DT 27877 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27877

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27877

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I would have finished this more speedily if I hadn’t initially put the wrong ending on 1a (I assumed that ‘figure’ was the Roman numeral for fifty) which had me scratching my head about 5d until the penny dropped. Apart from that it was fairly plain sailing though probably a bit trickier than we normally get on Tuesdays (and none the worse for that). Do let us know how you got on and give us your rating.

If you click on any of the areas showing ‘Click here!’ you’ll see the actual answer so only do that as a last resort.

Across Clues

1a Pass very large southern American figure of epic size (8)
COLOSSUS – string together a mountain pass, the abbreviation for very large in clothing sizes, S(outhern) and an abbreviation for American.

6a Heading west, shooter needs to grab some gold (6)
NUGGET – reverse (heading west, in an across clue) a shooter and follow that with a verb to grab or obtain.

9a Current   group of pupils (6)
STREAM – two meanings, the second a group of pupils of similar academic ability.

10a A comment found about largely neat remedy (8)
ANTIDOTE – A (from the clue) and a comment or explanation contain an adjective meaning neat without its final Y (largely).

11a Poor clot that’s violated etiquette (8)
PROTOCOL – an anagram (violated) of POOR CLOT.

12a Footballing action in item at top of page (6)
HEADER – double definition, the first a type of pass or shot in football.

13a Show command as a decisive photographer does? (4,3,5)
CALL THE SHOTS – what a film photographer may do on set to ensure that everyone is aware of how a scene is to be captured.

16a Side’s visit taking in hotel twice very late? (8-4)
ELEVENTH-HOUR – a cricket or football side followed by a visit or expedition containing repeated instances of the letter that hotel is used to represent in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.

19a Revered figure, a Spanish chicken? (6)
APOLLO – A (from the clue) and the Spanish word for chicken.

21a Good soldier stuck in liquid mud, slow-moving (8)
SLUGGISH – insert G(ood) and the abbreviation for a US soldier into liquid mud or melting snow.

23a Best support, we’re told, for calorific meal (5,3)
CREAM TEA – a noun meaning the best or the elite is followed by what sounds like a supporting peg.

24a Course in French service, perhaps (6)
ENTRÉE – the French word for in is followed by what service is a wooden example of.

25a Circle note at end of letter to return present (6)
SPHERE – reverse the abbreviation for an afterthought at the end of a letter and add an adverb meaning present or in attendance. I don’t like circle, which is two-dimensional, as a definition for this three-dimensional figure.

26a Set off to make school in time (8)
DETONATE – insert our usual public school in a specific time.

Down Clues

2d On strike about railway, getting public disapproval (6)
OUTCRY – string together an adverb meaning on strike, a single letter meaning about or approximately and the abbreviation for railway.

3d In Dover, terminal is open (5)
OVERT – hidden.

4d Mark left in some coin that’s reproduced (9)
SEMICOLON – insert the abbreviation for left in an anagram (re-produced) of SOME COIN.

5d Note liberal expression of annoyance upset young celebrity (7)
STARLET – string together a note from tonic sol-fa, the abbreviation for the Liberal Party and a mild expression of annoyance. Now reverse (upset) it all.

6d Nick books put in Northern church (5)
NOTCH – insert the abbreviation for some books of the Bible between N(orthern) and an abbreviation for church.

7d Follow retired fellow with dodgy heart, criminal mastermind (9)
GODFATHER – reverse (retired) a verb to follow or tail and add F(ellow) and an anagram (dodgy) of HEART.

8d Request Eastern feast in US city (8)
ENTREATY – start with E(astern) then insert a feast or free entertainment in the abbreviation for an east coast US city.

13d Sparkling wine left by trainee short of time in procession (9)
CAVALCADE – join together a Spanish sparkling wine, L(eft) and a trainee (in the armed forces or police, say) without the final T.

14d Menu motel devised for profit (9)
EMOLUMENT – this profit comes from one’s employment. We want an anagram (devised) of MENU MOTEL.

15d Leave friend with cold on reflection? That’s nonsense (8)
CLAPTRAP – string together a verb to leave or go separate ways, a friend and the abbreviation for cold. Finish by reversing it all (on reflection).

17d Save  partner in match (7)
HUSBAND – double definition, the first a verb to save or conserve one’s resources.

18d Face pressure entering a schismatic religious group (6)
ASPECT – insert the abbreviation for pressure into A and a group of religious dissenters.

20d Revealed note that’s rather shocking (5)
OUTRÉ – charade of an adverb meaning revealed or in the public domain and a note from tonic sol-fa.

22d Manage  board (3,2)
GET ON – double definition, the second meaning to board (a train, say).

I have to pick out 1a for the way it fooled me – other clues which I liked were 7d and 22d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: POLLY + SEIZE = POLICIES


101 comments on “DT 27877

  1. I made the same mistake as Gazza but got there in the end,didn’t know what a Spanish chicken was called what a sheltered life I’ve led.Many thanks to the setter & to Gazza for his review.?

  2. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. A very nice puzzle, a little bit tricky, had to think about a few clues. Got held up in the SE corner, as I originally entered put up for 22d. Once I realised the correct answer, all fell into place. Last in was 17d. My favourite was 19a, which made me laugh. Just needed the hints to parse 5d. Was 3*/3* for me. Sun just coming out in Central London. Off to sample the delights of the GBBF later at Olympia.

  3. **/****

    Add me to the list that made the 1a mistake. The other mistake I made was filling in 20 and 22d in the wrong squares and not noticing for awhile. Caused a few problems.

    Enjoyed this offering, 1a and 16a being the stand out clues..for me anyway.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for a great blog.

    To Toughie or not to Toughie..that is the question?

    1. Toughie is not so tough. For a real treat try Arachne in the Guardian (For me 2d in that puzzle is the clue of the year).

      1. I agree about 2d in the Guardian – had to do the whole of the top right corner before I could get it – in other words I needed five of its nine letters.

      2. Thanks for the tip.
        Haven’t finished yet but got 2d.
        Short and to the point. Great clue.

  4. Gazza, I didn’t like “circle” = “sphere” in 25a at first, but then I thought outside the geometric box and decided they could be synonymous when referring to a group of people, as in “—— of influence”. What do you think?

    The only other clue which held me up was 24a as I had never heard of that specific tree before – but it is in the BRB!

    A few too many Lego clues for my taste but reasonably enjoyable so 3*/2.5* from me today.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to Gazza

  5. So yes, I found this a little trickier than some but not overly difficult – a good balance between being able to finish and yet challenging enough to be entertaining. So, I agree, 3* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment for me.

    Thanks to all as usual

  6. A 3*/3* puzzle for me today, some good penny drop moments. Liked 1a but also fell for the mistake.

    I actually like lego type clues although it adds to the confusion sometimes.

    Thanks to Gazza and setter.

  7. Agree with Hanni on a **/****,didn’t fall into the 1a trap as i did for 6d yesterday ! straight forward and enjoyable, well clued throughout, favourite 16a-19a brought a smirk. Thanks Gazza for the pics,12a brilliant headline, reminds me of last weeks ‘football’ anagram for team needing ‘the new stadium’- west ham united . takes a bit of beating.

  8. I think I’ll go along with 3* for both difficulty and enjoyment.
    I didn’t go wrong with 1a but got into all kinds of trouble in the bottom left corner – don’t know why – just did so that was the bit that held me up.
    I spent a while trying to fit an anagram (liquid) of MUD into 21a before I saw sense.
    I liked 1 and 24a (once I’d remembered the tree) and 7 and 15d.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to gazza.
    Might see if I can polish off the Toughie then stuff to do in the garden.
    I think August is a rather tedious month – lots of friends are away (and we’re not) and it all feels a bit dull. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

      1. So sweet of you MP but we’d hate to put you to all that trouble so will struggle on, and manage, somehow! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  9. I think this puzzle deserves 4* for enjoyment and 2.5 for difficulty.Lots of clues rated a star beside them, I find it near impossible to choose a favourite.
    Thanks to the setter and Gazza for explaining 17d .http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  10. Pushed into 3* time due to getting in a bit of pickle with rings and revealed notes in the SW corner.
    A competent puzzle but not one that really ‘floated my boat’ – unlike yesterday’s from Rufus. 2.5* for enjoyment.
    Pick of the bunch for me were 13a & 7d.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to Gazza for his usual great review.

    BTW – I see that Tstrummer is back safe and sound from his boating trip. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    1. I reckon Tstrummer will have been grateful for a little bit of led Zeppelin yesterday Jane.

  11. I put in the correct last 2 letters for 1a, then deleted them in favour of “al” – before eventually reverting to first answer. I have lost count of the number of times I have ordered the Spanish food in 18a (in Spanish) when on holiday in Murcia – it still took a while for the penny to drop. 15d appeared only yesterday. Muchas gracias to Gazza and setter.

    1. Re 15d, it never ceases to surprise me how often this happens. Too often for it to be complete coincidence I think.

  12. I think the word quirky springs to mind with today’s offering ? ***/** Fortunately the one word I remember from Italian menus is the word chicken, it was still the last answer along with 20d Thank goodness for the “Gunners” if it was not them the “Canaries” would be bottom of the Premiership ? Thanks to Gazza and the setter.

  13. The 1a/5d error confounded me as well. Apart from that, no problems with this very enjoyable puzzle. 16a my favourite, and a solid 3/3 for me. Thanks to all.

  14. I rather liked this crossword although I did get held up by putting champagne in to 13d even though I couldn’t see how the rest of the clue worked. Note to self – must stop doing this!

    So many thanks to setter and Gazza for confirming my understanding of a few clues.

    I looked at the Guardian 2d and even ‘cheating’ I still am none the wiser!

        1. I wondered what the noise was – I put it down to Mr CS dropping something in the garden

      1. That was outstanding! I say, their blog isn’t a patch on BD’s, or is that something I shouldn’t have said?

      2. Wow! The way forward in Blogging. That is how I will do Mondays from now on. (Superb clue)

  15. Spent a while wondering where on earth a young celebrity fitted into the word Leaflet…apart from that quite enjoyable :)

      1. Thank you! I don’t know how it’s taken me so long to find this blog but it’s great! Not sure where I got that face from though – shall have to investigate further…

    1. Yes, l admit it: l was a “leaflet” as well. Then “starlet” leapt into my consciousness and l swiftly amended 1a. 2*/3*, l thought, and 23a as favourite clue (with the cream on top, of course, because this comes from Cornwall!). Thanks to Mr Ron, and to Miffypops.

      1. I fear that you’ve been corrupted by those from west of the Tamar. The correct way to serve a Devonshire cream tea is with jam on top (as shown in my carefully selected picture). :D

        1. Very good…but it is impossible to lick the cream off when served like that. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif I’m so uncouth at times.

        2. It appears that the only wars between Cornwall and Devon are about food.
          Sorry to stick my oars in but I thought “great tea” was more of a proper dinner. Salty and all.

    2. Welcome to the blog Claris, you certainly weren’t the only one who thought ‘leaflet’!

        1. And you, I hope you’ll keep commentating? There has been the odd occasion that I’m certain that I’ve answered a clue correctly, read the blog and realised I’m completely wrong. It’s quite a skill. I often say something similar to ‘rats’ in that situation.

          1. Yes I didn’t know such places existed where you could not only find the answers, and explanations behind them (how often have I given up and resigned myself to never really knowing Why even when the answer’s obvious) – but you can discuss it all with other similarly obsessed people too! I don’t always have a lot of time but I will drop in when I can :)

            1. Yes BD has created quite an amazing site, you can always ask about clues you are unsure of. It can become addictive but everyone is very friendly. It occasionally veers completely off topic into all manner of subjects, but it’s all good fun.

    3. And hello from Miffypops too. Off Topic Hanni? If we knew what the the topic was we would stick to it..

          1. Were you in a piano shop? Great for child type grandkids, pubs, people who can’t play but want to learn and as a ‘thing’. I like playing Alexander Debicz.

  16. I found this pretty straightforward and enjoyed it while it lasted. Thanks to Gazza and setter */***

  17. stil puzzling over “tree” in 24A, even after reading the hints & the comments !


  18. I thought this was going to be pretty tricky as we only got three of the acrosses on first pass. Then the downs came to the rescue and it all got filled in as a **/*** effort.

    We didn’t fall into the 1a trap and , of course, had no problems with the Spanish chcken or the fizzy wine.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza.

  19. I’m with Gazza et al on having had wrong ending for 1a. No fav today. 15d seems to be like a bad penny recently. SW corner last to go in mainly due to not tumbling to Spanish chicken. ***/***. Thanks Mysteron and Gazza. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  20. So much more challenging than the so called toughie.
    A real pleasure with great misdirections.
    I too was fooled by colossal in 1a, but leaflet in 5d just didn’t make sense.
    SW corner took a bit of time as I thought the photographer in 13a was going to pull something.
    A perfect crossword imho.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review.

  21. A very enjoyable solve, not too difficult but requiring quite a bit of thought at the same time.

    Luckily I didn’t fall into the 1a trap that others did, and I did notice the second appearance of 15d in successive days.

    Favourites were 7d and 13a.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  22. Quite tricky and rather spoilt by some clumsy clues I thought. 25a is awkward with the circle, 5d is just poor (who says Rats! anymore I wonder) and just don’t see what service has to do with 24a. Gazzas clue is that service is a wooden example, of what pray? Best clue by far for me was 19a but did like 22a as well. Sorry I voted the puzzle a 1 star by mistake, very easy to catch the wrong star on an iPad! Should have been *** with *** for difficulty.
    Thx to all.

    1. Just found the second definition for service at the very bottom of a long entry in the BRB. So that’s something I learned today. Note to CS, I looked up Tree but it never occurred to me to look up service!

  23. Found it quite tricky – put the wrong ending on 1a and could not reconcile my leaflet with a young celebrity! Had no trouble, however, with the fizzy wine and the Spanish chicken! Many thanks to Mysteron and to Gazza for the review. Somehow felt I was not on the same wavelength as the setter…3*/2.5* with no clear favourite. The Toughie was much easier!

  24. Enjoyed this one very much with many good clues and solvable in a sensible length of time for a back page crossword. Ultimately foxed only by 23a for which I could only think of ‘great’ for the first part. What an idiot I am!

    Favourite clues were many but I’ll nominate 16a and 13d as they took me longest to solve.

    Four/four for me.

  25. Nearly fell into the 1a trap – thinking that ‘Al’ for American was a bit iffy – then the penny dropped when I came across 5d. The rest was pretty much a R & W but I always forget ‘THAT’ sparkling wine! I was also in two minds about the validity of 25a but thanks to RD for his slant on thing’s http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    I will go with 26a as my favourite for today.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza for his usual excellent review (especially the picture for 12a). Could that ever appear as the pun in the quick crossword?

    I don’t normally do the Graun on Tuesdays but I agree that 2d was v. clever. Would it have been have better if it had ‘old’ inserted before Dutch……….?

    1. My original parsing of 1a (seemed fine at the time) had the meaning being ‘of epic size’ with the last two letters being A(merican) and L (figure, i.e. 50). It never occurred to me that might be wrong until I hit the buffers on 5d.

      1. Aren’t cryptic crosswords wonderful……… Mrs SL can’t get her head round all the different abbreviations for 1 word especially when it comes round to soldiers and sailors – but the same can’t be said when it’s about Doctors and nurses http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

        I will say no more.

            1. No – certainly not and I’ve never been angry with you at all. As for the OOer Matron – well – I was a ward sister (quite a nice one really) and I am married to a doctor. Back to the say no more . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

              1. I had thought that my collusion in the misspelling of your name the other day, probably put me in the ‘bad books’ as my mother used to say. I’m glad that wasn’t the case http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  26. Enjoyed this one, it all slotted in so well.
    Fave was 16a. Learnt something new at 24a.
    Thanks to setter and to Gazza for a great review.

  27. ***/***. Back in the saddle and suffering from jet lag but can’t use this as an excuse for the slow solve. Thanks to Gazza for the review and the setter for a good challenge.

    1. Thanks for dropping in Shamus and thanks for the enjoyable puzzle. I thought it was probably one of yours but after getting the setter wrong two weeks ago I decided not to commit myself this time.

      1. Have to confess that Shamus never entered my head as the setter of this one.
        Thanks, Shamus.

    2. Thank you from me too. I am too new to BDs to have any idea who setter is but I certainly enjoyed this because with just a little electronic help my trusty pencil and I finished it.

    3. Thanks for dropping in Shamus – like Gazza, I have also decided not to put my head above the parapet on Mr Ron days. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    4. Oh Rats – and there was me saying that this one didn’t ‘float my boat’. My grovelling apologies, Shamus, I usually enjoy your twinkly-eyed sense of humour but obviously missed it today. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  28. Luckily for us, Gazza’s alternative answer for 1a never occurred to us and we just seemed to fly through this one. We did have a minor hold-up in the SW corner with both 19a and 23a needing a bit of thought but the rest all went in very smoothly. Enjoyable.
    Thanks Shamus (thanks for popping in to say Hi) and Gazza.

  29. Still suffering with withdrawal symptoms over picture for 23a, fatties and diabetics are not allowed them. Loved the crossword, did not fall into 1a and on the whole finished with only a small amount of electronic help. Thanks to Shamus and Gazza. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  30. We thought that this was a pretty tough one, or maybe we have our heads towards the Cinque Terre in Italy which we are both looking forward to.
    Our sojourn will be mixed with some work in Italia which makes it all the more exciting. So we won’t be commenting upon South, East, North or even Westerly corners
    because we only got held up on the M4 trying to get back into London.

    Many thanks to Shamus and the ever reliable gazza for the hints and tips…

  31. Thought this was tougher than a normal Tuesday, but enjoyable none the less. ***/***, and favourite was 16a. Last in was 22d. Answers with two short words always cause more trouble than they should. Thanks to Shamus ( having revealed himself) and to Gazza for the review.

  32. This was quite tricky, particularly in the NE corner. This was mainly because I had ‘pinch’ instead of ‘notch’ for 6d…….wrong sort of nick! Otherwise not too bad aNd didn’t need the hints today……therefore its 2*/3* for me. 16a my favourite clue, thanks to setter and Gazza.

  33. Wot, me get 1a wrong and put leaflet in 5d? …of course. And then to put Append in for 25a? Yep! So not a good day for me, but the rest of the crossword was rather good.
    Just me having a second off day in a row.
    Thanks to Shamus and Gazza for showing me the errors of my ways…..

  34. Hi TS – assuming you pop in later – just to let you know that I have finished reading Harbour. It was a fascinating read, devoured in very short order! Having once spent a holiday there, it was easy to recall many of the places mentioned – including the race course, the Star ferries and the delight of Victoria Heights as a respite from the teeming city below. Maybe I’ll get the chance to talk to you about it at a BD bash sometime in the future.
    By complete contrast, I have also just finished re-reading Daddy-Long-Legs, which you may remember cropped up in conversation recently, and am about half way through the sequel – Dear Enemy.
    I’m afraid I have still to improve on my appreciation of the Thurber cartoons, but I do keep trying!
    Hope your ‘land-legs’ are coping with the return to normal duties. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    1. What is even more interesting – and a good observation on the novelists’ art – is that PH, although brought up in Singapore, has never been to Hong Kong. I’m glad that you enjoyed it. May I make so bold as to recommend Common Places, by the same PH? I think the Book Depository has some left, and Amazon may have too. Among my Spanish friends, this is the one they like best…

      1. … And as regards “land legs”, well yes. But I discovered today that I wrote down the wrong dates for my proper summer holiday and my boat is stuck somewhere where it cannot be for much longer and I don’t have the time to move it. Also, normal duties have been suspended for the summer, and I find myself on the permanent late, late shift covering for people who are in Greece, the Riviera or Cornwall while I slave away at unfamiliar and, frankly, unrewarding tasks. As Matt so aptly once pointed out, retirement is much further away than it appears in the mirror. Sigh

  35. I was surprised to discover that this was a Shamus puzzle – it seemed too much of a breeze for one of his. He usually has me reaching for the second pint while scratching my head and refilling my pipe (who said that men were no good at multitasking?). I liked it a lot, though, as I usually do with Shamus’s offerings. 23a brought a smile as did 19a, but the BAFTA goes to 16a, not because it was difficult, but because it was so perfectly put together that disentangling it was a delight. I did not fall into the 1a trap, proving, in my own raddled mind anyway, that starting with the down clues always has its advantages.
    Many thanks to Shamus and to Gazza for his inimitable review: the cream tea pic has made me feel overly peckish and there’s only some cheese and sorry-looking limp green beans left in the fridge. I may have to eat my hat

Comments are closed.