DT 27403 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27403

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27403

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment **

How jolly nice of Rufus to take us to two countries, where we could take part in an extreme sport and watch a musical which would make us tearful. He also threw in some food close to the halfway point. All of which made for a pleasant solve

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 He contributes to the liquid assets of a bank (5,5)
{BLOOD DONOR} One who voluntarily supplies hospitals with a lifesaving liquid

ARVE Error: need id and provider

9a Country copper with a degree (4)
{CUBA} The chemical symbol for Copper together with the letters one with a degree may have after his name will give this Caribbean island.

10a Comedians’ outing — that’s usually good for a laugh (5,5)
{COMIC STRIP} Desperate Dan or Garfield the cat split 6 – 4 may give you an day out for those who make us laugh

11a The long version lacks nothing in measurement (6)
{LENGTH} Anagram (version) of THE LONG minus the letter O

12a A pound’s given in exchange rate here in Canada (7)
{ALBERTA} A plus the avoirdupois symbol for a pound in weight and an anagram (exchange) of RATE will provide a Canadian province

15a It makes a dramatic setting for action (7)
{SCENERY} That which provides the setting for a theatrical production.

16a Tea breaks about six — good show! (5)
{EVITA} Anagram (breaks) of TEA around the Roman numerals for the number six will give a popular music al from the seventies

17a A monster spiller of gore (4)
{OGRE} No hint necessary. If you really need one – here it is Anagram (spiller) of GORE

18a Victor, say, to embrace with love (4)
{HUGO} This French novelist comes from an embrace followed by O (love)

19a They fix the markets for jewellery (5)
{RINGS} Double Definition. Items of jewellery or a group of people usually acting illegally.

21a Returned and surrendered (7)
{YIELDED} Also a double definition. Returned as in profit or given up.

22a It puts us in the shade, naturally (7)
{ECLIPSE} A natural event, the total version of which was last seen in England in Cornwall on 11th August 1999

24a It’s inadvisable to get us confused with wine (6)
{UNWISE} Anagram (confused) of US and WINE

27a Third party? (10)
{GOOSEBERRY} The third unwanted person on a date

28a He abandons the art for making a sweet (4)
{TART} Remove the letters HE from T(HE) ART to leave a sweet or dessert

29a Decided to have property and stay in it (6,4)
{SETTLE DOWN} Split 7,3 – decided upon and to possess. Split 6,4 – what we do when we grow up.


2d Expression that’s used to attract attention (4)
{LOOK} A nice double definition. The first being the appearance of somebody especially as expressing a particular quality (The one teenagers get spectacularly wrong at times, usually when trying hardest to impress)

3d Mince pie to include a drug (6)
{OPIATE} Anagram (Mince) of PIE TO around (to include) A

4d Undeterred by sandbank in river (7)
{DESPITE} A term for a sandbank (Orford Ness) inside a Scottish or Welsh/ English border river

5d Annoy an informer (4)
{NARK} To irritate. A slang term for a police informer.

6d Copy original recipe, cooking plaice (7)
{REPLICA} Anagram (cooking) of PLAICE and R The first (original) letter of recipe

7d With which one takes the plunge, but bounces back (6,4)
{BUNGEE JUMP} To dive off a tall structure whilst attached to an elasticated rope.

8d Tearful student Mary chose to have special treatment (10)
{LACHRYMOSE} L for student followed by an anagram (to have special treatment) of MARY CHOSE will give a word meaning tearful that only ever appears in crosswords

12d Suffering with relatives? Write to these for advice (5,5)
{AGONY AUNTS} suffering followed by some female relatives – Marjorie Proops, Claire Rayner or even Graham Norton at a push, perhaps?

13d Sharply worded cable warning to keep out (6,4)
{BARBED WIRE} Take a six-letter word for sharply worded, combined with a word for a cable to make a physical barrier to entry

14d Stay clear when hungry prima donna turns up (5)
{AVOID} A four letter word meaning a Prima Donna around O (hungry / with nothing in it) reversed (turns up)

15d A good man to get on in the theatrical profession (5)
{STAGE} the usual crosswordland good man and a three letter word meaning to get older will give a general term for the theatrical world

19d Pulls out Greene’s novel (7)
{RENEGES} Anagram (novel.) of GREENE’S

20d Peak calls turned out to be about Further Education (7)
{SCAFELL} Anagram (turned out) of CALLS around the initial letters of Further Education will give one of the most visited peaks of The Lake District

23d It’s in action, certainly (6)..
{INDEED} IN, from the clue and a four letter word for action will supply a word meaning certainly

25d Infantry base (4)
{FOOT} Yet another double definition. What the infantry are trained to fight on and the he base, of a column, perhaps.

26d Team celebrated victory (4)
{CREW} Double definition. In sport an eight. Also a verb, the past tense of another word meaning to brag

An untaxing solve with too many old (tired) favourites. Still enjoyable but over far too quickly.

The Quick crossword pun: {haughty} + {cult} + {chore} = {horticulture}


82 comments on “DT 27403

  1. 1*/3* for a gentle but joyful start to the week.

    My only slight difficulty was with 27a. This was my last one in (and favourite!) simply because I had misspelled 20d initially :oops:

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.

    P.S. Miffypops the second word of the answer for 29a is not hidden.

  2. Thank you Rufus for a very pleasant start to the week – allowing time to do other things ! Thanks Miffypops for your review, hints and photos. Your 1a photo brings back happy memories “We’re not all Rob Roys you know ” !

  3. Good morning. This site is so helpful, and (very slowly) I’m starting to finish the occasional puzzle without help… Having said that I now see we’re told that today’s is a 1star difficulty! Never mind, at least it wasn’t zero! I’m just pleased to be learning so much. Liked quite a few, including 13d, 15a and 8d (although I didn’t see the anagram until after I’d solved it!). Favourite was 27a. Thanks to setter and Miffypops

    1. Hello Poppy, The one star is only how this crossword was for me. I find that Rufus and I mostly share the same brain pattern and his clues fit me well. Nothing held me up this morning although I did wonder about 2d and 25d. On other days I often struggle along when others have flown through. and a couple of weeks ago Rufus had me well beaten.

    2. Like you Poppy, whenever I manage to do reasonably well, you can bet your bottom dollar, everyone thinks it’s been a really easy solve. Never mind we probably are getting better, & I do sometimes find that I know the meanings of some words that others have never heard of. Anyway, today’s offering was very enjoyable, so thank you Mr. Setter & Miffypops.

        1. Thanks, Miffypops, SheilaP and Mary – it’s one of the lovely aspects of this site, that encouraging comments are not slow in coming in, and they are so needed! Hope you all have a good week.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    3. I found it tricky but then I usually do on Mondays so I don’t really count – I almost always fall into as many traps as there are and I’m very bad at double definitions which is one of Rufus’s specialities. I think this was the point that Miffypops was making at some stage last week about doing the Quickie honing ones skills at them. Just keep going, I say. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  4. Fun solve with no big problems although I was held up on 27A for a tad as I’d (foolishly) pencilled in RECEDES for 19D and hadn’t corrected it when I realised it was wrong (that’s what happens when us guys try multitasking)(having said that, I always say its easy to multitask – I can scratch my ***** and **** at the same time http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif )

  5. This seemed much easier than recent Monday offerings. I agree with Miffypops’ ratings.

  6. Many thanks Rufus, this was an amusing breeze and also to Miffypops for your hints which are always fun to read even if not needed. **/***. My favourites included 1a, 27a and 13d. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif
    Quickie pun is amusing too!

        1. Or did Dorothy Parker of Algonquin New York fame in fact say “………. but you cannot make her drink” or is that only the horse?

  7. Usual fare from Rufus to ease us back into the solving week following two days of bacchanalian behaviour on my part. To quote from “Lucky Jim” – “A dusty thudding in his head made the scene before him beat like a pulse. His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum. During the night, too, he’d somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by secret police. He felt bad.”

    That is exactly how I felt after trying to keep up with my sons in the drinking stakes while watching the weekend rugby.

    Thanks to Rufus & to Miffypops whose reviews get better each week.

  8. Oh dear – just me again. I thought this was a bit trickier (well, quite a lot trickier if I’m honest) than 1*. At least 2* and maybe more and 3* for enjoyment.
    27a and 26d were my last answers.
    I fell into two traps in the top left corner. Perhaps because of recent weather and the flooding I automatically thought of river banks with 1a so one of the two words had to be water, didn’t it?http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gifThat fitted with ‘ahoy’ for 2d which fitted with 10a . . . etc etc. Eventually sorted it all out but it did take a while.
    I missed the anagram indicator with 11a. I wanted to make 15a ‘theatre’ but, luckily, decided to wait until I had some other letters.
    I liked 9 and 12a and 4 and 8d. My favourite was 8d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

    1. Take heart, dear soul, there were parts that were not so easy (ignore some of the self congratulatory comments) and as I have already said 26d was just a very poor clue. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

      1. Hello Brian 26d was poorly reviewed by me. It would have been better if it had read – Double definition. In sport an eight. Also a verb, the past tense of another word meaning to have bragged. I like the clue and it was one of my last in.

  9. Easiest Rufus for some time methinks but enjoyable nevertheless. One or two old friends rearing their heads but at least it gave an excuse for the 1a video clip, not seen that for ages.

    Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

    P.S. The Rufus offering in the Grauniad is a tad stiffer but also fun. He’s also in the FT as Dante but I’ve not tried it yet.

  10. lovely typical Rufus today, the fact that it was easier for some, doesn’t mean it was easy for everyone and doesn’t detract from the fact that it was very enjoyable, a one to two star for me for difficulty, I did think that 23d would have been better worded with the ‘certainly’ after ‘it’s’?? Didn’t know 8d but it sounds very like my ‘real’ name which is Maryrose!!
    I can’t believe I didn’t comment yesterday, I felt sure I had http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

      1. Hello Mary, I enjoyed writing them, there is a bit of Big Dave in there too, he likes to keep us on our toes.

      1. No Kath, I am still suffering with this virus and never ending cough, my other half did offer to take me in the camper van to save being hours on the train but I really do not feel up to it http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

        1. Oh dear – poor you. I’ve only been to a couple but they’re good fun and it was lovely to be able to put ‘real faces’ to names, even if it was a touch on the taxing side to deal with new names as well. Maybe going there would be a change and cheer you up and make you feel better – just a suggestion. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  11. Very nice EXCEPT for 26d which I thought was a perfectly dreadful clue! Shame, for me it spoilt an otherwise very enjoyable puzzle.
    Thx to all, now back to the sunbed. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

    1. Oh pleeeese don’t mention sun! I know sooo many people enjoying sunshine holidays right now http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif … seriously … have a lovely time

    2. Other than that you couldn’t solve it, what is wrong with 26 down. Looks like a perfectly good double definition to me, albeit a bit of an old chestnut.

      1. Surely the past tense of crow should be crowed rather than crew. Nothing wrong with the team bit, it was the celebrated that I took issue with.

    3. 26d was the last one in and at first I put the bird’s name in before realising my mistake. Funny how people look at puzzles differently, isn’t it? For me, it was the icing on the cake.

  12. Easy for the most part and a pencil-in job apart from a few stubborn clues which I are still a work in progress. I am sure they will come after the 3-hour break from it (that is about the minimum time I need to be able to see the grid with new eyes, as it were. These clues are 1a, 2d & 5d.
    I like this crossword so far and it’s an ideal one to present to members of the family who do not do cryptics. In this case son (18) and daughter (23). They will thank me in the end, I am sure you would all agree….

    …. added 3 hrs later: Hoisted by my own retard here as I came up with SPERM DONOR for 1a (fair enough thought I, as the clue has a gender indicator) which caused me all sorts of grief. After all my remaining hair had gone, I reverted to white knight Miffypops who made all well again. */*** without the NW corner and ****/*** with it!

  13. Usual lovely Monday puzzle from Rufus, thanks to you and Miffypops for the hints.
    Looking out of the lounge window, if anyone’s interested, 20d is under snow and the wind is howling.

  14. Another Monday example of the tenet that gentle straightforward puzzles can also be the most entertaining. I agree the * for difficulty but the way this puzzle flowed, misdirected and amused, easily makes this a **** for enjoyment (IMHO). Thank you Rufus.

    Oddly, in over 45 years of crossword puzzle solving (well attempts anyway) I’d not come across 8d and had to resort to the BRB for the spelling. No doubt Big Dave will now tell me the number of puzzles it’s appeared in the last 5 years :-)

    Thanks to Miffypops for the review and Big Dave for the blog.

      1. I somehow thought you’d come up with the goods. There is a theme here which possibly explains why I haven’t seen it before…. it’s the word “Toughie”! :-)

  15. Well, that was fun. I’m not convinced by 4d, the solution to which doesn’t mean “undeterred” in my book. I also found a couple of red herrings to follow (not that that’s what you do with herrings). I had 3d as “tiptoe” initially, and what’s more it seemed to fit the clue – it is “pie to”, with the addition of the drug “e”, and as a means of locomotion it is a (sort of) synonym for “mince”! Similarly, 7 down works as “rubber duck”, in that you bathe with it and it is famously resilient. Perhaps Rufus lays these traps deliberately, just for me. All that said, a nice way to spend a truly awful day. VMTs to Rufus, and to Big Dave for the review.

      1. Thank you. I was not too happy with 4d either. I wanted to use Spurn Head or Chesil Beach as the “Spit” but Orford Ness is spittier than those two when Googled.

        1. I think that you can equate “undeterred by” with despite in 4d, e.g. “Undeterred by the difficulties he ploughed ahead”.

  16. Started off as an easy solve. But had AHOY for 2d and SCAFFEL 20d. So I was held up for some time. Crew is a new one for me. Thanks to all

  17. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. At last a Monday completion! A great start to the week, only hold ups were 27a & 26d which were the last two in that order. Favourite was 20d, I’ve been up Scafell Pike a couple of times, but in much better Spring weather. Was 1*/3* for me, quite a nice day in Central London, managed a bike ride this morning. Back to the MPP now.

  18. As with M’pops, I am in tune with Rufus and look forward to Mondays. I missed 20d, even though there was some discussion about it not so long ago; thanks for the enlightenment M’pops. Last one in was 1a, good clue. I think my favourite is 27a, honorable mention to 8d and 1a. Thanks to Rufus and M’pops for review, concise and clear as usual.


  19. Just back from the pre-prandial in the local where a friend and I tackled the FT Dante/Rufus. Not sure if it’s just us but it seemed decidedly trickier than either the DT or the Graun. Well worth a look though.

  20. This one took us slightly longer than a usual Monday, so we were surprised that others found it so easy. Of course 20d was not quite so obvious for us. 27a was the last in. We had tried “ahem” and “ahoy” before finding the right answer for 2d, all of which tended to slow us down. All good fun.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops

    1. Good to see that the number of comments on the MPP is building up. It really is a puzzle that everyone could tackle. If you haven’t looked at it yet, why not give it a go. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  21. A fun puzzle, as Rufus always provides. A few oldies, yes, but old friends are nice to meet again

  22. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.1a, 7d and 10a took a little while.12d is in the FT as well.Favourite 18a.Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  23. Was pleased after a difficult night at the coal face to find nearly everything slipping neatly into place but, like some others, I was initially stumped by 26d and had it in the present tense. Thanks to MP for putting me right. Favourites were 1 & 27a and 8d. If not for 26d it would have been only 1* difficulty but seeing as I got it wrong before reading the hint I can’t award difficulty *s because Rufus won. Thanks to him for some late night fun.

  24. Excellent puzzle for a Monday morning from Rufus for which many thanks. Also thanks to MP for the hints

  25. Quite a few that held me up – 1a and 2d the final ones in, after needing the hints. 18a, 26d and 28d made me laugh.
    Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the hints.

    (Btw Miffypops – in 4d surely the definition is ‘undeterred by’, not just ‘undeterred’? Tho’ I see the difference is only just a tiny bit of underlining :-)

  26. Two days behind you all. I needed help with 29a – I get it now and don’t think I have seen this style before. Then 12d eluded me, but turns out to be obvious. After that no problems.

    Now need to catch up with the current puzzles.

    Thanks for the tips. Have a great week.


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