DT 27254 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27254

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27254

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Two stars for difficulty today, I spent longer on the top right hand side of the crossword than I did on the rest of it. Possibly because I initially struggled to see 7d (what a clue!).


1. Looking round for a letter (8)
{CIRCULAR} – A letter intended for general distribution, could also be a rounded shape.

6. Vessel showing nationality? (6)
{FLAGON} – A large bottle for wine or liquor could also describe the ensign that a ship carries at its stern.

9. Passed shuffled cards (6)
{SPADES} – An anagram (shuffled) of PASSED.

10. A course for non-drivers (8)
{FOOTPATH} – A route for walkers only.

11. State carriage for a queen (8)
{VICTORIA} – Triple definition, a state of SE Australia, a light horse drawn carriage, and a British queen.

12. Sally is kind, that is the end of it (6)
{SORTIE} – The definition of “sally” in this clue is an armed attack. Take another word for a class or a group and then add the abbreviation for “id est” to the end of it.

13. Deep study (12)
{OCEANOGRAPHY} – The deep in this clue refers to the Atlantic, the Pacific etc.

16. What the crafty bounder kept? (3,4,5)
{ONE JUMP AHEAD} – Because he is always one step in advance of someone or something.

19. Twice Bill and I get stuck together touching a gum tree (6)
{ACACIA} – AC (account or bill) twice, followed by I and then A is also a spiny shrub.

21. One will appreciate people with good taste (8)
{CANNIBAL} – Someone who likes to eat fellow humans.

23. Spotted things to play with (8)
{DOMINOES} – Are also small wooden blocks with different numbers of dots on them.

24. What’s needed — no huge changes (6)
{ENOUGH}} – An anagram (changes) of NO HUGE.

25. Note sent back for the cheese-maker (6)
{RENNET} – Reverse (sent back) the value of a bank note to get a substance that is used to curdle milk.

26. Try to get in the act, though very unpopular (8)
{DETESTED} – Put a word that means to assess or evaluate inside another word that describes an act or action that is carried out, to get someone or something that is disliked intensely.


2. Diminish value of child-bearing? (6)
{IMPAIR} – A word that means to reduce or weaken in strength or quality can be constructed from a three-letter word for a mischievous child, followed by a word that describes a personal appearance or manner.

3. Young trainee acted badly (5)
{CADET} – An anagram (badly) of ACTED

4. Lear’s wry smile that’s bright and penetrating (5,4)
{LASER BEAM} – An anagram (wry) of LEARS followed by an expansive smile is also a ray of light.

5. Stop in a few bars (7)
{REFRAIN} – Double definition, to hold back, or a regularly occurring melody.

6. Sweets for kids (5)
{FOOLS} – Desserts made of pureed fruit with cream are also possibly jests or hoaxes.

7. Short and in character? (9)

8. Rejected just for being unqualified (8)
{OUTRIGHT} – A word the means without reason or qualification, can be constructed from a word that means no longer wanted or not allowed (rejected), followed by a word that means fair or correct (just).

13. Notice job is to be relocated — protest (9)
{OBJECTION} – An anagram (is to be relocated) of NOTICE JOB.

14. Container for spread (5,4)
{GREEN BELT} – A designated area of countryside that surrounds a town or a city.

15. Account will be provided once date is amended (8)
{ANECDOTE} – An anagram (is amended) of ONCE DATE.

17. A cricket club, not new to exploitation, in the dock (7)
{ACCUSED} – A CC (cricket club) plus a word that describes something that is second hand or taken advantage of.

18. Collide with end of bridge? A bad one might (6)
{BARGEE} – A driver of a canal vessel is also a word that means to violently bump into something, and the last letter (end of) bridge.

20. Sailor dismissed roughly (5)
{ABOUT} – AB (sailor) and someone for example who is no longer batting produces a word that means approximately or nearly.

22. Is about to study religious pictures (5)
{ICONS} – Put IS around a typical crossword word for study to get sacred images of Christian personages.

The Quick crossword pun: (mute} + {till} + {late} = {mutilate}

48 comments on “DT 27254

  1. Another superb puzzle today. My rating is 2.5* for difficulty 4* for enjoyment. Once again lots of excellent and amusing clues. The devious 21d was my last one in, with 7d my favourite.

    Many thanks to Rufus and Libellule. I was wondering how Libellule was going to provide a hint for 7d – a brilliant hint for a brilliant clue!

  2. We spent longer than usual on this and really struggled with a couple, including the marvellous 7d. Thought it was a thoroughly entertaining solve. Thanks to the setter and Libellule.

  3. Good morning Libelulle and thanks for the hints which I needed today, as you know I am a big fan of Rufus but I just could not get going on this today, after reading your hints I realized I should have been able to do many more than I did!!
    Fav clue 16a, the sun is doing battle against the clouds here today, come on the sun :-)

  4. Nice puzzle from Rufus, not one of his easier efforts, but very solvable. 21A and 7D held me up for a while, otherwise no real problems.

  5. A bit of a struggle for me today, especially some of the cryptic definitions.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to Libellule.
    Now for a look at the MPP.

  6. Not as gentle as we normally get on a Monday and enormous fun. Last in with roars of laughter was 21a.
    Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

  7. A fun way to start the week – many thanks Rufus. I agree with Libellule **/****. Enjoyed humour in 6a, 21a and 14d clues.

  8. I don’t know whether it was having a tiny person hiccoughing in the background but this took me a bit longer than normal. I did get the splendid 7d early on but took a while for the penny to clang for 21d.

  9. I found this harder than the usual Monday puzzle, and it was a bit of a struggle for me. Thank you Rufus all the same – my fault that it was such hard work ! Thank you Libellule for your review. Some interesting cricket viewing coming up !

  10. Oh good – not just me then! I had quite a struggle to even get started and again, when I’d nearly finished, with my last few. 3*/4*
    The trouble with Rufus’s crosswords, for me, is that some of his clues are SO clever and, at the same time, SO simple that they just by-pass me – 6a being a pretty good example of that.
    It took me ages to get 21a and then, just to make life even trickier, I spelt it ‘cannible’ and I know perfectly well how to spell it so please don’t anyone ask me how that happened – then, of course, I couldn’t do 18d! Oh dear!!
    6 and 7d both took ages.
    Altogether a bit of a pig’s ear today, but a very enjoyable one.
    I liked too many to put them all down – my favourite was 21a – or it might be 6 or 16a.
    With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  11. Not a big Rufus fan, I’m afraid, so I was pleasantly surprised today. I really enjoyed this one. A bit more challenging, as others have mentioned. Half a dozen clues that I really liked…6A, 21A, and 6, 7, 8 and 14D. 7D was outstanding. Sorting out the word play for 1D took a while. Many thanks to Rufus, and to Libellule for the review, especially the brilliant hint for 7D.

  12. I found this a little more challenging than usual for a Monday (and definitely more challenging than this weekend’s two prize puzzles). Just over half finished before lights out last night and all but three 14d, 18d, and 21a finished before the first infusion of caffeine this morning. Thanks to Libellule for help on those three. I doubt that I would ever have got 14d on my own; not very impressed by the clue at all. Favourites would have to be 13a and 7d. Thanks to Rufus for a very good (as usual) start to the week.

  13. Very enjoyable crossword from Rufus today, I thought 21a and 7d were inspired, my thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the splendid review.

  14. Seem to have a hit a bad patch for Mondays as definitely not on this setter’s wavelength at all. Managed about 1/4 of the clues unaided but even the BRB was unable to help any further. Another abandonment. Hey ho..roll on tomorrow.

    1. I can’t confirm because I don’t have the BRB with me in the office, but I think I got seven answers with assistance from it. Somewhat on the low side but not untypical.

    2. I almost always have a spot of bother with Rufus puzzles too – sometimes the spot is bigger than others.

  15. Loved this crossword & Libellule’s nice straightforward hints, so thank you setter & hinter. Like others, 7 down was my favourite. After all the discussions about apostrophes etc, I’ve become quite self conscious about using them in my blogs so I hope they meet with everyone’s approval, though to be fair, the iPad is pretty good at putting them in regardless.

  16. Bit of a curates egg for me. The left side was nice but the right was distinctly tricky.
    Really disliked 2d, totally unnecessary use of the hyphen to confuse.
    Best clue for me was 16a, a ‘smile’ clue.
    Thx to Libellule for the excellent explanations of 2d and 12a.

  17. I agree with everybody, enjoyable and slightly trickier than usual. I know that crosswords are submitted months ahead, but I did wonder if that unkind remark made by I forget who, about another crossword being “as simple as a Monday Rufus” played some part here.Anyway, thanks to Rufus and Libellule.Personally I don’t think Rufus crosswords are simple, they are clever and witty.

  18. Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the review and hints. A very enjoyable but tricky puzzle. Got stuck in the NE corner, needed the hints for 6a & 6d 12a & 8d, also 21a. Favourites were 1a,4,7&18d. Was 3*/3* for me. Test Match is fascinating.

  19. Agree with ratings, sailed through until 6 clues remained and then was totally stumped. Especially the very clever 7d among other superb clues. So thanks to Rufus and to Libellule. It was one to make you think and then feel triumphant when you got it.

  20. Yup a bit of a challenge. Thought 2d child-bearing definition a bit of a stretch (no pun intended), and also i struggled to see how 14d could be what it obviously was. get it now though. Otherwise good fun. Thanks to all.

  21. Was very pleased with myself for getting 7d fairly quickly, and then had a total prat fall over 21a & 23a, so that’ll larn me! Enjoyed the tussle immensely (& nearly spelled that ‘tussel’!) so many thanks to setter for a good start to the day and to Libellule for hints. Fave definitely 7d. A bit too warm beside the seaside, for a change…

  22. Good crossword, good review, what more could a chap ask for on a Monday morning.

    Thanks all.

  23. Great puzzle, so many clever clues. I never did get 14d, have no idea why not as it’s so easy when you have the answer. Clues 6a, 7d and 21a are going to be hard to beat, incredibly clever. Thanks all

  24. this was at least 3* for me, in that I completed the bottom half (from 13 down) Ok and then struck out. Just didn’t see all those synonyms at the top and when there was a straightforward anagram (9) I just didn’t see it either…….

      1. Ah, thanks Poppy.
        What I meant was how to use the iPad’s own emoticons, as opposed to the conventional arrangements. Not to worry.

        1. Hope this helps .

          Pick your iOS device
          Tap ‘Settings’
          Tap ‘General’
          Tap ‘Keyboard’
          Tap ‘International Keyboards’
          Tap ‘Add New Keyboard’
          Scroll through until you find ‘Emoji’ and select it
          Have fun sending your friends cryptic pictogram’s
          When typing a message tap the small globe icon in the bottom left of the keyboard to switch to your Emoji keyboard and choose from the categories along the bottom. Don’t forget, you can swipe left and right on each category for more emoticons!

          When you’re done, simply tap the globe icon again to return to your normal keyboard.

            1. Takes about 30 secs to do above and once set up its there permanently or for as long as you want .

              1. That’s SO helpful, OF, (sorry for shouting). Have just loaded it on to my iPad… Thank you

          1. Thanks onlyfools.
            Sorry to be a pain…
            I have the emoticon keyboard…I just can’t get it to register on this particular blog. I select the one I want, but it doesn’t come up in the message after posting??

            Prob too late ir anyone to see this message.

  25. Excellent puzzle, sadly needed to come here to get the last few. I really liked 21a and 7d, both clever clues, might have got them eventually but decided to mop it up with the help of your hints.

  26. Hi all…though this was kind of hard, mainly because of the Britishisms: never heard of a “fool” dessert or “bargee”. But as always, love this blog and all the fun people on it!

    1. I’m a Brit though US permanent resident, and the newer Britishisms (last 20 or so years) get me too. But if you’re really stuck any time, I’d be glad to see if I can offer an Amercan equivalent. Boston, huh? Football season is upon us. Pats fan?

  27. Lots of comments for a Monday – not surprising really – trickier than usual and good fun. Rufus is, in my opinion anyway, the master of making a simple clue difficult – don’t know how he does it – he fools me every week!

  28. New to all this, but been quietly following this wonderful resource for a few weeks now! Usually manage OK on Monday, but really struggled today! Thank you all for this great resource though; makes it enjoyable, even on tricky days. Much appreciated.

  29. As well as being delighted to finish this crossword without any hints (21A being my last in like a lot of folk), I’m probably more pleased that I could tell this was a Rufus job.

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