DT 27033 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27033

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27033

Hints and tips by Digby

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment **

A particularly poorly cat, and the resulting visit to a local vet, renders Libellule indisposed to review today’s challenge from my observant colleague Rufus. He certainly brightens up a particularly miserable Monday morning in West Sussex with his usual mixture of clean clueing and dry wit.

As I’m a little pushed for time today I have to confess that Big Dave solved this one for me before he went to bed, and so assessing the difficulty level is a little hard to do. Several clues seem very easy – barely cryptic in fact – but my 1+* assessment is open to challenge.  Meanwhile, I do hope that “Le Chat Libellule” makes a swift recovery.

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           Confirm wild animal has escaped (4,3)
{BEAR OUT} This member of the Ursidae order is not in its cage.

5a           Big shot in the film world? (5-2)
{CLOSE-UP} The whole definition is a scene when the camera zooms in.

9a           They meet in the centre of the ring (5)
{RADII} Collective noun for the lines emanating from the middle of a circle.

10a        A host of local supporters (9)
{INNKEEPER} This local being a pub.

11a        Losing a point at tennis but going for runs at cricket (7,3)
{HITTING OUT} Double definition, the second describing aggressive batting. (Great win for our boys in India this morning!)

12a        Cut the bird’s tail off (4)
{SNIP} Remove the final letter from this long-billed bird.

14a        Catch fighting? (4,8)
{TAKE PRISONER} Description of what you hope to do to the enemy in war.

18a        Bring back discipline and revive fraternity (7,5)
{RESTORE ORDER} Double definition, the fraternity being a collection of monks.

21a        Platform is said to be unstable (4)
{DAIS} Our first anagram (unstable) of SAID.

22a        Sea water that’s in one’s watch (10)
{MAINSPRING} How one might describe sea water is also the major motive force of an analogue watch.

25a        Unusually fierce sea battle ends with it (9)
{CEASEFIRE} An agreement to end hostilities is an anagram (unusually) of FIERCE SEA.

26a        All the composer required (5)
{TUTTI} This musical notation requires everyone to sing or play together.

27a        Read one novel in girls’ school (7)
{ROEDEAN} A fairly regular visitor to Crosswordland is an anagram (novel) of READ ONE

28a        It contracts to continue one’s circulation (7)
{SYSTOLE} A noun meaning the contraction of the heart and arteries in order to pump blood.


1d           Girl bather in trouble and out of breath (6)
{BERTHA} A “BOGOF” anagram (“in trouble” and “out of”) both producing this name.

2d           Checks the accuracy of someone else’s accounts (6)
{AUDITS} Independent assessments of annual financial returns.

3d           First former? (10)
{ORIGINATOR} A noun describing the person who came up with an idea.

4d           Object of night out? (5)
{THING} Anagram (out) of NIGHT.

5d           Victor — or William? (9)
{CONQUEROR} ………..and Harold was shot in the eye!

6d           Finished in government (4)
{OVER} Contained within the final word.

7d           Could be next Open champion, perhaps (8)
{EXPONENT} This anagram (could be) of NEXT OPEN rather tenuously (perhaps) describes someone who stands up for a cause.

8d           Go into liquidation when working hard (8)
{PERSPIRE} Men do this when toiling in hot weather. (Ladies “glow” apparently)

13d        They manipulate people to their advantage (10)
{OSTEOPATHS} Those that seems to delight in inflicting pain in order to make you feel better.

15d        Height of architectural front? (9)
{ELEVATION} Double definition.

16d        Radio executive sets up record (8)
{PRODUCER} Another anagram (sets) of UP RECORD.

17d        Guess I’m in property (8)
{ESTIMATE} Insert IM into a noun describing ones worldly goods.

19d        Writer has way to tuck in inside French restaurant (6)
{BISTRO} Insert (tuck in) our usual “way” into the trade name for a ball-point pen. (Seen fairly recently in ST 2666 – Writer adding stone to middle in eating place (6))

20d        Fire when an explosive’s not set? (6)
{IGNITE} Remove GEL (set) from the front of a type of explosive.

23d        The more of them one has, the more one wants (5)
{NEEDS} A noun and a verb both describing requirements.

24d        Two notes to measure (4)
{METE} Notes #3 & #7 on the Sol-fa Scale

Rufus has set himself such high and consistent standards that the occasional, slight drop in performance really stands out. I didn’t find this to be one of his best efforts, but I’m quite willing to be challenged by his many faithful supporters.

Today’s Quickie Pun: { SUFFERER } + { JETS } = { SUFFRAGETTES }

70 comments on “DT 27033

  1. Finished but more difficult than a 1 star, at least a 2.5 with a 1 for enjoyment. One of those puzzles that leaves one feeling it wasn’t quite right. For instance systole is not an it but an action and 2d was not even cryptic. Only decent clue I felt was 5d.
    This puzzle I found a bit like the weather, grey and a bit depressing.
    Thx to Digby for the answer to 26a which was new to me.

  2. Thank you Rufus and Digby. Confidence restored with a not too challenging puzzle. Its grim up North today !

  3. Hello Digby, welcome to Monday and thanks for the blog, Oh dear, it may just be me, but I really had a bad Rufus day today, I just could not get into this one and thought that a few were barely cryptic, I cannot believe it is a Rufus, is it just me? maybe I’ve got the wrong head on today, also I thought it was more like a three star, clues I did like however were 10a and 4a, I really look forward to Monday and Rufus and feel disappointed when I haven’t enjoyed it :-(

    1. As usual I found exactly the same thing. How’s the floods? I think our next evolutionary step is webbed feet!

  4. Thanks to Rufus and to Digby for an amusing if untaxing crossword and an entertaining review. ( the anagram in 21a has said hidden and open, also there were at least 2 earlier anagrams, i.e. 1d and 4d)

  5. For whatever reason I found this tougher than usual for a Monday .More like a 2.5*/3*for difficulty but only 2* for enjoyment (can’t remember a smile).Last ones in 14a,13d ,26a .
    Raining incessantly again here .

  6. I enjoyed this from Rufus this morning. I read ‘champion’ at 7d to mean an adept or master as in ‘a great exponent of the game’.
    Thanks to Digby for stepping in and to Rufus for the puzzle. Off to work shortly as I am on lates for a few days.

  7. Just a quick quibble. you need to correct the answer for 21a – The hidden word currently reads ‘said’ rather than the anagram of said.

  8. Not often that a Rufus beats me, but 28A managed it. Even my O level in Biology didn’t help, I’m sure i’ve never heard the word before. Hum Ho.
    I thought 10A was a very clever clue and 20D was excellent.

    Rain’s stopped here, but not sure for how long. Some of the flooding around the town is quite dreadful, happily not reaching the housing (as far as I’ve been able to tell) but we now have a local rugby lake, football pond and cricket aquarium. Anyone for a game of pool ?

    1. Going up to York tomorrow to check on the ageing Ps – they live near the River Foss which has burst its banks. Wellies & sandbags at the ready!

    2. It’s fair enough to be beaten by 28a. As Brian pointed out above, the answer is the contraction phase itself, and not that which contracts (which is what the clue suggests). The term is also used in a grammatical sense, but it’s still “a shortening”.

  9. Beaten by 26a – could not even ‘construct’ the word, new to me.
    Overall, a bit harder than usual for Monday, I thought.
    so ** and a half.
    Thanks Rufus and Digby.

  10. Enjoyable start to the week, i score it **/***.Regarding 21a, i thought dais was a homophone of dies (unstable), did’nt spot the anagram!, Wanted to put Totti in for 26a ( as in top) before i checked musical instructions.Thought Digby’s pictorial for 13d looked particularly painful, i think the head has to come off first!

    1. If you think that looks painful, you should try Thai massage! It’s good though and worth the ‘good’ pain.

      1. Ah, but doesn’t it feel fantastic afterwards. I felt about 3 inches taller. Actually, I probably WAS 3 inches taller.

  11. I must be being stupid but what’s cryptic about 2 down?
    A nice one to start the week off after a heavy weekend. Low 2* difficulty for me

  12. Not just me then! I’m quite often on a slightly different wave length on Mondays but not usually as badly as I was today. At one point I almost gave up but ‘perservated’ and eventually finished it without needing the hints.
    18a took me ages but mainly because I had the wrong ending for 3d.
    I really didn’t like 28a – IT doesn’t contract, it is a contraction – it’s your heart (the ventricles to be precise) that contracts.
    Oh dear – I’m sounding terribly critical but there have been lots of crosswords that I have enjoyed more.
    I did like 1 and 5a and 1, 13 and 20d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Digby.
    Still raining . . .

  13. Great fun for a Monday morning. Tough, I agree, but soem great clues nonetheless. I was held up by having originally in 3d and hairspring rather than mainspring. Favourite clues 10, 26, 1, 8 and 20

    Thanks Rufus and Digby.

  14. I would like to thank Digby for stepping in at short notice. Unfortunately the cat didn’t make it. We found a large tumour in her chest. RIP Bonnie.

      1. Thanks, its appreciated. She had a decent, happy life and was 14 years old, so not a bad innings, but its always sad to lose a pet who has been with you for that amount of time.

        1. Oh dear – poor you. I’m really sorry about Bonnie. As you say, it’s always so sad when a pet dies.

        2. As you say Libelulle always sad to lose a pet particularly when they have been with you a long time, my last cat Panther was 25 when we had to have him put down

  15. Thanks to Rufus & Digby for the review & hints. Enjoyed it, but found it quite tricky, was 3*/2* for me. Had bartender for 10a, before solving 4d, which put me straight. Then had originally for 3d, which stopped me getting 18a. 28a was a new word, which I managed to guess as I’d heard of systolic. 19d has appeared recently, but raised a smile. All the problems today were self inflicted :-) A Grey old day in Central London.

  16. Woke up this morning to brilliant blue skies and our first snow of the year.
    Enjoyed the puzzle but got held up on 3d by putting “originally”and I had “therapists” for 13d which made 18a impossible to do !
    Thanks to Digby for the hints today to straighten me out and to Rufus for the puzzle.
    Very sorry to hear about your cat Libellule.

    1. Agree with others that this wasn’t one of Rufus’ best – a bit lacking in the usual sparkle. His puzzle in the Grauniad is a bit better I thought but no more difficult.

      No real favourites but thanks to Rufus and Digby.

      Libellule – very sorry about Bonnie but from what you said yesterday it wasn’t a complete surprise but always very difficult. RIP Bonnie.

  17. Thanks Rufus and Digby but not that enjoyable today alas. (I also thought 2d and 28a a bit disappointing.)

  18. We found this one just a little trickier than the usual Monday but nevertheless up to the standard we expect so we would be prepared to give it ***/***.
    Thanks Rufus and Digby.
    Our sympathy too Libellule on the loss of Bonnie.

  19. I also found it trickier than the usual Mondays, so am relieved to find it wasn’t just me! Didn’t actually enjoy it very much, I’m afraid, but did like 10a – that one tickled me. Thanks for hints (which I needed to finish off SE corner)

  20. Late input from me as usual – don’t get the DT until the afternoon every day.
    Faves : 11a, 18a, 22a, 8d, 13d & 16d.

    I always read the blog and feel that I know some of you e.g. Mary who is always voluble!

    Keep on solving folks – it is great fun.

  21. I thought it was at least a 2.5 star.However I really enjoyed it.I guess the clues are all new to me.I got systole so I think it can’t be that bad a clue.But I take isssue wuth 22a. I never heard of “mainspring ” as a reference to the ocean.Favourites5d, 23d, 20d.
    thanks to Rufus and Digby.Sorry to hear about Bonnie, Libellule.

    1. Hi una,

      With 22a the sea is the main and the spring is the water – put them together and you have something that makes a watch work.

      28a – systole – is just plain wrong, although I really don’t want bang on about it any more. I know nothing about all kinds of things but, as a trained cardiac nurse, I am right about this one.

      1. Hi Kath, nice when you can out-smart the setter for once! I get the odd one when they delve into the murky world of chemistry – but it don’t happen often :grin:

        1. I’m REALLY not trying to out-smart anyone, least of all the setter – I wouldn’t know where to begin with compiling a crossword! But I do know cardiac ‘stuff’ – I worked there for long enough!! I’m just grateful that they don’t delve into chemistry too often – I leave that to elder daughter!

  22. New-ish to crosswords, at least on a regular basis. Wonderful site this for someone still with his cryptic stabilisers on!

    Just wondered how you know who the setters are. How d’you know a Rufus from any other? (Can’t see the name printed)

    Cheers all, Mark

    1. Hi Mark – welcome to the blog.
      There’s something on how we (sometimes) know who the setters are in the FAQ – see here.

    2. Hello Mark – welcome from me too.
      Unlike the Toughies, back-page croosswords are officially anonymous, other than the timetable that Gazza has linked for you.
      Some setters, however, leave little clues as to thier identity, and often drop into the blog to confirm their “guilt”.
      For example, Ray T invariably works Queen into his puzzles, and if he also sets that day’s Quickie then all the clues will usually be single words.
      Less easy to spot, but Jay often includes some slightly salacious clues.
      It could be reasoned that knowing who set the crossword might make it easier to solve, but so long as they all stick to “the rules”, you should soon tune in to the required wavelength.
      Reading the comments on this blog will certainly aid that process.
      Happy solving !!

    3. Ah, thanks guys. All adds to the fun!!! I can see some patterns already. Thursdays haven’t been good for me so far – not sure if it’s the clues, the layout of the grid, or some mental block I happen to get on that day!!!!

      Thanks again for the site and contributions – really ace


    4. Often wondered that myself… though I can now often tell when it’s a Giovanni; my nemesis, but an excellent setter in my humble opinion.

  23. I did not enjoy this at all. I realise that Mondays are meant to be easy but this was really pretty poor. 2 and 14 were not even cryptic and 28 was concocted and incorrect. Having said that, I thought 7 and 8 were really good clues. 5 out of 10.

    1. 14a was cryptic enough to catch me out for an embarrassingly long time! :oops: It was one of my last answers.

      1. Hello Kath. A cryptic clue is supposed to describe in a form which is not too obvious. I thought 2 and 14 could not have any other meaning. I actually put 14 in thinking this can’t be right.

        1. Just returned from a retirement celebration so may be feeling a bit tetchy but 14 was also one of my last .Also I do not think that Monday’s crosswords are meant to be easy and I certainly did not find this so .
          Enjoyment is the key and I have often enjoyed the easiest of crosswords because of construction and most importantly smiles .
          Still raining (24 hrs ) and lots of closed roads .

  24. Last but not least! I agree with virtually all the comments. Can someone help me with one please. I like the clue and got the answer but do not understand the use of the word ‘supporters’. Thanks in anticipation.

    1. I read “supporters” as being the people who support the establishment by drinking there, although I didn’t like it all that much.

    1. WW, I read it the same way as Qix.
      I think that Rufus was trying to get us to think of a crowd of football fans.

  25. I must say I find all these new variant spellings of the Sol-fa scale rather a bore.
    The accepted English spelling worldwide has always been: ‘do(h), re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do(h).’
    But I see the Oxford Style Dictionary gives ‘me’ and ‘te’ instead of ‘mi’ and ‘ti’ so presumably Chambers does so as well.

  26. I got really stuck on this! Failed by about 6 clues. My general knowledge really faltered at 22A and 26A. Favourite clue was 19D.

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