DT 27623

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27623

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where the morning has started bright, and we seem to have missed the worst of the overnight rain.

I found today’s Giovanni easier than the last couple, only just into ** time for me, but enjoyable all the same.

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           Amount said to be a great deal in 7 (4)
SOME – A homophone (said) of a word for amount, which in the usage current in the answer to 7d means ‘ a great deal’.

3a           Record contains poem in encrypted format (5)
CODED – A type of poem inside a modern version of a gramophone record.

6a           Good bowler maybe steps down in India (4)
GHAT Good followed by the object of which a bowler is an example. The answer refers to steps leading down to a holy river in India.

8a           A recreant subtly falsified stories of old (10,5)

9a           Voice has minimal energy after fourth section of drama (6)
ACTIVE – The definition is a grammatical term. Put E(nergy) after what might be the fourth section of a play.

10a         High-up official in orange (8)
MANDARIN – Double definition: a Chinese official or a senior civil servant in Britain; and a fruit commonly found in tins.

11a         Continental link to reveal winner of international song contest? (8)
EUROSTAR – The train service through the Channel Tunnel, or a shorthand way of referring to someone who does well in an annual televised song festival.

13a         Tom’s forty winks? (6)
CATNAP – Cryptic definition of a short sleep, whether Tom is feline or human.

15a         Businessperson embraced by retired artist in retro exhibition (6)
TRADER – Hidden (embraced) in reverse (retro) in the clue.

17a         What begins with capital punishment (8)
SENTENCE – Double definition: A grammatical construct which starts with a capital letter; or the punishment handed down by a court.

19a         Aussie person very good on street as ‘adult’ entertainer (8)
STRIPPER – An abbreviation for street followed by an Australian slang word for someone who’s approved of. Cue music…

21a         Tax cut (6)
EXCISE – Double definition: A tax often linked with Customs; and a verb meaning to cut out.

22a         Ten land mines get sorted out — wires being pulled apart maybe? (15)

23a         Educationists making plots (4)
BEDS – Plots in the garden, or several people with an education degree.

24a         Legendary Greek returning as a wanderer (5)
NOMAD – Reverse the name of the Greek who with his friend Pythias fell foul of Dionysus of Syracuse.

25a         Boss shows incomplete education (4)
STUD – Remove the final Y from a word for education, to get a raised projection or boss.


1d           Californian city has no place for old religious ceremony (9)
SACRAMENT – Remove the final O (no place for old) from a Californian city.

2d           Holy person tackled by underground worker in church (7)
MINSTER – The usual abbreviation for a holy person inside a worker down the pit, giving a large church like the one in York, for example.

3d           Begin to go down after fish and chips (9)
CARPENTER – A tradesman familiarly known as ‘Chips’ is made up of a fish and a word for begin.

4d           Daughter attached to stranger member of the band? (7)
DRUMMER – The one who usually sits at the back. Daughter followed by a word for stranger or odder.

5d           Senior member is university lecturer, you gathered (5)
DOYEN – An archaic form of ‘you’ inside a university fellow.

6d           Eager aunt has broken promise (9)
GUARANTEE – Anagram (has broken) of EAGER AUNT.

7d           A maiden, Heather, in a foreign land (7)
AMERICA – Put together A (from the clue), the abbreviation for a maiden over on a cricket scorecard, and the Latin name of heather.

12d         Grandfathers? Folks with a lot of experience (3-6)
OLD-TIMERS – The people in an organisation who remember what went wrong last time, and are therefore regarded as obstacles to change by dynamic, thrusting young executives – or possibly ancient clocks.

13d         Secret prisoner ‘closed up’, as you might say (9)
CONCEALED – One of the usual prisoners followed by what sounds like (as you might say) ‘closed up’, as a letter might be.

14d         Quietly begrudged being put on show (9)
PRESENTED – The musical symbol for quietly followed by another word for begrudged.

16d         Sailor climbing up on ship missing the last rope of rigging (7)
RATLINE – Reverse (climbing up) a word for sailor, and add a large ship with its final letter missing.

17d         Country chap is held up outside biblical city (7)
SURINAM – Reverse (held up) a phrase meaning ‘chap is’ around a Chaldean city, the original home of Abraham, to get this South American state, more often spelt with an E on the end.

18d         Most unsophisticated one detached from foolish vanities (7)
NAIVEST – Anagram (foolish) of VANIT(I)ES with one of the Is removed.

20d         Introduce national leader (5)
PUTIN – Split (3,2) this national leader could mean ‘introduce’.

We’re off to the Caravan Show at the NEC this morning. Hope it stays fine.

The Quick Crossword pun KAPPA + CITY = CAPACITY



  1. Heno
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. Found some of this quite tricky. Needed the hints for 1&11a,23a. Favourite was 8a. Was 3*/3* for me. On my way to Cheltenham races.

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure how to rate this. I found parts of it very good indeed and parts dreadful.

    I didn’t like 1a & 11a at all, and I thought that the Indian steps in 6a & the legendary Greek in 24a were unnecessarily obscure. On the other hand 8a & 22a were magnificent anagrams, and 17a, my favourite, & 12d were brilliant clues.

    17a was my last one in because originally, without thinking about the definition, for 18d I had stupidly put in “vainest” as the wrong anagram :oops:.

    Why does 3d need “to go down”? I know it is a down clue, but doesn’t “begin after fish and chips” work just as well?

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    • DaveC
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      3d – I assumed “to go down” was related to the fact that if you go down into the record books, you “enter” them.

  3. Graham
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Good puzzle although I needed help with 17D. Liked 19A & 8A made me smile remembering finding a copy in the school library many years ago which gave me endless schoolboy amusement (happy days).Many thanks to the setter & DT for the write uphttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  4. Angel
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Thought this was going to be a write-in but then got held up in NW corner however got there in the end. Needed DT help to parse 9a. Not being a sailor 16d was new to me but obvious. 17a probably fav. ***/***. Thanks Giovanni and DT. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  5. Kath
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Our collie was put to sleep yesterday http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif such a horrible day and, so far, today isn’t much better so http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif again, or even still!
    Even being the pathetic sniffling heap that I am today I thought this was fairly straightforward for a Friday so 2* difficulty and maybe 3* for enjoyment.
    1 and 23a were my last answers.
    I screwed up the bottom left corner by having ‘Begin’ for 20d but eventually sorted that out when I got 19a.
    I’ve never heard of 17d.
    I liked 8 and 22a and 4d. My favourite was 13a – simple I know, but I just liked it.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

    Might try yesterday’s Ray T now.

    • Kitty
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Oh no :(. Have a http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif and sympathy.

    • Hanni
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Oh Kath I’m so sorry :-(:-( I wish I could make it better. Thoughts are definitely with you.

    • Graham
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      My thoughts are with you, went through the same thing earlier this year x

    • Bluebird
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      So sorry Kath.
      My OH was a bit of a wreck when this happened to ours and she was nearly 15 and.best thing for her but still sad.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Kath, so sorry to hear that. Thinking of you.

    • George
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      So sorry to hear that you lost a loved one. Always a sad day. My two dogs are getting up in age too, and I dread this day coming.

    • Angel
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Sincere sympathies Kath and R.I.P. your collie. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    • gazza
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      I’m so sorry, Kath. It’s such a pity that Mary’s not around – she’d be able to express her sympathy much more eloquently than I can.

    • andy
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Oh that’s such sad news Kath. e-hugs

    • SheilaP
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      So sorry Kath. It never gets any easier even after a life time of keeping dogs.

    • Expat Chris
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Sending hugs, Kath. We went through this with our Lab a couple of years ago. It will get easier with time.

    • Poppy
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      What a horrid week for you, Kath. Annie will have known herself so loved by you and the family, and her absence will, rightly, leave such a big hole at present. But I’m sure you’ve done the absolute best for her, and send my most heartfelt condolences to you; while personally holding the thought of her enjoying some marvellous ‘sky walks’ in the meantime …. I’m so so sorry for your loss. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

      • Merusa
        Posted October 17, 2014 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        Poppy, thank you for recommending Winged Migration, I watched it last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. I remembered the Paul Gallico book, The Snow Goose, of which I have a copy bought many moons ago at Hatchards and signed by the man himself. He was not a great author but he told some super yarns.

        • Poppy
          Posted October 17, 2014 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

          How lovely to know that, Merusa! I’m so glad. And I agree with you about the Galluco style – not brilliant but somehow so evocative. How special to have a signed copy of The Snow Goose. Hatchards is a terrific spot that I duck into whenever possible. And more recently I’ve been enjoying Daunt Books as well… http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    • Merusa
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      I know only too well what you are going through. It is so heart rending to lose a best friend. God speed Annie, and all sympathies for you Kath.

    • Annidrum
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      So sorry to hear that Kath.

    • Miffypops
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Your Collie can chase our cat Charlie for ever and ever. So sorry for you Kath

    • Kath
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Thanks so much to all of you – kind thoughts and sympathy are really appreciated. It’s been a very strange day. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

      • 2Kiwis
        Posted October 17, 2014 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        Our thoughts and sympathy are with you too Kath.

      • NJoy
        Posted October 18, 2014 at 10:42 am | Permalink

        Kath – adding my deepest sympathy and sending you lots of love.

    • Chris
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Much sympathy, Kath. What a miserable 2 days.

    • Jane
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 9:32 pm | Permalink


  6. Hanni
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    **/****. I didn’t find anything overly taxing today. There was some lovely anagramming with 8a making me smile, I love Chaucer. Favourite clues were 12 & 13d and 17 & 19a.
    I’m also stuck on the necessity of ‘to go down’, in 3d?
    Thank you to Giovanni and to DT for blogging. After being woken by the rain last night, its turned out to be quite beautiful today…and I’m stuck inside working, well procrastinating and commentating here instead. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif
    Oh I loved the clips today Deep Threat.

  7. Franco
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    More light-hearted than the usual Giovanni.

    I don’t normally vote, but as the Don takes interest in the voting system on this blog, I gave it a 4-star today – mainly because of 17a which is excellent.

  8. Bluebird
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Well it was certainly easier than the last two Fridays.

    I didn’t know the rigging term, but it was the only thing that could fit.

    I don’t mind obscure words which might be regarded as educational, if only I could remember them afterwards. Temporal lobe now full.

  9. George
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Yes, a good puzzle today with a couple of obscurities that I had to look up. Some fine anagrams and a new word for me at 6a. Otherwise I found it quite straight forward. Enjoyed 17a too.

    Expecting hurricane Gonzalo to create some excitement here in eastern Canada today!

    • Franco
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      Good Luck with Hurricane Gonzalo – it seems that we in the UK will get the tail-end of it some time next week. Hope that the weather forecasters are wrong as usual.

  10. dutch
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Straightforward for a Friday, I think I agree with every thing Rabbit Dave says. last one in was 6d, for whatever reason the anagram took a while. Glad to be enlightened as to the nature of the voice in 9a, thank you for that Deep Threat.

    Thank you also for the clips, which were probably this morning’s highlight.

    favourite was beginning with capital (17a). Of course the country in 17d was a dutch colony once..

    Thank you giovanni & Deep Threat

  11. Tony
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    For me two puzzles in one. All but the NW corner was almost a write-in, but I struggled mightily with the last quarter. Not sure that I understand the ‘ceremony’ part of 1d, and living in Canada 11a was a challenge! Thanks to all – and so sorry to hear of Kath’s loss.

  12. SheilaP
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Managed without the hints today only to discover that we had put sums for 1a. Everything else seems to be correct, hurrah. Thank you setter and DT.

  13. Expat Chris
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Can someone explain to this US resident why the answer to 1A means “a great deal”?

    • Franco
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Chambers says: Some :”a great deal (N Am)

      I was hoping that you could explain.

    • gazza
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      e.g. I think we’ve progressed some since the last century.

    • Chris
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      Usage as in “wow, that’s some crossword”

    • Expat Chris
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      Pfft to Chambers! I disagree. It’s much more likely to mean “quite a”, as in “That’s some hangover you have”, or ‘a bit”, as in “He fell short of his goal some.”

      • Franco
        Posted October 17, 2014 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        Pfft is not in my version of Chambers (11th) … perhaps it can be found in later editions.

        • Posted October 17, 2014 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

          It’s in the New Oxford American Dictionary!

          ▶ used to represent a dull abrupt sound as of a slight impact or explosion.

          go pfft (informal)
          ▶ fail to work properly or at all.

      • George
        Posted October 17, 2014 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        I agree. I would not have thought of this word meaning a great deal in N.Am usage. OED gives the N.am meanings as to an extent.

  14. BigBoab
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT, a very enjoyable crossword and review.

  15. Owdoo
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t find this too easy, although, like Rabbit Dave above, not helped by putting vainest in for 18d which held me up on 17a until I realised my silly mistake. 9a was my last one in as I had conviced myself that the voice was alto and missed the grammatical definition. Loved the long anagrams.
    3*/3* for me.
    Thanks to the Don for the challenge and to DT for the review.

  16. Chris
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    13d – cancelled almost works too (can-celled)

  17. Graham Wall
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    I took a while to get going and I certainly needed the hints to get over the finishing line. As Rabbit Dave says, some good clues but some dreadful ones as well. I have not come across CD being used for record. To me they are two separate things. All in all an enjoyable puzzle. 3*/3* for me? Also so good to be back on the blog as I have encountered technical problems of late. My thanks to DT for the review.

    • Miffypops
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      I wondered about your absence. Nice to have you back

      • Graham Wall
        Posted October 17, 2014 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        Thanks MP, It was so frustrating to be observing things from the outside and not being able to partake. It was like watching the rugby on the telly,I couldn’t join the ruck because the coffe table got in the way!

  18. Sweet William
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Thank you DG. I found this quite tricky and felt that there were more “unusual” words than normal for a Friday ! Thanks DT for the review, hints and pictures. Sorry to hear about your dog Kath. They do become part of the family and it is a bad day when they go.

  19. Gwizz
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Good Friday fare I thought. I almost didn’t need the hints but oops! 23a beat me. Hmm…
    Favourite was 19a and DT’s clip for the hint amplified that!
    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  20. Ian
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    23a did for me too. I put ‘leas’. Local Education Authorites and meadows, which could loosely count as plots, I reckon. Works for me! ***/*** otherwise. Thanks to everyone. Condolences to Kath. Had our cat Felix put to sleep a few weeks ago. Not the same without him.

  21. Annidrum
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed that today & found most ot it quite easy but needed the hints for 1a, 9a, 16d&17d. Thanks to Giovanni & DT.

  22. Miffypops
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Well the two 15 letter anagrams gave a tidy start with not much effort. It all sort of fell in from there ta to DT DM & BD

  23. Collywobbles
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    The half dozen or so clues which I struggled with at the end put this into 3* territory for me. Many thanks to DT for the hints for those and to Giovanni for an excellent puzzle

  24. Jules 55
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    So terribly sorry Kath . It is heartbreaking and never gets any easier no matter how prepared we think we are .

  25. Brian
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to disagree with DT but I thought this was one of the hardest Giovannis for a long time. For me ****/**.
    9a is new to me but obvious from the wordplay then a trip to google. I have no idea what sort of ceremony is a sacrament but got it from Sacramento. The Greek in 24a was also a new one. Must say that 1a makes no sense to me in any way shape or form in relation to America. Any explanation anyone?
    Nice though to see the return of the biblical city, it’s been a while.
    Did like 13a and 8a.
    Thx to all

    • Edward j
      Posted October 18, 2014 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Brian, a sacrament in thr Christian church is, for example, a marriage ceremony, or the Eucharist in the Catholic mass. It is also Baptism, & the last rites administered to a dying person (Extreme Unction). There are others, but I cant remember them.

  26. 2Kiwis
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Usual good stuff for a Friday without major hold-ups although we did play around with ‘cancelled’ for 13d for some time.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  27. Chris
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    I struggled rather, but I often do when everyone else finds it relatively easy! Failed to think of B.Ed in 23a so I am very grateful to DT and of course Giovanni.

  28. Hilary
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Cheered up after truly awful day yesterday my antique brain has kicked back in. Sad to hear your news Kath never had a pet of any sort but have seen how their loss has affected various friends over the years.

  29. Jane
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Had a bit of a hard time with some of this one. 6a and 16d were new words for the memory bank and 24a – whilst an obvious bung-in – found me a little lacking in knowledge of legendary Greeks. Must be getting REALLY old – haven’t heard of 17d being spelt with a final ‘e’. 11 & 17a were the smiles for the day with 12d being favourite. Good late evening relaxation after a great day’s birding with my U3A group around Porthmadog and Black Rock Sands.
    Many thanks to Giovanni for the work-out and to DT for the comprehensive review and the clip for 19a! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  30. Salty Dog
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    I never cease to be amazed at the way a puzzle can seem very straightforward to me, but impenetrable to other contributors (and just as often the opposite!). This one l found easy – hardly 2* difficulty – but nevertheless satisfying. 19a was pretty obvious, and made me smile (particularly when l saw the old M&W sketch in the review), but l will go for 3d as my pick of the clues. Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  31. F1lbertfox
    Posted October 17, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    For the first time in months and months I failed to complete a back page Telegraph crossword puzzle. I was sailing along until . . . . . . . . . 9 & 23 across completely stumped me – I ought to have ‘seen’ 23, but I’d never have got 9 without cheating. An enjoyable puzzle all the same – thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.
    Very sad news indeed, Kath – I’ve been down a similar path too not so long ago – its horrible isn’t it – my thoughts are with you.