DT 27421 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27421

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27421

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle which I found complicatedly simple.  20 down is a superb clue.  Thanks to Rufus for giving so many opportunities to insert relevant photos.  Apologies to all for the indulgence.

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    Potential opener, one that may yet represent Yorkshire (7)
{ROSEBUD} Singularly, What the flowers on the England Rugby Union teams shirts begin as. The plural of this appeared in my first review (27,373) and caused problems then, hopefully it will provide some difficulty today.

5a    Seems in order to get retribution (7)
{NEMESIS} Anagram (order) of SEEMS IN. A regular crossword chestnut.

9a    Animated youngster in film and book given limited scope (5)
{BAMBI} Disney’s cute cartoon fawn and Thumpers friend. . That’s it folks. That should provide the answer. As to parsing the clue – I cannot help. Book? Limited scope? Please help.

10a    Entering ground, following a South American (9)
{ARGENTINE} Take an anagram (ground) of entering. Place it after the a from the clue to find a native of South America.

11a    Uncast replacements? (5,5)
{SPARE PARTS} As a hint I will put Duplicate or replacement components for a machine or other equipment. This clue does not float my boat as the clue suggests a theatrical (uncast) theme.

12a    Exchange prisoners of war in turn (4)
{SWOP} Reverse (turn) the abbreviations for Prisoners of war to find a verb meaning to exchange

14a    Two things required for a fiddle  one’s seen at the card table (6,6)
{BRIDGE PLAYER} A fiddle or violin needs both of these words to function. Together they describe one who plays a highfalutin card game where once the bidding has begun, general conversation is not encouraged at the table. Not for me sir.

18a    Fuel-saving trip that’s intended to reduce overheads (7,5)
{ECONOMY DRIVE} An effort to reduce the amount of money that you spend

21a    Classic  acorn producers (4)
{OAKS} A nice double definition. The first being the third of the five classic horse races held during the racing season. The second being obvious

22a    Compensating for disappointing scenery (10)
{OFFSETTING} Counteracting. Placing out of line. Disappointing or not on followed theatrically by scenery or staging

25a    Military command that’s withdrawn? (2,3,4)
{AS YOU WERE} A military command to withdraw an order and return to the previous position

26a    Arthur’s head is in a drink once more (5)
{AGAIN} Take the first letter from the word Arthur and place it inside the A from the clue and a popular drink usually taken with tonic water ice and lemon to find an adverb meaning once more

27a    Make out new plan for Marxist flotation (7)
{REDRAFT} The colour of a communist followed by a flat wooden floating structure will give a verb meaning to draw or write again

28a    Eternal solution for unstable sea legs (7)
{AGELESS} Anagram (unstable) of SEA LEGS. I liked this clue.


1d    Healthy transport in decay (6)
{ROBUST} Place a large passenger carrying vehicle inside a word meaning decay to find another word meaning healthy or durable

2d    Mother’s coming up on a vessel — a Chinese one (6)
{SAMPAN} A Chinese junk. A word (plural) for mother reversed on a cooking vessel.

3d    Man of the match? (10)
{BRIDEGROOM} The gentleman in a service of marriage

4d    Doctor and a graduate join together in play (5)
{DRAMA} A two lettered abbreviation for doctor, A from the clue and the letters that might appear after a graduates name combine to form another word for a play.

5d    Clothing range with buckles (9)
{NIGHTWEAR} A very clever anagram (buckles) of RANGE WITH. The checking letters supplied the answer to this clue. I like clever anagram indicators but I especially like anagrams that are phonetically diverse. None of the syllables in the clue match the syllables in the answer. Very clever.

6d    Repair men do nothing less (4)
{MEND} And yet another clever clue. There is a hidden word here but the clue is not a hidden word construct. The nothing less part of the clue asks you to lose the letter o from MEN DO to give a repair. Like I said at the beginning, complicatedly simple.

7d    Basic requirements for ship launchings (8)
{SLIPWAYS} The ramps or slopes down which ships are first put into the water

8d    Those resting between the lines? (8)
{SLEEPERS} A cryptic definition of what stabilises railway lines.

13d    Unfortunate people were knocked down in this traffic (5,5)
{SLAVE TRADE} A reference to one of the lowest points in human history in which human beings were auctioned as chattels to another rather less than human being. Do not get me started on this one and please never ever refer to Australians as the progeny of criminals in my hearing. I have spoken.

15d    Possibly stayed for Sunday (3,2,4)
{DAY OF REST} An anagram (possibly) of STAYED FOR describes what Sundays used to be before capitalism took over.

16d    Elegant fashion on a bride (8)
{DEBONAIR} An anagram (fashion) of ON A BRIDE

17d    Tap observed to be crooked (8)
{COCKEYED}. An old fashioned name for a tap (think what you use to turn off your water supply) and a verb meaning observed or seen will give an adjective meaning crooked or askew.

19d    He stole away from the shore (6)
{PIRATE} A person who attacks and robs ships at sea

20d    They may be after estate — amen! (6)
{AGENTS} Todays favourite clue.  The first part being a straightforward definition of those who might have an interest in land and property.  This is followed by a clever piece of wordplay.  Split amen as 1-3.  Keep the a and add it to a five letter word for men.   Simple?  No!  Nice? Yes!

23d    Was its queen a graduate of Girton? (5)
{SHEBA} A biblical country, Girton was a girls only college. Split 3-2 a degree a girl might get.

24d    Save up to get a brass instrument (4)
{TUBA} Save as in “yet” reversed (up) followed by a from the clue should give you a brass instrument

I hope you liked the photos as much as I do.

The Quick crossword pun: (naps} + {sacks} = {knapsacks}

58 comments on “DT 27421

  1. 1.5*/4*. What a joy from our Monday Maestro! Not too taxing but wonderfully entertaining with delightful cluing.

    I’ve marked 11a, 18a, 27a, 13d, 15d, 19d, & 23d as extra special, with 20d my stand-out favourite!

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.

    P.S. 9a = B(ook) + a word for scope missing its final letter

  2. Straightforward but delightful workout to start the week – many thanks Rufus. Enjoyed your hints and illustrations too, Miffypops, although not really needed. **/****.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  3. 8a. I think Bambi comes from B for book and range equals ambit minus the t to make it limited
    Enjoy your work. Thanks Christine

  4. It was basically simple and enjoyable , but I agree with Miffypops that 11a looked for all the world to be a theatrical clue , and I thought the answer was Stage Parts ie allocated parts not given to the named cast-maybe unspoken ; and thanks for the amen ! explanation-rare to get a */**** as the two are not usually mutually compatible

  5. Now, that’s what I consider to be tasteful photos, congratulations and thanks for the hints, I needed a few in the NE corner. Thanks, also to Rufus for another gentle start to the week.

    1. Hello Senf. I thought of you and Mrs A when I chose them. There should be one of my son in law at 3d but unfortunately I had not got one. Back to normal next week.

      1. I’d have the Miffytops family album any day.PS the new Mum is doing very well too, I’m glad to see.And nice to see Saint Sharon too.

  6. Almost a write-in although (like others) I was drawn down theatrical lines for 11A. I’m afraid there were a couple of clues that I didn’t enjoy today – the aforesaid 11A (surely spare parts have been cast, otherwise they would not yet be parts) and 6D (very poor IMHO). Having said that, there were some very good clues in 19A, 1D and 5D. My favourite today was 13D (just for the clue construct I hasten to add).

    Enjoyable weekend of rugby, makes things very interesting for a fortnights time.

  7. Almost a read and write until I got to the SE corner. 23d and 20d causing some head scratching.
    Excellent start to the week, as usual, nonetheless. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  8. Managed with few problems but totally missed seeing the anagrams in 10a and in 5d despite getting the answers. Thank you Rufus.
    (Looking up the reason for these two gave many an opportunity to share in MIffypops’ justifiable pride and joy – much appreciated!)

  9. Not too proud of your grandson then? I envy you as it looks like my two lads are going to continue living the high life while Mrs S and I would love to have some grandchildren to indulge, spoil and babysit for while still being able to hand them back when it all gets a bit too messy!

    1. We’d love to have some grandchildren too but our Pet Lambs seem to be too busy doing other things – wish they’d get on with it.

  10. I thought this was excellent! One of the most enjoyable Rufus puzzles I have solved for a long time. Many thanks!

    1. Yes Steve. A little boy. Harrison. I doubt that he will make it back onto the blog. It has been a little over indulgent of me.

      1. Not at all! We were looking forward to these pictures all week, you did not disappoint. What a bonny lad.

  11. I agree with 1* and 4*.
    I was a bit slow with several in the bottom right corner. Scribbling the 3,2,4 split of 15d made my F of ‘of’ look like an E which really didn’t help with 22a.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gifNo-one but myself to blame for that.
    I didn’t know the 25a military command.
    I liked 27a and 3, 5 and 15d. My favourite was either 20 or 23d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Miffypops – lovely photos.

  12. Quite tricky but enjoyable. We put one or two wrong answers in which didn’t help, but got it sorted in the end with some help from Miffypops. Nice family photos. Thank you setter & Miffypops.

  13. A very good, enjoyable Monday puzzle. I was stuck longest on 22a as I had “offputting” lodged in my mind and took some time to see past it. Otherwise **/**** from me.

  14. Great crossword, as usual! I loved 23d, 20d, 25a in particular. Thanks to Rufus, and to Miffypops for the adorable pictures. What a proud Grandad.

  15. Great fun to start the working week with this. Thank you setter. Loved loads of the clues – and as for those photos Miffypops…. what joyous inclusions. Thank you for sharing them with us all, together with hints. Slightly irritated by 11a but I’ll cope!

  16. Miffypops, I just love your reviews! I think you have mastered bloggery although you have only been at it a few weeks. Have been out all day, chauffeuring, shopping and walking the dog. Back home to G&T and the puzzle which I would rate as 1.5/5 Lots of smilers; 14a was the favourite.

  17. Late today so started early and after having a good throw out in ‘the office’ finished late!!! Lots of lovely Rufus clues thanks for blog MP and the introduction to beautiful Harrison http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif Hi Harrison xx

  18. Thank you Rufus. Managed to finish this before we set out for a day on Holy island. Beautiful sunny day, but where have all the birds gone ? ! Thank you Miffypops for the review, hints and photos. Enjoy your grandson – we don’t get to see ours all that often, but always great fun when we get the chance.

  19. Thanks for sharing you photos with us,Miffypops, he is adorable !
    An entertaining contribution from Rufus, although I needed you hint for 11a.

  20. Lovely puzzle . Thanks to Rufus .Didn’t need your hints Miffypops but congratulations on being a grandad & we’ve all enjoyed the photos.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  21. A good fun puzzle that we enjoyed. On Monday’s, as there is no Toughie we usually go to the Grauniad after doing the DT Rufus. Today it is a Brendan (Virgilius) and the whole puzzle is on the theme pointed to by 14a in this one. A weird coincidence?
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops. (Liked the pics.)

      1. And thank you for the explanation. I could not see it. Big Dave had it all along. It was only seconds before submitting the blog that I realised Bambi was not the cute flying Elephant. Now there was a potential embarrassment and a totally screwed up hint

  22. Thank you Rufus for a very pleasing starter to the week’s labours, and to Miffypops for the blog and hints (albeit not needed on this occasion). 11a was my favourite.

  23. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. Nice photos, you must be very proud. A good start to the week, but I found it 2*/4* Needed the hints for 5a & 2d. Favourite was 20d.

  24. Thanks to everybody for the nice comments about the blog and the wonderful comments about my new Grandson. Those who helped with 9ac will be put on the potential blogger register from which there is no escape. Disney’s cutest flying elephant was what I wrote as a hint. My only excuse is that FAWN and ELEPHANT are perfect anagrams of one another.

  25. Not sure why some were baffled by 11a. When casting a play, there are often spare parts that need to be filled – minor roles taken by members of the cast (often non-speaking). Sometimes these are taken by assistant stage managers etc, or anybody who happens to be around. In films, they call them extras. Otherwise, an enjoyable and speedy romp, but thanks MP for the explanation of 24d. It couldn’t be anything else, but I was puzzled by the ‘save’. Blindingly obvious now. PS: Love the pix

  26. Re:15d I can remember when our family pub only opened between 12:00 and 14;00 then 19:30 until 22:30 on Sundays and we had a chance to relax between times after a big roast dinner that my Gran cooked while still being a gracious landlady. Mind you that didn’t stop the regulars from getting a gallon of John Smith’s Best down their necks, sometimes in both sessions.

  27. is it only me? i thought it was overly simple and i thought the amen agent clue was silly and sheba very corny

    1. Hello fortis 70. It is a good thing that we do not all think alike. There would be no place for this entertaining blog if we did.

  28. sorry if i hurt your feelings, no offence i assure you, it is just that i found this puzzle to be really simple, i must have got through it in less than ***** which is disappointing as i usually spend up to ***** on some of them. you have to admit some are more challenging than others. this one was the least challenging i can recall. i do think the telegraph puzzles are dumbing down a bit. i do like the toughies though, some of them are fiendish and take me up to ***** or more. sometimes i have to put them down and come back later on before the penny drops.

    1. No hurt feelings at all and certainly no offence taken. I do enjoy the banter that flies around and I often think whilst solving that this crossword will suit so and so or maybe so and so will hate this one. All good fun.

  29. just as an afterthought, that spare part clue, someone mentioned stage part, does anyone in theatreland know if there is such a role? could the term stage part exist. having little knowledge of the inside workings of the theatre i don’t know but it does sound as if it might be a genuine term, of course in crosswordese with a lot of poetic licence it might well pass the bar!!

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