DT 27837 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27837

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27837

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating — Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Hello all from a warm and sunny Oxford. This is, without any doubt, a Ray T crossword. It has all his trademarks – short clues, a mention of the Queen, all single word answers, all single word clues and answers in the Quickie and a fair bit of innuendo thrown in for good measure – he’s definitely wearing his naughty hat today! I thought there were some tricky clues – I really enjoyed it. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today.

If you press on the things that say (Click here) you’ll see the actual answer so try not to do that by mistake.


7a            A pitch then a strike turning in curve (8)
PARABOLA — Begin with the first A from the clue, follow that with pitch or fling, then the next A from the clue and finish off with a strike or knock – then all you need to do is reverse (turning) the whole lot. Phew – that was a bit of a mission for the first clue!


9a            Start to seem worried and anxious (6)
SCARED — The first letter (start to) of S(eem) and then a word meaning worried or concerned about.

10a         Neck and part of cheek is snogged (4)
KISS — Here is the first ‘lurker’ (an answer that’s hidden in the middle of the clue). The words ‘part of’ tell us that this is what it is.


11a         Put off by revolting material in set (10)
DETERMINED — A word meaning put off or discourage is followed by a reversal (revolting) of a kind of material. I could see what the answer had to be but understanding why it had to be it took rather a long time.

12a         Flop, failing in amorous situation could occur initially … (6)
FIASCO — Take the first letters (initially) of six of the words in the clue.

14a         … guys agree, it’s in the mind (8)
MENTALLY — Some guys or blokes are followed by a verb meaning agree or correspond.

15a         Role’s to agitate circling new recruits (6)
ENROLS — An anagram (to agitate) of ROLE’S which contains (circling) the one letter abbreviation for N(ew).

17a         Snooze hiding one’s face (6)
RESIST — A snooze or a bit of time off from whatever you’re doing contains (hiding) the letter that looks like the Roman numeral for one, with the ‘S.

20a         Bury and United almost clashing (8)
INUNDATE — An anagram (clashing) of AND and all but the last letter (almost) of UNITE(d). I missed the anagram indicator here so ended up messing around with it for ages – anyway it sounded suspiciously like football to me!

22a         Sign of stomach upset — doctor in practice needed? (6)
RUMBLE — A word meaning practice in the sense of custom or protocol contains (in) one of the many two letter abbreviations for a doctor – not Dr, or MO or GP but one that is an abbreviation for his or her first degree.

23a         Greek leader in Europe perhaps produces division (10)
CONTINGENT — The first letter (leader) of G(reek) is contained in something of which Europe is an example.

24a         Saucy redhead held in caress (4)
PERT — The first letter (head) of R(ed) inside (held in) caress or cuddle.

25a         Humble of French chap to embrace sweetheart (6)
DEMEAN — A verb meaning to humble or cut down to size in a not very nice way comes from the French word for ‘of’ followed by a chap or guy containing (to embrace) the middle letter of ‘sweet’ (sweetHEART).

26a         Excellent Eighties singer covering Queen live opening (8)
STERLING — An Eighties singer who started out as the lead singer of Police contains (covering) the two letters for our Queen and the first letter (opening) of L(ive). If I was clever enough to know how to do it I’d have put a clip of him singing “Shape of my Heart” but I’m not!

LAS VEGAS - JUNE 18:  Recording artist Sting performs with London's Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra during his Symphonicity tour at the MGM Grand Garden Arena June 18, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sting will release the album, "Symphonicities" on July 13, 2010.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)   Original Filename: GYI0060799171.jpg
LAS VEGAS – JUNE 18: Recording artist Sting performs with London’s Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra during his Symphonicity tour at the MGM Grand Garden Arena June 18, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sting will release the album, “Symphonicities” on July 13, 2010. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) Original Filename: GYI0060799171.jpg



1d            Naval force set up before current era (8)
MARITIME — A reversal (set up) of a word for force or drive, the one letter meaning electric current in physics and then an era or age.


2d            Fish sailor lifted on ship (4)
BASS — A reversal (lifted up) of a two letter abbreviation for a sailor followed by another two letter abbreviation, this time it’s the one for a steamship.

3d            For the audience, which people perform magic? (6)
HOODOO — Two homonyms here – the first is one of how you could say ‘what person’ or ‘which people’ and the second is a verb meaning perform or act.


4d            Slowest ran gently, some being split up (8)
ESTRANGE — Our second lurker (some) – it’s hidden in the first, second and third words in the clue.

5d            Is in trauma being treated in hospital (10)
SANITARIUM — An anagram (being treated) of IS IN TRAUMA. I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m more used to a different way of spelling this.

6d            Cancel physical, taking exercise (6)
REPEAL — A word meaning physical or tangible contains (taking) a two letter abbreviation for exercise. It’s what we used to call “games” at school.

8d            Fall for Brad Pitt? (6)
AUTUMN — Have a little think about Brad Pitt’s nationality – he would call three of the four seasons of the year the same as we do on this side of the pond – he would call the fourth one something different.

Autumn scene 056 1024x768

13d         Run inside Gents, bursting — afterwards, rally (10)
STRENGTHEN — An anagram (bursting) of GENTS which contains the one letter cricketing abbreviation for a run – this is followed by a word meaning afterwards or a bit later.

16d         Study line drawing? (8)
LEARNING — A noun meaning study or knowledge is made up from the one letter abbreviation for L(ine) which is followed by a word meaning drawing, as in drawing a salary.

18d         Learn to let loose, with time, becoming indulgent (8)
TOLERANT — An anagram (let loose) of LEARN TO and the one letter abbreviation for T(ime).

19d         Attacks England overcome by defeats (6)
BESETS — A verb meaning defeats or conquers contains (overcome) the one letter for E(ngland).

21d         Beak’s employing old means of execution (6)
NOOSES — This beak is a snout rather than a teacher or a magistrate – it contains (employing) the one letter abbreviation for O(ld).

22d         Cur’s resistance to meet animal (6)
ROTTER — The one letter for electrical resistance is followed by (to meet) an aquatic fish-eating animal of the weasel family.

24d         Male supports mate, giving hand (4)
PALM — The abbreviation for M(ale) follows (supports) a mate or friend.


I thought there were some brilliant clues. I particularly liked 22 and 26a and 3 and 8d. My favourite was the combination of 12 and 14a.

Quickie pun (Press)+(Apiece)=(Precipice)

66 comments on “DT 27837

  1. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif
    4*/4*. That was quite a challenge, but very well worth the effort!

    Once again I have a short list of three candidates for favourite, which are 7a, 3d & 8d, with 3d taking the honours today.

    Many thanks to Ray T for a wonderful puzzle and to Kath for a wonderful review.

  2. Even allowing for a break to look at video of my lovely grandson opening his birthday presents from us – this one definitely took me a 4* time to solve and I’d award it 4* for entertainment too. 8d was my favourite too.

    Did anyone else solve this while thinking ‘someone ought to email Brian and warn him’ or was that just me??

    Thanks to Ray and Kath.

    PS: I had to check that it was Thursday as today’s Toughie definitely fits the description on the tin.

    1. I did notice that the first star vote today was 1* for very poor, and I wondered if that was from Brian! There is now a second one which has pushed the average up to 2.5*, and I am going to add a 5* to help it on its way up!

      1. No it wasn’t me but very pleased to find that someone else agrees with me. I have now awarded it the obligatory 1*, it would be a minus score if there was one.

  3. I thought this was going to be beyond me at the start of solving, but I stuck with it and it slowly yielded. I thought it was a superb puzzle and I’m going to give it 5* for enjoyment (don’t think I’ve ever rated a puzzle 5*). Thanks to Kath and RayT ***/*****

  4. We certainly found this one more difficult than average. Too many great clues to pick a favourite. Challenging, enjoyable and lots of chuckles along the way.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

  5. Phew, managed to complete but, for a while, I thought I had downloaded the Toughy by mistake. ****/*****. Thank you Kath

  6. Weren’t we asked to fall for George Clooney not so long ago with the same result?

    1. I don’t remember that one. I do remember “It’s goodbye to Hollande” which obviously has a different answer but it’s along the same lines – I think that was probably a Ray T clue but could be totally wrong- I often am!

    2. Really not sure that I’d fall (in love) with either of them – they’re both a bit poncey for my liking. Just give me John Thaw or Martin Shaw any time . . . actually Sting’s quit nice too . . .

  7. Second difficult solve of the week after Wednesdays 4*, not quite as hard so going for a ***/****.Last in was 11a as I thought that the definition was ‘put off’ like distracted or discourage until the penny dropped when I had all the checking letters in ! and 8d brought the d’oh moment.-was thinking about a sort of nail.Thanks to Kath and setter.

  8. Thought this was much harder than the pj this week. Stuck on 11a because I had the alternative spelling for 5d, so giving this ****/***.
    Favourite today is 26a closely followed by 7a.

  9. ***/* for me today. I don’t usually struggle with Ray but wasn’t on his wavelength today – it must be the weather, which for once in the Peak District is warm and calm. Those I did get without hints I found to be contrived. Sorry!

  10. 11a was my last one and that collection of odd letters stared at me for a while too.
    Until the cotton de nimes appeared to me.
    Wasn’t defeated by the defeats in 19d either. That word is now well assimilated as it caused me so much trouble in the past.
    Favourite is 26a.
    Now it’s back to the NW corner of the toughie. It’s still all blanc!
    Thanks to RayT and to Kath for the review.

  11. Great puzzle and the best RayT for some time. I agree with Kath’s ratings.

    Fav was 13d, or possibly 4d, or even 3d. Hard to say really but they’re all on the podium.

    According to Collins 5d is the US spelling but it’s OK by me as it’s an anagram so can’t be anything else.

    Thanks to RayT and Kath.

    1. I agree re 5d not being English spelling. We had one at school and it certainly wasn’t spelt like that. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  12. Don’t usually struggle with Thursday’s Ray T but today ****/***. Last in for some unknown reason – 9a. Just could not see it. Favourite 7a. Many thanks to the Setter and Kath for the hints which I did not need today but which were very well put.

  13. I am rarely on Ray T’s wavelength, but today was harder than normal. It took me a long time to get going, and it has been a very long time since I had to rely so much on the letters from other answers. I got there in the end without the hints. ****/*** for me.

  14. Loved 7a and 11a, good to see 8d putting in an appearance again. Overall a ***\*** for me. NE corner held the last clues to be completed. We do seem to be having slightly tougher puzzles recently, and I don’t think I am imagining things when I suggest that the overall ratings for difficulty are above par. I like to think that the more complex the grid, the greater the enjoyment, but I guess it depends on the individual. Anyone new to the wonderful world of DT crosswords might disagree. For weather watchers, early signs of a Spanish plume next week, 25 – 30C possible, hopefully not just in the South East.

  15. Thank you Ray T for a tough challenge. It has taken me ages to solve over several sessions ! It was enjoyable though and brought a lot of smiles when the pennies finally dropped. Thank you Kath for your review and hints – a real test for you today.

  16. Did not enjoy that so much today too many ambiguous answers .sanitarium! We are not in America and resist = Face in which language.

    1. You’ve made a minor change to your alias since your last comment (in 2012) so this one needed moderation. Both aliases should work from now on.

    2. Sanitarium is in the BRB.
      Also in the BRB is face = to stand up to, to confront, to brave and to resist.
      All fair enough I think.

  17. I am afraid you have completely floored me RayT (thanks anyway) and I have decided to throw in the sponge. Kath your hints were timely and very comprehensive (thanks for that) but I need an inordinate number so the fight is off. For me this was probably the most thorny ever – not much joy to be had. *****/*. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  18. Been slowly getting back into the puzzles and have enjoyed many in the last two weeks but I am afraid this one beat me and I gave up. Not on the same wavelength of many of the answers and fail to see why some are what they are and why they are. Hope I can summon the courage to try again tomorrow.
    Thanks to Kath and setter.

  19. I have a limited opportunity to get started on the crossword-Cockfosters to Earls Court, and precious little time thereafter. It didn’t take me long to realise who the setter was but i still wasted 15 minutes solving 5 clues before i decided to read the paper instead. Am I alone in finding clues like 26ac irritating and 7 ac contrived (i got the answer but couldn’t be bothered to work out why)? A good day for me is to have the crossword finished before my journey ends or to have a handful of clues to finish off through the day. Thanks Kath although I can’t summon up any enthusiam to look at most of the answers i know some will just annoy me. /*

  20. A very enjoyable puzzle from the master. Thank goodness for the hidden words as I struggled early on. Best for me was 20 as i could not get inter out of my mind so I was led right down the garden path. Other goodies were 10 24 26 and 5 8 13 and 21. Thanks to RayT and to Kath for an excellent review.

  21. It’s not a popular view, but I really can never cotton to Ray T’s puzzles. Can’t explain, why, just don’t enjoy them! But thanks to Kath for the hints, without which I should still be tearing my hair out!

    1. I don’t think it matters whether or not it’s a popular view and you don’t need to be able to explain why you don’t enjoy them. We’re all different – this blog wouldn’t be half as much fun if we all agreed all the time. I’m glad that the hints stopped you being hairless – there’s nothing worse than a bald owl! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  22. ***/**** for me, harder than some of RayT’s recent back page puzzles, fewer anagrams than usual. Lots of witty stuff today, and great fun.

    1. Would it be possible for you to be a bit more specific because that just sounds rude – well, it does to me anyway.

  23. Thought I had cracked this one after it had put up no little challenge, but then realised from the blog that I had a “v” instead of “h” as the first letter of 3d. The clue makes more sense now!

    Favourite was 8d as it produced the widest smile.

    Thanks to Ray T and to Kath.

  24. It’s very quiet here today – feeling like “Billy-no-mates”. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
    Maybe you’re all out enjoying the warm weather and will be here later – I hope so anyway.

    1. Hi Kath. I have indeed been out enjoying the warm weather (well, hiding in the shade where possible http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif). In London at the moment. Spent the morning in Hyde park half reading and half watching the (rather frisky) birdlife and the afternoon catching up with my sister over some wine http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif. The crossword? Let me remember…

      It was not easy, but we enjoyed it. Some synonyms prompted discussion, but we did not have any Brian moments.

      We noticed some KISSing and PETting with the PERT redhead, but also a FIASCO and some ESTRANGEment – perhaps something to do with a ROTTER. A whole little story, but hopefully no 21d were part of it.

      8d was our last in. We were totally led up the garden path with nails and PMs before the penny dropped with a resounding clang.

      Thanks Kath for the very well-written review, and thanks to RayT for the challenge.

  25. Kath

    You said you particularly liked 26 across, what chance do you think my 85 year old mother would have of solving it?

    1. My 89 year old mother likes Sting. She has a couple of his CD’s (and a cassette copy of Zenyatta Mondatta). Mind you, she is a small town in Essex at times.

    2. My Mum died in March – she was almost ninety-three. She had done the Telegraph cryptic crosswords for as long as I can remember – she was the person who got me into all this “stuff”! I don’t think that she would have managed 26a but I would have explained it to her when we saw each other, or spoke, which we did every day for the last eight years of her life.
      I don’t think that your eighty-five year old mother would have a hope in hell of solving it but you and she could have fun, and a good conversation talking about it.
      I think what’s just as important is that somehow we manage to engage the younger generation in this wonderful hobby/pastime/obsession – call it what you like – we need some young setters.
      Thank you for your interesting comment EJL – I hope you keep commenting. A http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif to you.

      1. Kath, I didn’t know that your Mum died. I know you had been worried about her for some time, my sympathies for you. One never gets over losing a Mum.

        I had no hope of solving 26a but it didn’t really matter, I solved enough to enjoy the puzzle. I can’t even pretend to know everything. Thanks to all.

      2. Thanks Merusa and Una and Kitty.
        I do hope that you all love this song as much as I do.

  26. Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the review and hints. Well done Kath, I couldn’t get near this at all. Managed the top half ok except for the Brad Pitt clue. Needed 7 hints to finish. Favourite was 3d, and a special mention to 7a. Was 4*/3* for me. Feels very muggy in Central London after being in Cumbria for a week.

    1. EJL – when you are carrying on a thread it’s quite a good idea to click on “reply” – it keeps all the relevant bits and pieces up together – otherwise people lose track of what’s going on.

  27. Quite the challenge ! Thanks Kath for the couple of hints I needed.
    I liked 3d, 4d, 26a and many others.
    Thanks Ray T.

  28. We agree with many others that this was much tougher than usual . A ****/*** for us. Thanks to Kath and to Ray T.

  29. Thank you Ray T and thanks to Kath for some needed hints. I don’t know why that was so tricky when the answers were so straightforward. I thought 23a and 19d were great, and enjoyed 22d also. Thanks.

  30. I rarely rate puzzles but I have given this a big five just to balance out Brian. Gawd knows why folks even do certain puzzles let alone comment when they profess to hate the setter so much. Must be a form of self-flagellation.

    I really enjoyed it, but fell short on 19D. No particular favorites today, just an overall feeling of satisfaction and enjoyment. Thanks, Ray T and Kath.

    Kath, I didn’t know you had lost your Mum. My sincere condolences.

  31. I found this puzzle very difficult after the easy rides this week ****/** Thanks to Kath for her very useful hints ;)

  32. Off to bed – night, night all.
    Or, as my Granny would have said, “Night, night, sleep tight and mind the bugs don’t bite”! Not something that I really want to think about . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    1. My Grandmother always said ‘Night, night , sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite’ – they always didhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

      Thought your reply thread in comment 27 by EJL was super – just what this blog is all about.

      Having said that I must also offer my most profound apologies to MP (and Kitty) for my post(s) a few days ago – it has been a most depressing time for me and I hope to be back to my genial self. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      1. Thank you. I have been waiting for you so I can ask how things went for you. I have written and read two eulogies the first was so hard. The second easier as the deceased was much older. I shall offer the shake of a virtual hand across cyberspace.. Take care. My parents also said the bed bug thing.

        1. MP – Thank you for the virtual handshake, it is most appreciated (and reciprocated). Unfortunately, I have delivered more eulogies than I ever wanted to, but this has been the most heart breaking one for me. Thanks again for your comment.

          The next time I am in your vicinity I will certainly buy you a beer (or two) – mates rates of coursehttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

          Now don’t let those bed bugs……

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