DT 27790 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27790

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27790

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment ***

Good May Day morning from South Staffs, with bright sunshine but a chilly breeze.

I took a little while to get started on today’s Giovanni, but things gradually fell into place and I picked up speed, resulting in a *** difficulty marking to begin with. Then I realised I hadn’t parsed 9a correctly, so I’ve added another *.

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           What may hinder current freedom fighters? (10)
RESISTANCE – Double definition: an obstacle to electric current; or fighters against an occupying power.

6a           Dad gets right by river for fish (4)
PARR – Another word word for Dad followed by Right and River, to get a young salmon.

Image result for salmon parr

9a           Good shield may be seen to be so expensively protected! (4-6)
GOLD-PLATED – A sort of all-in-one, where ‘GOod shieLD’ may be seen to have this expensive covering. I took ages to see the wordplay for this one. In the end I ‘phoned a friend’ and the penny dropped a couple of minutes later. Thanks to Crypticsue, who confirmed that at least two of us thought the same.

10a         Loss of title (4)
MISS – Double definition: a failure or loss; and the title traditionally given to unmarried women.

12a         Wizard beginning but not ending (4)
STAR – Remove the final letter from a word for beginning to get a wizard performer.

13a         Toy boy keeps talking (7,2)
RATTLES ON – A child’s toy followed by the relationship of a boy to his father or mother.

15a         Types devoid of originality organising cosy pact (8)
COPYCATS – Anagram (organising) of COSY PACT.

16a         Idiot leading part of hospital getting agreement (6)
ASSENT – A fool or idiot followed by the hospital department that turns up regularly in crosswords.

18a         Country game with someone really good in charge (6)
RUSTIC – The initials of a fifteen-a-side game, followed by the abbreviation for a holy person and the abbreviation for ‘in charge’.

20a         Broken item of furniture — succeed in holding it together (8)
BREACHED – A word for succeed or achieve placed inside a common item of furniture.

23a         Varying in amounts (large amounts) (9)
MOUNTAINS – Anagram (varying) of IN AMOUNTS.

24a         Pungent root artist rejected as food (4)
DISH – Remove the letters after the name of a prominent artist from a common salad vegetable.

26a         Waste product with uranium? Region initially sealed off (4)
UREA – The chemical symbol for uranium followed by another word for a region with its initial letter removed.

27a         Journalists, ultimately you will need pay increase — nag! (10)
PRESSURISE – Put together the generic tern for journalists, the last letter (ultimately) of yoU and a pay increase.

28a         More than one bowler maybe in that side (4)
HATS – Hidden in the clue.

Image result for bowler hats

29a         Badly tainted fellows being put inside in custody (10)
DETAINMENT – Anagram (badly) of TAINTED with another word for fellows inside it.


1d           The last thing needed in our time is wrath (4)
RAGE – The last letter of ouR followed by a period of time.

2d           Separate European city located in the 23? (5,2)
SPLIT UP – A Croatian city, and where it would be situated if it were in the 23d.

3d           Marvellous things to read from elevated characters (12)
SUPERSCRIPTS – Another word for ‘marvellous’ and things to read if you are an actor, which may look like this.

4d           Eagerness in the manner of big town needing to entertain queen (8)
ALACRITY – The French expression for ‘in the manner of’, followed by a big town with the Latin abbreviation for queen inside it.

5d           Produce from island including apples primarily (6)
CREATE – An island in the Mediterranean with the first letter of Apples inserted.

7d           A sort of paper in disagreement (2,5)
AT ISSUE – A (from the clue) and a thin variety of paper.

8d           Revolution bound, they say, to be a growing tendency (6,4)
RISING TIDE – Another word for a revolution followed by a homophone (they say) of a word meaning bound or fastened.

11d         Like an agricultural procedure that could make husband snarl (5-3-4)
SLASH AND BURN – Anagram (could make) of HUSBAND SNARL.

14d         Cowardly buffoon to buzz off stifling a cry of pain (10)
SCARAMOUCH – A (from the clue) inside a word for ‘buzz off’, followed by a cry of pain, giving a stock clown from the Commedia dell’arte, often spelt with a final E.

Image result for Scaramouch ARVE Error: need id and provider

17d         Man sits in this water (5,3)
IRISH SEA – The Man in question has three legs and a cat with no tail.

19d         Hardly any money with repose becoming most unpleasant (7)
SOUREST – A very small old French coin, followed by a word for repose.

21d         Uncongenial house with alternative to gate in the country (7)
HOSTILE – An abbreviation for house followed by an alternative method of crossing a hedge or wall.

22d         Violent expression of disapproval about hundred being imprisoned (6)
FIERCE – A rather archaic expression of disapproval followed by the Latin word for about or concerning, with the Roman numeral for a hundred inside it.

25d         Passion in race (4)
HEAT – Double definition, the second being a preliminary round of an athletic competition.

The Quick Crossword pun HELL + LECTIONS = ELECTIONS

41 comments on “DT 27790

  1. I filled in the top half pretty quickly, then slowed in the bottom half, taking quite a while to finish the puzzle off. I found the SE corner tricky and enjoyed the puzzle, but wasn’t able to parse 100% of it. Thanks to DT and Giovanni 2.5*/3*

  2. A real back pager today – is there a pattern?
    I didn’t see the parsing for 9a (good shield) and this had me baffled for some time. Then I put in “slush and bran” for 11d (well what do I know of agriculture), but that was soon fixed.

    Some very nice clues today, I thought. 1d is lovely (the last thing needed…). I think “produce” is well-disguised in 5d. Nice hidden word in 28d (more than one bowler). I particularly liked 23a (varying in amounts).

    Many thanks Giovanni and DT

  3. Another enjoyable puzzle completed thanks to the clues provided. 3*/3* for me. Thanks to DT and Giovanni.

  4. I needed a bit of help today but still enjoyed it & totally agree with the ratings.Many thanks to the setter & to DT for a much needed review.wishing all a pleasant bank holiday weekend.

  5. 3*/2*. I made this more difficult for myself today by initially “bunging in” rabbits on for 13a (I would, wouldn’t I?) and well-placed for 9a, but eventually I came to my senses. 14d held me up too and I needed Google’s help on this one as I have only ever seen it spelled with an E at the end. I did like 28a.

    Thanks to setter and to DT.

    1. Hahaha – love it!

      I didn’t think of that kind of toy. Maybe if it had been a Thursday…

  6. A proper Friday puzzle for a change and a ***/*** for me, needed all the checking letters before the last in 9a revealed itself-thanks DT for the ‘expensively protected’ explanation ,which I admit eluded me-to my mind all in ones are never clear. Favourite was 14d and 1a the best double definition for some time, thanks to Giovanni for an excellent crossword.

  7. Again, l’m amazed by the fact that other contributors (whose crossword-solving abilities far exceed mine, as is evident from their assessment of other puzzles) can have found this at all difficult. I can’t put it higher than 1* for difficulty (3* for enjoyment). No real favourite, l’m afraid, although the memory of a happy ship tempted me with 4d. Thanks to Giovanni, and DT for the review.

  8. A bit of a struggle to get going, my first pass yielded nothing.

    Quite a hard one today – not much fun either!

    Ah well, tomorrow is another day!

  9. Best Friday puzzle in some time I thought. Quite hard but nothing impossible and nice and satisfying. Found it quite slow-going and had a break with half a dozen (all in the SE) to go. Returned with coffee and satsumas and finished. Took a while for the penny to drop on 9a but it was very pleasing when it did.

    I wasn’t going to have a favourite today, but after reading above, I shall go with 13a – complete with alternative answer!

    Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat. Have a lovely weekend everybody.

  10. TGIF. Once more the Don has restored my confidence after yesterday’s ‘offering’.
    For me **/*****. What I love about Giovannis puzzles is that he gives you everything you need to solve the clue in the clue. The trick is unpicking it as it should be.
    Some great clues as in 17d (my fav), 26a, 22d (my last in), 14d (is this Giovanni making up for Her Majestys absence yesterday), 7d and 27a.
    If it wasn’t for the fact that I have a DT subscription I would take the Times on Thursday to avoid you know who.
    Thx to all.

  11. I thought this was quite straightforward. I did try to find an anagram in 9a for a while, but realizing the first word must be gold, that was soon abandoned! I was puzzled by the wordplay for18a – I never remember the RU abbreviation!

    I finished it in 2* time and 4* for enjoyment, i think.

  12. This was quite testing if somewhat dull but I did just manage on my Jack Jones apart from needing DT to parse 8d for me. TVM to you for that and also to Giovanni. ***/**.

  13. Thought I had been 100% successful with this enjoyable offering from Giovanni but just discovered that I got 18a wrong – put Russia as country with ru game but of course could not reconcile the following ssia, how silly of me! Strangely enough solved 9a straight away but was not really able to explain my answer fully. 3*/5*. Lots of great clues: 13a and 14d ( had never seen it spelt without an e). Many thanks to the Don and to DT for the review. On my table a small bunch of lily of the valley – a tradition in France for May 1st – smells lovely…

  14. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. Managed ok, all a bit dull. Was 2*/2* for me. At the Reading Beer Festival.

  15. Nice puzzle, needed help with 20a & 22d ;( ***/*** Thanks to DT for good hints :)

  16. Nearly had me getting the tissues out. Got several wrong at first, going back after lunch flagged up the error of my ways but did need some final help. Thanks to DT and Giovanni for a lovely Friday treat. For those of you who do not join us for weekend enjoy it, suppose everywhere will be heaving with people for Bank Holiday so I’m staying home.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  17. This took me ages to get started……thank goodness for anagrams or I’d never have got there! Had to use the hints to check 21d, otherwise completed without recourse to them….did use my electronic assistant though. Once 11d was in things started to improve. I particularly liked 14d…..remember Stewart Grainger in the old film? Great swashbuckling stuff!! I thought 3d was good too. 18a held me up for a while as I thought it must be Russia. So, not too tricky but took much longer than I would have liked and some very nice clues. Thanks to setter and to Deep Threat for the hints. **/***

  18. We are are a bit late today because our beloved dog, Badger, died during the night (he was an old geezer) but we managed to do the puzzle anyway, to take our minds off the upset. Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat for brightening up our day a little bit.

    1. I am so sorry to hear that. It is always sad when we lose a best friend, no matter how old and expected.


    2. So sorry to hear about your dear friend. Have you heard about the Rainbow Bridge poem? It’s rather lovely……if you put in Rainbow Bridge Poem into Google it’ll come up….I like to imagine the scene it sets.

    3. Oh – I’m sorry – you must both be so sad.
      I think it takes a long time to begin to feel better – our Annie was put to sleep six months ago and I still can’t talk about her without crying.
      Two roses for you http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif one each.

    4. I’m so very sorry to hear that, too. This is a very sad time for you both, and you have my sympathy. Kath’s so right. It does take a long time to feel better. I still shed tears over our old cats who died several years ago… Here is another rose for each of you. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  19. Just back from excellent concert at the Phil in Liverpool last night. I was feeling a bit jaded but this woke me up. A good 3/4 for me.

  20. For 24, ‘tart’ was hidden in the clue and could also be food, so I put it in. It caused problems at first, until nothing else fitted round it. I suppose pungent is hardly the same as tart, so I can’t blame the setter for the coincidence and my schoolboy error.
    Many thanks to setter and helper. Very enjoyable puzzle.

    1. I thought about ‘tart’ too – luckily didn’t put it in. You can tell I’m really struggling with a crossword when I invent hidden answers – I don’t usually see them when they’re really there. Oh dear!!

  21. Phew, glad you gave this 4 stars DT. We found this hard going and have only just finished it after several sessions. So thanks DG for the challenge and thanks DT for the review and hints which I needed to check some of the wordplay. Lovely walk round North Warren this morning and failed to see the rare bird at Sizewell power station this afternoon. Further visits needed !

  22. Well – I thought that was an absolute stinker!! 4* difficulty and I’m afraid only 2* for enjoyment.
    I think that earlier in the week someone (can’t remember who although I have an idea) suggested that people don’t enjoy a crossword if they have found it difficult. That’s not my reason at all. As long as a crossword is not so difficult that it’s impossible to even stick a foot through the door then that’s fine as long as there’s some kind of reward – for me that reward is a clue or answer that makes me laugh – that’s what was missing today, for me anyway.
    Right gripe over now – I don’t know why I found this so tricky but I just did.
    I didn’t understand why 9a was what it clearly was.
    I had Russia for 18a which was just plain stupid – moral being if you don’t understand your answer it’s probably wrong.
    I could go on but maybe I’ve said enough.
    I liked 12a and 17d. My favourite was 13a – the right answer or RD’s wrong answer – either would do.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.
    PS – Given that Giovanni lives in Oxford I was half expecting a clue relating to the May morning celebrations that go on here – singing from the Magdalen Tower – loopies jumping off the bridge into the river . . .

  23. Good fun again for a Friday. Not a quick solve, but it all came together smoothly with a bit of cogitation. We also looked closely at Russia for 18a but luckily were not tempted to pencil it in.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  24. Not our favourite by a long way, bit of a drudge really so **/* from us.

    No favs either so all-in-all a bit of a waste of time. Much more enjoyable was an old Grauniad Rufus which we solved in the bar over the customary pre-prandial. That one had a few laughs in it.

    Thanks anyway to the Don and DT.

  25. Not bad… but not quite up to the usual Friday standard I thought. It took me a while, but then the Friday puzzle normally does. The ‘pungent root’ held me up and was my last in. I didn’t consider the root in question to be particularly pungent so the answer although obvious didn’t quite satisfy me. Ah well. It’s only a crossword. ONLY a crossword? Soap and water….
    Favourite: 13a and 2*/2* overall.
    Thanks to Don G and DT for the review.

  26. Got there in the end, but made hard work of it, probably because I was listening to the Test Match at the same time – and the Don demands total concentration. Not my favourite of the week, with few laughs, but some good clues nonetheless. 27a was my favourite.
    Enjoyed a couple of pints chez MP at The Green Man before starting the solve. A most genial host. Everyone should go there

    1. Not everyone TS The Licensing team at Stratford District Council are most unwelcome. We were rammed later on. Two more days of mayhem Saturday and Sunday and then a busy Monday afternoon and a visit to The Art Kitchen on Monday night to relax and love up. God I am knackered.

  27. My little treat before going to bed.
    Bottom half went smoothly and slowed down on top.
    Maybe it’s just fatigue. Mind you here, we say someone is fatigué when a bit loopy.
    I must be a bit mad to take on the Don’s challenge so late.
    Did enjoy it though.
    Quite liked 17d.
    @Paso Doble: Sorry to hear about Badger.
    @Miffypops: What did you think about the lovely music video?
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.

    1. JCL. Pop pap pure crap. Rubbish Lyrics (as in all Queen songs) It did fit the clue but I would never use it. I would have used this.

  28. I enjoyed this very much. My fave was 14d. I needed Deep Threat’s help for three clues, for which I am most appreciative. My thanks to both Giovanni and Deep Threat.

Comments are closed.