DT 27488 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27488

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27488

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a bright morning following overnight showers. Gazza has kindly agreed to swap with me, since I’m unavailable on Friday this week and next.

I found this quite tricky in places, with 14d the last one in.

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           Cave-dweller having year in grotto — led out (10)
{ TROGLODYTE } Anagram (out) of GROTTO LED, with Year inserted.

6a           Lincoln, familiarly and primarily a murder victim (4)
{ ABEL } The first murder victim recorded in the Old Testament is made up of the shortened form of President Lincoln’s first name, and the first letter of his surname.

9a           Closely watch board with regard to covering bills (4,4,2)
{ KEEP TABS ON } Another word for board, as in ‘bed and board’, and a preposition meaning ‘with regard to’, placed either side of the sort of bills you might run up in a bar.

10a         Only minutes before (4)
{ MERE } An abbreviation for Minutes followed by a poetic word for before.

12a         Start of hymn tune, it grows on one (4)
{ HAIR } The first letter of Hymn followed by a tune.

13a         A number with food in bag leaving Cape Cod resort (9)
{ NANTUCKET } A (from the clue), Number, and a schoolboy term for food, all inside a verb meaning to bag or catch.

15a         Grace ill? Could be hypersensitive (8)
{ ALLERGIC } Anagram (could be) of GRACE ILL.

16a         Move at home to intervene (4,2)
{ STEP IN } One move in a dance, followed by a word for ‘at home’.

18a         Almost transfix a creature with horns (6)
{ IMPALA } Remove the final letter from a word for transfix, and add A (from the clue).

20a         Carnivore‘s beginning to poke in ground (8)
{ TERRAPIN } Put the first letter of Poke inside a word for ground, to get an aquatic reptile.

23a         One travelling from Earth to Saturn, possibly around end of era (9)
{ ASTRONAUT } Anagram (possibly) of TO SATURN, wrapped around the last letter of erA.

24a         Dog food (4)
{ CHOW } Double definition: a blue-tongued dog; and an informal word for food.

26a         Took advantage of American edition (4)
{ USED } Put together abbreviations for American and edition.

27a         Lacking up-to-date information from contact (3,2,5)
{ OUT OF TOUCH } Another way of saying ‘from’ and a word for physical contact.

28a         Mount attending Newmarket — name? (4)
{ ETNA } Hidden (attending) in the clue.

29a         Technocrat ordered waterproof item of clothing (6,4)
{ TRENCH COAT } Anagram (ordered) of TECHNOCRAT.


1d and 25d       What may be said after hit for pop band? (4,4)
{ TAKE THAT } A boy band from the 1990s still active today is also the sort of expression a cartoon hero might use after knocking down the villain.

2d           Comprehensive cover? (7)
{ OVERALL } Cryptic definition of an item of clothing which protects everything.

3d           C.S. Lewis, perhaps, or his leading character? (8,4)
{ LITERARY LION } A cryptic reference to the leading character in the Narnia novels of C S Lewis is also a description of the author’s status.

4d           Refined young socialite coming out very happily (8)
{ DEBONAIR } A young lady presented at Court in former times, followed by an expression (2,3) meaning very happily.

5d           Difficult, with empty tummy, consuming cornet? (6)
{ THORNY } The first and last letters of TummY placed either side of a brass instrument.

7d           Finish ahead following run of successful pots (5,2)
{ BREAK UP } The term for a succession of pots in one turn at snooker, followed by a word for ahead or winning, giving to finish a school term or a relationship

8d           Tune in late to get broadcast officer‘s given (10)
{ LIEUTENANT } Anagram (to get broadcast) of TUNE IN LATE.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

11d         A sweet Bordeaux, initially, say, then whisky (12)
{ BUTTERSCOTCH } Put together the first letter of Bordeaux, a word for say, and a variety of whisky.

14d         To lampoon dude seen in one ancient city is in keeping (10)
{ CARICATURE } Put an alternative slang term for a dude or man between the Roman numeral for one and the usual ancient city, then put the result inside a word for keeping.

17d         Imprisoned in small hospital unit, suffering from depression (4,4)
{ SENT DOWN } Small and the usual hospital department, followed by a description of someone feeling depressed.

19d         Lingo used by northern model (7)
{ PATTERN } The spiel of a salesman followed by Northern.

21d         Disgraced MP may make up for way of working (7)
{ PROFUMO } Anagram (may make) of UP FOR, followed by the abbreviation for the Latin expression meaning ‘way of working’, giving an MP who resigned in disgrace in 1963.

22d         Rattle around most of Pacific island in car (6)
{ JAGUAR } Remove the final M from a Pacific island and put it inside a verb for rattle or shake, to get a famous British car marque.

25d         See 1 Down

The Quick Crossword pun { POOR }{ TRADE } = { PORTRAYED }

46 comments on “DT 27488

  1. Have to leap in quick as have an appointment in Bristol (more later). Really enjoyable today with some very easy clues and some very tricksy ones too. Favourite today was 22D – found myself listing Pacific Islands for ages then remembered I’ve got Pearl Harbour recorded from the other week

  2. I agree with DT’s rating of 3*/3* and with Skempie’s comment that this was a really enjoyable puzzle with clues of mixed difficulty.

    3d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to DT.

  3. Interesting! Crosswords are like beauty, very much in the eye of the beholder . Yesterday’s I found very tricksy but today’s was delightful. Favourite clue was 11d which I thought very clever. For me **/****
    Thx to all.

  4. Lovely puzzle today that whiled away the time while my car was having its MOT – it passed! Appropriately, 22d was last one in and my favourite today. 2*/3* for me
    Thanks to DT and the setter

  5. Thoroughly enjoyed this one. As has been said already, a nice mix of easy and not-so-easy clues. I liked 23a & 13a in particular.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and DT.

  6. Fairly straight forward & no assistance required today.I never realised 20A were carnivores, something new learnt for me.My favourite has to be 11D many thanks to the setter & DT for the review

    1. I didn’t know that either. Not that I spend much of my life thinking about them. What do they eat anyway? Is it krill?

      1. They eat fruit, vegetables, grass, fish, snails, worms, insects. etc. They are actually omnivores rather than carnivores, but, even given my usual penchant for pedantry, I won’t castigate today’s setter about his/her definition for 20a.

  7. I completed this faster than any I can remember, and enjoyed most of the answers along the way.

    As always I think a lot if this is just luck, being on the right wavelength and the order in which you tackle the clues.

    Favourite was 3d. Also fun were 1d and 22d.
    Thx to setter.

  8. I agree with 3* difficulty and enjoyment.
    I started off really well and whizzed through not all but quite a lot of the across clues – thought it was going to be a doddle – changed my mind.
    Untangling 13a and 14d took ages. I spent a very long time trying to justify “tricky” for 5d – stupid! 22d was my last one. I’d never have imagined that a terrapin was a carnivore.
    I liked 6 and 18a and 1/25d. My favourite was either 3 or 11d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and Deep Threat.

  9. No internet problems today but a cat that wants feeding all the time and isn’t eating whatever we put out for it. Apparantly I am no longer allowed to sleep after 5.30am either. I rattled through this but was held up by the last four or five and lost my concentration whilst Saint Sharon wittered away for a while and Charlie the cat pestered me. Just finished the last two and cannot see what held me up. Phil Beer is playing my pub tonight, should I stay and listen or go to the crib league pairs finals night. Crap beer at the crib, great beer here. No contest. Oh I might see some of you tomorrow in Wapping.

  10. This didn’t feel easy but when I looked at the clock I was surprised to see that I almost beat my record time. 22d was last in and I was equally surprised by the carnivore classification.
    Thanks setter and DT for the review.

  11. Almost completed what I thought was DT 24488 – decided it was really tricky… Till I realised that it was the Toughie that I had been working on! The clip of my board was hiding the top. As it happens today’s puzzle was indeed tricky and I needed BD’s hints to finish 17,19 and 22d. For me 3*/3* My favourite was 3d. Did not know that terrapins were carnivores!
    Thanks to Mr Ron and of course to DT!

  12. 2.5*/3* for me. I found this reasonably straightforward, once I twigged that 4d wasn’t “debutant” and 5d wasn’t “tricky”. Thx to setter, reviewer and all those who have left comments.

  13. Straightforward solve today.

    Faves : 13a, 18a, 3d & 11d.

    Blue sky with a few fluffy clouds but still northerly wind so Duffel Coat necessary!

    Dinner tonight is a fillet of biological salmon plus beans and frites so still on vin blanc but I got in six bottles of red for other days.

  14. Enjoyed today’s puzzle and completed it much quicker than normal for me. Would be a **/**** .Thanks to setter and DT whose hints I didn’t need today.

  15. I really had no problem with this puzzle, though confess having to look up the spelling of 1a. I wonder how many could spell it without looking? I needed the hints for the why of 7d, knowing nothing of snooker. Lots of honourable mentions but favourite has to be 3d. Thanks to setter and DT for hints.

    Went to the liquor store to refuel yesterday, my usual four botts of 1.75l Famous Grouse. The cashier helped me to my car, little old lady and all that, and as I was getting in the car he said “see you in a month!” I had no idea they were 9a on me.

    1. Ha ha! We pull up at the drive-in and they have our scotch ready before they open the window!

  16. I really enjoyed this, and thought there were many lovely clues. 3d is my fave, but I also particularly liked 20a, 21d and 22d, and also 11d and 14d.

    I completed this without needing any of Deep Threat’s excellent hints. On reading through the review, I see I made one mistake. In 7d I mixed up the definition and the indicator. Otherwise, no problems. **/*** for me.

    Thanks and appreciation to the setter and to Deep Threat. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    p.s. Mr Catnap always does the Quickies. He thinks today’s pun is made up of of three words. Seems it could be two words or three…http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  17. Just had a look at the quickie pun – I can’t see how 8a fits at all. We do crosswords in the paper – if the pun is more than the first two across clues they are in italics and they aren’t today.

    1. A pronunciation trick, maybe! Try reading the third word as sounding like ‘cher’. Anyway, seems like it is only a two word pun, so many thanks for that, Kath.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_biggrin.gif

  18. Like most people , I thought this was going to be a whiz until I got to the tricky ones.11d was my favourite, but there were lots of good clues.Thanks to the setter and DT.
    It’s funny that terrapins are carnivores as they always seem to have lettice in their enclosures. I think they are also carriers of salmonella or some other infectious disease.

  19. Interesting to have both jaguar and terrapin in the same puzzle and note which one is defined as a carnivore. Obviously a setter with a good sense of humour. An enjoyable puzzle to solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and DT.

  20. Great challenge last in 14d. 23a was very nicely crafted. Many thanks to The Setter and for the review.First in was 29a – started bottom to top today. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  21. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, which I found quite humorous in places. Was quite tricky. Just got stuck on 22d, and needed some electronic help. Favourite was 13a, because there was a track by Mountain back in the day called Nantucket Sleighride, which was the only reason I got it. Was 3*/3* for me. Looks like we’re set for another deluge in Central Londo.

    1. The phrase Nantucket Sleighride goes back to whaling times. When a whale was spotted, the whalers would be launch a rowing boat (called a whaler surprisingly) 27ft long and built of very heavy wood (we used to sail these when I was at school), they would then row up fairly close to the whale and throw a harpoon into it. This would not kill the whale, but rather would cause it to try to escape. The harpoon would be attached to the boat and when the rope had all been played out, the boat would take off like a rocket (this was the sleighride). Because the boat was so buoyant, the whale would be unable to dive very deep (just as far as the the rope was long) and because of the weight of the boat (and all the seamen in the boat), the whale would tire itself out fairy rapidly and at this point the boat would pull along side and kill the whale with lances (often by piercing its lungs). The whale would then be towed back to the mother ship where it was chopped up and boiled down for the oil etc.

      1. Thank you skempie. I’m on Moby Dick’s side, especially when it comes to lungs.

      2. That was interesting, but I, too, am on Moby Dick’s side. Amazing how cruel normal life could be in the past, not sure we’ve progressed too much.

      3. Thanks Skempie, that’s a really interesting piece of history. I wish Whaling was banned altogether.

  22. Yet more fun – thanks Mr. Ron and also Deep Threat for hints to couple of 4-letter words and indeed the Prokoviev recording. Can’t believe I missed hidden word indicator for 28a (having lived near Newmarket for many years was looking for something horsey!) and second part of 3d didn’t dawn on me. 13a and 11d joint favs. **/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  23. Yes, that was fun. I usually enjoy this setter’s output, and this was no exception. Reasonably straightforward, so 2*/4* for me, and 11d was my pick of the clues. Thanks to Mr Ron, and to DT for the review and hints.

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