DT 27896 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27896

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27896

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

We are having computer problems again. Our number 1 laptop with Windows 10 keeps turning itself off after about 5 minutes operating. The very nice Hazel on Microsoft Help Desk could not sort it out in 2 hours yesterday so we have a booked session with a Microsoft engineer tomorrow. In the meantime we are working on our clunky old slower PC and keeping our fingers crossed.
The usual high quality Jay puzzle once again today with a good level of difficulty and enjoyment.

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


1a     Uproar caused by American chasing tail (6)
RUMPUS : The two letter abbreviation for American follows a word for the tail or behind part.

5a     Note about counselling organisation for senior churchmen (8)
PRELATES : The notation for an afterthought note surrounds a UK marriage counselling organisation. We had to check this in BRB.

9a     Start to change when a star becomes a lover (8)
CASANOVA : The first letter of change, a two letter word meaning when, A from the clue and a type of star.

10a     District where most of public disorder comes after the pub? (6)
BARRIO : This is a Spanish district. A word meaning public disorder loses its last letter and follows a drinking establishment.

11a     Versatile employee‘s bill to corporation following fine (8)
FACTOTUM : The abbreviation for fine, the abbreviation for bill or account, then the corporation associated with middle age spread.

12a     The ultimate in daylight robbery for a believer (6)
THEIST : The last letter of daylight and a word for a robbery or hold up.

13a     Company originally using mostly Liverpudlian dish (8)
COUSCOUS : The two letter abbreviation for company, the first letter (originally) of using, then an informal word for  Liverpudlian, but without its last letter.

15a     Fish dish served with skins off for divine female (4)
ISIS : Remove the first and last letters of the first two words in the clue and what’s left is the answer.

17a     Second lieutenant locking up a seasoned sailor (4)
SALT : The abbreviation for a second, then the one for lieutenant with A from the clue separating them.

19a     Fuel regularly pinched by favourite worker getting irritable (8)
PETULANT : A synonym for favourite and an insect worker are split by the second and fourth letters of fuel.

20a     Loud argument covering a right to create litter (6)
FARROW : The musical loud and a type of argument surround A from the clue and R(ight).

21a     Manxman perhaps making one defamatory remark (8)
ISLANDER : The Roman numeral for one and a defamatory remark.

22a     Work on body producing a military display (6)
TATTOO : A double definition.

23a     Deviant from sprawling capital city ultimately needs to be accommodated (8)
ATYPICAL : An anagram (sprawling) of CAPITAL that includes (accommodates) the last letter of city.

24a     Recognises English branch of the Armed Forces in records (8)
DISCERNS : What music records used to be called has inside it E(nglish) and the maritime branch of the armed forces.

25a    Determined to follow good editor (6)
DOGGED : A word meaning follow, G(ood) then the abbreviation for editor.


2d     A foreign area with goods for sale, unexpectedly (8)
UNAWARES : The French indefinite article, the abbreviation for area and what Simple Simon requested of the Pieman.

3d     Materials most recently found in photographs (8)
PLASTICS : An informal word for photographs contains a word meaning most recently.

4d     Others worried about endless trouble and irascibility (5,4)
SHORT FUSE : An anagram (worried) of OTHERS contains a word meaning trouble with its last letter deleted.

5d     Drugs capitals are much busted (15)

6d     Smile as he struggles to release restraints (7)
LEASHES : There had to be one. It’s hiding in the clue.

7d     Run to get served up, badly anticipating a sort of pancake (8)
TORTILLA : Invert one of the slower gaits of a horse and follow this with badly or sick, then A from the clue.

8d     Too upset in call for armed combat (5-3)
SHOOT-OUT : Invert the first word of the clue inside a loud call.

14d     Pure uranium — only deal is off! (9)
UNALLOYED : The chemical symbol for uranium and an anagram (is off) of ONLY DEAL.

15d     Left suet in shop going north. Unfortunate! (3-5)
ILL-FATED : L(eft) and what suet consists of, is found inside the inversion of the short form of a specialty food shop.

16d     People not happy with fires burning here? (8)
INGRATES : Split 2,6 this could be where you light fires.

17d     Reputation‘s up! (8)
STANDING : Double definition, the second means on one’s feet.

18d     Enjoy getting up with plenty of time for purchase (8)
LEVERAGE : Don’t buy into the misdirection here. Invert a word meaning enjoy or celebrate and then a word for a long time.

19d     Writing about work offer (7)
PROPOSE : Non-poetic writing surrounds the two letter creative work abbreviation.

We liked 15d, or perhaps 18d for the misdirection.

Quickie pun    sure  +  tans  +  wheat  =  short and sweet

64 comments on “DT 27896

  1. Great puzzle as always from Jay which I found to be on the gentler end of the spectrum. Thanks to 2Kiwis and Jay */****

  2. I thought this one was going to be another really easy one as I started off very well, but then became a bit stuck and had to work hard to finish. All in all very enjoyable – I learned some Spanish apparently as I had to look up 10a in the BRB. I never thought of 7d as a pancake, but I suppose that is true!

    2*/4* I would say.

    Thanks to 2K and the setter.

  3. 2*/4*. I really enjoyed this puzzle which proved to be a steady but not too difficult solve.

    10a was a new word for me but easily derivable from the wordplay. The amusing 23a was my last one in, and the commendably brief 17d was my favourite, with 13a a close second.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

    1. Hi RD,
      Not like you to miss out on the chance of a riposte, but I seem to have got away with my comment of the other day….http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

  4. I go into the Library each day to tackle the quick and crytic crosswords in the Telegraph and Manchester Evening News. I give myself xxxxxxxxxxxxxto complete all 4. Today it took xxxxx, with less than xxxxxxx to do the Telegraph cryptic – very enjoyable, but perhaps a tad on the easy side. Regarding relative difficulty, I’d give it 6/10.

    But thanks to the setter. It can’t be a stinker every day!

    [Edited because it is the convention not to show solving times here as it may put off other solvers. CS]

  5. New word for me in 10A, apart from that fairly plain sailing.Many thanks to Jay & the
    2 Kw’s for their review.Off to clean the camper van ready for a weekend away?

    1. That’s a frequently asked question so click on the FAQ tab at the top and scroll down for all to be revealed.

    2. Hello Dave. The same day setters (Monday Wednesday Friday) are easy to get used to. Every other Thursday or thereabouts we get the pleasure of a Ray T. He is recognisable by his trickiness/difficulty, a reference to Queen, The Queen or Her Majesty. No clue will be longer than eight letters and The Quickie clues will all be single words. The puzzles generally get harder as the week goes on. Try having a ferrett around the site. There is plenty of interest and a good few tips on solving. Sod the Library though. Snuggled in bed with a cup of tea. Starts the day lovely it does.

      1. I think even Ray T would struggle to construct an entire cryptic crossword using clues of eight letters or fewer.

  6. Bippled Bunged in. Parsed later a lot of this nice puzzle. All doable from the excellent wordplay. A shade tougher than the last two days. Thanks to jay for the puzzle and thanks to the 2ks for the review.

  7. Nice one, Jay! 2*/4* for me.
    I was slow to get 2d and had to ask Mr. Google to confirm 10a – not a word I can recall hearing before today.
    Thought there was a good sprinkling of answers that we don’t see included on a regular basis – smiled at 1a, always puts me in mind of Rumpole of the Bailey!
    Others I liked include 20a plus 15,17&18d.
    Thought the anagram at 5d was well executed and 16d gets my favourite vote for its surface.

    Thanks to Jay and also to the 2Ks – your recent IT experiences are making me ever more determined to stick with the good old Windows 7!

  8. Lovely Wednesday crossword – would have been 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment but my last few answers took so long that it needs an extra one for difficulty.
    I couldn’t get 10a or 8 or 18d for ages – I’d almost given up – I’d never heard of 10a and for 8d was trying to think of a sport.
    I was also pretty slow with 21a – don’t know why.
    19a made me laugh – it was the thought of anyone having a “pet ant” – think I’ll stick to my Pet Lambs!
    The 15a goddess caused a few problems too – that was just silly, especially living in Oxford.
    I liked 20 and 23a and 5d (what a brilliant anagram) and 17d – too hard to pick one favourite out.
    With thanks to Jay and to the 2K’s – hope the blasted technology gets sorted out soon – hate it when stuff doesn’t work – have you considered a hammer?
    Off to finish yesterday’s Toughie then might try today’s – not sure I’m brave enough . . .

      1. OK – thanks – something in my head is telling me that Notabilis is more often a Friday Toughie setter which makes me go a bit http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  9. Usual Wednesday enjoyment. I knew 10A since it’s a common Latino word. 13A made me smile and is my favorite. Thanks Jay and K2.

    I’m staying with Windows 7 until the bugs are ironed out.

    1. I agree re Windows, but I sure wish they wouldn’t send a pop-up every day telling me that Windows 10 is free and I should upgrade! Grrrr.

  10. This was a pretty straight forward solve. No real hold-ups even though I completely missed the hidden answer in 6d!
    Favourite for me was 13a and overall I think 2/3*
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kays.

  11. Perfect combination of challenge and fun. South went in painlessly but North required a little more thought. Tried to find an ‘e’ to justify locale in 10a until Chambers put me straight. 1a gets my Fav vote with 11a runner-up. Thanks Jay and the 2K’s. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  12. An excellent Wednesday offering from Jay, with everything a good cryptic crossword should be. 2/4 for me, with thanks as always to the 2Ks for their top review.

  13. Jay at his most benign methinks. On first pass we got 13 of the acrosses and then every one of the downs. Enjoyed it while it lasted though. */*** from us.

    No real favourite as it’s all pretty good stuff.

    Thanks to Jay and the Kiwis.

  14. A very enjoyable puzzle with no great problems, although the NW corner was a bit more tricky than the rest. Some cracking clues! I especially liked 1a ( which took me ages to get) , 12a, and 13a whilst 20a, 4d, and 8d were also good. My favourite however was 11a…which had me scratching my head for ages thinking that the definition was ‘versatile’…so had lots of attempts at combining ‘ac’ with ‘hands’ and ‘co’ and various synonyms of fee..(of which I could not think of many) all to no avail until I realised that the fine was simply F…then all was revealed and made me smile. This was a1*/4* for me with thanks to setter and 2Ks.

  15. I agree with pommers , fairly benign.4d was my favourite.
    Thanks Kiwis and Jay.I hope you get your computer sorted.

  16. Not as tricky as usual but entertaining – thanks to Jay and the 2kiwis.

    Surprised no-one has remarked on the extreme wordiness of the Across clues, especially when compared to the Downs

    1. CS …I noticed a lot of white space in the Downs …but isn’t it just because there are 16 across clues and only 13 down clues?

    2. I did notice and counted 121 across words in 16 clues (average 7.56) and 85 down words in 13 clues (average 6.54), but I didn’t like to mention it in case people thought I was being too pedantic.

      1. Actually, RD, I put that down to being rather ‘sad’ or having too much time on your hands. Why don’t you do something practical, like constructing a puzzle for Rookie corner. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

  17. ***/****. Very enjoyable. The southern half went in first but the upper half proved trickier for me. 10a required electronic verification. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks for the review.

  18. Great stuff from Jay, as ever. Tricky in patches, but no new words to conjure with. Solved on the boat moored up in the lashing rain on the River Lea, accompanied by the smell of wet dog and roasting chicken. I like this being on holiday business, especially if there’s a paper shop near by. I liked many clues: 13a and 16d were in a photo finish for second place behind 15a, which won by a couple of lengths as best clue of the day, a deceptively simple smile inducer of the best kind. Oops, I nearly forgot: I’m on holiday, so that makes it beer o’clock. Many thanks to Jay and the IT-beleaguered antipodeans.

    1. In case you look back in after you’ve dried the dog and eaten the chicken! Finally got my copy of Common Places and read it over a couple of evenings. Much enjoyed but struggling as to how best to describe it – bittersweet doesn’t quite cover it…… there must be a suitable alternative. Whatever – I often felt like banging the two main characters’ heads together!

      1. Glad you liked it. I know how you feel on the head-banging front, but those were different days and the clash between a sense of family duty (her) and a wild and uncertain future (him) was always going to end unhappily. Like all his novels, it’s a love story – and not all love stories end well. In fact, for PH, none ends well.

  19. Tough but satisfying to complete even if some of the clues needed explaining such as 11a (corporation=Tum???), 15a, 2d and 6a all needed the hints to fully explain the answers.
    No standout clues but feel pleased to have finished without the hints.
    Thx to all.

    1. Memory fading Brian?? – judging from comments you made at the time you did know the word on more than one occasion in 2014 and a couple of times earlier this year too.

  20. Good puzzle, nothing to scramble my brain.
    Fave was 11a, runners up 1a and 20a.
    Thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis for the review.

  21. Found this difficult, but then I normally have trouble with Jay. Learnt new words 5a,10a 11a.


    Thanks to Jay and 2K’s for the excellent hints.

  22. Good fun, and not that difficult, with the only slight hold-up for me involving the SW corner.

    It was an interesting coincidence that one of the answers matched one that I’ve just used in a draft puzzle, and I think my clue is actually better than Jay’s!

    My favourite was 13a, but I was surprised (and disappointed) that “ultimate”/”ultimately” appeared twice in the across clues to indicate the use of a final letter, when other options could have been utilised. Like Crypticsue and Rabbit Dave and possibly others, I also spotted that the across clues were wordier, in fact it’s very noticeable in the paper version of the puzzle, as the font and spacings for the majority of the across clues have been squeezed as tightly as they can be to get everything in!

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis.

  23. The long anagram in 5d went straight in (half my life at a drug company was good for something!) This helped the rest of the puzzle, which was full of nice clues. I ticked almost every down clue. For the across clues I liked 15a (fish dish with skins off), 19a (fuel regularly pinched), and 23a (which had me looking for a deviant person rather than the adjective). Got in to trouble briefly entering POSTING for 19d but soon rectified.

    Great puzzle, many thanks Jay and 2 Kiwis for the splendid review despite technical difficulties, which must have been stressful when you are trying to finish something.

  24. I must have been having a dim day, because I didn’t find this easier than the typical Wednesday. In fact, I had a complete brain fail in the NE and had to have a rest and come back to it later. Not quite sure why now. All very good fun.

    10a was a new word to me too, but perfectly derivable.

    Looking at the grid now, it has conjured to my mind a story. Some 1a with a 9a. I could go on, but will spare you.

    People have already mentioned the best clues so I won’t go through my shortlist, but my favourite has to be 6d.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis. I hope the IT problems get resolved painlessly.

  25. Nice crossword, not too difficult but with a few tricky clues ***/*** 10a was a new word? 1a, 24a,19a were favourites. Thanks to 2x Ks and Jay ?

  26. Many thanks Jay and 2Ks, especially for contending with pesky laptop issues.
    Is 7d a pancake? I can’t imagine eating it with lemon and sugar on Shrove Tuesday

  27. Good morning everyone. Just out of bed and no time to dawdle over things as our session with the expert in The Philippines is due to start in less than an hour. Here’s hoping for a good outcome. At least doing the blog worked without problems on the old PC.
    Pouring with rain here so looks like golf will be off the programme again today.

    1. Hope the Microsoft guru sorted things out for you.

      I’ve had no problems at all with Windows 10. My PC seems to run a lot faster than it did on 8.1 but that’s probably just because a load of crap got cleared out on the change. Main thing for me is that it keeps a solid lock on the wifi router. On 8.1 it used to let go every now and then and needed a reboot to get it back.

      1. We are still waiting for the promised call. It was due almost 2 hours ago but has not come yet. Most frustrating.

  28. CS is right about the length of the across clues.
    24 and 25a were printed on page two and it was the same with the toughie.
    I ended up with 4 pages
    Good thing I recycle.
    At least it gave me enough space to write the long anagram in 5d. The hardest bit was to reconcile what sounds like “siou” and the actual letters that represent it.
    Does this make sense?
    Well anyway, I really enjoyed the solve.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2 kiwis.

  29. Tough but very enjoyable.
    Many thanks Jay.
    And for the 2Kiwis – thanks, you’re not alone with Windows 10 problems, my laptop is being sorted out by my local computer shop, Windows 10 doesn’t like Norton.

  30. Another enjoyable Jay puzzle. Hard to categorise for difficulty; a lot of it went in straightfowardly enough but there were a few tricky ones, either through lack of vocabulary (10a), slow parsing (2d) or shoddy anagram solving skills (23a). And I had one failure. For 12a I put “Christ” – well he is the ultimate for a believer and was involved in a daylight robbery of sorts http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  31. Hello!
    I do these late, generally, and often over two days. 20a was my favourite. 2d and 11a I had to look up – and I still don’t really get 11a.

    1. Welcome from us too. We were out at the movies when your comment came through so were not able to rescue it from moderation.

    2. I’m almost always late here too. I’ve broken records the last two days by finishing on the same day.

      As regards 11a, F (fine) AC (abbr. for account) TO (from the clue) TUM (the pot-belly version of corporation).

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