DT 27272 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27272

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27272

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

A typical Monday Maestro crossword providing the usual quality entertainment.


1. Show badly in need of female entertainer (10)
{COMEDIENNE} – An amusing female is another word that can mean to move into view or appear, followed by an anagram (badly) of IN NEED.

9. State and church, together in prosperity (4)
{RICH} – The abbreviation of a North-East American state is followed by another abbreviation for church. Definition “in prosperity”.

10. Introduces new price cuts (10)
{REDUCTIONS} – An anagram (new) of INTRODUCES.

11. Ragged child may be old city feature (6)
{URCHIN} – The usual ancient Sumerian city, followed by the kind of facial feature found below your mouth.

12. Press it, being resolved (7)
{PERSIST} – An anagram (being) of PRESS IT.

15. Settles in courts (7)
{BENCHES} – Remember that settle is also another term for a long wooden seat.

16. Embarrassed after some hesitation — got it wrong (5)
{ERRED} – An interjection used to express uncertainty, is then followed by a colour usually associated with a blush.

17. It’s wrong to be retiring (4)
{EVIL} – Reverse (retiring) a word that means to exist (to be).

18. Famous ship lacks note initially for freight (4)
{ARGO} – Take the letter C away (lacks note initially) from a word that defines goods carried by a vehicle to get Jason’s ship.

19. Language used in telling off? (5)
{LINGO} – An informal term for an unfamiliar language can be found hidden between the words “telling off”.

21. Feeling I will get on pursuing return of large volume (7)
{EMOTION} – Place I and the ON after reversing (return) a large scholarly book.

22. Take a liberty (7)
{ENSLAVE} – What happens if you subjugate someone.

24. Boil — the spot comes first (6)
{SEETHE} – Place a three letter word that means to perceive with the eye before THE.

27. Fixed new date for back garden to get makeover (10)
{REARRANGED} – Another word for the back or hind part is followed by an anagram (to get makeover) of GARDEN.

28. Stygian fare? (4)
{OBOL} – A silver coin equal to one sixth of a drachma that was used in ancient Greece that could be used to pay Charon for a one way trip.

29. Daughter is accused, but let off (10)
{DISCHARGED} – D (daughter) followed by two words (2,7) that describe a claim of wrongdoing, when put together mean to be acquitted or relieved of.


2. Allowing admission for ring enclosure (4)
{OPEN} – O plus another word for a fenced area for animals.

3. Ducks, or half duck, served up in jellied eels (6)
{ELUDES} – Take the first half of DUCK, reverse it (served up), and place it inside an anagram (jellied) of EELS.

4. Strained to define decimal point (7)
{INTENSE} – The definition is strained, take a phrase (2,4) of what decimal is based on, and then add E (East – point).

5. Refusal to give the go-ahead for retreat (4)
{NOOK} – NO (refusal) and OK (go-ahead).

6. Aim is to keep safe, that’s guaranteed (7)
{ENSURED} – Another word for a goal, or something which you strive for, is placed around another word that means to free from harm or danger to get a word that means guaranteed.

7. I’d hip and heart replaced in serious illness (10)
{DIPHTHERIA} – An anagram (replaced) of ID HIP and HEART is an acute contagious disease.

8. Imitation gem made from nine others (10)
{RHINESTONE} – An anagram (from) of NINE OTHERS is an artificial gem made of paste or glass.

12. Stress follows before making claim (10)
{PRETENSION} – A word that describes having a claim to something (or not), is a prefix for earlier or prior to, followed by another word for mental or emotional strain.

13. One may charge you for refining Cornish ore (10)
{RHINOCEROS} – An anagram (refining) of CORNISH ORE is a large African or Asian animal with one or two horns on the snout.

14. School crocodile (5)
{TRAIN} – Double definition, to guide or teach or a long line of moving people for example.

15. Some climb Eiger to get a tan (5)
{BEIGE} – A brown colour can be found between the words “climb Eiger”.

19. Looked angry being let down (7)
{LOWERED} – To move down, or to look sullen or threatening.

20. In this world, or possibly another (2,5)
{ON EARTH} – An anagram (possibly) of ANOTHER.

23. One making an advance on his own, we hear (6)
{LOANER} – Someone who might lend you something sounds (we hear) like LONER (on his own).

25. Girl’s not top of form (4)
{LASS} – Remove C (not top) from a word that describes a group of students to get another term for a girl.

26. .Qualifying for an attendance mark in the register (4)
{HERE} – A word that describes being at or in a place can be found hidden between the words “the register”.

The Quick crossword pun: (morphia} + {money} = {more fer yer money}

92 comments on “DT 27272

  1. This all went in very quickly for a change! Last one in was 28a. Without the anagram fodder, i would never have spelt 7d correctly.
    Many thanks to Rufus, and to Libellule.

    1. I was surprised when I saw two stars for difficulty this morning, but then I looked at the clues, and they’re nothing like the ones that appeared on my iPad this morning…….
      Thanks to Libellule, though the hints wouldn’t have been much help if I’d needed them!

        1. I think the problem is in the iPad edition of the paper, if you’re using the Telegraph puzzles site then I assume they are publishing the same puzzle that appears in the paper edition

          (though at least I got to feel clever this morning solving the puzzle in record time – for me at least!)

  2. Many thanks to Rufus for a very enjoyable start to the week. Many thanks too to Libellule for the review. My rating is the same as Libellule’s: 2* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment. I found the SW corner the toughest with 24a my last answer in.

    22a was my favourite, although it took a while to solve even with five checking letters of the seven!

    I thought that 28a must be either soul or coin but decided to wait until I had the checking letters, at which point something stirred in the back of my brain from my long distant schooldays and the answer came to me.

    I’m not fully convinced by the wordplay for 12a as it seems to me to be an odd mixture of anagram fodder, anagram indicator and definition, but that’s probably just me not understanding it.

  3. Morning all, decided to have one last call in before starting preparations for the journey to Scotland, I thought at first today, hurray, Rufus back to his normal, quick witty self, as I have found his crosswords tougher of late, then got stuck in the bottom SW corner, never heard of 28a, thanks Libelulle for the help, lots of favourite clues today, I even spelt 7d wrong despite having the anagram fodder! I agree with RD re 12a, it doesn’t quite ‘sit’ right IMHO, persist is surely not the same as resolved, persisted yes, persist, no?

    1. I always used to say persistation instead of persistence when I was young, I suppose a bit like perservation instead of perseverance :-)

      1. To press a point, or ‘press it’ is to persist so the meaning and anagram are the same. I agree it doesn’t quite sit right, somehow.
        Sunny warm day here in Scotland by the way :-)

        1. Mary, no, “press it” is the anagram fodder and “being resolved” is the anagram inidcator. The definition is “press it, being resolved”, i.e.: persist.

            1. I’m sure it’s what you meant, but it’s not what you actually said, which was that “press it” is the definition, which is not the case. The definition is “press it, being resolved” :wink:

        2. As I said the definition is the whole clue, i.e. Press it, being resolved or ‘push on with resolution’. The wordplay is also the whole of the clue, i.e. an anagram (being resolved) of PRESS IT.

            1. I thought you said ‘quiet’ – should have gone to specsavers! I didn’t really think that was any way to talk to gazza.

      1. Gazza, yes thanks from me too. I did think it might be an “all-in-one” but I still couldn’t see it when I wrote my comment. But now I’ve looked again, the penny has dropped – at last!

      2. I do enjoy these ‘discussions’ when I just have to get my head round an answer that’s niggling at me :-)

  4. Nice puzzle spoiled by some weak clues such as 1a and 26d and as for 28a, what a ridiculous clue, something this obscure surely deserves a bit more clueing doesn’t it or does everybody else in the world know what this coin was?
    Shame because otherwise a very pleasant start to the week.
    Thx to to Libellule for the hints.

    1. I agree re 28a Brian, obscure knowledge needed there, I quite liked 26 down though , as in registration in school when our names were called out we answered ‘here’ , so it works all round for me

            1. Thanks for that Dave I really enjoyed (singing along) luckily nobody home except Shadow and she’s gone a bit deaf! Love Chris de Burgh

          1. No – not just you, Mary. I think this is something you either know or you don’t know – if you don’t know it you can’t work it out – I didn’t know it either.
            Anyway, shouldn’t you be packing, panicking, looking for something vital that you can’t find or going to get petrol – or is that just what happens here when we’re going away!

            1. I am inwardly panicking and outwardly calm Kath, that is the story of my life, thus High Blood Pressure!!!! I have taken today or at least this morning to do the crossword and make lists that I won’t be able to find anyway tomorrow!!

        1. I assumed that 28a was a coin or the fare for Charon’s trip but when I fed o-o-into various solvers, no coin emerged, so I have to agree with Mary and Kath that the actual answer was obscure if not the wordplay of the clue itself .Apart from this I enjoyed the crossword and a ***/*** for me.

          1. Agreed. I had coin at first until the horned one at 13d put paid (sorry) to that. Not being that familiar with Greek myths I had never heard of the actual coin.
            Chris de Burgh doesn’t mention it either!

          2. I did exactly the same. Of course I knew you had to pay Charon, but what the coin was I just didn’t know, and it took quite a bit of imaginative googling to find out. As others have said, the answer is too obscure to be clued that way. Now, if he’d put 70s singer returns Stygian fare, no problem. But that’s me showing my age!

        2. I knew about paying the ferryman but didn’t have a clue as to the suggested fare! However a trawl through the world of wiki did give me this:

          A coin to pay Charon for passage, usually an obolus or danake, was sometimes placed in or on the mouth of a dead person.[1] Some authors say that those who could not pay the fee, or those whose bodies were left unburied, had to wander the shores for one hundred years.

          Which didn’t help until I had checking letters. So I did get what the clue wanted from me but lacked the general knowledge sadly.

          Am now able to access puzzles online again and have found an app that let’s me download them (and the Independent ones) onto my iPad. (But I think I prefer pen and paper – I need it for the anagrams).

    2. Since this comment is now buried in lots of others I doubt anyone will read it but I’ve been mithering away at 28a all day. I’m really not being bolshie or difficult at all but . . .
      BD thought it was a superb clue. I thought you had to know the word or you wouldn’t be able to get the answer. My interpretation of a good cryptic clue is a word that you can work out from everything in the clue, even if you have never heard of the word – you put it all together and then wonder if such a word exists and then you look it up and, hey presto, it does. Surely that’s how cryptic crosswords increase our vocabulary. The best example of this that I can think of was (I think) in a Giovanni crossword – the answer was ‘catenary’ but can’t remember the clue. All I know is that I ended up looking it up and it did exist – it now reminds me of a hammock with no-one in it but know that’s not quite right!!
      BD, gazza, CS or anyone else . . .

        1. Yes – I knew the hammock bit wasn’t quite right but it just makes sense to me and looks like a curvey thingie! OK?

        2. PS – You sound a bit like our elder daughter who is a Doctor of Analytical Chemistry – whenever she tries to explain something to me that is way beyond what I can understand she tends to say something along the lines of “Come on Mum, it’s not THAT difficult!” Actually it is – well, it is to me anyway . . .

          1. Kath, I was supporting your views, but the hammock threw me so I am actually more like you listening to your daughter, phd.

      1. I agree with you Kath
        Despite my public school education, and that of my other two work colleagues who also went to the same school, the answer to 28a was a new word to us. I knew what the clue was getting at, but there was no wordplay to be able to work out the answer.
        General knowledge or specialised knowledge? Whatever side of the fence, I didn’t think this fitted in a cryptic crossword.
        You mention Giovanni; some of his puzzles have very obscure words, but in his defence, his wordplay has a construct that will lead you to an answer gettable by all.
        … and no Kath; you are most definitely not bolshie nor difficult :)

        1. Thanks jezza, neveracrossword and andy. I really don’t want to be seen as bolshie, difficult or anything else that is beastly! I enjoy every crossword that I do – I enjoy some more than others.

        1. Yes – it did leave a big impression. It was a word that I’d never heard of – I worked it out all my own self (please excuse that but it was what younger daughter used to say when she’d managed to do something herself so has become a family expression) – yet another word added to the vocabulary and clearly not one that I’m going to forget.

  5. Quite a tough one for me today and needed a little help from the blog – I wouldn’t have got 28a in a million years – thanks for that.

    Now for a plan of attack on the back garden lawn and the bushes!

  6. Thank you Rufus, enjoyable, SW corner last in like many others. I thought that 12a would produce comment – it did seem to be an “all-in-one ” Thanks Libellule for your review. Never heard of 28a – typed the clue into Google and up came the answer !

  7. Can’t resist using Poppy’s word from last week and calling this a lorrafun puzzle. Just what we have come to expect and appreciate on a Monday. Enjoyed 3d as we still shudder when we remember being talked into trying jellied eels when we visited London about six years ago, UGGGH!
    Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

      1. That brings back happy memories of 60 years ago in the East End! I remember the pie and eel shop on the high street with all the live eels wriggling about in the window. What was in that liquor? I think parsley paid a part ….

              1. I don’t think that people actually eat them. They buy them, look at them and suddenly don’t feel hungry any more

            1. That does look lovely, all of it, and the taste of the river that eels have, mmmmm sublime. I love food so much that I almost never eat anything else.

            2. It would be all right without the pie, and the eels. And with some bacon, and with the sauce thicker, and with cream in it.
              Otherwise, it’s great!

    1. I’ll eat almost anything but not sure I’ve ever had eel. I’m a bit scared of them really – when we used to go out in the boat mackerel fishing in Pembrokeshire as kids we were always told that if you caught a conger you should chuck your line overboard because they were likely to have your finger off if you messed with them. It was only years later that I thought about it and realised that no-one ever told us what a conger looked like.

  8. No problems at all today. As stated above, I felt the wording for 12A a bit week and also didn’t really like the use of the word SHOW to produce COME. 28A was no problem at all although I did have to think back to my very early school days.

  9. This was more of a 2*/3* for me.
    All went quite well until the bottom left corner which took longer than the rest of the crossword, apart from 15a. Just couldn’t see that for ages – knew the settles bit but could only think of tennis courts which wasn’t terribly helpful.
    I’d have managed to spell 7d even if it hadn’t been an anagram but got into a spot of bother with 13d and had to check.
    I liked 17 and 22a and 8 and 13d. My favourite was 4d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  10. OK really am signing off for few weeks now, lots to do, see you all soon, thanks for an amusing Monday morning :-D

  11. Anyone else put DISCOUNTER for 10a? It fits the anagram fodder and a ‘discounter’ would be one who ‘introduces new price cuts’ making the clue a sort of all-in-one (that doesn’t quite work) – made a real old mess of the down clues! Trouble was that I saw the DISCOUNT bit in the fodder immediately :sad:

    Most enjoyable and, apart from that cock-up, fairly benign.

    Much thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

    1. Not guilty – funny really as if there is a mistake waiting to be made it’s usually me who makes it. :roll:
      Nice to ‘see’ you again – hope that everything is OK in Spain.

    2. DISCOUNTER really held us up in the NW corner. Doh !
      Racked my brain for my greek history but still couldn’t remember what the coind was to pay the ferryman though so had to look it up!
      Hence I now know o_o_ is an alternative name of an o_o_us

  12. Enjoyed this challenge today, even though I never got 28a. Unforgivable, really, as I knew it and not sure it didn’t appear in a puzzle from the not too distant past. Otherwise, really nothing ungettable. Thanks to all for the fun.

  13. I enjoyed this today. The right half went in more quickly than the left and I also got rather stuck on the lower left hand corner. I liked the anagrams at 8 and 13d very much, but had great trouble with the four-letter words and am ashamed to say that 5d was the last one in. Many thanks to Rufus yet again and un grand merci to Libellule. :-)

  14. Straightforward today, although I had to look up the name of the 28a coin, funny that I ‘d never heard of it, just knew you had to pay the ferryman, hence the coins on dead Romans eyelids etc 22a gave me a bit of bother until realized It was almost a straight clue. Wish there was a delete on iPads,

    Now doing crosswords from 2003 to keep sharp!

  15. Apart from 28 across (see earlier comment) this went in ok, although for reasons of over indulgence, I suspect, I’d have given this 3*.

    Thanks to Libellule and Rufus

  16. Very enjoyable, though I got quite bogged down on the lower three lines.Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  17. Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, was beaten by 28a and 15a, hadn’t heard of the former and had forgotten that definition of the latter. I used to struggle with Giovanni on a Friday, but lately I tend to finish Friday puzzles, but not Monday’s. Still, all good fun, I have tried to memorise 28a.Favourites were 3&13d. I l’ll be late blogging this week as I’m Hill walking during the day. Weather not bad in Cumbria, but cooler than the Soft South :-)

    1. Was 2*/3* for me. Sorry, forgot to add that on the original comment, but can’t get the edit facility to work lately on the mobile.

    1. Hi Catherine, you weren’t alone, came as a bit of a surprise to me today when I noticed the clues looked very different!

  18. Failed to finish this because I hadn’t heard of 28A. I don’t like the clue much though (and it’s not sour grapes, I love Rufus’ compositions), the Stygian reference was leading me to hell (and all that) rather than ‘something ancient’.

  19. 28a ” a superb clue ” —–how? Fairly obvious attempt at misdirection with a solution that required a knowledge that if I had acquired it at school I would have forgotten before leaving the classroom let alone remembering it decades later .
    As Dionysus would have said apart from that the usual enjoyment .Thanks Rufus and Libellulle

  20. Sometimes I can do a Rufus puzzle, sometimes not, mea culpa. This was very much a puzzle of two halves for me. I sorely needed Libellule’s elucidating hints to fill in the gaps on the left-hand half. Of the clues I could do, I particularly enjoyed 11a and 15a. Knew about Charon in 28a but didn’t check Brewer’s where obolus is mentioned in the entry under his name… Many thanks to Rufus and to Libellule.

  21. I thought 28a a superb clue too! Anyone remember that brilliant 1977 serial Who Pays the Ferryman (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwcVPZWpDK8)? Ref. 3d, we live fairly near the best purveyors of smoked eel in the country, Brown & Forrest and yes, they do mail order and no, I am not on commission. Skempie’s comment on the eel pie gave us our best laugh for weeks.

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