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DT 27736

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27736

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a bright frosty Friday.

Not too difficult from Giovanni this morning, ** for me, though I was held up for a while by 23a, my last one in, where there was a very loud clang when the penny dropped.

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.


7a           Stuff friend offered to competitor — very little given away (8)
MATERIAL – A friend or pal plus a competitor with the V (very, little) removed.

9a           Stuck in grass the Parisian staggered (6)
REELED – The French definite article inside a variety of grass.

10a         Brought up claret maybe after start of banquet (4)
BRED – The first letter (start) of Banquet followed by the sort of wine of which claret is an example.

11a         Random records having very different levels of success (3-3-4)
HIT-AND-MISS – Those old enough to remember Juke Box Jury will know that records on that show were voted one or other of these.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

12a         Linger by a river in big shed (6)
HANGAR – A word for linger or, in the computer sense, stop functioning properly, followed by A (from the clue) and River.

Image result for aircraft hangar

14a         Middle Eastern shelter containing sprouting beans (8)
LEBANESE – Anagram (sprouting) of BEANS, inside a sailing term for the side away from the wind.

15a         Restaurant offers meat very thinly cut initially (6)
EATERY – Remove the first letters (thinly cut initially) from (m)EAT and (v)ERY to get a downmarket term for a restaurant.

17a         Foreign characters lasted with difficulty (6)
DELTAS – These examples of a Greek letter are an anagram (with difficulty) of LASTED.

20a         Support needed by part of town not up with the times? (8)
BACKWARD – To give support to, followed by a political division of a town.

22a         Snake found by maiden in plant (6)
MADDER – The abbreviation for a maiden over on a cricket scorecard, followed by a venomous snake.

Image result for madder

23a         The four making news? (10)
DIRECTIONS – A cryptic definition of four things that might make up N.E.W.S.

24a         Rob is second-rate criminal (4)
BLAG – Second-rate, i.e. not A class, followed by one of the usual crossword criminals.

25a         Dish makes one become giddy — double dose of drug in it? (6)
TUREEN – What you do to make someone giddy, with a double dose of the drug commonly known by a single letter placed inside it.

Image result for tureen

26a         Iron — it’ll get moulded into a cube (8)
TRILLION – Anagram (get moulded) of IRON IT’LL, giving the cube of 10,000 (or in traditional British use, the cube of a million)


1d           Vehicle arrived before lunchtime maybe to enter prison (8)
CARRIAGE – An abbreviation for ‘arrived’ and the letter that looks like the number you might see on the clock at lunchtime, all placed inside a sort of prison.

2d           Quarrel expected with female showing up (4)
FEUD – Put together a word for ‘expected’, as in ‘the train is expected in 5 minutes’, and Female, then reverse the lot.

3d           After banter see the woman dry up (6)
WITHER – A word for banter or joking, followed by a pronoun for ‘the woman’.

4d           French Alps city became almost stately (8)
GRENOBLE – Remove the final letter (almost) from a word for ‘became’ and add a word for ‘stately.

Image result for grenoble

5d           Period at home gets an old rocker wound up (10)
TERMINATED – Put together a period (of an academic year, for example), a word for ‘at home’, A(n) from the clue, and a 1950s rocker.

6d           Guys providing meals or drinks across the Home Counties (6)
TEASES – The two letters for the geographical location of the Home Counties inside some meals taken in the afternoon, or some drinks taken at any time of day.

8d           Greek character left off collecting stamps recently (6)
LATELY – Remove a Greek letter from the posh word for stamp collecting.

13d         After entrance to field cricketer gets a guard (10)
GATEKEEPER – What you open to get into a field, followed by a fielding position in cricket.

16d         Very hot kiln in shape of a circle (8)
ROASTING – Put the sort of kiln used for drying hops inside a circular shape.

18d         The female to betray man in the furniture business (8)
SHERATON – A pronoun for ‘the female’, followed by an expression (3,2) for ‘betray’.

Image result for sheraton furniture

19d         Clever commercial nonsense that takes one in (6)
ADROIT – A short form of a commercial, followed by a word for nonsense with the Roman numeral for one inside it.

21d         Christian, I must squash this hostility (6)
ANIMUS – Hidden in the clue.

22d         Soft food that is offered by old-fashioned club (6)
MASHIE – An old-fashioned golf club (the implement, not the institution) is made up of some pureed food and the Latin abbreviation for ‘that is’.

Image result for mashie

24d         Person about fifty certainly not timid (4)
BOLD – The Roman numeral for fifty inside a person or chap.

The Quick Crossword pun STATUS + TITIAN = STATISTICIAN

66 comments on “DT 27736

  1. This took me into 3* time and I had to go all over the grid solving odd clues to get a foothold with which to continue solving (normally I try and solve corner by corner). Enjoyable puzzle – with thanks to DT and Giovanni ***/***

  2. I began at a canter but I, too, was delayed by 23a for a time. My favourite clue. Thanks to Deep Threat and setter.

  3. Well, this one took me well into 3* time. An interesting meaning for 6d that I was unaware of. In hindsight I am not sure why I found it as difficult as I did as the clues are well written and once found, the answers then appear to be obvious. I suppose I was not quite tuned in to the right wavelength!

    I always feel a sense of achievement in cases such as this, from the squirming at the start that I may have met too tough a match, to the end when a sigh of relief denotes the last word has gone in.

    3*/4* for me.

    1. Could someone please explain how GUYS becomes TEASES? I can see how the answer is derived but not a connection between the two words. TIA

  4. This went surprisingly quickly – I really enjoyed it, interesting wordplay and nice definitions. Last one in was 6d: this meaning of guys often catches me out and I was further mislead by “meals or drinks”.

    I have often visited ESRF in the city in 4d, and spent 1968-1972 in the 14a country.

    Favourite is definitely 26a: love the way the cube works no matter whether you use the million million or the million million million convention. Didn’t take long to rule out eight or twenty seven. Many other nice clues.

    I am struggling with the toughie..

    Many thanks Giovanni and Deep Threat

  5. Very enjoyable!

    The BRB for Trillion:

    1 The cube of ten-thousand (10 to the power of 12)
    2 (esp formerly in Britain) The cube of a million (10 to the power of 18) British

    Onwards and upwards – what a beautiful day! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  6. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, I made steady progress and was then left with 10 clues to solve. After a lot of thought, they all fell into place. Last in was 1d. Favourite was 18d. Was 3*/3* for me. Off to Newbury races.

    1. It is always depressing when I read that too – especially with the Toughie. There is something about the way the mind of the setter works similarly or differently than me that either makes a puzzle really tough or quite doable. When I see the answers I sometimes have to kick myself for being so dense!

  7. Did pretty well with this one (in my terms).
    Thought that 23a was just a wonderful clue, though I have to admit to using electronic aid to find it…
    Thank you to the setter and the reviewer.

  8. Thank you DG for the puzzle, which I enjoyed after a slow start. Last in was 23a – as you say DT a penny dropper. I had the answer to 4d, but needed your explanation of the wordplay – many thanks for your review and hints. 22d reminded me of my early days on the golf course playing with my father’s clubs. A cleek, mashie, mashie niblick, niblick and a putter. No 400 yard drives and electronic range finders in those days !

    1. You omitted the Brassie and Spoon (2 & 3 woods). Never trust a man with a tan and a one iron in his bag!

          1. You could be right. My Dad used to play golf and he taught me to do the DT crossword, many moons ago! I just remember mashie, brassie and niblicks. I never played so had no idea what they were.

  9. The sun is shining here in Shropshire and it’s helped along by this enjoyable puzzle from Giovanni. The best in many a Friday imho. Thanks to Deep Threat for his review and Giovanni for bringing a smile to my face.

    Take on the toughie today at your peril, it is not one for the faint heartedhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  10. I agree with DT’s rating 2*/3*. This was surprisingly enjoyable for a Friday.

    6d was a new meaning for me. 23a was my last one in and clear favourite.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  11. 11ac is not fair to younger solvers. Nobody has called a record a miss since the last screening of Juke Box Jury in September 1938. Thanks for the clip of Nina and Fred. It was partly their blandly awful renditions that helped to shape my musical taste today. Otherwise a fine crossword. With only 26ac and 18 d causing any hold ups. Please don’t post a Shirley Abicair clip with her zither next week DP. Thanks all round

    1. I think the zither should be brought into schools for children to struggle with. Although expensive and difficult to play, it would at least prove easier on parental ears than recorders or violins……….(I think nowadays, primary school children are recommended plastic ukuleles, which also sound ghastly).

      PS. That Nina ( of N&F) turned up out of the blue, playing a dead sleazy pimp in American Gigolo.

  12. **\*** for me… I quite liked the way answers were constructed. 6d was my last in… I now know a new use for the word guy!

  13. My first thought for the Greek character in 8d was Prince Philip. Unfortunately it didn’t quite work. :D

  14. A mixture of the straight forward and the difficult, nearer to a *** than a ** for me with a *** enjoyment. Originally had PASTIE for 22D which didn’t help till I remembered the old club,6D also took an age to parse-last in. Was’nt 26 A the name of the blonde bombshell in The Hitchhikers Guide ? if so DT has untypically missed a ‘blog pic’ opportunity !

      1. Must admit my thinking at first was that Zaphod always described Arthur as a square so perhaps a Trillion was a cube! I thought it was spelt with an O as well!

  15. I nearly always have a bit of a battle on Fridays but not today so 1* or 2* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    The extra star is for 23a – I couldn’t even think of another word that would fit with my alternate letters and I still needed the hint to explain why – stupid – should have seen that.
    I knew 22d from previous crosswords but it took me a long time to remember it.
    I’ve never heard of 24a meaning rob – thought it was cadge but BRB says both so I’d better shut up.
    I liked 22a and 3d. My favourite was 18d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.
    Still quite cold in Oxford but lovely sunshine – stuff to do then garden, then finish the Beam Toughie from yesterday.

  16. This took me an average time for a Giovanni so I suppose it should be given 3*/3* – thanks to him and DT.

  17. Boy was this too difficult for us today. can’t get on Giovanni’s wavelength at all I’m afraid, so for people to find this fairly straightforward is quite depressing. Roll on Saturday’s, perhaps that will restore our confidence. Only a little thank you to the Friday setter and a big thank you to DT.

  18. Just could not get into the Compilers head today, don’t know why but just one of those things I guess. Still that did not detract from the enjoyment factor. Having resorted to the Hints I’m left scratching my head as to why I found it so difficult. Many thanx DT for the Hints (much needed) and thanx also to the Compiler for making my head ache.

    1. Jay on Wednesday and Don on Friday do that all the time head scratcher clues that need reading and re-reading. Afterwards it all,looks so easy.

  19. Not the most enjoyable Giovanni not the least due to the tricky grid which gave mainly vowels. 18d simply did not work for me at all and could someone please explain what Teases has to do with Guys, it’s a mystery to me.
    No standout clues and no smile clues today so for me ***/**. Very average.
    Thx to all esp DT for the hint for 2d which just would not come!

  20. Now and again l find myself right on the setter’s wavelength; today was such a day. 1*/4* by my standards. Lots of very well constructed clues – 23a particularly so – but my favourite is the one which made me smile, and that’s 5d. Thank you, Giovanni, and of course DT for the review.

  21. **/***

    Nothing overly scary for a Giovanni. Thankfully. 1d was my last in and a quick Google check was needed for 22a. Yes it is plant it turns out.

    Many thanks to the Don and to DT for a fine blog.

    Hope everyone has a good weekend.

    1. Thanks Hanni.
      Friday Night. Beer night. What’s not to like?
      Saturday Back to back Rugby with a beer accompaniament. What’s not to like?
      Sunday. Crib to start (with beer) Then its Ireland v England. Kick off 3.00pm with beer. Free Chilli Con Carne for all at half time. Saint Sharon really is saintly. Then it’s beer if we win and beer if we lose. . What’s not to like?
      Monday. Blog the crossword and scurry off to The Amazon for yet another essay. What’s not to like?

      1. This is weird! My weekend looks exactly the same apart from the sainted Sharon’s chilli. What were the chances of that happening?

        1. Mine too! Except we will be having JOCK wings (Jim’s Oven Cooked Kentucky) throughout the Sunday match. If any of you are passing by, you’re more than welcome to join us http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      2. Can’t you get Scrum V or Ulster Rugby on Friday nights? Or do you only have terrestrial.

        1. We have BT Sport. I never know whats on that until my customers tell me. It goes on willingly for Rugby and very begrudgingly for Oikball

      3. A part of me wants to draw your weekend as a Venn diagram. Such wonderful elements.

        No mention of going to watch Coventry, or is that part of Saturday? Whereabouts are you in the Amazon on Monday? Hell of a round journey.

        No matter…your weekend sounds sounds heavenly. What’s not to like. Mine has similarities, though substitute beer for wine/G & T and a walk to Robin Hood’s Bay after a drive back from Cumbria.

        1. No Coventry game this week as the RFU give preference to the Harbury and District Crib league cup games on Tuesday. We are training hard. Mental agility can only come from peak physical fitness. Mrs Cobley, our captain has a lighter training regime. I am all over the amazon planting Cassava, slashing and burning rainforests, opening up large tracts for oilwells and fighting off cruise ships. All this from Downtown LI. 1200 words? piece of cake

        2. We’re renting a cottage in Sandsend for a week in April – any tips for trips out? We’re thinking of driving up to Saltburn on one of the days. Any good?

  22. Hmm, either I was on the right wavelength… but more likely Friday’s puzzle was a little less difficult then usual. Some very good clues involved, 5d 18d and best of all 23a which was a laugh out loud moment. **/****
    Thanks to the Don and DT for the review.

  23. As is often the case for me with Giovanni puzzles, this involved so much hard slog that I lost out on the enjoyment. Obviously I struggle to get on his wavelength. 3.5*/2* for me.
    New word at 22d and had to dig deep into the memory banks for 22a.

    Quite relieved to see Wayne query MP’s dates for Juke Box Jury. I remember watching it avidly and I certainly wasn’t around in 1938!

    Best by far was 23a with a nod to 3d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review (even though I do hate that he found it so easy!).

    No sure I’ve got enough willpower left to tackle Elgar, but Hanni seems to be on a roll so I’ll try to keep up my end of the bargain. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  24. Normally I can’t do Giovanni’s puzzles, so the fact that I actually completed this, admittedly with much difficulty, shows it must be very easy for the officionados.
    I immediately knew what 23a was about, but I tried to fit “cardinals” in there, just could not stretch it one more letter.
    Likewise, I had no problem with 22d, those old club names used to appear quite regularly.
    I had no idea why 26a was a cube, nor had I come across 24a before, so thanks to DT for the explanations.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  25. We had never heard of Juke Box Jury but the clue for 11a still made perfect sense to us, so not a problem. It all fitted together smoothly and took about the usual time that we spend on a Friday puzzle. Well crafted elegant clues as usual too. Enjoyable to solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  26. Thought this was going to defeat me but pressed on regardless and by hook or by crook made it. Thanks Giovanni for a pleasant work-out and DT for confirming 6d and 26a for me. 23a was fav for me too. What a fabulous sunny day. Look forward to w/e of rugby on newly purchased TV by kind permission of Tesco! ****/****.

  27. I wonder what the don is suffering from.
    He made us take out the letter V twice. Obviously it’s not kenophobia but I don’t know what the condition is called.
    A bit of a hit and miss I suppose.
    The back page took me a bit longer than the toughie and managed to finish with the two 22.
    Favourite is definitely 8d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review.

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