DT 27663 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27663

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27663

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***

Radio New Zealand told us a couple of days ago that summer has officially started. Doesn’t really feel like it yet as we have had more than our share of cold windy days lately. Today however is calm, clear and warmish so we can feel optimistic of more to come.

Jay has served up another of his tasty delights today, slightly in the gentler range.

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


1a     Worriedly describes lacking credit in any case (7)
BESIDES : Anagram (worriedly) of DEScrIBES with the abbreviation fro credit removed.

5a     Notice joker following almost all of drama (7)
PLACARD : The first three letters of a stage drama followed by a synonym for joker.

9a     To put one’s foot down is a duty of sorts (5)
STAMP : Double definition.

10a     Lead, say from corrupt copper? (4,5)
BASE METAL : A word for corrupt and a word for what copper is, (not the one on the beat.)

11a     Torrent causing rambling group to lose leader during day trip (10)
OUTPOURING : Anagram (rambling) of g(ROUP) without its first letter inside a description of a day trip.

12a     Request that cuts enjoyment by half (4)
PLEA : Take an eight letter synonym for enjoyment and chop off the second half.

14a     Short acts perhaps rewritten with depth (4-8)
CASH-STRAPPED : Anagram (rewritten) of ACTS PERHAPS with (D)epth added.

18a     On form demographic group? (7,5)
WORKING CLASS : A synonym for on, or in operation, and a word for form usually used in a school setting.

21a     Reality produced by fine performance (4)
FACT : (F)ine and a word for performance.

22a     Shield design of touch screen with no end of bother (10)
ESCUTCHEON : Anagram (designed) of TOUCH SCrEEN with the last letter of bother removed.

25a     Dish for bad loser in lawsuit? (9)
CASSEROLE : Anagram (bad) of LOSER inside a word for a lawsuit.

26a     Name for savings scheme account? (5)
ISAAC : The abbreviation for account follows an acronym for a savings scheme. We had to check this in BRB.

27a     Talk about seconds on field event (7)
DISCUSS : A field event where a flying saucer is used, with an extra (S)econds.

28a    People who understand Australians? (7)
DIGGERS : Double definition.


1d     A clergyman‘s quiet work under British institute (6)
BISHOP : A charade of (B)ritish (I)nstitute, a two letter call for silence and an abbreviation for work.

2d     Feels hurt seeing pictures included in text message (6)
SMARTS : Three letter acronym for a text message includes a collective term for painted pictures.

3d     Tactful service might follow this (10)
DIPLOMATIC : When service is added to the answer you get a government department.

4d     Weep over unprotected Nero’s grave (5)
SOBER : Short word for weep then middle letters (unprotected) of Nero.

5d     Care following delivery of mail to part of South Africa? (9)
POSTNATAL : A word for mail and a region of South Africa.

6d     Crown service protecting millions (4)
ACME : The crown is a peak or pinnacle, the service can be a tennis one around (M)illions.

7d     One leapt high, as a Springbok (8)
ANTELOPE : Anagram (high) of ONE LEAPT.

8d     Boring, when crossing road for slow people (8)
DULLARDS : Synonym for boring, synonym for when and abbreviation for road between these.

13d     Wiping out call after service bill (10)
MASSACRING : The service is in a church, a two letter abbreviation for a bill, then a word to telephone.

15d     Mysterious ghost ship’s most interesting parts (4,5)
HIGH SPOTS : Anagram (mysterious) of GHOST SHIP.

16d     Do we act differently hugging female, being false? (3-5)
TWO-FACED : Anagram (differently) of DO WE ACT, insert (F)emale.

17d     Flowers reptile habitually consumes (8)
CROCUSES : An abbreviation for an aquatic reptile, then a word meaning habitually consumes.

19d     Entertain disheartened rabble with good beer (6)
REGALE : First and last letters of rabble, then (G)ood and a type of beer.

20d     Cuts due to arrest on board ship (6)
SNICKS : A slang word for arrest goes inside the abbreviation for steamship.

23d     Completely turn Jude’s heart, capturing writer (5)
UPEND : The middle two letters of Jude surround a writing instrument.

24d     Nation secured by future prospects on the rise (4)
PERU : It’s in there written backwards. There had to be one for Kath.

23d was the clue that appealed most to us today. Which ones did you like?

Quickie pun  Pour + Keep + Highs = Porky-pies

61 comments on “DT 27663

  1. I agree 2*/3* for an enjoyable and amusing puzzle today which was not too taxing. 14a was my last one in.

    5d was my favourite and made me LOL, with 23d a close second.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis.

  2. Enjoyable puzzle, 20d was a new word for me for cuts, and i just barely remembered the shield in 22a. Last ones in were 1a and 2d. I liked 14a (short acts), 18a (on form), and 26a (name for savings scheme account). I did think that the “service” appendage in 3d was a bit weak.

    Many thanks Jay and 2Kiwiws. I’m looking forward to the Giovanni toughie centurion today.

    1. If you want to hear the word in 20D used, you should watch England playing cricket (there’s a game hopefully starting very, very shortly). They often do this to the ball and then get caught in the slips.. Note, you may come across a number of other terms that used extensively in Croswordland

      1. Don’t think I’m really THAT keen to hear the word used! By the way, if soccer is the game that uses a funny-shaped ball, doesn’t it follow that cricket does likewise? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  3. Good morning 2K’s (although I guess it’s afternoon for you). A short but sweet romp with this one – just 14a had to be left for checking letters as I missed the correct anagram fodder first time round. Lots of smiles – 28a, 3&13d with favourite slot reserved for 5d. For a brief moment I feared that 7d was going to be about that game with the funny-shaped ball, but obviously needn’t have worried.
    Many thanks to Jay for the fun and the excellent Quickie pun and to 2Ks for your usual high standard of blog and the amazing sharpness of the accompanying pics. Also, thank you for jogging my memory that today is the last date in the UK for posting a Christmas card to my old school friend on North Island!

    1. Yes – I worried about 7d too, but not for too long.
      I think the Kiwis are thirteen hours ahead of us so more like middle of the night – should think they’re http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif by now.

  4. You may call me a 18ac 14ac 8d and you may be right but i am rarely 3d or 4d and never 16d. Nice romp through some lovely clues today with a slight hold up at 11ac. Favourite clue 17d. Thanks to Jay for the gentle excercise and thanks to the 2ks for the review. Lovely pics today

  5. Hmmmm – more than 2* for me today, probably closer to a 3* for difficulty and 3* or 4* for enjoyment.
    I missed the 14a and 15d anagram indicators and, anyway, wasn’t thinking of the right kind of ‘short’ in 14a.
    I messed up the bottom right corner for ages by putting ‘Tessa’ for 26a – oh dear! That was sorted when I got 28a as it made 13d look a bit silly.
    I did, at least, find the lurker!
    I liked lots of these – 18 and 28a and 3 and 23d. My favourite was 5d.
    With thanks to Jay and thanks and three cheers to the Kiwis.
    There’s an article by Giovanni on page 29 of the paper.

      1. You never know how far down to go, until it clicks, do you?

        Is there a record for how many answers make up the pun?

        1. Steve Race managed six once I seem to remember, much to the disgust of the residents of that part of Warwickshire

        2. One Christmas, quite a few years ago, the Quickie “pun” consisted of all the across clues, which made up the first few lines of “O little town of Bethlehem”. It started “Ole/till/town” if I remember correctly.

        3. Yes you do, because if it’s a two word pun, there are no italics in the clues. If it’s more than two words, all the pun clues are in italics.

          1. That’s OK for those of us who do the crossword in the paper – the italics stuff doesn’t work otherwise.

    1. Just read the article and saw the photo’. He looks such a lovely man, yet has put me through so many hours of torture – just goes to show that you never can tell…………….!

    2. I found this tricky as well, Kath, and missed three answers. Thanks to Jay and to 2Kiwis for the review. Fave was 28a.

  6. I had a much longer tussle with this one than I should have. I seemed to get hung up for quite a while until I had a few more checking letters in, and then it all fell into place quite quickly.

    It is odd how some days one doesn’t quite seem to be on the same wavelength as the setter, and then once the crossword is solved you can look back in hindsight and wonder why.

    3*/5* I would say.

  7. Very enjoyable today. Not too difficult, but certainly not a romp – at least it detracted me from watching rain in Sri Lanka and replays of the last two losses by England. Difficult to pick a favourite today, so I’m gong for the Quickie Pun.

  8. I would give **\****

    The two point discrepancy is because, although it wasn’t spectacular, I think nearly all of the clues were elegant – nothing wasted, everything meaningful. The only superfluous bit was in 17d. Wouldn’t it work just as well without the “habitually”.

    I was a bit slow in the far NW fir no good reason.
    Favourite hard to pick between 14 and 18a.

    Envying the 2Ks at the moment. Sunny day but cold here and have to go to allotment to pimp my shed……..layers required.

  9. **/****
    Oh what a difference a day makes.

    I can spot anagrams again, lovely anagrams, though 22a took some working out.

    That was an absolute pleasure to solve with beautifully constructed clues and plenty of humour. Lots of outstanding clues but my favourite is 11a with 4d coming in a close second.

    Many thanks to Jay and to 2Kiwis for the lovely review. I hope the weather holds for you. It’s stunningly frosty on the moors today and later on I am going to wrestle a Christmas tree, I think.

  10. We took ages to get going with this puzzle today, but once we got one or two answers, the rest followed, although we had to check them to make sure they were correct. Thank you to the setter and to the 2Kiwis. Very nice and sunny here in Scarborough today, if a trifle nippy.

  11. A slow start but gradually pennies began to drop and hey presto (in spite of half listening to Chancellor delivering his Autumn Statement) got there without having to depend on 2 Kiwis’ excellent hints. No outstanding fav and humour somewhat missing. Northeast last to go in. Thanks Jay. ***/***. No sign of sunshine in West Sussex. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  12. No quibbles with a **/***,found the parsing very logical today for some reason, and no new words ( except SMS ), so a straight forward solve. Skempie will be pleased, the crickets started-and we’re doing well ! Thanks 2K’S for the pics- lovely Boc

  13. The usual smooth and elegant puzzle from Jay. LOI was 14a – missed the full anagram but got it from the checked letters. Thanks to the 2Kiwis for the review and thanks to Jay. **/****

  14. Well, that certainly didn’t frighten the horses – they didn’t even prick up their ears. All but 14a solved on first pass so it’s < */**** from us. Plenty of good clues but 28a just gets it for me - as though anybody understands Australians http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    Thanks to Jay for the usual smooth surfaces and to the Kiwis for the review.

  15. Took a while to get going on this clever puzzle. I agree with Kath as for me this was almost 3* difficulty for me. Needed the blog hints – thanks to the 2Kiwis – for 10a and 14a. My favourites were 26a and 5d. Read the article on Giovanni in the DT. Thank you to Jay. Lovley Quickie pun today! Sun is back in Hyères at long last and 17C.

  16. Good stuff once again from Jay. 22a was a new word for me, which I guessed and looked up.

    Thanks to J&2Ks. How accomplished your reviews are already. I very much like your picture for 5a.

  17. Can’t get into this one at all, found it at least 3/4 for difficulty. Managed 5 clues!
    So for me * for enjoyment. Odd as I don’t normally struggle with Jay but there it is.

  18. I made a total hash of the top left corner , convincing myself that 1a was anxious what with worriedly and lacking credit (IOUS) and this fitted x-rayed for 2d (feels hurt seeing pictures) but no clergyman could be found for 1d. I finally resorted to letter hints.The lower half went in smoothly. Favourite 18a. Thanks RayT and Kiwis.

  19. Logged on just now to see if anyone else got held up by putting ‘Tessa’ for 26a, and Mary did! The real answer is actually a very good clue I thought.

    1. Yes – re 26a I did too although husband tells me that I’m way out of date! Haven’t found Mary’s comment yet but glad to know that you and I are in good company.

  20. It is always an anxious moment for us when we have finished the blog, set the time for publication and then try to forget all about it until the next morning. A relief to get up at 5am and see all the emails sitting in our Inbox and find it is all OK. We carefully avoided ‘cute and cuddly’ for our pics this week. It is really fun choosing them. Cheers everyone. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    1. My sincere apologies, I was so zonked out by the time I had finished I forgot to say a big thank you to you both for explaining why I had done what I had done. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  21. Today’s puzzle was right up my street but I needed help with 24d.
    If only I had thought about it…

  22. 6Down – I completely see the explanation and don’t doubt it is the correct answer. However, my entry was “army” – Are they not a Crown service protecting millions?

    1. Yes, we agree that is a perfectly valid alternative answer. Not particularly ‘cryptic’ though. It had not occurred to us. Cheers.

      1. Yes I agree not particularly crytic, which is why I defer to your answer. I don’t often come across two valid answers but this is one of those occasions. All part of the fun.

  23. **/***. Very enjoyable and not too taxing. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks for the excellent review.

  24. I nearly set off for the cupboard under the stairs with my box of tissues as it took two passes before I found my first answer. Own up to a lot of scribbles and electronic help – I blame it on the ironing which took up most of the morning. But I got there in the end and if I could reach would pat myself on the back. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  25. There’s just something very appealing about a Jay puzzle. 5D gets my vote for top clue today, though 11A was close behind. Lovely review, too. Thanks to all.

  26. I was surprised there seems to be mention of the article in the Telegraph about Don Manley’s (Giovanni) new book – ‘Chambers Crossword Manual’ £13.99p from Books.telegraph.co.uk. My order is already in, I need all the help I can get!

  27. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A nice puzzle, with a few that made me think. Almost put in “crypt” for 4d, luckily I didn’t. Favourite was 26a, which was my penultimate answer, last in was 20d. Was 2*/3* for me. Just returned from the Goonerium where 3 points were secured. Hooray http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

  28. A very gentle but satisfying puzzle – 1*/4*, l think. My last in was 6d, which l had been gazing at blankly for some time. Then came the clink of the falling penny, which provoked a smile on this grim old seadog’s face, so 6d is duly elected favourite. VMTs to Jay, and to the 2 Kiwis for the review.

  29. Straightforward end enjoyable solve, but all over a bit too quickly. Two passes and finished and I still have half a pint left. Thanks to Jay for the usual elegantly high standard of clueing and to K-squared for taking such delightful care over the revue. 1*/3*

  30. This was my favourite so far, and the fifth completion on the bounce.

    However, I did also initially go for Army in respect to 6d, but as the online version tells you if there are any mistakes on completion, I had a second chance.

  31. Thank you Jay – I struggled with this, probably because we had friends staying and spent the day in Manchester, making progress difficult. Thank you for the hints 2Kiwis, which I looked at this morning to get things moving again.

  32. Thank God for you Kiwis. Forgot to buy a paper with the answers. Went on to the telegraph website and was told to fill in info and register then it refused to acknowledge my name and password and demanded I pay for a month at a time. So I just wanted a few answers and loved the way you supplied them

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