DT 27007 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27007

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27007

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

It’s been a funny (and enjoyable) old week for the back-page cryptic solver but we return to earth today with a fairly typical puzzle from Giovanni. Let us know how you fared.
To reveal an answer highlight the gap between the curly brackets under the clue. If you have trouble doing this on a mobile device there’s some help in the FAQ.

Across Clues

1a  Commercial centre with mail having special delivery (10)
{MERCANTILE} – an anagram (having special delivery) of CENTRE and MAIL.

6a  Injury in thigh restricting run (4)
{HARM} – the back part of the thigh contains (restricting) R(un).

9a  One place seen when looking across lake? (5)
{ISLET} – this is an all-in-one clue and the answer is something you may see in the middle of a lake. I (one, in Roman numerals) and a verb to place contain (when looking across) L(ake).

10a  Cue bridging a rest (9)
{REMAINDER} – the surface is all about snooker or billiards but this cue is a prompt and it contains (bridging) A.

12a  Is legendary bird seen around about a Mediterranean island (7)
{CORSICA} – IS (from the clue) and a gigantic mythological bird get reversed (seen around). Follow this with a one-character abbreviation for about or approximately and A.

13a  That’s not proper ice stick (5)
{PASTE} – double definition, the first a description of artificial or fake (not proper) diamonds (ice) or other jewellery.

15a  Revolutionary time has to be right, with commander leading (7)
{OCTOBER} – this is the name given to the Bolshevik revolution in Russia in 1917, based on the time of year when it took place. TO BE (from the clue) and R(ight) all follow an abbreviation for commanding officer.

17a  To accommodate dead, the underworld widens out (7)
{DILATES} – the Roman god of the underworld, and by derivation the underworld itself, goes round (to accommodate) an adjective meaning dead or no longer with us.

19a  Two games in Hants town (7)
{GOSPORT} – this south coast town is linked by ferry to Portsmouth. It’s a charade of a Japanese board game and a general term for a game involving physical activity.

21a  Sung part ‘notedly superior’? (7)
{DESCANT} – cryptic definition of a melody sung above (i.e. with higher notes than) the main melody.

22a  A mostly boring time makes you blue? (5)
{ADULT} – blue here means pornographic. Start with A and add all but the last letter (mostly) of an adjective meaning boring and T(ime).

24a  Unfavourable bit from chapter of the NT, say? (7)
{ADVERSE} – if the Old Testament deals with events that happened in the years Before Christ how might you describe (2,5) a subset of a chapter from the New Testament?

27a  Person at end of line misconstrued language (9)
{ESPERANTO} – an anagram (misconstrued) of PERSON AT and the end letter of (lin)E.

28a  Motorway lane cut short in city (5)
{MILAN} – the London-Leeds motorway followed by LAN(e) gives the name of a city where a 5d might live.

29a  Dreadful day I recall with no phone (4)
{DIRE} – start with D(ay) and add ‘I recall’ after removing the verb to phone.

30a  Fantastic actor, I star as one of the landed gentry maybe (10)
{ARISTOCRAT} – an anagram (fantastic) of ACTOR I STAR.

Down Clues

1d  Girl upsetting her best friend, not half! (4)
{MAID} – the things that are a girl’s best friend according to the musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes get reversed (upsetting, in a down clue) and cut in half. Here’s Marilyn:

ARVE Error: need id and provider

2d  Adopts a different position as elector suffering (9)
{RELOCATES} – an anagram (suffering) of AS ELECTOR.

3d  There’s place for sacrifice — change is being mentioned (5)
{ALTAR} – a flat-topped structure used in religious rituals sounds like (is being mentioned) a verb to change.

4d  English bishop involved in row is an eager person (7)
{TERRIER} – E(nglish) and the two-character abbreviation for the title awarded to a bishop go inside (involved in) a row or rank.

5d  Old doctor entertained by fat Italian citizen (7)
{LOMBARD} – a citizen from a region of central northern Italy comes from inserting O(ld) and one of the abbreviations for doctor inside (entertained by) fat from a pig.

7d  Mountains within American desert (5)
{ANDES} – hidden word.

8d  Something in steel that makes main street look awful (10)
{MARTENSITE} – this (new to me and the last answer I put in) is a solid solution of carbon in iron which is the main constituent of hardened steel. It’s an anagram (makes … look awful) of MAIN STREET.

11d  Wild animals naughty child sits on unfortunately (7)
{IMPALAS} – a word for a naughty child precedes (sits on, in a down clue) an interjection meaning unfortunately.

14d  Part of what coin counterfeiter must do to speed up successfully? (5,5)
{FORGE AHEAD} – what a coin counterfeiter has to do on the obverse side of his fake coin is (5,1,4).

16d  Something absorbing in the writer’s study? (7)
{BLOTTER} – … but only needed if the writer still uses pen and ink.

18d  For me level tar may be spread on top of road (9)
{TRAVELLER} – I presume that this is meant to be a semi-all-in-one, indicating that a smooth road surface is laid down for the benefit of this person. It’s an anagram (may be spread) of LEVEL TAR followed by (on, in a down clue) the top letter of R(oad).

20d  Coach is means of transport taken with hesitation (7)
{TRAINER} – a means of transport followed by a two-letter exclamation voicing hesitation.

21d  I have risen in party — American playing dirty (7)
{DEVIOUS} – the contracted form of ‘I have’ is reversed (risen, in a down clue) inside a festive party and all that is followed by a two-letter abbreviation for American.

23d  Superior meal but without starter (5)
{UPPER} – take off the starting letter from a meal.

25d  This person in love repeatedly kept under by right lover (5)
{ROMEO} – how the setter (this person) refers to himself goes between two instances (repeatedly) of the letter that looks like zero (love in tennis scoring), then that’s all put after (under, in a down clue) R(ight).

26d  A negative word being spoken is a difficulty (4)
{KNOT} – this difficulty or intricate problem sounds like (being spoken) a negative word.

The clues that I liked best were 24a and 1d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {CUE} + {TICKLE} = {CUTICLE}

78 comments on “DT 27007

  1. Walk in the park compared to yesterday. One or two easier clues and a couple needing a bit of head scratching. NW corner last in. Cant argue with *** and ***. 15a was my favourite clue. Regds to all.

  2. After yesterdays offering I approached todays with some trepidation. However found it fairly straightforward ( for a friday that is). Breaths big sigh of relief !!. ***/**** rating. Thanx to Compiler and to Gazza for his usual excellent review.

  3. I found this really difficult AGAIN – one of those when I’m not sure why now that I’ve finished it. More of a ****/**** for me today.
    I had very few answers having read all the clues through once – and one of those was wrong – had ‘soprano’ for 21a and didn’t spot the mistake until quite late on when nothing else would fit around it. Oh dear!!! I didn’t spot the anagram indicator for 1a and had assumed that the ‘special delivery’ was going to be something to do with cricket. I’ve never heard of 8d.
    Oh well – got there in the end and enjoyed the battle.
    Favourites include 12, 17 and 22a and 1 and 11d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and gazza – particularly for the picture for 12a – the most beautiful and wonderful place that I have ever been.

  4. Across clues gave me a bit of grief on the first pass through, thankfully the Downs started to drop into place and made the crossword solvable. I’d never heard of 8D, but the answer was reasonably easy to work out and just needed a quick Goggle to confirm.
    Favourite clue today for me has to be 19A as this was where I was born and drug up.

  5. Found this difficult again – glad I am not alone Kath ! Managed to finish, but like most days this week have needed to look at the review to actually understand the wordplay and answers. e.g. 6a 9a 13a 17a ( still dont understand even with your hint Gazza ! ) 1d 8d. Sounds like a bit of a fluke that I have the right answers, but with the checking letters, have to admit a bit of informed guesswork was necessary. Further guidance with 17a would be appreciated. Have googled Gods and underworld but am no nearer !

    What a week ! Crossword Ed. has it in for us amateurs ! Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza for your explanations.

      1. Thanks Gazza – I was OK with “late” it was DIS that I was struggling with. I was obviously not even googling it correctly !

  6. A couple in the NW held me up for a while (1d and 9a). I was also unsure of the first definition of 13a.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and Gazza. 3*/3* for me.

    With the toughie done, I might have a look at the Guardian later.

  7. Anyone tried the Toughie yet?

    You’ll need to pre-book your space in the darkened room as it’s likely to be in great demand :grin: You’ll also need to take an ice-pack for the head!

  8. Did’nt enjoy it as much as yesterdays puzzle, a bit of a tedious affair for me, did’nt have any ‘theme’ ,liked 1d and 13a and score it***/***, i suppose somebody had heard of 8d previously-anyway beautiful dayin Cheshire,the Oulton Park woods look splendid with fantastic leaf colours-well worth a drive out.

  9. Easier than yesterday’s, but I did wonder – having read all but three of the across clues without writing anything in. Good fun however, with a number of challenging clues.

  10. With regard to 8d, it seems to me that it’s rather unfair to include technical terms. I got the answer very quickly but as a retired materials s ientistthat would be expected!

  11. A typical Giovanni start to Friday so thank you to him. However, I did mutter at the specialist knowledge required to get 8d. Thanks to gazza too for the usual excellent illustrated explanations.

    The Toughie is only for the brave or people with a particular area of specialist knowledge. I will have (quite a lot) more to say about this in the appropriate place in due course.

    1. Toughie! Yay, cultural references from decades I have actually lived in. Thank you for listening, Mr Editor

        1. For once the older solver can do a bit of investigoogling like I have to for 50s actors and bands

          1. This very grumpy older solver had to do that while trying to (a) pretend she wasn’t on the interweb during work hours and (b) raise lots of money for the Breast Cancer Campaign’s Wear it Pink Day. There is still quite a bit of cake left but not, sadly, the proposal-inducing lemon drizzle from last Saturday.

            1. Spare a thought for me, the girls in the office have made me dress up in a big pink baby-suit

            2. is your proposal inducing lemon cake recipe from Highgrove? Their coffee cardamon pecan cake is also divine

  12. Great pleasure to fairly romp through this most enjoyable crossword. Maybe I might try a Toughie…then again, maybe not!

    Favourite clues 24 and 29 but haven’t we seen 23 elsewhere recently?

    Do take a bit of an issue with 17a. Dis is a god and not the underworld.

      1. I think Dis is one of the planes of hell or something like that. ‘Dis Pater’ is strictly the name for the ‘being’ but gets shortened to Dis. I remember Dis often getting clued as ‘underworld boss’ in bygone crosswords, but I think it can be used as a synonym for the underworld or the boss.

        1. … and it shouldn’t be confused with the similar sounding town in Norfolk which also appears a lot in crosswords. :D

          1. If there were such a place, I’d love to see the road sign ‘Welcome to Diss, twinned with Dat’

  13. Thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza, a lovely wee crossword, untaxing and enjoyable and a great review.

  14. More hateful obscurity. How many people could get 8d without recourse to the internet (which I can’t on the train to work)? I’ve checked and this word is not even in my admittedly concise Oxford Dictionary.
    It’s been a rubbish week, the worst offenders being not just obscure, but obscure proper nouns, the curse of cryptic crosswords. Yesterday we had Carl Perkins (who he?) and even Rufus was guilty with “Ibo” on Monday. I was stumped by “Kuwait” on Wednesday because I had never heard of “Ait”. Like 99.9% of the population.
    I don’t mind obscurity in how clues are constructed, that’s part of the challenge, but a difficult clue should lead to an answer that more than six people in the country have heard of.

    1. If I had a pound for every time AIT had appeared in the quick crossword….

      I must ask, did not the Registrar of Births or even the Vicar at your christening point out to your parents that calling you ‘Grumpy’ was bound to influence your temperament??

      1. Hi Kath and crypticsue, thank you, I’ll remember Ait, I think I can see the strange fun in knowing words that no one else ever uses or will ever want to. Hadn’t come across it before myself, but probably need to put more hours into crosswords.
        But where’s the defence of 8d?
        Thank you for the blog – apologies for not saying that earlier – and I wish I could engage more often but my daily train journey to work makes that impossible, just as it makes impossible checking words like 8d or, earlier in the week, Ibo. Rufus, what were you thinking?

        1. It’s refreshing to hear a dissenting voice for a change. Humorous grumpiness is the backbone of enjoyable banter. I have been doing these crosswords since I retired 4 years ago and still get cross at most of the obscure words. I really can’t believe what some people know. It keeps the brain in gear I suppose.

          1. I think obscure words are OK so long as the answer is ‘work-out-able’ from the clue. Then you think “well I’ve never met that one before – I wonder if there is any such word” and look it up. Hey presto – it does!! Great! Then all you need to do is remember it for the next time you need it – unfortunately that’s where it all goes **** up for me!!

        2. Get yourself an iPhone Grumpy Andrew, then you can get Internet connections at least between stations and thence perhaps be less grumpy

          1. …and Chambers Dictionalry and Thesaurus are also available for iPhone/Android so those words can be checked in a tunnel as well!

        3. Loved 8d! At last a chance for engineers to level the playing field with the classicists. Why is it OK to assume that everyone should know, for example, that DIS means underworld, or that RR means a bishop?Then howls of anguish greet the inclusion of a word which everyone who paid attention in physics & chemistry lessons should know?
          It’s all part of a rounded education, surely?

          1. Hi John – welcome to the blog.
            You’re right of course, but DIS and RR do crop up fairly frequently (so regular solvers should be aware of them) whereas I’ve never seen martensite in a puzzle before.

        4. ibo is the only west african tribe I can name due to having a sale-of -work on their behalf as a child, because they starved for 2 years.

    2. I agree with crypticsue – ait (or the other spelling – eyot) comes up in crosswords all the time. They’re both worth remembering.

    3. GA, haven’t you ever watched the Boat Race (the University one, on the Thames)?

      There’s a rather famous landmark on the course called the Chiswick Eyot or Chiswick Ait…

  15. Splendid stuff but like most others I’d never heard of 8d – I was a chemist not a metallurgist!

    Favourite was 1d.

    Thanks Giovanni and gazza.

  16. Another day, another new word for me in 8d. Thank goodness for the solver machine to find it and the internet to check it. I must say I’m broadly in agreement with Grumpy with this one, though I knew the Ait on Wednesday.

    I finished it all except 6a 9a and 1d. Simple answers to obscure clues. I wonder if the setter sits at home monitoring this blog and laughs uproariously at our comments? I think I would.

    So its a 3*/3* for me. Quite enjoyable really now the colder weather has turned up.

    Thanks to the setter and Gazza

  17. 8d was unknown but the clue was gentle and the checking letters allowed me to check it durning my commute ;-P.
    Thanks to gazza (who pitched the stars just right for me) and to Giovanni.

    The Toughie is excellent!

  18. Thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza, that was fun.

    My favourite was 1D, because it made me smile.

    Gazza, you need to make a small correction; the picture/video for 22A can’t be seen at the moment :-)

      1. Ah. I see now. I had Di upside down and a girl’s best friend being her mother but wasn’t happy so checked the hints. Silly old Hector.

  19. I think perhaps a little more than 3 rather a 3.5 because of 8d which I also had to look up. Got stuck on top right but Gazzas excellent hint for 6a enabled me to finish it.
    Usual excellent offering from Giovanni, his are always testing but usually fair (except for 8d which I thought was very naughty). Best clue for me was def 13a, very clever and nice misdirection in 22a. Very enjoyable, enlightened an otherwise rather dreary week in the DT.

  20. I agree with Gazza on the ratings – some fairly straightforward and some you had to work for. I liked 14d because it made me smile. Was hoping 13a had something to do with ice hockey – a sport I actually know something about!
    Thanks to Gazza and the setter.

  21. Thank you Gazza for today’s hints – I needed lots! Yesterday’s was impossible and today’s was very hard – 5 hours at the dialysis unit staring at clues which refuse to reveal themselves into answers! How do you all do it??

    1. Years of head scratching, searching of reference books and the Internet and a great deal of time that we could have used more productively!

  22. I agree,usual great stuff from Giovanni and I’m surprised I managed to do it all except for 1d & 6a . Never heard of 8d but having had all the checking letters & knowing it was an anagram helped. Thanks for the hints gazza and ***/**** for me.

  23. Really enjoyed this and liked 14d (although technically protected coins and currency notes cannot be forged – Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981. Never heard of 8d before and 10a has cropped up before.

  24. Back to a pretty normal Friday for me , needed some electric help but managed without hints.

    Was familiar with 8d, a short time in Sheffield helped with that.

    Thanks for the review and to the setter.

  25. As usual I could not finish today. (I never look at extra clues) Had “Press ahead” for 14 down which obviously made it a bit difficult to get 18A and 19A. But as an answer I think its better than the setters. Some tortuous clues which I would never get in a month of Sundays. e.g. 1D, 22A I know adult is a favourite of crosword setters but I forget about it every time; a bit to trite for me and if I don’t like it I don’t remember it. 1A, I solved by taking the centre of comMERCial. Seemed reasonable to me. But of course it did not fit in with the rest of the clue. I missed the anagram pointer completely. 8d was not a problem except to say it seemed a tad technical and on a par with all those tedious medieaval words. So its thanks to Gazza and of course to the setter

  26. toBig Dave, is the drop-down “your experience on this site will be improved by allowing cookies” anything to do with this site?I am suspicious because they ask me to “leve” my details.

          1. well I watched the video and because I dont bank on line I’m not too worried.I suppose googgle does it all the time.What I wonder is how far into ones computor can they peer? Are ones’ e
            mails read? I have no idea. I’ll have to ask the techie when I return to work .thanks for the link.
            Kath’s mother was right,almost artic here, although yesterday was sublime.

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