DT 27787 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27787

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27787

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

This shouldn’t be too strenuous or stressful – do let us know what you made of it and how you got on. If you’re a long-term, or even short-term, lurker and haven’t yet plucked up the courage to introduce yourself, today would be an excellent day to take the bull by the horns and make a comment – on the whole we’re a pretty friendly lot and we won’t bite.

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

4a Like some magazines including detailed art index (8)
GLOSSARY – the appearance of magazines printed on shiny paper contains art without its final letter (de-tailed).

8a Writer finding soldiers in sound condition (6)
ORWELL – charade of the abbreviation for ordinary soldiers and an adverb meaning in sound condition. If Prolixic were writing this review he’d probably say that strictly speaking it should be wordplay finding or leading to definition, rather than definition finding wordplay.

9a Exercise? It is embraced by poet mostly for fitness (8)
APTITUDE – an abbreviation for physical exercise or drill and IT (from the clue) are contained in the surname of a 20th century Anglo-American poet without the final N (mostly).

10a Breakdown — and what might resolve it? (8)
ANALYSIS – double definition – a) a detailed breakdown of something (the chemical constituents of a substance, for example) and b) treatment for someone who’s suffered a mental breakdown.

11a Influence unsettling camp hosted by Italian (6)
IMPACT – an anagram (unsettling) of CAMP is contained inside the abbreviation for Italian vermouth.

12a Note chap devised for memorial site (8)
CENOTAPH – an anagram (devised) of NOTE CHAP.

13a Set aside bowling regulation? (8)
OVERRULE – cryptically, when split 4,4, this could form part of the laws of cricket.

16a Rigid boat in difficulty (8)
HARDSHIP – join together an adjective meaning rigid or firm and a large boat.

19a English politician, one going into old drink shop (8)
EMPORIUM – start with E(nglish) and our usual elected politician then insert the Roman numeral for one into O(ld) and an alcoholic drink.

21a It’s carried out smoothly in bars (6)
LEGATO – we usually see this word as an adverb but here it’s a noun – it’s a passage of music which is marked to be performed in a smooth manner.

23a Second collection of teachers surrounding fellows in Tube station (8)
MONUMENT – start with the abbreviation for a short period of time (second) and follow this with one of the teachers’ unions containing fellows.

24a Trail of paper shredded for union? (8)
CONFETTI – a gentle cryptic definition. This union is a wedding ceremony.

25a Something soothing in a car being convertible (6)
ARNICA – an anagram (being convertible) of IN A CAR.

26a Educated lawyer led astray with yen to quit (4-4)
WELL-READ – an anagram (astray) of LAW(y)ER LED after the Y(en) has done a runner.

Down Clues

1d Ornament, new, carried by vehicle ridden on time (7)
TRINKET – N(ew) is inserted into (carried by) a vehicle ridden (often by a young child). That precedes (on, in a down clue) T(ime).

2d Diplomat will chase after infernal creature (9)
HELLHOUND – charade of the contracted form of ‘diplomat will’ (where the diplomat is the abbreviation of the title used for an ambassador) and a verb to chase after or hunt down.

3d State unfortunately close to risk area (6)
ALASKA – string together an exclamation meaning unfortunately, the closing letter of risk and A(rea).

4d Object to cricket? The reverse — it shows limited focus (11,4)
GRASSHOPPER MIND – a verb meaning object to or disapprove of and a cricket (not the noble game but a chirping insect). The reverse indicates a change in the order – the cricket comes first.

5d Foreign party unconscious on drink, we hear (8)
OUTSIDER – an adverb meaning unconscious or dead to the world is followed by what sounds like an alcoholic drink made from apples.

6d Arrange shot in film (3-2)
SET-UP – this is the bringing together of everything required for part of a scene to be shot on film. As 3,2 (with no hyphen) it’s a phrasal verb meaning to arrange or organise. These are the verb and noun forms of pretty much the same thing.

7d Progressive artist caught in ring (7)
RADICAL – start with the usual abbreviation for a Royal Academician (artist) then insert the single-letter cricketing abbreviation for caught in a verb to ring or telephone.

14d Slate prudish article penned by socialist (9)
REPRIMAND – an adjective meaning prudish or proper and an indefinite article are put inside (penned by) a socialist or communist.

15d Put hands round  device in saloon? (8)
THROTTLE – double definition, the second a device in a saloon (or possibly a hatchback).

17d Exotic name individual gives plant (7)
ANEMONE – an anagram (exotic) of NAME is followed by an adjective meaning individual or single.

18d Vessel in front that generates heat? (7)
FURNACE – insert a vessel (one used to hold ashes or even The Ashes, say) into a front or facade.

20d Evidence of wit, that might prevent disorder in Asian border region (6)
PUNJAB – charade of a witticism and what you may be given to provide immunity against a disease or infection.

22d A wife’s offence — lacking love. Terrible! (5)
AWFUL – string together A, W(ife) and the sort of offence that may lead to a yellow or red card without the letter that resembles love or zero.

The clues I liked best were 4d and 20d. Which one(s) got you excited?

Today’s Quickie Pun: CELL + DUMB = SELDOM


69 comments on “DT 27787

  1. I was well on course for 1* time with three quarters completed but yet again the NE corner slowed me down. I thought the clues were quite a mixture varying from uninspiring to very good. Overall my rating today is 2*/2.5*, with 4a my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to Gazza.

  2. I found this puzzle quite difficult – it took me a while to complete. If you cannot say anything good about a puzzle then say nothing – is my comment. 4*/1* is my rating.

  3. Three quarters went in without hitch but then had to seek help in the NW mainly due to 2d of which I had not heard. Enjoyable nevertheless. Fav 21a. Thanks Mr. Ron and Gazza. ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  4. Really enjoyable today not sure about answer to 2d but I expect somebody out there will explain to me. Many thanks to Gazza and compiler.

      1. Thanks for the explanation , you need Sherlock like skills to sort this out .I am a bit more like Watson

      2. I got the answer but thanks for explaining how I should have been thinking. Really obscure.

  5. Nice gentle puzzle, though I don’t think I’ve seen the expression in 4d (object to cricket), so that needed a few checking letters for me.

    I liked the educated lawyer (26d), as well as 18d (vessel in front) which has the flavour of a whole clue definition.

    I did think the “that” in “that might prevent disorder” (20d) read a little strangely – this?

    Many thanks setter and gazza

  6. Sterner stuff for me today, did’nt help when I read 4d as ( 4/11) instead of (11/4 ) ! was certain that the first 4 letter word was goal ie object-g and a already in as the checking letters! ,thankfully ,at a loss with the clue, re read it and after self admonishment , things progressed smoothly . Thought that Gazza might have had a pic of David Carradine (1970’s kung fu) for 4d as his nickname was most apt .Anyway a ***/*** for me, liked lots of the clues-20d amused

  7. I struggled all morning with this and would give it 3*. However, I do not think that it is playing the game to mix up anagrams with alternative words as in 17d. Nevertheless the puzzle was both challenging and enjoyable so many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the clear hints which, gratefully, I did not have to use

    1. There’s nothing wrong with a partial anagram, it’s only an indirect anagram that’s verboten.

  8. Disliked this one probably because I could see little of the wordplay. Very difficult indeed I thought, for me at least a **** for difficulty. Consequently of course no enjoyment at all.
    Out of curiosity who is the poet in 9a?
    Thx to Gazza for the hints.

  9. No problem today except for 4a and 5d for which I needed help, thank you Gazza! Worked out 4d but had vever heard of this expression. 24a made me smile. Favourite was 21a. Have not blogged for a while as busy with visitors and various appointments but managed to find time to do the puzzles! 2.5*/3*. Found the quickie quite challenging as so many synonyms could fit quite a few clues! Sun returned to Hyères after a dreadful rainy day yesterday…

  10. Took me longer than it should’ve to complete this puzzle. Had never heard of 4d and it took me a while until the penny dropped and on that type of grid it’s helpful to get the long answer quickly. Enjoyable solve but would have to go about 3.5* simply based on the time it took. Thanks to Gazza and setter 3.5*/3*

  11. Thanks Mysteron, as I enjoyed nearly all of this last night, but, due to the late hour, I had to give up on 2d when just into 2* time. Still couldn’t see it this morning without Gazza’s hint, (thanks Gazza) – surely not all diplomats are His or Her Exc.?

    Had Worell in for 8a at first (until it didn’t work with 1d) being soldiers “IN” sound condition, but with a few others soon realised that this setter likes lego-build clues.

    Off dog walking now before it gets too hot – 93 degrees yesterday and getting hotter!

    1. Yes I had Worell for 8a too…..don’t know why as I’ve never heard of such a writer!

  12. Gentle and pleasant, but my brain gave out with three remaining. Don’t feel like mentioning which because they weren’t difficult. C’est la vie.

    Agree with Framboise that the quickie is not.

    Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

    1. It’s gone again! You said yesterday it was for a limited time only and you were right. Kitty is very definitely a mystery cat to rival Macavity

  13. I found today tougher than usual but very satisfying. 10a my favourite. Gave me an aa agh then a mmmh moment. Thanks to Gazza’s for explanation of 2d.
    I was thinking of switching from full Telegraph sub to the crossword sub. Will it appear in the same format in my IPAD Air.

  14. I quite enjoyed this one but spent far too long trying to solve an anagram of ‘for union’, which held up the SW corner. 2*/3* for me overall.
    Thanks as always to setter and Gazza.

  15. Quite difficult for us today, not being able to see what we were looking for. However with a little help from the hints we’ve finished so thank you to the Tuesday setter and to Gazza. Winter has returned here today, it’s absolutely freezing. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  16. I am glad you think it is not to strenuous or stressful Gazza. I have read it through three times and solved a mere nine clues. The toughie however has fallen very quickly and I have a mere nine clues left to solve two of which are anagrams that will show themselves eventually and give a few more checkers.

  17. Enjoyed but found certain aspects vague and hadnt heard the expression Grasshopper mind. Thanks for the help

  18. Not one to frighten the horses methinks. I’d go for **/**** with 20d favourite.

    I hadn’t heard the phrase in 4d either. For me it’s always been a flutterby mind but the answer was pretty obvious.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza.

  19. I thought this was tricky while I was doing it but I can’t see why now that I’ve finished it – one of those! At least 3* difficulty and nearer 4* for enjoyment.
    The style felt unfamiliar and it took me a very long time to get anywhere near being on the right wavelength.
    I kept on trying to put things inside other things when that wasn’t what I should have been doing at all – 8a being the best example of what I mean.
    I thought that the 15d ‘put hands round’ was a bit of an understatement for strangling someone.
    I didn’t know the 23a underground station – only know the ones that are anywhere near where either of the Lambs have ever lived.
    I really enjoyed this. I liked 4 and 10a and 2d. My favourite was 4d – I have one of those – what else would anyone expect from a Geminian?
    Off to the garden – Toughie later.

    1. Oh dear – my 4d blew my manners out of the window – thanks to Mr Ron and to gazza.

  20. Just in response to the “bull by the horns” invitation. I thought today was fairly difficult…. I could not find a wavelength for a while, so I think it was at least a 3 for difficulty.

  21. This was one of those puzzles that slow-burned, until a quick flash of inspiration and suddenly it was finished. As always, you rely on the accurate wordplay to deduce the words or phrases you’ve not heard of. I agree with the degree of difficulty.

    1. I presume that you’re our usual Shropshire Lad but a different email address has sent you into moderation.

      1. Sorry Gazza – I’m a newbie to the blog. Didn’t realise the Lad was already in use. I’ll switch to a new username next time. Apologies to the original!

        1. In which case welcome to the blog and thanks for agreeing to change your handle. As far as I’m aware nobody on here uses ‘Young Salopian’. :D

          1. I fear Old Salopian is nearer the mark. If that is in use, I shall be Darwin.

  22. I found this slow going,*** for difficulty. 4d was new to me too. In fact I’d say it was slightly harder than the Toughie today.

  23. Quite tough today but not particularly interesting for me. I’m writing in first person because yesterdays birthday girl is fully occupied with dog walking and trying to usher overnight guests out of the door, armed with Mr. Sheen and other products to try and bring some reasonable order to the household. Only got 4d because I’d heard of the book and it fitted. Some nice clues anyway, so thanks to Captain Scarlett’s nemesis and Gazza for his always very clear and interesting review.

  24. This was a uphill struggle for me today and were it not for Gazza I would still be struggling. This was 3.5/2.5 territory for me today. Cannot nominate a favourite but will say many thanks to Gazza for the review.

  25. Having just achieved 100,000 points in a year I thought I was now mastering cryptic crosswords but today was a 5* for me. Not enjoyable!

  26. Once in a while I just cannot get into the setter’s mindset and then I feel really dim ….this usually happens on a Thursday.

  27. I thought it was a rather good crossword.
    Nothing too obscure. Even the expression of 4d was easy to get from the checking letters for a change.
    And the tube station in 23a too. I once climbed all the steps of that tower. Nice view and cheaper than the London Eye.
    Mind you, if you like steps, just alight in Covent garden and try to walk up.
    Auden in 9a is now an old chestnut. We do meet him regularly.
    15d took a while to unravel.
    Thanks to Gazza and Mr Ron.

  28. Slightly trickier than yesterday’s, but only had to use the hints for one clue. I got 4d straight away……must be because it’s a phrase we use a lot in this house! I got a bit stuck in the NW corner…mainly because, for some inexplicable reason I had the writer in as ‘Worell’……absolutely no idea why as I had never heard of any such writer. Anyway once that was sorted, everything else fell into place. My favourite clues were 20d…that made me laugh. My late husband used to use the phrase ‘all around the the Punjab’ to mean all over the place..like all round the houses sort of thing. I also thought10a and 15d were clever clues. I also liked 21a… I enjoy musical clues, but for some reason today, I just couldn’t think of the correct term, but then once I had ‘throttled’ 15d it came to me. All in all an enjoyable puzzle which took me a bit longer than usual to crack. Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the hints …I agree a **/*** rating is about right.

  29. A tricky offering the north west frontier held me up and I needed a couple of hints but still enjoyable in parts ****/**

  30. Thank you setter for what for me was a very difficult puzzle. Not too much fun either ! Never mind – another sunny but breezy day at Minsmere. Thanks Gazza for your review and hints which I certainly used for wordplay decoding.

  31. Quite a struggle for me today…not helped by my being convinced that 13a was overturn…..
    I don’t think that ‘reprimand’ means ‘slate’…..but what do I know?
    Don’t even try to answer that.

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  32. Higher than ** for me. 2d and 4d are phrases unfamiliar to me.I did like quite a few though, including 16a,4a, 23a, 15d.
    Thanks Gazza and the setter.

  33. I thought this was the toughest puzzle for a while, more of a Friday standard than the normal Tuesday fare.

    Like others, 4d was a new expression to me and took quite a while to work out, and, because of its strategic position in the grid, it delayed many other answers going in.

    Difficult to determine a favourite, but I did like 10a, 5d and 14d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  34. Degrees of difficulty are very varied for today’s crossword I must say! I’m in the far more tricky than usual camp; it took me ages to complete. I, like several people have said, failed to get on the right wavelength and hence very little was simple.
    I was glad when I finished, and then when I looked at it I wondered why.
    Favourite clue was 8a and overall I think 3*/3*
    Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza for his review.

  35. Goodness, that was a real struggle – at least 3.5* for difficulty and probably only 2* for enjoyment.
    I did like 4d, which put me in mind of the original Kung Fu TV series of the early ’70s.
    Thanks to Mr. Ron (is this a new setter?) and to Gazza for explaining what SHOULD have been going through my mind.

    Off to W.Sussex in the morning for a few days – strictly bird watching and no crosswords (my instructions!).
    Catch up with you all again next week. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    1. Bon voyage to W. Sussex where today has been coolish but sunny with more of the same plus some showers forecast for next few days so do bring some winter woollies!

      1. Thanks, Angel – have just decanted a couple of t-shirts from the case and replaced with a sweater!

  36. We spent a bit of time fiddling around with ‘glasshouses something’ for 4d before the right answer emerged. We did remember the Tube station from last time we were in London. Wonder if we will see it again when we are there in what is now, less than a week’s time. A good fun puzzle that had no majorr hold-ups.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

  37. It makes me smile when people have learned so much from this site that they regularly complete puzzles like this one when only a few months ago they were pleased to have solved their first puzzle without resort to hints. I found this to be a stinker and feel that I would never have solved it. Well done to those amongst you who did manage it. Thank you Mr Ron for making me feel like a newcomer and thank you Gazza for your review.

  38. Back on the train so another occasional crack at the crossword. Couldn’t quite get the wavelength of the setter but the grey matter must be in there somewhere as I found easy what some bloggers didn’t, 2d, 17d but my sporting head refused to contemplate an insect for 4d. Must brush up on musical terms as well but this easily saw me through a lengthy train journey. Thanks to setter and bloggers again, always a good read.

  39. **/***

    Slightly trickier than I normally find Tuesday. 4d needed checking and 20d had me scratching my head. Good fun.

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

  40. I really enjoyed this puzzle. It wasn’t that difficult (2*), but the cluing was crisp, clever and amusing. For enjoyment/satisfaction, this gets 5* from me. So many challengers for favouritism (8a, 9a, 23a) but 2d gets my vote. Many thanks to Mr Ron, and to Gazza for the review.

  41. I enjoyed this. No difficulties thanks to excellent clueing. I did like 2D and 4d a lot. Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  42. It puzzles me that some people dislike a crossword because they find it difficult. Isn’t that the point? There are easier ones to find elsewhere, but upon completion there’s little satisfaction, I feel. Having said that, however, I thought this was a great puzzle simply because of the quality of the clueing, so although I didn’t find it too strenuous, it was most satisfactory, with too may good ‘uns to highlight. 2d was no problem if you’re a blues lover – Robert Johnson’s “Hellhound on my trail” is a long-time favourite and it’s been covered countless times by lesser mortals. That puts it at the top of my podium.
    Good to see some lurkers exposing themselves tonight: welcome to all.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for explanations that eluded me.

    1. A perfect puzzle is hard but do-able. When I can’t even get started then I don’t find it enjoyable.
      I really thought I was getting better at these crosswords after 18 months of struggle (fun?!). But I found this one impossible to crack and then was rather depressed to find it was generally deemed as a ‘gentle puzzle’. Oh well.. onwards and upwards!

  43. I thought this was as sound as a pound from a clueing perspective. Some tough clues in there, mind. Had to return the next day to finish it and rather embarrassingly, Gazza had to point out that the union was a marriage on 24a – thanks for that G.

    It surprises me that I am still able to miss a meaning of a word and therefore stick on the solve. That’s the fun I suppose. Fav was 2d.

    ***/*** for me. Best wishes to all and thanks to Gazza and the setter.

    Now for a nap.

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