DT 27956 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27956

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27956

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***


We’ve had a busy day today as we were up before dawn to drive to Wellington to deliver a car to our daughter. Took longer than we hoped as we were right in the middle of all the commuter traffic. However we made it eventually and still got home in plenty of time to tackle this week’s Jay puzzle.


Please leave a comment telling us your thoughts.


1a     Half a day with university intellectual is of great importance (10)
MONUMENTAL : Select the first half of one of the days of the week, add the abbreviation for university and a word meaning intellectual, or of the mind.

6a     Dog in film that is missing girl (4)
LASS : Take the classic film dog and remove the abbreviation for the Latin ‘that is’.

9a     It sends us off to protect area with no help (10)
UNASSISTED : An anagram (off) of IT SENDS US includes the one letter abbreviation for area.

10a     Way of paying a final passage (4)
CODA : A way of paying when money is handed over on receipt of goods, then A from the clue.

12a     Place of safety, mainly for a person of means (4)
HAVE : A word for a place of safety loses its last letter.

13a     Profit-producing cure vital for redevelopment (9)
LUCRATIVE : An anagram (for redevelopment) of CURE VITAL.

15a     Outrageous relative accommodated in apartment (8)
FLAGRANT : An elderly female relative is found inside a word for an apartment.

16a     Puzzle‘s new meaning missing at core (6)
ENIGMA : An anagram (new) of MEAnING after the central letter has been removed.

18a     Electronic circuits needing energy to go by (6)
ELAPSE : The abbreviation for electronic, then a four letter word for circuits as on a race track and the abbreviation for energy.

20a     Surprise surrounding law-breaking champion (8)
STALWART : A word for a surprise surrounds an anagram (breaking) of LAW.

23a     Abandoning reputation to protect daughter at last (9)
STRANDING : A synonym for reputation includes the last letter of daughter.

24a     Grass as part of fat-free diet (4)
REED : The answer is in the clue, hiding in the long grass.

26a     Span of religion primarily found in a church (4)
ARCH :The first letter of religion appears inside A from the clue and the abbreviation for church.

27a     Facilities offered by politicians after volcanic outpouring? (10)
LAVATORIES : Right wing politicians follow the ejected material from a volcano.

28a     Always strict, dismissing outsiders (4)
EVER : Find a word meaning strict and remove its first and last letters.

29a     Authorities encourage rapid increase in electricity used (5,5)
POWER SURGE : When the answer is split 6,4 we find a word for authorities and one for encourage.  New Zealand had a significant one of these at half-time during a recent rugby final.


1d     Handle roughly 1000 gold lines initially (4)
MAUL : The Roman numeral for a thousand, the chemical symbol for gold then the first letter of lines.

2d     A trial, oddly, after profit rises and falls (7)
NIAGARA : Reverse a word that means a profit and then use alternate letters from ‘a trial’.

3d     Give a false account of various enterprises supporting millions (12)
MISREPRESENT : An anagram (various) of ENTERPRISES follows M(illions).

4d     Potential flier is irritating, taking son for first of trips (8)
NESTLING : Find a word meaning irritating or provoking and replace the first T (first of trips) with the abbreviation for son.

5d     Grow old and cold in New York office (6)
AGENCY : A three letter word meaning grow old, then the abbreviation for cold inside NY.

7d     Loving a party, make a call (7)
ADORING : A from the clue, a two letter party, and make a telephone call.

8d     Replacements for spring on belt sent up (5,5)
SPARE PARTS : A spring or health resort, then a word meaning ‘on’ or ‘relating to’ and the reversal of a word for a belt.

11d     Boastful Avon girl is worried, with proof of debts (12)
VAINGLORIOUS : An anagram (is worried) of AVON GIRL, then the common phrase for proof of debts.

14d     Face alcohol before breakfast? (10)
AFTERSHAVE : The before breakfast part of the clue refers to when it is usually used. A tough clue when the only member of our team who might use it has been bearded most of his adult life!

17d     Do nothing, say, to protect a good name (8)
STAGNATE : A synonym for ‘to say’ includes A from the clue and then G(ood) N(ame).

19d     Gold relic designed for chamber (7)
AURICLE : The chemical symbol for gold (again) and an anagram (designed) of RELIC. The chamber is part of an organ of the body.

21d     A row about the Spanish studio (7)
ATELIER : The Spanish definite article is inside A from the clue and a word meaning row or bank.

22d     House accommodating a bad-tempered woman (6)
VIRAGO : A house of the zodiac includes A from the clue.

25d     Place causing a bit of travel sickness on the way back? (4)
ISLE : This place is entirely surrounded by water and is hiding backwards in the clue.

We’ve picked 14d as our favourite today as it is the one that had us beak scratching the most, but we are rather keen on 4d too.

Quickie pun   creek  +  heater  =  cricketer  (with that pronunciation, almost certainly Australian.)

87 comments on “DT 27956

  1. No headaches today but nicely challenging puzzle. Thank you Mr. Ron and 2Ks for your usual excellent hints which were not in fact needed today. Fav probably 14d once I had given up working on the verb to face. East went in before West. **/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  2. Slow to start today’s puzzle in the top half but speeded up as I moved south for some reason and in the end agree with the 2k’s **/***-thanks for the excellent pics and blog .Liked 8d and last in 12a.11d is a marvellous sounding word, thought the surface reading was top draw throughout and impishly misleading- well done setter.

  3. */****

    Good stuff as always from Jay. Biggest hold up was parsing 22d. Keep forgetting about houses of the zodiac. Useful for astronomy and crosswords, utter rubbish if it refers to astrology.

    Thought 14d was lovely. Very clever clue.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis for a great blog. Most enjoyable.

    Back to figuring out a logistical nightmare, and doing the Toughie.

    1. 14d was too clever for me I am afraid. As Chris Tarrant used to say “It’s only easy when you know the answer” Lovely clue all the same.

  4. Thank you 2Kiwis, good choice of picture for 4d.

    Some of this seemed on the simplistic side (e.g. 1d, 6a, 24a) – I was surprised suddenly to come across 11d!

    Great surfaces throughout, even the old chestnuts are presented rather nicely (e.g. 2d, 10a)

    My last one in was 14d – hadn’t expected that either!

    Many thanks Jay, good fun.

  5. Great fun, not too taxing, one or two sticky ones to take it into a slightly longer time frame, (14 and 22d), but fair clueing and very solvable. 2/3 for me, with thanks to setter and 2Ks.

  6. Another great puzzle from Jay. Loved it all 14d and 12 ac were my last two in. I must confess that having all of the checkers in for 14d I had to resort to writing it horizontally before I could see the answer. For shame. I hang my head. For Hanni it was a Uniball Gel Impact Pen made by The Mitsubishi Pencil Company in Japan Not a Lakeland 2B. Just for Hanni here is a video about Uniball Gel pens. Nobody else needs to watch it

    Thanks to the 2Ks for excellent blog. Thanks to Jay for the Excellent crossword puzzle. Thanks to Hanni for giving me an opportunity

    1. What can I say…”This is pen reviews today”….generous inkflow, minimal pressure required. Apparently overall it’s smooth and comfortable. And yes I’ve watched all of it. My knowledge of Uniball Gel Impact Pens is complete. You’re very welcome for the opportunity MP. My pleasure.

      Though I still prefer pencils.

      Back to my logistics problems. Maybe I’ll do the Indy.

      1. My personal weapon of choice is the uni ball vision elite 0.7 – it writes like a fountain pen & I have them in blue, blue/black, red & wine. Now who’s a sad git….?

            1. Not just a biro. It’s a BIC:

              Quality ink, quick drying and smooth writing

              •Tungsten carbide ball, perfect sphere and very resistant

              •Medium point: 1.0mm, line width 0.4mm

              •Hexagonal barrel for comfortable handling

              •Clear barrel for visible ink supply

              •Cap and plug color matches ink color

              •Ventilated cap compliant with ISO 11540 / BS 7272-1 standard

        1. Pilot Precise V5 Rolling Ball, extra fine point. Black for general stuff and red for editing hard copy. For crosswords, a PaperMate Clear Point Elite automatic pencil with 0.5 mm leads and a replaceable eraser. The only time I would ever use a pen for crosswords is if I have an actual newspaper, and that’s only because the quality of the paper is so awful that 0.5 m leads don’t work well.

          1. Cross, porous point, fine. As used by Obama to sign in as POTUS (as one in his office is known). Too valuable sentimentally to be allowed to leave Strummer Towers, but used for all written work, of which crosswords are only a tiny part.

  7. Much of this was straightforward but I needed all the checkers for 14d, the stand-out clue. Thanks to the 3 birds (Jay and the 2 Ks).

  8. Lovely. Gentle but not simplistic. One hold-up: I can’t face alcohol before breakfast :(. That will probably be my favourite when I finally get it in.

    Thanks to Jay for another super crossword and to my favourite pair of Kiwis for the review which I will read once I’ve finished.

    P.S. If you don’t usually attempt the Toughie, I recommend today’s.

      1. Yes, it’s by my favourite setter. His limericks are brilliant too.

        We have to be careful discussing other puzzles here because it’s unfair to give spoilers, but hopefully nobody will mind that I’ve given an indication of its difficulty level.

  9. I really enjoyed this crossword. **/**** for me. 4d and 14d were my favourites. 12a was last one in. Took me a while to figure that one out!

  10. Strangely enough. Found this far easier than yesterday’s effort. All about wavelengths I suppose. Only problem was 12a which I had as Safe but wasn’t happy with it. The real answer is much better.
    Thx to all.

  11. Enjoyable stuff and fairly straightforward from Jay today.

    I could just about excuse two abbreviations for gold in the same puzzle, but the use of “protect” no less than three times as a containment indicator (9a, 23a and 17d) suggests inadequate editing in my humble opinion!

    Favourite clue was 14d, with honourable mentions for 18a and 29a.

    Many thanks to the setter and to 2Kiwis.

      1. Absolutely, Beet!! I do now try to look at puzzles from both a setter’s and a solver’s perspective.

        The example today does smack of either lazy cluing or lazy editing……I’d prefer to think the latter.

            1. If you look on the Rookie thread by Sprocker – I did mention I’d done one but was waiting for people to join the blog with the right names http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  12. In case this was going to be on the easy side, I thought I’d make life more difficult by bunging in ‘misinterpret’ at 3d (yes, I know it doesn’t work) and then spend some time looking for a variety of alcohol that begins ‘blank-F-blank’. I’m sure we’ve had this wretched stuff sometime in the recent past?
    Will have to be fair and go for a 2*/3* although the rest of the puzzle slotted in quite easily.
    Not overly impressed by 25d but overall a great puzzle.
    Leader board for me is 1,6,27&29a.

    Thanks to Jay and to 2Ks for the excellent pictorial blog – I’m assuming that 4d is a young one of ‘you’!

    1. Me too with misinterpret Jane. As I was writing it in I was thinking that is what Jane does with the things I say. Anyway Jane I have sent off for your Christmas present today. I am sure you will love it.

        1. I will need it Jane. Or will Jane The Bird Watcher Anglesey. Get to you? When it arrives I will email you. Worry not Jane I am getting the same thing for Hilary too and one for Saint Sharon and I.

  13. Lovely, as usual. 2D was last in, shame on me. Favorites are 27A and the super 14D. Thanks Jay and K2.

  14. Splendid stuff as usual from the Wednesday Wizard. **/**** from us.

    Fav has to be 14d, face alcohol indeed :lol: with 4d and 12a on the podium but there’s lots of other good stuff.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  15. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one a lot, but had the wrong answer for 12a, I put in cave, due to wooly thinking. I really liked 10&27a, but 14d was favourite. Last in was 4d. Was 2*/4* for me. Dull and dismal in Central London.

  16. The usual lovely Wednesday crossword – between 1* and 2* for difficulty and I agree with 3* for enjoyment.
    Last answer was 14d and if I had a beak I’d have been scratching it too.
    I thought there were quite a few anagrams but I’m not complaining about that – probably why I found it straightforward.
    I liked 1 and 15a and 11 and 22d. I can’t make up my mind whether I really like or really don’t like 14d so will carry on dithering for a while.
    With thanks to Jay and to the 2K’s.

  17. Fairly benign puzzle I thought with a couple of gems – 27a & 14d. 12a was the last one in having started to go through the alphabet – I’m glad it started with ‘h’.

    As I have mentioned before, my ascribing instrument of choice is, and always has been, a Parker Jotter Steel Ballpoint pen with a Black Fine refill – never a pencil http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

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

  18. I found this much, much easier than yesterday. I didn’t even have trouble with 14d, I seem to remember it has appeared in the past.
    Fave was 27a, runner up 11d. Last one in was 12a.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis, loved the pic at 4d, how adorable!

  19. Although it started rather badly with “half a day” in 1a which I found a bit odd, the puzzle started slowly to grow on me.
    10a made me laugh as we used to call it “cash on demand” when our suppliers didn’t want to give us credit.
    Count me in for 14d as favourite.
    But favourite pen is definitely BIC cristal medium black. A box of 50 for only a few quid.
    Loved the pic of the wee kiwi.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2ks for the review.

  20. Good afternoon everybody.

    A tidy puzzle today I thought – just right for a back pager. I couldn’t fully understand the reasoning behind 8d and 22d, while 19d was new to me but clear enough from the clue. Favourites were 2d, 14d and 20a.


  21. Love the blog, normally only have one or two left, and the tips are great before having to look up the hidden answer, thanks guys.

    Bored cabbie John

    1. Welcome from me as well. If you decide to comment on a regular basis, you can always tell us who you had in the back of your cab that day http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    2. Hi John – you’ll love it here! Plenty of special interest groups for you to join. Take your pick from Pedants’ corner, Loopy corner, Naughty corner, Brian’s Grumpy corner, Hilary’s cupboard under the stairs retreat (although we think there’s something nasty lurking in there) or go the whole hog and join everything. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

      1. Welcome, John. As Jane says, there are plenty of groups to alleviate the boredom. I’m a fully paid up member of all of the above except for Brian’s grumpy corner (I have my own one of those but avoid posting from it). I think we also have a rambler’s corner.

    3. Welcome from me, too, founder member of the Night Owl’s branch, a small but select group.

      1. Gosh, I forgot about those – and me with my memberships fully paid up!
        By the way, SL – the local(ish) Aldi didn’t have any of the Yellowtail, or maybe the staff had raided the stock before anyone else got a chance!

  22. What an enjoyable crossword. Nothing too outrageously difficult but plenty of lovely cluing. 14d was superb; 27a made me laugh out loud (probably my propensity for toilet humour). Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks. 2*/3*.

  23. Very nice puzzle **/*** thanks to J + 2xKs Lovely bright day in Cambridgeshire ? Favourites 27a, 14d, 11d & 25d ? My cup floweth over, yesterday talk of Black Redstart and today pens! Pilot G-Tec-C4 0.4mm for me, ideal for completing the crossword in the bath ?

  24. Re pens – I’m with Shropshirelad and the Parker Jotter Steel Ballpoint pen but in my case with a blue Fine refill

  25. Good morning everyone.
    An interesting aside. When we were in Wellington yesterday, girding our loins for the return journey with a coffee, we picked up the Dominion Post and turned to the Telegraph Cryptic that was in there. It took us a little longer to solve than we usually spend on a back-pager and needed quite a lot of beak scratching. It was only when we were most of the way through that it started to look familiar as it was one that one of us had not only solved but also written the blog for about a month ago.
    The positive spin on this is that when Alzheimer”s really starts to kick in for us, we can cancel our subscription and just print out the same puzzle each day!
    Glad that people liked the pic of our little one for 4d. We thought it was cute too.

    1. I’m sorry…but I’m really laughing at that. Wouldn’t worry, I forgot the name for a numnah the other day (it’s a horse thing that I use on a daily basis…so no excuse on my part!)

      1. I knew the word, but just for fun I googled it. I see they have them in material as well, I thought they were only sheepskin. You live and learn.

        As an aside, I have very bad arthritis and have been trying everything, but a friend brought me some horse liniment and it works a treat! My doctor said “if it works…”, though it does smell rather strongly.

        1. Merusa you would be amazed at the things that work both ways. Getting a grey horses tail clean… tomato Ketchup. John Frieda FrizzEase for showing on unruly manes. Baby oil for all sorts of things. The list seems endless.

          1. If Linseed oil is made from Linseed and Rape Seed oil is made from Rape Seed and Sunflower oil is made from Sunflowers Hanni, what is Baby oil made from

  26. OK – in the interests of lowering the tone here – I buy a 10 pack of Zebra Z grip pens from Smiths (med. black) use them ’til they run out and then chuck them away. One pack lasts around three years and I do a fair amount of writing (not to mention scribbles, anagram circles etc.).
    Oh yes – they are retractable so I don’t get an inky mess on things or have any ‘tops’ to lose. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  27. 2*/4*. Late today getting round to this but by golly it was worth waiting for.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  28. I will own up to a retractable pencil with an eraser also retractable, cannot tell make because the writing has worn off. 7mm lead, 5mm too fine on newsprint. Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis for yet another Wednesday treat, several smiley moments but too many goodies to pick a favourite. Not 9a as electronic supertoy was called into play. Have a nice evening.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  29. A most rewarding puzzle: 2*/4.5* by my reckoning. 22d was my favourite, but was edged out in the end by my last in – 14d. As for writing implements, l use a propelling pencil with a built-in rubber. In the bad old days when l used a pen, not only did my crosswords rapidly become illegible because of crossings-out, but l rapidly developed terrifying inky lips and tongue from pensively chewing over the difficult clues! Thanks to Jay, and to the 2Ks.

  30. It’s a Zebra J-Roller RX .07 black gel for me!
    A very good puzzle as usual from Jay. I have to admit that I did a Brian and put ‘safe’ for 12a. Just laziness on my part because I couldn’t think of anything else.
    14d is the runaway favourite it seems and I concur. 2/3.5 overall.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2K’s for their immaculate review.

  31. I just put in 14d , which is indeed a brilliant clue.
    I am feeling rather tired after a 600 Km round trip to the funeral of a cousin.It was very sad that he died relatively young, though in truth I have seen little of him in recent years, except at other funerals.Still , it was great to catch up with the other 20 cousins.He was the first of our generation.
    I enjoyed the level of difficulty. Thanks Jay and Kiwis.

  32. **/****. I really enjoyed this puzzle and completed it yesterday evening waiting for our plane to depart. Now in England to see the family for a week before heading to the Middle East. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks for the review. Unlikely to be tackling the cryptic for the next couple of weeks.

  33. As usual, Jay has not let us down. Marvellous clues with lots vying for favourite status. It was looking like a photo finish between 15a and 27a until I finally stumbled on my last one in – 14d, which came through on the rails to cross the finish line several lengths ahead of them. One quibble: 12a. I got it straight away but didn’t write it in as I thought it couldn’t be right. Surely, the answer should be a noun, not a verb? Ta muchly to the Ks and to Jay. 2*/4*

  34. Another enjoyable solve. Took a while to get 14d and last in 22d. Another fact to file away in my crossword solver’s essential bits of knowledge is that star signs come in houses.
    Favourites are 2d and 11d.

    PS. Pen of choice is the Bic cristal, as per Jean-Luc in boxes of 50. Pens have a habit of going awol in this house – maybe something to do with having too many children.

  35. A day away from this crossword helped, got it done without hints other than 10a.

    22d took for ever as was thinking bingo house not astro signs.

  36. 12 A took some time. I could not get away from “CAVE” until I realized that the haves and the have nots were haven minus the “n”.!

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