DT 27156 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27156

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27156

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

This Giovanni puzzle is about as straightforward as it gets on a Friday but he has given us some cracking clues (and one that doesn’t work). Let us know how you got on.
If you want to see an actual answer you’ll have to highlight the gap between the brackets under the clues. There are some pointers in the FAQ to how you can achieve this if you’re accessing the blog from a mobile device.

Across Clues

1a  Word describing acid hermit, no saint (6)
{ACETIC} – remove the S (no saint) from a person who follows a solitary and austere way of life.

5a  Duty has changed with king being guarded for 24 hours (8)
{THURSDAY} – an anagram (changed) of DUTY HAS with one of the single-character abbreviations for king being inserted.

9a  Oxford types eventually giving opportunities to ambitious youngsters? (4,4,5)
{DEAD MEN’S SHOES} – these Oxford types are sorts of footwear and the phrase refers to positions in an organisation that may only be filled by younger people when the current incumbents retire (or die).

10a  Not suitable footwear for office? There may be reversal of policy (4-4)
{FLIP-FLOP} – double definition, the second a reversal of policy or u-turn.

11a  Article in temporary accommodation? One isn’t in one’s own home (6)
{TENANT} – insert a two-character indefinite article in temporary accommodation.

12a  Sailor with raincoat that may get run over by car (6)
{TARMAC} – a charade of a nickname for a sailor and an abbreviation for a raincoat.

14a  Take away area for vehicle to reverse on (8)
{SUBTRACT} – a public service vehicle gets reversed ahead of a large area of land.

16a  Susan collects watch maybe when retiring, being honourably discharged (8) (paper clue)
{EMERITUS} – this all seemed fine when I solved it (an abbreviated form of Susan containing what a watch is an example of, all reversed). It was only when I came to write the hint that I realised that it doesn’t work – proof that you see what you expect to see.

16a Retired Australians conducting strange rite (8) (amended clue on-line)
Some Australian birds with an anagram (strange) of RITE inside.

19a  Religious leader, one installed in new chapel not English (6)
{CALIPH} – an anagram (new) of CHAP(e)L without the E(nglish) has I (one, in Roman numerals) installed inside it.

21a  What may give some partners no rest (6)
{SNORES} – superb semi-all-in-one where the definition is the whole clue and the answer is hidden (some).

23a  Some birds showed aggression to others (8)
{BITTERNS} – when these birds are split (3,5) you get a phrase meaning attacked seabirds.

25a  Repeated noise from ranter, bore I’ve beaten up! (13)
{REVERBERATION} – an anagram (beaten up) of RANTER BORE I’VE.

26a  Most pure little man facing trial (8)
{CHASTEST} – this superlative seems somewhat clunky and I’m not sure that it would ever be used in practice. Start with an abbreviated forename (that of the heir to the throne, perhaps) and add a trial or examination.

27a  Sportsperson‘s message against making UK republic (6)
{KEEPER} – this is a footballer or cricketer with a specific role. If you split it (4,2) it could be a  slogan used by monarchists in the UK.

Down Clues

2d  Mark called around to entertain this writer (7)
{CEDILLA} – this is a mark written under the letter C in some French words to indicate that it should be pronounced as an S rather than a K (it’s also used in various other languages, notably Turkish). It’s an anagram (around) of CALLED containing the subjective pronoun which the setter would use to refer to himself.

3d  Walk quietly, following vehicle (5)
{TRAMP} – the abbreviation for quietly in musical notation follows a public service vehicle.

4d  Firm and politician within the law or sharing guilt? (9)
{COMPLICIT} – string together the abbreviation for a firm or company, the abbreviation for an elected politician and an adjective meaning legal or within the law.

5d  Worker with little power in time is becoming so much the worse (4,3)
{TANT PIS} – this is a phrase, from French, meaning so much the worse. In the same way that coup de grâce gets rendered humorously as lawnmower this phrase could be translated as ‘aunt is taking a comfort break’. Insert the usual working insect and P(ower) between T(ime) and IS (from the clue).

6d  At university group creates disorder (5)
{UPSET} – the adverb meaning at university is followed by a synonym for group or clique.

7d  Don’s cruel, wicked, nasty bit of work (9)
{SCOUNDREL} – Giovanni is surely not referring to himself with this anagram (wicked) of DON’S CRUEL.

8d  Element that would be disastrous for skin care (not potassium) (7)
{ARSENIC} – an anagram (would be disastrous) of S(k)IN CARE without the chemical symbol for potassium.

13d  Foreign noblemen are cemetery vandals maybe! (9)
{MARGRAVES} – these German noblemen when split (3,5) could mean to inflict damage on parts of a cemetery.

15d  Reverse decision to sponsor part of athletics stadium (9)
{BACKTRACK} – as (4,5) this could mean to support financially part of an athletics stadium.

17d  Grumble, needing to remove a roguish head of state (7)
{MONARCH} – a charade of a verb to grumble with the A removed and an adjective meaning roguish or artful.

18d  It’s liable to be a part of the curriculum (7)
{SUBJECT} – double definition, the first an adjective meaning liable or likely to be affected by.

20d  Religious act of writer joining an established church (7)
{PENANCE} – a charade of a writing implement, AN (from the clue) and the abbreviation for the established church in England.

22d  Merry frolic of runner in Berlin (5)
{SPREE} – double definition, the second the name of Berlin’s river.

24d  Priest coming down on the heartless people of superior status (5)
{ELITE} – an Old Testament priest precedes (coming down on, in a down clue) T(h)E (heartless, i.e. without its middle).

My favourite clues today were 21a, 27a and 7d. Which ones tickled your fancy?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {BEAU} + {CHARRED} = {BOATYARD}

69 comments on “DT 27156

  1. Correction fluid went on my answer to 16a, then I wrote it back in again later, when I realised that the clue was perhaps incorrect.
    Apart from that, no real difficulty, and very enjoyable.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza.

  2. An enjoyable puzzle. We did wonder about 16a. There was nothing to indicate that the middle bit was an anagram, it read as if it were a straight reversal in the clue. Was it a mistake that slid past the editors, or are we missing something? Reckon the answer to 10 across should be “jandals” but couldn’t make them fit. An Aussie would try “thongs” in the same squares. Discovered where the missing queen had gone from yesterday’s puzzle. The Don had borrowed her for 27a answer. All good fun.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

    1. I read ‘maybe’ as an anagram indicator for ‘timer’ (for watch) inside ‘Susan (Sue) when retiring’. Don’t remember ever wearing only one flip-flop to the office though (10A)

  3. So what is the indicator for an anagram of a synonym ? Must say I didn’t notice, but did have to lookup emeritus as I thought it meant past.
    All in all very enjoyable, margrave did cause some angst though.

    Thanks to the two Gs.

    1. There is no indicator for an anagram of a synonym as they are not allowed in most crosswords. Giovanni would never entertain the merest hint of a suspicion of an indirect anagram in a clue.

  4. 16a
    ok with me- a shortened form of susan around (collects) what a watch or clock is ‘maybe’ could also be anagram indicator and then reversed(retiring)

  5. Yet another excellent puzzle from The Don. Hadn’t heard the French phrase before, but was solvable from the clue.

    Clue of the day has to be 27A – very clever indeed.

    Off to re-felt the shed, had a bit of wind bother yesterday (and no, it wasn’t caused by the chilli I had for dinner)

  6. Thank you Giovanni, a bit easier than last week I thought, but enjoyable. Thank you Gazza for your review. I must admit I was struggling with “merit” or “tirem” but put the answer in anyway !

  7. The clue for 16a in the paper is in error. If we had to make an anagram of timer that would be an indirect anagram (which Giovanni would never use). It’s meant to be a reversal but it doesn’t work.
    A revised clue has now been put on the on-line site (see my revised blog above).

  8. 43 years after O level french I still remember the phrase that gave me 5d. Also my schoolboy french gave me 2d. Not bad considering my exam results spelled out F.U.D.G.E.
    Pity I never studied German (well there was once one girl) because I had never heard of 13d before.
    Thanks to Ray T yesterday and The Don today for giving us a bit of a workout.
    Thanks to all who run this page and all who comment. Even Brian who so bravely struggles along.
    Have a good weekend.

    1. I don’t think studying German would help as you tend not to be told about noblemen when you study languages

  9. Most enjoyable. I usually struggle with The Don but today was fairly straightforward. For any one interested Falcon is on show at the FT. Another delight which I’ve printed off to look forward to over the weekend.

  10. A superb workout today. I do the crossword on my iPad so 16a was no problem. I studied German (and French) at university but I hadn’t heard of 13d.
    I love 21a even though (or perhaps because) I hadn’t spotted the hidden word before reading the hints. So clever!
    **/**** for me. Thank you Gazza and Giovanni!

  11. Thanks to Giovanni for a very very enjoyable crossword and to Gazza for the clues which I did not need but always fun to read. That was a cracker

  12. Excellent today,though a new cryptic recruit would have given up in despair.A bit like a return to the grammer school classroom with chemistry and languages rife and a tad of biology thrown in, a **/**** for me-i did’nt spot the flaw in 16a either.Lightly fades the Don, and thanks to Gaza for the pics-liked the Caliph! was that from an arabian nights book?

    1. Not sure where the picture came from, but it is meant to be the caliph of Baghdad, Harun ar-Rashid, who featured prominently in the Arabian Nights stories.

  13. Unusually for me a 1* difficulty Giovanni which definitely tickled my fancy – although I must admit to being as dyslexic as our setter as I didn’t spot the error in 16a until it was pointed out to me – the poor old brain definitely sees what it wants to see rather than what should be there to fit the wordplay.

    Thanks to both the Gs – I agree with Gazza’s ratings and his favourites.

    The Toughie is one of those where a first read of the clues makes you groan but turns out not to be half as difficult as you might imagine – although the toughest toughie in a very softie week. Well that’s what I think anyway.

  14. Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza, it’s nice to see that even Giovanni can make the odd mistake, gives one hope. Very enjoyable romp. Agree with Cs re the Elkamere.

  15. It must be just me, then! I found this very hard going today and although I finished without hints I wasn’t too happy. I did like 8D and 27A very much, though. As always, I do appreciate both the setter and reviewer. I couldn’t do what you do!

  16. Great fun….a great week…mojo firmly back. Thanks to setter and Gazza. Not 100% convinced about 10 as I’ve worked for several West Coast US companies where flip-flops seemed de rigeur!

  17. Am pleased to have finished what I thought to be a very poor crossword, with one or two quite dreadful clues. Sometimes one feels very satisfied after solving – I can’t say that I feel much satisfaction today though. That apart, it’s been quite an entertaining week of puzzles. Thank you to all the ‘setters’.

  18. Excellent puzzle. The european flavour got me, 40Plus years since I did French and then not sure I came across 5d and my German wasn’t so hot either, those are the ones I needed the hints for. Glad someone else made the flip flip joke so I didn’t have to. Really enjoyed 9a 25a. 12a reminded me of the old chestnut ‘you got a light mac’ – ‘nope a dark grey over coat’.

  19. I found this a bit more difficult than 2* but not concentrating very well – our little collie had a stroke yesterday evening and I’m just too miserable to think about anything else. She’s not too bad – all arms and legs seem to work but won’t do what she wants them to do so she keeps falling over and bumping into things. Just back from vet – all we can do is wait and see. :sad:
    I didn’t notice the mistake in 16a – just assumed that the ‘maybe’ meant that it was an anagram of ‘timer’.
    I’d never heard the 5d French expression but eventually guessed and looked it up. Never heard of 13d either so did the same. I didn’t know the Berlin river.
    I liked 21 and 23a and 7, 15 and 18d – well, I liked them as much as I’m going to like anything today. :sad: again.
    With thanks to Giovanni and gazza.

    1. Hi Kath,
      Best wishes for a full recovery for your little collie.
      It’s worth remembering that neither Giovanni nor any other reputable setter would use an indirect anagram in a clue, i.e. he wouldn’t expect you to get from clock to timer, then make an anagram of that. If he’d wanted you to make an anagram of timer he have put ‘timer’ in the clue.

    2. Thanks gazza, Heno and Annidrum,
      Just back from a short walk with her – well, rather more a reel than a walk – she looks a bit drunk and clearly feels very silly!

      I always forget that indirect anagrams are a no-no and didn’t really have my wits about me properly this morning anyway.

    3. Soryy to hear about your dog. We had a similar problem with ours recently but it turned out to be labrynthal fortunately (but no thanks to mis-diagnosis by the vet).

      1. Thanks – we wondered about that too but she did something similar (but very briefly) a few days ago which probably points to a stroke. She also has a twitchy eye – makes her look as if she’s winking all the time – maybe she is!!

        1. Sorry about your collie, Kath. Something similar happened to our 14 year old collie a few months ago. Thought it was a stroke, but vet diagnosed it as Vestibular Syndrome- the eye twitching (nystagmus) is typical apparently. Anyway, with a lot of nursing and feeding by hand, (she wouldn’t eat from her bowl,) she was very much better after 3 weeks. Hope this info. helps and your collie gets better soon.

          1. Thank you SO much – that’s really encouraging. Our collie (Annie) is also nearly 14. She is still eating – we have yet to find anything that stops her (unless it’s far too much far too long dead deer that she found on a walk a month or two ago!)
            Thanks again.

    4. A quick PS – thanks also to BD who doesn’t seem to mind his crossword blog being hijacked occasionally for other ‘stuff’! :smile:

  20. Thanks to the two G’s, a very nice puzzle, but a bit obscure in parts. Never heard of 5d or 13d, got held up in the SW corner, needed 4 hints to finish. Favourites were 12a and 2&8d. Was 3*/3* for me. Roll on Summer, if we’re going to get one!! It’s still chilly out there.

  21. A good deal harder than last week.What remains of my school french doesn’t include 2d or 5d.I thought my vocabulary was just too inadequate for cryptics until I read the hints. No school german but remembered the spree.Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  22. Loved it! Didn’t know 5d or 13d but was able to work out the answers from checking letters . Thanks to Giovanni & gazza.

  23. Yes, a very enjoyable and educational test today with geography added to Beaver’s list above, as I had never heard of the River Spree. Mrs. Z would have got 21a in a heartbeat! With thanks to G&G.

      1. The river in Berlin is definitely the Spree. Are you thinking of the Graf Spee, the German battleship which was sunk in Montevideo in WWII ?

  24. An exceedingly enjoyable puzzle from Giovanni!

    Faves : 9a, 16a, 23a, 27a, 2d, 5d, 13d & 22d.

    Gazza, I don’t agree that 16a does not work!

    Weather here in NL again very sunny and yesterday’s gale has vamoosed!

    Roast chicken tonight with Rubella from Lazio!

    1. Derek – 16a – The Don has admitted his mistake. (See comment #9 above.)

      The dinner sounds nice!

      (BD: Tried the Permalink but failed – is it me?)

        1. Permalink? I have used it successfully before, but not today …

          … a way of leaving a link to a previous comment (I think)?

      1. Yes I saw Giovanni’s comment but I still maintain that the clue is OK because of the similarity of “timer” and “merit”.

        If a professor retires with merit he or she becomes emeritus.

    2. Derek,
      It’s easy to miss the fact that it doesn’t work. If you insert TIMER in SUE you get SU..TIMER..E – reversing it gets you EREMITUS rather than EMERITUS.

      1. Gazza – it is Sue that is reversed not timer and there is also the maybe for the watch!

        1. The maybe is there to indicate that clock is just one example of a timer. Giovanni has confirmed that the original clue does not work.

            1. Gazza,
              Are you familiar with the WWII phrase ” Bugger You Jack I’m All Right”?.

              This is the kind of answer one gives to an unfinished discussion!

  25. The expression “going on the spree” comes from Berliners going for an enjoyable trip on their city’s river.

  26. Enjoyable apart from 26a. Can’t think anyone would ever use a word like that – even the intelligentest person. I too did not realise there was any prolbem with 16a.

  27. 5d. I’m a tad sceptical about using non English expressions without a clue that it is a foreign expression, or am I naive? Thanks!

    1. If an expression has made it into Chambers (which tant pis has) then it’s probably acceptable to use it without indicating that it’s foreign. The dividing line between what’s foreign and what is now used in English otherwise becomes very difficult. For example would you classify kindergarten as a foreign word now?

      1. Gazza, have you ever said tant pis, outside the schoolroom or have you ever heard anyone else say it?If you have, it prompts the old line “Pretentious ? Moi ?”.

          1. to be honest I have been trying desperately to squeeze it into conversation , today with the french teachers in my school, but so far have failed.

  28. I came to the sad realization last week that I no longer have access to the National Post on-line through which I have been getting the cryptic puzzle for more years than I remember.
    An email to the post revealed that due to recent changes in subscription privileges, subscribers to other papers in this media groups lineups will no longer be granted automatic access to their other e-papers but instead are offering a bundled subscription through additional fees. Seems a steep price for a measly daily crossword.
    Does anyone know where I can get the daily cryptic without having to spend $99.00 to $250.00 for additional subscriptions?

    1. Hi Alatendre – welcome to the blog.

      You can get all the Daily Telegraph puzzles on the day of publication in the UK by subscribing to this site.. The cost of an annual subscription is about 55 Canadian dollars (if my conversion from sterling is correct). You can get a 7-day free trial to see if you like it before you subscribe.

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