DT 27607 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27607

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27607

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I have left last week’s grumpy chair and am pleased to say that I have enjoyed this puzzle which mostly fell in quite easily with a small hiccup in the south west corner. Do you remember Mental Arithmetic (now known as mental maths)? Well today is National Mental Anagram Solver Day. There are seven to mentally solve today. Have a go and let me know how you got on.

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    Entitled to be a church member (8)
BAPTISED: To have undergone the first of the seven sacraments which is also your naming ceremony.

6a    It takes the strain out of brewing (3,3)
TEA BAG: In the olden days we had loose leaf tea which we had to strain when pouring from the teapot into the teacup which sat upon a saucer on a table with a table cloth. Those who did not use a tea strainer allowed batty old biddies to read their futures in the patterns of tea leaves left behind after the tea had been drunk. Every home had a tea caddy, and a teapot. Nowadays we bung one of these into a mug on the kitchen work surface. It is called progress. My apologies for the outpourings of nostalgia.

9a    Pursue  syllabus (6)
COURSE: A double definition with the first being rather obscure. Gipsy types do it around here illegally chasing Hares with Lurchers.

10a    Drawer of Cupid’s bow? (8)
LIPSTICK: A cosmetic applied to the lips

11a    Tell a student to be relaxed (8)
INFORMAL: Take a verb meaning to give out facts, add A from the clue and our usual suspect for a student

12a    Evasive secret agent seen around border (6)
SLIPPY: Place a three letter word for a secret agent around another three letter word meaning border or edge. Like on a cup perhaps

13a    Happy to give duo more dough (4-8)
GOOD HUMOURED: Our first anagram of the day. The word Happy gives us the definition. The words DUO MORE DOUGH provide the fodder to work with (put that pencil down) and the word to give would appear to be the indicator

16a    Shakespeare’s playhouse in the round? (5,7)
GLOBE THEATRE: The first playhouse to show Shakespeare’s plays was built in 1559 and destroyed by fire in 1613. A modern reconstruction was opened to the public in 1997 and has not yet burnt down.

19a    Why brides may conceal having mixed parentage (6)
HYBRID: The answer is lurking away, hidden amongst the words of the clue staring out at you like a naughty child.

21a    Sycophant‘s aspirate misplaced (8)
PARASITE: Anagram (misplaced) of ASPIRATE

23a    They may be happy playing cards (8)
FAMILIES: Who remembers Mr Bun The Baker. He may hold the recipe that solves this clue.

24a    Naturally cold state, but sweet when baking hot outside (6)
ALASKA: America’s most northerly state and the name of a dessert. Apparently in this state men outnumber the women by three to one. Take care though ladies, although the odds are good, the goods are very odd.

25a    In cold weather they go downhill fast (6)
SKIERS: Winter sportsmen or women

26a    Items of furniture which are employed off stage (8)
DRESSERS: These items of furniture often have the word Welsh in front of them.


2d    A cycle is available (6)
AROUND: A from the clue followed by a word for cycle. This word might be used to describe a type of singing where each person sings the same theme but starts at different times. The whole is an adverb meaning located or situated on every side.

3d    Trunk with tangled roots (5)
TORSO: Anagram (tangled) of ROOTS

4d    Vessel requiring a mast to be re-rigged (9)
STEAMBOAT: And another anagram. The first word is the definition. The fodder follows shortly afterwards and the anagram indicator make a cheeky appearance right at the end of the clue.

5d    She persuaded her admirer to take a short cut (7)
DELILAH: This is the name of a biblical character in the book of Judges.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

6d    Upset about work, drinks (5)
TOPES: This is a nice succinct clue which can be solved by doing exactly what the clue says.   Invert the word set (UPSET) and place it around our usual suspect for work inside to find the plural of a verb meaning to drink alcohol to excess.

7d    Here’s quality, but in unusual attire (9)
ATTRIBUTE: The quality can be found by placing the word BUT inside an anagram (unusual) of ATTIRE

8d    Didn’t refuse — that’s normal (8)
ACCEPTED: A fine double definition helped along nicely by the checking letters

13d    Fabric, being dear, replaced (9)
GABERDINE: Another pesky anagram (replaced) of BEING DEAR

14d    Car demo to be organised — for a president? (9)
MOTORCADE: And again but it is the last example. Anagram (organised) of CAR DEMO TO. I have seen a couple of examples of these and have always found it amusing that the group Led Zeppelin travelled around America in this way thanks to their manager Peter Grant’s ability to manipulate American police forces.

15d    Review TV show and quietly relax (4,4)
PLAY BACK: Take our usual letter denoted by the word quietly and add a term split 3,4 meaning to recline or relax

17d    Former spouse sat in the open (7)
EXPOSED: Former here is an old favourite which refers to an old flame one has kicked into touch. The word Sat means to have modelled for an artist. The whole means out in the open

18d    Fireman who doesn’t put fires out (6)
STOKER: This fireman tends the fire in a steam engine. He always wears a boiler suit with a red neckerchief and is known to cook bacon and eggs on the back of his shovel.

20d    Spots the sign of a faulty washer (5)
DRIPS: I have seen this clue before in a Daily Telegraph crossword but I am sure it was in the singular. It took a while to solve then and it has taken a while to solve today. The answer is what you would get from a tap with a faulty washer.

22d    Supports  fights, but not seriously (5)
SPARS: This is a double definition. The second being tiffs or minor quarrels. You may like to know that I put Spats in here which works with fights but not supports. Thanks to Big Dave for the correct answer

No pens or pencils were harmed in the writing of this review which was written whilst listening to Leonard Cohen’s latest album.

The Quick Crossword pun: brig+add+here=brigadier

83 comments on “DT 27607

  1. Usual start to the week with no demons at all. Like MP, I toyed with SPATS for 22D but (obviously) couldn’t justify it. Favourite today is 6A – a very clever clue I thought although it may be lost on some of the younger readers

  2. 2*/4*. Very enjoyable fun with the usual light touch from our Monday Maestro. 6a was my favourite today.

    10a & 23a were my last ones in and took me almost as long to do as all the rest put together.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.

  3. Yes, straightforward and fun. Plenty of anagrams and amusing answers. Favourite was the fireman….

    Nice to see the SAHB again. Wondering if their bizarre costumes ( didn’t really go with their usual musical style) were a forerunner of the Bay City Rollers?

    1. I don’t think I’ve ever heard SAHB and BCR mentioned in the same sentence before. No, no comparison I’m afraid, SAHB were a very good rock group who used their individual personalities to create their stage costumes and performances whereas BCR were a made up bunch of talentless teeny boppers who really should never have been allowed to be on stage

        1. Rock on Skempie, SAHB are one of my favourite bands, saw them one Christmas, possibly 1979 at the London Palladium.

      1. OK – had to look at the clip to find out who you were talking about – sorry, never heard of them before! Always loathed the song – Tom Jones’ version was even worse. As for Bay City Rollers!!!

        Ah well – each to their own http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif.

      2. Well, obviously they can’t be compared as bands. The earlier blues band set ups of AH et al were a different kettle of fish. I’m also familiar with Ted McKenna. All I was saying was, that at the time this was broadcast, it was a new thing to dress up like that and I’m assuming it inspired glam rock etc. I only picked BCR because they were also from north of the border…….weak link……

  4. Back after a week on my feet marshalling the crowds at the Ryder Cup. A pleasant Monday morning teaser. One or two seemed more general knowledge than usual but fun nonetheless. 14d and 24a were favourites.
    Thanks to setter and Miffypops.

      1. Hi
        Not as much as I would have liked but there were only 24 players so not a great deal of golf anyway. Great to be able to get close to the players as well as known faces from sport and TV too. Fantastic crowds and atmosphere.

  5. First word of 6d: Is this the DT’s gentle first introduction of a “lift-and-separate” (splitting a word to arrive at it’s cryptic meaning, with some controversy as to just how kosher that is)? This one hardly seems unfair to the solver and makes for a succinct clue with a great surface story.

    I first had stays in for 22d, but realised quickly that had nothing to do with fights. I also was looking for the anagram indicator in 13a.

    favourites probably 7d and 15d

    started late,but still managed to finish before the school run – nice and quick for a slow monday morning.

      1. I am really sorry, and thank you for highlighting that, others are probably grateful to you. It’s just that the first word in 6d is “upset”. It needs to be mentally divided into two words “up” and “set” in order to read the instructions for solving the clue (the cryptic meaning). People have been calling this “lift-and-separate” and there has been some controversy recently – some experts say this is not really fair, since it could create overly difficult clues. In this clue though, it is a mild case and I thought it wasn’t too hard to spot. And it gives a nice short clue with a great story (the surface reading). Given its controversy, I was surprised to see this device used on the back page telegraph, but I may easily have missed other occurrences. Again apologies – Big Dave doesn’t want jargon on the site and I agree – I hope i’ve managed to explain a little better

            1. No, I get it. I think the anagram indicator in 13a is give. As in the fodder gives the answer. Not 100% sure if that’s right. Anyone else have a better theory?

        1. Many thanks, Dutch, for clarifying that, I hadn’t heard the term ‘lift and separate’ before.
          Thanks very much for drawing attention to it.
          I too jumped a bit when I realised it was part of the solution, and, personally, don’t like it very much.
          Where will it end?
          I can imagine far more complex clues containing it, ‘lift and separate’ that is.

  6. I’m a bit surprised that there’s been no comment from the Pedants’ Club about 15d. Surely the present tense of the phrasal verb to relax is ‘lie back’ (and think of England?) not ‘lay back’?

    1. Billy Bragg’s Shirley. How can you lie there and think of England / When you don’t even know who’s in the team /

    2. This is one instance where my pedantry gets overridden by my love of music. I am so used to hearing Eric Clapton imploring Sally to Lay Down, as well as Bob Dylan asking his female companion to Lay Lady Lay (assuming he is not serenading a chicken) that I have become inured to wrong grammar. In any event 15d is a pleasing clue…

      …or perhaps I am getting more tolerant. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    3. Gazza I definitely noticed that. I don’t know if it started with Bob Dylan but I see the verbs lie and lay misused so much that it seems that they are now forever blended! I have seen it in so many novels and it always gives me a jolt.

      1. Blame the language. Lie (lay, lain) is the intransitive verb, which does not take an object. Lay, (laid, laid) is the transitive one, which does take an object – lay the table, lay an egg. When the present tense of one verb has the same form as the past tense of a related verb, confusion is likely. I used to teach this distinction to foreign students, and think that at least some of them understood it. Unfortunately, nobody teaches it to English students nowadays.

        1. To a basic Frenchman to lay back is to relax and lie back is the action of your body getting ready to relax. Could you say that someone is lied back?

          1. Oh! the joys of English.

            The situation regarding “lie” and “lay” is further complicated. As Robin indicates, the past tense of “to lie” when it means to be in a horizontal position is “lay”, but the past tense of “to lie” when it means to tell an untruth is “lied”. So you would never say that someone is “lied back”!

  7. An enjoyable good fun start to the week thank you Rufus. Many thanks MP for your review and hints and appropriate photos.

  8. Sorry MP – there was the odd pen and circle, particularly when all I could see was democrat in 14d, so needed to get that out of my head.
    23a – what nostalgia! I bet Miss Dose, the doctor’s daughter, would be considered terribly non-pc these days!
    Wanted lipliner for 10a – more accurate answer for us girls, but regrettably not recognised as a single word.
    Loved your hint for 24a – seem to recall seeing a tv documentary based around that?
    Really enjoyable Monday puzzle – 5d goes in as fav.
    Where’s Kath? Probably still working on the list of things she’s good at. Here’s a starter – making cushion covers for lambs. I can only wonder at what else will go on the list!!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  9. All went well until I put in ‘down’ for the second word of 15d, which had me confused for far too long until I realised my mistake. Much head scratching about 23a and 25a up to that point. A bit dense this morning!


  10. ****/****. I gave this 4* for difficulty because of 6 and 22d. 6d really was bung it in and hope…I thought that was that word was a type of shark! And if I’m being honest I still don’t understand 22d. However, I truly enjoyed it with 6,10 and 23a being stand out clues.

    National Mental Anagram Solver Day??? MP I’m sorry but I used my pencil in all but one. It’s a lovely pencil, pointy with a little rubber on the end.

    Thank you to Rufus and to Miffypops for the very humorous review. A lovely start to the week.

      1. Nice one! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

        I call what is on one end of my pencil a rubber, but that might confuse our colleagues from across the Pond who have chosen to adopt that word to mean something completely different.

        1. Oh very good Miffypops. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

          That’s made me smile, especially as I had not thought of the double meaning,

        2. Reminds me of a situation many years ago, there was a US ship visiting Portsmouth and they allowed people to come aboard and have a look around and meet some of the mat-e-lows (at least, that’s what the one I talked to called himself), my Mum took my brother on board (he was about 6 at the time) and one guy gave him a USN pin to wear. My brother turned to my Mum and said ‘There’s no clip on the back, how do I stop t falling off’ to which my Mum replied ‘Just stick a bit of rubber on the end’ – result was absolute shocked silence in the Officers’ Mess.

  11. A gentle start to the week, and amusing too a **/*** seems fair. Thanks for the amusing hints-is 24 across the words of Soloman, or just a ‘miffyism?.Reconised Mr Harvey in the pic for 5d-could do with a trim; if I remember his brother was electrocuted when on stage with Stone The Crows-enough to make your hair stand on end-must run in the family.

  12. I finished well before lunch which meansk that it was quite easy but, as usual on a Monday, very enjoyable, many thanks to the setter and to MO for the hints

  13. Very soft I thought even by the standard of recent Mondays. 6, 16 and 25a are barely cryptic and there are some old chestnuts having another run out. Elegantly constructed as ever but not very challenging. 1*/2*

  14. Enjoyable Monday crossword. I thought 16across was so easy it didn’t even seem cryptic. I’m not complaining though, we need all the help we can get. We also put spats for 22down until we realised the error of our ways. Thank you to the setter and to Miffypops.

  15. I just couldn’t come to grips with this one and needed a fair bit of help – not on this guys wavelength at all!

    Ah well, tomorrow is another day – thank god!

  16. What a super crossword! Some real ‘smile’ clues especially 5d although strictly speaking she didn’t persuade him but cut it in his sleep but why spoil a great clue :-)
    Perhaps a little easier than some of the recent Monday offerings but no less enjoyable for that.
    Thx to the setter and to Miffypops for confirming my reasoning for 6d (well really it was Mrs Bs reasoning!)

  17. re:6a – my day does not start until I’ve had a large mug of Yorkshire Gold tea brewed the traditional way using loose leaves & my individual teapot then poured into my own mug (Mrs S drinks only coffee).

    Enjoyed the puzzle & the review from MP whose demeanour from last week has done a full 360°!

  18. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, a lot made me laugh. I had “slaps” for 22d, but no other problems. Favourites were 5d&10a. Was 2*/4* for me. Off to Newcastle for the day tomorrow. Did 5 out of 7 anagrams in my head without knowing about Miffypops’ special day.

  19. Hello from sunny France. Very enjoyable Monday crossword. SW corner gave me a bit of a hard time but eventually with the help of MP I managed to sort it out. I remember seing a play called “happy families” in the 80s. In France that game is called le jeu des sept familles. As for 20d I was looking for some stains due to a bad washing machine. Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for the answers.

  20. */**. Very steady stroll through with lots of anagrams. 16a was more general knowledge than cryptic. Last in was 5d due to a mental block. Many thanks to MP for the review.

  21. I love Mondays and Rufus puzzles. I put in spats for 22d and thought no more about it. I loved 10a best and nominate as my fave. Thanks Rufus (why does the iPad insist on converting your name to all caps?), and to M’pops for the usual entertaining review … I like the new picture in the right-hand top thingy, can’t remember the name!


  22. Enjoyed this puzzle but got into a tangle after putting in Arctic (roll) for 24a . Rookie error ! Also had spats for 22d convincing myself they also supported shoes. Thank you for the review.

  23. Loved it, just seemed to drop into place. OK if you want to be pedantic about 16a that is your problem not mine. Only had Baked Alaska once at my 21st which is more years ago than I care to think about but favourite today has to be 13a because thanks to my name that it what I am supposed to be.

  24. I really enjoyed this but I didn’t think it was that easy, perhaps because of the mental clues , though they are the ones I like the best , especially 5d and 10a.Thanks Miffypops (great new avatar) and Rufus.I also needed the revealed hint for 22d.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  25. We have just had our first early morning cup of tea. It is of course made from loose leaf tea, in a teapot with an immersible strainer insert that precludes the need to use a separate strainer. Much, much preferable to the beverage made from those nasty little packages that look like little dog’s doings when left lying around the kitchen after they have been used. How’s that for being provocative. Enjoyed the puzzle. Just right for a Monday.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops

    1. My daughter bought me a glass teapot with a little twirly bit of metal that you hook in the spout. My tea is called “star dust”, black with orange zest and b&w chocolate chips. Simply delicious. Full breakfast in a cuppa.

  26. Nice, enjoyable fare.
    I can’t believe I took so long over 14d, I must have gone through every President, even including Metternich!
    Thanks to the setter and Miffypops.

  27. Definitely a Monday type crossword. A gentle stroll with no real stand out clues for me… until I saw the video for SAHB. Wow, did that bring back memories! Well done MP! I shall now email them to say that they featured in a DT crossword!
    Thanks to Rufus and of course MP for his impeccable hints.

  28. Over quite quickly and more smiles in the review than in the puzzle. Too many clues didn’t really feel particularly cryptic. Reminded me of when I occasionally used to try the Sun “cryptic” crossword when I visited my grandparents in the late 70s. Sorry setter but thanks for your efforts anyway and thanks Miffypops for the entertaining review.

    I took up the mental anagram challenge though. In fact I always do the anagrams in my head which Mrs O can never understand. She insists on writing them down with the letters mixed up in a grid whereas I reason that they’re already written down in the clue so why bother transcribing them when you need to mix up the letters in your head anyway. Variety is the spice of life I guess!

  29. Miffypops – I’ve had a busy day so have not even looked at the crossword, let alone the hints or comments but I thought that you would like to hear something that I heard on the news driving home this evening. Apparently a Scandinavian scientific research group has decided to see how many of Bob Dylan’s lyrics they can use in their papers. I’m sure there’s more to it than that but thought I’d like to be the first to tell you . . .
    Back tomorrow after a very long sleep . . .

  30. Something like 2*/3* for me, and l enjoyed 10a in particular (even though l took some time to spot it!). Thanks to Rufus for a gentle reintroduction to crosswordland – l’ve been too busy to try one for a week or so – and to Miffypops for the review.

  31. Thanks Rufus for an enjoyably gentle crossword which didn’t cause me too many problems. No need for paper for anagrams either. After a busy day, which would have been okay if not for being interrogated about it afterwards (don’t ask!), I’m rather wishing that I’d saved it for a pre-bed wind down though. Still, reading the cracking review was just the thing! Thanks for the smiles, MP :).

  32. Is the answer to 12a regarded as a word these days? It wasn’t when I was at school! Apart from that, this was a nice easy solve with some lovely clues, 4d being a favourite. Thanks to setter and Miffypops.

  33. Not long started it but enjoyed 6a, 10a and 24a so far plus the picture of little Harrison. I look forward to reading the review later on. Thank you very much setter and Miffypops

  34. Typically good Monday Rufus fare, if a little more tricky than usual. Lots of standout clues for me, 23a being my favourite and last one in. Thanks to MP for the review and Rufus for the smiles. PS I always write out my anagrams backwards In a circle, and always with a pen 2*/4* fun from me

  35. I got the answer to 10a, but still don’t understand – somebody please put me out of my misery !! Please

    1. A cupid’s bow is the shape of the lips where the upper lip is supposed to look like cupid’s bow, hence the need for 10a.

          1. being a relative newcomer to this forum I’m not in the in-crowd, so I’m confused (dot com) as to what you mean. I wasn’t aware that solving times were banned, but can see that it would mitigate against boastfulness. What one would achieve by banning ages, I’m not quite sure.
            For the first time in my usage of this site, I clicked upon the image you attached to your message, and found the location of Long Itchington. I used to have a customer there, who always referred to it as “Short Scratchington” !!

            1. Only teasing with the age comment. Sorry to confuse. Welcome to the wonderful world of Monday blogging

  36. Yet again a very late comment – started off today (Tuesday) with today’s crossword, have now done yesterday’s (Monday’s) and am now about to have a go at yesterdays’s Rookie corner – do hope that anyone who reads this has managed to keep up!
    I often have trouble with Monday crosswords but not with this one.
    Lots of good clues – 10 and 19a and 5d.
    Thanks to Rufus for a good crossword and to Miffypops for a fun review.

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