DT 27146 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27146

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27146

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

I was going to give this two stars for difficulty, but I got a bit stuck in the top right corner, so I think I will go with three. Another very entertaining crossword from the Maestro, 10a made me smile when I worked it out.


1. How a top actor went over as Romeo? (4-7)
{STAR-CROSSED} – Take a word for a leading artistic performer, then add a word that means passed from one side to another, to get a term that describes being opposed by fate.

9. Deviation from normal unusually rare? Can be (9)
{ABERRANCE} – An anagram (unusually) of RARE CAN BE is a word that means untrue to type.

10. Calculator that slides? (5)
{ADDER} – Is also a snake…

11. Stolen gun and car (3,3)
{HOT ROD} – A vehicle that’s been rebuilt and modified to improve its speed could be also be a recently stolen pistol.

12. Dish for a Scotsman? Girl returns with one (8)
{MACARONI} – A dish of small tubular pasta is MAC (Scotsman), a girls name e.g. Batty reversed (returns) and I (one).

13. Society girl rejecting a title? Rubbish! (6)
{DEBRIS} – The remains of something broken or destroyed is the shortened form of a young woman who is making an entry into society, followed by the title of a knight reversed.

15. Exhibit skill with kite perhaps (8)
{AIRCRAFT} – A word that can be used to describe being made public or being put on display, is then followed by another word that describes a skill or art in making or doing something produces the sort of kite that’s capable of atmospheric flight.

18. They should be able to identify any salts in a mixture (8)
{ANALYSTS} – An anagram (in a mixture) of ANY SALTS.

19. Union leader caught in female clothing gets imprisonment (6)
{DURESS} – Place the first (leader) letter of union inside (caught) a garment for women or girls for a word that can mean forcible confinement.

21. Does it get fed up with hunters? (3-5)
{MAN-EATER} – Only if it (a tiger for example) manages to catch, kill and consume enough of them.

23. Inventor having no team backing (6)
{EDISON} – Reverse (backing) a word for a contesting team or group and NO to get an inventor who patented more than a 1,000 inventions including the phonograph.

26. Perfume from far Oman (5)
{AROMA} – A distinctive usually pleasant smell can be found between the words “far” and “Oman”.

27. Share in a growing concern (9)
{ALLOTMENT} – A portion granted, or a piece of public land rented for cultivation.

28. Espy otters playing around the point, they have set mannerisms (11)
{STEREOTYPES} – An anagram (playing) of ESPY OTTERS around E (East).


1. Mother’s in the outhouse, drunk! (7)
{SMASHED} – Put MAS (mother’s) inside a small structure usually used for storage.

2. Get an organising middleman (5)
{AGENT} – An anagram (organising) of GET AN.

3. Feline killer? (9)
{CURIOSITY} – As per the proverb that is used to warn of the dangers of unnecessary investigation or experimentation.

4. Has improperly won a point (4)
{OWNS} – An anagram (improperly) of WON and then S (South).

5. Sequence of events in coarse novel (8)
{SCENARIO} – An anagram (novel) of IN COARSE.

6. American lawyer without force or histrionics (5)
{DRAMA} – Put DA (District Attorney) around (without) a word that means to force or press into place. Definition, histrionics.

7. Keep on being saucy about half-sister (7)
{PERSIST} – A word that means to continue steadfastly or obstinately can be made by placing a word for impudently bold around half of SISter

8. Recommend someone to take legal action (8)
{ADVOCATE} – To support or recommend someone publicly or someone who pleads cases in court.

14. Underwear packed for one who’s smart (8)
{BRAINBOX} – When split (3,2,3) this could be an item of female underwear placed in some packaging. When not split, it’s a clever person.

16. The French Revolution (4,1’4)
{COUP D’ETAT} – The French phrase for an illegal or forced change of government.

17. In the main it’s the cheapest way to travel (8)
{STEERAGE} – Is the cheapest accommodation on a passenger ship.

18. Equip group with sign of mourning (7)
{ARMBAND} – A sign of bereavement can be made up from a word meaning to equip with weapons and a group of people.

20. They’re played, so raising the devil (7)
{SONATAS} – A composition for one or more solo instruments can be constructed from SO and another word for the devil reversed (raising).

22. Gather together for a church service (5)
{AMASS} – To accumulate or assemble a large quantity is A and the public celebration of the Eucharist.

24. Little in the odds to make it a popular gamble (5)
{SWEEP} – Place a three letter word for very small inside SP (starting price) to get the sort of gamble that was probably played many times on this Saturday.

25. Unhappy university sportsman (4)
{BLUE} – A word that means gloomy or depressed is also a sportsman who has represented Oxford or Cambridge.

The Quick crossword pun: (consume} + {mate} = {consummate}

52 comments on “DT 27146

  1. Lovely example today with some clever clues such as 15a, 16d and my personal favourite 3d. I agree the top right was a bit tricky.
    For me **/****. Thx to the setter for a nice start to the week and the Libellule for the usual excellent if not needed today hints.
    I always feel a bit cheated when I don’t have the need to look at Libellule’s first rate hints. :-). Wish you did Thursday’s blog.

  2. **/*** very enjoyable but not too taxing today. 3d was last one in and made me smile. I also spent some time on 15a having quickly correctly decided that the whole word was a kite, but wrongly that the answer when split was 5 letters for “exhibit” and the usual 3 letters for “skill” – until the penny dropped!

    Many thanks to Libellule and to the setter.

  3. This was a nice start to the week with no real problems,agree with the ratings and my favourite today was 12A.thanks to libellule for an early review.

  4. Morning Libelulle, I am actually going for two star difficulty, my thoughts are ‘Hooray, Rufus back to normal,’ loads of clues I really liked, my favourite puzzle for ages :-), that doesn’t mean I didn’t need any help at all, I needed my little ‘friends’ to help me out on a few places, fav clues: 1, 15, 21, 27 across and 3,14 and 18 down
    Thank you for blog/hints Libelulle, though I didn’t need to use them today, back to normal hopefully now as far as crosswords are concerned, cardio rehab finished (have progressed to gym) and school hols and grandchildren duty over for now! Finishing off with pub lunch yesterday with five of them, the word exhaustion comes to mind!

  5. Read and write Rufus today. Nothing to trouble me here. Maybe he and I are on the exact same wavelength. This should be a nice outing for the newer solvers. Thanks to all as usual.
    Saint Sharon has left me to my own devices. What mischief awaits?

  6. Thank you Rufus. One of the easier ones. I think that this just shows the range of difficulty of the back page puzzles by comparison, say, with last Thursday and Friday. This can only be good and ensures that people of all abilities get a fair chance. Thank you Libellule for your hints and review.

    1. Hi SW I agree and although this might have been an easier one for some of us, I do appreciate others struggle with Rufus crosswords

  7. I really enjoyed that – a bit of lateral thinking was required for some clues like 3d and 21a but not too taxing.

  8. Quite agree with the ratings today. After a slow start the bottom part of the puzzle fell into place followed by the NE corner and then the NW. I discovered an ability to spell aberrance ( a word I hadn’t heard of) correctly definitely helps!
    Thanks as ever to Libellule and Rufus.

  9. INo problems at all…except for 15A. You might say I had no clue. Even the hint didn’t help since I already understood the word play, but like Rabbit Dave I had a 3-letter word for skill fixed in my mind. So I had to look at the answer. Not pleased with myself. Thanks to Libellue for the review and to the setter.

  10. A nice quiet day for me today, hopefully. Nice start with a good solid puzzle. 14d made me smile. I would give this a ** and ***+
    Thanks to all.

  11. My wife got to the letter box before either me or the dog got hold of the paper this morning and before I’d finished my first cup of tea she triumphantly announced, ‘done it’. I was most impressed, envious but nonetheless most impressed. Nett result was that the ‘dog’ had an earlier walk than she usually does :-)

  12. 3d was the last one in for us and also qualifies for our favourite clue award. A pleasant puzzle to solve.
    Yesterday we moved our clocks back to standard time, so things are all happening earlier for us than they have been for the last months. This means that we now get access to the puzzles at 11am (instead of 1pm) but also means that we usually get a chance to comment before bed-time, which is good.
    Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

  13. Again a nice start to the week. I thought 3D was an excellent clue and I also strayed into the ART camp for 15A

  14. Maestro indeed. Haven’t done the crossword for a few days so this was a delightful way to resume normal service. As with others 3d was my favourite and made me chuckle.

    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule for the usual erudite explanations.

  15. Monday puzzles sometimes cause problems for me but not too much today so **/***+ .
    The two that held me up were 12a and 19a. I didn’t know that 19a was imprisonment – thought it was just being pressurised. I was also a bit on the dozy side with 15a.
    My two favourite clues were 21a and 3d – I also liked 1 and 14d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.
    Although it’s not as bad as it has been we still have a really cold east wind – might do some gardening, on the other hand I haven’t yet looked at NTSPP or MPP . . .

    1. I did my first MPP ever this weekend, on CS’s recommendation, and I wasn’t sorry… :-)

      1. Thanks for your recommendation passed on to you by CS. The garden won – I nearly froze. On the plus side I still have the other two puzzles to reward myself with, when my hands are warm enough to be able to write again! Tomorrow perhaps!

  16. Much better start to the week than last week!

    Thanks to both the setter and Libellule for explaining a couple of wordplays.

    3d definitely my favourite clue, though I got a few strange looks when chuckling on the train in this morning!

  17. Thanks to Rufus for the usual enjoyable Monday morning romp and to Libellule for the usual excellent review, I thpought 3d was brilliant.

  18. Very entertaining, got many of the anagrams but somehow missed stereotypes. for 12a across should remembered that Bonny Prince Charlie was Italian and that might have helped me get that without the hint.
    Down to only 3 hints and 2 reveals today. Excellent puzzle and hints.

  19. Great fun .faves 10a ,15a,21a,14d and of course 3d. Terrific.
    Thanks very much .

  20. Delightful, agree with the ratings, spent entirely too long getting the last one (3D).

    Re 15A; haven’t you people read Biggles ???

    Thanks to Libellule and the Maestro :-)

    1. Anyone remember The School Friend & The Girl’s Crystal? Now that is giving my age away!

      1. No, but I loved the William books by Richmal Crompton or Compton. I also was an avid reader of Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. They were passed around with a list kept of the order of lending.

      2. Don’t remember The School Friend but do remember The Girl’s Crystal. Have to admit that we didn’t really read very much of that kind of stuff – we grew up in the wilds of Worcestershire and had very different priorities – horses, dogs etc etc.

  21. Very nice start to the week’s puzzling.

    Thanks to Libellule for the review

    Thanks to Rufus.

  22. I agree with all comments. I was almost writing in the answers as I read them. Last ones in we’re 15a, 21a, 8d and 16a. I, too, loved 3d, especially with a house full of 3d cats. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule, though didn’t need you today. A really fun way to start the week.

  23. Can’t remember the last time I completed so quick:-) lively start to the week. 14 down was ver clever.

  24. I know it seems like heresy here – but I’m one of those that just does not get on with Rufus at all (give me a Ray T anytime!). I am just not on his wavelength for the (many many) double definitions and cryptic definitions he uses.

    That said, I managed to finish this one without (well, sort of without) the hints (but with liberal use of electronic aid). I did not use the hints to discover what an answer might be, but rather I (often) looked at them to say “surely it can’t be that!” only to find that I had got the answer right.

    I enjoyed many of the answers once I had them – 3d being a case in point. Without all the checking letters and an electronic prod I would never have got that. My brain just doesn’t work that way. Having got it however I can see why so many others loved it…

    With thanks to Rufus and to Libellule.

    1. Arthur – I am exactly the same in terms of solving Rufus puzzles. The joy of them for me is kicking myself when I put the answer in as they are simply deceptive rather than deceptively simple (or is it the other way around?).
      Thanks to Libellule and to Rufus!

    2. Hi Arthur and gnomey,
      I agree – I SO often have trouble with Rufus puzzles. I somehow manage to make problems that aren’t there – the clues are just clever and reasonably straightforward until you try to make things difficult for yourself! Oh dear!!
      Today even I could do it, well, most of it anyway, without creating too many problems.
      I did love 21a and 3d.

  25. Late starting today, but just finished and also enjoyed 3d and 14d. Thanks to setter and although I don’t often comment, I really enjoy the blog. Keep up the good work.

  26. I’m the opposite to Arthur! Found it very much on my wavelength, (is that a good thing?)

  27. Anyone else notice that the answer to 13a also appears in today’s Grauniad Quiptic?

    Clued thus:

    Remains with newcomer and retired teacher (6)

  28. With 18a if you make an anagram from ‘ salts in a’ it gives an alternative spelling on the correct answer. That make 3 down end in an I and although not cryptic thought immediately of parvoviri, which makes 1a impossible. Having realised my foolishness, all ok. Nice gentle start to the week with some smiles. Thanks to setter and Libellule.

  29. An enjoyable start to the week. Having been battered by the wind and rain on the golf course, I could not have managed anything too hard today.

    1. I played on Saturday for the first time in about 10 weeks. 36 points of my 17 handicap but seriously rusty – come on the weather!

  30. Enjoyable crossword.

    But what a coincidence that 13across is the same solution as in today’s Guardian Quiptic 14across. The clues even have the same structures.

    Is this Overlord all over again?

  31. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule. Unlike everybody else I found this quite hard work.Brain dead after the start of the new term I suppose. 3d was also my favorite.

      1. I normally love Rufus, probably because , before I started looking at this site and learning how to read clues, the only clues I solved were double definitions and cryptic clues and very obvious anagrams.I am probably going to have a weak week.

        1. I very much doubt it, I started in a similar fashion to you not so many years ago, improved I guess through reading the hints when necesary and not being afraid to ask .Better still not being subsequently belittled, the peeps on this site helped me so much and still do

  32. Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the review and hints. A very nice start to the week, I found this a bit tricky, but managed it in the end. I was four answers short after my first session, then left it for ages, and to my surprise managed to solve the last four in no time. A large clang sounded when I finally got 3d. Favourites were 14&20d, last in was 12a. Was 3*/4* for me. Nice weather in Central London, actually managed a bike ride, first exercise after my self-inflicted squash injury on Thursday !

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