DT 27784 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27784

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27784

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a bright sunny morning.

A couple of less common words from Giovanni this morning, but otherwise I found it not too difficult, hence only ** difficulty for me.

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           Bit of food all mixed up with sour herb inside (7,4)
SAUSAGE ROLL – Anagram (mixed up ) of ALL and SOUR, wrapped around a herb often combined with onion.

Image result for sausage roll

8a           Critical factor put off worker — pit almost falling in (11)
DETERMINANT – Another word for ‘put off’ and one of the usual crossword workers, placed either side of a pit with its last letter removed (almost).

11a         Way to see English being knocked out in defeat (4)
ROUT – Remove the English from the end of a way or set of directions.

12a         Water that’s brown spreading across river (4)
TARN River inside the sort of brown you get from sunbathing, giving a mountain lake.

Image result for tarn

13a         One struggling to establish line in attack (7)
BATTLER – Put an abbreviation for Line inside a verb meaning to attack physically.

15a         Seats become rotten aboard ship (7)
SADDLES – A word for ‘become rotten’, as in eggs, placed inside the usual crossword ship.

16a         Strong piece of material that may be disposable (5)
NAPPY – Double definition, the first being an obscure term for strong, frothy ale; the second is something that every one of us will have worn at some point in our lives.

17a         On edge of plate mother’s placed cheese (4)
EDAM – The last letter (edge) of platE followed by a horse’s mother.

Image result for edam

18a         Trim old man getting about (4)
PARE – Another word for one’s old man followed by the Latin word for about or concerning.

19a         Old buffoon opposing the first hint of change (5)
ANTIC – A word for opposing or against, followed by the first letter of Change.

21a         Helps foolish person — is crossing street (7)
ASSISTS – A fool followed by IS (from the clue) wrapped around the abbreviation for street.

22a         Brilliant hit — hooked? (7)
LAMBENT – Another word for hit followed by an adjective describing something hook-shaped.

23a         Romantic couple despite marriage fraying at the edges (4)
ITEM – Hidden in the clue. Remove (fraying) the outsides of ‘despite marriage’ to find the answer.

26a         Insect that is loud by meadow (4)
FLEA – The musical symbol for loud followed by the meadow the lowing herd winds slowly o’er in Gray’s Elegy.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

27a         Like well-worn sofa OK for retrieving from skip? (11)
RECOVERABLE – I think this is two cryptic definitions, though you may also think it an all-in-one. What you might do to refurbish a worn sofa; or how you might get hold of one.

28a         Later on I spy zany celebrity (11)
PERSONALITY – Anagram (zany) of LATER ON I SPY.


2d           Help half of all the characters (4)
ABET– Take a word describing all the letters , and remove half of it.

3d           Man to walk ahead of gossipy female (7)
STEPHEN – A man’s name is made up of a synonym for walk followed by a clucking chicken or, by extension, a gossipy female.

4d           Somehow disabled in sport (4)
GAME – Double definition, the first being a description of a physical infirmity, as in ‘he’s got a xxxx leg’.

5d           Go on a road as fugitive (7)
RUNAWAY – Another word for ‘go’ when talking about an engine functioning for example, followed by A (from the clue) and a road.

6d           Hard mineral, not fine material (4)
LINT – Remove the initial F (not fine) from a hard stone to get a soft fabric used in dressings, or the fluff that has to be extracted from your washing machine..

7d           Injured climber, a top becoming tricky (11)
PROBLEMATIC – Anagram (injured) of CLIMBER A TOP.

8d           Rudest yawn’s nastily given as unhelpful response (5,6)
DUSTY ANSWER – Anagram (nastily) of RUDEST YAWN’S.

9d           Ribbons and label on dog upset the French female (11)
TAGLIATELLE – To get these pasta ribbons put together a word for label, the reversal (upset) of a word for dog or follow, and a French female pronoun.

Image result for tagliatelle

10d         Unnecessary seats in line to be shifted (11)
INESSENTIAL – Anagram (to be shifted) of SEATS IN LINE.

14d         Wet season is predominant, reportedly (5)
RAINS – This sounds like (reportedly) ‘is predominant’, in the way a monarch is.

15d         Ruin ground with introduction of parking (5)
SPOIL – The abbreviation for Parking inside some ground or earth.

19d         A project in which a learner appears perplexed (2,1,4)
AT A LOSS – A (from the clue) followed by a verb meaning ‘project’ (a projectile) with the second A from the clue and Learner inside.

20d         Bad act and more or less everybody could make it (7)
CATCALL – Put together an anagram (bad) of ACT, a Latin abbreviation for about or ‘more or less’, and a word for everybody, and you get something that a bad variety act might attract from the audience.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

24d         Measure that sounds suitable (4)
Paper version: Suitable encounter from what we hear (4)
METE – A somewhat archaic word for measure – still seen in the expression ‘xxxx out justice’, which sounds like a somewhat archaic word for suitable or fitting. The paper version has ‘suitable’ as the definition, and we’re told that it sounds like a word for ‘encounter’. The problem with that is that Chambers does not give that spelling of the word for ‘suitable’.

25d         Slight rest (4)
LEAN – Double definition: an adjective describing physical slightness; or a verb describing resting against something.

26d         Featureless accommodation (4)
FLAT – Double definition: a description of a featureless landscape; or a type of living accommodation.

The Quick Crossword pun HEWN + ANIMUS = UNANIMOUS

56 comments on “DT 27784

  1. 2*/2*. A disappointingly dull end to what has otherwise been a great week.

    I did wonder if the 15a had been treated with dubbin. 16a, 19a & 22a required look-ups in my BRB, and 4d made me realise that it was a word I never knew before today how to spell.

    Thanks to setter and to DT.

  2. Nearly into 3* time here with a mini-panic halfway through as I thought I’d ground to a halt until I ‘bunged’ in 1ac and all was OK after. Thanks to DT and Giovanni 2.5*/3*

  3. I ws thinking “strong piece of material” and “that may be disposable” (16a) as a rather dodgy double definition having completely missed the reference to ale (thanks DT!)

    I spent some tome trying to figure out why ATOM might be help (2a), so I thought this was a good clue when I eventually got it.

    In the category of new approaches to old friends, I quite enjoyed 17a (cheese) and 23a (romantic couple).

    I had to check the answers to19a (old buffoon) and 22a (brilliant) in brb.

    My favourite clue was 19d (a project in which a learner appears perplexed)

    I did not enjoy 25d (slight rest), it’s one of those pesky double definitions where once I have the checking letters, I still need to go through the alphabet to find something that satisfies both definitions – and of course it looks easy in hindsight.

    Many thanks Giovanni and DT

  4. My brain is not cooperating, but I got there with a little help from my electronic friends. I always learn stuff on a Friday ready to forget on Saturday.

    No real favourite, but I am often 19d and liked the project therein, so will go for that.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

  5. Thank you DG for the Friday challenge. I knew all the words apart from 22a which was the last one in of course. Thanks DT for your review and hints. You certainly picked a good week for your Castleton trip !

  6. Had it down as a **/*** before reading DT’S blog so no quibbles there Has anybody heard of 8d ? had to be the solution but certainly did not ring a bell, not heard of the strong ale double meaning( DT’s explanation) ,which is even more surprising as I’ve not missed many! Presume 20d is a clever so called ‘all in one’-assume it must be as DT has underlined everything ,i always find them unsatisfactory somehow. Looks like rain.

    1. Yes, I’d heard of 8d, although not recently. Around PG Wodehouse vintage, I’d have thought.

      1. I have not only heard it but use it too.
        My old Dad used to use the expression quite often ,so I guess I picked it up from him.
        Often used as a kind of a threat….’If you keep on asking that question you’ll get a bit of a dusty answer’
        (We’re not very good at threats.)

        1. Sounds a bit like the Monty Python Spanish Inquisition sketch in which they use a comfy cushion as a method of torture.

            1. Interestingly, your vid. clip is accompanied by an advert for ‘easy access walk in baths’ – was that the ultimate torture?

              1. Curiously enough, those both sound a bit like my old Dad…..not very good at threats or indeed at torture, ultimate or otherwise.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  7. As usual on a Friday we had to have quite a bit of help. There are the usual unusual definitions and the odd archaic word we’ve come to expect, but we did manage to finish. Thank you to the Friday setter and to DT.

  8. Thanks to G and DT for ending week for me with a certain amount of panic, but saying that the electronic super toy (scream – spell check keeps changing my typing) and I struggled valiantly on. Slight problem with wrong ending initially for 8a but enjoyed the anagrams. Have a great weekend everybody. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  9. Apart from increasing my vocabulary with 19a, 22a and 8d I didn’t find this overly entertaining. ***/**. Needed help with 3d – d’oh! Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  10. First ones in were almost all of the 4-letter ones (although I did spell 24d incorrectly at first!) – can’t recall that ever happening before and I guessed it spelled trouble – it did.
    Things I didn’t know:-
    16a ale
    19a as definition of an old buffoon
    8d type of answer
    Also – hadn’t remembered 22a and spent a long time looking for the wrong sort of ribbons in 9d.

    Not my finest hour nor my most enjoyable solve. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
    Well into 3* time and only 2* for enjoyment.

    Apologies to DG and thanks to DT for two of the most bizarre music clips we’ve heard in a long while. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif The first I can do without hearing ever again but the Hinge & Bracket was really rather amusing. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  11. More than 2* difficulty for me – closer to 3* and 2*/3* for enjoyment.
    Most of what I have to say has already been said but that’s never stopped me before so here I go.
    I didn’t know the ‘strong’ bit of 16a, the 19a ‘old buffoon’ or 22a. As for ‘dusty answers’ never heard of them – dusty houses, yes, but not answers.
    The four long anagrams round the outside were helpful – without them I might not have got too far today.
    I was sure about my 24d but, as DT says, it’s not in BRB which made me doubt it.
    For no good reason 27a was my last answer.
    I liked 13 and 19a and 5 and 20d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

    1. Hi Kath, re: dusty houses – I have been told that, if you leave the dust, after four years it gets no worse. This leaves me with questions – a) why does it get no worse and b) is it a justifiable experiment?

      As for 24d – I remembered it well (although, as confessed, not the correct spelling at first) as part of something we had to duly recite in church – ‘for it is mete and right so to do’. I’m rather sure that, at 12 years old, I hadn’t the foggiest notion what that meant and I would struggle even now to recall what I was supposed to do that was so correct. My apologies to a certain member of our blogging team for this particular confession – at least I’m being honest. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  12. After yesterday’s triumph (well, it was a triumph for me) inevitably I didn’t do too well today. For some reason I managed the W side not too badly, but wasn’t so good in the E.
    I did know dusty answer, I did know antic, I might have known Nappy
    (While we sit bousin’ at the nappy, gettin’ fou and unco happy…Tam O’Shanter quote)

    But I absolutely definitely didn’t know Lambent.
    And I don’t think lean means slight .http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    Thanks to Deep Threat without whom I would never have finished and to the setter.

    1. The ‘nappy’ one is troubling me, OM – I think they’re boozing and getting happy but I’m not sure about ‘fou’. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

          1. To be pedantic, ‘fou’ implies a bit more alcoholic intake than ‘pleasantly sozzled’..more like ‘trollied’ or ‘blootered’…..incapable through alcohol.
            But they were very happy with their state, Tam and his pal.


  13. Brilliant xword, best of the week for me. Lots of lovely anagrams to get you on your way, a couple of odd words/definitions in Lambent and Antic but 1a was a real ‘smile’ clue as was 15a.
    Many thx to Giovanni for restoring my confidence and to DT for the usual super hints though I agree with your rating as I finished before the hints came up whiltst waiting for my cars aircon to be gassed.

    1. Sometimes, Brian, I think you make this sort of comment just to wind up the rest of us.

      Never mind – we’ll get our revenge on Thursday! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  14. Rather ground to a halt today, but that was because I’d promised Poppy a trip to her favourite cafe (where dogs are very welcome) for a bacon butty (word learned from Mr P. but I don’t know how to spell it) so only just got back and then I got entranced by the two videoettes…. They’re amazing! My education has obviously been sadly lacking. Thank you so much for the hints, DT, and to the setter my appreciation for a bit of a tussle. No prizes for guessing my fave – 15a, because of the subject. I dont want to appear ungrateful after the video fest, but would have loved a pic demonstrating the beautiful wearers of same!! Poppy and I are off to collect Mr P. from the Station. She likes hanging out of the window to spot him before me. Greetings to all.

  15. A bit of a struggle at first….. Thank Heavens for the anagrams or I’d never have got started. I thought 15a was a bit tricky as I would never use the term ‘addle’ for rotten…usually refers to the muddled state of my brain after attempting the Toughie. This held me up as I was convinced the answer was ‘settles’. I also had ‘stepson’ for 3d which I thought looked OK but couldn’t see where the gossipy woman figured, so had to use the hint for that one. Also not heard of ‘nappy’ regarding ale….I was trying to fit in ‘Nappa’ which is a type of leather , I think. Anyway got there in the end, although Indid have to use the hints to check my answers were correct. ***/** from me. I was late starting today, having been wrestling with the budliea in the garden. Filled up my garden refuse wheelie bin now! So probably won’t have time for the Toughie today…..although having had a glance at it and……….Nothing…….ZILCHO!…….it may well keep me out of mischievous for the rest of the weekend. Got to go to choir practice now so I’ll give it a go later. Oh and favourite clue was 9d ….yummy!

    1. I agree about the anagrams.
      Addled eggs = rotten eggs which must be something you’ve heard of although I agree that I normally associate it with the state of my brain after looking at, let alone attempting, the Toughie – I tend to not even look at Friday Toughies – it’s called self preservation!
      As for the Buddleia – I despair – they self seed everywhere in our garden.

      1. I love budliea…for the butterflies… They just get a bit big and I have to cut them back in spring ..then they flower better. At present we have a mass of primroses and these are gorgeous…..please note I am no gardener..BUT…I do believe in maintaining a wildlife garden complete with nettles, dandelions and piles of old logs/wood and a plant with small bright blue flowers and hairy leaves…a species of borage I think…..for the bees……….that’s my excuse anyway.

  16. Well, I’m with Brian on this one; I thought it was very good and needed some alert gray cells to complete it. I needed the checking letters to untangle 1a but the rest went in slowly but surely. Favourite clue? 19d I think cos it took me a while to get the right ribbons.
    3*/3* overall.
    Thanks to the Don and DT for his review.

  17. All a bit quiet here today – where are you all?
    Weather on the change in Oxford – warm and sunny and no rain for the last I don’t know how long – feels and looks like rain now – as I gardener I would welcome some.

    1. We had a little rain here this afternoon – just enough to make me believe I could delay the watering until tomorrow! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  18. It is Anzac Day in this part of the world. A really big thing this year as it is the centenary of the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli in that ill-fated campaign all those years ago. There are commemorative services all over both countries throughout the day as well as a huge gathering in Turkey at the site of the actual landing. (The broadcast Dawn Service in Wellington has just finished, 60,000 attendees).

    Back to the puzzle. A couple of the allusions, like the beer one in 16a and the answer for 8d were new to us but readily solvable. A top quality puzzle we thought that we enjoyed.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

    1. Yes indeed The Gallipoli campaign will be remembered by a Service tomorrow at the Cenotaph attended By Her Majesty the Queen, Prince Philip and the Duke of Cambridge (baby permitting!) preceded by a Service at St. Paul’s Cathedral and followed by a Service at Westminster Abbey commemorating the 99th anniversary of Anzac Day. How grateful we all are to all the brave men who fought and so many died in that Campaign.

    2. My Australian grand-father was an Anzac – I have a photograph of him leaving a station called Beecroft all dressed up in his uniform and going off to fight.

  19. We weren’t mad keen on todays puzzle, possibly in line with some of the previous comments. However, our solving was frequently interrupted with other commitments. We have a houseful of visitors this weekend and our guests have been arriving in droves. They also find our crossword addiction slightly bizarre, but anyway, a big thank you to The Don and Deep Threat for his ever enlightening review.

  20. 2*/3*, and I’ll go for 9d as favourite clue because I’ve only just finished eating some! Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  21. Took two sittings and ***/*** time and enjoyment. Giovanni manages to use words that are in the deep recesses of my mind and need to be dredged up. Then there are usually a couple which are beyond the recesses and into the next Galaxy. I quite like that for one day a week and always look forward to the challenge. So thanks to him and DT.

  22. I like Friday’s. An earlier finish guaranteed at work and the Don to come home to, and he’s one of my favourite setters. I liked this one, but it was a bit of struggle to get the last few in, 20d being my last. I’d never heard of the strong ale definition, but bunged it in anyway because it couldn’t be much else, so thanks to DT for explaining that. No stand-out favourites, as is usually the case with DG, but a steady and rewarding solve nonetheless. 3*/3* for me. Completed while listening to a slightly odd but enjoyable Van Morrison compilation picked up in Sainsbury’s for £2.
    PS Best news item of the day? China has banned strippers at funerals. Makes me glad I live in Britain

  23. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. Didn’t particularly enjoy this. I put the wrong ending on 8a,which stopped me getting 9d. No other problems. No Favourites. Was 2*/2* for me. Late commenting due to attending the Bexley Beer Festival.

  24. is it only me? in all honesty i found it rather dull except for the slight rest which i thought was pretty clever

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