DT 27057 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27057

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27057

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everybody. As expected we have an appropriately themed and fun puzzle from the Maestro this morning.


1. Wrapped gift, being soft on Clare, perhaps (6)
{PARCEL} – P (Piano – soft) and an anagram (perhaps) of CLARE.

4. It’s suspended just before Christmas (8)
{STOCKING} – And you expect Santa to fill it with presents…

9. Game in crackers is a mystery (6)
{ENIGMA} – An anagram (crackers) of GAME IN.

10. One that talks one round to see Handel’s Messiah? (8)
{ORATORIO} – A public speaker or person who delivers a speech is followed by I (one) O (round) to get a musical composition.

12. Dead drunk, providing old stories (4)
{EDDA} – An anagram (drunk) of DEAD is also a collection of old Norse poems.

13. Christmastide presents of theatre seats (5)
{BOXES} – Containers for presents are also separate compartments in a theatre for example, for a small group of people.

14. Party includes a number in religious group (4)
{SECT} – Take a group of people who share a common interest and add C (Roman numeral for 100) to get a religious group.

17. Famous play in its second week on January 5th? (7,5)
{TWELFTH NIGHT} – The eve of Epiphany is also a well known Shakespeare play (What you Will).

20. Rip off celebrant out to be the first to decorate the tree in UK (6,6)
{PRINCE ALBERT} – An anagram (off) of RIP and (out) CELEBRANT is the husband of Queen Victoria, and brought a number of German traditions to England, including the Christmas tree.

23. Pass round a traditional New Year’s gift (4)
{COAL} – Place a pass between two mountain peaks around A.

24. I had conducted the carollers, perhaps, but became lazy (5)
{IDLED} – ID (I had) and the past tense of a word meaning to direct, produces another word that means to pass time without doing any work.

25. Christmas spirit always surrounds her (4)
{RITA} – A girls name can be found hidden between the two words “spirit” and “always”.

28. Drink — it’s the end of the bird (8)
{COCKTAIL} – A mix of alcoholic drinks and fruit juices for example, could also be male end of a bird.

29. Ingredients relating to cold mince pie (6)
{RECIPE} – RE (relating to), C (cold) and anagram of (mince) PIE

30. Presents for ladies are out with some circles (8)
{EARRINGS} – An anagram (out) of ARE and circular objects with empty centres.

31. Fancies outsize tree inside (6)
{OPINES} – Place an evergreen tree inside OS (outsize) to get a word that means expects or believes.


1. Stages which will be packed at Christmas (8)
{PRESENTS} – Another word for to show or exhibit pantomimes for example are also gifts.

2. They lead the way in the present transport system (8)
{REINDEER} – They pull Santa’s sleigh.

3. These trees may be obtained from Wilhelmstrasse (4)
{ELMS} – These trees are hidden inside the word “Wilhelmstrasse”.

5. They gave original Christmas presents (5,4,3)
{THREE WISE MEN} – Presents of gold, myrrh and frankincense to Jesus after his birth

6. Trim tree finally with attractive result (4)
{CUTE} – Another word for clip or prune, and the final letter of tree produces a word that means pretty or dainty.

7. Where Jesus lived is setting up a king (6)
{ISRAEL} – Take IS and then reverse a tragic Shakespearean king.

8. About the end of December, reached Santa’s base (6)
{GROTTO} – Put the last letter (the end) of December inside a phrase (3,2) that means “arrived at” to get a small cave or cavern where you might find Santa and his elves.

11. Like Idle Jack in pantomime? Definitely not (7,5)
{NOTHING DOING} – An informal phrase that means “certainly not” could also be like the Idle Jack character found in a pantomime.

15. By start of evening a Christmas tree may be lit up (5)
{AFIRE} – place the first letter (start) of evening after A and another type of evergreen tree to get a word that means ablaze.

16. What may be decked, when sun rises, will (5)
{SHALL} – Another word for will, can be constructed using a word from a well known Christmas carol, (deck the ***** with boughs of holly) and then moving the last letter to the front (sun rises).

18. Tiptoe in craftily to get round robin (8)
{PETITION} – An anagram (craftily) of TIPTOE IN.

19. Run out of decorations in packets, perhaps (8)
{STEAMERS} – Remove R (run out) from long narrow ribbons of paper, to get coastal or river craft that plies a regular route and carries passengers, freight, and mail.

21. Frozen hanger-on (6)
{ICICLE} – A tapering frozen spike formed by the freezing of dripping or falling water.

22. A Christmas present drawer (6)
{DANCER} – Is the name of one of Santa Claus’s reindeer.

26. It may hold needles on the tree — but only as a present (4)
{ETUI} – A case for scissors, tweezers, and other articles of daily use.

27. Watch punch initially trickle away (4)
{SEEP} – Another word meaning to perceive with the eye, is then followed by the first letter (initially) of punch.

The Quick crossword pun: {slay} + {belles} = {sleigh bells}


64 comments on “DT 27057

    1. Finished now but for me a very unpleasant crossword. No fun and very hard work.
      Mondays recently have become really tricky, I thought the idea was to make Monday a straightforward way into the week or has this changed?
      Never mind, a very happy Christmas to all the blog and I wonder if the electronic edition of the DT on Christmas Day will feature a crossword :-)

      1. Tomorrow there will be a cryptic a Toughie by Kcit and a “double Toughie” from Elgar. These will be posted on the DT puzzles web site.

            1. It went awol yesterday when I changed my email address. As far as I can see my flowers are back now.

                    1. Yes, if I click through to CS’s full profile then the flowers are there, but here on the comments page it’s not a nice picture…

  1. Nice crossword. Pretty straightforward (sorry, Brian!). 12A a new word for me and not sure I see the relevance of ‘Christmas’ in 25.

    Many thanks to everyone for help and guidance and to the setters for making my early morning coffee that bit more enioyable.

    Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year. Here’s to a drier 2013. Now where’s me ark plans?

  2. A feeling of de ja vu after yesterday but I enjoyed this more .Vaguely remember 12a ,liked 20a , 23a, 31a .Agree with ratings .
    I would just like to thank all solvers and bloggers for the incredible effort and dedication they continually show .Quite remarkable .
    The Navajo use the word Keshmish (probably a historical firewater issue but I rather like it)
    So a Merry Keshmish to you all !

  3. Like the curate’s egg – – – ! Some parts quite tricky and I needed to resort to the blog to finish (14 and 25A) otherwise good fun with some surprising answers, very enjoyable. Thanks to the Maestro and Libellule for clear explanations. Happy tomorrow everyone!

  4. Not my favourite – it certainly did not flow; at least **+ if not ***. 26d had to be the something that holds needles, but I cannot see what relevance the rest of the clue has. Thanks to all those who have explained and to those who have set during the course of the year. Best wishes to one and all for a happy Christmas or whatever celebration you enjoy.

  5. ***/**** for me today. Thanx to Compiler and to Libellue for the review (only needed the explanation for 16d).
    Happy Christmas to everybody.

  6. Good job I learned the names of Santa’s reindeer yesterday.
    How have I lived for ** years without knowing them???
    Great puzzle, just about usual time.
    Many thanks setter and Libellule for the review.

  7. Many thanks to Rufus for a gentle Christmas Eve crossword.

    A very joyful and peacful Christmas to one and all.

  8. Just dropped in to wish you all a Merry Xmas for tomorrow. Hope you all have a splendid day.

    See y’all Friday

  9. I didn’t find this quite as straightforward as usual, so probably 2* for me today! (Sorry, grown men). Mind you Mr Scrooge was muttering while I was trying to solve it.

    Thanks to Rufus for both this and all the other enjoyable puzzles throughout the year. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you, Libellule, and everyone else connected with this blog from BD down to the latest newly-arrived lurker. xxx

    1. Doesn’t work with the first part of the clue, though, does it? Unless you have been in a loge while receiving a Christmas present :)

          1. Perhaps someone gave him a set of Natural Logarithm tables?
            Log to base e, you see…

            I’ll get my coat…

  10. Completed almost all of this in quick time and then got completely bogged down bottom right corner, quick trip to Asda (emergency last minute provisions…no Pringles!) and on return it all fell nicely into place.

    How lost would compilers be at Xmas without Santa’s herd?

    Thanks to Libellule for his reviews throughout this year.

    Thanks to Rufus for all his puzzles.

  11. Merry Christmas everybody, not one of my favourite Rufus crosswords although very cleverly themed, tgree fav clues, 9a, 8d amd 19d, did the wise men or the magi as in yesterdays crossword give the original Christmas presents, I always thought it was the shepherds who brought a lamb, the three kings didn’t arrive until later???

    1. Sorry… thanks Libelulle for the hints and your help all year round and to all you Merry bloggers out there, hope you all have a wonderful few days xxx

  12. I hope I get as many “presents” tomorrow as Rufus has offered in his clues ! Enjoyable but in the interests of progress ( preparing sprouts, carrots, stuffing etc etc ) took some hints to keep moving forward. Thank you Rufus and Merry Christmas to you and Libellule and thank you for your review and helpful hints.

    Merry Christmas everyone !

  13. I normally find Monday’s puzzle to be quite challenging, but I think the theme helped me out today. Merry Christmas to you and yours x

  14. Merry Christmas everyone. Didn’t massively enjoy today’s offering, would probably give it **/**. As I look at it now I’ve still got a few left to fill. Had to google 12a based on a guess, but nice to learn new words.

  15. Very enjoyable fare today, hopefully leading to enjoyable fare of a different kind tomorrow.

    As I did most of my shopping online this year, may I wish you all a very merry iXmas and may Santa bring you all you looking for.

  16. Struggled on bits of this, but then again I often do on a Monday. Thanks and Merry Christmas to Rufus, and to Libellule.

  17. Thanks to Rufus & Libellule, I did the top half ok, but really struggled with the bottom half, needed the hints for 20a, couldn’t get the anagram fodder, don’t know how ? Also needed the hint for 22d. Was 3*/3* for me. Nice crossword, very entertaing. Happy Xmas to everyone.

  18. Merry Xmas to all on this site and thanks for all the help throughout the year. Finished todays but only with help for the bottom right corner from this site.

  19. This was very enjoyable. Finished it before lights out last night. Nice to to see 26d making an appearance – I have not seen it for quite a while. Only needed electronic help to confirm 12a. Favourites 20a and 19d. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule and a Happy Christmas to all.

  20. Afraid I needed electronic help to get 31a and 19d (last in) but enjoyed most of it and was going very well until 12a I had never heard of.
    (Where would setters be without their ubiquitous four letter needle case I often wonder? – but 26d was a good seasonal clue to produce it.)
    Many thanks and Happy Christmas to BD and all setters and bloggers!

    1. Dearest Nubian, I have missed your grumpiness! :D Will be seeing more of you in 2013? Seaons greetings to you and Mrs N.

      1. Thank You Sue, it has been a heavy year but hopefully I am getting back in the swing.All the felicitations of the season and have an enjoyable time.

  21. Very enjoyable crossword and my favourite play made an appearance!
    Thanks to everyone for the blog and a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.
    Thanks also to Rufus and Libellule for today.

  22. Does anybody else think fancies is not synonymous with the answer at 31a?

    Feliz Navidad a todos from unseasonly sunny Spain – Señor Nora and I had to sit in the shade to eat our Xmas Eve lunch as it was so hot!

    1. Must admit that I looked twice at ‘fancies’.

      Sunny sounds nice – it is warm here today but accompanied with really strong gale force winds. No 2 son was literally blown back down the road from his shift at the local.

  23. I got 13a wrong and had to use hint for 25a, otherwise pretty enjoyable. Hoping you have a drier day tomorrow! Merry Christmas.

  24. Well done Rufus. We can all go into Christmas in a good mood after an excellent puzzle. Best wishes toeveryone especially those whose health has not been too good including Mary and Nubian that I know of

  25. I am flute tooting tonight for the childrens Christmas Mass at 7pm, first time for ages, really looking forward to it, Merry Christmal all x

    1. I joined a church choir this year, Mary – a first for me, but I’m loving it (mostly!). Bit hoarse after 9 lessons & carols last night & shortly off to the midnight service. Wish I could hear your tootling – hope you all had a grand time. Merry Christmas.

  26. I really had no huge problems except put the wrong word in 13a! Never did get 25a and had to read clue to get it. Merry Christmas all and hope it is drier for you.

  27. Merry Christmas everyone. It is Christmas morning here and we are visiting family who live about an hour away from us. Santa arrived as expected and we have just been opening the first batch of presents with Alice and Ollie, two of our grandkids. Another beautiful summer’s day here, expect the temperature to get into the high 20s again today so Chistmas dinner for 17 will be outside under sun umbrellas.
    Thank you Rufus for another lovely puzzle Libellule for the review, and all the regular contributors to this wonderful site. Have a great Christmas.

    1. Merry Christmas 2Kiwis. We have just had our annual Christmas Eve Seafood Tea (opinion was that it was one of the better ones) and discussing with No 2 son the differences between Christmas Down Under (he was at the Australian Gold Coast this time last year) and Christmas in East Kent. Food better here but weather better there , was his conclusion :)

  28. more than a ** for me. I think I’ve become very spoilt by the extra help with the prize puzzles.Anyway the easy ones were easy and the others weren’t. Never heard of 12a or 26d.I can’t see any connection between fancies and opines, except ,perhaps, people who opine may begin “I fancy”.Thanks to Libellule and Rufus, and all subscribers.
    The weather couldn’t be more pleasant here, so ,given the prevailing wind , most of you should be getting this weather tomorrow.
    Now I’ll have to figure out how to subscribe electronically so as to get my daily fix tomorrow.

  29. Not up to Rufus standard, in my view, and I think 26d should be banned from crosswords. Putting it in must surely be an admission of defeat for a setter. Merry Christmas to everybody

  30. Have been bogged down with tinsel and trees but seized a brief respite to enjoy today’s puzzle. Many thanks to setter and Lubellule. And very best seasonal greetings to everyone who’s reading this…

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