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DT 27946

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27946

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Good morning from a somewhat damp Sheriff Hutton in North Yorkshire where we’re doing a bit of grandparenting.

Giovanni was in benign mood today, and I rattled through in * time.

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. Some people have been having a problem with the buttons, where they shrink to a vertical ine and don’t work: refreshing the browser two or three times can restore normal service.

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           Life scientist has come with his bit prepared (10)
BIOCHEMIST – Anagram (prepared) of COME and HIS BIT.

6a           Fellow‘s skin problem (4)
CHAP – Double definition, the second being an effect of exposing the skin to harsh conditions.

10a         Male, deceased, recalled as good conductor (5)
METAL Male, followed by the reversal (recalled) of a word meaning deceased.

11a         Smuggler could be odd fish (3-6)
RUM RUNNER – Another way of saying odd, followed by a schooling, predatory fish. First time I’ve come across this fish.

Image result for runner fish

12a         Manage to show love with poetry and love’s ending (7)
OVERSEE – Put together the letter that looks like a love score at tennis, another word for poetry, and the last letter (ending) of lovE.

13a         Conceal son alongside mum (7)
SMOTHER – An abbreviation for Son followed by the full word for mum.

14a         Rebel, no leader concerned with gradual change (12)
EVOLUTIONARY – Remove the initial R (no leader) from a type of rebel.

18a         Imprisoned in vehicle long time, unruly adolescent catches cold (12)
INCARCERATED – Put together IN from the clue), a vehicle, a long time, and an unruly adolescent from the Fifties, then insert Cold.

21a         Epistle-writer’s superior communication seen by the old man (7)
PAULINE – The apostrophe tells you that this is an adjective describing a (New Testament) epistle-writer. Start with someone often referred to as ‘the old man’, then add the letter indicating superior or upper-class, and finish with a short communication.

23a         The state of Jones at home with woman (7)
INDIANA – This American state is the first name of Dr Jones in a series of films. A two-letter term for ‘at home’ followed by a woman’s name.

24a         Plain green site being redeveloped (9)
SERENGETI – Anagram (being redeveloped) of GREEN SITE, giving a favourite place for wildlife documentaries.

Image result for serengeti

25a         Use a brush, article dipped into an amount of liquid (5)
PAINT – Put an indefinite article inside a quantity of liquid, usually a measure of beer or milk.

26a         Woman in station hugging daughter (4)
LADY Daughter inside a verb for station or place.

27a         Supporters chant and son is going wild (10)
STANCHIONS – Anagram (going wild) of CHANT and SON IS.


1d           Cute deer one’s lost track of circles in the grass (6)
BAMBOO – Remove the final I (one’s lost track of) from a cute Disney deer, and add two circular letters.

2d           Unfashionable group making a start (6)
OUTSET – Put together ‘unfashionable’ and ‘group’.

3d           Old coins showing William and Mary? (4-10)
HALF-SOVEREIGNS – Cryptic definition: William and Mary ruled jointly, so could be seen as not whole monarchs.

4d           Spoil view outside poor French city (9)
MARSEILLE – Start with a word for spoil, then wrap a verb meaning ‘view’ around another word for poor.

5d           Houses responsible for some noxious emissions (5)
SEMIS – Hidden in the clue.

7d           Sidekick of tennis player outside church (8)
HENCHMAN – An English tennis player (the great British hope until Andy Murray came along) wrapped around an abbreviation for church.

8d           Describes harbour with fish (8)
PORTRAYS – A harbour followed by some flat fish.

9d           In need of being buoyed up, unable to cope (3,2,4,5)
OUT OF ONE’S DEPTH – Liable to sink if not buoyed up, because the water is too deep to stand up in.

15d         Historical practice makes silly idiot rant (9)
TRADITION – Anagram (silly) of IDIOT RANT.

16d         Arrangement that could make loss paid off (8)
DISPOSAL – Anagram (could make, and off) of LOSS PAID.

17d         Got free, almost looking embarrassed (8)
ACQUIRED – A word meaning free from a criminal charge, with its last letter removed (almost), followed by the colour you may go if embarrassed.

19d         Firm includes a wicked thing, opportunity for gambling (6)
CASINO – An abbreviation for a firm or company wrapped around A (from the clue) and a wicked thing.

20d         One insect or another is sat upon by maiden (6)
MANTIS – The abbreviation for a Maiden over in a cricket scorecard, followed by an insect and IS (from the clue).

Image result for mantis

22d         Choose to miss bits at either end of the lecture (5)
ELECT – Hidden in the clue.

The Quick Crossword pun PARR + TICKLER = PARTICULAR

81 comments on “DT 27946

  1. I agree with DT’s rating of 1*/3*. This was benign but enjoyable with remarkably few very wordy clues for a Friday. The fish in 11a was a new one on me too. It’s not in my BRB, but it couldn’t have been anything else.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    Rabbit update: he’s having blood tests done at the vets this morning to check for diabetes and to decide if his liver and kidneys are in good enough condition for a general anaesthetic to sort his teeth out. I’m in nail biting mode …

      1. Thank you all for your thoughts and kind wishes, but I’m afraid it’s bad news. His underlying problem is with his kidneys, and he is back home now so we can say our final goodbyes to him. We can be very grateful that he has been extremely healthy for the whole of his life until the past few days, and we have been lucky enough to have had a lively friendly cuddly character to share our lives with for nearly 8 years.

        Farewell, dear Twix http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

        1. I’m so very, very sorry, RD. We’ve most of us been where you are now and it’s a miserable place to stand in. Thoughts are with you and your lovely floppy-eared little fellow.
          Rest peacefully Twix.

        2. I am so very sorry. Losing a beloved pet is heartbreaking. Take comfort in knowing that you gave him the best possible life.

        3. Oh RD – I’m so sorry to hear that. As Jane says lots of us, most of us even, have been there but that doesn’t make it any easier when it’s you – I know.
          The other thing that doesn’t make it any easier but is very true is that you, and he, know that he’s had a lovely life and been loved and looked after really well.
          Thinking of you, him and the rest of your family. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

        4. I am so very, very sorry to hear your news. Losing a best friend is always so sad. Godspeed Twix, our thoughts are with you and your family.

        5. So sorry to hear your news. Losing a pet is so awful for everyone in the family. Thinking of you.

    1. Thanks so much to you all for your kind and comforting words. It’s heart-warming to know how many caring people there are on this blog.

      1. So sorry to hear the outcome of Twix’s short illness. I’m a hard nosed ex serviceman having seen a few disturbing things during my career. However, I am the biggest softie when it comes to what some people call pets and I call ‘a part of the family’ coming to the end of their life. Chin up http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

      2. Condolences, thoughts and good wishes coming your way. I know what it’s like, and it’s not good.

  2. A good solve for me & would rate it **/*** for me,had a doh moment with 7D but we got there in the end. Thanks to the setter & DT for his review, just starting to brighten up here in the Deep South.??

  3. */***

    Nothing too difficult from the Don today. Plenty of anagrams, spotted the hiddens, struggled to parse 21a for a bit and double checked 27a.

    No stand out clues but a pleasant solve.

    As DT says it is indeed wet on the moors today. Not sure I’ve warmed up from riding out early a.m. Even the horse looked at me as if saying, “I’m not going out in this!”

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for blogging.

    9 to go in the Toughie. 9 very tricky ones to go.

  4. I haven’t been around to post comments this week, but this offering was to me as relatively easy as the previous four. I’m sure we will all get a shock at some point in the future when our setters stop being benign and discover their tougher side. That’s not to say that this one, nor indeed the rest of the puzzles this week, have not been enjoyable. They certainly have been, but the degrees of difficulty have, for me, watered down the enjoyment a notch or two. I would still like to offer belated thanks to this week’s setters and bloggers, and to the Don and DT for this puzzle.

  5. Q. How can a R&W be so enjoyable?
    A. When it’s either by the Don or Virgilius.


    Thanks to D and DT. Hope your weather improves. Saturday forecast looks good for Twickenham though.

    P.S. Lots of Runners (mostly blue) over here but not as fun to catch as a wahoo.

    1. It’s quite amazing what it’s possible to learn here. Because of your comment I looked up ‘Wahoo’ – now I know that it’s a large fast-moving food and game fish related to the mackerel; it’s Californian buckthorn and, last but not least, it’s the ornamental shrub Euonymus – we’ve got one in the garden.

  6. Fridays are never plain sailing for me – wrong wave-length or worn out marbles by the end of the week so 2* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    As usual having finished I can’t see why I found bits of it quite tricky – while I was doing it I felt as if there were lots of anagrams but there weren’t.
    Never heard of the 11a fish; tried to make 14a more complicated than necessary; 24a took ages as I didn’t realise we were hunting a specific plain; got the hidden 5d but missed 22d.
    I liked 3 and 4d. My favourite was 23a.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.
    Dentist . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    1. Glad someone me one else was stumped by the dratted fish! The lurkers are always Mrs B’s favourite after the anagrams which she does for fun http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif
      Nervous now about attempting another Ray T after yesterday’s triumph but I suppose it won’t be this week so I will have a bit of time to prepare.

      1. It’s a bit of a stretch, Dutch. I’ve tried the BRB Thesaurus, for both station = lay, and lay = station. I drew a blank each time.

        1. The BRB has for the transitive verb to lay: … to station; to locate; to put in (a particular) position; ….

          1. I stand corrected, Gazza. I’ve just checked with the dictionary and, sure enough, it’s there. I made the mistake of going straight to the Thesaurus.

  7. I have managed to finish everyday this week apart from yesterday. A record for me, but being honest I think they have been easier than usual this week.

  8. For me the puzzles usually become more fun as the week progresses. As is often the case the initial bark today was worse than the bite with much to enjoy along the way. Thank you Giovanni and DT. Fav probably 3d with 23a close runner-up although I do feel the Princess is somewhat oversubscribed as woman. ***/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  9. Not really on my wavelength so**\** for me , I’ve never heard of rum runner nevertheless quite enjoyable. Many thanks to DT &. G.
    Hoping for a good crossing from Channel Islands.
    Looking forward to Saturday’s final. Hope the All Blacks do it again.

  10. I did not find this easy ? So ***/**** but very enjoyable ? Liked 1d, 3d, 7d, 14a & 24a. Must confess to not acquiring the correct answer to 17d ? What is the difference between emoticons & omogis or are they the same thing? Now the deadline has passed can anyone explain the reasoning behind the answer “sidebar” in last Saturday’s Prize Crossword ? Questions, questions……. Thanks to DT & the Don

  11. I found this quite tricky, plenty of anagrams and hidden words but I was left with a couple in the bottom left corner – now done with the help of the blog – thanks for that!

    Off to the Olympic Stadium tonight for South Africa v Argentina, I’m going to see what my position next year when West Ham move in and what the travelling will be like, it must be better than getting to Upton Park!


  12. Not much ‘bite’ in today’s crossword , */** for me, a tad too benign for my taste . Thanks to DT, liked the mantis, made me think of the Mekon!

  13. Fairly gentle and I wasn’t sure it was a genuine Giovanni, but then we did have the funny fish and the epistle writer so all is fine.

    Many thanks Deep Threat and Giovanni

  14. 1*/3* here – but an enjoyable saunter with the Don – he seems to have been in benign mood for a while now. Is he taking pity on us ‘entry level’ solvers?
    I didn’t know the fish but fortunately had heard of the smuggler – thanks for the info Wahoo & Kath!
    Like Vince, I wasn’t deliriously happy about station=lay. I can just about see that it does, but it would come a long way down my list of definitions.
    I wonder whether I’m the only one who was relieved that 24a was an anagram – I could certainly have been guilty of doubling up on some of the letters if left to my own devices!

    A few ticks on the list for 18a,1,9&19d.
    Thanks to DG and also to DT – long time since I’ve seen Fiddler on the Roof and I did enjoy the clip.

  15. The iPad behaved itself this morning at about 5am so I finished yesterday’s RayT and got this little fella soon sorted. Thanks to DT and the Don. Saint Sharon and I are in Hamble (looking for the ferryman) before we check into Southampton for tonight’s special gig. Home tomorrow. Blogging on Monday full of ideas. Be warned!

    1. My tablet is behaving too finally. Busy week so just done three on the trot. As others have said nothing too tricky. Fish was new to me as well.

      Oops spoke too soon. Just checking favourite clue and it crashed. Ho hum!

      Quiz night tonight so hope the brain doesn”t fade before then!

  16. **/****. Very enjoyable solve albeit a slow start for me. Thanks to the setter and DT for the review. Pouring down all night so good news for the last of the migrating geese and ducks. A wet walk in prospect for me and the dogs.

  17. Definitely at the easier end of a Giovanni spectrum but no less enjoyable for that.
    Best clue for me was 8d and the last in was 11a, not come across this fish before but the answer had to be rum runner.
    Off now to our Northumbrian bolt hole so it will be iPad crosswords for the next week as there is no local newsagent. Do we know if the multiple word problem has now been solved?
    Thx to all.

    1. Good luck with the iPad puzzles Brian. Yes the numbering is sorted. I have had other problems.

  18. Dear Crossword Editor,

    What’s going on here?

    No obscure words in the Friday back-pager?


    Very disappointed!

    1. Is not a fish called a Runner obscure enough for you or are you sufficiently well versed in Ichthyology?

  19. Good afternoon everybody.

    Mostly straightforward although I couldn’t rationalise 26a and 11a was just a guess. I thought 17d was a very poor clue. Favourite was 7d.


  20. Yes, I agree, very benign Giovanni.
    Like most of you, never heard of the fish in 11a, but it was so obviously correct, I just bunged it in.
    My fave was 7d, he is such a gent and a good sport. I liked 1d as well.
    Thanks to Giovanni and DT for the review.

  21. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, great surface readings, a minimum of obscurities, only the runner and epistle writer had me thinking. Favourite was 7d because my surname is a corruption of this word. Was 1*/4* for me. Off to Pagham Harbour tomorrow for birdwatching.

  22. Great deal of satisfaction from the crosswords this week. Any one else put Red Mullet into 11a ? I had the R in 4d and the U in 9d, so it seemed obvious…but not justified. It left me a bit stuck with the NE corner. Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

    1. Have to say, “No” to Red Mullet mainly because I knew the smuggler although not the fish. I don’t want to sound smug at all because everything I know about crosswords has been learnt here but one of the most useful things that BD ever said was if you can’t explain your answer it’s probably wrong – worth remembering.

      1. Definitely a good piece of advice, Kath. However, it doesn’t cover those times when (probably by luck) you’ve come up with the right answer but been too ‘dense’ to fathom out the twiddly bits.
        I often put in – very lightly – the letters that will become checkers and then see whether anything else fits with them! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      2. I would endorse BD’s advice Kath. If I can’t parse it then it don’t go in. The “bung it in and parse later” method is prone to causing mega trouble due to wrong checkers. Not worth it IMHO.

  23. When we were living in the tropical Pacific and fishing regularly, rainbow runners were one of the many species on the menu, so no problems with that one. We also found this puzzle on the gentle side for a Friday but no complaints about the enjoyment level.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  24. Gentle fun for a Friday. No problems until I realised that 21a couldn’t possibly be what I put in. Once that was sorted everything was sorted.
    7d for fave and 2/3* overall
    Thanks to the Don and DT.

  25. Simples! But somehow more fun than usual on a Friday. The fish was a new one for me but otherwise pretty straightforward.

    Thanks to the Don and DT and condolences to RD.

  26. Late on parade today as Mrs SL & I have spent the day playing truant – well she has, I don’t need to http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    Leisurely breakfast, out for lunch, onto the cinema (what’s not to love of the current 007 franchise) and a lovely homemade pizza to go with tonight’s rugby match. Well chuffed. (Hanni – Gareth Thomas is wearing my avatar on his lapel tonight)

    Anyway, what has happened to Mr Manley? Definitely lots more fun than is usual albeit a bit gentle. No particular favourite but Mrs SL seems to be taking an interest in cryptic crosswords after many years not giving a hoot. Is the Don weaving his magic?

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

    1. Gareth Thomas nicked your avatar? Blooming rude. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

      It is a lovely thing. Very glad Mrs SL is getting into crosswords. She likes Alan Rickman.

  27. Late in again today and we must agree that this one from The Don was on the easier side but very good fun. Many thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

  28. Pretty gentle for the most part, and pleasant too. I was ok with ones I might have come unstuck on, but had a total mental block at 1d. Dopey.

    No real favourites today, just one that sums up life, the universe and everything (42).

    Thanks to Don and DT.

  29. Just in case you’ve retreated to your room with the crossword, TS. I’m intrigued to know whether you managed to make tales of George’s nose spin out for your entire Aussie slot? Not to worry – a stag weekend in Liverpool should give you plenty of ammo for next week!
    Any further ‘books I should read’ on your list for me? I’ve been chuckling my way through a friend’s back copies of The Oldie this week – quite entertaining and slotted quite well into post-crossword evenings.

    1. No books to recommend I’m afraid – but ASDA are doing a deal on Yellowtail Shiraz at 6 for £25. It’s not a great classic, but is a good slurping wine that normally costs around £8 a bottle. Enjoy http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    2. I have done exactly that. Eschewing “the gentleman’so club” section of the evening (as my sons wanted to but we’re dragooned by fellow staggers) and the loud, thumping “music” offered in all the other bars of their choice, I retreated to my room and finished this offering from the Don instead, although several pints and many, many more whiskies made it trickier than maybe it should have been.
      I managed the full 25 minutes on the ABC without actually mentioning Osborne’s nose, but managed to come up with other stuff to bore the listeners – not least Sting and Trudi Styler’s exercise in downsizing.
      How do you feel about Cormac McCarthy? You could try “The Road” …

      1. Dark….. The Road, excellent book – and not a bad transition (?) into film with Viggo Morternson as the father. ‘No Country for Old Men, an entirely different matter IMHO.

        TS – I do hope that you didn’t ‘bump’ in to Mr West & Ms Scales on your travels – ‘au contraire’ – They didn’t bump into you!

  30. Good stuff as usual from the Don. I did the first half relatively sober and the second relatively not sober. I am relatively not sober now. But still able to appreciate the elegant clueing and the fun anagrams. 17 d was my last one in and I’m grateful to Kath for confirming my reading of the clue(after I’d bunged it in). Overall 2*/3*

  31. Solved this one in bed last night. Sailed through it as many others did except could not get 21a or 17d even with all the other letters in to help me. Thought of Paul the apostle but never heard the word “pauline” before and didn’t twig “u line” as separate. As for 17d I was so convinced that the meaning was “got free” I had no chance.
    So 1* for the rest but 6* for those two!

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