DT 27505 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27505

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27505

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

We have a rather morbid theme running through todays offering which just about made it into three star difficulty thanks to 29 across (which I had seen before ) and 26 down. Very enjoyable.

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    He has to arrange terms ahead (10)
{HEADMASTER} Anagram (arrange) of TERMS AHEAD

6a    Its music is forbidden to the listener (4)
{BAND} A homophone (sounds like) clue. The name for a group of musicians sounds like another word meaning prohibited or forbidden

ARVE Error: need id and provider

10a    Smoke coming from vehicle carrying retired soldier (5)
{CIGAR} take a popular vehicle and insert (carrying) the reversed (retired) initials of an American soldier

11a    The speed at which we go (5,4)
{DEATH RATE}     Go in this clue means to depart this world. The answer refers to a measure of the ratio at which we collectively do so

12a    Play a role in drama group, but behave independently (3,1,4)
{ACT A PART} Two clues in one here. The first part can be taken as read. The second part, behave independently, splits 3,5

13a    He enters races with a foreign character (5)
{THETA} Place HE from the clue inside the popular motorcycle races from The Isle Of Man and add the A from the clue to find a letter of the Greek alphabet

15a    One would carry out a suspended sentence for old sailors (7)
{YARDARM} In nautical terms, what a sailor might have been hung (suspended) from as a punishment

17a    Failure to accept FA rules being broken (7)
{REFUSAL} Anagram (being broken) of FA RULES

19a    New rise just coming into effect (7)
{NASCENT} Take the N(ew) and add a noun meaning move upwards through the air to get an adjective meaning just recently coming into existence

21a    Old empire  that lacks arms and backing (7)
{OTTOMAN} Historically an old Turkish empire or a seat without arms or a back, often used for storage

22a    Where the goat goes without corn? (5)
{CAPRI} An island made by taking the word corn away from the tenth sign of the zodiac

24a    Duck needs to retain its feathers (4,4)
{KEEP DOWN} To us humans, duck as in lowering the body to avoid a blow. To a Duck, not losing one’s feathers

27a    Stars of the printed word (9)
{ASTERISKS} Symbols used to refer readers to a footnote on the printed page, also used to denote missing letters

28a    One wants to be so described (5)
{NEEDY} To want in this sense means to lack material or monetary wealth. Those who do so are said to be this

29a    Some will turn to gin (4)
{TRAP} take a four letter word meaning some (not the whole) and reverse (turn) it to find an example of a gin, not one that goes with tonic though

30a    Tender name, perhaps (10)
{ENDEARMENT} Anagram (perhaps) of TENDER NAME


1d    Kick from a horse (4)
{HACK} A double definition here. The first is rather more obscure, used in sport to describe a kick aimed at an opponent and the second is a horse for everyday riding

2d    Cigars, ale possibly and port (9)
{ALGECIRAS} Anagram (possibly) of CIGARS ALE

3d    Girl gets married with a song (5)
{MARIA} A girls name formed by taking the first letter of M(arried) and adding an operatic song

4d    Weapon of no use at the front? (7)
{SIDEARM} A weapon usually carried at the hip such as a sword or handgun

5d    He demands payment absolutely right with gold (7)
{EXACTOR} Shylock for example. Take an adjective meaning precise (absolutely right) and add an abbreviation the heraldic term for gold

7d    Routed, beat a retreat (5)
{ABATE} Anagram (routed) of BEAT A

8d    Was unlucky in raffle, but lucky in Russian roulette (4,1,5)
{DREW A BLANK} The first smile of the day for me. In a raffle you would not have wanted to have done this. On the other hand, if you were playing Russian roulette you would have been quite happy to have done so.

9d    How fat it might be — but does it matter? (4,2,2)
{WHAT OF IT} A nicely concealed anagram (might be) of HOW FAT IT

14d    Outgoing trade? (5,5)
{DYING CRAFT} Outgoing here ( as in 11 across) refers to shuffling off this mortal coil. The whole answer defines an art or trade that has lost most of its participants and is in danger of disappearing altogether

16d    Earliest engineering workshops (8)
{ATELIERS} Anagram (engineered) of EARLIEST. The answer in French indeed means workshop but in England it is more widely used to mean an artist’s studio which I suppose is his workshop.

18d    Homes were rebuilt but the location’s vague (9)
{SOMEWHERE} Anagram (rebuilt) of HOMES WERE

20d    Receives and deceives (5,2)
{TAKES IN} A double definition. The second meaning to dupe or fool somebody

21d    How a bishop should be, in control (7)
{OVERSEE} Split 4,3 we have a word meaning above in rank and a word meaning Bishopric or Diocese. Together they make a verb meaning to supervise in an official capacity

23d    Ancient city, favourite with artist (5)
{PETRA} The Rose red city half as old as time. Take a three letter word meaning favourite and add the abbreviation associated with artists

25d    University teacher or patron (5)
{DONOR} Place OR from the clue after a three letter university teacher to find this patron or benefactor

26d    Peer of the stage? (4)
{GYNT} The last one in for me. This Peer is the hero of the five act play in rhyme written by Henrik Ibsen.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

With reference to 8d. The playing of Russian Roulette may lead to death. Please do not try this at home.

The Quick crossword pun: (lick} + {quid} + {ate} = {liquidate}

74 comments on “DT 27505

  1. Not too bad a start to the week. A puzzle I would rate as 3/4. As is becoming the norm, an excellent review by Miffypops . Thanks. Particularly liked 19A and 8D

  2. I got off to a flying start but then struggled with the last few. 15A, 14D and 26D led to ‘doh’ moments.
    8D was my favourite. Not so keen on 12A.
    I was pleased to finish so I’m agreeing with the 3* difficulty rating.
    A nice crossword and a nice review. Thanks.

  3. 2*/4*. Week after week Rufus, with his wonderfully, light touch manages to come up with amusing, inventive and very clever clues. What a pleasure this was!

    I was on course for 1* time but juddered to a halt due to the interlinked 14d, 22a & 29a and I couldn’t get 26d before reading Miffypops’ excellent review, all of which pushed my overall difficulty up to 2*.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

    P.S. Kath, leave of absence requested for two weeks’ holiday starting tomorrow please.

    1. Leave of absence granted! Where are you off to? Wherever it is I hope you have a lovely time.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      1. Thanks very much, Kath. We’re going to Barcelona for a couple of days, and then off on our first ever cruise taking in Nice, Florence, Rome, Amalfi Coast, Venice, Ravenna, and Kotor.
        I adore Barcelona, but it’s Mrs RD’s first trip there so she is in for a real treat.

            1. No drizzle here, yet, but there’s time – don’t suppose it’ll bother you today as you’ll be escaping tomorrow. Have a wonderful holiday.

              1. The drizzle here was very short-lived and the sun has come out now! But, as you correctly inferred, “am I bovvered?”

                1. In your absence, who will be in charge of Pedant’s Corner?

                  [Or is it Pedants’ Corner?]

                  1. Stan, I feel sure there are many pedants out there willing and able to keep a watchful eye on the situation whilst I am away.

                    As you might guess I have pondered long and hard about where the apostrophe should go in the naming of this corner. I am certain there is more than one pedant but we have Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. However the difference is that (in most cases) each individual has only one mother and one father. So I favour Pedants’ Corner .

                    There is an argument not to use an apostrophe at all taking the example of our friends across the pond who celebrate Veterans Day on the, in my view, incorrect basis that it is a day for veterans and not of veterans. In any event as, a point of principle, I wouldn’t accept US practices (definitely not practises!) regarding English spelling, grammar or punctuation!

                    On that pedantic note, I’ll pack my bags and be on my way.

                    1. To be pedantic, the Americans have “Mother’s Day”. In the UK we have Mothering Sunday. :P

                  2. Me – more later. I have a couple of new rants but will have to wait for head pedant to get back from holiday so that he can arbitrate.

                    1. Thanks very much, Kath. Now that I know the Pedants’ Corner is in safe hands I can relax totally on holiday.

                      I’ll look forward to receiving a full list of miscreants on my return.

  4. Mainly the usual Monday morning fare from Rufus although I didn’t really enjoy the NW corner (solely for 2D – not a port that springs to mind readily).

        1. So did I – don’t think I’ve ever seen it written or written it down – would probably have made a wild guess and spelt it with a J and a Z but for the fact that it was so obviously an anagram. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

          1. My OH used to live in Gibraltar…so for them it is the way to get to Tangiers.

    1. You would remember if you’d been through that town on your way to Morocco. It smells of rotten eggs…

  5. There certainly is a morbid theme going on here.The plethora of anagrams (8?) made it fairly quick and I didn’t spot them all.Favourite 24a, perhaps , they were all good clues.Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

  6. Pleasant start to the week with a couple of doh moments but not too much hassle. Perhaps somewhat over-anagrammed although I do have to admit that 7d prevented me completing for sometime. I needed help with 26d (incidentally Miffypops you refer to 26a which doesn’t exist!). Thanks setter (?) and indeed Miffypops. ***/*** for me too. vvhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

    1. Well done Angel. You are first to spot my mistake of the week (There always is one) 26d took me ages. 29ac I knew I had seen before but it took a while for me to see through the misdirection. 6ac and 7d also had me for a while. With 7d I had the answer but could not see how Retreat could be an anagram indicator or how the answer related to Routed. Once I stood it on its head it was fine. All done at 5.00am and ready for Big Dave by 7.30am except I forgot to underline the underliney bits so thanks to Big Dave for doing that for me. he really is a sweet soul. Thanks also to everybody who posts.

  7. Would like to say I enjoyed this if it wasn’t for 26d which completely baffled me.
    Not sure if the clue is very clever or really awful, whatever it prevented me from finishing.
    Lots of nice anagrams and some clever misdirection, if only 26d had been left out.
    Thx to all.

      1. Ah it’s an Opera! That explains a lot. Went to see Shakespeare on Saturday at Stratford, much more my cup of tea.

  8. Fairly straightforward today, only reading Miffypops hints has led me to realise that my BARD for 6a was wrong (though I can still about justify the answer…)

    thanks to all

  9. Just signed up! I attempt the crossword every day with some quite spectacular failures at times, but this site has helped no end to understand some of the workings. Enjoyed today. I am partial to a good anagram too!!

  10. 24a. This doesn’t work for me. To duck is to “go” or “get down”, which you have to have done before you can “keep down”.

  11. Miffypops – perhaps you know of the Gin Trap Inn in Ringstead near Hunstanton which was a favourite watering hole for us when we lived in East Anglia. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  12. **|***today liked 22ac, not to difficult but none the less enjoyable , no help needed but thanks to Miffypops &setter.

  13. Yes – definitely a very morbid theme today. I agree with 3*/3*.
    I was held up by 27 and 30a and 14d.
    I know the music Peer Gynt but didn’t know it was a play – having typed that I feel as if I might have said it before so maybe I’ve just forgotten.
    I didn’t know the first definition of 1d although the answer was obvious.
    I liked 22 and 30a and 8 and 18d. My favourite was 4d. It reminded me of “How many ears did Davy Crockett have?” He had three – a left ear, a right ear and a wild frontier.
    With thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  14. Too many anagrams for my taste but other than that it was the usual enjoyable and untaxing crossword from Rufus, a very amusing review from Miffypops, my thanks to both.I can’t understand all the complaints about 26d as it was my favourite clue.

    1. First off thanks to Rufus and Miffypops. I think the issue with 26D , certainly for me, is that sitting on the 6.26 am commuter flyer, it is really just a general knowledge clue that is not entirely cryptic. You either know it or you do not. If you don’t know it (like my good self), then you will never be able to solve it and I didn’t http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

      1. Sorry Werm but I had imagined that every school child was made to listen to the Hall of the Mountain King and to the rest of the Peer Gynt suite, I know that I was.

  15. A good Monday puzzle, not overly difficult though 26d gave me lots to think about ***/****

  16. Thanks Rufus – good fun and going well until the SE corner. Completely fooled by 26d – very clever clue. Thanks Miffypops for your review and help.

  17. Yes, rather melancholy theme today but enjoyable nonetheless. This was almost read and write for me, but then, it usually is with Rufus’s puzzles for me, right on wavelength. Some were so obvious, I pencilled them in very lightly as I was sure I was missing something. In any case, favourite has to be 26d, I loved it. Thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for the usual entertaining review. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

        1. We have been so dry for so long, the rain makes everything smell so fresh and clean, I love it. Why can’t we split it up, we get some more of your rain and you get some of our dry! But you need your rain for your lovely English gardens. B

  18. Bonjour tout le monde. Got stuck with that Spanish port which I spelled with an s à la française. So got confused with 12a. No luck with 26d even if I saw most of Ibsen’s plays. A bit too vague I found. 14d a bit disappointing. Thanks for the clues. À demain.

  19. I got off to quite a good start in the SE/SW. Absolutely stuck on 2d and which I have never come across before. Favourite out of lots of nice clues was 24a,

    Thank you Rufus for an enjoyable puzzle and Miffypops for some great hints and tips

  20. Shows how different we are.
    I found this one of my quickest solves, just held up a little while by 14d.
    Enjoyable, many thanks Rufus.
    Nicely illustrated review, Miffypops, thanks.

  21. I didn’t get to start the puzzle till this afternoon . I agree with the *** as I got stuck in the SW edge – 14d and 29a, which I’m still not crazy about.

    I did love 22a and 8d and the thing that the sun’s gone over….in fact the whole thing, what with that clue, the Gib connection and the gin (pink for him), reminded me of my RN officer father in law.

  22. As is usual with Mondays, I struggled with parts of this (mainly the cryptic defs). I have a smallish window in the AM to do the puzzle before work and I find myself using electronic help if I’m getting close to that time – maybe i should just leave it until I’m back in the afternoon and I’d probably do better…. Anyways, enjoyable as always ***/*** for me.

  23. Sorry to be a Rufus sycophant , but I loved this puzzle. It has all of the usual charm, wit and misdirection we expect from Mr Squires… and then some. Too many excellent clues to pick a favourite… oh all right… 29a if you insist. 16d was a new word for me courtesy of the BRB. As with others 26d was last in and I’m sure I would got it without Miffypop’s excellent musical clue ;-) 2*/5* for me. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.

    1. Well said Williamus. I think most liked the puzzle, the comments about it being morbid refer to the clues with death in them namely 11ac and 14d. 15 ac refers to the death penalty. Russian roulette can only end in death for one of the participants and sidearms kill. I reckon PG at 28d has passed away by now as he was first published in 1867.

      1. Second deliberate mistake of the day? 28d – there isn’t one. Not nit picking at all – loved your review and the crossword but, as a birthday girl, not the most cheerful of crosswords – too much death and it makes me feel old on a fairly significant birthday. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

        1. You kept that very quiet! Happy Birthday and enjoy the rest of your day!

          Here is a little present for you:

        2. Many Happy Returns! Don’t worry, as you get older, the years don’t matter much any more and your brain still feels a youngster. I just wish the body would keep as young as the brain! Enjoy the rest of your birthday.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    2. I love his puzzles, too, but that’s because I’m always (or usually) on wavelength!

  24. Hello and thank you to miffypops for helping me! Interesting puzzle today … Initially I thought wow I can do this, but was fooled by some very clever clues. 16d was a new word for me too, and involved my trusty thesaurus. Thought 14d good as well as 11a. Lots of interest and smiles and not too obtuse for beginners like me! Also loved the music clue … Lovely http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  25. We found this one a little trickier than we are used to on a Monday, but well up there for the quality we have come to expect. NW corner, where we usually start was the last to yield. Enjoyable.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

  26. Surprised at your 3* difficulty rating – thought this was more straightforward than usual ( tho i remain convinced Mondays are easier) – loving this website!

  27. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. Yes, quite a morbid theme indeed. Found it an enjoyable start to the week. Quite tricky, i missed the anagram in 7d, and had only heard of 26d as a piece of music. Had to check the spelling of 2d. Favourite was 22a, as I’m a Capricorn. Was 3*/3* for me. Good fun.

  28. I often seem to have problems these days with accessing ALL the comments. Today, for instance, bottom of Miffypops’ Hints page shows Comments Nos. 1-11 (11.20 a.m. – 12.50 p.m.) and the RSS Links page shows comments between 17.19 and 22.47 so some of the 63 Comments referred to do not appear. Please could someone tell me what I am doing wrong?

    1. Hello Angel. I have no idea about the access problems but I am sure BD will help. In reply to your earlier question about The Gin Trap Inn at Ringstead – No I do not know it but it is in Sawday’s book so it could get a visit next time we do North Norfolk. I hope its shellfishy.

    2. I’m not aware of the existence of an RSS links page – what platform are you using – device, operating system, browser

  29. Miffypops – it’s several years since my last visit to Gin Trap Inn and it seems it has changed hands. I presume they would offer Cromer crabs, etc. but I don’t know.

  30. I’m gratified that no debate was had over Miffypops’ use of “hung” in reference to 15a.

  31. Only got round to this today owing to golfing duties yesterday. Straightforward and enjoyable solve. Thanks to MP for the review, especially the late Richard Manuel’s rendition of I shall be released, with Robbie’s twanging Telecaster in the mix. Marvellous. 1*/3*

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