DT 27314 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27314

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27314

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Not the most difficult of crosswords, but a lot of fun – as always from the Maestro.


1. They tend to bring up unrelated issues (6,7)
{FOSTER PARENTS} – People who act as guardians of a child in place of the child’s natural father and mother.

10. Foreigner, one with a Latin derivation, perhaps (7)
{ITALIAN} – I (one), and an anagram (derivation) of A LATIN.

11. A bad-tempered pet (7)
{TANTRUM} – A childish fit of rage.

12. Smooth metal (4)
{IRON} – To press clothes, or a silvery white metal.

13. Costume that’s hard to get out of (5)
{HABIT} – A distinctive dress or costume, or a tendency to act in a particular way.

14. Punishment for a murderer pronounced (4)
{CANE} – Sounds like (pronounced) Cain.

17. Stack of food the farmer may plunge his fork into (7)
{HAYRICK} – His pitchfork…

18. Bays of victory (7)
{LAURELS} – Double definition, aromatic Mediterranean evergreen shrubs or trees, or honour and glory for great achievement.

19. Contracts for Polar missiles? (7)
{NARROWS} – N (North) plus the sort of missiles that are shot from a bow.

22. Sinatra, swinging expert (7)
{ARTISAN} – An anagram (swinging) of SINATRA.

24. Make way for pedestrians (4)
{PAVE} – To cover with a surface suitable for walking on.

25. Contented to lay very quietly in dry grass (5)
{HAPPY} – Put PP (very quietly) inside a word for dried fodder.

26. Stronghold engaged in conflict, we hear (4)
{FORT} – A type of army post sounds like (we hear) fought.

29. Sew lots, perhaps, despite being last to finish (7)
{SLOWEST} – An anagram (perhaps) of SEW LOTS.

30. Staff instruction to get a move on (7)
{ALLEGRO} – Musical notation for a quick lively tempo.

31. Muckspreading may be a remedial application (5,8)
{FIELD DRESSING} – A phrase that could describe distributing manure over agricultural land, can also be a bandage used in battle.


2. One may hear it from a Liberal or a Conservative (7)
{ORATORY} – The art of public speaking is OR A and another word for a Conservative.

3. Dog-end (4)
{TAIL} – Double definition, to follow and something that wags.

4. Rushed to fire rifle (7)
{RANSACK} – A word that can mean to search carefully for plunder can be constructed from a word that means to have moved swiftly on foot, and another word that means to dismiss from employment.

5. A rise for the workers? (3-4)
{ANT-HILL} – A home for six legged social workers in this case.

6. A high-flier of merit on the phone (4)
{ERNE} – A sea eagle sounds like (on the phone) earn.

7. Accommodation for spectators in Chester racecourse … (7)
{TERRACE} – A stand for spectators can be found hidden between the words Chester and racecourse.

8. … where one aims for this last job (9,4)
{FINISHING POST} – A phrase that could describe your final position, can also be found at the end of a horse race.

9. Take-off for country after breaking promise (13)
{IMPERSONATION} – An anagram (breaking) of PROMISE is followed by a word that describes a large group of people organised into a single state.

15. One in conspiracy to control the ship (5)
{PILOT} – Place I (one) inside another word for a secret plan.

16. Part of unit fuming to be sent back in plain clothes (5)
{MUFTI} – A term for civilian dress can be found hidden (and also reversed, sent back) between the words unit and fuming.

20. Cases prepared for Italian consumer groups (7)
{RAVIOLI} – Pasta filled with chopped meat or cheese.

21. Showed surprise as good man’s taken on new trade (7)
{STARTED} – ST (good man) and an anagram (new) of TRADE.

22. Primate swallows vegetables to satisfy hunger, perhaps (7)
{APPEASE} – Put a term that describes a gorilla, orangutang or chimpanzee perhaps around the sort of vegetables found in a pod, to get a word that means to satisfy or relieve.

23. Review on thug’s weapon (7)
{SHOTGUN} – An anagram (review) of ON THUGS.

27. Hawk seen in Home Counties, going over lines (4)
{SELL} – SE (South East) over LL (lines).

28. Rising resort includes lake and mountains (4)
{ALPS} – Reverse (rising) a word for a health resort or hotel and place an L (lake) inside to get a range of European mountains.

The Quick crossword pun: (pique} + {oxtail} = {peacock’s tail}

75 comments on “DT 27314

  1. Bright and early this morning – for some reason I just couldn’t see the answer for 14a and had to check the blog (slaps forehead and groans *Doh!*)

    Thanks for that – looks like a miserable day here in Herts!

    1. Glad I wasn’t alone, as I had exactly the same problem as well as response when I checked the blog to work it out. It seems ridiculous now I see it! So that was my last one in. But enjoyed this puzzle, and although it may seem a ‘write-in’ to many (esp. after observing the vast (& in some cases rather intimidating) talents at The Times do on Saturday) it was a boost to my confidence. So thank you setter as well as Libellule. And I am delighted to report my terrorising tomato plants have goe to the Big Tomato Home in the Sky so I am free at last :-) ! Greetings to all. Kath and Andy, you were missed on Saturday.

      1. Thanks Poppy and CS – I would love to have been able to come but ‘stuff’ is a bit tricky round here at the moment and it just didn’t seem fair to land husband with all of it to deal with on his own. It certainly sounds as if you all had a good time. Congratulations to both of you – Sue for amazing crossword achievements and Poppy for finding the courage to go!!

  2. Took a bit longer than usual for a Monday, but many thanks to the setter and Libellule for the hints.
    Unfortunately had a completely different answer for 13a SATIN, as in the material, and if you’re Sat In a costume it’s had to get out of (my excuse is it was early when I started…..)

  3. Not too difficult except for 14a which I just could not get and don’t understand the significance of GROUPS in 20d.
    Fav clue for me was 18a with a mention in dispatches for 26a.
    Thx to Libellule for the hints esp for 14a (another damned religious clue Grrrr!).
    And to the setter for a very pleasant start to the (wet) week. Just got back from a long weekend in Northumberland where the weather was lovely, the scenery stunning and the friendliest people I have come across for many a year.

    1. Did you sample the Craster crab sandwiches washed down with a pint of Sneck Lifter? Ambrosia & Nectar IMHO!

      1. Ah Snecklifter. How I miss that. I’m on my last bottle and can’t get any more because nobody will bring it down here. Do I have to resort to lager now. Oh how the mighty have fallen

        1. I’m not sure if you or a friend in the UK can access a Morrisons supermarket, on offer at £5 for 4 bottles I think.

          1. Oh that I had a friend who is accessing Blighty now. I’ll have to wait for the next visit. In the meantime I’m on French lager. I would ship it down but I can’t find a carrier who comes this way

  4. All good fun. Slight delay by putting line instead of post for the last word in 8d, but soon corrected. The Brendan in the Grauniad which we had for a second course was a real gem too.
    Thanks Rufus and Libellule

      1. Who is Brendan? I vaguely have it in my head that he’s Virgilius but could completely wrong – I do get in such a muddle with all the different aliases.

    1. Thanks from me too.Somebody describes him, (I can’t find who) as the master of the hidden word. This crossword show him to be master of the perfect surface reading, as always.

  5. Brilliant! */****

    Although I found this basically read and write, it was an absolute joy. Every single clue was delightful, and I gave up today using the Cryptic Sue method of marking enjoyable clues with an asterisk after I had done this for each of my first half dozen or so answers. They were all so good that choosing a favourite is impossible.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Libellule.

  6. Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the review and hints. A very enjoyable start to the week. No problems at all until I got to 18a. All I could think of was HMS Victory, as It’s Trafalgar week, thought it was a French bay, so Louvers sounded feasible. I was barking up the wrong tree. The hint put me out of my misery. Was 2*/3* for me. Just waiting for the deluge to start in Central London. Favourite was 1a which incidently was given away on the email.

  7. Finished comfortably before lights out last night. A very pleasant and straightforward start to the week. Thanks to Rufus as usual, and to Libellule. I would give this */*** with no stand-out favorites. Last in was 14a, with a groan when the penny dropped!

  8. A few minor hold-ups but I did better with this than I usually do on Mondays. 2* difficulty and 3/4* for enjoyment.
    Unlike a couple of other people I didn’t have trouble with 14a – my sticking points were 13, 18 and 26a.
    The four long answers round the outside were reasonably straightforward – well, once I stopped trying to make 31a an anagram of muckspreading.
    I thought there was a distinctly agricultural feeling today – 17, 25 and 31a.
    I liked 30a and 5d. My favourite was 20d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Libullele.
    Very wet and generally pretty beastly here – soggy, muddy and bedraggled after morning walk, and that’s just me – you should see collie! :sad:

    1. Drier here now Kath and very mild. Dora Lissy Cynth and Cuth say Hi to collie. We are house sitting but the collapsing roof last Thursday has made “stuff” interesting. Not my house I add . Dear friends, hope your holiday is great but…

  9. Back again, didja miss me?

    One of the easier puzzles today – almost write in. I felt it was a tad heavy on ‘sound like’ and ‘contained in’ clues, but that might have just been because most clues only got the one looking at.

    Off to sort out a week and a half’ e-mails now – only about 2,000 – reckon the delete button is going to b rather busy today.

  10. For some reason this was available at 2.30am this morning so that is when I did it as I found out when I woke up and couldn’t remember a single clue. . On Saturday Saint Sharon and I joined my family in Cambridge where we went to a service of thanksgiving and remembrance to those who left their bodies to medical science over the last couple of years. it was a wonderfully moving service held in one of the finest buildings in England I am so proud of my elder brother Paul who died last year and is now “teaching” the upcoming generation of doctors and surgeons. God bless you Paul.

    1. It doesn’t happen very often but, just for once, I am lost for words. You and Saint Sharon and your family must have had a very emotional day on Saturday. I’m sorry for the loss of your elder brother, Paul, and I’m not surprised that you were awake at 2.30am this morning.

    1. Most setters stick to regular days Maggie, e.g. Rufus is always on a Monday and Giovanni on a Friday etc. as Kath says see above :-)

  11. Fine for a Monday, can’t really quibble with a **/****,had rack for rick for a while in 17 which didn’t help! liked 18a, pity the setter couldn’t have found room for a Hardy Annual somewhere, agree with Maggie that 31a was clever, as were a lot of the clues, must be hard to retain that ‘freshness-that’s why he’s the master.

  12. Short-lived fun on this wet/grey morning in W. Sussex and unfortunately Quick plus Herculis (with some encyclopaedic help!) didn’t take much longer so may have to resort to Sudoku. Liked 18a and 31a but not sure about clue for 11a. **/****. Thanks Maestro.

    1. I thought 11a was clever – he’s trying to fool us into thinking of a ferocious dog. I really don’t want to sound patronising at all but look up ‘pet’ in BRB, or any other dictionary if you don’t have a BRB.

  13. Thank you Libelulle for the hints tho’ not needed today, another lovely Rufus crossword on a wild, wet and windy morning here in West Wales, I have loads I like today but my favourite (please take note Kath) is 1a, having finished this I had better do some French homework for my class this evening! I wonder if the day will ever come when I attempt a crossword written in French???!

    1. Pleased about the one favourite – just the one! :smile:
      It reminds me of one of the episodes of Absolutely Fabulous when Edina (Jennifer Saunders) had decided to go on a diet and she said “Inside this fat person is a thin person trying to get out” and her mother (the wonderful June Whitfield) said “Just the one, dear?”
      Don’t know about French crosswords but my French sister-in-law can do the DT – it can be a source of arguments when she’s staying with us!

      1. Mary,

        They don’t really have cryptic crosswords in France, but you could always try the normal “quick” sort to brush up your language skills.

          1. Mary,

            I wouldn’t know (except in some French papers or puzzle magazines). You could try searching for mot croises francais peut-etre? I do know a French girl who is an English teacher, who always tries to do the Monday Rufus. But at the moment she is studying for exams, so can’t find the time..

              1. Mary , the “Best for puzzles ” site ,under the Leisure Links tab ,then “crosswords” link has connections to French crossword sites .You will find the grids strange but you with a little research can identify the appropriate level of difficulty .
                Hope that helps
                Thanks Rufus for the entertainment and Libellule for the equally smooth review .

    2. When I was at school, we had to go to Norwich to see a play (we were studying it for O level) while waiting to go in, we were stood in the doorway of a newsagents and they had a copy of Le Monde on sale. On impulse, I bought it (I was also doing French O Level) and had a quick glance through it. It had two crosswords on the back page, a quickie and a cryptic. I’d finished the quickie before we got into the theatre and managed the cryptic before the lights went down for the performance. My English teacher wasn’t too impressed, but my French teacher was sur la Lune at the next lesson.
      (I have to admit that the cryptic wasn’t all that cryptic)

          1. Strangely enough :-) Many phrases we use to describe something don’t work in French and vice-versa. I checked in my hachette, and to be over the moon about something in French would be être aux nues à propos de qch, which translates as over the heavens/clouds. To be as sick as a parrot, you would use “en rage” which means to be in a mad rage (like rabies for example which is the Medical term for rage). Phew! Come back Miles Kington, all is forgiven.

          1. No – I actually meant gazza as it’s not so long ago that we were reminded that Libellule has a very full time job and, therefore, has less time than some of the more decrepit bloggers – and those are not my words but what I remember being said by someone else – but can’t remember who.

  14. Perfect for a busy day off – thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

    I too second (or is it third or fourth) the recommendation to try the Brendan in today’s Graun.

    Now back to domesticity :(

  15. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule for the usual very gentle but very enjoyable start to the week. ( I do find it difficult to understand how anyone born and bred in the UK can fail to understand a reference from the book of Genesis, I suppose we are becoming more irreligious and/or secular daily.)

  16. A fun, not too tricky, lunchtime puzzle. Was held up longest by 18a, kept on thinking of wrong kinds of bays, but needed no tips to complete. Thanks to the setter for an entertaining half hour.

  17. Quite a gentle puzzle today, though we always need a bit of help if only to explain things. Rain set in late morning, & looks as if it’s here for the rest of the day in not so sunny Scarborough. Glad you enjoyed your sojourn in Northumberland, Brian. There’s nowhere better.

  18. This all went in pretty smoothly this morning, though I made things difficult for myself by putting in ‘armor’ at 13a (I know, American spelling, but it is hard and I imagine difficult to get out of) and spending a good deal of time trying to make an anagram of ‘muckspreading’ at 31a.
    Many thanks as always to Rufus and merci to Libellule. :-)

  19. I needed the dictionary for a couple – had forgotten the 6d bird, and also couldn’t see 18a.

    A couple of slightly dubious cryptic defs as always for a Monday. 11a doesn’t really work for me

  20. Rufus never let’s us down, does he. This was delightful and I had no problems at all. I am totally on the Rufus wavelength. First one in was 1a, then it was pure enjoyment from there on. I also had a problem with 18a (last one in) but once I had all the letters it jumped out at me. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule for the review.

  21. Another clever puzzle from Rufus which I thoroughly enjoyed although I feel that the cane is a little of a light touch for a murdered and I couldn’t see the relevance of ‘pet’ in 11a.
    I did need to refer to a few hints, Libellule, for which many thanks and also thanks to Rufus for getting the week off to a good start

    1. Cane sounds like Cain who murdered his brother Abel.

      It has come up before, a pet is a “slight or childish fit of aggrieved or resentful sulkiness” according to Chambers.

  22. Really enjoyed this one as it had quite a few laughs :grin:

    Not hard though, completed in the time it takes to play two hands of bridge. We did it during our “sit-out” as we had a half table today – don’t worry, bridge players will understand.

    Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

  23. Fabulous fun, all the way,although neither 13a nor 18a were right-ins, they are very clever.Held up by having Cain instead of cane. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

    1. write ins or right ins :) thanks to Rufus and Libellule, just finished the Brendan in Guarniad ta to pointers above.

  24. What a lovely Rufus puzzle! :grin: Much enjoyed **** . Like others, I needed the hint for 14a. I managed to do the rest — not always the case, alas. Difficult to choose a favourite clue — perhaps 5d, followed by 30a. (That’s not quite two faves…)
    Many thanks to Rufus and to Libellule.

  25. Thank you Rufus. I struggled with this but got there in the end – after a long day showing some old business colleagues round Manchester where we worked together 45 years ago ! After 35 yrs in the Middle East I think they were amazed at how the city has changed. We did have an enjoyable lunch as well, which almost certainly didn’t help ! Thank you Libellule for your review and hints which were needed in a couple of instances.

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