DT 27801 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27801

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27801

Hints and tips by Kath et al.

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating — Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning everyone. Today’s hints are brought to you by the combined efforts of the four K’s. Kath has been joined by Kitty from Surrey and the 2Kiwis who have come all the way from New Zealand. We are unanimous in thinking that this is a Ray T crossword which gave us a lot of fun in our rather chaotic joint solve which we started about a minute after midnight! We found it almost impossible to judge the difficulty and so have given it an average rating of 3*.

The answers are hidden under the bits that say “Click here” so only press that if you need to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a            Fan‘s total thrills in the Centre Court (6)
ADDICT — Begin with a verb meaning total or tot up, follow that with the middle letter (centre) of thr(I)ll and finish off with the two letter abbreviation for court. One of us thought that the capitalisation of Centre was a bit 22a.

4a            Marriage plan with suit ordered (8)
NUPTIALS — An anagram (ordered) of PLAN and SUIT


9a            Thrilled editor’s about overdue (6)
ELATED — The usual two letter abbreviation for editor contains (about) another word for overdue or running rather behind yourself.

10a         Paid for cold dish, oddly ruined inside (8)
SALARIED — A cold dish, lettuce, tomatoes and other vegetables, often raw ones, contains the alternate letters (oddly) of ruined.

12a         Sabbath performance capturing new support (8)
SANCTION — A one letter abbreviation for S(abbath) and then a word meaning performance or deed containing (capturing) another abbreviation, this time for N(ew).

13a         Belief is embraced by those people (6)
THEISM — The ‘is’ from the clue is contained by (embraced) a way of saying those people, or that lot over there.

15a         Throttling, flashing a signal to turn (13)
STRANGULATION — An anagram (flashing) of A SIGNAL TO TURN

18a         Resistant antibodies run amok (13)
INSUBORDINATE — Another anagram (amok) of ANTIBODIES RUN

22a         Sly call, pinching behind (6)
CRAFTY — A call or scream contains (pinching) the behind or rear of a boat.


24a         Fawning succeeding in case of flunkey (8)
FLATTERY — The first and last letters (case of ) F(lunke)Y contains (in) another way of saying succeeding or coming after.

26a         Wild cat, lithe and powerful (8)
ATHLETIC — An anagram (wild) of CAT and LITHE


27a         Obliquely like the French, not without love (6)
ASLANT — A two letter word meaning like, or similar to, a French definite article and then end up with the ‘not’ from the clue without the letter that looks like a zero (love).

28a         Possibly one employed by cathedral … (8)
MINISTER — A large church or cathedral contains (employed by) the letter that looks like the Roman numeral for one.

29a         … Church officer in charge, sort of cross (6)
CELTIC — One of the several abbreviations for church, another abbreviation for an officer in the army ranking under captain and then yet another abbreviation for in charge.



1d            Swears with energy becoming hostile (6)
AVERSE — Swears or states vehemently followed by E(nergy).

2d            Agonised missing sweetheart changing one’s opinion (9)
DIAGNOSIS — An anagram (changing) of AGONISED) without the middle letter (heart) of sw(E)et and then the letter that looks like the Roman numeral for one, with the ‘S.

3d            He fiddles with cold radiator (7)
CHEATER — Nothing at all to do with musical instruments – the letter that signifies cold on a tap is followed by a heating device.

5d            Stetson perhaps raised supporting United States? Just one (4)
UTAH — Something of which a Stetson is an example and the one letter abbreviation for U(nited) is all tipped upside down (raised)


6d            Pain in mouth not closing windpipe (7)
TRACHEA — A common word meaning mouth loses its final letter (not closing) and surrounds a synonym for pain.

7d            Excuse to hold old-style party in first-class (5)
ALIBI — A political party which no longer exists is contained in (to hold) the two letters meaning first class or best.

8d            Deposit posted containing bit of money (8)
SEDIMENT — A small American coin is contained in (containing) a word meaning posted or despatched.

11d         Mill located by railway (7)
FOUNDRY — Located or spotted is followed by the two letter abbreviation for R(ailwa)Y


14d         Making sound car, unevenly bolted below (7)
AUDIBLE — A German car precedes the alternate letters (unevenly) of bolted.

16d         Divine leg? Antony keeps it hidden — unlike Cleopatra? (9)
INELEGANT — Here we go – the answer is hidden in the middle of the clue. At this point everyone else chanted, “Kath, here’s one for you!”

17d         Reject record hit penning single (8)
DISCLAIM — A record described by its shape is followed by a synonym for hit or bash which contains (penning) the letter that looks like a one.

19d         Disturbs rest under banyan initially (7)
BOTHERS — The first letter (initially) of B(anyan) is followed by (under) another word for the rest or the remainder.

20d         Performer in part is televised (7)
ARTISTE — And here is our second lurker of the day – it’s another hidden answer (in). Guess who was the first to spot this one? 


21d         Cryptic compiler’s above endless criticism (6)
MYSTIC — How the setter might say that something belongs to him is followed by a slang word meaning criticism or disapproval with its final letter (endless).

23d         Article about female getting livid (5)
ASHEN — One of the indefinite articles contains (about) a female personal pronoun. We were all doubtful that the definition fitted with the answer – we were also all wrong!

25d         Queen provided rising excitement (4)
FIRE — Here she is at last – the Queen has arrived to crown the crossword. We need the two letters denoting our Queen and another word meaning provided or on condition that and then reverse (rising) the whole lot.

Between the four of us we liked almost all of these clues so we’re not going to mention any in particular – we will leave that bit to the rest of you. Only one favourite per person, please!

Quickie pun (Freeze)+(Ample)=(Free sample)

87 comments on “DT 27801

  1. Great to have a 4K review, what fun – many thanks!

    Great puzzle too, lovely clues, great surfaces, and all 8 words or less. The two long anagrams were very elegantly constructed, esp 18a. Lots more to like here, including 3d (He fiddles..), 24a (Fawning…), 26d (wild cat…).

    I was distracted with the wrong kind of rear in 22a for a while.

    My ONE favourite (oh you’re far too hard on us) is probably 4a, very nice (marriage….).

    Many thanks 4K’s, and thank you RayT!

  2. I really enjoyed this one from RayT. I’d completed all corners except the NW pretty quickly and it took me a little while to see what was going on with 1ac and was staring at a blank corner until I worked it out. Thanks to Kath et al and thanks to RayT **/****

  3. Anybody else think that all the cryptics this week seem to be somewhat easier than usual? */*** for me last night.

    29a favourite.

    1. I think you’re right, they must be easier because I’ve completed 4 out of 4 this week. Either that, or I’m on form :-)

  4. A **/*** for me today, thanks to the Famous Four for the review -and pics- loved 4a,should have listened to my mother ! no particular stand out clues or favourites ,just a pleasant solve, not a great day at the office managed to delete a complete file of photos from my computer( and empty the delete bin ) including son no 4’s graduation ceremony ! will have to try to locate the SIM card.

    1. The pictures will still be there – unless you have done a lot of work on your computer since you deleted them. I use a free program called Recuva. Here is a safe link to download. If Im not allowed to put links on this blog, just search for it and go to the download page. There is an option fo donate, if after using the program you think its worth it. All the instructions come with the program or are on the website. You will end up with a lot of deleted pictures Happy hunting

  5. 1*/4*. This was the easiest Ray T I can remember, but none the less enjoyable for that. Brilliantly entertaining stuff as ever from the maestro.

    My only hiccough was 19d where initially I came up with batters as an anagram of rest under bat assuming that a banyan (which was a new word for me) must be some kind of bat. My BRB quickly informed me I was wrong, and I then realised my stupidity that my “logic” required disturbs to be doing double duty as both definition and anagram indicator.

    My favourite was 16d.

    Many thanks to Ray T and the 4Ks. (Sounds like a 60’s pop group!)

  6. Top puzzle today, and I thought one of the more taxing ones of recent days. Clever construction and wordplay, elegant clues and a few sticky ones made this a 3/3.5 for me. 1a was my last one in rather strangely, as there were tougher clues than this. A case of thinking too hard, perhaps?

  7. **/***. Really fun crossword. NW corner held me up.
    Thank you Ray T & the 4K’s.

  8. Thank you Ray T – I agree with the general view that it was one of the easier Ray T offerings, and nothing wrong with that. Thanks 4Ks for your review and hints. I have an image of you all sitting in a row solving the puzzle – but perhaps it wasn’t quite like that ?

  9. Well, I managed to finish this one (unlike Monday), but not sure if this makes it an easy Ray T.
    Excellent puzzle, and great review from the 4 Ks. Thanks to all.
    ***/*** and I’m going to pick 8d as favourite from a host of good clues.

  10. Excellent stuff as usual but, as others have said, a little benign for a RayT. We’ll go for **/***.

    Fav was 28a. Although we’ve seen the minster/minister wordplay many times we’ve never seen it clued so elegantly.
    Never come across that meaning of livid before, only angry or bruised. One lives and learns.

    The weather here has gone crazy today. Average max temp for mid-May is 22C but Alicante airport weather centre is currently reporting 36C and rising. I can quite believe it http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

    Many thanks to RayT and the 4Ks

    1. I’d keep quiet about 36C – it’s so wet and grey and chilly in Oxford that we’ve lit a fire this evening.

      1. As I’ve had spent a lot of the day clearing out parts of the back yard before tilers arrive on Saturday (Moroccans so they work weekends) I would have preferred the 8C to be honest. BTW, it’s now 2020CEST and it’s dropped to a balmy 30C, and I’ve got to get some kip. I can feel the aircon being fired up, which is unheard of in May. Still, forecast for tomorrow is back to normal so I live in hope.

  11. Thanks to Ray T and to the 4K’s for the review and hints. Looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday. I thought this was fairly benign, but very enjoyable nonetheless. I got held up in the SW corner, but once I got 17d, the rest followed. Last in was 23d, must look in BRB, because I didn’t think the definition could be correct. Favourite was 6d. Was 2*/4* for me. Raining now, after a super day yesterday. Thought that 29a was very clever.

            1. There could never be too many K’s, Kath – we admire and appreciate every single one of you. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  12. Many thanks for the good wishes yesterday. Unexpected and deeply appreciated. I’ve taken the day off sick today to recover from minor (but ouch, ouch) surgery to my left hand, so no strumming for the forseeable future. Dosed up with what the tabloid press like to call “a cocktail of drink and drugs”, nonetheless I found this offering from RayT to be delightfully straightforward – I don’t think I’ve ever done one of his in 1* time before, but every clue was a joy. Sorry Kath, but they’re all my favourites, but with 22a winning on a penalty shoot-out. Time now for TLC: off to ex-wife’s for tea and cake, then to elder daughter for dinner. I like this not being at work thing 1*/5* – yes 5*!
    Oops, I almost forgot to thank Mr T and, more importantly, the KKKK Klan for the review – I imagine there must have been much jostling for the conch

    1. You really are on top form, TS – be warned, this ‘not being at work thing’ can become very, very addictive! Enjoy all the TLC whilst you have the chance. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

        1. Nah, Aberlour Glenlivet for an easy night or Laphroaig if you’re feeling strong. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

          1. Just that he mentioned Gelngoyne last night – but I rather think he may have been under the affluence of incohol by then (purely for post-op medicinal purposes!). http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

        2. Of course. Well spotted. I wasn’t intoxicated of course, it’s just a bit tricky typing when your hand is numb

  13. Agree with most about the relative simplicity of today’s back page. It’s probably because I was wrestling with the toughie for a while.
    RayT is never a disappointment.
    Bravo to the team effort on the review.

  14. Not too much of a problem today. Finished without having to resort to the hints (for a change). No particular stand out favourites for me, some nice anagrams, and. I liked 22a and 10a. Don’t know why 1a and 2d took me so long to figure out…just had a bit of a blind spot up in that corner. */** for me today thanks to setter and to Kath for the hints.

  15. Definitely easier than normal for a Thursday, but no less entertaining.

    There seemed to be a preponderance of “containment” clues today, I noticed “about”, “inside”, “capturing”, “embraced”, “pinching” and “employed by” as indicators just for the across clues alone!

    My favourite was 16d, not difficult but nicely crafted.

    Many thanks to Ray T and the four amigos.

        1. Already there http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif. Was too tired to comment but then felt I really should pop in and say hello.

          Most definitely time to switch off now though. Night all http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif.

  16. I was rolling through this puzzle until I put INVEIGLED (anagram of divine leg) for 16d which brought me to a full stop. However once I realised my error everything then fell into place. 14d was my favourite. 1.5*/3* overall.
    Thanks to Ray T and Four K’s for the review.

  17. Surpassed myself today as I missed the two hidden clues – guessed both answers but was at a loss as to how I got there!!!! Really enjoyed solving this puzzle but needed the review to understand the parsing of some clues. Many thanks to the four KS and to Ray T. Difficult to pick a favourite as many clues were so clever – might nominate 29… Would give it 2*/4*.

  18. Wow – a Kaleidoscope of K’s! I’ll bet you had loads of fun, but would suspect you may have had to prop open the 2K’s eyelids with matchsticks. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif A little birdie tells me that the celebrations continue today – I do hope that the weather has been kind to you all.

    Oh – almost forgot – this is meant to be about the puzzle. Mr. T definitely in benign mood (bet he wouldn’t have been if he’d known there were four experts on the case!) and this gets a 2*/4* from me.
    Favourite laugh – 16d
    Favourite surface – 24a, with a mention for 26a
    Favourite mental picture – 3d
    Longest times to solve – 1a, 14&16d. I did worry about you with 16d Kath, but well done for coming up trumps with 20d!

    1. Hey, Jane. That’s a sneakily clever way to get more than one favourite!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    2. Had it in mind that I could try getting together a Jamboree of J’s – but then I looked through the ‘handles’ of our commenters and thought I might be rather lonely……..can only come up with our Weds. setter and I’m not aware that he ever puts in an appearance. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

      1. A very clever attempt imho, but I think you may as well head to the naughty step http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

      2. Brainstorm – I could have Jean-luc at the ‘J’s’ Jamboree and it looks as though we have a newbie join us in the shape of Judetheobscure………..things are definitely looking up! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    3. Oh for goodness sake – if you two hadn’t mentioned it, I might just have got away with it.
      Off to the naughty step, but taking a little liquid refreshment to keep me company. Anyone know how long I have to stay there?

    4. Reckon you can get away with as many favourites as you like today as we are all a bit weary by now and matchsticks for eyes might be needed all round very soon. Yes the celebrations have gone on all day and, thanks to hostess extraordinaire Kath, absolutely wonderful. Cheers all.

      1. So pleased to hear that you’ve had as good a time as I guessed you would – I reckon Kath deserves a plethora of http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif
        I hope you enjoy the meet-up next week and am sorry not to be able to join you – any chance you can find an excuse to come back over for the 7th Birthday party? I’m hoping to be there for that one and so looking forward to finally putting faces to ‘handles’. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      2. … and here is the proof. Many thanks to Kath for a superb lunch and a great day out.

        Left to right: BD, Miffypops, Carol & Colin (2kiwis), Kitty, Kath & Poppy (holding the real Poppy)

        Click on the image to get an enlarged image.

        1. I’ve met BD, and Kath and I’ve had Skype video convesations with the 2Kiwis, which is nearly the same, but Miffypops, Kitty and the 2Poppies are a treat in store, with a bit of luck.

          Looks like you had a great day. Jealous, what? Not me. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

          1. Is a ‘convesation’ a bit like a chatty ‘persevation?’ http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
            Come in, Mary, if you read this!

        2. A cornucopia of cruciverbalists – I’m sure that’s the collective noun

    5. Saint Sharon and Harrison turned up too. Mr Poppy was there and what a nice man he is. Mrs BD Pam was there too and what a lovely lady she is. (Harrison thinks so too) And Mr Kath and what a nice man he is too. Thanks to all concerned but especially Kath A wizard and a true star.

  19. Nice to see Her Majesty appearing again, however I thought the puzzle lacked some of Ray T’s innuendo and sparkle (sorry Ray T). Having said that, it was quite an enjoyable puzzle to solve with some really well constructed clues (sorry Brian). I particularly enjoyed 10 & 18a, but 6d was my favourite.

    Thanks to Ray T for the puzzle and the 4 K’s for their review. I am looking forward to meeting some of the K’s next week http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  20. Another treat from RayT. Favourite was 10 because it took so long for the 1d to drop. More anagrams than usual and that made the puzzle easier as 15 and 18 were pretty straightforward. Still a nice way to spend a soggy morning. Why does Kath need all the other Ks? She is quite capable of doing it herself – especially RayT productions.

  21. Awfully hard , at least for me and I used lots of hints.Some very good clues though, including 5d, 19d,20d,
    Thanks to ALL concerned.

  22. Over all too soon, I’m afraid, */*** for me. Lovely clueing though. I’ve just read all the clues through and they just about all make sense! Loved 18a because although obvious, the clue is beautiful in its simplicity. I also loved the way 28 and 29a ran together, with the definition of the former being in the latter (I think!). Thus these two became my one favourite! Sorry Kath, but I think that’s justifiable today!

  23. Thanks to the 4k review. for me this was a very fun solve to about 1-2 soar difficulty on the RayT scale. Getting the longer anagrams across the middle helped. Merci a RayT aussi.

  24. Evening all. Many thanks to the ‘Fourks’ for the review and to all for your comments. Much appreciated.


    1. Ho hum – now I know why you’re the ace setter and not me – I thought a kaleidoscope of K’s was really good…. and then you come along with a simplistic ‘fourks’ that says it all. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif
      Just to give you fair notice – 7th Birthday party next January (no excuses accepted – no matter how pithily you phrase them). http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

      1. No pommers – not four candles, handles for forkshttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

        Btw – nice to see you dropping in Mr T, always a pleasure.

        1. I love this one as much as the Two Ronnies Crossword sketch which Kitty pointed out a few weeks ago – brilliant and really worth a look if you haven’t seen it, or another look if you have.

  25. Thanks Ray T for this comparatively easy ride and TVM also to the Quartet in K for your excellent combined effort. Rather heavy on anagrams and I too do wonder about 23d. ***/**.

    1. I think I agree with almo – I was certainly a bit doubtful about it and think more of a mill as grinding corn or a saw mill etc but BRB says a place or institution that mass produces anything so I decided not to argue!

      1. Kath, I worked for and was associated with a major steel company for more years than I care to remember and we had “Steel MILLS”!

            1. weren’t your steel mills rolling mills ? The act of milling is surely different to casting which is what I thought they did in foundries.
              I’ve obviously stirred up a hornet’s nest – apologies !! Almo

              1. No apologies needed and definitely not a hornet’s nest – I think of them as being nasty noisy buzzing places, rather as I imagine foundries – a mill sounds like a much more pleasant peaceful place to be.

              2. In the steel mills/foundries iron ore was converted into steel in open-hearth furnaces and the rolling-mills rolled the steel into sheets and yes indeed some foundries manufactured castings. In any case I don’t think Kath would find any of the mills to be peaceful places! At this point I think we had better call it a day! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  26. Sorry this is so late. I had the joy of doing the puzzle last night but haven’t had a moment to comment until now. I really enjoyed this RayT. My fave was 16d.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_lol.gif I also especially liked 5d, 6d, 14d and 9a and many others besides.

    I’m familiar with this meaning of ‘livid’ in 23d, so that was no problem. It was 1a that gave me a spot of bother http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif.

    Appreciation to RayT for the delightful crossword and the 4Ks for their splendid review. What a super photo of you all! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_biggrin.gif

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