DT 27704 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27704

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27704

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Good morning everyone from a chilly Oxford. What a funny week it’s been – Monday felt like Tuesday with gazza doing the hints, yesterday felt like Monday and I haven’t really decided what today feels like yet. Oh yes – it’s Wednesday and I’m doing the hints for the 2Kiwis who are otherwise occupied this week – just 1K today masquerading as 2K’s.  Am I the only one who’s in a muddle? I always like Jay’s crosswords but I’ve never done the hints for one before so I do hope that these are OK – I thought it was reasonably straightforward and very enjoyable.

Please let us know how you got on and what you thought of it.

If you click on anything that says “Click here” you’ll see the answer so only do that as a last resort.


1a            Veto decision thus? (7,4)
CASTING VOTE — This is what a chairman has in event of a deadlock.  The first word in the answer indicates that an anagram of the second results in VETO

9a            Name adopted by red China strangely becomes an obstacle (9)
HINDRANCE — An anagram (strangely) of RED CHINA around N(ame) (name adopted).

10a         Politician wanting information about boundaries of Rye (5)
GREEN — This politician represents one of the smaller parties. A short word for information, or the low-down on something, contains (about) the first and last letters (boundaries) of Rye.

11a         Colour of old cooker? (6)
ORANGE — Begin with O(ld) and follow that with a type of cooker often, but not necessarily, run on solid fuel. We seem to be getting very colourful!


12a         Secret regularly concealed in a perfect opening (8)
APERTURE — The A from the clue is followed by another word meaning perfect or clean containing the alternate letters (regularly concealed) of sEcReT.

13a         Leading actor pious man reviewed reacts in surprise (6)
STARTS — The leading actor, or the one who has the main part in a drama, is followed by a reversal (reviewed) of crossword land’s favourite pious or good man.

15a         Ready to go after shopping? (8)
CASHBACK — The ready here is money. When you’ve finished your shopping, probably in a supermarket, and are paying with a debit or credit card if you ask the cashier nicely he or she will add a certain amount on to your bill and give some money to you with your till receipt. This was my last answer and I couldn’t do it for ages – was nearly having a nervous breakdown!

18a         Exhibit new receiver given to supporter (8)
BRANDISH — Begin with the supporter – a piece of women’s underwear – follow that with (given to) N(ew) and the kind of receiver that enables people to get satellite TV or radio.

19a         Make a mess of protecting student spot (6)
BLOTCH — Another word meaning to make a mess of something or finish a piece of work very badly contains (protecting) one letter for a student or learner.


21a         Decorated journalist attached to military display (8)
TATTOOED — A military display or entertainment is followed by (attached to) our usual two letter journalist. I’m really not keen on these decorations!


23a         Settled for a good source of venison on the way back (6)
AGREED — The A from the clue and the abbreviation for G(ood) is followed by a reversal (on the way back) of the animal that venison comes from.

26a         Severe reduction in atomic energy (5)
ACUTE — A three letter word meaning a reduction or stoppage (of power maybe) is contained in A(tomic) and E(nergy).

27a         Marine area — one in Asia to be developed (6,3)
IONIAN SEA — An anagram (to be developed) of ONE IN ASIA.

myrtos beach Kefalonia

28a         Admit the truth of learning on account (11)
ACKNOWLEDGE — The usual two letters for account is followed by another word for learning or enlightenment.


1d            Collusion — accountant sounds warning (7)
CAHOOTS — The two letter abbreviation for C(hartered) A(ccountant) is followed by what he might do if some twit walks out in front of his car.

2d            None, oddly, found in Mediterranean plant (5)
SENNA — The odd letters of NoNe are contained in what the Mediterranean is an example of.


3d            Washed out and cross, losing time for golf (9)
IRRIGATED — Begin with a word meaning cross or mildly annoyed – remove its middle T (losing time) and replace it with the letter represented by golf in the phonetic alphabet.

4d            Weapons offered comfortable returns (4)
GUNS — A word meaning comfortable, or cosy or as **** as a bug in a rug, is reversed (returns) to give you some weapons or firearms.

5d            Sort of office represented in golf championship scheme? (4-4)
OPEN-PLAN — This sort of office is one where there are several desks in a large room.The first word is a golf championship which even I have heard of – this is followed by another word for a scheme or a project.


6d            Longing for English beer with no top (5)
EAGER — Begin with the one letter abbreviation for E(nglish) and follow that with a kind of pale beer (my Dad would have called it gnat’s piss) without its first letter (with no top).

7d            Outside area in which poor dunce’s book’s ending (3,4)
SUN DECK — An anagram (poor) of DUNCE’S and K (the last letter or ending of book).


8d            Reversing Aussie utility vehicle into factory, becomes irritable (8)
PETULANT — Start off with another word for a factory – not depot but the other one – and put in a reversal of a three-letter abbreviation for an Australian utility vehicle or small open backed van.

14d         Growth of hypocrisy and end of faith in Australia (8)
ACANTHUS — This growth is a plant also known as Bear’s breeches although I’ve never quite understood why. Start with the three letter IVR for Australia – this contains (in) a word meaning hypocritical talk or jargon often spoken by politicians and the last letter (end of) faith.


16d         Object of search for lost glory in winter fall (4,5)
HOLY GRAIL — This object of search is supposed to be a platter or cup used by Christ at the last supper – King Arthur’s Knights, Indiana Jones and the Monty Python crew were always looking for it. An anagram (lost) of GLORY is contained in a kind of fall, or precipitation, that we may get in winter (or summer come to that).

17d         Seat reserved — take a chance on star (8)
ASTERISK — An anagram (reserved but better seen as re-served) of SEAT followed by another word for a chance or danger.

18d         Act as bearers for shops (7)
BETRAYS — Shops here is a verb meaning to inform on someone. If you split your answer 2,5 it also means to act as bearers or flat boards used to carry things such as crockery or food.

20d         Supply liquid, beating dry heat (7)
HYDRATE — An anagram (beating) of DRY HEAT

22d         Home games must include end of series (5)
OMEGA — The series is the Greek alphabet and its last letter (end of series) is hidden in the clue. Just one of these little brutes today.

24d         Relaxed, wiped out with no end of war (5)
EASED — A word meaning wiped out, rubbed out, or in some other way got rid of without the R (no end of waR).

25d         Keen on independent books on love (4)
INTO — I(ndependent) is followed by the two letter abbreviation for the second part of the Bible and followed by the letter that looks like a zero or love score in a game of tennis.

I liked 15 and 23a and 18d. My favourite was 1d.

Quickie pun:- Camera+Derry=Camaraderie

75 comments on “DT 27704

  1. After a slow start this was for me a joy from beginning to end. TVM Jay for much fun and Kath for being there in case of need. So many clever clues that it’s hard to pick a Fav. If pressed I would plump for 20d. ***/*****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  2. Overall my rating today is 1.5*/4*. The 1.5* disguises some differences in different parts of the grid. I found the top half R&W, but the SE corner was roughly 1* difficulty with the SW coming in at around 3* . 18a & 18d were my last two in. 1a was my favourite.

    Thanks to presumably Jay (assuming our setters are not as mixed up as our reviewers this week) and to Kath, whose help I needed to understand why reserved in 17d is a devious anagram inidcator.

  3. I feel very proud of myself today. Mr BB had to lead a small band of enthusiasts (nutters) across the moors, in the snow, so I tackled this on my own. Only resorted to electronic help once and finished in about our usual 2* time. Won’t be able to brag when he gets home as he’ll be too busy telling me how marvellous his walk was. Thankyou to Kath and the setter.

    1. It is certainly snowing nicely on our side of town. I trust that Mr BB has all the necessary survival kit with him !

      1. He normally walks in his Rohan shorts no matter what, but today has set off with all the gear. He will be fine, under our walking club rules you are allowed to lose 10% of starters!

          1. I always walked in shorts but put long pants on last Sunday. Of course we had “all the gear” until we got back and found the first aid kits and space blankets on the table. It reminded me of the time my map blew away atop High Spy on The Derwent Round. The only map we had. Fortunately the weather was fine and we could find our way to the finish.

            1. Just had message from daughter, walk shortened, and they are in the pub. Probably this was always the plan.

  4. Thanks very much to BD for bailing me out with 1a – the fact that the second word of the answer was an anagram of the first word of the clue had completely passed me by! Oh dear and, for the second week in a row http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

    1. Don’t worry Kath, it took me a long time to spot that, but I didn’t have the pressure of blogging.

  5. Hm, 1a I thought was a great idea but i wasn’t keen on the clue, I found it hard to read cryptically and non-cryptically. If the question mark is the reverse anagram indicator, shouldn’t it come after veto? I would have preferred something like “How one might obtain veto?”, where in my humble opinion the cryptic and surface readings are more elegant and the reverse anagram is fairly indicated (so the question mark isn’t strictly needed).

    I liked 26a (severe reduction), 27a (marine area to be developed), and 6d (english beer) made me laugh.

    The anagram indicator “reserved” (I didn’t see re-served, but i don’t care for it much) in 17d didn’t really do it for me. I wasn’t quite sure how relaxed you could be “wiped out with no end of war” either.

    An enjoyable solve though

    many thanks setter and Kath

    1. Some praise for 1ac but is it, strictly speaking, correct? A casting vote is not a veto but a deciding vote in the event of a tie from all other voters. Clever though.

      1. Welcome to the blog Scarth

        I’m sure that the setter would plead that the question mark at the end of the clue excuses any objections that might otherwise be made.

      2. I also wasn’t sure about “decision” – what decision? surely there is a lack of decision in the situation described?

  6. Thank you Jay, an enjoyable challenge which got harder the further I went ! I found the top half relatively straightforward, but then it all became a lot harder. Finally finished in the SW corner. Some very clever clues. Thanks Kath for your review, hints and pics. I failed to spot the anagram at 1a as well.

  7. Goodness, Kath – you really are on a roll! First you get through the Toughie and now you’ve breezed through this one, which caused me all sorts of grief particularly in the SW corner and with 15a (didn’t know the Aussie vehicle, so wasn’t sure my checking letter was right, although the answer looked OK).
    I’m sure we came across 18d quite recently – could have kicked myself for not remembering that one, which would doubtless have opened up that troublesome corner.
    Think I’ll go for 3*/2* with 17d as favourite.
    Thanks to Jay and round of applause to 1K. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  8. Bit harder than ** for me perhaps 2.5 but very enjoyable nonetheless.
    Can’t make up my mind whether 15a is a very clever or dreadful clue! Whatever, Thx to Kath for explaining my answer.
    Did like 18d, that was clever and also 16d.
    Off the town now to spend my birthday money.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif
    Thx to all.

  9. Thanks to Jay for an enjoyable puzzle and to Kath especially for explaining the wordplay for 18a which was my last one in. At least ** because of the sw corner and *** for enjoyment. Second last in was 18d which was my favourite today.
    Outside temperatures below zero, with clear skies here. Cant go out and enjoy it – got plumbers in fitting new boiler.

  10. I found this very enjoyable but I had cash card which held me up.
    Cash back is only available on debit cards, I think, Kath.

    1. You may be right about the cashback – I only use a debit card so don’t really know and anyway that answer had already caused me enough grief!

      1. Re: 15a, it’s called “cash out” in Australia (cashback generally means some kind of post-purchase promotional rebate), so I guessed at this but didn’t know that it was right.

        1. Me too (also from Oz). Had decided it must be cash back but couldn’t for the life of me figure out why. Thanks.

  11. 1A worth a star on it’s own, thanks to Kath for the ‘vote’ explanation ,and can’t really quibble with a **/****,liked the surface reading of 18D,and 15 A clever when the penny dropped-well clued setter!

  12. A bit of a struggle but great when it was finished – phew!

    I ran through the ‘click here’ answers to make sure I hadn’t got anything wrong – there’s something wrong with the display of 15a using the ‘click here’ thingy!

    Onward and upward – intermittent snow flurries here in East Herts – no golf today! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

    1. The ‘click here’ word is showing on the system so I don’t know why it isn’t showing on the actual blog. One for BD to fix methinks.

        1. It isn’t working anywhere apart from on the site where the posts are created, but I don’t know how to fix it so you will have to wait for someone more technologically gifted than me (which is probably almost anyone!)

  13. I thought this was very good today; at least 4* enjoyment for me.
    Many thanks to Jay, and to Kath for the review.

  14. 1ac. Brilliant. Thanks to Jay for a really nice workout. Thanks to Kath for confirming 15ac. Golf got two mentions in the clues and one above from Michael. Is that Pommers boat at 7d?

  15. ***/****+

    Oh Jay you clever boy. Last week you created the wonderful ‘Motorway madness’, and this week the delicious 1a.

    If yesterday was a gentle breeze then today was tornado of fun for me.

    And it wasn’t easy. I drew a complete blank with 15a until I had lots of checkers in. I missed the anagram in 20d for awhile and just plain guessed at 14d. No matter.

    Favourite clue….1a goes to 1a.

    Many thanks to Jay and to Kath for a brilliant blog as always. :-)

    The Toughie is proving somewhat difficult.

  16. An excellent puzzle in my opinion, 15d was my personal favourite, just ahead of 14d.

    I’d never heard of the vehicle in 8d before, if it has cropped up in previous DT crosswords then I must have failed to notice !

    The drizzly rain in South London makes me think wistfully of a 7d on the 27a :-)

    1. The vehicle appeared as recently as 2nd December when it attracted several comments. Twice in two months puts it on the way to chestnut status!

  17. Took a break from trying to solve today’s toughie and it’s a good thing I did.
    I should start with the back page. It’s much more refreshing.
    Quite a few anagrams either whole or in part and I must admit that no ink needed to be wasted.
    18d was a deja vu but still pleasurable.
    Remember when shops started to act as banks . Clever way to avoid accumulating cash in their tills. We don’t have that in France.
    So 15a favourite for today.
    Thanks to Jay and Kath for the great review.

  18. An entertaining workout as ever on a Wednesday. Like Kath 15a had me staring at an odd set of checking letters until the penny dropped and it took me into 2* time. 18d would have been a write in for anyone who has done the Radio 4/Arachne puzzle! (If you haven’t yet, do – it’s a little gem).

      1. You’re right – I did the puzzle right after listening to the programme and my memory has clearly merged the two!

        1. I listened to the programme but didn’t have time to the crossword the other day. I’ve printed it off, had a quick scan and am looking forward to it tonight! Preferably with a glass of something red? I wish someone would do a wine pairing for crosswords.

  19. I got to the end but felt less enamoured of this puzzle than others of recent days – perhaps it’s me! (One reason was not liking the clue for 15a which failed to satisfy, somehow. I only was sure my answer was right when I read Kath’s review.) Thanks to her and to the setter.

  20. Got stuck in the NW corner for some reason. I knew 9a was an anagram of ‘red china + n’ but couldn’t get it (had to use a pen and paper to reveal the answer, so sorry MP). When the anagram fell into place the rest of the NW corner was a breezehttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

    Thanks to Jay for the puzzle and Kath for her excellent reviewhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    BD – have just finished building a working model of a V8 engine with my nephew – so keep up the good work on your model(s). It’s well worth the satisfaction of seeing the finished product.

  21. A most enjoyable puzzle today from Jay! Particularly the reverse anagram in 1a.

    Wonder why reverse anagrams are allowed but not indirect ones?

    Thanks to Kath for the review.

    1. interesting question – indirect anagrams are two steps for the solver instead of one and hence considered unfair – but you could argue a reverse anagram is not much different. In particular, there tend to be zero indication of what the hidden anagram indicator might be. My own thoughts are that it is about fairness – i don’t think an indirect anagram is fair, and I think a reverse anagram is not fair unless it is adequately indicated (see my first comment above). Certainly “GEGS?” for scrambled eggs has got to be the worst surface in history.

  22. Great review today, Kath. Particular thanks for 15a, never did get that as it’s not something I’ve ever done.
    Fave 1a, how clever is that. Thanks to Jay for super puzzle.

  23. I needed your explanations, Kath , for 15a (my second last one ) and 14d (my last).Probably growth is a common synonym for a plant , but in my case it had me stumped.I kept trying to think of words for tumors. Super puzzle.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  24. Re 15ac. Ready = Cash. To Go = To take away as used alot in fast food diners. So it is cash to take away after you have done your shopping.

  25. Thanks to Jay and to Kath for the review and hints. A joy of a puzzle, with lots of clever clues. I had 2 Favourites (sorry Kath) 15a & 22d. Last in was 18d. Needed the hints to parse 18a, great review Kath. Was 3*/4* for me. Walked from Twickenham to Kew Gardens along the Thames earlier, so feeling nicely tired now.

  26. A jolly little effort from Jay, for which many thanks. 2*/4* by my reckoning, and the excellent 14d gets my vote as favourite clue. The only one which held me up is 8d, and that was because l had forgotten that the Aussies have their own word for this type of vehicle; l was vainly trying to make SUV work until the penny dropped. Thanks to 1K for the first-class review as well.

  27. Oh no I thought as i steamed through the top half, a R & W. Then I promptly ground to a halt on the lower half and I wished I hadn’t commented. I got there eventually but it took a while especially 15a where I had the first half… but not the rest! Doh!….again.
    Thanks Jay for a good workout and thank you Kath for your revue..
    Oh and favourite clue? 16d I think.

  28. Not my day. I came unstuck in the SW corner, with 18A, 18D 1D and 28A all unsolved, and having seen the review I am embarrassed because they were all good clues. I did twig 1A though. Thanks to Jay and Kath. I was going to try the Toughie but after this showing, I may have to rethink that.

    1. It’s worth having a go at the Toughie – I think it’s really tricky but you do them with more success more often than I do and I’ve done about two thirds. I think the allocation of my crossword grey cells may just be used up for today – well, that’s my excuse anyway! Good luck if you do try it.

  29. Found this much harder than a **. We got badly stuck on the bottom left corner and failed to get 14d – had no idea we were looking for a plant. Thanks to Kath for clearing this up and to the Setter for an enjoyable but ultimately frustrating puzzle!

  30. 2.5/3.5 for me. Struggled in a few places and my resort to bung-ins came in ok. Thanks to Kath for the review and explaining why my correct bung in for 8d. Thanks to the setter for the entertainment. The family arrive from the UK tomorrow so may not get to the puzzle for a well.

  31. I too was held up far too long by 15a as my last one in, although the penny dropped eventually, accompanied by a little groan!
    I must admit that the subtlety of 1a escaped me at the time too, so not my best solve but it was an enjoyable challenge accompanied by a rather nice roast pork dinner in the staff restaurant today.

    Thanks to both Jay and Kath.

  32. A smashing puzzle for me this evening. A one-pint, one-pipe joy. Too many clever and fun clues to list, but 15a deserves a mention. Thanks to Kath for standing in so womanfully for K-squared, and to Jay for the fun. 2*/4*

  33. Not so easy for me , too many aussie related clues , can anyone tell me what ETU stands for and what it looks like . I spent ages thinking it might be a jeep and and as I found the north eastern corner the most difficult corner ,although after seeing your hints Kath I don’t know why, I probably needed this contraption to get me out of the hole I dug myself into .
    ***/ **

  34. Last in as usual! Completed this last evening without any problems, but haven’t had an opportunity to comment until now. I agree with Kath’s rating of **/****. My fave was 1d, and I also liked 18a and 17d.

    Many thanks to Jay for the enjoyment and to Kath for her lovely review.

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