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DT 27950

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27950

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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


Another rainy Spring day here. Just the weather for sitting inside and solving and blogging crosswords.
We found this one a little trickier than some have been lately so have upped the difficulty rating to ***.  Plenty to enjoy too.

Please leave a comment telling us your thoughts.


1a     A flat tablet may have this (6)
KEYPAD : What A might be in musical terms and another word for a flat or apartment.

5a     Kind female in front of a church font (8)
TYPEFACE : A synonym for a kind, then F(emale), A from the clue and the Anglican Church.

9a     Exciting times crop up on benefit (6,7)
INCOME SUPPORT : An anagram (exciting ) of TIMES CROP UP ON.

10a     Number one group gets hearty stew — or a bit of lamb! (8)
NOISETTE : The abbreviation for number, the Roman one, a word for a group and the middle two letters (heart) of stew.

11a     Warning you’ll have not so much to do (6)
LESSON : When the answer is split 4,2 you will have a reason why you’ll have not so much to do.

12a     Bristles from challenges (6)
BEARDS : Double definition, the second meaning is most often used about confronting a lion in its den.

14a     This may be served in a pub — one’s ordered (8)
SUBPOENA : An anagram (ordered) of A PUB ONES.

16a     Virtue in expression of surprise? (8)
GOODNESS : Double definition, the second meaning is often followed with ‘gracious me’.

19a     Women work after everybody gets beer (6)
WALLOP : The one letter abbreviation for women, then a word meaning everybody and the abbreviation for a usually musical work.

21a     Smells nothing serious and leaves without permission (6)
ODOURS : The number that signifies nothing, a synonym for serious and then the letter that is left after a word meaning permission is removed from ‘leaves’.

23a     Company gets at changes in living accommodation (8)
COTTAGES : The abbreviation for company and then an anagram (changes) of GETS AT.

25a     Arguing for a time with lumberjack bosses (2,11)
AT LOGGERHEADS : A from the clue then T(ime). Follow this with a word that, when split 6,5 could mean lumberjack bosses.

26a     Forestall the rest, keeping alert (3,5)
ALL THERE : It’s hiding in the clue.

27a     Strength of one fresh on board (6)
SINEWS : The Roman numeral one and a word meaning fresh are inside the abbreviation for a steamship.


2d     Unfinished heroic book is perfect example (7)
EPITOME : A word meaning heroic loses its last letter and then a large book.

3d     Takes steps, seeing note added about service (5)
PACES : The two letter abbreviation for an added note surrounds an unreturnable tennis serve.

4d     Missed tea being served? Get a measure of coffee (9)
DEMITASSE : An anagram (being served) of MISSED TEA.

5d     People taking exams put up supporters of course (7)
TESTEES : Reverse a word that can mean put or place, then the supporters used on a golf course.

6d     Student‘s dog seen with girl regularly (5)
PUPIL : A young dog, then the second and fourth letters of girl.

7d     Furniture item that pays for plane, perhaps? (9)
FOOTSTOOL : A five letter word meaning pays for, then what a plane as used by a woodworker is an example of.

8d     Share drink and consume less (3,4)
CUT DOWN : A share or portion and a verb meaning to drink or swallow.

13d     Revolutionary hairstyle that may be held in a net (3,6)
RED MULLET : A left wing revolutionary and then a hairstyle. (The BRB definition of this hairstyle is worth reading).

15d     Workers protecting women long to make entrances (9)
BEWITCHES : Entrances here is a verb. These workers that go buzz surround W(omen) and long or yearn for.

17d     Rum delivery? That’s eccentric (7)
ODDBALL : A synonym for rum and a cricket delivery.

18d     Strike viewer, showing Pacific fish (7)
SOCKEYE : A word meaning strike or hit and the organ of sight.

20d     Managed part of show as revolutionary turned up (7)
OVERSAW : The answer is reversed and hiding itself inside the clue.

22d     Go to court holding for example instruction to proceed (5)
SEGUE : The abbreviation meaning ‘for example’ is inside a word meaning to take legal proceedings against.

24d     A win? Encore! (5)
AGAIN : A from the clue and a word meaning win.

Our last one to get and unpick the wordplay was 1a so we will call that our favourite for today.

Quickie pun    decks  +  terrors  =   dexterous

102 comments on “DT 27950

  1. I was held up for a while in the NW corner but apart from that found it relatively straightforward coupled with the usual enjoyment factor of a Jay puzzle. Thanks to the 2Kiwis and Jay **/****

  2. Many thanks 2Kiwis, my eyes have just about recovered from the font at 5a.

    1a tablet may have this – or not?

    I liked all the fish. I thought 9a had a nice surface (exciting times crop up..). Wasn’t familiar with the challenges bit of 12a, not even with lions’ dens. Liked 14a (This may be served in a pub..)

    Many thanks 2Kiwis and Jay

  3. I spent almost as long on 12a as the rest of the puzzle combined and had to resort to my thesaurus in the end. It’s not a meaning I recall seeing before. You learn something every day.
    I’m enjoying a week off work, so this puzzle made for an enjoyable accompaniment to a relaxing mid-morning coffee. Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis for their review.

  4. There were some compensations for being not 26a today: it gave me three times as long to enjoy this fabulous Jay puzzle.

    My scrambled brain even found it hard to unscramble anagrams. Especially the one that wasn’t an anagram.

    I had trouble with the fishies, but once I realised 13d wasn’t an anagram he was easy to catch. I didn’t so much catch 18d as construct him: once I found a sock, I stuck on the googly eye I’d already set aside and there he was. All ready to cook and eat.

    I didn’t know the beer, but brewed it from the wordplay. Then I needed coffee, but with the ingredients to hand eventually managed to make up the measure.

    For a short while, 7d had me wondering what a footswood might be. I despair!

    One of the reasons the intersecting answers took me so long was that I took a ridiculously long time to find the virtue. Why oh why did I find that so hard?

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    1. I would have loved to have been there with you Kitty eating fish and drinking beer and coffee, with nothing to do and all day to do it in. Sounds lush to me. No not lush, that was Mondays word

      1. Jean-Luc and Hanni seem to be extending the word into today. Lush works for me.

        The grass is lush in this rain. I had a chocolate frog with coffee which was totally lush. And lish. Mmmm.

  5. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle as usual from Jay. Like JonP I was held up in the NE corner, needed the hints for the last syllable of 2d and also for 12a, had never heard of the lion meaning. Most enjoyable, was 3*/4* for me. Favourite was 25a, 13&18d made me laugh out loud. Just stopped raining.

  6. */****

    Must be a wavelength thing as I found this very straightforward. Other than checking 18d. And very enjoyable too.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis for your usual excellent blog.

  7. I really enjoyed this puzzle. One of the best of late by my estimation. Some nice misdirection, I thought. 2*/5* for me today.

  8. Re 1a, A doesn’t mean key.? Should it not be (for example):”For example, A flat etc?” Apart from that quibble, 3*/4*. Thank you 2Ks and setter.

    1. I took this clue a little differently – I thought A flat was the key and tablet was the second part – such as the device made by Apple. But just my way of looking at it I suppose!

      1. That was my first thought too George, but it doesn’t work as all that’s left as the definition is “may have this”. Otherwise the word tablet is doing double duty which Jay would never allow.

    2. Crosswords quite often have ‘key’ and then require you to just insert a letter, eg A E … so presumably the reverse – putting ‘key’ for an ‘A’ is acceptable too

  9. Very relieved to see that 2Ks found this one a bit tricky – I certainly did!
    12a took for ever, even though I did know the ‘lion in the den’ bit and the 16a virtue was another stumbling block.
    Spent a ridiculous length of time parsing 21a, didn’t know the meaning of 22d and hadn’t heard of the hairstyle.
    All in all not my finest hour but a great challenge.
    3*/3* from me with the top spots going to 25a &7d.

    Thank you, Jay and well done to 2Ks for another excellent review.

    1. 13d was a missed picture opportunity Jane. Try googling Mullet hairsyle. All I can say is there are no photographs of me sporting a mullet

      1. Also, anybody who has not done so before should look up the hairstyle in the BRB.

        Edit: Oops – missed that the Kiwis already said this in the review. Sorry, Kiwis. Will read more carefully in future.

          1. Mullet, n. A hairstyle which is short at the front, long at the back and ridiculous all round.

            1. The little dictionary in my avatar is ok if I can find it. Otherwise it’s online all the way

    1. A very moving article. What a character. Also a reminder of how people used to have fun working for large organisations while still commanding respect. A different era.

    2. When I worked on the Today programme (among others), one of my tasks after the midnight news was to accompany her to a nearby hotel. I had to go back and prepare stuff while she slept at the licence-fee payers’s expense. Which she thoroughly deserved. A lovely lady

  10. Went through the puzzle in about xxxxxx with the exception of 1a, got the answer on here, how could I not get that?

    1. You can stay out of the NC as I’ve removed your time. It is the convention here that we don’t mention solving times for fear of upsetting other people who may take longer to solve the crossword. It is acceptable, however, to refer to pints of beer consumed/cups of tea drunk etc as a guide to the time you took.

  11. A nice steady solve today hampered only by ipad shennigans again. The gremlins gave me time to bottle up pickling onions. I think ditto to all that Kitty said above for me. Thanks to Jay for setting an enjoyable puzzle and to The 2Ks for blogging and tastefully illustrating it

  12. Usual Wednesday fun. 13D was my runaway favorite. I am familiar with the hairstyle from a one-time popular American country singer (the one with the twerking daughter). Thanks Jay and K2.

  13. Got on with this much better than I did with yesterday’s back pager. Some lovely clueing with 5a being my favourite. Had to wait for 7d being filled in to ensure that 14a was spelled correctly – it’s one of those words that I always forget how to spell (no matter how you write it, it never looks right).

    Thanks to Jay for the enjoyment and the 2K’s for their review which I will now read. Congrats on your national team’s outstanding victory on Saturday.

    The toughie’s a tad more difficult than yesterday’s puzzle but enjoyable nonetheless.

  14. What a stinker, managed about 1/4 then gave up. I have better things to do than stare blankly at puzzles as tough as this. Couldn’t even understand the clues let alone get the answers!
    Fair to say not my favourite DT crossword of all time http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif
    Thx for the hints

    1. I’m going to read between the lines and say you didn’t enjoy this. I’m very clever at spotting these things. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

    2. Ditto Brian I found this to be the most difficult solve for weeks . I think maybe 50/100 balls on the range may be the antidote .I will come back to it later perhaps ?

  15. Oh dear! Mum and I did abysmally today. Barely got half a dozen in before having to resort to the extra hints, and had to look a few up. Can’t say we enjoyed it much. Plain biscuits today.

  16. Really liked today’s crossword ,nicely misleading surface reads, some difficult clues with enough straight forward ones to provide the necessary checking letters .Second meaning of12a new to me and not sure if I’d seen22d before, but came from somewhere.Decided on a **/**** before I read the blog,thanks to the (victorious ) 2K’s for the pics-10a made me hungry, just needed a large Burgandy to be perfect.

  17. A few too many bung-ins for me, and had to resort to the hints for the parsing. NW corner caused most of the hold ups, particularly 3d. Just couldn’t see ace for service! Also was not keen on 26. Must be some way down the definitions for alert, though solvable with the crossers. (Much easier if you spot its a lurker). 2d and 25a head my list for favourite .***/***
    Thanks to Jay and 2Ks for enlightening me.

  18. This was more like it from Jay. His last few have been very benign but this was more like what I remember from the days when I was the Wednesday blogger. A bit on the tricky side but very entertaining and usually it’s better to start with the downs http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    Certainly agree with the ***/**** rating with the hairstyle clue favourite.

    Man thanks to Jay and the Kiwis.

  19. A great crossword – Wednesdays almost always are. For me it was one of those that would have gone better had I started with the down clues.
    2*/3* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I’m not going to admit what my last answer was but my last but one was 12a even though I did know the lion bit.
    I’m pretty sure we’ve had the 18d fish before but I’d forgotten him and I’m not sure that I’ve heard of 5d although it’s perfectly logical.
    I liked 16a and 4, 7 and 13d. My favourite was 25a.
    With thanks to Jay and to the K’s.

    I agree that the 13d hairstyle is worth looking up in BRB, as is eclair. My personal favourite is duvet day which makes me laugh. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  20. Sometimes you’re just bang on wavelength. Today it was my turn, so l fairly galloped through this one. 1*/3.5* Favouritism goes to 13d – not difficult or even particularly clever, but it stirred up a smile on my otherwise humourless face. Thanks to Jay, thanks and belated congratulations to the 2 Kiwis.

  21. Satisfying and entertaining exercise for the old grey matter. Thank you Jay and 2Ks. Needed aids for 12a,19a and 22d which were all new to me as indeed was the short front and sides but long in the back in 13d. Think picture is probably a bit more than a 4d! ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  22. 1a and 12a did take some time to unravel.
    As usual there’s always a clue that reminds me of someone and this time it’s Noel Edmonds and his mullet hairdo in 13d. There was also a famous cricketer with such hair but can’t remember his name.
    The other fish in 18d was no stranger to me. Every Xmas my sister brought back or sent me over a Sockeye Smoked Salmon from some Indian tribe in Canada. So different from the stuff we are used to see. Definitely lush.
    Ah yes remembered the name of the batsman: Ian Botham.
    Fave 14a. Lush again.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review.

    1. For 80s kids like me, mullet is pretty much synonymous with a chap called Pat Sharp who used to present a TV programme called Funhouse.

  23. Something fishy about this puzzle, red mullet , sockeye, odours…
    11a was nicely misleading, as was 7d.I don’t understand the connection between the clue and the solution in 19a, is this slang or a brand of beer ?

    My personal favourite was 16a, and I also liked 25a and 26a.
    With thanks to the Kiwis and Jay.

    1. 19a is slang – I only know it because my Dad used to say it – he was usually talking about home brew.

      1. My Dad used to make home brew too, and Elderflower wine. The airing cupboard at home was always full of the stuff. Let’s say it was an acquired taste. He once made a parsnip wine and that was just something else. His marmalade was ok though.

    2. Wallop is slang; Google suggests it’s Cockney rhyming slang: “wallop the child = mild”. Perhaps rather too un-PC for current use.

  24. Didn’t find this as easy as yesterday. Needed the review for a few in the end. 13d fell into place quickly as I remembered it was the fish I got wrong last week. Bean soup would have been an option for 14a, but I knew not to put something in that wasn’t 8 letters, so persevered until I got the right answer. Thanks to Jay and to 2Kiwis for the review.

  25. ***/****. Very enjoyable if a little tricky. Didn’t start until this morning as too much on yesterday evening. Really liked 10&25a and 13&15d. Thanks to the setter and the 2ks.

  26. I was right on wavelength today, though I did need the hints to understand a couple, e.g. 11a and 8d.
    I had to look up 19a, had never heard the expression before. I also needed help spelling 14a.
    Two anagrams shouted at me, 23a and 4d. I didn’t even need to write the letters down.
    I, too, thought of “lion in the den” for 12a.
    Fave was 16a, how clever is that!
    Thanks to Jay and to 2Kiwis for your review.

    1. It is nice to see your mental agility expanding Merusa. Anagrams soon start to jumpoutatcha with a little practice

      1. Don’t hold your breath! I don’t think that I will get as far as not writing down the letters for anagrams any time soon! I’m a little on the slow side.

        1. They don’t jump out at me either. My mother-in-law has told me to write anagrams backwards.

            1. Try doing the daily ‘Polyword’ and the three ‘synonym’ connected anagrams which appear on the puzzle page. They are a good daily workout for the old grey matter and help you to ‘see’ anagrams a bit more easily. Also having a couple of glasses of wine and squinting through one eye is extremely beneficial.

              1. You know me SL…I don’t really like wine.

                I sometimes do the polyword. End up with the paper plastered in words, often around the Toughie.

                Now speaking of wine…if I wanted to drink more is there anything you’d recommend?

  27. Definitely a ‘wavelength’ day! I fairly rattled through today’s offering.
    Favourite clue was 19a just because I haven’t heard the word used for ages.
    1.5/3* overall.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2K’s.

  28. 2.5/3 I can see why some fellow bloggers struggled with some of the clues. Unusually, I had to bung a couple in and hope I was right. 12a and 18d spring to mind. Loved the anagram for 9a, mainly because I spend my Mondays volunteering for an advice centre where this crops up on a regular basis. Grateful thanks to our setter and to the 2Ks for the review. I can’t remember if anyone above has congratulated you for your superb victory in the RWC final on Saturday, but well done anyway.

  29. Good morning everyone. After yesterday’s rain, today is dawning fine and clear so looks like outdoor things can go back on the schedule.
    It is always interesting to see which clues were the stumbling blocks have been for different solvers and compare them with the ones we found tricky. There is usually consensus.
    Thanks for the congratulations on the rugby victory, not that we contributed a great deal to it. Auckland celebrated the heroes return yesterday, today is Christchurch and Wellington on Friday. The arrival in the country of Charles and Camilla yesterday has been rather shunted out of the headlines by it all.

    1. Don’t talk to me about rain. We had 3 inches in 90 minutes over Sunday night – I kid you not. Along with that was 50mph winds which caused loads of damage but fortunately me escaped with just some new leaks in the lounge, dining room and our bedroon. Oh, and the usual garage, but that roof only leaks when it rains :lol:

  30. 2*/4*. I completed this very enjoyable puzzle early today and since then have been out for a very pleasant, alcohol-fuelled, long lunch.

    12a was my last one in. I couldn’t see that the answer could be anything else but the “challenges” meaning is not in my BRB.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  31. Very enjoyable and completed for once without external assistance apart from my BRB app – no Wordsearch, no Anagram program and no resorting to Answerbank – very satisfying!

    I knew that a Segue was a two-wheeled vehicle but didn’t know that it meant ‘to proceed’ – you live and learn!

    Good fun!


    1. The two-wheeled vehicle is a Segway (trade mark). Disc jockeys always used segue (pronounced segway) to mean following one record with another and no chat in between. They possibly still do, but I haven’t listened to music radio for 20 years.

  32. I am 3 month rookie,did OK(about 80% without hints)last two days.but found this one tough.Learned a few new words and solving hints, so all good.Never heard of beards as a challenge or that segue meant to proceed,but I know now!

    1. Welcome aboard steveyork. It is always nice to see new ‘rookies’ on the site and look forward to more comments so we can watch your progress in this mad world of cryptics.

    2. Golly bongs I couldn’t read at three months let alone tackle cryptic puzzles. Hello from me and welcome aboard Steve..

    3. Welcome to the blog steveyork – as Mifypops has said, you are definitely advanced for your age http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  33. Superb surface for 14a- lush?
    P.s.Not sure I like steveyork doing an impression of me, but welcome anyway.(if I am).

  34. Hi steveyork just trying to writ a welcoming clue using “avatar”, variant inn bar are some of the words I can use here, but all of the clues come out quite rude. Good luck.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif I hope you are not mistaken for me.oj

  35. Hi TS – always feel sorry for you having to post at stupid o’clock. You must feel as though you’re just talking to yourself at times!
    Glad to hear that the wedding’s still on. As for it being held in the New Forest – perhaps the bride thought it was a rather more romantic setting?
    Your latest reading recommendation should be arriving by the end of the week – not sure that the synopsis would have inspired me to read it but you rarely let me down, so I’ll give it my full attention and get back to you.
    A ‘rolled copy of The Times and a pink carnation’ – I would expect nothing less!!!
    Hope you enjoy today’s back-pager. The Toughie’s worth a go as well.

    1. It’s very bleak, Jane, but beautifully written and ends on a more hopeful note. I thought it brilliant (CM is one of my literary heroes). It may be too bleak for you – he is never afraid to tackle the difficult issues that “safer” writers steer well clear of. However, should you feel it’s a bit much, try “Last night in twisted river” by another of my heroes, John Irving. It’s longer, more sprawling, but beautifully constructed with interweaving plot lines, some good jokes, and – as he does in all his best work – it blends comedy and tragedy to stunning effect. I’m with Alan Bennett when he says that all the good fiction in English these days is coming out of America.

      1. Strangely enough, I had thought to comment about how you seem to be drawn to American writers. For some undeniably patriotic reasons, I hate to think that both Alan Bennett and yourself are correct – but perhaps you are.
        A subject for a debate, I feel. Perhaps, as in so many other fields, we are still content to rest on our laurels?

      2. I assume CM is Cormac McCarthy. Not a single wasted word. As to,John Irving it is A Prayer For Owen Meany that gets my vote. An all time favourite.

  36. Went to see son performing in London Town – Koko – this evening so did not get today’s grid laid out until late. Went in quite smoothly but putting bed curler in for 13d was not a good move. Great lurker in 26a. To setter and Kiwis I say thank you. The three lads in the band, two of whom are not yet 20 are Telegraph cruciverbalists.

    1. How nice to hear of some up and coming crossword addicts, McM. Hope you can get them interested in joining our ‘madhouse’.
      Also hope they put on a good show tonight?

      1. Hi Jane, rock and roll is not what it used to be. On the way to gigs in their very old car, they do the DT crossword. Have a look for Blaenavon on YouTube for some unlikely looking members of our clan.

  37. The Wednesday maestro has done it again. A marvellous puzzle that just fell neatly into place on the first pass, leaving only a couple of stragglers to sort out over a pint of London Pride. I loved 10a, 12a, 25a (brilliant), and 7d. However (suck on that, Michael Gove), the Webb Ellis trophy (temporarily loaned to the 2 Ks) goes to 19a. I’ll have a pint of wallop any old time. 1*/4*

  38. It appears I was on the right wavelength again although I found this a little more challenging than the average Jay. Still just as enjoyable though. A few new words but parsing led to the right answer. Not heard of 27a as a synonym for strength before and will have to quibble about the use of a single letter as a key – pedant says it needs a major, minor etc. to follow but if that is convention in crossword land then it’s another I shall have to file away in the ‘it must be accepted’ region of my brain http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif
    Favourites – 5a and 4d – loved the surface reading of both.

  39. Would someone please, pretty please, reveal what the BRB is? This has already been asked, and I couldn’t find an answer….

    1. It’s item number 12 in the FAQ but to save you looking it up it stands for Big Red Book or Chambers Dictionary (which is the standard reference work for Telegraph crosswords).

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