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DT 27309

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27309

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from a grey autumnal South Staffs.

I took a little time to get going today, but completed the puzzle just inside ** time.  A couple of clues where general knowledge is needed – easy if you know the answer, not so if you don’t.

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.


7a           Plague produced by store in state of disgrace (3,5)
{ DOG HOUSE } A verb meaning to plague or pester followed by another meaning to store under cover.

9a           Learner driver breaking a rule formulated appeal (6)
{ ALLURE } Anagram (formulated) of A RULE with the letter indicating a learner driver inside it.

10a         Crack  biscuit in game (4)
{ SNAP } Triple definition: a cracking sound; a crisp biscuit; and a card game.

11a         Annoying mob’s here to riot (10)
{ BOTHERSOME } Anagram (riot) of MOB’S HERE TO.

12a         Real man Gareth accepting no good wristband? (6)
{ BANGLE } The surname of the footballer recently sold to Real Madrid for a ridiculous amount of money with an abbreviation for ‘no good’ inside.

14a         A name curtailed in performance making one speechless (8)
{ TACITURN } A (from the clue) and a verb meaning ‘name’ with its final E removed (curtailed) inside a performance on the music-hall stage.

15a         Scot in Selkirk guards worthless material (6)
{ TINSEL } Hidden in the clue.

17a         Slight quarrel about a right to get list of duties (6)
{ TARIFF } A lovers’ quarrel with A (from the clue) and Right inside it.

20a         Authentic Scottish community on radio (8)
{ STERLING } A homophone (on radio) of a city in Scotland, the location of the battle of Bannockburn.

22a         Stewed food with student festivities in the open? (6)
{ RAGOUT } A student carnival and charity fund raising effort, followed by an adverb meaning in the open, not hidden.

23a         Musicians’ gathering blocks discordant noises (3,7)
{ JAM SESSION } A four-letter verb for ‘blocks’ followed by an anagram (discordant) of NOISES.

24a         Poetess bringing out line for course of action (4)
{ PATH } The American poet and novelist who married Ted Hughes, with Line removed.

25a         Bully a rival of the Greeks (6)
{ HECTOR } The Trojan warrior who was slain in single combat by Achilles. Or a puppet from a children’s TV show of the 1960s.

26a         Cooking pies, I do start to caramelise at intervals (8)
{ EPISODIC } Anagram (cooking) of PIES I DO followed by the initial letter of Caramelise.


1d           Gloomy players near Belfast? (8)
{ DOWNCAST } How you might describe a set of stage players in a county in Northern Ireland.

2d           Shot in play — and getting caught with it? (4)
{ CHIP } A sort of golf shot is made up of the abbreviation for ‘caught’ in a cricket scorecard and a slightly dated word for ‘with it’.

3d           See through  gang fight in New York (6)
{ RUMBLE } Double definition: to see through a deception; and what the Jets and Sharks do in West Side Story.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

4d           Clan I’ve upset associated with a Spanish city (8)
{ VALENCIA } Anagram (upset) of CLAN I’VE followed by A (from the clue).

5d           Place for hiding with hook almost visible providing narrow escape (5,5)
{ CLOSE THING } A 6-letter place for hiding, often used in relation to concealing sexual orientation, followed by the hook or joint on which a door turns with its final E missing (almost visible).

6d           Jolt from significant remorse (6)
{ TREMOR } Hidden in the clue.

8d           Extended car that’s electronic, say (6)
{ ESTATE } A sort of car that’s extended to carry greater loads of luggage, made up of the usual abbreviation for electronic and a verb meaning say.

13d         Kelly, perhaps, fronting appeal surrounded by hopeful kindness (10)
{ GENEROSITY } The first name of the Kelly who starred in Singing in the Rain followed by an adjective meaning hopeful, as in ‘Everything in life is —-‘, with the sort of appeal which Clara Bow was famous for inside it.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

16d         Young woman enthralled by hearing organ with unknown agent (8)
{ EMISSARY } The title traditionally given to an unmarried woman inside the hearing organ, followed by an algebraic unknown.

18d         Fellow with excess of butter, maybe, but no mass water source? (8)
{ FOUNTAIN } Fellow followed by the sort of excess of butter or grain we used to hear about in connection with European agricultural policy, with the initial M removed (no mass).

19d         Fire uppity American in service, fool close to unemployable (6)
{ IGNITE } Reverse (uppity) an abbreviation for an American serviceman, then add a fool and the last letter of unemployablE.

21d         Time needed by French composer making journey (6)
{ TRAVEL } Time followed by the composer best known for Bolero.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

22d         Organised police force in rank (6)
{ RANCID } A verb for organised or managed followed by the detective force.

24d         Tramp left to break in to school (4)
{ PLOD } Left inside a school of whales.

The Quick Crossword pun { DINER }{ SORE } = { DINOSAUR }

63 comments on “DT 27309

    1. Since by convention we do not mention times on this blog, that information will have to remain confidential. Sorry.

      1. OKI DOKI, I just wanted a target but no matter although I don’t understand the convention

        1. If the bloggers indicated their solving times then it may discourage other solvers who may struggle to complete a crossword in less than 24 hours (present company included on occasion).

        2. If you want a target time, you could try looking at the leaderboard on the Telegraph puzzles site. This blog was set up to encourage people of all levels of ability to take on the challenge of cryptic crosswords, Allowing people to post their solving times only serves to discourage novices – as well as encouraging the sort of fraudulent claims to be seen at the top of the leaderboard each day.

          1. I’m finding this quite difficult and some of the clues a bit strange. Do we know the setter?

            1. Sorry, I know nothing about Apple systems, though given that the leaderboard has neither video or sound components, I’m surprised that Flash Player is needed.

      2. Perhaps we could have an annual, “how long it took” day.
        Not that to would help me as it always takes me ages even when it’s one I get. It high most of us would be truthful! Please don’t have it on a Thursday! :)

        1. Good idea – what about a Wednesday? They seem, to me at least, to be the most consistent from the difficulty point of view. Could be fun. The only problem is that it would mean everyone sitting down and doing the crossword without any of the normal interruptions – I’m quite sure that we all have our usual ones – mine are answering the phone, making coffee and toast, hanging out the washing and then getting sidetracked while I’m out there etc etc. However I would be completely truthful about how long it had taken me!

    2. The leaderboard for today’s cryptic lists the top time as 1 min 49 sec. Call me sceptical but ….

      1. Once I solve the crossword on paper, I could type in into the ‘system’ in about a minute and a half but that’s just daft. I solved this puzzle in 2* time (but I am obviously not going to let on what that was, more than a minute and a half anyway :) ).

            1. More to the point is who cares about prizes? The only prize that I’ve ever won in my life is the MPP about a year ago, I think. I did care about the kudos and, now that you come to mention it, the crossword books are brilliant for a rainy day when I’ve done the cryptic and the Toughie is way beyond me, which it usually is.

        1. When I first got my ipad and submitted the prize crossword on a Saturday I won the prize. I think it was £5 iTunes voucher.
          It was before I joined the blog so I can’t share it :)
          It’s £50 now

  1. This was like a Toughie. A bit of a slog but I have all of the answers but several where I just do not understand why. 7ac for example. i will look again later when the work is done. The quickie is proving to be nigh on impossible. No Bob Dylan tickets again today. maybe tomorrow?

        1. I got on with it OK. One of those where you either know the words or you don’t,I think.

          1. You’re right! I don’t think I’ve tried more than ten of them, they are way beyond my ken. I do read the answers, though, and have a bit of a giggle.

  2. Good & satisfying puzzle, no issues or problems encountered. Liked 7A 22D. I had the good fortune to have seen the young footballer playing in a youth cup game for the mighty saints back in 2006 who would have guessed that he would soon become the most expensive player in the world, incidently we lost out to liverpool on penalties after extra time.Thanks to the setter & DT for the review.

  3. Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, with only one problem of my own making. I put tartar for 25a, then struggled to get 21d. Once I got 21d, that convinced me that 25a was wrong, and then the penny eventually dropped. Joint favourites were 12a and 3d. Was 3*/3* for me. Big black clouds in Central London now, off to Brussels for the day tomorrow. Don’t know if there is wifi available in the Chunnel.

  4. I found this very difficult – not sure if I’m particularly dim today or if it’s just a problem with my wave length. 4* difficulty and 3* enjoyment.
    Not surprisingly I’ve never heard of the 12a Gareth but eventually had a guess at the answer and googled him. I couldn’t do 2d at all so needed the hint for that one. Got 5d although I would always have said a near thing rather than a close thing, not that that would have worked! 7a would have been considerably easier if I’d been to specsavers as for quite a long time I was reading the first word of the clue as plaque not plague – no-one but myself to blame for that! Oh dear! I didn’t know the American slang in 3d.
    I liked 20a and 21 and 22d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and Deep Threat.
    Might try Toughie later.

      1. That wasn’t a comment on the crossword – which I did on the train home (see later post for the reason) – but on Kath’s comment about misreading 7a.

  5. The iPad version of the paper wasn’t available for d/load before I left home this AM, so I’ll be looking at it on my journey home this evening.

    BTW, did other iPad sufferers<<<<<<<<< users note the confusion over crossword numbers in the 'Previous Solutions' at the weekend and yesterday? Whoever the app developers are, they need sacking.

    1. The more often we say that the Telegraph app is a disgrace on social media the more likely it is that something will be done.

      Don’t hold your breath though.

    2. Indeed, even re-installed it in the vain hope that I could read it on the way to work (finally managed it about 5 mins from the office)
      But at least managed to complete the crossword during lunch…
      Mnay thanks to the setter and, of course, to DT for the much needed hints

    3. I have made 3 complaints about the ap since the last “improvement. “One about the sudoku which is a shambles. One about the crossword clues jumping about and one about the absence of the automatic download.
      After a lot of messing about I’ve found that if you go into settings in the telegraph Ap, then switch off automatic downloads then switch it back on again.
      That starts the spinning circle for the day and if you touch it as it’s spinning, the paper appears and downloads in a cole of minutes. I he that helps.
      They do need sacking!

      1. Thanks Toni, will give that a spin in the morning
        Oh and will try to bombard them with the same complaints….

  6. Very slow going and I needed hints for 7A, 2D and 25A. Once I got the answers to some of the clues that had been bothering me, I couldn’t see why I had found it so hard. I suppose that’s an indicator of a clever clue. Still thanks to whomever, and to DT for the review and hints. Maybe the toughie will be kinder to me.

  7. As I have no interest in football I would never have got 12A. Would “Straw block accepting no good wristband?” be accessible to a wider audience? Otherwise ***/**.

    1. But surely the cleverest part of that clue was the confusion between the English “real” and the Spanish for “royal”? Your version would miss out on that!

  8. Very enjoyable and quite tricky wee crossword today, thanks to the setter and to DT for the excellent pictorial review.

  9. Fairly straight forward although putting close shave for 5d held things up. Ditto interest (lack thereof) in football ! Now to try out the Toughie,

  10. All too much for me ! Finished apart from 7a, 2d and 3d and needed the hints to bring the struggle to a close. Thank you setter, but I must confess it wasn’t much fun – there didn’t seem to be any laugh out loud clues. Thanks DT for your review and hints which were needed.

  11. I too struggled a bit today – and initially put close shave in 5d. Thanks to DT for the hints. Took me a while but I did get the football link to 12a, otherwise no particular favourite.

  12. Whoa, thanks to DT for the tips today.
    I was stumped early on.
    As for 12a – I am a football fan but didn’t expect such relevance in a Telegraph crossword!

  13. Northwest corner last to be completed. 7a,15a and 25a flummoxed me and 12a and 2d solved but needed explanation from DT (my initials are Delirium Tremens too!) ****/**.

  14. Thought it was quite a ‘clever ‘crossword and the best for sometime for me, going for a **/*** followed by a ****. clues like 20a and 25 a were of the kind easy if you spot them-hard to work out if you don’t. Just read the ‘Clangers’ are back-well we nearly had’ Hectors House! sorry.

  15. I would have it as ***, mainly due to some early gaps, all on the west side. One hint let the others get through.

    Talking of west side, I liked 3d, although that took a little while to rise to the surface.

    Re 5d, I resisted that for ages, because in my book, it’s either a close shave or a close run thing, but not a close thing? No idea about the footie one, so faffed around far too long with Gareth….

    Overall I thought the clues were far too fancy for the solutions. Bathos!
    And the prize for that went to 19d. Honestly!

  16. It will teach me to look at the clues properly, especially anagrams. I had sporadic in for 16a which messed up that corner. I also had the wrong Kelly. Once I saw the G I
    Went for Grace.
    Third mistake was close shave, although it doesn’t fir the clue. I don’t always worry about that until later.
    Not quite on his wavelength, though I liked 18d

  17. Well, a tough old slog for me, not on the wavelength at all. I needed several hints for the bottom left-hand corner, poor Hector, I forgot all about him and was looking for a national rather than an individual. Only got 7a because of the checking letters. I got 12a with no trouble and with help from google to know who the gent was. Thanks to setter and hinter, but I believe it should have been at least a *** for difficulty.

  18. Just when I thought I was getting the hang of it, I really found this very difficult.I needed lots of hints. Thanks TD, and I hope I improve before I encounter this setter again or the setter in this mood. 22d is probably my favourite.

  19. Short of time today but must admit gave it up as a bad job after the NE corner!
    At least a three if not a four star for difficulty for me.

  20. 12a was a bit of a problem for us. Maybe the guy is big news where most of you are but much more difficult from this part of the world. However we did guess it correctly. We also got 23a wrong as we had put in “bar session”. It also fits the word play perfectly but concede that it is not as good as the correct answer. The rest all fell into place easily enough.
    Thanks Mr Ron and DT.

    1. 12a is certainly not big news in our little corner of Oxfordshire – actually probably more to the point is that he’s not big news in a little corner of my brain – perhaps that should be in a corner of my little brain! :sad:

  21. This crossword really made me think! And I did enjoy it a good deal. :smile: 24a and 24d were my first in. I found the lower half of the puzzle a bit easier than the top. The NW corner took longest. What a ‘doh!’ moment when the penny eventually dropped for 7a and 2d! Among the clues which I particularly liked were 23a, 24a, 25a, 2d and 21d. I also enjoyed 13d but it took me a while to get the word play. I didn’t use Deep Threat’s excellent hints, but, alas I find I put the ‘i’ into 20a instead of ‘e’. :oops: How dumb can one be?
    Many thanks to setter and to Deep Threat.

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