DT 27174 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27174

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27174

Your Starter for Ten

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BD Rating – Difficulty **/***Enjoyment ****

Giovanni has forsaken (most of) his usual classical and religious references to give us a flavour of (comparatively modern) popular music. I enjoyed it – how about you?

To reveal an answer you’ll need to highlight the hidden text between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Assets in busy London? (7,7)
{WORKING CAPITAL} – double definition, the first the finance needed by a company for its day-to-day operations and the second cryptic.

9a  Soldier, say, in wild rural parts (7)
{REGULAR} – insert the abbreviation for ‘say’ or for example between the two parts of an anagram (wild) of RURAL.

10a  I perform full of energy in shed, somewhere to escape to (7)
{HIDEOUT} – another way of saying ‘I perform’ (1,2) contains (full of) E(nergy) then that goes inside a shed.

11a  Has ancient thing on head, front of head (4)
{HATH} – this is the old third person singular form of the verb to have. The thing that goes on your head is followed by the first letter (front) of H(ead).

12a  Nasty creatures endlessly by small room, one providing food (10)
{VERMICELLI} – string together a) nasty creatures without their final N, b) a small room and c) I (one).

14a  Crawl in small wood by lake (6)
{GROVEL} – a small group of trees followed by L(ake).

15a  Lots of fuel for the fire to make you appreciative? (8)
{GRATEFUL} – cryptically how you might describe an abundance of wood, say, in the container for your open fire.

17a  Cut some meat quickly! (4-4)
{CHOP-CHOP} – a verb to cut followed by a thick slice of meat.

18a  Someone on an errand, it’s said, for wood for Ark (6)
{GOPHER} – this is a type of wood from which Noah’s Ark is supposed to have been made. It sounds like (it’s said) a junior member of staff employed to run errands.

21a  Silver seal given special display in palace (10)
{VERSAILLES} – an anagram (given special display) of SILVER SEAL.

22a  Press  club (4)
{IRON} – double definition, the first a verb and the second a noun. If this is the first time you’ve seen this clue (or a slight variation thereof) then you’re probably a newcomer to cryptic crosswords.

24a  I am sort of fish — little hesitation to be a drinker (7)
{IMBIBER} – a charade of the contracted form of ‘I am’, a fish of the cod family and a small word indicating hesitation.

25a  Small child‘s refusal to go to Disney film (7)
{BAMBINO} – a word of refusal goes after a Disney film.

26a  Member of group, nasty ogre, he being imprisoned in fortress (6,8)
{GEORGE HARRISON} – an anagram (nasty) of OGRE HE is contained (imprisoned) in an army fortress.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

Down Clues

1d  Animal with a growth that looks horrible (7)
{WARTHOG} – a semi-all-in-one with the whole clue being the definition. It’s an anagram (that looks horrible) of A GROWTH.

2d  Abhorrent ghoul I suspect will get a title demanding respect (5,10)
{RIGHT HONOURABLE} – an anagram (suspect) of ABHORRENT GHOUL I.

3d  Ailments kill some but not all (4)
{ILLS} – hidden (not all) in the clue.

4d  Elton (as he was!) turns up full of skill in band (6)
{GARTER} – you need to know Elton John’s real name for this. Reverse (turns up) the abbreviated forename and insert a synonym for skill or talent.

5d  Palace issuing false alarm — bah! (8)
{ALHAMBRA} – this Moorish palace in Granada is an anagram (false) of ALARM BAH.

6d  Justification when leader’s ignored sign (10)
{INDICATION} – a word meaning justification or exoneration with its leading letter ignored.

7d  Enjoyable life that bears much fruit (1,4,2,8)
{A BOWL OF CHERRIES} – this phrase meaning a very pleasant existence is, literally, a dish containing fruit.

8d  As one chooses a material (2,4)
{AT WILL} – split the answer (1,5) to get a woven fabric.

13d  Retirement accommodation in which former quizmaster entertains journalist companion (10)
{BEDCHAMBER} – the wordplay here is a bit tricky for those not brought up on University Challenge. We want the forename of the original question master, inside which go the abbreviations for a senior journalist and an honoured companion.

16d  With absence of duty, see number of people dying for nothing (4-4)
{TOLL-FREE} – a word used for the number of deaths from a natural or man-made disaster is followed by ‘for nothing’.

17d  Collapse of once-famous Liverpool club, one not right (4,2)
{CAVE IN} – start with the name of the club where 26a and his mates played and replace the R(ight) with I (one in Roman numerals).

19d  Crumbling  rubbish (3-4)
{RUN-DOWN} – double definition, the second (with a space rather than the hyphen) is a phrasal verb meaning to rubbish or disparage.

20d  Rabies may come from foreign country (6)
{SERBIA} – an anagram (may come from) of the answer gives you RABIES.

23d  Cockney’s pigeon gets some corn (4)
{OMER} – in Crosswordland Cockneys invariably drop their aitches. So drop the H from a racing pigeon to leave the Hebrew word for a sheaf of corn presented as an offering on the second day of Passover. This was my last answer as I was originally looking for some rhyming slang.

My favourites today were 11a and 1d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {ADIEU} + {DROP} = {A DEWDROP} {unless you can think of anything better!}

53 comments on “DT 27174

  1. Didn’t get 23d even with the link letters (and looking it up!) so thanks for your help. Everything else fairly straightforward and enjoyable.


    1. Thanks Ray. It’s already updated thanks to a nudge from Crypticsue. I don’t like it much because I don’t pronounce adieu anything like a dew.
      Your comment needed moderation because you’ve changed your email address.

  2. I thought this was very good today. 3*/4.5* for me.
    Many thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza.

    I thought the toughie was very good as well, although it took me a few visits to complete.

      1. Thanks Micah – see my reply to Ray Crawford above. Your comments needed moderation because you were previously Bob.

  3. What a relief after yesterday! **/**** for this very enjoyable puzzle. Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for his hints. I much prefer the picture of the garter to the warthog.

    23d is new word for me and was my last one in.

  4. With 23d, we worked out what we thought it should be from the word-play and then found it in BRB. Lots of good clues. Favourite probably 18a which had to be dredged from the very depths of memory storage. Probably retained because it sounds such an unlikely name for a wood. No major hold-ups and a lot of enjoyment.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  5. Really enjoyed this one, completed almost unaided in record time (for me)!
    Your assumption re 22a is correct but as a golfing domestic engineer, I should have got it. I liked 26a best. A reminder of one of the best, yet sometimes under-appreciated guitarists of the 60’s onwards.

    1. ….it’s was very sad that his life ended so soon – but I always thought he was over-rated as a guitarist!

  6. Thanks to the two G’s. Enjoyed this one a lot, no major problems. Favourites were 26a & 23d. Was 3″/4* for me. Off on the Severn Valley Railway now.

  7. I agree with today’s ratings. Very nice end to the week… Apart from the weather! Regards to all.

  8. Took quite a while to parse 13d after completion .Faves 15a,16d,4d.
    Very enjoyable as is the Toughie .
    Thanks very much .

    1. Re 13d, you have to be a bit long in the tooth to remember Bamber on University Challange

  9. I really enjoyed this – agree with gazza’s rating.
    I thought it was going to be one of Giovanni’s terrors when I first started but it wasn’t, although I did get myself into a terrible pickle with 26a and 13d. The first word of 1a took a little while – capital was obviously going to be one of the two parts but I wasn’t sure whether it was going to be capital something or something capital. I can’t spell 21a but at least I know I can’t so always look it up. 18a came to me, eventually, just out of the blue, as did Elton’s name. I’ve never heard of the 24a fish or the 23a measure of corn.
    Too many good clues today to bore you all with my lengthy list.
    I think the lovely piccies of Bambi, George Harrison, Versailles and the Alhambra more than make up for the ugly 1d beast!
    With thanks to Giovanni and gazza.

  10. What a little smasher, thanks Giovanni, I now know what timber Noah’s ark was made of.
    Nice to see “Fat Reg” mentioned, along with George Harrison.
    Cheers Gazza, hope you & all your readers have a restful week end.

  11. The quickie pun reminds me of the story of the old lady who often had a drip on the end of her nose and was very embarrassed by it. When having people for dinner one evening she asked her butler to notice when it happened and to alert her to it by telling her that Johnson was at the door. He did this several times but she was too busy talking to take any notice of him. Eventually he just said “I’m terribly sorry madam but Johnson seems to have fallen into the soup”!

  12. A very nice puzzle today with no hints needed.My favourites today were 12A 15A & 13D.Many thanks to gazza for review, im now going to put on while my guitar gently weeps & saturdays alright for fighting.

    1. @ Graham
      Yes – Elton John, the only football club chairman to publicly approve of post-match violence.

  13. Agree with the rating, most enjoyable,been a good week.Like many last in was 23a, guessed the answer when all the letters were in and the way a cockney would drop his H on a homing pigeon, clue could have said the way a cockney would address Bart Simpson’s dad! good pics Gazza.City for the cup!

  14. Lovely stuff! 12A, 18A and 13D were favorites for me. 23D was a new word. I think it took me as lost as long to work out why my answer to 16D was correct as it did to fill in the rest of the grid! Many thanks to the stter for the fun and to Gazza for the review.

    Can someone explain what the quickie pun is all about? Are there clues in the puzzle?

    1. The solutions of the first two across clues of the Quick Crossword (and sometimes the third and even fourth clues) always form a pun when read out loud. Sometimes they are clear, sometimes you need an odd accent, and sometimes, like today, you need a couple of bloggers to decide what our setter meant us to groan at.

      1. Thanks! Mr.Expat does the quickie. I will have to wait to have a look at it since he’s a late riser. I will look out for the puns from now on!

        1. Re quickie puns:

          A very old favourite from the Eighties was
          (1) Capital of Ireland
          (2) Frozen plain.

          Now see if you can pronouce “Dublin tundra” to make it “double entendre” :-)

  15. Usual excellent Friday offering from the Don.
    Learnt a new word in Omer and that the ark was ace from Gopher wood.
    Best clue for me was 12a, very clever.
    What a relied after yesterday’s horror.
    Many Thx to the Maestro and to the hinter (!) which were not needed today.

  16. Most enjoyable. Like Kath I thought I was going to have a bit of a battle but delighted to work my way through without any ‘artificial aids’ in a respectable time to boot. Real sense of achievement.

  17. Great puzzle to end the week, very enjoyable with a few DOH! moments and some very straight forward 14a,18a – had a chuckle at 17a. Didnot get 23d at all until I read the hint, (the only one I needed) always thought Homer was either a Greek Poet or a resident of Springfield, so you learn something every day.

  18. All good fun. Favourites were 15a, 7d, 8d and 13d. Had never heard of the corn but was confident enough re cockney pigeon to put in the answer quite early on. Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the write up.

  19. Apart from having a completely mad attempt to fit George Washington into 26a (for absolutely no reason at all :oops: ) I thoroughly enjoyed this, with too many choices as favourites (can one have more than one favourite, or is that a poor use of english?). So many thanks to the setter, and to Gazza for super hints. Poor warthog – I’m sure his mother has a proud photo of him on her sideboard! Hope you all have a good weekend.

    1. I completely agree that you can’t have more than one favourite but had a longish ‘conversation’ with someone a while ago (think that it might have been Derek but could SO easily be wrong there) and, although I still think that you and I are right, ended up more or less giving in – you can call me Mrs Unassertive if you like!!
      Pity about the warthog – let’s hope that his Mummy loved him – someone had to.

      1. I’m disappointed that I missed that ‘conversation’… But I definitely wouldn’t want to call you Mrs Unassertive as I was brought up to believe that rigorous debate together with the ability to recognise another’s point of view was a far more elegant way of behaving!! So a smiling wave from me. Hope we meet again one day :-D Kath!

  20. Very enjoyable fare from Giovanni and a very entertaining review from Gazza, many thanks to both.

  21. Hi gazza, thanks for blog, I enjoyed this today, needed your hint for 23d though, lots of lovely clues today :-) , more like March than May here at the moment! Though had a lovely few days in the Gower earlier this week :-D

  22. Enjoyable crossword **/****, and the couple of unknown words had fair wordplay to decipher them.

  23. I love puzzles that make me use the old grey matter & failing memory before resorting to a dictionary and this was one of them. I didn’t understand why 16d was what it was & I had never heard of the corn. I had an lol do’h moment with 26a as I had spotted garrison for the fortress and put it in as the second word ! Thanks Giovanni for a lovely crossword & gazza for the review. **/**** for me.

  24. Slightly more challenging than last week .I knew the word in 23d but never expected to see it in a crossword.I eventually remembered gopher wood, having failed to squeeze cedar in somehow.I needed hints for one or two others as well.Very enjoyable.Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  25. Enjoyed it but defeated by 23d – thank you Giovanni. Thank you Gazza for the 23d explanation. Without your help I would never ever have got it !

  26. Google was very reluctant to spit up “bib” as a fish, had to resort to googling “bib fish” to confirm my answer.

  27. */*** for me.
    It just seemed to suit me and needed no hints at all, except for 18a and still would have had to look it up as the wood was unknown to me…still, could come in useful one day? (the answer that is, not the wood…..)

  28. Managed without hints today. Knowing the Bible references helped. Held up a while because I thought any anagram with the letters ALARM and a B in it should be BALMORAL. finally thought I had it all sussed until I checked the hints and saw the logic behind 1d. I was looking for an `animal` and a `growth` I saw HOG as the animal and WART as the growth and the answer looked horrible so QED!

  29. Thank you Giovanni – a most enjoyable puzzle and very straightforward to solve, though I did have to quadruple check that my last answer in, 23D was correct. I can’t say the same for today’s Quick Crossword though, as I really am struggling to complete that one. Ah well, back to the head scratching.

  30. Spoilt by the obscurity of 23d which meant I would never in a million years finish this without cheating. To get that answer you need to know that homer means the same thing as pigeon, and you also need to know a Hebrew word for corn. All right if you’re a Cockney of Jewish extraction I suppose.

    1. Quite right sunny boy but as you grow older you learn more and more and of course you forget more and more!!!

  31. Solved thus one earlier on but forgot to blog it.
    Consider that Giovanni was on a slightly easier wavelength!

  32. I’m really glad we get the Daily Telegraph puzzle in the National Post a few weeks after it comes out in the U.K. — gives lots of time for clever hints to be posted. I got 12a after a lot of forehead knuckling. Would never have got 23d or 22a without help. 26a was a surprise but the answer came up when I googled, which I didn’t want – wanted a hint instead. That taught me a lesson — don’t google unless you want a spoiler. I’ve got to remember “Britishisms” as well, as in 19d. Thanks from Canada.

    1. Welcome Tom. Glad to hear you are having so much fun with the DT puzzles.

      I expect you know that Falcon who does Thursday blogs from time to time here also has a blog giving hints for Canadian solvers on the day of publication in the National post.


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