DT 27911

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27911

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty 0.5*Enjoyment **

This puzzle was published on 19th September 2015

I feel very sorry for the poor postman who has to lug all the entries for the Prize Puzzle this week into Telegraph Towers,  as it was so straightforward that the number of  hopeful entrants  must have gone through the roof.   (Before anyone says that ‘it’s just you’, I have emails which prove that it isn’t.)

I had also made the mistake of looking at a post on the Comments page before I  went out to buy the paper, which meant that instead of wondering as I went along if it was going to be ‘one of them’ – a Pangram – I  knew I’d need all the letters of the alphabet before I’d even read a single clue.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a           English girl after fine felt hat (6)
FEDORA –   F (fine) E (English) DORA (girl).

5a           Choose randomly from all the players, a great many (4,4)
CAST LOTS –   CAST (all the players in a theatrical production) LOTS (a great many).

9a           Arrived a short time ago with patient, as a precaution (4,2,4)
JUST IN CASE –   JUST IN (arrived a short time ago) CASE (medical patient).

10a         Departs with peculiar revolving cylinder (4)
DRUM –   D (abbreviation for departs) RUM (peculiar).

11a         One inhibited by noisy petitioner (8)
CLAIMANT – I (one) inhibited by or inserted into CLAMANT (noisy).

12a         German writer leaves short article (6)
GOETHE –   GOE (almost all (short) of GOES (leaves) ) THE (definite article).

13a         Strength of character seen in ‘Educating Rita’ (4)
GRIT –   Hidden (seen) in educatinG RITa

15a         Granddaughter, perhaps, beginning to read? Joy (8)
RELATION –   R (the beginning of Read) ELATION (joy).

18a         Cicero, unexpectedly concerned with government by force (8)
COERCION –   An anagram (unexpectedly) of CICERO (crosswordland’s orator of the month) followed by ON (concerned with).

19a         Cross about new flirtatious woman (4)
MINX –   MIX (cross) ‘goes about’ N (new).

21a         Provoke  pointer (6)
NEEDLE –   A verb meaning to provoke or a type of pointer.

23a         Explosive article penned by unbalanced evil lot (8)
VOLATILE –   A (indefinite article) penned by or inserted into an anagram (unbalanced) of EVIL LOT.

25a         Element unknown in Cape (4)
ZINC – Z (mathematical unknown) IN (from the clue) C (cape).

26a         A brown rat scuttled across old vessel (10)
NARROWBOAT –   An anagram (scuttled) of A BROWN RAT goes ‘across’ O (old).

27a         Commercial during flight conveys adventure (8)
ESCAPADE – AD (advertisement, commercial) inserted into (during) ESCAPE (flight).

28a         Deal with adversary, ultimately making pact (6)
TREATY –   TREAT (deal with) plus the ‘ultimate’ letter of adversarY.


2d           Peer in uniform (5)
EQUAL –   A peer or person of the same ability or status or an adverb meaning uniform.

3d           Clothing supplier elsewhere more suitable (9)
OUTFITTER –   OUT (elsewhere) FITTER (more suitable).

4d           Regular publication by university breaking record (6)
ANNUAL – U (university) breaking ANNAL (record).

5d           Servant preached, possibly giving one this? (7,3,5)
CHAPTER AND VERSE – An anagram (possibly) of SERVANT PREACHED.

6d           Son leaving out du Maurier character (8)
SVENGALI –   No, not Daphne, but her grandfather George du Maurier, whose novel Trilby includes the character SVENGALI –   S (son) followed by an anagram (out) of LEAVING.

7d           Shelf where there’s incomplete book of accounts (5)
LEDGE –   Almost all of (incomplete) a LEDGER (book of accounts).

8d           Try  to land (9)
TOUCHDOWN –  Given that there is rugby everywhere at the moment, I suppose one clue had to reference it. Touching of the ball to the ground by a player behind the try-line or the act of landing of an air or spacecraft.

14d         Castles surrounding lake where birds nest (9)
ROOKERIES –   ROOKS (the chess pieces that look like little castles) surrounding Lake ERIE.

16d         Programme I came across in piece of furniture (9)
TIMETABLE –   Insert I MET (I came across) into TABLE (piece of furniture).

17d         Hot part of Europe, including Northern Ireland once? (8)
HIBERNIA – H (hot) IBERIA (part of Europe) with N (including Northern) inserted.

20d         Capone has greatest following? Not quite (6)
ALMOST –   AL (Mr Capone the gangster) followed by MOST (greatest).

22d         Holiday home in Grenada, charming (5)
DACHA – A Russian country house or cottage is found inside Grena DA CHArming.

24d         Smallest tail of mice put in at the end (5)
LEAST –   The ‘tail’ of mice –  E – inserted into LAST (at the end).




  1. gazza
    Posted September 25, 2015 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    If the Prize Puzzle is meant to allow the greatest possible number of solvers to complete it then this was probably very successful. However, I do think that a broadsheet newspaper’s Prize Puzzle should pose a bit more of a challenge. That doesn’t mean that it has to be a Toughie but a puzzle such as the ones that Jay gives us every Wednesday, say, would surely be a bit more interesting, not just for solvers but for crypticsue and Gnomethang who produce the full reviews.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to CS for the write-up. Best clue for me was 9a.

  2. Bazza
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    I’m running well behind on the prize crossword its March 2016 and I’m only doing a September 2015 crossword so I think any comments will be safe. This is the hardest prize crossword I’ve done for ages. I don’t know how it could be rated at point 5 of a percent. Anyway keep up the good work.

    • Posted March 8, 2016 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Bazza

      The rating given by Crypticsue is 0.5 out of 5, which is not quite the same as 0.5 out of 100!