DT 27639 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27639

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27639

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

In a couple of days we are off for a family gathering at the Wairakei Resort Hotel which is just north of Lake Taupo.  It is in the geothermal region with lots of things to see and do. Should be fun and we are really looking forward to it.

Good fun again from Jay with just one word that we had to discover in the BRB.

Please leave a comment telling us what you think of it.

7a Substitute fabric left with expert (7)
REPLACE : Three letter type of fabric, then L(eft) then an expert.

10a Followed son and confessed (7)
STALKED : S(on) then spilled the beans.

11a Takeovers put the squeeze around working vouchers (7)
COUPONS : A two letter word meaning working inside (the squeeze) military type takeovers.

12a Lycra, deployed originally in cycling material (7)
ACRYLIC : An anagram (deployed) of LYCRA then the first letters (originally) of two words in the clue.

13a Merged 15 publicly-funded buildings (9)
LIBRARIES : Merged here means an overlapping clue, ie a shared letter. The two words that overlap are both examples of 15a.

15a Houses of the stars? (5)
SIGNS : These are celestial stars, not Hollywood ones.

16a Article confronting women in kinky tape bothers people in charge (3,6,4,2)
THE POWERS THAT BE : Start off with definite article then an anagram (kinky) of TAPE BOTHERS with an extra W(omen).

21a Meat company during prohibition (5)
BACON : Abbreviation for company is put inside (during) a word for prohibition.

23a Destined to follow obscure conservative (9)
HIDEBOUND : Start with a verb meaning to obscure then a word for destined that can also mean tied up.

25a Only virtues needed for people going in order? (7)
NOVICES : Split 2,5 it could describe how saintly these people are.

26a Sort of person who complains of footballer outside hotel? (7)
WHINGER : A football position with H(otel) included.

27a Strike with disgust, but not in anger (7)
OUTRAGE : Split 3,4 we have the opposite of ‘in’ then a synonym for anger. We had a long, and almost heated, discussion on how to parse this one and one of us got her way.

28a Balance concerned with team welcoming United (7)
RESIDUE : Two letter word for concerned, the synonym for team with U(nited) included.


1d Band needs to rent following second-class career (8)
BRACELET : Start with a letter for second-class, a verb meaning to career, then another verb to rent or lease.

2d Raised pace shown by favourites (4)
PETS : Invert (raised) a synonym for a pace.

3d Tests, for example, in a ship (6)
ASSAYS : A from the clue, then the usual abbreviation for a ship encloses a word meaning ‘for example’.

4d Worries about Germany having fighting units (6)
CADRES : One of those pesky IVR codes (which always give us problems) inside a word for worries.

5d Hit high and short — into window! (8)
SKYLIGHT : What one might call hitting a lofted shot in cricket (or perhaps baseball for Expat Chris et al) then a possible synonym for short.

6d Orders forecasts, ignoring public relations (6)
EDICTS : Remove the two letter abbreviation for public relations from the beginning of a word meaning forecasts.

8d Completely sound (5)
PLUMB : Double definition. The first meaning out and out as used with crazy perhaps, and the second a verb to test the depth of water perhaps.

9d Fruit needed in a mainly noisy party? (7)
AVOCADO : A from the clue, most of a word meaning noisy or spoken, then the usual two letter party.

14d Sort of water found in island church (3)
ICE : I(sland) then abbreviation for anglican church.

17d Dig up one-time Spanish drink with them, oddly (8)
EXCAVATE : Two letter description for former partner perhaps, sparkling white wine, then alternate letters from ThEm.

18d Down when up on day (3)
SAD : Synonym for ‘when’ inverted (up) on D(ay).

19d Parts of cooker for fictional creatures (7)
HOBBITS : Split 3,4 they could be components of your stove.

20d Backs objectives including the renovation of Eros (8)
ENDORSES : A four letter word for objectives includes an anagram (renovation) of EROS.

21d Sweet note included in blessing (6)
BONBON : Latin abbreviation for mark well inside a word for a blessing.

22d Drunk certain to miss one drink? (6)
NECTAR : Anagram (drunk) of CERTA(I)N with the one missing.

23d Meat Loaf owns lease! (6)
HASLET : Synonym for owns and then the same word that was used in 1d for lease or rent. We had to find this one in BRB.

24d Encouraged European in development of drug (5)
URGED : Anagram (development of) DRUG with E(uropean) added to the mix.

26d Suspicious, and sarcastic about answer (4)
WARY : Synonym for sarcastic or ironic about A(nswer).

13a appealed to us as ‘Clue of the Day’.

The Quick Crossword pun: bitch+human=bitumen


63 comments on “DT 27639

  1. Many thanks to Jay, and to 2Kiwis for the review.
    No real problems in this one today; my only brief hold-up being with 21d (despite knowing immediately the 4-letter word for blessing!).

  2. 2*/3*.   The NW corner proved to be the toughest for me today with the rest of this enjoyable puzzle falling into place quite easily.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis.

              1. I wish I’d never started this, but presumably what you are saying is that you prefer one of us to fully explain a clue for you, rather than you looking at the hint and working it out for yourself.

                1. I’m also sorry that I started this but no. If I wanted a full explanation of the clue I would look at the hints. I just can’t get my head around ’15’ although I understand the rest of the clue.

                  I see, if the clue read 15a I would understand it

  3. I agree, a nice gentle solve and quite a few chuckles with this puzzle from Jay. When I first looked at the grid I thought it had been checked over by a censor with the five blanks top and bottom looking more like crossings out. ;-)
    Thanks Jay – a most enjoyable solve.

  4. ***/*** for me – when I first looked through the clues not much leapt out at me. However, after a while I got into it and found it really enjoyable. Too many good clues to list

    Thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis

  5. I agree with the 2Kiwis’ assesment – I needed a couple of hints to kick start the solving process (which I rarely need on a Wednesday). Enjoyable stuff however and a couple of new words / synonyms for me to remember. Thanks to the 2Kiwis and Jay.

  6. An enjoyable start to the day. Now for a constitutional while the sun shines? Took ages to think of alternative for goblins in 19d and 16a not helped by having marked last 2 words as 2,4 rather than 4,2. I’m being thick but what have “houses” to do with 15a? Otherwise no real problems. Yet another party in 9a!
    Thanks Jay and the 2 Kiwis. ***/***. ☺️

      1. TVM Physicist. Presumably the 2 Kiwis also knew that but it’s new to me however I am grateful to this this blog which continually helps me to to live and learn. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif – bigger smiley than my Ipad comment above!

  7. Thought it was quite difficult today, well it was until a few guiding letters went in then it was ramming speed, can’t quibble with a ***/***overall.23a last in, had the solution but a new word for me. Thanks to 2KI for the pics , liked 19D,but not the first two films-trying to get a quart into a pint pot-what a let down afterthe lord of the rings trilogy.13a was clever but I think I’ve seen it before.

  8. Thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. I enjoyed this, but am rushing to go to a reunion. Needed the hints for 5 clues. Was 4*/3* for me.

        1. Hello Jane. BD dreams of White Hart Lane. I have to go to the Macron which used to be the Reebok and Heno worships at a cathedral in North London where bad things happened last night ! ” Steamier” stadium ?

          1. It’s strange how the word dream and nightmare could be so interchangeable in that sentence. ;-)
            I remember going to the Reebok for some corporate thing, it was quite nice.

  9. Thank you Jay – for me difficult, spent ages gazing at white squares. Managed to finish it eventually, but it took me too long to be able to say that I really enjoyed it ! A battle which you won easily ! Thanks Kiwis for your review and hints – have a great holiday.

  10. So Big Dave does not like my criticisms of the easy back page crosswords, made this week on one of 4 weeks ago? Posting does not show. So I ll put here. Easy puzzles made “hard” by using obscure words , and even bad clue in one case. Toughies only have 1 or 2 of these , and far more challenging of course for grey matter. ****************************************

      1. Excellent BD ! I have to confess to being thick and doddery as pointed out by Marky, but I don’t appreciate being told as much !

      2. It is so reassuring that we have you, Big Dave, as referee to protect us. We are here to have fun, and that’s what you ensure we do.

  11. I felt a bit woolly headed this morning (never touched a drop last night honest officer) so took a while to get going on this. I didn’t see much at first glance in the top so worked through it from the bottom up. A couple in the NE held me up at the end so 3* felt about right overall. I enjoyed the tussle, as I invariably do with Jay, so 4* on the tickle-ometer.

  12. Not one for me, managed about half before giving up. Just couldn’t get on the setters wavelength today. So for me ****/*.
    Enjoy Taupo, had a Bach there some years ago for a while, was excellent. Some great pubs.

  13. Thought for a while that Jay was going to beat me with this one. Seriously considered looking at the hints for a couple but finally managed on my own, after a break to clear the wrong wavelengths out of my head. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif
    Whenever I read ‘hit high’ I see ‘lob’ – which doesn’t often help!
    The anagram at 16a evaded me for far too long – getting 20d into the grid finally turned the light on!

    13a almost made my favourite for the day but was just ‘pipped at the post’ by 19d, which really made me smile.

    Many thanks, Jay – I’m now well behind with the chores of the day!

    Another great review, 2Ks – hope you enjoy what sounds like a super trip.

    1. Hi Jane, did you get caught up on your chores and have you noticed there’s been no Kath today? Hope she’s Ok?

      1. Well……….. I sort of caught up with the chores! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

        I seem to remember that Kath was going to London today for eldest Pet Lamb’s birthday – hope she dosed herself up with cold & flu remedies before she went!

        1. Kath is def on the razz in London tonight which is why I’m in the chair tomorrow. Hangover and blog don’t mix, can’t think why http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
          In view of last bit I’d better be off now. See y’all tomorrow.

          1. Oh gosh. Very stupid of me. It’s her daughters birthday and she is full of cold. Yes I did know that. Not entirely sure how to do an embarrassed emoticon. Thanks Pommers I’ll look forward to your blog tomorrow! :-) By the way I love haggis too. Mr. Hanni is Scottish.

        2. I completely forgot about her daughters birthday..
          See reply to Pommers. And yes I feel bad for forgetting. By sort of do you mean an epic effort in procrastinating? ;-)

            1. I’ve mastered the art of procrastination. Usually for work. ;-) I did see what you said about seeing ‘red’ yesterday and replied. ;-) I got the feeling you may empathise?

  14. Back again for a wee while (an’t guarantee how long for though). At first glance I thought this was going to be very tricky indeed, but then it had to be put on the back burner for a while; after picking it up again the first few that I’d glanced at fell quickly into place and everything else followed. All in all, a fairly easy put very satisfying solve.

  15. 23d was new to me as well. The NE corner held me up for a long time, but looking back I’m not sure why. Took me longer than usual and so I am between *** and **** for difficulty, but very enjoyable nonetheless. Thanks to all.

  16. Quite enjoyable.. Liked 13a even if (no doubt) it is an old chestnut. Liked 19d too. Last in was 4d. Thanks to all involved.

  17. ****/***.
    It took me quite a long time to get into this one. All the anagrams were quickly dispatched, with the help of my trusty pencils, but got severely held up with 24a and then 23d. I worked out the word play for the latter but had to check the answer anyway.
    Like Jane, I approached 5d thinking ‘lob’ or ‘smash’, so the MP rule came into force. This also applied for 21 and 22d!
    Favourites were 19d and 24a.
    Thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis for blogging. Hope we get the odd pic of the geothermal springs? :-)
    I’m now going to attempt the school run post flu and pneumonia shots. :-(

  18. This was a puzzle in three parts for me; the bottom went in easily, NW went in slowly, but the NE gave me grief. I eventually had to peek at the hints to get one answer and get some help, then after that I eventually finished.
    I needed a lot of help for the why of many answers, unforgivable that I needed the hint for the why of 13a and 15a, we had it just the other day and I chose it as my fave.
    Many clever clues, thank you Jay for the entertainment. Thank you 2Kiwis for the review, glad to know that the lady won blogging rights at 27a. Enjoy your holiday, I’m off to google it.

  19. Typical Jay for us, including the difference between across and down clues (remember, always start Jay puzzles with the downs – which we never do). We got just four of the acrosses on first pass but then all but two of the downs. The acrosses weren’t too hard after that :grin:

    **/**** from me but pommette reckons it was a tad harder, but then she hasn’t blogged about 80 of Jay’s puzzles. Fav was 19d as I’ve seen 13a a few too many times before.

    Thanks to Jay for a fun puzzle and to the 2Kiwis for a great review..

  20. Once again it was impossible to stay in bed after 5am, but the stress level is very much lower than when we wrote our first blog several weeks ago.
    It seems that the word for 23d must be in much more common use in the UK than it is here as it attracted very few comments. As we mentioned, totally new to us, and we’re not sure that its description in BRB is going to put it on our ‘must try’ list.
    Sorry that we did not mention the zodiac meaning of houses in the hints. That has become the first option that we turn to these days whenever we see ‘house’ in a clue and just assumed that everyone else did too, sorry. Cheers everyone. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    1. I’m familiar with the Welsh version of haslet which is made from grated potatoes with pigs’ liver, onions and herbs and is very tasty.

      The version with the pig’s viscera in it doesn’t sound too good, I have to agree, but really, it’s only like a pig-based haggis – and I like haggis http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      1. Described like that, it sounds much more palatable. Will now have seek it out when we next visit the UK.
        With 26a, one of us was wanting to add the usual antipodean usage of the answer to the hints, but the other team member used her power of veto on that one.

        1. On today’s performance BD would have said “unnecessarily offensive” but it wouldn’t have bothered me – I’ve been a whinging pommers all my life :lol:

  21. Didn’t need too much help today, just one or two hints to help us on our way. Thank you setter and 2Kiwis. Have a lovely break.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  22. That was strange.I thought I was struggling but suddenly it was all filled in. Thanks to Jay for a fun puzzle & The 2 Kiwis for the review, My favourite clue was 25a followed by 19d.

  23. Finished this at the airport, coming home to uk after a great week in Lisbon as a special guest of a conference series I founded 22 years ago.

    Wasn’t sure my answers were right with some vague definitions today, but they were, so I guess all is ok. The zodiac public building thing appeared a few weeks ago, so brilliant as it is, it is already old hat.

    I will return to my obsessive crossword habits once home, thanks setter and kiwis and everybody who contributes to this blog for making life interesting

  24. I was pleased to see this puzzle given a three star rating as I found it took more work than it should have. Thanks Kiwis for explaining “merged ” in 13a, my last one in.I hope the planned holiday lives up to expectations.There is a little spot in the Island of Ikaria where hot thermals bubble up into a natural pool on the sea shore, and if you sit in the right place , it is like being in a perfect bath.Thanks to Jay also.

  25. After dire journey back and forth to Beccles through flooded roads to settle down to a most enjoyable crossword was just what I needed. Thanks to 2Kiwis for agreeing with what I had put in ( joke), still cannot work out why 16a went in ‘Just like that’ and I loved 21d for some obscure reason.

  26. It may be ‘old hat’ but 13a is still a superb clue as far as I am concerned! This was a lovely tussle which took me far longer then normal, however the resulting sense of satisfaction was well worth it. I do not understand people who get upset if a crossword takes a while to be resolved! The challenge is everything surely, hence the time taken is immaterial.
    Oh well, each to their own I suppose. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif
    Many thanks to Jay and 2K’s.

  27. I don’t usually post (tried yesterday but it disappeared) as most people have already said what I want to say. Finished after a bit of thought but needed the hints to explain 13 across. I wasn’t happy with 8 d. It just did not seem right. Liked 16 across. 2*/4* for me. Thanks to 2ks And setter.

  28. Fairly standard stuff today I thought, with plenty of smiles along the way. 16a and 25a in particular made me chuckle.
    13a probably just gets my vote, despite being rather familiar from the Sunday puzzle 3 weeks ago which was the first time I’d seen it and thought it equally clever then.
    Thanks for the entertainment Jay, and the 2K’s for the enjoyable review.

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