DT 27063 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27063

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27063

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Happy New Year from South Staffordshire, and welcome to the first blog of 2013.

I went to bed fairly promptly after seeing in the New Year, knowing that I had this blog to write.  As it happened, I got a remarkably early start, having been woken at 4 a.m. by flashing blue lights outside as the fire brigade and paramedics attended an incident in a nearby house.  Being somewhat short of sleep may account for the fact that I found the top half of the grid held me up for a while, hence the *** marking.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. Answers are hidden inside the curly brackets and can be revealed by highlighting the space between them.

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           Go on about head of root vegetable (6)
{ SPROUT }  The first letter (head) of R oot inside a verb meaning to go on (and on…).

5a           Last, in spite of expectations to the contrary (5,3)
{ AFTER ALL }  Double definition.

9a           One qualified to make songs better? (6,2,5)
{ DOCTOR OF MUSIC }  A cryptic definition of this academic person.

10a         Good manners in palace? Yes, all over the place (8)
{ COURTESY } Another word for the people around the monarch, followed by an anagram (all over the place) of YES.

11a         Favourite left out? That’s brave (6)
{ DARING }  Remove the L(eft) from a noun describing a favourite.

12a         Rumour about harbour (6)
{ REPORT } A Latin term for about or concerning, followed by a synonym of harbour.

14a         Tread on someone’s toes — each corn, unfortunately! (8)
{ ENCROACH } Anagram (unfortunately) of EACH CORN.

16a         Very strong players attached to golf club (4-4)
{ CAST-IRON } Players in the theatre followed by a type of golf club.

19a         New weapon, limited in scope (6)
{ NARROW } N ew followed by an old-fashioned projectile.

21a         Suppress attacks backing the French (6)
{ STIFLE } Reverse (backing) a noun meaning attacks, especially of a medical variety, and add a French definite article.

23a         Passionate games played by workers in shorts (3,5)
{ HOT PANTS }  A charade of an adjective meaning passionate, the abbreviation for ‘games played’ seen in a football league table, and some of the usual six-legged workers.  The picture opportunity is, alas, irresistible!

25a         Reciprocal match in centre of Margate (13)
{ CORRESPONDING } A verb meaning ‘match’ followed by IN (from the clue) and the middle letter of Mar G ate.

26a         Warder releasing fine bird (3-5)
{ BEE-EATER }  Take the F ine out of the popular name for one of the Yeomen Warders of the Tower of London.


27a         Horse, one of five in point-to-point? (6)
{ EQUINE } One of five children born at the same time inside two examples of (the same) point of the compass.


2d           Father rounding on innkeeper (7)
{ PADRONE } An Italian innkeeper is made up from an Italian or clerical father wrapped around ON (from the clue).

3d           Code word used by radio’s ‘Caroline’? (5)
{ OSCAR } One of the NATO code letters is hidden inside (used by) radi o’s Car oline

4d           What could make row? Estate car, perhaps (9)
{ TWOSEATER } Anagram (what could make) of ROW ESTATE. I thought this might have been enumerated as (3-6), but Chambers has it as a single word.

Stock Photo titled: Red Opel GT 2007 Sports Car Convertible Two-seat Roadster Luxury Automobile Isolated Silhouette With Clipping Path On Gray Background, unlicensed use prohibited

5d           Assistant in a small company, reportedly not a heavyweight (7)
{ ACOLYTE } A (from the clue) followed by an abbreviation for company and a homophone (reportedly) of a word meaning ‘not heavy’.

6d           Pale, Italian climbing, lacking courage (5)
{ TIMID } Reverse (climbing, in a down clue) a word for pale and an abbreviation for Italian.

7d           Ice, mostly, on top of old Irish lake (9)
{ RESERVOIR } The ice that might need breaking at parties, minus its last letter (mostly), followed by O ld and IR ish.

8d           Using few words, endlessly beat a prisoner inside (7)
{ LACONIC } An informal verb for beat, missing its last letter, with A (from the clue) and one of the usual Crosswordland prisoners inside it.

13d         Not properly adjusted, hence future too unpredictable (3,2,4)
{ OUT OF TRUE } Anagram (unpredictable) of FUTURE TOO.

15d         Chapter on posture in Lady Chatterley, for example (9)
{ CONSTANCE } The first name of the title character from the novel is a charade of C hapter, ON (from the clue) and another word for posture.  Those old enough to remember “I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again” may recall another lady of this name.

17d         Piece in paper, tiny piece with no heading (7)
{ ARTICLE } A fragment, often sub-atomic, without its first letter.

18d         Rank outsider? Work on her jumping outside (2-5)
{ NO-HOPER } An abbreviation of the Latin word for work, with an anagram (jumping) of ON HER around it.

20d         Ring about tie-on label on figure (7)
{ OCTAGON } A geometrical figure is made up from  a ring (O), an abbreviation for about, a tie-on label, and ON (from the clue).

22d         Incident in flat ending in arrest (5)
{ EVENT } An adjective meaning flat or level followed by the last letter (ending in) of arres T.

24d         Farewell to the Parisian (5)
{ ADIEU } (Not very) cryptic definition of the French word for farewell.


The Quick Crossword pun { FORCE } + { YORE } = { FORESHORE }

If you solved the Quick crossword online you may not have noticed the Nina in rows 8 and 10, which are highlighted in yellow in the newspaper.

42 comments on “DT 27063

  1. Happy New Year and thank you to Deep Threat. It isn’t the blue flashing lights, it is the crossword! I snuck over the border into 2.5* time for this one and wasn’t particularly entertained by it either. I was slightly perturbed as I thought I had yellow spots before my eyes but they turned out to be highlighting a Nina in the quick crossword (rows 8 and 10).

    The Toughie looks like it is going to be hard to get into but once you get into the swing, it isn’t that tough.

    If Pommers is feeling up to it, there is a good themed Brendan (Virgilius) in today’s Graun.

  2. Sorry thought this was a four star for difficulty. Very tricky, taken me ages to finish and needed help from a couple of the hints. Still not convinced about 1d which I thought v poor but did like 27a. Thx to to Deep Threat for the hints.

  3. Happy New Year to all. I found this tough going and not very enjoyable I’m afraid, I did put this down to a surfeit of my National Brew, but reading the comments above perhaps it was just the crossword. My thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for an entertaining blog. May I also take this opportunity to send best wishes for a speedy recovery to Pommers.

  4. Happy new year to you and all .I knew it was time to go to bed when I had a quick look at this in the early hours and managed precisely one ! Fortunately fared much better this morning although the NW corner took me longer than it should .Quite liked 9a , 15d and 26a .Agree with the ratings .
    Thank you once again .
    Beautiful sunny day in N Yorks lets hope it ‘s a start of things to come .

  5. HELP! Just gone to the DT site to find that my subscription has expired. May I please beg a favour from any kind individual to send me a PDF version of the puzzle while I try & renew my subs which thus far is not proving easy.

    Many thanks

      1. Thank you my friend. So far it’s a bit like swimming in treacle & obviously the contact line is closed today. Thanks also from Mrs S as she no longer has an irate Yorkshireman with a hangover ranting throughout the house due to your kindness What a brilliant site this is!

  6. For me today a 5*\1*.
    I’ve looked at the puzzle, thought hard and solved precisely 3 clues. Then I looked at Deep Threat’s review so I now know why the answers are what they are but I wouldn’t get them myself in a month of New Year Days.
    Thanks to Deep Threat for the review and I’m off to enjoy the sunshine in the Chilterns

  7. Good morning everyone and ‘Blwyddyn Newydd Dda’ to you all from West Wales, on a bright sunny morning, lets hope this bodes well for weather this year! This puzzle took me ages to get into and I can’t blame it on a late night but maybe an early morning, had a call yesterday to come to the hospital today at 8.30 for a CT scan, turns out when I and another gentleman arrived at a deserted CT dept than they should have told us to come tomorrow!! Luckily the on duty radiographer was CT trained and did the scans for us!!! Thanks for the hints DT I needed them for 13d and 26a and also to understand my answer for 7d, a definite 3 star for me, although once I got going it didn’t take that long, have a good day all, I am actually not having to cook today due to lovely invite to dinner from my Sister-in-law :-D

    1. Mary Blwyddyn Newydd Dda to you but how do you say this? I am playing golf later today with a a welsh speaking friend and I would like to offer my wishes in his native tongue but the lack of vowels in Welsh always defeats me!

      1. The welsh language actually has 7 vowels 5 + w and y .Sure that helps .Lucky blighter with the golf my course has been a resting place for migratory waterfowl for quite some time !

    2. Mary, I have a friend in Drefach and I often visit her. The last time I was there was in June last year, and it rained nonstop and was cold. We watched Jubilee celebrations on TV all day with the fire on.

  8. Happy New Year All!. Certainly a *** for me and I didn’t even stay up for the event!. Thanks to Deep Threat and the setter.

  9. A good puzzle for New Tear’s Day! Happy New Year everyone, and best wishes for a quick recovery to Pommers, sounds nasty but once those antibiotics start working amazing things can happen! A lot of food for thought here and took longer than usual, I was SO dim with 26A until the bird came to mind. No favourites but a collection of really good clues. Thanks to setter for a good brain workout and DT for hints

  10. Like most, so far, we had to struggle with this. Fortunately, Lady L was on top of her form to compensate for my lack of inspiration, so we got there in the end. Thanks to Deep Threat for explaining one or two answers which we found too obscure to work out for ourselves – the sign of a crossword which I don’t much enjoy, I’m afraid. Not convinced by 6d but 27a has much to recommend it. Happy New Year to one and all.

  11. Happy New Year to all, and best wishes to Pommers for a speedy recovery.

    This was a strange puzzle for me. My first attempt (possibly hung over!) proved to be a real struggle with only a very few answers getting entered. I tried again an hour later and everything fell into place apart from 26a and I was very grateful for DT’s hint as this is a new feathered friend for me, and I too wasn’t happy with 4d, expecting this to be two words. So thanks to DT for the confirmation of Chambers’ interpretation and for the picture for 23a, which helped, along with the sun here in London today, to make a pleasant start to the year.

  12. Oh good – I thought it was me!! I really struggled with this and couldn’t even blame it on over indulgence last night as I was the driver – as always in our house!
    I was completely on the wrong wave length today. Looking at it again having finished now, apart from 26a, it probably wasn’t very difficult but it certainly seemed so while I was fighting the beast.
    4d was my last one – I was trying to make it an anagram of ‘estate car’ with the definition being ‘row’. :roll:
    I did like 9, 14, 23 (those were the days!) and 27a and 3d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and Deep Threat.
    Once again Happy New Year to all – going out to lunch with friends now – back later.

  13. I thought it was a clever and enjoyable puzzle. Happy New Year. Off to panto with Mrs N.

  14. Nice crossword, just proves that it has nothing to do with brain power because I finished in PB time with a stinking hangover, weird that .

  15. What a relief ! I thought it must be alcohol fuelled incompetence. Late starting after our guest left and then took ages to get going. I found it really difficult but applied the “P” word and finally got there. New word for me at 1d. I hope the rest of the week is a bit easier – I haven’t got time to spend this long on the puzzle !

    Thank you setter for the challenge and DT for your review.

    Happy New Year everybody.

  16. This was a true stinker. I never did get 13d or 26a, had to use the hints to finish. Good fun, nevertheless. All that’s best for 2013. It seems just yesterday that we were all worrying that our computers would crash on Jan 1, 2000!!

  17. Happy New Year from the Commonwealth. Thx for the year of hints, banter and abuse. Mr & Mrs T.

  18. Thanks to the setter & Deep Threat for the review and hints. Happy New Year to all. I always start at the top, but didn’t get much success initially. Completed the bottom half first, then the NE corner, got completely stuck in the NW, had to use the hints for 2d, never heard of it, 4d couldn’t get the fodder doh! Also had to use the hint for 10a. Brainfade from yesterday’s celebration. Enjoyed the struggle though, so was 4*/2* for me. Lovely day in Central London, might try the Toughie before watching the Gooners on TV.

  19. I sailed through the bottom half of this one, then made slow progress through the rest. I made the same mistake as Kath, trying to make an anagram of ‘estate car’. A little more than 3* difficulty for me.
    Thanks to setter, and to Deep Threat for the review.

  20. Took me a while to get going but once I did it was very enjoyable. Needed the hint for 7d as I was looking for a specific lake and not a general term! Also started off with the wrong fodder for 4d but got there I’m the end.
    Thanks to DT and the setter and Happy New Year to all.

  21. We agree that it was a ***/*** puzzle. It is interesting to note that when the setter is unknown, the enjoyment factor always seems to drop by a notch or two for most people. It is certainly true for us. We often wonder why The Telegraph keep the setters for this puzzle anonymous while they always publish the Toughie setters. Food for thought.
    Thanks Mr Ron and DT.

  22. Darned annoying!!!

    Not the crossword, although it did seem a tad slickly for a Tuesday (it is Tuesday, isn’t it?), especially a day when brains might themselves be a tad sticky, but this page of the blog, which I can only read fully in landscape mode on my iPad. In portrait, the left hand side is cut off. Other pages selected at random display OK.

    Bonne année.

  23. “slickly” = iPad-speak for ‘sticky’.

    Posted because I can’t edit my post, I keep getting returned to the iPad home screen when I click Edit … weird!

          1. I have a Sinclair Cambridge (C1972) which works excellently. Mind you. IIRC, it cost around £45!

  24. As usual, late comment. Didn’t find this as hard as some contributors for some strange reason. Just about a ***/*** for me.

    Wondering about the Toughie now.

  25. Has anyone had an up to date bulletin on pommers from pommette? Just sitting by fire with glass of wine and wondered how he/they are getting on. I so hope that he’s feeling better.

      1. . . . and when you’re back in Peterborough you will pass on all good wishes from everyone here and say that we are all asking, please?

  26. Great crossword, difficult at first, strong coffee, then solution. Who was the setter? Perhaps RayT with hangover?

    1. Very difficult at first – strong coffee didn’t seem to help – carried on being difficult! In my opinion definitely NOT Ray T.

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