DT 27249 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27249

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27249

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where the day has started bright and sunny.

A gentle but fun crossword today, I thought. The Quick Crossword held me up for longer.

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.


1a           Way, we hear, found by Fred’s partner to get source of flavouring (4,6)
{ ROOT GINGER } A homophone of the way to get to a place, and Astaire’s dance partner (one not unknown to readers of this blog!) giving a hot-tasting spice or condiment.

6a           Undisturbed river fringing lake (4)
{ CALM } A river in Cambridgeshire around Lake.

9a           Not all escape traders in ancient city (5)
{ PETRA } Hidden (not all) in the clue.

10a         Fellow wanting coffee and wine given servile attention (9)
{ FLATTERED } A charade of an abbreviation for Fellow, a milky coffee and the general description of wine such as claret.

12a         Base team near big house, reportedly — it’s needed by medics (7,6)
{ BEDSIDE MANNER } The base or bottom of, for example, a river, another word for a sports team, and a homophone (reportedly) of the big house where the squire lived.

14a         Lean crab scurrying around? It could cling to rocks (8)
{ BARNACLE } Anagram (scurrying around) of LEAN CRAB.

15a         Influence a paper put round fine city (6)
{ AFFECT } A (from the clue) followed by the initials of a well-known pink newspaper wrapped around Fine and the postal district of the City of London.

17a         Soldiers attending Kent town for trial (6)
{ ORDEAL } The usual abbreviation for soldiers who are not officers, followed by a Kent port.

19a         Tom, say, in front of cold entrance area covering varied events? (5-3)
{ CATCH-ALL } The animal which may be a tom, followed by Cold and the area commonly found behind the front door of a house.

21a         Agitating got regal leaders quarrelling (2,11)
{ AT LOGGERHEADS } Anagram (agitating) of GOT REGAL followed by a word for leaders, as in schools.

24a         Mind Celt let in mistakenly (9)
{ INTELLECT } Anagram (mistakenly) of CELT LET IN.

25a         Man backsliding in Stoke redeployed (5)
{ DEREK } A man’s name is hidden in reverse (backsliding) in the clue. A namecheck for one of our regular contributors.

26a         Dunce lacking bit of culture misread artistic subject (4)
{ NUDE } Anagram (misread) of DUN(C)E with the first letter of Culture removed. I shall resist the temptation to add a picture.

27a         First person in hearing with business acquaintance giving direct look (3,7)
{ EYE CONTACT } A homophone (in hearing) of the first person singular pronoun, followed by someone you may be in touch with in the course of business.


1d           Painter, perhaps, about to accept work (4)
{ ROPE } The Latin abbreviation for about or concerning with the Latin abbreviation for a (musical) work inside it.

2d           Late period occupying doc to be reviewed (7)
{ OCTOBER } The name of an autumn month is hidden in the clue.

3d           A lot of daring language troubled protective figure (8,5)
{ GUARDIAN ANGEL } Anagram (troubled) of the first five letters of DARIN(G) and LANGUAGE.

4d           Straightforward policy of unadventurous tailor? (2,6)
{ NO FRILLS } How a garment made by someone who doesn’t do fancy sewing might appear.

5d           Destroy section of dossier as evidence (5)
{ ERASE } Hidden (section of) in the clue.

7d           Make plans for a manufacturer’s products to be discussed (7)
{ ARRANGE } A (from the Clue) and a homophone(to be discussed) of the variety of products a manufacturer might make.

8d           Motel ready for renovation in reasonable form (10)
{ MODERATELY } Anagram (for renovation) of MOTEL READY.

11d         Official patrolling bays? (7,6)
{ TRAFFIC WARDEN } A cryptic definition, not of the Exciseman looking for smugglers, but of the less glamorous official monitoring parking bays.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

13d         Cancelling a second-rate allowance? Go back to intervene (10)
{ ABROGATION } A (from the clue) followed by the letter indicating a second-rate exam pass and an allowance of food or fuel, with GO (from the clue) reversed (back) inside it (to intervene).

16d         Contemptible way name is brought up (8)
{ PATHETIC } A pedestrian footway followed by the reversal (brought up) of a verb meaning ‘to name’

18d         Performed with old instrument inside in a mixed state? (7)
{ DILUTED } An old-fashioned stringed instrument inside a three-letter word for ‘performed’, giving the state orange juice is in when you add water.

20d         A Chinese gang nearly snatching American in country (7)
{ AUSTRIA } A (from the clue) and a Chinese gang with the final D removed (nearly), with an abbreviation for American inside the result, giving a European country.

22d         Frenchman with head obscured by fancy rival (5)
{ ENEMY }  The name of the café owner in Allo Allo with the initial R removed (head obscured) followed by an interjection synonymous with ‘Fancy!’.

23d         Humorous performance from Bob and Christopher (4)
{ SKIT } The abbreviation for an old coin known familiarly as a Bob, and a diminutive form of Christopher.

I’m busy next week, so someone else will be blogging on Tuesday. Back in a fortnight.

The Quick Cross word pun { CANNES }{ TARTAR } = { CANTATA }

69 comments on “DT 27249

  1. Lovely Rita Meter Maid. Great song. Easy Peasy puzzle today leaving lots of time to enjoy the rest of the day and get on with WORK. Ta to all. Hello to all. Goodbye to all. To Merusa re yesterdays comment about “who but Bella in the Whych Elm” I have no idea why I should know anything about it. She was murdered before I was born. i must have seen a news item in 1999 and it stuck.

  2. Thought today’s cryptic a lot easier than the quickie. Took a while to get into this one, after the first pass of the across clues I had 2 whole answers! Luckily, the downs came to the rescue and things started to fall into place. 1A was very good indeed as was 21A but my favourite today has to be 13D as has always been one of my favourite words for some reason.

    Good luck to Zummerzet this afternoon. Here’s hoping for another finals day

    1. Good luck to Zummerzet this afternoon. Here’s hoping for another finals day

      But not to be. Wilson’s run out sounded interesting on the radio.

  3. Parsing 22d was about the only clue that briefly delayed us on what was a pleasant gentle jog. Good fun but over much too quickly.
    Thanks Mr Ron and DT.

  4. I needed five hints ,13d, 22d, 23d, 26a and 25a, so that took the pleasure out of it. Thanks to Deep Threat and setter.

  5. I agree with DT’s rating of */*** for this very gentle but enjoyable puzzle. I needed DT’s hints to unravel the wordplay for 15a (where I even checked Google to see if there was an ancient city named EC :oops: ) and for 22d.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and DT.

      1. It’s comforting to know I am not alone with a face the colour of your giant tomatoes!

  6. Thank you setter, good fun, lots of enjoyable clues. Thank you DT for your review.

  7. Finished super fast today, didn’t even get breakfast over. My first pass of the across clues didn’t yield many solutions. I then did the down clues backwards, last to first. I know a bit odd but, but voilà, the solutions began to flow. Although at the lower end of the difficulty scale, this crossword was enjoyable none the less.

    1. I’m a big believer in mixing up the order of clues attempted. South before North. East before west. Clockwise, anticlockwise, outside edge……..

      Inevitably I end up cheating, but it makes the attempt a bit more interesting.

      Are the rest of you guys always consistent in your order or do you like to shake it up a bit?

      1. I’m always consistent – don’t know why. Start at the top of the across clues, get to the bottom and then start at the top of the down clues and go through those as well, just putting in the ones that I can do immediately. Sometimes that only produces a handful, sometimes a very small handful, of answers – depends on the setter but also on quite a few other things too. After that I just jump around.
        CS says that with Jay’s puzzles on Wednesdays it’s better to start with the downs – quite often that’s right for some reason.

        1. Me, too. I do the same order and I think that if I change the order it will be bad luck, sort of a guzoo and I’ll end up not being able to do it.

        2. Istart at the end of the downs, then the end of the across then the top of the downs, then the rest. Allegedly down cl.ues are always easier than across ones

    2. I always start with the last clue down then if I get the answer work with the interlocking clues, then proceed up the down clues and down the up clues !

  8. Once I’d tugged my mindset away from horses (always my favourite) for 11d I managed to get going pretty well. But spent rather too much time reviewing 4-letter artists for 1d before the penny dropped & made me smile. And it’s thanks to this blog entirely that I got the first letters of 17a. Haven’t we had 12a fairly recently? Thank you setter for an amusing puzzle. And special thanks to DT for explaining 22d AND for so nobly resisting the temptation offered by 26a :-) greetings to all as I’m on my way to inspect my giant tomatoes…

      1. As they are now towering over me and are so full of themselves Mr P reckons they will soon be demanding their own Press Agent…!

  9. Must be me then, I struggled to get going on this one, a two star at least for me and only one for enjoyment, thanks for hints DT although I didn’t need them in the end, no real favourite clue today, well maybe 23d when I eventually ‘saw’ it, happy days the sun is coming through the clouds and it’s not raining :-)

    1. Mary you are a ray of sunshine amidst the gloom. Thank The Lord someone else struggled with this dreary offering.

  10. On the whole, I enjoyed this and found it straightforward. No hints needed. Liked 1D particularly. I honestly didn’t think 11D was a real cryptic clue at all, and clues like 22D that rely on British TV shows are as popular with me as cricket and rugby clues. But we over-the-ponders get our share of Americanisms so I can’t complain too much. Thanks to the setter, and to DT for the review, particularly for the explanation of 22D.

    1. I’m not sure that 22d really relies on a TV show – it’s probably one of the most common Frenchman’s names – certainly in crossword land.

    2. ‘Allo ‘Allo used to come on public television a lot, every Saturday evening. It was so, so funny, sorry you missed it. Maybe you can catch it on Netflix if you get that?

    3. That’s OK I can’t do the New York Times when I am over there with its constant baseball references! Why are the Americans so obsessed with rounders! About as subtle as an air-raid.

      1. Baseball is known as “America’s game’. You couldn’t pay me enough to sit through nine innings, but it’s more complex than it looks. Lots of tactics, and that ball comes at ya really fast. Basketball is what my husband calls “plop, plop, dunk’. Extremely boring at pro level when the players are all about seven foot tall, OK at junior high level. The only North American sport I enjoy watching is ice hockey. But my sports of choice are the beautiful game and tennis (men’s singles, preferably).

        1. I love my tennis. I played for my school and then my club. A long shot from pro level but enough to get a lot of enjoyment, and now I love to watch. It’s one of the thing I miss most and get my jollies from Wii.

          1. I too spend a lot of time watching ad playing tennis – what with the crossword, Kakuro and Killer, life is busy! Enjoyed today’s offering but must confess I assumed there must be an artist called Rope!!

  11. A nice easy one today – no assistance required.

    I’m waiting for he plumber to show up so I wish the crossword had taken longer – I could be here for some time!

  12. I enjoyed this one and didn’t have many problems – 1* for difficulty and 3*/4* for enjoyment.
    I was a bit on the dozy side with 1d – tried to think of an artist, then tried to fit ‘RA’ into it somehow – always forget that meaning of painter. Like Poppy my first thought with 11d was that it was going to be something to do with horses but already had so many letters in that it became obvious fairly quickly. The last two letters of 22d caused a bit of trouble. I didn’t know the word for a Chinese gang in 20d.
    While I was actually in the middle of doing the crossword I felt as if there were quite a lot of anagrams or part anagrams but, having counted, I’ve changed my mind.
    I liked 14 and 27a and 4d. My favourite was 25a but mainly because it was my Dad’s name – he was never called that – his surname was Andrew so he was always called Andy, except by his mother.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and Deep Threat.

    1. My brother’s name as well, and his middle name was Andrew, my mother’s maiden name was Andrews. And, of course, there’s our Derek in NL

    2. That’s funny Kath, I did exactly the same with the anagrams, there were a lot less than I thought.

  13. Just a slight disagreement with the explanation of 7d. I see it as a double definition – make plans and a homophone of manufacturer’s products (including the indefinite article). The A from the clue is not needed.

    1. If you didn’t have the ‘A’ you’d end up with ‘rrange’ – don’t think there’s any such word!
      OK – sorry about that. The definition is make plans which is arrange. So you want the ‘A’ from the clue and what sounds like (to be discussed) manufacturers products – range.

      1. Hi Kath – I think we agree but I didn’t explain myself very well. The explanation says ‘A from the clue and a homophone of the variety of products’ (RANGE). Actually, ‘A RANGE’ is a homophone of ‘ARRANGE’ – you don’t need the A from the clue – but it is a very minor point.

  14. As others have said, a straightforward one today. 19a was my last one but had to wait until I had all the available letters. Thanks for the explanation of 22d

  15. Quite quick cryptic today, thank you setter & hinter. I think dear Scchua would not have been able to resist the temptation of providing a picture for 26 across.

    1. Sheila, You’re leaving the final ‘k’ off your email address so that your comments need editing.

      1. Sorry gazza, not sure how that happened ….. too many fingers on the iPad crossing things out I think.

  16. I agree with the *\*** rating.

    Talking of ratings, I had no idea why what I put in for 1d made sense, so thx for the info. I enjoyed working out 13d and 20……I knew that name, but would it come? Would it Eckerslike! Tang, Tong. Tring. In the end, the country made it obvious.

    25 was strange. It’s not as though it was the only thing that would fit, if you changed 23. Well, there you are.

      1. I only felt that it was unusual to see a specific personal name as a solution. Obviously it does happen, maybe especially tempting with that type of clue.

        What IS it called when the letters of the answer go in sequence (to and fro) between words?

        1. I think you might mean a palindrome but can’t quite tell from your description. Rotor? If so there are some really long ones but can’t remember any now – am quite sure that someone will!!

          1. I think Bluebird is referring to a clue where the answer is in he clue, but split over two or three words as in 5D today (although sometimes the answer will be split across the two words but backwards)

        2. They’re either just referred to as “hidden words” when in a single word and a friends of ours calls them “a run on” when they’re across words..

          Re palindromes – there are some quite long palindromic sentences but most are usually very contrived. I like this one though

          Do Good’s deeds live on? No, Evil’s deeds do, O God

          And I love this long list of names.

          Dennis, Nell, Edna, Leon, Nedra, Anita, Rolf, Nora, Alice, Carol, Leo, Jane, Reed, Dena, Dale, Basil, Rae, Penny, Lana, Dave, Denny, Lena, Ida, Bernadette, Ben, Ray, Lila, Nina, Jo, Ira, Mara, Sara, Mario, Jan, Ina, Lily, Arne, Bette, Dan, Reba, Diane, Lynn, Ed, Eva, Dana, Lynne, Pearl, Isabel, Ada, Ned, Dee, Rena, Joel, Lora, Cecil, Aaron, Flora, Tina, Arden, Noel, and Ellen sinned.

  17. Yes I agree with the ratings and was very much on setters wavelength but last one in was 22d for which I needed DT’s hint. So thanks for that and to setter, some lovely clues. Liked 12a and 1a

  18. Found this one very tricky indeed. Just not on the setters wavelength at all.
    For me ***/*. Spent ages trying to get Wilma into 1a and would never have got 22a at all.
    Only clue I liked was 17a. Apart from that, very little fun.
    Thx to DT for the much needed hints.

  19. Again today I was spot on wavelength. Funny how that happens, then other days when everyone is sailing through, I am sitting here pulling my hair out. Takes all sorts. Thanks for a most entertaining start to the day.

  20. I agree with the star rating from DT, untaxing but fun, thanks to the setter and DT for the very amusing review.

  21. Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but not too tricky, only had to think about 7&16d. Favourites were 6&10a and 13d. Was 1*/3* for me. Had the best of the Sun now in Central London. Off to Reedham tomorrow for a day out.

  22. I liked 10abut couldn’t get 20d. Put it in then took it out as I couldn’t get it.
    Put it back again when I’d looked up Chinese gangs..

  23. I really enjoyed that as I managed it totally unaided . Didn’t even need a dictionary !

  24. I thought this was going to be tricky as I hardly got any on first reading through, but then ended up finishing in * time. So */*** for me.

  25. Done on the Circle Line between Liverpool Street and St James’ Park. Last in 13d. Good fun.

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