DT 27634 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27634

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27634

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja on a beautiful autumn morning with not a cloud in the sky but there is a slight nip in the air. I’m pretty sure this is a RayT production as Her Majesty is in attendance and all but one of the clues are eight words or less.  Not very much in the way of innuendo and perhaps a few more anagrams than RayT usually includes, which I know will please many of you. There are also three hidden word clues, two of them reversed, so I reckon a certain lady blogger might be pleased to be giving this one a miss.

I found it very enjoyable and not too taxing so I’ll be interested to see your comments.

Answers are hidden under the click here buttons and definitions are underlined in the clues. The ones I like most are in blue.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a           River Test providing business (10)
INDUSTRIAL: A charade of a Pakistani river and a test to give a type of business.  Not sure about this one. The definition is a noun but the answer is an adjective.  What’s your take on it?

6a           Stubborn dirt without ‘Finish’ (4)
GRIM: A synonym for dirt without its last letter (without finish).

9a           Blouse largely restricts bird (5)
OUSEL: The bird is hidden (restricts) in BLOUSE LARGELY.

10a         Queen maybe finished with energy in evidence (9)
SOVEREIGN: What the Queen is an example of (maybe) is a word for finished and E(nergy) inserted into (in) a word for some evidence of something such as a scent or spoor.

12a         Some stars will take a time to give speech (7)
ORATION: Take the constellation (some stars) also known as The Hunter and insert (will take) A (from the clue) and T(ime).

13a         Goes over  records (5)
LISTS: Double definition.

15a         Tighten up, possibly using a spanner (7)
ABRIDGE: Tighten up as in edit or shorten. It’s A (from the clue) followed by the sort of spanner which spans a river.

17a         Nero perhaps, through in overturned capital (7)
EMPEROR: A word meaning through or by inserted into a reversal (overturned) of Nero’s capital city gives what Nero was an example of (perhaps) – no, not pyromaniac but his rank is what’s needed!

19a         Run from former wife appealing about sweetheart (7)
EXECUTE: Run as in operate or perform.  Start with the usual former wife followed by a word meaning appealing or pretty and insert (about) an E (swEet heart).

21a         Degrade Mass in Church with end of Latin (7)
CHEAPEN: Abbreviation for the Church of England followed by N (end of latiN) with a mass or large pile inserted.

22a         The endless drink produces monotonous drone (5)
THRUM: TH (THe endless) followed by a drink beloved of sailors.

24a         Supposing love precedes heartache (7)
OPINING: O (love in tennis) followed by some heartache or yearning.

27a         Realise English includes Shakespeare material (9)
GABARDINE: Start with a word for realise, as in earn or obtain. Insert the word for a poet which is often used as a name for Shakespeare and follow with E(nglish) and you’ll get a material which gives its name to a type of child’s raincoat. I had one of those raincoats when I was a kid.

28a         Revenue follows small bet (5)
STAKE: Revenue as in gate money perhaps after S(mall) gives a bet.

29a         Insect back for bite (4)
TANG: Reverse (back) a small biting insect.

30a         Waveringly emits a note, sort of flat (10)
MAISONETTE: Anagram (waveringly) of EMITS A NOTE.


1d           Picture from Japanese camera cut off at top (4)
IKON: Take the first letter off (cut off at top) a famous Japanese brand of camera.  Never come across this spelling before but it was pretty clear.

2d           Sermon is so crude getting broadcast (9)
DISCOURSE: Anagram (getting broadcast) of IS SO CRUDE.

3d           Dance is hot stuff (5)
SALSA: Double definition. The hot stuff is a spicy tomato sauce.

4d           Stay for act including clairvoyance (7)
RESPITE: Take a formal act or procedure prescribed in a religious ceremony and insert the letters for clairvoyance or sixth sense.

5d           Go forward with victory in a foxtrot? (7)
ADVANCE: Insertion (in) of V(ictory) into A (from the clue) and what the foxtrot is an example of, indicated by the question mark. Nothing to do with phonetic alphabets this time.

7d           Starts to rapidly attack in daring swoop (5)
RAIDS: First letters (starts to) of the other words in the clue.  The whole clue is the definition.

8d           Cook sent in more soup (10)
MINESTRONE: Anagram (cook) of SENT IN MORE.

11d         Trainee’s pal erratically holding up sink (7)
RELAPSE: The answer is hidden (holding) in TRAINEES PAL ERRATICALLY but it’s reversed (up in a down clue).

14d         Bulletproof with target moving (10)
WATERTIGHT: Anagram (moving) of WITH TARGET.

16d         Musician, last in band and more eccentric (7)
DRUMMER:  D (last in  banD) followed by a word meaning more eccentric or stranger gives a musician like Ginger Baker.  Sad to hear of the death of Jack Bruce last Saturday.

18d         Disgusting gent ran up flashing (9)
REPUGNANT: Anagram (flashing) of GENT RAN UP.  Personally I’m not sure about flashing as an anagram indicator but FLASH is so marked in Chambers Crossword Dictionary.

20d         Single cut up about sexy images (7)
EROTICA: Start with I (single) and a word for cut or rent (past tense) and reverse it all (up in a down clue) and then add an abbreviation for about or approximately. We’ve already had this reversal indicator just four clues ago.

21d         Sculpts Greek character as sexless, oddly (7)
CHISELS: The 22nd letter of the Greek alphabet followed by the alternate letters (oddly) from aS sExLeSs.

23d         Flier casually knocking off, we hear (5)
ROBIN: This bird (flier) sounds like (we hear) a casual or common way of saying a word meaning knocking off as in stealing.

25d         Writer turns in one’s biro (5)
IBSEN: This Norwegian playwright and poet is another backwards hidden word (turns in) in ONES BIRO.

26d         You and I are, or used to be (4)
WERE: Double definition. The first one needs an apostrophe in the middle.

Quite a lot of good stuff here but my favourite is 26d with 15a and 7d on the podium. What do you think?

The Quick Crossword pun: height+reason=high treason

91 comments on “DT 27634

    1. That’s what I had at first but it doesn’t make any sense to me. ‘Providing business estate’?

      1. Can’t business be used as an adjective as well as a noun, e.g. business park? I just took providing as a link word.

        1. On second thoughts that doesn’t work either.

          ‘Business park’ is a noun. Def of ‘business park’ from Collins:-

          noun – an area specially designated and landscaped to accommodate business offices, warehouses, light industry, etc

          1. Whatever Collins says, surely “park” is the noun and “business” in this context is an adjective describing the noun? At least I’m sure that is what my highly opinionated English teacher from many moons ago would have said.

            I just checked my BRB and it says that “business” can be used as an adjective as well as a noun – even if “business park” may have been an ambiguous example on my part.

        1. Still don’t really see how it works, although that’s what I had underlined as the def until I started writing the hint. ‘Providing business’ could be part of a phrasal verb or, as ‘a providing business’ it could be a noun meaning a business which provides something. Whatever, ‘industrial’ is an adjective so for me the clue isn’t quite right.

          It was actually my first in because, as Beaver says at #6, I’ve seen it before.

        1. Yes you are right, but it was my way of getting there and I somehow avoided getting hung up on business park etc. in fact that never occurred to me until I saw the comments!

          1. Who cares how you get there – you got there without getting caught up with all the ‘iffing and butting’ – until you got here. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

      1. That, of couse will be the answer.

        Synonyms of industrial from Collins thesaurus:-

        = manufacturing, business, commercial

        Thanks Rob.

    2. Sorry I started this! I’m with the Shirley Conran school of thought really but it still don’t work for me. Perhaps RayT will explain his thought.

      1. Yes – I’m sorry you started it too. I was really quite happy about the definition being ‘providing business’ – it didn’t even occur to me to question it but now . . . oh dear! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
        Just remember it’s only a crossword – now, let me think – who was it who started that one . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  1. My rating is 2*/4* for the usual highly entertaining offering from Ray T full of beautiful but brief cluing and great surface readings. It’s impossible to pick a single favourite or even a short list from such a great selection.

    I can’t recall having seen that particular spelling for 1d before but it is in the BRB. Even though the answer was clear, 10a was my last one in as it took me a long time to parse fully.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Pommers whose review pretty much exactly reflected my view of this puzzle!

  2. 2*/4* for me too. Many thanks to RayT for a pleasant distraction from the morning work duties, and to pommers for the review.

  3. I found this a bit more tricky than some – why isn’t it swoops with an s in 7D?. For me some of the synonyms were also a bit strained.
    So 3*/2* for me.

    1. I’d have thought that it was immaterial as to whether it is SWOOP or SWOOPS in that clue George, because it’s the first letter of each of the five words that make up the answer – Pommers has said it all really. :-)

    2. As Pommers says, the meaning is the whole clue. The first word is STARTS, which gives you what you require.

    3. I agree with George.”Starts to” refers to the beginnings of the following five words. For it to be an all-in-one clue, the last word should be in the plural.

  4. Thank you Ray T, clearly in a relaxed mode today, and too taxing, but an enjoyable challenge as always. I agree with the experts’ comments on “industrial” – no doubt someone will dig up more information as the day goes on ! – but the answer was obvious. Thanks Pommers for your review, hints and photos.

  5. No quibbles with a **/**** rating; agree with Gazza over 1A,this has turned up before ,as I’m sure you are aware , but usually in the form of say-River attempt creates business (8).Thanks Pommers for the pics and especially Mr Baker, it was sad to hear about JB, wonderful fretless bass player.Very enjoyable crossword from Ray T,liked 27A and 19A.

  6. IMHO this was the most entertaining puzzle of the week so far. Too many good clues to mention here, because I think I’d end up listing pretty much all of them. Thank you Ray T, if indeed you were the compiler, it gave me a lot of smiles (unlike yesterday’s Toughie, which I simply could not get my head around)

    1. It may amuse you to hear that I spent a lot of last Sunday at the roadside in various parts of Leicestershire, listening to what a traffic cop had to say :-)

      1. Tis sympathy that I feel Steve, not amusement for sure – were you ‘spoken to’ more than once? Your comment seems to imply as much. My gripe with the police nowadays is that they ignore the cyclists who ride on the footpaths – years ago they would have ‘had a word’ with miscreants such as them.

  7. Thoroughly enjoyable. **/**** for me as well. I thought many of the clues were wonderfully concise without a wasted word anywhere!

  8. Definitely 4* for enjoyment and maybe a bit more than 2* difficulty because I was very slow to get started – don’t know why.
    I managed 9a instantly, was a bit slower to get 25d and as for 11d the less said about that the better – it was my second to last answer. Oh dear.
    All five (I think) of the anagrams were nice and long which was helpful – it would have been even more helpful if I’d been quicker to spot the anagram indicator in 14d.
    19a was my last answer – if a clue begins with ‘run’ I automatically think ‘cricket’ and it makes me go blind!
    I liked 9 and 29a and 8 and 26d. My favourite was 18d.
    With thanks to Ray T and thanks and well done to pommers. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    1. Hi Kath – yes, it took me a while to get the anagram context of 14d as well – but what a delight when the penny dropped!
      Have you noticed that we haven’t heard from Hanni since her early post yesterday to say that she was going out to ‘fall off horses’. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      1. You’re right – let’s hope she hasn’t. She often leaves comments a bit later, doesn’t she . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      2. Worrying.

        I think horses have one end that kicks and the other end bites – I’ll get me coat http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

        1. My Dad used to say that they were dangerous at both ends and uncomfortable in the middle. I’ll get me coat too . . .
          As for Hanni – where are you?

          1. Hi, all limbs still intact! But we got back to a phone call telling us a good friend had died. :-( it wasn’t unexpected news. Sad sort of day. Just catching up on the comments and thank you for the concern. :-) Jane can I have those grapes anyway? By the way you’re generally right about horses, except the one I ride is to lazy to bite or kick…or even move at times. I finally get to start the crossword now! Is 1a ‘industrial’ by any chance. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

            1. OK, I didn’t go to bed!

              Hi Hanni – re 1a – yes it is but please don’t reopen that can of worms.

              Glad you’re OK and my sympathies for your loss. It gets more common as you get older, believe me. I’ve lost three of my best friends in the last couple of years – sign of age I guess.
              My mum (89 years old) says she doesn’t go to funerals any more as all her friends are dead.

            2. Glad to hear that you’re OK, but such a shame about your friend. Of course you can still have the grapes – green or black?
              Hope you enjoy the Mr. T – it’s at least **** for enjoyment. Word of warning – the Toughie may be out of our league (well, mine anyway) – 8 in so far and I think that might be the height of it! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

              1. You beat me to it by a couple of minutes.
                The Toughie – you must be joking – painting kitchen – chaos – can’t find anything. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

            3. I’m sorry about your friend but glad that you’re in one piece.
              I think that Jane is busy trying to keep quiet until Saturday and as for 1a – well, as pommers has just said, when the lid has been put on that particular can of worms . . .
              Sleep well.

    2. I agree Kath, i’d say perhaps a 2.5. I started slowly too and unusually had to do most of the bottom right first and make progress upwards.

  9. Lovely fare from Mr. T. as usual. ‘Providing business’ worked well for me as a definition at 1a, but maybe I’m just biased?

    25d made me smile – I always think of the tv sketches – ‘poem by ‘Enry Gibson’ – great show!

    9a – plenty of Ring Ousels about in N.Wales at the moment – nice bird to catch up with.

    Too many potential favourites to single one out – many thanks to Mr. T. for brightening my day prior to going for a pneumonia jab! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    Pommers – your review is as top-class as ever. Have you undertaken your UK tour yet? If not, I’m afraid you may have missed the best of the weather – it’s definitely on the change now.

    1. No, still in Spain. Arriving Bristol on 5th Dec and departing from Manchester on 14th Dec. I’ll be taking my sailing oilies, snug, every wooly jumper I own and my Rohan padded bags.

  10. Another interesting and enjoyable offering from the master clueman. 18 has to be the best as the surface reading is so funny. We always get a good laugh with RayT and this was no exception. Other lol moments were 7 9 10 11 14 15 16 18 19 25 27 and 30. Are there any more left? Why does Ray only get a fortnightly slot? I suppose the Crossword Editor is too busy apologising for cockups to worry about that. Maybe we will get another Beamer soon, or is it wishful thinking.

  11. Great stuff as usual from RayT which was probably a bit less taxing than is normal from this setter (which suits me just fine!). Thanks to pommers and RayT **/****

  12. Very enjoyable as usual from RayT and thank you pommers for the review. If anything this one seems slightly more benign than Ray’s usual offerings, but still gave lots of fun to do. 3*/4* from me today.

  13. 21d – I still do not understand “oddly” … when it is the even numbered letters that are taken from “..as sexless….

    I’m sure that this has been explained before on this blog … but, unfortunately, I have a memory like a sieve! Sorry!

    Thanks to RayT for the puzzle and pommers for the review.

      1. Thanks for the reply, pommers.Much appreciated!

        Muchas gracias, señor!

        I think I understand but …?

        1. I take it you found the ‘thrid’ set of synonyms :grin: (that ones not animated!).

          It’s one of those crossword thingies that just needs remembering. ‘Evenly’ almost always means the even letters but ‘oddly’ can mean either, or even every third or fourth letter.

  14. Thanks to Ray T and to Pommers for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, just got beaten by 13a, I could only think of discs, I always struggle with double definitions, even though I recognised this as such. Favourite was 18d, which made me laugh out loud. Was 2*/4* for me. Someone just wrecked my wingmirror, not happy http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

    1. Nothing to do with the puzzle, but it may interest you. I just replaced the whole mirror on my daughter’s fiat 500. Checked the internet and found wingmirror man. 67 pounds and it came in a few days.

  15. I finished this one before golf today but had to wait for the hints to explain 10a, 27a and esp 6a which I still don’t fully get. I can see that Grim is Grime with no finish but what has grim to do with stubborn? My copy of Chambers doesn’t give that definition at all.
    Howsoever, it would be churlish of me not to thank Ray T for providing this puzzle which I thoroughly enjoyed. He has been my nemesis for so long, it is a real pleasure to find one of his efforts that I can do.
    Many Thx to Pommers for the explanations.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    1. Grim determination. I agree that BRB doesn’t specifically say stubborn but it does say unyielding which, for me anyway, is near enough.

      1. Wow, MP – you do like playing with fire! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

        Mentioned the Van gig and think I caused a ‘domestic’. Apparently Ian is already booked in to a Van concert in London during November and when he mentioned this one to the other half she said……….. ‘NO’ (to reveal more of the conversation would doubtless put me into moderation).

        It seems Ian is a member of the original Van fan listings and meets up with a lot of the others at the various gigs. He is going to ask around next time and see whether any of them knows a publican from your neck of the woods. So….. if you get approached by an ex RAF guy from Anglesey, you’ll know who his is! He asked for your name – needless to say, the only one I could give him wasn’t of much help!

  16. I agree with JonP and Chris above; this was easier than the usual RayT puzzles but still a pleasure to do.
    Many thanks also to pommers for the revue.

  17. Definitely one of Mr T’s gentler efforts but still requiring full concentration so I will go along with the popular 2*/4* verdict. As for fully parsing 1a, I feel the same about it as Shirley Conran did about stuffing mushrooms!

    1. I’m with you on the ‘Shirley Conran’ bit, but I guess it will get us into trouble with the ‘experts’!

      Still trying to work out how you get a motorbike into an airing cupboard – have you got an extremely large airing cupboard? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  18. A **/**** for me also although when I first read though it I might have reversed these scores. Eventually quite gentle but very enjoyable. Thanks to the setter and pommers for the review. The rain is coming so a few months of walking wet dogs.

  19. After the first pass I though this was going to be difficult. It just sort of caved in after that, in a very cowardly sort of way. Great clues though. The Queen and the material both went in because they fit. I had to wait for checking letters for the anagrams but they all fell without the need for pen or pencil..Excellent work Mr Ray T. Well done Pommers.. Here is the more interesting drummer. http://youtu.be/Y8aGlOj2VFo

  20. Pleasant puzzle to solve.

    Faves : 15a, 30a, 3d & 21d.

    Re 14d – there is a lot of difference between bulletproof and the answer but I daresay there is a similarity figuratively!

    8d is becoming a bit like Ur of Chaldea!

  21. Excellent puzzle which I found difficult but finished on my own with one reference to the hints for which, many thanks, Pommers and thanks to RayT on whose wavelength I may be at last

  22. Our arms flew into the air in horror when we did our usual clue word count and discovered that 12a has NINE words. However, as they are all quite little words we will let Ray off with just a severe warning this time. (A bit like Steve the Beard perhaps). Agree with pommers’ ratings. Really good fun.
    Thanks RayT and pommers.

  23. Late here today. Really enjoyed this and had no real problems, just as well as it was a busy day. Only thing I didn’t understand was why bulletproof was watertight? I got it because of the anagram. Thanks to RayT and to pommers for his review.

    1. Watertight or bulletproof. Maybe it’s a Brit thing but the two words can mean exactly the same thing. Not likely to be breached by anything.

  24. Very pleased to complete the crossword on a Thursday.
    I’ve got a big airing cupboard. Could easily get a motorbike in it but it would interfere with the washing.
    Thanks to both

    1. All three of the motorbikes I’ve owned have leaked oil so they would not be welcome in the airing cupboard :lol:

  25. Many thanks to pommers for the analysis and to all who left a comment. Strange to see sixty-five comments and only seven votes, though!


    1. I voted ****. Pretty damn good stuff by my reckoning – thanks Ray. Think a lot of the comments were from me but at least 26d on page two. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

    2. I usually struggle on Thursday but this one really was a treat, think my brain has sorted itself out and thanks to BD and the gang restoring my confidence I loved it.

    3. I can’t remember if I left stars! Do not worry, you are considered a favourite setter to the majority!

  26. I’m off to bed now so it’s goodbye for now. See y’all next Thursday.

    BTW, I still don’t believe in 1a but we must agree to differ.


  27. Best puzzle of the week so far.
    I agree with you about 1a pommers as I thought exactly the same when solving today. Also, I have to say I dislike that use of oddly in 21d since the definition is relies upon does not require it to be a regular selection of letters imho. If anything, it implies an irregular selection.
    Quibbles aside, I enjoyed the puzzle and the review so thanks to both Ray T and pommers. 2*/4* for me today.

  28. Limited time for cruciverbal activity due to busy day ending with the new Brad Pitt war film “Fury” which follows an American tank crew through the wreckage of Germany in last days of the War – gripping stuff! Had to see it as godson was senior cameraman. After all that needed a bit of help from Pommers to complete RayT’s offering. Thank you both. “Waveringly” and “flashing” are new anagram indicators for me. Interesting to know my Dannimac should be bullet-proof! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_biggrin.gif

  29. **/****
    Oh what fun from RayT. A beautifully constructed crossword with some wonderful clues. Too many to go into all of them but 15a had me laughing.
    Thanks RayT and to Pommers for the excellent blog.

  30. Finally! Although not too taxing I managed to find the time to complete this great crossword and to please rayT I shall vote for the first time. So it is five stars for me and thanks to all involved.

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