DT 27593 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27593

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27593

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on an overcast September morning.

Giovanni is in fairly tricky mode today, *** for difficulty as far as I was concerned.

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           Principal holding school activity in a bit of a mountain? (6)
HEAPED – My least favourite school activity inside another word for the school principal.

5a           Gets in touch with prisoners, understanding being in confinement (8)
CONTACTS – Understanding or sensitivity inside (in confinement) the usual crossword prisoners.

9a           Meat bear rips into bits (5,3)
SPARE RIB – Anagram (into bits) of BEAR RIPS.

10a         Dead Queen’s inscription on either side of that old coin (6)
TANNER – A familiar name for a pre-decimal coin is made up of the way a Stuart queen who is proverbially dead would have signed her name preceded by (on) the letter found either side of ThaT.

11a         Poisonous type offering holy love held in derision (8)
SCORPION – The two-letter word used to indicate being holy or sanctimonious and the letter which looks like a love score at tennis, placed inside a word for derision.

12a         Soldier ‘done wrong’ according to judge (6)
GIDEON –An abbreviation for an American soldier followed by an anagram (wrong) of DONE, giving us an Old Testament judge – possibly the one who leaves Bibles in hotel rooms.

13a         It’s most mean to be stricter than the rest? (8)
TIGHTEST – Double definition: least free-spending; or exercising greatest control.

15a         Fruit not ripening quickly, we hear? (4)
SLOE – A homophone (we hear) of ‘not quick’.

17a         Carry little one home finally (4)
TOTE – A small child or small drink, followed by the last letter of homE.

19a         Menace spelt out in dire omen (8)
DOMINEER – Anagram (spelt out) of DIRE OMEN.

20a         Old country hospital that has trail around it (6)
THRACE – An ancient European state covering parts of modern Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey. Put Hospital inside a word for trail or follow.

21a         One maiden given job to lead men is a fraud (8)
IMPOSTOR – Put together the Roman numeral for one, the abbreviation for a maiden over on a cricket scorecard, a job or position, and the abbreviation for soldiers who are not officers.

22a         Beginner recognised insect’s sound (6)
NEWBIE – This sounds like an expression (4,3) which could mean ‘recognised insect’.

23a         Peg has hesitation stabling horse, one not fully mature (8)
TEENAGER – A peg which supports a golf ball, and an expression showing hesitation, with a horse placed between them.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

24a         Risk death confronting sin (8)
ENDANGER – A synonym for death, followed by one of the deadly sins.

25a         Relation is turning severe, almost totally (6)
SISTER – Reverse (turning) the IS from the clue, and add a word for severe, minus its final letter.


2d           Particular sort of perception to get Alice perplexed (8)
ESPECIAL – A three-letter acronym for a sort of perception outside the normal six senses, followed by an anagram (perplexed) of ALICE.

3d           Spout as star losing head, interrupting chatter (8)
PERORATE – Remove the first letter (losing head) from the star or leading character in a play, and put the result inside a verb meaning chatter.

4d           Bold act of sinning admitted by divine circle (7-2)
DERRING-DO – Another word for sinning inside the letters found after the name of a divine or theologian, followed by a circle-shaped letter.

5d           Government member — see me involved with sect in Britain (7,8)
CABINET MINISTER – Anagram (involved) of ME and SECT IN BRITAIN.

6d           Like Russia once — in dire straits (7)
TSARIST – The system of government in Russia before 1917 is an anagram (dire) of STRAITS.

7d           Study something sure to be a winner — old piece of music (8)
CONCERTO – Put together a verb meaning ‘study’ (especially in crosswords), a horse sure to win a race, and Old.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

8d           Stop flow in street right on corner (8)
STRANGLE – Put together abbreviations for STreet and Right, and a corner or bend.

14d         Shelter quiet little man needed aboard ship, not getting off (9)
SLEEPLESS – Put together shelter (from the wind), the musical symbol for quiet, and an abbreviated form of a man’s name, and put the result inside the usual crossword ship.

15d         Ruling given in a few words? (8)
SENTENCE – A judge’s ruling at the end of a criminal trial; also a few (or many) words put together as a grammatical construct.

16d         Disconcerted about a short working day? (8)
OVERAWED – Another word for about or concerning followed by A (from the clue) and an abbreviation for a weekday.

17d         Sin very French to go unnoticed (8)
TRESPASS – One of the sins for which forgiveness is prayed for in the Lord’s Prayer. The French for ‘very’ followed by a verb meaning ‘go unnoticed’.

18d         In mountainous area it can be sleety or windy (8)
TYROLESE – Anagram (windy) of SLEETY OR.

19d         Speech using 70 per cent of total vocabulary? (7)
DICTION – The first seven letters of a ten-letter word for a total vocabulary such as the BRB.

The Quick Crossword pun SCREW + TINNY = SCRUTINY

54 comments on “DT 27593

  1. Just to be different, I thought it was Giovanni in ‘friendly’ mode this morning – I’d give it 2* difficulty. Thanks to him and DT too.

    Fans of Ray T may wish to have a look at today’s Toughie. People who don’t normally ‘do’ Toughies might like to have a go too http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

      1. Thank you – a fiver will come in very handy for a couple of the things on my list of ‘to do’s’ this afternoon http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    1. I agree about today’s – I normally find them much more difficult than this was.
      I’m doing surprisingly well with the Toughie, so far, but don’t imagine the success will last long.

    2. Totally agree Sue, friendly mode indeed and only just within the anagram parameters, agree re the Beam toughie today also, another excellent setter in friendly mode.

  2. I needed a couple of visits to finish this one off. Thanks to Giovanni, and to Deep Threat.

    As crypticsue suggests, the toughie is definitely worth a look, and reasonably gentle by Friday standards.

  3. Not my favourite of the week, I needed 3 hints. BUT, I loved the bright and fresh performance of the Concierto de Aranjuez with Williams as good as ever. Please tell us the source. Muchas gracias.

    1. All the video clips I use come from Youtube. If you google the name of the piece, you’ll find it without any difficulty.

  4. I found this one a bit tricky in the NW corner – stared at 3d and 1a for quite a while. The rest was quite doable though. I would rate it as 2*/3*

  5. I’d say 2*/3* as well.
    I didn’t think it was as tricky as I usually find Friday crosswords but I did have a spot of bother with the Quicke.
    I was slow to get 1a and just about managed to drag 3d out of the depths of the brain – not exactly a word I use every day.
    No other problems really.
    I liked 22a and 15d. My favourite was 19d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

    1. Must be just me then! We are usually quite close with our ratings but I really struggled in parts today, particularly the SW corner. Not helped by workmen coming and going and breaking my concentration, but I was firmly into 4* territory by the time the last two (19d/22a) dropped in. They were both nice clues that I should have got sooner, so perhaps it’s me having a thicko day today. I can’t say I’m finding the Toughie any easier either.

      1. You’re right – we’re usually pretty close with ratings. For some reason I didn’t have much trouble today which is very unusual for me on a Friday. I think concentration is ruined with too many, or even any, comings and goings. I certainly found the Toughie more difficult than this but not impossible – I don’t normally even look at Friday Toughies.

        1. I finished the Toughie – eventually – but it felt like hard work and there was a degree of guess first and work it out later involved!

      2. Phew! I thought this was tough and give it a 4 rating. So it’s just me and you who struggled seemingly. 20a, 22a and 18 d were stumbling blocks for me although I do like the answer to 18d. Thanks to the setter and DT for much needed pointers.

        1. No, me too.I too must be having a thicko day and I have no excuses.I was way off Giovanni’s wavelength today. Didn’t help with 19d that I spelt 21a ending in “er” ,second last one in and last one in was22a and never heard of the old country. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

          1. I was with you all the way on the ‘er’ ending for 21a – made 18d a bit of a problem for a while! Last one in – 22a but definitely my fav. when I finally got there. Tackled 10a completely the wrong way round – only became apparent when I found the name in the middle!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    2. So relieved to learn that even you had a bit of a problem with the Quickie. Had to resort to help for 1d and 14a. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  6. Took a bit longer than usual this morning, not sure why others found it easy. Maybe because i’d never heard of the old country, and the wordplay for inscribed queens 10a had me confused, thanks for the explanation. Liked 22a, 16d and 14d. First in was the long 5d, last in was 20a because i was uncertain and had to google it (not in my BRB!). Now to finish the toughie.

    thanks to setter and DT, liked the videos too but didn’t watch all 20 mins of the concerto

  7. I found this quite tricky. Needed a few passes to get there. 4* difficulty! 22a made me smile though. Thank you to Giovanni and Deep Threat for the explantions.

  8. The only clue that held me up was 3D. I normally do the puzzle on the train on an Ipad and I didn’t solve 3d until I got to work and wrote the checking letters horizontally , at which point the penny dropped fairly quickly. This happens a lot, I find the down clues I struggle with so much easier if I write them crossways. Maybe I’m just weird http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif
    Thanks to Giovanni and DT

    1. Indeed I did! Had to look at the answer in the hints above and still had never heard of it! One to put in the memory bank!

  9. Can’t really quibble with a ***/***, didn’t remember- or most likely forgot 3d, and never seen 22a written down, assume it is a ‘proper’ word. However enough to keep me amused, thanks DT for the pics,15a reminded me its picking time and must buy some gin!

  10. Very enjoyable puzzle today from the Master. Could someone though please elucidate a couple of clues. Where is the mountain in 1a? In 10a, where does the R fit in? And finally what is the abbreviation for holy love, is it PI in which case where does the A come in?
    I just like to fully understand all the wordplay.
    Thx to all.

    1. 11a Scorn (derision) pi(holy) o (love) There is no A, re 1a I think heap is part of a mountain (bit loose I think)

    2. 1a If something is ‘heaped’ it’s piled up, so in a bit of mountain (the clue does have a question mark!).
      10a Anne R for the queen (just like Elizabeth R for the current one).
      11a Holy is PI and love is O inside SCORN (derision). What A?

  11. Well, I must have been in tune with the setter today because I fairly raced through this, the only hold up for a bit being 3D, even though I had all but two of the letters. Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  12. Hmm. Bit annoying this one as 3d defeated me. I had parsed it correctly (so unfortunately DT’s hint didn’t help) but I struggled to come up with a decapitated synonym for star to complete a word that I recognised. On the plus side, the rest of it was plain sailing and enjoyable, and at least I have learned a new word.
    Thanks to Giovanni for expanding my vocabulary and Deep Threat for the review.

  13. Bit of a sin theme today from Giovanni. That must be why I enjoyed it so much! **/**** for me. Thanks to all.

  14. I was at school in Tiverton with a George Dyson (who would now be In his seventies) — not by any chance the GD here, is it?

  15. A bit trickier I thought, but still fairly mellow for a Friday. Completion sans hints was even so very satisfying. 3d was my favourite. Thanks to Giovannii and DT

  16. I found several clues a bit far-fetched and overall this was a bit of a thankless slog for me.
    Best part was going through DT’s hints especially (2d-ly)!) the guitar 7d played so beautifully by John Williams. Thank you very much DT. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gifLet’s see what the Last Night of the Proms brings tomorrow. My reserved thanks to Giovanni this time. ****/**. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  17. I am sitting on the fence while hunting with the hounds and running with the hare. I found some of very straight forward, but 14d and 10a tricky.At least there were no utterly unknown words.Thanks DT and Giovanni.

  18. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. Must have been on the right wavelength today. No major problems. Was 2*/3* for me. Favourite was 22a. Last in was 16d. Beautiful weather in Central London, long may it continue.

  19. I always get psyched up to think Friday will always be hard.
    Struggle in part, overall *** seems fair for difficulty.
    Many thanks Giovanni and DT for the review.

  20. Thanks for the hints DT and for the lovely piece of music reminding me of one of my favourite films ever…Brassed Off in which the wonderful Pete Postlethwaite referred to it as “The Orange Juice ‘ .Thanks also to Giovanni for the workout.

  21. Good Friday fare once again with well written clues. All went together smoothly without major hold-ups.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  22. I’d go for 3*/3*, l think. I quite liked 14a, but must say l didn’t think 1a worked that well as a clue. Still, thanks to Giovanni for the workout and to DT for the review.

  23. Thanks DG for another enjoyable puzzle and thanks DT for your review and hints. Kept trying to post yesterday but was defeated by a lack of a signal on Mull. The hotel adjoining our cottage have been very helpful and have been letting me use their Wi Fi but yesterday it was so slow that I couldn’t connect.

  24. Hi everyone
    It might be a bit late for someone to pick this up but I still don’t get 3D! What is the chatter and what is the star?!
    Many thanks

    1. Please don’t use capitals (edited out) unless it’s to emphasise wordplay elements – in internet protocol it’s the equivalent of shouting, and you don’t need to do that here.

      To prate is to chatter and the star is a (h)ero – p ero rate

  25. Thank you BD .
    Sorry about the caps… was just trying to show my frustration at myself not be rude. Am learning.

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