DT 27045 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27045

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27045

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Most of this went in pretty quickly, but I got caught having to think carefully about a few tricky answers that took a little while to reveal themselves to me. Favourite clue today has to be 28a for the misdirection and surface reading.


1. Possibly one’s private abomination (3,8)
{PET AVERSION} – A person or thing that arouses extreme personal dislike is an anagram (possibly) of ONES PRIVATE.

9. Angostura put out for Jason’s crew (9)
{ARGONAUTS} – Another anagram (put out), this time of ANGOSTURA.

10. Fights for the best theatre seats (5)
{BOXES} – Double definition, fighting with gloves on or separated compartments at a theatre.

11. A song from Iolanthe, maybe (6)
{ANTHEM} – A type of song is hidden between the words Iolanthe and maybe.

12. Understood devil came to a lawful end (8)
{IMPLICIT} – A word that means implied or suggested, can be constructed from a three letter word for a devil, followed by another word that means permitted by law.

13. Raises new taxes, accepting pound (6)
{EXALTS} – An anagram (new) of TAXES with L (pound sterling) inserted.

15. New star dies in Act of God, perhaps (8)
{DISASTER} – An anagram (new) of STAR DIES.

18. Regular lay preachers take this (8)
{EVENSONG} – A church service can be made from a word that means uniform or flat, and then a word for a ballad.

19. Averts shambles — fast! (6)
{STARVE} – An anagram (shambles) of AVERTS.

21. Denial of victim in valid case (8)
{REBUTTAL} – The definition is denial, place a word for a person who is as an object of ridicule or contempt inside a word that means true or actual.

23. I’m given role to communicate (6)
{IMPART} – IM and a character plated by a performer.

26. The result of a summer’s work? (5)
{TOTAL} – A summer in this case is doing addition.

27. A spirited community? Surely not! (5,4)
{GHOST TOWN} – A once thriving community, (especially of the American West) that has been completely abandoned.

28. Version of carol Silent Night is heard (3,8)
{SIR LANCELOT} – An anagram (version) of CAROL and SILENT is also a knight (sounds like night – is heard) of the Round Table.


1. Calm sort of current in South American river (7)
{PLACATE} – Place AC (Alternating Current) inside a large estuary that forms part of the border between Argentina and Uruguay.

2. Fast affected by drink? (5)
{TIGHT} – Double definition, fixed firmly in place, or a slang term that means intoxicated or drunk.

3. Rows of houses to sell on state order (9)
{VENDETTAS} – Another word for sell, and then an anagram (order) of STATE are the sort of rows of houses that were characterised in Romeo and Juliet between the Montague and Capulet families.

4. It scatters the foe right away (4)
{ROUT} – R and another word for not being home.

5. In such a state there’s no need for alarm (8)
{INSOMNIA} – An alarm clock.

6. This prize elevates the good in French language (5)
{NOBEL} – Reverse “the” and “good” in French for a Swedish international award.

7. Someone calling for a mask — that’s about it (7)
{VISITOR} –The definition is “someone calling”, place a word for a piece of armour that is fixed or hinged on a helmet to protect the face around IT.

8. Dead estate agent (8)
{EXECUTOR} – A person who is appointed by to carry out the instructions left in a persons will.

14. Create novel about graduate in distress (8)
{ACERBATE} – An anagram (novel) of CREATE around BA (graduate).

16. Yet someone has to pull the trigger (9)
{AUTOMATIC} – Basically “Used of a firearm. Ejecting a shell and loading the next round of ammunition automatically, but requiring a squeeze of the trigger for each shot.”

17. Cut short acrimony — compromise (8)
{ENDANGER} – A word that can mean to put in a difficult position can be made from a word that means to finish, followed by another word for a strong feeling of displeasure or hostility.

18. Singular mistake in Latin translation (7)
{ERRATUM} – Simply put, it is exactly that – an error in printing or writing.

20. Dead to the world (7)
{EXTINCT} – As a dodo.

22. Inclines to be quixotic? (5)
{TILTS} – A word for sloping is also a word used to describe jousting with a lance, perhaps with windmills?

24. As you can see, it forms a ring (5)
{ATOLL} – A and the sound of a bell, is also a circular island or chain of islands formed of coral

25. The first person on a Scottish isle (4)
{IONA} – I (the first person) ON A.

The Quick crossword pun: {whine} + {Liszt} = {wine list}

98 comments on “DT 27045

  1. For me the worst Monday crossword I can ever remember, just awful! Don’t get Libellule clue for 5d, what has Insomnia to do with an warm clock? Walking away in in disgust.

    1. My mistake in the past, Brian, has been in reading the clues as sentences. I no longer do this but treat each word as a standalone word. Then I think about alternative pronunciations which would give the word a different meaning. I also look for low-hanging fruit such as anagrams. I also have no set pattern such as doing all the across clues one after the other (or trying them). So often clues when I get to them already might have a few letters in them already. Insomnia was one such.

      Persevere…is the best advice…..but I do know how you feel. I’ve been there and still occasionally return !

      1. Roger this is an excellent description of how to approach cryptics. That is what I try to do. I don’t have a set pattern of solving either but just go where my solutions take me. Also good advice about thinking of different pronunciations. When I finally saw what “row” meant in 3d it gave me the answer.
        I really enjoyed today’s puzzle. I could not finish a single one last week without the hints so today’s was a pleasure!
        Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule.

        1. Quite.
          I was replying in the same vein.
          I don’t like my crosswords being called disgusting.
          I highly regard Rufus.

          1. That was not my point.
            My point was – having known the solution was insomnia, an alarm was quite easy to understand.
            I was not saying the clue (s) was obvious.
            If clues were obvious, we wouldn’t have much fun. would we?

            1. I understand what you’re saying Hrothgar :-) but I have to say if just once I had a crossword where all the clues were obvious to me I would have great fun solving it ;-)

                1. Will have a look later – my first impression is that if you can find one you’re one hell of a lot cleverer than me!! :smile: How much do you want to bet that someone will come up with a fantastic one?

  2. Good morning Libelulle and thank you for the hints, I needed a few today to finish, particularly in the bottom left corner, I think on the whole Rufus crosswords are getting a bit more difficult lately but he is still my favourite setter, though I don’t think I’d have got out of the ‘Clueless Club’ on a Rufus these days :-) , fav clues today 5d, 8d, 9a and 28a although this one took me a while! Perservation needed again today alongside electronic friends and Libelulles hints, a three star at least for me

  3. I don’t understand 24a Libelulle, a ring is a toll but why ‘as you can see’ it forms… I just don’t understand it?

    1. Mary,
      I took that to be a simple reference to how an atoll looks – if you look at it – it is a ring.

  4. Oh wow! What an utterly superb, fantastic puzzle. Perhaps my favourite of the year. I have had problems with Rufus before but today, it all just clicked in record time. Some sticky ones, Some that made you think. But the enjoyment factor in solving them was immense. So many many thanks Rufus.

    I especially like clues that have words that have a different meaning according to how they are pronounced. For example, rows in 3. Masterful misdirection. Am I right I saying that the English language is the only one where cryptic crosswords really work? My linguist chum thinks so.

    Many favourites 27,28, 3,5,8,20,22.

    1. I will ask my bilingual sister-in-law. She is French but does really well at MY DT crossword whenever she is here!!

      1. Kath,

        I have a friend who is French, but studied English, she does the DT Cryptic off and on when she gets the time, I asked her if the French have the equivalent to a typical English cryptic crossword. Her response was:

        “Not really, most French crosswords are pretty mundane but there are some which are cryptic-like so to speak. They are in some weekly TV magazines (Telerama for instance or the TVmag you get free with the Sunday paper ). Michel Laclos is very good at making them. ”

        Googling Michel Laclos will give you some idea…

  5. I go with the *** and ***. Apart from the Quixotic reference (windmills?) which still doesn’t seem to make much sense, it might have been better to link the clue to 28a, I enjoyed the start to the week.

      1. Mmm. it just dosen’t quite work for me. To be Quixotic it should be tilting not tilts. I still think a Sir Lancelot reference would have been more apt.

  6. Cant really see how the clue for 17d works, don’t understand the ‘compromise’ bit. Apart from that I found it fairly straightforward. Best clue by far was 28a. Helped by the anagrams which I always look for first as a way in. Agree with Libellule rating of ***/***.
    Thanx to Compiler and to Libellule for the review.

    1. endanger is a synonym for compromise Wayne, so cut short – ‘end’ followed by acrimony ‘anger’ gives us ‘endanger’

    2. Quote “I think compromise is ok for endanger, as in ‘His actions compromised the peace process’.

    3. Yes, I understood the ‘cut short’ and ‘acrinomy’ parts but just didn’t see ‘compromise’ as being Endanger. Thanx for the explanations Mary and Libellule.

  7. One of the best.
    Quite testing, I thought.
    Got there unaided, last in 12a, but should have got it sooner.
    Thanks setter and Libellule

  8. I found this really difficult – at least a 3* for me today.
    There were an awful lot of answers that, when I FINALLY got them, I realised that I should have done much more quickly – 10a and 8d in particular, but others as well. I got 22d but only because I couldn’t think of much else that would fit – I don’t get the windmill bit in the hint – maybe I’m being dim. I didn’t know the word at 14d – acerbic and exacerbate I’ve met but not this one. I’m glad that I’m not the only one who thinks that Rufus is getting much trickier!
    I liked 27 and 28a and 5 and 20d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

    1. I couldn’t find acerbate as a synonym for distress Kath and it doesn’t give that meaning in the BRB either! must confess to not understanding the windmill bit either

      1. I understand the windmill bit now – if you click on the link in a comment from Libellule a bit further up all becomes clear. Beaver’s comment a bit further down also explains it.

  9. As much as I like Rufus, I find his style seems to be changing lately, I wouldn’t say the clues are any more difficult, but need to be looked at in a slightly different way.

    Quite enjoyed this but got held up for quite a while after putting PUPIL in for 24D- well, you see through it and it is ring shaped. Ho Hum.

  10. Agree with*** and***.Quite challanging for a monday.SW corner a tad tricky.Favourite 28a, never can spell 24d for some reason, is the see(sea) anything to do with the answer as this is where they are found-just a thought, as far as 22d is concerned, as i remenber, the Don lance in hand, was always ’tilting’ at windmills ,assuming they were something else, or the ‘enemy’. Thanks setter and Libellule.

  11. Rufus definitely had his trickier hat on when setting this one, it took me twice as long as usual to solve (atlhough I still did so in a time that may make several grown men sob). I did like 28a. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

    Normal service is resumed with the Rufus in today’s Guardian.

      1. What is the relevance of time?

        This grown man never cries! :cry:

        CS, are you deliberately trying to wind us all up when you say how quick and clever you are at solving? Or is it unintentional?

        1. Time is always in the eye of the beholder. It is relevant to those who have little, but of no interest, to those who have plenty.

  12. Best Rufus crossword for some time, many thanks to him and to Libellule for the usual masterly review.

  13. Not my favourite Rufus — just not on the same wave length and the old brain strained and strained, so I read Libellule’s hints and finally finished. Do not understand 4D at all, my other queries have been answered in the correspondence, i.e.17D and 22D though I still think 22D a bit iffy. Liked26A and 8D as they made me laugh. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule, I’d never have finished without your hints!

    1. Brenda,

      Re, 4d “It scatters the foe right away”, the answer is rout, defintion “It scatters the foe”, R (right) and OUT (not in, or away from home for example).

  14. William Tell last week,Sir Lancelot this ……who next ? I thought this was a pleasure to solve ,even the SW corner where I stalled for a while .Agree with the ratings .
    Thanks .

  15. 17d stumped me for some 20 minutes.

    One of the occasional problems with doing the crossword on an iPad is that a casual brush of the knuckle can alter an already entered letter, particularly in the lower part of the grid.

    In this instance, I had -N-A-G-T, giving me UNCAUGHT, UNSOUGHT or UNTAUGHT; none of which made any sense.

    I finally noticed the T instead of the R I originally typed … or, just maybe, I hit T when aiming for R. Duh!

    In passing, is there a word to describe crosswords where all the answers can be entered using only the keys normally struck with the fingers of the left hand in the classical teaching of typing skills? I suspect that formulating a crossword that uses only the letters struck by the right hand would be a greater challenge.

  16. Couldn’t find the word acerbate in our little electronic crossword solver. It wouldn’t give an anagram for CREATE+BA. Thank goodness for my I-pad.

    1. I did find it in Chambers BRB Sheila but not to mean distress, but as you say both my electronic friends couldn’t make the anagram

        1. I think that Mary has always admitted to her “little electronic friends”! Why not? It’s not, to me anyway, cheating as I really don’t think that you can cheat yourself.

  17. Most days I look at the crossword and sigh, wondering how obscure it will be. Then I look at the blog responses from people such as Kath and cryptic sue and I am in awe of their ability to solve crosswords. But today they appear to find this Rufus crossword difficult ( ish). Apart from 28 across I thought it was reasonably easy today. Mentally I was heading for a 2*/3* until the bottom corner when I rapidly revised my opinion and decided on 3*/3*.
    As ever thanks to libellule for the hints and to Rufus for the crossword. He is still my favourite setter.
    And Mary, I agree with your comments in 2 above. I wish I’d thought of them first!

  18. Thank you, Libellule, I was looking for something that meant foe without an R, it’s all in the way one reads it! It’s what makes Xwords so much fun

  19. I’d give this **/**** I found it solvable with a little persavation but thought that all the clues were fair. It’s just about getting (or happening to be) on the right wavelength. Last week, I found a couple of the puzzles virtually impossible, whilst other bloggers found them reasonable.

    My advice to Brian would be stick with it, and eventually patterns will emerge for various types of clues. I used to do the DT crossword every day, then had a lapse of some 20 years. When I came back to them, I couldn’t understand them at all, the ‘nature’ of the clues had changed completely. What happened to those quotations with missing words, for instance?

    As I’m sure Mary will confirm, persevation is the answer!

    1. Hope the quotations don’t come back, they have to be the worst kind of clue ever; if you happen to know the quotation fine, if not then you’re b******d ! The main reason I do the Telegraph rather than the Times crossword is so that quotation clues tend not to form part of the DT puzzle but were prevalent in the T puzzle when I as a sprog.

  20. A Late start due to another late night – in Manchester at the Katherine Jenkins concert and then a meal afterwards. Special message for Heno, fellow diner was RVP in jovial mood – have you forgiven him for leaving ?? As a consequence of all of that, found it rather hard today and have resoted to hints to complete. I think I would have struggled with this with a clear head anyway ! Thank you Rufus and Libellule for your much needed help !

    1. Hope you enjoyed the concert SW I watched her show on TV a week ago and I thought it was brilliant

      1. She was fabulous Mary ! It was the first of her Christmas Concerts – I think it is London tonight. Just before the interval she asked people to write down any questions they had and she would answer them after the break. Apart from the inevitable “Will you marry me” ones, someone asked her to sing the Welsh National Anthem – which she did straight off, no orchestra – brought the house down !! She also sang my favourite carol “O Holy Night” in a duet with the American tenor Nathan Paceco – stunning ! I think I enjoyed it – as did Mrs SW of course !

    2. That must have been great to rub shoulders with the stars. No I haven’t forgiven him for leaving, look what we are missing!

      1. Yes – nice to see them – but a different world with all their dolly birds – and their wallets ! Not our scene really !

        1. If only I had been better than just a Sunday morning player:-) I’ve been retired from football for 15 years now, but I still miss it.

  21. I quite enjoyed this one. It took me a little longer to complete, with the SW holding out the longest.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to Libellule. 3*/3* for me.

  22. With Rufus, I normally just get stuck on the last few – but today the whole SW corner caused a major hold up!

    In reply to Brian @ comment #1 – I’ve checked all the thesauri I have at my disposal but cannot find an entry where Awful is a synonym of Difficult. Perhaps you meant “Awfully Difficult”?

    (Has someone recently been campaigning for a Monday Toughie?)

    1. I’m partially responsible along with lostboy for this request on the basis of encouraging more people to attempt the Toughie in the rest of the week by having an easier NTMT on Mondays (Not The Monday Toughie). BD informs that the DT is unlikely to take this up as the space is already occupied by the Herculis puzzle.

      eXternal stepped up to the plate after BD opened it up to volunteers so we will have to wait & see but as has been commented on in the past there are already a lot of people devoting their time to ensure the site is as good as it is so we may have to wait a while.

        1. I think it’s a really good idea – I would love it but I seriously don’t think that it’s up to you to do any more than you already do. How lucky we are to ‘have’ you! SO appreciated! :smile:

  23. Rufus sets for our (and his) local free paper and I just sit and look at it perplexed. Even looking at the answers the next week I am still scratching my head. Lately, I feel that my paper boy must be delivering the freebie on a Monday instead of the DT as I found this one quite difficult to get started on – in total contrast to last Monday’s puzzle.

    I’ve done the DT back pager for more years than I care to remember and still manage to complete it within a reasonable time scale (IMHO), but my brain must be wearing out. Thank goodness for this blog as I don’t think I would have finished todays without the help of Libellule’s excellent review. 4*/2.5* for me today

    Oh, and thanks to Rufus as well – I will continue to try and keep up!

    1. Rufus is genius.
      But I didn’t think he was today’s setter as there were no nautical clues.
      Think now I was wrong.

      1. Since I started the blog, to the best of my knowledge there has only been one Monday puzzle that wasn’t set by Rufus – and he let us know in advance.

        If you’re curious is was DT 26433 on 27 Dec 2010.

  24. Thanks to Rufus & to Libellule for the review & hints. A very enjoyable Monday work out, that I found more difficult than usual. Needed the hints for 10a & 24d, so 3.5*/4* for me. Favourites were 9,27&28a and 5,6,7d. Lovely day for a bike ride in Central London.

  25. That was fun! Not quick or easy (defo 3*) but certainly fun. One of those where I look back and wonder why it took so long; perhaps that means it was a good and fair crossword!

    My personal favourite was 3D, and 5D and 28A across are excellent too.

    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule, and congrats to BD (eight million and counting!).

  26. Quick on the top, slow on the bottom, serious brain failure on 26A!
    Agree with ***/*** and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    1. Can’t bear to think of someone being lonely! I had serious brain failure with most of the crossword today – glad that it wasn’t just me. I was on the wrong wave length SO badly.

  27. Everything we thought about this puzzle has already been said. Definitely a bit more challenging than usual, especially in the SW, but really great fun with superb mis-direction. We’d give it ***/****. Loved 28a.
    Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

  28. I agree with Mary that Rufus seems to be getting a little harder but non the less enjoyable for that. Thanks to him for a good puzzle and to Libellule for much needed hints

  29. Found this a little bitty – some quite clever clues but some rather poor. 28a was nice. 7d not helped by me spelling 12a wrong – what a clot! This has the flavour of a new Monday setter as last Monday’s was equally bitty. Does anyone know the compiler?

  30. I enjoyed solving this puzzle from Rufus but as some of you have remarked on the blog it is in a somewhat different style!

    I think that some setters, after years of compilation, must get fed up to the teeth and wonder what to do next!

    Faves today were :9a, 27a, 6d & 22d.

  31. As everyone says ,not particularly easy but very enjoyable.My brain must be wired differently because insomnia and tilts went in quickly.totally missed 28a.Anyway it was really refreshing after a day squandered on pointless ‘elf an’ safety. thanks to Rufus and Libellule

  32. Well just to prove how different we all are…

    I enjoyed this one. Normally I can’t get Rufus at all. This time (I won’t say it was easy, because it wasn’t) I managed most of it without the hints – I even got 28a having spotted it almost immediately (quite proud of myself for that one)!

    Needed the hints for 18a, 3d and 17d.

    If this is the new Rufus – bring it on!

    With thanks to Rufus, Libellule and to BD for hosting this superb resource.

  33. Am sat on the stupid step, found this as always fair just couldn’t get it, well I did eventually but CrypticSue could have baked her legendary cakes in the time, gone shopping, rang the bells in the church.. and checked with Kath she had her answers correct . Thanks to Rufus and Libellule

    1. Don’t be silly Andy – I would be the one needing to check with CS while she was multi-tasking and I was still sitting at the kitchen table humming and ha-ing having achieved nothing more than a dog walk. I agree that this one was absolutely fair – just found it REALLY difficult! :smile:
      Tomorrow is another day and what I love about Tuesdays and Thursdays is that they are completely unknown quantities.

  34. Enjoyed this a lot, but came to a halt halfway through (top half) then got 15a and 14d (not a word I know, but it was logically deducible) and the rest was soluble, to my great surprise.
    I don’t know enough about crosswords or the setters to make a judgement, but I thought this one was very witty. Liked 18a, 1a, 7d, 17d, 22d. (And 28a is an absolute hoot.)

    Although – for the first time ever – I didn’t need the hints, I appreciate the way Libellule shaped them – anyone who hasn’t got ‘into’ the clue might well be able to get further and solve it as well as getting into the setter’s general thought process.

  35. We (hubby and I) really enjoyed today’s offering from Rufus over our morning porridge. Love his clever word play (e.g. and 19a 3d) and sense of humour.

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