DT 27330 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27330

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27330

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Good morning from Beechwood Grange in York, where we’ve been celebrating grand-daughter’s birthday, and looking at the gathering of A4 Pacifics in the National Railway Museum.

I found this one quite a tussle, well into *** territory for me, but wondered why the ones I had struggled with had caused such problems once I had cracked them – the usual sign of well-constructed clues. Thanks to Giovanni for the workout.

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           A mister with sitar playing in Indian city (8)
{ AMRITSAR } A (from the clue), the usual abbreviation for mister, and an anagram (playing) of SITAR, giving us a city famous for its Golden Temple.

9a           In the auditorium, unsettled by stages (6)
{ PHASED } A homophone (in the auditorium) of a word meaning unsettled or bemused. This was the last one in for me.

10a         Irish individual, right person for applying pressure (6)
{ IRONER } Put together an abbreviation for Irish, another word for an individual, and Right to get someone who applies pressure to remove the creases from shirts.

11a         New deal required in cargo reception area, there being impasse (8)
{ DEADLOCK } An anagram (new) of DEAL goes inside somewhere where cargo is unloaded.

12a         Ignoble now, having got drunk? Cease exploding angrily! (7,4,3)
{ BLOWING ONE’S TOP } Anagram (having got drunk) of IGNOBLE NOW, followed by an order to cease.

15a         Be sorrowful about knight who cares too much for social standing? (4)
{ SNOB } The chess abbreviation for a knight inside the sound made by someone crying.

17a         Not like a circle aligned in debate? (5)
{ SIDED } A verb describing the action of someone who took the part of one party in a debate, which is also an adjective describing a characteristic that circles do not have.

19a         Business arrangement for Kent location (4)
{ DEAL } Double definition: a business transaction; and a port in Kent.

20a         Pampering that gets some people down when not up? (14)
{ FEATHERBEDDING } The definition is a metaphorical use of the actual thing filled with down which may be used by people who are not up.

23a         Quiet learner needs a medicine, being without sign of passion (8)
{ PLATONIC } The musical abbreviation for quiet, the letter indicating a learner driver, A (from the clue) and a variety of medicine. Put together, these give an adjective describing a non-sexual relationship.

25a         A right bounder beginning to escape from passageway (6)
{ ARCADE } Add together A (from the clue), Right, a bounder or rotter, and the initial letter of Escape.

27a         Be consistent at this place, backing firm (6)
{ COHERE } A word meaning ‘at this place’ comes after (backing) an abbreviation for a firm.

28a         Stalwart Cavalier having changed sides at the outset (8)
{ LOYALIST } Take a word describing the side supported by a Cavalier in the English Civil War, and change the initial R into an L.


1d           Ruler involved in crimes after revolution (4)
{ EMIR } Hidden backwards (after revolution) in cRIMEs.

2d           Little person getting cut outside pub (6)
{ MINNOW } More often used to describe a small fish, or one of the minor teams playing in a cup competition.  A word for cut (as in lawn) is wrapped around another word for pub.

3d           Help to keep river, having very little water (4)
{ ARID } Put River inside a word for help or assistance.

4d           Drug injected primarily in a poet being dissolute (6)
{ OPIATE } The initial letter of Injected goes inside an anagram (being dissolute) of A POET.

5d           Gangster must meet fate in bed, it’s somehow decided (8)
{ BALLOTED } The usual crossword gangster’s name and a word for fate or destiny go inside BED, giving a form of decision-making.

6d           Skipper could be satanic ape unfortunately (3,7)
{ SEA CAPTAIN } Anagram (unfortunately) of SATANIC APE.

8d           Violinists, etc in street bands (7)
{ STRINGS } The generic term for violinists and the like in an orchestra is made up of the abbreviation for street followed by (e.g. wedding) bands.

13d         Poet who would look down on many? (10)
{ LONGFELLOW } The name of the author of Hiawatha suggests that he would be taller than most people.

14d         Stranger given food heading off (5)
{ ODDER } ‘Stranger’ as in ‘more strange’. Remove the initial letter from a word for food, especially that given to cattle.

16d         Little creatures, busy types, drinking wine (8)
{ BEASTIES } The proverbially busy insects have the usual crossword sparkling wine inside.

18d         As food allowance is out of this world, recorded in log (7)
{ DIETARY } A word for a log or journal, wrapped round the initials given to the alien in the film who famously wanted to phone home.

21d         Support in hospital minimal — leading to bad feeling (6)
{ HANGER } The abbreviation for hospital seen on road signs, followed by bad feeling or rage, giving a support for clothes in a wardrobe.

22d         Meek and mild medic joins revolutionary priest (6)
{ DOCILE } One of the shortened forms for a medic, followed by another crossword regular, an Old Testament priest, this time reversed (revolutionary).

24d         Unemotional bowling partner for R. Willis? (4)
{ COLD } One for the cricket fans! A word meaning unemotional is made up of the first initial and surname of a Yorkshire fast bowler who played for England between 1972 and 1981, and was one of the lower-order batsmen who supported Ian Botham in the second innings at Headingley in 1981.

26d         Money shut up after party (4)
{ DOSH } A two-letter party followed by an instruction to shut up.

The Quick Crossword pun { HEW }{ MAINLY } = { HUMANELY }

68 comments on “DT 27330

  1. I was defintely on the right wavelength today and my rating is */*** for a straightforward but very enjoyable puzzle. 24d was the only potential Giovanni obscurity today, but fortunately it wasn’t obscure for me as I am a real cricket freak.

    I was held up slightly by my last two in (9a and 4d), but the delay didn’t take me over my 1* time.

    20a made me laugh and gets my vote for favourite.

    Many thanks to both setter and hinter.

    1. I remember 24d taking four wickets in five balls against Pakistan as follows: wicket, wicket, no-ball, wicket, wicket — that was longer ago than I care to think!

  2. I found this tough going but perseverance paid off & finished without help. 20A was a new term for me & really had to dig deep into the memory bank for the cricketer. Many thanks to the setter for giving me a good workout & to DT for the review. Wishing all a great weekend.

  3. Nothing too tricky in this one today; having the first letter of 24d gave me the cricketer straight away.
    Thanks to Giovanni for an entertaining puzzle, and to Deep Threat for the review.

    Back to the toughie; the last few are being particularly stubborn in giving in!

  4. Another wonderful puzzle from The Don. I feel a bit sorry for all the non-cricketing people, but I thought 24D was superb, I even made a mental list of all Mr Willis’ bowling partners (including the right one) and rejecting each one for not having 4 letters until the penny dropped with an almighty clang.
    4D was also a very good clue indeed as was 20A.

  5. Really enjoyed this one but, as with Jezza, needed help with 9a and 4d and also 21d and 24d. Afraid I had never heard of Bob Willis “bowling partner” and I suppose 21d is a “support”. Liked 12a, 20a and 16d. Thanks Giovanni and Deep Threat. ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  6. I thought this was difficult – at least 3* and 4* for enjoyment.
    I could see that 12a had to be an anagram but couldn’t find the right number of letters to add up to what I wanted, if that makes any sense at all. I’ve never heard of 20a but eventually guessed – the cryptic bit of down and not up escaped me until I read the hint. Being a complete “cricketophobe” I didn’t stand a hope of understanding why 24d was what it clearly was – I even googled Cold to see if he’s a bowler – he isn’t! I’ve never heard of a minnow being a little person – only know the fish. My last two were 4d (no excuses for that) and 9a.
    I liked 7 and 28a and 8 and 13d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.
    Cold and wet in Oxford.

    1. Hi Kath. Chris Old played cricket for England and Yorkshire. (later Warwickshire) His brither Alan played Rugby Union for England. Their parents must have been very proud.

      1. Alan also played cricket for Durham (then minor counties ) for 10 years .
        Lovely puzzle from Giovanni so many thanks and to DT too .

      2. Thanks Miffypops – I understand it now but I wasn’t looking for C. Old I was looking for one with a surname Cold! I wasn’t saying that there wasn’t a cricketer called C. Old. Just being dim! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  7. Having put Teared (Sounds like Tiered) thinking the auditorium might be both the homophone indicator and also the seated part of a theatre I had no hope of getting 4d. Now I have the answers I don’t like Phased at all. Ta to all concerned. Ladies, look how happy the lady at 10ac is. A positive bundle of euphoria. You too can be as happy as this simply by doing what she is doing.

    1. For 9a, I actually put peaked (piqued) which I considered ok (sort of!), but have to say that I think phased works better. Straightforward apart from that, although I do have sympathy with non-cricket followers from the 70s and early 80s. Many thanks to G & DT.

      1. When I go out to the Rugby on Saturday afternoons I leave Saint Sharon a list of jobs to do and the proviso that should she call me upon completion I will give her some more jobs to do. Saint Sharon is the happiest lady I know.

            1. I have a friend who is M’pops to a T, so much so that I phoned him and asked if he blogged on this site!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

        1. Have you ever actually had a call back?

          Do you live anywhere in SE London? I ask because I was just watching a programme called the Blackheath Poisonings…….

        2. Does Saint Sharon read these comments? Perhaps she might like to use Shirley Conran’s (author of “Superwoman”) comment when asked whether she does the ironing; “I’m not gifted that way” :-)

          1. A friend of ours has a great saying whenever she doesn’t understand something, “I prefer not to clutter my brain with that kind of thing.”

      1. So did I but I think that’s a case of wishful thinking! My husband is pretty good at doing most things but definitely doesn’t iron. The last time he ironed a shirt was just after our eldest daughter was born – she was thirty five this week – and it took him about half an hour – it still looked as if he’d slept in it for a week!

        1. I think that when men attempt jobs that Miffypops would consider women’s work, some do them so badly on purpose, that they’re never asked to do them again.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  8. Sadly, 24d was last seen filling shelves at Sainsbury’s, having run a restaurant than nobody came to. Can’t we treat our sporting heroes better than that?

  9. Lovely crossword….romping start followed by a stall….quick dip into the BRB for hints for 20a then we’re off again. Many thanks for the hint for 9a as I needed that one.

  10. Enjoyed todays offering ,a **/***for me , being a cricketer(ex),I knew Kath would have trouble, the key was the full stop. Major computer failure in the ‘stack,(ECU ?), won’t know what I’ve lost till its operable again-panic setting in -may resort to drink.

  11. Can’t believe its afternoon already, its a real rainypoury day here today and cold and dark a yuckday if ever there was onehttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif I finished most of this without help but however are we supposed to know 24d!!! The answer was obvious I know but.. now I know there are lots of us ladies that follow football and rugby and other sports but personally I don’t know any that follow cricket! Foul play! I was determined 5d was going to be allocate! I’m safe from the wrath of Kath today as I didn’t have any favourites or should I say I didn’t have a favourite http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    1. Definitely the latter then you can have a http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif
      Horrible day here too but I’ve got indoory stuff to do this afternoon as daughters are coming home for the weekend.

        1. Think it would have to be something along the lines of an Indian oven but with lots of letters taken out and a few more put in . . . can’t get any further than that, but anyway I’m sure you know what I meant! No worse than Mary’s ‘rainypoury’ day!!

  12. Nice and straightforward – thanks to Giovanni and DT

    Anyone who has been lulled into a false sense of security when solving toughies earlier in the week should bear in mind that the Friday Toughie does ‘what it says on the tin’ http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

    Fans of Virgilius will enjoy his alter ego Brendan’s puzzle in the Guardian (available free on line)

  13. Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat, an enjoyable crossword but untaxing to say the least and an amusing review.

  14. Not a bad one today, particularly liked 12a. I was at the A4 gathering last weekend – once – In a lifetime!

  15. Really liked today’s crossword, & thank you DT for the nice straightforward clues which enable those of us not so cryptically minded to complete it. Thank you to setter too of course.

  16. I have to agree with the rating because I just. Could not get 4d and 9a no matter how much I used a thesaurus or ran through the alphabet http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    The requirement to dredge the whole of the temporal lobes is OOO!

  17. This was a fabulous crossword, clear and unambigous ( with the exceptions of 18d and 21 d, which held me up.) 5d was my runaway favourite, with28a coming a close second. Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

  18. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A great puzzle as usual from the Don. I found this quite difficult and was beaten by 21d, 8a & 5d, couldn’t get the latter as I had seat for 19a. Favourites were 20a,13&24d, the latter being the best. Was 3*/4* for me. Great workout. Dark as night in Central London!

  19. I really enjoyed this one and was dead on wavelength, except (there always seems to be an except) 21d. I could not get that at all, even though I had all the letters. Too many good clues to have a favourite, though honourable mention should go to 20a. Thanks to Giovanni for entertainment and DT for hints and providing answer to 21d.

  20. Thank you DG, difficult for me. Thanks DT for the review and hints. Bit of culture tonight with BBC Phil @ Bridgewater Hall all to be ruined by visit to Reebok tomorrow !

  21. The last few took a little while (I’m blaming my sluggishnes on a full week of 12-13 hours intensive work days). 9A was the last one in. I liked so many clues, but 16D and 20 across were lovely. Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review.

    P.S. I don’t do ironing. Isn’t that what tumble driers are for?

  22. I agree with Kath this wasn’t easy and I needed help with 5d although having got the answer I couldn’t see why! For me this was just a bit of a slog, not really very enjoyable. Shame because I normally love Fridays puzzles. Sorry Sir!
    Thx to DT for the hints to 9a and 5d.

    1. Glad to have some company, Brian! Most people didn’t seem to find it tricky – I was beginning to feel a bit lonely being on my own in the numbskull’s corner.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  23. Started off with a gallop on the top half and then had a significant slowing down. 24d very obscure from where we sit, bit did get there. Enjoyable Friday fare.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  24. Like the Kiwis, started off with a gallop. Okay until the SW corner. Had to go to the blog for 15d. Only obvious if you know that N stands for Knight. After that, the rest fell into place. Definitely *** for difficulty.

  25. Got there in the end but found this stupendously hard for some reason. Got a few in quite quickly, then took ages and ages over the middle third, and the last few became easier again with more checkers.

  26. I agree with DT, these clues are very satisfying to solve, and then I wonder why I’ve found them tough to crack. And a year ago Giovanni’s crosswords took me much longer, without approaching finishing them, so persistence with these wonderful cryptics really pays off.
    I got all but one: 21D – the word ‘minimal’ really threw me, and I just hadn’t thought of the solution as a means of support. Ho hum.

  27. I really enjoyed this — **** —- and had no real problems except for 24d. Even Mr Catnap didn’t know it. Thanks so much, Deep Threat for the explanation to my answer! Hints otherwise not needed. Lots of lovely clues. Particularly liked 12a, 28a, 13d and 18d.
    Thanks to both Giovanni and Deep Threat.

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