DT 27105 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27105

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27105

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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

Good morning from South Staffs where it’s bright and sunny after a frosty night.  Mrs DT tells me she is going to use a nuclear-fusion-powered airflow to dry the washing today. (She’s going to peg it on the line!)

Some quite long anagrams, and one or two slightly unusual words gave me a little pause while solving this, though when I then wrote the hints I began to wonder why I had hesitated. So **/*** for difficulty for me.

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.


3a           Army bigwig and idol commonly treated as fine orator (6)
{ CICERO } The abbreviation for commander in chief, followed by the way a Crosswordland Cockney might describe his idol gives us this ancient Roman.

6a           Criticise social gathering (4)
{ BASH } Double definition.

8a           A list of duties switched initially for a network carrier? (5)
{ AORTA } The network is the one which pumps blood around our bodies. A (from the clue) followed by a list of duties with the first two letters transposed (switched initially).

9a           Spiritual feeling? It riles yogi terribly (11)
{ RELIGIOSITY } Anagram (terribly) of IT RILES YOGI.

10a         Singer vocalising note (5)
{ TENOR } This operatic singer sounds like (vocalising) a banknote.

11a         Misrepresented MP over time around North getting better (11)
{ IMPROVEMENT } Anagram (misrepresented) of MP OVER TIME wrapped around North.

16a         Issue, say, linked to engineers on reflection (6)
{ EMERGE } Take the abbreviation of the Latin phrase meaning ‘say’ or ‘for example’ followed by the abbreviated name of one of the engineer regiments, then reverse (on reflection) the whole lot.

17a         Counter busy person detaining copper in outdoor party (8)
{ BARBECUE } A charade of a counter in a pub, followed by the proverbial busy person with the chemical symbol for copper inside it.

19a         Bird aboard boat fluttering in foreign land (8)
{ BOTSWANA } A large bird inside (aboard) an anagram (fluttering) of BOAT.

20a         Exchange short article for bandage (6)
{ SWATHE } The definition is a verb.  Take the final letter (short) off a word meaning exchange, and add a definite article.

22a         Look about English bishop backing fancy political manipulation (11)
{ GERRYMANDER } Inside a slang word for a look we find English, the abbreviation of a bishop’s title, and the reversal (backing) of an exclamation like ‘Fancy!’.

25a         Nine roaming around university in boredom (5)
{ ENNUI } Anagram (roaming) of NINE around University.

27a         A great sign devised by a military base? (7,4)
{ STAGING AREA } Anagram (devised) of A GREAT SIGN followed by A (from the clue).

28a         Exotic fare from America in boat that’s docked (5)
{ SUSHI } Take the last letter off (docked) a word for boat and insert one of the usual abbreviations for American.

29a         Some applause for factory employee (4)
{ HAND } Double definition.

30a         Do gets assorted heavy food (6)
{ STODGE } Anagram (assorted) of DO GETS.


1d           Set of players in shed (4)
{ CAST } Double definition, the second being a verb.

2d           One held responsible for rage? (11)
{ TRENDSETTER } Rage as in “It’s all the rage”.

3d           Bearing to consider reportedly in road (11)
{ CARRIAGEWAY} A noun relating to the bearing of a person, followed by a homonym (reportedly) of a verb meaning to consider.

4d           Old spiritual leader caught boxer by pub (6)
{ CALIPH } A charade of the cricket scorecard abbreviation for Caught, the boxer known as the Greatest, and the sign for a public house found on Ordnance Survey maps.

5d           Like an area about to get rewritten in a log (8)
{ REGIONAL } The Latin word for about or concerning, followed by an anagram (rewritten) of IN A LOG.

6d           Almost finest award for a sweeper (5)
{ BESOM } A word for ‘finest’ with its last letter removed (almost) followed by the abbreviation of an honour awarded to individuals of great achievement in the fields of the arts, learning, literature and science.

7d           Part of weekend receiving deliveries in shiny material (5)
{ SATIN } The abbreviation for one of the days of the weekend, followed by the state of a batsman who is receiving deliveries (from the bowler).

12d         Hard work moving slow barge in middle of week (5-6)
{ ELBOW-GREASE } Anagram (moving) of SLOW BARGE inside the middle letters of wEEk.

13d         Former partner named by famous investigator in state of agitation (11)
{ EXCITEDNESS } A charade of a former marital partner, a verb meaning quoted or named, and the surname of the leader of The Untouchables.

14d         Where driver begins, note, on surface of road to hesitate? (6)
{ TEETER } A charade of the place from which a golfer hits his drive, a note in the tonic sol-fa scale, and the first letter (surface) of Road.

15d         Get a cab ordered lacking cold drink source? (6)
{ TEABAG } Anagram (ordered) of GET A (C)AB with the Cold removed.

18d         Meeting objective like a bull? (2,6)
{ ON TARGET } Double definition, the second being a definition by example – the place where a shooter might expect to find a bull.

21d         A measure taken up by journalist given huge affection (6)
{ ADORED } A (from the clue), then the reversal (taken up) of an old measure also known as a pole or perch, and finally the usual crossword journalist.

23d         Minor person screened in edition of paper (5)
{ EXTRA } Double definition, the first being a cryptic definition of a person playing a small part in a film.

24d         Stiff gear I had encountered (5)
{ RIGID } A noun meaning gear or kit followed by the abbreviated form of ‘I had’.

26d         Flag from fair I snatched (4)
{ IRIS } This flower is hidden in the clue.

The Quick Crossword pun { PARSE }{ DOUBT } = { PASSED OUT }

49 comments on “DT 27105

  1. A nice puzzle with a few smiles and penny drop moments. 2*/4* for me.
    Thanks to setter (Shamus perhaps?) and to Deep Threat for the review.

  2. What a lot of 11-letter words there are in the English language! If it hadn’t been for the anagrams I’d never have been able to solve this. And if it hadn’t been for your hints, DT, I’d never have worked out why a number of words were what they were. Especially 22a and 3d — I hate those kind of clues. So it was rather a slog today and I needed all the help I could get. Thanks to the setter for the challenge and to You, DT, for the enlightenment. :-)

    1. You are correct, the anagrams saved the day. Both 9a and 13d were strange words, thank goodness for my gizmo, which I had to use much earlier than usual.

  3. Seemed to be on the right wavelength this morning and finished without too much difficulty. Thank you setter for an enjoyable puzzle and thank you DT for your review. A new word for me at 9a and many enjoyable clues.

  4. A pleasant diversion this morning. No real problems. Last one in 2d, thinking of “anger” for a long time. Thanks to setter and to DT for the review.

  5. No great problems today, but took an awfully long time to solve – I think I must be having a relapse of the plague from the weekend, perhaps I should go and buy myself a bell. Some very good mis-directions throughout the whole of the puzzle and some nice anagrams.

  6. I found this strange in that I enjoyed a large part of it but then from 15d onwards in the d clues and 25a in the a clues thought it petered out which was a shame .
    Agree with the rating .
    Thanks very much .

  7. 2*/3* for me – thank you to the Tuesday Mysteron and DT.

    Did I miss Brian putting in the paperwork for a leave of absence – I sort of miss his ‘cheery’ comments.

    I was wrong about the Matt cartoon – he is back in the paper today.

    The Giovanni toughie puts up more of a fight than one of his usually does.

    One of the benefits of phased return to work means that I am off in a minute to enjoy the glorious sunny afternoon.

    1. I miss ‘cheery’ Brian too. He just says what he thinks which is quite refreshing and funny. Thanks to setter and hinter…..you all put a lot of work into the crosswords for the benefit of the rest of us.

  8. At least 3* difficulty for me today. I never did manage to get 22a and 2d and it’s taken me quite a long time. I’m not sure that I would ever have got going at all without the long anagrams.
    I had trouble with 3a and 3d and needed the hint to explain the last bit of 13d as I have never heard of the investigator – come to think of it I’ve never heard of The Untouchables either but will look them up in a minute!
    It felt like a strange mixture of some very easy clues and some very difficult ones – maybe it’s just me.
    I liked 19a and 12d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and Deep Threat.
    Lovely sunny day – washing on line – going up the garden.

    1. I’ve now looked up The Untouchables – not surprised that I’ve never heard of it – not my kind of thing at all!

      1. I find the problem with programs/films such as The Untouchables is that they seem to be along the lines of ‘Here’s the brave hero fighting organised crime and cleaning up the USA – what a great country’ rather than ‘Here’s the hero cleaning up organised crime that was spawned by the American way of life and poor government, what a terrible country’

        1. Your spelling of ‘programs’ makes you sound as if you ARE an American! Elder daughter was on a terrible rant last weekend because all scientific words are now considered incorrect unless they are spelled (? spelt – never know which) the american way – it drives her mad!

          1. Sorry, life spent in a computer environment – everything’s is in foreign – mainly American

            1. OK – give in! Perhaps she doesn’t have much to do with that – it certainly wasn’t one that I remember being on the list.

  9. The only fine orator I can think of is 3a and the only word I know for political manipulation is 22a, so got off to a brisk start, but was unduly detained by 2d and 14d. (I could barely contain my excitedness when the answer dawned to 14d – it doesn’t sound right, does it? ) Harder than yesterday’s and not quite so enjoyable.

  10. Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat, this was a quite amusing crossword without too many head scratching moments and a very entertaining review. ( I particularly enjoyed your view on boredom.)

  11. All except 2d went in ok for me. Checked 2d in “crossword solver” as that seemed a little less like cheating than getting the BD blog hint but it came up with “no matches”! Even the hint didn’t dawn on me so had to cheat in the end.

    Can’t believe that “bash” came up for the third time in as many weeks – must be leading over “do” for a party/social gathering by now.

    Only understood 17a completely after reading hint.

    1. I don’t know what ‘crossword solver’ is but I always feel that if I’m completely stuck and can get the answer from the hint, without looking in the curly brackets, then at least I’ve done just a little tiny bit of the work! :smile:

  12. **/**** for me today. I got 6a quickly and immediately saw that 6d ended with OM. So without enough thought I put in broom, which got me into a real tangle with 9a until the penny dropped.

  13. Many thanks to Deep Threat for his blog and everyone for his/her comments – greetings from a spring-like London!

  14. Thanks to Shamus and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, I had trouble with the top half, putting in broom for 6d didn’t help. I got there in the end, started with 11a, finished with 16a,was 3 * / 3 * for me. Favourites were 3 & 22a and 4 &and 5d 13d. Lovely day in Central London, had a nice run this morning.

  15. Very enjoyable puzzle, solved with no problems.

    Thanks to Deep Threat for the review, and to the setter.

  16. I found this a bit of a slog but solved with help. There were some good ones, eg 2d, 22a and 28a. Thanks to setter and hinter.

  17. This was a real mix for me. Pretty much finished it until I got stuck on 2d and 8a. Just couldn’t see those two at all. Was trying to work out a complicated meaning for Atora & still didn’t twig! Am now enjoying a cuppa wearing a pointed hat with a big D on it. Thank you to setter, and to DT (hope the washing survived)!

    1. The airflow wasn’t great but the radiation dried everything except DT’s painting jeans.

  18. Very nice, quite challenging puzzle. Never did get 2d so needed DT for that. Thanks to him and to Shamus.
    All this talk about flowers and gardens is very discouraging as my garden is still under 20 inches of snow!

  19. Another enjoyable puzzle so many thanks to Shamus and to DT some of whose hints were very welcome

  20. We found this one much harder than a 2* and rated it *** or **** for difficulty. Correctly guessed the setter too. 8a was our last one in. Surprisingly, we got 22a very early on when we only had the “y” as a checking letter. A really fun puzzle to solve.
    Thanks Shamus and DT.

  21. I had a lot of trouble solving this puzzle because the back page of my DT had printed extremely faintly so was difficult to read!

    Faves : 3a,17a, 22a, 4d, 6d & 18d.

    One of the trees on the pavement edge across the road is now laden with catkins so Spring is definitely on its way!

    1. Some of the trees round here had catkins on weeks ago – before the snow came – so I don’t think spring had much to do with it then. Lots more now – a very good year for catkins.

  22. Quite a challenge.
    Can’t believe 2d was my last in. So obvious!
    Many thanks Myseron and Deep Threat (esp. 25a)

  23. I found this one quite tough, doing better on the right side than the left,and the west mid-lands really poor.After 30 years of news from NI, 22a is imprinted on the brain although I don’t understand the clue or the hint.Thanks to Shamus, and Deep Threat.

    1. Look = gander, as in ‘take a gander at that!’. Inside gander we have E(nglish), RR ( Right Reverend, the honorifc attached to a bishop) and ‘My!’, an exclamation like ‘Fancy!’, reversed. G E RR YM ANDER.

  24. A bitty day led to the crossword being done in a bitty fashion with lots of interruptions. I finished over dinner which my beautiful wife considers to be very rude and I totally agree with her. I could not get FRONTRUNNER out of my mind for 2d all day long. After all we will have dinner again tomorrow. A very nice puzzle. Just taxing enough.

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