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DT 27778

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27778

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from the Caravan Club site at Castleton in the Peak District, where we’re spending a few days.

I found today’s Giovanni quite tricky – well into *** time – though, like last week, I couldn’t really see what had held me up once the answers had emerged.

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           This person’s clutching short order for something from pharmacy (8)
MEDICINE – Remove the final T from an order or command, and put it inside another way of saying ‘this person’s’.

5a           Little person, not half unhappy type? (6)
WEEPER – An informal word for little followed by the first half of PERson.

9a           Bird beginning to roost on old rubbish receptacle (5)
ROBIN – Put together the first letter of Roost, Old, and something to put rubbish in.

Image result for robin

10a         Old people, quiet folk in Moscow maybe (9)
PRUSSIANS – The people of a former state, now part of Germany, are made up of the musical symbol for quiet and the sort of people found in Moscow.

12a         False Messiah, nut showing zeal (10)
ENTHUSIASM – Anagram (false) of MESSIAH NUT.

13a         Auntie seen on reflection not to have changed (4)
BEEB – A palindromic (seen on reflection not to have changed) diminutive for the organisation often known as Auntie.

15a         Search endlessly for item of furniture nice to sit in (11)
COMFORTABLE – Start by removing the last letter (endlessly) from a word meaning to search (perhaps with a fine-toothed implement), then add FOR (from the clue) and an item of furniture.

16a         Nasty smell associated with a snake (3)
BOA – Two letters used to denote a lack of personal hygiene followed by A (from the clue)

Image result for boa constrictor

17a         Nothing left after home’s been gone over (3)
NIL – Reverse (gone over) a word for ‘at home’ and add Left.

18a         Son messing with art covered in dye — George is that? (6,5)
PATRON SAINT – A sort of dye or colour wrapped around an anagram (messing ) of SON and ART. George is the answer in England, Andrew in Scotland, and David in Wales.

Image result for patron saint england

20a         Refusal by jolly folk is what you’d expect (4)
NORM – A word of refusal followed by the initials of the regiment known as the jollies.

21a         I have two lines in small part as an old man? (10)
SHRIVELLED – An abbreviated form of ‘I have’ and two examples of Line inside a scrap or small part.

24a         Was one of the top performers about to bite into apple? (2-7)
CO-STARRED – The Latin word meaning about or concerning inside an old variety of apple.

26a         Gangster’s inner apprehension (5)
ANGST – The inside part of gANGSTer.

27a         Climatic effect has impacted on Nile (2,4)
EL NINO – Anagram (has impacted) of ON NILE.

28a         Better teams possibly in Germany? Not a lot (8)
GAMESTER – The definition is a noun – one who bets. Anagram (possibly) of TEAMS inside GER(many) with the word for a lot removed.


1d           With the knot tied, not one to be spoiled (6)
MARRED – Remove the Roman numeral for one from a word describing those who have tied the knot.

2d           Little lady with oomph is no credit (5)
DEBIT – A shortened form of a woman’s name (or possibly a young woman coming out into society) followed by another euphemism for sexual appeal, giving an accounting term which is the opposite of credit.

3d           Perfect little rug — use outside (10)
CONSUMMATE – A small rug or carpet inside a word meaning use up.

4d           Sin? Last thing to be found with the bishop (3)
ERR – The last letter of thE followed by the abbreviation of the title given to a bishop.

6d           Having got rid of cold, stop and relax (4)
EASE – Remove the Cold from a word meaning stop.

7d           At the bottom of empty pool a sticky substance is setting (9)
PLACEMENT – Remove the middle letters from P(oo)L, then add A (from the clue) and a sort of adhesive.

8d           Ornamental container woman has to deliver (8)
ROSEBOWL – A woman’s name followed by what Stuart Broad or James Anderson have to do to make a delivery to a West Indies batsman.

Image result for rose bowl vase

10d         Greek character, see, with concessionary gift — offered to the female wisdom-seeker? (11)
PHILOSOPHER – Put together a Greek letter, an expression meaning ‘see!’, a gift meant to distract or disarm an opponent, and a pronoun describing ‘the female’.

11d         Discontented, being not fully paid (11)
UNSATISFIED – Double definition, the second describing a debt which has not been fully paid.

14d         Get rid of nasty boil — treat with calamine finally (10)
OBLITERATE – Anagram (nasty) of BOIL TREAT followed by the final letter of calaminE.

15d         Outside a capital city study a type of ornamentation (9)
CAPARISON – A word for study or read over, wrapped around A (from the clue) and a European capital city.

16d         Goose in farm building disturbed Alec (8)
BARNACLE – A farm building followed by an anagram (disturbed) of ALEC.

Image result for barnacle goose

19d         Media story must avoid all extremes — I’ll see to that? (6)
EDITOR – Remove the first and last letters from (m)EDI(a) (s)TOR(y).

22d         Quick-moving match? (5)
LIGHT – Double definition: not heavy-footed; or a match used on a cigarette, for example.

23d         Wagon is secure with article locked inside (4)
WAIN – The indefinite article inside a word for secure or gain.

25d         This food is in bar for one who can’t pay his way (3)
EGG – If you put the answer inside BAR you get someone who can’t afford to pay for the means of living.

The Quick Crossword pun JOYCE + TICKS = JOYSTICKS

49 comments on “DT 27778

  1. I started off with great progress along the north, down the East side and then hit the SW and it all slowed down, I had never heard of 16d or 15d but managed to work them out and then checked BRB to make sure. 28a seemed a strange word to me, but had to be what it is. I must admit to be far to slow to realise what 18a was considering the name!

    Anyway a good work out that took me far too long and into 3* time. 4* for enjoyment.

    Thanks to all as usual.

  2. Absolutely brilliant IMHO. The Don is back to his best. Loved 19d and and 20a (always forget about the marines) but best clue for me was 7d.
    For me at least the best puzzle for a very long time.
    Thx to the Maestro and to DT for explaining 1a fully.

  3. New word for me in 15D & how I missed the hidden word in 26A will be a mystery,apart from those two this was a nice romp, my favourite was the excellent 10D.Many thanks to the setter & to DT for his review.

  4. Not particularly tricky for a Giovanni – thank you to him and DT.

    If you take it slow and steady and don’t panic, you might find that today might be a good day for being able to say that you solved an Elgar Toughie. Please don’t complain to me if you can’t do it, I’m just making a friendly suggestion.

    1. Still working at the Toughie – but almost there! Always a bit of a struggle when so many clues are linked. But not complaining!

      1. So do I Kath! However CS is right about today and well worth a look. Though without her suggestion I would have run a mile from it. Very glad I didn’t. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

        1. I thought it was quite doable compared to others I have tackled and where I have failed to make much of an impression. Does Elgar have some sort of reputation?

    2. I struggled enough with 27,778 without submitting myself to more torture by venturing into Friday ‘Toughie’ land.

    3. I had to give up on the Toughie having got 75% of the way through. All those linked clues really cheesed me off and my brain hurt!!

  5. The most difficult this week, for me anyway. I’d go for almost 4* and 3* for enjoyment.
    I was stupidly slow to get lots of the long answers – 21a and 10 and 11d – so that certainly held things up.
    18a had me thinking about ‘George’ being an automatic pilot and having got that far couldn’t think of anything else for far too long.
    Missed the hidden 26a for ages. Oh dear! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
    28a was my last answer – was thinking of the wrong kind of better, assuming I was thinking at all by then!
    Lots of good clues but nothing that made me laugh – oh, and made a complete pig’s ear of the Quickie too.
    I liked 13a and 7 and 14d. My favourite was 16d.
    There used to be a wood carving of a 16d hanging in a tree by the river in the Oxford University Parks with lots of stuff about all the mythology connected with them.

    1. I, too, was sure that George was automatic pilot and dead sure that the second word was pilot. Held me up for ages.

  6. Tough++ but fair. Never heard of 15d. ****/**** for me.
    Thanx to Compiler and to DT for fully explaining some of my answers.

  7. **/****

    Not overly difficult for the Don. Is it him?

    A few anagrams to set me off and pretty straightforward from there. 1d caused a bit of 26a as I tried to make an anagram involving knot or tied. Loved it.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for an excellent blog.

    Hope everyone has a great weekend.

  8. A very long solve : 15d completely new word , could not see 25d until looked at the hints and although knew it was an anagram of teams inside ger , missed it, for better or for worse. Not sure about 14d explanation wrt debt repayment but c’est la vie.
    Favorites 18 and 21a the hardest of the week 4*/ 2*

  9. Thank you DG for the puzzle which I found a bit easier than usual and very enjoyable, No problems with the obscure words today as the wordplay left few options ! Thanks DT for the review and hints. Enjoy Castleton ! We have spent many days birdwatching around there – Mam Tor, Lathkildale, Tideswell, Padley Gorge etc – lovely part of the world in Spring http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  10. This went slowly and steadily, then I hit the corner that for some reason seems so often to be my downfall: SW. Got there in the end with no cheats, which I guess I should be pleased with for I had never heard of 15d or 16d and had forgotten the apple in 24a.

    I spent a long time wanting 23d to begin with P, knowing perfectly well there is no wagon of that name. (That answer seemed also to fit nicely with the definition of 20a.) Anyway, couldn’t see beyond that for ages so it was my last in. I liked quite a lot of the clues, including the reverse 25d and 26a.

    Thanks to the Don and Deep Threat, especially since you are on your holidays. Much appreciated!

  11. 3*/3*. Much to my surprise I actually enjoyed a Friday puzzle for only the second time this year.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif
    As others have commented, 15d & 16d were new to me but fairly clued. 25d was my favourite and last one in.

    Surely the definition for 19d should be “He’ll see to that?”

    Why, oh why, can’t the Don deliver this level of entertainment every Friday?

    Many thanks to him and to DT.

  12. Game of two halves for me and the second half pushed it well into 3.5* time.
    Very slow to get both 5&18a and (as usual) forgot about cricket in the parsing of 8d, which meant Auntie wasn’t as immediately apparent as she should have been.
    Didn’t know the Jollies at 20a and although I’m familiar with a custard apple I hadn’t come across the one in 24a before.

    Got 15d through the wordplay without knowing the item in question (a typical Don obscurity!) and thought I was going to be facing another one at 10d (some ancient female wisdom-seeker?) before the penny finally dropped.

    Opted for the wrong ‘better’ when initially looking at 28a – slow again!

    Liked 7&16d with favourite spot going to 15a despite it being far from what I was feeling – more a case of 26a at times!

    Thanks to Giovanni for the workout and to DT – enjoy Castleton (home to many a happy YHA holiday!).

  13. I know that it’s in the BRB as meaning BBC but has anyone ever come across Beeb being used as a synonym for Auntie without a preceding ‘The’? Whenever I’ve heard it it’s always been ‘The Beeb’.

  14. Southeast corner slowed me down, but I got there and enjoyed the ride. Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  15. Can’t believe I’ve finished a Giovanni puzzle for three or so weeks in a row! Albeit with help from gizmo for a couple of clues.
    15d is usually associated with horses, the horses are caparisoned for the Trooping of the Colour, for instance.
    Fave was 13a, can’t believe I remembered that!
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for unravelling 15a, and a couple of others.

  16. Probably the best of the week for me, loved the cluing eg 25d,4d-overall going for a ***/****.Like Kath, led astray with the auto pilot in 18a until the checking letters went in.Thanks to the Don and DT, looking forward to beer and an indian !

  17. Worked steadily at it and managed to complete it without having to peep at DT’s hints except for 1a which I solved but could not quite reconcile my answer with the clue. 16a made me laugh and 19d was so clever! 3*/4*. Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT. Just had a look at the Toughie, solved 1a but will leave it at that.

  18. Above my pay grade again today, but enjoyed the bits I managed to solve without help.

    Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat.

  19. Thanks to G and DT, remember Castleton and Blue John from school trip longer ago than I care to admit to. Struggled plus a certain amount of help from electronic supertoy but we got there. New tablet which keeps changing what I am trying to say Oh Spit, cannot find how to do hyphens and brackets. (Oh yes I can). Favourites too many to name but 3d was on list. Have a great weekend? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  20. The auto pilot instead of the dragon slayer also had me looking in the wrong direction for 18a and I also tried calamine (borrowed from 14d) and morphine for 1a before thinking of the much simpler answer. A good quality Friday puzzle at the tricky end of the spectrum for me. Or perhaps it is because it was a solo solve as we have a house full of family at the moment.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  21. This took me ages and I had to use the hints a few times. This week started off great, but has steadily deteriorated re solving skills……….Brain has made representation to management regarding being made to work too hard, so I think I have to give it a rest over the weekend…….walk on the beach with the Granddog (black Labrador) should do the trick…. Then back on Monday to do battle again. ***/**

  22. We found it very tricky today but managed to survive until the bitter end. Unsatisfied Prussians may be shrivelled with angst in consummate comfortable placement. Thanks to the Don And DT!

  23. Quality! Last in 25d, even with two out of the three letters! It couldn’t be anything else, but I couldn’t see why! Some delightful misdirections. Thanks to the Don and DT.

      1. Thanks Gazza but I’m just an old friend with a new email address and so I thought I’d take a new name. I used to be Ian. Still am actually!

  24. Good Friday fare which I have managed to complete without resorting to hints even after a day of house hunting in the West Country. I wish the house hunting had been as successful,
    I liked the ‘old man’ clue best, maybe cos I’m feeling a bit that way today.
    3*/4* over all.
    Thanks to the Don and DT.

  25. This wasn’t exactly a bowl of cherries. I needed hints and/or parsing for a few including 13a, 28a, 8d, 15d, 16d and 25d. Thanks Giovanni and DT. ****/***. Busy weekend so am counting on an easier ride with tomorrow’s comp. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  26. Late comment on today’s Giovanni’s puzzle. Like Brian, I also thought that this is more like a typical Giovanni puzzle with the usual (but fair) obscure clues. Quite lot of innuendo (oo-er missus) in 2d & 16d but all the better for it. Best watch out RayThttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    Thanks to the Don for the puzzle and DT for the blog.

    Loved 21a – again, a lovely oo-er.missus moment which conjures up an extremely rude opportunity for a visual cluehttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

    Sorry to all you ladies out there. Have a good weekend allhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  27. ***/****. Having spent the day at the community garden what a delightful way to wind down with this puzzle and a large Cuba libre. Splendid! Thanks to the setter and DT for the review.

  28. Lovely break in my Jardin also but no cocktail to complete the Friday Don.
    Thoroughly enjoyable.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review.

  29. ***/**** for me. I liked 16a, 18a, 2d, 19d and 25d. Many thanks for a very enjoyable puzzle, Giovanni.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    I found the upper half went fairly quickly. I needed help for 28a, but seeing the explanation, I really can’t see why. Otherwise, all was well. Many thanks, Deep Threat, for the valuable review.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  30. Dear CrypticSue
    how do you do
    and thank you for your welcome too!
    kind words do make my heart a’ swell
    although I love crosswords as well

    Found 27,778 quite difficult in the South. Could kick myself when I see the answers and berate myself for not exploring every possible meaning of a particular word etc.

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