DT 27120 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27120

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27120

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Good morning from South Staffs where it’s misty, damp and generally unpleasant this morning.

Thanks to Gazza for giving me the chance to blog a Friday Giovanni.  A fun puzzle, where I found myself held up in the NE corner – mainly because I put the wrong answer to 12 a, but it took a while for the penny to drop.  Back to Tuesday next week.

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.


1a           Fellow covering miles, one sailing maybe in competition (12)
{ CHAMPIONSHIP } A four-letter fellow around Miles, followed by where you might be if you were sailing.

9a           Chelsea footballer eats Indian bread going around ground (9)
{ TERRITORY } An Indian bread is reversed (going around) and put inside (eats) the surname of a current Chelsea footballer and former England captain.

10a         In hotel I teach select group (5)
{ ELITE } Hidden in the clue.

11a         The old man’s name one learner’s forgotten — a mathematician (6)
{ PASCAL } An informal word for father’s (old man’s) followed by a verb meaning to name missing one of the two Ls in it, to get a 17th century French mathematician.

12a         Clog of old boy on street caught in groove (8)
{ OBSTRUCT } A charade of an abbreviation for Old Boy, an abbreviation for street, and a groove with Caught inside it.

13a         Eccentric having party by river dam (6)
{ WEIRDO } A dam in a river followed by the usual crosswordland party.

15a         Welsh river fellow whose life was filmed (8)
{ CAMBRIAN } A river in Cambridge followed by not the Messiah but a very naughty boy.

ARVE Error: need id and provider


18a         Tot eaten by fish? It’s a nightmare! (3,5)
{ BAD DREAM } A verb meaning to tot inside a fresh water fish of the carp family.

19a         Mother gets exercise in building that can be walked around (6)
{ MUSEUM } A verb meaning to exercise inside a familiar term for mother.  I thought the definition rather vague, though the wordplay is clear.

21a         One making a decision about someone like you! (8)
{ RESOLVER } The Latin word for ‘about’ or ‘concerning’ followed by the person that the setter could address as ‘you’.

23a         I had got into fight knocking out wife at the wedding (6)
{ BRIDAL } Take a word meaning ‘fight’, remove the Wife and insert I’D (I had).

26a         Do away with  disagreement (5)
{ SCRAP } Double definition.

27a         Special deals one found around end of summer for shrubs (9)
{ OLEANDERS } Anagram (special) of DEALS ONE and the R of summer.

28a         Repairer of bike who has something to say? (12)
{ SPOKESPERSON } The person responsible for mending part of a bicycle wheel might be described as this.


1d           Person exploited, initially childlike, was apt to look silly (4-3)
{ CATS-PAW } The first letter (initially) of Childlike followed by an anagram (to look silly) of WAS APT.

2d           Extent of farmland possibly yielding a green plant mostly (5)
{ ACRES } Units of measurement of land made up from A (from the clue) and the first four letters (mostly) of a salad plant often associated with mustard.

3d           Couple in Buckingham Palace briefly flirt! (9)
{ PHILANDER } A charade of a short version of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Christian name, AND, and the usual crossword letters for the Queen. Or if you prefer, the Cockney version of the feminine pronoun.

4d           Sound of Cockney tramp’s instrument (4)
{ OBOE } A woodwind instrument, sometimes described as ‘an ill wind that nobody blows good’ sounds like a word for a tramp with the initial H dropped by crosswordland’s Cockney.

5d           Food that could be extracted from a bone, say (4,4)
{ SOYA BEAN } Anagram (extracted from) A BONE SAY.

6d           Sluggish pitman heading off before time (5)
{ INERT } Remove the initial M (heading off) from a man who works in a pit and add Time.

7d           Separate newspaper, the thing to fade around the edges (8)
{ DISUNITE } The name of a tabloid newspaper and the pronoun meaning ‘the thing’ inside a synonym of ‘fade’.

8d           Exist as a team one short? You may get this (6)
{ BEATEN } Split (2,1,3) you have a phrase describing the state of a team which is one short (assuming eleven to be a full team). As a single word the second part of the clue describes the likely outcome of playing one short.

14d         South of river attempt to establish factories etc (8)
{ INDUSTRY } An Indian river followed by (South of it, in a Down clue) an attempt.

16d         Nebuliser fashioned for the older female? (4-5)
{ BLUE RINSE } Anagram (fashioned) of NEBULISER.

17d         Spooner’s humble kitchen-worker features in reference volume (8)
{ CASE BOOK } Take a word meaning humble or lowly and a word for someone who works in a kitchen, and transpose the initial letters, as Dr Spooner might have done.

18d         Most scantily furnished pub on estate (6)
{ BAREST } Another word for a pub followed by an abbreviation for estate.

20d         Curse coming from African country boy (7)
{ MALISON } A somewhat obscure word for a curse made up from an African country which is currently in the news, followed by a boy child.

22d         Possible clue for pal to relish (3,2)
{ LAP UP } The answer here could be a cryptic clue to which ‘PAL’ is the answer.

24d         Robe covered by padre’s surplice (5)
{ DRESS } Hidden in the clue.

25d         Almost the smallest grassy areas (4)
{ LEAS } Remove the final T from a word meaning smallest to get the grassy areas which the lowing herd wound slowly o’er in Gray’s Elegy.

The Quick Crossword pun { PURSE }{ PYRES } = { PERSPIRES }

101 comments on “DT 27120

  1. Good morning DT a good day for me today, not needing hints, books or electronic friends and not taking too long either, a very rare occasion for me :-D , thanks for the hints will read through them now to see if my thinking is correct!! so a two star for me today

  2. This one went in without too much thought, but it was enjoyable while it lasted.
    Thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle, and to Deep Threat for the notes. 2*/4* for me today.

    The toughie put up a fight, but it was worth the effort.

  3. Glad you gave this three star diff as I struggled quite a bit, but as always with Friday puzzles the answers are there, just take a bit of winkling out.

    New word for me in the curse.

    Thanks for the review, by the skin of my teeth not needed.

    Thanks to Giovanni for the mental work out.

    Now back to sorting out the fall out from my account having been hacked.

  4. Another excellent Friday offering from the Don. 3D has to be one of the best clues I’ve seen for many a year.

    Having a lot of trouble with the quickie for a change.

    1. I know what you mean about the quickie. It must be something in the air in our neck of the woods.

  5. A straightforward solve for me today. Wasted a bit of time trying to think of a Welsh river before the penny dropped but completed without the hints. Thanks to setter and to Deep Threat for the review.

  6. Excellent offering from giovanni today which I managed to complete without assistance,loved 9A and the answer to 3D was a hoot still smileing now.thanks to Deep threat for the review.

  7. I found this at least a *** for difficulty and **** for pleasure. Best clue for me (by far) was 3d. Despite having read Deep Threats review, I still don’t understand 22d. Thanx to Compiler and to Deep Threat for the review.

    1. Hi Wayne , if you were writing a clue for pal, it might be a synonym for ‘to relish’ which is lap up, i.e. lap backwards, does that make sense?

    2. Thank you Mary, the ‘penny dropped’ soon after I had written my comment. A big DOH!!!

  8. Looks like I am the first one to say that I found this difficult. Finished without hints but it took a long time ! New word for me “roti” and 20d. Thought 3d the highlight in many good clues. Thank you to DG and DT. Cold in the grim North + snow expected !

    1. I thought it was quite difficult too – terribly slow to get started. Maybe you and I are going to be the only two but at least it’s not just one of us – always better to have company!

        1. Oh good – anyone else? We have a naughty corner at weekends – why not a dim one too!!

          1. I always struggle a bit (relatively speaking you understand) to get on Giovanni’s wavelength. This morning I blamed the thick fog which had permeated my brain on the journey to work.

          2. We could always re-open the ‘Clueless Club’ for you Kath, I would be back there most days if we did :-)

          3. We needed help today too, but then we usually do. It’s quite disheartening to read about how easy some people find these crosswords, but we won’t give up.

            1. No don’t give up Sheila, most days I get to finish with help from my books, little elctronic friends and google! very rarely do I finish without any help at all, I often rely on some of the hints too, so although I had a good day today, it is a rare occurence, as long as you enjoy it, that is the main thing, when I started these almost four years ago, I didn’t literally have a clue! but with help and advice on this fantastic blog I now nearly always at least understand what the setter wants, even if I don’t know the answer, this is where my books, etc. come in, everyone here is very helpful and encouraging, so never give up, just ask :-)

            2. Don’t forget, some solvers on this blog have been doing these for years, you’ll find these people to be some of the most helpful :-)

            3. Thirty odd years and counting Sheila and Mary. I rarely used to finish a crossword until a group of us met nightly at the pub with our efforts. There I learned of included words, ent for hospital department, how the first, second, third, fourth etc, of any month referred to the first second third or fourth letter of that month, hence 3rd of July is an L, 4th of October is an O. I learned to recognise anagrams, and to follow charades. Now I nearly always finish without help and head off to the inner pages for a wrestle with The Toughie. A page like Big Dave’s would have been a Godsend in my youth. Keep at it and keep smiling

          4. Definitely me too – wasted heaps of time on trying to think of names for round buildings; got stuck on naan breads; haven’t a clue about football (esp. the offside rule) or footballers (& don’t like to confess what two sports I do follow!). Never knew 21a was a proper word in use…. and so my day continued with a horrid drive into centre of London (oh Beeching how I hate what you did – far two many huge transporters taking up all the road).
            So you lovely lot have charmed me out of my grumps; made me laugh & I’ll try and bring cake to my fellow sufferers in our rather dark corner. However many thanks yet again to DT & to the setter (& I loved 3d too) . And I’m still needing my Gamp – bah!

            1. Was just about to ask what ‘gamp’ is and why you still needed it – rather assumed it was a typo but thought I’d just look it up first – that’s a new one. Will store it away for future use – the only problem with that is that when I need it I won’t be able to find it! Sorry you’ve had a bad day with the crossword and in general.

              1. I keep a little book of unusual words I come across in crosswords (usually the DT General Knowledge on Saturday), very roughly in alphabetical order, and it has proved very useful.

        2. I used to sit with my Dad when I was home for the holidays and he would explain the DT crossword (printed in our local paper, still is) to me. When I left school I started doing it myself and have been doing it ever since. That was about sixty years ago and I’ m still not among the brightest and best, so don’t despair. If you enjoy doing them, that’s all that matters.

          1. I used to watch my Mum doing them when I was home for a couple of days off when I was training to be a nurse. My Dad couldn’t do them at all but just occasionally when Mum had ground to a halt with a couple of clues he would walk in, have a quick look and, without even reading the clue, would see a word that fitted – he then left her to sort out why! i’ve done them on and off for years but only absolutely every day for about ten. I’m now completely addicted to them, and this great blog.
            One of the many wonderful things about this blog is that it has turned what is a very solitary hobby into something completely different – I love it!!

    2. Brothers and Sisters in the Dim Corner, I am with you!

      Based on my personal formula, which normally gives much the same difficuly rating as our colleagues who write the hints, today was six-star hard.

      Very interesting, two new words and (as always) very well-clued, but it certainly was a stinker!

      1. Nice to see a few more potential members signing in ! I wondered if we should be called “Club Dim” – sounds a bit more Mayfair ? Might attract some professional footballers or minor royalty ? – some of whom could qualify automatically – but perhaps they would not be welcome as members if we are to retain our exclusive status ?

      2. Which were the two new words – I’m assuming that 20d was one so what was the other?

  9. I enjoyed this very much – got completely stuck for quite a while with last five answers all in the right side and each one of them affecting another one so 3* for difficulty for me and 4* for enjoyment.
    I’ve never come across 20d before, at least if I have I’ve forgotten it. 15a took a long time and for some reason so did19 and 23a. When I first saw 9a my eyes glazed over and decided to wait until, hopefully, something became obvious which it did once I’d stopped trying to fit naan into it somewhere. Oh dear! 7d took ages to work out why.
    I liked 1, 19 and 27a (beautiful shrubs) and 3, 4, 17 and 22d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.
    Grey, wet and generally miserable in Oxford.

      1. But at least you know the names of footballers which meant you didn’t just throw hands up in horror at the sight of 9a.

        1. He turns up quite a lot in cryptics – perhaps we should remember him in the same way as when it says revolutionary we put CHE and singer we put CHER.

          1. Once I got the answer I realised that I did know his name but if my life had depended on knowing who he played for I’d be a gonner!

        2. Kath, belonging to a family of brothers, sons, stepsons, nephews and 5 grandsons I must admit to knowing quite a lot about football :-)

  10. Very enjoyable, usual very high standard from the Don.
    So many excellent clues it is difficult to identify a favourite but I would probably go for 17d even tho I am not good at Spoonerisms but this one made me smile.
    A new word too in 20d or at least new to me.
    Didn’t need the hints today but thx anyway and obviously to Giovanni.
    Waiting in now for my hire car as a very helpful young lady rear ended mine on Wednesday. Got the usual stiff neck and back from whiplash so I’m sure the ambulance chasers will be on the phone soon.

    1. Sorry about your neck – hope it gets better quickly. Did you notice that Deep Threat called you a very naughty boy in his hint for 15a? :smile:

  11. This brightened a very dreek day in N .Yorks but have to say found it closer to 4* for difficulty and 5* for enjoyment .Smileometer operational despite the struggle .
    Thanks very much .

      1. Our local tv weatherman is Scottish ,and uses it regularly so has come into common usage .

        1. And that spelling is new to me – I’ve only known it as dreich, which it is down my way also!

          1. Your spelling is the correct one Poppy & we all know the Sassenachs (which they would pronounce Sassenaks) can’t pronounce the “ch”. :smile:

            1. I could never get my very beloved English friend to pronounce Loch as anything except Lock :-) whenever she visited! But then nobody wants to listen to my Dutch accent!!

  12. Required a bit of perservation but got there in the end. Probably ***/**** for me.

    Re the description of an oboe, I believe a clarinet is sometimes called a swine stick, especially the Eb variety. The same description holds good for a soprano sax too.

    I too struggled with the Quickie today, but that’s not unusual! Never heard of ‘ninon’

  13. Isn’t it strange how you get into the mindset of certain setters? For me Ray T’s are spot on and I can get stuck in from the off but give me a puzzle from the Don and I struggle all of the way through. Still if you don’t keep trying then you never learn or improve.

  14. Excellent fare today, and i agree with a ***/****. Many top clues ,fav was 3d, though i may have seen it before,don’t know why i remembered the Mali bit of 20a,and liked the misdirection in 15a-well i was seeking salvation elsewhere for a while.Thanks DTfor the picks, the reason for the numbers in the triangle eludes me-except the whole is symmetrical!

    1. Pascal’s triangle – very well known mathematical progression, each number is the sum of the two directly above. I can remember it from my school days, but have absolutely no idea what we used it for.

      1. I think we used it in Algebra but cannot remember how or why, Maths was never rreally my strong point, come to think of it I don’t know what was!

  15. Is it me or shouldn’t the fourth no in at the bottom of Pascals triangle on eachside be 286 and not 186? or am I getting something wrong here?

      1. Q How many ears did Hawkeye have?
        A Three – a right ear, a left ear and a wild front(ear).
        I’ll get my coat . . .

        1. That was Davy Crockett in my day.

          Captain Kirk also has three, left, right and final front(ear)

    1. I was going to replace the picture with a correct version, but the error seems to be widespread among Google images.

  16. Excellent crossword – no probs today. I hadn’t come across 20d before but knew “benison” so it was an easy guess. Didn’t Pascal say that the highest attainment of reason is to know there are an infinite number of things beyond our reach? That is very reassuring when I get stuck doing a toughie.

  17. Typically Giovanni and none the worse for it, very enjoyable indeed especially 3d. Many thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for a very entertaining review.

  18. Still battling with the quick crossword – actually what I’m really doing is putting off the evil moment when I have to go out for afternoon dog walk – really pouring here. :sad:

      1. Send it our way please, thick fog, torrential rain (full speed wipers needed) , flooded roads – a truly wonderful drive home, not.

        1. Sorry sue, willing to share but can’t send it all that way, dare I say I can see the sun ;-)

            1. Wow, I’m impressed, a drive so long that you can’t see the end of it!

  19. Enjoyed the puzzle today as I always do on Fridays. Could not get 9a though. Was thinking it was a specific football ground and knew I wouldn’t get the Chelsea footballer! I have also never heard of “roti” just chapati and naan.
    Liked 1a and 28a and 3d was a laugh.
    Thanks to DT for the explanations and to Giovanni for the puzzle.
    We actually have sun here today so maybe our snow will start to melt!

  20. Good test today. Very busy of late so I had to keep dipping in and out if this one. One or t so old favourites, 27 a for example. Overall very fair and enjoyable. Regds to all, sorry I’ve not been around lately I tend to work in the morning rather than the afternoon these days. *** and a bit and **** from me.

  21. A lovely little solve today although i put Lawrence at 15ac. There is a River lawrence in South Wales and a film about a geezer called Lawrence (Of Arabia). Struggled with 7d which was the last one in.

  22. Having struggled all week it was a relief to find this one quite straightforward. Thought I had gone into mental decline. Husband had to help with 9a, the males in my family being rugby orientated. 20d I came across a long time ago and remembered, having a sister with the name included in the word.

  23. Phew, glad to be home again. Been at the apartment all week doing a few jobs and getting it ready for the season, so no internet, and no crosswords :sad: Got a bit of catch-up to do this weekend!

    See y’all later.

      1. Just done this one in the bar – splendid stuff! Well, I when say I did it, I really mean that pommette did almost all without me saying anything. She really don’t need my help any longer but lacks confidence. She needs a bit of your persevation Mary because tonight she would have got the lot!
        Now I’ve just got Jay and RayT to catch up on, along with Auracaria, Paul and Arachne from the Grauniad – sorts out my weekend :grin:

        1. FIVE to catch up on, and that’s before we even get on to the weekend ones? That should keep you quiet, and out of mischief!!! :smile:
          Glad you’re back – I was wondering where you’d got to too.

          1. Hi Kath
            Always the same at this time of year, with Easter coming up. Pommette and I use the place over the winter so it does need a “Spring Clean” etc to get it into suitable condition for paying customers. Also we look after another apartment on the same resort for some friends who live in Dublin and they had clients arriving yesterday, so it was “all hands on deck!”.

          2. Only four now – just finished the Paul – really worth a look if you lke the Beatles! Caused a lot of smiles for me :smile: It was on Weds but still available on the website.

        2. The spider woman as usual excels imho this week. I recommend Donks Independent on Sunday 1,200, Feb 24 if only for 19d, Leaves range when shot in balls (7).
          Nice to have you back on the blog m’dear

          1. Never went anywhere, apart from into the land of lacking t’internet (and a forgotten dongle)!

            Never tried a Donk but now done about half the Arachne with much enjoyment. Spiderlady one of my favourites, because she’s a “Burnage girl” :smile:

            1. Donk been at some of the recent sloggers and betters, only been setting for a while but very very good , and makes me feel very very old! Best to you and Pomette

              1. He makes me feel old too, Andy, but I will have to forgive him as it’s not his fault and he does set good crosswords.

                1. I shall look out for his next one then – although his name rings a bell with NTSPP on this site. I’ll have a check. May have done one after all and completely forgotten it – age, senility, too much beer, wine, brandy and an overdose of crosswords being my excuse :grin:

  24. Lovely puzzle . I was slow to get started & actually thought I wouldn’t be able to do it but once I got going things fell into place without needing the hints. Loved 3d & 28a. Thanks to Gionvanni for the fun & DT for the hints.

  25. Had to do this one on my own while the other half is off sailing and swimming in the lagoon with a couple of the grandkids. A most enjoyable puzzle that all went in smoothly. Have a busy weekend coming up as son and wife off to another resort island while we have sole charge of the grandkids, Could be a challenge!
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  26. Quite a struggle but got there in the end without hints (apart from confirmation of 9a, as I don’t do football ) but with some help from books. Some great clues – like lots of others, I loved 3d (when I eventually got it). Also like others got stuck with naan – and the curse is a new word to me. Last one in was 17d, which took me ages. Thanks to Don Giovanni and Deep Threat.

  27. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. Very enjoyable puzzle, but I thought I had my first completion of the week. Only to find that I had the wrong answer to 17d.I thought it was cakebook, although I was wondering about bakecook :-) Favourites were 28a and 3d.A new word for me in 20d. Late blogging due to compiling the new Squash Leagues.

  28. Good morning BD – having the same problem with today’s ( Sat) that a few of us had a few weeks ago – just getting a big black page about EU cookie law. Your assistance would be welcome !

  29. I can see there are comments from some people but I can’t even get onto the page by clicking on these

    1. Have tried ipad and iphone as well as my desk top computer but cannot get onto todays comments/hints etc

  30. Can now get previous reviews again – but not today’s hints. Clicking on “Read more” has no effect. Anyway – have finished today’s puzzle – thank you setter and BD for your as yet unread hints ! Off to the Rocking Reebok shortly !

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