DT 27366 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27366

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27366

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where at the moment it’s bright and sunny, but I don’t think it will last.

Another fine offering from the Don, with his trademark unusual word and religious reference. I had to think just long enough to get this into *** 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           Thus desires to restrict criticism, creating resentful attitude (4,6)
{ SOUR GRAPES } A word for thus and a word for strong desires or drives, wrapped around a three-letter informal word for criticism.

9a           Novice, tense, not half pressed (4)
{ TIRO } An abbreviation for Tense followed by the first half of pressed (as in trousers).

10a         Iris adapts, being adaptable plant (10)
{ ASPIDISTRA } Anagram (being adaptable) of IRIS ADAPTS.

11a         Footballer in victory against a reduced Germany (6)
{ WINGER } A position in a football team, made up of a word for victory followed by a shortened form of Germany.

12a         Don’t interrupt author troubled about little English (4,3)
{ HEAR OUT } Anagram (troubled) of AUTHOR wrapped around English.

15a         Worry about hospital department’s small area (7)
{ CENTARE } A word for worry or bother wrapped around the usual hospital department, to give this week’s unusual word: a metric measurement of one-hundredth of an are, more commonly referred to as 1 square metre.

16a         Small son, a boy getting this food (5)
{ SALAD } Small followed by A (from the clue) and a word for boy.

17a         Breathe with difficulty — maybe oxygen pressure minimal? (4)
{ GASP } A form of matter of which oxygen is an example (at room temperature) followed by an abbreviation for Pressure.

18a         One of the old people in home, delightful (4)
{ MEDE } One of the ancient inhabitants of NW Iran is hidden in the clue.

19a         Eruption in places of great industry (5)
{ HIVES } Double definition: an eruption of the skin; or places filled with proverbially busy insects.

21a         Country girl’s reading (7)
{ PERUSAL } A south American country followed by a shortened form of a girl’s name.

22a         Be brutal to journalists after work (7)
{ OPPRESS } The Latin abbreviation for work followed by a collective term for journalists.

24a         Trendy company established by this person provides revenue (6)
{ INCOME } A charade of a word meaning trendy, an abbreviation for company, and a pronoun meaning ‘this person’.

27a         After work one retired may be given a new outlook (10)
{ REORIENTED } Anagram (after work) of ONE RETIRED.

28a         Welshman set about becoming an oracle (4)
{ SEER } Reverse (set about) a Welsh surname (as in Dai, the golfer).

29a         Not quite prevent firm being loathsome (10)
{ DETESTABLE } Remove the final R (not quite) from a word for prevent and ad a word for firm or secure.


2d           River dwelling has roof blown off (4)
{ OUSE } Remove the initial H from a dwelling, to get one of several English rivers of this name.

3d           One plundering rivers repeatedly to catch a fish (6)
{ RAIDER } Two examples (repeatedly) of River, either side of A (from the clue) and a fish in the carp family only seen in crosswords.

4d           Catastrophic game — one with talent submerged (7)
{ RUINOUS } The initials of the organisation which governs the fifteen-a –side game, the Roman numeral for one, and a talent or intellect (submerged because it’s at the bottom of a Down clue).

5d           Way taken by top athletes (4)
{ PATH } Hidden in the clue.

6d           River was rising covering top of each water plant (7)
{ SEAWEED } Another river name (one of these runs through Chester) and WAS (from the clue), all reversed (rising, in a Down clue) and wrapped around the first letter of Each.

7d           Asian angel — she is extraordinary (10)
{ SINGHALESE } Anagram (extraordinary) OF ANGEL SHE IS, giving, one of the majority population of Sri Lanka.

8d           Lack of refinement seen with Across clueing? (10)
{ COARSENESS } Anagram (clueing) of SEEN and ACROSS.

12d         Important Jew — somehow he’s pi, right? (4,6)
{ HIGH PRIEST } The head of the clergy in Biblical Judaea is an anagram (somehow) of HE’S PI RIGHT.

13d         Removed vehicles, after time, turned up in a plot (10)
{ ABSTRACTED } Time and some horse-drawn vehicles, all reversed (turned up) inside A (from the clue) and the sort of plot that may have flowers in it.

14d         Language of male when bitten by dog (5)
{ TAMIL } Male inside a verb meaning ‘to dog’, giving the language of the minority population of Sri Lanka.

15d         Firm’s boss going round in the morning — a limited role (5)
{ CAMEO } An acronym denoting the top executive in a company, wrapped round the Latin abbreviation for in the morning, giving a brief appearance in a film, such as those where Hitchcock appeared in his own films.

19d         Wasn’t decisive offering advice on choice of wine (7)
{ HAVERED } Split (4,3) this could be an answer to the question “Should I have red or white?”

20d         Country’s absorbing last of war’s injuries (7)
{ SPRAINS } The last letter of waR inside a Southern European country plus the ‘S from the clue.

23d         War and upset in African country (6)
{ RWANDA } Anagram (upset) of WAR AND.

25d         Maybe letters offering employment (4)
{ POST } Double definition: what comes through your letterbox; or a job or situation.

26d         Food ground up for breakfast? (4)
{ MEAL } … or lunch or tea. Or ground corn.

All being well, I’m off to Ireland for Christmas, and travelling back next Friday, so won’t be here next week. I hope to see some of you at the Crossword Centenary gathering in London tomorrow, otherwise I’ll wish you a Merry Christmas (or season’s greeting, for those who don’t like religious references!) and look forward to hearing from you in 2014.

The Quick Crossword pun { WETHER }{ FORK }{ ASTOR } = { WEATHER FORECASTER }

40 comments on “DT 27366

  1. A fraction easier than most Friday puzzles IMHO. Never heard of 15a or 18a, but both were well enough clued that it didn’t matter. ***/*** for me too. Thanks to the compiler and to Deep Threat (whose services I didn’t need for once).

  2. My rating is 3.5*/3* today for a challenging but enjoyable Friday puzzle, with several unusual spellings which slowed me down. I eventually finished without needing any hints.

    On my first pass I pencilled in tyro for 9a making a mental note to try and figure out the wordplay later, and I put oats in for 26d. Both were nearly right, but a miss is as good as a mile in a cryptic crossword!

    I struggled in the NE corner because the answers to both 9a and 7d were spellings that I was not aware of. Although the answer to 3d was obvious, I initially rejected the only wordplay that made sense which needed ide to be a fish. For ide, the BRB simply says “see id”, and stupidly thinking, “I know what id means and it is not a fish!”, I didn’t look any further as it would have involved turning back one page :oops:

    19d was a new word for me, and I tried for a while until I solved 19a to get wavered to fit.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  3. Most enjoyable back-pager of the week for me. Nothing too tricky, but not a write-in either.
    Many thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat, and Merry Christmas to you both.

    Another hour and that will be work done with for a couple of weeks or so!

  4. Thanks to all. I shall be speaking on A Hundred Years in Ten Clues at tomorrow’s London do at 3, and hope to meet some of you.

    1. I’d love to be there, but it’s not possible. My thanks for yet another excellent crossword :-)

    2. I’d love to be there too but large numbers of people and our lack of organisation make it a complete no-no. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  5. Once I had wrestled the paper back from Mr CS (one of the perils of a day off) it didn’t take me long to polish this one off. Thanks to DT and Giovanni – see you both tomorrow.

    If you get on Elgar’s wavelength, the toughie isn’t as diabolical as some of his other tormentors

    Back to putting up the Christmas tree now.

  6. Nice puzzle today EXCEPT for 3d which I thought was just plain daft!
    IDE is far better known as the computer hard drive control system rather than an obscure fish. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif
    Apart from that the two strange words in 15a and 18a were obvious from the wordplay.
    Very enjoyable and apart from the above a 2*/4*. Did better than I did in yesterday’s which was an almost complete failure for me. :-(
    Thx to the a Don and to DT for explaining 3d (nice to see BD having a day off :-)

    1. “IDE is far better known as …”? Only to a certain techie section of the population, and to them (us) it is an increasingly dated term, given that the later SATA was in use of 99% of desktop machines by 2008.

      Anyway, don’t be so rude about the clues, lest you be told to push ORFE. :-)

      1. I feel Brian is winding us up Steve. behind the curmudgeonly facade there beats a heart of gold I am sure.

  7. Like Brian above, I had to verify 15a and 18a in the dictionary ,but as he says the wordplay was fairly obvious, and remembered the obscure ‘crossword only’ fish-some kind of orfe apparently .Nice logical crossword from the Don,about a **/*** for me, good crossword week,nothing too difficult-thanks DT for the pics -got a 10a in a pot ,but most of the leaves have turned brown looks like a tobacco plant.

  8. Thanks to G and DT for the entertainment. I’m intrigued by the bust insects – whose bust is this? :D

  9. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very entertaining puzzle from the Don. I had to think deeply about some of the clues, but got there unaided in the end. New words for me in 18a & 7&19d, but all were gettable from the wordplay. Last in was 4d, really had to search for the definition. Favourite was 3d, I remember the fish because I actually stayed in Ide in the West Country once. Was 3*/4* for me. Lovely sunny day in Central London. Looking forward to the meet tomorrow.

  10. Thanks to Giovanni and to DT, an interesting if untaxing crossword and an amusing review, I agree with Crypticsue re the Elgar, worth a try.

  11. A very enjoyable puzzle – 18a was a new word to me, I thought it must be a hidden word and sure enough there it was in the BRB.

    Similarly, with 3d IDE must be a river but I had never heard of it – I was trying to fit in the River Aire (which I have heard of!) but it never quite worked out.

    Very good fun – thanks for the review.

    I’m off to the sun for a few weeks – oh, and will be witnessing the death throes of the latest Test series in Melbourne – I always promised myself that I’d go and see the Boxing Day test one year but it’s disappointing that England have put up such a bad show – I’ll just have to console myself with copious amounts of Australian wine!

    A happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year to you all – particularly to BD and his merry helpers! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    1. IDE is a fish, also known as ORFE Here’s the Oxford Dictionary of English entry for Orfe:

      ► noun a silvery freshwater fish of the carp family, which is fished commercially in eastern Europe. Also called ide.
      ● Leuciscus idus, family Cyprinidae. See also golden orfe.

      – origin late 19th cent.: from German; perhaps related to French orphe, Latin orphus, and Greek orphos ‘sea perch’.

      1. Doh! Did I say River of course I meant Fish!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

        BRB says ‘A fish (Leuciscus idus), closely related to the chub, inhabiting fresh water in N Europe’

  12. A bit of a challenge not helped by necessary work, deliveries, constant interruptions and so on. Ta to all concerned. New kitchen floor down and (very) old sink unit refitted to be going on with. Have a nice weekend everybody. See you all on Monday.

  13. Can’t pretend to have heard of the unusual words which I entered because nothing else seemed to fit.

    Still, I think that is one of the functions of crosswords, if only one could remember the blessed things for the next time they float up from the mud. Pity I don’t play scrabble.

    I also thought 9a was spelled with a Y, which apparently is also correct.

    A good 3star which took not much longer and turned out to be educational.

  14. Thank you DG – a few new words – but with some lucky guesses finished the puzzle. Thanks DT for your review.

  15. Of course 15a flummoxed me. I got the answer but didn’t know what it meant. It wasn’t even in my Seiko Britannica. For the rest of the puzzle, first class. Tough but achievable. I particularly liked, and found difficult, 8dThanks to G and DT

  16. We enjoyed this one. A few head scratching moments and the odd word that needed a check in BRB but we expect those on a Friday.
    We are very envious of all you lucky people who will be at the Centenary do. Would love to be able to get to one of these some day. We will be thinking of you. Have fun.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  17. Not easy for me, I’ll give it **** for difficulty, but still an enjoyable work out. I, too, spelt 9a with a “y” which completely threw me out. When I got 7d I checked that it could be tiro. I missed the anagram at 27a and never did get it, misspelt 29a, spelling “deststable”, thus I missed 25d and 26d. Do you mean there isn’t such a word? Otherwise it was quite straightforward.

    Thank you DG and DT for today’s offering. Have a great weekend all.


    1. Further, I have finally decided that the IT snafu (I wanted to use something stronger but like to consider myself a lady from time to time) is nothing to do with computer programming but something more mundane like contract negotiation failure or suchlike.

  18. Rather late here today for lots of reasons – did the crossword this morning and didn’t, for once, have any major problems. 2+* difficulty and 3+* for enjoyment – nothing like being difficult.
    I was very slow with 8d – kept thinking it had something to do with one of the across clues – stupid! Like others I’d never heard of 15a.
    I liked 10 and 17a (once I’d stopped trying to justify ‘puff’) and 3 and 6d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat, and a very happy Christmas to both.

    I really hope that you all have a good day tomorrow – would love to be able to go but general chaos prevents it. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  19. For once I get here before 2am after a day off Christmas shopping (I’d rather have been at work). Enjoyable, but not too difficult today, I only needed to go to the dictionary twice; 15a and 18a. The rest seemed straightforward. I won’t get to the toughie until well after midnight, and my post will, as usual, be the last one. Still, I do enjoy reading all your thoughts. Thanks to BD,DT, Gazza and the rest for encouragement in the small hours when everyone else is in bed – and to all of you for keeping me amused and, usually, feeling rather ignorant

  20. Didn’t really enjoy this, a bit too much wilful obscurantism, and a couple of obvious ones that I missed…

  21. Agree with Brian – for me this was 3 times easier than yesterday, no way 3 times harder.

  22. 18A was a write in and hope it was right, other than that no problems and agree with ratings. Looking forward to meeting new and old faces tomorrow. Many thanks DT and DG

  23. 3*/4* for me. Though 15a does not appear in my dictionary, the answer was obvious. Was held up for a time by my inability to spell 7d and 23d.

  24. A nice one to do with Mrs D. Together we worried the tougher ones in to place. One or two new words for us such as 19d and 18a but that’s OK, nice to learn something new. Good to finish the week on something a bit challenging – well, it was for us! It’s snowing! Or is it the Leonids? Wrong time of year, for snow too I fear.

  25. I enjoyed this. 15a is a new word for me. It was good to come across 19d which I haven’t heard in a long while. Interesting that it has another meaning as well. Mr Catnap immediately remarked that it sounded Scottish.
    Many thanks for a lovely puzzle, Giovanni; and many thanks Deep Threat for an excellent review. A joyous Christmas to you both.

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