DT 27389 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27389

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27389

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a grey January morning, with a little watery sunshine struggling to break through the clouds.

29a held me up, and was last one in, but just within ** time. Thanks to Giovanni for an interesting challenge.

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.


5a           Poet in hospital, wise person left abandoned (6)
{ HORACE } An ancient Roman poet is made up of Hospital, followed by a wise person or prophet with the L removed.

8a           Virile Cockney, an old-fashioned rocker, came forth (8)
{ EMANATED } The way a Cockney might describe a virile person, followed by a 1950s rocker.

9a           Grow old — a potential problem for rugger players (5-2)
{ KNOCK-ON } An informal term for getting old is also a handling error in rugby.

10a         Grebe maybe wanting day on water, heading off (5)
{ DIVER } Day followed by a flowing water with the initial R removed.

11a         A criminal catching disease — it comes with having money (9)
{ AFFLUENCE } A from the clue followed by a receiver of stolen goods with a common winter ailment inside.

13a         Speak at length, offering tattle about the Queen, nothing extra (8)
{ PERORATE } A verb for tattle wrapped around the Queen’s regnal cipher and the letter that looks like zero.

14a         Snake at No. 50 — or might it be this? (6)
{ LADDER } The Roman numeral for 50 followed by a venomous snake, giving what you might find at square 50 in a popular children’s board game.

17a         One with doctorate admitting university is a failure (3)
{ DUD } The letters after the name of a reverend doctor, with University inside.

19a         Country expelling a cheeky youngster (3)
{ CUB } Remove the final A from a Caribbean country.

20a         Everyone seemingly bogged down, ruined (6)
{ FALLEN } A word for everyone inside a boggy bit of country, especially in East Anglia.

23a         Setter may hope one treats him nicely (3-5)
{ DOG-OWNER } The setter here is of the canine persuasion.

26a         Comic teases the arty types (9)
{ AESTHETES } Anagram (comic) of TEASES THE.

28a         Bread  delivery trip? (5)
{ ROUND } Double definition: a slice of bread; and a delivery journey of, for example, milk or papers (or indeed bread).

29a         Power to act for part of academic institution (7)
{ FACULTY } Double definition: a legal or physical power; and a subdivision of a university – Arts or Science, for example.

30a         Get in TV engineer initially — bad picture, quite small (8)
{ VIGNETTE } Anagram (bad) of GET IN TV E(ngineer).

31a         Go wrong producing enzyme (6)
{ PEPSIN } A word for go or energy, followed by a moral wrong.


1d           Drink sealing complete mockery (4-2)
{ SEND-UP} A verb for drink wrapped around (sealing) a verb for complete.

2d           For this restaurant you need vehicle — absolutely! (7)
{ CARVERY } A type of motor vehicle followed by an adverb meaning absolutely or extremely, giving a type of restaurant specialising in roast meats, often on a cut and come again basis.

3d           Fat raider abandoned principle of decent business deals (4,5)
{ FAIR TRADE } Anagram (abandoned) of FAT RAIDER.

4d           Material to consume — and rise after consumption! (6)
{ REPEAT } A sort of fabric followed by a verb for consume, giving the result of eating cucumber or radishes, perhaps.

5d           Island’s little house with female singer belting number (8)
{ HONOLULU } An abbreviation for house, and a Scottish singer who rose to prominence in the 1960s, either side of an abbreviation for number, giving an island in the Pacific (or a city on an island of a different name, according to Wiki).

6d           Investigation of sports field north of church (5)
{ RECCE } A shortened form of a word for a sports field (like the one where Bath Rugby Club play, for example), placed before (north of, in a down clue) an abbreviation for the Church of England. The answer is itself a shortened form of a word for scouting out the land.

7d           Note a perverse notion (8)
{ CROTCHET } Double definition: the first a type of musical note.

12d         Consider inadequate the amount professional’s paid (3)
{ FEE } Remove the final L from a word meaning consider.

15d         Detestable nob, rather drunk (9)
{ ABHORRENT } Anagram (drunk) of NOB RATHER.

16d         Bank fixes this — a rebate’s organised (4,4)
{ BASE RATE } Anagram (organised) of A REBATE’S. The initial capitalisation conceals the fact that the reference is to the Bank (of England).

18d         Nasty bun munched — one’s not defeated! (8)
{ UNBEATEN } Anagram  (nasty) of BUN, followed by a synonym of munched.

21d         Literary work in cipher about to be hacked (3)
{ ODE } Remove the Latin abbreviation for about or approximately from a word for cipher, to get a literary work which may have been written by 5a.

22d         See unit newly installed in one type of bathroom (2,5)
{ EN SUITE } Anagram (newly installed) of SEE UNIT.

24d         Old title for gentleman is given for one held to be divine (6)
{ OSIRIS } One of the Egyptian gods is made up of Old, a title for a gentleman, and IS (from the clue).

25d         Something at back of boat gets fish spinning about (6)
{ RUDDER } A variety of fresh-water fish, followed by the reversal (spinning) of a Latin word meaning about or concerning.

27d         Journeys in St Martin’s place (5)
{ TOURS } Double definition: sightseeing journeys; or the city in France where St Martin came from.

The Quick Crossword pun { WELLED }{ UNMAN } = { WELL DONE, MAN }

And well done to the New Zealand croquet team, who beat England 13 – 7 this week, to claim the MacRobertson Shield for the first time since 1986.

70 comments on “DT 27389

  1. I agree. Some wonderful clues as expected on a Friday. With about four to go I had abandoned all hope of completion but last years OU course sprang to mind and the poet at 5ac fell into place closely followed by the note at 7d. The Dons odd word at 13ac came next from the wordplay once I choose to ignore orate and look for another word for Tattle. That left 29ac which quickly revealed itself. Very satisfying. Any Dylan fans out there? Here is Blowin’ In The Wind from The Royal Albert Hall 28th November 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w557_bnvXV8

    1. IMHO Bob Dylan is one of the greatest songwriters ever, but I much prefer his songs when performed by others. Have you seen the DVD Bob Dylan & Friends – The 30th Anniversary Concert? Absolutely brilliant! Bob clearly has a lot of great friends!

      In deference to Kath, if I had to pick just one favourite from that DVD it would be “My Back Pages”, which Dylan wrote for Roger McGuinn of the Byrds. It’s made even better by a stunning solo from Eric Clapton.

      1. I perfer Dylan singing Dylan – for example The Byrds completely ruined Mr Tambourine Man! And no one can sing The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll or Love Minus Zero:No Limit or To Ramona like Zimmy

            1. I heard this in a pub the other day, but I did not know who it was then – it’s pretty good, I still prefer the original – the same applies to Adele’s cover of Make You Feel My Love

          1. Too jazzy for me – try Shawn Colvin’s version of the same song on the album “Cover girl” – all live covers, all stunning

          1. I agree that The Byrds’ version knocks spots off the original, but I feel sure Dylan himself must have a liking for the former, if for no other reason than the royalties he must have made from it.

            On the other hand, examples of two outstanding songs where the originals by the songwriter were immeasurably superior to the versions which made loadsamoney are: I Will Always Love You by Dolly Parton and Love Is All Around by The Troggs (Reg Presley). I suspect Dolly and Reg aren’t complaining.

            IMHO of course!

            1. Songs are songs and versions are just versions. Bob never does the same song the same way twice and most great artists are the same. All versions are valid, it’s just down the the individual listener which he or she prefers. “Mr Tambourine Man” by the Byrds is notable for McGuin’s stunning 12-string guitar picking, but is not, for me, a patch on the original – but it shows that there is more than one way to interpret the song. The only people who do the same thing night after night are sad Sixties groups playing at Butlins. Rant over

          2. Ooh, sorry, my office moved today so I’ve been busy putting stuff into eurocrates (that well known Greek philosopher) – of course it’s a matter of taste, but All Along The Watchtower (Hendrix) and Tomorrow Is A Long Time (Sandy Denny – I’ve not heard Elvis’s version) are about the only covers of Dylan that I like

              1. Sorry, I replied to that but it seems to have got lost in the ether (well, I assume I clicked on wrong thing). Thanks for that, post army Elvis is not always the best! I prefer Rod Stewart’s version, he did some good Bob covers as did Fairports/Fotheringay

  2. 2*/4* for me today. My last one in was 13a, where I worked out the wordplay, but needed to check my answer.
    Many thanks to Giovanni, and to Deep Threat.

    The toughie today is pretty good, and not too tricky for a Friday.

  3. I found this puzzle tough and quite turgid. Rating 4*/2*.

    I struggled in the NW corner particularly having stupidly put “mud” in for 17a, which made 3d impossible until I finally saw the error of my ways.

    I wasn’t aware of an alternative spelling for 31a with an “S” as the fourth letter, but the BRB confirmed it. I was also very surprised to find the slang answer for 6d in the BRB.

    No favourite today and, to quote Brian, I thought 8a and 6d were horrid. A cockney saying “He-Man” certainly wouln’t sound anything like the way I pronounce the first two syllables of 8a.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    1. I’ve just realised I was talking nonsense about 31a. I think I was confusing Pectin with Pepsin and came up with a non-existent hybrid. :oops:

      Off now to the dunce’s corner. Kath, please send marmalade.

        1. I thought the marmalade was in the naughty corner not the dunce’s corner, pedant’s corner or the other corner.
          I was working up to tomorrow’s naughty corner!

            1. I’ve made 22, that might just last us until this time next year. So I’m keeping them all for me and DT.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_evil.gif

              1. I’ll need to do another batch – we get through quite a lot of it as we keep various bits of the family supplied. Pet Lamb Number One is the main culprit although my Mum loves it and I have a brother-in-law who lives in France and he says that decent marmalade over there is either unavailable or very expensive. It’s really nothing at all to do with how much of it I eat! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  4. I’d never heard of the fabric in 3d, missed the anagram indicator in 30a and needed Deep Threat to explain why the solution to 31a popped into my head without me being able to parse it! Still one of the best Friday puzzles in some time IMHO, so 3*/4* for me. Favorites 5a,13a, 29a. Thanks to compiler and Deep Threat.

  5. As expected for Friday a tough workout. Best clue for me was 14a but as always the religious clue in 27d totally defeated me. Spent ages trying to work out why 29a was mandate which fitted nicely with the checking letters!! Couple that I didnt think up to the Dons usual high standard – 8a and 13a. Learnt a new definition though for 7d, at least new to me. Also what is the material in 4d?
    Thx to Giovanni for the puzzle and to DT for explaining 27d.

    1. Rep is described in Chambers as a corded cloth. I think I’ve only ever seen it in crosswords.

      1. You are quite right of course, should have looked it up, I misread the clue and was trying to find PER as a material. Trust the Don to find an obscure material :-)

    2. If it fits, bung it in. Worry about it and work it out later. At best it gets you through, at worst you will be unravelling a knot of rubbish., With this strategey I can see Brians head exploding at some stage in the near future.

      1. In my defence mandate is the power to act and there are many times in crossword land that I can get an answer but not fully understand the clue esp in religious context (not applicable here) and that is why I use this inestimable blog. As I’m obviously not as clever as you I have to use whatever tools are to hand.

        1. Please do not think of me as clever Brian. Experienced is a word I would much prefer. I doubt that I would be much cop at whatever it is you do so expertly. We do share a matched skill at moaning but I save all of mine for Saint Sharon

  6. Thank you DG, too much for me I’m afraid, took some hints to finish NE corner. Too much to do today battling with EE trying to get my new smartphone to work ! Anyone know where the Chief Exec lives ?? After many exchanges on Twitter, they have come back this morning and said that they can’t deal with new customers at the moment as their systems don’t work. Pity no one mentioned that in the shop on Tuesday when I bought It ! Thanks DT for your review and hints, which have put me out of my agony.

  7. Oh dear – trouble again. I found this really quite difficult but I seem to have said that almost every day this week so it must be me – marble count decreasing?http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
    I would give it at least 3* for difficulty and maybe a little bit more, and about the same for enjoyment.
    My last answer was 29a.
    I’ve never heard of the 5a poet or the 9a rugby thingy or the 13a answer; the 17a doctorate fooled me for ages – could only think of PhD (or DPhil depending on where you are) and that wasn’t helpful; I didn’t know the second definition of 7d. I didn’t know where St Martin was from but Mr Google did.
    Apart from all of those it didn’t go too badly, for me on a Friday anyway.
    I liked 14 and 29a and 15d. My favourite was 31a.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

    1. I agree with your ratings, Kath and also 31 as the favourite.

      Wee bit too much gen knowledge ( or should I say, obscure names) in this one to be very satisfying.
      As DT says, how likely are we to need to know that fabric outside a crossword, or odd birds and fishes….

      I’d come across the poet, but not the second definition of 7d.

      Both 15 and 26 were lovely anagrams.

    2. With you all the way as is often the case. I only knew the poet from having to read him in the original Latin at school, not much fun believe me!

      1. Integer vitae scelerisque purus
        Non eget Mauris iaculis nequ’ arcu
        Nec venenatis gravida sagittis, Fusce, pharetra

        “The man of upright soul and humour placid needs no blunt instrument nor prussic acid. Horace, Wimsey’s translation.” (Dorothy L Sayers, Busman’s Honeymoon)

  8. Altogether unusual and a good combination of cryptology and general knowledge (as for a change is the case with today’s Quickie) – thanks Giovanni. 8a amused as did 7d. 4d spoiled the tone! ***/***.

  9. Too difficult for me and therefore not enjoyed. How deep threat can do this in two star time I have no idea.

  10. Agree with DT’s **/***, new word for me 13a and 4d meaning was a little hard to swallow, apart from this straight forward and enjoyable; for the record , my favourite Dylan is’ positively fourth street’, sons went to see him about a year ago and said he was terrible-like Mr McCartney-does’nt know when to call it a day ,Mark Knoffler was on the same bill as Mr D and he was top draw.

    1. I too saw the Dylan Knopfler shows in 2011. Manchester, Nottingham, Cardiff, Bournemouth and three nights at The Hammersmith Odeon. MK was absolutely brilliant each night and it was a great pleasure building with each show. Such talented musicians and fine well crafted songs. Dylan too was on top form as ever for me. It is a Marmite thing.

      1. Saw Dylan in 81at Earls Court with his gospel singers, he was so awful most of the audience including me left at halftime. According to those who stayed he got even worse!

  11. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I don’t agree with the 2* difficulty rating, was 4*/4* for me. I needed 9 hints to finish. As usual with Giovanni, there are nearly always words or people I’ve never heard of. Still, it’s good to be educated. 7&29 were double definitions, which I always struggle with, had not heard of 7d being a perverse notion. Missed the anagram in 30, never heard of 31. New word in 13a. Couldn’t see 2&4. I would never have got any of the missing answers without the hints. Thank heavens for this blog. A disastrous solve, but I enjoyed the struggle. Favourites were 9&23a and 5d. Sunny spells in Central London today, have a good weekend all.

  12. Definitely hard, and I needed several hints. 23a was my favourite.11a and 25d were also very good.I didn’t like 7d and the north east was filled in last.Thanks to the Don and DT.

  13. 7d – Never heard of the second definition.

    But I have heard of the first one – ♪♪ – two quavers?

  14. Very difficult for me and needed a couple of hints, thanks DT. Never did get 7d or 29a. A lot of clever clues. Favourite I think has to be 23a. Thanks to setter and DT. Rushing to get dogs to vet where I’ll be for hours. Why do they bother to make appointments? Cold as charity here today and I only possess sandals

    1. After 962 comments you’ve changed your alias which meant that this required moderation. I’ve edited the alias to your usual one, but if you really want to change it let me know and I’ll undo the edit.

      1. For some reason my address and email didn’t come up automatically and I had to type them in, so must have mistyped my nom de plume

    2. Hope that you’re not at the vet’s for too long. Do you really mean cold – didn’t think it got cold where you are.

      1. No 2 son is waiting in Florida for a connecting flight to New York. He came from Costa Rica (40 C) and has had to put his thick jumper and coat on in Florida. He is considering putting on the clothes in his backpack on before he gets to NY.

          1. He’s coming home to work again to save up more money to go travelling again. Not a settler-downer, my no 2 son

      2. It was in the 40sF last night, some places down to freezing, and only in the 50s today. I just hope it warms up soon.

        1. I really didn’t know that it ever got down to temperatures like that in Florida. Is it exceptional or am I just plain ignorant? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
          PS Hope dogs were OK and that you didn’t have a lengthy wait – I hate waiting at the vet mainly because Annie (our collie) goes into complete melt down when she’s there – don’t know why – maybe she senses something – but she’s a gibbering wreck as soon as we get there. I sohate seeing her like that and putting her through it – it must be bad for her (not to mention me!)

          1. We don’t often get these cold spells, though one year we actually had SNOW! Also in the Bahamas. We do get chilly snaps most years but this cold is usually pretty rare. My problem is that my house is so old (1926, old for Florida) and is meant to keep cool! I don’t have the clothes for cold, but I do have reverse-cycle air conditioning that does take the chill off, so it’s mainly when I go outside, especially with the wind.

            Dogs are fine, they quite like the vet as they all make such a fuss of them. They only needed shots.

  15. Just finished it, found top left corner tough going but got it in the end. thanks for explanation of 14a, should have got the board out to see what was on number 50. 13a was new word for me. 26 a would have been hard had I not just read the Revenge of the lobster lover by Hilary MacLeod! Very enjoyable series of books.

  16. I had an email from Poppy earlier today. She’s had a bad shoulder following the surgery she had a few months ago. Then, just as that was getting better, she was flattened by a beastly bug of some kind. She’s hoping to be back here soon and sends regards to all on the blog.

  17. Well, I finally got around to doing this one while watching the sun set behind the local mountain (1809CET tonight).

    What a fine puzzle! No real favourite but the 5a poet needed a bit of dredging – thought it was going to be Homer but he didn’t fit :lol:

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT

    1. Sun? Well lucky old you – spare a thought for the rest of us. Rain, rain, rain, then a few minutes of dry and then guess what . . .http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  18. PS Has Mary done a runner again? She hasn’t been around for a day or two – do hope that she’s OK and not really poorly or under several feet of water.

    1. Yes – you’re both right – lots of absentees. Maybe they’ll all turn up tomorrow, or very soon after.

  19. All straightforward for me – except 4d, which I eventually gave up on and needed the hint. Even then, I had to look up “rep”, which is a new word for me, as for most others. PS Those who think Dylan’s past it should give, for example, “Love and Theft” a good listen. You will change your minds.

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