DT 27953

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27953

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

This puzzle was published on Saturday, 7th November 2015

Morning All! I found this a two star puzzle for difficulty. A couple of old chestnuts made it easier for the newcomers and a couple of trickier clues ept my interest up.

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


1a           Settles business promptly and honestly, a pain to administer (4,2,3,4)
PAYS ON THE NAIL – An anagram (indicated by ‘to administer’) of HONESTLY A PAIN. The correct response to a request for ‘cash on the nail’.

9a           I have to follow dreadful court order (9)
DIRECTIVE – I’VE (I have) followes DIRE (dreadful) and CT – the abb. for court.

10a         Happened upon old carving (5)
CAMEO – A charade of CAME (happened – came to pass) upon O for Old. Word Up!.

11a         Publication for children (5)
ISSUE – A well known cryptic double definition – The issue or publication of a journal and the issue from one’s loins – children.

12a         Insect bite’s upset (4)
GNAT – Reverse (upset) a TANG or bite/taste.

13a         Flag from European country cut down (4)
IRIS – I have seen this answer in a couple of puzzles recently. Remove the last letter (cut down) from IRIS(h) or being from the European country of Ireland.

15a         Good youngsters sparkle (7)
GLITTER – G for Good and then the LITTER of pups/kittens or other youngsters.

17a         American explorer brought back to company … this! (7)
TOBACCO – Sebastian (or his father Giovanni) CABOT was an Italian explorer in the 15th/16th Century. Reverse him (brought back) and add CO, the abb. for Company.

18a         Individual entertains male party before audience (2-5)
ON-STAGE – ONE for individual/singular includes (or entertains) a STAG or male party.

20a         Cutter was returning after mist at sea (7)
FRETSAW – Interesting on the FRET being a mist at sea according to Chambers. I recalled it and then looked it up because I seem to remember a ‘sweat’ being a FRET as well i.e. a sheen of moisture. In any case reverse WAS from the clue after the FRET.

21a         Small ship in bay (4)
BARK – Two definitions – the BARK is a small ship (also barque) and the other synonym is a BARK/bay of the hounds.

22a         Feel the loss of girl (4)
MISS – Another double definition. This one should need no explanation.

23a         Taken in school’s report (5)
EATEN – A homophone (the report or sound) of Eton – a famous public school in the UK.

26a         Change in Germany meeting approval (5)
AMEND – D is the IVR (International Vehicle Registration) for Deutschland/Germany. Place it next to (meeting) AMEN for approval (assent/let it be is the Hebrew meaning)

27a         Old Lib-Dem leader tucks into lean bit of steak and sauces etc (9)
TRIMMINGS – That mill be Menzies ‘MING’ Campbell inside TRIM (or lean) and a bit (or first letter) of S(teak). – I spent too long looking for the condiments!

28a         Arrange other matter in Arnie’s vehicle (3,10)
THE TERMINATOR – Vehicle here means the means of conveyance for Arnie (Schwarzenegger) i.e one of his films. Make an anagram of (arrange) OTHER MATTER IN. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks!


1d           Visitor from Peru abandoned trip having got lost round centre of Chingford (10,4)
PADDINGTON BEAR – An anagram (having got lost) of ABANDONED TRIP around G (the centre letter of ChinGford).

2d           Stories for instance set up to entertain the Navy (5)
YARNS – Reverse (set UP in a down clue) SAY/for instance and include (to entertain or bring in) the RN or Royal Navy.

3d           Like some music Clare Short arranged (10)
ORCHESTRAL – A simple anagram of CLARE SHORT – I know who she is…

4d           Set off with Pooh’s friend round river (7)
TRIGGER – The wonderful thing about this clue is that it involves TIGGER – the character who is Winnie the Pooh’s friend in the A.A.Milne books (I used to share digs with his grandson!). Insert R for River inside TIGGER.

5d           Fancy a gentle rambling (0,7)
ELEGANT – A rambling anagram of A GENTLE.

6d           Main section of bridge (4)
ARCH – The first is the cryptic definition – ARCH enemy being synonymous with a main enemy. The second is a straight def.

7d           Strains bearing fruit in verses (9)
LIMERICKS – RICKS the back (strains) under (bearing or carrying in a down clue) LIME for fruit.

8d           Royal family habit to be protected by foot soldiers following Tornados (5,2,7)
HOUSE OF WINDSOR – OK! USE (habit/custom) included/protected by a HOOF (foot) then place OR (Other Ranks – foot soldiers) after WINDS (tornados) – HO (USE) OF WINDS OR. Not my favourite but I threw it in from the checking letters and definition!

14d         Member of crew with muscle, skinny, casing joint (4,6)
ABLE SEAMAN – The AB(dominal) muscle) then LEAN (skinny) containing (casing means going around the outside of) a SEAM or joint.

16d         Rebel is pressing to capture north (9)
INSURGENT – IS URGENT (is pressing) to include (capture) N for North.

19d         Religious instruction Eastern sanctimonious saint let out (7)
EPISTLE – E(astern) and PI (sanctimonious/religious) then S for Saint followed by an anagram (out) of LET.

20d         Authoritarian rule of football administrators split when Hearts leaves (7)
FASCISM – the F.A., or Football Association then SC(h)ISM or a split when the H for heart has been removed (leaves).

24d         Opinion that can be reversed (5)
TENET – A standard palindromic definition in crosswords.

25d         Python at rest (4)
IDLE – OK for me but maybe not for fans – Eric IDLE being one of the members of Monty Python’s Flying Circussssss.

I’ll Be Back!


  1. Hilary
    Posted November 13, 2015 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Dear Gnomey thank you once again for your helpful guidance to explain why I did what I did. Knew fret as a mist because it is East Anglian and remember fretsaw from when I helped my Dad millions of years ago. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  2. jean-luc cheval
    Posted November 13, 2015 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the review gnomethang.
    Was in the club ” pays on the nose” at first even though in French we say “pays rubies on the nail”. Wonder where that came from.

  3. Kath
    Posted November 13, 2015 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for review Gnomey.
    I was in the “Pays on the nose” club – I blame MP as it was the first time I haven’t written out all the letters for ages.
    Unfortunately an unknown American explorer brought back Tabasco which didn’t help 7d much.
    I knew the sea mist from days on the Pembrokeshire coast when a mile inland the sun was blazing.
    I’ve only ever seen the 21a small ship spelt with a ‘Q’.
    28a was a bit of a mystery.
    My favourite was 4d. My Dad’s cousin, my godfather, was a medical student in Cambridge and was a great fan of the Pooh books, as were several of his friends. They wrote to A. A. Milne to ask him to call in for “a little something” on a particular date. They had a hand written reply from him saying that he was busy that day but he would love to join them for a “honey tea” the following week which he did.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to Gnomey.

  4. Barbara Devonish
    Posted November 14, 2015 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Loved this one, could manage the answers without actually understanding r relevance to clues. Something to do with A.D. maybe.!!!

    • Posted November 14, 2015 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Barbara

  5. gnomethang
    Posted November 14, 2015 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the comments, all!
    Kath – You either love Arnie or hate him or don’t know him!
    Regarding the nose/nail debate I always used nose but knew ‘pay cash on the nail’.

  6. Guernseygraeme
    Posted November 14, 2015 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Am I missing something , but I seem to remember this puzzle was in last Saturday’s paper?

    • gnomethang
      Posted November 14, 2015 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      Hi. Please have a look at the title and all of that ;)

      • Guernseygraeme
        Posted November 14, 2015 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

        Yep I missed that! Oops! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif