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DT 27455

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27455

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **/***Enjoyment ***

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

A couple of tricky constructions from Giovanni this morning, which took me almost into *** territory.

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           Induce spell of energetic play in gym (6)
{ PROMPT } Some boisterous play inside one of the abbreviations for gym exercises.

4a           Short reptile sits beside American plant (6)
{ CROCUS } The shortened form of a large reptile followed by an abbreviation for American.

8a           Last session for student, a learner that’s kept at home (8)
{ TERMINAL } Put a word for ‘at home’ between one of three academic sessions and A (from the clue) and Learner.

10a         Reduce the intensity of reminder from club treasurer? (6)
{ SUBDUE } Cryptically, this is what a club treasurer might say to a member who is slow to pay up.

11a         Fibre is hard, in need of ventilation (4)
{ HAIR } An abbreviation for Hard followed by what is provided by ventilation.

12a         Shop and church on one cliff tottering (3-7)
{ OFF-LICENCE } Anagram (tottering) of ONE CLIFF, followed by one of the usual churches.

13a         Bristol lady is seen to be such a money-grabber! (4-8)
{ TOLL-GATHERER } The definition is someone who collects taxes, for crossing a bridge, for example. ‘Bristol lady’ is, cryptically, seen to be such a person because the variety of tax can be found hidden inside those words.

16a         University is hard — chaps finally admit shock (12)
{ ASTONISHMENT } Put together the name of a West Midlands university, IS (from the clue), Hard, some chaps, and the final letter of admit.

20a         Entertainment conjured up by a top girl, eh? (5,5)
{ LIGHT OPERA } Anagram (conjured up by) of A TOP GIRL EH.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

21a         Any number in club gear come together (4)
{ KNIT } The algebraic symbol for any number inside some team uniform.

22a         What’s kept by journalist or editor and filed? (6)
{ STORED } Hidden (kept by) in the clue.

23a         Boss has drink with little hesitation, one to join the men (8)
{ SUPERIOR } Put together a verb for drink, a hesitation, the Roman numeral for one, and the usual military men.

24a         New way to begin service (6)
{ MODERN } A way or method followed by one of the armed services.

25a         Fat Greek free from trouble (6)
{ GREASE } An abbreviation for Greek followed by a verb meaning ‘free from trouble’.


1d           It’s fun for tot to stay up with a short thing to read (8)
{ PEEKABOO } Reverse (up, in a Down clue) a word for stay (as in stay on the pace) followed by A (from the clue) and something to read with its final letter removed.

2d           Shell in French sea, yellow on surface (5)
{ ORMER } The heraldic term for yellow followed by the French for sea.

3d           Criticise artist holding party, a troublesome female (7)
{ PANDORA } A word for a party is placed in between an informal word for criticise and the usual artist, giving one who opened a box when she shouldn’t have.

5d           I run up, one likely to slide — it’s not so safe (7)
{ RISKIER } I (from the clue) and Run, reversed (up) and followed by a winter sports enthusiast.

6d           Member in taxi to drive down, providing urgent message (9)
{ CABLEGRAM } One of the usual members placed between a taxi and a verb for ‘drive down’ or compact.

7d           Plaster that’s mostly irremovable, firm (6)
{ STUCCO } A word for irremovable, missing its final letter (mostly) and an abbreviation for a firm.

9d           Sinister types putting pen to paper, say? (4-7)
{ LEFT-HANDERS } A mildly cryptic definition of those who, like me, are not dextrous when it comes to writing.

14d         Metal is brought round that place to be beaten (9)
{ LEATHERED } A metallic element wrapped around the adverb for ‘that place’.

15d         Worker that is eating tiny amount — it should improve health (8)
{ ANTIDOTE } … but only if you’ve been poisoned. One of the usual workers followed by the Latin abbreviation for ‘that is’ wrapped around a small amount.

17d         Socialist foundation overturned, as commanded (2,5)
{ TO ORDER } A word for a Socialist and a foundation (3,4) reversed.

18d         Generous type perhaps keeping quiet when cheat appears (7)
{ SHARPER } Someone who doesn’t keep everything for himself, with the musical  symbol for quiet inside, giving someone who cheats at cards.

19d         One who suffers, having two small boys (6)
{ VICTIM } The short forms of two names for boys, put one after the other.

21d         Fate of King with fleet of ships a third destroyed (5)
{ KARMA } A chess king, followed by the first two-thirds of the fleet which Philip of Spain sent against Elizabeth I.

The Quick Crossword pun { CASQUE }{ AIDING } = { CASCADING }

51 comments on “DT 27455

  1. Dismal set of clues, thanks for putting me out of my misery Deep Throat. ref 1d and 13a.

  2. 13a had be thinking for a while, but the rest was fairly straightforward.
    Many thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  3. Agree with the **/***,seemed to be on the wavelength today and found it amusing, thanks to G and DT for the pics . Looking forward to Ladies Day at Aintree and the ‘Totterati’-at least by the end of the day!

  4. This was ***/*** territory for me, no real standout clues or favourites. Many thanks to the setter & DT for the review.Hope all have a good weekend.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  5. Thanks DG, usual new words / expressions, but electronic help rescued me. Thank you DT for your review and hints.

  6. I found this difficult , wave-length perhaps, and needed far too much help to make it really enjoyable. Needed the hints to finish, in fact, so thank you DT for them, and specially for the delightful passage from ‘Pinafore’. What production was that? And thanks to Giovanni, although he was rather too tough today. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

  7. It was Ok apart from that pesky little NW corner. It might have helped if I had ever heard of 2d and didn’t have ‘internal’ for 8a, which does actually work…….

  8. Straightforward and enjoyable offering from Giovanni this morning, thanks to him and DT for a very amusing review.

  9. Plain sailing except for 13A. I arrived at the correct solution by thinking that the Bristol Lady could be a local term for the Clifton suspension bridge which is a toll bridge. Not altogether satisfatory reasoning, I know, but it worked for me! Thanks to DT for the unravelling and to Giovanni, despite that particular clue.

  10. I thought this was very difficult. 3* plus quite a bit for difficulty and 2-3* for enjoyment.
    I was defeated by 1d and the first word of 13a
    I either had a bad attack of dimness or was on completely the wrong wave length today – haven’t quite decided which yet – maybe a combination of the two.
    I liked 10a and 19 and 21d. No real favourite today.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

    1. I feel even more extreme about this than you, Kath. I thought it was tough and very dull. I am going for 4*/2*. Disappointing http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

      Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

        1. Good for you! A bit of politeness never hurt :smile:

          On that note, I should add that the one redeeming feature for me today was 10a, which I thought was superb.

      1. I’m with you RD. It’s proving a real struggle for me and certainly not much fun. I will resume the battle later on this evening. One of the toughest I can remember for ages.

        1. Thanks for your comment, Angel.

          One of the (very many!) great things about this wonderful blog is finding you are not alone when you are having a struggle with a crossword.

          1. I’ve chucked my hand in – not worth the aggro. Sorry Giovanni but couldn’t get in tune with you today and couldn’t even fathom several of DT’s hints – thanks all the same for your help. Hope for better things tomorrow. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  11. Another really difficult puzzle. We got about two answers and then had to resort to the hints to finish. Didn’t like 13 across, and I’m afraid that I think the answer to 18 down just seems wrong somehow. Thank you to DT for his much needed hints, & to the setter who is much to clever for me.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  12. At least this was more straightforward than yesterday’s puzzle which had me foxed. Worked out 13a from the letters but I had not heard that expression before. Liked the brevity and neatness of 10a – **/***

  13. Usual cognitive fare from the Don but eminently doable I thought art from the horrendous top left corner. 2d is a new word to me and still don’t get 13a, where does the lady come in or is that just to give the spelling for toll. Whatever, not my favourite clue. Apart from that very enjoyable, Thx to all concerned.
    PS sorry Kath that I didn’t reply to you yesterday, too busy trying to recover from the crossword which I failed at miserably as usual from that setter.

    1. Oh dear – really sorry you didn’t like yesterday’s. On the plus side you could do today’s and I had a big battle. As someone says most weeks, how different we all are. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  14. You weren’t the only one to fail, Brian ! Though lately I had been enjoying them a lot.
    Today’s offering seemed very difficult at first, getting only the crocus to start.I googled “bristol lady ” to find it is rhyming slang for pistol and wasted some time trying to find a gun or gun slinger to fit.Lots of likes , 1a stands out.
    Thanks to the don and DT.

    1. In desperation I looked up Bristol in the BRB and found that it’s Cockney rhyming slang for something totally different but equally unhelpful!

      1. I did the same Kath. Then I ended up with wool gatherer which could possibly only describe myself.

        1. I ended up with nothing for the first word of 13a. I looked up wool gatherer too in case it was one of the many expressions that I had always misunderstood.

  15. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, I was, like most others, held up in the NW corner. I had wool for the first word of 13a, needed the hint for 11a and had to look up 1d. which I would never have got in a million years. Favourites were 7&19d. Was 4*/4* for me. Dull and cloudy in Central London.

  16. Hmm, 2d has been added to my list of new words and 13a just annoyed me when I eventually got it, having detoured down the pistol and wool paths.
    Enjoyed the rest of it though and rather liked 1d. 3*/2* overall for me today.
    Thanks setter and DT for the review.

  17. Didn’t enjoy the Don’s offering today which was a surprise, as he is my favourite compiler. It was pretty straightforward, but lacked a bit of humour. **/** for me today.

    Thanks to the Don for the puzzle and to DT for the review (only needed the parsing of 1d to confirm my answer)http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  18. Struggled somewhat with the puzzle today. Did not get 13a and had scalper for 18d as in someone who scalps tickets. We only have card sharks here not sharpers so I needed the explanation. I’m sure I’ve seen and been defeated by that expression before!
    On the plus side our snow is finally melting and the sun is shining today.
    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  19. Very difficult again today, but this time I couldn’t finish and had to resort to hints for some of the top left-hand side. Pretty silly considering I had heard of 2d, should have got that. I think 13a is another insider clue. Favourite has to be 10a, very clever. Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for essential help.

  20. 13A – Bathonian-born tried to remember all the good reasons my mother gave me for never, ever going to Bristol! I see it now but this was far too arcane … All others were easy. Will start calling current partner 3D very soon … or am I opening a box too far? Thanks DT for explaining 13A.

  21. Just could not get into this offering. I would rate this a 4*/2* I needed the hints to complete. Thanks to Deep Threat for the review. Well this me signing off for a short while. Off to France, no crosswords but plenty of cheeky red!

  22. Where’s Mary got to? I remember her saying that she wouldn’t be around because they had visitors but that seems like ages ago – if we’d had visitors for that long murder would have been committed – or I’d have left home!

    1. They had to have their dog put to sleep so I would imagine she isn’t feeling very crosswordy at the moment.

      1. Oh – poor Mary. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gifI know that she loved her dog as much as we love ours.
        If you are in touch with her, Sue, please tell her that I’m thinking of her.

      2. Oh dear, how very, very sad. If Mary is looking in, please know I am so, so sorry http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_heart.giffor you. God speed.

  23. It seems that we were not the only ones searching with google for Bristol Ladies, Thought they might be like Essex girls, but from a different area. Eventually we did twig the hidden word, and had some interesting reading along the way. We enjoyed the puzzle, about the right difficulty level for a Friday and a good range of clue types.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  24. Found this horrible today but missed most this week due to work! Miss a few days and the mind frame is lost!! ***/*** is my score for today. Is it just me or do they get harder as week progresses??!!

  25. I found this tougher than today’s Toughie. I usually get on well with Giovanni, but on this occasion we’re on different wavelengths. I needed 3 of DT’s excellent clues to complete the NW corner. But what the hell – l enjoyed trying.

  26. Struggled massively with this one. ****/* for me.

    As well as all the previously mentioned clues, I struggled with 6d as I’d never considered a clablegram to be urgent.

  27. I was stuck on MARTYR (Martin and Tyrone) instead of VICTIM!!
    Great site

    1. could just as easily been Tosca and Sergio….. really thought this crossword had too many in-jokes as any letter in the alphabet can stand alone by his reckoning. H = hard N=any number N = no I guess, like an Essex beef steak it was ” a bit of an effer” …

  28. no chance with this one!! Thought it was “where a stale cow smells from”……

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