DT 27342 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27342

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27342

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a bright, slightly frosty morning. Quite like old times, waking up to news of cricketing calamity from Australia.

After last Friday’s tour de force by Giovanni, we are back to a level which I found less taxing this week – comfortably in ** time, though still with the occasional unfamiliar word.

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           Petty Sergeant-Major everybody paid attention to (5-6)
{ SMALL-MINDED } A charade of the abbreviation for Sergeant-Major, a word for everybody, and a verb meaning paid attention to.

7a           Talk about bozo ultimately in charge being disorganised (7)
{ CHAOTIC } An informal talk wrapped around the last letter (ultimately) of bozO, followed by an abbreviation for in charge.

8a           Place for early Christians moving to China (7)
{ ANTIOCH } Anagram (moving) of TO CHINA, giving an ancient city on the Orontes in modern Turkey.

10a         Party character in Athens almost ill with beer (8)
{ MUSICALE } A social gathering with melodies is made up of a Greek letter, a word for ill with the final K removed, and a type of beer.

11a         Very hot support Conservative’s lost (6)
{ BAKING } Remove the C(onservative) from a word denoting moral or financial support.

13a         Drinks bringing endless moral failure? (4)
{ LAPS } The definition is a verb (think cat with milk). Remove the final E from a moral failure.

14a         Task in which worker keeps messing about (10)
{ ASSIGNMENT } Anagram (about) of MESSING inside a worker insect.

16a         Put a check on board’s decree (10)
{ COUNTERACT } A board or table over which business is done, followed by a Parliamentary decree.

18a         Sword carried by the peer (4)
{ EPEE } Hidden in the clue.

21a         Securing bit of metal into label (6)
{ TAPING } A small sharp bit of metal inside a label, often a name label.

22a         Game at Millwall’s ground starts to erupt so suddenly — loutish behaviour (8)
{ RUDENESS } The initials of a ruffian’s game played by gentlemen, followed by the name of the ground where Millwall play the gentleman’s game played by ruffians, and the initial letters of Erupt So Suddenly.

24a         Fellow without hesitation to go round street — as collector (7)
{ DUSTMAN } A shortened form of a man’s name (26a, for instance) wrapped around an expression denoting hesitation, which is itself wrapped around the abbreviation for street. The clue could be seen as an all-in-one.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

25a         Hard work at home, energy limited? Drink needed (4,3)
{ SLOE GIN } A word for hard work and another meaning ‘at home’, with Energy inside.

26a         Author in deal arranged with editor turned enemy (6,5)
{ DANIEL DEFOE } Anagram (arranged) of IN DEAL, followed by the reversal of an abbreviation for editor, and an enemy, giving an English author born in 1660.



1d           Cat ascending over river remains air-bound! (5,2)
{ STAYS UP } An affectionate term for a cat is reversed (ascending, in a Down clue) over a Scottish river.

2d           Revolutionary army with course of action, making assault (6)
{ ATTACK } Reverse (revolutionary) the initials denoting our reserve forces, and add a course, especially one taken by a yacht sailing into the wind.

3d           Later luck’s out — one gets dull (10)
{ LACKLUSTRE } Anagram (out) of LATER LUCK’S.

4d           I am, before noon, a man of prayer (4)
{ IMAM } The contracted  form of ‘I am’, followed by the abbreviation used to show a time before noon.

5d           Emerges from railway journey inert, sad, wretched (8)
{ DETRAINS } Anagram (wretched) of INERT SAD.

6d           Compound — one farm animal brought inside died unfortunately (7)
{ DIOXIDE } The Roman numeral for one and a farm animal which may be used to pull a plough or a cart inside an anagram (unfortunately) of DIED, giving a chemical compound.

7d           Comic lad playing with pet becoming confused (11)
{ COMPLICATED } Anagram (playing) of COMIC LAD and PET.

9d           Capital offence? Others hang, I will get free (4,7)
{ HIGH TREASON } Anagram (will get free) of OTHERS HANG I.

12d         Is series of lectures spanning two days treated formally? (10)
{ DISCOURSED } Two examples of the abbreviation for Day, separated by IS (from the clue) and a series of lectures.

15d         Dwarf on isle, one with special role in film (8)
{ STUNTMAN } A verb meaning to dwarf or restrict the growth of, followed by an isle in the Irish Sea. We had this answer in Wednesday’s Toughie, so I may as well use a similar picture.

17d         Not like ‘cheesy’ photographs? (7)
{ UNPOSED } A cryptic definition, describing the sort of photo where the photographer does not tell the subject to ‘say cheese’.

19d         One receiving promise to be quietly guided — gosh! (7)
{ PLEDGEE } The musical symbol for music to played quietly, a verb meaning guided, and an exclamation like gosh.

20d         The French gent is given a reprieve (3,3)
{ LET OFF } The French definite article, and the sort of gent that David Cameron and his friends are often portrayed as.

23d         Advance payment comes with a loveless communication (4)
{ ANTE } A stake in a poker game put in before the deal: A (from the clue) and a communication with the O removed (loveless).

The Quick Crossword pun { SICKER }{ FANCY } = { SYCOPHANCY }

47 comments on “DT 27342

  1. Thank you DG – fortunately not too hard – need to be off to see the starling roost at Leighton Moss ! Very enjoyable puzzle. Thanks DT for the review and hints. Lovely day up in NW.

  2. I got through this one without too much difficulty, but was held up for a while by 16a, and 17d, which were my last two in.
    Many thanks to Giovanni, and to Deep Threat for the review.

    For those who avoid the ‘other puzzle’, today’s is not very frightening, and I think is my quickest ever completion of a Friday toughie.

  3. Rating 1.5* for difficulty / 4* for enjoyment. Apart from Tuesday, what a great week this has been!

    Although rather easier than his usual fare, I thought this was an especially enjoyable puzzle from the Don.

    Too many excellent clues to list them all, but 22a was my favourite. 11a was my last one in because for a while I was transfixed with the idea that I needed to remove a C from the start of a word meaning support. Right idea except the C was not the first letter! Without that hold up I would have given a 1* difficulty rating today.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for his review.

  4. I really enjoyed this offering which contained some very good clues, liked 26A & 22A made me smile but im not sure every knows where millwall play there home games.Thanks to setter & DT for the review.

  5. Not one of the Don’s hardest puzzles, but quite enjoyable nonetheless. After my first run through the across clues, I thought we were in for a stinker but there were enough downs to provide checking letters for the acrosses to fall into place.
    No real favourites today, but all a lot of fun.

    Bright sunshine but cold in the Bristol area today – good excuse to get y head down again after watching a lot of last night’s debacle (think our cricketers must still be suffering from jet lag).

  6. Morning DT thanks for blog, one of Giovannis easier puzzles but still 2 to 3 star territory for me, what about the clue for 1d then? It’s easy to work out but aren’t the readings supposed to make some kind of sense???? no favourites for me once again today, I must really be back in Kaths good books by now http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  7. Going for a **/*** today , still recovering from the cricket , too many out of form batsmen , did’nt think i’d be hoping for rain so soon . Anyway, eminently logical crossword , right up my street ;thanks DT for the usual entertaining ‘pics’ have seen the Robinson Crusoe illustration before ,but can’t remember where-is it a book cover?

    1. I do believe its from a book called Robinson Crusoe by somebody called Daniel Defoe. Actually, I don’t know that at all and I don’t think I’ve seen this particular picture although it looks very similar to a plaque in Hull that I have seen.

  8. Good morning everybody. I am sure our cricketers will win The Ashes series. A lovely effort today from The Don with 11ac the last one in and one that I am not sure of. I am with Saint Sharon visiting her Most Wonderful Mother. Then it’s off to Blackpool for a weekend watching Bob Dylan and a stay at The Imperial Hotel. Looking at the date I wonder how many of you can remember where you were and what you were doing when you heard the dreadful news that Take That had split up? Have a nice weekend. See you all on Monday

  9. I’ve really had a bad week – this was at least 3* difficulty for me and the same for enjoyment.
    Yet again now that I’ve finally finished it I can’t see why I found it tricky – I just did!
    Needless to say I had no idea of the name of Millwall’s ground so those three letters were a bit of a mystery to me!
    5d was obviously an anagram and the answer was equally obvious but I’ve never heard of it as a word so had to check in BRB.
    I made 16a more difficult than it should have been by putting the last two letters of 3d the wrong way round – stupid – I know how to spell it.
    17 and 19d took ages – don’t know why. Oh dear, in general.
    My favourite was 1a.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

      1. In a moment of absent-mindedness, I too used the US spelling of 3D. That’s why 16A was my last one in!

        Thanks to the Don for a pleasurable puzzle, and DT for parsing 24A.

        Smiley faces by 20D and 14A, but 8A is my favourite because it made me feel smug too :-)

    1. Most people here seemed to think this was quite straightforward, but I’m with you, Kath, it took us a while to get going. The answer to 5 down sounds like an Americanism, rather like when athletes say they have medalled. The fact that the words may be in the BRB doesn’t necessarily mean they should be used. Some words just don’t sound right. There, that’s my rant for today. Thanh you setter & DT. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    2. Thanks RD, Stb and SheilaP – now I don’t feel quite as useless as I did! I’ve done so badly with the crosswords this week that even though Jezza says the Toughie isn’t very frightening I’m not sure I dare have a look. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  10. Another enjoyable puzzle from the Don, if a little easier than usual – with 1a and 7d going in first everything else just flowed. As I love great surface readings 14a gets my vote as favourite closely followed by 26a – both straightforward but a pleasure. Overall 1.5*/3* for me

    Sadly no cricket on TV over here – the West Indians seemed to have lost interest in the game, which is perhaps why their “national” team is not a patch on the sides that played during their glory days.

    Thanks to the setter and DT for the hints

      1. I’m not the person of choice to answer this but here goes: When the sentence or clue reads like normal english and is directly connected to the solution, I think.The famous “Two girls , one on each knee” is an example, I think.

        1. Many thanks Una and BD – my word, there’s a lot to learn in this esoteric world, isn’t there.

          1. Yes – you’re right – there is a lot to learn but you’re in the right place to learn it. BD et al are absolutely wonderful. I found this blog (let’s be truthful here – my husband found this blog) well over three and a half years ago. I have learnt so much since then. There are lots of things that you don’t need to know to enjoy doing a crossword but it makes it all the more fun when you do know them!
            The thing that I love most is that this blog has turned a solitary hobby into a very sociable one – I know that most of the others have heard me say this before so apologies to them.

  11. Thanks to DT for the blog. I could not fully parse 24a or 22a although I had the answers. Thanks to Giovanni also for a very satisfying puzzle.

  12. Very enjoyable,although I needed hints with 1d and 10a.Thanks to both Giovanni and DT. Winter anti-cyclone weather continues.

  13. One of Giovanni’s easier puzzles today!

    Aside from the four external 11-letter jobs, I liked : 21a, 25a, 6d & 17d.

    Going out tonight with my daughter and son-in-law to the local restaurant along the street.

    Quite chilly now outside.

  14. Having to use the hints rather more than I would like, would say 3* for me, but working through and enjoying it v much. Thanks to setter and reviewer.

    Very cold here in Edinburgh!

    1. . . . not exactly tropical in Oxford! Only joking – I’m sure it’s much colder in Edinburgh – keep warm. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  15. Enjoyed this, but I did have to think a lot. I had to google Millwall to find out the name and confirm my answer, otherwise very straightforward. Loved 26a, and the illustration. Thanks to Giovanni and DT, though hints not needed today.

  16. Very enjoyable. Nice to see the Don back on form.
    Must admit I did need the explanation for 24a, all a bit complicated.
    So many good clues today it’s a job picking a favourite but if I must it would be 25a mainly because I love the taste!
    Thx to Giovanni for the excellent puzzle and to DT for the explanation.

  17. Thanks to giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A super puzzle from the Don as usual. Some of the surface readings were fantastic, especially 8&22a. Found this quite difficult, needed the hint for 17d, and was completely flummoxed by 12d, I just couldn’t think what a series of lectures could be called. Obvious when you’ve seen the answer though. Favourite was 6d, which gave an unfortunate mental image of oxen being gassed by carbon Dioxide. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif
    Was 3*/4* for me. Managed to do this after working on the new squash Leagues all day, the brain feels a bit jaded now.

  18. Interestingly enough, we did know the name of the football ground in 22a. Our daughter’s partner is from London and is an avid Millwall fan. On one of our visits to the UK, he even took us, as a cultural experience, to watch a game at The Den. It was one of those rare occasions when the home team won too! Before then we had never heard of the team, let alone their ground. A pleasant Friday puzzle.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  19. I did need a little help but a very enjoyable puzzle. Many thanks to the Don and to DT for the hints

  20. This was a lovely puzzle, somewhat easier than Giovanni’s usual but none the less enjoyable for that. I have marked a lot of clues that I liked, such as 8a, 25a, 26a, 12d, 15d and 20d. (Haven’t we had something like 20d before somewhere? Still good for a chuckle, though.)http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif Many thanks to Giovanni. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif
    And many thanks, too, to Deep Threat for enjoyable hints. Although I did not need them, I liked going through them afterwards. I couldn’t think what the ‘communication’ was in 23d, although I had the correct answer.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif
    http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif Other than that hiccup, thankfully no probs.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  21. Started this yesterday,,played dr whoop google and got back to over lunch today Last clue solved was 11a, Mrs Beeton would not be very impressed

  22. A much swifter solve than last Friday and enjoyable to boot. Got a paper early this morning despite not working today due to a happy chance of the milk being off. Husband’s generosity stretched to a paper when remedying the aforesaid problem. Got most of them before having to get up for an early hair appointment. 19, 20 d and 26a were a bit too easy. All the long ones were write ins which left me with 12d (not a write in!) 11a (for some reason) and 25a. Happy to say on return from said appointment, dry cleaners, butchers and Sainsburys the missing letters on 12d appeared before my eyes which in turn answered 25a (very nice too). 11a was a bit tedious – a going through the alphabet job – but got there. Thank you Giovanni, BD and all of you for my enjoyable retrospective.

  23. For me this was a let-down at the end of a week of great puzzles. Not much humour and several iffy clues/solutions. Hope for more entertainment over the weekend. ***/* http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

    1. Don’t hold your breath.
      Telegraph puzzle site has ‘technical problems’ – no downloads.
      Are we in, again, for the long haul?
      Hope no.

  24. Quite a straightforward one today – I got it sorted out before I went out to play Golf – it was great today hardly anyone else there, it was like having your own course and what’s more I won!

    ‘Oh, it’s such a perfect day’ http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

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