DT 27027

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27027

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

For me this was a return to normal for Monday, with a very enjoyable and typical Rufus offering.

Read the FAQ on how to reveal the answers for tablets and mobiles, otherwise just highlight the space between the brackets.


1. One providing better information from starting price (6,7)
{RACING TIPSTER} – An anagram of STARTING PRICE produces someone who might offer advice on the form of a horse.

10. He has main control of his craft (7)
{ADMIRAL} – Main in this sense refers to the sea., so this person may have command of a fleet of ships.

11. A learner, say, backing female support in maths subject (7)
{ALGEBRA} – A L (learner) EG (say, reversed) and the usual crossword word for support produces a branch of mathematics.

12. Meet a famous mountaineer (4)
{HUNT} – A word that describes an assembly of hounds to pursue game is also the name of the climber best known as the leader of the successful 1953 British Expedition to Mount Everest.

13. Break arranged for one who works in a hot place (5)
{BAKER} – An anagram (arranged) of BREAK is someone who makes bread.

14. Baggage in hold (4)
{GRIP} – Double definition, a suitcase or a firm grasp.

17. Check votes again in detail (7)
{RECOUNT} – To narrate the facts of or a second count of votes in a close election.

18. There’s no performance of ‘The Peacock’ (4-3)
{SHOW-OFF} – A phrase that means to display or be a vain person could also describe the cancellation of a play for example.

19. Game — and how to score in it (7)
{NETBALL} – A game usually played by females, similar to basketball.

22. Unusually smart do for film eminence (7)
{STARDOM} – An anagram (unusually) of SMART DO.

24. Parking place for sport (4)
{PLAY} – P (parking) and a word that means to put or set down.

25. Such law presumably implies a suspended sentence (5)
{LYNCH} – The law of a mob that provides punishment by hanging without a trial.

26. Gem of work taking a line (4)
{OPAL} – OP (work) followed by A and L (line),

29. Clothing is torn without intention (7)
{RAIMENT} – Place a three letter word that means to propose or intend inside another word that is an opening made by a rip for example. Definition, clothing.

30. Liberate one soul in torment (7)
{UNLOOSE} – An anagram (in torment) of ONE SOUL.

31. Defeated by the elements? (7-6)
{WEATHER-BEATEN} – A phrase that typically describes showing signs of exposure to the outdoors.


2. Girl able to set up a whole lot of dates (7)
{ALMANAC} – A girls name (Cogan for example) is followed by a word that means capable which is then reversed (set up) to produce an annual publication that contains various pieces of information.

3. Concerning the content of certain records (2,2)
{IN RE} – A legal preposition that means in the matter or case of can be found hidden between the two words of certain and records.

4. Dashing chap with exotic tan on cheek (7)
{GALLANT} – An informal word for impudence is followed by an anagram (exotic) of TAN.

5. Disorderly orderly’s place of work, perhaps (2,1,4)
{IN A MESS} – This orderly might be serving meals to soldiers or sailors for example.

6. Put one’s name down for a token (4)
{SIGN} – Double definition, writing your mark, or a symbol.

7. Stop English doctor going on Greek ship (7)
{EMBARGO} – E (English), Medicinae Baccalaureus (Bachelor of Medicine) and Jason’s ship.

8. Prince, a rather unusual royal spouse (9,4)
{CATHERINE PARR} –An anagram (unusual) of PRINCE A RATHER was the sixth wife of Henry VIII.

9. Simple game for relatively well-adjusted groups (5,8)
{HAPPY FAMILIES} – A card game featuring illustrations of fictional relatives based on occupation types.

15. Sand possibly holds uranium in this Arab country (5)
{SUDAN} – An anagram of SAND with U (uranium) inserted.

16. Such acclaim as Oval erupts about century (5)
{VOCAL} – An anagram of OVAL around C (century).

20. Steam-whistle stop? (7)
{TEATIME} – a break that might be had when the kettle stops whistling.

21. Complete outfit for a small charge (7)
{LAYETTE} – A collection of clothing for a newborn child.

22. Give way and die (7)
{SUCCUMB} – A word that means to yield or submit to an overpowering force, or to die. Shouldn’t double definitions have two distinct meanings rather than, as here, be virtually the same thing twice ?.

23. Mourn ailing old peer (7)
{DEPLORE} – An anagram (ailing) of OLD PEER

27. Material taken in hand? (4)
{FELT} – A type of fabric or the past tense of to perceive by touch.

28. She produces articles in Spanish and French (4)
{ELLA} – “The” in Spanish and French is also a girls name.

The Quick crossword pun: {tempera} + {meant} = {temperament}



  1. bifield
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    A nice gentle start for a Monday but I enjoyed doing it. Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the review.

    • Henry Kaye
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      I like Mondays – make me feel smart!

  2. jezza
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    A couple in the bottom half slowed me down for a while. Not sure that 4d works (as a down clue).
    Thanks to Rufus, and to Libellule.

    • Catherine
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jezza
      What do you mean “as a down clue”?

      • gazza
        Posted November 19, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        I think that what Jezza was getting at is that in an across clue the convention is that ‘A ON B’ means place A after B whereas in a down clue (ON here meaning on top of) it means that A goes before B. A setter of Rufus’s eminence is allowed to ignore conventions from time to time.

        • Catherine
          Posted November 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

          Thanks Gazza. I see that now.

  3. spindrift
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Always look forward to Mondays with a Rufus puzzle. It makes the return of the working week seem lighter somehow. BTW Brendan over in the Gruaniad has a theme going which I’m still trying to work. Well worth a go in the absence of a Toughie…

    Thanks to Rufus & to Libellule.

  4. Brian
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Excellent start to the week, some challenging clues on the left hand side and a new term (at least for me) in 3d. Thx to all.

    • Only fools
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Ditto .

  5. Mike in Amble
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Really good puzzle to start the week. Thanks setter and Libellule.

  6. Sweet William
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Thank you Rufus and Libellule. Found LHS harder than RHS and last in was SW corner. Always struggling with GK ! but managed 8d in spite of that.

  7. Prolixic
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    I scuppered the lefthand side by confidently putting in captain for 10a and only realising much later that a different answer was required. It is one of those awkward clues where captain, skipper and the required answer would all be all legitimate answers to the clue.

    • Sweet William
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Same here ! Did tend to hold up the LHS a bit !

      • Libellule
        Posted November 19, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        This was a case of where you knew what the answer was about, but without the checking letters you didn’t know what the answer was, MARINER was another option that occurred to me.

    • Kath
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      I made even more of a mess of the LH side – captain for 10a AND pinball for 19a. Oh dear! :roll:

    • Roger
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      And me as well. Sticking Grab in for 14 didn;t help matters either!

  8. mary
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Good morning Libelulle and thanks for blog, didn’t need it today but still needed a little help, for some reason I struggled with the long outside clues today, and although I liked the crossword overall I didn’t really have a favourite clue, having spelt algebra as alegbra didn’t help me with 6d!! this along with 1a was the last in for me, it’s a horrible day here today I’m off to paint some pine bedroom furniture white, other half is away, so I can get on with it in peace and without being told I am doing it all wrong!!

  9. Posted November 19, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    It must be me – I’ve never heard of 12 a – but I couldn’t squeeze Sir Edmund Hillary or Sherpa Tenzing into the space. I also did not know 14a was a suitcase. I presumed it was a handbag but needed confirmation I had that one correct. Many thanks for that and regards to all.

  10. skempie
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    No real problems today although I’d never heard of the mountaineer. Perhaps a reference to football would have been more appropriate (particularly the 1966 WCF which was the last game I really enjoyed watching).

    • mary
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Or Formula1 driver perhaps?

  11. Lorry
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Where on website can I find FAQ,s

    • gazza
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Hi Lorry – welcome to the blog.
      It’s one of the options immediately under the pictures at the top of the page.

  12. crypticsue
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    I thought Rufus had his slightly trickier hat on this morning. I too fell into the captain/skipper trap and thought the LH side of the puzzle took extra thought. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule too.

  13. Beaver
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Good start to the week and about**/***,straight forward,but perplexed by 20d for ages,even with all the letters in! had a second cup of tea and the d’oh moment arrived! looking for a complicated solution as usual.Thanks toRufus and Libellule

  14. Kath
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Made a complete pig’s ear of left hand side – captain for 10a and pinball for 19a – engaging brain before writing answer in is quite a good plan.
    Once I’d sorted out these minor stupidities all was fine. I really enjoyed it.
    I was slow to get the second word of 1a and 20d took a while.
    I liked 18, 25 and 31a and 5 and 8d. Favourite 9d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  15. Big Boab
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Rufus for an enjoyable if untaxing start to the week and to Libellule for the usual masterly review.

  16. Catherine
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Agree with everyone – very nice Monday puzzle. Hope it’s not setting me up for a fall later in the week! Do the girls in England still play 19a? I played in the 60’s as I was in an English school and wondered if they wouldn’t just play basketball now.
    Agree with Libellule on 22d. Doesn’t really seem like a double definition.
    Many thanks to Libellule and Rufus.

    • skempie
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      They still play netball Catherine. Thankfully, basketball hasn’t really caught on over here

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      Netball is very big in this part of the world Catherine, both Aus and NZ. It is in fact our national womens’ sport and even features on national TV, especially when there are tests or other internationals with trans-Tasman rivals.

  17. Steve_the_beard
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t it good that we’re all different… at least 3* for me, and much harder than the usual Monday fare.

    Last one in was 20D, and although it had to be the answer I’m still not too happy with it.

    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule. :-)

    • Chris
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      20d was my last one and I was glad to have the blog to check what I still feel is rather an awkward answer. Thanks Libellule and the setter.

      • Hrothgar
        Posted November 19, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        Agree Chris, this one, my last, remained undone for a very long time until the penny eventually dropped.
        Rather an imprecise and clumsy clue, I thought.
        But the others, usual excellent fare.
        Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

    • Kath
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      I agree with all that you have said – for some reason I really don’t find Rufus puzzles the easiest – it’s always the last three or four that take me longer than the whole of the rest of the crossword.

      • Hrothgar
        Posted November 20, 2012 at 8:30 am | Permalink

        On mature reflection, I now think that 20d is, perhaps, a very clever clue.
        The hyphen is a precise guide to the solution.
        Annoyed with self for taking so long :)

  18. Grumpy Andrew
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Rufus for an enjoyable puzzle for a Monday morning commute which, although I never like to moan, I must say lost marks for the curse of the obscure proper noun at 12a (who he?).
    Other gentle quibble, isn’t 15d more of an African country than an Arab one?
    Thanks as ever for the very enlightening blog.

    • skempie
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Are you trying to say that there are no Arabs in Egypt or Morocco or Tunisia or Libya?

      • Grumpy Andrew
        Posted November 19, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

        eh? I’m sure that there are people from many different origins in those African countries that you name.
        Last time I visited Australia there were Arabs too.

    • Posted November 19, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      There is a subtle difference between an Arab country and an Arabian country. Sudan is the former but not the latter.

  19. Bob
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    I thought a three star for me. Had probs with the LHS despite getting 8d almost immediately. I thing the answer “Admiral” requires a slightly different clue, but of course “His Boats” instead of “his craft” would make it too easy for crosswordlandpeople I suppose.
    Then again “Recount” for “Detail” 17A does not fit happily with me.
    Netball, seems wrong somehow, but literally I guess its right.
    I put in “Pool” for 24A and could not persuade myself it was wrong therefore could not get 20D and was thinking about “toots…” etc.
    Personally, I think the Monday morning puzzles are getting harder. and the Friday ones easier.

    • Kath
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      I agree with what you say about Monday and Friday puzzles – I do wonder if it’s because of what we have all learnt from this great blog. I used to find Fridays the most difficult in the week (never even used to look at Sunday crosswords – completely beyond me) and Mondays always seemed to be the easiest. Now I can usually do Fridays (sometimes they can be a bit tricky, particularly recently) and I get caught out by a few on Mondays – maybe looking for difficulties that aren’t there?

  20. Wayne
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    A pleasant start to the week. I didn’t fall into the trap at 10a as I always start by looking for anagrams, so the anagram at 8d indicated something (one) other than captain. Best clue for me was 20d. Thanx to Compiler and to Libellule for his review.

  21. 2Kiwis
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    We must have been in the right mood for this one as it all sailed in without any problems. Interesting to hear of the little trip-wires that others found. We seem,quite by chance, to have avoided all of them.
    Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

  22. Heno
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Rufus & Libellule for the review & hints. Very nice puzzle at the start of the week, was 2*/3* for me. Started with 6d, finished with 25a. Favourites were 18a & 8d. Nice day for privet hedge cutting in Central London.

  23. una
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule. Favourites 18a and 31a.

  24. asterix
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    The only one I couldn’t get was 21d: not even after all the other clues were solved. Nobody’s mentioned it yet, so I assume it’s word well-known to all here. I’d never heard of it. I recall hearing the term ‘baby shower’ in the US a few years back – a party held to shake down the guests for cash for the new kid on the block, and a custom held up to ridicule by ‘Miss Manners’ in the Washington Post. But the word 21d isn’t a US neologism as I’d presumed – I checked a French dictionary and in this meaning it goes back to 1684, and in the meaning of ‘drawer’ to the middle ages.
    Enjoyed the clues very much today – particularly 8d and 23d (lovely to see that older meaning of the word being used). And 12a – a name from my childhood that suddenly uploaded itself. Many thanks to the setter Rufus and to Libellule.

    • Grumpy Andrew
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      Should have mentioned in my earlier post that I didn’t get this either despite having all the crossing letters.

    • skempie
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

      Put it into Google – wikipedia gives a good definition. It is a very common word in crosswordland.

  25. Little Dave
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Thought this was going to be dead easy despite England toiling (why do they never bat on after a night’s sleep)? Anyway, missed 21d (it does feature from time to time) and I thought 20d was rather weak. Perhaps not entirely tuned in?

  26. Phil
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    20d is a lame clue

  27. Franco
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Defeated once again by Rufus. I always struggle with his Cryptic Definitions & Double Definitions!

    • Kath
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

      These days, having been reading the blog for quite a long time now, he is the one I often have trouble with – usually just the last few answers.

  28. marcus brown
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Look at this site occasionally but haven’t sent a comment before. Today’s is just the sort of crossword I enjoy. Medium difficulty. Concise clues with surface readings that make total sense. A role model for crossword setters, I would say

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      Welcome Marcus. I hope now you have unlurked we will see you here again.

      • Franco
        Posted November 19, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

        “Unlurk”? Not yet made it into Chambers!

        Presumably an intransitive verb? Or can you “unlurk” somebody else?

    • Posted November 19, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Permalink


      Many setters aspire to write cryptic definitions like Rufus, but few succeed.

      • Lordofthepings
        Posted November 19, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

        Hi from another newbie :-)

        If the superb 1a is typical of his clues then I’ll be back for more. ‘Better’ and SP weren’t wasted on me – what a cracking anagram! Finished unaided (just), but the challenge was worth it for this clue alone.

        • Posted November 19, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

          Welcome to the blog m’lud.

        • Franco
          Posted November 20, 2012 at 1:18 am | Permalink

          My Lord – 1a – An example of an “Apposite Anagram”? I think!

  29. After 10pm
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Managed all of this except 20d which, having seen the answer, I think is a bit weak. However, I thought 1a was a brilliant clue; I love anagrams like that!