DT 27385 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27385

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27385

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Miffypops enjoyed a long lazy day out on Saturday with the best lunch of the year so far at The Three Tuns in Henley-On-Thames whose valiant Rugby team lost to Coventry by 10 points to 18.  Some Brakspear’s Bitter was consumed. Just a small hint today. 25ac does not begin with the letter O.

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    Have trouble getting up? (7)
{CLAMBER} To climb awkwardly using hands as well as feet

5a    Is a name recollectable? Not with this (7)
{AMNESIA} Anagram (recollectable) of IS A NAME

9a    City that captivated Helen (5)
{PARIS} Helen of Troy’s squeeze

10a    Promise that makes both alter (9)
{BETROTHAL} Anagram (Makes) of BOTH ALTER. A promise to marry.

11a    Work on site can cause obstruction (10)
{OPPOSITION} Our regular two letter word for work (short for opus) and a verb meaning to site or to place

12a    It needs a key first for opening (4)
{ADIT} IT from the clue preceded by A (also from the clue) and a musical key will give an opening usually attributed to a mine

14a    Badly beaten, apparently, by two balls at snooker (5,3,4)
(BLACK AND BLUE} The colours of two snooker balls

18a    Conversation is about management of natural resources (12)
{CONSERVATION} Anagram (is about) of CONVERSATION. Possibly the weakest anagram regularly used by various setters.

21a    Close in and launch an attack (4)
(RAIL} A nice double definition. To pen or coop and to verbally abuse

22a    Breaking down, strangely enough (8,2)
{CRACKING UP} Undergoing a mental or physical breakdown or becoming highly amused at something

25a    Right at the back, yet wanting the lion’s share (9)
{AFTERMOST} Following nearly all and being greedy.

26a    Ancient British tribe or nice new one (5)
{ICENI} Anagram (new) of NICE following I (one) for an ancient British Tribe only ever heard of in crosswordland or Norfolk

27a    Descriptive of an eternity ring? (7)
{ENDLESS} Without end

28a    A virtue that’s easily cultivated (7)
{HONESTY} A virtue and a garden plant


1d    He catches someone using top gear on hill (6)
{CAPTOR} A three letter word meaning to top or beat top or head gear and a three letter word for a hill in Devon maybe

2d    Impolite sailor put out around mid-afternoon (6)
{ABRUPT} A two letter abbreviation for Able Seaman followed by an anagram (out) of PUT around the middle letter of afteRnoon

3d    Success story? (4-6)
{BEST SELLER} A book maybe, enjoying runaway sales

4d    Squash potato that’s served up (5)
{REBUT} A root or rhizome reversed (served up) gives a verb meaning to repel

5d    A nut roast cooked for a high flier (9)
{ASTRONAUT} Anagram (cooked) of A NUT ROAST

6d    A veto on twelve (4)
{NOON} A two letter negative and (on) from the clue give another word for twelve o clock or midday

7d    Cryptic clues he’d put in the timetable (8)
{SCHEDULE} Anagram (cryptic) of CLUES HE’D

8d    It’s at the centre of revolutions in transport (4-4)
{AXLE-TREE} A bar or beam around which wheels revolve

13d    Tina in mood that’s awkward gets a reprimand (10)
{ADMONITION} Anagram (that’s awkward) of TINA IN MOOD

15d    Uncovers a merging of large underground chambers (9)
{CAVERNOUS} Anagram (merging) of UNCOVERS A

16d    Put out account with wrong rebate (8)
{ACERBATE} To vex or annoy. The abbreviation of account followed by an anagram (wrong) of REBATE

17d    Maintained it’s Enid’s move (8)
{INSISTED} Yet another anagram (maintained) of IT’S ENID’S

19d    Birds, say, disturbed rest (6)
(EGRETS} a two letter abbreviation meaning for example and an anagram (disturbed) of REST will give these wading birds

20d    Ruth, after being at university, becomes bigheaded (6)
{UPPITY} The two letter word used to indicate somebody at university and a four letter noun meaning compassion

23d    Net takings? (5)
{CATCH} What an angler may have in his net

24d    Honest  expression of agreement (4)
{TRUE} A double definition. The first meaning sincere

Thank you Rufus for an enjoyable start to the crossword week, particularly the anagrams at 13d and 17d wher.e the answers seem to have far too many syllables for the letters used.

The Quick crossword pun: (purser} + {veer} + {rants} = {perseverance}

80 comments on “DT 27385

  1. Very enjoyable fare again from Rufus to start the week, although perhaps a little heavy on anagrams for my taste. Thank you, Rufus.

    My overall rating is 1.5*/3*, although I finished all but three four letter words in 1* time. These three took me as long as the rest put together!

    I don’t know why, but it took an age for the penny to drop with 24d.

    I’ve never heard of the answer to 8d. Given the checking letters, the first word was obvious but I needed the BRB to find the second word.

    I got 21a quite quickly but couldn’t completely unravel the wordplay, so I needed Miffypops’ help to understand why it was the right answer. Thank you, Miffypops for your review. You have slotted seamlessly into the blogging team, and your contributions are a model of clarity. Well done!

  2. A lovely puzzle to start the week. Thank you Rufus. A mixture of easy and tricky and new words for me as well ! Thanks Miffypops for the review, hints and photos.

  3. Cracker of a start to the 3rd week of January. For me a straight run but with lots of lovely experiences along the way. Last in was 8d and fav probably 24d or 21a with a new word learned along the way at 16d – well, at least this version of the word. My level of crossword this; clean, concise not too obscure with just a few unusual words to savour and, mainly, does not take too long. Thanks to Rufus – if I’ve got that right. Reading Rabbit Dave above pretty much agree with all. The four letter answers were the stars but I had the wrong letter ending for 21a. Thanks for that.

  4. 25a – Another nautical term from Rufus that I have never heard of. (Oops! Rabbit Dave may be listening)

    Another nautical term from Rufus of which I have never heard.

    Thanks to Miffypops for the review – I always need help with a few on Mondays.

    1. Yes that was my last one in too and thought it was uttermost for a while which held me up in that corner for a while ! Obvious when you know !!

    2. Thanks for the nautical tip. I wouldn’t have got the answer otherwise. “Another nautical term from Rufus that I’ve never heard of” is fine by you and me… :-)

  5. */** for me – finished easily before lights out last night, although I did need confirmation of a couple of answers from Miffypops. Favourite would be 8d, not a word you hear much these days. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops (for the pictures – tasteful and not overdone in quantity).

  6. No real problems again 9 as is usual for a Monday) although I had nevver heard of 8D – the first part was fairly obvious and the second could only really be what it was.

    Christmas trees and decs finally stowed away in the loft (it can be a real pain going up there), so nothing to do now until mid-December when everything has to come back down again. Perhaps I should get my self a hobby or a job or something.

    1. Same for me yesterday!

      Some kind soul bought Mrs RD a book for Christmas entitled “101 Things to do with a Retired Man”. I think we have already reached number 29 … I’ve got plenty of hobbies but no time to do them now http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif.

  7. Fairly gentle kick-off to the week thanks Rufus. I agree with Rabbit Dave on the large number of anagrams. Needed Miffypops to put me right on 21a and not being mechanically-minded 8d was new to me. Liked 5a (can’t remember why) and also 25a. ***/**.

  8. I agree with 2*/3*.
    I’d like to add another small hint if Miffypops doesn’t mind – the second word of 8d is not ‘turn’ and it really messes up 14a. Oh dear!
    I couldn’t get 1a for ages. I tried to make the obvious anagram at 10a two different ways before hitting on the third, and right, one. Oh dear again.
    I thought that 18a was a bit weedy.
    I liked 22 and 25a and 15d. My favourite was either 28a or 20d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

      1. No – it’s just that I haven’t quite made up my mind about it yet – I’ll let you know when I have! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  9. It must be some sort of record for the number of anagrams!

    8d was a new one to me – obtained by entering the checking letters into my Wordsearch program.

  10. I remember the three tuns at Henly when my club, Reading, played Henley. Very good pub. On boxing day the Veterans would play each other and the home team would supply a glass of brandy at halftime. I wonder if they still do that

  11. Enjoyed the puzzle, but can some one explain 1a? It seems to be non cryptic.
    Thanks in advance.

      1. Thanks Dave, I clamber up ladders all the time, usually in rough seas!
        Much easier clambering into bed!

  12. Struggled with this, probably owing to the fact that I had more than an elegant sufficiency of Speckled Hen last night. Thanks to Rufus & to Miffypops who you would think had been doing these reviews for more than 3 weeks. Sterling work that man!

  13. Love anagrams :-) , late in been to doctor at last some sort of bronchial infection now suitably armed with antibiotics, fingers crossed!! Took the crossword with me and completed all but 5, one of which was 8d, although I got 20d right I have never heard of ‘ruth’ for pity, ruthless yes but not ruth! a three star for difficulty for me today, horrible day here in West Wales dull wet and miserable a bit like the way I feel :-)

    1. Sorry thanks miffypops for the hints, I wouldn’t have completed without them, you are doing a really good job on Mondays

        1. Yes – I noticed that too and thought it could have been written with Mary in mind. If it had been the clue for 9a should have been “avoid” (4).

  14. Sorry, today’s enjoyment scored lower than difficulty for me.

    A couple that were either non cryptic or weedy and some that were unknown to me – 8d, 12a, 25a.
    16d was rare and the use of ruth was clever, but by then I was a bit cheesed off. Sorry Rufus!

    The only one that gave me a d’oh moment was 26a, when I put e as the last letter, thinking I was clever for seeing a hidden word, when all the time it was an anagram +.
    Then interfered with 20d…….

  15. As always on a Monday, I try both the DT Rufus and the Guardian Rufus.

    DT 16d and Guardian 15d – Thought I’d seen it before – sadly I cannot remember which puzzle I tried first.

  16. Agree with Miffypops rating- and thanks for the pics, wanted to put raid for 21a-bit slow on the uptake, did’nt know that 1a meant an awkward climb ,as apposed to just climbing up, as for 19d,Edith didn’t have any! sorry.

  17. HEPL!!!

    Tried to download the puzzle (for which I pay a subscription) to my laptop. Alas I get puzzle number 27,350, Monday December 2nd.

    Anyone got any bright ideas?

    1. Update. Stumbled upon the ‘Comments’ page and got the correct link from there. It seems to go from bad to worse.

    2. Me too! Getting a feeling of déjà vu after the first clue, realised it was wrong. I’ll go and print off the proper one, p****d off I am.

  18. An enjoyable, if not very taxing, puzzle and a good review so thanks to Rufus and Miffypops. */*** from us. Only 3* enjoyment cos it’s a bit heavy on anagrams for our taste.

    Now to check out the Grauniad . . .

  19. Lots of anagrams ( don’t mind too much), never heard of 8 down, though got the first word all right, never heard of ruth being used to mean pity. Has anyone else? Otherwise quite enjoyed it, so thank you to Miffypops & to the setter.

    1. No, of course not, though I thought it was guessable from the checkers and my favourite clue, actually.

  20. Just returned from an extended week end away. No TV or radio, no phones, nor any computers or papers or crosswords. Just lots of good food and wine, stimulating conversation, dog walking and reading. Now I am back in the real world this Monday offering eased me back into crossword land from which I have been absent since Friday. Not too difficult but enjoyable. I’m would rate it 1.5/3. I did not need the hints but must comment again on the standard of Miffypops’ review. Thank you.

  21. Not too difficult but very enjoyable apart from 21a which I just don’t get. What has rail to do with close in and why launch an attack? Can’t see it at all. Best clue for me though was def 20a, always knew ruthless but never come across the opposite before, very logical.
    Thx to all concerned.

    1. Re: 21A Rail can mean to enclose with (EG) a safety rail. It can also be a verbal attack on someone or something

  22. Bring on the anagrams – the more the merrier – they help me to get a foothold in the grid, especially with the more arcane puzzles, although this was quite an easy start to the week, with just a couple of stunners: 16d and 20d. 2*/3* for me. Glad to see the pics in MP’s review, which I enjoyed, although didn’t need today

  23. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very enjoyable start to the week. I was just half a clue short, and needed the hint for the second word of 8d. So near and yet so far :-) Favourite was 1d. Was 2*/4* for me. A lovely day today in Central London had a nice bike ride this morning, and will be watching the Gooners tonight.

  24. **/** for me. Put RAID at 21a without really being convinced, and tried to make another anagram out of ‘work on site’ at 11a before penny dropped. My print off has ‘overturn’ potato at 4d whereas you have ‘squash’? Doesn’t really make any difference to the clue or answer. Thanks to R and M.

    1. My print-out says – 4d – Overturn potato that’s served up (5)

      With the on-line version being off-line I thought that we’d all be singing from the same hymn sheet for once.

  25. Still seething at the wrong crossword. By the time I found a comment from someone else who had the same problem, I, of course, had inadvertently seen some hints, which spoiled it somewhat for me. Wotta cockup. In any case, thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for review, good job, you’re quite a pro.

  26. A few clues that looked rather familiar (8d, 9a, 26a & 27a) and some fairly straightforward anagrams led me to think that this was going to be a read-and-write puzzle (nonetheless enjoyable). Being married to a Ruth even gave me the answer to 20d. Then I got stuck on 25a and try though I might, I just couldn’t see it. Even with all the checking letters and Miffypops’ hint, I admit I still couldn’t get it. It wasn’t till StanXYX mentioned “nautical” that the penny dropped. My late father who was an RNVR Captain and a Times crossword acolyte would have just written it in…

    There were several contenders for favourite clue, but, although I didn’t get it, 25a has to be the one. Very neat.

    Many thanks to BD, Mr Squires and to Miffypops for another excellent review.

  27. I was also caught out by 21a. I had RAIL as a possibility, but hadn’t seen how it fitted any better than RAID…

    Apart from that it was pretty straightforward, I had three of the cryptic defs as my last ones in.

    Overall I thought this was a slightly weak effort from the setter, with some very simple anagrams, and also some weak cryptic defs.

    1. Welcome to the blog bfgp

      Just select the space between the curly brackets with you mouse to get the answer. This one is AXLE-TREE.

  28. Hi,
    I am a great albeit silent fan of your website, thank you. Do you have any knowledge as to why I can not access the current crossword. Up to to-day I have been able to access the temporary DT site but now all I get is the December 2nd puzzle. I live in Victoria Canada.

  29. A nice puzzle that I completed at Mansion House tube. Last in was 26a which I had never heard of. Thanks to Miffypops – what a great handle! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  30. Congratulations, Miffypops, on launching a new career so very well.Perhaps Jane Teather should organise the next gathering at your pub , in your honour.
    I spent the best of my cryptic solving brain power muttering “this looks familiar” and “I’m going to have to write in about reusing old clues” and even wondering if I’d seen it at another site , and so on.By then, the mind wasn’t quite tuned in or something. Bought the newspaper. I went back too early after my bout of flu, and my legs were wobbliy all day. In summary , I didn’t get the usual pleasure I derive from a Rufus.Thanks to all concerned, anyway.

  31. Well I thought it was a grand start to the week with plenty of clever clues as always from Rufus. Mrs D started and finished it but I got stuck in over the carrot soup at lunchtime and like to think I helped it along. But Mrs D was on the ball today. I just wish she’d put so much energy in to the tax returns.

  32. Anybody any idea where todays cryptic is, any kind person got a pdf … oh I see I have mail, thank you Dave :-)

  33. The DT site seems to have reverted to the start of last month. Any chance of a pdf for today?

  34. Rufus had a similar clue & answer at 15d in the Grauniad as he has here at 16d. What’s the chances of that happening on the same day by the same setter?

  35. Thanks for the help, BD and Miffypops. Just wondered if anyone else had RAIN for 21a? As in weather closing in, and raining blows or bombs on someone? Or am I all alone?!

    1. Yes, Sheenypops, I also had ‘rain’ and for the same reasons as you. So you’re not all alone!

  36. A lovely Rufus puzzle, and, for once, one I could do! Actually, that needs qualification. I had to guess the second half of 8d from the checking letters, and I had ‘rain’ instead of ‘rail’ for 21a! So thank you for your explanations, Miffipops.
    There seemed to be quite a few anagrams, but that didn’t detract from the enjoyment of the puzzle. Clues I particularly liked were 9a, 12a, 14a, and 4d.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif
    Many thanks to Rufus. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif
    Many thanks, too, to Miffypops for excellent hints, read with appreciation and used to check that my word play and answers were accurate .http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  37. Hi Guys. I can usually complete Telegraph cryptics (although they take me several days – your idea of difficult and easy is very different than mine!) Usually, I use this site just to have the answer explained and to enjoy your various comments, which this time mention the Guardian crossword and lead me to write in a question. Why can’t I even get started with the Times and Guardian crosswords when I can do the Telegraph ones if, as implied, they have the same compilers? Do they have a different approach? Or is it just a mental block I have created?

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