DT 27938 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27938

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27938

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***

Our team is back to full strength again. The Tosca season has now finished and was a huge success. We are pleased that Ollie was part of the chorus as the attrition rate for the principal characters in the opera was alarmingly high. A bit like Hamlet in this respect.
Jay in gentle mood this week we thought and still good fun.

Please leave a comment telling us your thoughts.


1a     Tries tucking in top of trouser suit (6)
HEARTS : A synonym for tries in a court includes the first letter of trouser.

5a     Carpet expert must be in contact (8)
REPROACH : Carpet here is a verb. An expert or professional is inside a word meaning to contact.

9a     Blood group, say, identifies such a clumsy individual (13)
BUTTERFINGERS : A single letter blood group, a word meaning to say out loud and then identifies an offender perhaps.

10a     Instrument chap left at home after party (8)
MANDOLIN : A word for a chap, then the two letter party, L(eft) and ‘at home’.

11a     Settle a guest’s alliance (6)
LEAGUE : It’s hiding in the clue.

12a     Beneficiary gets to keep fine European cow (6)
HEIFER : The beneficiary of a will includes F(ine) and E(uropean).

14a     Turns down ranges after the Christmas period (8)
DECLINES : The month when Christmas occurs and then a synonym for ranges used to describe goods held by a retailer perhaps.

16a     Glove mostly carried by a theologian is allowed (8)
ADMITTED : A type of glove loses its last letter and is found inside A from the clue and the qualification of a theologian.

19a     Hang around, discarding last two bits of underwear (6)
LINGER : Remove the last two letters from a term for frilly underwear.

21a     Professional women wearing coat (6)
LAWYER : A coat or covering has the abbreviation for women included.

23a      Away leg unavailable to the audience (3-5)
OFF-STAGE : A word meaning away or not on and then the leg or section of a race perhaps. We spent time trying to work out a homophone for this one.

25a     Instruction from substitute with good system (8,5)
STANDING ORDER : A 5,2 phrase for a substitute, the abbreviation for good and a word meaning system.

26a     Concluded popular female made a mistake (8)
INFERRED : The two letter popular, F(emale), and then made a mistake.

27a     Ploughman‘s row about lines (6)
TILLER : The abbreviation for line is repeated inside a word for a row or bank.


2d     Became agitated about banker’s ultimate squeeze (7)
EMBRACE : An anagram (agitated) of BECAME includes the last letter of banker.

3d     Valued time invested in costly reversal (5)
RATED : Reverse a word meaning costly and insert T(ime).

4d     Suspect everybody returned during term as planned (5,1,3)
SMELL A RAT : A three letter word meaning everybody is reversed inside an anagram (planned) of AS TERM.

5d     Polished broadcast of discovery by engineers (7)
REFINED : Army engineers, then a homophone of a word for a discovery.

6d     Road up after parking — that’s punitive (5)
PENAL : The abbreviation for parking and the reversal of a narrow road.

7d     Exercises incorporated into speech surgery (9)
OPERATION : Two letter physical exercises are found inside a word for a speech.

8d     Dress some cut off (7)
COSTUME : An anagram (off) of SOME CUT.

13d     Story from newspaper covering light beer (5,4)
FAIRY TALE : The pink newspaper surrounds a word meaning light or well ventilated, then a type of beer.

15d     Facade of indifference for a feature of the weather? (4,5)
COLD FRONT : A word meaning indifference or being aloof, and then one for facade.

17d     Makes use of lad to support raffle (5,2)
DRAWS ON : A male offspring follows a word for a raffle which describes how the winner is picked,

18d     Doctor had to be overwhelmed (7)
DROWNED : The abbreviation for doctor and a word meaning had or possessed.

20d     Warning from French of exploding grenade? (2,5)
EN GARDE : An anagram (exploding) of GRENADE.

22d     Cyclist‘s answer ignored by attacker (5)
RIDER : The one letter abbreviation for answer is removed for a word for an attacker.

24d     Like some rivers — boy, it’s up! (5)
TIDAL : A word for a boy and IT from the clue are all reversed.

Favourite today is 23a because of its double misdirection towards cricket and a homophone.

Quickie pun   thumb  +  arch  +  air  =  The March Hare


52 comments on “DT 27938

  1. 1*/3*. I found this the simplest Jay puzzle I have ever done, almost R&W, but nevertheless it was highly entertaining.

    In view of the extreme contrast to yesterday, I pondered as to why I enjoy Jay’s Lego clues, a device he often uses, but dislike them intensely when included by some other setters. The answer lies in the surface reading – Jay’s surfaces are almost always very smooth and generally amusing.

    11a looks to me like a lurker with no lurking indicator; and I think that the clue for 21a would read better with “woman” or “wife” instead of “women”.

    20d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    1. Like Dutch I thought that the hidden indicator in 11a was the ‘s which can be taken as “has” (sadly this shows in the print version but not in the online interactive version).

      As far as the W in 21a is concerned, for reasons that are difficult to comprehend, Chambers gives this as an abbreviation for women but not for woman and The Telegraph tends to stick strictly to abbreviations that are given in Chambers. Wife would have been OK.

      1. Thanks for your explanations, BD. If only I had been using the on-line version at least I would have had a cast iron excuse for not spotting the ‘s in 11a!

  2. I agree with Rabbit Dave – very straightforward with great surface readings.

    Yes, come to think of it I like “woman” in 21a better than “women”.

    11a, it’s the ‘s that needs to be translated to “has” to become the lurking indicator.

    I particularly liked the 9a anagram ( though “clumsy” gave it away), 19 (discarding last two bits of underwear), 4d (suspect everybody returned..), 8d (dress some cut off) and 13d (story from newspaper)

    Many thanks Jay and 2Kiwis – yes, also looked for a homophone for 23a!

    1. sorry – i was trying to sort out my tax return paperwork.

      you’re right of course – it is not an anagram at all, no idea why i said that, obviously I wasn’t looking at the clue. But I did like the 9a CHARADE.

  3. Another 1*/3* coming in from me.
    I do love the phrases and sayings that Jay incorporates into his puzzles so today’s podium places go to 9a plus 4&13d.
    Not sure that 19a is necessarily ‘frilly’ – think it could be all in the mind’s eye, ColinK. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif
    Thanks to Jay for the fun and to 2Ks for the review – great cartoon for 4d.

    By the way – the Quickie pun made me smile. Strangely enough, his oppo puts in an appearance in today’s Toughie.

  4. Three really straightforward cryptic puzzles so far this week (that’s not a complaint of course) and most enjoyable they all have been too. Thanks to Jay for this one – many excellent clues.

  5. This was indeed a piece of cake but good fun nevertheless. Thanks Jay and 2Ks. Came close to marching for 26a without being able to parse it but substitute suddenly came to mind. Now no excuse not to spend rest of day (cold, wet and grey at present) productively. */***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  6. First read through only revealed three answers time to panic I thought but knuckled down & managed to complete without resorting to the hints.No real standouts for me but did like 23A. Thanks to the setter & The 2 k’s for the review.

  7. I agree with RD that this was probably the most straightforward Jay ever so 1* for difficulty and 3*/4* for enjoyment.
    My only complaint is that it’s grey and drizzly in Oxford and I could have done with a crossword that took a bit longer – now I’ll have to do something useful!
    I liked 10 and 19a and 18d. My favourite was either 9a or 4d.
    With thanks to Jay and to the 2K’s – I liked the 4d piccy!
    Might have a quick look at the Toughie but it’ll probably be just a peep out of one eye – I can’t usually do Elkamere’s crosswords – still got yesterday’s Toughie too – maybe I’ve been rescued from doing something useful after all! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  8. When I saw 14a, it reminded me that we are already approaching the so called festive season. Time flies.
    Flied through this offering from Jay too but enjoyed it.
    12a made me laugh. Favourite of the day.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review.

  9. Ummm – well I thought it was pretty difficult – I got ‘butterfingers’ for 9a but couldn’t ‘parse’ the cryptic bit – it was interesting to read BD’s explanation, similarly for a couple of other clues – 1a, 26a and 27a – apart from that it was ok.

    My Tax Return is calling, I’ve been putting it off for month’s – I wonder if there’s some paint I can go and watch dry!


    1. yes I’d been putting mine off – just pulled together the paperwork (the bits I haven’t lost) this morning…

  10. */****

    The most straightforward Jay I’ve done. But as always a pleasure solve with some fantastic surfaces. I’ve got stars by 11 clues but agree with 23a as my favourite. And yes also looked for the homophone.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis for a great blog as always.

    I’m off to play with my hoverboard because Elkamere is scaring me again.

  11. Really enjoyed today’s crossword. Took me a while to get going but managed to finish it without any help. 9a was my favourite, 13d was the hardest one for me.

  12. Most enjoyable Jay puzzle. Like everyone else, we found it this far easier than usual with a lot of R & W. 1.5/**** for us. Thanks to Jay and the 2KS.

  13. Agree nice and straight forward ? Wrong emoticon as it is wet and dank here ? That’s more like it, */*** thanks to the 2Ks and Jay. My last were 21a & 13d. Liked 1a, 17d &3d ?

  14. Since we are on holiday I am experiencing for the first time the joys of the iPad version – which could explain why 11a was the last one in – a secret lurker. Apart from that, nothing strenuous. Thank you 2Ks and setter – and a belated thank you to Pommette for her comments on Spanish car hire yesterday.

  15. A lovely easy one for a wet Wednesday morning. Same comments about 11a, I did the iPad version so didn’t have the apostrophe. Even with it I don’t think guest’s can be read as guest has. Also the w in 21a although it was pretty obvious anyway. Apart from that a delightful interlude, many thanks to Jay and the 2kiwis.

  16. Well, I’ve survived Ryanair, the M5 and A30 and got back here in one piece only to find that autumn has well and truly arrived in my absense – it was peeing down when I got to Alicante. Anyway, a splendid welcome back puzzle from Jay which was about the easiest one of his ever but the surfaces make for the entertaiment so a */**** from us.

    Is it just me or are Jay’s puzzles getting easier?

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  17. Quite straightforward with not too many head scratching moments – albeit all very enjoyable. Too many good clues to pick a favourite.

    Thanks to Jay for the puzzle and the 2K’s for the review.

    Elkamere is in a benign mood today (well, the bottom half at least) so I believe it’s worth having a go.

    1. If that’s benign I wouldn’t want to meet him when he was in a grump! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif
      I’ve finished it now, apart from one that I can’t do and one and a half that I don’t understand.

    2. Easy for you to say, SL! I’ve staggered through the ‘benign’ bit (albeit it with a few question marks) but as for the rest of it http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

  18. */*** for me and if pretty straightforward it was nevertheless enjoyable. 9&25a were my favourites. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks for the review.

  19. Did like your cross section of a cold front. Just missing the tropopause and its associated jetstream.

  20. Good afternoon everybody.

    A little too gentle today perhaps. **/*** for me too.

    Having lots of time left I was within a gnat’s crotchet of having a crack at the Toughie before deciding to take on the back pager in another place instead. Not one of my better ideas…

  21. Pleasant and enjoyable.
    I would like to point out that a heifer is not a cow, by definition.
    With thanks to Jay and the Kiwis.

      1. I was going to say “udderly not!” but did some checking, and Wiki says “a young female that has had only one calf is occasionally called a first-calf heifer” – so I suppose it could be.

    1. Since there is no singular term for cattle other than the sex- and age-specific terms, “cow” is in general use as a singular for the collective “cattle.” So I guess you can call a heifer a cow.

      But what do I know? Only what I just read – and copied – from Wikipedia.

  22. This is the easiest Jay that I’ve come across, I usually have to think a lot more.
    I had so many smile clues, but I liked 9a best.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2K for the review; yes, pic for 4d is a riot!

  23. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle from Jay, but a touch on the gentle side. I made it a bit more difficult by putting a misspelling of permitted in 16a. Once I realised that, it all fell into place. Favourite was 12a. Last in was 13d. Was 2*/3* for me. Dull and drizzly in Central London.

  24. A lovely puzzle today, stretched the old grey matter just enough. Very enjoyable.

    A **/**** from me. Thanks to setter and 2Ks.

  25. Great crossword, at just the difficulty level I needed this morning. Even so, I had to stare dumbly at 5a for a while before the penny succumbed to gravity.

    Like RD and others, I had to scratch my head to work out 11a’s hidden word indicator. I suddenly “saw” the “‘s” – but was evidently seeing things, because it totally escaped my attention until I came here that the apostrophe was missing. I had all sorts of problems with vision/brain for that clue because I kept reading the last word as “allowance.”

    I liked the misdirection of 23a, but 20d raised a bigger smile and so is today’s favourite.

    Thanks to the Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  26. Good morning all. Grey and windy with the threat of rain here so a golf decision is still pending. Seems that most found the puzzle pretty much as we did, light and enjoyable. Cheers.

    1. On our print-out from the website the apostrophe S is certainly in the clue for 11a which we took for the lurker indicator, so were somewhat surprised at the above discussion.

  27. Jolly good but very brief fun from Jay. Finished on one pass, which is a record for me. 1*/3* 19a was my favourite

  28. Just back from lunch in Oxford. I have to agree with most contributors that this was one of the simplest Jay puzzles – indeed by any setter – for some considerable time. I completed it between Shrewsbury and Telford this morning on the train, which is a very short distance and not long in duration. Just when I could have done with something a little more testing to make the journey more enjoyable.

    A rare 1/3 from me, with thanks all round.

    1. Completed between Shrewsbury and Telford – did you get off at Oakengates for a cuppa? I don’t think I can write that quick http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

      Well done you – did you try the toughie?

  29. First time to ever complete a DT Cryptic in one sitting, over tea, and fully parsed, so it must have been at the easier end of the spectrum. Quite handy really as I’ve been too busy to do any for a while. Just one quibble really that to carpet is rather stronger than to reproach. However, I always enjoy a Jay puzzle so 1*/3* for me.

  30. A lovely crossword from Jay that had several clues of distinction. 13d was my favourite and I have to confess my last one in as I failed for ages to get the Light bit. D’oh!
    1/3* overall.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2K’s.

Comments are closed.