DT 27192 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27192

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27192

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

A pleasant puzzle from Giovanni with what I thought was one really excellent clue. Please leave a comment with your thoughts.

If you want to reveal an answer you’ll have to highlight the gap between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Queen performed, getting terrible score (4)
{DIDO} – a past tense meaning performed or carried out is followed by what looks like a terrible score (it’s certainly a poor score in many sports, but in others such as showjumping it’s pretty good).

3a  Like very good allocation? That’s what’s hoped for (10)
{ASPIRATION} – string together a word meaning like or in the manner of, an abbreviation meaning good in a holier-than-thou sort of way and an allocation or helping.

9a  River not healthy — small flow of water (4)
{RILL} – the abbreviation for river followed by an adjective meaning not in good health.

10a  Biologist has burden and motion’s tricky (10)
{TAXONOMIST} – this biologist is concerned with the classification of plants and animals. A burden (often financial) is followed by an anagram (tricky) of MOTION’S.

11a  Scotch — drink team is into (5,2)
{SCREW UP} – a verb to drink (mainly used in the North of England) has a team (of rowers perhaps) inserted. The definition (scotch) is a verb which can mean to wreck.

13a  Sort of design company backing trade abroad (3,4)
{ART DECO} – the abbreviation for company follows (backing) an anagram (abroad) of TRADE.

14a  Powerful international organisation that could make Premier moan (5,6)
{ROMAN EMPIRE} – an anagram (could make) of PREMIER MOAN. The surface paints a picture of Dave, head in hands, lamenting the latest split in his party over the EU.

18a  Pharaoh‘s word of disapproval, final word clutching symbol of life (11)
{TUTANKHAMEN} – an exclamation expressing disapproval and the final word in a prayer contain a type of cross used in ancient Egypt as a symbol of life.

21a  Study a king on two classical coins (7)
{DENARII} – these are old Roman coins which gave us the abbreviation for our pre-decimal pennies. String together a) a study or lair, b) A (from the clue), c) a single-character abbreviation for king and d) the Roman numeral for two.

22a  Give notice — there’s an object to be won, we hear (7)
{APPRISE} – this sounds like (we hear) something that could be awarded to the winner.

23a  Politician held in derision, possibly as Archer was? (10)
{IMPRISONED} – if you regularly solve the Private Eye crossword it will be immediately apparent to you which Archer is being referred to. It’s the one-time deputy chairman of the Tory party who was sent down for perjury and perverting the course of justice in 2001 (some may think that he should have done time for his awful writing!). Put the abbreviation for an elected politician inside an anagram (possibly) of DERISION. Superb clue!

24a  Very small home swamped by motorway (4)
{MINI} – an adverb meaning at home is surrounded (swamped) by the London-Leeds motorway.

25a  Runners may get sent out — perhaps I’ve grown them from seed (10)
{NURSERYMAN} – an anagram (get sent out) of RUNNERS MAY.

26a  Catch someone grumbling after end of Christmas (4)
{SNAG} – someone who grumbles constantly follows the end letter of (Christma)S.

Down Clues

1d  Ridiculous not having booze? Old father is upset being kept in (8)
{DERISORY} – an adjective meaning without booze (like a temperance meeting) goes round a reversal (upset) of O(ld) and a father.

2d  Depression? At end of day get mature drinks! (8)
{DOLDRUMS} – we tend to think that end means last but of course a word like day has two ends and this time it’s the first that we need. Add an adjective meaning mature and some shorts.

4d  Start of symphony with instrument producing note (5)
{SHARP} – S(ymphony) followed by a stringed instrument.

5d  Liaison to break up, leading to loneliness (9)
{ISOLATION} – an anagram (break up) of LIAISON TO.

6d  Church office Pat polishes after work (11)
{APOSTLESHIP} – an anagram (after work) of PAT POLISHES.

7d  More than one flowering plant is covering upward slope (6)
{IRISES} – my initial thought was that there was a reversal here but the wordplay is more straightforward. IS goes round (covering) an upward slope or gradient.

8d  Any number fighting, about to leave country (6)
{NATION} – the abbreviation used to represent an unknown number is followed by a word for fighting or a military engagement from which the single-character abbreviation for about or approximately is removed (to leave).

12d  Victory over brute whirling with din — for Nimbys opposing it? (4,7)
{WIND TURBINE} – a semi-all-in-one. Nimbys may claim a victory if they thwart a proposal to erect one of these on account of its noise. It’s a synonym for victory followed by an anagram (whirling) of BRUTE and DIN.

15d  Clean-cut love? Lots will get that in marriage! (9)
{MATRIMONY} – another word for lots contains (will get … in) an adjective meaning clean-cut or neat and the letter that resembles zero or love in tennis scoring.

16d  Drive? A doctor with it will get on, I admitted (8)
{AMBITION} – string together A, one of the abbreviations for doctor, IT and ON then insert (admitted) I.

17d  Observe group around centre of Burnley showing contempt (8)
{SNEERING} – a verb to observe and a group or gang contain the central letter of BurNley.

19d  One-time leader of 14, no hard man (6)
{ADRIAN} – one of the leaders of 14a (better known in this country for his early attempt to bring about Scottish independence) loses the letter that stands for hard when pencils get discussed.

20d  Marksman gets bird on top of roof (6)
{SNIPER} – a wading bird precedes the first (top) letter of R(oof).

22d  Region encompassing northern battleground (5)
{ARENA} – a region or district goes round N(orthern).

I thought that 12d was good but my runaway favourite today (and earning an extra enjoyment star on its own) was the excellent 23a. Let us know what you liked.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {KNOCK} + {TERNS} = {NOCTURNES}

59 comments on “DT 27192

  1. Very enjoyable .faves 19d,23a and 18a once I fully understood it .
    Off to ruin a good walk while the weather holds.
    Thanks very much .

  2. Many thanks to the setter for this enjoyable puzzle today for which my rating is **/***. Many thanks too to Gazza for his as usual excellent review, which I didn’t need on this occasion.

    I struggled for a while to work out which of the many different spellings of 18a was correct, especially as the seemingly unlikely “ankh” was a new word for me; but, as ever, the BRB provided enlightenment! 8d was my last one in, and 23a my favourite.

    Another gloomy day in London :sad:

    1. No sooner had I typed that, the sun appears to be making an effort to break through – although I’m not holding my breath!

  3. I made very heavy weather of this today and was relieved to finish it without hints, so for me closer to a **** for difficulty. I absolutely loved 23A which has to be my favorite clue of the year so far. Many thanks to Giovanni for the strenuous work-out and, as always, to Gazza for the review.

    If the Toughie is Elgar, I’m staying away!

  4. A really good Friday work-out that we thoroughly enjoyed. Not a quick solve, but the answers came evenly and regularly so very satisfying. A good warm-up for the Toughie that did take considerably longer.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  5. I agree with 3* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    For some reason which now escapes me I couldn’t make any sense of why 15d was what it obviously was.
    I got into a pickle trying to untangle 18a but looked up the four unaccounted for letters in the middle and that sorted it out for me.
    Spent a while trying to invent a new coin for 21a – conarii doesn’t exist – trust me! Got that one eventually.
    I was slow to get 7d – kept thinking that I had to find a word for hill and then upside down it. Silly – loads of them in the garden – they’re lovely.
    I liked 14 and 25a and 6 and 12d. My favourite was 23a.
    With thanks to Giovanni and gazza.
    Hazy sun and really quite warm here.

  6. Phew – just finished in time – off to a very nice pub for lunch with some friends ! Thank you Giovanni, found this quite hard, but enjoyable as usual. Thanks Gazza for your review. A pint or 3 of Wainwright beckons !

  7. Yet another wonderful offering from the Don. No real problems today, but I did take a while to work out why 1D was what it was (had the non-drinking bit, then took out IS which left me ERO for old father D’Oh). 18A was no real problem (took me back to Batman of old with one of his old enemies King Tut .
    10A, 23A, 6D and 12D were excellent clues but my fave rave today has to be 21A (not least because I remembered the double I.

  8. Good stuff! Thanks to the Don & to Gazza. I daren’t look at the Toughie given yesterday’s warning about the setter.

    1. Oh go on, give him a go. It is slightly fluffy for an Elgar, and if you don’t do the toughie, you will have to start on that long list of ‘things to do’ Mrs S left you :)

      1. Go on then! You’ve talked me into it. Anyway all house cleaning duties completed in time for the return of the Control Tower although I know it won’be up to the standard of the operating theatre nurse she once was.

        1. May I suggest a campaign of Creative Incompetence? For example, when asked to vaccuum the lounge, make sure that Her Ladyship returns to find all of the furniture outside because “you’re making sure that you do the job thoroughly”.

          [From an idea by Jo Brand…]

          1. Or failing that, do everything really, really badly. After a few times of her having to do it all again, she’ll give up getting you to do it in the first place

          2. The answer with vacuuming is to get the man of the house to unpack and set up the new one which apparently made it ‘his’. I have only had to Hoover (or should that be Asda) three times in as many years. Suits me.

              1. Go to agree with you there. I have an old VAX (or something) which Mum left me, bought a ‘stick’ hoover which was OK, then got a cheap deal on a robotic hoover but that needs emptying too often. Bought a Dyson (with a big discount) and Wow, I can even enjoy doing a bit of hoovering now. Wish he’s invent a lawnmower.

  9. Quite tricky today agree with the***/**** liked18a and 19d, 23 was simply clever; spelt 22a wrong which did’nt help with 6d which as a consequence was last in..thanks to G and Gazza,the sun is out at Lords and England are collapsing!

  10. Very enjoyable crossword from Giovanni and a very entertaining review from Gazza, I totally agree re 23a brilliant clue. Many thanks to the two Gs.

  11. What an excellent crossword! My own preferences (careful choice of word, to avoid the Favourites Police) were 18A for the fine construction, and 1A because D&A is one of SWMBO’s favourite operas.

    I can see why everyone likes 23A, and as a clue it is indeed very good, but it leaves a sour taste in my mouth, reminding me as it does of a man who soils the HOL with his presence.

    Hats Off to the Don, and thanks to Gazza too.

      1. She might like to peep at the Toughie blog, she’s ‘mentioned in dispatches’!

        1. Will do so later – thanks. In middle of cutting grass – just came in to get some orange juice (and cool down for a couple of minutes – what a novelty!)

        1. Always, although it looks to me, in response to a previous comment, as if she might have to change it occasionally so that she can also keep an eye on the blokes ganging up about the housework! :roll:

  12. Thanks to the two G’s. A super puzzle again from the Don. Had me beaten with 1a, missed the anagram in 6d. Favourites were 3,18,25a. Very clever clues. Was 4*/4* for me. Summer is nearly here in Central London, but England are struggling at Lords.

  13. Maybe last nights curry got to me this morning because the downs mostly went in easier for some reason and apart from five of the across answers I just got stuck. Thank to Gazza for the clues to help me finish.
    18a is of course what you do when they replaced the pyramids door bell with a horn. North Bucks is bathed in warmth at present hopefully it will stay for the weekend.

  14. Enjoyable , though certainly not easy. 23a a very witty clue .It is a long time since I questioned a clue , but here’s me sticking my neck out again, I thought 8d was really too convoluted.
    10a,14a,21a and many others were suberb.
    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  15. Whoops gave this a 2* rating, fat finger syndrome….should be a four at least.

    Enjoyed this but found it quite difficult.

    Thanks to the two Gs.

  16. I found it a 3.5, but only because of that wavelength thing (or coming at clues from the wrong direction)….
    Wasn’t 12d a wonderful anagram? Those brutes certainly do whirl with a din – they are uncanny and frightening close up.

    Just heard I now have an allotment! All ready to plant up……heck! All tips welcome.

    1. You’ll be busy – fun though! Is allotment in good nick or thick with beastly weeds? Good luck.

    2. Do you have a shed? Did you know that there are 11,500,000 sheds in Britain, more per head than any other country in the world?

      1. I could be completely wrong here but I get the feeling that Bluebird is a girl – I thought that sheds were a ‘blokey’ thing!
        Something that I find really difficult on this blog is working out who is a he and who is a she unless it’s obvious.
        Perhaps all of you who have impossible to interpret names – ie are you male or female – could ‘come out’.
        I spent a long time thinking that Silver Oak was a bloke because I imagined a wonderfully tall slim grey haired man – when it became apparent the he was a she I was really surprised.

        1. Sorry folks – you may never read this as I had no time to comeback till today.
          Yes, I don’t mind coming out as female on this blog.
          No, I don’t have a shed yet, but I will do, plus a fruit cage and a small poly tunnel (though not till the winter).
          I will be thrilled to be known as a shed-person as I am always accusing blokes of being shed-men! You have to have somewhere to keep stuff and, most importantly, somewhere to sit outside and contemplate your patch!
          H cutting planks into twine markers as I type and then off to plant….
          PS plot in condition ready to plant – was I lucky!

  17. Had quite a tussle to complete this puzzle, & needed shedloads of help! Thanks Gazza, and agree that 23a is a superb clue, while, like S-the-B, deploring the man’s behaviour…. Thanks to Setter for such clever clues & a good workout for me. Now I’m off shortly to see Elbow Jane (although why the quintet, who are all male, should have a Jane to their name is another puzzle for me!), and hoping they’ll play Soul Suvivor in their set. And how to describe their style – another puzzle. Is there such a thing as Folk Fusion?

  18. Usual excellent offering from the Don.
    Just one thing, is a taxonomist a biologist? Very picky i know.
    Best clue for me was of course 23a! But22a ran it a close second.
    Took us ages to get 19d. We both felt a little stupid as on Thursday next week we are going to walk Hadrians wall! DOH!
    Many Thx esp after being bereft of a crossword yesterday.

    1. Yes, taxonomy is the classification of organisms (nearly always) , and is part of the field of biology.

    2. I felt stupid too – one of my many brothers-in-law is called Adrian and I have walked bits of Hadrians wall.

  19. I found this pretty difficult, almost equal to yesterday, but somehow got there in the end. I thought 18a was the best clue. I was totally fooled by 2d, wanting end of day to be just that, “y”. In the end I just went ahead and put in what turned out to be the correct answer as didn’t think it could be anything else. I thought “scotch” was more of stymie or prevent but, again, went ahead and put in crew. Thanks for. Good start to the day.

  20. I found this to be a nightmare – I just couldn’t get going after a couple of pretty straightforward clues – even with the guidance provided here I found it pretty tricky.

    I’ve finished it now but I can’t say I enjoyed it – 6d was a new word to me and quite a few of the others seemed to be really contrived.

    Maybe I’m sickening for something!

    Roll on tomorrow!

  21. I raise my hat to someone who can give such an excellent clue to Tutankhamen! Other favourites were 18, 21 and 15.

    Re the hint regarding 2d ..words like day have two ends. I don’t really follow that…all words have two ends surely? I also thought that end meant the last letter of a word. So why is day different?

    1. I didn’t mean to imply that day is different from other words. End normally means conclusion so a word only has one, but in this case Giovanni is using end to mean extremity – so all words have two,

  22. A test of my spelling this week …

    … Nietzsche on Wednesday
    …. and today King Tut …

    Favourite, of course, 23a!

  23. Late input from me – it is nearly midnight in NL!

    For once I did not finish it as 1a was not known to me so also I missed 1d as well!

    Faves : 10a, 18a, 23a, 6d, 12d & 16d.

  24. Discovered this excellent site by searching “Merry Margery” from yesterday’s Crossword. Great blog and site! Being a fan of the Telegraph crossword (and often not able to complete), rest assured I’ll be tuning in regularly in future.

    Thanks very much

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