DT 27356 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27356

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27356

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

A very easy start to the week, but our Monday Maestro 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    Won’t it give you a free ride? (7)
{CHARGER} – a cryptic definition of a horse that sounds as if you need to pay in order to ride it


5a    Settled for having team in scarlet (7)
{RESIDED} – a team inside the colour of which scarlet is a shade

9a    A grain that’s seen only in oak (5)
{ACORN} – the A from the clue followed by some grain

10a    Delegates sort out dispute with Middle West (9)
{DEPUTISES} – an anagram (sort out) of DISPUTE followed by the middle letters of wESt

11a    Bacterium may be found on all meals badly cooked (10)
{SALMONELLA} – an anagram (badly cooked) of ON ALL MEALS

12a    Frozen field left in the grip of the enemy (4)
{FLOE} – L(eft) inside (in the grip of) the enemy

14a    Messes about with examiner’s marks? Nonsense (12)
{FIDDLESTICKS} – a charade of a verb meaning messes about and the marks used by an examiner to indicate correct answers

18a    Worshipful company? (12)
{CONGREGATION} – a cryptic definition of people gathered for a church service

21a    Fancy a little hideaway (4)
{IDEA} – hidden (a little) inside the clue

22a    What you face in the teeth of a gale? (6,4)
{BITING WIND} – a cryptic definition of bitterly cold air-current,

25a    Lush crepe put round burial place (9)
{SEPULCHRE} – an anagram (put round) of LUSH CREPE

26a    Beat unconscious, then execute! (5)
{OUTDO} – a charade of a word meaning unconscious and a verb meaning to execute or perform

27a    Contracts provided by psychiatrists (7)
{SHRINKS} – a double definition

28a    Make fun of the French politician with nothing on (7)
{LAMPOON} – the (feminine) French definite article followed by Crosswordland’s usual politician, O (nothing) and ON


1d    Proviso for Santa to head East (6)
{CLAUSE} – Santa’s surname followed by E(ast)

2d    Greek god‘s head set in a ring (6)
{APOLLO} – another word for the head inside (set in) the A from the clue and the ring-shaped letter

3d    Craftsmen do in G & S role, possibly (10)
{GONDOLIERS} – these craftsmen propel a “craft” along canals – an anagram (possibly) of DO IN G S ROLE

4d    From old-timer I’d get a wrinkle (5)
{RIDGE} – hidden (From) inside the clue

5d    It’s revolting, drive away fast! (9)
{REPELLENT} – a verb meaning to drive away and a time of fasting

6d    Place to view, we hear (4)
{SITE} – sounds like (we hear) a verb meaning to view

7d    Girl’s taking position as cashier (8)
{DISPLACE} – a charade of a two-letter girl’s name followed by the S from ‘S and a position gives a verb meaning to cashier or expel

8d    The last thing a crowd will do (8)
{DISPERSE} – a cryptic definition of a verb meaning to break up a crowd

13d    Safe place in a bank? (10)
{STRONGROOM} – a cryptic definition of where the safe might be found in a bank

15d    Boxer takes on contests at a higher level (9)
{DOGFIGHTS} – the type of animal of which a boxer is a breed followed by a verb meaning takes on or contends with combine to give wartime aerial contests

16d    Cuts in diocese set up blackouts (8)
{ECLIPSES} – a verb meaning cuts or trims inside the reversal of a three-letter word for a diocese (not a specific diocese like Ely)

17d    Poor pun, drear and not up to scratch (5,3)
{UNDER PAR} – an anagram (poor) of PUN DREAR

19d    Writer, good man at heart, seen in French bar (6)
{BISTRO} – a branded writing implement around (at heart) the usual abbreviation for a good man

20d    Meet Di and Joan when out (6)
{ADJOIN} – an anagram (out) of DI and JOAN

23d    Me to serve? Perfect! (5)
{IDEAL} – split as (1,4) this could mean “me to serve”

24d    Left in cooler, it may get jammed (4)
{FLAN} – L(eft) inside an air cooler gives an open tart that may be covered with jam

The Quick crossword pun: (cart} + {blanch} = {carte blanche}


58 comments on “DT 27356

  1. Another Monday delight, for which my rating is the same as BD’s : 1*/4*.

    There were far too many good clues today to list them all, but the very amusing 27a was my favourite. 1a was my last one in. 2d contained a new meaning of head for me, and, having put in the obvious answer, I confirmed the middle four letters in the BRB.

    Many thanks to Rufus. Why can’t England’s cricketers apply themselves with his consistent level of excellence?! Thanks too to BD for his review and pictures.

  2. Oh dear, what a facer – I made a real ricket in the NW corner managing to get 10a, 6d and 7d wrong!!

    I had ‘diplomats’, ‘spot’ and ‘deadlock’ in the offending positions and the only one that didn’t work for me was deadlock!

    Hey-ho you can’t win them all!

    Thanks for the review – I really needed it today! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      1. Oh no – even more of a facer – I even got the offending corner wrong!

        Of course I meant NE – thank you Kath for pointing out my stupid error – I will store it in my memory banks for use at a later date!

        Definitely not my day – I think I’ll go back to bed! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

      2. Thanks Kath, I was going to reply to Michael, but I didn’t have the heart. Only joking, you beat me to it. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      3. I really wasn’t taking the ****. I was genuinely delighted for someone other than me to be wrong about it. It’s why I usually stick to R and L – at least I have a 50% chance of being right that way!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

          1. Not very well, I’m afraid! I have to pretend that I’m flying above it, facing downwards, and try to picture it by which time it’s usually gone horribly wrong. Husband thinks that I’m a liability and probably not safe when let out on my own. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      4. Take up playing bridge. Then you just need to picture the grid as a bridge table and it is easy to sort out where N S E and W are. :)

        1. Oh no – surely that complicates things even more – well, if would for me anyway. I’m easily confused! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

        2. That suggestion sounds to me like a plot in an Agatha Christie novel,of frustrated bridge players, finding themselves in the company of someone who can’t figure out north, south, east and west .Arsinic in the canapes , I’m afraid.No offense, Kath !
          Remember, I can’t spell reliably !

  3. A nice gentle distraction for me having had a traumatic weekend we were called
    Out in the early hours of fri /sat to the hospital where sadly my mother passed peacefully away.Back to the crossword 1D also made me laugh as did 27A
    11A reminded me of a very old corny joke ( what were the names of humpty dumpty mum & dad ) perhaps we might see it in the quicky across clues one day.Many thanks to the setter & BD for the review.

    1. Oh poor you – I’m sorry and hope that you are getting the support you need from family and friends.

  4. I know I’ve done more challenging puzzles than this. I know I’ve done more enjoyable ones, I just can’t remember when.

    Outstanding entertainment. Thank you Rufus (and to BD for the blog – as ever)

  5. Usual gentle star to the week.

    Looks like the back page has now been totally given over to advertising (every day last week and off to the same start this week), pity to see such a great paper slipping slowly into the gutter.

    1. It wasn’t just the back page on Saturday (think it was Saturday) – it was the whole of the outside – it had a great big 5 on it advertising Chanel No 5.

        1. Yes, I did the same – can’t see the value in it for the Advertiser- let’s hope it’s just a passing fad!

        2. I lit last night’s fire with it – it didn’t even burn very well – it was a different kind of paper, I think.

        1. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

          Bizarrely it has had the desired effect now that we all know what product was being advertised!

          Even so the advertisement won’t make me rush out and buy the product ….

  6. A very nice puzzle to start my week. Many thanks to Rufus, and to Big Dave for the comments.

    It’s a pity the on-line puzzle is not available a little earlier in the morning; how many Telegraph staff does it take to make one puzzle available ??

    1. Speaking as an IT Pro, the answer should be “none”. Everything is available beforehand, so a little automated script to update the website on the stroke of midnight (or any other allotted time) would seem to be all that is required…

      1. The puzzle was not available at about 7.30 this morning when I wanted it, nor was it available in the morning over the weekend when I wanted it. Pathetic!

  7. I agree with BD’s 1* (maybe a tiny bit more) for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I missed the hidden answer in 21a and so it took a while to see why it was what it obviously was.
    I was slow with the first word of 22a and, for no reason at all, 19d. Having already got the ‘O’ at the end of 26a I kept wanting it to be something involving ‘KO’ for unconscious but got there in the end.
    I liked 11 and 27a and 1 and 20d. My favourite was 14a which made me laugh – don’t know why. It’s the kind of clue I associate with Jay’s crosswords.
    With thanks to Rufus and BD.

  8. Thank you Rufus for a puzzle at the easier end of the scale, good fun as always. Thanks BD for the review, hints and photos.

  9. A very gentle start to the solving week. Off now to The Blue Pig in Wolvey for lunch with two of Saint Sharon’s three mums.

  10. Eased into Monday nicely with this puzzle */*** for me. Laughed out loud – not raucously mind – at 1d which was my favourite. I think that little hit of fun and satisfaction is why I do these things, in fact I am sure it is. Thanks to BD for the decode which, for once, was not needed today whilst I completed it to the lovely sounds of ‘Mutual Benefit’ on Spotify.

  11. Totally enjoyed this one, although one of his easier puzzles, fav clue 11a, thanks for review /hints Dave I didn’t need them today not even to understand a clue http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif
    Off to practice some flute now, whoever is mad enough to join a band just before Christmas!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif , also have French homework and nibbles to sort out for the ‘art class party’ so I doubt I’ll be back today, Happy Monday everyone, weather here dry and bright we had some amazing red skies yesterday evening…wow factor!

  12. Re 15D. According to the wonderful “Iron Men With Wooden Wings” by Lou Cameron, the phrase “dog fighting” was used by journalists as a more acceptable version of what the WW1 pilots said. If you’ve even seen a randy dog with an unenthusiastic bitch, then you’ll see what term was being used for aerial combat!

  13. Dentist first thing, but all’s well there thank goodness, & a very nice crossword at lunch time. Just needed one or two nudges in the right direction from BD for which thank you. 14 across was my favourite today. Nice & bright in Scarborough. Thank you to the setter.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  14. Thought this was a really enjoyable doddle – thanks Rufus – and was ready to agree with BD’s */**** but drew blank on 13a which was because I had wrong, but perhaps feasible, solution to 7d. Several clues amused me http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gifincluding 14a, 18a, 22a and 15d.

  15. Thanks to Rufus and to Big Dave for the review and hints. A very enjoyable, but straightforward start to the week. 1d made me laugh, but Favourites were 22a and 15d.
    Was 1*/4* for me. Nice bit of sun in Central London.

  16. As usual, great start to the week with my favourite setter, Rufus. So many entertaining clues. Thanks for your review, BD, but didn’t need you today. Agree with your ratings.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  17. Lovely crossword although made it hard for myself by putting in dispatch at 7d – seemed to fit until twigged 12a . Thanks to setter and BD.

  18. Last in was 16d for some reason that eludes us now, particularly as it appeared in an expanded from on the previous day. A nice companion piece for the Brendan in the Grauniad, which made a lot of sense. Good fun.
    Thanks Rufus and BD.

    Don’t forget to have a look at the NTSPP 200 if you haven’t yet. It really is worth the effort.

  19. I didn’t find it all that easy but really very enjoyable.Thanks to Rufus and BD, who is doing overtime, as far as I can see.

  20. I think Rufus should start a school for crossword compilers. Compiling seems to be a dying art. The Rufus-type, traditional crossword is rarely seen. Humour, great surface readings and all-round entertainment.

    1. And he isn’t in the Guardian or FT, unfortunately ! The Guardian’s Brendan is worth doing , although themed , I didn’t find itall that easy.The FT, Crux, is very doable.

      1. Am I missing something Una, Rufus (Roger Squires) sets as Rufus in the Guardian and Dante in the FT :)

        1. No, Andy, I’m missing the usual three Rufus/ Dante puzzles, as today the Guardian featured Brendan, who is , of course, splendid, and the FT had Crux today instead of Dante, which was also very sweet, but lacks the Rufus “je ne sais quoi”.

  21. Obviously missing something, but the link only gives me Sundays crosswords, 21:34 GMT Monday.

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