DT 27802 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27802

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27802

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

After the stunning performance of the Oxford United team yesterday we’re back to single-blogger mode today. I’m making a temporary return to my old Friday stamping-ground having done a swap with Deep Threat this week.
Giovanni is in a particularly generous mood today – I can’t remember when we had a more straightforward puzzle from him. Perhaps he feels the need to be compassionate because this grid leaves a lot of initial letters unchecked. Do share your solving experience with the rest of us.

If you click on any of the areas showing ‘Click here!’ you’ll see the actual answer so only do that as a last resort.

Across Clues

7a Singer in pub, one having vocal expression (8)
BARITONE – string together a word meaning pub, one in Roman numerals and vocal expression or modulation.

9a Essex town not totally tough and mean! (6)
HARLOW – an adjective meaning tough or arduous without its final letter (not totally) is followed by another adjective meaning despicable or mean.

10a Man by the briny in a deck chair, say? (6)
SEATED – an abbreviated male name follows the briny.

11a Improper posturing where mountaineers gather (4,4)
BASE CAMP – an adjective meaning improper or ignoble precedes an adjective meaning posturing or affected in manner.

12a There is apparel specially designed for artists (3-11)
PRE-RAPHAELITES – an anagram (specially designed) of THERE IS APPAREL gives us the name used for a group of 19th century English artists.

15a To move house is appropriate when lake encroaches (4)
FLIT – the verb to move house (traditionally taking place under moonlight) comes from an adjective meaning appropriate or suitable with L(ake) inserted.

17a Move  sack (5)
SHIFT – double definition, the second a sort of loose woman’s dress (it’s the dress that’s loose, not the woman!).

19a Frame awkwardly rigid I removed (4)
GRID – an anagram (awkwardly) of RIG(i)D with one I removed.

20a Firm’s reputation? Distinct danger that will be ruined (6,8)
CREDIT STANDING – an anagram (that will be ruined) of DISTINCT DANGER produces the measure of a firm’s financial reputation.

23a Short piece delivered to the world is uncompromising (8)
STUBBORN – charade of a short piece (of a pencil or cigarette, say) and a past participle meaning brought into the world.

25a Virtuous husband, individual type to be given halo (6)
HONEST – string together the abbreviation for husband, an individual and the abbreviation for the type of person often depicted with a halo.

27a Stick together at this place having joined company (6)
COHERE – an adverb meaning at this place follows the abbreviation for company.

28a Fellows count without using pencil and paper? (8)
MENTALLY – charade of fellows or male persons and a verb to count or add up.

Down Clues

1d Power with which great performer’s gained speed (4)
PACE – the abbreviation for power has a great performer or expert added.

2d Model  that may get someone easily caught out (6)
SITTER – double definition, the second being a batsman’s shot which gives a very easy catch to a fielder.

3d Rosemary maybe wants some other boy (4)
HERB – hidden (some) in the clue.

4d Meeting the Spanish, Greek characters cheat (6)
CHISEL – this is a slang verb meaning to obtain by cheating. One of the Spanish definite articles is preceded (meeting) by the (English) plural of a Greek letter.

5d An attachment to what money will buy (5,3)
PRICE TAG – cryptic definition of what’s physically attached to something offered for sale.

6d Order  money to be paid to agent (10)
COMMISSION – double definition, the second being a percentage paid to an agent.

8d See tragic king die horribly in classical work (7)
OEDIPUS – an anagram (horribly) of DIE goes inside our usual word for an artistic work (classical because it’s a Latin word).

13d Member of family carries nothing around? Big van can do that job (10)
RELOCATION – a member of one’s family contains (carries) the letter that resembles zero or nothing and the single-letter abbreviation meaning about or approximately.

14d A deceiver’s no right to get assumed 24 (5)
ALIAS – the 24 refers to the answer to 24d. Bring together A (from the clue), a deceiver or porky-teller and the ‘S. Then remove the R(ight).

16d Outside entrance to minster more than one choirboy shakes (8)
TREMBLES – choirboys (defined by their high-pitched voices) contain the first letter (entrance) of M(inster).

18d Session of instruction a prominent feature after meal (5-2)
TEACH-IN – a prominent facial feature follows an afternoon or early evening meal.

21d Evening worker (6)
IRONER – cryptic definition of someone who evens out the creases.

22d Rejection of agreement restricting one part of UK (6)
DENIAL – an agreement or contract contains (restricting) the abbreviation for a UK province.

24d Celebrity having an upset, this particular writer (4)
NAME – reverse (upset) AN and add how the setter refers to himself.

26d One and only  fish in sea area (4)
SOLE – triple definition (I think). I did consider whether it was meant to be a quadruple definition, but I don’t think there’s much difference between the answer used to mean ‘one’ and ‘only’.

The clue I liked best was 5d. Which one(s) rang your bell?



47 comments on “DT 27802

  1. Strayed into 2* territory for me, but I agree that it was definitely at the easy end of Giovanni’s spectrum. Thanks to Gazza and Giovanni **/***

    1. Good grief – J’s are popping up all over the place……….the J jamboree is starting to look good!

  2. Struggled today, maybe because I don’t do them everyday. Nevertheless found it entertaining enjoyed the anagrams though. Many thanks to Gazza and setter.
    I look forward in anticipation for the Saturday prize puzzle.

  3. Yes, I looked at the grid and got a bit nervous.
    But It was okey dokey, pig-in-a-pokey.

    Still enjoyable.
    Liked the pictures, Gazza, especially the ear drops!

    1. It seems to be the same grid as today’s Elgar Toughie … which makes me more than nervous!

      I enjoyed the puzzle today from Don Giovanni in light-hearted mood – and as always a most amusing review from gazza.

      (My progress on the Elgar is somewhat slower than a tortoise!)

  4. 1*/3*. Easier and also much more enjoyable than most Fridays. :good:

    I thought 4d was uniquely US slang, but was surprised to find it listed as just “(slang)” in my BRB so I won’t mention it.

    26d’s triple definition was my favourite, with 12a a close second.

    Many thanks to the 2Gs!

    P.S. 26d reminded me of Chesney Hawkes and his one and only hit!

      1. So did I – don’t worry what MP thinks – he won’t notice anyway as he’s driving to Cornwall so, hopefully at least, his eyes will be on the road rather than the crossword!

        1. What’s the betting he logs in later just to make sure we aren’t getting up to anything mischievous in his absence?

        2. MP driving to Cornwall? I rather thought St.Sharon might be designated driver, whilst he solved DT puzzles and handled the choice of music for the drive. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

        3. Rats!! Thanks Hilary and Jane – that’s scuppered that plan then – we’ll just have to wait and see.

          1. I drove to Devon today. Lots of my music then a lot of our choice classical. Totnes is weird. Dartmouth music festival rocks. St Mawes next

  5. Thanks Giovanni for a nicely relaxing puzzle not overloaded with anagrams and thank you Gazza for your succinct hints without which I just managed. I nearly gave in for the extreme NW corner but pennies dropped just in time. I suppose 15a means to move house? As I have to settle for only one Fav then 23a just gets my vote. I have to say I don’t grade difficulty of puzzles on a strictly time basis but today felt like **/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  6. Somehow I find the words ‘compassionate’ and ‘Giovanni’ difficult to string together, but he was certainly in good humour with this one! 1.5*/3* for me.
    4d was an inspired guess and 2d I got simply from the first word of the clue and the checkers, although I suspected that something to do with cricket was lurking in there.
    21&22d were the last ones in – yes, I know – ‘NI’ and that woman dashing away with the smoothing iron turn up regularly!
    Nice to see 6d turning up again whilst still fresh in the mind from a recent outing.
    Some good ‘smilers’ – liked 10a plus 5,18&21d. Favourite goes to 28a.

    Many thanks to the Don and to Gazza – particularly for the pic. at 5d. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  7. We didn’t find this particularly easy – definitely a ** for us, and not quite as enjoyable as usual for a Friday ** (but maybe this is just because we were having an off-day!) Thanks to Gazza for the excellent and entertaining hints and thanks to The Don.

  8. I slowed down in NW, with 2d (model) being my last one in – stumped by the cricket…

    I liked 8d (tragic king), took me a while to parse. I liked “delivered to the world” in 23a, I did spend some time looking for a synonym for world. “Prominent feature after meal” in 18a was nice too.

    I’ve got 3 left in today’s Elgar….argh – including the mad ogre…

    Many thanks Giovanni and Gazza

    1. You’ll bang your head against the wall when you get it. I did. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif
      Don’t think we’re allowed to give clues?

      8 to go. I should do some work.

  9. Looked difficult on first scan with an awkward grid but soon fell into place and enjoyable to boot so a **/***.12a my favourite art and Birmingham Gallery probably the best collection-seems to be increasing in popularity-wish I could afford one!-Thanks Gazza for the John Collier, loved the Hair. Favourite 16d.

  10. */****

    I’m quite worried about the Don now. He’s been very generous of late. He’s my nemesis in the ST. I get the feeling at some point we’ll suffer.

    But not today. Today was Friday fun.

    NE corner stopped this being a complete R & W. Pencilled in 4d but couldn’t justify it and was a little slow seeing 11a. Not sure why.

    Out and out favourite has to be 26d. Brilliant stuff.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for an excellent blog and for including a map of the shipping forecast. I love that thing. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    1. Mr Mayer’s my nemesis in the ST. I always manage to complete them without help, but I have never managed to get any speedier over the years.

      1. Last Sunday was no exception for Mr Mayer. Took me quite awhile.

        Chilling in the fridge are two bottles is Roc St Vincent Bordeaux Sauvignon for the weekend. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  11. Thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for the review and hints. An enjoyable puzzle, not too difficult, hardly any obscurities, what’s going on :-) Top half went straight in, bottom half took a bit longer, so was 2*/3* for me. Favourite was 23a. Last in was 15a. Have a good weekend everyone.

  12. Really enjoyed today’s puzzle albeit at the very easy end of the Don’s range. Liked 5d (especially Gazza’s pictorial clue), 21d and 15a (haven’t heard that term used for ages). 8d has to be my favourite.

    Thanks to The Don for the puzzle and Gazza for his review.

  13. Oh dear..am I the only one to fall into the trap of 12A (if indeed there was one and not just a coincidence) because art-peripherals does fit! Of course, it then makes a nonsense of all the other checking letters and clues when solved- which held me up no end. That’ll teach me not to go for the long answers first !!

    Many thanks to the two G’s.

    1. Think it was getting the ‘r’ from 13d that kept me out of any potential trap – couldn’t see the Don transposing a word from the clue into the answer. He’s never quite that benign!

  14. Don’t know about * difficulty as pommette and i struggled a bit with this one. Just not on form I guess or perhaps yesterday’s heat has fried the brain. Back to 22C today which is about normal for mid May.

    We’ll have to go for ***/*** with 26d as favourite and 17a as least favourite.

    Thanks to the two G’s

  15. I liked this puzzle a lot, and I thought giving it a one star for difficulty was a touch too low, so 1.5 but a good 3 for enjoyment. 12a was very elegant.

  16. I don’t often rate the Friday crossword as 1.5*/3* but today I do! The Don is obviously being benevolent…. 23a was my favourite clue and 2d was for some reason my last to go in.
    Thanks to The Don and Gazza for the review.

  17. An enjoyable puzzle and no need to use the hints today, therefore */*** rating. Some great clues…I was held up in the SW corner by 27a putting in ‘adhere’ instead of ‘cohere’…..stupid girl! And I was convinced the tragic king in 8d was our old friend Lear, and spent ages trying to make an anagram of Lear and die, obviously to no avail….stupid girl again!! so that took a while to sort out. My favourite clues were 22a , 10a and 7a. Like others I found this easier than the usual Friday offerings, thanks to setter and to Gazza for the hints, even though they were not needed today ( unusually)! Probably won’t have time to attemp the Toughie today….never mind I can spend the weekend scratching my head over it!

    1. I’m with you about Lear in 8d Liz. Of course LEAR could not be anagram fodder because that would be a secondary anagram (verboten) but there’s nothing to stop it being an anagram of DIE inserted in LEAR. There’s only five possible anagrams of DIE and only three places to insert and I wrote down all fifteen possibilities before I realised I was barking up the wrong tree (or barking mad, take your pick). Told you I was having a bad day http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  18. Colin picked 25a as favourite on the basis that the first two words of the clue were a perfect definition of himself. And then he got thumped!
    We had the 3K team solving again today and had a lot of laughs doing so.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  19. I did this on my own while the remaining bits of “Oxford United” explored Oxford.
    I know I’m in the minority here but I really struggled with this one – at least 3* difficulty and about the same for enjoyment.
    It was one of those crosswords that, now I’ve finished it, I can’t see why I found it difficult – oh dear!
    I had Harrow for 9a – tough and mean being harrowing and then chopping the end off – I was going to moan about ‘not totally’ meaning chopping more than the last letter off – oh dear, again!
    I’d never heard of ‘chisel’ meaning cheat.
    Spent too long trying to fit ‘Lear’ into 8d.
    Definitely smelt a rat (the cricket kind) with 2d.
    I liked 12 and 17a and 3 and 26d. My favourite was 5d, mainly because of gazza’s picture.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to gazza.

    1. I reckon that your ‘struggle’ stems from working so hard to achieve ‘hostess with the mostest’ status for all those K’s – not to mention the add-ons on Thursday!

      I am constantly amazed by what this blog has spawned – I bet BD would never have believed this could happen when he first came up with the idea.

  20. I struggled so much with this one that I gave up after getting only 4 clues in the time I normally get most of the crossword finished. Must find something else to do on a crowded train on Fridays. *****/* for me.

  21. It certainly wasn’t a one star for me, but a bit easier than some Fridays.I liked 17a, 24a, and 22d amoung others.Thanks Gazza and Giovanni.

  22. Super crossword well up to the Dons high standard I thought.
    My fav was 23a with 8d just behind.
    Nice misdirection in 21d.
    Thx to all

    1. Now why did we all just know that you’d say that, Brian?!!
      I guess it’s no worse than the Thursday comments of the Ray T. fan club. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  23. After a week where everything else went in front of crosswords I treated myself and settled to crossword before my poor aged brain got too tired. First pass elicited Oh Drat, then things started to drop into place and I staggered through to the end. Thanks to Gazza and the Don for a real Friday treat, have a good weekend everybody. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  24. Normal service has resumed; back at work, public transport (with the joy of a rail strike to look forward to) and the Don on terrific form. Too many good ‘uns to pick a favourite, but with a gun to my head I’d go for 10a. Every time I write the word “gun” I think of my favourite newspaper typo from the Brighton Argus years ago: “Two men held up a sub-post office armed with a gnu”. Conjures up a wonderful mental picture. Thanks to DG for the gentlest of outings and to Gazza for the grand revue. 1*/4*

  25. **/**** for me. Mr Giovanni, a lovely crossword, I might say so. Super clues and more or less a write-in apart from being stumped by the gotcha in 21d which I had to resort to Gazza’s blog. Also got a bit stuck because I mis-spelled 12 a in my haste. A mis-spelling can cause a lot of trouble in my case. Thank you Gazza and DG for a cracker of an end to the week.

  26. Thank you DG – better late than never. One of your easier ones I thought. Thanks to you Gazza for your review and hints.

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