DT 27977

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27977

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty * Enjoyment **

This puzzle was published on Saturday, 4th December 2015

Morning All! – This one went in so quickly that I blinked and missed it. There was not too much to entertain apart from some nice anagram indicators. Personally I prefer a stiffer challenge.

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


1a           Danger! Noun penned by this compiler genius (6)
MENACE – Place N for Noun inside ME (this compiler) and an ACE or genius.

4a           Damage reputation of space station in school (6)
SMIRCH – I spent a short time trying to get the ISS (International Space Station) inside another word for school but in this case we need the original Russian MIR space station inside the abb. SCH for School as found on an Ordnance Survey map.

8a           Dull system of bank payments returned cover (8)
SCABBARD – Reverse (returned) DRAB for dull and BACS – Banker’s Automated Clearing Service – An automated cash transfer between bank accounts.

10a         Engineers drink pop (6)
REPORT – The RE (Royal Engineers) followed by a nice glass of PORT (drink).

11a         Boast about clothes (4)
GARB – Reverse (about) BRAG or boast.

12a         Support a ventricle that’s shaky (10)
CANTILEVER – An anagram (That’s shaky) of A VENTRICLE.

13a         US president’s pay for working in area around Boston (12)
LINCOLNSHIRE – A charade of the US president (Abe) LINCOLN’S and HIRE (pay for working).

16a         King’s mistress engaged in making battlement (12)
CRENELLATION – We need to place NELL (Gwynne), the famous mistress of King Charles II inside or engaged in CREATION for ‘making’.

20a         Pasta poor church creatures fed to sick clergyman coming round (10)
VERMICELLI – Place the poor church mice inside a reversal (coming round) of ILL/sick and REV/clergyman – (VER) MICE (LLI).

21a         Stupid person to perform exercise (4)
DOPE – A simple charade of DO/perform and P.E. – Physical Education.

22a         Movies showing spies framing soldiers from the East (6)
CINEMA – Start with the CIA or (American) spies and include a reversal (from the East i.e. left to right) of MEN or soldiers.

23a         Yard with dilapidated housing, not that old (8)
YOUNGISH – Y – The abb. for Yard followed by an anagram (dilapidated – like it!) of HOUSING – we were all there once!.

24a         Dealers at Zurich concealing fake (6)
ERSATZ – If you don’t know this word from its meaning then remember it is handy in pangram crosswords!. It is hidden in (is concealed by) the first three words in the clue.

25a         Gambler improved (6)
BETTER – A simple double definition.


1d           Central heating in 22 busted? One’ll fix it (8)
MECHANIC – CH, the abb, for Central Heating inside a busted anagram of the answer to 22 across – that is (ME) CH (ANIC).

2d           VIP old boy under arrest (5)
NABOB – OB, the abb. of Old Boy underneath NAB or arrest. A European who has amassed a fortune in the East, apparently!

3d           Fortune left section of church (7)
CHANCEL – Chance or fortune and then L for Left.

5d           Drink one needs to get over bird? On the contrary (7)
MARTINI – The bird is the MARTIN and the one is the I. The original instruction is to place I over Martin but ‘on the contrary’ tells us to do the reverse and place the MARTIN over I (in a down clue).

6d           Theatre company feel bad about show (9)
REPRESENT – The REP(ertoire) theatre followed by RESENT/feel bad about.

7d           Charioteeer, ejecting Ben, was ahead of cast (6)
HURLED – Remove (ejecting) the Ben from (Ben) HUR, the famous charioteer and adding LED (was ahead) will get you the answer.

9d           Former Chancellor making headline? Yes (5,6)
DENIS HEALEY – Make an anagram (making) of HEADLINE YES. This will allow you to remember how many Ns and Es are in his name!!.

14d         Two coppers meeting topless smouldering things — they could be pickled (9)
CUCUMBERS – Two lots of CU (the chemical symbol for copper) followed by (e)MBERS or smouldering things with their top letter removed (topless).

15d         Bliss perhaps of calm river (8)
COMPOSER – We all remember Sir Edward Drummond Bliss the composer. Use COMPOSE to calm (oneself) and add R for River.

17d         Hour in space is unable to delight (7)
ENCHANT – Place H for Hour inside EN (a space in typesetting which is smaller than the EM) and CAN’T (is unable to).

18d         Temptation to consume drug is for relaxation (7)
LEISURE – A LURE or temptation containing (to consume or eat) E for E(cstasy)/drug and IS from the clue.

19d         Draw of Queen appearing in disreputable club (6)
DERIVE – That is ER – Elizabeth Regina – inside a DIVE or excellent disreputable nightclub.

21d         A number enjoy computer stuff (5)
DIGIT – A charade of DIG (enjoy/be into/grok) and IT – Information Technology or ‘computer stuff to the layman.

Thanks to the setter (I am guessing Cephas) and I will see you the week after next.


  1. Gazza
    Posted December 11, 2015 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Pretty gentle for a prize puzzle – my favourite clue was 13a. Thanks to Mr Ron and Gnomey.

  2. Kath
    Posted December 11, 2015 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Can’t find the crossword so will have to try to remember what I thought.
    I know that I had a spot of bother with 13a because I fell straight into the trap and thought of Boston, USA.
    I liked 7 and 9d.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gnomey.

  3. Hilary
    Posted December 12, 2015 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Gnomey and Mr Ron for delightful crossword, I picked cantilever as my favourite just because I like the sound of the word.