DT 27844 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27844

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27844

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a fine, sunny morning. Here’s hoping that this post appears without the bother we had last week.

I thought Giovanni was in benign mood again this week, and went through the crossword with no particular difficulty.

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           Wrecking boat, gang is wicked (10)
SABOTAGING – Anagram (wicked) of BOAT GANG IS.

6a           Healthy places reducing muscular problem? (4)
SPAS – Remove the final letter from an involuntary contraction of the muscles.

9a           Commanding officer conceals revolutionary beliefs (5)
CREDO – A common crossword revolutionary from the left of the political spectrum, placed inside the acronym for Commanding Officer.

10a         An idiot outside university, creepy type who gets cash regularly? (9)
ANNUITANT – AN (from the clue), followed by a word for an idiot wrapped around University, and then an insect.

12a         Bad ruler goes about murdering (7)
KILLING – A monarch wrapped around a word for bad.

13a         Electronic device beginning to ring after quiet period (5)
PAGER – Put together the musical symbol for quiet, a long period, and the initial letter of Ring.

15a         A red making moderate progress against the blue? (7)
TROTSKY – A moderate pace for a horse followed by ‘the blue’.

Image result for trotsky

17a         King Cole and Burl maybe as residents (7)
NATIVES – The first name of Mr Cole the singer, followed by the surname of Burl, another singer.

ARVE Error: need id and provider
ARVE Error: need id and provider

19a         Ornaments provided by British and Germanic immigrants (7)
BANGLES British followed by some Germanic immigrants from the 5th century.

21a         Angry boy grabbing one US President (7)
MADISON – The Roman numeral for one, placed between other words for ‘angry’ and ‘boy’.

Image result for madison

22a         One with a keen eye for a golfing achievement (5)
EAGLE – Double definition, the first being a bird with proverbially good eyesight, the second being a score of two under par for a hole at golf.

24a         New trade with firm offering distinctive design (3,4)
ART DECO – Anagram (new) of TRADE, followed by an abbreviation for a firm.

27a         The price to be paid for attending confession? (9)
ADMISSION – Double definition, the first being the price paid to get into a theatre or cinema.

28a         Row created by fruit that’s not round (5)
RANGE – Remove the round letter from the beginning of a type of fruit.

29a         Dash from hostile land (4)
ELAN – Hidden in the clue.

30a         Elder son — he looks daft in shorts (10)
LEDERHOSEN – Anagram (daft) of ELDER SON HE.

Image result for lederhosen


1d           Conservative in group, unorthodox bunch? (4)
SECT Conservative placed inside a group or collection.

2d           Nervous disorder? Take holiday away from Oxford maybe (9)
BREAKDOWN – A holiday followed by a term which describes going away from Oxford , as opposed to going up when one arrives there.

3d           Nasty type at bridge? Demands money from traveller to cross river (5)
TROLL – An all-in-one clue, where the money demanded to cross a bridge is wrapped around an abbreviation for River.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

4d           Extreme importance of the thing put into meaty juice (7)
GRAVITY – The pronoun for ‘the thing’ placed inside a sauce made from meat juices.

5d           Figure twelve will be needed to catch horse (7)
NONAGON – To get this geometric figure put a rather worn-out horse inside the time day when the clock strikes twelve.

Image result for nonagon

7d           Managed to interrupt doctor after upsetting little accident (5)
PRANG – Reverse the letters designating the sort of doctor you’ll go to in the first instance, if you can get an appointment, and put a word for ‘managed’ inside them.

8d           Making fun of giant, sir, is silly (10)
SATIRISING – Anagram (silly) of GIANT SIR IS.

11d         This writer’s placed with editor assigned (7)
IMPUTED – Put together another way of saying ‘this writer is’, a word for placed, and a short form of editor.

14d         Horse is steady and dull, last in race (10)
STABLEMATE – Put together a word for steady or unchanging, a word for dull, not glossy, and the final letter of racE.

16d         Comic people in trade (7)
SELLERS – Double definition: a British actor and comic; and people who represent one side of a trading bargain.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

18d         Island matters under the leadership of five lords (9)
VISCOUNTS – Put together the Roman numeral for five, an abbreviation for ISland, and ‘matters’ as in ‘what matters is…’.

20d         Terrible disease where land and water make contact (7)
SEASIDE – Anagram (terrible) of DISEASE.

21d         Show in East with friend coming round (7)
MATINEE – IN (from the clue) and East, with a friend wrapped around them.

23d         Good book by female author for girl (5)
GEMMA Good, and the title of a novel by a 19th-century female author, giving a girl’s name.

25d         World shortage not initially evident (5)
EARTH – Remove the initial D froma word for shortage, to give the name of a world familiar to us.

26d         University officer in study penning article (4)
DEAN – An indefinite article inside another word for a study or retreat.

The Quick Crossword pun FILLY + BUSTER = FILIBUSTER.

78 comments on “DT 27844

  1. I agree with DTs comments about the relative comfort of this enjoyable puzzle. **\*** for me. 10a last one, not a common word but better than the ‘P’ word, especially when in the hardly-used OAP, which is somewhat pejorative these days. 30a my favourite. Thanks to setter and of course DT.

  2. Thank you DG, not too hard and enjoyed it. No new words ! Thanks DT for your review and hints.

  3. Enjoyable solve that all went in pretty smoothly. Thanks to DT and Giovanni **/***

  4. I got through this one quite quickly, having struggled with the toughie beforehand.
    Many thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the write-up.

  5. A nice straightforward Giovanni – thank you to him and DT

    Today’s Toughie is Notabilis’s 100th Toughie – it is ‘Friday Toughie Level but is very enjoyable so why not give it a go.

    1. I am waiting for BDs correction of that number. he usually knows better than the crossword editor.

  6. A gentle puzzle from the Don today, no problems at all. My favourite 30a, it made me laugh. Thanks to Giovanni for a fun start to the day and to Deep Threat for the review and hints.

  7. An easy end to an easy week. I have a meeting with the Attorney General at 2.30pm. What would my mother and Father think? What is a a raggy arsed kid from Stoke Heath doing? Who does he think he is?

  8. Just enough to stretch the brain muscle a little, after a busy golfing week, in the warm Perthshire sunshine. (Long may it last, but I have my doubts!)
    19a, was last in. Not what I would think of as ornaments but I suppose they are.
    Thanks to setter and DT.

  9. Some lovely clues from Giovanni today, I liked 12a (bad ruler goes about mudering), especially 3d (nasty type at bridge) and 25d (world shortage).

    I agree with CS, Notabilis’s 100th toughie today is quite doable and beautifully constructed, please try.

    Thanks Giovanni and DT

  10. We thought this was a remarkably reasonable crossword for a Friday and we enjoyed it. Thank you to the Friday setter and to DT.

  11. I never find Friday crosswords straightforward – I didn’t today. 3* and a bit for difficulty and 2*/3* for enjoyment.
    Lots of the answers in the bottom left corner caused trouble – maybe it’s just me today.
    I completely failed with 16d – don’t know why – it wasn’t even difficult.
    I liked 27 and 30a and 3d. I think my favourite probably has to be 2d – feels quite apt!
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.
    Cherries are ripe and really lovely – tomatoes need tying up but greenhouse is like a sauna – off to watch Wimbledon.

  12. */***+

    Gently does it from the Don. I’m sure my solving process was aided by the number of anagrams.

    I particularly enjoyed 10a, 12a and 25d. Didn’t help myself by pencilling 10a in wrongly.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for a fine blog.

    10 to go in the Toughie. I think a walk might help. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  13. I also thought that the ‘dull’ spelling was matt or matte. Like the old cowboy hero Matt Dull, slowest gunfighter in the West !!!

    1. Or even the 24 hour cowboy – Audie Murphy (said in a Scottish accent, A’ day Murphy). Sorry http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  14. Relaxing way to finish off the week with the Don in a benign mood. Lots of good clue constructions with no need to consult the BRB or Mr Google. I’ll go with 3d as my favourite today.

    I’ll agree with CS and Dutch – do have a go at the Toughie. However I’m waiting for the review to see if I’ve missed anything as it’s 100th puzzle and I was expecting ?????

    Have a lovely weekend everyone

    1. Where in Dicken’s name have my manners gone!

      Belated thanks to the Don for the puzzle and DT for his splendid review (as always). Please accept my humble apologies. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

  15. Nice stuff from the Don and nothing to frighten the horses. **/**** from us.

    Favourite was 30a with 27a coming up on the rails.

    Thanks to the Don and DT.

  16. Lovely stuff from the Don, solved in the reception area of local garage whilst waiting for my beloved old Honda to have new brake pads fitted.
    Top half (of the puzzle, that is!) slipped in easily enough although I don’t think I’ve seen 10a as a written word before today.

    Bottom half took slightly longer – got the president OK by remembering one of my favourite novels ‘The bridges of Madison County’ but, because it’s a DG day, I worried for a while that I might be looking for an obscure island and a particularly nasty disease at 18&20d.

    Big ticks for 17&30a plus 5d but favourite has to go to 3d for the perfect surface read.
    Many thanks to DG and also to DT – great clips and it seems that I am still word perfect on the billy goats gruff! No sign of the Sellers clip though.

    BTW – did anyone see the late night post from Cornishpastie? I know geography isn’t my strong point but that must have been one heck of a fire to bother the folk in Cornwall. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    1. Re. The Bridges – I love the film but have been put off by the book by some poor reviews. Maybe I should ignore them? :)

  17. Sorry to disagree with DT but I found this one of the most difficult Giovannis I have ever tried. It took 4 sittings to complete and IMHO 14d is a clue not worthy of the Don, it is so poor. For one thing Matt is spelt with 2 Ts and there are many animals that live in stables besides horses! Never heard of the book in 23d but Mrs B tells me it is by Jane Austin so no man will have ever read it! I have a personal deep dislike of clues that include obscure US Presidents in a UK crossword.
    It must be the price to be paid for having a good Thursday puzzle.
    Thx to all.

    1. Wow! You never cease to amaze me, Brian. I thought you’d be really happy with this one. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    2. When No 2 was born, my (now much missed) Mum asked whether we were going to spell Matthew with one or two Ts, so today’s clue and the subsequent ‘discussion’ did make me smile.

      1. Hi CS – No. 2 daughter’s fiancé is Mathew with one T and my cousin is Matthew with two Ts. Cousin invariably gets the correct spelling on letters etc., whilst poor Mathew is 99% unlucky and has all sorts of problems with ‘officialdom’ who must use computers whose spell-check only allows for 2Ts. Four years down the line I still get it wrong at times!

      2. My (now deceased) Scottish mother-in-law used to quote an example of the Scottish use of the Glottel Stop.
        “Ma name’s Pa’erson – wi’ two Ts”

    3. Brian, Mrs B obviously didn’t tell you how to spell “Austin” Austen correctly,

      When RD is away someone has to be a pedant.

      1. Nice one, Franco – hadn’t picked up on it.
        RD will hopefully be back to run pedants corner in the next day or so – good of you to take over in the meantime. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      2. I’m so glad that someone is picking up on all the pedantry in RD’s absence – I hope that he’s back soon to do it for himself. I miss his comments and hope that he’s OK.

  18. Back in Billingshurst on Wednesday afternoon after a bit of bother getting across the Channel: my country has gone to the dogs! Like Kath did not get 16d and needed the hint for the penny to drop, ditto for 14d – got the first part as a synonym of steady but did not know that matt could be spelt without a double t. Top half was almost a read and write but the bottom part proved to be more of a challenge. So many thanks to DT for the badly needed hints and to the setter for an enjoyable solve. 3*/3* for me. Liked 15a and 17a.

  19. As a relative newbie I found this one difficult with things not coming easily. I think it’s all about being on the same wavelength as the setter and I wasn’t with this one. I too thought matt was two t’s?

    Liked 12a and 27a.

    http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif3*/2* from me.

    1. Worry not, Jaycat. I spent ages dreading Fridays but am slowly getting to grips with DG’s style. Would add that I’m speaking of his back-pagers – his Toughies can still have me running for the tissues. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    2. No-one could call me a newbie! I agree with you that it’s all to do with wave-lengths – I’ve never quite managed to get on to Giovanni’s. His clues are always completely fair – I just can’t do them. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  20. I started this at a gallop but slowed to a trot at the end in the SW corner. Good fun. Thanks to DT and G.

  21. No difficulties with this today. What good clues 15a,17a and 30a were! They made me laugh. 1*/3* thanks to setter and to DT.

  22. Many thanks for the Nat King Cole song DT. It took me back a long way. He left us far too soon. Thanks, also to you for the hints

  23. I found this most enjoyable, lots of smiles.
    Happy memories of 16d, very funny man.
    I really had no problems except for 10a, new word for me, but had to be.
    Fave 30a, but I loved 19a as well.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the entertaining review.
    Dustin Brown?? Who he?

      1. Yes, I saw the match! And he’s really a Jamaican! Good on him, will be sure to follow him.

        1. Nadal seems to be specialising in being knocked out of Wimbledon by “who he’s” ;)

  24. Decidedly gentle: 1*/3*. 19a my favourite. Thanks to the Don, and to DT for the review.

  25. Found this one slightly easier for a Friday. Recently returned from a wedding in Norway, so 3d went straight in. Completely misread 16d. Tried to find out if there was a special name given to people who read comics. Had to look up the clue in the end. Thanks to setter and to DT for the hints.

  26. I thought it was very straightforward, with only one obscure answer in 10A, but the clueing was clear. 19A was my favorite, though I liked 30A also. Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  27. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review. A very enjoyable puzzle. Managed it ok in one sitting, favourite was 15a, last in was 16d. Was 2″/3* for me. Lovely weather in Central London.

  28. Another “just me today” then. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
    Just finished watching the Serena Williams v Heather Watson match – amazing – I’m saying nothing more as others may not have watched it yet. Best match of the whole thing so far, in my completely amateur thinking.

    1. Great match, but, oh dear, I wanted Heather to win so badly I could taste it. Oh dear again.

      1. Me too – she only missed it by a whisker. I do hope that she’s feeling proud of her performance today.

  29. For some reason we just flew through this one. In fact it was the fastest solve of the week for us so we are really surprised to see such a divergence of of opinions about it. Elegantly clued as usual and good fun.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  30. I found today’s puzzle to be so straight forward it was almost ridiculous! Was it really the Don? Oh well, so be it. No real favourite. 1.5/2.5* overall.
    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  31. Did not find this crossword straightforward, although enjoyable :). I have never heard of the answer to 10a. ***/*** :(

    1. Nor me – though thinking through regular payments allowed me to ‘construct’ the answer from the clue.
      As a result of this one clue holding me up so long (and slowing down input of 11d) I’d give this a 2/3* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment, though agree with others that I’ve never seen that spelling for 14d.

  32. Hi Tstrummer for when you pop in.

    I read your comment about James Thurber yesterday…he forever changed my views of microscopes after reading The Thurber Carnival. The same dog-eared copy also contains my favourite of his cartoons, “We have cats the way other people have mice”. Well all of them really. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    1. Oh dear, Hanni – I’ve obviously missed out by just looking at the cartoons (see post below). I’ll look into the books and perhaps get a better perspective.

      1. Hi Jane,

        The microscope one is an anecdote from his time at uni and struck a chord when I read it, many years ago. I’ve only read ‘The Thurber Carnival’, but it still makes me laugh.

        We’ve escaped with the fringes of a pretty bad storm yesterday, made the papers with giant hailstones.

        The Notabilis is definitely worth a go. Took me a long time but fantastic clues.

        I must make more of an effort to do the NTSPP and Rookie Corner, though I’ve got last week from Beet printed off.

        How’s life back in Anglesey?

        1. Good to be home, Hanni, although it’s a bit strange not having No. 2 daughter and her young man around. Any time I made a suggestion about something that might help with their home (promise I didn’t do it too often!) it was done within hours. That’s what I miss about not having a man around………….that plus someone else to take the bins out for a change!!!
          But then I think of ironing shirts and listening to endless golf stories – maybe I can live with the bins after all. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

          1. It’s strange seeing them grow, though wonderful…ish

            I’m with you on the bins! Would you be surprised to hear I also agree about the golf? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif
            You don’t do B&B for golf-widows?

            How are the wedding plans coming along?

            1. B&B always available for golf widows – room with a view over one of Pommers favourite stretches of water.

              Wedding will (I think) be towards the end of next year once the build of Mathew’s new place of employment is completed. If you’re interested put Project Omar into Google and take a look. Estimated completion cost 40/60 million euros. All that for one man – seems a bit obscene somehow.

              1. I’m familiar with Omar! We’ll catch up at the birthday bash.

                Have they started planning yet?

                Sounds perfect.

                1. Planning?!!! You may recall that it took two of them with two computers an entire day to decide on a kitchen waste bin………….!

                  1. Oh God. I forgot about the bin thing! Its all coming back to me. ;-)

                    I remember my mum, who would be calm if WW3 broke out, almost tearing her hair out when my younger sister got married. Although that was an ‘abroad’ wedding.

    2. My favourite (well, today anyway) is “Perhaps this will refresh your memory”

  33. Hi TS – all a bit quiet on the blog tonight. RD apparently filled in the paper work for a week off and JL is presumably knee deep in demanding gourmets. As for the others, I think there’s been a mass exodus in favour of the Notabilis centenary toughie, which I haven’t had time to look at.
    FIVE children!!! I guess you didn’t take too much notice of your favourite Matt cartoon (or perhaps it was too late by then?).
    Had to Google James Thurber (sorry) – love his sketches but reckon the accompanying captions must be ‘of the moment’ variety and didn’t find many of them particularly amusing. I guess the same is true of Matt – hilarious on the day but have a very short shelf life. Today’s offering raised a real chuckle!
    Thunder storm here at present – bit of a relief after the last few days. Climate change or whatever – we’re certainly getting some extremes these days.
    NTSPP and Rookie to look forward to over the weekend – ever considered giving them a whirl?

    1. Hi Jane. Sorry. I’ve been AWOL for two whole days and only just saw your comment. Thurber is well worth persisting with – especially, actually, the written pieces. Try and get hold of a copy of The Thurber Carnival (penguin). There is much joy to be had therein. No one has or had a greater sense of the absurd (IMHO).

  34. You’re right Jane. Just finished work.
    It’s Medieval Weekend in town with reenactment of our good king Saint Louis coming back from the 7th crusade.
    Not very PC nowadays but do we care?
    These poor guys in full armour under that heat. I remember 1254, I swear it wasn’t that hot!
    Now for the crossword.
    As shropshire lad, I was happy to understand the parsing and solve the clues without e-help.
    Some good construction.
    Liked 3d and 19d particularly.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.
    Over to Notabilis now.

    1. So pleased you signed in, JL. Hope the garden made a good profit this evening.
      Off to bed shortly so I’ll leave the late night club in your capable hands.
      Enjoy the Notabilis.

  35. James Thurber. The Wonderful O. Not to be confused with Anais Nin’s The Story Of O or Oh Calcutta or Oh What A Lovely War.

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