DT 27627 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27627

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27627

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

We thought this puzzle from Jay was a lot of fun so have upped the enjoyment rating. It took us about average time to solve and parse so *** for difficulty.

Last week we mentioned asparagus in our intro. There were lots of comments but nobody mentioned green pees (not a typo!). Congratulations on being so restrained.
Today, in the Dominion-Post from Wellington, the first puzzle we blogged, 27603, has appeared. We wonder if this will prompt Kiwi lurkers to make a comment.

Please leave a comment telling us what you think of today’s puzzle.

1a Agent in pursuit of man is a criminal (10)
MALEFACTOR : A word for an agent follows a person of masculine gender.

6a A touch of style (4)
DASH : Double definition, a small amount and synonym for flair.

10a Business tycoon‘s doctor glumly sacking regulars (5)
MOGUL : Abbreviation for a doctor then regular letters from GLUMLY.

11a Wild dog rose at the rear entrance (5,4)
STAGE DOOR : Anagram (wild) of DOG ROSE AT.

12a Strange fancy from member of academy on strike (7)
CHIMERA : What Big Ben might do on the hour followed by a member of the Royal Academy.

13a Notable source of wealth in hospital department (7)
EMINENT : Where you might find coal or gold inside a hospital department.

14a Clearing one’s mind? (12)
BRAINWASHING : Cryptic definition with sinister overtones.

18a Succeeded and gathered nuts after brewing mead (4,3,5)
MADE THE GRADE : Start with an anagram (brewing) of MEAD, then an anagram (nuts) of GATHERED.

21a How a lady might contain her shock? (7)
HAIRNET : Cryptic definition of defining characteristic of Ena Sharples.

23a Look in after shifting flexible worker (7)
FLOATER : Two letter word for look inside anagram (shifting) of AFTER.

24a Wrote off about constituency car (3-6)
TWO-SEATER : Synonym for constituency inside an anagram (off) of WROTE.

25a A wash gets you mentally alert (5)
AWAKE : A from the clue then the wash as from a moving boat.

26a Sap from lettuce hearts (4)
COSH : Not the most common meaning of sap. A type of lettuce then H(earts).

27a Both sides of dispute produce decline (10)
DEGENERATE : D(isput)E then synonym for produce as a verb.


1d Operatic heroine’s pinching carbon copies (6)
MIMICS : Bohemian heroine, S from the clue, enclosing (pinching) C(arbon).

2d Commonly permitted by law to adopt son, but scarpers (4,2)
LEGS IT : Colloquial shortening of word meaning ‘legal’ with S(on) included.

3d Feels respect — an awful deception (5,9)

4d Discard a team supporting actors (4,5)
CAST ASIDE : Group of actors, then A from the clue and word for team.

5d Speak, though angry, having love for Italy (5)
ORATE : Substitution clue. O replaces I in word for angry.

7d Salon special not protected repeatedly for loss of hair (8)
ALOPECIA : Take away first and last letters (not protected) of the first two words of the clue and voila!

8d Tradition of Russian museum losing millions (8)
HERITAGE : St Petersburg landmark minus M(illions).

9d Argumentative type was up, unhappy with vote about accountant (6,8)
DEVIL’S ADVOCATE : A charade. Start with a reversal (up) of a word for was or existed, then three letter unhappy, then VOTE around abbreviation for an accountant.

15d Go on behalf of church employees (9)
WORKFORCE : A (4,3) term for ‘go on behalf of’ then Anglican abbreviation.

16d Forceful energy and speed at one hundred (8)
EMPHATIC : E(nergy) then how speed is measured in those places backward enough to still use imperial units, AT from the clue, then abbreviations for one and hundred.

17d Consultants notice face-saving devices (8)
ADVISORS : Abbreviation for a notice then part of suit of armour perhaps.

19d Mostly remain to welcome rising skill levels (6)
STRATA : Reversed (rising) word for skill inside a word for remain with its last letter missing (mostly).

20d Bit of wind makes for an easy task (6)
BREEZE : Double definition.

22d Forget it! Leeds taking the championship? (5)
TITLE : It’s included in the clue. Don’t let the punctuation distract you.

Our pick of the day goes to 7d. So simple but not easy to spot immediately.

The Quick Crossword pun: hype+raise=high praise

Sorry for the delay – I forgot I needed to hit “Publish” BD


72 comments on “DT 27627

  1. 2.5*/3* for an enjoyable puzzle today with a sprinkling of challenging clues. Having completed it, I needed to check two of my answers. My BRB informed me that “sap” is a colloquial term for 26a; and Google confirmed what I thought must be the name of the Russian museum in 8d.

    27a was my last one in. From the checking letters I kept thinking it must be “decelerate”, but on this occasion I wisely refrained from the “bung it in” philosophy until the penny finally dropped.

    In line with my mantra that brevity is best, 14a was my favourite today.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis.

    P.S. The Quick Crossword pun is not hidden.

  2. Quick fill today though I failed to parse 27a and it had only vowel checks! Guessed the right answer, and thank you 2 kiwis for the enlightenment – in retrospect, a nice clue.

    Green pee is only half the story, some people can really smell the asparagine strongly while others can’t (a genetic predisposition). I can.

    Thank you 2 Kiwis for the review and Jay for an enjoyable puzzle.

  3. After being unavailable for a while (just far too busy I’m afraid), I’m back ! Another enjoyable Wednesday Wrangle with some excellent cluing and a fair share of chuckles. Very hard to find a favourite today but think I’ll go for 3D (unusually for me, its an anagram, but it did tie me in knots for a bit)

  4. Ha. Big Dave reveals he is not infallible. A lovely romp through a well set puzzle. After the first pass I had a few answers in. That led to the “If it fits bung it in” style of solving which applied to 1ac 12ac 13 ac 14 ac 23 ac 24ac, 15d 16d and finally 19d. Alas it became evident that 13ac was not EVIDENT. The Green Man and the Green Man light Infantry both managed to lose their crib matches last night. The beer flowed well though.

  5. Some challenging clues, and the long answers took a bit of time. Just as I like it! I’m going for 14A as my favorite today. Thanks, Jay for an enjoyable puzzle, and the 2Kiwis for the review.

  6. Hovered between a** or a ***,so like Rabbit Dave going for a 2.5*,and to continue the theme 3.5 * entertainment. Needed the blog to explain 12A,thanks 2 K, the solution was apparent but was trying to use CH as a member of an academy, never mind.26a caused consternation, had to assume it was like Batman’s Zap! Agree with Skempie, hard to find a favourite but lots of chuckles-even for a Man City fan.

  7. I certainly didn’t stroll through this and biggest hold-ups were in the SE but it was all good fun. Thanks Jay for the entertainment and 2 Kiwis for your usual imaginative hints. BD’s followers are obviously all too polite to mention the asparagus side effect! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  8. I enjoyed that puzzle thank you Jay. I even remembered the operatic heroine in 1d. It was the first opera which I went to and have been several times since. Not a dry eye in the house ! Thanks 2Kiwis for your review, hints and photos.

  9. As usual for a Wednesday my last few answers took longer than the whole of the rest of the crossword so I’m not going to argue with 3* and 4*.
    I was very slow to get the two long answers – 3 and 9d – and even when I did get 9d it took a while to work out where it had all come from.
    I didn’t know the 26a meaning of sap and spent ages trying to justify alert for 25a before the light dawned – stupid!
    Needless to say the punctuation in 22d did distract me – thank you, Kiwis, for providing me with an excuse today!
    Unlike RD I don’t go in for brevity so I liked 14a and 8 and 17d. My favourite was 7d.
    With thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis – hope that you’re managing to sleep again.

    1. I think you may have misunderstood me. I generally prefer very brief clues, and today 14a was one such which really appealed to me. However I love your long comments; they are always great value and add immeasurably to the wonderful mix on this blog. Keep the comments coming, and here is a little thank you

      1. You’re right – I misunderstood you, but I like little flowers so perhaps I should do it more often. Thank you and a little smile for you. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  10. I have to agree with 2Kiwis – the puzzle was a lot of fun and I managed to solve it well before today’s blog appeared. Many lovely clues, but too many to single out a favourite. I left 26 across until the last, because although it seemed an obvious answer, Id never heard of and have still not found a meaning for ‘sap’ in my dictionaries as the one in the answer. SAP, incidentally is also a computer programme which I had to use for the tracking of stock in a warehouse – it used to drive me potty when it was first installed in the plant. I digress – a super puzzle, so thanks to Jay (is it?) and to the 2Kiwis also.

        1. I thought you were the publican?

          My grandma was fond of a daily Mackeson and she lived to 93.
          I always understood that it was a bit sweeter than Guinness etc and therefore more likely to appeal to women…?

    1. The Salford Tribunal. …..

      Kafka would have been proud….. you didn’t know what you were accused of, but, by ‘eck, the scowls were enough!

        1. I only meant that these three lovely Corrie ladies (well, one lovely lady plus Ena and Martha) were fond of sitting in judgement on their neighbours (mainly Elsie Tanner, who was never acquitted, but then, was no better than she ought to be) from their little table in the RR.

            1. Rovers return when they can buy a Milk Stout and sit in the snug and put the world to rights.

              Bar of Soap (6,6) Rufus, I think!

            2. I’ve never watched it (or any other soap) but can’t help knowing something of what it’s about – what a lovely clue/answer.

  11. Very enjoyable puzzle which I was able to complete without resorting to the hints. Last one in was 24a which I was stuck on until Mr LolGee looked over my shoulder and told me the answer – doh http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif Favourites are 14a and 9d (as I have a tendency to be one). Thanks to setter and the 2 Kiwis.

  12. Re 25a…I just bunged in ‘aware’ on the grounds that ‘ware’ was some sort of local East Anglian term for the Wash.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

    Am going to see La Boheme at ENO next week..http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

    1. I thought that at the ENO the operas were sung in English only. Is it always the case? If so, do enjoy the boheme.

        1. I saw some great operas there from Verdi “forces of destiny” to some modern Philip Glass experiences or experiments. St Martin’s lane was my manor for 18 years.

          1. I adore the former and despise the latter…and I have tried to get along with Philip Glass. Would love to see one of Fiona Shaw’s productions.

            1. Itaipú Is the only Philip Glass I “understand”. Having seen the Dam which it is based on first hand and its utter enormity in every sense I think he interpreted it spot on. That said, Verdi Requiem gets me every time

              1. When I read that I want to persevere with Glass. As a child/teenager I resented Mozart, too easy, no depth, no heart…Bach without the skill on the piano? How foolish given that I love playing his sonatas now?

                Perhaps as I age I will learn to appreciate Philip Glass.

                In the mean time.. ‘Madame Butterfly’, as it was the first opera I saw and kudos to Nabucco and La Traviata.

                Andy…I also learnt to drive in the Land Rover Series II, as did my mother in the same one. One hell of a learning experience. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  13. Another enjoyable, but not easy, solve for me. 5d took a while – busy looking for something Italian!
    Thank goodness 7d was hidden in the clue – think I could otherwise have struggled with the spelling.
    Mr.Google was needed for 8d and I also only got 26a via the ‘zap’ route.
    Special mention for 9&15d but favourite was definitely 14a.
    Many thanks to Jay and also to 2K – but please leave our imperial units alone, decimal currency was hard enough to swallow! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    1. I had an ancient Australian great-aunt. When decimal currency came in there – don’t know, mid 60’s I think – she said that it all sounded a bit complicated and she wouldn’t go to the shops until the whole thing had blown over. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  14. ***/**. Not a huge fan of today’s back page. There were quite a few ‘bung it in and check later’ clues, 26 and 27a in particular and I just couldn’t parse 10a at all.
    I did however love the succintness of 14a and 12a is my favourite clue this week.
    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis for blogging. I always enjoy your reviews. :-)
    And a special mention to Dutch for the genetics lesson re: asparagine. Thank you. :-)

  15. After yesterday’s struggle I found this a 20d today. My brain felt like it was working hard but the clock said 1* time (I’m not obsessed with solving times but the iPad clock thingy tells you anyway). I think I like Jay because he makes you feel clever whereas certain other setters make you feel very stupid!
    Lots of nice clues but a thumbs up for 24a because I currently have five of them! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      1. No but I do have a serious car buying affliction. Only two more and I can have one for every day of the week. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

        1. No – that’s just plain greedy. You could, of course, buy two more and give one to me and one to Hanni and then you’d be called charitable! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

          1. That’s just the two seaters. Before you pass sentence could I also ask for two Land Rovers, an ancient Austin van, a 1970s Saab estate, seven motorcycles and a Lambretta scooter to be taken into consideration?

              1. Last time I looked that would set you back over £3 million. You might need to shift a few more milk stouts…
                The scooter is a belated act of rebellion. My mother wouldn’t let me have one when I was 16. She still doesn’t kow I have it now!

            1. Then you’re not going to have the problem that a good friend of ours had. She is divorced – had a biggish car – also had a collie and two almost grown-up children. Her collie died (http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif oh dear, again) and when the last of her offspring left home she announced to her son and daughter that she was going to get a 24a sports car. Her son asked her what would happen when he and his sister were home at the same time. Her answer was “One of you walks!”

            2. I have a 1960 Land Rover Series II…it’s something or an heirloom, as well exceedingly dull other cars. I also need a DB5, a DB7 (5.9L V12) and a DB9. And I’ll share them all with Kath.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif
              Miffypops, why do you want a Bentley Blower?
              I’d also like to be able parse crosswords as well as some on here.

              1. I have a Series I and a Series III so that makes a set! I can only drive one so Kath can pilot the other.
                (The Series I is called Rupert)

              2. I’ve not even commented on the crossword yet but I learned to drive in a 1960 Land Rover Series II, happy days

        2. Well, I’ve now bitten the bullet and sold mine…
          Only to discover that the more sensible car I bought uses just as much fuel…http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  16. That was a lovely puzzle; some really good clues of which I think 2d was my favourite.
    Many thanks to Jay, and the 2K’s for their excellent revue.

  17. Thanks to jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very nice puzzle from jay. I was beaten by 6a, I always struggle with double definitions, even though I knew this was one ! Also had never heard of 26a in meaning. Will now go and read my BRB to try and understand it. Favourite was 2d. Was 3*/3* for me. Might have a butchers at the Toughie later.

  18. I really, really enjoyed this. There was nothing really difficult, but I did have a hard time finding a reference to sap at 26a. I loved 12a, 8d and 9d, but my fave was 14a. Thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks for the review.

  19. Didn’t like this one at all, thought it a tedious slog.
    I take great exception to the hint for 16d. Kilometres are an evil measurement invented by a Corsican dictator who terrorised Europe for years. All civilised countries still use imperial measures.
    Thx to all.

  20. I knew I could count on Jay for a most enjoyable puzzle, which I savoured in bits and pieces throughout the day. It’s hard to tell, having done it in this way, how long it might have taken me in one sitting, so I really have little clue how difficult I’d rate it http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif. Another reason I’m glad I’ve given up the star ratings!

    I had to check two answers after completion: perhaps I should know the 8md, but I’m more general ignorance than general knowledge. Also, I was unaware of the other meaning of “sap” but it felt right. If all goes well, I’ll be making extensive use of SAP (see F1lbertfox at #12) in the not-too-distant future, so I expect I’ll remember this new meaning too.

    I wasn’t going to pick a favourite today – too many contenders – but I might just plump for 9d.

    Like all Kitties, my sense of smell is most sensitive, so I kept my nose out of the vegetable comments last week. For me, Asparagus is the cat at the theatre door:


    Thanks muchly (it’s a word that’ll be in future dictionaries, trust me) to Jay and to the 2Kiwis, who have contributed so much to Wednesday’s puzzling pleasure. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    1. Great clip of cats. Thanks. By the way I can’t wait to find beaucoupment in the French dictionary.

  21. Hello everyone. Much better than the toughie which was a total screw up. I think I recognise the stage door but I thought the second theatre was the Albery in st martin’s lane and the Wyndham’s on charing cross road with a wooden bridge between the two. Thanks to the setter and to 2kiwis for the review.

  22. Great puzzle , as usual on a wednesday.25 stumped me so I appreciated your hints , Kiwis ! With that hint 9d quickly followed. Thanks Kiwis and Jay.

  23. We have now discovered that it is possible to actually go to bed and sleep after having submitted a draft of the blog for BD to deal with in the middle of the night. At least managed to stay in bed until after 5am this time before getting up to find our inbox full of emails once again. We had not realised that for puzzles we have blogged, every comments sends us an email. This puzzle seems to have hit the spot for most people as it did for us. Cheers all.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    1. Since I presume you will be reading this tomorrow , I hope you slept later than 5.30 ? Time differences are so difficult ! Let me see, lets say it was posted at 11 am and that was 5.30 for you, the following or previous day, you are either 16 and a half hours ahead or 4 and a half hours behind. Sorry, too confusing.

      1. Sorry to be so late replying. We have been out all day.
        At the moment we are exactly 12 hours ahead of you. From next week, when you put your clocks back we will be 13 hours ahead of you. You cannot work it out from the posting times of our blogs as what we do is, solve the puzzle and write the blog as soon as it comes on line, midnight for you, middle of the day for us. When it is done we send it in draft form for Big Dave to publish on the site at the appropriate time. We are usually fast asleep by then. Cheers.

  24. Been away for a week or so as we have just moved house. Busy! Anyway, this was a terrific challenge in my view last in being 9d as a split the answer incorrectly as 5, 9 which rather threw me! Some lovely clues and my thanks of course are extended for the review and to the compiler. Have been in the garden for last two days so aching a tad! Lots of leaves……! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  25. I struggled to get a foothold, but then filled the grid quite briskly once the crossers fell into place. On balance, then, 2.5*/3*. 2d made me smile, although I’m sure I’ve seen it before in some guise or other, but 27a (my last in) was my favourite. Thanks to Jay, and to the intrepid Antipodean duo.

  26. I did try to comment earlier using my tablet at work but it seems it never posted the message so here’s a replica:

    As a life long Leeds United supporter, the clue for 22d annoyed me yet at the same time impressed me with its cleverness. Sadly I suspect it is true, at least for this season anyway.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  27. Decelerated into 27a thought celerat some foreign form of produce , thought I was being really inventive , oh well . This was the best of the week so far

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