DT 27884 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27884

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27884

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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


For the next couple of weeks we are staying in Wellington minding three of our grandchildren. During the day, once 5yr old Milly has been delivered to school, we are free to do visitor things in the city or, on Wednesdays, write the blog. It is pouring with rain at present so the latter is a very good option. As usual, we have good fun from Jay to keep us occupied.

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


1a     Draw on this to make a reservation on second boat (10)
SKETCHBOOK : Start with the abbreviation for second, then a two masted sailing boat and then a word meaning make a reservation.

6a      Northern type‘s place with charge initially for parking (4)
SCOT : Substitute the first letter of charge for the abbreviation for parking in a word that means a place.

10a     Bug contained by regular vaccination? (5)
LARVA : A lurker hidden inside the clue.

11a     Badger in a woolly coat (9)
GABARDINE : An anagram (woolly) of BADGER IN A.

12a     Drunk restricts working when stars are out (7)
TONIGHT : One of the many words that are used to indicate drunkenness includes a two letter word meaning working.

13a     Time short with favourite instrument (7)
TRUMPET : The abbreviation for time, next a spirit drink as it might be described in a pub, then a synonym for favourite.

14a     Screens student in predicament, swamped by waves (12)
ROLLERBLINDS : Take a four letter word for a predicament or a tight spot, include the abbreviation for a student or learner in this, and surround the whole lot with another word for ocean waves.

18a     Symbol of latecomers changing ship? (7,5)
MALTESE CROSS : An anagram (changing) of LATECOMERS followed by the abbreviation for a steamship.

21a     Revolutionary American runs out looking pale (7)
ANAEMIC : An anagram (revolutionary) of AMErICAN after R(uns) has been removed.

23a     European reticent to accept record for environmental matters (7)
ECOLOGY : E(uropean), then a three letter word meaning reticient has inside it a record, possibly kept on a ship.

24a     One tells of cut on rear going bad (9)
RACONTEUR : An anagram (going bad) of CUT ON REAR.

25a     Tax incorporating right to fish (5)
TROLL : A tax that you might pay to use some roads has R(ight) inside it.

26a     Appointment that’s kept in pied-a-terre? (4)
DATE : Another one hiding within the clue.

27a     Prepared volunteers returning with people embracing study (2,3,5)
AT THE READY : Volunteer soldiers reversed, then a third person plural pronoun around a word meaning to study at university.


1d     Greeting the start of summer on a musical instrument (6)
SALUTE : The first letter of summer, A from the clue and an early stringed instrument.

2d     Currency needed to support the Queen’s mission (6)
ERRAND : Her Majesty and then the South African monetary unit.

3d     Revise decision on denims, possibly? (6,4,4)
CHANGE ONE’S MIND : The first word of the answer tells you what to do with ON DENIMS.

4d     Reserve a counter mainly for a game in the pub (9)
BAGATELLE : A three letter word for reserve or save for yourself, then A from the clue and a word for a person who counts things with the last letter removed.

5d     Compass of soldiers on part of drill (5)
ORBIT : Two letter lowest ranking soldiers, then the part of a drill that actually makes the hole.

7d     Prioritising economy, dismissing son and making waves (8)
CRIMPING : A word meaning prioritising economy or being very thrifty loses its first letter which is S(on).

8d     Written study of peace accords ultimately promoted (8)
TREATISE : A synonym for peace accords is altered by its last letter being moved up one place.

9d     Fixer who’s corrupt to others protecting currency? (14)
TROUBLESHOOTER : A monetary unit in Russia is inside an anagram (corrupt) of TO OTHERS.

15d     Little-known planet producing oxide (4,5)
RARE EARTH : A synonym for little known and our home planet.

16d     I’ve got a twin that’s spoilt (8)
IMPAIRED : The answer split 1’1,6 is another way of saying ‘I’ve got a twin’.

17d     Easy to understand character in tragedy with copper in court (5-3)
CLEAR-CUT : A Shakespearian king is followed by the chemical symbol for copper all within the abbreviation for court.

19d     Taboo developing about end of working capital (6)
BOGOTA : An anagram (developing) of TABOO with the last letter of working included (We bet we won’t be the only people to start off with a Caribbean island here.)

20d     Times remuneration includes pound for subordinate action (2-4)
BY-PLAY : Times or multiply is followed by a word for remuneration with the cypher for pound sterling included.

22d     Split in Conservative wets? (5)
CLEFT : The one letter abbreviation for Conservative and then the end of the political spectrum that Mrs Thatcher referred to as ‘wets’.

Our favourite today was 14a.

Quickie pun    foreign  +  arrow  =  Four in a row

If you are still confused  Four in a Row is another name for the game we know as Connect Four

Many thanks Gazza for sorting this one for us.

70 comments on “DT 27884

  1. 2*/4*. I was flying through this excellent puzzle with three corners going in swiftly, but today for me it was the NE corner that held me up with 6a my last one in.

    I struggled with 14a with hindsight due to the enumeration. Surely it should be (6,6)?

    Lots of potential candidates for favourite, but the amusing 11a gets my vote.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  2. This was a joy to complete. Thank you Jay. West was just nicely testing but then East required a bit more application. Made life difficult for myself initially by putting an island as opposed to a capital for 19d. Fav was 17d. Will now read your hints 2Ks for which many thanks. ***/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  3. Thought this one was a bit difficult but I was stumped by 1a and 14a as I thought these were two word answers not one. I also had ambit for 5d which didn’t help,also fell for the Island on 19d!
    Nice word play and quite a lot of anagrams. Lots of currencies too.


    Thanks to setter and 2Kiwis

  4. I found this one a bit challenging and I was into 3* time to complete.

    After scratching my head and finally seeing the light for a clue, I was surprised that it had not occurred to me sooner!

    As a PhD Chemist, I am not sure what oxide has to do with 11d, as these are a class of elements in the periodic table despite what the BRB says. Sure they may occur as oxides but so do many elements as ores. I am finding a number of dubious definitions in the BRB of late. I notice OED does not have this definition.

    Anyway, aside from my pedantic quibble, I thought this was an excellent puzzle that gave me a good challenge. 4* for enjoyment.

    1. I too am a chemist and I don’t see a problem with 15d. To me a rare earth can be a lanthanide element or an oxide of one. This is from Collins:-

      Rare earth

      1. any oxide of a lanthanide
      2. Also called: rare-earth element another name for lanthanide

      1. I was so bad at chemistry at school that I didn’t even take the O-level.

        15d – Looks OK to me … but, George, I know absolutely nothing about 11d (?) – is chemistry an exact science?


    2. Greenwood and Earnshaw : “Not least of the confusions associated with this group of elements is that of terminology.The name “rare earth”was originally used to describe almost any naturally occurring but unfamiliar oxide and even until about 1920 generally included both ThO2 and ZrO2. About that time the name began to be applied to the elements themselves rather than the oxides..”
      So the Collins dictionary is only 95 years out of date.

  5. I also fell for the Caribbean island and was muttering to myself that it isn’t a capital. Silly error has I have been to the capital in question many times.
    All in all a most enjoyable puzzle but somewhat interrupted by having to remove a tick from the dog’s gentlemen’s parts.
    Thanks to the setter and 2Kiwis

  6. Enjoyed this, agree with **/****
    I too was confused by 6a (a bit obscure really), and also ‘by’ for Times. Not encountered that before. 11a was sweet :)

      1. Yes I saw it when it was spelt out but hadn’t encountered it in a crossword before, as far as I can remember, which isn’t very far.. :(

  7. I thought this was reasonably straightforward and definitely an enjoyable solve. Thanks to the 2Kiwis and Jay 1.5*/4*

    Talking of enjoyable solves – the toughie is well worth a look..

  8. Top stuff from Jay today. Really enjoyable and a pleasure to solve. 2/4 and thanks to the 2Ks for a very readable blog.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

  9. Very enjoyable crossword.
    Not much to report.
    9d favourite as I had all the checking letters and it still took a while for the penny to drop.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2k for the review.

  10. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A fantastic puzzle today, but I thought it was Thursday, and convinced myself it was a Ray T, even though some Quick Crossword clues had more than one word http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif
    Anyway it was most enjoyable, Favourites were 11a&7d. Last in was 9d. Was 2*/4* for me. Needed the hints to parse 6a&8d. Clouding over now in Central London.

  11. Settled for a 1.5*/*** today, i know the half star is a bit pedantic but didn’t merit a 2 for me, read GEORGES blog above and being a chemist myself, had the same thoughts regarding the ‘oxide’ bit as they are just a series of elements-albeit in many forms . Anyway, i did enjoy the solve,liked the surface read of 21a and 17d,
    managed to avoid the 19 trap ,only because I had already solved 25a.

  12. Nice one from Jay but a little on the benign side so */**** from us.
    11a is probably favourite as it raised a smile at the rather unlikely image it conjoured up. 16d is worth a mention too but there’s a lot of good stuff.

    Thanks to Jay and the Kiwis..

  13. Very enjoyable puzzle from Jay. Lots of lovely clues. **/**** from us. Thanks 2 Jay and the 2Ks.

  14. Another nice straightforward puzzle **/*** ? Apart from falling at 6a, I had Northener Scot and replaced the “c” (charge initially with a “p” from Parking) to give a place or spot. Hence the only word for 7d was primping (making waves in ones hair) if only! ? Stupid boy, thanks to 2Ks for an excellent set of hints & to Jay for a very nice puzzle. 1a,18a 13a were my favourites ?

  15. I found this an enjoyable puzzle, moderately difficult. 6 across, while the answer is quite obvious, I can’t fathom the working out.

    1. For 6a you start with SPOT (place) then replace the P (parking) with the initial letter of C(harge).

  16. Far too difficult for me I’m afraid. *****/*
    Managed one corner.
    Thx to 2kiwis for the hints but they didnt help Im afraid.

  17. Much nicer day in East Anglia and a splendid Jay crossword to make it even better. For some unknown reason my antique brain was working well and the long words just dropped into place. 6a looked like being my nemesis but fortunately I chose the right option, remembered 4d from childhood, loved the anagrams but too many delights to risk picking a favourite. Thanks to 2Kiwis, off to make some tea. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  18. I began very briskly , but I spent a long time unraveling 9d and 14a.
    I absolutely loved 11a and 16d. 7d deserves favourable mention.
    Thanks Jay and the Kiwis. It is wet on and off here too.

  19. ***/****

    Gosh I do like Wednesday’s.

    This gets an extra difficulty star as I pencilled in ‘school book’ for 1a before spotting my mistake. However I wasn’t done with errors. For 8d I got the answer on first read through…so when it came to pencilling it in I wrote ‘treaties’. No idea why but it made 14a harder.

    The rest was typically joyful. 11a was extra special.

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

    Micawber Toughie later.

  20. Nice job from Jay, very enjoyable.
    I needed the hints to get why 6a was what it was; only solved it because it couldn’t be anything else.
    I, too, put the island in 19d, erasing the “a” at the end as I had already written in 27a, silly me as I should have realised that 27a was correct. Oh dear, per Kath!
    I can’t choose a fave, though 3d was pretty clever.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2Kiwis. Have you started the movement to get your avatar as the national flag yet? I’ll sign the petition!

  21. Thoroughly enjoyed today’s back pager with lots of super clues to tangle with. Nearly fell for the trap at 19d as 25a has two spellings but sense prevailed by following the word playhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

    I liked 14 & 18a, not getting involved with the discussion on 15d, so I will plump for 11a as my favourite.

    Thanks to Jay for the puzzle and the 4(?)Kiwis for their review.

    Should be Ray T tomorrow?

  22. Took a bit longer than a Rufus normally does, so I’ll go for 2.5*/4*.
    Struggled with the parsing of 6a, had to check with Mr. Google that I’d got the right answer for 15d and wondered what on earth the Billy Goats Gruff nemesis had to do with 25a!
    Oh yes – I also fell into the island trap at 19d and did rather wonder about its being a ‘capital’.

    All good stuff though – I’ll go along with 2Ks favourite of 14a with mentions for 11a &3d.

    Thanks to Rufus and to 2Ks – has Freddy had a go at this one yet?

    1. Jane – I left you a comment on the food thread explaining what was what. I also noticed that I didn’t use my * key correctly – so I apologise unreservedly to anyone who was upset http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif. I’m expecting to be sent to the naughty step anytime now.

      1. Just looked at your ‘menu’, SL. Yuck! I think the ‘s-in-l to be’ gets rather superior fare.

    2. Obviously having a ‘dim’ day – for ‘Rufus’ in my previous comment, please read ‘Jay’. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  23. Second post from me as I expected some comments about 1a and 14a being two words? I think I found 1a ok in chambers but not 14a ? Is it just me and Rabbit Dave that questions this?

    1. In my Chambers (11th edition) 1a is shown as either a single word or two words (6,4) but 14a only appears as a single word.

      1. Ah, I am looking on the online Chambers which corrects both words to two words each and Google also doesn’t think 14a should be one (not that that counts for much)
        Just goes to show we shouldn’t rely on the online stuff but get the hardcopy books out. Not that I find many words that are questionable like today.

      2. My BRB has does not show 14a at all so, by implication, it should be two words. All the UK retailers of said items which I have found use two words.

  24. A lovely Wednesday crossword to cheer up a beastly Wednesday.
    I started off thinking it was going to be a really tricky one but then got going a bit and all fell into place – 2* and 4* for me today.
    I seem to be one of the few who didn’t fall for the 19d island that wasn’t – that was only because it didn’t occur to me!
    We seem to be seeing more clues along the lines of 3d or is it just that I’ve started to notice them more often.
    I spent too long trying to make 18a a ship and thinking that the ‘reticent’ bit of 23a was ‘shy’.
    I liked 13 and 14a and 3 and 16d. I didn’t like the piccy for 10a. My favourite was 11a by a long way – wonderful mental picture.
    With thanks to Jay and thanks and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif to the Kiwis.

  25. I am with Brian.
    I really struggled with this one especially with 6a and 7d even with the hints….had to read the hints few times to ‘get’ them.

    Had never heard of ‘troll’ for fish.
    Had never heard of ‘rare earth’ as anything other than an element.
    Had never seen By-play as a word/expression

    Clearly well above my pay grade.
    But then, I am ‘entry level’.

    Also too many anagrams where not all the letters are in the clue (16a, 3d)
    Just not for me today.

  26. ***/***. I made this tougher than it should have been due to a few school boy errors (eg 19d). Enjoyable fare nevertheless. Thanks to the 2Ks and the setter for more brain fodder.

  27. Morning all and a very special thank you to Gazza, Shropshirelad and Kath who all had their early mornings disturbed by emails looking for help with the Quickie pun. It had our combined team which by that time included our son Tim, as well as Bea and Freddy totally at a loss. Gazza was the first to come up with correct solution. Teamwork triumphed in the end. We are truly grateful for the help.
    Gazza http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif
    Kath http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif
    Shropshirelad http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    1. . . . and guess who the one who needed to wake up, get dressed and whizzy off to get the paper in a hurry was – you can all call me a lazy bones if you like! You’re more than welcome anytime Kiwis and a little http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif to all of you too.

  28. Late to the puzzle today because today we fitted the bath that I bought eight and a half years ago. Woohoooo!!!. An easy puzzle that allowed me to bipple most of the clues from the definitions. As crypticSue says the downs were the easiest and led to so many checkers that this puzzle fell all too quickly. I have earned a pint. I may have several. Here we go

      1. Yup. I did not get many across clues on the first pass but got quite a few downs. 13ac 14ac 18 ac 23ac 24 ac and 27 ac were all bippled, which then led to 9d and 20d bippling away. Bunged In. Parsed Later. with not many checkers what else could 24ac be?

        1. Just asked Mr. Google about ‘bipple’, MP. I think perhaps you should be very wary of using the word in future! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

          1. Now look what you’ve done – I’ll have to go and look it up now, and just when I was off to bed too. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

          2. Well I’m glad I looked up that word. I mean it’s always good to learn new things..I think..maybe? I really should stop looking up these things on work phone/tabs/laptops. Goodness only knows what they’ll see if they need a service.

  29. Bung It In Parse Later. it is when you you have enough checkers to know the answer without reference to the clue or when you know it is the answer but not why it is the answer. Bungitins and bipples. Lets get them into the BRB and the OED

    1. Well I just about bippled my way through without too much difficulty, with one or two nudges from the blog comments, including the reminder about the Caribbean island which I had vaguely associated with some African country. 16d made me laugh. Thank you very much Jay and 2Ks.

  30. Typically good fare from Jay, but a little trickier than usual, I thought. I always struggle with 14 and 15 letter clues as I have a very short attention span. Got there in the end, with (like JL) 9d being my last one in, even with all the checkers. I did like 7d, but not so keen on 4d – when was the last time anyone played bagatelle in a pub? And whatever happened to bar billiards, which I used to love? And darts? It’s always on Sky Sports (sic) but how many pubs have a dartboard these days? None in London that I can think of. I used to play for a pub team back in the day, as did my father. Stumbled on one in a pub in Margate after a John Cooper Clarke gig a couple of years ago and smugly challenged herself to a game. She had never played before. Beat me six games to one by random throwing while my skills seemed to have evaporated with the passing years.
    Many thanks to KK for the hints and to Jay for a decent workout. I join the 11a fan club

    1. Well Tom. From the age of fifteen to twenty one I was never far from a dartboard (or a guitar or girlfriend) I hardly ever lost a game and beat most of the top players of the day. I stopped playing because I was bored. When we took The Green Man on I went to the dartboard in the back room and threw three borrowed darts. Treble twenty. Treble twenty. Twenty. they were the last three darts I ever threw.

      1. For some inexplicable reason, I find that quite sad. I was never a great dart player, but loved the game, the cameraderie and pork pies and pickled onions. Between the ages of 14 and 21 I gave up the guitar, a decision I have regretted for 40 years, because now, 40 years later, I’m still no better than I was then – but it’s an essential part of my life and people who know nothing about music think I’m good. I’m not, but have played in bands and done quite a few solo shows where no over-ripe fruit or veg was thrown. I also write songs, because just playing is only a small part; putting words and music together is my greatest joy (apart from my children). Did you give up the guitar as well as the darts and girl friends?

  31. Love big dave use it loads. Thought that 25a was troll not trawl and on checking today I find I’m right! Never found big dave to be wrong before! Thanks so much for the site it’s great

    1. Welcome to the blog Viv

      I don’t understand your comment. I checked the history and the answer has always been given as troll.

    2. We also are a bit puzzled by your statement. When we were solving the puzzle we had looked at ‘trawl’ as our first option but we had worked out the correct answer well before we came to write the review which has only ever had ‘troll’ as the answer.
      Cheers, and welcome to the blog.

  32. Well I managed to get Spot/scot the wrong way round but then I decided Primped was ok too. D’oh! Otherwise no probs and at least I got the capital correct!
    16d made me smile, and overall 2/3*
    Thanks to Jay and the 2K’s for sorting me out where necessary.

  33. I enjoyed most of this and most of it went in fairly steadily, but got stuck on 6a and 7d. I had the answers, I just didn’t think they were good enough for the clues – and following advice on here, if in doubt it’s probably wrong, I didn’t fill them inhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    Some really lovely clues otherwise so 2.5*/3* and favourite 9d.

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