DT 27796 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27796

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27796

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a bright May morning, as bleary-eyed electionwatchers stagger off to bed.

For some reason I was able to race through today’s Giovanni, and finished comfortably inside my * time. Knowing of the existence of the artist in 26d helped in that respect.

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           Cabinet‘s bit of private information given publicity endlessly (10)
SECRETAIRE – To get this item of furniture, put together something that you don’t want others to know and a verb meaning ‘given publicity’ with its final letter removed.

Image result for secretaire furniture

6a           Packing material this person used for dry bed (4)
WADI – This is a dry river bed. Some packing material followed by the pronoun for ‘this person’.

Image result for wadi

9a           Well ought to supply this water in Ireland (5)
LOUGH – Hidden in the clue.

10a         Fan, a clot I suspect that’s liable to be disruptive (9)
FACTIONAL – Anagram (suspect) of FAN A CLOT I.

12a         International agreement that sees top cricketer suspended for a while? (4,3)
TEST BAN – This agreement to halt experimental detonation of nuclear weapons could also be a decision to stop someone playing top-level international cricket.

13a         Sauce can give headache when served with duck (5)
PESTO – Someone who is a headache or a nuisance, followed by the letter that looks like a duck at cricket.

15a         Determination to crack again (7)
RESOLVE – Double definition, the second inviting you to do this crossword again.

17a         Pompous, like one able to look down from a great height? (7)
STILTED – Pompous, laboured or unnatural – or the position of a sort of circus performer.

Image result for stilt walkers

19a         Cross girl you had once found harbouring love (7)
ANNOYED – A girl’s name and an archaic way of saying ‘you’d’, placed either side of the letter which looks like a love score at tennis.

21a         ‘Elvis’ sits by vehicle making music for those passing by (7)
BUSKING – A type of motor vehicle followed by the sobriquet of Mr Presley.

22a         Small picture of group beside home (5)
INSET – ‘At home’ followed by a group of people.

24a         Wind, one penetrating church recess (7)
CHINOOK – An abbreviation for church and a recess or cranny, placed either side of the Roman numeral for one, giving a warm, dry wind blowing down the east side of the Rockies (or a type of helicopter).

27a         Sparkling old lover of the upper class with silly banter (9)
EXUBERANT – Put together the usual former lover, a letter denoting ‘upper class’, and an anagram (silly) of BANTER.

28a         Exhausted writer sitting in street (5)
SPENT – Something you write with inside an abbreviation for street.

29a         What shop may put on in part of Greater Manchester (4)
SALE – Double definition, the first being something that some shops have all the time, while others may put one on in January, for example.

30a         Yet pleader will go wild again and again (10)
REPEATEDLY – Anagram (will go wild) of YET PLEADER.


1d           Son unwell — one lies horizontally (4)
SILL Son followed by a word for unwell.

2d           Mistress of violent nature so cold initially (9)
COURTESAN – Anagram (violent) of NATURE SO, with Cold placed at the front.

3d           Distinctive spirit of English Society, although briefly hidden (5)
ETHOS – A short form of ‘although’ placed between English and Society.

4d           A couple of females, competent and friendly (7)
AFFABLE – A (from the clue) followed by Female twice and a word for competent.

5d           Repudiates diatribes about London’s business quarter (7)
RECANTS – Diatribes wrapped around the letters of a postal district for the City of London.

7d           Lady taking a long time to capture knight (5)
AGNES – A woman’s name is made up of the chess abbreviation for a knight inside a word for a long time.

8d           Sounds like I am fond of pets in this part of the capital (4,2,4)
ISLE OF DOGS – This is an area to the east of London which sounds a bit like a phrase (1,4,4) meaning that the speaker is fond of a variety of domestic pet.

11d         Mischief-maker with affectedness improves? Quite the opposite (7)
IMPAIRS – A mischievous child or little devil followed by a sort of affectedness (as in ‘she gives herself xxxx’).

14d         Rare song is surprisingly offered by those putting on an event (10)
ORGANISERS – Anagram (surprisingly) of RARE SONG IS.

16d         Stuff for someone very young you put in milky drink (7)
LAYETTE – A milky coffee with an old word for you inside it.

18d         Idiot getting a hangover? (9)
THICKHEAD – Split (5,4) this sort of idiot could describe one of the symptoms of a hangover.

20d         Dying to find relaxation at end of final month (7)
DECEASE – A short form of the final month of the year, followed by relaxation.

21d         Something hairy makes one react angrily (7)
BRISTLE – Double definition: what a man’s chin may have if he hasn’t shaved; or a verb meaning to react angrily.

23d         Brain? It’s what a rower may need, we hear (5)
SKULL – A word for the brain, by extension from what it’s encased in, sounds like a variety of rowing implement.

25d         Start where the actors are being filmed (5)
ONSET – Split (2,3) this would be where film actors are when being filmed.

26d         Elizabeth’s heading off to become an artist (4)
ETTY – A diminutive form of the name Elizabeth with its first letter removed, giving an English painter born in 1787.

Image result for etty

The Quick Crossword pun TRUSS + TINGLY = TRUSTINGLY

63 comments on “DT 27796

  1. Gentle for the Don. Am an 19a 28a 18d so had to look up a couple of bits. Patchy, but I won’t moan, just list my favourites shortlist of picks: 19a, 28a and 18d as mentioned, and also 20d.

    Thanks to G and DT.

    1. Have tried to register to this website with no joy – love the website but am horrified at clues for telegraph 27797 – found hints more confusing than clues!! How can I join the comments fed back? Sorry to trouble you but this is the only way could find a link on-line – many thanks and kindest regards Carmel

      1. Welcome Carmel

        The hints for DT27797 are just hints because the Saturday Puzzle is a prize puzzle and we can’t give the full explanations until after the closing date. If you come back on Friday morning at 8 am, all will be revealed.

      2. Welcome to the blog carmelfitz

        You don’t need to, and can’t, register for the site. The hints show how the clue should be broken down, but they don’t do the thinking for you – that’s your responsibility. In my opinion there is nothing wrong with the clues in this puzzle.

  2. Somehow this took me far longer than it should. After finishing, I looked back and wondered why it had taken me into 2* time as it was all straightforward enough. Just one of those days!

  3. This took me into 2* territory but I had several interruptions to deal with when solving and one wrong answer to figure out. I enjoyed this puzzle and it was certainly towards the easier end of The Don’s spectrum IMHO. Thanks to DT and Giovanni **/***

  4. 2*/2*. Overall dull and uninspiring.

    6a, 24a & 26d were obscure and new to me. 11d was my last one in. 21a fails the Miffypops ageism test.

    Thanks to the setter and to DT.

  5. I didn’t think this puzzle demonstrated what Giovanni is capable of doing.

    I’m not a massive fan of stretching the definition to support the surface, doesn’t feel authentic (packing material,6a; liable to be disruptive, 10a; one lies horizontally,1a)

    A couple of old friends: 29a (part of manchester), 4a (friendly), 8a (part of capital), and some not-so-dazzling clues: 28a (exhausted writer), 23a (brain), 30a (yet pleader).

    I was disappointed that the checking Y was clued as YE in both directions.

    I thought 9a would read better without the “this”

    I *did* like 1a (cabinet) for the surface, and I liked “Elizabeth’s heading off” in 26d though I didn’t know the artist, and I would have liked 21a (elvis) but I thought the quotes distracted.

    Today’s toughie in contrast is also relatively easy but beautifully constructed

    Many thanks Giovanni, sorry not to be more positive today but have seen much better, and thank you DT

    1. Agree about the Toughie, beautifully constructed clues, shame it’s such a poor grid

      1. Do you mean because the left hand side doesn’t have checked first letters? I didn’t even notice until you said

  6. Gone are the days of the Friday ‘toughie’ lets go for a 1.5*/*** after two *** days, nevertheless quite good fun for a post election morning, very logical clues !, best clue 17a,think I’ve heard of the artist in 26a but in any case obvious with the checking letters in, 6a came from some recess -No 4 son left yesterday for a holiday in Namibia -looks like DT’S pic for 6a I believe..

    1. Some friends of ours lived in Namibia for a couple of years a very long time ago. I told them how envious I was of all the beaches – then they sent us some photos – what an inhospitable looking place it is – not called the Skeleton Coast for nothing. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

    2. The wadi in the picture for 6a is in Jordan, if Google Images can be believed.

  7. */***

    Has the Don gone soft on us recently? R & W. No outstanding clues, just a general feeling of satisfaction.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for blogging.

    26d is a York boy!

  8. I thought this was easier than usual and I enjoyed it more than I often enjoy Friday crosswords. 1*/3* for me.
    I’d probably have missed the hidden 9a if if hadn’t been in a crossword recently.
    Got into a bit of a muddle with 12a – thought the ‘international’ was the test and couldn’t make the second word mean an agreement – dim!
    I knew the 24a helicopter but not the wind.
    I’ve never heard of the artist but the answer had to be what it was.
    No real problems – very rare for me on a Friday.
    I liked 13 and 21a and 8d. My favourite was either 18 or 21d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.
    Yesterday’s Beam Toughie to look forward to for later but stuff to do now.

    1. PS – Having sailed through the cryptic I’m now in serious trouble with the Quickie – think I must have got something wrong somewhere. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  9. We didn’t find this as quite as simple as everybody else so we give it **/*** However, the time we took was probably due to lack of concentration as we had one eye on the election results.

    Thanks to The Don & DT.

  10. Probably one of the most straightforward Giovanni in a while, in fact I thought the ‘Quick’ crossword was more difficult!
    However, still very enjoyable and learnt that Etty was an artist (apparently famed for his nudes) and that Chinook is not just a helicopter. Best clue by far for us was 8d, a real smile clue.
    Thx to all.

  11. A nice one from the Don and I agree with the */*** rating. Fortunately I’ve come across the artist before.

    Stand out clues for me were 1a and 8d but clear favourite has to be 29a as I lived there for about 10 years when I was at school.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

    1. I think when you and I lived there it was still part of Cheshire – ah, the good old days!

  12. I agree with the general comments that this was a comparitively gentle puzzle with a */*** rating. But it did take me a bit longer than it should have due to having an 18d from staying up half the night to watch the election results…..very exciting! My favourite clue was 8d which made me smile. I also didn’t realise Chinook was a wind as well as a helicopter…….? Just had to check the artist in 26d…..thought I had heard of him, but needed to be sure, otherwise didn’t need the hints today.
    There is a lovely passage in ‘The English Patient’ where the various names of different winds are listed…..don’t know if this was one of them, if so I had forgotten it. Thanks to setter and to DT for the hints.

  13. I don’t like Friday crosswords very much, but this one wasn’t too bad. I don’t think 17a means pompous or the answer to 23d equates to brain, even if it is in the BRB, which I’m sure it is, so I give it ***/*. Thank you to DT and to the Friday setter.

  14. Did not find this puzzle as easy as most of you did but nevertheless was able to complete it without using any of the hints. My last one in was 9a as I had not realized it was a hidden answer – immediately thought of Kath! 8d made me smile. Learnt that a chinook was something else than a helicopter and Sale an area of Manchester. For me it was 2*/3*. True, the Quickie was challenging but fun. Many thanks to DT and to Giovanni. Now having a go at the Toughie!

    1. I’m really sorry that I seem to have infected so many people with the inability to spot the hidden answers!

    2. I’m with you Framboise as I’m struggling with this but that’s possibly due to only 2 hours sleep last night thanks to being hooked on TV coverage of Election (what a turn up for the books!). Anyway I’m resisting DT’s hints for the time-being but may well succumb in the end. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  15. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. Easier than most of Giovanni’s puzzles, but I still struggled with the obscurities. Strangely, I had heard of Chinook meaning wind, but had never heard of the shortened form of Elizabeth or the artist in question. Had forgotten about wadi, needed the hints for 17a and 2d. Didn’t really enjoy it. No Favourites, was 2*/1* for me.

  16. Did it last night while watching the BBC special election.. well not entirely, I think I went to bed after the first five or six results. Has Paddy Ashdown eaten his hat yet? We’ll see tomorrow with the Saturday edition.
    It’s yet again a Bank Holiday in France and next week it’s from Thursday to Sunday. It really feels like a summer month.
    Took me a while to get the Oued as we call it here in 6a.
    8d made me laugh too.
    Great surface in 21a. Favourite of the day.
    Still have three clues to go on the NW corner of the toughie. I shall be posting again soon.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.

    1. As disturbing as it, I used to have quite a crush on Paddy Ashdown.

      Hope you enjoy the holiday, although I suspect that you’ll be working.

        1. Worrying isn’t it? And nothing that I can explain logically but I definitely found him very attractive.

          Have I mentioned Ian Hislop before?

                1. My OH had a similar expression when he heard this many years ago. Followed by near hysterical laughter.

                  Ricky Ponting too.

                  1. I even had to Google the last one – never heard of him!
                    Couldn’t you just stick to Poldark like the rest of us? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_heart.gif

                    1. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I’ve heard great stuff about the adaptation. Worth a catch up?

                      Oh you’ve just reminded me of Colin Firth getting out of the lake. Oh and Denis Lawson in Local Hero. Denis Lawson now.

                  2. This is getting silly! Ricky Ponting indeed? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_confused.gif

                    I might have fancied Sue Barker once but Sir Cliff got in the way http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

                    1. A ménage à trois nightmare?? Yes my OH still has a Sue Barker thing. And a Julia Bradbury thing.

                      But yes Ricky Pointing.

  17. */***. This fell into place fairly easily between reading about the election results and following The Players. All good sport. Thanks to the setter and DT for the review.

  18. Thank you DG for the puzzle. While I agree that it was one of your easier challenges, I always find them difficult ! Thanks DT for your review and hints. Must be getting a bit warmer – watched 8 hobbies over the reed bed at North Warren.

    1. Lucky you, SW! Nothing quite so remarkable over at Cemlyn, but I did get to show my U3A group Swallows, House Martins and Sand Martins hawking in a mixed group over the lagoon. Rain stopped play by lunchtime.

  19. I must have had an off day because this took me longer than perhaps it should have done. Like an earlier comment, when I reviewed it I wondered why I fell into 2 time. Too much early morning radio Election Special I suspect.

  20. Only needed the ‘reference material’ to check that there was indeed an artist of that name – quite an achievement on a Giovanni puzzle!
    A few niggles:- pompous/stilted, brain/skull and decease/dying – surely decease equates to die?
    Rather liked 16&18d but definite favourite is 8d – never looked at it that way before!
    Think I’d go for 1.5*/2* as this seemed to lack a bit of sparkle.

    Thanks to DG and to DT for the comprehensive review.

  21. Did pretty well for me on this one.
    Only needed electronic help for three of them…5d, 11d , and 17a.
    (Also had to look up Etty, but the answer couldn’t be anything else.)
    Had not thought of pompous and stilted as synonyms.

    Loved 8d.

    Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat.

  22. Don’ t sorry if I am in and out over next few weeks, exhibition loomng loads to do and not enough time. Pictures promised but not materialising, catalogue man went on holiday without telling us panic setting in. Crossword bit of a struggle but got there in the end, thanks to G and DT I definitely needed the blog today to explain what I had done.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

      1. Good luck from me too, Hilary. Are we allowed to enquire as to the nature of said exhibition?

    1. I don’t care if we are allowed or not. Hilary. What exhibition and where. (I suppose Hilary has gone to bed now)

  23. I can’t say this one lit my fire, as Giovanni puzzles often do, but I’d have to score it 2*/2*. I too struggle to equate “stilted” to “pompous”, and had never heard of the artist at 26d. Still, l liked 16d. Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

    1. I had ‘sainted’ for 17a……I still think this fits better than ‘ stilted’ for the answer….didn’t even realise I had it wrong until I read your remark!

  24. 29a was the first cryptic clue I ever solved some 40 years ago. My dad was puzzling over it and I, rather annoyingly it turned out, blurted it out in a moment of inspiration. Been fascinated by words and crosswords since. Ah me, lovely memory. Thanks Giovanni and DT

  25. Oh, come on. 23d Brain = skull? Or by extension contained in? By extension then muesli, vinegar, olive oil, cornflakes, baked beans are synonymous with larder!

    Apart from that a gentle stroll.

  26. Little lines ran out on us, Hanni. Believe me, Captain Poldark is well worth catching up on/with/under/next to!!!

    1. Another golfing trip beckons for the OH. I think that’s an evening I shall look forward to. Hello Captain!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

      Any other recommendations, since I really do rely on them?

      1. Lots of you tube videos of Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and Neil Young. I am blogging solo on Monday so will try to find music to suit ME!

        1. I was going for TV but you have reminded me that it’s been a long time since Tom Waits and I met.

  27. Been out of radio contact for a couple of days. Took this one with me, meaning to solve it over a glass or two on the boat, but got stuck in stationary traffic after an accident on the M11, so did it there in the outside lane in 1* time (so that’s why some people call it the fast lane). When I’d finished, the traffic was still stationary. Didn’t get to the boat til 2am, tired and grumpy after a hard week of election coverage, late nights and early mornings. Thanks to DT for the excellent review and the Don for one of his less brain-mangling challenges. 1*/3*

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