DT 27980 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27980

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27980

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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


Summer really feels to have kicked in here. Today is a clear blue sky day with just a gentle breeze. Perfect early summer weather which we are enjoying.
Our team is back to full strength to tackle today’s Jay puzzle. Quite tricky in places and we did debate whether it was almost **** for difficulty.

Please leave a comment telling us your thoughts.


1a     Plant register found in monastery (10)
FRITILLARY : A monastery that houses men in an active religious order, surrounds a register that holds the money in a shop.

6a     According to reports, makes pots (4)
URNS : A homophone of a word that means makes or ‘is paid for services’.

10a     Rise and dress (3,2)
GET UP : Double definition. The first a verb, the second a noun.

11a     At night, a student follows rap act on the radio (9)
NOCTURNAL : A from the clue and L(earner) follow a homophone of a word meaning rap as you would on a door, and an act or performance.

12a     Overrode protests from the East, revealing missile (7)
TORPEDO : This missile is camouflaged in its reversed state within the clue.

13a     Put the focus on narrow opening full of grass (7)
SPOTLIT : The type of grass that might be smoked is inside a word for a narrow opening.

14a     Spread that goes on freshly-made tea bun in golf club? (6,6)
PEANUT BUTTER : The golf club that is used on the greens surrounds an anagram (freshly made) of TEA BUN.

18a     Holds tight, grabbing striker to get this dish (12)
CHITTERLINGS : A word for a striker is inside another word meaning holds tight. (The pics we found all looked too revolting to include here.)

21a     Continuously do better after Nancy’s refusals (3-4)
NON-STOP : Nancy is the French city so we need negative responses heard here, then a word meaning do better than.

23a     Ever so sorry about Black Watch! (7)
OBSERVE : The abbreviation for black is inside an anagram (sorry) of EVER SO.

24a     Tricky situation created by a couple of toadstools added to stew (3,6)
HOT POTATO : A six letter word for a stew, then A from the clue and the first two letters of toadstools.

25a     Get used to hurt? Not Jack! (5)
INURE : Take a word meaning to hurt and remove the abbreviation for Jack as a playing card.

26a     Top player‘s pace, but no power (4)
SEED : Remove P(ower) from a word meaning pace or rate of movement.

27a     Writing on ruin of new coach (4-2-4)
FOUR-IN-HAND : An anagram (new) of RUIN OF, then a word for writing as done with a pen.



1d     Escapes with no end of managerial scraps (6)
FIGHTS : A word meaning escapes has the last letter of managerial taken away from it.

2d     Bury North’s unpaid employee (6)
INTERN : A word meaning put under the ground and the compass direction.

3d     Carrying out a limpet mine — not to be disturbed! (14)
IMPLEMENTATION : An anagram (to be disturbed) of A LIMPET MINE NOT.

4d     Freeholder depressed with road around river (9)
LANDOWNER : A small roadway surrounds a word meaning depressed and then the abbreviation for a river.

5d     Upsets those people who are steadfast (5)
ROCKS : Double definition. The second meaning describes those people who can always be relied on.

7d     Calls about telephone going up, and locks (8)
RINGLETS : The abbreviation for telephone number is reversed inside a word meaning calls on the telephone.

8d     Pay must include university and time promoting health (8)
SALUTARY : U(niversity) and T(ime) are included inside a word meaning earnings.

9d     Thought process provoked by a car salesman? (4-10)
AUTO-SUGGESTION : This sounds like an option proffered by a vehicle dealer.

15d     French standard that’s differently upheld in Italy? (9)
TRICOLOUR : The Italian version of this varies in the band on the hoist side.

16d     Answer therefore must include prison for plant (8)
ACANTHUS : The one letter abbreviation for answer and a word meaning therefore surround an informal word for prison.

17d     Good profit in quick French sketch (8)
VIGNETTE : The French word for quick has inside it G(ood) and the profit that remains after all expenses have been deducted.

19d     PSV rounding bend with a shock (6)
TRAUMA : A type of Public Service Vehicle surrounds the letter that is shaped like a bend, then A from the clue.

20d     Left, for example, complete hero (6)
LEGEND : L(eft), then the abbreviation meaning for example and a verb meaning complete.

22d     Instrument that’s played softly (5)
PIANO : Double definition, the second being a musical instruction.

We have two delightful sounding words in 1a and 18a and can’t decide which one we prefer as favourite.

Quickie pun   purse   +   heaves   =   perceives

63 comments on “DT 27980

  1. Have to say that for some reason it was a r& r for me today, probably because of the number of charade type clues like 16d/17d/4d/1a etc, had decided on a */** before I read the 2K’S blog- now I know what a PSV is ,and thanks for the usual blog pic’s -not seen that Shirley dimpled smile for a while. 9d my favourite as it brought a smirk.

  2. Did not complete. Went quite smoothly up to the last clue but 27a eluded me until I came here for help. Liked 18a. Thanks.

  3. This was an absolute cracker of a crossword. Loved it. Agree that it was tougher than most we see on the back page but it was definitely fair. 5* for enjoyment without a doubt. I starred 7 clues so it’s tricky to pick a favourite. 6a was a lovely all in one clue and 11a made me laugh. 27a was my last one in.

    I’m not sure if anyone else here has had the (dis)pleasure of experiencing the smell of 18a. Absolutely foul!

    Many thanks to Jay and 2K

        1. No imagination necessary, like the smell of Hydrogen Peroxide the smell of chitterlings haunts my childhood memories.

          1. I think they use pig intestines to make sausage skins.
            There is a nice pub in Keswick Cambria called the 27 across, I hope it’s not underwater.

            1. I’m not 100% sure but I think sausage casings are just a thin ‘layer’ of the intestines rather than the whole thickness of it. My brother used to be a butcher. I’ll ask.

  4. 18a and 27a were my last ones in as I completed this excellent puzzle. Never heard of the former, but the great clueing made it solvable. 27a wasn’t made any easier as the online version had 4,2,4 rather than using hyphens. This was 2.5* for difficulty, not so much in the completion, but the parsing afterwards, but a solid 4* for enjoyment. Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  5. ***/****

    Agree that this was more challenging than some of late. And certainly better for it. Although I now know what 18a is and I could have happily spent my life not ever knowing that. Just why? 27a was bunged in and parsed much later, very clever.

    However I didn’t use my pencil for any anagrams today. Not once. I’m tempted to just write out some letter circles anyway.

    I also thought 1a were butterflies? Bunged that one in too. My knowledge of horticulture is abysmal hence also looking up 16d.

    However a wonderfully satisfying solve to accompany a very nice morning, some of which was spent watching the waves and ripples of boats by the sea.

    Favourite is 27a.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis for a lovely blog as always.

    1. Yes, you’re correct, Hanni. Beautiful speckled fluttering things, just like the flowers that flutter gracefully in the breeze.

    2. Bear’s breeches – aka 16d – come up often enough to stick into the memory for future use – we have some in our garden and I quite like them.

      1. The answer to 16dn, for me, joins such words as ETUI and REREDOS as ones that I keep running across only in Crossword land, never in real life.

  6. New for me are the nice-looking but horrible-sounding flowers in 1a, and the presumably horrible but nice-sounding dish in 18a. Thank you for restraining from an illustration. Of course I thought PSV could only be the Dutch football club. I was also thinking the Dutch flag might be a nice “differently upheld version of the french standard”, but it seems not all flags have this label. I liked 9d (car salesman), 1d (escapes with no end of managerial scraps – feels like I’ve been there), 6a (pots) and 14a (spread that goes on..)

    Many thanks 2Kiwis and thanks Jay

  7. I have just read the parsing of 12ac and am worried for Kath. I never spotted it. The checkers were enough and the missile definition proved it. Oh dear!

  8. That’s more like it! 2*/4* for this excellent puzzle.
    27a and 19d were the last to go in – before the last letter of 19d appeared, I was vaguely wondering about football teams.
    Also, had a question mark regarding the parsing of 21a. Thank you for the French city, 2Ks!

    Top of the pile is 9d, followed by 14d – although I loathe the stuff. Mind you, if the choice was between that and 18a, I might be persuaded to force it down. I have this dreadful feeling that JL might drop in to tell us how wonderful 18a can be when expertly cooked. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
    Many thanks, Jay, for a most enjoyable solve and a big thank you to the re-united 2Ks for a delightfully illustrated review. 1a certainly gets my vote for ‘most attractive’.

  9. I think putting one particular plant , however pretty, out of all the millions of possibilities ,is a very very irritating thing for a setter to do.I have it in my front garden in spring , but that is beside the point.
    I have never heard of 18a, and given that the Kiwis could’t bring themselves to post a pic , that is probably a good thing.
    9d is the best clue published this week.
    I also really liked 8d, 16d, 17d and 10a.
    Thanks Kiwis and Jay.

  10. Three really enjoyable and solveable crosswords in a row ? A gourmets delight 14a, 18a & 24a ? and for a spot of horticulture 1a & 16d **/**** Thanks to the numerically restored 2 X Ks and to Jay ? Lovely pictures on the blog! Liked 1a & 14a. Whereas brevity was MP’s watchword today I’m afraid have lapsed into verbosity ?

  11. Good afternoon everybody.

    Hard work today with 1a an 18a unsolved. It turns out that I deduced 18a correctly although having never heard of the word didn’t write it in. Some nice clues with 9d,27a,19d and 17d worth mentioning.

    Is it me has the Telegraph upped the difficulty level a bit recently?


  12. Good puzzle, though I needed the hints to know why some “bung-ins” were correct, e.g. 12a, missed that lurker completely. Ditto 24a.
    Fave was 9d.
    Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis

  13. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very good puzzle as usual from Jay. I must have been on the right wavelength, didn’t have too many problems. 9d&14a made me laugh. Favourite was 13a. Last in was 18a, which was a new word for me, but I got it from the wordplay. Was 2*/4* for me. Like Dutch, I could only think of PSV Eindhoven in 19d, great misdirection.

  14. All went well till 27a – did not know the expression. Got 1a and 18a although they were new words for me – do not like the sound of this dish – pigs intestines, ugh! Probably a bit like tripes which I do not like at all. Completely missed the lurker in 12a – not the only one it seems! Fine crossword which was a pleasure to solve. Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis for the review. Favourite was 9d.

  15. Good morning everyone. So much for the comment in the preamble about summer weather, today has dawned grey and overcast with the threat of rain. Ah well, the farmers probably need it, which is commonly said in our islands of variable weather.
    Wonder where everyone has got to today. Last week there were a hundred emails in our inbox at this time.
    We think that we will put chitterlings on the same list of ‘things to be avoided’ with jellied eels which we did try on a trip to UK a few years ago.

    1. jellied eels truly are awful. In Holland you buy a much thinner and leaner smoked eel (gerookte paling) which is fantastic.

      1. I have a Dutch friend here who, besides exporting eels to all parts of the world, also has a smokehouse and produces smoked eel. I agree that it is superb. Quite a different kettle of fish to the jellied variety.

    2. 13a makes no sense until it is re written as “Focus put ” as opposed to “Put the focus” which would have given the answer “spotlight” as opposed to “spotlit”

      Happy Thursday from the pedant-in-chief !!

  16. Surprised to see so few comments for what was an excellently crafted puzzle.

    Today was one of those days when progress was very intermittent, i.e. successive bursts of answers then periods of inactivity. LOI was 6a, it was frustratingly elusive!

    Two favourites stood out for me, 1a and 14a. Like Dutch (appropriately) and Heno, until today PSV was just a football team from The Netherlands, but I’m now the wiser.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis.

  17. Where is Kath today? Xmas shopping perhaps. I expected to read comments from her about the fritillaries in Christ Church Meadow in Oxford. When there was a proposal to put a bypass through the meadow, the fritillaries won the day.

    1. Quite right, on both counts – out shopping today and love fritillaries. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif for the first but http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif for the second.

  18. Brilliant crossword – quite difficult in places. Took quite a while but they all went in in the end. ***/**** Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks and here’s a little musical offering for 24a ….

  19. Not that difficult with some daft clues in 21a, 24a and 27a. All were solvable but the clueing was extremely poor in my opinion especially 21a which was just plain chronic!
    For me **/**
    Thx to all

  20. I generally struggle on Wednesdays, today was no exception. The SE corner gave me most agony, but only needed help with 27 a, and though I worked it out, have never heard that expression for ‘coach’. An old vehicle ?
    Anyway, ****/*** from me. I thought C.O.D was 6across. Thanks to setter and 2Ks.

  21. 3*/5*. Sheer brilliance. I really loved this although I did need the review to understand the wordplay for 21a. Too many great clues to try to pick a favourite.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  22. First class: not particularly hard, but great fun (2*/4*). I’m in rather a quandary over choosing a favourite clue, because I loved both 11a and 6a for different reasons; in the interests of brevity, I’ll plump for the latter. Thanks to the setter, and of course to those smug summer-dwelling Kiwis(!).

  23. A really enjoyable puzzle!

    My favourite today is Jay

    (21a – I once went out with an English girl called Nancy – she always said “No”)

  24. Felt like a Giovanni with all these obscurities.
    Needed quite a bit of googling to get 1a, 18a and 27a. Specially 1a. Even tried Prilistory: Priory + List inside.
    My point being that if you don’t know this particular plant, and the term plant is in itself very vague, you need to find the right synonyms and hope to come up with a word that makes sense.
    For 27a, I remember people asking for BD to open a section in his mine. That would have been very helpful.
    I did like some of it though.
    14a was very nice. I’m sure that if Dutch was to eat some 18a, a bit of that spread would certainly help. If I remember well, they put peanut butter and mayonnaise on anything and everything.
    Thanks to the setter and to 2kiwis for the review.

    1. Oops sorry Dutch.
      I didn’t want your name to do double duty. I meant to say in Holland of course.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  25. As so often I agree with RD. I always love Wednesday crosswords but I do think that Jay excelled himself today. 3* and 5*.
    I was almost beaten by the jiggery-pokery in 27a and didn’t get 20d too easily either.
    18a was a bit tricky too – I have met them before but, thankfully, only in crosswords.
    I loved 14a – even better on toast with marmite – and before anyone says, “yuk” try it!
    Far too many amazing clues to pick any out but, if pushed, I’d go for 11 and 14a. My favourite was 21a once I realised what, rather than who, Nancy was.
    With thanks to Jay for a truly amazing crossword and to both Kiwis – hope that your weather sorts itself out! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    1. You have our personal guarantee that the weather will have sorted itself out by mid January. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  26. ***/***. Having returned from the dental hygienist, my eternal phobia, this was a pleasant if more difficult than usual challenge. 27a my favourite. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

  27. What a busy day! Have had my t’internet connection upgraded to ‘super fast, beats the s**t out of Speedy Gonzales’ fibre optic broadband and what a difference it makes. Then, out for a dinner at my favourite local restaurant with some really good friends sharing some wonderful news.

    Combine all that with a couple of really enjoyable crosswords and the camaraderie / humour on this blog and I am a very happy man – result!

    Thanks to Jay (here) and Kcit (the other side) for the puzzles and the 2K’s and Gazza for the reviews. Off for coffee and Brandy.

    G’nite, Hic http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  28. As I seem to say every Wednesday, Jay is my favourite setter: his challenges are always hard but fair, although this one slipped in nicely with hardly a pause until I was left with only 27a. I struggled with this, drew word circles, came up with answers only to reject them at once, so I stopped, poured myself a stiff vodka and tonic (I’ve foolishly allowed myself to run out of beer and whisky is reserved for bedtime), lit a cigarette and tried some lateral thinking. It was then that I realised what the answer had to be, but it didn’t fit with my checkers: I’d written the Italian/French word rather than the English version – tricolore. Once that particular euro dropped, it was all over. The power of tobacco asserts itself once again. I loved 18a, 14a and 17d, but I’ll go with the flow and award tonight’s star prize (possibly a speedboat) to 9d. Many thanks to the gloating K-squared and, of course, to Jay. 2*/4*

  29. 13a makes no sense until it is re written as “Focus put ” as opposed to “Put the focus” which would have given the answer “spotlight” as opposed to “spotlit”

    Happy Thursday from the pedant-in-chief !!

  30. One of the toughest backpagers ever in my book. Finished about five answers short before consulting the blog. Is there anyone else who has never heard of 27a? Having written the French spelling of their flag the same as “Tstrummer” didn’t help either. Mind you I have an excuse..I was a French teacher.

  31. First class from Jay! Other than a slight hold up with19d – I did try to fit ARTIC (the lorry) but that was really way off… eventually I saw reason. 3/3* overall. Favourite is 9d just because we bought one yesterday which is why I’m so late posting.
    Thanks to Jay and to the 2Kays.

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