DT 27591 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27591

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27591

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Hola from the Vega Baja where the heat wave still continues and it’s forecast to get hotter tomorrow and Friday! It’s nice to have a go in my old Wednesday slot for once as I always like a Jay puzzle and this was no exception. Very neat clueing and some humour but it just crept into 3* difficulty for me because I was inordinately slow twigging 6d, d’oh! I don’t suppose you guys will have the same trouble.

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           Cover regularly left on fish (6)
CARPET: A cover for the floor is a fish followed by alternate letters (regularly) of left.

5a           Trained cadet due for review (8)
EDUCATED: Anagram (for review) of CADET DUE.

9a           Turned tail during one-time Tory leader’s diatribe (8)
HARANGUE: You need the guy who was leader of the Tory party at the turn of the century, currently leader of the House of Commons, and insert (during) a word meaning turned tail or fled.

10a         Technology used in commercial vehicle reversing after test (6)
SATNAV: This is some technology used in a vehicle and it’s a reversal of a commecial vehicle after some educational assessments.

11a         Short tea breaks for the current controller (8)
RHEOSTAT: A controller of electric current is an anagram (breaks) of SHORT TEA.

12a         Feels the absence of a married woman, by the sound of it (6)
MISSES: Sounds like (by the sound of it) the title of a married woman.

13a         Article required in escape from window (8)
FANLIGHT: Take a word for an escape or running away and insert an indefinite article and you get the sort of window found above a door.

15a         Probability of dismissal drives salesmen using leads (4)
ODDS: First letters (using leads) of the previous four words of the clue.  I missed this one on first pass and when I came back for a second look I found the answer was filled in because I’d solved the four interlinking down clues! Hmm – short changed methinks!

17a         When love anticipates cold in the land of the Geordie (4)
ONCE: Start with O (love in tennis) and follow with C(old) inserted in the area where Geordies live.

19a         Bob turns nasty and pig-headed (8)
STUBBORN: Anagram (nasty) of BOB TURNS.

20a         Dried fruit‘s mostly strengthening (6)
RAISIN: A word which can mean strengthening without its last letter (mostly) is a dried fruit.

21a         Boozer‘s a bloodsucker, drinking meths regularly (8)
ALEHOUSE: An slightly archaic word for a pub which serves beer is A (from the clue) followed by a bloodsucking wingless insect with the alternate letters (regularly) of mEtHs inserted (drinking).

22a         Make an effort to carry one hundred kilos — difficult (6)
TRICKY: Start with a word meaning make an effort or have a go and insert (to carry) I (one), C (hundred) and K (kilo) to get the word I usually use to describe a difficult crossword.  I wasted some time trying to use KG as the kilo!

23a         Pound shop showing reduction of 75 per cent on last of desk drawers (8)
KNICKERS: Start with a slang term for a pound Sterling and follow with S (Shop without 75% of its letters!) and place after K (last of desK) and you get some drawers. “Shop showing reduction of 75 per cent” must be the longest way of clueing a single letter that I’ve ever seen.

24a         Shrink must be against heartless commitment (8)
CONTRACT: A five letter word for against followed by CT (heartless C(ommitmen)T).

25a         Good profit by following a source of rare stone (6)
GARNET: Start with G(ood) and then a word for to profit which you place after A (from the clue) and an R (source of Rare) and it will give you a gemstone.


2d           Poor returns dividing amateur labourer and an expert (1,3,4)
A DAB HAND: Take A(mateur) and one of the usual workers and insert (dividing) a reversal (returns) of a word meaning poor or not good and then split the result (1,3,4)

3d           Rewards incorporating student games in finals (4-4)
PLAY OFFS: Insert (incorporating)  the usual letter for a student into some rewards or settling of debts.

4d           Merry fool is said to be closely organised (5-4)
TIGHT KNIT: First word is a word for merry or drunk and the second sounds like (said) a fool or idiot.

5d           It makes a powerful contribution for a comfortable retirement (8,7)
ELECTRIC BLANKET: Cryptic definition of what I have on my bed in the Winter.

6d           A scream — under church carriage! (7)
CHARIOT: This is a carriage used by Ben Hur and it’s a colloquial phrase for a scream, as in something very funny (1,4),  placed after (under in a down clue) an abbreviation for a church.  Last in and for some reason it took ages for its penny to drop.

7d           African seeing Inuits moving north across east of Canada (8)
TUNISIAN: A north African is an anagram (moving) of INUITS followed by N(orth).  This lot is placed around (across) the A from the east or right end of CanadA.

8d           One’s up after six, in disreputable club causing conflict (8)
DIVISIVE: Reverse (up in a down clue) IS (ones) and place after the Roman numeral for six and insert into (in) a word for a disreputable club.  I used to frequent one of these places called ‘Mr Smith’s’ when I was a student in Manchester!

14d         Housework finished at home, with pig outside (9)
HOOVERING: Some housework is a word for finished (4) and the usual two letters for ‘at home’ with a pig round the outside.

15d         Artist absorbed by poetic arranging of ‘Carmen’, for example (8)
OPERATIC: Insert (absorbed) the usual artist into an anagram (arranging) of POETIC.

16d         Party worker gets power (8)
DOMINION: Start with a party and follow with a worker or servant.

17d         Working with attractive girl spectator (8)
ONLOOKER: A word for working, as in not turned off, followed by a slang word for an atttractive girl.  Does this word apply to an attractive man as well?

18d         Save answer after study (8)
CONSERVE: Take a word for answer, as in answer the requirements of, and place after a word meaning to study.

19d         A problem that’s difficult as second fiddle (7)
STINKER: S(econd) followed by a word meaning to fiddle about with.

Some nice stuff here but my favourite is 5d.  Hard to imagine needing one of those with the weather being as it is. When I got out of bed at 0800 today it was 24C !

The Quick Crossword pun: ray+need+haze=rainy days


82 comments on “DT 27591

  1. Buenos días, pommers … you’re up early!

    Needed your help to explain the “answer” in 18d. Thank you!

    As always a very enjoyable puzzle from Jay.

  2. Would go for ***/**** too based on the time it took me. An enjoyable crossword from Jay that I found to be harder than the last few Wednesdays. Thanks to pommers and Jay.

  3. No real problems in this one, although putting JACK ET at 1a, made 3d tricky for a while.
    Many thanks to Jay for the normal excellence, and to pommers for the review.

  4. Quite straightforward today for me – I had forgotten the slang name for pound, though, and puzzled for quite a while over the rationale for 23a. A very enjoyable puzzle. 2*/4*

  5. A very enjoyable puzzle this morning. 5d made me smile as did 21a. 16d was the last to go in…it just wouldn’t jump out. Thank you to Jay and Pommers. Not quite as warm here on the N.York moors!

  6. 26591? Oops!
    Enjoyed today’s puzzle – favs. were 4d and 5d. 16d and 18d were last ones in.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif
    Mr. Smith’s!!! Plenty of best forgotten memories of that place!

      1. Umm …… now let me think:-
        Dress up to the nines
        Lie through your back teeth about your age
        NEVER go in without at least one friend as back-up
        Oh – and always give a guy with a car a second glance – it’s a long walk to catch the all-night bus! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  7. I had got four of the first six acrosses in when my lift appeared so that is the crossword set aside until tomorrow. I am off in a boys only trip down The Thames to Sonning. There will be beer and there may be food. I have left Saint Sharon with a long list of jobs to do before she opens up at 5.00pm. If she finishes them early she can easily call for more. If anybody knows of good riverside pubs on this stretch of the Thames please tip us the wink

  8. I thought it was between 2* and 3* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    6 and 16d were my last two answers – can’t really see why but they just were.
    It took me ages to see why 23a was the right answer – I’d forgotten about ‘nicker’ for pound – my Dad used to call them ‘smackers’ (the pound bit, I mean, not the ‘knickers’).
    21a took a while – could only think of Dracula and leeches for blood-suckers and as for 17a and where Geordies come from – well, Newcastle didn’t help much.
    Apart from that lot I didn’t have too many problems.
    I liked 10 and 23a and 1 and 5d. My favourite was 4d.
    With thanks to Jay and pommers – you’re doing overtime! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    1. I’m not in the chair on Thursday this week (it’s you!) and I just fancied a walk down memory lane. Jay’s puzzles are where I cut my teeth as a blogger.

      1. I know it’s me tomorrow – the 23a’s are getting in a tangle already. Too many people have been saying that we’ve had it fairly easy so far this week and that we’re going to pay for it later on. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

        1. We have been having kind puzzles so far this week, the dam is bound to break soon. I’ll keep fingers crossed for you tomorrow!


  9. The slang word for a pound was new to us but did work out what it had to be. Hard to get a comparative estimate of difficulty as we each solved this one separately for a change. Good clues, a pleasure to solve.
    Thanks Jay and Pommers.

    1. When solving, I always think “Will this be fair for the “2Kiwis”.?

      9a – For example!

      Presumably, he is in Scotland today!

      If they vote “Yes” will EIIR become Queen of the South?

      1. Do you REALLY think they’ll vote “yes”? Somehow I can’t believe they’ll actually do it, despite the polls.

      2. Kind of you to think of us Stan. Names that appear on the “World Stage” like the one in 9a are not usually a problem for us. TV celebs like news readers etc give us much more of a challenge, as do obscure geography like Goole in last Thursday’s puzzle. We turn to Google for help without any pangs of conscience in cases like that. Cheers.

        1. Don’t blame you! I came across a Maori greeting in a puzzle recently and had exactly the same feeling – Google here I come!

            1. Kia Ora is a Maori greeting I’ve heard of but it’s not the one I came across in the recent puzzle. Can’t find it now but it was about 8 letters and, I think, began with H. Suspect it was in a recent Indy puzzle.

              However, from Wiki:-
              Kia-Ora is a concentrated fruit soft drink brand, made by Atlantic Industries (a subsidiary of the Coca-Cola Company) and licensed for manufacturing in the UK by Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd.

              Don’t suppose it’s marketed in NZ http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  10. That’s more like it! After a couple of dull days this was much more fun. I got my 23s in a twist trying to think of words with two Ks until the other meaning of drawers popped into my head. It therefore qualifies for my best in show award.
    Wednesdays may be on their way to becoming my favourite day, so thanks Jay for another nice one and Pommers for the review.

  11. **/**** today. My wife and I were talking about putting 5d back on last night as the nights get chilly. 4d wasn’t helped by me reading as 4-5 instead of 5-4!

  12. I agree with Kath – between 2 and 3. We both like anagrams and there are a few nice ones. They all went in, but like others, I needed explanation from Pommers about the ‘nicker’ bit. Thx.
    Why is ‘con’ study again?

    I faffed around fir a bit trying to get in ‘spin offs’ with no joy.

    9a, 11a were good.

    4d was a bit clunky and 2d my favourite.

    Where’s a good place to go the first week of November?

    1. CON is just a word meaning to study.

      Here’s def number 5 from Collins

      Verb, (transitive) (archaic) to study attentively or learn (esp in the phrase con by rote)

  13. Thought I’d sailed though only to find I got the second word in 2d the wrong way round. I took poor returns as the definition and so was happy with a bad hand even though I couldn’t quite parse the rest of the clue. And there was me thinking I was a dab hand at crosswords! Thanks to all.

  14. **/*** for me- pretty much a write-in, except I couldn’t see 1a for few minutes, and then the penny dropped.

    I particularly liked 21a.

  15. Nice crossword today but I would slightly take issue with 25a, not sure net equates to profit. Last in was 2d which took me ages, could not see why it was a bad hand unless cards were involved then realised it had bad back to front!
    Thx to all.

  16. Needed the blog today in order to finish. Struggled a little bit but still an enjoyable offering. I would rate this as a 3/4 I particularly liked 5D Thank you to Pommers for the review.

  17. Very enjoyable puzzle. A 3/3 for me. I got 18d and 25a but only from the checking characters. 19d last in due to very careless spelling of 20a. Thanks to Pommers for the explanations.

  18. Thanks to Jay and to Pommers for the review and hints. A lovely puzzle with lots of great clues. Stand out Favourite was 21a. Originally had a misspelling of alcoholic in it’s place http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif
    Last in was 1a, was looking for a fish called a tarpet, before the light finally dawned. Was 3*/4* for me. A bit gloomy in Central London, the sun has gone.

  19. I have just written a comment which didn’t appear for some reason but I was asked on screen to complete some kind of security check – don’t understand!

    1. OK I’ll try and remember what I said. Terrific – thank you Jay and indeed Pommers for much fun combined with a bit of brain-work. Liked 2, 3, 4, 5 and 16d equally – although I’m not allowed joint favs! To me illustration of 23a is rather more bloomers. I’m with you Kath my father used to call pounds smackers. By the way, “Why can’t a one-legged woman change a pound note? – because she has only got half a knicker” – sorry about that! I’m not happy about the value of 23a today as I have just bought dollars at a rate much reduced in recent days – thanks to influence of Mr. Salmond and his cohorts. **/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  20. I didn’t find this at all difficult but too many went in with the M’pops rule. I just could not work out why 23a was right, and, yes, I did know the name for pound, just didn’t think of money for pound. Completely missed the anagram at 19a, very stupid of me, it’s so very obvious. Many lovely clues, really enjoyed this one. Loved 2d, 21a and 23a, fave is 5d. Thanks to Jay and to Pommers for the explanations.

    1. Got 23a by chance. I thought pound was the nick as in jail and I had the electric blanket so the end was obvious.

  21. Much more straightforward than today’s toughie. Had to look for help solving 25a. I was looking for a source of rare stone. Didn’t read the clue properly. Still searching the second word of 4d. More hints are needed or I will have to reveal the answer. The past tense of organised is disturbing me. Anyway. Thanks to Jay and pommers.

      1. In the absence of RD who’s off sunning himself somewhere I’m going to play the pedant now and say that the nit is not the actual beast itself but its eggs.

        1. Ah but this is crossword land and we play by dictionary rules. Mine says:
          The egg or young form of a louse or other parasitic insect, especially the egg of a human head louse attached to a hair.
          that’ll do for me!

          1. They certainly won’t do for me! When I was in primary school we had a rather large and alarming lady come round regularly to check one’s head for these little rascals. Personally I don’t care if they’re eggs, young or the full grown rascal – nasty whatever http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  22. Fun but fairly straightforward from my perspective – though I did need to check the blog to find out why my “answer” to 18d was correct. Thanks to pommers for that. **/***

  23. A very enjoyable puzzle thank you Jay and not too taxing for me. Thanks Pommers for your review and hints. Beautiful day on Mull – sitting out in the sunshine watching the eagles.

  24. I feel like a harbinger of doom; this was yet another fairly relaxed crossword. Where are the difficult ones? They are out there and heading our way….. I know it, I know it.
    Anyway some nice clues today, and once I realised that I hadn’t read 4d properly everything fitted sweetly. (Thick knit indeed… oh dear, well it made sense at the time… kind of)
    23a was my favourite
    Thanks to Jay and Pommers.

    1. “Where are the difficult ones? They are out there and heading our way….. I know it, I know it.” – don’t say that or you’ll frighten the horses, or at least Kath as she’s in the chair tomorrow.

  25. We are having a heat wave here too, pommers ! It is actually warm and similtaneously dry. I too took an inordinately long to get 6d.I liked 2d and 5d. Thanks pommers and Jay.

    1. What was it about 6d? I’m staring at C*A*I*T and can’t see it, doh! In my defence, and yours and a few other people’s, I can only say that CHARIOT = CARRIAGE might be pushing it a bit (nearly put that in the hint). I was thinking things like LANDAU, VICTORIA, HANSOM etc, or even carriage as in posture or similar. There are 22 synonyms for carriage in Collins and it don’t include chariot.

      1. I don’t know. One of those words that doesn’t exactly come up in everyday conversation. I thought it was pushing the envelope as a synonym a bit, too. I tried hard to work in gait for carriage at one point!

        1. Such is life. Glad it wasn’t just me.
          I’ve just done 27592 and , unless it’s me having had a glass or two too many, it’s a bit tricky. I’d give it a solid 3* difficulty, maybe into 4*. Maybe the doom and gloom merchants saying we’ll pay for the three easy ones this week are correct!

          BTW, thank you for saying I am respected – quite gone to my head http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

      2. expression your chariot awaits as in transport of any type i suggest would explain the connection between carriage and chariot

  26. 2*/3* or so for me, and 21a my pick of the clues. Thanks to Jay, and to Pommers for the review. Nice to see Crosswordland’s favourite electrical device again at 11a.

  27. Read and write for me, as Wednesdays seem to have become. This is goos news on several fronts – not least because radio duties require me to be on the ball at, for me, an unfeasibly early hour. Good fun, nonetheless and I especially liked 21a. 1*/4*. Thanks to Jay and Pommers, who was not needed today

  28. someone please put me out of my misery. 10a – I understand the backwards van, but what does “TAS” signify ? Why is that a test?

  29. The SAT is not reversed, only the van. Scholastic Aptitude Test is what you are looking for. Cheers.

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