DT 27260 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27260

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27260

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty * Enjoyment ****

The sun is once again shining south of the Loire, and I have had an entertaining crossword to review. Not sure why we have three clues where the answers are number(s) though.


1. A dour bent shown by American tough (7)
{ARDUOUS} – An anagram (bent) of A DOUR followed by US (American).

5. Kind of crossing made by Drake’s ship (7)
{PELICAN} – The name of Francis Drake’s ship before it became the Golden Hind, is also a type of pedestrian crossing.

9. About five get better in turn (5)
{CURVE} – The definition is turn. Put V inside a word that means to be restored to health.

10. Idle girl that goes round giving choice to consumers (4,5)
{LAZY SUSAN} – Is a revolving tray for condiments and food.

11. Plant in peat, so it develops (10)
{POINSETTIA} – An anagram (develops) of IN PEAT SO IT.

12. Brand new money-making concern (4)
{MINT} – Double definition, undamaged, or a place where coins are made.

14. Isn’t it particular what it sells? (7,5)
{GENERAL STORE} – A retail shop in a sparsely populated area that sells a wide variety of merchandise.

18. Company offer definitive vote for union? (4,8)
{FIRM PROPOSAL} – An enterprise’s suggestion could also be an offer of marriage.

21. The sound of a pig at home in agreeable surroundings (4)
{OINK} – IN (at home) inside OK.

22. Shared secret belief (10)
{CONFIDENCE} – Double definition, an entrusted secret, or self-assurance.

25. Defiant beast, rising (9)
{REBELLION} – If split (5,4) this could be a big cat resisting authority, as (9) its organised resistance to government.

26. Come up with more money (5)
{ARISE} – A word that means to move upward or ascend, could also be if split (1,4) an increase in salary.

27. Peak time before break (7)
{EVEREST} – The highest mountain in the world, is another word for time before, brink or threshold before a cessation of work.

28. Level betting includes the French teams (7)
{ELEVENS} – Another word for football teams for example is LE (French – the) inside odds that allow you to win the same amount you bet.


1. Believe one wouldn’t say no to this (6)
{ACCEPT} – Double definition, to regard as true, or to receive something offered.

2. Draw in new capital (6)
{DARWIN} – An anagram (new) of DRAW IN is the capital of the Northern Territory in Australia.

3. Fails to turn out as intended (10)
{OVERSLEEPS} – To forget to get out of bed.

4. Share the port (5)
{SPLIT} – A word that means to divide up, is also a port in Croatia

5. Plucky action taken by some of the players (9)
{PIZZICATO} – Plucking the strings of a violin for example.

6. It makes a pass into a path (4)
{LISP} – A speech defect.

7. Car is not damaged, being strong (4-4)
{CAST-IRON} – An anagram (damaged) of CAR IS NOT.

8. Score but one (8)
{NINETEEN} – Twenty minus one.

13. The British TT? (6,4)
{ISLAND RACE} – The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy could also describe people from Britain.

15. Financial expert comes into new organisation (9)
{ECONOMIST} – An anagram (new organisation) of COMES INTO.

16. It’s to do with pursuit of game, naturally (2,6)
{OF COURSE} – Something related to hunting game with hounds, could also be a phrase that means in the natural or expected order of things.

17. Note about illustrious French city (8)
{GRENOBLE} – G (note), RE (about) and a word that means majestic or grand and stately in appearance is a city found in Southeast France.

19. Lure damaged net on the rocks (6)
{ENTICE} – An anagram (damaged) of NET on the sort of rocks you might find in a drink.

20. Numbers playing in Rugby competitions, perhaps (6)
{SEVENS} – Not fifteen, but the smaller, faster version.

23. Foil … for trespassers? (5)
{FENCE} – Fighting with swords, or an enclosure created to keep out unwanted persons.

24. Be a shade over-extravagant? (4)
{BLUE} – A primary colour is also a slang term for spending extravagantly or wastefully.

The Quick crossword pun: (maker} + {miss} + {take} = {make a mistake}

84 comments on “DT 27260

  1. **/**** for yet another splendid Monday puzzle with the usual excellent mixture of clues. 6d was my favourite.

    I had never before come across 24a meaning over-extravagant, and 5a was my last one in simply because I had always known Drake’s ship as The Golden Hind. Wikipedia provided the explanation that he had renamed it mid-voyage to please his sponsor!

    I also had reason to be grateful to Mrs RD. While entertaining friends on Saturday and passing plates of food between everyone at the table, Mrs RD suggested that we should get a 10a, which was the first time I had heard of that name.

    Many thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  2. Bonjour Libellue, tu rigoles? One star, I found this really difficult, clever but difficult, at least 3 star for myself and I would not have finished without your help!! Thank you… Not heard the word at 5d before, as with RD above 6d was my favourite clue, nor had I heard 24a meaning over-extravagant but on looking it up in the BRB, it says vt to squander, I also thought the ship was the Golden Hind and even when I thought of Pelicon crossing I thought it was spelt with the ‘o’ from ‘control’, is it me or have Rufus puzzles become more difficult? Off to enjoy the beautiful sunshine now, hope the sun is shining for you all :-)

    1. I believe the pelican was renamed the golden hind but might be wrong, school was many years ago.

    2. Yes they definitely have got more difficult! Is blue correct? I know the phrase as in ‘He blew a grand on the party’. Not ‘he blue a grand’.

      1. Correct according to Chambers BRB Roger, at first I thought is should have been a homophone until I looked it up

  3. Re 24a, I see no indication of it being a phonetic clue, and AFAIK the verb is: “To blow”, i.e., “blew”. Chambers (at least my app version) does not have “squander” as a meaning of BLUE.

    6d was a ‘Duh!’ moment, and the last one in. It took from Woking to Clapham Junction for the penny to drop.

    1. Atilla,
      There is no indication of a “sounds like” in 24d, because its not a “sounds like clue”. One definition of blue (as indicated by Mary) is as a slang term, meaning to spend extravagantly or wastefully.

      1. When squander is a shade it is surely spelled Blew, and would need a homophone indicator ?I admit spelling is not my forte.

        1. Una, as Libellule and Mary have both said, Blue spelled Blue is defined in the BRB as “to spend extravagantly or wastefully”, so no homophone indicator is required.

          It was certainly a new meaning of blue for me.

          1. If anyone used the spelling blue to mean extravagant, I would just think that their spelling wasn’t very good. In my dictionary, in the slang section it does give an example of Walter de la Mare using blued to mean having been extravagant, but I think it’s just one of those words whose spelling has changed over the centuries.

    2. Hi AT,

      Re 24D, my Chambers app on iPhone does indeed have meaning #2 for blue being ‘To squander’.
      Which pleased me greatly as it means I’ve nailed another Rufus puzzle…albeit with a little electronic confirmation along the way, as he often uses words (I’m ashamed to say) I don’t know, but his masterful wordplay gets me there.

  4. Thank you Rufus – like Mary I found this to be hard work. Initially I put it down to the fact that we had stayed up to watch our wonderful Solheim Cup ladies beat the USA for the first time in the US and also the knowledge that our grandchildren are coming to stay – in about half an hour ! Real pressure ! 6d last in – ages before the penny dropped. Thank you Libellule for your review – your one * rating just confirms how thick I am !

    1. It’s got nothing to do with thickness. Last week, when I had at least three puzzles that I could only do half, everyone was rhapsodising about how easy the crosswords were. I found this one to be a joy, but it is totally to do with wavelengths.

  5. This was more like a *** for me but very enjoyable all the same. Favourite has to be 16D. Many thanks to libellule for some much needed hints.

  6. This is the most difficult Rufus I have yet encountered. 5d I just went through the dictionary until I got a word that fitted the checkers. 6d, I don’t like this clue.20d It’s enough for me to remember that rugby teams have fifteen players, didn’t know about variations.27a I don’t understand the clue.And I usually love a Rufus ! Thanks Libullele.

  7. A couple gave us a little trouble today. Took a while for the penny drop for 6d and the other one that had us pondering was 3d where we had a different type of turn out and tried to put in “oversteers”. Must have been watching too much Top Gear. Remarkably concise clues today. No risk of the print-out extending to 2 pages with this setter. Good fun.
    Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

  8. Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the review and hints. I enjoyed the challenge, but found this really difficult. Needed seven hints to finish. Favourites were 21a and 6d. Was 3*/4* for me. Re 24d I solved it, but maybe it doesn’t need a homophone indicator as there is a question mark? Also for the hints, could you underline the definitions, and put a or d after each clue, this would make it easier to follow when scrolling on a mobile. Thanks.

          1. Please remember that, unlike some of us more decrepit bloggers, Libellule has a full-time job.

                1. OK, understood. If you need some help, I have spare time with significant experience

        1. With regard to the “a”‘s and “d”‘s against each clue number – I must admit that I have never noticed before … but just had a look and it seems that most bloggers include them.

          I had always presumed that the Bloggers downloaded the puzzle in a way way that did not require any editing to the clues!

          But … I read the paper … I know nothing!

          1. Several of the bloggers use a Word macro that I developed. This creates a skeleton blog, including the a and d subscripts, from the online pdf in a matter of seconds.

            1. Perhaps you could send the macro to Libellule? It may save him some time and the subscripts would be there with no extra effort.

      1. As Merusa has just said that is a definitive answer! What about a ‘definitive weather forecast’ for your area since we are heading in that direction on Wednesday and everything that we look at says something different.

  9. A slow one for me today as is my wont most Mondays! Very enjoyable though…
    Many thanks to Rufus, and to Libellule.

  10. Enjoyable and fairly untaxing today, but I also think it was harder than the normal Rufus offering. 6D and 16D were clever and I particularly liked 20D (despite the fact I was rubbish at it, could never recover in time after a run)

  11. I agree with most of the comments, a little more of a challenge than usual from Rufus especially in the SW corner where I am grateful to Libellule for assistance. Of course (pun intended), it didn’t help that I got fixated on “on safari” for 16d.

  12. Weird. Being a relative newb, I really thought I was getting the hang of these – especially after successfully navigating a difficult week last week. But this totally defeated me, didn’t even manage half of it – very surprised to see a 1 star rating!

    1. Don’t worry Dandy after four years now trying to do these I still often get days like that, thank goodness for this site :-)

    2. Hi Dandy

      The ratings are extremely subjective things, and it is one area (of many!) where people will disagree.

      I usually find it easy to get on Rufus’s wavelength, but not today, and I’m with the three-star brigade :-)

  13. **/** for me – not one of my favourites. Tee hee – have to admit 6d defeated me and not keen on 24d.

  14. **/* for me. One of those where most of the clues just don’t seem to read right.
    Is this a trend for the DT to make Mondays much tougher as there is no Toughie that day?
    Not one of my favourites.
    Thx to Libellule for the hints.

  15. Like jezza I usually have a bit of a battle on Mondays – today was no exception. I also think that Rufus is getting trickier. At least 3* difficulty and about the same for enjoyment.
    Lots of these clues have taken me ages. 5a had to be right but knew Golden Hind not Pelican. I was slow with the 11a anagram – don’t like them anyway – nasty tarty looking things! I just gaped hopelessly at 13d for what felt like hours but got there in the end. I could go on, but won’t.
    I liked 21a and 5d. My favourite was 6d – it was also my last answer.
    With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.
    Off to do something useful now – don’t quite know what yet – think about packing, do the ironing first, cut grass . . . I could, of course, just make a list which always makes me feel as if I’ve achieved quite a lot.

    1. Always put at the top of a list ‘Make a list’ – it gives you something to cross off almost immediately!!

      1. I always put lots of things that I’ve already done on a list – SO good for the morale!

    2. In Jamaica they make hedges of them and they are spectacular at Christmas. They need eight hours of total darkness to do their red thing, hence not being used in towns with street lighting.

      1. That’s why we’re supposed to put them in paper bags but I always wonder about the use, or even attraction, of a plant in a paper bag! :roll:

  16. ***/**** for me. Those who give hints to others should be able to solve a puzzle more quickly than the rest of us.

  17. Erm – as regards 24 down, I always believed the word for spending extravagantly to be ‘blew’ or ‘to blow’. I can well remember my mother giving me a rollicking when I was a teenager for wasting my money/blowing my wages on something she considered to be rubbish.

    1. Likewise with my mother. I spent £10 on a lilac maxi trench coat from C&As in 1974, and she shouted at me, telling me to take ‘that cheap rubbish’ back to ‘that horrible shop’ immediately!

  18. Most enjoyable but must admit I needed some of the hints. Have come across 10a before, and am sure my great-aunt had one so that people didn’t have to stretch across the tea-table!

    1. I have a modern 10 across & I use it for putting a large plant on which can then be turned around easily so all the leaves & flowers don’t always face towards the window.

  19. Got there but didn’t find it very easy . At least 2.5 * for me. 3d was my last one in and a real do’h moment.

  20. I struggled with this puzzle a little more that I should have. I must be having a bad day. 2* seems about right for me despite my struggles. Many thanks to Libellule for the hints which I did need and to Rufus for a fine puzzle

  21. I had no need for hints today, see note above. I just loved 6d, even though it was my last in; very, very clever. Didn’t know 20d but assumed my answer was correct as it “fit”. Thanks to all, lovely change from last week!

  22. Quite a relief to find it wasn’t just me struggling, esp. with the lower half. But 6d made me laugh out loud, so was definitely my favourite. With all the others, deep appreciation for the hints each day which gives a lift over stony places, so thank you Libellule (you seem to be brilliant at multi-tasking!) for today’s. and thank you setter for the distraction from woes :-) !

    1. Sorry about woes but I do think that crosswords are a brilliant distraction, as is this blog. I know that my sister would say that we should spend more time thinking about our problems and less time allowing ourselves to be distracted – she and I don’t always see eye to eye!

  23. I don’t think I would ever have got 6d but it made me laugh when I saw the answer. It reminds me of a clue many many years ago which I just could not get even though I had nearly all the letters …………
    “What a boy does with a toy” (6)

    1. That’s not fair – you had nearly all the letters and you haven’t given us any! What about a hint?

      I know that it’s not very PC but 6d reminds me of a young Mum who I met at a toddler group many years ago when our girls were little. She couldn’t do ‘th’ and pronounced it ‘f’. Would anyone like to hazard a guess at the names she had given her son and daughter?

      1. Did she live here? (Guardian No 26,007 – Gordius)

        Morals in Violet Elizabeth’s county (6) ==> Ethics?

      1. Oops – was requesting the answer from Jewel but Kath popped up in the middle. Was the girl’s name Heather?

        1. No – they were called Matthew and Catherine! :roll: I always wondered how she could have done it to them, and herself!

        2. PS – Really sorry about popping up in the middle – I would also like at least a few letters or a hint if not the answer from Jewel too.

      2. I’ve seen a very similar clue which should give you the answer:
        What a parrot does with a carrot (6)

  24. I particularly like Libellules solutions on Monday. They are accurate and succinct, and since as a relative beginner I often print out the solutions, the fact that he does not waste space with pictures saves me printing paper!

    1. 6D is one of those clues that, to me, indicated how far I’ve come in terms of solving these pesky-yet-utterly-addictive cryptics. A year of two ago, I would never have got that. Very satisfying.

  25. A little slow today as it was an evening start, but some very good clues. Needed a few hints to finish. Couldn’t see 6d at all! Shocking clue!
    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule

  26. Definitely 3* for me. Heno last week sampled the delights I think of GBBF, today I mostly have been helping to get the Peterborough Camra Beer Festival oop and running and ready to open tomorrow. And until Friday lunchtime i’ll be there most sessions either behind a bar, corporate catering (washer upper) or collapsed. Thanks to Libellule and Rufus

    1. Beer Festivals………….Yum Yum. Rufus has gone from Read and write boring to pretty damn difficult. i likes him best as he was today. Took ages but worth it all the way. Ta to all.

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