DT 27165 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27165

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27165

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where it’s a bright sunny morning, though if the last few days are any guide, it will cloud up later.

A gentle puzzle today which I rattled through in * time. I counted 11 answers which are anagrams or part anagrams, which is quite a lot in 32 clues.

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           Heads of Daily Telegraph maintaining weird stain’s removed (7)
{ DISTANT } The initial letters of Daily Telegraph either side of an anagram (weird) of STAIN.

5a           Company almost attempted to restrict European exclusive circle (7)
{ COTERIE } The abbreviation for company followed by a verb meaning attempted with its final D removed (almost} and European inside.

9a           Peaceful? Turning better if I start to complain (7)
{ PACIFIC } A charade of a verb meaning ‘to better’ reversed (turning), IF (from the clue) and the initial letter of Complain.

10a         Let everyone be indebted to daughter (7)
{ ALLOWED } A synonym of everyone followed by a verb meaning ‘be indebted to’ and Daughter. Note that ‘Let’ here is in the past tense.

11a         Baby plants bit of dad’s heather with twigs around the outside (9)
{ SEEDLINGS } The initial D of dad’s and another word for heather with a verb meaning ‘twigs’ around it.

12a         Hatred from goblin right away (5)
{ SPITE } Remove the R (right away) from a goblin or elf.

13a         Gallery frames second choice (5)
{ TASTE } An art gallery in London with Second inside it.

15a         Cops and Morse drunk, getting Brahms and Liszt? (9)
{ COMPOSERS } Anagram (drunk) of COPS and MORSE.

17a         Disorderly Irish soldier (9)
{ IRREGULAR } An abbreviation for Irish followed by a soldier who’s not a conscript.

19a         Dead  reserved (5)
{ STIFF } Double definition. A slang word for someone who’s dead, and a description of the bearing of a reserved person.

22a         Ready to follow the French language (5)
{ LATIN } The feminine form of the definite article in French, followed by a synonym of ready, where both are slang words for money.

23a         Some feel a Borat episode’s complicated and confusing (9)
{ ELABORATE } Hidden in the clue.

25a         Ecstasy left me in hospital department getting oxygen, say? (7)
{ ELEMENT } The abbreviation for the drug Ecstasy followed by Left and ME (from the clue) inside the usual crossword hospital department.

26a         One runs about spilling gin — it’s a job for the housekeeper? (7)
{ IRONING } A charade of the Roman numeral for one, an abbreviation for Runs, a word for about and an anagram (spilling) of GIN.

27a         Meet, perhaps, without shaking fist (7)
{ SATISFY } A word for perhaps (as in the clue for 25a) outside (without) an anagram (shaking) of FIST.

28a         Determined to get money and set off (7)
{ EARNEST } What you do when you get money by working, followed by an anagram (off) of SET.


1d           Dose working with pet at first, before it’s put down (7)
{ DEPOSIT }Anagram (working) of DOSE and the first letter of P(et), followed by IT (from the clue).

2d           Cusses terribly about Conservative victory (7)
{ SUCCESS } Anagram (terribly) of CUSSES around the initial letter of Conservative.

3d           Permissible to remove large pants (5)
{ AWFUL } Remove the initial L (large) from a word meaning permissible or allowed by law to get a synonym of the modern slang word ‘pants’.

4d           Specialist catch with line at sea (9)
{ TECHNICAL } Anagram (at sea) of CATCH and LINE.

5d           Man’s leggings (5)
{ CHAPS } Leggings worn by cowboys sound like a synonym of Man’s.

6d           Criminal who stalks — they’ll be seen on television (4,5)
{ TALK SHOWS } Anagram (criminal) of WHO STALKS.

7d           Farmer finally runs with it inside sheep pen again (7)
{ REWRITE } The last letter (finally) of FarmeR followed by a female sheep with Runs and IT (from the clue) inside.

8d           Perennial Dawson maybe planted in borders (7)
{ ENDLESS } The first name of the late Mr Dawson inside borders or edges.  I’m not convinced that the wordplay here works.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

14d         Plots in Greene’s novel (9)
{ ENGINEERS } Anagram (novel) of IN GREENE’S.

16d         Soldier on ship eating fish spread (9)
{ MARGARINE } A spread for your bread made up of a soldier who serves on board a naval ship with a pike-like fish inside it.


17d         Tablet has no power with head ailment (7)
{ ILLNESS } Remove the initial P from a word for tablet (no power), and add a landscape feature also known as a head.

18d         Go back and give someone another drink? (7)
{ RETREAT } Double definition, with the emphasis on ‘give’ in the second one.

20d         Fancy Head of Intelligence cracked Enigma (7)
{ IMAGINE } The initial letter of Intelligence followed by an anagram (cracked) of ENIGMA.

21d         What ships hold English in fear? (7)
{ FREIGHT } English inside a noun for fear or scare.

23d         Guard not opening mouth (5)
{ ENTRY } Remove the initial S from someone on guard to get the mouth, of a cave perhaps.

24d         Old, grim smell (5)
{ ODOUR } Old followed by a word for grim.

The Quick Crossword pun { PASTOR }{ WEIGH } = { PASSED AWAY }

48 comments on “DT 27165

  1. Quite a different style of cluing from yesterday’s Rufus, but still one that we enjoy. Lots of bits and pieces to be put together to build up the answers. Our last in and favourite was 7d. took a while to work out that sheep and pen did not go together. Felt like a Shamus offering to us. Not tricky but fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron and DT.

  2. I think the setter was very lenient with this one, as I got through it in less than 1* time, which doesn’t happen very often.
    I did enjoy the puzzle; thanks to setter, and to Deep Threat for the notes.

    For those who want more of a challenge, I thought the toughie was enjoyable today.

  3. I didn’t need the hints today, but I did need the explanation as to why the obvious answer for 3D was correct. And I still have absolutely no idea where ‘pants’ comes into it! Is this a particularly British slang word, or am I being particularly dense?

    1. We got caught with the same word a couple of months ago so remembered it for this time. Yes Eng slang. It is in BRB.

      1. Took me a while to figure out “yoof” and was about to google when the penny dropped; as in “elf and safety”

    2. A comment overheard from a conversation between two teenage girls “I need some new bras – all mine are pants”!

    3. Thanks all! A trip to the Urban dictionary on line sorted it out. I’ve never heard that expression before. It’s very odd, but as Skempie says, it’s a yoof thing. Thanks to DT and the setter, before I forget my manners. I’m finding the Toughie much more fun, though…so far, that is.

  4. Agreed – less than a one stopper (that used to be a two stopper but the train misses out Higham now!. Thanks to Deep Threat and the setter

  5. I agree completely with DT */*** but too many part/full anagrams. No hints needed except to unravel my bafflement as to how the second part of 22a could be clued from “ready”.

    Thanks to the setter and to DT.

  6. Possibly the easiest crossword I’ve ever seen in The Telegraph, very much a read and write puzzle for me. Some fairly nice cluing though, I really liked 16D.

    Will be standing over my crop of dandelions today shouting ‘Die, die !!’

  7. Satisfying puzzle but over too quickly. 15a my favourite. Thanks Deep Threat although I doubt many people will need hints today

  8. I agree with DT on the ratings although, for some reason, it took me a while to get on the right wave length today.
    I couldn’t untangle 7d for a ridiculously long time – my last one in. I spent a few minutes trying to make 15a an anagram meaning drunk because of the cockney rhyming slang of the last bit of the clue – if there’s an obvious trap I always fall into it.
    I liked 11 and 19a and 2, 3 and 5d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and Deep Threat.
    Lovely sunny morning but a few clouds turning up now. The front page of one of the tabloids (can’t remember which one) is muttering about England heading for another drought. :roll:

  9. And there it was done all too quickly. 23a took a minute however until I realised Id spelt 16d with an E. Otherwise I’m glad I reread 15a and didn’t put Endeavour.

  10. I agree with the ratings and thought it was an enjoyable workout. 3d confused me too until I remembered that while pants means awful, awful doesn’t mean pants as in knickers! Thanks to setter and to Deep Threat and while I did not need the hints I did welcome a couple of explanations!

  11. It seemed like there were loads of anagrams or part anagrams today.

    I made the big mistake of assuming that 16d was ‘Marmalade’ because when I see the word ‘spread’ I automatically assume ‘Marmalade’ – this obviously led to problems with 26a – it was only after a lot of head scratching and finally resulting to reading the clue correctly that I realised my mistake – what a fool!

  12. I think I might have mentioned it before, but I like anagrams, so really enjoyed this puzzle, agree with the rating.

    Thanks to DT for the review.

    Thanks to the setter.

    Looking at the forecast, looks as if this BH weekend could be quite pleasant..unlikely, probably snow.

  13. Can’t help but notice that the BD website has started caning my processor recently – Firefox runs at 50% and IE permanently sucks around 20% of CPU usage. Are the there some rogue adverts or scripts causing this I wonder? Even the festive snow flakes only consumed a small bit of juice. The Firefox usage actually makes the page scrolling really slow.

    1. Firefox always runs high on cpu usage, and IE isn’t even worth considering. Try using Chrome, its much more manageable.

      1. I switched to chrome recently and previous weird problems were solved.However my laptop pops up with messages that my disc space is low, whatever that means.

      1. Hmmmm. Seems better now. FF is still using 5-10% whereas on the BBC for example, once loaded the page uses 0%. Could be a Flash thing with one of the adverts.

        Anyway, dead easy today – thanks.

  14. I think I might be in Staffordshire. I am sitting in the taproom of The Beacon Hotel having just finished. Cheese and onion batch, a packet of crisps, a half pint of Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby and today’s crossword all at about the same time. Life is so good sometimes.

    1. Why the “I think”? Although administratively Sedgely is now in Dudley Metropolitan Borough, historically it’s always been part of Staffordshire.

      How’s the beer? And how are you coping with the foreign language? :-)

  15. My, that was over quickly! After an easier-than-par start to the week, what are the odds on a real stinker before the end???

    15A made me smile, and 22A took rather longer than it should have :-)

  16. A simple romp through crossword land, thanks to the setter for a fun solve and to DT for a fun review.

  17. Having struggled on the golf course, it was good to have an easy one today. Thx to DT for confirming the slang meaning of tin.

  18. Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A nice puzzle, took me a while, but no real problems. Finished in the NW corner with 11a. Was 2*/3* for me.
    Favourites were 7&16d, and enjoyed the misdirection in 8d, was thinking of a plant for some time. A lovely morning for a run in Central London, hope to go again tomorrow.

  19. I agree with the ratings today and unusually for me I didn’t have to use a dictionary ,although it took a little while to remember the yoof ‘s meaning of pants.

  20. The DT Cryptics seem to be getting easier and easier and easier …

    … Sunday – easiest Virgilius ever (?) …
    … Monday – no problems with yesterday’s Rufus (I normally get stuck somewhere) …
    … Today – read the clue – write the solution.

    (Whereas, I needed help from a certain blogger to explain a few clues in yesterday’s Guardian Quiptic, which is supposed to be for beginners).

  21. Thank you setter and DT for your review. Enjoyable and finished in what has become holiday mode of half at breakfast and half at lunch break. Still lovely weather in Suffolk, but cold wind on the coast.

  22. Dear DT.
    Please make the backpage harder so we don’t start to think we are better than we really are.
    Thank you, DT.
    Are we being softened up for Thursday?
    Thanks to the setter and the other DT.

  23. If this is a one star for difficulty, then I am giving up crosswords. Its at least a 3 star if not a four. Complicated clues and mixed anagrams ( a pet hate of mine, anagrams are tough enough without having to mix and match).
    For me a horrible puzzle.

  24. Pleasant solve on this festive day in NL – vide infra!

    Faves : 9a, 22a, 25a, 27a, 3d, 7d, 16d & 21d.

    Beautiful sunny day for the accessional ceremonies for Willem Alexander – Nederland now has a king after 123 years of queens.

  25. The blog always comes through fast and true on the iPhone 4S on broadband, and only a little slower on 3G on the train. (East Midlands Trains), which are notorious for poor phone signals. Have to admit i seem to need the hints a lot more than most of you out there, so am very glad of the iPhone, and to all contributors for helping the journey home pass so enjoyably.

  26. Like most didn’t need the hints today (unusual for me) but it was still worth it for the Les Dawson clip. Had me in tears. Thanks.

  27. I have never finished one so quickly. Lots of anagrams, yes, basic but well structured word play and the answers were largely pretty mainstream words. I write crosswords like this when I’m training someone in the basic rules.

    So who was the setter, do we know?

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