DT 27308 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27308

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27308

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty * Enjoyment ***

A typical Monday morning offering from the Maestro.


1. Separated and sure to play around (7)
{ASUNDER} – An anagram (play around) of AND SURE.

5. Terribly grieved, draw apart (7)
{DIVERGE} – An anagram (terribly) of GRIEVED.

9. Declares a piece of poetry endless (5)
{AVERS} – The definition is declares, take A and then a stanza of a poem and remove (endless) the last letter.

10. Happen to change course (4,5)
{COME ABOUT} – A phrase that means to take place or happen, or in a nautical sense to change tack.

11. Tyrant captures northern retreat — it’s hopeless (10)
{DESPONDENT} – A word for a ruler with absolute power is placed around (captures) N (northern) and another word for a shelter or retreat of a wild animal for example.

12. Risky transaction with a Greek character (4)
{BETA} – A Greek letter is a wager followed by A.

14. Wide selection of actors for radio (12)
{BROADCASTING} – A word that means large in expanse is followed by a term for a selection of performers to get a word that means to transmit for public or general use.

18. This offence may mean a criminal record (7,5)
{ILLEGAL ENTRY} – Unlawful access to a property, could also be an illicit account.

21. Information given by grass, perhaps (4)
{DOPE} – Double definition, confidential news or information, is also another term for marijuana.

22. Completely out of gear (5,5)
{STARK NAKED} – You would be this, if you were not wearing any clothes.

25. Supporters now in new stand (9)
{ADHERENTS} – Place a word for at this time inside an anagram (new) of STAND.

26. Filleted joint and topping for bishop (5)
{MITRE} – A bishops hat is also a term for a woodworking joint.

27. Aged men involved in the final stages of a board meeting? (7)
{ENDGAME} – An anagram (involved in) of AGED MEN.

28. Around end of watch, escort put out lights (7)
{TORCHES} – An anagram (put out) of ESCORT around he last letter (end of) watch.


1. Grants a minor point (6)
{AWARDS} – A, a minor placed under the protection of a guardian or court, and S (compass point).

2. Being apprehensive is not any use — although it might be (6)
{UNEASY} – An anagram (it might be) of ANY USE.

3. Record our time and dampen spirits (10)
{DISCOURAGE} – A word that means to deprive of confidence, hope or spirit, can be constructed from a word for a gramophone record, OUR, and a length of time.

4. Competed in speed with one in highway (5)
{RACED} – Put one (as in a playing card) inside RD (road, highway).

5. West Indian friar (9)
{DOMINICAN} – Someone from a republic in the Lesser Antilles, could also be a Roman Catholic friar.

6. Medicine bottle that’s taken through Libya’s capital (4)
{VIAL} – A small container usually used for liquids, is a term that means “by way of” followed by the first letter (capital) of Libya.

7. Greek island — one with a colony in Africa at one time (8)
{RHODESIA} – Take the largest of the Dodecanese islands and then add I (one) and A, to get the previous name of Zimbabwe.

8. Split up and set off with compass (8)
{ESTRANGE} – An anagram (off) of SET and then add a word that describes the amount or extent of something.

13. Space explorer? (10)
{ASTRONOMER} – A scientist who specialises in observing celestial bodies.

15. Suddenly everyone’s getting on simultaneously (3,2,4)
{ALL AT ONCE} – Double definition, without warning, everything at the same time.

16. Singers are barred in it (8)
{BIRDCAGE} – Where you might keep a captive avian.

17. Being careless, tumbles over the coal scuttle (8)
{SLIPSHOD} – A word that means to be negligent, sloppy or careless can be made up from a word that means to loose ones balance or foothold, followed by another term for a coal scuttle

19. Draw results in little play (6)
{SKETCH} – A word for an outline drawing or painting is also a short (often satirical) scene in play or show.

20. Creatures which increase — but don’t multiply? (6)
{ADDERS} – Another word for vipers.

23. Tries making another attempt to pass (5)
{RESIT} – An anagram (making) of TRIES.

24. Yard or square measure (4)
{AREA} – An open space of ground is also what you get if you multiply the length of something by its width.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {CYGNET} + {ATTUNE} = {SIGNATURE TUNE}

54 comments on “DT 27308

  1. Nice easy start to the weeks entertainment no help required, although I have put came as opposed to come for the first part of 10A both tenses seem to work or am I missing something. Thanks to libellule for the review.

    1. If you change course at sea Graham you ‘come about’ and wouldn’t the clue say ‘happened’ if the answer was ‘came’, just thinking…

      1. If you could figure a way to change emails after they’ve been sent, you’d have a service that you could charge a high price for! :-)

  2. Morning Libelulle, not needing the hints today but thank you anyway always good to have a read through, I enjoyed this one from Rufus as I nearly always do :-) and Oh so many favourite clues, 14a, 18a, 28a, 2d, 17d… I’d better stop there or Kath will be having apoplexy!! Off to do my revision for my French class this evening now

  3. For some reason I found this far more difficult than I should have. Lots of almost clues such as 27a and 23d, you can get the answer but doesn’t seem 100%.
    Did like 20d and 21a but all in all not too much fun I felt.
    Thx to all concerned esp Libellule whose clues I didn’t need but always admire for their clarity. I wish you would do the hints for Thursday :-)

      1. I’m not the Thursday regular again. Don’t know when the next will be but probably late November. Got visitors coming and then back to UK for the first half of Nov.

        Actually, I might do a week on Thurs – I’ll have a talk with BD.

  4. Nice one Rufus. 16 down is a corker. Ta to all as usual. Does anybody know where my wallet is? Does anybody know when my Bob Dylan tickets will arrive?

    1. Your wallet is under a pile of unopened post on the dining room table.

      Your Bob Dylan tickets are in that pile, but you put the raincoat you were wearing on Saturday over the back of the chair and it hid the pile.

      Now buck up!

      1. :smile: It sounds just like our kitchen table looks except there’s usually a cat on it as well, and a few toast crumbs!

  5. Yes, I liked 22a although I would never have got it w.o. some intermediate letters.

    27a was my favourite.

    After finishing, it occured to me that a lot of the clues were tricky in themselves but the arrangement and plotting rendered them straightforward. I know that sounds a bit banal, but I know what I mean, anyway !!

  6. All agreed a good ‘Monday ‘crossword, liked 27a.Just checked Big Daves hints for the Saturday cryptic as 8d had baffled several solvers I know (and me)-thanks for the subtitle bit -never thought of 1 across!

  7. An unexpected day off and a gentle start for me, I expect it will be downhill from now, but thanks for the fun and for the hints.

  8. I was going great guns until I got to the SW corner where I suddenly came to an abrupt halt.
    It didn’t help rat I had libretto in for 16d. Well it made sense to me briefly!
    So I needle the hints after all.
    Thanks to both, really enjoyed it

  9. A reasonably easy one today for us with just a hint of help so thank you to setter & hinter. I always read the comments, they make me smile & occasionally laugh, so thank you too.

  10. Just got home and not started today’s puzzle yet. A question for you kind people. A friend of ours is stuck on a puzzle – setter is Axe, I think, with a lot of religious type clues. Clue “Patron saint of farmers is oddly last to wear white” (7) – A – S – A – All help gratefully received !

  11. My favourite setter today, so whizzed through it with much enjoyment. Thanks Rufus and Libellule, though hints not needed.

  12. I enjoyed this and agree with 1* and 3*. Just for once on a Monday I really didn’t have too much trouble today.
    I was on the slow side with 24d (it’s often the four letter words that I find difficult) and also with the ‘yes, but why’ bit of 25a – couldn’t quite see the ‘here = now’ bit of it but BRB thinks it’s OK and no-one else seems to have had a problem with it so I’ll shut up.
    I liked 10 and 18a and 16d. My favourite is either 22a or 17d but I haven’t quite made up my mind yet!
    With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

    1. I, too, found 24d difficult, not because it was but because it seemed too easy! I kept thinking it had to be something else.

  13. Lovely Monday start as usual. However, I do have one bone to pick , re 20d. Adders do in fact multiply. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  14. Thank you Rufus, gave up in the SW corner and took some hints to finish. Brain has stopped working after the tedious drive on A17 from King’s Lynn to Newark. 45 mph all the way. Thanks Libellule for ending the unequal struggle !

  15. Another fine and enjoyable crossword. Didn’t need the hints much. Libellule, but thanks for the one that I did look up.

    Can anybody explain to me 1d from the Saturday crossword. I know that BD gave a hint but I still couldn’t get it – I may have a wrong letter

    1. I’ve just looked at Saturday’s 1d again. Not sure that I can add anything to BD’s hint – in fact I’m pretty sure that I can’t but will have a go. The definition is capable of being defended. You want a five letter word for putting your cards down (I’d never heard of it) outside two abbreviations for opponents at bridge – N(orth) and S(outh) are partners and so are E(ast) and W(est) so pick a couple of the opponents. Probably not helpful . . .

  16. Fine stuff as usual, which pommette got to grips with quicker than me, as usual :grin:

    Not keen on 24d – square? Could be an oblong or any shape.

    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  17. Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the review and hints. At last a completion on a Monday puzzle. No problems, very enjoyable. Joint Favourites were 2, 5,20d. Last in was 25a. Was 1*/3* for me. Late commenting, due to playing Squash at lunchtime.

  18. I agree with libellule’s rating and comments.

    My “weak cryptic definition of the week” award goes to 13D today.

  19. A very enjoyable Rufus puzzle. :smile: Like Heno, I’m very pleased to have completed a Monday puzzle with no problems. The clues I liked most were 22a, 2d, 5d, and 16d. Reading through Libellule’s lucid review and hints, it was good to find I’d followed the word play correctly. :grin:
    Big thanks to Rufus and to Libellule.

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