DT 27722 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27722

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27722

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***

On our regular walk this morning we particularly noted that the Bar-tailed Godwits are looking plump now and changing to their rust coloured plumage in preparation for their imminent departure for Alaska. Other birds that we noticed  were the little Wrybills. Quite small birds by wading bird standards with eponymous shaped bills that curve to the right. They scuttle frantically across the sand like out of control clockwork models in search of sand-hoppers to eat.  However the highlight has to be the flock of 18a’s that were resting on a sand spit close to our path.
Today’s Jay puzzle is well up to the standard we have come to expect and enjoy.

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


1a     Supercilious saleswomen with no heart — dodgy! (6)
SNIFFY : The first and last letters of S(aleswoma)N and a four letter word meaning dodgy.

4a     Germany collapse after victory — that’s a bonus (8)
WINDFALL : First of all a three letter word for victory, then the IVR code for Germany and a word that means collapse.

9a     Does a test when, for example, crude is extracted from soil (6)
ASSAYS : A two letter synonym for when, a three letter word that means for example and the letter that is left after crude or petroleum is removed from soil.

10a     Bush has first of aides thrown out by hotel (8)
HAWTHORN : An anagram (out) of THROWN with A(ides) and H(otel) included.

12a     Not worried, with charge for nursing waived! (8)
CAREFREE : Split the answer 4,4 to understand the word play.

13a     Strike by qualified teacher means chaos (6)
BEDLAM : The Bachelor’s degree that a teacher may have is followed by a word meaning strike or hit.

15a     Odd items from abandoned scan beside tip (4,3,6)
BITS AND PIECES : Anagram (abandoned) of SCAN BESIDE TIP.

18a     Bird‘s bizarre throaty screech cut short (6-7)
OYSTER-CATCHER : Anagram (bizarre) of THROATY SCREEC(h) missing the last letter.

20a     City’s former title — looking back, crowd roar (6)
BOMBAY : A three letter word for crowd reversed and then a synonym for roar.

22a     Send letter immediately for broadcast (5,3)
WRITE OFF : For broadcast tells us that we are looking for a homophone for a phrase meaning immediately.

24a     A card game daughter cut short (8)
ABRIDGED : A from the clue, the card game that KiwiColin will be playing this evening and D(aughter).

25a     Outburst from one caught in traffic (6)
TIRADE : A synonym for traffic or business dealing has the Roman numeral one inserted.

26a     Key for the contents of the cupboard, perhaps (8)
SKELETON : These are the cupboard contents that most families would rather not see exposed.

27a    View from the east on a king is in accord (6)
AGREES : A from the clue, then possibly the king who preceded ER and a synonym for view as a verb written backwards.


1d     Formality shown by top of the bill before church? (6)
STARCH : A principal performer and then the usual abbreviation for church.

2d     Enrols, since worried about kid son (9)
INSCRIBES : Start with an anagram (worried) of SINCE and insert in it a word for kid or tease and finish it all off with S(on).

3d     Lose temper and take a plane then head out across lake (3,3,3,6)
FLY OFF THE HANDLE : An expression meaning to take a plane takes care of the first two words, followed by an anagram (out) of THEN HEAD with L(ake) included.

5d     Nation protected by counter-revolutionaries? (4)
IRAN : The answer is written backwards (counter) inside the clue.

6d     Act honourably — Tory obsession is supporting party (2,3,5,5)
DO THE RIGHT THING : A two letter word for party and the rest describes the nature of a Tory obsession.

7d     Answer with cost of disaster for island (5)
ATOLL : A(nswer) and the cost of disaster is the number of casualties.

8d     Settle on service for Asia, say (8)
LANDMASS : Settle or alight is followed by a church service.

11d     Mortification due to article impounded by coppers? (7)
PENANCE : A different answer from the one for the same definition on Monday. This one is a two letter indefinite article enclosed in copper coins.

14d     Employees on paper tired, so sacked (7)
EDITORS : Anagram (sacked) of TIRED SO.

16d     Joint operator in trouble after cold (9)
CORPORATE : Anagram (in trouble) of OPERATOR follows C(old).

17d     Better money for those in authority (3,5)
TOP BRASS : Better here is a verb and is followed by a colloquial word for money.

19d     Tears spilt over fine sweet (6)
AFTERS : An anagram (spilt) of TEARS  includes F(ine).

21d     Spread of, say, strike rising (5)
MARGE : The two letter abbreviation for say or for example and a word for strike or run into, all reversed (rising).

23d     Love suppressed by the girl’s idol (4)
HERO : The tennis love follows feminine possessive personal pronoun.

Our favourite has to be the one we mentioned in the prologue 18a.

Quickie pun    seen + years + cool = senior school

71 comments on “DT 27722

  1. Is it just me, or did this feel a little mechanical – maybe it just had the misfortune of following Dada’s fun toughie yesterday.

    There were clues I liked, I thought 18a (bizarre throaty screech) was nice, and how amazing that these have been spotted today by the 2Kiwis. I liked the misleading football surface in 20a (City’s former title..). And I thought 5d (Nation protected..) could almost be an all-in-one clue, though my political awareness may not be accurate.

    9a must surely have the longest indicator for “s” that I’ve seen in a while (..crude is extracted from soil)

    many thanks RayT and 2Kiwis

    1. Definitely not a Ray T, all those phrases, he would be horrified! Phrases are a total anathema to him.

    2. I’m with you. Doable but “mechanical” and less enjoyable than most. Nevertheless thanks to the 2Ks for an entertaining review.

  2. 1*/3*. Good fun with lots of smiles along the way. The surface of 4d particularly appealed to me.

    Everything went in on my first pass apart from 10a, which took a little bit more thought. My only issue today was that I had never come across 2d before as a synonym for “enrols”, but a trip to my BRB soon sorted that out.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis.

  3. Got off to a flying start – all four long ones slotted in nicely but then I confidently put ‘write now’ at 22a. Needless to say, that made 16&19d my last ones in! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

    All the usual fun from Jay – 24a gets my top spot with 12,13&26a + 16d close on its heels. 2*/4* for me today.

    Many thanks to Jay and to 2Ks for the splendid review (loved the ‘thinker’ at 26a!). Lucky you, having Wrybills – am I right in thinking they look a lot like Ringed Plover, apart from that amazing bill?

    1. Jane I did exactly the same as you, I still think it’s a better answer others will probably disagree?

    2. Think you are probably right with your connection to the Ringed Plover. We are certainly not experts, just keen passing observers. Our reference book does tell us though that our New Zealand Wrybill is the only bird in the world that has a bill that curves to the right. We will have to take their word for that. Cheers.

  4. Jay cheered me up, but by the end I was gloomy again. Not his fault at all. Another high-quality puzzle which required some pondering but nothing that wouldn’t yield.

    I had a banana like I do most mornings. Not sure whether it helps with the crossword but it’s a nice way to fill up at breakfast time. Banana or not, I was a bit on the slow side and took considerably longer than the last couple of days, with SW the last to come.

    Favourite 26a. None of those in my cupboard, I assure you.

    Thanks to the avian trio that never fail to brighten up cloudy Wednesdays.

  5. It was all going swimmingly well until I put now for the second part of 22A it seemed to fit perfectly,how wrong I was this meant I couldn’t complete the SE corner,now I’m in 15A but at least I didnt 3D. Many thanks to the 2 Kiwis for showing me the error of my ways.

  6. I made more of a meal than I should have done with this puzzle. I managed to have a blank brain in the NE corner for a while, struggled with 20a being confounded by the word ‘title’ until I realised it was more appropriately ‘name’ not ‘title’. Then didn’t really think 2d meant what the clue claims despite being obvious from the anagram.

    So, it took me 3* time when I really should have made it in 2* But, as usual, 4* for enjoyment.

  7. thank you very much Jay. I have made a good start in the NW and look forward to the rest as and when I can. Initially I couldn’t see further than 13a but, after a cup of tea, it all seemed much clearer.
    Thank you very much 2Ks. I will read your review with pleasure later on (and possibly sooner rather than later).
    Thanks also to Miffypops for your benevolent hospitality and a very pleasant evening at the Green Man last night. We chanced on a folk club in the back room featuring this group who were really entertaining.

      1. Definitely reminiscent of Flanders & Swann. I will never forget seeing them in London in the ’60s and have all their CDs.

                1. I did a pub quiz once where one of the clue questions was “Raincoats in the Cemetary”. Nobody else got it, but then they probably weren’t cryptic crossword fans.

      1. Hi Steve, I am fortunate to live about 8 miles away and made the connection via the blog. That was a happy day. If you aren’t too far away, maybe you could drop in.

  8. Did the back page first for a change.
    Started by putting DRILLS in 9a, then ESSAYS, and finally the right word.
    21d was parsed differently for me because the marge in France is the spread you get from an investment or the yield as you call it.
    Liked 8d.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis and now it’s back to the slow progress on the toughie

  9. ***/***

    What a mess I made of this at times.

    For 5d I started by putting in Iona, but it just didn’t sit right. Then for 27a I put ‘agreed’, which obviously made the quite blatant anagram for 19d harder. Failure to read my own writing for 6d caused me to read 4a as having an ‘O’!

    Great fun though.

    18a was just lovely and 20a I thought to be very clever.

    Many thanks to Jay and to Pommer’s for blogging.

    Toughie over lunch I think. Work first.

  10. *\*** for me today. Thanks to the setter and to the 2 Kiwis for a delightful review. One of the(few) disadvantages of going home from Alabama this spring will be missing the return of the hummingbirds to the garden. We have also grown used to mockingbirds and the bright red cardinals.

  11. One of those puzzles that I really struggled with but when it was complete I couldn’t quite see why. Not much fun, no smile clues except perhaps 6d. Completely missed 5d and had no idea that a mortification was a penance. I thought it meant horrified.
    Many Thx to the 2kiwis without whose help I would most definitely not have finished. For me a ***/**.

  12. Again in broad agreement with the 2Ks rating, this weeks puzzles very ‘samey’ in difficulty but enjoyable . I somehow managed to derive the correct answer for 5d from revolutionaries, the IRA over N for nation ( protected by or covering) -seemed logical to me, also thought in 7D that ‘of disaster ‘was superfluous as cost alone is a synonym for toll and would have sufficed !

  13. I rattled through this one and thought it about as easy as a back pager gets. Most went in from the definition, helped by a very generous grid. Finished in threequarter star time, which would have been less had I not taken a bit too long over the long anagram.
    Got my comeuppance in the FT though where IO (Elgar) is in a particularly playful mood.

    1. If you have time having done today’s back page crossword (well, inside the back page) and the FT you should have a look at today’s Toughie – that’s all I’m saying!

        1. Ah!
          Luckily my 15d decided an afternoon nap was in order so I had time to have a go at it. 7d was of course une promenade dans le parc as Jean-Luc might say. I had better reserve further comments for the appropriate section.

  14. We stared at this for ages before finding an answer, so we didn’t find it particularly easy to do, and had to have some help from the 2Kiwis. I like multi word answers so managed them quite well, but hate clues like 27across, all bits and pieces, and even worse, clues that are bits and pieces and then reversed. My brain doesn’t do reverses. Eventually finished, so thank you to the Wednesday setter and to the 2Kiwis, Godwits and all. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  15. I agree with 2* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    Even though I couldn’t explain it I started off with ‘snooty’ for 1a – that didn’t last too long – just as well.
    10a took a while, I needed a few checkers in before I got the 18a birdy anagram, and 20a gave me football blindness.
    I had the right answer for 5d but for all the wrong reasons. 17d was my last answer – don’t know why.
    I liked 18a and 3 and 6d.
    With thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis.

  16. Pleasant and enjoyable, and not too hard, but nothing really standing out as a brilliant clue today although I did like the surface reading of 18a. (Once saw a particularly noisy group in the Isles of Scilly and the boatman commented “There’s no such thing as a quiet [18a]!” . Thanks to the 2K and the setter.

  17. I thought it was a great puzzle .I particularly liked 20a which I was looking at for a bit before the penny dropped. Lots of great clues , really.
    Thanks Kiwis .Where I live on the coast, we also have great flocks of 18a, and they are a joy to see.

  18. Stared blankly at this for some time but very gradually began to get to grips with it. 3d eluded me at first but sussing that helped enormously. If, as is usually the case, setters’ challenges increase as the week progresses I don’t hold out much hope for managing on Friday! I think 21d is a dreadful word. I was trying to “throw out” first of (a)ides in 10a – d’oh. ***/**. Thanks Jay and 2K’s. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_arrow.gif

  19. Tried to post yesterday and today but my comments seem to disappear. I can post on the toughie link but not here. Am I being simple or doing something wrong? (I will wait to see if this message reaches the on line page)

    1. I must be doing something wrong (could be an age thing)http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

      Anyway, enjoyed this puzzle more than the toughie. There were a few ‘write ins’ but the rest of them produced a few head scratching moments. Had several favourites but will highlight 20a as my number one. Thanks to Jay for the puzzle and the 2Kiwis for their review.

  20. Enjoyed this puzzle very much. Hints not needed but read nevertheless. Agree with 2Kiwis’s 2*/3*. Like Kath had the right answer for 5d but had not realized it was a hidden answer reversed! Lots of clever clues: 1a, 4a, 26a. 20a being my favourite maybe because I lived there for three years – lived in India for over nine years and love this beautiful country. Many thanks to the 2Kiwis and to Jay.

  21. Thank you Jay. Enjoyed the puzzle and initially wondered if it was one of yours with the multi word answers. Thanks 2 Kiwis for your review and hints. We have seen quite a few Bar-tailed godwits up here on our annual birdwatching week in Northumberland. They are definitely still wearing their winter clothes !

  22. Nice one Jay http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif Enjoyed this one and the skeleton in the cupboard raised the biggest smile http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    Thanks to Jay and the Kiwis

  23. Once I realised that the answers to 13a and 20a could not be the same the crossword was duly completed sans hints. Sometimes I worry about myself….
    Actually I’ll nominate 20a as my favourite once cos once I had reconsidered my initial attempt I did actually like the correct answer!
    Thanks to Jay and the 2k’s.

  24. An enjoyable challenge with no stand-out clues, but generally very good surface readings as one would expect.

    I hope I’m not alone in thinking that “the bar-tailed godwits are looking plump now” would make a great code phrase for a spy thriller !

    Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis.

  25. Good morning all. It is always a relief to get up bright and early on a Thursday (for us) morning and see that we had not made too many errors in the blog that we had written and put to bed mid-afternoon yesterday. Pleased that everyone seems to have enjoyed it as we did. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  26. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, I needed the hints for 20a&21d, both reversal clues, just couldn’t see them. Favourite was 18a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  27. This was pretty much a doddle once 3 and 6 down were in – 1*/3*, l think. 10a gets my vote as top clue. Thanks to Jay, and – as always – to the antipodean duo for a particularly entertaining and informative review.

  28. Nice one, very enjoyable. Loved 18a, 3d and 6d, but many smile clues.
    Thanks Jay and also 2Kiwis for the lovely blog; always find your nature 15a so interesting.

    Godson through Windward Passage and heading for port, alas, it appears he is second to last!

  29. Not as easy as some , got completely stuck on 20 and 21 but how I missed 20 I will nehru know (apologies in advance for that one). ***/*** Thanks to the 2 Kiwis for the hints particularly 20a , 21 just slipped into place
    Favourite 18a

  30. Just finished after a very bitty day. Enjoyed it a lot but need some time for working out the whys and wherefore a of a couple. I now have to write 1,100 words about mountain gorillas before noon tomorrow. Many thanks to the 2ks. Lovely pictures but I’ve not read the review yet.

    1. I might regret this…why are you writing about gorillas? Are they lost in the mist with the car keys?

  31. Back to Miffypops and his rules on Monday – has anyone else read the quote for the day? Very tired have been out all day so found crossword hard going, several very silly things including misreading my writing. Then I stupidly had a look at toughie – it is not nice here in the cupboard under the stairs and the tissue box is nearly empty. Thanks to setter and 2Kiwis, the only saving grace being tomorrow is another day. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif. P s I think I enjoyed it despite what I said.

    1. I can’t read my writing most of the time and today I promoted the tiny island of Iona to a nation in crosswordland.
      I wouldn’t worry. :-)

  32. Very enjoyable puzzle as I find the multi-word answers far easier as a rule and there were plenty of them. Got off to a flying start with the two long down clues but ended up bogged down in the south-west corner. Doing the puzzle on my own as Paso is in Russia and therefore no help to me at all – needed a few tips from the Kiwis to help me out. I am determined to finish a puzzle unaided by the end of the week! Thanks to setter and the Kiwis.

  33. Gentle far from Jay, for which I am, as ever on a Wednesday night, grateful. Early strt in the morning to entertain Australia, as always on a Thursday. 26a was the biggest smile. Many thanks to J and K-squared for the high-standard revue, although hints not required. (Never quite understood the attraction of the DC5, but they were bigger in America than here, as were, still more bizarrely, Herman’s Hermits). 1*/3*

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