DT 27589 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27589

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27589

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I found this easy to solve but tricky to review. 4d for instance. I now have a couple of hours sitting on the lawn tractor in the sunshine scarifying the camping field and collecting the thatch. Then it is off to the most beautiful farm buildings and gardens in Warwickshire with Saint Sharon. Happy days. I suppose there will be an error or two in this review. Please let me know otherwise I will begin to think that I am perfect again.

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    ‘Ask me out to party’, so gets along (5,2)
MAKES DO:    A nice beginning to a fun puzzle. Do what the clue says to find the answer. Take an anagram (out) of ASK ME. Add the usual two letter crosswordland word for party and there we have it.

5a    Flashing lights bringing movement to a stop? (7)
STROBES:    These flashing lights are often used in the theatre to provide a stop start effect. Hi fi buffs amongst you may remember using them to regulate turntable speed. Hands up if the word movement set you off looking at using the letters of TO A STOP as fodder for an anagram. Well it isn’t and they are not

9a    A classic hat worn by Americans (5)
DERBY:    The classic is a horse race which is also the name given to a bowler hat in the USA.

10a    Non-stop passenger-carrying flight (9)
ESCALATOR:    As my Mum used to say. “The moving stairs” The safety of the first “moving stairs” was demonstrated by a man with a wooden leg going up and down them.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

11a    Claim tax in crooked endeavour that ends in disappointment (10)
ANTICLIMAX:    Anagram (crooked) of CLAIM TAX IN

12a    Luggage in hold? (4)
GRIP:    A double definition here. The first being a travelling bag

14a    Local   place for refreshing game (8,4)
WATERING HOLE:    Your local pub is also an oasis where animals may take their refreshment


18a    Unusual controversy about a school of music (12)
CONSERVATORY:   Place an anagram (unusual) of CONTROVERSY about A from the clue

ARVE Error: need id and provider

21a    Observers usually working in pairs (4)
EYES:    We have two each of these observers. Just above our noses.

22a    Worker who is constantly striking (10)
BLACKSMITH:    Under a spreading chestnut tree, A village smithy stands wrote Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The chap who works here would be constantly striking hot metal

25a    School rejected exam questions and corresponding material (9)
NOTEPAPER:    Reverse (rejected) the name of a School near to Windsor and add a term for exam questions. The result give you what you would use to write your letters.

26a    Children may be a contentious point (5)
ISSUE:    A double definition often seen before in one way or another. Need I say more?

27a    Lined up in uniform? (7)
DRESSED:    To have drawn up the troops (those in uniform) into a proper alignment.

28a    General protection away from the wind (7)
LEEWARD:    The well known Confederate general is followed by an archaic word for protection to give a noun meaning the side sheltered from the wind.


1d    Reckless general’s assistant involved in plan (6)
MADCAP:    Place the abbreviation for Aide-De-camp (I think) inside a plan or a diagrammatical representation of a piece of land.

2d    Take ground with artilleryman entering unarmed combat (6)
KARATE:    Anagram (ground) of TAKE with the initials for Royal Artilleryman inside will give this form of martial art

3d    Its constructors must meet high conditions (10)
SKYSCRAPER:    This word was first used to describe very tall buildings in The Chicago Daily on February 25th 1883 as a subtitle to an article about high buildings in new York titled The High Building Craze.

4d    Samuel’s teacher is after old boy with daggers drawn (5)
OBELI:    The usual suspects for Old boy and Samuel’s teacher in the bible together give a very odd word (all confirmed by the checking letters) that I do not recall seeing before. As I do not have a BRB Google revealed this word to be the plural form of a symbol used as a reference mark in printed matter or to indicate that a person is deceased. This is the sign It looks like a dagger so I suppose this is the visual equivalent of a homophone – now what is one of those called.

5d    One with a political belief that’s not right (9)
SOCIALIST:    A political person to the left of centre

6d    One may call it a breakfast stand-by (4)
ROLL:    Double definition. The first a list or roster. In the second this small piece of bread sits on a side plate at breakfast. Where I come from they are called Batches, you may know then as cobs, balm cakes, baps, nudgers etc, etc.

7d    Barely used part of the house (8)
BATHROOM:    Ooh er missus! The room in the house where you would use the facility in a state of undress. Gentlemen please avert your eyes.

8d    Had a fight, getting thrown out (8)
SCRAPPED:    A double definition. The first used by schoolboys and the second to have discarded or removed from service a redundant, old or inoperative vehicle for example.

13d    Crashing gears gives feeling full of hostility (10)
AGGRESSIVE:    Anagram (crashing of GIVES GEARS)

15d    Wrapped up in unusually deep novel (9)
ENVELOPED:    Anagram (unusually) of DEEP NOVEL

16d    Filmed  under cover (8)
SCREENED:    A double definition. The first being to have shown a film or television programme

17d    Trouble international group has to resolve (8)
UNSETTLE:    Take our usual suspects for a peacekeeping group (Have they ever managed to keep the peace anywhere?) and add a verb meaning to find a solution to a problem or contentious matter

19d    Feast set out around Italian capital for religious celebration (6)
FIESTA:    Place an anagram (set out) of FEAST around ( as in the clue) the capital or first letter of I(talian)

20d    Fly spitfire by day (6)
SHREWD: Last one in for me and using my “if it fits bung it in” system the word SHIELD went in. This was plainly incorrect. So I resorted to actually reading and parsing the clue. Which is what I advise you to do. This Shakespearean spitfire (Kate) is followed by the first letter of the word D(ay)

23d    Fifty or a hundred will come up to sing (5)
CAROL:    The Roman Numerals for Fifty and One hundred with OR A from the clue inserted will give another verb meaning to sing. When we do as the clue says and invert (will come up) the lot we will get this word

24d    Pass taken out for health resorts (4)
SPAS:    Anagram (out) of PASS

Thanks to Rufus for the entertainment. Thanks to Bob Dylan for Planet Waves. Thanks in advance for the comments.

The Quick Crossword pun: beat+route=beetroot

65 comments on “DT 27589

    1. It’s me that sets the post up! I was too busy trying to find an embeddable version of the moving stairs video – the one Miffypops sent me couldn’t be embedded.

      [I restored your comment as deleting it “orphaned” my reply!]

  1. Hello. I sometimes need a few hints to complete these enjoyable brain work-outs, but today the answers are visible on first click through to today’s hints! Naughty corner for someone?

  2. Hi – i think obelus is commonly called the dagger sign and used in manuscripts to reference footnotes etc. Still, “drawn” confused me but does add nicely to the surface

    My last one in was 20d, after i finally convinced myself what spitfire might mean (confirmed by brb). i never did manage to parse 6d – clever, thanks for the explanation, – similarly took me a long time to parse 9a (hat) after i had the answer. Wasn’t too excited about 3d, but i quite liked the rest, esp 2d . Managed to finish before doing the school run – yes, holidays over and back to the old routine.

    Many thanks Rufus and miffypops

  3. Back again for a while (I hope). Usual Monday fare from Rufus with no real problems at all. I sympathise with MP having to provide an explanation for 4D, but it is quite a common symbol used in typography, type setting and proof reading (none of which relate to me I’m afraid).

    I think today’s favourite must be 13D solely for the fact that Rufus managed to find an anagram for this word

  4. I might go for 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment today. I didn’t have too much of my usual Monday trouble apart from the top right hand corner.
    Having ‘grab’ for 12a made 8d tricky – had ‘scrubbed’ for that for a while even though I knew it wasn’t right! Oh dear!
    Eventually sorted those two out. 6d was my last one in.
    I didn’t know the first definition of 27a.
    I liked 14 and 25a and 3 and 20d. My favourite was 7d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

        1. . . . but far too often I’m the one who spots it – I’d hate you to think I was getting at you! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

              1. Are you standing in for RD as ‘pedant in chief’? If so you’re doing a pretty good job.
                Talking of commas I’ve just had an email from my eldest nephew who is also a pedant. It says “I like cooking my family and pets”. It then says “Don’t be a psycho – use commas”!

  5. Nice Monday puzzle from Rufus to get us going for the week’s fare!

    Faves : 14a, 28a, 4d & 13d.

    Weather here in NL still magnificent – I remember some good September days when I lived in Malvern and walked up the Beacon!

      1. Hi Kath!
        I was a junior boffin at TRE so it is about 70 years ago when I lived in Malvern in various parts of the college which were occupied by TRE when it settled down after Travelling Round England (plus Scotland). I have visited it several times since WW2 days – it is a pleasant part of GB!

        1. TRE went through many transformations, including being known as the RSRE (Royal Signals and Radar Establishment), but has now been privatised as QinetiQ.

  6. Quite an enjoyable puzzle for a Monday morning, though 20d left me stumped for awhile. Now back to yesterday’s Mephisto, which is currently being threatened with ‘the bin’.

      1. Thank you. It really is a helpful blog. I tend to switch between The Times and Telegraph so on ‘Toughie’ days the odd hint is needed.

  7. Spent so much time trying to ‘mug up’ on the complexities that may be employed by setters that I kept forgetting to look for the obvious answers first!
    4d went in because it ‘had to be’ – not because I knew the word. 20d was the last in – spent a while in amongst flying insects and flying machines.
    Had a go at a couple of last week’s Toughies – all I will say is, thank goodness for Corrie’s pub food! Back to the homework I think.

  8. 5d – Cryptic Definition or just a simple Definition?

    [Maybe, Rufus is expressing his political opinion?]

        1. No – I wasn’t in trouble with anyone who comments regularly on the blog – nuff said, I think!

  9. Enjoyable and straightforward crossword today, thanks to Rufus and to MP for the delightful review.

  10. Pretty straightforward once I remembered the other meaning of “fly” for 20d! Made for a pleasant lunch-break diversion so thanks to Rufus.
    Miffypops, I envy you your tractor ride – I will be spending the afternoon clearing weeds from the drive – again!! It is back-breaking work but someone has to do it and it seems to be me.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  11. A typical Monday offering whic I would rate as 2/4 No great problems. 4D brought back many memories of long past English lessons when we had to learn the names of punctuation marks and their origins. Ampersand is the one I remember well. Obelis are also used to mark passages of doubtful or spurious origin.
    Thanks to Miffypops for his lucid and delightful review.

  12. For some reason I had to put this down almost immediately as nothing seemed to work. Having woken at 5am this morning I wrote the whole thing in almost without pause. What changed? We’re going to get some rain at last but the summer sun won’t be far away for long. Thanks to MP for the review.

  13. Very enjoyable, I would agree with **/****. My fav? Def 10a even it was Mrs B who got the answer and not me! Best clue I solved was 20d. Shame Miffypops missed the photo opportunity for that most elegant of aircraft (I know! It was nothing to do with the answer but what the hell).
    Thx to the setter and to Miffypops for the hints even if not needed today.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  14. Afternoon peeps. A nice easy start to the week for us. Although could not for the life of us get 5a, which was our last in.

    Not happy about 16d though, even though we got the answer easily.
    Filmed to me means to MAKE a film and not to SHOW it.
    Collins doesn’t have it as a definition or synonym. The actually answer doesn’t have filmed as a synonym.
    Not in the BRB that I can find either. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm
    Unless of course it is an Americanism!

    Thanks Rufus for a nice puzzle and MP for the review.

    1. The BRB (11th edition) has, as the last entry for screen (verb transitive), ‘to make a motion picture of’.

  15. I struggled with the NW corner today for some reason, the rest went in quite easily.

    Thanks to Rufus for a fun Monday workout and to Miffypops for the review and for finally answering the question (I think) of why Asterix’s friend is called Obelix!

  16. Thanks to setter for a good start to Monday. (I’d say ‘to the week’ but I was brought up that Sunday was the start to each week!). And thank you Miffypops for the music at 18a (& to BD for finding the best version to use- don’t understand computers) – it’s amazing! NW corner was my last part in as I just didn’t see the anagram at 2d http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

    1. Just in case people don’t realise, the music video is animated, and became quite a well-known internet hoax. None of the institutions mentioned (Sharon Wick School of Engineering etc) actually exist. It is a nice piece of animation though.

  17. Good start to the week. Last one in for me was 20d and I was just about to resort to the hints when I had the d’oh moment. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops and for that amazing piece of music.

    1. Thanks for mentioning the music – scrolled back to take a listen and – yes – it is truly amazing!

  18. Thank you Rufus for great start to week and MP for informative hints which helped to parse several words for me. The footnote marker (Greek or Latin origin?) is new to me but now stored for possible future use. I plumped for different kind of striker in 22a so initially had wrong second half of word until I saw the light and then was able to solve last one in – 20d.
    ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif
    It’s great BD that your following seems to be increasing by leaps and bounds these days. More time needed to peruse the comments.

    1. Yes, there are lots of new people commenting – good.There must be lots more lurkers out there just waiting to summon the courage to post a comment. I know that it took me ages to feel brave enough – what a weed I am!

  19. I was right on wavelength again with Rufus. I just find his clues so straightforward, you immediately know which part of the clue is the answer; that’s a bit roundabout, sorry! I needed you M’pops to explain why 5a was correct. I loved 14a but my fave was 20d. Thanks to Rufus for a great start to the workweek, and M’pops for the usual entertaining review.

  20. Thank you Rufus for another good puzzle. I did agree with you Pommette about 16 d – but it is no surprise to discover that I was wrong ! Many thanks MP for your review and hints. 2 consecutive days on Mull without rain
    Wow !

  21. I thought it was slightly trickier than usual but all the more enjoyable for that. I couldn’t remember Samuel’s teacher and I never heard of that word anyway. Thanks Miffypops and Rufus.

  22. Not one of the great man’s finest for me (and I speak as a fan). It was all a bit workaday. 5d is barely cryptic and some of the anagrams (eg 24d) very soft.
    I spent as long on 20d as I did on the rest of the puzzle – two slightly iffy synonyms (clue and answer) that produced a good surface reading. 14a was classic Rufus, the rest sadly not.
    1.5* (the extra half for 20d) / 2*

  23. Couple of my usual hold-ups with the cryptic definitions but apart from that not too much to frighten the horses. **/*** with thanks to Miffypops and Rufus.

  24. A pleasant puzzle and a jolly review – thanks to Rufus and Miffypops in that order. This wasn’t difficult (say 2*) but there were some nice clues, like 20d and 7d. I’d never heard of the symbol at 4d, but the answer was pretty obvious.

  25. Brain kicked back in after weekend off, only do GK on Sunday. Got 20d because I suspect significant other would say I was one and as a ex-proof reader I got 4d. It fell nicely into place after that. Lovely day in Suffolk made even nicer by good start to week thanks to Rufus and Miffypops and of course BD.

  26. A very gentle introduction to the week ahead. Everything (for once) went in smoothly.
    Thank you Rufus and MP for his usual immaculate hints which I always enjoy reading whether I need them or not. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  27. Straightforward, apart from 20d, which I wrote in as a synonym for ‘fly’, but the spitfire eluded me. Thanks to MP for elucidating, and thanks to Rufus and, of course, to BD for making all this possible. 2*/3*

  28. 20d is simply wrong!!! The answer cannot possibly be translated as “fly”! In whose mind? And to suggest that the character “spits fire” is obtuse in the extreme! How easy would it have been for this clue to have been better? “Clever animal with daughter” perhaps?

    1. Welcome to the blog Dangerous Dave

      Excerpts from Chambers Thesaurus:

      fly – adjective
      as in he’s a fly fellow
      alert, artful, sharp, shrewd, astute, canny, careful, prudent, cunning
      formal sagacious
      colloq: nobody’s fool, on the ball, smart

      shrew – noun
      dragon, nag, scold, termagant, virago, vixen, Xanthippe, harridan, henpecker, spitfire, Fury
      old: shrow
      slang: bitch

      1. Greetings from me too DD. It was my last one in yesterday so there is a degree of difficulty to the clue. It worked for me.

      2. I know you’re right, Big Dave, but sometimes complete obscurity irritates! Just letting off steam!! Great Blog, by the way. First place I come to when rendered senseless!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  29. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle to start the week. I was all ok except for 20d, which pushed it into 3* territory of difficulty. Favourite was 25a. Was 3*/4* for me. Late commenting due to travelling travelling back to the Smoke.

  30. Thank you very much, setter and Miffypops. I did ok except couldn’t see 10a and got 20d wrong. I enjoyed 1a and 7d, and especially the .musical staircase and the home from home.
    Thank you!

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