DT 27955 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27955

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27955

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment **

We have what is pretty much a read and write puzzle today with only the two cryptic clues (10a and 26a) requiring a bit of thought on my part. There’s only one anagram but, as I found when writing the review, there are an awful lot of clues which are variously described as charades, word sums or lego-types. Your thoughts, as always, are most welcome.

If you click on any of the areas showing ‘Click here!’ you’ll see the actual answer so only do that as a last resort.

Across Clues

1a A listening device brought into school in sling (8)
CATAPULT – insert A (from the clue) and an illegally attached listening device into a school or sect.

5a Fleet member with palindromic name (6)
ARMADA – a bodily member followed by a palindromic forename.

10a They had significant effect, benefiting Kingsley’s Tom? (8,7)
SWEEPING CHANGES – this is a cryptic definition of the effect of the Factory Acts introduced in the UK in the 19th century to prohibit the use of child labour, including the sending of young boys up chimneys. A fictional example of the latter was young Tom in Charles Kingsley’s The Water-Babies.

11a Seaman, unaccompanied, finds shellfish (7)
ABALONE – charade of one of the usual abbreviations for a seaman and an adverb meaning unaccompanied.

12a Finished ride in storm (7)
OVERRUN – charade of an adverb meaning finished or in the past and a short ride in a car for pleasure.

13a Cheerful working in coastal resort (8)
BRIGHTON – string together an adjective meaning cheerful or lively and an adverb meaning working or in operation.

15a Band receiving millions for very successful hit (5)
SMASH – insert the abbreviation for millions into a band or belt.

18a Plus point when fixed (5)
ASSET – a conjunction meaning when followed by a past participle meaning fixed or hard and fast.

20a Shield quickly attached to vehicle (8)
CARAPACE – append an adverb meaning quickly to a motor vehicle to make a shield or outer shell.

23a Not on strike? That’s unusual! (7)
OFFBEAT – string together the opposite of ‘on’ and a verb to strike or hit.

25a Offer in favour of model (7)
PROPOSE – a preposition meaning ‘in favour of’ is followed by a verb to model.

26a Follower of news? (7,8)
WEATHER FORECAST – gentle cryptic definition of what may follow the news on TV or radio. The question mark is there to indicate that this is not always the right order.

27a Go round gallery after run out (6)
ROTATE – the name of an art gallery follows the cricketing abbreviation for ‘run out’.

28a Try to listen to words of approval (4,4)
HEAR HEAR – a verb to try (a case in court) followed by a verb to listen.

Down Clues

1d One about to leave Central American country to top the bill with someone else (2-4)
CO-STAR – start with a Central American country (5,4) and remove the Roman numeral for one and the 2-letter abbreviation meaning about or approximately.

2d Reference book he’s taken into house (9)
THESAURUS – HE’S gets inserted into one of the twelve divisions of the celestial sphere which are deemed to be so important by the purveyors of gobbledegook.

3d The old man’s performing -– good hit record, perhaps (3,4)
POP SONG – string together an affectionate name for one’s old man or father, the ‘S from the clue, an adverb meaning performing (in the theatre, for example) and G(ood).

4d Fabric wrapped round knight’s weapon (5)
LANCE – a delicate fabric contains the chess abbreviation for a knight.

6d Lecturer’s  books (7)
READERS – double definition, the first a senior lecturer plus the ‘S.

7d Park officer blowing top in rage (5)
ANGER – drop the top letter from a park officer.

8d Article supporting a bishop’s popular drink (8)
ABSINTHE – a definite article follows (supporting, in a down clue) A (from the clue), the chess abbreviation for bishop, the ‘S and an adjective meaning popular or trendy.

9d Glass  sailing ship (8)
SCHOONER – double definition and old chestnut, the glass being of a size suitable for a large sherry.

14d Unforthcoming, soldiers about one revolution (8)
TACITURN – bring together the outdated abbreviation for our part-time soldiers, a one-letter abbreviation meaning about or approximately, the Roman numeral for one and a revolution or twirl.

16d A new job, loading a galleon initially, in port (9)
ANCHORAGE – A (from the clue), N(ew) and a routine job contain A and the initial letter of galleon. This could be either a general term for a port or a specific port in Alaska.

17d Armed vessel from afar, now scuttled after onset of mutiny (3-2-3)
MAN-OF-WAR – our one and only anagram (scuttled) of AFAR NOW comes after the first letter of mutiny.

19d Small house in River Terrace, originally Drive? (3,4)
TEE SHOT – the abbreviation for house goes between the name of a river in North-East England and the original letter of terrace.

21d One ushered in support for early settler (7)
PIONEER – ONE gets inserted (ushered) in a support or pillar.

22d Stagger up gripping teetotal character (6)
LETTER – a reversal (up, in a down clue) of a verb to stagger contains the abbreviation for teetotal.

24d Fine quarter for banquet (5)
FEAST – the abbreviation for fine (as a classification for lead pencils) is followed by one of the quarters of the compass.

25d Examine advertising order (5)
PROBE – the abbreviation for advertising or spin is followed by an order or award.

The clue I liked best was 10a. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: ROUX + LARD = ROULADE

83 comments on “DT 27955

  1. Agree with */**

    A general feeling of déjà vu solving this. No hold ups but not all that satisfactory. Did like the two long clues. Maybe I’m just grumpy? Nope. All the the good things are good in life.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for blogging. Nice illustration for 1a.

  2. This was just up my street. It is good to have a bit of GK and I personally don’t mind the lack of anagrams. NE corner last to go in. Fav(?)s 10a, 2d and 19d. Thanks Mr. Ron and Gazza upon whom I didn’t need to call today. The Quickie including pun is fun too. **/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  3. I agree that this was pretty much a read write puzzle today. Quite enjoyed it though so I give it */***

    Didn’t get what 10a had to do with the answer until your helpful comment.

    Many thanks

  4. I’m from the NE and always find clues appertaining thereto difficult….19d is a good example. Last in!

  5. I found this puzzle at the easier end of the scale, not sure it was because it was not a great challenge or that I am not in the office today so have more time and less stress to attempt the solve. Success came with no ref to the hints. No particular clue stood out today. I concur with Gazza’s ratings and thank him for the review.

  6. */** is about right – took half the time of yesterday’s. Thanks to Gazza for the 10a explanation – last one in today – and also for your hint for 2d which made me smile. Favourite was 26a – might well have been 10a if I had understood it! Thanks also to the setter.

  7. I agree it was straightforward but I was completely defeated by one answer so would have to give it 2* difficulty and maybe nearer 3* for enjoyment.
    I couldn’t do 19d at all even with four of the seven letters in – just looked and looked and looked and then gave up.
    I confess to considering “swimming lessons” for 10a but not for too long.
    I did think there were quite a few of the old chestnut type clues – 11 and 13a and 6, 8, and 9d.
    I liked 10a and 16d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to gazza.

  8. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, quite straightforward with some nice clues. Last in was 6d. Favourite was 19d. Was 1*/3* for me. Off to Newcastle upon Tyne for a day out.

    1. Good grief Heno, it isn’t going to much of a day out as, as soon as you arrive, it’ll be time to come back http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  9. I was held up a bit on 10A, my second one in, because I originally had ‘reforms’ for the second word (until I solved 9D) and had then compounded the error by subsequently carelessly writing in in 7D incorrectly. Once that was sorted, I got 6D, my last one in. 10A is absolutely my favorite clue because it brought back such memories of reading the book as a child. In my mind’s eye I can still see the illustration of those little faces gazing up through the water. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review.

  10. I’ll go for a 1*/3* although I had a bit of a blind spot over the parsing of 12a.
    Quite a few smiles and I’d put the two long ones – 10&26a – on top of the pile along with 11a for its simplicity.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and also to Gazza for a great review. Lovely illustration at 1a and also nice to see lonesome George at 20a. Am I correct in thinking that he’s no longer with us?

  11. Tuesday puzzles always seem to be somewhat disappointing.

    Can anyone remember the last time that we had a really entertaining puzzle on a Tuesday?

    1. Probably the last time it was either the mad hat or the twinkly-eyed one in charge! Having said that, the newbies do need to cut their teeth – maybe Tuesdays are the vehicle for that?

  12. Fairly straight forward, not very taxing, 19d was the last one I got and thanks for the explanation for 10a.

  13. 1*/2.5*. Straightforward but reasonably entertaining. 10a & 26a were my joint favourites.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  14. A bit more to the wordplay than first meets the eye, I thought. I didn’t know the reference to 10a (probably should have) but the answer was clear.

    The glass is also used for drinking beer in Australia – possibly best not to tell them we use it for sherry.

    many thanks Gazza for the review and thanks setter

  15. Although this was a read and right (two passes and a fill in) I did enjoy seeing the old chestnuts. There was a time when I would groan and think “Not again” but this site has made me realise that there are so many people out there who are new to cryptics or are getting competent but need a leg up from time to time. This puzzle will be right up their street and we will all feel the glow of satisfaction throughout crosswordland as satisfied solvers smile sweetly to themselves upon completion. Well done to them.

        1. Is this ‘really’ MP blogging? If it is, I will definitely put a pint in the barrel for him on Saturday as I pass through downtown LI http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

          1. Downtown LI. You must not forget the capitals. I thought I would be at the Coventry Rugby match but no. We are off to Hanni’s birthplace Barrow In Furness for family meals and Christenings. I hope you enjoy your beer SL. Have a wander around our village. We have six pubs to find

            1. Slap on hand accepted – Downtown LI it is. Are you any relation to the Downtown Abbey people in Yorkshire by any chance?

              Our friends are taking us to one of your village pubs, who’s name I wouldn’t like to repeat if drunk. Have good time in good old B-i-F, I remember it well. Is the Blue Lamp still going?

  16. The number of early comments seems to suggest that Gazza’s score is pretty much spot on. I also agree that 10a and 26a were the only two head scratchers in what was nonetheless an enjoyable if short exercise. I did yesterday’s puzzle this morning which I found more testing overall. Thanks all round.

  17. I agree with Gazza’s introductory comments, though my last ones were 10a and 19d.

    I don’t have anything else to say really, so here is a bonus piccy for 2d.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza.

  18. Very enjoyable – I had ‘standing charges’ in 10a originally – I was completely ignorant about ‘Kingsley’s Tom’ – but realised it must be wrong and fell in eventually.

    A couple of GK clues like 9d, 26a etc but a good mix of clues.


    1. I agree. There are too many Tom’s and most of them can be ascribed to Kingsley. There is that Sawyer chap and his mate Huckleberry (How I wanted a son that I could call Huckleberry or Spoons) Then that foundling thing who sings a lot Tom Jones. Tom the Chimney Sweep who lived under the water and did as he would be done by. That Brown lad who went to school. I remember a pig thief too who’s dad was a piper, another Tom had a cabin. No wonder this clue needed a bit of working out

      1. What about a Tom who wanted ‘More’? There might have been a Tom who invented things or a Tom who played Forest Gump. Or a Tom who gets ‘petty’ easily. Tom might like to be far from the madding crowd.

        1. That was awhile ago but I remember the ‘discussion’ that ensued.

          Another Tom…Jefferson…”I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past”.

      2. That Paine man who wanted rights; the saintly philosopher in search of Utopia; The poet who is an anagram of toilets; Traubert’s Blues (my favourite song of all time. See the the Old Grey Whistle Test version on youtube); the poet in the churchyard; the bloke who had to get his plane right on time … and me

      3. 10a. Me too! The “Kingsley’s Tom” bit baffled me also. I solved it fairly quickly just from the straight part: “They had significant effect”, as any sweeping changes do. You learn so much incidental (but crucial) info from reading this blog!

  19. Not really a lot to say today ,liked 24a. Puzzle obviously at the low end of the difficulty scale but enjoyable enough, so agree with Gazza.26a reminded me of the tv programme showing Wildebeest jumping off the cliff followed by the immortal line-that’s the end of the Gnus, now here’s the weather forecast-sorry!

    1. Reminds me of my favourite newspaper typo: Two men held up a sub-post office. They were armed with a gnu.

  20. We didn’t find this quite as easy as some of the others, a **/** from us. It seemed a bit different to the usual Mr Ron puzzles to us. We agree with Miffypops about a few old chestnuts making an appearance, 9d and 11a in particular. Many thanks to Gazza for the usual informative review and to the setter.

    1. It has been said many,many times before .. but this Is definitely “rap” …with a silent “C”..

        1. My father said the same about a Ginger Baker drum solo! But I agree about the rap with a silent C, probably a generational thing.

          1. Total agreement….However, concurring with Brian’s father, I do think that a 15 minute solo on Ginger Bakers first album (with the airforce) was possibly 14 and a half minutes too long.

            1. I saw the Cream Reformed concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in 2005 and Ginger Baker could only manage about two minute drum solo’s – thank god for that!

  21. One of those that I felt was probably easy but just couldn’t seem to get on the setters wavelength today so found it quite tricky.
    Some very easy clues such as 21d and 27a and some that held me up for ages such as 18a and 12a. 26a was clever though.
    Thx to all

      1. Brian, I put the name of the author and the title of the novel in the hint. If you need more information you can always use Google.

  22. I think just about everything’s been said regarding today’s puzzle and I have nothing else to add. Suffice to say an enjoyable, if somewhat perfunctory, stroll in the park. I found that word (perfunctory) in my thesaurus and just had to use it http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    Thanks to our Tuesday Mr Ron for said puzzle and Gazza for his review.

  23. Good afternoon everybody.

    An unanticipated joint effort today with me contributing half a dozen or so solutions. A quick solve but two star time all the same. Completed the puzzle in another place and a touch over half of the Toughie done too.


  24. I found this decidedly tricky, by no means a read and write. I am so ashamed that I missed 10a as I loved the story as a child and I didn’t remember it, not even close; has senility set in?
    I never did get 19d, not even a sniff. On the other hand, most of it was easy.
    Thanks to setter and to Gazza for his enlightenment.

  25. Can’t decide whether I was frustrated with the crossword, or frustrated at the phone constantly cutting out on me. Probably both. Not quite so enjoyable today, but appreciate the effort put in by the setter and by Gazza for the review. 2*2*.

  26. The only Kingsley I could bring to mind was Amis, and what his son or his cat might have to do with the solution was beyond me , although I read the book many decades ago.So thank you Gazza for clearing that one up.You also untangled 19d for me.One other misspelling led me to find this puzzle above a one star difficulty level.
    With thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  27. More straight-forward even than yesterday, which is quite a rarity.

    I thought 1d was somewhat clunky and would have benefited from a prune of the secateurs. Favourite was 19d, nicely clued.

    Many thanks to today’s setter and to Gazza.

  28. I did not find this crossword very easy, but unlike the majority I thought it quite enjoyable ? ***/*** Getting the correct answer for 10a, 19d & 5a gave me great pleasure ? Unfortunately the party was spoiled as I used the other past tense in 12a,
    By not reading the clue carefully enough ? Thanks to Gazza and Mr Ron

  29. Was a bit held up by 18a/19d but apart from that, it was pretty much a R&W for me too.
    Was thinking of Brian when I finally got 19d and said to myself: At least he’s not going to say that he didn’t know that! Spoke too soon apparently http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif
    Nice to have some old chestnuts every now and then.
    Thanks to the Tuesday setter and to Gazza for the review.

  30. What a boring puzzle today. The worst of the week. Do we know who Mr Ron is.

    29 degrees here today and blue skies

  31. Got to this late today due to playing golf and needing a snooze following three beers after. Agree with most posts – 1*/1.5* here.

  32. I can’t help thinking that some other contributors are being a bit mean with their “enjoyment” scores. I make this 1*/3*, and quite like some of the clues (20a, 14d, 21d). My favourite, though, is 16d – l’m sure l wasn’t the only one trying to find a port with an anagram of “anewjagob”! I didn’t get as far as dragging out the old Times Atlas and feverishly searching the coasts of far-off countries with a magnifying glass, but it certainly crossed my mind before the penny finally dropped. Thanks, Mr Ron. And thanks to Gazza too.

    1. You old salty dog you http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      You were obviously a friend of ‘Vasco’ in the good old RN – I’ve never served with one who knew where we were. Who would believe nowadays that we had a Nav Centre on our nuclear deterrent submarines which housed a GPS the size of a truck – it now fits snugly on the car dashboard and still sends trucks the wrong way http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      1. I remember a thing called SINS in the old Glamorgan. It was well pre-GPS and was supposed to work out where you were by an arrangement of accelerometers. After the first day you were lucky if it put you within 20 miles of your actual position! It was also absolutely huge. I often think of that when l look at the fag packet sized chart plotter on my boat.

  33. I think I impressed the guy sitting opposite me on the train home tonight by filling in this one almost in its entirety before arriving at my stop – only 6d and 12a were left. Mulled them over on the trudge from the station and completed the puzzle before the first sip of London Pride. Some quite fun clues, with 19d soaring over the water and landing squarely in the middle of the fairway short of the bunker as shot of the day. Thanks to Gazza, who was not needed but enjoyed nonetheless, and the setter. 0.5*/3*

  34. Last to post yet again… just as all you hot-shots will be getting on with the next diurnal offering. Got it all without assistance but some clues took some parsing. 19d, 26a…. same as has all been said above. Favourite 16d. **/*** for me. Lack of anagrams and the key clues (15-letter answers) were not exactly easy. Thanks Mr R and Gazza.

  35. Didn’t get time to comment yesterday; dinner arrived!
    A crossword I solved in fits and starts although 19d eluded me – I just completely forgot that meaning of ‘drive’!… D’oh!
    2/3* overall and favourite clue probably the seaside resort.
    Thanks to the setter and Gazza for his review.

Comments are closed.