DT 27775 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27775

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27775

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

I thought that this was a fairly typical Tuesday puzzle with nothing too tricky or too exciting. Do let us have your verdict.

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 Declining money poor director hoards in retirement (6)
DROOPY – hidden (hoards) and reversed (in retirement) in the clue is what sounds like it ought to be (but isn’t) the name of one of the seven dwarfs.

4a Cooking over with a new set of casseroles? (8)
OVENWARE – an anagram (cooking) of OVER and A NEW.

10a Slip when manoeuvring round vehicle’s rear? It’s a driving problem (5,4)
WHEEL SPIN – an anagram (manoeuvring) of SLIP WHEN containing the rear letter of (vehicl)E.

11a End around middle of July for flower (5)
TULIP – an end or extremity goes around the middle two letters of July.

12a Hot sauce found in key course mainly (7)
TABASCO – start with the name of a key on a standard keyboard (the one normally sitting above ‘caps lock’ which is used to move the cursor to the next field when entering data into a template) and add the name of a royal racecourse without its last letter (mainly).

13a Peacekeeping outfit seen in strip (7)
UNDRESS – as 2,5 this could be the outfit or uniform worn by the world’s peacekeepers.

14a Artist starts to display increasingly indistinct lines (5)
RADII – the abbreviation for a recognised artist (a member of the Royal Academy) followed by the initial letters (starts) of three words in the clue.

15a Sameness? It could be shown by card (8)
IDENTITY – double definition, the second what may be established by an official card.

18a A tune number put first, a thing that’s hated (8)
ANATHEMA – string together A (from the clue), a tune of a rousing or patriotic nature and a further A. Hang on – we haven’t finished, because within the tune we have to move the single-letter abbreviation for number to the front (put first).

20a King with a yen to wander in country (5)
KENYA – the abbreviation used for king in chess notation is followed by an anagram (to wander) of A YEN.

23a Level dish supplied by a university (7)
PLATEAU – a type of dish followed by A (from the clue) and U(niversity).

25a I had limited Greek character in charge being asinine (7)
IDIOTIC – string together the contracted form of ‘I had’, a Greek letter without its final A (limited) and the abbreviation for ‘in charge’.

26a City is in front of competition, we’re told (5)
LEEDS – this sounds like (we’re told) ‘is ahead of the competition’.

27a Type of band that is covering Queen in restaurant (9)
BRASSERIE – a type of musical band and the abbreviation for ‘that is’ contain (covering) our Queen’s regnal cipher.

28a Show more cleverness than son in public place of trade (8)
OUTSMART – insert S(on) between an adverb meaning in public or in the open and a place where goods are bought and sold.

29a Actor cited cathedral location (6)
WELLES – a homophone (cited) of a small cathedral city in Somerset.

Down Clues

1d Deterioration of performer in part of NI? (8)
DOWNTURN – split as 4,4 this could be a performer or stage act in a county of Northern Ireland.

2d Unduly high offer completed to get book and papers (7)
OVERBID – put together an adverb meaning completed or at an end, the single-letter abbreviation for book and the abbreviation for the sort of papers we encountered at 15a.

3d Learner wearing this poor tattered garment (4,5)
POLO SHIRT – the letter identifying a learner on the road goes inside (wearing) an anagram (tattered) of THIS POOR.

5d Opening on river by Paris, say, for speculative funding (7,7)
VENTURE CAPITAL – an opening or outlet is followed by (on, in a down clue) the name of a North Yorkshire river and what Paris is an example of.

6d Famous plea to bar rebel of yesteryear? (5)
NOTED – split the answer 2,3 and you could (just about) have a plea to bar a well-dressed rebel of the 1950s.

7d Fine lieutenant protecting soldiers in disorder (7)
AILMENT – start with what looks like an abbreviation meaning fine or first-class (originally derived from the categorisation of vessels by Lloyd’s Register of Shipping) and follow that with the abbreviation for lieutenant containing ordinary soldiers.

8d Show up with former model (6)
EXPOSE – charade of a prefix meaning former and a verb to model.

9d Work poet is developing with song for a counterpart (8,6)
OPPOSITE NUMBER – assemble the abbreviation for an artistic work, an anagram (developing) of POET IS and another word for a song.

16d Grab children and enter into dispute (4,5)
TAKE ISSUE – a verb to grab or get hold of is followed by a legal word for children.

17d Criticise scare that’s whipped up in part of body (8)
PANCREAS – a verb to criticise or slate is followed by an anagram (that’s whipped up) of SCARE.

19d A teen’s organised before time — most unlike a teen? (7)
NEATEST – an anagram (organised) of A TEEN’S precedes T(ime).

21d Spontaneous  type of note? (7)
NATURAL – double definition, the first an adjective meaning spontaneous or unselfconscious.

22d A vote with nothing finally for revered figure (6)
APOLLO – string together A (from the clue), a word for a vote and the letter that resembles zero or nothing.

24d Surrey town some reps omitted (5)
EPSOM – hidden (some) in the clue.

The clue I liked best (for its meaningful surface) was 10a. Which one(s) appealed to you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: STRAY + TOFF = STRAIGHT OFF


62 comments on “DT 27775

  1. 1.5*/2.5*. Two pairs of symmetrical clues took me over my 1* time today: 1a & 1d and 29a & 17d.

    I agree with Gazza that 10a was the pick of the bunch.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  2. This week’s puzzles are starting out quite straightforward it seems. Finished this one in 1* time again. For some strange reason – failing brain I suppose – it took me a little while to figure out the actor in 29a though!

    I sometimes wonder just what the age range is for the setters as we seem to get some pretty ancient references in clues of late. I hope there are young setters in the wings!

    Thanks to the usual crew.
    1*/4* for me.

    1. There are some very promising younger setters in Rookie Corner just waiting to get out …

      1. Yes. Today’s Rookie is on my to-do list. There are “important” things on there too, but I don’t care. I feel bad for neglecting recent Rookies.

  3. On first read I started to panic,but gradually the little blighters began to fall in line and ended up in two territory for me.Agree with Gazza & others about the stand out clue being 10A. Many thanks to the setter & Gazza for his review. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  4. 13a clue references have appeared a lot recently and I recall 5d also cropped up in the near past too. My favourite was 17d. This was a R and W for me but I enjoyed it nevertheless. Thank you to one and all.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  5. **/***

    Put this as 2* difficulty because of silly mistakes on my part. Also known as bung it in and hope. I didn’t see the the reverse hidden clue in 1a and then spent quite a long time attempting to make an anagram of ‘ENDUL’, for 11a. I even went as far as looking up my anagrams in the hope they were actual flowers. As usual they weren’t.

    The rest went in quite smoothly.

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

  6. Thank you setter – agreed, not too hard, but good fun. Thanks Gazza for your review and hints. Looks like a pleasant afternoon – anyone fancy a few holes – at Augusta of course http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  7. I misparsed 1a and ended up with unsatisfactory “droops” – duh. Then I struggled to match an actor with a cathedral city homophone (29a), definitely needed all the checking letters for that one.

    Being in Holland at the moment I did like 11a (flower). I also liked 14a (the artist with increasingly indistinct lines), 20a (the king with a yen to wander) and 27a (though I have yet to hear a queen tribute band in a restaurant).

    we seems to have two variations on ID papers/cards, but a minor quibble in an enjoyable puzzle, many thanks setter and gazza.

  8. Fairly plain sailing until we got to 7d where we couldn’t work out what we were looking for! Last in 29a, fiddling about with Wells and Ely until the penny dropped. Many thanks to Gazza for an enjoyable review and to the setter, whoever it may be.

    1. I was fiddling around with Ely too, amongst others. I thought of Wells but not Welles. The penny stayed firmly stuck in the slot. D’oh!

        1. For some reason this took a little while to get going, not helped by putting insider trading for 5d and blind spot for 10a….oh dear! Never mind, once we got those put right it was plain sailing more or less. Thank you to the Tuesday setter and to Gazza.

      1. From the ODE…

        hear! hear!

        used to express one’s wholehearted agreement with something said, especially in a speech.

  9. This went in very smoothly indeed until a few little hold-ups in the NW and a complete brain-fail at 29a prevented me from breaking any records.

    Agreed this was on the gentler end of the spectrum, but a nicely constructed crossword which would be perfect for many solvers.

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the usual excellent review. I made up a list of alternative names of the seven dwarfs once, but 1a wasn’t among them.

    I don’t really have a favourite but did quite like 21d. I tend to like my key signatures full of flats. From naturals to flats to sharps, I have now been reminded of this little gem:

    1. I’m with you, Kitty, in that 29a didn’t dawn on me and last in were a couple in NW corner. I agree with Gazza in finding this a bit pedestrian. Thanks Mr. Ron and Gazza. ***/**.

  10. I quite enjoyed this and agree with the rest of you that it was pretty straightforward. 1* or 2* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    Even though the anagram indicator in 4a was one of the more obvious ones I managed to miss it.
    I convinced myself that the 10a ‘driving problem’ sounded a bit “golfy” so left it until I had some checking letters – it wasn’t!
    12a had to be what it was but I always forget keys on keyboards so it took ages to work out why. I’ve been ‘had’ by the ‘esc’ key more times than I care to admit.
    I found both the hidden ones today – even the reversed non-dwarf.
    I liked 10 and 14a and 5 and 16d.
    Thank you to the setter and to gazza.
    Lovely sunny day – off to the garden.

    1. Hope you didn’t work too hard in the garden Kath – I spent it under the parasol with an exceptional bottle of Sancerre http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

      I hope the weather’s as good tomorrow.

  11. What’s happened to the Toughie 1377 blog? For the first time in my (crossword solving ) life I have nearly finished the Toughie before Attenpting the back page. But when I look on here to check if I have got a couple of answers right I can’t find it!, woe, woe is me!

    1. Perhaps you are not familiar with the target times, but the target for the Toughie blog is 2:00 pm, although it can be later.

      1. Ah, thanks for that BD. I don’t suppose I will ever again finish the Toughie so quickly as today, so it’s really a bit academic!

  12. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. Was pretty much a read and write for me, last in was 29a, thought of Wells straight away, took a while to add the e, that was an old actor. Favourite was 4a, a well disguised anagram :-) Was 1*/3* for me. Lovely sunny day in Central London, completed this in the sunshine in Kenwood.

  13. Pretty straightforward puzzle with some really good wordplay, particularly 10a & 19d. Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza.

  14. Thanks to the setter for this one which i enjoyed, and had no particular trouble except for the NW corner — thank you, Gazza for the hints. Though I’m afraid I still don’t understand how 1a worked. How does money come into it?

    Enjoy the sunshine, everyone!

    1. The word money is only there to provide the Y which is the last letter of the answer. The answer is reversed in moneY POOR Director.

      1. Ahhaa , now I get it…..got it in anyway as thought it couldn’t be anything else, but was not sure why, thanks.

  15. 1a I missed altogether, and 17d I misread the indicator and ran into a blind alley searching for Criticise. As for 29a I live in Somerset for goodness sake… and I still couldn’t get past Wells. I hang my head in shame. The rest of crossword too was a bit of a struggle. It must be me. An off day. Again.
    I shall go in to the garden for a while I think.
    Thanks to Mr Ron, and Gazza once again.

    1. An old stamping ground was Compton Dundon, you could not get much closer to Welles, and it was my last one in!

  16. Agree R. & W **/***, apart from 29a where I was convinced that it was Ely Cathedral so went with Keeley (Hawes) as actors nowadays refer to both sexes :( ergo it made 17d impossible. Stupid Boy! :)

    1. I’d rather go with Keeley Hawes than Orson Welles, but it wouldn’t help with solving the crossword.

  17. Yes, not too bad with this one ……I liked 17d…always enjoy the medical clues! 3d had me foxed for a while…tried to fit in ‘hair shirt’ and ‘hula skirt’ ……please don’t ask me the rationale behind this one…..there isn’ t any! Also liked 21d a neat clue. **/*** rating for me. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza……I’m feeling a bit smug today with having managed the Toughie as well……sorry, don’t mean to keep on about it……….

    1. Well done to you with the Toughie – haven’t even looked but I can’t very often do them . . I think you’re allowed to “go on” about it as much as you like! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  18. A nice and easy puzzle today done on the way to a restaurant. For lunch with No 1. Daughter. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review. The Green Man play The Butchers Arms away tonight.

  19. Put ovenbake in 4a and knew full well it wasn’t correct but had a mental block and eventually sneaked a look , last one in, thanks Gazza , Clues a little mundane but still enjoyable so thanks to setter.

  20. Found this very tricky indeed and needed lots of help from the hints today. Just could not get on the setters wavelength at all. Still don’t see why director for droopy in 1a and 9a completely defeated me. Not my finest hour.
    Thx to all.

    1. Just read Gazza comment about Director, as I said I could not get going on this one at all.

  21. Got slowed down on SE corner as I wrote CARCASSE in 17d until I parsed 27a.
    And had to make sure from the review that the second word of 1d was correct.
    Apart from that, no real problems.
    Favourite is 3d for today.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review.

  22. Enjoyed this, agree with Gazza’s rating.
    Fave was 29a, despite unforgiveable mental block for a while.
    Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the review.

  23. As nobody else has mentioned it, perhaps I’m alone in thinking that today’s clues were workmanlike and efficient rather than having obvious star quality. Whilst the surface-readings were fairly smooth, I felt that a few (15a and 22d for example) had a slightly clunky feel to them.

    Nonetheless, enjoyable stuff and thanks to both the setter and to Gazza.

  24. Thanks to the setter, especially for his (to me, but no doubt nobody else) disguised backwards word in 1a. I just didn’t see it for ages, and well after I’d decided that Droopy was the answer. Some financially straitened friends of mine discovered a quick way of making a fiver in a pub was to bet someone £5 that they couldn’t name all seven dwarfs in under a minute, and with no outside help. Apparently it rarely failed. Offerings included, Stumbly, Dribbly, Flumpy and Humpty…. Thank you to Gazza for hints. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  25. Managed this one quite well with only a little electronic help.
    Totally missed the hidden word in 1a until I read the hints, though I had guessed the answer.
    27a amused me.
    Thanks to Gazza and the setter.

  26. Pushed into 2* time courtesy of 7&17d having got ‘fine’ and ‘criticise’ as the definitions. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif
    Had to fight myself a bit to agree ‘identity’ for ‘sameness’ – just not the way I would use the word.
    Quite liked 10a&16d but first place goes to 5d, despite it having made a fairly recent appearance.

    As with Kath, I have a stumbling block with computer references so, although I had the answer for 12a, I needed Gazza’s review to unpick it.

    Thanks to today’s setter and to Gazza for his usual high standard of review – would agree his rating.

  27. Another confidence booster, mostly. Needed Mr Google for a list of cathedral cities, and electronic help to find something that fitted in 1a. It was only after staring at that answer for a long time that I finally twigged to “in retirement” being a reversal indicator. Spotting most of the anagrams early on got things thing off to a good start and established a foundation to build on. No standout favorites today, but if I had to pick one it would be 14a. Thanks to the setter, and to Gazza for the excellent review which explained a few I couldn’t parse (most notably 12a).

  28. We surprised ourselves by getting 29a at first glance. We must have heard of the cathedral town at some time as well as the other three UK geographical references, 1d, 12a, and 26a. These often cause us grief, but not today. We found it a pleasant puzzle to solve that all flowed together smoothly.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

  29. Thanks to both the setter and Gazza. Pretty straigtforward and enjoyable. 1.5/3*. First one was 20a and last 10ahaving missed the anagram indicator… Thought ee had 5a recently or something approaching. Liked 12a and 14a. Lovely day today, summer is almost here!

  30. Just squeaked into 2* territory for me, but not especially enjoyable (3*). Nothing really stands out on the clue front, l’m afraid. Still it has been a nice day (went down to Trelissick between Truro and Falmouth – absolutely lovely once the mist burned off) so thanks to Mr Ron for rounding it off. Thanks to Gazza for the review as well.

  31. Green Man 4 – 3 Butchers Arms. The league is ours. Captain Cobley and I did win our pairs by 2 legs to nil.

    1. Forget my comment at post 18 – well donehttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      I’ll have to pop down your pub one day, have a beer and you can explain the intricacies of crib – I’m more of a euchre man http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    2. Well blo*dy done to all of you at The Green Man! Especially to you and the fine Captain Cobley. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      I hope you celebrate well. Very happy for you all.

      1. The Butchers were not very congratulatory.. Saint Sharon’s team won 6 -1 against Harbury Club. The BBC want interviews on both the radio and the telly tomorrow. Nothing to do with Crib though

        1. Victory all round for The Green Man tonight. Great stuff. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

          Make sure you read the release form before you sign anything for all media interviews.

          Gosh…the whole team must be ‘bouncing, and rightly so. Can we expect a team photo avatar with your trophy?

  32. i agree with the overall view nothing spectacular here, they do seem to be getting a bit mundane lately or is it just me?

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