DT 27698 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27698

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27698

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****

There seems to be a benevolent anticyclone that has decided to spend a prolonged period sitting over New Zealand. Perfect weather for the thousands of people who are taking their annual summer holiday.

Jay has broken this week’s pattern of more difficult puzzles with this enjoyable offering.

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


8a     Fail to stress carpet fitter’s requirement, incorporating small change (9)
UNDERPLAY : The stuff that a carpet fitter will place beneath the carpet has the smallest UK coin inserted into it.

10a     Alert for what a ship may leave behind (5)
AWAKE : The little waves that are formed behind a moving vessel.

11a     Current bar that might stop delivery of beer? (7,8)
DRAUGHT EXCLUDER : The thing at the bottom of the door that stops a current of air and sounds like it might prevent beer getting to your pub.

12a     Fruit with sharp taste the Spanish love (7)
TANGELO : A word for a sharp taste, Spanish definite article and the tennis love.

13a     Bits of organ loaded on board (7)
SLIVERS : A large abdominal organ is inserted inside the abbreviation for a steamship.

15a     Reckless progress, apparently mirage? (8,7)
MOTORWAY MADNESS : To get the wordplay for this one you have to split the last word in the clue 2,4.  Very clever we thought.

19a     Scheduled exam in theory (2,5)
ON PAPER : A two letter word meaning scheduled or working, then a synonym for an exam.

22a     It’s over for European in turnaround of Iberian capital (7)
NAIROBI : Reverse one of the words in the clue and then substitute O(ver) for E(uropean) to get this African capital.

24a     Freudian technique offered by Liberal club (4,11)
FREE ASSOCIATION : A synonym for liberal followed by one for a club or society.

26a     Article includes it showing 10 per cent levy (5)
TITHE : The definite article includes IT from the clue.

27a     To what point is a man used for renovation on area? (2,7)
AD NAUSEAM : The abbreviation for area precedes an anagram (for renovation) of A MAN USED. We had trouble deciding what to underline for the definition here as the clue asks a question that is answered by the solution.


1d     Supply cash for entertainment on date (4)
FUND : A word for entertainment then D(ate).

2d     Oxford accent? (6)
BROGUE : Double definition, the first being footwear.

3d     Large number must find half of pleasure embracing god (8)
PLETHORA : Take the first four letters of pleasure, split them 3,1 and insert a Norse god.

4d     Animals only confused, missing love and reversing gender (6)
LYNXES : Anagram (confused) of ONLY, remove the O (love) and reverse a word meaning gender.

5d     Twist added to story on the radio is a help to pilot (4,4)
TAIL WIND : A verb meaning to twist is placed after a homophone for story.

6d     Led off bearing unhappy burden (6)
SADDLE : A word for unhappy precedes an anagram (off) of LED.

7d     Perhaps fallow type of grass on the rise (4)
DEER : A type of swamp grass is reversed.

9d      Fisherman might have one freely granted (7)
DRAGNET : An anagram (freely) of GRANTED.

12d     Beat up in barbershop, metaphorically (5)
TEMPO : It’s hiding, upside down, in the clue.

14d     Dish needing quiet in most of clubs, for example (5)
SUSHI : Take a four letter word of which clubs is an example, remove the last letter and insert a two letter direction to be quiet.

16d     Continual red tape involved protecting Spain (8)
REPEATED : An anagram (involved) of RED TAPE includes the IVR code for Spain.

17d     Blokes getting a hole in one must be threatening (8)
MENACING : Synonym for blokes then a word that means getting a hole in one in golf or delivering a perfect serve in tennis. We’ve made this one easier for the sports haters.

18d     Highly-charged rationale to support source of energy (7)
EMOTIVE : Start off with the first letter (source) of energy and add a word meaning rationale.

20d     Fairly small-minded? About right (6)
PRETTY : Take a word for small-minded and put an R into it. Fairly here means almost.

21d     Naughty boy, a learner after crashing cars (6)
RASCAL : A from the clue and L(earner) follow an anagram (crashing) of CARS.

23d     Routinely stuck at home with car out, lacking company (2,1,3)
IN A RUT : The usual two letter at home, then the letters of ‘car out’ after you have removed the abbreviation for company.

24d     Able seaman’s beginning attacks (4)
FITS : Forget all of your nautical abbreviations this one is a synonym for able and then the first letter of seaman’s.

25d     Married in centre, feeling nothing (4)
NUMB : Take a three letter word meaning centre and then insert M(arried)

The one we liked best was 15a with its clever word play.
Next Wednesday we will be otherwise engaged so you can start a guessing competition as to who the mystery blogger might be.
Here is the Pohutukawa photo that we promised last week.
004 - Copy

The Quickie pun   whelp + laid = well played

87 comments on “DT 27698

  1. Another fine puzzle from Jay, with the usual smooth surfaces. Thanks to him and to 2Kiwis for the review.
    The toughie from RayT is pretty good too!

  2. Thank you Jay for what I thought was quite a difficult puzzle. I found it difficult to get started. Once I had some checkers it started to fall into place. Thank you 2Kiwis for your review and hints – glad you are enjoying good weather, it is a bit chilly here !

  3. This was straightforward (1.5*) with only three clues taking me over my 1* time – 13a, 6d and 18d, my last one in. At least from my point of view, this would appear to refute the “tougher for 2015 theory”, .

    Nevertheless this was great fun (4*). Choosing a favourite would have been an extremely difficult task except that 15a was such a brilliant clue and wins hands down. I expect if Roy Hodgson does crosswords he would have picked something else :wink:.

    I wasn’t previously aware that 26a meant exactly 10% so that is a new fact to store away in my memory banks.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  4. Full marks for enjayment from me!

    15a (mirage) & 22a (capital) took me a long time to understand. D’oh! D’oh!

    Thanks to Jay and the 2kiwis!

    ps. Did any paper reader get 19d in the Quickie?

    1. :D – I didn’t like the way the Down clues started at the end of the Across column either – very confusing.

  5. Thought this a wee bit trickier than usual on Wednesday, but roughly the same so I’m in agreement with **/****. Thanks to the 2Kiwis – especially regarding the wordplay in 15a. Thanks to Jay also.

  6. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. I quite enjoyed this, but it was an absolute disaster. I spelt 2d wrong and had licence for 9d. Needed 10 hints to finish, just couldn’t get into it. Favourite was 17d. Was 4*/2* for me.

  7. I found this to be another tricky one – into 4* time yet again. I managed a number of entries right away – but they were unconnected with no checking letters. So then the slog began for the empty ones. I agree that when you read the clue for 15a, it is quite ingenious – but it surely foxed me for a long time! It did not help that I also had License in for 9d until the checking letters persuaded me that it just could not be right!

    So 4*/3* I suppose. As often occurs, I was disappointed with myself that I took so long over this one.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  8. Got the paper copy just before the snow reappeared and had an enjoyable time completing this. A straightforward offering with one google for Freud. Thought 15a was very clever. It took me a while to understand mirage and had a doh moment when I twigged. Am making this my favourite today. In terms of disproving the harder back page theory, one swallow……time will tell. Today though, **/**** for me.
    ps Franco, the paper quickie did not have a clue for 19d

  9. **/****

    Oh 15a! How I love you. Once in awhile a clue leaps of the page and amuses my soul.

    After yesterday’s tussle this seemed positively benign. And that is no bad thing. Enough difficulty to stop it being a write in. The odd invisible anagram, 9d I’m talking to you, and plenty to make me smile.

    I struggled a bit with 4d. I already had ‘x’ in and randomly pencilled in ‘onyxes’? Which is unusual as I’m fairly certain that onyx is not an animal.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis for a fantastic blog. Your Pohutukawa trees are things of joy.

  10. Made my coffee, got my pen out and prepared for battle. xxxxxx later it was all done and dusted. It was easier than read and write and therefore disappointing. Puzzle finished before the coffee. Made a change from the last few days.

    1. We don’t mention solving times on the blog but you can say ‘finished before coffee’ ‘took two pints of beer’ or something like that.

  11. Not at all demanding but for me an absolute delight with a 3d of nifty clues – 11a, 2d, 5d and 17d to mention but a few. Big thanks Jay and indeed the 2 Kiwis although your hints were not on call today unlike some of the more taxing recent DT cruciverbal challenges. **/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  12. Very enjoyable puzzle with many nice clues, though I had filled in “material” for the first part of 15a, so thanks 2kiwis for the correct parsing. Then I had “flap” for the second part of 5d, but this could be corrected by the checkers. I had filled in the capital then deleted it only to fill it in again when i reassured myself of the wordplay. I misspelled 27a (with two U’s), and had to look more carefully at the anagram. Lots of fun, got there in the end.

    Last one in was 10a (duh) after I finally twigged with 7d. many thanks 2kiwis and Jay

    1. “Material” bugged me too for some time in 15a but couldn’t come up with suitable synonym for mirage and then suddenly d’oh!

  13. The ‘normal’ time for a Jay backpager – and I didn’t have to start with the Downs (which was helpful given the aforementioned peculiarities of the page set up today.

    Thanks to Jay and the Kiwis too (or should that be the Kiwis Two?)

  14. Very enjoyable and not too taxing although needed the hint for 3. Not helped by having motoring and not motorway. A propos of which I am still struggling to understand it even with the hint. 2,4? ad ness? Que?

  15. I’m still supporting the “trickier crosswords this year” theory as I think this was a bit more difficult than is usual for Jay – a good 3* and 4* for enjoyment.
    I’ve only just cottoned on to 15a – dead clever but I took for ever to see it.
    My last answer was 12d even though I’ve decided that the only way I’m ever going to get better at these is to suspect all answers are hidden until proved otherwise.
    Having got the Y as the second letter of 4d and the S at the end I had ‘nyalas’ for a while even though I couldn’t explain it – not surprising really.
    14d took a while and I didn’t get 22a until I had 14d.
    I thought the 9d and 22a anagrams were pretty sneaky ones – well, I missed them for too long anyway – quite a lot of anagrams today.
    I liked 11 and 12a and 17d. My favourite in the end was 15a.
    With thanks to Jay and the Kiwis – your tree is amazing http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif. Just wondering if I dare try the Beam Toughie . . .

    1. 9d anagram was invisible I’ve decided. You have to have a go at the Toughie Kath. Just think of it as a lovely RayT offering. :-)

    2. OK – if you two are giving it a try then I guess I’ll join you. How many correct answers constitutes a ‘pass’ mark?

          1. Worry not. I’m stuck at 11. Getting ready for a snowy school run. Perhaps the subzero temperatures will inspire me. I have my doubts. :-(

            1. Keep going, Hanni – I’ve actually finished it!!! Sadly, I doubt that any of my cohorts at the Bird Club meeting this evening are going to be either impressed or remotely interested. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    3. I have only just worked out 15a too – having read the review I spent some minutes unsuccessfully trying to split the second word of the answer!

  16. What a pleasant offering following the offering of yesterday. I did need the blog for a couple of the clues. I was not familiar with 12A. Don’t understand the hint for 15a by splitting last word 2,4 Thanks to 2Kiwis for the review.

      1. Ah yes, I see it. But to be pedantic, motorway rage is different from motorway madness.

  17. Interesting. I found this far more difficult than yesterday’s offering. Could someone please explain what 15a has to do with mirage? According to the hint you split the 2nd word 2/4 but that gives ma ness? Personally I thought it was a very poor clue.
    Did like 11a, very clever.
    For me ***/***
    Thx to all

      1. Ah as in M1 Rage, now it makes sense. I take it all back a very clever clue but Just too clever for me.

  18. After yesterdays gruelling offering, this was a pleasure to solve and agree with a **/****,favourite has to be15A,best clue for a while, also liked the surface reading of11A .Thanks setter and 2K’S for the pics-now I know what a 12A looks like.

  19. Top half of this one was well into 4* territory for enjoyment but seemed to tail off a little towards the bottom – particularly disliked 27a. Stupidly missed the clever wordplay in 15a – a great clue once 2Ks pointed it out! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    Smiles of the day came from 11a &2d with a nod to 13a.

    Anyone ever tried a tangelo?

    Many thanks, Jay – sorry that the excellent 15a was wasted on me at the time – and also thanks to 2Ks for your (now expected!) high standard of review and the long-awaited pic of your lovely ‘Christmas trees’.

  20. Managed to finish toughie and back page and hard to decide which one I found the most difficult. Both I suppose.
    Made slow progress on the cryptic as 15a was a real barrier between an easy-ish bottom half and a harder top.
    But once I got 11a, everything followed. Great clue indeed.
    22a is favourite today. What a great language English is. So flexible.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review.

  21. 12d. I disagree that the answer is hiding upside down in the clue. It’s back-to-front in the clue. I think the clue should read “Beat back” rather than “Beat up”.

    1. Hello Vince,
      I have learned from this website that setters should always use up or down in down clues. Agreed that down clues are written horizontally but could we cope if they were printed vertically like Chinese characters?

  22. I beg to differ re 15a. I found it annoying, not clever, when I found out why. It spoiled an otherwise enjoyable solve for me. There were several much better clues in my opinion with 22a being particularly good due to multiple potential misdirections.
    Thanks setter and the 2Ks.

  23. 15A is another of those expressions I haven’t heard for so long I’d forgotten about it and since I failed to spot the split in the last word of the clue. I did not get the first word of the answer. For me, this was trickier than usual. I did like 11A, though. Thanks to Jay and K2.

  24. Abroad at the mo, and got behind with my daily mental work-out -not to be recommended. Just finished Sun/Mon but defeated, for the first time for a long time, by about a third of Tuesday’s torture.Today’s offering was much shorter and easier than yesterday’s – the blog, I mean! The puzzle was right up my street, though. Loved 15ac – come on, Brian, have a laugh sometimes, it’s very liberating! **/**** from me.

  25. It took us ages to get the first answer, then a few others followed. After that we had to look at the hints first to check that we were correct so far and then to help with one or two others. Still, we managed to finish so that’s good. We are in the slightly trickier corner so far this year. Thank you to the Wednesday setter and to the 2Kiwis.

  26. A bit more than 1* and nowhere near 3* so by a process of deduction I too award this 2* status. (I frighten myself sometimes).

  27. Very enjoyable and needing quite a bit of thought so 2* (just under 3!) and 4* for enjoyment for me. It took me far too long to see 11a which was my favourite. Thank you the 2Ks and Jay.
    PS Please may I add my protest about those earlier Down clues ending up in the Across column!

  28. We’re in the **/**** camp here but our fav was 11a. Only got five of the acrosses on first pass but then 16 of the downs came to the rescue.

    Many thanks to the Wednesday Wizard and the Kiwis.

  29. Two spelling errors messed this up for me. If I am stuck I usually look for mistakes. Material fit where the M1 should have been. The tail spin was a stupid answer as one would not help a pilot. Word association is a loser and stopped fit from fitting. Oh dear as cupcake Kath would say. Oh well. Onward and upward

  30. I discovered that I have been misspelling ad nauseam incorrectly , up until now.I was tempted to put in word association but I avoided that in the end.My favourites were , probably,the easier clues 6d, 20d, 2d because of the smooth surface reading.I got 15a but not why, thanks , Kiwis.

  31. AM I contrary ? Found this puzzle hard yet I solved the so-called difficult clues easily eg 15a ( clever word-play ) and 24a, also the other longer clues but came unstuck on short, “obvious” answers such as 6d, 24d, 25d and, oh dearie me, 19a ! Cross with myself ! ***/*** http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  32. Oh dear I was going so well and then I put MATERNAL for 15a pt1. and I couldn’t shift it; well, in fact I did… to MATERIAL. What a waste of a lovely clue! I completely missed it!
    Once realisation (via the hints I admit) dawned I thought about ending it all.
    Having recovered I nominate 15a as my favourite clue…
    Thanks to Jay, and the 2K’s out there in the sun for their revue.

  33. I too got the answer for 15a but could not figure out why,so thanks to The Kiwis ,very clever. Didn’t get 22a as I couldn’t get past Lisbon ,d’uh! I found this quite tricky but enjoyable .thanks to Jay.

  34. Good morning everyone. We’re still chuckling over 15a and feel pleased that most others enjoyed it too. Cheers.

    1. I wonder how many people in Blighty would begin to be able to pick out motorways in NZ as you have with ours in 15a? Congratulations!

  35. ****/****. this was a struggle for me but nevertheless very enjoyable and satisfying at the end. 11a was my favourite. 19a seems to have turned up several times recently. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks for the review especially for explaining my bung in for 22a – very ingenious.

  36. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif Think I am going to have a rest from crosswords, I am not getting any better. Pencil, electronic supertoy and brain all employed and I still have to read thhe masterful blog from 2Kiwis to see why I have filled in the dear little squares that way. P S I loved the wordplay in the second half of 15a it made me giggle. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

    1. Don’t give up, Hilary. Goodness – you twigged the wordplay in 15a which is more than a lot of us did. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    2. Just keep going and good luck. As Jane says you did manage 15a which is more than lots of us did, including me.

        1. We’ve two of them, identical twins, but their respective wives might object if they weren’t returned in perfect condition.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    1. ditto.
      great to listen to David Badiel. He’s so serious now. what happended?
      downloaded the grid also. Got a few already. Thanks CS.

    2. Had to stop when David Badiel started to talk about the arachne crossword. Good thing I already had 14a.
      Will listen on a bit later. Crossword lovers stand up. Already made it to Radio4.

    3. Thanks CS for the lead. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif. Listening to The Times clues made me realise just how much one does get into the swing of regular setters for a particular newspaper (I.e. DT) and getting the hang of others can take time (for me at least). I have experienced that over the years when switching from DT to The New York Times to The Times and back to the DT. Let’s see what the DT brings us tomorrow.

  37. Very enjoyable, can’t believe it took me half an hour to get the last part of five down. When the penny eventually dropped I couldn’t believe How I’d missed it! Put it down to advancing years :-)

  38. I loved this one, the best of the year so far for me. So many great clues, but all get-able with aid of some London Pride and a pipe. I especially liked 8a, 11a, 13a and 22a. Odd how my choices are all across, down are tad disappointing in comparison, but I’m going to give it 2.5* for difficulty and 4* for fun. It has brightened up my evening as I dry out from a wind blown soaking on the walk back from the station.

  39. I thoroughly enjoyed this crossword. I solved 15a but did not understand the clue until I read the blog. My last one in was 22a. 3*/4* is my rating.

    Thanks to the setter and 2Kiwis for the review.

  40. Gave myself a slight handicap by inserting “tailspin” for 5d……….Doh. But by far this weeks best.

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