DT 27493 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27493

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27493

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Good morning from the Roseland Peninsula where the Sun is trying to break through the haze.  Once again Rufus shows that his gentle side comes with a sinister edge.  Happy holidays to Saint Sharon and I.  The new parents and number one grandchild join us tomorrow.

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    Help to drink wine (7)
{SUPPORT} Take a short word meaning to drink and add a fortified wine to get another word meaning help.

5a    Won’t he be found out? (7)
{INSIDER}. My first smile of the day. Think dodgy share or stock market dealers.

9a    The way to get out and about outside (5)
{ROUTE}. Take the word OUT from the clue and place the usual two letter suspect for about around (outside) it to find a way to get from one’s start point to one’s destination.

10a    Joins forces again to disturb listeners (2-7)
{RE-ENLISTS} Anagram (disturb) of LISTENERS. The double e in the answer looks odd in the completed grid – the definition is joins the armed forces again.

11a    Part of trial can collapse (10)
{FRACTIONAL} Another anagram (collapse) of OF TRIAL CAN. Possibly the first time ever that I have used the word of consecutively in a sentence.

12a    One short month to love a beautiful woman (4)
{JUNO}. An abbreviation of the sixth month and a letter representing a zero score in tennis will lead you to an ancient Roman goddess. Apparently the daughter of Saturn and the Wife and Sister of Jupiter. Golly.

14a    Minor role in yet another swindle (6,6)
{SECOND FIDDLE}. Not the lead instrument in an orchestra but the adjacent violinist – cryptically not the first swindle but the next one.

18a    Find luggage missing but fail to get legal redress (4,4,4)
{LOSE ONE’S CASE} A delightful surface read here and a slick double definition. As the clue states, to mislay an item of luggage or to fail to win a court action.

21a    Stuff to study for an exam (4)
{CRAM} A double definition. The first meaning to pack tightly.

22a    Aristocratic  sixth form? (5,5)
{UPPER CLASS}. Another double definition and both rather obvious. That is all the help you need.

25a    The only waiting here is at the counter (9)
{CAFETERIA} The pedantic may have cause for concern with this clue and it’s solution. The waiting here refers to waiting at tables which you will not have to do in this eaterie as you are expected to order at the counter.

26a    One thousand years old statue? (5)
{IMAGE}. A charade. Take the usual crossword land letter for one, the Roman Numeral for thousand and a three letter noun meaning the length of time a person or thing has existed to find another word for a statue.

27a    She  may be used to describe Biblical epistles (7)
{PAULINE}. A girl’s name describing the thirteen New Testament books written by this man.

28a    Volunteers drank rum — from this? (7)
{TANKARD}. Our usual army part time volunteers followed by an anagram (rum) of DRANK.


1d    He looks as though he hasn’t washed the back of the neck (6)
{SCRUFF}. Another double definition. The second being a direct and obvious definition.

2d    No single word will fit here (6)
{PLURAL} My nomination for the devious clue of the day award and the one I think will catch a few out. If a single word won’t fit here then try a word which denotes more than one.

3d    Too far  into no-man’s-land? (4,3,3)
{OVER THE TOP} For those of us old enough to remember this was the name of Chris Tarrant’s adult version of TISWAS. Historically the term used for an attack from the trenches during WWI.

4d    Roots developing into a trunk (5)
{TORSO} Anagram (developing) of ROOTS.

5d    Cecil and I chewed cold tongue (9)
{ICELANDIC} The tongue here refers to a language which can be found by solving an anagram (chewed) of CECIL AND I.

6d    A swimmerthe only one to be seen (4)
{SOLE}. A fish and an adjective meaning alone.

7d    Issue dad is out to advise against (8)
{DISSUADE} anagram (out) of ISSUE DAD.

8d    Magazine in colour given back (8)
{RESTORED} This magazine is an arsenal of weaponry place inside a colour to give a transitive verb meaning to have returned to rightful ownership.

13d    Some analytical piecework? (10)
{DISSECTION} A noun meaning a very detailed analysis of a text or idea. In anatomy the cutting up, of a body for medical research.. You can find out how to follow my late brother Paul into a pickle jar here


15d    Frank gets contract showing unlimited resources (4,5)
{OPEN PURSE}. A work meaning frank, candid or overt followed by another word meaning to contract as in ones lips to find a rich vein of wealth.

16d    It meant sentence of death or some bird (8)
{BLACKCAP} The name of a bird which split 5,3 gives us what a judge used to put on his head before passing the death sentence.

17d    Gold in finals round? Quite the opposite, producing serious complaint (5,3)
{ASIAN FLU} My favourite tricksy clue of the day. Take an anagram (round) of FINALS and place it inside the chemical element symbol for gold. The clue begins by suggesting we put the symbol inside the anagram but immediately tells us to do the opposite. The whole answer refers to an ailment.

19d    Capital city — the Big Smoke? (6)
{HAVANA}. A capital city or a large cigar (I own up to idiocy here. Thank you Big Dave for pointing out that PANAMA was not the right answer).

20d    Negotiate a rise? (6)
{ASCEND}. A cryptic definition of a verb meaning to negotiate a rise or to climb.

23d    Outdated law, to be precise (5)
{EXACT}. Outdated as in former and a proclamation of parliament will lead you to an adjective meaning precise.

24d    Some private tuition that’s for benefit of the seamstress (4)
{ETUI}. The answer to this is hidden in the clue and indicated by the word (some) it refers to a small case containing needles. This odd looking word is a staple crossword entry well worth remembering.


Please read the link at 13d. My brother Paul went to Kings College Cambridge and I have signed up to follow him. You may consider doing the same.

The Quick crossword pun: (reign} + {cheque} = {raincheck}

43 comments on “DT 27493

  1. A straightforward puzzle for a pleasant start to the week. My first one for a fortnight as I have been away in a place with no Wi-Fi or English papers. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review.

  2. For me a bit of a let-down after recent run of real goodies. No favs to pinpoint. **/**. Thanks Rufus and Miffypops – enjoy your family hols. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  3. 2*/3* for an enjoyable Monday puzzle.

    I couldn’t complete it however because I put Manila (which is both a capital city and a type of cigar) as my answer for 19d making 26a impossible, even though I realised it must start IM— :oops: Not that I knew the answer was another word for statue.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops

  4. Definitely more than 1* difficulty for me – probably a bit more than 2* as well – and 3* for enjoyment.
    Everything was going fine until I got to the bottom left corner where it all went terribly wrong – I can’t see why now that I’ve done it.
    I didn’t know the first definition in 16d and for no obvious reason could only think of “trattoria” for 25a which was stupid and not very helpful.
    I liked 11 and 27a (that was one of my last answers) and 13 and 17d. My favourite was 1d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Miffypops, and all good wishes for a lovely holiday – hope the weather stays as it is at the moment.

  5. I liked use of “find” in 18a – a mystery – was the luggage found or missing? And nice trying to find a use for “cold” in 5d. I missed 27a, and didn’t fully appreciate the wordplay for 3d.

    Thanks to all for a pleasant afternoon in Derby!

  6. How good was that? **/**** for me. Lots of typical Rufus humour, misdirection and his puzzles do flow, don’t they? One or two more tricky ones that held me up and I admit to peeking at the BRB more often than usual on a Monday. I can be a pedant with the best of them, but I thought 25a was more than fine – my favourite. Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for another quality review.

  7. Putting TRATTORIA at 25a, with a few of the checking letters in place, caused me problems for a little while!
    Thanks to Rufus, and Miffypops.

  8. Thank you Rufus, always good fun. 17d certainly a tricky one and one of the last in. Thanks Miffypops for your review and hints. Have a good holiday. I seem to remember that there are some very nice pubs in your area.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  9. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. I never seem to be able to complete a Monday puzzle, and today was no exception. Defeated by 19d, understood the clue, but just couldn’t think of it. Favourite was 1d. Was 2*/4* for me, great fun, really enjoyed it. Lo vely sunny day in Central London.

  10. As I’ve come to expect, a delightful crossword from Rufus. Always pleasurable to solve

  11. Well done to Miffypops, but 27a and 24d would not fit into a one star difficulty in my world.
    A couple of other posers put this to 2.5 for me.
    I hadn’t come across the 20d answer as meaning negotiate, and I’ve done plenty of that in my time!

    Ornithology and bibles again – my downfall. I won’t be changing my reading matter tho’.

  12. Very gentle but enjoyable start to the week, thanks to Rufus and Miffypops for the amusing review.

  13. Enjoyable stuff from Rufus as always. I personally found this a bit tougher than usual – I tend to struggle a bit with cryptic definitions which (I think) is a bit of a Rufus trademark. I’d rate it around *** for both difficulty and enjoyment. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  14. Enjoyable diversion over lunch. 17d was my clear favourite. 2*/3* overall.
    Thanks Rufus, and Miffypops for the review. I too was about to put Panama until I realised there is a much better answer that also fits the checking letters!

  15. Hurrah for Mondays. I love Monday puzzles, they’re on my wavelength, usually because I have a reasonable idea of what to look for which is not the case with some setters. This sounds as though it’s just a case of look and write in the answer, not so, it’s just a little bit easier than sometimes. Thank you Mr. Setter and Miffypops.

  16. Thought it was a bit trickier than a single star, perhaps a two star but quite enjoyable. Fav clues were 25a and 19d. Didn’t like 8d at all, just didn’t work for me and I can’t for the life of me see why ascend means negotiating a pay rise, ugh?
    Thx to all.

    1. I read ‘negotiate’ as in ” I managed to negotiate the steep rise in the path with the help of my sturdy stick.”
      That way it does make sense.

  17. Rated today,s **|*** no help needed , favourite clues 16&17down very enjoyable thanks to setter

  18. Very enjoyable as usual for Rufus but definitely more than 1* for me . Mr A is crowing because I asked for his help for 16d & 27a . Fav.was 17d. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops. Lovely video of Harrison. Enjoy your holiday.

  19. Some very nice cryptic definitions here as usual from Rufus.
    Really liked 3d.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the review. Loved the little video :)

  20. Excellent fare from the Monday Maestro & thanks to Miffypops for filing his review while on holiday at Fircombe Hall in the West Country.

    On another note: I have been invited to a webinar. What does one wear to such a function?

  21. Hi Miffypops – you’re the other side of the Carrick Roads from my aged parent. She lives in Devoran and I’m back there at weekend for a filial visit http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    Thought this a fine puzzle with 9a and 5d best for me. Thought 9a a bit beyong the normal range for Rufus but a very good clue.

    Thanks to you and Rufus, most enjoyable.

  22. Hmm, issues with today’s, I’ve lived half a century without coming across open purse as a phrase, I am unconvinced by this one. I’d take some convincing that image is a synonym of statue, Barbara Hepworth or Henry Moore anyone.

    1. I had never heard of “image” meaning statue, but I checked and it is in the BRB, but I do share your scepticism, Stuart, about “open purse”.

    2. P’raps it’s just me who’s come across ‘open purse’. It’s used in situations like ” The new manager of Man Utd will have an open purse to buy as many of the wrong players as he needs”.

  23. Love Mondays’ crosswords and today’s no exception. Last in was 17d, surely not THAT difficult, why the mental block? Favourite 5d, but so many good ones I may be unfair to others. Thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for review.

    Enjoy your holiday and hope the weather keeps fine. Harrison looks such a happy baby. I remember a wonderful camping holiday in Cornwall, somewhere between Mousehole and Penzance if I recall correctly, a thousand years ago. We had blazing sunshine and I even braved it and swam in the sea.

  24. Always find Rufus’ elegant and witty, if they’re the right words.
    Very pleasant tussle, for me, a ** to *** for difficulty.
    25a – ‘trattoria’ never even crossed my mind, although it did for others.
    Many thanks Rufus and Miffypops for the tastefuly illustrated review.
    No sauciness there.

  25. Pleasant puzzle from Rufus.

    Faves : 27a & 16d.

    Weather here in NL is very summery!

  26. I am glad others thought this puzzle was above * level. I thought I was suffering a severe case of brain fog or just gettin stupider.I did it throughout the day in bits and pieces , and without dictionaries etc. For all that the enjoyment was greater. I can honestly say I liked all the clues, especially the double definitions, 2d is my favourite, with 1a and 27a joint seconds.
    Thanks Miffypops, gorgeous Harrison ! Thanks Rufus.
    I’m bringing my senior Biology students on an ecology trip tomorrow and the weather really isn’t promising.Oh dear !

  27. As with others, we found the bottom left slow going but finally cracked it. The serious complaint took longer than it should, I got that bug myself at age 17, all I remember about it was feeling sad!

  28. We thought this was a good puzzle, well up to the standard for difficulty and enjoyment that we expect for a Monday. Plenty to smile about.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

  29. 2* at least for me, almost fell for the 2d trap but realised 9a would have been impossible. Thanks Miffypops and Rufus

  30. A nice, relatively gentle (2*/3*) puzzle to kick off the crossword week. I don’t often go for an anagram as favourite, but l did enjoy 5d. Thanks to Rufus, and to Miffypops for the review and hints.

  31. Trickier than a usual Rufus, but none the less enjoyable for it. 3*/4*. Thanks to MP for the holiday revue

  32. Still don’t understand 27a. What has pauline to do with biblical epistles? Daft!!!!!

    1. Welcome to the blog Richard.

      Many of the New Testament epistles were written by St Paul and are referred to collectively as the Pauline epistles.

    2. Welcome from me too Richard. Ine as a suffix means pertaining to or relating to.

  33. I enjoyed this but I found it about ** difficulty. I managed to get the second word of 18a wrong! Otherwise all was correct. I liked 14a and 2d, but my fave was 19d. My late father loved the occasional cigar, especially an Havana. As kids we used to love wearing the paper ‘ring’ that came on each.

    Many thanks to Rufus for an enjoyable crossword. Appreciation to Miffypops for the lovely clear explanations. Gorgeous grandbaby! Hope you all have a lovely family holiday.

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