DT 27443

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27443

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a bright, sunny spring morning.

Fewer anagrams than usual from Giovanni this morning, but the usual sprinkling of classical and biblical references.

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.


7a           The old woman had briefly organised one Indian lady (8)
{ MAHARANI } Put together an informal term for the person often known as the old woman; HA(D) from the clue with its last letter removed (briefly);  a verb meaning organised; and a Roman numeral for one. The result is a female member of Indian royalty.

9a           One deciding to leave country before catching plane (6)
{ ÉMIGRÉ } A poetic word for before with a Russian fighter jet inside it.

10a         Barbarian got down with army heading west (6)
{ ATTILA } ‘Got down’ (from a train, for example) followed by the initials of our reserve army, all reversed (heading west) to get a leader of the Huns.

11a         Establishes companies, initiated by trick (8)
{ CONFIRMS } A trick or cheat followed another word for companies. There is a typo in the clue in the paper and online versions which I have corrected here.

12a         Magazine’s left something for fans to enjoy looking at (9,5)
{ SPECTATOR SPORT } A weekly magazine which has been running since 1828, plus the ‘s from the clue, and a nautical term for left.

15a         Balance end of object on edge (4)
{ TRIM } The final letter of object followed by the edge of a cup.

17a         The Yorkshire bumpkin is stupid (5)
{ THICK } The Yorkshire pronunciation of ‘the’ followed by a country bumpkin.

19a         A woman’s right at all times (4)
{ EVER } The name of the first woman in the Bible, followed by Right.

20a         This being put on should ensure more than just a warm reception (7,7)
{ CENTRAL HEATING } Cryptic definition of a system which warms more than just the reception room in a house.

23a         Gross female prisoner having angry words (8)
{ FLAGRANT } Female and one of the usual prisoners, followed by a stream of angry words.

25a         Descend in plunge, concealing hesitation (6)
{ DERIVE } Put a two-letter hesitation inside a word for plunge.

27a         Very small star, about four, seen to be lively (6)
{ VIVACE } An abbreviation (small) of Very and a star performer, either side of the Roman numeral for four, giving a musical term for lively.

28a         Government department, if that is dead, must be changed (8)
{ MODIFIED } Put together a three-letter acronym for one of the Government departments; IF (from the clue); the Latin abbreviation meaning ‘that is’: and an abbreviation for Dead.


1d           Vehicle taking rough road north stopping prematurely (4)
{ CART } Remove the final K from a rough road (stopping prematurely), then reverse it (heading north, in a Down clue) to get a horse-drawn vehicle.

2d           Fellow in charge penning article that’s mad (6)
{ MANIAC } Another word for a fellow or chap, followed by an abbreviation for ‘in charge’ with an indefinite article inside it.

3d           Element extracted from quartz in chemistry (4)
{ ZINC } Hidden (extracted from) in the clue.

4d           Man who has transgressed looking heavenward (6)
{ DENNIS } A man’s name is the reverse (looking heavenwards, in a Down clue) of a word meaning transgressed.

5d           Chemical substance obtainable from isocline (8)
{ SILICONE } Anagram (obtainable from) of ISOCLINE. Much used for cosmetic implants: I shall resist the temptation to illustrate!

6d           Daringly innovative parent with home in a mess (10)
{ PROMETHEAN } Anagram (in a mess) of PARENT and HOME. The reference is to the Greek myth about the chap who stole fire from the gods.

8d           Firm‘s first male worker (7)
{ ADAMANT } The Biblical first male (partner of the woman in 19a) followed by one of the usual workers.

13d         Drink on select island — bar entrance with this maybe? (10)
{ PORTCULLIS } A fortified wine followed by a verb meaning to eliminate selectively, and an abbreviation for island.

14d         College learner follows Conservatives, avoiding extremes (5)
{ ORIEL } An Oxford college is produced by removing the first and last letters from a term often used to describe the Conservative party, and adding a Learner.

16d         Letters presenting a unified image? (8)
{ MONOGRAM } Cryptic definition of a set of letters interwoven into one.

18d         Dough may be required by the sound of it (7)
{ KNEADED } Something which may be done to dough sounds like a word meaning ‘required’.

21d         This person blocking the way was a nomad (6)
{ ROAMED } A pronoun for ‘this person’ inside a way or route.

22d         Display of irritation about a restaurant’s opening menu (6)
{ TARIFF } A (from the clue) and the first letter of Restaurant inside a minor display of irritation with another person.

24d         Old books turned up, your writer providing one volume (4)
{ TOME } Reverse the usual old books, and add the pronoun by which the setter might describe himself.

26d         See contest won with cricket side eliminated (4)
{ VIEW } A verb meaning ‘contest’ plus W(on) (cricket side eliminated).

The Quick Crossword pun { TACKS }{ PAIR } = { TAXPAYER }


  1. Jezza
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    No real problems in this one, although I still cannot see a context where 15a means the same as balance.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

    The toughie today took only a little longer than this did.

    • Kath
      Posted March 21, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      I think 15a is probably a sailing term – don’t people talk about “trimming the sails”?

      • Kath
        Posted March 21, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        Sorry – barging in!

        • Deep Threat
          Posted March 21, 2014 at 11:33 am | Permalink

          Not at all. At least we agree http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      • Jezza
        Posted March 21, 2014 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        Thanks Kath, and DT. I have heard of the saying but I did not think of it on this occasion.

    • Deep Threat
      Posted March 21, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      In nautical terms, you trim the sails to achieve a balance.

    • Physicist
      Posted March 21, 2014 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      You trim an aircraft to balance it, so that you don’t have to keep a constant pressure on the controls when flying straight and level.

      • Salty Dog
        Posted March 21, 2014 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

        Same with a submarine: you trim it by balancing buoyancy against the force exerted by the planes, so that you can maintain the required depth.

  2. BigBoab
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Enjoyable crossword from Giovanni without being overly challenging, my thanks to
    him and to Deep Threat for a most amusing review. The Firefly toughie today is worth
    a try, I did it in about the same time as this.

  3. Kath
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    I thought this was quite tricky – more of a 3* difficulty and the same for enjoyment.
    I had a spot of bother with 12a because I couldn’t read my own writing – my fault completely.
    The 6d anagram took ages and I didn’t know 27a.
    I still don’t really understand 10a – I seem to have a spare A – or am I just being dim?http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif
    I liked 17 and 23a. My favourite was 14d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.
    Nice sunny morning but quite windy and cold.

    • Deep Threat
      Posted March 21, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      10a: ALIT + TA, all reversed.

      • Kath
        Posted March 21, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        Of course – thanks – all I saw was LIT rather than ALIT. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

  4. Angel
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    For me this was the most challenging this week but nonetheless enjoyable for that. ***/***. I’m with Kath on 14d as fav and I would have alighted in10a but realise alternative is acceptable. Think one “n” is usual for male Christian name in 4d but perhaps two for surname. Welcome sunshine here too. Thanks Giovanni and Deep Threat. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_biggrin.gif

    • Kath
      Posted March 21, 2014 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      I agree with you about it being the most difficult this week.

  5. Beaver
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Had a much better day today and agree with the **/***,must admit to not having seen 6D in print , saw the film last year which was supposed to be a prequal to Aliens but ended up as a bit of a mish mash – loved Alien/s ,lots of entertaining clues , liked 13D,thanks to Mr G

  6. Graham
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Like some others this was 3 territory for me with a couple of completely new words (6D) in particular, 4D threw me as my father’s name was spelt with only one N but their again his mother was a french woman.My favourite was 20A with 28A a close second.Many thanks to the setter & DT although I do wish he had illustrated 5 D, wishing all a jolly good weekend only one more week then the clocks go forward.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  7. skempie
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Another wonderful puzzle from The Don. Probably took me a bit longer than it should as I stopped for a while watching The Netherlands tonking Ireland all over the place, looks like things might settle down a bit now a couple of wickets have gone down.

    1A and 27A took me a fair while to unravel – I’d worked out 27A in the head and for some reason dismissed it until I managed 16D. As for 1A I thought in bits (which I guess is the proper way to deal with a clue like this).

    I think I’d make 23A my favourite today as it made me chuckle.

    Incidentally, for Jezza – Google has the following definition of trim :

    neat and smart in appearance; in good order.

    Which sounds pretty much balanced to me

    • Angel
      Posted March 21, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      There isn’t a 1A – perhaps you mean 7A?

      • skempie
        Posted March 21, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps I did. Perhaps there’s a crease in the paper and not enough coffee in the system http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  8. Clarky
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    After what seemed like a good start I ground to a halt with the last few due, as it turned out, to a couple of wrong answers. Eg frantic at 2d.
    Does 25a really mean descend?
    Good fun nonetheless. Favourite 8d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

    • Kath
      Posted March 21, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      You must have very small writing to get a seven letter answer into six spaces. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

    • Physicist
      Posted March 21, 2014 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      25a can mean descend, in genetics for example.

  9. mary
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    hi DT thanks for the blog, I needed a couple of explainations, I enjoyed this one today although I needed my electronic friends and did it in two sessions one before and one after my acupuncture, no favourite although I liked a few, I reckon I must be at least three favourites in credit now http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif
    Lovely sunny day here, though breezy and cool

    • Kath
      Posted March 21, 2014 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      . . . and I reckon you’re living really dangerously – three favourites in credit – certainly not! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif
      It was sunny here this morning but now it’s chucking it down again – just when I was going to garden too.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  10. mary
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Where’s that pesky rabbit today http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_question.gif

    • Graham
      Posted March 21, 2014 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Gone for a hare cut!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      • mary
        Posted March 21, 2014 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        Ha Ha love it http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted March 21, 2014 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      If you mean me – here I am! Very late on duty after celebrating my birthday yesterday. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

      • mary
        Posted March 21, 2014 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        Happy birthday for yesterday RD…now would I call you ‘pesky’????? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted March 21, 2014 at 7:40 pm | Permalink


          … but I’ve been called much worse. “Hareless”, for example

  11. Franny
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Not on the wave length at all today and really struggled, but thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the hints and explanations I desperately needed. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  12. Bluebird
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I knew all the (answer) terms, but getting them was another matter. A few of the answers were the least likely of a number of synonyms, e.g. cull for select , promethean for innovative and derive for descend.
    Was 16d properly cryptic? Explain?
    Finally I had never come across the other version of alighted.

    So, a good *** for me and ** for enjoyment. Shame as I usually enjoy this setter.

    • Physicist
      Posted March 21, 2014 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      I think 16d is just about cryptic; on initial reading, the “letters” could be correspondence.

  13. SheilaP
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    This one was even harder than yesterday’s for us, all very clever I’m sure, but definitely not on our wavelength, so congrats. to those who found it a doddle. So it’s a ****/* I’m afraid. Thank you to the setter & to DT without whom we would have sunk without trace. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  14. Una
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Some very good clues but nonetheless, quite hard work, I thought.Thanks to setter and DT.

  15. Heno
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle today, I was beaten by 27a, but got it from the hint, I wasn’t thinking musical terms. Nothing too obscure today, favourite was 9a. I was a lot short for ages, then managed to get the two long across clues, then all fell into place except 27a. Was 3*/3* for me. Just been walking over Parliament Hill, lovely in the Sun but cold in the wind.

  16. Shropshirelad
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    A bit of a struggle for me today – just couldn’t get on the Don’s wavelength. Although, having said that, there were several ‘d’oh’ moments when the penny finally dropped. ***/*** today. Thanks to the Don for the puzzle and Deep Threat for the reviewhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  17. Rabbit Dave
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    I found this one very difficult today, so it’s 4*/3* from me. However this could be connected with a hangover after a very late night. A measure of my state of mind is that I simply didn’t notice the typo in 11a, which is very unlike me.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    • Kath
      Posted March 21, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      A belated happy birthday to the Hareless Rabbit – sorry about the hangover but I haven’t got one and I found this difficult and I didn’t notice the typo either – I think our brains are very good at seeing what they want to see.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted March 21, 2014 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        Thanks very much, Kath.

    • Bluebird
      Posted March 21, 2014 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      What typo? Looked OK in my paper.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted March 21, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        Estabishes missing the L.

        • Toni
          Posted March 21, 2014 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

          I was thrown by the missing l too, I thought it was part of the answer like ‘noel’
          */*** for me today. No help needed.
          Loved 13d, not often you hear that in a crossword.

  18. Owdoo
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Commenting earlier today as promised, but not as early as I’d hoped because whilst 95% of this was done during breakfast, the last few only went in when I returned to it over lunch. This included 12a and 13d despite having most of the checking letters so maybe my brain’s having a day off work as well as the rest of me! 3* / 2*

    Thanks setter and DT for the blog.

    Annoyingly the delivery of a new pc that I was waiting in for is not coming until tomorrow now. Pity the supplier couldn’t have let me know this yesterday.

  19. Sweet William
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Thank you DG, enjoyable and just confirms that I really am on my own this week as I found it to be the easiest puzzle of the week ! Good fun and even managed the 3 new words. Thanks DT for the review and hints. MP, if you are around, I seem to remember that you had a hostelry in the E Cotswold / Warwickshire area ?

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 21, 2014 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      Long Itchington South Warwickshire. The Green Man

      • Sweet William
        Posted March 21, 2014 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        Many thanks MP – we are staying at Ettington Park and have come down to attend a Thanksgiving service in Tredington. I was just wondering, if you were nearby, we could have called in for a butty and a pint before the service – and you could have solved the Saturday puzzle for me ! Unfortunately the timing / distance is wrong – so, perhaps another time. Many thanks for responding.

        • Miffypops
          Posted March 21, 2014 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for thinking of it. maybe another time.

  20. Annidrum
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    I found this somewhat harder than the rest of the week and needed to resort to the hints for 13d and 27a so thanks to DT for them and to Giovanni for the challenge.

  21. Miffypops
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    This was similar to yesterday where the solutions were teased out almost one by one. Great fun amidst gardening and chores. Piglets fed at 6.00am as it was my turn on the feeding rota. All are looking well there may be more pics on Monday. Thanks to The Don for the puzzle and to DT whose blog I will read now.

  22. Douglas Ireland
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    I quite enjoyed this one. My last one in was 4d, I kicked myself when I got it!

  23. Corky
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    It took me ages to get going on this. For that I would give it a 3* difficulty.

    Once I got going it was fine – maybe the end of the week has taxed my brain.

    Enjoyable but no particular favourites.

    I’ll give the Toughie a go but I’m not sure my Friday head will deal with any more thinking.

  24. 2Kiwis
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    We had not noticed the typo and even when we read the review saying there was one, had to go through the clue letter by letter until we found it. Amazing how the mind sees what it expects to see and not always what is actually there. Enjoyed the puzzle.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  25. Derek
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    An enjoyable solve from the Friday maestro.

    Faves were 7a, 27a, 1d & 6d.

    Fish & chips tonight with a drop of Antinori blanc!

    Today, the vernal equinox, began damp but cleared up beautifully this afternoon here in NL.

  26. Salty Dog
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    I turned to this in frustration after running into the sand about halfway through the Toughie! I’d rate this one at 2*/3*, and choose 17a as my favourite. Thank you Giovanni, and thank you DT for the review and hints. Now – back to that pesky Toughie…

  27. Tstrummer
    Posted March 22, 2014 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    Thanks to the Don for a fairly gentle end to the working week (it begins again on Sunday. Sigh). Had to look up a couple of my answers to check that they were actually words (6d, 27a) and was gratified to find that they were. Favourite clue was 13d. 2*/3* today. Thanks to DT for the review. Off to Stratford in the morning for the second half of the Hilary Mantel saga. If it’s as good as the first, I may not get round to Saturday’s puzzle until after I’ve brought up the bodies