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DT 27099

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27099

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where it’s cold and grey, with a light dusting of snow.

I found that the bottom half of this puzzle went in quickly, then I had to think a little to complete the top – and wondered why it hadn’t been evident the first time around. Those who don’t like general knowledge type clues in a cryptic crossword may have cause to complain, with a film title, a play, a composer and a dramatist among the answers, although only the play does not have a reasonable word-play.

In the hints below 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.


1a           Scoundrel with gag (6)
{ WRETCH } With followed by a verb meaning to gag (as at some unpleasant food).

5a           Mother brought in slab on which a plate rests (5,3)
{ TABLE MAT } A common two-letter abbreviation for mother inside a memorial slab.

9a           Keith, appearing in ‘Loot’ with me, is cast in a film (4,4,2,3)
{ SOME LIKE IT HOT } Anagram (cast) of LOOT ME IS with KEITH inside it, giving a 1959 film starring Marilyn Monroe.

10a         Stumped by corset? There’s a surprise! (6,2)
{ STROLL ON } The abbreviation for ‘stumped’ in a cricket scorecard followed by an elasticated corset gives an exclamation expressing surprise.

11a         Article by a member on small boat (6)
{ SAMPAN } An Oriental boat comes from a charade of Small, A (from the clue), the abbreviation for a member of the House of Commons, and the indefinite article.

12a         Heated chow? (3,3)
{ HOT DOG } A cryptic definition of this American snack.

14a         Right of way coming from convent across it (8)
{ PRIORITY } A synonym of convent wrapped around (across) IT (from the clue).

16a         Title spelled backwards with wrong date, it’s emerged (8)
{ EMANATED } Reverse (spelled backwards) another word for title and add an anagram (wrong) of DATE.

19a         A fund in hand for swimming maybe (6)
{ AFLOAT } A (from the clue) plus the cash fund a shopkeeper uses to give change.

21a         Fruit — round variety (6)
{ ORANGE } A circular letter followed by a variety (as of goods in a shop).

23a         Sponger ruined pair’s tea (8)
{ PARASITE } Anagram (ruined) of PAIR’S TEA.

25a         Continue a poem translated years ago (4,4,1,4)
{ ONCE UPON A TIME } Anagram (translated) of CONTINUE A POEM.

26a         A banker’s intoxicated state (8)
{ NEBRASKA } Anagram (intoxicated) of A BANKER’S.

27a         Student, at first, reportedly reserved in group (6)
{ SCHOOL } The initial letter (at first) of Student followed by a homonym of an adjective meaning reserved.


2d           Rice dish recipe for starters — it’s too complicated (7)
{ RISOTTO } Recipe followed by an anagram (complicated) of IT’S TOO.

3d           Speed discovered during post-mortem, possibly (5)
{ TEMPO } Hidden in (discovered during) the clue.

4d           Shakespearean prince fleeing in the gloaming (4-5)
{ HALF-LIGHT } Split (3,6) the prince who hung out with Falstaff and his cronies and a noun meaning fleeing.

5d           Started to study at college around North (5,2)
{ TAKEN UP } Another way of referring to the study of a subject and a two-letter preposition used to signify presence at university, either side of North.

6d           Composer in seventh heaven (5)
{ BLISS } Double definition.

7d           Power held by male here, surprisingly short-lived (9)
{ EPHEMERAL } Anagram (surprisingly) of MALE HERE with Power included.

8d           Draw Turk’s head in a pamphlet (7)
{ ATTRACT } The initial T of Turk’s goes inside A (from the clue) and a religious pamphlet.

13d         Rail fare may be put away here (6-3)
{ DINING-CAR } A cryptic definition of the part of a train where you might have seen the bill of fare.

15d         Rain’s rare for resort, but overdue (2,7)
{ IN ARREARS } Anagram (for resort) of RAIN’S RARE.

17d         Hurt, depressed English dramatist (7)
{ MARLOWE } A charade of a verb meaning to hurt or damage, an adjective describing a depressed mood and English, giving an Elizabethan dramatist.

18d         First secretary perhaps losing little time finding official document (7)
{ DIPLOMA } The sort of official of which First Secretary is an example, with the final T removed (losing little time).

20d         Style of interior design having red coat applied (3,4)
{ ART DECO } Anagram (applied) of RED COAT.

22d         Horse-play? (5)
{ EQUUS } A cryptic definition of a play by Peter Shaffer. The Latin for ‘horse’.

24d         Son’s desire to be smart (5)
{ SWISH } An informal term for ‘smart’ made up of Son and a desire.

The Quick Crossword pun { AUTUMN }{ ATTIC } = { AUTOMATIC }

63 comments on “DT 27099

  1. No problems today (despite spelling 16A wrong !!! ) Rather too many anagrams for my liking, but I dare say others will prefer it this way. Otherwise, a nice pleasant puzzle

  2. Nicely straightforward thank you Tuesday Mysteron and DT too.

    The Toughie doesn’t take long to solve either.

  3. Strange, I had no problems with the top half and struggled on the bottom, still got it sorted with minimal electric help in fairly short order.

    Thanks for the review.

    Thanks to the setter, a fun and not overly taxing puzzle.

  4. My problems were all with the top half but were of my own making as I misspelt Ephemeral like a clot. Not easy to get the cross clues with the wrong letters :-)
    Found it a lot easier than yesterday’s tricky one and very enjoyable.
    Esp liked 9a and 21a. Thx to Setter and to DT for explaining 27a.

  5. Nice little puzzle today. . 25ac suggested itself without the need to read the clue. That is a first I think. Thanks to the setter. Now for the toughie, oh dear the wife has found work to be done.

  6. Like Colmce I found the top half fine but the lower half took ages.”stroll on”,I found it in BRB but have never heard of it in this context. I think of it meaning “you wish”. Thanks to setter and Deep Threat.

  7. Fortunately I did not make the ‘buffet’ mistake in 13d, which I am sure I did on one occasion before!
    Thanks to setter, and to Deep Threat.

  8. I worked out 10A but have never heard it used in that way. Needed the hint for 24D, so many thanks to DT. And I finally put in the right answer for 27A because I couldn’t see anything else that fit, but I still don’t understand the homonym part of it at all.

      1. Thanks, Kath. Maybe I’m just being extra dense this morning, but ‘cool’ and chool’ don’t sound all that alike to me. Ah, well. you can’t win ’em all.

  9. I thought this was a good puzzle – my only complaint is that it hasn’t taken me long which means that I really ought to do something useful now!
    10a and 4d were my last ones – 10a made me laugh, when I finally got it. For some reason 19a took a little while too.
    I had a bit of trouble working out which words to make into the 9a anagram.
    Probably 2* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment for me.
    I liked 1, 10, 12, 14 and 26a and 3, 6, 17 and 22d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and Deep Threat.
    Still quite a lot of snow here. One of the friends I dog walk with in the mornings lost his car keys! :roll: One hour later still no keys (needles and haystacks spring to mind) – absolutely frozen – only just got warm.

  10. Enjoyed this one, lots of clues I liked today, thanks for hints DT though didn’t need them today, no snow here thank goodness, have a good day all, see you tomorrow :-)

    1. Hooray – Mary’s properly back. No snow here either, touch wood! See you tomorrow (after cardiac thingy ??)

    2. Hey Mary, only just seen your post on yesterday’s blog! I too wish you all the best. This place wouldn’t be the same without you.

      As for “who’d have thought a crossword blog could bring so much comfort” – don’t it just!!!

  11. Re 10a, one of the last one’s in for me, but unlike many others I have used this expression many times, but many years ago and I suspect it is a bit out of fashion now.
    My late father (a Yorkshire farmer) used it regularly as an expression of surprise, but it usually had effing in front of it!!
    Brought back some happy memories!!

    1. Stroll on Alan! I would have said more people would know this expression but it probably is a bit out of date :grin:

    2. I was confusing stroll on with “jog on”,a phrase used by teenagers in response to most requests, and tone is essential, dripping sarcasm.

  12. 10A certainly used in mid cheshire once upon a time, probably has a gay meaning by now! my favourite word ,used by my gran was ‘puthery’-used to describe the hot and stuffy weather before a thunderstorm.Anyway agree with a **/***, thanks DT for the picks,i knew you wouldent be able to miss out the delicious Sugar for 9a,always a joy to behold.

  13. Enjoyed this one a lot so thanks to Mr Ron..

    Lots of good stuff but favourites were 1a, 10a and 12a, which certainly raised a laugh from pommette!.

    Also thanks to Deep Threat – your piccy for 2d looks like someone did a 1a :grin:.

  14. Enjoyable offering today I did not think there were too many anagrams – it seemed well balanced. **/**** for me. Thank you Deep Threat and compiler

  15. Thanks to Mr. Ron & to deep threat for the review and hints. Found this on the gentle side, didn’t find much difference between top & bottom halves. Started with 2d, finished with 27a. Favourites were 14&25d and 4d. Was 2*/3*, an enjoyable puzzle. Dull day in Central London, now for the Toughie.

  16. Well the only expression of surprise I’ve heard beginning with St was Strewth!, & I don’t think I’ve heard that for a few years now. So yet something else learned today with 10a – my last one in, once I’d stopped trying to make second part of 4d Night…. So glad Mary’s back, & Pommers doing so well. Best wishes to both of you for continuing good progress (in spite of heartache – but hopefully not the physical kind – for Mary about Angel). Many thanks to setter & DT for some excellent hints. I find the underlining of the definitions very helpful. After CS’s comment on 2, I might attempt the Toughie.

        1. Yet something else I didn’t know – thanks for that insight. And presumably that makes it quite an ancient saying, when folk weren’t nervous about the G word!

    1. I did and I only got 10 right and loads wrong.Still, I was worse than this with the back pagers before joining the blog.

    2. BTW, your Poppy’s breed, affenpinscher, won best of toy breed again at Westminster dog show at Madison Square Gardens again last night

      1. Oh how super to hear that – I didn’t know. But I’m not telling mine, as she’s far too self-opinionated already, & she’d probably start demanding a limousine to take her on her walks!

        1. And just looked the show up. Banana Joe looks really something, but quite a bit bigger than mine who only weighs around 3Kg. Thanks for introducing me to such a character!

            1. 3K indeed also, my two weigh a combined 55kg, which seems an awful lot heavier if small furries come into eyesight :grin:

              1. Certainly we have to watch out for fear of foxes taking her, as we have lots around here. They took two cats from two different neighbours, & the sound was horrendous. But she seems totally unaware that she’s smaller than most dogs, as well as a lot of cats, & her bustling walk as she shimmies up to a Great Dane, gives me the giggles. We’ve tried never to rush to pick her up, to encourage her to deal with situations herself; so I think her other name could be Miss Independence – or Bossy-boots for short! :-D

    3. Do have a go – I managed most of it. I thought the right side was considerably easier than the left. Good luck! :smile:

  17. I never did get 10a, totally new for me. Otherwise an enjoyable puzzle, I thought it loads of fun. Thanks to all, and I liked the anagrams, gets one going when it’s difficult

  18. I had more trouble with this one than with the toughie today! Never would have got 10a without help. I thought 5d was a bit of a non-clue but I really liked 4d. I also liked 24d as I have not heard that word in that meaning for a long time. It was a favorite of my dad’s.
    Thanks to DT and to the setter.

  19. I was on a roll before being stumped by 10a for a time (never heard that expression nor that definition of corset – I must have led a sheltered life).

  20. Thank you setter for an enjoyable puzzle and DT for your review. Managed to stay out of the Clueless Club again but needed Mrs SW’s confirmation of play and dramatist due to usual lack of GK. Still awaiting snow here in Bamburgh – snow socks and shovel at the ready ! Looks like we can’t avoid it tomorrow.

      1. Trying to keep warm Poppy – but it is very cold with an east wind. Inland today on a lovely little reserve run by a farmer on his land. He has built 2 hides overlooking large ponds in a woodland setting – for the enjoyment of anyone who cares to turn up. We saw yellowhammer, nuthatch, treecreeper and GS woodpecker amongst many other small birds. Nice to get back in the car and progress the puzzle !

      2. Trying to keep warm Poppy ! Inland today – yellowhammer, nuthatch, treecreeper and lots of little birds !

  21. A solver friendly puzzle with so many anagrams .Like DT had completed all of the lower half first and in fact last 2in were 1a and 4d which were 2 of my favs along with 12a and 19a .
    In a minority by quite a margin in that I still use the expression 10a.
    Thanks very much .

  22. Hello Mary ,I didn’t manage to look in on the blog yesterday so missed your comment. I would like to join everyone else in wishing you improving health & sympathising with you on the sad loss of your dog. Having lost dogs I know how painful it is.

    I found today’s puzzle fairly straight forward although I had never heard of 10a as an expression of surprise. Thanks to setter & DT.

  23. Certain bits a bit taxing, enjoyable overall, though.
    10a is a bit dated, used to hear it a lot more than now.
    Thanks Mysteron and Deep Threat.

  24. A good fun puzzle that presented no particular problems for us. Agree with the ratings. Do wish we could have a name for the setter though.
    Thanks Mr Ron and DT.

  25. A pleasant solve today but I did think that the puzzle was rather loaded with anagrams!

    Faves : 11a, 12a, 27a, 4d, 6d & 22d.

    My grandson passed his driving test this afternoon in lovely sunny weather – my granddaughter succeeded a week or two ago so everyone in the family can drive now except me as I gave up due to AF.

    Grilled salmon tonight with a drop of Menetou-Salon blanc – very tasty!

  26. I’m old enough to know about a “roll-on” being a corset (as well as a deodorant! ) but I’ve never heard of “stroll on”. Is it confined to Yorkshire as Alan suggests?

  27. Quite like it today although I failed to get 22d. 13d always prompts me to offer “buffet”. This clue has appeared before.

  28. Enjoyed today’s offering split by a full day at work. Could be a regular feature of Tuesdays and Thursdays for a while. 27 d was straight forward thanks to it being on this terms A level syllabus. Regds to all.

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