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DT 27052

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27052

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffordshire, where it’s bright and dry at the moment.  A reasonably straightforward offering today, with the bonus that it’s a pangram.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined.

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.


7a           A beignet, say, may be healthier, doctor finally admitted (7)
{ FRITTER }  A synonym of ‘healthier’ with the last letter (finally) of docto R inside.

8a           A mostly forthright party delivering fruit (7)
{ AVOCADO }  A (from the clue) followed by a description of a forthright person with the last letter removed (mostly) and the usual crossword term for a party.

10a         Elected pope is harsh (9)
{ INCLEMENT }  A two-letter word for ‘elected’ and the name adopted by 14 popes, the most famous of whom suppressed the Knights Templar in 1307.

11a         Record broken by unknown composer (5)
{ LISZT } A 19th century Hungarian  comes from an algebraic unknown put inside (broken by) a record.

12a         A well-bred fellow envoy (5)
{ AGENT } A (from the clue) followed by ‘well bred fellow’.

13a         Heels were broken in some other place (9)

15a         Daughter is to perform on parade (7)
{ DISPLAY } A charade of D aughter, is, and ‘to perform’.

17a         Ambassador briefly produces certificate (7)
{ DIPLOMA } Remove the last letter (briefly) from a term for the sort of role an ambassador has

18a         Trouble during first half of reel after square dance (9)
{ QUADRILLE } A square of the sort you might find in an Oxbridge college, followed by a word for trouble placed inside the first two letters of ‘reel’.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

20a         Touchy about conductor’s first musical arrangement (5)
{ SCORE }  The first letter of C onductor inside a word for touchy or painful.

21a         Gather mother’s upset by idiot (5)
{ AMASS } Reverse (upset) a two-letter word for mother and add an idiot.

23a         Lack of faith shown by Delibes, I suspect, before start of fugue (9)
{ DISBELIEF }  Anagram (suspect) of DELIBES I followed by the first letter of F ugue.

24a         Expunction comes with time, certainly (7)
{ ERASURE  } A charade of a noun for time and an interjection meaning certainly.

25a         Many G and Ts poured out in tumbler (7)
{ GYMNAST }  Anagram (poured out) of MANY G and TS.


1d           East Sussex town‘s victory over London club (10)
{ WINCHELSEA }  A victory followed by a London football club owned by a Russian billionaire.

2d           Bowled, during a trial, under the most favourable conditions (2,4)
{ AT BEST }  The abbreviation for B owled inside a trial of the sort our cricketers have been engaged in this week.

3d           Leaves writer lines (8)
{ GREENERY }  The author of Brighton Rock followed by an abbreviation for a transport undertaking which uses lines.

4d           Chapter on law imposed on American plant (6)
{ CACTUSC hapter followed by a law passed by Parliament and one of the usual abbreviations for American.

5d           Subsequent examination of dog at an end (6-2)
{ FOLLOW UP }  What you do if you dog someone  followed by ‘at an end’, as in ‘time’s __’.

6d           Fish, black when small (4)
{ BASS }  A charade of an abbreviation for black, when, and an abbreviation for small.

7d           Honest description of old-fashioned blonde? (4-3-6)
{ FAIR AND SQUARE }  A cryptic definition of ‘old-fashioned blonde’.

9d           Where the clock’s hands are, as is palpably plain (2,3,4,2,2)
{ ON THE FACE OF IT } Double definition.

14d         Prudent, comic alone in resort (10)
{ ECONOMICAL } Anagram (resort) of COMIC ALONE.

16d         Songbird seen on branch line flower (8)
{ LARKSPUR }  A charade of a high-flying songbird and a branch of a railway or electrical network.

17d         Event for equestrian in period costume, primarily (8)
{ DRESSAGE }  A synonym for costume placed before (primarily) a word for a period of time.

19d         Large snake may make one run (6)
{ LADDERL arge and a venomous snake produces a run (in a stocking).

20d         Sordid around Turkey’s capital, like the baths there? (6)
{ STEAMY }  An adjective for ‘sordid’ around the first letter of T urkey, giving the characteristic atmosphere of a Turkish bath.

22d         A short talk by Greek hero (4)
{ AJAX }  A charade of A (from the clue), an informal word for talk with the last letter removed (short), and the arithmetical symbol for ‘by’.

The Quick crossword pun { BARELY } { OWES } = { BERLIOZ }

76 comments on “DT 27052

  1. No big problems today, but not very convinced by 22D I’m afraid even with DT’s explanation. Nice to see 11A and 18A making an appearance, they can’t be the easiest of words to fit in a grid.

    Bright sunshine but still pretty cold here, hoping wife’s Christmas present will finally make it here today or I can see trouble brewing !

  2. I didn’t understand the wordplay in 22D, before reading Deep Threat’s clear explanation, but I didn’t like this clue very much and found it the most testing of the entire puzzle.

  3. Thought 22d the most tenuous clue I can remember for a long time and my efforts to understand why it was what it was were almost Trojan !
    Otherwise straightforward and reasonably enjoyable .
    2* / 3 * for me .
    Thanks again .

  4. A nice, gentle puzzle to start the day. 1*/3* for me.
    Thanks to setter (Shamus perhaps?), and to Deep Threat for the review.

  5. Thanks for explaining 22d – it had to be than brand of domestic cleaner, but we could not understand why. Two new words, beignet and expunction. I hope they will be remembered more effectively than how to spell that man 11a – always have to check, cheque, Czech?

  6. Unfortunately, I didn’t get 22d (seems to be a common theme), and I’m still not sure about the short talk part. I did look up Greek characters and saw the name, but couldn’t fit it in so ignored it. If only I had realised it was a pangram I would have got it, as they were the two missing letters!

  7. So it appears that like everyone else so far I couldn’t get 22d either. I’m not convinced that the full 3 letter word in the middle really means to talk: a drink, now that’s better.
    I liked 7a and 18a. A definite 2*/3* for me
    Thanks to setter and to Deep Threat for the review.

    1. The word is ‘jaw’ not ‘jar’! As in “To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war”, attributed to Churchill.

  8. Together with many others 22d was my downfall, otherwise a straightforward puzzle. I see we have the snow back on this page. I hope it stays there. Thanks to setter and to Deep Threat for the review.

    1. I must be missing something.
      I rhought 22d an excellent clue, it’s construction very clear.
      (Though, for me, sometines four letter answers are the very Devil) :)
      Indeed, several other clues today, were, I thought, pretty mechanical.

  9. On better form today, score */***. thanks for the blog on 22d, glad it was’nt just me, did’nt realise it was a three part charade. If i remember the ad, it was for A —- the foaming cleanser-gets rid of dirt just like a wizz , I had assumed the correct answer ,as he was the only 4 letter greek hero i knew that began with A ! Thanks Deep Threat, loved the suite in 8a and the ladder in 19d was very imaginative! a game of snakes and adders.

  10. Like many, last in was 22d. I had the answer from looking up Greek heroes, but just couldn’t get the wordplay. I must admit DT’s hint didn’t improve the situation and it is only with the jaw jaw explanation that the penny has finally dropped ! Thank you setter for the enjoyment and DT for the review and further explanation of 22d !

  11. A very straightforward 1*/3* Tuesday pangram, thank you Mysteron and Deep Threat. I suppose all the people who didn’t know 22d was a cleaner are those young souls who don’t remember the days of cast iron baths.

    The Toughie took me exactly the same time to solve as the Inside Back Pager and it did make me smile.

    The thing that made me laugh out loud, however, is today’s Matt cartoon – particularly appropriate after a breakfast time Christmas-related “discussion” with Mr CS, who as usual is making Scrooge look like good Christmas company.

    1. I don’t think the cleaner part comes into the clue for 22D at all CS. Yes, I remember the cleaner, yes, I know a lot of the Greek Gods (including this one), yes, I have used the word jaw for talk, no they do not go together particularly well in this clue.

          1. I would have got that one! I wouldn’t have had to google Amsterdam football clubs…

            By the way, is it a Christmas themed page or is my laptop messed up with random spots?

            1. It is the best sort of snow (intermittent and not at all wet :) that appears here for the month of December.

              1. Oh right, I haven’t been here previous Decembers. Struggling with the toughie…got 3 to go, think I know the answers but haven’t a clue why. Bring on whoever is doing the blog clues/answers.

  12. Normal service resumed today – although running a bit late due to very enjoyable Christmas party last night. I agree with today’s BD rating. So regds to all.

  13. The same for me – fairly straightforward – I agree with the rating for both difficulty and enjoyment.
    I also agree about 22d – it had to be what it was and, for once, even I had spotted that it was going to be a pangram which didn’t leave too many options – plus he was the only Greek hero that I could think of – but I couldn’t explain the X.
    The only other minor problems I had were the East Sussex town and the spelling of the 11a composer – at least I know that I can’t spell him so always look it up.
    I liked 18 and 25a and 7, 9, 19 and 20d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and Deep Threat.

  14. I enjoyed this crossword and found it very straightforward, I loved 7a particularly as I was watching Michel Roux jnr making them yesterday evening on Masterchef masterclass, superb!. Thanks to the setter and to DeepThreat for the entertaining review.

  15. I agree with 22d which was also my last one in – very tenuous. Is 11a the most featured composer? He has certainly featured a lot recently. Anyway, a nice gentle jog while enjoying a cup of tea.

  16. 22D- I got it, but not by reasoning. Even with the hint it took a bit of understanding.
    Definintely better suited to a really hard Toughie or a S. Times Mephisto.

  17. Got 22d because it appeared to be the only Greek hero that would fit – so thanks Deep Threat for the explanation and the rest of the review. Didn’t particularly like 10a as the term ‘harsh’ didn’t seem to bring the answer immediately to mind (I’m sure someone will tell me different). But, all in all, I enjoyed the puzzle – so thanks to setter

    I thought something was wrong with my screen when writing this comment – then the penny dropped (I’m sure it’s an age thing).

    1. If you think of the two famous British attributes – understatement and talking about the weather, then a really harsh winters day could be described as ‘inclement weather’

  18. Agree with Shropshire lad re “harsh” Its a stronger word to me than “Inclement”. That’s crosswordland for you!
    And in mathematical terms it is to “Multiply” by. Not “by” on its own; I’m happy with “Jaw” though.
    There seems to be a general trend to get rid of certain words. E.g. “Appeal against” is now just “Appeal the Verdict” or it is on the BBC.
    Enjoyed the puzzle and Deepthreat’s explanations.

      1. but four by two is written ‘four by two’ not ‘four x two’ and a 4×4 is a useful invention which should only be used by people than need them in the countryside but is in fact used by people with more money than brains who should be shot at birth (IMHO)

        1. Using imperial measurements on architects drawings, floor joists etc were always noted as 7″ x 2″, 8″ x 2″ etc. Having said that, I failed to spot it in 22d anyway !

  19. Thanks to Mr.Ron & to Deep Threat for the review and hints. Managed to complete with any help for once, missed the fact that it was a pangram. Finished the right hand side first, then struggled with the left, last in was 22d the only greek hero I know, but couldn’t parse it, thanks to DT for the explanation. Was 2*/3* for me, favourites were 19&22d. Weather started with lovely sunshine, but it’s clouded over now in Central London. Still, I managed to get out for a run.

  20. Getting better, completed without help, but only got 22d as I’d picked up the pangram, very enjoyable.

    Thanks to Deep threat for the review.

    Thanks to the setter.

  21. Enjoyed the puzzle particularly 18a and 7d. Needed the hints to finish though because I wanted to put v for the first letter of 1d and there is no London club starting with “i” nor an East Sussex town starting with “v”. That should have told me something! Also thought the definition for 10a was “elected”. Sometimes the obvious is the hardest to see!
    Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat.

  22. Quite straightforward today and along with everyone I thought the wordplay for 22d was rubbish! Picked up fairly early that it was a pangram but had to look up a beignet, not a word I have ever heard before.

  23. Solved this puzzle very quickly.

    Can’t really say I had any favourites.

    Personally think 22d is a shade woolly – I repeat what I said a few days ago : setters must be getting fed up to the teeth.

    Now back to the computer – the damned thing is refusing to print!!

    One of my old schoolmates in Scotland never had a computer – he is an excellent gardener and gets on well with that!

  24. Pangram? Beignet? Expunction?
    I came to do the crossword and (thanks, Deep Threat) have ended up with an education. But an enjoyable one (despite 22d!).

    1. Looking out for a pangram when you have already got some of the more unusual letters can, just occasionally, help with the last clue or two – as today, for me anyway. Needless to say I often miss the pangram but the clever people don’t!

  25. Enjoyed this one and didn’t have a problem with 22d. I’ve come across the wordplay “by = x” many times before, albeit mostly in Toughies. Nice to see a pangram every now and then, even if it didn’t help today.

    Favourite was 1d, if only for the bizarre idea. Now that’s one result I’d love to see :grin:

    Thanks to the setter and Deep Threat (where in S Staffs are you? I used to live near Gnosall before I moved here).

  26. We had the same problem with 22d as most others did. Were very sure that we had it correct as J and X needed for the pangram. Good fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron and DT.

  27. I reckoned on an easy Shamus (due to the pagram that I actually spotted!). Thanks to he if he and to Deep Threat for the review.

  28. This was a major milestone for me… (drum-roll please…)

    After approximately 9 months since I first started doing cryptics I managed to complete this one without recourse to the hints at all! (I still needed quite of lot of electronic help and the aid of Mrs Bradford’s book – doing it without those is my next milestone!).

    I even managed 22d, although like so many others it was my last in and I just guessed that it was right without being able to “prove” the wordplay. I also had to look at the hints to understand the wordplay for 5d, but I’m feeling quite chuffed with myself (I know this was not one of the toughest, but I’m happy).

    Just looking for a virtual pat on the back really…

    Thanks to the setter, to Deep Threat, and to BD for hosting this wonderful resource.

    1. A drum roll AND an e-pat-on- the- back from me too!! I do agree that this is the most wonderful blog – I’m sure that you will learn as much as I have from all the really clever, helpful and friendly people here and join you in, yet again, thanking BD and his merry band of helpers.

  29. Hi all! Can someone tell me what a pangram is? This is the first puzzle ( after 3 years of trying ) that I finished without help, so I’m feeling pretty happy!

    1. Congratulations from me too – would you also like a drum roll? :smile: Maybe BD could find a little piccy of something that looks like one!! There suddenly seem to be lots of people who deserve one!

  30. P.S

    What has a bathroom scene got to do with 8a???

    I have been away from GB for well over fifty years so perhaps I am out of touch?

        1. Hi Derek
          Avocado was a colour one could choose for a bathroom suite in the early seventies ,I think, totally cool then, utterly naff now. It’s the colour on the inside of an avocado.My father was instructed to get an avocado suite, but came back with blue ! He couldn;t see the difference.
          where have you been for fifty years?

          1. I remember well my parents getting an avocado bathroom suite – that was when we had to have special instructions as to how the bath should be cleaned as we couldn’t use the cleaner named after the Greek hero any more as it was far too rough for the ‘delicate’ surface..

  31. The right hand side went in perfectly, but unfortunately I thought 7d was “fair and simple” as in dumb blonds, (I was expecting more of those model photos).So that put paid to the left side mostly.Still on the learning curve, but I’m heartened by Auther Dent . Thanks to Deep Threat and setter. My twentieth centuary chambers doesn’t have “beignet” and even if it did I don’t see how the clue works.

    1. Hi Una

      Re 7a: A beignet, say , may be healthier, doctor finally admitted (7)

      The answer is an example of what a beignet is (“say” is the indicator, and I had to look up beignet too even though I’d seen Michel Roux last night!). Take another word for healthier and insert R (doctoR finally).

  32. i find it really hard to believe that so many people have never heard of a ‘beignet’. On so many of the more crowded beaches ( :sad: ) in the south of France there are blokes wandering up and down selling stuff – ‘beignets – boissons frais’ etc etc.

        1. Thank you, pommers. Have you noticed how good I am now at spelling people with the correct upper/lower case letters? I think the snow is getting heavier . . .

          1. Glad to be of service and yes I have noticed. I think you might be right about the snow, apart from here, where we haven’t had it for about 25 years! Just before midnight and it’s still 15C but only 1C in Birmingham, remind me again why I live in Spain!

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