DT 27964 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27964

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27964

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on another grey day.

I took a while to get onto Giovanni’s wavelength today, so firmly into *** territory for me. Some very easy clues, and others that took a bit of teasing out.

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           Destroy source of energy, resulting in awkward situation (6)
SCRAPE – ‘To destroy’ – a redundant car, for instance – followed by the first letter (source) of Energy.

4a           Craft put around by the German merchant (6)
TRADER – Reverse (put around) a craft or skill, and add a German definite article.

8a           Doctor attending a mother twitching and full of excitement (8)
DRAMATIC – Put together an abbreviation for doctor, A (from the clue), a short word for mother, and a nervous twitch.

10a         What’s provided in a flexible manner (6)
SUPPLY – Double definition: what’s provided in response to demand; and (with a different stress) in a bendy or flexible manner.

11a         End of journey and we had returned a bit wet (4)
DEWY – The last letter of journeY followed by a shortened form of ‘we had’, the whole lot then reversed.

12a         Approval for each to join religious campaign (10)
PERMISSION – The preposition meaning ‘for each’ followed by a religious campaign where clergy seek to preach the Gospel in parts of the world where it is unknown, or to revive religious fervour in their own country.

13a         An imperial unit intended to be heard in this report (12)
ANNOUNCEMENT – This is a homophone clue (to be heard). The answer sounds like a string of three words: AN followed by an imperial unit of weight and a verb meaning ‘intended’.

16a         Go up around edge of mountain with river all round — it’s somehow divine (12)
TRANSCENDENT – This is a Russian doll clue. On the outside we have a river in the English Midlands. Inside that is a word for ‘go up’, and inside that is the last letter (edge) of mountaiN.

20a         Our pals ‘elp out, useful in every situation (3-7)
ALL-PURPOSE – Anagram (out) of OUR PALS ‘ELP.

21a         Irish house cleaner finishing early (4)
DAIL – The lower house of the Irish Parliament, or a cleaner with the last letter removed.

Image result for dail


22a         Farm animal, one that’s disturbed bird (6)
PIGEON – A farm animal followed by an anagram (disturbed) of ONE.

Image result for pigeon

23a         Discharges that could be organised for men at sea (8)
EMANATES – Anagram (could be organised) of MEN AT SEA.

24a         Son meeting snake is not so happy (6)
SADDER – The abbreviation for Son followed by a poisonous snake.

25a         Alien in film follows map — to find this? (6)
PLANET – A map or chart followed by the usual film alien.


1d           Officer and worker after a bit of work in the Kent area? (8)
SERGEANT – This is a non-commissioned officer. Put a unit of work inside the letters denoting the geographical location of Kent in the UK, then add one of the usual insect workers.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

2d           Gosh — having a drink before card game! (5)
RUMMY – A variety of strong drink followed by an exclamation like ‘Gosh!’.

3d           Used badly, as a table that gets covered with things? (3,4)
PUT UPON – A table covered with things has things — —- it.

5d           Break in ceremony, allowing in thoughts from elsewhere (7)
RESPITE – The three-letter acronym denoting the ability to read someone else’s thoughts with a ceremony or ritual wrapped around it.

6d           Put down achievement involving one in job (9)
DEPOSITED – another Russian doll: an achievement or action on the outside, wrapped around a job or situation, wrapped around the Roman numeral for one.

7d           Oh, that we could soon have liquid deodorant! (4-2)
ROLL-ON – Double definition: an informal expression wishing for something to come soon; and a variety of dispenser for a liquid deodorant.

9d           Type of crop, formerly one thing of prime importance (11)
CORNERSTONE – Split this (4,4,3) and you have a cereal crop, a word for ‘formerly’, and ONE (from the clue).

Image result for cornerstone

14d         Extended, as a picnic meal, say? (9)
OUTSPREAD – Split (3,5) this could be a description of a meal not held indoors.

15d         Very poor little woman wanting man — and home primarily (8)
INDIGENT – The two-letter expression for ‘at home’, followed by a short form of a woman’s name, followed by an informal term for a man.

17d         Order given by a bishop, annoyance having no end (7)
ARRANGE – Put together A (from the clue), the letters indicating the honorific title given to a bishop, and annoyance or wrath with its final letter removed.

18d         Sort of globe you spotted in English dance (7)
EYEBALL English and a formal dance, placed either side of an archaic form of ‘you’.

19d         Surprisingly lionised — the province’s departed veterans (6)
OLDIES – Anagram (surprisingly) of LIO(ni)SED, with the initials of the part of the UK which isn’t in Great Britain removed.

21d         Tense as game finished without a winner (5)
DRAWN – Double definition, the second being a match where the two sides finish level, or in cricket where there is no time to finish the match.

The Quick Crossword pun WHELK + HUMMING = WELCOMING

87 comments on “DT 27964

  1. I found this trickier than the last few Fridays and it also took me into 3* time to complete. Thanks to DT and Giovanni for an enjoyable puzzle ***/***

  2. This took a few more passes than normal so definately tricksy today. Thanks to Deep Threat for the review and thanks to The Don for the mental workout. What next today. I will see what comes.

  3. An enjoyable puzzle for me today, 3*/3*, with 15d the last one in after one of those ‘doh’ moments! Most liked was 16a.

  4. Just me then – I found it “easier than usual Giovanni” today. Thanks to him and DT.

    As for the Toughie, my experience would suggest it is better to ‘start with the Downs’.

  5. 2*/2*. Dull and largely formulaic as usual on a Friday, so only 2* for enjoyment. I was well on track for 1* time but got held up slightly in the SE corner, taking me up to 2* for difficulty. 15d was my last one in.

    Thanks to the setter and to DT.

  6. Smooth and gentle, and no obscurities. I liked the images in 22a (farm animal) and 2d (card game), and I though 5d (break in ceremony) and 19d (surprisingly lionised) were quite elegant.

    I remember a previous debate wether officer in the military could clue a non-commisioned officer (hence not yet an officer) which was resolved by pointing out a sergeant can be a police officer (which is also mentioned in brb)

    Many thanks Deep Threat and Giovanni

      1. yes, good point, well it was a debate. interesting (and irrelevant?) that the surface here alludes to one who may become an officer

        1. I didn’t see the earlier debate, but my take on it is that there are two types of officer in the armed forces, commissioned and non-commissioned. It’s true that when the word “officer” is used on its own, it normally refers to a commissioned officer, but that’s fair game for misdirection by a compiler. As you say, in the police service, all ranks are “police officers”.

          1. The same can be said in the RN as we have:

            Warrant Officer
            Chief Petty Officer
            Petty Officer

            That didn’t make us ‘officers’ by any stretch of the imagination – we used to work for a living http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

            Also there is no such thing as a ‘corporal’ in the Police

            The other one that is used too often is ‘OR’ for ‘Men’.

            Have a good weekend all http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

                  1. Sorry for the absence – I needed to take myself into a dark room and have a good old rant to flush out my system.

                    1. You can’t stand on toast – it tends to crumble under your feet even if it’s prepared on an AGA hotplate using the tennis bat tool. So it’s not a good idea.

                      I have no idea what ‘real’ toast is.

              1. Thank you all

                To add some spice to the ‘toast’ subject – I would like to say I’ve always been more of a fan of crumpets. Even more so, now that a well known baker has employed the Muppets on a new advertising enterprise.

                Honey, jam, butter, Marmite and any other spread you care to name, is brilliant on a crumpet.

                So, vote for more crumpet – you know it makes sense http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

                1. Crumpets certainly have their place SL. But not with Marmite. Home made ones are the best. Something you’ve made with your own hands beats shop bought any day. Mmm yup, crumpets.

                2. Ooh. It’s hard to keep the thread on my windows phone.
                  I always associated crumpets with a sweet spread. Will have to try the savoury alternatives. I prefer toast thought.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

                  1. I know what you mean re the threads! Savoury crumpets are so worth trying. I’m amazed toasties and French toast hasn’t been discussed yet.

                    1. Surely you mean ‘haven’t’ Hanni?

                      Now – French toast and toasties, what about rarebit?

  7. Struggled with the SE corner. Thanks to DT for 21a I so wanted 15d to be “inherent” but of course it wasn’t. 3* for difficulty for me. Favourite 16a or maybe 13a.

  8. A real struggle, some convoluted clues that were very nearly impenetrable – I can’t say I enjoyed it but very glad when it was over.

    I needed the blog today to confirm and explain a couple of clues – thanks for that!


  9. Definitely more tricky than usual with a few (we thought) rather clumsy clues. However, we really liked 13a and 8a. ***/** for us. Thanks to The Don and to Deep Threat for the blog.

  10. */***

    Certainly found this on the easy side but enjoyable. I like that there were no obscurities. I like that the clues were smooth as Dutch said. I like that it took me awhile to spot the imperial unit in 13a even after it was pencilled in.

    Many thanks to the Don and to DT for blogging.

    The moors are freezing and waiting for the snow. But I’m inside so am nice and warm. Off to get some soup and toast.

    1. The recipe for Toast seems to have been lost by a large part of the population Hanni. I keep getting bread that is slightly warmed with the smallest blush of browning in one corner. Toast is toast. How can anybody get it wrong?

      1. There are many mysteries in life MP….kangaroos, my work ethic on a Friday morning, the nature of the universe etc.

        But getting toast wrong is impossible. Utterly impossible. Toast is toast. You put it in a machine. It browns it. You put it under a grill. It browns it. You stick it on a fork by a fire. It browns it.

        What recipe are you using? Cause I think you might have been eating bread.

        Still not had my lunch. Now I’m doubly hungry.

        1. My recipe is intact and exactly the same as yours Hanni. Hot browned bread. Browned on both sides and liberally spread with butter that melts into the bread and attacks all five senses demanding to be eaten. I can think of nothing else as satisfying to all five senses.
          But Hotel toast, and posh Deli/cafe toast has lost its way. We need a Campaign For Real Toast before it is too late.

          1. The Campaign for Real Toast begins.

            Right, I’ve now had 2 slices, and they were as you described above. Utterly perfect. Can’t think of anything better. But were they difficult to make? No. I put 2 slices of bread (white) in the toaster and quick as you like, toast came up.

            Maybe people in hotels are forgetting to press the button down. Though that in itself is impossible. There should be some sort of app that lets people know if an establishment serves bad toast.

            And is it salted or unsalted butter. Where do they stand on toast racks?

            Oh bl***y hell. I’m hungry again.

            1. Just thought about the slightly warmed with a touch of browning. That is how I like my women.

      2. I have never met anyone in the whole wide world who does not like properly made toast wish you had not mentioned it because there is no way I am going to get through the evening without at least one piece of toast. Crossword quite a struggle and own up to furious scribbles in the margin and a fair amount of electronic help. Thanks to Giovanni and DT off to get toast. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

        1. Wouldn’t worry Hilary. I’ve had 3 lots today. All properly made. All delicious. Thank goodness I rode out this morning. Enjoy yours. Make sure it will fit the Real Toast category.

            1. I don’t like honey very much but understand that there are two distinct schools of thought on it.
              At the risk of unleashing a torrent of innuendo – do you go for ‘hard’ or ‘runny’?

              1. Clear or hard? Depends where it’s going.

                For bread, I like to slather the clear stuff on until it’s soaked in and gone firm and then suck it all out.

            2. There was honey. From a proper honey pot. Can still taste that now. Yummy. It’s become my new favourite food. And you are welcome to share. So long as it’s Real Toast.

                1. It’s a proper honey pot. AA Milne would be proud. It’s not antique or anything. But it has one of those things for drizzling… Do they have a name? I’ll take a pic for the birthday bash.

            3. Put me in the honey club.
              I go through astronomical amounts of the stuff. Everyone around me always bring me back honey from their travels.
              From Manuka honey from NZ to Cuban honey in plastic bottles. There isn’t a place on earth without it’s honey. I’m a real honey freak.

              1. Golly…honey from around the world. You lucky man. Mines English and delicious. Do you have a favourite recipe with it?

                1. When it comes to the UK, my favourite is Scottish heather honey. So perfumed. I hardly use any for cooking except when I do my Chinese blackened duck.

                  1. Sounds delicious. Today has been a fantastic food day. Are you bringing any treats in January? I missed out last year.

  11. A struggle for me today but I found it very enjoyable. At first I thought it would beat me but after a break and another cup of coffee it all fell into place. Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the hints.

  12. 5d is my favourite for sensible reasons; 6d is the runner up for silly ones.

    Today’s **app discrepancy report:
    The enumerations for 20a and 7d are erroneously given as (3,7) and (4,2) respectively.

    Clue differences:

    23a Discharges that would be nasty for men at sea

    6d Put down achievement involving one in work

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  13. Nice to see Giovanni well back on form. I agree with the 3* rating for difficulty and it would have got 4* from me for enjoyment except for 3D which I thought clumsy and a bit below the high standard of the rest. Best clue for me without a doubt was 7d, a real smiler!
    Thx to all.

  14. I agree that 7d was the stand out smiler of the day, but I also enjoyed 16a and 9d. The Don rarely lets us down and this was both doable and enjoyable, 2/4 from me. Thanks to the aforementioned and DT for his hard work. If there is a King Canute award for abject futility then I won it hands down this morning trying to sweep up leaves in a howling gale.

  15. Just once in a while me and the required wavelength meet head on and this was the case today. Nothing held me up for too long so 2/3* overall. 10a was my favourite clue although 16a was also in the running. Now, what to do for the rest of the day…
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for his review.

  16. Very pleasant. Several nice clues including 5d, 7d and 9d. South easier than the North. Made life difficult for myself in 4a by using the German in wrong place. Thanks Giovanni and DT. **/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  17. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, that wasn’t too taxing. Although I was completely beaten by 9d. I’d convinced myself that it had to begin with “corp” type (anagram) of crop. Had never heard of “erst”, so I failed. Last in was 23a. Some very elegant clues. Favourite was 7d. Was 2*/3* for me. Nice to see some blue sky for a while in Central London, light starting to fade now.

  18. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif Oh dear! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif Probably nearer 4* difficulty and 2*/3* for enjoyment.
    My excuse is that we’ve got a houseful this weekend so I’ve got lots to do – anyone could be forgiven for asking why I’m doing the crossword.
    21a took ages – stupid – I know it.
    22a was my last answer – also stupid but thought I was after an animal which was a five letter bird with an ‘I’ in it.
    Does anyone else think that we could have been told that the ‘you’ in 18d was the archaic form?
    I liked 25a and 1 and 15d. My favourite was 8a.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

  19. Funny how crossword land is different strokes for different folks. We found this little more than an read and write, so we agree with Crypticsue, Gwizz, Dutch, Hanni et al. Recently the crosswords in this household have had to wait until late evening but today was back to being a lunchtime diversion. Maybe it being earlier meant we were brighter – who knows? **/*** for us with 5d our standout clue for the wonderful ‘thoughts from elsewhere’. Thanks, of course, to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

  20. Good afternoon everybody.

    Solutions went in steadily but not particularly quickly until I was left with 5,9 and 15d and 23a. Eventually happened upon 5 and 9d. Wrote in 23a without really understanding why but defeated by 15d.

    Despite not completing it a very enjoyable puzzle so ****/**** for me. Favourite was 5d.

  21. As I normally struggle with Giovanni puzzles, I found this on the easier side.
    I liked 8a, 21a and 22a.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for his review.

  22. Into 3* time – entirely my own fault.
    Following on from the recent Toughie, I quite happily put in ‘Superman’ at 1d (actually works reasonably well) – I think I’m surprised that no-one else followed suit. Just to confound the issue I then bunged in ‘put down’ for 3d – that made 12a rather interesting.
    All sorted eventually but what a scruffy mess I’d made of the NW corner of the grid.

    Podium list includes 10a plus 5,7&14d.
    Thanks to DG and to DT – quite relieved to learn that you were also pushed into 3* time!

  23. Rabbit Dave’s description is spot on, “dull and formulaic” summed it up for me too. It was certainly easier than the majority of Mr. Manley’s Friday offerings.

    Thankfully “tapioca” didn’t make another appearance, I’ve already had my fill for the week!

    Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

  24. It all went together smoothly for us. The usual high quality Friday fare that we always appreciate.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  25. The only one that took a while to parse was 16a.
    Mind you, so did 15d actually. But the rest was pretty much a write in.
    Except 9d of course. Only got it once I had all the checkers.
    I think that’s about it.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review.

  26. I’m surprised that some found this difficult; 1*/3* looks about right to me. No real stand-out favourite, but I suppose 1d is just ahead of the pack. Thanks to the Don, and to DT for the review.

  27. Arrived at the boat at 12.45 am after work. Absolutely freezing. Fired up the central heating, set a log fire and in no time was as warm as – I’m struggling for a metaphor here … Settled down with the Don and sailed through it with much enjoyment. photo-finish between 21a and 22a in the Pleasure Stakes. Thanks to DT, although not needed this time. Herself in bed with two hot water bottles and dogs snoring around me must mean it’s time to turn in. Thanks to DG for a gentle passage and an excellent start to three (count them) days off. 2*/3*

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