DT 27657 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27657

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27657

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***

One Kiwi has been away for a few days staying with a group of friends on Matiu/Somes Island in the middle of Wellington harbour. (Google it). She saw many other birds but had to hurry home this morning by ferry, train and car to do the blog.

Jay has given us a few words that took a bit of pondering but the puzzle is generally quite gentle.

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


1a     Armed cops patrolling around university, offering protection for building (4,6)
DAMP COURSE : Anagram (patrolling) of ARMED COPS with the abbreviation for (U)niversity included.

6a     Large container holding sulphur (4)
VAST : Container for beer or wine perhaps, with chemical symbol for sulphur included.

10a     Damage following cold spell (5)
CHARM : A word for damage follows (C)old.

11a     Collective charge applied by my Post Office (9)
CORPORATE : Start with a synonym for my that is often followed by blimey, then the abbreviation for Post Office and word for an applied cost.

12a     Controversial rationale behind energy (7)
EMOTIVE : Not the most usual definition for controversial. It is made up from (E)nergy and a synonym for rationale for a crime perhaps.

13a     Claimed free treatment as a result of this (7)
MEDICAL : Anagram (free) of CLAIMED.

14a     Distressing movement during trial (5-7)
HEART-RENDING : A five letter word for a movement or fashion is included in a word for a trial.

18a     Practical details of purchases from a hardware chop shop (4,3,5)
NUTS AND BOLTS : What you might buy for joining metal components. The clue is written as above when we down-loaded and we are pretty sure that the last word is a typo. [The online version has now been corrected and Crypticsue reports that the newspaper also has the correct spelling.  BD]

21a     Foreigners who may help couple in Australia (2,5)
AU PAIRS : A word for a couple is inside the IVR code for Australia.

23a     Scottish dance cancelled, say, without hesitation (4,3)
REEL OFF : A type of Scottish dance will not be performed.

24a     Product of original thinking? (9)
INVENTION : An all in one cryptic definition that might be taken into the Dragons’ Den.

25a     A good half of ground must get trouble (5)
AGGRO : A slang word for trouble comes from A from the clue, (G)ood and the first three letters of ground.

26a     Lively spot across river (4)
SPRY : A word to spot visually, surrounds (R)iver.

27a     He’s a deeply disturbed person wanting his bed (10)
SLEEPYHEAD : Anagram (disturbed) of HE’S A DEEPLY.


1d     Detailed what wages would be after deductions? (6)
DOCKED : Double definition, the first one is what might have been done to poor little lambs.

2d     Blame a downpour engulfing an area of arable land (6)
MEADOW : It’s hidden in the clue. (After talking about little lambs we have another clue specially for Kath.)

3d     Sympathies, as result of European allowances supporting junior chefs (14)
COMMISERATIONS : A word for junior chefs which we learnt from watching ‘Ratatouille’, followed by (E)uropean, then a word for allowances or portions.

4d     Disturbed Cuban leader releases graduate without authorisation (9)
UNCLEARED : An anagram (disturbed) of CUBAN LEADER with a two letter graduate removed.

5d     Small stuff! Go and take a running jump (5)
SCRAM : (S)mall then stuff as you would in preparation for an exam.

7d     Lawless and hurried uprising in a smart environment (8)
ANARCHIC : A three letter word for hurried reversed (uprising) inside A from the clue then a word for smart or fashionable.

8d     People welcoming new logo for study of divinity (8)
THEOLOGY : Third person plural pronoun around an anagram(new) of LOGO.

9d     Responsible angle both hid by rambling (7,3,4)
HOLDING THE BABY : Anagram (rambling) of ANGLE BOTH HID BY.

15d     Mexican border trip accommodating old relative (3,6)
RIO GRANDE : The trip is on a horse perhaps and surrounds (O)ld and an elderly female relative.

16d     Occupies son depressed by popular custom (8)
INHABITS : Usual two letter ‘popular’, a word for a custom and then (S)on.

17d     Second best finished rest during journey (8)
STOPOVER : (S)econd, then three letter word for best or peak, then synonym for finished.

19d     Turn and stare at source of information (6)
GOOGLE : Two letter word for a turn then look leeringly at.  Often the third member of our team for solving Toughies.

20d     Provide a fine crossing over river (6)
AFFORD : A from the clue, then (F) and how to cross a river when there is no bridge.

22d     Snap, though calm (5)
STILL : Double definition, for the first meaning think about a camera.

Our favourite is 3d because we enjoyed the movie it brought to mind.

The Quick Crossword pun: tray+dune+aeon=trade union

92 comments on “DT 27657

  1. I agree with the 2Kiwis’ rating today: 2*/3*. This was good fun with a few challenging clues, of which 1d was my last one in.

    Although I got all the answers, I needed the review to explain “my” in 11a and “snap” in 22d.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  2. It was straightforward and not much to shout about, but I did think 27a was a standout clue.

    So is Commis both singular and plural? I’m assuming so……as, funnily enough, I have never had cause to refer to more than one….. Or even one, actually.

    1. In this sense it’s an adjective describing chef – the full title being Commis (Deputy) Chef. It is commonly shortened to just Commis.

      1. Yes, I already knew that ( from Masterchef….) but my question was actually about the singular/plural . So, if you are referring to more than one of them (in the shortened version) would you say Commis, with a silent ‘s’ or would you say “Commies”…… I reckon the latter, because I’ve heard them doing it…..

        The strangled Franglais of the restaurant kitchen….Oui chef!

  3. The first read revealed only two answers but a mug of tea & perseverance & bingo I managed to complete without resorting to the hints.My favourite was 21A followed closely by 1A.Many thanks to the setter & the 2 kiwis for the excellent review.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  4. Enjoyed this pleasant challenge and **/*** seems exactly the right rating. Favourite was 21a and last one in was 26a where I tried to justify “sere” for a little while before seeing the error of my ways. With many thanks to Jay and the always entertaining 2Kiwis.

  5. Thank you Jay for an enjoyable puzzle. One of your easier ones I think – but always good fun. Thanks to 2 Kiwis for your review and hints.

  6. Great – just the right combination of entertainment and challenge. Many thanks Jay and the 2 Kiwis. What dedication to return specifically to do the blog! Plenty of good clues with 20d probably Fav. ***/***.

  7. Well roger me ragged. This one has taken me ages so far and I still have 18ac, 1d and 16d to solve Hanni will be pleased to know that I used a pencil with an eraser on the end and a little piece of paper to solve the anagram at 9d. I am desolate.

    1. Pleasant and I agree 2*/3* – reasonably OK except for the way that the word ‘detailed’ in 1d has again demonstrated how easily I forget its various meanings. Similarly needed hint to see why 11a was correct. Thanks to the 2K and the setter.

    2. I agree this was not the easiest of puzzles. Must be a lot of peeps on the Jay wavelength today.

  8. Apart from 11a and 14a, which took a bit of pondering, I found this a breeze. My favourite is 9d. I give it **** for enjoyment which is more than can be said for the lousy weather in East Anglia.

  9. A bit more of a challenge today – and gratefully accepted. Some very nice cluing today which got the grey stuff moving again. 1D was fairly obvious, but took a while for the ‘detailed’ part to sink in – therefore, this must be my fave rave today.

    England making things difficult for themselves in Sri Lanka, so nothing new there then. My thoughts are going out to Phil Hughes.

    1. I heard Mike Gatting talking on the radio this morning about when he got hit by Shane Warne – his injury led to the introduction of grills. When Stuart Broad got hit in the summer his helmet was shown to be pretty hopeless, and now this shocking event with Phil Hughes could well lead to some radical redesign – a full face helmet maybe!

      Anyway, let’s all hope Phil Hughes makes a full recovery.

      1. Apparently Phil Hughes was hit behind his ear, so even a full face helmet wouldn’t have helped.

      2. I remember Gatting getting hit by a ball from Malcolm Marshall, which shattered his nose, game him 2 black eyes, and parts of his nose were left embedded into the ball.

        1. Of course, I was getting mixed-up with Gatting getting the ‘ball of the Century’ which was from Shane Warne – it was Malcolm Marshall who shattered Gatting’s nose.

  10. This took me longer than it should have for some reason. I looked several times at 12a and still believe in my world it does not mean controversial. I had similar problems with a few others. Then words like 25 which to me are just slang despite being in Chambers.

    So I was a bit disappointed in places.

    2*/2* for me.

    1. For 12a, we looked long and hard at the definition for this one. In the end we found that Mrs B lists emotive as an option under the listing for controversial but still have trouble imagining a sentence where the words can be transposed. There’s a challenge for you all. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

      1. Hmmmmm – you haven’t met my sister! When she starts becoming emotive I can find her a bit controversial, and so can my husband . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  11. Umm – well I found this pretty tough, it didn’t help by me putting ‘holding the sway’ into 9d – once that was sorted out I still struggled to get over the line.

    It’s good to be stretched occasionally so I was more than pleased to finish it.

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

  12. A gentle offering from Jay today; the only thinking required was for the first of the three definitions at 22d.
    Many thanks to Jay, and to 2Kiwis.

  13. I found this much easier and more fun than yesterday. I managed about half the first time round and felt very pleased with myself. I liked 9d 21a and 18a. 22d was the last in. Thank you Jay and 2Kiwis.

  14. I loved this – I think I probably say that more often on Wednesdays than any other day. 1+ a bit difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    The “+ a bit” was because of 11a which took almost as long as the whole of the rest of the crossword – just couldn’t see it for ages.
    3d had to be what it was but for some reason I didn’t see the last three words of the clue – should have gone to Specsavers, again!
    Those two clues were my only real problems – must have been on the right wavelength today.
    I didn’t see the triple definition in 22d – now that it’s been pointed out what a good clue.
    I liked 11 (eventually) and 18a and 5 and 19d. My favourite was 27a.
    Thanks to Jay and thanks and well done again to both Kiwis – thanks also for pointing out “my” two clues!
    I loved the 27a picture. Nineteen years ago our two girl cats had kittens within three weeks of each other. When they’d got to the very mobile stage (like little wind-up clockwork toys) I was making some very long curtains for my sister. The material was all over the floor – every time I moved it the kittens jumped on it – all nine of them! Nightmare . . .

    1. What a pity we didn’t have YouTube then Kath. I would have paid to watch that footage.

      We had my daughters kitten here last Christmas….what a blighter!

      1. Try nine!! The main door into our house is straight in to the kitchen – get home with umpteen bags of shopping, manage to open door and what’s on the doormat? One mummy cat with all nine kittens plumbed in. They were absolutely lovely – I cried buckets when the last two went to their new homes. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

    2. We were going to put in a picture for 1d but the images on Google for docked tails made us feel so sad that we opted for a meadow picture instead, and then opted for two more cute and cuddly ones for later in the blog. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  15. Straightforward today. I liked 9d, 21a and 11a.

    Even with a lot of squinting, I couldn’t see a cryptic element in 24a (original thinking).

    19d will be familiar to participants of the sunday times clue writing contest

    many thanks setter and 2Kiwis

  16. **/****
    I enjoyed this offering as it has left me with plenty to smile about. 18a and 22d are fantastical fun along with 21a. Favourite was 27a…note just the one favourite!

    The thing I struggled with most today is that MP used a pencil for an anagram.

    Thank you to the setter and to the 2Kiwis for blogging.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      1. Hurrah! They certainly do. :-) I was even considering sending Miffypops a tin of pencils with his name imprinted on them!

            1. That’s ridiculously bad and yet it still makes me smile. I may regret asking this but what on earth is going on in your avatar? From what I can see there is a man in a suit entirely covered in mud?

              1. That’s me folks. What else would you do between Church on Sunday and pub opening time? Saint Sharon had bought me the suit and I needed an excuse to wear it.

  17. Fairly gentle and enjoyable puzzle. 2*/3* for me. Some answers came to me fairly quickly, someI could only partially see the supporting evidence, e.g. 1d There is no way I would have read the clue as de-tailed, but the wages and checking letters gave it away. Not sure I will ever develop the sixth sense that the experts possess. Some very clever clues from the setter. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    1. My Dad used to say that I must have sixth sense because there was not much sign of the other five. I think he was joking.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

  18. An entertaining puzzle on a particularly miserable misty day here in south Salop. Needed the hints to verify my answer to 22 down as ‘snap’ threw me a bit. Favourite clues were 14, 21 & 24 across, plus 1 & 9 down. I agree with Gazza as regards 22 down, in that it does seem very much as though its a triple definition. Thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks.

  19. Another very straightforward challenge I thought but with the usual Jay amusement value. Going on definition and word count alone (lazy) had me briefly in charge of the fort not the baby, but otherwise no real problems. Last in was 26a – another of those pesky four-letter words!

    PS my farming friends would not class a meadow as arable land because you do not plough it (arable derives from the latin to plough). The BRB agrees for once.

  20. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis (or one) :-) for the review and hints. Very enjoyable puzzle today, but on the gentle side. Was 2*/4* for me. Would have been one star difficulty if it were not for 1d&11a. Favourite was 19d, wonder if when they were thinking of the name for the now famous search engine, someone thought of “go look”, then changed it to “go ogle” http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

  21. Well, I thought this was quite hard and didn’t enjoy it as much as Monday’s or Tuesdays. We’ve managed to finish it with help from the 2Kiwis (for which many thanks) so please may we have one tomorrow which is more on my wavelength. I’m only joking, so thank you to the setter whoever he may be.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  22. Most of the houses on the East side of Hyeres will need a 1a. Unfortunately we made the National News on TV as the Gapeau reached 2,6 m last night. My thoughts are with all the people who had to spend the night in the “Forum du casino”. As for the rest of the crossword, I first had “chill” for 22d which threw me off tracks for a while and had to check 1d. Thanks to the setter and to 2kiwis for the great review.

    1. Fortunately although on the east side of Hyeres, we are in the dry in our residence! Going back to UK in less than three weeks but will you look up before. Hope you remained in the dry last night…

  23. Finished after a meal out with Saint Sharon. Picked it up and wrote the last three straight in. How does that work?

    1. That happens a lot to me, so I build it in deliberately.
      Here’s how it works…. You creep up on the temporal lobe unawares and fetch the words out before the gate has time to clang shut again…

      1. Gnome’s Law is when you email someone to say you can’t solve a particular clue, and as soon as you press send, you realise immediately what the solution is.

  24. I found this tricky but no less enjoyable. I had 11a wrong, a “bung-it-in” answer, just put in a word that fit as I had all the checking letters. Needed hints for 19d, why? It’s where I visit more times than I care to count. Fave was 1d. Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis.
    Off to the dentist for a cap … ugh. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and most people are out of town, so I plan a quiet weekend, bought a half a turkey breast, and I’ll have my little dinner here with Sadie and another doggie who is staying with us for the weekend.

  25. Apologies for missing the third definition for 22d. Suspect that after we had pondered for a while on how the first one could apply, stopped looking when we had worked it out. We thought we were quite clever to find a pic for 19d that actually included us too. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  26. Another really enjoyable solve with just a couple that were parsed retrospectively. Favourite was 1d, closely followed by 19d.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the lovely Kiwis – top marks for the kitten picture and the Google ‘sketch’!
    Just one question – which film does 3d bring to your mind?

    1. The movie is the children’s one ‘Ratatouille’. It is good fun. Watching things like this is one of the bonuses of being grandparents.

  27. Doh! Well done Kiwis, I hadn’t noticed either!
    A gentle challenge which was over far too quickly for me.
    No real stand out clues I’m afraid.
    Thanks to Jay and the aforementioned Kiwis for their enthusiastic revue!
    Although I think I might have stayed with the birds…..http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  28. A typically lovely puzzle from Jay – thanks. I mostly sailed through, but failed to finish without Mr Kitty’s help :(. He supplied 19d after I drew a blank for some reason. That therefore has to be my favourite :).

    I waited for the review to explain the 22d snap, since that’s more fun than using a dictionary. Also needed the blog for detailed and commis. Many thanks to the 2Ks, especially for the 27a picture. The internet can never have too many pictures of kittens. True fact. Oh, and the Google picture is great!

  29. Apart from 14a for which I needed help – thank you to 2Kiwis – I enjoyed and finished today’s puzzle without any problem. Obviously was on the same wavelength as the setter – thank you to Jay. My favourite was 1d and 22d. Had never encountered a triple definition before, so clever! 2*/4* for me.

  30. Day two, and I got close(ish) again. Admittedly I missed out on eight, but of those six were ones that I was close to but could work out anagrams (1a) or which I had it turns out, but couldn’t quite work out why (26a)- I’ll put that down to the early start and the cold Carmarthenshire morning. Leaving just two that I was genuinely stumped on. Progress for a newcomer? (That isn’t a clue)

    1. Welcome from me too, Carlos. It sounds like huge progress for a newcomer. Well done. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif
      Keep reading the hints and please keep commenting – it’s always lovely to hear how newcomers are progressing.

      1. To qualify “day two”, this is discounting days when I’ve done the crossword while looking at the hints. Second day of working alone (google and the occasional foray to an anagram solver aside).

        1. That’s fantastic progress. :-) I hope you keep commenting too as you do learn so much plus it’s simply a brilliant blog.

    2. Keep going, you will find the support here fabadabulous. If you manage to bung it in once you read the hint it drops into place and boosts your confidence because you did get it right although you were not sure why. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  31. Yes, 2*/4* is about right, and 1d eventually achieved favouritism (my earlier pick was 15d, mainly because l love old Westerns!). Many thanks to Jay, and to the Antipodean duo for the review.

  32. Thoroughly enjoyable and a bit of a tussle, say 3* for me.
    Especially liked 11a, 3d and 7d .
    Many thanks to Jay, and to the 2Kiwis.

  33. Dear 2Kiwis and Jay I have had a lovely time solving this. Teeny-weeny bit of help and a silly which I am too ashamed to mention. I blame it on the diabolical weather that’s my excuse. Loved the pictures I am a real feline fan. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif Having re-read the blog I am surprised that so many people had problem with 11a I thought Post Office abbreviated was a great pointer.

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