DT 27116 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27116

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27116

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Bright and sunny south of the Loire this morning, but its still a bit cold. A typical Monday morning crossword from the maestro (on a par with last weeks difficulty wise – I think), offering the usual high quality of clues with added entertainment.



1. Novel having pride without prejudice? (6,4)
{VANITY FAIR} – A novel by Thackeray can be constructed from two words, the first being a synonym for excessive conceit, the second being a word for just or equitable. An excellent “literary” clue.

9. Source of light that’s growing (4)
{BULB} – Double definition, an incandescent lamp, or an underground rhizome or tuber.

10. Kipling’s game forest and reserve? (6,4)
{JUNGLE BOOK} – A collection of stories first published by Rudyard Kipling in 1893-1894 is essentially also a dense forest (with animals) and a word that describes arranging something in advance.

11. Enemy Zulu leader’s resolved to be cause of ferment (6)
{ENZYME} – An anagram of ENEMY and Z (Zulu leader).

12. Does some stock-taking with odd results (7)
{RUSTLES} – The taking of cattle is also an anagram of RESULTS.

15. Such matters are usually kept secret (7)
{AFFAIRS} – A word that describes personal or business interests, is typically kept quiet when it refers to romantic or sexual relationships.

16. Bashful, say, moved forward or moved out (5)
{DWARF} – An anagram of F(OR)WARD with OR removed is one of seven.

17. Fruit’s unpleasant, you’d have to say (4)
{UGLI} – This fruit sounds like (say) ugly.

18. Indian city starting point for a grand tour (4)
{AGRA} – The starting letters of “a grand” are also a well known Indian city famous for the Taj Mahal.

19. The enemy the Salvation Army has to beat (5)
{SATAN} – SA (Salvation Army) and a word that means to beat or flog, is also another word for the devil.

21. A one-handed wood-cutter (7)
{HATCHET} – Is a small short handled axe, not a disabled lumberjack.

22. Having an educational degree in case, work on a newspaper (7)
{SUBEDIT} – Place BED (Bachelor of Education) inside a court proceeding for the job of correcting printed material.

24. Makes a pretence a reality? (6)
{USURPS} – Taking the place of something without the right to do so. I assume pretence in this sense is the state of being a pretender (to the throne, for example).

27. Wearing black before midday, say (2,8)
{IN MOURNING} – The action or expression of showing grief, could sound like (say) before 12 O’Clock.

28. Author had retired before fifty (4)
{DAHL} – Reverse (retired) HAD before L (the Roman numeral for fifty).

29. Girl who is tender to domestic animals (10)
{KENNELMAID} – She typically looks after dogs in this case.


2. Come very close to a qualification (4)
{ABUT} – A and the sort of qualification that means “on the contrary”.

3. Eat, but not seriously, we hear (6)
{INGEST} – A word that means to take food or liquid into the body, sounds like (we hear) a term that means as a joke.

4. Produced admitted superiority (7)
{YIELDED} – Double definition, the amount that something gives, or to give way, submit or surrender.

5. In the morning, getting round to a little matter (4)
{ATOM} – Put AM (morning) around TO, to get a small particle.

6. Clear share of the profit (4-3)
{RAKE-OFF} – A term that could refer to tidying up leaves perhaps, also refers to a share of the profit typically taken as a bribe.

7. Panel fixed in a makeshift way (4-6)
{JURY-RIGGED} – To assemble something for temporary emergency use could also be a group of people who must give a verdict in a trial, but perhaps have been dishonestly manipulated?

8. Started job making items of aesthetic worth (6,1’3)
{OBJETS D’ART} – An anagram (making) of STARTED JOB are small items thought to have artistic value. I really do not like apostrophes being enumerated as part of a clue.

12. Rule of thumb for pilot lacking refinement (5,5)
{ROUGH GUIDE} – An outline book of advice could also be someone who shows the way but lacks polish or finesse.

13. Describing one who was his own master? (4-6)
{SELF-TAUGHT} – Having learnt by yourself without any formal instruction or help from others.

14. Go into liquidation when working hard? (5)
{SWEAT} – Perspire…

15. Hanging in a French town (5)
{ARRAS} – A wall hanging or tapestry is also a city in northern France.

19. Feeling swell? Yes and no (7)
{SEASICK} – This is the sort of swell you might come across if you were sailing in a boat.

20. Run true to form in training (7)
{NURTURE} – An anagram (to form) of RUN TRUE.

23. Derby, for example, with me mounting horse to enter (6)
{EPONYM} – A word for a place name derived from a real or mythical person can be made by reversing ME (mounting) with a small horse placed inside.

25. Female lost her head somewhere in Arabia (4)
{OMAN} – Remove W from a word that describes an adult female to get a place on the southeast Arabian peninsula.

26. He’s against the proposal and ain’t changing! (4)
{ANTI} – An anagram (changing) of AINT.

The Quick crossword pun: (stocked} + {aching} = {stocktaking}

103 comments on “DT 27116

  1. Enjoyed completing this, although a stretch of short night & long wakefulness helped. Many thanks to setter & Libellule

  2. **/**** for me today. With the sun shining at last I worked steadily through this very enjoyable start to the week only to come to a shuddering halt on 23d, which completely flummoxed me. What could Derby be an example of I wondered? Hat, race, Prime Minister, cheese, city? The list seemed endless. But the penny just wouldn’t drop and I couldn’t carry on with my day until I knew. Happily for me, today’s review was posted nice and early to put me out of my misery. Many thanks, Libellule, and many thanks too to the setter for a great puzzle.

    1. I had exactly the same probem with 23d. That was the only one not solved before lights out last night – so thanks to Libellule for the help as soon as I fired up the laptop this morning. Overall, a more enjoyable experience than last Monday although the whole of the SE corner was a little troublesome – 19d and 29a, for example, took a lot of staring at before the pennies dropped. Thanks again to Libellule and to Rufus.

      1. 23d!! “me” mounting a “horse” just had to be “manage” surely? Never did get the answer without the hint. Using Derby as an example of the solution is too obscure to me. Something like “Boycott” might have given me just the possibility of solving it – although it doesn’t fit the horse theme

  3. Agree with ratings ,
    Faves 2,3,7,19,23 all down
    Last in 24a
    Thought slightly tougher than last week but smileometer operational .
    Thanks very much .

  4. My brain is not fully functioning today!need a bit of guidence on a couple of clues I should have paid more attention at school.This was a harder than usual for a monday but a nice entertaining puzzle,thanks to libellue for the for the tips.

  5. Cam someone explain the role of the word “game” in 10a – I don’t understand.



    1. I took it to refer to the variety of animals contained – but could be absolutely wrong!

  6. Not my favourite Monday puzzle, very tricky in places. Had to look up 23d, not a word I know at all. Thought 24a was a dreadful clue but did enjoy 10a and 7 & 8d.
    Not sure i understand the hint for 21a, why a disabled lumberjack?
    Mondays are becoming quite a tough start to the week these days.

  7. A bit of a struggle, as is my wont for a Monday morning, but I got there in the end.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to Libellule.

  8. Pretty easy going today until i came across 24 – what a rotten clue! I put in the only word that fitted but it still didn’t ring true. All the rest were OK, especially 1 and 10. Shame about 24, but not a bad start to the week.

  9. Interesting to see the apostrophe as part of the enumeration of 8d and Libellule’s comment about it above. Now, since this is an apostrophe of “abbreviation” (my word, not sure what the real terminology is) and it is a foreign language phrase that has been “adopted” into English, is the apostrope an integral part of the expression or not? I consider that it is. However, I think I would have got the answer if the enumeration had been a simple (6, 4), but I would be complaining about it! And, we have the hyphen in the enumeration of 13d; in the same way, should that be there or not?

      1. I agree about the hyphen in 13d, but by the same token of validity, I consider that the apostrophe should be in 8d. One of the “problems” of borrowing/stealing from another language.

    1. I’m a punctuation pedant. I think the apostrophes and hyphens are important!

      I’m not sure if there is a formal name for an apostrophe when it is used to show omission of a letter or letters. Anyone know?

      1. According to Lynn Truss in “Eats, Shoots and Leaves”, the English language first picked up the apostrophe in the 16th century. Its original use was to mark dropped letters. The word in Greek means “turning away” and hence “omission”. The other uses of the apostrophe developed later.

          1. RB, I think you’ve correctly used the apostrophe correctly, unlike some of the examples she quotes:-

            Ladie’s Hairdresser
            Mens Coat’s
            Freds’ Restaurant
            Hot Dogs a Meal in Its’ Self

    2. As I’ve posted before re the enumeration question, I can see no difference between the space, the hyphen and the apostrophe, and I expect to see all of them indicated by the enumeration.

      All or none!

  10. Being contrarians, we found this * or **/****, so I fear that the next puzzle rated * by the blogger will have her Ladyship and me sweating for ages. Thought it was going to be a pangram and so tried to force 2d to be ‘aqua’ on tha grounds that aquamarine is almost blue and a blue is a sporting qualification, as it were, at Oxbridge. Light dawned eventually.

  11. Took me a long time to get going, but once I had 1a and 10a managed to make orderly progress. New words all over the place. Knew the French town but not the hanging ! An enjoyable but difficult puzzle for me, thank you Rufus – if it was you – and thank you Libellule for some explanations and your review.

  12. Enjoyable fare today. 23D held me up for a while (I also ran through the Earl/Race/Hat/Etc path).

    Actually have some sun here at the moment and have been promised a warm day (double figures) tomorrow.

    Its not often that anything (other than the Matt cartoon) raise more than a chuckle when I read the paper, but I must admit to a great guffaw today reading the Letters page – check out the last one in from Gail Wilson from Tickenham.

  13. I’ve started off the week in my usual way – a complete pig’s ear. Just don’t know what it is about Rufus puzzles that I find so tricky.
    Really glad to see that Libellule gave it 3* for difficulty.
    1 and 10a both took ages – don’t know why. 19a was messed up by 15d – got my French towns mixed up and had put in Arles with great confidence. 24a looked like such an unlikely word that I began to doubt my answers for 12 and 13d. I could go on but perhaps not.
    I did enjoy this one once I’d sorted out all my stupid mistakes.
    Lots of good clues – 1, 15 and 16a and 2, 19 (another one that took ages) and 26a. I wasn’t too keen on 24a.
    With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.
    Bright and sunny but still chilly – really cold east wind coming straight across the garden.

  14. Oh – and ‘shepherdess’ for 29a until it wouldn’t fit – I even got as far as looking it up to see if it really did have a second ‘H’!! :roll: and :oops:

    1. Kath, how do you enter your “emoticons”? I can only manage :-) and :-( using keyboard shortcuts.

      1. I don’t know what keyboard shortcuts are. I think there is a long list of the little faces, probably in the FAQ section at the top of the page, but will give you a quick list of the ones that I use (all the time – I love them!)
        You need to leave a space before the colon otherwise they don’t work but don’t leave a space between the colon and what you type.

        :smile: is colon smile colon

        :grin: is colon grin colon

        :oops: is colon oops colon

        :sad: is colon sad colon

        There are lots of others.

        1. Thanks :grin:

          I didn’t know about word shortcuts.

          The keyboard shortcuts I use are : – ) without the spaces for :-) and : – ( for :-(

  15. As usual a most enjoyable puzzle from the Monday Maestro – so thanks to he & to Libellule for the review.

    Now let’s hope this week doesn’t contain the spats we had last week. It was getting very tasty at one point until BD sent the naughty boys to their bedrooms with no supper.

  16. Thought this a ‘clever’ crossword punctuated with some tricky clues, agree with a ***/***.Like others struggled with 23d, and ‘slow’ on the uptake in general in the SE corner,thought 29a was’ kindermaid’ie ‘kinder’ for tender and ‘maid. for girl- resulting in someone who looked after children or domestic animals- ie children or brats!! Liked 1 and 24a.

    1. Yes I thought exactly the same for 29a, Beaver, but decided against it because I’d never heard that word used before… Still enlarging my vocabulary and hoping my retrieval system keeps working!

      1. I also really wanted to put kindermaid! I am sure we have had this word ( the correct word that is) sometime in the past few months because I wanted to make exactly the same mistake. Maybe this time it will actually stick with me!

  17. A very good Crossword today!

    Had a bit of trouble with 12d, 13d & 24a!

    13d I thought was ‘Self ——‘ then I thought it was ‘Sole Trader’ so I got into a bit of a pickle – It didn’t help that I couldn’t get 12d or 24a!

    It took a lot of head scratching and a ‘eureka’ moment before I saw the light!

  18. Maestro indeed! For me, crosswords don’t get any better than this. Plenty of humour, gentle misdirection, and a few where the answers went in without really understanding why (other than it had to be) and, for that, many thanks to Libellule for erudite explanations. First word of 10a is also a traditional Chinese board game, but that’s probably too obscure…

    …another lovely day here in Birmingham, although the paper girl said it was a bit chilly.

  19. A really enjoyable Rufus today! Lots of smiles: 1a,16a & 21a.

    Nice to see the Quickie Pun making an appearance in the clue for 12a!

  20. Nice on Rufus. I stopped with four to go so I got on with my day. I have just picked it back up and what bamboozled me earlier today fell into place as nice as pie. Thanks to all concerned. Toughie day tomorrow. Bring it on.

  21. Typical Monday fare until I got to bottom right, where 23d and 29a completely flummoxed me.
    Derby as an Eponym, Lord Derby and the horse race?

    Still apart from that great fun.

    Thanks for the review, definitely needed today.

    Thanks to Rufus

        1. The ‘type of hat’ is an American invention and does belong in a British crossword or even a British Encyclopaedia as far as I am concerned. It should never be used here along with ‘sidewalk’, ‘jello’ or ‘ass’ (unless the word relates to a donkey).

          1. Chambers defines an eponym, as given above by Libellule:
            * A person, real or mythical, from whose name another name is derived

            This rules out the pottery, which is named after a place. The Americans, apparently, called the bowler hat a derby because of it’s prevalence at derby races.

            Thus, the only usage which properly fits the clue is the Epsom Derby, named after Lord Derby following the toss of a coin.

          2. That’s interesting, Skempie, if somewhat different from my experience (I’m presuming you left the ‘not’ out of your comment?). My Grandfather used to wear what the family called a derby hat (bowler) when he collected me off my train from boarding school (end of term joys!) in London. He had no relations in America, and his hat was made by Lock& Co in St James, London. Perhaps it’s the capital ‘D’ which would link it to the USA?

            1. You’re right, I did miss out the ‘not’ from my reply, my apologies. Derby for a bowler hat is most definitely an Americanism – what’s even worse is that they don’t even pronounce it correctly in America, they pronounce the word exactly as it is written rather than as ‘DARBY’ as it should be pronounced.

              1. You really don’t like us, do you, Skempie. Though I am bound to confess I am Brit as well.

  22. I’m one of those who starts at the bottom clues from Down and works up so wrote 26D in first off. Simple anagram of ain’t and then bizarrely wrote in TINA. Not only is this an acronym (or is it a word now) it means absolutely the opposite of ‘against the proposal’. What a bad start!

  23. Usual Monday morning fun from Rufus, many thanks to him and to Libellule for the hints.

  24. Really enjoyed this puzzle. Not too difficult but witty and fun. Particularly liked 19d.

  25. Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the review and hints. Great start to the week, made me get my thinking cap on. Managed it all apart from 24a, where i used the hint, never thought of pretender to the throne, very clever. Managed to guess the missing letter in 15d, had never heard of the town or the tapestry, but arras is Spanish for a jug that is about a pint capacity, so I put that in :-) Favourites were 1a,12a,16a and 3d. Was 3*/4* for me. Sun out in Central London, went for a nice run earlier.

          1. It’s all because of the football Franny, Dave’s team ‘Spurs’ beat his team “Arsenal’ 2/1!

  26. I’m not sure whether this has been suggested before but apols if so. 10A – Kipling’s game is obviously Great – “The Great Game” (his ref to anglo/russian competition for india via afghanistan) and so great forest therefore is jungle

  27. Hi all started this early this morning before rehab but it’s been such a lovely sunny afternoon, warm too, that I haven’t got back to it yet! Beautiful sunshine, snowdrops, primroses, daffodils, even daisies! and lambs in the fields, Spring has indeed sprung, trouble is this may be our ration of sunshine for the year!! Now, where did I put that crossword? I agree with Brian, Mondays do seem a little tougher these days, back later :-)

    1. Hi Mary
      I envy you your garden! We had another huge snowfall last week so mine is still under at least three feet of snow. I will think of you enjoying your flowers!

      1. Hi Catherine, I wish that were my garden :-D , no, unfortunately but it’s the countryside all around me :-)

          1. Beautiful when the sun is shining, which isn’t very often usually but we have had three lovely weeks of dry weather and sunshine, although rain is forecast for Wednesday!

        1. Mary, when I go to Carmarthen by chuff-chuff train from Newport, don’t I pass by Llansteffan Castle in the distance? I remember seeing a castle and wonder if that’s Llansteffan

    2. I have snowdrop, crocus and christmas rose in bloom at the moment with daffodils nearly making the effort. Indoors, we have a couple of superb Amaryllis in bloom. Outside we have leaf buds on our acer and I think some of the roses and the passion flower is starting to wake up too.

    3. Grump, grump, grump!! Well all I can say is lucky Mary and skempie – I’m sure it won’t surprise anyone to hear that the ************************* muntjacs have eaten all our bulbs, and lots of other stuff too.
      On the plus side, next week we are having a fence put up to keep the little dears (pun intended – I CAN spell) out. What’s worrying me now is that the fence might get put up with one of them in the garden, thereby keeping one in that won’t be able to get out. Oh dear!!

  28. Thanks for hints Libelulle, completed last few with your help, once again, as I said above I feel Mondays are getting a bit tougher, a few words I didn’t know, two clues I liked 19d and 20a, hopefully an earlirs visit tomorrow :-)

  29. A very enjoyable puzzle. Especially liked 1a and 16a. Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule!

  30. I found this very tough today. Was it Rufus? I don’t usually have so much trouble with him. Perhaps I just wasn’t on the wavelength. I managed to struggle through the top half, but needed a number of hints lower down, especially for 24a and 23d which I loathed. How is Derby a real or mythical person? I didn’t understand that. Thanks anyway to Rufus, if it was him, and to Libellule for all the help. :-(

    1. Rufus puzzles on a Monday do seem to have not just got a bit tougher but also the style doesn’t seem quite the same either, Franny, at least not for me

    2. Franny, ignore the town name: the Epsom Derby is named after the twelfth Earl of Derby. Just as a sandwich is named after the Earl of Sandwich, and the wellington boot was named after the Duke of Wellington etc.
      It’s a thing named after a person.

  31. Challenging for a Monday, but enjoyable (like a long country walk). Have seen “eponymous” used many times but never “eponym”. Apparently, you can have antonymous and homonymous though I’ve only seen the nouns used.

  32. I enjoyed this puzzle in general, with some very witty clues (e.g. 1a, 13a and 19d) though I did wonder about one or two – 21a seemed rather plain; in 26a the ‘he’ puzzled me.
    And 29a – what’s ‘tender’ about such a one? I s’pose ideally she needs to be an animal-lover to do this paid job, but still…

    Anyway, it made a bright start to the week, helped by some cold afternoon sunshine and a glass of champagne.

  33. We got there, eventually, but it took far too long.
    Spent an age on 22a and 23d.
    Silly me
    No excuses..
    On reflection, very good clues, precise and fitting.
    Thanks Rufus and Libellule for the review.

  34. Rufus is definitely my favorite setter so thanks a lot for a wonderful crossword, though I too was stymied by 23d and24a.Too many favorites to mention. Thanks to Libellule for answers to the two mentioned above.More like a ***** for enjoyment.I think it’s the best crossword since that Micaber around last christmas.

  35. At first attempts, I almost decided I was way off course with this Rufus, but I kept going and ended up enjoying. Once I got 10a, I felt that it might not be mission impossible. I did need help from gizmo, which I don’t like to use until I decide I can’t do more. I never did get 24a, hmmmm, not sure i even like it. Thanks to all

  36. Found this rather tricky and toiled a tad on and off between work. Missed 24a and a couple of others. Not tuned in today.

  37. I’ve not commented loads on Mondays but 1a – Wow!
    Thanks to Rufus (I don’t pop in to say that enough) and also to Libellule (always without prejudice).

  38. Hello again. Still quite new to this but managed todays eventually. How do you people know who the setter is when it’s not stated? Regards.

    1. Somewhere up at the top of the first page, probably in the FAQ bit, there is a list of who sets on which days but, in general, it is:-
      Mondays – Rufus
      Tuesdays – they vary a bit
      Wednesdays – Jay
      Thursdays – Ray T on alternate weeks and Mr Ron (ie we don’t know therefore Mysteron – a term coined by 2Kiwis who are regular commenters) the other week
      Fridays – Giovanni
      Saturdays – Cephas and others
      Sunday – Virgilius

  39. Solved this one earlier on but fell asleep after watching University Challenge!!

    Faves : 1a, 15a, 21a, 27a, 7d. 8d, 13d & 18d.

    Weather here was really spring-like today – in fact some chocolate pavé that my daughter brought back for me from Geneva melted and liquified!

  40. Didn’t anyone else like 19a? A charade that also makes a perfect definition of the answer! My idea of the perfect clue (even if it was the easiest!)

    1. Yes I did too. It’s another thing I like about Rufus puzzles – there are always a few easier “come-and-do-me” clues to draw you in.

      Just waiting for the paper girl to get up. She’s a bit slow on these cold mornings.

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