DT 27449 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27449

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27449

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a damp, grey morning.

I thought today’s puzzle from Giovanni was reasonably straightforward, certainly not as difficult as yesterday’s.

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           Bit of material in old paper probed by female copper (6)
{ OFFCUT } Old and the initials of a pink newspaper wrapped around Female and the chemical symbol for copper.

5a           Helpless person made lax when coming into fortune (4,4)
{ LAME DUCK } Anagram (lax) of MADE inside a word for fortune.

9a           March around end of town is featured in West End show song (2,3,5)
{ OL’ MAN RIVER } The abbreviation for the current month is wrapped around the last letter of town, and the result is put inside a West End show written by Lionel Bart, to give a song by Jerome Kern.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

10a         Company doctor providing something for nit inspection? (4)
{ COMB } An abbreviation for company followed by one of the sets of letters a doctor may have after his/her name.

11a         Ray and Maureen, getting on, smile (8)
{ MOONBEAM } A diminutive form of Maureen, followed by ON (from the clue) and a word for a smile.

12a         Group‘s distance across the water? (6)
{ LEAGUE } Double definition: a group of people in alliance; and a distance of 3 nautical miles.

13a         Old people blossom with first bit of activity (4)
{ MAYA } People of a former Central American civilisation are made up of hawthorn blossom and the first letter of Activity.

15a         Heather sitting by lake in bra and knickers? (8)
{ LINGERIE } An alternative word for heather followed by one of the Great Lakes. If you want a picture, see 9a in Wednesday’s Toughie!

18a         Russian author‘s escape to the West needing inner impulse (8)
{ TURGENEV } Reverse (to the West) an escape of gas, smoke or a liquid, and put a word for impulse inside the result, to get the author of Fathers and Sons.

19a         Dead good joke (4)
{ GONE } Good followed by a joke (as in “Did you hear the ___ about …”)

21a         Indian dish unfortunately knocked over by mum (6)
{ MASALA } A two-letter word for Mum followed by the reversal (knocked over) of a word for unfortunately.

23a         Open University set of books dumped in sea — great quantity (8)
{ MOUNTAIN } An acronym for the Open University and one of the sets of books in the Bible inside a word for the sea.

25a         Writer‘s brother squashing the ego (4)
{ BIRO } A trade name which has become a generic term for a type of writing implement. Put the English version of the Latin pronoun ego inside an abbreviation for brother.

26a         Don boasted about words written in diary (3,2,2,3)
{ AND SO TO BED } Anagram (about) of DON BOASTED, giving words which often end an entry in Samuel Pepys’ diary.

27a         Words of contempt never conveyed by Twitter? (8)
{ SNEERING } A poetic contraction of ‘never’ inside the sort of Twitter that birds do.

28a         Young singer to quiver, maiden passing out (6)
{ TREBLE } Remove the M (maiden passing out) from a verb meaning to quiver or shake.


2d           A Liberal party led by strong Nick? (5)
{ FALDO } Put together a musical symbol for strong or loud, A from the clue, Liberal, and a word for a party, to get Nick – not Mr Clegg, but a golfer who once thanked the assembled Press corps ‘from the heart of my bottom’.

3d           Group that’s bound to work together (5,4)
{ CHAIN GANG } Cryptic definition of a group of convicts working while shackled together.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

4d           Country outing — nothing to be missed — essential (6)
{ TURKEY } Remove the letter which looks like zero or nothing from a word for an outing, and add a word for essential or crucial, to get a country on the borders of Europe and Asia.

5d           Demand for total affection coming from man mowing with partner? (4,2,4,2,3)
{ LOVE ME LOVE MY DOG } What the man who went to mow a meadow might say about himself and the one who went with him.

6d           Damage on jewellery that gives a streaky appearance (8)
{ MARBLING } A verb for damage or spoil followed by an informal word for flashy jewellery.

7d           Would a chap keep this country house? Yes! (5)
{ DACHA } A Russian country house is hidden inside the all-in-one clue.

8d           University participating in public act of worship (9)
{ COMMUNION } An abbreviation for university inside a word for public or general, giving a Eucharist service in church.

14d         Notice superior language conveying love and hero-worship (9)
{ ADULATION } Put together a short form of public notice, the letter used to denote upper-class or superior, and a classical language with the letter which looks like a love score at tennis inside it.

16d         Boat race crew? Didn’t eat everything, we hear (9)
{ EIGHTSOME } This word for a group of people of whom a Boat Race crew are an example sounds like (we hear) ‘ate’ and a word for ‘not all’.

17d         Looking at wildlife? It could be exciting for Asian (2,6)
{ ON SAFARI } Anagram (exciting) of FOR ASIAN.

20d         Game followed by fight and murder (3,3)
{ RUB OUT } The initials of a game played by men with odd-shaped balls, followed by a boxing match, giving a slang term for murder.

22d         A fellow wanting castle ultimately for home (5)
{ ABODE } A (from the clue), a word for a fellow or chap, and the last letter (ultimately) of castle.

24d         Model made of one type of wood (5)
{ IDEAL } The Roman numeral for one followed by a softwood timber, usually fir or pine.

The Quick Crossword pun { HEARSE }{ HOOT } = { HIRSUTE }

50 comments on “DT 27449

  1. 3*/3*for a very enjoyable, obscurity-free Friday.

    Initially I put adoration for 14d which created problems for me with the Russian author in 18a, but I wasn’t convinced by my wordplay for 14d and eventually sorted it all out.

    5d was my favourite today – superb!

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    1. I put adoration for 14d, too, but was so convinced it was correct that I never did get the Russian.

      1. I also had problems with 14d. One of my solving partners wrote “adoration” in and I didn’t realise it was wrong. Many thanks to Deep Threat for the walk-through!

  2. A couple to think about, but on the whole fairly straightforward today. 9a went in fairly quickly but I spent a while dissecting the wordplay!
    Many thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

    Now back to finish off the last couple in the toughie.

  3. Thank you setter. Can’t say that I found it amazingly good fun – I almost gave up after getting about 10 answers, thinking that if I needed about 20 hints I really ought to admit defeat and go and do something else ! However I struggled on and finished it – Russian author and all. Thanks DT for your hard work. My head hurts !

  4. I agree with the **/***,as it certainly wasn’t as difficult as yesterday’s ,but I enjoyed it more .Was’nt sure about ‘one’ in 19A -thanks to DT for the blog, and had salama for 21A till the penny dropped and a d’oh moment arrived! Favourites 5D-took a bit of thinking ,and 9A-very clever and well hidden.

  5. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A quite straightforward puzzle to end the week. My only holdup was 18a, and had to look up on Wikipedia, this one was last in. Favorite was 27a, puzzle was 2*/3* for me. Just had the Sky dish fixed, so I’m testing it by watching the cricket :-) Sun trying to come out in Central London.

  6. Like RD, I had adoration in for 14D and was therefore held up on the Russian author (who I hadn’t heard of), working on the clue for his name made me spot my mistake for the down clue.
    Fave rave for today has to be 9A – I was convinced there must be a mistake in the number of letters at first, but then was hit by a wonderful D’Oh moment.

    Well done England excellent win yesterday and very well done Alex Hayles.

  7. Oh no – just me, again. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gifI thought this was quite tricky – at least 3* difficulty and the same for enjoyment.
    I eventually gave up on the 9a song and the Russian.
    Like RD and skempie I started off with adoration for 14d even though I didn’t understand it – the moral here being if you can’t explain your answer it’s probably wrong.
    I was slow with most of the left hand side – really not my day.
    I liked 21 and 26a and 3d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

    1. No, not on your own, Kath. I was in 3* territory too for both difficulty and enjoyment.

      I agree with you too about an inexplicable answer probably being wrong, but in this case I had (almost) convinced myself as follows:

      Notice [AD] + superior language [ORATION] = love and hero-worship [DEFINITION]


      1. I can’t take the credit for saying if you don’t understand your answer then it’s probably wrong. It was a while ago and it was all to do with a duffle/duffel coat – lots of us spelt it the wrong way and BD (could have been gazza but I think it was BD) said it then.

    2. No, definitely not on your own, Kath. We thought this puzzle very clever, but tricky. We had to have quite a bit of help, & I take my hat off to those who thought it really straightforward. Thank you to the setter & to DT.

    3. No, you’re not on your.own Kath – maybe my brain is still recovering from yesterday.

      I always struggle with the Don’s 4 letter clues and needed DT’s review to confirm 19a – which I thought was stretching things a bit too far. That being said, thanks to the Don for the puzzle and the review from DT.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif
      ***/*** from me today.

  8. Au contraire, ‘Deep Threat’, I thought yesterday’s puzzle was a breeze by comparison to today’s. It required both of us to work on this morning’s offering and together we finally cracked it – a most enjoyable puzzle as it took quite a lot more thought than some of late have done. It just goes to prove how we all differ in our opinions as to what constitutes a difficult or a more straightforward crossword puzzle. Thanks to the setter. Now to attack the back garden!

  9. Certainly not a one banana task for me. ***/**. Was on a wild goose chase for 9a across trying to come up with West End show song, Nick in 2d stupidly didn’t occur to me and was gaga with 13a without any reason. Otherwise managed without help. Thanks Giovanni and DT for preventing me from having to throwhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif in the towel.

  10. Bit of a struggle on the left side today so I’m going for ***/***.
    Not familiar with the hawthorn blossom or the Russian, and I would never have got 9a without the hint.
    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

    1. “Not familiar with the hawthorn blossom”? So, when do you cast a clout then?

      1. Only when required.
        As a biker I like your avatar. Looks like a BMW (on iPhone, so apologies if I’m wrong).
        When do you ‘cast a clout’ by the way?

        1. The saying goes along these lines, “Ne’er cast a clout till may is out.” Some think ‘May’ refers to the month, others believe it’s the May (hawthorn) blossom. A clout I believe is an archaic word for an under garment, so the phrase meant don’t start leaving layers of clothing off too soon in the year. Let’s hope the weekend will be as pleasantly warm as they’re forecasting – we’ve just had icy rain and thunder here in Shropshire, so there will be no ‘clout casting’ here yet awhile.

          1. Hello! Clout is also an old farming term relating to turning the soil to create a clout and known mostly in Northern areas. The May thorn is hawthorn sloe, makes gin sloe berries, which traditionally flower in May!

            1. Erm, I think you’ll find that sloes are the fruit of the blackthorn and haws are the little red berries of the hawthorn. Two totally different bushes. Hips, just to complete the trio come from the wild rose. They have furry coated seeds which we as little boys called itching pills, as they itched like anything when put down the back of someone’s shirt. Also used for making rose hip syrup.

              1. Yes – I agree with everything you’ve said about hips, haws and sloes. I didn’t know about the itchy properties of the hips.

          2. I believe a clout to be a type of coat. Archers also do a “clout” shoot where the clout is spread on the ground and shot at from a great distance.

  11. I liked this a lot. No problems in solving or (for a change) parsing , and I even knew the golfer! Dead heat between 9A and 5D for favorite. Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review.

    1. Very tricky. Like yesterday’s a superb puzzle which had to teased out strand by strand. Just the way I like them to be. it also adds to the enjoyment when parsing clues is nigh on impossible. 9ac and 5d for example. This may test Toni’s ambitions ( completing every crossword except Sunday for a whole year but allowed to use external help such as this blog), but he or she should get there. A fine achievement and I bet the use of external help has diminished through the year.

      1. It’s she and I found it quite straight forward. Thanks for thinking of me. Only 2 days to go.

        1. I believe you don’t count Sundays so only Saturday and Monday to go then. Rufus may be benign or he may turn up with a sting. I will do my best to provide crystal clear hints on Monday. I am under a time constraint so hopefully the ipad will fire up Mondays puzzle just after midnight. If I have a skinful through the afternoon I can sleep in the evening and write the blog in the wee small hours allowing time for checks on Monday morning.

          1. I don’t usually need help on Monday for some reason.
            I don’t like Sunday’s paper and can’t really be bothered with it. Now they’ ve started having a sudoku on a Sunday I am showing more interest in the puzzles and do them, but I haven’t been doing Sunday’s for a year.

            1. You should have no trouble with Saturday’s puzzle. I don’t usually comment on the Monday puzzles (not a big Rufus fan), but I will definitely be checking in on Monday to celebrate with you!!

  12. Straightforward but immensely enjoyable, like many others today I loved 5d. Many thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for a smashing review.

  13. Definitely tricky, I needed the hint for the song but guessed the Russian writer.Lots of great clues, especially 11a,23a,6d,1a amoungst others. Thanks , DT for your assistance, and to Giovanni.

    1. The phrasing was quite deliberate (though not original: it used to be seen on windscreen stickers). I’m glad it seems to have had the desired effect. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    2. In days of yore when I were a fit young slip of a rugby playing lad, we used to revel in being described thusly and used to describe soccer players and kids with light-weight balls

  14. Good puzzle, though I found it really, really difficult. As above, getting 14d wrong meant I missed the Russian. Took me a long time to get 1a as I had put press gang for 3d, then tumbled that press gang was navy. Didn’t get 20d either but that was stupidity on my part. Favourite by a long shot was 5d. Thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle and DT for helping me to finish it, and the giggle at 20d.


  15. Quite straightforward for us, and no new words to look up in BRB today. An enjoyable puzzle with favourite being 5d.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  16. Not as depressing as yesterday’s but still needed lots of help … Done about half!!

  17. Unlike DT and others, I found this much more tricky than yesterday. One or two smiles along the rocky road, however, made it a 3* for enjoyment but I reckon a 4* for difficulty. Thanks to DT and the Don

  18. I found this one pretty straightforward, but not particularly rewarding. Dare l say it, l thought the clues rather formulaic. Nevertheless, my thanks to Giovanni, and to Deep Threat for the review and hints.

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