DT 27198 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27198

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27198

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Although I’ve blogged what must now be approaching two hundred of Giovanni’s puzzles I wouldn’t have recognised this as one of his if I’d come across it on a different day. There are no religious or classical references and it seems somewhat mechanical and flat. Am I being unfair? Do let me know your views. On the plus side, those who complained vociferously about the difficulty of yesterday’s puzzle should find this one more to their liking.
If you need to see an answer you’ll have to highlight what is concealed in the gap between the curly brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  One achieving great success across the board (11)
{GRANDMASTER} – gentle cryptic definition. The board in question has sixty-four squares.

7a  This fellow beset by idiots and duds (7)
{CLOTHES} – a male pronoun (this fellow) is surrounded by an informal word for idiots.

8a  When facing problem, journalist may be taken in (7)
{ASSUMED} – a charade of a synonym for when, an arithmetical problem and the usual abbreviated senior journalist.

10a  Fellow’s thus held to be a craftsman (5)
{MASON} – an adult male has a synonym for thus held inside.

11a  Hate a man to be getting agitated about independence (9)
{ABOMINATE} – an anagram (getting agitated) of A MAN TO BE containing I(ndependence).

12a  Was model again  rested? (7)
{REPOSED} – double definition, the first a past tense indicating that a model sat once more for an artist or photographer.

14a  Put up before court, first pair of defendants turned round (7)
{ERECTED} – string together a literary word meaning before, the abbreviation for court and the first two letters of DE(fendants) reversed.

15a  Between two thoroughfares see a duck (7)
{MALLARD} – the first thoroughfare is a pedestrian shopping street (or, with the definite article, it could refer to a specific wide avenue in London, running from Buckingham Palace to Admiralty Arch) and the second an abbreviation. Between them insert A.

18a  Travel across estate accompanying a quiet police force (7)
{GESTAPO} – this is the abbreviated name for the ruthless secret police force (Geheime Staatspolizei) headed by Heinrich Himmler in Nazi Germany. A verb meaning to travel goes round (across) the abbreviation for estate, A (from the clue) and the musical abbreviation for quiet.

20a  Health resorts in which one finds a saint or a drunk (9)
{SANATORIA} – an anagram (drunk) of A SAINT OR A.

21a  Sound conveyed by historic languages (5)
{CLANG} – hidden (conveyed by) in the clue.

22a  After first course of meal Conservative makes a dash (7)
{SOUPÇON} – a dash here means a small quantity or the merest hint of something, e.g. a dash of Worcester sauce. Start with what’s often the first course of a meal and add the three-letter abbreviation for Conservative.

23a  Let up on struggling to get rich (7)
{OPULENT} – an anagram (struggling) of LET UP ON.

24a  When put out, Percy bleats in a socially accepted manner (11)
{RESPECTABLY} – an anagram (when put out) of PERCY BLEATS.

Down Clues

1d  Shine having got work in market town (7)
{GLOSSOP} – a shine or lustre followed by the abbreviation for an artistic work gives us the name of a market town in Derbyshire which styles itself ‘the gateway to the Peak District’.

2d  A second layer of a pale hue (5)
{ASHEN} – string together A, S(econd) and a female layer.

3d  Get rid of one blemish between successive days (7)
{DISCARD} – insert I (one, in Roman numerals) and a blemish on the skin between D(ay) and D(ay) again.

4d  Leo and Adam done up in the latest fashion (1,2,4)
{A LA MODE} – an anagram (done up) of LEO and ADAM.

5d  Tragic girl drinking wine beginning to notice its pleasing quality? (9)
{TASTINESS} – Hardy’s tragic heroine contains (drinking) an Italian sparkling wine and the beginning of N(otice).

6d  In tirade a member of the house is unrestrained (7)
{RAMPANT} – inside a tirade or verbal onslaught we have to put A (from the clue) and a member of that house in Westminster with the green benches.

7d  Firm undertakes to make room for a thousand concessions (11)
{COMPROMISES} – the abbreviation for firm or company and a verb meaning undertakes or pledges containing (to make room for) the Roman numeral for 1,000.

9d  Battleship has got a hundred at sea (11)
{DREADNOUGHT} – this is both a class of British battleships and the specific name given to the first one built (in 1906). It’s an anagram (at sea) of GOT A HUNDRED.

13d  Jazz fan rhythmically talks up American slave (9)
{SPARTACUS} – string together a slang term for a jazz fan and a verb meaning talks rhythmically (like Eminem, for example), then reverse it all (up, in a down clue). Finally add a two-letter abbreviation for American.

16d  Lethargy of monkey with nothing to eat (7)
{LANGUOR} – this is a word that I always have difficulty in spelling (because it just doesn’t look right). Insert (to eat) the letter that resembles zero inside a long-tailed monkey from South Asia.

17d  Characters hemmed in by joy-rider angered, put into confusion (7)
{DERANGE} – hidden (characters hemmed in by) in the clue.

18d  Get busy with fight south of Indian state (2,5)
{GO ABOUT} – a fight or contest follows (south of, in a down clue) an Indian state. In Crosswordland an Indian state is nearly always the one we have here or Assam (most of the others have quite long names).

19d  Rebel Jack interrupting little woman in school (7)
{ACADEMY} – the surname of Jack who led an army of revolting people from Kent against the king in the fifteenth century goes inside (interrupting) one of Louisa M Alcott’s Little Women.

21d  A bit cold? Then dance endlessly! (5)
{CRUMB} – this is a word for a bit or a tiny amount (similar to 22a). C(old) is followed by a lively dance, originally from Cuba, without its final A.

The clue I liked best was 2d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {VIGIL} + {AUNTIES} = {VIGILANTES}

42 comments on “DT 27198

  1. I was away in Germany for a couple of days and took yesterday’s DT to bed after I got home, planning to finish the crossword before drifting off to sleep. What a mistake! I got about half the answers reasonably quickly but, perhaps due to my tiredness – that’s my excuse anyway, I couldn’t make any further progress. I was thinking of a rant on yesterday’s blog and a rating of ****/*, but, hey, that’s only my opinion and one man’s meat is another’s poison.

    So today was a great relief, and my rating is **(*)/***. I made things more difficult for myself at first by misspelling 16d, until the penny dropped for 22a, and by putting rampage for 6d, even though I couldn’t see how that word as a verb or a noun could be a synonym for the adjective unrestrained. Still I got there eventually, with the only bit of help needed from the hints to explain the Rebel Jack part of the wordplay for 19d, for which many thanks to Gazza.

    Lots of nice clues but no particular favourite, and many thanks to the setter for an enjoyable puzzle.

  2. Enjoyed this puzzle thank you Giovanni. I thought that the anagram at 9d was well disguised. Had the answer but took a while to spot the wordplay. Thanks Gazza for the review – as you say, the waters may be calmer today – or maybe you’ll get complaints that it was too easy ??

  3. Probably one of my quicker Friday solves. Last one in 13d. I also struggle to spell 16d, despite sharing the same first four letters of my surname!
    Thanks to setter, and to Gazza.

    Now back to finish my last couple outstanding in the toughie.

    1. Snap!

      I got 13d without understanding why until I checked the hints above.

      16d, OU instead of UO by any chance?

      1. 16d – fortunately I had the checking letter from 22a, otherwise it would have been OU.

      2. Yes. And I had “d” for the end of 7d, so completely blew 22a, had to get the hint to get it. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

  4. A lot easier today than yesterday. As Gazza said, this didn’t really feel like a Giovanni but had its moments. I thought 13D particularly clever.

  5. Unexpected heavy rain prevented my planned lawn-mowing so glad to do battle with today’s rather uninspiring puzzle.

  6. Finished in double-quick time and, like Gazza, thought it a bit flat. But I also agree with Skempie that it had its moments. 13D was the best clue for me also. 17D was clever in that the answer was also an anagram of a word within the clue. A */** from me. Many thanks to both.

    Having to work a lot harder with the Toughie!

  7. Phew ! What a relief ! I’m able to do crosswords after all.Though it was by no means easy.Nearly all the clues required thought and concentration. Getting the framing words early on helped. Still needed some hints.Anyway a very nice crossword. Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  8. Well, I found this puzzle quite difficult considering the fact that I rattled through yesterdays’ fairly easily. How do you make sense of that?

    1. You were wearing the right hat yesterday and you haven’t put your Giovanni hat on today. :)

      1. Right CS, I’ll go and get it right now because I’m only half way through. Come to think of it, I havn’t got a Giovanni hat, I’ve only just got my RayT one

        1. Finished. With a little help from Gazza. Many thanks to you and to Giovanni for an enjoyable puzzle

  9. I think I’d probably say 2* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    There are quite a few words that I know I can’t spell so always look them up – unfortunately 16d isn’t one of them.
    I wouldn’t have got 1a if we hadn’t had him fairly recently.
    I’ve never heard of the monkey and didn’t know that ‘duds’ were clothes.
    Apart from those there were no major hold ups. 13d was my last answer.
    I liked 21 and 24a and 4 and 5d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and gazza.

    1. Duds is very american term although its possibly from the Middle English dudde; perhaps akin to Low German dudel coarse sackcloth. We wont even mention Milk Duds a candy bar made by Hersheys.

      1. That explains it then. Americanisms are something else that I’m not good at even though a good friend is VERY American – I have picked up quite a few from her but obviously not enough.

        1. Merusa and I have the same problem in reverse. I’m OK with the British slang of my youth, but anything that’s become common parlance in the last 30 years is a difficulty.

          1. Dear oh dear – well, we will all just have to learn from each other, won’t we?

  10. **/*** for me, a relief after yesterday.

    If you found this too easy, the Toughie today is worth a go, I still have 4 or 5 to complete, but so far it’s been enjoyably taxing, with some clever, but fair clues.

  11. Well, I would have said a 1 * , as everything went straight in almost ( slept well last night?), except for 19d which I got but didn’t understand why till I looked at the hints. Never heard of that chap. So I guess that must make it ** for difficulty for me.
    Getting the outside edges first helped a lot.

    Altogether *** for enjoyment. Liked 13d and 16d and 5d.
    Favourite was 22a! Cute!

    Now to the courgettes…….received netting and giant staples in post today. O wot fun!

    1. Good luck with the courgettes – ours are struggling, as is almost everything this year. On the plus side our climbing French beans are looking a bit more cheerful and even beginning to think about twiddling up the poles. Where is the netting going and what are the staples going to attach the netting to? Hours of fun . . . ! :smile:

  12. Enjoyed the puzzle this morning. Sometimes a puzzle that opens itself up fairly easily is just what I need.
    Liked 22a and 21d especially for their surface readings.
    Thanks to Gazza and Giovanni.

  13. Too busy for the DT Crossword today and tomorrow. One more to take on holiday.

    1. Won’t Saintly Sharon require you to do other holiday-ish activities rather than sitting in a chair solving crosswords?

      1. After a walk along the Cornish coastal path to a pub for a pint and a Crab sandwich, surely half an hour on the a crossword wont be begrudged. I hope you are not suggesting we have a conversation.

  14. I really enjoyed this one and no assistance required – although getting the alternative spelling of 16d did hold me up for a bit!

  15. A quicker solve than usual for one from The Don.

    Faves : 1a, 15a, 18a, 22a, 2d, 5d, 16d & 18d.

    Summer has now definitely arrived here in NL – a couple of weeks early! Got out the lighter wear and donned it after a warm bath.
    Next washing job is the bedding!

    Must now go and shop for the evening meal necessities.

  16. One or two nudges needed today thanks Gazza. Otherwise very enjoyable although putting ACCOMPANIES for 7d didn’t help to start with. Must remember to read the clues twice.

  17. I liked this one. Much better than yesterday, and just the right balance in the end for me. Fave was 13d – especially having followed the series:)

  18. Thanks to the 2 G’s. I managed this one ok, but would agree it was a bit flat. Started with 1d, finished with 13d. Favourites were 15a &21d. Was 2*/2* for me. A bit dull now in central London. Managed to get out this morning for my first run after my injury, please to say the leg held up, but not sure about the rest of me :-)

  19. I found this a bit of a graft, not so much as yesterday but hard work.

    Just one point about 1d. Originating from the Peak District, I thought the answer was obvious, except the clue says ‘Shine having got work in market town’, IN implying within shine. I would have thought it should be ‘got work ON’.
    Had to make sure the check letters fitted before I committed myself. Pedantry over.

    1. You’re meant to read it as: Wordplay (appears or is to be found) IN definition. So GLOSS followed by OP appears in GLOSSOP.

  20. Yes, we have our hands up too for trying to misspell 16d. And surprisingly, we had heard of the Derbyshire town in 1d so did not need to go searching Wikipedia this time. Enjoyable enough, but did not take very long.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

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