DT 27457 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27457

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27457

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

This caused me no problems today hence the difficulty rating. It was still very enjoyable as usual. Sharon and I would like to thank you all for your kind words and thoughts last week.

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    Battlefield area where pilot operates (7)
{COCKPIT} The small room at the front of an aircraft where the pilot sits. The battlefield referred to is the area where roosters fight usually to the death for the sick pleasure of those who should know better

5a    His mate turned in disbelief (7)
{ATHEISM} Anagram (turned) of HIS MATE

9a    Bohemian girl seen around a Florida resort (5)
{MIAMI} Placing the unfortunate female who dies at the end of Puccini’s La Bohème around the A from the clue will lead you to a city in Florida

ARVE Error: need id and provider

10a    His cattle wandering off track, perhaps (9)
{ATHLETICS} A very good anagram (wandering) of HIS CATTLE

11a    In bar seats, possibly, but they’re not drinking (10)
{ABSTAINERS} Again, an anagram (possibly) of IN BAR SEATS

12a    It’s a lot older than you (4)
{THEE} A cryptic definition of the mostly archaic form of YOU. Still used in Yorkshire Cumbria and the East Midlands

14a    Undecided fate of plane taking paratroopers into battle? (4,2,3,3)
{LEFT IN THE AIR} Where we are if an issue is undecided or where a plane might be after it’s complement of paratroopers have jumped out.

18a    They make the most noise, but they aren’t charged (5,7)
{EMPTY VESSELS}   Those who know least but say most. Not charged here means not filled

21a    Russian leader is one at front (4)
{IVAN} A Russian Tsar from 1547 until 1584. I from the clue and a three letter word meaning at the front, definition: The foremost part of a group of people moving or preparing to move forwards, especially the foremost division of an advancing military force

22a    Steady lads — hold your horses! (10)
{STABLEBOYS} An adjective meaning firmly fixed and another word for lads will reveal those young men who are also known as grooms.

25a    Sailor directed watch to go back for those missing (9)
{ABSENTEES} Charade time. Split 2-4-3. One of our usual abbreviations for sailor, a verb meaning directed and a three letter word meaning to visibly observe placed backwards (returned) will give a word meaning those who are missing.

26a    Right to enter complaint in dispute (5)
{ARGUE} R(ight) from the clue inside an old word for fever.

27a    Last to finish with the majority (7)
{ENDMOST} Split 3-4 A noun meaning the final part and an adverb meaning to the greatest extent

28a    Plans for me to get into chess, that’s absurd (7)
{SCHEMES} Anagram (that’s absurd) of CHESS with ME from the clue inserted


1d    One brass instrument that clashes with another (6)
{CYMBAL} A percussion instrument that in this case comes as a pair to be struck together

2d    Score confused with a gross (6)
{COARSE} Anagram (confused) of SCORE and A

3d    Detective  magazine (7,3)
{PRIVATE EYE} A double definition. The second being a satirical magazine launched in 1961 and now edited by Ian Hislop

4d    He wrote books  in two parts (5)
{TWAIN} The author of Tom Sawyer or an archaic word for two

5d    Fans present in stand run riot (9)
{ADHERENTS} The four letter word meaning present inside (IN) an anagram (run riot) of STAND

6d    Those warned should take it (4)
{HEED} An intransitive verb meaning to listen or to pay attention

7d    Pat his arm in coming together (8)
{IRISHMAN} Anagram (coming together) of HIS ARM IN. One who might wield a 13d perhaps.

8d    Rubbers needed for wrong figures? (8)
{MASSEURS} Those who might knead ones flesh to relieve pain for instance

13d    Club gets convict into hellish upset (10)
{SHILLELAGH} An anagram (upset) of HELLISH with one of the usual three letter words for convict inserted (into) will lead you to a club, cudgel or walking stick. (Be careful with the spelling here)

15d    Dealing with  management (9)
{TREATMENT} A double definition the second being the management of an illness by medical staff

16d    Tender arrangement for Ted and Alice (8)
{DELICATE} Anagram (arrangement for) TED and ALICE

17d    University commended and elevated (8)
{UPRAISED} U(niversity) from the clue followed by a verb meaning commended or extolled.

19d    One may provide a crash course for the fair driver (6)
{DODGEM} A bumping car at a fairground.

20d    Directs woman’s standing in American society (6)
{USHERS} The abbreviation for America followed by a word meaning belonging to when applied to a female and S from S(ociety)

23d    Foundation exists to support graduates (5)
{BASIS} Those who have an arts degree and the third person singular present of be (thank you Google)

24d    A preposition seen in print only (4)
{INTO} We have today’s only hidden word. Go find it!

David Bowie joined me at the desk today until Puccini arrived. Saint Sharon and I are out for lunch with Brother-in-Law Robert all the way from the USA

The Quick crossword pun: (elect} + {trick} + {currant} = {electric current}

50 comments on “DT 27457

  1. No problems today (except trying to spell 13D). I thought 25A was very clever.

    Apparently today is the official start of the cricket season – could explain the weather.

  2. Made steady progress but then led astray by putting in wrong answer for 12a . Could not spell 13 d . However , finally finished and felt satisfied so give it 3* .http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  3. Nice easy one today. However, cannot see why for 14a it is not also “left in the air” as opposed to “kept in the air”.

    Perhaps a little slow here…

  4. I found this a tad stiffer than normal for a monday morning unless it was the weekend catching up with me!..nice irish
    Flavour today has to look up the spelling of 13D.8D made me smile & liked 4D.Many thanks to the setter & miffypops for the review.Horrible day here in the deep south.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

  5. I agree, it was 1*. I struggled with 12A I’d have used thou as in ‘thou art ‘ for ‘you are’ rather than the actual answer. But I have roots in East Lancashire!

  6. 14a is an expression I have never come across before. I also fail to see a definitive link to paratroopers … other than that they usually (or in the modern British Army “used”) to be airborne. Seemed a poor clue to me, so what subtlety am I missing?

  7. I have a nasty sneaky feeling that it’s going to be another of those “just me days”. I ran into all kinds of trouble so 3* difficulty and enjoyment.
    I never did get the second word of 18a and had a real battle with 14a too – ended up with the wrong first word anyway – I had left.
    I’ve heard of 13d but if anyone had asked me what it was I’d probably have said a musical instrument. Oh dear – generally not my day.
    I liked 1a and 1 and 3d. My favourite was 22a.
    With thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.
    Off to have a bit of a grump in a very wet garden. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gifOn second thoughts it could be a day to be in the greenhouse.

    1. I suspect that ‘left’ is the first word of 14a, and indeed that’s what I changed my answer to after further consideration. It has a better ring and the paratrooper reference makes sense … they have left the aircraft in the air.

  8. Thank you Rufus – if it was you. No real problems, and good fun as always. Thanks Miffypops for your review and hints.

  9. Having had a couple of weeks of hit and miss with the crosswords because of travelling and other commitments, I am still getting back into the groove. All but two clues solved before lights out last night (12a and 8d) and those I needed help on this morning – a total brain freeze on both of them. So, thanks to Rufus and Miffypops for a reasonable start to the week.

  10. No real problems today except for having to check the spelling of 13d. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review.

  11. Slightly harder than usual for Monday but still enjoyable!

    Faves : 14a & 13d.

    We had a spot of rain yesterday evening and overnight which has helped the trees in the woods across the street – especially the copper one.

  12. I too thought this was a bit harder than a usual Monday, or maybe I wasn’t quite tuned in, but it all fell into place eventually. 2*/3*
    Thanks setter and Miffypops.

    1. Brian – no you are not. The last three words were obvious, but the first was not. I decided on kept – and (looking at comment number 3 above) it looks like MP may have done the same.

    2. Perhaps the answer to 14 across would have been better with the word ‘up’ included as a better meaning of undecided.

  13. I’m amazed to say that we thought this was the easiest cryptic we’ve had since we’ve started doing them. Isn’t it strange the way the human brain works. So many times when others find them comparatively easy, we find them hard & vice versa. I suspect we’ll be heading for a fall later in the week, so I’m not feeling too self satisfied. Thank you very much Mr. Setter & Miffypops too of course. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    1. Unfortunately this human brain wasn’t working at all today but in general I agree with you about different people finding different crosswords tricky or otherwise.

      1. I thought it was really hard and had all the same problems you did, Kath. Except that I hadn’t ever heard of 13D! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

  14. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. I always seem tostru ggle on Monday, and today was no exception. Needed the hints for 12a,7,8&13d. Just me being dim, I had the anagram fodder for 7&13, but couldn’t solve them. Favourite was 3d, was 3*/3* for me. Dull and cold in Central London.

  15. A welcome and gentle opener for the week. */**** for me, but then I’m a sucker for a Rufus puzzle. Nice anagrams, some misdirection and humour … and just to be perverse (apparently) my favourite was 14a. I spent several minutes trying to remember who Lot’s wife was for the answer to 5a before having that “Doh!” moment. Gave me a chuckle, anyway.

    Thanks to Miffypops for the usual uncomplicated review and Rufus for a pleasant interlude in pretty miserable day here in Birmingham.


  16. A relatively straight forward start to the week from Rufus. */*** rating today (sorry Kathhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif)

    Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and to Miffypops for the review, which wasn’t required today.

  17. And, then I think I have managed to solve the MPP (apart from the mystery question – still plenty of time to work on it) in record time.

  18. Re:12a Going up to Yorkshire for a few days on the east coast where my brother will greet me with the words “Ow ist thee, our kid?” and to which I will reply “Fair to middlin, youth!” I should say now that we both in our fifties!

  19. I’m in the company who gave this * for difficulty and many **** for enjoyment. My only hiccup was 18a where I put empty barrels, surely, barrels that are empty have no charges? I needed M’pops to explain why vessels are not charged, of course, how could I be so dim. Now to settle on a fav, so many to choose from, and I think I’ll go with 8d.

    Thank you Rufus and M’pops for the review. How are the piggies? Getting fatter?

    Anyone heard from Poppy? I hope she’s all right.

    1. No – nothing from Poppy. She hasn’t been around for a while – might email her.
      What about Mary? I do hope that she’s OK. Has anyone heard anything more from her?

      1. When my Rufus (choc lab) died a little over two years ago, I went into deep withdrawal for two weeks or more, so I imagine Mary is still upset. Let me know about Poppy, thanks.

        1. I’m sure Mary is still very upset (http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.giffor you if you read this, Mary) I just wondered if anyone had heard from her again – ?CS.
          Will email Poppy and report back.

          1. I’m sure Mary is upset, I still Miss Thabo and all previous doglets a great deal. I just hope I gave them the best possible life and they enjoyed there time here

            1. Mary has been away for a couple of days in her caravan and, according to her post on Facebook, had to be towed by a tractor three times.

              1. Oh dear – unreliable things these camper vans! Thanks BD – I don’t do Facebook (I have more than enough addictions to cope with in my life!) so please tell her that people here are asking about her and hoping that she’s as OK as is possible.

  20. Rattled through but failed to work out 13d which is a new word for me. Last in was 1d. Many thanks to The Setter and to BD of course. Dreary and grey here. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gifYes, the leather on willow season is underway – no play at Sussex with Middlesex struggling yesterday. But 3 points for West Brom on Saturday gives us hope. 3 points off Spurs on Saturday no doubt?

  21. Very enjoyable as usual, but then Rufus is one of my favourite setters.Best liked clue: 22a.Thanks to both Rufus and Miffypops.

  22. Had to go out before dawn today and didn’t get around to starting this until after dinner. I agree with 1*/3*.

    My only issues were that 13d was a new word for me but it was the only thing that fitted with the clue together with the checking letters and I also put “kept” as the first word for 14a even though I didn’t like it – “left” is so much better!

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  23. Gentle good fun for us. And we now get the puzzles an hour earlier as we put our clocks back at the weekend. This means that we get at them at 11am each day instead of having to wait until 1pm as we did two weeks ago. One of the compensations of winter for us, along with sitting in front of a wood fire in the evenings (although not just yet). The Guardian Rufus also took about the same time as this one.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

  24. No problems with this appropriately gentle week-starter. I would go for 1*/3*, and nominate 18a as my favourite – mainly because the old saw was frequently quoted at me by the splendid ex-RAF Science teacher Harry Searle when l was being more than usually noisy at school! Thanks to the setter, and to Miffypops for the review and hints.

  25. Still not sure about how 8d works, though no-one else seems to have queried it. We understood the “rubbers” reference and achieved the correct solution, but wondered how the ‘wrong figures’ bit of the clue fits in. I thought initially that it was an anagram of ‘MEASURES’, i.e. figures, but you end up with an E at the end instead of an S. Can anyone explain, please? Otherwise, it was a typically enjoyable Rufus puzzle, and a quick solve. Thanks to setter and Miffypops. We have every admiration for all those who get the hints and tips on the web so quickly and efficiently.

    1. It cannot be an anagram of ‘measures’ as that would be an indirect anagram which is an absolute no-no. The wrong figures part simply means a body that needs manipulating or massaging. At least that’s how we read it.

    2. Wrong figures with ones figure being ones body and wrong being out of normal. A slipped disc or a dislocated shoulder need massaging back into place. That’s how I read the clue.

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