DT 27195 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27195

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27195

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Bonjour from La Bien Assise at Guines, near Calais.  Tudor historians among you will recognise the town as the site of the Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520.  Still not very warm, but at least it’s not raining and we don’t have to go paddling when we leave our caravan.

I’ve not had regular daily access to the crosswords while I’ve been away, which may account for a certain rustiness when I came to do this one, tipping it into *** territory when the last two or three clues held me up. 9d was last in.

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           Subtlety about beautiful chess pieces brought by tournament’s leader (10)
{ REFINEMENT } A charade of the Latin word for about or concerning, an adjective meaning fair or beautiful, a collective noun for chess pieces, and the initial letter (leader) of Tournament.

6a           Fancy wife going with that man (4)
{ WHIM } An abbreviation for wife followed by a pronoun for ‘that man’.

10a         Clear  chamber (5)
{ VAULT } Double definition. A verb meaning to clear an obstacle by jumping over it, and a chamber, often underground, typically with an arched ceiling.


11a         On high church in a London suburb (9)
{ UPMINSTER } An Essex town on the District Line, made up of a word for ‘on high’ and a type of church (York has one, for instance).

12a         Vague details about duck put in quarantine (8)
{ ISOLATED } Anagram (vague) of DETAILS around the letter which looks like the cricket score represented by a duck.

13a         Horrify a friend parking in the centre (5)
{ APPAL } A (from the clue) and a word for friend, with the abbreviation for Parking between them.

15a         Member leading group of players? This may confirm it (7)
{ ARMBAND } One of the members or limbs of the body followed by a group of musicians, giving a symbol of authority which may confirm who is the leader.

17a         Monster — little child, Marie, being naughty (7)
{ CHIMERA } An abbreviation for child followed by an anagram (being naughty) of MARIE. A mythological monster containing part of a lion a snake and a goat.

19a         Dubious sort with alcoholic drink on platform (7)
{ ROSTRUM } Anagram (dubious) of SORT followed by an alcoholic drink traditionally associated with the Navy.

21a         Divine decoration for cakes, trimmed (7)
{ ANGELIC } A cake decoration made of crystallised stems of a herb, with the final A removed (trimmed). The definition may suggest a divine messenger rather than the Deity.

22a         Sign right in the middle of Galician port (5)
{ VIRGO } A sign of the Zodiac. Right inside a port on the North-west coast of Spain.

24a         Old coin, out-of-the-way object (8)
{ FARTHING } An adjective meaning out of the way or a long way off, followed by a generic word for object.

27a         On back of lorry, the man’s holding fine vegetable (9)
{ ARTICHOKE } An abbreviated form of the name of a large lorry, one with a separate cab and trailer, followed by the pronoun for ‘the man’ with an abbreviation meaning fine or satisfactory inside it.

28a         Leading European state (5)
{ MAINE } A state of the USA, made up of an adjective meaning leading, and an abbreviation for European.

29a         Clergyman must get rid of cold soon (4)
{ ANON } A clergyman who is a member of a cathedral chapter, missing his initial C (get rid of cold).

30a         Fierce eagles crossing small desert (10)
{ WILDERNESS } An adjective meaning fierce or savage, followed by the sea-eagles who appear regularly in crosswords, with Small inside.


1d           Enthusiastically praise  party (4)
{ RAVE } Double definition, the second being a variety of party popular in the 1980s, involving large gatherings in old warehouses and the like, which caused much huffing and puffing by the authorities.

2d           More of us playing, around South, this form of golf (9)
{ FOURSOMES } Anagram (playing) of MORE OF US around South. A variety of golf where two players in partnership share one ball, playing alternate strokes.

3d           Native from Botswana talking (5)
{ NATAL } Hidden in the clue.

4d           Climbed hill around outskirts of Trowbridge (7)
{ MOUNTED } A hill or tumulus around the outside letters of TrowbridgE.

5d           Monica worried about daughter travelling (7)
{ NOMADIC } Anagram (worried) of MONICA around Daughter.

7d           Excited, male sheep used for breeding (3,2)
{ HET UP } Divided (2,3) this would be a male pronoun, and another word for a ram.

8d           London landmark, indistinct during parade (6,4)
{ MARBLE ARCH } A somewhat archaic word for blurred or indistinct, inside a name for a parade or procession which describes what the people taking part are doing.

9d           Participating, and winning (8)
{ ENGAGING } Double definition.  Taking part in a sport or a combat, and attractive.

14d         Artist in Baltic country volunteers for operatic work (2,8)
{ LA TRAVIATA } an opera by Verdi made up of the usual crossword artist inside one of the Baltic states, followed by the initials of our volunteer soldiers.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

16d         Tune for church service (3,5)
{ AIR FORCE } One of the armed services made up of a word for tune, followed by FOR (from the clue) and an abbreviation for the Church of England.

18d         A rose, say, worker planted in row (9)
{ EGLANTINE } The Latin abbreviation for ‘say’ or ‘for example’, followed by a worker insect inside a set of things in a row.

20d         As if I’m bothered about old criminals (7)
{ MAFIOSI } Anagram (bothered) of AS IF I’M around Old.

21d         Simple-minded person needing help to catch flightless bird (7)
{ AIRHEAD } A three-letter word for help or assistance around a flightless bird native to South America.

23d         Old-style resort, resort without sun (5)
{ RETRO } Anagram (resort) of RE(S)ORT, without the Sun.

25d         Pigeon in front of railing (5)
{ HOMER } Another word for where you are if you’re in, followed by the first letter (front) of Railing.

26d         Inferior, the French steamship (4)
{ LESS } The French definite article followed by the usual abbreviation for steamship.

The Quick Crossword pun { WHINE }{ WRACK } = { WINE RACK }

63 comments on “DT 27195

  1. Yet another milestone – this morning the total pageviews on the site went through the 10,000,000 barrier.

    It couldn’t have happened without all of you – so thanks a million, or should that be ten million!

    A summary of the site’s statistics can be seen here.

    1. Many congratulations Dave, I have been with you from pretty near the start and have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, I look forward to the next milestone.

      1. Your first comment, from 3rd Feb, 2009 “Hi Big Dave, thanks for the invite and the hints, I will look in regularly if that’s o.k. ”

        You certainly kept your word!

    2. Lots of congratulations from me too – what an achievement. I remember you telling me that you told the long suffering Mrs BD that you thought you might start a little crossword blog!

    3. A big credit to you Dave. Well done. You have managed to keep it on track as well.

    4. Thank you BD for this site which has afforded me friendship with bloggers and setters from the S&B I”ve been to, but most importantly with the commentators online and in person whose remarks on this site are a source of constant entertainment every time I look here. It’s so comforting to know that we all have those “d’oh” moments!! Cheers all, Andy.

  2. With help from the BRB, finished before lights out last night; although, I have to admit that lights out was a little later than usual so I would give this **+/***. Last in was 21d, BRB helped on it with the listing of flightless birds. Favourites are 1a, 30a, and 14d – good, what I would call “compound,” clues that provide a good test for the brainbox. Thanks to the setter and DT for the pictures (sorry did not need any help today – enjoy les vacances).

  3. Excellent analysis. I had some trouble with the south-east corner. 18d put me off for a while as I used another word for “a row”. I got 27a, but didn’t work out all the reasoning, to be honest, so thanks again!

  4. A very pleasant crossword to solve. No real problems but a lot of clever clues. SE corner was last in as not sure about the rose but worked it out from the wordplay.
    Thanks Mr Ron and DT.

  5. **/*** I completed this enjoyable puzzle today with no external help needed, except to check in the BRB the rationale for parts of two answers: the sheep in 7d and indistinct in 8d. I thought it was rather cunning in 8d to have three possible positions for the synonym for parade!

    Initially I put the singular form for 20d as I didn’t read the clue or check the anagram letters precisely enough :oops: . However I was forced to look at it properly when I couldn’t get 30a without changing the last letter of 20d.

    10a was my last one in and 6a was my favourite.

    Many thanks as usual to the setter and to DT for the review.

    1. Absolutely the same for me RD re 20d and 30a.
      You have have stolen my comment!! (Telepathically that is).

  6. What a delightful puzzle today, I don’t think I could find anything bad to say about it (even if I did that sort of thing). After firs pass of across clues, I had 4 or 5 in but each led to a down clue which led to another across, etc – just the way a good puzzle should work. This was by no means easy, but very solvable with some nice little mis-directions. No stand out favourite today, but several co-favourites – 27A, 7D, 14D, 16D and 21D (actually, 21 may be my favourite of favourites for its use of the flightless bird).

    Planning on having a stab at the back lawn today which means tomorrow I should be able to go back and do the bits of the front lawn that I managed to miss yesterday, grrr.

  7. What a nice fairly easy offering today, no real problems encountered & my favourites being 27A 14D. Many thanks to DT for the review which wasnt needed today

  8. A little over 1* time for me today. Thanks to setter, and to Deep Threat.
    Congrats to Big Dave on another formidable milestone.

    Looking forward to starting the toughie shortly.

  9. Must be the sunshine, but a */*** for me today. Sat outside and fed the blackbird raisins which went straight to the waiting brood a few feet away-getting quite tame now.Anyway reallt enjoyable and well done Big Dave, two hedgehogs last night!

  10. Thank you setter – I enjoyed that and solved it quite quickly ( by my own poor standards ) I had the funny feeling that the ” this was a read and write puzzle ” comments would be appearing ! Yet another new bird word for me in 30a. We are going back to Mull in September for a week – so I will see if the locals respond ! Thank you DT for your review and hints.

  11. Pleasant to solve under a cloudless sky in N.Yorks but with a cooling sea breeze .
    I thought the surface reading really excellent .(but I’m not the best judge)
    Favourite 30a,last in 18d which I had to come indoors to check .
    Thanks to DT ,the setter and congrats to BT and all re milestone .Quite remarkable .

  12. Many congratulations on yet another milestone BD. Just shows how much this site means to so many people. A very pleasant if untaxing back pager today. Any doubters, have a go at the toughie today, it really is solveable. Many thanks to setter and Deep Threat for his excellent review.

  13. Only one problem, and that was 9D. I understood the word play but just couldn’t pull the solution out of my head, so thanks to DT for the answer. All of my ‘likes’ were clustered in the SE corner…24A, 30A, and 18 and 21D (today’s winner for me). Thanks to the setter for a very nice puzzle.

  14. Excellent puzzle. I seemed to be on the right wavelength until I arrived at 9d and 23d. A couple of d’oh moments there.
    **/**** for me. Favourite clue 21d.

  15. I found this rather straightforward, but I think this was because the answers were easy to guess and analysis could be done retrospectively, so not so clever of me really…..
    I thought 14d was neat. And 27a.
    Struggled a bit with 1a because, being married to a chess player, I never think of the pieces as “men”, but as pieces. Although I know that some decorative sets use the term a lot.

    Allotment coming along. Guess we have to make the most of this week’s weather and cover a lot up before the …sshhh…w**ds start sprouting.
    Hope everyone is enjoying the outdoor life at long last.

    1. I’ve been a chess player for well over 50 years and I’ve always referred generically to “chess men”, split into pieces (queens, kings, bishops, knights and rooks) and pawns. But perhaps political correctness now requires them all to be called pieces? :smile:

      1. Surely using the word ‘pieces’ discriminates against people who do not have a disability. Perhaps we should refer to them as Chess People or Chess Persons.

  16. More power to your elbow Big Fella. Thanks to this site my solving skills have improved tenfold & I’ve made new friends as well.

    Oh & thanks to Mr Ron for a very pleasant puzzle and to Deep Throat for the review..

  17. Lovely puzzle. Couldn’t think of the answer for 9d even though I’d assumed the correct meaning of winning. Now I know it I can’t think why I didn’t know it. Nice to see that Spanish port making an appearance!

  18. I found this much easier than yesterday’s puzzle so would give it less stars for difficulty than D T. Not sure whether the reference above to “Deep Throat” is intentional! Wasn’t that a pornographic film?

  19. Very enjoyable crossword but definitely on the gentler side, thanks to the setter and to DT for a very amusing review. By the way, the Micawber toughie is also very do-able for those who don’t normally try it.

    1. I’ll second those comments :-)

      On your recommendation, I shall have to make time to try the Toughie too.

  20. A very enjoyable solve.

    Faves : 1a, 11a, 17a, 27a, 7d, 14d, 16d & 18d.

    Weather here in NL very sunny but a NE wind is maintaining coolness (or should I say coolth! I haven’t used that word in years!).

    Today, I received my new passport after weeks of waiting. We in NL have to send the application for renewal to the embassy in Paris with all documentation but the new one came back from Northampton!

    Last time I was in that city, I had to ditch my car for repair as the big ends went while driving down from Glasgow to Portsmouth – I carried on in a rental vehicle and a month later got my car back with a gold coloured replacement engine!
    Happy days!

  21. Well done BD – may your success long continue. So many people must have learnt so much from this site, enabling them to enjoy many years of puzzle solving.

  22. Aaargh! I put ‘Mafioso’ in for 20d and wondered why I couldn’t get 30a – what an idiot!

    All ok now though!

  23. Congrats on milestone, and thanks to Deep Threat and setter. Very enjoyable puzzle today, only had trouble with 18d, guessed the answer but misssed the obvious reference to e.g so resorted to the blog for an explanation.

  24. 10,000,000 thanks from all the regular users of this great site! How did we manage before BD?

    Thanks Deep Threat for today’s help. You say that you have been without regular access to the crossword in Guines. I have often stayed close to Calais and find it very irritating that you can’t buy the current day’s Telegraph there. It’s less than a couple of hours from England!

    1. As it happens, we only arrived at Guines yesterday. The rest of the holiday was further south, in Burgundy, where you certainly don’t see the English papers regularly. And on the Burgundy site, the WiFi access was only at the main reception area – which is where I sat to do last week’s blog. On this site, the WiFi reaches the individual pitches, so I can sit in comfort and respond – though the cost of access is quite high.

      1. thanx for forking out for the wifi and thanx to BD for the site-great achievement!!

  25. I thought that I could be in for trouble with this one as I started it much later than usual and I know that the cryptic bit of my brain is better earlier on. That didn’t happen – I thought it was straightforward so would give it 2* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I was a bit slow to get 1a and like others 9d was my last answer – I wonder why – it’s not a very tricky clue. I also spent an unreasonable amount of time trying to fit an emu into 21d as he (or she) is the more usual flightless crossword bird. 30a took a while – I thought the definition was ‘fierce’ and that the ‘eagles’ were going to be something to do with golf – oh dear! I got 21a right for the wrong reason – oh dear, again.
    I liked 22 and 29a and 3, 7, 16 and 21d. My favourite was 6a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and Deep Threat.
    Beautiful sunny day and cloudless blue sky – off to the garden. If I get round to trying the Toughie it won’t be until much later.

  26. Lovely crossword , made all the lovelier by this wonderful blog, so “cead mile” congratulations ! I would never have persisted in trying to learn the language and logic of cryptology without this blog . Eglantine is a new word for me , thank you setter, Thanks Deep Threat for your explanations and all the trouble and expense you have gone to.

  27. Thanks to the setter and Deep Threat for the review and hints. Very much enjoyed this, some clever clues. I must’ve been on the setters wavelength for once, I only needed to really think about 22a and 25d, the rest just seemed to go in. Most unusual :-) Favourites were 30a and 7&21d. Was 2*/3* for me. Making the most of Summer in Central London, completed whilst sitting by my favourite Duck Pond, need the Factor 40 soon if this keeps up !

  28. Thanks and congratulations to Big Dave. Pretty straightforward and enjoyable today. I don’t always leave a comment but enjoy reading through them – you are a witty bunch!

  29. I just have to say congratulations to BD. Fantastic, great, wonderful, marvellous, incredible and tremendous; well done, I’m sure there have been times when you regretted starting but think of the pleasure and gratitude of all those people, it must bring a smile to your face and a cockle to your heart! THANK YOU!

  30. congratulations BD. It is a great site I visit daily whether or not I need hints. Tho lately seem to have needed a lot. Perhaps this glorious weather is slowing my brain down a bit.

  31. Thoroughly enjoyed this. Had no problems with any clues, just the “why” of 25d. I had no trouble with 18d as it appears from time to time. It was also in a song, can’t remember from where … Flanders and Swan maybe?

  32. Delighted to see that DT rated this as *** for difficulty, because I whizzed through it in record time ( record time for me that is).
    Just one of those days I guess when everything just clicks into place and the flow is uninterrupted.
    Thanx to Compiler and to DT for Review.

  33. Not too taxing today. I forgot to take my red pen out with me so to use black. never a good move.

  34. It was thanks to stumbling across BD that I got into crosswords about a year or so ago at a fairly ripe age and by coincidence to-day’s was the first I have ever managed without any help whatsoever (it may also be the last!). So double congrats to him from me on the new milestone. He also encouraged me to keep going by emphasising that enjoyment was the key, whether you needed help or not. Before that I felt guilty about ‘cheating’ when I used anything but a dictionary, since that was all a regular crossworder friend ever used to confirm spelling etc.
    So any beginners who read the blog take heart, you may never reach concert standard but you can still enjoy learning to play.

  35. Thought this was perhaps a little easier than 3 star perhaps 2.5 for the tricky SE corner. Learnt a new word today in 18d and first time I have come across those particular eagles. Something to remember.
    Overall very enjoyable with some nice clues such as 14d and 11a.
    Thx to all concerned.

  36. 3d is confusing: I was not aware that Natal, the province of the Republic of South Africa, included Botswana !

    1. It doesn’t. and it doesn’t matter anyway. Def is as underlined by Deep Threat and it’s hidden in BotswaNA TALking.

      Collins has this for NATAL :-

      adjective a rare word for native

  37. Felicitations and many thanks, Big Dave, on this your special anniversary. You obviously give pleasure to a host of daily followers such as yours truly. Presumably to celebrate the occasion, I reckon today’s puzzle was probably the simplest DT ever!

  38. 7d, had no idea. thanks. just checked you out yesterday. will be back as sure as there are crosswords.

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