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DT 27135

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27135

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs, still bitterly cold, with snow lying on the garden from the weekend. I don’t think I’ll be planting potatoes on Good Friday this year.  Still, at least we now have a functioning kitchen again.

I was held up by 16d, which pushed the solution 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           Tragedy in a small village (6)
{ HAMLET } Double definition, the first being one of Shakespeare’s.

5a           One having a row close to pantry in part of kitchen (8)
{ SCULLERY } Someone rowing a boat, using two oars, followed by the last letter of pantry.

9a           What sort of reception will second repeat being broadcast get? (6-4)
{ TICKER-TAPE } A charade of another word for second (as in ‘Just a __’) and an anagram (being broadcast) of REPEAT, to give an accolade traditionally awarded to American heroes.

10a         Good imitator may make one gawk (4)
{ GAPE } Good followed by someone imitating or copying a person.

11a         Don’t mention it to Allan, confused about time (3,2,3)
{ NOT AT ALL } Anagram (confused) of TO ALLAN, wrapped around Time

12a         Outcome of increased exposure (6)
{ UPSHOT } A two-letter word meaning increased, followed by the sort of exposure you might take with a cine camera.

13a         Hit wood on Birkdale’s first (4)
{ BASH } The initial B of Birkdale and a variety of wood – one which is currently threatened by disease in the UK.

15a         Deficit admitted by company, American giant (8)
{ COLOSSUS } Abbreviations for company and American either side of a synonym of deficit.

18a         Party line given from soapbox (8)
{ PLATFORM } Double definition, and also an all-in-one.

19a         Ring writer ready to entertain new ideas (4)
{ OPEN } A ring-shaped letter followed by something to write with.

21a         When one chooses a serge (2,4)
{ AT WILL } If split (1,5) this expression could be ‘a serge’.

23a         Views to look at, mostly in part of North Wales (8)
{ ANGLESEY } A noun meaning points of view followed by the first two letters (mostly) of a three-letter verb meaning ‘to look at’. The Welsh call this place Ynys Môn.

25a         Soldiers capturing area of little importance (4)
{ MEAN } A collective term for soldiers with Area inside.

26a         Opera singer, and one leading pop star after publicity (5,5)
{ PRIMA DONNA } Start with a two-letter acronym for publicity, then add I and the pop star familiarly known as Madge.


27a         Naval doctor catches first of tuna, large fish (8)
{ STURGEON } The initial letter of Tuna inside the term used to describe a doctor in the Navy.

28a         In fashion? Not at university, until now (2,4)
{ TO DATE } Start with a three-word phrase for ‘in fashion’ or modern, then remove the two-letter word meaning ‘at university’.


2d           Buddy (American) and I correspond (5)
{ AMIGO } A charade of an abbreviation for American, I (from the clue) and a verb meaning correspond or match, giving a Spanish word for buddy.

3d           What whisky drinkers do without hesitation? (4,1,4)
{ LIKE A SHOT } This phrase could describe the preferences of whisky drinkers, or tequila drinkers.

4d           Cotton clothes casually reduced (6)
{ THREAD } Remove the final S (reduced) from a slang word for clothes to give the sort of cotton used for sewing.

5d           Fellow club member misplaced policeman’s baton (6,9)
{ STABLE COMPANION } Anagram (misplaced) of POLICEMAN’S BATON.

6d           Sue changed completely, advantageously (8)
{ USEFULLY } Anagram (changed) of SUE followed by an adverb meaning completely.

7d           Port in Asian country storing gallons (5)
{ LAGOS } Gallons inside a South East Asian country, producing an African port.

8d           Copy complicated procedure (9)
{ REPRODUCE } Anagram (complicated) of PROCEDURE.

14d         Completely OTT about pieces in plot (9)
{ ALLOTMENT } A word meaning completely followed by OTT (from the clue) wrapped around the pieces on a chess board, giving the sort of plot you might be digging if it weren’t covered in snow.

16d         Unpalatable, character interrupting lecture? (5-4)
{ STONE-COLD } A noun meaning character or quality inside a verb meaning to lecture or tell off. I’m not convinced of the definition here, and this clue was the last one in for me.

17d         Breaking down, colonel prior to oversight (8)
{ COLLAPSE } The abbreviation for colonel followed by an oversight or slip.

20d         Horrified at hag’s writhing (6)
{ AGHAST } Anagram (writhing) of AT HAG’S

22d         Victor letting slip wife’s secret (5)
{ INNER } Drop the initial Wife from a word meaning victor.

24d         German painter contributing to post-modern style (5)
{ ERNST } Hidden in (contributing to) the last two words of clue.


The Quick Crossword pun { WEEK }{ KNEAD } = { WEAK-KNEED }

57 comments on “DT 27135

  1. Like recent puzzles took me a while to get started – must be me. Managed to finish without your hints DT, but did need to check 9a and 4d for the wordplay as I had the answers but didn’t know why ! Not heard of the expression in 4d before. So thank you for your explanations – and the photos. thank you also setter for an enjoyable challenge.

    1. Not just you SW, I have found it difficult to get going and indeed difficult to finish a lot of puzzles this last two weeks!
      Sweet Williams were one of my grandfathers favourite flowers … just saying :-)

      1. Just returned from a rather long lunch with some old friends and seen your encouraging message ! I do find it rather depressing if I can’t get off to a good start and begin to think that with the passage of time I am going worse ! – but then I look at the blog and find that I am not alone ! All good fun and much to be enjoyed !

  2. 16d was my last answer in today as well, but it did not hold me up for long. I was also not convinced by the definition.
    Thanks to setter, and to Deep Threat.

    The toughie is a fairly gentle start to the toughie week.

  3. “Held up by 16d ” in my case would be one of the understatements of the year .Flew through the rest .
    Thanks very much .

  4. Good morning DT and thanks for hints, I needed them once again to complete this, my brain freeze seems to be ongoing! A clever crossword but not one I particularly enjoyed, 16d last in, I don’t think 21 across is right because the second meaning is not 2,4,? maybe I am not looking at it right? Two clues I liked today 28a and 8d, very cold here today but bright, dry and sunny, we are so lucky compared to lots of people, particularly the farmers who are suffering badly, so no weather complaints from me (brrrrrrrrrr!)

    1. Hi mary

      Re 21a, there is only one definition. The wordplay is ‘a serge’ or ‘a twill’.

      1. Hi jezza, thanks, it’s one of those clues that I do see but don’t see if you see what I mean :-)

  5. Same here, except I couldn’t get 16d even with the hints! So comforted that at least some others had a bit of difficulty with this clue as well. But thank you to the setter for making my brain heat up, and to DT for all the hints. So glad your kitchen is now sorted. We had a horrid time when ours was done, which stretched over two months in spite of careful planning! :-( now I’m getting ready for a few weeks away working in Scotland so might need snowshoes…. But their snow hares are beautiful :-)

  6. *** for me too – I totally agree with the comments on 16d. I needed help on it and a couple in the NW – thanks DT. Favourite was 5d, I started thinking about truncheon which obviously didn’t help at all!

    1. I was on the truncheon trail too Senf and constable as the first word had 6 of the letters!

      1. Poppy and mary – pleased to hear I wasn’t alone. I wonder if anyone else will admit to falling into the same ‘trap.’

  7. 16d was last one in for as well…must be contagious! And NE corner held me up for a bit until I got 5a, then the rest just fell in.

    Not really sure why 16d was so tricky, with the benefit of hindsight obviously.

  8. This is such a brilliant site, thank you so much!! I just wish I’d discovered it sooner.

    1. Now you’re in you’ll never get out, it’s addictive, very friendly and very helpful, welcome :-)

    2. Be careful – it’s not just brilliant but, as Mary says, VERY addictive. Welcome from me too.

  9. Like the others I also struggled with 16D & dont like it as a clue,thought 9A was brilliant & also liked 17D.The picture of madge put me off my breakfast! Thanks DT for the splendid review.Its cold grey and dry here in the deep south.

  10. A consensus on 16d then, I wasn’t impressed by it either.
    The rest of the puzzle was OK but a bit dull.
    Thanks to DT for the review.
    Thanks to the setter.

  11. Had a good day today,must have been on the right wavelength,a **/*** for me.Liked 1a,though i may have seen the clue before, and 9a.Thanks Deep Threat for the picks, i assume the one for 24a is ‘The Blue Max’,26a looks like a german opera and as for madge,looks like she’s in a Stella Mc Cartney creation.

  12. Not sure 16d works – unpalatable is generally unpleasant taste or truth. Could have kicked myself for not getting 18a also. Thanks for the hints to 5a,9a to allow me to complete the grid.

  13. **/*** for me today. I would have rated it * for difficulty except I couldn’t get 4d at all even after breaking off and coming back to it several times. Many thanks to DT for the review, in particular for the hint for 4d without which I wouldn’t have been able to finish.

    Favourite today 28a.

    Many thanks to the setter.

  14. Form of sobriety might have been more appropriate than unpalatable! Otherwise entertaining accompaniment to morning coffee with help of couple of DT hints – 23a and 4d. Thanks.

  15. Not much to add really. ***/*** for me today too.
    I thought that most of it was fairly straightforward until I got to 16d which took ages and even when I got it I wasn’t too keen on it.
    I was also a bit help up by 9a and 4d – I’ve never heard of clothes being called threads.
    I liked 11, 12 and 28a and 3 and 20d. The awful picture of Madonna could also have illustrated the clue for 20d!
    With thanks to Mr Ron and Deep Threat – a quick and presumably efficient kitchen re-do.
    Still freezing cold and grey. Feel terribly sorry for the farmers, as Mary has already said, and the small garden centres – this is usually one of their busiest times of year – also sorry for the animals – can’t be much fun being a new born lamb.

  16. Found this quite easy, held up on 16D like many others, eventually got it by enumeration. **/***. I liked “serge” a lot :)

  17. Managed to complete today’s without the hints which made a nice change from last week! Needed the explanation for the wordplay at 9a though. Re 16d it works if you only think of unpalatable as referring to food which I guess is fair enough.
    Thanks to DT and to the setter.

  18. Thanks to the setter for an amusing if untaxing puzzle, I concur with previous comments re 16d and also to the gentleness of the toughie. Thanks Deep Threat for the review, good fun.

  19. A nice workout today. I quite like 16d The toughie is worth a visit today with 4 easy 15 letter clues to get you started. 21ac and 3d are easy anagrams. Good luck if you wander over there. It’s not scary today

  20. Found 16d tricky and was last one in but agree with catherine.. Also does it not work simply because only something unpalatable leaves you stone cold? Made sense to me once i got it but then this is the first crossword I have not got completely stuck on for a while so know nothing! Agreed fab site thanks

  21. According to my time, quite easy, I thought.
    Perhaps a **
    Which does go to show we’re a bunch of mixed abilities here :)
    Some chuckles on the way.
    Thanks to the setter and DT

  22. How odd – I thought 24D was brilliant, yet no-one is singing its praises.

    Never mind, I think I also found it harder than most, and I had to grind out the last half-dozen or so. Four-star hard, but pleasurable nonetheless.

    My thanks to Mr Ron and Deep Threat (because I did have a couple with “but why?” writen next to them :-) )

  23. I was really enjoying this until got to 16d! Also my last in, but not sure why we found it so difficult – clue was straightforward but perhaps the definition was not so obvious. Like 5a and 9a. Thanks to setter and to Deep Threat for resolving ‘that clue’

  24. Another tough one today. Took me ages and even then I had to look up the answer to 25a as I couldn’t get the hint (sorry DT).
    Got the answer to 9a from the checkers but awful clue I thought.
    Did like 1a and 3d though especially if it is a Balvenie and not one of those dreadful Malts that taste of dead fish and seaweed! :-)
    Thx DT for the hints.

  25. Brian,
    Your thoughts often reflect mine so it saves me writing in and helps me feel better, so keep up the good work. I share your adoration of Balvenie malt as well so that’s another tick. Just got a bottle from my wife for not moaning so much this week. There’s always a bright side!
    Thanks as always to setter and DT for easing frustrations.

  26. A reasonably gentle stroll for us with this one, which we had rated **/***. A pleasant solve with the cricket in the background. Soooo close, but no cigar. Exciting though, talk about going to the wire!
    Thanks Mr Ron and DT.

    1. England snatched a draw from the jaws of humiliation! Monty Panesar – My Hero!

      After listening to that all night I struggled with today’s crossword! And the Setter was …. ?

        1. Oh Dear! Maybe it was Monty when he was waiting for hours and hours to come to the crease?

          BD, another one you don’t like? Could you be more specific?

  27. Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. Still no completion, was beaten by 4 & 16d. Had never heard of the slang for clothes and wouldn’t have got 16d in a million years. Still, it was an enjoyable, well constructed puzzle. Favourites were 5,9,25a. Was 3*/3*for me. Weather dull and Grey in Central London.

  28. Like everyone else was stumped by 16d. I struggled with this puzzle today &was not at all on the setter’s wavelength. I agree with DT’s rating & thanks for the hints. What an absolutely unflattering photo of Madonna!

  29. I had no trouble with 16D. “Scold” immediately came to mind and the rest fell into place. I did have trouble with 5D due to miscounting squares and putting my word break mark in the wrong place at first. To my shame, 26A was the last one in (and not solved until I’d finally corrected my 5D issue and solved the clue). I had worked out the correct answer to 28A but just couldn’t see why. Same for 25A, and I still don’t get that one.

    9A was my favorite today, closely followed by 21A. Thanks to DT for the review and neeeded hint or two, and to the setter.

    1. ‘Soldiers’ = men. Put the A of Area inside to get ‘mean’. Mean = low in rank or birth; base; sordid; of little value or importance, per the BRB.

  30. No-one’s mentioned 17d. Is it me or should it be break, not breaking, down that yields the answer? Or put another way, should the answer be ‘collapsing’ , given the clue?
    I confess to struggling with 4 and 16d and with watching a typical England football performance before finally nailing it. Thanks to all.

    1. ‘Breaking down’ is a noun phrase in this context. And in the BRB the first definition of ‘collapse’ is ‘falling away or breaking down’.

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