DT 27140 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27140

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27140

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Welcome to Poisson d’avril this morning. This is a fairly straight forward crossword, on a par, I think with last weeks.


1. Fantastic display of oral and physical mischief this morning (5,5,3)
{APRIL FOOLS DAY} – An anagram (fantastic) of DISPLAY OF ORAL describes today.

10. One of the family foregoes a right which is questionable (7)
{UNCLEAR} – The brother of your mother or father is placed in front of A and R (right) for something that is not clearly defined.

11. Ram-raider in prison? (7)
{SLAMMER} – A slang term for a jail, could also be someone who crashes into things.

12. Learner dismissed for being an oaf (4)
{LOUT} – L (learner) and losing your wicket produces a crude or stupid person.

13 .A doctor required — about to turn yellow! (5)
{AMBER} – A plus a Bachelor of Medicine (Medicinae Baccalaureus) and a reversed preposition used to denote “in reference to” is also a shade of brownish yellow.

14. They look round for bears without fear (4)
{ORBS} – Remove (without) FEAR from the words “for bears”.

17. Sign of private advancement (7)
{CHEVRON} – What a corporal might wear on his sleeve.

18. New Orleans is in Italy! (7)
{SALERNO} – An anagram (new) of ORLEANS is also a city in southern Italy.

19. For wrapping or handkerchiefs — its uses can be varied (7)
{TISSUES} – An anagram (can be varied) of ITS USES.

22. A seed is treated for blight (7)
{DISEASE} – Another anagram, this time of (treated) A SEED IS.

24. Sandpiper in difficulty (4)
{KNOT} – Another name for a sandpiper is also a complex problem.

25. Stupid fool is after credit (5)
{CRASS} – Place a word that describes a silly person after CR (credit).

26. Love to knock back drink after work (4)
{OPUS} – O (love) and a reversed (knock back) three letter word for a drink is also an artistic composition, usually musical.

29. Risky to reset a rose supporter (7)
{YORKIST} – An anagram (reset) of RISKY TO is also a follower of the white rose.

30. Employment of paper folders (7)
{ORIGAMI} – The Japanese art of paper folding.

31. Not out at close of play — might even win (2,2,3,6)
{IN AT THE FINISH} – A batsman still at the crease when a match ends, could also be a phrase used to describe someone taking part at the close of a contest.


2. Fancy a movie? (7)
{PICTURE} – A mental image or impression is also another term for a film.

3. Feature I encountered on rising (4)
{ITEM} – I and a reversed (on rising) word meaning to come upon by chance or arrangement is also an article or piece in a newspaper or magazine.

4. Odd name for gang leader (7)
{FOREMAN} – An anagram (odd) of NAME FOR.

5. Taciturn people, they may be found in bed (7)
{OYSTERS} – A slang term for close mouthed people are also edible bivalve molluscs.

6. Country house in MP’s constituency (4)
{SEAT} – Double definition, a large house, or a parliamentary constituency.

7. One may follow trailer over swamp and river (7)
{ADMIRER} – Another word for a supporter or advocate can be constructed from AD (trailer), another term for an area of wet soggy ground and then R (river).

8. Spare lockers? (9,4)
{DUPLICATE KEYS} – A second set of items used to open or close doors.

9. Try to look smart in order to go courting? (5,4,4)
{PRESS ONES SUIT} – What you might do with an iron to a set of clothes before you go out is also a phrase that describes what you might be doing with your girlfriend.

15. Urge a different debate (5)
{ARGUE} – An anagram (different) of URGE A.

16. Adverse criticism about southern vessel (5)
{FLASK} – Place a word for excessive or abusive criticism around S (southern) to get a container usually made of glass or metal with a narrow neck.

20. It may depend on a Scotsman for his money (7)
{SPORRAN} – A pouch worn at the front of a kilt.

21. Rough and ready way to score (7)
{SCRATCH} – A word for an item that is assembled hastily, is also a word that is used to describe how you can make a mark on the surface of something.

22. Write a quick note and leave in a hurry (4,3)
{DASH OFF} – Write something hastily or leave quickly.

23. Makes an entry, an afterthought about fruit (7)
{APPEARS} – A word that can mean showing up, as in coming into sight or view is made up from A, the abbreviation of postscript (afterthought) which is then placed around an edible fruit.

27. Hand is in foot? (4)
{FIST} – Place IS in FT (foot).

28. Pride is no deadly sin in his case (4)
{LION} – Mainly because he happens to be a big cat.

The Quick crossword pun: (ape} + {rill} + {fuel} = {April Fool}

41 comments on “DT 27140

  1. I had a huge mental block with one clue which led to this being my longest solving time ever for a Rufus puzzle (still not long but enough to make me cross with myself). Apart from having to bang my head on the kitchen table several times (well it makes a change from kicking yourself) i did enjoy the crossword so thank you to Rufus and Libellule too.

    1. Very similar experience for us – it was 8d took the time, d’oh! Got fixated on “SKELETON” as first word, skeleton = thin = spare but it doesn’t even fit!

      1. Surprised to see you back, pommers.

        It would be very interesting if there were to be both an EXCALIBUR and an ELGAR Toughie this week!

        Let’s hope so!

        1. I haven’t died, just stopped doing the reviews for reasons that I won’t explain fully in public. Still keep an eye on the blog every now and then, and post occasionally, but I don’t really care either way. Someone says I’m no longer welcome then I’ll bugger off but I’ve no particular problem with anyone.

          As to Excalibur’s puzzles – I agree with BD about them, but that wasn’t the point . . . !

  2. **/***. As seems to have been the case for me recently the NW corner again proved the most tricky with 17a the last one in.

    I had three answers where I didn’t fully understand the wordplay. Thanks very much to Libellule for explaining “fancy” in 2d and the slang in 5d, which I’d never come across before but which now seems pretty obvious with hindsight – wonderful thing hindsight! I also had to look up “depend” to understand its meaning in 20d, which at least the BRB describes as “rare”.

    Many thanks to the setter for an enjoyable start to the week.

  3. I had mental blocks on several, Crypticsue…5D, 8D and 17A….but once the the brain unfogged (well, I did start this at 4 am!) all became clear. Also, initially tried to make ‘Dress ones best” fit 9D and had to google to check my answer for 24A. Thanks to Libellue for the review, although hints not needed today, and to Rufus. Back off to bed with a book, now.

  4. Another tough Monday. What happened to getting the week started with something pour encourage les autres?
    Has anyone else heard of 5d for taciturn or secretive people Its in the BRB but come on! I agree with the difficulty rating but not with the enjoyment, just a hard slog for me.
    Thx to Libellule for the usual high standard of clear and concise hints which I certainly needed today for the NE corner.

    1. Yes, I’ve come across the expression “as close as an oyster” for a secretive person.

  5. I spent longer on 16 down than on any other clue – and I still had the wrong word, d’oh! First I thought it was ‘BLAST’ but it didn’t seem right, then I hit upon ‘GLASS’, after all it sort of met all the criteria, with S and SLAG reversed round it giving a vessel. Today’s crossword still made a pleasant start to yet another cold day here in Salop.

  6. Ideas did not flow this morning and a couple which did had to be revised later. I put in ‘stripes’ for 17a on first pass, though was not happy with the plural, but at least was working in the right direction. Thanks, Libellule, for explaining 14a which we got but just could not work out fully. Agree with Brian that Mondays are not as straight forward as they used to be. I did like18a.

  7. Glad you gave it 3*** for difficulty; I can see Big Dave giving it 1*. Super puzzle. Just right. Excellent review as usual.

  8. Fairly straight forward with hang up on 16d which held me up for a while.
    Liked 14a. 5d new meaning for me but nothing else fitted, and if its in BRB…

    Thanks to Libellule for his usual excellent review.

    Thanks to Rufus for an enjoyable puzzle.

  9. I struggled to start with but got most of the way in the end. 9 and 24 had me stick and so thanks for the hints. The use of 5d was a new term for me as well. And I was in the right ballpark for 17 but kept thinking stripes!

  10. After getting 1a really quickly, I thought perhaps the rest was a Fool as I didn’t find it straightforward at all! But struggled on and enjoyed the tussle. So a 3/4 for me as well, with many thanks to both the setter and Libellule. 28d made me smile (from a safe distance!) ? Now I’m en route North I may only be able to log on occasionally, but send greetings and good wishes to all in the meantime :-)

  11. Nothing seemed to flow at first, then, when it did, it did.
    Funny that.
    Thanks to the setter and Libellule.

  12. Sandpiper = Knot.? Knot that I have ever come across a sandpiper. We don’t have them round these here parts. No sir. A gentle nudge into the land of the the living with a head still slightly woozey from yesterdays excesses.. Thanks to all concerned.

    1. Ah… I won’t need the Crossword Dictionary after all for 24a. Possible detention in the Naughty Corner for you! But thanks anyway :-)

      1. I do apologise dear boy. Must have been the fuzzy head. Now it has cleared I am sure I have met the clue before.

  13. Not quite as straightforward as I expected (or hoped) but that’s probably just me and Bank Holiday lethargy.

    Lots of learning for me today! 5d was a new meaning but, yes, it’s in the BRB on my iPhone (which I commend to iPhone users). I managed (just) to avoid putting “stpipes” in for 17a and isn’t that a nice clue? I’m a big Rufus fan so I enjoyed the humour, the misdirection and the cleverness (e.g. 14a).

    If I’m honest, I haven’t quite finished as I haven’t got an answer to 24a… yet. Time to reach for my for-emergencies-only H.W. Hill Crossword Dictionary.

    Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule, who somehow manages to provide such gentle and unpatronising hints!

    Have a good Bank Holiday

  14. The usual straightforward but enjoyable crossword from Rufus though I did put in skeleton keys at 8d at first. Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for a nice start to the week.

    1. BigBoab,

      Re. Skeleton keys, I have to confess that was my first thought too, however I parked it and waited for some checking letters, as it didn’t really fit the definition.

    2. All I could think of for 8d was that and the only thing that stopped me putting it in – well, made me rub it out after I’d started – was that skeleton doesn’t have enough letters.

  15. I found this really difficult – certainly more than 3* for me today.
    I thought it was going to be a doddle having got 1a instantly, as I’m sure everyone else did, but then got stuck quite quickly. I have heard of 5d with that meaning but had forgotten about it.
    I thought that 17a were the things that are painted on motorways and you’re supposed to have at least three of them between you and the chap in front so everyone is so busy looking at them and counting that they all drive into each other.
    I never did get 14a. 8d took ages, as did 9d. I haven’t heard of the first definition of 24a.
    I liked 1 and 18a and 2 and 22d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.
    Too many people around yesterday to even look at the Sunday crossword so going to have a go later – do hope that someone is around to help if (when) I get stuck!

      1. Thanks – a bit stuck in top right corner now – going to have another quick go at it and then head for hints and comments from yesterday and hope that someone else needed help with the same ones.

  16. Many hiccups for me today. I never did get 11a, 24a or 7d. I also wanted to put skeleton keys in, but try as I might, I couldn’t make eight letters into nine! 5d was really an obscure alternative meaning. What a combination of dead easy and diabolically hard clues. Good workout, thanks to all. Nice to get the brain working.

    1. You and me both for 8d, spare – thin – skeleton! Fits nicely. Shame it isn’t right :-)

      1. Am I missing something here? Skeleton only has 8 letters, so how can it fit :-) i also thought of Skeleton, but sadly had to reject it.

  17. Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the review and hints. Very enjoyable, was 4*/3* for me. I needed 5 hints to finish. Favourites were 20 & 27d. Sun trying to come out in Central London.

  18. Thank you Rufus – defeated me today, needed the hint to get 14a. Also had problems with 24a. I put the answer in but am confused as to why a sandpiper is a knot. I have always thought that they are 2 different species. The sandpiper being a summer visitor from Africa and the knot a winter visitor from the Arctic. Thank you Libellule for your review and hints, but I wonder if you have any information as to why these 2 species are in defined as knots. I have checked all our bird books and cannot find any reference to this – they all quite clearly treat them as 2 separate species.

    1. Sweet William,

      How about:

      knot 2 (nt)
      Either of two migratory sandpipers (Calidris canutus or C. tenuirostris) that breed in Arctic regions.

  19. First one I haven’t finished without electronic help for a while. I don’t tend to enjoy puzzles that mix trivially easy clues with real headscratchers. I just could not think of the word for 17A but I knew exactly what it was. Argh,

  20. Very enjoyable crossword which has kept me occupied for most of the day, on and off, and between showers. Yes, there is rain in the Languedoc. Many thanks to Libellule for some hints which I did need to use and to the setter for a good puzzle. I’d say 3* is about right

  21. Agree that this one was a little trickier than usual for a Monday. Lots of really good clues that flowed in steadily.
    Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

      1. Better answer IMO – who ever said “he’s got his corporal’s chevrons”?

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