DT 27212 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27212

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27212

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty * Enjoyment ****

Normal service from the Monday morning maestro.


1. One well-liked at work that will have plenty of backing? (4,9)
{FIRM FAVOURITE} – A competitor that is expected to win, could also be someone who is popular within a company.

10. Go ahead and give money maybe (7)
{ADVANCE} – To cause to move forward, or a loan perhaps.

11. Concentration that’s required when driving in France (7)
{ESSENCE} – A word that describes intrinsic properties of something, also happens to be the French word for petrol.

12. Female union of the Spanish and the French (4)
{ELLA} – The Spanish word for the, followed by the feminine French word for the is also a girls name. Elle would also seem to be a perfectly valid answer.

13. A game between two sides back in the country (5)
{RURAL} – Put A and RU (Rugby Union) between L and R then reverse (back) the lot.

14. Complaint that may be socially acceptable in time (4)
{AGUE} – Place U (upper class) inside another word for a length of time to get a medical complaint where you typically have alternating periods of chills, fever and sweating.

17. They don’t like to assume anything (7)
{NUDISTS} – Because they prefer to be naked.

18. About to get striker for return game (7)
{REMATCH} – RE (in reference to) plus the sort of striker you might light a cigarette wth.

19. Stop vessel caught in swell (4,3)
{TURN OFF} – Put a vase like receptacle inside a slang term for an upper class man for a phrase that means to stop the activity or flow of something.

22. Restaurant cutlery (7)
{CANTEEN} – Double definition, a small cafeteria, or a collection of knives, forks, spoons etc.

24. One of the first people named in Somerset House (4)
{SETH} –The name of the third son of Adam and Eve can be found hidden between “Somerset House”.

25. Makes eyes at the French on turning to leave (5)
{OGLES} – A word that means to stare or gape at, is a reversed word that means to depart, and the plural French the.

26. Company doctor’s card (4)
{COMB} – In this context, card is used to describe separating, cleaning, straightening wool, cotton etc.
Take an abbreviation of company and then add Medicinae Baccalaureus.

29. Flatter most sincerely? (7)
{IMITATE} – A quote from Charles Caleb Colton, “********* is the sincerest form of flattery”.

30. Four will make an appearance in test of little importance (7)
{TRIVIAL} – IV (Roman) inside another word for an examination for example, produces a word that means of little value or commonplace.

31. Old coppers that went by foot (5-8)
{PENNY-FARTHINGS} – In this case if you string two old coins together you get old bicycles.


2. One who is ill and not operable? (7)
{INVALID} – Someone who has a chronic illness or disability, is also a word that means void, untrue or not legal.

3. Large number — doesn’t matter which, a large number (4)
{MANY} – M (Roman numeral for a thousand) plus a word that describes “all without specification” produces a large indefinite number.

4. A beautiful woman describes Eastern ways (7)
{AVENUES} – A, the Roman goddess of love and beauty with E inserted are also wide streets.

5. Begin song outdoors (4,3)
{OPEN AIR} – A place or space where you are unenclosed could also describe someone starting to sing a melody or tune.

6. Charge for plant (4)
{RUSH} – A word that describes a flow or rapid surge is also a stiff marsh plant.

7. Thing to change into this evening (7)
{TONIGHT} – An anagram (change into) THING TO.

8. Such an action may make Ian pretty upset with outfit (9,4)
{PATERNITY SUIT} – An anagram of IAN PRETTY, followed by a set of matching garments is something that is usually filed to determine who is the father of a child that has been born out of wedlock.

9. Account for all that talking? (9,4)
{TELEPHONE BILL} – A statement of charges for the amount of time you have been chatting on the “dog and bone”.

15. A Caledonian title of course (5)
{ASCOT} – Is also a racecourse in Berkshire.

16. Surrounded by cultivated mango (5)
{AMONG} – An anagram (cultivated) of MANGO.

20. Sailor climbs rope — this one? (7)
{RATLINE} – Reverse (climbs) a three letter word for a sailor, then add a term for a rope usually used on board a ship to get a word that describes “any of the small ropes that cross the shrouds of a ship horizontally and serve as steps for going aloft”.

21. Natural cover in garden, originally (3,4)
{FIG LEAF} – A reference to Adam and Eve covering up their nudity after eating fruit form the Tree of Knowledge.

22. One who cribs in an exam upsets teacher (7)
{CHEATER} – An anagram (upsets) TEACHER.

23. Feeling I’m one to get pushed around (7)
{EMOTION} – An anagram (get pushed around) of IM ONE TO.

27. Leading sea power (4)
{MAIN} – Triple definition. A word that describes the most important or principal, the open ocean and strength.

28. Bearded Asian with head wound? (4)
{SIKH} – This person is also a follower of a religion founded in the Punjab by the guru Nanak circa 1500.

The Quick crossword pun: (pillar} + {torque} = {pillow talk}

54 comments on “DT 27212

  1. *(*)/**** for a superb start to week. Lots of great clues – too many to list. Many thanks to the setter and to Libellule whose hints I didn’t need today.

    Kath should be pleased that the answer to 1a is singular! :-)

    20d was a new word for me, but the BRB as ever confirmed my answer. I spent a bit of time trying to make Sudan fit for 13a until I realised the sides were Right and Left not South and North.

    1. Yes – really pleased about that. Unfortunately it looks as if that might be about the only thing that pleases me today! :sad:

      1. Oh dear. I do hope your day gets better. Unfortunately the weather is not helping, unless it’s better where you are than here in miserable, grey London.

  2. Morning Libelulle I agree with the one star rating for difficulty but this didn’t take away from the fact that this was one of Rufus best (IMHO) , as Rabbit Dave has said too many favourites to mention :-) 20d also a new word for me but google confirmed it, last one in for me was 13a, I’m not quite sure if it works as the word play actually say two sides back not a game back or am I reading it wrong???

    1. Mary, it’s the whole thing back. As per Libellule’s first line in his hint – put a game between two sides and then turn it all round. I am guessing he meant to delete the second line of his hint!

  3. I have to agree with the rateings this was a nice gentle start to the weeks entertainment. No real favourites but thought 9D 28D were quite cute, many thanks to libellule for the review not needed today.

  4. Nice gentle puzzle in the most part, 6d and 13a held me up for sometime. Lots of very nice clues.
    Thanks to Libellule for the review.
    Thanks to Rufus for an excellent start to the week.

  5. Most people find Monday the easiest, sometimes I can get through a toughie in a quicker time.
    Today was one of those days! My personal solving time this morning crept into 4*.
    Come on Kath, gnomey… back me up.. i’m relying on you :)

      1. That depends on your solving time (which we are not allowed to say) :)
        Each star for me is a certain amount of time.
        That said.. i’m sure you can complete a crossword quicker than me, mary :)

    1. Yes – I agree with you completely, Jezza. This has taken me HOURS. 4* difficulty for me too. I think that out of all the crossword setters we ever have Rufus is the one I find the most difficult – just not on the same wave length at all.

  6. I think I was into *** time. Mondays often seem to have a lot of cryptic definitions, which tend to hold me up. 20d was a new word for me, needed to check the dictionary.

  7. 27d – the third of the triple definition – I think it is meant in the sense of electric power not strength??

    But then again what do I…….!

      1. Mains (plural) could refer to electricity but does main (singular)? I thought that power was referring to strength as in the phrase ‘might and main’.

        1. I didn’t know this, but your comment got me to check our essential companion, the BRB. One of the definitions of main is “a principal pipe …distributing water, gas, electricity, etc.; (in pl) the water, gas or electricity supply available through such a system”.

          So, yes, either main or mains can refer to electricity. Another fact to store away in the grey cells for a rainy day.

  8. Good fun and no major problems. Just what we like to see on a Monday. As there is no Toughie on a Monday we treat ourselves to a double helping of Rufus by downloading from the Guardian, and that was fun too.
    Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

  9. As has been said already, a very enjoyable start to the week. I liked a lot of them today but 3d and 4d and 17a and 31a were most appealing. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  10. Very gentle start to the week so thanks to Rufus & to Libellule. Rufus is also in good form over at the grauniad if anybody’s interested.

    Baltic here in West Bridgford. I’ve just seen a brass monkey walk past with a soldering iron…

  11. As always a lovely puzzle, but for some reason I took ages and needed hints.Entirely my own lack of whatever, more than a one star. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  12. Thought that it was a **or *** difficulty today as the four’ frame clues’ only became apparent when i’d filled in lots of letters, agree with the ****enjoyment as it was all very clever, was’nt quite sure of 3d ’till i read the explanation from Libellule -thanks. Favourites probably were the four outside clues-when i finally got there.

  13. As I nearly always seem to say on Mondays I find them pretty tricky – today’s I found really very tricky. It’s taken me ages. 4* for both difficulty and enjoyment.
    Having finally finished and used up every ounce of ‘perservation’ I really enjoyed it and thought there were some very clever clues – a pity that lots of them were a bit too clever for me.
    It took me ages to get all the four long answers round the outside which didn’t help. I couldn’t see why the 28d bearded Asian had been biffed on the head – all to do with pronunciation! :roll: I don’t think that concentration is what’s needed when driving in France – I think you need eyes in the back of your head unless you want a Citroen in your boot.!
    I could go on at length (just for a change) but had probably better leave it at that.
    I liked all the long round the outside ones plus 17 and 29a and 3d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  14. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule for the review and hints. I struggled again today, found this very difficult was 3*/3* for me. Needed 4 hints to finish. Favourites were 31a and 22d. Very cold in Central London, hardly Wimbledon weather!

  15. Re 6D and “charge”… is it only in this part of the country that you might hear someone ask “what are you going to **** me for that?”?

  16. Finished but for me far harder than a 1 star for difficulty, a two if not a 2.5.
    However, some great clues IMHO ie 17a and 21d both of which raised a smile.
    Thx to Libellule without whose excellent hint i would never have got 1a and for the explanation of 13a ( just could not see the L and R).
    11a was clever but did need one to know the French for petrol, one of those phrases that are so useful ‘Une plein d’essence, si’l vous plait’.
    Thx to all concerned esp Libellule

  17. Very enjoyable and particularly liked the bearded Asian.
    Wondered about 31A, as the answer should be singular, but then realised that the two coins were both coppers.

  18. Mondays are generally straight forward for me but today I needed a couple of nudges. Couldn’t make a connections between CO-MD or CO-DR and card (26a) until I read the review/hints. Took a while to get the gist of ‘assume’ as in take on for 17a. Thanks to the setter & Libellue for the review/hints

  19. a very enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to Rufus and libellule. Finsihed very quickly whilst 2 small grandchildren slept. Fortuitously easy today as they do not sleep for long!.

  20. Usual pleasant puzzle to start the week from Rufus.

    Faves : 11a, 19a, 26a, 5d, 20d, 21d and the four external 13 – letter jobs!

    Weather started off damp this morning but cleared up after lunch with a spot of sunshine.
    Now clouding over again.

    Back to the box and Wimbledon!

  21. Really enjoyable fun puzzle as so often on a Monday ,even though I had Elle (McPherson ) for 12a .
    May be returning to UK next week so give the weather a boost please .
    Thanks to Libellule and Rufus .

  22. I loved it! I was definitely on wavelength. I had to google 20d, clever stuff. I got the 13-letter answers quickly except for 1a. I googled 11a and confirmed my guess. Altogether a super (haven’t learned things like bold and underlined yet, way too dumb) crossword. Thanks to all for such a great start to the week.

    Nadal in trouble?? Oh no, say it isn’t so.

    1. Yes – Nadal not just in trouble – out. But what a gentleman he was when interviewed after losing – I thought he was lovely.

  23. Still don’t get 28 down, the answer is a no brainier but I must be missing something, last one in.

    1. Yes – I got caught like that and wondered why the poor man had a head injury! Oh dear! :roll:

      1. Doh! I thought the same as you Kath, I’ve just worked it out after a gap of about 12 hours !!

  24. Probably ***/** for me but watching tennis at same time didn’t help my concentration! I was foxed by 13a, 20d and still am by 28d. What great matches for first day of Wimbledon but sad to see Nadal go.

  25. Late to the party – friends staying and we went away for the night. Good job they were sailors as I would never have got 20d without electronic help and a dictionary ! Thank you Rufus and Libellule for your review.

    1. Ah just seen Cryptic Sue’s reply about the ‘wound’ for 28D….is that clue not just a touch un-PC?!

Comments are closed.