DT 27605 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27605

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27605

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from Umberleigh in North Devon, where we are spending a few days. A damp, grey start to the day has now given way to beautiful late September sunshine.

Most of today’s puzzle from Giovanni went in without difficulty, but the last couple tipped me into *** time, with 7d the last one in.

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.


8a           Peril not problematical for group seeking criminals (8)
INTERPOL – Anagram (problematical) of PERIL NOT.

9a           Characters enthralled by worker ranting, deviating from the norm (6)
ERRANT – Hidden in (characters enthralled by) the clue.

10a         Girl soon losing love (3)
ANN – Remove the letter that looks like a love score at tennis from a word meaning soon or presently, to get a girl’s name.

11a         Basic principle this person’s found in harsh holy books (8)
RUDIMENT – Put a shorter way of saying ‘this person is’ inside a word mean ing harsh or rough, then add an abbreviation for the second half of the Bible.

12a         Theologian into drink, delivery initially confused (6)
ADDLED – Put the letters which a theologian might have after his or her name inside an alcoholic drink, then add the first letter of Delivery.

13a         Something A-level maths student does to achieve distinction (15)
DIFFERENTIATION – Double definition: a mathematical process; or the act of distinguishing one thing from another.

15a         Work is not bad, offering possibilities (7)
OPTIONS – The Latin abbreviation for a (musical) work followed by an anagram (bad) of IS NOT.

18a         Venus de Milo is so defenceless (7)
UNARMED – This word for defenceless could also describe the Venus de Milo statue.

21a         Volume set aside for drinker? (6-5,4)
COFFEE-TABLE BOOK – Set aside so that you can put your cup down.

24a         Quickly flip over the page about little man (6)
PRONTO – An abbreviation for an instruction to go to the next page, wrapped around a short form of a man’s name.

25a         Kept away, being dispatched into a place of rest (8)
ABSENTED – A (from the clue) and a place of rest or sleep with ‘dispatched’ inserted into it.

26a         Writer producing letters of note I collected (3)
NIB – A two-letter abbreviation for ‘take note’ with I (from the clue) inside it.

27a         Blast from explosive — get away before that! (6)
SCATHE – A word you might use to chase away a marauding cat from your garden, followed by the initials denoting an explosive. This week’s obscure word – more commonly seen in its opposite form as an adjective.

28a         Frenchman to straggle alongside English deserter (8)
RENEGADE – A French name – think of the character played by Gorden Kaye in ‘Allo ‘Allo – followed by a word meaning to straggle or wander and English.


1d           Rings one’s seen beyond void (6)
ANNULI –A verb meaning to void or set aside followed by the Roman numeral for one, giving some ring-shaped geometrical figures.

2d           Misrepresent female intuition (6)
BELIEF – A synonym of ‘misrepresent’ followed by Female.

3d           Cash someone will come to get (10,5)
APPEARANCE MONEY – Cryptic definition of a fee paid to a professional sportsman for turning up at an event.

4d           Criticising materials used by roofer (7)
SLATING – Double definition, the first being a figure of speech, the second a description of the act of covering a roof, but not with tiles.

5d           Privatising brings sale with indignation erupting (15)

6d           Order apt to be blasted out by wolfish type (8)
PREDATOR – Anagram (to be blasted out) of ORDER APT.

7d           The answer here probably has only one letter! (8)
ENVELOPE – … because if you write several letters you probably put them into separate examples of the answer.

14d         Parent not half thick (3)
FAT – The first half of the word for a male parent.

16d         Extend professional area (8)
PROTRACT – An abbreviation for professional followed by an expanse of land.

17d         Home if tiny unlikely to convey vastness (8)
INFINITY – The word conveying the sense ‘at home’ followed by an anagram (unlikely) of IF  TINY.

19d         Revolutionary order intercepted by a Communist leader (3)
MAO – Reverse the initials denoting an honour given for high achievement in the arts, literature. Learning or science, then insert A (from the clue).

20d         Taxi runs into horse — it’s ghastly (7)
MACABRE – A female horse wrapped around a word for taxi.

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22d         Friendly government initially installed in African country (6)
BENIGN – Put the first letter of Government inside a West African country which borders Nigeria.

23d         Ham finished? Then daughter must have egg (6)
OVERDO – ‘Ham’ as in ‘Ham it up’. Put together a word for finished or past, the initial letter of Daughter, and an egg-shaped letter.

The Quick Cross word pun HOLEY + WAUGH = HOLY WAR


72 comments on “DT 27605

  1. Got off to a flying start but the last few held me up.

    7D was the last in for me too. Took me ages but it was well worth it.

    Thanks for an engaging crossword and review.

  2. I enjoyed this, although was prevented from achieving perfection by 24a and 22d. The NW corner took a while to yield, but in the end it was not what defeated me. Minimal smiling* is probably again a case of “it’s not you, it’s me,” and I thank the Don for a crossword which was satisfying and included one of my favourite things: calculus. (I never claimed to be normal http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif.)

    Thanks also to Deep Throat for the hints which I shall read through now. I wonder if I shall discover that I’ve done something silly somewhere?

    *(Except while pondering 3d. I won’t elaborate.)

      1. :). So, would you do me a favour and confirm that d/dx (4x^10)^3 is in fact 1920x^29 … ? (And you don’t need to use the chain rule, though you can.)

    1. Argh! I just noticed that not for the first time I’ve made a typo when thanking Deep Threat. At least the capitalisations are correct. Sometimes my fingers type without consulting my brain first. Sorry DT! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

  3. I enjoyed this one today. 7d was also my last in, even though I have seen it before in a different guise.

    Many thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review. The pictorial hint at 13a brings back memories (I never fully understood it then!).

  4. Enjoyable puzzle that all went together smoothly but not too quickly. 7d was the last one in for us as well and we will make it our favourite. So simple yet difficult to spot.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

    1. I didn’t know the single OR the plural.
      OR that 13a was a mathematical procedure.

      I blame the school and two university systems.
      Honestly! What are they like?

    1. The last time I did any differentiation was at a basic level in O Level Maths nearly 50 years ago, so I will have to leave this to those with greater mathematical ability.

    2. Probably! I say that because I can’t read the tiny lettering in the hint, but your maths in your other comment was correct :-)

    3. There is indeed a mistake in the example image. It’s missing a “squared” sign after the first set of brackets in the last line of the first example. If you put that in, and multiply it out, you get the same answer as you did Kitty.

      It seems a lifetime ago since I allegedly spent 3 years reading maths at Oxford but it still holds the same appeal. Mrs O thinks I’m very strange as I enjoy the numerical problems on Countdown more than the letters rounds!

      1. That’s what I thought… but I have been known to have the odd major brain malfunction.

        I’m pretty rubbish at Countdown because I’m slow at anagrams, and as for the numbers – well, I prefer my maths with letters and squiggles and few actual numbers! Mental arithmetic under time pressure scares me, ever since I had trouble learning times tables as a kitten :(. Physics is my thing: lots of interesting stuff, and the fact that it’s supposed to be difficult actually made it less intimidating to my funny little brain.

  5. I also missed 7d and needed help on 11a,. I didn’t really enjoy this one much as I found some of the definitions a bit strained. Anyway, 3*/28 for me.;

  6. less zesty than yesterday’s fine offering. No obstacles, though I did get held up trying to fit in armless which was never going to work. last one in was 27a, probably because it was near the bottom. I liked the 3-letter clues (I mean clues to the 3-letter answers). Given the grid, I looked for a “nina, one of these hidden messages around the perimeter – I have yet to find one.

    thanks to setter and deep threat, also for the reminder that calculus was horrible

  7. Thank you DG, I enjoyed solving that admittedly over a long period of time. I found it difficult to concentrate on the puzzle, eat breakfast and watch every shot in the Ryder Cup. Watching has brought back memories of good times playing at Gleneagles in the 60s. Green fee for a day – 18 holes on Kings, 18 holes on Queens – twenty seven shillings and sixpence ! Many thanks DT for your review and hints.

        1. I’ll do a deal with everyone – I won’t bang on about the dancing that starts tonight (in case anyone has forgotten) if the rest of you will go a bit easy on all the sport! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

          1. I love most sports (golf being one of the exceptions) and I love dancing – both watching and participating.

                  1. Hitting a ball into a hole with a stick is only banned for the next three days!

                    On a more serious note, I’ll see what I can do vis-à-vis quoting solving times, but past experience has ably demonstrated that most people don’t even think about looking at the FAQs unless directed there.

  8. Really enjoyed this one even if I put armless for 18a! Normally I abhor people quoting solving times but just like to say after the ‘kicking’ I got yesterday that this took me xxxxxxxxx start to finish unaided. As I said it’s all a question of wavelength.
    Thx to the Don and to all esp those who joined in yesterday’s discussions. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    1. You might abhor people putting solving times but that doesn’t mean that you can get away with putting yours!

      As everyone knows, putting solving times is not allowed.

    2. You weren’t really kicked yesterday. Well, I suppose you were a bit but it was in a fairly friendly way and anyway, unless you enjoy it which I suspect you do, why ask for trouble. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  9. I regularly approach Friday’s puzzle with some apprehension, but, after a bit of a slow start, for the second week running I switched onto the right wavelength and enjoyed this offering. My rating is 2.5*/3*.

    26a was my last one in and 18a was my favourite. Memories of my schooldays helped with 13a & 1d, but were useless as far as everchanging African country names are concerned and I needed Google’s help to check my answer to 22d.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    1. Deep Threat is probably out enjoying the spectacular scenery of North Devon so I’ve updated it for him – thanks.

  10. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif Oh dear – it’s Friday.
    Pig’s ears spring to mind – nearer 4* for difficulty (most of that was my own fault) and 2 or 3* for enjoyment.
    Dutch may have realised that ‘armless’ was never going to work for 18a but it took the whole of the top right corner and the long 5d to become completely impossible before I twigged. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
    And I missed 9a.
    Just not my day so I’ll leave it at that.
    I did like 21a and 2 and 14d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

  11. I was beaten by 1d AND I got 9d hopelessly wrong… I mean, antedote? Oh dear.
    But it was a good puzzle. I suppose that as it took me three attempts to do the Sudoku I should have realised that the crossword was going to trip me up somewhere!
    Thanks to the Don and DT in Devon.
    Favourite clue was… 18a because it was a bit silly and therefore clever.

  12. Great stuff, Giovanni..most enjoyable and not too taxing. Not helped by putting in ‘armless’ for 18 even though there was nothing in the clue to suggest it!

  13. My only hold-up real was in the NW corner and it took me a while to get 11A and 2D. I really liked 27A and 7D (my favorite). Thanks, Giovanni, and thanks to DT for the review.

    Trying the Toughie, but I need to go and put my armour on before I go back to it!

  14. **/**** today. Having had two days off crosswords and lots of work, this one went quite quickly. Though I did put armless in for 18a at first before realising where I was going wrong. For whatever reason I really liked 7d. And along with others I quite like calculus too :-). Think I might even tackle the toughie over a glass of wine. Hope everyone has a good weekend.

  15. Like quite a few of you I started with “armless” for 18a though it didn’t really sit right?? Then I struggled to really get going but finally, a last hurrah, and it all fell into place. A good Friday puzzle, 21a being my favourite, so many thanks to Giovanni and ***/*** from me

  16. finally got over this puzzle and only had to look at the answer for scathe and the hint for envelope. just like everybody it was quite clear that the venus had no arms but i started with harmles…. which didn’t quite work evidently. I love those long letter words also. very enjoyable friday grid and as I am working a double shift in my restaurant, I don’t know if I’ll manage the toughie today. On my way to Paris tomorrow for my little brother’s 50th birthday. 4 hours in the TGV from Toulon should give me time to partially solve it. thanks to deep threat for the review and to giovanni for the enjoyment.

  17. **/***. Liked this puzzle although “a too quick for my own good” response to 18a (armless) was a bit of a hold up. I liked 7d the most and13a once I got over the memories of pure and applied maths – don’t know why I went down this route in the 6th form. Never did me any good then or in later life. Ryder Cup calls. Must go.

  18. …..have been doing DT crosswords for years…sometimes I sit for hours just mulling and watching the birds….mostly though I give myself a time limit. Finding this site has been really helpful in getting me moving onto chores….thanks, All…found NW corner quite exasperating today, and didn’t enjoy the puzzle much either…

    1. I agree that it’s a brilliant site but who the hell wants to get moved on to chores? Not me, but welcome anyway! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  19. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. Super puzzle from Giovanni, was beaten by 11&27a & 2&7d, had to look them up. Never would have got 7d. Favourites were 13&24a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  20. For some reason I just couldn’t fathom out 7d and 27a, but otherwise pretty OK. Thanks to setter, and thanks for the hints DT. My eyes are going gozzy from the gilding, but after Kath’s comment, I can only be thankful I’m not working with icing sugar! Greetings to all and hope everyone has a good weekend. I don’t appear to be having one as I haven’t got socks for Saturdays and Sundays, so Mr P may have put me on the roster for some salt mining….

  21. Good puzzle today. Some trickier clues but all doable with a bit of thought. 7d was my last one in and held up the solving time but raised a big smile when the penny dropped.
    My favourite though has to be 13a bringing back some happy memories of A-levels and university days.
    Thanks to the Don and also DT for the review.

  22. Seem to be in the minority today – really didn’t enjoy this one. 1d was a ‘must be’ guess, 27a was a ‘bung in’ and whenever an African country is mentioned my brain just switches off! Finished on my own – bar the said African country – but was actually quite glad when it was all over. 3*/2*
    Thought Kath might also have been crying – but seemingly not!
    Now I know the areas you’re clever in, Kitty. Thank goodness someone is! I’m sure the calculation you referred to has some great bearing on my life, but I haven’t a clue how! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif
    Many thanks to DT for the location of the African country.

    1. Cheer up – I was almost crying too! What about a joint http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif!
      Now seems a good time to quote our brilliant elder Pet Lamb. Whenever I express any kind of “Oh, for goodness sake Jose” at the muddle in which she and her partner live her reply is always “Honestly Mum, it’s just that we’re good at other things”!
      I think that you and I are probably good at things other than mathematical calculations!! Why don’t we list them – you go first . . .

      1. OK.
        I’m not bad at bird-watching.
        Pretty good at volunteering for the Wildlife Trust.
        Apparently fairly reasonable with interior design.
        Ace window cleaner.
        Acceptable article writer.
        Relatively successful raiser of two daughters.
        Great at picking the wrong men.
        Improving at DT cryptics – esp. Ray T’s.
        Brilliant at annoying BD.

        Over to you. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

        1. Oh yes, you can rest assured that I’m bad at plenty of things! Including most on that list. I can’t speak for the last item, although I’m sure I could be if I wanted to!

  23. Did not get 27a correct, but the rest went fine. (I started with the right answer, changed it to scythe (since I reasoned there was no such word and I’d failed to parse it to justify either solution.) Then consulted the blog to see why scythe was right. Shame it wasn’t! Thanks DT and Giovanni, it was very enjoyable.

      1. Ha ha. I sat at my daughters house surrounded by family and rudely sat scything and scathing away whilst being called rude for being immersed in my ipad. I could not see any reason whatsoever for scythe and not much more for Scathe. I could “bung” neither in and resorted to the blog for the answer. I am none the wiser now.

  24. Having got 6d (I love a good anagram) I did not fall into the armless trap but I am not feeling smug because my antique brain was not functioning at all well. Off to have a lie-down with ice pack on my poor little head.

  25. I didn’t really enjoy this one. Unusually I needed help on about 6 clues.7d was a killer and 3d and 21a were new to me -the former due probably to my detesting most sports. I wont * rate it but reckon it was harder than some toughies.

  26. Most of this was ok, but the likes of 27a I found really annoying. Overall, I can’t say I enjoyed this. Not the Don’s best by a long way.

  27. Generally quite fun to fit in between doing other things. What was 21a all about though? A real try hard in my book.

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