DT 27587

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27587

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **/***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from Killala in County Mayo, where we are staying for a few days. My host suggests this post should be called ‘the blog from the bog’.

One or two less common terms from Giovanni today, which took me up to the top end of ** for difficulty.

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           Cavalier poet‘s infant still at mother’s breast (8)
SUCKLING – Double definition, the first being a 17th-century English poet, who is also alleged to have invented the game of cribbage.

5a           Female music artist, mostly very cold (6)
FRAPPE Female followed by one of those ‘music’ artists whose act consists of speaking over a repetitive beat, but with the last letter removed (mostly) to give a term applied to very cold drinks.

9a           VIP has to fall down before monarch, that’s an obvious thing (2-7)
NO-BRAINER – Put together a VIP or toff, a verb meaning to fall down from the sky, and the regnal cipher of our Queen.

11a         Domineering woman has thrown out a number of stars (5)
VIRGO – Remove (thrown out) the A from a word for a domineering woman to get a constellation which is a sign of the Zodiac.

12a         Garment being worn by companion in Italian river (6)
PONCHO – A two-letter word for ‘worn by’ and the letters after the name of a Companion of an Order similar to the Order of Merit, all put inside the usual crossword Italian river.

13a         A good fortune pro’s lost, bringing harshness (8)
ASPERITY – Start with A (from the clue), then remove the ‘pro’ from the front of a word for good fortune or success.

15a         Camera mechanism could be bodged up with maid’s hairgrip (4,9)
IRIS DIAPHRAGM – Anagram (could be bodged up with) of MAID’S HAIRGRIP.

18a         One reduces the price as a matter of policy (2-6,5)
NO-CLAIMS BONUS – Cryptic definition of what you may well have on your car insurance policy.

22a         Most unattractive nuisance gets sprawled out to tuck in (8)
PLAINEST – A word for sprawled out or lying down inside a word for a nuisance.

23a         Ruler returning prohibits any dissent? Not entirely (6)
DYNAST – Hidden in(not entirely) the clue in reverse (returning). Hands up those who put ‘tyrant’as their first answer!

26a         Polish relish? (5)
TASTE – Double definition, the first being the polish displayed by a cultured person.

27a         Act on idea put out by clerical office (9)
DIACONATE – Anagram (put out) of ACT ON IDEA, giving a clerical office below the priesthood.

28a         Tidy up kitchen finally, having had meal (6)
NEATEN – The last letter of kitcheN followed by ;having had meal.

29a         Loud and wild tom cat intercepted by university odd-job man (8)
FACTOTUM – The musical symbol for loud followed by an anagram (wild) of TOM CAT with University inside it.


1d           Horse’s knocked over little relative — that’s the general view (8)
SYNOPSIS – Reverse (knocked over) a word for ‘horse’s’ and add a diminutive for a sibling.

2d           Vehicle in shed (5)
CABIN – A public transport vehicle followed by IN (from the clue).

3d           Hated the burden having to be carried around (7)
LOATHED – Wrap a burden around THE (from the clue).

4d           Grandmother not available more than once (4)
NANA – The abbreviation for ‘not available’, repeated.

6d           One is surrounded by water — a popular holiday area (7)
RIVIERA – The Roman numeral for one is surrounded by a body of flowing water, and A (from the clue) is added.

7d           Fruit I am beginning to munch — individual needing to eat that (9)
PERSIMMON – Put an abbreviated form of ‘I am’ and the first letter of Munch inside a word for an individual.

8d           My negative response upset Jeremiah maybe (6)
EPONYM – Reverse (upset) MY (from the clue) and a form of the negative response, to get a word relating to someone who appears, like Jeremiah or Tristram Shandy, in the title of a work in which they appear.

10d         Institution providing care, established north of hospital in capital (4,4)
REST HOME – An abbreviation for ‘established’ followed by (north of, in a Down clue) an abbreviation for Hospital, all place inside a European capital city.

14d         Idiot will have rushed around, under pressure (8)
HARASSED – Put a word for an idiot inside a synonym of ‘rushed’.

16d         A noise in a swirling expanse of water (6,3)
IONIAN SEA – Anagram (swirling) of A NOISE IN A.

17d         What’s on meteorologist’s chart as part of his other map (8)
ISOTHERM – Hidden in (part of) the clue.

19d         Gather as group of witches round start of night, end of June (7)
CONVENE – Put the first letter of Night inside a group of witches, and add the last letter of JunE.

20d         Lad getting caught faces excessive ban (7)
BOYCOTT – Put together a lad, the abbreviation for ‘caught’ in a cricket scorecard, and a three-letter expression for excessive. Particularly relevant for me today, since the character whose name gave rise to the expression which is the answer was in County Mayo when the action against him was started.

21d         Excellent time in old-fashioned golf club (4-2)
SPOT ON – Put Time inside the name of an old-fashioned golfing implement , apparently something like a 3-wood today.

24d         Stop girl looking up and down on street (5)
AVAST – A nautical term for stop is made up of a palindromic girl’s name and the abbreviation for street.

25d         The old man that’s after Oscar (4)
PAPA – The letter that follows Oscar in the NATO alphabet.

The Quick Crossword pun GUESSED+LISZT=GUEST LIST



  1. JonP
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Found this tricky and needed electronic help for a couple. Thanks to DT and Giovanni 3.5*/3*

  2. neveracrossword
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Quite challenging – 3*/3* for me. Never heard of the Cavalier poet or the camera mechanism.

  3. Jezza
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    ‘Tyrant’ – guilty as charged!
    Thanks to Giovanni, for a few head-scratchers, and to DT for the review.

    • Michael
      Posted September 5, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      Me too – I seized upon ‘Tyrant’ and didn’t think any more about it!

      Very good puzzle – pretty tough!

    • Una
      Posted September 5, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      Me too.

    • Chris
      Posted September 5, 2014 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      Any more room in the dock for me?

  4. 2Kiwis
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    An enjoyable puzzle for us, just about the right level of difficulty that we like to see on a Friday with just one word to check in the BRB, 27a. Found 24d fascinating as the same answer was in at least one of the puzzles we have solved in the last few days and also turns up in today’s Toughie. If it is just coincidence it certainly is freaky. Lots to smile about in this one we thought.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

    • Rick
      Posted September 5, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      24d and 29a seem to be popping up everywhere at the moment. Do setters have ‘in’ words like chefs have trendy ingredients?
      I think I am suffering from my comment about Newcastle earlier in the week as for the second day running I had trouble in the North East…13a/8d were the last of a tricky corner. That alone pushed this well into 3* territory for me. Even the anagrams were no pushover, although as a photographer 15a was not a problem. Thanks DT – I suspect your difficulty rating may be challenged by a few more before the day is out. Perhaps I should have had a drop of the black stuff before tackling it?

  5. Ally
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    I needed your help today and yes, I started with tyrant. Thank you.

  6. Angel
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    One of the most entertaining puzzles I can remember – thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you Giovanni for that and DT for being there. Difficult to pick a fav from, say, 5a, 9a, 18a, 21a and old chestnut 25a but perhaps I will plump for 18a. 15a and 27a now added to my cranial vocabulary. ***/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    • Angel
      Posted September 5, 2014 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      By the way Giovanni your sound illustration to 29a provided special joy for me (thank you) as I leave quite soon for tour of USA/Canada ending with performance of Marriage of Figaro at the Met in New York – can’t wait! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  7. Werm
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    That was fun, 13a, 1d and 8d took as long as all the others put together but I got there unaided in the end. Thanks DT and Giovanni. Have a good weekend everybody.

  8. Brian
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Def more than. 2 star for difficulty, really v tricky.
    Got held up by having Drago for 11a (it should have been!), never come across the fruit in 7d, 27a is a new word to me and 9a, 27a and 5a just didn’t work for me at all.
    Found it a ***/** today I’m afraid.
    All a bit disappointing and below par.
    Thx to DT for the hints.

  9. George Dyson
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable and challenging for me in one area. It took me quite a while in the NE corner – not knowing anything about Jeremiah. Only figured this one out by much pondering on the start of the clue and trying everything I could fit in the squares! Then puzzling over the music artist in 5a.Other than that I found the puzzle very straightforward so I would give it 3*/4* purely on the NE corner.

  10. Jane
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    27a took a while – ‘dictation’ kept sticking in my mind so looking for the wrong sort of clerical office! Shades of a past life. Managed to complete it but obviously need to mug up on English poets and Jeremiah (would have made things SO much easier). 18a very satisfying and 15a OK once I realised it was an anagram.
    Most impressed that everyone else seems to not only finish every puzzle in record time but also to name the compiler. Is there a list to choose from?!!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    • Posted September 5, 2014 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Jane – that’s a Frequently Asked Question, so guess where you might find the answer!

      • Kath
        Posted September 5, 2014 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        Sorry – you beat me to it.

      • Jane
        Posted September 5, 2014 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        OK Big Dave and Kath – we all have to start somewhere! Grateful for your help – I’ll look at the FAQ.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

      • Jane
        Posted September 5, 2014 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

        Looked at the FAQ. OMG – is this a full-time occupation for some of you guys?!! I go for luck, determination, guesswork and bloody-mindedness most of the time – oh, and I take the weekends off!

        Still struggling with some of the IT issues, but will consult a helpful daughter sooner than embarrass myself any further. I dread to think where ‘permalink’ would lead me!

        Seriously, it’s all great fun and I hope you whizz-kids don’t mind too much having me on board?!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_heart.gif

    • Kath
      Posted September 5, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Who the setter is on which days of the week is in the list of Frequently Asked Questions which is up at the top somewhere. Don’t worry – lots of people ask that.
      Some very clever people can spot the setters – the only one that I can recognise a mile off is Ray T.

      • crypticsue
        Posted September 5, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        I actually spotted which puzzle was Mr Manley’s (Giovanni) in the three puzzles in my heat of the Times Championships last year!

        • Kath
          Posted September 5, 2014 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

          In that case you must fall into the category of ‘some very clever people’!

  11. Kath
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear – it’s beginning to look like another of those ‘just me’ days. This was 4* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment for me.
    Yet again having finally finished it I’m not quite sure how it’s taken so long or why I found it so difficult – I just did!
    Having read all the clues through once I had about four answers – pathetic.
    It makes me realise how much I depend on anagrams to get me started – today there were only four think, although I may have lost my ability to count as well.
    I’ve never heard of the 1a poet (and there isn’t one called Nursling – trust me, I’ve looked), 15a or 27a.
    I did like 19, 20 and 25d.
    With thanks to Giovanni for the crossword and to Deep Threat for taking the time to do the hints while on holiday.

    • Beaver
      Posted September 5, 2014 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      I empathise with Kath, and think D.T. must have had a really good day as this was at least a *** ,maybe **** with I’m afraid a ** enjoyment , i think I was just off the wave length like tuning into the cricket on198,wanted to put Draco in for 11a,which just about sums it up,oh and mark me down for the tyrant bit-going for a pint.

    • Kath
      Posted September 5, 2014 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      PS But I wasn’t a tyrant so at least I’ve done something a little bit right in this tricky crossword! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  12. Clarky
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    That was a real challenge for me today. Not normally so difficult to get on Giovanni’s wavelength but several words were new to me. Grateful for the hints from DT.
    I need a rest now.

  13. crypticsue
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    I too am a member of the ‘tyrant’ club – and it was a tougher than usual Giovanni puzzle (3*/3*)- tougher than today’s Toughie (which isn’t!)

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT too.

    • Brian
      Posted September 5, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      Wouldn’t be the first time the DT has mixed up the envelopes http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    • Brian
      Posted September 5, 2014 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Just looked at the toughie and as usual your idea of not difficult is so far away from mine as to be measured in parsecs! It’s completely impossible at least for me. Managed one anagram. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  14. baka-ja-nai
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    As soon as I read 8D, I thought “what is the point?” No chance of enjoying this. Time I tried other newspapers instead. Any recommendations?

    • Brian
      Posted September 5, 2014 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Don’t give up, Giovanni’s are notoriously difficult and this was one of his most difficult. Normally he makes you think but is very fair. It’s just that today’s was below his usual high standard. We all have our ‘off’ days. :-)

  15. BigBoab
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Excellent crossword today, many thanks to Giovanni and to to DT for the lovely review. I don’t quite understand why a puzzle should be considered below par just because some people can’t do it, surely the whole idea of doing crosswords is to put our brains to the test. (No offence intended to anyone, rant over!)I agree with CS re the toughie, well worth a wee go.

  16. Kevin
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Very tough and unsatisfactory today – no enjoyment from this one

    Thanks for the hints, I needed most of them today

  17. njm
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    4* difficulty for me because I had frigid for 5a! 3* for enjoyment, despite some pretty esoteric solutions (1a, 15a, 27a et al). Melting gently in heat and humidity of Boa Vista, so off to enjoy some pre-lunch G&T (well it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!). Thanks to Giovanni & DT.

  18. Gwizz
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Doh! I thought of the correct answer and yet still decided it had to be ‘tyrant’… http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
    I thought this was well up to Friday standards and I enjoyed the battle.
    BigBoab I couldn’t agree with you more re: your er-hem, rant.
    Thanks to Giovanni and DT for the hints.

  19. Magmull
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    I got “dynast” all right, and enjoyed the puzzle – needed quite a bit of hard work and several cups of coffee, – but even reading DT’s explanation for 22a, I cannot for the life of me understand it! Can anyone enlighten me, preferably in words of one syllable so that I can take it in?

    • crypticsue
      Posted September 5, 2014 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      LAIN (sprawled out) inside PEST (nuisance)

      • Magmull
        Posted September 5, 2014 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        EE, sorry – I’m all at sea today – what I meant was the reasoning behind “dynast”, but I’d scribbled over the number and misread it. Many apologies.

      • crypticsue
        Posted September 5, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        Ah! It is reversed and hidden in the words of the clue!

        • Magmull
          Posted September 5, 2014 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

          Oh brillo – That’s a reet stinker, but I enjoy them all. Many thanks

  20. Derek
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Pleasant puzzle.

    1a went in immediately from the clue but I had never heard of the man until I googled him!

    Very difficult to pick faves – I enjoy solving as it keeps my English up to scratch.

  21. Dave B
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed it in a masochistic way. Definitely the hardest of the week.

  22. Poppy
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    I’m another of the Tyrant band…. And have been comforted by the fact that I’m not alone in having struggled for ages with today’s puzzle. But finally got there with a lot of help. Thank you setter, and thank you DT. Don’t have a clue about sporting terms, but 21d fitted in with checking letters. Poppy finally signed off the sick list, and is now camera-ready and full of beans after cantering along part of the Epsom race course http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    • Kath
      Posted September 5, 2014 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      I’m so glad to hear that she’s better – I bet she’s become really spoilt, and quite right too! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      • Poppy
        Posted September 5, 2014 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        Thanks so much Kath. We’re so relieved! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  23. Jay legs
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    **** difficulty/*** enjoyment 7d, 8d and 13 across fooled me http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  24. Sweet William
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Thank you DG for an enjoyable challenge. I was determined to finish this before we set off on our long drive to Strathyre. We have been counting the posters since we crossed the border – 8 “yes” and none for “no” – not sure what that tells us ! Thanks DT for your review and hints.

  25. Little Dave
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    This was a bit of a brain work-put. Took me a few read throughs before I got going. There were some tricky clues and a few new words for me – I liked 3a and 10d best of all. Was pleased to get 29a which has featured before. The camera part was the process of elimination and like many it seems it is new for me. I suggest that tomorrow’s puzzle will present less of a challenge for most. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    • Jane
      Posted September 5, 2014 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      Hi little Dave – where’s 3a? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

      • Kath
        Posted September 5, 2014 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

        Yes – I was fooled by that too. My guess is that he means 9a, if only because it’s the 3rd across clue.
        Would anyone else like to have a guess?

  26. Una
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    A tough puzzle, I thought.15a was the last one in before accepting your hint for 5a, DT.You picked a good week to go to Killala, as it is allegedly dry and warmish in most places.I felt like a 9a for a long time. Thanks DT and Giovanni.

  27. Domus
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    *** difficulty surely but good fun

  28. Corinne
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    I too am a ‘tyrant’ today . **** / **
    Don’t enjoy clues with long , rambling sentences or maybe that’s just me !.

  29. Chris
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Tricky I thought – 3-4* for me, but easier once a few went in in the lower half.
    (And I’d got “tyrant”, of course!)
    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  30. Hrothgar
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Blimey, I found this tough going, especially the NE corner.
    Three there held me up for a long time.
    But, I got there eventually.
    Many thanks Giovanni for the challenge, and Deep Threat for the review.

  31. Wahoo
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely great stuff (***/****) particularly over a bottle of rose at a lazy lunch today in the sun – what Friday’s are all about! Favourite? I guess I’ll go for 18a. Agree with comments re 13a and 8d (last one in) and needed Google’s help for the first of those and for the camera thingy in 15 a. As Rick said above, tricky anagrams – but still beneficially brain stretching, if you see what I mean?!

    Thanks so much to the Don and to DT for a great review. Enjoy the weekend everyone – whatever it may have in store for you!

    As an aside – last night Mrs Wahoo and I attended a performance of Hamlet by the Globe Theatre Company who are undertaking an around the World tour with the play – in 240 countries over 2 years!! Magnificient to have them visit our tiny little island of Nevis! If you get a chance – go and see it!! I will try to add the link to their website here http://globetoglobe.shakespearesglobe.com/hamlet/about-the-project

    Does that work if you click on it?

    • Kath
      Posted September 5, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it does. I think you’re very clever – I must learn how to do this kind of stuff.

  32. Hilary
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Thoroughly ashamed of myself, one of my worst efforts for ages. Perhaps it is time I gave up and went off to lie down in a darkened room with a soothing ice pack on my fevered brain.

    • Kath
      Posted September 5, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      Don’t be ashamed of yourself. Go and lie in a darkened room with the ice pack by all means but this was a tricky crossword and tomorrow is another day! Have a little flower http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  33. Salty Dog
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    The toughest back-pager for months, but a rewarding puzzle well worth the wrinkled brow it caused. Pretty close to 4* difficulty, l thought, and some very good clues (1d, 7d, 9a). Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review (and for putting me right on “tyrant”!).

  34. Dick
    Posted September 6, 2014 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    Easy peasy lemon squeezy – apart from most of them. I’d never heard of that clerical post.

  35. john Middleton
    Posted September 6, 2014 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Three hour train journey and still couldn’t finish it, I did a little better on the ‘toughie’.

  36. Catnap
    Posted September 6, 2014 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    This was a very interesting challenge which I enjoyed. I liked many of the clues. 21d brings back childhood memories as my parents both played golf.

    I knew of 1a (also known as one of the so-called ‘Metaphysical Poets’) and 27a. Got sadly stuck, though, on 13a, 1d and 8d, and needed Deep Threat’s hints to solve these. For which — and for the rest of the excellent review — grateful thanks. Otherwise I had no real problems, although it was a slowish solve.

    Appreciative thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

    p.s Enjoy your holiday, Deep Threat.