DT 27117 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27117

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27117

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Thanks to Deep Threat for doing a swap with me this week – he’ll be here on Friday. I solved most of this puzzle in 2* time or less but was held up by my last couple of clues in the NW quadrant so I ended up giving it 3* for difficulty. How does that correspond with your experience?
If you want to see an answer just highlight the gap between the brackets under the troublesome clue.

Across Clues

2a  An expert at assessing faults? (12)
{SEISMOLOGIST} – cryptic definition of a scientist. The faults being assessed are in the earth’s crust.

8a  Measure of insulation found with a traditional dress (4)
{TOGA} – a measure of the insulating properties of a duvet, say, followed by A.

9a  Dub lout misbehaving around factory’s entrance suspect (8)
{DOUBTFUL} – an anagram (misbehaving) of DUB LOUT contains the first letter (entrance) of F(actory).

10a  Flower getting spread around island past its best? (8)
{MARIGOLD} – this spread is a type of butter substitute. Put it around the single-character abbreviation for island then add an adjective meaning past its best or over the hill.

11a  Rear royal figure to stop progress (6)
{HINDER} – an adjective meaning at the rear is followed by the letters used to identify our most senior royal figure.

12a  Pollution from pass encountered around North (10)
{DEFILEMENT} – start with a long narrow pass and add a verb meaning encountered containing N(orth).

13a  Catch criticism faced by part of hospital (6)
{ENTRAP} – an informal word for a sharp criticism is preceded (faced) by the abbreviation for the only hospital department that we ever see in Crosswordland.

16a  Put off fellow interrupting animals (5)
{DEFER} – F(ellow) goes inside (interrupting) some hoofed animals.

17a  Put aside old novel with affection, nothing less (6)
{SHELVE} – the title of an old novel by the splendidly-named Sir Henry Rider Haggard (presumably known to his mates as HRH) is followed by a synonym for great affection with the letter that resembles zero or nothing taken out.

18a  Prim woman calms room after disorder around hotel (10)
{SCHOOLMARM} – this is a Northern American term for a female teacher, traditionally thought of as being dowdy, prim and pedantic. The word is an anagram (after disorder) of CALMS ROOM containing the letter that the codeword hotel is used for in the Nato Phonetic alphabet.

21a  Fastening material concealed by level crossing (6)
{VELCRO} – concealed in the clue.

23a  Vulgarity endures sadly with first of sketches (8)
{RUDENESS} – an anagram (sadly) of ENDURES is followed by the first letter of S(ketches).

24a  Old artist accommodated in remote old state (8)
{COLORADO} – O(ld) and the abbreviation for a Royal Academician (artist) are inserted (accommodated) in an adjective meaning remote or aloof, then finish with another O(ld).

25a  Spell in Italian city I relinquished (4)
{TURN} – remove the I from the name of a city in North-West Italy to leave a spell or stint.

26a  Autonomy obtained by more than one paper, we hear (12)
{INDEPENDENCE} – sounds like (we hear) more than one copy of a national newpaper.

Down Clues

1d  Comfort in putting up very large ornamental material (6)
{SOLACE} – reverse (putting up, in a down clue) the abbreviation used for ‘very large’ in clothing sizes and add a delicate ornamental fabric.

2d  Ridiculing poor trails about London gallery (9)
{SATIRICAL} – put an anagram (poor) of TRAILS around the abbreviation for a London gallery.

3d  Trainer might have this popular fish (6)
{INSOLE} – combine words for popular (2) and a type of fish (4) to make what a trainer (or other types of footwear) might contain.

4d  Unexciting  location for traffic island? (6-2-3-4)
{MIDDLE-OF-THE-ROAD} – fairly obvious double definition.

5d  It can be killing with no end of jokes? (8)
{LAUGHTER} – this is an all-in-one but I’m not sure that it works terribly well. The wordplay requires us to remove the end letter of (joke)S from the start of a word meaning killing or butchery. The definition (i.e. the whole clue) is a reference to a statement such as ‘I killed myself ******** at the jokes’.

6d  Prosper in good school (3,2)
{GET ON} – G(ood) followed by the usual public school.

7d  Impudence shown by childish character — it can make you stew! (8)
{SAUCEPAN} – a charade of a word meaning impudence or cheek and the Barrie character who never grows old and forever remains a child.

14d  Stop a trim teen getting out of shape (9)
{TERMINATE} – an anagram (getting out of shape) of A TRIM TEEN.

15d  Fit into tight space and get clipped holding gardening tool (8)
{SHOEHORN} – a past participle meaning clipped (like a sheep) contains a gardening tool.

16d  Dreary tea sold improperly close to cafe (8)
{DESOLATE} – an anagram (improperly) of TEA SOLD is followed by the closing character of (caf)E.

19d  Peculiar relative? That’s very likely! (4-2)
{ODDS-ON} – bit of an old chestnut. Join together an adjective meaning peculiar and a male relative to make what has a better than 50-50 chance of happening.

20d  Holiday destination in October emptied among others (6)
{RESORT} – O(ctobe)R without its internal letters (emptied) goes inside another word for others.

22d  Divided  segment of garlic (5)
{CLOVE} – double definition. The first is the past tense of a verb which means to divide or split. Just to make the English language interesting there is another verb with exactly the same spelling which means the exact opposite, i.e. to come together or unite.

My top clues today were 10a and 7d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {MOOR} + {CELL} = {MORSEL}

60 comments on “DT 27117

  1. Simple puzzle,two delays 12a and 7d(fav)
    The commandant tells me we have the book 17a which I was blissfully unaware of .
    Agree with the ratings .
    Thanks very much .

  2. Thanks Gazza; we too got delayed by the NW corner but otherwise found it a bit of a romp. It helped that we got 2a and 4d instinctively as soon as the Lady and I started to look at the clues – no thought required. From reports in the paper from time to time I am not convinced that prim is an appropriate adjective for some examples of modern 18a. 2a had us trailing around the wrong gallery for a while.

  3. Much easier puzzle than the last few Tuesdays, but just as enjoyable. Got held up by two – 1D (for some reason unbeknownst to me) and 7D. I thought 12A was very good and gets my Clue Of The Day Award.

    Nice, sunny and warm here today, have decided to do the annual laundry and begin to consider to perhaps maybe thinking about the possibility of contemplating some spring cleaning (its OK, I’ll be better by tomorrow)

  4. Really steamed through this, until the NW corner. Like the tar pot in EF Benson’s story, once I’d got ‘sari’ in my head (incorrectly) for 8a I simply kept revisiting that in a forlorn mission to make it fit. So lost a lot of time over that idiotic mistake, especially as I took ages to think of the correct London Gallery for 2d – d’oh!. Liked 7d. But struggled a bit with the sense of the answer for 3d. Learning, learning all the time. Many thanks to setter as well as to Gazza for hints (only the second time ice not needed them).

    1. I had a sari in my head too, and it just wouldn’t go away! I even looked up SRI to see if it was, to me at least, an unknown measure of insulation!!

      1. That’s a comfort, Kath, as I did exactly the same & and pushed myself further down the dead end by discovering a site that explained ‘R’ can be used as a unit of measurement so then all I had to do was even greater mental contortions to explain the S and I!! Hope your fencing is a successful ploy against the little de*rs. :-)

        1. I did the same, too, and even found SRI which means superior radiant insulation, probably some type of insulation rather than a measure. It was close enough for me, but no cigar! Once I got 2d I realised it was dead wrong.

          1. I think that must have been the same site I looked at too, Merusa! Don’t know if you’ve read the EF Benson books on Mapp and Lucia. Utterly brilliant send up of small town thinking & petty rivalries. And one of the stories covers the two women trying to ride bicycles, with road Menderes working nearby, with a big TR Pot. And no matter how much Mapp & Lucia tried to avoid the tar pot, they inevitably made a beeline for it again and again!! That was me & the word sari today!

            1. Love EF Benson but don’t remember the tar pot. He wrote quite a few. Loved the TV series, I thought Prunella Scales absolutely perfect for the part of Mapp

  5. This was fairly easy to solve today,last one in was 12A my fav was 7D.thanks to the setter and gazza for the review.

  6. Jolly good stuff, thanks Gazza and the setter, whoever he/she may be. I have to say that the image at 2a is nothing like the one Mr Terry (Terror) my Latin master instilled in me

  7. A walk in the park only held up by top left, most of the clues were read and write, then trying to incorporate Tate into anagram slowed me down. Never heard of the novel either which didn’t help.

    Enjoyed it though, thanks to Gazza for the review, and to the setter for an enjoyable puzzle.

      1. If you know Rumpole of the Bailey in theory you’ll be familiar with She – otherwise known as ‘She Who Must Be Obeyed’

  8. Another what I would call a “gentle” Tuesday and I finished before lights out last night, so I would give this **/***. Although 7d was last in and I almost had to leave it open when the penny suddenly dropped. Unlike others, no problems in the NW corner. 21a seems to have become very popular with setters in recent days – do they collude or is it just coincidence?

    1. I was going to say something about 21a too – then remembered where I saw it recently.

  9. Never heard of Defile as “a long narrow pass” before but it was all I could think which slotted in. Crossword completed and then I saw a Kingfisher. Good start to the day – now for the toughie before Mrs C-S finds me things to do.

  10. Missed the ‘slaughter’ part of the clue for 5D (which was very clever) but the rest of the wording led me to the right answer. Couldn’t fathom out why ‘defile’ was a synomym for ‘pass’ (12A) but obviously should have looked it up in the BRB. Very enjoyable – thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review.

  11. I sprinted through this but fell at the final hurdle (12a). Am too used to “col” for a pass. Generally much easier than yesterday for me but not so entertaining – apart from 7d.

  12. Have been on an economy drive of late and buying the 20p i from the Independent stable. Discovered today that your local Waitrose will give you a free D. Tel. if you part with a fiver, so treated myself to a rare eggs and bacon over today’s cryptic.
    Pleased to report that the break has not encouraged the onset of Alzheimer’s, and whistled through it before I’d finished my second cuppa. The last corner to yield was the top right – 7 dn, 11 & 13 ac. But something has always got to come last. All in all quite a gentle re- introduction to the pleasures of the Tele, and of course the amiable denizens of Big Dave’s – which will almost certainly come in handy when the going gets tougher.

    1. Hi warty,
      Your post required moderation because you’ve changed your alias since your last post. Both should work from now on.

  13. Off to a flying start today which made life easier. Thought 12a very clever to work in both meanings of defile into the clue. Never heard of it as a pass before. All good fun thank you setter and to Gazza. Beautiful day up here in the grim North ! B & Q have delivered a timber arch to replace the metal one which collapsed under the recent heavy snowfall. So, I think I know what is in store for this afternoon.

  14. 12a was my last in, along with what would appear to be the majority of those above.
    Apart from that, a most pleasant romp through the rest of it.
    Thanks to setter, and to gazza.

    1. Same here.
      Never knew that word could also mean a narrow pass.
      Otherwise, a fairly straightforward romp.
      Thanks setter and Gazza.

  15. Pretty much sailed through this, as did others, with a slight deceleration in the top half. Same issues as others with the wrong gallery springing to mind and not knowing the novel, but in both cases the answer came once the checkers were in. Thanks to setter and Gazza.

  16. **/*** for me.

    Last in was 20d because I had been lazy with spelling of 18a, giving an “a” for hol destination. Therefore assumed the destination was a geographical location.

    1. Not entirely sure why your comment was repeated four times in an identical form so I have taken the liberty of deleting three of them!

      1. Thanks- each time I submitted my message, I received a failure alert. I thought it might have been too long so shortened it several times before giving up. Clearly they all worked!

        1. Benbo – were you on the mobile app – I had the same issue with my Samsung Galaxy recently.

  17. To give myself more of a challenge today I decided to put the wrong word in for 1a and then spell the right word wrongly. If that wasn’t enough, I spelt the popular fish the wrong way too. Plenty of sighing and Typex today. More speed, less haste methinks.

    Off for a gentle cycle ride on the canal towpath before the winter returns on Thursday.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gaza for some rationale to a couple of answers (eg. 12a – last one in)

  18. Having recently returned to the DT cryptic after several years away I thought I was on home territory with 10a. Everyone knows that “flower” is always setters’ code for “river” (as is “banker”) don’t they? It never crossed my mind that a real flower was intended! So a hint was needed.

    Agree 100% with Gazza – would be **/*** apart from NW corner so ***/***

  19. Wrote the answer in to 12a on the assumption that “defile” was a verb meaning to pass through “dile”. Had to look it up when i saw the hint. It appears that defile is a narrow (but not necessarily long) pass.

    1. I don’t like quoting the BRB too often but it does have for defile ‘a long narrow pass or way, in which troops can march only in file, or with a narrow front; a gorge’.

  20. I agree about 3* for difficulty because of the length of time my last few answers took – probably about six of them.
    2a was one of my last ones which held me up with 2d – I could see that it was an anagram of ‘trails’ and something else but didn’t know the London gallery – will try to remember that one for future use.
    I got 12a quite quickly but only after checking ‘defile’ in BRB as I’d never heard of that meaning. Like Poppy I got stuck with ‘sari’ even though I couldn’t explain it and 7d just took ages. Was also slow to get 10a for no apparent reason.
    I didn’t like 16a but only because of the animals involved – nasty chomping beasts!!
    I liked 2 (eventually) and 26a and 7 and 15d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and gazza.
    Very cold and frosty this morning but beautiful sun now – we’re almost in double figures – could almost be tempted to cut grass.

  21. Lovely puzzle today for which many thanks. What is the gallery in 2 down please?

    1. It’s the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) – always worth trying if ‘Tate’ won’t fit.

    2. Hope I’m not displaying bad form if I say that the Institute of Contemporary Arts has some fine exhibitions!

  22. Seems to be about a ***/*** today, remembered Miss Andress in the film,but not much else about it, for my sins had not heard of the gallery ,just had to be ICA.Thanks Gazza for the usual intuitive pics,8a never looked as good on Claudius,remembered ‘defile ‘from somewhere in the past- basically scraped through ,but sometimes thats how it goes.

  23. Another beautiful day, according to the radio, the warmest day of the year so far, have to make the most of it and have been sitting outside lazily reading and doing crossword, thanks for hints gazza, didn’t need them today and finished this in almost a record time for me!!!! Back out into sunshine now, back later :-) , enjoy the sunshine all, where is Sue? she must be enjoying the sun?

  24. The only problem I had was with 12a – not knowing the word for a narrow pass – I had all the cross letters so was able to work out the possibilities. Again my new BRB came in handy – ah well getting better!

  25. I finished this one last night before bed.That’s two firsts.I am a bit surprised.Probably took twice as long as the rest of you.Thanks to Gazza and setter.

  26. I was my own worst enemy here, putting in “sari” for 8a and being so sure it was right. The rest went very well, apart from the top left-hand corner. Missed 1d, how I don’t know, so easy in hindsight, and would never have got 12a, which I had to look at. My first in was 2a, last in 12a. Thanks for lovely puzzle and hints, much needed.

    1. You’ll have seen a few of us had the same thought about sari. Hope you’re having some sunshine if your time difference allows. Poppy is dreaming of Banana Joe :-D

      1. Yes, brilliant sunshine today and warming up. I don’t do well in the cold, a proper tropical flower I am. I lived in England for five years but gave up eventually. My friend with whom I went with, got married and stayed. She now lives in Drefach in Wales where I visit now and then. I am shortly going in the pool.

  27. Got this done fairly easily although I did take time to get 12a and 7d. Orherwise fairly tame but enjoyable. Beautiful weather. Should be playing cricket soon. Best of luck to England in Dunedin. Plus big football game tonight: Stevenage play Brentford.

  28. Thanks to Mr. Ron & to Gazza for the review and hints. Found this hard going but enjoyable, got stuck in the top half and needed the hints for 12a ( had never heard of this use of the word defile) and 7d, had entice for 12a, which stopped me geting 7d. Last in was 2a, which I got from the checkers. favourites were 17&26a and 15&22d. Was 3*/3* for me. Spring has sprung in Central London, great day for a bike ride. Off to see UFO tonight.

  29. really enjoyed this today, and did well up until NW corner. Thanks to setter and to Gazza — the reasoning behind the hints make all the difference to my understanding, and to the enjoyment.

  30. My solving experience matched yours exactly, gazza. Looks like there are a few in the same camp. Thanks to you and the setter.

  31. Enjoyed solving this puzzle in two periods as my investment adviser from the local bank dropped in for his twice-yearly discussion.

    As others mention, the NW corner was the tough spot but I got the thing finished eventually.

    Faves : 2a, 18a, 20a, 4d, 18d & 22d.

    Another sunny day over here!

    1. My mum has just driven back from Terheijden to the UK in glorious sunshine all the way – even in France!

  32. Never thought I would think the Blog too high for difficulty:-)
    For me 1/4. Completed before the mornings golf which I won by 8 points so a good day in the beautiful spring sunshine. Any idea who was the Setter?
    Whoever, he has my thanks.

    1. It’s a rare day but I thought I should record that agree with Brian’s rating of the difficulty of this crossword! Didn’t enjoy it quite as much as he did though.

      1. I didnt enjoy it all that much either, just astounded that I completed it, in one go , before bed last night.

  33. About a third of it went in early today then I ‘hit a wall’ as it were. This evening I returned and found from the comments that everyone else thought it a doddle. On my return visit with some help from Gazza’s hints it all came together. For me it started as ****\* and ended as ***\*** Many thanks for the help

  34. Enjoyable stuff – 12a held me up for ages, and I ultimately gave up on that one – still haven’t heard the first six letters used in that context.
    18a was a new one on me, but it was clear from the wordplay.
    No idea why I wrote in ‘intern’ for 3a, which held me up on 10a until I realised my obvious mistake.
    Thanks to setter and Gazza!

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