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DT 27982

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27982

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs. The gremlins seem to have got into Telegraph Towers this morning: There’s a misprint in 26d in the paper (it’s now been corrected on the website), and on the website (but not in the paper) we seemeed to have jumped forward in time to the autumn of 2019, since the puzzle was shown this morning as DT 29290 (now corrected).

I’m not sure what to make of today’s Giovanni. It took me into *** time, but I’ve been laid up all week with cold/flu symptoms, and what with the coughing and spluttering and generally feeling poorly, the little grey cells may not have been working at their normal rate. That’s also why I haven’t done any pictures or music – sorry.

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           Do something magical that changes all aspects (4,1,5)
CAST A SPELL – Anagram (that changes) of ALL ASPECTS.

6a           Track used by top athletes (4)
PATH – Hidden in the clue.

9a           Twin reveals birds by river (5)
REMUS – One of the twins who were, according to legend, brought up by a she-wolf and went on to found Rome. River followed by some flightless birds.

10a         Tying up again with string or tape? (9)
RECORDING – Double definition, the second being a tape that might have been made on a cassette machine.

12a         Conservative diplomacy in meeting (7)
CONTACT – Abbreviation for CONservative followed an ability to treat people diplomatically.

13a         City feels great pity when bishop goes (5)
LEEDS – A city in the North of England. ‘Feels great pity’, as in ‘My heart —– for you’, with the chess notation for a bishop removed.

15a         Little relative somewhere in church being ill again? (7)
RELAPSE – Abbreviation for RELative followed by a part of a church building.

17a         Item of furniture for one who has just got up? (7)
DRESSER – An item of furniture, often Welsh, is also a description of someone putting their clothes on after getting up.

19a         Sun about to go? Here’s the wind and rain (7)
MONSOON – ‘Sun’ here is an abbreviated day of the week. If Sun is about to go it will be …(3,4).

21a         Expensive article in Paris — riders raced to get to one (7)
STEEPLE – Another word for expensive followed by a French definite article. The reference here is to a horse race where the riders went across country to a prominent landmark – still used today for a horse race over fences.

22a         Short drink — then there’s a turbulent episode (5)
DRAMA – A tot of spirits, especially in Scotland, followed by A (from the clue).

24a         Vessel discharged mates to meet the Queen (7)
STEAMER – Anagram (discharged) of MATES followed by the regnal cypher of our Queen.

27a         Boss as individual with less feeling (6,3)
NUMBER ONE – This describes a boss’s position in the hierarchy. The same words, but pronounced with a silent B could be someone with less feeling – perhaps because he’s been anaesthetised.

28a         Angry word of disapproval delivered to railway (5)
FIERY – An old-fashioned word of disapproval followed by an abbreviation for railway.

29a         Agreements to exclude piano performances (4)
ACTS – Remove the initial P from some treaty agreements.

30a         Old nana set to suffer without extra support (5-5)
STAND-ALONE – Anagram (to suffer) of OLD NANA SET.


1d           Stop up in Irish city (4)
CORK – Double definition: put the stopper in; or a city in the South of the Irish Republic.

2d           Mark half of internal passage? (9)
SEMICOLON – One of these; or possibly a description of half of the final part of the digestive tract.

3d           Minister losing head in criminal act (5)
ARSON – Remove the initial P from a minister of religion.

4d           Left time to make payment for carrying goods (7)
PORTAGE – The nautical term for ‘left’ followed by a period of time.

5d           See bounder having a grip on the heartless set (7)
LOCATED – Start with a word for ‘See!’, then add a bounder wrapped around T(h)E (‘the’ heartless).

7d           Insects sat on by a girl (5)
ALICE – A (from the clue) followed by (‘sat on’ in a Down clue) some insects which may be found in hair, for example, giving a girl’s name.

8d           Shopping thoroughfare? You could get tights here (4,6)
HIGH STREET – Anagram (could get) of TIGHTS HERE.

11d         Free from obligation and religion, not half, naughty woman! (7)
RELIEVE – The first half of RELIgion followed by the Old Testament woman who gave in to temptation in the Garden of Eden.

14d         First lady to make a song and dance? (5,5)
PRIMA DONNA – An Italian phrase meaning ‘first lady’, used to describe the female lead in an opera and, figuratively, to describe someone who makes a great fuss about something.

16d         Gas for energy brought across hollow in the ground (7)
PROPANE – The Latin word for ‘for’ and Energy, placed either side of a shallow depression in the ground.

18d         Really great guy working in our sphere (9)
SUPERHERO – Anagram (working) of OUR SPHERE.

20d         It could be a clue for ones to detect (4,3)
NOSE OUT – A reverse anagram. If you wanted to construct a clue where the answer was ‘ones’ and the clue was an anagram, you might end up with this, where the first word is the anagram fodder and the second indicates the anagram.

21d         Observed absorbing short NT book in drinking den (7)
SHEBEEN – A past participle meaning ‘observed’ wrapped around an abbreviation for one of the Epistles in the New Testament.

23d         Notice US university offering welcome? (5)
ADMIT – A short commercial notice followed by an American university commonly known by its three-letter acronym.

25d         End being upset when a female joins in criminal gang (5)
MAFIA – Reverse (upset) an end or ambition, then insert A (from the clue) and Female.

26d         Some frothy persuasiveness put into this? (4)
HYPE – Hidden in the clue. The final word of the clue should be ‘this’, but the paper has ‘his’.

The Quick Crossword pun SIRE + ACCUSE = SYRACUSE

58 comments on “DT 27982

  1. Almost a R&W for me now that’s a first! Thought the best clue for me was 19A others may differ. Many thanks to the setter & to DT for his review, wishing all a really good weekendhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  2. 1*/2*. I found this very easy today but oh so dull apart from 19a, which raised a smile and was my favourite.

    I suspect a typing error in the paper for 26d where I think the last word should be “this” not “his” – confirmed by DT above! I bunged in 16d and checked my BRB to confirm that “pan” was indeed a hollow. I also needed my BRB to understand the definition for the answer to 21a.

    Thanks to setter and to DT.

    P.S. Get well soon, DT.

  3. Nothing outstanding in today’s puzzle, but I have a day off work today and it provided a pleasant enough accompaniment to a relaxing morning coffee. 2d raised a chuckle and 21d held me up as my last one in. I’m not sure whether I’ve seen the word before and not being terribly familiar with the NT I had to get my copy off the bookshelf to complete the puzzle.

    Thanks to the Don and also DT. I hope you’re feeling better soon.

  4. A fairly straight forward puzzle for a Friday, in my opinion. I got the answer for 20d, but not really understanding the clue.

  5. Very meek and mild, I thought.
    Just popped the answers straight in, in my more or less usual time.
    Last in 14d to my shame, lingered until the coin dropped.
    Many thanks Giovanni and – get well soon – DT for the review.

  6. Surprised by DT’s rating ,as I agree with RD and Graham, a */** for me today, anyway thanks DT for the explanation of 19a-would have been a good d’oh moment if I’d seen it, thought it was something to do with son and the Moon ! Liked the surface read of 14d-having trouble with the Quickie.

  7. Actually quite enjoyed this although virtually a R&R. Nice mixture of anagrams,lurkers and the rest. 14d held me up as I was determined to put Eve in somewhere till the penny dropped. Thanks to the setter and Deep Threat for the usual excellent blog.

  8. Enjoyed this, quite liked 1a (something magical), 10a (tape), 30a (old nana), 2d (the punctuation mark), 14d (first lady). Last one in was 5d (see…), and 18d will be familiar to Beet and DIYCOW folk

    many thanks Giovanni and DT

  9. Nice and straightforward – very enjoyable, plenty of anagrams and a couple of lurkers – very handy! I didn’t know the first bit if 28a but it was obvious from the checkers and you live and learn!

    I don’t know what happened to the Daily Telegraph’s numbering system last night – very peculiar!


  10. Enjoyable Friday fare from Giovanni again. After finishing we had to check a couple of hints for parsing purposes but otherwise pretty plain sailing.
    **/*** Thanks to the Don & Deep Threat.
    A bit of music for 27a …

      1. Jane,
        Google 25 misheard lyrics. Very funny.
        I always thought Desmond Decker was wanting something for breakfast when
        he was actually slaving for bread Sir!

        1. They are known as mondegreens from the misheard lyric:

          The Bonny Earl of Murray
          Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands,
          Oh, where hae you been?
          They hae slain the Earl Amurray,
          And Lady Mondegreen

          The last line should have been “And laid him on the green”.

          There is an excellent book Mondegreens – A Book of Mishearings by J.A. Wines

          1. Very informative BD,
            We have to collect a book from Foyle’s next week so we’ll see if they have it.

            We have always been confused when John Travolta in “You’re the One that I Want” announces that he has shoes and they’re multiplying!

        2. My absolute favourite is from Madonna “la isla Bonita”
          Young girl with eyes like potatoes.
          Last night I dreamt of some dego.
          There was also one from Bronski Beat where I thought they sang: Big boy big boy, hit that perfect big boy.

        3. My favourite misheard one is Bryan Adams Summer of ’69.

          “I got my first real sex dream. Bought it at the five and dime, played it till my fingers burned….”

          A bit different from “I got my first real six-string”

        4. Mine is from Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze – ” ‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky”. Which at the time everybody thought was ” ‘Scuse me while I kiss this guy”.

      2. Someone I worked with in the Cardiac Dept misinterpreted the lyrics in a Beautiful South song – think it was called “Song for Whoever.” The actual words were, “I love you from the bottom of my pencil case” – I was never too sure why but anyway my friend thought it was, “I love you from the bottom of my pants, OK?” http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

          1. Oh dear – do hope I haven’t upset you, Mr Pedant! I’m really not quite sure what it was anyway.
            While we’re on the subject of pedantry has anyone else noticed that the distinction between ‘me’ and ‘myself’ has got lost. It now seems to be normal to say something along the lines of, “Please reply to ‘myself'” or, “I look forward to the meeting between you and myself”. Not sure I would have noticed this (myself!) but my Lambs have – it drives them mad.

            1. The song really is entitled “Song for Whoever” http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

              I’m with your Lambs all the way regarding the awful misuse of myself. Even on occasion it is now getting used instead of “I” as well as “me”.

  11. */***

    No obscurities and a few smiles from the Don. 1a was magical in itself. A beautiful clue. Also liked 19a and 14d. No real hold ups although 26d confused me. Nothing else it could be though.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for blogging, hope you feel better soon.

    It’s a freezing day here with sleet at the moment. A perfect excuse to do very little work (laptop and sofa). What fun I shall have.

    To the quintet of test quiz solvers, thank you. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  12. Went slightly over the 1* time because of a few silly errors.
    Had a try for ‘postage’ at 4d and convinced myself that if the sun was about to go then the moon would soon be up. Couldn’t find an indicator to remove one of the ‘O’s.
    Dithered a little over 11d – thought the definition was going to be an obscure naughty woman (probably biblical!) so the answer to 13a was my LOI.
    Quite enjoyed it – 3* from me – and the honours go to 10a & 2d.

    Thanks to DG and also to DT, still bringing us the review despite his sufferings. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif
    Glad the misprint was sorted out – I did wonder about ‘his’!

  13. Thought I’d better pop in to say hello before you all forget me.

    Maybe it’s because I have had plenty of lovely fresh air, but I thought this was Giovanni in a fun and playful mood and it gets the thumbs up from me.

    It’s hard to judge because I did this in a few sittings, but it was probably around average difficulty, which means DTs rating is about right.

    I had to use the mine and then google for one of the clues, and the 16d hollow required a checkette, but other than that I had no probs. The notification email gave me the heads-up about the misprint.

    My favourite was probably 19a, but there were several contenders today. I am putting 1a on the wishlist, but won’t ask Santa because he never comes through these days. It must be because I have been naughty.

    Thanks to Giovanni. Thanks and a box of tissues to DT – get well soon.

  14. I will go with the flow on this one and rate it 2*/2*. Nothing terribly difficult or unfair in the clueing, just a reasonable puzzle. Like others I liked 19 across when the coin hit the floor. It could be that we are all suffering a hangover from three excellent puzzles this week, which makes this one slightly easier and a tad less enjoyable as a result. Either way, thanks to the Don for his crossword and to DT for his hard work whilst feeling lousy.

  15. Pretty straightforward for me I must be improving although hints still very useful. Got a bit distracted SW but was lucky with shebeen, having spent time in the wilds of Kerry.
    Cure for flu and others equal parts port and brandy, get well soon DT and thanks to setter.

  16. Grieves me to say it but I thought this was the worst crossword that I have ever seen from Giovanni. 19a is just awful and 21a is not much better. Never heard of either 21d or the NT book and the hole in the ground still eludes me. 4d really should have been Postage (post as in late and age). All in all pretty dreadful. Extremely tricky and very little fun for me. Last couple of days have not been my favourites, I hope Saturday’s is better.
    Thx for the hints.

  17. Good afternoon everybody.

    Another struggle today here finishing with four unsolved (19a, 24a, 14d and 20d). Favourite was 10a which took an age to for me to see. Hopefully next week may bring an end to my bad form…


  18. No problems here, but I did need the hint to know why my bungin was correct at 5d.
    I was familiar with 21d as loved The Irish RM books.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and many thanks to Deep Threat, feel better soon. Try rum, lime and honey with a little hot water, then go to bed and sweat it out!

  19. Rand R for me too,nonetheless good fun. Thanks to Deep Threat, I was suffering from the same thing but it has cleared up now and I am 7 pounds lighter.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gifI hope the flower lifts your spirits.
    Thanks also to Giovanni.

  20. Great fun. Thank you Giovanni and DT for your efforts whilst under the weather – get well soon. There’s a lot of it about, as they say! Not sure about 13a without mention of heart. Needed help to parse 5d. **/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  21. A very Fridayish crossword, I thought – OK but nothing much to laugh at so 3* difficulty and 2* for enjoyment.
    Like Beaver I got into a pickle with 19a – thought of suns, moons and stars etc, all of which I’m a bit hazy about, but missed the blindingly obvious day of the week – dim!
    I thought 5d was a touch on the iffy side – set = located? I don’t quite get it . . .
    I think the 20d kind of clue is becoming another of Giovanni’s trademarks.
    I liked 27a and 20d. My favourite was 7d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and thanks and all good wishes for a speedy recovery to DT.

  22. More enjoyable than recent Friday offerings I felt, notwithstanding the usual biblical references.

    I marked three clues as deserving of a special mention – 27a, 2d and, my favourite 19a.

    Glad to see that others spotted the printed typo, I was sure that they would.

    Many thanks to Mr. Manley and to Deep Threat.

    P.S. Perhaps the get well soon messages to DT (which I of course echo) can also refer to the newspaper, in the hope that it can rid itself of any further gremlins!

  23. We initially tried drama queen for 14d which caused a little delay but apart from that it all went together smoothly. Thought 19a was very clever. No complaints from us, we enjoyed it.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT, get well soon.

      1. We are quite happy with either of the options that topped the poll. However it is now most likely that the next referendum will vote for retaining the current flag. We think this is very sad as we will continue to be confused, by most people in the world, with them across the Tasman.

  24. Unlike the vast majority here, I found this to be tricky and I’d agree with 3* for difficulty. However, I too am afflicted with the Lurgi and like DT, I suspect this has dulled my senses (including the crossword solving one). Looking back at the puzzle, I’ve no idea why it took me so long but ain’t that always the way? Thanks to DT and The Don ***/***

  25. I was going very well today, but fell down on 19a and 20d. I guessed 19 a, but would never have got it properly, though I found it very clever ! The reverse anagram thing in 20d remains a type of clue I don’t cotton onto too readily !


  26. Pretty straightforward and no obscurities. Yay. Loved the anagram at 8d which meant surface reading was really good. Not that I ever buy tights, you understand …

  27. Late getting to this and I was rather underwhelmed by it. 19a was probably the best of a bad bunch. I’ll give it */** as I’m feeling generous.

    Thanks anyway to the Don and DT. Hope the cold has gone by now.

  28. Solving this was not helped by a hangover of nuclear proportions. Gave up til later this afternoon and then it kind of all fell in to place. Eventually. Apart from 20d which remained a mystery to me until I’d read the hint about 10 times http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

    Some very nice clues I thought. 19a and 21a vie for top spot in my book although 14d made me smile when the penny dropped.

    Thanks to setter and DT. Time for hair of the dog now …

  29. Well I don’t know about you lot, but I enjoyed today’s offering! 19a was to my mind a very clever clue which was thus my favourite. 2/3* overall.
    I must say I think this week’s puzzles have all been pretty good.
    Thanks in this case to the Don, and to DT in his sickbed; get well soon.

  30. Just great.
    Only used a bit of electronic help to check 21d.
    The rest was in plain English and sailed through very smoothly.
    Liked the elegance of 10a and 19a.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.
    Hope you get better soon.

  31. Having been beaten by a few obscurities in the bottom half yesterday, I was pleased to finish this today. Very enjoyable though after the pennies finally dropped.

  32. I found this the most difficult of the week ***/** ?
    Was stuck for ages on 7d, 11d & 13a Thanks to DT for explaining them and to the setter 21a was favourite.

  33. An early intervention from me tonight, as it’s Friday. I thought this a bit simplistic and dull, with A few good ones thrown in. I liked 8 and 14d, and 19a. The only smile was 2d, so that wins the chocolate biscuit with the irritating layer of toffee stuff in the middle. Many thanks to DT for a performance Lazarus would envy: ignore all previous suggested cures and go for the one reliable panacea – straight whisky, preferably Scotch, preferably single malt. Dr Strummer prescribes Dalwhinnie as the most efficacious in these trying cases. 1/*/2* for the least exacting puzzle of the week.

    1. Good heavens, you are early, TS – even for a Friday!
      Yes, I think I do quite like Thomas Hardy, although it’s years since I’ve read any of his books. Once I’ve finished TCHR, I’ll give him another airing. We had to ‘do’ Far from the Madding Crowd as part of our ‘O’ level syllabus – left me not wanting to look at either said book or its author for quite some time. Poor man, I’m sure he didn’t deserve such teenage loathing!
      Good luck with today’s Elgar if you decide to give it a try. I suffered ignominious defeat at his hands.

      1. Try Jude the Obscure, if you haven’t already. The first great “modern” novel in Englsh. It attracted such opprobrium upon publication that he never wrote another and concentrated on poetry for the rest of his life (and, unlike most poets, his work got better as he aged).

  34. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very straightforward puzzle with no obscurities. Favourite was 19a. Was 2*/3* for me. Last in was 11d.Late commenting due to processing the new Squash Ladder Leagues.

  35. Enjoyed this one – a bit different to last week’s :)
    Lots of nice clues – 2d, 20d and 27a were my favourites. Needed Mr Google to refresh my memory on NT epistles and hadn’t heard of the Irish bar but it was easy enough to parse once the epistle was found.
    Also needed help parsing 5d, 19a, 20d and 25d so thanks DT for that – and hope you feel better soon.

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