DT 27200 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27200

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27200

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty * Enjoyment ***

Warm and damp currently in mid France, but that didn’t stop me enjoying this Monday morning crossword from the maestro.


1. Split the union (8)
{DIVORCED} – Union in this clue is a reference to marriage.

6. You can’t make one without breaking another (6)
{RECORD} – As Usain Bolt would agree. (Holder of both 100m and 200m).

9. Road being renovated — it is skilfully done (6)
{ADROIT} – An anagram (being renovated) of ROAD plus IT.

10. Doctor may bless the school gathering (8)
{ASSEMBLY} – An anagram (doctor) of MAY BLESS.

11. NCO arranged battle course (8)
{CONSOMME} – An anagram (arranged) of NCO plus a World War One battle is also a clear soup.

12. Best whipped or put in iced sweet dish (6)
{SORBET} – Another food related clue, An anagram (whipped) of BEST with OR placed inside.

13. Prone to be long-winded? (9,3)
{STRETCHED OUT} – A phrase that may describe lying down, could also describe something that takes more time than it should.

16. Revolver found next to city bank (3,6,3)
{THE LONDON EYE} – Is also known as the Millennium Wheel.

19. Duck in flight (6)
{ESCAPE} – Double definition, to avoid, or to get free from something.

21. Physicist of the naughty nineties (8)
{EINSTEIN} – An anagram (naughty) of NINETIES.

23. You won’t care if you lose it (8)
{INTEREST} – If you stopped being curious about something, then you might not be worried about losing it. However since the same word can be applied to savings accounts, I do care.

24. Union members’ oratory (6)
{CHAPEL} – A word that describes members of a Trade Union in the printing industry is also a place for prayer.

25. Way change of date may be expressed (6)
{STATED} – ST (street – way), followed by an anagram (change) of DATE.

26. Means to call potentially happy individual (8)
{PAYPHONE} – An anagram (potentially) of HAPPY plus a word for a single entity is also a communications device.


2. People may enter for these sort of games (6)
{INDOOR} – Because these sort of games are not played outside.

3. Empty honours for the instrumentalists? (5)
{OBOES} – Slender woodwind instruments could (at a stretch) be nothing inside (empty) certain orders of chivalry.

4. Is able to do without a river craft (9)
{CATAMARAN} – The definition is craft (with two hulls). Put a word that means to be capable of around A and then a river that forms most of the border between Devon and Cornwall.

5. Most expensive sort of address? (7)
{DEAREST} – A word that can mean loved or cherished, could also be high priced.

6. Tricks new users (5)
{RUSES} – An anagram (new) of USERS.

7. Scotsman goes up to join university (9)
{CAMBRIDGE} – Reverse (goes up) MAC and add a word for a structure that spans a gap or barrier.

8. Arrived and put a map away (6,2)
{ROLLED UP} – A phrase that might describe tidying up a large chart could also mean to arrive in a vehicle for example.

13. I have exclusive rights but, oddly, get no sale (4,5)
{SOLE AGENT} – An anagram (oddly) of GET NO SALE.

14. Loud racket may lead to apprehension (3,3,3)
{HUE AND CRY} – “The historical pursuit of a felon announced with loud shouts to alert others who were then legally obliged to give chase”.

15. Wooden horse? (8)
{CHESTNUT} – A type of tree is also a reddish brown horse.

17. Excel in public work (7)
{OVERTOP} – A word that means not hidden or concealed is followed by OP (opus – work).

18. Pigs can’t fly, but one pig might make it! (6)
{PIGEON} – An anagram (might make it) of ONE PIG

20. Not all honourable men do right (5)
{EMEND} – A word that means to improve by critical editing can be found hidden between the words “honourable mend do”.

22. Give instruction to companion after a meal (5)
{TEACH} – An afternoon refreshment is followed by CH (Companion of Honour).

The Quick crossword pun: (carp} + {entry} = {carpentry}

107 comments on “DT 27200

  1. Nice start to the week except for the bottom left which was distinctly tricky.
    Just one point, should not 3d read Instruments rather than instrumentalists which would be Oboeists?
    Best clue for me was 6a.
    Thx to Libellule for the clear and concise hints even if not needed today (wish you would do Thursdays :-) )and to the setter for the puzzle.

    1. Brian, I had the same thought as you about 3d, but I think the answer is for the instrumentalists? and not simply the instrumentalists

      1. In an orchestra the instrument name is used to refer to the various sections, as in ‘the first violins’. I understand that to mean the players.

            1. Still doesn’t make sense to me although the answer obvious. How does empty honours equal oboes? Should there not be something to indicate the empty is inside the honour?

              1. If you are empty, you have nothng (0) inside. So the OBES (honours) have O inside.

        1. I have sympathised before Brian, but enough already!! Or, to be more British, put a blooming sock in it. The last thing anybody needs is another testy exchange about reviewer quality. Where would you, or any of us, be without the reviewers, even the ones we don’t, as individuals, particularly enjoy? That’s my say and all I will say.

      1. Quite fun I thought but 2.5* for me. It was also good to have the crossword on the back page today – does anyone else find it irritating to have it on the inside cover? Terrible pain when on a windy train platform!

        1. Yes – I find it hugely irritating to have it on the inside cover, and all I’m doing is sitting at the kitchen table – my arms just aren’t long enough to sort it all out! As for trying to do it on a windy station – well, wouldn’t know where to begin.

  2. A very pleasant start to the week. This was a steady solve for me with some very amusing clues. I agree with Libellule’s rating of */***. I felt a bit like Bruce Forsyth on Strictly Come Dancing, as they were all my favourites today!

    Many thanks to the setter and to Libellule for his review, although I didn’t need any help for this one.

  3. 18d….got the anagram, but don’t understand the definition….how is it “Pigs can’t fly”?

    1. Salben,
      Welcome to the blog, I suspect this is a reference to the phrase “pigs might fly”, which is usually said of something very unlikely to happen. Realistically, we all know that pigs can’t fly.

      1. Thank you – but I think you misunderstood. We know what the phrase means, but how does that phrase relate to the answer?

        1. The fact that the clue ends in a ! suggests that you have to think a little bit out of the box. The answer is a bird, which conveniently is an anagram of PIG ONE which can fly, however a PIG can’t fly. It really is as simple as that.

    2. I think it is superfluous and just makes a nice surface reading, with the defn. being ‘it!’.

  4. 16a my favourite, too. 8d made me think of Bertie Wooster so brought a smile.
    For some reason I got stuck on the top left and bottom left corners and needed hints even after some persevation. So thank you, Libellule, for helping me finish.

    1. Is ”persevation’ an in-joke on the blog that I don’t know about?

      Perseverance // perseveration I know about…..

      1. It’s not so much an in joke as an expression coined by Mary. The only problem now is that lots of us have to think when we are trying to spell it properly.
        Actually I suppose that probably makes it an in-joke.
        How’s the allotment?

        1. Re “pers…..” ..OK ta, Kath.

          Allotment brilliant thx … Wish it was still warm. Now trying to work out how to erect cheapo Aldi plastic temporary greenhouse so it doesn’t blow away. Thinking of burying the whole thing 9ins…

  5. What really stood out for us with this puzzle, was the brevity of the clues. They must be the shortest collection of clues we have seen in a long time.Beautifully put together with a lot to smile about. Only complaint would be that it was all over a bit quickly.
    Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

    1. 2Kiwis,
      Re. the clues, yes – agree 100% – that is one thing I do like about Rufus, is his simplicity. I tend to groan when the crossword stretches onto two sheets of A4 when I print it out in the morning.

      1. I just print one page and then turn it over and print page two on the back side, along with codewords. Saves paper

      2. We use the backs of the letters from banks etc. who never seem to use both sides.

  6. Nice gentle start to the week again. No real stand out favourites for me though I’m afraid.

  7. Liked this puzzle very much in spite of hiccuping (hiccoughing?) through the SE corner because an inability to think clearly meant I became far too complicated in my possible answers – so now retiring with red face. But agree with others about the elegance of the clues. Favourite was 6a. Thank you Libellule for the hints which I needed to untangle myself this morning, & to the setter for delightful clues.

  8. A game of 2 halves for me – top half rather easier than the bottom half, in which I found some a bit tricky. Managed to complete, but needed to check your hint for 19a Libellule as for some reason I kept thinking it would be the name of the a duck. Thanks for your review and assistance and thank you Rufus for an enjoyable puzzle.

  9. Really enjoyed this puzzle.

    Thanks to Libellule for the review.

    Thanks to Rufus for a good start to the week.

    Now back to stripping multi layers of paint of the carport door…retirement is such fun.

  10. Another gentle start to the week,agree with the rating18d probably my favourite as it worked on several levels, clues were staccatoesque in delivery like a machine gun going off! could have been mottos from a christmas cracker.Enjoyed Sundays cryptic,usually doing something but as it was sunny sat in the garden with a bottle of Pinot Gris.

  11. I got stuck on 19a, 20d and 24a and had to resort to the BD hints and tips – all sorted now, thanks a lot.

  12. This was more of a 2* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment for me.
    The right hand side was fine, the left was distinctly trickier and then I ground to a complete halt with my last few in the top left corner.
    I think ‘divorce’ rather than ‘divorced’ might have been better as the answer for 1a but I’m almost certainly wrong about that.
    I agree about the shortness of the clues although it took others to point it out to me – 0/10 for powers of observation!
    I liked 6, 16 and 26a and 13d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.
    Still cold and grey in Oxford – really want some summer now. :sad:

    1. Kath, regarding 1a, initially I had the same thought as you, but then I remembered that split like divorce can be a noun or a verb; and while the past tense of divorce is divorced, the past tense of split is split, if that makes sense!

  13. Hi Kath
    More like 2* difficulty for me too.
    I think 1a works ok in the past tense. (They) split the union/ They ….
    Thanks to Rufus, and to Libellule.

      1. Your reply to Kath was much more in keeping with today’s clues, being so much briefer than mine. But at least I replied to her rather than myself… :smile:

    1. I will click ‘reply to you’ and say that I thought it was 2* difficulty too.

      Can those people living in warmer climes spare a thought for those of us living in Siberia (sorry – I mean east Kent).

      1. I am sorry about the cold. I was in UK in June a couple of years ago and nearly froze to death, especially as I don’t own a coat and only have sandals. I want to know what you folk are going to do about the cold, Wimbledon is coming up very shortly.

      2. Just back from a week in Bonny Scotland & very bonny it was too with wall to wall sunshine .We have come back here to Northern Spain to wall to wall rain & cold. They can ‘t believe our tans.

  14. I got a bit stuck in the NW corner, so 2*/3* for me.
    Having spent the last week stripping a ceiling with a hot air gun, I sympathise with Colmce – my retirement seems to be similar fun!
    Thanks to compiler and to reviewer (even tho’ I didn’t need the hints).

  15. Yes, I agree, definitely 2* and 3* for me. In fact I struggled to get off the ground and then suddenly the pennies started to drop and it all fell into place without Libellule. Thanks Rufus for good start to week.

  16. Nice puzzle to start the week. Didn’t know the union meaning for 24a though I had the right answer. Thanks to Libellule for the explanation of the double meaning. Also had never heard 17d as a verb but what else could it have been!
    Thanks again to Libellule and of course to Rufus.

  17. Lots of anagrams in this crossword which is a big help to us although I know some people don’t like them. Good hints too, for which many thanks.

  18. I didn’t realise how clever 14d was but then most of them are .
    Rufus fulfills his task of brightening what is even in the normally sunny North Yorkshire a rather grey Monday .
    Thanks Libellule and Rufus .

  19. Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the review and hints. I found this quite tricky so would give it 2*/3* I needed a couple of hints and didn’t understand 19a at all, seems a bit weak to me, but I do seem to struggle with double definitions. Freezing cold in Central London today, where is Summer!

  20. *** enjoyment though agree with Libellule that 3d is a bit of a stretch. Ref 24a, I used to be secretary of the chapel back in my printing days. The head of the union, the Father of the Chapel, was as far from anyone’s idea of a priest as you could get! Happy days.

  21. I found this to be very tricky and therefore not as enjoyable as usual. Not sure if its the change of weather back to grey and ‘orrible or what but some of the answers felt convoluted especially for a monday puzzle. For 3d I know that parts of the orchestra are known by their instrument names but it still didn’t feel right somehow. It didn’t help to have LONGDRAWNOUT for 13a either to start with.
    11a plays nicely with the current move towards the news of the centenary next year of WW1, but took me ages to work out. Got 17d once all the across letters were in but it still did not feel right. Obviously not got my thinking outside the box head on today.

  22. Sorry, I didn’t enjoy this one at all.
    Got about 30 % then had to go and do other things. Came back and struggled through another 50 %.
    I finally got stuck at SW corner with 4 left to go.
    I didn’t like most of the synonyms or references.
    I stil think ‘overtop’ is a weird word which I have never heard used and were 14 and 16 really cryptic?

    Well, there you are, we’re all different and all have our off days…..

  23. I loved this, great fun. I had to check hints to make sure I had 24a right. I put it in only because of Brompton Oratory but had no idea of the union connection. Over far too quickly. Thanks for the entertainment.

  24. I really enjoyed this one , thanks to Rufus and Libellule. Lots of fun clues, the only one I did not like was 19a. Only just finished as I saved it for the sunshine in the afternoon . I think west is best at the moment, unusually.

  25. Strange to say that the weather here in NW has been lovely for several days. For a change we can’t complain. Usually we have to go to Norfolk or Suffolk to be guaranteed a rainfree week. Won’t last much longer I am sure !

    1. Perhaps I brought it with me. According to reports I didn’t leave any good weather behind in Canada :smile:

  26. I have often wondered what the difference is between ’emend’ and ‘amend’. Can anybody help?

    1. My understanding is that both mean to make corrections with a view to improvement, but ’emend’ is more specific in that it applies only to a text or document whereas ‘amend’ can apply more generally, e.g. to one’s behaviour.

      1. Yes, thanks from me too. I have often wondered about it and assumed that they were synonymous.

  27. Very good crossword with plenty of succinct but cunning clues. 1.5*/ 3.5* for me.

  28. Greetings all. I thought I would drop by and say hello while I am in the country. I’ve spent the past week touring Lancashire and Yorkshire — and working on my tan. Today we toured around Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Tomorrow will involve a tour of Oxford before heading off to London from where we fly back to Canada on Wednesday.

    I have enjoyed some very picturesque scenery while here. Much of the trip has been focussed on the moors and dales and small villages.

    I’m scheduled to be back in the blogging chair later this month.

    1. You will have had some good weather up here ! Where did you get to in Lancs and Yorks ?

      1. In Lancs, it was Liverpool and Manchester mainly.

        In Yorks, it included York, Whitby, Scarborough, Grassington, Goathland, Holmfirth, Esholt, Skipton, Thirsk, Ripon, and others that I have likely overlooked.

    2. You ought to see if you can see Kath while you are in Oxford – it would make a change for her from freezing in her garden!

        1. That would have been absolutely delightful but I know how tight time is on a tour. One thing is for sure and that is that you wouldn’t be working on your tan around here recently – you would have needed all your winter garb. I do hope that the rest of your trip is good.

          1. Plenty of people were sunbathing in Scarborough and a brave few were even swimming. I admit that I did not test the waters.

            1. They weren’t yesterday they were watching county cricket in fleeces yet not many miles up the coast where I live we were in shorts and T shirts .Thats English weather !
              Enjoy what remains of your tour .

  29. 17d. I thought that this clue was weak, if meanlingless. I can’t see why ‘excel’ means concealed and, if that is right, the clue does not work. Same with 19a

    1. Excel is the definition – the first five letters mean not hidden or (not) concealed).

      19a both’duck’ and’in flight’ are definitions of the solution word.

        1. Chambers 12th edition Overtop: vt to rise over the top of, to be higher than, to surpass, to exceed.

        2. It’s also used similar to ‘overflow’, as in “If the water rises a few more inches it will overtop the dam”

  30. There is always a certain elegance about Rufus’ puzzles.
    Most enjoyable, last in bottom left-hand corner.
    Many thanks Rufus and Libellule for the review.

  31. As usual, a very pleasant start to the week from Rufus!

    Favourites : 16a & 4d.

    I am always glad if I get British geographical clues correct as I have been in NL some 50 years!
    In my motorcycling youth and later car-driving , I covered every county in Great Britain!

    1. Every County, my goodness, I’ve probably passed through but a smidgen of the Counties. Wow. I’ve been to 99 Countries with work / family as a kid / holidays (I’m treating USSR as one destination). On my 50th birthday in 3 years time I intend to make 100. But how little I know about this little Island…Falcon has posted today about places I’ve never been. Hope you are keeping well and the cellar is properly stocked. Kind regards Andy

  32. Nice Monday puzzle, all went in fairly well for me except 1a. Obviously thought divorced straight away but then thought it wasn’t really cryptic enough and started looking for double definition and once I started thinking in that direction never went back. Oh we’ll …..

    Thanks to Rufus for puzzle and Libellule for review.

  33. I was slow to get started but then things started to fall into place. **\***for me. Thanks to Rufus & Libellule.

  34. I always struggle with the Monday Maestro Maestro and this was no exception. In the end I did not need any help but the answers are not in the brackets on my Kindle. They always have been in the past. Any clues why?

    1. I work on a desk-top and for the past week or so it has been necessary to click and click again within the brackets for the answer to be revealed, whereas before a gentle scroll over did the trick. I assumed it was me ( I always do!) , but maybe there’s a minor glitch.

    2. Can’t help with technical problems at all I’m afraid but, if it’s any consolation, if there is a crossword that I struggle with it is usually a Monday. Really don’t know why but I suspect it’s all down to whether or not you are on the right wave length.

  35. Lots of comments for a Monday. So where on earth has Mary got to? She seems to have legged it, again, without filling in any request for leave of absence.

    1. If members of the armed forces go AWOL, should we say that Mary is AWCP (absent without correct paperwork) :)

    2. I have been wondering as well. My friend in Wales, who is near Mary, says she has been having nice weather, so, hopefully, she is sitting in the sunshine.

          1. You did indeed, not that far away then but you’d be amazed how much the weather can vary even a few miles away, we live three miles from the beach and the weather is often lovely in one location but not in the other!

    3. In reply, yes we have been having absolutely lovely weather and I have been absent without leave – Sorry ;-)

  36. I’ve had a total off day from the moment I woke up today, which may explain why I found this a struggle. Got there in the end, albeit needing a hint for 24A.
    Great clues in here though, favourite perhaps 5D.

  37. Thanks for the comment Sue. I am not quite sure where this leaves me if I ever wanted to actually see the answer rather than just read the clue. My Kindle has been superb since I bought it a year ago, still very useful if I can overcome this. Reading the link it appearsnothing has changed, or has it ?

    1. Pete

      If you click reply on the comment to which you are responding it keeps the conversation together in one place.

      I switched from an additional-cost plugin to using the free mobile theme provided by WordPress. On balance there seemed to be more winners than losers, so I have stayed with the WordPress theme.

      I purchased WPtouch a year ago for about $30 and now they want a further $30 for the upgrade. Most of the designers who produce chargeable plugins provide free upgrades.

  38. Congratulations , Rufus on another wonderful crossword, solved slowly , in between less important activities such as shopping and waiting around for other people to be ready.Thanks to Libellule , also. Favourites 6a and 16a and 19a and many others.

  39. I use a Kindle Fire which has always worked with the Blog. The answers in brackets are permanently displayed all be it very faint and I need to enlarge the view to read the answer. As of Monday the brackets are empty and I am unable to overcome this.

Comments are closed.