DT 27854 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27854

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27854

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Sorry to disappoint but, after the big buildup from 2Kiwis, the mystery blogger is me! I thought this was a typical Wednesday puzzle. Say no more.

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    Go with many directors and face growth (10)
SIDEBOARDS: a verb meaning to go with or support followed by more than one group of directors gives this facial growth

6a    Detailed description of glasses? Not quite! (4)
SPEC: drop (not quite) the final letter from a colloquial word for the kind of glasses that are worn – I thought there was some mileage in “detailed” indicating a truncation, but it wasn’t to be

9a    Extent of suspicion about Germany (7)
BREADTH: a suspicion or suggestion, as in a suggestion of scandal, around the IVR code for Germany

10a    Exposed rock group (banned) runs into policeman (7)
OUTCROP: a word meaning banned followed by R(uns) inside a policeman

12a    Wheel patient being treated outside hospital — a useless and expensive thing (5,8)
WHITE ELEPHANT: an anagram (being treated) of WHEEL PATIENT around H(ospital)

14a    Sniffy reaction for Coward’s work? (3,5)
HAY FEVER: two definitions

15a    Tool the man’s smuggled into prison finally going missing (6)
CHISEL: a word meaning of the man (the man’s) inside (smuggled into) most of (finally going missing) a prison

17a    A tax credit having priority for some menswear? (6)
CRAVAT: the A from the clue and a type of tax preceded by (having priority) CR(edit)

19a    Zones where football supporters are put in coolers? (3,5)
FAN BELTS: some zones where you might find (are put) some football supporters are actually bands which transmit torque from the engine of a motor vehicle to the device that cools the radiator, so they are hardly “coolers” in their own right

21a    Did, say, apply an innovative parking scheme (3,3,7)
PAY AND DISPLAY: an anagram (innovative) of DID SAY APPLY AN

24a    One exam covering 2,000 — that’s wrong! (7)
IMMORAL: I (one) and a spoken exam around (covering) the Roman numerals for 2,000

25a    Have objective that’s self-defeating? (3,4)
OWN GOAL: a verb meaning to have or possess followed by an objective or target

26a    Spill the beans and count (4)
TELL: two definitions

27a    Make a granny get married (3,3,4)
TIE THE KNOT: this granny is a faulty way of joining two pieces of rope, and perhaps ought to have been indicated as a definition by example


1d    Stands in
boats (4)
SUBS: two definitions – a verb meaning stands in for someone and some boats – Son of BD, when in the Royal Navy, used to say that there were only two types of vessels in the navy; boats and targets, the latter being on the surface

2d    Decline daughter — that is a method (3,4)
DIE AWAY: a charade of D(aughter), the Latin abbreviation for “that is”, the A from the clue and a method

3d    A doctor’s patient approach (7,6)
BEDSIDE MANNER: a slightly cryptic definition of a doctor’s way of approaching a patient

4d    A cold greeting, always, for this person getting a goal! (8)
ACHIEVER: a charade of the A from the clue, C(old), a two-letter greeting and a word meaning always

5d    Slaver and doctor — gents that should be shown up (5)
DROOL: isn’t the English language a funny thing? – this verb meaning to slaver has nothing whatsoever to do with slaves and comes from D(octo)R followed by the reversal (that should be shown up, in a down clue) of yet another unindicated definition by example in “gents”

7d    Origin of Hamlet found amongst lost papers, possibly (7)
PERHAPS: the initial letter (origin) of H[amlet] inside (found amongst) an anagram (lost) of PAPERS

8d    Investor first to support Tokyo, for example (10)
CAPITALIST: the three letters that resemble the abbreviated form of first preceded by (to support) the type of city of which Tokyo is an example (this definition by example is indicated!)

11d    Silly bet — let in a chap to be the deciding factor (3,3,7)
TIP THE BALANCE: an anagram (silly) of BET LET IN A CHAP

13d    European broadcast on aim for border crossing (10)
CHECKPOINT: a word that sounds like () an Eastern European national followed by a verb meaning to aim, as in to aim a gun

16d    Permit amorous advance after drink? On the contrary (8)
PASSPORT: an amorous advance before (after … on the contrary) an alcoholic drink

18d    Poor lamb, say? Poor indeed (7)
ABYSMAL: an anagram (poor) of LAMB SAY

20d    Stipulate  deposit — and put one’s cards on the table? (3,4)
LAY DOWN: three definitions – the middle one being to deposit, for example, a quantity of wine for later use

22d    Food store outside hotel in city (5)
DELHI: old chestnut time – a food store around H(otel)

23d    Blubber about student accommodation (4)
FLAT: some blubber or lard around a student or learner

The 2Kiwis should be back next week

The Quick Crossword pun: ridge+hoist=rejoiced

81 comments on “DT 27854

  1. My first Telegraph puzzle solve for a week and fortunately for me, it was the easiest Jay puzzle ever (yes Brian, I know you’ll probably disagree, but apparently people like our ‘conversations’ so I thought I’d start it off). Thanks to Jay and the mysterious BD.

    1. It seems that Brian i late on parade today CS. So I might just let you know that i am trying to sort out the basket shelves in one of the kitchen cupboards which have never worked properly.

      1. There simply has to be an appropriate answer to that comment, MP. I’m just struggling to find it. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  2. Pretty straightforward for the most part. Last three in were 19a – not sure the solution is, in fact, a cooler, 25a and 16d. Liked 1a and 1d. 5d was quite amusing.

    Two/three for me too.

    How do you decide your ratings? For me difficulty is more or less time taken in 15 minute chunks. Enjoyment is more subjective. Do you use the same scale for the Toughie or is it relative to the expected difficulty level?

    1. I use smaller “chunks” for both, but the Toughie “chunk” is longer than the back-page chunk. I also allow a basic 4-5 minutes “filling in” time for the online version to give the starting point.

      Enjoyment is obviously subjective, but the expectation is a bit higher for the Toughies, so what would rate as 3* for a back-page puzzle might only be a 2* for a Toughie.

      Notwithstanding all that, the ratings are only meant as a guideline, not as a branch of mathematics.

      1. Thankyou

        The comments about yesterday’s two puzzles got me wondering. I tend to think people must have their own ‘levels’ yet there usually seems to be a fairly close correspondence between people’s assessments.

        1. I think people decide on difficulty and enjoyment ratings in lots of different ways. I know that some people time themselves. I just go on how I feel about the crossword while I’m doing – I almost never sit down and do it all in one go – lots of getting up, wandering around, making another cup of coffee, putting the washing out etc etc.

        2. I think everyone does have their own scale for difficulty ratings but it will always just be a reflection of their own expectations of the time they feel it should take them to complete a puzzle, based on past performance.
          Someone taking an hour where they would normally expect to take two hours and someone taking two hours where they would normally take four are therefore likely to come up with the same rating regardless of their vastly different overall completion time.
          Hope that makes sense!

          As for Toughies – plenty of us are just delirious with joy if we EVER actually finish them. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

          1. The first definition of Delirious Jane is

            adjective: delirious

            in an acutely disturbed state of mind characterized by restlessness, illusions, and incoherence; affected by delirium.

            The second is

            in a state of wild excitement or ecstasy.

            Which are you?

            1. Hmmm – probably the unwritten third definition which is a combination of the first two laced with alcohol introduced purely for the medicinal purpose of opening the mind to all sorts of possible answers.
              Before you fire off a retort, MP – I am referring solely to answers in crossword puzzles. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

    2. I never touch the star ratings. Big Dave’s comment here is the nearest I have ever had to an explanation. I always thoroughly enjoy a puzzle but much prefer a tussle/fight to a read and write.

      Similarly to the lovely Jane I get delirious with joy if I even find the time to begin a toughie.

  3. I found this a bit of a breeze today. No problems or hold ups and a comfortable solve. I will go inside BD’s rating with a */***

  4. Thourougly enjoyed this one, I could actually see most of the answers and wordplay, my kind of puzzle and I don’t have any misgivings about definitions for a change except perhaps about 19a, a cooler in a round about way?
    Thanks to Jay and BD

  5. Like Big Dave was looking for a truncation in 6a with the definition ‘not quite’ until 8d went in, did’nt really like the answer as it was ‘informal’ Was going for a */*** until I took ages to solve 19a,the last in (probably the best clue ),so a **/*** in the end.Not a lot else to say, pleasant enough thanks to all.

    1. Isn’t the truncation from ‘specification’, as in a detailed description. I’m an engineer btw so that was my first thought.

  6. A typical Jay puzzle with lots of well crafted clues. They fell on the easy end of the scale except for my last one in 19ac which suffers a failing as detailed by our new blogger BD in his hints above.

    “The time has come,” the Walrus said,
    “To talk of many things:
    Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
    Of cabbages–and kings–
    And why the sea is boiling hot–
    And whether pigs have wings.”

    I often wonder if there are more tins of baked beans in England than there are people. Also are there more pens than people? What do you think?

    1. When I worked in the cardiac department we wore theatre garb so at the end of each day we changed back into our own clothes in the changing room – that involved emptying pockets and putting the contents into our bags before putting stuff in the wash. Next day – go to work – get changed – forget to get pen out of bag so grab another one once in the department etc etc. One time when I was turning out my bag I had thirty nine pens in it – I remember counting them! No wonder our Pet Lambs refer to my bag as “Mum’s skip”!

        1. Oh dear! I should have seen that coming, shouldn’t I? You’re probably right!
          I can’t do Toughie either.

  7. Pretty good puzzle enjoyed all of it got a bit stuck with 1a silly I know but. Was trying to fit beards into answer, being a maritime type. She who must be obeyed solved it in the end.
    Many thanks to Big Dave **/*** for me.

  8. I was about to say what a lovely easy puzzle this was, as everything just flowed for me today, but then I came up against 19a which stumped me……’ice boxes’ obviously wasnt going to work…so I had to use the hint…even then I Really had to think as I’m not mechanically minded but got there withou having to cheat. Managed to finish in record time (for me) and with only one electronic help! Some nice clues, great anagrams and spot on my wavelength! Thanks to setter and to BD for the hints. 1*/4*

    1. I gave up on ‘boxes’ once 20d went in and then tried to find football supporters in ‘ice belts’ – which probably aren’t recognised zones of the world, anyway!

      Ah well – back to the Firefly Toughie. Only five answers in and I’ve already had to look up two words. Not looking good!

      1. And to keep things warm, MP. I have very strong recollections of porridge being kept warm in this manner at Guide camps. One of the memories of youth that I generally try to forget. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

        1. Yes. Like thermos flasks hay bales can keep hot things hot and cold things cold. My question is, how do they know which to do?

          1. Our QM at Guide camp was a rather fearsome lady – all of us obeyed her commands without question and I would reckon the hay bales were minded to do the same.
            As for thermos flasks – in my experience they start out with all good intentions of following instructions but tend to lose the plot somewhere along the way.

            Of course, there could well be a scientific explanation………http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

            1. “They start out with good intentions … but tend to lose the plot…”

              Oh no – it appears I am a Thermos flask! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

              1. Not to worry, Kitty. They come in all shapes and sizes, often very attractive in appearance and are always indispensable as companions at all the very best of outdoor events.
                As for indoor events – maybe you could transmute into a hip flask?
                ‘transmute’ – hope that means what I think it does – should have looked it up before I wrote it!

                1. Thanks Jane – I’m indoors now so will just transmute into a hip flask, fill up with a delicious Scotch, and I’m good to go :).

  9. Just pushed into 2* time by that pesky 19a, which I finished up rather liking despite pedants’ corner pointing out that a fan belt is not, in itself, a cooler! I thought of plenty of other places to put over-heated football supporters but none of them fitted. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    Got 6a via a de-tailed ‘description’ (one of synonyms for specification) which almost gives ‘specs’ for glasses. Does that work OK?

    Tried hard to get ‘drudge’ into 5d as I was slaving away rather than dribbling!

    3* for me with a mention for 1&14a and favourite spot to 27a. Surely the latter qualifies as a double definition?
    Nearly forgot my manners! Thanks to Jay for some good laughs and many thanks to BD for taking over the 2Ks slot.

    1. To “tie the knot” means to get married – the other definition is intended to be cryptic, as you are meant to be sidetracked into thinking about a grandmother.

      1. OK – but if I ‘make a granny’ I could well be tying a knot, albeit it an unacceptable one by Brownie standards. I’m still seeing a double definition!

  10. Lovely puzzle from Jay.I had to google 14a, and it is my favourite.
    Thanks BD and Jay.

  11. Loved it – very straightforward as everyone else seems to think too so 1* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    Didn’t get 1a for a long time – got tied up in beards and handlebars.
    My last answer was 13d – that did take ages, probably longer than the whole of the rest of the crossword.
    Like Jane with 5d I was slaving not dribbling – isn’t it silly how much difference the pronunciation makes when the word looks the same.
    I liked lots of these so will just bung them all down – 9, 14 and 27a and 3, 18 (because of the lamb!) and 23d – my favourite is in amongst that lot.
    With thanks to Jay and to BD for standing in for 2K’s.

    1. PS – All this chatter about whether or not a 19a is a cooler is far too clever/technical for me. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
      If your 19a breaks your car gets too hot – I reckon that makes it a cooler . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  12. Pleasant enough. Couldn’t think past ice something for 19a but 15d scotched that. Needed help with 5d. Fav 14a. Thanks Jay and BD. ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  13. Just as an aside – what sort of state must the interior of BD’s car be in if he can produce a parking sticker from June, 2011? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  14. Yesterday’s puzzle I found harder than the Toughie and the back pager in the Times. Today’s was largely R and W for me. Held up a little at the end by 19 a – my favourite clue. 25a was strangely familiar.
    Thanks to setter and BD.

  15. **/****

    Definitely on the easier scale for Jay. 1a caused some problems and I had to check 14a was a play by Noel Coward.

    19a I would not class as a cooler, ever.

    All in all fine fare with 27 getting the favourite award.

    Many thanks to Jay and to BD for blogging duties.

    Beautifully sunny in Yorkshire today. Perfect for going to the beach later.

  16. Thanks to Jay and to Big Dave for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but quite gentle. I would agree that 19a are not coolers, but they drive the fan, which is the cooler. As for keeping things hot or keeping things cool, I know Miffypops was joking, but for the record, an insulator will slow the entropy, therefore keeping the item for longer, either above or below the outside temperature. Favourite was 10a, last in was 19a. Was 1*/3* for me.

  17. Very nice crossword today, not a “clunk” in sight ;) **/**** Last ones in 16d & 19a Thanks to BD & setter :) Favourites 9a & 1a

  18. Good stuff from Jay as usual, albeit slightly on the gentle side as folk have mentioned. It took me just over my 1* time, so I’d plump for 1.5*/3.5*, with thanks to BD and Jay.

  19. That’s more like a back pager we have come to know and love. Such a relief after yesterday.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif
    Just one point, not quite sure why Out would be a synonym for banned. To outlaw perhaps as the BRB says but banned, not sure. However, a small point amonst some lovely clues such as 19a and 7d (my favourite).
    Many thx to Jay for the crossword and to BD for the hints.

  20. Enjoyable puzzle with some hold-ups. 2*/3* for me too. What will Brian have to say about 19 across, I wonder

    1. Well now you know! That’s the wonderful thing about Brian – none of us EVER knows how he’s going to react! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  21. Hands up all of you have done the quickie and either groaned or giggled. Thank you Jay and BD for a fabulous way to spend part of Wednesday afternoon, 27a first one in and worked my way smoothly up to 1a. Burns was a more familiar ending but the directors took precedence. Overcast here but OH got front lawn cut between showers. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  22. Lots of lovely clues from Jay as usual and nothing to cause too much trouble. **/**** Thanks to BD and Jay.

  23. Not much to add as I agree with the majority – nice and gentle and pleasant. I too held off inputting 19a at first. Along with Spook, Jane and Kath, I wanted a beard in 1a.

    Thanks to Jay and BD.

  24. Quickie put up a fight before being mastered but the back page puzzle was a joy to solve – 1a finally yielding to my soul searching when I read the clue again – directors had to be boards and not beards… Needed the review to check my answer for 19a… 2*/4* with 1a as favourite.
    Many thanks to Jay and to BD for the review.

    1. Good for you on the ‘boards’ Framboise. I think we’ve all become guilty of seeing the obvious and then assuming that the setter was going to throw in a curved ball to change things around – ‘boards’ looked far too suspiciously close to ‘beards’ for my liking.

    2. The quickie took me three times as long to solve as the back pager :) Hideous double unches

      1. I made heavy weather of it as well but hadn’t come up with a viable excuse. Thanks for the double unch get out clause, Andy! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

      2. Me too. Did both on the plane from Edinburgh to Exeter en route for Cornwall. So embarrassed by having an empty quickie grid in public, but came back to it after some Flybe coffee and managed to complete it. Still not sure replaced for 1d is right, though it fits.

  25. Sorry this is so late. Just returned from another painting session at the flat of my offspring.Didn’t get in until 10.15. Once I made a start, couldn’t really put it down. Had put in ‘way the balance’ for 11d. Threw me for a while, even though I knew that silly meant it was an anagram, and there was no ‘w’ to be seen anywhere !! Put it down to the paint confusing the brain. Had to look up 1d. Put that down to tiredness. Well, that’s my excuse. I don’t think I would have got it anyway. Favourites had to be 14a and 18d. Thanks to setter and to BD. Time for bed, said Zebedee

  26. Note for TS – which JT book do you suggest I try next?

    By the way – hope you’ve seen the comments relating to how we all tune back in to catch up on your late night postings? Hilary seems to ‘enjoy’ you over her early morning cuppa!!!

    Enjoy your bedtime tipple and baccy. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    1. I hesitate to recommend a specific book, although there are a few, because they tend to be uneven – have a root around t’internet and spend some time on the New Yorker website in their Thurber section. I have spent many happy hours there …and, if you like JT, you’ll love Garrison Keillor – a gentler but wonderful writer – and his audios are a marvellous listen. His tales of Lake Woebegone and its tomb of the Unknown Norwegian are a delight

  27. I managed to do this one before lunch.
    Nothing too remarkable to remember since.
    But I did enjoy it.
    Thanks to Jay and to BD for giving our 2kiwis some time off.
    Talk about voluntary service. I do a lot of work for charity myself. And that’s when charitry begins at home.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_heart.gif

  28. Finished this bar 5d on the train home. I’m cross with myself for not seeing it at once, because that would have been a record solving time for me. Got it as soon as the first beer was poured. Enjoyed it very much, 14a being my favourite. Thanks to Jay for allowing me an early night: radio duties in the morning. Thanks too to BD for stepping into the vacuum left by K-squared. 1*/3*

  29. Just my type of puzzle which made it very enjoyable. Thanks to setter and to BD for the blog.

  30. Lovely puzzle. I always seem to enjoy a Jay so must make a point of remembering to buy the DT on a Wednesday. Just stymied by 1a – didn’t know that word, sideburns is what I’ve always known them as. Lots of beautiful clues, favourite probably 4d though all the others came close :)
    Re. 6a, spec is a word in its own right in the dictionaries I use so no need for a truncation indicator for it?

  31. Favourites were Fanbelts, and Tip the balance (anagram). I would have added Passport but, surely, the amorous advance is BEFORE the drink here.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

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