DT 27312 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27312

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27312

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

We have a fairly standard puzzle from Giovanni though with a dearth of his usual religious references. I didn’t find it too tricky (though 8d may be a bit obscure if you weren’t a rugby fan some years ago). Do let us know how you got on.

If you want to see an answer you’ll need to drag your cursor through the gap between the brackets under the clue. If you’re solving on a mobile device there are some tips on how to achieve the reveal in the FAQ.

Across Clues

1a  Spoilt socialite girl once set about keeping delicate (8)
{BLIGHTED} – reverse (set about) a young girl who used to ‘come out’ into society and insert (keeping) an adjective meaning delicate or flimsy.

5a  Fighting that brings lawsuit (6)
{ACTION} – double definition, the fighting being of the military kind.

9a  Admit fees may be ridiculous, giving up too easily? (9)
{DEFEATISM} – an anagram (may be ridiculous) of ADMIT FEES.

11a  Game in which valuable instrument gets knocked over (5)
{DARTS} – the reversal (gets knocked over) of the abbreviation of a very valuable make of musical instrument.

12a  Fairies, with the first sign of hunger, pass away (6)
{PERISH} – beautiful fairies, from Persian mythology, followed by the first letter of H(unger).

13a  Puffed up? One man’s the opposite of that inside (8)
{INFLATED} – I (one in Roman numerals) and an abbreviated male forename (that of Mr Kelly, the old Australian outlaw, for example) have an adjective meaning the opposite of puffed up inside.

15a  Tramp’s chancer on the move — he recycles useful stuff (5,8)
{SCRAP MERCHANT} – an anagram (on the move) of TRAMP’S CHANCER.

18a  One detects a lot of different lines in the supermarket (7,6)
{BARCODE READER} – cryptic definition of a piece of technology found at every checkout in a supermarket.

22a  Surprise in wood — great weight is buried (8)
{ASTONISH} – a type of white, hard wood contains a great weight and IS (from the clue).

23a  Very big drink that’s rubbish, litre swallowed (6)
{TRIPLE} – a word meaning rubbish or nonsense containing L(itre).

26a  Person deemed to be good — and bad, for all that (5)
{STILL} – the abbreviation for a person deemed to be good and holy is followed by an adjective meaning bad or sick.

27a  In new arrangement hide plain plants (9)
{DELPHINIA} – an anagram (in new arrangement) of HIDE PLAIN.

28a  Powerful warplane gaining height, latest in technology (6)
{MIGHTY} – string together a Russian fighter plane, the abbreviation for height and the last letter of (technolog)Y.

29a  Rose maybe is an acceptable model (8)
{STANDARD} – double definition – rose is an example of a shrub growing on an erect stem of full height.

Down Clues

1d  University accommodation set up in most superior capital (8)
{BUDAPEST} – U(niversity) and the reversal (set up) of an informal word for one’s accommodation go inside a superlative meaning most superior.

2d  Conclude there’s no escaping from hell (5)
{INFER} – start with a word for hell (as described by Dante) and let the NO escape.

3d  Is the boss giving warning in America? (5-2)
{HEADS-UP} – this is an American term for a warning that something is about to happen (used a lot in cop-shows like the wonderful Hill Street Blues). If you replace the hyphen with a space it becomes a phrasal verb meaning ‘is the top person in an organisation’.

4d  Row, missing edges in lake (4)
{ERIE} – start with a row or sequence and remove the letter at either end (missing edges) to leave one of the Great Lakes of North America.

6d  Mark Liverpudlian songstress enthralling journalist (7)
{CEDILLA} – this is a mark written under the letter C in some European languages to give the letter a soft rather than hard sound, e.g. soupçon. The name of an ageing singer from Liverpool contains (enthralling) the usual senior journalist. I can’t bring myself to provide a clip of this lady so here’s a much better singer (IMHO, of course):

ARVE Error: need id and provider

7d  Educated girl being restricted, awfully tired and angry (9)
{IRRITATED} – an anagram (awfully) of TIRED with the name of the girl played by Julie Walters in the film about her education contained (restricted) inside it.

8d  End of match? Numbers go into ‘iding (2-4)
{NO-SIDE} – this is an old term for the end of a rugby match as signalled by the referee (I can remember the commentator Peter West using it a lot – it’s that old). If you remove the hyphen and split what’s left as (3,3) it could mean numbers go into (h)iding.

10d  After a while thief gets alias (8)
{MONICKER} – after the abbreviation for a short period of time we want an informal word for someone who steals.

14d  What’s to get stirred up about, being moved from slums? (8)
{REHOUSED} – an interjection indicating lack of understanding or surprise (what?) has a past participle meaning stirred up or excited placed around it.

16d  Denying what ram may be doing again! (9)
{REBUTTING} – cryptically this may describe a ram attacking once more.

17d  Release worker providing blank cheque (4,4)
{FREE HAND} – a charade of a verb to release and a manual worker.

19d  Lock of hair enclosed by adoring letter-writer (7)
{RINGLET} – hidden (enclosed) in the clue.

20d  Listener subsequently like a crock? (7)
{EARTHEN} – a listening organ followed by an adverb meaning afterward or subsequently.

21d  European male getting round capital of Malta in cab (6)
{HANSOM} – a German male forename (in Crosswordland all German males are called either Otto or this) followed by the round letter and the capital letter of M(alta).

24d  The two characters making pa a beast (5)
{PANDA} – how you’d spell out the word pa (1,3,1).

25d  It’s almost total laziness in niche of organisation (4)
{SLOT} – the deadly sin that describes laziness without its final letter (almost total).

The clues I liked best today were 18a and 3d. Which ones appealed to you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {PARIS} + {ENDING} = {PARASCENDING}

68 comments on “DT 27312

  1. Gazza, I got 14d but I don’t understand it, even with your hint.

    Yes 8d was a funny phrase. I never understood it. Maybe I should have asked a referee but I doubt if they would know

        1. When a breakdown in play occurred in the early days of the game it was common for players to ask which side would have possession to restart the game. If the match umpire answered ‘no side’, it denoted that time was up. [Taken from the interweb]

            1. Yes, Brian, I always heard it used at the end of a game, and I played all those years ago too, but I never knew its origination. Now I do

              1. The late great Bill McLaren CBE often said “No Side” at the end of his commentary on a Rugby match. I say it at the end of every Coventry rugby match.

      1. Thanks Gazza for the explanation of 14d which eluded me-and collywobbles a touch, also 3d which only seemed to have one possible answer being the last in-still think the ‘up’ bit does’nt work -never mind. Anyway did enjoy it more than yesterday and settle for a ***/***

            1. You must remember the start of ‘Hill Street Blues’ where the Watch Commander used to give the troops the ‘heads up’ about this or that ‘perp!’

              No! Ah well – it must have been just me then!

              1. I do remember, somewhere in the dim and distant bit of brain, all of that but what I remember most of all is the music of Hill Street Blues – love it, and lets be careful out there. A warning to all of you going to the London do tomorrow, specially all who haven’t been to one before. Have fun.

  2. I really enjoyed this one, liked 15A 18A. Thanks to the setter & Gazza for the review.Sun trying to poke its head out down here in soton.

  3. The only one I had to think about, and my last in, was 25d; I had to mentally work my way through the alphabet looking for a 5-letter word meaning laziness with my checking letters in place.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza.
    With the toughie not taking too long today, I might have to search online for another puzzle to look at.

      1. Not everyone knows that using capitals is internet shouting – I certainly didn’t before I found this blog – it’s yet another thing that I’ve learnt here.

  4. Thanks to the two G’s. A nice puzzle, not too tricky. Favourite was 14d. Was 2*/3* for me. On the way to Cheltenham races.

  5. Morning gazza, thanks for blog, I needed the explaination for 14d and 3d, don’t really like either of those clues, apart from that there were lots I liked today and to please Kath I’m not going to name them all as my favourites, although…!
    I liked 13a,18a,26a 28a,2d,10d,19d and my favourite 24d although ‘p’ and ‘a’ are not the two letters required to make ‘pa’ ‘a’ beast ‘n’ and ‘d’ are!!!?

    1. Mary, beast is the answer; the rest tells you that you need “P and A” to make Pa.

  6. I was fine until 8D. I worked out what turned out to be the correct answer from the checking letters, and I understand the 3-letter word for numbers but I don’t get the last part, even with the hint. Coincidentally, I had used 3D in the subject line of an e-mail just yesterday, but I wasn’t aware it was just an Americanism. Took a while to work out the wordplay for 14D, but smiled when the penny dropped. Liked 1A and 2D today. Thanks to Giovanni and Gaza. Giving the Toughie a try now.

    1. Thanks. I see that, but I think it’s a disappointingly weak clue… (h)ide meaning go into (h)iding. Too obvious. But that’s probably just me.

  7. Probably a write-in for some solvers but for me it was a pleasant joyride and certainly a big improvement on yesterday’s slog. Not too hot on Persian mythology so got 12a without knowing why. Socialite girl does seem to make regular appearances. **/***

    1. Never mind the Persians, think of G&S. The subtitle of Iolanthe (who is a fairy) is The Peer and the Peri.

  8. There were some fab anagrams:
    ‘Admit fees’
    ‘Hide plain’ (plants)

    And I also liked 11a and 6d and 28a.
    I agree that 8 d was a bit limp and 18a was only loosely cryptic.

  9. I thought this was fairly straightforward apart from a few clues which held me up. 3* for both today.
    I needed the hint to explain14d and I’ve never heard of 8d but it’s in BRB.
    1a and 1d both took me a long time and so did 9a – couldn’t get beyond defeatIST so decided it wasn’t an anagram until I got 10d when all became clear.
    I don’t really see why 17d means a blank cheque although the answer was obvious. 20d took a while as I was thinking of the wrong kind of crock!
    I liked 27 and 29a (delphiniums/delphinia are so beautiful but the slugs like them too!) and 2 and 24d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and gazza.

    1. So glad I wasn’t the only one to have the wrong kind of crock in my head, Kath. And I absolutely love delphinia too, but bah! to the slugs who share my passion. Are you thinking of attending tomorrow’s do? I’m thinking about it but feel a bit shy as a bear of small brain among such 28a ones. And presumably numbers will be greater with the Times link, so ….. any suggestions? I loved the Paddington meet, so am probably being a bit wimpish :oops:
      But back to the crossword – thank you Giovanni for a lot of fun. And thank you Gazza for rescuing me from an intense struggle to try and make Nocled a word for a thief in 10d – d’oh! Greetings to all.

      1. No – I’m not going tomorrow – terribly bogged down with my Mum at the moment.
        Why don’t you go and then you can tell us all about it on Sunday? I know what you mean about feeling a bit shy and wimpy but I bet you’d enjoy it once the nerves disappeared which, as we both know, happens pretty quickly once you get there. Go on – I dare you! :smile:

        1. PS How are the triffids? I picked the most enormous tomato yesterday – it was so huge that, just out of curiosity, I weighed it and it was just under 13oz.

          1. Thank you Kath – I’m going to pluck up and go… And my triffid tomatoes have been ghastly – absolutely huge and utterly tasteless. Your 13oz whopper wins the prize as I bet yours tastes as great! Mr P has announced their doom for Sunday as he reckons they were terrorising me :-D

      2. You will be as welcome as you were last time – and you will get a chance to meet many of the setters. And don’t forget Crypticsue is coming, and she couldn’t make it to the January meeting.

          1. She won’t be bringing cake (all my output is going to a fundng raising event next week).

        1. So BD and CS are going to be otherwise occupied tomorrow. I can only wonder who is left to police the naughty corner or can we all do whatever we like? If there is someone out there one thing is for sure – there will be no cake for the culprits!!

          1. Gazza and Prolixic will be watching you. I don’t know about Gazza’s baking skills but I understand Mr and Mrs P are famed for their Christmas cake.

  10. After a splendid week’s away despite suffering from crossword withdrawal symptoms, I was looking forward today’s puzzle. However, I found it straightforward (2* difficulty) and rather disappointing (2* enjoyment) with some weak clues, particularly 8d, and no stand-out ones. Perhaps I am just feeling a bit grumpy at having finished my holiday.

    Thanks to the 2Gs.

    1. The only good part of 8d was memories of Bill McLaren – one of the finest, if not the finest, rugby commentators ever.

      1. The finest Senf. Unfortunately he would not get a job commentating today. His boobs are not big enough.

  11. 8d pretty obscure, and not a great clue either.

    Generally fairly straightforward, but I couldn’t get 25d !

  12. That was fun, thanks to G&G. I see that I have drawn smiley faces by 18A and 7D.
    Here’s another :-)

  13. Thanks for the help today. Favourite 16d. The sun can’t make its mind up whether to hide or shine here in Hampshire.

  14. Thank heavens for Giovanni, after the last two days ! 14a took a while to decode, even if it’s not very cryptic and has come up before , on a Sunday.I needed hints for a few, thanks Gazza.Favourites (ahem) were 16d and 18d.

  15. Took me a while to get going but it was an enjoyable way to pass the time away on a rainy Wirral. I quite liked the two Liverpool related clues but favourites were 14d and 16d. Thanks to the setter and for the rugby lesson.

  16. Thank you DG, an enjoyable puzzle which took me a while after a late start due to the usual problem. This time caused by a lovely meal at the new fine dining place in Manchester – made all the better as someone else was paying ! Thank you Gazza for your review and hints and pleasant photos.

  17. I was watching Paul O’Grady and Cilla while I was doing the crossword so one clue was easy.
    For some reason, I couldn’t see the fighting lawsuit one even with the hint. I was trying hard to get war in there but there wasn’t enough space.
    I also messed up the anagram, by not looking properly, just like yesterday and got a singular flower :)
    Enjoyed it very much and the rest was fairly straight forward.

  18. Lovely crossword, most enjoyable, quite restored my faith after yesterday.
    Last in was 26a, got hung up on SAINT! Thx to Giovanni for an excellent puzzle and to Gazza for explaining 26a.

  19. Superb puzzle. Usual Friday enjoyment from Giovanni for which many thanks. I did have to refer to a couple of hints (I got stuck on 21d for some strange reason) for which many thanks to Gazza.

  20. I really enjoyed this one, though, full disclosure, I didn’t understand the “why” of a couple. I still don’t understand where the “eh” comes from in 14d. Not knowing much about rugby, apart from enjoying watching when I lived in UK yoinks ago, I got 8d with no idea why. Thanks to all, you are so appreciated.

  21. Like others I couldn’t remember the rugby bit but at least it was gettable from the wordplay and checkers – last in. Well, actually it isn’t ‘in’at all. We did the puzzle over an afternoon coffee while waiting for our new bikes to be ready so never filled in the light, just looked in te BRB when I got home.

    Great puzzle, thanks to the 2 G’s.

  22. We seem to be the only people who found the SW corner the tricky bit, 21d and 28a specifically. Can’t see why now as they are not obscure at all this morning. 8d was a ‘write-in’ from this part of the world. An enjoyable Friday puzzle for us.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  23. I was very slow with this puzzle. I seemed to take much longer than usual to work out the clues’ wordplay, but I don’t know why. Things just didn’t seem to flow. I understood the ‘nos ‘ide’ for 8d, but didn’t know about the rugby meaning. I couldn’t think past ‘tier’ to ‘series’ for 4d. Although I had the answer for 14d, I wasn’t able to work out why! So I was very glad to have your helpful hints for these three, Gaza. I was also glad to have them to check my wordplay for the rest.
    Once understood, I did enjoy the clues! :smile:
    Many thanks to you both, Giovanni and Gaza.

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