DT 27641 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27641

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27641

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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

Good morning from South Staffs, damp after overnight rain, with the promise of more to come.

A couple of clues in the NW corner held me up a little this morning, putting the solving time right on the border between ** and ***

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           A Parisian to show the falsity of France — there’s a lack of faith (8)
UNBELIEF – Put together the French for ‘a’, a verb meaning show the falsity of, and the IVR code for France.

5a           Like horse’s foot, given covering that includes iron (6)
HOOFED – The chemical symbol for iron inside a variety of head covering.

8a           Be frugal, providing university staffroom with little spirit (6)
SCRIMP – The initials of the place where university dons may gather, followed by a little devil.

9a           Servant, new trainee, butler ultimately (8)
RETAINER – Anagram (new) of TRAINEE followed by the last letter of butleR.

10a         Become aggressive as market collapses (4,4)
TAKE ARMS –Anagram (collapses) of AS MARKET.

11a         Container with something burnt, a chemical compound (6)
POTASH – A container or cooking vessel followed by what is left after a fire.

12a         Former Labour leader’s diary for March (8)
FOOTSLOG – The Labour leader who lost the 1983 election followed by the diary written by a ship’s captain.

13a         One sounding impatient along the way? (6)
TOOTER – Cryptic definition of a motorist using a car’s audible warning device.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

15a         New church ripped apart at the sides (6)
RECENT – A word for ripped apart, wrapped around an abbreviation for the Church of England.

18a         Saturn’s satellite had form of salt (8)
TITANATE – One of the moons of Saturn followed by ‘had’ as in ‘had for dinner’.

20a         Gets rid of learner during year in Rome (6)
ANNULS – Put the usual letter for a learner inside the Latin for year.

21a         Left for dead? (8)
DEPARTED – Double definition.

23a         Mark in bed in South East (8)
INSCRIBE – IN (from the clue) followed by a sort of bed put inside South East.

24a         Greek island will be seen in that cab, apart from the eastern edges (6)
ITHACA – Remove the final letters (eastern edges) from I(n) THA(t) CA(b).

25a         Spooner’s insect label that’s discovered in kitchen container (3,3)
TEA BAG – The insect might make honey, and the label could be on a suitcase or a gift. Treat them as Dr Spooner might have done, and the result sounds like the answer.

26a         Rest like many a tramp — go on to secure shelter (5,3)
SLEEP OUT – Put a word describing shelter from the wind inside another which describes a speaker who goes on at length.


1d           Elevated group creating bother (5)
UPSET – A two-letter word for elevated, and a group of people.

2d           Record anger about money in a place suffering a big shock (9)
EPICENTRE – Start with a record midway between a single and an LP, then add a word for anger wrapped around a small American or Euro coin, to get a seismological term.

3d           Mythical female grabbed by one male regularly put at risk (7)
IMPERIL – A female fairy (think Iolanthe) placed inside the Roman numeral for one and alternate letters (regularly) of MaLe.

4d           She’s oft resigned to change, showing an ability to glimpse into the future (15)

5d           Popular nightclub in troublesome place (7)
HOTSPOT – A word for popular followed by an alternative word for a nightclub.

6d           Paintings, say, that could become fainter (4,3)
FINE ART – Anagram (could become) of FAINTER.

7d           Unfamiliar mount that may be challenging? (4,5)
DARK HORSE – Double definition: an unknown quantity on a racecourse; or a late challenger in an election.

12d         Prepare for shopping trip as a stickler for procedure? (9)
FORMALIST – Split (4,1,4) this could be what you do to get ready for a shopping trip.

14d         Quality evident when one has a certain something (9)
OWNERSHIP – Cryptic definition of the state of possessing something.

16d         Article collected by group of players before a game (7)
CANASTA – This card game is made up of a form of the indefinite article placed inside a group of players in the theatre, followed by A from the clue.

17d         Volunteers introducing smart event with lots of drink? (7)
TASTING – The initials of the former name of the army reserve, followed by a verb meaning ‘to smart’.

19d         Deposit minced meat (7)
TOPSIDE – Anagram (minced) of DEPOSIT.

22d         Doctor getting behind plan (5)
DRAFT – An abbreviation for doctor followed by a nautical term for behind.

The Quick Crossword pun FORCE + WARNE = FORSWORN

44 comments on “DT 27641

  1. 2*/3*. This struck me as quite un-Giovanni-like, and I really enjoyed it. Not too difficult – my only issue was in failing to understand the wordplay for the last three letters of 18a; and no obscurities (fortunately for me I studied chemistry in the dim and distant past which helped with 11a & 18a).

    I particularly liked 12a & 12d.

    Thanks to the Don and to DT, particularly for explaining the last bit of 18a fully – although I do think it’s a bit tenuous.

  2. Another barrowl-load of fun after hesitant start. East went in before West. Thanks Giovanni (?) and DT. 18a new to me. 12d amused. ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  3. Like rabbit dave, I struggled with the ending to 18a as well, the double dark didn’t help, and it took me a while to get 2d – so a little trickier than usual today, and quite pleasant because of that.

    I also liked 12d and 25a

    thanks giovanni & DT

  4. A very pleasant puzzle which has helped me pass the time whilst I wait for my flight at Heathrow. I particularly liked 21A for its simplicity but effectiveness . My rating is 2*/3* Thanks to DT for the review.

  5. Me too with the 2/3* difficulty today. Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

    I know it is pure coincidence but I did groan when I saw 20a as there have been a number of similar clues in various cryptics in the last week.

  6. Can’t quibble on a**/*** -***,Like Rabbit being a chemist helped with a couple of clues-nearly put IDE (short for I had, for18a,then I saw the ate ) struggled with the SW corner wanted to put tin can or tea pot ’till I saw the light over my second cuppa! Anyway very enjoyable. Thanks DT for the picts, visited 24a a few years ago, beautiful place.

  7. I’m giving this a 5* for enjoyment.
    I thought it was great, especially after the rest of this week.

    I particularly enjoyed 4d and 7d.
    Got waylaid on Wiki for nearly an hour finding out about Saturn (fascinating) and nearly came a cropper (origin please someone?) at 2d wanting to put epileptic …….

    25a was my favourite.

    13 and 26 a bit limp, otherwise, thank you Giovanni. You’re my favourite ( Strictly fans will know about this).

    1. I’ve had a look and there doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer. Though there are some unusual legends. It seems that the word ‘crop’ comes from the Norse ‘Kropp’, meaning a lump of sorts.
      Some of the mythology involves a 19th century printing press, the Minerva cropper. So it may relate to the industrial accidents prevalent then.
      There is also a theory that it may refer to the back quarters of a horse called the croup and what may happen if you fall from a horse.
      This from a poem by Edward Nairne.

      A man on horseback, drunk with gin and flip,
      Bawling out – Yoix – and cracking of his whip,
      The startish beast took fright, and flop
      The mad-brain’d rider tumbled, neck and crop!

      Having fallen come a cropper off many a horse I can tell you it usually hurts and you feel like a complete idiot.

    2. Although I’m posting this too late for you to see, you never know: my 1923 edition of Brewer’s Phrase and Fable offers the following: “He came a cropper” – He fell head over heels. “To get a cropper” – To get a bad fall. “Neck and crop” means altogether, and to “come a cropper” is to come to the ground neck and crop.

  8. Well, I don’t know – I found this real hard going and had to rely on the hints to finish it.

    Way above my pay grade – a bit depressing really just when I thought was getting the hang of this lark!

    Tomorrow is another day! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  9. titanite is naturally occuring metallic salt so I discovered for 18a so left that in ? right or wrong / alternate DT . Still interesting clue

    1. If you go for ‘-ite’ you have the problem of parsing the second part of the wordplay. And I solved the puzzle online, which means I have the advantage of knowing the intended answer!

      1. Yep , but not impossible to pars “had/add” since” ite” on metal is usually a salt/oxide . Still thanks DT for reply , I’m just on a different planet some days

  10. I thought this was tough but elegant once I saw DTs review which I sorely needed. The wind has now abated and hopefully we’llbe back to cool but tolerable weather. No power cuts though so a bonus.

  11. I thought this was a very good Friday quality puzzle from the Don with some excellent clues.
    I liked 12a especially. It took me a while to finish, but I managed with out recourse to DT’s revue.
    So thanks to the Don, and DT for the revue. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  12. I made quite heavy weather of this one – but I guess it was worth it if only to read (at long last) a ‘positive’ comment from Brian. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    Didn’t know the abb. at 8a, we just called it ‘the staffroom’ – at least, in polite conversation!
    18a was a new word – doesn’t often appear on an English course!
    Couldn’t parse 26a so it was pretty much a bung-in and the mythical woman eluded me for quite a while.

    Favourite was 12a, followed by 25a.

    Many thanks to Giovanni for making Brian’s day and to Deep Threat – just wish you’d rated it more **** for difficulty, I could need Hanni’s corner to recover my composure. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    1. As Giovanni’s cheerleader-in-chief, Brian is always happy on a Friday Jane!

      Oh dear; that description has just brought forth the most disturbing image of Brian with two large pom-poms and a short skirt chanting G-I-O-V-A-N-N-I. I think I might have to have a little lie down…

      1. The birding was really, really good – despite a disgustingly early start (out of bed by 5am!).

        Falling by the wayside now and maybe that explains the hard slog with the puzzle today (probably not, I’m just clutching at straws).

        Off to the evening meeting soon – a long drive and very narrow, unlit lanes. Think I’d rather sit in your corner with a G&T but I’ve promised a lift to an elderly lady who is (unknowingly) getting a pressie and a bouquet from the committee of the Cambrian Ornithological Society. Don’t think I can get out of that one!

        May be back to look in later – see how Kath went on. Almost hoping she didn’t find it as easy as you did! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

        1. Jane, well done to you for driving after that hideously early start. Hope you had a good evening. I’m back in my corner. I tried the Toughie. G & T?

          1. Thanks for the ‘heads-up’ – think I’ll leave it alone and just get myself off to bed!

            Two more early starts in front of me this weekend so hope it will be OK for me to bring a sleeping bag into the corner on Sunday evening. I’ll have a G&T instead of cocoa, please.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

            1. Sleep well. It sounds like you have a busy weekend ahead. The drink will be ready if you need it. I’m thinking of installing room service to my corner. By the way I can make an excellent Spanish hot chocolate thingy I learnt when I lived there. There is alcohol involved. ;-)

  13. **/****
    Out of my corner today. What a nice way to end the week. Like Beaver I got a little held up with 25a …tea cup? Tea pot? I wish someone would bring me a cup of tea? It also took me awhile to spot the anagram in 10a.
    Favourite clues are 18a and 12d. The latter made me laugh on a hideously wet day. 17d caused a little amusement too. Many moons ago, after leaving uni, I was starting out my career. Being new and I little naïve I was keen to impress and was invited to a ‘horizontal tasting’ of some wine. Not wanting to appear uncivilised I accepted and then went into a panic wondering what in Gods name people did when horizontally tasting wine? Do we all lie down? Do they lie the wine down? Is this some sort of euphemism like the ‘mile high club’? I ended up ringing my mum who spent quite a long time laughing at me. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif She still remembers it. I still remember the wine tasting all the same.
    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for blogging.
    Hope everyone has a good weekend.

  14. I thought this to be a good, solid puzzle which was (as per usual) very well clued. Nearly got beaten by the SW corner until I tumbled the spoonerism and then managed to complete it. Thanks to DT and Giovanni ***/***

  15. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, that I found really difficult.I thought that the anagrams in 10a & 6d were very well concealed. Needed to look up 12d&23a, wouldn’t have got them in a million years. Favourite was 12a. Was 4*/3* for me.

  16. We did about three quarters of this puzzle reasonably quickly and then came to a grinding halt and needed a peek at the hints to carry on so its a ***/*** for us We enjoyed the challenge and liked the clues except for 12 down. I have formed a queue many times but I don’t think I’ve ever formed a shopping list. I hope I haven’t incurred the wrath of Jane for daring to criticise one of the setters clues. Thank you to the setter and to DT.

    1. Hi SheilaP – sorry for late reply, I’ve been out all evening.

      No – I’m perfectly fine with your comment!!! I just get so incensed by folk who lambast entire puzzles simply because they couldn’t complete them. We all have our own wavelengths and I find it interesting to discover who finds themselves in tune with which setters. For instance, I always expect to struggle with a Giovanni whilst others obviously find them reasonably straightforward. Doesn’t make me feel inclined to ‘have a go’ – he’s still a great setter and I just need to try harder!

      Having said that – the thought of Brian in a tutu and pom-poms is almost enough to put me off Giovanni’s indefinitely. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  17. Between 2* and 3* for difficulty for me – probably 3* for enjoyment if only because of 12a and 12d.
    Couldn’t do 18a but husband could so he got me out of that particular hole.
    Having said all that I was terribly slow to get going at all on this one and thought that it was going to be another “Oh ******************* it’s Friday!”
    Spent far too long trying to make 1a Un followed by an anagram (falsity) of FRANCE. Oh dear!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
    I missed the anagram indicator in 10a and that was my last answer.
    I liked 25a (I know I’m in the minority in liking Spoonerisms) and 4 and 14d. My favourite was either 12a or 12d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat (and husband for getting 18a).
    We’re away for the weekend so it’s wine o’clock now. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    1. Hi Kath – yes, it’s amazingly difficult to make an anagram out of ‘un’ and France. I should know, I tried it for long enough! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      As for the Spoonerisms – I love them when I can ‘get’ them but always dither about whether I should be writing in the answer he would have given or the ‘correct’ one. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      So that’s how you got 18a! I was ready to be really, really impressed until you confessed!

      Have a lovely weekend with lots of wine o’clocks. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  18. A very entertaining and not too difficult a puzzle. No hold-ups today as most were pretty much write ins with the exception of 4 down. Some lovely clues with many chuckles along the way . It was also a first time for me in solving a Spoonerism – I normally never ‘see’ those without a hint. Thanks indeed to the Don.

  19. Never really got on the right wavelength and had to use electrnic help for SW corner so not as pleasant today as I’d have wished. 3* / 3-4*.
    Thanks to Giovann, if he, and to Deep Threat.

  20. Mea culpa my remark was about 25a not 26a yesterday which brought some comments. Must try harder. Despite a poor start I had a superbhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif time today; thanks to setter and DT for cheering me up at the end of a slightly iffy week brain-wise. I blame it on the weather webbed foot morning chilly sunshine afternoon in our bit of Suffolk.

  21. 3*/3* for me, and 24a was my favourite (but only because it was Odysseus’ kingdom and l enjoyed “The Odyssey”). The SW corner held me up a bit. It didn’t go as well as l would have liked because l was trying to watch ” The Italian Job” at the same time. Still, got there in the end, so VMTs to Giovanni, and to Deep Threat.

  22. The Don treated us today, 14 double unches in the cryptic and 6 in the quick. Faultless as ever though, but 5a always sounds wrong to me, hoofed or hooved…. discuss. Thanks Giovanni and DT

  23. Good stuff all round. Got held up in the SW corner, which took me into 3* time. No stand-outs, but I liked 16d and 23a when I finally twigged. Thanks to the Don and DT for the well-illustrated review: never seen that WITW animation before, and that’s not how I’ve always imagined Mr Toad, but good to see

  24. Thank you DG, late finish, good fun. Thanks DT for your review and hints. Back on the road now !

  25. 20 a held me up as I thought the latin for year was anno, so I didn’t know where the u came from. Otherwise a good puzzle . Favourite 12a. Thanks to the Don and DT.

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