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DT 27800

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27800

Hints and tips by Dutch

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Many thanks to all of you for the kind words of encouragement after my first blog last week – means a lot to me. Nice enough day in Macclesfield today, and today’s puzzle (by Jay) took me a bit longer than usual (3* difficulty I would suggest) with one or two answers that I didn’t find convincing, tweaking the enjoyment down a wee bit perhaps, but hey, it’s still much more fun than numerous other chores that lie lurking. It seems like a lot of the clues, if not most, involve the assembly of components. The definition part of each clue is underlined.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    Set record — first for a medical specialist! (11)
RADIOLOGIST: Add together a 5-letter word for a set, digital perhaps, that you might switch on to listen music or the news, followed by a 3-letter word for record, and a shorter way of writing “first”

9a    Fail in competition and refuse to talk (5,2)
CLOSE UP: a verb meaning to fail inside a knockout competition gives a phrasal verb meaning to keep quiet, normally because the alternative is somehow scary

10a    Popular guy touring North, away from the sea (6)
INLAND: 2-letter word for popular followed by a 3-letter word for guy or bloke containing the abbreviation for N(orth)

12a    Result revealed company limits of malaise (7)
OUTCOME: 3-letter word for revealed or published plus the usual abbreviation for COmpany and the first and last letters (limits) of MalaisE

13a    Proceed at once from Indian state capital (2,5)
GO AHEAD: 3-letter Indian state plus a word meaning capital in the sense of principal or chief

14a    Unadulterated English strain (5)
PUREE: 4-letter word for unadulterated with the abbreviation for English. I think of this verb as involving the blending/mashing/liquidizing and other fun things rather than the filtering, but there you go

15a    Unwilling to work without a dress? (9)
SHIFTLESS: an adjective meaning unwilling to work or feckless which, split as (5-4), could be someone not wearing a kind of dress.

17a    Meat that’s cooked inside doesn’t mostly spread worms! (9)
NEMATODES: Anagram of MEAT (that’s cooked) inside an anagram of most letters of DOESN’T (mostly spread)

20a    Another one’s bird? (5)
HERON: A lurker, hidden in the clue. Cryptically, we read the ‘S as ownership (or “has”) to indicate the hidden word, and we can read the question mark as an apology in case that seems unusual

22a    Sun and Express may be financially sound (7)
SOLVENT: The Latin word for sun, plus a 4 letter verb meaning to express or let out, as in “express your anger”

24a    Handcuff chap, adult, oddly calmed (7)
MANACLE: 3-letter word for chap or male, abbreviation for A(dult) and the odd letters of CaLmEd

25a    Tinker‘s dossier covering two days (6)
FIDDLE: 4-letter word for dossier or a collection of records that we might store on our computer, around (covering) the abbreviation for D(ay) twice

26a    At home with drink, kids with no limits being tasteless (7)
INSIPID: 2-letter word meaning at home, 3-letter verb meaning drink (gently), plus what is left of the word KIDS when you remove the first and last letters (with no limits)

27a    Mutually destructive niece set straight by trainee doctor (11)
INTERNECINE: Anagram of NIECE (set straight) following (by) a word for a trainee doctor. “By” can just mean next to, but here it is being used to mean following or after. Not a word I use every day


2d    Amazing certain people after a hollow welcome (7)
AWESOME: After A (from the clue), we have WelcomE with the internal letters removed (hollow), followed by a 4-letter word meaning certain people, or just a few (of anything). My 10-yr old daughter uses this answer nonstop, typically when describing herself

3d    Shanghai journalist is deeply affected (9)
IMPRESSED: A 7-letter verb meaning to convince or pressure followed by a 2-letter abbreviation for an important journalist. I’m not ********* with this clue, not sure the definition is as accurate as it could be and in general, it isn’t very exciting to have the answer simply be the past tense of the main part of the wordplay – but perhaps I missed something…

4d    Stretched out in the air, topless (5)
LYING: You might be this in bed, say, once you’ve removed the first letter (topless, in a down clue) from something that birds are doing up high

5d    Chivalrous worker bears insolence (7)
GALLANT: a six-legged worker in a social community carries above it (bears, in a down clue) a 4-letter word for insolence derived from an acidic bodily fluid

6d    Genuine evil about to engulf Church (7)
SINCERE: 3-letter word for something evil, like lust and greed, followed by a standard two-letter abbreviation for about, all around (to engulf) the abbreviation for the Anglican Church

7d    Firm docked one’s time, after bill for musician (11)
ACCOMPANIST: Another word for firm or business, written out in full except for the last letter (docked) comes after a 2-letter abbreviation for bill or financial statement, and to finish we need a shorter way of writing one’s with the abbreviation for T(ime)

8d    Laugh in front of the Queen! That’s a warning (6)
HOOTER: A 4-letter word for a laugh or a scream or something an owl might say, followed by the standard initials for Queen Elizabeth

11d    Items requiring unusual smooth finishes (4,3,4)
ODDS AND ENDS: Again, we’re putting together 3 pieces to generate the answer: a 3-letter word for unusual or rum, a 4-letter verb meaning to smooth (as applied to a piece of wood or a floor), and a noun or verb meaning finishes

16d    Person desperately wanting a night out? (9)
INSOMNIAC: A cryptic definition (like a riddle): this person normally tries to go “out” but frustratingly can’t while 4d in bed. This person is sometimes me, luckily not so much at the moment

18d    Quantity produced by factory with one working? (7)
MILLION: A four-letter word for factory or plant or grinder with the roman numeral for one and a 2-letter preposition used to indicate working or operational gives you this (large) number

19d    Let out to cover study for mechanism (7)
TREADLE: Anagram of LET (out) surrounding (to cover) a word meaning study or peruse

20d    Waits for operator perhaps to suspend lad (5,2)
HANGS ON: This kind of operator runs a switchboard. When written (4,3), the answer can be read as suspend or dangle a lad or young man

21d    Engineers turn up impressive formula (6)
RECIPE: Abbreviation for Royal Engineers plus a word my 12-yr old son uses non-stop (normally referring to himself) meaning impressive or a long narrative poem, written backwards (turn up)

23d    Wooden serving dish (non-U!) (5)
TREEN: Take a word for a large serving dish and remove the U (non-U). This gives you a word literally meaning “of tree” which is used to describe small articles made of wood used for house-hold decoration. I had seen the word before, but had forgotten

My favourites were 8d and 16d – which were yours?

The Quick Crossword pun: parch+Alec+lips=partial eclipse



44 comments on “DT 27800

  1. 1.5*/3*. I found this at the easier end of Jay’s spectrum but nevertheless very enjoyable.

    For 7d, having erroneously decided that “firm” must be “co” or “com”, I wasted a bit of time trying to work out how “docked” led to “pan” before the penny finally dropped.

    23d was a new word for me. 17a was my favourite with honourable mentions for 25a & 27a.

    Many thanks to Jay, and to Dutch for another splendid review.

  2. Who knows how these things work out? This one was falling off a log for me, except for one pesky clue, 23d, which I’d never heard of……checkers no help at all, so A- for me.

    Still, it has at least let me get on with horticultural pursuits on a thankfully better weather day. We picked the 8 days of rain, gales and gloom (in between the weeks of sunshine) for our motorhome trip……… And I read today that the summer may be a washout due to El Niño. Or is it El Vino?

  3. Nice and straightforward for me today – although not entirely trivial. 1a was my last in – there are just so many medical specialists!

    2*/4* I would say.

    Thanks to all for puzzle and blog.

  4. Agree with Dutch that a couple of rather unconvincing ones took the edge off this otherwise enjoyable puzzle. 2*/3* for me – would have gone for 1.5* on the difficulty but had to dig deep into the memory bank for 17a and hadn’t come across 23d before today.
    Must also admit to a silly moment over the correct order required for ‘niece’ at the end of 27a!
    19d reminded me of the ancient sewing machine my Mum had when I was a child – great excitement when she had it ‘converted’ into a hand-operated model.

    Liked 13,15&22a but favourite spot goes to 11d.

    Thanks to Jay and also to Dutch for a second splendid review. How very true the quote at 26a is, but I’m a little worried as to which publication you used to find the pic. for 24a! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  5. Manged the E side, but needed the hints for the W.
    Is ‘intern’ a British term? I do not think I have ever heard it used to describe a trainee doctor in a British hospital…..houseman, house officer, registrar I know, but not intern.

    Thanks to the setter and to Dutch.

  6. Thanks Dutch for a most enjoyable review. We agree that a couple of the clues were a bit unsatisfactory but otherwise thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle. For us it was a game of two halves, as they say on the football. We whizzed through the right-hand side but got ridiculously stuck on the left and it was like starting from the beginning again. We enjoy the multi-component clues but could have done with a few obvious anagrams to get going!

  7. Going for a **/*** today, thanks to Dutch for the 7d ‘unravelling’, as I went through the same process as Rabbit Dave except my penny didn’t drop! 23d was an obvious answer but not sure if I’d heard of it before, I remember that the TREENS from Dan Dare in The Eagle comic in the 1950’s had green skins-is this a coincidence I ask ?-Would have made a good ‘blog pic.

    1. Hi Beaver,
      Travelling back to your ‘patch’ next week to stay with a friend in Bunbury (where they filmed the Home Fires series). No doubt, if the weather stays as it is, you may well be heading over here to my ‘patch’. We may pass like the proverbial ships in the night on the glorious A55!

  8. Back in your patch last weekend-good’ indian’ in Beaumaris! One of my Bunbury friends let his property to the film company for the series-not seen any episodes yet, but general opinion is that is a bit of a slow starter.

    1. Yes – think you’re right about the ‘slow start’ but it’s a good cast list and does seem more and more to be giving a reasonable insight into how ‘ordinary’ folk dealt with the potential outbreak of war. Trouble is, I’m spending far too much time trying to pick out the recognisable Bunbury landmarks instead of concentrating on the story line.
      I’ve heard good reports about the ‘Indian’ – keep meaning to give it a try. Your comment may well spur me on to do so, although I’m rather short of companions who enjoy spicy food (maybe it’s an ‘age’ thing?). If all else fails, we’ll have to swap emails and arrange to meet up there sometime when you and yours are headed in this direction!

  9. The most straightforward Jay ever methinks. We got eleven of the acrosses and then twelve of the downs on first pass. Must be a record http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    So it’s */*** from us with16d as favourite.

    I don’t have a problem with 3d, where to shanghai is to impress (as in by the press gang) followed by the journalist with the whole thing meaning deeply affected. Perhaps the word deeply isn’t strictly necessary but the clue works for me.

    Thanks to Jay and Dutch.

  10. ***/***

    Didn’t find this the easiet Jay offering. 3d was an outright guess. 23d had to be checked and although I’ve heard of intern for 27a, I thought it was an American term.

    I did like quite a lot. 16d is rather good and 17a even better.

    Many thanks to Jay and to Dutch for another accomplished blog. Nice handcuffs by the way…yours?

  11. This didn’t really float my boat. I thought there were several iffy clues including 3d and 4d. 23d new to me but always good to increase one’s vocabulary. Thanks Jay and Dutch. ***/**. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  12. Good solid 2/3 for me today. As usual, any unknown words were solved by the excellent wordplay in the clues. Congrats on the blog today and thanks to the setter.

  13. Pretty average today with some really good clues and some not quite up there – I’m sure you all know which ones. I remembered the worms at 17a from last years six nations games at Murrayfield and my favourite for today is 16d (could have been straight off the pen of Rufus)

    Thanks to Jay for the puzzle and Dutch for the review (keep up the good workhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif)

  14. Thanks to Jay and to Dutch for the review and hints. A very well constructed and enjoyable puzzle. All went ok until I was left with the NW corner, once I got 14a, all the rest fell into place. Had never heard of 23d,but got it from the wordplay. Last in was 8d, favourite was 1a. Was 2*/3* for me. Fantastic weather in Central London.

  15. 16d is such an apposite answer for us at present. We still have been wide awake by 4am every morning with our bodies telling us it is time to start the day. Expect that we will get adjusted by the time we go home.
    Solved this one this morning before facing the challenges of London’s transport system once again and we are now somewhere in the countryside NW of there.
    Our last bit to complete was the first part of 1a.
    Another excellent blog Dutch. Thanks to you and of course to Jay for another fine puzzle.

  16. A bit tricky today…had to use a couple of hints to help me finish the SW corner, some great clues.. I particularly liked 7d, 8d, 11d and 17a… Always enjoy biology type questions! Thanks to setter and to Dutch for the review .this was ***/*** for me today. Very chilly here in North Norfolk today…only 12C by the seaside with a stiff breeze…nice and sunny up until about 30 minutes ago…..roll on proper summer!

  17. Very enjoyable puzzle, I got on much better than yesterday. 23d was new to me and the spelling of 27a a little tricky. I liked 15a best.
    Thanks Dutch and Jay.

  18. Same feeling about some of the clues.
    Was reluctant to fill in some of the answers but on second reading it made sense.
    Liked 11d a lot. Shortly followed by 6d.
    13a was quite good also. I’m sure Framboise will agree.
    Indian Palace was on TV last night and with the joy of modern TNT I was able to watch it in it’s original version. What a great film with brilliant actors.
    Thanks to Jay and to Dutch for the great review and pics.

  19. I don’t think I’ve ever tried a more straightforward Jay. Took only two passes. Managed to finish before the anaesthetic wears off, thankfully. Pain comes later. Liked 16d very much. Come tomorrow, I may well be able to comment using both hands to type. Thanks to Jay for not over testing me and well done again Dutch for blogging like the seasoned pro you have already become.

    1. Pleased to see you on the blog today and hope you don’t feel too bad when the anaesthetic wears off. If all else fails, I guess you could always resort to the Famous Grouse! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      1. If all else fails? The Famous Grouse is always the painkiller of first resort.
        Humbled by your good wishes

    2. Have I missed something serious? I do hope that whatever ails you Tstrummer will soon disappear. I’m more of a Highland Park man myself but The Grouse is always a convenient standby.

      I wish you well in your recoveryhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      1. Good wishes greatly and humbly appreciated. Given the choice, I’d always go for the Gelngoyne 12-year-old, but they don’t seem to stock that inLucky Food and Wine in Croydon Road

  20. Not happy with 3d either, so much so that for ages I thought that the first two letters had to be “DE” which of course meant I encountered a brick wall with 1a. Thanks to the blog for putting me right.

    Favourite clue of the day was 16d, 23d was new to me as well.

    Many thanks to Jay and Dutch.

  21. I thought this was a very straight forward puzzle from Jay; although maybe I was just expecting a lot more grief! Anyway no problems, 23d had to be and 16d was the fave. 1.5*/2.5*. Nice one Dutch and thanks to Jay.

  22. Really enjoyed this, as always with Jay. We seem to be on the same wave-length regarding jokes ! Loved 16d and 17a also 15a ! Knew 23d from good old Shakespeare but stumbled over the easy (?) 18d for some reason……..couldn’t get the correct word for “factory”…..http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif
    Anyone else been to Tettenhall and enjoyed “Gluttons for Nourishment” ? Great name, great place.
    1*/**** for me today. Hurrah !

  23. Certainly no write-in here, but not too tricky either. Thanks to dutch and Jay **/***

  24. I love Wednesday’s crosswords – think I’ll go for 2* and a bit for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    Not much time to comment – things are quite busy round here at the moment so just popped in to say “Hello” to everyone.
    I liked 20a (even though it was hidden) and 4 and 8d. My favourite was either 1 or 17a.
    With thanks to Jay and thanks, well done and a big http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif to Dutch.

  25. Completed just within 1* time, but it didn’t feel easy at the time. Some nicely judged and cleverly misleading clues, so 3.5* for satisfaction derived. 11d wasn’t particularly testing, but for some reason made me smile, so gets my vote for favouritism. Thanks to Jay, and to Dutch for the review.

  26. Slowly chipped away at this and it made a pleasant train journey through the Surrey hills even more enjoyable. Held up by SW corner, and knew 23d but couldn’t think of the ‘U’ word for ages! Can’t believe so many people didn’t know 23d – it comes up regularly on Antiques Roadshow. Thanks to Jay and Dutch.

  27. Hi Dutch, nice blog, thanks. I found this relatively easy but fell into the 3d trap, starting with repressed before changing to depressed before finally plumping for the right answer. All of which left 1a the last in. Favourite – none, all pretty ordinary really.

  28. Thank you Jay for what proved to be a difficult puzzle for me. After the 5 hour journey back from Norwich, lawn mowing etc, I thought it might be nice to sit in the evening sunshine and enjoy the crossword with a glass of wine. Before I had a sip, I knocked the wine over the paper and hence the slight delay in commenting. Fortunately it was white wine so I can still read it ! So all rather fraught. Thanks Dutch for your review and hints which I consulted to aid progress.

  29. A lurker de-lurking here http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif
    Have been attempting the DT crosswords quite regularly, along with hubby. Very occasionally we finish it (even the proud owner of a DT notebook and pen courtesy of the prize crossword a few months back http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif ). Very grateful for the help on BigDave, in particular with parsing those answers that we have filled in without fully knowing why
    Today being one of those rare crosswords that we completed, I would rate it as 2*/4*, The north-west corner held me up, last in being 8D. Favourite clue was 22A.
    Thanks to Jay and Dutch for a lovely review.

    1. Welcome to the blog, jude. Now that you’ve de-lurked I hope that we’ll get lots more comments from you.

  30. Fairly straightforward but good fun though. Last for me was 27a and 23d – I think I have heard of this word before but had forgotten. These two were completed the following morning then checked on the superb blog. Thanks Dutch, you are a natural.
    Dunno who set it but thanks to him/her too. Off to MOMA now.

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