DT 27710 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27710

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27710

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***

We felt privileged to have done the reviews on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve and now we get to write one on this auspicious day.
Happy Birthday Blog.
Our weather has been like we think we remember our summers from childhood. Day after day of blue skies and sunshine with the temperatures in the high 20’s. Long may it last.
Good fun again from Jay and it should not present too many difficulties.

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


1a     Sticky stuff covering lettuce is sugar (7)
GLUCOSE : A three letter word for a type of lettuce is inserted in a word for something adhesive.

9a     Shoot a scene, initially in favourite city (8)
BUDAPEST : This shoot is what a plant may have, A from the clue and a word for favourite around the first letter of S(cene).

10a     Wind and fog really throws regulars (7)
MISTRAL : Start with a synonym for fog and then alternate letters (throws regulars) of really.

11a     Good area with weak source of illumination (8)
GASLIGHT : G(ood) A(rea) then a word meaning slender or weak.

12a     Unlikely way of learning about return of the setter (6)
REMOTE : A two letter pronoun for the setter is reversed inside the way of learning by repetition.

13a     Make no progress in the main (5,5)
TREAD WATER : The main in this case is the aquatic one and the answer is the way to swim and go nowhere.

15a     Knee pain? Oddly, it’s the cap! (4)
KEPI : This answer, borrowed from the French, is found by taking alternate letters from two words in the clue.

16a     Lease must be vacated after long-standing account (9)
CHRONICLE : Take a word meaning long-standing that is often applied to a medical condition and add the first and last letters (must be vacated) of lease.

21a     One in four gets a bike of sorts (4)
QUAD : Double definition, or a third definition would be an open area in an educational institution.

22a     Gear that makes son utter obscenities about Liverpool, say (10)
SPORTSWEAR : The abbreviation for S(on) then a word for what Liverpool is an example of, followed by a word to utter obscenities.

24a     Astonished — a day to go round part of Hampton Court (6)
AMAZED : A from the clue, the novelty garden found at Hampton Court and then D(ay).

25a     Not available to film new branch (8)
OFFSHOOT : Not available, as all the favourite dishes that you want to order at the local cafe seem to be, then the expression to make a film that we encountered in 9a.

27a     Understand one story mostly showing numerical information (7)
DIGITAL : The hippy word for understand, the Roman numeral one and the first three letters of a four letter word for a story.

28a     Pretentious air true of the stars? (8)
SIDEREAL : What somebody who has a pretentious air might be said to show, then a synonym for true.

29a     Any line crossed in a daft way (7)
INANELY : An anagram (crossed) of ANY LINE.


2d     Retire, worried by look from this layabout (8)
LOITERER : Start with a two letter word for look and then an anagram (worried) of RETIRE.

3d     Christian who’s new to chalice (not European) (8)
CATHOLIC : An anagram (new) of TO CHALICE with E(uropean) removed from the fodder.

4d     Corporate excesses? (5,5)
SPARE TYRES : A cryptic definition, the corporate part of it has nothing to do with the business world.

5d     Atmosphere in university welcomed by a Royal Academician (4)
AURA : A from the clue, abbreviation for Royal Academician, then U(niversity) is inserted.

6d     Everybody on board tug is fat (6)
TALLOW : A verb meaning to tug surrounds a three letter everybody.

7d     Women crews use these for training (7)
WEIGHTS : W(omen) and rowing teams.

8d     Standing, look around trade union (7)
STATURE : T(rade) U(nion) is included inside an intense look.

11d     Welcome must include note — the Spanish land outside city (5,4)
GREEN BELT : A word meaning to welcome has inside it the Latin abbreviation meaning note well,  and the Spanish definite article.

14d     Limit availability after design style award (10)
DECORATION : The design style is usually preceded by Art and then a word that means to limit availability.

17d     E=mc2, say — quite a different case of omission (8)
EQUATION : An anagram (different) of QUITE A and then the first and last letters of omission.

18d     Foundation students covering graduate game (8)
BASEBALL : A synonym for foundation, a two letter graduate and two learners.

19d     European husband’s embrace (7)
ESPOUSE : E(uropean) then what a husband or perhaps wife may be.

20d     Company gets fined for breaking trust (7)
CONFIDE : Abbreviation for company then anagram (for breaking) of FINED.

23d     Straight out without a good top! (1-5)
T-SHIRT : An anagram (out) of STRAIGHT with A and G removed.

26d     State occasion’s beginning with lots unfinished (4)
OMAN : This state is Middle Eastern not North American. The first letter of occasion and a word meaning lots with the final Y removed.

Not easy to pick a stand-out favourite today. We’ll go for 16a.

Quickie pun, and a real groaner today:   dune + hears + cool = junior school

60 comments on “DT 27710

  1. Happy Birthday BD & Co. and Many Happy Returns of the Day. Long may you reign.
    http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif. This was a truly cryptic and very enjoyable puzzle – many thanks Jay. Thanks also 2kiwis although I had just managed without your guidance.

  2. Think the “note” in 11d is the Latin abbreviation not a musical one??

    Thanks to Jay and Kiwis

  3. Nice puzzle thank you Jay and 2 Kiwis.

    I particularly liked new takes on old friends, 9a, 10a, 22a, and mostly 7d, very nice.

    16a was my favourite (lease must be vacated..), Also liked 28a (pretentious air true of the starts). though wasn’t sure about the pretentious air bit at first.

    Congratulations on your Birthday, Blog, hope there is a cake with 6 candles on it somewhere for you in cyberspace.

  4. Wow! That was tough far higher than 2* for me. Nearly gave up after staring at it for 10 mins without success but gradually it came together but it was difficult to enjoy much as it was just so tricky. Often it was a case of finding a word to go with the checking letters and seeing if it would fit the clue, not my favourite way of solving.
    No standout clues except perhaps for 1a and 17d although I only got that answer from the first part, the rest of the clue was beyond me.
    Thx to the 2Kiwis for some explanations.
    PS does anyone know if my nemesis is tomorrow’s setter?

    1. I’m with you on this one, Brian. I seem to be having a off-week as each day they get harder and harder!

    2. I’ve slightly lost track but I don’t think it’ll be a Ray T tomorrow – I’m pretty sure he was last week.

  5. Nice puzzle as usual from Jay. 26d was last in and I could not see the Y that wasn’t there so thanks to the 2ks for parsing that. I don’t want to make the 2ks jealous but we have some real weather acroos England today. Proper stuff that makes you think. Green Man 6 – 1 The Carpenters Arms. Woo Hoooo!

  6. I agree with the 2* difficulty and maybe 3*/4* for enjoyment.
    I’m not sure if I didn’t know the 15a cap or if I’ve just forgotten it but either way it wasn’t too tricky.
    Couldn’t get 22a for ages – it was my last answer and by that time I had six of its ten letters – never seen such an unlikely combination – finally saw it. Dim!
    I was a bit slow to get the 9a city.
    When I first saw 17d I nearly ran away from it as fast as I would from a football/rugby/cricket etc type clue but it wasn’t a problem.
    I liked 1 and 13a and 7d.
    With thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis.

    Now then – who is going to get me out of this one! There are two words that, I think, are quite similar but I always muddle them up. There’s 28a which is to do with the stars and there’s another one meaning to do with the seashore – now I can’t remember that one!

      1. Yes, of course and thanks. That would have driven me mad for the rest of the day. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif
        The next question is whatever kind of twit would think that those two words were even slightly similar? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  7. Good fun from Jay – 2*/3* for me. New word alert at 15a (Jean-luc will be in his element) and a deep trawl through the memory bank for 28a – last one in. Apologies are owed to the wonderful senior telescope engineer at Jodrell Bank who gave myself & No. 1 daughter an amazing tour which included donning hard hats and climbing up the bowl to peer over the edge! He went to great pains to explain sidereal time – I should have remembered. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif
    Lovely smile at 4d and any one of 1a,22a or 14d can have my favourite vote.

    Many thanks to Jay and to 2Ks for the lovely pictorial blog – especially the 11a pic.

  8. Hippo Birdie to all concerned. Lovely stuff today. Didn’t make things easier for myself by putting the answer to 3D in at 9A – thin this Altimeter’s is kicking in at last.
    Very difficult to pick a favourite today as there are so many good clues, so I think I’ll go with the Quickie pun which took me an age to work out, glad to say the wife wasn’t here to see me walking round the house muttering the answers

    1. I gave up on the Quickie pun as I couldn’t come up with anything sounding like the first two words and then groaned after peeking above . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  9. There’s no wonder I struggle – stared at 9a for ages having assumed “favourite” in the clue referred to “Best” – couldn’t for the life of me work out the “udap” bit! Thanks 2Kiwis for the correct explanation although I’m now feeling stupid. Also put “lingerer” in 2d which threw me for 10a until a sudden gust of wind swept through my garden – eureka! Still – completed in the end, slow but very enjoyable. Thanks for review 2Kiwis, to Jay and of course BD and the team. Happy Birthday.

  10. Thank you Jay – that was all too much for me and I found it very difficult. As usual, the enjoyment level fell away as the hours passed. Thank you 2Kiwis for all your explanations, review and hints. Happy Birthday Blog !

  11. A very slow start for me today. I suspect I am in trouble when I have read most of the clues and yet to have any brilliant insight into the answer to any of them!
    However, perseverance does work and as I did find answers, and the checking letters came to exist, the speed of the solve increased.

    So I would say it took me a 3* time to finish and a usual 4* for enjoyment.

  12. **/****

    The snow’s back.

    Freezing day, fabulous crossword. 22a was my last in and even with all the checkers in I sat and stared. I did think there might be a pangram at one point but it was not to be.

    Favourite clue is 15a with 16a giving it a run for the money.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis for your usual fantastic blog.

    The Toughie is worth a look today for non-regulars. I’ve done half so far. Though that may be all I can do.

    1. Keep at it Hanni, you’ll get there. I have just finished it, which is not to brag, but merely to add more praise to this blog. This time last year it would have been as clear to me as Egyptian hieroglyphics but now there are days when I feel I actually know what I am doing!

      1. Thanks Rick. :-) I finished it but by God I found it hard! I often think it is written in hieroglyphics. How’s the cars?

        1. All present and correct thanks, and snug in their winter quarters for now, waiting for spring. The Land Rovers of course are looking at the weather forecast and saying ‘bring it on’. The Series III now has overdrive, so will even hold more than 45 mph on the open road!

            1. An absolute angel and I swear she is two inches taller already. I had forgotten though just what terrible timewasters puppies can be…

              1. I’m completely convinced that the more time you “waste” on them when they’re puppies the better they turn out to be when they’re “grown ups”.

          1. That’ll be what, an extra 10mph? No small thing when you are in an older Series that’s more about wrestling and nurturing the drive at the same time. Not quite the same as the modern Overfinch types but I do love them. I’m glad Polly is well and growing.

            1. I saw 50 the other day!
              It’s well up for it because it has only done 42k miles (1974) and drives like new. Much more fun in the muddy stuff though.

              1. Anything over 35 is impressive in an early Series! First job on mine come spring is the springs! You are right about the off road though, however bone-jarring, spine destroyingly painful they can be they are still peerless. In fact if defender is written in a crossword clue whole ‘Series’ leap to mind. My other half is not allowed to even get close to mine, especially if he has his tools out.

  13. Very enjoyable today, but not necessarily easy. Quite the reverse, so we needed a little help just to put us on the right track. New word at 28 across, but we looked it up and there it was. Thank you to the Wednesday setter and to the 2 Kiwis. Happy Birthday to the Blog. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  14. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis. Happy Blogday to Big Dave and all the bloggers, great site, it’s gone from strength to strength. Very tricky offering from Jay, did most of it quite easily, then the last half a dozen answers took longer than the rest of the puzzle. Favourite was 1a. Last in was 26d. Was 3*/4 * for me.

  15. Am I the only person for whom ‘sidereal’ was a new word? I also thought it merited 3 stars for difficulty, but a very enjoyable puzzle

    1. My sister was a fan of Vangelis back in the 70s. The word sidereal features quite a lot in the album Albedo 0.39 so I’ve never forgotten it.

  16. Enjoyable puzzle today with some nice cryptic clues **/**** for me. lucky to know 10a and 28a from my profession. A bit more familiarity with 22a is required given my current burgeoning 4d!

  17. Too difficult for me too – not on my wavelength – too thick maybe – I just don’t know!

    Ah well, hey-ho there’s always tomorrow! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  18. Good puzzle, much enjoyed, so thank you Jay.
    I struggled with parsing of 9a, needed the hints for that, thanks 2Kiwis.
    I think 28a has appeared in quite a few puzzles, in any case I remembered it and can’t imagine where else I would have seen it.

  19. This was much easier than I thought following my initial read through. But very enjoyable nevertheless. Thanks to the setter and the 2ks for the review. And happy birthday to the blog which educates me on a regular basis.

  20. Good morning everyone. We are really kicking ourselves for having completely overlooked the N which we had left unparsed in 11d, despite both of us checking everything. Sorry if we misled anyone, will change it now. Cheers.

  21. Anyone with a bit of spare time this evening – Kath? – give the Toughie a whirl. It’s not too difficult (can’t be, I finished it) and really worth the effort. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    1. I’ve been fighting with the Toughie on and off all afternoon – have just admitted defeat on the last few and looked at gazza’s explanations. Well done to you for finishing it. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  22. Congratulations on the birthday to Big Dave and the blog. Where would we novices be without your help now?
    A very enjoyable crossword today. I liked 1a because it’s so elegant (even though reasonably easy). Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  23. Joyeux anniversaire to the Blog and BD! I have made so much progress since discovering the blog. Today overslept and had to rush to my little job at our local charity shop so could not indulge in my early morning solving the Cryptic… Just done it now and needed the hint for 2d. Otherwise enjoyable so I would give it 2*/4*. Looking forward to Saturday as it will be so nice to put faces to names. Are you going to be there Kath? I always enjoy reading your comments and more oftent han not seems to be on the same wave length as you. Thought 16a was very clever! Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis for their reviews.

    1. Yes – I certainly hope to be there and look forward to meeting you. Putting faces to names is good – the problem comes when you have to put two names to each face! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  24. I do like Jay’s crosswords! They are rarely straight forward and I always have a smug air of satisfaction when I have completed one.
    Today’s took me quite a while to do but I got there eventually. 16a was my favourite clue.
    28a is forever a word that never springs to my mind! Grr!
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks…. who’d want endless sunny days anyway?

  25. A very pleasant solve after dinner for me today, which was 3* for enjoyment. I think 2.5* for difficulty is about right with a few tricky ones in the SW corner pushing my rating up by half a point.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis.

  26. Nice wordplay, not so difficult, but again enjoyable. We weren’t treading water in our sportswear but were inanely playing baseball in Budapest!…Thanks to Jay & the two Kiwis!!

  27. Thanks to setter and 2Kiwis for firstly confusing me then sorting me out. It may have only been ** for difficulty for you but it was a whole galaxy for me and the supertoy. Thought for one horrible moment I was going to have to admit defeat and use the blog to fill the last few squares but I persevered and am off to lie down with an ice pack on my poor sore little brain. Happy Birthday to BD and his merry band. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  28. I found it much more difficult than today’s toughie.
    4d, 6d and 13a were just impossible to solve despite all the checking letters.
    Just wasn’t on the same wavelength and didn’t know the word Tallow or the expression in 13a.
    But looking back, the clueing is quite clever.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2Kiwis for the review.

  29. A pleasant romp of a puzzle: 2*/4*. I pick 28a as favourite, having plucked the word from my memory of learning astro-navigation long ago, but l enjoyed 4d too. Thanks to Jay for the brain exercise, and to the 2 Kiwis for the review.

  30. Another Wednesday delight – thanks Jay.

    Tricksy but satisfying. Some really lovely clues, but I didn’t note down my favourites this morning. I didn’t know 15a or the side part of 28a, but these were still solvable, so smiles all round.

    Happy blogday :).

    Thanks to the 2Ks. It’s a shame London is a bit far away for you to pop by on Saturday for some cake.

  31. After a 14-hour day I boarded the last train home and unfolded the crossword on my knee as the train pulled out. I was going well, the top half slotting in like Lego. I glanced out the window to see a totally unfamiliar station…then another. I was on the wrong side of midnight, on the wrong train, going somewhere miles from my home and I had no cash on me whatsoever for a cab. I stuffed the paper in my bag, panicked mildly, and then got off at the next stop. Used my Oyster card to get a bus. And then another bus. And then a trudge. London can be an unforgiving place in the small hours. After a restorative snifter, the rest of the puzzle fell easily into place. So I’m giving 2* for difficulty and 2 for fun. Thanks to K-squared and Jay. And everyone else. Happy belated birthday to BD and the team

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