DT 27553 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27553

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27553

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Almost a read and write today with a few clues only opening up once checking letters were in. The seven anagrams should assist newcomers to cryptics. Elsewhere we have a fine mix of double definitions, hidden words, charades and all in one clues. The usual paraphernalia associated with that funny little world we inhabit – Crosswordland. Happy birthday to Saint Sharon.

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 sitter becoming performer (7)
ARTISTE Let’s not hang about here. No point waiting. Bish Bosh straight in with an anagram. Fodder first. Indicator next. Definition last.

5a    Part of the rigging works in the end (7)
TOPSAIL Let the clue guide you. Take the plural of the usual suspect for a musical work (works) and place it inside a noun meaning end. In this case the end is the hindmost part of an animal


9a    We must invade hill fort (5)
TOWER Again do as you are told. Place WE (from the clue) inside a word commonly used in the west country for a hill.

10a    Munitions produced by man and master (9)
ARMAMENTS Anagram (produced by) of MAN and MASTER

11a    Rags to riches story recalled in new adaptation (10)
CINDERELLA A chestnut here. This is an old but lovely clue. The rags to riches story is known mostly to us as a pantomime and an early Walt Disney animation. The “rags to riches story” might be enough to lead some folk to the answer but just to confirm it there is an anagram involved (new adaptation) of RECALLED IN . This is the sort of clue that brings a smile.


12a    Wine from Castile (4)
ASTI The answer is hidden away in the clue. Go find it.

14a    Where strategies are devised for a chess match? (5,7)
BOARD MEETING At which the directors of a company make their decisions. This could be used to define a game of chess.

18a    An overdrawn account (12)
EXAGGERATION The expansion and embellishment of detail in a narration.

21a    Agreed  it’s over (4)
DONE A double definition. The second meaning no longer happening or existing

22a    Good man, and single, will get to outclass all rivals (5,5)
STAND ALONE Take our usual suspect for a good man and add “AND” from the clue to find the first of these two words. The second word is an adjective meaning to have no one else present or to be on one’s own.

25a    In which somebody is travelling flat out? (9)
AMBULANCE A vehicle in which one may be conveyed to hospital, hence the “flat out”

26a    What one may get from a maid easy on the eye? (5)
IDEAS Here is another hidden word. Both the clue and the answer could have been written about me and my barmaids.

27a    Difficult choice to overthrow top woman (7)
DILEMMA Reverse (overthrow ) the top of a jar or similar container and add a girl’s name to find a word meaning a difficult situation.

28a    Where man cuts adrift? (7)
SANCTUM A very clever all in one clue with an anagram very nicely indicated by the word (adrift) of MAN CUTS


1d    New act with hat and stick (6)
ATTACH Anagram (New) of ACT and HAT

2d    Pulling to side (6)
TOWING As a whole the answer is a verb meaning to pull along with a rope or chain. Split 2,4 we have TO from the clue followed by a word meaning side, usually used in the theatre

3d    Not requiring further proof, as might be expected (4,6)
SURE ENOUGH What one might say when absolutely certain. The first word means certain and the second word means ample.

4d    Girl needs two keys to escape (5)
EVADE A three letter girls name followed by two musical keys.

5d    Spell-check ‘restriction‘ (4,5)
TIME LIMIT The first two words in this clue would work singly as clues in The Quickie. Together they suggest a period in which a task must be completed.

6d    It may be worn and well-used (4)
PUMP Kids today wear these but they have evolved and are now known as trainers. “Well used” refers to mechanical appliances used to raise water from underground sources.

7d    He doesn’t know what to believe (8)
AGNOSTIC Neither a believer in God nor an atheist. He used to be undecided, now he is not quite sure.

8d    Lots of beatings (8)
LASHINGS According to The Enid Blyton Society this word meaning copious amounts was never used to describe the quantity of Ginger Beer consumed by the famous five. However it was used to describe quantities of Adders, (Five Have A Wonderful Time, Chapter Three) Hard Boiled Eggs (Five Go Down To Sea, Chapter Two) and Treacle ( Five Have A Mystery To Solve, Chapter Two) The second part of this excellent double definition describes a beating with a whip or stick.


13d    Coordinate new colour scheme? (10)
DECORATION Did you know that the word coordinate made an anagram (new) of another word meaning colour scheme? Well it does.

15d    Land of Hope (9)
RURITANIA I live and learn. I have seen and solved this clue before and never knew why the answer was what it was, it fit, and that suited me. The answer is a fictional country (Land) in Central Europe written about in three books by a bloke called Anthony Hope. The Prisoner Of Zenda, The Heart Of Princess Osra and Rupert of Hentzau are the books.

16d    Outstanding part of the country (8)
HEADLAND A narrow piece of land that juts out from a coastline into the sea.

17d    Consumer whose tastes are all too human (8)
CANNIBAL One who eats human flesh.


19d    Very convincing businessman? (6)
COGENT In this clue we need to split business and man. The answer split 2,4 is an abbreviation for company followed by a noun suggesting a polite and refined man. Very convincing is the definition.

20d    Goods thrown out from ships and planes in the morning (6)
JETSAM Split 4,2 we have fast aircraft followed by the Latin abbreviation for morning or ante meridian. The whole is a word for parts of a ship, its equipment or cargo purposely thrown overboard to lighten its load in times of distress.

23d    Observed holding a number up, of necessity (5)
NEEDS Place the Roman numeral for 500 inside a word meaning to have observed. Invert it all as ordered by the word UP in the clue.

24d    Shellfish 100 pounds a thousand (4)
CLAM This shellfish can be found by taking the Roman numeral for 100, The avoirdupois abbreviation for pounds, A from the clue and the Roman numeral for 1000.

Thanks to Mr Bob Dylan for the wonderful album Planet Waves and Mr Neil Young for Harvest Moon which calmed my mind as I wrote the drivel above. Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks also made an appearance.

The Quick crossword pun: holly + decamp = holiday camp

52 comments on “DT 27553

  1. Many thanks for the hints MP. I did need 19d and 9a to finish. I did find them quite hard but the rest, as you say, was almost a fill in

  2. A good star to the week. As Miffypops said, a good mix of clues to keep everybody amused. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review.

  3. Lovely fun as ever for a Monday. 2*/4*. About half of the clues for this excellent puzzle went in on my first pass but the other half were more challenging.

    I made a complete mess of my page by writing in elaboration for 18a without checking that it had the right number of letters, and also putting in amen initially for 21a (which seems to me to be an equally valid answer except for the small problem that it doesn’t fit with the checking letters of 16d and 17d!).

    I needed to Google 15d to see why my answer was right.

    19d was my last one in and favourite. Simple but very clever!

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

    1. Well blow me down. I too put Elaboration into my ipad. Goodnes knows how I managed that. It has a double R which I know is wrong. It messes up 2d which I already had in and did not notice. Strangely enough it fits with all of the other checking letters. When I sent the blog to Big Dave I put elaboration as the answer. Dave has kindly altered it but the hint remains exactly as I wrote it. Well well! Thank’s to the two Daves. One for alerting me to my error and one for not alerting me to it.

      1. By the way MP, I think that “8d of ginger beer” crops up in The Comic Strip’s hilarious Famous Five parody “Five Go Mad in Dorset”.

  4. Thank you Rufus, a really enjoyable puzzle with a good mix of clues. I was going fine until I was fooled by 22a. I had “ST” for the good man, then “ONE” for the single – so a bit of a problem with the second word ! The penny dropped finally. I thought that 13d was a cleverly disguised anagram. So the puzzle seemed to get harder the nearer I got to the SE corner http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif Thank you MP for your review and hints. I am still a long way from a “read and write”http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

    1. Groan! I’d like to add another cannibal joke, but it would be censured on the grounds of being in bad taste. (So to speak.)

      1. I’ll add one in a minute – I’ll probably be shouted out by someone but it makes me laugh.

    2. Daddy Cannibal was out hunting one day with his sons. Suddenly they see a beautiful young woman running through the jungle stark naked.
      Young Cannibals, “Oh Dad look – isn’t she lovely – let’s take her home for supper”.
      Daddy Cannibal, “We’ll take her home but I think we’ll have Mum for supper”.

  5. Happy Birthday to the long suffering Saint Sharon. Hope he’s treating you to a nice lunch or dinner or even actually finishing the you-know-what! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  6. 1*5/3.5*. I simply can’t give as much as two stars for difficulty when I’ve solved it without too much difficulty or any help, improving though I may be! But it was certainly enjoyable, and the clues, easy though most of them were, were beautifully constructed. Clues like 5a, 11a and 13d are wonderful examples of precise clueing with absolutely flawless surface readings. Some lovely all-in-one’s too. As MP said above, a very good mix of clues. I didn’t notice too many anagrams, but there seemed to be rather a lot of very straightforward cryptic definitions. I did like 6d though.

    Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

      1. Yes. No. Maybe ;). Perhaps “easy” would be a better description than “straightforward.”

    1. That word in 6d…….is it regional? I certainly used it as a child, but other peeps I know had completely different terms.
      Nowadays, it’s more likely to refer to a slip on women’s shoe.

      1. I never heard it used “in the wild,” but frequently in books. Might be more of an American term.

  7. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very enjoyable start to the week, was quite straightforward. Last in was 19d. Favourite was 17d. Didn’t realise 13d was an anagram, and needed the hint to parse 15d. Was 2*/4* for me.

  8. Like cycling up a hill where you think you’re going to make it and then have to get off and walk at the end. Tried 4 or 5 different words for the first part of 3d….

    Some nice clues. I liked 25a and 8d.

    I worked out 4d a different way….EVE with A and D in the middle. OK I reckon?

    2.5 for me.

  9. Gentle start to the week but too many anagrams for my taste, thank to Rufus and to MP for the amusing review.

  10. Birthday greetings to St Sharon.Very enjoyable cryptic from Rufus.Once I know it’s a Rufus , it always seems easier and more fun than other days. Thanks Miffpops.

  11. A pleasant puzzle to start the week, and the start of a crossword break for 10 days, as we fly out to enjoy the sunshine in Valencia tomorrow…

    Many thanks to Rufus, and to MP.

  12. As close to a write-in as I have ever come but with the typical Rufus light touch, so 1*/3* from me. I even got the two hidden words straight away – perhaps practice really does make perfect.

  13. Good fun but as said, almost a write-in. I had to think a little bit about 28a and 19d but they fell into place when the rest was completed. I’d give * for difficulty but *** for enjoyment.

  14. A very ‘staccato’ like delivery by the setter today-straight from the hip! agree with the **/***, although i took ages to get 19d.Remembered the prisoner of Zenda, what a wonderful word, sounds straight from a Flash Gorden strip cartoon. Thanks to Miffypops for the illustrations-fond memories of the famous five , think five on a treasure island was the first I read, dosen’t lashings appear in the Bunter books?

  15. Lovely Monday crossword, with mostly straightforward clues and one or two tricky one just to keep us on our toes. Thank you Miffypops and the setter, and Many Happy Returns to Saint. Sharon. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  16. All long done but could so done p,ease explain what 26a has t odo with the eye?
    Got me stumped!
    Unlike a England who appear to be going like a train!
    Thx to all

    1. Someone easy on the eye is attractive and one might therefore get 26a’s about them.

  17. Nice and Monday-ish. I liked 19d. Thanks Rufus and MP although I managed without the hints – for a change recently so it seems.

  18. Excellent start to the week – 2*/4* for me. I only needed the 2*’s for 5a and 19d, which defeated me completely until Miffypops’ hints. Thanks Rufus and MP.

  19. This was Rufus lite, clever and enjoyable, nonetheless.
    Thanks Rufus, and Miffypops for the review.

  20. Had to think about some and was annoyed that I could not get 6d
    Checked out BD to find I had spelt 10a as “armanents”. Ah well. All finished now. Thanks to MP & (?) Rufus. **/****

  21. My favourite clue was 15d – very brief and to the point, and I remember loving The Prisoner of Zenda as a child – not least because there were plenty of horses…! Couldn’t get 13d for ages and now don’t know why. Thanks to setter and to Miffypops & birthday congratulations to the Saint.

  22. I agree 2*/3*.
    So I’m the only twit who had 6d wrong making 5a impossible! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif I had lame – a lame or well-used excuse and, with an acute accent which I can’t do on this keyboard, material with metallic threads running through it. Oh dear, oh dear!
    This wasn’t a good start to the week even though I didn’t have any other problems.
    I had no idea why my 15d was right – could only think of Bob Hope.
    Lots of good clues – 14 and 25a and 5 and 13d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Miffypops and happy birthday wishes to Saint Sharon.

  23. The usual enjoyable Rufus puzzle, right on wavelength for me. Like Poppy, I loved Prisoner of Zenda as a child so 15d was a piece of cake. I find it almost impossible to choose a fave out of this lot, so many good clues, but I think I’ll pick 15d. Thanks to Rufus, I so enjoy Monday mornings, and thanks to M’pops for the review, which I always have to read for the entertainment. A very happy birthday to Saint Sharon, have a great day!

    http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif for Saint Sharon

  24. For me too virtually a write-in although I did need a bit of electronic help in SE corner. Not really any outstanding clues but 17d did raise a giggle. **/**. Thanks Rufus and MP. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  25. I have been dogged by technology trauma today, yobbos wrecked the BT box down the road so broadband was down for a few hours and then the reversing sensors went down on the car. Happily both are now fixed. as Miffypops says not a great degree of difficulty but enjjoyable. I would rate this2*/4* 11A was my favourite. Thanks to Miffypops for the entertaining review and I echo the birthday greetings to Saint Sharon.

    A couple of weeks back the Monday puzzle contained the answer ‘UNCO’ which is a Scottish term of which I had never heard and it foxed a lot of fellow bloggers. One of my client’s is an eminent academic (he is also Scottish) and he specialises in the life and works of Robbie Burns and the Scottish idiom. The word has its roots in the word uncouth. It is used by Burns in his poem Tam o’ Shanter: “She ventured forward on the light; And, vow! Tam saw an unco sight…….” the use of unco in this context is usually interpreted as meaning incredible. in most parts the word is used as a synonym for the word very but would not be used to give a compliment so one would not say, ‘She is unco pretty’. There are local and regional variations but mostly it is used to describe someone who can be fractious, annoying, overbearing etc.

    I hope this helps, I did not post it last week as we were all overtaken by the oyster debate.

  26. Started late on this i.e. this morning rather than midnight uk time. Thanks to MP for the review and the setter for an enjoyable puzzle apart from 15d which was a combination of checking letters and google. 25a was my favourite.

  27. I suppose 2*/3* is about right but l didn’t enjoy it as much as l would normally (came back from 3 days in the boat with a stinking cold, so wasn’t really in the mood). I quite liked 22a, and 8d raised a smile – which took some doing – so thanks to Rufus, and to Miffypops for the review.

  28. An excellent bedtime crossword – thank you Rufus. **/*** for me. My favourite was 6d amongst so many very good clues. 19d was my last in – another good one. I also tried to put in elaboration only to find that it wouldn’t fit. Thank you MP for great review – your illustration for 21a had me LOL.

  29. Straightforward but needed help on 19d.. Had a small hiccup that stumped me for a while. I entered an answer for 25a very early on having inly the B positioned and I guessed at Bobsleigh which seems to fit the clue equally as well.

  30. Enjoyed doing this one and mainly got there apart from 19d and didn’t spot 13d anagram. Thanks very much to Rufus and Miffypops and all best wishes to Saint Sharon for yesterday.

  31. Helped a lot except clue 15D which I will now Google. Greetings from Kenton on Sea RSA

Comments are closed.