DT 27807 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27807

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27807

Hints and tips by Falcon

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa where, following several days of almost July-like weather, we have reverted to somewhat chillier temperatures.

The Canadian Tulip Festival has just concluded with over one million tulips blooming in Ottawa. The festival grew out of an annual gift of tulip bulbs to Ottawa from the Dutch royal family in gratitude for sheltering Princess Juliana and her daughters during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.

I seemed to be on the setter’s wavelength as I was able to solve this puzzle fairly quickly, thus accounting for the two star rating for difficulty. However, there is some tricky wordplay and, in several instances, I had the solution first and then reverse engineered the wordplay. I expect that those who fail to find the right wavelength may well encounter more of a challenge.

Definitions are underlined in the clues and the solutions are hidden under the “Click here” buttons.

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   Elderly relative erring unfortunately not showing good spirit (5,7)
GRAND MARNIER — an elderly female relative followed by an anagram of ERRIN(g) with the final letter removed [not showing G(ood)] gives us an orange-flavoured cognac-based liqueur

9a   Hormone in wild lupins lacking source of protein (7)
INSULIN — IN (from the clue) and an anagram of LU(p)INS without the P [source of P(rotein)]

10a   Intelligence reduced by not working (3-4)
LOW-DOWN — an adjective denoting reduced followed by one meaning inoperative

11a   Date  juice (7)
SQUEEZE — a double definition, the first being a show of affection that’s also used to refer to one’s steady; the second is to forcefully press liquid from fruit

12a   Platitude with unusually morbid note (7)
BROMIDE — anagram (unusually) of MORBID ending with a musical note

13a   Clear deliveries ahead of time (5)
OVERT — deliveries —six to be precise —on the pitch before T(ime)

14a   Meet in Ely perhaps with naive beginner only just old enough to drive (9)
SEVENTEEN — place an athletic meet inside another name for what Ely is an example of ; then append the beginning letter of N(aive); in Canada, it seems, we drive one year sooner


16a   Lost for information about baroque? (9)
FORGOTTEN — FOR (from the clue) followed by a slangy term for information (3) into which is inserted an equally slangy term for flamboyant or extravagant (3)

19a   Barrister should be succinct (5)
BRIEF — double definition

21a   Sense I’m out to give you punishment? (7)
NEMESIS — anagram (out) of the first two words of the clue

23a   Examiner‘s car rubbish reversing (7)
AUDITOR — a German automobile and a reversal of a colloquial term for rubbish or nonesense

24a   Change ten euros, dropping the last on the road (2,5)
EN ROUTE — anagram of TEN EURO(s) with the last letter removed

25a   Opening sign (7)
INITIAL — double definition

26a   Eleven others played with seconds, with no duck yet (12)
NEVERTHELESS — here we have an anagram (indicated by played) in which we must mix the letters ELEVEN (o)THERS with S(seconds) and remove the O (with no duck)


1d   With top off beer guts get wobbly motion (7)
GESTURE — anagram (get wobbly) of (b)EER GUTS having the initial letter removed (with top off)

2d   Partially curtail mental illness (7)
AILMENT — the illness is lurking in the middle of the clue

3d   News interrupting unusually dire television service (6,3)
DINNER SET — insert two instances of N(ew) into an anagram of DIRE and append a television apparatus

4d   Unprepared — and all is oddly British (2-3)
AD LIB — the odd letters of A(n)D (a)L(l) I(s) followed by B(ritish)

5d   Unused to outskirts of Welwyn Garden City? (3,4)
NEW TOWN — a charade of a synonym for unused, TO (from the clue), and the outer letters of W(elwy)N

6d   I have briefly raised volume before getting sensitive (7)
EMOTIVE — a contraction (briefly) for I have preceded by (before) a reversal (raised in a down clue) of a large, heavy book

7d   Best volunteer to keep goal is one who hasn’t slipped up before (5,8)
FIRST OFFENDER — a synonym for best followed by a verb meaning to volunteer into which is inserted a goal or aim

8d   Broadcast ‘Floral Dance’? No, that’s settled! (4,3,3,3)
ONCE AND FOR ALL — anagram (broadcast) of FLORAL DANCE NO

15d   Museum the French will claim is ruin (9)
VANDALISE — a short form for the name of a British museum followed by the masculine singular form of the French definite article wrapped around IS (from the clue)

17d   Shame about TV detective (7)
REMORSE — a preposition derived from Latin denoting concerning and Crosswordland’s favourite police inspector; break out the tissues Kath

18d   Old boy’s remedy may be unfamiliar (7)
OBSCURE — a charade of the abbreviation for O(ld) B(oy) together with the S and a remedy

19d   The point of retirement is to live with little money keeping afloat at the end (7)
BEDTIME — to live or exist followed by a low value American coin wrapped around the final letter of (afloa)T

20d   Suspects given Tango — it’s consumed by Northerners (7)
INTUITS — the letter which Tango represents in radio communication is inserted into natives of Northern Canada; actually Inuit is a plural noun, the singular being Inuk

22d   We sat around in glow (5)
SWEAT — anagram (around) of the first two words of the clue produces the sort of glow one works up in the gym; or, as Gazza points out in a comment below, it could also be WE with SAT placed around it

As my favourite clue, I will pick 19d. As I am progressing faster than usual with the review, I might even make mine tonight.

The Quick Crossword pun: rack+Mann+in-off+Piano Duet=Rachmaninoff Piano Duet

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66 comments on “DT 27807

  1. ***/*** for me. Enjoyable but challenging and needed Falcons explanation for my bung in at 15d. Thanks to the setter and Falcon for the review and the prospect of yet more splendid weather here on the West Coast.

  2. Totally agree with what Falcon says about this one. The last act was sorting out the wordplay for a couple of answers in the NE corner. Had the right words, just a matter of fully justifying them. We’ll pick 1a as favourite as we spent time working with the wrong definition. All good fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Falcon

  3. I agree with Falcon’s assessment and rating of 2*/3*. This was good fun after a slow start, and then I managed to switch onto the right wavelength.

    1a was my last one in as, although I spotted the definition quickly, I was fixated that the elderly relative must be “gran” and I couldn’t see for a long time where the D in the answer was going to come from. 1d made me LOL.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to Falcon.

    1. Hi RD,

      I concur with the slow start. I got only a few of the across clues on the first pass — and those were in the lower part of the puzzle. The down clues proved to be a bit more productive. From that point, I seemed to shift into high gear.

  4. Not a very fast solve for me today – but no real problems after a bit of thought. Thursdays usually seem to be a bit more problematic for me for some reason, but this puzzle was great.

    2*/4* seems right to me.

    Thanks to all.

  5. Nice puzzle – thanks to Mr Ron and Falcon. My favourite was the LOL 1d.
    I don’t think that 22d needs to be an anagram – we can just put SAT around WE.

    1. Gazza,

      Good call. I missed that possibility. While either explanation would seem to work in this case, I think I actually prefer your solution.

  6. I got off to a fairly slow start but speeded up a bit when I’d filled in a few. Thanks to falcon and setter 2.5*/3.5*

  7. I really enjoyed that puzzle thank you setter. I found it quite tricky and needed your explanation for 16a Falcon, although I had “bunged” the answer in. Thanks for the review and hints and photos – memories of Scchua at 22d !

  8. Very few JUMPOUTATCHAS. A puzzle to work at for me. I think this took longer than the last three days put together. Heigh Ho. Lunch at The Tresanton and dinner at The Idle Rocks last night. This raggy arsed kid from the back streets of Coventry is living the dream.

  9. Took a while for the penny to drop in 16a but very enjoyable puzzle if a bit tricky. 22d gave me a giggle as I remember my mother teaching us the polite words to use in various circumstances. She always said ‘horses do 22d, men perspire and women glow’.
    Thanks Falcon, loved the tulips.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  10. I love this – it’s one of those puzzle where every clue has beautifully crafted surface reading. Just look at 1a, 9a, 12a, 13a, 21a, 1d, 2d, 3d, 4d, 7d, 19d – to name the ones I particularly liked, with 19d (The point of retirement…) probably my favourite. This was one of the more rapid solves for me, all nicely done before the school run (last ones in were 26a and 20d), but because of the elegant surfaces it was also one of the most enjoyable. A winner.

    Many thanks setter (?) and Falcon for the great review: I’ll never write Inuits again (at least not a word I would frequently misspell), and of course I liked the tulips.

  11. Great puzzle – TVM Mr. Ron and also Falcon for hints and particularly for your tulip picture? Having visited Ottawa for first time last year (loved it) in a rather chilly Fall am imagining it in bloom like that and also fascinated by the wartime Dutch association. Enjoyed this puzzle which I rate **/****. 1a eluded me as I tried to work on granny. Someone who has slipped up is somewhat of a euphemism for this transgressor in 7d! Wonder who “we” are in 22d because of course Victorian etiquette said “horses sweat, men perspire and ladies gently glow”. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    1. Angel,

      Princess Juliana (later Queen Juliana) and her three daughters lived in Ottawa for several years during World War II. The youngest girl, Princess Margriet, was actually born in Ottawa. The Canadian government declared the room in the Ottawa Civic Hospital where she was born to be Dutch territory so she would be born on Dutch soil and thereby maintain her eligibility to ascend to the Dutch throne.

      The close relationship between Canada and the The Netherlands is further strengthened by the fact that it was Canadian soldiers who liberated Holland at the conclusion of the war.

      1. Falcon, certainly I am sure the warm Dutch/Canadian relationship will forever continue as the Dutch remember the key role played by the First Canadian Army in the liberation of the Netherlands in May1945 and indeed their mitigation of the 1944-1945 Hunger Winter. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif. The Ottawa Civic Hospital’s gesture is a lovely story of which I wasn’t aware. Thank you for that.

  12. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif – oh dear! 17d! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif
    I loved this but did find it very tricky – probably almost a 4* for difficulty for me and the same for enjoyment.
    Lots of the answers took a fair bit of time to work out why they were right.
    26a and 5d were my last ones (and husband got 5d even if he couldn’t quite work out why).
    The last four letters of 15d and the whole of 16a caused a spot of bother.
    At least I remembered the slangy 11a from previous crosswords.
    I liked far too many of these clues to mention all of them so just a few are 1 and 11a and 3 and 15d. My favourite was 1d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron for such a good crossword and to Falcon for the hints and piccies, except 17d!
    I can’t help wondering what Brian is going to make of this one! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  13. **+/****+

    I liked that very much. In fact I’m still smiling about it, in between glowering at the Toughie. Plenty of anagrams, word play to be toyed with, humour and a spirit that goes well in hot chocolate.

    To pick one favourite? 19d, but that is unfair on all the other clues who are sat there being very clever.

    Many thanks to the setter for an excellent puzzle and to Falcon for an excellent blog. I’ve got family in Ottawa.

    Back to my last 5 Toughie clues. I have a theory that the last 5 are impossible. It’s my theory and I’m standing by it. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  14. My last one in was 1a as I too was fixating on Gran being the elderly relative… Utterred a big hippee when the penny finally dropped: how could I have not spotted my favourite liqueur! For quite a few clues, I too got the answers first and then tried to unravel the wordplay – does it matter after all how one gets to the right answer? 5d took a while to be cracked but was chuffed (thanks Kath) when I got it! Thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle so many thanks to Mr Ron and to Falcon whose review I needed to unravel the worplay for 15a, 16a in particular. 19d was my favourite, so clever. Off to Savoie for a few days so back to woollies and anoraks…

    1. I also spent almost the entire solving session believing that Gran was the elderly relative. Once I had the D from 3d, I then got the idea that the definition might be elderly relative. Doh!

  15. What a clever crossword that was.
    Really enjoyable solve.
    Favourite is 15d.
    Off work this lunchtime but just been called to repair the dishwasher. The last three clues in the toughie will have to wait.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Falcon for the excellent review.

  16. I usually find answering clues with 2 or more words in them easier than one word answers, but not today. I thought they were quite tricky, especially 1across, though the answer was clever. It took a bit of getting. Thank you to the Thursday setter and to Falcon.

  17. Simple could not get on the setters wavelength at all so found this v difficult. For me it was not much fun. So many definitions that don’t seem right, nemesis for punishment (a nemesis is a person or object which cannot be beaten according to the BRB like Ray T for me), bromide is is a chemical compound, and as for why squeeze could possibly be ones date is totally beyond me! Never heard of intuits before. 1a beat me all ends up. Not my finest hour today.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif
    Thx to Falcon in whose lovely city I will be in two weeks.

    1. Brian,

      For nemesis, you have overlooked the first definition given in the BRB. The definitions for nemesis (without capital) are (1) retributive justice [i.e., punishment]; (2) something that cannot be achieved; (3) a rival or opponent who cannot be beaten.

      Among the definitions for bromide given by the BRB are (1) a platitude and (2) a dull platitudinous person (from the use of bromides as sedatives).

      The final entry under squeeze in the BRB is an informal term for a girlfriend or boyfriend. I would think that the term alludes to the fact that this is someone whom one squeezes or embraces.

      I hope your visit to Ottawa is most enjoyable.

      1. As for intuit, while you may not be familiar with it as a verb, I suspect that you may know it as a noun — intuition.

        1. Thx for all that, you are quite right I know it as intuition so that’s something I’ve learned today.
          Only be 3 days in Ottawa then off to Montreal then Toronto and finally up country to Barrie for some R&R in the lakes and on the golf course. Really looking forward to it.

  18. I’m in agreement with the majority who thought this was an enjoyable puzzle. Nearly all the clues had a good surface and ‘nailed on’ definitions. It did seem when I was solving the puzzle that there were a lot of anagrams / partial anagrams but looking back I reckon it struck a balance. The German car manufacturer (vorsprung etc) seems to have been getting some use this last couple of weeks. Do you think the setters are out to get a new car?

    Liked 14 & 25a but 5d is my favourite.

    Thanks to Mr Ron for the puzzle and Falcon for the review (nice tulips). The Toughie is not too taxing – so do have a bash at it.

  19. I enjoyed this one; no real problems, although 1a took me a while to spot.
    Thanks to setter, and to Falcon.

  20. Now here’s the thing. Woke up around 5am as per normal, printed out the crossword, retired back to bed with the strong cafetiere of coffee and pen, ready for the Thursday tussle. First pass, I got two. Second pass a few more and generally got into a bit of a grump. But after a strong talking to I persevered and managed about 45% before stopping aka giving up.

    Later that morning, I emailed to a friend that the Crossword Editor had inadvertently printed a Times Championship crossword (!!) and got back the reply “You’re doing the Toughie, silly”. Should have known better. I have done this before.

    But here’s the thing. I decided to leave the cryptic until lunchtime and I fared even worse than the Toughie – which by now I’d almost completed!

    So the conclusion I’ve come to is that, at least for me, certain puzzles need a ‘quiet’ brain to be able to solve them. Trying to solve them later on in the day is doomed to failure because of all the rest of the day’s happenings and hassles buzzing around. So I will keep the cryptic for tomorrow alongside the Don’s and we shall see if my ‘theory’ holds.

    Does anyone else have a similar need for a ‘quiet’ brain?

      1. Hear, hear RD.

        Roger, I found myself laughing quite a bit at your mishap. Because it is exactly the sort of thing I would do.

    1. Do you mean 5.00am actually exists? It certainly doesn’t for me! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif
      Your comment made me laugh.
      If there is nothing else that I’ve learnt this week I have learnt that my brain, such as it is, needs peace and solitude, preferably at the right time so that routine hasn’t gone up the spout, to solve a crossword.
      Who was it who said that everyone likes a bit of routine but too much makes us get old?

    2. My brain finds crossword solving to be the ideal way to wind down at the end of the day (night). I love to sit in silence with a beer and the pipe and tease out the answers, which is why I get a bit grumpy if the challenge is not quite stiff enough, because I’ve finished before ive fully wound down.

      1. My brain need to be unwatched and undistracted in order to think. I curse the originator of open plan offices.

  21. Fairly tricky in places, with some interesting cluing (I’d not seen “baroque” used in the sense it was before, or “news” meaning double n).

    1d almost literally produced a belly laugh, and was one of my favourites along with 26a and 15d.

    It must be a very, very long time since a Thursday puzzle contained a fifteen word clue (19d), I hope the usual Thursday incumbent Ray T doesn’t have palpitations!

    Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon.

  22. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Falcon for the review and hints. I enjoyed what I could do, but found it impossible. Couldn’t get on the setter’s wavelength at all. Needed 10 hints to finish. Was 4*/2* for me. Sun out at Lords at the moment.

  23. Not an easy one for me, and needed the help today. Thanks for that. Re. 5D. Perhaps a Garden City is a New Town elsewhere, but here in Blighty, a New Town is a New Town, and a Garden City is a Garden City, one of which is Welwyn Garden City. The other is Letchworth. They were created about 100 years ago, whereas New Towns followed the New Town Commissions Act of about 1946.

  24. I have just noticed the video clip below the quickie pun. I suppose BD should be thanked for that. The setter should be thanked for a super fun puzzle and Falcon deserves a medal for unravelling it. A pat on the back for the tulips and a mild rebuke for the piccie at 22d.

    1. And here I thought she exuded a lovely glow that perfectly illustrated the clue.

      1. I thought Rabbit Dave might have picked you up on this one. It is not sweat, it is oil.

        1. Miss Miller may have just come from the gym? Unless you know something we don’t? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

            1. Erm….
              OK, she likes surfing, so she was out catching some waves in a bikini unfit for the job and suddenly realised that the catwalk would be a much better place for it. But if that was the case I’ve no idea why her hair is dry?

              1. I had a look at “sweaty women” on google images. Maybe I will withdraw the rebuke

                1. As did I. There are some things you can’t unsee. So I’ve looked at pictures Denis Lawson.

                  Edit..and Monty Don.

                2. Miffypops,

                  Perhaps your earlier misgivings were well founded. I found another image from which it is clear that she is not only wearing footwear totally inappropriate to the gym but moreover is on a catwalk.

                  But perhaps modelling is hard work and one really does work up a sweat — er, glow.

  25. Enjoyable, but a few quite tricky clues. I kept trying to shoehorn Versailles for 15d, very silly.I liked all the clues around the borders and many other clues
    Thanks Falcon and setter..

  26. I agree this was a bit tougher than some of the more recent puzzles. Took me a long time to get going. After the first read through, I only had 3 answers, then somehow it all started to fall into place just 1a which fooled me …..I Was trying to think of grand relatives, thinking that was the definition. Had to look at the hint for it to dawn on me! For one down, I had my mind fixed on nystagmus for the wobbly motion, but obviously didn’t get far with that. I have never heard of ‘bromide’ used to mean a platitude, always think of the chemical meaning. Got the answer to 20d, but had to use the hints for the explanation. This is so often the case…my brain gets there first….but reasoning takes a while to catch up. Generally an enjoyable puzzle probably **/*** thanks to setter and to Falcon. Don’t know whether to even bother with the Toughie today after yesterday’s complete failure. Weather looking up here on North Norfolk coast…..still in boots, but have left off third layer of jumpers!

  27. I thought this was a lovely crossword to solve. 1a was my favourite and ithe answer came early which really opened up the puzzle immediately once Floral dance had also been conquered. 3*/4* overall and thanks to Mr Ron and also to Falcon.

  28. After a few drops of Grand Marnier and a shot of insulin and bromide with a squeeze thrown in, we will be en route, once and for all, nevertheless, for bedtime. No sweat!

    We thought that this was a very enjoyable puzzle and thanks to Mr.Ron and Falcon for the hints and tips. **/***

  29. Like others, I had a slow start then picked up pace, with the last couple completed after a break. I enjoyed it, but no stand-out clues for me today. I had no trouble with 1A. My grandkids call me grandma. I don’t consider myself elderly by a long shot, though! Thanks to the setter and to Falcon.

  30. A great way back into crosswordland after a few days on the Amalfi coast – lots of the good things in life but very little intellectual exercise. I make this 2*/4*. Several clues caught my fancy (11, 14 and 16 across) but my favourite was 15d. Thanks to Mr Ron, and to Falcon for the review.

  31. It’s long enough ago now to be receding into distant memory (my brain is such a sieve it is a wonder I remember enough vocabulary to crossword*) but I do recall enjoying the solve immensely. It took an average amount of time but felt nicely meaty and did not come all that easily. The lol for me was 11a.

    I hadn’t heard of 12a with that meaning before but it had to be that.

    Thanks to the setter – more like this please! Thanks also to Falcon. Super job as usual. My main opinion about the pic for 22d is that I liked the discussion it provoked.

    *yes, I am using crossword as a verb.

  32. I thought this was a brilliant puzzle and I echo the sentiments expressed earlier by Dutch. I found that it needed much beard scratching and quite a few glassy-eyed stares into the middle distance to ferret out the answers. No gimmes but plenty of Ah Bisto! moments. I think 1a is one of the best clues we’ve had for ages. Hats off to Falcon for a faultless review and an intriguing history lesson (loved the tulips). Thanks to the setter and, as Kitty succinctly put it, more please. 4*/4*. Off to the boat after work tomorrow night, Crick boat show on Saturday and then out on the water in The Racy Mole for a couple of days. See you all next week sometime. Keep safe

  33. As ever, a couple of days behind the pack :) Filled in most of the clues fairly quickly, including 1a – my first one in – perhaps unhindered by being a long time crossword solver assuming ‘gran’ was the elderly relative. Just two had me stumped. Finally filled in 19d last night but had to look this morning at Falcon’s hints for 26a. Spent a long time with various combinations of anagram letters to no avail.
    Like Brian, I didn’t like the use of nemesis for punishment, but apart from that, a very enjoyable puzzle. 3/4*

  34. I’m sure you’ve been told several times, the Victoria and Albert, not British Museum

    1. Welcome to the blog Hazel

      Falcon did put “a British museum” not “the British Museum” so I don’t see what point you are making.

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