DT 27608 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27608

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27608

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

No real problems but quite entertaining – that’s my verdict. Do let us know what you thought of it and how you got on.

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

5a Line with an enclosure, a decorative cord (7)
LANYARD – string together L(ine), AN (from the clue) and an enclosure or court.

7a Antique found in manor-house — large bag required (7)
HOLDALL – put an adjective meaning antique or dated inside a manor-house or large country house.

9a Name American river (5)
TAGUS – a name or nickname followed by a 2-letter abbreviation meaning American gives a river in Spain and Portugal.

10a Discover arsenic in the bag (9)
ASCERTAIN – the chemical symbol for arsenic and an adjective meaning ‘in the bag’ or a sure thing.

11a Sink full of large fish (8)
FLOUNDER – a bit of an old chestnut but nicely done. A verb to sink (applying to a ship which has taken on water) containing L(arge).

13a Some resign — I tend to get fired (6)
IGNITE – hidden (some) in the clue.

16a Being at fault, by law, mother punished (11)
BLAMEWORTHY – an anagram (punished?) of BY LAW MOTHER.

20a In front of theatre, perform, making up one piece (6)
INTACT – a charade of IN, the front letter of T(heatre) and a verb to perform on stage.

21a Buggy in street ahead of luxurious car (8)
STROLLER – Buggy (normally preceded by Baby) is the proprietary name for a light, collapsible pushchair and the answer is a North American word for the same sort of thing. The abbreviation for street precedes an informal word for a make of luxurious car.

24a Noble to slate bridge contract (5,4)
GRAND SLAM – an adjective meaning noble or of high rank followed by a verb to slate or criticise severely.

26a Old German  stamp (5)
FRANK – two definitions, the first a member of an old Germanic people.

28a Aides reunite abroad (7)
RETINUE – an anagram (abroad) of REUNITE.

29a Trainer struggling to find ground (7)
TERRAIN – and another old chestnut – an anagram (struggling) of TRAINER.

Down Clues

1d Small horse’s disadvantage (4)
SNAG – S(mall) followed by a word for a horse.

2d Standard issue for a rector (6)
PARSON – a charade of a standard (the standard number of strokes that a professional golfer is expected to complete a hole in, for example) and an issue or offspring.

3d Nothing left in well? (3,5)
ALL RIGHT – if there’s nothing on the left then it must be …

4d Drop a soap opera (4)
SAGA – a verb to drop or droop followed by A (from the clue).

5d Fire — or reprieve? (3,3)
LET OFF – double definition, the first being to fire or discharge a weapon.

6d Calibre of team? Dire, sadly (8)
DIAMETER – continuing with the firearms theme calibre here relates to the size of a bullet. It’s an anagram (sadly) of TEAM DIRE.

7d A white German wine, or pop? (4)
HOCK – double definition. Pop is an informal word for the act of pawning – the phrase ‘Pop goes the weasel’ in the nursery rhyme refers to the pawning of one’s coat (weasel and stoat – Cockney rhyming slang).

8d Cavalryman about, in country road on right (6)
LANCER – the single-letter abbreviation meaning about or approximately goes inside a country road and that precedes (on, in a down clue) R(ight).

12d Coming from moor, bitterns fly in a circle (5)
ORBIT – hidden (coming from) in the clue.

14d Lily excited about daughter making up a poem (5)
IDYLL – an anagram (excited) of LILY containing D(aughter).

15d Swindle to attract scorn (8)
CONTEMPT – charade of a swindle or scam and a verb to attract or lure.

17d Crash requires papers to be shown in midst of stress (8)
ACCIDENT – insert the abbreviation for personal papers or documents into stress or emphasis.

18d Touch fringe, restyled (6)
FINGER – an anagram (restyled) of FRINGE.

19d Penniless knight, shattered (6)
BROKEN – an informal adjective meaning penniless or skint followed by the chess abbreviation for knight.

22d University place, neat for dons, originally (6)
OXFORD – if you don’t know what neat, as a noun, very often means in cryptic crosswords then you need to consult Big Dave’s “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing” section. We need the 2-letter, singular, version here and that’s followed by FOR (from the clue) and the first (originally) letter of dons.

23d Conservative  down in the dumps? (4)
BLUE – quite an appropriate clue after the happenings of the weekend? Double definition, the first being an informal adjective meaning Conservative or right-wing. Doesn’t ‘lewd tweets’ sound as if it should be a Spoonerism?

25d Up, endlessly, producing wine (4)
ASTI – up has the sense meant in a parent’s exasperated shout to a schoolchild in the morning “Aren’t you up yet?”. We want another adverb meaning the same, but without its final R (endlessly).

27d A girl having bottom pinched, unfortunately (4)
ALAS – A and a girl without her final (bottom, in a down clue) letter.

The clues I liked best were 10a, 11a and 7d. Which one(s) did it for you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: LORE + CAUGHT = LAW COURT

56 comments on “DT 27608

  1. I agree with Gazza’s assessment, Difficulty */** – Enjoyment ***, nothing too difficult. Favorites 7d and 26a.

  2. A quick and easy solve today. I don’t remember ever seeing that grid before (13 across clues and 18 down). */**
    Thanks to the setter, and to Gazza for his review.

  3. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. A nice puzzle, not too tricky. No real favorites. Last in was 4d. Was 1*/3* for me. Nearly at Newcastle now.

  4. Thank you setter. An unusually friendly offering for a Tuesday ! Held up in the NE corner, needing BRB for the pawn definition, and thought 3d was very clever. Started off by thinking “dry” somethinghttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif Thanks Gazza for your review and hints. I haven’t seen reference to 5a since I wore battledress !

  5. Pretty straightforward today and good fun. I’m not familiar with 9d so thanks for the hint on that one which helped me to complete the missing letter.
    Thanks also to Mr Ron.

  6. I agree with Gazza’s ratings and comments.

    Although I completed the grid, I couldn’t fully parse the German clues. Many thanks to Gazza for the clarifications for both 26a (I’ve never heard of the old Germanic people in question) and 7d (I didn’t know that the name for that type of wine could mean to pawn).

    Many thanks too to Mr. Ron whose style shows commendable brevity.

  7. Nice gentle puzzle – just the thing for helping to get over the shattering of the Mr. Clooney dream!
    Needed the hints to fully explain the answers for 7, 22 and 25d – many thanks Gazza.
    Took a little while to see the anagram in 16a – OK, stupid I know.
    Especially liked 2,3 and 17d.
    5a – took me back to the days of making them to go with the Girl Guide uniform!
    Nice one, Mr. Ron. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    1. Just done yesterday’s crossword and read your comment. I’m back! Real life has overtaken crossword life for the last few days. I’m still working on the list of what I’m good at but making cushion covers for Pet Lambs will certainly be on it – not that there’s been much progress with them recently! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  8. No real problems today although I didn’t know the ‘pop’ connection – answer was fairly obvious though (as long as you know your German wines). No real favourites today as they all seemed quite good, so perhaps I’ll go for 26A as it was my mate Frank’s birthday yesterday.

  9. Thought this was going to be a write in until I hit 4d, my last clue. Still don’t understand the answer, what has saga to do with a soap opera? Surely sagas are rather noble stories not the inane drivel served up a soap operas. Thought 25d was a pretty poor clue.
    Apart from 4d & 25d I really enjoyed today’s gentle stroll.
    Thx to all

    1. saga
      a long story of heroic achievement, especially a medieval prose narrative in Old Norse or Old Icelandic.
      “a figure straight out of a Viking saga”
      synonyms: epic, chronicle, legend, folk tale, romance, traditional story, history, narrative, adventure, fairy story, myth; roman-fleuve
      “the Celts’ tribal sagas abound with mythical figures”
      a long, involved story, account, or series of incidents.
      “launching into the saga of her engagement”
      synonyms: rigmarole, story, lengthy story/statement/explanation;

      ie a story that goes on and on without really getting anywhere and which should (IMHO) be banned from TV

  10. I was struggling with the 16a anagram because i had misspelled the poem in 14d. No excuse since that was also an anagram!

    paused for a while with the Germans, but a fairly gentle crossword today
    many thanks setter and Gazza

  11. I called it a day without having completed 9a or 4d (both of which I’m sure I’d have got with a little more time), but other than that no real hold-ups. Thanks to the setter for the breakfast brain-food, and to Gazza for the review, especially the interesting information re 7d.

  12. Virtually a write-in – only 4d caused a slight hiccup as I went through all the soaps I could think of !! Definitely a */*** and thanks to the setter for an entertaining lunch break.

  13. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza, gentle but fun crossword and super review. The Messinae toughie is worth a go, not much more difficult than this.

    1. Agreed. Mostly in on the way to lunch with one of my three sets of outlaws. Top right corner to go and I have thought of another answer as I sit here listening to the small talk.

  14. We found this not quite a write in (we never find them write ins) but not bad either. We did have to look up one or two to see why the answer was the answer, but it’s a * /*** for us. Thank you to the setter and to Gazza.

  15. I agree with gazza’s rating.
    8d was my last one but I don’t know why – suppose something has to be!
    I didn’t know the pawning bit of 7d but the BRB did.
    No real problems so now there’s time to have a go at yesterday’s and Mr Rookie – feeling generally idle – think I’m allowed to be occasionally.
    I liked 11a and 17 and 27d. My favourite was 16a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to gazza.

  16. Easy peasy until the last few (as always).
    Needed confirmation of:
    7d Pop?
    10a Had to look up Arsenic in the period table
    I had dmark for 26a
    (Cannot find your ref to Wolf etc on the site. ) Found it, what on earth has oxen and got to do with neat? sounds like I’ll go 4 clubs, when you mean No Trumps.
    Oherwise, agree with score.
    Thanks to Gazza and setter

    1. Neat is an Oldie English word for a cow (or coo for any Scots in) which can also be thought of as an ox. Its worth remembering, it occurs a lot in crosswordland

  17. All went well with me up until 5d came along as I pondered whether that would be let or lay, as in employment and stop being nasty. I did not know 9a right away. so it took me a little while to ponder the alternatives before getting the answer. Other than that an easy one today.

  18. */**. Pretty much a read and write but enjoyable with 7d my favourite. Thanks to the setter and Gazza for the review.

  19. Back yesterday from marvellous USA/Canada “holiday” and no cruciverbal activity although received but no time to read the daily Big Dave fix. Today’s offering was gentle way to get back in the swing although 4d caused problem so I eventually settled on Aida (on basis of that opera or possibly Princess Ida being soap?) thus 7a escaped me as did 7d – hate that word for German wine). Therefore **/*** for me. Thanks Mr. Ron and Gazza. Now need some http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif to recover from jet lag!

  20. As today is the 40th anniversary of my 21st birthday we went out for a rather splendid lunch. Menu:-

    Starter – this crossword with a small beer
    Ist course – fabada Asturiana with red vino collapso
    2nd course – large plate of mixed salad
    3rd course – ternera en salsa with roast spud and some more red vino collapso
    4th course – cheesecake with raspberry coulis
    Followed by coffee and brandy plus the arteXlen puzzle from a recent FT.
    Then pommette drove us home, all of 1.5km, and is now having a siesta.

    All taken sat outside in the shade while watching the world go by. Told you it was a splendid lunch.

    Oh, and this puzzle was pretty good too and was a great start to lunch – thanks to setter and Gazza.

    1. Happy Birthday from me too and another little flower to add to the collection. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif
      The crossword, the beer, the red vino collapse, the mixed salad, the roast spuds and the cheesecake I understand – the rest needs some translation!
      Hope the rest of your birthday is good.

      1. Tanksh to you too Kath. The first bit is a bean/tomato stew with small bits of sausage, ham, bacon, chorizo and blood sausage or whatever the chef can lay his hands on. The second is beef in sauce – whatever sauce the chef decides on the day so just saying “sauce” saves reprinting the menus!. Today was mushroom and tomato – delish http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

        Off to local now for some more beer with mates.

  21. Much more straightforward than today’s toughie. Was left with 5a only. Sounds as if it comes from the French word lanière. Two of the clues looked suspicious. 10a is an anagram of arsenic at. And 11a flounder is both sink and fish. What has large got to do with it? Anyway quite enjoyable nonetheless. Thanks to gazza for the review and to the setter for the puzzle

    1. 11a: to founder is to sink, usually used in connection with ships; to flounder is to thrash around helplessly, literally or figuratively.

      1. Got mixed up with the definition of flounder in the dictionary which said something about plunging movements. So floundering is like flapping I guess. Thanks for the explanation.

  22. Founder… to sink. Next please!
    Very straight forward except for 4d, heaven knows why!
    Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza for the hints.

  23. I started slowly as it took me a little while to get into the setter’s head, but I soon found the way he/she thinks and it all went smoothly after that. Last in was 4d. I wear a 5a around my neck with my mobile attached, the only way I can keep track of it, and I can use it to call someone in case I fall! That’s old age for you. Fave was 16a but many honourable mentions. Thanks to setter and to Gazza for review, not needed today.

  24. Good fun that did not take very long. Just as well as time is rather limited here at present as it is school holidays and we have two grandsons (cousins) staying with us. We take them back to their respective homes later today. (after we have dealt with the Jay). We will miss them.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

      1. I’ve got time to try to cope with a Jay tomorrow, but am out all day on Thursday so won’t get to look at what I hope is a Ray T until the evening. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif
        I bet Brian will be up early on Thursday! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

        1. I am confused about the time zones. Good luck with Jay. Always a nice setter. Bring it on Ray T on Thursday . Thanks to you Two Kiwis for joining the team. Let naughtiness reign.

  25. Thanks to Gazza and the setter. I’m sad to say that after making rapid progress I got totally stuck on 4d and needed the magic button when my patience ran out.

  26. Thanks, Mr Ron, for a gentle but jolly puzzle. Something like 1.5*/3* by my reckoning. My favourite clue was 10a – rather stiffer than the others – but 11a made me smile because l remember catching them in the Thames estuary as a boy. Thanks to Gazza for the review as well.

  27. Got all the answers in in good time, but needed Gazza to explain Pop goes the weasel and 10a. I had it as an anagram of arsenic in at first and the answer came from writing those letters in my usual reverse circle (!) . Never thought to look up arsenic in the periodic table. In Spain the Tagus is El Tajo and forges its way through the Alto Tajo national park, where it is a thing of great beauty and perfect for a dip in summer.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Joe.
      Would you like to volunteer to write reviews? – then you can select your own choice of pictures.

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