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DT 27485

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27485

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where the shower clouds are building up.

I found today’s Giovanni a straightforward solve, comfortably within ** time and with only a couple of slightly unusual words.

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.


1a           Human affairs not entirely wonderful, I feel (4)
{ LIFE } Hidden (not entirely) in the clue.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

3a           Was soft stuff in chopped tree recyclable material? (5,5)
{ WASTE PAPER } Put together WAS (from the clue) and the soft stuff you might feed to a baby inside an anagram (chopped) of TREE.

9a           Nothing alive ultimately in river (4)
{ NILE } The word most commonly used to denote a zero score at football, followed by the last letter of alivE, leading to a long river in Africa.

10a         Distressed but unbowed, we hear? (10)
{ STRAITENED } A word often seen in conjunction with ‘circumstances’ which means distressed or reduced, and sounds like (we hear) a word meaning unbowed or unbent.

11a         Little animal in rubbish fire destroyed (7)
{ ROTIFER } A word for rubbish, followed by an anagram (destroyed) of FIRE, to give a minute aquatic animal whose rings of waving cilia suggest a rotating wheel (it says in the BRB).

13a         Answer, after bit of hard work, is found in persuasive words? (7)
{ SLOGANS } Hard work or toil, followed by an abbreviated form of answer.

14a         Popular company stars, offering facilities for sick people (11)
{ INFIRMARIES } Put together a two-letter word for popular, a company or partnership, and a sign of the Zodiac.

18a         Member of extended family could employ wiliness and art (6-2-3)
{ SISTER-IN-LAW } Anagram (could employ) of WILINESS and ART.

21a         State that sounds empty when it’s been reduced! (7)
{ MONTANA } A US state whose two-letter abbreviation sounds like ‘empty’.

22a         Got one’s teeth into some minor role (3-4)
{ BIT-PART } Sounds like ‘got one’s teeth into’ and ‘some’ (as in ‘not all’).

23a         Spectator beginning to engage you with news — it’s awful! (10)
{ EYEWITNESS } The first letter of Engage, an archaic form of ‘you’, and an anagram (awful) of NEWS IT’S.

24a         Rider on horseback edges off to get close (4)
{ NIGH } Remove the first and last letters (edges off) from a word describing an armoured man on horseback.

25a         Row at home with new husband making a mess? (6,4)
{ DINING ROOM } A loud noise or row, followed by a word meaning ‘at home’ and a bride’s new husband.

26a         Poor area surrounded by soldiers (4)
{ MEAN } An abbreviation for Area inside how an officer might refer to the soldiers under his command.


1d           Bird to alight on bar (8)
{ LANDRAIL } To alight from a ship or plane, followed by a bar you might hold on to, giving another name for a corncrake.

2d           Endlessly deceptive over time, a very loud character in plays (8)
{ FALSTAFF } This character from Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part I, Henry IV Part II,and The Merry Wives of Windsor is made up of a word for deceptive with its final E removed, Time, and the musical symbol for ‘very loud’.

4d           Adjust rope round ‘orse’s neck? (5)
{ ALTER } How someone who pronounces ‘horse’ as ‘’orse’ might pronounce the rope put round its neck to lead it.

5d           New partner is to be revealed (9)
{ TRANSPIRE } Anagram (new) of PARTNER IS.

6d           Pastor at inn, unorthodox as holy figurehead (6,5)
{ PATRON SAINT } Anagram (unorthodox) of PASTOR AT INN, giving someone like George, Patrick, Andrew or David.

7d           Author put in confinement on isle (6)
{ PENMAN } To enclose or put in confinement, followed by an isle in the Irish Sea.

8d           Journalist turning up on street after game is most ill-mannered (6)
{ RUDEST } The initials denoting a 15-a-side game, followed by the reversal (turning up) of the usual journalist, then the abbreviation for street.

12d         Where skilled operators may be told to go to blazes (4,7)
{ FIRE STATION } Cryptic definition of the base for members of one of the emergency services.

15d         Dotty eats in bar — one having orange juice there? (9)
{ ABSTAINER } Anagram (dotty) of EATS IN BAR.

16d         Trifle could make you feel a bit ill (4-4)
{ FLEA-BITE } This term for a very small amount is an anagram (could make you … ill) of FEEL A BIT, and could also describe an attack by a blood-sucking insect.

17d         Arouse lad with introduction of fascinating female (6,2)
{ SWITCH ON } A fascinating or magical female goes inside another word for lad.

19d         Threaten little devil with death (6)
{ IMPEND } A little devil or wicked spirit followed by what death is in relation to life.

20d         One after another said to be a trainee (6)
{ INTERN } This word for a trainee sounds like (said to be) an expression (2,4) meaning ‘one after another’.

22d         Singer wants musical instrument? Not on! (5)
{ BASSO } Remove the final ON from a large woodwind instrument, to get a deep-voiced opera singer.

The Quick Crossword pun { BALLAST }{ RAID } = { BALUSTRADE }


40 comments on “DT 27485

  1. Agree with the ratings no real problems or issues must be tuned in today.Many thanks to the setter & DT for the write up.
    Hope all have a good weekend.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  2. I think putting the word ‘once’ after the ‘you’ in the clue might have been better, as there’s nothing there to indicate that the archaic form of ‘you’ is needed – just my personal opinion.

  3. Not taxing at all today for me. One new word that was easy to work out. 21A was my last one in and raised a big smile. My favorite by a mile. Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review.

  4. As usual, a wonderful offering from the Don although one of his more benign. No big problems for me, but I’m sure there will be comments about 11A – I used to be a geophysicist (which involved some geology) and had never met these little creatures, however I did come across them in a video game based on one of Terry Pratchett’s books.
    Favourite today has to be 21A – wonderfully simple clue which took a bit of thinking about.

  5. Enjoyed solving this puzzle.

    !d was my first in – no real favourites.

    Weather here in NL is still dry but very windy!

  6. 2*/2* for me today for usual Friday fare. A bit dull with a smattering of obscurities.

    Thanks to setter and hinter.

  7. After yesterday’s battle this was a bowl of cherries full of great clues – many thanks Giovanni and indeed DT even if not needed this time. **/****. Extreme NW corner last to go in mainly because 11a was new to me but soon became obvious. 22a and 25a amused. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif25a.

  8. Quick solve today. confused because i had the wrong state abbreviation for 21a! liked 25a for simple elegancy and surface reading. felt a bit cheated that fire in answer for 12d cross-checked with clued fire anagram in 11 across, but quite possibly i should get a life. thanks all, also for the Marvin song!

  9. Just me then? Pig’s ears spring to mind today – I found it really tricky but I’m not sure why now. 4* difficulty and maybe 3* for enjoyment.
    I didn’t help myself by having fire service for 12d – stupid, but it fitted with a couple of answers – unfortunately it screwed up a couple of others.
    I’ve never heard of 11a but that was easy enough to work out and look up.
    I liked 18 and 22a and 15 and 17d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

    1. No, me too! Found it quite tricky and needed some of Deep Threat’s hints to finish the SE corner. Definitely a 4*/3* for me. Liked 25a, very elegant. Never heard of 11a but as you said was easy to work out and check. Many thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

      1. You’re allowed to find a crossword difficult – English isn’t your first language. I don’t have an excuse like that! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

        1. Thanks for making me learn the expression Pig’s ears: just looked it up in my Dictionary of Idioms!

  10. Fairly unexciting, though i did appreciate 22a. On another matter, I used to use the CRUX app on my ipad to import the crossword from the puzzle site. It stopped working when the DT site went down, and emails to both Crux and DT haven’t resolved the issue. Any ideas? Or is there another app out there that might do the same job? Thanks to all.

    1. I use the Stand Alone Inc app – it’s the android version I use but it’s on the apple appstore for £6.99. I’m happy with the android version.

      1. Thanks JonP.I’ll take a look, though I’m a bit reluctant to part with the cash to be honest, having already paid my puzzle membership.

  11. Well that was nice. I don’t always seem to sync with Giovanni’s puzzles but today was good for me. I mean this as a compliment to both setters, but this felt a bit like a slightly tougher Rufus.

    11a was a new word for me and I didn’t help myself with being too quick with the answer to 3a. Unfortunately the buffet is fresh out of TippEx.

    On the train to South Devon for the paper girl’s father’s 90th tomorrow. Shortly to traverse the repaired Dawlish sea wall. Lovely day down here.

    Many thanks to DT and to Giovanni


  12. Thanks to Giovanni and DT, a fairly routine puzzle and a bit on the light side for the Don, also an entertaining review.

  13. A very nice puzzle but I needed hints on the bottom right corner. If 24 across had been clued “close at present in Belfast” I’d have gotten it.Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  14. Not impressed at all with today’s puzzle. 1a, 1d, 13a and 7d were I thought all poor clues. No real favs, all a bit disappointing for the Don.
    Thx to DT for the hints and explanations.

  15. I liked this, though I also found it decidedly tricky Kath. New word in 11a, getable though. Loved 21a but favourite is 25a. Took ages to understand 24a. Thank you Giovanni and DT for review.

    Lost my Chance, 13-year-old lab mix yesterday. I adopted him at 11 years old with health issues, so I had an incredible two years with a dog who had so much love to give. I’ll miss him but Sadie is trying to make up for our loss.


    1. Oh poor you – very sad. How brave of you to have adopted an eleven year old at all, let alone with health issues – I’m sure he had a wonderful last couple of years which would not have been possible but for you. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    2. I know only to well how your feeling at the sad loss of a loyal friend, we went through the same heartache last month with our corgi.

  16. Thank you DG for another enjoyable puzzle with no real problems – as long as one has access to a BRB. We have spent hours looking for a corncrake on Iona – with no success – other than hearing it of course ! I never knew we were looking for a landrail as well. Coincidentally we have seen water rail at Minsmere this week – no doubt it will appear on Springwatch later this month. It is coming from Minsmere for the next 3 years. Many thanks DT for your review and hints. I did need to check that we had 21a correct.

  17. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, which I found quite tricky. Had never heard of 11a, but as others have said, it wasn’t difficult to work out. Favourite was 21a. Last in was 24a. Good drying day in Central London. Was 3*/3* for me.

  18. Not very straightforard for me, I got stuck on 20d as didn’t know the abbreviation for 21a so only ****\** for me today. Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  19. We needed a bit of help from Mrs B for the bird in 1d, but, on the other hand, one of us knew the word in 11a which made it a ‘write-in’. Elegant and enjoyable as ever.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  20. Thanks to Giovanni for a very enjoyable ,not too difficult puzzle although I didn’t know the animal.

  21. 2*/3* for me, and 25a was my favourite clue. The NE corner held me up for a while but l wasn’t really concentrating. I don’t tend to do these until the evening, and then I’m invariably trying to catch up on the news or something at the same time. Still, thanks to Giovanni for giving the little grey cells this gentle work-out, and to DT for the review.

  22. Many thanks to Giovanni. I thought this was a very elegant and entertaining puzzle. Fave was 25a, closely followed by 21a, 2d, 4d, 12d and 22d.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    Rarely for me, I had no problems and have parsed all correctly — and have interpreted the definitions correctly! Really enjoyed Deep Threat’s review, and was intrigued by the picture of 11a. Strange-looking little animal. Many thanks, Deep Threat.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

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