DT 27920 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27920

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27920

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Last weekend we put our clocks forward 1 hour. The first Godwits arrived from Alaska a few days ago. There are clutches of new ducklings on the ponds beside our usual walking path. Spring has arrived!
Jay up to his usual high standard again today.
And we have had a very anxious few hours as we could not access the site to post this. Someone somewhere must have worked some magic and it all works again. Phew.

Please leave a comment telling us your thoughts.


1a     Light diversion forcing father into response (10)
REFRACTION : The two letter abbreviation for a religious father is included in a word for a response.

6a     Fare available for soldiers out without protection? (4)
MENU : A general term for non-commissioned soldiers and then the middle letter (without protection) of out.

9a     Converted coach without one must get criticised (10)
TRANSLATED : Remove the Roman one from a synonym for coach and add a word meaning severely criticised.

10a     British Standard applied to Golden Globes (4)
ORBS : The abbreviation for British Standard follows the heraldic word for golden.

12a     Raise tail (4)
REAR : Double definition. The first could apply to a family perhaps.

13a     Cool girl fans do badly with no end of potential (9)
SANGFROID : Cool here is a noun and is an anagram (badly) of GIRL FANS DO after the last letter of potential has been removed.

15a     Error to turn right — next to that is where plants are trained (8)
ESPALIER : Reverse (turn) a word meaning an error, then the abbreviation of the Latin ‘that is’ and finish with R(ight).

16a     Inscription, say, included in loan (6)
LEGEND : The abbreviation of the Latin ‘say’ or ‘for example’ is inside a verb meaning to loan.

18a     Part of salad plate given to artist (6)
RADISH : A member of the Royal Academy precedes a synonym for a plate.

20a     TV programme about bowlers, perhaps, who must develop (4,4)
CHAT SHOW : The one letter abbreviation of the Latin word meaning ‘about’, then what bowlers are an example of, followed by an anagram (must develop) of WHO.

23a     Person lying falsifed heat burns (9)
SUNBATHER : This person is prone rather than telling porkies and is an anagram (falsified) of HEAT BURNS.

24a     Sort of party involved in floor gymnastics? (4)
ORGY : Hidden in the clue.

26a     Troubles caused by factories starting late (4)
ILLS : These could be ‘dark satanic’ factories without the first letter.

27a     Visitor judged broadcast by theatre audience (5,5)
HOUSE GUEST : A word that sounds like a word meaning judged or made an estimate, follows how a theatre audience is often described.

28a     Signify agreement and finally remove swelling (4)
NODE : What one does with one’s head to signify agreement and then the last letter of remove.

29a     Maybe shares popular garb for the clergy (10)
INVESTMENT : The two letter word for popular and then ecclesiastical clothing.


1d     Rank old car with the top off (4)
RATE : Rank here is a verb. Remove the first letter for a common word for an old car.

2d     Outburst and terrible earful over parking (5-2)
FLARE-UP : An anagram (terrible) of EARFUL and then the abbreviation for parking.

3d     Unfortunately adopted by European from a Pacific region (12)
AUSTRALASIAN : A synonym for unfortunately is inside a word for somebody from a specific European country.

4d     Cost associated with football sticker (8)
TRANSFER : This football cost has to do with moving a player between clubs.

5d     Old church has brief solution for a large amount (6)
OCEANS : The abbreviation for old, then the Anglican Church and the short version of a word meaning a solution.

7d     Ring on this gong to support member of the Lords? (7)
EARLOBE : One of the ranks of the peerage precedes one of the awards given for outstanding public service.

8d     Inverted and sad after leading team (6,4)
UPSIDE DOWN : Split the first word of the answer 2,4 to give you a leading team and add a word meaning sad.

11d     Fatter, possibly eating whilst getting second opinion (12)
AFTERTHOUGHT : An anagram (possibly) of FATTER surrounds a synonym for whilst.

14d     Restraint of newspapers in region with no golf (10)
REPRESSION : A collective word for newspapers in general is inside the word ‘region’ after the G has been removed.

17d     Hypocrite pairs off outside hotel on the borders of Europe (8)
PHARISEE : An anagram (off) of PAIRS includes H(otel) and then the first and last letters of Europe.

19d     Hung over? (7)
DANGLED : A cryptic definition. Nothing at all to do with drinking too much.

21d     Sanitation of hospital eyeing reforms (7)
HYGIENE : The abbreviation for hospital and then an anagram (reforms) of EYEING.

22d     Rumoured seat of power for cast (6)
THROWN : Cast as a past participle is a homophone for a seat of royal power.

25d     Waste time showing instruction to printer (4)
STET : And we finish with another lurker hiding in the clue.

We liked some of the longer answers today such as 1a, 11d, and 17d, but will opt for 3d for pretty obvious reasons.

Quickie pun   waters + hilly + billy = what a silly-billy

89 comments on “DT 27920

  1. I found this marginally trickier than usual for a Wednesday. It took me a little while to get going in the NW corner which is my preferred starting point. Thanks to The 2Kiwis and Jay **/****

  2. 3*/4*. This was a very enjoyable and satisfying solve but it took me a long time to make much headway. Gradually it all came together with the SW corner the last to fall.

    I agree with the 2Ks’ selection of 3d as favourite. Many thanks to them for an impeccable review, and to Jay for an excellent challenge.

  3. That’s more like it. Many thanks Jay. It was great fun and just nicely taxing. My only reservation is with 13a as one word and I’m not too sure about 7d. Thanks 2Ks also although I did manage ‘by my own self’ today. South was completed first and NW corner was last to fall. You are fortunate to be enjoying the start of Spring although we are in fact in the midst of a bit of Indian Summer – long may it continue. **/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  4. Enjoyable puzzle for which I needed the hint for 7d as couldn’t parse it at all. Liked 15a,13a and 17d.
    Thanks to setter and 2Kiwis.


  5. DT suggested high difficulty, thought it was going to be easy and then agree ** or even ***. Would have helped if I hadn’t thought that the definition for 27a was Theatre Audience. Didn’t like 4d or 11d – 4d answer is not a cost or is it a very clever double definition? Not convinced about the answer for 11d being a second opinion. Otherwise, very enjoyable – fav. 9a. Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

    1. A sticker is a transfer. (Such a transfer can, for instance, decorate a fridge door.) As for football, Matial’s transfer to Man U is reputed to have cost 50 million pounds. Quite an outlay for a 19 year old. As for 11d, I too felt initially that this wasn’t exactly a second opinion, but after some thought, my first opinion was revised.

      1. But, the transfer is not the cost. It attracts a fee, which is the cost. I agree with Lee; transfer is not synonymous with cost.

    2. re DT’s difficulty assessment. Last night when first published I think it was rated 1 for difficulty, this morning now it is 5! It often changes over night – although I do not know why, unless it’s something to do with the time taken by those completing the online version?

      I found it straightforward and enjoyable.

  6. Agree with RD for ***/**** and the SW corner.

    Trickier than I normally find Jay. Which is a good thing.

    1 and 24a made me smile with 3d being my favourite.

    Glad the site seems back to normal. Perfect autumn day on the moors.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis for a beautifully written blog. Always a joy to read.

    Toughie time. Should maybe do some work.

  7. Thanks to 2 Kiwis and Jay, Canada Geese have arrived early in the South West, is this a sign of a hard winter. Favourite clue 7d just for pure amusement.

  8. Managed to put the whole left hand side in without any problems, but unlike others, was stuck in the NE corner. 7d threw me as I put earldom in, and then tried to justify it …which I couldn’t. Had to look at the review in the end. Also missed the fact that the answer to 24a was hidden in the clue. Still enjoyable. Thanks to setter and to 2kiwis for the spendid review. Off to London tomorrow for a few days. Sons are going north for the rugby, so will stay in their flat, and try and take in a show/dinner over the weekend. May have to find a paper on Saturday otherwise withdrawal symptoms will set in.

  9. Possibly the most straightforward Jay ever, well I thought so. Thanks to him for the entertainment and to the 2Kiwis for battling through the problems to produce the review.

    Anyone wondering about whether to do the “Toughie” should go ahead http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    1. Thanks for the suggestion Crypiticsue. First time I have printed the Toughie off. Have got 14d, but cant see anything else at the moment. Busy this afternoon, and out to choir tonight, so may sit down with a glass of wine when I return, and see how far I get with it.

    2. Thanks CS. I really appreciate a “do-able” toughie heads-up, especially when the back-pager, enjoyable though it was leaves me most of the day with just the gardening to dohttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    3. I’ll have a go at the Toughie but if you thought this was straightforward I don’t have much hope.

    4. Ok I was wrong, the Toughie is very doable apart from a word I had never heard of and being unable to spell the lady who looks after my eyes! Thanks for the heads up, much appreciated.

  10. Very enjoyable as usual, lots of nice clues and some fun wordplay. I particularly liked 23a (person lying), 11d (fatter, possibly eating whilst…), 7d (ring on this gong), 10a (british standard applied to golden globes) and 21d (sanitation of hospital eyeing reform).

    The two short ones 12a (raise tail) and 19d (hung over) didn’t do much for me.

    Many thanks Jay and 2 Kiwis – not looking forward to clocks turning back here.

  11. Bit slow to get solving today but gradually upped the gears as I moved generally in a southern direction ,so overall going for a 2,5*/4*. Thought that todays puzzle had a good ‘feel’ about it and certainly well constructed -a good general knowledge required,23a an excellent anagram as it worked on several levels. Would have struggled with13a without the checking letters ,liked the surface read of 7d,time for a cup of tea.

  12. Just a quickie as I’m about to head off to London http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif.

    I was a bit slow today, but I’d like to blame the app. Had to come back to finish the NW – of course, my answers had all disappeared. Team Kitty will at least be able to solve on the website for the next couple of weeks.

    I could single out many good clues, but the biggest smiles were brought by, in ascending order, 12a, 10a and 24a. Lots of four-letter words!

    I didn’t get round to doing the training crossword, but just had a peek at the pun – that made me smile too.

    I have a quote I want to dig up but that will have to wait until later.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis for being awesome as usual.

    1. As promised, the quote that 13a reminded me of:

      “Voici l’anglais avec son sang froid habituel” (Here is the Englishman with his habitual bloody cold).
      – from Fractured French by F. S. Pearson

      Also from the same source:

      Coup de grâce (lawnmower).

  13. I didn’t like the loan/lend in 16A, but other than that I enjoyed this. No standouts today, though. Thanks Jay and K2.

  14. Very tricky I thought, one had to really think on every clue, there were no easy ins as far as I was concerned. Very satisfying to complete but did need the hints to explain my answers to 13a, 20a, 26a and 25d (hate it when I miss a lurker!).
    Best clue for me was 7d but also liked 1a. Not so keen on 15a and 3D, bit wordy for my taste.
    Thx to all

  15. I enjoyed this puzzle, though I must admit I got stuck on 29a for ages as I had put throne instead of thrown for 22d.
    **/**** with 20a being my favourite. Thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis.

  16. Enjoyed today’s puzzle. Had to look up 13a, according to the dictionary the word is hyphenated. But managed anyway as it’s an anagram.

    1. I think you are using the wrong dictionary pete. It has to be Chambers aka BRB and according to it the word is not hyphenated.

  17. Mum and I really struggled today. We can’t get into Wednesday’s puzzles. We just don’t have the Latin ;)

      1. It’s always to do with wave-lengths. It’s also, in my opinion anyway, to do with expectations so if you think you know that you always find Jay’s crosswords (Wednesdays) tricky then you go into them in the wrong frame of mind.
        Cheer up and have a chocolate biscuit anyway! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

        1. Kath – re your spending spree yesterday, I hope you haven’t spent too much on my Christmas present http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

          1. No – call me selfish if you like but it was all for me! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif It was very naughty and very self indulgent but then I worked out that I spent almost exactly what would have gone on the ‘evil weed’ if I hadn’t stopped at the end of May.

            1. Congrats on stopping for so long! It takes some time to lose the desire but it does stop eventually!

    1. Hi Peta. Jay used alot of “Do as you are told” clues today which are often difficult to sort out like the U in 6ac – out without protection. Get in what you can. don’t spend too long on any clue, move on if it doesn’t click. Sometimes I get a single clue with each read through which makes finishing a delight. As Kath says – have a chocolate biscuit anyway. Happy puzzling and hello to Mum.

  18. Although some clues had nice surface, this puzzle didn’t really do much for me.
    In fact it’s been like that for the last two days.
    Or maybe I’m running out of things to say.
    And that is very unusual.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review.

  19. I took one quick read through and thought – ‘is this a Jay crossword?’. If it is, it certainly didn’t feel it as there were a few dubious definitions / synonyms – Jay’s are normally ‘nailed on’. Maybe it’s just me http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif.

    Apart from a couple (1 & 4d) it was enjoyable enough and I thought the misdirection on 23a was clever, but I’ll go with 11d as my favourite.

    Thanks to Jay (?) for the puzzle and to the 2K’s for their review.

    As everyone has said earlier, the toughie should be attempted.

  20. Oh dear! Poor Kiwis with computer ‘issues’. You sound very calm about it – I’d probably have flipped and hit the computer with a hammer!
    I agree with 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment. I also loved the quickie pun – surprised that, so far at least, Kitty’s the only one to have drawn attention to it.
    I started off badly in the top left corner with 1d – my old car was an E Type. Eventually got 1 and 9a which sorted out the car.
    I was very slow with 13 and 23a and 3d.
    I was doubtful about 11d being a second opinion but suppose that, allowing for a bit of setter’s licence, it’s OK.
    4 and 5d were my last answers.
    I liked 15 and 24a and 8 and 19d.
    With thanks to Jay and thanks and well done to the 2K’s for managing to deal with all that was chucked at you.
    Ironing to do – grass to finish cutting – then a go at the Toughie. Still have backlog of crosswords to do. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    1. The Quickie pun … I see that Denis Healey is still with us – aged 98.

      Mike Yarwood is a mere strpling – aged 74.

  21. May I just say that when the 2ks distress signal came in at BST 1.56am this morning I was quickest to reply and inform them that I could be of no help whatsoever.. Camararderie. That’s what makes us bloggers so special.

      1. 50 years of International Rescue from Thunderbirds. 60 years of International Inactivity from Blundermiff

  22. Good afternoon all.

    A near perfect back page puzzle

    ~ it was on the back page

    ~ it could be solved without special knowledge

    ~ the logic for every solution was clear

    ~ it was solvable in a sensible time

    ~ it was pleasurable to complete

    From a number of decent clues my favourites were probably 9 and 13a. I also liked 4d and 12a. Last in for me (and I expect a few others) was 15a – an unknown (essentially) foreign word retrievable simply by applying the clue’s inherent logic.


  23. Completed this one this morning but then had to be out all day so no time to log in.
    Found this a strange mix of clues I really liked (eg 10&23a) and ones I loathed (eg 12a). 2*/3* for me.
    Like Florence, I had a flirtation with ‘earldom’ at 7d and also came up with so many words for an old car that I had to leave 1d empty until I had the checkers in.
    Thanks to Jay and also to 2Ks – no surprise in your choice of favourite!
    Loved the Quickie pun.

    By the way – I know I’m useless with IT stuff but, following the glitch on the site last night, all my BD stuff is coming up in my junk mail Anyone able to tell me why and what I can do about it (‘computers for Dummies’ language, please!).

  24. I found this much trickier than the normal Jay, heaven help me tomorrow if my brain is in sluggish mode.
    I missed 20a, silly really, but I finally decided it must be the name of a Brit TV show and I didn’t know it.
    I loved 13a, but my fave has to be 3d.
    Thanks to Jay for the enjoyable tussle, and to the 2Kiwis for the review. Enjoy your spring!

  25. Very tricky but very good puzzle – I had to resort to the blog to help with a couple – thanks for that!

    I’ve just updated my IPad and IPhone 6 to IOS 9 – there’s a little wrinkle with a ‘feature’ called Wifi Assist you should be aware of – switch it off!

  26. Thanks Kiwis for the blog. you both seem to live such outdoorsy lives. I wish I was in a position to notice more than the comings and goings of the starlings.We got a bit of summer at last .
    A tricky and rewarding puzzle.My favourite is 11d, followed by 23a.
    With thanks also to Jay.

  27. Good morning everyone. Yes we did have an anxious time when we were putting it all together. We solved the puzzle and wrote the Hints and Tips at our usual time and then when were ready to put it all together on the site ready for publishing, we just could not access the necessary part of the website. Initial panic, then trying without success on other devices. Next we sent out a Mayday call to all the other bloggers and sat back patiently to wait ( and to do the Toughie). An amazing response from those who happened to be awake and then others as they woke up and looked at their inboxes. Lots of good advice and suggestions were offered but before we had to implement any of them, the problem magically disappeared. Thanks all, the support is really appreciated. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

      1. Sorry Kitty. Only just now have we noticed that your name was not on the list that we used to “reply all”. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  28. Very satisfying.
    Because I had to work quite hard at it.
    Got there, eventually unaided except for checking the spelling of 15a.
    Many thanks to the setter and the 2Kiwis

  29. Hi. I’m a kiwi on holiday in the UK and had my first experience of doing this in real-time. I normally do the crossword about 6 weeks later when it’s published in the paper at home. While I’ve been a follower of the blog for years and a great fan, posting comments that much later has never made much sense. I just wanted to say thanks to all who contribute as you are regularly a life saver, especially in explaining what to me are obscure British references. For the record I thought it was about 2.5 stars.

    1. Hi Iainmcg. Welcome to the blog.
      Have you ever thought of subscribing to the Telegraph site so you get the puzzles in real time? We got into this by doing the puzzle in the Dom-Post and then discovered this site and the on-line option for the puzzles. It costs about NZ$1.5 per week with a 12 month sub and gives access to the Toughies too. Good value we reckon. Enjoy your UK holiday and hope to hear from you again. Cheers.

    2. Welcome Iainmcg,

      I do hope you follow your fellow countrymen’s advice and subscribe. Always good to have more commentators on board. I love how international this blog is.

  30. No problem this morning in completing this enjoyable puzzle. Nice to have a French word for 13a and another one in 15a. No clear favourite but lots of clever clues. Agree with the 2Kiwis’ 2*/4*. Couls not make head or tail of the Quickie pun as put nanny instead of billy for 8a – oops not supposed ot comment on another puzzle! Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis. Bonne nuit to all!

  31. The trouble with man-flu for us smokers is that after the initial symptoms have worn out, there comes the chesty bunged-up follow through. As the great Portuguese poet Fernando Pesoa writes in his short but memorable ode called, aptly, “I have a terrible cold”: I have wasted the whole day blowing my nose”. Just had to get that off my chest.
    As for today’s offering from Jay, as usual, I enjoyed it a lot, even though I found it at the easier end of the scale and raced through with only the last couple (9a & 1d) holding me up. Once 9a yielded, 1d could only be what what it was, although I would apply that word more to an old aircraft than a car. I’ve had more than my fair share of old cars and that is not the word that I would use to describe them – especially the Volvo that broke down on the motorway outside Liege that time. I used another word then.
    Among the tight-knit peloton approaching the finish line, 11d broke clear to cross first to win the favourite clue yellow jersey.
    Up with the lark in the morning to give the 3downs the benefit of my thoughts on the week. At the moment, I have none.
    Many thanks, as usual, to Jay for the fun and to KK for the first-class blog.

  32. Enjoyable overall, but 15a was a new word for me, and I don’t think the clue logic is correct. There’s nothing to suggest that the “that is” is between the other two elements.

  33. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, quite tricky, but I got there in the end without the hints. Late commenting due to attending the St Albans beer festival yesterday. Favourite was 7d, last in was 15a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  34. As usual I’m playing catch-up! 7d was my favourite in a very pleasant crossword by Jay. 2/3* overall and thanks to Jay and the 2K’s for their excellent blog.

  35. Hi. I’m a relative novice here but improving by following comments here! One clue I really still don’t understand is 27A. Please could someone explain how ‘judged broadcast’ equates to ‘house’?
    Many thanks

    1. Welcome Anthony

      A homophone (broadcast) of guessed (judged) equates to GUEST. The ‘theatre audience’ is the HOUSE.

      1. Wow! Many thanks. I had not made the link between “judge” and “guess” – feels a tad tenuous but then that’s what I guess I have to get used to. Actually, making that comment makes me realise the connection more :-)

        1. Welcome from us too Anthony.
          It is interesting to note that the same homophone has come up again in the latest puzzle 27925, and, by a strange coincidence, it is also numbered 27a . Cheers.

  36. Took a while to get going this time.
    Can’t decide which is my favourite clue – Refraction, Sunbather and Overhang were all thought provoking.

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