DT 27231 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27231

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27231

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Good morning from South Staffs on another beautiful sunny morning. Fingers crossed that the fine spell lasts until the weekend, when Mrs DT and I will be celebrating our ruby wedding with a family party in the garden.

I finished this puzzle in ** time, but found it less enjoyable than usual. Several definitions would do just as well in a General Knowledge crossword, and some bits of wordplay also seemed to require more than could be gleaned from the clue.

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           Shoots  fare for the Christmas dinner table? (7)
{ SPROUTS } Double definition: new shoots on a plant; and a green vegetable frequently served with the Christmas turkey.

7a           In a city that’s ancient, I caught Goldfinger (5)
{ AURIC } The first name of the villain in the James Bond novel is made up of A (from the clue), an ancient Middle Eastern city, I (from the clue) and Caught. Cue Shirley Bassey…

9a           Friendly foreign correspondent? (3,3)
{ PEN PAL } Cryptic definition of someone overseas you might write to.

10a         Racket, fearful roar outside yard, is normal? (8)
{ ORDINARY } An anagram (fearful) of ROAR wrapped around (outside) a word for a racket or loud noise, followed by Yard.

11a         Test burger out where impoverished journalists used to meet (4,6)
{ GRUB STREET } Anagram (out) of TEST BURGER.

13a         Ma‘s toy boy, losing head, flipped twice (2-2)
{ YO-YO } The first name of an American cellist of Chinese descent, or a child’s toy. Remove the initial B from boy, and reverse the result, twice.

14a         As a result, coin minted — new series (2,11)
{ IN CONSEQUENCE } Anagram (minted) of COIN, followed by New and a word for a series of events. Not sure that the anagram indicator works very well.

16a         Self-satisfied hint of smile on face (4)
{ SMUG } The initial letter of Smile followed by a slang word for face.

17a         Play with male office worker in trial (3,7)
{ THE TEMPEST } A Shakespeare play made up of the male pronoun and a short-term office worker inside the sort of trial we saw at Trent Bridge last week.

19a         Coin kept popping up (2,6)
{ IN POCKET } An all-in-one clue. Anagram (popping) of COIN KEPT and where you might find a coin popping up, giving a phrase meaning up or in profit. My thanks to Gazza and crypticsue for pointing this one out.

20a         Completely frustrated, I had returned before she had (6)
{ DISHED } The abbreviated form of ‘I had’ reversed, followed by the abbreviated form of ‘she had’.

22a         Boredom detected in English nun, I suspect (5)
{ ENNUI} Anagram (suspect) of E(nglish) NUN I.

23a         Find ladder on the ground (3,4)
{ RUN DOWN } To find after a search. A ladder in a lady’s stocking, and where you are if you’re on the ground as opposed to up in the air.


1d           Go over carriage (4)
{ TRAP } Reverse (over) a verb meaning to go or to leave, to get a carriage often drawn by a pony.

2d           Report of patient’s progress round home (8)
{ BULLETIN } A round in a rifle followed by another word for at home.

3d           Bonded, initially, with Italian robber in gang (6)
{ BANDIT } The initial letter of Bandit, a conjunction meaning ‘with’ or ‘as well as’, and an abbreviation for Italian.

4d           Biscuit and alcoholic drink ahead of game (6,4)
{ BRANDY SNAP } An alcoholic drink (the one for aspiring heroes, according to Dr Johnson) followed by a card game.

5d           Promise son clothes (5)
{ SWEAR } A verb for the making of a solemn promise. Son followed by a generic word for clothing, often seen prefaced by men’s, ladies’ or children’s.

6d           Building stocked remote safety device (5,8)
{ SMOKE DETECTOR } Anagram (building) of STOCKED REMOTE.

8d           Chapter really upset Scottish historian (7)
{ CARLYLE } An abbreviation for Chapter followed by an anagram (upset) of REALLY, producing a 19th-century Scottish historian.

12d         Second-floor family? (10)
{ BACKGROUND } A verb meaning to second or support, followed by a floor in a building, usually the one you enter by.

14d         Huge mines exploded around me (7)
{ IMMENSE } Anagram (exploded) OF MINES wrapped around ME (from the clue).

15d         Greatly affecting winning finish (8)
{ UPENDING } A two-letter word for a winning position in a game followed by the finish of a play or book. I had never come across this meaning of the answer before, but it is in the BRB.

17d         Accommodate  fool (4,2)
{ TAKE IN } Double definition: to welcome someone into your home; or to deceive them.

18d         Authoritarian Irish novelist? Sounds like him (5)
{ STERN } A homophone (sounds like him) of the Irish novelist who wrote Tristram Shandy.

21d         Head of Smithsonian shown with recently stolen picture (4)
{ SHOT } The initial letter (head) of Smithsonian followed by the criminal slang for stolen property – as in ‘too — to handle’.

The Quick Crossword pun { WHY }{ TART }{ LAIN } = { WHITE HART LANE }.

53 comments on “DT 27231

    1. It wasn’t until I played the clip that I realised why he appeared to be playing the cello with gloves on. Reminds me of the village organist where I used to live who played the organ wearing mittens. The result was as you would imagine.

  1. The first crossword done on my new Ipad which Saint Sharon bought me whilst I was walking (and drinking) in the lakes. The quickie looks very strange without the alterations and write overs. Nice Puzzle not too taxing. For those who missed yesterdays stab at The Daily Mail, here it is again. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1L1sOeYjOVw Ta to all

  2. I thought that I would struggle with this on the first reading, but once under way found it not too hard. Thank you setter – I enjoyed the misdirections and thank you DT for your review. Happy Anniversary and have a great family party ! Pimms perhaps ?

  3. I really enjoyed this one – thanks to Mr Ron and DT.
    For 19a I thought the definition was just ‘up’, i.e. showing a profit.

    1. So did I but I’m not clever enough to look for too many complications once I’ve got an answer and understood it.

    2. Thanks, I think you are right, and I’ve amended the hint. Kath, your reply came in while I was doing the editing, which is why I haven’t given you a credit – sorry.

  4. I agree with you Deep Threat – too much general knowledge needed for a cryptic crossword. Needed an explanation why Ma was there in 13a even though the answer was obvious.

    Congratulations on the Ruby Wedding Mr and Mrs DT! The most original gift we received on our 40th (15 years ago) was a voucher for a meal at our local Indian restaurant with the message – ‘Have a ruby on us!’

    1. My husband and I were taken to Ruby Tuesdays (chinese restaurant in New York). Ten years ago come December. :smile:

  5. I managed to complete without assistance but didnt particularly enjoy it, I agree with DT comments about general knowledge clues.oh well at least ot was easier than the bloody flat pack furniture im trying to assemble & im a supposedly an engineer. Thanks for the review which wasn’t required for a change.

  6. Tough, and not much fun at all this morning. Needed confirmation re two little words , including 21d. Thanks for the tips!

  7. Congratulations on your ruby DT.

    Not to difficult today (IMHO) but the clues did seem a bit ‘bitty’ and a lot of the clues seemed to be of a ‘solve then figure out why’ type. Not too sure that you needed all that much General Knowledge, but that might just be that I wasn’t really looking for GK clues.

    Re 13A : I read the Ma’s part as meaning an oldish toy (ie a toy that seemed to be more prevalent 20-30 years ago).

    Oh well, back to sweltering.

  8. I have to concur with most of the above comments.

    Having not attempted yesterdays puzzle until this morning (due to Mrs CHs birthday treat), which, unlike some others, I found a stroll in the park, I’d rate this one 2 or 3 time more difficult. Must be the heat, you can have too much of a good thing!

  9. Missed out yesterday – problem with delivery of my DT – so pleased to have fun with today’s simple puzzle. Needed help to fathom why answer to 12d was right. Enjoyed little anagrams in 13a, 19a and 20a. **/***.

  10. Finished this before lights out last night, so I would give it 1.5*/* – lots of reference to the BRB and not very enjoyable at all, and I concur with the comments above about the construction of the clues. I really like skempie’s ‘solve then figure out why’ description. A couple of ‘oldies but goodies’ – 5a and 22a – so they would have to be my favourites.

  11. Thought the principal meaning of 19A was ‘up’, as in having made money (e.g. in gambling) rather than being an all-in-one clue.

    Overall didn’t have any trouble (in a ‘solve-then-figure-out-why’ sort of way), but didn’t enjoy this at all.

  12. I agree with DT and many of the preceding comments. My rating is **/**. I thought 12d, which was my favourite and last one in, was an excellent clue.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and DT

  13. I really enjoyed this. I thought it was quite tricky while I was doing it but can’t see why now. I think 3* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I’ve never heard of 11a. I didn’t understand how the Mum got into 13a. I don’t usually have trouble with which word to reverse in a clue like 1d but today I dithered so didn’t put either in until I was sure. I made 6d unnecessarily difficult by dividing it 6, 7 AND missing the anagram indicator. 12d was my last answer as I was completely fooled by the hyphen – how silly!
    I liked 19 and 23a and 8, 14 and 17d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and Deep Threat.
    Too hot to do anything useful/energetic so might have a go at the Toughie – unless anyone warns me off!

  14. Just right for a Tuesday especially as the temperature is rising not to tiring on the old brain cells. No help required today DT but thanks for the review.

  15. Was glad to finish this as I struggled a bit, but managed without the hints apart from needing a few to explain why my answer was correct. Didn’t know 20a at all! Like others was taken in by the hyphen for 12d. Thank you to the setter. And thank you to DT for great explanations and Yo Yo Ma who plays sublimely. Hope you have a wondrous weekend… :-D

  16. Didn’t enjoy this puzzle as much as yesterday, though we managed to finish it with some help from DT. Congratulations to you & Mrs DT by the way. We don’t like clues that rely on the BRB for the answers because we don’t have one. Thank you to setter & hinter.

  17. Felt like I was being particularly dense today.
    Never heard of 7a,11a or 20 a
    Finished it but didn’t enjoy it.

  18. Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I managed this ok in the end, but struggled at the start. No real favourites, didn’t really enjoy it. Had never heard of 11a but got it from the wordplay. Was 2*/2* for me. In Minehead at the moment before heading back to the Smoke. Glorious sunshine.

  19. Okay but not specially enjoyable. I agree with the **/** too! Thanks to setter and to DT, did not need hints except to explain a couple of the answers. Congratulations to you and Mrs DT on your Ruby anniversary. We celebrated ours in January. How much more sensible to marry in the summer! Have a lovely weekend.

  20. 14a is a right hotch-potch of a clue – an anagram of COIN plus the letter N from New – from the clue – plus a word for series of events?? Eh?

    What a mess – definitely not one of the best!

    13a – again a bit of a mess!

    Several clues thst could be answered with General Knowledge stuff!!

    Tut-tut – back to the Drawing Board!

  21. I agree with most comments, not a lot of fun.
    Still don’t get 20a, what has dished to do with completely frustrated?
    Thought 12d very weak.
    Didn’t like 19a, there didn’t really seem to be a clue and never heard of 18d.
    On the plus side i did like 2d and 13a and like most people missed the ref to the cellist.
    Thx to all.

    1. Still can’t get my avatar despite changing my email address. Going to give it up as a bad job.

    2. 20a. I think it is a word often used in the 20s and 30s by upper class females. It crops up in Poirot quite a lot. Its in the BRB thesaurus

  22. Not a difficult one for most of it, but did fail completely with 9a and 1d, so easy once I had lookeat the hints from DT. I had, I think, a touch of 22a, but some good clues. I had never heard of 11a, easy enough with the anagram, and, upon googling, it appears there are several 11a, and 20a was a new one. Loved 13a.

    Thanks to all for puzzle and hints

  23. Being in Canada was able to complete on Monday! 20a is not a word that I am familiar with.

    1. Captain Jack Aubrey uses the word quite often, perhaps it was more common when he was afloat?

  24. I agree with D T’s comments and ratings. Congratulations on your 40th anniversary Mr & Mrs D T.

      1. Whoooo! I’m impressed. Mr P & I celebrate our 40th this year, so are watching out for some original ideas…. And not being the fabulous cook CS is, it’s unlikely to be edible :-)

  25. Although I finished this I had a frustratingly high proportion of answers I knew had to be right but couldn’t see why, including 7, 13, 19, 12 and 15. Never heard of the usage of 20.

  26. Straightforward puzzle today!

    Faves : 11a, 17a, 4d & 6d.

    Re 8d – when we were commissioning the reactors at Chapelcross, I lived very close to where Thomas was born. Those reactors are now undergoing decommissioning!
    Time really does fly!

    Re 20a – it is clear to me that some of the solvers are much too young to understand older uses of English!!!

  27. Late today as working earlier.

    Didn’t much enjoy it. ..too many proper names and bits of general knowledge. I DID like 11 and 13a, but I didn’t really get 12d to start with until I read the hint (i thought it was a poor excuse for a clue) and have never come across 20a in general usage.

    Sorry setter …it’s a 2* and 2* from me.

  28. I couldn’t say it was difficult, but not a walk in the park either.I needed the hint for 15d.I liked 14a and11a. My thanks to Deep Threat and my felicitations. Thanks to setter, as well.

  29. Here I am, one of the last to comment, when I tried so hard to be first!

    BD – is there any way to comment before the analyst of the day has spoken?

    I ask because on Monday night I was dealing with US client queries until near midnight (I didn’t deal with all of them , the last came in at 04:27!), so I waited for the Telegraph to publish the cryptic puzzle.

    Very soon after that, in near-personal-best time, I was here at bigdave44.com wanting to beat my chest!

    I enjoyed this enormously, and don’t agree with most of the negative comments. I do agree with those about the general knowledge content, but I must confess that I did get great pleasure (smugness?) from solving those. I thought 13A was sheer brilliance, although my admiration for the man himself has something to do with that.

    I must disagree totally with the suggestion that 1A has any right to be at the dinner table…

    A final thought… in these hot days, was the fact that I tackled it in the wee small hours a contributory factor to the speed of solution? Discuss :-)

Comments are closed.