DT 27724 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27724

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27724

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on Friday the 13th. Triskaidekaphobes beware!

Last week I said that I found Giovanni’s crossword straightforward and well within ** time, only to find the vast majority of contributors saying it was a lot harder than that. Well, this week I found it even more straightforward and within ** time, so it will be interesting to see what you all make of it.

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.


5a           Element of bitterness leading to one having hesitation (7)
GALLIUM – A chemical element is made up of bitterness or bile, followed by the Roman numeral for one, and an interjection showing hesitation in speech.

7a           Bar with some judges toping (5)
ESTOP – A legal term which is hidden in the clue.

9a           Stop crossing river line (6)
CREASE – A word for stop wrapped around River.

Image result for crease cricket

10a         Gear isn’t wobbly in engineered frameworks (8)
GANTRIES – Anagram (wobbly) of GEAR ISN’T.

Image result for signal gantry

11a         Be fine splashing about a bit of money — i.e. this? (10)
BENEFICENT – An all-in-one clue. Anagram (splashing about) of BE FINE, followed by a small American or Euro coin, to get someone who is what the clue describes.

13a         Salvation Army would have this instrument for greeting (4)
LUTE – If you put the initials of the Salvation Army in front of the answer, you get a greeting, especially a formal military one.

14a         Wild terrain bird occupies shown by quirky illustrator (5,8)
HEATH ROBINSON – Put together a piece of barren open country, a common bird, and a way (‘1,2) of saying ‘occupies’.

Image result for heath robinson

16a         Support good game, making boast (4)
BRAG – The usual support for part of the female body, followed by Good, giving a card game or a boast.

17a         Documentation makes office assistant get saucy and protest (5,5)
PAPER TRAIL – Split (2,4,4) this would be an acronym for an office assistant, followed by ‘saucy’ and ‘to protest’.

19a         Mistake by army officer brings ruin (8)
COLLAPSE – A short form of an officer’s rank, followed by a mistake or slip.

20a         No shooting it before 12 August? Grumble (6)
GROUSE – Double definition, the first being a game bird.

Image result for grouse

22a         Composition in middle of test, for example (5)
ESSAY – The middle letters of tESt followed by another way of expressing ‘for example’.

23a         Remove additional cuts, giving us a let-off (7)
EXTRACT – A word for additional followed by C(u)T(s) – ‘cuts’ minus ‘us’.


1d           Insect to escape by the sound of it (4)
FLEA – An insect which sounds like a word for escape or run away.

2d           Gentleman, wicked, upset hospital, being only slightly ill (8)
LIVERISH – Start with the title given to a gentleman followed by a word for wicked, reverse the lot (upset) and add Hospital.

3d           A foreign character tucked into what could be dog food (6)
PEANUT – Put A (from the clue) and a Greek letter inside what could be a dog, or a cat, or a goldfish…

ARVE Error: need id and provider

4d           Rile sister being naughty — one should keep things clean (10)
STERILISER – Anagram (naughty) of RILE SISTER.

5d           Greedily eat egg or bananas (5)
GORGE – Anagram (bananas) of EGG OR.

6d           Region of the planet that has its attractions (13)
MAGNETOSPHERE – Cryptic definition of a region surrounding the earth which, on a much smaller scale, would be seen to attract iron filings, for example.

Image result for magnetosphere

8d           English city quietly getting on after break (7)
PRESTON – The musical symbol for ‘quietly’, followed by a break, and On (from the clue).

12d         A live gent’s becoming excited as a preacher (10)
EVANGELIST – Anagram (becoming excited) of A LIVE GENT’S.

14d         Possibly a growing factor helping to make author money (7)
HORMONE – Hidden in the clue.

15d         Water from clouds beginning to fall on wicket maybe (8)
IRRIGATE – The sort of watering a farmer may do. The plural of a variety of cloud, with the first letter removed, followed by something of which wicket is an example.

17d         Fruit brought by daddy always getting eaten (6)
PAPAYA – A Victorian daddy, wrapped around another word for always.

Image result for papaya

18d         Home group featured in small picture (5)
INSET – A publishing term for a small picture inserted into a spare corner of another. Another word for ‘(at) home’ followed by a group.

21d         Test for local dignitary when May has passed (4)
ORAL – Remove the MAY from the front of a word meaning ‘for local dignitary’.

The Quick Crossword pun PITCH + JUNIOR = PETUNIA

74 comments on “DT 27724

  1. A very nice enjoyable puzzle – a few anagrams always help – 5a and 6d were thanks to my Wordsearch program with the checkers!

    Onward and upwards – here comes the rain! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  2. **/***

    Is this Giovanni? I only ask as I feel the same as DT in terms of it being straightforward and nothing particularly obscure.

    I enjoyed it.

    5a took me a little while to figure out and the anagram of 10a I struggled with. Goodness knows why!

    14a/d were my favourites.

    Many thanks to the Don and to DT for blogging.

    Hope everyone has a good weekend. :-)

    DT is 6d meant to read ‘iron filings’?

      1. I think 4d should read as ‘naughty’ not ‘nughty’

        I’m really not looking for faults DT, I was just playing the song and noticed. I feel quite bad now.

        1. More haste, less speed! Now corrected.

          Mind you, I did notice that the original version of your first comment (I get an e-mail copy of each comment) read ‘iron fillings’. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

          1. He he…http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

            I read my post and sort of slumped onto my desk as the irony kicked in! I wish I’d left it as it was now. :-)

              1. As I like yours Kitty. :-)

                Now I’m off to a school dressed as The Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

                This is not my job by the way.

                1. Hi Hanni – I thought it was meant to be the child-type things that dressed up and the devoted parents who sat and watched? Things must have changed a lot since my two were at school!

                    1. I like that idea – maybe Hanni’s child-type things are actually dolls, and she couldn’t make the birthday bash because she was busy celebrating her actual 6th birthday. However we’d need to call social services about the drinking…

                    2. The Queen of Hearts
                      She made some tarts
                      All on a summer’s day;
                      The Knave of Hearts
                      He stole her heart,
                      and now she’s six months pregnant.

                      It is 150 years since Alice was first published and some local schools are doing features on it. The upshot of this story is that they needed someone, me, that could fit into the costume at shortish notice.

                      I hate dolls. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

        2. On Raglan Road on an autumn day I met her first and knew
          That her dark hair would weave a snare that I might one day rue;
          I saw the danger, yet I walked along the enchanted way,
          And I said, let grief be a fallen leaf at the dawning of the day.

          On Grafton Street in November we tripped lightly along the ledge
          Of the deep ravine where can be seen the worth of passion’s pledge,
          The Queen of Hearts still making tarts and I not making hay –
          O I loved too much and by such and such is happiness thrown away.

          I gave her gifts of the mind I gave her the secret sign that’s known
          To the artists who have known the true gods of sound and stone
          And word and tint. I did not stint for I gave her poems to say.
          With her own name there and her own dark hair like clouds over fields of May

          On a quiet street where old ghosts meet I see her walking now
          Away from me so hurriedly my reason must allow
          That I had wooed not as I should a creature made of clay –
          When the angel woos the clay he’d lose his wings at the dawn of day.

          1. I enjoyed that, thank you.

            I had not heard/realised that Van Morrison had recorded an album with The Chieftains. Irish Heartbeat will be played over the weekend. Time to dig out Cowboy Junkies too.

              1. I’m glad…

                I’m not sure if I ever thanked you for introducing me to Bellowhead? If not..ta!

                Even the other half/friends/child type things enjoy. Mostly as they haven’t worked out how to alter the stereo in the car.

                Enjoy the egg chasing this weekend. I shall be wearing English and Irish shirts!

  3. Thought it was very gentle for a Giovanni.
    Just had to check the review for 3d as I didn’t know why the article was upside down.
    Silly me. It’s not an article it’s a character. Oops.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review

  4. 13 Across is a 4 letter solution, however, the clue would appear to be salute and this is confirmed under the ‘click here’ button.

    1. Welcome to the blog Mike.

      S(alvation) A(rmy) plus the right answer gives you ‘salute’. The hidden answer has now been corrected, thanks.

  5. Found most of these fairly straightforward. **/*** for me.
    Not heard of 5a but easy enough to get the answer.
    I had 3d as rennet but now see why that was wrong.
    Favourite clue was 13a which I thought was quite clever.
    Thanks to setter and Deep Threat for some of the explanations.


  6. I thought Don was really on form today, with many great clues. I did find it a lot easier than last week’s. I really liked 5a (element of bitterness), 13a (Salvation Army would have.. nicely constructed, I forget what this type of clue is called), 14a (quirky illustrator), 17a (documentation….), 3d (dog food), 5d (greedily eat eggs…). And more

    I was trying to understand why the word “game” appeared in 16a, I missed the triple definition, thanks Deep threat for highlighting that, and also for the correct parsing of 23a (remove additional cuts..).

    11a I find interesting – Don might have put a question mark after “money” and have a perfect all-in-one where the definition is the whole clue – but it looks like he is making it a bit easier and fairer for us by adding the extra indication for the definition “i.e., this”.

    Many thanks Giovanni, lovely puzzle, and thank you Deep Threat for the great review

  7. Yes, DT, even I thought this was the Don in most benign mood and will agree the 2*/3* rating.
    I did need to check on the 5a element and confirm the ending for 6d but everything else went in without too much trouble.

    Just to give everyone a laugh (especially Kath) – I completely missed the hidden word in 14d but managed to parse by discovering a certain Cyrill Hor (author) and putting his name in front of most of ‘money’ (helping to make…..). Can I have a point for resourcefulness? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

    Many thanks to Giovanni for a gentle Friday and to Deep Threat for giving me a d’oh moment over 17d and the fun video clip from way back when.

  8. Giovanni in a much lighter mood than usual, I agree. I really enjoyed a solve with plenty of smiles (and there was me thinking that nothing would make me smile this morning). My main hold-ups were mis-entering a letter and a couple of parsings.

    Famous 20a and friends got me through uni. A tale of two cities.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

      1. Thanks brother! There will be plenty of spirits of both sorts this weekend, because of an impending invasion of little (but quite heavy enough) horrors. Auntie Kitty will be giving piggy back and donkey rides and getting increasingly knackered. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  9. I had a hard time starting – and ended up beginning at the bottom and working my way up. I would not say this was an easy puzzle, and became a bit stuck in the NW corner. I knew the element being a chemist, but I had to run through the periodic table in my head to recognise which one made sense!

    Yes, 2*/3* would be a good rating by me.

  10. 2*/2*. This was straightforward, but, I’m sorry to 20a and disagree with others, this was no fun – another FFF (Fun Free Friday) for me. Giovanni’s style just doesn’t suit me, I’m afraid.

    Thanks to setter and to DT.

  11. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very well constructed puzzle, but a bit dry for my taste. No real problems, favourite was 6d. Last in was 3d. Was 2*/3* for me.

    1. I often agree with you, Heno, but differ today. Plenty of moisture to 15d this puzzle, I thought. Some sauce in 17a to go with bounteous supplies of food in 3d, 5d and 17d. And as I mentioned in my comment, I regard 20a as liquid refreshment too. Mmm… It is also food, I suppose but I have never tasted any. They do look plump and juicy, but this kitty will be content to watch them and not go hunting. I shall 5d myself on other fruits instead. Nom nom nom. Time for lunchnoms I think.

  12. Fabulous crossword. Real highlight of the week. I do so look forward to my early 5am double-espresso and the cryptic!

    Some real favourites 5, 13, 14, 16 and 17. Many thanks to Giovanni and DT for explaining 15d and 17d

  13. I found this relatively straightforward but couldn’t get 3 down or 11 across without help and a lack of patience. If it is the case that you can’t finish the crossword then surely its difficulty rating should be 5*? Interested to hear your views.

    1. Hmmm I used to think that but for what it’s worth, I use exam analogy: If for example one finished a paper in Flemish and scored 90% + i wouldn’t call it too difficult .But it is rather galling to rattle through (or even go slowly /slowly ) and then be held up by one or two clues.
      It’s the ego that becomes bruised . I think all those letters” in situ” and I still can’t parse it
      Hands up those who are thinking about a the Netherlands

    2. I tend to go for help rather than waste too much time on an annoying last one or two. (Odd how often the answer occurs just before the help comes up with a suggestion.) I also take comfort from the wise words last Monday:
      “The rules of completion according to Miffypops
      Rule 1. There are no rules
      Rule 2. See rule one.”

    3. When I’m blogging I reserve the 5* category for a puzzle that I can’t finish without asking other bloggers for help, so I guess I agree with you. Fortunately it hasn’t happened yet http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif although I sometimes get the parsing a bit off key :oops:

    4. I have found that if one get to within two or three words to completion it pays to walk away and do something else. When you return all will be revealed and you will complete without any extraneous help – much more satisfactory.

  14. Not too bad today if it is a Giovanni. Usually we struggle on a Friday, but we did most of it without assistance. Thank you to the Friday setter and to D.T.

  15. Loved it! **\****

    Greetings all from Alabama… Just realising how much rubbish one acquires in three years…. Will need a significant thinning out before we travel home?

  16. I agree with the 2* time, despite finding it hard to get an initial foothold, and quite enjoyed this. I liked 14d because I missed the hidden word completely until I’d done 14a, making 14d the last one in. Favourite was 13a; very clever, I thought. Many thanks to DT and Giovanni.

  17. Excellent stuff but we agree a bit at the benign end of the Don’s range. **/*** from us too.

    Thanks to the Don and DT.

  18. Thank you DG for an enjoyable puzzle. Finally defeated this week and had to use electronic assistance to confirm a couple of things. But overall found it one of the easier Friday puzzles. Thanks DT for your review and hints. The good weather on the NE coast has finally gone – a bitterly cold wind today.

  19. Very enjoyable as always. Completely missed the lurker in 14d but solved from the definition. So glad that the “music” moved on.

  20. Would call this a ‘quirky’ crossword today, very inventive cluing from DG ,needed careful reading to parse ,some clever charades , which I like ,Thanks DT for the explanation of 13a,thought that it was just the salvation army ‘slang’ for a Lieutenant! do they still sell The War Cry? Oh and a**/***is fine by me

  21. I agree that it was at the easy end for a Friday – 2* difficulty and 2*/3* enjoyment – not more because there wasn’t anything to laugh at.
    Just in case anyone was wondering there isn’t an element called Gallier! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
    I had to have alternate letters in before I could do 6d and 3d was my last answer – don’t know why.
    I was slow to get the 11a anagram and I knew the 19a word but it just wouldn’t pop into my head – well, actually it was in my head but wouldn’t pop out.
    Found 14d reasonably quickly but missed 7a for ages.
    I liked 14a and 5 and 17d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

    1. Re element, I was in no doubt that there was no element gallier since I spent a long, long time trying to find it with no success!

  22. got there eventually..
    Didn’t think it was that straightforward. Struggled with 6d which I had never heard of. But a quick trip to google sorted me out. Loved 16a and its triple definition.

  23. ***/**. I didn’t enjoy this as much as usual probably because it felt a bit clunky in parts. Thanks to the setter nevertheless for the workout and DT for the explanation to 13a which was a bung in from the checkers.

  24. Downcast by yesterday’s nit- picking, wish today’s quote had been there for me to high-light. The sweetest sound of all is praise. Enjoyed today, serious pat on back for working out 6d and not using any help for anagrams. Loved reference to 14ac which brought back happy memories of book illustrations. Thanks to Giovanni and DT for sparkling up a rainy afternoon in Suffolk. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  25. Most enjoyable puzzle with lots of lovely clues. Would give it a 2.5*/4*. Thought I completed it correctly till I discovered reading the review that 3d was not rennet – which of course I could no justify but peanut, very clever. Could not reconcile (this time correctly spelt!) lute as the answer for 13a so badly needed DT’s hints, many thanks for those. Completely missed the hidden clue for 14a but guessed the answer. I really liked 17a which was my last one in. Great puzzle from Giovanni, just as I like them, enjoyable and doable…

  26. I don’t know why I attempted this as I know I can’t do Giovanni’s puzzles, but I did and was pleasantly surprised. This is not to say I finished without help, I had four or five blanks and needed DT’s hints to finish. Fave was 14a with 6d runner up.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for leading me to the finish line.

  27. There were many clues I liked in this crossword. My fave was 14a (and I love DT’s choice of illustration for it). Others I singled out for special mention were 5a, 13a, 17a, 15d and 17d. **/*** from me.

    11a and 3d were my last in. I confess to having consulted an online encyclopaedia for 6d. I didn’t need any hints to compete the puzzle. On going through the review, however, I find I made some errors. I missed the double definition in 16a (I don’t know the game). I was careless and missed the parsing of 22a because I knew that ‘to trial or test’ is another meaning of the answer. I should have stopped and thought and reread the clue. Mea culpa.

    Many thanks to Giovanni for the enjoyable puzzle. Much appreciation to DT for a lovely clear and helpful review.

  28. Not too difficult to say the least but I always feel slightly short-changed with a grid that has only 26 clues (the bare minimum for the Telegraph ?) and so this detracted from the enjoyment for me.

    3d took a while to get and so became my favourite, 1d must be a realistic candidate for easiest clue of the week.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  29. Good Friday fun again from the Don. A few in the top half, ‘Gallier’ for example held us up for a short time and then the bottom half went together very smoothly.
    Well crafted clues and a pleasure to solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  30. Excellent puzzle. Started a little slowly but finished under my own steam. However, I had to use the hints a great deal for comprehension for which many thanks to DT and also to Giovanni for the crossword
    I did struggle with 2d for a long time (missed the word upset) but I thought that it was a clever clue

  31. Gentle but by no means unsatisfying: 1*/3*. Favouritism is close between 14 and 17 across, and l plump for the former. Many thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  32. What a difference a week makes.
    Last Friday I said that it was the first time, ever, since I started to try and do the crossword last autumn that I had not been able to solve a single clue.
    Today I thought I was going to solve them all. Unfortunately I didn’t spell 1d correctly so had no chance of getting 9a right and like Framboise I put in rennnet for 3d.
    Still, nearly there and very enjoyable.

  33. A bit on the dry side but a pleasant enough diversion. Last in was 17a where I couldn’t get chain out of my mind which of course didn’t fit with 4d anagram. 5a and 7a were obvious but new to yours truly. Thanks Giovanni and DT. ***/**. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  34. Straightforward on the whole but enjoyable. Sorry for the late post but we finished it before the blog and have only just returned.
    Just one point, in 14a why does SON mean occupies? It’s beyond either of us although the answer was there. Don’t understand the hint either. Split 1,2 you get S On???
    Apart from that it was excellent to see a couple of scientific clues in 5a and 6d. Such a change after obscure poets, unknown musicians and weird authors.
    Thx to all.

    1. IS ON gets abbreviated to ‘s on. It actually is punctuated like this in the hint but you may have missed the (‘).

      1. Thx but it’s really weird as a clue. My copy of the BRB gives occupies as to hold, capture or take possession of but none of those remotely means it is on! Shame because otherwise it’s an excellent puzzle.

      2. Watching the cricket from Christchurch, dear me it’s looks jolly cold judging by the hats and coats of the spectators.

        1. We also have it on in the background, and yes, it has turned cold. A Southerly front is moving up the country, we should get it tomorrow.

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