DT 27207 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27207

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27207

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs, on a dry but cloudy morning.

I gave this puzzle *** for difficulty because I struggled with a couple of clues, notably 1d, which was the last in because I simply couldn’t parse it at first.  The penny finally dropped when I realised that the construction was similar to 6d in yesterday’s Cryptic (which I struggled with until I read Libellule Gazza’s explanation).

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.


5a           Inactive rook, chess piece put in spot (7)
{ DORMANT } The abbreviation for Rook and a generic name for a chess piece inside the sort of spot that might have ‘polka’ in front of it.

7a           Plug Rhine wine, mostly for this special purpose (2,3)
{ AD HOC } This is a Latin phrase made up of a two-letter commercial, and a German wine missing its final K (mostly).

9a           Fisherman‘s position by river (6)
{ ANGLER } Another word for a point of view or position taken in argument, followed by River.  The ‘s after fisherman is a contraction of ‘is’.

10a         Scapegoat in genuine denial (8)
{ REBUTTAL } A scapegoat, or someone who is an object of mockery, inside an adjective meaning genuine.

11a         Enlisted man to see detective (7,3)
{ PRIVATE EYE } The lowest rank of soldier, followed by a verb meaning to see.

13a         Hide in shower (4)
{ PELT } Double definition.  An animal skin, and a verb descriptive of a heavy shower of rain.

14a         Season’s first evil winds — onset of ripsnorter lashes trees (6,7)
{ SILVER BIRCHES } A charade of the first letter of Season, an anagram (winds) of EVIL, the first letter (onset) of Ripsnorter, and a verb meaning lashes (as in old public school stories).

16a         King in charge, not bound by rules (4)
{ FREE } The Latin initial for king inside a professional charge.

17a         Gillespie’s turn? (5,5)
{ DIZZY SPELL } The first name of the American jazz trumpeter and a turn of duty, making up a different sort of turn, often described as a funny one.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

19a         Drink in nightspots a party knocked back (4,4)
{ CLUB SODA } A general term for nightspots followed by a reversal (knocked back) of A (from the clue) and the usual crossword party. I have to say I’ve never come across this term for soda water before.

20a         Insect found in place close to rainforest (6)
{ LOCUST } A Latin noun for place followed by the last letter (close) of rainforest.

22a         Work out volume in one (5)
{ SOLVE } What you do when you answer this clue! Volume inside a word meaning one, in the sense of ‘only’.

23a         Opposition leader in Duma is told to go (7)
{ DISSENT } The first letter of Duma, IS (from the clue) and a verb meaning ‘told to go’.


1d           Said of country life all but past (4)
{ ORAL } Leave off the PAST from the beginning of an adjective descriptive of country life.

2d           Famous Belgian showing determination in match (8)
{ MAGRITTE } A metaphor for determination inside a verb meaning to match or couple, giving this Belgian artist.

3d           Doctor caught in high wind might mean to take a chance (6)
{ GAMBLE } One of the sets of letters a doctor might have after his or her name inside a storm of wind.

4d           To keep mum quiet, work or cease trading? (4,2,4)
{ SHUT UP SHOP } A hrase (4,2) for ‘keep mum’, a two-letter injunction to be quiet, and the Latin abbreviation for a musical work.

5d           Benefactor‘s name in entrance (5)
{ DONOR } Name inside the usual way into a building.

6d           Country doctor taken up, about to ring a bird of prey (6,7)
{ TURKEY BUZZARD } A Middle Eastern country with coastlines on the Mediterranean and the Black Sea (much in the news at present) and  the reverse (taken up) of an abbreviation for doctor, around an informal word for ring or call on the phone and A (from the clue).

8d           Almost heaven, after tea, this French wine (7)
{ CHABLIS }  The joy of heaven missing its final S (almost) after a word of Chinese origin for tea, giving a white Burgundy.

12d         Shower before party game (10)
{ VOLLEYBALL } A shower of stones or bullets, followed by a formal party with dancing.

14d         Not quite certain matter involves large balance (7)
{ SURPLUS } A word meaning ‘certain’ missing its final E, followed by the matter found in an infected wound with Large inside it.

15d         Cavalier sort stupidly accepting one bet retrospectively (8)
{ ROYALIST } An anagram (stupidly) of SORT with the Roman numeral for one and a verb meaning to bet reversed (retrospectively) inside it, giving an English Civil War opponent of the Parliamentarians.

17d         Cattle dealer bringing third of herd into port (6)
{ DROVER } The third letter of herd inside one of the Channel ports.

18d         Hungarian pianist making record that must be heard (5)
{ LISZT } The name of this pianist and composer is a homophone (must be heard) of a type of documentary record.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

21d         Revolutionary female cook (4)
{ CHEF } Crosswordland’s favourite revolutionary followed by Female.

The Quick Crossword pun { QUEUE }{ DOSS } = { KUDOS }

81 comments on “DT 27207

  1. Good morning DT and thanks for the hints, I only needed them today to explain 1d!! I think it’s an awful clue even worse than yesterdays 6d, I wonder if anyone will agree with me?? I found this personally to be a two to three star level for difficulty and one for enjoyment, my favourite clue today was 14a, off to cardio clinic now back sometime later…

  2. Parsing 1d was also our last act for this puzzle. We were quite sure we had the right answer as it fitted the first word definition so well and we tried out all sorts of combinations, like a royal estate in Scotland, before the correct word came to mind. An interesting assortment of clever clues, much enjoyed.
    Thanks Mr Ron and DT.
    PS. Mr Ron appears to have compiled the Toughie today too as the setter’s name has not appeared on the Telegraph site yet.

      1. Thanks for that. Thought it might have been because of some of the obscure words.

  3. Absolutely fabulous , except , of course 1d, which I didn’t get until Deep Threat explained. Thank you. I hope I’ll be able to spot this type of clue from now on.It took a little while to get on the setter’s wavelength but then I really enjoyed the setters train of thought.I’d love to know who the setter is. Anyway , thank you , who ever you are!

  4. I enjoyed this one a lot and had no problems, even with 1D (lesson learned from yesterday). Pleased to see 2D, someone whose work I like very much. We have plenty of 3D(s) around here, nasty creatures they are. For once, the difficulty level for me was lower than that of the reviewer! Many thanks to the setter and to DT.

    Having a lot of trouble getting started on the toughie, though.

  5. Missed yesterdays blog, sorry, was very busy with various things and didn’t really have time to get typing.

    Quite enjoyable today apart from 1D – didn’t think much of 6D yesterday either, is this a new style of clue that we’re going to be assaulted with in the future? I certainly hope not.

    First pass of the across clues gave me a total of three answers, luckily the downs came to the rescue. I thought 6D was a very nicely constructed clue and nice to see the trumpeter in 17A make an appearance (reminds me of a comment from Christopher Martin-Jenkins on Test Match Special during an Ashes match – ‘So, Jason Gillespie, I wonder why his nickname’s Dizzy’).

    Not sure about The Lion’s performance so far (first half just finished), but was nice to see both wingers nearly score with their first touches in the opening minutes.

    1. Incidentally, they’ve just had the Somersby Cider advert on TV – is this the funniest around at the moment? (you can have 16 pip or 32 pip)

      1. Just looked it up on YouTube, and, yes, it’s really, really clever. Makes me thirsty

    2. It looks as though the Lions’ backs have never played together (which is not surprising because they haven’t).

  6. I thought this was an excellent and enjoyable puzzle, and my rating is **/****. Many thanks to the setter. Thanks also to DT for the hints, which I didn’t need at all today.

    Unlike yesterday, this was not a good day for anagram lovers! I made the anagram count a half.

    I got held up slightly in the NW corner, with 2d my last one in. Never having heard of that particular famous Belgian, I needed Google to verify my answer. That’s one more name to add to a very short list! Lots of great clues, with 17a my favourite.

    1. P.S. I can’t explain why but I disliked 6d yesterday, and I thought 1d today was fine :???:

      1. On thinking about it further, surely the difference is that the answer in 1d today is clued by the word oral whereas in 6d yesterday the answer was only clued by inference.

        1. D’oh – it’s a good job it’s not a weekend puzzle. I was concentrating so hard to follow Kath’s example of using bold text that I put the wrong word in bold :-(

          I was trying to say “is clued by the word said“!

  7. I got confused by 9a – the ‘s’ on the end of Fisherman’s seems to be a mistake to me. Anyway all sorted out now!

    1. The ‘s means that a word for a fisherman is made up of position (angle) by river (r)

    2. As I said in my hint above, this is a contraction of ‘fisherman is’, just as ‘he’s’ is a contraction of ‘he is’.

        1. Hi Derek

          I’ve traced the picture back through Google Images (which was as far as I looked this morning when illustrating the blog), and apparently the birches in the picture are at Anglesey Abbey, a National Trust property near Cambridge. So no Russian connection, I’m afraid.

          1. Thank you!

            I have vivid memories of woods and forests that my late wife and I saw in Russia many years ago both near Mockba and -still then-Leningrad.

  8. My first scan only revealed three answers but I carried on & they started to fall into place, agree with the ratings & like others had problems with 1D my favourite clue today was 14A with 6D a close second. Thanks to DT for the hints which weren’t required today.

  9. No complaints from me today. A nice puzzle which I got through in just over 1* time.
    Many thanks to setter (Shamus perhaps at a wild guess?), and to Deep Threat for the review.

    Now back to the toughie, which is not flowing quite so smoothly for me.

  10. I made a good start in the Top half (not 1d), then ground to a halt for a while. Not too familiar with Belgian artists or lesser known birds of prey but learning all the time! I’d give it **/**+ so thanks to setter and DT.

  11. I was on the right wavelength for once (hoorah!). Breezed through this in my fastest solve time ever. This makes a welcome change from the usual scenario where I am finding a puzzle incredibly tough and the blogger on here gives it * for difficulty.
    Like Rabbit Dave, I didn’t like yesterday’s 6d much but thought today’s 1d was fine.
    Glad to have a day off from anagrams.
    */*** for me. I would have given it more for enjoyment but it was over too soon.

  12. Bit of a one off today, short snappy and clever clues, a Bilco crossword; i was surprised at DT’S difficulty score as i only gave it * ,agree with the*** for enjoyment ,funny,yesterday i thought it was more difficult than Gazza’s score- one man’s meat etc.Thanks DT for the entertaining pics and the setter for his wit.

  13. Took too long trying inc to fit Poirot somehow into 2d, and Golden for the first word of 6d, but otherwise this puzzle went pretty smoothly for me for a change. So thank you to the setter, as well as to DT – not only for excellent hints, but also for far more agreeable (IMHO) illustrations. One of yesterday’s together with a blog comment I found distasteful enough to consider withdrawing. But that may be simply because some of my work hat is to support survivors – so please bear with me… Loved 14a because they’re such beautiful trees. Mr P once, when asked by a friend what sort of tree he’d be (I thought an oak appropriate) replied “a hedge”! :-)

    1. I hope I wasn’t the one to make the offensive comment.I found one of yesterday’s distasteful in a saachi sort of way.Also didn’t realize Magritte was Belgian but got it from the excellent clue.

      1. Oh Una – no, not at all! I’m so sorry if I was clumsy in my attempts not to point the finger at anyone specifically and therefore made my comment too vague. It was the image, plus the rape comment that distressed me (on account of some of my professional work)… I do realise that people have different tastes, but have always appreciated the general ‘good manners’ of this site (which I love, by the way), & was concerned lest we were straying a little close to ‘inappropriate’. And I know that this is just my personal opinion, and I have no desire to spoil anyone’s fun – however I felt I should speak up for the other view as well. I always enjoy reading your comments, so thank you for them…

  14. Oh dear – it rather looks as if it’s just me then! This was more than 3* difficulty for me and nearer 4* for enjoyment.
    I got answers to the first five across clues and thought it was going to be a doddle – how wrong could I have been? This has taken me a very long time but now I’m not sure why.
    Having got the ‘B’ and the ‘H’ in the second word of 14a I managed to convince myself that it was going to be ‘copper beeches’ – luckily I didn’t write it in. 17a took ages – tried to make it an anagram. The only famous Belgian that I could think of didn’t fit. Can’t spell 18d but at least I know I can’t so always look him up.
    I ended up with several gaps, almost all in the bottom left corner. Coca cola for 19a wasn’t helpful. Anyway, eventually finished without hints but with lots of ‘perservation’.
    I liked 17 and 23a and 1, 4, and 8d.
    With thanks to Mr (or Mrs or Miss) Whoever and Deep Threat.
    All a bit chaotic here – ancient Mum not very well and younger daughter in plaster from toes to top of thigh – her flat in London is on the second floor!

      1. Thanks – will probably go to London to fetch Pet Lamb No 2 and bring her home for a while, provided my Mum behaves herself for long enough for me to do that. Families! :roll:

        1. Oh dear – poor her, or you, or all three. Still she won’t be able to move far so could be the ideal person to entertain granny and keep her out of mischief.

          1. Now there’s a wizard wheeze, as long as Mum doesn’t fall over daughter’s leg and end up in plaster herself!

        2. I thought of copper beeches too, but luckily I didn’t put it in. Hope your family troubles ease off.

    1. That all sounds horrid, Kath (on top of your poorly dog, too). I’m so sorry and do hope things rapidly improve on all fronts. CS’s idea sounds brilliant!

      1. Thanks Poppy – collie much less wobbly now though and very much back to her normal cheerful self – just a pity that there are now two other ‘wobblers’! Definitely going to put CS’s idea into practice.

    2. Oh dear, I’m sure you’re wondering what else can go wrong. Here’s hoping all get better soon.

      1. No – I’ve decided that nothing else will go wrong! Now that it’s in bold type it just wouldn’t dare to!

  15. Many thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for a fine crossword and an entertaining and informative review, 1d almost did for me also having put in (r)ural at first.

  16. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but but was beaten by the first word in 6d, just couldn’t think of the country. Also needed the hints for 12d and 19a. Strangers, I had no problem with 1d. Favourites were 17a and 4d. Was 3*/3* for me. Cloudy now in Central London.

  17. No problems with 1d, in fact first in! Had to googlewick the artist in 2d. Incredibly there’s quite a long list of famous Belgians on the web! **/*** for me. Thanks to all.

  18. Solved this one after collecting DT from newsagent’s (also yesterday’s*).

    Faves : 14a, 17a, 19a, 23a, 2d, 6d, 12d & 18d.

    Off to my daughter’s this evening for a barbecue al fresco – today has been really warm!

  19. I had no problems with this at all, only the “why” of 1d as the answer could only be one thing. Just proves the “wavelength” thing once again. I’ll remember this one the next time a * puzzle has me tearing my hair out. I wouldn’t exactly call 6d a bird of prey as they are vultures and eat only carrion. In Jamaica we call them John crows, have no idea why, should google it. Thanks for a puzzle over way too soon and for hints.

  20. What an excellent crossword and a refreshing change from yesterday’s anagramfest. 1d held no terrors for me, having learnt from my struggles with 6d on Monday. 2.5*/4* for me.

  21. I arrived at 5a by a two letter word for swindle or rook, follwed by a letter which with the last letter could be an abbreviation for a spot and in between these two letters a word for a chess piece.
    My breakdown becomes apparent when you see the answer.
    I thought my parsing quite brilliant. :)
    Many thanks to the setter for a pleasant tussle and to DT for the review.

  22. Long since given this one up as a bad job. No idea who Dizzy Gillespie was, the only famous Gillespie I know was Jason who played for Australia. I am so glad the setter thinks that 2d was a famous Belgium, famous where I wonder apart from his home country.
    Managed about a quarter but at least I won my golf match!
    Hoping for better luck with tomorrow’s.

    1. Magritte is indeed famous. He’s a renowned surrealist painter, acclaimed throughout the art world and much admired by plenty of ordinary folk like me. Just because you didn’t know of him, no need to be rude to the setter. Dizzy is equally renowned in the jazz music world.

      1. Wasn’t being rude but I have asked 20 people and no one has heard of him. He may be famous in a small circle but not in the wider world i suspect. Just because you know him doesn’t make him famous!

          1. I asked amongst others 2 architects, a consultant physician, two engineers, a designer, a forensic scientist, a quantity surveyor and a surgeon as well as a variety of businessmen. A fair cross section apart from the fact they are all men. The general response was ‘Do you mean Maigret but wasn’t he French’

            1. Ceci n’est pas un mot croisé.
              Brian, Magritte is a seriously famous artist of the modern movement. If you and your straw poll aren’t aware of his works then may I suggest that you go look him up. I am a commissioning engineer by trade and see no reason not to know of his works and frankly struggle more with flora in crosswords which appear to be fair game (but I DO solve them!!)

              1. Bon Point !
                I asked a cleaner ,a cook ,a seamstress ,a laundress ,a mother ,a gardener ,my boss and she knew the painter !

          1. Surely, “Son of Man” has been seen by everybody, simply everybody.
            Like the Mona Lisa.

            1. I’ve heard of Magritte, but only as I have a slight interest in Art, otherwise I doubt if I would have heard of him in “popular” circles.

  23. busy day today so only just got around to leisure pursuits. Loved this apart from 1d. lots of good clues to compensate and particularly like 17a my first one in. Thanks to setter and DT for hints , only needed one or two today.

  24. Here we go again! I finished the Toughie with relative ease except for an extremely obscure composer that no one has ever heard of but this is proving a stinker. I’ve come to the conclusion that, with a Toughie, you somehow work backwards. Find an answer and fit the clue to it. A case of intuition. A straightforward cryptic doesn’t respond to that line of thought. It is either easy or it is not. Today, I’m struggling. Does anyone else have the same problem?

    1. JB, I take issue about 18d; he’s surely one of the most famous classical composers of all time. Wot, never seen the period film ‘*****omania’?! With Roger Daltrey as ***** buttonholed at a party by a long-bearded bloke and uttering the immortal line ‘Oh, pi$$ off, Brahms!’ And what about the perennial rhyming slang phrase ‘Brahms and *****’?!

      1. I think JB was talking about the obscure composer that was in the Toughie he’d just tackled before the cryptic.

      2. I suspect that JB is talking about an obscure composer in the Toughie (I know nothing having been a) too busy today to even look and b) scared off by gazza’s introduction) rather than 18d in the back page (for once) cryptic crossword.

  25. I found this one a rather joyless task this morning, far too much word-snipping for me. **/**

    Unlike JB above, I then had a look at the Toughie and spent quite a long time getting just 2 answers, before I was rescued by needing to go to work.

  26. I usually struggle at length, but to my surprise I polished this one off ‘im Nu’ as the Germans say. Probably my best time ever. It helped that the longer clues fell into place. Sometimes I think it’s just that the setter’s mind and vocab fits one’s own on a particular day.
    Much enjoyed 1d – with the checking letters the word suggested itself, so it was just a matter of working out why. (Luckily Vaughan Williams’s Symphony No. 3 was on the radio recently…:-)
    14d gets a star for grisly black humour.
    I celebrated my luck with a glass of 8d.

  27. I didn’t get time to do this till tonight.

    I found it very straightforward, but because I didn’t get 13a it has to be **. And *** for enjoyment.

  28. BIt odd looking at all the comments. This was less than a one-stopper for me but maybe I was on the right wavelength. THEN I moved on to the Toughie and solved 2 clues before realising that I don’t enjoy Giovanni TOughies (as opposed to his back pagers which are always good)

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