DT 27013 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27013

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27013

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

For me this was the hardest back-page puzzle of the week (as Friday’s is supposed to be). It has some easy clues to get you started and then some which, if you’re like me, you have to think a bit harder about. Thanks to Giovanni for the entertainment.

If you need to see an answer just highlight the gap between the curly brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  How deranged, mad, obstinate and perverse! (5-6)
{WRONG-HEADED} – an anagram (mad) of HOW DERANGED. You could read the whole clue as the definition.

7a  Gather after expected time having come to mountain pass (7)
{COLLATE} – an adjective meaning after the expected time or behind schedule follows (having come to) a mountain pass.

8a  University lecturers are briefly entertained by theologian who isn’t bright? (7)
{DULLARD} – Giovanni very often gets the word ‘don’ into his puzzles and that’s what I initially looked for here. But what we actually want are the abbreviations for U(niversity) and two L(ecturer)s followed by a truncated (briefly) AR(e) all contained inside the abbreviation for a Doctor of Divinity (theologian).

10a  No performance in church for this piece of music (8)
{NOCTURNE} – start with NO (from the clue) and then insert a stage performance inside one of the abbreviations for church.

11a  Rows initiated by cold obsessive folk (6)
{CRANKS} – a word meaning rows or tiers is preceded (initiated) by C(old).

13a  Thanks repeated and so long (2-2)
{TA-TA} – an informal expression of thanks is repeated.

14a  Fellow wanting work, right manipulative type (10)
{MANOEUVRER} – a male person is followed by an artistic work and R(ight).

16a  Criticising innocent person — a police trap? (10)
{LAMBASTING} – start with the fluffy young animal that personifies innocence then add A and a trap for criminals devised by the police.

18a  Military commander has some bag handlers (4)
{AGHA} – one of the spellings of a Turkish commander is hidden (some) in the clue.

21a  A service provided by ancient headmaster of yesteryear (6)
{ARNOLD} – what we want is the surname of the education reformer and headmaster of Rugby School (who appeared in Tom Brown’s Schooldays in an intermingling of fact and fiction). String together A (from the clue), the abbreviation for one of our armed services and a synonym for ancient.

22a  Green crop either side of river is stuff that’s wasted (8)
{SPOILAGE} – a green crop used for animal feed contains (either side of) the name of an Italian river.

24a  One getting away, see, disguised around head (7)
{ESCAPEE} – an anagram (disguised) of SEE goes round a head(land) or promontory.

25a  Unfashionable actors in the wilderness? (7)
{OUTCAST} – a charade of a synonym for unfashionable and the list of actors in a production.

26a  They may make brief drops, ending with ‘takeaway’ (5,2,4)
{BIRDS OF PREY} – cryptic definition of creatures which swoop down to grab their lunch then carry it away to eat elsewhere. Thanks to Wayne for pointing out that this is an anagram  (they may make) of BRIEF DROPS followed by the end letter of (takeawa)Y. That makes it an all-in-one.

Down Clues

1d  Unofficial act we might deduce? (7)
{WILDCAT} – I always have problems explaining this type of clue but here goes – it’s a reverse anagram, so you need to see the answer as an anagram indicator (4) followed by anagram fodder (3). From this you can deduce that the result of solving the anagram is the word ‘act’.

2d  Obscure old memorial tablet with line missing (6)
{OPAQUE} – O(ld) is followed by a memorial tablet from which the L(ine) is removed.

3d  Jealous person in political organisation (5,5)
{GREEN PARTY} – the colour associated with jealousy is followed by a way of referring to a person on one side of an agreement or dispute (‘the injured *****’ for example).

4d  Is inclined to reject leader’s aims (4)
{ENDS} – a verb meaning is inclined loses its initial B (to reject leader).

5d  Food shop that’s odd has one in a state of agitation (8)
{DELIRIUM} – a specialist food shop is followed by an adjective meaning odd or strange with I (one, in Roman numerals) inserted.

6d  German article collecting water that facilitates drying process (7)
{DRAINER} – a German definite article contains (collecting) water from above.

7d  Unruly local teens gathered round end of street in cluster (11)
{CONSTELLATE} – this is a verb meaning to form into a cluster or closely-knit group. It’s an anagram (unruly) of LOCAL TEENS containing the end letter of (stree)T.

9d  Mad man tries to shoot — weapon removal is the answer (11)
{DISARMAMENT} – an anagram (to shoot, presumably in the sense of to sprout) of MAD MAN TRIES.

12d  Make quiet argument that mathematicians can’t refute? (10)
{SOUNDPROOF} – if split as (5,5) this a mathematical argument in which no holes or defects can be found.

15d  One that’s enormous as a hit-maker (8)
{WALLOPER} – double definition – an informal term for something enormous and, cryptically, someone who hits hard (and an old slang word for a policeman down under).

17d  Motorway arrest with one having top speed in that vehicle (7)
{MINICAB} – string together the designation of the London-Leeds motorway and an informal verb to arrest. Now insert (in that) I (one) and the letter used as a symbol for the speed of light (i.e. the speed which nothing can exceed).

19d  Mr Cooper has managed to get locked in storehouse (7)
{GRANARY} – this Mr Cooper is not Tommy the comedian but the old actor. Inside his forename insert (to get locked in) a verb meaning managed.

20d  Dupe the childminder? (6)
{SITTER} – double definition – I’ve never come across this word used to mean a dupe, but the BRB confirms that it does. I presume that it means an easy target for a conman (like a ******* duck).

23d  Every shrubbery has two such insects (4)
{BEES} – which letter appears twice in the word shrubbery? Well there are two, but only one of them is spelt the same as an insect.

My top clues today were 1a, 12d and 17d. Let us know what you liked.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {BIGHTS} + {EYES} = {BITE-SIZE}



56 comments on “DT 27013

  1. 14a had me scratching my head for quite some time. Apart from that, the rest went in without too much difficulty.
    Thanks to Giovanni for the enjoyable puzzle, and to Gazza for the notes. 3*/4* for me today.

    I also enjoyed the toughie today from one of my favourite setters, and not too tricky either for a Friday.

  2. Agree that this is the hardest of the week. Anagrams at 1a,26a,7d and 9d gave me a way in. Best clues for me were 16a and 23d. Last in being 23d. ***/**** Rating for me. Thanx to Compiler and to Gazza for his review.

        1. I can’t really agree. “Ending with ‘takeaway'” is not the same as “with the ending of takeaway”. As written I don’t see how you can logically get the “y” out to go with the rest of the anagram. “Ending with the last of takeaway” might have worked, but as written this seems broken to me.

          1. Welcome to the blog John

            I think once again we are in danger of over-analysis. The clue worked for me even though the surface reading was rubbish.

  3. It all went in nicely until 14 and 22a stumped me, so thanks for the hints Gazza. As always a nice Giovanni puzzle. I actually found it harder than the Toughie today.

  4. Strangely I found yesterdays much harder than this one,and was scurrying around a few blind alleys till I got sorted out with a little electronic help.

    Thanks for the review and to the setter.

  5. My usual time was extended because of 14a and 1d, both eventually got.
    Very enjoyable tussle.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  6. Tough but fair. Needed the hints to a couple if them and some electronic aid for others. Favourite has to be 26 although I liked 17 and 25 as well.

  7. Wow! What a tough one. Took twice my normal time to complete and needed explanations for 8a and 1d. Thanks Gazza.

  8. How strange. I found this the easiest of the week. Must have been in the right frame of mind – on wave length etc Good job ‘cos friends coming for lunch and suspect that brain will close down for the rest of the day ! Thank you Giovanni – most enjoyable ! and to Gazza for your review.

  9. Just what was expected from The Don. After a fairly easy week (IMHO) he brings out a real tricksy little bu**er. 14A had me thinking for a while (not least for trying to remember the spelling), really had to reach into the far depths of my long term memory for the headmaster at 21A, I don’t recall having seen 18A spelled in that way before and can’t say I’ve ever heard of 15D in the given sense. Other than that, a very enjoyable solve.

  10. Once again I have no grumble with the DB rating. 21a was last in and I needed to confirm I had 15d correct. 1d took a bit of figuring out but is a clever clue none the less. Not sure why 12d relates to mathematicians specifically. Regards to all.

    1. “Proof” has a specific meaning in mathematics, defined in SOED as “a sequence of steps by which a theorem is derived from given premises”.

  11. Late start and real struggle with SE corner but one or two smiles ,totally agree with the ratings .

  12. Although it seemed like it was taking a long time, I actually came out at about my usual time for a Giovanni so a 3* ish difficulty for me. 3* entertainment too. Thanks to the two Gs.

    The Toughie took me the same time as the back page and is very enjoyable. More fun can also be had with Paul (Dada) in the Guardian.

  13. Gazza
    How does the word ‘Every’ contribute to the clue in 23d? I think I looked at it for too long to make any sense of it!

  14. We found this very tough but completed it, without resort to outside aids, but in rather more time than usual. Our six year old grandson (staying for half-term) was very chuffed, he is allowed on the computer whilst we do the crossword!

  15. It was back to the friday crosswords of long ago when friday was always the toughest of the week.After the previous tame fare of the rest of the week; this was several stars up, and i agree with a****/****.Not heard of the ‘dupe’ double meaning,but as the last remaining clue with all the letters in it had to be the obvious answer.Like Scempie with 21a,the answer came from my ‘back catalogue’ Thanks Gazza,i thought he was from Rugby/Tom Brown.and thanks Giovanni for making the morning disappear.

  16. Very enjoyable crossword today, best of the week for me, my favourite clue was 21a but there were many others equally good. Many thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza. ( The toughie today was much less challenging)

  17. Yes, this was tricky but enjoyable, nothing that made me grind my teeth. The bottom half went in first and the the NW corner. I was help up by spelling 14a wrongly. All in all it was good fun. I got 1d from the alternate letters — would never have figured it out otherwise, so was grateful for the explanation. Found 20d in Chambers. I liked 6 an 8a and 12 and 19d. Many thanks to G&G. :-)

  18. Typical – on a day when I have far too much to do along comes a crossword that takes me forever!
    I found this really difficult – 4* and a bit more from me, and another 4* for enjoyment.
    Completely gave up with 21a not helped by the fact that I wasn’t very convinced that my 17d was right – got in a real muddle with that one. I needed the hints to explain why 8a was what it had to be, have never heard of 18d being another word for dupe and I haven’t seen this spelling of 18a before.
    I liked the four long anagrams round the outside and 11 and 16a and 1, 12 and 23d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and gazza.
    Right – going to have a whizz round now – eldest daughter’s birthday is on bonfire night and she and her partner are coming home for the weekend – if there’s no food we’ll have a riot on our hands!!

  19. 1D slowed me up. I had illicit in. Had to look 4D up in the hints. I’m guessing the inclined to is a prediliction or bent?

  20. Tough today – I had all the checkers for 14a & 15d but still couldn’t solve them.

    I also missed the anagram for the “birds of prey” – but in exalted company – come on, gazza, “keep up!” :grin:

    Thanks to G&G

      1. …and me, the clue was sufficiently descriptive without the anagram.
        Perhaps the anagram is a lucky coincidence. :)

        1. Coincidence??!

          That is a beautifully crafted clue. Personally, I’m not keen on {definition} may make {wordplay}, but that has to count as a minor quibble here. I literally applauded that clue.

    1. I didn’t miss the anagram with 26a, and got it reasonably quickly, but it did make me doubt my ability to find a mathematician ending with an ‘F’. That was probably one of my last answers – oh dear, again!! Stupid or what?

  21. “Tough but fair” I thought.

    Favourite was 12d but I also liked 1d and 26a.

    Thanks to the two G’s

  22. Very, very tricky, in my opinion. Either the puzzles are getting tougher, or my brain is getting weaker – sure hope it’s the former??! I still don’t understand 17d – it’s all I could think it could be and it is, but I don’t understand it even with the excellent hints – sorry Gazza! Surely an informal term to arrest has a “k” on the end? And, if so, what’s telling you to get rid of that? And I don’t know the symbol for the speed of light, which certainly doesn’t help in this instance! Can you see my confusion? Still, having had a moan, I did manage about 75% before resorting to hints, so thanks for the entertainment.

      1. As you must have realised, I had “nick”, which made no sense at all. Thank you for the full explanation and it’s good to learn things every day at my age!

        1. Yes – I had ‘nick’ too – that left me with letters that I couldn’t account for/didn’t understand – really pleased that it wasn’t just me!!

  23. I certainly didn’t romp home with this one and needed a nudge on one or two, but got there in the end. Favourite was 23d, whilst I got straight away, I thought it was a cheeky little blighter. All very enjoyable. Thanks Gazza and Giovani.

  24. Well up to the standard we expect for a Friday. Last in for us was 14a as well. It is always reassuring when the clues where we get stuck seem common to many other solvers. Great fun.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  25. I thought this puzzle was much easier than what one normally expects from The Don!!

    Faves : 16a, 21a, 25a, 3d, 5d & 19d.

  26. Great puzzle and managed to get there on my own mostly, but needed the help of Mrs B for 1d. However, even with her help, and with Gazza’s explanation here, I’m still not sure I really understand it. Unless it’s wild (or ‘unofficial’) and the word ‘act’ that we can deduce/unscramble to mean the whole word ‘unofficial’. Will ponder over that one for quite a while. Thanks to Giovanni for setting a great brain tester and to Gazza for confirming that 1d is a bit tricky to explain.

    1. It’s difficult to explain this type of clue without using the actual words so I’m not surprised you didn’t understand my hint. The answer is WILDCAT and if you split it as WILD CAT you can deduce that an anagram (wild) of CAT will lead you to ACT.

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