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DT 27895

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27895

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment **

It’s a bit depressing to have reached the official start of Autumn without having had much of a Summer. As for today’s crossword I can’t imagine that much help is going to be required from the blog. I know that the back-page puzzles at the start of a week are meant to be on the easy side but this did seem to be an extreme example. The only difficulty I had was in trying to work out how Happy Valley in 29a fitted the answer. 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 High-flier up for trial? (4,5)
TEST PILOT – we have a cryptic definition to start – ‘up for trial’ means up in the air to carry out an assessment.

6a Self-satisfied son, sucker (4)
SMUG – the abbreviation for son followed by an informal word for a sucker or gullible person.

10a Dull ending of secret ceremony (5)
TRITE – the final letter of secret and a ceremony.

11a Supposing that, entering important round of cup (4-5)
SEMI-FINAL – a conjunction meaning ‘supposing that’ or ‘in the event that’ goes inside an adjective meaning important or groundbreaking.

12a Long and complicated procedure investing millions in capital function (9)
RIGMAROLE – insert the abbreviation for millions into the capital of one of the Baltic states then add a function or duty.

14a A wing that’s out of the way (5)
ASIDE – A (from the clue) and another word for a wing (of a large building, for example).

15a One in clear case (7)
PATIENT – insert the Roman numeral for one into an adjective meaning clear or obvious.

16a Tout upset priest after Towcester’s first (7)
TIPSTER – Towcester has a racecourse so ‘Towcester’s first’ in the surface means the first race at a meeting there. An anagram (upset) of PRIEST follows the first letter of Towcester.

18a Awful threat involving English playhouse (7)
THEATRE – an anagram (awful) of THREAT contains E(nglish).

20a Duck taken from shopping precinct -– charge wife denied (7)
MALLARD – start with a shopping precinct and add a charge or dependant after the W(ife) has been removed.

21a Start working with group (5)
ONSET – charade of an adverb meaning working or in operation and a group or clique.

23a Bravery of everyone locked in tower (9)
GALLANTRY – a word meaning everyone goes inside a tower or supporting structure (e.g. one beside a rocket on the launch pad).

25a Customers tell niece off (9)
CLIENTELE – an anagram (off) of TELL NIECE.

26a Publish thin paper once time runs out (5)
ISSUE – a type of thin soft paper loses the T(ime).

28a Part of film is true, reportedly (4)
REEL – sounds like (reportedly) an adjective meaning true or authentic.

29a Sleep in Happy Valley? (9)
DREAMLAND – I spent longer on this clue than on the whole of the rest of the crossword – not to get the answer, which is pretty obvious, but in trying to find references to Happy Valley with this meaning. The answer is a word used both for sleep and for an idyllic place or Utopia, but I can’t find any definition (in the BRB or elsewhere) where Happy Valley has this meaning. It’s the name of a TV Series based in Calderdale and the term is what local police there call the area because of its drug problems – but is that relevant to the clue? Let me know your thoughts.

Down Clues

1d Coach tour arranged, crossing heart of Montana (5)
TUTOR – an anagram (arranged) of TOUR contains (crossing) the central letter of Montana.

2d Piece of sports equipment found in dumpster, incomplete (3)
SKI – start with our term for what North Americans call a dumpster (a container for refuse) and drop the last letter.

3d Having a litre in bar is common (9)
PREVALENT – insert A and L(itre) in a verb meaning to bar or block.

4d Endure the French drink (4,3)
LAST OUT – one of the French definite articles is followed by a strong, dark beer.

5d Violent storm encountered on the way up –- bother! (7)
TEMPEST – reverse (on the way up, in a down clue) a verb meaning encountered and add a bother or troublesome person.

7d Welsh channel broadcast a minister holding a first in theology (5,6)
MENAI STRAIT – an anagram (broadcast) of A MINISTER contains A. Finally we need the first letter of theology.

8d Info attached to cane carrying mature plant (9)
GOLDENROD – this plant seems to be turning up more and more. String together an informal word for info and another word for a cane then insert (carrying) an adjective meaning mature or long in the tooth.

9d To kill a king (4)
OFFA – a US slang verb meaning to kill followed by A gives us a king of Mercia.

13d Urchin, for example, raised to pocket absolute bargain (11)
GUTTERSNIPE – reverse (raised) the abbreviation meaning ‘for example’ and insert (to pocket) an adjective meaning absolute or complete and an informal word for a bargain.

15d Father caught in lot with RR, a suspect vehicle (6,3)
PATROL CAR – start with an affectionate name for father then insert the cricketing abbreviation for caught into an anagram (suspect) of LOT RR A.

17d London theatre  element (9)
PALLADIUM – double definition – the second is a rare silvery-white metal.

19d Bit of breakfast with chief boffin (7)
EGGHEAD – charade of one of the constituents of a traditional fry-up and a chief or leader.

20d French dramatist‘s further entertaining story (7)
MOLIÈRE – an adverb meaning further or to a greater extent contains (entertaining) a fabricated story.

22d Quality of sound from saxophonist on euphonium? (4)
TONE – it’s skulking in the clue.

24d Return from investment unknown, criminal lied (5)
YIELD – one of the mathematical unknowns followed by an anagram (criminal) of LIED.

27d Quarrel briefly in hydro (3)
SPA – a minor quarrel without its last letter (briefly).

The top clue for me was 1a. Which one(s) did it for you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: HEIR + WAIVES = AIRWAVES

79 comments on “DT 27895

  1. Yes, easy enough indeed. I thought a few clues a bit clunky – 18a for example.

    1*/3* for me.

    Thanks to Gazza and the setter.

    1. On the issue of 29a – Roget’s gives Happy Valley and the answer to the clue both as synonyms of utopia. I have no idea why, though!

      1. Thanks for that. I’ve done some more investigoogling and ‘Happy Valley’ occurs in a book by Samuel Johnson called ‘The history of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia’.

  2. More duck soup today but altogether reasonably appetising. I suppose 28a is part of film? I also failed to parse 29a. Thanks Mr. Ron and Gazza with whom I go along with */**. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  3. Easy enough and quite entertaining. Didn’t get 20d until I read the hints. Liked 20a and 12a not sure about 11a word play?


    Thanks to settter and Gazza.

  4. This left lots of time in the day to be busy. R&R for the old stagers amongst us and a heartener for those new to crypits solving. I was hoping for spider free day today after being terrified so often yesterday but gazza managed to sneak one in at 16ac. Thanks to the setter for not working me today and thanks to Gazza for the reveiw.

  5. I enjoyed this one, but that was mainly because I solved it with no help either from the hints or electronically, a rare occurrence for me.
    So I give it five stars for enjoyment, because that is what it gave me!
    After all the ghastliness of the recent weeks, perhaps there is still hope for me.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-

    Thanks to Gazza and the setter.

      1. You’ve changed your alias so your comment needed moderation. Both aliases should work from now on.

      2. I’m not going to risk jeopardising my happiness by trying the Toughie today.
        Another day, perhaps….

    1. Thanks – that may be what the setter meant but it’s a bit obscure. As part of my extensive research into dreamland I discovered that Disneyland is often called dreamland. There is a Disneyland in Hong Kong but it’s not in Happy Valley as far as I can make out.

      1. No connection to HK Disneyland – the race course is on the island and Disneyland is north of Kowloon. Very obscure. Either way pretty much R&W. Thanks to the setter and Gazza for the review.

      2. Many years ago there was a large amusement complex/arcade called Dreamland… I think it was in Ramsgate (or perhaps Margate) anyway somewhere on the South Coast. Nothing like the Disneyland thing of course….much more low key…we used to go there when on holiday as kids!

  6. Yes easy enough, except I hadn’t come across the urchin and I struggled to remember the welsh channel. Some nice misleads (coach tour, welsh channel broadcast, etc).

    I just assumed Happy Valley clued dreamland literally, with gratuitous capitalisation, but who knows, didn’t stop to think too much.

    many thanks setter and Gazza

  7. 1*/2.5*. This was almost R&W for me as I only needed to pause for thought slightly with 13d & 28a my last two in. My problem with 28a was that I couldn’t get “rite” out of my head as the answer even though it was obviously not “rite”.

    I too was unable to parse 29a fully and, needless to say, 9d gets a big thumbs down from me http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif . Apart from this, I found this puzzle a pleasant diversion on another miserable day here in London. 1a was my favourite.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza.

  8. A pleasant doddle. Enjoyed 13d, the whole was pretty much R and W. 1/3 sums up my view. Many thanks to all concerned. Did anyone else put in mist for 28a from the clue? I did, but saw my error quickly.

  9. A pleasant stroll through crossword land today. My only niggle would be 10a, since when did Trite mean dull. The BRB define trite as:
    Used until novelty and interest are lost
    Dull is not mentioned or implied. Apart from that that minor point an enjoyable puzzle with my fav being 15d.
    Thx to all

  10. I quite enjoyed this while it lasted – a bit of lighthearted fun. LA STOUT indeed :lol: It’s one of those that prove it doesn’t have to be hard yo be enjoyable.

    */*** for me.

    Happy Valley has me stumped as well. There’s lots of rude references I’ve found in the Urban Dictionary but I only knew it as the racecourse in Hong Kong.

    With thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza.

      1. Also nice to see that the setter correctly used ‘strait’. The plural seems to be so embedded in folks’ minds – there’s even a restaurant in Menai Bridge called ‘Straits’!
        By the way – do you know why some people refer to the Swellies and some the Swillies?

        1. I may be wrong but I think it’s correct (English) spelling is Swellies but it should be pronounced as Swillies and so some people spell it that way. Don’t know what its real (Welsh) name is.

  11. Far from me to become pedantic Gazza, but the start of autumn shall be on September 23rd this year.
    I can prove from the sweat running from my forehead that it is still summer down here.
    Was a bit lost to make sense of 29a too.
    Favourite is 15a.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review.

    1. Life would be too simple if there were only one rule for such things. The BBC weather forecaster announced last night that ‘Autumn starts tomorrow’ and the Daily Telegraph (no less) explains ‘In meteorological terms autumn begins on September 1, as each season is defined as a three-month period.’

    2. The sedums (Autumn Joy) in our garden have started to blush pink on their way to colouring up to a deep red. The first sign of the blush is the first day of autumn for me. |about a week ago in fact.

  12. Pleasant way to start the day – 1*/3* for me.
    7d was a ‘gimme’ for the likes of Pommers, Beaver and myself (doubtless many others!) although, with the Irish broadcaster having put in a couple of appearances recently, I did briefly wonder whether either HTV or Telewele Wales was going to follow suit!
    As Gazza said, 8d is certainly getting a run for its money at the moment. Wonder which will be next week’s ‘in’ plant.

    Liked 20a plus 4 and obviously 7d.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to Gazza – don’t knock the easy ones, they give some of us a much needed boost of confidence. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  13. Well that was a very gentle challenge! Almost over before I had really got into it. 4d was my favourite just cos…
    1/3* overall.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza.

  14. 28A Happy Valley was an area of farmland in Kenya in colonial days where the settlers led, how shall I say it, quite a racy life-perhaps the word sleep in the clue is relevant

    liked 20A

  15. Nice straightforward one today, no problems really. Just needed to check the hints for some of the rationale, particularly for 12a, otherwise all tickety-boo! I really liked 13d…what a great word that is…very Dickensian, and not often used these days…perhaps it is due for a revival? Some clues were quite lame I thought…eg 18a. and 9d was a bit obscure even though I had the answer I had no idea why….US slang is not my forte! 1*/3* thanks to setter and Gazza for the explanations.

  16. A bit more than 1* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment from me.
    Like dutch I didn’t really stop to think too much about 29a so it didn’t cause trouble.
    The one that did cause trouble was 13d and I made that trouble “all my own self” by absent-mindedly – or stupidly depending on how charitable anyone is feeling – spelling 28a “real”. Stupid!
    Apart from that bit of self-inflicted rubbish I didn’t have any problems.
    I liked 1 and 20a and 4 and 22d. My favourite was 23a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to gazza.
    Off to investigate grass to see if it’s anything like dry enough to cut then Toughie later.

  17. */*** for me. Ref 29a, I just figured that dream was a sort of synonym for happy and valley was a form of land. The question mark allowed for all the tenuousness. The clue did remind me of childhood holidays with parents to Llandudno. There is a part of the Great Orme known as Happy Valley. The folks would hire deck chairs and just sit there all day, leaving me to entertain myself. The sun always seemed to shine back then …

  18. Oh dear.
    Is this going to be an easy week?
    Even Thursday?
    Wait and see.
    Liked 13d
    And 15d.
    Thanks, nevertheless to the setter.
    And, of course, to Gazza

  19. Regarding 29 across I think the reference is to one of the Monkees songs about suburbia and thus a dormitory area where you go too sleep ?

  20. A fairly straightforward solve, although I had never encountered “off” as a verb before, but it was obvious from the checking letters.

    I thought 20d was very neat, but my favourite vote goes to 13d.

    I’ve always concurred with the Met Office that the autumnal months are Sep-Nov, and the weather seems to agree too! Although August became more and more disappointing as it progressed, it’s easy to forget that, certainly in the South East, June and most of July were pretty good and exceptionally dry (Wimbledon had its highest recorded temperature), but perhaps in Gazza’s part of North Devon that wasn’t the case.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

    1. You’re right, silvanus, June and some of July were ok here but since then it’s been downhill all the way.

    2. Off is used as a verb in India and in Africa as well as on – you on the lights and off them before you go to bed!

  21. Another pleasantly straight forward puzzle **/*** surely you go off to “sleep” or
    You go off to “dreamland” is it as simple as that! ? Thanks to Gazzer for explaining why I had the correct answer for 11a and my last in, which I still don’t like, was 10a. Special thanks for the laugh afforded by the cartoon illustrating 16a ? I really should get a BRB ?

    1. It wasn’t the dreamland/sleep link that caused me a problem, but what Happy Valley had to do with dreamland.

    2. I think you have hit the nail on the head re 29a. It’s merely happy=dream + valley=area of land. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

        1. My thought was along the same lines as Kitty but perhaps we should call it a ‘day’ – we could go on all night http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_exclaim.gif

  22. I rather welcome an easy puzzle from time to time, especially if it entertains and this one certainly did that.
    I needed the hints to explain how 11a and 29a work.
    I think fave is 13d, how Victorian it sounds, but there were other good ones
    Thanks to setter and to Gazza for his review.

  23. I went to north Wales once.(sorry jp, I once went to north Wales).No, that doesn’t work, I was right the first time.

  24. Enjoyable albeit very straightforward IMHO. New PB for me time-wise, but that’s not particularly important. Thanks to Gazza and Mr Ron */***

  25. My only difficulty was spelling Menai Strait,and I have absolutely no excuse since I have driven over that bridge scores of times on the way to Holyhead or to London.
    Thanks Gazza and setter.

  26. The horses barely stirred from their slumber, but that’s no bad thing on a dreary Tuesday. At the time of writing, “pleasant” appears in no fewer than six comments, which says it all I think.

    For 29a I just assumed both parts of the clue were synonyms of the answer, in the sense of utopia, and didn’t bother to investigate further. Glad I didn’t!

    Thanks to Gazza and the setter.

  27. A very pleasant and straighforward puzzle so many thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza as I needed some of the hints to understand the wordplay. Dreamland fell of my pen and I did not torture my brain to understand why. Mr Framboise came to the rescue for the spelling of Menai. My favourite was 4d but there were many more good clues. */***

  28. The geography in 7d was a bit trickier for us than for most but with a good supply of checkers we managed to call it to mind without recourse to Google. We also had the problem with the allusion to Happy Valley but did realise that it was not referring to the beginners ski-slope area on Mt Ruapehu. A quick solve and pleasant enough.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

    1. Hi 2k,
      geography is my failing, you colonials should just be grateful you can communicate with the civilised world. oj.

  29. Rather a jolly little doddle: 1*/3.5*. I thought 13d was excellent. Thanks to Mr Ron, and of course Gazza.

    1. You’ve changed your alias since your last comment so this one needed moderation. Both aliases should work from now on.
      It’s an interesting suggestion but it needs some very specialised knowledge.

  30. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. Greetings from Cumbria, hence the late comment. A very straightforward puzzle except for 29a, which I just bunged in. So it didn’t worry me. Having read the blog, I can see the general consternation. Favourite was 9d. Last in was 3d. Was 1*/3* for me. Had a nice walk near Dodd Summit, but got drenched on the way back.

  31. I concur with everyone. Straightforward, quite fun, no problems. Thanks to Gazza (you were right, btw, no help needed) and to the setter. 1*/2*

  32. Too easy even for a returning DT Cryptic lover after many years away like myself! 29a, I got, but rather an ambiguous correlation! Must do better!!

  33. Seem to recall a ‘Happy Valley’ in Samuel Johnson’s ‘Rasselas’. A pretty obscure text, though!

  34. i recall having seen most of these clues in previous crosswords, perhaps they are recycling some of the older crosswords, i thought it was far too simple and thus boring and disappointing sorry if i am hurting anyone’s feelings but one expects more of a challenge from the telegraph

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