DT 27959

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27959

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty */** Enjoyment **

This puzzle was published on Saturday, 14th November 2015

When I’d finished solving the crossword, I decided  this would be an ideal puzzle for anyone new to cryptic crosswords (or a newspaper hoping to increase the number of people entering the prize competition), but judging from a few of the comments on the day, perhaps I was wrong.

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


7a           Charge independent politician separately (7)
IMPEACH –   I (independent) MP (politician) EACH (separately)

9a           Tree    maintenance (7)
SERVICE –   Double definition.

10a         Conservative inclined towards socialism is divided (5)
CLEFT –   C (Conservative) LEFT (inclined towards socialism)

11a         Complain and put down joiner (9)
CARPENTER –   CARP (complain) ENTER (put down).

12a         Confined below, lay, knocked out (5,4,3,3)
UNDER LOCK AND KEY –   UNDER (below) followed by an anagram (out) of LAY KNOCKED.

13a         Followed across river, being towed (7)
TRAILED –   TAILED (followed) goes across (or has inserted) R (river).

16a         Income steady in Parisian’s street (7)
REVENUE –   EVEN (steady) inserted into a French (Parisian’s) street or RUE.

19a         The Express newspaper’s report? (8,7)
DEFINITE ARTICLE – DEFINITE (express, specific) ARTICLE (newspaper report).

23a         Dessert with my new vegetable (9)
SWEETCORN –   SWEET (dessert, pudding) COR (my!) N (new).

24a         Shows the way in speech in English city (5)
LEEDS –   A homophone (in speech) of LEADS (shows the way).

25a         Right about returned item — proof of purchase required (7)
RECEIPT – RT (right) put ‘about’ a reversal (returned) of PIECE (item).

26a         Mechanic, in part, is answerable (7)
ARTISAN –   Hidden in pART IS ANswerable


1d           Volume is to include nobleman (8)
VISCOUNT – V (volume) IS (from the clue) COUNT (include).

2d           Former exam relating to the countryside (8)
PASTORAL –   PAST (former) ORAL (exam)

3d           Decisively beat Oscar? Jolly good! (6)
WHACKO   – WHACK (decisively beat) O (Oscar in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet).

4d           Encourage operator to release latest of numbers (4,2)
URGE ON –   ‘Release’ or remove the latest letter of numberS from a SURGEON (operator).

5d           Male elected to keep investment, in error (8)
MISTAKEN –   Insert (to keep) STAKE (investment) between M (male) and IN (elected).

6d           Back with fish to sell down the river (6)
BETRAY –   BET (back) RAY (fish).

8d           Appeal of polytechnic’s first principal (5)
PLEAD – P (the ‘first’ of Polytechnic) LEAD (principal).

9d           Attacker in match (7)
STRIKER –   Another double definition.

14d         Caught wearing muddy loafers outside (8)
ALFRESCO –   C (caught) put inside (wearing) an anagram (muddy) of LOAFERS.

15d         Tried to set off for US city (7)
DETROIT –   An anagram (set off) of TRIED TO.

17d         Go against country importing it (8)
VITALITY –   V (versus, against) and ITALY (country) the latter ‘importing’ IT from the clue.

18d         Regular air service (8)
EVENSONG –   EVEN (regular) SONG (air)

19d         Abandon in wilderness (6)
DESERT –   And another double definition

20d         Can appearing upside down humour blockhead? (6)
NITWIT –   A reversal (appearing upside down) of TIN (can) followed by WIT (humour).

21d         Declare invalid must be taken round area once a year (6)
ANNUAL –   ANNUL (declare invalid) ‘taken round’ A (area).

22d         Musical   game (5)
CHESS –   And to finish, a final double definition



  1. Gazza
    Posted November 20, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    I thought that this was above average for a Saturday puzzle and liked 6d, 14d and 18d. Thanks to Mr Ron and CS.

  2. Hilary
    Posted November 20, 2015 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    As I remarked at the time 9a was new to me but I checked with Google and there it was, thanks to setter and as always a sincere thank you to CS – I am amazed at the amount of things you cram into a day makes me feel serously slothful.

  3. Kath
    Posted November 20, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    I knew the 9a tree but managed to forget it and for some unknown reason I took ages to work out why 25a was what it obviously was.
    I liked 10 and 19a and 3d (although not many others seemed to like that one) and 20d. My favourite was 14d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to CS.

  4. jean-luc cheval
    Posted November 20, 2015 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    So it was Whacko Jacko. Just didn’t know it meant Jolly good.
    Thanks to CS.

  5. Barbara Devonish
    Posted November 20, 2015 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Do not understand 22d. Chess????

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 20, 2015 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      If you Google Chess Musical you will find that Tim Rice collaborated with Bjorn and Benny from ABBA in a musical called Chess