DT 27901

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27901

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

This is an enjoyable puzzle with just about the right level of difficulty for a back-pager early in the week. Agree or not? In either case do let us know what you thought of it and how you got on.

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 Fancy the Parisian coming over, for example with soldier (7)
ELEGANT – reverse one of the words used in Paris for ‘the’ and add the abbreviation meaning ‘for example’ and our usual soldier insect.

5a Tilted Sally’s mouth — dental upset (7)
SLANTED – the opening letter (mouth) of Sally followed by an anagram (upset) of DENTAL.

9a Cocoa, stale sandwiches: description of Skegness? (7)
COASTAL – the setter must have had some unexciting times in Skegness. The answer is hidden (sandwiches) in the clue.

10a Leave bags? (7)
LUGGAGE – gentle cryptic definition of the bags you take with you when going on leave.

11a Truth from headteacher on the radio (9)
PRINCIPLE – this sounds (on the radio) like a head teacher.

12a This compiler set fantastic answers (5)
MEETS – the objective pronoun that the compiler would use for himself or herself followed by an anagram (fantastic) of SET.

13a Second bird’s tail (5)
STERN – the abbreviation for second and a seabird.

15a Assembled dogs are in, barking (9)
ORGANISED – an anagram (barking) of DOGS ARE IN.

17a Total to exhibit, we hear, in an unknown place (9)
SOMEWHERE – what sounds like a total or aggregate is followed by what sounds like a verb to exhibit (a facial expression, for example).

19a One meekly follows the woman and weeps regularly (5)
SHEEP – a feminine pronoun (the woman) followed by regularly selected letters from ‘weeps’.

22a Cushy start to paper round (5)
PLUMP – an adjective meaning cushy or choice followed by the starting letter of paper.

23a Cleaner put off fellow (9)
DETERGENT – split the answer 5,4 and it could mean to put off fellow.

25a Sea creature company sent back to kill us (7)
OCTOPUS – reverse the abbreviation for company and add an informal verb to kill and US (from the clue).

26a Former lover, male, seen in bay, possibly desperate (7)
EXTREME – start with the short word for a former lover then insert M(ale) into what bay is an evergreen example of.

27a Old shrub left by yard (7)
ELDERLY – a type of shrub (the berries of which can be used to make jelly or wine) followed by the abbreviations for left and yard.

28a Before you can say Jack Robinson  in an offhand manner (7)
SHORTLY – two meanings, the second meaning in an offhand manner or brusquely.

Down Clues

1d Flees from larks, avoiding flier? (7)
ESCAPES – start with a word for larks or capers and remove the abbreviated word for a flier or promotional leaflet.

2d Dig into pit after picking up tool for cutting (7)
EXAMINE – a pit or excavation comes after the reversal (picking up, in a down clue) of a cutting tool.

3d Old Greek‘s room (5)
ATTIC – double definition, the first being the dialect of ancient Greek once used in Athens.

4d Call box fake? Not quite (9)
TELEPHONE – charade of the abbreviated form of the word for the box or apparatus in the corner of the room and an adjective meaning fake or fraudulent without its last letter (not quite).

5d Find the answer to one in five? On the contrary (5)
SOLVE – on the contrary means insert the Roman numeral for five into an adjective meaning one or only.

6d Fights ain’t about glue sniffing, initially (9)
ARGUMENTS – a less informal way of saying “ain’t” contains another word for glue or adhesive. We finish with the initial letter of sniffing.

7d Time to go over French composer’s passages (7)
TRAVELS – the abbreviation for time precedes (to go over, in a down clue) a French composer plus the ‘S.

8d Put a bandage on — doctor judged no ass (7)
DRESSED – an abbreviation for doctor is followed by a verb meaning judged or rated without the initial ASS.

14d Snapper at sea we picked up inside — you could be holding it (9)
NEWSPAPER – an anagram (at sea) of SNAPPER with the reversal (picked up, for the second time) of WE inside it.

16d Lacking energy, once sat with Greene’s novel The Power And The Glory (9)
GREATNESS – an anagram (novel) of SAT and GRE[e]NE’S with one instance (once) of E(nergy) being removed.

17d Expect drink with model (7)
SUPPOSE – charade of a verb to drink (used mainly in the North of England) and a verb to model or sit.

18d Climbed hill to pen note (7)
MOUNTED – a small hill goes round (to pen) a note from sonic sol-fa.

20d Suspicion from first bit of evidence? Men let off! (7)
ELEMENT – suspicion here means a smattering or soupçon. The first letter (bit) of evidence is followed by an anagram (off) of MEN LET.

21d China swan: ultimately tacky (7)
POTTERY – a verb to swan or move in a casual, unhurried way is followed by the ultimate letter of tacky.

23d Dirty spades put in office (5)
DUSTY – the abbreviation for the card suit spades goes inside an office or function.

24d South American city without a temperature scale (5)
RATIO – the only South American city known in Crosswordland goes outside (or outwith, as the Scots would say) A and T(emperature).

Top clues for me today were 9a, 26a and 16d. Which one(s) rang your bell?

Today’s Quickie Pun: ROW + MAN + KNOWS = ROMAN NOSE


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45 Comments

  1. JonP
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Completely agree with you Gazza. I kept saying to myself that I should be making much faster progress than i was at the time but I got there in the end and it took me longer than most Tuesday puzzles to complete. Thanks to Gazza and setter ***/***

  2. Jaycat
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Very slow solve but got there in the end. Got most answers without being able to parse them so the hints helped with the wordplay but was great fun to solve and gave me a great sense of achievement when it all came together. A difficult one but enjoyable once there were a few answers in. Even the anagrams are not straight forward with the obvious one causing me some hesitation as I got the wrong anagram indicator!.
    Favourites 25a and 23a

    4*/4*

    Thanks to setter and Gazza

  3. dutch
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Nice puzzle, a confidence restorer, though I struggled a bit with the “gentle” cd “leave bags” (10a).

    particularly liked 17d (expect drink with model), 25a (the sea creature ninja), 5d (the quirky one in five), 1d (the lark / flyer thing) and especially 16d (the Graham Greene novel).

    Many thanks setter and Gazza

  4. George
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Not too difficult once I was on the right train of thought. I did think some of the clues were a bit weak – my usual complaint of poor word meanings. But I complain too much about this, I suppose.

    2*/3* is my rating.

    Thanks to all.

  5. Beaver
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Thought this puzzle a bit of an enigma as I found some of the clueing difficult, but once underway it didn’t take long, going with George with a **/***,certainly enjoyed it. Wanted to put ‘bracing’ in for 9a,as this was the description on the old posters with a popeyesque looking sailor running across the sands! disappointed when I spotted the hidden word.Thanks Gazza for the pics-loved the Matt

  6. Collywobbles
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    I am thoroughly enjoying this puzzle although it is challenging but, Gazza, 5d. why does ‘on the contrary’ mean ‘insert the Roman numeral for five’?

    • gazza
      Posted September 8, 2015 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      … because the clue tells you to insert one in five, then tells you to do the opposite (au contraire).

      • Collywobbles
        Posted September 8, 2015 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        Merci Gazza

  7. Rabbit Dave
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    3*/4* for a very enjoyable puzzle with commendably brief cluing and nice surfaces throughout. It took me a while to get onto the setter’s wavelength but when I did everything then slowly fell into place, with
    9a my last one in (did Kath spot this one?). 16d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza.

    • Kath
      Posted September 8, 2015 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      When I first read the clue I just gaped at it rather stupidly but then saw it very quickly, for me with the hidden ones anyway.

  8. Kath
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    I loved it – I was on the right wave-length straight away so 1* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I dithered about which was the definition and which was the anagram indicator in 15a so waited until I had some letters in.
    Wasn’t too sure about 10a for a while although it had to be what it was.
    21d took a while to see why the answer was right.
    Lots of these clues/answers made me laugh – that’s how I rate the enjoyment level of a crossword.
    I liked 22, 25 and 28a and 6 and 21d. My favourite was 9a.
    With thanks to today’s Mr Ron for the crossword and to gazza for the hints and pics.

  9. Brian
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Slow ponderous and unpleasant crossword as far as I was concerned. Full of those nasties, incomplete anagrams and definitions that just don’t feel right.
    Could someone please explain to me why ‘on the contrary’ (5d), means that you have to insert the Roman numeral V into the word?
    Nothing enjoyable about this one at all for me, just a slog from beginning to end.
    Sorry, just not my favourite.
    Thx to Gazza for explaining about half of the clues!

    • Kath
      Posted September 8, 2015 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      With 5d if gazza’s hint doesn’t help then read his reply to Collywobs at comment 6.

      • Hrothgar
        Posted September 8, 2015 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        That ‘on the contrary’ always puzzles me as well.
        Not too clear I understand what it means.
        Like Brian.
        http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

        • gazza
          Posted September 8, 2015 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

          If the setter wanted to clue TURNIP he/she could write a clue like ‘Vegetable’s vessel’s in pointy bit (6)’ i.e. insert URN inside TIP. However the surface reading is rubbish so the clue might be written as ‘Vegetable’s pointy bit’s in container? On the contrary (6)’ This means that rather than inserting TIP inside URN you have to do the opposite (contrary), that is put URN inside TIP. So, the reason for using ‘on the contrary’ is to make the surface read better.

          • Kath
            Posted September 8, 2015 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

            I’d hate to lower the tone here but why change the habits of my time on the blog?! Some friends of ours have a small grandson who loves all vegetables except the ones that he calls “pointy things” – he means baby sweet corn.
            All totally irrelevant, I know – I’ll shut up and go away now . . .

            • Kitty
              Posted September 8, 2015 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

              Of all the ways one could lower the tone by talking about pointy things, I really don’t think you need to worry Kath :).

              • Kath
                Posted September 8, 2015 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

                Oh dear! I should have known better! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

    • Merusa
      Posted September 8, 2015 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      Funny, I would have said this crossword would have been right up your strasse, but I guess I’m wrong.

    • Michael
      Posted September 8, 2015 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      Agree wholeheartedly with Brian – I thought it was a stinker and didn’t enjoy it at all!

  10. jean-luc cheval
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    I had some rather long moments of solitude while solving and was totally stuck on the NW corner for a while.
    But eventually everything fell into place.
    28a was my last one in and had to check if I was right.
    Nice to see Torvell and Dean.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review.

  11. Hanni
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    ***+/***

    Found this much trickier than the Toughie. Though none the worse for it.

    4 and 16d were the standout clues for me.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for blogging. Great Matt cartoon.

  12. Angel
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    This fell into place without much effort but it was fun while it lasted. Bunged in 10a and 6d prior to seeking Gazza’s guidance – thanks for that. Several clever clues but no real Fav. */***. Thank you Mr. Ron. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  13. Young Salopian
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    3/3 for me too. Good fun, elegant in places and quite testing. Like JLC above, the NW corner had me foxed for a while. Thanks to our setter and Gazza for the hints.

  14. Jaylegs
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Gazza especially for th Balero clip ? Although I solved the puzzle it was not on my wavelength. More LW than FM ? ***/** Liked 9a & 25a

  15. Vancouverbc
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    ***/****. Very enjoyable mainly because I finished it which to begin with didn’t look likely. Thanks to Gazza and the setter.

  16. mre
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    After yesterday’s frankly abysmal performance on my part I feared a repeat was on the cards after my first pass over this one. Second pass was better, especially on the upper down clues, and I eventually finished in about three star time so I very much agree with the reviewer’s assessment.

    I liked 9a, 5d and 27a (last in and so obvious I’d entirely failed to see it until then). I couldn’t see where 6d came from at all.

  17. Ann Atkinson
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    I liked 16d, am stuck on several clues, not one of my good crossword solving days- I give up

  18. silvanus
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t find this easy (one to work at steadily), but it was definitely an enjoyable solve.The SW corner was the last to yield.

    I liked 17a and 1d, but my favourite was 22a thanks to its surface.

    Many thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  19. Merusa
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    I find I’m starting to look forward to Tuesday’s puzzles, and this was another good one.
    I needed Gazza to help explain some answers, e.g. 10a and 6d, but the answers were obvious.
    We had the shrub in 27a not that long ago, so that was easy.
    My friend in Wales always talks about “so-and-so swanning around”, so thanks to her I got 21d easily!
    I liked 25a and 5d, but fave is 28a.
    Thanks to setter and to Gazza for his review.

  20. Una
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Gazza for the review, I must have been on the right wavelength, as I found there weren’t too many problems.I raked by brains trying to think of a temperature scale which begins with “R”.
    A fun if light puzzle, so thanks to the setter.

  21. Hamble Ferryman
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Up in the big smoke today so had a chance to work on this on the train. Apart from a couple of clues where I had no idea why the answer should be what I had put down (eg 16d), a very enjoyable puzzle for me. many thanks to the setter and Gazza for the review (and explanation of 16d!) ***/***

  22. Salty Dog
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Just into 2* time, and l found a few of the definitions slightly stretched. 2*/2.5* on balance. No real favourite clue, l’m afraid. Still, thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza.

  23. KiwiColin
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    1a pretty much describes how I found this puzzle. A good level of difficulty, brief clues with no wasted words and plenty to keep me smiling. What more could one ask for.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

    • Kath
      Posted September 8, 2015 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  24. Hrothgar
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Nice puzzle which I slowly ploughed through unaided.
    Apart from a minor query, above.
    Last in SE corner.
    Many thanks to the setter, and to Gazza for the review.

  25. Jon_S
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    As ever, I completed the Tuesday puzzle in about a third of the time as the Monday one, and enjoyed it much more. Horses for courses and all that…

  26. Claris
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Liked it! Not one of those that gets you holed up in a corner for ages – nice and flowing. Which was what I needed, as I was very tired first thing. Thanks!

  27. Kitty
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed today’s crossword. It didn’t put up too much of a fight but remained interesting. My picks include 12a, 13a, 19a, 26a and 18d.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza.

  28. Heno
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review and hints. A nice puzzle, some clues made me think. Favourite was 4d. Was 3*/3* for me. Back in the Smoke now after a great week in Cumbria.

  29. Florence
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    2*/4* for this enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to setter and to Gazza. Took a little while to get the old brain cells working again.

  30. Tstrummer
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    After the opprobrium heaped upon me yesterday for daring to eat a gammon steak with pineapple (no, no Liebfraumilch, prawn cocktail or Black Forest gateau), dinner tonight comprised goulash with broccoli and potatoes, and chopped mango, pear and pineapple in yoghurt for pudding, preceded by a large glass of Fino and accompanied by a pint of London Pride. We may, Pommers, have known how to live in the 60s, but some of us still do. Crossword solved over espresso and Aberlour. The espresso is finished, the Aberlour has some way to go. Moored up on the River Stort in the middle of nowhere.
    I didn’t actually like the puzzle that much. I agree with those who found some of the definitions a bit tenuous. I did like 5d and 22a (although I think we’ve had that one recently). Thanks to setter and to Gazza for a commendably accurate review. 2*/2*

  31. Paso Doble
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    Good puzzle, good clues and goodbye from l’equipe Paso Doble.
    Thanks to Gazza and Mr Ron!

    • Merusa
      Posted September 9, 2015 at 1:23 am | Permalink

      Why is this goodbye from team paso double? You are part of the blog now!

      http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  32. Jane
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Too late now to start any great debate over this one, but I wasn’t very happy with either 10a or one of the definitions of 28a. Found a couple of others a bit of a stretch.
    9a made me laugh – excellent tongue-in-cheek surface read!

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to Gazza.