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DT 27473

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27473

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on an overcast morning.

The NE corner of today’s puzzle from Giovanni held me up a little, hence the *** marking.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. References to ‘the usual’ are to 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.


9a           Letting learner relax (5)
{ LEASE } The letter indicating a learner driver, followed by a verb for relax.

10a         Recalling a beating (5-4)
{ GOING-OVER } Double definition: the second is a figure of speech, as I ‘He gave me a right ***** ****.

11a         Girl given a drink — stony one brought to life (7)
{ GALATEA } A word for girl followed by A (from the clue) and a hot drink, producing Pygmalion’s girlfriend.

12a         One against joining companion for a drink (7)
{ CHIANTI } Someone who’s not pro follows a Companion of Honour.

13a         Poet‘s name retained by boyfriend? (5)
{ DANTE } Name inside a word for someone you go out with.

14a         Boss that needs others to give a hand? (3,6)
{ TOP BANANA } An informal term for a boss. If there were a bunch of these, you might call it a hand.

16a         One of the houses lit up at night (4,2,3,6)
{ SIGN OF THE ZODIAC } Cryptic definition of one of the groups of stars seen in the night sky.

19a         Improving he-men don’t spread out (2,3,4)
{ ON THE MEND } Anagram (spread out) of HE MEN DON’T.

21a         Little folk sheltering in chapel vestry (5)
{ ELVES } Hidden (sheltering) in the clue.

23a         Food snack I love cold for eating (7)
{ TAPIOCA } A Spanish snack, with I (from the clue), the letter which looks like a love score at tennis, and Cold inside it. Mrs DT used to call this ‘frog spawn’ when it was served at school dinners!

25a         Fail to get into competition photograph (5-2)
{ CLOSE-UP } What you do if you fail to win, placed inside a knockout sports competition.

27a         Bridge-crosser providing protection (9)
{ NOSEPIECE } A cryptic definition of a piece of armour covering the bridge of the nose.

28a         Row in a place where guns are used (5)
{ RANGE } Double definition, the second being a practice ground for shooting.


1d           Spell of hard work finally produces record (4)
{ SLOG } The last letter (finally) of produces followed by a record of events on board ship.

2d           Visit everyone in confidence shortly (4,2)
{ CALL ON } A word for everyone inside a short form of confidence.

3d           Game which could yield gold and amount of money, we hear? (10)
{ METTLESOME } ‘Game’ here means courageous. Put together homophones (we hear) of the substance of which gold is an example, and of a word for an amount of money.

4d           Dismayed Arab commander, one of the very good people (6)
{ AGHAST } An Arab commander followed by an abbreviation for a good, holy person.

5d           I put in record request — a disregarded follower (8)
{ DISCIPLE } Put I (from the clue) between a record or CD and a request or entreaty with the A removed.

6d           Something fruity in jug — lime? (4)
{ UGLI } Hidden in the clue.

7d           Angel is v. perverse, becoming a bad character (8)
{ SVENGALI } The one who exercised control over Trilby is an anagram (perverse) of ANGELIS V.

8d           Men having social gatherings outside home? There must be rules (10)
{ ORDINANCES } The usual military men who are not officers, followed by social musical gatherings wrapped around a word for ‘at home’.

13d         Criticise the substance, being unhappy (10)
{ DISCONTENT } A slang word for criticise followed by the substance of a piece of writing.

15d         Chess player’s hand moves here without deception (5-5)
{ ABOVE-BOARD } A phrase meaning that nothing is hidden also describes where a chess player’s hand has to be to pick up one of the pieces.

17d         Get a new job as agricultural supporter? (8)
{ GATEPOST } Anagram (new) of GET A, followed by a job or situation.

18d         Youngster upsetting a gent ‘ere (8)
{ TEENAGER } Anagram (upsetting) of A GENT ‘ERE.

20d         Tube from what we hear must be avoided (6)
{ DUCKED } A homophone (we hear) of a type of tube.

22d         Capital city in which Queen turns up after six (6)
{ VIENNA } The Roman numeral for six followed by the reversal (turns up) of the last Stuart queen.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

24d         After successive failures with bat note apology (4)
{ OOPS } Two instances of the letter which looks like a duck at cricket, followed by a note attached to the end of a letter, giving an informal word of apology.

26d         Noble and quiet always (4)
{ PEER } The musical symbol for quiet followed by a poetic word for always.

The Quick Crossword pun { BODE }{ HERRICK } = { BO DEREK }

58 comments on “DT 27473

  1. I am finding that I have to sign in every time that I want to open the crossword. Does anybody know whether this is another ‘horlicks’ by the Telegraph following the last cock-up for which, incidentally, I have not received my Amazon code yet.
    I am also finding that I have to fill in my name and e.mail on this page each time I start comments. Is this just me or is it a general problem

    1. On this page I have no problem. I don’t know about the Telegraph site as I prefer the paper version.

      1. Thanks bifield, I must be doing something wrong on the page. I, too, prefer the paper version but they are very expensive where I live

        1. I have just tried logging into the Telegraph site (from the UK) and had no problems, straight in.

          1. It works OK for us. We use Google Chrome and it remembers our email and password so we just need to click ‘log in’ to access the puzzles.

    2. I had that a while ago, the problem with chrome not remembering passwords and the like. The various help groups all seem to have q&A’s about it but none of the fixes they suggest work for me . I installed an app to get round the problem. I’ll try top find it and let you know its name

    3. Same here.
      My PC and iPad won’t retain my E-mail and password.
      DT and IT just don’t go together.
      Still, having their Puzzle Site is a blessing I suppose.

  2. A fine puzzle from the Don today. The SW corner held me up a bit but otherwise straightforward. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review.

  3. 3d was the clue that gave us most trouble. We did get it eventually with a bit of electronic assistance. A good puzzle with some clever mis-directions, 27a for example. A good level of difficulty for a Friday (ANZAC Day over here) and good fun.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  4. I would rate this higher than a *** star but others will probaly disagree.there were some stand out clues & thought 14A was cute, as with 27A.24A was so simple yet brilliant.Many thanks to DT for an excellent review.Still raining in Southampton. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  5. Hi DT, I think you may have omitted “one (I)” from the explanation of 12a.
    Relatively straightforward today, although less solved at first pass than usual. Many thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  6. A couple that required a little thought to finish off. Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

    The toughie today is very good, and not too tricky by Friday standards.

  7. Relatively unexciting fare for a Friday but at least it was obscurity free. Like Bifield, I too got held up a bit in the SW corner taking me overall somewhere between 2* & 3* time. So I’ll plump for 2.5* for difficulty and the same for enjoyment.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    1. If you want obscurity, try 14d in the Quickie! 3 a was pretty obscure too, at least for mehttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  8. First impression was rather daunting but in fact it all soon began to fall into line and I managed to complete without resorting to hints. IMHO no really outstanding clues but nevertheless thank you Giovanni for some stimulating food for thought and Deep Threat for explanations. ***/*** http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  9. Daunted by first run through but finally worked my way clockwise from NW corner. I liked 14a and 8d. Struggled for too long with 20d. A real doh! moment.
    Thanks to DG and DT.

  10. Maybe just me then? I found this quite tricky – nearer 4* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    Even with alternate letters I didn’t get 27a – dim! The other two that gave me a headache were 3 and 24d but did those eventually.
    When I first started doing cryptic crosswords I’d never heard the 14a expression and I always forget it.
    I’m still dithering about whether I really like or really don’t like 16a.
    We used to call 23a “frog spawn” at school too. The other one, semolina, was called “slime”.
    I liked 10 and 14a and 6d. My favourite, and last apart from the one I couldn’t do at all, was 24d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.
    Nearly 1/2″ of rain since 8.00am and still doing ithttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gifbut I’m smug as I cut the grass yesterday and still have yesterday’s Toughie to try.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    1. No, not just you Kath ! I found it difficult to get started, made slow progress and then took ages to get 3d and 11a to finish. With every extra hour that passes, I get more frustrated at my inability to finish a puzzle. ( It has been a bad week ! ) The enjoyment level drops as well and I am really fed up when I finish it ! A trip round the supermarket with Mrs SW didn’t help either. Thank you DT for your review and hints – which I needed to confirm some of my answers – 13d in particular.

    2. We found today’s tricky too, and had to resort to the hints. Need to do a bit more lateral thinking methinks. Miserable day here on the east coast, cold, wet and foggy. More like January than late April. Just when all the cherry blossom has come out too. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    3. Oh good – it’s always nice to have some company – thanks to all.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif
      Still “monsooning” in Oxford – nearer 3/4″ now – hasn’t stopped since 8.00am.

  11. Thanks to everyone re the online DT Crossword, I’ve decided to give it another go.

    Like yesterday I got off to a good start then hit a blank. My biggest stumbling block seems to be how I perceive a word to mean e.g. When I see bridge I think it’s the game. I need to be more open minded I think.

    Nevertheless I enjoy getting there and at least I have no moles, muntjacs or dastardly meeces to contend with

    1. Keep going and you’ll find a setter who is on your wavelength. Yesterday and today were particularly hard, just read the comments from the old hands! Don’t get discouraged.

  12. Very typically Giovanni and none the worse for being so, very enjoyable without stretching the little grey cells overmuch. Thanks to the Don and to DT for a super review.

  13. Very enjoyable today with some subtle mis- directions . Put in the wrong poet , Donne , although realised it did not fit in with the clue . Thanks to the setter and the “hinterland” once again . Rain and cold in South Wales , roll on Summer .
    DT on iPad much better now and much cheaper than paper version especially as no newsagent close to home .

    1. Glad it wasn’t just me who thought Donne was the poet – I was waiting for the hints to find the rationale even though I thought I must be wrong. 27a was an easy one being a former Dark Age re-enactor! ***/**** today. Many thanks to setter and reviewer.

  14. I found it hard to get going but enjoyed it more as I went along. Memory helped ,as in16a and 8d.I really loved 20d and 24d amoung others.Thanks to the Don and DT for some explanations.
    Beautiful spring day here , sunshine ,birdsong,gentle breezes and cherry blossom (still).

  15. A slow start today. 3D was last but one in and–of all the clues to have trouble with–20D escaped me until the bitter end but I twigged it eventually. Loved 24D. Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  16. Finished at last. 4d was last one mainly because I had a duh moment and spelt 11a incorrectly, I took the spelling from an internet picture.

    I liked 14a. a phrase I’ve not heard for a long time.

    Thank you DT and setter.

  17. Quite tricky, but a fair challenge. I was “done” by 13a (Donne instead of Dante).3.5*/4* for me.Thx to all.

  18. Overall an excellent offering from The Master. Learnt today that a Galatea was a statue (I always thought it was a type of cloth!) and that Dante was a poet rather than a novelist (I had Donne and could not work our the boyfriend bit).
    Many Thx to the Don for restoring my confidence after yesterdays failure.
    Thx to DT for the hint and explanation for 13a.

  19. Maybe my crosswording biorhythms were down today because I found this offering from The Don a right rascal.

    Once mastered, I slumped back in my chair as if I’d gone the distance with Rocky Marciano.

    Good luck to Giovanni for putting me firmly in my place.

  20. Today was a slow start but got better when I started to get some letters in. At least it was streets ahead of yesterday’s. I had trouble with 27a as the word I thought it should be, gave me “o-p-” for 24d, which is a very strange word, but when it dawned, I realised that I would have to choose it for my favourite. When I see “bat”, cricket does not immediately spring to mind. I also liked 14a, so, honourable mention for that.

    Thank you setter and DT for review, not needed today but entertaining nevertheless.


  21. First read through I thought “oh dear” but then things started to fall into place nicely ,but to finish I needed the hint for 11a and with that I saw 3d. Lovely puzzle and loved 14a. Thanks to Giovanni & DT.

  22. Has Mary legged it again and, if so, did we know that she was going?
    Still raining – cooped up and fed-up now.
    What shall I do with unidentified “purple splodge” in freezer? Spiced red cabbage crumble doesn’t appeal but roast pork with blackberry and apple doesn’t sound any better. Oh dear – must try harder with labelling . . .

    1. That was funny! I wish you could send some of that rain here, dry, dry, dry, and having to water every day because of the heat. We had a lovely monsoon the other day and I was so hopeful that our wet season was starting.

  23. You know when you just know that you would never have figured it out for yourself? 3D was that for me today. ( I got bogged down with wanting yield to be ‘net’.)

    Otherwise a nice puzzle at the end of the day’s work.

    Friday night glass of wine to celebrate.

    Happy weekend!

  24. The NW corner caused problems for me but, otherwise, enjoyable fare. Many thanks to the Don and ,of course, Deep Threat without whose help I would not have finished

  25. Tough for me today and a bit worrying… I had to resort to DT’s hints – many thanks for those. Of late had to abandon solving cryptic puzzles as other pressing tasks were awaiting me. Still tomorrow is another day and I will not be put off by one difficult puzzle. Having a Kir to cheer me up! So this was Giovanni’s Friday offering, out of my league I wonder…

    1. Do not give up, see what I said to Carrie above. Look at all the old hands who found this hard. Many loved yesterday’s puzzle, but I had to give up.

    2. I agree with Merusa – cheer up and don’t worry – tomorrow is definitely another day. I’m a relatively old hand (although quite a novice compared to some) and I thought this was tricky – I often find Fridays quite difficult.

  26. The most appalling bilge again. Contrived wordplay mixed with obscurity. I have said before I appreciate that some people like this and I respect that but this is getting beyond a joke. Even when I can figure out the answers more often than not it is with a feeling of, surely not rather than anything else. I just find this ugly.

    1. Changing your alias to one that seems, in the circumstances, to be more appropriate has pushed your comment into moderation.

      Negative criticism should be supported by example(s) otherwise it becomes extremely tiresome.

    2. Why bother than? I’m sure there must be other crosswords out there more to your taste.

    3. I love the challenge but don’t have the time. I do not like criticisism of the setters (or the crossword editors) I have puzzles from yonks ago unfinished but I still have a look and a determination to solve without aid. I have not had any time on this one today but I can see it as a challenge and therefore enjoyable. “The most appalling bilge again” is an horrid and spiteful comment. . I was told as a child the same thing I told my children. Before you open your mouth to speak ask yourself this of what you are about to say. Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary? If the answer to any one of those questions is “No” then do not speak. Your post fails on all three counts and therefore should not have been posted.

      1. Or as we would say up north – ‘if tha can’t find summat nice to say then best keep thi gob shut.’

    4. A lot of people enjoy the challenges that you call bilge, so should they be denied the entertainment because you could not solve it? There are many puzzles that I enjoy, why deny the enjoyment to others who are cleverer than I am.

  27. I was halfway through this one (and thinking it was 2* at best) when l started to hit some pretty tough clues. Got there in the end, but overall l see it as 3.5*/3*. 23a or 14a – which made me smile – tied for favouritism. Thanks to Giovanni, and DT for the review.

  28. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, just needed a bit of electronic help on 3d. Some clues really made me think, most entertaining. Favourite was 14a. Late commenting due to organising the Squash Tournament.

  29. Didn’t enjoy this at all. Really struggled with the NW corner. Couldn’t get away from golems for 11a and don’t know the relevant story. Too many that we’re too tenuous for my liking, although I can see they weren’t as unfair as I first thought from the hints eg 12a, 14a, (hand aspect) 16 (stars don’t light up at night, they shine all the time, we just can’t see them), 17d (nothing specifically agricultural about gates) 25a, etc. I thought only 15 d was up to DG standard. After Thursday’s, this is not making for a happy weekend! Thanks again for the enlightenment.

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