DT 27320 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27320

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27320

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Good fun from the Maestro (as expected), hope everybody survived the storm, we got the edges of it last night with gusts up to 70 kph. Sad to hear of the death of Lou Reed, I was privileged to see the Velvet Underground live at Wembley in June 1993, the last time the original line up all played together.


1. A sweet spice that’s not been used (10)
{PEPPERMINT} – Take a well used condiment, then add a word that means in perfect condition to get a sweet flavoured with mentha piperita.

9. The endless fascination of tea (4)
{CHAR} – Remove (endless) the final letter (M) from a word that means to attract or delight greatly, to get a slang term for tea.

10. Too old for love but no longer minding (4,6)
{PAST CARING} – No longer troubled or concerned for somebody or something, could also describe being beyond the need to be affected emotionally. (If that makes sense).

11. Get out of order for drumming? (4,2)
{BEAT IT} – Two words that mean to leave hurriedly, could also be an instruction to strike something repeatedly.

12. Go off with food and flowers (7)
{POPPIES} – Plants of the genus papaver can be put together with a word that means to cause to explode followed by baked foods composed of a pastry shell with a filling.

15. Scapegoat that’ll get fired in November? (4,3)
{FALL GUY} – A phrase that describes an easy victim could also be burnt on a bonfire in autumn, November 5th.

16. Wrongful waste of labour (5)
{SWEAT} – An anagram (wrongful) of WASTE.

17. Prepare to put out with turn of tide (4)
{EDIT} – An anagram (TURN) of TIDE.

18. She’s arranged similar articles back to back (4)
{ANNA} – A girls name consists of two (of the same) indefinite articles placed side by side, but with the second one reversed.

19. End of gout after unusual cure that may contain salt and pepper (5)
{CRUET} – The last letter (end of) gout and an anagram (unusual) of CURE.

21. Difficult week in a hospital department (7)
{AWKWARD} – Put WK inside A and a room in a hospital that holds patients for a word that means hard to deal with.

22. Crusoe’s strange origins (7)
{SOURCES} – An anagram (strange) of CRUSOES.

24. Squirming eel can get entangled (6)
{ENLACE} – An anagram (squirming) of EEL CAN is a word that can mean to intertwine.

27. Possible customer goes to America for brochure (10)
{PROSPECTUS} – A word that describes a potential client or purchaser is followed by US to get a document that describes the major features of a proposed project.

28. Musical character to have on the staff (4)
{CLEF} – A sign or musical symbol that determines pitch.

29. Those who believe in it should have their heads examined (10)
{PHRENOLOGY} – The study of the shape and protuberances of the skull in the belief that they reveal character and mental capacity.


2. Dash of liquor up north (4)
{ELAN} – Take another word for beer, reverse it (up) and add N (north).

3. Lodges in place to drink (4,2)
{PUTS UP} – A phrase that means to provide lodgings for is also a word that means to place in a specific location, followed by another word that describes taking liquid into the mouth.

4. Stretches out and gets pain again (7)
{REACHES} – A word that means to extend or project (e.g. of an arm) could also (with a bit licence) mean to suffer again from a repeated continuous dull pain. Could this clue use a question mark?

5. Multicoloured flag (4)
{IRIS} – A crossword classic, flag in this case is another term for a flower.

6. It has a strong pull in the port trade (7)
{TUGBOAT} – Because it is a small powerful vessel designed for towing or pushing larger vessels…

7. Eligible to be put in the picture? (10)
{PHOTOGENIC} – Somebody or something that is an attractive subject for photography.

8. Delightful move by footballer in difficult position (6,4)
{PRETTY PASS} – A phrase that describes encountering an awkward situation could also describe an excellent transference of a ball to another player.

12. New place never offers currency (10)
{PREVALENCE} – An anagram (new) of PLACE NEVER.

13. One shouldn’t feel hurt when it’s used (10)
{PAINKILLER} – As its an analgesic drug or agent.

14. Pulls up the grass (5)
{SWARD} – Reverse (up) a word that means to be pulled or moved forward, to get another word for a lawn or meadow.

15. Gets on with the passengers (5)
{FARES} – Double definition, gets along, or passengers transported for a fee.

19. Move stealthily as an Indian, on young animal (5,2)
{CREEP UP} – A phrase that means to advance unnoticed is a native American that inhabited a large area of Canada, followed by a word for a young dog.

20. Cause of on-going strikes by potters? (7)
{TOPSPIN} – Forward rotation imparted to ball by a stroke, typically seen in snooker or tennis.

23. Some take him for a scallywag — rightly! (6)
{RASCAL} – A term for a mischievous or impish rogue can be found hidden among the words “for a scallywag”.

25. Man-of-war? (4)
{BOER} – A Dutch colonist in South Africa who also fought in a war from 1899 to 1902.

26. Breathing space (4)
{LUNG} – Is also a respiratory organ.

The Quick crossword pun: (berth} + {marque} = {birthmark}

71 comments on “DT 27320

  1. */**** for me today. Another delightful crossword, which contains more than its fair share of Ps. Does this have any significance? Wonderful clues as always on a Monday, with 15a my favourite. Thank you Rufus.

    This was very enjoyable and I made good progress only coming to a juddering halt with 25d, my last one in, for which I needed Libellule’s hint. Thank you Libellule.

    Thank goodness the high winds seem to have abated without too many problems here in SE London.

    1. Yes I noticed all the Ps too RD! Lovely crossword once again from Rufus although a 2 to 3 star for me as I did need electronic help for some, 10a and 13d my favourites today and too many likes to mention, thanks for blog Libelulle, my French crossword book arrived today, supposed to be starting with easy ones and working up!
      The storm didn’t materialize here thank goodness, we could have gone away after all :-( , ah well maybe tomorrow

  2. Nice Monday puzzle again. 12d and 13d the last two in. Even with all the checking letters it took a while for the penny to drop for 13d. Hope everyone coped with the storm. It even made the news over here. No doubt there will be some reports right here when we turn on our computer tomorrow morning. We’re thinking of you all.
    Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

  3. I’ve been following the storm on the DT website. I hope everyone came through unscathed.

  4. I thought the word for tea doesn’t have an ‘r’ at the end! (The BRB says it’s the cockney spelling of ??? – decidedly dubious that one!)

    Very strong winds have now abated – the power has been on and off about six times – now for the ton of leaves deposited in my front garden – I need a second brown bin!

    1. I’ve always understood that the tea word has an optional ‘R’ at the end depending how you want to use it. In the middle (and I think the far) East, it has an ‘I’ at the end

  5. Nice gentle start to the week. Rather liked the construction of 23d. I suppose that’s the art of setting. 1.5/3* for me.

    No evidence of a storm here in NW Leics. My exposed fuchsia bush still has all its blooms.

  6. As storms go I’ve seen worse. Have got six leaves and one drowned snail on the front path, also a large puddle (or fluddle as we calls it) outside our newsagent. Having said that, its been very dark this morning with some very heavy, horizontal rain interspersed with blue skies!!!

    Anyway, back to the crossword : No big problems today although I must say that I didn’t really like 25D I’m afraid, it seemed a little weak to be – very unusual for me to say that on a Rufus puzzle.
    Having said that, there were some really nice cues today with 12A being my favourite today.

  7. I know it’s going to be just me again but I found this really tricky – very enjoyable and lots of clever clues but difficult. At least 3* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    Why do I find Rufus crosswords so difficult? Having psychology for 29a for a very long time obviously didn’t help much! I tried terribly hard to think of some kind of anaesthetic for 13d – just didn’t see the far more obvious answer for ages. Couldn’t get 1a for quite a while either. My list of problems could go on for longer but I’d hate to bore you all!! I think I’m 10a – the answer, not the clue!
    I liked 12a and 13 and 23d. My favourite was 10a.
    With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.
    Oxford escaped most of the storm. We had lots of rain during the night and then it got very windy about 6.00am – it even woke me up which isn’t easy. It only lasted for a couple of hours and wasn’t really anything out of the ordinary for autumn. Now it’s just grey and rainy. Hope that everyone else is OK.

    1. I had virtually the same problems as you Kath with the puzzle, so you’re not on your own but I still love Rufus crosswords :-) , don’t think I’ve said that before or have I… ;-)

      1. I really don’t think that I’ve ever heard you say that before, Mary! I enjoy Rufus crosswords too but I’m just not on the right wave length for them. Sometimes I think it’s not a problem with wave length – just no reception at all.
        Better luck with being able to go away tomorrow.

            1. I had heard that it was related to driving cattle across the USA, which involved the hell of hot deserts and often dangerously high water when crossing rivers. Even if that’s not the origin, it’s not a totally implausible theory.

              1. That theory is, I suppose, not absolutely impossible, but it is unlikely enough that a few years ago a participant on the American Dialect Society mailing list was moved to puckishly ask whether the original form of “come hell or high water” might, in that light, have been “come hell or Hiawatha.”

                Fun puzzle as is the norm from Rufus and thanks Libellule too .

    2. If it’s any consolation Kath I too had psychology in for 29a, fortunately plenty of time for the crossword this morning as daily commute abandoned due to no trains on the line…

    3. I too had psychology at 29ac which made it impossible to get 25d. 23d eluded me despite once winning a pint of Guinness off Alex Hurricane Higgins during my wildly mispent youth.

    4. I agree with you Kath. It seems to me that Rufus has gone up a notch or two in difficulty. Like you I had psychology and psychiatry before that! Towboat for 4d didn;t help either!

    5. Weird I know but I recently picked up a “phrenology bust ” by LN Fowler at a second hand curiosity shop in York. It’s now got pride of place on my bookshelves in my study. Like I said – weird…

    6. I got this partly from reading Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series where he has a character (a troll) who is a retro-phrenologist. Basically, you tell him what sort of character traits you want to have and he picks up a hammer and give you lumps on the head in the right place.

      1. Only Sir T could think of that for a character. Brilliant! By the way I’ve got “Raising Steam” & “Dodger’s Guide to London” on pre-order. No doubt these will be seized by Mrs S & put away for Christmas…

  8. Terrific – really enjoyed this one. First look through enlisted not one answer and then suddenly hey presto it all began to fall into place. Several good clues but favourites include 12a, 15a, 4d and 8d. 29a new to me so needed electronic help. Many thanks Rufus for great start to week. Haven’t ventured out on the roads yet but am relieved my own garden in W. Sussex avoided serious damage although it certainly was quite a noisy night.

  9. Enjoyed this one once I got on the wavelength – well mostly. Thrown by putting anesthetic in 13d. Accepted spelling in my word finder but not by chambers.
    Enjoying lovely sunny day here in Perthshire but I’m not gloating. Honestly.

  10. I started off with psychology for 25a – and Tony (as in Blair) for man-of-war (but I suspected that was a tad controversial). My grandfather and great uncle were in the Boer War.

  11. Good morning everybody. Not such “A Perfect Day” for Lou Reed. A nice Rufusish gentle start to the week. beaten by 29ac and 25d so many thanks Rufus. Thanks also to Libellule. Not much in the way of storms here but as Michael says above, enough to deposit a ton of leaves all over my camping field, car park and garden. I dare say here will be more walnuts too. Does anybody want any walnuts?

  12. A (very} long time ago I was a Politics student, so confidently put in psephology for 29a. I should have my bumps examined!
    As my (London living) son said, a storm of this size up North would have merited a footnote on the news, and then only on Radio Bolton.
    Thanks to the setter and blogger.

        1. When was the last time that a storm killed so many people? It’s up to four dead and one missing so far…

          I imagine that it got rather more than a “footnote in the news”, no matter where it happened.

  13. We’ve been waiting for at least a bit of a storm, but all we’ve had so far is some rain which has now stopped, so it’s off to the woods with the dogs. We’ve completed the crossword with the usual help for which many thanks.

  14. No problems here although I didn’t know why 20d was correct and I also thought 25d was weak.
    4d favourite.enjoyed it very much. Thanks to both.

    1. For 20d – ‘Potters’ makes me think the clue is specifically for Snooker players (not really Tennis as the blog suggests) – ??????? is applied to the cue ball which then ‘strikes’ the object ball to ‘pot’ it!

      As the immortal Ted Lowe once said – ‘for those of you watching in black and white – the blue ball is behind the pink!’

      1. Of course 20d refers to snooker players, hence the use of the word potters, but its possible to create topspin with a tennis racquet too, which is what the hint implies.

  15. My favourite setter, Rufus, though I found this one a wee bit harder than usual. Not helped by getting 3d wrong. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule for today’s offerings.

    I am so glad that everyone got out of this storm pretty much unscathed, apart from that poor girl in Kent who was in a camper. Isn’t CS in Kent? She hasn’t checked in yet and just hope she’s fine. Nearly 100 mph winds in some places, unbelievable.

      1. I am fine. Like Kath says I just pick and choose when I comment.

        Not too bad here. Lots of tree branches and fences in places where they shouldn’t be. Big black clouds all round just waiting to pour so my friend’s dog has decided we needn’t take her for a walk this afternoon :)

        1. I have just come back from taking my dog for a very short walk, quarter way round she decided to turn around and I couldn’t get her to budge, just as we got through the door, the hitherto blue sky turned black and it poured down, clever dog :-D

  16. Usual nice Monday puzzle, interesting but not too difficult. My main problem was 12d. I worked out the word from the letters but couldn’t see how it fitted with the clue (apart from being an anagram)

    1. I agree about 12d – that was another of my problems. It had to be what it was but still don’t really quite see why.

  17. I thought today might be difficult as it usually is on a bank holiday, but perhaps it isn’t in Britain.Anyway, very , very enjoyable .Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.Favourites were 1a and 7d.

    1. No, not a bank holiday here. First day of half-term, though (and St.Jude’s Day, of course).

    2. We had a holiday here too. Labour Day. We don’t call them bank holidays in NZ. It all sounds rather silly to us as it is not just the banks that have a day off. :)

      1. Yes, you are right , it is silly and difficult to explain to foreigners.
        There is a lovely puzzle by Cruz in the FT.

  18. For me a *** difficulty, usually is with Rufus’.
    Even the anagrams are very challenging eg 12d
    Thoroughly enjoyable tussle,
    Last but one inwas 25d after first thinking, wrongly, Thor was the God of War.
    Many thanks Rufus and Libellule for the review.

  19. What a lovely way to start the week. Rufus is my favourite compiler and this one was a corker. Like others, I found this quite tricky to start with and for a second wondered whether this really was the man at all. But then you recognise the flow and the wit and it has to be, doesn’t it? I liked the misdirection in the anagrams (spent ages trying to invent a South American coinage for 12d) and for me 8d was a new idiom.

    Is this a new tack for Rufus? I could live with it… Many thanks to Rufus and Libellule, who’s hints and explanations compliment this crossword so well.

    All thankfully undramatic with the weather here in Birmingham. Thoughts go to others who have been less fortunate this morning.

  20. Thank you Rufus. I didn’t find this easy and like others had psychology at 29a, so needed your hints Libellule to unravel the mess – many thanks. It is still a wild and windy day on the N Cornish coast – but if my memory serves me correctly, that was pretty well always the case for our family holidays in the 70s and 80s !

  21. I’m still confused about 28a. What does it have to do with a staff? I thought it might be chef for a while as some googling alerted me to a musician who went by the pseudonym ‘The Chef’!
    4d and 26d my favourites.
    Any tips much appreciated :)

  22. Clouds of rooks riding the wind yesterday – glorious sight. And after a slow start, enjoyed completing this puzzle. Felt very smug as put phrenology in on my first pass, and then fell flat on my face by being utterly defeated by a little four letter clue of 25d :oops: thank you setter as well as Libellule for hints. Now need to persuade Poppy out. She seems to enjoy wind, but definitely does not share the attributes of our irish wolfhound who adored water!

    1. My Labrador doesn’t like water, can you beat that? I tried to get her in the pool but she so doesn’t want to know. First lab I’ve had who doesn’t like water in any form.

  23. Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the review and hints. A nice puzzle to start the week. I just couldn’t get on the right wavelength today, I think It may have been the storm, just had some very sight damage, but next door’s flashing and attached tiles landed one foot behind my car, phew! I know some people have come off worse, my sympathy goes out to them. I needed six hints to finish. I’d never heard of 8d, thought 15,20&25d were all a bit tenuous. Favourite was 19d. Feels like the middle of the night, even though it’s only 6pm, must be the clock change.

  24. A masterly puzzle from the master. Many thanks to Libellule for the hints, I did need a couple.

    No wind down here. Sunny autumnal day.

  25. Fell into so many traps which other commenters have on first write ins. No major troubles here in North Cambs. Trains have been an issue but in the great scheme of things I’m with Steve the Beards sentiments. Anyway thanks to Rufus and Libellule and I hope Derek is ok in the Netherlands where Jude was heading

  26. Haven’t needed the hints for a while as we’ve been on a roll and had Rufus all wrapped up before breakfast. Just wanted to check something and Libellule’s hints had yet to appear, trouble is, now I’ve returned I can’t remember for the life of me what it was. Oh well, thank you once more for being there for us. This is a marvellous place and one of my very favourite blogs, always interested to find out which clues have been taxing people.

    1. One of your very favourite blogs? Surely you must mean your favourite! Only joking – you’re right – it is a marvellous place and thanks again to all the people who make it what it is. They all know who they are – at least I hope they do. :smile: to all of them.

  27. This was a very enjoyable Rufus puzzle. I only needed one of Libellule’s enlightening hints — 25d. Clues I liked best were 1a, 28a, and 13d.
    Appreciative thanks to both Rufus and Libellule. And, to echo what Kath says above, this is a marvellous blog. Special thanks to all who make it what it is.

  28. I seem to disagree with the general view, I thought this was the worst DT cryptic for a long time. Several definitions were very loose. **/*.

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