9a and 19d but not quite old enough to remember 16a.
    Lovely day in East Suffolk see you all again tomorrow.
    P S surprised to see some of do not do quick crossword I do it just for the pun, then I do the Codeword but am not brave enough to try toughie.

    1. Give the toughie a whirl – I got one answer on my first attempt and eight on the second. The only way is up!!!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    2. Well done, Hilary. As Jane says, you should have a go at the Toughie – you may surprise yourself. Start with a Tuesday one (usually the easiest one of the week).

  26. Uninspiring stuff. */* for me today.. Can’t say I can recall anything with less oomph about it. Even some of the easy Mondays or obscure Thursday Mysterons have some elegant and amusing clues, but this had nothing – although 19a was close, and as good as it got. 12a I thought was appalling and the setter won’t get any thanks from the trademark owner – this should have been flagged as a brand.

  27. A pleasant enough accompaniment to my sandwich lunch, but over too soon and not a lot of laughs. 19a was last one in for me. Although I’d heard of Mr Gay’s work I’m afraid I was ignorant of his involvement but the answer was obvious once the checking letters were all in place.
    Thanks setter and Gazza. Loved the Fred B cartoon! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  28. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. A couple to make me think, no major holdups. Favourite was 12a. Last in was 22d. Was 2*/3* for me.

  29. No problems, but no great enjoyment either. Maybe l’m just in a negative frame of mind today (lost my favourite boathook overboard this afternoon!). 1*/2*, and no particularly pleasing clues.

  30. Thanks Gazza for the clues. Had no idea why “gay” until you explained. Foxed by 2d, even though I knew the DA bit. Disappointed by 12a, loved 11a. Keep up the great work.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

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