DT 27303 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27303

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27303

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs, where the sun is peeping through the cloud cover on a mild morning.

This was *** territory for me today, with 2d the last one in.

In the hints below, the definitions are under lined.

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.


7a           Called for action about guy, duke, … (8)
{ DEMANDED } An action wrapped around a guy and the abbreviation for a duke.

9a           … nobleman dividing New York almost (6)
{ NEARLY } A member of the peerage inside the abbreviation for New York.

10a         Ring up about second musical work (4)
{ OPUS } A charade of the letter that looks like a ring, UP (from the clue) reversed (about), and Second.

11a         Watch a pet unravelling ribbon (6,4)
{ TICKER TAPE } An informal word for a watch or a heart, followed by an anagram (unravelling) of A PET.

12a         Shopkeeper sounds more repulsive (6)
{ GROCER } A homophone (sounds) of an adjective meaning more repulsive or disgusting.

14a         Carmen’s friend in car (8)
{ MERCEDES } Double definition: one of Carmen’s friends in the opera by Bizet; and a German motor car.

15a         Departs a centre on English river (6)
{ DANUBE } The abbreviation for ‘departs’ followed by a word meaning the centre or point of a story and English, giving a European river.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

17a         Clergyman in vicious circle (6)
{ CLERIC } Anagram (vicious) of CIRCLE.

20a         Produce dope, Ecstasy, and speed (8)
{ GENERATE } Another informal word for dope or information followed by the usual abbreviation for the drug Ecstasy and another word for speed.

22a         Quietly he interrupts young relative (6)
{ NEPHEW } The musical symbol for quietly and HE (from the clue) inside another word for young.

23a         Dalesman, perhaps making stupid error then about name (10)
{ NORTHERNER } Anagram (stupid) of ERROR THEN around Name.

24a         Device used in a casino in Oxford, say (4)
{ SHOE } Double definition: a means of distributing cards in a casino; and an item of clothing, of which Oxford is an example.


25a         Fuel left out for fire (6)
{ IGNITE } Remove the initial L (left out) from a variety of fossil fuel, getting a verb meaning fire.

26a         I hang around and look ‘with it’ before start of rally (8)
{ LOITERER } A charade of a word for look (often seen paired with ‘behold’), IT (from the clue), a rather archaic way of saying ‘before’, and the first letter of Rally.


1d           Anger 3 moderated (8)
{ TEMPERED } Another word for anger or rage, followed by the abbreviation for the answer to 3d.

2d           Prince of Wales and son bringing one to portrait painter (4)
{ HALS } What Falstaff calls the Prince of Wales in Henry IV, followed by the abbreviation for Son, giving the painter of The Laughing Cavalier.

3d           Newspaper chief travelled up to cover it (6)
{ EDITOR } Reverse (up,in a Down clue) a word for travelled, by bicycle or on a horse, and wrap it around IT (from the clue).

4d           Entire triangle at sea (8)
{ INTEGRAL } Anagram (at sea) of TRIANGLE.

5d           Unnerve some coming over in old banger (10)
{ RATTLETRAP } A verb meaning to unnerve someone, followed by a reversal (over) of a word for some (as in not the whole).

6d           Last in science, failing to pass (6)
{ ELAPSE } The definition here is usually applied to the passage of time. The last letter of science followed by a failing.

8d           Leave suddenly, as banks of 15 affected (6)
{ DECAMP } The first and last letter (banks) of the answer to 15a, followed by an adjective meaning affected or theatrical, like Julian Clary, for example.

13d         Like onion rings? Agree with Little Richard, reportedly (10)
{ CONCENTRIC } This sounds like (reportedly) a verb meaning to agree to something and a diminutive form of Richard.

16d         Duo hired band (8)
{ BRACELET } A duo of shot pheasants followed by a verb meaning hired or leased.

18d         Native American protagonist living mostly under cover, initially (8)
{ CHEROKEE } The initial letter of Cover followed by the chief character in a play or opera, followed by a word for living, or means of subsistence, with the final P removed (mostly).
ARVE Error: need id and provider

19d         Fresh in tavern, always (6)
{ VERNAL } Fresh like spring growth. Hidden in the clue.

21d         Satisfying? Fairly (6)
{ ENOUGH } Double definition: a quantity (of food, say) which is satisfying; and fairly, as in ‘fairly well’.

22d         Iranian heading off mysteriously for a magical land (6)
{ NARNIA } Anagram (mysteriously) of (I)RANIAN with the initial letter removed (heading off), giving the land accessed through the back of a wardrobe in the first of the C S Lewis novels about the adventures of the Pevensie children.

24d         Troublesome situation ineffectual types raised (4)
{ STEW } Reverse a word used to describe ineffectual colleagues by Mrs Thatcher.

The Quick Crossword pun { REEF }{ REIGN } = { REFRAIN }

42 comments on “DT 27303

  1. I managed to get through this one in 2* time, with my last one also being 2d.
    Thanks to setter, and to Deep Threat for the review.

  2. Another bit of a slog today with the return of an old favourite at 24ac which I am sure will puzzle some of our newer members. those of a more demur disposition may have little or no knowledge of casinos and their devices. Me? I am not saying but I did win Saint Sharon in a game of cards. Ta to all as usual. It is busy busy busy for me today.

    1. Re 24A; to those for whom the gambling reference was a problem, read Casino Royale :-)

  3. Really needed assistance with a couple of clues, agree with the ratings given by DT.Liked 17A 23A.Many thanks to the setter & DT for his much needed review, I was trying to fit cheyenne forgot about the other creed doh!

  4. Had a couple that help me up today – 2D (painting and painters is not a strong point and I was trying to work with the current PoW) and 14A as its not an opera I’m totally au fait with (answer was fairly obvious once the checking letters had gone in though). 15A took a bit of brain power to parse (4 parts of the clue to produce a 6 letter word – shudder).
    Dull and overcast again today, guess that means the grass will still be too wet to cut. Oh Dear, never mind.

  5. I found this quite tough today (3*) and not particularly enjoyable (1*).

    I have no knowledge about Carmen and what friends she had, but the checking letters led me to guess at a car brand which Google confirmed was the answer. I needed a combination of guesswork and Google to solve 2d, which I felt was an unsatisfying clue with an obscure answer.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to DT for the hints which I needed only to explain the living mostly part of 18d.

    1. I too felt that 2D was rather obscure… right up until DT’s clue made me realise that this artist painted one of the most famous of all portraits, and one that I have actually seen :-(

    2. I agree. I didn’t enjoy it much and felt some of them were not really cryptic, something I always feel difficult. The first 3 clues I put in we’re more gut instinct than understanding.
      Like you guessed the car and didn’t know the artist.
      Still haven’t got 24d even with the hint:(

  6. Going for a **/*** today , as it was up my street. Last in14a,needed all the available letters till the d’oh moment arrived, had the right car in mind ,but the shortened version, presumed it was something to do with Mr Bizet then remembered the Alan Badel TV version of The Count of Monte Cristo and his paramour with the same wonderful name-do I go for the Royal Shares or not,that is the question!.

  7. I would have been easily ** for time, but got held up on 16d and 14a (general knowledge missing). I did get 2d quite quickly with a vague recollection of the painter’s name, but also feel it’s somewhat obscure GK and not a great clue overall.

  8. 1d and 10a had be completely stumped until I realised the answers thanks to Deep.
    As per 18d – what’s Charlie Parker got to do with anything? If, indeed, it is The Bird.
    Am I missing something here?

  9. A most enjoyable and satisfying crossword and a terrific review, my thanks to the setter and to DT.

  10. I see the Toughie has stayed into the back page again :-)
    Can some explain to me why there are dots connecting 7a and 9a. There’s seems no connection in either the clues or the answers.
    As for the rest, roll on tomorrow! Dreadful.

      1. They certainly did along with most of the rest of this offering. I can honestly say that if I lived to be a thousand I would not have managed this one.

          1. My thanks, Dear Lady, for the pointer to the toughie – it took me less than half the time of this cryptic! :-)

    1. the dots are there to connect the clues – often used when two consecutive clues have a theme in common – in this case, it is the use of Duke in 7A and Nobleman in 9A

      1. I always thought of checking letters as dots to be joined up. Find a word that fits and work backwards into the clue.

  11. This is very weird – I thought this one of the easiest puzzles ever – maybe I’m doing the wrong one!

    1. No, we’re all different, and there are often widely-differing opinions on the level of difficulty.

      Just go with the flow, accept that it was fairly difficult for many people and bask in that quiet glow of contentment :-)

  12. I needed a few hints but on balance thought this was ok. Years back I read that the ellipses did mean there was a connection but the only one here which was not helpful was the use of the word duke in one clue and nobleman in the other,
    Thanks to setter and Deep Threat

  13. Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I found this very interesting, but tricky. All went ok until I was beaten by 2d. I was unable to get this from
    the wordplay, not knowing what Falstaff said and never having heard of the painter either. Very frustrating, I will certainly remember hal from now on. A very enjoyable puzzle for all of that, 12a made me laugh out loud & I remember 5d from long ago. I don’t normally like homophones, but 13d was my favourite clue. Was 3*/4* for me. Car in for MOT and Central heating getting fixed this evening, hooray!

    1. You’ve made a slight change to your alias, so that your comment required moderation. Both aliases should work from now on.
      If you’re replying to a previous comment, it’s best to use the ‘reply’ button – then all related comments stick together.

  14. Thank you setter for this offering, and to DT whose hint I needed to explain why 15a was correct. Don’t know why I struggled with 16d now I see it, but it was my last one in. Loved the illustration for 22d, and that reminds me to say thank you to all our brilliant Hinters not just for the hints but also for tracking down great visual and audio illustrations… Muchly appreciated. Haven’t played on a bouncy castle like Miffypops and Saint Sharon, but Mr P introduced me to 24a by walking into my life and extolling the joys of real ale…

  15. Thank you setter. Found this difficult and unable to finish it whilst out and about in N Norfolk. 2d and 14a I think we might have got eventually with Google’s help when we got back to base, but frankly couldn’t be bothered so looked at your hints DT. Thank you for the review and explanations. Had the answer for 18d but didn’t understand the wordplay until DT’s explanation. I don’t think that this was the most enjoyable puzzle i have seen !

  16. We had the same team operating as yesterday and Ollie beat the two older kiwis to get the tribe in 18d. 2d was last in for us. Reasonably challenging, good fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron and DT.

  17. Thoroughly enjoyed this one , even if I had to accept a hint for gambling devices. I admit to lots of vices but gambling is not amoung them . My addiction to cryptic crosswords has become a vice, in the opinion of Mr U. 20a had me stumped for quite a while, I thought it was a charade of ass e and then I couldn’t shoehorn it into assemble.5d also new , but got it from the checkers. Thanks to the setter and DT .

  18. A bit like climbing a steep hill – very satisfying when you reach the top. As with others, 2d was last in. I thought first of “Hans” (as in Holbein) before the penny dropped.

  19. Quite a challenge today and needed hints for 2d, 24a and 18d but that meant joy of listening to Charlie Parker so many thanks to DT for that. ***/**.

  20. Pretty benign on the whole we thought apart from 2d which required a Google check – I always forget that artist! Quite a few chestnuts, grocer and nearly for example but still enjoyable over the usual pre-prandial.

    Thanks to setter and DT.

    Probably won’t be around tomorrow but see y’all on Thurs when I’m in the chair again.

  21. Once I got into this, I really enjoyed it. Did not need Deep Threat’s lucid hints. Knew of 2d — and, of course, Mr Catnap knew all about The Laughing Cavalier. (I do wish I could wean him onto Cryptics. I’ve not quite given up hope…)
    Many thanks to ‘Mr Ron’ and Deep Threat. :smile:

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