DT 27499 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27499

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27499

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Suitably refreshed after our holiday on The Roseland Peninsula and still smiling at being present at The Jonny Wilkinson show on Saturday. I found this offering from Rufus rather tame. However whilst writing the review the sheer class of this setter revealed itself. Sometimes a read and write is as clever as a slog.

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    Prison officer goes to club for cocktail (11)
{SCREWDRIVER} Place the club normally used to tee off with after a slang term for a prison officer to arrive at a cocktail made from orange juice and vodka

9a    Aid fliers being diverted to find places to land (9)
{AIRFIELDS} Anagram (being diverted) of AID FLIERS

10a    Intends to get sufficient funds (5)
{MEANS} A clever double definition which does as it says

11a    Returning, I’d delayed to explain more fully (6)
{DILATE} reverse (returning) the I’d from the clue and add a four letter meaning delayed or overdue.

12a    Admitting whole sum is due (8)
{ALLOWING} Split (3,6) this gives words meaning the whole sum or everything and due or in arrears

13a    Fast, the Italian’s pulse (6)
{LENTIL} A period of fasting in the religious calendar followed by the Italian word meaning “the” will lead you to an edible leguminous pulse

15a    Holding north, top fighter pilots attempt descent (8)
{ANCESTRY} A lovely charade here where doing exactly as the clue suggests will lead to the answer – place N(orth) inside a word used to describe top fighter pilots and add a three letter word meaning attempt. This will lead you to a word meaning descent as in family lineage. As easy as that.

18a    French port or claret (8)
{BORDEAUX} A port in France on the Garonne river or a wine made in the same region

19a    He had high-flying ambition but came unstuck (6)
{ICARUS} The son of Daedalus who tragically drowned after flying too close to the sun

21a    Sign’s sensible yet not in a straightforward way (8)
{CRABWISE} The last one in for me. Take the fourth sign of the Zodiac and add a word meaning sagacious to find a word that describes how my favourite decapod crustacean walks.

23a    Breaking up coal for furnace (6)
{CUPOLA} Anagram (breaking) of UP COAL

26a    I give a hand, being perfect! (5)
{IDEAL} I from the clue followed by a verb which describes how we share cards before playing whist or bridge perhaps. The resulting word perfectly describes Saint Sharon

27a    This pet may sleep indoors but its quarters are hardly spotless (9)
{DALMATIAN} Remember The Woodentops. Surely this was the breed of their dog.

28a    Chief follows priests out for personal inspection (5-6)
{STRIP-SEARCH} Split (7,4) we have an anagram (out) of PRIESTS followed by a word meaning chief or principal. Split as the clue suggests we have a rather personal and I suspect unpleasant examination for concealed items such as drugs or weapons which involve the removal of one’s clothing.


1d    Shock subject for play school (7)
{SCANDAL} The play school here is theatrical. Written by Sheridan in 1877 1777.

2d    Two rivers characteristic of the country (5)
{RURAL} R(iver) followed by a river (and mountain range) in Russia

3d    Going crazy with a wine list may eventually affect this (9)
{WAISTLINE} Anagram (going crazy with) of A WINE LIST

4d    Drums sound to start a revolution (4)
{ROLL} A double definition here. This drum effect is often used to build anticipation.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

5d    Shipping company after vessel for petroleum product (8)
{VASELINE} Place a four letter word for a shipping company (Onedin for example) after a vessel used to hold flowers to get a brand of petroleum jelly

6d    He was known for loving capital, nothing more (5)
{ROMEO} The great Shakespearean lover found by placing the roundest numeral (nothing) after one of Europe’s nicest capital cities

7d    Organ bright with flowers (7)
{NOSEGAY} Take a facial organ followed by a word meaning bright but which now has a rather different meaning to get an outdated word for a bunch of flowers

8d    Is jesting about providing support on flight (8)
{BANISTER} Place a word meaning jesting (often used to describe the light-hearted backchat in an office or on the shop floor) around IS from the clue to find an aid to stair climbing

4d    Managed to raise local taxes and provides an account (8)
{NARRATES} Take our usual three letter word for managed and invert (raised) it. Add a word for the tax businesses pay to the local council and find a word meaning the giving of a spoken or written account

16d    No cure, sadly — time for support (9)
{{ENCOURAGE} Anagram (sadly) of NO CURE followed by a three letter word meaning time or era will yield a verb meaning to support or to egg on.

17d    Not the favourite in society? (8)
{OUTSIDER} In horseracing terms the opposite of a favourite

18d    Withdrawing  support? (7)
{BACKING} Double definition. The first would normally be followed by the word away.

20d    Reliable way to limit bloodshed (7)
{STAUNCH} Another excellent double definition. The first an adjective meaning loyal and committed. The second a verb meaning to stop or restrict.

22d    Women’s group left — street’s hoisted flags (5)
{WILTS} Take an abbreviation of the Jam and Jerusalem gang and L(eft) from the clue and add the reversal (hoisted) of an abbreviation for street to give verb meaning to weaken markedly

24d    Rosie’s willowy form (5)
{OSIER} Another very clever clue with a nice surface read. The word willowy indicates an anagram of ROSIE. It also describes the resulting word.

25d    No success keeping a girl quiet (4)
{FLOP} A three letter shortened girls name (think the lady of the lamp) followed by the musical notation for quiet or soft.

Lots of stunning clues here, which were your favourites?

The Quick crossword pun: (matter} + {harry} = {Mata Hari}

43 comments on “DT 27499

  1. 2*/3.5* for yet another very enjoyable Monday puzzle. I was whizzing round in close to 1* time but got held up by 8d & 19a (my favourite) until both pennies finally dropped. The answer to 11a was a new meaning for me which I checked out in the BRB. Great clues throughout as always for this masterful setter.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.

  2. Hello fellow bloggers, Following surgery I am now able to write and type again. First crossword in a few weeks. I thoroughly enjoyed this offering. I would rate this as **/*** although I too was confused by 11A Thanks for the blog Miffypops , didn’t need the hints but, as always, is a pleasure to read your blog.

    1. Welcome back Graham and thanks for your kind words of support. Get well soon.

      1. Thank you Miffypops , I promise to get well soon if you promise to keep up your high quality reviews!

  3. 27,499 was an especial delight to solve. There were some most elegant clues; favourites were 13a and15a. 24d was also excellent.. thank you, Setter!

  4. Thank you Rufus, another enjoyable puzzle with many clever clues – not too taxing, but great fun on a sunny morning. Thank you Miffypops for your review and hints – you must be relieved to be back at work after the stress of those seafood lunches ( + Chablis ? ) and the rugby.

  5. Great puzzle for me, although probably too easy for most of you. I did not get any significance from the ‘may sleep indoors’ bit of 27a. Last in was 8d (which I thought had two n’s, like Roger). Favourites were 15a and 3d.

  6. A very pleasant Monday puzzle today which was almost a write-in until 11, 13 and 21a caused more trouble than they ought to have done.
    Favourite, there were several but 15 stands out.
    Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  7. **|**** today fairly easy !very enjoyable no help needed today nice Bank Holiday puzzle, thanks to setter

  8. Somehow this didn’t read like a Rufus. First read through was rather depressing however it gradually livened up with further probing of the clues which are nicely light-hearted and undemanding – appropriate fare for this gloomy/wet Bank Holiday. 8a was among favs. **/***. Thanks Rufus and Miffypops. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  9. A pleasant, not too difficult puzzle with a new definition for 23a for me, needing a quick check in the dictionary. **/***

      1. You’re right – it did but with a different meaning. I knew that one but not today’s.

  10. Enjoyable fun from Rufus as usual! Lots of good clues.
    Faves :1a, 19a, 28a, 8d, 20d & 24d.

    Weather exactly as yesterday.

    Re 3d – I have just about recovered from Saturday’s visit to the Ciel Bleu restaurant atop thr Okura Hotel in Amsterdam!

  11. Usual Rufus fare and none the worse for being so, a very gentle but immensely enjoyable Bank Holiday romp. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for a very amusing review.

  12. Hello all,

    Enjoyable – I seem to enjoy most of these crosswords at the moment.

    Last one in was 3d which I found amusing after yesterday’s reference to a lower body part.

    I hadn’t realised 11a had this meaning and 24d was new. I think my favourite was 22d, yet there were so many I liked and grinned when I finally got the answer.

    Wet and miserable here in London, ideal crossword weather

    Thank you all for identifying setter (not sure how you do it), Rufus as setter for such a clever and enjoyable puzzle and miffypops for provision of hints without which I would not have completed today’s crossword.

  13. Thank you Miffypops. Zipped through but 1d and 13a stalled me. 12a, 7d and 15a my favourites. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  14. Enjoyable puzzle today as usual on a Monday. Not the usual meaning for 11 across so we had to check, and the word on is added in our dictionary to give the meaning in the crossword. Lovely weather here in Scarborough. Thank you Setter and Miffypops.

  15. Wow – a new personal fastest time, and a real pleasure of a crossword too. My thanks to Rufus, and Miffypops too.

  16. I agree with the rest of you – fairly straightforward and enjoyable.
    I didn’t know these meanings of 11 or 23a and had a total mental block about the name of the silly chap who flew too close to the sun – I knew exactly who I was looking for but just couldn’t remember his name.
    21 and 27a took a while and 25d was my last one.
    I liked 15a and 1 and 3d. My favourite was 22d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Mffypops.
    Grey and wet in Oxford – going to carry on the battle with Mr Rookie.

  17. There’s a tiny typo in the blog for 1d. 1877 should read 1777. There were many Victorian scandals, but this wasn’t one of them.

    1. There is an error in Every blog I write. 100 years is quite far out though and nearly as good as when I mixed Tennyson up with Longfellow.

  18. Most of us have a different idea about the meaning of 11a although the ‘delayed’ and ‘overdue’ reference may have hidden significance!

  19. I saw Tim Piggot-Smith in a school production of 1d. Probably his first stage appearance.

  20. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle to start the week. I raced through this in record time, so it was 1*/3* for me. Last in was 15a. Favourite was 5d. Typical Bank Holiday weather in Central London.

  21. Held iPad in left hand, filled in with right hand.
    Elegant and witty, nevertheless.
    Thanks Rufus, and Miffypops.
    New meaning for me of word in 23a

  22. Seems to be just me finding Monday’s puzzles on the tricky side – no idea why after looking at the completed grid….must be a wavelength thing – found it much tougher than yesterday’s. Did enjoy it though and thanks to Rufus and Miffypops. ***/*** for me….

    1. I often find Mondays (Rufus) quite tricky – I’m never sure if it’s a wavelength thing or a post weekend thing.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      1. I’m not sure either Kath. However, I am certain that my current weaknesses are probably cryptic definitions and double definitions so I’d better keep practicing…http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

  23. Right on wavelength with Rufus again. I can’t possibly choose a favourite, too many good ones, but honourable mention to 1a, 1d, 15a … I give up, too many to mention. Agree with Kath, new meanings for 11a and 23a, needing dictionary. Thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for review, glad you had a good holiday and enjoyed all those fish dinners.

  24. Off to Paris to see the Jonny Wilkinson’s last match. Easy today but as you say no less pleasant for that.

  25. A gentle and most enjoyable start of the week. For me 1*/3*. Still feeling elated by Toulon’s win. We had Skype on to enable our Sussex grandchildren to watch the Rugby match… Nearly burnt supper! 23a came as a new meaning. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  26. Very enjoyable although I didn’t think it was a complete write-in.I had to resort to the BRB to check 23a and 24d. 21a was my last one in.Favourite 27a.Thanks Miffypops ! I enjoy reading your blog, although I didn’t need the hints.

  27. We also read through all the possible meanings for 23a in BRB to confirm that our answer was correct. Good Monday fun.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

  28. A relatively gentle puzzle to kick off the week, about 2*/3* by my reckoning, for which thanks to Rufus. I didn’t need any of Miffypops’ hints, even though l hadn’t heard of 23a in that meaning and would have spelled 8d with a double “n”. 1d and 13a tie for favouritism. Thanks to Miffypops’ for the review.

  29. Hi Miffypops,
    Great blog my last was 1d I could see the answer but not the play school reference, one thing though Sheridan wrote the play in 1777 as he died in 1816.
    Best clue I think is 13a, with two twisted definitions, one for the charade and one for the answer – great!

Comments are closed.