DT 27583 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27583

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27583

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Good morning to one and all. A fairy gentle puzzle today although 8d threw me for a while but it did remind me of one of the legendary village characters of the past. I am glad I never met Fatal Moore. 3d reminded me of the years I spent in the midlands working as a freelance Astronaut. I never did get any employment but it was fun telling people that was what I did.

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    We hear he needs people (7)
MASSEUR:    Our first clue today is a homophone (we hear) based upon the word NEEDS. The answer is a noun which rather interestingly has only one definition.

5a    Log support to sack scoundrel (7)
FIREDOG:    This object which sits on the hearth can be made up from an informal verb meaning to dismiss a person from a job and a noun describing a despicable person

9a    Ron, e.g., may be one beyond help (5)
GONER:    Let us welcome the first anagram of the day (may be) of RON.E.G.

10a    Battle  helmet (9)
BALACLAVA:    This Crimean War battle was fought on the 25th October 1854. It is also the name of a head covering

11a    It will enable the pupil to shine (10)
BRIGHTNESS:    If we take the pupil here to be a student the answer is a measure of intelligence. If we assume the pupil is in one’s eye the answer will make it shine. If we get enough checking letters we can solve this on the basis of “if it fits bung it in” We can fret about its relevance to the clue later

12a    Unidentified girl accepts ring (4)
ANON:    Place the letter that looks like a ring inside a girl’s name to find the abbreviation for a word meaning not identified by name.

14a    A dangerous job requires lot of money before final settlement (4,8)
BOMB DISPOSAL:    This dangerous job can be found by taking a an informal noun meaning a large sum of money and adding another noun meaning getting rid of something, in this case a debt.

18a    People who believe in one should have their heads examined (12)
PHRENOLOGIST:    One who believes the size and shape of the cranium will provide an insight into one’s personality. Those who believe in this nonsense should have their bumps felt.

21a    Decides to change stop (4)
OPTS:    This little word is an anagram (change) of STOP. The answer is not tops, pots, spot or post

22a    Cold buffet is a great disappointment (6,4)
BITTER BLOW:    The first word in the answer here might be used to describe the weather when it is extremely cold. The second is an extremely obscure definition of buffet and is often followed by the word OUT

25a    Get into debts without interest (9)
INCURIOUS:    To become subject to something (possibly debt) followed by our usual suspect for debts will together give a word meaning not eager to know.

26a    A bit like audible tranquillity (5)
PIECE:    A part of something provided by a homophone (sounds like) of a word meaning tranquillity.

27a    The people who got cross during WW2 (7)
MALTESE:    These islanders were awarded the George Cross by King George VI for their heroism during World War two

28a    Teams of seven put out by the Spanish (7)
ELEVENS:    Take an anagram (put out) of the word SEVEN and place it after the Spanish word for the.


1d    African politician set upon Lincoln (6)
MUGABE:    A vile African can be found by appending President Lincoln’s shortened forename to a verb meaning to attack and rob someone in a public place.

2d    Sombre at first and dark, but not in shadow (6)
SUNLIT:    Take the first letter of S(ombre) and add it to an adjective meaning dark or not provided with lighting.

3d    Like an astronaut returningor failing to get lift-off? (5-5)
EARTH BOUND:    This is what astronauts are when they are on their way home from space. It is also what those of us who never will be astronauts are permanently.

4d    Bird to take illegally home (5)
ROBIN:    This pretty little garden visitor can be found be adding our usual crosswordland two letter word for at home after a three letter word meaning to steal. (Cue cute picture opportunity)

5d    Much activity that could make up for an empty roundabout (4,5)
FULL SWING:    This clever little clue refers to a saying that alludes to children’s playground equipment. What we lose on the roundabouts we gain on the ******.

6d    People in competition (4)
RACE:    A double definition. Need I say more?

7d    A doctor might mix a gin in medicine (8)
DIAGNOSE:    I feel this clue read a little clumsily but it is easily solvable as an anagram (Mix) of A GIN placed inside (in) a measure of medicine.

8d    Lots of flukes which prevent the balloon going up (8)
GRAPNELS:    These small anchors with several flukes might be used to hold a balloon fast to the earth. The last time these were used in Long Itchington was to drag the body of Fatal Moore out of the canal lock. Did he fall in whilst drunk or was he pushed? We will never know.

13d    Sign for a missing letter (10)
APOSTROPHE:    A punctuation mark denoting a missing letter.

15d    Indian food with extra port in America (9)
BALTIMORE:    Take the name of a dish served in Indian restaurants and add a word for extra to find the largest city in the state of Maryland USA.

16d    Metaphor is mixed but its content is pithy (8)
APHORISM:    Hidden (its content) inside the clue

17d    In some danger of finding fault (8)
CRITICAL:    A double definition. The first often used to describe a persons condition in hospital.

19d    Maintain there’s some body in the beer (6)
ALLEGE:    Place a part of the human body inside a word for beer.

20d    They have news or distribute it (6)
OWNERS:    Those who possess made up of an anagram (distribute) of NEWS OR

23d    Head of state moves to centre, showing discrimination (5)
TASTE:    Move the initial (head) letter of the word state into the middle of the same word to find another word meaning discrimination

24d    Payment including king’s ransom (4)
FREE:    To liberate. Place R(ex) for king inside a payment for services.

Thanks to Rufus for the challenge. Thanks to Ronnie lane’s Slim Chance for the music and thanks in advance to all who comment.

The Quick Crossword pun: fission+chips=fish’n’chips

54 comments on “DT 27583

  1. I really enjoyed this Rufus challenge and found it trickier than the usual Monday puzzle. I knew that grapnels were grapnels and flukes were flukes but I didn’t know that a lot of flukes were grapnels – until I checked in the BRB. Thank you MP for your review and hints – I am quietly hoping that I am not alone in finding this one difficult http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    1. You weren’t alone – I found it difficult for a Rufus puzzle – I thought it was just me being tired after a really long but lovely walk yesterday.

  2. I think I might go for 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    ‘Psychiatrist’ for 18a was both wrong and unhelpful but didn’t take long to sort itself out!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
    I’ve never heard of the 8d kind of fluke – liver fluke that affects animals and a chance occurrence, yes, but not this one – it was my last answer.
    Lots of good clues – 1 and 14a and 13 and 17d. My favourite was 13d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

    1. PS Miffypops – I’m really not nit-picking but I think that the definition underlined in 7d should include the ‘might’.
      I also think that with 22a the ‘blow’ doesn’t necessarily need to be followed by ‘out’ i.e. eating too much – buffet also means being battered about by the wind.

      1. Thanks Kath, that makes the clue at 7d work for me where it didn’t before. You are also right about 22ac. I am all food buffeted out after Saint Sharon has catered for about 300people over the last week. Hopefully those are my only published mistakes of the day. Big Dave sorted the other one after I managed to change a lurker (hidden word) into an anagram that didn’t exist somewhere between solving at 4.30am and blogging at 9.30am.

  3. Until last week my Telegraph App did not work properly on my iPad, so I have been away from solving for some time. I found this difficult today, but thanks Miffypops for the hints. All complete now. I am definitely out if practice.

  4. I am firmly in the camp that this was a trickier than usual Rufus, but it was absolutely up to his usual standard for entertainment. I am going for 3*/4*.

    My long list of goodies is 1a, 14a, 18a, 28a, 2d, 5d, 7d, 16d and 17d, and I haven’t got time to work out which one is my favourite.

    Looking at the disgusting weather here in London today, I am delighted to be able to request leave of absence for a week in Crete.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  5. No Russian dolls and only the teeniest bit of cut and paste. Great. A couple of over-easy short anagrams and 10a did seem like a straight general knowledge clue. Still enjoyable and thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops

  6. Got completely stuck (through my own silly fault) on 22a because I made the division 4, 6 instead of t’other way round. Dotty http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif but otherwise enjoyed this. Wasted time trying to fit bakers in to 1a. Enjoyed 1 & 23d. Thank you setter. And thank you Miffypops for a very amusing read. Favourite is 27a simply because my Grandfather was stationed there at the time of the award and I’m very proud of him! Greetings to all.

    1. Poppy, my father in law was also stationed there during the war and I too am extremely proud of his exploits there. My wife and I have visited the island on about 10 occasions during the eighties and nineties and loved it dearly.

      1. That is lovely to know. I was out there in 2011 to plant a jacaranda tree in his memory and it was an incredibly special time. There were even still folk who remembered him, and we were welcomed so warmly. I can’t wait to go back, even though I’m regularly sent photos of the tree, and hope it will be developed enough to be in bloom next time I go. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

        1. That was a beautiful thing to do Poppy, I wish that I had thought of doing something similar myself. I hope you do go back soon and enjoy the wonderful island as much as we did.

  7. I thought this was a delightful and, in places, quite tricky crossword, many thanks to Rufus and to MP for a terrific review.

  8. A Monday goodie – tough but fair. I managed without help but it needed more thought than the usual Monday puzzle . I was particularly chuffed to get 16d – not word that features frequently in my vocabulary!! ***/***

  9. I usually breeze through most of a Rufus puzzle and then spend just as long on a couple of unusual words. Today was no exception, having failed to spot 16d was a lurker for far too long (nice dummy anagram) and then getting held up on 8d. I couldn’t recall the bump feeler having appeared before and a search shows he has indeed only appeared once in a Toughie. Just creeps into 2* territory because of the two hold ups and a solid 3* for enjoyment.
    Work is done for the day so I might treat myself to a second Rufus helping online!

  10. Like others I actually thought this was quite tricky – partly due to the fact I was driving into London at 5am. On the tube home I got started and after a sluggish start things started to happen. Not helped with me putting 20d in the space for 19d! Still, eyes being tested on Saturday – definitely need reading glasses now. Favourite was 7d and last in was………8d. I would say 2.5* and 3.5*. I would be so bold to say that this will take some beating in terms of enjoyment this week. Now at home enjoying a cup of tea. Thanks to the compiler and for the review of course. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

  11. Interesting. Although this was a very enjoyable puzzle, I found it took rather longer than a * difficulty normally would. For at least a 2 or even in parts a 2.5.
    Howsoever, as I said very enjoyable.
    Totally agree with the hint for 7d, rather clumsy when all it really needed was to lose the A at the beginning.
    Thx to all

  12. Super Rufus, as usual, even though it was trickier than usual. Lots of fun clues. Thanks to Rufus, and to M’pops aided by BD for the review.

  13. What a lovely way to spend Monday afternoon. Sliding through the top half quite easily before things became a lot harder. We saw 8d not long ago and remember posting a comment about whether this word should be used only in its plural form as it is the case today. I need more brains to solve 14a. Oh yes got it . I thought final settlement was tomb… Thanks to miffypops for the hints and the setter of course.

  14. A little more difficult, I found, than the usual Monday offering. I would rate this as 2.5/3.5 My favourite was 13D 22A took a while to get until I stopped thinking of buffet as an offering of food and thought of as being struck. All in all a good crossword and a very good review.

  15. As a relative newcomer I’m sorry to ask this again, but what is the BRB, which is often referred to as a source of knowledge in the comments.?
    Would someone please enlighten me?
    I thought to-day’s puzzle was excellent fun and suitably taxing for the likes of me.
    Thanks to the setter and Miffypops

    1. Serl, there is a mine of very useful information in the tabs at the top of this page. Check out the FAQ tab. The answer about the BRB is the tenth item down.

  16. Yes, agree that this was more difficult than normal and I had to use some of the hints. All made sense, though, and thanks to Rufus and to Miffy.

    Bright and breezy in Edinburgh, not as warm as I had expected!

  17. I’m sorry to ask this again as a relative newcomer to crosswords, but what is the BRB which is often mentioned in the comments?
    Would someone please enlighten me?
    I thought today’s puzzle was excellent and suitably taxing for the likes of me.
    Thanks to the setter and Miffypops.

    1. Tke BRB is shorthand for the Big Red Book, otherwise known as Chambers Dictionary – one of the standard reference works for crossword setters and solvers.

    2. BRB i assume is the big red book, or is it big red bible, referring the the must-have crossword dictionary otherwise known as Chambers. I think BRB originally comes from big red button that triggers a nuclear warhead

  18. I found this puzzle quite hard, and very enjoyable – much more so than most mondays. It took me a while to get SW corner. I have seen the head examined clue before, a good clue, though more enjoyable the first time you get it. favourites include 7d (lovely construction), 13d, 116d the metaphor clue is an excellent hidden word, 20d, 23d, and my last entry 24d, a beautiful clue when i finally saw it.

    Many thanks Rufus and Miffy

  19. Agree with most here. A 2/2.5 for us. And what or who is Fatal Moore?? Personally enjoyed it immensely, and I think the 7d wording is fine when including “might” in the definition. Thanks to Rufus and MP.

    1. Fatal Moore was a fighter and a drunkard who lived in our village many many years ago. There are lots of stories about him and his incredible feats of strength..He was one of the perpetrators of the riot in Dartmoor prison during which the prison burnt down. He drowned in the loch nearest to The Two Boats pub but many feel he was pushed in.. The police used grappling hooks to recover the body

  20. A nice introduction to the week ahead in crossword land…I hope! Good clues and good fun.
    Thank you Rufus and MP for his enlightening hints. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  21. Really enjoyed it, despite a really, really slow start!

    Thanks for the hints, which were needed a few times.

  22. Good fun , although I ,like others , including Miffypops, took a long time to hunt down 8d, and while I got 22a I couldn’t figure out why. I have lots of likes , 15d, 13d, 18a and 20d. Thanks Miffypops and Rufus.

  23. Thank you, Rufus, for this enjoyable – and quite challenging – puzzle. I’m a bit out of practice and may have struggled more than was strictly necessary, but it struck me as something like 2.5*/4*. I liked quite a few clues, but 25a in particular made me smile. Thanks to Miffypops for the review as well.

  24. We also took a little longer on this puzzle than we usually do on a Monday so were surprised to see the rating in the review. 7d and 8d were our last two to yield. Good fun.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

    1. And another ditto from me! Except that I never did get 8d :(, so I’m extra grateful to MP today :).

  25. To quote Wogan “Is it me?” I so often have trouble on Mondays and others breeze their way through it leaving me feeling like the classroom dunce.
    Today, apart from a minor and brief problem of my own making at 18a, I had no trouble at all and others say it was a tricky Rufus.

  26. Thanks to Rufus and MP for setting my ageing brain at rest, I have to admit that my supertoy (Seiko) was brought into use today and not only to confirm what I thought the answers should be. Frustrating day in between crossword solving trying to persuade my stupid wireless printer to work. Sorry BD I did not manage to print crossword you kindly sent me.

  27. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very nice puzzle, great entertainment. Did this ok, until I got held up the last half a dozen. Needed the hint for 25a. Favourite was 1d. Was 3*/3* for me. Up in the Lake District, managed to get to Dodd Summit and back in the late afternoon. Skiddaw tomorrow!

  28. I’m about to give up struggling and make some cheese on toast. It might go better after that. Thank you setter and Miffypops. I have already needed hints and will doubtless need a few more.

  29. It’s now 2.15 am on the 2nd and I’ve almost cured insomnia but still didn’t get 8d and had winter (for cold) instead of bitter, so couldn’t work out 22a either. Bad show! Filled in psychiatrist with gay abandon for 18a but was saved by 3d. Hoping for smoother passage tomorrow – or now later today…

  30. Glad I wasn’t the only one to find this tricky. 18a seems to read very poorly to me – why ‘believe in one’? But some lovely clues that I failed to get – 5d for example.

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