DT 27908 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27908

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27908

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***

The biggest problem of going to help out family when they are suffering from winter ailments, is what you might bring home with you. Please excuse us for coughs and sneezes throughout the review. An IT expert has assured us that they are not contagious via the blog, so you are all safe.
Jay is a model of consistency once again, perhaps slightly towards the easier end of the spectrum.

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


1a     Opinion shifting in spite of vow to ignore son (5,2,4)
POINT OF VIEW: an anagram (shifting) of IN sPITE OF VOW after the abbreviation for son has been removed.

9a     Confront first of teenagers with evidence of debts, being sarcastic? (9)
FACETIOUS : A four letter word meaning to confront, the first letter of teenagers and the letters that acknowledge money owing.

10a     Navigators without one must make plans (5)
PLOTS : A word for navigators or perhaps airmen without the Roman numeral one.

11a     Slight change until accepting source of sickness (6)
INSULT : Slight here is a noun and is an anagram (change) of UNTIL with the first letter of sickness included.

12a     Top place in Wales (8)
CARDIGAN : Double definition. The first definition is an article of clothing worn on the upper part of the body.

13a     Beat it around the back of house and laugh (6)
SCREAM : A word that means beat it or run away includes the last letter of house.

15a     The girl’s lying across bed with cold drinks (8)
SCOTCHES : A personal pronoun for the girl then ‘S surrounds a type of bed and the abbreviation for cold.

18a     Stand in for daughter, reassured (8)
RELIEVED  : A word meaning stand in for or take over from, then the abbreviation for daughter.

19a     Breakfast’s beginning with complete spread (6)
BUTTER : The first letter of breakfast and then an adjective meaning complete or total.

21a     Unexpected turns, but a good sign following victory (8)
VAGARIES : The abbreviation for victory, A from the clue, the abbreviation for good, and one of the star signs (the sheep one).

23a     Appear to cause embarrassment (4,2)
SHOW UP : Double definition, the second is to belittle by comparison.

26a     Bonus invested in index tracker? (5)
EXTRA : It’s hiding in the clue.

27a     Lobby BT in mix-up with elusive mobile (9)
VESTIBULE : An anagram (mobile) of ELUSIVE with the letters BT thrown into the mix.

28a     Fully stretched, agreed lapse must be made good (6-5)
SPREAD-EAGLE : An anagram (must be made good) of AGREED LAPSE.



1d     Birds must be popular wearing pants (7)
PUFFINS : Pants here are not clothing but rapid breaths and include the two letter word for popular.

2d     Bone idle new carer under supervision initially (5)
INCUS : This bone in the inner ear is made by the first letter of five words in the clue.

3d     Tickle bird, poorly fed (9)
TITILLATE :  Add together three, three letter words defined by the second third and fourth words in the clue.

4d     Loud and deep is the current (4)
FLOW : The musical letter meaning loud is followed by how one could describe a deep voice.

5d     An insect after metamorphosis, for example (8)
INSTANCE : An anagram (after metamorphosis) of AN INSECT.

6d     Nicked with no end of goods, but cleared (5)
WIPED : Another informal synonym for nicked or stolen has the last letter of goods removed from its beginning.

7d     Feels bitter about topless awards (7)
RESENTS : A word for awards or gifts has its first letter removed.

8d     Punt that’s taken by a photographer (4,4)
LONG SHOT : A punt or outside chance could be a photograph taken from a distance.

14d     Downgrade, for example, accepted by link (8)
RELEGATE : A word to link or form a connection to, includes the Latin abbreviation meaning for example.

16d     Badly cut hole in side of playing area (9)
TOUCHLINE : An anagram (badly) of CUT HOLE IN.

17d     Radio man dealing with bankruptcy? (8)
RECEIVER : Double definition. The second is the person appointed to manage in a bankruptcy situation.

18d     Nice part of the Mediterranean? (7)
RIVIERA : That part of the French coast where Nice is located.

20d     Agent, European, entered by permit, although full up (7)
REPLETE : A sales agent, then a word meaning to permit and the abbreviation for E(uropean).

22d     Parents are lost in the case of rickets (5)
REARS : Parents is a verb here and is an anagram (lost) of ARE that is surrounded by the first and last letters of rickets.

24d     Twisted women step on ladder (5)
WRUNG : The abbreviation for women and a ladder step.

25d     Regularly in Farsi, Iran is ‘the greatest part of the world‘ (4)
ASIA : Use every second letter in Farsi Iran to construct the world’s largest continent.

We’re going for 1d as our favourite today, mainly because we think they are cute.

Quickie pun   flight  +  hipper  =  fly-tipper


102 comments on “DT 27908

  1. How nice not having to look up anything. Great puzzle from Jay, gentle but not too gentle, with some lovely clues as usual. I particularly liked 12a (Top place in Wales, I liked the “top”), 13a (beat it around the back of the house), 15a (The girl’s lying..), 21a (Unexpected turn..) 1d (cute birds), and 2d “bone idle”.

    I wasn’t keen on 18d, I’m not a fan of wordplay that just adds a letter to change verb tense.

    Many thanks Jay and 2Kiwis, hope you get better soon.

    1. Hi Dutch,
      Having already been accused of being ‘loopy’ yesterday, I have no compunction in admitting that I don’t understand your comment about 18d. Can you enlighten me. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      By the way – any further open mic sessions with Dean?

  2. Took a long time to get started and engaged.
    Then proceeded in a workmanlike fashion.
    A few chuckles eg 17d and 18d, thought 21a very clever, last in 14d.
    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis for the review.

  3. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle from Jay as usual. I found it quite tricky in places. Was left with 6 after the first pass. They eventually fell one by one, with 7d the last in. Favourite was 12a. Was 3*/3* for me. Hope you get rid of your ailments soon. Just waiting for the predicted rain in Central London.

  4. Another finely balanced crossword from Jay. Just enough head-scratchers to keep me busy, but all perfectly solvable with his usual accurate wordplay. Am I alone in thinking that 28a should really be a past participle ending in the letter D, as the clue is phrased to indicate this? Either way thanks to the 2Ks and Jay. 2/3 for me.

    1. The BRB says that spread-eagle, as an adjective means ‘in, or adopting, the position of a spread eagle’ so fully-stretched would fit.

        1. At risk of this becoming pedant’s corner, I still think that the clue invites the past tense in the answer, yet it cannot be so. I appreciate that, as is so often the case, it comes down to interpretation, and occasionally having to suspend belief a tad. Never mind, this was a cracking puzzle despite my mini moan.

  5. Can’t really quibble with the 2 k’s rating, noticed the ad for NZ butter ! Amusing clues throughout, top notch surface reads-11a my favourite, liked 12a too-was thinking of a snowdonian mountain when the penny dropped.

  6. Anyone who has ventured to Iceland will be familiar with the smoked version of 1d.

    I couldn’t quite face it but my other half had no such scruples.

    Isn’t 28a normally one word, rather than two?

  7. Bit of an odd one for me in that, with a couple of exceptions, I started in the SE corner and worked upwards and across from there.
    Question about 28a – shouldn’t the clue read ‘fully stretch’?
    Very relieved that the wordplay in 2d meant I didn’t have to look up diagrams of the ear!

    Liked 1,3&8d. Favourite is 9a – it brings back so many memories. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    Thanks to Jay and also to 2Ks. Commiserations over your sniffles – the things we do for our offspring!!!

  8. Unlike Dutch, I had to look up the little bone in 2d to make sure and learned about the highest peaks in Wales until, as Beaver, the penny dropped.
    That and 8d were my last ones in.
    Favourite is 9a. I just like the word.
    Thanks to Jay and wish our 2ks a swift recovery.

  9. A gentle exercise from Jay to be sure, but no less pleasant to do and complete. No real standout clues but all very consistent. 18d appealed to me not for any specific reason.
    2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Snufflers…. get well soon

  10. 9ac is the only word in the English language with all five vowels present in alphabetical order.

    This was a typical Jay delightfully set at an enjoyable level of difficulty. I enjoyed my trips to Wales and either Torquay or Southern France but with absolutely no food on offer I cannot see how i can be considered to be 20d.

    I do hope The 2ks were careful searching fora piccie for 28ac. Ooh er missus

    Ta to all. Each and every one of you

    1. There are several other words, the most familiar of which is abstemious, but I can understand why a publican didn’t know that one!

      Additionally abstemiously and facetiously have all six vowels, including Y being used as a vowel.

      1. Facetious is the shortest word in the Engish language to contain all of the vowels in alphabetical order. I knew there was something about the word.

  11. The reason I’ve been hiding in the wings for so long is that I don’t think I am good enough to join in. For instance, can you believe that 10a was my last one in – I was trying to think what instrument a navigator uses – idiot!
    My thanks to the two kiwis and to Jay for a nice puzzle without too many pitfalls. I agree with ** for difficulty, but think a **** for enjoyment.

    1. Good heavens, Maeve, plenty of folk who comment on here never actually finish a puzzle by themselves – that’s what the ‘hints’ are for! Use them whenever you need to, along with electronic aids etc. etc. With time you’ll discover that you need them less and less.
      I’ve only been on the BD site for just over a year and have progressed from rarely finishing a back-pager to sometimes getting through a Toughie. Believe me, no-one will ever laugh at you – more likely to laugh with you when we all fall into the same traps!

    2. My last ones in often amaze me for just how obvious they should have been One clue always has to be last, just as one has to start it all off.

      1. Liked your encouraging comment to Maeve, which reminded me of the Goon Show episode when Seagoon , on discovering Eccles in the coal cellar( he had forgotten to let go of the bag), asked what he was doing there, to which Eccles retorted-Everyone’s got to be some where ! which mirrors the clue position and states the obvious, but is a fact.

    1. I’m glad that you do the crossword with your Mum. Who taught who? My Mum got me started on cryptics a very long time ago and I’m glad that she did. She was very good at them – eventually I was better at them than she was, mainly because I found this blog, but we always talked about the crossword every evening and she loved hearing about the blog. She died six months ago at the ripe old age of not quite ninety- three.

      1. What a lovely story Kath – thank you for sharing it http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

        I was self taught just by looking at the solutions the next day. Mind you, the crosswords in those days were a bit ‘iffy’ to say the least.

  12. Wasn’t on the right wavelength again for a Jay puzzle, did the SE ok but the rest was fraught with problems having put wrong answers for many. Needed hints today to sort myself out.

    Liked 12a, 15a and27a


    Thanks to setter and 2K’s

  13. The same as yesterday I took a while to get started but once up and running managed to solve it unassisted ? ***/*** Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay Loved the bird photo no not the Puffins ? Liked 1d, 5d, 8d, 21a & 27a. Bring on the Thursday Crossword! And (Liverpool on Saturday) ?

  14. **/****

    Light relief from Jay after the Toughie made me want to hide under a table.

    1a and 12a stood out as clues of the day.

    Minor niggle..shouldn’t 28a have a past participle ending?

    Many thanks to Jay snd to the 2Kiwis for your usual great blog. Hope you feel better soon.

    1. Oh – is Toughie tricky? Haven’t had time to look today and thought I’d keep it for Friday, unless tomorrow’s setter is someone I know I can’t do.

  15. This was nicely testing with lighter moments. TVM Jay. East side was relatively trouble-free but there were a few thorny moments in the West. Having ‘auguries’ for ‘good sign’ in 21 across didn’t help and messed up 18d for a while. Hadn’t heard of the bone in 2d (no doubt Kath has!). Couldn’t get Snowdon out of my mind in 12a! Thanks 2ks for bravely struggling with your maladies on our behalf – hope all will soon be well for you both. ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    1. Yes – I have although ENT was my second worst place to work when I was training. The worst of all was the Gynae ward – I hated that soooooooo much. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  16. Way above my level of competence today. Managed about 1/3. Most clues meant very little to me. For ****/*
    Really not on the setters wavelength as is often the case with Jays clues.
    Thx to 2Kiwis for the hints.

    1. Had a chance to go through all the hints and I am even more depressed in that most I would never ever have got. Am I alone in finding 10a wrong, I have flown with any number of navigators who I wouldn’t have trusted to land a kite let alone pilot an aircraft!

      1. I had the same thought, Brian, but then moved away from aircraft and remembered that a pilot on a boat is indeed the person who navigates a vessel through channels etc.

        1. It has been said that pilotage is the art of getting lost when within sight of land. Navigation is the art of getting lost when out of sight of land.

      2. I took far too long, Brian, to get started.
        Agree, most clues initially appeared a bit obscure.
        But once I cracked two or three , the rest seemed, with one or two, hiccups, to flow quite smoothly.

  17. 16d got me today ! Dreaded sports clues.I was also under the mistaken impression that Cardigan was in Scotland, I think I was getting confused with other woolly knits.
    With thanks to the Kiwis and Jay.

    1. Yes Maeve – do keep going and good luck.
      When you’re replying to something it’s quite a good idea to click on the thingy that says “Reply” – it’s just under your name. If you do that it keeps all the comments that are about one thing all up together otherwise everything ends up in a bit of a muddle.

  18. Today’s puzzle was absolutely brilliant I felt, both in terms of degree of difficulty and smoothness of surface.

    Although I liked 1d a lot, my favourite was definitely 27a. Superb!

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis.

  19. Pretty much a R & W today, but extremely enjoyable nonetheless with a lot of fun along the way. Lots of really good constructs and surfaces but my particular favourite of the day is 17d just beating 18d by a whisker. (did you see how I cleverly managed to sneak in 2 favourites there, Kath will never notice – snigger)

    Thanks to Jay for the puzzle and the 2K’s for their review despite being poorly. I hope you both get better soon http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    1. Oh dear!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif There isn’t much that Kath doesn’t notice! It would all have been fine if you hadn’t added your last sentence . . .

        1. Well, smack your legs, and that’s really not intended to lead on to a load of smut – I know what you lot are like! Oh dear!

  20. ***/***. A couple of school boy errors held me up – hence the additional difficulty stars. Once reviewed and corrected it all went in reasonably well. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks for the review and hope you get better soon.

  21. Late here today – busy. I think I’ll agree with our snufflers about the difficulty and enjoyment ratings.
    My last answer was 16d – don’t know why as, unusually for me with anything to do with golf, I did know the word.
    Spent too long trying to think of a mountain in Wales that wasn’t Snowdon because that didn’t fit 12a.
    15a took for ever – don’t know why.
    28a also took too long as I’d convinced myself that the second word was ‘large’.
    I liked 9a and 18d. My favourite was 1d.
    With thanks to Jay and to our poor suffering Kiwis – I hope you both feel better soon. A little flower for each of you. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    1. Ah – golf! I just knew 16d was to do with one of those ‘sport’ thingies. So – when they talk about ‘kicking it into touch’ does that refer to one of the players surreptitiously nudging the ball with his foot to get it into a position where he can touch it with his stick? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    2. Sorry SL but Jane’s got it right – think she probably knows me pretty well! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif
      I just chucked that one in to see if anyone would notice!

  22. No problems here, all went quite smoothly, just a bit of a hold up on 22d. Favourite clue was 28a and I liked 12a too….went all through mountainous places, then realised it was a different type of top! 21a was a good one. Very enjoyable and not too much head scratching involved. 1*/3* thanks to setter and 2Ks.

  23. Out of bed now, still coughing and spluttering, but convinced not as badly as yesterday. Have cancelled all planned activities today to concentrate on convalescence. Google had to help us with the geography part of 12a but not a significant problem.
    Thanks for all the kind wishes.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  24. I’ve deleted various comments which I think had been ‘orphaned’ – i.e. the top of the thread had been deleted. Could someone check if the problems have gone away?

          1. I thought he was exclusively the knight in shining armour of crosswords – obviously this particular knight has many more talents. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  25. The usual lovely stuff from Jay to cast a ray of light into a wet Wednesday. I particularly liked 13a, 15a and 1d.

    Thanks to Jay and to the poor pair of snifflers – get well soon http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif.

      1. Great, although that doesn’t look much like a Kiwi to me. I just hope that our very own Kiwis feel well enough to appreciate it. Another http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif to them and an “oh dear” from me.

  26. Fairly straightforward for me today and I agree with the reviewer’s rating.

    Having been away yesterday I didn’t get a chance to comment on yesterday’s puzzle which I thought was one of the best I’d seen for a good while though for me was a trickier solve than yesterday’s review suggested.

  27. Whoopee, I finished after only a pint-and-a-bit ?, something of a record for me on a Wednesday. I don’t know whether it was easier than usual or that I’m in particularly good form, probably the former, but I did enjoy it. Favourites were 12a, 15a, 19a, 17d and I’ve learned a new word in 2d. Now for the rest of that pint…

  28. Just a quick ‘Hi’ to TS when you drop in. Glad to hear that you had a good time cruising – bet you’re none too happy to be back with the land-lubbers (particularly the late night drunken ones on the underground!).
    Loved your story about the lady with her Diet Coke!

    1. Thanks Jane, although I must add that Scotland is not the culinary wilderness that I may have inadvertently suggested. Arbroath smokies, proper salmon, Aberdeen Angus beef, raspberries, the finest marmalade and, not least, the finest spirits in the world. Off to sample some of the latter right now.

  29. I’m getting to the point where Jay may be my favourite back-page setter. Another stunning crossword today. Not hard, but beautifully constructed and just the thing to round off a dismal day. God, did I get wet on the weary trudge to and from the station. While this was not a R&W, it came close. I liked too many to pick a favourite, but 15a would certainly be in the running. I have 25 minutes of live radio to do in eight hours’ time and I have, as yet, no idea what to talk about (apart from Comrade Corbyn). The dilemma is: do I go to bed now and get as much shut-eye as possible, or stay up making notes? Hmmm. Goodnight all, I’ll wing it in the morning

  30. Hello, first time here.

    I managed most of this myself, but needed a helping hand on a couple.

    I would never have got 15a by myself. I wanted a better definition than ‘drinks’ for a word that nobody uses – particularly in plural!

    Same with 13a. I don’t see that as a synonym for laugh. Maybe * with laughter.

    22d – Is that a fair anagram indicator?

    6d – What purpose does ‘but’ play in the clue? It seems only to be there for the surface. I thought all words had to be used?

    I think my favourite were 17d and 18d, and I was very pleased when I got 12a.

    1. Welcome from us too Rich. We are just getting out of bed here and noticed you comment but Gazza was able to rescue you from ‘moderation’.

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