DT 27318 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27318

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27318

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

This puzzle from Giovanni is full of his usual polished clueing. It’s the last Giovanni back-pager I’ll be blogging for a while (I have been on Friday duty for over four years) since Deep Threat has kindly agreed to do a swap, so from next week I’ll be appearing on Tuesdays.

Do let us know how you got on. To reveal an answer just highlight the gap between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Game old soldiers fought at the front (10)
{BATTLEDORE} – this is an old game which was a forerunner of badminton. It’s not something I was familiar with but the wordplay is clear – O(ld) and the abbreviation for the Royal Engineers are preceded (at the front) by a verb meaning fought or strove.

6a  Resistance units  on a royal mission (4)
{OHMS} – double definition, the second the four-letter abbreviation for the phrase that used to appear (and maybe still does, though I haven’t seen it recently) on postal communications from some government departments.

9a  Reckoning as fools fellows in street (10)
{ASSESSMENT} – a word for fools then another word for fellows inside the abbreviation of street.

10a  River in the country beginning to disappear (4)
{URAL} – an adjective meaning in the country (as opposed to in the town) without its first letter gives us the name of a river which flows through Russia and Kazakhstan.

13a  A revolutionary having a rest it seems, lying on the shore (7)
{BEACHED} – having a rest it seems is IN BED, so inside BED put A (from the clue) and the name of the famous South American revolutionary.

15a  Plant could provide something spicy, right? (6)
{CLOVER} – an aromatic spice followed by R(ight).

16a  Wild party outside home brings depression (6)
{RAVINE} – a wild party goes round an adverb meaning at home.

17a  Many a lorry driver will  perform up to expectations (7,3,5)
{DELIVER THE GOODS} – double definition, the first literally what a lorry driver does and the second a phrase meaning to carry out what has been promised.

18a  What I’ll give you in all sincerity? Gosh! (2,4)
{MY WORD} – another double definition. The first is a solemn undertaking from me and the second an interjection expressing surprise.

20a  Hero was first to gather information (6)
{LEGEND} – a verb meaning was first goes round (to gather) an informal word for information.

21a  Comforted in such a manner having got thrashed (7)
{SOLACED} – an adverb meaning in such a manner or thus is followed by a past participle meaning thrashed or given a beating.

22a  Fish must be caught — focus of activity (4)
{CHUB} – the abbreviation on a cricket scorecard for caught followed by the centre or focus of activity.

25a  Spooner’s purchasing milk cart as form of transport (6,4)
{FLYING BOAT} – Rev. Spooner used to transpose the initial sounds of his words so he might have called this form of transport ‘buying float’.

26a  Departed from school at Easter (4)
{LATE} – a word meaning departed (permanently) is hidden (from) in the clue.

27a  Old writer, maybe I will offer communication for wide readership (4,6)
{OPEN LETTER} – string together O(ld), a writing implement and what I is an example of (one of 26, in English).

Down Clues

1d  Shine  where gymnastic skill is required (4)
{BEAM} – double definition, the second a piece of apparatus.

2d  Rubbish put out by 23 (4)
{TOSH} – an anagram (put out) of the answer to 23d.

3d  Minor skin problem? You don’t need b____ surgeon! (6)
{LISTER} – start with a minor skin problem and remove the initial B to leave the name of the British pioneer of antiseptic surgery.

4d  A Maoist doctrine could make this very tricky! (15)
{DEMOCRATISATION} – a semi all-in-one where the whole clue is the definition (I hope you’re reading this, Mary). It’s an anagram (could make) of A MAOIST DOCTRINE.

5d  Soldier expressing bitterness audibly (6)
{RANKER} – this ordinary soldier sounds like (audibly) a word meaning bitterness or resentment.

7d  The woman wearies when keeping four cows? (10)
{HERBIVORES} – the question mark indicates that cows are just examples of these creatures. String together a female pronoun (the woman) and a verb meaning wearies or tries someone’s patience, then insert (keeping) the Roman numeral for four.

8d  Team of senior citizens getting beef? (10)
{SILVERSIDE} – this cut of beef when split (6,4) could be a cryptic description of a team of senior citizens.

11d  Article falsely acclaimed as scholarly (10)
{ACADEMICAL} – start with an indefinite article and add an anagram (falsely) of ACCLAIMED.

12d  Do what someone else has done and support clubs? (6,4)
{FOLLOW SUIT} – a verb meaning to support or be a fan of and what clubs are an example of (one of four).

13d  Be antagonistic almost when you see rodents (7)
{BEAVERS} – BE (from the clue) followed by an adjective meaning antagonistic or reluctant without its final letter (almost).

14d  Theologian holding point of view was a swinger (7)
{DANGLED} – the postgraduate degree awarded to a theologian contains (holding) a point of view or perspective.

19d  Young woman given work is a bit lumpy (6)
{DOLLOP} – in the surface ‘a bit lumpy’ means dull or boorish but as the definition it’s just a small lump or shapeless mass. Start with a slang word for an attractive young woman and add the usual abbreviation for an artistic work.

20d  A measure of class (6)
{LEAGUE} – double definition – an old measure of distance and a class or group.

23d  Entertainer of a multitude (4)
{HOST} – another double definition, the second being a large number (of golden daffodils, perhaps).

24d  Sun is one  name for tabloid (4)
{STAR} – good surface but it’s actually another double definition.

My top clues today were 13a, 4d and 24d. Let us know which ones floated your boat.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {MILL} + {ASCENT} = {MILLICENT}

62 comments on “DT 27318

  1. I enjoyed this challenging puzzle, just slightly tarnished for me by 1a which was rather obscure. Nevertheless my rating is still 3*/3*.

    I eventually worked out 1d from the wordplay, checked the answer in the BRB, and then entered the wrong alternative spelling putting OR for soldiers at the end instead of RE, which made 5d impossible until I saw the error of my ways :-(

    I particularly liked 8d, and I thought that 4d, my favourite, was magnificent.

    Many thanks to the 2Gs.

  2. Oops – I got 5d wrong – I had a ‘g’ not a ‘k’ – it fitted and was vaguely to do with being a soldier – I did wonder about the rest of the clue but dismissed it!

    Ah well, you can’t get them all – thanks for that!

  3. Looked difficult at first pass, but after the NW corner went in it gradually came together, agree with the***, but give it **** for enjoyment. liked 13a and 25a-i either seem to solve a spoonerism at once or take ages,7d brought a smile as it reminded me of the lady who was employed to warm up some frozen cows-Thora Hird !

  4. None that really float my boat but 17a put a smile on my dial, a dip in my hip & a glide in my stride…

  5. Another excellent offering from The Friday Maestro. I vaguely remember 1A (as a word, not as a game – I’m not quite that old) and once I’d thought of it, it was fairly easy to piece together the clue to confirm. 4D was an excellent anagram, very impressive! 10A held me up a while as I trying to think of a country ending in L (apart from Brazil) until the penny dropped.
    My favourite today was 12D – very clever surface and produced a quiet chortle when solved.

    At the beginning of the week, I really thought that The Daily Advertiser had had a change of heart and was actually going to use the back page for what it was designed for (ie the crosswords). Unfortunately, the final score was Crosswords 2 Adverts 3. I’m glad to say that I have absolutely no idea at all what any of the back page adverts were for and nor do I wish to. I’m so glad that I don’t commute.

    1. The amount of advertising, the quantity of “researches show” & “a survey suggests” articles are some of the reasons why I don’t buy the paper version but subscribe to read what I want to read on line together with the puzzles site. And don’t get me going on the extortionate cover price!

      1. One can only guess at how horrendous the cover price might be without the adverts, but frankly I am amazed that the companies doing the advertising feel they are getting value for money. Like Skempie I have no idea what brands are being promoted, and I am sure we are not in a minority of two!

        1. Make that 3 & even when I do know what they are advertising I never want what is on offer be it an overly expensive watch which will match my lifestyle (I’m more Timex than Breitling) or a Caribbean cruise (again I’m more Whitby than St Lucia).

          1. I never buy from advertisers who ruin televised Rugby matches with on pitch signs or those really infuriating ones that move around and distract from the game itself. However The DVLA used them at The Millenium Stadium and the DVLA is impossible to boycott

            1. I do agree with you about those dreadful moving adverts round the pitch. One of the delights of watching the Olympics on tv was the absence of adverts.

    2. I think we have to accept Adverts as a way of life and to keep down costs but I do agree about the constant survey articles, they are a pain and a lazy way of filling space. Good journalism is now hard to find.

    3. The advertising dept are missing a trick here. I and I presume others work my way from the front of the paper and stop when I get to the crossword. If they kept our crossword in its rightful place on the back page and put the advert on the inside back page more people would see it – we wouldn’t buy any of the things that tend to be advertised but at least they could feel sure we’d noticed their product.

  6. I was slow to get going with this one but all was OK in the end. I agree 3* for difficulty but would probably give it nearer 4* for enjoyment.
    4d was my last answer – I could see it was an anagram, knew the meaning of the word that I was after and eventually had about half the checking letters in – still looked at it for ages before I got it. I’d never heard of 1a so that took a while. I also didn’t know that laced could mean thrashed.
    Lots of good clues to choose from – 18 and 25a (I always like Spoonerisms) and 7 and 8d. My favourite was 3d. There was a surgical ward at the old Radcliffe Infirmary (where I trained) named after him.
    With thanks to Giovanni and, for the last time on a Friday, to gazza.

  7. Managed to finish with only one small hiccup with 5D, liked 8D as im a silver solver & 27A floated my boat.Many thanks to the setter & Gazza for his excellent review.

  8. Didn’t understand the wordplay in 26a & 27a – but all is now clear!

    Farewell, gazza! See you next Tuesday!

  9. Usual excellent crossword from Giovanni, just the right amount of difficulty for a Friday. Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza for the excellent review.

  10. Very tricky, needed lots of help and like Gazza have never heard of 1a. Never knew the Ural was a river, I thought it was a range of mountains.
    Some very clever clues as always but rather too difficult for true enjoyment. When they are really tough it all becomes a bit of a slog. Many Thx to Gazza for the much needed hints for the top part of the puzzle.

  11. An enjoyable puzzle for another lunchtime. Learnt that “lace” meant “thrash” after trip to the dictionary – derivation anyone? No hints needed so 3* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment
    I am delighted that so many are, like me, becoming irritated by the amount of advertising – by my count 14 pages out of 42 today. The move of the crossword to the inside back page is another irritation. I’m glad that I no longer go to work by tube where I used to do the puzzle. Struggling to open the paper to the correct page on a crowded Northern Line train would be a nightmare.

    1. At a guess it probably has to do with whipping and lashing by using thin ‘laces’ of leather. So you were beaten or thrashed this way.

  12. ***/*** for me. Wouldn’t be a Friday without an obscure word (1a) and a proper name (3d). Great fun, so thanks to G and G.

  13. Thank you DG for the challenge. I found it difficult and it took about 3 circuits of the Circle Line to finish ! Thanks Gazza for the review and hints.

  14. Not a favourite for this silver solver ****/**. Took me ages to get off the ground but solving 17a helped nevertheless the northern section continued to present real problems with which I needed lots of Gazza help. I too was unaware of the Ural river. Doubtless the prize job tomorrow will treat us more gently.

  15. Tricky but enjoyably so.Last part of 1a was new to me,I also misspelled 5d and I tried very hard to make 7d Herefords. Thanks to both G’s.

  16. We have been away for a month in the Greek Islands, so while we continue to do the crossword in bed, we have not had time to read BD.
    Is everyone else tired and frustrated with the latest app update? I cannot believe how bad it is. Slow to load, telling us to turn off airplane mode, and asking to confirm subscription, then gets stuck at some random point whilst downloading, amongst other faults.
    What can we do to exert pressure on “The Management”?

  17. Many thanks to the great work done by the BigDave team.

    I do crosswords for enjoyment. 1A took any enjoyment away from a puzzle I was already finding tricky. If a compiler has to stoop so low as to use words that are not used, they may as well just make words up. Fine if I come across a word that I don’t know but it is actually used; at least I’ve learned something useful. All I have learned today is that showing off one’s vocabulary isn’t clever.

    1. But as I said before, I had heard of the word in 1A, therefore it must have been used some time in the fairly recent past. Just think, if someone turns round to you now and says ‘What game was Badminton derived from?’ you’ll be able to give them an answer rather than staring into space.

  18. Completely off-topic but I was amused to read a tweet from the Telegraph this afternoon to advise all those in Southern England that the weekend could bring hurricane force winds measuring 12 on the Richter Scale.

    1. Don’t worry. Michael Fish has issued a statement saying that there definitely won’t be a hurricane.

      1. OMG! I remember that Michael Fish broadcast well as I was in Wales at the time and had to return to London two days later where there were trees down.

        1. I think that I might just have been the only person in the country to sleep through that storm. Got up as normal, we all had breakfast – I DID think that the garden looked a bit of a muddle – then took girls to school. There were enormous trees down everywhere – I wondered what on earth had happened.

          1. Well that has cheered me up, Kath, as nobody would believe Mr P and I were driving from Broadcasting House in Central London, to the outskirts, in a very ‘light’ Triumph Herald that night. And we thought it was a tad blowy, and wondered at the number of trees breaking up, but got home and went straight to sleep, only to discover the mayhem the next morning! And re wellies – have you considered Le Chameau – for a Christmas present?

            1. I too slept through it all in 1987. I was having dinner (and a few too many drinks :oops:) with a customer in a hotel in the London suburbs and stopped overnight. I woke up at about 10:00 the next morning and, as I walked past reception on my way to breakfast (happily still served until 10:30!), I was awake enough to notice what a beautiful sunny day it was and commented on this to the receptionist. She replied, “I hope the wind last night didn’t disturb you too much” and I will forever remember my riposte, “Wind? What wind?”

              I soon saw the effects when I went out to the car park and found it littered with trees, all of which had thankfully missed my car. Other guests had not been so lucky.

            2. Re Triumph Heralds – my Dad had a white convertible with a black roof – I can still remember the number plate LWP 96D. I really loved it – took, and passed, my driving test first time in it three months after I was seventeen. Three point turn – what do you mean three point turn? It just went straight round even in a narrow lane. It also had a reserve petrol tank – another long story but it involved me and my sister (and the police) late one night when needing to find it – we were using a cigarette lighter as it was dark! Well we were very young . . .
              Re wellies – my leaky ones are Le Chameau – my trench foot (feet) can’t wait until Christmas . . . :sad:

              1. My Dad had a Triumph Herald at one point as well, he said it was his favourite car,but too small for his purposes, he changed cars every two years.
                Re wellies, are the green Hunter ones no good ?

    2. I’m sure that in NZ there would never be confusion between the Richter and Beaufort scales. :)

      1. Would never be that confusion in the Oil Exploration business either (not that I do that any more) and they do not and never have used the Richter scale

  19. I’m a tad fussed with 7d. Doesn’t “She” describe “woman” more accurately than “Her”? or am I missing something?

  20. Thanks to the two G’s. A fairly gentle puzzle today, no problems until I came to the last two clues. Was beaten by 1a and 5d, both had soldiers in the clue, but sadly I’d never heard of either. Was 2*/3* for me. Awaiting the storm on Monday, after which I can reinstall my pigeon spikes.

    1. You’ve never heard of the Royal Engineers? All 17 or so Regiments of them? To say I’m surprised is a bit of an understatement.

  21. A rather straightforward puzzle from Giovanni this Friday!

    I have not been blogging recently but do the cryptic every day to try to keep my English up to scratch!

    Weather here in NL now very back end – clocks go back on Sunday!

  22. This was not easy! I shot myself in the foot by misspelling 9a, unforgivable as I knew the answer. Then I put “Aire” in 10a, for country Zaire without the start, but once I got 7d and 8d, I knew it was wrong and did not get it in the end. I never did get 4d, see above for 9a, nor 5d. Good puzzle but hard! Thanks to Gazza for much needed hints and Giovanni for puzzle.

  23. Apart from 10a which eluded me completely, I found this quite straightforward, and I don’t know why to each of those comments!

    4* for enjoyment, however, I do hate Spoonerisms in crossword clues.

  24. Phew. Finished. Needed some hints, Gazza, and to confirm some of my answers where I couldn’t see how I got them for which many thanks. I think that OHMS is ‘On Her Majesty’s Service’ these days and I havn’t seen it for years either. Well don the Don for a very testing and enjoyable puzzle. Now for a weekend of rugby courtesy of BT

  25. Thanks to Gazza and setter. 3* and 4* for me today. 20a made me smile. I guessed 3d might be Kath’s favourite. And I, too, knew 1a (but not how to play it) but hesitated over the spelling of the last four letters as some use double O instead of OR, so had to find 5d first.

  26. Last one to go in and favourite was 7d. Even with all the checkers, it did not leap out at me. 4d a tricky anagram that also needed most of the checkers before it emerged. On the tougher end of the scale for a Friday and much enjoyment.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  27. No problems today and didn’t need the hints. Liked 13a 17a 27a 8d but favourite 25a which made me laugh out loud.
    Thanks to both

  28. I’m with Magmull over 7d and couldn’t fathom where the possessive comes into the clue, Gazza, never mind subject or object – or am I missing something?

    1. There’s no possessive in 7d. HER is a pronoun (e.g. ‘I saw her in the street’). Follow that with BORES (wearies) containing IV.

  29. Without wishing to persist I feel clue reads as if woman is subject (shebivores?!) whereas her is object and/or possessive adjective.

  30. Another irritation is the inclusion of a single sheet. Surely putting a newspaper together with the number of pages divisible by 4 is not too difficult.

  31. This was very enjoyable. :grin: I needed your hint for 10a, Gazza, but was okay otherwise. I particularly liked 3d and 4d. Re 21a: we Catnaps both seem to think we have also heard these used as slang words for being drunk…
    Appreciative thanks to you both, Giovanni and Gazza.

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