DT 27880 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27880

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27880

Hints and tips by Shropshirelad

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from a wet and windy Shropshire – as I’m sure is the case for the rest of you in the UK (I do hope you are all well). I got off to a flying start with today’s puzzle only to get bogged down in the SW corner, but with a little help from my friends – I got there. I’m really not sure if this is the Don as it has none of his trademark clues and I only had one to check (11a) to see if I had the right answer. I will no doubt be proven wrong.

The definitions are underlined and the answers are there under ‘CLICK HERE’. If you don’t want to see the answer – then don’t click.

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.


4a    Boring period in which to get sore troubled (8)
TIRESOME: Something we’re all pressed for (especially for me with my one finger typing) containing (in which to get) an anagram (troubled) of SORE.

8a    Huff and puff about editor being a dogmatic person? (6)
PEDANT: A four letter word meaning to ‘huff & puff’ containing (about) Crosswordland’s usual abbreviation for editor.

9a    Small number entertained by English comedian being cheap (8)
ECONOMIC: Two-letter abbreviation (small) for number contained in (entertained by) the standard abbreviation for England and a type of comedian.

10a    Element that’s faulty in lamp unit (8)
PLATINUM: An anagram (faulty) of LAMP UNIT

11a    Mildness of one in austere period beginning to yield (6)
LENITY: The letter ‘I’ (one) contained by (in) a period of fasting + beginning to (y)ield.

12a    Thief has grabbed second dog (8)
PINSCHER: Another name for a thief containing (grabbed) the abbreviation of second.

13a    One helps get a horse strapped and bones will be broken (8)
NOSEBAND: Anagram of (will be broken) AND BONES.

16a    Number I catch — even or odd number? (8)
NINETEEN: N(umber) + I from the clue + a verb meaning to catch + a shortened version of ‘even’

19a    Grower finds sources of delight everywhere in harvest (8)
GARDENER: Finds sources of D[elight] E[verywhere] contained by (in) a word to gather (harvest).

21a    Distance travelled at sea creates bond (6)
LEAGUE: I see this as a double definition, but I have been known to be wrong.

23a    Supporter on bench following proper style (8)
FORMALLY: A type of supporter (especially during war) preceded by (on) a bench. This type of bench is used in Parliamentary terms to decide where you sit according to BRB.

24a    One participates in matches with divided loyalties (8)
BIGAMIST: A person who has more than one wife.

25a    Draw boat by sea’s edge (6)
SKETCH: a 2-masted sailing vessel (boat) after (by) S[ea’s] edge

26a    One may help someone who finds it hard to hear  gun (8)
REPEATER: I can’t make my mind up if this is a double definition. I’m sure someone will point me in the right direction.


1d    Give a talk: ‘Medical changes’ (7)
DECLAIM: An anagram (changes) of MEDICAL. There are a couple to choose from.

2d    Discarded actors leading a faction (4,5)
CAST ASIDE: A charade of: performers in a play + A from the clue + a faction

3d    Number in school creating a stink (6)
STENCH: A number in (surrounded) the usual 3 letter abbreviation for SCH(ool)

4d    What’s threatening from having got drunk? (3,7,5)
THE MORNING AFTER: That feeling you have the next day having had one over the eight is an anagram (having got drunk) of THREATENING FROM

5d    Unsettled pigs relatively well fed will do this? (8)
ROOTLESS: Split as (4,4) this could be a term for how pigs search for food, but don’t need too as they are well fed.

6d    His ultimately old-fashioned stuff brings derision (5)
SCORN: A charade of: [hi]S ultimately + a term for something hackneyed.

7d    Nasty mist with one getting damp (7)
MOISTEN: Anagram (nasty) of MIST ONE

14d    Last character in pub always — long time needed for drinks (9)
BEVERAGES: A charade of last character in [pu[B + a term for ‘always’ + a long time.

15d    Edward gets upset about historical object being abandoned (8)
DERELICT: Shortened version on Edward turned up (gets upset) containing (about) and old object from the past.

17d    Some contrary names I met in list (7)
ITEMISE: Lurker (some) in names I met in, reversed (contrary).

18d    Substitute one type of material with another (7)
REPLACE: Put together 2 materials (split 3,4).

20d    Most unusual member of academy needing support (6)
RAREST: Usual abbreviation for the school of artists and something you take after a bout of hard work.

22d    Kind of pit with small stones left for removal (5)
GRAVE: Small stones you would find on a driveway without (for removal) L(eft).

Well, that’s me done. I do hope you find the hints helpful and (again) I’m sorry that I did not find the time for any pictures. No real stand out favourites today, but an enjoyable enough solve. Have a safe weekend.

The Quick Crossword pun: decks+truss=dexterous

81 comments on “DT 27880

  1. 2.5*/3*. I enjoyed this, especially with one clue, 8d, seemingly designed just for me. Unusually for a Friday there was only one new word, 11a, which was easily derived from the clue. I made very good progress until I reached the SW corner which slowed me down taking my time above 2*, with 21a, 24a & 22d my last three in.

    My favourite is a close run thing between 24a & 4d.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to Shropshirelad.

  2. Another challenging day but all doable once daft spelling errors were sorted. Re 24 across. I find the words Monogamy and Bigamy have the same meaning. One wife too many. Thanks to The Shropshire Lad and The Don (I think). No need to apologise for the lack of pictures. I would struggle to illustrate these words.

  3. Back to **/*** for me today, regarding Shropshirelad’s query over 26a, the gun definition is obvious and I am assuming that the other meaning refers to an alarm clock device giving the sleeper, who has poor hearing, a second chance to wake up! don’t think I’ve seen 11a in print before ,but well clued. Looked up bond and it confirmed the double definition with that for nautical mileage-we live and learn.Still raining!

    1. Beaver,
      You obviously don’t live with an old’un like me and have to repeat things to them at least twice….http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    2. Hi Beaver,
      Re: 26a – I took it as a reference to the necessity to repeat things for those that are hard of hearing!

    3. I took it to mean that you would repeat what you had said if someone had not heard you the first time but it could be taken either way.

    4. My BRB gives one meaning of 26a as: a thermionic amplifier inserted in a telephone circuit

  4. **+/****
    Very wet on the moors today. Thank goodness for a nice Giovanni. For reasons I don’t understand I struggled with 11 and 12a and just bunged them in and hoped. Failed to spot the odd anagram too. Nor did I understand the last part of 16a? Hey ho.

    All good fun.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to SL for blogging. Excellent work all round. Off for a meal with the in-laws tonight. Cue lots of raised voices due to their hearing!

  5. Apologies everyone – It’s just been pointed out that my hint for 4d is wrong. I had it written in my notes that it is an anagram of THREATENING FROM, but forgot to include it in the blog http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

    Thanks to Gazza for noticing – I really shouldn’t be let loose on this bloghttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  6. Another enjoyable and doable puzzle. Some unusual words but the wordplay is good and some education too. 14d best.

    2.5*\ 4* for me.

    Thanks to setter and SL

  7. As I get older they seem to get tougher, definately ***/*** for me today. Many thanks to Shropshire lad and Giovanni.
    Weather improving so sailing weekend at least will be able to do Saturday Cryptic afloat, which somehow helps.

  8. Pretty tough one today – struggled all the way through.

    It looks like rain – I wonder if there’s an old British film on the TV.

  9. I found this quite tricky to start with but after a short interlude i returned to it and finished it relatively quickly, the last in being 11 across and a new one on me. No real favourites. Thanks SL- 2.5*/***

  10. Thought the Don let us off quite lightly today – only 11a that needed a quick check, although it was easy enough from the wordplay.
    As often seems to be the case, the lurker at 17d was split over two lines in the paper version – I reckon the setters carefully count out the letters in a clue to ensure that happens!
    Missed the anagram at 4d until the Gazza/SL combo pointed it out, but it was still one of the first ones in.
    Like others, I grinned at the name check for RD at 8a!

    Much enjoyed this one – 2*/3.5* for me with a tick list of 16&24a plus 4&5d. Favourite spot goes to 4d.
    Thanks to DG and to SL for another great review. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  11. Thought I was going to breeze through this until I reached the SW corner! Missed the lurker in 17d (forgot to reverse it) and needed electronic help to get 24a (not a patch on the Grauniad version I’m afraid). 11a was a new word and forgot the definition of rep as a material, mind you putting in Replica didn’t help! No standout clues although must admit 16a was clever but I needed the hint to get it.
    So for me I guess it’s ***/***. Not the best Friday puzzle but a million times better than yesterday’s stinker.
    Thx to all, now to dry off after a very wet golf game.

  12. At first I thought I was in Week that had two Thursday’s in it? On return however managed to complete ? I did not know there was a “s” in pinscher, 11a was new word for me and I failed to spot the reverse lurker at 17d, surely normal lurkers give us enough trouble ? ***/*** Thanks to Shropshire Lad & to Giovanni

  13. A bit easier for us than yesterday’s puzzle, though we needed a bit of assistance from the hints to complete it. I’m not sure why the clue for 21 across needs the words ‘at sea’ in it. My dictionary states that the answer is an old word for a land measurement. Thank you to the Friday setter and to Shropshirelad.

    1. My dictionary also offers league as only a land measure so I think that Jules Verne could have misled me for years with his ‘20000 leagues under the sea’ being a depth.

  14. A lot better than yesterday…but I still needed the hints for the SW corner.
    Thanks to Shropshirelad and to the setter.

  15. After some months I have decided today to de lurk. My thanks to all for the comments, hints and tips which have been both entertaining and helpful. I found it a bit of a struggle today so probably ***/*** for me.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Hamble Ferryman. Now that you’ve delurked I hope that you’ll be commenting on a regular basis.

      1. Introducing Jack, Max and Dougie. They sometimes help out with the more tricky clues

        1. That trio look ready to help out with anything – particularly it it’s fun, messy or involves food (preferably a combination of all three!).

        2. Welcome to you and to Jack Max and Dougie, from me, Cynthia and Cuthbert, and for this weekend we welcome the return of Lupo

  16. Thanks to Giovanni and to Shropshire Lad for the review and hints. A very enjoyable but quite tricky puzzle. Needed the hints for 26a & 15d. Favourite was 4d, which I can easily relate to, having spent more than a few hours at GBBF yesterday :-)
    A new word in 11a, but gettable from the wordplay. Was 4*/3* for me. Hasn’t rained yet in Central London. Can we please have summer back http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

  17. 3/3 today. Enjoyable, hard in places but the clueing was fair. 13a and 14d were two favourites, and 17d the last one in as I just could not see it until much later. It has just about stopped raining here in the Marches, with over an inch of precipitation. Such a shame I was unable to continue painting the outside of the house. Unfortunately it looks set fair for the weekend, so I shall be up the ladder tomorrow.

    1. No, it’s not me reviewing my blog and he’s further West and a tad South from me http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      1. That confused me for a bit..a blogger reviewing the crossword they blogged. Twilight zone anyone?

        1. We are two different people, I can assure you. I don’t know how my comment was ascribed to the Shropshire Lad. It’s never happened before.

            1. I’ve changed Young Salopian’s comment to use his ‘proper’ alias, so that muddle should be resolved. However, readers may now be in a muddle as to why there was any confusion. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  18. Another goody – thanks Giovanni and also SLad. No sweat with East side but a bit more taxing in the West. Needed to verify 11a and 1d. Didn’t even tumble to 4d being an anagram. Not too sure about 26a. Fav definitely 24a. ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  19. This took me ages to get started. Just stared at it without any inspiration, but suddenly it started to fall into place. Once I got 4d, completed the RH side in no time……then…nothing! However, eventually the NW corner yielded, but then the SW corner was blank apart from pencilled in 21a and 22d. Got 16a in a sudden rush of blood to the head…then nothing! Got completely held up by the dastardly 24a which I had convinced myself was something to do with chemical valency!!….. bivalent was the word I was trying to shoehorn in…didnt work though. Eventually had to resort to SLs hint for it and it was then so obvious (stupid woman!)…after that finished tout suite! I nearly made up a new word with ‘enmoist’ for 7d until I realised my error. A new word for me in 11a….’lenient’ and ‘leniency’ I knew but not ‘lenity’, the noun from which (I presume) it derives unless some 8a knows different! ….live and learn, innit? Lovely and sunny here in North Norfolk…but for how long?? Thanks to setter and to SL for the hint. 3*/3*

  20. A bit late here today – been busy. I think that I agree with 3* for both difficulty and enjoyment.
    I was quite slow with this one – not sure why – maybe thinking of other things wasn’t helpful.
    Even knowing that 17d had to be a hidden beastie it still took me an age to find him – I think I get worse at these.
    I missed the anagram indicator in 10a and anyway any clue with the word ‘element’ in it makes me go almost as blind as cricket etc.
    I preferred the clue for 24a that was in the Guardian crossword on Tuesday.
    I liked 8 and 19a. My favourite was 4d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and thanks and well done again to Shropshirelad.
    Very heavy rain has now stopped – garden looks more cheerful already apart from slugs and snails ‘sliming’ around everywhere – yuk!
    Elder Lamb and her partner coming later – they have no kitchen at the moment so need feeding and access to washing machine. In fairness to them they’re cooking curry for all of us tomorrow evening – goodness knows what our kitchen will look like by this time tomorrow!

  21. ****/***. Marginally easier than yesterday but still a challenge. Bung in for 11&12a. Thanks to SL for the review and the setter for another head scratcher. Promised rain yet to turn up. Can’t see the mountains for smoke haze.

  22. Good afternoon from wet and windy Yorkshire

    Although starting slowly this puzzle turned out to be a very enjoyable one. Noteworthy clues for me were 4d, a fine and amusing anagram, 12a, 15d and 24a. 5d was probably my favourite as it was the last to go in.

    Overall a testing puzzle yet solvable in a sensible time without recourse to reference books or electronic gizmos so pretty well perfect for a back pager.

    Three/four for me.

  23. Funny, I found this very doable (I also had to check 11a, new word for me) until I got to the SW corner, and I seem to have lots of company.
    I never did get 21a as I couldn’t get past “knot” and there was no way I could stretch it to 6 letters.
    I thought of “bigamist” for 24a but thought it couldn’t be right, can it?
    My runaway fave was 4d, with 5d running second.
    Thanks to setter and to Shropshirelad for helping me complete this.

  24. I know I shouldn’t gloat but it has been very pleasant in our bit of East Anglia today. Lovely Friday crossword lots of head -scratching and electronic help but to find I had finished brought a glow of satisfaction. I loved 15d just because it describes how I feel some days or do I mean decrepit? Have a splendid weekend. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  25. I found this on the straightforward end of the Don’s spectrum which was entirely appreciated after yesterday’s puzzle. Thanks to Shropshirelad for the review and to Giovanni */***

  26. Well done Shropshirelad. The last corner for us to work out was also the SW, not helped by initially penciling in ‘deserted’ for 15d and it was only when we twigged 24a that we had another look at it. Quite gentle for a Friday we thought and elegantly clued as ever. Enjoyable.
    Thanks Giovanni and Shropshirelad.

    1. Thank you both for your support this morning (your evening) and well done for spotting whatever it is in the Toughie. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

      1. I have no idea what their support was this morning but isn’t it just wonderful to know that when you’re doing the hints and that you’re completely sunk, there is someone, on the other side of the world, who is awake and available to bail you out! A http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif to the Kiwis for that and a http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif to Shropshirelad for being brave enough to do the hints for a Friday crossword.

    2. I too had deserted (and defender for 26a) for a while which made solving 24a all the more pleasurable :)
      Lovely cluing with a good mix of types and not to many anagrams (especially when one overlooks entirely the one at 4d!)
      This, and a slow start aside (I blame the distractions of being on holiday in lovely Dorset) I finished this one quickly for me so 2*/4*.

      1. Sending this comment from a different email address sent you into ‘moderation’ for a while.

  27. A very nice crossword that reassured me that the start of the week was just one o’ dem t’ings that happens periodically. I liked several clues but 14d was my favourite. Overall I think 3/4* – probably because of the relief at completing a crossword again!
    Thanks to the Don and SLad for his excellent review.

  28. I did this one over coffee this morning and carefully noted down my assessments and favourite clue at the time. With absolute confidence, therefore, l can type 2*/3* and 16a respectively. I have to say, however, that l’m by no means happy to realise that l’ve become the sort of person who records such information! Howsoever, VMTs to Giovanni and of course to the Shropshire Lad.

    1. You must try and come along to one of BD’s soirées sometime – I’ll even stand you a wet.

      1. The next planned event is on the day of the Times Crossword Championship, 17th October, probably at The George, Borough High Street, Southwark (venue to be confirmed later).

    2. I know what you mean exactly about becoming that sort of person but, and it is a very big but, I think we all get a bit like it. Are we all a bit obsessive? Does it matter if we are? I think it would be good if you came to the October do. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  29. Another elegantly clued but very doable challenge from the Don (although is it really him?). Managed this during an unusually slack evening at work, only getting slightly held up, as did others, in the SW corner. The Friday coronet has to go to 17d, because it took me ages to spot and then I kicked myself for being so dim. Thanks to SL for a sterling effort and to the Don for easing an otherwise dull evening.
    On the Jules Verne question raised earlier: I had always assumed that leagues were distance and depth was measured in fathoms. Perhaps it was just an early mistranslation. Or maybe I’m just wrong. I know CS would tell me to look it up, but I’m too busy now with my primary occupation of drinking beer.

  30. Extremely short night as I had to organise daughter’s trip to Paris. Off to see the big show in Versailles tonight.
    Got help up with 9a as I wrote restless in 5d. We already had the pedant in 8a and was asking myself who is he calling pigs?
    26a made me laugh.
    Favourite is 13a.
    Thanks to the Don and to SL for the review.

  31. We really enjoyed this puzzle from The Don and found it a bit easier than usual. Thanks to Giovanni and to Shropshire Lad for an excellent blog. **/****

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