DT 27850 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27850

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27850

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from sunny South Staffs.

As usual with Giovanni, the odd obscure word and a smattering of General Knowledge, but fair cluing to enable you to get to the answer. For me, there was nothing to hold me up, so ** for 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           Gone With the Wind? It gets one enthralled (5,2,5)
TAKEN BY STORM – A phrase which literally describes what has happened to something blown away by a gale, but which figuratively means totally and instantly captivated or enthralled.

9a           Governor of fortress imprisons woman in metal container (9)
CASTELLAN – A woman’s name inside a metal container which may hold preserved food.

10a         Girl’s plants (5)
FLORA – This generic term for plant life is also a girl’s name.

11a         First of exams — fail or pass? (6)
ELAPSE – The first letter of Exams followed by a verb meaning to fail or run out.

12a         Exaggerate, making point and lie naughtily (4,2,2)
PILE IT ON – Anagram (naughtily) of POINT and LIE.

13a         Element of Society given blame (6)
SODIUM – A chemical element made up of an abbreviation for Society and a word for blame or hatred.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

15a         Concert is to be attended by the Queen — I give guarantee (8)
PROMISER – Put together a concert – perhaps one of a series held in the Albert Hall every summer -, then IS from the clue, and the Queen’s regnal cypher.

18a         Infatuated with best man, harbouring love (8)
BESOTTED – BEST (from the clue) and a man’s name, with the letter which looks like a love score at tennis inserted.

19a         Gangster, old man, 100, and a beast (6)
ALPACA – Put together the first name of a 1920s gangster, an informal word for father or old man, the Roman numeral for 100, and A from the clue, to get a South American animal.

Image result for alpaca

21a         Loose change somehow helps a neighbour totally emptied out (8)
SHRAPNEL – Anagram (somehow) of HELPS A N(eighbou)R.

23a         Socialist joining a party is idolised (6)
ADORED – A (from the clue) and the usual crossword party, followed by the usual crossword Socialist.

26a         Doctor, female ending in robe? (5)
DRESS – An abbreviation for doctor, and the ending formerly added to nouns describing what someone does for a living, to show that the person concerned is female.

27a         Provider of treatment — his patter is phoney (9)
THERAPIST – Anagram (phoney) of HIS PATTER.

28a         A craftsperson of excellent character (12)
CALLIGRAPHER – A cryptic definition of someone whose craft is to produce fine handwriting.

Image result for calligrapher


1d           Maybe watches teachers marking good homework? (7)
TICKERS – Teahcers putting marks of approval next to correct answers could be said to be these, as could mechanical watches, from the sound they make.

2d           Cereal that’s been put in sink — a shame! (5)
KASHA – Hidden in the clue, though my BRB says this is a porridge or gruel made from cereal, rather than the cereal itself. New word of the week for me.

Image result for kasha

3d           Requires grape juice for fermentation? That’s unavoidable (5,4)
NEEDS MUST – A word for ‘requires’ followed by the term for grape juice about to be fermented into wine.

4d           You will shout (4)
YELL – A contracted form of ‘you will’, but using an archaic form of ‘you’.

5d           African city spicier with sun going down (8)
TANGIERS – A synonym of spicier or more pungent, followed by Sun.

Image result for tangiers

6d           Search for weapon (5)
RIFLE – Double definition: a rather untidy search; or a firearm.

7d           Foreign lady to study an old-fashioned savings scheme (8)
CONTESSA – Put together a word for study or scan (a document) and the acronym for a savings scheme which preceded the ISA.

8d           The way police district gets reported (6)
MANNER – A word for way or mode which sounds like the informal term for the area of responsibility of a police station.

14d         Rest stupidly in activity, getting left behind (8)
DESERTED – Anagram (stupidly) of REST, with an action or activity wrapped around it.

16d         Play that could have maiden alarmed, terribly, about nothing (9)
MELODRAMA – The abbreviation for a maiden over on a cricket scorecard, followed by an anagram (terribly) of ALARMED, wrapped around the letter which looks like a zero.

17d         Support exercise that gets good person into business arrangement (8)
PEDESTAL – The sort of exercise which was my least favourite lesson of the week when I was at school, followed by a business transaction with the abbreviation for a good or holy person inside it.

18d         Against second XI, by the sound of it? (6)
BESIDE – If the first XI is the A side, the second XI is…

20d         Accountant gets old penny, it being edged with gold? Gold! (7)
AUDITOR – The letter used to denote a pre-decimal penny, plus IT (from the clue), with the chemical symbol and the heraldic term for gold placed either side.

22d         Food from yesteryear on middle of plate (5)
PASTA – A word describing yesteryear or yesterday, followed by the middle letter of plAte.

Image result for pasta

24d         State of Germany contributed to by murderer Eichmann (5)
REICH – Hidden in the clue.

25d         Composer offers something very cold (4)
BERG – An Austrian composer, or what sank the Titanic.

Image result for alban berg

The Quick Crossword pun SACRA + MEANT = SACRAMENT

78 comments on “DT 27850

  1. Took a while to get going with this one, but got a foothold in the SE corner and it all fell into place after a while. I found it quite tough but fairly clued as always. Thanks to DT and Giovanni 2.5*/3*

  2. Another superb Giovanni to end what has been a mixed crossword week for me culminating in yesterday’s (polite words fail me for a description!).
    As usual with the Dons puzzles, everything you need to solve the clue is exactly there. 1a, 19a, 1d, 3d, 5d and 18d are my favourites but others deserve a mention in despatches. Two new words for me today in 2d and 9a but both easily solvable from the wordplay.
    Many thanks to the Don for the puzzle and to DT for explaining the last bit of 21a whose anagram I missed.

  3. Think I made this harder than it should have been today as it was a ***/*** for me due to hold ups in the NE and SW corners, thought female ending in 26a must be E, and wanted to end with S in 10 across, until the pennies dropped or should I say the loose change! must be thinking too much about the cricket.Thanks DT and G for excellent cluing.

  4. Quite a gentle offering, I thought and the two unknowns at 2&25d were fairly clued.
    Stupidly put the wrong ending on 1d at first, until the obvious answer for 13a sorted that one out.
    Liked 1&21a – favourite slot for 8d.

    Agree 2*/3*.

    Thanks to DG &DT – nice to hear the element song again and so much easier to pick them all out with the aid of the pictorial clip!

  5. Again I agree with Brian, found it quite difficult but solvable by reading the clue and working it out, very enjoyable solve. Liked 9a,19a,13a+ more.Thanks to DT and Giovanni.
    2.5* 4*.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  6. 2*/2.5*. I found some parts of this dull, and some parts OK. 2d was a new word for me, and I needed DT’s explanation to parse my answer to 21a. 15a bugged me slightly when I solved it as I thought that someone who gives a guarantee was always spelled with an O as the last vowel not an E, but my BRB gives both options. 3d was my favourite.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  7. Took a while to get into this. Eventually, only the SE corner was left. Needed all the checkers to get 21a. Not familiar with this meaning.
    Going for 8d as favourite once the penny dropped.
    ***/*** but as usual it was all fairly clued. New word at 2d not too hard to find.
    Thanks to the Don and DT.

  8. I was held up for a while by 26a (doctor female ending..), trying to use an E (ending of female or robe). LOI was 21a.

    Brb says cereal can be the crop or food (eg breakfast) made from it, so 2d is ok.

    but why add “going down” at the end of 5d?

    favourites were 1d (maybe watches..), 28a (craftsperson) and especially 21a (Loose change somehow..)

    Many thanks Giovanni and Deep Threat

    The toughie today is on the easier side, I hope that encourages people to have a go.

  9. 5d – The Telegraph Weather World readings have this African city without an “S” – but it was sunny yesterday – 27C.

    1. ps Thanks to DT for explaining 21a – I always seem to end up with a lot of this after a visit to the pub!

    2. It’s like when you spell Marseilles or Lyons. I never understood where the S at the end was coming from.

      1. We use English spellings. Lyons, Marseilles etc. we don’t, for example, say Wien, we say Vienna, we don’t say Bruxelles, we say Brussels. I refer you (before MP does) to “If you see her, say hello” by Bob Dylan. Opening line: “If you see her, say hello, she might be in Tangiers”

  10. ***/****

    Another one I struggled with, found the Toughie easier. I had to Google check 2d as it was new to me, although fairly clued. The SE corner went straight in but the rest had to be coaxed out. Even after getting 26a I still couldn’t see why for a bit.

    Plenty to enjoy. 1 and 28a are just lovely.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for blogging and The Element Song.

  11. I thought this was pretty straightforward but I had never heard of the term shrapnel for loose change and couldn’t work 21a out at all. The answer I got didn’t really make sense and now I see why, it was completely wrong.

      1. I had scrapped…emptied out? Scrapped? Nowhere near the correct answer. Don’t see how shrapnel is loose change!

        1. One of the definitions I’ve come across for shrapnel is ‘small pieces of metal’ – maybe that’s how it slipped into use as a slang term for loose change?

        2. Loose change is commonly referred to as shrapnel, especially those tiny bits of a euro that you can never spend

    1. Me too never heard shrapnel in that context and scrapped and stripped came to mind.

  12. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif My normal Friday pig’s ear.
    3*, maybe even 4* difficulty and 2* or 3* for enjoyment.
    9a would have been easier to understand if I’d seen the right woman – didn’t see Stella and could only spot Ella! Oh dear!
    I missed the anagram indicator in 21a and had never heard of that meaning – I had ‘strapped’ – well, emptied out = no dosh left – no wonder I didn’t ‘see’ my answer.
    Surely 23a should be in a retirement home by now.
    I’d never heard of 2d but did see it lurking and had also never heard of the police district bit of 8d.
    Not sure that 20d is the same as an accountant – my Dad wouldn’t have wanted to be called an ‘auditor’.
    I liked 1 and 28a and 7d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.
    Off to water stuff in the greenhouse then Wimbledon – might have a go at Toughie at the same time – not the same time as watering – nothing worse than a soggy newspaper.

    1. Interesting! You and I are the opposites ends of the spectrum with respect to Thursday’s and Friday setters. Makes life far less boring.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif
      BTW I feel about tennis as you do about cricket!

      1. Yes – life in general and this blog in particular would be far less interesting and fun if we all agreed all the time.
        OK – you keep your cricket – I’m off to watch the tennis now.
        One thing I don’t get – actually that’s a fib – there are lots of things that I don’t get. Why is it that as soon as there’s cricket going on the tennis and Wimbledon take second place i.e. get shoved to the back of the sports section of the paper. There’s far more cricket than tennis – Wimbledon is only on for two weeks each year.
        Now I’m going to duck quickly and run away for fear of missiles being thrown in my direction! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

        1. That’s because almost all the Sports writers are men and are total Anglophiles so they have one Scot to write about or 11 Englishman. I’ll leave you to do the math!

        2. Compared with the Ashes, Wimbledon is about the same level as the National Conker Championship.

          1. Welcome to my house Tstrummer. The debates that go on.

            However do not dismiss conkers. If it’s good enough for a debate in New Scientist…’The last word’ section.

            And swimming is the ultimate sport anyway. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

            1. Not for spectators, it isn’t. And anyway, leaving golf aside, obviously, team games trump individual ego-sports every time

              1. 4/8/2012.

                I beg to differ. Individual sports that united a nation. Collective interest of course. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

                I do agree though. We hold on to 1966, the Ashes and memories of every victory.

                You’re still wrong about swimming. ;-)

  13. Very enjoyable, with 24d my favourite for its smooth surface. I also liked 1a and 12a.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  14. The Don in benign mood. We agree with DT’s **/*** rating.

    26a might be favourite for its “female ending”.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  15. 1d does not end with ing. That messes up 11 and 13 ac. Otherwise a lovely well crafted puzzle just right for a Friday. The All England Lawn Tennis And Croquet Club have not offered me any tickets for the last few years. Ah well, maybe next year

      1. We apply through the ballot Hanni. We have had some great days out there. Bill Clinton once shook my hand. We went to the Henley Regatta last year. I do like a day out in the summer

        1. I do agree about summer events. We sometimes get corporate tickets but it’s usually for egg chasing/cricket/races.

          Have you ever done Glyndebourne? Great fun, helps if you like opera of course, which I do.

          Cracking stuff on centre court!

  16. Apart from ‘ing’ and not ‘ers’ this was fairly benign but most enjoyable to complete.
    3d and 8d floated my boat, but in fear of Kath I’ll nominate the latter as my favourite!
    2/3* over all.
    Thanks to the Don and to Deep T for his review.

    1. And another!!! Worst of it is that our collective error doesn’t even answer the question properly. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  17. Thought I was going to get through but 21a defeated me, now filed away but with my failing memory it has probably gone forever. Some other lovely clues but my nominee for today is 28a. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  18. Friday puzzles can often be relied upon to increase one’s vocabulary and this one was no exception, with 2d and 9a falling into the new word category.

    21a was the last to yield, but like Hilary my favourite is 28a.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

  19. Another very slow start on this one. Stared at it for ages with no inspiration whatever. Then got the SE corner and things started to improve. Amazingly didn’t have to use the hints….only to check I had the right answer …..unfortunately for 21a it wasn’t. I thought this was a very dodgy clue, and feel vindicated in not getting it right. 2*/2* thanks to setter and DT for the explanation…… C’mon Murray!!!

  20. What a relief after yesterday. Grateful for the encouragement last night Kath. Today was much easier. 21a was not a problem as it’s what we call loose change in our family all the time. Must be a regional thing. Favourites were 19a and 20d. Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

  21. There were a couple of mysteries here – change being called shrapnel and police district sounding like manner.
    I had no problem with 2d as I have eaten it, horrible stuff to tell the truth, I think made of buckwheat.
    Otherwise, perfectly straightforward today, for which many thanks as my brain is still whirling from yesterday.
    I liked 9a, that’s my fave.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for help with the obscure.

    1. The cashier at the swimming baths used the term ‘shrapnel’ for change this very morning. It’s pretty common here along with slummy.

  22. I found this quite difficult ***/** but all the more satisfaction when it is solved ;) My favourite 28a. I felt that we have had “shrapnel” as an answer quite recently. Thanks to the setter for an enjoyable couple of hours and DT for his hints :)

  23. With the greatest respect to yesterday’s setter, I thought this was an excellent example of what a DT puzzle should be – clever wordplay, great structure and fair clues. **\*** overall leaving me very content, especially as England well on top in Cardiff. Incidentally, we have always called any small change when abroad “shrapnel” for as long as I can remember.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  24. An enjoyable end to a reasonably gentle week (apart from yesterday’s Ray T which had me beaten). Have a good weekend all.

  25. Very enjoyable but took us forever because we had a house full of people watching Andy Murray lose at Wimbledon. We might not have time for tomorrows puzzle because we will have about 80 guests for a party tomorrow night.

    Thanks to Deep Threat and Ray T….***/****

    1. 80 guests?!!! Good grief – you don’t do things by half, do you.
      Under the circs. you are forgiven for thanking Mr. T and not Giovanni! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    2. Some party – have fun. Shouldn’t think you’ll feel much like the Sunday crossword then . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    3. Gasquet also lost . Same scenario at Rolland Garros when Tsonga and Murray where in the semis.

  26. Pretty straightforward: 1*/3*. 21a my favourite – a common expression in the military sphere. Ta to the Don, and to DT.

  27. Couldn’t get to grips with this at all maybe due to exhaustion after departure of house-guests. Never heard of 2d. Anyway thanks DT for getting me out of Giovanni’s hole. Thanks G also. **/*****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  28. Certainly took a while to get started but after the first few clues yielded, it was full steam ahead.
    Until 8d. Took some time to get the homophone.
    Talking of which the “second XI” in 18d was superb.
    3d is yet another idiom to add to my collection.
    I think I am ready for a degree in colloquial English.
    Definitely too hot to eat 2d. I’m full just looking at it.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.

  29. I thought this was a proper Giovanni back-pager – tough but fair. Took me into 3* time to wheedle out the last couple but smug satisfaction at the end. 4* enjoyment from the master. 18d was a stand-out favourite, with 5d closing fast in the final furlong. Thanks to DG for a lovely end to working week and to DT for informative blogging

    1. You’re on fine form tonight, TS! Does that mean you’ve got time off for good behaviour this weekend?

      1. Chance would be a fine thing. Saturday is always a day off for me, but I’ll be back in harness on the late late shift on Sunday, and then another five days until I get a three-day weekend, when I might take my granddaughters out on the boat.

  30. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I managed three quarters of it, but was totally stuck in the NW corner. Needed hints to 1a, would never have thought of that. 9a, never heard of it. 11a, couldn’t get it. 1d wouldn’t have thought of it. 2d never heard of it. Was 4*/3* for me.

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