DT 27782 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27782

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27782

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

The cold weather that we wrote about last week turned out to be just a warning shot across the bows. The woolly hats and long trousers have been put back in the drawer for the meantime and the wood container for the fire put back in the shed.
A few clues today had us beak scratching. Overall, we found the puzzle pleasantly challenging and amusing.

Please leave a comment telling us your thoughts on today’s puzzle.


1a     Undercover family intended losing tail (11)
CLANDESTINE : A possibly Scottish family group is followed by a word meaning intended or ‘fated to be’, with its last letter removed.

9a     Emergency worker and cop crossing Madeira after crash (9)
PARAMEDIC : The two letter abbreviation for a police constable surrounds an anagram (after crash) of MADEIRA.

10a     Insect‘s victim agonised to some extent (5)
IMAGO : This word for the final stage of an insect’s metamorphosis is hidden in the clue.

11a     NCO losing Post Office pen (6)
CORRAL : The NCO who usually has two stripes has the abbreviation for Post Office removed.

12a     I have a partner that’s spoilt (8)
IMPAIRED : When the answer is split (1’1,6) we get an expression that says I have a partner.

13a     Label container for kid’s protection (6)
DUBBIN : The kid here is fine leather. A three letter verb meaning to label or name and a type of bulk container.

15a     Callous beast must keep profit for this kind of woman (8)
BRUNETTE : The profit is what is left after expenses and taxes are paid, and is inserted into a description for a callous beast.

18a     Public officials required to take stiff examinations? (8)
CORONERS : A cryptic definition. The stiff mentioned here could be in a mortuary.

19a     Tied up unprotected crew in temper (6)
MOORED : The middle two letters (unprotected) of crew are included in a word for state of mind.

21a     Determined plunge to accept European Community rise at core (8)
DECISIVE : To plunge into a swimming pool perhaps, surrounds E(uropean) C(ommunity) and middle letters of rise.

23a     Screen type for blood? (6)
PLASMA : Double definition. The blood here is that part left after cellular matter is no longer there.

26a     Busy legate with no time, high-flier (5)
EAGLE : An anagram (busy) of LEGATE after T(ime) has been removed.

27a     Hanging around back of these must be punitive (9)
SWINGEING : A synonym for hanging has the last letter of these included.

28a     Dish of starch often breaking up (6,5)
FRENCH TOAST : An anagram (breaking up) of STARCH OFTEN gives this tasty breakfast treat.


1d     American resort‘s limit on English fish (4,3)
CAPE COD : A word meaning limit then E(nglish) and a type of fish.

2d     Pair erring keeping kind of horse? (5)
AIRER : This horse is likely to be indoors, in front of the fire, and is hiding in the clue.

3d     Oh dear, it’s a matriarchy! (9)
DAMNATION : This mild expletive is made from a three letter word for a mother, and a word for a country.

4d     Bread and water? (4)
SODA : This answer can be used adjectivally with both of the substances in the clue. Nothing to do with prison rations.

5d     Immigrants pay heartless runners (8)
INCOMERS : A synonym for remuneration is followed by the first and last letters of runners.

6d     Girl from the United States missing mother on the way up (5)
ERICA : Take the other word that describes the United States and remove from it a reversal of the two letter colloquial word for mother.

7d     A helping of porridge, or diet for a northerner (7)
GEORDIE : There he is, in the clue, hiding under the breakfast table perhaps.

8d     Who said new arrival shortly gets a rise? (8)
NARRATOR : N(ew) then the abbreviation for arrival, A from the clue, and a rise or small hill. (It took us a while to spot the definition in this clue).

14d     Singer’s home in Cambridge, adaptable with no end of room (8)
BIRDCAGE : An anagram (adaptable) of CAMBRIDGE after you have removed the last letter of room.

16d     Darkness surrounding weirdly lone source of illumination (4,5)
NEON LIGHT : A word describing the daily period of darkness has an anagram (weirdly) of LONE included.

17d     Clergyman with idiot in church split (8)
CREVASSE : The title for a clergyman, then an animal synonym for idiot are both included in the abbreviation for the Anglican Church.

18d     Beats BBC bigwig in resolving clues (7)
Paper version:   Director-General taken in by poor clues for ‘Beats’
CUDGELS : An anagram (resolving) of CLUES has the two letter abbreviation for the head of the BBC included.

20d     Current amount of water required to float ship (7)
DRAUGHT : Double definition. The first one could describe the current of air that may come under an ill-fitting door.

22d     Support for the girl left with no alternative options? (5)
SHELF : A feminine personal pronoun is followed by the first and third (alternative) letters of left. There is also an all-in-one quality here as this could be where a girl with no alternative options might end up.

24d     Hindu deity‘s victory accepted by Islamic faith (5)
SHIVA : One of the principal branches of Islam has V(ictory) included.

25d     Element of last letter home kept on carbon (4)
ZINC : The last letter of our alphabet, then the two letter word for home and the chemical symbol for carbon.

We wouldn’t dare choose more than one favourite again, so our vote goes to 3d this week, with just a brief nod to 8d in passing.

Quickie pun  hire  +  ugly  +  fix  =  hieroglyphics

95 comments on “DT 27782

  1. I started reading the clues and rapidly became concerned whether I could get a start anywhere – panic ensued! But then solutions started to come and the pace picked up quite quickly until I managed to finish surprisingly in 2* time. I would give 4* for enjoyment and 5* for surviving my initial panic attack.

    I suppose it took a little while to tune in to the right bandwidth!

    Thanks to 2K and the setter, of course.

  2. 2*/3.5*. Today’s splendid entertainment mixed current affairs (8d) with nostalgia (13a). I remember the awful job in the dim and distant past of applying 13a to my leather rugby boots to make them waterproof. On the theme of rugby nostalgia, my last one in, 6d (or to be accurate a homophone of 6d), reminded me of the epic streak at Twickenham in the early 80s.

    Apart from 21a (which is the type of clue I most dislike – a convoluted charade with a very clunky surface), this was a consistently good puzzle with 3d my favourite.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks.

    1. It brought back to me my travails at football at High School – not being much of a team sport enthusiast, the weekly trial by mud was only made worse by trying to waterproof my boots with 13a. Such a slimy goop!

  3. Wow, 5d (Immigrants pay heartless runners) gets special mention. What a great topical clue, and so elegantly presented in 4 words. I am in awe. Sometimes shocking news is avoided in crosswords out of sensitivity, but it is hard to disagree with the sentiments here. Of course, I don’t know exactly when the clue was written…

    I also really liked the rather well-hidden 10a (insect’s victim agonised) and 7d (a helping of porridge or diet)

    3d got a laugh (matriarchy) and 23a (screen type for blood) was sufficiently misleading to be my last one in – actually I had guessed the answer from the enumeration, but didn’t see the connection till much later

    20d (ship displacement) had a new meaning of the answer for me

    I did think that “kid” in 13a was a definition by example (a kind of leather) requiring indication by at least a question mark, and I thought that “no alternative options” in 22d (support) was a funny way to indicate missing alternative letters, the clue reads perfectly fine with just “… left with no alternatives”

    But I’m still in awe of 5d

    many thanks setter and 2Kiwis

    1. Hi Dutch,
      Thoroughly ashamed to admit that I’d missed the topicality of 5d – well done you for being on top of your game today. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  4. As is often the way with a Jay puzzle, first read through only unearthed a few answers, but it all fell into place ‘ere long and within 2* time – definitely 4* for enjoyment.

    Needed some checkers for 13a and tried initially to put a reversal of EC into an answer for 21a.
    10a – relieved to find the lurker, not a word that the old grey matter readily brings forth!

    Paper version has a slightly different clue for 18d:- Director-General taken in by poor clues for ‘Beats’

    Really liked 12&13a plus 3d but favourite vote goes to 22d for it’s all-in-one potential.
    Special mention for 28a as I simply adore ‘eggy bread’. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    Many thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks for the picture perfect review – glad to hear you’ve been able to stow away the winter woollies for a while longer!

    ps. Went to see Tom Conti in the touring production of Twelve Angry Men last night – if anyone gets the chance to go, I would heartily recommend it.

    1. It’s always ‘eggy bread’ in our house too – that’s my excuse for being ridiculously slow with the anagram.

  5. ***/*****

    What an absolute pleasure of a puzzle. 3 and 5d will live long in the memory.

    Today I was on the lookout for hidden clues and thankfully they showed up. 11a was a new word for me, I think, but fairly clued and a quick check confirmed my answer, same for 15a.

    5d, what an amazing clue. Beautifully succinct. But 3d takes some beating, it really made me laugh.

    Many thanks to Jay for an exceptional puzzle and to the 2Kiwi’s for a great blog.

    1. Nice bit of Cliff there Hanni (Now there is a line I never thought I would ever use) Where is it? Have I been there? is it Japan? Is there a good pub nearby?

      1. What – excuse me, perhaps I should say pardon? What are you on about now or have I missed something here – if so for goodness sake explain.

        1. Hi Kath. Hanni’s avatar is a cliff. When I said “nice bit of Cliff (Richard)” that is a line I would be unlikely to use.

        2. SO glad you asked, Kath – I didn’t like to be the one, again!
          As for the other Cliff – I seem to recall really, really wanting to go on a Summer Holiday with him many moons ago….http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      2. It’s Huntcliff, Saltburn. Spindrift was there yesterday and inspired me to put up a picture I took. The colours didn’t come out too well I seem to recall.

        As for pubs, The Ship is passable, literally and figuratively.

  6. Very enjoyable – no quibbles with the clues – a very good and interesting Crossword.

  7. I have to admit to wanting to crib on some occasions, but wasn’t in a position to access electronic or print help, so I was just forced to perseverate ( haven’t heard that term on here for a while…….) and in the end it all came good, with 15a the last one in.
    2.5/ 4.
    Very good puzzle, Jay!

  8. Thank you Jay, an enjoyable challenge. Started at the bottom and worked upwards as I find I have to with Jay puzzles. I wonder if anyone else made the same mistake as me at 5d. I initially went for “settlers” – “settle” to “pay” as in settle the bill + “rs” It was only when I sorted out 1a that I saw the error of my ways. Thanks 2Kiwis for your review, photos and hints.

  9. What a great puzzle – thanks Jay. We enjoyed every minute of it, particularly 18a.
    True story: A school friend of mine went on to study medicine at university and had to do an internship at Leicester morgue. When I visited him he offered me a cup of tea. To my horror he pulled open a drawer to get the milk which was keeping cold next to a ‘stiff’. An unfortunate lady who had died the previous day in a road accident.

    Thanks also to the 2 Kiwis for the review.

  10. I was really enjoying this until I got to the top right corner and found myself totally stumped. Even the hints failed to unpick 6d and never having heard of an imago makes it damn difficult to spot a hidden clue. However, the grotty clues up in that corner were balanced by some brilliant ones elsewhere in 13a, 23a and 3d esp the last which really made me smile. So for me a bit of a curate’s egg.
    Thx to all

  11. Just nicely testing. Thank you Jay and 2 Ks. 18a fav. NE corner last to go in. Needed dictionary help with some obvious Thesaurus products such as 24d and 10a. Took a while to parse 6d to avoid putting in Evita. 3d seems a bit contrived and not sure about this synonym for matriarchy. ***/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  12. First had Settlers for 5d which slowed me down a bit. But when I realised my mistake, everything fell into place.
    Had to resort to the hints for 13a. New word for me.
    Liked 9a and 23a a lot.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review.

    1. My kids used to use this for waterproofing their football boots and have used it for walking boots. Nowadays the are much less messy alternatives!

    2. Glad I wasn’t alone with Settlers Jean Luc – it seemed to make sense at the time !

  13. Very slow start for me today. Once ‘French toast ‘ went in things started to improve and just got better and better. SW corner was last to go in. My favourite clues were 2d, 3d, 4 d, 17 d, 18 a & 23a. Some very neat and witty clues, so throughly enjoyable. I did try to fit ‘nose dive’ into 21a which held me up a bit, and I found 13a a bit of a head scratcher, Thanks to setter and 2 kiwis….. Although I did not have to use the hints today (amazingly)! **/**** from me today. No time for the Toughie now as I have to go to work….may try it later, although didn’t get far with yesterday’s.

  14. What a terrific crossword today – I agree with 3* difficulty and at least 4* for enjoyment.
    I caught 10a before he had a chance to catch me, eventually saw 2d, but missed 7d for ages.
    For some daft reason 19a was my last answer – not the most difficult clue by a long way but . . .
    Being a pedant I wasn’t very keen on 23a – plasma is a component of blood rather than a synonym for it – a very minor quibble in such a brilliant crossword – setter’s licence and all that kind of stuff!
    I was slow with the 28a anagram, partly because I convinced myself that the second word had to be ‘roast’ but mainly because it’s ‘eggy bread’ in our house.
    8d took a lot of thought and head-scratching – I’m not a Kiwi so don’t have a beak to scratch.
    I liked too many of these clues to mention them all so a few are 11 and 18a and 4 and 20d. Favourite by miles was 3d which made me laugh.
    With thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis – you’ll need those woolly jumpies again in a couple of weeks!

    1. Hello, fellow pedant! It’s nice to have a fellow guardian of standards around.

      However, just a thought regarding 23 (and I might be a million miles wide of the mark with this comment), as it is not a clear cut double definition, do you think that might be why the clue ends with a question mark?

        1. I’m with you. If plasma is blood then a kneecap is a leg. I did enjoy the crossword though.

          1. Yes – plasma is the wet stuff that everything else sploshes around in. I loved the crossword too and thought it was a particularly good one today. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      1. Screen yes , blood no.! Is sap blood ? equally broad , I suggest . But one of the write ins so it didn’t detract from an enjoyable puzzle.

    2. Here in America, eggy bread, aka French Toast, is a sweet dish. I, on the other hand, always thought it should be savoury! They like a lot of sweet things for breakfast, Danish rolls, etc., but I’ve never taken to them.

        1. My step daughter’s husband has a penchant for melted cheese on toast smothered in sugar – that’s yucky too.

            1. Don’t know what happened there Kath – do you want me to take it away so you can start again?

              1. Hi CS – if you really can take things away so I can start again, is it OK if I send you a list? It could be rather a long list……..http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

                  1. Ah – you’re just isolating it to the blog, I was going more for life, the universe and everything. Or at least the bits of same that I’ve had some elements of choice about. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

                    1. Ah, well in that case my list is very short and very comprehensive, but no need to start again.

              2. Thanks Sue – I don’t know what happened there either. Oh well – too bad. We can’t all be perfect all the time. In fact, some of us can’t even be perfect at all – never mind!

        2. Only ever savoury when I was a sprog, and still to this day. And to inflame the debate I love mine with Worcestershire sauce ;)

      1. Oh, and just for the record, French Toast in our house is eggy bread as I’ve already said – our other little peculiarity is that what others call boiled eggs and soldiers in our house is called ‘eggies and dippers’. Who knows, yet again?

  15. Like George, on first read through I was in despair, but I started to get one or two, and then it took off. Really enjoyed this one, but I never did get 27a and still don’t understand it.
    Definite fave was 3d, wotta laugh! Runner up is 7d, but there are many, many good ones.
    Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis for starting the day off so nicely.

          1. The God of War went for a ride,
            Upon his favourite filly,
            “I’m Thor” he cried,
            The horse replied,
            “You’ve got no thaddle, thilly!”

        1. After saddle soaping them, you rub the dubbin on them and leave them in the sun. It soon soaks in and keeps the leather supple. I can’t say it particularly messed up my jeans (not jodhpurs), I wasn’t into fancy riding, just in and around the sugarcane fields. I think it is basically glycerine, isn’t it?

  16. For a while I was struggling big time, then 26 and 28a went in and things started to fall into place more easily. Some lovely clues, 3d and 18a for instance but my favourite was 22d.
    3*/3* overall.
    Thanks to Jay and The Kiwis for their efforts.

  17. If yesterday’s was slightly meaty, this was roast beef. Nom nom nom :).

    There was no choice but to savour this slowly, then I pulled up at the finish. I’d mis-typed 11a: once I noticed that, 3d and then 13a fell. 15a was my last in. Amazingly I finished without help but did have to verify what a 10a is and also 20d’s second definition. I really liked today’s lurkers.

    3d is obviously favourite. Just as well, since I’m surely heading that way.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

    1. Kitty, where has your gravatar gone, or is it only invisible on my computer? It’s not even showing as one of the strange default images.

          1. Hopefully she’ll come back and tell us what it’s like down there – I wouldn’t have a clue, of course. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

            Speaking of gravatars – what’s this new one of yours all about, MP?

            1. It looks like some geezer singing a song to me Jane. He is wrapped up in the lyric and will continue to sing to his audience in a manner more deeply personal than they have ever been sung to before using as voice as old as rock itself. The Master.

                  1. Thanks, MP. Checked it out and – if I had to choose, I’d go for the Crosby & Nash b/w in Milan, 2010.

  18. Slightly more than 3* for me , as regards difficulty.I agree with Dutch about 5d, extraordinary coincidence I suppose. 4d, 7d and 23a brought more smiles.Thanks Jay and our New Zealand friends.

  19. I have Eliza at 6d just because it fits. Silly really as we have seen the clue before in its various guises. As usual a superb puzzle and review. So Ta to all. Saint Sharon’s team beat us 4 -3 last night but we don’t mind. We will still be champions.

    1. Then everyone’s a winner. Well done Saint Sharon’s team for giving the champions a good beating :).

  20. Had to look up answers for 8d, 14d and 15a but otherwise found it straightforward. 2*/4* for me today ? Solved 1a at once as I have a Scottish son-in-law and thought all was going to be plain-sailing but pride comes before a fall ! Took much longer over the middle part then romped to the end.
    Isn’t photo of toast our normal UK type ?? The other kind is thin and crisp surely and doesn’t have delicious butter !
    Thanks to Jay and the NZ solvers !

    1. Oh dear, Mary, Mary – I think you need an introduction to ‘eggy bread’. It’s just a little bit of heaven and very far from being thin and crisp. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  21. Phew, that was hard going indeed, but very satisfying to complete in the end.

    As has already been mentioned, some particularly well disguised hidden words in an excellently constructed puzzle.

    My personal favourites were 13a and 18a, as they produced the widest smiles.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  22. I’m afraid I’m still lurking Kitty – I do enjoy reading what other cruciverbalists make of these puzzles, but I have to record that this was a particularly enjoyable one – lots of smiles from me as I went through it.

    1. Still lurking … the odd comment now and again … and before you know it you’re hooked.

      1. . . . and once you’re hooked you’re hooked – terribly addictive – be warned . . .

  23. Is this a record? Just finished crossword 27555 (July 30th 2014). Fav clue 3d and didn’t need to refer to the hints. Now to have a go at 27782.

    1. …and finished in between eating tea and Master chef. Bottom was a shoe in but struggled a bit on the top. Thank you for the explanations, especially the horse- 2d Favourite was 7d.

  24. Morning all. Breakfast is now out of the way, all the comments have been read and noted, and the sky is just starting to get lighter in the east. Sunrise looks to be not too far away and it should be a good day for Thursday golf (and a couple of crosswords of course). Cheers all. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  25. Ran out of ‘little lines’ on that one, Kitty. As for not wanting to change anything – wouldn’t you even like to alter things a teensy bit, geographically speaking?

  26. Thanks Jay for a fun solve that slotted nicely together in 2* time. 3d was my biggest smile, but there were others along the way. Took me a while to get 19a, my last one in. I’ve no idea why, I spent last week doing that at least twice a day on The Racy Mole. Thanks to K-squared for the usual excellent review and to all commenters for keeping me amused, even when I’ve no idea what you’re talking about. Need an early night tonight as radio duties call in the morning – and then again in the evening, when the rest of you are just finishing the cocoa and setting your alarms. After that, I’ll get a chance to look at tomorrow’s challenge.

  27. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A super puzzle from Jay, most entertaining. Last to fall was the SE Corner. Last in was 15a. Favourite was 1d. Was 3*/4* for me. Late commenting due to organising the Squash Tournament.

  28. Excellent stuff, although I went for IMPACTED for 12a which made 8d impossible. Ok so being “pacted” isn’t great, but I’ve seen plenty more tenuous answers. Thoroughly enjoyed this, even with the “I’m an idiot” conclusion.

  29. Took a while to get started with PARAMEDIC but then raced away. My vote goes to 14d BIRDCAGE

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