DT 27315 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27315

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27315

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a wet, grey morning.

Firmly in ** territory for me today.

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.


1a           Stint with Surrey’s opener at crease (6)
{ SCRIMP } The definition is a verb. The first letter of Surrey followed by a crease or fold.

5a           Return in rally (8)
{ COMEBACK } Double definition: a return after absence, from the stage or from a sports team, for example; and a recovery from a poor position.

9a           Manager is upset about side making attacks on reputation? (5,8)
{ SMEAR CAMPAIGN } Anagram (upset) of MANAGER IS around the supporters of one side in an argument.

10a         Is shy after misbehaving with proper tantrum (5,3)
{ HISSY FIT } Anagram (after misbehaving) of IS SHY followed by a word meaning proper or suitable.

11a         Departs on the Spanish train (6)
{ DIESEL } Departs (this life) followed by the Spanish definite article. One for Pedant’s Corner, perhaps? A locomotive is not a train.

12a         Like Jack Dawkins in painting almost complete (6)
{ ARTFUL } Mr Dawkins was also known as the Dodger in Oliver Twist. A noun of which painting is an example followed by an adjective meaning complete with its final L removed (almost).

14a         Safe after thrash in Welsh market town (8)
{ LAMPETER } A three-letter verb for thrash or hit, followed by a slang word for a safe.

16a         Wheel in best English novelist (8)
{ TROLLOPE } Put a synonym of ‘to wheel’ inside another word for best, and add English. Prefix the answer with Anthony or Joanna, according to taste.


19a         Bird fed chop and banger (6)
{ JALOPY } A brightly-coloured member of the crow family, with a verb for ‘chop’ inside, giving an old car.

21a         When this is not shown, mother makes a complaint (6)
{ ASTHMA } A charade of another word for when, THIS (from the clue) with the IS removed (is not shown), and a short word for mother.

23a         Nobleman gloomy? A tea’s the answer! (4,4)
{ EARL GREY } A member of the peerage followed by a word describing a gloomy day, giving a popular variety of tea.

25a         Song and dance from eccentric (5,3,5)
{ ROUND THE TWIST } A canon sung in unison and a dance first popularised in the 1960s.

26a         Parent mostly sad after favourite play (5,3)
{ PETER PAN } A favourite, especially of a teacher, followed by an anagram (sad) of PAREN(T) with the final T removed (mostly).

27a         What Rag and Tag do, but not Bobtail, for a finale (6)
{ ENDING } Split this (3,2,1) to see what Rag and Tag have in common, which Bobtail doesn’t – and it’s nothing to do with the 1950s children’s puppet series, but here’s a clip anyway.


2d           Discharge  treasurer? (7)
{ CASHIER } Double definition: to discharge in disgrace from the army; or someone who looks after the money.

3d           Plans a side misconstrued (5)
{ IDEAS } Anagram (misconstrued) of A SIDE.

4d           Poirot mistaken about most of people in case (9)
{ PORTFOLIO } Anagram (mistaken) of POIROT wrapped around the first 3 letters of a word for people.

5d           Wild cat also seen from along the cliffs? (7)
{ COASTAL } Anagram (wild) of CAT ALSO.

6d           Bike in gym inside government office (5)
{ MOPED } The initials commonly used for gym exercises inside the initials of a Government Department.

7d           Prison source supports showing of ‘Born Free’ and Elsa, initially (9)
{ BRIDEWELL } A word sum. Start with an abbreviation for Born, add a verb meaning ‘to free’ and the first letter of Elsa (initially), and put the lot on top of a source of water.

8d           Acknowledge set of rules involving New Church (7)
{ CONCEDE } New and the usual abbreviation for the Church of England inside a set of rules or laws.

13d         Comprehensive school group getting a rather good deal (4,5)
{ FULL HOUSE } This is a good deal at the poker table. An adjective meaning comprehensive, followed by a division of a school, originally for boarding purposes.

15d         Significant film has disheartened teenage girl leading march? (9)
{ MAJORETTE } An adjective meaning significant, followed by a film title consisting of two initials, and the first and last letters (disheartened) of TeenagE.

17d         Book  put to one side (7)
{ RESERVE } Double definition, the first being what you might do to ensure a seat on the train or a table in a restaurant.

18d         Butler’s work, and some Moliere — who next? (7)
{ EREWHON } The title of a work by Samuel Butler is hidden in the clue.

20d         Quickly name English city (7)
{ PRESTON } The musical instruction for ‘quickly’ followed by Name, giving a city in Lancashire.

22d         Make sense of a theologian at college (3,2)
{ ADD UP } A (from the clue), the letters after the name of someone with a higher degree in theology, and the Oxbridge term describing someone who is present at college.

24d         Laborious work, note, filling crossword diagram (5)
{ GRIND } Note inside the usual word for a crossword diagram.

The Quick Crossword pun { FARE }{ AISLE } = { FAIR ISLE }

75 comments on “DT 27315

  1. No real problems in this one, although a couple in the SE part of the grid slowed me down for a while.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Deep Threat for the review. My first thought was this was from Shamus, but he is firmly seated in the toughie chair today, which incidentally I thought was a very enjoyable puzzle.

  2. Took me a while to get going today (but that may be because of my neighbour running down his stairs and slamming his door at 5am, grrrr). After the first pass, I had NO answers going across and only 5 down! Having said that, things started falling into place down the bottom and the grid slowly filled itself up. As this is the way I like my crosswords, I have to say that today’s was an absolute delight.
    Very glad that I could remember who Jack Dawkins is better known as and was even more impressed that I remembered the book in 17D – my English teachers might even also be impressed.
    27A was today’s favourite, well constructed clue and it made me chuckle.

    1. Yes, it took a bit of time to get going but they gradually fell into place.

      The ‘parsing’ of 9a interested me – I even looked in the BRB to see if ‘camp’ and ‘side’ were linked in some way, now it’s all clear!

      27a similarly needed the explanation for me to understand the answer – and 21a!

      Off to the O2 to see Peter Gabriel – that should bring back some memories!

  3. Tougher than yesterday but still very enjoyable. My rating is 2.5* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.

    I needed to check the BRB for a new meaning for me for safe in 14a, and I needed to look at the hint for 11a as I couldn’t understand why train was the definition for the answer. DT confirmed what I already knew – that I am pedantic :wink:

    7d was my last one in, and 27a my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to DT

  4. Thought today’s puzzle was excellent and a **/**** for me, last one in was 27A-what a fitting finale and a wonderful D’Oh moment .Thanks DT for the ‘pics’, long time since I’ve seen Bobtail in full flow! Liked 15D,Remember the days when every village ‘May Day’ had a troop dance completion, all in sepia now.

  5. Found this hard but fair. Needed to Google 18d for an explanation. Thought 27a was brilliant. ****/**** rating for me today.
    Thanx to Setter and to DT for the review. DT, if you only rate this ** for difficulty I’d hate to attempt a crossword that you rate ****.
    Many thanx.

    1. The difficulty rating is based purely on how long it takes me to complete the puzzle. On another day, I’ll fail to spot a construction that you ‘see’ immediately, and you’ll wonder why I thought it was difficult.

      1. Find it difficult to understand how an expert can determine the difficulty. Surely for you guys they are all easy.

  6. Reasonably straightforward, but needed the hints to explain a few of my answers. Thanks to setter and to Deep Threat for the review.

  7. Oh dear! Just me then, so far! I found this very difficult – I really enjoyed it too. 4* for both from me today.
    One of the things that I like best about crosswords on Tuesdays and Thursdays is not knowing what to expect.
    I got all the way down the across clues as far as 23a before I had a single answer so it was already not looking too good – didn’t do much better with the downs either so a very slow start.
    I didn’t know that 5a could be one word so only put that one in lightly. 9a took for ever as I was trying to include ‘side’ in what was clearly an anagram. I didn’t know 26a was a play. I never think of 6d as a bike. I’d never heard of the 7d prison or the 18d author.
    This seems to be one of those where I was let down by general knowledge, or lack of it.
    I loved 10 and 25a and 4 and 5d. My favourite was 27a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and Deep Threat.
    Raining again in Oxford – it’s barely even light. :sad: Wellies have sprung a leak. :sad:

      1. I think it might almost be time for a new pair of wellies – these must have walked several hundred, if not a thousand or so, miles – they haven’t done badly.

        1. M&S have apparently got an offer on wellies this week! wonder when they will start selling ‘make your own ark’ kits :)

          1. Thanks for the wellie info – I have a sneaky feeling that M&S wellies could be just a touch on the genteel side for the kind of use that mine get and would probably last all of a week!

            1. I’m not sure I’m wise to admit it but I’m a bit of an Imelda Marcos on wellies – I have three sets and love them all. Varying degrees of stud-traction on muddy days. And when they do that tap on the back of one’s calf as one ploughs along I feel a happy little girl again out looking for puddles to jump into….

              1. I’m not really sure who Imelda Marcos is but assume she likes wellies?! I only ever have one pair at a time. Many years ago when collie was young we used to walk an absolute minimum of five miles a day and often a lot more. I did once have a pair that lasted almost five years – I seem to remember doing a quick and very rough work out and decided that they must have done the best part of 10,000 miles – we could almost have walked to Australia!

                    1. Thanks BD. That’s the one. Mr P went there to film a documentary and ended up back in the UK on the stage at the Dominion Theatre Tottenham Court Road in London for charity relief. I could hardly believe the dancing :-)

      1. We found it difficult to get going today too, & needed help from the hinter, but after much effort we managed to finish it. Hoping to get the dogs out for a walk soon although it doesn’t seen too promising at the moment here in Scarborough. Thank you to setter & hinter.

    1. No, me as well Kath, but I wouldn’t rate it much for enjoyment.

      I think 7 clues which are proper names or demand general knowledge is at least 2 too many for a back page. As other people have said, if you know them, it’s fine ( and sometimes that works out for me) – otherwise, it’s just miserable and no amount of help will work.

      And If you’re going to indicate the letters ET, please narrow it down a little bit more than just “a film” ……..!!

    2. I’m never too happy if a crossword requires good ‘general knowledge’ to complete it and there was too much of it today .. if you’ve never read Butler how would you know? I only got to the answer by checking why what I had put in was correct .. poor show!

  8. My goodness. Did we get the envelopes mixed up this morning? Is this the Toughie? I really struggled, Got there in the end but phew! Not helped by not knowing who Jack Dawkins is/was or Butler.

    Been dipping into the Times crossword on occasion and sometimes (rarely) making a reasonable fist of it. Which says something for the long hours spent on the Cryptic! I’ve found one site that gives the answers but in such a shorthand form. Makes the excellent hints here stand head and shoulders above. Big thanks and thumbs up.

    1. I’d rather give up on a crossword than give in and look at any other site – it would feel like disloyalty, almost verging on treason!

      1. The site to which Roger is referring only reviews the crosswords in the Times. I once said that you needed a degree in gobbledegook to understand it.

    2. Although I would usually rather stick pins in my eyes than look at the hints, (stubbornness, not ingratitude) I agree re the quality and user-friendliness of the BD site.

      None other to touch it……

  9. I too found this puzzle a slow starter (at 5.30am this morning) but all getable from the wordplay. I have never known why a safe is known as a Peter and it was nice of Jack Dawkins to drop by and say hello. he is an irregular visitor. 27ac is my favourite (Only one favourite Kath) clue today and when I was little rag Tag and Bobtail were my favourites on Watch With Mother. Thanks for the clip. Actually, looking at the completed crossword most of the clues have their merits. I liked this one a lot. Thanks to all.

  10. Had a real, but enjoyable, tussle with this today, and rather like my first attempt at snow-biking (purist skiers look away now) was occasionally in control but more often beneath the machine and sliding all over the mountainside. Was delighted with 19a as my brother’s very first car cost him £9 and would never have passed present more stringent checks but we did have a lot of fun with it – definitely a jalopy – what a great word! Last in was 18d, as I don’t know his work at all. Would he be recommended reading? Loved some of the word play – so thank you to the setter for that and to DT for hints. I seem to have missed out on my education as 27a were also unknown to me. Was I in a cupboard all that time :-) !

    1. When I was a small boy, ‘Watch with Mother’ had Picture Book on Mondays, Andy Pandy on Tuesdays, the Flowerpot Men on Wednesdays, Rag Tag and Bobtail on Thursdays and the Woodentops on Fridays. Perhaps you went out on a Thursday?

      1. I remember that timetable as well, which is more than 50 years in the lobes.
        What a pity I can’t remember anyone’s name these days…

      2. Not being allowed to watch TV probably contributed – I seem to have a lot of ground to make up :-) What age range was it aimed at (apart from Mums)?

      3. Muffin the mule wasn’t on watch with mother. Deep threat’s timetable is right. I remember it well. I think muffin was on later.my favourite was the wooden tops. At aqua aerobics we do “spotty dogs” I’m sure you can imagine it! I realised that the young instructor didn’t know where the saying came from and we explained it to her. I think she went off to watch it on you tube.

    2. I never got to watch Rag, Tag and Bobtail. I went to my Grandmother’s on Thursdays and she didn’t have electricity, let alone a tv.

    3. I have a Watch with Mother video given to me for a significant birthday. Now if only the video player still worked.

  11. I’m going to sound like a grump (again) but I really dislike proper names..people and places… in cryptics, expecially when they are ‘local knowledge’, and this one had too many for me. I was defeated on 14A and 7D but did work out 18D, with a groan. On the plus side, though I loved 15D when the penny finally dropped. Thanks to DT for the hints.

        1. I agree with skempie. Having never heard of it I looked it up in BRB which says it is a house of correction; a gaol. (from a palace near St Bride’s Well in London) Why a prison should be named after a palace is a mystery to me though.

          1. Kath, Google reveals:

            Bridewell Prison and Hospital was established in a former royal palace in 1553 with two purposes: the punishment of the disorderly poor and housing of homeless children in the City of London.

            1. Maybe we could all be a little bit right! I didn’t google it so I bow to your superiority on that part but the BRB has it as a common noun meaning a prison which, to me anyway, means any old prison. Think that I’ll shut up now before I get put in one! :sad:

  12. Gosh -first glance only gave two answers but then the “little grey cells” started to function and all became much clearer. Had to check 12a (couldn’t remember who Jack Dawkins was) but enjoyed the remainder and finished in reasonable time. Thanks to the setter, particularly for the amusing 27a.

  13. Bit of a grind today not on the same wavelength cant even blame the booze as didn’t have any yesterday, give the old organs a rest on Mondays. Thanks to setter & DT for the review & trip back to my infancy in the 50s

  14. I am in the ‘Kath’ camp finding this really difficult, completing half then off to gym hoping brainpower would have improved on return!! No such luck, so thanks DT I really needed your help today, I thought 7d and 15d worthy of a ‘toughie’ , if you look at the map showing Lampeter, you will see Carmarthen, where I live below it! I did have ‘one’ favourite however, I was tickled by 27a :-)

  15. At least a three star for difficulty for me. Some clues that I would never have got, 14a (never heard of this town), 21a, 26a and most especially 18d never having heard of either the author or the work.
    Did like 23a, 25a and 24d though that’s about it for me.
    ***/** for me. Not much fun at all.
    Thx to DT for the much needed hints.

  16. Must be having an off day as we made heavy weather of this, for no real reason that I can see. All the clues are pretty fair, even 18d which I had to guess as I’m fairly illiterate. 3*/4* from us.

    Agree about 11a – pedant’s corner indeed!

    Thanks to the setter and DT.

  17. Not on the right wave length today. Only 7 in before I needed help.
    Agree with above that I would never have got some of them without help.
    Thanks for the hints. Didn’t enjoy it much.

  18. Yes, like the majority in the replies section, I found it tricky to start but gradually, working from the bottom up, the little grey cells
    got into gear, and the last ones to go in, thanks to the Hints provided, was the upstage corner’. I like the proper names, unlike, some other correspondents,, but although I got 14a, I needed Deep Threat to know that ‘peter’ was another name for a safe!!

  19. Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I found this really difficult, couldn’t get on the setter’s wavelength at all. Needed 6 hints to finish. Had never heard of 7&18d. Favourite was 27a, I remember Rag, Tag and Bobtail from when I was a child, but no knowledge of this old TV programme was required to solve the clue. Was 4*/2* for me. Sun was just out briefly in Central London, but black clouds are circling.

  20. Yes tricky but fun – thanks as always for your help Loved 27a – but don’t think I would have got it!

  21. As I said above, the start of this was very difficult but I did finish eventually. I needed to refer to hints to understand a lot of “whys”. I had no problem getting 14a as that is close by Drefach where I stay when visiting Wales, but the “Peter” bit held me up for a while. We have had 18d in the past, so that went in readily. I enjoyed this one a lot, great feeling of satisfaction at completing it. Jack Dawkins came back to me eventually, but I had to google to confirm.

  22. 18d has appeared in the Times crossword. My first sighting was about 50 years ago. 2d is an old acquaintance, too. I’d never come across 7d, which was the last one in for me. 3*/3+*.

  23. Like most others, I also found it a very slow start,with only 4 downclues.Part of the delay was thinking that 1a was a cricket related clue.The south east corner was the trickiest.Favourite : 25a. Thanks to DT and the setter.

  24. We found this one quite tricky, especially the top half. 14a and 7d both a bit obscure from this part of the world. The Butler book is quite well known in NZ as he lived here for some time and a sheep station, in the area where he lived, is named Erewhon for him.
    Thanks Mr Ron and DT.

  25. Another “hard” vote. Missed out on the novelist, one too many literary clues in there today.

    I think it was harder than usual because it had very slippery surface readings so the clues were tricky to parse, and the definitions chosen were also slightly obscure.

  26. Nothing really original to say as I agree with many comments above. Struggled to get off the ground but then slowly solutions began to dawn however for me this was certainly ****/** and I am impressed that anyone could rate it ** for difficulty. Yes, 27a is drollest clue causing a giggle when answer dawned. References to Muffin the Mule caused a bit of an Annette Mills sing-song – those were the days, my friends, we thought they’d never end!

Comments are closed.