DT 27689 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27689

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27689

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***  Enjoyment ***

This puzzle was published on Saturday, 3rd January 2015

This prize crossword appeared in the paper at the end of a strange week when the Telegraph back page puzzles were, for me and quite a few other solvers anyway, relatively trickier than ‘normal’.    This one was no exception – I solved Saturday’s Times cryptic in half the time!

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1a           Tackle current expense (6)
ACCOST –   AC (alternating [electrical] current) and COST (expense)

4a           Aircraft with replica Spruce Goose’s tail (8)
SPITFIRE –   SPIT (a slang term for an exact replica – usually preceded by the word ‘dead’) FIR (spruce being a type of fir tree) and E (the ‘tail’ of goose

10a         Recycling centre to go metric? (9)
SCRAPYARD –   A clue that’s starting to become an ‘old friend’ –   split 5, 4 to ‘get’ the go metric bit.

11a         Long for start of trip on small bay (5)
COVET –   Follow a COVE (small bay) with the start of trip.

12a         See Hurd end rebuilding in part of Chilterns maybe (7)
HUNDRED – An anagram (rebuilding) of  HURD END produces somewhere that will be familiar to MPs who resign during the course of a Parliament by accepting a nominal office for profit under the Crown: holding such an office disqualifies an MP from the House under the Act of Settlement 1701.

13a         When school is open, I will go in as stop-gap (7)
INTERIM –   I (from the clue) inserted into IN TERM (when school’s open).

14a         Matador’s opponent carries small trunk (5)
TORSO –   Insert S (small) into TORO (a Spanish bull, a matador’s opponent).

15a         They don’t appreciate where fires get started (8)
INGRATES –   Split 2, 6 to get where fires are started.

18a         Dance with boorish type without a fuss (8)
BALLYHOO –   BALL (dance) and YAHOO (boorish type) without the A.   With a capital letter, this word refers to a class of animals in Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, human in form, but which have the understanding and passions of brutes. Without the capital Y, it just means a brutal or boorish lout.

20a         Leg bone slightly twisted going round island (5)
TIBIA –   A BIT (slightly) reversed (twisted) with the abbreviation for Island inserted.

23a         Ineffective treatment of Post Office landing Cable in a mess (7)
PLACEBO – PO (post office) with an anagram (in a mess) of CABLE inserted. The misleading capital C is just put there to make those of us fed up with the current Business Secretary’s name appearing in crosswords groan loudly once again.

25a         Second-rate celebrity that’s swelled up (7)
BLISTER – Split 1-6 to get the second rate celebrity.

26a         Marsupial’s time for bed (5)
ROOST – ROOS (marsupial’s) and T (time).

27a         Liverpool’s colour kit adopted by Newcastle’s centre forward (9)
READDRESS – This was my last one in.   I don’t think the centre of Newcastle adopted  the Liverpool colour and the kit – the RED (the colour of Liverpool football team’s strip) ‘adopts’ the A  in the centre of NewcAstle and the result is then followed by DRESS (kit).

28a         Aid to pirate, perhaps — rover mostly returning with girl (8)
SPYGLASS –   Almost all (mostly) of a reversal (returning) of GYPSY (rover) followed by a LASS (girl).

29a         Hero of the Rovers, amid retreating English, that stands against the tide (6)
GROYNE –   Insert ROY (the fictional hero of the Rovers) into a reversal (retreating) of ENG (the abbreviation for English).


1d           Tease the abstract art lover (8)
AESTHETE –   An anagram (abstract) of TEASE THE.

2d           One investigating death trap — there’s nothing in it (7)
CORONER – CORNER (trap) with O (nothing) in it.

3d           One who’s wise following grand American sporting event (5,4)
SUPER BOWL –   SUPERB (grand) and OWL (one who’s wise).   I just loved the idea of a SUPERB   OWL!

5d           Cuddly character providing extra material for a Bronte novel (10,4)
PADDINGTON BEAR – PADDING (extra material) followed by an anagram (novel) of A BRONTE.

6d           It’s understood one’s engaged in diplomacy (5)
TACIT – I (one) inserted into TACT (diplomacy).

7d           The opposite of how poetry is written (7)
INVERSE –   Split 2,5 to get the poetry connection.

8d           Doctor’s after space to put away body (6)
ENTOMB – EN (printer’s space) TO (from the clue) and MB (Bachelor of Medicine).

9d           Mobile adverts with a human interface? (8,6)
SANDWICH BOARDS – A splendid cryptic definition, the first word of the solution taking me far longer to get than the second!

16d         Get the German punishment for treason (9)
ATTAINDER –   ATTAIN (get) and DER (the German for ‘the’) produces the loss of civil rights through conviction for high treason.

17d         A ball played from the wing in the French game (8)
LACROSSE – Insert A CROSS (a ball played from the wing) into LE (the French for ‘the’).

19d         I would begin this Conservative declaration of love (7)
AMATORY – As the clue says, put an I in front of a split of the solution 2, 1, 4, to get the Conservative declaration- I AM A TORY.

21d         Queen tucked into sandwich in larder (7)
BUTTERY –   ER (the regnal cipher of our current Queen) inserted into an informal term for a sandwich – BUTTY.

22d         Electrician to leave car aboard ship (6)
SPARKS –   PARK (leave car) inserted into the abbreviation for steamship – SS.

24d         Former lover directed endless praise (5)
EXTOL –   EX (former lover) and TOLD (told – directed – without its end letter).



4 comments on “DT 27689

  1. It seems much longer than six days ago that this puzzle appeared and my piece of paper has been consigned to recycling, so I can’t remember much about it but I do remember appreciating the surface of 23a. It was the Business Secretary (the one who makes CS groan) who was accused of being ineffective in the privatisation of the Royal Mail and selling it off too cheaply. Thanks to Mr Ron and crypticsue for the review.

  2. Just popped in so that Gazza would not feel all alone in this room.
    Was away when crossword was published but remember catching up on it early last week.
    Thanks to Crypticsue for breaking up the plane as it was a bung in for my part.

  3. Just completed this, it actually took me about the same length of time as Saturdays usually do, I’m always slow….thank you CS for the clear review and especially the explanation for 4ac. I totally fell for the fake capitalisation and couldn’t unravel it.

  4. 12a – the answer is HUNDRED (7), not HUNDREDS, and is an anagram of HURD END. Adding SEE to this would make 10 letters!
    21d – Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buttery_(room) says a buttery is more like a cellar than a larder, but my old Concise Oxford says bread, butter “etc.” can also be stored there.

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