DT 27324 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27324

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27324

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs, where November begins damp and drizzly.

The first posting in my new Friday slot took me into *** territory, with Giovanni’s usual habit of throwing in an unusual word or spelling leading to the occasional hold-up.

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           Sea-sport star wearing red emerged from water again (10)
{ RESURFACED } RED (from the clue) wrapped around the way you might describe someone who is very good at riding the waves on a board.

6a           Centre of operations  devoid of morality (4)
{ BASE } Double definition: the place where military operations may set out from; and an adjective meaning devoid of morality, low.

9a           Woman was poorly on return journey (5)
{ DELIA } Reverse a verb meaning ‘was poorly’ to get a woman’s first name.

10a         Block of words soldier attached to chart (9)
{ PARAGRAPH } The abbreviation for a soldier in an airborne regiment, followed by a sort of chart used by mathematicians.

12a         How we count with energy concentrated (7)
{ INTENSE } An expression (2,4) describing the normal way of counting based on fingers, followed by Energy.

13a         Bird appearing before a new moon (5)
{ TITAN } One of the moons of Saturn is made up of a small bird followed by A (from the clue) and New.

15a         Goods vehicle makes journey (7)
{ CARGOES } A motor vehicle followed by a common verb for ‘makes journey’.

17a         Record Socialist dwindling to nothing? (7)
{ TAPERED } What we used to record sounds before we had CDs and hard drives, followed by the usual colour associated with the Socialist.

19a         Talk together having hugged one sort of tree (7)
{ CONIFER } The Roman numeral for one inside ‘talk together’, giving the sort of tree with needles and cones.

21a         Fighter in army surrounded by loony men (7)
{ MATADOR } The abbreviation for the Territorial Army inside another word for loony, followed by the usual military abbreviation for men who are not officers, giving someone who ‘fights’ bulls.

22a         Author publishes sermons, but only five of them (5)
{ HESSE } A German author is hidden (only five of them) in the letters of the clue.

24a         Platform nonsense about end of NHS — bizarre! (7)
{ ROSTRUM } Another word for nonsense wrapped around the last letter of NHS, followed by a word for bizarre or odd.

27a         Cleric, all right and competent, that can be countermanded (9)
{ REVOKABLE } A charade of the abbreviation of the title of a clergyman, a two-letter expression meaning all right, and an adjective meaning competent. The more common spelling has a C as the fifth letter, but this alternative is listed in Chambers.

28a         Fruit to disappear — taken by staff (5)
{ MANGO } A verb meaning to staff a business, followed by another verb for ‘disappear’.

29a         Modern money a setback for old French street (4)
{ EURO } Put together Old and the French word for a street, then reverse the whole lot.

30a         Boss I love leads university, crafty in a bookish way (10)
{ STUDIOUSLY } Add together a projecting boss, I (from the clue), University, and another word for crafty or devious.


1d           and 14 Down: Choose dark rice for cooking — do this with fine lady in prospect! (4,1,4,5)
{ RIDE A COCK HORSE } Anagram (for cooking) of CHOOSE DARK RICE. The fine lady will be seen at Banbury Cross.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

2d           That is little fellow, betrayed earlier, to keep going (7,2)
{ SOLDIER ON } The Latin abbreviation for ‘that is’ and a shortened form of a man’s name, precede by (earlier) a verb meaning betrayed.

3d           Perform again and swing back the other way (5)
{ REACT } This verb might describe an order to go on stage again.

4d           A string’s holding together soft plants (7)
{ ALPINES } A (from the clue) plus a variety of string (as found on fishing tackle) plus the ‘S from the clue, with the musical abbreviation for soft inside it.

5d           Most weird estate flooded by lake (7)
{ EERIEST } An abbreviation for estate with one of the Great Lakes inside it.

7d           Stop a large vessel crossing sea initially (5)
{ AVAST } A nautical command to stop, made up from A (from the clue), and a large container for liquid, with the first letter of Sea inside it.

8d           Heroic men at sea netting 500 starfish maybe (10)
{ ECHINODERM } Anagram (at sea) of HEROIC MEN with the Roman numeral for 500 inside it.

11d         Approach snooker table and fall apart (2,2,3)
{ GO TO POT } What you might do when you approach a snooker table.

14d         See 1 Down

16d         Descending mountain when there are fewer fellow-travellers (3-4)
{ OFF-PEAK } A time when travel costs are lower could also describe the act of leaving a mountain.

18d         First principles allowing inferior little types to pocket money (9)
{ RUDIMENTS } An American coin inside a word for the smallest and weakest piglets in a litter.

20d         Artist getting about nibbled a toastie (7)
{ RAREBIT } The usual abbreviation for an artist, followed by the Latin expression for about or concerning, followed by a verb for nibbled.

21d         Odd dream is interpreted incorrectly (7)
{ MISREAD } Anagram (odd) of DREAM IS.

23d         Separate prophet, very confined (5)
{ SEVER } The abbreviation for Very inside a person who predicts the future.

25d         See old lover thwarted (5)
{ ROMEO } The see or diocese over which the Pope is bishop, followed by Old.

26d         Company man coming out as ‘not the proper article’? (4)
{ COPY } Remove the letters of MAN from COmPanY.

The Quick Crossword pun { MAXIM }{ MILLION } = { MAXIMILIAN }

37 comments on “DT 27324

  1. Enjoyed today’s ‘logical crossword, seemed to know what I was looking for-which always helps, so a **/*** for me today, remembered the old rhyme for 14d and i’m sure I’ve seen 1a somewhere before, which got me off to a good start . Thanks DT for the ‘pics’ 20d is making me hungry.

  2. DT, I know we’re all different, but I can’t agree with your difficulty rating. For me this was the easiest crossword of the whole week – it took me longer to do the Quick one! Very enjoyable, nonetheless, and I particularly enjoyed 26D.

  3. Terrific – loved it. Only drawback was that it was over too quickly! 1/14d amused me. **/****. Many thanks setter (Giovanni ?).

  4. A couple held me up in this one today, but a pleasant puzzle to solve.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Deep Threat.

    Now back to try and finish off the obdurate remaining few in the toughie!

  5. Much trickier than of late but very enjoyable except for 4d which I thoroughly disliked.
    Don’t understand the reference to five of them in 22a.
    Fav clue was 12a, very clever (do like a nice pun).
    Still managed to complete it after 2 sittings which is more than I did with yesterday’s horror from my nemesis. :-(
    Many Thx to the Don and to DT for the hint for 6a which was my last in.

    1. 22a – the surname has five letters so you only need ‘five of them’ letters from the clue.

  6. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. An enjoyable puzzle from Giovanni, I needed three hints to finish. I’m bad at double definitions, so failed on 6a. Useless at gardening, so couldn’t get 4d. Failed to see hidden in 22a, had never heard of him anyway. Haven’t a clue what 1&14d was about, I’m going to play the videoclip in hints to find out. New word for me in 8d. Favourite was 19a. Was 3*/3* for me. Looks like rain this afternoon in Central London.

  7. 3.5*/3* rating from me. Quite a struggle today, but nevertheless an enjoyable challenge. Many thanks to the Don.

    I was held up mainly in the NW corner. I didn’t spot the hidden German in 22a and I spent ages trying and failing to work out the relevance of “five”. Thanks very much to DT for putting me out of my misery.

    7d is one of those familiar words that I have never been quite sure the meaning of, so I looked it up in BRB.

    16d was my favourite.

  8. Agree with DT’s ***/***. Not too hard but a bit of fun. Liked 1d and 26d best.

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni.

  9. I found this one quite tricky but I’m having another “bad Mum day” so that’s my excuse – not concentrating very well. :sad:
    I think 3*/3* is about right.
    I was very slow to get started at all and then eventually, after quite a long time, ended up with several that I couldn’t do, all in the top left corner – being completely unable to get 1a didn’t help. Stupid!! I spent far too long trying to fit an ‘L’ into 4d and have never heard of 8d but it was clearly an anagram so looked up starfish which sorted that one out. Anyway, finished in the end.
    I liked 1 and 15a and 1/14 and 11d. My favourite was 21d – possibly the most straightforward clue in the crossword but I liked the way it read.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat. That was quite difficult to type as my fingers are so used to putting Giovanni and gazza.
    I know better than to even look at the Toughie – going to start making pizzas for supper – beating the hell out of something will do me good and it’s probably best that the dough gets it!

    1. Oh dear, not another “bad Mum day”, our sympathies go out to you. I hope things get better soon.

      1. Thanks – all a bit up and down here at the moment – things can only improve. Well, I hope so anyway! Not sure whether to do a :sad: or a :smile:

        1. Sorry about your tricky day Kath. You and I both making dough, but mine has been turned into Mediterranean rolls……

          I love a homemade pizza though!

          1. :smile: What are Mediterranean rolls? Our pizzas were pretty good even though the kitchen is now covered in flour – we’re very untidy cooks but will worry about it tomorrow!

  10. I can’t tag this one as easy but certainly not very difficult. Like a couple of others, I didn’t get 6a until the very end, and it had to be the easiest of the lot when you know it! Many good clues, favourite 1/14d. Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  11. I didn’t find it easy but it was very enjoyable – getting to the end definitely gave me a sense of achievement!

    8d was a new word to me but the ‘fodder’ of the anagram (have I used the word ‘fodder’ in the right sense?) was quite easy to work out and my anagram program did the rest.

    As I said good fun!

  12. I enjoyed this puzzle. Usually struggle on a Friday but managed to complete it without any help. 8d was last to go in as I’m not au fait with my sea creature classifications

  13. Thrilled again to have reached the dizzy heights of ‘Poor”. A few more one-star button pushes would surely put me back where I really belong

    1. Well I liked it – just tough enough for me and the obscure 8d was easy enough to work out – good work!

    2. Thanks for dropping in.

      Given that only 28 of the several thousand people who have visited this site today actually voted, and that I know how easy it is accidentally to push the one-star button while scrolling the screen on a mobile phone, I really wouldn’t pay any attention to the star rating. The comments by those who have posted are overwhelmingly more positive.

    3. I don’t think you can take much notice of the stars – I have been known to be the first one to vote and my vote appears momentarily and then disappears again.

    4. I seldom push the rating button, but I gave it a ***** today after I read your post. I love your puzzles. Many thanks for so much enjoyment on a weekly basis!

      Thanks too, to DT for today’s review. All the reviewers are very much appreciated in my house.

    5. Maestro, I was in very early and gave you four stars, so I wouldn’t put too much faith in the system! :-)

    6. I always forget to push the buttons. I enjoyed this **** today, so I’ll go and push a button to show it. Grand puzzle.

    7. This was anything but “poor”. Enjoyed it a lot – thanks.

      Why do you insist on including obscure words in most of your puzzles? Is it an easy way of adding difficulty? Anyway, puts me off your Toughies and Pasquale puzzles.
      Friday DT and Quixote however are appreciated.

      Just interested is all.

    8. This certainly wasn’t poor! I found it very entertaining and it has **** for enjoyment from me. :grin: Thank you very much indeed, and I relish obscure and unusual words. It’s always nice to learn something new.
      (P.S. I always record my vote.)

  14. I didn’t know you could vote until now…so I did
    */*** for me. Practically a write in. Didn’t need the hints but always read them.
    Thanks to both

  15. Thank you DG. We enjoyed wrestling with the puzzle during a dreadful journey back from Bath – only whilst stationary of course ! Thanks DT for your review and hints. Always nice when the setter comes on – an opportunity for us all to pass on our thanks for all the enjoyment which you give us.

  16. It was easy apart from 6a/7d, neither of which were that obscure, but I still didn’t get them………

    Quite enjoyed it so **/****

    27a was a bit naughty though….had to check the spelling.

  17. What a thrill to hear from the great man. I took the puzzle into my wife in the other room to show her the combined 1 and 14 down, which I thought was a great clue. The rest were all very entertaining and challenging as well, though I would never have known the answer to the fish clue without looking it up, despite A level biology.
    Keep up the good work G and thanks to DT for his hints

  18. Needed the hint to get 4d, was stuck on appends. 8d was a new word for me,, needed the dictionary to get it at that. Liked 1a and 15a.

  19. Further to my comment above re enjoyment, would just like to add that I particularly liked several of the clues, such as 10a, 12a, 18d, and 23d. I thought 1d/14d was clever. My fave was 11d. I also liked your hints, Deep Threat, which I didn’t need, save for the explanation of ‘five’ in 22a.
    Appreciative thanks to you both, Giovanni and Deep Threat.

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