DT 27535 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27535

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27535

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

After an exhausting weekend I am grateful for an easy solve today. We got through nineteen clues without an anagram. It’s light duties for me for the rest of the day.

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    Puzzle that has many twists and turns before being solved (6,4)
{RUBIK’S CUBE} This confounding three dimensional puzzle is considered to be the world’s biggest selling toy.

6a    Poems, inspired by love of the French? (4)
{ODES} Take the value of love in a tennis match. Add the French for of. The whole is a form of poetry as performed by Cyril Fletcher.

10a    Around this time I should be in credit with returned account (5)
{CIRCA} In this wonderful clue we place the letter I inside the abbreviation for the word credit. We then add the reversed (Returned) abbreviation for account. The abbreviation for this word is often used in crosswords when the word about is used in the clue.

11a    Slanderer is not an incisive member of the set (9)
{BACKBITER} I suppose this falls into double definition territory. The first (slanderer) being one who attacks the character or reputation of another person who is not actually present. In the second definition the incisive members of the set are teeth. As usual with a lot of Rufus clues you either “get it” or you don’t.

12a    Grand occasion, of course (8)
{NATIONAL} The course here is of the horse racing kind. The occasion is a race.

13a    Times called in bars (5)
{TEMPI} Musical bars. The rate of speed of a musical passage or work. Be careful with the last letter.

15a    Spent money on thingslike free-range eggs (4,3)
{LAID OUT} A double definition. The second refers to where free range hens might deposit their eggs . A third would be to have been prepared for burial.

17a    Suppress background noise when playing squash (7)
{SQUELCH} Another double definition and a lovely word. The first definition is new to me “a circuit that suppresses the output of a radio receiver if the signal strength falls below a certain level”.

19a    The largest Chinese flower (7)
{YANGTSE} This flower doesn’t grow in a garden. It is a river. China’s longest.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

21a    Yet a cricketer is not out to improve his (7)
{AVERAGE} A cricketing reference here. The total number of runs scored by a batsman divided by the number of times he is out.

22a    Teacher‘s pet that doesn’t get to play out (5)
{RABBI} A Jewish teacher is a pet minus his last letter (doesn’t’ get to play out)

24a    Courses for non-drivers? (8)
{PATHWAYS} Please do not be misdirected to the golf course. If one doesn’t drive one walks. These courses are what one walks on.

27a    The present animal should have no oral examination (4,5)
{GIFT HORSE} The old adage says the one should not look one of these in the mouth

28a    Poetically inferior to place in Wales (5)
{NEATH} A double definition. The second being a town in the Port Talbot area of Wales.

29a    Imposed duty (4)
{TASK} This is a typical Rufus clue that might be easily solved without realising it’s complexity. It’s a double definition of which the second definition (DUTY) should give you the answer especially if you have checking letters. As an all in one it is a job that has been assigned.

30a    Spring locks outside, makes an illegal entry (10)
{TRESPASSES} The spring here is a mineral spring. The locks are locks of hair. Put the hair around the spring to find a verb meaning transgresses the law, for which one may be shot if discovered.


1d    Sweet  music? (4)
{ROCK} A popular seaside confectionery or a type of popular music usually played in 4/4 time.

2d    Savage ban is repeatedly put on Scotsman (9)
{BARBARIAN} Take a three letter word meaning to ban as in to refuse entry to a pub. Repeat it as instructed in the clue and add a Scotsman’s name.

3d    Shade giving cover for troops (5)
{KHAKI} The shade here is a colour. The cover refers to clothing for our troops.

4d    It can be arranged for ministers (7)
{CABINET} Golly bongs. Unless I am much mistaken this is our first anagram of the day. It is rather obvious and once you have the checking letters it is impossible not to solve.

5d    Secures  damages (7)
{BUCKLES} A double definition. The first being a method of fastening used on sandals or belts

7d    Corporation lawyer is first to get information (5)
{DATUM} Take an abbreviation for a lawyer or District Attorney and add the usual suspect for a corporation to gain a word of Latin origin meaning a piece of information.

8d    Shattering in pieces? Correct (10)
{STRAIGHTEN} Anagram (in pieces) of SHATTERING

9d    Busts are being developed beyond comprehension (8)
{ABSTRUSE} The first pair of words here are the anagram fodder. The second pair indicate said anagram. The third pair define the solution which is difficult to understand or obscure.

14d    Dramatist in predicament is unusually wary (10)
{PLAYWRIGHT} Take an anagram (Unusually) of WARY and put it into a word meaning predicament to find Harold Pinter’s profession

16d    Completely wrong? Correct (8)
{OUTRIGHT} This clever little clue has been seen before. Take a three letter word meaning wrong and add a five letter word meaning correct to get a word that means completely.

18d    Times of scarcity won’t worry Mr Sprat (4,5)
{LEAN YEARS} The old nursery rhyme should help to solve this clue. Jack Sprat could eat no fat. His wife could eat no lean. And so between the pair of them, They licked the platter clean.

20d    Ruler, pre-Rome, under a new constitution (7)
{EMPEROR} Anagram (under a new construction) of PRE ROME

21d    Work and play may be the same to her (7)
{ACTRESS} This woman appears onstage in the theatre playing a part

23d    Uses Polish  enthusiasts? (5)
{BUFFS} A double definition. The plural of a verb meaning to polish something and a noun describing people who are enthusiastically interested in and extremely knowledgeable about a particular subject

25d    At break of dawn, a girl appears (5)
{WANDA} There is an anagram here leading to a girl’s name

26d    Huts may be built in this way (4)
{THUS} And also an anagram in this clue meaning therefore or in this way

Thanks to Rufus for a pleasant puzzle and Thanks to Stan Kenton, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss for providing the music which I am pleased to say was not all in 4/4 time

The Quick crossword pun: (fan} + {task} + {tick} = {fantastic}

71 comments on “DT 27535

  1. Ahh, must be Monday again. Held up for a bit on 8D as I’d put the singular in for 13A – easily corrected.

    Exhausting day of sport yesterday, F1, tennis, Tour De Yorkshire (I was very impressed with Cote De Blubberhouses) and (best of all) Somerset hammering Hampshire – definitely need a rest this week.

    Talking of the singular for 13A – Did you hear about the Roman Centurion who walked into a bar and asked for a Martinum? Barman said ‘Surely you mean Martini’ and the Centurion replied ‘If I’d wanted a double, I’d have asked for a double’

    Toodle Pip

    1. That’s a terrible joke Skempie, reminds me of Seagoon who, when asked what he would like to drink by Eccles, replied ” a Southampton please, whats that asked Eccles, a large port retorted Seagoon! – mad as frogs. Anyway agree with Miffypops ratings and found it rather fun, good start to the week, many chuckles all round

    2. The singular of martini would be martinus – and the plural of martinum would be martina, e.g. datum / data and gladiolus / gladioli. The martinus/martini joke is from an old sketch by Wayne and Shuster, ” Who killed big Julie ? “. The correct punch-line is, ” If I want two, I’ll ask for them ! “.

  2. Nearer a 2* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment from me today.
    I got several of the across answers on first read through – unluckily for me 21a was wrong – I had innings because the cricketer wasn’t out – the first “Oh dear” of the day! Never could “do” cricket.
    That messed up quite a few of the downs for quite a long time until it was obvious that 8d was an anagram which put paid to innings.
    Didn’t know the first definition of 17a.
    I needed the hint to understand 22a – second “Oh dear” of the day.
    I liked 15 and 27a and 26d. My favourite was either 11a or 1d.
    Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

      1. Very sensible – that’s what I normally do but today I instantly saw innings – well, it is a crickety word and so I thought that, just for once, I was onto a winner! One chance to be right and I was still wrong! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  3. Not entirely trouble-free for me but very enjoyable nevertheless. Admire Miffypops’ * for difficulty. Thank you Rufus. Good to see the politically incorrect word in 21d. Think 11a was probably my fav. ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  4. Oh dear!
    A read and write one.
    But some chuckles on the way eg 27a and 18d.
    Perhaps its difficulty factor x 100 would bring it up to normal expectations.
    Many thanks Rufus, and Miffypops for the review.

  5. Not the best Rufus I’ve ever solved but still fun. No long-winded meanderings or meaningless surface readings

    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops, too

  6. What are the chances of someone who can eat no fat meeting someone who can eat no lean?

  7. Thank you Rufus, great fun. lots of favourites from 1a onwards – sorry Kath http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif Thanks MP for your review and hints. I somehow felt that this would get one star for difficulty, but plenty for enjoyment.

  8. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops for a fun crossword and an amusing review, 1*/4*

  9. I’m struggling with a double definition of imposed duty (29a). If duty is one definition, what is the other? I read this as a misdirection, imposed duty suggesting something legislative and monetary rather than a more literal and general connotation of chore. Am I missing something?Otherwise a quick and pleasant solve, thanks Rufus and thanks miffypops.

    1. Agreed. The two words of the clue together give a definition. The second word on its own gives another definition.

      1. So it can’t be a double definition, right? I’m with Dutch: it’s a single definition – if not a cryptic definition, then a misleading one. I don’t want to be a grump, just confused if it’s supposed to be a double definition… :?

  10. As usual an enjoyable Monday puzzle, which means that we could do it more or less without help, so thank you to the setter and to Miffypops.

    1. I bow to your superior command of grammer. I was uneducated at a comprehensive torture chamber.

      1. Isn’t it third person singular of the verb to buff = he buffs and plural of a noun adding an s to buff?

        1. I think you are confusing verbs with pronouns. You can have 1st, 2nd or 3rd person singular pronouns: I; you; he/she respectively. Also, their plural equivalents. “Buffs” is the simple present tense of the verb “to buff”.

          1. Kitty, I fail to see how your link clarifies this point. There cannot be a singular or plural form of a verb. In Frmboise’s example, “he” is a third person singular pronoun. The plural being “they”. As I previously said, “buffs” is the simple present tense of the verb “to buff”.

            1. Yes, you’re right. Sorry! :oops:

              Edit: No, wait! He buffs, they buff… both present tense forms of the verb, but the former is third person singular and the latter, third person plural. Right?? Argh, now I’m confused! Another comprehensively non-educated person, bowing out now to people who know their grammar!

      2. Happy to solve and comment, but have neither the knowledge nor the cojones to be a blogger. Got lost on the third person singular, then poured a glass of Rioja. Later attempted Kairos in the Indy. Ouch

  11. Another pleasant dose of fun from Rufus!

    Faves : 1a, 11a, 28a, 1d, 18d & 21d.

    Re 1d – I have sucked many a stick in my youth in places such as Scarborough, Filey and Blackpool!

      1. Don’t worry RD – I’ve given up on this one with Derek – we agree to differ! Well, I think we do although I still think I’m right! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  12. A really fun puzzle, but then, I always enjoy Rufus’s puzzles. There are so many good ones, but I’m going to opt for 27a as fave, with honourable mention going to 1a, 11a … oh, forget it, too many to mention.

    Thanks Rufus for the fun, and M’pops for review, particularly the Monty Python rubbish, wotta laugh. I also wish to thank (this is sounding like the Oscars) Skempie and Beaver for the appalling jokes!


  13. A pleasant and gentle solve today, just the ticket for Monday. Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.

  14. A not too difficult start to the week. I rate as 2/3 Favourite is 21D Thanks to Miffypops for his review.

  15. A really fun solve, witty and not too difficult-just right for Monday! Many thanks.

  16. Got bogged down with a couple of the cryptic definitions for a short while but sorted it out eventually. I hope that I’ll be able to impress the family and get the answers to the riddles in christmas crackers this year with greater aplomb after what will be a year of solving (or partly solving) Rufus puzzles -and other cryptic puzzles – but Rufus puzzles in particular for those types of clues. Enjoyed it as always **/3.5* – Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  17. A*/*** for me but like Dutch didn’t like 29a which was only got because of the checking characters. Liked 11, 17, 22 and 27 across. 28a brought back memories of David Coleman and the teleprinter on a Saturday afternoon.

  18. */*** for a gentle and amusing start to the week. Favourite 11a.

    Many thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  19. Just me who hates rufus?! I’m Sure he’s a lovely guy but I always find Mondays to be frustrating. Every week’s the same for me, most of the clues are write ins, usually a bit too easy, but there’s always at least one…often a little cluster… that I can stare at all day and not get. Just not on his wavelength for the pure cryptic clues. When I see the answers it’s generally a ‘doh’ moment.

    I chuckle to myself when I see the 1 star comments every week, I usually blunder my way through the rest of the week one way or another, regardless of how challenging others seem to find them, but can’t remember the last time I finished a Monday… Rufus has my number and gives me a regular monday slap down.

    1. I usually have more trouble with Rufus, i.e. Mondays, than any other day of the week – unless it’s a Friday, especially if it’s a Friday with Giovanni flexing his muscles – then I’m really in trouble. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      1. I love to see how different we all are: the clues and crosswords that are alternately loved/hated and found easy/difficult. Especially perplexing is that people who regularly do the Toughie can struggle on the back page! I managed about half of the one a while back that was rated 1* difficulty … http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_confused.gif

    2. People who can’t do cryptics(they don’t know the conventions, usual suspects etc ) can usually manage a fair amount of Rufus.They get the double definitions and the pure cryptics.And of course the anagrams.These last three elements of a Rufus crossword are the reason I love them, though he can be difficult when he wants to be.

    3. I don’t hate Rufus. I just don’t enjoy his Monday puzzles. I can and do complete them, but there are almost always one or two clues that really irritate me. That’s why I rarely comment on a Monday these days.

      1. I always found Mondays puzzles far to easy. Read and writes all the way. It was only when trying to write the reviews that I realised how clever the clueing was. How clever the misdirections were, how obscure some of he anagram indicators were and how nice the surface reads can be. Learning how to review (Thanks to Big Dave and Gazza and Pommers) has made solving other puzzles very much easier. For instance Jays puzzles on a Wednesday used to be a struggle but are now read and writes but I appreciate the setters skills so much more.

  20. For once, I was on the Rufus wavelength! What a lot of fun this was, too. 27a was my fave, but I liked many others, such as 1a, 11a, 13a, 15a, 5d, 7d, and 21d.

    I needed explanations for my answers to 17a and 21a. I had all the correct answers, but didn’t identify some of the types of clues very well. But I did get the gist, and that makes me happy!

    Many thanks to Rufus for a very entertaining puzzle, and to Miffypops for a most enjoyable and informative review.

  21. Still learning the language of crosswords but I completed this one without recourse to the hints.
    Favourite clue 17a because I was a hi fi fiend in the pre digital era.

  22. A quick and enjoyable solve for most of it, but two things new to me: the usual suspect corporation = tum, and the first definition of 17a.

    **/*** I think. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

    1. I read the two definitions as “suppress” and “background noise when playing squash”

  23. Glad u thought it one star difficulty, I thought it a 3/4. I found it very tough indeed.
    For me Very little enjoyment at all. Just could not get on the setters wavelength at all.
    Thx to Miffypops.

  24. We found this one towards the tough end of the scale of difficulty for a Monday puzzle and were surprised at the rating on the review. Lots to enjoy and smile over we thought.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

  25. After some struggles towards the end of last week, l rather enjoyed this gentle outing. No particular favourite clue, but about 1*/3* overall. My thanks to Rufus, whose puzzles always manage to raise a smile, and to Miffypops for the review.

  26. Enjoyed that except 13 across. Why isn’t it temsi?
    Its an anagram of times and was a construction system like meccano so used “bars.

    1. I cannot find TEMSI as a word. There is is not an anagram indicator to suggest TIMES might be an anagram. Bars for Meccano is far too abstruse to be considered. Methinks that sometimes solvers look far too deeply into the clue and miss the simplicity that is there. I am guilty of this and if you regularly read the comments, so are we all, however experienced.. Long may it continue to be so.

    2. Mainly because there is no such word as temsi and there is no indication of there being an anagram of the word Times. What you are looking for is musical notation (indicated by the word BARS – note this as it comes up fairly regularly). In musical notation, the time (or if you like the beat or rhythm) of a piece of music is known by the latin/italian (not sure if its both or either) word TEMPO but the clue is not ‘time’ it’s ‘times’ so you need the plural of TEMPO which is TEMPI.

      And the beat goes on.

      1. Thanks Skempie. The beat goes on. Hopefully provided by Bob Dylan Leonaard Cohen Neil Young or Tom Waits

  27. I found this a mite trickier than the usual Monday Rufus, not helped by spelling Rubik with a c instead of a k, but I got there in the end. Thanks to MP and Rufus for the challenge. 2*/3*

  28. Good Monday stuff – thank you Rufus. And Miffypops for the review – nice one! My favourite was 22a -it really made me smile.

    1. Welcome to the blog Alistair

      If you look up corporation in Chambers, one of the definitions is:
      * A belly, esp a pot-belly (informal)

      This, and other cunning ploys used by setters, can be found in my Usual Suspects page.

  29. 6a is a bit ambiguous. The solution could be lays, as inspired by les which is French for the, and love is just misdirection. But I can see that your solution is better.

    1. Welcome to the blog AdsoEngxladso

      If you think a clue is ambiguous you’ve probably got something wrong. In this case it’s “love is just misdirection” – while the clue can use misdirection, it can’t be achieved by the insertion of superfluous words.

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