DT 27557 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27557

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27557

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs, where the sun is trying to break through the overnight cloud.

No great problems from Giovanni this morning, hence ** difficulty for me.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ‘Click here!’ buttons. If you don’t want to see them, don’t click.

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           Competitor deemed to be superior may have understood (3,3,5)
GOT THE POINT                In a game, the competitor who wins a particular exchange may be said to have done this.

7a           Person who may lose something in the tube (7)
DROPPER             The sort of tube used to put small amounts of liquid medicine into an eye or ear could also describe someone who loses something by letting go of it.

8a           Engineers exhausted and in bed? (7)
RETIRED               One of the usual regiments of enginners followed by a word for exhausted.

10a         Relation who is bound to appear after death? (5)
MUMMY             Double definition: a female relative, familiarly; or an Ancient Egyptian corpse.

11a         Scared nob in disguise, one on the run (9)
ABSCONDER       Anagram (in disguise) of SCARED NOB.

12a         What sounds like extreme part of a plant (7)
RADICLE               The beginning of the root system in a plant sounds like a political extremist.

14a         Painter of cat catching ball at home (7)
POUSSIN             A familiar term for a cat with the letter which may look like a ball inside it, followed by ‘at home’, giving a 17th century French painter.


15a         Place of wickedness and vice about to become animated (7)
LIVENED               Put together a place where wickedness may be perpetrated and the generic term for the vice you may find there, then reverse (about) the lot.

18a         Cleric quietly leading organisation for troubled couples (7)
PRELATE               The musical symbol for ‘quietly’ followed by the name of a marriage guidance organisation.

20a         Agent representing star — rogue (9)
SURROGATE       Anagram (representing) of STAR ROGUE.

21a         Devon bowler that might get a duck (5)
DRAKE  The seaman who famously was playing bowls on Plymouth Hoe when the Spanish Armada was sighted; or a male duck.

22a         Small room I need somehow to keep dry (7)
DINETTE               Anagram (somehow) of I NEED with the letters indicating someone who abstains from alcohol inside it.

23a         After short hint worker is put firmly in place (7)
IMPLANT             Remove the final letter (short) from a verb meaning to hint, and add a worker insect.

24a         Hospital number (11)
ANAESTHETIC    Cryptic definition of something used in hospitals to remove sensation from a patient, a numb-er.


1d           Good space editor prepared (7)
GROOMED          Put together Good, a space – in a house, for example – and an abbreviation for editor.

2d           Drunk‘s yen to expectorate to the ceiling (5)
TIPSY     The currency symbol for Japanese yen followed by a word for expectorate, all reversed (to the ceiling, in a Down clue).

3d           This place houses container for kitchen plants (7)
HERBAGE             Put a container inside an adverb meaning ‘in this place’.

4d           Becomes cheerful, message being that fringe benefits are to be increased (5,2)
PERKS UP            A tabloid headline way of saying that fringe benefits or perquisites have been increased.

5d           Cast into crude institute (9)
INTRODUCE        Anagram (cast) of INTO CRUDE.

6d           Far Eastern attacks we may hear in angry speeches (7)
TIRADES               A homophone (we may hear) of a phrase (4,5) describing incursions by the people of a Far Eastern country.

7d           Models I read about deprived of confidence (11)
DEMORALISED  Anagram (about) of MODELS I READ.

9d           Disarray of some Ulster Protestants without leader falling into depression (11)
Revised clue: Disarray of some Ulster Protestants, not extreme characters, falling into depression (11)
DERANGEMENT                                Remove the initial letter from some Ulster Protestants noted for marching on 12 July (without leader), then put the result inside a depression or hollow. As BD pointed out to me, this wordplay produces an extra N, but I can’t see an alternative interpretation.

13d         Criminal type starts to infiltrate American business groups (9)
CONSORTIA        Put together a usual crossword criminal, a word for type or kind, and the initial letters of Infiltrate American.

16d         Terrace that might provide some bovver and aggro (7)
VERANDA            Hidden (might provide) in the clue.

17d         Business folk — they may hand out cards (7)
DEALERS              City traders in stocks and shares or commodities may also be the people who distribute the cards in a game of poker or bridge.

18d         After gym I have rolled over and shut up, being irritable (7)
PEEVISH               Put together the two-letter acronym signifying ‘gym’ at school, a reversal (rolled over) of a short form of ‘I have’, and an interjection meaning ‘Shut up’.

19d         A sort of memory with which Bill retains one language mostly forgotten (7)
ARAMAIC            The language which Jesus and his disciples spoke is made up of A (from the clue), a variety of computer memory, and an abbreviation for a bill or account with the Roman numeral for one inside it.

21d         What drunk did having turned up in station (5)
DEPOT  Reverse (having turned up) a word describing what a drunk did.

The Quick Crossword pun HEARSE  HOOT = HIRSUTE.

52 comments on “DT 27557

  1. Usual excellent Friday fare but must admit to needing the hints for a couple. Best clue for me was 10a, love this type of clue which raise a smile.
    21a was apposite for me as I am currently reading the latest S J Parris book Treachery featuring Sir Francis!
    Can’t say I have heard of Toped before, must be the Dons new word for the day.at least for me. No Mrs B today so I struggled with one or two and took longer than a normal Friday.
    Many Thx to the Master and to DT for the invaluable hints.

    1. That great Flanders and Swann song “Madeira, M’dear?” has the lines:
      “Unaware of the wiles of the snake in the grass, /of the fate of the maiden who topes, /she lowered her standards by raising her glass, /her courage, her eyes – and his hopes.”

  2. Found this one quite tough, but struggled through to the end. Loved 10A – kicked myself when the penny dropped. Re. 9a: I read this as ‘some’ Ulster Protestants – i.e. ‘rangeme’ inside ‘dent’ – which doesn’t leave an extra ‘n’ …. but I could be wrong!

        1. i interpreted it this way too.
          A plodder of a solve today in soggy County Durham. **/***. Many thanks to setter and reviewer.

  3. First time comment from me though have been checking my answers for some 3 or 4 weeks now to make sure I understood the clue correctly.

    I think that Mr Threat forgot to underline station in 21D; I got it because i think that in France a drunkard is also known as a toper.

    1. Welcome to the blog FullaFlave.

      Thanks for pointing out the omission in 21d. I’ll correct it.

  4. I found this quite tough, needing several hints, thanks DT.I really liked 10a, 14a and 24a.Thanks to the don also.

  5. Not much to cause a headache here. **/***. I had been searching for some kind of digit so when 24a dawned on me it made me lol (not lots of love!) Thanks Giovanni and DT. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  6. Very enjoyable crossword. Not helped by me putting in Get the Drift for 1A!

    I’m glad I’m not the only one getting confused about the extra N in 9D.

    Thanks t the setter and DT.

  7. No obscure words from the Don today …. and I’ve actually heard of the painter in 14a.

    9d – the extra “n” or the missing “n” completely passed me by. Once I get the definition I always tend to just write it in.

    Thanks to DT for the review!

  8. Apart from writing in ‘anaesthesia’ for 24a which made me really struggle to complete 19 & 21d, I enjoyed this very much. Like Franco, I didn’t spot the missing ‘n’ from 9d – too happy to have worked it out, and my counting has always been rubbish! Thank you setter, and DT. Delighted that vet told us today he’s holding off on the eye surgery for Poppy & will wait to see whether she mends herself…. But her lampshade stays on for two more weeks, so she’s being very stoical about that and her happy tail stays high! Hope everyone has a good weekend. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    1. Our Jack Russell had to wear a lampshade earlier this year. We found that after one or two mishaps banging into the door etc. she adapted really well and raced around as usual. It was funny watching her. I hope your little dog doesn’t need an op. But if she does, don’t worry. Dogs have great powers of recovery, and just get on with life.

      1. Thanks, SheilaP, that’s very encouraging. And you’re right about the lampshade – Poppy has it pretty well sussed now – and her little black face gazing out from the white lampshade makes us smile as she looks a bit like an exotic rose in a presentation setting!

    2. Hello Poppy, I don’t know what the problem is with your Poppy’s eyes but I once had a West Highland Terrier who suffered a lot from dry eyes and eye infections. The vet tried all sorts of treatment even stitching his eye shut at one point but the problem kept recurring until the vet finally hit on the idea of prescribing him Eveving Primrose Oil ,et voila problem solved. Magic. Thought I’d tell you this…just in case ..Hope all goes well with Poppy.

      1. Thanks Annidrum – and what a lovely account of your Westie. Poppy’s eye was damaged two weeks ago when she was horribly savaged by a collie. The wounds on her skull and jugular are healing well, but her torn eye is causing problems… In Scotland she had a great Westie friend called Misty – they looked like an ad for Black and White!

    3. Oh Poppy I am at a loss to offer any advice. Never experienced your dogs condition before. I’m about to walk Cynth and Cuth and their Friends Lulu and Cher (don’t ask), that’ll be two lurchers a Ridgeback and a Saluki. Wish me luck :)

  9. Straightforward but enjoyable fare from the Don, thanks to Giovanni and DT for an excellent review. For those interested in trying a Friday toughie please don’t be put off by the fact that it is an Elgar, he is in one of his gentler moods and it is quite doable.

  10. I found today’s puzzle a bit easier then usual for a Friday. So no real problems; 19d was a new word for me but the clue made it virtually a write-in. Thanks to the Don and DT for the review.

  11. This is the first crossword I’ve really enjoyed for ages. I’m putting this down to the hot humid weather we’ve had recently. It makes me quite grumpy. We needed the odd hint to finish the bottom right hand corner, but managed the rest quite well. A**/*** for us today. Thank you to the setter and to DT for his nice straight forward hints. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    1. I’m still hot and grumpy! Trying not to unfairly down-mark any crosswords though :). Still, it is cooling down … will be winter soon! :wacko:

  12. I made unnecessarily heavy work of this, but got there in the end. Just had to look up Devon Bowler… then I went and assumed it was a modern player – the thought of Sir F. completely passed silly me by! Favourite clue today is 18d, which I fear describes me a bit :|. ***/***.

  13. A 3*/3* for me. Went fairly quickly through until the SE corner held me up and having messed up 19d and needed DTs help this morning – thanks to DT and the setter for an enjoyable workout. Really liked 10a and 24a especially. Tapas and a cold bottle of Sauvignon Blanc for lunch I think – I love this weather http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  14. Thank you DG – defeated by 19d, but good fun. Thanks DT for the review and hints and photos. Spent most of the day in Manchester with Mrs SW, son and grandson and a visit to MOSI. Will have to revisit and give it a lot more time – an amazing place. We feel a lot older now than we did this morning ! Won’t risk an emoticon for fear of 403.

  15. I was way off Giovanni’s wavelength today and needed the hints for some.Like Kitty ,Sir Francis as the bowler never entered my head ! Thanks to Giovanni & Deep Threat.

  16. I would describe my progress through this as methodical and largely problem-free today. Got held up by 22a despite it having appeared only recently (doh) and had to google 12a to be sure (where is O Level Biology when you need it?). 24a the clear winner – a lovely clue and probably my favourite of the week. 2.5*/4*

  17. Straightforward if a bit ponderous. SE corner a little tricky but finished in reasonable time. **/** rating.

  18. Well done DT. I enjoyed the puzzle, which I did find a little difficult, So, the hints came in very useful.I’m off shortly 19.00 hours to do some toping

  19. Usual pleasant puzzle from The Don!

    Faves : 14a, 23a, 19d & 9d (even though this is slightly wonky).


  20. Needed a bit of electronic help to sort this this out but enjoyed it nonetheless. Thanks to DT and Giovanni ***/***

    p.s. I think the quickie is a pangram (don’t usually spot these things).

    1. I think that most Friday quickies are pangrams – it’s one of Giovanni’s trademarks.

  21. My rating today is 3*/2*. I found this quite tricky in parts with some good clues (particularly 10a & 6d) but generally unexciting. I’m not normally a fan of homophones but 6d is a very good one.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    BD – the problem I mentioned yesterday regarding my browser crashing when I click on the Quickie pun answer has been resolved today. Whatever you did with the programming seems to have resolved the issue with IE9, but as you correctly surmised it has taken some time for the change to synchronise. Thanks very much for sorting this out.

  22. I enjoyed today’s puzzle very much, but needed lots of help so thanks to Deep Threat for the great hints and pictures. My favourite was 24a because it made me groan when realised that number meant something that numbs and not a quantity. (Do I need to say that I am relatively new to crosswords – it’s probably obvious!)

  23. Another enjoyable Friday crossword. It was not until we read the review that we noticed the “n” anomaly with 9d. Well crafted clues once again from the Don.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  24. Hi all – very late here today. I’ve been to Nottingham to my wonderful eldest nephew, his equally lovely wife, their toddler and have met the newest addition to the family, their daughter born nearly two weeks ago.
    I couldn’t do the crossword – do I care – no, not one bit! Actually I did do most of it but was defeated by a few.
    After the kind of day I’ve had I don’t really feel able to give sensible ratings for difficulty or enjoyment.
    I’ve only ever heard of 14a as the kind of chicken that’s too young to leave its mother when you stick it in the oven.
    I loved 10a.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.
    Perhaps more sense from me tomorrow! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  25. Apologies for the extra N in 9 Down and thank you for drawing it to my attention. I have submitted a revised version for the archives. Checking procedures have been under severe pressure recently with a clash of holidays and deadlines for the new edition of the Manual. No excuse I know and I should get clues right in the first place — but I do always write down the parsing. Not much respite recently, I fear!

    1. Thank you Mr Manley, hope you get the Manual sorted and the debacle at Chambers is resolved very soon.

  26. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. Late commenting due to attending the North Weald Beer Festival yesterday. Was stuck on 9 clues in the NW & SE Corners. Got up this morning and wrote them all in, can’t see why I struggled yesterday :-) Was 2*/4* for me. Favourite was 21a, last in was 19d. New word in 12a.

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