DT 27527 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27527

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27527

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a very wet Friday. Thanks to Gazza for covering last week while I was driving back through France.

A couple of obscurities from the Don this week, plus a glancing reference to Wimbledon.

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           How a pest’s ruined workplace — not nice! (9)
{ SWEATSHOP } Anagram (ruined) of HOW A PEST’S.

9a           Like a ring set aside to be given to a king (7)
{ ANNULAR } A legal term for set aside or cancel followed by A (from the clue) and the Latin abbreviation for king.

10a         Metal casing for river plant that’s productive (7)
{ CROPPER } River inside a common metal, producing a description of a plant, say an apple tree, which produces lots of fruit.

11a         An animal doctor’s taking in duck and a hundred other birds (7)
{ AVOCETS } A phrase (1,3) meaning an animal doctor with the letter that looks like a duck at cricket and the Roman numeral for a hundred inside it.

12a         Felt diets should be changed in one sort of experiment (5,4)
{ FIELD TEST } Anagram (should be changed) of FELT DIETS.

14a         Drink needed by man — one brought out for American (online version only) truck driver (8)
{ TEAMSTER } The archetypal English drink followed by a title given to a man with the I removed (one brought out). Thanks to bob draper for pointing out that the paper version differs from the electronic one.

15a         Hair English girl combed back when going to gym (6)
{ PELAGE } A word which the BRB tells me describes an animal’s coat of fur or wool is made up from the initials of the school torture otherwise known as gym, followed by the reversal (combed back) of English and an alternative spelling of girl.

17a         Row left editor embittered (7)
{ RANKLED } Put together a line or row, Left, and an abbreviation for editor.

20a         Firm in Home Counties needing fix (6)
{ SECURE } The usual crossword rendering of the location of the Home Counties, followed by a fix or remedy.

23a         Nurse of yesteryear drinking coffee, an untidy woman (8)
{ SLATTERN } Put the posh term for coffee with milk in it inside the initials which used to indicate a fully-trained nurse.

25a         What bargain-hunters look for? Very much (1,4,4)
{ A GOOD DEAL } Double definition.

26a         The woman’s quote about one who doesn’t conform (7)
{ HERETIC } The pronoun which means “the woman’s” followed by the reversal (about) of a verb meaning quote.

27a         Cycling is no good in swimwear (7)
{ BIKINIS } Remove the G (no good) from a phrase which means ‘cycling is’.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

28a         Nonsense initially talked before a sort of walk (7)
{ TWADDLE } The first letter (initially) of Talked followed by the sort of walk a penguin does.

29a         Williams who wrote in an American state (9)
{ TENNESSEE } Double definition: the first name of author of A Streetcar Named Desire; and an American state.


2d           Tiny fellow enters Herts town — no peace now (7)
{ WARTIME } The name of the Tiny character in A Christmas Carol inside the town in Hertfordshire where John Gilpin’s ride finished.

3d           In the morning snatch a flask for holy journey (7)
{ AMPULLA } Put together the Latin abbreviation for ‘in the morning’, a word meaning snatch, and A from the clue to get a pilgrim’s flask, or the vessel which holds the holy oils used to anoint the monarch at a Coronation.

4d           Peat’s spread for the planting of small plant (5,3)
{ SWEET PEA } Put a word for small inside an anagram (spread) of PEAT’S.

5d           Relish shown by dad having got out of office (6)
{ PALATE } Another familiar term for dad, followed by a word describing someone who has quit an office, particularly if, like a king, they did so by dying.

6d           Trouble getting revenue, defence ministry admitted (9)
{ INCOMMODE } Put the initials of the Ministry of Defence inside a word for revenue.

7d           Part of Canada, lively area for bishop to live in (7)
{ ALBERTA } A word for lively followed by Area, with the chess notation for a bishop inserted.

8d           Racing driver gaining speed gets completely exhausted (9)
{ PROSTRATE } A former Formula 1 driver, famous for his contests with Ayrton Senna, followed by a word for speed.

13d         Betting is smart when top two cards are held (7)
{ STAKING } The letters denoting the two highest-ranked cards at bridge or poker, placed inside a verb meaning to smart.

15d         Hopes path can be transformed by chemical (9)
{ PHOSPHATE } Anagram (can be transformed) of HOPES PATH.

16d         One is thankful to have it (9)
{ GRATITUDE } Mildly cryptic definition of the state of being thankful.

18d         One saint wandering in a northern land (8)
{ ESTONIAN } Anagram (wandering) of ONE SAINT.

19d         Had Scot separated by barrier finally? (7)
{ HADRIAN } A rather nice all-in-one clue. HAD (from the clue) and a Scottish name, with the final letter of barrieR between them, giving us the name of the Roman emperor who first had the idea of keeping the Scots out of England.

21d         Club assistants (7)
{ CADDIES } These people assist with carrying golf clubs.

22d         Feel strongly, demonstrating a combination of ire and zeal (7)
{ REALIZE } Anagram (combination) of IRE and ZEAL.

24d         One on court maybe making fuss (6)
{ RACKET } Plenty of these (in both senses) can be seen at Wimbledon this week.

The Quick Crossword pun { PENNED }{ ENNIS } = { PENDENNIS }

While exploring the town of Tournus in Burgundy during my holiday, I was pleased to note that one of my fellow bloggers has a street named after him.

Rue Tilsit


Sadly, there didn’t appear to be a Boulevard Dave Legrand or an Avenue Suzanne la Cryptique, but you never know…

72 comments on “DT 27527

  1. Thoroughly enjoyable and not too much of a struggle even with the new word in 15a (Thx BRB). Lots of nice anagrams and my favourite 3d.
    Thx to the a Don and to DT for the hints.

    1. I’m confused! I have a paper The Chambers Crossword Dictionary 3rd Edition which I thought was the BRB. But I can’t find pelage listed either under ‘hair’ r in its own right.

      Many thanks for the hint for 10 …too busy trying to fit the two letter element for a metal around rivers and plants! Took me three goes to get 16d as well. Beatitude….nope….ah must be platitude…nope…..gratitude!

      Thanks to the setter.

      1. Roger

        Please read this Frequently Asked Question:


        In the (real) BRB the entry for “pelage” is “an animal’s coat of hair or wool”

  2. Thought some of the clues/ solutions were quite difficult , mostly in the NW corner ,so a ***/*** for me ,usual ‘toughie ‘ words thrown in by the Don for good measure like 3d and 15a, a Friday tester, which is as it should be.Thanks DT for the pics -remembered Mr Hyland !

  3. 2*/3* for me. I enjoyed three quarters of this, the exception being the NE corner which I found rather tedious. In my opinion 14a has no place in a UK crossword.

    DT, although your hint for 10a makes sense the answer is also a type of manufacturing plant which trims metal components.

    Many thanks to setter and hinter..

    1. The hints are mine rather than Gazza’s this morning.

      Given that the definition in 10a has to be ‘plant that’s productive’, don’t you think it’s rather a stretch to the industrial plant you mention?

      1. It’s strange, DT. As soon as I posted my comment I realised my error and edited it straightaway to change Gazza to DT, which is what I can see now in my original comment. Yet presumably you still saw “Gazza” 15 minutes or so later when you replied.

        I took a 10a to be part of a production line, hence “productive”, but your interpretation works well too.

  4. In all honesty I couldn’t give this less than a 3 for difficulty because I was left with 3 answers I had never heard of, at least not in this form: 3d and 9 and 15a.

    I suppose 3d might be a precursor of ampoule?

    Otherwise we had help from the grid which included many juxtaposed letters in the middle section.

    Much more importantly, did the seedlings survive the deluge?http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    1. Hope your seedlings survived. I should think they prefer deluge to drought – our soil is sandy so everything is very dry again and I seem to spend half my life watering.

  5. why do the telegraph do it? In the printed paper, the clue for 14a did not contain the word “American”.

    1. Welcome to the blog bob draper.

      Thanks for pointing out the omission in the paper. That certainly makes the clue harder. I’ll amend the hint.

    2. That’s good to know, and inclusion of American in the paper would make 14a more acceptable!

  6. While I was doing this I felt it was more difficult than I think it was now that I’ve finished it, if that makes any sense at all. I agree with DT’s rating.
    Unlike others I have heard of 15a – probably because I’ve “met” it before in a crossword as that’s usually how I learn new words.
    I had trouble in the top right corner – the clue in the paper doesn’t say it’s an American truck driver which might have made a difference, or not – who knows?!
    6 and 7d both took ages but I can’t see why they did now and, needless to say, I’d never heard of the 8d racing driver.
    I liked 28 and 29a and 2 and 19d. My favourite was 4d, mainly because they are my favourite plants.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

    1. Never heard of Le Professeur!!! Quite possibly the greatest F1 driver of all time, the man was an absolute genius behind the wheel of a racing car.

      1. Surely you wouldn’t expect me to have heard of him – I really just don’t “do” that kind of stuff. It’s a pity really as football/rugby/golf/racing, both four legged and four wheeled varieties/cricket (what can I have left out – bound to be something) all come up in crosswords all the time. I sometimes feel at a bit of a disadvantage! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    2. I also know almost nothing about Formula 1 Racing however I had somehow heard of Alain P but feel perhaps a reference to German “Cheers” would have had broader appeal as part of the clue to 8d.

  7. I know it’s not the cryptic but could anyone fill me in about the pun in the Quickie. Who or what is Pendennis? The only reference I can find in Google is to a castle.

    1. Pendennis Castle, Cornwall. It is quite famous! Built by Henry VIII (along with St Mawes castle) to guard the entrance to Falmouth harbour from the French and Spanish. It’s just down the road from where my aged parent lives.

  8. Another one that floated my boat somewhat. Solved in the car listening to Bob Dylan live in Nottingham in 2011 while Saint Sharon shopped (It works better when I am not alongside) I too tried to find a three letter metal to place around a rush or a reed (river plant) and also thought along the lines of a manufactory. 3d was is and forever more will be a stinker. Lots of thanks to The Don for the puzzle, for a super end to the weekday puzzles. Thanks to Deep Threat for the explanations and suitable illustrations. Have a good weekend everybody. See you on Monday

  9. Good puzzle today, I thought. 15a is in my vocabularly, somewhere on the periphery of consciousness. 19d was my favourite amoung many others. I followed the same route as others with 10a. Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  10. There were a few that gave me pause, but could be readily worked out from the word play. I loved 19D Very clever. Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

    P.S. I had absolutely no problem with 14A. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  11. Three quarters today were quite do-able, but then we came across 3 down 15 across and 14 across. I’ve heard vaguely of the first two, and know the term for a trucker, but it’s definitely an americanism, so we just had to do a bit of checking with the hints. My favourite was 19 down, having been brought up within about 10 miles of the said wall. Just as a matter of interest, I feel that the z in 22 down is a bit american too. I would always use an s, but I’m probably wrong and z is used all the time. Thank you to the setter and to DT.

    1. I agree with you about the Z in 22d. I suppose an anagram of IRE and SEAL wouldn’t have had quite the same ring to it.

  12. Found this easier than yesterday’s puzzle. 15a has now been added to my list of new words learned from crosswords. Last one in was 5d despite having 5 of the 6 letters as I didn’t think of it as a synonym for relish but, following Mr S Holmes’s advice, having eliminated all other possibilities the one remaining must be the correct answer!
    Thanks to the Don and DT for the review.

  13. My alternative clue for 10a is “Roy from Coronation Street”. That should give you a hint to the intellectual level I work at! Have read all the comments and no-one has remarked on 22d – is it only me that is irritated? Or perhaps the setter had his American head on? Rant over – thanks to setter and hinter.

    1. I agree that I can’t see a big connection between the feel strongly and realize but it was a very straight forward anagram, or is it the “z” that bothers you ?

      1. I hate to see ‘z’ in realize, organize and any other izes! Just as I can’t stand program instead of programme or color instead of colour! I can just about bear kilogram! I shall take myself to Pedants’ Corner!

        1. I’m probably wrong but I’ve aways thought you have computer programs and television programmes – but don’t get me going on the subject of aluminum and sulfur. Oh, and the Yanks would have 15d as PHOSFATE so it wouldn’t fit!

        2. ‘Realize’ is listed first in the BRB, with ‘to feel strongly’ as the first definition. The ‘ise’ ending is given as an alternative spelling.

        3. Colin Dexter, through the mouth of Inspector Morse, has strong opinions on this:

          1. Kath is going to need a box of tissues :cry:

            I’ve given up today, I can’t bear the fact that my answers keep getting lost :cry: :cry: :cry:

            1. I hate to be predictable but . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif tissues long gone, I’m afraid.
              I’m glad it was Colin Dexter who said that – the wonderful Morse would have hated the Americanism!
              Before our transatlantic friends come down on me like the proverbial ton of bricks I have absolutely nothing against them – one of my closest friends is American – but I don’t like their inability to spell.

        4. Fowler’s Modern English Usage (originally published at the beginning of the 20th century) has a learned article on the ize/ise problem, and it’s not easy to summarize (sorry!). Briefly the -z- ending derives from ancient Greek, whereas the -s- comes from more recent French. Fowler says that most English printers now use -s-, BUT the Oxford University Press, the Cambridge UP, The Times, and American usage, still use -z-, hence Morse’s preference (see DT above).

      1. I don’t comment often, but when I do I like to shake it up! I look in every day and find the hints and comments invaluable.

        1. You’ve certainly done that – well done – I’m all for a bit of stirring as long as it’s good-natured. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    1. Top five?

      Fangio, Senna, Clark, Alonso, Stewart.

      It’s easier if you post your comment as a reply and keep the thread together.

  14. A ***/*** for me and like some others have added 15a to my vocab. I have never written realise with a “z” even though I live in North America. Teamster was ok for me which I learned when I lived in the UK – and by the way the word American was in the electronic version of the crossword from the outset although this version never gives the setters name? Thanks for the hints – 10a was not going to happen even with all the checking characters.

  15. Thanks DG. Good fun. A couple of guesses which needed your confirmation DT. So many thanks for your review and hints.

  16. Found this difficult but enjoyable albeit slightly frustrating as I needed quite a lot of electronic help (definitely not the fault of the setter). Thanks to DT for the hints which helped to parse a couple and thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle – slowly getting there with Friday’s but definitely found this harder than yesterday’s RayT. 3.5*/3*

  17. I found the puzzle challenging so thanks for the hints DT and to The Don for the challenge. For me it was 3*

  18. Greetings from the Var where the weather is magnifique but somewhat cooler after the thunderstorm a couple of nights ago.

    Faves : 10a, 14a, 15a, 29a, 3d, 7d, 8d & 19d..

    Greetings to all!

  19. Thanks to Giovanni for an entertaining puzzle (about 2*/4*, l think) and Deep Threat for an equally entertaining review. I feel the “combed” in 15a was misleading, but that’s a minor quibble. I really enjoyed 8d.

  20. A couple of words that needed checking in BRB, 3d and 15a, but they did not cause much delay and we expect them on a Friday. Enjoyable puzzle.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  21. This was another instance of an off-putting first run through but I managed in the end without resorting to hints but of course there was considerable reference to BRB. No exceptional clues today. ***/** Thanks to sometime ago happening upon this site purely by chance my cryptic cruciverbal skills and indeed rapport with the various setters increases daily not to mention a very real sense of belonging. Many tanks BD and all your contributors.

    1. Hear, hear to your last sentence – I’m always delighted to have an excuse/opportunity to say thanks to all of them, yet again. I think it every day but don’t always say it. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  22. I have to say that comments that infer that “American” clues have no place on DT crosswords or that Americans can’t spell just make me want to pack my bags and leave. Can we please not resort to these kinds of comments? We are all here because of a love of crosswords. No need to insult.

    1. Don’t pack your bags, Chris. I’ve learned to accept the Brit way of chastising Americans for lack of English, ever since going to live there in 1960. It’s merely a gnat bite and matters not at all.

    2. Hello Chris,

      I feel it’s not intended as an insult, just a case of tongue in cheek, old fashioned ribbing. I come in for lots of this from the English. Being a Scot, we are fashioned as mean and dour. I take it with a pinch of salt.

      The English like to feel they are superior and at the root of all good whereas if you look back in time, it was either the Ancient Greeks or the Romans that fashioned much of what we admire.


    3. Sorry – I didn’t mean to be insulting at all.
      I’ll join pommers in the naughty corner.

  23. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. Once again beaten by the Don, was left with 10,14a & 3,6d. Would never have got these, not even with the hints, had to look them all up. All new words for me. Actually managed to solve 15a, also a new word. Favourite was 9a. Difficulty rating put up because of the obscurities. Was 3*/2* for me. Thanks to Giovanni for increasing my vocabulary.

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