DT 27541 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27541

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27541

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hurrah!! The oikball is over. Booo! The season is only a couple of weeks away. An enjoyable crossword but none too difficult. After a busy weekend We are rewarding ourselves with a visit to a seafood restaurant.  Favourite clue 19ac.

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    A life of one’s own (13)
{AUTOBIOGRAPHY} a self penned account of one’s life

10a    Big egg-producer from nothing, on the way to get wealthy (7)
{OSTRICH} This egg producer is a big bird. You can find her by taking our usual round lettered term for nothing, our usual abbreviation for street (way) and a four letter word meaning wealthy

11a    Stand before the speaker (7)
{LECTERN} The stand which a speaker may stand in front of and place his reading material on when giving a lesson or speech

12a    Horses and badgers (4)
{NAGS} A double definition which should not give too much trouble.

13a    Start playing snooker, getting a series of points (5)
{BREAK} Two snooker terms in one here. The first being the term used to start a snooker match and the second being the term used to describe the points accrued during a single visit to the snooker table

14a    Going to drop one clanger (4)
{GONG} A percussion instrument obtained by taking the I (drop) out of the word GOING

17a    Is stout possibly, so doesn’t dance (4,3)
{SITS OUT} Our first anagram of the day. I am certain that there will be more. All of the ingredients are there in the order of fodder, indicator and definition.

18a    It controls the waves, though the rain is wild (7)
{HAIRNET} And immediately here comes another. The wordplay here is less clear than that at 17ac so more help may be needed. The waves here are on your head and this device would hold them in place. I have not seen one in years

19a    Talks a lot with holy men going east and west (7)
{RABBITS} We have two holy men here. The usual Jewish one to begin with (going east) and the usual suspect reversed (going west) to follow. Chas and Dave sang a song about this.

22a    The mantle of sleep is disturbed (7)
{PELISSE} A new word for me but an obvious anagram from which the answer became obvious once the checking letters were in. Apparently this mantle is a garment, a gown or a cape.

24a    Toss coin for a picture (4)
{ICON} Anagram (toss) of COIN

25a    With nod we provide money (5)
{ENDOW} Here is an anagram with an unusual indicator or maybe without an indicator at all. It is a sort of all in one clue as well. Mmmm. Over to you lot, what do you think?

26a    Mean to grab one or two (4)
{PAIR} Take a three letter word meaning mean or average and insert (grab) the letter which represents one in the wonderfully diverse world of crosswords to get a noun meaning a set of two things used together or regarded as a unit

29a    Beats a London club side (7)
{HAMMERS} As if we have not had enough oikball over the last few weeks here is a footballing reference to prolong the agony. The London club side is West Ham United and this is their nickname. Roll on September 2015 when the real game has its world cup.

30a    Sped too much, and exceeded the limit (7)
{OVERRAN} A double definition. The second being to have finished beyond a time limit

31a    Yet it might result from inside information (5-4,4)
{FRONT-PAGE NEWS} If you are completing this puzzle with a hard copy of The Daily Telegraph you will be on the back page. Turn the newspaper over to find these headlines. Those of you who have printed off the puzzle or are using electronic devices will have to use their imaginations


2d    At university, drunk and anxious (7)
{UPTIGHT} Our usual suspect for “at university” and a word meaning drunk will together form a word meaning anxious

3d    A newspaper’s deadline, in short? (4)
{OBIT} This is the shortened form of a notice of death which might appear in a newspaper.

4d    Succeed with a will in their resolve (7)
{INHERIT} Anagram time again. To succeed here is to receive money or a title as an heir after the death of the previous holder.

5d    Very big chap who went down to a stone! (7)
{GOLIATH} A biblical giant who met his end from a stone slung by a little chap. That should narrow it down a tad.

6d    A feature of Perpendicular churches (4)
{ARCH} This word is hidden in the clue. Go find it.

7d    One who’d have to change for the dance (7)
{HOEDOWN} This anagram leads to a lively dance. Popular with the Country and Western set.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

8d    Evidently not turning to crime (5,8)
{GOING STRAIGHT} This is a term used by criminals who have decided to reform. Also the name of the follow up series to Porridge starring Ronnie Barker

9d    Champions away from home? (7,6)
{KNIGHTS ERRANT} These champions are figures of medieval romantic fiction who would wander the land in search of adventures to prove their chivalric virtues. When not doing this they sat at round tables.

15d    Subject of a Canaletto picture (5)
{TOPIC} Our second hidden word. It’s there in the clue. Hiding away. You can find it.

16d    Name is right (5)
{TITLE} A double definition needing no further explanation

20d    Rose‘s mistake? (7)
{BLOOMER} Another double definition. An open flower or a mistake. A third definition could be a loaf of bread

21d    Takes Mickey to prison? (5,2)
{SENDS UP} To take the rise out of a person or to commit to prison. Committing to prison usually has the word down associated with it. In this case the opposite is used. It all means the same thing.

22d    Stretch a point and look inside (7)
{PROLONG} Place our usual shortened work for look inside a point as in the tines of a fork

23d    A couple of scraps for bird (7)
{SPARROW} These scraps are fights or arguments. Two of them together make a common little brown bird

27d    Cut down when damaged (4)

{HEWN} This anagram is the past participle of a verb meaning to cut or chop down

28d    Eager to know about the Orient (4)
{KEEN} Place the single letter used to represent the orient inside the Scottish word for to know.

With thanks to Kevin Ayers, Stevie Wonder and Norma Waterson who sang along to keep me company whilst writing this review

86 comments on “DT 27541

  1. Very enjoyable if a bit of a write in. Nice start to the week.
    For me */****.
    Thx to the setter and Miffypops.

  2. 1*/3*. A gentle but amusing and enjoyable Monday puzzle spoilt for me slightly by 21d which I believe is American slang for giving someone a prison sentence. Why are US prisons “up” rather than “down”?
    19a is a great clue, and, of course, my favourite.
    Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.

    1. I also take issue with 21d – not only with the use of “up” , but also Mickey with the upper case “M”. This is surely wrong and misleading.

      1. I don’t know the origin of the saying “to take the Mickey” out of someone, but I think I would probably spell Mickey in this context with a capital M. Can anyone else help on this point?

        1. Chambers only uses lower case in this context – can’t find any upper case examples!

          1. Just had a look at Brewers D.of F.& F. Also uses lower case, but has a different suggestion for derivation of Mickey. Being a well brought up lady I won’t refer to it here.

            1. Is it a cockney rhyming slang derivation? If so I think I know what you are referring to, but that can remain our secret!

              1. Oooh Dave, what can you be suggesting? I couldn’t possibly comment – but I like secrets.

                1. Shame – our secret didn’t last much more than an hour…

                  … Pommers has let the cat out of the bag below.

                  1. My version of Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (1977) shed no light whatsoever on this subject – think I’ll take it back to the charity bookshop and demand a refund of my £1.50.

                1. Definitely.
                  There was someone called Silver Oak who used to comment on here quite a long time ago. I always had a mental image of a very good looking and tall but far from young man with white hair. One week there was a bit of a kerfuffle about some of the pictures that were used in the hints and it was suddenly very clear that he was a she.

                  1. A bit like a friend of mine who thought he had bought two she rabbits for his son, and then found out soon after that one of them was most definitely a he when he ended up with six rabbits instead!

                    1. Reminds of years ago when I shared a flat in London. We had a cat called Ben, then it had kittens, so was renamed Ben Her.

                    2. To you and Graham Wall but no option to reply – too much rabbitting!
                      Elder Pet Lamb got two supposedly girl kittens about 12 years ago. They were called Thelma and Louise. They were taken to be spayed but were found to be boys. Louise disappeared soon afterwards (who could blame her/him). Thelma is alive and well, and a boy, and still called Thelma!!

                  2. Holly came from Miami F.L.A.
                    Hitch-hiked her way across the U.S.A.
                    Plucked her eyebrows on the way
                    Shaved her legs and then he was a she
                    She said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side,
                    Said, hey honey, take a walk on the wild side.

        2. Came across this in phrases.org.uk . If it’s correct the upper case M would be OK I guess.

          There are various forms of this: take/extract the Mick/Mickey/Michael, although the ‘take the Mickey’ version is most often used in print.
          It is sometimes reported that the phrase originates as a variant of the slang phrase ‘take the piss’ and the the ‘Mickey’ refers to micturate. This seems rather fanciful and there’s no evidence to support that view. It is now more generally accepted that the phrase came about as rhyming slang. ‘Taking the piss’ does play its part as the rhyming slang refers to a (yet to be identified) character called Mickey Bliss. So, ‘taking the piss’ became ‘taking the Mickey Bliss’ and then just ‘taking the Mickey’. An early citation of the longer form ‘taking the Mickey Bliss’ would be useful here, but I’ve not come across one.

          1. Don’t know if this helps, but I did find the following :

            On a thread from another site I found the following quotation citing one of the most respected sources on slang, slang origins and usage:
            “Partridge’s ‘Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English’ dates this expression to c. 1950, and gives its origin as rhyming slang (‘Mickey Bliss’). Mickey Bliss, thought to be BBC radio personality, has never been conclusively identified. A competing theory is that ‘taking the mick’ was derived from the verb, ‘micturate’ (to urinate).”

            I find the rhyming slang argument fairly convincing because Jeremy Alderton’s “Cockney Rhyming Slang dictionary page” (http://www.aldertons.com) lists “Mickey Bliss” as rhyming slang for “p*ss” This page says the Mickey Bliss character is mythical and and quotes the following explanation
            “The original idea was that of deflating someone, recalling the description of a self-important blusterer as ‘all p[*]ss and wind.’ ” It also says the phrase became common in the late 40’s, which agrees with Partridge and the ngram viewer

            1. They seem to back eachother up. However, both seem to say that the upper case M is OK, which was the start of this discussion.

    2. Graham Wall’s anecdote / joke – Ben Her!

      DT 27541


      I would have liked to have kept related comments together ….. but there’s no “Reply” button available … presumably 10 replies only?

      1. Yes – I absolutely loved Ben Her too. I think there’s a maximum for all related comments/blathering and when we all go off on one it just gets a bit too much for the system to cope with. I think it’s all brilliant. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  3. Another great puzzle from Rufus and witty review from Miffypops.I liked 26a and 28d and 19a, amoung many others. Two tiny niggles, maybe a few too many anagrams and over too soon.

  4. One unknown word, but eminently solvable from the clue (yup, 22A). Some nice clever cluing as is usual for Rufus although maybe a bit heavy on the anagram side (I haven’t counted them, but it just left that sort of feeling). Like Miffypops, my fave rave today is 19A – gave me a nice little chuckle.

    Hoping Craig Keswetter makes a swift, full and painless recovery. Ouch

  5. An enjoyable puzzle completed with little difficulty. I thought 6D was a good smiler. I think 9D was my favourite. I would rate this1*/3* and a pat on the shoulder for Miffypops for his usual high standard review. As an aside, why are so many people anti anagram?

    1. I’m not anti anagram – I like them, especially if it’s an otherwise tricky crossword.

    2. I am not anti anagram. Our standard format for anagrams is Anagram (indicator) of FODDER. With a lot of anagrams this is repetitive and tedious. I just try to liven it up a bit and vary the hints. Thank for the kind words Graham. I always like your comments.

    3. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-anagram, I’m just anti-loadsaanagrams. There are 8 clues with anagrams today out of a total of 32 clues, this means that a quarter of the clues involve anagrams, too many in my opinion.
      Whilst anagrams are a nice way to get started on a crossword, too many tends to simplify the puzzle and (IMHO) diminishes the challenge and therefore the enjoyment.

  6. Thank you Rufus, one of your easier puzzles, but great fun. Thanks MP for your review and hints – enjoy the seafood.

  7. I agree with 2* and 3*.
    Until others said there were lots of anagrams I hadn’t noticed but have now counted them – there are eight. I suppose that is quite a few.
    Unsurprisingly I didn’t know the 29a football team but the answer was fairly obvious.
    I was terribly slow to get 1a and didn’t manage it until I had alternate letters in.
    I liked 14 and 19a and 3 and 7d. My favourite was 23d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  8. A very pleasant start to the week, comfortably finished before lights out last night. Although, I was a little uncertain of the answer to 30a so thanks to MP for that one and the, as usual, tasteful and reasonable in quantity illustrations. And, of course, thanks to Rufus. */*** and favourite 9d. Have a good week all.

  9. Nice ‘n easy kick-off to the week with a few smiles along the brief way. Thanks Rufus. No need to call on Miffypops this time but thanks anyway for tasteful review and illustrations. **/***/http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  10. 5d was my favourite but the whole puzzle provided welcome relief from work. Pity there’s only one Rufus per week

  11. A lovely start of the week so thanks to Rufus and to Miffipops as I needed the cue (ha,ha!) for 13a. Again being bi-lingual helped as 22a is a French word. Favourite was 23d. First one in was 1a, don’t know why but it clicked in my head. 2*/3* for me. National day for us here so a holiday. Watched le Défilé down the Champs Elysées on TV. The Quick puzzle was a nice one too.

  12. We really enjoyed this. So much so we didn’t notice the excess of anagrams. Amongst others, loved 5d. Thanks to the setter and Miffypops. It may have escaped peoples’ notice but Lancashire beat Cumbria at Bridge yesterday!

    1. Excellent news http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif We are off to Bassenthwaite tomorrow on our annual visit to see the ospreys. I will raise the subject immediately on checking in to our hotel http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  13. I don’t know if there is currently a Telegraph style guide, but here is an extract from an old version:

    “All solution words must be included in The Chambers Dictionary; all definitions must be included in that same lexicon. 99 per cent of solution words should be part of everyday language – use only the occasional obscure word or proper noun.

    “There is a maximum of six anagrams per puzzle and only one ‘hidden’ per puzzle.

    “A mixture of nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs etc as solution words in each puzzle – all parts of speech correctly defined in the clue – i.e. don’t define ‘Smoothly’ as ‘Even’.”

    1. So, if that guide is still extant with nothing else to modify it, the ‘rules’ are often ‘stretched’ at least. But, that’s OK as far as I am concerned.

    2. Thanks for that , Dave. Interesting, especially the part about 99% of words should not be obscure.Not something Rufus is guilty of, but perhaps other setters might note.

  14. Usual gentle fun from Rufus but like many others I think it was sspoiled a bit by the excessive use of anagrams. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  15. It didn’t put up much of a fight but was a bit of fun while it lasted. Fortunately pommette knew the cloak http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    */*** from us.

    Agree 25a is a bit odd unless WITH can somehow be an anagram indicator http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif Also agree there are too many anagrams.

    Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops

  16. A*/3* for me also. Annoyingly held up for a little while on the SE corner as 22a wouldn’t come to mind for a short while. Thanks to MP for the review. Hopefully a better challenge today with less anagrams. Weather wonderful for the beachcombers but not good for the farmers. Can’t win!

  17. Greetings from the sunny Var on le Quatorze Juillet (Bastille Day).

    Faves : 22a & 5d.

  18. Really enjoyed this, apart from 13a which meant nothing to me. Loved 9d (where are they all nowadays?) and my favourite was 23d, as they are! Thank you, setter, as well as to Miffypops for his usual brilliant stuff….. and please don’t tell me that was you playing the 7d, as I don’t think any one person should be so utterly multi-talented http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif enjoy the seafood….

    1. I believe that 7D was written by Emerson, Lake and Palmer and was on their Trilogy LP (takes me back, must have been 30 years ago I bought that).

      1. Whoops, just Goggled it – 1972 so it was 42 years ago. Damn, time really does fly ! And it was written by Aaron Copeland (was that him playing it) and the arrangement was by ELP. But full marks to me for remembering it

        1. I suspect if truth be told that the arrangement was by Keith Emerson without much, if any, assistance from L & P. It’s a bit like “Yesterday” being credited as a Lennon/McCartney composition when Lennon had absolutely nothing to do with it.

          1. More than likely, but the important bit, the mostest important bit, is that I remembered the record – goes to prove that I’m not totally gaga, I’ll have to get the wife to read this to prove it to her too.

            1. I wanted to use the ELP version but all of the clips began with an advert. I listened to them lots years ago. I find them a difficult listen now

  19. I count just 7 anagrams? I don’t find that too much at all, surprised telegraph suggests a maximum of 6. The odd thing about the “with” anagrind clue seems to me to be a double use of “provide” – with X provide Y seems a legit anagrind, but provide is part of the definition. Why is 11a cryptic, what am i missing? is the idea that you should stand up in front of the speaker as a second meaning? I would expect “stand up” in that case. I think this deserves a question mark. I liked 27d (ok, an anagram) and 24a (ok, another anagram).

    Many thanks Rufus and miffypops

      1. many thanks big dave, nice to know i’m still welcome when i’m stupid enough to misspell myself.

        1. ha, like leaving your wallet and phone and keys on the saddle in Derby…. Andy to the rescue

  20. I found this pretty easy, too, but I usually am on Rufus’s wavelength. As 22a was noted as a new word and I felt sure we’d had it just “recently”, I googled it, and it was in a crossword in December 2012! It seemed like it was just yesterday. I know nothing of snooker and guessed 13a and got it right! Likewise 29a, but at least I had “beats” for help in the right direction. Fave alternates between 5d and 9d, and I think I’ll go with 5d. Thanks for super puzzle Rufus and to M’pops for great review.

  21. Usual Monday fun from Rufus. Just right for a sunny day off. Fave has to be 23d. Thanks to him and MP for taking the time to be entertaining. 1*3/*

  22. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. I enjoyed this while it lasted, but was very straightforward. I only counted seven anagrams. Not an excessive amount in my opinion. Favourite was 12a, was 1*/3* for me. Late commenting due to cutting the privet hedge.

  23. Hurrah! After 6 long months of frustration mixed with envy of how easy all you old pros seem to find these crosswords i.ve finally broken my duck ! I’m curious to know how long its taken others to do it. Also chuffed this one was 2 stars for difficulty.
    Thanks very much to rufus, i love the monday ones the most. Fav today was
    20d, last ones in were 22a and 31a.

    1. Well done and welcome from me too. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif
      Not everyone here is either old or a pro! There is a very wide range of ability/experience – I rather suspect that the two are synonymous.
      Keep reading the blog – keep commenting – you will learn so much so quickly – I have certainly have.
      When/if you don’t understand then ask – no-one here will ever make you feel silly. This ‘place’ is littered with friendly and helpful people.

    2. Hi Cherrypop and welcome from me too.

      Can’t answer your question exactly but if you have a minute I can tell you how I got into crossies.

      I’d never seen a cryptic crossie but I became a postgrad chemistry student in Oct ’74 and shared a lab with a guy who struggled with the Grauniad crossie every day. Eventually he asked me if I could help (waste of time) but it became a joint effort at morning coffee break (and lunch etc). After about 4 months we actually finished one between us http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

      Those were the days of Araucaria, Bunthorne, Janus, Gordius et al. Happy days!

      When I managed my first one on my own I’ve no idea.

    3. Welcome Cherrypop,

      As Kath says they’re are lots of helpful people here. I am finishing crosswords more regularly although I’ve rarely completed one without help from the hints and tips.

      I’ve found it easier when I practice because that way you get into a crossword mindset. If I miss a few days then it takes me a bit of time to get back into the rhythm.

    4. Hi there, Cherrypop :).

      I’d definitely add my voice to those saying don’t be disheartened by the more experienced solvers appearing to whizz effortlessly through – congratulations on conquering the puzzle! I’m sure you’ll be amazed and delighted as your solving ability progresses.

      I’m not very old (though sometimes feel it!) and definitely not a pro. Adding my own crosswording history: some years back my dad started to tackle the cryptic, and while he was on that learning curve he’d share his favourite clues with the rest of the family (interested or not!). So that’s where I gleaned the basics, and I started by picking up the crossword when he’d finished with it and seeing if I could get any he hadn’t managed. I have memories of spending longer than was probably healthy dictionary-trawling (internet? What internet?) in order to gain the satisfaction of “completing” the puzzle. Now, having re-caught the bug, I’m doing the whole thing, and improving all the time.

      1. Hi Kitty

        I love to hear how other people have got the crossie bug as it’s so different for everyone.
        For you it was your dad and for me it was a vaguely hippyish nutter who’s lab I shared. He gave me the bug – happen we meet again there might be hard words exchanged but it was a long time ago!

    5. Hello Cherrypop. It is always nice to hear from the newcomers. It has taken forty years to become an “easy old pro” I hope you have time to become one yourself. Congratulations and may this be the first of many.

  24. Somewhat more gentle then yesterday’s stunner, but made for a pleasant start to the week. Thanks Rufus and MP.

  25. Thank you to Rufus and Miffypops. I remember 22a from two previous DT crosswords. I needed hints for 27d (didn’t spot the anagram) and 16d. Enjoyed 29a which, till I read the review, thought was the music venue, conjuring up visions of early Beatles et al. Also enjoyed 3d and 5d. Thanks Miffypops for the review. I loved Ena Sharples and thought for a minute that the clip for 7d was you on the piano!

  26. How do you know which setter composed which crossword ? Most of your respondents refer to the setter’s nom-de-plume. How they know this, I know not. Years ago someone told me that the DT operated a policy of one setter doing his/her day of the week, and some time ago they published a tribute to one Roger Squires, the Monday setter I think.
    Your respondents always refer to a nom-de-plume, and not the real name. For some reason I always find the Monday edition easier than the rest of the week. Does the DT ask for them to more difficult as the week progresses, or am I imagining this ?

  27. I must be on a different wavelength to most people. Finished last Saturday’s so called tricky prize puzzle no problem, but found this one very difficult when everyone is saying a write in. Just couldn’t get the bottom right hand corner. I always find Rufus tricky. Good job we’re not all the same wavelength.

  28. Big Dave – – thank you for your reply, I found the names and noms-de-plume, but you haven’t answered my question about increasing difficulty as one progresses through the week. Am I imagining it ? – Molto ta, Almo

    1. I’m not BD but I can try and answer your question.
      Lots of people find Mondays (Rufus/Roger Squires) the most straightforward of the week – I’m definitely not one of them.
      As to whether they get harder during the week I’m not sure – I think it’s probably more to do with whose wave length you’re on – different solvers find different setters tricky or doable. I quite often struggle a bit (and sometimes that’s quite a big bit) on Fridays (Giovanni/Don Manley).

  29. Molto ta (crossword speak for many thanks, combining Italian with the local vernacular!), Kath.

    I’m sure you’re right about being on a particular setter’s wavelength,, it appears I’m on Mr Squires’, but it would be really interesting to know if there is a specific policy at the DT to increase the difficulty factor through the week. Like you I often find the Friday one unfathomable.

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