DT 27177 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27177

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27177

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs, where it’s bright but chilly this morning, with lots of rain forecast for later.  Did you enjoy the summer we had over the Bank Holiday weekend?

I found this comfortably inside ** time, with only a couple of clues which gave pause for thought.

In the hints below, 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           Security  man often taken on board (4)
{ PAWN } Double definition.  The security for a loan from a particular sort of lender, and a chess piece.


3a           Dream is to settle in part of New York (4,6)
{ LONG ISLAND } A charade of a word for dream or yearn, IS (from the clue), and a verb meaning to settle, especially on coming ashore.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

9a           A cat — ounce? (4)
{ ATOM } Ounce in the sense of something very small.  A (from the clue) followed by a male cat.

10a         Offend a tar, at sea, running along the length of the ship (4-3-3)
{ FORE-AND-AFT } Anagram (at sea) of OFFEND A TAR.

11a         Start to comprehend socially acceptable English dance (7)
{ BEGUINE } A verb meaning to start with a single letter for socially acceptable inside it (comprehended), and followed by English.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

13a         Popular leader, one in France entering race (7)
{ TRIBUNE } The French word for ‘one’ inside a race or people.

14a         Child our chums ragged close to orphanage, poor creature (6,5)
{ CHURCH MOUSE } An abbreviation for child followed by an anagram (ragged) of OUR CHUMS and the last letter (close) of orphanage.

18a         Bedside tables near the most original of teddy bears (11)
{ NIGHTSTANDS } A charade of a synonym of near, the first letter (most original) of Teddy, and a verb meaning bears or endures.

21a         Dessert made by graduate after dance (3,4)
{ RUM BABA } A Latin American dance followed by the letters after the name of someone with a first degree in an Arts subject.

22a         Nearly phone agent over love song (7)
{ CALYPSO }  A charade of the first three letters (nearly) of a four-letter verb for phone, a secret agent reversed (over), and the letter which looks like a love score at tennis.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

23a         Thoroughly popular at all times? Surely not! (4,1,5)
{ WELL I NEVER } The answer is an exclamation. But split (4,2,4) it reads as two words meaning thoroughly popular and one meaning at all times.

24a         Talk about bowler, say (4)
{ CHAT } One of the abbreviations of the Latin word meaning about or approximately, followed by the item of headwear of which a bowler is an example.

25a         Fails to secure backer somewhere in America (3,7)
{ LOS ANGELES } A verb meaning fails with a theatrical backer inside it gives us a Californian city.

26a         Piece of jewellery getting most of attention (4)
{ STUD } Remove the final Y from a noun meaning attention or application of the mind.


1d           Listen to recording, and give pound in refund (4,4)
{ PLAY BACK } Put the abbreviation for a pound sterling inside a verb (3,4) meaning to refund.

2d           With over furlong vandalised, it’s criminal (8)
{ WRONGFUL } With, in front of (over, in a Down clue) an anagram (vandalised) of FURLONG.

4d           Invigorating air round region (5)
{ OZONE } A round letter followed by a region or area makes an allotropic form of oxygen (we used to be told you got lots of this at the seaside, but now it all seems to be in a layer over the polar regions).

5d           Relative‘s guarded, initially, about a gibe (5-4)
{ GREAT-AUNT }  The first letter (initially) of Guarded, the Latin word for about or concerning, A (from the clue) and a gibe or provocation.

6d           Being soppy, drove one crazy (11)
{ SENTIMENTAL } A charade of a verb  meaning drove, the Roman numeral for one, and an informal word for crazy.

7d           A taxi brought over American? You can count on it! (6)
{ ABACUS } A (from the clue), another word for taxi reversed (brought over), and the letters used to indicate an American

8d           Hesitate, tired out crossing top of hill (6)
{ DITHER } Anagram (out) of TIRED with the first letter of Hill inside it.

12d         With it, can French actor reverse negative spell? (11)
{ INCANTATION } A charade of a word meaning ‘with it’, CAN (from the clue), the French actor who featured in M Hulot’s Holiday, and the reverse of a word meaning to negative something.

15d         College publication — leaden, unfortunately (9)
{ MAGDALENE } A Cambridge college comes from a shortened form of a periodical publication and an anagram (unfortunately) of LEADEN.

16d         Crack marksman  still (8)
{ SNAPSHOT } Double definition: a crack shot, and a photograph which is not a moving picture.

17d         Miscellaneous trades, so varied (8)
{ ASSORTED } Anagram (varied) of TRADES SO.

19d         Hand tool chauffeur finally put in Roller? (6)
{ TROWEL } The last letter of chauffeur inside a hand-drying object, an example of which may be mounted on a roller.

20d         Underwear from shopping complex in outskirts of Skegness (6)
{ SMALLS } Another word for a shopping complex inside the first and last letters of SkegnesS.

22d         Salesman cutting this French material (5)
{ CREPE } A salesman or commercial traveller inside the French word for ‘this’.

The Quick Crossword pun { QUEUE }{ BRUTE } = { CUBE ROOT }

78 comments on “DT 27177

  1. Maybe I get to be first one in today. It didn’t look easy to start with, but then I got going and finished in ** time. 9a was the last one for me, I assumed it was another word for that snow leopard that only inhabits crosswordland, but after looking for a while at what might fit, I read the clue correctly and got it – but I do think it’s slightly contrived.

  2. Surprised at the rating as we found it quite difficult and jotted down ****/**** beside the grid. Really appreciated the quirkiness of many of the clues. The sort we associate with Petitjean perhaps? Really enjoyed it.
    Thanks Mr Ron and DT.

  3. I managed to complete with no clues required today, liked 13A & 18A .Agree with the ratings many thanks tp DT for the review.

  4. Hi DT, thanks for the hints I needed them to understand 25a and to finish off with 2d! A three star for me today with four favourite clues (sorry Kath) , my favourite favourite was 6d :-) with the others being 24a, 16d & 20d
    Horrible day here today, think I’ll just go out and get wet, for a change!

    1. got stuck for ages on 16d, being convinced it had to start with ‘rag’, 9a doesn’t really read – does it? I know it’s a double definition but does the reading make any sense?

      1. unless of course we’re meant to think ‘lynx’ , still don’t think it works, sorry rambling to myself, my brother who usually helps me ‘see’ things is off once again in sunnier parts of the world for six weeks!

        1. Just to finish off my rambling, I see it was just meant as misdirection, oh well, off to get wet!

  5. Easier than Monday’s puzzle, I agree with the **/*** and I finished before lights out last night with lots of help from the BRB, so it looks like I will have to try the Toughie at the office today. The only one I had trouble with was 12d – I decided it could only be “incantation” but could not justify it with a French actor – thanks to DT for identifying him. I also fell into the same trap as outnumbered (above) on 9a as that has been a favourite on many occasions and both “lynx” and “atom” are in the BRB for under “ounce.”

  6. I agree with DT’s ratings. I too completed this enjoyable challenge in ** time, slowed down only by putting “spin” as my first wrong attempt for 24a :-(

    I was puzzled by what “ounce” had to do with the answer for 9a, which like Outnumbered was my last one in, and I couldn’t see the wordplay at all for 18a. Many thanks to DT for his review which provided enlightenment on both points! Many thanks too to the setter.

  7. Having ‘graduated’ from the quickie, I thought lynx was an easy start. Wrong! Not convinced it wasn’t meant to be a trap bit hey ho, all part of the fun.
    I got 18a thanks to first and 5th letters but couldn’t see the teddy bear connection. Completed in good time nonetheless.
    **/*** today.

    1. Hi Clarky, in conclusion after all my ramblings above re 9a, I think a trap was exactly what it was meant to be!!

  8. Another puzzle where the initial scan produced very little, but head down and some thought produced answers in what was a personal best time.

    Thanks to DT for the review, not needed today.

    Thanks to the setter.

    Just noticed that the Chambers dictionary and thesaurus apps are linked by tapping …X-ref… Button top right, clever stuff, discovered while researching 9a.

    1. Yes, I’ve had both for ages and only recently spotted this. They’re very good aren’t they?

  9. Thank you setter, enjoyable as always. New words for me at 11a and 18a. Last 2 in were 18a and 12d which took me a while to get the wordplay even with all but one of the checking letters. Thank you DT for the entertaining review. I think we have the best of the weather today in the NW. Just had a lovely walk in the sunshine listening to Blackcap and Willow Warbler singing – they have actually arrived here at last !

  10. Thanks to the setter and to Deep threat for the review and hints. Very much enjoyed this, thought I’d never finish, but I seemed to have a slightly mad hat on to solve some of the clues. Somehow it all fell into place. favourites were 10&11a with the latter reminding me of Do The Strand by Roxy Music, and 21a. Was 3*/4* for me. The serious rain hasn’t arrived yet in Central London.

  11. Thought today’s puzzle was entertaining, and as 2 Kiwis says’quirky’ although a **or *** thought that it would have been very difficult for the inexperianced as the wordplay was not obvious,gave it ***/**** for entertainment.Never heard bedside tables 18a called that before; i suppose if it were a single it would have been a one night stand! time to go.

  12. Took a while but finally got there with only a couple of hints required. I wonder how many time we are going to get underwear clues like 20d seem to have had a few lately. Thanks to the setter and for a chance to hear Bernard Cribbens.

  13. Lots to like. I finished without hints, with 9A being the last one in (It didn’t work for me either). Stand out clues for me were 14A, 23A and 16D. Thanks to the setter, and to DT for the review and paricularly for the videos.

  14. I’ve only got 8 answers which is pretty poor. I found my way here for some help and inspiration. Hopefully I’ll get better one day!

    1. Welcome to the blog Darren. If you read the blog every day (and ask if you don’t understand something) you’re bound to get better. In what way are you dangerous?

      1. It just sounded good. I’ve been reading the blog a few days now and some of the thinking needed to get the answers is just baffling at times. thanks for the welcome.

    2. Hi Darren, welcome, if you come here everyday as gazza says, you will gradually improve as I hopefully have done after nearly 4 years here and an absolute novice at cryptics when I started, everyone very friendly and helpful, best crossword blog around IMHO of course :-)

      1. IMHO too. In fact I would go as far as saying it’s my absolute favourite! It’s helped me to improve from being a complete rabbit a few months ago to the point where I understand a reasonable number of the clues each day, albeit with differing degrees of difficulty with different setters.

        One thing that quickly becomes clear is how clever (and sometimes how downright devious!) all the setters are.

        A big thank you from me to Big Dave and all his reviewers, and to all the setters for keeping us all so royally entertained.

        1. Not sure clever is the word I would use but certainly devious and on occasions I would add sneaky to that description.

        2. Yes – I agree with Mary and Rabbit Dave (or perhaps, since he says he was a complete rabbit a few months ago, we should now just call him Dave).
          It really is a brilliant blog with lots of helpful people who are very tolerant towards those of us who are forever needing help, asking silly questions etc etc.

          1. When I first discovered this blog I simply looked at it, too nervous to particpate for a couple of weeks. When I plucked up the courage to join in, I started with the more obvious alias of Little Dave, only to find there was another blogger of that ilk already. As a rabbit at cryptic crosswords and the owner of a beautiful pet rabbit (as pictured!), I opted for my current name, which I will keep. But I will happily also answer to just Dave …

            But not David; only my mother ever called me that – particularly when I had been naughty!

            1. Stanley! Stanley!

              Oh! What have I done wrong now?

              (Mothers! Don’t you love ’em)

            2. Exactly why I’m called Kath too – my name is Kathleen but I’ve only ever been called that if I’ve been even naughtier than usual.
              I think that to have found the blog and then only waited to participate for a couple of weeks is really brave. I waited and lurked in the wings for several months before I dared to post a comment. I think it might have been three years ago yesterday (but could be two) before I summoned the courage to say anything – since then no-one has been able to shut me up!!

              1. PS – Our younger daughter is always called Mouse – her name is Eleanor – it’s a long story . . .

          2. My real name is Mary-Rose but I was only ever called that if I was in trouble!!

            1. “What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
              By any other name would smell as sweet”

  15. Along with others by the sound of it I thought this was going to be really difficult when I first looked but then it wasn’t. I think I’d go for 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    My last one in was 19d even though I had alternate letters – I couldn’t get from roller to towel – could get from roller to car or a big wave – oh dear! I also thought the capitalisation of the offending word was pretty sneaky!
    Some lovely clues today. I liked being reminded of M Hulot’s Holiday – saw it ages ago at the Bristol Arts Centre.
    I liked 3a and 6, 12 and 22d. Favourite was 23a which I thought was brilliant.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and Deep Threat.
    A thoroughly miserable day here – grey, wet and chilly. Might have a go at Toughie as it’s clearly not a day for gardening.

  16. Hints not needed today lots of great clues although I’d never heard of 12d’s French actor so thanks for saving me a Google trawl DT. Had anyone else heard of him? If not, is it acceptable to use obscure names as part of a clue just because it couldn’t be anything else? Good to learn something new though so thanks to DT and the setter for my first obscure trivia of the day! Off to the toughie now to possibly expand my horizons further!

      1. He was, but he died at least twenty years ago so maybe the younger ones among us might not be familiar with him.

        1. Perhaps few people have of heard of him … because … he never had too much to say for himself!

  17. Thought the 1st definition for 9 across was good, but the second not so good since the other definition for an ounce is snow leopard. Naughty setter. Just as well there is someone to explain some of these clues for which many thanks.

  18. The crossword was, to me, like a clockwork toy that hadn’t been wound up. The mechanism was all there but the whole thing didn’t come to life. Deadly dull

  19. Thanks to the setter and Deep Threat, a fairly average crossword and not overly enjoyable.

  20. Some good clues in today’s crossword. Enjoyed 23a and 25a. Thanks to DT for the explanation of 18a. Had the answer but couldn’t quite see the wordplay. Thanks also to the setter.

  21. Lovely December day in North Yorks ! As others have said a quirky puzzle which
    While enjoyable in parts was largely devoid of smiles ,without the checking letters for 19d would not have got the answer from the clue in a month of Sundays .
    Jacques appeared in a recent Saturday puzzle .
    Thanks very much .

  22. Enjoyed today’s and managed without any hints, although I struggled on 1a and 1d until I went to another room and they both came to me! Sometimes you just have to stop looking at the page……
    Got 12d without the need for all parts of the clue, but had heard of the actor so saw it was quite clever.
    Finally got 11d which came because I had been reading about Noel Coward and I was just in that 20s/30s vibe…

  23. Needed lots of help today. Just could not get on the setters wavelength.
    Still don’t get 13a, why is Tribune popular? No way is a marksman a snapshot, the last thing you want in shooting is to snap off a shot quickly.
    Mind you it would have been a lot easier if I had written church mouse instead of church moose! :-)
    Thx to DT for the invaluable hints which really needed today.

    1. I think that the definition of 16d is just still, made up of SNAP (crack) and SHOT (marksman).

    2. Re 13a, ‘popular’ means of the people; Popular leader/ leader of the people.

    3. Popular as in “of the people” referring to the elected Roman officials?

    4. I agree with gazza Brian, it is ‘still’ as in a photograph or ‘snapshot’

  24. Last in was 11a and some very nice clues. Very nice challenge and some interesting comments above.

  25. Interesting challenge today, I didn’t always understand the word play but got there by intuition. Re9a, there are smaller weights than ounces ! favorite and last in 23a, though it is not something I would ever say. 11a also sounded old fashioned. Thanks to setter and DT.

    1. I loved 23a too. I’d never say it either but my grandmother would have done, probably followed by “whatever will they think of next’!

  26. A not too taxing puzzle.

    Faves : 13a, 18a, 23a, 25a, 5d, 7d, 12d & 19d.

    Some sunshine today after a thunderstorm last night! Still a bit dampish though.

  27. I found this really straightforward, definitely on the wavelength today. Strange how one person’s * is another person’s ***, and probably vice versa on another day.

  28. Initially thought this puzzle was going to be quite tough, but once I’d cracked the meaning behind 1a, the rest of the puzzle fell into place fairly quickly. Thank you to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle and thank you to this blog (Deep Threat) for confirming that my thinking was OK. Will step up to the ‘Toughies’, once my confidence re the DTBPs hit the mark every day.

    1. Probably being dim yet again but DTBPs defeat me. What do you mean? I think that it’s always worth looking at the Toughies, if you have the time, except on Fridays – they will bash any confidence that you might have gained during the week. That sounds a bit defeatist – just quoting from experience!

      1. Hi Kath, it’s a new acronym to me but my guess is that DTBPs means Daily Telegraph Back Pagers.

  29. Probably one of the most cunning puzzles for a long time.
    Very skilful.
    Over my normal time.
    Many thanks to the setter and DT for the review and graphics.

  30. Sorry to be so late on parade!

    I have to admit that when I scanned this puzzle, I decided it was going to be a struggle and that I wasn’t going to enjoy it… so there! I got 1a, 1d, 4a & 19d and really it should have been straightforward from there… except it wasn’t.

    Like Kath and Colmce, I just could not see my way into it, but unlike them I’m ashamed to say I gave up.

    Unfortunately (?) Mrs W came bounding up the stairs this evening to say that I’d got 1d wrong because 9a was “lynx”! Well… I wasn’t going to stand for that, so with a completely fresh look some 10 hours after looking at it first, I had another go. I’d be exaggerating to say they all slotted in easily, but I got it finished (with some help from Chambers). There must be a moral there somewhere… no, please don’t!

    1. Sorry, but I will – there is definitely a moral there – it’s called ‘perservation’!

      1. “Perservation”? I’ve been accused of being many things but that’s a first and a new word!

        Well, at least you didn’t suggest “if at first you don’t succeed…” ;-)

        1. perservation ……you’ll have to ask Mary and Cryptic Sue, I’ve forgotten but perseverance and cogitation morphed into one word, and i think there is another one as well.. Mary CSue help….

          1. Good evening Andy. No, it is a real word, apparently. It’s not in my Chambers iPhone Apps but it is in the proper BRB as:

            “meaningless repetition of an action, utterance, thought”

            “tendency to experience difficulty in leaving one activity for another”

            I had no idea Kath knew me so well :D

          2. Perservation on this blog means a cross between perserverance and perspiration both used in abundance in solving! thus preservation :-)

    2. My manners seem to have deserted me along with my perservation! Many thanks to the setter and to DT for erudite explanations and hints. I promise to do better tomorrow.

  31. I’ve really enjoyed all of today’s comments – lots of good fun. Thanks to everyone, particularly BD for making it all possible. :smile:

    1. Darren, “reverse” according to the BRB (= Big Red Book = Chambers Dictionary) means “to turn the other way about, as upside down, outside in, in the opposite direction, etc.; to invert; …”

  32. For some reason the format used by DT means I have problems viewing the blog on my phone. 9a did not work for me. ***/*** overall. Thanks to all.

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