DT 27597 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27597

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27597

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Although this was very much a write-in for me it was still very enjoyable, albeit 1 across is a very old chestnut!

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    Chap’s show of amusement is a grave offence (12)
MANSLAUGHTER: a chap followed by the S from ‘S and a show of amusement

9a    Cobbled together dress given to model (9)
MAKESHIFT: an archaic word for a woman’s dress preceded by a model or type

10a    Lament golf in dreadful environment (5)
DIRGE: the letter represent by golf in the NATO Phonetic alphabet inside (in … environment) an adjective meaning dreadful

11a    ‘Inculpate‘ is found in certain dictionaries (6)
INDICT: hidden inside (found in) the clue

12a    Way to encourage a swimmer (8)
STURGEON: a charade of the two-letter abbreviation for a way or road and a phrasal verb meaning to encourage (4,2)

13a    Slump disheartened, facing heavy defeat, but shoot (6)
SPROUT: S[lum]P without its inner letters (disheartened) followed by (facing) a heavy defeat

15a    Pretended to have had an impact (8)
AFFECTED: two definitions – an adjective and a verb

18a    Sack — anticipating popular news item (8)
BULLETIN: a colloquial word for the sack or dismissal followed by a two-letter word meaning popular

19a    Slim pickings ultimately on the African grasslands, say (6)
SVELTE: the final letter (ultimately) of [picking]S followed by what sounds like the African grasslands (veldt)

21a    Do nothing, say, about a gun unloaded (8)
STAGNATE: a verb meaning to say around the A from the clue and G[u]N without its inner letters (unloaded)

23a    Note revolutionary chasing unknown soul (6)
PSYCHE: the two-letter abbreviation for a note added to the end of a letter or communication followed by the usual South American revolutionary, the latter following (chasing) a mathematical unknown

26a    Conservative list showing no criminal offences (5)
CLEAN: C(onservative) followed by a verb meaning to list or slant

27a    Argue about crossing river with sick fighter (9)
GUERRILLA: an anagram (about) of ARGUE around R(iver) and an adjective meaning sick

28a    Element of grammar found in extract from Hamlet’s soliloquy, for example (4,2,6)
PART OF SPEECH: a charade of an extract or piece, a two-letter preposition meaning from and a soliloquy


1d    Quiet semi designed for people with children (7)
MUMMIES: a three-letter word meaning quiet followed by an anagram (designed) of SEMI

2d    Exposed senior churchman flipped around end of week (5)
NAKED: the reversal (flipped) of a senior churchman around the final letter (end) of [wee]K

3d    Bewildered at clues, so struggle in vain (4,5)
LOST CAUSE: an anagram (bewildered) of at clues so – note that the definition is a noun not a verb

4d    Small fighting force‘s upper-class clown (4)
UNIT: the letter that represents upper-class followed by a clown or fool

5d    Quickly get on with independent upper-class chap supporting strike (3,2,3)
HIT IT OFF: I(ndependent) and an upper-class chap preceded by (supporting in a down clue) a strike or blow

6d    Duck down behind this for cover (5)
EIDER: this type of duck, when followed by the word DOWN gives a cover used on a bed

7d    Old and terribly reliant Asian, perhaps (8)
ORIENTAL: O(ld) followed by an anagram (terribly) of RELIANT

8d    Confined writer on setting up of study (6)
PENNED: a writing implement followed by the reversal (setting up in a down clue) of a study

14d    Issues rental agreements after vacating residence (8)
RELEASES: some rental agreements preceded by (after) R[esidenc]E without its inner letters (vacating)

16d    Listen, this happens in autumn with leader being axed (9)
EAVESDROP: something that happens in autumn (6,4) without its initial letter (leader)

17d    Hold one’s position — or pose drunkenly (3,5)
SIT TIGHT: a verb meaning to pose followed by an adjective meaning drunk or intoxicated

18d    Essentials for graduates thus employed (6)
BASICS: the abbreviation for some arts graduates around (employed) the Latin for so or thus

20d    Hair of cat under storm centre? (7)
EYELASH: a cat or scourge after (under in a down clue) the point at the centre of a storm – not the middle letter of storm!

22d    Back in New Jersey, an assassin (5)
NINJA: the reversal (back) of IN followed by the abbreviation for New Jersey and the single-letter form of AN, i.e. the one used when it precedes a consonant

24d    Some local vets produce young (5)
CALVE: hidden (some) inside the clue

25d    Britain raised charge for grouse (4)
BEEF: B(ritain) followed by the reversal (raised in a down clue) of a charge

Thought for the day – if Scotland votes for independence tomorrow, will Scottish words have to be indicated as foreign words in crossword clues in the same way that French words are?

The Quick Crossword pun: reverse+tower=River Stour

53 comments on “DT 27597

  1. Well I was glad it was a write in , more or less , after last night’s retirement party (not my retirement).I liked the 3 letter clues , in addition to 1a. Thanks Jay and BD.

  2. Like Monday’s crosswords used to be, a gentle start to the week allowing for the excesses of the weekend, can’t award more than * for difficulty ,but quite enjoyed it with my egg and soldiers so a***for enjoyment .Wonder if tomorrows will have a ‘Scottish ‘ bias, as per Big Dave’s pic for 12a?

  3. Thanks to Jay and to Big Dave for the review and hints. A nice puzzle, that was a write-in for me. Some good clues though, favourites were 19a & 6d. Only minor holdup was working out the wordplay for 21a. Last in was 28a. Was 1*/3* for me. Dull and cloudy now in Central London. Will venture out for a walk if it brightens up.

  4. **/****. Nothing overly taxing though I did have to check the meaning of inculpate. Certainly enjoyable on another foggy day. Thanks to the setter and Big Dave.

  5. Another fine and accessible puzzle from Jay which I thoroughly enjoyed solving. Thanks to BD and Jay 1.5*/4*

  6. 2*/4* for me too. I found the top half much quicker than the bottom, and was a little held up by 14d and 18a (for no reason I can see now!). Favorite 23a. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  7. No problems at all today, but as BD said, a very enjoyable puzzle with some very witty clues. I had to do a double take on 27A as my first thought was to use RILL for a stream with the anagram of ARGUE so couldn’t see why the sick bit was in it, other than that, no reason to query anything. I think my Fave Rave today is 16D – probably the wittiest of the bunch.

  8. For a minute or two, I thought I might have to look up that soliloquy, to find an extract, but the P in the third word gave the game away. Shame!

  9. An enjoyable write-in, hardest thing was remembering how to spell the 27a fighter. I like 12a, 23a, and especially 1d.

    Thanks setter and Big Dave

  10. Oh dear! Just when I was feeling so very pleased that I’d completed this “all on my ownest”, I find all of you above having strolled through it all!,http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif Still, I’m happy I did, and congratulate all you clever clogs too… Quite a few made me smile. Thanks to setter and BD.

      1. Oh I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one Mary…. Do hope you’ve had some fun with your travels this summer http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  11. Gentle but enjoyable crossword today from Jay ?, thanks to him and to our leader for the amusing review.

  12. Quite straightforward solve today. Only 5d and 15a to work out. Haven’t looked at the review yet but I will definitely have to at some point. Forgot to thank big Dave for the solutions on the Sunday grids. So thank you bd and now I’m going to have a go at today’s toughie.

  13. Hi everyone, hi Dave, long time no ‘see’ … apart from anything else my internet has been more off than on for the last few weeks and trying to get it sorted long distance with someone in India on an awful line has led me to distraction!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif So at the moment it is on and I have printed and done three crosswords this morning!!!!! I enjoyed this one and although 1a may be an ‘old chestnut’ I really like it, also thin 6d really cute and clever, my favourite I think, I haven’t forgotten Kath that I can only have one but I must be in credit now to have at least 10?????? Hope everyone is well, I see gnomey and Sue on FB sometimes, off to France in couple of weeks or so for a month so I will be missing again, here’s hoping the internet lasts til then but you’ll know whats happened if you don’t hear from me

    1. Oh you poor thing, Mary. And I don’t know if it’s just me, but I find the ‘help’ lines in India often include incredibly rapid speech rhythms too, which tend to flummox me – there’s a limit to how many times I can say “Sorry?” In a bewildered way…http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

      1. I know the feeling Poppy its so frustrating … not their fault but … !!!! I was tearing my hair out by last night!!!!

  14. An easy but enjoyable puzzle, thanks to the compiler. Mind you – I had hoped to find a Scottish Referendum – free zone!!

  15. Hi Dave et al, internet been more off than on for last few weeks now so grabbing it whilst tis here!! Printed off and done three crosswords today!! Really enjoyed todays with 1a and 6d being my favourites, I know Kath .. only allowed one but I must be in credit by now!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif No guarantee internet is going to stay on reports from India!!! say still working on it what can u do http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif so if I disappear again its either that or I’m on hols in France in campervan for few weeks!!!! Thanks once again for blog Dave … nice to see you all http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    1. Hi Mary – nice to ‘see’ you. Wasn’t quite sure which of your comments to reply to but I suppose it doesn’t really matter much – do hope the internet behaves itself long enough for you to read this.
      Now – about this multi-favourite stuff. Oh dear! I can see that standards are slipping. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif
      Hope you have fun in France and that the weather is kind to you – ‘see’ you again whenever. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

      1. Cant believe the first comment appeared!!! Duh!! I thought it was lost somewhere in cyberspace!!!!

        Hope to be here for a while Kath if internet behaves, sooooo maddening!!!!

  16. I agree with the rest of you that this was very straightforward – maybe not even quite 2* difficulty – and very enjoyable – at least 4* for that.
    Like Bluebird I thought I was going to have to play ‘hunt the dictionary of quotations’ for 28a – wrong, which is probably just as well as finding anything in our house takes ages.
    I still have to check the spelling of 27a every time it turns up.
    16d was my last answer – spent a short time trying to make it something to do with the fall without its first letter. Oh dear!
    I didn’t know bullet = sack.
    Far too many good clues to mention all of them – 9 and 28a and 3 and 17d. My favourite was 1d – I imagine that will be the case for several of us here! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif
    With thanks to Jay and BD .
    Might try the Toughie but quite busy playing at being a 1d today so may not have time.

  17. The top half was a ‘write-in’ and the bottom half followed with a few thoughtful moments. 16d was my favourite. Thanks to Jay and BD.

  18. Pleasant solve this morning.

    Back home after lunch al fresco with my daughter at a restaurant on the Rijn (Rhine) in Alphen-aan-den-Rijn.

    Faves : 19a, 21a, 28a, 6d, 16d & 20d.

    Magnificent September weather continues in NL!

    Back to the Yes/No situation in Scotland on the TV later!

    I lived many years in Scotland.

  19. I found this just delightful, requiring some thought, but then I like that. Didn’t know that bullet meant sack, but it didn’t matter, I knew it had to be right. I’m going to pick 16d as my fave, with honourable mention to 1d, 5d, 6d and 17d. Thanks to Jay and to BD fo review.

  20. **/****. liked 1a and 16d the most. Thanks to the setter and BD for the review. Spent a while looking up the seven soliloquys of Hamlet which was educational but not very helpful for this puzzle. We will get rain today for the first time since I don’t know when but it will help the gardens and calm the remaining forest fires with a bit of luck.

  21. Surely, 1a now needs a decent burial.
    As does, perhaps, 12a.
    Enjoyable, though., especially liked 23a.
    Many thanks to the setter and BD.

  22. Very enjoyable, much more to my taste than yesterdays.
    Only clue I didn’t fully understand was 14d but with BDs hint I now get it.
    Lots of nice clues but my fav was 19a, very clever.
    Thx to all.

  23. Very enjoyable indeed, with clues both funny and clever. I liked 19a, 23a, 28a, 1d, 16d, 17d, and 20d amongst others. **/**** for me.

    Had no problems today, but really enjoyed reading through the review and checking that I’d followed the wordplay correctly. Beautiful illustration of the duck.

    Appreciative thanks to both Jay and Big Dave for adding pleasure to the day.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  24. Enjoyable puzzle thank you Jay. Thanks BD for your review and hints. A bit cooler in Scotland today. Probably warm up a bit tomorrow for one reason or another!

  25. Good fun for both of us as we each solved this one individually. Will be back to the normal team-work next week.
    Seeing the Scottish referendum has come up, just a quick perspective from our side of the world. What it feels like for us is that much respected and loved Grandparents are contemplating divorce. We really do feel sad about the prospect.
    Back to the puzzle. Nothing to hold us up for long although the spelling of 27a took a moment’s consideration. Lots of smiles.
    Thanks Jay and BD.

    1. I agree with you re the England/Scotland divorce. For myself, I find it so hard to contemplate, I feel like McEnroe shouting “you can’t be serious”! Tomorrow will tell.

  26. Thought I’d give it a late night whirl following departure of visitors but fell into the trap of re-reading Shakespeare and also of making erroneous decisions on the spelling of 27a which caused a few anxious moments in the bottom right corner!
    Could I please have it on record that I finished Monday’s Cryptic before visitors’ arrival and before hints were on line! Thought 3d in that puzzle seemed like a compiler’s desperation to find something that would fit in but am far too polite and too much the newbie to make any comment when none of you ‘experts’ even mentioned it!

  27. Read and write for me, but enjoyed a good few of them, especially 17d and 20d. Thanks to setter and the BD for making all this possible 1* difficulty 3* enjoyment

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