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DT 27617

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27617

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where the sun is just coming up as I write this.

Giovanni has given us his trademark religious and classical references, unusual words and the odd Shakespearean reference this morning.

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           Substantial food male chewed after nine? (6,4)
SQUARE MEAL – Anagram (chewed) of MALE following the sort of number of which nine is an example (as are 4, 16 and 25).

6a           Medicine from doctor that gets you recovering finally (4)
DRUG – One of the abbreviations for doctor followed by the textspeak for ‘you’ and the last letter of recoverinG.

9a           Little sirs appearing evenings Monday to Friday (10)
WEEKNIGHTS – A three-letter word for little followed by the sort of people entitled to be called ‘Sir’.

10a         Military supplies carried by team mostly (4)
AMMO – Hidden in (carried by) the clue.

13a         Doomed rich man embraces trendy theologians (7)
DIVINES – A two-letter word for trendy inside the name given to the rich man who appears with the beggar, Lazarus, in the parable told by Jesus in Luke, chapter 16,.

15a         Lecturer providing book of exercises (6)
READER – Double definition: a senior lecturer, or a book of exercises in one of the 3 Rs.

16a         Dull little boy’s nurse (6)
MATRON – The opposite of glossy followed by a shortened form of a boy’s name, giving a senior nurse, as portrayed by Hattie Jacques in the Carry On films.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

17a         Time of nourishment I’d arranged (6,9)
FOURTH DIMENSION – Anagram (arranged) of OF NOURISHMENT I’D, giving a generic description of time.

18a         Frank performed after John (6)
CANDID – John here is the smallest room, so we want another informal term for that, followed by a verb meaning performed.

20a         Trifling trickery from what we hear (6)
SLIGHT – A homophone (from what we hear) of the trickery displayed by a conjuror.

21a         Fearless Tory without gold going after money (7)
DOUGHTY – Remove the OR (gold) from T(or)Y and put the result after a slang word for money.

22a         Facing notice say a mild oath (4)
EGAD – The Latin abbreviation for say or ‘for example’, followed by a commercial notice.

25a         Lacking a burden, travelling light for picnic? (10)
UNHAMPERED – If your picnic is not in a big basket, you could describe yourself as this.

26a         Big plant in thoroughfare pruned at edges (4)
TREE – Remove the first and last letters from a word for a thoroughfare.

27a         Affluent Italian duke meets American (10)
PROSPEROUS – The exiled Duke of Milan in Shakespeare’s The Tempest followed by an abbreviation for American.


1d           Broadcast offered to viewers, hard to miss (4)
SOWN – Remove the H (hard to miss) from a word meaning ‘offered to viewers, to get a word which describes seed which has been broadcast.

2d           Exercised and entertained, but not in the morning (4)
USED – Remove the AM (not in the morning) from a word for entertained.

3d           Artist starts to receive eulogies — number one, right? (6)
RENOIR – Put together the initial letters of Receive Eulogies, an abbreviation for number, the Roman numeral for one, and Right.

4d           Solution to a problem with troublesome little characters? (10,5)
MAGNIFYING GLASS – Cryptic definition of something you might use to read small print.

5d           Two articles on musician’s original piece for church choir (6)
ANTHEM – One indefinite and one definite article, followed by the first letter of Musician.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

7d           Second match is rarer game, I fancy (10)
REMARRIAGE – Anagram (fancy) of RARER GAME I.

8d           Items of food supplied by sporting venue not at all sensible (10)
GROUNDNUTS – Another word for a sports arena, followed by an informal word for not sensible or insane.

11d         Technically sound — if not, price must be adjusted (10)
PROFICIENT – Anagram (must be adjusted) of IF NOT PRICE.

12d         Misconstrue me a lunatic — smear! (10)
CALUMNIATE – Anagram (misconstrue) of ME A LUNATIC.

13d         I toddle — dislocated muscle (7)
DELTOID – Anagram (dislocated) of I TODDLE.

14d         Like a fox, inwardly isn’t very good (7)
SAINTLY – The adjective often used to describe the character of a fox, wrapped around an informal form of ‘isn’t’.

19d         Antipathy that destroys wonder (6)
DOWNER – Anagram (that destroys) of WONDER.

20d         Devon town has barn set aside for basic food (6)
STAPLE – Remove the BARN from the name of a North Devon town.

23d         Body that gets leader deposed roughly (2,2)
OR SO – Remove the initial letter from a word for the central part of the body.

24d         Teams heading off for a day in Rome (4)
IDES – The thirteenth or fifteenth day of the month in the Roman calendar: remove the first letter from a word for teams.

The Quick Crossword pun BROCK + EARLY = BROCCOLI

65 comments on “DT 27617

  1. Looks like I’ll have to take back everything I said about fearing Giovanni days – this was almost a walk in the park! Only 12d required a bit of digging into the memory bank although I guess 17a could have been a problem if I hadn’t already got the first letter in.
    Some smiles from 9 and 25a but I’ll go for 27 or 22a as favourite.
    Bet even Kath, with her hatred of Fridays, will have found this one a breeze. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif
    Many thanks to DT for your usual super review and to Giovanni for giving us an easy time of it for once!

      1. Oops – sorry Kath, I must just have been having a ‘wavelength’ day (at last!). If it’s any consolation, there’s a couple in the Quickie that are putting up a fight! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

        1. I had a ‘wavelength’ day too – pity it was the wrong one. Haven’t even looked at Quickie but not doing too badly on Toughie, so far – might carry on tomorrow.
          Confidence has taken a serious denting – two days in a row that I’ve found tricky and others haven’t. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    1. Hear hear… Mrs T and I tackled it last night Boston time (while introducing our wicked sister-in-law to cryptics).
      Thanks to The Don and DT for the chuckles…

      ps: Kath, We did find this very different from the usual weekend fare from V and Mr R… and even 10a eluded us for a while.

  2. Got off to a wrong start by filling the answer for 18a into the grid at 14a. Never a good idea. Great puzzle today, I really liked the little sirs (9a). Brilliant long clues 17a and 4d. Enjoyed the second match in 7d.

    Last one in was in was 12d despite the anagram, new word for me.

    Today’s telegraph has a copy of the Daily Telegraph Jan 13 1942 “Bletchley Park” puzzle. I’ll try that after the toughie.

    Thank you very much Giovanni and Deep Threat

  3. Well I might be in the minority here in that I found it pretty difficult, albeit very enjoyable! Got stuck on quite a few as I’m still struggling to unlock my solving processes once I’ve got a particular angle in my head which is completely wrong, but I cant move on! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif 16a was my last in, and 9a was a smiler for me. Many thanks to setter as well as DT for hints.

    1. I’m with you. This was the trickiest of the week and needed help with 1a – just didn’t see the square reference. Some very clever clues though so thanks to the setter. Also many thanks to DT for the reviews which was needed.

  4. I found it pretty tricky in places. Enjoyable crossword though with thanks to DT and Giovanni 2.5*/3*

  5. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a puzzle more than this. I’m still chuckling over 9a and I’ve long since finished it!

      1. Thank you very much. I have long enjoyed and appreciated this blog from the sidelines, but I felt compelled to leap in and say something about today’s puzzle!

  6. For me today’s offering was one of the most enjoyable crossword puzzles that I’ve completed in a long while. It gave me many chuckles having so many superb clues. Too many favourites to list, but I’m pleased to say that my Sunday School days of long ago were not wasted with a clue such as 13 across to ponder. Many thanks to the Don. :-)

  7. Super puzzle except of course for 13a which for me was just awful. Too much religion for a poor atheist. Loved 9a, a real smile clue.
    Thought it was verging on the **** for difficulty but ,13a apart, a ***** for enjoyment.
    Thx to the Don for a cleverly constructed crossword and to DT for confirming the first part of 1a (thought perhaps it could have been improved by putting eg before nine).

    1. You don’t want to make it too easy Brian. The question mark after the nine sufficed for me.

  8. A really good challenge which I thoroughly enjoyed. 1a held me up for ages, so I did what I always do, tackle the quickie and come back. Then the penny dropped why the ? was there and that made my last 2 easy, 1d and 2d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT

    Have a great weekend

  9. Low difficulty for me today with the exception of a few specific answers. I agree about 13a – being an atheist I have only a passing acquaintance with the Bible from my years of RI in high school,, and so I never did understand the wordplay here, but in all good spirits exercised the ‘bung it in’ approach despite my ignorance. I did enjoy the anagrams however.

    2*/3* for me today..

  10. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A super puzzle, very enjoyable, was beaten by 23d, needed the hint for that. Favourite was 27a. I’m normally ok at solving anagrams, but 12d & 17a took forever. Managed to get 13a from the wordplay, but had never heard of the rich man. There a big penny drop moment with 25a, anyone hear the clang? Was 3*/4* for me. Off to play squash now.

  11. I like an anagram as much as the next man (except for Miffypops) but 4 on the bounce (almost) in the down clues is a bit much even for me. Still it was enjoyable. thanks to setter & reviewer.

  12. I only needed the explanation for 13a.. Thx DT…I guessed it but I had no knowledge of the biblical rich man.

    Having said that it was tricky in parts, so **** for enjoyment.

    I did like 17a and 25a (which was my last one in). 13 made 4 difficult and 25 in turn.

  13. Very interesting comments so far because as I was solving this I couldn’t get out of my mind how ‘old school’ it felt. There is nothing in the language or subject matter that would have fazed a fifth former at a 1960s grammar school – indeed nothing at all to suggest that the last forty years had ever happened! Rather like Mr Miliband, the Don was very much targeting his core constituency and, from the comments, successfully. Not a criticism, merely an observation.
    I found it tricky in places so 3* tough and 3* enjoyable (in an old fashioned way).

    1. Oh darn it Rick – is that the reason why I found it easy today? I thought maybe I was improving – didn’t realise it was all down to Altrincham Grammar School for Girls!!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  14. Not on Giovanni’s wave length at all, so found this very tricky. Far too clever for us. We did finish with help from the hints having put the correct answers in, but needing an explanation as to why.

  15. I’m very much in the minority today – I found it really difficult and that’s two days in a row. I’ll just trot off and count the marbles . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
    I was very slow to get started at all and things didn’t really improve much. Got there in the end but I did find it a struggle.
    Having said all that I now really can’t see why I found it so tricky – just did.
    I’ve never heard of the 13a rich man and I always forget about the 17a time.
    I liked 18 and 27a and 11 and 20d. My favourite was either 9a or 4d.
    Oh well, tomorrow is another day and anyway I might risk a look at the Toughie – I like Micawber and could do with a laugh.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

    1. Don’t think you’re in the minority regarding the difficulty…. However, the Micawber is good (even though I needed a hint or few).

    2. If you’d ever had to learn reams and reams of The Tempest by heart, you would remember the rich old man really, really well – and with a great deal of loathing! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

      1. I think I’m missing something here, not for the first time today. What the hell has The Tempest got to do with the 13a rich man? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gifMaybe it really isn’t my day!

        1. Nothing at all to do with the religious guy in 13a – more to do with the affluent Italian duke in 27a! Sorry Kath, today’s earlier success has obviously gone to my head. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif
          If it’s of any consolation for your miserable couple of days – it doesn’t look as though they’re going to be inviting me to join the team at Bletchley Park any time soon! Anyone else getting there?

  16. **/****. That was a lovely way to end the week. Nothing overly taxing combined with some marvellously phrased clues. 9a has made me smile….a lot. A real pleasure to solve today so thank you to the setter and as always to DT for blogging.

    Hope everyone has a good weekend. :-)

  17. I quite enjoyed this offering today and found it slightly tricky in places, thanks to Gipvanni and DT for the amusing review.

  18. This wasn’t too bad. Couple of queries. 13 Across: Does theologians mean Divines? 16 Across: the synonym for dull is matt not mat so the little must apply to the first part not the boys name. Lastly I have the iPad version, is there any way if discerning who the setter is as I can’t seem to see ‘Giovanni’ anywhere?
    Cheers. Great blog.

    1. Welcome to the blog Adrian

      13a Chambers gives:
      * A person skilled in divine things
      * A minister of the gospel
      * A theologian

      16a mat, matt and matte are alternative spellings – just because you use only one of them doesn’t make the others wrong!

      It doesn’t matter which version of the puzzle you solve, you won’t find the name Giovanni. Have a look at our FAQ (for it is one of the most Frequently Asked Questions on the site):


  19. … and a glorious sunny fall (autumn) day here in Boston, the leaves are turning vibrant colors (colours). Mrs T and I will be raking leaves for a few hours this weekend.

    Thanks to Don G and Deep T… and to Big D

    1. Was in Boston/New England 10 days ago and weather was lovely but it was a touch early for best of Fall colours which were in fact better as we drove into Canada en route for New York probably more maples to add drama. Nevertheless was thrilled to be back in your neck of the woods after absence of some 40 years. Sunshine and heavy showers today here in West Sussex.

      1. The foliage should peak in the next two weeks here in Massachusetts – it sure is breathtaking… and provides the perfect excuse to visit those craft beer places up in Vermont.

  20. What an excellent crossword. Best of the week and with some great clues. Last in was 22a. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gifThanks extended to the usual suspects.

  21. I will chastise myself.
    I took far, far too long over the anagrams.
    There is never an excuse for not getting an anagram but with some of these I struggled before pennies dropped.
    Many brilliant clues, eg 14d.
    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for his review.

  22. Solved 4d by a rather odd route. We’d been struggling for a bit thinking IMPS or GREMLINS or something, presumably as the Don intended, and getting nowhere. Then pommette went to the can so I picked up the puzzle. Couldn’t read it properly so put on the reading glasses and the penny dropped! How cool is that? Of course 4d is now my favourite.
    **/**** from us.

    Best Friday puzzle for some time IMO so thanks to Giovanni and DT.

    1. Hi Pommers & Pommette, think I might have followed you down the imps and gremlins route if I hadn’t already got 1 & 9a! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif
      Held up the traffic this morning whilst crawling past Gallows Point in the hope that I might spot Annie J – but perhaps she’s moored in Conwy? Maybe I’ll just call in at ABC and ask the guys there! At the risk of upsetting you both, I’m not sure that a bequest of ‘a couple of wellies and a thermos’ will persuade RNLI to name a lifeboat after you – if it would help, I can contribute a waterproof jacket that just has its hood missing because I needed to make a cover for a bandage on a dog’s paw. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      1. The two wellies etc are all that will be left if we live too long and I keep on spending! My Grandad once advised me to die in debt as it’s the only way to make a profit on life and I’ve always done what the old guy told me to do. He was my second favourite person after my Gran – Flo of the boat names. But, somehow or other, it would be nice to have a lifeboat named after one. Whatever, when we’ve popped it the RNLI will get whatever’s left. If it’s enough for an inshore (unlikely) it will be named THE POMMERS otherwise it’s however many wellies or oilies they can get for the money.

        Pommette’s tracked down Annie J and she now lives in Pwllheli, so not very far from home. Sail number FR414, call sign MCVS6 and registered SSR33842.

  23. The bark of this puzzle was worse than its bite so did manage to finish without hints mainly thanks to so many anagrams. ***/***. 25a amused. Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  24. I know you can’t please all the people etc. but I thought there were a couple too many anagrams in the mix. However having voiced my winge I will also say I did enjoy the challenge and managed without recourse to the hints. I liked 18a best, tho’ haven’t there been a few smallest room clues this week?
    Thanks to the Don and DT for his hints.

  25. I found this puzzle quite hard so many thanks to DT for the hints which were invaluable and to Giovanni for an enjoyable crossword

  26. We have just arrived at Oulton Broad near Lowestoft on our round Britain tour. Lovely room overlooking Oulton Broad. Relaxing with the puzzle before going out with Saint Sharon and a couple of relatives for fish and chips. Four to go including an anagram at 12d with all checking letters in. Now where is my pencil?

  27. Classic and elegant are two of the words that we associate with Giovanni puzzles and this one was richly deserving of both descriptions in our opinion, Much to enjoy and appreciate throughout the whole puzzle.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  28. 4d my first one in because early part of year I was glued to mine until a double cataract operation cleared the problem. Admit to small amount of electronic help but on the whole quite tough and sense of achievement when I had finished. BUT when I came to check blog I had a glaring mistake with 9a which also threw out 1d now sitting on naughty step. Thanks to everyone involved.

  29. A trifle heavy on the anagrams but that’s a minor quibble. This was a very enjoyable puzzle and satisfying to solve; let’s call it 2.5*/4*. Being a Knight (born, not dubbed) l smiled at 9a, but 17a has to be my favourite. Well done, Giovanni, and thanks to DT for the review.

  30. Thank you DG found that hard. Too much going on and not on the right track at all ! Needed some hints to finish. So many thanks DT for your review and hints. Today is another day !

  31. Re 13a I still cannot work out the wordplay. I’ve looked at Luke 16 & the rich man is not named, so where does ‘dives’ come from? I found the puzzle hard & needed the blog quite a lot.

    1. Welcome to the blog Edward.

      Dives comes from the Latin for “rich man”. Before the English translation of the Bible was available, it was referred to as the parable of Dives and Lazarus and the name has stuck through the ages.

    2. You’ve changed your alias since your last comment so this needed moderation. Both aliases should now work.
      The rich man in the parable is not named in the Bible but is traditionally known as Dives (Latin word for wealthy man) – see here.

  32. Nice Friday puzzle. But why (in all puzzles) is it assumed that we all have more time on a Friday than on a Monday?
    14d got me, but I’m poor at slang! And 13a is the reason I’m here. 12d caused me to make up a word and then check it in the dictionary. Always great when that works.

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