DT 27290 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27290

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27290

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

The usual enjoyable and relatively straight forward Monday solve, except for 16d!


1. Cheating at cards, using duplicity? (6-7)
{DOUBLE-DEALING} – A phrase that describes being duplicitous, deceitful or treacherous could also be deliberately violating the rules of a card game.

10. New ones may be expensive if stout, perhaps (7)
{OUTFITS} – An anagram (perhaps) of IF STOUT.

11. Letter or note to devout holy man found by the French (7)
{EPISTLE} – A formal letter can be constructed from E (musical note), a slang term that appears in crosswords that describes religious reverence, an abbreviation for a saint, and then finally the masculine French form of the.

12. Stand torture (4)
{RACK} – A framework or stand for various articles is also a method of torture where a victim was slowly stretched.

13. Turkish leader elected for a second time (5)
{AGAIN} – A term for a Turkish civil or military leader is followed by IN (elected) for a word that means once more.

14. Far-reaching hunger (4)
{LONG} – Double definition, a great distance or an earnest, heartfelt desire.

17. Edibles put out for French music master (7)
{DELIBES} – An anagram (put out) of EDIBLES.

18. Attempts to sell a dummy — touchdowns possible (5,2)
{TRIES ON} – A term for bluffing, could also describe the possibility of scoring in a game of rugby.

19. Where those about town come from? (7)
{SUBURBS} – The residential areas that surround a city.

22. Tom’s shout showing disapproval (7)
{CATCALL} – Tom in this clue is also a moggie.

24. Outhouse made redundant (4)
{SHED} – A small structure used for storage or shelter and a word that means to cast off or lose something.

25. Class for actors, say (5)
{CASTE} – Sounds like (say) CAST.

26. Rabbit’s tail trimmed to a point (4)
{SCUT} – S (south) followed by another word for to sever or prune.

29. Egghead spoke in French with one on the issue (7)
{EDITION} – E (the first letter of egghead), DIT (spoke in French), I (one) and ON.

30. Substitute one fabric with another (7)
{REPLACE} – A ribbed or corded fabric of various materials is followed by another delicate cloth to get a word that means to supersede or substitute.

31. Mass meeting, for example (6,7)
{CHURCH SERVICE} – A meeting that could occur in a place of worship.


2. Topical changes of view (7)
{OPTICAL} – An anagram (changes) of TOPICAL.

3. The end of spinnaker in large sailing ship (4)
{BRIG} – Put the last letter (end) of spinnaker inside another word for considerable size to get a two masted sailing ship.

4. Junior officers, they climb the mast (7)
{ENSIGNS} – Double definition, Commissioned officers of the lowest rank, or a flag that indicates nationality.

5. It’s glee, strangely, shown by a mournful poet (7)
{ELEGIST} – An anagram (strangely) of ITS GLEE.

6. Piece of meat lion chewed up (4)
{LOIN} – An anagram (chewed up) of LION. Was this really worth an anagram?

7. Will it cause bankruptcy in the fishing industry? (3,4)
{NET LOSS} – A period of time when expenses exceed revenue, could also refer to damaged or missing fishing equipment.

8. Risk total defeat at Wimbledon, perhaps (5,8)
{COURT DISASTER} – To invite or incur a grave misfortune could also be taking great risks in a game of tennis.

9. Communication from a solicitor? (7,6)
{BEGGING LETTER} – A solicitor in this clue is not a legal type, but someone who seeks to obtain something by persuasion, entreaty, or formal application

15. Cancel space flight, there’s an unpleasant smell in craft (5)
{ABORT} – BO inside a skill that is typically attained by study, practice, or observation

16. Sailors take a turn round these parts — about time (5)
{BITTS} – “Vertical posts set on the deck of a ship and used to secure ropes or cables”, are a word for small pieces around T (time). Last one in, and I had to look it up and check it. Finding the answer is made more difficult by the grid with only two of the five letters checked.

20. Some terrible mishap results in a scar (7)
{BLEMISH} – Another word for a flaw or defect can be found hidden between the words of “terrible mishap”.

21. Stout aunt’s off to church (7)
{STAUNCH} – An anagram (off) of AUNTS followed by CH (church).

22. Exclusive group with resting place up country (7)
{COTERIE} – A small select group is a child’s resting place followed by the Gaelic name for Ireland reversed (up).

23. Bill includes broken chair that’s antique (7)
{ARCHAIC} – Place AC (bill) around an anagram (broken) of CHAIR.

27. Outstanding seaside feature (4)
{PIER} – Assuming it hasn’t burnt down.

28. Shady character sets up important people (4)
{SPIV} – Reverse a four letter term for people of great influence or importance to get a swindler or black marketeer.

The Quick crossword pun: (forger} + {check} = {forge a cheque}

66 comments on “DT 27290

  1. The only clue that I didnt get was 16D having never heard of it in a nautical sense, that apart this was fairly plain sailing ( excuse the pun). Many thanks to the setter & libellule for the review.

  2. ** difficulty for me largely because I couldn’t find the definition for 16d in my online chambers. On the other hand, loved 15d, a laugh out loud moment – unusual for me! Also agree that the anagram for LION is hardly worth the effort and likewise for TOPICAL, in fact I didn’t fill them in until I had all the checking letters in case I was missing something. Still, enjoyed completing it so thanks to all.

  3. Thanks very much for your hints and review, Libellule. I was going to go for **/**** but have shaded it to **/*** because of 16d, which had me completely flummoxed, and your explanation confirms it is very obscure :-(

    Nevertheless the rest of the puzzle was very enjoyable and 9d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Rufus.

  4. Interesting to note that everyone else, like us, was having a gentle stroll and then stubbed their toes on 16d. We eventually worked out what it should probably be from the word-play and confirmed with BRB. Good Monday stuff.
    Thanks Rufus and Libellule

  5. I come from a naval family and I went to a naval school – in fact, did all but sign the papers to join the Royal Navy and I can honestly say that I have never ever heard of 16D (although it was eminently solvable). I thought 9D was excellent and can really relate to it considering all the mail I received from my Mum’s solicitor after she died (and seeing the bill for each one!)

    I was hoping to go and visit the Gromitt exhibition in Bristol this weekend, but after seeing that there was a 6 hour queue, I decided against it. The queue’s a bit shorter today (last day) but I have things that I need to do and don’t have 3 hours to spare.

  6. Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the review and hints. Was all very straightforward except for 16d, which I used electronic help. I’d never heard of this word, but another to add to the memory bank. A very nice puzzle to start the week. Favourite was 16d. Was 2*/3* for me, would have been one star difficulty if not for16d.

  7. I got through this one in record time, and then got to 16d. One of my first thoughts was bits (parts), around t(ime), but dismissed it immediately as not being a word.. Oh well…
    Thanks to Rufus, and to Libellule.

    1. If you click inside the brackets which are before the hint you can look at the answer – if, for some reason, that doesn’t work say so and I (or someone else) will tell you.

      1. Oh no! I had the wrong final letter in the 5d even though it was an anagram. My brain must have switched off as I was filling it in and given the plural. Got it now thanks.
        I now know all the rules of rugby

  8. Everything except 16d (no surprise there based on the comments above) completed before lights out last night. Thanks to Libellule for providing the answer, not sure I would have got it any other way. Thanks to Rufus for a good start to the week,

  9. At least it wasn’t just me, got most of the way in a little over * time, 16d proving to be my downfall.

    Thanks to the setter and Libellule (for the much needed help with 16d)!

  10. This is just the sort of crossword I like, one I can do while drinking my morning coffee — though I dare say if they were all like this I might eventually get bored. All went well, except for some hesitation at 18a and putting ‘party’ at 25a (can’t think why!), until, like so many others, I was stumped at 16d. Like Jezza I thought of ‘bits’ but didn’t know the word. What is the BRB?

    Many thanks to Rufus for the fun and un grand merci to Libellule. :-)

  11. 16d was a sea breeze for me which is rather odd as it seemed to have bothered most other solvers. The onedin line watched in my youth helped perhaps? Lovely start to the week now my cricket cold has gone. Thanks to both, but ho help needed this time. Tomorrow will be another day….

  12. Almost a 3* difficulty for me because of 16d which I eventually gave up on. 3* enjoyment too.
    Needless to say I didn’t understand the second bit of the clue for 18d but it had to be what it was.
    Was I the only twit who started off ‘hissing’ at 22a? Oh dear!! At least I only wrote it in quite lightly and changed my mind before it became a big problem.
    I liked 13 and 26a and 15d. I think 21a was my favourite because I was imagining the ‘stout aunt’ trotting off to church with her best hat on!
    With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.
    Because of general chaos here on Saturday I still have the NTSPP to do later on. :smile:

      1. Thanks. Something to look forward to – oh good – a little reward! First I need to find the bottom of the ironing basket – something that I haven’t seen for a while – and go and sort out my Mum.

    1. I tried the NTSPP for the first time and completed all but one. When I went away from it to the hints I lost it all and had to fill it all in again.
      I’ve never done one so quickly…second time!
      Enjoyed it very much though. Thanks

      1. Glad that you enjoyed it :smile: . What a pity that it went AWOL. STILL haven’t had time to even look but that means that I can store it up as a little reward for tomorrow, assuming that there is time tomorrow.

  13. 16d was the reason for my visit today!
    Thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle, I always get a little lift when I am able to write in the answer fairly quickly!

  14. 16d didn’t present a problem; but then, Rufus and I share a bit of specialised knowledge on nautical matters. Congratulations to him on his finding his way into The Guinness Book of Records and thanks for another very enjoyable start to the week. Thank you Libellule for the hints which I read with interest after completion.

    1. I am definitely not Libellule but ‘pi’ is short for ‘pious’ or devout. It comes up lots in crosswords.

      1. Thanks Kath. I’ve seen it a lot but never understood what it means. I think that it is stretching it a bit

  15. Almost a walkover but stumped by couple of shorties – 26a and 16d – new to me. Was this the recently honoured Rufus? ***/***.

  16. Thank you Rufus – all seemed well until 16d which took several hours longer than the rest of the puzzle – and I still couldn’t get it without Libellule’s hint – many thanks for bringing the fight to an end !

  17. Another victim of 16d i’m afraid; like others thought of bits and T but couldn’t come up with a meaningful word either up or down!, but apart from that the usual gentle Monday * and enjoyable***,almost as good as man city.

  18. Usual enjoyable but rather easy start to the week from Rufus (16d excepted).Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  19. A nice puzzle ruined for by the inclusion of obscure words such as Bitts, Rep and Dit (thought the French for speak was Parler).
    Not my favourite Monday offering.
    Thx to Libellule for the hints

    1. Brian, normally in French:

      Dire = To say (past tense “dit”)
      Parler = To speak

      And “say” and “speak” in English are pretty much synonymous.

      A PS for my fellow pedants – one of the nice things about French is that you can’t split the infinitive because it is only ever one word! :wink:

    2. Rep is extremely common in both crosswordland and the real word. It can be found in at least one crossword each week and is therefore well worth remembering. As for the French Word ‘dit’, see RD’s explanation above, as we used to say in my O-level French days ‘dit non plus’.

  20. A nice Monday puzzle that sets me up for the week. Tried my hardest to fit “airts” into 16d,but no nautical connection to be found. Eventually had to resort to my grandmother-in-law’s dictionary (published 1924) where one can still find words like “bitt”.

  21. The end of rope attached to the bitts was of course, the “Bitter end” – another nautical expression smuggled in incognito !

  22. As Asterix (cartoon) might have said “Nous sommes tous dans la (?) meme bateau” as regards 16d. But probably contributors to this blog are far too erudite to have read those books … :-) ! Really enjoyed this. My fave is 9d. Many thanks to setter and to Libellule too.

      1. That’s good to know. I remember giggling over them during a trip to France and wishing I’d had teachers like that!

    1. Some of the best books ever written. I think I even managed to read a couple in French (although I had to have a guess at quite a bit)

      1. Oh thank you, Derek, for letting me know. My apologies :oops: ! Hope you’re having a glass of something special tonight? I always enjoy reading your menus…

  23. 1.5*/*** for me, but also fell foul of 16d. I had thought of “bitts” as fitting the clue, but as it clearly wasn’t a real word, didn’t even bother to look it up ! Doh.

  24. Very glad to see that I was in very good (erudite) company today. I also gave up on 16d. Interested to see that Secondfiddler says that “bitter end” comes from the “bitts” of 16d. My day has not been wasted!

  25. Very enjoyable start to the week. I gave up on 16d as I couldn’t even get it with the hint. Nothing wrong with your hinting, Libellule, just a bit thick this end. Lots of “smile” clues, but I think my favourite has to be 9d, or maybe 8d. Thanks to all.

        1. All I can say – is – it depends. Some people no problem, others I have no idea. Some in between. With in between you can usually work it out. With “no idea” liberal use of “lentement” and “pardon” generally works. :-)

          1. When I filled the car up on the way to the Airport last week, I went in and paid and I swear the lass behind the counter said something about Alpha (?) I replied with ‘Pardon’ and she looked me right in the eye and definitely said ‘Alpha’ I thought about saying something long the lines of ‘No, its a hired BMW’ but by this time, my confusion must have been plain to say as she smiled, waved her hand and said (very loudly and slowly) ‘Au Revoir’

  26. Once again a pleasant puzzle from Virgilius.

    Faves : 13a, 25a, 26a, 7d, 15d & 16d -also the four external 13-letter jobs.

    Haven’t used the word spiv since WW2!

    Chicken and chips for dinner plus a drop of Brouilly followed by brambles and cream.

    Plumber coming tomorrw to inspect boiler that has given up its ghost – he’ll fit a new one on Thursday.

  27. Dire = To say
    Parler = To speak
    Basically, in French parler means to speak, which refers to general speaking. Wheras dire means to say, which refers to a precise sentence, for example, or in a dialogue.
    But as was said earlier, there is no real difference between the two from an English perspective.

  28. Il en va de meme pour moi,par 16d.(I like Poppy’s version better than my own.) Favourites (ahem) were 8d and 9d, rien d’ extraordinaire.Merci Libellule, et Rufus.

  29. I thought this was going to be lemon squeezy but I failed to get 13a, 4d and 16d. Better luck tomorrow.

  30. Rufus in gentle mood methinks! Had no problem with 16d as I’d heard the word before, probably due to reading too many Hornblower and Aubrey books. We certainly didn’t have such things on our boat, although we had lots of cleats which do the same job..

    Anyway, highly entertaining so thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

    PS The Rufus in the Grauniad is equally good. Not tried the FT yet but it’s also by Rufus under his alias Dante.

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