DT 27836 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27836

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27836

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****

Last week we mentioned “Winter at its best”. This was very rapidly followed by a spell of “Winter at its worst”. There were severe storms all over the country, roads washed out or flooded, heavy snow across the South Island, many power outages, Whanganui river broke its banks and flooded homes and businesses. We got off comparatively lightly with just a couple of days feeling like Winnie the Pooh, entirely surrounded by water. However things are getting back to normal again now with clear blue skies and fine frosty days.
The puzzle…. Yes.  Just what we expect and enjoy from Jay once again.

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


1a     Peer regularly involved in suspect marine business (7)
FISHERY : The second and fourth letters of peer are put inside a word meaning suspect.

5a     Has an urge to chase answer, getting letters (7)
AITCHES : These letters come eighth in our alphabet. The one letter abbreviation for answer is followed by a word meaning has an urge or irritation.

9a     Puts a block on would-be scouts crossing river (5)
CURBS :  Junior members of the Boy Scout movement contain R(iver).

10a     Letter from personality (9)
CHARACTER : Double definition.

11a     Terrible gaffes — some politically incorrect! (3-7)
OFF-MESSAGE : An anagram (terrible) of GAFFES SOME.

12a     Discharge half of them with it (4)
EMIT : The last two letters of them and ‘it’ from the clue.

14a     Straightforward progress shown by student beset by troubles, suffering? (5,7)
PLAIN SAILING : Place the one letter abbreviation for a student inside a five letter word for troubles or aches. Follow this with a word meaning suffering.

18a     Stunned, seeing cowries pawned (5-7)
SHELL-SHOCKED : Start with what cowries are examples of and add a colloquial expression for pawned.

21a     Feeble men — without women, just naughty children (4)
IMPS : A description of feeble men has the abbreviation for women removed from its beginning.

22a     Houses requiring decent connections? (10)
PROPERTIES : Split the answer 6,4 to find synonyms for ‘decent’ and ‘connections’.

25a     Pillar of society, after broadcast, is fit to fly (9)
AIRWORTHY : A three letter word meaning broadcast precedes how a pillar of society is described.

26a     Unbounded fury after a second affair (5)
AMOUR :  Fury without its first and last letters (unbounded) follows one of the abbreviations for a second.

27a     Boffin, for example, getting good top on beer (7)
EGGHEAD : The abbreviation for example then G(ood) and the froth on a glass of beer.

28a     Drug resulting from criminal acts? Yes (7)
ECSTASY : An anagram (criminal) of ACTS YES.


1d     Contributory cause of plant being docked? (6)
FACTOR : The plant here is a manufacturing one and loses its last letter.

2d     Bitter conflict of man of God, if caught by soldiers (6)
STRIFE : The abbreviation for a good person (man of God), then IF from the clue is surrounded by engineering soldiers.

3d     Site really must be developed for growth (6,4)
EASTER LILY : An anagram (developed) of SITE REALLY.

4d     Talks of cash originally being invested in bovine livestock (5)
YACKS : The bovine creatures come from the Himalayas and include the first letter of cash.

5d     What should relieve pain of leasing arrangement in fact discovered (9)
ANALGESIC : An anagram (arrangement) of LEASING inside the two middle letters (with its covers removed) of fact.

6d     Create a stir grabbing drinks (4)
TEAS : Hiding inside the clue.

7d     Unwanted delivery of Thai meal rescheduled (4,4)
HATE MAIL : An anagram (rescheduled) of THAI MEAL.

8d     Obtain returns, covered by lost scheme (8)
STRATEGY : A three letter word for obtain is reversed inside a word for lost.

13d     Vain hopes of how music might be on paper? (4,6)
PIPE DREAMS : Split 5,5 this is how you might describe music heard in a shopping mall and quantities of paper.

15d     Succeeded at home — and her diet is bad (9)
INHERITED : The short word meaning at home and then an anagram (is bad) of HER DIET.

16d     Worrying at praise for such a letter (8)
ASPIRATE : An anagram (worrying) of AT PRAISE. The letter relates to the answer for 5a.

17d     Game involving passing via backs? (8)
LEAPFROG : A cryptic description of how the game is played.

19d     Bush — ‘I am very big in Massachusetts’ (6)
MIMOSA : The abbreviation for Massachusetts encloses the short form of I am and a very big clothing size.

20d     Ring on small target for bird (6)
OSPREY : The letter that looks like a ring, S(mall) and a target animal.

23d     Recipient‘s exercises receiving positive vote (5)
PAYEE : The three letter positive vote is inside the two letter physical exercises.

24d     Carried by a wave? (4)
BORE : Double definition. The second meaning is best known from the Severn estuary.

Favourite for us today is 5a

Quickie pun   heir  +  sang  +  races  =  airs and graces

58 comments on “DT 27836

  1. Very enjoyable puzzle with some great clues such as 18a, 5a, 19d and my fav 17d. Last one in was that pesky 4 letter clue with only vowels 24d, needed the hint for that one (Thx 2Kiwis and also thx for a great cricket tour, your guys were great sportsman and a credit to NZ). Needed the hint to full parse 22a, missed the split definitions.
    Thx to the setter for an enjoyable puzzle and of course to our NZ friends.

  2. Yes, just what we expect from Jay – highly enjoyable! 2*/4* for me.

    My short list of candidate favourites is 18a (which contained two new words for me but was beautifully clued), 22a and, my last one in, 13d. 22a just gets the final nod!

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  3. Fun but I found it tricky… Still don’t get 16d and how it connects to 5a !!!???!!!

    1. Welcome Paul. Look up 16d in the dictionary and then, if you still don’t get it, look up 5a in the same book.

          1. I was thinking about reciting the alphabet. But , of course you’re right. Honorable etc.

  4. Brilliant puzzle today.

    For quirkiness I quite liked 5a (letters), 10a (letter) and 16a (letter).

    I also thought there were some lovely surfaces: 11a (terrible gaffes), 21a (feeble men), 26a (unbounded fury), 3d (site really must be developed for growth), and my favourite 7d (unwanted delivery of thai meal).

    First sunshine in a week in Macclesfield, I’m trying to do the Guardian in the back yard.

    Manythanks 2Kiwis and thank you Jay for today’s joy.

  5. Decided on a 2.5*/3*,before I read the blog, a good crossword with a couple of excellent charades 14a and 18a for me. logical clueing and no new words and a nice tie up between 5a and 16d, thanks to 2K’S for the blog-can’t work out the orange coloured Ospreys catch in the 20d pic-may be some sort of carp?

  6. We agree with all of the above – a really enjoyable puzzle. We struggled a bit on the SE corner and had the wrong type of lily for a while so a probably a ***/**** for us today. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  7. Good 14a for me today.
    Was held up a bit with 17d and 25a as I was trying to end 17 with “ing” but was going nowhere.
    Liked the unbounded fury in 26a and the fact discovered in 5d.
    13d reminded me of my time in London. We used to have strange customers who, after having dinner, were in the habit to leave a note saying that they had lovely food but couldn’t stand the piped musical background. The Jardin however is a music free zone.
    19d made me laugh.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis.

  8. For me this was rather bland so I was not really inspired however I hung in there and managed to complete more or less on my Jack Jones. Think 3d is a bit broad. 13d was last to go in and 24d had to be corrected as I had settled for ‘rode’ since Severn Estuary meaning didn’t occur to me but I really should have clicked on carried. Thanks Jay and 2Ks whose UK aquatic knowledge is impressive. Glad your grim-sounding weather has calmed down. Fav was probably 17d. **/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

    1. I had “rode” as well and think it works quite well from a surfing point of view?

  9. Very enjoyable puzzle today, finished without assistance from the hints. Lots of interesting clues so thank you to the Wednesday setter and to the 2Kiwis.

  10. Jay with his benign hat on methinks. First pass through yielded 10 acrosses and 13 downs so there wasn’t much to do after that. Fun though so we’ll go for */****.

    Favourite was 17d but there were a few other conteneders – 1a, 5a, 11a, 22a 4d, 13d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  11. Yes this was 14a today. No real hassle, though didn’t like 4d. I’ll go with **\*** with thanks all round.

  12. Yesterday I was 18a,so today was 28a in comparison although not 14a .A 1a of the pleasure was the mini theme , seen in 5a and 16d.
    Thanks Kiwis . I never realized NZ got such terrible weather, I thought it was a semi-tropical place .
    Thanks Jay for a good puzzle.

  13. I agree with 2* and 4*.
    I didn’t get as far as splitting 22a into 6,4 or splitting 13d into 5,5 so failed well and truly on those two – just put the answers in because of the beginnings of the clues without thinking any further.
    I didn’t know the ‘cowries’ in 18a.
    I’m not entirely sure what the frogs in the picture are up – suspect it may not be playing leapfrog!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
    I liked 21 and 26a and 4d. My favourite was the froggy one.
    With thanks to Jay and the 2K’s.
    Might have to have a go at the Micawber Toughie.

    1. Kath it never occurred to us that the frogs were doing anything other than what the caption says, but now you mention it, they both do have a certain smirk on their faces…………

          1. Me too, but Kath Smutty had already mentioned it and I don’t like to be too predictable :). Whatever game those two froggies might be playing, they’re certainly having a mighty fine time http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif.

          1. I have to say that my word for what they were up to began with a ‘B’ and ended in a ‘G’ – however, having looked up your ‘amplexus’, (a new word for me) I think we’re talking about the same thing.
            Signing off now – sleep well all – from Smutty! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  14. Totally concur with Pommers, this was Jay at his most benign – I actually thought that Monday’s offering from Rufus was marginally trickier.

    Apart from the NW corner, which involved a tiny bit of head-scratching, everything was virtually “read and write”, despite never having heard of “cowries” before. (Kath is not alone in that!)

    Two clues stood out for me, 13d and my favourite 17d.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2K’s (glad to hear that the weather is improving).

  15. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, I usually start at the top and go where the checkers take me. This time I did the acrosses, then the downs. Somehow felt short-changed. Just needed the hints to parse 5d, didn’t know where the “ac” came from. Great misdirection in 1d. Nearly Googled cowries but just saw the answer. Favourite was 4d, made me laugh. Was 3*/4* for me. Nice and sunny in Central London.

  16. Very enjoyable. No hold ups for me. I have several of the shells, so knew the name. Also since I originally come from Gloucestershire, I am very familiar with the Severn Bore. It brings millions of elvers up river. I liked 16D and 5A.

    Cooler today. Just 80F, which is preferable to the mid-90s temps of the last few days.

    1. I didn’t know you were Glos folk! My Mum and Dad came from Glos, too, my Mum from a little village called Saul in the huge U-bend in the Severn. There was a canal cutting through the break in the U, basically making it an island. It is close to Frampton and Peter Scott’s bird sanctuary. As children we used to go on long leave for three months every three years, really learned to love it. I would love to go back.

  17. While Mr P is up in Staffordshire, I got a chance to play hookey with Poppy, and settled down in the garden (ignoring its shouts for attention) to try and finish today’s puzzle – and I did – hurrah! So many thanks from a beaming me to the setter, as well as to our 2Kiwis. The floods sound awful, so do hope you’re both well and watertight. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    1. Lovely to see you back, Poppy, and well done on today’s crossword.
      Planning a day at Hampton Court flower show with elder Pet Lamb – my belated birthday pressie from her – I’ll email you.

  18. Thanks to Jay for a lovely puzzle. Team Kitty was not in a hurry but it still yielded pretty readily and was lots of fun. I liked the letters mini-theme.

    I didn’t know cowries but somebody else did. A couple of other things were double-checked, but we had one real fail: not thinking of the wave, we’d opted (with reservations) for NOTE for 24d. So I checked the blog and said, “grr!” Of course!

    Last in (ignoring the above – grr!) was 17d which was a nice penny-drop moment.

    I couldn’t possibly choose a favourite out of those clues but will just say that 21a made me laugh.

    Thanks to the Kiwis for the fine review, and hope things are ok. Great froggy picture!

    1. Yes – 21a made me laugh too. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_lol.gif
      At the risk of sounding sexist, which I’m really really not, very apt. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  19. It’s lunch time here and have completed this most enjoyable puzzle. Last ones in were 17d and 24d, ironic since the first we played at school and the latter because I have frequently visited the upper reaches of the Severn.

    On another matter, on occasion when I need the hints, I find myself disappointed when the hints more or less verbally or pictorially gives the answer, leaving no intellectual challenge.

    1. Hmmm – giving hints verbally without giving away the answer requires a great deal of skill. Gazza is an absolute ace. I think that the piccies just add something – you don’t have to hover over them and see the caption if you don’t want to, and sometimes the pictures are misleading anyway – sometimes they’re also very funny.

  20. No problems with this one, thought it was quite easy, but got held up slightly in NW corner….just couldn’t se 1a at all ….then the penny dropped and was able to finish it off. Also had trouble getting the rationale for 1d even though I had it correct…..had to check this one out….otherwise finished without using the hints, although did need some electronic help in parts. A very enjoyable puzzle….21a made me smile and I
    liked 19d. 4d caused some head scratching, but once I had 1a, the answer was obvious. I thought 24 was a lovely, neat clue too. 1*/4* for me and thanks to setter and to 2Ks. Great to have some sun today, it’s been perishing here in Norfolk….12C yesterday with a blustery on shore breeze….flaming June!!

  21. Just out of bed. Pretty certain that when the sun rises in about an hour it will reveal another glistening white frost. It certainly feels like it. Much preferable to the storms of late last week.
    With 24a, we are not surprised that people had trouble with it. The problem is that there are just so many words that could fit _O_E. We had actually got the correct one after a bit of cogitation but did go back to the website and revealed a letter just to be sure that we had the right one.
    Una, sorry to shatter your illusions about NZ weather. Being a long skinny country with a North South orientation, we do get quite a range of climates from semi-tropical in the far north to much less so in the south. We’ll introduce you to some of it when you come visiting.

  22. Tricky, amusing and enjoyable.
    Loved 19d.
    Many thanks Jay, and the 2Kiwis for the review, luckily not needed today.

  23. Found this next to impossible – got 8 clues, couldn’t see any way past any of the others. Don’t know why, but I just don’t ‘get’ Jay’s puzzles – reading the hints above it seems there are a lot of synonms required – and I’m in a different dictionary to jay!

  24. Nice puzzle, the most difficult so far this week :) ***/*** Needed the Two Kiwis help 13d which was the best :)

  25. Very enjoyable as ever. A quick question though. How do our heroic solvers know who the setter is? The name is never given in the newspaper.

  26. Only needed hints for 16d and 17d so reasonably easy. Liked 14a, 22a, 18a and 13d but fave is 26a.

    1. Last time you commented you were just ‘Th’ which is why you went into moderation this time.

  27. No real trouble with this one, but I found it more tricky than yesterday’s PJ offering. However, once I was under way, it fell mostly into place, with just a couple of stubborn knots to untangle, so I’ll go for 3*/3*. I liked 14, 18 and 27a; 16 and 19d. But receiving the most votes from the Juke Box Jury has to be the fornicating frogs at 17d. Thanks to Jay and the Ks, who come after each other in the alphabet, enhancing the letter theme

  28. Thank you Jay, an enjoyable puzzle. Seems strange doing a Jay puzzle on a Thursday. I have started the Ray T puzzle and it looks pretty difficult…..! Thanks 2Kiwis for your review and hints.

  29. Thanks to my refusal to use writing implements I have only just finished this puzzle. The anagram at 3d refused to yield and 13d held me up for ages. Music should never be piped. Nice puzzle. Hello Carol and Colin. Remember. Winter is only The Spring Asleep.

  30. We always get these late but I especially enjoyed 4d (Yacks – the bovine had me puzzled for a while) and 17d (Leapfrog)

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