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DT 27682

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27682

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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

Good morning from South Staffs this Boxing Day morning – not deep and crisp and even, though we may get that later, but damp and grey..

I solved this puzzle before going to bed last night. It may have been the reaction from spending the evening wrestling with the Double Toughie, but I raced through Giovanni’s latest, finishing right on the border between * and ** time.

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           Company with limited employee system finished business for the day? (6,4)
CLOSED SHOP – This describes a historical practice where only members of a particular trade union could be employed. It could also be what a retailer did at the end of the day.

9a           Beside mountain pass there’s a tree (4)
COLA – A mountain pass followed by A (from the clue).

10a         Real Madrid excited — one put in the net? (3,7)
RED ADMIRAL – This variety of butterfly is an anagram (excited) of REAL MADRID.

11a         Everyone in group provided with helmet (6)
SALLET – Obscure word of the day. Put ‘everyone’ inside a group of people.

12a         Graduates returning to university for a day of rest (7)
SABBATH – Reverse (returning) a set of letters denoting people with Arts degrees, and add a university in the West of England.

15a         Good person having complete problem with speech (7)
STUTTER – An abbreviation for a good or holy person followed by a word meaning complete or total (as in disaster).

16a         To the west Mediterranean island’s black (5)
SABLE – The heraldic term for black is also the reverse of an island where Napoleon was exiled, plus the ‘s from the clue.

17a         Row produced by short communication (4)
LINE – Double definition: a row of things or a short letter, as in ‘Drop me a —-‘.

18a         A test for all except outsiders (4)
ORAL – Remove the outside letters from (f)OR AL(l).

19a         Use foil maybe for guard (5)
FENCE – Double definition, the first being a form of sporting combat.

21a         Demon among demons — terrifying (7)
MONSTER _ Hidden in (among) the clue.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

22a         Merlin wanders round behind king in citadel (7)
KREMLIN – This citadel in Moscow is the chess notation for a king followed by an anagram (wanders) of MERLIN.

24a         It’s mad and stupid, imprisoning saint (6)
INSANE – An abbreviation for saint inside a word meaning stupid or vacuous.

27a         Returning home, chum entering study is invigorated again (10)
REANIMATED – Reverse the two-letter word meaning ‘at home’, add a chum, and put the result inside a verb meaning to study.

28a         Lover no longer wanted is sent to it? (4)
EXIT – An all-in-one clue. Put together the usual former lover and IT (from the clue) to get the place the lover is pointed towards.

29a         Girl’s state of anxiety — result of overeating? (10)
DISTENSION – A two-letter shortened form of a girl’s name, plus the ‘s, and a feeling of anxiety, giving the feeling resulting from too much turkey and pudding.


2d           Song was first number one to be included (4)
LIED – A German song is made up of a verb meaning ‘was in first place’ with the Roman numeral for one inside it.

3d           Mark on a black beetle (6)
SCARAB – A blemish on the skin followed by A (from the clue) and Black.

4d           Silly people swim, I’d fancy, around end of boat (7)
DIMWITS – Anagram (fancy) of SWIM I’D, wrapped around the last letter of boaT.

5d           Fast mover rescues maiden from women’s group (4)
HARE – The chap who lost the race with the tortoise. Remove the abbreviation for maiden on a cricket scorecard from a closed group of women.

6d           Last of cops up late pounding beat (7)
PULSATE – Anagram (pounding) of the final letter of (cop)S and UP LATE.

7d           Change to ‘all clear’ bringing security (10)
COLLATERAL – This security for a loan is an anagram (change) of TO ALL CLEAR.

8d           Plant place within fellow’s grand design (6,4)
MASTER PLAN – A variety of daisy and an abbreviation for place inside another word for a fellow or chap.

12d         One’s smiled awkwardly, with formal dignity (10)
SOLEMNISED – Anagram (awkwardly) of ONE’S SMILED.

13d         Yellow peril? (6,4)
BANANA SKIN – Cryptic definition of something yellow which may bring about your downfall, especially in a cartoon.

14d         Show hesitation — that sometimes leads to sack! (5)
HAVER – If you go hiking you may carry this variety of a word for hesitate with a sack added.

15d         Smart little son sitting on lap (5)
SLICK – Abbreviation for Son followed by lap, as a cat might with milk.

19d         Excited always when entertained by US agent (7)
FEVERED – An abbreviation for an agent of the US government with ‘always’ inserted.

20d         Learned head of English impolite about use of computers, etc (7)
ERUDITE – Put together the first letter of English, and a word for impolite wrapped around a two-letter acronym for everything to do with computers.

23d         Busybodies said to get awards (6)
MEDALS – These awards sound like what a busybody does.

25d         Fish expertsthey give evidence to police (4)
DABS – Triple definition: small flatfish; an expert; or the familiar term for fingerprint evidence.

26d         Godlike fellow giving the lady a ring (4)
HERO – A pronoun replacing ‘the lady’ followed by a ring-shaped letter.

The Quick Crossword pun SETTER + SIGHED = SET ASIDE

39 comments on “DT 27682

  1. Thank you DG – pleased to see today’s puzzle at the easier end of your range – cos in an hour’s time the invasion starts with grandchildren etc coming to stay for a few days. Probably the end of crosswords for a short while. No doubt there will be other pleasures to enjoy http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif Thanks DT for your review and hints and taking time out this morning to help us all.

  2. No great problems but most enjoyable for all that. Although it’s a Friday this doesn’t have the stamp of a Giovanni but I could be wrong. Learnt something new today, never realised that a Cola was a tree! Had a look at Elgars Toughie, heavens above, definitely one for the most expert of experts. Not even sure it was in Englishhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif
    Thx to all, enjoy the best day of the holiday.

    1. I also wondered whether it was a Giovanni today. Given this week’s running order … I have my doubts. I have no firm evidence … but I’m just not certain that the Don’s dabs are on this one.

      Thanks to DT for explaining 17a.

        1. Thanks for that. It helped me but still don’t know 15a. The only standard manoeuvre I know is the 3 point turn.

  3. Nice easy puzzle giving my brain a gentle workout.Many thanks to the setter & DT for the review. A little late but seasons compliments to all forum readers & usershttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  4. Thank you DT for the review which I needed to solve 27a and 25d – had put meddles instead of medals! 2.5*/3* and 13d as favourite for me. Learnt a new word Sallet for helmet as well as dabs meaning fingerprints evidence. Had an early start as J took the children to Heathrow for their skiing week in Austria. No cooking for three days at least as there are plenty of left overs, hurrah! Hope everyone had a good Christmas, lots of presents and no mishaps. Many thanks to the setter.

  5. I never seem to find DG puzzles easy – always some words that are new – 9&11a and 2d, in this case and a bit of a struggle with some of the parsing. An enjoyable tussle, however, and a few to smile over. Today’s special mentions go to 1a and 13d with the favourite spot saved for 29a – no prizes for guessing why! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif 2.5*/3* for me.
    Many thanks to DG and to Deep Threat – you must have had a sober Christmas Day to finish both the Double Toughie and this one before bedtime!

  6. Slow progress for a while in SE corner and had to refer to my version of the BRB for 11a and 14d which were new words to me. I thought 12d should have read ‘done with formal’ or maybe I’m just being pedantic. Very enjoyable and learned two new words. Can’t be bad. Favourites by a long way were 13d and 25d Thanks DT and setter.

  7. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle from Giovanni, I always seem to learn a new word from the the Don. Today’s was 11a. Just needed the hint for 17a, I was looking for a word for communication with the last letter missing, good misdirection. Favourite was 13d. Was 2*/3* for me.

  8. My rating is 2*/3* for an enjoyable and straightforward puzzle with two exceptions.

    I had to give up on 14d despite having four checking letters and trying all 26 possibilities the missing one.
    As I was too tired after a long but very enjoyable alcohol fuelled Christmas Day to get up and look in my BRB, I checked DT’s review on my smart phone and was still bemused by what was a new word for me. 11a was horribly obscure and also a new word for me.

    13d was my favourite today.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and DT, and I hope everyone else had as good a Christmas as we did.

    1. RD, I got 14d from the lyrics to the Proclaimers’ ‘500 Miles’. Now I can’t get it out of my mind!

      1. Well that’s an eye-opener. I had always wondered what word they were singing, and had assumed it was an item of a Scottish dialect…
        … and now that irritatingly catchy tune is going to be on mind for the rest of the day!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  9. The only problem was deciding which was a homophone of which in 23d.Favourite and last one in 14d and I also liked 28a.Thanks to all concerned.

  10. From a lurker. (I always do the crossword mid day, so all the things that need to be said have been posted by your regular contributors) So, to start “happy boxing day” and thanks in advance to all the brilliant setters and reviewers for their past and future efforts.Today, was */** for me.The usual odd words were easy to get. Mr safari provided the confirmation. Only one problem today. I could not get 25d. When I did I liked it so much it became my fav for the day.

  11. Glad this was on the easier side because I’m definitely feeling a bit fragile this morning. The Toughie will have to wait until I am a whole lot stronger!

    I didn’t get 14D though, and I don’t think I’ve seen the word before. 25D gets my vote as the stand-out today. Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    Happy Boxing day to all from Maryland, where we shall be doing nothing but relaxing.

  12. On the whole an enjoyable puzzle of me, but spoiled by not having heard of the terms in 11a, 14d, nor two out of the three definitions in 25d. On the first pass I confidently put in banana peel for 13d. I also wondered about the parts of speech involved in 23d. . . . . . . I must be having a case of the post Christmas blues!

  13. Plodded my way through this one – 11a was a new word to me but it had to be from the clue and the checking letters. I ran into trouble in the bottom right corner where I had ‘distending’ in 29a – I didn’t really think it through as I’m trying to watch Chelsea v West Ham at the same time – this resulted in me being stumped on 23d and 26d and I resorted to the blog to put me out of my misery. Thanks for that!

    Crash and burn – better luck tomorrow! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  14. **/***. An interesting puzzle and some obscure words. Nevertheless enjoyable. Thanks to the setter and DT for the review. Much colder this morning but looking forward to a massive fry-up before trying to walk it off.

  15. It must be Friday. My very first answer was a word I didn’t know (9a tree), as was my last (11a helmet). It was a medium-paced solve for me with no real problems until the last three which I left for a while: they yielded quickly enough on returning to them. Favourite 6d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat. Happy Boxing Day everyone.

    The big invasion here is imminent. Wish me luck!

    1. Hi Kitty – glad to hear that you’re getting an ‘invasion’ – it will take your mind off missing Mr. K for a little while. Hope he had some hospitality for the festive season? When do you get to see him again – I think we should have a ‘virtual’ celebration in honour of the occasion. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  16. Slight problem in bottom left hand corner and now for the life of me I cannot see why. Throughly enjoyable Boxing Day workout, thanks to DT and Giovanni. 13d made me smile even more so when I saw the picture. Have bought new box of erasers for my propelling pencil so looking forward to employing them. New Year’s resolution one day I will attempt NTPSS. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  17. I don’t usually do Fiday’s puzzles, not my wavelength and the missing “aha” moment when you solve a clue. However, I found this one quite good, 13d in particular was a standout and is nominated as my fave.
    Only new word for me was 11a but easily solved and confirmed by the dictionary.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review.

  18. A good crossword for Boxing Day. I finally got there with 13d almost causing my down fall. (I’ll get me hat…http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif) I always seem to forget that answer and it does periodically appear I know.
    Thanks to the Don and DT for his revue.

  19. Nice crossword. Last in was 17a! Should have finished far quicker, but struggled to find a word for communication less 1 letter. I blame to much port the previous day.

  20. Nice accompaniment to a relaxed Boxing Day breakfast.
    11a across was a new word for me, but very solvable from the clue.
    Thanks to the setter (Don or otherwise) and to DT for the review.

  21. I managed to sneak away to a quiet corner, away from the ongoing chaos, to tackle today’s puzzles. Good stuff with just one new word 11a that needed a quick check for confirmation. Enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  22. HELP!! Where are the hints for today’s Toughie 1316 and, as there was no DT yesterday, where did yesterday’s puzzles come from?

  23. Well again it’s the SE corner that gave me the most trouble
    As I couldn’t parse 27a I filled in respirited ( oh god, it’s underlined in red as I write it. Doesn’t even exist) and merits for 23d ( how? is that a new verb? I busybody, you busybody, he busybodies?) shouldn’t it be meddlers rather? Well anyway, live and learn, that’s my motto.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review.

  24. This usefully filled a bit of a very wet Boxing Day afternoon, although l had to put it aside unfinished until just now when the visiting hordes departed. 2*/3* is about right, but l have no particular favourite clue. Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  25. Season’s greetings. I’m glad everyone seems to be having a relaxing family time. I, sadly, have just got in from work and sat down to this offering from the Don with a Times Gin and tonic (46% and not to be taken lightly). It all fell neatly into place on two passes without much trouble – I finished the puzzle before the gin. Thanks to DT for the review and DG for the challenge. Off to the boat in the morning, where snow is forecast. I’m packing my new thermal memory foam slippers.

  26. Thanks Giovanni for Boxing Day fun and DT for help which had to be sought to parse one or two answers e.g. 15a, 16a, 14d and 25d (where I had bunged in bar). It’s late but I probably will not sleep now after ending two indulgent days with this enjoyable and stimulating exercise. **/**. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

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