DT 27735 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27735

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27735

Hints and tips by Falcon

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

Greetings from Ottawa where it was a balmy -8° C today, a welcome respite — and only a respite — from temperatures in the range of -20° to -30° C that we have been experiencing for weeks.

I tore through most of this puzzle at a record pace, although two or three at the end required a bit of thought.


1a   Doctor‘s inquiry about viewing hospital is ignored (6)
WATSON — remove H(ospital) from a question one might pose to someone watching the telly to get Holmes alter ego

4a   Some taxicabs or buses are spongy (6)
ABSORB — hidden (some) near the middle of the clue

8a   Providing small uncertainties (3)
IFS — a conjunction denoting on condition that or providing followed by S(hort)

10a   A clever rhyme or note you memorise initially (7)
ACRONYM — the initial letters of the first seven words provide a memory jogger

11a   Idiot gets phrase cut short in chat network (7)
TWITTER — a charade of a colloquial name for a fool or idiot and a synonym for phrase (especially in the field of logic) without its final M (cut short) gives a social networking app

12a   Type of material one works on endlessly (5)
TOILE — one who slogs away without their final R

13a   Pole in Baltic port with limited beauty — sound familiar? (4,1,4)
RING A BELL — place a geographic pole in a port on the Baltic and append the most beautiful woman at the ball without her final E

14a   Objective is emotion filling court (13)
DISPASSIONATE — insert IS from the clue and hot emotion into a verb meaning to go out with someone

17a   Maybe The Sun is about right — it covers the present (8,5)
WRAPPING PAPER — on the basis of the location of its corporate offices, how one might describe The Sun encompassing R(ight)

22a   Aunt chews fishy titbit (6,3)
CASHEW NUTS — anagram (fishy) of AUNT CHEWS

23a   Boring instrument gurgled now and then following a rousing intro (5)
AUGER — place the even letters (now and then) of gUrGlEd after A (from the clue); finish off by affixing the initial letter (intro) of R(ousing)

24a   Nothing so dour could make you perfumed (7)
ODOROUS — the letter that looks like 0 (nothing) followed by an anagram of SO DOUR

25a   Green viewpoint? One old soldier enters vote against (7)
NAIVETY — place the Roman numeral for one and a North American term for an ex-soldier inside a word used to signify a negative vote

26a   Support showing inner steel (3)
TEE — a support used by a golfer should not be hard to find as there are few places to hide in this clue

27a   We hear bishop’s place by Dartmoor, for instance, that’s spectacular (6)
SCENIC — this is a quickie pun of the area overseen by a bishop and a colloquialism for HMP Dartmoor

28a   National hero’s repelled slaughter (6)
MURDER — a reversal (repelled) of a famous Grand National champion


1d   Means it’s breaking the law (6)
WEALTH — anagram (it’s breaking) of THE LAW

2d   Limits of some shorter miniskirts (7)
TERMINI — stare intently at the shorter miniskirts and you may see what they are hiding; then again, a quick glance might suffice

3d   Jaguar type  that’s in the pound (5)
OUNCE — a cat that is similar to a Jaguar is also a subdivision of a pound; the cat is probably about as similar to a Jaguar as the car of that name is to a Porsche

5d   Female that follows rule and sits on money? (9)
BRITANNIA — cryptic definition of the woman found on the reverse of British gold and silver coins

6d   Unobtrusively dealing with article supported by ‘Question Time’ (2,3,1,1)
ON THE Q T — a charade of a preposition meaning about or dealing with, a definite article, Q(uestion), and T(ime)

7d   Degree by which bank appears just (6)
BARELY — an arts degree followed by (by which … appears) a synonym for bank or depend on

8d   Artist who copies  Monet among others? (13)
IMPRESSIONIST — an artist who copies voices and mannerisms or a painter from the same school as Monet

9d   A monolith? Not Charlie Watts (8,5)
STANDING STONE — the drummer gathers no moss, unlike the monolith

14d   Married but over early freshness (3)
DEW — reversal (but over) of a synonym for married

15d   Salami is no peppier when cooked (9)
PEPPERONI — anagram (when cooked) of NO PEPPIER

16d   Slip up, using King Edward with ginger root (3)
ERR — the regnal cipher of King Edward followed by the final letter (root) of gingeR

18d   Bring back or put away again (7)
RESTORE — a double definition, the second being a bit on the whimsical side

19d   E for Einstein? (7)
EGGHEAD — The question mark flags something a bit out of the ordinary about this clue. What we have is an instance of inverse wordplay. The E in the clue is a result that could be produced by treating the solution, EGGHEAD, as though it were wordplay — the head (initial letter) of Egg. The question mark may also be telling us that Einstein is an example of this type of brainy person.

20d   Performers cast or sacked (6)
ACTORS — anagram (sacked) of CAST OR

21d   Could be footballer switching left to right gets slightest of chances (6)
PRAYER — start with a footballer (or practitioner of any other sport) and change L(eft) to R(ight) to get a very slim possibility

Ronaldo Praying
23d   Last word to the French about what makes an impression (5)
ADIEU — the last word you may say to someone (especially if you are in Paris or Québec) is formed from a French word meaning ‘to the’ into which is inserted a tool or stamp such as the one that would be used to produce the image of the woman in 5d

I will give my award for clue of the day to 19d which was one of my last ones in.

The Quick Crossword pun: canter+berry+tails=Canterbury Tales

70 comments on “DT 27735

  1. I quite enjoyed this one and found it pretty straightforward for the most part but got held up by 5d for longer than I should’ve been. Thanks to Falcon and setter **/***

  2. I really enjoyed this – thanks to Mr Ron and Falcon.
    I think that 9d relates to the fact that Charlie Watts (being a drummer) sits down at his work.

  3. Really enjoyable – and I’ve an idea who Mr Ron might be too! – thanks to him and to Falcon.

    I agree with Gazza’s thoughts on 9d.

    The Beam Toughie is good fun too.

    1. I think I am going to have to lock myself away on my return with the back issues for the Toughies I am missing. They sound fun.

      1. You do know Beam is Ray T, don’t you? It is a really good fun crossword so you ought to try it. And give over about the lovely weather, it is tipping it down here.

        1. No I didn’t Thx for the heads up. Promise not to mention the weather again but not looking forward to getting back to the rain.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  4. Two-thirds of this was an enjoyable walk in the park but with a busy day ahead and Falcon on parade at sparrow —- temptation was too great. Bottom right was messed up by putting the horse (albeit in one word!) rather than slaughter. Thanks Mr. Ron and Falcon. So glad 0ttawa is having a slight respite weather-wise. You certainly have been through it. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  5. 2*/3*. Very enjoyable, and I agree with Gazza and CS about Charlie Watts sitting down on the job.

    One concern for me today (with my pedant’s hat on again!) is that the answer to 4a is a transitive verb but the definition is either an adjective (spongy) or a verb + complement (are spongy) neither of which equate to the solution in my opinion.

    I have been struggling to pick a favourite and came up with a short list of 25a, 9d and 19d. I’ll settle for 9d because I love the Rolling Stones.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Falcon.

      1. I just thought if things “are spongy” they “absorb”, seems substitutable. I was more perturbed at the choice of “spongy” which destroys an otherwise promising surface (or am I missing something?)

        1. Dutch, absorb is a transitive verb, which means it must have an object. It is grammatically incorrect to say “pieces of blotting paper absorb”. You must add what they absorb, e.g.: “pieces of blotting paper absorb ink”, and so you can’t replace “absorb” with “are spongy”.

          1. Whoops :oops:

            Now I need to tell myself off! One can replace “absorb” with “are spongy”, but it would be wrong to do so.

        2. ‘Spongy’ in relation to vehicles means having a suspension which lacks firmness – so I think the surface is ok.

  6. She rules the waves and you shall never be slaves. That’s the clue that took me the longest time to find.
    Was on a roll so decided that 19d had to be England. Until I parsed 25a
    Favourite today will have to be the homophone in 27a.
    Thanks to the setter and to Falcon for the review.

  7. Strange puzzle today cracked on with it quite well until got stuck with 1ac.
    Teased it out eventually.
    Thanks to Falcon for entertaining hints and to Mr Ron

  8. Yes, very good and enjoyable – just the right level for me – ie not too difficult!

    I thought 25a was a bit controversial – although following the performance of the Green Party’s leader the other day, naive would be a complement – inept or pathetic would be more fitting – chew that one over!

    Onwards and upwards – 35 points yesterday – the course was very wet – that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

    1. Green can equally mean inexperienced of course, so I think it’s only potentially controversial if one reads it in a purely political context.

      Ms. Bennett’s performance was excruciatingly awful though, I agree !

    2. 35 points is good (depending on ones h/cap of course :-) ) managed 32 yesterday but in dry warm conditions on an unfamiliar but beautiful Caribean course.

    3. It was Carry-bags only and I was walking from the green to the next tee with my bag on my back, marking my card and I went ar** over elbow in the mud – a soggy behind and mud down the legs of my trousers was no fun!

      I’m playing off 14 and trying to come down to 12 by the summer – at the present rate the this summer might be a little ambitious!

  9. A little tricky today, a mixture of hard and easy clues but overall most enjoyable ,going to settle for a 2.5*/3*.

  10. Good fun thank you setter and not too hard for me ! SE corner last in. Plenty of amusing clues. Thanks Falcon for your review and hints. Your hint for 2d reminds me of Scchua’s vast library of similar photos http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  11. I thought this was quite tricky for a back pager. 1a (Doctor’s inquiry..) took me far too long. (Falcon, Holmes’s partner rather than alter ego?)

    It may seem obvious to clue “acronym” as an acronym (10a) but I found this discovery a very pleasant twist on solving.

    I liked 22a (aunt chews fishy titbit), just appeals. I also liked the 3-letter clues especially14d because of the cute surface (Married but over…), although I filled this in upside down at first. Did any one else?

    Nice aha for 19d (E for Einstein), needed a checking clue…
    And now that I know the horse from crossword land, I liked 28a (National hero…)

    Many thanks setter and Falcon

    1. Re: alter ego

      I am not surprised to get a comment on that point.

      Most people likely think of alter ego in the sense of a person’s secondary or alternative personality. However, the term can also mean an intimate and trusted friend (i.e., a partner).

      As I wrote recently in a review of another puzzle, Batman is the alter ego of Bruce Wayne (in sense 1) and Robin is the alter ego of Batman (in sense 2).

      Unless, of course, you are suggesting that the relationship between Holmes and Watson was not “intimate and trusting”.

  12. Very enjoyable, although the SE corner took longer for me than the rest of the puzzle combined !

    Favourites were 1a, 14a, 28a, 5d and 23d.

    A couple of very small quibbles:

    1. I was surprised that the setter used the same hidden word indicator in two separate clues (4a and 2d).

    2. My understanding was that The Sun/News Corp had vacated its previous premises north of the Thames last year, and so the location used in the answer to 17a no longer applies.

    Thanks to the setter and Falcon.

      1. Well, apparently the paper hasn’t been printed in East London for seven years according to the link below !


        I thought that the remaining production staff began to move out in the middle of last year and the move was completed before the end of 2014.

        The link below seems to bear that out, but if anyone knows differently (and doesn’t find the minor quibble too tedious !) I’m happy to be corrected.

        News UK Completes Move from Wapping to new London Bridge HQ

        1. You are no doubt correct.

          I solved the clue based on the definition and arrived at Wapping through reverse engineering. I then had to decipher what Wapping had to do with the clue. Wikipedia (which apparently has not been updated since the move) still shows the headquarters of The Sun as being at 3 Thomas More Square (which further investigation showed to be in Wapping).

  13. A really enjoyable puzzle today. I dashed through most of it then was held up for quite some time with the tough ones.

    Loved the Charlie Watts one and the National Hero one.

    Thanks to the unknown(?) setter and to Falcon for the review especially for the picture in 21d – very clever!

  14. I thoroughly enjoyed this (even though I shamefully fell short on 1A and 1D) and would love to know who the setter is. Out of a field of six I particularly fancied, 28A passed the post first. Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon. We don’t have your cold temps down here in MD, but chilly enough, and it’s snowing steadily this morning.

      1. Just curious (as I’m not terribly good at spotting these things): what is it about the puzzle that suggests Petitjean?

  15. Problems in the NW & SE corners pushed this otherwise easy puzzle into 2.5* territory for me.
    1 – I made this far too difficult to parse as I wanted the doctor’s inquiry to be ‘what’s wrong’.
    19d may be a glorious clue to some of our experts but I thought it was quite dreadful!
    17a – needed to look up the Sun’s location, well off my radar.
    21d almost gave me a Kath-style blind spot – the answer was such a relief.

    For once, all the 3-letter clues were straightforward – that earns this one 3* for enjoyment from me.
    Favourite is a split decision between 6&8d.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron (who do you think it is, CS?) and to Falcon for the review (goodness knows where you found the 2d pic. but you doubtless brightened the day for some of our red-blooded male commenters!).

    Off to give Mr. T’s alter ego a whirl. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    1. Agree a difficult corner and only an egghead would think this to be glorious , in fact ;Suppose it had been F for Falcao or Fleming ? Still don’t really understand why a single letter couldn’t be applied to anyone .

      1. It is the wordplay in the solution that gives rise to the E in the clue. Egghead is used to clue E, the initial letter (head) of E(gg) in the same manner as “redhead” is used to clue R [the initial letter (head) of R(ed)] and “sweetheart” is used to clue E [the middle letter (heart) of swEet].

        It is inverse wordplay because the wordplay occurs in the solution rather than in the clue.

        1. Late reply I know but , thanks for the attempt to put an explanation for this clue my way .I do understand the heart of — for example this is standard clueing and E for start of egghead etc and in this instance i can see it and it works but it is still too generically hit and miss for me .
          Clearly I am no E

  16. After a couple of trickier days I found this one a bit simpler. Like Falcon, there were some at the end which held me up slightly and 19d was also my last one in but I didn’t much care for it when the penny dropped. My favourite vote goes to 10a.
    Thanks to the setter and Falcon for the illustrated review. At 2d, that young lady’s belt appears to have slipped!

  17. We agree with Jane – the NW & SE corners held us up after a really speedy dash through the middle. 1a was our favourite but it took us a long time to solve, due to looking at DRs, BAs and MAs to no avail. Thanks to Falcon for a very helpful hints and thanks to Mr Ron. 1* for the middle section and 3* for the outside.

  18. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Falcon for the review and hints. A super puzzle, some very good clues. I liked 19d, but my stand out Favourite was 1a. Had a penny drop moment with 28a. Just needed the hint for 12a, which was last in, and I’d never heard of it. In 16d, the answer was also hidden, which was a bit strange.

  19. Not difficult but absolutely brilliant clueing. So many great clues it’s difficult to pick a favourite but if I had to it would 28a but also 1a and 19d being close runners-up.
    Probably the most enjoyable DT crossword I have ever done.
    Thx to Mr Ron for the puzzle and to Falcon for the great tho today not needed hints.

  20. I agree a very enjoyable puzzle, and I thought more 2* than 1* due to finding a few tricky ones. Although not a difficult clue I admired 10a for the nice surface reading. 17a was good fun too. (I don’t mind where this Sun comes from or even if it appears at all. The other one I would prefer to see has not appeared today.)
    Many thanks to Falcon and the setter.

  21. It might be -8C in Ottawa but here it’s been the warmest day of the year so far, just topping 22C at 1430CET. Lovely weather http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    Bit like the crossword which we wheelie enjoyed. Fav was the Egghead but there’s lots of other good stuff and 9d would be a close second. We’ll go for **/****.

    Thanks to the setter and Falcon – glad it was you who had to explain the Egghead and not me. Def one of those easier to solve than explain.

    1. pommers,

      As I was writing my intro it did occur to me that you were likely as much on the plus side of zero as we are on the negative side.

      1. A few years ago I spent a week in Chicago in early Feb and it was -22C maximum for three days running and windy too (well, Windy city?), so I know what it’s like. Put things in the freezer to warm up! I had to buy a couple of thermal polo neck sweaters (still got them) and some seriously warm gloves. Still, spring is now in the air.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  22. Thanks Falcon for your hints. I ran aground in the SE corner but after your tip for 23a managed to solve the puzzle ;) ***/***

  23. Another fine challenge this week; we are being well looked after!
    This one certainly had the little grey cells working and I am pleased to have completed sans hints. 1a was my favourite simply because it was so silly. 2*/4* overall.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and Falcon for the review.

  24. We found this one slightly trickier than average and certainly showed us the quirkiness and musical reference that pointed us towards our guess at the setter. From our distance, just knowing that Wapping had something to do with newspapers was enough to point us in the right direction with 17a. The SE corner was last for us, Good fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron (Petitjean) and Falcon.

  25. ***/***

    I thought that this was going to be fairly straightforward on first pass. Little did I know that the SE corner was going to prove tricky. By tricky I mean that I guessed at the answers without the faintest clue as to why they were correct.

    I had similar reservations about 4a, thanks for clearing it up.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon for blogging in tropical temperatures.

    Beam Toughie later. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  26. Many thanks for the kind comments. It may be a cliche, but they are the major reward – though I do enjoy coming up with a particularly silly penny-dropper. JP

  27. I thought this is probably the best this year, terrific and not , for me anyway ,particularly easy. 25a was my favourite. Thanks Petit Jean and toro.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  28. Add mine to the voices of the happy solvers. I whizzed through the middle, feeling all nice and clever then came crashing back to reality at the NW/SE corners which took a lot more worrying at. I thought they might beat me, but they gradually fell. 12a and 23 were of the type: construct answer then check in BRB, which I do like doing (when I get it right, at least).

    I remember lots of delighted penny-drop moments but not exactly which clues elicited them, so won’t add my favourite. You good folks above have already given mention to the best clues anyway.

    Many thanks to JP and Falcon.

  29. Like some others, l raced through this anticipating a swift completion, then ran into the sand – in my case on the 1d/1a combo, at which l gazed in perplexity for some time. When the penny dropped it was well into 2* time, but 4* for satisfaction. Some excellent clues here, of which 17d is my favourite. Many thanks to the setter, and to Falcon for the review.

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