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DT 27808

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27808

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from the Domaine de la Paille Basse in the Dordogne on a bright, sunny but chilly morning.

I found today’s Giovanni to be at the gentler end of his spectrum, though with the usual element of General Knowledge required.

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.


9a           Peer in uniform (5)
EQUAL – Double definition: someone who is one of your peers; or a description of things that are uniform.

10a         Stars in situation with no possibility of fire, we hear? (5,4)
GREAT BEAR – This constellation sounds as if it might be a fireplace with nothing in it.

Image result for great bear constellation

11a         Unfamiliar street to an extent (7)
STRANGE – Abbreviation for STreet followed by an extent of ground or goods.

12a         Enthusiastic approval and praise? Outside it’s hollow (7)
PLAUDIT – Another word for praise with a hollow in the ground wrapped around it.

13a         Devoted Left wanting our top family’s leader to go (5)
LOYAL Left followed by the Windsors with their first letter removed.

14a         Note provided by accomplice in the fewest possible words? (9)
MINIMALLY – A musical note twice the length of a crotchet followed by an accomplice or sidekick.

16a         Leicester roughs on the rampage in the county (15)
GLOUCESTERSHIRE – Anagram (on the rampage) of LEICESTER ROUGHS.

19a         Lots of you taken to ship and given shelter (9)
THOUSANDS – An old word for you followed by the usual crossword ship with AND (from the clue) inside it.

21a         Waste material from Irish county, no end (5)
OFFAL – Remove the final Y from a county in the Midlands of Ireland.

23a         Wild animal‘s flesh? There’s hesitation by king to tuck in (7)
MEERKAT – Put a hesitation and the chess notation for a king inside another word for flesh, and try not to think about car insurance adverts!

25a         Result is not favoured? Word of reproof follows (7)
OUTCOME – A word for not favoured or not in fashion, followed by a word of reproof, usually seen duplicated or followed by ‘now’ I refined speech, or ‘off it!’ in less refined.

27a         Stream, one merging into lots — 19 of 19 of 19 of 19! (9)
TRILLIONS – A small stream and the Roman numeral for one inside an informal word for lots, giving an answer which could also be the answer to 19a multiplied by itself three times.

28a         Three of them may be used in emergency (5)
NINES – Cryptic definition of the number used in the UK to call the emergency services.


1d           Workers as second-rate characters? (4)
BEES – Double definition: the usual crossword workers; or the spelling out of a set of the second letter of the alphabet.

2d           In race get a cheer (6)
HURRAY – A (from the clue) inside a word for race or hasten.

3d           Weapons in fabric carried by crowds (10)
FLINTLOCKS – Crowds (of sheep?) with a soft unwoven fabric inside them.

Image result for flintlock

4d           Shining as bird of prey heading off in the morning (6)
AGLEAM – Remove the first letter (heading off) from the name of a bird of prey, and add the abbreviation for ‘in the morning’.

5d           Press one violently for answer (8)
RESPONSE – Anagram (violently) of PRESS ONE.

6d           Walkway in Athens in which animal loses tail (4)
STOA – Remove the final letter from a relative of the weasel to get a covered walkway in ancient Athens which gave its name to the school of philosophers which met there.

Image result for stoa athens

7d           Sounds like we have a modern sort of shop in the capital (3,5)
NEW DELHI – The capital of India sounds like a recent grocery shop.

8d           Almost what Derbyshire dressers aim for? (6,4)
PRETTY WELL – In towns and villages in Derbyshire the inhabitants make pictures or designs by pressing flower petals into a clay base, originally to adorn the place where they drew their water, and if you adorn a water source, you could get this expression meaning ‘almost’.

Image result for derbyshire well dressing

13d         E-mail: get it encrypted, OK? (10)
LEGITIMATE – Anagram (encrypted) of E-MAIL GET IT.

15d         Maiden is leading supporting song, creating trouble (10)
MISFORTUNE – Put together the cricket abbreviation for a maiden over, IS (from the clue), a word meaning supporting or in favour of, and a song or melody.

17d         Song that’s old and almost completely glum, I love! (1,4,3)
O SOLE MIO – Put together Old, a word for glum or serious with its final letter removed, I (from the clue) and the letter which looks like a love score at tennis, to get this staple of the Italian tenor’s repertoire.

18d         Authorise second undertaking with any number joining in (8)
SANCTION Second plus a deed or undertaking, with the algebraic symbol for any number inside it.

20d         Partner thus getting employment, collecting pence (6)
SPOUSE – A word for ‘thus’ and employment or utilisation, with the abbreviation for Pence inside .

22d         Father, losing heart completely, has looks of disapproval (6)
FROWNS – Remove all the inside letters from FatheR and add a word for ‘has’ or ‘possesses’.

24d         Item of clothing left buried by equipment (4)
KILT – Ageneral word for gear or equipment with Left inside it.

26d         Yes, a puzzle completed without difficulty? (4)
EASY – Anagram (puzzle completed) of YES A.

Off to visit the Gouffre de Padirac now, so won’t be around to answer any comments.

The Quick Crossword pun CAUGHT + SHOOS = COURT SHOES

38 comments on “DT 27808

  1. I didn’t find this completely straightforward. I pondered over 17d for quite a while having figured out what is must be but not ever having heard of it before. Then I took a while to figure out 3d thinking that part of the answer was more like fluff I find in my drier than a fabric. I did not grasp what goes on in Derbyshire either but guessed at the answer.

    Ah, well, I did finish but it took me into 3* time.

    Thanks to all as usual.

    1. George, 17d is an old Italian song, whose melody is possibly more familiar to English speakers as the tune for Elvis Presley’s “It’s Now or Never”.

  2. I found this mostly straightforward today but there was a few tricky clues too. Thanks to DT and Giovanni **/***

  3. I thought Giovanni was on form today, many interesting and quirky clues and some good surfaces.

    I got off to the wrong start though, by entering level for 1a, and I had to do the bottom half first.

    I was grateful for the enumeration in the song in 17d. I liked the 27a/19a duo, though the “19 of 19 of 19 of19” immediately gave me both answers. Similarly, quite liked 28a (three of them used in emergency).

    Nicest surfaces included 26d (yes a puzzle), which is probably my favourite, and 2d (in a race get a cheer), 5d (press one violently – though “violently” seemed a tad excessive), and 24d (item of clothing left…)

    I loved the quirky 1d (workers..) and the construction of 22d (father, losing heart..)

    I live close to the **** dressing activities in 8d

    After returning to the top half, last one in was 6d (walkway in athens – need to remember that)

    Many thanks Giovanni for a most entertaining puzzle, and thank you DT for the review

  4. 3*/2*. Standard Friday fare with the NE pushing up my solving time. My first answer in was level for 1a which also slowed me down a bit.

    Giovanni has surpassed himself with the obscurity in 8d which took a lot of e-research to justify the answer.

    Thanks to setter and to DT.

  5. We really enjoyed this week’s Don puzzle but didn’t find it particularly easy. Some very nice clues but we’re not sure that 8d could be classed as General Knowledge, except maybe for inhabitants of the area! Thanks to the Don and to Deep Threat.

  6. **/*** Didn’t know 8d but nothing else fitted with ” well” ; liked 10 , 12 and 19 a , last one in 3d otherwise for a Friday relatively straightforward solve
    Thanks to the Don and Deep Throat

  7. I have previously made the point that 12a only exists in the plural form. Was it Gazza who rejoined that the singular is acceptable if there is only one hand clapping?

  8. Thank you DG for an enjoyable puzzle – agreed that it was at the easier end of the DG scale. Thanks DT for your review and hints. It was only a few years ago that we became aware of “well dressing” in Derbyshire and drove around the villages for a morning looking at these quite beautiful displays. Enjoy your holiday DT.

  9. DT might have found this at the gentler end of the spectrum but I struggled for quite a while and thought it was going to beat me but perseverance paid off and olé le voilà. Apart from 17d which took a while the NW corner was last to go in. 8d had to be but I was unaware of the charming Derbyshire custom. Fav lighthearted moment was 10a. Thanks Giovanni for challenging assignment. ****/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

    1. Sorry DT I omitted a sincere ‘thank you’ to you for your hints which I originally thought I was going to need.

  10. Another brilliant offering from the Friday Maestro. Thought at first it was going to be challenging but once started it fell nicely into place. Best clue for me by miles was 27a, no doubt the experts have come across this before but I can’t recall having done so.
    Unusually for a Giovanni there were no obscure terms but so many great clues.
    Thx to all.

    1. My friend Mr Manley (don’t ask!) wants to know why some weeks you love his puzzles and some weeks you hate them.

      Perhaps you’d like to come up to London next May and explain it to him.

  11. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat. Very difficult for me, needed 5 hints to finish. Would never have thought of any of them. Was 4*/2* for me.

  12. Today’s puzzle didn’t seem to have quite the obscurities of some Friday offerings for us, though we still needed quite a few hints to finish. Thank you to the Friday setter and to DT

  13. Great crossword today except for 8d which falls into the – “you either know it or you don’t” category. Thanks to BD and team for controlling my frustration.

  14. I didn’t find this one to be at the gentler end of anything. 3*/4* for difficulty and 2* for enjoyment.
    8d had to be what it was but I’ve certainly never heard of the Derbyshire stuff – tried to make it something to do with a hat for a while.
    I didn’t know the Irish county or the 3d weapon.
    Anyone using the ‘word of reproof’ in 25a is enough to send me into orbit!
    I got into a muddle with 14a as I thought the first two letters were the note.
    I liked 16 and 28a and 7 and 22d. My favourite, although it doesn’t apply to today’s crossword, was 26d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

  15. Not Simples for me today – i have always thought it was “O Solo Mio” – so bunged it in – should have paid more attention to the synonym for Glum .

    A very enjoyable puzzle from the Don … and thanks to DT for the explanation of the Derbyshire one!

  16. Some amusing clues, such as 28a, 8d,1d,27a,and 14a. I didn’t know 6d , until now , that is.My favourite was 1d.
    21 should remain abbreviated. There is an acronym for people , especially politicians (in particular the previous Taoiseach) who come from that county, BIFFO . I am not spelling it out in this forum.
    Thanks Giovanni and Deep Threat.

    1. Ooooo,Una! Just looked BIFFO up on Google! We also have an acronym applied to Norfolk……..NFN which can be derogatory, (but not quite as rude as your one!) but also affectionate.

  17. I found this tougher than more recent puzzles, certainly took me some while to get going. First read through yielded absolutely nothing! Then thank Heaven for the anagram at 16a which gave me something to work from. Got on OK then, except for the NW corner where things ground to a halt. I think it was 13a which foxed me…had ‘lover’ in there, so nothing fitted….eventually had to resort to the hints (thanks for those DT)… After that was sorted I was able to complete it. 3d had scratching my head for a while…I tried various versions of anagrams involving ‘crowds + lint’; crowds + lace; hoards+lace etc etc, really needed the checking letters to get it. I loved 17d ….always happy with music clues. Like others I hadn’t heard of the Derbyshire stuff, but the second word had to be ‘well’ or ‘near’ so once 21a went in, clue solved. I think this is at least ** difficulty, maybe **.5 with *** for enjoyment. Thanks to setter and to DT. Didn’t get very far with yesterday’s Toughie, so may retire for today to give my brain a holiday!

  18. Inexplicably the NW corner had me stumped for a while until it fell into place. Turned a 2/3 into a 3/3. Lovely puzzle though, a little gem from the setter.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

  19. Another great puzzle which delighted me throughout. 3d misdirected me all over the place. I had an L space N so decided the weapons were lances and I needed material around to make crowds. Then I decided that was wrong but I had L space C so the material was lace with crowds around to make a weapon. Got there in the end.

    I would have illustrated O Sole Mio with this clip

    Andrea Bocelli- Con te Partiro – YouTube

    1. Lovely – thank you – but what has that to do with O sole mio? Just about to watch the repeat of the Placido Domingo programme on BBC4. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  20. A very interesting puzzle with plenty of numbers appearing in the bottom half but fortunately plenty more words!

    I’m glad I’m not alone in never having heard of the Derbyshire custom in 8d, but it didn’t really hold me up. Last in was 3d, it took ages for some reason even with all the crossing letters.

    Favourites for me were 10a, 27a and 17d.

    Many thanks to the setter and Deep Threat.

  21. We found this one exceptionally good value and really enjoyed it. We did not know about the Derbyshire activities but guessed correctly what they should be. Have put a tick beside 10a as our favourite but there were several close runners-up.
    We really enjoyed meeting you on Tuesday Giovanni.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  22. Standard Friday fare from Giovanni with some clever clues but not a great deal of enjoyment, much like today’s Toughie, I’m sorry to say. It was not particularly easy but was solvable. Didn’t like 27a or 8d, but thought 26d was clever. Love the picture posted by BD at 10 – a picture paints a thousand words as someone once said http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

    Thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle and DT for his review.

  23. Fridays seem to have been more enjoyable of late. I certainly liked this one. As for difficulty level, I thought it a whisker above average.

    Well, I guessed 8d without trouble, made a note to investigate later and then forgot all about it until the review. So thanks to DT for reminding me. Despite having close relatives in those parts, I hadn’t heard of the custom.

    Speaking of notes, I too spent time thinking 14a’s note would have two letters.

    I wouldn’t have been able to conjure up 3d from the definition alone but was able to construct it eventually after getting tangled with lances and lace, just like MP. Then I consulted the dictionary to find out exactly what they are.

    I spent a few moments trying to think of a bird of prey _GLEA before I realised. Silly!

    It’s hard to pick a favourite, but I do like 10a.

    Thanks Offaly, Giovanni. And thanks to DT for the review. I was expecting a pic at 23a but laughed at your comment instead!

  24. Thoroughly enjoyed this crossword.
    As MP I battled with 3d for quite a while, trying to fit lace or linen and even flanel at some point until the penny dropped.
    8d was guessed from the first part of the clue and learned the rest from the review.
    Discovered a new Irish County too.
    I was really sad to see the lovely meerkat being eaten or was it?
    Like Dutch 2d is my favourite.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.

  25. Quite fun, but rather too 26d. 1*/3*, and only 27a furrowed the brow at all. Still, l did eat a lot of fish in Italy last week. Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT.

  26. Only two days behind everyone on this one – catching up :D
    Really enjoyed it. Took a while to get the NW corner in, didn’t know 6d but worked it out from the clue and then looked it up. 8d was last in – I did know the custom, just hadn’t remembered it was peculiar to Derbyshire. Lots of lovely clues but 8d my favourite. 2*/4*.
    Thanks to Giovanni and DT http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  27. I thoroughly enjoyed this one from the Don, and completed it late on Friday night on the boat, with no internet, so, unable to comment at an appropriate time. Only popped in to say that I have spent more than one holiday when the kids were little at La Paille Basse. I hope DT that you enjoy it as much as we did.

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