DT 27350 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27350

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27350

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

There is still a deafening silence from Telegraph Towers. This is unforgiveable and totally unprofessional behaviour of the kind that you expect from a cowboy operation, not from a quality newspaper.

Fortunately today’s offering from Rufus is as enjoyable as ever.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    Bob finds two causes of power failure (3,5)
{CUT SHORT} – this verb meaning to cut hair in a particular fashion is a charade of two causes of power failure

6a    Seizure, or an attempt at seizure (6)
{ATTACK} – a heart seizure or an attempt to seize control of a location

9a    Excellent to include it, within limits (6)
{FINITE} – a word meaning excellent around (to include) IT

10a    English football team at home getting penalty finally for foul play (8)
{VILLAINY} – a Birmingham football team followed by a two-letter word meaning at home and the final letter of penaltY

11a    One after another (8)
{FOLLOWER} – one who comes after another

12a    Point to Elizabeth’s favourite part of old England (6)
{WESSEX} – a compass point followed by the name of a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I

13a    As in pre-stage make-up? (6,6)
{GREASE PAINTS} – the whole of this clue provides the definition – an anagram () of (make-up) of AS IN PRE-STAGE

16a    Sort of error that could make one late (5,7)
{FATAL MISTAKE} – a cryptic definition of an action that could result in death

19a    Club porter (6)
{CADDIE} – a cryptic definition of someone who ports or carries golf clubs

21a    Mentions how one rears children (6,2)
{BRINGS UP} – raises an issue or raises issue (thanks to a prospective blogger for that terrific explanation which is better than the actual clue!)

23a    Give an order — to paint? (8)
{DECORATE} – two definitions – to present with an order like a medal and to paint a room

24a    Take articles from magazine? (6)
{UNLOAD} – a cryptic definition of removing bullets from the magazine of a gun

25a    Desert  fault (6)
{DEFECT} – two definitions – to desert one’s country and a manufacturing fault

26a    Girl’s second and he’s getting sporting prize (3,5)
{THE ASHES} – a girl’s name followed by S(econd) and HE’S


2d    Agreement to give son in marriage (6)
{UNISON} – S(on) inside another word for marriage

3d    Accident to make light of? (5)
{SPILL} – two definitions – an accident involving a liquid and something used to light, for example, a candle

4d    Too much rudder admits first watch to master (9)
{OVERWHELM} – a word meaning too much and a rudder around (admits) the initial letter (first) of Watch

5d    Servant troubles making these establishments harder to run nowadays (7)
{TAVERNS} – an anagram (troubles) of SERVANT

6d    Admit everything with cry of pain (5)
{ALLOW} – a word meaning everything followed by a cry of pain

7d    Come about a printer’s setting (9)
{TRANSPIRE} – an anagram (setting) of A PRINTER’S

8d    Musical piece that may take longer if cut short (8)
{CONCERTO} – drop (cut short) the final letter from this musical piece and the result is a whole evening of music

13d    Planned on a magnificent scale, but badly organised (9)
{GRANDIOSE} – an anagram (badly) of ORGANISED

14d    Given freedom at bottom of page — nothing new to say (9)
{PLATITUDE} – a word meaning freedom from restraint is preceded by (at bottom of) P(age)

15d    Like Biblical swine, eager and wild (8)
{GADARENE} – an anagram (wild) of EAGER AND

17d    Topic for study may need pencil and paperno ruler (7)
{SUBJECT} – two definitions – a topic for study at school and someone who is not a ruler

18d    Copper to rebuke one coming between vicar and his flock (6)
{CURATE} – the chemical symbol for copper followed by a verb meaning to rebuke

20d    Spot-on old-time variety performance? (5)
{EXACT} – this adjective meaning spot-on or precise is derived from a prefix meaning old-time or former followed by a variety performance

22d    Key list put out for government securities (5)
{GILTS} – a musical key followed by an anagram (put out) of LIST

Another milestone!  12,000,000 pageviews.

The Quick crossword pun: (high} + {pot} + {inn} + {use} = {hypotenuse}

97 comments on “DT 27350

  1. Morning all greeting from grey Hants. Nice start to the week which was quite easy and enjoyable. */*** but I have my doubts about 12a and await the Oracle’s proclamations eagerly. Loved several clues: 1a, 13a and 19a. Off to fix an ailing motor car – or try to.

      1. Err.. The answer to 9a is being displayed in the above comment.

        Not too difficult today – hints not needed but thanks anyway!

        1. You are supposed to read the comments after solving the puzzle – displaying the answer to a non-prize puzzle is OK (but it’s now been edited!).

  2. Morning BD – Ref 8d, it’s just the last letter to be dropped, not the last two.
    Thanks for the review, and to Rufus for the usual excellent fare.

  3. Thank you Rufus – I thought that this was one of your trickier ones – but reading the above I might be on my own ! Had the answer for 12a without fully understanding why. Was Queen Elizabeth an Essex girl, Southend fan or just liked Graham Gooch ? Thanks BD for the review and hints.

    1. No, you are not alone SW! I found this hard (but very enjoyable) today.

      The Earl of Essex was a nobleman who was very close to Queen Elizabeth 1st.

    2. I don’t think you are on your own. It took a bit of peeping at the hints to get us going, & then we managed quite well. But it wasn’t all plain sailing. Thank you BD & the setter too of course.

  4. Nice offering which I found stiffer than a normal monday morning,15D was a new word for me, 1A made me smile having an electrical background 10A was clever.Many thanks to the setter & BD for the guidance.

  5. First impression of this was somewhat daunting but quite soon East side filled in followed by rather more taxing West. Perhaps not too many outstanding clues although 1a and 19a mildly cryptic. Afraid I needed prompt for 15d. The cock-up at the DT with minimum apology is appalling http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif (thank goodness for BD – hope you get some recognition from DT!) however I have to say I do reluctantly still pay the fortune to have a hard copy of the newspaper. Thanks Rufus. ***/***.

  6. Rating 4*/4*

    :phew: a tough one from the Monday Maestro this morning, but nevertheless a lot of fun. Many thanks to Rufus, and, of course, to the seemingly indefatigable BD.

    19a was my favourite and last one in; a real LOL moment when the penny dropped. All the other clues were very good but my short list of near favourites (OK, Kath?) is 1a, 23a &, 26a.

  7. Hello all from South Warwickshire. An entertaining crossword today from Rufus with a new word for me at 15d. but anagrammatically getable (two more new words). 13ac very nice but far too easy.
    I am now suffering post Dylan blues after five wonderful gigs at The Blackpool Winter Gardens Opera House The Royal Albert Hall last week. If Bob Dylan floats your boat. here he is. https://soundcloud.com/guilty-1/sets/bob-dylan-royal-albert-hall

  8. Thanks to Rufus and to Big Dave. A very enjoyable but very tricky puzzle. Only had solved 8 clues at one point, so preservation was needed. I got there in the end without the hints. Was 3*/3* for me. Still can’t understand 8d, is it concertos and drop the s? A bit grey in Central London. Favourite was 1a.

      1. Thanks Roland, I just couldn’t see that, I had it all reversed in my head. All clear now many thanks.

  9. An e-mail has been pinged to DT customer services asking for either a refund or an extension of this year’s subscription to take into account the time that the puzzle site has not been or will not be accessible.

    Awaiting a response other than the bland auto reply telling me that someone will be in contact as soon as possible. Let’s see shall we?

  10. Quote from Phil McNeil after the last outage had been cured:-

    “We don’t know whether the problem will return but it’s all OK for now. Let’s just hope that lightning doesn’t strike twice.”

    Hmmm . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  11. I’m in the ‘this was quite tricky’ club. At least 3* for difficulty or maybe a bit more and 4* for enjoyment. Finished eventually.
    My list of problems includes 1a – couldn’t see it at all and it was my last one in. 10a – spent ages trying to fit in the Roman numerals for however many there are in a football team but couldn’t remember if it’s eleven, twelve, fifteen or none of those so gave up that idea. 11a – none of my wrong answers had the right number of letters which was just as well. 8d had to be what it was but I needed the hint to explain why. 15d – the word was in the back of my brain but seemed set on staying there for a long time.
    I liked 13 and 16a and 13d. My favourite was 1a.
    With thanks to Rufus and BD.

    1. Mrs B who is a rabid Spurs fan, has the same trouble remembering how many are in a Rugby team. I always tell her it depends if it’s the real game or the one played by pansies without scrums. Now off to take cover http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

      1. I am with you Brian. I just cannot watch League. As to Mrs B and her troubles… I hope it is the first definition and not the second.

        adjective: rabid

        having or proceeding from an extreme or fanatical support of or belief in something.
        “a rabid feminist”
        synonyms: extreme, fanatical, overzealous, over-enthusiastic, extremist, violent, maniacal, wild, passionate, fervent, diehard, uncompromising; More
        intolerant, unreasonable, illiberal, bigoted, prejudiced, biased, partisan, one-sided;
        informalraving, gung-ho;
        “a rabid anti-royalist”
        antonyms: moderate, liberal, half-hearted
        (of an animal) affected with rabies.
        “her mother was bitten by a rabid dog”
        synonyms: rabies-infected, mad, foaming at the mouth

        1. Def the former having had a season ticket since she was 10.
          Me, I was a Chelsea supporter until we got married, my wedding present was a Spurs Season ticket in the seat next to hers! Enough said.

      2. I totally agree with you too, Brian. IMHO Union is the only form of Rugby worthy of the name.

        By the way, I’m neutral as far as Spurs go but I do think that AVB is being given an unnecessarily rough ride.

        1. The man is a waste of good air or so Mrs B tells me. As far as I am concerned the jury is still out but I do mourn the passing of ‘Arry!

        2. Surely it’s possible to enjoy both forms of Rugby. I’ve always followed RU but certainly R L is a very fast & furious game with fewer stops & starts,& I don’t think that those from the north would think of themselves as playing a softer game scrum or no scrum.

          1. We used to say that RL was a game played by “steamed pigs” while RU was a game for “educated hooligans”. I’m a fan of the alphabet club by the way.

  12. A post weekend struggle that took me longer to complete than the Elgar puzzle on Friday.
    4*/4* for me. Thanks to setter, and to BD for the review.

    1. Me too, I struggled with V yesterday, nothing new there but it wasn’t horrid just me not on wavelength. I normally wrestle with Rufus more than most commenters, but today I was defeated for a very very long time. Hey ho. Thank you Rufus and BD

  13. I found this one to be on a par with most Monday puzzles and no real problems other than 15d which was a new word to me. Several smiley moments; 6d 16a 1a 12a, to mention a few.
    Thanks to Rufus and for the hints which, for a change, weren’t needed this time.

  14. No problems at all today although after the first run through of the across clues the top half looked an insy wincy bit bare; they soon filled up as the downs went in though.

    If subscribers get a refund for not having the crosswords available, can we have it for not having the crosswords in the right place in the hardcopy please.

    Very busy weekend, will settle down in a while an FINALLY open Sunday’s paper

    1. If I was the Advertising Manager for Chanel or another back page intruder I would suggest a corner taken out for the crossword. This would ensure:
      1 More people take note of the advert
      2. I do not poke out the eye of my neighbour on the train with my elbow when accessing the puzzle and folding page

  15. This was a weird one and no mistake!

    Got everything except a dark NW corner…….

    I put it down to the grid layout, with corners that were all but cut off. If you were slow with 4d, you were b*****ed.

    13a led me astray, because it’s not normally expressed in the plural and in two words.
    I did like 13d and 16a though.

    Keep up the good work BD. .http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif…I recommend Berocca!

  16. I also found this to be one of Rufus harder puzzles, only one favourite for me today, 16a, must admit to not knowing the word at 15d!!! Three star for difficulty (I needed Daves help) thank you Dave and 2 for enjoyment

  17. A good Monday puzzle, enough to make one think but not too hard. I wanted to put “reject” for 25a but wasn’t happy – then light dawned! My favourite clue was 10a but there were others as clever. Many thanks to Rufus but I didn’t need Big Dave’s help today. I’d give it **/****.

  18. Reply from DT;

    2 December 2013

    Ref: 916046

    Dear Mr Page,

    Thank you for your communication to The Telegraph.

    First may I offer our sincere apologies for the inconvenience and disappointment caused as a result of the puzzles website being unavailable.

    At this present time we have no further information regarding the website other than that it is undergoing essential maintenance and as a result has been taken offline. Unfortunately this is an on-going issue and currently we do not have a time scale for when it will be resolved.

    We understand that this is an extremely frustrating time for our subscribers and we assure you we are striving to restore the site to its full functionality

    All comments regarding the website being down, and any requests regarding the subscriptions, are being logged and passed on to the appropriate department.

    While the website is offline, please use the following link to access the puzzles which are updated on a daily basis.


    Again, please accept our apologies and thank you for taking the time to contact us.

    Yours sincerely,

    Nathan Probert

    Customer Services

    Telegraph Media Group

    1. While talking o Mr CS just now about the ongoing crisis at Telegraph, I noticed that they are still advertising the wonderful Telegraph puzzles site, with all its great features, underneath today’s crossword. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

  19. I agree, Skempie, very annoying particularly when the alternative is an oversized advertisement. Saturday’s DT with page after page of huge, gaudy colour advertisements was an example of just how the paper is gradually changing from a quality newspaper to become more like a down-market tabloid. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_mad.gif

  20. Took a while to start then fell nicely into place and as such very enjoyable.
    Did wonder about the juxtaposition of 16a and 26a, is this a comment or an omen?
    Would have finished earlier if I could only have spelt 13d

  21. By the way I really don’t understand 5d, I understand it’s an anagram of servant, what I don’t see is how it means the definition!!??? anyone??

    1. Hi Mary – I think it’s meant to imply that it’s harder work in the licensed trade these days as less people tend to use ’em, hence all the pub closures etc over the last few years.

      1. I don’t really, either. The ‘establishments’ bit is fine it’s the rest of clue that I don’t really see. I agree with the http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  22. Pretty straightforward today. Started before breakfast, spent the morning gardening and put the last ones in over a cup of tea and a biscuit to round off lunch. Had to dredge up 15d from the d and d past. I always enjoy Rufus on a Monday. You know where you are with him. The online problem can’t be universal as I’ve had no problem downloading the paper on the iPad.

    1. I think the problem is with the puzzle site specifically, which has a subscription only access . I can read the paper on line but the puzzle section remains inoperable.

      1. The main newspaper site is hosted in the UK but the puzzles site is outsourced to Ireland, probably because it is cheaper. Pay peanuts and you get monkeys.

        1. …or as we say up north – “Pay ‘alf, pay twice!” or in other words you don’t get owt for nowt.

        2. I don’t know about UK, but here in the US outsourcing is the norm, and the word “service” is now obsolete.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

        3. I’m really trying very hard not to rise to the bait of equating an Irish geographical location with monkeys, peanuts etc.

          1. Nothing to do with Ireland, monkeys or peanuts. The DT website guys are simply incompetant. I’ll try to get pommette to volunteer to run the site, couldn’t do worse :grin:

            1. I think, like another contributor ,that it’s a hacking problem,and perhaps it’s difficult to firewall these things.And if it is a hacking problem , they certainly aren’t going to admit it until after they have fixed it.

            2. Sorry, Pommers, but this is a crossword site, after all. Here’s a clue;
              “A can’t do the job that ‘e should” (11)

        4. Your intro remark about Telegraph Towers prompts me to suggest a more appropriate appellation might be Fawlty Towers. My issue with this whole difficulty is that I only access the puzzles electronically, as I only infrequently have access to a printer. I need to work online and now am left out in the cold – with no clue about prospective resolution.

            1. Thanks. Was active some time ago and continue to read often, but schedule too erratic to participate on a regular basis.

      2. Remember the old days when you could print off the puzzle but there was no interaction and they would publish the answers the next day with that day’s puzzle. That was reliable for a long time. I would rather go back to that. I don’t need the ability to fill the clues in on line if it is going to be down for long periods of time like this.

  23. My guess about the Puzzles website is they’ve maybe had some serious security issue (i.e. it’s been hacked, or some audit has found it to be very prone to being hacked) and they’ve taken it down in the meantime, but don’t want to fess up to the problem at the moment.

    I also found it a little harder than usual for a Monday, **/***

  24. After a while I logged on to the puzzles site. I’m a bit miffed.
    Please note new Email address.
    Regards to BD and all solvers & setters
    I shall continue to try to access the puzzles site but I agree that the bland “sorry boys” message is unacceptable to those of us who have paid for the service.
    D. D.

    1. If it helps, using a non-ISP email address avoids having to tell people every time you change! Gmail provide an excellent email service.

      1. Gmail is the only aspect of Google’s suite of service that I find annoying and do not use. Google scan all your mails sent through Gmail and use your Gmail content to send you advertising. I don’t like advertising in papers (as you might have guessed) and I certainly do not want to be bombarded when on-line as well.

  25. Agree with the BD rating ,high entertainment level from ‘the master, particularly liked 12a,very clever all in one, As I remember,12a was Thomas Hardy country , there was also a brand of fireworks with that namedack when I was a young whippersnapper!

  26. As usual for me, hugely entertaining Rufus. I didn’t even have a problem with 15d, but that could be because of a Church of England School education with Bible lessons very day! How can you have a favourite with so many good ones? Thanks to BD for his review, though not needed today. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  27. Cannot but agree with your comments re paucity of information and action regarding restoration of normal service by the Telegraph.
    I have noticed in previous comments that the Telegraph is not set up for refunds and I can understand this but I feel that an extension of 1 month of paid time for each week or part thereof of such outage would be appropriate recompense for subscribers and act as an incentive for those responsible for dealing(?) with the situation.
    One further point is the comparative lateness of the daily arrival of links.
    My thanks for the work you and others do in providing what for me are valuable insights into the answers, which I sometimes get but do not appreciate the derivation of.

  28. We were delighted to find that the new puzzle was posted on line at midnight your time as it used to be in the good old days when there was a functional puzzle site. This meant that we could tackle the puzzle during our day instead of waiting for bed-time for it to appear. Just hope that this pattern will be continued.
    An enjoyable puzzle again without major hold-ups.
    Thanks Rufus and BD.

  29. I have to do the Monday puzzle as Roger Squires is pommette’s hero! She had a triple dose today :grin:
    From now I’m not sure I’ll bother with the DT until the site comes back (apart from next Monday of course). My subscription is due at the end of Jan so I might just give it a miss.

    I’ve got the Grauniad, Indy and FT to keep me busy on a daily basis plus the wonderful, searcheable, archive supplied by the Grauniad. What else is needed apart from this blog, which requires the DT puzzle, or does it?

    BTW, enjoyed today’s so many thanks to Rufus and BD.

  30. Quite a pleasant puzzle but it didn’t help when I entered ARREST for 6a instead of ATTACK – both work!

  31. The usual pleasant start to the week from Rufus!

    Faves : 1a, 12a, 13a, 24a, 8d, 15d & 22d.

    Meat and two veg for dinner.

    Nurse came and rebandaged my feet today -she says they are improving but it is a painfully slow business!

    1. Hi Derek !
      My sympathies. Things going wrong with the feet are pretty annoying.I hope it all heals up soon.No wine tonight I notice.

  32. Nothing to do with content BUT since an advert now appears to be the norm on the back page I think the puzzle should be shifted to the foreedge of its new home, this would make it easier to get at in crowded places and avoid horrible creases in the paper.
    I have written without getting a response (apart from acknowledgement) from the Telegraph
    Sorry if this has been a previous comment
    Pat Tate

  33. Having been on the Rufus wavelength for the past few weeks, I seem to have lost it again. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gifI found this tricky and needed Big Dave’s much valued help for five clues, all in the SW corner, namely 19a, 22a, 25a, and 2d. Otherwise I managed to do the rest, albeit rather slowly. Joint faves were 1a and 26a.
    Many thanks to both Rufus and Big Dave.

Comments are closed.