DT 27511 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27511

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27511

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

The sun is out here in Downtown L I. That means a mowing day for me, with cider. I found this to be an easy solve today with just a couple of testers at the end.

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    Change sides? (5,3,5)
{HEADS AND TAILS} I put this one in straight away thinking in parliamentary terms. Silly me. The change is in your purse or pocket and these are common terms for the obverse and reverse sides

10a    Cast a spell — can then set spinning (7)
{ENCHANT} There is an anagram indicator here (set spinning) and as usual immediately before or after the indicator there is the anagram fodder CAN THEN. The words cast a spell are the wordplay for the clue

11a    Threats can seem ridiculous (7)
{MENACES} In this order we have the first word which is the definition. The second and third words are the anagram fodder. The fourth word is the anagram indicator

12a    Oh dear! Nothing works (4)
{OOPS} Take the usual roundest letter of them all meaning nothing and add the usual shortened term for works to give a minor exclamation often uttered after a mistake or accident

13a    Fruit drink very quietly being swallowed (5)
{APPLE} Quietly here refers to the musical term pianissimo. The drink is a three letter word for beer. So stick the very quietly into the beer (swallowed) to find a fruit.

14a    Country that puts physical education before sport (4)
{PERU} Take the initials for the finest team sport in the pan galactic universe and place them after the initials used at school for physical education to find the name of a country in South America

17a    Sailing boat seen in seaway in extremis — it’s rough (7)
{SKETCHY} Place a five letter two-masted boat inside the first and last (in extremis) letters of the word S(eawa)Y

18a    It’s not customary for holy man to travel widely (7)
{STRANGE} Our usual holy man is followed by a word meaning to wander freely

19a    An animal must have some means of defence (7)
{RAMPART} An old chestnut of a clue. The animal is a male sheep. Some means not the whole. The two together form a defensive wall of a castle

22a    Legal or otherwise, it’s a lively movement (7)
{ALLEGRO} There is an anagram indicator. There is some anagram fodder. There is a definition. Go find them.

24a    Fashion’s key in Chinese society (4)
{TONG} Take a three letter noun meaning “fashionable style or distinction” or “fashionable society” place a musical key after it to find a Chinese association or secret society often associated with organised crime. Thank you Google. If any of you out there solve this clue without external help I take my hat off to you. I am not worthy

25a    A person will be surprised if you take him this (5)
{ABACK} A cryptic definition of how one is said to be taken when surprised

26a    A handy guide to future events? (4)
{PALM} Cross mine with silver and I will tell you the answer

29a    The end is not in reach (7)
{OUTCOME} The way things turn out – a word meaning “not in” followed by a verb meaning to reach

30a    Leave a musical group — no making a comeback (7)
{ABANDON} A simple charade. A, from the clue. A musical group. NO reversed (making a comeback)

31a    Could be he or she’s to make firm statement (13)
{PRONOUNCEMENT} Take a word that takes the place of a noun in a sentence and follow it with a six letter word meaning to make firm


2d    He’s broken out of quarters — peace is disturbed (7)
{ESCAPEE} Take two point of the compass (quarters) followed by an anagram (is disturbed) of PEACE

3d    It’s not cheap, my love (4)
{DEAR} A double definition. Possibly the easiest I have seen

4d    A stiff examination (7)
{AUTOPSY} This stiff is a dead body. The examination is another word for a post mortem

5d    Cheeky but attractive features (7)
{DIMPLES} Small indentations in the fleshy parts of our cheeks

6d    Swan’s on the wing — they’re seen in fields of barley (4)
{AWNS} Here is another anagram with an unusual indicator. Can you find it? The answer is a bristle like appendage found on many grasses

7d    Bookstand in service (7)
{LECTERN} A tall stand with a sloping surface which holds a book in this case, possibly a bible

8d    Being upset, stand it no more — protest! (13)
{DEMONSTRATION} And another anagram. Indicator. Fodder. Definition. You can do it.

9d    Take control for granted? (6,7)
{ASSUME COMMAND} A cryptic definition of what one does when taking control of a situation

15d    Refuse to discard as worthless (5)
{SCRAP} A double definition. A third definition might be fight or quarrel

16d    Not well, goes to doctor, that’s routine (5)
{DRILL} A two letter abbreviation for doctor followed by a three letter word meaning unwell or poorly will give a word meaning routine as in repeated military parade ground training

20d    Observe and report on  lizard (7)
{MONITOR} A double definition. The second being a large type of lizard

21d    Picture catalogue to the French (7)
{TABLEAU} Place one of the French words meaning “to the” after a word for a list of things

22d    Antique chair that’s broken must be taken into account (7)
{ARCHAIC} A lovely little clue containing an anagram. What a bonus that is. We are looking for a word meaning antique and we will find it by taking an anagram (that’s broken) of CHAIR and placing it inside (taken into) the abbreviation for account.

23d    Raise the spirits of a cleric in depression (7)
{GLADDEN} This depression can be found in the highlands of Scotland. We then need to place an abbreviation for a cleric or A D(octor) of D(ivinity) inside.

27d    High light, low point (4)
{MOON} This high light is about 250,000 miles away. Low is the noise a cow makes. The point is one found on a compass.

28d    Composed a piece of classical music (4)
{CALM} There is a hidden word here. Can you see it?

Thanks to Van Morrison and Neil Young for keeping me company today. The interruption from Messrs Gilmore Waters Wright and Mason was most unwelcome. I wish Spotify had a block button.

The Quick crossword pun: (fill} + {land} + {error} = {philanderer}

63 comments on “DT 27511

  1. Rated this ***|*** apart from S W bottom corner no problem got held up there,for a time , no help needed but thanks to setter& Miffypops ,bit of an anagramfest which suited me ,but may not others.

  2. Ooh – first again – having never been the first to comment before yesterday maybe it’s now going to be two days in a row! 2* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    I found this one pretty straightforward with only three or four that held me up a little bit – 1a (don’t know why) – 26a (ditto) – and the second word of 9d. I’ve never heard of 6d.
    I liked 17 and 25a and 3 and 8d. My favourite was 12a – made me think of http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif!
    With thanks to Rufus and Miffypops – I’m going to be cutting grass too, but without the cider!

    1. I struggled to get the why of 26a too, but it couldn’t have been anything else. What an idiot, it is so obvious!

  3. Three new words for me today – spotted the anagram for 6d but had to look up the word and also had not heard of the 3 letter first part of 24a or the answer. Otherwise a fairly straightforward start to the week. 1a and 4d made me smile.

  4. I didn’t need the extra Weetabix for this offering from Rufus althouh 6d flummoxed me for a while. Thanks to he & to Miffypops whose reviews improve every week (imho).

    It feels like it’s going to waz it down here in West Bridgford & I’ve got to drive up the A1 to deliver Mrs S to the MIL for a few days – on with the dance & let joy be unconfined!

  5. Thank you Rufus, another good fun puzzle. I thought that the 4 letter answers were the trickiest with a couple of new words thrown in. All were however gettable from the wordplay.
    Thanks Miffypops for your review. I wonder why they called the Allegro an Allegro – it never seemed that quick !

  6. Pretty much a write in except for 24 ac. BRB on line does not give any meaning for ton other than the obvious measure of weight. On checking the printed version I found the second definition used in this clue. I had assumed that the online version was as complete as the printed one. I guess that just goes to prove the old adage “assume made an ass out of u and me.

    1. Dave

      There is no longer a “BRB online” – it was discontinued several years ago. The is an online Chambers dictionary, but it is a subset of the real thing.

    2. Thanks for that info. I thought as much after todays discovery, but I think this is the first time I have had it impede a solve. No doubt regular contributors will advise me of multiple cases where chambers on line would have let me down. Fire away by all means.

      1. I never use the online Chambers, for obvious reasons, but there is a BRB app for most mobile phones and tablets and it’s a lot cheaper than the book.

  7. A most gentle puzzle, but a very entertaining start to my week.
    Many thanks to all concerned.

  8. On holiday in the Cyclades so completed this before most of Britain was awake. Being an avid Georgette Heyer reader in my youth I had no trouble with the first part of 24a. if only all my youthful enthusiasms were so useful! This is a slight dig at Mr Bb.
    Enjoyed the puzzle and blog as always, thank you.

    1. Also knew the answer from reading Georgette Heyer.I think that is the only time I’ve ever seen the word used.

      1. Me too! I often wonder if I were to revisit GH after all these years whether I would applaud my choice of literature or be appalled by the triteness of my choice.

    2. On speaking to my mother earlier this evening, “have you Andrew learned absolutely anything over all these years….Really have you never heard of GH”. Nope but have now….you live and learn.

  9. Back from my hols to this nice gentle puzzle. Only slight sticking point was 24a. I knew the answer but, like others, had not heard of the alternative definition of the first part.
    Thanks setter and MP for the blog.

  10. Mostly quite simple but really good fun. Thanks Rufus. Can’t believe it but 1a defeated me so needed to wait for Miffypops’ help (thanks for that) – doh! I guessed 24a but had wrong vowel so you don’t need to take your hat off! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  11. We found some clues in the bottom half harder than the top, but an enjoyable puzzle nevertheless. Thank you to the Monday setter, and to Miffypops.

  12. Also did not get 24a, else a quick enjoyable solve – though does anyone else think the two definitions in 15d are closely related?

  13. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops, fun but not very stretching and a very amusing review.

  14. A **/*** also for me for me, just right for a Monday after an excessive weekend in Beaumaris, thanks setter and Miffypops for the pics- liked the one for 4d, reminded me of Paddington bear at the station! favourite clue 21a

  15. Very enjoyable but needed the hint to 27d to finish it, it had me completely foxed!
    6d is a new word to me, one to remember perhaps.
    Some nice clues in 12a, 19a and 5d.
    Thx to all

  16. I cannot express how disappointed I am with 6D – especially when it’s my last one!

    I always feel it’s a cop-out when the Compiler sticks in a really obscure word – cue a list of people saying they use it in everyday speech – doh!

    Just a personal opinion! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    1. Well most cereal farmers would use the word on a regular basis. I knew it from my holiday jobcombine driving days back in the early eighties. I doubt it has gone out of fashion since then.

  17. Miffypops, I never buy the Telegraph on Monday, so I haven’t attempted this one.

    But, the Guardian Rufus has one that you may appreciate:

    11a – Where publicans are locked up? (6,4)

    1. Behind Bars. Thanks for that Stan. I have been chained to the mower today and then the grass collector. The caravan field does look a picture though.

  18. 6d and 24a are in my view very obscure.I really liked 27d and 31a. Thanks for your assistance Miffypops.

  19. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle to start the week. I agree most was straightforward, with a couple of difficult clues, 6d which I had not heard of, but got it from the wordplay, and 24a which was last in, and was a way to get meaning by means of intonation in Mandarin according to the BRB, but no mention of Miffypops’ Googled explanation, another that I got from the wordplay. Was 2*/3* for me. Mainly sunny in Central London but very humid.

    1. This is what I found, Heno by googling Ton definition. I have never heard of it used that way. Way too obscure really and the last one in.

      noun: ton

      fashionable style or distinction.
      “riches and fame were no guarantee of a ticket—one had to have ton”
      fashionable society.
      noun: the ton
      “it is the most elegant establishment and half the ton was there”

      1. See, you should have read Georgette Heyer as a kid! Or was that only a gal thing?

  20. Lovely Monday puzzle again from Rufus. I didn’t have any real problems, being familiar with 6d and the fashion in 24a (thank you GH). I was lost for a bit on the guide to future events for 26a, but M’pops I would prefer to have my 26a crossed with paper! Thank you Rufus and M’pops for the entertaining review, as usual.


  21. Enjoyed this though it was in places a trifle difficult. I’d got the answer to 15d wrong so that through me for a while it was Miffypops help with the third definition that got me the answer.

    I also had the incorrect vowel for 24a being more familiar with the dynasty

    So some new words which is good.

    It may be grizzly but I liked 4d

    Thank you Rufus and Miffypops

    1. Sorry for my out-of date appearance, but I had an “american” alternative for 15d which works just as well – apart from the fact that it is the wrong answer, and of course held me up for some time. Thanks to all.

  22. Didn’t do particularly well at this today – in fact, having a crisis of confidence today due to being unable to complete the Everyman crossword yesterday in the Guardian (have never been unable to complete that one). Maybe a break from these things is required…. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops ***/***

    1. No, no, no … no breaks. You have to press on, that’s the only way you master these things. It’ll come, you’ll see. Remember, a lot of the contributors to this site are “brains”, I don’t even try to compete with them and just slog on in my old way.

    2. JonP there are a lot of clever people on this site, count me out.
      Some find Mr Squires very tricky some not. Def a wavelength thing, stay with it ;)

      1. Thanks for the encouragement chaps – will stick at it and try not to be too disheartened with it on the off days.

        1. Worse today in parts, pustules broken out on soles of feet, walking unpleasant to say the least.. Kath i’m going to lose the bloody plot by next weekend. I don’t do indoors and despite lodger taking pooches for a walk its not the same. Oh well chin up, the thoughts of hand surgery and all that, count me blessings

    3. I agree with Andy – there are lots of very clever not to mention very experienced solvers on this site and you can count me out too. Why would you feel discouraged by being unable to complete a crossword that you’ve never managed to anyway? Oh dear – rubbish grammar – sorry, but hope you know what I mean. I often find Monday crosswords tricky.

      1. Sorry – my poor grammar may have confused things. I should’ve said that I always complete it (albeit with a bit of electronic help) but yesterday’s attempt was profoundly hopeless and I couldn’t get anywhere.

  23. Another industrious day in the garden. Not a bad puzzle to start the week and not too challenging. I would rate this as 2/3 Thanks to Miffypops for his high standard review which I needed for 6 down. never heard the word before and had to use BRB to check.r

  24. Education at 24a , otherwise a typically inventive offering by Rufus. Thanks to Miffypops. Chicken pox update, home visit from GP says I might be allowed in public by Friday. Once i’ve bitten through the bars that might change.

    1. That’s not too far away. Just bite the bullet instead of the bars, it’ll soon be Friday!

      1. I guess so Merusa, thank you. seems a long way away for an out doorsy person. Patio looks likes a dentists surgery already. There is an imminent threat I might have to do some ironing. Heaven forfend ;)

  25. Whatever possessed the marketing men at British Leyland (as I think it was then ) to name that car *******. It certainly wasn’t quick and the reliability made it’s nickname of all aggro completely inevitable. I know my first car was one.

  26. This one took us slightly longer than usual for a Monday. The answers that held us up tended to be the long ones like 9d and 1a rather than the short 6d and 24a which were both write-ins for us. Strange that, must be a Southern hemisphere thing. Good fun.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

  27. The usual pleasant fare from Rufus to start the week .
    Aside frm the four 13-letter fringe clues there was plenty of good shorter clues such as 6d.

  28. No problems with this, but plenty of enjoyment. I would score this one at 2*/3.5*, and particularly liked 4 and 27 down. Thank you Rufus for a pleasant start to the crossword week, and to Miffypops for the review.

  29. Any enjoyment I was going to have from this was immediately spoilt by 1d (I do the down clues first, where possible). The word, Rufus, is ESCAPER, not your answer to an admittedly clever clue. People who do things are ….ers (or ….ors) and people who have things done to them are ….ees. This Americanism is an abomination and drives me mad when I see it in newspapers. Think ’employer’ and ’employee’, or ‘interviewer’ and ‘interviewee’ or ‘legator’ and ‘legatee’, ‘trainer’ and ‘trainee’ etc etc. This is not the first time I’ve found this in a Telegraph crossword and I don’t suppose it’ll be the last. The rest of the puzzle was completed in 1* time but I’m going to have to give Rufus (for the first time) 0* for enjoyment. Rant over. For now

    1. We live and learn. I would not have known that. Does the T before the strummer stand for Telecaster?

    2. There seems to be a subtle difference between someone who is in the process of escaping (he’s breaking out / escaper) and someone who has escaped (he’s broken out / escapee).

  30. I think t stummmer’s being far too pedantic and totally agree with big dave Chambers the only dictionary worth using for crosswords gives an escapee as one who has escaped and and escaper one who is in the process of doing so. Anyway, crosswords are a bit of fun and shpuld not be taken too seriously language wise!

  31. Am rather late getting to this. Like others, I did find parts quite tricky. (I always find Rufus puzzles tricky.) I needed your answers to 1a and 6d, Miffypops. I would never have got 1a on my own. 6d is a new word for me. I also needed the explanation for ‘quarters’ in’ 2d. Otherwise, I am very pleased because I had no other problems. I even knew 24a — not from reading Georgette Heyer, but from some other source long forgotten!

    I enjoyed this puzzle. Faves 22a, 26a, 7d and 22d.

    Many thanks to Rufus for a delightful puzzle and to Miffypops for an equally delightful and beautifully clear review.

  32. Oh dear! I’ve mistyped my email yet again. I do apologise for the trouble caused and shall slink off to the naughty corner.

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