DT 27222 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27222

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27222

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from North Devon where Summer has finally arrived and all’s well with the world. I didn’t think that there was anything too difficult in today’s puzzle (one word that I didn’t know but the wordplay made it very straightforward). Do let us know how you got on.

Good luck to the British and Irish Lions tomorrow morning – if the final test match is like the first two my fingernails will have disappeared completely.

Across Clues

1a  Less than wholly grown up, a politician being complimentary (9)
{ADULATORY} – a word for grown up without its last letter (less than wholly) is followed by A and a right-wing politician.

9a  Sitting by stream is English poet (6)
{BROOKE} – add E(nglish) to a small stream.

10a  Nothing in tub by river building close to the water (9)
{BOATHOUSE} – insert the letter that looks like zero in a tub and follow this with the name of a river (there are several with this name in England).

11a  See 19a

12a  Maybe ‘ave a graft on top to try and be posh? (3,2,4)
{PUT ON AIRS} – cryptically how a Cockney might describe a procedure to reverse getting thin on top.

13a  Finish by Italian river in drowsy period of recovery? (4-2)
{POST-OP} – a verb to finish follows a river of Italy.

17a  Companion going off fruit and veg (3)
{PEA} – take away the letters used for a Companion of Honour from a soft fruit.

19a/11a  It might be a sign of brighter times ahead (7,6)
{WEATHER SYMBOL} – in less hi-tech times it used to be fun watching the presenter trying to fix one of these by hand to the map and watching it slowly slide down so that the sunny periods meant for southern Scotland ended up over East Anglia.

20a  As motorist crushed dog crossing middle of lane (3,4)
{RAN OVER} – the traditional name given to a dog contains (crossing) the middle letters of lANe.

21a  Root crop available with month returning (3)
{YAM} – reverse the name of a month.

23a  Path to get new tile (3,3)
{TOP HAT} – the definition here is an old slang term for something worn overhead. It’s an anagram (get new) of PATH TO.

27a  Exploded, being old-fashioned about public school (9)
{DETONATED} – a word meaning old-fashioned or outmoded goes around the name of the public school where the Prime Minister and his chums went.

28a  A little house and a comfy one, really! (6)
{HONEST} – the abbreviation for house is followed by a comfy house.

29a  Draw attention to big tummy in insulting remark (9)
{SPOTLIGHT} – insert a word for a big tummy or paunch inside an insulting remark or slur.

30a  Christmas duck being demolished by boy sailor (6)
{NELSON} – remove (being demolished) the letter that looks like a duck in cricket from another word for Christmas and follow this with a younger male relative.

31a  Basildon blonde perhaps showing legs — Rex is excited (5,4)
{ESSEX GIRL} – an anagram (excited) of LEGS REX IS.

Down Clues

2d  Daughter encountering rascal? I may act as an anchor (6)
{DROGUE} – D(aughter) is followed by a rascal or scoundrel. I didn’t know this word for a funnel-shaped device towed behind a boat to reduce speed.


3d  Behold — container has nothing in it that can help soothe skin! (6)
{LOTION} – an interjection meaning behold is followed by a metal container with the letter resembling zero inside it.

4d/22d  Theologian at home — pi mask’s blown apart! (6,1,6)
{THOMAS à KEMPIS} – this is a European theologian of the late Middle Ages. His name is an anagram (blown apart) of AT HOME PI MASK’S.

5d  Book shows what struggling tennis player may have to do (7)
{RESERVE} – double definition, the second (2-5) what a tennis player who’s made a hash of his first attempt to get the game going is allowed to do. I’ve never really understood why tennis players are allowed two attempts at this – if a footballer blasts a penalty shot over the bar the referee doesn’t say ‘No problem – have another go!’.

6d  Dog of small height you brought up in sports field? (9)
{GREYHOUND} – an abbreviation (small) of H(eight) and an old word for you are reversed (brought up) and put inside a sports field.

7d  Arrive outside club accompanied by one very pugnacious (9)
{COMBATIVE} – place a verb to arrive around a type of club (the type a sportsman hits with, not where he goes to play), I (one in Roman numerals) and V(ery).

8d  Hill — not all of it suffered a landslide? (4,5)
{FELL APART} – start with a hill or high barren landscape (in the Lake District, perhaps) and add just some of it (1,4).

14d  Carol, enchanting woman inside, is changing (9)
{SWITCHING} – carol, here, is a verb. Put a woman who enchants or casts a spell inside it.

15d  Man and pal try to mess about in unrestrained fashion (9)
{RAMPANTLY} – an anagram (to mess about) of MAN PAL TRY.

16d  Teach posh fools to make disparaging remark (5,4)
{CHEAP SHOT} – an anagram (fools) of TEACH POSH.

17d  Party regularly ignored peer (3)
{PRY} – ignore the even (regularly) letters of party.

18d  Equip a fighting force (3)
{ARM} – A (from the clue) is followed by the abbreviation for one of our fighting services.

22d  See 4d

24d  Is poet exceptional man of many letters? (6)
{POSTIE} – an exceptional anagram of IS POET.

25d  Producing publication about one’s relatives (6)
{MAKING} – the abbreviation for a publication (often a glossy one) goes round a word for one’s relatives.

26d  Lewd fellow giving sly look — chap’s half hidden (6)
{LECHER} – a sly or lascivious looks contains (hides) half of the word chap.

The best clues for me today were 12a, 28a and 14d. Let us know which ones got you excited.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {CHIMNEYS} + {WEEPS} = {CHIMNEY-SWEEPS}

48 comments on “DT 27222

  1. Enjoyable puzzle. Groaned when we first looked at the grid as it looked like four barely linked sections. However the Don was kind to us by giving a couple of clues that each took in two sections to give starting letters. I guess we weren’t the only ones to try putting in the wrong theologian in one of these.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

    1. I certainly tried to put in the wrong theologian but just could not make it work! I had not heard of this one, will google him later

  2. First pass of across clues gave me a total of 4 and a feeling of dread, thnigs got a bit better as the down clues started to slip into place. For some reason, 22D has to be my favourite today.

  3. putting my feet up early this morning after days of baby sitting . Very enjoyable and agree with ratings. Did not know the theologian nor the answer to 2 down. liked 8d, 20a,29a and 31a. Thanks to setter and Gazza

  4. Enjoyable end to the weekday puzzles, several of which I didn’t like much. I’d never heard of the theologian, but once I realised it wasn’t the earlier Archbishop of Canterbury, I was able to unravel the anagram. **/*** for me.
    Thanks to the compiler and to Gazza for explaining 30a which (for reasons which escape me) I couldn’t parse.

  5. Thank you DG, an enjoyable puzzle after the last 2 which were a bit of a struggle. Never heard of the Theologian, 15d doesn’t come up in day to day conversation all that often ! 24d and 31a brought a LOL ! Thank you for your review Gazza. Looks as though you have some good weather coming up next week for our trip to South Devon.

  6. Entertaining frolic today so time for a gardening stint before Wimbledon – “Come on Andy”! **/****. Liked 12a and 29a. Thanks Giovanni (?).

  7. 23a has me confused – I assume it’s an anagram of ‘path to’ but for the life of me can’t see what that’s got to do with ’tile’.

    Other than that – a really good puzzle!

    With reference to 19a & 11a – I remember the old joke about Michael Fish doing the Weather Forecast using those magnetic symbols, the first letter of ‘Fog’ falls off the board but Mr Fish ignores it and carries on regardless – finally he turns to the camera and ends with the immortal phrase ‘I’m sorry about the F in Fog!’

      1. The chorus of a very old song goes:

        Where did you get that hat? Where did you get that tile?
        Isn’t it a nobby one, and just the proper style?
        I should like to have one Just the same as that!”
        Where’er I go, they shout “Hello! Where did you get that hat?”

    1. I was in Wales when he told folk that the rumour of a hurricane wasn’t true, but then a monster storm hit, taking down trees and creating havoc everywhere!

  8. Once again roasting here in Cyprus touching 36 today so brain was already overheating before I even looked at the iPad. Generally mess with the xword during my radio show but today I just saw blank squares and thought, ulp! However, tea with extra sugar soon got me going and most enjoyable it was. Even managed to finish it before end of show.

  9. Very enjoyable puzzle from the Friday Maestro. Must admit never heard of Thomas Kempis but easy to work out from the anagram and Google did the rest. A joint effort today with Mrs B supplying the inspiration. Best clue for us as 19a, so clever.
    Thanks to Gazza for explaining 17a, I was trying to see what the companion had to do with a Pear! Always forget about these honours abbreviations.
    Thanks to the Don and to Gazza, now off to pick up my new car, having a middle aged crisis and bought a Porsche! Sad i know.

      1. Not as bad as one from a very long time ago which stuck in my head because it nearly made me cry. :sad:
        “Sadly pet dog is in for putting down”
        I think it was Rufus but I could, as always, very easily be wrong.

  10. I’d say 2.5 because I had probs in the SW for no good reason.
    4 and 22 I got because I know someone with the same surname and have just come across it in a novel (what is that book?) I know It was cheap off Kindle.

    Didn’t know tile was slang for a hat..is that worth remembering, I wonder?.

    Basildon blonde 5,4. You could get that without the anagram!!

      1. …and tile for hat was used in a clue only a couple of months ago, and prompted the same discussion on here, with the same music hall song quoted…

      2. Wouldn’t have helped Steve. I always thought the lyric said ” tie”. Never remembered the 2nd line…

  11. This is turning into a rather less than good day although the weather is lovely.
    Bad start to the morning – no car keys – husband said that I was scatty and disorganised – HE eventually found them in HIS pocket! :roll:
    And THEN I couldn’t do the crossword.
    I’ve really struggled with this one – at least 4* for difficulty and 3 or 4* for enjoyment. I think it must be me as no-one else seemed to find it tricky.
    I eventually ended up with gaps all over the place in the bottom right corner – anyway, finished in the end and, as usual, now can’t see why I had such trouble. I’ve never heard of the 2d anchor or the theologian and spent ages trying to justify the wrong one.
    I liked 12 and 28a and 6, 8 and 16d. My favourite was 31a.
    With thanks to Giovanni and gazza.

    1. Drogues are found also as part of a parachute to drag out the main shoot.
      In our house i am not trusted with keys, once lost the house keys and had to change the locks only to discover them three weeks later down the back of my car seat!
      It’s a man thing!

    2. Kath, re the theologian and “spent ages trying to justify the wrong one”. I’m prepared to bet that most of us did that!

    3. You are not the only one, I found this 10+ for difficulty again today. I found top right-hand side almost impossible and had several holes. Beginning to doubt my abilities again now that everyone finds this a shoe in.

    4. Every body is supposed to have their very own soul mate, however we seem to have identical twin soul mates (with regard to car keys, anyway.) Is their an app for car keys ?

  12. Enjoyable crossword from Giovanni, just the right amount of difficulty, fun and good clues (excepting 20a), my thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for the great review.

  13. I have 5d and 27ac in after my first surface read. But I have driven to the bank past the poppy fields and the two big Linseed fields. I have fed bread to Ducks Roach Chubb Dace and an abundance of small fry. I have seen Butterflies both Woodpeckers a Moorhen, a Buzzard being mobbed away by Crows. Long tailed Tits, Blue Tits, Great Tits Goldfinches and lots of LBJs. our resident Robin is getting friendlier by the day. The sun has got his hat on. Hip Hip Hip Hooray. Summer at last.

  14. I thought it was Thomas a Becket at first for 4,22d, but soon put right.It was an easier workout than yesterday, thank heavens !And all the more enjoyable for that. Thanks to the two Gs.

  15. Thanks to the two G’s. An enjoyable puzzle, needed the hints for 11a and 15d, couldn’t get the anagram fodder. Was 3*/3* for me. Summer at last in Central London, hope it lasts :-)

  16. I really had no major problems to start with, and then I got stuck on that right-hand top corner. I had to check that I had 9a right as I couldn’t get anything else to fit. In the end I just resorted to the hints for the rest otherwise I’d be sitting here all day and getting nothing done, just staring at blank squares. I had never heard of 31a but easy enough to work out. I wonder why pick on Essex?

    Watching Wimbledon and enjoying the del Potro vs Djokovich match … please, pretty please, make del Potro win.

  17. I have to say I hate these grids, which truly consist of four crosswords, with little help from one quarter to another. Bit busy too today, so maybe that had something to do with it. Another learning exercise, especially re. the theologian! Many thanks for the tips

    1. Glad it isnt just me with this grid layout! Like the four in the middle usually, but I always feel a bit cheated when I eventually get a clue, only to find it rarely helps with another solve! Maybe the novice in me I guess.
      Didnt help myself by inserting 15d answer into 14d squares either!

      Ho hum.

  18. A drogue is one of those many things that most off-shore yachts carry (I hope) but the crew hope they’re never needed – bit like the EPIRB, liferaft, distress flares and lifejackets!

    It’s a “Sea-anchor” designed to keep the boat’s speed down to a controllable level when running before a severe gale and a big sea. You can also use it let out over the bow to keep the boat head-to-wind if you’ve decided to give up the fight – safer than heaving to in a big wind/sea.

  19. Back from a few day’s babysitting and really enjoyed this. Thank G & G. Did not need hints but always like to check the reasoning. Had not got the cockney connection in 10a. Like the comments and am always amazed at how we may be alike or differ. For example it was the bottom west that got me flummoxed. I did not mind the grid although definitey did it as four separate crosswords Having said that there were lots of good checking letters once in. Will see if time to do today’s!

  20. I loved this one, and many answers came fairly readily, but I found some of the clues much trickier than I usually do with Giovanni’s – perhaps because of the grid, as others have commented. I found 8a, 2d and 29a impossible even with the checking letters (can’t think why, brain on wrong way round I suppose), and I couldn’t get a handle on the across clues of the south west corner, and very grateful I was for the hints.
    Most enjoyable: 1a, 10a, 17a, 20a, 27a, 31a, 24d.

    4d/22d was easy-peasy, as I was brought up with this theologian’s ‘Imitation’ – an unfair advantage, many would say. And not one that’s had startlingly noticeable results…:-)

    Many thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza for the hints and the amusing illustrations. I sometimes wonder if the setter starts with Gazza’s pictorial fantasies and carves the crossword out of them…

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