DT 27745 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27745

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27745

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

This one was quite enjoyable without raising too much of a sweat. 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 Angry editor came over (7)
CROSSED – the abbreviation for editor follows an adjective meaning angry.

5a Bird eating most of tablet — one might help with the flying (2-5)
CO-PILOT – a short-tailed aquatic bird contains (eating) a tablet or capsule without its last letter.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

9a One fancies you notice bog by river (7)
ADMIRER – string together an abbreviated notice, a bog or swamp and the abbreviation for river.

10a Mean about brother or sister? It’s plain to see (7)
VISIBLE – an adjective meaning mean or loathsome contains a word for brother or sister.

11a Bill on immigration’s first, or later? (9)
POSTERIOR – start with a bill or placard and add the first letter of I(mmigration) and OR (from the clue).

12a Upsetting story about Conservative’s style (5)
ECLAT – reverse (upsetting) a story containing C(onservative).

13a Once more arrange to do exam again — one drops out, given ‘E’ (5)
RESET – start with a verb to do an exam again and replace the Roman numeral for one with E.

15a Drink called mead in Old English shunned by maidens (9)
ORANGEADE – insert a verb meaning called on the phone and (m)EAD (having dropped the cricketing abbreviation for maiden overs) into the abbreviation for Old English.

17a It maybe joins a fleet animal going round small ancient city (9)
DESTROYER – a hoofed animal contains S(mall) and the name of an ancient city situated in what is now Turkey.

19a Dance graduate’s after alcohol (5)
RUMBA – the letters identifying an arts graduate follow an alcoholic spirit.

22a A mainly boring time for grown-up (5)
ADULT – string together A (from the clue), an adjective meaning boring or tedious without its last letter (mainly) and T(ime).

23a Food from a Belgian town with sweet stuff thrown over (9)
ASPARAGUS – A (from the clue) and a Belgian town are followed by the reversal (thrown over) of a sweet substance. The Belgian town has given its name to any resort having mineral springs with supposedly health-giving properties and, if you get your kicks from watching cars driving round and round, you’ll know it as the place where the Belgian F1 Grand Prix is held.

25a The Spanish gent with a woolly that’s stylish (7)
ELEGANT – a Spanish definite article precedes an anagram (woolly) of GENT and A.

26a 6 may carry this toboggan in silence? On the contrary (7)
LUGGAGE – not toboggan in silence but a verb to silence or muffle inside a light toboggan. 6 here means the answer to 6d.

27a Mailer keeping novel ultimately slim! (7)
SLENDER – the setter wants you to think of the novelist Norman Mailer but this mailer is someone who posts. Insert (keeping) the ultimate letter of novel.

28a Some chaps send a signal when getting over grief (7)
SADNESS – hidden (some) and reversed (when getting over) in the clue.

Down Clues

1d Bridge
hands are brought together by one (7)
CLAPPER – double definition, the first a rudimentary type of bridge made from large flat slabs of granite resting on stone piers.

2d Diffusion of liquids round moss is developing (7)
OSMOSIS – the letter that’s round is followed by an anagram (developing) of MOSS IS.

3d Harsh cry, children having dropped loose rock (5)
SCREE – a harsh piercing cry (of the sort you get from a type of owl) with the abbreviation for children dropped.

4d Trim wood off, removing width by railway — it’s for sleepers (9)
DORMITORY – an anagram (off) of TRIM (w)OOD without the abbreviation for width is followed by one of the abbreviations for railway.

5d Bloke runs for shelter (5)
COVER – an informal term for a bloke followed the cricketing abbreviation for runs.

6d One might travel in a taxi to go green, surprisingly (9)
PASSENGER – a verb to go or cease to exist is followed by an anagram (surprisingly) of GREEN.

7d Lamb follows to toss plant (7)
LOBELIA – the alias of the essayist and poet Charles Lamb follows a verb to toss or throw up.

8d Drama in that place, welcoming cheers going up (7)
THEATRE – this is a semi-all-in-one. An adverb meaning in that place contains the reversal (going up, in a down clue) of an informal response meaning cheers or thanks.

14d Telecast’s opening with a rubbish and eccentric fortune-teller? (5,4)
TAROT CARD – string together the opening letter of telecast, A (from the clue), an informal word for rubbish or nonsense and a dated term for a comical person or eccentric.

16d Citadel could make Paris cool (9)
ACROPOLIS – an anagram (could make) of PARIS COOL. Really it should be the anagram of Paris cool that makes the citadel but the surface would be much poorer.

17d Undergarments — they might poke out the chest (7)
DRAWERS – I know that there’s an attempt at humour here but I don’t think it works – these things may poke out from a chest but they don’t poke out the chest.

18d Girlfriend or crush? (7)
SQUEEZE – double definition, though the informal word for a girlfriend or boyfriend derives from the second definition, to embrace tightly.

20d I’m coming over to grind up sticks (7)
MIGRATE – reverse (coming over, in a down clue) I’M and add a verb to grind or scrape. Nicely disguised definition!

21d Comebacks? This side, they’re going down! (7)
ANSWERS – ‘this side’ refers to the right-hand set of clues in the puzzle.

23d Following a female — they’re regularly removed (5)
AFTER – string together A, F(emale) and what’s left of they’re after you’ve removed the even (regularly) letters.

24d Firm free to secure US fighter (5)
RIGID – a verb to free or purge contains (to secure) the abbreviation for an ordinary soldier in the USA.

I liked 8d and 21d but my favourite clue today (for the d’oh moment when I realised what the definition was) is 20d. How about you?



67 comments on “DT 27745

  1. I found this a nice puzzle & agree with the ratings,my standout clue was 21D very clever I thought.Thanks to the setter & Gazza for his review.

  2. Last ones in were 20d (up sticks) and 21d (comebacks), it took me a while to understand both. I had never heard of “up sticks” and was quite surprised when I found it as a synonym of the answer. And it took me a while to see 21d, duh.

    Favourites in terms of surface probably 22a (a mainly boring time..) and 1d “bridge hands”. Not much else really grabbed me. The surface in 13a, with the “once more…again” (since “re” has to be clued twice) I think is rather clunky. I’m not sure why the exclamation mark is needed in 27a (Mailer….).

    This was quicker than most back-pagers, leaving me time to do the Times before the school run.

    For 17d, I convinced myself that the answer could “poke out of the chest (of drawers)”, but I also thought it was clunky with opportunity for something more interesting

    Many thanks setter and Gazza

  3. This was plain sailing until I entered slightly choppy waters when I reached the SE where I sought help in parsing a couple but all’s well that ends well. I agree with Gazza and Dutch that 17d is rather clumsy. Thanks Mr. Ron and Gazza. ***/***.

  4. I found this one of middling difficulty but not that enjoyable with some dubious clues in my opinion. It was a case of looking at the checking letters, seeing the answer, and then trying to unravel the clue to see if I could find any vague relevance to the answer. The reverse process than is normal. Then I always object to stretches of meaning – for example, I don’t think 24 down means firm – its is of a higher order of stiffness. But then, I finished it without too much trouble – only a number of groans!

    2*/2* for me.

  5. Thank you setter, I thought that this was beyond me when I started, but once I got a few checkers things improved and it turned out to be enjoyable and solvable in the end !
    Thanks Gazza for your review and hints and reminder of Airplane !

  6. Found this very hard. Particularly 1d ( where I’d never heard of the bridge) and 7d ( where the alias was a mystery). Bottom half went in easily , the top half was rather more tricky. That being said quite enjoyed it and there were several good clues. I may be alone but I liked 17d! Thanks to both.

  7. Didn’t get much enjoyment out of this one, only a 2*/2* from this commenter.
    Best of the bunch for me were 1,20&21d – really disliked 13a, 4&7d.
    Never mind – you can’t win them all!

    Apologies to the Mr. Ron who doubtless worked very hard to produce today’s back-pager and thanks to Gazza for a very succinct review.

  8. Not that difficult. I needed the review to understand my answers for both 20 and 21D. How very clever those both are! Nothing else really floated my boat, though. Thanks Gazza and setter.

  9. A bit daunting to start with but some checkers helped to progress to completion.
    Not familiar with 1d meaning. Favourite is 20d but 17d raised a smile.
    Thanks to setter and Gazza.

  10. This was a slow starter and some answers were bunged in because they fit with the checkers and the whys and wherefores were worked out later. I gave up on the whys and wherefores of 15ac so just drank some instead i thought 13 across was clunky and failed to get it right even though I resat the clue many times over. Hanni. I am in the Amazon until 12 noon on Thursday. Then I have to go to China.

    1. That’s a very busy week especially as I suspect you have crib tonight, but I’m glad you’ve solved the rainforest problems. What are you planning on doing in China?

      I’m currently deciding whether to do the Haute route this summer with friends or opt for something more sedate. And less painful. Like drilling nails into my legs.

      1. I think I am looking at the massive migration of unskilled labour from the agricultural lands to the cities. only one essay to write so not too difficult. I will let you know when i print off my TMA and read it properly. Tonight We have a Bye so its catch up time for those below us. Saint Sharon’s team play The Shoulder Of Mutton at home.

        1. It’s a huge subject area. Does it include international migration, what period in history etc? By the way it’s not something I have background knowledge in, but I’ve had a quick look when you mentioned it. You’ll manage it. Let us know if you need emergency food parcels, translators etc.

          Given that I don’t know the scoring system, I can’t work out whether you can be passed tonight. Then again I can’t see the table on my tab. Will you be supporting GMLI?

          1. We are four points clear and it is two pints for a win. So we cannot be overtaken or caught up with. The Chinese stuff is all recent history.

            1. Great incentive to win giving out pints! Love it.

              I think even recent history seems a huge area of study but I’ve every faith you’ll conquer the east. Jet leg will be hell though.

              1. Saint Sharon 4 – 3 Shoulder Of Mutton. Giving out pints is a bit like how much some people enjoy the bog

                1. Excellent news.

                  MP…this analogy with pints/’bogs’ baffles me, many things do. There would be entire lists if I could be bothered to write them down.

  11. 3* for both difficulty and enjoyment from me today.
    I seem to have fallen into all the traps – I’ve never read anything by Norman Mailer but know the name so my first thought for 27a was something to do with him and I missed the “up sticks” bit of 20d – stupid. Oh dear!
    I needed the hint to understand why my answer for 21d was right – stupid and oh dear again.
    I’ve never heard of the 1d bridge but it couldn’t have been much else and BRB knew it – he always does.
    A couple of the others took a fair bit of thought too – 23 and 26a.
    I was a bit thrown by 17a to begin with as all I could think of was the other ancient city that’s often used in crosswords.
    I liked 12 and 22a and 1 and 3d. Now that I understand it 20d is my favourite.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to gazza for the much needed hints.
    It’s a beautiful day – warm and sunny – off to the garden. Toughie and Mr Rookie from yesterday can wait for a while.

  12. One of those crosswords that I finished but didn’t understand many of the clues. Never come across 18a for girlfriends before, missed the final part of 20d, missed the hidden word in 28a and the tag in 26a. All were solvable by part of the clue.
    Not come across the word Elia for Charles Lamb before, must look it up. Best clues for me were 17a and 17d.
    Thought 15a a little odd.
    Many Thx to Gazza for the explanations for my correct but poorly understood answers and the Setter.

    1. I’ve looked it up for you Brian. You really need to start making a list.
      My memory’s not that great but even I remember you saying the same thing about Elia less than six months ago! It was even the exact same answer made up by the same two component parts.

      DT 27631

      1. And we are all getting older. Some of us are older than others. Recently a similar post was put up. Can we please be kinder to the forgetful amongst us. No offence meant. Actually lists are helpful. I have a superb memory for all things musical and lots of things crosswordlandual (gosh I am so going to use that word in a blog) (unless I forget) One day my marbles will start to be lost. Who will blog Mondays then?

  13. The alternative meaning for 1d was new to me but fairly straight forward today – no assistance required!

    Onward and upward – now on with the chores! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  14. ***/**

    Difficulty without much pleasure. I really don’t like being critical of crosswords given how much effort goes into them.

    1d was a new definition for me. 7d. Also new and had to be looked up. 13a I got wrong and put ‘resit’. 15a was a complete guess.

    Perhaps I am being churlish as I really did enjoy quite a few clues including 18 & 20d.

    Favourite is 21d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for your invaluable help and a lovely blog.

  15. Worldpay have had a great time with my DT site subscription. First I got an email from them on Friday saying the payment was declined. Aha, I know why I thought, it’s because I got a new card a couple of months ago and the number’s different. So I log into Worldpay and update the info. So far so good.

    Saturday I get an email saying that payment has been taken. Jolly good thinks I. Sunday I get an email saying that payment has been taken again. Monday I get an email saying that payment has been taken yet again.So on the phone to a very nice lady at the DT and the second and third payments are instantly refunded. Guess what. Yep, you got it! This morning I get an email saying that payment has been taken once more. So it’s back to the same lady at the DT and it’s been refunded again. The only problem is that to stop this happening every day she’s had to cancel the agreement so the payment won’t go automatically next year. I’ll no doubt forget and lose site access for a couple of days.

    As for this puzzle we go for **/***. Joint favs were 9a and 20d for their well-concealed defs. Best bit of the whole thing was the video clip of the co-pilot thanks Gazza.

    Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

    P.S. Gazza, in the hint for 20d you’ve got the word for grind that goes in the answer.

    1. I had similar problems a month ago. I ended up having to get a new email address and pretending to be a new customer but it still took several emails and phone calls to sort it out.

    2. Oh dear – long saga – let’s hope that they have refunded all your payments or you’ll be skint! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  16. A lovely day to finish a lovely crosswordhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif. A lot of very good clues and a great hidden word in 28a, but my favourite was 20d.

    Thanks to Mr Ron (2d possibly?) for the puzzle and to Gazza for his review. I loved the picture for 5a – ‘surely you can’t be serious’ – ‘ I am and stop calling me Shirley!’http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif.

    I’m afraid to say that today’s toughie does not ‘float my boat’

  17. Very refreshing crossword.
    Got the flower in 7d but needed Gazza to understand.
    Favourite is 15a.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza again.

  18. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but quite tricky. Had a real job with the SE Corner. Got there in the end without the hints, but needed them to parse quite a few. Favourite was 26a. Last in was 20d. Was 3*/3* for me. Good fun.

  19. Struggled a bit, had not met 1d before but BRB helped me out (new APP on tablet). Have asked for latest edition BRB as birthday present but OH will probably forget by the time it comes. Failed to get handle on crossword and needed both electronic help and Gazza’s masterful thoughts to sort me out. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  20. At first I thought I’d never get into this, but I eventually got going and managed to finish all but two, 20d and 21d. I have to choose 21d as favourite, such a clever clue, I could kick myself for not getting it. Runners up were 7d and 8d.
    I didn’t know the clapper bridge but I looked it up and learned a new meaning.
    Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the review.

  21. Thanks to setter for a bit of a tussle. Couldn’t see 21d at all. But knew 18d – haven’t a clue why I did. Mr Poppy came home from a day’s poeting in a primary school yesterday. He had some traveller children present who, because they were illiterate, worked well with him in constructing an aural poem. One of them came up to him afterwards and said “I can’t read or write, so I drew a picture of you instead – & produced a coloured-in pic of a rather grumpy looking knight on a white horse…” I’m going to make it our Christmas Card this year! Thank you to Gazza for helping me complete today’s puzzle & explaining everything so clearly.

    1. Well done to Mr P for going to the school – I look forward to this year’s Christmas card. Many years ago our next door neighbour’s daughter went for her first day at school. The teacher was going round and giving them all their first reading book – little tiddler handed it back to her and said that it was no good for her as she couldn’t read.

      1. I learned to read at my fathers knee, so started school with the ability to read. Both of my daughters learned to read at their fathers knee. They both started school with the ability to read.

  22. Like the majority it seems, everything slotted in fairly easily until the SE corner and then the difficulties began ! I thought 20d and 21d were very clever indeed and very satisfying to solve.

    Good to see that old chestnut (Charles) Lamb cropping up once more – he clearly had no inkling when adopting his pseudonym that it would be so useful to crossword setters !

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  23. I only managed 21d with some electronic help, much to my chagrin, but I agree it’s a lovely clue and my favourite. I agree with the ratings for the rest. Many thanks to Gazza and the setter.

  24. Am I the only person who put ‘bravest’ in for 17d?? it certainly held up the SW corner

    1. It appears you are the only one for bravest, I’m really sorry it was incorrect as I loved it. It was perfect, congrats!

    2. Yes, and I think bravest fits the clue better and with two checking letters!! However had to rethink and got there eventually. I put it down to a virtuoso piece of misdirection

    3. Yes indeed – a much better solution to a rather weak clue – pity it wouldn’t stand up.

    4. Never even thought of the wordplay – but I think that’s a possible clue/answer we’ll see in the future. Well done Droopyh http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  25. Like others I was stumped by the south east corner. Favourite 17a.Thanks Gazza and setter.

  26. The first definition in 1d was new to us and we assumed that it must be a specific UK usage. Interesting to note that we were not the only ones not familiar with it. 2d is an answer that we have seen quite a few times in the recent past and it amazes us how many different ways there are of cluing this word. We have been wondering who the setter might be and decided that we would not be surprised if Shamus popped in and said SMEE. A little trickier than a ** for us and good fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

  27. Not enough time for crosswords today, or functioning brain cells for that matter. It took a walk and a second banana before I really got into it, and even then I had a cheeky peek at the comments before I’d finished.

    So I knew to look out for a very tricky hidden word, and saw that “up sticks” was a key phrase. Hanni’s comment told me to look again at 13a where I’d bunged in the same answer as her but not happily. Knowing what was wrong showed me what was right. Clunky indeed.

    I did manage to get 1d before my sneaky peeking, though I whether I actually knew the type of bridge or just confidently guessed it is anyone’s guess. Also giving me no problems was that Lamb in 7d: I was not misled by things sheepish, for previous crosswords have taught me that particular literary nickname.

    I think I would have really enjoyed this on another day (like one where I was awake). It is one of those crosswords where many answers seem to fit with each other in pleasing ways. Or maybe that is just me. We have bed chambers and parts of, we have partners with descriptions and parts of, also activities for them to do. They are on their travels with places to go, entertainment to be had and dancing and drinks. Yes. And then it ends with 28a, but such is life. All of that is visible in the theatre of my mind. It can be an entertaining place but I find it is still worth forking out the cash for tickets to see proper theatre.

    Unlike Jane I did like 17d despite the slightly clunky wording. I liked 22a and loved 18d. Also vying for the favourite position are 20d and 21d, which reminds me of a very distasteful joke by Jimmy Carr, a master of comebacks.

    Thanks to the setter for a super puzzle and to Gazza for the review which I will have a look at now and find out all the things I have missed.

      1. I have crossed a lot of bridges in my time, so probably at some point. Not recently though.

        Today I met a lovely local cat who was very happy to see me and enthusiastically insisted that I share his coat and be covered in a liberal layer of fur. No toads, presumably because they are busy with crib night.

        Love your avatar!

          1. Some years ago I dragged a reluctant family around searching for the covered bridge that featured in the film of The Bridges of Madison County. Finally found it, tucked away down a narrow lane in the middle of nowhere. It was such a lovely moment. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

            1. I know what you mean Jane, I know of a magical bridge in Cumbria. It is a perfect grass covered miniature piece of architectural heaven. Admittedly it’s on private land. Now if I can combine it with my stepping stones on the Esk…

              Oh boy.

              1. Can I add in my stepping stones just outside Newborough – some of the stones are big enough to lay out a picnic on and sit with your feet dangling in the water. Mind you, the gaps between some of them are a bit challenging (leap of faith?). I was there one day when the eels were running – that was an amazing sight.

                1. Oh yes please?

                  Love the dangling the feet. Although I’ve seen a few eels in the Eden et al, yours certainly sounds better.

                  ‘Leap of faith’…http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  28. I quite enjoyed this, although l ran aground a bit in the SE corner (then l spotted that the “up” in 20d was part of a definition, not related to “grind” at all!). 2*/3*, l think, but it felt more difficult than the time it took. As for favouritism, l’m split between 15a and the deceptively simple 21d. My thanks to Mr Ron, and to Gazza.

  29. I also thought this to be trickier than the time it took for me to complete it. Struggled initially to get going but was OK when I did. Thanks to Gazza and setter **/***

  30. ***/** took a while to get started, Last in was 21d I put in abseil , but with the incorrect spelling! :( Thanks Gazza for the explanation

  31. Enjoyed this one which held me up a bit for my last one in, 1d. The first definition was new to me and needed a quick check via the magic of the interweb before I was convinced I had it right.
    Thanks to both setter and Gazza

  32. What I thought were clunky, clumsy clues on my way through the solve turned out to be masterfully clever after Gazza explained them to me – 20 &21 down. I bunged in the answers but struggled to see why. I see why now, so thanks G. I liked a lot of them, especially 20& 21, but my favourite has to be 15a, or should it be 23a? Both required MP’s Lego bricks and both brought a smug smile of satisfaction. I think 20 & 21 are cleverer, but they can’t be in the running for favourite status, because although I got them correct, I had no idea why. Thanks too for the Airplane! clip, but that’s not important right now.
    Thanks also to setter. You can come again

    1. I forgot to thank Gazza for the Airplane! clip. It’s the Kiwi’s in the hot seat tommorow. I just want to wish them both good luck. We’re all counting on you.

  33. ***/**. A bit of a struggle today. I am another who doesn’t always remember the tie between certain names (e.g. Lamb) which makes life harder. I have never come across 1d in this context although I’ve certainly crossed one. Thanks to the setter and Gazza for a much needed set of hints/explanations.

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