DT 27413 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27413

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27413

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a grey morning, with another downpour forecast.

I found this morning’s puzzle from Giovanni to be remarkably straightforward, possibly aided by the frequent appearances of items from Big Dave’s Usual Suspects page.

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           Some wrote to musician about choral composition (5)
{ MOTET } Hidden (some) in reverse (about) in the clue.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

4a           Sound and smell coming from game (4-4)
{ PING-PONG } The sound of a small bell, and a farmyard smell, giving us what Boris calls whiff-whaff.

8a           Mathematically able to work out true mean (8)
{ NUMERATE } Anagram (to work out) of TRUE MEAN.

9a           To our sort, piece of jewellery is outstanding (8)
{ TOWERING } To (from the clue) followed by a pronoun for ‘our sort’ and a common piece of jewellery.

11a         City house — one no good is coming back (7)
{ ECHOING } Put together the usual suspect for the City of London, an abbreviation for house, the Roman numeral for one, and No Good.

13a         What’s offensive in goon’s laughter (9)
{ ONSLAUGHT } Hidden in the clue.

15a         Curse Tom, possibly, as someone who won’t conform (7,8)
{ AWKWARD CUSTOMER } This is a reverse anagram. The first word of the answer could be an anagram indicator, and the second is the anagram fodder, which could give you ‘Curse Tom’.

18a         Dwelling — note how that’s arranged to accommodate you and me (4,5)
{ TOWN HOUSE } Anagram (that’s arranged) of NOTE HOW, with a pronoun meaning ‘you and me’ inside it.

21a         Gather information from socialite on fire with excitement (7)
{ DEBRIEF } A young woman who was presented at Court in former times, followed by an anagram (with excitement) of FIRE.

22a         Flower arrangements placed initially in holiday cottages? (8)
{ CHAPLETS } The initial letter of Placed inside some holiday cottages (at Butlin’s, perhaps?).

24a         Travel to old city at the back of tribe making noise (8)
{ CLANGOUR } Start with another word for tribe or family, add a word for travel, and finish with the old city from the usual suspects list.

25a         Take as a hypothesis charged particle’s location (8)
{ POSITION } A verb meaning ‘take as a hypothesis’ followed by an electrically charged atomic particle.

26a         Far end of chapel possesses a particularly sacred place (5)
{ LHASA } The final letter of chapel, a word for ‘possesses’ and A (from the clue), giving a sacred city in Tibet.


1d           Personal assistant in isle’s new tavern (3-7)
{ MAN-SERVANT } An island in the Irish Sea followed by ‘S and an anagram (new) of TAVERN.

2d           Weapon making man a war-oriented type (8)
{ TOMAHAWK } A Native American weapon, or a guided missile, made up of a man’s name, A (from the clue) and someone who is not a dove.

3d           Taro — it’ll get cooked for food (8)
{ TORTILLA } Anagram (cooked) of TARO IT’LL.

4d           Love delving into favourite writer (4)
{ POET } The letter which looks like a love score at tennis inside a word for favourite.

5d           European city has information on girl (6)
{ GENEVA } An informal word for information followed by a girl’s name.

6d           Having gin, now get drunk (6)
{ OWNING } Anagram (get drunk) of GIN NOW.

7d           Drink 80 per cent of stuff served up (4)
{ GROG } The first 4 letters of a 5-letter word meaning to stuff oneself with food, reversed (served up) to give a mixture of rum and water.

10d         Old item of furniture in which second dog is hidden (8)
{ OBSCURED } Old and an item of furniture, with Second and another (derogatory) word for dog inside it.

12d         Burst of passion about ancient diamonds and other valuable stuff (4,4)
{ GOLD DUST } An outbreak of passion or wind wrapped around a word for ancient and the abbreviation for the diamond suit at bridge.

14d         Land volunteers admitting blunder before wood starts to mature again (5,5)
{ TERRA FIRMA } Put together the usual volunteers with a word for blunder inside it, a variety of softwood, and the initial letters of Mature Again, to get a Latin term for dry land.

16d         Court has judicial proceeding with break for food (8)
{ TRIBUNAL } A food item (possibly wrapped around a burger) inside a court hearing.

17d         Canadian location of boatman sailing freely round island (8)
{ MANITOBA } Anagram (sailing freely) of BOATMAN with Island inside it.

19d         In the country it’s hard to find big animals (6)
{ WHALES } Put Hard inside one of the constituent parts of the UK.

20d         Wood inside the plastic protective covering (6)
{ HELMET } A variety of hardwood inside an anagram (plastic) of THE.

22d         Homeless composer from Poland is cut up (4)
{ CHOP } Remove one of the usual suspects for home from a Polish composer.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

23d         Third grade in hospital’s medical examination (4)
{ SCAN } A letter indicating third-class (where A is first-class) inside another usual suspect for hospital.

The Quick Crossword pun { INCOME }{ PLEAT } = { INCOMPLETE }

75 comments on “DT 27413

  1. I’m probably the only one who still has no access to the site!!
    I renewed a month ago (subscription lapsed when the site was down). They have told me this but still refuse to respond to emails.
    Please can anybody put up a PDF version for me? I don’t know what to do next. Any advise also welcome.

    1. No I can’t get in either, changed my password when asked to do it, but now can’t get in at all and my former password does not work either, and am not getting any response from site, despite them saying that they have sent me the link to renew my password. Help..

      1. You’ve got mail too.

        Have you tried ringing the helpline? There’s a contact number in the ‘Contact us’ link at the bottom of the puzzles page. They are usualy very helpful.

        1. Thank you for puzzle, have rung them 3 times, checked in my spam folder, just in case, but this morning the line is constantly engaged. Will try later on this a.m. just need something during lunch….Is the site now fully functional with just the odd glitch.

      2. Never even got as far as password change. Just completely blocked. Think will have to call but it would be an international call & I expect I’d be put on hold. Will cross my fingers for you too Ken.

        1. I could see that you were overseas, which is why I didn’t suggest phoning to you. If you want to give it a go, there is an alternative number : +44 1622 335030. When I used it, there was no significant delay getting through, though I may have been lucky.

          1. Thanks DT – I’ve not had access, nor new passwords etc since the site went live. Good job there are other distractions in the Caribbean – but I’ll try that number and see what happens!

  2. The same rating for me; 1*/3*. Thanks to Giovanni, and to Deep Threat for the review.

    The toughie is worth a look today, with a theme which makes it easier to complete.

  3. Fairly straightforward for me (makes a change).No real favourites but did like 14D.many thanks to the setter & DT for his review . Another rubbish day that will probaly get worse, just waiting for next doors fence to take off again. Wishing alla good weekend.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  4. Probably the least challenging puzzle from Giovanni I have ever done, my thanks to him anyway as I could never compile a crossword to save my soul. Thanks to DT for a very amusing review.

  5. I did not get very far with this when I tackled it before lights out. Upon wakening I did not get much further and have stared at the clues for too long. A break is called for so I am going to do some OU work and have another look this afternoon. 14 answers out of 29 are in so it is not all doom and gloom.

  6. Morning all. Great things, cold showers – set you up a treat! Possibly help with crossword-solving too. 413 was a nice puzzle and the NW corner did it’s damnedest to prolong my day but got it all sorted in the end without assistance. After my suffocating smugness yesterday, my iPad told me that I had 12a wrong and my ‘Jerrican’ was mis-spelled. Doh. Defeat snatched from the jaws of victory yet again. Today’s was fun **/*** with hints needed for 25a – I had never heard of Posit as hypothesis but then my gen. Knowledge has more holes than a colander. 13a was my fav – I was all over the place with that one.

    I once spoke to a man who had been in a gas explosion – he did not hear the bang and left the scene without eye-furnishings and – as it happened – most of his clothes. The stitching had been melted and then they were blown away. Other than that, he was okay.

    Enjoyed Matt’s cartoon today but am thinking of you if you are still paddling.

    1. Re 25A – I so wanted the answer to be “positron”, mainly because I haven’t seen it in a crossword!

  7. Have to agree that this was VERY benign for a Giovanni but enjoyable nonetheless.

    Agree with the */*** rating. Favourite has to be 3d as I’m about to have a piece for lunch.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  8. The wind must have warped my mind then because I found it quite difficult! At least a three star, completed in two sittings though not needing the blog thanks DT except for explaining a few! Favourite clue today 4a :-)
    The wind is wild here at the moment and the rain is lashing down!! What is happening http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  9. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. It was very straightforward for a Friday, but very enjoyable nonetheless. Was 1*/3* for me. Favourites were 4 & 25a. Had never heard of 22a but got it from the wordplay. Hope the next storm soon abates.

  10. Not one of The Don’s hardest puzzles, but still enjoyable. After the first look at the across clues, I had three answers and a feeling of Here We Go Again, but the downs went in fairly easily and the rest of the across clues followed to give a reasonable solve time. I particularly liked 7D (and the clue wasn’t bad either).

    Wet, windy and miserable here, although having said that, we just had a burst of sunshine. We had a flurry of snow yesterday and I did think that we are slightly fortunate as al this stuff is falling as rain – can you imagine the disruptions if it were snow?

  11. I found today a real struggle, but for no good reason when I look back at it. But ‘shock horror probe’ my first answer, scribbled in haste, was wrong. I fell into the positron trap. Serves me right, as I shall reminding the youth as he revises for his mocks, ‘if you have time left at the end and go back over it, and check for silly mistakes!

  12. I found this really hard and did not enjoy it at all as I could not drill down into several clues to make any sense.
    Thanks for the hints, I really needed them today.

  13. A fairly quick and trouble-free solve for me today. Thanks to Giovanni and DT for the review.
    I did yesterday’s puzzle but didn’t get a chance to pop in here to comment. Nice to see my alter-ego mentioned in one of yesterday’s clues – I have to say I don’t miss the time whan he was on TV every day, as I soon grew tired of being hailed by his monicker – Oo- er!!

  14. The trickiest thing about today’s crossword was braving flooded roads to acquire the DT. An enjoyable solve.

  15. We can put men on the moon, design cars that drive themselves, invent snazzy little phones that not only make calls but cook your breakfast as well!
    Why oh why then cannot the Daily Telegraph produce a decent service to its Puzzle subscribers. I am just about weed off with having one barrier after another put in my way of downloading something as simple as a crossword puzzle. I haven’t been able to log in for months on end and have been using the emergency site to download the crossword and now that is ‘page cannot be displayed’. The main site is reporting my subscription has run out or not been paid, it was renewed on the 10th. February according to the email I have from Worldpay. The contact phone number is experiencing heavy use and no wonder with such a disastrous service. I bet the ‘soaraway’
    (I can’t bring myself to name it) newspaper doesn’t treat its customers like this.
    With apologies for the inconvenience I am once again asking if you would be so kind as to email todays cryptic crossword, it’s now so late in the day that withdrawal systems are starting to appear, i.e going to the toilet without a pen!

  16. 1*/3* rating today for a gentle offering from Giovanni, with 10d the only answer with an obscure connection! :wink:

    Haters of double unches may complain, but I thought this was an extremely enjoyable puzzle.

    22a was a new word for me although easy to work out from the clue. 15a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the Don and to DT.

  17. I, too, found this very slow going and never did solve 7D. Not that enjoyable for me, though I did like 15A. Thanks t0 DT for the review and hints.

  18. How could anyone make this a * for difficulty? However I’m glad not to be alone with finding it a struggle. Indeed I needed help in SW corner – thanks DT for that. Not sure about thanking Giovanni though! First glance at today’s Toughie gives impression of need for more head-scratching than yesterday’s which went in fairly easily. Forecast for weekend looks like more of the same so puzzling will be a resort in the absence of any RU to watch. Keep safe everyone.

      1. Brrrrr.. hope it (keeps) fine for you! Coventry is a bit far – Rugby Park Worthing might have been another matter but I’m afraid I’m really only a fireside gogglebox sports viewer these days so look forward to more 6 nations next weekend. Winter sports not my cup of tea either although I do admire their courage. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  19. I enjoyed this, mostly because it wasn’t too hard and only one word that is new to me: 22a, which I guessed since it couldn’t be anything else.I liked 4d and 4a, 15a and many others. Thanks Giovanni and Deep Threat.

  20. Well, the consensus appears to be that this was a not too taxing puzzle but all the same very enjoyable. I agree. The puzzle is based on the basic rules and constructs on which a crossword relies. It goes to show that a compiler does not have to rely on tortuous and abstruse and recondite silly buggery and yet still produce an enjoyable puzzle. My thanks to the setter for doing that and to DT for his excellent review.

  21. Thank you DG – I found most of this to be manageable but got stuck in the SW corner and needed hints to finish. The usual handful of new words on a Friday for me – which sometimes does detract from my enjoyment of the puzzle. Thanks DT for your review and hints, without which I would not have finished.

  22. A pretty straightforward solve today – not one of Giovanni’s regular hard puzzles.

    Weather here in NL is grey and overcast but dry..

    My daughter, son-in-llaw and their twins have gone to Morzine for a week’s skiing.

    Am using my new laptop which is very fast – a big change from the old machine!

  23. A bit harder than yesterday’s offering for us, but very enjoyable. Like some others the SW corner took the longest Least favourite clue was 20d. Needed the hints for one or two, so thank you setter & DT.

        1. Yes – but I still haven’t quite got my head round it http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gifperhaps the clue that you liked least . . . who knows?
          Actually I’m SO bogged down in other stuff that I think I’ll let you get away with it! On a better day you might not have got off so lightly . . .

          1. Yes because if you have a least favourite, it must mean you have at least two favourites…so confusing for Kath http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

            1. Oh dear, this is going to bring out the pedant in me. If something is “least” you need at least three to choose from. If the choice is only two, it should be “less”…

              So “least favourite” implies at least three! Enough to make Kath apoplectic!

              1. You’re right – it’s all too much for me. It just might be something that I wish I’d never started! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  24. Thanks to Giovanni and DT for the hints, which fortuntely I didn’t need.
    I too had never heard of 22a, and spent ages wondering what to do with the Ron in positron before light suddenly dawned.
    Speaking of Ron, who is this Mr Ron often mentioned, please? Is it a crosswordland variation on Mr X?

  25. Late here today – other stuff to do. I agree with the 1* difficulty but would probably give it nearer 4* for enjoyment as I thought it was really good.
    My only minor problem was spending too long trying to understand why 7d was ‘glug’. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
    My favourite was 15a. I also liked 4 and 13a and 17 and 19d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

        1. Quite a long time ago I asked people how or why they picked their names. Her reply was wonderful “Because I am and I do”.

        2. Has anybody seen Riggles? Last November, Riggles remarked that ‘a year ago Giovanni’s crosswords took me much longer, without approaching finishing them, so persistence with these wonderful cryptics really pays off’. Belatedly, well done, Riggles! If you’re out there, do hope you’re still enjoying crosswords so much.

  26. Pretty straightforward, all done and dusted early on with 11a last in. I hadn’t heard of 22a before. My favourite was 4a. In terms of difficulty this was baby bear’s porridge for me – just right!

  27. PS 8a reminded me of a job advertisement in the local paper. The last line was, “Applicants should be literate and numerable”. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

  28. Liked this a lot, just the right amount of thought needed. Like a lot of others, I found the bottom left-hand corner harder. I knew 18a was “something” house but it took far too long to solve (why, it’s not difficult) but once in, the rest fell into place. Favourite was 15a, how clever was that! Honorable mention goes to 4a, 5d and 7d. Thanks to Giovanni and DT for the review.

    I don’t believe I’ll look at the DT pictures of the floods in UK any more. I get so upset, I can’t imagine what those poor people are going through with water in their houses. And the farmers, those fields can’t be much good for any kind of harvest this year, and the poor livestock. It is all so upsetting.

  29. Nice gentle stuff for a Friday. Even the double unches (which we had not noticed at the time) did not lead to any problems. Elegant smooth cluing, appreciated and enjoyed.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

    1. Sorry to bang on about awful grids, but really. 16 double unches. The DT really should retire this type of grid, it cannot be fun for the setter either. Rant over.

  30. I agree with most others … very gentle from the Don today.

    But 4a made me laugh. Whiff-whaff.

  31. Well it has got me well and truly beaten. The towel has been thrown in and the white flag hoisted. 6 hours in and still seven to get. 3 down is only in because I saw the picture and not because I solved it. I am not sure what to do now. Saint Sharon has wiped away the blood and bandaged my wounds. Do I say what an enjoyable day I have had or do i say “What a horrid crossword with terrible clueing” No, what I do is ignore the hints fix The Don with a steely stare, take down the white flag, throw the towel back out of the ring and man up for round five or six. I may be down but I am not beaten yet. Well done to all the one and two star folk. I just cannot see it myself.

    1. Rufus is a pussycat compared to The Don today. I aint giving up though. Its off to bed with a pint and a snack (oh how saint Sharon hates that) and on to the next round. Apologies to DT but your hints are not going to be looked at yet

  32. I found this enjoyable but quite tricky in places, although now I’ve finished, it’s difficult to see why – but then isn’t that often the way? Thanks to DT for an excellent review,

  33. 2* in difficulty terms for me; l didn’t seem to be on Giovanni’s wavelength today. The SW corner held me up until l saw 22d. Favourite clue was 24a. Now, do l even dare take a second look at the Toughie? I glanced at it earlier this evening and saw not a chink of light anywhere.

  34. It is done with help from DTs blog. I was never sure how these hints and tips worked before as I refused to use them. Clangour is not a word whatever you or the BRB says. Chaplets is suspect. I may be bruised and beaten but if I were The Don I would not be mixing it in Downtown LI next Friday. I have learnt and I am ready.

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