DT 27129 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27129

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27129

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs, where the day has started grey and misty – and we’re in the throes of having our kitchen refitted.  The old cabinets are about to disappear into the large skip parked on our front lawn, and their contents are spread around the house.

Thanks to the setter for another fairly gentle offering, with just sufficient pause to put it into ** territory for me.

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           Fungus evident in bay round lake (6)
{ BLIGHT } This particularly affects potato crops.  Put Lake inside a synonym of bay.

4a           Letter from Greece about introduction of this brand (6)
{ STIGMA } Put the first letter (introduction) of This inside the 18th letter of the Greek alphabet, to produce a mark of shame.

8a           Abroad, father’s carrying note no longer current (8)
{ OUTDATED } A charade of abroad, as in ‘not at home’, and a familiar word for father around (carrying) a note of the sol-fa scale (the one that’s a drink with jam and bread).

10a         CND marcher, for example, and what one carried? (6)
{ BANNER } Double definition, the first being a cryptic definition of the activity espoused by CND marchers.

11a         Not as much on, having left seminar (4)
{ LESS } Remove ON from a synonym of seminar.

12a         Bad luck in race — she and he’d fallen (4,6)
{ HARD CHEESE } Anagram (fallen) of RACE SHE and HE’D.

13a         A complaint that may cause 23 to scratch? (8,4)
{ ATHLETES FOOT } Mildly cryptic definition of a common disorder which affects the people of whom 23a is an example, as well as people in general.

16a         Old-fashioned anaesthetist, 64 maybe? (6,6)
{ SQUARE NUMBER ] An old-fashioned word for ‘old-fashioned’ followed by crosswordland’s anaesthetist.

20a         Embarrassed, being wrong about hard misleading clue (3,7)
{ RED HERRING } The colour your face might be if you are embarrassed, and an adjective meaning ‘being wrong’, either side of Hard.

21a         Old man, English poet (4)
{ POPE } An eighteenth-century poet comes from a familiar term for father plus English.


22a         Rose in small accident (6)
{ SPRANG } Small followed by a word for an accident, originally RAF slang.

23a         Sun newspaper worker, one promising a fast run? (8)
{ SPRINTER } An abbreviation for Sun, followed by the sort of newspaper worker who puts the words on to paper.

24a         Land in Eastern country (6)
{ ESTATE } Eastern followed by another word for a self-governing country.

25a         Keep left in station (6)
{ CASTLE } Left inside one’s station in life if one is a Hindu.


1d           Beast about to take home Sophia Loren perhaps (8)
{ BRUNETTE } A description of take-home pay (gross pay less stoppages = …) inside a synonym of beast. Sophia Loren is an example of this, but Marilyn Monroe isn’t.

2d           ‘River in Twilight’, not Eyck’s last (5)
{ INDUS } An Indian river comes from IN (from the clue) and a word for twilight missing its final K (Eyck’s last).

3d           Small axe that desperate revolutionary carried (7)
{ HATCHET } Anagram (desperate) of THAT with our favourite revolutionary inside.

5d           The weed having to taxi over with Commanding Officer (7)
{ TOBACCO } A charade of TO (from the clue), a word for taxi reversed (over), and the abbreviation for Commanding Officer.

6d           Got upset about reportedly lame male cat (6,3)
{ GINGER TOM ]An anagram (upset) of GOT around what sounds like (reportedly) a verb meaning ‘to lame’, and finally Male.

7d           A guy, free from anxiety (2,4)
{ AT EASE } Split (1,5) this could be A and a verb meaning guy.

9d           Artists, by implication, in rock band? (4,7)
{ DIRE STRAITS } A reverse anagram, where the indicator and the fodder are in the answer, and would produce ‘artists’.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

14d         Fail to win compassion, become despondent (4,5)
{ LOSE HEART } A verb meaning ‘fail to win’, and a noun meaning ‘compassion’.

15d         Cheese from Peebles, a spread (3,5)
{ BEL PAESE } A semi-soft cheese from Lombardy is an anagram (spread) of PEEBLES A.

17d         Winning appropriate post (7)
{ UPRIGHT } A two-letter word describing the state of the winning player during a game, followed by an adjective meaning appropriate.  The post in the definition may be in a door or a fence.

18d         Elevated atmosphere, for example, in an African country (7)
{ NIGERIA } A charade of a word for atmosphere, the Latin abbreviation for ‘for example’ and IN (from the clue). The whole expression is then reversed (elevated in a Down clue) to give the answer.

19d         Held up, some help me to a place of worship (6)
{ TEMPLE } Hidden in reverse (held up, some) in hELP ME To.

21d         Mine contains new and old wine (5)
{ PINOT } A word for a mine with New and Old inside, giving a wine which is also the name of the grape variety from which it is made.

The Quick Crossword pun { STAIDER } { WEIGH } = { STAYED AWAY }

55 comments on “DT 27129

  1. A while since I heard 12a which took me back to my boarding school days. Liked 3d and 4 & 22a. So, in a way, sorry to have finished this puzzle as I should now settle down to some heavy duty work, & I’m not really in the mood! Many thanks to the setter, as well as DT for the hints.

  2. After struggling a little with Monday’s puzzle and relying on help from Libellule to finish, this was a very pleasant Tuesday and I finished it before lights out last night with plenty of help from the BRB. For example, I would never have got the name of the cheese for 15d without being able to look it up in the BRB. I would give this * or **/*** – favorites would be 1d (last one in), 9d, and 13a (even without its possessive apostrophe).

  3. I really loved 9d (not the artists, the clue) and found the whole puzzle most enjoyable. Thanks to the setter and to DT for the hints (needed to cheat for the cheese name). Also good luck with the kitchen – we had ours done last year and found ourselves with no kitchen at all for nearly a month as the replacement units went astray!

    1. Love 9d – the clue AND the group. In my very humble opinion Mark Knopfler is one of the greatest guitarists ever.

      1. Totally agree with you Kath. Have you ever heard the album that Mark Knopfler made with Chet Atkins called ‘Neck and Neck’ – brilliant.

        1. No – I’ve never heard of it but will have a listen. I love the one that he did with James Taylor – ‘Sailing to Philadelphia’.

          1. Look out for Kill to get Crimson and Get Lucky too for really gentle, subtle guitar work and folksy tunes. A long way from Dire Straits but excellent all the same.

          2. Have a listen to some of Peter Greens later work with the Splinter Group, if you like Knopfler, you will love PG

              1. I too ,think Mark Knopfler is a great guitarist and will now look out for the suggestions above.

      2. Agreed! Now very different style from DS days but still brilliant guitarist. Tickets booked for may tour.

          1. Thank you. New to cryptics after a several years on the quickies. Learning lots thanks to your hints ☺

          2. Thank you. New to cryptics after a several years on the quickies. Learning lots thanks to your hints.

  4. Have never heard of the cheese before which is strange as I’m a great lover of all things cheesy. Managed to take a guess from the anagram and a quick goggle proved me right.

    Off on holiday for 10 days tomorrow in sunny Devon and Cornwall, may be able to keep in touch, but I think Her In Doors may have other ideas.

  5. Fairly easy offering today,like others i have never heard of that cheese will have to look out for it next time we go to supermarket,liked 16A 22A.thanks to the setter & to DT for the review.

  6. I am sure that I have seen 13a ad 17a in a recent crossword. Are they running out of ideas?

  7. Good stuff! Thanks to setter & to Deep Threat without which I would never have guessed the cheese.

    Also good luck with the kitchen. We are about to have the main bathroom gutted so no doubt that will mean we will be without water for a while, skips on the drive and the constant flow of various fitters each sucking their teeth while Mrs S changes her mind.

  8. First time contributor to Dave’s blog, although I have enjoyed the hints for a few weeks now. It’s been a real education and the tips have been much appreciated. Needed guidance on half a dozen today. Thought the ” not so soft” cheese was easy and the semi-soft too hard.

    1. Welcome to the blog Sydsboy. Now that you’ve introduced yourself I hope you’ll be a regular contributor.

  9. i thought this was a good crossword. Agree with 2* difficulty rating but probably nearer a 4* enjoyment.
    I needed the hint to explain the middle bit of 6d – like the picture – our best ever cat was Gingie. I have heard of the cheese but not sure I’ve ever eaten it.
    I liked 16 and 20a and 3d. My favourite was 9d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and Deep Threat.
    Good luck with the kitchen to DT – the two worst places in the house to have stuff done are the kitchen and the bathroom but the kitchen is worse – if the bathroom is in bits you can wash in the kitchen but you can’t cook in the bathroom when you don’t have a working kitchen!

    1. Fortunately, we have a Plan B, with a fully equipped caravan kitchen to use. Or Plan C, where we light a bonfire in the middle of the now empty kitchen, and cook on that :grin:

  10. Lovely puzzle just a touch harder than yesterday, but nicely clued.

    Thanks to DT for the review and to the setter.

    Good luck with the kitchen.

  11. Many thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable if untaxing crossword. I am surprised how many people did not recognise, or even know of, the nicest spreading cheese available ( though I have to admit, it is conspicuous by its absence on our local supermarkets’ shelves at the moment ) My thanks also to Deep Threat for a very amusing review. Giovannis’ toughie is worth a look at, quite enjoyable and not too difficult.

    1. Agree with you re bel paese (means beautiful country) but currently “in lotta” with the toughie ,

  12. Very enjoyable puzzle today. Liked 16a and 9d. Just hard enough!
    Thanks to DT and the setter.

  13. Never heard of the cheese and I rarely enter our kitchen. Not for me. Not at all

  14. Found that quite hard today so for me a three star for difficulty but did rather enjoy it. Thx DT for the much needed hints. One of those days when I just couldn’t get on the setters wavelength and Mrs B is at work.last one in was 22a, bit too young and army for RAF slang.
    Had an email recently from an army officer friend of mine serving in Afghanistan. He says we are not too worry about him as it can’t be dangerous because the RAF are here!. Don’t kick me, I am only passing it on -:)

  15. Thought this one at least a three star. Took a of lot research to clarify answers. 7d. 1a. 6d. 15d. Don’t get 9d. Have’ nt checked DT yet.
    Enjoyment no stars.

  16. Enjoyed today’s offering and found it easier than yesterday’s – particularly liked 13a and smiled at the double meaning for “scratch”

  17. We are back home again in NZ after our fortnight’s sojourn in the tropics. Although we had been travelling all day, changing time-zone and even jumping a day, could not resist the urge to print off the puzzles and give them a go soon after we got home. Found this one a lot of fun. Nice to see the reverse anagram in 9d, we like those. Needed Mrs B to help with the 15d cheese.
    Thanks Mr Ron and DT

  18. Solved this late in the afternoon – got the DT much later than usual.

    Faves : 12a, 13a,16a, 20a, 1d, 6d, 9d & 21d.

    Very misty all day here but dry.

  19. Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat. A very good puzzle. I do was defeated by 15d, knew anagram fodder but had never heard of this cheese. Also failed on 1a, not a word for cove that I have regularly used. All very well clues. Was 2*/4*for me. Favourite was 16a. Didn’t scale Skiddaw today, too much Snow!

    1. Impressed that you managed the puzzle as well as walking! Hope your knee is holding out… Perhaps Scafell Pike instead? Hope you have a good time.

  20. It was nice to settle down to a gentle, not over taxing crossword after a day of ‘grandparenting’ and a late-ish evening meal – xx minutes of very pleasant ‘me time’. Loved clues 12 across and 1 down. 13 across had me laughing out loud. Thanks to the setter :-)

  21. This was pitched almost perfectly until – like yesterday – you get the non-existent word. Yesterday it was clangour – I don’t care if it’s in a dictionary, it’s a word that no one ever uses and so to all intents and purposes does not exist. Today’s example was even worse. An Italian cheese, for heaven’s sake. Maybe that’s in a dictionary too, but it doesn’t mean that it should be in a standard back page crossword.
    That aside, it has been two days of dreadful delays commuting into Waterloo so I am grateful to have had two crosswords that were largely fun, even if two ludicrously obscure answers meant that I would never complete either.

  22. Finished this in about xx minutes which is about half what I’d usually expect for a normal back pager, so I’d have to rate this */*** . Must have been in the right frame of mind this morning…

    1. Gardenman and Outnumbered – the convention is that we don’t mention solving times, either very long ones, very fast ones, or even half the usual ones as it may encourage some but discourage others.

  23. I enjoyed this one with lots of different angles. I like words I haven’t met before: you have to build the word up and then there’s that moment of triumph when you look it up and find you were right. Like navigating in the dark.

  24. Btw could anyone explain the hint for 9d in English? The hint seems more cryptic than the clue. Can see artists as an anagram of Straits but DIRE?

    1. Its a reverse anagram Brian. in a normal anagram, Dire (ie the anagram indicator) Straits becomes artists, in a reverse anagram Artists become an anagram (ie Dire) of Straits.

  25. Managed to finish as planned before the train arrived in London – very enjoyable, thank you setter and thank you DT. Made for a pleasant journey sipping Bearder’s wine on the way.

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