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DT 27201

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27201

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where it’s a grey and drizzly start to the day – brings back memories of my recent trip to Burgundy!

I gave this puzzle ** for difficulty, though it was at the upper end of that category as far as I was concerned.

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.


6a           Unconventional sandals in racy holiday destination (6,7)
{ CANARY ISLANDS } Anagram (unconventional) of SANDALS IN RACY.

8a           Bit of chinwag has tendency to make one shocked (6)
{ AGHAST } Hidden (bit of) in the clue.

9a           Dry part of course followed by child, a learner (8)
{ TEETOTAL } A charade of a part of a golf course, a small child, A (from the clue), and Learner.

10a         Rival fooled in odd places? (3)
{ FOE } The odd-numbered letters of FoOlEd.

11a         Tincture spilt in a car (6)
{ ARNICA } Anagram (spilt) of IN A CAR. A tincture applied to bruises or sprains.

12a         Thin hair? Annoyed expression gets to follow (4-4)
{ RATS-TAIL } A mild four-letter word expressing annoyance, followed by a verb meaning to follow, as in putting someone under surveillance.

14a         Article linked to lines in middle of book — it’s a tragedy (7)
{ OTHELLO } A definite article and the abbreviation for lines inside the middle two letters of bOOk

16a         Character illuminated in landing-place (7)
{ QUALITY } A three-letter verb for illuminated inside a wharf or landing-place.

20a         Very quiet priest inspired by philosophy, a German invention (8)
{ ZEPPELIN } The musical symbol for ‘very quiet’ and Crosswordland’s favourite Old Testament priest inside a variety of Buddhism once associated with the art of motorcycle maintenance.

23a         Set of courses — or one making commotion? (6)
{ DINNER } A meal with several courses, which could also be read as a noun describing a person making a commotion.

24a         Character avoiding Northern extremity? (3)
{ TOE } An extremity of the body. Remove the Northern from a word meaning quality or character.

25a         Singer prepared to board wacky float (8)
{ FALSETTO } A word meaning prepared or ready inside an anagram (wacky) of FLOAT, giving a high-pitched singing voice.

26a         Mischievous type, Oriental sailor switching directions (6)
{ RASCAL } Swap the Left and Right (switching directions) in a word for an Oriental sailor – the sort who always seemed to be depicted as a villain in the stories I read as a boy.

27a         Shadowy figure pulling strings making enemies cringe (8,5)
{ EMINENCE GRISE } Anagram (making) of ENEMIES CRINGE. Apparently, the first person to be so described was Cardinal Richelieu’s secretary, who was a Grey Friar.


1d           Encroaching where flowers might be around pruned creeper (8)
{ INVASIVE } Somewhere you might find cut flowers after they are brought into the house, wrapped around an evergreen creeper with its final Y removed (pruned).

2d           Promoting a rickety flat above lake is embarrassing failure (8)
{ PRATFALL } A common abbreviation for advertising or promoting, A (from the clue) and an anagram (rickety) of FLAT, followed by (above, in a Down clue) an abbreviation for Lake. I think the answer is more often associated with slapstick comedy nowadays.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

3d           Nervous judge I hear penning note (7)
{ JITTERY } An abbreviation for Judge, I (from the clue) and a synonym for what the judge does when he hears a case, with one of the notes of the sol-fa scale (a drink with jam and bread) inside it.

4d           Articulate complaint put in front of English heritage body (6)
{ FLUENT } A short form of a viral infection, followed by the initials of one of the heritage organisations – not English Heritage, the other one.

5d           Pedestrian bit of poetry’s certainly not uplifting at first (2,4)
{ ON FOOT } A word for ‘certainly not’ reversed (uplifted, in a Down clue), followed by a division of a line of poetry.

6d           Holder associated with a drag? (9,4)
{ CIGARETTE CASE } Cryptic definition of a container for items you might take a drag on after you’ve lit them.

7d           Sharp shock that one pressing suit clumsily might get? (4,2,3,4)
{ SLAP IN THE FACE } Cryptic definition of what an unwelcome wooer might receive from the object of his attentions.

13d         European country that’s lacking popular resort (3)
{ SPA } Remove IN (popular) from a Western European country.

15d         Pork pie consumed in deli exclusively (3)
{ LIE } The definition is rhyming slang for the answer, which is hidden (consumed in) the clue.

17d         Green  in minority? (5-3)
{ UNDER-AGE } Double definition: immature, or not having reached the age of majority.

18d         Bring down beer that’s been rejected — natural mishap? (8)
{ LANDSLIP } Bring down, as a pilot might bring down his plane, followed by the reversal (rejected) of a Continental lager, originally brewed in a town in the Czech Republic.

19d         Communicating  beyond the field of play at Twickenham? (2,5)
{ IN TOUCH } The description of a ball which has gone over the side line of a rugby pitch is also an informal term for communicating.

21d         Aged wine kept in confines of precinct (4,2)
{ PAST IT } An Italian sparkling wine inside the first and last letters (confines) of PrecincT.

22d         Refuse  old couch (6)
{ LITTER } Double definition: refuse or rubbish; and an old word for a couch or stretcher on which people could be carried.


The Quick Crossword pun { PAR }{ KISS }{ TARN } = { PAKISTAN }

40 comments on “DT 27201

  1. An enjoyable puzzle that did not present too many problems. 26a was the one that held us up most with it’s parsing as we thought that to get the sailor, we had to spell the word backwards, and this did not work. So obvious when we see the hint!!! Think that we would give 14a highest marks today. There, avoided saying favourite.
    Thanks Mr Ron and DT.

  2. I quite hated this one to be honest. 24a COULD have been TEE for the letter T, which is a character, couldn’t it? It’s clues for short words like that which can put me off crosswords. 20a was my favourite. Got there eventually just thinking of the “german Invention” clue, rather than the cryptic. Putting “on” for my second word of 7d meant that I was ages solving 12a, when the Chambers came out anyway!

    27a very obscure, but I suppose overall, the puzzle was certainly very, very testing, educational and satisfying in the end. Just more hard work than fun.

  3. I agree with **/*** today. I managed three quarters quite comfortably (* difficulty) but got held up in SE corner (*** difficulty). 24a was my last one in, having been staring at a three letter word with two checking letters for a seemingly interminable time until the penny finally dropped.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and DT, whose hints I needed to explain the wordplay for 26a and 3d.

    7d was my favourite today.

  4. I really enjoyed this one because I had to think a bit harder. 7D was the last one in, because I had stab fixed in my mind for the first word for a while. I loved 24A and 22D. I didn’t need the hints, but always appreciate the reviews, so thanks DT and thanks to the setter also.

  5. Thank you setter – on the difficult side for me, but nevertheless an enjoyable challenge. A new word at 26a and needed your hints DT to explain the wordplay in 3d and 26a, although I had the answers but couldn’t work out why. 26a did the same as the 2 Kiwis and was trying to reverse the word. So, many thanks for your help DT, most helpful to have an advisor in the background – not 27a of course ! Off to Lake Garda tomorrow, so its £3.00 for the Telegraph and a day late as well – Chaos !

  6. Sorry been absent without leave again , the weather has been so nice been off in van for few days, hope to be here for rest of this week :-)

    1. Please urgently send some of your nice weather to the chilly south east of the country.

  7. Pretty straightforward today, apart from 26a, since I didn’t know the word in which the L & R were to be switched. I was also, like 2KIWIS, trying things like RAT and BA from reversed sailors!
    2*/2* rating, since I couldn’t find any clues which might qualify as favorites.

  8. A***/***for me today,remember a 26a in a Sherlock Holmes story- he was a murderer much like DT’S experience-had cane for case in 6d which was a holder for the first part of the clue, still for sale in antique shops-looked one up which held 20 woodbides-when required! anyway thought the puzzle most entertaining.again DT ,thanks for the wordplay in 3d,thought it came from j-i -terry( the hear bit sounding like the circuit judge called Terry!

  9. Quite enjoyable today with only a few problems, I was stuck for a while on 2D fro some reason (brain not woken up or maybe just distracted watching The Lions) and had to think hard as to the ‘why’ of 3D. Favourite today has to be 26A – took a while to remember the sailor, but very clever once t had popped back into the head.

  10. A really enjoyable crossword – I have to confess I resorted to my anagram program to get 11a – a word that is new to me!

  11. This is a good all rounder. We have Shakespeare, Latin, Cockney Rhyming Slang, Geography, Opera, (well singing anyway) a flying machine, and an animal. We have a sharp rebuke if we behave like 26ac whilst solving. There is some food if we get hungry but no alcohol to go with it particularly if you are not old enough. After the food those who partake can enjoy a fag and plan a holiday whilst listening to a band. If we ail we have a tincture to apply. It had me convinced it would be a Pangram. but fell short of B K W and X so nowhere near really. Very enjoyable. Ta to all. Only three sleeps until my holiday. Yippee

  12. I think taking so many days off from my crosswords has definitely had a bad effect on me! I found this quite difficult at least a three star today! Thanks for the hints DT, there is no way I would have finished this without them, I have never heard of 2d or if I have it’s long forgotten, I had never heard of ‘dinner’ as a noun before, really?????? nor had I heard of the oriental sailor in 26a, nor ‘foot’ for ‘bit of poetry’ in 5d
    The weather is not so nice today but we have had a glorious two weeks of proper summer weather where we could sit out until late in the evening, hope it’s been the same for everyone :-) and that there is more to come

    1. Welcome back Mary. Its been so long since we had proper summer weather, I am not sure I would recognise it. Unlike you, we are still wearing our winter clothes, arguing with our husbands about the necessity to have the central heating on in the evenings and so forth. Mind you, saying that, there is a small patch of blue appearing in the sky, although not enough to make a sailor a pair of trousers so I won’t get excited and remove my cardi.

      1. Hi Sue, sorry you’ve not had the same weather but I think maybe the central heating will go on tonight! No arguments! Summer clothes have definitely been the order of the day, we were up in Barmouth for a few days, came home to stock up and went down to Pembrokeshire for a couple of nights, beautiful, now it’s pretty dismal although summer is promised again by Thursday we will have to wait and see

    2. Welcome back Mary – you will have to repersevate!

      In NL it has been real summery the last few days including this AM but now it has gone grey.

  13. This was one of those crosswords that seemed to take ages to sort out but didn’t I didn’t fall into the 24a trap. Thanks to the Mysteron and DT.

    The Toughie is very Tuesday-ish and there is an excellent Paul (Dada in the DT) in the Guardian today.

  14. I particularly enjoyed the anagram at 27a as it made me think of Bishop Blackie Ryan, the modern day Father Brown, in the series by the late Andrew M Greeley who passed away last week. I enjoyed the crossword though I thought it a shade on the gentle side. I fully agree with CS re the toughie today, very Tuesday-ish indeed ( a lovely phrase Sue ) My thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for the amusing review.

  15. Enjoyable puzzle that took me rather longer than the toughie .
    Favourite 26a .
    Thanks DT and setter .

  16. Brain sending me into all the wrong places okay, so it felt like a winter’s trudge rather than a skip through the summer meadows ( you see, it’s the mention of poetry…).
    Diversions and wrong turnings included:
    -trying to prune “vine” in 1d which was nearly but not quite right
    – wanting to start 12a with “cuts”
    – trying to use “alto” in 25a
    – trying to make the 1d second word “race”
    Liked 16 and 20 across.
    21d very pertinent for me I thought…..

  17. Very enjoyable. Especially after yesterday this setter has bolstered my confidence that I am not a thickko. Although figuring 27a was an anagram could not get it without revealing the answer. Got all sorts of something IN THE something for 7d before finally getting it. Thanks DT for the review & hints.

  18. Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. Quite enjoyed it but struggled, most of the left hand side went in ok, but not the right. Couldn’t get the last word of 6d, mental block, would never have got it. Guessed 7d, but needed the hint to confirm it was right. Knew that 27a was an anagram, but couldn’t get it, never heard of the character or read the books. Some good clues. Favourites were 20a and 1 & 21d. Was 3*/3* for me. Weather cold in Central London.

  19. Found this very tricky indeed for a Tuesday.
    Never heard of 11a so not likely to get the anagram, don’t get 2d at all and would never have got a lascar in a month of Sundays. Not one for me today at all.

  20. I think I must have been lucky today and was on absolutely the right wave length as, for once, I found it really straightforward apart from my last three which were all in the bottom right corner.
    Somewhere between 1 and 2* for difficulty and between 3 and 4* for enjoyment.
    I’ve never heard of 2d but had so many letters already in that it couldn’t have been much else so looked it up – I knew that a prat was a bit of a twit but didn’t know the other meaning – you live and learn!
    I thought for a while that it was going to be a pangram – had a J and a Q and a Z but then it all went wrong.
    I liked 20 and 27a and 1, 4 and 15d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and Deep Threat.
    We seem to have swapped grey, windy and very cold for grey, windy and quite muggy – I don’t much like either but the garden prefers this.

  21. I found this definitely on the hard side, well, top right-hand side. I never did get 9a, 4d and 5d, though why I can’t imagine. After getting them with the hints, it seemed so obvious. The rest was fairly easy. Oh, also 12a, would never have got that without the hint. I got 3d quite easily but needed the hint to know why. 27a brought to mind Cardinal Richlieu, or was it his sidekick? Good workout, thanks to all.

  22. Include me with those who struggled. Thought I might complete it but then defeated by the last six or so. Among those I don’t think I would ever have got were 11 and 26, way too obscure for me.

  23. Enjoyed solving this one – I got the DT late from the newsagent’s as I could not download it from BD’s archive this morning.

    Aside from the four 13-letter clues in the external square I liked : 20a, 23a, 26a, 2d, 18d & 19d.

    Sunny all morning but now clouded over – looks like rain on its way!

  24. Never, ever heard of 27a but quite pleased with myself for working it out once I was convinced it was an anagram and had some checking letters. Just as well I didn’t put “stab in the back” for 7d (my first thought) or I’d have been dead in the water with 27a. Took me a bit of time and effort this one but finished without hints which is qute unusual for me lately. ***/**** I think.

  25. **/*** for me, 3d was the last one in, and I thought it the clue was a lot more complicated than anything else, fortunately the grid provided a lot of checking letters.

  26. I grappled with this one without any sense of fun but got there in the end thanks to electronic aid! For me 3* and 1*.
    Hopefully Jay will do us a bigger favour tomorrow.

  27. Finished this in two sittings, and mostly enjoyed. Far away my favourite clue was 14a, as having recently been to see it at The National was astounded by the performance generally with a brilliant set too. Thank you DT for a few hints I needed for the SE corner. Struggled to get 23a, but now I don’t know why! Freezing here for this time of year, while friends in the far North are basking. Thank you setter for keeping my brain working.

  28. Is it just me, or is 25a a poor clue? To my mind, F******O is not a singer, it’s a style of singing

    1. It’s a reasonable question, but the answer is both.

      * (usu in a man) a forced (esp singing) voice of a range or register above its natural one
      * A person who uses such a voice

  29. I did this crossing the Irish sea, westward, after a long drive up from London, between naps, and without any anagram solvers, other electric aides or even a dictionary.I liked it a lot though it felt quite old fashioned at times.Have I just gotten so used to cryptics that 7d didn’t seem cryptic at all ?Thanks to setter and Deep Threat.

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