DT 27889 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27889

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27889

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

I found this one somewhat lacklustre. 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 Bias shown by writer with song (8)
PENCHANT – charade of a writing implement and a repetitive song.

9a Unsuccessful trio pulled apart by a book have to take a 50 per cent cut (8)
ABORTIVE – an anagram (pulled apart) of TRIO follows A and B(ook) and is followed by 50% of the word ‘have’.

10a Check  vertical part of glass (4)
STEM – double definition, the second being the part of a wine glass that you hold.

11a Steadfastness needed for each retired priest entering spiritual meeting (12)
PERSEVERANCE – such is the influence of Mary that I had to hold myself back from writing ‘perservation’ here. Start with a preposition meaning ‘for each’ then reverse (retired) the abbreviated title for a priest inside a meeting called to summon spirits.

13a Three notes about misbehaving class — it’s seen by staff? (4,4)
BASS CLEF – staff here is another word for stave. Three musical notes surround an anagram (misbehaving) of CLASS.

15a Purse is genuine, we’re told (6)
PUCKER – this is a write-in if you’ve seen it before, otherwise it may require a bit of thought. Purse here is a verb meaning to screw up or tighten (one’s lips, say) and the answer sounds like an adjective (imported into English during the time of the Raj) that means genuine or authentic.

16a Body of water in summer enlarged (4)
MERE – hidden.

17a Intellectual support following fashion (5)
BRAIN – intellectual here is a noun. The usual female support garment precedes an adjective meaning ‘following fashion’ or trendy.

18a Painful sensation in field with pressure gone (4)
ITCH – a playing field without the abbreviation for pressure.

20a Brood — and refuse? (6)
LITTER – double definition.

21a Salesman in ground cited as feeble (8)
DECREPIT – the abbreviation for a salesman goes inside an anagram (ground) of CITED.

23a A cost to a Scot moving throughout the country (5-2-5)
COAST-TO-COAST – an anagram (moving) of A COST TO A SCOT.

26a Russian river in country with source obscured (4)
URAL – an adjective meaning country (as opposed to town) with the first letter (source) deleted.

27a Group of people put back golf feature — a legal omission? (8)
LOOPHOLE – reverse (put back) a group of people (in the past they may have been typists) and follow this with a feature of a golf course.

28a Comedian present with degree showing age (8)
WITHERED – start with a comedian or humorist and add an adverb meaning present or in attendance and the abbreviation for degree.

Down Clues

2d Judge having crooked ties with friend (8)
ESTIMATE – an anagram (crooked) of TIES followed by a friend.

3d MPs’ incomes to get reformed? That’s sound (6,6)
COMPOS MENTIS – an anagram (get reformed) of MPS’ INCOMES TO.

4d Welsh politician facing test without scruples (6)
AMORAL – the abbreviation for a member of the Welsh Assembly is followed by a viva voce examination.

5d Uninspiring volunteers on edges of marquee (4)
TAME – the abbreviation for the old name for our part-time soldiers precedes (on, in a down clue) the outer letters of marquee.

6d Find entry form limits this writer (4,4)
COME UPON – an entry form (the sort that you might cut out of a newspaper and fill in with the hope of winning a prize) contains the objective pronoun that the writer may use for himself or herself.

7d Token  panel announcing trade? (4)
SIGN – I spent some time on this one, thinking that there was a homophone but I decided eventually that the second definition is just an advertisement panel… unless you know differently.

8d Investigation — or probe by religious class? (8)
RESEARCH – a verb to probe or delve into follows the abbreviation for a lesson involving the study of religions.

12d Teach recruit changes in style of building (12)
ARCHITECTURE – an anagram (changes) of TEACH RECRUIT.

14d German woman supported by daughter in crime (5)
FRAUD – a German married woman is followed (supported, in a down clue) by the abbreviation for daughter.

16d Spot change required in clue for ‘tiny amount’ (8)
MOLECULE – a spot or blemish on one’s skin is followed by an anagram (change required in) of CLUE.

17d Place for drinking and music, with money turning over (3,5)
BAR STOOL – written music (4) followed by the reversal (turning over) of money (possibly stolen).

19d Guy beginning to bet in confined area in card game (8)
CRIBBAGE – a verb to guy or ridicule and the first letter of bet go inside a confined area or enclosure. It is mandatory to wear a hat when playing this game.

22d Artist very enthralled by, say, Persian neckwear (6)
CRAVAT – the usual abbreviation for a recognised artist and V(ery) are contained inside what a Persian is an example of in the animal world.

24d Acknowledge a set of five letters (not half) (4)
AVOW – start with A (from the clue) and add just half of the word we use for the set of five non-consonants in our alphabet.

25d Staff in Cheshire town reportedly (4)
CREW – this sounds like a town in Cheshire most famous for its railway junction.

None of the clues really got me excited today. Which one(s) did it for you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: FIZZY + CALL = PHYSICAL

137 comments on “DT 27889

  1. Lacklustre sums the backpager up for me too. Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza

    Confused Toughie solvers using the newspaper version will probably like to know that the clue for 3 d should be “Run through – run through article (6)

    1. Confused Toughie solvers thought they were going mad at 7 this morning on first read through. Cheers CS.

    2. Thank you,the people at the Telegraph really should do better,no wonder the circulation figures are plummeting with this poor level of editing.

  2. Good morning.

    I found this one hard to get on with and was ultimately beaten by 6d (which turns out to have been a nice clue but too tricky for me) and 24d (which I’m not convinced means acknowledge).

    I quite liked a13, 15 and 27 and d3 and 17.

    ****/*** for me.

      1. Is the issue whether a word’s in the dictionary (which is not short of out of date words) or whether the word is actually used?

        At best I’d say it’s archaic. I’ve certainly never heard the solution used instead of acknowledge.

        Archaic words are, of course, fine if the clue provides an indicator.

        1. I agree. I’m always going on about this. I think some meanings are only kept alive by crossword setters.

  3. */***

    If this is a wavelength thing then I understand this setter. Pencils were used to check the anagrams. Two pencils, one broke. I wondered about 7d too..is it more than a double definition?

    Thought of MP when 19d went in..rumours abound that he’s been known to play this.

    Quite liked 15a and 17d, but it lacked ‘something’.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for blogging.

  4. Well, I did not like many of the clues in this one. Since when was 16d an ‘amount’ of anything, or when was 18a ‘painful’ rather than annoying or 27a usually a designed tax issue to suit some vested interest rather than an omission?

    But having realised how this setter thinks, I completed the puzzle without too much difficulty after a slow start. Not very enjoyable though.

    3*/1* would be my rating.

      1. 16d isn’t an amount, it’s a “tiny amount”. In fact it’s the smallest amount you can get of any chemical compound. Works for me.

  5. 1.5*/3*. Re 7d, I think panel announcing trade is what it says – e.g. “Solicitors”, Hairdressers”, Greengrocers”, “Builders”. Tradespeople have a sign outside their premises, announcing what they do.
    Thanks to Gazza and setter.

  6. Just thought this was a poor crossword that’s all. Not hugely difficult but tedious clunky clues such as 6d and 9a. Didn’t know that to guy was to ridicule (looked up rib but that didn’t have Guy) and didn’t know that Welsh politicians were AM, must be an abbreviation for one of those Welsh words that have little in the way of vowels!
    For me **/*
    Thx to Gazza for sorting out my answers to 9a and 19f.

      1. Thx Mary, I will have to ask my Welsh speaking golf partner how it is pronounced! Nice to hear from you again on the blog.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  7. Thank you CS! That makes a lot more sense – the slight differences between 3d &4d in the toughie made this seem intentional.

    Thank you too Gazza, though I’m not sure I’ll go to Ikea again. This took me longer than the toughie (not counting 3d!).

    There were plenty of clues i liked. I thought the anagrams in 23a (a cost to a scot) and 12d (teach recruits) were nice. I also liked “Three notes…. it’s seen by staff” (13d), “purse is genuine..” (15d), the double definition in 7d (token panel announcing trade), 6d (find entry form..), 17d (place for drinking and music), 22d (..Persian neckwear), 24d (a set of five letters).

    Thank you setter and Gazza for the review.

  8. hello everyone, a rare appearance for me these days, its not that I’m not doing the crosswords, in fact I am not using my books and electronic friends half as much these days http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif tho’ I haven’t thrown them out, thanks for blog Gazza, I thought 7d might even be a triple definition?? last one inn6d as I got stuck on writer being ‘pen’ thus making the last word open!!! Hope everyone is fit and well and enjoying the lousy summer we have hadhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

                  1. Hi Merusa, yes he is called Cai, he was about 8 months old when we had him from the rescue in Nov, we think he is beagle cross viszla

    1. Hi Mary. You were around before I joined the BD clan but I’ve heard so much about you. Hope you’re sticking around?

      1. Hi Hanni …for various reasons not least months of trouble with our broadband I stopped coming onto the blog, I have had so much fun on here and made lots of ‘friends’ but have got out of the habit now, hopefully I will try to visit more often now, we have actually got superfast broadband!!!

        1. Hi from me as well, Mary – you’re something of a legend on the blog, hope to see more of you in the future.
          Thought of you with 4d, as I reckoned we were the only ones likely to be in with a chance of getting it straight off!

          1. Hi Jane … what it is to be famous or maybe that should be infamous!!!! I’m guessing you’re from Wales then http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

            1. Not by birth, Mary – but I’ve lived on Ynys Mon for eight years now. It was always my ‘dream’ to retire here and I finally managed it! I’m guessing you’re further south?

              1. Beautiful part of the world Jane we were headed there in our camper last month but got to Harlech and liked it so much we stayed there for the week, yes I am from West Wales

    2. Welcome back Mary. I’ve missed you. We’ve all missed you. You were a legend on the blog when I was still a lurker. Celebrate your broadband with many more posts.

  9. PS Gazza, when do you think they will accept ‘preservation’ as a real word????? I smiled when I saw that and had to stop myself toohttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

    1. Preservation is a real word – the one that isn’t is perservation – that was one that you invented for us! Suspect you’ve just been a victim of the beastly spell check.

        1. Spellchecks are supposed to help not hinder but I hate mine at times when it argues with me. Great to have you back.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    1. You need to read “following fashion” as an adjectival phrase that comes after the support.

      1. It doesn’t read right to me, gazza. It’s as though there is a word or some punctuation missing. Maybe I’ve been staring at it for too long?!

  10. Two or three clues required a bit of thought. Overall, not scintillating.

    Similarity noted in part of the clue to 19d and answer to 4d in the Quick Crossword.

    Is it my imagination but the answer to 16d seems to have appeared on several occasions quite recently?

  11. 2*/2* for me – would have been less for the difficulty but I fell into the same trap as Mary by wanting the second word in 6d to be ‘open’.
    Quite liked 1&15a but nothing that really made me smile.
    Thanks to Mr. Ron and also to Gazza (looks as though you had the same problem with spelling 3d as I did!).

        1. ???? You’ve made me re-check it but I still can’t see anything wrong – two ‘O’s in the fodder and two in the answer.

            1. There’s a teensy bit of yesterday’s office lemon drizzle cake left – I’ll send it over.

  12. I agree that this wasn’t the most exciting crossword that we’ve ever had – 2* for both difficulty and enjoyment.
    I got completely stuck with 7d – just couldn’t think of anything – homophones didn’t really seem to work – thought of a line for trade but didn’t get any further.
    Got a bit held up by trying to think of a typically German woman’s name for 14d before I realised.
    I didn’t know the Welsh politicians but the answer couldn’t have been much else.
    I did quite like 15a even though I’ve seen if before and liked 11a too.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to gazza.
    Ought to cut grass – again – but think it’s about to rain – again. Maybe I’ll give up and have a go at the Toughie.

  13. We have certainly been let off lightly today but regrettably without much moment however thanks go to Mr. Ron and Gazza. Initially missed the ground anagram in 21a and needed Gazza’s help to parse 6d and 4d (not being Welsh!). **/**. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  14. Well, l enjoyed it rather a lot! I thought this was an amusing and diverting puzzle which made me forget about the horrible unseasonal weather we’re having in Cornwall at the moment. I particularly enjoyed 11, 13 and 15 across, and 19 down. 1.5*/4.5* for me, and my thanks to both Mr Ron and Grumpy Gazza.

  15. Not much to add to those comments already posted. This was an ok puzzle, nothing to write home about, and 2/2 seems a fair reflection of the overall view. On the plus side, I have finished painting the outside of the house as a result of an early solve. Thanks to setter and Gazza.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  16. Never in a million years would I have got 6d without Gazza’s gratefully received help but apart from that it came together quite reasonably. Not too sure I am 3d as I have been left at home and missed weekly shopping because my dodgy hip made it difficult to perambulate, that is why I am unusually early doing the crossword. OK so what on earth do I do with the rest of the day? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

    1. Still trying to work out why 19d reminds me of someone on the blog who has been known to occasionally mention something about winning and coming top of the table, and Mrs. H. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

        1. Good luck, when I was a very little girl about three million years ago we had a beautiful cribbage set in an inlaid box with ivory pegs and red pegs that is all I can remember.

        2. My Dad made a brilliant Cribbage Board out of a lump of titanium when he worked at De Havilland’s a Hatfield – many a ‘fifteen two, fifteen four, fifteen six, fifteen eight and one for his knob!’

          He was a clever old stick!

  17. Straightforward and pretty enjoyable solve with maybe one or two dubious definitions. Thanks to Gazza and setter */***

  18. Not one to be remembered that’s for sure! Admittedly I didn’t help myself by putting AVER when I meant AVOW but apart from that little spell of imbecility no real problems. 2/2* overall and actually I liked 7d as I parsed it as 5. neveracrossword did.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for his review.
    And its still raining……http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  19. ***/**
    liked 15A

    never heard of the abbreviation for Welsh assembly members before

    agree with George re 27A, 16D and 18A

  20. Well, that’s 2 days on the trot that I feel I’ve been short changed in some way. I suppose it wasn’t too terrible but it wasn’t too great either. Enough saidhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza for the review. Hopefully the rest of the week will pick up. The Toughie’s well worth a go – it certainly cheered me up.

        1. Ah – oh good – you’re out of the corner now! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif
          Did you escape or did someone let you out? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

          1. I shuffled out sideways, having bowed to the East several times and made promises never to question the knight in shining armour again…… not ever. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

                1. Enough’s enough ladies – stop hijacking my thread http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

                  You know I don’t really mean it – don’t you?

  21. Needed the hints to get 15a.
    The rest was pretty much a read and write.
    Liked 22d the most.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the help.

  22. Oh, come on. Surely somebody’s going to make a joke about Gazza’s illustration for 7(d)?
    I can think of plenty, but none suitable for such a refined site.

        1. . . . but you weren’t too polite to put the piccy of the bonking frogs in your blog – I’ll never forget that one! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  23. 24D raised it from * to ** for me today, had the correct solution but the famous five eluded me-thanks Gazza. Not very sparkling, or could it just be the dismal weather ?, probably would have enjoyed it sunning myself by a Skiathos pool with an adjacent bar; found the quick crossword difficult,might punish myself with a toughie attempt later.

  24. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, but found it very tricky. Needed the hints for 9a and 7&24d. Favourites were 15&23a. Was 3*/3* for me. Heavy rain just clearing in Central London.

  25. Actually liked this as I did it mostly without aids. Needed hints for 7d and 15a, otherwise good puzzle.


    Thanks to setter and Gazza

  26. I found this nearly R&W until I got to the NE corner where I got well and truly stuck, and the ones that I got the answers to were a complete mystery as to why. Never did get 6d (but very clever), 7d, 9a and 15a. I think 15a is my fave, even though I missed it.
    Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the review and enlightening me.

  27. I didn’t think it was as bad or lacklustre as some have said, to be honest. My adjectives would be “workmanlike” or “run-of-the-mill”, nothing exceptional, but not deserving of opprobium either!

    Very surprised how Brian could describe 6d as “clunky” – I thought it was one of the better ones.

    My favourite (and last one in) was 15a, it surely could produce a smile in the grouchiest of bloggers, no?

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

      1. I liked it too. The word for genuine reminded me of my lovely paternal grandparents.

        As for whether I’m grouchy, well …

  28. Quite a tussle wit this one…just got a few, then stared at it for ages with no inspiration. There were some good clues though, 3d, 1a, 16d, 20a, but favourites were 15a and 19d. Once I got 27a, things started to improve. Spent ages trying to fit ‘ miniscule’ into 16d….Also tried variations which included ‘macule’, then the penny dropped.
    I got the correct answer for 19d, but reasoning was different…. I had ‘ribcage’ as the confined area (which it is) with beginning of bet inside….of course this does leave ‘guy’ out in the cold but….no matter, the answer fitted, so what the dickens? More enjoyable than yesyerdays horror, 2*/3* thanks to setter and to Gazza. What a lot of comments today! Probably wont bother to read them all!

    1. Hi Liz – feel free to skip a lot of the comments – particularly the ones concerning my inability to correctly use the anagram fodder in 3d! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

      1. Hi Jane. Yes, I sometimes have that problem……go for the answer first without checking the correct components! In the case of 3d though, this was one of my first in. this is of course where my trusty electronic gadget comes in handy…….just for checking purposes, you understand! It is also a bit of a hindrance when one has family mispronouciations ingrained in the psyche…….’no compost meant to us’ for example!

  29. A nice puzzle to introduce my cousin to cryptic solving! In fact she might have been bitten by the bug… We were beaten by 6d as we thought that the second word was open so many thanks to Gazza for the hint – was wondering how a pucker could be a purse, silly me of course as it was purse as a verb – loved the illustration! Well enjoyed this puzzle so I will give it a 3* for it and a 2* for difficulty. In Bournemouth overnight very windy but at least the rain has stopped. Tomorrow we are promised much of the same – my brother in Hyéres and probably Jean-Luc would probably welcome such weather for a day as a respite from the heat!

  30. The brevity of your hint for 16ac is rather extreme Gazza. It will be beaten though. Watch out on Mondays.

  31. Good to see that we were not the only ones held up by 6d. We saw writer in the clue so wanted to to have pen in the answer, hence open for the second word. That one and 7d were our last two to complete. Enjoyable enough.
    Welcome back Mary. Did you get the impression that you might have been missed just a little bit?
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

    1. Me too. 6dand 7d last ones in and needed hints, so many thanks. Still not sure about 7d but not to worry. Actually finished before bedtime thanks to glorious sitting in the garden weather here in Scotland today. One of the very few days this summer it hasn’t rained. Even the cat wears wellies…

  32. Well, I’m with 15. Salty Dog in sentiment & favourites (mostly) – an enjoyable solve with some clever clues, particularly liked 11a, 13a, 6d, 19d & 22d. NE corner was last to fall, 7d LOI after going through the alphabet to fill the blanks! Neither 7d nor 8d very satisfying. Also confused by ‘following’ in 17a though once I had checkers, answer was obvious. Got the answer to 23a but assumed this was how a Scot would pronounce ‘cost’ – I’m not very good at accents! – so didn’t look any further to find anagram… Many thanks to setter & to Gazza for confirmation of my ‘iffy’ answers. And special thanks to CrypticSue – have just started the Toughie and thought possible that slightly different wording for 3d & 4d meant it was a particularly cleverly constructed double answer clue!

  33. Awful. Like pulling teeth. We’re supposed to smile ? when we see an answer, not say “well I suppose it must be (for example) BAR STOOL”. Must try harder.

  34. OK. No quibbles with any of the clues, they were straightforward enough, but no sparkle for me. I did like 6d, I thought it was clever and when I saw it, there was a minor upturning of the lips and a tiny snort.Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for a pinpoint review. 2*/2*

      1. So would you, if you’d just drunk a whole bottle of Campari straight.
        PS I’ve no idea why I’m now a pink person (?). If I wore MP’s suit and stood against a side of Spam, you’d never see me

  35. First pass at this one and threw it aside barely scratched. Hating to be defeated, took another look and made some progress. Finished bar 9a which I had as AMORTISE which fitted but did not make sense.
    I think this crossword has been a bit maligned by the crew. It was a bit clunky and not high on the entertainment side. It was better than deep-cleaning the shower though.

  36. Well. I am still at the stage where I think its wonderful and enjoyable if I can do it at all! And I did today, only having to consult Big Dave for 6d, which I thought really funny! (Did use the thesaurus also, though).

  37. I am the same candida. And it’s nice to have some company in the “at least three days” later slot :D
    I enjoyed this. As is usual with me, there were a couple where I felt the solution didn’t quite fit the definition but I’m getting used to be a little less precise :)
    Completed all bar two on the first day. 6d and 7d were my last two in. Both finally came to me today. Had a short list of possible words for the second part and a huge long list of possible words for the first part and about half way through my second list I came upon the correct combination ;)
    Favourite is 13a and rating is 3*/3* .

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