DT 27437 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27437

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27437

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where  the sun is breaking through the early morning mist.

For me, today’s Giovanni was at the easier end of the spectrum, only just into ** difficulty, but others may take a different view.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. References to ‘the usual’ are to items to be found on the Usual Suspects page.

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           Journalists urge policemen to admit error finally (5,5)
{ PRESS CORPS } A word for ‘urge’ followed by an informal term for the police with the final letter of error inside it.

6a           Tot crosses line in poor area (4)
{ SLUM } A verb meaning to tot wrapped around Line.

9a           Animal trapped by gamekeeper at eleven (5)
{ RATEL } An African or Indian animal related to the wolverine is hidden in the clue.

10a         No longer badly off, having accepted position, one explains (9)
{ EXPOSITOR } A prefix for ‘no longer’ and an adjective meaning badly off, with a word for position or locate inside it.

12a         A potholer cub’s in trouble — could be he’s this? (13)
{ CLAUSTROPHOBE } Anagram (in trouble) of A POTHOLER CUB’S.

14a         Dad going to port in South Africa or city in America? (8)
{ PASADENA } A Californian city made up of an informal term for Dad, followed by a port by the eastern approach to the Red Sea inside an abbreviation for South Africa.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

15a         Wicked and loveless soul keeping home with female (6)
{ SINFUL } Remove the letter that looks like a love score at tennis from SOUL, and replace it with an expression for ‘at home’  and Female.

17a         A maiden showed signs of injury and proceeded slowly (6)
{ AMBLED } A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for a maiden over at cricket, followed by what you did when you cut yourself.

19a         Verbal attack from little woman leading a group of families (8)
{ DIATRIBE } A shortened version of a woman’s name followed by A (from the clue) and a grouping of people on family lines.

21a         In need, I creep about, cross inside, lacking the wherewithal to cope? (13)
{ INEXPERIENCED } Anagram (about) of IN NEED I CREEP with a cross-shaped letter inside it.

24a         Wacky sister, about ten, involved in hobbies (9)
{ INTERESTS } Anagram (wacky) of SISTER wrapped around an anagram (involved) of TEN.

25a         Traffic from English river on return journey (5)
{ TRADE } English and a South Devon river, all reversed (on return journey).

26a         Heartless communications offering negative messages (4)
{ NOES } Remove the middle letter (heartless) from some brief written communications, to get the opposite of the ‘Ayes’.

27a         Bomb in church, subsequently exploding in yard (10)
{ INCENDIARY } Put together  IN (from the clue), an abbreviation for the Church of England, and an anagram (exploding) of IN YARD.


1d           Meat and drink mostly served to king (4)
{ PORK } Remove the final letter from a fortified wine from the Iberian peninsula, and add the chess notation for a king.

2d           Tempts one part of the hospital with sweet foods (7)
{ ENTICES } The usual hospital department followed by some cold sweet foods.

3d           What may contribute to the fry-up? Streaky (4-3-6)
{ SALT-AND -PEPPER } Double definition: something to add flavour to a fry-up; or hair which is streaked with grey.

4d           One’s a bit put out, having to be deferential (8)
{ OBEISANT } Anagram (put out) of ONE’S A BIT.

5d           Mirror? It may be hung on the wall (5)
{ PAPER } Double definition: a publication of which the (Daily) Mirror is an example; or a decorative covering applied to the wall of a room.

7d           Pardons and discharges (4,3)
{ LETS OFF } Pardons a criminal or discharges a firework.

8d           Landing in another world, look around wicked city (10)
{ MARSEILLES } One of the planets of the Solar System, wrapped around a verb meaning look, which is itself  wrapped around a word for wicked, to get the English spelling of a French seaport.

11d         Despot — his act, I suspect, is complex and efficient (13)
{ SOPHISTICATED } Anagram (suspect) of DESPOT HIS ACT I.

13d         Appearance of one in a quiet role, one getting on (10)
{ APPARITION } Put together A (from the clue), the musical symbol for quiet, and a stage role with the Roman numeral for one inside it, then add another Roman one and ON (from the clue).

16d         Person in charge of pub has insects — any number, look! (8)
{ LICENSEE } The sort of insects one doesn’t want about one’s person, followed by the algebraic symbol for any number, and an instruction to look.

18d         Sigh, about to go into dip (7)
{ BREATHE } The Latin expression for about or concerning inside a dip in the sea.

20d         Asian country encompassing a new state (7)
{ INDIANA } A US state is made up of an Asian country with A (from the clue) and New inside.

22d         Succeeded in nothing in Paris at a higher level (5)
{ RISEN } The French word for ‘nothing’ with Succeeded inside it.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

23d         Disobey successive notes before ending with company (4)
{ DEFY } Three notes of the scale followed by the last letter of companY.

The Quick Crossword pun { MYRRH }{ CATER } = { MERCATOR }

45 comments on “DT 27437

  1. Good morning DT, from a very foggy West Wales, hopefully it will lift to another bright sunny day!
    I agree that this was on the easier side with a couple of words that I didn’t know thrown in, eg 9a & 10a
    Although 8d was obvious it took me a while to see how it worked, fav clue was 23d although it was my last one in

  2. 2*/2*. Not my cup of tea today with mostly very wordy clues including several convoluted charades. I find brevity much more satisfying.

    There were several slightly obscure answers but these were all readily solvable from the clues – 9a was a new word for me; I had to drag 4d from the recesses of my memory; and, at least in my experience, 10a & 12a are rarely used variants of more common words.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    1. Re 9A : The Ratel (also known as the Honey Badger) is a vicious bugger and has been known to attack humans. It isn’t very big, but its very strong and muscularly and although it will normally only attack humans when provoked it automatically goes for the upper thigh area where it can cause some serious eye-watering damage with its front claws

      1. Sounds well worth giving a wide berth to! From your description I would venture to suggest that Ratel is a more appropriate name than Honey Badger.

      2. Muscularly is a good word! I think I’d rather call him the Honey Badger – his other name sounds too close to a rat and they make me go a bit funny.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  3. I thought the Don had beaten me today with 8D – took an age before my brain went *SPRINGLE* and gave me the answer, then another age trying to work out why. Once deciphered, it turned out to me a superb clue and gets not only my vote for today’s favourite, but has to be awarded the Bestest Of The Week cup.

    3rd foggy day in a row here – Wednesday the sun broke through at 4:30 just before it set, yesterday it only broke through on some of the higher ground around the Bath area, hopefully it’ll break through for a reasonable time today – my central heating bill is going up again!

    1. Spingle? Is it in the BRB? It is in the online urban dictionary. Agreed to the award COTW for 8d in the cryptics. In toughieland it was 7d on Wednesday. Mrs D. Diddling.

  4. A fairly straightforward puzzle that only just crept into my 2* solving time.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT.

    I’ve been too busy this week for the toughies, but will have a look today.

  5. Morning All. A quick run-through again this morning for me. As I think others have said, I’ve had much more trouble with the Quickie this week than with the Cryptic. 26A led me astray briefly as I decided that heartless COmmunicatioNS would yield the correct answer – that answer certainly being “negative”, and I was prepared to excuse the “messages” bit. Many thanks to Giovanni (?? well, it’s Friday) and to Deep Threat for the review.

  6. Thank you DG – good fun and I thought that it would be too good to be true. Certainly at the easier end of the DG scale and I suspected that there would be a lot of 1* and “write in” comments. About my standard though ! Thanks DT for your review and hints.

  7. Enjoyable to do and not so difficult as some Fridays can be. 2*/4* for me. I thought 9a a bit obscure, though solvable.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  8. Another goody, tvm Giovanni. **/***. At least the anagrams were long ones. I was originally with Roland on cons. Can’t believe 5d was last in just before consulting Deep Threat – d’oh! Liked 1a and 8d. Wonderful warm sunshine down South in UK. We seem to have escaped recent fog. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  9. Another superb offering from The Don but not quite challenging enough for a Friday workout. Thanks to Snecklifter Spindrift for yesterday’s comment which gave me an easy route to the answer at 12ac. The sun has broken through the fog here in Downtown LI. It is Gold cup day and a feast of Rugby Union awaits for tomorrow. Come on England.

    1. It’s a 12:30 kick off with England needing to score <50 points then we have to wait until 18:30 to see if the points difference will be enough to nudge Ireland from the top of the table. The beer fridge is full & I've even bought Mrs S a fruit based refreshment to keep her quiet, I mean happy. Unfortunately both my lads are away so I'll be shouting at the telly on my own.

        1. if you think your wife shouts at the telly then you should hear my 83 year old Mum when the rugby is on. The language would make a docker blush!

  10. Another enjoyable grid today completed without the hints for the third time in 5 days. (A record for me!)
    Several new words at 4d and 9a & 10a and visits to France, Africa and the US. Not bad for a Friday morning. Favourite was 19a.
    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  11. Agree with the **/***,and Miffypops that it could have been more challenging for a Friday , but entertaining never the less, also looking forward to the rugby denouement this weekend and a few halves .Could’nt see the wordplay in 22d,never like a capital letter for an ordinary word except when in common usage -,like r for run and o for over in cricket-S for succeeded? I don’t think so.

    1. s is in the BRB as an abbreviation for succeeded. As for R for run and O for over I didn’t know those until I learnt all that kind of stuff from this blog.

      1. Not in my BRB Kath – but I imagine it’s used in heraldic notation, family trees and the like(???)

  12. I enjoyed this one very much – 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I’ve never heard of 1a and, although it had to be what it was, couldn’t find it in BRB to check – probably didn’t look hard enough!
    Apart from 12a I got all the long answers fairly quickly which helped.
    8d took ages to get the answer and then ages again to work out why.
    I liked 1a and 11d. My favourite was 16d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

    Early this morning the fog was thicker than I’ve ever seen it but it’s lovely now and the sun is out. Pet Lamb Number Two’s birthday today so off to London this evening to meet up with all of them for dinner.

  13. Thanks to Giovanni and DT for a veryvenjoyable if untaxing crossword and a most amusing review. Today’s toughie by Sparks is well worth a look.

  14. Relaxing end to a busy week.

    I’d never heard of a 9a, and probably won’t remember it but . . .

    I wonder how many of the band of siblings here were tempted, on first reading, having got the first letter of 8d, to try to get in Sodom backwards? Took me a while to concede that, mainly due to faffing with the long caving anagram.

    Feel bad about not getting 12a for a while as I AM a 12a and the mere thought of pot holing casts me into a maelstrom of anxiety.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  15. Really enjoyed this one. 10a is a new word for me, quietly files away, but somehow I doubt I’ll see it again. I didn’t know that a ratel was a honey badger. I needed the hints (thank you DT) to know the why of 8d, very convoluted. Loved it, thank you setter. I also thank DT for the picture at 3d … oooh, George!

  16. I found 3/4 of that quite easy but I was held up in the left hand bottom corner through nobody’s fault but my own as I had spelt 16d incorrectly but once having seen the error of my ways got it finished. Thanks to Giovanni & DT.

  17. Thought I’d finished all straightforwardly then reading the hints realised I’d got 23d wrong. I put ‘deny’ – successive notes plus the ny from company. D’ohhh!!!

    BTW, have just returned from a five week trip in New Zealand. We stayed one night with a friend’s cousin who enjoyed doing the Telegraph Cryptic, and checked out the blog when needed – the only downside is that the crossword in her paper is published at least three weeks after we have them here. Probably syndicated.

    So Sue, if you’re reading this, Happy Easter!

    1. Have just read your comment Ian and realise I too had wrong solution to 23d using same mis-reading of the number of notes plus company’s ny – double d’oh! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_confused.gif

    2. We started doing the Telegraph cryptic in the Wellington Dominion Post where it is syndicated as you suggest. We chanced upon this blog and then decided to subscribe directly so we could comment on each puzzle when it was still ‘fresh’. The added bonus is that we get the Toughie too, which is not published in NZ to our Knowledge.
      Hope you enjoyed your time in our bit of the world. Cheers.

      1. Hi 2kiwis. We had THE best time of our lives. Thank you for letting us in! What a beautiful country and great people. I believe the newspaper was the Dominion, they lived in Masterton.

  18. New to the DT Cryptic, struggled most days, until I came across your blog. Thank you DT Bloggers.

  19. I enjoyed this one a lot. It would help if I could spell 4d properly as although I thought I had the anagram identified (but not the solution) for 12a, my spelling error threw me! So many thanks for the hints.

    One general question, if I may. I am unable to get the login details for the Telegraph Crossword to stick in any of my browsers (Chrome, Safari and Firefox on the Mac). Does anyone have any suggestions please? TIA

    1. I think we are doomed to never be able to have the site remember us – although interestingly when I am at work (using IE) , if I typein the first letter of my email address, the address appears and it then knows my password. If I do the same thing at home, using Firefox, it doesn’t remember me at all! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

      1. Thanks, CS…So it’s not just me then. When I raised this with the Telegraph a while back they said it was my browser. Clearly not so!

        I think there is a bit of magic HTML code that sometimes gets dropped out of the page source code that is needed to be there for passwords to be remembered. Looks like the Telegraph needs to do a bit of homework.

    2. I thought it was just me and suffered in silence. I have chrome, not that I know the difference one from another. Godson takes care of this un-techie cruciverbalist, so assumed I’d screwed up somewhere.

    3. Try this (from Google Help):

      Manage your website passwords

      Google Chrome can save your usernames and passwords for different websites. The browser can then automatically complete the sign-in fields for you when you next visit these websites.

      These passwords are stored in the same system that contains your saved passwords from other browsers. On a Mac, Google Chrome uses the Keychain Access to store your login information.

      All these passwords-including the passwords that you’ve saved from other browsers-can be synced to your Google Account, so that they are available on other computers that you’re using.

      Choose whether you want to save passwords
      Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
      Select Settings.
      Click Show advanced settings.
      Adjust your password settings in the “Passwords and forms” section:
      Select “Offer to save passwords that I enter on the web” if you want Google Chrome to prompt you to save your password every time you sign in to a new website.

      1. Thanks for the suggestion but it has nothing at all to do with our browser settings. All that you suggest has been done. The Telegraph’s management of cookies is abysmal. Clearing out all telegraph cookies and then logging in again results in 17 …yes 17 cookies being set. Coming at the crossword page from the link we were given when their systems were down creates 37 cookies. I kid you not.

        No wonder we can’t stay logged in. Dozo IT bods at the Telegraph.

  20. The usual enjoyable Friday fare. We even got the animal in 9a from the depths of memory. It must have been in a crossword at some time. Good fun.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  21. Arrived at this late and thought I’d have a crack at DG’s puzzle – which I normally struggle with – to find it was fun and much easier than normal and all the better for it for this lowly solver. So **/**** from me. Hey, this must be the first DG grid I have completed without help, wee-hee!

    Thanks to DG for making me feel happy and fulfilled and to DT for the chucklesome hints.

  22. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle that took me quite some time. Was 3*/3* for me. A couple of unusual words in 4d & 10a, but not too obscure for a change. Favourite was 12a. Late commenting due to doing the Squash Ladder Leagues. My sixth completion on the trot. Very pleased, but I still can’t seem to get anywhere with the Toughies.

  23. Not been too well, so only got round to this today. Enjoyable and slightly tougher for me than some people seem to think, but completed without hints. 3*/3*, I reckon. Thanks to the Don and DT

  24. the toughies are much more enjoyable and challenging, i find that the ordinary cryptic are becoming far too easy, usually get through them within xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx i am sure they used to be more difficult in times gone by

    1. Sorry fortis but it is a convention here that we don’t mention solving times – it is best to say quicker than usual, harder than usual, that sort of thing.

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