DT 27626 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27626

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27626

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from a very windswept North Devon. I thought that this enjoyable puzzle was pretty straightforward but the Telegraph Puzzles site has been showing four stars for difficulty all morning so I’ve compromised and given it 3*. 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

7a Argument that could take its toll? (4-4)
DING-DONG – cryptically, toll here is not damage or suffering but the slow measured sound of a bell – ‘The curfew tolls the knell of parting day’.

9a Motive in crime not originally detected (6)
REASON – remove the first letter (not originally detected) from a crime for which the death penalty remained on the statute book in the UK until 1998.

10a Promise revealed in part of sentence? (4)
WORD – double definition.

11a Brazen, having spent too much time in hot water? (4-6)
HARD-BOILED – double definition, the first meaning brazen or cynical and the second relating to overcooked eggs (but not potatoes).

12a Bit of change in mined material (6)
COPPER – and another double definition – the first being a bit of low-value change found in your purse or pocket.

14a Works of art, say, laid out to engage you in the Louvre? (8)
STATUARY – this is a semi-all-in-one where the whole clue is the definition. We want an anagram (laid out) of ART SAY containing (to engage) the familiar form of ‘you’ in French (in the Louvre).

15a In ethos, a disturbing giver of pain (6)
SADIST – hidden in the clue.

17a Prize gained by retired cartoonist? (6)
REWARD – reverse (retired) what a cartoonist is an example of.

20a Food presented by firm American repeatedly (8)
COUSCOUS – stick together the abbreviation for a firm or company and a two-letter abbreviation for American, then do the same again.

22a Crack found in rear of gun, we hear (6)
BREACH – this crack or gap sounds like the back part of a gun.

23a Place where one’s amusement is stalled? (10)
FAIRGROUND – my first thought here was ‘racecourse’ (where the runners are put into stalls at the start of a race) but the stalls at this place offer you the chance to win a coconut, a goldfish (I’m not sure if that’s still allowed) or a cuddly toy.

24a Struggle with women’s opinion (4)
VIEW – a verb to struggle followed by the abbreviation for women.

25a King Edward maybe getting trophy at second of jousts (6)
POTATO – string together an informal word for a trophy, AT (from the clue) and the second letter of jousts.

26a Critical interpretation of former sieges misplaced (8)
EXEGESIS – a prefix meaning former followed by an anagram (misplaced) of SIEGES.

Down Clues

1d Strong men entering Spanish city with American (8)
VIGOROUS – insert the abbreviation for ordinary soldiers into a Spanish city on the Atlantic coast close to the border with Portugal, then add a 2-letter abbreviation for American.

2d Getting on with a good authoritative journalist (4)
AGED – bring together A (from the clue), G(ood) and the abbreviation for a senior journalist who’s in authority over others.

3d The two going on to A&E in America, causing trouble (6)
BOTHER – a pronoun meaning ‘the two’ precedes (going on to, in a down clue) the abbreviation used in America for what we call A&E.

4d Copy secure bridge player in another card game (8)
CRIBBAGE – a verb to copy another person’s work against the rules, in an examination for example, is followed by a verb to secure or obtain and the abbreviation used for one of the four players round a bridge table. This is how the game was played in pubs in 1949 (hats being obligatory!).

5d Disorientated unit at place overlooking North surrender (10)
CAPITULATE – an anagram (disorientated) of U[n]IT AT PLACE after you’ve overlooked the N(orth).

6d Pretentious sort crafted prose about university (6)
POSEUR – an anagram (crafted) of PROSE containing U(niversity).

8d Dress, not new, that’s showy (6)
GARISH – start with a verb to dress or decorate (a dish, for example) and take away the N(ew).

13d Dull  figure in subway? (10)
PEDESTRIAN – double definition, the first an adjective meaning dull or plodding.

16d Quiet row possibly, on reflection low place to find a car? (8)
SHOWROOM – a charade of an exhortation to be quiet, an anagram (possibly) of ROW and the reversal (on reflection) of a verb to low.

18d Like a crate, mistakenly pierced close to vat (8)
DECREPIT – crate here is an informal word for a dilapidated vehicle. An anagram (mistakenly) of PIERCED is followed by the closing letter of vat.

19d Wise like undergraduate largely? (6)
ASTUTE – start with an adverb meaning like or in the manner of. Now add the word (that I’ve only ever seen used in crosswords) for a student supervised or taught by a tutor, without its final E (largely).

21d Two alternatives besetting a tense public speaker (6)
ORATOR – a conjunction used to link alternatives is repeated and the two occurrences contain (besetting) A (from the clue) and T(ense).

22d Harry is beginning to grow into flying ace (6)
BADGER – insert the beginning letter of G(row) into the surname of the legless WWII flying ace whose story was told in the film ‘Reach for the Sky’.

24d Shift of direction implicated in defensive error (4)
VEER – hidden (implicated) in the clue.

I liked 7a and 14a but my favourite today was 22d. Which one(s) did you like?

Today’s Quickie Pun: ROOM + INNATE = RUMINATE


83 comments on “DT 27626

  1. I thought 14a (works of art) really stood out as an excellent clue – loved it. I also liked24a (women’s opinion). I had first misguessed the spelling of 26a, not a word I knew, and 22a is clearly a clever clue but unfortunately loses charm when you’ve never heard of the flying ace. Wasn’t overly excited about figure in subway as a second definition.

    many thanks setter and gazza for review, nice illustrations

    1. Try and find his biography, well worth the read as he had such an incredible story. Everyone should know about him!

  2. I enjoyed solving this one but couldn’t see 14ac (glaringly obvious now of course) so needed the hint there. Apart from that I found it fairly straightforward and would go for **/*** . Thanks to Gazza and setter.

  3. A good challenge for me today – and very enjoyable. I had to wind my mind back a few years to reading the Paul Brickhill book as a child just a decade after the second world war for 22d, and learned a new word in 26a.
    So completed, but after a bit of head scratching, but with steady progress.


  4. Quiet here today, so far – I mean the blog, not the weather which is anything but quiet – in fact it’s very noisy.
    I think I’ll go for 2* difficulty and nearer 4* for enjoyment.
    26a wasn’t a word that I knew I knew but I must have done because it came out of my head when I needed it.
    Two more things to add to the ever increasing list of things that Kaths can’t do – Spanish cities and bits of guns.
    I managed 15a quite easily so I was feeling quite pleased with myself http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif but 24d was my last answer http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif. Oh dear, again!
    I liked 14 and 24a and 3 and 22d. My favourite was 7a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to gazza.

  5. 3*/2*. Not particularly my cup of tea today, but I did like 14a. I agree with Dutch about 13d. 26a was a new word for me but obvious from the anagram fodder and checking letters, and confirmed by the BRB. 7a always make me think of the wonderful Leslie Phillips, although his delivery of the phrase conveys a very different meaning to argument!

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  6. More difficult than many, I thought, but managed without the hints. Thanks anyway to Gazza, and of course the setter. My last in was 14a and I agree this was outstandingly good with I think a subtly disguised anagram and very obvious only when completed!
    Having had both flu and pneumonia vacs yesterday, and given hundreds to other people over many years, I can report that rumours of their semi-fatal nature are much exaggerated and I am not only alive but feel absolutely fine! (Sympathies to those who didn’t – but are you quite sure post hoc realy is ergo propter hoc?)

    1. Regrettably, I don’t handle medication at all well. It took four changes for them to find me a blood pressure medication that didn’t have side effects, and I had to discontinue statins due to myopathy. I think it’ s’more than likely that the shot caused the flu!

      1. I have over the years had similar problems with blood pressure medications and side effects. I currently take 3 different ones which are only a marginal help. Any attempt to find an alternative, including statins, have proved problematic. It would be interesting to know which medication has resulted in no side effects for you.

        1. Atenolol for blood pressure, and flat out stopping all statins and crossing my fingers. I do take “snake oil” in the form of fish oil, flaxseed oil, CoQ-10, and red yeast rice. I can’t tell you if any of them work as my doctor won’t check my blood work; he says there is no point as I won’t return to the statins anyway! I find it odd as I have no food or drink allergies, mostly consisting of scotch, which I believe you call whisky.

          1. I too have been taking the beta blocker Atenolol for years plus alpha blocker doxazosin and a diuretic and (crossing my fingers) they produce no side effects but nevertheless are not wholly effective. I have my own b.p. monitor. Fortunately I’m not allergic to scotch (!) and have no problems with ‘flu, pneumonia, shingles injections, etc.

      2. That’s the reason I ended up in hospital at the weekend so I empathise with you both. The process seems to involve many trials and quite a lot of error!

  7. Someone mix up the envelopes today at the DT? Tough but actually very enjoyable if I did need one or two answers explained to me (19d and 22d). Don’t remember Tutee before but I have no doubt BD will correct me! Could see that to badger meant to Harry but Thx to Gazza for explaining the rest, very clever clue.
    Best clue for me was 7a, took ages to get it but a real ‘smile’ clue.
    Thx to the Setter and to Gazza for the explanations.
    So tough Monday and tougher Tuesday, beginning to dread Thursday already http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    1. You should have a go at the Toughie, Brian. It’s by your favourite setter and not much trickier than his usual back-pagers.

      1. Thx for the invite, I managed to finish it with hints needed for the last two (19d and 22a). Great fun! Never finished a Toughie before with or without the hints. I take it that was one of the Dons? Thx again and Thx to the Don.

  8. Well into **** territory for difficulty for me – I think mainly because on first pass I had ‘finery’ for 8d (finery = dress, fiery (finery without the ‘n’) = showy.) Finally got it all sorted out.

  9. Thank you setter: I found that quite difficult and although I finished it, I needed Gazza’s decoding to explain my answers for 14a and 5d. Obvious of course when you know how ! So, many thanks Gazza for your hints and review. Its a bit breezy in the NW today.

  10. Like Kath, I reckon about **/**** today. Wasted a fair amount of time thinking ‘laid out’ implied ‘starry’ in 14a (although that doesn’t fit I know).

  11. Nice wee stroll along the esplanade this morning in bright sunshine with a fresh breeze then back to this pleasant crossword ( if a tad on the gentle side). Thanks to the compiler and to Gazza for the super review. The Giovanni toughie is definitely worth a go.

  12. After first reading through the clues, whilst keeping an eye on my three year-old grand-daughter earlier today, I thought this one’s going to be a bit of a ‘toughie’. Having solved half a dozen clues, I shelved the idea of completion until after we’d played, lunched and the ‘lady Grace’ taking her nap. Funny how all the clues suddenly make sense and fit into place when one’s mind isn’t otherwise occupied! A most enjoyable puzzle, with 14 across providing the only major stumbling block – until the penny finally dropped. Some good clues again today. Thanks to both setter and Gazza. Back to the Lego blocks again very soon!!

  13. I struggled to get much of a toe hold for some time, not least because of the very unfriendly grid that felt very disjointed and only seemed to give vowels as checking letters. It is easy to forget how the grid structure can aid (or hinder) the solving ‘flow’. I know it is one of BD’s pet gripes and this one is one of the worst of a largely undistinguished DT bunch. Once I got a start though it came together quite quickly, but I was well into 3* time by then.
    I thought one or two of the definitions were a bit of a stretch, particularly brazen for 11a. No doubt someone will tell me it is no.3 or something in the BRB list but it doesn’t appear in my Collins or any of the online dictionaries. Some nice clues too, including a couple of less than straightforward anagrams. It would be interesting to know who Mr Ron is as the style did not feel that familiar to me.

    1. You’re one out on hard-boiled – brazen is no. 2 in the BRB list of: callous, brazen or cynical.

  14. Thoroughly enjoyable, some brilliant clues I thought, eg 14a and 22d.
    Took me some time to get started, then, steady progress hindered by two long word clues.
    But I got there in the end.
    Perhaps a 4* for difficulty for me.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  15. My ‘score ‘ was **/*** before looking at the blog so i’ll stick with that; enough straight forward clues to provide the fodder for the hard ones, 11A provided a chortle,26A wasn’t new but forgotten what it meant. Thanks Gazza for the ‘pics’ especially 4D-always intrigues me why grown men wore overcoats and hats in a pub! Six hour powercut in Tarporley, gone to work.

    1. The reason for the headwear is that a cribbage player can get ‘one for his hat’ :D
      (you need to play cribbage to understand that).

      1. I haven’t plyed crib since uni (long time ago), when it generally took priority over lectures most afternoons. In our card school it was “one for his nob”. I think that was for just having the jack of hearts, but I may be wrong. Is “one for his hat” in common usage too?
        I’m guessing that in 1949 coal might have been in short supply, or expensive at least. You might have got a fire if you went in the lounge bar and payed a premium for your beer, but in the tap room it would be overcoats or nowt.

      2. when I used to pay crib in the Manchester area we scored “and one for his nob”, must be different in the various areas the game is played.

        1. We always said ‘one for his nob’ as well but ‘one for his hat’ is used in some places. The following is taken from the Reading and District Cribbage Association Rules:
          A Jack in the hand or box and a card of the same suit as the top card scores “one for his hat”.If the top card is a Jack, the dealer scores ” Two for doing it ” UNLESS he/she wants only 2 or 1 hole(s) for the game, in which case the two points are NOT taken.

          1. I have always thought the terminology was “one for his nob” and “two for his heels”.

            1. Spot on Rabbit Dave. Its a big Crib League Knock Out Cup night at The Green Man tonight. My team The Green Man are unbeaten in five games so far in the league and we play The Dun Cow from Hornton in Oxfordshire. Saint Sharons team The Green Man Light Infantry (GMLI) are also at home to Southam Sports & Social Club. There is quite alot of Cottage pie for afters. Beer. Cribbage. Beer. Cottage Pie. Beer. Bring it on

              1. Sounds as if you have a tough evening in prospect, but someone’s got to do it. Good luck to the GM and the GMLI tonight!

                1. Thank You. We will both do our best. It is a very sociable league so a good night is guaranteed. We have musicians tonight as well.

              2. Good luck to you and Saint Sharon tonight. Do you do deliveries of the cottage pie and maybe a beef casserole to the blustery north? It would be for 30ish people plus quizmaster. We’d need it for about 10 pm. No? Just a thought. ;-)

            2. I was taught Cribbage by my gran and played it regularly with her when I was growing up. Sadly my better half doesn’t enjoy the game so I hardly ever play these days but I remember it very fondly.
              The game is full of little rhyming phrases. One for his nob and two for his heels were certainly among those we used.

        1. Hi Kath, you should give it a try. It’s really good fun and you don’t need to be some sort of expert to enjoy it! Not sure I’d want to get into MP’s league with competitions and all but our family used to have a really good time playing – interspersed with Canasta!

          1. Aaaah, canasta. We used to play by the hour with local rules to add a little difficulty. Not sure I would remember the proper rules now. A great fun game. My Mum and Dad played crib together every day. I wonder where their crib board is now, I think it belonged to my great-gran.

    2. Hi Beaver, just in case you look in again – whereabouts in Tarporley? I lived in Whitegate for about 9 years prior to moving to Anglesey and worked at The Hollies for 8 of those years. Still come back every year to visit friends and see what’s happening in that neck of the woods. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  16. Unlike BigBoab, we found this not on our wavelengths at all, so didn’t enjoy it very much Definitely ****/* for us today. Thank you setter and Gazza.

  17. No real hold-ups for me. I did know the pilot in 22D and recollect seeing the movie way back when. I justified my answer to 19 down as an being an anagram of ‘a student’ (undergrad) with a couple of letters missing (largely)! Worked for me. No favorites, though I did like 7A and 11A.

  18. Enjoyable test with several light moments including 7a and 11a. Needed Gazza to point out the why and wherefore of 19d – the word for undergraduate new to me. Thanks Mr. Ron and Gazza. ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  19. **/*** I thought before struggling in NW corner, though quite why I don’t know. Misled myself with industrial (dull), at 13d thanks to checking letters excluding 12a.
    Several favourite contenders but I’ll settle for 11a.
    Thanks to setter and Gazza.

  20. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. A very nice puzzle, that I really struggled with, but got there unaided in the end. I wonder if it was Sparks? Some great clues, favourites were 7&14a, the latter being last in. Was 3*/4* for me. Sun in and out like a fiddler’s elbow in Central London. Off to the Toughie.

  21. I found this a difficult puzzle to crack today. I had to resort to the hints just to get started; in the end I was driven to revealing the answers as I read the blog from start to finish. Rating is 4*/1* My thanks to Gazza for his review which is much more enjoyable than the puzzle.

  22. I do feel sorry for the youngsters though. Douglas Bader would have been 104 years old but has been dead for 32 years. What chance have they got with 22d other than to solve it from the “Harry” A la quickie and work backwards. A very enjoyable solve today. Too many good clues to single any out. Held up a while in the top right searching for 11ac and14 ac whilst refusing to pick up a pencil and paper for the obvious anagram at 5d. I got there in the end. thanks to Gazza for the explaination of Tu in 14ac and TUTE in 19d. Ta also to this very good Mr Ron whose style suits me.

  23. ****/****. Not an easy solve but an immensely fun one. I had the odd bung it in moment with 18d as I didn’t see the anagram until I read the blog, also I had never come across the term for 26a. I do like learning new words.
    Stand out clues were 14a & 22d, but 7a was a joy. However politically incorrect Leslie Philips may be I don’t care, as today it’s made me smile. Great stuff. :-)
    Thank you to the setter and to Gazza for the blog.
    Tonight…to quiz or not to quiz, that is the question….?

  24. A real tussle this one today! Some great clues and lots of head scratching finally got me through. 14a was my favourite clue. Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza for his entertaining revue.

  25. Meh. Yuck, yuck yuck! Kitty is disheartened after needing an embarrassingly large number of hints to finish (and consequently appears to feel the need to comment in the third person http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif). Going to crawl away now to do some wound-licking :(.

    To paraphrase 15a: In this, a disturbing giver of pain.

    Oh, okay, it wasn’t that bad – in fact, I think I remember enjoying most of it, before the end left a bitter taste in my mouth. But I do feel better now after a good grumble http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif. So I’m able to remember my manners and thank the setter, as well as Gazza for the sanity-saving hints. What’s left of the sanity remains intact another day. And tomorrow is Jay Day http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif.

    1. Hi Kitty,
      It was great to meet you in Wapping and to find out that we have at least one regular contributor of the younger generation. :D

      1. Hi Gazza :). Yes, it was great to meet you, and I like that I wasn’t quite what you were expecting!

  26. I did the “bung it in thingy” too for 18 d and didn’t see the anagram until I read gazza’s hints. I was slow to get into this today but then all of a sudden it all filled in quite nicely. I understood 22d straight away as I am old enough to have seen and enjoyed the film a few times I think. Thanks to setter and gazza.

  27. I am in the tricky club. I didn’t ever think I was going to crack this one, but I did get most of it done and only had to look at three answers. Feeling very dumb today, but I did enjoy the solving.
    My fave was 22d. New word for me is 26a, unfortunately I don’t think it’s a word I’m likely to remember, so i’ll probably say the same thing should it appear again.
    My thanks to the setter and to Gazza for all the help.

  28. No real problems here: say 2*/3* or thereabouts. As for my favourite, it has to be 22d. Not only is it a good clue, but I’m old enough not only to have read the book and seen the film, but to have been flown around Kent by him in a Dragon Rapide in about 1964 when my Scout troop visited the then RAF museum at Biggin Hill! Some experiences you just don’t forget.

    1. Thanks for revealing yourself as today’s Mr Ron, Shamus, and thanks for the enjoyable puzzle.

  29. We’re old enough to remember the book and movie that featured the person in 22d. An amazing inspirational story. An enjoyable puzzle that all went together in reasonable time.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.
    And thanks for coming out of the closet Shamus. We had not picked it as one of yours.

  30. Late tonight after a day spent sea-watching off the north coast of Anglesey – well, mostly spent holding each other up in the gale-force winds!
    Found this one quite hard, particularly in light of having confidently put in racecourse for 22a at a very early stage, but really enjoyed the challenge.
    13d took a while – really wanted ‘under’ in there somewhere.
    18d – missed the alt. meaning for ‘crate’ for quite a while.
    26a was a new word and, as Merusa said, I shall probably instantly forget it – doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue!
    Fav. is a toss-up between 16 and 26d. I know it’s inevitable, but such a shame that Douglas is no longer known as well as he was. How I envy you, Salty Dog!
    Many thanks to Shamus for a great puzzle and to Gazza – loved your photo’ credit for 16d – somehow encapsulated the ‘low’ from the clue!

  31. Thought I was going to be back in the cupboard under the stairs with my box of tissues but having got started it dropped into place. Too many favourites to choose from but maybe 7a just in the lead. Torrential rain and wind then 10 minutes later the sun came out in Suffolk – weird.

  32. a bit of a struggle but surprisingly saw 22d immediately and both 24’s fell in the first wave 2d , 13d ( hades more than pedes not a great clue )10a and 14a in the last wave with reinforcements from hints

  33. Late input from me once again – I have been busy trying to locate the firm where I bought our electrically-operated beds years ago as the controls have ceased to work! No luck but I found a firm that appears to have taken over the particular make so they will turn up and try to help.

    Faves : 10a, 14a, 26a, 1d, 8d & 22d.

    Weather here today in NL was wet and terribly windy but fortunately there was a late sunny spell which allowed one to go shopping round the block.

  34. Another late entry from me. Busy dealing with a new kitchen. I was able to finish before the fitters arrived. No great boast as I had a number of calls from them saying why they were late. A broken steering rack was the latest excuse. However, I thoroughly enjoyed today, not least because I finished it. Thanks again

  35. Just dragged it out of the back of my memory. 7ac. Robert Southey. The Inchcape Rock

    But even in his dying fear,
    One dreadful sound could the Rover hear;
    A sound as if with the Inchcape Bell,
    The Devil below was ringing his knell.

    Well that took a long time to surface.

    1. Send not to find for whom the bell tolls,
      It tolls for thee (John Donne)
      Alas Bob Southey, you’re a Tory after all (Byron)

  36. 13d sums this up for me. 2.5*/1*

    I didn’t like 9a, as I thought “not originally detected” was much more likely to mean “remove a d” rather than “remove the first letter”, although the answer was obvious.

  37. Rather enjoying this week’s higher level of difficulty so far. It all fell into place eventually although 26a was my new word today.
    Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Mike..
      You could well be correct. The picture I used is labelled as Vigo in Google Images, but now I’ve just googled Villefranche and there is an almost identical picture there. I’ll choose a different picture.

  38. Didn’t like the grid, but did like the crossword. By the way, I don’t think anyone who reads the Telegraph and does its puzzles has any excuse for not knowing Douglas Bader. It shouldn’t be an age thing, it’s general knowledge. 2* difficulty 3* fun

    1. Forgetting my manners: thanks to Shamus for the challenge, and Gazza for the elucidations

    2. Not sure about that. I know it. You know it. How old are we? How would we do with a clue about —————–Oh my god I am too old

  39. Harder today than the toughie. The latter I finished without help but I needed pointers on 1d and 8d on this.

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