DT 27003 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27003

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27003

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Not quite sure what to say about this… except that where some of the weaker clues pulled it down (e.g. 13d), 14a made up for them.

Highlight the space between the curly brackets to reveal the answer.


1. Pay attention to sermon? (7)
{ADDRESS} – Double definition, to deal with something, or a formal speech.

5. Goes into a long-term partnership (7)
{MARRIES} – To match up or become husband and wife.

9. The pack must return to desert (5)
{TAROT} – A pack of cards used in fortune telling, is a reversed TO and then a synonym for abandon or leave.

10. Butter and milk producer (5,4)
{NANNY GOAT} – Think of butter here in the context of hitting or pushing against something using a head or horns.

11. Shrank from being engaged (10)
{CONTRACTED} – Reducing in size, or a formal agreement of marriage.

12. Dances with instruments in the toolroom (4)
{JIGS} – Lively dances, or tools for guiding or for holding work in place.

14. It provides a good base for an evening out (7-5)
{IRONING-BOARD} – Especially if you are pressing your clothes.

18. A challenging demand (12)
{SATISFACTION} – The sort of demand you might make if you challenged someone to a duel.

21. General assistant (4)
{AIDE} – An officer who acts as a military assistant.

22. Hunt for a drink? Just the opposite (7-3)
{STIRRUP-CUP} – A container containing an alcoholic drink offered to a horseman ready to ride away.

25. Advocate for a famous explorer gaining essential point (9)
{APOLOGIST} – A, a Venetian traveller, and a word that describes a central idea or essence.

26. Run away with East European on the rebound (5)
{ELOPE} – A word that describes running away with your lover is E and someone who comes from Warsaw for example reversed (on the rebound).

27. Following points go to the prosecution (7)
{ENSUING} – To follow as a consequence or result is EN (points) and then a word that describes instituting legal proceedings.

28. Uncommon pronoun (5,2)
{ROYAL WE} – Such as the Queen might use.


1. Charge for illness (6)
{ATTACK} – To set upon with violent force, or an episode or onset of a disease.

2. Attorney to call for defiance (6)
{DARING} – DA (District Attorney) and a word for making a call on the telephone.

3. Come in force, showing initiative (10)
{ENTERPRISE} – A word that describes a willingness to undertake new ventures, can be made up from a word meaning to go into, and another word that describes forcing something open with a lever.

4. Describing noise of icons breaking (5)
{SONIC} – An anagram (breaking) of ICONS.

5. Food from the earth — £500 to an aficionado (6,3)
{MONKEY NUT} – A pod of the peanut vine is a slang term for £500, followed by a word that describes an enthusiast or buff.

6. Fish to breed, say (4)
{RAYS} – These fish sound like “raise”.

7. Sarcastic driver possibly in charge over a learner (8)
{IRONICAL} – A metal golf club is followed by IC (in charge) and then AL (a learner).

8. Adjourn tennis match with scores level? (3,5)
{SET ASIDE} – A phrase that might describe putting something away for a period, could also be if split (3,1,4) a tennis match where the scores are 1,1.

13. You bet positively (10)
{ABSOLUTELY} – A word that means completely, totally or certainly.

15. Almost object: ‘That could have caused an accident’ (4,5)
{NEAR THING} – Something that is close by could also be something that barely avoids failure or disaster.

16. Inserted plug in leak — a daring exploit (8)
{ESCAPADE} – Place AD inside a word that means to issue from confinement or an enclosure to get a wild or exciting adventure.

17. Academic bosses admit financial liability (8)
{STUDIOUS} – The definition is academic. Place IOU (a financial liability) inside (admit) a word for circular protuberances (bosses).

19. Where porpoises are taught? (6)
{SCHOOL} – A word that describes a large group of aquatic animals.

20. Field the ball (6)
{SPHERE} – Double definition, a particular field of activity or a three dimensional round object.

23. It’s essential to a helicopter going up or down (5)
{ROTOR} – The assembly or airfoils that propel a helicopter is also a palindrome.

24. Note uprising of W African tribe in desert (4)
{GOBI} – A desert of south east Mongolia and northern China can be made from G (a musical note) and a reversed three letter word for a tribe that lives mainly in south Nigeria reversed.

The Quick crossword pun: {poll} + {sap} + {art] = {poles apart}

59 comments on “DT 27003

  1. That’s interesting the Xword in the IPad edition is cryptic 209, thought it was a bit odd when solving.

    They are a shower.

    Still did that one and then went onto the Rufus in the Grauniad, so had a pleasant start to the day.

    Might have a go at the quiptic now as the weather is so dreary.

    1. I’m grateful for this post as I looked at the review earlier and thought it was for a different day.

      My I Pad also shows puzzle 209 and is obviously one that is different to the clues above. Very odd.

  2. Perhaps someone with a copy of the newspaper can confirm or deny who has done the correct version of the crossword today.

    1. IPad users appear to be receiving the Telegraph Puzzles weekly on-line prize crossword rather than the crossword that appears on the back page. The one you have blogged is the correct one. I have alerted Phil McNeill.

      1. One can only assume its deliberate, either that or they have some seriously large cities in what used to be China

  3. Thanks to BD for supplying the right puzzle.

    Found this one fairly straight forward, helped somewhat by knowing the solution to the first three clues.

    5d has another indicator as they are also known as ground nuts?

    Thanks to Libellule for the review and to Rufus.

  4. I didn’t get no 18a from this at all today. Could fill in very few clues and without your help, Libellule, couldn’t have done it at all. Was this Rufus? I enjoyed some of the clues, 10 and 28a and 15d, but really disliked quite a lot. Is ‘address’ the same as ‘pay attention” ? Not on the right wave-length at all today. :-(

    If Rufus is in the Grauniad today, I think I’ll go there. And merci, Libellule.

    1. If you address an issue you pay attention to it. But I don’t think that daring and defiance are not the same parts of speech. If you are daring you could perhaps be defiant.

      Finished without help but a bit of a struggle.

      1. I think daring and defiance can both be used as nouns – it’s just that daring sounds more like and is more usually used as an adjective.

  5. I wasn’t at all on the right wave length today – I know that it always is Rufus on Mondays but I didn’t think that it felt like one of his.
    Fatal error number one was instantly putting in ‘Billy goat’ for 10a even though I KNOW that males don’t produce milk! Oh dear! :oops: That made the top right corner unnecessarily tricky until I got 4d and saw the error of my ways. I wasn’t very happy about 18a and only put it in because I couldn’t think of another word that would fit with my alternate letters. I was also ridiculously slow to get 14a. I didn’t know the word for £500 and neither had I ever heard of the African tribe. Definitely not my day – and it’s chilly, grey and drizzly in Oxford.
    I did like 22 and 25a and 3 and 13d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

    1. I know how you feel, Kath. The number of times I have ‘forced’ a solution in…even though I can’t see why it is the answer..and that’s because it often isn’t…yet I still try and convince myself that it is !

    2. Top half**,bottom half *** and ***.lots of big words! One of those crosswords where you see the answer then fit it to the clue,if your on the ‘wave lenth’-ok, if not today’s was a **** .You must have heard of Obi Wan Kenobi from Star Wars!-did’nt look african though.

  6. I too found this very un Rufus like. He is usually my quickest solve of the week and today he wasn’t. I did like 14a. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

    It is foggy, dank and gloomy here in Canterbury. One of the forecasters was talking about this week being an Indian summer – apart from the monsoons on Friday and Sunday, surely they don’t have fog in India?

    1. Risking a dusty response because you already knew this, but here goes: the term “Indian Summer” comes from North America. Early settlers noticed that there was often an improvement in the weather towards autumn, so that’s what they called it. Nice easy start to the week. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

        1. Have just been in to ‘sort out’ my Mum – she assures me that the forecast for next week is snow and ice. Can’t help wondering if she dreamt that one up – who knows?

          1. She may well be right, rings I heard It’s going to get cold at the weekend. Off to the nursing home soon to see my Mum.

          2. Here in peterborough predictions for Sat and Sun are -1 to -3 C overnight, fleece at ready for the tender plants, like Heno think your mum may have a point, even if Snow not on the menu. Snow …Ice, oh dear, what a thought

    2. used your advice,thanks. I am somewhat west of you and we have had a beautiful, bright, sunny autumn day

    3. Un-Rufus-like? Really?

      I don’t think that any other setter would have produced this puzzle.

      I also thought that it was slightly easier than his usual output, although I also liked 14a.

      Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

      1. i got a shock when I saw your reply under mine. I thought I had said the wrong thing again.then i realised you were replying to Crypticsue.I think you are a little bit rough with Brian.

        1. Your post was a pleasant antidote to the distinctly wintry weather hereabouts.

          Unfortunately, Brian’s was rather reminiscent of blog curmudgeons from times gone by.

      2. Having thought about this, I think what I meant was that my reaction to the solving process of this puzzle was most un-Rufus-like. I normally make grown men weep (apparently) by my ability to write in Rufus clues as I read them. Yesterday I didn’t. Make of that what you will.

  7. Am I the only one to blithely write TAPS in for 12A, and then pay the price thereafter? It did make 7D very difficult :-)

    I also wanted to put DAIRY MAID for 10A, but fortunately 4D came to my rescue…

    I’d call it *** myself, based on time, although reviewing it after completion it didn’t seem quite so hard.

    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

    1. er, no! Luckily I didn’t fall for the tie-break or else I would have been in an even worse mess today than I already was. I’m with CrypticSue and seemingly the majority that this had more difficulty than usual for a Monday Back pager. Anyway, thanks to Libellule and Rufus, if it were him

  8. I wrote TIE BREAK in for 8d (which I think works!) which made this a lot harder for me. Definitely the hardest Monday I’ve faced for a while…

  9. Just wanted to say what a great site this is… been visiting for a while. Thanks for all your hard work…
    made a horrible mess of this one as I was utterly convinced 8d was tie break and the girlfriends hidden the tipp-ex

    1. This is an absolutely brilliant site. I think you definitely need to be able to rub things out when doing a crossword! :smile:

  10. Was sailing along happily with this until I came to a grinding halt in the top left corner. For some reason I had 1D marked in as 4,2 but dammed if I can see why. Suffice to say, I couldn’t fit anything in despite having most of the checking letters. Hum Ho. Other than that, not too tricky today IMHO.
    Must say, I did like 28A.

  11. Thank heavens most found it harder than normal. I was late starting and I put my lack of progress down to excess enjoyment at a family party yesterday. So was it Rufus ? It felt very different to most Mondays. Got there in the end but a real struggle.

    Thanks to ?? Rufus and Libellule.

  12. Another pleasant puzzle from Rufus to start the week.
    First in was4d then 10a and after that pretty straightforward progress across the grid.

    Faves : 9a, 14a, 22a, 5d, 15d & 24d.

    Weather in NL is warm and sunny after a very misty early morning.

  13. I’m with crypticsue and Big Boab again on this one. Found it a mixed bag, not very inspiring (like the weather).

    Only one anagram unless I’m much mistaken. Is this a rarity?

  14. Thanks to Rufus & Libellule for the review & hints. 3*/3* for me. I found this really tricky. Most enjoyable puzzle.
    I needed help in the NW corner. Needed 2 hints for 9&11a, then I managed to get 1&3d. Favourites were 14&22a & 5d. Weather grim in Central London.

  15. Got most of this one in half an hour,but struggled with 20d.Then looked on here and am now banging my head on the wall ‘cos it ‘s so obvious!!!

  16. I too found this quite hard for a Monday and like others very un Rufuslike but persevated and got there in the end .

  17. thank you so much Libellule, I was really stuck on 9a,25a, and some others.A very difficult Rufus.

  18. A bit of a mixed bag for me too, and a bit trickier than most Monday back pages, but good fun nonetheless. Trickiest for me was 14a – only because I don’t often use mine for evenings out or any other occasion for that matter! Oops, is that an admission too far? Thank you to the setter and to Libellule for confirming my assumptions re the answers.

  19. Can’t resist commenting so we can show our new avatar to the world. A bit of a mixed puzzle with some very good, but also some rather weak clues. In my golfing experience a driver is always a wood, not an iron, for 7d, but the solution was clear anyway. Favourites were 14a and 22a.
    Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

    1. Might be wrong, but years and years ago in the days of hickory shafts – Tom Jones etc, there was such a thing as a “driving iron” – which basically was a one iron. Perhaps the setter still uses his ?

  20. Really the like this site which I stumbled on by accident. Thought the puzzle today was like the weather here – foggy!

    1. Doodah,
      Your comment went into moderation because you’ve changed your alias. Both old and new should work from now on.

  21. Horrid Monday puzzle. Finished but some clues make little sense. Ie why the opposite in22a, why defiance in2d, don’t get 9a at all, rat desert? Makes little sense.what has 16d got to do with plug in leak? Sloppy!

    1. Is “sloppy” a euphemism for “I don’t understand”?

      22a In the clue it says “hunt for a drink” and a stirrup-cup is a “drink for a (fox)hunt”, the opposite of what it says in the clue.

      2d Defiance is a synonym for daring as a noun, as in an act of daring

      9a To rat is to desert, reverse it and you get a Tarot (card)

      16d is an ad(vertisement) or plug inside escape (leak)

      I can’t see anything wrong with any of the clues in this puzzle.

    2. Assuming that you’re being serious:

      22a: “Opposite” because the answer is “drink for a hunt” rather than “hunt for a drink”
      2d: “Defiance” in Chambers: Brave or bold contempt of opposition
      9a: The definition is “pack”; the wordplay is a reversal of TO + a 3-letter word meaning (Chambers) To desert or change sides for unworthy motives
      16d: Plug = AD (short for “advertisement” – “plug” being a colloquial term with the same meaning); Leak = ESCAPE, as in, “…the pipe was damaged, allowing the gas to (insert either term here)”.

      What has the solution of 16d to do with “plug in leak”? Absolutely nothing. That is the whole point. One part of the clue is a definition of the answer. The other part is the “subsidiary indication”, which is intentionally misleading.

      These are *cryptic* crosswords.

  22. Typical Rufus but typically I have four or so clues that I struggle on!. Thanks to him and to Libellule.

Comments are closed.