DT 27439 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27439

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27439

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

I had doubts as to the setter today as there were fewer anagrams than usual and the double definitions seemed to be low in number. They were there as usual but cleverly hidden. I am sure it is Rufus though. Piggy Pics as promised.

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    They say Rita’s humour is warped (6,3,2)
{RUMOUR HAS IT} Anagram number one (warped) of RITA’S HUMOUR which took me ages to solve

9a    A watch and a clock  which can’t be relied on? (3-6)
{TWO-TIMERS} What watches and clocks are or those being unfaithful to wives or lovers. No sir. Not me sir. Not ever sir.

10a    Opera house presenting extract from Tosca last year (5)
{SCALA} An Italian Opera House in Milan. Hidden (extract from) in the clue. Go find it.

11a    Exam refers to All about Eve (1-5)
{A-LEVEL} A school or college exam in England. Place the word ALL around (about) the word EVE to find it. My results in these exams spelled the word FUDGE

12a    Retired, Edward longed to be free (8)
{DETACHED} Take a three letter shortened nickname for Edward and reverse it (retired) add a five letter noun meaning yearned to reveal an adjective which means separate or disconnected

13a    Realise she can make an anagram (6)
{ENCASH} Anagram number two (make an anagram) of SHE CAN. It is not often that the anagram indicator includes the word anagram as it does here. I feel it weakens the clue somewhat.

15a    She is a beautiful Italian (8)
{ISABELLA} Is and A from the clue and the word meaning beautiful in Italian will provide a girls name. “Knock Knock” “Who’s there” “*******” “******** Who?” “******** necessary on a bicycle” Boom Boom

18a    Letter left with nobleman (8)
{LANDLORD} A person who lets a property. L(eft) AND (with) one who sits in the upper chamber

19a    Goes hunting, we hear, for birds (6)
{STORKS} A homophone clue which I put in the wrong way round as I often do. The birds are what you need and they sound like what deer hunters do in the plural. Complicated? Not really.

21a    It pushes up water rates in a reorganisation (8)
{ARTESIAN} Anagram three (reorganisation) of RATES IN A will give you a type of well or, thanks to Google the name of a nightclub in Clapham.

23a    Material on display requires renovation (6)
{REPAIR} A type of material (three letters) and another three letter word for display or broadcast will give a verb meaning to restore to good condition

26a    Musician wants a meal right away (5)
{SUPPÉ} This geezer was a composer from Dalmatia. Take the last letter (which will be R for right) away from the last meal of the day and that’s it. As easy as that. I have two identical CD copies of his work Poet and Peasant bought thirty years ago. The early onset of dementia methinks.

27a    Skeleton service? (4,5)
{BONE CHINA} Cups, saucers, dishes and plates made from a type of soft paste porcelain. Too posh for me.

28a    Only a personal impression
but admissible as evidence (11)
{FINGERPRINT} We all have these, individual and unique. Do the police have yours?



1d    Desert people engaged in fierce competition (3,4)
{RAT RACE} A verb meaning to desert followed by a people or nation gives a term describing a frustrating and competitive way of life.

2d    Animal‘s low points (5)
{MOOSE} A term meaning to low, as in the characteristic deep sound a cow makes, with two compass points should provide you with a north American antlered mammal

3d    Such a joint may be found worldwide (9)
{UNIVERSAL} There is a double definition cleverly hidden here. A coupling which can transmit rotary power at any given angle or another word meaning worldwide.

4d    Sound cure for cant (4)
{HEEL} A simple to recognise double definition A four letter word that sounds like another four letter word meaning cure. Pretty obvious from the checkers. The cant part of the clue is a little more obscure and refers to a nautical term meaning to swing round. This was very nearly this week’s “throw it open for comment” clue.

5d    Indecision shows us soft in reason (8)
US from the clue and the musical term for soft or quiet inside a verb meaning reason

6d    She‘s a vessel in the drink (5)
{TESSA} Place the nautical prefix for an ocean going liner inside a popular drink to reveal a girl’s name.

7d    Elderly relative gives £1,000 to graduate (7)
{GRANDMA} Your Mum’s mum. Take the informal noun for a thousand pounds or dollars and add the usual abbreviation for an arts graduate.

8d    Composer has part written up for graduate (8)
{BACHELOR} Place a reversed (written up) theatrical part after the name of a German composer who died in 1750

14d    Silly Eton chap that has a situation in Whitehall (8)
{CENOTAPH} Anagram number four (silly) of ETON CHAP will give the name of the United Kingdom’s primary war memorial

16d    Articles from a picnic basket one’s found in the meadow (9)
{BUTTERCUP} Two items that might be found in a picnic basket combine to make a flower that might be found in a meadow.

17d    Money box that’s opened daily in the kitchen (5,3)
{BREAD BIN} A well known slang term for money followed by another term for box will provide you with a food storage receptacle.

18d    Co-operation as in oil refining (7)
{LIAISON} Anagram five (refining) of AS IN OIL

20d    He has to wait for a job (7)
{SERVANT} A person who performs domestic duties for others

22d    It could be a bit of a shock at harvest time (5)
{SHEAF} Of corn or wheat, a small bundle. A shock is a larger bundle and a rick is even larger.

24d    Bail set before one delivers excuse (5)
{ALIBI} Anagram six (set) of BAIL and the letter I (one)

25d    Twice reduced by 50% (4)
{ONCE} Half of twice or a third of thrice.

I found this one a little more difficult than I normally do which made it all the more entertaining.

Thanks to Rufus for setting it and Thanks to Mr Tom Waits for singing so sweetly to me whilst I wrote the review. Please comment freely.

The Quick crossword pun: (knight} + {mayor} = {nightmare}

50 comments on “DT 27439

  1. 2*/4* for me today. Like Miffypops, I had my homophones round the wrong way at first for 19a.

    Very enjoyable as ever from the Monday Maestro, and after a bit of head scratching I’ll settle for 28a as my favourite.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP for the review and the cute piggy pics.

  2. Cant say I’ve ever heard of the chappy at 26A, but the answer was fairly obvious although it didn’t help that I had STOOK pencilled in for 22D – 28A soon put and end to that though.

    I thought 2D was very clever, but my favourite today (probably for its simplicity) has to be 11A.

    Wonderful weekend of rugby, pity there’s so long to wait until the next. I found it a bit laughable though that the DT is now talking up England to beat the All Blacks, still, can’t beat an optimist

      1. Although I do eat some meat I don’t eat much. What I will do with a whole carcass I have no idea.

        1. I believe that you are not allowed to slaughter them yourself (when the time comes) and they have to go to a registered abattoir. They do say that the only part of a pig that you cannot use is the oink – this might give you a clue :


          Shoulder of pig is wonderful when covered in salt and lemon juice and roasted on a low heat for a loooong time (150 degrees, 3 hours covered with foil then 1 1/2 uncovered)

          If you need any help with the eating, feel free to give and the wife shout

            1. But if he does that, he can only feed the piggies to his immediate family which means we miss out on a Pork Party

  3. I can’t pick a favourite as there were many wry humorous clues, very enjoyable as usual.25d is worthy of special mention.
    The pigs look very cute, Miffypops.Are these fully grown or are they still little piglets ?
    The emerald green looks splendid, BD.

  4. 2* difficulty and 4* enjoyment from me today.
    The bottom right corner would have been easier if I hadn’t put “bare bones” for 27a – it worked with 17d but effectively scuppered everything else for quite a while.
    I liked 1 and 15a and 16d. My favourite was 2d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

    Sweet little piggies. The Artesian nightclub is my landmark for where to turn off the Wandsworth (I think) Road when I’m going to Pet Lamb No Two who lives in Clapham. Having two copies of the same thing doesn’t mean the early onset of dementia – it just means you like it!

    1. Good giddy me. I put Bare Bones for 27a as well!
      Took me ages to see I was wrong.

  5. I don’t think it gets much better than this, so **/***** for me. It’s odd how we all look at the quality of clues differently because I thought the inclusion of the word “anagram” in 13a actually made the clue for me. Too many contenders for a favourite clue but if pushed, it would probably be 1a. Yes… I got both homophones base-about-apex at first. Learnt something knew from 22d and 26a was a new composer for me – I can understand accidentally buying two identical Status Quo CDs, but two of this chap’s? :D Thanks to Rufus for an excellent interlude and to Miffypops for another 1st class review.

  6. At first read through I thought this was going to be difficult but once I started it all fell into place quite easily. A pleasant start to the week. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review..

  7. Shiver me timbers! You can’t go wrong with Mr Waits (provided you avoid the stuff that sounds like an empty skip being chucked down a lift shaft). I agree today was slightly more taxing than the usual Monday test, and all the more enjoyable for that. 25d has to be my favourite; it brought the biggest smile once I twigged. Thanks to Rufus and MP for the porcine-illustrated review. 2*/3*

  8. Thanks to Rufus for a pleasant crossword and to Miffypops for a very amusing review.

  9. Weird mixture of easy and obscure . . .

    Never heard of the Austrian composer or the medium sized bit of wheat, or the nautical term (I thought two different definitions of cant was doing well, but no…)

    13a was just a bit mean.

    Favourite was 21 and 27 was a laugh.

    Overall ***/**

    To broad beans ……………….

  10. A very entertaining puzzle today which I would rate as3*/4* I needed the blog to check 4D Thanks Miffypops. I once knew a man who had a three legged pig.When I asked him about it he said when bacon tasted that good you don’t eat it all at once!

  11. Definitely a little more difficult than usual for a Monday, nevertheless still very enjoyable – thanks to Rufus. Managed without resorting to MP’s hints, but I enjoyed the tasteful and reasonable in quantity pictures. So, what comes after the recent pictures of the grandchild and now the piglets – how are you going to better them?

        1. Not necessarily. I may have it done in time for Christmas. Possibly a tiny bit of progress this week too.

  12. Using an iPad with the latest software update there is no ‘read now’. Only by pressing comments does one get to see the explanations.

  13. Thanks Rufus for getting week off to an excellent start. ***/****. I too reversed the homophone for 19a which cramped my style for 12a and 8d so needed you, Miffypops, to sort it for me.- merci beaucoup. Several good clues but particularly liked 9a and 17d. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  14. Well, we were going full steam ahead today until we were left with 1 across & 4 down when we had to resort to the hints. Also, the composer in 26 across should have a Von in front of his name & the opera house a La. Enjoyable Monday crossword, thank you setter & to Miffypops. ( how can you think about slaughtering those cute little pigs?)

  15. Sweet little faces, cute little curly tails, tastey little bodies. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

    Sorry, I haven’t looked at the crossword. Too busy drooling over the pork.

  16. Pleasant start to the week from Rufus – as usual!
    Faves : 1a, 9a, 21a, 27a, 2d, 8d, 16d & 25d.

    Dry but overcast today in NL.

    Finishing off the Chinese food that my daughter purchased the other day and washing it down with Antinori blanc!

  17. Late today and found it quite difficult in places, like you Miffypops I took ages to get 1a!! 3 favourites today however – 9a, 11a and 8d, fine and bright here but really cold after the lovely sunshine for the last 10 days or so, typical, was hoping to go off in the van sometime this week http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  18. Thanks Big Dave for the Light Cavalry Overture. “Zouper” (as the Austrians might say)

  19. I was late starting today but no problem. I found this very easy, almost a write in. I love Rufus puzzles, I am definitely on wavelength. The only one I struggled over was 13a and had to use my electronic gizmo. I have heard of Suppe, particularly the Light Cavalry thingy, thanks for the YouTube clip BD. Thank you so much Rufus for such a delightful start to the day. Favourite has to be 28a.

    I hope you don’t get attached to the piggies, M’pops, they look such charmers. I don’t eat pork as I don’t care for the factory farming methods here in the US. I wonder if I could be tempted if I knew they were being brought up kindly and butchered humanely! Thanks for the review, too.

  20. Late start today, and a slow start too. I found this more testing than usual for a Monday but enjoyable nonetheless. Several fun clues but I’ll go with 19a as favourite followed by 27a and 28a.
    Thanks to Rufus and MPs for explaining why a couple of my answers were right after all!

  21. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review, hints and mobile bacon shots :-) A very nice start to the week, only problem was that I spelt 18d wrong, once corrected, I was able to get 26a from the wordplay, had never heard of him, but knew the piece of music that BD posted very well. Favourite was 14d, made me laugh. Was 2*/4* for me.

  22. Thank you Rufus, a very enjoyable puzzle. Finished in 2 sittings, due to day out at Leighton Moss. A couple of nice days to come in the S. Lakes, staying at favourite pub in Ulverston. Thanks MP for your review and hints.

  23. Enjoyable and just right for a Monday (espeocially after yesterday’s). 2*/4*.
    Many thanks to setter, Miffypops (I liked the pictures), and to porcinophiles everywhere.

  24. 2*/3* for me. I found this pretty straightforward, only delayed by 4d because l was fixed on cant as a noun rather than a verb. 27a my favourite, even though it wasn’t a difficult clue. Thanks to Rufus, and to Miffypops for the review.

  25. Totally at one with Rufus, did this in record time, unlike most Mondays.
    Excellent mix of easy and hard.
    26a could only be this lesser known composer.
    Many thanks Rufus, and Miffypops for the amusing review.

  26. Very enjoyable Monday puzzle. Straight forwards but not a total pushover as, like others, I was unfamiliar with the name of the composer and the larger quantity of harvested grain but, like all good clues, they were solvable without that full knowledge.
    2*/4* for me today.
    Thanks to the setter and Miffypops for the entertaining review.

  27. Nothing to hold us up for long with this fun puzzle. Like many others, the anagram in 1a took longer than it should have to crack. Strange really as the major word in the answer rhymes with and is very similar to one of the fodder words. This should have made it easy we thought, but it wasn’t. Good fun.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops for the review and piggy pics.

  28. I am terribly behindhand! I did enjoy this Rufus very much. I never find his puzzles very easy, but I did manage to complete all but one clue unassisted. I needed the answer to 23a.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif Fave clue was 27a, followed by 26a and 17d. (Setter’s licence in 26a. The final ‘e’ of the composer’s name should have an accent acute over it, I believe?)

    Thanks to Rufus for a lovely Monday puzzle enjoyed on a weekday. And thanks to Miffypops for a very entertaining and most helpful review. Don’t forget that ‘pigs is equal’!

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