DT 27252 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27252

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27252

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

It’s another sunny day in North Devon – what a pleasant Summer we’re having (although it was a bit depressing yesterday to get a batch of charity Christmas Cards through my letter box).
Today’s Giovanni is pretty much at the easier end of his range – that’s my opinion but feel free to disagree and, in any case, do let us know how you got on with it.

If you want to reveal an answer you’ll have to highlight the gap between the brackets under the relevant clue (for those using a mobile device there’s some advice on how to do this in the FAQ).

Across Clues

1a  Worthy Lib Dem minister embraces right change (10)
{CREDITABLE} – the surname of our current Business Secretary contains R(ight) and a verb to change or revise. Will this clue stand the test of time?

9a  Sacred symbol engraved in bank house (4)
{ANKH} – a type of cross (the symbol of life for ancient Egyptians) is hidden (engraved) in the clue.

10a  Modest nun is a smug phony (10)
{UNASSUMING} – an anagram (phony) of NUN IS A SMUG.

11a  Like fish moving around, then quietly dormant (6)
{ASLEEP} – string together another word for like or having similar characteristics, a fish which is reversed (moving around) and the musical abbreviation for quietly.

12a  Being most wet as nuisance clinging to mother (7)
{DAMPEST} – a nuisance follows (clinging to) a beastly mother.

15a  Wee insect — it’s a bee possibly? (7)
{BEASTIE} – a Scottish word for a small animal or insect is an anagram (possibly) of IT’S A BEE.

16a  Simple life form is crazy keeping on (5)
{MONAD} – I was not familiar with this dated word for a single-celled organism but the wordplay is very clear. An adjective meaning crazy or insane goes round ON.

17a  Knowing characters coming through the airwaves (4)
{WISE} – coming through the airwaves indicates a homophone.

18a  Express sorrow, having little power (4)
{WEEP} – an adjective meaning little followed by P(ower).

19a  Gave up church, half-hearted action (5)
{CEDED} – the abbreviation for the Church of England followed by an action or feat but with one of its two central letters removed (half-hearted).

21a  Bridge warning about to be shifted east (7)
{AUCTION} – this is an old form of bridge (the card game). A warning or reprimand has its C (abbreviation meaning about or approximately) moved two characters to the right (shifted east, in an across clue).

22a  Boat  carrying less cargo? (7)
{LIGHTER} – double definition, the first a flat-bottomed boat used to transfer goods to and from ships in harbour.

24a  Five hundred little folk in digs (6)
{DELVES} – the Roman numeral for five hundred is followed by small supernatural creatures.

27a  Go round Irish head — finally see beautiful mineral (10)
{TOURMALINE} – start with a verb to go round or explore and add the name of the head (promontory) in County Donegal which is the most northerly point in Ireland (perhaps best known to those of us east of the Irish Sea from its inclusion in the Shipping Forecast). Finish off with the final letter of (se)E.

28a  Desirous impulse evident in return of the grunt (4)
{URGE} – hidden (evident) and reversed (return) in the clue.

29a  Support character leading national organisation as provider of sustenance (10)
{RESTAURANT} – a charade of an object used as a support, a word for character or ambience and the initials of a national organisation concerned with conservation.

Down Clues

2d  King facing death to become torn (4)
{REND} – the abbreviation for king or rex followed by a word for death or demise. I thought that this was just a transitive verb meaning to tear, but I shouldn’t have doubted Giovanni because it’s there in the BRB as an intransitive verb with exactly the words given.

3d  What may be swept under the carpet at uni results in quarrel (4-2)
{DUST-UP} – what you may sweep under the carpet (isn’t that why carpets are there?) followed by an adverb meaning at university.

4d  Horrible mist restricts our travel business (7)
{TOURISM} – an anagram (horrible) of MIST contains (restricts) OUR.

5d  Tempt player at the crease — one will get caught (4)
{BAIT} – a cricketer at the crease with I (one in Roman numerals) inserted.

6d  Not vacant, waiting for the match? (7)
{ENGAGED} – double definition – the anticipated match may take place at a church or Registry Office.

7d  Ghastly nonentities, without love and without feeling (10)
{INSENTIENT} – an anagram (ghastly) of N(o)NENTITIES without the letter that resembles zero or love.

8d  Person in business spoke here, troubled about parking (10)
{SHOPKEEPER} – an anagram (troubled) of SPOKE HERE containing P(arking).

12d  Tramp  unable to get up and fight (4-3-3)
{DOWN-AND-OUT} – double definition, the second descriptive of a boxer who’s suffered a k.o.

13d  Academic study of noted works? (10)
{MUSICOLOGY} – cryptic definition. Noted works are compositions containing notes.

14d  Nominal number all right for being accommodated (5)
{TOKEN} – a decimal number with an abbreviation meaning all right contained inside it.

15d  Roll in satchel with meal mum brought out (5)
{BAGEL} – what a satchel is a type of followed by what’s left of ‘meal’ after the letters of an affectionate word for mum have been removed.

19d  Small mat for ship (7)
{COASTER} – double definition, the small mat appearing on the table rather than the floor.

20d  Dim male could create a problem (7)
{DILEMMA} – an anagram (could create) of DIM MALE.

23d  Monkey‘s obvious mistake (6)
{HOWLER} – double definition. Here’s an example of a schoolboy’s obvious mistake: Adolescence is the stage between puberty and adultery.

25d  Heartless sects in unkind acts (4)
{CUTS} – groups of people with unconventional religious beliefs without the L at their heart.

26d  Cathedral cleric dismissing chapter immediately (4)
{ANON} – a cathedral cleric drops his leading C(hapter).

The clues I liked most were 22a and 7d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {KETCHUP} + {LATER} = {CATCH UP LATER}

68 comments on “DT 27252

  1. */*** for me today. I was just slightly delayed in the SE corner. Initially I put gags (heartless gangs!) for 25d; and 27a was my last answer in.

    I googled Malin just to be sure for 27a and was presented with a delightful picture of Malin Akerman, which considerably brightened a dull drizzly day here in London. I knew I had heard of Malin but I couldn’t remember the context, until the penny dropped that it crops up frequently during the shipping forecasts which interrupt Test Match Special every hour, and which will be annoying me a lot over the next five days! (Nevertheless, I am sure the shipping forecasts are not annoying to anyone at sea).

    Favourite today 29a – just one, Kath!

    Many thanks to Giovanni for an enjoyable romp, and to Gazza for his review which I needed only to understand the airwaves bit of 17a.

    1. I was always convinced that the shipping forecast was a way for MI5 to pass messages onto its operatives throughout the world. Since even the smallest boats now can hold equipment to get up to date weather information, I even more convinced that this is the case.

      1. From Test Match Special – “A View from the Boundary” at the Old Trafford test match last week.

        Jonathan Agnew is joined by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to have performed a non-stop circumnavigation of the world single handed. The English sailor explains why he decided to take on this remarkable feat, …. and educates Jonathan on why the shipping forecast is still an important tool for shipmen the world over.

  2. No real problems here, although I put 27a in without understanding why at the time; all became clear once i’d finished and I looked up the 5 letters in the middle. Thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza.
    I will wait and see who set today’s toughie, before I decide whether I can find time to look at it.

  3. One of the Don’s easier (or should I say ‘less difficult’ offerings, but still enjoyable. Nothing really held me up, but two (1 and 29A) was a case of seeing the answer and then working out why. Having seen, the why, they are very good clues indeed and (without wishing to upset anyone) are my two co-favourites today.

    Had new boiler installed yesterday. I was told it would be a two day job, but they’d finished by 4:00pm ! Decided to treat myself to a long soak in the bath (probably my first bath in 20 years) and found I don’t fit in any more :(

    Looking forward to a day (or five) of cricket with the odd (and I do mean odd) balloon passing the window (Bristol International Balloon Fiesta this weekend).

  4. Although not a sailor, I knew that the shipping forecast would come in one day – thank you DG for an enjoyable puzzle – more new words I am ashamed to say at 9a and 16a. Thank you Gazza for your review.

    1. There was a bit of a vogue for wearing 9a’s during the early 70s as I remember, wasn’t there? Together with the beads, feathers, bells and painted flowers.
      Oh, happy days!

      1. You forgot the loons! I had a royal blue pair with red buttons – I loved them so much. The bottoms of the legs were really really wide – only a problem when walking through wet grass – just can’t be doing with ‘rising damp’ in jeans!

        1. I had the works – Loons (with amusing patches on them), Stack shoes, long hair (not much left now) and even a loon shirt. Other shirts included tie-dye and two-tone. Had an Ankh and a choker around my neck

  5. Easy in parts, but very tricky in others. 19d and 27a were my pitfalls here. Thanks for the explanations.

  6. Great puzzle from The Don today. Not convinced by 21ac and only got 9ac due to reading Terry Pratchetts discworld series many years ago. Ta to all as usual. Have a very nice weekend and I will see you all on Monday.

  7. Worldpay have screwed up again on their web site and I can’t log in to change my credit card details. Would some kind soul e.mail me todays’ puzzle so that I can get started whilst they sort out the mess

        1. Apologies, Gazza, but, being of a certain age, I can’t see how to open it so that I can type into it – or do I have to print it off?

          1. Don’t worry, I’ve printed it. It’s quite like the old days when I filled it in by hand

  8. I agree with 2*/3* for this one.
    My main problem, which I made all for myself, was realising that I’d heard of 9a, looking it up just to check and then writing it ‘anhk’ which effectively scuppered 8d until I noticed what I’d done! :roll:
    I needed the explanations for 21a – should have been able to sort that out but didn’t – and 27a. I got into a terrible muddle with that – managed the ‘tour’ bit, thought the ‘I’ was the ‘Irish head’ which left me with an awful jumble of letters that I couldn’t do anything with at all.
    I’ve never heard of 16a and the only simple life form that I could come up with was ‘amoeba’ which it clearly wasn’t but only having the middle letter to fit in made it pretty simple.
    I liked 10 and 15a and 20d. My favourite was 12d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and gazza.
    Busy couple of days coming up – lots of friends I trained with and shared a house with, plus a few others, all coming for weekend. There will be eleven of us – husband being frightfully brave, so far!

    1. Hope you all have a super weekend, Kath, & husband continues to be ” vewy bwave”!! (Violet Elizabeth, I think )

    2. You needed to have Microbiology training for 16a :-)
      Remembered my Pseudomonads, smelly little blighters.

  9. I did wonder about 2D myself and tried in vain to make rent work, initially. Kicking myself over 21A, which stumped me even with the hint. Thoroughly enjoyable, though, with a new word at 16A. Thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza for the review and help.

  10. Thanks to the two G’s. A very enjoyable puzzle from Giovanni. I was beaten by 27a, I’d never heard of the mineral or the head. Also couldn’t get 25d, don’t know why. 16a was a new word for me. Favourites were 3d & 21a. Test Match a bit slow.

  11. ***/** – not one of my favourites. Thought I would never get off the ground and then suddenly pennies started to drop and was able to complete (apart from 9a) thanks to much use of Thesaurus! I think 21a too clever for words!

  12. Am I a nasty, arrogant old boot, or am I the only person who found to-day’s offering utterly boring. The answers seemed to leap out before one had a chance to try to work out the clue. I was only held up marginally by 21A. A very disappointing week for me it seemed – I really only enjoyed yesterday’s. I’m sure one and all will be delighted to hear that the Toughie gave me my comeuppance – couldn’t answer a single clue! I do hope that somewhere around this great big globe there are just one or two folks of a similar mind to mine. Grumble over – let’s hope for better things to-morrow.

    1. I cannot say ever find The Don Boring but the first half of the down clues were little more than “read and write” clues today. Then with so many checking letters the rest found their way in with differing degrees of difficulty. As to whether or not you are an arrogant old boot, you do sound like a daily Telegraph letters page contributor ” Sir. Am I the only person to think Magmull sounds like a Daily telegraph Letters Page contributor”?

      1. Miffypops I love you. I have only ever had a couple of letters to the Ed. published and they were both jokes and made quite a few folks laugh. So maybe I’m not all old boot-ish.

  13. Agree with the rating.

    All OK except for SE. I was convinced it had to be tourmaline (without remembering Malin) but I kept changing it because I just couldn’t get 25 and 26. No good reason for failing with 25, but I always think anon is further away than immediate…….well…

    21 I liked a LOT. Also liked 15 and 18. Are you a Scot, Giovanni?

  14. Working yesterday, so too late to post. Had to try and finish it today ( with the emphasis on TRY!!!

    Very surprised at the ratings.

    Any crossword with answers that included :

    can surely not attract ** for difficulty. Are you all mad?

    1. No, not all mad – well, I’m not anyway! Just been doing cryptics on and off for quite a while with varying degrees of success.
      I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen harrumph in a crossword before yesterday but I’ve certainly met the rest of your list!

    2. Bluebird,
      It makes more sense to post comments about a puzzle on the relevant blog so that everything is in one place (otherwise it can get very confusing). Even if you post the comments days or weeks later they’ll still be brought to the attention of the original blogger.

  15. Couldn’t get my head round the bridge as I know nothing about the game, and only a little about the architectural structures. So wasted time (although I currently have plenty & beside the seaside, ’twas a pleasure!) trying to force Arch into the first part. Not surprising that I got nowhere fast now I know. Thank you setter for the puzzle, and Gazza for helpful hints – and what a handsome Howler :-)

  16. Early tee time today so just sat down with the DT.
    Lovely puzzle back to the Dons best with a clever mixture of easier and more tricky clues such as 16a and 1a (have never yet got a 1a of his until the very end, they are always very difficult).
    Loved 15a and although I knew the mineral from the clue had no idea about Malin and google was no help. Struggled of course with 26d as I always do with Churchy clues.
    Agree with the rating of **/****. Thx to Giovanni for the puzzle and to Gazza for explaining 27a and 21a.

  17. This was enjoyable all round, though I needed hints to know why 1a and 27a were correct. Didn’t know the chap in 1a nor the cape in 27a, but the answers had to be correct. I never did get 25d and had to look at the answer. Thanks to all.

    Off subject for a bit. I just finished Inspector Lewis last night and wondered if anyone knows if there will be a (breathlessly, oh, be still my beating heart) Hathaway series? He is so, sooooo cerebral I would love it.

    1. Wouldn’t that be wonderful but Laurence Fox has already turned down the idea I believe, great shame, a superb actor and thoroughly nice chap.

    2. Have you had the series about the young Inspector Morse – Endeavour? If you haven’t look out for it – I think it’s good. All that’s missing is John Thaw. :sad:

      1. Yes, I’m loving it. Waiting for the second series to be released on amazon.co.uk. Would love to know about any good UK TV programmes that I might enjoy. TV is a godsend to me, along with my books!

        1. You’re in the USA, right? I didn’t realize UK DVDs worked over here. I rarely watch network TV, even PBS, these days, except for Downton Abbey. Mostly, I get my Brit Fix from Netflix (hey, that rhymes). I think one of the best series around is New Tricks. And I love Call the Midwife. Foyle’s War, too. If you watch all of them from the beginning you will be entertained for quite a while.

          1. We love Foyle’s War and I love Call the Midwife. We are pretty unreliable about TV stuff in the summer as we hardly ever watch it. Once the evenings get cooler and darker we move into the room with a big fire place and have supper on knees and watch TV. I think that new series often start in the Autumn so will keep you posted. There is, of course, at the risk of being ostracised, the new Dancing . . .

          2. Chris, you can get a DVD player from amazon.com called a region-free Pioneer and it’ll play anything, even Japanese. They are not expensive, around $60 or so, and I love mine. I buy DVDs from amazon.co.uk and also have Netflix. I have an enormous collection of BBC/ITV and I pass them around. Love New Tricks and Call the Midwife. If I can’t wait for the Netflix to come out, I buy it, but I am usually good and wait.

  18. Has to be **/***. Started off very easily but got caught out with two new words for me, 9a and 16a and struggled with 29a. I like 1a, 10a and 15a, and 19d. Thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza. Our first free weekend in a while so hope to do the weekend crosswords at leisure. Have a good weekend one and all

  19. Very enjoyable offering today.Lots of” likes”, including 27a. Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  20. Finished. Thoroughly enjoyable puzzle. Many thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for the hints and the pdf. I’m still battling with Worldpay so I may need help tomorrow

  21. ***/** for me. Didn’t really enjoy this. 2 new words I’ll probably never come across again and will certainly never use. Not too sure how I managed to complete it!

  22. Just finished, was having trouble with 21a until I worked from a warning, the type a speed c gives you if he or she is n a good mood! Then. Being a it older, remembered an earlier form of the game of bridge. Stil don’t quite get 17 a, I have the magi word but have no ideas what is has to do with coming through the wires. Hope some kind soul will explain. Thanks.

  23. Ok just got it, the characters are the the 25the letter of the alphabet. Why is it the most obvious ones that stump us?

  24. Been out playing golf all day and then down the pub – I started the crossword this morning and had all but 5 completed by 8.00 am. I needed help for 9a and 27a which were both new words to me.

    Good fun though – thanks for the blog!

  25. So Mary seems to have done a runner again . . . no paper work again :roll: !
    Seriously, I hope that she, and her dog are OK.

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