DT 27333 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27333

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27333

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

I don’t know why, but I struggled with this at times, but I did enjoy the solve.


7. Diverting incident involving teams — in what way? (8)
{SIDESHOW} – A word for opposing groups followed by a word that describes “by what means”.

9. Eventually book on time (2,4)
{AT LAST} – The definition is eventually, a book of maps followed by T (time).

10. Conflict in street prevalent (6)
{STRIFE} – ST (street) and a word that means abundant or numerous.

11. Girl, Flower Queen (8)
{ROSEMARY} – A girls name (also a herb) is a popular garden flower, and the name of a Queen (either 1516-1558, or 1662-1694)

12. Former PM visiting basic military training ground (9,5)
{SALISBURY PLAIN} – A large military training area in Wiltshire is the name of a Victorian Prime Minister and a word that means not pretentious or unaffected.

15. Clue would be perfect if shortened (4)
{IDEA} – Remove the last (if shortened) letter from a word that describes a model of perfection or excellence.

17. Puzzle concerning old aircraft (5)
{REBUS} – RE (concerning) and an informal word for an old and shaky aircraft or car.

19. Austen character held in 21 Mansfield Park (4)
{EMMA} – The last two letters of 21d, and the first two letters of Mansfield.

20. Poet having to adjust, badly lamed in battle against English (6,2,2,4)
{WALTER DE LA MARE} – Take a five word that means to change or modify, add an anagram (badly) of LAMED, place the result inside a word for an armed conflict, and then add an E (English) to the end. This is an English poet, probably best remembered for the poem “The Listeners”.

23. Born to the west of trendy resort town (8)
{BRIGHTON} – B (born) and a phrase used to describe something that is modern or trendy, is also a coastal resort in Southern England.

25. Accustomed to be wearing scarlet around university (6)
{INURED} – Two words that could mean wearing crimson clothing is placed around U (university) to get a word that means to get used to something (usually undesirable).

27. Beginning to give lip, reportedly (6)
{SOURCE} – A point of origin sounds like (reportedly) SAUCE. Do these two words really sound like each other?

28. Dislike a model (8)
{AVERSION} – A, and a word that describes a variant form or type of something.


1. Take elevator (4)
{LIFT} – Double definition, an informal word that means “to steal”, and another word for an elevator.

2. Twins, pride and joy (in incubators, initially) (6)
{GEMINI} – The third sign of the zodiac, something that is valued followed by IN and the first (initially) letter of incubators.

3. Jug found in drain, missing lid (4)
{EWER} – Remove the first letter (lid) from an underground drain to get a type of pitcher.

4. Ignore sexual advance at university (4,2)
{PASS UP} – A phrase that means to let go or reject, can be made up from a word that describes a sexual invitation and the usual word for being at university.

5. Picnic bun filled with meat (8)
{CLAMBAKE} – An informal party (by the sea perhaps) is constructed from a sweet baked food item placed around a young sheep.

6. Shooting star and new moon observed by extremely eager scientist (10)
{ASTRONOMER} – An anagram (shooting) of STAR, then (new) MOON followed by the outside (extreme) letters of eager.

8. List to exclude where shoes are mended (7)
{HEELBAR} – A word that means to tilt to one side, is followed by a three letter word that means to prohibit or forbid.

13. Artist, lady who ran off (4,6)
{ANDY WARHOL} – This famous pop artist is an anagram (off) of LADY WHO RAN.

14. Fanatical bishop in surprise attack (5)
{RABID} – Place B (bishop) inside a word for a small surprise attack to get another word that means extremely zealous or enthusiastic.

16. Fitzgerald’s come up with grisly tale (8)
{ALLEGORY} – Reverse (come up) the first name of a female jazz singer and then add a word for bloody to get the sort of tale that is symbolic of something moral or spiritual.

18. Ridicule when Liberal’s involved makes one cross (7)
{SALTIRE} – Put L (Liberal) inside the sort of wit that exposes vice and folly to get a word that describes a St. Andrew’s cross.

21. Respect Eastern power in speech (6)
{ESTEEM} –E (Eastern) and a word that sounds like (in speech) STEAM.

22. Shy type eating second creamy dessert (6)
{MOUSSE} – A small shy rodent with an additional S (second) inserted.

24. Close tight (4)
{NEAR} – Double definition, to be a short distance away, or to be parsimonious, or even perhaps in a close relationship.

26. Public school board no good (4)
{ETON} – Take two words for boarding a train or bus etc and then remove the first letter (no G).

The Quick crossword pun: (Turner} + {weigh} = {turn away}

67 comments on “DT 27333

  1. What an enjoyable crossword. How nice to see my eldest daughter making an appearance at 11ac. Favourites today were 5d (last one in) and 16d. Great fun with 12 ac. Alexandra Putin is not a former PM. Neither is Vladimir Putin which doesn’t fit. I got there in the end though. Saint Sharon is home all day so no waiting for sandwiches today. Perhaps I will ask for 5d and 22d for dinner. Ta to all.

      1. Thanks Miffyp. I am lucky that not only can Mr CS make his own sandwiches (totally unaided) but he makes a very nice birthday supper too!

  2. A gentle start to the day, with no real obstacles. Thanks to setter, and to Libellule.

    For those wary of the toughie, I found today’s not much harder than this one, and enjoyable too!

  3. Agree with Miffypops that it was most enjoyable today , seemed to be on the right wavelength, so a **/**** for me, wanted to involve Ted Heath in 12a till I got the ‘p’ , and the ‘d’ in 20a gave the game away- always thought he was French . Struggled to omit the ‘g’ in 26d till I realised it was from two words,and the Austin character always seems to be the same person however the clue is constructed.

  4. Stretched me a bit and I’m not telling how long I spent on it. Took a punt on RUBIC for 17a which caused me no end of angst. (Keep telling myself… if you are not sure, don’t put it in!). 27a was a bit rich – “sauce” maybe, if you live near the Bow Bells. Learned about 5d which, until today, was no picnic for me. Have a good day solvers!

    1. I agree with Libellule re source and sauce .They don’t sound at all alike to me &I remember not very long ago making the same comment. I have a bit of a problem with many of these supposedly soundalikes but I suppose that’s because I’m Scottish and the setters who use them are English.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  5. Thank you setter, an enjoyable puzzle and thanks to Libellule for your review and hints. Pleased to have finished. On first sight I thought I might struggle.

  6. Thanks to the setter and to Libellule. No real problems today, must have been on the right wavelength. Favourite was 16d. Was 2*/3* for me. Sun out now in Central London. Hoping for a clear dry day tomorrow, to fix the flashing on the roof. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

  7. Very enjoyable run through, slightly held up in SE corner but not for too long. I’m intrigued over the debate about the pronunciation of source and sauce though. In my broad Lutonian accent, they sound exactly the same as each other and I’m wondering how they could possibly be pronounced any differently. Thanks to setter and to Libellule for the review. **/***.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

  8. Most enjoyable today, but no wonder I was unable to justify my answer to 20a when spelling the poet’s name ‘de la mEre’!

  9. I stared at this for some time and certainly did not think I would finish it, but I did.
    5d took me ages.
    Great puzzle that has left me with a sense of achievement.
    I agree that it was a little more tricky than usual. I am not sure why as looking back, most are fairly straightforward.
    I may have a go at the Toughie?

  10. Rating: 2*/3* for another very enjoyable puzzle today.

    I wasn’t aware that 24d could mean tight and my only knowledge of 17a was in the guise of an excellent Scottish detective. The BRB sorted me out on both those.

    I am a bit dubious about 19a as it seems to be a hidden word where part of the construction is the answer to another clue! But perhaps all is fair in love and war and cryptic crosswords?

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to Libellule.

  11. Found it rather straightforward and over too soon. */*** for me. Puzzled briefly on what the picnic could be in 5d, but then realised the answer with a resounding D’OH!!! Just finished performing in CAROUSEL at the local theatre, where the action (such as it is) and one of the main chorus songs centres around a clambake. Durrrrr.
    Libellule, perhaps you struggled a bit because it’s not your normal day?!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

      1. Ian,

        I do the crossword every day, not just on Mondays, and have blogged Friday, Thursday and Mondays regularly to date, sometimes it seems that different people struggle with different setters. This one had me scratching my head at times. Hence the comment.

  12. I’m not a fan of proper names in cryptics (even when one of the answers is a favorite artist of mine). That said, I thought that overall this was a great crossword, challenging enough to give me pause and with some lovely clues. I had Queen Anne in the second half of 12A for a while, which slowed me down, and I couldn’t work out why 19A was what it obviously was. And I had 27A wrong….to my ear, those two words do not sound at all alike.

    Still, plenty of fun. Loved 5D and16D. Thanks to the setter and to Libellule for the hints. Might try the toughie, since it’s early yet here.

  13. No big problems today although I was held up for a wee tad on 18D for no particular reason other the brain seemed to grind to a halt. Marked 6D as my favourite today ( thought it very clever) then solved a couple more that could also qualify but decided to stick to my guns (sorry 19A, 5D). First thought of former PM was Major – but not for long!

    Quick equaliser :- Daily Advertiser 1 : Crossword 1 Get in there my son (or something like that)

  14. Also agree with **\****.

    It was one of those where, despite some (surface) unusual words, you could complete it by virtue of the arrangement. Very satisfying.

    I would contrast that with those puzzles where you are held up by two crossing words, with vowels only and you just cannot find the solutions by recall. That’s most UNsatisfying…

    I did say yesterday that it would be rainy between two sunny’s and so it is! Hurrah!

  15. As iPads can’t hover, can someone tell me what the upper far right emoticon signifies? I can’t quite make it out.

  16. Straightforward but not quite as straightfoward as an emailing friend found it.

    Thanks to the Mysteron and Libellule.

    The toughie took me a smidge less than this so should be given a go by everyone.

    I can also recommend Arachne in the Graun.

  17. I really enjoyed this very much and didn’t have many problems. I think 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I got in a muddle trying to untangle 20a because, like sarumite, I’d spelt him wrongly – no-one but myself to blame for that. I needed the hint to explain 19a. My last answer was 16d – the only Fitzgerald I could think of was Scott which wasn’t particularly helpful – stupid – she was one of my Dad’s favourite singers. I would say that sauce and source sound exactly the same but I suspect it depends on where you live – my mother-in-law was Scottish and I’ve just imagined how she would have said it – totally different!
    The style of this crossword felt unfamiliar – don’t know why. I did notice how concise the clues were with the exception of a couple.
    I liked 12 and 23a and 4 and 22d. My favourite was 22d. Our younger daughter is always called Mouse – long story – her name is Eleanor!
    With thanks to Mr Ron and Libellule.

  18. Started off at a brisk pace them slowed markedly!
    On reflection, no real problems and some satisfying clues too. I liked 12a, 4d, 8d and 22d for bringing a smile. I also fell for Rubic before the penny dropped.
    Thanks to all

  19. Very enjoyable solve this morning. I thought at first that the “homonyms” in 27a were sass and source. Thanks Libellule for giving me sauce! Doesn’t work if you pronounce the “r” in source which some of us do. Clearly some of us don’t!
    Also had Anne as the queen in 11a but 6d corrected me.
    Thanks again to Libellule and to the setter.

  20. Re 27A; Libellule asked “Do these two words really sound like each other?”.

    Never mind various regional accents, the ODE says that they are pronounced exactly the same, so that’s that!

    I agree with the three-star rating, and found it most enjoyable (four-star, maybe?). Ta to L and setter.

    1. Chambers has two possible pronunciations for source, but neither corresponds with what it shows for sauce.

        1. I do too but can’t argue with Chambers. I’ve never really got to grips with interpreting how things are pronounced from all the little squiggles – should try, I suppose!

  21. A nice, relatively stress-free puzzle with some clever clues. Last one in was 27a. I had the answer but couldn’t get the link immediately. The trouble is we Scots tend to pronounce our Rs robustly and it took a while to hear the homonym! ***

  22. I think a Canadian, or dare I say, an American, might pronounce source differently from sauce, but to an English ear they sound pretty much the same. Enjoyable crossword, thank you setter & hinter.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    1. When David Livingstone announced that he was mounting an expedition to find the source of the Nile I doubt that many listeners expected him to be scouring the country for tahini sauce. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    2. I’m English and they don’t sound the same to me. I don’t think Americans in my adopted country would mind you saying that they pronounce the two words differently, because they do. Source is sorce and sauce is sawse ( but more often than not it’s pronounced ‘ketchup’!)

  23. A non-taxing puzzle today.

    Faves : 12a, 20a, 16d & 18d.

    Libellule – I agree that the two words involved in 27a are not homophones for anybody coming from the northern parts of GB. A better clue might be simply “origin”

    Heavy rain here in NL but at present a lull so must go shopping!

  24. I’m obviously the odd one out, I found this a stinker. Just could not get on the right wavelength at all. First read thought the across clues yielded just 2 and a possible 1. The down clues were slightly better. Had to resort to cheating at a very early stage. Must be the pills the doc’s prescribed.

    To me, the hardest Cryptic for ages. ****/* is all I can give it. However, tomorrow may bring slightly more mental clarity.

    1. I certainly found this harder than most appear to have done, a real workout compared to the last few days

    1. The diphthong “au” is pronounced
      -in French as “o”;
      -in German as “ow” as in laut;
      -in English as “awe” as in caught.

      Anybody want to continue from here?

    2. Yes – you’re right. I remembered as I was typing that I had to imagine how my Scottish mother-in-law would say it.

  25. When I first printed off this puzzle I didn’t think I could do any of it. First time round I got a few down words but none across — and then the poet came to my rescue. I’ve always liked him! From there on everything seemed to fall into place, though I needed a good deal of electronic help. There were some very strange clues, I thought. Surely 15d would be perfect if lengthened, not shortened, and I found the answers to 19a and 2d without understanding why — would never have worked out that kind of clue.
    Anyway, many thanks to Mr Ron and un grand merci to Libellule as always. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    1. Franny,

      15d works like this, the definition is clue, so to get the answer you need to shorten IDEA(L) by removing the last letter.

  26. I found this one difficult but did eventually get there with electronic help from gizmo. The poet was a great help, got him first go round because I couldn’t think of another poet 6,2,2,4, and 12a pretty well slotted in. I would never have got 5d and 8d without my gizmo. It was enjoyable, nevertheless, and thanks must go to setter and Libelulle. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  27. I found that an enjoyable if somewhat headscratching puzzle. Pleased to see so many have joined the source/sauce debate . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_lol.gif

  28. Well I’m originally from half way up our land, Stoke on Trent to be precise, up there source & sauce would be pronounced identically, probably sounding like “saurce”!

    Lovely crossword today, thanks to all involved.

  29. We are used to having a mixed bag on Tuesday’s with all the different Mr Ron’s, so don’t know what to expect. Pleased to say that we did appreciate this one. Would be nice to know who it is so we can say “goody” when she/he comes up again. The 27a controversy did not bother us. We expect you all to pronounce things differently to us anyway. Good fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Libellule.

  30. What a dislikable crossword. Some horrible clues such as 17a, 20a, 27a and 5d which is a horrible Americanism. . Found little to entertain in this offering.
    Would love to know the last time anyone said “Right on”
    I suppose it’s my natural aversion to anything by Jane Austen that makes me grumpy. Although I have to say Andy Hamilton had her down to a tee in Old Harrys Game, IMHO the best Radio 4 comedy ever made.
    Thx to Libellule for the usual excellent hints and for explaining some of my answers.

    1. We horrible expats who live in the USA, and our horrible American neighbors, love clambakes. In fact, anytime someone suggests a clambake, we say “Right On!”

  31. I found this surprisingly quick and straightforward, having battled a bit with some of the recent DT cryptics.
    Btw in 11a there’s a Queen much closer to our own time: the widow of George V died only in 1953, celebrated for her deafness.

    I realized the name that 18a had to be, but rather bizarrely thought its first two letters derived from the curiously wide em-space in which the figures ’21’ are typed in my print copy. :-)

  32. My preliminary go at this over breakfast didn’t produce much but then I returned refreshed tonight after being out all day and hey presto it fell into place without too much difficulty. However needed Libellule’s help with 18d and 25a so thanks for that. ***/**.

  33. Catching up on older puzzles after a few days away. I never heard of clambake before (or rebus). You live and learn. Thank heaven Libellule graded this a three star. It’s amazing how quickly the cryptic muscles stiffen up. Thanks to LIbellule and setter.

  34. I enjoyed this a good deal and gave it ****. Had no real problems with it, although I got held up with a couple before the penny dropped. Clues I liked the most were 19a, 23a, and 16d. (Like you, Kath, it was Scott that first came to mind for this last one.) Just needed one of your explanations, Libellule. Had the answer to 26d but couldn’t see why!!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif
    Thanks very much to you both, ‘Mr Ron’ and Libellule.

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