DT 27164 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27164

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27164

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

A pleasant Monday morning solve from the maestro. 12a was the last one in, and took nearly as long to fathom as the rest of the crossword. Why? I have no idea.


1. Shadow disappeared? Heck! (7)
{DOGGONE} – An American word that means damn is a charade of a word that means to track or trail persistently followed by a word for used up or exhausted.

5. Finished, being nothing less than painstaking (7)
{THROUGH} – Remove O (nothing less) from a word that means exhaustively complete to get another word that means at the end of.

9. Switch-gear? (5)
{SHIFT} – A word that describes changing gears in a car is also a woman’s dress.

10. Her charges are usually small (9)
{NURSEMAID} – Because she is taking care of children.

11. Wild fling — I’d err with female partner! (10)
{GIRLFRIEND} – An anagram (wild) of FLING ID ERR.

12. Mythological deity article written in jest (4)
{FAUN} – Place A (an article) inside a word that means to behave playfully, or joke to get a rural deity that had the body of a man and the horns, ears, tail and sometimes legs of a goat.

14. They come to one, from all parts of the earth (4,8)
{FOUR QUARTERS} – Basically North, East, South and West combined, or 4 x 0.25. (No, the answer is not a set of four poems by T.S. Eliot).

18. A humble fan to be moved, too deep for words (12)
{UNFATHOMABLE} – An anagram (be moved) of A HUMBLE FAN TO.

21. Converse of a little bird? (4)
{CHAT} – Converse in this clue is used as a verb. A word that means having a conversation, is also a small songbird.

22. Raising the issue in more than one way (8,2)
{BRINGING UP} – Issue can mean a point of discussion or debate, but it can also describe offspring or progeny.

25. Ways to make more from football grounds’ peripheries? (9)
{SIDELINES} – Marks that delimit a playing field can also be subsidiary forms of income.

26. It’s pleasant embracing Eastern relative (5)
{NIECE} – Place E inside a word that means pleasing or agreeable to get a word that describes the daughter of a brother or sister.

27. Screen I wrenched open (7)
{SINCERE} – An anagram (wrenched) of SCREEN I.

28. Produced admitted superiority (7)
{YIELDED} – Double definition, to give forth or give up.


1. Plan to uplift US soldiers in retreat (6)
{DESIGN} – Reverse (uplift) the common term for American soldiers inside a shelter for a wild animal to get a word for a graphic drawing or purpose in mind.

2. Find it surrounded by blood and get a lump in the throat (6)
{GOITRE} – Put a another word for blood from a wound around IT to get a swelling of the thyroid gland.

3. Upset with lack in variety? (3,2,5)
{OUT OF SORTS} – A phrase that means to be irritable or cross could perhaps also be used to describe a packet of liquorice sweets that contained just one type.

4. World-weariness of the French (5)
{ENNUI} – The French word for boredom that has become part of the English language.

5. Spider, natural at spinning (9)
{TARANTULA} – An anagram (spinning) of NATURAL AT.

6. It’s not too hard to get free from this knot (4)
{REEF} – An anagram (to get) of FREE is also a type of square knot.

7. A French journalist covering a sports club, being persistent (8)
{UNABATED} – Place the sort of sports club you would use in cricket inside UN (masculine French A) and ED (journalist).

8. Spaniard is in the wrong — he puts pleasure before work! (8)
{HEDONIST} – Put a male Spanish courtesy title and IS inside an anagram (wrong) of THE .

13. Talent that outshines all others (10)
{BRILLIANCE} – Extreme brightness, or exceptional talent.

15. Ordering a trip to see a border river (3,6)
{RIO GRANDE} – An anagram (trip to see) of ORDERING A is a river that forms part of the United States and Mexican border.

16. Crazy types taking actions in support of teachers (8)
{NUTCASES} – A word for insane or foolish people can be made up from a teachers union followed by a legal term for actions or suits

17. Switch positions occasionally (3,3,2)
{OFF AND ON} – How a light switch works for example, or in an intermittent manner.

19. A sin. That’s understood (6)
{AGREED} – A and an excessive desire for something (one of the seven deadly sins).

20. Add a couple of pages then finish (6)
{APPEND} – A word that means to add as a supplement or appendix is constructed from A, PP (a couple of pages) and a word that means to cease.

23. No agreement turned up? Curious (5)
{NOSEY} – NO and its opposite (agreement) reversed (turned up) for a word that means prying or inquisitive.

24. At end of evening, general merriment (4)
{GLEE} – The last letter (end) of evening is followed by the name of a famous Confederate general.

The Quick crossword pun: (soup} + {official} = {superficial}

47 comments on “DT 27164

  1. What a super start to the week. Some nice clues and very encouraging.
    Thx to the setter and to Libellule for the hints. I always feel its a bit of a waste when I don’t use Libellule’s excellent hints :-)

  2. I agree with Libellule’s rating **/***

    Many thanks to the setter for an enjoyable start to the week. I particularly liked 1a and the misleading use of a potential anagram indicator in 15d. I pondered for a while on 28a as I thought that my answer meant admitted inferiority, but, on reflection, I came to the conclusion that if you admit your inferiority you admit someone else’s superiority!

    Many thanks too to Libellule. I was completely stuck on 21a which is a new bird for me, and needed his hint for this one to finish off the puzzle..

  3. Unusually for me I got through this Rufus puzzle in 1* time. Last one in was 21a.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to Libellule for the review.

  4. It all slotted together without many hold-ups today. The usual good helping of pleasure that we expect on a Monday.
    Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

  5. Slightly tricksier than usual for a Monday puzzle. Now for Saturdays prize puzzle. hello and best wishes to all.

  6. Usual non-problematic start to the week. Was held up for a short while on 7D trying to think of the club (bit strange really as I’m into cricket in a big way). Some nice clever cluing today, but no particular favourites I’m afraid.

    1. I still can’t believe Somerset failed to win yesterday! Thanks to Rufus for slightly tricky but enjoyable challenge and to Libellule for the review.

      1. Even Mrs Skempie (who has absolutely no interest in cricket except from the fact that she likes Charl Willoughby’s bum) was swearing at them.

  7. For once I didn’t have many problems then I got to 12a – stared at it dimly for ages – gave up. 2* difficulty and 3* enjoyment today.
    I didn’t think there were as many anagrams as there often are on Mondays – I made it six, six and a bit if you count 8d.
    I was pretty slow to get 14a.
    I liked 5, 11, 14 (eventually) and 22a and 3, 5 and 8d. Absolute favourite was 1a.
    With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  8. Really enjoyed today’s offering. Favourite 1a was also my last one in! Also liked 14a and 7d. Didn’t struggle with 12a as I grew up with Mr Tumnus (spelling?) … :-) and I wondered whether 13a needed ‘most’ in front of it to be completely accurate, but perhaps the mix of cold and sun has made me too pedantic? Thanks to both setter & Libellule.

  9. Surprised myself by finishing in near record tome with the need for the hints, which were, nonetheless, appreciated for checking why some of my answers were correct!
    I liked 1a, as one whose ‘shadow’ is never far away.
    Thanks to setter and reviewer, as always.

  10. Morning Libelulle, thanks for hints, I did need them as I had put ‘goad’ in at 12a, made perfect sense to me but of course totally messed up that corner! Thanks to Rufus for some lovely clues today, my favourite being 5d with6d coming close, lots of others I liked too, off out now to enjoy my walk hopefully the sun will stay out :-)

      1. Except that jest can also be used as a noun?
        Got this but was looking for the name of a God for a while rather than its nature…

  11. A really good crossword – I had trouble with 12a, a word I’d never come across before – you live and learn!

  12. Enjoyable start to the week. Something for everyone I think. Though 1a was absolutely brilliant. 7d took a while especially as I had UNIRONED in for some reason. Figured the answer to 15d then tried to make it fit an anagram of ‘trip to see’ (ordering) Doh!

  13. This was a nice gentle start to the week, no hints needed this time like others my favourite was 1A thaks to libellule for the review.

  14. A proper crossword. Fluent and witty. Not one of those contrived, letters added, letters subtracted bores we’re subjected to mostly these days in the Telegraph. All normal words and phrases, no need for dictionaries. Well done, Rufus. Keep up the good work

    1. michael,
      Your comment needed moderation because you’ve used a different email address. Both should work from now on.

  15. Many thanks to Rufus for the usual enjoyable gentle start to the crossword week, many thanks also to Libellule for the usual excellent review.

  16. A nice gentle start to the week. Needed Libellule’s hint for 12a – thanks. No stand-out favourites, although 18a made me smile.

  17. Really good puzzle today. We didn’t even need the clues ….very unusual for us….though we did use our favourite electronic device, just to check of course.Tried to see if Pan could be spelt with 2 n’s for 12 across, until I remembered the correct word. Thank you to setter and hinter.

    1. I am really impressed if you managed to complete the puzzle without needing the clues :)

  18. I thought */**, but maybe that’s because for some unknown reason, I started south and moved north!!

    I got 8a due to the definition in the clue, but it took me a few minutes to work out the cryptic elements. Doh!
    Liked 22a….

  19. A really lovely puzzle . 12a was new to me & I spent far too much time trying to make an anagram out of Spaniard! I loved 1a and thought the anagram in 18a was brilliant. Thanks to Rufus & Libelulle for the review.

  20. Thanks to Rufus, and to Libellule for the review and hints, very enjoyable but untaxing start to the week. No head-scratching moments. Started with 5a, finished with 9a. Favourite was 21a. Was 1*/3* for me. Weather quite pleasant in Central London, off to run the Squash Tournament now.

  21. The usual pleasant start to the week from Rufus.

    Faves : 10a, 14a, 21a. 22a, 3d, 7d, 15d & 16d.

    Back on my own again as my son and his pal have gone back to our house in The Var.

    We visited the bulbfields which are coming into bloom after a delayed start to Spring and drove all over NL to visit various friends.

    Now it is washing up time for me!

    Tomorrow is a big day in NL – Queen Beatrix abdicates and Willem Alexander becomes King of The Netherlands.

            1. Yes!
              Tomorrow I’ll stay in and watch the TV on NL1 & NL2 channels. All the shops will be shut but I got the basics in today so all is well1

  22. Thank you Rufus and thank you Libellule for your review and hints. 12a last in – finished during our lunch break in the sun as usual, but needed to get back to our rented cottage to check the answer in the Crossword dictionary. Could get used to this excellent weather, although the wind is cold right on the coast.

    1. 12a my last in 2 .Could you send some sun to the Canary Islands it’ s gone AWOL!
      Thanks very much ..

  23. A super puzzle. Loved 1a, 14a, 9a— in fact, the whole thing.

    Many thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

    Now to try yesterday’s(Sunday) cryptic!

  24. Thoroughly enjoyed this brilliant puzzle, all the clues were perfect , so I can’t pick a favorite.Thanks to Rufus, and Libellule (although I didn’t need you).

  25. I only got 3 in the initial read-through and thought I might be in for trouble, then picked up momentum and finished in ** time and *** enjoyment.

  26. Putting slip in for 6 down messed me right up until I realised the remaining letters for 5 across looked dubious. Was stuck on 1 accord and 1 down for ages until I got 9 across. Got there in the end, enjoyable but a bit trickier than the last few Mondays.

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