DT 27733 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27733

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27733

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Well, last Tuesday’s plea for the setter to reveal his or her identity fell on deaf ears. Today’s puzzle has a different feel so perhaps we’ll be lucky this week. I enjoyed it and it put up a bit more of a struggle than we normally get on Tuesdays (though that may have been down to my interrupted sleep due to the gales outside). There are a few usages which may confuse newish solvers (e.g. saw in 21d and Man in 25d) but they’re worth remembering because they crop up again and again. Do let us know how you got on and what you thought of it.

If you click on any of the areas showing ‘Click here!’ you’ll see the actual answer so only do that as a last resort.

Across Clues

1a Border cut off in fog that swirls? It’s ominous (10)
FOREBODING – we start with an anagram (that swirls) of BORDE(r) IN FOG.

6a Crawling son, small (4)
SLOW – the abbreviation for son followed by an adjective meaning small or short.

9a Aggression of copper facing short man, interrupting suspension of hostilities (10)
TRUCULENCE – the chemical symbol for copper and a short male name go inside (interrupting) a suspension of hostilities or ceasefire.

10a Part of boom anticipated in ME state (4)
OMAN – hidden (part of) in the clue.

12a Aspect of sea recalled? That’s correct (4)
EDIT – reverse (recalled) the regular movement of the sea.

13a A port that’s dilapidated with new decline in custom (9)
PATRONAGE – an anagram (that’s dilapidated) of A PORT is followed by N(ew) and a verb to decline or grow old.

15a Mobile accessory in county is precious item (8)
SAPPHIRE – a piece of software for your mobile goes inside a traditional word for an English county.

16a Call for dog to follow directions (6)
ENTAIL – a verb to dog or shadow follows two cardinal points.

18a Smooth day leaving SA city to east (6)
URBANE – remove the abbreviation for day from the front of a South African city and add E(ast) to its end.

20a Aquatic creature wrongly put, say, behind empty pool (8)
PLATYPUS – an anagram (wrongly) of PUT SAY comes after P(oo)L without its inner letters.

23a People in general who succeed? (9)
POSTERITY – gentle cryptic definition of our descendants or succeeding generations.

24a Work painstakingly — is it ‘PC’? (4)
PLOD – PC here is Police Constable rather than politically correct. This is the name of the policeman in Enid Blyton’s Noddy books which has come to be a derogatory slang term for police officers in general.

26a Instant judge barred suspect (4)
IFFY – start with an informal term for an instant or moment and remove (barred) the J(udge) from its front.

27a European wearing sequins as fashionable? Uncomfortable feeling (10)
QUEASINESS – the abbreviation for E(uropean) has around it (wearing) an anagram (fashionable) of SEQUINS AS.

28a A German returns to cross lake and river (4)
NILE – one of the words for ‘a’ (i.e. an indefinite article) in German is reversed and contains (to cross) L(ake).

29a Lovely daughter with quality needed for a popular party (10)
DELECTABLE – D(aughter) is followed by the quality needed by a popular political party for it to form a government.

Down Clues

1d Thick English lot (4)
FATE – an adjective meaning thick or chunky is followed by E(nglish).

2d Series of calls ahead for collection of data (5-2)
ROUND-UP – charade of the series of calls made by a postman, for example, and an adverb meaning ahead or in the lead.

3d Mercenary lawman in mutinous ship, on watch (6,6)
BOUNTY HUNTER – Captain Bligh’s ship is followed by (on, in a down clue) a type of watch having a hinged cover to protect its glass face.

4d Does might dominate in this area? (4-4)
DEER-PARK – does here rhymes with foes or toes.

5d Finesse diamonds in no trumps play finally (6)
NICETY – insert an informal word for diamonds (the sparkling sort, not the card suit) into the abbreviation (in the game of bridge) for no trumps. Finish by appending the final letter of play.

7d Greek character hosting a dance (7)
LAMBADA – today’s real old chestnut. The eleventh letter of the Greek alphabet contains (hosting) A.

8d It shows with roaming around lands? True (10)
WANDERLUST – a semi-all-in-one. Start with W(ith) and add an anagram (roaming around) of LANDS TRUE.

11d Precise moment to indicate cross-country event (5-2-5)
POINT-TO-POINT – string together a precise moment in time, TO (from the clue) and a verb to indicate with one’s finger.

14d Claim in Catholic feast (10)
ASSUMPTION – double definition, the second being the Roman Catholic feast day (15th August) celebrating the supposed taking up into heaven of the Virgin Mary.

17d False pay suspected? Act cautiously (4,4)
PLAY SAFE – an anagram (suspected) of FALSE PAY.

19d Party almost packed for one among celebrated seven (7)
BASHFUL – an informal word for a party or social event is followed by an adjective meaning packed or congested without its final letter. Heigh-ho!

21d Saw car in lead (7)
PROVERB – this saw is a maxim or saying. Insert an old British make of car into the chemical symbol for lead.

22d Very little in official memorandum (6)
MINUTE – double definition. This is a heteronym, i.e. the spelling’s the same but the pronunciation and meaning are different.

25d Man perhaps deceived having left tips (4)
ISLE – Man has to be the first word of the clue to disguise its need for a capital letter. A past participle meaning deceived or put on the wrong track loses its first and last letters (having left tips).

My top clues today were 29a and 19d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: WEAL + WRITE = WHEELWRIGHT


79 comments on “DT 27733

  1. Pleased to note that I wasn’t alone in finding this slightly trickier than a usual Tuesday. My top clues were the same as Gazza’s – thank you for the review – and thank you to Mr Ron for the crossword.

    The Toughie, apart from one clue, is less tricky than usual even for a Tuesday, so why not have a go?

    1. Very good advice about today’s not too tough Toughie. Thanks for that, CS. I always seem to enjoy Warbler’s puzzles.

  2. I agree about this being a little Tricksier. I still have not finished it after lots of washing machine cycles so I am off to Warwick for some seafood. The last two can wait until then. Lovely puzzle though. I have no complaints.

  3. For me, the most enjoyable Tuesday puzzle for some time.
    Thanks to setter, and to Gazza for the review.

  4. I definitely found this trickier than the usual Tuesday fare and needed to look up a couple in my bradford’s crossword dictionary. Enjoyable puzzle though and would go for ***/**** .Thanks to Gazza and setter.

  5. 4*/3* This struck me as a wrong envelope day. I found it very tough but mostly enjoyable despite a highish number of “Lego” clues, which I am not particularly keen on.

    I thought there were a couple of 26a clues. In 15a an accessory to me means a piece of hardware not software, and although I spotted the correct pronunciation of “does” in 4d I didn’t think the clue worked.

    I did like 8d & 29a and 24a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza.

    1. Have a look at the Toughie and your theory may be confirmed. It has taken me less time than this did.
      That said, I enjoyed this and it was nice to be stretched after a run of rather soft puzzles – and unexpected on a Tuesday. I liked the simplicity of 26 and share your misgivings about 4d. Why dominate?

        1. … and also it helps the misleading surface reading where ‘dominate’ tries to persuade you that ‘might’ means power.

          1. Yes but dominate is not the same as outnumber. I can see what the setter is doing but like Rabbit Dave I don’t think it works.

            1. It works for me. One of the meanings of dominate in the BRB is ‘to be predominant in’ and one of the meanings of predominant is ‘most numerous or dominant’.

                1. Not really. Do we not often hear the statement “The House of Commons is dominated by white, middle-class males.”?

  6. Definitely a step up from the usual Tuesday ,and a 2.5*/3* for me ,lots of entertaining clues,24A provoked a smile and last in was 4D which provided a genuine d’oe moment ! Thanks setter and Gazza for the pics.

  7. ***/****

    Did you know that the male 20a is one of the few venomous mammals? The spur is probably not for defence though, but to compete for a ‘mate’. My OH/mate won my affections by nearly pushing me into Derwentwater.

    Onto the crossword. This was definitely more tricky Tuesday material but marvellous fun. More please?

    29a gets the favourite award and sums up the puzzle.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for your usual high standard blog.

      1. I was beginning to worry given the recent run.

        The Green Man retain their rightful place at the top. What sort of celebrations can we expect from the winning team at the end of the season? Restrained dignity or all out gloating?

        How was the seafood…wines. ..beers etc?

  8. A little trickier – eh?

    I found it really tricky – some very clever clues that required you to read the clue carefully – 4d was the perfect example, I missed the deer meaning for ‘does’ and was floundering – got there eventually but struggled – a lot!

    Onwards and upwards – off to golf – it looks like a lovely day! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  9. I managed ok with this working from top to bottom with 29a (the lovely daughter who’s popular at parties) as the last one in, and it is my favourite because of the good surface reading. I also very much liked 8a for it’s all-in-one character (with roaming around lands).

    17a (false pay) almost made it to a favourite clue, but I suspect that “suspected” is suspect as an anagram indicator in the cryptic reading. Funny, since “Suspect false pay – act cautiously” would work for me, but maybe that encourages the adjectival form of suspect rather than the verbal form to be read…or maybe it makes it too easy.

    “item” disappointed me somehow in 15a – anyone else feel that?

    enough, many thanks setter and Gazza

  10. Would have been 2* for difficulty had it not been for 23a & 14d which took longer to answer than the whole of the remainder of the puzzle. For 23a I was trying to fit ‘men’ into a word meaning ‘in general’ or ‘a general’ and with 14d I was looking for a word for ‘claim’ to put inside a word for ‘catholic’ to result in a type of feast.
    9a is a delightfully descriptive word and I rather liked the variation on a theme in 25d.
    20a raised a smile – I loved the TV advert (goodness knows what it’s for!) with the little fella wandering the streets.
    Favourite is a dead-heat between 24a & 19d (sorry, Kath!).
    2.5*/3* is my verdict.

    Thank you Mr. Ron for an enjoyable work-out and a http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif to Gazza for the delightful pictorial review.

  11. Very relieved that even Cryptic Sue found this a bit tricky! And if we’re counting in Jean Luc’s washing cycles I’ve needed several pre-was turns on top of quite a number of full 60c programmes. Didn’t see the dear deer in 4d, so wasted loads of time there. Clever clue. Thanks to setter, and to Gazza for much needed hints. Our local squirrel is only slightly baffled by the Baffler we put up, and is looking like a butter tub. His drey is nearby, so Poppy keeps raking our skies like somone on Bomber Command Watch.

  12. Thank you setter, an enjoyable puzzle and no real problems. For some reason I thought 24a was very good. Thanks Gazza for your review and hints.

  13. Yes, this did have a different feel for me too. A slow start but while I found it tricky, it was also fair and I managed to solve it from the clues with a bit of thought. I thought all in all it was a well devised puzzle and enjoyed the challenge very much

    So maybe after a sense of achievement I should take CrypticSue’s suggestion and tackle the toughie today!

    I would rate it as 2*/4*.

  14. Found today’s puzzle a bit trickier than the usual Tuesday fare and most certainly harder than the ‘Toughie’ which was nearly a R&W. So thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza for his usual excellent review.

  15. Strange mixture of very easy (3d, 10a) and not easy at all, (16a, 13a), yet looking back, I can’t see why some seemed so tricky! As ever I suppose.
    Favourite was 28a.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza.

  16. A bit more tricky. Had to click on the answer for 4d. Another “doh” moment when I realised I’d been reading does wrong. Anyway 4d is my favourite because it made me smile. Thanks to setter and Gazza

  17. A 90 degree wash with prewash would have been finished before I finally gave up with today’s puzzle! After first glance, I was surprised at not even getting one word in then I got platypus. But then only managed three quarters of it. I finished the Toughie though – something extremely rare for me – So I thought that maybe the puzzles had been switched. Was not obviously on the same wavelength as the setter or was out of my league. i am comforted reading that a few of us found it difficult. Many thanks to Gazzy for his review – really needed today. I even had to cheat and click here for two clues, shame on me! 4*/3*.

  18. I must have been on wavelength, then, because I didn’t find this one particularly tricky to solve, though I appreciated the review to fully parse 11D. Favorites are 8D and 20A for no other reason than they are just lovely words. Thanks to the setter, and to Gazza for the review.

    Agree that the Toughie is not too troublesome and well worth a go.

  19. Completely lost interest in this dreadful crossword, so many poor clues and half meanings. Just awful!
    For me -100 for enjoyment.
    Thx to Gazza for the review, daren’t say anything about the setter in case I get accused of rudeness!

        1. Just below the cryptic. Mind you, if you are using an I-pad app, I don’t think it works. Have a go anyway

          1. No you are right, the iPad app only gives the Quickie and the cryptic. Shame it sounded a good one.

            1. No Toughies on the iPad app edition – which I have complained to the editor about before. How hard can it be?

  20. I thought this was really well clued and satisfying to solve (‘accessory’ in 15a was my only minor quibble.)

    Agree with crypticsue and others that today’s Toughie is more straightforward than this was, so do give it a whirl.

  21. After reading the hints, we managed all the answers, but never in a month of Sunday’s would I have been able to work most of them out for myself. For instance, in 6a, low isn’t the same as small for me, even though it’s in the thesaurus. However, having read the explanations, I do think the clues are clever. Thank you to the Tuesday setter and to Gazza.

  22. I’ll join the “much trickier than is usual for a Tuesday” club. 3* difficulty and I think I might go as far as 4* for enjoyment.
    I read all the clues through once and managed only a handful – a very small handful – of answers so thought I was going to be in trouble. I also had a nasty feeling that it might be one of those “just me” days so I was really pleased to find that it wasn’t.
    This has taken me quite a long time and if I was a pencil chewer I might not have had much pencil left by now.
    My quiddity (sorry everyone but it’s a word I learnt in a long ago Toughie and if I don’t use it occasionally it’ll disappear from the brain) is 14d – can’t find assumption = claim anywhere.
    I missed the anagram indicator in 27a and spent ages trying to justify “uneasiness” – dim – oh dear!
    Lots of good clues – 9 and 29a and 1 and 19d. My last and favourite because it made me laugh was 24a – thought of computers, thought of politically correct but not cops!
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to gazza.

    1. From the start of the entry in Chambers Thesaurus:

      1 maintain, allege, profess, state, affirm, declare, assert, maintain, contend, hold, insist, pretend, profess
      formal avow, aver, postulate, purport, assume

      1. Oh – thanks – I give in! Only looked in BRB and, having the attention span of a gnat, I never get beyond the first bit of anything anyway – must try harder! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

  23. Oh Goodie it is not just me. I was thinking of heading for the cupboard under the stairs but am a bit short of tissues when BD’s email arrived and I saw Gazza’s comment with *** for difficulty. The supertoy and I settled down and somehow completed the grid but we did need Gazza’s masterly words to confirm what we had done. Thanks to Gazza and Mr Ron for a great Tuesday work out, favourite was 1ac because that was what was engendered by first look at crossword. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  24. A really excellent and satisfying puzzle with some 29a wordplay, not easy at all, but one that definitely exercised the little grey cells !

    7d and 25d were great fun, but my personal favourite was 19d :-)

    Congratulations to the setter and to Gazza (hope the gales have abated by now).

  25. A very interesting and enjoyable solve , it took me a while and spent time out intervals putting logs into the burner , on this cold and windy day . Eventually had to look at Gazza’s hint for 25d last one in kept putting male in , my lateral thinking nil isles 3. **/*** ****

  26. Lucky for some and unlucky for the others dear Gazza.
    But you’re right about the level of difficulty and I was misled too in 25d.
    14d for me was “adjuration” for a long time until I managed 15a. But 2d didn’t make any sense to me.
    23a and 19d were my last ones in.
    Liked the word in 8d but not the clue unfortunately so my favourite will have to be 20a for the surface.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the delectable review.

    1. Thank you for your potted biography, I have been fascinated by several references that you have made over the short time I have been reading BD and now I know why I have been intrigued. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  27. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but I wrestled with it on and off all day. Got really held up in the SW corner, but got there in the end. Last in was 23a. 14d was a new one on me, and 21d was a real old chestnut. Favourite was 4d, very subtle, only realised that does meant the female deers after I’d put in the answer. Some super clues. Was 3*/4* for me. Off to try the Toughie.

  28. Tricky ? Not half ! I used lots of clues, and even revealed one or two, nonetheless, very enjoyable.Thanks to setter and Gazza.Thanks for the tip about Man , though I have seen it before and recognised it the last time.Annoying.

  29. Gazza, it is not just newish solvers that get tripped up by the first word of 25d clue. We get fooled with this one again and again and again. Today was no exception. Certainly trickier than usual for us and loads of fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

  30. Certainly a little trickier than the usual Tuesday fare but very enjoyable non the less. I only realised the significance of ‘does’ after I put the answer in… clever clue! My favourite was 15a though I did wonder about ‘item’ in the clue; maybe ‘object’ would have been better? Anyway 2star/3star for me.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza for his review.

  31. I have to say this was a nightmare for me and in fact I threw in the towel after completing a mere 50% mainly in the East. TVM Gazza for picking up the pieces! I am however reassured to know I was not alone in my struggle. I barked up the wrong tree with 19d as I wracked my brain to use one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Thank you Mr. Ron whoever you are but I have to admit I am not waiting with bated breath for your next challenge if it’s as demanding as this!


  32. I racked my brain for a religeous day from my childhood. Holy days of obligation they were called. I eventually remembered The Assumtion (also Ascension day) got back to the puzzle and for no reason whatsoever wrote in Ascertain. Sorted now. What fun

    1. It’s one of my favourite days of the year. The fields are golden. The harvest is in. It just seems a perfect time of year.

  33. Well, I have done the weekly wash, dried it and ironed it as well and have yet to finish this one. Its enjoyable and doable, just a lot slower than usual. I enjoyed the surface meaning of 1a and felt rather like 1d before solving it. Thank you Setter for a good hike and many thanks to Gazza. I am looking forward to the ‘post mortem’

  34. My turn to be ‘Tuesday Mr Ron’ this week – thanks to Gazza for his sterling review and everyone as always for comments

    1. Mr Ron? More like Mr Tricky (there should be an emoticon for that) http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      Or at least the trickiest backpager for some time, unless it was just pommette and I having an off day, which is quite possible or even usual, or if not an off day then an excess of vino collapso which is also quite usual http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

      Really enjoyed it and we did discuss the fact that it was a lot more interesting than the read/writes that have been our lot recently so much thanks from us. Made the evening tapa a lot more tasty http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  35. Very enjoyable, took me a longish time and finally needed my electronic helper to tell me the options for 8d. Many thanks to Gazza and Shamus; it is always nice to know the setter’s identity. (My favourites also were 29a and 19d.)

  36. Tougher than today’s Toughie, but also rather more satisfying: 3*/4*. Lots of good clues, of which my favourite is 19d (although l was sorely tempted by 25d). I got 8d but confess l didn’t spot the anagram. Many thanks to Shamus, and to Gazza for the review.

  37. Very enjoyable but quite difficult ***/**** ! Thanks to all involved :) Although I arrived at the right answer at 16a I don’t understand ” Call for”.

    1. To entail means to necessitate or call for, e.g. Getting fit entails/calls for a disciplined approach.

  38. Too hard for me today, got about 3/4. SW corner a total mystery! Not sure how anyone thinks the tougie is easier….maybe it’s just getting too late!

  39. I thought this more difficult than the usual Tuesday puzzle. 3*/4*. I particularly liked 9A and 21d. Many thanks to the setter and Gazza for the entertaining blog.

  40. Well, I got”entail” alright (16a) but would like to know why it means “call for” because Chambers only mentions the chain of inheritance.

    1. To entail means to necessitate or call for, e.g. Getting fit entails/calls for a lot of hard work.

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