DT 27952 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27952

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27952

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a dull and dingy November day.

Not too much to frighten the horses this morning and beautifully clued as usual byGiovanni, so ** for difficulty for me.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the boxes marked ‘Click here’, so don’t click if you don’t want to know the answer.

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           It sounds like awareness signified motivation (10)
INCITEMENT – Two homophones (sounds like), the first of a word for awareness or perception, the second of a word for signified or intended.

6a           Support something put on stage (4)
PROP – Double definition, the second being a piece of kit used in the course of a stage performance.

9a           Maybe watch and relax, lying back (5)
TIMER – Reverse (lying back) a word for relax or ease a restriction, to get something of which a watch is an example.

10a         Domineers, being out to introduce new ideas (9)
MODERNISE – Anagram (being out) of DOMINEERS.

12a         Father William maybe as personification of law enforcement (3,4)
OLD BILL – The age attributed to Father William in every verse of the poem, followed by a familiar form of his name.

Image result for old bill

13a         Irish money once used in bets (5)
PUNTS – Double definition, the first being the currency used in the Irish Republic before it joined the Eurozone.

15a         Tenant, one bound to become investor (7)
RENTIER– The Roman numeral for one inserted (bound) into another word for a tenant.

17a         Sitting among possessions (7)
SESSION – Hidden in the clue.

19a         Delay when American gets locked in shed (7)
SUSPEND – An abbreviation for American inside a word for shed (resources).

21a         Soldiers taking exceptional care — someone posing a threat (7)
MENACER – An officer’s followers followed by an anagram (exceptional) of CARE.

22a         Grub when son’s got in bed (5)
ROOST Son inside a verb meaning to grub in the ground.

Image result for roost

24a         Marks — no marks of approval when a letter is misprinted! (7)
NOTICES – Start with a phrase (2,5) meaning no marks of approval in your exercise book, and change one letter.

27a         Retreating youngster can always become an adventurer (9)
BUCCANEER – Start with a young fox or Boy Scout, reverse it (retreating), than add CAN (from the clue) and a poetic word for always.

28a         Animal Buddhist monk found by lake (5)
LLAMA Lake, followed by a Tibetan monk.

Image result for llama

29a         Old worker engaged by wiser folk (4)
SERF – Hidden in the clue.

30a         A creator? I’d set out to be different! (10)
ERADICATOR – An all-in-one clue. Anagram (set out to be different) of A CREATOR I’D, giving someone who’s the opposite of a creator.


1d           A bit of a character in Greece (4)
IOTA – The smallest letter of the Greek alphabet, which has come to mean a small amount.

2d           Firm gets million quid making chemicals (9)
COMPOUNDS – Put together an abbreviation for a firm or company, an abbreviation for Million, and what quid are.

3d           Bound, around end of supper, to be ready for bed? (5)
TIRED – Put the last letter of suppeR inside a word for bound.

4d           Without hesitation, miser surprisingly becomes more homely (7)
MUMSIER – Anagram (surprisingly) of MISER wrapped around an interjection showing hesitation or uncertainty.

5d           Heads offering some children odd lessons (7)
NODDLES – Hidden in the clue.

7d           Predominance needs control — little good in it (5)
REIGN – Control – a horse, perhaps – wrapped around Good.

8d           Following appeals, there’s a new attempt to bring jocularity (10)
PLEASANTRY – Put together some appeals, A (from the clue), New, and an attempt.

11d         Enlists awkward person, the first person to be nabbed (5,2)
ROPES IN – Anagram (awkward) of PERSON with the first person pronoun inserted.

14d         Outlaws supporting teachers of traditional law (10)
PROSCRIBES – A word for supporting (the opposite of anti), followed by the teachers of traditional law often linked in the New Testament with the Pharisees.

16d         Inclination to inactivity during time — time I kept in (7)
INERTIA – A shorter way of saying ‘during’, followed by a historical time period with Time and I inserted into it.

18d         Awfully nice saint — saint losing heart or keeping going? (9)
INCESSANT – Start with an anagram (awfully) of NICE, add an abbreviation for Saint, then finish with another saint, this time with its middle letter removed (losing heart).

20d         Cavorting man torn asunder (7)
DANSEUR – Anagram (torn) of ASUNDER.

Image result for danseur

21d         Grew up and got married outside biblical city (7)
MATURED – A word for ‘married’ or ‘formed a couple’, wrapped around the ancient city which was the starting point for Abraham’s wanderings.

23d         Be found as old dog going round about (5)
OCCUR Old and another word for dog, placed either side of the Latin abbreviation for about or approximately.

25d         Feature of mountain with ice, no end a pain (5)
COLIC – A high mountain pass followed by IC(e) (no end).

26d         Hard look that may spread over man’s face (4)
HAIR Hard followed by a look or manner.

Image result for dubliners

The Quick Crossword pun CLASS + SICKLE = CLASSICAL

36 comments on “DT 27952

  1. Thought it was more a *** for difficulty than a ** but def **** for enjoyment.
    Lots of lurkers today and some new words at least for me in 15a and 20d. Not too sure about 4d, seems a little clumsy to me. Fav today was 27a.
    Nice to see the picture of a Llama, my two Ricky and Ossie have been sheared this year so not as hairy as the model shown.
    Thx to all

  2. Hmm, maybe I’m not in a Giovanni mood today, though I did like 26a, lovely surface.I also liked the hidden clues, and I enjoyed the surface for 2d

    I thought “different” was a bit weak in 30a, and I didn’t think “cavorting” did the art much justice in 20d. in 21d, I imagined the verb referred more to the consummation than the ceremony, but I guess it can be both, though I groaned at the biblical city. The answer to 15a can be someone who collects rent, getting close to the word for tenant. Is it a feature of a mountain in 25d? maybe of a mountain range. etc.

    Many thanks Giovanni and Deep Threat

      1. 26d! I’m forever doing that, sorry. It’s the hard look I hope my new goatee is achieving.

  3. To mix metaphors, it was plain-sailing for me in the East today but the horses were certainly scared in the West particularly SW. Needed to seek considerable outside assistance. Can’t believe 4d is a dictionary word. No Favs to nominate but liked 14d when solution revealed. ****/**. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

    1. Apologies Giovanni and DT. Had to rewrite comment filling in name/email so forgot to thank you both for your efforts which I now do hereby.

  4. **/**

    Ho hum. I didn’t feel particularly inspired by this but I think that’s because we had two outstanding puzzles yesterday. I shouldn’t compare.

    I got held up on the hiddens today. I bunged the answers in but took me awhile to spot them.

    Liked 24a.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for blogging.

    Has anyone done the Toughie yet?

    1. Yes I’ve done the Toughie but will be obeying the rules and not commenting here – I’ve also done the Graun and the Times and quite a bit of the day job too!

  5. Too difficult for me – I’ve only got five clues – I’m going to work my way through the Blog explanations to widen my knowledge – thanks for that!


    1. Michael,
      About 12 to 18 months ago I was in the same boat, but thanks to the marvellous people on here, a bit of perseverance and an investment in a Chambers Dictionary I am now ‘reasonably competent!
      Stick with it and you’ll get there!
      Good luck and I hope you pass as many happy hours as I do solving!

      1. A very good friend and fellow cruciverbalist told me long ago to look at each word in the clue separately, and that a good crossword has no unnecessary words in the clue. It works for me.

    2. Michael, the secret is learning to identify the various tyes of clue (there are some good websites which explain these) and then to punctuate/annotate each clue in your head. For example: 10a. Domineers, being out to introduce new ideas (9).

      And in your head this translates to: Domineers (ANAGRAM LETTERS), being out (very obvious ANAGRAM INDICATOR – the letters of ‘domineers’ are to be out of sequence) = to introduce new ideas (STRAIGHT PART OF CLUE). And the answer is modernise. With this clue, you only actually need the STRAIGHT PART “to introduce new ideas” in isolation to get the answer fairly easily.

      Hope this helps you to logically and systematically solve the cryptic clues better.

  6. ***/**. Straightforward top half then stalled completing the rest. Awoke very early this morning to read the review (thanks DT) to get explanations for a couple of bung ins. Thanks also to the setter.

  7. I thought this was a very fair and enjoyable puzzle to cheer up a soggy Friday morning. I agree with DT that it wasn’t at the top end of the Don’s difficulty, but no less fun. Not sure about the synonym for jocularity in 8d, but it’s a minor gripe. I almost strayed into 3 territory for difficulty, so I will put 2.5/3 in the honesty box. Thanks to the aforementioned.

  8. After a brief flicker of life yesterday, I’m back in the slow lane :(. That said, I did complete without any help. Once I got started it was slow and steady even if at a crawl. I enjoyed it, though am almost disappointed there are no obscurities because I feel like a good cathartic moan!

    I share Dutch’s thoughts about the marriage in 21d but it set off a train of thought that caused some chuckles, so I’m not going to complain.

    I think I must have met the 13a Irish money before. I stared at it for a bit, and considered giving up and entering a wrong answer in its place prior to some research. But the second half of the clue came to the rescue and the first then rang some faint bells.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

  9. I was really struggling to get started but managed most of it. The bottom right stumped me, but at least I learnt a new word in 16a

  10. A fairly straightforward and methodical solve today for me. Thanks to DT and Giovanni- agree with **/***

  11. Fairly middling fare from Mr Manley today. Having glanced at the clue set up on the back page, I thought we were in for a bit of a headache. However, that was not the case. It coughed up it’s answers for me in a clock wise direction starting from the NW corner. Lots of good clueing going on, although I’m not quite sure how I feel about 16 & 17a, but that is my only concern.

    Thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle and DT for the review.

    As for today’s toughie – my horses have galloped off over the horizon and are nowhere to be seen. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

      1. Concern is probably the wrong word to use and can be blamed on my schooling – or lack of it.

  12. Liked the double homophone in 1a.
    And the surface of 2d was very smooth.
    22a took a while as I tried to parse it the other way round.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.

  13. Good afternoon everybody.

    A bit of a struggle today with what I thought were some pretty weak clues delaying proceedings.


  14. I am so frustrated. After that superb puzzle yesterday, I was so way off wavelength today. What has happened to my brain?
    As an example, the “outlaw” meaning for 14d is probably fine, but it certainly isn’t a meaning that would spring to mind.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for putting me out of my misery.

  15. Admittedly today’s puzzle was fairly lack-lustre compared to yesterday’s mixed bag, but at least there was nothing too wordy.

    I didn’t feel that there was a single stand-out clue unfortunately. 30a was probably the least convincing.

    Thanks to Mr. Manley and to Deep Threat. I suspect that “dingy” describes much of the UK today, not just South Staffordshire.

  16. Finally completed,after a real struggle with 22a and 26d “stressed” me somewhat.
    Still awaiting my replacement credit card machine,looks like Monday now,nightmare!.

  17. Think my antique brain has gone on holiday leaving me struggling. Loads of electronic help and very little inspiration but I did succeed even if I needed DT to decode my ramblings. Thanks to him and Giovanni off to lie down with ice pack on my head. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  18. 2*/3*, l think, and 27a was my pick of the clues. I guessed 9a correctly, even though l didn’t make the connection between “remit” and “relax” (although l acknowledge it to be perfectly fair). Ta to the Don and to DT for the review.

  19. We’re in late because we went to a very amusing John Otway gig tonight at The Dublin Castle in Camden Town. No fireworks in this one, just the usual good stuff from The Don. Many thanks to Deep Threat for the Blog. **/*** from us.

    1. Good Lord.
      The Dublin Castle. Glad you managed to leave without staying stuck to the floor.
      Mind you, they must have done it up by now.

  20. On the boat this weekend and tackled this on arrival after midnight. I found it hard going, both sorting out the answers and, as previously mentioned, the lacklustre clueing. No stand-outs for me and one or two thought unsatisfactory, viz 4 & 28d. VMTs to DT and the Don for keeping me from my bed. Maybe it’s just been a long week

  21. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A good offering from the Don, quite straightforward except for the NW corner. Got there in the end. Only one new word for me in 15a, got the answer from the wordplay. Favourite was 24a, very clever. Last in was 4d. Was 3*/3* for me. Late commenting due to a work reunion yesterday.

  22. Didn’t get chance to post on the day – ongoing computer problems!
    Probably just over the 2* time and a 3* for enjoyment.
    15a was a bit of a guess – haven’t come across that one before and I took a while to work out the parsing of 9a.
    Favourite was 24a.
    Thanks to DG and to DT for both the review and the excellent pics. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

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