DT 27818 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27818

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27818

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***

Despite the difference in seasons, it seems that the weather in UK at present is very similar to what we are having here. Thick jackets and woolly hats were needed for our regular beach walk this morning but at least we did not need umbrellas.
No significant blog birthdays today that we know of, so lets just settle back and enjoy what Jay has given us today.

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


1a     Verification of company land occupied by business (12)
CONFIRMATION : Start with the abbreviation for company, then take a word for a land or a country and interrupt it to insert a synonym for a business.

9a      Service provider’s basic error? (4,5)
FOOT FAULT : A cryptic definition of a mistake made by a tennis player.

10a     A word of comfort leaving artist her easel (5)
THERE : It’s hiding in the clue.

11a     Guarantee sent without cover, of course, to American (6)
ENSURE : Take the middle two letters of sent and add a word that an American might use meaning ‘of course’.

12a     Retailers for whom frost is disastrous around the end of April (8)
FLORISTS : An anagram (disastrous) of FROST IS with the last letter of April included.

13a     Governor‘s painful punishment touring Austria (6)
SATRAP : This painful punishment was used in schools in our young days and has the IVR code for Austria included.

15a     Swimmer‘s main supporting structure crossing river (3,5)
SEA BREAM : A synonym for main as a noun, and then a supporting structure (or maybe a Toughie setter) includes the abbreviation for river.

18a     Hairstyle offering £25 back? (8)
PONYTAIL : A slang word for 25 pounds sterling is followed by a word meaning the back or end.

19a     Sun journalist looked without blinking (6)
STARED : The type of celestial body that our sun is an example of precedes the abbreviation for a senior journalist.

21a     The disadvantage of inexperienced defender against Germany? (8)
DRAWBACK : The IVR code for Germany, comes before a word meaning inexperienced, and then a defender in various team sports.

23a     Worker‘s wife always accepting answer (6)
WEAVER : The abbreviation for wife, precedes a word meaning always that includes the one letter abbreviation for answer.

26a     Rare quality possessing peer (5)
EQUAL : Another lurker hiding in the clue.

27a     Loose salt found in shifting dunes (9)
UNSECURED : A verb meaning to preserve with salt is found inside an anagram (shifting) of DUNES.

28a     Pages of newspaper with focus on food? (6,6)
CENTRE SPREAD : A focus or pivotal point is followed by a general description of a food presentation.


1d     Chests of people who mock going topless? (7)
COFFERS : Take a word for people who mock and remove the first letter.

2d     Lacking permission, finally takes corners (5)
NOOKS : Lacking permission is expressed as 2,2 then add the last letter of takes.

3d     Source of prison record held by home worker (9)
INFORMANT : Start with the two letter word for at home, then the slang word for a prison record and a worker insect.

4d     Timid person ignoring son’s pout (4)
MOUE : Take a murine description of a timid person and remove S(on’s).

5d     Came to and groggily told tale (8)
TOTALLED : The definition could mean ‘added up to’ and is an anagram (groggily) of TOLD TALE.

6d     Animal‘s excessive sign of hesitation (5)
OTTER : A three letter way of describing ‘excessive’ and a two letter hesitation.

7d     Ties, for example, chaps promise? (8)
MENSWEAR : Split 3,5 to give chaps pledge.

8d     Moves quickly in the morning, getting stuff thrown out (6)
JETSAM : Moves quickly, perhaps in a fast plane, and then the abbreviation for morning.

14d     Container of spirits from sultanate mostly destroyed (8)
TANTALUS : An anagram (destroyed) of SULTANAT(e) after the last letter has been removed.

16d     Chrysalis originally found in flatter meadow flower (9)
BUTTERCUP : The first letter of chrysalis is found in a 6,2 phrase meaning to flatter.

17d     Brush aside reduction in price (8)
DISCOUNT : Double definition.

18d     Flats accommodating soldiers or clergymen (6)
PADRES : A common word often used for student flats contains one of our soldier abbreviations.

20d     Mocked Act that gives free housing (7)
DERIDED : A verb meaning to free is housed inside a synonym for an act.

22d     There’s good in rancour? Rubbish! (5)
BILGE : A word for rancour or gall contains G(ood).

24d     Border official in church must finish early (5)
VERGE : Take the last letter away from a minor church official.

25d     Man, for example, saying ‘I will’? (4)
ISLE : A homophone of I will gives something that Man is an example of.

Jay must have been watching for our perpetual stumbling blocks. That place in 25d and the dreaded IVR codes. Not a problem today though.
Today we liked the cleverness of 2d and the misdirection towards an insect in 16d.

Quickie pun   belief  +  lops  =  belly-flops

68 comments on “DT 27818

  1. I was heading for 2* time when I ground to a halt with my last two, the interlinked 13a and 14d, so my rating today is 2.5*/4*.

    The only sensible anagram I could make for 14d was the correct answer but I couldn’t see what that had to do with being a container of spirits and needed my trusty BRB to confirm the definition. I couldn’t solve 13a without the review and the answer was a new word for me.

    This was great fun with far too many excellent clues to pick a single favourite.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

      1. Yes thank you Jane, just a residual cough today, and considerably buoyed by this lovely crossword.

        1. Man flu didn’t last too long – only about the same length of time as a hangover…………..http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    1. your spirits thing comes from a punishment given by the gods to a man of the same name from greek legend.

      when england was “upstairs, downstairs” these containers were locked. The servants could see the contents but not get in! This is the link between the punishment and the container name.

            1. As much as we admire, like and respect BD, do we really think ‘he’ dusted it? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

      1. Thanks for the info, Andy in the far east (is that very far, or just the Norfolk Broads?).
        Knew the article and its purpose but not the Greek legend. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

        1. Hong Kong is reasonably east. Normally, I am finished before UK wakes up :)

  2. gentle and extremely enjoyable offering from Jay today. Some very pleasing clues, I liked 5d the most (came to and groggily told tale). Also very nice were 12a (retailers for whom frost is disastrous..), 21a (rare quality…), 21a (inexperienced defender against Germany).

    many thanks Jay and 2 Kiwis. The sun has now appeared in Macclesfield but it isn’t very warm.

    Brilliant toughie today as well.

  3. Really enjoyed today’s puzzle from Jay. Lots of lovely clues but we have to admit that 13a eluded us – never heard of the word! Thanks to the 2 Kiwis for sorting that one out for us. **/**** (are we first in? – no, Rabbit Dave has beaten us to it)

  4. OK – hands up everyone who tried to get butterfly to work for 16d and an anagram at 27a. I’m guilty on both counts.
    That pesky old chestnut at 25d also had me on the hop once again.
    Didn’t know the fellow at 13a – doesn’t sound like a title one would actually want to carry!

    Lovely surface reads at 12&21a, also 5d.
    Also liked 9a & 7d.
    Hard to pick a favourite so, for once, I won’t. 2*/4* for me.

    All in all a very satisfying puzzle from Jay – thanks to him and to 2Ks for another excellent review. Weather here is supposed to improve enormously by the end of the week, hope yours does as well.

  5. I made steady but not rapid progress on this puzzle. For some reason the right hand side of the puzzle was more challenging than the left which I filled in quite quickly.

    I thought the puzzle was well constructed with some very good clues.

    2*/4* for me today.

    Thanks to the setter and 2K.

  6. Seems to be favourable reviewed by all so far today and I concur, can’t quibble with the 2K’S **/*** – expected a cricket ‘gloat’ in some form or other-well the last victory in England was some time ago, can’t wait for the Aussies ! clueing very logical today for me, not seen the old Persian governor appear for a while, no stand out clues just an enjoyable solve .

  7. 3*/3* for me….I particularly liked 2d, and also 12a BUT had never heard of 14d (although I guessed it from the letters and then googled), so marked down a tad for obscurity…

  8. **+/****

    This gets a + because of parsing a few clues. 15a and 20d in particular. I also did the same as Jane re 16d etc. In fact the whole of the SE corner took longer than the rest of the puzzle.

    Can’t name a single favourite as the whole thing was a pleasure.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks for an excellent blog.

  9. Thank you Jay – tricky for me. Probably nerves before our flight to Italy. Just finished before boarding ! Thanks 2Kiwis for your review and hints and we’ll done at Headingley – well deserved !

  10. Ouch! My poor head. Went out last night and slept till midday.
    Good thing Jay’s crossword wasn’t too hard to solve.
    Everything fell into place quite nicely. I remembered the stuff thrown overboard in 8d which was a good thing as it was stuck in the corner.
    13a took a while. I could only see a sultan for a while until the container, also new to me, came along.
    Still struggling in NW corner in the toughie.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review.

    1. Hi JL,
      Rabbit Dave calls it ‘Man Flu’ – he might have got away with it if he hadn’t put in such a speedy recovery. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  11. 13ac and 4d were the last ones solved in this wonderful puzzle. I have been into a shop and walked around Coventry Market with Saint Sharon. Possibly the first shop I have entered this year. We are about to have lunch by Coventry Cathedral. One of my favourite buildings in England. Vegetarian Tikka whatever that is for me?

  12. Lovely puzzle, with no hold-ups for me. 12A, 2D, 3D and 7D head my list of favorites. Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

    We , too are having unseasonably chilly weather right now, but we needed the rain so I’m not complaining.

  13. Very enjoyable fare today, with favourites for me being 12a and 9a (not seen any of the latter yet today though at Roland Garros).

    Had not come across 4d before, but it’s stored in the memory banks now for future reference.

    I too fell into the “butterfly trap” originally for 16d, but soon realised that it made 27a and 28a unworkable.

    Many thanks to Jay and of course to the 2Kiwis.

  14. Enjoyed this. Fave was 9a. I hope our friends in Boston aren’t too-too upset at how many claim 14d is a new word for them. Thanks too Jay and to 2Kiwis.

    1. Yes – I agree about 14d. I wouldn’t have got it apart from them, particularly having messed up 18a – see later comment! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

  15. 13a was my undoing along with many fellow strugglers it seems. Good puzzle though, and **\*** as a result of the Governor.

  16. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle. I thought that I might be one short again, but managed to make sense of 13a, which was last in. Favorite was 21a. Was 2*/3* for me. Come on Murray. Clouding over now in Central London after a blistering afternoon.

  17. A gentle but very enjoyable puzzle from Jay today. Took ages to find the lurker in 10a (don’t know why) had pencilled in ‘tiger’ for 6d but couldn’t get ‘tig’ to fit then the penny drop moment when I got 1a – d’oh! 21a is my favourite for today.

    Thanks to Jay for the puzzle and the 2K’s for their review.

  18. Entertaining. Like others I had never heard of that type of carafe , but it seemed to fit the checkers. 7d gave me a smile , when the penny dropped. 16d misled me into thinking that somehow Jay thought a chrysalis was originally a butterfly and not the other way around.Several other misleading clues which made it all the more enjoyable.
    Thanks Jay and Kiwis.

  19. Struggked with the SE corner of this one. Needed the hints for almost all of that corner.
    Had heard of the ruler and the spirit container, though…maybe I should stick to general knowledge.

    Thanks to the setter and to the Two Kiwis.

  20. I found this a straightforward puzzle to solve and most enjoyable it was too. Just managed it in 1* time (which is of course subjective) – but I bunged in a few from definition – or ‘biffed” as I believe it’s referred to on other sites. Thanks to the 2Kiwis and Jay */****

  21. Out of bed now to be greeted by another cold wet day. Doesn’t look good for golf. Ah well, suppose it is what we should expect at this time of the year. Interesting to note that the clues where we were delayed were the same for most solvers. We learnt something new for ‘tantalus’. We had heard the word and had written it in thinking that it was a type of decanter. It was only when we were searching for a picture that we discovered that it is actually the lockable case where decanters can be displayed but not got at. The name makes a lot sense in this context. Ah, the on-going learning process from cryptic crosswords!

  22. Came to this super puzzle late after guests for lunch (preceded by drinks in the garden – at last!) then Andy Murray thankfully with no 9a in Paris (bien joué). Needed to double-check a couple viz 4d and 13a. Had no problem with 14d as remember these as parents’ method of protecting the decanters from would-be tipple nickers – children included! Not sure about 23a – a bit feeble. First came across 18a via bookies on race-courses. TVM Jay for much satisfying fun and 2Ks for your special brand of clear hints. ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  23. There is, of course, the poster on here called Tantalus. How’d he get himself into a puzzle http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  24. A bit late today as I had to work. An enjoyable puzzle with loads of great clues. Got a bit stumped in NW corner for a while and had to use the hints. Never heard of ‘satrap’ and had ‘noose’ for 2d until I just had to check as 11a was making no sense. Got there in the end though. Some really super clues, my favourites were 9a, 14d, 16d and 25d. Had a few hold ups on the way, mainly due to stupidity eg trying to fit ‘thoraxes’ or ‘thoraces’ into 1d and putting in ‘beaver’ for 23a …seemed quite sensible at the time. 2*/4* many thanks to setter and the Ks for the hints.

  25. Gentle but well worthwhile: 1*/3*. 16d was my favourite; for some reason it made me snort with laughter, disturbing my wife in her embroidery. Thanks to Jay, and thanks to the 2 Kiwis.

    1. Happy birthday to you for yesterday from another one who has a birthday on Coronation Day, albeit a different year!

      1. Hi Kath,
        Great to have you back home, hope you’ve had a brilliant birthday-cation.
        Just to bring you up to date:-
        RD has Man Flu/hangover
        Hanni is compiling a list of unrepeatable swear words
        Arthur D has had to take at least one cold shower after camisole, corset, gymslip conversations of yesterday
        Expat Chris may or may not have been ‘killed’ by today’s Toughie
        BD has an incredibly clean tantalus
        MP is – just the same as ever

        Sleep well.

        1. I think you should do a weekly summation of the blog. Love it Jane.

          Hope the birthday was good Kath.

          Edit… ‘BD has an incredibly clean tantalus’, just suberb. That’s made me laugh.

        2. Thank you – I now feel completely up to date on everything. It’s good to know that someone is keeping an eye on things when I’m not!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif
          Not too sure about the ‘sleeping well’ bit . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  26. Never mind all that. Why oh why do the Telegraph print the solution to yesterday’s Codewords at ninety degrees to everything else? It’s driving me nuts!

      1. Thanks for your welcome Big Dave. I’ve been doing the Telegraph crossword for all my adult life (I’m 60 now) but only 12 months or so ago did a friend introduce your blog to me, and more recently than that have I acquired a smart phone. I usually tackle the crossword in the pub of an evening accompanied by a pint or two of JW Lees Bitter (highly recommended), and if you don’t mind my saying so it’s just a tiny bit too easy to take a sneaky peek at your hints and tips when the going gets a bit sticky. Your blog’s just too darn good! Many thanks and best wishes to you and all your helpers. Cheers from Oldham Lancs!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  27. Well, very late here today!
    First of all thanks to everyone for birthday wishes yesterday.
    We went to France yesterday for a couple of days so today’s crossword was solved over breakfast and then a couple of coffees in a little cafe.
    I had to do it on husband’s iPad which feels a bit alien to me – that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!
    It also meant that I had no dictionaries or anything to help.
    All went quite well until I got to 18a – I knew that the slang £25 was an animal but went for the wrong animal and got ‘pigtails’ – oh dear – it played havoc with the bottom left corner until I realised that 14d was an anagram – oh well – you just can’t win ’em all!
    I liked 9 and 19a and 1 and 4d. My favourite was 12a.
    With thanks to Jay and thanks and well done to the Kiwis. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif Will I be the last to comment today? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  28. And here I am! A trouble-free trip on Southern Railways, without even one vomiting fellow passenger to disturb me as I filled in this most enjoyable offering from Jay. Finished it over a large Scotch and some rather fine Kentucky black tobacco back at Strummer Towers (well I do live on the first floor) all in all in 1* time. I actually finished the puzzle before the whisky. I have no tantalus, by the way, as unlocking it would delay the delight. 3* fun for me. Many thanks to Jay and to C&C, aka K&K, for the well-illustrated hints which I enjoyed but didn’t need.

  29. No no – I can post up to several months later ;)

    I wasn’t able to complete it, owing to pesky 13a and 14d combo, neither of which I have ever heard of. I had all the parsing in place for 13a too http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif You learn something every day, especially when you start crosswording :)
    For non-completion it therefore has to be at least 3* and then a 4* for the enjoyment as the rest was fun :) Favourite was 12a.

    1. No matter how much later you post, it will still be noticed and appreciated. Cheers.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  30. Lovely. Not much more to add: it has been said. 13a was a construct-and-look-up job, and thanks to our so-named commenter for 14d. Many thanks to Jay and the Kiwis.

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