DT 27650 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27650

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27650

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

Today’s offering is characterised by three things – the grid has four pretty distinct puzzles, there are quite a few anagrams (nine by my count) and there are lots of cryptic definitions (several of them rather weak, in my opinion). 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 only do that as a last resort.

Across Clues

1a Element found in centre of scan? (7)
CALCIUM – which element has its chemical symbol at the centre of sCAn?

5a Price set wrongly with no end of fuss? It comes from the till (7)
RECEIPT – well, it may possibly come from the till but even in this automated age one may still be written by hand. It’s an anagram (wrongly) of PRICE [s]ET without the end letter of fuss.

9a Something penned by astronomical man — a chronology (7)
ALMANAC – hidden (penned) in the clue with the whole clue being a rough definition.

10a Endurance shown by southern army besieging dictator (7)
STAMINA – S(outhern) and the old abbreviation for our part-time troops containing (besieging) the surname of the nasty old Ugandan dictator.

11a Notes shown by staff? (5)
MUSIC – a gentle cryptic definition. Staff is another word for stave.

12a Provider of cover in retirement? (9)
BEDSPREAD – another cryptic definition. This retirement is what one does every night rather than once in a lifetime.

13a Odd extreme for TV lawyer (7)
RUMPOLE – charade of an adjective meaning odd and an extreme or end.

14a Men at work getting advantage largely as a body (2,5)
EN MASSE – an anagram (at work) of MEN is followed by an advantage or strong point without its final T (largely).

16a Companion to a canine in a trap? (7)
INCISOR – cryptic definition. Trap here is an informal word for a part of the body.

19a An expert in safe delivery? (7)
MIDWIFE – and yet another weakish cryptic definition. This delivery follows a period of labour.

22a Dodgy snack found in pound? It’s an unreliable area (9)
QUICKSAND – we want an informal word for a pound sterling and inside that is found an anagram (dodgy) of SNACK.

24a Expert in posh car becoming a speed merchant? (5)
RACER – an expert or star goes inside the abbreviation for a posh car.

25a Copper, perhaps, in part of cooker (7)
ELEMENT – double definition, the second being the part of a cooker that converts electricity to heat.

26a Network? A Celt with it gets broadcast (7)
LATTICE – an anagram (gets broadcast) of A CELT and IT.

27a Blow on the funny bone perhaps dislodged ringlet (7)
TINGLER – an anagram (dislodged) of RINGLET.

28a Deal, say, by European conservationists offering future warning (7)
PORTENT – Deal is the first word in the clue in order to disguise the need for the capital letter because it’s a seaside resort in Kent. Start with what Deal is an example of, then add E(uropean) and the initials of the organisation that conserves places of historic interest.

Down Clues

1d Athlete once wasted term taking time out in place of study (7)
CRAMMER – the surname of the one-time English athlete (not Coe but his near-contemporary) is followed by an anagram (wasted) of [t]ERM without the T(ime). The answer is an establishment that prepares students in an intensive manner for examinations.

2d Single amount of bread? (4,3)
LUMP SUM – cryptic definition of an amount of money (bread) paid all at once rather than in instalments.

3d Harmless cousin sound at heart possibly (9)
INNOCUOUS – an anagram (possibly) of COUSIN and the middle letters of (s)OUN(d).

4d Ghastly Scotsman, a tiresome chap nothing less (7)
MACABRE – the Scotsman is not Ian but the other one. Add A (from) the clue and a tiresome chap without the letter that resembles nothing or zero.

5d What’s left I’d sure found strange round back of home (7)
RESIDUE – an anagram (found strange) of I’D SURE containing the last letter of (hom)E.

6d Embrace son interrupting strike (5)
CLASP – S(on) goes inside (interrupting) a strike or hit.

7d Old company head showing warmth? The opposite (7)
ICINESS – a charade of what was once the UK’s largest manufacturer and a head or promontory.

8d Garbage close to street? Move awkwardly (7)
TWADDLE – the closing letter of street is followed by a verb to move in an ungainly manner like a duck.

15d Church official departs on time in car (9)
MODERATOR – this is the top banana in a Nonconformist church. Insert the single-character abbreviation for departs (as seen on train timetables, say) and a distinct period of time into an informal word for a car.

16d Poles separately appearing in quite involved legal event (7)
INQUEST – insert the abbreviations for both geographic poles separately into an anagram (involved) of QUITE.

17d Treason, say, with a note regarding a war? (7)
CRIMEAN – what treason is an example of is followed by A and N(ote).

18d Regime vacated perhaps extra nuclear facility (7)
REACTOR – remove the middle letters (vacated) of regime and add an extra (nothing to do with cricket, but a spear carrier, say).

19d Damp flu circulating — one should protect against dirt on an estate (7)
MUDFLAP – an anagram (circulating) of DAMP FLU. The estate here is a type of vehicle.

20d Lean chicken, initially, among favoured set of goods (7)
INCLINE – the initial letter of chicken goes between an adjective meaning favoured or popular and a manufacturer’s set or brand of goods.

21d Make time in New York to get serious (7)
EARNEST – a charade of a verb to make or bring in and the abbreviation for the time in New York (and all the bits of continental North America on the Atlantic side).

23d Signal of end given by orange-seller, we hear (5)
KNELL – this is the solemn sound of a bell signalling the end of something, especially the end of someone’s life. It sounds like (we hear) the forename of Charles II’s favourite squeeze.

My favourite clue today was 9a. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: SCREW + TINNY = SCRUTINY


70 comments on “DT 27650

  1. I did manage to finish this before the blog appeared, but I made heavy weather of a couple of clues. The top right went in very quickly, followed equally as easily as the bottom right. Top left caused most problems, but once completed I was left wondering why it did. Very much a case of four puzzles in one – an enjoyable enough solve. Thanks to the setter and to my other half for explaining 1 down for me – well, she was a teacher for many years :-)

  2. Interesting – this was such a read and write puzzle that I never noticed the things Gazza mentions until I read the introduction!

    I can recommend the Petitjean Toughie.

  3. Managed to complete without having to resort to the hints, although I would rate this **/*** but thats only my view is subjective. 16A made me smile
    But my favourite was 22A.Many thanks to the setter & Gazza for his review.Im going to take delivery of my new I mean second hand camper van today, feel like a little kid all excited.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  4. What a change from yesterday’s puzzle. Took me ages to get the bottom half done. There seemed to be a blockage in the pipe through which the penny drops. Still, like Filbertfox, I managed to complete it before the blog appeared. Hard to find a favourite but 16a,28a,2d,4d and 21d are strong contenders.

  5. Completed three corners but was utterly foxed by the bottom left one! Fortunately Gazza came to the rescue so many thanks for the raeview. Once 16a and 22a were revealed, I was able to finish unaided without any problem. I agree with Gazza’s rating. Never thought of trap in its slangish meaning. Many thanks to the setter. Glorious day in Hyères today, our terrace still looks glorious with bougainvileas and roses in full bloom…

  6. Top left was my last quadrant completed, so thanks to Gazza for helping me through. 2d made me smile. Hope everyone has happy comments today – I get a bit depressed by some of the views expressed. I know everyone has a right to a view – so this is mine! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  7. Exactly the same as Filbertfox. It took me ages to get going though in spite of the anagrams. I liked 16a. Thank you.

  8. How strange it is in Crosswordland. I found today’s puzzle very easy (1.5 for me) completed over breakfast and yet Our premier league reviewer gave this 3 stars. Just goes to prove how our minds respond differently to subtle changes in the surface reading of clues and the context within which the answer lives. I enjoyed the chemistry between 1a and 25a and liked 16a too.

  9. Definitely not on the setter’s wavelength today and it took my quite a while to complete – with a bit of electronic help too… I’m not a huge fan of this type of grid as it almost restricts the solving process to quadrant by quadrant which is fine if one is able to easily solve clues by just reading them without checking letters (I am not one of those people). Thanks to Gazza and setter ***/***

  10. I thought it was a really good puzzle – nothing that would frighten the horses and all pretty straightforward – I had more trouble with the Quick Crossword, some tricky clues there.

    Onward and upward – tomorrow is another day! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  11. Got stuck in NE corner. Felt sure that 12 across was Eiderdown so remaining clues fairly easy after realising the obvious, Bedspread.
    Thought 22A my favourite clue. Hated 16A because it reminded me
    i’m having 2 removals this afternnoon.
    A good 3* for me. Thanks to setter for enjoyable puzzle.

  12. Well into **** territory in difficulty for me, made trickier by references I am not immediately familiar with (ICI, Cram, Rumpole). NW corner was further complicated by ‘score’ (in my view) being a reasonable answer for 11a. However, I got there in the end, much aided by some helpfully placed anagrams. Thanks to all.

  13. I found this to be a bit of a workout. I always struggle when the clue contains a very specific British link – I had no idea who the athlete in 1d was and thanks be for Google. Especially since there are more than one element for 1a that can fit if you have not done 1d! Overall, though, I had a sense of achievement when finished. My last entry was 1d.

  14. A crossword of 4 parts methinks, and the bottom left one was the last completed. I found this today was on my wavelength partly because I am familiar with ICI, Cram and Rumpole, which certainly helps, so thank you to the setter and to Gazza. If you are struggling along in Division 2 , Gazza, we must be the Northern League division one. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  15. A pleasant but easy solve that fell too easily into place once a checker or two were in. I always find these four square grids give too much help because it gives up too many first letters. For instance 4d. Once you have the M the Scotsman is Mac and not Ian. Now how many seven letter words do you know that begin MAC and have seven letters? Lead on MacDuff

  16. Struggled at first with top left, so instead i happily worked my way clockwise but of course that didn’t help me when i got back to top left, not that kind of grid.

    Like Tony, at first had score for 11a. Took me a while to parse 3d (harmless cousin). Last one in was 1d, hadn’t heard of the athlete or the place of study, but guessed and had to look it up. I also had to guess Deal was a port.

    i liked “damp flu circulating” and “make time in NY”

    many thanks setter and gazza

  17. Hmmm and oh dear! I’ve struggled with this one but I seem to be in the minority. At least 3* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment too.
    I thought there were some clever clues but I ended up with quite a few answers that I couldn’t explain. 16a, missed the trap bit; 3d missed the middle letters of s(OUN)d; 21d didn’t know the time in New York part of it.
    I gave up completely on 1d even with alternate letters in – I thought the definition was an ancient athlete and I don’t know any.
    Like SylviaH I was under the 12a eiderdown for a while but 4d sorted that one out.
    I liked 22a and 2 and 19d. My favourite was 1a although it took me ages to see why, or even if, it was right.
    With thanks to Mr Ron for the crossword and to gazza for the very much needed hints.
    Not my day really – off up the garden to rake some leaves and have a bit of a grump. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    1. I, too am finding this a struggle. The “Toughie” was a doddle. It’s all to do with being on the same wavelength as the setter I think..

    2. I was an eiderdown man too, until I realised what it was. I’m blaming Matt http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif
      I read his cartoon before I looked at the crossword.

    3. Thanks JB, Merusa and Kiwis – that’s cheered me up – I hate it when I’m the only one to have trouble.

      1. I managed the right hand half but found the left difficult. Needed the hints. I used to love Rumpole and that lovely glugging sound at the beginning. Probably wouldn’t be allowed now in case we all reach for the wine bottle.
        Thanks to both.
        Found it hard

  18. Definitely a read & write ……..for at least three clues. Thank you for the hints for the rest of the clues.

  19. A reasonably easy ride today, once I’d also got out from under the eiderdown! Needed gazza’s help to justify 3d answer.

    Rumpole of the Bailey – what an enjoyable series that was. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    15d – now we know who to blame when we get ‘moderated’. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif
    Favourite has to be 16a although several other contenders.
    Many thanks both to Mr. Ron and to gazza for his usual high standard of explanation.

    By the way, Hanni, to answer your question – pretty much the whole of our conversations currently revolve around weddings and the joys of house-buying!

    1. Oh that’s so exciting http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif
      Have they decided where they are getting married yet? Big wedding, small wedding?

      1. At this moment in time, your guess is as good as mine – or hers, come to that! Will keep you posted. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  20. Thank you setter. I found this hard going. Fortunately I had the manager Mrs SW with me and we managed to finish it during our picnic lunch. I found it difficult to get some of the wordplay, but on reflection it was good fun, and we enjoyed the battle. Thanks Gazza for your review and hints which I needed to check some answers.

  21. I found that a bit of a slog but managed to finish it. I couldn’t see the New York reference in 21d or the trap in 16a so thank you gazza.

  22. ***/*** for me. Read through and hardly a clue registered but how weird after getting 5a it suddenly became a torrent of answers although the NW corner was a bit of a hold up. Thanks to Gazza for the explanation to my bung in 1d which for some reason evaded me. Warming up a little but that means rain is coming.

  23. Certainly a puzzle of four quarters, usually start in the NW but only managed a couple there before moving on.The next three went in as normal, then returned to the NW where Rumpole came to my rescue, I owe him a glass of house claret. Should have seen 1A sooner,as i am a chemist , but at least it provided the d’oh moment. To be fair, I think a***/*** is about right today.Thanks Gazza for the Nell pic,seen it before somewhere.

  24. I found this decidedly tricky, in fact, I couldn’t do four clues in the NW corner and needed to look at the hints.
    In retrospect, I fail to see why I had so much trouble as it was all quite straightforward. I also found the quick puzzle tricky, so maybe it’s just an off day, I certainly hope so.
    My fave is 22a, but many others were enjoyable as well.
    Thanks to setter and to Gazza for his help in finishing.

    1. I found the quick tricky too. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that it wasn’t my day and tomorrow will be better!

  25. It has been a lovely sunny day on the E Devon coast. 2*/3* for me. Thanks to Gazza for explaining 1ac. I recall my chemistry teacher wrote on my report: “He has little use for this subject”. If only I’d known how useful chemical symbols would be for crosswords!

  26. certainly a puzzle of four quarters ,usually start in the NW, but only managed to put a couple in before moving on, the other three went in as normal, then back to the NW where Rumpole came to my rescue, i owe him a glass of house claret! Should have seen 1a sooner ,as i am a chemist, at least it provided a d’oh moment Thanks Gazza for the Nell pic, seen it before somewhere.

  27. Completed most of three quarters in a steady, workmanlike fashion then shuddered to a halt leaving the bottom left hand quarter.
    Managed, eventually, to complete unaided.
    No particular clue stands out.
    Enjoy, though, anagram practice.
    Many thanks to the setter for the tussle and to Gazza for Nell and the rest.

  28. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review and hints. I didn’t like the grid, but quite enjoyed the puzzle. Took me ages to get on the setter’s wavelength. Just needed the hints for 19a. Favourite was 10a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  29. We followed our usual pattern and started off in the NW sector. However, we moved on with much of it still blank and came back to it to finish off after the rest was filled in. The athlete in 1d, although we had heard of him, is hardly a household name in our part of the world so will use that as our excuse for being slow in that corner. We enjoyed it.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

    1. To be fair the athlete hasn’t been a household name here for 25 years! Along with Idi, Rumpole and ICI there was a real stuck in the 1980s feel about this one.

      1. With all these old references, I’m surprised that nearly everyone found it so easy. They must all be of ” a certain age”. I am much older … what was I saying …..what did I come here for?


      2. Steve Cram is still a household name if you watch athletics on the BBC because he’s their chief athletics commentator.

  30. I’m blaming yesterday’s flu shot for my sluggishness today on both this and the toughie. I did complete without hints but it was very slow-going. Calcium was my third shot for 1A after uranium and cadmium. Science was not my best subject, either. I really should have got 21D before I did, since it’s my time zone. I did like 13A and 16A. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  31. By common consent a puzzle of four quarters, usually start in the NW, but only managed to put a couple in so moved on. the other three went in as normal, so back to the NW, where I was saved by Rumpole, i owe him a glass of house claret! Should have seen 1A sooner .as I am a chemist but at least it provided a d’oh moment. Thanks Gazza for the Nell pic -seen it before somewhere.

  32. Enjoyable and not too difficult for me today, 2*/4* in fact.
    If I’m allowed a minimal whinge I agree with Gazza that 19a is weak. In fact, I thought it was only just on the cryptic side of a Quickie type clue!
    Thank you to the setter and Gazza.

  33. Thank you setter and Gazza. Hints reluctantly needed for 2d and 21d and picked up on 12a and 13a from the blog. I enjoyed this one, particularly 22a and 7d.

  34. Right hand side went beautifully but I am never complacent and like several other people got a bit stuck on top left hand corner. Got there with only a little peep at Gazza’s fabadabulous write-up. I live in hope that one day I will get there without any help at all. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

  35. Like several others, everything went swimmingly until I got to the bottom left corner. Solved eventually without hints.Thanks to the setter and Gazza.I liked 13a, 4d , 5a and17d.

  36. ***/**.
    Not overly keen on this one. The NE corner held me up for awhile. Whilst I didn’t think 12a was eiderdown, I did begin to think it might be ‘bodyguard’ because of the letters I had in. Got there in the end.
    Favourites were 1 and 19d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for blogging. :-)

  37. Another enjoyable tussle from Mysteron – thanks to him/her for that and also to Gazza for correcting my 1a answer thus enabling me to finish the NW corner. Thought 19d a bit far-fetched particularly after needing 11 words to indicate an anagram. ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  38. Disagree with Gazza. Thought this was a good challenge with some excellent clues. Finished unaided…eventually!

  39. Blast! I put portend instead of portent in 28a so impossible to get 21d at all. Can dyslexia start so late in life? I had to use the last resort as gazza says. However the cross shaped grid made it look naturally like 4 separate puzzles which were easier to concentrate on. Good puzzle overall with some reservations about the anagram of 27a. Only shows up as a film when I tried to check it. I also love the French expression you use for overweight. Avoirdupois being another one It makes me believe that you think that it is very French to be on the large side. Thanks to gazza for the review and to the setter.

  40. I was sailing through this in sub-2* time, then looked blankly at the NW corner until l spotted 4d. On balance, then, 3*/3*. As for favourite clue status, that goes to 13a in honour of the marvellous Rumpole (and the late, great Leo McKern). Thanks to Mr Ron, and to Gazza for the review. I seem to recall that Horace Rumpole liked his crosswords as well as his Château Thames Embankment!

  41. This was all going swimmingly until I was left with the NW corner at which I stared and smoked and drank beer and stared and smoked and finished beer. I was about to resort to hints when Rumpole came to mind (TV clues are hard for me as I don’t have one and never watch, except football in the pub and haven’t watched since I left home in 1972.). After that it was relatively plain sailing. So 3* for difficulty and 3* for fun. Thanks anyway to Gazza although I didn’t need him in the end, and to the mystery setter.

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