DT 27706

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27706

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a cold and frosty morning.

It took me little while to get going on today’s Giovanni, but I picked up speed after the first few clues fell into place, finishing just into *** 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           Anger’s hidden by Jerry’s adversary, see, without excitement (10)
TIRESOMELY – Put another word for anger, plus the ‘s from the clue, inside Jerry’s cartoon adversary, and add the usual Episcopal see.

6a           Country protected by formal institution (4)
MALI – An African country is hidden in (protected by) the clue.

9a           Adviser continued to want leader of empire restricted (10)
CONSULTANT – A shortened form of ‘continued’ with the ruler of the Ottoman empire inside it.

10a         Ruler of grim empire, backward-looking (4)
EMIR – Hidden in (of) the clue in reverse (backward-looking).

12a         Drinks given special trade promotion, first to last (4)
ALES – Take a special trade promotion, traditionally held in January, but now often seen all year round, and move the first letter to the end, to get something sure to be consumed at the Cruciverbalists’ Convention next week.

13a         Engineers, fellows this person’s put in fighting units (9)
REGIMENTS – The initials of a some military engineers, followed by another word for fellows with another way of saying ‘This person is’ inside it.

15a         Dwindle as favourite with little energy facing defeat (5,3)
PETER OUT – Put together a favourite animal or child, an abbreviation for energy and a heavy defeat in battle.

16a         Peer endlessly into Cornish river with pretty plants? (6)
FLORAL – Remove the last letter from a peer’s title, and put the result inside a Cornish river.

18a         Fish crossing river or ditch (6)
TRENCH River inside a fresh-water fish.

20a         I will be in this set filling in crosswords (8)
ALPHABET – Two cryptic definitions of a set of symbols.

23a         Lover no longer one to chide, that’s clear (9)
EXONERATE – Put together the usual former lover, ONE (from the clue) and another word for chide.

24a         Bird in vessel on lake (4)
LARK – The abbreviation for Lake followed by a vessel which was said to contain two of these birds (plus every other sort of living creature).

26a         Woman from Dublin maybe that’s ditched husband (4)
IRIS – Remove the H (ditch husband) from a description of a native of Dublin to get this woman’s name.

27a         Wild beast may be seen here in the distance, one going in a flash (6,4)
SAFARI PARK – Take a word meaning ‘in the distance’, add the Roman numeral for one, and put the result inside an electrical flash.

28a         Group from north sitting in silence (4)
GANG North inside a verb meaning to silence.

29a         Strange fee negotiated for uncommitted participants (4,6)
FREE AGENTS – Anagram (negotiated) of STRANGE FEE.


1d           Not cross for a moment (4)
TICK – The opposite of a cross when teacher is marking your homework.

2d           Cluster of hair girl fixed with net (7)
RINGLET – Anagram (fixed) of GIRL and NET.

3d           One of a couple in court to suppress noise? (6,6)
SQUASH RACKET – The court is a sports arena, and there would be four of these if a doubles match was being played. Or synonyms of ‘suppress’ and ‘noise’.

4d           Disorderly lot going round hill on American vehicle (5,3)
MOTOR BUS – A disorderly crowd wrapped around a hill in the West Country, followed by an abbreviation for one one of the countries in North America.


WHAT is this that roareth thus?

Can it be a Motor Bus?
Yes, the smell and hideous hum
Indicat Motorem Bum!
Implet in the Corn and High
Terror me Motoris Bi:
Bo Motori clamitabo
Ne Motore caedar a Bo–
Dative be or Ablative
So thou only let us live:
Whither shall thy victims flee?
Spare us, spare us, Motor Be!
Thus I sang; and still and still anigh
Came in hordes Motores Bi,
Et complebat omne forum
Copia Motorum Borum.
How shall wretches live like us
Cincti Bis Motoribus?
Domine, defende nos
Contra hos Motores Bos!

A.D. Godley

5d           Row securing a good amount of editorial matter (6)
LINAGE – Put A (from the clue) and Good inside a row or series, to get a technical term in the newspaper industry.

7d           A solitary type, male engaged as hospital worker no more (7)
ALMONER – A (from the clue) and a person who doesn’t like company with Male inside it, giving a hospital post which existed before Social Services departments were set up.

8d           Tories rule in unsettled fashion, lacking clear purpose (10)
IRRESOLUTE – Anagram (in unsettled fashion) of TORIES RULE.

11d         One taking this one won’t gain much ground (12)
SMALLHOLDING – Cryptic definition of a little agricultural set-up.

14d         Celebrate outside club, jabbering (10)
SPUTTERING – A verb meaning to celebrate or praise someone, wrapped around a golf club.

17d         A right troublesome goddess gets cut off (8)
ALIENATE – Put together A (from the clue), a legal right to retain property until a bill is settled, and the Greek goddess of mischief.

19d         The personification of love at home admitting love is dying away (7)
EROSION – Another Greek god, the one whose name is wrongly attributed to the statue in Piccadilly Circus, followed by a word for ‘at home’ with the letter which looks like a love score at tennis inside it.

21d         Pub gets to profit from special deal (7)
BARGAIN – A synonym of ‘pub’ followed by a synonym of ‘profit’.

22d         Fair prohibition restricts extremist characters beginning to agitate (6)
BAZAAR – Put the letters at opposite ends of the 20a and the first letter of Agitate inside a prohibition.

25d         More than one runner misses out, lacking power (4)
SKIS – The runners needed for a winter sport. Remove the P(ower) from a word which means ‘misses out’, as a truant misses out on school, for example.

The Quick Crossword pun CORE + PORE + ASIAN = CORPORATION



  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    2*/2*. Ever the optimist, I hoped that last week’s excellent crossword might have proved to have been a turning point for Fridays. My heart sank today immediately I saw the large number of wordy clues, and my fears were confirmed when I started with 1a, which for me epitomises this uninspiring puzzle. 1a also includes the words “without excitement”, which accurately sums up my feelings.

    Thanks to the setter and to DT.

  2. Angel
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    The reverse of yesterday. South went in with no problems but North took a bit more sorting. An altogether pleasant exercise – thank you Giovanni and indeed DT. Liked 11d. Missed the country hiding in 6a – d’oh! I suppose 3d is cleverly devious. **/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  3. dutch
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    For once Rabbit Dave isn’t the usual accurate predictor of my own experience – I found a number of enjoyable aha moments after staring at some clues for a while – these include 20a (I will be in this),27a (wild beast..), 3d (one of a couple in court), 22d (fair prohibition… took me a while to get the extremist characters). In 11d I wasted some time looking for an anagram of “won’t gain much” (ground). I also quite liked 23a (lover no longer..) and 2d (cluster of hair… although I found “cluster” a strange choice of word, even “bit” would have given a smoother surface)

    Thanks Giovanni and Deep Threat

  4. Jane
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Got off to a good start but slowed down appreciably towards the end. 4&5d were bung-ins as I’m not familiar with the US vehicle name or the ‘technical term’. 17d was a ‘has to be’ ending as I didn’t know the goddess (have looked her up now!).
    Not very happy with the definition at 19d – ‘wearing away’ seems better?

    Plenty of ‘goodies’ – favourite would have come from 9a,1 or 3d until I finally got 27a, which really made me laugh out loud.
    3*/3* for me.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review – particularly the reminder of Sam Cooke and the 4d verse!

    • dutch
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      yes, I like wearing away.

    • Pjdcross
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      I completely agree about 19d

  5. Sweet William
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Thank you DG, I enjoyed that and had to laugh at 15a,27a and 3d. Good fun. And – no new words ! Thanks DT for your review, hints and poetry.

  6. Nuidler
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Own goal problems in top left by putting gulp in for 12a – plug reversed I thought! Ho hum. Sorted out eventually with some help thanks. Otherwise a bit of an uninspired plod for me, sorry.

    • gazza
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog, Nuidler.

  7. Rick
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Unlike DT I made fairly swift progress before slowing up right at the end. I made it much worse for myself by clinging on to IMP as the likely opening for 11d for far too long and this took me into 3* time.
    The second half of the day will be much more exciting – we are collecting our new puppy this afternoon! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    • Jane
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      What a lot of fun you have to look forward to. What type of puppy?

      • Rick
        Posted January 23, 2015 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        Labradoodle. A first for us, we’ve had three labs but never the doodle bit.
        Should be fun; after nearly 30 years of canine companions (up to four at one point) the last couple of months have been eerily quiet.

        • Jane
          Posted January 23, 2015 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

          Lovely. A friend of mine has one and she reckons she gets all the devotion of a lab. without the necessity of de-tangling the hoover every couple of weeks!

          • Beaver
            Posted January 23, 2015 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

            Will be retiring soon and thinking of a labradoodle as a friend got one a few months ago and loves it ,apart from some indiscipline issues -going to ‘lessons’ ! Another friend went to India last week and put the dog in Kennels, when he came back the dog- was generally mopey and ignored him, so he took him to a vet who said the dog was depressed and anxious and gave him(the dog) antidepressants and a pick me up-he soon perked up! – I kid you not.

    • Kath
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      How lovely! Girl, boy, colour, name? Need all the details – not sure we’ll ever be brave enough again. I still can’t talk about Annie without http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

      • Rick
        Posted January 23, 2015 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        Black and fluffy, called Polly and gorgeous!
        I know what you mean about Annie, we lost three in as many years and it breaks your heart every time. I said never again but that didn’t last very long.

        • Kath
          Posted January 23, 2015 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

          She sounds really lovely – I hope you have a lot of fun with her. We haven’t yet got beyond the never again stage.

      • Merusa
        Posted January 23, 2015 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        Sadie is the first only child I’ve had, so when one goes, there is someone who needs your attention. When Rufus died, I was so inconsolable and I thought it wasn’t fair to Georgie, then along came Sadie. It’s a good thing Sadie happened as Georgie died soon after from cancer, only aged eight. They all tear my heart apart but i can’t do without them.

        • Kath
          Posted January 23, 2015 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

          I don’t ever want to do this kind of heart tearing apart again – it’s not having a dog I miss – it’s her. She was so amazing . . .

          • andy
            Posted January 24, 2015 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

            Nelson, Mr Wu Mrs Stitch and latterly Thabo are all sat at the Dog and bowl pub, having a great time and moaning about how I never fed them enough, dragged them out on wet and cold mornings and evenings blah woof blah woof. We only look after them for a short while until they go to the great kennel elsewhere

  8. Kath
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    This has been one of my worst weeks for crosswords ever. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
    I found this one really difficult – probably nearer 4* and 3* for enjoyment.
    Started off really well – got lots of the across answers, including the two hidden ones, and then ground to a halt.
    Complete standstill, for ages – eventually had most of the top half done but little else – oh dear. Did get there in the end but it has taken me ages. My excuse is the low anagram count.
    Having said all that I thought there were some good clues – 6 and 20a and 3 and 14d. My favourite was 27a.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat – I’d forgotten all about the Sam Cooke.

    • SheilaP
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      You are much better than I am at cryptics, so I don’t suppose it’s much consolation, but the last three days have been very difficult for us and in order to get started we’ve had to look at one or two hints and then continue from there. I really don’t like doing that, but needs must. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

    • Hilary
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

      I cannot believe I am reading this, Kaths do not have worst weeks ever. Super bloggers may have mediocre day occasionally so have a http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif from me

      • Hanni
        Posted January 23, 2015 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

        Well said Hilary. And a http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif for you.

  9. dave hartley
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    If I had to tell off a goddess I wouldn’t normally rate Ate. You learn something (or 2 things) every day.

  10. Beaver
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Agree with Rabbit Dave re ‘wordy’ clues 1A was a perfect example of such a ‘convolution’, i always think them to be the anathema to an enjoyable crossword, don’t think much about shortened forms either , as in 9A , as they hint of ‘setter desperation’ for me.

  11. pommers
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Thought we were in for a pangram for a while but no, it’s missing J, V and W. Shame I likes a pangram. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    Nothing wrong with the clues but we found them all a bit flat so it’s **/** from us.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  12. SheilaP
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    I have to agree with you Beaver, I don’t enjoy convoluted clues either. I’m just not very good at unravelling them. Anyway, thank you to the Friday setter and to DT.

  13. Vancouverbc
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    ***/***. First pass was not good but once I got going in the northern half it pretty much fell into place. A number of aha moments which made it very enjoyable. Thanks to the setter and DT for the review. I was woken at 4.30 this morning by my new grandson so what better than a cup of tea and a good crossword to start the day.

  14. anoxic
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    For 13a I had the right answer but couldn’t parse it. I had ‘fellows’ as ‘men’. Doh! Thanks for the breakdown of the clue.

    • Hanni
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Make that two of us!

      • Ora Meringue
        Posted January 23, 2015 at 4:09 pm | Permalink


        • Angel
          Posted January 23, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

          Me too – four!

    • Pjdcross
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      Had a similar problem. The engineers bit was straightforward, but then I thought “men” for fellows. Then I tried “imen” for “this person’s put in fighting” ie anag of mine. That left G&T which I thought was a good idea, so I went and had one.

      • Hanni
        Posted January 23, 2015 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        Is it beer o’clock? Fantastic. Except I’m in a car park in Darlington.

      • Kath
        Posted January 23, 2015 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

        Love it!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  15. Hanni
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 2:48 pm | Permalink


    Nice way to end the week. I agree with Jane et al re: the surface reading of 19d.

    Lots of nice moments with 5d and 27a making me smile with my favourite being 11d.

    Many thanks to the Don and to DT for a lovely blog and the brilliant words of A D Godley. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    I hope everyone has a lovely weekend. I shall be tackling the A66 again later and having attempted to tackle the Toughie, Pinot Noir o’clock cannot come soon enough.

  16. Chris
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    I quite enjoyed this. While I agree I’m not over keen on the much maligned 1a, it is always a morale boost when I get one straight away giving me the starter letters to 5 others, so Giovanni is hereby forgiven. (He’s allowed the odd hiccup when he comes up with 27a which for me is a masterpiece.) I’m not sure why 11d had two “one”s and I didn’t like 14d as a synonym for jabbering, if I’m being picky, but that’s probably just me! Many thanks to DT and the Don.

  17. Heno
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. Completely impossible for me. Needed 6 hints and 4 lookups to finish. Was 4*/1* for me. I wouldn’t have got 3d in a million years, even though I play the game three times a week http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

  18. Salty Dog
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    2*/3* for me, and l should really go for 27a as favourite. However, because l was born on one l’ll give my vote out of sheer sentiment to 27d. Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  19. overtaxed
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Found this quite tricky in parts (whats new?) But managed without hints today. Agree with DT ***/*** as I thought there were some nice clues in the mid section and of course 27a.(certainly needed that one to do 22d)
    Golf course still too icy to play :( (so I’ll have to tackle the toughie). Dont expect to complete it on my own though.

    • Hanni
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      Overtaxed…There’s no place like Nome.

      In Nome they play the ‘Bering Sea Ice Golf Classic’!

      Coloured balls, tees made out of shotgun shells, obscure rules about polar bears. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  20. Toadson
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Hardest of the week for me. Needed 3 or 4 hints to finish. Having said that, once ‘seen’ the answers were all reasonable I thought. A good puzzle.

  21. Brian
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Was on the point of giving up early on but persisted and right glad I am that I did as it turned out to be very enjoyable. Not the easiest Giovanni and would perhaps take issue with the clueing on 24a, surely the L(ake) is on the vessel rather than vice versa. But no mind, some excellent clues inc 12a and 27a (spent ages here tryng to get Masai Mara into the answer!).
    Thx to all

    • Brian
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Just one small point. Despite much digging I can’t find anywhere anything that equates Rate to Chide as in 23a. Am I missing something here?

      • Rick
        Posted January 23, 2015 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        rate (2)
        To scold, chide, reprove

      • Physicist
        Posted January 23, 2015 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        The BRB has, as its second entry for “rate”: to scold, to chide; to reprove.

      • crypticsue
        Posted January 23, 2015 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif for the digging Brian. Keep it up! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    • gazza
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Re. 24a – In a down clue A on B means that A precedes (i.e. sits on top of) B, but in an across clue A on B means that A follows (is added on to) B. However, not all setters follow this convention in across clues (Giovanni always does, as far as I am aware) – so it can be confusing.

      • Franco
        Posted January 23, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the explanation, gazza!

        Not confusing at all?

        (Reminds me of Sir Humphrey Appleby giving advice to Jim Hacker -PM)


  22. Hilary
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    With some help from the supertoy I got there then I looked at blog. Being very strict with myself no peeping until I am absolutely sure I cannot do anymore. Must be a natural optimist because despite others complaining about various things I am always a happy little old lady just to have finished. Too many favourites today but 27a did come high on the list. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif Thanks as always to Giovanni and DT

  23. Ora Meringue
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Really struggled with this one, but with a lot of electronic help managed to finish it.
    Thanks very much to Deep Threat for showing me how the clues worked.
    I am determined to get better but it is taking me a long time!

    • Kath
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      OK Ora Meringue I really have to ask – how did you come up with your ‘name’? I’m tempted to think it might be an anagram but so far have failed to come up with anything that sounds remotely likely. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted January 23, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        Rogue Marine?

        • Kath
          Posted January 23, 2015 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

          Ooooh – who’s a smartie pants! I hadn’t got that far – I’d thought of Norman but not enough N’s – thought of Una because we have one – couldn’t get any further.
          Wonder if anyone else can come up with anything . . . Prolixic perhaps – he’s pretty good at this kind of thing.

          • Hanni
            Posted January 23, 2015 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

            That might not be a good idea Kath as it may lead to ‘More argue in’. ;-)

            • Kath
              Posted January 23, 2015 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

              Another smartie pants – I’m all for a bit of ‘More argue in’ – makes it all the more fun!
              I think that we have to hope that he or she tells us where his or her name comes from. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      • Don1991
        Posted January 26, 2015 at 9:36 am | Permalink

        The name could come from a joke told by an old Scottish comedian (deceased and I can’t remember his name). Best imagined in a thick Glaswegian accent (if you can)! It goes something like this.
        A man walks into a bakery and says, “Hey Jimmy, is that a doughnut OR A MA RANG?” (Translation; or am I wrong)
        To which the guy behind the counter replies, “Naw, yer right pal, it’s a doughnut”

        In thick Glaswegian OR A MA RANG would sound like ORA MERINGUE.

        That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

  24. Michael
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Slow going but I struggled through, 17d was the last one in and it was a ‘bungitin’ because it was the only half sensible answer that fitted. Thanks for the explanation the Greek goddess was a new one to me!

    **note to self – print of a list of Greek (& Roman) Gods and Goddesses and keep it close at hand**

    Onward and upward – it was -7 degrees this morning when I was scraping the car – brrrrr! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  25. fran
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Found the top half tough going and even though I played squash for years I failed to find it ,despite having” racket” in place. It was my last in and I think my patience had been tested for longer than normal by Ia , 15a and sputtering,(stuttering more like) so had to look at DT’s answer Thank you. Still enjoyed bits of it but can’t think of any stand outs
    ****/ * Tend to agree with Kath on this one.

    • Kath
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      Definitely nearly a 4* difficulty from me today (find me a crossword that hasn’t been this week – do hope that the marble count isn’t dropping off) but I did give it more than 1* for enjoyment. I thought there were some good clues but, as is usual on a Friday, I missed a glimmer of humour.

  26. F1lbertfox
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    There have been some very good puzzles this month and today’s as far as I’m concerned was probably the most absorbing for a long time. I’m a huge fan of the Don’s, so his puzzles rarely disappoint. Due to having other things to do today I needed to take three more bites at it in order to complete the solve. The first read through yielded only seven answers and the remainder was finished as and when a little time allowed a ‘sit and think’. Thanks to the Don for a really enjoyable puzzle – loved many of the four letter answers and 17 down. 20 across was another favourite too.

  27. Pjdcross
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Sort of enjoyed this puzzle, but had a few gripes. My dictionary has 11d as two words. Thanks to DT and the setter.

    • Deep Threat
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      But Chambers has it as one word, and that’s what counts so far as Telegraph crosswords are concerned.

      • Pjdcross
        Posted January 24, 2015 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        I should have known that! I must buy myself a copy of Chambers.

  28. Gwizz
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed today’s offering but I have to admit to being beaten by 27a… even with the checking letters (bar the ‘k’). Talk about D’oh! I mean, there aren’t many 6 letter words ending in i but I had decided I was looking for an animal so that was me done for…
    Never mind; I’ll nominate 27a as my favourite clue and move on swiftly.
    Thanks to the Don and DT for the revue.

  29. Paso Doble
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    Struggled today because of other commitments but finished it eventually. We liked 15a. Thanks to Giovanni? & Deep Threat.

    • Kath
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      It’s always Giovanni on Fridays. If you go to the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) which is right up at the top you’ll find it.
      Lots of people start off one of their first comments by asking how we know who the setter is – have a look at the FAQ and all will become clear.
      Not sure about your other commitments but I thought today’s was tricky enough without anything else going on.

  30. jean-luc cheval
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    What is there to say about such a well constructed crossword.
    Pure pleasure to solve.
    I never use pencils and notice only one correction on my grid: For 5d I wrote Tirage which means print run in French. Thought the row was a TIER with AG until I realised that it should be TIRE which is definitely not a row. 1a and 9a gave me the checking letters as I didn’t know the word.
    Apart from that it’s a sans fautes.
    Thanks to Giovanni for that and to DT for the review which I always read whether needed or not. The same goes with the blog of course.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  31. Whybird
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Not too bad for a Friday in terms of difficulty (even the “made up ” words eg 7d were correct) although I can’t say I would ever use that therm for a synonym of chide in 22a – not that it could have been anything else. Favourite was 11d. Nicely deceptive! Least favourite was 20a – tenuous at best. Thanks to all of this weeks setters for an enjoyable series of work-outs.

    • Whybird
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

      And my typing should have given me “week’s”. Sorry Mr Apostrophe, and curse the keypad!

  32. Tstrummer
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    Surprisingly, I found this an absolute doddle and finished before the last train out of London Bridge reached my station. It was a read and write and finished in 1* time. Loved 20a and 22d. 3* for delight