DT 27110 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27110

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27110

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

This seemed to be a little trickier than normal, hence the three stars for difficulty. But even so, this is an entertaining crossword from the Monday maestro that helped brighten up a damp and snowy morning south of the Loire.



1. It’s simple, just put one’s hand out (4-3-4)
{OPEN-AND-SHUT} – A phrase that means to be so obvious that its easily solved or decided is an anagram (out) of PUT ONE’S HAND.

9. Bond fired at random, contrary to orders (9)
{FORBIDDEN} – An anagram (at random) of BOND FIRED.

10. Practice for university man of learning (5)
{USAGE} – U (university) and someone venerated for judgement and wisdom.

11. Beast retiring with a broken toe (6)
{COYOTE} – Another name for a prairie wolf can be constructed from a word for shy or modest and an anagram (broken) of TOE.

12. Elevation above the peerage? (8)
{HIGHNESS} – The quality or condition of being lofty, or a prince or princess perhaps.

13. Call again to say one’s piece (6)
{RECITE} – To repeat something from memory for example could also be to call once more.

15. French fortress, HQ until captured (8)
{BASTILLE} – A Parisian fortress destroyed at the start of the French revolution is also another word for a fortified centre of operations with TILL (until) inside.

18. Detains about a thousand supporters (8)
{ARMRESTS} – What a 1d might do to criminals around M (thousand) for things you might find on a chair or sofa.

19. Like to run, being so inclined (6)
{ASLOPE} – AS (like to) and a word meaning to run with a steady easy gait, for a word meaning slanting.

21. Comic actor holding a clerical appointment (8)
{CHAPLAIN} – Put A inside an actor who wore baggy trousers and a bowler hat to get a member of the clergy.

23. Stay around with the French in order to eat (6)
{EDIBLE} – Reverse (around) an old word for remain or tarry, then add LE (masculine French the) to get something that’s fit to be eaten.

26. Home help needed in retreat in the country (5)
{INDIA} – IN (home) and a three letter word for assistance (reversed, in retreat) is also a country.

27. Aristocratic Irishman cut by Scot (9)
{PATRICIAN} – a word that describes a member of the aristocracy can be made up from a common name for an Irishman (cut short by one letter) and crosswordland’s usual name for a Scot.

28. An Olympic runner before the official opening (5-6)
{TORCH-BEARER} – They carry the Olympic flame…


1. Member of the Police Force, if qualified (7)
{OFFICER} – An anagram (qualified) of FORCE IF.

2. Relay arranged, in good time (5)
{EARLY} – An anagram (arranged) of RELAY.

3. Philosopher is alert to changes (9)
{ARISTOTLE} – A Greek philosopher and pupil of Plato, is also an anagram of IS ALERT TO.

4. Piece of boarded adornment (4)
{DADO} – A type of interior decoration can be found between the words “boarded adornment”.

5. The better runners suffer a setback at the start of this race (8)
{HANDICAP} – A contest where competitors are given advantages or disadvantages in an attempt to equalise their chances of winning.

6. Extract loan with skill (5)
{TOUCH} – A slang term to wheedle a loan or handout from someone, is also a word that can mean having a facility or knack.

7. Manage to define the bishop’s position (7)
{OVERSEE} – A word that means to direct or supervise could also describe where a bishop is placed in terms of his office.

8. After a drink, game for battle! (8)
{WATERLOO} – A battle of 1815, can be made up from a word meaning to give a drink to something followed by a card game.

14. Royal Marine to order duck (8)
{COMMANDO} – A specially trained soldier is also another word for giving an instruction to do something followed by O (zero, duck).

16. Evaluate performance of stroke on the river (4,5)
{TEST DRIVE} – A phrase that means to evaluate the performance and condition of a motor vehicle for example, could also be a river in Hampshire followed by a forward flowing cricket shot. Is the clue the wrong way round? The clue seems to imply that the cricket shot is on the river.

17. Being solvent, her career is taking off (8)
{STRIPPER} – Someone who takes off their clothes for a living could also be a substance used to remove paint.

18. Where lots go despite rising prices (7)
{AUCTION} – A public sale at which items are sold to the highest bidder.

20. Novel representation of one real English queen (7)
{ELEANOR} – An anagram (novel representation) of ONE REAL.

22. Lowest number in Meadow Street (5)
{LEAST} – The usual crossword word for meadow, followed by ST.

24. Plant seen in Britain? That’s right! (5)
{BRIER} – A prickly shrub, can be made from BR (Britain), an abbreviation for “that is to say” and R (right).

25. State without a health centre (4)
{UTAH} – An American state can be found hidden between the words “without a health”.

The Quick crossword pun: (mute} + {elation} = {mutilation}

43 comments on “DT 27110

  1. Good morning to all,I struggled a bit on the east side but eventualy all clicked into place,this was harder than the normal monday offering but a nice enjoyable puzzle.

  2. Found the lower parts much more difficult than the higher clues. 19a is a new word for me, yet again – hurrah! Liked 21a and 28a. And enjoyed a happy memory of seeing a 11a in the wild once. Many thanks to setter for a stretching Monday puzzle, and to Libellule for much needed hints.

  3. A nice start to the week. **/*** for me. I managed three quarters fairly quickly but was slowed up (or slowed down?) for a while in the NE corner as I’ve never heard of the game referred to in 8d and 19a is a rather rare word. Still when 6d finally clicked, the rest fell into place.

    Thanks very much to the setter and to Libellule whose help I didn’t need today.

  4. Just into 3 for difficulty as I made rather heavy weather of the right side .Faves 19a and 23a . Usual quality puzzle .
    Thanks very much .

  5. Not a quick solve today, with the last half a dozen taking a while to sort out. Last one in for me was 6d.
    Thanks to Rufus for the enjoyment, and to Libellule for the notes.

  6. A little harder than usual, which I like. No toughie today so I suppose i will have to do some work. Bother. Thanks all concerned.

  7. Thanks, Libellule – your assistance was needed to break the mind-jam in the NE corner which proved resistant until we used a couple of your hints.

  8. Last penny to drop was also 6d for me. Rabbit Dave was slowed up or slowed down – I also think it is funny that you chop a tree down, then chop it up! Thanks to Libellule for hints (used to think it was Lulabelle!)

  9. Found this harder than normal. Seemed to work anticlockwise from NW corner. Last in was NE corner which took longer than all the rest. For some reason suddenly decided to refer “loo” to the BRB in the hope that it had definitions other than the obvious. Another new word ! Thank you Rufus for the more taxing puzzle and Libellule for your review which I needed to confirm some answers.

  10. All agreed a tad harder than usual for a monday,somewhere between a ** and a *** for me,some very clever clues and ,as you would expect from the maestro,very entertaining to boot ***-liked 12a and 6d. Now for the Italians and those noisy neighbours for the denouement in Cardiff!

  11. Once again after starting this early on and finding the part I did quite eas,y I was surprised to find the rest of it really difficult especially the Top right hand side, would not have completed without lots of help and hints from Libelulle! Thank you Libelulle, a three star at least for me today, I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who found this hard for a Monday puzzle, perservation all, if you want to finish it :-)

  12. First read through – Blimey O’Reilly this is difficult.
    Second read through, got just five.
    Then, just persevated until the end, creating a new word, for me, in 19a.
    Thanks for the challenge and review.

  13. And I thought it was just me suffering from late night/early morning brain fog! Took ages to get going, then managed to complete without hints, but not without more effort than the Monday puzzle usually requires. 6D was the last one in. Being away from the UK for so many years, I forget the slang expressions. Thanks to the setter for the workout, and to Libellule. Like you, I also thought 16D was the wrong way around.

  14. Best Monday crossword for a long time, my thanks to the setter (Rufus?) and to Libellule for the usual excellent review.

  15. Mr. SheilaP got quite a few quickly today, then got a bit stuck.After I joined in to help along with Libellule of course, we managed to finish it. Very enjoyable. Mr. SheilaP. likes anagrams a lot. Thanks to setter and hinter.

  16. It took a couple of passes before I could get going properly – then I took it with while I went to the Local Hospital for a blood test. Plenty of hanging about and I was able to really get into it.

  17. Unlike lots of the rest of you I often find Monday puzzles a bit tricky – this one certainly was so I’m glad I’m not the only one to think so. At least 3* – do hope this isn’t an indication that I’m going to have another bad crossword week.
    I only got one of the across clues after first look but managed a few more of the downs, mainly in the top left corner. Then carried on making progress but very slowly.
    I liked 28a and 6 (even if it did take ages to see it) and 17d. Favourite was 20d if only because it’s younger daughter’s name – pity she’s always called Mouse!!
    With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.
    It’s a bit less cold but hardly tropical. 3C, drizzly and grey.

      1. I did think it was tricky but don’t think that Rufus sets Toughies so not a WED (Wrong Envelope Day) and anyway I think that even if I found it difficult it’s my usual problem with Rufus puzzles – really don’t know why – I just do.

  18. Meatier fare than usual for a Monday, but a satisfying meal on the whole. Got stuck on 23a and still don’t really get it. Fit to be eaten isn’t the same as “eat”, is it?

    1. I think that the definition is ‘in order to eat’ ie fit to be eaten rather than just ‘eat’.

  19. Definitely trickier than usual for a Monday. Managed to complete about half before lights out last night. Leaving my BRB at the office did not help, so once I was able to access it and Libellule’s help (thank you) this morning completed it fairly quickly. Thanks also to Rufus for the challenge. Favourite would be 17d – pity that Libellule doesn’t insert pictures! Two more to the Grand Slam!

  20. I loved this one, entertaining clues all round, can’t really call a favourite. I was familiar with the game in 8d as it came in handy when playing scrabble. I had a slight problem with 24d as thought it was spelled with an “a”, but checking gave me the alternate spelling. Just enough difficulty solving without agonizing. Thanks to all, great start to the day.

  21. Not a very pleasant welcome back from holiday. Thought it was going ok to start with then got stuck on the religious clues. Don’t understand 8d, what has Loo to do with a card game or am I missing the point? Missed several anagram indicators (1d, 20d and 1a), think my brain must have gone rusty :-)

  22. So relieved it wasn’t just me who found this tricky. Finished with the help of Libellule’s hints ,so thanks to him &

  23. Like some others, I got a bit stuck in the south-east but nonetheless thoroughly enjoyed this one. **/*** for me. Many thanks to Rufus(?) and Libelulle… I did have a sneak peak at a couple of hints.

    Cold, damp and a bit draughty here in Birmingham (no, it’s not always like that here!). Just off to do a spot of Geocashing while the light holds… any other Geocachers out there?

    1. My brother introduced me to the Geocaching world a year or so ago. He started me off with a travel bug while we were all in Malta (in Oliver Reed’s pub). It set off merrily, but for the past ten months it’s been stuck in Germany! I’m hoping it will eventually make it back to Hampton Court.

      1. Hi Poppy… I’ve never done a trackable and I guess that’s one of the risks with them… Hope yours makes it back one day. There must be a few DT crossword addicts who have been tempted into the mystical world of Muggles and Ground Zero. It occurs to me that “Geocaching” would make an excellent clue for a Rufus puzzle…

    2. williamus and Poppy – a foreign language seems to have sneaked its way in to the blog – I am completely lost! Please enlighten me.

      1. Hi Kath

        If there’s a naughty corner for going completely off piste, I’m sure I’ll be in it soon, but what we’re talking about is:


        It’s a strangely addictive outdoor puzzle solving pastime. It has many similarities to crosswords, including that I’m not terribly good at either! :-)

    3. I will hold my hand up. On an off and on basis. I tend to concentrate on the ones placed on walks. My parents however are addicted.

  24. As usual, Rufus brightened up my Monday. In 16, I think the misdirection is referring to an oarsman(stroke)

  25. Struggled to get into this one but eventually got there wth a little persevation.***/*** for me.
    Favourite clue for me was 17D!

  26. A cracker puzzle from the recent-birthday “boy”. We have put ***/**** as our assessment. Favourite clue was 17d. We had a look back at the grid to check what Poppy had encountered in the wild. Glad to see it was 11a and not 17d as we first thought.
    Thanks Rufus (belated Happy Birthday) and Libellule.

  27. Definitely tricky.I liked 17d down, although I needed a hint. I kept trying to think of more and more obscure solvents, toluene, acetone, etc.thanks to Rufus and Libellule

  28. Thanks to Rufus & to Libellule for the review and hints. Managed it ok, but it was tricky and fun. Started with 2d, finished with 7d. favourites were 4&17d. Was 3*/3* for me.Another dull cloudy day in Central London.

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