DT 27362 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27362

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27362

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

The usual fun puzzle from the Monday Maestro. I paused only on 14 across, but I don’t think it can be anything other than the answer I have given.

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    Drag one’s feet on stair carpet newly fitted (13)
{PROCRASTINATE} – an anagram (newly fitted) of ON STAIR CARPET

10a    Transport I catch for this meeting of governors (7)
{CABINET} – hired transport followed by I and a verb meaning to catch

11a    French dramatist‘s second story about the Queen (7)
{Molière} – a second or brief period of time followed by a story or untruth around the Queen’s regnal cipher

12a    Keen to bring singer back (4)
{AVID} – the reversal (bring … back) of operatic prima donna

13a    Fall off in spill (5)
{TAPER} – two definitions – the second being a thin strip of wood used for lighting a candle

14a    Labour  staged walk-out? (4)
{LEFT} – two definitions – the political alignment of the Labour party and a verb meaning staged a walk-out or departed

17a    Unwanted gas  pipe? (7)
{EXHAUST} – there are two ways of looking at this a) a double definition b) the pipe through which unwanted gases pass

18a    About to be put back in school ground (7)
{TERRAIN} – the reversal (to be put back) of a two-letter word meaning about inside a verb meaning to school

19a    Fishy evidence that lady is married (7)
{HERRING} – split this fish as (3,4) and it gives evidence that a lady is married

22a    Artillery associated with assault (7)
{BATTERY} – combined with assault this gives the action of threatening a person together with the action of making physical contact with them

24a    Oats cooked in oven (4)
{OAST} – an anagram (cooked) of OATS

25a    A backward idiot, apart from all else (5)
{ALOOF} – the A from the clue followed by the reversal (backward) of an idiot

26a    Four-letter word that’s used in place of another? (4)
{DASH} – this four-letter word can be used in place of a four-letter word, either as the word itself or as the punctuation mark it represents

29a    Flirt and irritate worker (7)
{GALLANT} – this flirt or womanizer is a charade of a verb meaning to irritate and a worker insect

30a    Let care get arranged for female in tragedy (7)
{ELECTRA} – an anagram (get arranged) of LET CARE

31a    Saucy proposal that may break deadlock (5,8)
{FRESH APPROACH} – an adjective meaning saucy followed by a proposal or strategy


2d    Refuse to make a scathing comment (7)
{RUBBISH} – two definitions – refuse or garbage and to make a scathing comment or criticise

3d    Once set it may hold ice‑cream (4)
{CONE} – an anagram (set) of ONCE

4d    Appeal when vehicle overturns in amateur races (7)
{ATTRACT} – reverse a farm vehicle inside A(mateur) and an annual motorcycle time trial on the Isle of Man

5d    The storm created by Shakespeare (7)
{TEMPEST} – this storm is the title of a play by William Shakespeare

6d    Africa’s best-known desert flower (4)
{NILE} – a cryptic definition of an African river

7d    There is a short girl here (7)
{THERESA} – the shortened version of there is a (5’1,1) gives a girl’s name

8d    Fiddle just enough to satisfy examiner? (6,7)
{SCRAPE THROUGH} – a cryptic definition of a verb meaning to barely manage to succeed in an examination, with a suggestion of playing a violin badly

9d    Narrowly failed, received school caning (6,2,1,4)
{BEATEN BY A HEAD} – this could mean being caned by a school principal

15d    Elect Russian leader (3,2)
{PUT IN) – as a single word this is the surname of the current Russian leader

16d    Trace mislaid box (5)
{CRATE} – an anagram (mislaid) of TRACE

20d    His depredations will affect stockholder (7)
{RUSTLER} – a cryptic definition of someone who steals stock from a rancher

21d    Celebration drink for Pygmalion’s love (7)
{GALATEA} – a celebration followed by a drink gives the statue carved of ivory by Pygmalion and brought to life

22d    Disapproval, we hear, increasing for drinking spree (5-2)
{BOOZE UP} – what sounds like (we hear) a chorus of disapproval followed by a two-letter word meaning increasing

23d    Able to come back after a stretch (7)
{ELASTIC} – a cryptic definition of the property of being able to return to the original position after being stretched

27d    This could be said from the platform (4)
{DAIS} – an anagram (this could be) of SAID

28d    It will remind me to go to doctor (4)
{MEMO} – a charade of ME and a doctor

RIP Peter O’Toole.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

… and farewell to AVB, gone the same way as Stroller did before him – neither will be missed!

The Quick crossword pun: (fiddle} + {Styx} = {fiddlesticks}

51 comments on “DT 27362

  1. Usual entertaining Monday fare. Not taxing but very enjoyable with my rating the same as BD’s 1*/3*.

    Even with two checking letters I couldn’t complete 14a without the hint.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to BD (yet again!).

  2. Not that easy I thought, perhaps 1.5 for me but very enjoyable.
    For some reason I took ages getting 31across despite having all the checking letters! Must be mi age :-) Mind you misspelling 27d didn’t help!
    Learnt a new word in 21d (thanks be for Google).
    Thx to BD for explaining 11a and Thx to the setter for a good start to the week.
    Just heard that AVB has gone AT LAST. Fancy a job Harry?

    1. Same here, misspelling 27d held me up for ages :).
      That, and waitng for the penny to drop with 31a.
      Harry should never have left Pompey!
      My team.

    2. AVB gone!! Shock – Horror, as a West Ham fan, I revel in Spurs having a bit of turmoil – mind we’ve got them on Wednesday night and they should beat us with one hand tied behind their backs!

      1. Being a football manager it seems to me, is one of the few jobs where one can fail miserably time after time, and yet still be give yet another chance with another club.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  3. 14ac doesn’t work for me either Big Dave. There are a lot of double definitions today and a number of clues that seem to have been around forever 10ac, 11ac, 12ac, 18ac 24ac, and 7d. As usual on Monday mornings I do not feel stretched by any part of this crossword. Rufus and I think alike so much that I feel we must be related

  4. Lovely Monday puzzle as usual. I also hesitated over 14a, but came to the same conclusion. Hint need to finish 21d, not being familiar with that Pygmalion.
    Thanks to all.

  5. Very enjoyable today – I had a little bit of grief over 14a – just couldn’t see it, when I eventually got it there was a ‘Doh’ moment!

    Thanks for the review!

  6. Re:14a – could it be something to do with a stage direction as in Snagglepuss – “exit, stage left!” uttered in very actorish tones as I remember…

    1. You have nailed it Spindrift. Well done. Pour yourself a Snecklifter hand the other half a list of jobs and sit back and relax as you watch the wam glow of contentment wash over her.

      1. Mrs S has just returned from a minor skirmish in Morrison’s as we build a stockpile of food which would resolve hunger in the third world. To add insult to injury she has bought the biggest tin of chocolates when she is fully aware I’m diabetic! Oh the cruelty of it all…

  7. Usual no nonsense Monday. I felt that there were a lot of anagrams today, but that might be just that they all came in a bunch. 14A had me thinking for a while – I think I must try and make things more complicated than they are.

    Spent most of yesterday afternoon putting up the Christmas Decorations (involving a lot of swearing and a lot of loss in weight), now have to go out to try and buy stuff that decided not to work properly this year. Grrrr

  8. Thank you Rufus, I thought a mixture of easy clues and some really tricky 4 letter words. 14a and 26a spring to mind. I got 14a more in hope than expectation, it seemed to be right but I wasn’t sure ! Thanks BD for your review. Sorry to see Spurs in a mess. Amazing with so many good players and awash with money how these top clubs can get into such difficulties.

  9. I put TROT for 14a before I got 7d! Not far off I thought….http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

    Dud zi miss something or was 17a a bit lame ( not very cryptic)?

  10. We enjoyed today’s offering & only got stuck on one or two which were easily resolved with the help of the hints. Thank you setter & of course BD, again!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  11. Mostly finished before lights out last night. I got hung up on 31a trying to make it an anagram of “saucy proposal.” I was convinced that 26a was what it had to be, but could only write it in when the penny dropped on 23d. No problems with 14a, and I got the same answer as BD. The thought I had on the second part of the clue was the theatrical “exit stage . . . ” and I see spindrift had the same thought (above). Thanks as always to Rufus for a pleasant start to the week, and to BD for the review.

  12. 14A syndrome for me too, like Spindrift, was thinking of a theatrical exit like “exuent stage left followed by a Snagglepuss- even!,Took my mind off the cricket, century’s by Warner and Watson just a little too hard to stomach .Thanks to BD for the picks and Rufus ..

  13. Nice one in the realms of **/***. Could not get 13a & 14a. 21d a new word for me (what would you pay per year for Google if is was not free?). Liked 19a, did not like 15d and had ‘chimney’ for 17a – which i quite liked. Mis-spelled 27d like half of the of us by the look of it. The fun of completing this one was damped a bit bby my own errors.
    Thanks to BD for the hints – def needed today.

  14. 1* or a little bit more for difficulty and 3* enjoyment.
    The only one that nearly beat me was 14a and the first word of 31a. I couldn’t do 26a for a while either – it’s often the four letter words that are the most difficult.
    I agree with Miffypops that there were quite a few clues that have been seen before.
    I liked 1a and 2d.
    With thanks to Rufus and BD.
    Off to do more useful stuff. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  15. Thanks to Rufus and to Big Dave for the review and hints. Usual good stuff from Rufus, I’m not good at double definitions, and just to prove it, I needed the hints for 13&14a. Also for the first word of 34a. Spelt 27d correctly and worked out 21d from the wordplay. Favourites were 15&28d. Was 2*/3* for me. Central heating packed up this morning, waiting for the plumber.

  16. As usual with the Monday Rufus, thoroughly enjoyed and had no problem. I didn’t even question 14a! I agree that a few have been seen before, maybe that’s why they fell in so easily for me. Favourite: 22d. Thanks Rufus and BD for review. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    1. Further, this DT crossword site being down is really beginning to irk me. Every morning I have to finagle the printing to make sure it’s on the page, not easy for an untechie computer user, all right for you brilliant chaps. This morning it printed with a good inch off the edge, what a waste of bloody time and laser ink. Grrrrr, when is it ever going to end? Does ANYBODY know?

      1. Frustrating. Just get a nice iPad. Your troubles will be over and you will seldom be parted from the thing.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      2. I don’t have any problems, even on 8.5×11 paper. It prints nicely but margins are only half an inch all around. Check your margin settings in page layout.

      3. Merusa, when you click on the link and the puzzle appears on your screen, make sure that the “fit” option is selected. If you are printing with the “actual size” option selected, the left hand side of the page is cut off (I tested).

  17. Nit picking, I know, but I don’t think 29a has an accurate definition of “flirt”, and neither of my big reference books has it and the answer as synonyms. Anybody else agree with me?

    1. It hadn’t occurred to me so I looked it up. I don’t know what your big reference books are but BRB says a dashing debonair young man, a lover. My other ‘bible’ is a very old edition of the Reader’s Digest Universal Dictionary which is brilliant as it also has places and well known people. It says a fashionable young man; a man courteously attentive to women; a ladies’ man. Near enough, I reckon, but don’t know what others will say.

  18. Not relevant to today’s puzzle (1*/3* for me, thank you Rufus), but at home using Mozilla Firefox, it isn’t snowing at all, but at work with Internet Explorer, there was a positive blizzard.

    1. I’m using IE and getting the occasional snowflake drifting down my monitor, but only on this blog.

    2. All this is far too clever for me but, although it was snowing here earlier on, it seems to have stopped now. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
      I think that BD is still just teasing us! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  19. The usual thoroughly enjoyable fare,and it may be only one* but I had to ponder for a bit to hit upon the solutions to 8d,9d and 31a.If I had been able to just write them in I wouldn’t have enjoyed it half as much.I misread 26a and kept thinking of another place e.g. House of Lords.Thanks to Rufus and BD.

  20. There was nothing in this one that held us up for long, despite initially trying to make 14a more complicated than it actually is.
    Thanks Rufus and BD.

  21. Hi there
    Can someone tell me what is the BRB?!
    Is it the Chambers crossword dictionary (if so, why BRB and not CCD?!) and where can I get one from. (Chrismas present!)

    1. BRB is shorthand for the Big Red Book – Chambers Dictionary (the latest edition is edition 12). Chambers Crossword Dictionary is also very useful.

      1. The BRB (hardback) is currently on sale from Amazon (uk) for £18.16 and the paperback Chambers Crossword Dictionary for £7.28 from the same place.

        1. Hi Gazza, seriously thinking of investing in the 12th edition, though do you have any idea when the 13th edition is due? In other words will I be wasting my pennies?

          1. Don’t know I’m afraid, but it wouldn’t be a waste, would it? A new edition doesn’t invalidate everything in the previous edition.

          1. Emma – Mrs SW gave me the Crossword Dictionary for Christmas last year. It is brilliant – so helpful when stuck ( frequently in my case ! )

  22. Late input from me as was in hospital for a long time today for examination of my feet!

    Usual pleasant fare from Rufus!

    Faves were the four 13-letter externals.

  23. For me this was by no means the walkover others have intimated. ***/**. Was looking for a bloomer for 6d and missed out on 27d plus first word of 31a. 19a amused. Thanks Rufus and BD – your team seems to have deserted you. Hope you will get some kind of Christmas break at least.

  24. Only 14a stumped me for a bit, but I got there in the end. Too many cliched clues to be too enjoyable but good enough for a lte-night post-work unwind. As one who was at the Lane on Sunday, they couldn’t get rid of AVB fast enough. Bring back attacking flair, I say. If we’re going to get beaten, at least lets do it with some style

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