DT 27415 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27415

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27415

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

It is gentle Rufus today. A well put together puzzle from the master of the double definition. I have put a little surprise for you all at 26 across. Have fun.

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    Talent shown by a number in entertainment (5)
{FLAIR} The roman numeral letter for 50 inside a travelling show which might include ghost trains and candy floss.

4a    French beard and pigtail, say, put on for party (8)
{BARBECUE} The French word for beard followed by a three letter soundalike (say) unusual word for a pigtail

8a    Winning, making bad move and lose (8)
{LOVESOME} Anagram (making bad) of MOVE LOSE meaning lovely or adorable

9a    As Roy rides out it’s laughable (8)
{DERISORY} Anagram (out) of ROY RIDES

11a    Sing in French first to delight (7)
{ENCHANT} The French word for in placed before (first) a word meaning to sing

13a    Get leader moved and demoted (9)
{RELEGATED} Anagram (moved) of GET LEADER

ARVE Error: need id and provider

15a    Propellers of jumbo jets? (9,6)
{ELEPHANT’S TRUNKS} What Jumbo (1861 – 1885) might use to propel water

18a    Work of a forger, bent but possibly lucky (9)
{HORSESHOE} What a smith might make in his forge which might be placed above a doorway to bring luck

21a    Possibly pressed to make one go down (7)
{DEPRESS} Anagram (possibly) of PRESSED

22a    It strengthens the wall — still needs a lock (8)
{BUTTRESS} A word meaning yet followed by a word meaning lock as in a lock of hair.

24a    Sulky  demeanour (8)
{CARRIAGE} A double definition. The first being a light two-wheeled horse-drawn vehicle for one person, used chiefly in trotting races.

25a    Chinese official in loose jacket (8)
{MANDARIN} Another double definition. A third definition could be Language.

26a    In a way quite small, but totally delightful (5)
{SWEET}. This clue perfectly describes my first grandson Harrison, safely delivered yesterday morning and weighing in at 6lb 15oz. Congratulations to Mike and Joni . Now that is out of the way please take a three letter word meaning small (often used in Scotland) and place it inside the abbreviation for a word meaning way or thoroughfare


1d    They have no real bite (5,5)
{FALSE TEETH} A cryptic definition of what a dentist might put in place of the real thing

2d    He should know how to press a suit (8)
{ADVOCATE} A person who pleads the cause of another in a court of law

3d    Here cars will be involved in scientific inquiry (8)
{RESEARCH} Anagram (will be involved) of HERE CARS

4d    Brought up with money, by the sound of it (4)
{BRED} A soundalike clue or homophone. A slang word for cash or money sounds exactly the same as this word meaning to have been brought up or raised.

5d    Revealing report about Rhode Island (6)
{BARING} A word for report as in the sound a gun makes around (about) the abbreviation for Rhode Island

6d    Company show displeasure with failure to accept responsibility (3-3)
{COP-OUT} Split (4-2) take the usual crossword abbreviation for company and a word meaning to show displeasure to get a (3-3) term

7d    Discover theories Pythagoras penned (4)
{ESPY} look closely – there is a hidden word, can you find it?

10d    Came into force (8)
{ENLISTED} To have joined the army perhaps

12d    Defence cuts (8)
{TRENCHES} A cryptic definition of the type of cuts favoured by both sides during The First World War.

14d    Press cited for spreading contempt (10)
{DISRESPECT} Anagram (spreading) of PRESS CITED. Six anagrams seems to be too many for some and too few for others. I do not care either way but I do like the indicators to be clever.

16d    Racket skills which are used defensively (8)
{RAMPARTS} An unusual four letter word for racket or swindle and another four letter word for skills will lead to a word meaning the defensive walls of a castle

17d    One having the same calling (8)
{NAMESAKE} One sharing ones name is said to be your this.

19d    Give back  profit (6)
{RETURN} This too is a double definition the second being what comes back from a financial investment.

20d    Mistakes are holding sailor up (6)
{ERRATA} A three lettered sailor inside the word ARE from the clue all inverted (up) will give a word meaning a list of mistakes

22d    Ray gives us a big smile (4)
{BEAM} A word which means the same as Ray as in sunshine or a big smile which I wore all day long yesterday (see 26ac)

23d    Caught cutting Sun article to copy electronically (4)
{SCAN} Place the abbreviation for C(aught) inside (cutting) the abbreviation for S(un) and the indefinite article to give a word meaning to copy using a computer

Thanks to Van Morrison for today’s musical accompaniment. I quite liked 4ac and 24ac today. 4d was nice too.

The Quick crossword pun: (super} + {intend} + {dense} = {superintendents}

50 comments on “DT 27415

  1. My rating today for a gentle but enjoyable Monday puzzle is the same as Miffypops’: 1* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment. Although I completed everything quickly, I needed the BRB to check why 24a & 16d were correct as these two answers involved new meanings for me – in the first case for sulky, and secondly for the first four letters of 16d.

    Once I understood it, 16d was my favourite. 15a made me laugh, and I liked 22d with its in-joke which very cleverly is not needed to solve it.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.

    Lovely news about your grandson’s arrival, MP. Many congratulations!

  2. For childish reasons of my own, I wanted to be the first up on the blog for the start of the new week so after 90 percent filling it in the wee sma’ hours I completed that last few clues this morning – the hardest and best by far: 18a & 12d. (I thought the rest fairly hum-drum), then opened Word up on my PC and typed this and then copied it ready to paste just as quickly as I can after the blog opens.
    For me a */** and **/*** (not easy to read that).
    I have bet myself RD or CS or maybe Mary get there first!
    Ongoing thanks to all who make this blog one of life’s gems.

    1. Ha! Thought so RD, you beat me to it. After your comment re MP’s addition to the clan, I read the hint for 26a. Congratulations to you all and a long and happy life for Harrison!

      1. By the way being first to post is not necessarily an indication of how quickly or easily the puzzle was completed…just of the time it was finished http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  3. Firstly many congratulations on the latest edition to your family.Back to the crossy I would never have got 24A in a month of sundays, that apart it was all plain sailing.Many thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for the review.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  4. Heartiest congratulations ! Well done Joni and Mike ! How thrilled Sharon and you must be !
    Besides loving the idea of grand-children , I also love Rufus. What a great puzzle ! And also my quickest solve to date.My favourite has to be 15a. Thanks to everybody.

  5. Very straightforward and easily completed before lights out was even being considered last night, and, sorry Rufus, I don’t think this was one of your best – so I give it */**. I thought 21a was a little “soft” for an anagram, and should there be a possessive apostrophe in 15a? Best clues were 1d, 18a, and 24a.

  6. A lovely puzzle, very straightforward solve. 24a was a new one for me too. */**** rating from me today. Thanks to Rufus and thanks and congratulations to Miffypops.

  7. I agree *\*** with Miffypops (congratulations by the way! and thanks for the review) and found it easier today. Thank you Rufus, I did enjoy 18a!
    Having said which I confess to needing help with 4a – my poor memory for French vocab. My French teacher if still alive would be shaking his head sadly (again).

  8. What a good crossword – I loved it and thought there were some really good clues and lots that made me laugh. 1* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    Unusually for a Monday I didn’t have any problems but they’re about to start as I’m going to be really pushed to pick just one favourite – I rather wish I’d kept big mouth shut and never started this one.
    I liked 4, 15 and 18a and 1 and 22d. Any of these could qualify as favourite but I think it’ll just have to be 22d for obvious reasons.
    With thanks to Rufus, and thanks and huge congratulations on granddadhood to Miffypops.

    1. Just as a quick afterthought – I thought that with 1a the French ‘and’ was included in the soundalike – I’m probably wrong. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      1. do you mean 4a Kath? The French for beard is ‘barbe’ so the ‘e’ can’t be part of the ‘soundalike’ ??

        1. Hi Mary – the wanderer returns!
          Yes, I do of course mean 4a and yes, the French word for beard is barbe but, not having an acute accent, it’s pronounced ‘barb’. If you only follow that with the ‘pigtail’ homonym you have ‘barbcue’. All this makes me think that we have to, somehow, find the second of the three syllables which is why I thought we had to include ‘et’.
          I’m off to put myself back into my box now.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

          1. Sorry, Kath, I don’t agree. The wordplay gives the letters of the solution, not its sound; the ‘say’ is simply for the ‘cue’ for ‘queue’ homophone.

            1. OK – I give in. It was just a thought and I did say I was probably wrong so at least I got that bit right! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    2. I can’t believe you are struggling to pick a favourite out of so many you liked Kath, especially on a Monday, well done, funnily enough I didn’t have a favourite today so you can use mine!!!

  9. Usual gentle start to the week. No problems at all today and no real favourites, although I’m thinking of promoting 24A to the top of the list as I do know the ‘sulky’ meaning and have seen them used in racing (although its not really my thing).
    Looking miserable and grey here today, but although the ground is wet, there’s not really been much rain today – none at all over the weekend, but doubt that that would help the folks a bit to the south of me I’m afraid.

  10. Congratulations old boy! When are you taking him to his first rugby match & a session in the pub?

    1. His mum used to come with me to watch Rugby Football. It will all happen in its own time. Thank you all for your good will and thanks to those who will undoubtedly post later. We are out for a meal with Harrisons great grand-folk. (Confusing) and going to see him later this afternoon. I am still beaming like the lad at 22d where I completely missed the in joke.

  11. Thank you Rufus for a good fun puzzle. I had some answers which needed your hints to decode Miffypops – many thanks and congratulations on the birth of your first grandson.

  12. A bit slow on the uptake this morning in the SE corner , just couldn’t see the second part of 15a,wanted to put ‘trails’ till I saw the answer then the ‘propeller’ did’nt click for ages , so a **/*** overall, lots of excellent clues.Thanks for the Pics Miffypops, and congratulations.

  13. For those interested, Rufus is in a feistier mood over at the Grauniad. Even the Quiptic’s putting up a fight!

      1. The FT’s printed off & ready to be tackled at the quack’s later on when I go for my regular lecture about my blood pressure.

  14. Thanks to Rufus and felicitations to Miffypops and family. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif One double entendre in 24a new to me, 15a of course an old chestnut. 4a probably fav. **/**.

  15. A warm BD welcome to Harrison and long may he remain 26a! Otherwise an easy but fun start to the week from Rufus **/***

  16. Well, I never.
    Never heard of 24a, tried the correct answer and it was.
    Last in – some real Duh moments – 12d and 18a, very crafty.
    Many thanks Rufus for an enjoyable struggle and Miffypops for the review.

  17. A lovely Monday morning – free cappuccino in Waitrose and Daily Telegraph – doing the crossword – meeting friends!! and great news about the first grandchild – all good wishes!!

  18. Smashing puzzle today, loved it & finished without needing any hints. Thought 21a was one of the easiest anagrams I’ve seen for a long time, not that I’m complaining. Thank you setter, more please, & to Miffypops also , along with congratulations to all concerned. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  19. Many congratulations on the extension to the Miffy tribe. I thought that 25a was possibly intended as a triple definition.

  20. The absentee level is getting worse – we haven’t seen or heard anything from Mary or Brian for ages and there’s no sign of any paper work either. I do hope that they’re both OK.

    1. Hi Kath…here I am I haven’t really been absent just calling in too early and then having other stuff to do…sorry http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif Brian is probably still on holidays or a bit jet lagged!

  21. Congratulations to the Miffypops family http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif
    Thanks for blog MP, a two star Rufus puzzle for me today without any particular favourite, needed electronic help unfortunately for 24a

  22. A very pleasant puzzle which was not a great challenge . Congratulations Miffypops , and thank you for the blog. I feel your reviews are as every bit interesting as the crosswords. My rating is */****

  23. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. Congratulations on the new addition to your family. I found this very difficult, had ripostes for 16d. I was amazed that a sulky was a carriage, one to remember. Missed the anagram at 8a, couldn’t get 12d&18a. Was 3*/3* for me. I’m getting a phobia about Rufus, I hardly ever seem to complete his puzzles lately. Even so I did enjoy it, and found it very entertaining and educational, managed to get 4a even though I didn’t know the French for beard or that a pigtail could be a cue. Favourites were 1d&21a & 22a. A bit warmer today in Central London, but no sun to speak of.

    1. I nearly always have trouble with Rufus crosswords – for some reason I didn’t today. I think the problem is that when you know you’re likely to find something difficult you go into it in the frame of mind which makes it more likely that you will have trouble – and so it goes on. I was like that about Toughies for ages – I still am a bit!

  24. I didn’t find it as simple as many of you. Completed without hints by “working the grid” but not very satisfactorily, without knowing the French word for beard, nor being familiar with 8a, the first half of 16d, the first meaning of 24a or the second meaning of 25a. Quite a few gaps in my knowledge obviously! I think I prefer the charade type of clues where you can piece the answer together bit by bit but they were few and far between today. **/* for me today.

  25. Enjoyed 15a. Last in was 18a in a puzzle that did not take us very long, despite the huge number of double unches ( look in the FAQ). This grid must just about hold the record for them. Good fun.
    Thanks Rufus and new grandpa Miffypops.

  26. Lovely puzzle from Rufus. I always enjoy Mondays and this one had its challenges for me. I didn’t need the hints to finish but they were very useful for confirmation. Thanks MP

  27. A nice but untaxing back-pager, and l too agree with Miffypops’ assessments of difficulty and enjoyment. Thanks to Rufus for getting the week off to a pleasant start. Favourite clue 18a.

  28. Struggled with this one and I was not impressed with the Jumbo Jet propellers,. although an obvious answer it didn’t really fit the clue.

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