DT 27153 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27153

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27153

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where it’s about 10 degrees warmer than a week ago.  Has Spring finally arrived?

** time for me this week, though 3d is a word which was familiar to me as a technical term when I was at work, and may be less recognisable for others.

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           Reason with star about famous controversy? (5,7)
{ CAUSE CELEBRE } A charade of a synonym of reason, a popular term for a star (especially one who’s famous for being famous, rather than for any particular skill), and the Latin term for about or concerning.

9a           Goddess represented in art, I’d hope (9)
{ APHRODITE } Anagram (represented in) ART I’D HOPE, giving the Greek goddess of love.

10a         New in team, but spiteful (5)
{ SNIDE } Put New inside another word for team.

11a         Place with stiff identification requirements? (6)
{ MORGUE } Cryptic definition of a place where you might have to go to identify a body.

12a         Peace’s disrupted about poster showing daring activity (8)
{ ESCAPADE } Anagram (disrupted) of PEACE’S around a two-letter word for a poster.

13a         Salad ingredient to go up steeply? (6)
{ ROCKET } Double definition.

15a         Engineer altering key (8)
{ INTEGRAL } Anagram (engineer) of ALTERING.

18a         Unpredictable burrowing animal concealing flickering tail (8)
{ VOLATILE } Anagram (flickering) of TAIL inside a small furry burrowing animal.

19a         Victor entering a depression in winter season? (6)
{ ADVENT } The letter represented by Victor in the NATO alphabet inside A (from the clue) and a depression in the ground, giving the season leading up to Christmas.

21a         Resolution to show half-hearted youngster a financial district (8)
{ TENACITY } Remove one of the two Es from the middle (half-hearted) of a word for someone in the 13 – 19 age group, then add A (from the clue) and the word used to describe the financial district of London.

23a         Spirit shown in good pop music made by Eminem previously (6)
{ GRAPPA } An Italian brandy is made up from Good, the sort of pop ‘music’ perpetrated by Eminem, and a two-letter abbreviation for past or previously.  Not an abbreviation I was familiar with, but it’s in the BRB. Or, as several commenters have suggested, Good followed by an alternative familiar term for the person known as pop, with the sort of ‘music’ perpetrated by Eminem inserted before it (previously).

26a         Facial protection is found among very common soldiers (5)
{ VISOR } IS (from the clue) inside Very and the usual abbreviation for soldiers who are not officers.

27a         Writer getting exercise around unusually hot luxury accommodation (9)
{ PENTHOUSE } Something to write with and a verb meaning exercise, either side of an anagram (unusually) of HOT.

28a         Suspect challenge made by bachelor immersed in drink (12)
{ QUESTIONABLE } A verb or noun meaning challenge, followed by Bachelor inside a variety of alcoholic drink.


1d           Singer entertaining a jolly fascinating sort? (7)
{ CHARMER } The usual crossword female singer has A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for the regiment whose members are known as jollies.

      ARVE Error: need id and provider

2d           Addict around hospital, an employee in dramatic situation? (5)
{ USHER } Someone who might show you to your seat in the theatre.  A word for an addict wrapped around the road sign for Hospital.

3d           English lecturer with university dividing second salary (9)
{ EMOLUMENT } English followed by a word for a second or a brief period of time with Lecturer and University inside it.

4d           Team surrounded by the French and in departure (4)
{ EXIT } The Roman numeral for the number of players in a cricket team inside (surrounded by) the French word for ‘and’.

5d           Service nevertheless supported by Northern government (8)
{ EVENSONG } A church service made up from an expression (4,2) meaning ‘nevertheless’, Northern and Government.

6d           Jamaican religious follower upset a figure of authority (5)
{ RASTA } Reverse (upset) A (from the clue) and an Imperial Russian ruler.

7d           Conflict produced by inspector with touch of gaudiness in Indian dress (8)
{ DISAGREE } The abbreviation for a Detective Inspector followed by an alternative spelling of a traditional Indian dress with the first letter of Gaudiness inside it.

8d           Type of crop that comes in instalments, it’s said (6)
{ CEREAL } A homophone (it’s said) of a story published in weekly or monthly parts.

14d         Organ is beginning to thrill one who’s settled (8)
{ COLONIST } A charade of an internal organ, IS (from the clue) and the first letter of Thrill.

16d         No diner gets order around pub — it could produce a rush! (9)
{ ENDORPHIN } Anagram (gets order) of NO DINER around the letters found on a map to indicate the presence of a public house, producing a painkiller generated by the body as a result of violent exercise.

17d         Aussie amphibian, a tailless sort, also going round (8)
{ PLATYPUS } A (from the clue) and a word for ‘sort’ with the final E missing (tailless), with a word meaning also or in addition wrapped around it.

18d         Quartet wearing cross making a vow? (6)
{ VOTIVE } The Roman numeral for four inside (wearing) a verb which describes what you are doing when you make a cross on a ballot paper.

20d         Net with comfort, we hear, a circus feature? (7)
{ TRAPEZE } A verb meaning net or catch followed by some letters which sound like (we hear) a noun meaning comfort.

22d         Decor fussily encapsulating island (5)
{ CORFU } A Greek island is hidden in the clue.

24d         Reportedly, cushy work in bathroom? (5)
{ PLUMB } A verb which describes what the chap who fits your new bathroom is doing.  It sounds like (reportedly) a desirable or cushy job.

25d         A fool allowing earlier time for an opponent (4)
{ ANTI } A (from the clue) and a word for a fool with the final T moved forward (allowing earlier Time)

The Quick Crossword pun { BELL }{ EASE } = { BELIZE }

65 comments on “DT 27153

  1. Thank you setter – an enjoyable challenge, and thank you DT for the review. I had never heard of “pa” as an abbreviation in 23a. Many amusing clues – 11a produced a groan !

      1. I thought it was as DT said – I’d never heard of the abbreviation before but it is in BRB – I suppose either is OK.

        1. Two clues for the price of one? :-) But I’m not sure that Eminem would be flattered to have his music described as “pop”!

    1. Thank you to all those who have commented on 23a. While I might take issue with Skempie’s description of my analysis as ‘wrong’, I agree that the ‘pop = pa’ explanation is neater, and I have amended the hint.

      1. Sorry DT – was in a rush and it was first thing in the morning(ish), I was not casting nasturtiums.

  2. ***/*** rating for me today. I found the bottom half relatively easy, and the top half much harder. The whole thing needed quite a bit of 21a.

    15a had me stumped for a long while, looking for the wrong anagram thanks to the clever misdirection of two potential anagram indicators. I needed DT’s hints to understand where the middle part of 1d came from. (Note to self: must remember this meaning of jolly in future!). When Q, X, Z, K, etc. turned up I began to suspect a pangram and spent far too long unsuccessfully trying to fit a J in somewhere.

    Thanks very much as ever to the setter for today’s entertaining challenge and to DT for the review.

    1. For one second there, I misread you across clue number and thought you needed the booze to get going.

      Jolly = Royal Marine = RM is very common and well worth remembering

      1. I would probably be desperate for the 23a if I still hadn’t finished by lunchtime.

  3. It took me a long time to get started with this, but once I’d done the NW corner and gone off to do something else for half an hour, the remainder came together in around 10 minutes. Thanks to compiler and Deep Threat for a couple of clarifications (21a and 23a).
    Not really difficult, but ***/*** for me because of slow start.

  4. Hi DT thanks for hints, I did eventually finish without them but not without lots of help from my CCD and electronic friends, I needed the hint to understand 23a but nowhere in my chambers XWD abbreviation book does it give ‘pa’ for ‘previously’ however it does give ‘a’ for ‘before’ so I figured ‘rap’ as in Eminem music was ‘rapp’ !
    At least a three star for me today and the only clue I really enjoyed was 11a

        1. Terry Wogan used to describe that sort of ‘music’ as having the initial C missing.

  5. Very enjoyable fun today. After first read through f the across clues, I had a grand total of one!!! Luckily the downs got me off and running.

    Strange big yellow thing in the sky here – I think the aliens are coming

  6. We took 3* time to solve this one and gave it the same for enjoyment. Suspect that it might be another contribution from Shamus. (Perhaps we will find out later). Lots of clues where you have to put bits and pieces together to build the answer. A satisfying solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and DT.

  7. A nice straightforward run through this morning.

    Thanks to DT for the review.

    Thanks to the setter for a gentle but enjoyable puzzle.

  8. Very enjoyable and satisfying offering today. 3* from me also for difficulty since I found it tricky in spots. Finished without hints but needed the explanation for the jolly in 1D. 28A was the last one in and a big d’oh moment. Paricularly liked 11A and 5D. Many thanks to the setter and to DT.

    Struggling with the toughie…..

  9. Enjoyable puzzle, not too taxing again, but a bit harder than yesterday. **/***. My main problem was self-inflicted having put the word marker in the wrong place for 1A (I had it as 7,5 not 5,7!), but realised the error after a while.

  10. I seem to be in a minority today – I loved this one. I thought it was difficult enough in places to make the brain have a jolly good think but everything was ‘doable’. 3* difficulty and almost 5* enjoyment.
    We’ve had the words 3d and 18d recently enough for them to be still lurking around in my head. I made the same mistake as Rabbit Dave with 15a and swapped the definition for the anagram indicator so that took a while. For some reason 8d was my last one.
    I have so many little red blobs that I won’t write all the clues I liked but 11a made me laugh and my favourite was 17d.
    Many years ago when kids were quite little we were in Oz staying with friends who own 400 acres of bush. They’ve built a wonderful cabin from wood that they have cut down. One of their boundaries is a 3/4 mile stretch of the Snowy river and there is a pool that they call Platypus Pool because they once saw one there. Now I’m going to have to go and hunt out the photos that I have of all of us swimming in it.
    Ramble now over!!
    With thanks to Mr Ron and Deep Threat – and apologies for the ramble!

  11. I nudge towards *** and ***
    Maybe it’s me having to do a bit of work this morning
    Thanks to all

  12. Enjoyed today’s puzzle agree with ‘outnumbered ‘ about a **/***, did’nt think past PA for dad.Nice misdirection in 19a,well it was for me! Thanks DT for the ten bit of 21a-ok once the youngster was identified, i was thinking of some sort of animal with a bit missing, liked the’pic’ for 20d-looks painful.

  13. Apart from forgetting that Cher is often “singer” and not knowing that “sari” can be spelt “saree” all went reasonably well!
    Thanks to setter and DT.

    1. Ah, you beat me to it! Agree 100%. The C is definitely silent. Roll on Thursday when the 2013 Proms programme is released …although much has been ferreted out on other forums.

  14. Found this at least a 3 star for difficulty. Needed lots of help today. No idea who or what was Eminem and still don’t understand the clue. The only two clues i liked today were 8d and 20d because they both made me smile. As for the rest. Not my cuppa tea.
    Thx to DT without whose help i most def would not have finished today’s offering.

    1. Approaching this clue I’d look at the first few words…spirit shown in good. That could mean that a spirit such as rum was contained within a word meaning good but if that were the way to approach the clue then the rest of the clue doesn’t really make much sense.

      So I’d plump for us looking for a type of spirit. And given the number of words in the clue it seemed to me that it was one of those made up from lots of little bits. So G for good is the start character probably. I knew that Eminem made rap noise and I also knew that grappa is a spirit. So we have G and a word meaning pop or father (ie PA) and RAP but then the clue says previously which means that the RAP is before the PA.

  15. Really enjoyed this one as well. Loved 1D. All just clicked into place. Thanks to setter and DT for clearing up a few that I had worked out but couldn’t quite see the rationale.

  16. After abandoning cryptic crosswords for killer sodoku for some years, I have started to get to grips with the DT puzzles again. I found this one relatively easy and enjoyable but needed clues from this site for the Toughie. Thanks to all and I look forward to continuing to improve my word power.

    1. Hi Christine – welcome to the blog. Now that you’ve made your first comment I hope that we’ll hear from you on a regular basis.

  17. Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. Got beaten by 11a, thought of mortuary but couldn’t think of morgue, must be brain freeze. Favourites were 1,16,24d. A most enjoyable puzzle, was 2*/3* for me. Went for a nice walk round Parly Hill, weather quite pleasant.

  18. Brain must have been on a different plant today. Managed to get half a dozen straight off then blank. Finally resorted to the hints which gave all me all but three which I needed to swipe the answers. Dont know why Tuesdays puzzle seems to be by Achilles heel. Nevertheless an excellent puzzle and superb hints.

    1. No, its not an amphibian, but it is amphibious. I had the great luck to visit Melbourne Zoo where they have a darkened tank with platypus in. I spent ages trying to get a photo, then decided to try with my camcorder which has a night setting. After 20 minutes I gave up, they were just too fast. Popped back a while later and there was a platypus just hanging there in the tanking eating which I managed to record.

        1. A bit like octopus. Octopodes – correct but pedantic. Octopuses in common use. Octopi just plain wrong.

      1. Well done for getting pictures.

        Perhaps the clue should have read “Amphibious Aussie” instead.

      2. Don’t understand – surely if something is not an amphibian (noun) then it can’t be described as amphibious (adjective).

        1. Do you really want the zoological answer to that?Amphibian-spends part of it’s life cycle in water as a gilled creature, amphibious- in and out of water, breathing with lungs.

  19. I found this puzzle a shade harder than usual but slogged on to complete it!

    Faves : 1a, 13a, 23a, 26a, 1d, 6d, 16d & 18d.

    Beautiful blue sky this evening full of aircraft vapour trails!

    Still on the cool side however!

    Fish and chips tonight!

  20. It took me some time to realise there must be a variant spelling of sari. Once the penny dropped I was able to finish without too much sweat. Some clever misdirection in15a.

  21. Re 1d, has anybody ever come across Royal Marines being referred to as Jollies anywhere other than in crosswords? Our son was in the Marines for 22 years & he’d never come across it, yet it’s quite common in crosswords.

    1. It is a sailor’s nickname for a marine – so says Brewers Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.

      1. Jollies – This was the nickname of the Trained Bands of the City of London, who provided many of the recruits for the first regiment formed for service at sea. It is a term seldom used today but is to be found in Rudyard Kipling’s poem “Soldier an’ Sailor too” and Kenneth Alford’s march composition “H.M. Jollies

        Source Royal Marine museum

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