DT 27134 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27134

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27134

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

I thought this was a bit harder today, with a few of the clues causing some head scratching moments. Some lovely clues though, as one would expect from the Maestro. 17d being a case in point.


1. Feeling guilty, has made blunders (7)
{ASHAMED} – An anagram (blunders) of HAS MADE.

5. Dish of caviare that one is greedy to have (7)
{AVARICE} – An anagram (dish) of CAVIARE.

9. Dispatched to the interior? (5)
{EATEN} – Another word for ingested.

10. Parisian summit conference (4-1-4)
{TETE-A-TETE} – A French phrase that describes a private conversation between two people.

11. In the sphere of misdeeds this is a record (5,5)
{CRIME SHEET} – A record of an individual’s offences against the law.

12. Headlong plunge into disreputable bar (4)
{DIVE} – Double definition.

14. It enables one to cross without being observed (6,6)
{SECRET BALLOT} – Like voting in a General Election for example.

18. It may reveal hidden charges (4,8)
{MINE DETECTOR} – An electromagnetic device used to find explosives.

21. The French way to get fat (4)
{LARD} – LA (French feminine the) and RD (road, way).

22. Game boss producing good position for expansion (10)
{BRIDGEHEAD} – A card game for four people derived from whist, and a synonym for a person in charge produces a word that describes an advantageous position usually associated with the military.

25. A course people follow (9)
{RACETRACK} – A word for a circuit can be made from another word for a group of people, and a word that describes pursuing somebody or something.

26. Girl admits publicity dodge (5)
{EVADE} – The name of the first woman around (admits) AD (publicity).

27. This leg break shows quickness of the hand (7)
{SLEIGHT} – An anagram (break) of THIS LEG.

28. Dubious character? (7)
{SUSPECT} – A person who is under suspicion.


1. Means it won’t play a principal part (6)
{AGENCY} – The means or mode of doing something, or a business or service doing something for others.

2. Does it secure tile to shingle? (6)
{HATPIN} – A pointed piece of metal used to secure a woman’s headgear to her hair.

3. Composer to drive men wild (10)
{MONTEVERDI} – An anagram (wild) of TO DRIVE ME is an Italian composer considered to be a founder of opera.

4. Desert watercourse (5)
{DITCH} – Double definition, to get rid of or discard, or another word for 23d.

5. Teach unit members to become trustworthy (9)
{AUTHENTIC} –An anagram (members) of TEACH UNIT.

6. A long way off getting a rising service (4)
{AFAR} – A word that means at a great distance is A and a reversed (rising) branch of the armed forces.

7. Like the fare if it’s too high? (8)
{INEDIBLE} – The sort of fare that you might not want to eat…

8. Modules which are used in teaching chemistry (8)
{ELEMENTS} – Parts of a whole, are also constituents of the atomic table.

13. Some grates may be designed as fuel-savers (10)
{GASOMETERS} – An anagram (may be designed) of SOME GRATES are large tanks or reservoirs.

15. Slow worker causing delay (9)
{RETARDANT} – Take a word that means to proceed slowly, then add a six legged social worker to get an agent that delays or hinders.

16. Simple or complicated requests (8)
{IMPLORES} – An anagram (complicated) of SIMPLE OR.

17. Interval at recent play (4’4)
{ENTR’ACTE} – An anagram (play) of AT RECENT is an interval between two acts of a theatrical performance. So simple, yet so clever.

19. How two auxiliary verbs act? (6)
{BEHAVE} – The definition is act, as in to conduct oneself in a specified way. The answer consists of “two verbs, such as can, or will, that accompanies the main verb in a clause and helps to make distinctions in mood, voice, aspect, and tense etc”.

20. The coming of the Christian faith (6)
{ADVENT} – The coming or arrival of something important, is also a the period before Christmas.

23. Waterways that could link Kirkcaldy to Keswick (5)
{DYKES} – These waterways can be found by combining letters from the end of “Kirkcaldy” and the start of “Keswick”.

24. Game is southern game (4)
{STAG} – S (southern) and a children’s game in which one player pursues the others until he or she is able to touch one of them.

The Quick crossword pun: (pitcher} + {buck} = {picture book}

70 comments on “DT 27134

      1. Thanks LM. I didn’t see your answer to Wozza before posting my request for clarification of 2d. I’ve never come across either tile or shingle with those meanings before.

        1. I’ve never heard of them either – I’m guessing they may be less relevant to those of us born in the second half of the 20th century?!

        2. A song of the Victorian era, sung by Stanley Holloway:

          “Where did you get that hat? Where did you get that tile?
          Isn’t it a nobby one, and just the proper style?
          I should like to have one Just the same as that!”
          Where’er I go, they shout “Hello! Where did you get that hat?”

          The shingle hairstyle was very fashionable in the 1930s. (Well before my time!)

  1. Good morning Libellule, I fully agree with your rating. I managed three quarters fairly quickly but then I got held up in the NW corner requiring your hints for 1d and 11a for which many thanks. Due to a silly misreading of the clue, I had put a slightly wrong answer in 1d which didn’t help with 11a!

    Although I got the correct answer for 2d I still don’t understand why even with your hint :-( Could you help a bit more please?

    It took a while for the penny to drop for 23d becuase I was obsessed with the fact that both town names contained silent letters – a very nice misdirection. 19d was my favourite clue today.

    I felt there were a few too many anagrams for my personal taste but overall this was a very enjoyable start to the week. Many thanks to the setter.

  2. This I found harder than the normal monday offering,needed help on 2D,17D,19D thanks to the setter and libellule for putting me right.

  3. Finished but low on the enjoyment scale. Very tricky and 1d and 9a were esp difficult.
    IMHO 17d is one of the worst clues I have seen in the DT for a long time. Completely senseless.
    No favs today as I can find little to recommend this puzzle.
    Thx to Libellule for the hints which I needed for 9a and 1d though must admit that I struggled with understanding the hint for 1d but not an easy clue to explain.

    1. If you read libellule’s reply at comment #21 you’ll see that he regards 17D as a wonderful clue, and so do I.

      Still, a chacun son gout :-)

      1. You dont have to be nice to the setter all the time and assume he is brilliant ergo we are all stupid for not being on his wavelength. 17D was a rubbish clue …and so was 1D.

        1. Everyone is on a slightly different wave length. Everyone has favourite setters, setters they find easier than others and some that they always find tricky etc etc. No one is ever saying anyone else is stupid – that’s one of the great things about this blog. I think a thank you to the setter who has put a lot of work into setting a crossword is always appropriate.
          I thought that 17d was a really clever clue.

  4. Good morning all. Enjoyed this and found it fairly straightforward until I got completely stymied in the NW corner. Wasted time trying to fit a stage term into 1d, as well as struggling to use globe or space for sphere in 11a! And kept thinking about secret tunnels for 14a earlier, until I went back and read the clue properly. Well crafted puzzle IMHO and hints so thanks to setter & Libellule.

  5. As you say some lovely clues and misdirection .Spent more time on 1d ,9a and 19d than the rest .
    Faves. 14a,17d,19d .
    Thanks very much on yet another bitterly cold day .

  6. A little more difficult than the usual Monday fare. I have never heard of 17d and struggled with 1d, a clue I remember from long ago. As for 2d, I used to think my grandmother pushed hers right into her head and could not understand why it didn’t hurt. Ah innocence. Tis true, twas bliss.

  7. I agree with the above comments. Some of the clues were very easy and some very hard. NW corner last in and I needed the explanations. Thanks to all

  8. Oh good – thought it was going to be just me having my usual Monday struggle. I often battle with them and thought it was a lot more difficult today.
    Anyway, finished now although for a long time I had four in the top left corner that I didn’t think I was going to get – 9 and 11a and 1 and 2d. Unfortunately each of those affected two of the others – what a pickle! I always have trouble with the word ‘agency’ – it just somehow seems such a vague word – don’t know why.
    Looking at it again now I thought there were some good clues – 10, 14 and 21a and 17, 19 and 23d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.
    Still grey and terribly cold – I think it’s all getting a bit silly now.

  9. 2d – Tile for Hat – was interested in the Stanley Holloway reference – always thought the line went ‘where did you get that hat, where did you get that tie’ – although I knew shingle was a hair style, still tried to think of something to do with a roof (shingle US term for roof covering) I suppose thats the misdirection. Hints as always superb.

  10. We found this quite tricky today, although very enjoyable. Most enjoyable of all when Mr Babs had to ask me for an explanation of both parts of 2d. He’d usually walk over hot coals than admit his ignorance!
    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule

  11. Hi Libelulle and thanks for the hints, once again I found Rufus had his tough hat or should I say ’tile’ on today, never heard either expression before though I do know the song and also always thought it was ‘tie’, a few including 1d, 2d,17d, I thought were ‘toughie clues today, too hard for me in parts, though the clues were very clever for a smarter person than me! did like 14a,24d and 7d, lovely and sunny here, but very cold

  12. Like many others seemed to be going smoothly with confidence restored after the tricky weekend: then a complete halt in the NW corner. Needed your hints to finish Libellule – many thanks for the review. So rather frustrating. Total enjoyment = finishing without hints ! Thank you Rufus, disappointed to fall at the 3rd from last !

  13. Started this later than usual and wondered if that was why I was slower today but am pleased to see that I wasn’t alone in finding Rufus trickier today. He’s a lot easier in today’s Graun!

    Thanks to Libellule for the hints and Rufus for making me work, especially as everyone says in the NW corner.

    There was a slight moment when I was shopping in Canterbury when the sun came out (I had an actual shadow) but now I am back home its just grey – blooming cold in both places. Apparently the met office are promising us a heatwave at the end of Spring. Think I’ll keep the thermals out a while longer.

    1. Falcon’s also worth a lash over at the FT. I can safely say that I am sick of winter now. In fact – bugger this for a game of soldiers & guess whose on holiday next week? One of only 2 weeks I take in the year including Christmas and they’re forecasting more of the same.

      I too have heard about a possible heatwave later in April but will not be holding my breath.

      Oops nearly forgot! Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule as per.

      1. I am off this week – :( to the weather – as my friend with whom I normally do a longish walk each holiday time is off to South Africa next Monday – the trip includes spending a few days on a beach in Mauritius too – jealous? me? what do you think?

      2. I am contemplating a “fact finding tour” of the Caribbean markets as long as I can think of a client I can charge it to!

  14. Harder than the norm for a monday but agree very clever, enough easier clues to fill in the blanks and enable the solve,like others, shingle was new but tile was’nt, so a logical solution was provided,took all the available letters to work out 17d ,as suspected it must be another tongue, wanted to put drain in for4d- d+rain =course before 10 fell.Am going for a ***/**** today.

  15. For once I thought this was easier than the reviwer thought – would give it **. Even so, needed hints for last three in NW corner. Was working on “tile” = “hat” but didn’t see “shingle” for hair though should have done. Rabbit Dave complained about too many anagrams but for me it was a relief from too many over-contrived charades. Like Kath I was stumped by 1d – last in. I didn’t see a problem with 17d – once all the check letters were in and it was identified as an anagram the apostrophe gave it away.

    I thought it was a good puzzle – I shall remember 21a: a classic clue if ever there was. Just the example to show a newbie how cryptics work.


  16. Like many, the NW corner proved to be the trickiest for me but overall an enjoyable experience. Venturing out now, still cold and grey in Surrey, – will need a tile on my shingle!

  17. Great crossword from a great setter, nothing difficult but always pleasing, I loved 19d and it was lovely to see ma wee toon mentioned (Kirkcaldy) at 23d. Many thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for a teriffic review.

  18. A tricky one to come back to after a longer than planned. crosswordless visit to the UK. Can’t believe how cold it was!

    Knew about shingle but never heard of a tile being a hat.

    Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

    1. Words & music by J.J. Sullivan. “Sullivan, comedian and acrobatic dancer, home for vacation and searching in the attic for possible make-up material, came across an old plug hat, too small for his head and absurdly tall for his short, plump figure. Wearing it, he ventured into the street and was ridiculed and jeered at by a group of small boys, who yelled: ‘Where did you get that hat?’ The phrase gave him the title for his celebrated song, one of the best-remembered hits of 1888, which for years after was sung and played everywhere.” (From “Songs of the Gilded Age,” by Margaret Bradford Boni

      Welcome back

    2. I knew you wouldn’t be able to stay away for too long! Welcome back old boy. Hope you’re well on the way to a full recovery despite having to give up the beloved snout.

  19. Have heard of a shingle haircut, very 1920s I believe, but not of that use of the word ’tile’. Have to agree with Brian, about 17 down. I didn’t think it was very simple or clever. Does anyone ever use the expression? There’s no accounting for the differences in the way people think about things.

    1. Sheila,
      Whether you have heard of the answer to 17d or not, the clue is a superb example of a cryptic clue. It reads very well, it is short and succinct, and all the parts of the clue are there.
      Clue – Interval at recent play.
      Defintion, interval because the answer is “the interval between two acts of a theatrical performance”
      the answer is an anagram (play) of “at recent”.
      A complete cryptic clue in four words. The work of a master.

        1. My apologies for upsetting you both, and you’re obviously much more expert than I am when it comes to cryptic crosswords, but we surely don’t have to agree about everything.

          1. No apology required, I’m not upset and I doubt Libellule is either.

            As I’m so fond of saying here… wouldn’t it be boring if we were all the same :-)

          2. I’m not upset – just gently pointing out what typically should be considered when determining whether a clue is bad or good.

            1. Just to say that i agree it was a’top’clue as it works on several ‘levels.,one of my favourites of a similar ilk is’ slow moving birds’ answer owls- moving being the anagram indicator of slow, and owls being the birds, which are additionally slow moving in flight-brilliant!

            2. Also if there were no challenges which improved one’s game then one would be still stuck on wordsearches.

  20. Thinking about the hat in the song referred to – presumably it was a man’s Topper (as worn by the ‘nobs’) rather than a woman’s… so a nice bit of misdirection with shingle referring to a woman’s haircut.

  21. Would have only been stuck on 2d (like many people, I’ve learnt two new terms today) if I hadn’t put Phase Three for 11a – anagram of ‘the sphere a’ – which made 1d impossible to get, even though I’d thought of the right answer earlier. NW seems to have caused lots of trouble today.

  22. Thought this was straightforward and very enjoyable. Needed a couple of hints and tho I knew shingle have also not heard of tile in that sense. Could not get 17d without the hint but agree it was very neat. Thanks to setter and to Libellule

  23. I dunno, I had lots to say but my comment wouldn’t stick. Won’t try to repeat, just loved this puzzle, a piece of cake compared to yesterday. Thanks to all

  24. Like some struggled in the NW, but an enjoyable start to the week. This blog is really helping me to enjoy this crossword.

  25. I really enjoyed that today and thought there were many really clever clues but I’m afraid 17d stumped me although I could see it was an anagram of “at recent” and I had all the right checking letters & even after reading the hints and all the comments it still eluded me and good old Google finally came to the rescue. I think I probably managed the rest of it in **time. Thanks to Rufus & Libellule.

  26. If we’re not allowed to mention solving times literally, then I hope I can say that solving most of the crossword took me time X, and I then spent twice as long again on the last 3 clues (1D, 2D, 11A). So in terms of time, 4* difficulty for me, but I think it would have been 2* without those clues. I still think 1D is a bit too nebulous…

    I was fine with 17D, although I didn’t know the word, I read the clue as an anagram immediately, so it was just a question of getting some other letters in and working it out.

  27. What a lot of comments for a Monday – perhaps a combination of a trickier than usual crossword and the great British weather! :sad:

  28. I’ve finally got 17 down – possibly the worst clue/answer ever, unbelievably obscure!!

    1. Some of us think it’s a fantastic clue, but rather than argue that point may I refer you to this example from Bizet’s Carmen?

      If you enjoy that, then searching for that term on YouTube will return many more!

      After a while, it won’t seem quite so obscure :-)

  29. Nice struggle, got there eventually unaided, eventually being the operative word.
    Some great clues, esp. 2d and 17d.
    And the setter’s trademark naval reference.
    Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

  30. It was the NW corner that caused us most problems, with 1d being the very last in. We had twigged 2d quite early, it was 9a that took a bit more beak scratching. A very nice crossword that we solved yesterday afternoon (for us) while we had the cricket commentary warbling along in the background, but perhaps it is unwise to raise that subject.
    Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

    1. 100s each from Bell, Root, Bairstow or Prior will make the game safe for us! Seriously, your guys have been a revelation and thoroughly deserve to win. NZ is a lovely country BTW – but you already know that!

  31. I must be the only person that struggles with Mondays crossword and breezes through Ray-T on those lucky Thursday where we are blessed with him. And this for me was incredibly tough. Cryptic definitions are not my strong point!

    1. Hi Dontscratchalot,
      Your comment needed moderation because you’ve changed your alias since your last posting. Both aliases should work from now on.

    2. No, you’re not! I always find Mondays tricky (so does Jezza but don’t know where he is today) – I wouldn’t say that I breeze through Ray T puzzles, nor any others, but Mondays are definitely one of the more difficult ones for me.

  32. Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the review and hints. I haven’t had a completion for over a week now. This was no exception, was 12 short before resorting to the hints. Never heard of 2d or 17d. A very good, but difficult puzzle. Help, I need an easy one tomorrow, or I’m going to lose confidence :-) Now back in Central London after walking in the Cumbrian Snow. Was 4*/2*for me.

  33. Put me with those who didn’t like 17d. Had all the crossing letters and still couldn’t get it, even though I knew it was an anagram. Saw the hint here, and still couldn’t get it without looking at the answer. Might be clever, but not simple.
    Also couldn’t get 1d or 2d.
    Not my favourite Monday puzzle.

  34. Very late input from me – I solved this puzzle after getting the DT from the papershop just before closing time.
    I always look forward to Rufuses settings as he is remarkably accurate.

    Faves today : 5a, 14a, 27a, 2d, 13d & 17d.

    Weather today in NL was sunny but hellishly cold (is that possible?).

    At least we are spared from the dreadful snowstorms that you folk in GB are having.

  35. Ok so 17d was new to me too. At least stops “old chestnut” responses. But so well clued IMHO, thanks Rufus and Libellule.

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