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DT 27921

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27921

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Good morning everyone. It may be the 1st October but the last few days have been more like summer than summer was – today looks as if it’s going to be the same once the early mist has gone. This is a Ray T crossword – he’s at his most benign today so, hopefully, shouldn’t cause too many problems even for those of you who often struggle with his puzzles.

In the hints below the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the bits that say “Click here” so only do that if you need to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a            Pleasure is fantastic, possibly embracing love (12)
SATISFACTION — An anagram (possibly) of PLEASURE IS which contains (embracing) the letter that looks like the love score in a game of tennis. A good start – a nice long anagram almost all the way across the top.


9a            A soft extremity in leaf insect’s leg perhaps (9)
APPENDAGE — Begin with the A from the clue and follow that the one letter abbreviation for soft in musical terminology. Then you need a word meaning a leaf or a sheet of paper in a book which contains an extremity or a tip.

10a         Good-for-nothing compiler had line with Queen (5)
IDLER — How the compiler would say he had is followed by the one letter abbreviation for line and then the two letters for our Queen.

11a         Consent for each male before sex (6)
PERMIT — A short word for each or every is followed by the abbreviation for M(ale) and then another short slang way of saying sex or intimacy.

12a         Wealth posh left in old money? (8)
OPULENCE — Start with O(ld) and follow that with some coins which contain (in) the one letter denoting posh and L(eft).

13a         More agreeable pocketing a thousand pounds (6)
NICKER — Begin with a word meaning more agreeable or pleasant – this contains one of the two letters denoting a thousand – it’s not the M.

15a         Bunny Girl, say, with first-class tail (8)
[Newspaper version: Bunny Girl, say, with fantastic tail (8)]
WAITRESS — The one letter abbreviation for W(ith) is followed by two letters meaning first class [fantastic] or best of all and then a tail, or some hair.



18a         People circling grass by house briefly in race (8)
MARATHON — Start off with people or the human race – this contains (circling) a word for grass – not your average green stuff that needs cutting all the time but a verb that means to betray or spill the beans – and the two letter abbreviation for house.

19a         Cases of retsina got among common people (6)
RAGTAG — The first and last letters (cases of) the third, fourth and fifth words of the clue.

21a         Single female priest’s upset about nuns’ leader (8)
SPINSTER — An anagram (upset) of PRIEST’S which contains (about) the first letter (leader) of N(un’s).

23a         Jersey, perhaps, one’s left with (6)
ISLAND — Jersey here is just an example indicated by the perhaps. Start with the letter that looks like a one in Roman numerals and don’t forget the ‘S. Follow that with L(eft) and then a short word meaning with or as well as.

26a         Draw on a screen for the audience (5)
AVAIL — The A from the clue is followed by a homophone (for the audience) of screen or covering.

27a         Save someone with ice almost melting (9)
ECONOMISE — An anagram (melting) of SOMEONE and the first two letters (almost) of IC(e).

28a         Put on costume, turning arrogant (12)
CONTEMPTUOUS — An anagram (turning) of PUT ON COSTUME.



1d            Hone small instrument tip, interminably … (7)
SHARPEN — Begin with S(mall) and follow that with a large stringed musical instrument – finish off with most of (interminably another word for tip or extremity.

2d            … narrow to acute point, end reduced originally (5)
TAPER — The first letters (originally) of five words in the clue.

3d            In dissent I’m entitled to opinion (9)
SENTIMENT — A lurker or an answer that’s hidden in the middle of the clue (in) – in this case the answer straddles three words.

4d            First character with mother? No (4)
ADAM — The first character or letter of the alphabet is followed by another word for a mother which is often used of horses – the answer certainly wasn’t anyone’s mother hence the question mark and the ‘No’. I’m not quite sure what to underline as the definition here.

5d            Piece from Mozart, he’s piano player (8)
THESPIAN — Another lurker (piece from) – the answer is again hidden in three words of the clue.

'No, I don't want to see your personal interpretation of the role. Just stand there and say, ho, ho, ho!'


6d            Fantastic Loire providing room with a view (5)
ORIEL — An anagram (fantastic) of LOIRE.


7d            Noisy fellow supporting proposal (8)
PLANGENT — A fellow or chap comes after (supporting) another word for a proposal or scheme.

8d            Some underwear shows outlines (6)
BRIEFS — This is a double definition – the first is pretty obvious and the second is a word meaning outlines or summaries.

14d         Principal motor noise the French raised (8)
CARDINAL — Begin with a motor (vehicle), follow that with a noise or racket and then a reversal (raised) of the female form of the French word for ‘the’.

16d         Charged in tars’ case then left in exile (9)
TRANSPORT — Exile here is a verb. A short word meaning charged – not as a fee but rushed towards. This is contained in (in) the first and last letters (case) of T(ar)S’. All that is followed by the nautical word for left.

17d         Company present and correct finally about new orderly (8)
COHERENT — The usual two letter abbreviation for company is followed by another way of saying present or in attendance – then the last letter (finally) of (correc)T and before that last letter (about) you need the one letter for N(ew). Oh dear – that’s not a terribly ******** hint!

18d         Following motorway exhaust’s hot inside creating accident (6)
MISHAP — Begin with one of the country’s main motorways – it starts north of London and I’m not quite sure where it runs out – follow that with a verb meaning to exhaust or drain of energy which contains (inside) the abbreviation for H(ot).



20d         Deity moves around divine saint (7)
GODDESS — This deity is a female one. Start off with a verb meaning moves, as in a board game. Inside that (around) you need a two letter abbreviation for a divine or a theologian. Follow that with the one letter abbreviation for S(aint).

22d         Outburst of universal vociferation (5)
SALVO — Another lurker (of) – it’s in the middle of the last two words of the clue. These hidden answers are often a complete blind spot for me – we’ve had three today and I’ve found all of them so I’m feeling quite smug!

24d         Don Quixote’s sidekick? (5)
AMIGO — All you need to do is think about Don Quixote’s nationality. Then you translate a word for a sidekick, ally or friend into his language.


25d         Spirit raised showing destiny (4)
DOOM — A reversal (raised) of another word for spirit or frame of mind.

I liked 11 and 15a and 5 and 8d. My favourite was 19a.

Now then – the Quickie pun. This has caused more grief than the whole of the cryptic crossword. I was fairly sure my answers for the first three across clues were right. Having stomped round the kitchen muttering them in as many different ways as I could think of I was still getting nowhere fast – a quick SOS email to the Kiwis sorted it out so thanks to them.



59 comments on “DT 27921

  1. Benign, or not, I always struggle with RayTs’ puzzles but I want to take back everything I have ever said about him. This puzzle was very enjoyable and, in parts, amusing. Thank you RayT for the challenge and thank you Kath for the hints which were useful for explanations to some clues

    1. Yes an anagram of ‘is fantatastic’ with an ‘o’ from ’embracing love’ – not a good start!

    2. Yes – of course it is. How did I do that? My only excuse is that I’ve had a spot of bother getting everything where it’s supposed to be and when it’s supposed to be there. Apologies to everyone. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

      1. Nice one Kath. My excuse would be solving in the very early hours after a Sunday skinful and blogging on Monday morning when I cannot remember why an answer is what it is.

  2. Congratulations to Kath for spotting the lurkers. Fairly straightforward today and fairly enjoyable, although I did not like 15a. Thank you setter and Kath.

  3. This gave me total 1across! Very clever clues with the compiler’s usual touch of humour. Only stumble for me was 15a – I had not thought that tress could mean tail. Favourite was 19a. Thanks to compiler and to Kath for a great review.

  4. 2*/5*. All the usual Ray T elements are here, beautifully and succinctly presented for our enjoyment.

    Loads of wonderful clues to choose from, but my favourite today was 4d.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Kath.

  5. Nice puzzle – great anagrams and hidden words – right up my street!

    I got the three words in the Quick Crossword Pun but could I get the phrase – I could not and wouldn’t have got it in a month of Sundays – thanks for that!


  6. Very much a case of getting the answer then trying to work out the wordplay. Had trouble with 15a,18a and 9a in this regard and needed hints to see them. Quite clever but slightly frustrating and leads to difficulty of 3* from me and 3* for enjoyment. As for 12a I thought we had pence now?

    Thanks to setter and for hints from Kath

    1. Yes, pence are both old and new, but the “old” in the clue is there to produce the first letter of the answer.

    2. Absolutely. We had to do this on almost everything today! Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for a delightful review as always.

  7. Great stuff. Really cheered me up.
    As Michael said: Great anagrams and hidden words.
    Liked the bunny girl in 15a and the jersey in 23a too.
    Thanks to RayT and to Kath for a super review.

  8. */*****

    No idea whether this will post or not as the site keeps timing out.

    Delicious. All of it. From start to finish. No favourite clues..have too many stars next to clues.

    Many thanks to RayT for a suberb crossword and to Kath for a love blog.

    Shamus is waiting now.

  9. A fairly typical Ray T and somewhere in the middle of his difficulty range I thought. Having said that, his hidden words were not as well camouflaged as they usually are but the rest of the puzzle was OK. No particular favourite today although I did like 12a.

    Thanks to Ray T for the puzzle and Kath for her splendid review. Keep up the good work http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    Today’s Shamus toughie is worth a punt (well I think so).

    Off to stain the fences now – Hurrah (not!)

  10. Good afternoon everybody.

    I’m somewhat surprised to find that this puzzle is one of Mr T’s offerings as it seemed mostly straightforward.

    I couldn’t fully rationalise 18a at the time and the whole south east corner held me up for a good while, taking me unambiguously into four star difficulty territory, but, with a sad inevitability, 15a foxed me. Having seen the review my inner pedant is channeling the word hostess. Despite this, functionally at least, it must be conceded that the T man is correct.


  11. I enjoyed this, great clues like bunny girl (15a) and Jersey (23a), save someone (27a), cases of retsina (19a), first character (4d) and deity (20d), to name but a few. Felt like it took a lot longer than normal but that’s because I kept getting sidetracked with other stuff.

    Can the answer to 13a also mean the plural (pounds)?

    Many thanks Ray T and thanks Kath for the splendid review

    1. Hi Dutch,
      I had the same thought about 13a, but the only examples I found were singular: 50 nicker, 100 nicker, etc…

    2. I think if you talk about ‘nicker’ it’s spelt with a ‘K’ at the beginning and means pants!

    3. Yes, you’re right it is the plural for pounds sterling – you’d say something was a 100 nicker or a nicker – funny language ain’t it!

  12. Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the review and hints. I found this very tricky and needed the hints for 15a and 16d. Favourite was 13a. Was 3*/3* for me. Great weather in Central London, off to the Beer festival and races in Ascot tomorrow.

  13. 2.5/3. Extra half point for difficulty due to a pause doing the NE corner which I can’t explain. A few clues were entered but took time to explain to myself. Nevertheless a nice Thursday workout so thanks to the setter and Kath for the review.

  14. Fairly benign offering from RayT that took me just into 2* territory. Highly enjoyable however, with thanks to Kath and RayT **/****

  15. A puzzle of two distinct halves for me – the top half went in fairly straightforwardly, but the bottom half was considerably slower and needed much more cogitation.

    Some great clues, I liked 26a a lot, but overall favourite was 15a.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Kath.

  16. I didn’t find this all that benign, entirely my deficiency , I’m sure.
    The paper version of 15a reads “Bunny girl say with fantastic tail”, “fantastic” is a slightly farther stretch for “A1” than first class, and so was one of my last in.
    I liked 15a, 8d, 19a, and 14d.
    Thanks Ray T and Kath.By the way, Kath, the weather is still set fair here until Monday apparently.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    1. Yes, that held me up for ages as well, it was my last in. But a lovely crossword with some great clues.

  17. I saw in 15a that the answer simply cryptically described a Bunny Girl ‘say’ with her obligatory tail!! 19a to me would seem to be more scruffy than common but I suppose the BRB bible will say otherwise. Shoved it in but it just seemed a bit iffy. Nevertheless most enjoyable.

    1. Yes – you’re right about the BRB saying otherwise for 19a. Under ‘rag’, rather than a separate entry, it says ‘the rabble’. At the time all I could think of was Rag, Tag and Bobtail – not very helpful.

  18. I always find Thursday’s difficult ? ***/*** I needed help with 7&8d and although I wrote in the correct answer to 18a I needed Kath’s help to understand why Thanks very much. Thanks to Ray T as well for some excellent entertainment ? I should have been outside enjoying the sunshine? Ever since I downloaded some up-dates on to my I-pad my name and E- mail are always blank! When I come to submit a comment, prior to this they were always there ? Any ideas please?

    1. I find that putting an onion into a sock and hanging it from the end of your bed works for most things

      1. Not if you fall off a horse Blundermiff. Not ever. At all. Plus it ruins your lovely merino socks. In fact its like some sort of ‘Anti-Santa’ thing. Don’t listen Jaylegs.

  19. You’re right Kath, RayT in very benign mood. Enjoyed it though so it’s a **/**** from us too.

    Thanks to both.

  20. Exactly what we have come to expect and enjoy on RayT Thursdays. Not a particularly rapid solve for us. An email from Kath confirmed that she had knocked it off more quickly than we did. Plenty to keep us chuckling and all the trademark characteristics present and correct.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

  21. Trying again as others seem to be managing to get through!

    A benign Mr. T? Oh yes, but none the less enjoyable for that. Full of his trademarks and just delightful.
    Taking time to sort out the 27a anagram and a quick conversation with Mr. Google about Don Quixote pushed me just above the 1* for timing but definitely into 5* territory for enjoyment (OK, I know I’m biased!).
    Podium list reads 9,18& 19a plus 14d.

    Devotions to Mr. T and many thanks to Kath for a great blog. Loved the cartoons and smiled at your ability to locate a non-voyeuristic pic. for 15a (doubtless much to the disappointment of some of our gang!). Also, thanks to 2Ks for sorting out the Quickie pun – I hadn’t got a clue!

  22. No comment from Brian so far – maybe he’s struggling for a reason not to have enjoyed this one? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  23. Many thanks to Kath for the tasteful review and to everyone else for your comments. All read and digested.


    1. Hi Mr. T – thank you so much for popping in, although goodness knows how you managed it with the current issues.
      I must warn you that I’m on a personal mission to get you across the water for the next birthday bash in January. Can you give us a clue as to the incentive required?

        1. Nice to see you pop in Mr T – always a pleasure. I’ll even stand you a drink if you come over to one of the ‘bashes’ – now THAT’s something you don’t hear from a Scotsman very often http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    2. Thanks so much for popping in – it’s appreciated so much by everyone. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif
      I’m sorry that I completely messed up a couple of hints (1 and 12a) to what were perfectly good clues until I got my sticky little paws on them – I’m really not fit to be let loose!

      1. Personally I think you do a splendid job Kath – keep calm & carry on (OO-er missus)

  24. Steady solving until I got stuck on 15a – using paper version so maybe I have a bit of an excuse, it seems. 7d was a new word to me – well, I must have heard of it somewhere along the line as I worked it out as probably answer even though I didn’t know it’s definition. Not confident I’ll remember meaning henceforward either! Thought 4d was very clever. Many thanks to Ray & Kath.

  25. Hi TS – hope the man flu is on the wane? I had a look at ‘I have a terrible cold’, it made me smile. You’ve certainly made me look further afield for interesting reading matter!
    I trust that the Larks had some useful input for your radio broadcast this morning. I find it hard to believe that you really go ‘on air’ with no pre-conceived notions as to what you wisdom you will impart – perhaps our 2Ks can enlighten us as to how it is received?

    Note duly made as to the reminder to be sent out re: flight bookings in the new year – don’t imagine for a moment that you will be allowed to forget!

      1. Oops – you’ve caught me out there. He did give us the info on the blog a little while ago but I’m afraid, once I realised what time in the morning it goes out (GMT), I didn’t follow through. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif It’s probably possible to get it up online at a more respectable hour, but he’d have to tell us how! All I can remember is that he’s the London correspondent for a channel that broadcasts to our friends down under.

        1. I may have no idea what I’m going to say when I go to bed, but I get up early and put my thinking cap on. I pick five topics and broadcast live on ABC South Australia & Broken Hill at (now their clocks have changed) 10.35am our time. Evenings over there. I have a segment every Thursday in a show called Evenings with Peter Goers – he’s a bit of a star down under. The one I’ve just done this evening (and every Thursday) as a pre-record is on BBC 5Live, which is the Night Editor segment. It goes out a couple of times during the night and no one I’ve ever met (except Gazza, the night owl) ever listens to it. I know I don’t. The Australian one is supposed to be light-hearted and I can pick whatever I fancy; the Beeb one is based on what’s in tomorrow’s paper, so I’m a bit hamstrung.

  26. Just finished after starting at 7.00 am this morning. A superb puzzle full of fun. Well done with the blog Kath – a delight to read as always. Ta to my favourite setter. Ta to all who comment.

  27. Loved this one from Mr T. A very satisfying solve, with 13a probably my favourite. But only probably. Thanks to Kath for a sterling effort to disentangle some tricky wordplay.
    BTW: what is happening to the site? This is not the first time I’ve struggled to post – and now I see that my answer to SL and Jane is, bafflingly, awaiting moderation. I don’t understand computers, or why people think that Julian Barnes is a good writer – although that’s just by-the-by

    1. Just finished listening to the piece about the Dull Men – brilliant stuff, TS!
      Now I suppose I’ll have to give Julian Barnes a whirl, if only to find out whether I agree with your verdict.

  28. On the train back into town after a long day, the top half slipped in with ease and copious amounts of enjoyment. The time available was chopped at both ends: first waiting for the app to load and actually respond (it is improving at least), then unable to hear myself think on the tube thanks to a very chatty chap, so I abandoned ship midway through. No matter – I saved the rest share the rest with Mr Kitty, and his help was certainly appreciated in the bottom half. Our last in was the bunny girl, and that was down to him. Apprentice no more!

    Loved the puzzle, and couldn’t possibly single out a favourite clue. Thanks to RayT and Kath. Sorry to hear the site had problems – there should have been many more comments for such a fun puzzle and review.

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