DT 27751 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27751

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27751

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment **

On the plus side most of the clues here are concise with smooth surface readings, but it doesn’t really put up much of a challenge. I know that the puzzles are meant to get harder as the week progresses so we can’t complain too much about the Tuesday one being pretty easy, but even so I finished this with a vague sense of being short-changed. Do let us know your thoughts.

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

5a First chess player attending match in formal evening dress (5,3)
WHITE TIE – the player making the first move in a game of chess followed by a match in a knockout competition.

8a Ape straddling an awning (6)
CANOPY – a verb to ape or imitate goes round AN (from the clue).

10a Soldier who carries the Colours in — gen’s misleading (6)
ENSIGN – an anagram (misleading) of IN GEN’S.

11a Liking page with charm (8)
PENCHANT – the abbreviation for page and a verb to charm or bewitch.

12a Fail to win card game — become exasperated (4,8)
LOSE PATIENCE – charade of a verb meaning fail to win and a single-player card game.

15a Bridge player held in low esteem (4)
WEST – hidden (held) in the clue.

17a Element causing trouble amongst our sailors (5)
RADON – the usual word for trouble or fuss goes inside the abbreviation for our senior service.

18a Stage one in unhappy retirement (4)
DAIS – the Roman numeral for one is inserted in the reversal of an adjective meaning unhappy.

19a Frail head going round food shop (12)
DELICATESSEN – start with an adjective meaning frail or fragile then reverse (going round) a head or promontory.

22a Colour of object surrounded by seaweed (8)
LAVENDER – an object or target is surrounded by a type of seaweed popular as a food in Wales.

24a Novel from library, or borrowed? On the contrary (3,3)
ROB ROY – the title of Sir Walter Scott’s novel is hidden (from) and reversed (on the contrary) in the clue.

25a Policeman determined to avoid responsibility (3,3)
COP OUT – charade of an informal word for a police officer and an adverb meaning determined or very keen (as in ‘She was *** to capture her man’).

26a Sample mushrooms brought back by me after breaking in (8)
SPECIMEN – reverse (brought back) types of edible mushrooms then insert (after breaking) ME into IN.

Down Clues

1d Punch  clock (6)
STRIKE – this is a double definition though, as far as I can see, the two definitions are almost identical with the verb to clock meaning to hit someone (especially on the head). I spent some time unsuccessfully trying to find a way in which clock can be a verb meaning to sound the hour, but if it can mean that the BRB doesn’t mention it.

2d A tall nurse treated film comedian (4,6)
STAN LAUREL – anagram (treated) of A TALL NURSE.

3d Picture of forged coin (4)
ICON – an anagram (forged) of COIN.

4d On reflection, partaking in absinthe endures (2,3,3)
IN THE END – hidden (partaking) in the clue.

6d Deliver diamonds in German city (4,4)
HAND OVER – insert the abbreviation for the card suit diamonds into the city in Germany from which our King George I and his successors came.

7d Coppers stride off in a display of team spirit (6,2,5)
ESPRIT DE CORPS – an anagram (off) of COPPERS STRIDE.

9d Stake  boat (4)
PUNT – double definition, the first a verb or noun meaning gamble or bet.

13d Scratched one? (3-7)
NON-STARTER – a (not very) cryptic definition of a competitor withdrawn from the list of runners before the race gets going.

14d Trying more ties out (8)
TIRESOME – an anagram (out) of MORE TIES.

16d Changing of editor, highly desirable (2,3,3)
TO DIE FOR – perhaps the setter has had a disagreement with the Puzzles Editor? This is an anagram (changing) of OF EDITOR.

20d Tender doctor returned wearing costume (6)
SUBMIT – one of the abbreviations for a medical doctor is reversed (returned) inside (wearing) a costume or formal attire.

21d I attempt to arrest a villainous character (4)
IAGO – the Shakespearean villain comes from I and a try or attempt containing (to arrest) A.

23d Tax  office (4)
DUTY – double definition, the first the sort of tax that the Chancellor may well be reducing slightly on alcohol tomorrow in an attempt at a pre-election bribe.

My pick of the clues today was 25a. How about you?



90 comments on “DT 27751

  1. Tuesday 27751. Possibly the same setter as about 3 weeks ago? R&W and gentle simple clues, but nicley put together. Compared with Rufus yesterday, a lovely way to end the night. Thanks Mr/Mrs/Ms Ron.*/***

  2. No real problems, no real raves. Another crossword that was better shared – there were a couple of gaps in my knowledge that Mr K could fill in.

    Today’s favourite probably has to go to 16d, partly just for Gazza’s comment on it.

    Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

    Happy birthday to Jean-Luc!

  3. Very straightforward today, an excellent crossword for someone just starting on their cryptic journey. Lots of anagrams clearly signposted. No real favs but enjoyable nonetheless.
    Thx to all.

  4. I agree with you Gazza. Quite an easy crossword today. Maybe the setter knew it was my birthday and didn’t want to give me any trouble.
    The toughie is very mild as well. That gives me the rest of the day to enjoy.
    Favourite is 7d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review.

    1. **/** again.

      Nothing overly difficult. 7d was my favourite. I agree with Brian about it being a good starter crossword.

      Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for blogging.

      Happy birthday Jean-Luc

    2. J’espere que tu vas faire la fete ce soir mon pote. Boire un petit coup pour nous deux aussi! No problems in todays puzzle. Gazza was right with * for difficulty but we like ’em easy so *** for enjoyment. Enjoy your birthday.

    3. Hi Jean-luc,
      All the very best for your birthday. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif
      It will be interesting to see how you cope with tomorrow’s back-pager. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    4. I Happy Birthday, and many more, to you, Jean Luc. It was super to meet you at Bridge House in January.

  5. You could have made it harder for yourself Gazza by putting Escorts De Sprit or whatever I put for 7d. Soon sorted and finished all too quickly. along with the quickie. Happy Birthday to Jean Luc. And all the best to the 4ks.

  6. Thank you setter – agreed, one of the easier ones, but enjoyable nonetheless. Leaves time for other stuff ! Thanks Gazza for the review and hints. I think I have sampled some of the content of your photo for 22a………..mm ?

  7. Managed most of this with no help .
    Failed to spot the hidden words in 24a…Doh!

    Ignorance of seaweed and mushrooms let me down.

    Thank you to the setter and to Gazza.

  8. After confidently filling in Black tie for 5a, I found this crossword put up quite a fight.I liked 20d and 18a. Thanks Gazza and setter.

        1. I used to play chess with my Dad but suspect he always let me go first or second – whichever I wanted!

  9. Favourites were the straightforward but elegant 15a (Bridge player held in low esteem) and 18a (Stage one in unhappy retirement).

    I didn’t know what a “stake boat” was (9d) – the clue is better once you know.

    I felt like I’d missed something with 13a (scratched one?).

    Many thanks setter and Gazza

    1. If you’d listened to the University Boat Race on the radio every year in your childhood you’d have known what a stake boat is. :D

  10. This has to have been the easiest puzzle in quite a while. A real R&W today.0.5*/3* for me.

  11. Easy enough. More of a challenge if you put ‘ red hot ‘ in for 24a. Don’t ask why – it seemed right at the time. This wasted some considerable time until I handed it to my talented female assistant (Mrs Littlemart )who looked it and immediately spotted my error. So irritating.
    Probably */*** here. No particular favourite clues. Thank you to Gazza and the setter.

  12. Yes this certainly was an easy ride which was over all too soon. Thanks Mysteron and Gazza. **/***. Felicitations Jean-Luc! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  13. Agree with all the comments about the easiness. What with this one and the “toughie” today, I have recommended to a friend that they should bypass the DT puzzles today and go straight for yesterday’s wonderful Rookie puzzle instead.

    Thanks to Gazza and the Mysteron.

    1. Agree CS. If anyone hasn’t looked at Rookie corner yet, do. Tim Moorey is one of my favourite setters and that equalled his Sunday Times puzzle for enjoyment.

      Glad you enjoyed the plant pot cake. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  14. Agree with others that this was very straightforward. Thanks to Gazza for the review.

    Gazza, the picture for 21d needs some attention. Olivier played Othello, not Iago, in the 1965 film with Maggie Smith as Desdemona. Frank Finlay was Iago.

    1. Paul Schofield played Othello and Felicity Kendall Played Desdemona when I saw it at The National Theatre way back when. No idea who played Iago

  15. Apart from my usual spelling mistake- today was the A and I the wrong way round in 18 A!, a little bit too easy a solve, no doubt retribution will follow later in the week, not a lot else to say-thanks Gazza, liked the ‘punt pic’

  16. Well it might be on the easy side for you experts, Gazza, but for us it was just about right, so thank you to the Tuesday setter and to Gazza ( just think of all the time you have to spare now to do other things),

  17. I thought this was pretty feeble, with a third of the clues anagrams or hidden words and not much of a challenge in the rest.

  18. I thought today was Monday for a minute. This was very gentle to say the least.
    No real favourites, I’ll nominate the Quickie top line as being very good instead!
    Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza for his review.
    1*/2* I’m afraid. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

  19. Total agreement with Gazza’s comments and scores. 12a & 16d raised a smile but no real favourites to mention. As with Beaver, I got the vowels the wrong way round in 18a until I got to the anagram at 14d.
    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to Gazza – have to say that I have yet to meet anyone in this part of Wales who would dream of eating 22a!

    1. My Welsh granny (admittedly a South, rather than North, Walian) used to love the stuff. It’s a pity that Mary’s not around to give her view.

      1. I think in these parts it’s just something that is sold to tourists (probably at exorbitant prices!).

  20. I’m in total agreement with many of the bloggers today, this was one easy puzzle. However, I do agree with Brian that it is a good puzzle to get your teeth into for many ‘new to cryptic crosswords’ solvers. No particular favourites today but thanks to the Tuesday Mr. Ron and to Gazza for his review.

    The Toughie is well worth a go but not overly challenging.

  21. This has got my perception of the space/time continuum all mixed up! Surely this is a Monday puzzle; anyway much enjoyed without too much effort required. Agree with Gazza’s rating and thank him for the review and now off to look for my Tardis.

    1. We have a meeting of The Village Time Travel Club. It will take place last Thursday at 7.30pm

          1. I really wish Miffypops had told us. I wrote a paper next week about the last meeting that was held tommorow.

  22. Oh my goodness, that one was finished before I even realised I’d started! That has to be the easiest puzzle ever! This is not to say I didn’t enjoy it, i don’t mind easy now and then. Now I have all the time in the world to get “things” done.
    Thanks to setter and to Gazza for your review. Fave 25a, runner up 7d.

  23. Having looked at the clues but not picked up my pencil before we went out to do our weekly shopping I realised that after the brain damage from yesterday there were one or two answers I could manage. Back from the shops and after a very late lunch I picked up my trusty pencil and glided gently through was was a delightful crossword. Apart from the glitch with 1a and a slight problem spelling the shop I finished with a deep feeling of satisfaction. Even the pun across the quick crossword raised a small titter, off to have a belated cup of coffee, thanks to setter and Gazza, Please don’t let tomorrow be too hard. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  24. It’s all been said by others */ ***. Wednesday last week was quite difficult in places , I seem to recall , so here’s to tomorrow .
    I have never really had time or the skill to do the toughie . so might give it a bash or go back to my Rankin novel , decisions , decisions

      1. Damnation – now I’ll have to give it a go despite having geared the rest of the day to R&R.

  25. Enjoyed this as:
    A. It was easy
    B. Didn’t have the word “etui” in it.

    Thanks to the setter and blogger

  26. Joyeux anniversaire Jean -Luc! Je suis passée au Jardin pour te donner une carte et n’ai pas été étonnée de ne pas t’y voir… Got stuck on 1a as I put black instead of white!!!! Got 6d right, however, so black was wrong – always thought that black tie was formal evening dress… Was puzzled by 1d meaning clock. Liked 12d of course but no real favourite. 1.5/2.5 for me. Many thanks to setter and to Gazza.

    1. Sorry I didn’t answer you yesterday Framboise. ‘Down here’ is the Languedoc

      1. Ah! Do you live there all the year round or like us share your time between France – le Var – and UK – Sussex?

        1. No, I’m a permanent resident, here all the time. In fact, since we moved here permanently 5 years ago I have not been back to Blighty once. It’s not the sun, although that is a bonus, it is the lifestyle and uncongested roads, not to mention the food and wine, although I won’t mention it

  27. Not quite a read and write puzzle, but fairly gentle nevertheless.

    The anagram content must have been very close to yesterday’s, and it does support the argument that, in general, the more anagrams the easier the puzzle, although for those of us who love our anagrams that’s no bad thing :-)

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza, and happy birthday to Jean-Luc on St. Patrick’s Day !

  28. Hurrah, actually finished on my own today! Been reading blog for a while but didn’t want to comment until I completed without help. Not surprised most of you thought this was easy. Only get to try the crossword on train journeys so not every day. This site has been an enormous help in developing my understanding so thanks to Big Dave, bloggers and contributers. I liked 12a as I usually do with these and 22a as it reminded me of breakfast in Swansea.

  29. Straightforward apart from 24a where I had “Not Out” as the answer for quite a while :(

    **/*** Thanks to Gazza for putting me right ;)

  30. After the horror of Yesterday this puzzle was much enjoyed. Hopefully tomorrows’ puzzle will be like Tuesday. Many thanks for the clear, concise hints Gazza and to Mysterion for the puzzle
    Happy birthday Jean-Luc.
    Has anybody heard from Mary recently?

  31. We started off with the wrong coloured tie in 5a. Had to investigoogle the seaweed in 22a. We solved this immediately upon the return of one of us from playing Bridge, of course he was sitting at 15a so no problem there. It did not take us very long.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

  32. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. Quite enjoyable, but very easy. Favourite was 24a. Was 1*/2* for me.

  33. Nice one. Finished earlier than usual today – normally don’t get to it until after the 10 o’clock news. Got a bit held up having put in ‘black tie’ for 5a, not a chess player you see! Also 24a gave some grief – not having read it. Wonder if I should give the toughie a go????

  34. Glad to see I was not the only one improperly dressed with wrong tie, so couldn’t find a German city, or get 1d.
    Going for ROM COM at 24 precluded solution of 20, & perhaps is a reflection on my taste in literature !!

  35. Bah! There was I feeling all chuffed that I’d completed today’s puzzle without hints, and then found all of you saying variations of “easy-peasy”… Will I never learn! But it’s always fun to read the hints, thanks Gazza. And I last saw Iago played absolutely brilliantly by Rory Kinnear at the National not so long ago. Adrian Lester was an excellent Othello, and the set was superb. Greetings to all, and many thanks to the setter also. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  36. After yesterday’s monster, this was just what the doctor ordered. Confidence restored.

  37. Enjoyable in its way, but over all too soon: 0.5*/3*. Too many anagrams for my liking, but 26a was nice. Thanks to Mr Ron, and to Gazza for the review.

  38. It seems that I was the only one who happily penciled “pyre” in for 18A at first. Well, it’s hidden in the clue and it is a stage or platform after all. Soon rectified though. Also went for the wrong color for 5A for far too long. Going to “do a Brian” and say that I thought 1D and 23D were awful, with 25A (sorry Gazza) not far behind. Since these clues were responsible for me being quick to 12A, I designate that as my favorite.

    Remembering my manners, I thank the setter. Thanks also to Gazza, who never disappoints. Anyone who hasn’t tried the Beet puzzle in the Rookie corner should give it a shot. It’s the crossword of the week so far, and I suspect will remain so.

    1. Bugger indeed.

      Have you tried a team building exercise? Having experienced tortuous ones in the 90’s I don’t recommended them, but you could be inventive.

      1. My team 3 nil down but clawed back to 3 all and lost the last singles. Martin and I lost our doubles two zip but both won our singles matches. I must say that the play I made to win the first leg when we both needed two points and I had to stop my opponent from scoring was a masterstroke. But we lost. Bugger. Mrs Cobley, our captain is in Lanzagrotty. Why oh why oh why?

        1. Ahh…I can see the problem. It’s because of a Canary. I think they’re small birds that own some sort of islands in the Atlantic, where your captain has camped?

          Take comfort in your masterstroke play. How’s China?

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