DT 27563 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27563

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27563

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs. I’m off to the eye hospital for a check-up this morning, so no pictures today.

Others may disagree, but I found this the easiest puzzle from Giovanni since I have been doing the Friday blog – comfortably within * time.

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

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           A sort of adjustable spanner (10)
DRAWBRIDGE    Cryptic definition of something which spans a castle moat, but not necessarily all the time.

6a           Ruler captured by cameras turning back (4)
TSAR      Hidden (captured) in the clue in reverse (back).

9a           Bird? Don’t let ‘er be seen, we say (5)
EIDER    This variety of duck might sound like a Cockney telling you to conceal a woman.

10a         Terrible events that could make sister sad (9)
DISASTERS          Anagram (could make) of SISTER SAD.

12a         Transplant operation? A different attitude coming about (6,2,5)
CHANGE OF HEART         A transplant operation is a physical example of an expression referring to an altered mindset.

14a         Donkey getting on with smaller animal making similar sounds (8)
ASSONANT         Put together a donkey, ON (from the clue), and a very small animal.

15a         ‘Work hard!’ — a new rallying cry (6)
SLOGAN               A verb meaning ‘work hard’ followed by A (from the clue) and New.

17a         Go wrong in journey to the north? (4,2)
TRIP UP                A journey followed by the direction which is North in crossword terms.

19a         Dad’s furry animal is OK (8)
PASSABLE            A familiar term for ‘dad’ plus the ‘S, followed by a dark-coloured fur, or the animal that wears it.

21a         Dismay shown by prisoner put with Eastern sailors in base (13)
CONSTERNATION            Start with one of the usual prisoners, then add a word for a military base with East and the initials of the armed service which employs sailors put inside it.

24a         Crossing far side of glen, record mountains over a protracted period (4-5)
LONG-RANGE    A record or journal is wrapped around the final letter (far side) of gleN, and followed by a set of mountains.

25a         Anger shown by one lacking love for woman (5)
IRENE    A word for anger followed by (o)NE (lacking love) to produce a woman’s name.

26a         Kind of brown bit of bread about to be chucked (4)
RUST     Remove the letter used as an abbreviation for the Latin word for about from a piece of bread.

27a         Recent changes over time to bring non-imperial unit (10)
CENTIMETRE      Anagram (changes) of RECENT wrapped around TIME.


1d           Act of one journalist upset another (4)
DEED     Two of the usual abbreviation for a crossword journalist, the first one reversed (upset).

2d           Theologian, one into NT book, gets folk very enthusiastic (7)
ADDICTS              The letters someone with a higher degree in theology might have after his/her name, and the Roman numeral for one, placed inside a New Testament book – one which is placed immediately after the Gospels.

3d           Person at sales unearthing bra with unusual design (7,6)
BARGAIN HUNTER           Anagram (with unusual design) of UNEARTHING BRA.

4d           Poor home with little woman and little man (8)
INDIGENT            A word for ‘at home’ followed by a short form of a woman’s name, and a shortened form of a title applied to men.

5d           Good American to manifest great enjoyment (5)
GUSTO  Put together Good, an abbreviation for American, and TO (from the clue.

7d           Affair makes the woman get a particular hairstyle (7)
SHEBANG            A pronoun for ‘the woman’ followed by a hairstyle which the BRB describes as a fringe cut square across the brow.

8d           Ruddy optimistic (4-6)
ROSE-TINTED     Double definition, the second often applied to the metaphorical spectacles worn by an optimist.

11d         New Catholics miss medieval sort of philosophy (13)
SCHOLASTICISM               Anagram (new) of CATHOLICS MISS.

13d         Fussy detail (10)
PARTICULAR      Double definition. The answer is a synonym of each of the words in the clue.

16d         Bird that’s cherished, with an inclination to be protected (8)
PARAKEET           The inclination here is a deviation from the vertical, as of a ship’s mast. Put an expression (1,4) meaning an inclination inside a word describing a cherished animal or child.

18d         Being wicked, first to last, in part of cricket match (7)
INNINGS              The first letter of a word meaning ‘being wicked’ is moved to the end, producing something there are four of in a Test match, while there are only two in a one-day international.

20d         Most skeletal one with bits misplaced (7)
BONIEST              Anagram (misplaced) of ONE and BITS.

22d         Get up about noon initially and wash (5)
RINSE    Put the first letter of Noon inside a word meaning to get up.

23d         Outdoor party in safe territory (4)
FETE       Hidden in the clue.

The Quick Crossword pun LIT + ERR + RALLY= LITERALLY

43 comments on “DT 27563

  1. Thank you DG – I actually wondered if it was you when I was making progress so quickly ! The give-away was the “rarely used words” ! An enjoyable puzzle – just my level. Thanks DT for your review and hints – I agree with your difficulty rating. It is all relative of course, all puzzles take me ages.

  2. I found this puzzle to be a little easier than Giovanni’s normal friday offering, but not quite as easy as Deep Threat suggests, despite my finishing without hints. Favorites, 1a & 14a. 1.5*/3* for me. Thanks to Deep Threat for explaining 16d and 24a and to Giovanni for an enjoyable end to the week.

  3. It may be the easiest Giovanni ever set in all of history, but that doesn’t make it easy ! Still, very enjoyable. Thanks to the don and DT.

  4. Yes, I agree, quickest solve of the week
    Still very enjoyable though.
    Thanks to DT and DG.

  5. Definitely at the softer end of the DG spectrum and I would have agreed with the rating had I not taken a while longer than I should have in the NE corner, particularly 7d. I only know the hairstyle in the American plural form, usually describing a cut that frames the face – hence the plural as there is one each side.
    Liked 1a but nothing else really stood out for me.

  6. Very enjoyable if on the easier side of the Don’s output. Can’t stop log – we’re off on Typhoon watch (as in a flypast at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta)(Incidentally, had a Smurfs head float past my window yesterday)

    1. We had one nearly land on our roof, a hot air balloon that is, not a Smurf……….

      I was alerted by the gas burners http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_eek.gif and if I knew how to post a photo, I would attach it.

  7. 5 anagrams, 2 hidden words and 4 lateral thinking clues – together with a mix of others – all made this a most enjoyable puzzle, although easier than most from Giovanni. I loved 1A and the anagram was so obvious as to clearly be misdirection. As usual with this setter, I needed the BRG to check out a few new words. Thanks to the setter and to DT for the excellent review.

  8. I agree that this was fairly straightforward for a Friday but no crossword is ever a 1* for me. I’d say a 2* and nearly a 4* for enjoyment.
    Until I had a few letters in 1a I just gaped at it stupidly – thought it was going to be some obscure (to me anyway) DIY tool.
    I don’t think I’ve met 14a before but once I realised that the donkey was literally getting the on from the clue rather than growing old that was OK too.
    I’ve never heard of 11d but it was obviously an anagram so with alternate letters in I didn’t have many left to play with.
    I didn’t know the ‘inclination’ in 16d.
    I liked 1 and 19a and 3d. My favourite was 7d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat and I hope all goes well at the eye hospital and that you don’t get kept waiting for too long.

  9. 2*/3*. I got held up a bit in the SW corner having initially put “sinning” in for 18d, but everything fell into place when I realised the error of my ways. 1a was my favourite and 14a was a new word for me.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  10. Well, yes, it was quick, but still good fun and I started enjoying myself when I got 1a straightaway. For once, I got the other meaning of spanner – nowhere but crosswords do you hear that term!

    15a was my last one in, once I had wrestlled the 11d anagram to the floor.

    Anyone remember those scenes in Educating Rita when Michael Caine was trying to explain 14a to Julie Walters?

    1. Yes, Michael Caine was great. Ever seen the Trip to Italy with Steve Coogan & Rob Brydon, they both do a great impersonation.

  11. Some amusing answers and very enjoyable. Definitelt only a * for difficulty but *** for enjoyment

  12. Definitely the quickest finish of the week. Another read and write as was Monday’s offering. */***. Many thanks to compiler and reviewer. 1a was my favourite and made me chuckle (apologies to the other passengers on the Newcastle to London train this morning).

  13. I agree with the rating from DT, fun but not gripping, thanks to Giovanni and to DT. Toughie is worth a wee go today particularly for those of a football bent.

  14. Enjoyable, and certainly easier than most Giovanni puzzles, but not that easy! I haven’ see the ‘Spanner’ clue for ages!

  15. Much better than yesterday’s for us and we finished without hints for once, so thank you to the setter and to DT.

  16. A 2.5*/3.5* for me with a couple of tricky clues (4d and14a weren’t quick to reveal themselves). Loved 1a once the penny dropped. Thanks to DT for the hints especially the explanation for 16d and the setter for an enjoyable puzzle. Another perfect day in paradise promised.

  17. I’d say it was an easy ** but **** for enjoyment. I liked the long anagrams, especially 11d, and 16d was a corker of a clue.

    I very rarely need hints these days, but this is a lovely blog and it’s great to see so many people enjoying this wonderful pastime.

  18. Agree with DT’s rating, but I might add just a smidge more for difficulty. Still, I finished without hints although, like Rick, I’d only heard of the plural form of the 7d hairstyle, and I’m not sure that I’ve come across the nautical inclination in 16d. A very enjoyable puzzle, but nothing in 13d to pick as favourite … except that I did like 13d :).

    With thanks to The Don, and thanks and best wishes to Deep Threat.

    1. I’d never heard of the nautical inclination either although I’m not sure that it has to be a nautical term. When I looked in BRB this morning the first definition I came across was something to do with “a track, especially up a hill” so, having the attention span of a gnat, I decided that that would do for the “inclination” and didn’t think any more until I read DT’s hint. I suppose people talk about a hat being worn at a ‘rakish’ angle. I’d always thought that meant at an angle that a rake i.e. a dissolute person might wear one. Oh dear – the plot thickens! I’ll go away now . . .

      1. … but the definition you came across first is at the end – at least in my LRI (Little Red Icon): in definition 5, which I was unfamiliar with, along with definition 4 :).

        You’re right that it doesn’t have to be a nautical term: that’s just one of the senses in which it’s used when it means at an angle. You’d also be right in your assumption that a rakish angle refers to the person who is a rake rather than the angle – although a jaunty angle is indeed an angle deviating from the horizontal – but the sense of “rakish” is that of “jaunty” rather than “angled” (and rakish is listed under definition 2: a debauched or dissolute person)*. Blee! Maybe tonight’s Friday wine is tangling my words :wacko:. In any case, I think that that’s enough learning for today, and it’s time to put away the dictionary and resume the supping. Cheers! :)

        *EDIT – oh, also in the 3rd (sloping) definition, so maybe that too… okay, that’s really enough: the dictionary is going away now!

        1. The problem with having the attention span of a gnat is that when you see something that fits you don’t look any further and you don’t even notice that it’s the fifth definition . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

          1. :D.
            (Sadly, I don’t think I can really add the :roll: to my collection, since you directed it towards yourself and not to me and my dirty mind and love of a nice big bit of innuendo ;).)

  19. Rattled through this one in short order today which surprised me for a Friday; do they normally get more diffficult through the week or is it just my perception?

    My favourite was 9a.

    TY to the reviewer for clearing up why 26a was the answer I got and also to the setter.

  20. Yes this was somewhat more benign then usual for a Friday. Enjoyable though and I liked 16d best. Thanks to the Don and DT for the hints.

  21. I love the help with the crossword but please stop giving the answers. It’s just too much of a temptation not to look at them.

    1. Welcome to the blog X word Rookie

      We’ve been giving the answers on here for well over 5 years, and it’s not going to change just because you can’t restrain yourself from looking at them.

  22. I have had crossword deprivation for a couple of days so I was so pleasantly surprised when I got through this without the hints and not encountering any major niggles. I would say 2*/3* for me. Thanks to DT for his review.

  23. I tend to agree with DT and I found it to be possibly the most straightforward puzzle of the week with many write-ins. I thought yesterday’s was a stinker – pride stopped me from quitting and I finally completed with much putting down and returning to continue with. Hope all went well at the Eye Hospital DT, my turn next Friday! My thanks to both DT and DG. A very enjoyable solve.

  24. Pleasant puzzle from the Don once again!

    Faves : 1a, 9a, 21a, 3d, 7d & 16d.

    Re 9a : it’s not just Cockneys that don’t pronounce initial aitches – Yorkshire folk for example!

  25. An amusing but surprisingly simple puzzle for the back end of the week, but thanks anyway to Giovanni. About 1*/3* by my standards, and 16d my pick of the clues. Thanks to DT for the review.

      1. Haven’t dared look yet – bet it’s all footballers and goals and things that I don’t understand.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
        Will be heading in the direction of the Toughie blog later after I’ve had some food which, at the moment, is my number one priority.

    1. DT did explain why there were no pictures. I don’t think they’ve gone for ever – just not possible today.

  26. Agree that this one was definitely on the gentle side but well put together, good fun and gave us extra time to spend on the Toughie.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  27. It’s lovely to have an easier end to the week. I’m always more tired on a Friday and would like a Monday sort of crossword – so thank you Giovanni for such a good puzzle. I needed BRB to confirm 14a and 11d as they are new words for me but I could work out what they were from the clues. 16d was my last one in because although I was pretty sure of the answer, I was defeated in terms of why (probably me being dim at the end of a long week.) So thank you DT for the help with that. My favourites were 8d and 3d. **/***

  28. Nice crossword, lots of wry grins. Favourite 9a, my type of ‘humour’

    Thank you DG and DT

  29. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but quite tricky in places. Managed it in the end, had “indebted” for 4d for a while, which held me up. Got there in the end after solving 12a. Needed the hints to parse 3 & 16d, didn’t realise that 3 was an Anagram. Favourite was 21a. Was 2*/3* for me. Late commenting due to a trip to Canterbury.

  30. Although most people seem to have found this plain-sailing, I didn’t manage to finish it as usual over breakfast (a meal of varying lengths depending on the challenge presented by the Cryptic) so had to return to it after a celebratory day with family. I did then manage without hints perhaps aided by having consumed liberal doses of sherbet. Liked 9a and 3d. ***/***. Thanks Giovanni and DT. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  31. Agreed about 1* difficulty, I managed over half the clues in my first sitting which is unusual for me. Favourite (and first one in) 12a

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