DT 27302 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27302

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27302

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty * Enjoyment ***

An entertaining crossword from the Maestro.


1. Good man rebuilt a crock — it’s for racing? (5,3)
{STOCK CAR} – ST (Saint, good man) and an anagram (rebuilt) of A CROCK is a form of racing where vehicles collide.

6. It involved two banks in a row (6)
{BIREME} – An ancient galley that had two banks of oars.

9. Maintain a strong company (6)
{AFFIRM} – A word that means to support of uphold the validity of something can be constructed from A, F (forte) and another word for a commercial organisation.

10. Appropriate point which will count when renting premises (8)
{FITTINGS} – Take a word that means being in keeping with a situation or suitable and then add an S (South – point) to get a word that refers to furnishings or fixtures.

11. Rash on leg had developed (8)
{HEADLONG} – An anagram (developed) of ON LEG HAD

12. One is right to have them (6)
{ETHICS} – A set of principles of morally correct conduct.

13. Gear that’s demanded by skilled workers? (12)
{DIFFERENTIAL} – A type of epicyclic gear, could also be the variance between rates of pay for types of labour.

16. Daring others to get involved in hard bargaining (5,7)
{HORSE TRADING} – An anagram (to get involved) of DARING OTHERS.

19. Part of house for rent in outskirts of Shrewsbury (6)
{STOREY} – Place a word for ripped inside the outer letters of Shrewsbury to get a floor of a building.

21. Refuse C.O. agitating to send the troops in (3,5)
{USE FORCE} – An anagram (agitating) of REFUSE CO.

23. Not a mind prepared to be masterful (8)
{DOMINANT} – An anagram (prepared) of NOT A MIND.

24. Tom turns to her, naturally (6)
{MOTHER} – Reverse (turns) TOM and then add HER.

25. Threatened strikes that don’t come off (6)
{FEINTS} – Mock attacks or movements designed to distract an opponent.

26. Find record’s finished (8)
{DISCOVER} – Another word for an LP for example, followed by a word that means at an end. Definition, find.


2. At heart, result of feelings is sweet (6)
{TOFFEE} – A chewy sweet can be found hidden between the words “result of feelings”.

3. An unruly one might be told off and left inside (5)
{CHILD} – A variant spelling of a word that means to scold mildly with L inside produces a young person.

4. A drug addict should stop behaving like that! (4,3,2)
{COME OFF IT} – By doing cold turkey?

5. His country’s been left to get protection from another (7)
{REFUGEE} – Currently at Sangatte trying to get into the UK.

6. Club he joined to swim (5)
{BATHE} – A wooden instrument used in cricket for example, followed by HE.

7. His Grace upset about West End building destroyed by Nazis (9)
{REICHSTAG} – An anagram (upset) of HIS GRACE around the last letter (end) of West is a building in Berlin that was severely damaged by a fire in 1933.

8. Christmas visitors can include one conjurer (8)
{MAGICIAN} – Another term for the three wise men followed by CAN with I inside.

13. Military and domestic offence (9)
{DESERTION} – AWOL, or the abandonment of ones spouse and children without consent

14. Skin’s skin (9)
{EPIDERMIS} – The outer protective layer of skin of vertebrates.

15. Additional comment that the organist makes (8)
{FOOTNOTE} – The sort of comment placed at the bottom of a page of a book, could also be how an organist produces sounds.

17. With only a fag end, Edward was up against it (7)
{ABUTTED} – A, another word for an unburned cigarette end, followed by ED.

18. Agree it’s of small account and acquiesce (6)
{ACCEDE} – AC, and a word for yield or surrender.

20. Poet making return visit around Orient (5)
{YEATS} – Reverse (return) a word that means to remain as a guest or lodger around E (East – orient).

22. A barbecue might be best (5)
{OUTDO} – Because a barbecue is alfresco?

The Quick crossword pun: (counter} + {feat} = {counterfeit}

64 comments on “DT 27302

  1. Good morning Libelulle, I’m not looking at hints yet but must say I am finding this harder than the one star so far

  2. I agree with Mary, I found this excellent Monday morning puzzle more difficult than Libellule’s rating of 1*. Nevertheless it was very enjoyable. My rating is : Difficulty 2.5* – Enjoyment 3*

    I’m still not 100% convinced about the wordplay for 24a even though the answer is obvious.

    Lots of amusing and satisfying clues. My non-exhaustive list of goodies is 6a, 4d, 15d and my favourite is 22d. Even when Kath is away, I can’t bring myself to have more than one favourite! :wink:

    Many thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  3. Thanks for the hints Libelulle, I did give in and use a couple in order to finish this, I thought this more a 2 to 3 star and wouldn’t have finished without them despite all the perservation going! I must admit to not knowing 6a or 7d! I wouldn’t have got 13a either, however I did have 4 favourite clues ( Kath’s not back yet is she?) 3d, 6d, 22d and26a

    Does anyone else look at the grids when they are doing the crosswords? It struck me today that every clue either starts or ends with an outside square, just saying…

    1. 6a usually comes as trireme, this one is not as common, so remember it, you’ll get it again.

  4. Morning RD, I agree re 24a, naturally isn’t a synonym for ‘mother’ , or am I missing something here?

  5. Oh no, not another one of those…I was afraid it might be, I feel a headache coming on, my favourite type of clue to hate!

    Thanks Libelulle

  6. 6a was our last in and absolute favourite. Great penny-drop moment. We had help today from Ollie and Alice, two of our grandkids, aged 10 and nearly 12, who are staying with us for a few days. We did this one and the Grauniad Rufus. ‘Get them hooked while they are young’ being our philosophy to ensure the future of this addictive pasttime.
    Enjoyable shared fun for us.
    Thanks Rufus and Libellule

  7. What a lovely puzzle, couple of Doh moments and lots of smiles.

    Thanks to Libellule for the review.

    Thanks to Rufus for an enjoyable start to the day.

  8. My rating would be **/***. New word today was 6A & didn’t know 7D, apart from those it Was a nice puzzle & a good start to the week. This week is going to be an expensive one the engine on our much loved VW camper decided to have a major heart attack on friday it seized up solid keeping fingers crossed that not to much damaged was incurred.Many thanks to setter & libellule for helpful review.

  9. Cannot possibly be a one star for difficult given the NE corner. Must be a two star.
    Needed the hint for 25a which totally beat me and never come across a 6a before.
    Not much fun I’m afraid.
    Thx to Libellule for the usual excellent hints.

        1. From Cargoes by John Masefield.

          Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
          Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
          With a cargo of ivory,
          And apes and peacocks,
          Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

          1. I would think everyone with a British 1950s education would remember the poem, as it was drummed into us…….such a ‘musical’ piece …… dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack …… You have to be sober to do that one…..so quinquereme and also trireme were familiar. Had never thought of bireme but, more to the point, the clue did not send me anywhere near thinking about boats!!

            1. Actually the reason I remember it so well is because I have sung it a lot. (Martin Shaw- had to look that up).

        2. Hi sue I probably have but although I mean to, I don’t retain information as well as I used to :oops:

  10. Thought I’d sailed through in one star time, but now I’ve checked I’ve got two wrong – had ‘feigns’ for 25a and ‘ing’ on the end of 13d. Still works for me, but I guess Libellule has checked with the official answers?
    Is 14d really cryptic?
    *** enjoyment, so thanks to all.

    1. Me too. The “ing” version of 13d seems quite valid, although feigns doesn’t quite fit the definition for 25a. I don’t understand the wordplay for the real answer, so can someone explain “that don’t come off”?

      Thought 24a was a bit weak.

      **/** for me

      1. Feints are moves in boxing or fencing where the protagonist shapes (or feigns) to throw a punch or make a hit but doesn’t actually go through with it, so the strike doesn’t come off.

        1. Thanks Gazza, but. I still don’t really understand the clue then. Is it meant to be a cryptic definition , or a double def ? It doesn’t seem that cryptic and I don’t see the DD either.

          1. I think it’s just a cryptic definition (not terribly cryptic, IMHO). You’re meant to think that the strikes being referred to are industrial disputes.

            1. Thanks, glad I wasn’t missing something obvious,

              I do feel this setter tries a bit too hard sometimes to produce CDs and they don’t always work well as a result.

  11. Really enjoyed this one but surely not *. Thanks Rufus for great puzzle and Libellule for help on 25a which beat me. Favourite clues 5d and 17d. **/****.

  12. Fun, typical Rufus today with only one (15D) causing any real hold up (just couldn’t see the wood fro the trees), required an extra coffee just for this one! Sun’s out again after a foggy start, hope the weather will hold up as we’re off to Welsh Wales at the weekend – Tenby to be exact.

  13. Certainly more difficult than a * unless i’m losing my marble, lets go for a **/**** taking into account the excesses of the weekend Last in 25a which surprisingly was correct as I had my doubts- was thinking of a double definition including the fine’faint’ marks or lines which ‘don’t come off’ when you have erased or cleaned something as well as the ‘ spurious undelivered attack’.-just a thought . Anyway hugely enjoyable from the master.

  14. Only two left at lights out last night – 25a and 15d. The latter just came to me while I was starting the coffee off this morning, but I needed Libellule’s help on 25a. I’m not sure if I would have got that one at all. So thanks to him and Rufus – I would give this one 1.5*/***. Favourites would be 6a, 10a, and 13a.

  15. Usual Rufus crossword, fun without having to think too hard, perfect for a Monday morning. My thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the review, I agree totally with your star ratings.

  16. At the risk of pedant’s corner, the 8d visitors didn’t arrive at Christmas but in January.
    A pleasant jaunt today.
    Needed two hints… Probably should have persevered but have to go out.
    Thanks to both setter and hint provider

    1. Hi Toni, the corner is only open at weekends, can’t expect the crossword police to be on duty every day nor is it fair to expect sue to cook 7 days a week ;-)

      1. I can’t remember who started Pedants Corner but I have a feeling that it was supposed to be open every day. I am not providing cake for it!

        1. Tut! Tut! It’s the Pedants’ Corner not the Pedants Corner :wink:

          It is open every day.

  17. I nearly fell off my chair when I read *, Libellule.
    Which takes some doing as it’s a very squashy sofa……

    Nearly *** for me and I didn’t particularly enjoy it, although I thought 15d was cute.

    1. Isn’t it funny how different folks can be. I love Rufus puzzles and look forward to Mondays. I’ll bet you have a favourite setter who has me pulling my hair out!

  18. Another good start to the week from Rufus.

    Faves : 1a, 6a, 13a, 25a, 4d, 7d, 8d & 20d.

    We still enjoy an Indian Summer here in NL – magnificent weather for the time of the year!

    Fish and chips for lunch then left-overs for supper!

    Fridge is full of them!

    1. Avatars aside, I thought Fish and chips were Tuesdays and Fridays, it is bad enough not having your wine choices posted here as regularly as they were, but please tell me you didn’t have Fridays for Lunch

  19. Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the review and hints. A nice start to the week, but I found It more difficult than 1*.I was beaten by 6a,25a & 15d,needed the hints for all three. Favourite was 13a. Was 2*/3* Central heating still not fixed, hopefully tomorrow.

  20. Well, I found this to be * and thoroughly enjoyable. Many thanks to Libellule and Rufus

  21. Hello all, sorry I am late. I have had a busy day. I found this one quite tough whereas I normally rock and roll through Mondays offering. 25ac being the last one in after 6ac which appeared in my head and needed checking out. I vaguely remember a geezer who always averred that Triremes and Biremes were impossible because the oars used by the upper tiers would have been too long and heavy and therefore unusable.

  22. Glad I wasn’t the only one to find this more difficult than a one star. But thank you setter for the puzzling period, and to Libellule for the hints. Have bought a smallish stuffed camel for the Christmas Toy Service to come, but needing to persuade Poppy that it’s a time for giving, not taking. She’s teaching herself to write “Bah, Humbug!”

  23. I loved today’s offering, but I, too, would give it ** for difficulty. I was held up by 13a as didn’t know the gear reference but knew it had to be. 15d was also a hold up as I wanted to have “post” in there somewhere, once I got it, I couldn’t help thinking how clever it is. Thanks Rufus for puzzle and Libellule for hints and explaining 15a.

  24. Thank you Rufus, enjoyable and solved in stages during the day. Never heard of 6a, but the electronic gadget offered nothing else ! Thanks Libellule for your review and hints. Another beautiful day in N Norfolk. Why don’t we live here ? Never seems to rain.

  25. New here. A big thanks to all involved – great blog.

    4D summed up the crossword for me today.

  26. I think everybody has said it all, with the exception of 15d, which I like.Defeated by 6a and 3d.Favourite 4d. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  27. Managed all except 6a, 23a (very stylish clue, I thought) and 15d, which I had as ‘postlude’ (hence lack of success with 23a). Doh! as organists possibly say.

    As for 6a, words fail me: and this one certainly did. But once I’d looked it up, I loved the mental cartoon-image of two rows of chained galley-slaves having an argument about which one had caught a crab.

  28. 2* for me as well, though not unusual as I enjoy Rufus but do not find them as straightforward as most. 6a made an appearance in DT 26551. Comment from CrypticSue to Pommette, you mean you didn’t learn Quinqueremes of Ninevah at school. I didn’t and to my shame have not even thought about it since. To be remedied asap :)

  29. i thought it was simple enough although i agree about the bireme and things like ethics and epidermis are hardly cryptic

  30. I solved most of this lovely Rufus crossword and then came to a juddering halt! I needed your hint, Libellule for 25a; but I needed all your help for 13d, 15d, and 22d, which defeated me. I never find Rufus puzzles easy! I did enjoy it very much nevertheless. His puzzles are special and I wish I were capable of doing them justice. :sad:
    Thank you both very much, Rufus & Libellule.

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