DT 27883 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27883

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27883

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

This seemed pretty straightforward without having a great deal of sparkle. 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 One enters this dirty city, only to come back (7)
BATHTUB – a city in Somerset followed by the reversal of an adverb meaning only or ‘no more than’.

5a Husband in game met by wounding remark? Nonsense (7)
RHUBARB – insert the abbreviation for husband into the abbreviation for the 15-a-side game and add a wounding remark or put-down.

9a Sob quietly and tremble — it’s this crossword! (7)
CRYPTIC – string together a verb to sob, the musical abbreviation meaning quietly and a tremble or convulsive twitch.

10a Strike by head of governors hurt school (7)
GRAMMAR – a verb to strike or crash into follows the first letter (head) of governors. After that we want a verb to hurt or damage.

11a Ravel — put in a grave next to the French church (9)
INTERLACE – a verb to put in a grave or tomb is followed by one of the French definite articles and the abbreviation for the established church in England.

12a Arab maybe right about stockings? On the contrary (5)
HORSE – not right about stockings but stockings or other legwear containing R(ight).

13a Information concerned with style (5)
GENRE – charade of an informal word for information and a preposition meaning concerned with or about.

15a Passing me her pale pants (9)
EPHEMERAL – an anagram (pants) of ME HER PALE.

17a Tommy about to keep going (7,2)
SOLDIER ON – a military man for whom Tommy (Atkins) became a generic name is followed by a preposition meaning about or concerning.

19a United over unknown god (5)
DEITY – reverse (over) a verb meaning united or linked and add one of the algebraic unknowns.

22a Put up with a bass (fish) (5)
ABIDE – A (from the clue) is followed by the abbreviation for a bass singer and the silvery freshwater fish that is so useful to crossword setters.

23a Speaker woe for us, unfortunately — keeping Bercow initially (9)
SUBWOOFER – an anagram (unfortunately) of WOE FOR US contains (keeping) the initial letter of Bercow. John Bercow is the Speaker of the House of Commons, in the news a lot both for his marital difficulties and his extravagant expense claims.

25a Renovated street around university — one might be in charge of all the property (7)
TRUSTEE – an anagram (renovated) of STREET contains U(niversity).

26a Flower from South America with fine leaf, practically (7)
SAFFRON – string together the abbreviation for South America, the abbreviation for fine (in relation to pencils) and the leaf of a palm or fern without its final D (practically).

27a Shy creature‘s eggs expensive, we hear (3,4)
ROE DEER – fish eggs followed by what sounds like an adjective meaning expensive.

28a Roman emperor imprisoning five, getting us apprehensive (7)
NERVOUS – a Roman emperor (the one who, allegedly, fiddled) contains the letter that he would have used for five. Finally add US (from the clue).

Down Clues

1d Trams will become smart after this support (7)
BACKING – the operation necessary to turn the word trams into smart.

2d What one should do in tailor’s — be audacious (3,2,2)
TRY IT ON – it’s advisable to check that the tailor has made your suit in a fitting manner before handing over your credit card.

3d Teacher‘s exclamation of impatience for missing opening (5)
TUTOR – an exclamation of impatience or disapproval followed by the word ‘for’ without its opening letter.

4d Criminal can be cured? Not quite: one robs in the main (9)
BUCCANEER – an anagram (criminal) of CAN BE CURE[d].

5d Rake pins tail of long rat (5)
ROGUE – a rake or libertine contains (pins) the last letter of long.

6d Brazen editor goes after United Nations with a hoax (9)
UNASHAMED – the abbreviation for United Nations, A (from the clue) and a hoax or deception all precede the usual abbreviation for editor.

7d Harry married fan (7)
ADMIRER – an anagram (harry, in the sense of disturb) of MARRIED.

8d Fish on line — it builds arm muscles (7)
BARBELL – a freshwater fish followed by (on, in a down clue) the abbreviation for line.

14d Impressive hospital department note showing where the shakes first occurred? (9)
EPICENTRE – string together an adjective meaning impressive or monumental, the abbreviation for one of the departments in a hospital and the second note of tonic sol-fa.

16d Worker’s holding top half of baby in sink (4,5)
HAND BASIN – a manual worker and the ‘S contain the first half of baby. After that we need the IN from the clue.

17d South — they’re oddly following sailor’s course (7)
STARTER – join together S(outh), an informal word for a sailor and the odd letters of they’re.

18d Time off that is left over? Yes (7)
LEISURE – the abbreviation for ‘that is’ is followed by the abbreviation for left. Now reverse that (over) and add an informal response meaning yes or certainly.

20d In plant, oxygen creates huge fire (7)
INFERNO – string together IN (from the clue), a leafy plant and the chemical symbol for oxygen.

21d Female right to wear Tony’s tight underwear (1-6)
Y-FRONTS – the abbreviations for female and right go inside an anagram (tight, i.e. drunk) of TONY’S.

23d Box containing Eastern weapon (5)
SPEAR – a verb to box contains E(astern).

24d Attempt to remove clubs from chest (5)
OFFER – attempt here is used in the sense of ‘to attempt resistance’. Remove the abbreviation for the card suit clubs from a chest or strongbox.

My favourite today was 21d. Which one(s) rocked for you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: BAR + BEE + DOLES = BARBIE DOLLS


78 comments on “DT 27883

  1. In spite of a high Lego count, I liked this puzzle today making it worthy of 3* for enjoyment. However, I am struggling to rate it for difficulty due to my own stupidity – after solving 18d, I wrote it in as the answer to 17d, which made the SW corner take far longer than it should have done.

    It’s a quite a coincidence to see an unusual hyphenated word which appeared in one of the clues in yesterday’s Rookie Corner turning up again today as the answer to 21d.

    My favourite today was 1a with its very clever surface, with 21d coming a close second.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza.

  2. ***/***

    Enjoyed this and didn’t find it overly easy. Lots of great clues…1a, 5a and 14d making me smile. Got 10a but couldn’t figure out why.

    Favourite is 15a.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for blogging.

    Utterly hideous autumn weather on the moors.

    1. Yes I liked 15a too. Novel use of the word ‘pants’ I thought!
      Are you on Yorkshire moors? Wrap up warm!

      1. Good wasn’t it. The Toughie isn’t too bad today and worth a look at.

        Yes the NY moors. I got burnt playing swingball yesterday and today I’m wearing a jumper. To clarify, we were at a BBQ and the child type things had no interest in it. The ‘so called adults’ decided to play. Naturally it all ended in tears. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

        1. Was all the wine consumed Hanni? Waitrose are doing a very quaffable South African Chenin Blanc at the mo @ £6.39 a bottle http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

          I do hope you played nicely.

          1. That BBQ wine is long gone. And it went down very very well. Thank you. Yesterday was a Lansons Black day. I was driving.

            Is it a Waitrose own label? Certainly worth a bottle or 6.

            Us ‘grown-ups’ displayed no finesse, arguments a plenty about the rules and some racket abuse. This was the men whose average age I’d put at 65. How they manage on a golf course I’ll never understand.

            All the child type things behaved impeccably.

            Edit..please can one of the pedants tell me whether its ‘racket’ or ‘racquet’? I thought the former but very happy to be wrong.

            1. It is a Waitrose own label and not being a pedant I cannot give you an answer to the correct spelling of ‘bat’ http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

            2. I think you play tennis with a racquet and call lots of noise, or a criminal activity, a racket.

              Me no pedant but call him Ed

            3. Mmm…

              I think both are acceptable terms for an item of sports equipment with “racket” probably more common. Out of interest, I checked the Wimbledon shop to find they are offering rackets, and not racquets, for sale.

                1. The Times style guide explicitly rules out Racquet and insists on racket. With particularly juvenile players at Wimbledon, both definitions of “racket abuse” could apply

        2. Sounds like fun! Apart from it ending in tears…. was the burn from the barbecue or the sun?? Yes us adults can show the kids how to enjoy themselves!

          I had a little go at the Toughie on the way home but then got distracted by emails/texts so might attempt it tomorrow – or indulge myself with a new paper and keep it for the weekend!

          1. Oh it’s certainly sunburn and it was a nice evening. It was only the men that took it seriously. How intelligent men can get upset by swingball is beyond me?

            The Warbler is fun is you do get time.

  3. Got it all done except two during commute so couldn’t have been too bad (did those quickly at work. Tut tut!) Got stuck in top right corner for a bit, trying to get eel in and confused by 10a but the penny eventually dropped. Also took a while to twig that 7d was an anagram.
    Enjoyed! Thanks :)

  4. Due to some holdups in the nw corner this was pushed in to 2.5 */3* territory for me. 10a last one in. Thanks to the setter and Gazza for the hints.

  5. Going to agree with Gazza today with a **/** as on completing it, i too thought it lacked a touch of ‘sparkle’. Thought 23a was clever as it worked on several levels-thanks to gazer for the pick- all Mr B needs now is a new ‘duckpond’ expences revelation!

  6. This took longer to load onto the ipad (it needed a reboot) than it took to do. Pleasant enough but too many tried and tested indicators. Only to come back, Husband in game, editor & united nations, etc etc. Even Ravel has lost its rarity now that the UK is full of knitting groups.

  7. I enjoyed this crossword more than yesterday’s, **/*** my thanks to Gazza for his explanation of 14d, there was only one word that fitted but I could not figure out why!? This then became one of my favourites along with 1d & 17d ?

  8. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. I found this very enjoyable, but it took me a while to get on the setter’s wavelength. The SW corner was last in, and put up some resistance. Last in was 14d, which was my favourite. Was 3*/3* for me. Cloudy and dull in Central London. Hoping for an Indian summer.

      1. Here is a French classic for you Kath.

    1. You have a long wait. You cannot have an Indian summer before October. Newspapers use the term all the time without knowing what it means, which annoys me immoderately

  9. Actually, I found this a bit trickier today – well up at the higher end of 2*. But I found a few clues quite clever – 1a would be my favourite. 4* for enjoyment.

  10. I really enjoyed this crossword. Challenging at times but eminently solvable. A real pleasure. **/****

    Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  11. Am I the only one who has never heard of 23a? 2*/2.5* for me. Thank you setter and Gazza.

    1. No, you’re definitely not the only one! I’d heard of the second part but guessed the rest.

  12. We really enjoyed the puzzle today and put lots in without quite knowing why. When we looked at the hints to check, they all seemed good clues to us and non of those ‘too clever by half’ ones we sometimes get later in the week. Thank you to the Tuesday setter and to Gazza. It’s a really horrible day here in Scarborough and I feel sorry for those people on holiday.

  13. Generally enjoyable and relatively straightforward (once I had got going) here in NY, where it is blisteringly hot….I had never heard of the fish in 22a, but you live and learn…..21d made me smile (childish sense of humor, I know)…thanks to all concerned

    1. Hi Omar – don’t think I’ve seen you before. Have a look round the site, especially the ‘cryptic crosswords, features and FAQ’ tabs. They are a great help.

  14. Sorry to disagree, Gazza, but this one sparkled for me. 1.5*/3.5* – the extra .5 on the difficulty owing to having to check the existence of 23a and missing one of those hated one letter so-called ‘ abbreviations’ at 22a.
    Really liked 1,9,26&27a + 2,7&18d. First place would have been difficult to choose but Gazza’s cartoon at 2d wins by the proverbial country mile! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif
    My thanks to Mr. Ron and to Mr. G. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  15. That was most enjoyable. TVM Mr. Ron. East was an easy ride but West presented a few problems particularly 11a where I went up various wrong paths like thinking of the composer but finally settled for a Seventh Day Adventist Church so thank you Gazza for putting me straight on that and also parsing 1d for me (d’oh). Had to dig deep into the old grey matter to drag up 23a. Don’t recall previously meeting that 3-letter word meaning anagram in 7d nor indeed 8d although that had to be. Fav 1a. ***/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    1. Hi Angel,
      The anagram indicator in 7d is ‘harry’ – not a word in common parlance these days! ‘Fan’ is the definition.

      1. I read hairy and pulled a face at silly o clock this morning. Just checked and Jane is right. Harry is the indicator. He might be a Hairy Harry though. I might need to enlarge the font on the ipad That is the second time I have read a clue incorrectly.

      2. Thanks Jane. I came up with the solution by wrongly deciding to disregard Hairy/Harry and fan married – oh well there are many ways to skin a rabbit!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  16. I was on completely the wrong wave length to start with and it took a long time to change that. 3* for both difficulty and enjoyment.
    I ended up with lots of gaps in the bottom left corner which all took a while to sort out – can’t see why now.
    I liked 9 and 27a and 1 and 16d. My favourite is either 2 or 21d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to gazza.
    Grey and 17C in Oxford – it’s August – it’s all very silly. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    1. Yesterday when I got in the car the thermometer read 24 today it said 12, what it did not saying was that it was pouring with rain – our car is not very intelligent.

    2. At the risk of upsetting you both, the thermometer in my car registered 28 yesterday and 26 today! Don’t worry – I think it’s all due to go ‘pear-shaped’ by lunchtime tomorrow.

  17. Tuesdays are getting rather good. Are we on some kind of pattern?
    With a grid like this, it was a relief that the difficulty levels of the clues were well balanced.
    16d favourite of the day.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review.

      1. Me too – but I think I’m going to refrain from guessing the Tuesday setters in future. I’m still mortified about not spotting Shamus on his last outing. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

  18. Wavelengths are tricky, sometimes. For some reason l was on-beam straight away, so this seemed pretty easy: 1*/3*. 15a gets top clue status for me, just because that word (“pants”, that is, not “ephemeral”!) always makes me laugh. VMTs to Mr Ron and Gazza.

  19. Pretty much a R&W day on both the back pager and the Toughie. The clues are constructed well enough but lacking a bit of sparkle and a few too many old chestnuts as well (who would have thought that ‘ravel’ would become one and ‘tight’ an overused anagram indicator). Having said that I did enjoy the puzzle with 15a & 21d bringing a smile to my face. I will plump for 1a as my favourite of the day – I did think it was going to be a palindrome after I’d put in 2 & 3d.

    Thanks to the Tuesday Mr Ron and Gazza for his review.

  20. A comfortable and fun solve today. I thought the clues were a fair balance between the easy and the more difficult, where the good construction made them very doable with a bit of care. 2/3 with many thanks to our Tuesday setter and Gazza for an equally well put together set of hints.

  21. ***/***. It gets an extra * for difficulty because of me. I started in the NW corner and immediately wrote in 1d. Then a long pause before completing SE, SW and NE. Then another pause until I realized 1d wasn’t right, corrected it, and finished with a flourish. Thanks to Gazza for the review and the setter for neatly misleading me with 1d.

  22. Good afternoon all from a surprisingly damp Yorkshire.

    Mostly straightforward but with enough trickiness to make for an enjoyable puzzle. I liked 11a, 23a and 26a but my favourite clue was definitely 17d which as well as being a clever clue in its own right enabled me to complete 23a (although I couldn’t fully resolve that at the time) and to finish with 14d.

    I’d say three stars for difficulty, although time wise it was probably nearer two for me, and four stars for enjoyment.

  23. Very enjoyable and not too difficult. I think someone at the DT is trying to make up for some of the recent back page stinkers with a couple of very doable puzzles.
    I thought 1a was one of those real ‘smile’ clues that appeal to me as was 5a. Seem to remember the Ide fish in 22a but had to look it up to be sure**/****
    Thx to all

  24. Enjoyed this one, had a few problems with the NE corner and needed help with 11a and 1a but OK after that. Nice distraction from the abysmal weather here in E Anglia!


    Thanks to setter and Gazza

  25. A well-constructed and entertaining puzzle, but it was a pity to see “right” used twice to indicate the letter “R”.

    The increasingly popular three-letter fish made yet another appearance in 22a.

    Favourite for me was 23a, the double meaning of “speaker” combined with the mention of Mr. Bercow was a clever touch.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  26. I found the NE corner decidedly tricky and was nearly undone by 7d and 8d. Was not familiar with the fish in 8d, even though I managed to remember the fish in 22a as we had that recently.
    I enjoyed this and am finding it difficult to choose a fave, but I think 1a is it with 23a hard on its heels.
    Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the hints and enlightenment of 7d and 8d.

  27. I thoroughly enjoyed this and thought it clever and smile-making. If I ‘ve ever heard of the fish in 22a I’ve forgotten it ,but I had the correct answer and had to check the fish . It’s a very big thumbs up to myself for getting 23a so immediately. My middle aged children would be open mouthed saying “Mum how did YOU know that!!” With the words “at your age” left hanging in the air. ? .Thanks to Mr. Ron & gazza.

  28. Rained all the way to the shops and we splashed through enormous puddles on the back road, gone are the days when you had to check brakes after such an encounter. Crossword was definitely a bit mind-boggling in places and I had to wait for Gazza to clarify what I had done, 21d and 1a made me giggle but my favourite was 23a because OH very into hi-fi so I knew what it was. Thanks to setter and Gazza, roll on tomorrow. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  29. A nice crossword – nothing too challenging or misleading. 23a floated my boat; 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gaza for his review.

  30. Today we had a different 2Kiwis team on the puzzles made up of a grandfather and a 14yr old grandson Freddy, Freddy was getting his first taste of the madness that his elderly relatives find so compulsive. The puzzle was just the right level of difficulty to serve the purpose. The two that Freddy found most amusing were 1a for the surface reading and 1d for the cleverness. Perhaps we have just planted the seeds of an addiction, hope so. A real thrill for a grandfather to be able to share a crossword like this,
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

    1. I envy you, ColinK. My daughters simply roll their eyes in disbelief at Mum ‘wasting’ so much time on Xwords. I do, however, have a neighbour in training!

    2. That sounds so wonderful, grandfather and grandson starting a bond together with crosswords. I remember so well my father starting me off on the DT cryptic about 60 years ago as it was printed in our local paper, I felt so special learning something from my Dad, just the two of us!

    3. Well done and ‘nau mai’ to the young ‘Actinidia Deliciiosa’, Freddy. Colin, I found it interesting to see that the male KIwi incubates the eggs, so perhaps you are destined to nurture and help Freddy become another one of our antipodean cruciverbalists / blogger. Super to hear about a youngster enjoying cryptic crosswords http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    4. Thanks for the responses. Whether the lure of cryptics is strong enough to compete with all the attractions of electronic amusements is yet to be seen. We can but hope. In the meantime, it is a genuine pleasure sharing the solving experience.

  31. Enjoyed this one and did not find it difficult. Had heard of a woofer but not a sub one – is it waterproof I wonder… 2*/3.5*. Many thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza. Late blogging tonight as we are looking after our grandchildren for a couple of days… Tomorrow morning they will be in our bed doing a Sudoku with Mr Framboise. Maybe one day I will show them how to do a cryptic crossword, who knows?

  32. Unlike Gazza, I found plenty to enjoy in this most straightforward of puzzles. No one standout clue, though, but many good ones: 1a, 15a, 23a, 1d, 8d, 17d all equally fun. I guess if there were a play-off, 17d would chip in on the second hole to win the monthly medal.
    All those who have never heard of the fish in 8d clearly never read Mr Crabtree Goes Fishing, which kept me entertained and informed when I was a windy boy and a bit and the black spit of the chapel fold.
    Thanks to our mystery setter and to Gazza for his erudite review, which I enjoyed, but did not need

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