DT 27872 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27872

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27872

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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


Kia ora from Aotearoa. Greetings from The Land of the Long White Cloud. It is the sort of day today that could persuade one that Spring is not too far away. Still cool at nights, just right for hunkering down in front of the log fire.
Good stuff once again from Jay.

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


1a     Bon mot from student boxed in by country-folk (10)
PLEASANTRY : A collective noun for simple rustic people contains the one letter abbreviation for a student.

6a     To leave without finishing is a mistake (4)
GOOF : Start with a 2,3 phrase meaning to leave and remove the last letter.

10a     Vital transporter held back by that roadblock (5)
AORTA : The vital transporter is a vessel in one’s body and is found reversed within the clue.

11a     Rose disheartened, with daughter taken in by carpenter’s response (9)
REJOINDER : The first and last letters (disheartened) of ROSE, then a name for a woodworker with D(aughter) included.

12a     Animal‘s hide can upset (7)
ECHIDNA : This relative of the platypus is an anagram (upset) of HIDE CAN.

13a     A theologian trapped by endless logic is depressing (7)
SADDENS : Start with a five letter word for logic, remove its last letter and inside this put A from the clue and the two letter qualification a theologian could have,

14a     What snooker coach does for an anorak? (12)
TRAINSPOTTER : Split the answer 6,6 to understand what a snooker coach does.

18a     Easter Day picnic? (7,5)
MOVABLE FEAST : A double definition, the second describes the transportablility of an alfresco meal.

21a     Demand by engineers for salvage (7)
RECLAIM : The notation for army engineers is followed by a synonym for demand.

23a     Cold approach after Germany and Spain deteriorate (7)
DECLINE : The IVR codes for Germany and Spain, C(old) and a word meaning  an approach a potential suitor might use.

24a     During exercises, learnt about energy and growth (5,4)
PLANE TREE : This large woody growth is an anagram (about) of LEARNT placed inside the two letter abbreviation for exercises with an E(nergy) to finish.

25a     Quick answer — and survive! (5)
ALIVE : The one letter abbreviation for answer and a word meaning survive.

26a     Regrets deception on the radio (4)
RUES : A homophone of a word meaning deception.

27a     A listener worried about name game (4,6)
REAL TENNIS : An anagram (worried) of A LISTENER which includes an extra N(ame).


1d     Appeal offering little hope? (6)
PRAYER : Double definition, the second meaning is defined by the first two words of the clue for 2d.

2d     Slightest chance to have no end of alcohol, being bawdy (6)
EARTHY : An informal word for a slightest chance or little hope has the last letter of alcohol removed from it.

3d     Prominent leader in arrears — and debt to be rescheduled (8-6)
STANDARD BEARER : This prominent leader might be seen leading a parade and is an anagram (rescheduled) of ARREARS AND DEBT.

4d      River rodent found in childish chronicle (9)
NARRATIVE : The abbreviation for river and a three letter rodent are found inside a word meaning childishly simple.

5d     Princes must be almost foolhardy, arresting a judge (5)
RAJAS : A word for foolhardy loses its last letter and includes A from the clue and J(udge).

7d     Sundry items from strange fellows on way up (8)
ODDMENTS : A three letter strange, a three letter fellows, and the reversal of an abbreviation for a way where houses might be.

8d     Scientific study of second test after warning (8)
FORESTRY : A golfer’s warning shout is followed by S(econd) and a word meaning test.

9d     Do legacies show off this fruitless pursuit? (4-5,5)

15d     Plant rush before spring (9)
SPEEDWELL : Rush or move rapidly precedes a water source.

16d     Him topless? Thoroughly inappropriate! (8)
IMPROPER : Remove the first letter of ‘him’ and follow this with an informal word that means thoroughly or veritable.

17d     Clear EU caveat to be broadcast (8)
EVACUATE : An anagram (broadcast) of EU CAVEAT.

19d     Target set up, locked in by evil primate (6)
SIMIAN : The evil could be any one of the seven deadlies and includes the reversal of a word meaning a target.

20d     Refuses to conform and staggers around back of pub (6)
REBELS : A synonym for staggers includes the last letter of pub.

22d     Mrs Simpson‘s horse swallowing George’s crown! (5)
MARGE : Forget about royalty. A female horse contains the first letter (crown) of George.

We rather liked the mis-direction in 22d so it gets today’s tick.

Quickie pun   fillers  +  offer  =  philosopher

79 comments on “DT 27872

  1. Just a few quibbles in some of the clues today, but all in all a straightforward solve. Learned a bit about 14a as I had to Google to see what on earth this was all about. The answer was clear from the clue but I was totally unaware of the anorak reference. Then I was not sure the reference to spring in 15a as I do not equate that with the answer.

    But as always an enjoyable test, not too difficult but not too obvious either.

    1*/4* for me.

    Thanks to all.

  2. Really enjoyed Jay’s offering , and a **/**** for me, really well clued; liked 14a- remember being in the Ian Allan club and going to Crewe station and sneaking round the sheds and the ‘smoke hole’ !, wonderful ‘anorak ‘pic from the 2K’S- and18a, favourite has to be 22d -bet everybody was thinking of Wallis-nice deception from Jay.

  3. 3*/4* for me today, with 14a making me smile. Needed the clues for 6a (doh!) and 8d, but otherwise was quite straightforward. Thanks to the setter, and for the clues.

  4. I completely agree with you , Beaver, there I was thinking “How on earth am I supposed to know what Wallis Simpson’s horse was called ?”
    until light dawned .
    One problem : how is forestry a scientific study ?
    I also liked 14a and 18a.
    Thanks Jay and Kiwis (enjoy the log fire ).

    1. I was a bit doubtful about forestry too but I BRB’d it and it says, “the science and art of planting, tending and managing forests”.

      1. That doesn’t make it a study! That is simple a description of forestry that purports to have a scientific involvement. A scientific study involves the investigation of a theory using rigourous, definable and reproducible methodology to establish an evidential and peer reviewable conclusion.

            1. Blimey – thank you. It might just be the first time in a while that I’ve been correct about anything!

              1. No way, Kath – more likely that people just don’t often TELL you. Unless it’s cricket of course……http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

        1. Say that to the people that have Degree level Forestry qualifications ;) I too thought it a strange clue at first but it is OK in my neck of the woods ……….

  5. **/****

    Fairly straightforward solve until 12a came up. Have I heard of this animal before? I doubt it, so I just bunged a few letters together and hoped.

    Everything else made me smile. 16d made me laugh.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis for a great blog and pics.

  6. Nice one from Jay that gave me the odd hold up here and there. 2*/3* for me.
    2d took a ridiculous amount of time to parse (how silly was that!) and I spent far too long looking for the name of a primate at 19d.
    8d never occurs to me as being a ‘scientific study’ – just a Commission that plants trees! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif
    Remembered 12a from a recent puzzle – fortunately.
    Have to confess to ‘pen & circle’ to get the anagram at 9d.

    Can’t decide on a favourite between 14&18a – sorry Kath, but they both really made me laugh.
    My thanks to Jay and also to 2Ks for another great blog. Lovely pic. of 15d – a beautiful little plant with a delightful name.

    1. There is nothing wrong with pencil circles Jane. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      Sounds like you had a brill time yesterday.

      1. Thanks Hanni. Fortunately the ad. next to the Cryptic had a lot of light coloured background – it was a big ‘circle’ with all those letters. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

        Yes, I had a lovely time yesterday – aren’t friends just the best. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      2. I agree – most of the time I have to write them out. We can’t all be brilliant like M’pops!

      3. I always write the letters of an anagram down – I don’t care if it’s a very straightforward one – I’ve been “had” too many times.

    2. Fruitless pursuit 4,5,5. Come now. Who needs a pencil? The very W in the fodder was all that was needed. And you ate brain food yesterday.

      1. I did. And I used a pencil for all the other anagrams. The same pencil was used to fill in the grid. And to jot down a telephone number. Though to be fair that had nothing to do with the crossword.

      2. Apparently my brain works in strange and mysterious ways, MP – with or without brain food.
        Had the clue been written exactly as you put it, then I wouldn’t have had any problem whatsoever – and if I’d spotted that pesky little indicator all would have been well. As it was, ‘legacies’ got me rather worried and the ‘circle’ was a fairly desperate hope. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

        1. In that case I forgive you (and Hanni) but I hope the circle was properly drawn using a compass and a protractor was used to equally space the letters every 25 degrees and 42 minutesish

          1. Sorry to disappoint you, MP. The ‘circle’ had to be squished into the available space and – if I’m being honest – looks rather more like a misshapen oval.

          2. Nope. I could have got climbed out of bed, gone to the kitchen and got an egg cup to use is a template. But I didn’t. Or used my watch, but I didn’t have it on. So I just scrawled it all over an advertisement for something called “Dress in Jersey”.

      3. I agree here MP, this was my first one in, without realising it was an anagram. However in most cases, when the answer is not so obvious, as regards circles and pencils, in my view, the whole art of anagrams is to recognise the clue as such and then to identify the words to be anagramised. Thereafter it is a purely mechanical task for which, if the answer is not immediately obvoius, I use my trusty Oxford Crossword Solver. I feel no shame and this does not diminish my enjoyment or sense of achievement……alls fair in love and cross wording……Viva solva!

      4. I’m with MP on this. I never use a pencil. Can’t see the point. Ahem.

        All the letters are already written down for you and you can rearrange them in your head so I can’t quite see how writing them out again would help, but appreciate different minds work in different ways. As usual, my better half disagrees with me of course. We have a “Countdown” page-a-day calendar on the kitchen table and each page has a 9 letter conundrum in the traditional Countdown linear arrangement, which she immediately transcribes into a 3×3 square of letters with her pencil. Vive la difference!

        1. OK Owdoo I see what you are saying but does it matter how you arrive at the answer? That moment when it clicks is surely what matters, or am I missing something?

    3. Late commenting, I use scraps of paper, (meeting notes) pens pencils Quill and ink, I know the anagrinds but often find it helps to write the words out with the clue.Just saying ;)

          1. I have tried writing with a quill. It was difficult. One day I’ll win a pen in a crossword competition…probably when I enter one.

  7. Got stuck on this one today, obviously not on the Jay wavelength, must be a real off day for me. Needed hints for most of them, don’t see some answers as correct such as forestry and alive. Oh well, learnt a new word in rejoinder.
    Thanks Jay and 2k’s

    1. Pleased to see that so many of us were doubtful about forestry although, as Kath rightly says, if you look it up that’s exactly the way it’s described.
      As for ‘alive’ – think back to RE lessens and prayers. Remember the bit about the ‘quick and the dead’?

  8. I really enjoyed this but found it quite tricky – can’t see why now – just did. 3* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    Having read the clues through once I only had five answers and was beginning to think, “Oh dear – here we go again” – then things began to improve.
    My main problems ended up being most of the top right corner – very slow going there – 6 and 11a and 5 and 8d took ages.
    I wasn’t too sure about 19d as the definition was a noun and I thought the answer was an adjective but BRB says it can be a noun too.
    I liked 6 and 18a and 1 and 2d. My favourite was 22d.
    With thanks to Jay and to the K’s – your Spring already – that’s not fair – it doesn’t seem any time at all since you said it was getting autumnal.

  9. A nice puzzle completely spoilt for me by a couple of crazy clues in the top right quadrant. 6a leaves me speechless is its weakness and why on earth should forestry be a scientific study is beyond me. It smacks of a setter reaching desperately for a clue to finish a corner he has painted himself into.
    On the other hand 18a is brilliant! Such a shame a good exercise was spoilt by sloppy clues.
    Thx to 2kiwis for the hints.

    1. I can understand the issue over forestry. In countries where it is a big industry, Universities often have Departments of Forestry as a discipline and I think this is why it has been termed as a scientific study – sometimes associated with silviculture.

      1. Oxford University has a professor of forest science. His full title is, aptly, “Wood Professor of Forest Science.”

  10. Forestry is definately a scientific study covering a wide range,e.g. anatomy, phisiology ecology and many more fields within the subject. There are forestry departments within many universities with specialised subjects being studied. Watch my wonderful hero david attenborough on the secret lives of plants!

  11. 2/3 today. Like others, I didn’t really like 8d and somewhat childishly enjoyed 14a for the smile factor. Overall a reasonable offering and enjoyable to solve. Thanks to both setter and reviewer. This week is shaping up to be easier overall than last week’s puzzles which left many pulling their hair out, although I guess we must await tomorrow’s crossword which may yet trip us up.

  12. Jay has let us off lightly today. I enjoyed the romp. **/***. Guessed/googled 22d as Simpson rang no bells apart from Wallis! 12a is another new one on me to stow away for another time. 14a was Fav. Thanks Jay and 2 Ks. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      1. Thanks MP now I know. I have in fact vaguely seen bits and pieces of the program(me) but wasn’t aware of The lady in question. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  13. A really nice if quite difficult crossword ***/***** It would have been really nice if 12a were native to New Zealand ); Big thanks to 2 x K and J :) Favorites 1a & 18a

  14. Good crossword. Like many, thought of the wrong Mrs Simpson. 18a was my favourite. Thanks. **/***.

  15. A complete blank for me chiefly on account of the caff’s copy of the newspaper going AWOL.

    On the upside my 100% record this week remains intact…

    1. Would it be impossible for you to either buy a paper each day and have the crossword all to yourself to do at leisure or to do whatever is necessary to be able to print out the crossword? Just a thought . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      1. As my old mum used to say ‘if there’s an easy way and difficult way…’

        Fortunately the Times was available so I had a crack at that.

        1. I am intrigued to know wether mre’s caff is one he frequents or one he runs. Where is it? Should we visit? Is it known for the. Quality of it’s shellfish?

  16. My first glancing at the clues yielded absolutely nothing and I thought like Kath ‘Here we go again’. Then upon reading 14d, I immediately thought of the answer – this was my favourite clue by the way – so there was hope after all. I needed the hint for the second word of 3d, it was not particularly difficult but there you are. Wondered about forestry being correct but what else could it be? Also first thought on the wrong Mrs Simpson but decided that Wallis was not an option so upon concentrating managed to get Marge although not immediately linking it to the Simpsons! Thanks to Ray for an entertaining crossword and to the 2Ks for their needed review. 3*/3*

  17. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. I enjoyed this but found it very tricky. Started at the bottom, and ended up with the NW corner blank. Had to Google 1a, then needed the hints for 1&2d&10a. I was thinking to myself about rechipder for 11a, before the penny dropped. Favourite was 24a. Was 4*/3* for me.

  18. Never heard of that meaning for anorak at 14a, so I was held up for some time until I looked it up and found the second meaning.
    We’ve had 12a and 15d before, and I had no problem with 8d.
    Lots of good clues, but 22d wins for the superb misdirection, needing research for Marge Simpson as my first reaction was “who she”?
    Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis for your review.

  19. Seeing three stars for difficulty I thought Oops here we go but crawled gently up as is my way and managed to fill the answers in. Slight hiccup with a couple of things but the trusty pencil and I are happy. Favourite had to be 9d because that perfectly describes me when I get into a typical crossword maze, here, there and everywhere. Have a nice evening. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  20. I too got started at the bottom of this crossword and steadily worked my way up to the top to finish with1d. I had no problem with 8d, where is Brian at I wonder?!
    Favourite clue was 22d and overall 2/3*
    Thanks to Jay and the 2K’s (mentioning Spring already? If only we had had a Summer!)

  21. Took an age to get 9d.
    Inexcusable to spend so much time on an anagram.
    But compensated by constructing 19d into the correct word, one new to me.
    Otherwise a workman-like massaging of the grey matter.
    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis.

  22. Not too difficult, although the top half didnt yield easily. Some good clues….I especially liked 18a, 6a, 11a, but 14a made me laugh…I think we have had this clue before, but this was amusingly crafted. Thankfully didnt need to use the hints, so a 1*/3*, but thanks to the 2Ks anyway, and to the setter, of course. Enjoyable without too much brain ache!

  23. Looks like we spoke too soon in our preamble about the weather. We woke up this morning to find that it has been raining all night and we once again have surface water ponding on our yard. Probably put an end to today’s golf plans.
    Strangely, we had never doubted the legitimacy of Forestry as a science, perhaps because it is such a significant activity here.
    Anorak for trainspotter is something we have learned from crosswords. We have never heard it used in NZ and even the eponymous item of clothing is usually called a Parka here.
    Cheers all.

  24. Very much enjoyed the last four, down clues. Spent some time thinking the primate might be man ! Good clue in a crossword full of them .I put Forestry down on a University application form a long time ago ergo I had no problem accepting Jays answer. p.s. didn’t actually finish up reading this at my alma mater but I do like walking in forests , whether its our native forests , primeval or tropical the atmosphere inside is very special.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2 kiwis . **/****

  25. Late on parade today. My rating is 3*/4* for a very enjoyable challenge with 16d my last one in. Lots to like here and I can’t decide between 18a and 22d as my favourite.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  26. This went in nicely, putting up a good amount of resistance and giving a pleasant solve. No problems with anoraks or Simpsons. Far from being misdirected, Marge jumped out of the screen at me. I was rather slower to get the anorak.

    I liked many. 1d made me laugh … goes quite nicely with 13a too.

    Also liked 18a. Now I want chocolate.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  27. No need for anagram help either to get 9d or 27a but had to write the letters of 12a in a circle. Sorry MP.
    Very enjoyable solve.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review.

  28. As usual, did the toughie before the back pager. As per my comments on the ‘toughie’ blog, I had to go and lie down for a while so didn’t come to this much, much later. Another enjoyable set of clues from our usual Wednesday setter, with 18a as my favourite for today (although 14a wasn’t far behind)

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

  29. This took me rather longer than usual, but with hindsight I can’t find any good reason other than me simply being a bit slow. 14a was my favourite and 1d was my last in. The whole thing was an enjoyable solve so thanks to both Jay and the 2K’s.

  30. As is my way, I come to this several days after everyone else. And again because I just can’t get the answers in one go. First attempt on Wednesday and only about eight went in (including the 9d which seems to have held a few up).
    A day later I’m kicking myself for not seeing some of the remaining answers.
    And then the same again another day later.
    Finally today I get the last few clues in – the NW corner and 19d.
    Thank you to the 2Ks for their parsing of 2d and 11a. I did get the answers but not wholly sure why.
    And thanks to Jay for another lovely crossword. Too many ‘favourites’. It is certainly worth the pain when the pleasure of solving such lovely clues finally arrives.

  31. Some tricky ones this week – like 12A generic hedgehogs but my favorite (because it was pithily accurate) was 18A

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