DT 27141 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27141

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27141

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where it’s bright an sunny, but still cold, with a persistent east wind.  I’ve nearly finished tiling the kitchen, and am on grandfather duties this week, with small grand-daughter staying with us.

I found this mostly straightforward, but was held up on the last 4 clues, pushing the puzzle 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           Blunder ignoring second fall (6)
{ TUMBLE } Drop the initial Second from a synonym of blunder to get the sort of fall a clown or a gymnast might have.

4a           On reflection, suitable Irish record followed by a drink (8)
{ APERITIF } Start with a charade of a three-letter word for suitable, the IVR abbreviation for Ireland, a vinyl record midway between a single and an LP, and A (from the clue). Then reverse the result (on reflection) to get the answer.

9a           Wild trout concealing bass and other fish (6)
{ TURBOT } Anagram (wild) of TROUT with Bass inside it.

10a         Cat left out in front of joiner’s yard is a risk (8)
{ JEOPARDY } A big cat with its initial Left omitted is preceded by the first letter of Joiner’s and followed by Yard.

12a         Departed very happy having got rid of outsiders (4)
{ LATE } The definition here is an adjective referring to someone who has departed this life.  Take a word meaning very happy and remove the first and last letters (got rid of outsiders).

13a         Diplomat showing empty jealousy? (5)
{ ENVOY } If something is empty it has nothing in it.  Take a word for jealousy and put O inside it.

14a         Indicate mathematical function for audience (4)
{ SIGN } A homonym (for audience) of the trigonometric function where you divide the side opposite the angle in question by the hypotenuse.

17a         A coup after power’s lost trapping defective military authority (5,7)
{ GROUP CAPTAIN } Anagram (defective) of A COU(P) and TRAPPING.  The P is removed from COUP because power’s lost, and the result is a senior RAF officer.

20a         Plain substance smelly cat dislodged (6-2-4)
{ MATTER-OF-FACT } Another word for substance followed by a three-letter word describing, typically, a foodstuff which has turned smelly, then an anagram (dislodged) of CAT.

23a         Top chap expected? Not entirely (4)
{ APEX } Hidden in the clue (not entirely).

24a         Locks feature in this river surrounded by slime (5)
{ SCRUM } The locks concerned are in a rugby XV.  The usual abbreviation for River inside a type of slime.

25a         Very old film attracting old ban (4)
{ VETO } Very followed by a two-letter film title from 1982 (does that make it an old film?) and Old.

28a         Poor clot violated etiquette (8)
{ PROTOCOL } Anagram (violated) of POOR CLOT.

29a         Measure taken in old ship after European disembarks (6)
{ GALLON } An old sailing ship, often Spanish, with the European removed.

30a         College had to be demolished in part in Northern town (8)
{ ROCHDALE } A single-letter abbreviation for college and an anagram (to be demolished) of HAD inside a part on the stage.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

31a         Feeling unwell, queen needs a piece of cake? (6)
{ QUEASY } An abbreviation for queen followed by the adjective which describes something which is a piece of cake.


1d           Note convict in early part of week getting guidance (8)
{ TUTELAGE } The seventh note of the sol-fa scale and a convict inside the abbreviated form of one of the early days of the week.

2d           Race with graduate before short judge, titled figure (8)
{ MARATHON } A charade of the letters indicating a particular university degree, a verb meaning to judge with its final letter removed (short) and the abbreviated form of the title given to, among others, the children of peers

3d           One’s informed when kept in such facilities before parking (4)
{ LOOP } Another euphemism for what is euphemistically called ‘facilities’ followed by the traffic sign indicating Parking.

5d           Absurd purpose store devised (12)
{ PREPOSTEROUS } Anagram (devised) of PURPOSE STORE.

6d           Poor crop yield internally revealed (4)
{ ROPY } Hidden in the clue (internally revealed).

7d           Hot gossip brought up about Oscar winner’s latest character (6)
{ TORRID } A synonym of gossip (as in ‘dish the ____’) is reversed (brought up, in a Down clue) around the letter represented in the NATO alphabet by Oscar and the last letter of winneR.

8d           Fine linked to being dishonest in high-level activity? (6)
{ FLYING } An abbreviation for Fine followed by a word for being dishonest in what one says.

11d         Institution of elementary significance? (6,6)
{ INFANT SCHOOL } Cryptic definition of an early stage in the education system.

15d         Horrify a leading Christian convert, we hear (5)
{ APPAL } A (from the clue) followed by a homophone (we hear) of the early Christian famously converted on the road to Damascus.

16d         Moment judge faces suspect (5)
{ JIFFY } An abbreviation for Judge followed by an informal adjective for ‘suspect’.

18d         Flower comes from around about a mile, cultivated across lake (8)
{ CAMELLIA } The Latin abbreviation for ‘about’ followed by an anagram (cultivated) of A MILE wrapped around Lake.

19d         Rota yet to change to accommodate new legal type (8)
{ ATTORNEY } Anagram (to change) of ROTA YET with New inside.

21d         Smart salesman getting flat when promoted (6)
{ DAPPER } Start with an abbreviation for a sales representative followed by a slang term for a flat. Then reverse the whole expression (promoted = going up, in a Down clue).

22d         Like a leading person, English, in unconventional choir (6)
{ HEROIC } An adjective describing the leading character in a play comes from an anagram (unconventional) of CHOIR with English inside it.

26d         Collapse in congregation? (4)
{ FOLD } Double definition, the second being figurative, as the place where a shepherd might keep his flock.

27d         Neighbour prioritising time for forbidden activity (4)
{ TABU } A verb meaning ‘to neighbour’ with the Time moved to the front (prioritised).

The Quick Crossword pun { FOUGHT }{ KNIGHT } = { FORTNIGHT }

58 comments on “DT 27141

  1. This was a little tougher than i was expecting this morning; i had to put it down and ponder over my last couple of answers.
    Thanks to setter (Shamus perhaps?), and to Deep Threat for the review.

  2. Hands up I struggled with the NW corner but once 1A went in the rest followed.Liked 17A & 25A.Many thanks to setter & DT for the rerview.

  3. I thought this was brilliant but quite difficult – more than 3* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment from me.
    I nearly gave up with a few to go but did a bit of CS’s cogitation time (ie another cup of coffee) and Mary’s ‘perservation’ and finished eventually – needed the hint to explain 30a. I did wonder for a while if it was going to be a pangram.
    I started off with the wrong first word for 11d which didn’t help too much. I could see what 17a had to be but missed the anagram indicator so took a while to work that one out and 20a was my last one and took ages. As usual I didn’t see the hidden-in-the middle ones for far too long.
    I liked 12, 17, 20, 25 and 28a and 3, 11, 16 and 27d.
    With thanks to whoever set this and to Deep Threat.
    Still terribly cold but at least it’s sunny.

    1. The quickie is a pangram.
      I needed a lot of help today, so thank you DT for the excellent hints :)

  4. Did not enjoy this much. Too much working backwards – get an answer and then sweat over why it is the right one. Not fond of clues which ask for another word and then deduct or add letters to it, a feature of today’s offering. Thanks, DT for explaining 30a – we got the answer but had no idea why.

    1. I’ve only just found this site and glad I have. I’ve decided not to commit sepuku after all!

      I’ve been “doing” the DT since the Lower Sixth in 1952/3. Much has changed since.

      Some of the recent compilers appear to be Martians and I must strongly agree with you, Your Lordship. The modern cryptic is too much of the Codewords – get the answer and then spend the rest of the day working out how the “clue” arrives at it!

      Reminds the older ones amongst us of Ted Rogers in 3-2-1 and Dusty Bin!!! I’m sorry to have to admit that I actually watched that stupid program. LOL

      1. Welcome to the blog mudflap. Now that you’ve found us I hope that you’ll be a regular commenter.

  5. At first read through I thought this was going to be more difficult than it actually was once the solutions started falling into place. Plenty of clues to smile about…20A, 24A, 1D, 3D, and 26D…so thanks to the setter for those. While the answer to 30A could not be anything but, given the checking letters, I struggled to work out why (defeated by the ‘part’ part) and I needed the explanation, so many thanks Deep Threat. I also needed the explanation for 25A. I had the answer …what else could it be?… but once explained I thought it a very poor clue. Good fun on the whole, though.

  6. Thank you setter – finished it, so enjoyed it ! Thank you DT for your review and hints. Seemed to start off well working round the edges and ended with a big gap in the middle ! Finally got 15d ( thank you Chambers Crossword Dictionary ! ) which gave me 17a. I think it was you Kath who said you were suffering from over-peopleing. We had grandchildren coming in 2 phases over the w/e and it certainly starts to numb the brain – or was it too much Ribena again ? ! Nice to sit quietly and re-engage crossword brain.

    1. Yes, I was the one who said that we’d been over-peopled. That had to be the reason that I struggled with a couple of crosswords – not much Ribena around here!

        1. Ours were nearly all female but one of those was my sister, who can be pretty difficult, and another was elder daughter who spent most of the weekend radiating stress about a job application that she’s in the middle of – didn’t exactly make for a relaxing time!

  7. Morning DT and everyone, hope you all had a nice Easter weekend, at least the weather was dry and sunny if slightly on the cold side, thanks for hints DT, I admit to using some of them today or I feel I would have been here all day, after getting about 3/4 way through I came to a halt, putting court martial in at 17a didn’t help!!! I thought 27d was a bit of a toughie along with 7d and 2d, clues I liked today were 24a, 31a and 16d, preservation deserted me today unfortunately and I gave in, it’s too nice a day to spend struggling, thank goodness for our bloggers :-)

  8. This blog is a great help since I found it a week ago. I finish it most days now. Thanks very much.

  9. Struggled with this one, I don’t get on with the synonym and add type clues.
    Saved by the anagrams, and eventually sputtered over the finish line…no chequered flag though.

    Thanks for the review, needed to resolve some of the wordplay.

    Thanks to the setter for quite a tough workout.

    Lovely and sunny day in Dover, but cold and windy.

  10. Phew! That was an interesting mixture of straightforward and tough! Definitely a day for “perservation”.

    Although I eventually finished without help, I needed DT’s review to explain why 4a, 14a, 17a and 7d were right. Also I was nervous about putting in my answer for 6d as I always spell that word ending -ey.

    I agree with Lord Luvvaduck. I don’t much like clues which lead you to a word which then needs certain letters to be changed or deleted, and there were too many of those for my taste today.

    ***(*)/** for me. Many thanks to DT and the setter.

  11. I reckon life’s too short for crossword clues like these. Far too complex, very little enjoyment even after slogging through and finishing it. Thx to DT for explaining some of the more unnecessary convoluted clues.

    1. I agree . Finished, but only after a struggle. It was mainly a question of finding the answer and trying to work out why. I really dont know why I bothered.

      1. That is the main reason I do not often comment on crosswords.
        I find ALL crosswords ***** for enjoyment, some I manage to complete without help, others not. However the enjoyment factor remains the same. If not, I will stop doing them.
        Many thanks to DT and the setter.

        1. Yes – there is rarely a crossword that I don’t enjoy, it’s just that I enjoy some more than others.

        2. That was extremely well said. Some puzzles are frustrating, you feel you have the answer but don’t know why, but solve them or not, the fun is still there. Y

  12. Many thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat, a very enjoyable crossword and a most amusing review.

  13. Struggled over 1d & 2d for ages. Liked 24a though….cute!
    Quite a tester on springlike day…wonder if it will last?

  14. Found this more of a struggle than the toughie (which isn’t) and had to fathom some wordplay after the event ,particularly 30a which was last in .
    Agree with the ratings.
    Thanks very much .

  15. Afternoon all – late on parade today, but a pretty good excuse (see below)

    Not altogether easy today, needed to really get my brain in gear for the first time for nearly two weeks and what with everything thats gone on recently, not an easy thing to do.

    Went on our hols – 2 days in Devon on edge of Dartmoor, floods everywhere except when we goton the moor itself when we had fog. First time the fog broke I found myself driving into a herd of escaped cows which we had to egg along for about 2 miles until they found a field to go and eat. Went to see my cousin in Paignton and had floods on the way back (found out next day that one of the roads had been closed just after we used it) and then even MORE fog. To top it all, the bed was really really hard and we found it hard to sleep.

    Second stop was a Premier Inn near Newquay (just one night)(thank God). – the Mrs woke me up at 4 and asked me to go and see if we could get the room changed as the bed was even harder than the first two nights!

    Off to our cottage, lovely place, lovely settings, wonderfully soft bed, freezing cold. Heating only came on when people were in the main house and it didn’t warm th upstairs very well. Mrs skempie found it very hard to get comfortable downstairs as the sofa was too low and she didn’t fit the armchairs! She spent the whole week sitting on a dining chair which was annoying as the sofa upstairs was wonderful, but too cold and no TV!

    Finally it was back home, house was freezing (surprise, surprise) and it was 1/2 hour later I realised the boiler wasn’t working – emergency call outs on Easter Sunday proved to be a tad expensive and the new boiler we will need shortly even more so!

    Hopefully, all is well with the world again now though.

    1. Oh dear! Poor you and Mrs S too, of course. What a catalogue of disasters – a very valid excuse for being late here today. Things can only get better!

    2. Eek, if any consolation me and my siblings spent a weekend in the New Forest. How nice, except trying to persuade mother that she is too ill to go back to Athens. We had a lovely tour of residential homes and had Easter Sunday Lunch with my 97 yr old Nan in her ressy home to which my usually polite and erudite mother announced, just before coffee, “put me in a home with my effing mother and you can all eff off”. Let the fun times begin, oh dear.

    3. I should point out, that despite all the problems, we quite enjoyed the holiday. It was the coming home to a freezig house that wasn’t much fun

    4. I HATE BOILERS !!!!!
      The only time we ever had any trouble with ours was at Xmas – 2 years running.
      Mind it could have been something to do with the fact that we (well me) forgot to order any oil :(
      We’d always had gas central heating In Manchester and it took us a while to get used to the fact that we had to buy the stuff to make it work rather than it just coming out of a pipe!

      Hope your’s gets fixed soon skempie – nothing worse than being cold!

  16. Thanks DT. I needed the explanations for 25a and 27d which I had but couldn’t understand. Like you I am wondering about ET being an old film. Yikes!
    I also was perplexed by 30a. There was a college in Toronto in the 60’s by the same name. It was student run and well known here in Canada. Should have realised it was named after a town in the UK but was confused by the college reference in the clue!
    Also needed your help with 20a. As soon as I read “start with a substance” I could see it. Sometimes the brain just needs that jumpstart. Thanks again and thanks to the setter.

    1. I was diverted somewhat by Richmond which didn’t fit at all with the clue or the finishing letter of 11d. Got there in the end though

  17. The top left hand corner took a bit more thinking about today, but once the penny had dropped for 1down the rest fell nicely into place – thanks to the setter for a most enjoyable crossword.

  18. Enjoyed this today ***/****, last one solved was 30A, which I thought was not a good clue, since I needed to read the hint to see why it was right.

  19. I agree this was a bit of a work out. I did manage to finish most but failed with 20a. I thought 6d weak but looked it up and it is, indeed, a word. Amazing what words are creeping into accepted usage. I remember our English teacher at school ranting about Americanisms, such as making verbs out of nouns by adding -ised, as in hospitalised! As for “okay”, that was a dead no-no.

    We had rain yesterday; not a piddling rain, an honest-to-God monsoon rain. My garden opened its arms and slurped it all up gratefully.

    Thanks to setter and hinter, which I needed today for many Whys.

  20. So elegantly constructed.
    Thoroughly enjoyable, a ***** .
    Good mix of hard, complex and simple.
    Last in 26d – suddenly went alll religious and got it
    Thanks mystery setter and Deep Threat

  21. Very enjoyable puzzle and certainly challenging for me especially NE and 14a so thanks to DT for the help there

  22. We had put Shamus and a question mark beside this puzzle. It felt like his ‘flavour’ to us. It all flowed in quite smoohly without any real hold-ups. We even managed to get 30a without Wikipedia for a change. Enjoyed it.
    Thanks Shamus? and DT.

  23. I found that a bit of a struggle today but got there in the end with a bit of help from Mr A and needed the explanation for 30a . I liked some of the clues but some I didn’t like at all but I laughed at 15d. Thanks to Setter for the brain gym & DT for the hints. Enjoy your grandparent duty DT. We had a lovely Easter present on Sunday..our second grandchild(son) was born but in New Jersey USA and we live in Spain!!!

    1. What a lovely Easter present – beats chocolate! My aunt, who was 84 on Easter Sunday, was also born on Easter Sunday. Unless the family stories are wrong she had to wait until her 60th birthday to have a second Easter Day birthday.

  24. ***/**** . Temperature was 24 degrees when we left Spain on Saturday and 4 degrees when we got home.

  25. Agreed with the assessment that this seemed straightforward. Needed the hints on the se corner. Holidaying in the Lake District and having some wonderful walking and everyday lacking rain!

    1. Enjoy, I was up there last week, had a couple of good walks, but got caught in a whiteout at the top of Grisedale Pike.

  26. I loved this crossword, so thanks to the setter, and thanks to Deep Threat for those clues I needed assistance with.The sunshine was shockingly bright today.

  27. Enjoyable 2* for us with 9a favourite, both clue and fish! It’s called ‘Rodaballo’ here and it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than when I last saw it on a UK menu.

    Thanks to setter and DT.

    1. I’ve been looking for a special offer on Turbot, because it’s so damned expensive in the UK.

  28. I seem to have been outed earlier in the comments but thanks anyway to Deep Threat for his blog and everyone as usual for taking the time to make their observations.

  29. Thanks to Shamus and to deep Threat for the review and hints.the crosswords seem to have got more difficult over about the last 3 weeks, this was no exception, but I enjoyed trying to solve it. Was 5 short in the end and needed the hints for 2&7&26d and 24&30a. Couldn’t work any of them out. Favourite was 4a. Was 4*/3* for me. Bright sunshine in Central London, but I couldn’t get out to enjoy it, due to a heavy cold.

  30. 7d was my downfall. One of those it fits but why ….for far too long, Cheers Shamus and to DT for the amusing review

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