DT 27857 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27857

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27857

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

This puzzle was published on 18th July 2015

Morning All! There were a few clues that annoyed me whilst reviewing this puzzle (I left it unfinished on Saturday and came back to it on Thursday night) . I think that the thoughts were echoed on the day.

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           Happy to draw in Foreign Office facing America (10)
FELICITOUS – Place ELICIT (to draw) inside the F.O. (Foreign Office)and place next to (facing) US for America.

6a           Cliff shows sign of injury (4)
SCAR – Two definitions. The first is short for escarpment and also abbreviated to SCARP.

9a           South America’s custom to follow hound (7,3)
SAUSAGE DOG – A charade of SA (South Africa, USAGE for custom and then DOG (to follow or tail).

10a         Country landscape Russia provides (4)
PERU – A hidden country inside (provided by) landscaPE Russia.

12a         Egg on broadcast clearly visible (6)
INCITE – A homophone (broadcast/vocal) if IN SIGHT or clearly visible.

13a         Eagerest to repair poor accommodation on board (8)
STEERAGE – An anagram, indicated by to repair, of EAGEREST.

15a         One investigating bugs with crafty sting — mole too (12)
ENTOMOLOGIST – A crafty anagram of STING MOLE TOO. Always easy to remove the OLOGIST suffix if you spot the pattern in a scientist clue.

18a         Consume individual brand then second to admit mistake (3,4,5)
EAT ONES WORDS – A charade of EAT (consume), ONE (individual), SWORD (brand, archaically) and finally S for Second. Seen this one before.

21a         Single composer played part back (8)
BACHELOR – The composer BACH and then a reversal (back) of ROLE or a played part.

22a         Rummage about taking long time (6)
FORAGE – FOR meaning about or regarding followed by an AGE or long time.

24a         Join for the whole year (4)
ALLY – ALL for the whole and then the abb. Y for Year.

25a         Resolute Heath comes back dressed like a lord (10)
DETERMINED – Remember TED Heath the former Con P.M. – then add ERMINED (dressed in ermine) as a Lord or Peer is traditionally garbed.

26a         Make good curse (4)
DARN – Two definitions – DARN (make good) a sock perhaps and also a mild oath (but not as mild as ‘POOT’).

27a         Ian Hislop’s oppo leaving university with grasp of second old prime minister (10)
PALMERSTON – PAUL MERTON is clumsily defined as the opposite captain of Ian Hislop in ‘Have I Got News For You’. Remove the U (leaving University) and add (it grasps) the S for Second – PA(u)L MER(S)TON. Not my favourite clue (ever).


1d           Relic of silver-coated ship, conceivably (6)
FOSSIL – An SS (ship) that is silver coatred night be said to be wrapped in FOIL i.e. FO(SS)IL.

2d           Answer is to tuck into meal to get going (6)
LAUNCH – Place A for Answer inside LUNCH (meal).

3d           No coast clean in resort? Find another resort (7-2-3)
CLACTON-ON-SEA – A well spotted anagram (in resort or re-sort of the letters) of NO COAST CLEAN. The state of our beaches, I dunno…

4d           Girl takes two articles (4)
THYEA – Two English articles – THE and A.

5d           A French novelist cuts on the phone, perhaps — that’s not usual (10)
UNORTHODOX – Start with UN (A in French) then add a homophone (on the phone) of both ORTHO (sounds a bit like AUTHOR/novelist) and then DOX (docks/cuts the tail off).

7d           Mountain top — scale it after a fashion being a climber (8)
CLEMATIS – An anagram of the top (first letter) of M(ountain) and also SCALE IT . The indicator is ‘after a fashion’.

8d           Gambling game permitted during journey (8)
ROULETTE – A LET (permitted in e.g. Tennis) inside (or during) a ROUTE or journey.

11d         Back previous member of low class (6-6)
SECOND-FORMER – A charade of SECOND (Back in a duella or fight) and then FORMER (previous). A lower school class (assuming you are at least in the Third Year.

14d         Cowboy film makes hero a poser (5,5)
HORSE OPERA – An alternative name for a Western is an anagram (makes) of HERO A POSER. Nice clue.

16d         Set cut off on ship in coastal region (8)
SEABOARD – All but the last letter (cut off) of SE(t) and then ABORD for ‘on ship’.

17d         Left wearing label ‘pedantic type’ (8)
STICKLER – L for Left is inside (wearing) a STICKER or tag.

19d         Periodical on the web a great attraction (6)
MAGNET – A MAG(azine) or periodical is on top of (ON in a Down clue) the NET or World Wide Web.

20d         ‘Pet’ teacher in college where the law gets taught (6)
HENDON – A clue I really dislike. Remember that PET is a term of endearment for a woman in e.g. Newcastle. In Scotland (mainly) this is a synonym of HEN. Add DON (a teacher in college) to get the main training college for the Metropolitan Police. I just remembered this and I was born within 35 miles of London – how did our overseas friends get on?

23d         Steering gear made of hard wood (4)
HELM – H for Hard and then the wood of the ELM tree.

Thanks to the setter – I have a week off now!

6 comments on “DT 27857

  1. So that’s how you parse 27a! Yuck! Otherwise enjoyable. Many thanks to gnomethang.

  2. I parsed 22a a bit differently because I can’t really see how ‘about’ means ‘for’. I thought that the definition was ‘rummage about’ (which is exactly what the BRB has for ‘forage’) with ‘for [an] age’ as in ‘I was for an age making up my mind’) meaning taking [a] long time.
    Having written the above I’m now not at all sure that it’s right but I’ll leave it anyway.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gnomethang for the write-up.

  3. The answer to 6a is SCAR, which in Yorkshire is a kind of cliff as in Gordale Scar just outside Malham. The answer to 8d as you say is ROULETTE which begins with “R”, so the last letter of 6a must be the same.

  4. Speaking as an Aussie, I too found 20dn really annoying, and didn’t get the answer, even with the hint. Googling “English police college” did not give me the answer, and lists of Scottish slang did not yield “hen”. That was at least one parochialism too far for me, and quite unfair.

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