DT 27379 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27379

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27379

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

The sun is out and the river is down so we have avoided flooding yet again. Here is a very nice puzzle from Rufus at his most benign with a couple of stings as we go along. Thanks to all for your kind remarks about my review last week of 27,373. Very encouraging.

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 Note deficiency, get governors to provide school equipment (10)
{BLACKBOARD} Take a musical note, add a word meaning deficiency or dearth and another word for governors or directors to reveal a rather old fashioned classroom focal point

9a Present her with key (4)
{HERE} HER followed by a musical key

10a Cancellation of count leads to rebuke (7,3)
{TELLING OFF) A double definition. What the cancellation of a count of ballot papers might be called or a reproval

11a The Spanish weapons that make army manoeuvres possible (6)
{ELBOWS} The two-letter Spanish word for the followed by stringed weapons will give a part of the body without which we would find manoeuvring impossible

12a Proposition from me to her (7)
{THEOREM} Anagram (from) of ME TO HER

15a Tact as well as art may be needed to draw (7)
{ATTRACT} Anagram (may be needed) of TACT and ART meaning to draw, like a magnet perhaps

16a You may see them by sea and in ship (5)
{SANDS} The word AND from the clue inside (in) the two-letter abbreviation for steamship will give what you may see from the ship when close to shore.

17a Musical companion of Bess heading off for a wild party (4)
{ORGY} Gershwin’s operatic hero and boyfriend of Bess minus the first letter (heading off)

ARVE Error: need id and provider

18a Queue for classified information (4)
{ FILE} A line or a dossier

19a Avoid Kansas city (5)
{DODGE} No hint necessary. (Oh alright then) Double definition. To avoid somebody or something or a city in Kansas

21a Insect on head of animal is an annoyance (7)
{BUGBEAR} An irritation. A three-letter word for an insect and a four-letter animal. Pooh perhaps

22a Comes into force? (7)
{ENLISTS} Joins the armed services

24a Quick moving river traps doctor (6)
{NIMBLE} An African river with a two-letter abbreviation for doctor inside (traps) meaning agile

27a Outline new house title (10)
{SILHOUETTE} Anagram (new) of HOUSE TITLE meaning an outline.

28a Founder of place of iniquity? (4)
{SINK} To founder as in a boat and a noun meaning a place regarded as wicked and corrupt

29a Yeasty reds drunk in recent times (10)
{YESTERDAYS} Anagram (drunk) of YEASTY REDS


2d Grounds or pastures, say (4)
{LEES} The dregs or grounds of wines or a homophone (say) of word meaning meadows

3d Bill comes up with new coil of fabric (6)
{CALICO} A fabric. A shorter form of bill or account reversed (Comes up) and an anagram (new) of COIL

4d Key groups? (7)
{BUNCHES} a cryptic definition of what doorkeys are usually gathered in

5d A second son for the prophet (4)
{AMOS} A from the clue, a second or an instant and S(on) to give a prophet, sheep herder and sycamore fig farmer.

6d Faults or defaults (7)
{DEFECTS} Double definition, the second one meaning to disown allegiance to one’s country and take up residence in another.

7d Crack ace orbits after a display of stunt flying (10)
{AEROBATICS} Anagram (crack) of ACE ORBITS (after) the A from the clue

ARVE Error: need id and provider

8d They accommodate those who don’t wish to move far when they retire (10)
{BEDSITTERS} A type of accommodation much favoured by students in the sixties

12d He performs extensively on a sliding scale (10)
{TROMBONIST} A musician who plays a brass instrument

13d Fight before wedding (10)
{ENGAGEMENT} A military term for fight or battle and a period of happiness before the realities of marriage

14d Officer in difficult situation turned to other ranks (5)
{MAJOR} A three-letter word for a difficult situation reversed (turned) with the abbreviation for O(ther) R(anks) will reveal an officer ranking immediately above captain

15d Maxim for our time (5)
{ADAGE} A saying. Anno Domini and a long period of time

19d Ready as can be, I suppose (7)
{DARESAY} Anagram (can be) of READY AS meaning I suppose I suppose.

20d In French clubs, miss will get embrace (7)
{ENCLOSE} The two-letter French word for in and the initial letter from C(lubs) and a word meaning to fail

23d Popular act, certainly (6)
{INDEED} Our regular crosswordland two-letter word for popular and a word for an action will make another word meaning certainly or without doubt

25d A girl comes up with a woebegone expression (4)
{ALAS} A very old word used to express grief or regret. A from the clue and a shortened form of the name Sarah reversed (Comes up)

26d Remain a supporter (4)
{STAY} Double definition. To linger or to prop up


That is blog number two. Please feel free to comment

The Quick crossword pun: (antic} + {witty} = {antiquity}

61 comments on “DT 27379

  1. Nice gentle start to the New Year Proper. No problems at all today, nearly a straight read/write crossword although for one second I did think Rufus was gong to be rude at 21A (then I realised that the word I was thinking of didn’t quit fit.

    Its been nice to see the crosswords back where they belong for the last week or so.

  2. Having struggled with most of last week’s puzzles, I found this one pretty straightforward. No particular favorites, **/*** for me. Thanks to compiler and Miffypops.

  3. Miffypops ~ as far as your style of review is concerned then all I can say is that I like the cut of your jib, sir. Simple & straightforward ~ just like me!

    Rufus is putting up a bit more of a fight over in the Grauniad [IMHO]. Thanks to he for both puzzles.

  4. I enjoyed this one. Not too taxing and a couple of smileys, 12A and 8D. I did not need the hints today but thank you Miffypops for providing them in yet again a most lucid form. I always read them whether they are required or not.

  5. 1*/3* for a straightforward but enjoyable solve this morning.

    I didn’t know 19d could be written as one word until I checked the BRB.

    4d was my last one in, and my favourite was 11a, with 28a a close second.

    I parsed 28a differently from Miffypops to arrive at the same answer. My probably incorrect logic was that the clue was an all in one with a “sin k(ing)” being the founder of a place of iniquity.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for another impeccable review.

    1. Whoops, Miffypops, I just noticed a very small error in your hint for 14d. It should read:

      A three letter word for a difficult situation reversed (turned) followed by the abbreviation for O(ther) R(anks) will reveal an officer ranking immediately above captain.

  6. Thank you Rufus. A very enjoyable puzzle – good fun, and not a drudge as some recent ones have been. I particularly liked 11a for some reason, very clever ! Thank you Miffypops for your second review – I think the Monday job’s yours now !

  7. After a week away with no access to my daily fix, this was a pleasant start to the week. No real problems and 11a made me smile. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops

  8. Lovely start to the week. Like others, I smiled at 11A and loved 12A also. Thanks to Rufus. Keep up the good work, miffypops!!

  9. I misspelt 27a which really screwed me up – after a lot of soul searching I eventually got my act together and then sailed through it!

  10. Doesn’t get much more enjoyable than this **/****. Uncomplicated, witty and fun to do. Thanks as ever to Rufus for an excellent Monday offering. Didn’t need them today but the hints and review were of an equally high standard: thanks Miffypops!

  11. A very pleasant start to the week (even with the continuing frustrations of the DT – don’t they know about backing up an old system (which seemed to working just fine) before releasing a new system, so that it is available for reversion just in case?). Definitely */*** – although I am a little confused by the ***/*** above.

    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops. I am pleased to see that you are continuing the Libellule tradition of no pictures on a Monday.

    1. You’re being ridiculous talking like that. Back up? Test? Reversion? Reliable & well maintained link to an alternative in case everything goes t#ts up?

      They’ll think you’re mad at the DT!

      1. I know, but I have been wanting to express my opinion for a while now, even if it is ridiculous, and now I have, I feel a lot better. So, now I will wait for the men in white coats to come looking for me.

    2. As I am new to reviewing there are some minor problems due to inexperience and a computer that refuses to find saved files to attach to emails. I forgot the star system but would have given 1 for difficulty and 3 for enjoyment. Your additional delights today were to have included a Bart Simpson Blackboard, A video clip of Tiger Moth aerobatics, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong singing Summertime, An advert for whalebone corset stays and a sandy beach.

      1. If lack of pictures is more by accident than by design, don’t rush to get your computer fixed. Thanks again.

      2. ..and I thought Gazza & Pommers were the innovative ones when it came to images. You’ve not been on the magic mushrooms have you?

        By the way New Year was marred by a distinct lack of Snecklifter as the restaurant we were in only sold Peroni lager!

  12. I missed your debut last week, in the afternath of Christmas travel. A belated welcome to the team from me.

    For some reason I just couldn’t see the answer to 4d today, in what was otherwise a straightforward Monday offering. D’oh.

  13. Thank you to the setter & to Miffypops for your review. We looked at it to check one or two of our answers & to read through the hints too, as usual. I wouldn’t make 19 down all one word but if it’s in the BRB,http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif who am I to disagree.

  14. I enjoyed this. I would give it between 1* and 2* for difficulty and possibly as much as 4* for enjoyment just because of 11a.
    I did the top left and bottom right corners quickly with no problems – the other two corners took a bit longer.
    I was dim with 4d which was one of my last answers and also with 9a (perhaps the easiest clue in the whole crossword) and 17a.
    I liked 12 and 19a and 7 and 19d. No tricky decisions about my favourite today – 11a. I absolutely loved that.
    With thanks to Rufus and thanks and congratulations for his second very clear batch of hints to Miffypops.

    1. Do you think the setter means “armies” as in at the end of your sleevies’
      At 11a?
      ( an old joke)
      Thanks to both. I didn’t need the hints today but liked the simplicity of them. I agree with rabbit Dave about 28a.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  15. Just popping in very quickly I have managed to catch a horrible winter lurgy which has turned into something else…not sure what…feeling really lousy…however finished crossword today, thank you Rufus for that…thanks MP for hints keeping up the good work :-) …and saying Hi Kath, it’s nice to know you missed me so here I am no papers sorry but a genuine excuse…not sure if I’ll be popping in tomorrow :-(

    1. Poor you – yes, I missed you and, in this case and only just for once, I’ll let you off for the lack of papers. I do hope you feel better soon. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  16. All ok today, just came in to check on 4d and 28a which l was just a bit unsure of, happier now.

  17. Not a complaint at all – just a comment but the hints are in very strong black writing – I suppose it’s possible that I’m using specs that belong to someone else. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  18. Nice gentle start to the week. Especially liked 11a, it made me laugh out loud.
    Thx to all.

  19. An absolutely delightful Rufus again. I missed 28a, thanks to MP for the hint, otherwise no problems at all. Runaway favourite, as with most, 11a. Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and miffypops for the review.


  20. Thanks Rufus and Miffypops, enjoyed the experience, 9a last in prossibly due to the ‘present’ giving/receiving season that has now thankfully gone for another 11 monthsi’sh, more lateral thinking I feel

  21. Thanks to Miffypops for the review! I always need a few hints to finish a Rufus – today 28a & 4d.

    Ps. Are the comments spread out more than usual? Or is it me?

  22. Thanks Miffypops for a very clear review.A really nice gentle start to the week.I also liked 11a the most, and I learned how to spell 27a.Thanks , Rufus.

  23. Fantastic hints, thank you.

    Shame about a couple of today’s clues. 9A especially. It couldn’t be “present that woman with key”? 15D too.

    Still, liked 12A and 12D.

    Also, my first guess for 8D was way better than the answer! CHAIRLIFTS.

  24. The laugh out loud that was caused by 11a was the highlight of this puzzle where everything fitted in without too much struggle.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

    1. Just want to put in another plug for the latest prize puzzle by Prolixic, MPP 20.
      It is really clever and quite do-able. Well worth the effort of a bit of perservation.
      Cheers all.

  25. Been away for the weekend with family, hmmppphh, but It had to be done so comments on other puzzles will have to wait until I have a chance to look at them. I seem to agree with many others that 4d eluded me totally. Not helped by the double unch it contained. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops who once again is proving his worth, well done

  26. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. I agree with Miffypops’ rating Was 1*/3* for me, but I needed the hint for 4d, just couldn’t see it. A nice cheery puzzle to start a gloomy New Year. Favourites were 11&16a. I’m pleased to say that I managed to get a run in before it rained. Late commenting due to organising the Squash Tournament.

  27. Phew. Thank goodness for a jolly, relatively straightforward solve after spending ages on the New Year’s Eve Toughie yesterday. 11a my favourite, like everyone else and 4d my last one in after some head scratching – just couldn’t get the Bangles out of my mind. An easy puzzle means I can get to bed before 3am, so thanks to Rufus for that and to MP too for the (unneeded) hints and to BD for whacking in some fun pics, particularly the stays

  28. Last again… I guess there will be no readers of this humble post as it’s three days late but I just have to comment on the elegance of this crossword. Like all others 11a was gorgeous. Other favs were 15a and 19 & 6 d. For 4d I had OCTAVES in first off which I thought quite nice. Simple write-in in * time but and I’d award at least a **** for fun. Thanks Rufus!

          1. One is in agreement with one’s comment. I’ve never really understood when it should be “You & I” – Craig Shrives in his excellent book “Grammar for Grown ups”, section 51 devotes 1½ pages in explanation.
            Me? I can’t be ar’ed one way or t’other!

  29. I think you’re just about in agreement with everyone else about this puzzle from Rufus – it’s one of his best ever – says he who has only been doing cryptics a fraction of the time that Rufus has been setting them.

  30. Hi with the telegraph online puzzle page down I forgot to print off the grid for the cryptic 27379. The online page only gives the current puzzles with no way to go back to previous puzzles. This is sad as my sister and I print off the page work on it in our own time then compare notes when we telephone each – we love it! She printed 27379, so I want to be able to do it too. Is there anyone out there who can tell me how to get a copy? Help please! Kathy

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