DT 27354 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27354

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27354

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where the weather is a little quieter than yesterday. I hope all our readers are safe from storm and flood.

Giovanni’s trademark obscure word at 19d sent me to the BRB to checkwhat I’d got from the very fair wordplay, but the rest fell into place and I finished in ** time.

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           Set down amount of medicine with record entered (6)
{ DEPOSE } An old vinyl record inside a measured amount of medicine.

4a           Personality outside church spoke affectedly (6)
{ MINCED } A word for the personality, as opposed to the physical presence, wrapped around an abbreviation for the Church of England.

8a           Ace American full of zest offers patronage (8)
{ AUSPICES } The abbreviation for an ace in a pack of cards, followed by an abbreviation for American wrapped around a zest or flavour.

10a         Outside American university observe Arab maybe (6)
{ SEMITE } A three-letter acronym for a university found in Cambridge, Massachusetts inside a word for observe

11a         Knocking back beer is a mistake (4)
{ SLIP } Reverse (knocking back) a type of beer originally brewed in what is now the Czech Republic.

12a         Acknowledged God, sincere in action (10)
{ RECOGNISED } Anagram (in action) of GOD SINCERE.

13a         They could be under boss at head of institution (12)
{ SUBORDINATES } This all-in-one clue is an anagram (could be) of UNDER BOSS AT I(nstitution).

16a         Little devil, beast in Home Counties group without professional cook? (4-8)
{ SELF-CATERING } Take a supernatural being and a variety of animal, put them inside the abbreviation for the location of the Home Counties, and add a group or set of people.

20a         Severely criticises, possible expressions of sorrow not being considered (5,5)
{ TEARS APART } Might also be read as ‘leaving aside visible expressions of sorrow’.

21a         One of two storytellers said to be dismal (4)
{ GRIM } This sounds like (said to be) one of the German brothers whose fairy tales frightened generations of children before Disney bowdlerised them.

22a         The old man with receding locks is a person shunned (6)
{ PARIAH } An informal term for father followed by the reversal (receding) of the locks found on your head.

23a         Support brought by knight in second battle (8)
{ SANCTION } The abbreviation for a knight in chess inside Second and a battle or combat.

24a         An outburst outside university when students are down? (6)
{ AUGUST } A and an outburst of wind, either side of University, giving a time of year when students will be on vacation.

25a         Boy’s story enthralling tot (6)
{ LADDIE } A false story wrapped around a verb meaning to tot.


1d           Couple  bend over laughing? (6,2)
{ DOUBLE UP } Two definitions, the second a figure of speech.

2d           Like a kid’s book Dad takes amiss (3-2)
{ POP-UP } Another informal word for father followed by a synonym of ‘amiss’, as in ‘What’s amiss?’

3d           Tethered dog tucked into fruity bit (7)
{ SECURED } A pejorative term for a dog inside what’s contained in a fruit.

5d           Visible awareness (7)
{ INSIGHT } Split (2,5) this means visible.

6d           USSR official giving order to girl in vehicle (9)
{ COMMISSAR } The abbreviation for an honour bestowed by the Queen, and a form of address for an unmarried woman, inside a motor vehicle.

7d           Little woman taking time, the woman to tremble (6)
{ DITHER } The ubiquitous crossword woman, followed by Time and a pronoun for ‘the woman’.

9d           Sponsor Conservative female not in the top group (6-5)
{ SECOND-CLASS } A verb for sponsor or support, followed by Conservative and a (usually young) female

14d         Looking at old boy working in restaurant? (9)
{ OBSERVING } The abbreviation for an old boy of a school, followed by a word describing what working in a restaurant may entail.

15d         Appoint new leader of ecclesia? This one’s not approved (8)
{ ANTIPOPE } A semi all-in-one clue. An anagram (new) of APPOINT, followed by the initial letter of Ecclesia. A reference to the medieval period when the Catholic Church had more than one person claiming supreme authority at the same time.

17d         Controls in business agreements restricting hospital (7)
{ LEASHES } Hospital inside business rental agreements.

18d         Giant beginning to intimidate a fairy (7)
{ TITANIA } The queen of the fairies in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, made up from a variety of giant, the initial letter of Intimidate and A (from the clue).

ARVE Error: need id and provider

19d         Last character, English granny, to be found in women-only accommodation (6)
{ ZENANA } The final letter of the alphabet, English, and an informal term for a grandmother, giving the Persian equivalent of a harem (it says in the BRB …)

21d         Having a barrier makes one irritated — not right (5)
{ GATED } Remove the R (not right) from a word meaning ‘made irritated’ or jarred.

RIP Nelson Mandela 1918 – 2013.

The Quick Crossword pun { REIGN }{ CHEQUE } = { RAIN CHECK }

63 comments on “DT 27354

  1. An OK puzzle but for me very spoilt by 15d, 25a and 22a, all horrid clues esp 15d. Never come across 19d before but workable from a very clever clue.
    Don’t get 10a, surely a Semite is the last thing an Arab would be! 16a was my personal favourite but I would have to give this one ***/** for difficulty and enjoyment.
    Thx to all involved esp DT without whom I would not have finished.

    1. As Wikipedia tells us:

      The term Semite means a member of any of various ancient and modern Semitic-speaking peoples originating in the Near East, including; Akkadians (Assyrians/Syriacs and Babylonians), Eblaites, Ugarites, Canaanites, Phoenicians (including Carthaginians), Hebrews (Israelites, Judeans and Samaritans), Ahlamu, Arameans, Chaldeans, Amorites, Moabites, Edomites, Hyksos, Arabs, Nabateans, Maganites, Shebans, Sutu, Ubarites, Dilmunites, Bahranis, Maltese, Mandaeans, Sabians, Mhallami, Amalekites, Palmyrans and Ethiopian Semites.

    2. From the Oxford Dictionary of English:

      ▶ noun
      * a member of any of the peoples who speak or spoke a Semitic language, including in particular the Jews and Arabs.

  2. Yes the passing of a true statesman & all round good egg. Back to the crossword two or three held me up but has to resort to the hints in order to complete, liked 20A with 9D being my favourite
    Many thanks to the setter & DT for much needed review.Off to the hospital this afternoon to see my mother who is being well looked after by the staff in intensive care of southampton general hospital.

  3. I think I’d go for 2* difficulty and 3*+ for enjoyment.
    I thought the top half was much more straightforward than the rest – I got a bit held up with a few at the bottom – can’t really see why now.
    I’ve never heard of 19d and suspect no-one else will have done either but, as DT said, it was easy enough to work out and look up. The only problem now will be how to remember it for future use – it’s not exactly the kind of word I’m going to be able to use several times today which is my usual way of remembering new words. I didn’t know 15d either – another one I might not be able to drop into conversation today!
    I liked 4 and 24a and 1 and 18d. My favourite was 22a.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.
    Do hope that everyone is safe and not too badly affected by yesterday’s weather which pretty much missed us. Off now to get a 2d or something similar for my little great nephew who will be one tomorrow.

      1. Thank you – just need to remember how many anagrams.
        Reminds me of my sister coming to stay many years ago when we had just moved house to No 76. She decided she would remember a song called ’76 Trombones’ but when she arrived she couldn’t remember how many trombones there were – she could only remember the next line which was ‘110 something elses . . . ‘ http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

        1. Cornets right behind……

          Isn’t it annoying to have a head full of such rubbish and then not be able to remember you had an appointment on Tuesday afternoon?http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

          1. Yes – cornets it was! I must remind sister about that one – it did make us laugh at the time – she’d been wandering up and down the road singing it for ages by the time we saw her but the number of trombones just wouldn’t happen.

            1. The image of your sister all those years ago really made me chuckle Kath. The comments today are more entertaining than the crossword that I two found a real struggle on the bottom half although my wife did know 19d. This has made me rather worried.

  4. A nice workout today. We took our medicine in the home counties and travelled to The United States twice before heading off to Russia, Arabia and Peru. We cooked our own food whilst drinking backwards beer and listening to European Folk (Fairy) tales with The Queen Of The Fairies herself. Thankfully God made an appearance at 12ac and fought off the Little Devil at 16ac and the baddie at 15d. Friday Night is beer night. Saturday sees Coventry RFC take on Rosslyn Park with my mates my Brother and my Nephew. Beer, Rugby, Beer Curry, Beer more Beer. Beer. See you all on Monday. Thanks to The Don and all concerned.

    1. What a deep & meaningful attitude to life you have. I can only stand & wonder how you can get away with what sounds like a perfect weekend. I’m afraid that if I am seen to relax for more than 5 minutes the Control Tower kicks in with a whole list of jobs that should have been done yesterday. Never mind I’m going up to York tomorrow & I’m taking my Dad (83 years young) out early doors for a few Jenning’s Snecklifters.

      1. Is the Control Tower manned 24/7 ? Just wondering if you could try a very early start to your relaxation period before all the staff arrive. Enjoy the Jennings.

        1. I fear that Spindrift let things slip during the early stages of his relationship and it all became too late too quickly. The tail should never wag the dog. I hope you enjoy your early doors pints of Snecklifter with your Dad. Will you be in THe Minster Inn?

          1. The Control Tower is womanned 24/7 and as I work from home a great deal of the time I appear constantly on the radar. Anyway after being together for nearly 37 years it can’t be that bad.

            We shall be hoisting our glasses in the Angler’s Arms aka “The Snickelways” followed by a nip into the Tap & Spile on the way home for a pint of Hobgoblin with a chaser from the top shelf.

  5. 19d was new to me but the clue was fair. 15d needed the hint plus some electronic help, a case of no blog no solution. Overall ***/*** thanks to DT and setter.

  6. Agree with DT’s ratings – thanks to him and Giovanni. Liked the way the unknown word at 19d had such clear wordplay that it couldn’t be anything else.

    Completed both this and the Toughie while Mr CS was very noisily pointing out that he appears to be doing all the housework while I appear to be enjoying myself. I suppose I had better join him or there’ll be even more muttering :(

    1. Overseeing Saint Sharon’s work leaves me physically and emotionally drained but it is worth it all to see how happy and fulfilled in life she is.

      1. Not sure happy is a word I would currently apply to Mr CS – he spent the first half of the morning fitting new parts to the washing machine and then having to take it apart again twice to see where the leaks were coming from. Perhaps I should send him to up to you for some beer therapy.

  7. I’d rate this as a difficult **, I think new solvers would struggle , certainly enjoyable and a ***/**** for me. Agree with DT re the obscure word in 19d, logical wordplay and I’ve never visited Turkey!., liked 21a and last in was 15d when i’d got all the supporting letters- then saw the anagram , hoping for heavy rain in Adelaide, there’s nothing worse than a smug Aussie.

    1. I see your e-mail address suggests you are located outside the UK. In which case you probably have an edition which went to press before the news broke.

        1. You’re missing out one of the full-stops from your email address, which is why your comments needed moderation. I’ve corrected the address for you.

      1. I heard it on the ten o clock radio news. They said a message had been broadcast 15 minutes earlier. Very late for Morning Newspapers. I suppose all was written well in advance and ready to go at short notice.

        1. Someone tweeted our local radio station with ‘BBC interrupts Mrs Brown’s Boys to bring news of Nelson Mandela’s death – even in death he’s saving people’s lives’

          1. Fair enough if he’s talking about the paper but if it’s our national flag then that’s fightin’ talk where I come from…

  8. Thanks DG – enjoyable puzzle. Have got used to the “Friday new word” and managed to remember the American University at 10a which helped. Thanks DT for your review and hints.

  9. Got off to flying start but held up in the end by 15d and 23a. Until then, I was going to give it only 2* for difficulty! but after those two took me 20 minutes to solve I’ve revised my opinion up to 3*. Still, enjoyable nonetheless and I got there without the hints – but I’ll be back for sure as I move on to the Toughie. Thanks to all

  10. ***/*** for me too. Hints required to finish off 10a, 15d and 22a.
    New word at 19d of course, which I will forget by tomorrow. Thanks to setter and DT.
    Waiting for snow to clear before venturing to Perth this afternoon.

  11. I agree with Gazza’s rating of 2*/3*.

    I thought there were two obscurities (15d & 19d) which I needed to check in the BRB, but thankfully both were easily derived from the wordplay.

    13a was my favourite with 16a & 22a coming close.

    Many thanks to the 2Gs.

    1. All credit for the review should go to Deep Threat not me (he and I did a Tuesday/Friday swap some weeks ago).

      1. Whoops, sorry. I’m so used to it being 2Gs on a Friday. Can’t cope with change at my age!

        Many belated thanks to DT for the review!

  12. Very enjoyable puzzle. I have struggled a bit this week but was on the right wavelength for this one. Thanks to DT for the hints – I had 13a but hadn’t seen the anagram! Really liked 16a.
    Thanks to Giovanni also for another fine puzzle.

  13. I had the same issues as everyone else re 15 and 19.

    I only ever think of 4a as to do with gait, but looking it up showed me different…….

    16a was a little bit laboured and took me a while because I tend to think of that little being as rather fey and benevolent . What a stodgy mind I have.

    My OH is complaining about the “queue” of delivery people lining up outside. A slight exaggeration, but it beats the hell out of hot shops, heavy bags and parking fees.

    1. Like you I think of 4a as more to do with a way of walking so didn’t put it in for ages. I suppose ‘mincing words’ is an expression – will just trot off and look it up to see if it’s yet another of those expressions that I’ve misinterpreted – it is! BRB says to speak affectedly. I’ve always thought it meant saying something beastly but dressing it up nicely in the hope that no-one will notice.

  14. Another wonderful offering from the Don. I’m sure I’ve come across 19D before – but it was a very, very long time ago.

  15. If you don’t ask you don’t get…this was received yesterday from the DT

    We are pleased to advise that we have refunded a month of subscription as a goodwill gesture for the inconvenience caused. This payment will appear back on the account used to pay for your puzzles subscription in the next 5-10 working days.

    1. I haven’t had a refund but the £50 cheque for winning the DT puzzles site weekly crossword prize competition has just arrived in the post http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif Hopefully my electronic subscription refund won’t be far behind!

    2. I wonder if we will get one too. Perhaps it is another of those “Not available to subscribers outside the UK” things again. We live in hope though.

      1. A subscriber to a service is a subscriber wherever they live. I expect it will take a while for them to work through the list of disgruntled customers.

  16. I needed a lot of hints, for example I couldn’t think beyond Hareem, for 19d.Tres difficile.Thanks to Deep Threat and Giovanni.

  17. I didn’t get 20a or 11a at the end and needed the hints, why? Who knows, they weren’t that difficult. I’m not really that familiar with beer, apart from our Red Stripe! I got 15d early on, and 19d was workable even though a new word. Otherwise I found it pretty difficult but enjoyable. Thanks to Giovanni, and DT for helping me to finish.


  18. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat. I couldn’t do this to save my life, needed 7 hints to finish. Was 4*/2* for me.

  19. Enjoyed this one but, as we solved it in the local over a very late lunch with no BRB to hand, we just bunged in 19d and hoped for the best.

    I don’t know why the Don feels it necessary to include such obscurities, NEVADA would have fitted the checkers. It just spoils the puzzle for me :sad: I don’t mind learning new words but preferably ones which might just be of some use outside of crosswords. I’m afraid that at my age I have little or no interest in Turkish hareems :lol:

    Anyway, thanks to Giovanni for the enjoyment and to DT for the review.

  20. Luckily, one member of our team knew both 15d and 19d. Don’t know how we would ever manage without her. This meant that it all came together smoothly without major hold-ups.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  21. Enjoyable puzzle from thr Friday Maestro!

    !9d was my last in – I knew of “serail” or “seraglio” but quickly found the answer!

    Re 11a. the Dutch for a beer is “een Pils” but you rarely get a true Pilsner – usually an Amstel or a Dommelsch or a Grolsch or a Heineken!

    Nurse came to check my feet today and muttered “oedema” and put me on antibiotics..
    My feet are so swollen I can’t put on any outdoor footwear!

    Fortunately, my daughter topped me up with essential groceries.

    Fish & chips tonight – have nice fillets of plaice.

      1. Merusa.

        Many thanks for your comment!

        They reckon I shall get better but one has to be patient . Is this a double entendre????


  22. I found this Giovanni offering really hard work without much light relief so needed several hints particularly in the southern half hence many thanks to Deep Threat for coming to my rescue. ****/**. Have just watched BBC/David Dimbleby tribute to Nelson Mandela which I thought told the heroic story of this great and courageous man very well indeed.

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