DT 27180 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27180

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27180

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

It’s Friday so it’s Giovanni with a pleasant and not too taxing puzzle. There did seem to be a lot of insertions needed in the wordplay. Let us know how you got on.

If you need to see an answer you’ll have to highlight the gap between the brackets under the clue – if you’re accessing the blog from a mobile device there are some hints on how to do this in the FAQ.

Across Clues

1a  Not working, like a monk who has defected? (3,2,5)
{OUT OF ORDER} – double definition, the second cryptic. ‘Not working’ here has the sense of broken down.

6a  Look conveying love and joy, no end (4)
{OGLE} – the letter that resembles zero (love in tennis scoring) is followed by a word meaning joy or high spirits without its final E (no end).

9a  Having little internal energy pop group is less happy (5)
{BLUER} – the name of a British pop group has E(nergy) inside.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

10a  Search is getting on inside — things to be discussed (9)
{QUESTIONS} – start with a search (especially one made by a medieval knight) and add IS with ON inside it.

12a/13a  Dish is an item left in B & B by the French female (7,5)
{BATHING BELLE} – if, like me, you were trying to find something to eat here then you probably, also like me, had a d’oh moment when you realised that what’s required is a completely different type of dish. Insert an item (1,5) between the two Bs then finish with a French feminine pronoun.

13a  See 12a

15a  A horse getting hit — there’s bound to be one near here! (7)
{ANAGRAM} – there are actually seven in the vicinity if my count is correct. It’s a charade of A (from the clue), an old or broken-down horse and a verb to hit or collide with.

17a  Go into leg to find part of the body (7)
{ENTERON} – this is another name for the alimentary canal. A verb to go into is followed by the leg side on a cricket field.

19a  Evil female in charge going after bloke (7)
{MALEFIC} – the abbreviations for F(emale) and in charge follow a bloke or masculine individual.

21a  Plant, one pruned primarily within particular month, right? (7)
{JUNIPER} – I (one in Roman numerals) and the primary letter of P(runed) are inserted in one of the twelve months, then we finish with R(ight).

22a  Poem going in opposite directions making significant points (5)
{NODES} – a lyric poem goes inside two opposite cardinal points.

24a  Artist is idiot in very good company (7)
{PICASSO} – the name of probably the most famous artist of the twentieth century comes from inserting another name for idiot into an abbreviation meaning very good or holy and the abbreviation for company.

27a/28a   A lit-up emerald’s phony — it’s an artificial stone (9,5)
{SIMULATED PEARL} – an anagram (phony) of A LIT-UP EMERALD’S.

28a  See 27a

29a  European steps putting Conservative off (4)
{DANE} – these steps are performed to music. Just take out (putting off) the C(onservative).

30a  Breed fowls, running around patches in the garden (6-4)
{FLOWER-BEDS} – an anagram (running around) of BREED FOWLS.

Down Clues

1d  Golden sun eclipsed by black round shapes (4)
{ORBS} – the usual tincture of gold and S(un) have B(lack) inserted (eclipsed, presumably in the sense of blocked or interrupted).

2d  Small image of wretched lamb in hut (9)
{THUMBNAIL} – an anagram (wretched) of LAMB IN HUT.

3d/16d  Initial opportunity for buyer flashing rare fistfuls (5,7)
{FIRST REFUSAL} – an anagram (flashing) of RARE FISTFULS.

4d  Need, having forfeited right to get married, some solemn music (7)
{REQUIEM} – remove (having forfeited) the R(ight) from a verb meaning to need or demand then finish with M(arried).

5d  Decorative piece of nasty green outside gym (7)
{EPERGNE} – an anagram (nasty) of GREEN goes round the abbreviation for gym (not the place but what you’re supposed to do in it).

7d  What leaves will do on line? Grumble (5)
{GROWL} – this is a verb meaning to grumble in a surly fashion. What leaves are supposed to do in Springtime is followed (on, in a down clue) by L(ine). I’m not sure that the surface makes much sense – surely it’s the commuters who do the grumbling, not the leaves.

8d  Perhaps Chinese organs will drown author (10)
{EASTERNERS} – bodily organs (of which most people have two) contain (drown) the surname of the Irish novelist best known for The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy.

11d  Asian and Greek character coming into money (7)
{TIBETAN} – insert a Greek letter into a slang word for money.

14d  Brought together amicably in rough hansom ride (10)
{HARMONISED} – an anagram (rough) of HANSOM RIDE.

16d  See 3d

18d  Dissolute type mixes a beer with port (9)
{REPROBATE} – an anagram (mixes) of A BEER and PORT.

20d  Government building needs pass — a very dirty place inside (7)
{CAPITOL} – this is a word used in the USA for the building where a legislative body meets (especially the one in Washington DC). A mountain pass contains A (from the clue) and a slang word for a very dirty place.

21d  Sailor with lots of notes turned over as a thief? (7)
{JACKDAW} – the question mark indicates that the answer is just an example of a thief. An informal word for a sailor is followed by lots of notes or a bankroll reversed (turned over).

23d  Doctor in secret place becoming a Mr Hyde type? (5)
{DEMON} – an abbreviation for a doctor, especially one in the armed services, goes inside a secret place or hideaway.

25d  Wonderful agent, American in the ascendant (5)
{SUPER} – stick together an abbreviated sales agent and a two-character abbreviation for American then reverse it all (in the ascendant, in a down clue).

26d  Maiden captured by gangster’s offering financial help (4)
{ALMS} – the cricket abbreviation for a maiden over goes inside (captured by) the forename of the most infamous American gangster and the ‘S.

The clues I liked best today were 12/13a and 21d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {SIR} + {PRY} + {SING} = {SURPRISING}

56 comments on “DT 27180

  1. I found this a bit bizarre today, and impossible to rate. Three-quarters were really enjoyable, but the NE corner, where the last four clues took me far longer than all the rest put together, almost felt like it had been compiled by a different setter.

    The four that I struggled with were: 5d & 17a, the answers for which seemed very obscure and were new words for me; 8d, where the author is not one that springs immediately to my mind; and 7d, where I put in one of the only two words which fitted the checking letters, despite rejecting as dodgy the only wordplay I could come up with. However, Gazza confirms my interpretation – but I still think it’s very dubious.

    Many thanks for your review, Gazza, which as usual is excellent. Thanks too to the setter. My favourite today was 15a.

  2. Thought this one was a pretty good work-out for a Friday. A few words eg 17a that needed a quick BRB check to confirm. Our time was a bit over the average for a back-pager, so we have put down **** for difficulty. Best for us was 15a. The same answer we had in a puzzle a short time ago, but this time clued in a completely different but equally interesting way. Much enjoyment throughout.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  3. 12/13a really held me up, lovely clue.
    New word at 5d, but clear from clue.
    Very enjoyable.

    Thanks to the 2 Gs for the morning diversion.

  4. Very enjoyable start to Friday solving. Thanks to both the Gs

    The Toughie is a first-class example of what a Toughie should be – puzzling/penny dropping/and tremendously entertaining too. It is a Toughie but do give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.

    1. I got my fingers burned on Wednesday when I tried my first ever toughie and really struggled. Can I trust you on this one if I try again today? :wink:

      1. Be warned. It is a real Toughie but very clever and well worth the effort, we thought.
        Good luck.

      2. CS, 2Kiwis and Balliejames, so far so good. Your reputations are intact!

        I removed myself from all possible distractions, alloted myself a reasonable amount of time and concentrated very hard. During that time I managed over half the Toughie without any outside aids. I am now taking a break before returning for a second bite at it. But yes, very enjoyable indeed!

        1. Done it with Tilsit’s help on three clues! But my goodness it was tough, and it took a long, long time- just as well the weather was awful today. Thanks for the encouragement.

          1. Hope you enjoyed it RD, I needed Tilsits help to confirm why on 3 and I wonder if they were the same!!

            1. Yes, I enjoyed it a great deal, thank you.

              My three needing help were 2d, 5d and 6d. Which were yours?

    2. If you think it”s a Toughie then may the gods look down on the rest of us with mercy. I’ll give it a lash but don’t expect to come out the other side.

  5. Thanks for review and comments. Just to say that if anyone near Oxford wants to introduce themselves on Monday I will be at The Kings Arms, Broad Street, Oxford from 7 pm, celebrating 50 years of crossword setting. My thanks to your proprietor for his forbearance.

    1. Congratulations. That’s a wonderful landmark. Thanks very much for keeping us all so well entertained for so long.

    2. Thx for all the pleasure you provide us and may you continue for many years to come. :-)

    3. Yes, congratulations Giovanni and thanks for all the fun. I was in Oxford two weeks ago and am so sorry to be missing you on Monday. I’ll raise a glass in your direction anyway. :-)

    4. Congratulations Giovanni & many thanks for the enjoyment & long may you continue.

    5. It took me a while to learn to solve your crosswords, but now that I can I really enjoy them. Many Happy Returns of the day !

    6. I will certainly tip my glass to you on Monday in thanks for many happy hours of crossword solving. Sorry I won’t be there but Miami is a bit far! Cheers.

      1. Congratulations ! Have a great evening. Wishing you many more years of puzzle setting.

    7. Many thanks Giovanni for your enormous entertainment over the years. You are my wife’s favourite and the only cryptic I print off for her. I’m afraid 6000 miles is a bit far to go for a pint but be assured we will have one for you here albeit a poor alternative for what you will get. Many more please.

    8. Congratulations on 50 years. Rather than wanting to introduce myself I would feel honoured to meet you. If I’m not the only Oxford resident who comments on this brilliant blog then there are some dark horses around and so I am going to do my best to be there on Monday evening. I look forward to it.

    9. Cannot alas do Monday , but can I say a huge thanks for your DT contributions.

    10. Our congratulations too. It is common in our house to hear the statement “It’s Friday. Great, that means Giovanni!” Best wishes for Monday, we’ll be with you in spirit.

  6. Great puzzle ,must be years since I heard the description in 12/13 .I thought all the clues very fair and some smiles .5d new to me too .
    Agree with comments re Toughie ,I hope to finish before Sunday !
    Thanks very much .

  7. I really enjoyed this one. Perhaps I was on the right wavelength. Thought yesterday’s was much tougher. I would go with *** and possibly **** for enjoyment, only marred by the iPad app repeatedly crashing! Anyone else have this problem? 7d..7d…Regards to all.

    1. App mostly OK Nigel – sometimes slow to load and sometimes stuck, but I put it down to my rural location!! It’s OK if I come out and go in again, although this is frustrating if you are in the middle of a comment.

  8. I found this to be very difficult ! First reading produced nothing ! I have struggled along and finally finished. Putting “Out of habit” in for 1a didn’t help. 3 new words for me as well. Thank you Giovanni. Satisfaction at the end having got there ! Thank you Gazza for your review – Your photo at 12/13a should escape censure !

  9. Like others 5D was also a new word for me as was 17A those apart I found this a lovelypuzzle & agree with the ratings. Many thanks to both the G’s and a special thanksto giovanni for 50 not out & a lot more entertaining than the cricket.

  10. **/*** for me. Giovanni always seems to throw in a couple of words that have me reaching for Chambers to check. NE corner was last in for me too.

  11. The weekend starts here…thanks to Giovanni & to Gazza for his review which, unusually, only has two gratuitous shots of semi clad birds

  12. Thoroughly enjoyable, I do relish this kind of struggle.
    Congrats and many thanks, Giovanni, and thaks gazza fir the review.

  13. Quite a toughie today – I stumbled over 17a which threw out 8d, but managed to sort myself out after seeing the explanation.

    17a is a new word to me – that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it – thanks for the help.

  14. Very smooth sailing and I was going at a really good clip…until 17A and 8D. These two took longer than the rest of the puzzle. I worked out 8D and checked the author on line to verify, but 17A had me stumped. I needed electronic help to solve it, and Gazza’s explanation for how the last two letters fitted in. I have never been a fan of proper names (even really well known people) or sports terms in cryptics, so that knocked the enjoyment level down for me.

    Congratulations to Giovanni for 50 years of sterling service, and thanks to Gazza for the review. I am a quarter of the way through the toughie and struggling, but perservating.

    1. I don’t know the derivation for sure, but I have a funny feeling that “stumped” meaning defeated could be derived from the cricketing term stumped … :smile:

  15. First rate puzzle as one would expect from a Giovanni. Onwards and upwards from yesterday.
    Learnt a new word in 5d although unsure how to pronounce it!
    Many Thx to the Don for an excellent crossword and to Gazza and although didn’t need the hints today, its always nice to know they are there.

  16. Very enjoyable puzzle if a few too many anagrams for my personal taste, many thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for the usual superb review.

  17. Very enjoyable end to the week although 5d was new to me despite getting the constituent letters and had NOTES for 22a which didnt help with 23d.
    Absolutely loved 15a brilliant work Giovanni as always a pleasure to delve into the tangle that you weave. Thanks Gazza for showing me the error of my thoughts on 22a.Interestingly 19a according to my electronic helper ‘thefreedictionary.com’ only appears as a contraction of malefaction [1595–1605; malefac (tor) + -tion].

  18. For one fond of anagrams, and often depending on them, I was well served today. The bottom half went in faster than the top, but apart from 17a I had no problems. I’m hopeless when it comes to cricket references. But many thanks to G&G and bon weekend. :-)

  19. Well, having found yesterday’s ** a chore and needing help with half of it, today’s *** was done with no help. I would have said no more than ** for me although there were two uncommon terms for answers. Having some medical and musical knowledge was a help.

    I loved the dovetail of 4d and 15a and the ‘anagram’ words in 3d were great.

    1. Forgot to thank Giovanni – I did enjoy this one as it included so many of my personal and professional interests and cheers on your Golden Setting Anniversary!!

      BTW, the reason I got 17a was because I got the first term and then started thinking of the very nasty holiday complaint you can get and the ending made sense to someone with a cricketer father….

  20. A really fabulous puzzle,only held up by 8d. I never heard of him or her. Malefic is new to me , but it couldn’t anything else. Thanks to the two G’s.

  21. Goodness I must have been on Giovanni’s wavelength today as I managed to get all the answers except 17a without the need for dictionary or any other help!! Thanks to Giovanni & gazza for the review.

  22. I loved this. Had no problem with 5d but 17a and 8d had me struggling. Never occurred to me that the “on” of 17a was a cricketing term.

  23. **/*** for me. Never come across 17a before and it’s not in my dictionary (which Big Dave says is useless!). Many congratulations to Giovanni on 50 years of crossword setting. Wish I were near Oxford for the celebrations.

  24. 2 new words today,17 and 19A, to store for the future!
    Many thanks, Giovanni, for all the pleasure you have given to everyone over the past 50 years — do carry on delighting us, please! And thanks to Gazza too for your clear hints and sense of humour, what would we do without you two stalwarts? Doesn’t bear thinking about!

  25. A very enjoyable puzzle from The Don!

    Faves : 12a & 13a, 17a, 27a & 28a, 2d, 11d & 21d.

    Congrats Giovanni – I only wish I could travel and meet you!

    Weather here very damp and chilly for May.

  26. Very late today – not because it’s taken me all day to do the crossword but because I’ve been doing other things. I think 3* for difficulty, if only because of three new words all of which took me ages, and 4* for enjoyment.
    17a and 5d were new words to me and combining a word that I didn’t know with something ‘crickety’ nearly finished me off. I’ve also never heard of the first bit of 27/28a – have ‘met’ a cultivated pearl but not a simulated one.
    12a took a long time too as I was thinking of food, just for a change! The only other one that held me up was 30a as I managed to divide it 5, 5 rather than 6, 4 – no-one but myself to blame for that.
    I liked 15, 19 and 24a and 14, 18 and 21d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and gazza.

  27. 5d and 17a were too obscure for me, but a vast improvement on yesterday. Thanks to setter and blogger.

    1. For me it was like the difference between listening to John Coltrane yesterday and John Denver today – I know which I prefer.

  28. Thanks to the two G’s. I enjoyed the struggle, but got stuck in the NE corner where I needed a couple of hints to finish. Had never heard of 17a, one to remember. A very well constructed puzzle. Favourites were 18 & 21d. Was 4*/4* for me. Late blogging due to having to do the Squash Leagues, then go out and see a band.

  29. Am enjoying every moment of solving the puzzles having fallen in love with them just recently. The trick in getting the answer for each question is hidden under a fabric of ideas that give one the lead and which without astuteness is a pipe dream. I liked 3 and 16. Totally mind-blowing. Or was it?

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