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DT 27892

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27892

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a bright sunny morning. Thanks to Shropshirelad and Digby for covering my absence for the last fortnight.

I fairly raced through today’s Giovanni – something of a contrast to the struggle yesterday – so only * for difficulty from me.

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           Two men of the match these days maybe (7,6)
MARRIED COUPLE – Cryptic definition of two people who may now be two men or two women, but were traditionally one of each.

Image result for married couple same sex cake decoration

9a           Puff-puff I missed going to game — get bus maybe? (9)
TRANSPORT – Remove the I from what a child may call a puff-puff, and add a game or pastime.

10a         Bit of willow to dry up almost entirely (5)
WITHE – Remove the final letter from a verb meaning to dry up (especially referring to vegetation). Not the most common spelling for this.

11a         Country type agitated about end of hunting (5)
EGYPT – Anagram (agitated) of TYPE with the last letter of huntinG inserted.

12a         Waste away in northern river (4)
WEAR – Double definition, the second being the river associated with Sunderland.

13a         Receiving no sound ideas, is put off female (4)
DEAF – Remove the I and S from iDEAs (is put off) and add Female.

15a         Brief? That sounds like our warm season (7)
SUMMARY – A précis or brief which sounds like how we might describe the better bits of the current season.

17a         Part one got is making for self-regard (7)
EGOTISM – Hidden in the clue.

18a         Nasty little creature was first to be found in ground (7)
PESTLED – The definition is a verb. Put together a nasty little creature and a word meaning ‘was first’ in a race.

Image result for pestle and mortar

20a         Like a sort of road test with piece inserted (7)
ORBITAL – Another word for piece inside a non-written exam.

21a         Very bright person avoids having head in shower (4)
RAIN – Remove the first letter from a word describing someone who is intellectually very bright.

22a         Some behaved abominably in holy book (4)
VEDA – Hidden in the clue is a Hindu sacred text.

23a         Secret agent admits nothing having earlier captured English soldier (5)
SEPOY – Put English and the letter that looks like zero separately inside a secret agent to get a soldier of the British Raj.

Image result for sepoy

26a         Oz no longer welcoming for people of taste? (5)
OUNCE – The people of taste here are Nancy Mitford’s friends, and the letter describing them goes inside a word meaning ‘no longer’.

27a         Encourage one getting cross no end to go into country (9)
STIMULATE – The Roman numeral for one and a cross-bred animal with the final letter removed, placed inside a generic term for a country.

28a         Any barters etc to be arranged in London thoroughfare (7,6)
CARNABY STREET – Anagram (to be arranged) of ANY BARTERS ETC.

Image result for carnaby street


1d           True, prior’s home is wrong for a leading nun (6,8)
MOTHER SUPERIOR – Anagram (is wrong) of TRUE PRIOR’S HOME.

2d           Willing to study and study ultimately (5)
READY – A word meaning to study (at university) followed by the last letter of studY.

3d           Silly banalities that could describe monstrous appetite (10)
INSATIABLE – Anagram (silly) of BANALITIES.

4d           Party with old man engaging women in entrance (7)
DOORWAY – Put together the usual crossword party, Old, and a man’s name wrapped around Women.

5d           Great anger brought by ending of power in electricity failure (7)
OUTRAGE – The last letter of poweR inside a term for a power failure.

6d           Dad achieved victory after losing middle piece on board (4)
PAWN – Another word for Dad, followed by ‘achieved victory’ with its middle letter removed.

7d           Fanatic no longer, mister having reformed over time (9)
EXTREMIST – A prefix meaning ‘no longer’, followed by an anagram (having reformed) of MISTER and Time.

8d           Let pen fly with memos here and there, working with no concern for boss? (4-10)
SELF-EMPLOYMENT – Anagram (here and there) of LET PEN FLY and MEMOS.

14d         A snack for your setter? (3,7)
DOG BISCUIT – The setter here is not Giovanni, but a creature with four legs and a wet nose.

Image result for dog biscuit

16d         Muddle with man in charge aiming to rescue the situation? (9)
MESSIANIC – Put together a muddle, a man’s name, and an abbreviation for ‘in charge’.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

19d         Like some divers stuck initially in river plant (4-3)
DEEP-SEA – A Welsh or Scottish river followed by a leguminous plant with the first letter of Stuck inserted.

20d         Lack of transparency in a business community undermining work (7)
OPACITY – A (from the clue) and the term for the financial businesses in London, placed beneath (in a Down clue) a Latin abbreviation for work.

24d         Identify fish, one getting away (5)
PLACE – Remove the Roman numeral for one from a flatfish you might find in your local chippy.

25d         Loud organ to convey terror (4)
FEAR – The musical symbol for loud followed by an organ of the body.

The Quick Crossword pun PIECE + CORE = PEACE CORPS

48 comments on “DT 27892

  1. Read and Write today for me. But I enjoyed it after yesterday’s battle. 28a brought back some memories of when I shared a flat in Westbourne in the 1960’s! Those were the days – but then every one says that of their youth, I suppose.

    1*/4* would be my rating today.

  2. Yes, gentle offering today, quite welcome for a change. Thank you DT for the parsing of the wordplay for 26a (oz). 22a and 23a are new words for me, clearly clued

    My favourite is probably 11a (country type agitated about end of hunting). I also like “silly banalities” in 3d.

    Many thanks Giovanni

  3. Agree with DT’s 1* difficulty but I’d give it 4* enjoyment if only for 11a. I used to live in a small village deep in rural Staffordshire and a lot of the people there got very agitated when discussing the possible end to hunting!

    I rather liked 14d as well.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  4. **/****

    This got an extra star for difficulty as I didn’t know 10a and had to look it up. The rest was pretty much R&W. The longer answers went straight in which helped.

    Great way to end the week.

    Loved 11a.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for blogging.

    Toughie time. Glorious on the moors today.

    1. Good luck with the Toughie, Hanni. I’ve got 5 in and will pleasantly surprised if I get much further!

  5. Phew what a pleasant relief after yesterday! This didn’t cause much aggro but yielded several lighter moments e.g. 18a and 26a. 22a and 23a new to me but they had to be. I thought 10a was spelt with(a)y. Thank you Giovanni and DT for a refreshing end to the (working for some) week. ***/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  6. Had it not been for a couple of obscurities I wouldn’t have thought this one was penned by the Don. 1.5*/3* for me – the extra .5 due to the need to check 10&22a and that 18a could be used as a verb.
    Some decent surface reads but no particular favourite today.
    My thanks to DG and also to DT – hope you enjoyed your ‘time off’?

  7. Much more enjoyable than yesterday. Managed to work out 10a and 16d but never heard the of the words before.

  8. I finished it and I rate it highly. Thankfully yesterday’s abject failure was just a blip. Thank you Giovanni for restoring my sanity and thank You Peter for bogging it so neatly. Happy weekend to one and all

  9. After the wrong envelope day yesterday, this was a relief, although at the gentlest end of the Dons spectrum.**/*** with lots to like, such as 1a, 14d, 28a. The only clue I didn’t appreciate was 18a. Most people grind their coffee and spices. I have never heard anyone say they p****** them.
    Thanks to DG and to DT for the explanations and the Monty Python clip.

  10. This wasn’t a write-in for me, rather a fairly methodical solve. I was slow to see 1ac and slow with a couple more so I’d have to go with **/*** with thanks to Giovanni and DT.

    1. I agree Jon. Some very nice clues, but equally some words I wasn’t familiar with such as 18a (which i had only come across as a noun) and 10a which held me up a bit.
      Thanks to both Gianni and DT.

  11. Yes, much better today although still got held up by one or two so gave this a 2.5*/3.5*.

    Liked 11a, 10a 1a and 27a.

    Thanks to setter and DT.

  12. Compared with yesterday’s atrocity this was much easier but the big difference was the elegance of the clues. 10a was the last to go in and as Hanni said I haven’t seen it spelled that way before so had to consult the oracle.

  13. I took a little longer than DT so will mark this 2/3. After yesterday’s shocker, this was a welcome return to a well-constructed, eminently solvable puzzle. Grateful thanks to our setter and DT for his excellent hints.


  14. 1*/3*. I found this almost R&W and surprisingly enjoyable for a Friday in spite of several unusual words, all of which however were easy to derive. I needed DT’s help to parse my answer for 27a.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT especially for the wonderful Monty Python clip.

  15. I enjoyed this so much it brought me out of lurk mode. 1.5*/4*

    Loved the (surely intentional?) connection of 9a clue to 1a. 13a seems to continue the theme.

    25d was my favourite.

  16. For me best crossword of the week. Lots of the usual c
    Ever Giovanni clues, two new words in Withe and Veda and lots of lovely anagrams.
    Thx to all

  17. Finished this one in good time but had to check the usual unknonw obscurities on the net. (the willow, the holy book and the indian soldier).
    Enjoyable fare.
    I even have a favourite in 19d.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.

  18. I haven’t done the puzzle, read the hints or the blog. I’ve just popped in to get the paperwork in order for the next couple of weeks. I shall be boating around London and up into deepest Essex and may – or may not – be able to get the paper and do the crossword. If I do, I will try to contribute by phone, but that is, at best, an inexact science. Behave yourselves (and enjoy yourselves) while I’m away. I shall miss you all

    1. Dear Tstrummer I am sad to say that I echo Jane’s comment from yesterday about MT, I have tried to get into it but have failed abysmally. I endorse everything she said.

      1. Don’t be sad. If we all liked the same things, it would be a pretty dull place. I’ll come up with something more appealing next time.

  19. **/***. A few clues held me up but this was so much better than yesterday’s torture. Thanks to the setter and DT for the review. Rain at last so a chance we’ll return to normal now.

  20. A relief after yesterday’s effort. It would have been quite straightforward had I not thought the first word of 1d was “Sister”, once I had that sorted (I blame the mother in law) it all seemed to click nicely.
    We have a house full this w/e with various offspring and their partners so suspect opportunities to relax with the crossword will be frowned upon by Mrs HF. Thanks to setter and DT for the reviewl.

  21. Rather surprised to see so few comments so late in the afternoon – perhaps yesterday’s puzzle has caused apathy to set in. I used to be apathetic, but now I just don’t bother :-)

    Also surprised that 10a hasn’t attracted that much criticism, especially after the alleged “obscurities” from yesterday. To me 10a is a former Aston Villa striker, I had never seen it in the sense described today.

    I liked both 1a and 1d, and 15a, but my favourite was 18d. Lovely surface.

    Many thanks to the setter and welcome back to Deep Threat.

  22. I enjoyed this – actually completed this solo (I usually do the crossword with my mother- and father-in-law).

    It took me ages to see what 26a was.

    My favourite was 14d.

    The fact that I completed it tells me this was a bit easy for a Friday puzzle!

  23. After yesterday’s crossword I felt like giving up on cryptics as a lost cause.
    Today’s one has changed my mind.
    I don’t say that I found it as easy as many if you seem to have, but at least I could do it.

    Thank you to the setter and to Deep Threat .

  24. I quite enjoyed this puzzle…best of the week for me…not too difficult, but some tricky ones too. I was not familiar with the Hindu holy book at 22a and was held up by not realising that ‘pestle’ could be a verb as well as a noun. Although I got 27a, I was at a loss to see where the cross bit came in until I read the hint. I thought there were some great clues…1a, 14d, I liked. There were some. Ery helpful anagrMs too…I love anagrams! Nearly scuppered myself by puttin’wane’ in for 12a, then realised my error. Last in was 2d…odd really as it was such an easy clue… So easy I couldn’t see it until the very end. Glad to get finished earlier today for reasons upon which I will not elaborate!! Thanks to setter and to DT 1*/4*

  25. Not bad at all for a Friday and much better than yesterday’s. Thank you to the Friday setter and to DT. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  26. Thanks to Giovanni and DT DTfor a superb end to a rather bumpy week. Had not seen 10a with that ending, did not know 18a was a verb but all well clued so I popped it in. Splendid anagrams with favourite being 3d. Have a great Bank Holiday weekend everybody. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  27. Why are people so down on yesterday’s? I do agree with the general opinion of today’s though: nice and light and fluffy from the Don, solvable even if like me you had to look up a couple* of the words afterwards to verify they existed. Maybe it’s a bit of a shame that the holy text of a major religion is considered by some an obscurity – and I say that as someone who did have to check that one because I only hazily remembered it. Other checks were 10a and 23a, but I’m happy to fill in gaps in my ignorance. It’s when you’re expected to know really obscure stuff and not given other ways in that I get a little peeved. Not the case today.

    It was so homophone-of-15a here today that the neighbours decided to light their fire – just after I’d opened all the windows to air the house out. Cue me running around to shut them all again and nearly tripping down the stairs. Ohh, I was a grumpy kitty for a while! Music and wine cure most things though :).

    I really liked 20d for its surface but I had my biggest chuckle at 21a. Though I’m not sure it’s so bright to avoid having head in shower :).

    27a featured in Kitty conversation today, as did 3d. The clue for 25d describes my piano this weekend. Recently someone asked if it was in tune. I replied that I have no idea since I can never hit the right notes anyway. I wish that was a joke.

    Thanks to the Don. Thanks and welcome back to DT.

    *the eagle-eyed will have noticed that I seem to have defined “a couple” as “three.” It may be this kind of thinking that has made the divorce rate so high.

  28. Wotta relief after yesterday’s disaster. I learnt a new word at 22a, a new spelling at 10a, and using “pestle” as a verb. All very easy to work out.
    Liked 26a, but fave has to be 14d, just because of the dog.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

    We are now watching Hurricane Erika as it appears to be heading for us. It is now forecast to be more of a wet event rather than wind, I hope they’re right as I dread having to put up shutters. It really caused havoc in Dominica with a few deaths, and is heading for Haiti, those people never seem to get a break.

  29. A bit late here today so most of what I had to say has already been said.
    I agree that this was about the most straightforward Friday crossword that we’ve had for ages. 1* difficulty and 3* or maybe 4* for enjoyment.
    I didn’t know that pestle could be used as a verb; I didn’t know the 22a holy book; I didn’t know the 23a soldier and I’ve never seen 10a spelt like that.
    I needed the hint to explain my 26a.
    I liked the four long answers round the outside and my favourite was either 11a or 14d but I’m not sure which.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

  30. What a contrast to yesterday’s aberration.
    10a new word for me.
    Thanks to the setter and DT for the review.

  31. Enjoyed solving this puzzle from The Don as well as all the cryptics for the last week and a half – my printer has been out of commission during that period as I ran out of ink cartidges for several colours but finally received them after ordering on line so am back to normal!

    My daughter and family are back in Vancouver CA where my granddaughter lives – she will stay but the others will head back to NL this weekend – I’ll hear from them when they recover from jetlag!

    My son is coming over from Massachusetts in September so I’ll not be lonesome for a while.

    Tomorrow sees the RL Final at Wembley : Hull Kingston Rovers v. Leeds Rhinos so that is a must for me – I was born in Leeds but once lived in Hull for some years!

  32. Well – just to be really bloody minded I have to say that although I did enjoy today’s crossword I had more fun with yesterday’s. I think that I’m crying in the wilderness here . . .
    Night night all and sleep well. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

  33. Oh what a difference to yesterday, I loved this one. Perfect Friday night entertainment. Thank you to the setter and DT. Like others I’d never heard of 10, 22 and 23 across but they were beautifully clued and therefore a joy to solve. 16d and 18a had me completely befuddled so thanks again to DT for the help.

  34. One of the dogs had to be put to sleep today, which puts a downer on everything. She was 13, but that’s no consolation. Thanks to the Don for a gentle bit of crossword therapy after a bad day. And to DT, although not needed this time.

    1. Tstrummer..
      I have no words other than these..I’m sorry, you have done the right thing for her..and I hope you’re OK?

    2. I can’t say anything that will make you feel better. It is always sad to say goodbye to a best friend. God knows, I’ve done it often enough. God speed your loved one.

  35. The * rating by Deep Threat really shows the gap between the crossword experts and those like me who do it a couple of times a week. I found the south west corner very difficult indeed. Never heard of the religious book at 22a, and also 16d and 18a were certainly not in my everyday active vocabulary. On top of all this for some reason I never twigged that “Oz” was the old pre decimal abbreviation for a weight!
    So although the rest of the puzzle went in pretty easily I had to give it a 3* rating.

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