DT 27614

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27614

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

As so often on Tuesdays this is all pretty straightforward with not a lot to make your brain hurt. 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

1a Romances a female, beautiful and small (7)
AFFAIRS – join together A (from the clue), F(emale), an adjective meaning beautiful and S(mall).

5a One caught in the grasp of tender policeman (7)
OFFICER – insert the Roman numeral for one and the cricketing abbreviation for caught in a tender or bid.

9a Football kit? Take it off! (5)
STRIP – double definition.

10a Episodes in police department? Gent’s lost his head (9)
INCIDENTS – a charade of IN (from the clue), the usual police department and [g]ENT’S without its head.

11a Crack bone with feather duster? (3-7)
RIB-TICKLER – a bone in the chest followed by what a feather duster is an example of, especially in Mr Dodd’s act.

12a Car valuation oddly ignored (4)
AUTO – just ignore the odd letters in valuation.

14a Commanding Officer with Marlboro initially asks for matches (12)
COMPETITIONS – a charade of the abbreviation for commanding officer, the initial letter of Marlboro and a verb meaning asks for or makes an organised appeal to the authorities.

18a Study coin and diamonds, gathering value is reduced (12)
CONCENTRATED – string together a verb to study attentively, a small coin and the abbreviation for the card suit diamonds, then insert (gathering) a verb to value or assess.

21a Vile, corrupt and immoral (4)
EVIL – this is a very simple anagram (corrupt) of VILE.

22a For each infection, dropping in is ideal (10)
PERFECTION – start with a preposition meaning ‘for each’ and add what’s left of infection after you’ve dropped the IN.

25a Stamp  individual  card (9)
CHARACTER – triple definition, the third being a card or eccentric person.

26a Trespasser heading off — it’s private (5)
INNER – a trespasser (in the Biblical sense) loses the first letter (heading off).

27a Screen rambling unknown’s views (7)
SCENERY – an anagram (rambling) of SCREEN followed by one of the mathematical unknowns.

28a With passion at the start, hugging Agnes regularly (7)
EAGERLY – an adverb meaning at the start or near the beginning contains (hugging) the even (regularly) letters of Agnes.

Down Clues

1d Daft seaman knocked over American on road (6)
ABSURD – this is made up of three two-letter abbreviations with the second one (American) reversed (knocked over, in a down clue).

2d A record, by George! (6)
FORMBY – start with a slang term, in police jargon, for a criminal record and add the BY from the clue.

3d Little devil on wild ride — relative intervening is shut up (10)
IMPRISONED – a mischievous little devil is followed (on, in a down clue) by an anagram (wild) of RIDE with a male relative contained inside (intervening).

4d Smile unpleasantly, lifting Malay dagger — male is trapped (5)
SMIRK – If you don’t know this word for a Malay dagger it’s worth remembering because it crops up on a fairly regular basis. Here it has to be reversed (lifting, in a down clue) with M(ale) trapped inside it.

5d Horse and cart crashed — it could be in the pit (9)
ORCHESTRA – a very slight variation on the usual carthorse as the anagram fodder – here we have to make an anagram (crashed) of HORSE and CART.

6d In golf, a deviating shot? (4)
FADE – a nice semi-all-in-one with the answer hidden (in).

7d One might use sleight of hand to trick one involved in a trial (8)
CONJUROR – a verb to trick or hoax followed by one of the panel who have to reach a verdict in a criminal trial.

8d Reaction on press broadcast? Ecstasy! (8)
RESPONSE – an anagram (broadcast) of ON PRESS followed by the abbreviation for the drug Ecstasy.

13d Reaching out to engrave in chain (10)
STRETCHING – insert a verb to engrave inside a chain or sequence.

15d In a calm way, obviously restraining the ego (9)
PATIENTLY – an adverb meaning obviously or evidently contains (restraining) the single-letter ego or self.

16d Nice chess moves — not hard things to learn in school? (8)
SCIENCES – an anagram (moves) of NICE C[h]ESS without the abbreviation for hard.

17d Driver should do this in time to get over ‘I start to corner’ (8)
INDICATE – this is what a driver should do (but often doesn’t these days) in good time to convey (get over) an intention to make a turn. Put together IN (from the clue) and a time and insert (get over) I (from the clue) and the starting letter of C(orner). In a down clue ‘over’ is normally used to mean precedes rather than as a containment indicator.

19d Italian makes gesture on the other hand (6)
SIGNOR – this clue follows on so well from the previous one (implying that Italian drivers may signal in non-standard ways) that I am surprised at the absence of ellipses. A gesture or signal is followed by the conjunction that introduces an alternative (on the other hand).

20d Force green reforms on party, finally (6)
ENERGY – an anagram (reforms) of GREEN followed by (on, in a down clue) the final letter of party.

23d Power beneficial to Church (5)
FORCE – this seems a bit like a ‘Two Ronnies” sketch with the answer being the definition from the previous clue. A preposition meaning beneficial to or ‘in favour of’ is followed by the abbreviation for the established church in England.

24d Poet dismissing learner as cook (4)
BAKE – Start with William the English poet (“And did those feet in ancient time”) and dismiss the abbreviation for learner driver.

The clue I liked best was the simple but elegant 6d. Which one(s) did you like?

Today’s Quickie Pun: MILLER + BANNED = MILIBAND


  1. Miffypops
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    This took a little longer than usual and I needed Gazza’s answer for 19d. Thanks to Mr Ron and thanks to Gazza. Lots of pictures of very old celebrities today.. I remember the dagger from a short story by Somerset Maugham I think.. Thanks every body for your condolences yesterday. This is Gazza’s blog so let’s keep it with all things Gazza and all thing’s today’s puzzle. Thanks

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    2*/2.5*. My first three corners were read & write but I juddered to a halt in the SW corner. 17d and 25a put up the most resistance, with 25a also getting my vote as favourite.

    I didn’t know the Malay dagger in 4d although the answer was obvious. I will try to do as Gazza suggests and remember this for the future.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  3. Hanni
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    ****/***. That was a bit of a slog. There were only a few clues that came ‘easily’! 28a I kept messing up, working on the presumption it was a weird anagram of Agnes. 15d I guessed at the answer but needed Gazza’s help for the explanation. Favourites were 2 and 19d…in fact 2d made me laugh. I’ve never heard of a Malay dagger before so thank you that. :-) though now I have Macbeth going around my head.
    Thank you to the setter and to Gazza, certainty needed your help today.

  4. Graham
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    All done & dusted with no assistance required, 11A made me laugh if you know what I mean.Agree with the ratings, and thanks to the setter & Gazza for his review.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  5. George
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I struggled a bit with a few of the word plays and as a scientist groaned at the SE corner and the incorrect definitions there a bit! There is a big difference in Power. Force and one of the answers. But made it through to the end, although I pondered on the artist Roman Signer as possibly being 19d before changing my mind as I could not figure out the ‘other hand’
    3*/2* for me on this one.

    • gazza
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      I would have thought that 2d would be your favourite.

  6. Kath
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I agree that this was straightforward but I enjoyed it more than 2*’s worth.
    11a and 2d were my last answers.
    I’ve been doing crosswords for quite a long time but I’m not sure that I’ve met the 4d Malay dagger before today – easy enough to work out and look up.
    Needless to say I didn’t know the 6d golfy thingy – looked in BRB because I thought it might be a ‘shot’ as in a photo – it isn’t.
    I liked lots of these clues – too many to put them all here so just a few are 9 and 14a and 2d. My favourite was 6d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to gazza.
    I think gazza must have done the crossword even faster than usual as he’s obviously had spare time to ‘play’ with finding pictures! I loved the Two Ronnies – I’ll have to show it to husband later. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    • Bluebird
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t know the golfy thing either. Pregnancy put paid to my golf lessons…….
      So, Kath, how come it was your favourite?

      • Kath
        Posted October 7, 2014 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        It’s my favourite partly because the clue made sense but mainly because it’s a new meaning of the word and you never know when that kind of thing will turn up again – whether I’ll remember it when I need to is a different matter.
        Everything I know about sporting terms I’ve learnt from this blog – I don’t very often know what they mean though, especially all the crickety ons and offs and legs and stuff!

        • Rick
          Posted October 7, 2014 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

          As all golfers will know ‘you can talk to a fade but a hook won’t listen’.
          I could explain but I suspect you may lose the will to live…

          • Kath
            Posted October 7, 2014 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

            Thanks but . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

    • andy
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      You had met the dagger before in DT 26549 ;) 26d. Blade with which king made knight arise? (4)

      • Kath
        Posted October 7, 2014 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        Well, blow me down!! Oh dear – 0/10 for memory http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif even if it’s quite a while ago – by my very rough reckoning three years plus a bit. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      • Jane
        Posted October 7, 2014 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        OMG – do you keep all the previous DT’s and memorise the answers? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif
        No need for help today but I cheated on 18a – just went for a word meaning to study, added the diamonds and was very relieved to discover a coin in the middle! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif
        Can’t vote for 11a as fav. because I loathed Ken Dodd, so I’ll go for 14a, 7d or 15d.
        Loved gazza’s picture for 9a and the Two Ronnies sketch.
        As for 6d – I knew all those years with the ex would come in useful at some point! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif
        Now to recommence battle with the Quickie – it’s putting up a bit of a fight today.

        • andy
          Posted October 7, 2014 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

          No not at all Jane, life is too short. Used the search engine top right hand corner of this page, typed in the answer and you can see when it’s come up before.

  7. Bluebird
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    I was really hoping that the Italian driver clue was ” finger”!
    Alas, 26a put a stop to that……

    11a was pretty cute!

    • Jane
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      Me too! Tried desp. to get an alternative for 26a to make ‘finger’ fit – be blowed to the fact that it didn’t answer part of the clue! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  8. Collywobbles
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Easy Peasy

  9. dutch
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    straightforward, though 2d took a bit longer – not sure I like the first “a” in the clue, it’s not used, is it?. After yesterday’s novel clues for users and edison, I was a bit disappointed today to see the old standards cart horse and vile used as anagram material. Then in adjacent clues (20d, 23d), the definition in one is the answer to the next, which somehow felt disappointing. We also have 3 words beginning with co…., which unfortunately added a bit to a sense of repetition.

    I did very much like the driver story and I agree with gazza, ellipses to the next clue would have been a nice touch

    Many thanks setter and gazza

  10. jean-luc cheval
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Managed to complete this one without any help. It used to happen every now and then before I discovered this great blog. Had to finish yesterday’s before turning the last page. I was left with 1a and 1d.. And I had self standing for 18a and plentiful for 17d. What a mess. Anyway, good revenge on today’s crossword. I liked 2d also. I remember the ukulele. Does anybody play that instrument nowadays? Found 10a and 22a a bit simplistic. 15d was my favourite. Thanks to the setter and to gazza for the review.

    • Tstrummer
      Posted October 8, 2014 at 2:05 am | Permalink

      Ukelele is very popular here now, although George played a banjalele, a hybrid

  11. BigBoab
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza, the gentle but fun start to the week continues. The Excalibur toughie today is equally gentle.

  12. LolGee
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Fairly straightforward today. 15d and 18a were the last to go in although I don’t know why – I think my brain went on a ‘go slow’. Really enjoyed the Two Ronnies sketches. Thanks to Gazza and setter.

  13. Sweet William
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Thank you setter. Not too hard today and an enjoyable puzzle. Thanks Gazza for your review and hints. Cold and windy in Norfolk.

  14. Angel
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    I was slow to get off the mark with this one but managed eventually except, as per MP, needing help on 19d even though I was working around or being synonym for on the other hand. Thanks Gazza for putting me straight on that. Not one of my favourites but thanks anyway Mr. Ron. ***/**. Sunny and cool in W. Sussex but hope the sunshine lasts as I’m just off to Glyndebournehttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  15. SheilaP
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Mostly straightforward today, but needed a bit of help with one or two of the clues, so thank you Gazza and thank you Mr. Setter.

  16. Vancouverbc
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    **/**. A gentle stroll through an enjoyable solve. We still have temperatures above 20C and may do for the rest of the week. Marvelous http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif. Thanks to the setter and Gazza for an unneeded set of hints but an enjoyable review particularly the two Ronnie’s.

  17. Brian
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Wasn’t keen on 15d but the rest were fine and quite straightforward.
    Thx to all

  18. Merusa
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Very straightforward end enjoyable, though I did need Gazza’s hint to know why 19d was correct, and it’s also my fave. I liked 2d as well, so long ago! Some cousins used to mail English comics to us, George Formby was one of them, and Arthur Askey with Avril somebody-or-other. Thanks to setter and to Gazza for review.

  19. Gwizz
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    I raced through the top half but got my comeuppance with the lower section. However once I walked away for a few minutes and then returned to it all fell into place leaving me to wonder what the problem was. Ah well. Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza for the hints.

  20. JonP
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Straightforward solve today but needed the hint for 19d so instead of 1* difficulty I’d have to plump for 1.5* and 3* for enjoyment. Thanks Gazza and Mr Ron.

  21. Heno
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. An enjoyable puzzle today, just a bit of resistance in the SE Corner. No real favorites, 5d is a real old chestnut. Was 2*/3* for me. Completed in the Cafe of the RAF museum in Hendon.

  22. Una
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    I found it quite hard, 14a, 18a and 25 caused a lot of hair pulling.Favourite 11a, when I eventually got it.Thanks Gazza and setter.

  23. Poppy
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Bit puzzled by some of the references to 6d, as the only fade (apart from colours fading) I know is to do with filming shots (“fade to black”) etc. Is there really a connection with golf, or was that just to mess with my tiny brain? And I didn’t know a sung version of Blake’s beautiful Tyger Tyger, so many thanks for that and all the hints, Gazza. Thanks to setter also.

    • Rick
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      I did offer to explain to Kath but she turned me down.

      • Miffypops
        Posted October 7, 2014 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        I can fade or hook any golf shot any time, it just comes naturally. I wish I could hit the blighters straight for once.

        • Rick
          Posted October 7, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

          I can relate to that…

          • Poppy
            Posted October 7, 2014 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

            Ah! I’m getting an inkling why Kath was less than receptive http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif but I do appreciate the helpfulness – thanks http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  24. 2Kiwis
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Nothing to frighten the animals from 5a clue for us. Good standard fare that we enjoyed.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

  25. Salty Dog
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Gentle but quite fun; say 2*/3*. I enjoyed 11a, which did just that. VMTs to Mr Ron and Gazza for the review.

  26. Tstrummer
    Posted October 8, 2014 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    Well I enjoyed it, although it was not overtaxing. 14a and 18a were particularly enjoyable solves and favourite was 11a. Made me smile. Thanks to Gazza (but Two Ronnies won’t play on my iPad, sadly) 4*/2*

  27. Kitty
    Posted October 8, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    A fairy gentle and pleasant crossword, although for me it was an illustration of just how much being distracted and tired can hinder ones mental abilities. Hopefully I’ll be able to resume breakfast crosswording very soon.

    Didn’t know the Malay dagger, but it caused no probs. Nor the golf shot: I was thinking a type of shot in a film or something.

    Force, energy and power are quite distinct things for a physicist, but I’m grown-up enough to accept the non-scientific usages and swallow them as synonyms. I suppose.

    Nobody much will care now, I expect, but wanted to comment to say thanks to Gazza and the setter. And once here, I thought I may as well add my thoughts about the puzzle too. Hopefully I’ll have time to do today’s today.