DT 27080 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27080

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27080

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

Libellule is unable to do today’s blog, so we have swapped and he will be with you on Thursday. If you like anagrams you should have no trouble with the down clues today.

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    The weariness of military duty (7)
{FATIGUE} – two definitions, the second being a military duty sometimes allotted as a punishment

5a    Country poor actor bleats about (7)
{BAHAMAS} – a poor actor inside noises made by sheep

9a    Bath‘s sex appeal girl (5)
{SAUNA} – The abbreviation of Sex Appeal followed by a girl’s name

10a    Priceless old weapon employed by no one in particular (9)
{FREELANCE} – an adjective meaning having no price followed by a weapon used by knights of old

11a    Actively working? (2,8)
{IN BUSINESS} – a slightly cryptic definition of being open for trade

12a    Trip to see Eiffel’s structure in Paris? (4)
{TOUR} – the French (in Paris) for the type of structure designed by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel

14a    Idle? Definitely not (7,5)
{NOTHING DOING} – could also mean idle, especially if the two words are swapped round

18a    Conveyance? One goes in one’s car (12)
{TRANSMISSION} – two definitions, the second being a system in a motor vehicle by which power is transferred from the engine to the wheels

21a    Pine used in making tea chest (4)
{ACHE} – hidden (used in making) inside the clue

22a    Cold food consumed like a baby (10)
{CHILDISHLY} – a six-letter word meaning cold around (consumed) a plate of food

25a    Takes a meal among sailors, though it causes delay (9)
{TARDINESS} – a verb meaning takes a meal inside some sailors

26a    More than one ghost writer (5)
{IBSEN} – The Norwegian author of Ghosts

27a    On board get rotten seats (7)
{SADDLES} – inside the usual abbreviation for a ship place a verb meaning to get rotten

28a    One side of Glasgow (7)
{RANGERS} – the other side being Celtic!


1d    Relic of ship put in protective wrapping (6)
{FOSSIL} – that ship again! – this time inside a protective wrapping

2d    They’re up for approval (6)
{THUMBS} – and down for disapproval

3d    Where uniform ranks may be forced to grow better? (10)
{GLASSHOUSE} – somewhere that errant soldiers and plants may grow better!

4d    Small and mischievous, the Spanish end in France (5)
{ELFIN} – the Spanish definite article followed by the French for end

5d    Proverbially they are counted as happy events (9)
{BLESSINGS} – something to count in order to be grateful for what one has rather than bemoan what one lacks

6d    Horribly heartless, yet pure in heart (4)
{HOLY} – HOrribLY without its inner letters (heartless)

7d    Unusual gloom in a remote part of Asia (8)
{MONGOLIA} – an anagram (unusual) of GLOOM IN A

8d    See great changes in economy travel (8)
{STEERAGE} – an anagram (changes) of SEE GREAT

13d    Domination is out of order, get a telling off (10)
{ADMONITION} – an anagram (out of order) of DOMINATION

15d    Uplifts by adjusting the hinges (9)
{HEIGHTENS} – an anagram (by adjusting) of THE HINGES

16d    Lack of religion made this city go into liquidation (8)
{ATLANTIS} – a cryptic definition of a legendary vanished island in the Atlantic Ocean

17d    Grade the produce harvested (8)
{GATHERED} – an anagram (produce) of GRADE THE

19d    In class it’s hard to be virtuous (6)
{CHASTE} – a social class amongst Hindus in India around H(ard)

20d    He’s involved with any mistreated animals (6)
{HYENAS} – an anagram (mistreated) of HE’s with ANY

23d    Beam that’s light and very strong (5)
{LASER} – a cryptic definition of a device which amplifies an input of light producing an extremely narrow and intense monochromatic beam


24d    Quietly suffering medical treatment (4)
{PILL} – the musical notation for playing quietly followed by a word meaning suffering or sick+

All being well Pommers hopes to return next week.

The Quick crossword pun: {add} + {jay} + (scent} = {adjacent}

82 comments on “DT 27080

  1. My brain must be frozen in all this snow as I found it 2* difficulty which is unusual for me with a Rufus. The usual Monday enjoyment Thanks to Rufus and BD too.

    All very snowy, white and very cold – so glad I don’t have to drive to work at the moment.

  2. Absolute gem of a puzzle ,very amusing on a snowy day ,too many favs to list ,.
    Wish I could agree with your difficulty rating but 2.5 * / 4* for me .
    Thanks again .

  3. At first glance I thought this was going to be trickier than a normal Monday but once I got started it all fell easily into place. Thanks to Rufus and to Big Dave for the review.

  4. Another typically slow solve for me for a Monday. Not quite sure what the ‘lack of religion’ had to do with 16d, but I am sure I would find out if I did some research. Thanks to Rufus, and to BD.

    1. I recall nothing in Plato’s account, or in later works by Bacon, etc., that seems relevant, and I too would appreciate a greater insight to the clue.

      1. Apparently Plato said “The portion of divinity within them was now becoming faint and weak through being oftentimes blended with a large measure of mortality”.

        1. I had forgotten; it was a long time ago. However, divinity is not “religion”, and I would argue that “divinity becoming faint” does not equate to a “lack of religion”.

  5. Didn’t think I was going to like this at first as the initial run- through wasn’t promising but perservation paid off. No real standout clues for me but found 9a a bit weak and never heard of the Insen play Ghosts. Not my favourite Monday but OK.
    Thx to BD for confirming 9a and 27a.

  6. Atlantis. Last one in. I kept on seeing EACH as the included word in 26ac. Once I got ache Atlantis followed. Another easy one to start the week.

  7. A pleasant start to the week although I needed electronic help for 16. Kept trying to think of cities where if you removed RE would leave a word meaning liquidation in either the watery or financial state! Fell into the possible trap of putting greenhouse for 3d. Some very nice clues. Favourite was 10. Never heard of SA = sex appeal. Who makes these abbreviations up? Shall we make them at random? Is 5d really cryptic?

    1. When I see “sex appeal” in a crossword clue My brain leaps to “IT” – from Clara Bow, ‘The It Girl’.

      1. Generally speaking, if you see the words ‘sex appeal’ in a crossword, you can be sure it means IT or SA – seem to be used in equal measure.

  8. As has already been said, I don’t know of any accounts of Atlantis having fallen due to lack of religion, in fact I understood that it was supposed to be ruled by sons of Poseidon and you can’t get more religious than that, surely? Also I fail to see what ‘More than one’ brings to the cluing of 26A? Other than that, quite an enjoyable start to the week, I quite liked 27A.

    Was trying to snow again this morning but now has started thawing (even had the window cleaner make an appearance today !). More snow due later today and tomorrow with even more due Friday. Hurumph.

  9. Brain snowed in this morning ! RHS OK but then wheels came off in a big way. Being an amateur I, like Roger, only knew IT for sex appeal, and also put “greenhouse” in for 3d and “Atlantic” in for 16d. So a complete mess ! Hints needed to sort that lot out ! So many thanks BD for your review and rescue. Thank you Rufus for the one sided struggle. It certainly didn’t help my blood pressure reading on my 6 monthly check up !

  10. Struggled to get going on this one and it didn’t help when I put ‘birthdays’ in for 5D, as well as ‘greenhouse’ for 3D – the logic for the latter being uniform ranks of plants. Also question the religious aspect of Atlantis’s destruction, but an enjoyable crossword on a bright(ish) snow covered morning in East Anglia – thanks to Rufus and BD.

  11. Oh dear – definitely not my best ever crossword day – nothing wrong with the crossword – it’s me!
    Nearer to 3* for me but not quite sure why now that I’ve finished it.
    Lots of these have taken me ages. As others have already said I only thought of ‘it’ for sex appeal – always forget the other one. I couldn’t see why 26a had to be what it was – haven’t heard of that play. I convinced myself that 28a was going to be an area of Glasgow until the light dawned. Didn’t understand the military bit of 3d. I think we’ve had 14a quite recently – can’t remember the clue.
    I liked 10 and 22a and 2 and 20d.
    With thanks to Rufus and BD.

      1. I got today’s answer, can’t work out why it would apply to the one you’ve just mentioned! By the way, do you have the best memory in the world, or a comprehensive database of DT crossword clues and answers? Either way, hats off.

      1. Yes, thanks. I looked it up – don’t want to be one of those who leave it all to someone else! I just meant that I’d never heard of it before today.

      2. As like a few others, I put in greenhouse until I got 11a (‘in boniness’ didn’t really fit, which was the only other word that fit!), but never heard of glasshouse being a military detention barracks…and I was born and have lived in Aldershot. I never throw stones though…

        1. ‘As like’….oops, superfluous use of synonyms there. Must be my crossword addled brain.

  12. Looked pretty diificult at first.
    Slow start.
    Didn’t help putting in GOMORRAH for 16d.
    (That was fire and brimstone, not water)
    But we got there.
    Many gems.
    Thanks Rufus and BD.

  13. Agree with BD rating . Thanks. These days I seem frequently to get answer without knowing why so wasn’t helped when my U.S. experience led to Atlantic (City) for 16d hence 27a was last in after electronic help!

  14. **/*** For me today, thanks Dave for the pics, the sauna looked appealing after all the snow!more today in Cheshire which was’nt forecast.Was looking for a 5 letter word with the middle letter missing for 6d,had the solution but did,nt see the wordplay,26a had to be the auther but thanks for the blog,saw Life Of Pi last week -now theres a challange!

  15. Thanks to Rufus and BD, not the most difficult Monday crossword nor the most enjoyable for me.

  16. Always enjoy a Rufus puzzle and this was no exception. However, I’m with Jezza in that they’re usually a slow solve for me too. Pommette seems more on his wavelength than me!

    Anyway, thanks to Rufus and BD.

    Anyone tried the Grauniad Rufus yet?

    1. Yes, me – about the same tricky as this. I have done all the puzzles today, ventured into light housework and starting reading old books (not that old but ones I have read before). Not that I am going stir crazy or anything.

      No2 son’s post op instructions say that he isn’t allowed to do heavy lilfting or ‘hovering’ (sic). He can however attempt light dusting – that’ll be a first :D

  17. My rubber certainly was busy today! I think I fell into all the traps that others have listed, but using a pencil made reversing out of those dead-ends possible :-)

    Two-star hard for me. Thanks to BD and Rufus both.

  18. Once i got going not to bad, but 16down, needed the hint i was barking up the wrong tree.

  19. My husband & I (sounds like the Queen doesn’t it), thought this was a very nice crossword. Thanks to R & BD.

  20. Late today and will be for the next two months on Mondays and Wednesdays, have started my cardio rehab classes today, so didn’t get to start this until after dinner! I really enjoyed this today a lovely Rufus crossword and I do like anagrams :-) , fav clue 14a last one in 26a, why more than one? Thanks for hints Dave, didn’t have to use them today apart from 26a, which I still don’t ‘see’

    1. Hi Mary and good luck with the classes.

      The writer in 26a wrote Ghosts ((plural) so therefore the writer of “more than one ghost”.

      1. Thanks and thanks again pommers :-) , how are you getting on are you feeling an improvement each day? I hope so, let us all know how your check up goes on Weds? I think sue has check up tomorrow? We are a healthy lot aren’t we!!

  21. Like quite a few I misled myself by putting in green for 3d at first. And I put in and then erased 1a (and then reinstated it) as my military forebears always said that word with an ‘s’ on the end (whether wearing or doing them) so I thought I must be wrong! Still haven’t understood the clue for 16d – my brain can’t have thawed out properly. But I enjoyed it enormously as an antidote to working through major computer problems, so thank you, thank you to setter & BD (who seems to be holding the fort magnificently for us all!).

  22. Thanks to Rufus, and to Big Dave for the review & hints. A nice start to the week, quite straightforward, but I made it more difficult by putting birthdays for 5d. Once I solved 10a, it all fell into place. Started with 7d, finished with 1d. Favourites were 18&28a. Was 1*/3* for me. Read all about it, Sun out this afternoon in Central London :-)

  23. Hello from frigid Boston! Can someone explain 28 a for me? I’m not sure what it refers to…thanks!

    1. Hello back from equally cold Kent. Glasgow has two football teams – sides- Celtic is one and Rangers is the other.

      1. And having lived up there for quite a while I learned to make myself scarce when they played each other…. There are still Orange Marches in that city..

    2. One of the two Glasgow football teams.
      Sorry for repeating what others had said, I type very slowly!

    3. Not wishing to a pedant but I believe Glasgow has 3 teams – also Queens Park who used to play at Hampden Park (the international stadium) – so far as I know they still do.

  24. When I first started this, I thought I was going to fail, and I would have done without my trusty seiko gizmo. I found it very hard but I think a good mental workout should have some benefits, such as keeping brains active.

  25. Not a Rufus best. 4d, for instance, has a very poor surface reading. Still my favourite setter, even when not in top form

  26. I found this one very tricky and would probably have failed withou my trusty seiko gizmo, which I had to lean on heavily. Thanks for alternative meaning for 3d, BD, I was totally in the dark why the answer was right. Good mental workout, even though I had to cheat.

  27. Lovely puzzle. I held myself up by misspelling 1a ,I ‘m ashamed to admit. Once I sorted that out , the rest fell into place without too much perservating. Last one in 16d & second last in was 9a. Thanks to Rufus &. B D for the hints which I needed for the explanation for 16d &26a

  28. Pretty much a “read it and write it in” puzzle for us with just a little hesitation over Atlantis. Good fun.
    Just to make you all jealous, another glorious calm fine sunny day dawning as I write this, with temp aiming for mid to high 20s.
    Thanks Rufus and BD.

  29. Very poor puzzle today – 1 at best for enjoyment – as far as difficuly goes? – 3, I’ve done 4’s quicker than this one

    1. I think that’s REALLY rude and, what is even worse, unappreciative of the amount of work that goes into running this blog. I also think that some take it for granted – I’m NOT one of those and I never will be. I have learnt SO much and carry on learning.
      Three cheers to BD and all the rest of them – I would like to name names but am too worried about leaving someone out!
      A big thank you and a :smile: to all.

      1. Kath, couldn’t agree more, I was unsure whether to comment and acknowledge such downright ignorance on w, whatever its name was, or not. I have, and share your contempt . Maybe it should stick with disgusted of tunbridge wells and stay there.

        1. Thanks andy and Heno. I wasn’t sure whether to comment or not but, if in doubt, stick my neck out – husband says that I shouldn’t.

  30. Poor crossword even worse blog. Sorry – but there you go. Eg 11A – in business – why the hell is that cryptic and if it is why would I get excited to the tune of 4*’s about the subtlety of it? Well?

    1. I think there is a double definition involved as well – as in when you get something working, you might say “we’re in business”.

  31. Pretty straightforward puzzle from Rufus today!

    Faves : 14a, 18a, 26a, 28a, 3d & 23d.

    Re 16d, I had to consult A.F.Alford’s “The Atlantis Secret” to understand the lack of religion remark!

    1. Hope birthday event went well Derek, menu and drinks need to be disclosed. I tried umpteen reference books to no avail before resorting to google… on a monday with rufus never heard of. Best wishes

      1. Hi Andy!
        We ate in a restaurant named Chique and had a six-course meal of Dutch and French cuisine.
        My son-in-law chose the wines – Chardonnay and a Rioja.

  32. Re 11ac and 23d – surely the whole point of cryptic definitions is to be either cryptic or amusing [and preferably both].

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