DT 27923

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27923

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

This puzzle was published on Saturday, 3rd October 2015

Morning All!. I found this quite straightforward apart from the dreaded 8a which I still don’t like and a couple of clues where I led myself down the garden path or else missed the wordplay. The rest was quite straightforward with a few clues that I quite enjoyed.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.  You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five best!


2a           Copy-editor number one upset by writing fee (12)
SUBSCRIPTION – A SUB (or copy-editor/sub-ed) and the reversal of NO I (number I for One) with SCRIPT (writing) placed in the middle (in fact it is simply next to or by from the clue the ION.

8a           Large number have a complaint when It goes astray (4)
MAIL – Even with two checking letters I didn’t get this definition. We need M (a thousand/large number in Roman Numerals) followed by to AIL (have a )medical) complaint). If the definition is the whole clue then this is a semi-all-in-one clue and the definition is a bit weak for me. (think of a thing that generates a complaint for someone when it is lost – A sheep for a shepherd?). Looking at the blog I was not the only one to put this in last with no conviction.

9a           Disposed of what was left after liquidation (6,2)
MOPPED UP – A cryptic definition, but not to do with finance as intended, for how two deal with a liquid spillage.

10a         Greek character returning after short time offers driving force (8)
MOMENTUM – Reverse MU (a letter of the Greek alphabet) after a MOMENT or short time (not MO or S this time which is nice!)

11a         Went round — no answer — went off (6)
ROTTED – Remove (no) A for Answer from ROT(a)TED or went round/orbited/circled. Nice clue!

12a         Posh tie, shy, dressed up to make proposition (10)
HYPOTHESIS – An anagram (dressed up) of POSH TIE SHY and a nice spot with ‘proposition’ being an apposite definition.

13a         On holiday, with reserve in place of business (6)
OFFICE – OFF for ‘on holiday/off work) and then to ICE or reserve/put on ice.

16a         Outbuilding accommodating single wee Scot? (5)
BAIRN – We need to place (accommodate) I for one inside a BARN or outbuilding on a farm.

17a         Smart hat more than covering Mary’s sister (6)
MARTHA – A hidden word (indicated by ‘more than covering’) inside sMART HAt.

18a         Study complaint in this French place where cross-country runners meet (10)
CONFLUENCE – The cross country runners are rivers in this case. CON for study and then FLUENCE (a complaint or malady in the French language) FLU (complaint) and EN CE (French for “in this”).

21a         Rose crazy to come back with invite (6)
DAMASK – Reverse (it rose) MAD for crazy and then add ASK for invite.

23a         Subcontinental graduate’s entered ship (8)
INDIAMAN – An INDIAN (or subcontinental) with an MA (Master of Arts/graduate) inside or entering. I completely missed the parsing of this clue and it was my second to last one in!.

24a         Go to collect everything for each one making rapid progress (8)
GALLOPER – Go from the clue and PER (for each one as in ‘Miles per hour’) to include inside (or collect) ALL/everything.

25a         Prepare to shoot bird (4)
COCK – Two definitions that I have seen before – to COCK a gun and a COCK (male bird).

26a         Echoes of swan in flight appear (4,4,4)
SHOW ONES FACE – I like this clue!. An anagram (in flight) of ECHOES OF SWAN. A nice poetic image.


1d           Parrot circling an overhanging shelter (6)
CANOPY – Place COPY (parrot/mimic) around/circling AN from the clue.

2d           Put off deciding what to do with bed (5,2,2)
SLEEP ON IT – A definition and cryptic definition (what else would one do with a bed?).

3d           Irregular discolouration left in cowboy builder’s work (6)
BLOTCH – A cowboy builder’s work would be a BOTCH or mistake. Insert (place in) L for Left.

4d           Percentage rise ordered to cover area hotel employees (15)
COMMISSIONAIRES – I got the clue from the checking letters and thought this was an anagram before then. Start with COMMISSION (percentage of the gross) and then make an anagram (ordered) of RISE into which you must add (they both cover) A for Area from mathematical notation.

5d           Trendy agent’s shown up to meet lad face to face (2,6)
IN PERSON – In for trendy and then reverse (shown up) a REP or agent/representative followed by (meeting) SON or lad.

6d           Pinching the paper (5)
THEFT – Nice and succinct – THE from the clue followed by FT, the abb. of the Financial Times newspaper (or the Pink’Un as it is known!)

7d           Lavishness of couple rebuilding to house small unit for printing (8)
OPULENCE – Make an anagram (rebuilding) of COUPLE and include (it houses or contains) an EN (n) which is a measurement in printing approximately half that of an EM (m)

14d         Self-employed fencer with ale being spilt (9)
FREELANCE – An anagram, indicated by ‘spilt’ of both FENCER and (with) ALE.

15d         Staged a party and gave it a go (3,1,4)
HAD A BASH – The (first) cryptic def. is based on the synonym of BASH for party – I tried to add ‘DO’ for the same so my bad!

16d         Supports leg movement achieved by some potters (8)
BACKSPIN – SIDES BACKS being a synonym of supports/backs. Add PIN for a leg. Nice pot from Ronnie!

19d         Affectedly superior boy and girl (2-2-2)
LA-DI-DA – A charade of a LAD (boy) and IDA (possibly your Nan’s first name!) when split (2-2-2).

20d         Dicey, showing sign of hesitation leaving court (6)
CHANCY – Remove ER (a sign of hesitation like UM) from a CHANC(er)Y or court of justice next to the House of Lords.

22d         Base silver starts shining (5)
AGLOW – Base is LOW and AG (argentums) for silver starts the answer (i.e. it is above it in a Down clue).



  1. john cruickshank
    Posted October 9, 2015 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    In 2a ” writing” should not be underlined; you need it for the construction, and it is not part of the definition

    • Posted October 9, 2015 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Typo now corrected – thanks.

  2. john cruickshank
    Posted October 9, 2015 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    18a I don’t agree with your analysis. ‘flu is the illness, and “en ce” is French for “in this”. Is there in fact a French word “fluence” meaning a complaint? I think that “place” is part of the definition

    • Posted October 9, 2015 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Both this one and 2a were correctly parsed in my original hints post from last Saturday.

  3. Mel
    Posted October 9, 2015 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    16d is backspin .. not sidespin!!

    • Posted October 9, 2015 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      More haste, less speed!

      • gnomethang
        Posted October 9, 2015 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Dave. A 12 hour day didn’t help my concentration either!