DT 27300 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27300

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27300

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **/***Enjoyment **

There weren’t many d’oh moments in this one for me – what did you think?

To reveal an answer you’ll need to highlight the gap between the curly brackets under the relevant clue.

Across Clues

1a  Spot a piece that’s unusual in bishop’s office (10)
{EPISCOPATE} – an anagram (that’s unusual) of SPOT A PIECE.

6a  Sour-tempered person  that may be seen at the seaside (4)
{CRAB} – double definition. The first derives, not from the crustacean, but from the sour-tasting apple.

9a  A new plumbing device seen around Indian city (5)
{PATNA} – string together A, N(ew) and a plumbing device then reverse it all (seen around).

10a  Domestic animal is eaten by jungle beast by river — prime bit of food? (9)
{APPETISER} – I did wonder whether prime here was being used to describe food designed to prepare the digestive system for what was to come, but I think it just means first. A domestic animal and IS are contained inside (eaten by) a jungle-living primate and R(iver).

12a  Logical reasoning required to shift great mountain (13)
{ARGUMENTATION} – an anagram (required to shift) of GREAT MOUNTAIN.

14a  Ornamental items, underwear? Aim to be seen in such! (8)
{PENDANTS} – items of underwear with an aim or target contained inside them.

15a  Aboard ship there’s still a cut-down version of ball game (6)
{SEVENS} – the usual 2-character abbreviation for ship has an adjective meaning still or calm  on board, i.e. contained inside it.

17a  Revolutionary university and established church bound together by contract (6)
{REDUCE} – bind together the colourful description applied to a left-wing revolutionary, U(niversity) and the abbreviation for the established church in England.

19a  Former sweetheart‘s love starts to look decidedly feeble and weak (3,5)
{OLD FLAME} – the letter resembling zero or love (in tennis scoring) is followed by the starting letters of three words in the clue and an adjective meaning weak (when applied to an excuse, for example).

21a  Envisage accompanying chum to fantastic cinema (7,6)
{PICTURE PALACE} – a charade of a verb to envisage or imagine, a synonym for chum and an adjective meaning fantastic or brilliant.

24a  Description of reliable man not left wanting round of applause (5-4)
{RIGHT-HAND} – the opposite of left followed by a round of applause.

25a  Live as wife in a sort of depression (5)
{DWELL} – insert W(ife) into a small depression or valley.

26a  Furore — no time to go down passively (4)
{SINK} – start with the sort of furore or outbreak of anger that can be ‘kicked up’, then take away the T(ime).

27a  Mistake is admitted by old rocker threatened with violence (10)
{TERRORISED} – insert a mistake and IS (from the clue) into the abbreviation used for a rocker of the 1950s.

Down Clues

1d  See with unusual perception the end of history (4)
{ESPY} – the abbreviation for the claimed ability to perceive things other than by the known senses is followed by the end letter of (histor)Y.

2d  Where proverbial annoying mobile user is  well organised! (2,5)
{IN TRAIN} – double definition. The second is a phrase meaning in progress (though I’m not sure that it necessarily means well organised).

3d  A c-cougher can’t get loose — it means coughing up is postponed! (6,7)
{CHARGE ACCOUNT} – an anagram (get loose) of A C-COUGHER CAN’T gives us a facility to live now, pay later.

4d  Chum having fun has quiet wager before end of game (8)
{PLAYMATE} – string together the musical abbreviation for quiet, a verb to place a bet and the final move in a game of chess.

5d  Shot finally getting to a flagpole (3-2)
{TAP-IN} – this is an all-in-one with the whole clue being the definition (a simple shot left to finish the hole). Start with the final letter of (sho)T and follow that with A (from the clue) and what golfers call the flagpole.

7d  Breathe with hesitation mounting tall part of building (7)
{RESPIRE} – reverse (mounting, in a down clue) an exclamation expressing hesitation and add a tall structure found on some buildings, typically churches.

8d  Brasenose’s fantastic women — noble types (10)
{BARONESSES} – an anagram (fantastic) of BRASENOSE’S.

11d  In play watch a done-for Macbeth (5,2,6)
{THANE OF CAWDOR} – this is the title of a Scottish peer, given by Shakespeare to Macbeth. It’s an anagram (in play) of WATCH A DONE-FOR.

13d  Star sapper in battle? Engineers can make use of such (5,5)
{SPARE PARTS} – an anagram (in battle?) of STAR SAPPER.

16d  Duck sitting on bank maybe concealing a shrub (8)
{OLEANDER} – the letter that looks like zero (a duck in cricket) precedes (sitting on, in a down clue) how you might describe a bank (the financial sort) with A concealed inside it.

18d  Figure formed by various characters in dance full of energy (7)
{DECAGON} – an anagram (various characters) of DANCE containing (full of) a word meaning energy or vigour.

20d  Exams? Everything’s crammed in the night before! (1,6)
{A LEVELS} – A synonym meaning everything plus the ‘S contains (has crammed in) a word for the night before.

22d  Cheer from employee finally out of office (5)
{ELATE} – the final letter of (employe)E is followed by an adjective meaning erstwhile or no longer in office.

23d  Gap in wood almost making one cheerful (4)
{GLAD} – a gap or clearing in a wood loses its final letter (almost).

The clues I liked best were 5d and 20d. Let us know which ones got you excited.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {MOURNING} + {STARR} = {MORNING STAR}

41 comments on “DT 27300

  1. I dont know my Shakespeare but still worked it out from the letters, I enjoyed this offering which kept me amused on a grey dreary day in soton.Liked 9A & 15A many thanks to the setter & Gazza for his excellent review. Hope all readers have a good weekend

  2. ***/*** for me today for an enjoyable challenge. I found the SW corner the hardest, but managed to complete everything without help in the end. I needed Gazza’s hints to understand the wordplay for 5d, having got the answer but missing that the clue was an all-in-one.

    Many thanks to the 2Gs.

  3. Agree with Gazza about the lack of d’oh moments, just a steady solve , anagrams were a little easy to spot so i’m going for a**/** today. Thanks for the pics and today’s playmate ;off to Beaumaris for a gourmet weekend-and a few pints.

  4. Logical reasoning is not Regimentation. Regimentation is not an anagram of Great Mountain. Once I realised that, it all got a little easier. Another splendid puzzle. A nice word at 1ac, reminded me of Bishopric which we haven’t seen for a while. Saint Sharon spoilt things by telling me the answer to 6ac which I couldn’t see despite both being one and eating lots of it. She also underlines passages in my Bible. Perhaps she is not such a saint after all. Ta to all as usual. See you on Monday

  5. Good morning gazza. long time no ‘speak’ :-)

    I found this quite hard going today, although I didn’t need the hints, no real favourites, well maybe 3d, I think it was clever to make up a word ‘c-cougher’ to put into an anagram which also sounds like a person coughing, is that called ‘onomatopaeic’ ??

    One of my favourite bugbears is a clue like 5d, when I was learning the art of cryptic crosswords about 4 years ago, I learnt that you do not use a word in the definition as part of the answer, to me, although this clue at 5d is an ‘all in one clue’ there is no definition?? I just can’t see that there is!

      1. Hi gazza, yes I know and I accept that but what about not using a word in the fodder as part of the answer, I just get myself in a complete tangle thinking about these, I should learn to accept that it’s just the way it is I suppose but I don’t think I can!

        1. I don’t understand, Mary. The only word in the clue which forms part of the answer is ‘A’.

            1. Now if the clue was for example ‘shot finally got to a flagpole’ I could see it
              The definition is ‘shot’
              Then the last letter of ‘got’ t, then, the a, then pin for flagpole, in this instance the definition is separate from the fodder

            2. Mary, I don’t know if this helps or if it is confusing but the wordplay to build the answer is the entire clue:

              Shot finally = T
              getting to a = A
              flagpole = PIN

              And the definition is also the entire clue:

              Shot finally getting to a flagpole

              1. Hi RD, thanks for that, I totally understand what you and gazza are saying, it’s just that I didn’t think that was allowed

                1. I do find all-in-ones very difficult to spot; they seem to me to be conceptually difficult.

                  As you can see from my comment number 3 above, I missed this one today and needed Gazza’s hint for enlightenment so you and I are in the same boat on this :-)

              2. I am gonna be picky on this one. When you 5d, you remove the pin. If the ball strikes the pin a penalty is incurred. So the shot will not get to the flagpole.

        2. The only flagpole I know of that is referred to as “The Pin” is the one used as a hole marker on a golf course.

  6. Fun puzzle today which was completed without too much pain but can’t believe after so many visits to Twickenham for these that I needed Gazza for 15a. Thanks setter (?Giovanni). ***/***

  7. A couple in this one pushed this one into 3* time for me this morning. Thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza.

    Despite the telephone ringing every time i picked up the other puzzle, Osmosis is in a gentle mood in the toughie today, and i quite enjoyed it.

  8. 15a was my most troublesome clue today, and once that was in I could resolve 11d and then finish off the grid. I’m never a fan of general knowledge in cryptic crosswords such as 11d because it’s less about understanding the meaning of words and more about what knowledge you happen to have.

    1. Then be warned, Giovanni regularly has a general knowledge clue or two. Also it seems to me that the Toughie takes us into that sphere too.

  9. Isn’t it about time setters dropped 1d? I’ve lost count of the number of times it turns up in the quick and the cryptic – I think twice already this week. The BRB rates it as “archaic” or “literary” (?arty farty?). We’re in the C21 after all – let’s dump it, – please.

  10. For me one of the Dons poorer efforts. 9a, 15a and 2d all got me totally stumped.
    Agree with Gazza that well organised doesn’t mean in train, a surprisingly sloppy clue from the Don.
    Would not have got 1a without my electronic aid as I had no idea what a bishops office is called. No favs today.
    Thx to Gazza for some much needed help. For me it was ***/**.

    1. There are loads of Bishops in Crosswordland Brian. Abreviations such as DD (Doctor of divinity) RR (Right Reverend). A Bishop presides over a Diocese which is also known as a See or an Episcopate or Bishopric. His house is a Palace and matters appertaining to a Bishop are episcopal. There is a nice anagram of Bishopric which I have seen enough times to recognise but which I cannot remember. A Bishop is also a chess piece, Surely the world of Bishops is a crossword setters dream. The use of the word Bishop in a clue can merely be a hint that the letter B is to be used somewhere in the solution.

  11. Like Mary, I found this hard going today. My first word in on first reading was 27a, then I started getting help from the down clues. I was pretty thick knowing the “why” of 10a, so was grateful for Gazza’s hints. I never got 21a, a new word for cinema for me, which we call movies anyway! I didn’t get 14a and 18d either, and they were pretty easy. Better luck next time. Thanks to all, I did enjoy the tussle.

    1. Proverbial can also mean “well known”

      “I’m on the train, darling – see you in 5 minutes.”

      1. Of course it should be “well-known” with a hyphen … just making an early reservation for a seat in this weekend’s Pedants’ Corner. (Apostrophes/hyphens – hate them!)

  12. Sorry to be pedantic but a ‘Tap in’ in golf never gets near the flag pole. It is when you finally tap the ball into the hole from a short distance, with the flagpole held some distance away to avoid the penalty incurred if the player strikes it while sinking a putt.
    The shot that finally gets to a flagpole, as asked for in the clue, is therefore the shot BEFORE the ‘Tap in.’
    Despite that very slight technical misinterpretation of the labyrinthian rules of golf, this was a very enjoyable puzzle, if a little too difficult for my addling brain.
    Many thanks to setter and Gazza, who was called on rather a lot.

    1. Just to be slightly more pedantic, the flagpole is only used to indicate the last three letters. It’s the sort of thing compilers can get away with. ;)

    2. It did occur to me that the ball is not actually tapped in with the pin in the hole, but I think the clue works – the pic shows the ball close to the pin and I can imagine the commentator saying as the ball stops in that position “That’s a tap-in”.

  13. Thank you Giovanni, harder than usual I thought. I don’t like doing puzzles late in the day after a day driving and walking. My brain becomes easily distracted ! Thank you Gazza for the review and hints. I thought you might have the thought police onto you regarding the tasteful photo at 4d. Nice to see the usual battle over the 5d clue !

  14. 5d was also our last one to work out, despite the fact that one of us had spent much of the previous day playing golf. We found the puzzle pretty much what we have come to expect on a Friday. No complaints from us.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

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