DT 27545 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27545

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27545

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from Lancing in West Sussex, where we’re staying for a few days. I started writing this last night, but had to pause when there was a huge thunderstorm – a bit loud when you’re in a caravan!

As we expect from the Don on a Friday, some obscurities and a certain amount of general knowledge needed to complete this puzzle, which was *** for me.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. I’m experimenting with a new way of concealing the answers: click inside the curly brackets to reveal an answer.

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           City engineers seen by the French house (6)
{ LAHORE } Put together a version of the French definite article, an abbreviation for house, and the acronym of a regiment of engineers, to get a city in Pakistan.

4a           A horrible dribble from one making impromptu speech? (2-6)
{ AD-LIBBER } A (from the clue) followed by an anagram (horrible) of DRIBBLE.

9a           Like meadow where poet’s written about saints (6)
{ GRASSY } An abbreviation for a plural number of saints inside the poet who wrote an elegy beginning “The curfew tolls the knell of passing day”.

10a         Ruins meals about to be consumed (8)
{ SCUPPERS } The Latin abbreviation for about or approximately inside some evening meals.

11a         Czar due to travel round holiday region (4,1’4)
{ COTE D’AZUR } Anagram (travel round) of CZAR DUE TO.

13a         Atmosphere by lake sensed, but not visually (5)
{ AURAL } A word for atmosphere followed by Lake, giving a description of something heard, not seen.

14a         Domestic decluttering exercise in financial institution (8,5)
{ CLEARING HOUSE } Double definition, the second being an organisation which arranges the passage of cheques and bills of exchange from one bank to another.

17a         Certainly not of the class of Eton, for instance (13)
{ COEDUCATIONAL } A cryptic definition of something which a single-sex school like Eton is not.

21a         Alternative parent maiden rejected (5)
{ OTHER } Remove the abbreviation for a maiden over at cricket from one of two parents.

23a         Forthright, or try endless charm? (9)
{ TRENCHANT } Remove the final letter (endless) from TR(Y) and add a verb meaning to charm.

24a         Great blunder if one Conservative follows Socialist ultimately? (8)
{ TERRIFIC } Start with the last letter of SocialisT, and add a verb meaning ‘blunder’, IF (from the clue), the Roman numeral for one, and Conservative.

25a         Less productive domestic helper, first to be dismissed (6)
{ LEANER } Remove the first letter from a person who keeps your house tidy.

26a         Do youngsters have the necessary capability in restaurants? (8)
{ CANTEENS } A phrase (3,4) which could be asking whether youngsters are capable.

27a         Cook enslaving princess for 24 hours (6)
{ FRIDAY } The name of a day of the week has a Gilbertian princess inside a method of cooking.


1d           What’s handed on in fancy cage left upside down (6)
{ LEGACY } Hidden in reverse (upside down, in a Down clue) in the clue.

2d           Listen to army rebel’s sorrow (9)
{ HEARTACHE } Put together a word for listen, the abbreviation for the Territorial Army, and the usual rebel or freedom fighter.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

3d           Stuff left in French street English man’s collected (7)
{ RESIDUE } Put English and a man’s name (the one we had to tell when the British Gas shares were being sold) inside the French word for street.

5d           Dogmatic director in a recasting (11)
{ DOCTRINAIRE } Anagram (recasting) of DIRECTOR IN A.

6d           Accuse one politician? Every one! (7)
{ IMPEACH } The Roman numeral for one, the usual politician, and a word meaning every one.

7d           Litre being poured into stomach makes you dim (5)
{ BLEAR } Another word for ‘to stomach’ or put up with, with Litre inside it.

8d           Settled with the answers filled in — not for the first time! (8)
{ RESOLVED } If you did the crossword twice, you would have done this word which also means settled.

12d         Nazi orators disturbed one kind of religious believer (11)
{ ZOROASTRIAN } Anagram (disturbed) of NAZI ORATORS, giving a follower of an ancient Iranian religion.

15d         Ignorant and no longer taken notice of? (9)
{ UNLEARNED } This could describe a lesson which isn’t heeded.

16d         Socratic meandering creates a problem (8)
{ACROSTIC } Anagram (meandering) of SOCRATIC.

18d         Our country poet Kathleen in a foreign land (7)
{ UKRAINE } An abbreviation for our country followed by the surname of a poet called Kathleen, whose name was not one that sprang to my mind. But apparently the title of Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell was taken from one of her poems, and she harboured an unrequited passion for the author (which was unfortunate, since Maxwell was gay).

19d         Like some weapons that could bring a cruel end to Man (7)
{ NUCLEAR } Anagram (could bring) of A CRUEL (MA)N.

20d         Floor of shop with the latest in haberdashery (6)
{ STOREY } Another term for a shop followed by the last letter of haberdasherY

22d         Bird, the female, held up by leg in the field (5)
{ HERON } A pronoun denoting a female followed by another word for the leg side on a cricket pitch.

The Quick Crossword pun { BEAUX }{ THAI } = { BOW TIE }

59 comments on “DT 27545

  1. Lovely puzzle not helped by my spelling mistake at 12d. A bit of a slog to tease out the solutions from very fair clueing. Just what I want. We too had thunderstorms last night. Those checking the blog on iPhones iPads or other android devices should now be able to reveal the answers once the review is published

    1. Yes, that’s a great improvement. Thx to DT or whoever changed that- much quicker!

  2. I found this a bit dull today but a reasonable challenge, and my rating is 2.5*/2.5*.

    I’m not up on my G&S so the princess in 27a was new to me, but even so the answer was obvious.

    One thing I did find interesting was 25a. To make a company 25a means to make it more productive (less people working more efficiently), whereas the common usage of the word means less productive.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  3. A very enjoyable but straightforward puzzle, many thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat, the toughie today is easier than this one.

      1. Different horses for different courses I guess, I didn’t find either of them very difficult but this one took me a few minutes longer.

  4. I thought this was Monday in disguise! Fairly straightforward, aided in no small part by several chunky anagrams donating lots of checking letters. 16d had me puzzled – it couldn’t be anything else but I didn’t (and still don’t) get the definition ‘problem’. An enjoyable end to the week, if not the stiff work out we expect on a Friday. 2*/3* Thanks to everyone for this week’s efforts.

    1. According to Chambers crossword dictionary, an acrostic is a puzzle, and if you look up puzzle you’ll find problem as a definition. To be fair to Giovanni, he never makes that kind of mistake. Annoying perfect.

  5. Phew – found this quite a slog, without much light relief, particularly in the steamy W. Sussex heat but got there in the end thanks to various reference media (prior to DT’sappearance) hence ****/** for me. Thank you to The Don for plenty of cerebral exercise. Presumably tomorrow will be a different kettle of fish. Two anagrams (12d and 16d) foxed me and I am afraid I hadn’t heard of the 18d poet. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  6. I’m seeing things having FRIDAY UKRAINE NUCLEAR CLEARING HOUSE in today’s solutions, I am so horrified by yesterday’s disaster. If people had crosswords instead of weapons, the world might be safer (not intending to open debate on potential use of crosswords as weapons..). On a milder note, I hadn’t realised Eton is still single sex (making the clue harder), in my view an anachronism overextending its welcome in today’s world. Enough editorials, many nice clues today, I liked 26a, 27a, my last fills were 5d and 10a, both lovely clues, and I like seeing a checked “Z”. But hadn’t heard of the poet.

    Thank you very much Giovanni and Deap threat, particularly for an old favourite song.

  7. As I said yesterday, fair and elegant, not at all boring!
    Some great clues but I must admit I did need to look up the poet 18d, never come across her before as with 12d, another strange religious cult.
    Best clue for me def 26a, made me smile.
    Thx to the Master for the best crossword of the week, as least as far as I am concerned.
    Thx to DT for explaining 27a

  8. Got a little sun burnt here in Poets Cove and a wonderful place to chill if that’s not double Dutch. The puzzle gets a 3*/3* from me with 2d and 26a my favourites. I too didn’t recognize the princess in 27a but it was obvious what the answer was. Thanks to the setter and DT for the review.

  9. I thought this was fairly straightforward for a Friday. 2* difficulty and 2*/3* for enjoyment.
    I hadn’t heard of the 18d poet but the recesses of the brain had heard of 12d (even if it couldn’t supply the correct spelling).
    Needless to say my last answer was 1d – oh dear!
    Having got the Z quite early I was on the lookout for a pangram – not to be.
    I liked 10 and 26a and 6d. My favourite was 14a.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

    There was a massive thunderstorm here last night – very loud and almost continuous lightening. Just over 1/3″ of rain in about an hour and enormous hailstones crashing onto our wooden bedroom floor until we realised what was happening and shut the windows. I think more of the same is forecast for later on today and tonight.

    1. Re poet, if you add the word Elegy, it might ring a distant bell from the past?

      I’d like to claim the12d thing as GK, but it’s really only connected with Freddie Mercury knowledge………..

      1. Wrong poet – I meant the 18d one – and I have no idea where I’ve heard of 12d – probably a crossword!

  10. Not one of the Don’s hardest, but made more difficult in my case by happily putting COMPREHENSIVE in for 17A – and feeling smug about it D’Oh.

    Thunder and lightening last night – nothing too heavy here – but has left this morning feeling a little chilly ! Still, we’re promised some warm tomorrow. Best get the wet stuff out of the way this week as we’re off to see the Vulcan at the Yeovilton Air Show next Saturday and have very expensive tickets for it too.

  11. Usual quality from our Friday maestro.
    Not too testing today – luckily as golf, cricket and later le tour demanding attention!
    Love the answers in brackets format – great idea – thanks. So much easier on iPad.
    Been some time since I posted but love the site, which I use every day – thank you big dave et al.
    Come on Rory!

    1. You last time was December 2012. In the meantime you’ve changed you email address, which is why your comment needed to be moderated.

  12. I like the new way of revealing the solution by clicking inside the {curly brackets}.

    But I seem to have lost the list of the most recent commenters in the right-hand panel.

    1. I tweaked the theme used on the blog this morning and, in the process, half of the widgets disappeared. I restored most of them, but missed that one. Should be OK now.

        1. Since you asked!

          Whenever i made changes to the software behind the blog i had to take a copy of the old version and hope that the new version didn’t get zapped by an upgrade. What I did was to add a child theme to the font end. Everything else remains the same and any future changes will go into the child theme. Unfortunately some of the widgets didn’t get carried over,

          1. I actually preferred the old way of getting the answers in the brackets because I could just highlight the first or last letter if I only wanted a little bit more of a hint.

  13. More improvements , BD , you are a perfectionist.
    Straight forward solve , although i took the hint for 17a. Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  14. I’m in agreement with DT’s rating of ***/***. Not as difficult as usual on a Friday, and I would have got there eventually, but (feeling less patient today) looked up the last three. Missed 17a and 23a, and also, lacking checkers,19d. Silly! I, too, didn’t know the princess or the poet but got those answers anyway.

    That thunderstorm last night was, well, thunderous! And with all that water unleashed, I thought I was running somewhere in the tropics this morning. Am staying resolutely in the shade for the rest of the day.

    Thanks to the Don and Deep Threat http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif.

    1. Definitely very tropical – I don’t think I’ve seen rain like we had last night except in Bangkok but over there it did it for hours and all the roads were about three feet deep in water.

      1. Funny you should mention storms in Bangkok, Kath. I travelled the world on business longer ago than I care to remember but my lasting memory of Bangkok is that of an extreme humidity I had not endured before or since. I particularly recall one business meeting by the pool at the old-fashioned Erawan Hotel (no air-conditioning!) which was just torture (admittedly not helped by keeping the customers company with the consumption of gin and tonics!) . However, sights like the Emerald Buddha made up for all that discomfort. “Memories are made of this”! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_biggrin.gif

        1. Yes, Bangkok was my first experience with heat + humidity, as opposed to heat without it. I couldn’t believe how enervating it was, you just could not walk fast at all, plodding about at 1mph. Ditto with Hong Kong, although that is, at least, more seasonal.

        2. Yes – Bangkok is certainly an experience. What memories – our Pet Lambs were six and eight at the time – we were on our way to Oz so stayed with friends there for a week – such long flights. The kids were great – I was the problem – I just can’t sit still for that long. Oh dear!!
          But I agree about Bangkok being an amazing experience and one that none of us will forget.

  15. P.S. I also like the new way of revealing answers. Much better on the tab, and also nice on the computer for scrolling back up to look at a clue someone’s referenced. Good stuff http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif.

  16. I worked my way relatively competently through this puzzle though I had to check online if there was a poet named Kathleen Raine, a new one to me. Otherwise I would give *** for enjoyment and *** for difficulty. Off now to try the Toughie!

  17. Put answer in to 1d but completely missed that it was a hidden reversal. Says a lot about my style of completing a puzzle! **/*** for me. Thanks to all. The new reveal makes things easier on the iPad, but the old way opened up the dictionary which gave me a chance to read the entry and learn lots more. Hmmm

  18. Just noticed the new answer reveals. Far better for those of us on iPads .
    Thx BD.

  19. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A touch on the gentle side, but I still needed the hints for 17a and 18d. A new word for me in 5d. Favourite was 1d, was 2*/2* for me. Blazing today in Central London, I managed to make a start on clearing the foliage in the back garden. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

  20. Lovely to have a satisfying solve able puzzle after yesterday’s
    Ps first time ever able to get answers in brackets on my i pad thank you

  21. Found this a little bit easier than normal for a Friday. Thanks to DT for the review and to Giovanni 2.5*/3.5* .

    Weather is oppressively hot here in Kent – it is currently 84 deg F in my bedroom and I am not happy with the prospect of attempting to sleep later…

  22. Thank you DG, got there in the end after a struggle – not too many new words today ! Thanks DT for your review and hints. I have just tried out the new “click here” on my phone – http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif Well done BD if it was you who introduced this new facility – saves a lot of thumping and thrashing about !

  23. Usual fare from Giovanni but not too testing.

    Faves : 14a, 17a, 24a, 3d, 8d & 12d.

    11a was a laugh for me as I am currently enjoyimg the sun down in F83!

  24. Quite enjoyed this today mainly I think because the heat has made me lethargic and I am not up to expending energy and the puzzle was not to taxing. I would give this a 3/3 rating. My thanks to Deep Threat for his review. Really like the new reveal system – it even works on my ipad!

  25. I would agree with ***/***. 26a made me laugh. Didn’t know the poet and 17a was my last one in. Thanks to Giovanni &DT for the review and the answer reveal is so much easier now.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  26. Just finished due to the interruption of cricket and The Tour. Excellent puzzle, up to the usual Friday standard. Many thanks for that Giovanni and especially to DT for the hints which were very useful

  27. Had to resort to hints and tips pretty quickly today, thank for you for those DT

    Some new words.

    Favourite clue 26a it made me smile :)

    Wasn’t sure about the clue for 25a I’d think a lean process is more productive, but I’m willing to be corrected on that one

    A very enjoyable challenge, thank you Giovanni

    What an absolutely glorious evening, I’m feeling very peaceful

    1. Hmmm – a glorious evening here at the moment but very hot and becoming increasingly cloudy and heavy feeling.
      Metcheck says that it’s going to be another thundery night with torrential downpours and pink lightening! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
      Apparently the storms that are coming up from the south come across the Atlas mountains picking up their pinkish dust on the way. Who knows – I certainly don’t!

    2. My thinking re 25a was more in terms of, say, agriculture – e.g. a lean harvest. A leaner yield from crops or animals would mean they’ve been less productive. I agree that a leaner process would be one that was more efficient (so equating to either more productive, or using fewer resources for the same productivity) – that’s why I think the first meaning is the one intended.

      I hope you’re still feeling peaceful today, Carrie :). Unlike this hot and bothered Kitty!

      1. Thank you Kitty, I am still peaceful and content, I saw a deer in my garden this morning and it’s so different to what I’m used to it quite brought a lump to my throat.

        Your explanation for lean is another perspective, thanks for that. It’s interesting how we all bring our own experience to the table.

        I hope you don’t remain hot and bothered.


  28. Needed the hint for 17a much to my dismay as it was the last to go in! Not at all a Friday-ish crossword to my mind but enjoyable just the same. Thanks to all.

  29. Most enjoyable puzzle. Also good to be able to use my I-pad for the solutions instead of having to put the laptop on–many thanks.

  30. Too many anagrams for my liking, and not (IMHO) up to the Don’s usual high standard. 2*\3* by my reckoning, and no particular favourite clue. Still, thanks for the workout, and to DT for the review.

  31. Must be getting senile.2 days running a struggle. Got completely bogged down with half done, Then , thanks to Deep Threat, 17a became obvious. I also got stuck on 1a thinking it was a house and using US cities with the other normal abbreviations. Other clues then fell into place.

  32. Finished all except 17a. Couldn’t get it even with a full frame, and I use to be a teacher in one of these!!

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