DT 27407 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27407

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27407

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where another damp, grey morning has given way to a welcome burst of sunshine.

I found today’s Giovanni distinctly easier than yesterday’s Ray T, so only ** for difficulty.

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           Not an original  way to increase the population (12)
{ REPRODUCTION } Double definition, the first being a copy of a work of art.

9a           Brandy butter sent back — cold! (4)
{ MARC } Reverse (sent back) an animal which might butt you, and add Cold to get this variety of brandy.

10a         Heat up salad — it sounds like a bit of scientific theory (6,3)
{ BOYLE’S LAW } This scientific theorem defines the relationship between the pressure of a gas and its volume. It sounds like a word for heat up in water, followed by a cabbage salad.

12a         Short British game suitable for outside (6)
{ ABRUPT } British and the initials of the game played in the Six Nations tournament, with a word meaning ‘suitable for’ wrapped around it.

13a         Herb makes endless money by the way (8)
{ PURSLANE } Remove the final E from a word for the money offered to boxers for a fight, and add a rural roadway.

15a         Pensioners getting agitated, making reply (2,8)
{ IN RESPONSE } anagram (agitated) of PENSIONERS.

16a         Cruel  hill (4)
{ FELL } Double definition: an archaic word for cruel; or one of the hills in the Lake District.

18a         Present soldier with source of financial information (4)
{ GIFT } an soldier, followed by the initials of a pink newspaper.

20a         Like Ronald and Fiona having an affair! (8,2)
{ CARRYING ON } The wordplay is a cryptic description of the similarity between the names Ronald and Fiona – both containing a particular pair of letters.

23a         Son along with daughter into messy paints — suitable things for kids playing (8)
{ SANDPITS } Son followed by an anagram (messy) of PAINTS with Daughter inside.

24a         Pursued, we hear, but morally pure (6)
{ CHASTE } Sounds like (we hear) a word for ‘pursued’.

26a         A new church established in a valley in the fall (9)
{ AVALANCHE } A (from the clue) followed by A (from the clue) New Church inside a word for valley.

27a         Scared when a female is taken in surprise attack (4)
{ RAID } Remove A (from the clue) and Female from a word for scared.

28a         Restrictions being removed? Lie around and get sozzled (12)
{ DEREGULATION } Anagram (sozzled) of LIE AROUND and GET.


2d           Aspect is fancifully constructed — by me? (8)
{ ESCAPIST } Anagram (fancifully constructed) of ASPECT IS.

3d           Stone found in grub — yuck! (4)
{ RUBY } A precious stone is hidden in the clue.

4d           Care centre with no overnight charges (3,7)
{ DAY NURSERY } Cryptic definition of a place which looks after children only during the day.

5d           Observe upset in Argentinian fighter — must be something eaten (6)
{ CHEESE } Reverse (upset, in a Down clue) a word for observe, and put it inside crosswordland’s favourite revolutionary fighter.

6d           Disrepute of one fella naughtily grabbing maiden (3,4)
{ ILL FAME } The Roman numeral for one followed by an anagram (naughtily) of FELLA with Maiden inside it.

7d           Native showing fresh enthusiasm — a misguided nerd (3,9)
{ NEW ZEALANDER } Synonyms for fresh and enthusiasm, followed by A (from the clue) and an anagram (misguided) of NERD, giving an Antipodean native. Kia ora to a couple of our regular contributors!

8d           Very much hiding anger to appear as more reasonable (6)
{ FAIRER } An adverb meaning ‘very much’ with a word for anger inside it.

11d         Producing some support and not being walked over (6,1,5)
{ MAKING A STAND } This phrase describing the act of showing resistance could also describe the manufacture of something to rest a plant pot or ornament on.

14d         Writer Dickens has line about a saint, recluse (10)
{ MONASTICAL } The first name of a writer called Dickens (not Charles, but one of his descendants) followed by Line, with A (from the clue) and an abbreviation for saint inside.

17d         Success the woman’s got over time? Nothing, up to now (8)
{ HITHERTO } A charade of a successful song or play, the possessive pronoun meaning ‘the woman’s’, Time, and the letter which looks like zero.

19d         Terrible ruffian — such may get people taken for a ride (7)
{ FUNFAIR } Anagram (terrible) of RUFFIAN.

21d         Good ground containing a source of energy (3,3)
{ GAS OIL } Good and a word for ground or earth, with A (from the clue) between them.

22d         Pair coming in celebrated and leapt in the air (6)
{ SPRANG } An abbreviation of ‘pair’ inside a verb meaning ‘celebrated’.

25d         Criminal offers opinion about ending in prison (4)
{ BENT } The sort of opinion which may lead you to put your money on the outcome wrapped around the final letter (ending in) of prison.

The Quick Crossword pun { SEOUL }{ ANNOYED } = { SOLENOID }

Best wishes to all those attending the Birthday Bash in Bristol tomorrow. Sadly, I have a meeting in London to go to, so won’t be able to join you.

102 comments on “DT 27407

  1. Thanks DT, and as usual to Giovanni for a relatively simple puzzle today. The only difficulty was in parsing the answer to 20a. It was obvious what it had to be, but I couldn’t understand why until seeing the hint.

  2. My rating is 2*/4* with heartfelt congratulations to (presumably?) Giovanni for a very enjoyable, obscurity-free Friday! Thanks too to DT for his excellent review.

    I didn’t know without checking the BRB that 16a could mean cruel.

    I thought my favourite was going to be 1a, but when I solved 20a that trumped it for me. 25d was my last one in.

      1. Kath is lying in a darkened room with iced cucumber slices on her eyelids. She is exhausted but exudes a faint glow of satisfaction at the kind comments about a job done so well.

  3. Thank you DG. Agree with you DT not as hard as yesterday’s, but still took me a while to finish – in particular the NE corner. Always enjoyable despite having to think ! Thanks DT for your review and hints. I remembered 9a from a few weeks ago, had to look up 16a and assumed that Boyle was a scientist. Apart from that OK !

  4. Very fair offering from The Don (see what I did there?). Nice to see 10A making an appearance, I get the feeling that this may cause some comments from non-scientific solvers, but then I have never heard of the herb in 13A. 20A took a while to work out the why but made me chuckle when it clicked.

    Still not too sure I can make t tomorrow, but I’ll do what I can

  5. Definitely a relief after yesterday’s long battle. 20a solved for no good reason but now note explanation – a bit far fetched perhaps? Liked the pun in 10a. Thanks Ray T for agreeable exercise and Deep Threat for éclaircissement. ***/***.

    1. It’s a sort of all-in-one clue: ‘by me?’ is intended to illustrate the sort of person who might make fanciful constructions.

  6. I cannot decide whether this took me so long to do because it was quite tough or because I did not really want to fit any more kitchen units. 20ac is a tremendous clue and my nomination for clue of the week. Thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle. Thanks to DT for reviewing it. Monty Pythons Cheese Shop sketch could have illustrated 5d. Most of all Thank you to everybody who congratulated Kath yesterday. Didn’t she do well.

  7. Well made quite a pig’s ear of parts of this enjoyable puzzle. Thought 10a might be Brynes Law of Attraction (I know, I know, absolutely dotty, but in my mad head/hat I worked it out to be burning coleslaw), and then spent ages wondering why Ill Name fitted before DT saved me with his concise hint for 6d. Still don’t understand why I was right with 20a. And didn’t help myself to turn right side up by being sure the native was a New Englander for 7d. Loved 16a as I haven’t heard that word used in that way for ages (apart from running). Hate how our wondrous vocabulary seems to be shrinking every year. Long live the crossword, and this super site. Thank you to all concerned .

    1. Hi Poppy

      Re your answer to 20a, there are two contiguous letters contained (carrying) in both Ronald and Fiona.

    2. The letters ‘ON’ are contained in both R ON ald and Fi ON a. So ‘Ronald’ and ‘Fiona’ are both ‘carrying’ ON.

    3. PS Oh Kath! Can’t believe I missed your debut yesterday – I was stuck in hospital, bah! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif You were absolutely bloomin brilliant. A million zillion congratulations. You and Pommers make a great team, and love the names too. More please http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  8. Apart from initially putting the wrong past tense in 22a, no problems today. Thanks to Giovanni, and to Deep Threat.

    I struggled with bits of the toughie today, but is well worth a look.

  9. A nice gentle Giovanni with no real problems apart from12a where for some obscure reason the penny took an age to drop!

    Only small niggle is 9a. The clue distinctly says BRANDY. Now I like a drop or two of brandy but that 9a stuff is like to dissolve the enamel off your teeth. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    No prize for guessing which will be the 2Kiwis favourite :lol:

    **/*** from me with favourite being 20 like most others on here.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

    1. Sorry mate, but Chambers doesn’t agree with you.

      1. Grapeskins and other refuse from wine-making
      2.. Brandy made from this (also marc brandy)
      3. Any fruit refuse, eg from the making of cooking oil

      Funnily enough, such drinks don’t agree with me :-)

      1. That’s as maybe but calling marc, orujo (the Spanish equivalent) or Grappa (Italian version) is like calling a Reliant Robin a car :lol:

  10. A very enjoyable crossword which I rate 3***/4**** I got into a blather with 9A and 16A but the review quickly deblathered the situation. I liked 4D and I particularly enjoyed the red herring in 14D
    My thanks to Deep Threat for the blog.

  11. Must be me then, although I finished without the hints, it took me an awful lot of perservation !! A three star for me today, I also had two favourites, seeing as Kath is ‘recovering’ , 1a and 20a ( once I understood it) worthy of a toughie IMHO, re 14d…didn’t think ” monastical” was a noun??? Can you have a monastical?

    1. Re monastical; Oxford Dictionary of English doesn’t have it all all, but Chambers has it as an adjective…

      1. that is “at all”, not “all all”… why can’t I edit my response, I’m using a decent browser (Firefox)?

  12. Strange mixture of simple and downright tricky clues today which includes what for me is possibly the most difficult clue I have ever seen in 20a! Never heard of gas oil or purslane and nor sure about far for very much or bent for criminal.
    Not my most favourite Giovanni but after yesterday’s disaster area I am just grateful for one I could complete (or in yesterday’s case – start!), albeit with a little help from DT for 20a and to Google for purslane.
    Thx to Giovanni and to DT.
    PS Does this mean as I was tortured this week, I will be spared next Thursday or does it not work that way?

    1. I wondered about ‘far’ and ‘very much’ too but then thought of ‘far better’ and ‘very much better’.
      I think ‘bent’ and ‘criminal’ are adjectives and are OK.
      My main quibble with your comment is ‘most favourite’! Oh dear – almost as bad as having more than one favourite. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

    2. Brian
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink | Reply
      Lovely top half with some delightful clues such as 12a let down by a perfectly dreadful bottom half. Has anyone else come across a Purslane before? New to me certainly.
      Thought 27a and 28a were the worst of all.
      Thx to DT without whose help I would never have finished.

  13. Brothers and Sisters of the Universal Cruciverbalist Movement, join me now in the Campaign for Apostrophe Equality (CArE)!

    Too long has Good Old Apo’ been downtrodden, and considered much less worthy than a hyphen or a gap between words.

    Enough is enough! Down with those like the Telegraph who have a discriminatory house style!

    Get making those badges and t-shirts, displaying our proud slogan; “I CArE!”.


    (Yes, I am unhappy with the enumeration for 10A…)

      1. Oh I see, it’s ok to be positive but if you are negative about something it gets censored, very democratic I’m sure.

        1. Brian

          I am fed up with your continual sniping at one setter in particular. Any further comments of this kind will also be deleted. I am not going to host your personal vendetta.

    1. Oh dear – looks like it falls to me to be the stupid one then.
      OK, here goes (hope nobody’s watching…) Hey Steve – I’m afraid I don’t see what the problem is with 10a. Can you please explain?

      1. Steve’s point is that 10a is “Boyle’s Law” and he would like the answer to have had an apostrophe and the clue to have been enumerated (5’1 3). At least I think that’s what he’s getting at.

    2. Count me in. I read with amusement the recent reports of removal of apostrophes from street names in Cambridge.

    3. Now that I understand the point you’re making Steve (thanks again Kath), and in the knowledge that this argument has been made before, I have to risk general opprobrium by offering a different opinion.
      Whilst the misuse of apostrophes in general is of great annoyance to me, I’m not at all sure that they have a place in crossword solutions. Should all punctuation marks be taken consideration of in crosswords in that case? Do we need to take into account capitalisation for proper nouns etc? If the answer to a clue is “WESTWARD HO!”, do we need to write an exclamation mark into one of the crossword boxes? If so, what would cross with it?
      For my two penny worth, it’s a crossword puzzle, not a work of literature, an address in Cambridge or a deed of covenant.

      Just sayin’…………..!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

      1. My view (for what it’s worth), and I think Steve’s as well, is that the enumeration should have been given as (5’1,3), not that apostrophe is to be put into the grid. The enumeration tells you that it’s not a 6 letter word.

        Similarly, if a clue is enumerated (5-4) you don’t try to enter the hyphen into the grid. You just know it’s a hyphenated phrase and not two seperate words, which would have been given as (5,4). We’re all used to that.

        1. And mine pommers. Also, it’s not just the possessive apostrophe, it is also when an apostrophe indicates a missing letter, especially in a word or phrase “stolen” from another language – maître d’ and table d’hote immediately spring to mind. I agree that you would not have to put the punctuation mark in the solution, but it should be in the enumeration as an aid to solving the clue in the first place.

      2. Hear, hear. I also think that sometimes it gives too much away and makes it too easy for the solver.

        Also just sayin’ … http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  14. Wave lengths, again – I found this far more difficult than yesterday’s – or maybe it’s something to do with adrenaline! 3* difficulty and 3* enjoyment, until I got to 20a which probably bumps it up to 4*.
    10a took a while and then I remembered it from the anaesthetic department. I didn’t know the first definition of 16a. I saw 20a quickly but working out why took considerably longer. I had the wrong ending for 28a – saw the answer and put it in without writing all the letters down – very stupid, particularly since I’ve been caught like that numerous times. I didn’t know the 14d writer so that took a while too. The less said about 17d the better, not helped by having that bit of 28a wrong. Stupid, again.
    I liked 1 and 10a and 4 and 6d. 20a was way out in front as my favourite.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

    1. We seem to be diverting away from each other at the moment Kath. I found almost the opposite today and certainly way easier than yesterday. Although I do agree that the writer was most obscure.

    2. Kath – I came to the site yesterday late my time so in the wee hours your time so I missed the chance to congratulate you on your blogging debut. Very well done! Reallly enjoyed reading your hints ( and pommer’s of course)

  15. Agree today’s not as difficult as yesterday’s where I was held up by the SW corner, so agree with a **/***or maybe **/**** as there were some excellent clues,liked10A-and the DT pic – P1 VI etc-took me back to Grammar School and 20a raised a smile, thanks to setter for the Friday entertainment , and the suns coming out in Cheshire!

  16. A very pleasant puzzle today, and no weird words ! 7d made us all think of the two Kiwis , I expect. Lots of great clues , including 1a and 10a. Thanks to the Don and Deep Threat.

  17. Well we thought there one or two quite tricky clues here today eg.9a, never heard of it, 16a never heard of one of the meanings of the answer, 13a never heard of it. Now I realise that this is down to my ignorance, but they’re what made it tricky. Thank you setter & thank you for the hints. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  18. Interesting how we finds some puzzles hard when others don’t. Took quite a while to get started on this one but almost finished it last night. Finished over over breakfast today. My wife got those that stumped me, the herb one and 25 d. Needed the explanation for 20a Enjoyable

  19. Good puzzle today. I couldn’t see the parsing of 20a so I just concluded that it was an obscure cultural reference to the Carry On films! Also had “ill name ” for 6d ,missing the obvious anagram, and couldn’t see 25d at all! I had “kept” as my answer which I couldn’t really justify.
    Thanks DT for setting me straight and thanks to DG for the puzzle.

  20. This from one of your less cerebral readers.
    I find the DT difficult enough, and some of your answers compound it when I don’t understand them either. The anagrams I tend to pick up straight away but its the interpretations that get me. All the same, I’m trying to train my mind and reading your analysis helps tremendously.
    Thank you.

  21. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I found this a lot harder than yesterday’s Ray T, but it was very enjoyable too. Was 3*/4* for me. I had gas pit for 21d, with spit being the land, had a feeling it was wrong :-) A lack of obscure words was most appreciated. Needed the hints for 13a, had forgotten this one. 17d I wouldn’t have got, and 25d was the same. I agree with Steve_the_beard about 10a, although I remember this from school. Favourite was 20a, which I saw straight away. Great entertainment. Blue sky in Central London before the next storm, hope no one else gets flooded.

  22. I had never heard of 9a nor 13a, and really needed the blog for those two. To me today’s was much harder than yesterday’s. It all felt a bit awkward today so less enjoyable too, I’m afraid. But 20a was great; having guessed the answer, took some while to write it in – just couldn’t see why it could be right.
    Many thanks Deep Threat and Giovanni.

  23. Both pommers and Una have guessed what our favourite has to be. We wrote the answer in immediately, laughed out loud and then wondered whether we should be insulted. “Misguided nerds” indeed!
    Parsing 20 across was our last to solve, it had to wait until after we had done the Toughie for the penny to drop. We really enjoyed this puzzle and 7d made it special for us.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  24. Enjoyed to-day very much but found it difficult in parts and needed Deep Threat on occasion,so many thanks to him and to Giovanni.
    Still feel younger solvers have a more difficult time (if there are any of them). Having been born in the thirties I remember Monica Dickens,without having read any of her books, but I doubt if anyone under 60 has ever heard of her. There are often clues from all setters referring to events and people from thirty, forty or more years ago, not long enough to be well known history ( like Charles Dickens) but only in living memory of those ‘getting on’. This gives the impression that the crossword is aimed at a certain generation group, though research in Student Unions and schools might well prove me wrong.
    For the DT crossword or any pastime to survive it must try to be inclusive of younger people as well as the more mature, in order to keep the flag flying.
    I would hate to have clues referring to modern youth culture but maybe if the young haven’t heard of Monica Dickens, how could I complain about a clue using Jay Z?

    1. I was born in the seventies and I am a left a little bit bemused at some of the material, but I’m trying to learn! I’ve been attempting the DT cryptic for just over a month and have almost finished a few (never actually completed one – have needed a few hints from lurking here in order to do so). But with the great help available from this site (thank you), I can see that it’s only a matter of time before I do.

  25. I really enjoyed this, thanks Giovanni. I didn’t know 10a but easy enough to work out and a quick google confirmed it. I missed 16a, that doesn’t spring to mind for hill or cruel, and 25d was just too obscure for me, though I do seem to remember the meaning of dishonest for bent. I had many that qualified for favourite, but when I read the hint and understood the “why” of 20a, I have to call that my favourite. Thank you DT for your review.

  26. Great puzzle.
    My answer to 21d was , perhaps, even better than the setter’s, and fitted the clue perfectly.
    The second word of the answer, that is.
    So, I shan’t feel too unhappy about not getting it right.
    Many thanks Giovanni, and DT for the review.

  27. I happily join many others in nominating 20a as my favourite. This was a reasonably straightforward but enjoyable back-pager, for which thanks to Giovanni. Thanks too to DT for review and hints (which l’m pleased to say l didn’t need).

  28. I really struggled with this today,just could not get on to Giovanni’s wavelength at all .

  29. Hello everyone.
    Long time lurker, first time poster here.

    Introduced to the DT cryptic as a young teenager by my father in the 1970’s, I recall frequently staying up past midnight searching the dictionary for solutions I didn’t know. I’ve dipped in and out of them over the years but then my two sons bought me a subscription to the Telegraph online puzzles site as a present for Fathers Day last year and I’ve been doing them almost every day since, usually over lunch. I thoroughly enjoy the challenges and can usually complete them eventually, but occasionally I get the answer without fully understanding the whole clue (20a today being a good example). This site has frequently come to the rescue and enhanced my enjoyment so thank you to you all for your contributions and particularly to Big Dave and the other bloggers who kindly provide the hints and explanations.

    I found this week’s Thursday and Friday puzzles much trickier than the first three days, but as a consequence each gave a greater sense of achievement on completion. Today was one of those days when it was hard going to start with and I began to think I might not finish but it gradually started to fit into place. Looking back on it now I wonder why I struggled initially. As is often said, it’s a matter of being on the right wavelength I guess. It was a particularly frustrating day at work today so perhaps that didn’t help!

    Like Brian, my memory sometimes lets me down but I was secretly quite pleased to remember the herb in 13a from it’s November appearance. 9a was definitely a new meaning of the word for me but perfectly solvable from the rest of the clue.
    Thanks to the setter for a tricky but fair challenge and Deep Threat for today’s hints.

    Hopefully I will join the discussions a bit more now I’ve taken this first step…

    1. Go for it – instead of being a long time lurker become a regular commenter. Everyone here is friendly and helpful. I remember very well how much courage it took for me to creep out of the woodwork and make my first comment having lurked for ages – I’ve been at now for nearly four years (might be nearly three years – not sure) and they haven’t managed to shut me up since.

      1. Haven’t you recently moved on to be a blogger, or am I dreaming? Pretty good really if you think about it – lurker to blogger in less than 4 years :smile:

  30. Didn’t start until bedtime, got off to a flyer, but drowsiness forced me here for hints. Decided 20a had to be that but didn’t twig the explanation before seeing it here. Blimey! Didn’t know word for cruel or type of brandy. A good one that with a bit more time I might have done without the prompts. I’ll never know!

  31. Enjoyed this one quite a lot, loved 20a (but needed the hint to tell me why my answer was right) and, stupidly, needed the hint to tell me why 27a was right. I was consufused by “taken in” – I kept trying to put an F in there somewhere before writing in “raid” and then racing here to find out why. So thanks to DT for those, and to the setter for an easier ride than yesterday’s brain basher

    1. Not sure what you mean by the full review of this puzzle – do you mean you can’t see the answers hidden in the brackets when you run your mouse over them. DT has given full hints as per usual for a daily puzzle.

  32. Sorry, my mistake. I normally only try the prize puzzles on Sat and Sunday, then review how far I got when the full review is printed about 1 week later. Now I see this was a Friday puzzle I was attempting, with the answers already hidden, so sorry to bother you and thanks for all the great help from the blog.

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