DT 27730 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27730

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27730

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs, where there’s a reasonably bright statrt to the day – barring the news from the land of the 2Kiwis, which we won’t talk about…

The top end of ** for me this week, but those allergic to religious terminology may find it more difficult.

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           Early music without instrumentation (4,6)
DAWN CHORUS – Cryptic definition of some non-human early morning music.

6a           Early man discovered across Dorset/Hampshire border (4)
SETH – Hidden in the clue is one of the sons of Adam and Eve.

10a         Suffering at the back of cold entrance (5)
CHARM Cold followed by suffering or damage. The definition word is one of those that can be pronounced two ways.

11a         Work that could get sewer functioning (9)
TAILORING – The sewer here is one who uses a needle and thread.

Image result for tailor gloucester

12a         Room seen through the French window (7)
LATTICE – A top-floor room inside the French definite article.

13a         Feeble walker is old, retd, drunk (7)
TODDLER – Anagram (drunk) of OLD RET’D.

14a         Devil on street with nasty stare kicks up a fuss (12)
DEMONSTRATES – A devil, followed by the abbreviation for street and an anagram (nasty) of STARE.

18a         I phone darling, exuding love, naughtily flirting (12)
PHILANDERING – Anagram (naughtily) of I PH(o)NE DARLING, leaving out the O (exuding love).

ARVE Error: need id and provider

21a         Billy may be so foolish (7)
GOATISH – … and so may Nanny!

23a         Girl’s shout of surprise seen on reflection as shout of praise (7)
HOSANNA – Put together a girl’s name, plus the ‘s, and a cry of surprise, then reverse the lot to get a biblical shout of praise.

24a         Off-putting type offers ridiculous rationale (9)
ALIENATOR – Anagram (ridiculous) of RATIONALE.

25a         American university map-maker passes over, misses out (5)
OMITS – An American university commonly known by its initials, inside the initials of the organisation that makes maps in the UK.

26a         Only part of play heard or watched (4)
SEEN – A word for ‘watched’ that sounds like a part of a play.

27a         Party very loud after food, making one fed up (7,3)
CHEESED OFF – Put together a dairy product, one of the usual crossword parties, and the musical symbol for ‘very loud’.


1d           Under the doctor, upset priest is easily managed (6)
DOCILE – An abbreviated form of doctor, followed by the reversal (upset) of an Old Testament priest who regularly appears in crosswords.

2d           Presence of this person beset by anger (6)
WRAITH – A ghostly presence is made up of a word for anger with the pronoun for ‘this person’ inserted into it.

3d           Some morticians trained to offer expressions of sympathy (14)

4d           Not awfully inspiring person given promotion as a commercial traveller? (2,3,4)
ON THE ROAD – Put together an anagram (awfully) of NOT, an inspiring person, and a shortened form of a commercial promotion.

5d           Type of Christian turning up in certain universities (5)
UNIAT – Hidden in reverse (turning up in) in the clue, giving a member of one of the Eastern churches that acknowledge papal authority while retaining their own liturgy.

7d           Eat to get over awful toil — having minimal energy, grow pale (8)
ETIOLATE – Anagram (awful) of TOIL inserted inside EAT (from the clue), followed by Energy.

Image result for etiolated

8d           Multi-storey school needing extra money (4-4)
HIGH-RISE – A variety of school followed by an increase in wages.

9d           Act as desperate woman maybe, making terribly wooden response (6,4,4)
POWDER ONE’S NOSE – Anagram (terribly) of WOODEN RESPONSE, giving a euphemism for  going to the Ladies’ room.

15d         It’s swell having tea thrown in for an extra amount (9)
SURCHARGE – Another word for tea inside a tidal swell.

16d         Short gypsy dancing, girl revealed by telescope (8)
SPYGLASS – Anagram (dancing) of GYPS(y) with the final letter removed (short), followed by a young girl.

17d         Antioxidant from plant — the thing in the morning to be swallowed (7,1)
VITAMIN E – The sort of plant that produces grapes, wrapped around the pronoun for ‘the thing’ and the Latin abbreviation meaning ‘in the morning’.

19d         Colour architect Jones used with encrusted diamonds (6)
INDIGO – One of the colours of the rainbow. Diamonds inside the first name of the Mr Jones who built the Banqueting House in Whitehall.

Image result for inigo jones

20d         Church service with bread, one female getting huge piece of crust (6)
MASSIF – A Catholic Eucharist service, followed by the Roman numeral for one and Female, to get a large mountainous region.

Image result for massif central

22d         Problem is hard, leading to irritation (5)
HITCH Hard, followed by a skin irritation.

The Quick Crossword pun FORE + FITTED = FORFEITED

89 comments on “DT 27730

  1. 2*/2.5*. A bit of mixture today but I did enjoy this more than most Fridays, and it was certainly more uplifting than the cricket.

    The surface of 25a is rather contrived. I can’t help thinking that 5d seems to be the sort of obscurity that only gets used as a last resort by a setter who doesn’t want to change any of the intersecting answers and it is the only word which fits with the checking letters. I didn’t much like the use of “retd” in 13a, which is a pity because otherwise this would have been a very good clue. 7d is a new word for me but easily worked out from the clue.

    I did like 1a, 11a, 23a (what a coincidence to see this answer cropping up again so soon!), 3d & 4d.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT, for his usual immaculate review.

    1. I didn’t like ‘retd’ for 13a either. Would ‘tred’ work better? Given the mess I made of the crossword today, perhaps I should just leave it.

    2. If you had studied biology RD this would have been a write in I think , or if you own a greenhouse. Plants deprived of light become white , long and straggly as they search for light ( compared to plants kept in normal light) its a trophic response.I hope you haven’t fallen asleep reading thizzzz.

      1. Don’t tell anyone but I got an A for Biology O-Level. But believe me that was a very long time ago.

        1. I also did O levels but did Chemistry and Physics , however took it up in the sixth form , but not in your league when it came to grades ; funny how I went on to teach it for the best part of 25 years at three different Grammar schools

      2. You need to ask Poppy about 7d and her tomato plants last year . . . she called them triffids because they got so tall!

  2. Very enjoyable. Needed the ‘hints’ to parse 4d. Three new words for me today 5,7 &20d.
    **/**** rating for me. Thanx to Compiler and DT for the review.

  3. Nothing too troubling in this one today; 5d was a new word to me, but the wordplay led me to the correct answer.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the write-up.

  4. An enjoyable start to the day (twice as I fell back to sleep half way through). The long anagram at 9d was last in once I realised Threading was wrong at 11ac and Treadling didn’t work either.
    I must confess that I resorted to a fine green Sharpie pen and the edges of review supplement from January 31st. Even then it took three attempts to work it out.That’s one attempt for each of the anagram indicators in the clue. Act as, Desperate and Terribly. Thank you Peter for the review and thank you Mr Manly for a super puzzle with two new words at 5d and 7d but both easily solvable.

    1. MP…Bob Dylan helped us there.. My mother was a tailor, she sewed my new blue jeans etc. At the beginning we were looking in the direction of plumbers or rats.

  5. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. Not much trouble today, enjoyed it. New word in 5d. Favourite was 15d, was 2*/3* for me. Off to Norwich for the day.

  6. ***/***

    Definitely not my day. 5 and 7d were new words for me, I think. It took me an age to work out the anagram for 24a. For whatever reason, my own stupidity at a guess, I couldn’t work out why 19 and 20d were correct. Oh and I put ‘vitamin A’ in for 17d.

    Quite enjoyed it.

    Many thanks to the Don and to DT for an excellent and very helpful blog.

  7. This crossword was spoilt for me by the top left corner and far far too many unpleasant religious references. Simply cannot understand what Entrance had to do with Charm, the hint is unclear. Got 12a completely wrong having put in latrine. Didn’t know that lattice was a window.
    Finished but apart from 1a with no great pleasure. Shame as it has been a great week for puzzles.
    Thx to all

    1. As the hint clearly says, it depends how you pronounce ‘entrance’ – one way means a door, the other way means to charm or transfix.

      PS: The toughie is a lovely, properly tough, crossword today.

      1. Thanks for that crypticsue. Didn’t see en-trance. it was the last clue solved for us but only because it fitted!

      2. Thought I would have a look at the Toughie, wish I hadn’t bothered, it’s so depressing when you can’t even start it!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

      3. CS … I’m surprised that you thought that today’s Toughie was tough.

        Whenever I finish a Toughie …. the normal comments are “not really a Toughie etc, etc”

  8. Stuck on NW corner, particularly 1a where was I trying to recall technical terns for unaccompanied singing – plainsong, A Cappella (Fabio’s reclusive brother?) etc. Thanks for the hints, DT. Don’t usually need them but on a different wavelength today.

    Trout season starts, for members, tomorrow at Ladybower – spring is on the way, Yippee!

  9. I think I left my brain at home today as this was a ***** for difficulty for me. I’ve only managed 4 clues in the time I can normally complete most of the crossword.

    1. Hang in there Jerome. Little by little. Bit by bit. Keep chipping away. Each clue that falls is a another set of checkers to work with It is a far more satisfying solve when there is a tussle going on.

  10. For the second Friday in a row I found myself pleasantly surprised. The words I didn’t know (5d, with 7d only distantly recalled and being a little unsure of the definition of 20d) were fairly clued. I’ll admit to not knowing Mr Jones either… one of so many things I don’t know. I did cause myself problems by transposing the middle vowels of 5d. Thus I couldn’t get 11a and nearly gave up before spotting the errant letters.

    7d reads like a description of Monday, and will be nominated as favourite in honour of my friend Eliot.

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni.

  11. 3* for difficulty and 2* for enjoyment.
    I managed to make 11a impossible by putting ‘hihg’ for the first word of 8d – stupid or what? Not concentrating. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
    I needed the hint to see if my total guess for 4d was right – it was but I just couldn’t see why.
    I was very slow to get 1a – it’s Friday so I was hunting for some obscure something or other that I’d never heard of.
    I’ve never met 5d before but eventually managed to find him, and the other hidden one too.
    I liked 1 and 18a and 17d. My favourite was 3d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat. Think I might give the Toughie a miss . . .

    1. When I solved on paper mistakes like that and their corrections and overwrites of answers put into the wrong spaces made me the only person who could read my completed puzzle. With my scrawly handwriting what a mess they were. Toughies can be the same when I do them these days.

      1. Same here even though they are pencilled in.

        Take it you are still top in the Warwickshire crib league?

        1. we have lost by 5 games to two the last two times out but the teams immeditaely below us have also suffered defeats. The latest table including Tuesday night results are my avatar if you can read it.

            1. The first team to beat us this year. They also beat us in the main cup. it is a long season. Kittens and keyboards do not go together well.

              1. You’re still on top though. That’s got to be a good feeling. Now it’s Friday evening and nearly beer o’clock. Well in a few hours.

  12. Very nice, enjoyable puzzle with loads of nice anagrams – right up my street!

    5d was new to me but had to be a hidden word – 7d was also new but I got it from the anagram and checkers – 21a yet another new word – blimey, this was harder than I thought!

    Onward and upwards – the Driving Range and a Golf Lesson are calling! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  13. *** for difficulty for me today due to the religious references which generally escape me. I also thought a desperate woman might ‘ponder her woes’ but it seems her desparation was perhaps a little more urgent!
    I liked 20 down for the surface (sorry) image.
    *** for enjoyment also but hints needed to conclude. Thanks to both setter and DT.

    1. 2*/3 for my money. I have to confess that I’m another “ponder ones woes” merchant! Until l got 25a and saw it didn’t fit, l was saving up a cutting comment about setters using obscure phrases. Now I’ll limit myself to thanking Giovanni and DT, and perhaps observing that l thought 5d (as an alternative version of a word l know and had discounted for being too long) was a bit below the belt. Still, l enjoyed 9d.

  14. I found this one quite straightforward but did have to check 5d and 7d, as I had not heard of those words before. I have very little acquaintance with religion, so those references are always a bit tricky for me. But the solution could be worked out from the clues very well. I also found the anagrams quite easy today for some reason

    I would rate this one as 2*/3*.

  15. I got on reasonably well today, but the clues I liked (e.g. 1a – this morning’s 1a was beautiful, 4d – clever wordplay, I thought) were outweighed by those I disliked. Award for my poorest clue of the week is for 13a – ‘retd’, made into an anagram? (Was Giovanni desperate?) I know 24 may be in the dictionary but it looks like a contrived and pretty useless word to me: as opposed to the simply unusual 5d and 7d. 3* / 3* for me today. Many thanks to DT and to the setter.

  16. Boy oh boy this took a bit of doing but we finished without help. Quite remarkable for a Friday, so we’re chuffed to bits. I like the biblical references, unlike Brian, so they aren’t usually a problem, Thank you to the Friday setter and to DT.

      1. I don’t usually venture outside of the DT, but since I’ve finished all three I think I’ll give Mudd a go over lunch.

          1. Might print that one too for tomorrow! With a temp of 4F here this morning (feels like -11F), and snow and ice pellets coming in tomorrow, I won’t be going anywhere in a hurry so I’ll have time to indulge myself.

            1. I feel for you, have been watching the awful storms in the NE. We were 43F here in Miami this morning, and I so hate the cold.

  17. Thought I was going to come unstuck but thanks to the anagrams I persevered and suddenly realised that I had finished. Several giggle-worthy answers 16ac, 9d and 27ac. Was thinking of going to have a quick look at the sea but as it is half term town will be heaving with people and nowhere to park. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  18. Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat for todays puzzle and review. If I had managed 5d without the hint, I would have been very pleased with myself. Loved 1a when I finally got there, and needed all the checking letters for 11a. Second prize goes to 27a today.
    ***/*** even without the hint. Still, it was a great morning for golf.

  19. It seems 5d has been covered but I have to say it was a poor effort and it held me back on 11a .
    Liked 15a 7d 17d and 20d A shade over ** for difficulty (cos of 5) and ***/**** enjoyment

  20. Once I’d stopped trying to force Threading into 11a, and Chants into second part of 1a, this moved pretty well. Unlike Brian I don’t mind religious references, but absolutely loathe most sporting clues – but reckon it takes all sorts, etc… so hope we can all muddle along together without being too rude! Loved the illustration for 11a, as I have an elderly copy from my childhood, which was printed on high gloss paper and always included blank pages between the text which seemed mysteriously important. Nowadays it just comes as a plain little illustrated book. And for most of you I may appear to be raving, so I’ll just shut up now – apart from thanking the setter and DT, and wishing everyone a good weekend http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  21. Very tricky, but I am never on Giovanni’s wavelength and needed electronic help to finish 11a and 7d; 5d was obvious but had to look it up.
    I wrote in 4d but had no idea why, thanks DT for enlightening me.
    I liked 16d, 9d and 20d. Fave was 1a which I got immediately!
    Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

  22. For me this was possibly the best Friday puzzle for a long while, and some of the wordplay was exquisite. Definitely not run-of-the-mill for the end of the week as others have suggested.

    Favourite clues were 1a, 2d, and especially 9d, where I thought for ages that “desperate woman” was the anagram fodder rather than “wooden response” !

    5d was a new word, and I was surprised to see both the first two clues starting with the same adjective, something I personally would have avoided, but interesting to see that it doesn’t worry the better setters apparently.

    Congratulations to all concerned.

  23. The Don has certainly helped to expand my knowledge of all things religious over the years and today’s puzzle was no different. The clues are all fair and ‘get-able’, but I always have to refer to BRB / Google for confirmation. Maybe it’s my imagination, but I never see many of these in the ST. Anyway, an enjoyable Friday puzzle so thanks to the Don and DT for the review.

  24. Thanks to Giovanni for a most enjoyable puzzle! Did not know 5d but worked it out – thinking of Kath in the process! Did not know either that tea could be char. 2*/4* for me with 1a and 9d as favourites. Thank you DT for his excellent review not needed but read and enjoyed nevertheless.

  25. Thank you for general support. Your proprietor has chosen his introductory comment on the other puzzle ( which I am sure is excellent — haven’t done it yet) to put the knife in yet again, I see! Well you can’t please everyone all the time, can you? Two stabs today, then — the other coming on GU.

    1. I noticed that he put the knife in yet again ,,, but he didn’t twist it!

      He reserves that for Exalibur!

  26. Well up to the expected Friday standard I thought! Putting STITCHING in 11a obviously didn’t help much but eventually I saw the error of my ways. 5 and 7d were a little unusual but quite ‘gettable’ and I only realised that 9d was an anagram after I had already solved it, which therefore also makes it my favourite. D’oh!
    2*/ 3* for me.
    Thanks to the Don and DT for his enjoyable revue.

  27. Really enjoyable puzzle today we thought. The only bit that had us head scratching for long was where the OS came from in 25a. Not surprisingly, we did not know it. ‘Stitching’ was our first choice for 11a until checkers ruled it out. Favourite clue, and it still has us chuckling, was the anagram in 9d. All good fun.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  28. Found it more difficult and interesting than the toughie.
    And I am not saying that just to please the Don.
    Invented a new word for you all: Tricoting. That’s what we do with needles in France.
    1a and 1d were my last ones in.
    17d favourite for today.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review.

    1. Tricoting, why not and it fitted! Going back to Hyères Friday week and putting the car on the train for the first time. See you there in March!

      1. Look forward to seeing you in Hyeres. Spring seems to be a bit early. You should have a great time.

      2. So Motorail still exists? We did it lots of times when the Lambs were little. It was brilliant – car on ferry with all of us – put car on train early evening – we all slept (well, most of them did) – wake up in the morning (those of them who had slept!!) and there we were in the south of France in the sun having left England/Northern France in the usual grey gloom.

  29. What a super start to the weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this solve. Sincere thanks Giovanni. So many terrific clues including 1a, 12a (I tried to use latrine!), 25a, 27a (yet another do), 7d (had to Google this) and 9d (but why desperate?). Thanks for being there in case of need DT. If tomorrow’s prize puzzle is half as much fun I will be happy. **/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  30. Enjoyable puzzle and many thanks for the hints DT, much needed. ALSO THANKS TO SETTER(do we know who it was?). Now for a weekend of ^Rugby. Weather here is sunny and almost warm.

  31. Thanks very much to Giovanni. Haven’t finished but am enjoying very much, especially 1a, which was just delightful. Thanks very much to DT also. So far so good but there’s still a way to go and I look forward reading the review at the end, if not before.

  32. Managed this a bit better than yesterday, thank goodness but still needed some of the clues.
    I wonder how many people knew 5d without looking it up?

    Thanks to Deep Threat and to the setter.

    1. I knew vaguely of 5 (would have ended it with an e) but, before Googling it, thought it had to do with Unitarians.

  33. Quite the best of Giovanni for me – the four long ones went in first and the rest flowed along nicely. 2*/4*

    Loved the misdirection at 10&11a and was another whose first thought at 12a was ‘latrine’.
    5&7d were new words but easy enough to get from the cluing and checkers but I seem to be the only one who had to guess the US university abbreviation.
    13a could have been a problem without ‘retd’ which just had to be part of an anagram. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been looking for someone so young!
    Nice to have 23a again so soon – still in the forefront of the memory bank.

    Favourite might have been difficult to decide had it not been for the glorious 1a. Have just got back from a superb day’s birding on the Dee estuary – literally thousands of birds taking advantage of (or evasive action because of) the year’s highest tide there. Rounded off by seeing the first of the season’s Avocets to arrive at Burton Marsh reserve and really close-up views of a Long-eared Owl roosting in a small hawthorn tree at the side of one of the walkways. My avian cup runneth over and all thoughts of yesterday’s painful tooth extraction are but a distant memory.

    Very many thanks to the Don and also to DT for the excellent review (and the lovely pic. at 11a). http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    1. Hi Jane,
      Glad to hear that your teething problem is getting better.
      I thought of you the other day. I saw a wonderful programme on the Jura region between France and Switzerland and there was a bird from the sparrow family which dived under water to feed.
      It had grown a third eyelid and it’s wings were shortening to resemble a penguin. Quite amazing. Darwin would have been so pleased.

      1. Ah – the lovely little Dipper! Plenty of those in these parts – there was also some superb footage of them under water in an episode of ‘Winterwatch’ on TV here recently.

    2. Very glad that you had a fantastic day Jane. :-) I hope that you are feeling better.

      I shall Google the bird references tomorrow.

  34. Thank you DG for the challenge. I found it hard work and needed your hints DT, for which many thanks. I was a bit late starting after a lovely day at Slimbridge and with the usual time issues ran for the hints to complete before dinner.

    1. Hi Sweet William – if you haven’t been to Parkgate, Deeside for the high Spring tide, I can certainly recommend that you put it on your list one year!

      1. Thanks Jane, been to Burton/Inner Marsh Farm but not Parkgate at high tide. Over 200 Bewicks at Slimbridge yesterday + 5 common cranes.

    2. Slimbridge is near where my Mum came from, Frampton/Saul area. It’s where the Peter Scott reserve is, is it not?

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