DT 27997 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27997

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27997

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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


Our thoughts go out to all of you who are affected by the weather conditions that are making the news here. Meanwhile, since before Christmas, we have been having gloriously fine summer weather. Temperatures in the mid twenties and clear blue skies just at the time when the whole country is on holiday.
Jay has increased the difficulty a little from last week we thought, and is as enjoyable as ever.

Please leave a comment telling us your thoughts.


1a     Ladybird originally found in cigar-shaped plant (6)
GARLIC : The first letter of ladybird is put inside an anagram (shaped) of CIGAR.

5a     Funds set aside for wife most cunning (3,5)
WAR CHEST : The abbreviation for wife and then a word meaning most cunning or crafty.

9a     Businessman first to follow river Test (13)
INDUSTRIALIST : The river is a significant Indian one and is followed by a synonym of ‘test’ and then the three letters that represent first.

10a     A match official in Wellington? Definitely not! (8)
BAREFOOT : An all in one. The Wellington here is not our capital city but something much more down to earth, and includes A from the clue and a three letter sports official.

11a     Nosey creatures exploit the American tax authorities (6)
TAPIRS : A three letter synonym for exploit and the acronym for US tax authorities.

12a     Friendly spirit mainly found on a lake (6)
GENIAL : The spirit we associate with Aladdin’s lamp loses its last letter, then A from the clue and L(ake).

14a     Edict protecting a source of silicon means reduction (8)
DECREASE : Inside another word for an edict we find A from the clue and the first letter of silicon.

16a     Calmed down, seeing volunteers back in situ before start of day (8)
PLACATED : The two letter volunteer soldiers are reversed inside a word meaning position and, finally, the first letter of day..

19a     A French flirt has no time for worry (6)
UNEASE : The French indefinite article and a word meaning to flirt with its initial T removed.

21a     Boys must cross island and river, seeing landowners (6)
LAIRDS : Another word for boys includes the abbreviations for both island and river.

23a     Hesitation in a complex trial of major routes (8)
ARTERIAL : A from the clue, then an anagram (complex) of TRIAL which includes a two letter hesitation in speech.

25a     Technologically up to date, but that setter oaf is wrong (5-2-3-3)
STATE-OF-THE-ART : An anagram (is wrong) of THAT SETTER OAF.

26a     Popular opening journalist came up with (8)
INVENTED : A short word meaning popular, then a type of opening and a senior journalist.

27a     Quiet, say, for the man playing on the green (6)
PUTTER : The musical symbol for quiet and a word meaning to say.



2d     Worry, seeing it in a portal (7)
AGITATE : ‘It’ is inside A from the clue and an entrance way.

3d     Mineral vein containing good deposit (5)
LODGE : The geological word for a mineral vein has G(ood) inside it.

4d     Person in suit with temperature — something to eat required (9)
CASSOULET : This word for a person is a metaphorical use of the immortal aspect of one. It is inside a legal suit. Lastly, the abbreviation for temperature.

5d     Defeated by hard-wearing material (7)
WORSTED : Double definition, the second a woollen fabric often used for suits.

6d Burn carpet? (5)
ROAST : Double definition, the second meaning being to punish.

7d     Deceptive addition to capital growth (9)
HAIRPIECE : A cryptic definition. The capital here is the head.

8d     Anger during school tests for such literary compositions (7)
SATIRES : A three letter word for anger is inside an acronym for certain aptitude tests.

13d     Typified certain changes including new article (9)
INCARNATE : An anagram (changes) of CERTAIN which includes N(ew) and an indefinite article (English this time).

15d     Activity for lovers of royal house transport (9)
COURTSHIP : The royal house here could be the one that goes with Hampton and the transport is a large maritime vessel.

17d     Affair gives rise to trouble with one lad (7)
LIAISON : Reverse a three letter word for trouble, then the Roman numeral One and a male offspring.

18d     Overshadowed daughter’s battle to get nourished (7)
DWARFED : The abbreviation for daughter, the battle we met in the answer to 5a and a word meaning nourished.

20d     Look around Italy, regularly getting surprise (7)
STARTLE : Look intensely at surrounds the second and fourth letters of Italy.

22d     Result of effort getting women to occupy chair (5)
SWEAT : The effort doesn’t quite stretch to blood or tears. A word for a chair contains the abbreviation for women.

24d     Respond to soldiers and behave (5)
REACT : Engineering soldiers and then behave or perform.

Nice to see our capital, even if it wasn’t, so will go with 10a as favourite.

Quickie pun     mince   +   horse   =   mint sauce

64 comments on “DT 27997

  1. Many thanks 2Kiwis – also for the image of the multitasking putter (almost wrote potter) which I worry will now come to mind every time I hear golf.

    Slightly harder than last week but nothing scary and nicely enjoyable. I liked “cigar-shaped” in 1a. I also have ticks against 10a (match official in wellington), 11a (nosey creature), 19a (the carefree French flirt), 26a (the journalist who came up with a popular opening) and 7d (deceptive growth).

    Many thanks Jay

  2. 3*/4*. I thought this was going to be easy when I started as usual in the NW corner, which fell into place as R&W. I was brought down to earth with a bump when only 14a went in on my first pass in the NE.

    Moving next to the SE, my first somewhat risqué thought for 15d when the checking letters showed me it began with C_U was “couplings” but disappointingly I couldn’t reconcile that answer with “royal house transport”.

    Everything else gradually fell into place except for three answers in the NE: 5a, 5d & 7d until the resounding clang when the penny finally dropped for 7d. This immediately ousted 10a as my favourite and allowed me to get the final two answers.

    Many thanks to Jay for another superb puzzle and to the 2Ks for another excellent review.

    1. I too was hoping to find something cheeky in 15d’s activity for lovers, but it was all rather demure in the end.

  3. A bit harder than I needed this morning, but fair. None of my frowns were directed at the crossword.

    It grew nicely from the bottom up, but I ended up enlisting help to get 10a. Grr! (I can usually take my own socks off – I think I might take this as a sign I should lay off the chocolates for a while …)

    19a reminded me of a certain cheeky monsieur on this site offering to show Hanni his pedigree :).

    Thanks to Jay for keeping his standard up and to the 2Ks for their usual impeccable review.

  4. Thanks Jay for entertaining puzzle. South went in without much aggro and then North nicely demanding. Fav 5a. 11a took a bit of brain-wracking. Took while to parse 10a. Thanks 2Kiwis for hints – envy you the warm weather although we in S.E. England can’t really complain as it remains so warm however our hearts go out http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif to the victims of floods in the North. ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  5. Had to work quite hard on this one so I’ll go for a 3*/4*.
    16a was my first one in and then the bottom half slotted in quite nicely but, what a climb back up to the top!
    9a and 7d held out the longest – don’t know why I couldn’t see 9a.
    Plenty of enjoyment and lots of ‘ticks’ – think I’ll follow 2Ks and give the honours to 10a with a mention for 27a.

    Thanks to Jay for the workout and to 2Ks for another delightful pictorial review.

  6. I thought I was in for an easy ride today. Managed the bottom half easily, but was well stumped by the top half. Didnt help when I put scold as the answer for 6d. Cant say Ive ever heard of 3d.

  7. A game of two halves for me,the bottom half presented no problems whilst the top half didn’t like me it got even harder when I put scold in 6D oh well tomorrow is another day.Many thanks to the 2 k’s for their much needed review.?

    1. I think I must have been sitting next to you when doing this puzzle, I had exactly the same problems. ha ha

      1. and me.
        The bottom half was a breeze even for a dunce like me.
        As for the top half, a transplant from a ‘toughie’, I think!!
        Even with our antipodean friend’s help, I failed to understand the significance of ‘cunning’ in 5a, never heard of 4d either.
        Thanks to the setter and the 2 k’s!!
        Well done to England winning a test match abroad!!

        1. Add another to the club. The bottom half was almost r&w but after much banging of head against brick wall, I needed the hints for 5a and 9a. Everything then did start to fall into place. 10a was last in but was also my favourite.
          4*/3* for me – I found this the most difficult for a couple of weeks.

          Thanks to 2Ks for the very useful hints.

        2. 4d – when well made is possibly the most sleep inducing food in the world. The peasants of SW France are reputed to have semi-hibernated in the winter, rising only to stoke the fire and top up with this wonderful dish!

        3. HIYD, 5a: I thought I’d explain “cunning” in more detail since no-one else has. Basically it is W for wife followed by AR CHEST: (W)AR CHEST. Synonyms for arch (adjective) include sly, mischievous, cunning, etc. So the most cunning is the “archest”.

  8. Very enjoyable solve, as is customary from Jay – **/****. 10a was last one in and definitely my favourite, having considered rugby and cricket possibilities for a little while. With thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis for the impeccable review.

  9. What a wonderful puzzle ! Definitely 3 star.I was looking at 1a for quite a while before the solution appeared.
    Dutch has listed my likes.
    Another “like” has to be given to the Kiwis for their succinctly articulated explanation of 4d.
    Thanks to Jay and the Kiwis.

  10. Found the top half to be trickier than the bottom half. 10A was last to go in, and shares my top spot with 7D. Lovely puzzle. Thanks Jay and K2.

  11. I had trouble working out 4d – I had all the checking letters and had to resort to my Wordsearch program and then didn’t have a clue about the wordplay – thanks to the 2k’s for the explanation.

    It’s supposed to be heavy rain this afternoon – batten down the hatches and pray for an old British film on the gogglebox. I watched the Dambusters yesterday afternoon, it was spoilt for me by the continuity announcer warning of offensive language at every break. It turned out to be the name of Guy Gibson’s dog that the fuss was about – how pathetic!


    1. Bit of trivia…a very early and uncredited appearance by the late, great Robert Shaw as Gibson’s co-pilot

    2. Somehow political correctness seems to “dog” screen canines. The hound in Downtown Abbey was called “Isis” until it was conveniently killed off – I suppose it was the easier option than expecting the cast to refer to it as “So called Islamic State”!

  12. More of a 3* difficulty today and at least 4* for enjoyment.
    Assuming that I’m still capable of counting there were only three anagrams which always makes things trickier for me.
    I agree with anyone who said that the bottom half was much easier than the top.
    I spent too long trying to make 5a an anagram (cunning) of WIFE MOST – if it looks as if there aren’t going to be quite enough anagrams just invent a few – oh dear!
    Couldn’t see 9, 10 or 11a for ages.
    Working out why 4d was what it had to be took ages too.
    Got there in the end though!
    I liked 19 and 25a and 7d. My favourite was 10a.
    With thanks to Jay and to the 2K’s.

  13. Thoroughly enjoyable from Jay as usual and thanks to the 2Ks for the beautifully illustrated blog. **/**** from us. Unfortunately if you want to see the whole video you will have to watch it on you tube but it’s worth the effort – Hamlet Cigar Ads

    7d is needed here, along with 1a ….

  14. 4d had it in for me too. I had all of the checkers in I had the suit. This left only two letters to get. Couldn’t see what the person might be for ages. Got it in the end. It would have solved itself as an across clue or if I had written it out horizontally but as a down clue I was severely disadvantaged. Thank you Colin and Carol your picture choices are always superb. The word at ten across features in two Dylan songs, All Along The Watchtower and I And I so you missed an excellent musical opportunity. Thanks to Jay for an excellent puzzle.

  15. Only just around to solving this and what fun. 4d was my last in and took an age to parse correctly. 9a caused some problems too. Can’t name a favourite but good fun.

    Many thanks Jay and to the 2K’s for and lovely blog.

  16. I too found this a tad harder than the 2Ks, and like many before me finished the bottom half before the top. The NW corner held the most problems but I persevered and finished in 3* time, which matched the enjoyment. 10 across just pipped 4 down for my favourite clue, while the picture of the putter will, alas, stay with me for some time.

    Many thanks to Jay for an excellent workout and to the 2Ks for an entertaining read.

  17. Just the right level of difficulty for me, loved it.
    I needed the hint to know why my answer to 10a was correct.
    When I first came to the US to live, I went to the bank to “lodge” a cheque and the teller had no idea what I was talking about, so can’t forget the meaning as deposit.
    Like Kath, I tried very hard to make an anagram at 5a, but I twigged at last.
    Thanks to Jay for a top flight puzzle, and to the 2Kiwis for the review, particularly for the illustration at 27a!

  18. Was stumped by 10a although I suspected that it had something to do with a wellie! Many thanks to the 2Ks for their help which helped me complete this enjoyable puzzle. Once 10a was solved, 4d fell into place although I needed some help with parsing my answer. Lots of clever clues but I will nominate 15d as my favourite – with 20d as a close runner up. 3*/4*. Many thanks to Jay for a splendid mental work-up!

  19. I agree with the comment that the top was harder than the bottom. At one point we had completed the bottom half but had only two answers in the top.

    A very nice puzzle solved over a beer sat outside in the sun while waiting for my car’s headlights to be cleaned and polished. Might be able to see the road after dark in future!
    Fav was the wellington boot, as I do like an &lit which really works, but there’s lots of other good stuff to enjoy.

    Many thanks to Jay and the Kiwis.

  20. Bottom half fell into place easily as did north east with the exception of 4d even though I had all the letters. Once 5a fell , the rest of the north collapsed still very enjoyable **/**** thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis

  21. Good morning everyone. Re the picture for 27a we had carefully selected a photo of New Zealand’s latest golfing super-star Lydia Ko. We had got through to the proof reading stage with the blog when we were reminded that it specifically said man in the clue. Sorry Lydia, we had to opt for a much less heroic pic. We rather like Dutch’s suggestion that the pic would have worked just as well if the answer was potter instead of putter.
    We did ponder a bit on the difficulty level. When we had everything in, checked and parsed it felt like 3 difficulty but a glance at watches showed a bit less than that, so we went with our watches.

  22. I’m totally with those who found the bottom half easier than the top. I’d never come across 4d before which didn’t help the process.

    Some delightful cluing, but the overall enjoyment was marred somewhat by the lazy use of “seeing” no less than three times as a link word when plenty of other options were available.

    Favourites were 9a, 11a and 7d.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis.

  23. I enjoyed solving today’s crossword; the old grey cells were given a good work out.
    20d was my favourite even though I had spent what seemed to be an age trying to get the regular bits from ‘ getting’…. strangely enough with v little success.
    3/3* overall and for the first time in ages I’m up to date. Time for a drink….
    Thanks to Jay and the 2 K’s.

  24. Thanks to Jay for confusing me and to the 2Kiwis for sorting me out. Like several other people the bottom half went well but the top half proved to be quite a tussle. Taking CSs good advice I walked away and left it for a while and when I came back I managed to get most of it done but still needed help with the last two. I thought that I had solved them but did not know why.Grateful thanks to al.

    1. Hi Hilary – who’s Al? I’m thinking you’ve named the poltergeist. I reckon that Al is a very good name for a poltergeist – send him my best.

  25. **/****. What an enjoyable puzzle! Really liked 5a and 4d. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks for the review.

  26. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A nice puzzle from Jay, but I just couldn’t get on the right wavelength. Needed 5 hints to finish. Was 4*/2* for me.

  27. Failed totally with this one in the top half, made no sense to me in any way shape or form! Managed no answers at all in the top half. The bottom half was OK.
    Not for me.

  28. I found this quite difficult ? Needed a hint for 1a & although I arrived at the correct answer I still don’t really understand 10& 11a? So ***/** for me ? Favourite was 7d
    Spending the Holiday at our daughters’ in Penrith! I think we have had enough rain for now ? Thanks to the 2x Ks & to Jay

    1. Hi Jaylegs,
      10a – A REF (match official) is placed inside a wellington (BOOT). The definition relates to the fact that one would not expect to see a match official (in Wellington or anywhere else) ‘barefoot’.
      11a – TAP (alt. term for exploit in the verbal sense) plus IRS (American Inland Revenue Services). The answer is those long-nosed individuals shown in 2Ks pictorial review.
      Enjoy your family get-together!

  29. A bit of a struggle but got there in the end – as per most, filled grid bottom up. LOI 7d, not helped by having entered ‘unrest’ for 19a (had almost satisfactorily justified as UN + TEMPTRESS minus TEMPS for time). Thought 5a & 10a were great, plus a couple of others. A very good workout – thanks as always to setter & blog.

  30. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my brain, such as it is, still functions after a week’s excesses and not a crossword in sight. 1*/3.5*, I think, and 7d – which made me snort loudly with laughter and greatly displease my dear wife – gets my vote for top clue. Thanks to Jay, and to the 2 Kiwis.

  31. Bottom half went in ok but struggled with the top. Wanted to put ‘camembert’ into 4d. Thought that person in a suit might be a member of something. I had ‘C’ as the first letter and the member needed to be with the ‘t’ for temperature. Sorted!!! Thank you 2k’s for the pic to put me right and show me the error of my ways. Pic reminded me of a lovely stay at an auberge in Inxent, about an hours drive south of Calais. Fabulous food. The smell of the cassoulet cooking on the stove near the reception desk as you checked in was mouth watering. Thanks to the setter for what turned out to be quite a challenging but enjoyable puzzle.

    1. My only experiences of cassoulet have been absolutely dire. After the remarks from Kath and yourself, I can only assume that I’ve simply been very unlucky. No doubt JL could conjure up a wonderful version!

      1. I think that you have just been unlucky Jane. If you do a bit of research, you will see a pic of my aforementioned cassoulet sitting on the stove in the auberge in Inxent. Best food in France, but then haven’t tasted JL’s food, so don’t have a comparison.

  32. Hi for TS. So sorry that I’ve disappointed you over my reactions to Jude – I went back over some of it today but still came to the same conclusions. I simply didn’t enjoy it. Plenty of reasons why, but the blog is hardly the place to start a debate!

    Really pleased to hear that the wedding was such a successful event – I wish them well.
    As for your holiday wardrobe – I dread to think what you were planning but, no, a few polo shirts won’t suffice in those sort of temperatures! You’re sounding very positive about the whole venture – does that mean you’ve actually booked it?

    Have ordered the Colm Toibin – need you to come up with a winner this time. The ‘no’ pile is starting to get bigger than the ‘yes’ pile! The ex mother-in-law sent me a copy of Jo Brand’s autobiography – I think I made it as far as chapter 3. I did notice that, in the author’s notes, she says ‘you can always pass it on to someone you don’t like’ – I never did get on too well with the mother-in-law!

        1. It’s a very long time since I read it, but I remember it made a big impression on me. So if older me agrees with young me, then I’m in the Jude camp too. Maybe time for a re-read.

    1. Sorry to be so late replying – so late, in fact, that you probably won’t see this. I’m not sure about the No pile. Even if you only ever liked Thurber, the Yes pile would be massive; it’s all about quality, not quantity.
      And no, I haven’t booked Canada, and with things as they are, I may have to postpone …

  33. Good morning everyone.
    I also found the top half much harder than the top and had real difficulties getting a foothold.
    Made the same mistake as Kath by trying to make an anagram of Wife Most in 5a.
    Needed the hints to finish SE corner.
    Loved the pictures in the review except perhaps the so called cassoulet in 4d.
    Looks to me like some Strasbourg knackies cooked with Heinz baked beans.
    Should have some Toulouse sausages, some nice thick bacon, a bit of duck confit with flageolet beans and breadcrumbs. No tomato sauce please.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review.

  34. After an initial struggle to get anything much in, the bottom half yielded quite tamely. The top half had a few tricky ones – 7d, 10a and 4d (last in) but for some reason the words appeared which just left the parsing to do. 2*/3*.

  35. After a difficult few days, with quite a few more stretching ahead, I finally found a little space for myself tonight and cracked this excellent Jay puzzle as therapy. Accompanied by game pate, toast and a rather fine port, it was a joy from start to 7d, my last one in and favourite. I also liked 10a 2*/4*. Many thanks to KK! not needed but enjoyed nonetheless, and my favourite setter.

    1. It might be late Tom but certainly not unnoticed. We appreciate your comments and our thoughts are with you at present. Best wishes from us both.

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