DT 27625 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27625

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27625

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Our nine day thousand mile road trip involving two weddings and a funeral is over and will hopefully never be repeated. Today we have another excellent offering from Rufus with some odd twists on familiar words. Definitions are underlined and I hope you can understand my ramblings.

My favourite clue is 20 down and my thanks go out to pommers and Merusa for teaching me about Els, Ens and Ems. Thanks also to Tstrummer for the Nuts and Muttons.


1a    Military force calling for withdrawal (10)
REVOCATION:    The cancelling or annulment of something by some authority. Formed by taking the initial letters of Royal Engineers (Military force) and a word that might define a calling to the clergy for instance

6a    I make an offer in place of a previous quotation (4)
IBID:    I followed by an offer gives the abbreviation of the Latin word meaning “in the same place”

10a    DNA unit takes time to find cat-like creature (5)
GENET:    Could this be the simplest clue of the week? Take the only DNA unit most of us know and add a T(ime). Google will inform you that this is a cat like creature. It is a new one to be though.

11a    The best parts of holidays in mountains? (4,5)
HIGH SPOTS:    These will not be low points. The answer here should become obvious with the checking letters.

12a    Reforged inferior poker, perhaps? (4,4)
FIRE IRON:    Anagram (reforged) of INFERIOR

13a    One may take longer when one travels without a hitch (5)
HIKER:    This clue refers to a now seldom seen form of travel involving the use of a thumb and relying on the kindness and goodwill of drivers. Take the hitch away from one who travels in this way

15a    I managed to name one from 4 Down (7)
IRANIAN:    Take I from the clue. A three letter word meaning managed and a boy’s name to find the nationality of one born in 4 down

17a    Director of river boats to keep locks in order? That’s dandy! (7)
COXCOMB:    Simply do exactly what the clue suggests to find a word meaning a dandy. The director of riverboats could be the small person with the big voice who barks instructions to rowers twice their size. The locks which need to be kept in order are the hairs on your head and this is how you keep them in order

19a    Is inclined to enter Church to absolve sins? (7)
CLEANSE:    Place verb meaning is inclined from the perpendicular and place it inside the usual abbreviation for the Church of England.

21a    Superlatively daring pieces of underwear (7)
BRAVEST:    Join two pieces of upper body underwear, one usually only worn by females and one worn by either sex.

22a    Pass one bill in ten after amendment (5)
ENACT:    Place the usual abbreviation for a bill or account inside an anagram (after amendment of) TEN

24a    Plucky player gets support following veto (8)
BANJOIST:    Take a three letter verb meaning to legally prohibit and add a noun meaning a length of timber used as a support in a building to find a term describing one who frails a particular stringed instrument

ARVE Error: need id and provider

27a    He passes out at the back of the pack (5,4)
SCRUM HALF:    The pack are Rugby Forwards and the passer out is the scrawny little chap who’s role at its most basic is to provide a link between the forwards and the backs. Do not let his size fool you. He is not to be messed with.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

28a    Where two sides come together to some degree (5)
ANGLE:    The space (usually measured in degrees) between two intersecting lines or surfaces at or close to the point where they meet. (Thank you Google) This clue might have been easier with a fishing reference

29a    A parson taken aback enough to swear (4)
AVER:    A from the clue and a shortened form of title for a member of the clergy reversed (taken aback)

30a    Limited form of credit provided after period of unemployment (10)
RESTRICTED:    Anagram (form of) of CREDIT after a term meaning ease or relaxation


1d    Pet that’s all the fashion (4)
RAGE:    A double definition. The pet is more fury than furry.

2d    Only a small number show support (9)
VINDICATE:    Take the letter that represents the number five in Roman numerals and add a verb meaning to point out or show.

3d    Smart girl that is after a share of the proceeds (5)
CUTIE:    Take the Latin abbreviation for “that is” and place it after a division of money perhaps to get a word describing an attractive or endearing person, usually female.

4d    Moving near the foreign capital (7)
TEHERAN:    Anagram (moving) of NEAR THE

5d    Such food is grown, naturally (7)
ORGANIC:    I have a feeling that this clue is not very cryptic at all. It is descriptive of a method of any form of gardening that does not use chemicals or pesticides

7d    Cake in hamper? (5)
BLOCK:    A double definition. A slab of cake or soap may be described thus.

8d    Share out is tried but in an alternative way (10)
DISTRIBUTE:    Anagram (in an alternative way) of IS TRIED BUT

9d    It really is a breathtaking experience (8)
ASPHYXIA:    This clue is descriptive of a condition arising when the body is deprived of oxygen, causing unconsciousness or death.

14d    Premier League team after victory in Sussex town (10)
WINCHELSEA:    One of London’s football clubs founded on 10th March 1905 is placed after a three letter word meaning a victory to reveal the name of a small town in East Sussex located between The High Weald and The Romney Marsh

16d    I mention changes straight away (2,2,4)
IN NO TIME:    Anagram (changes) of I MENTION

18d    Failure to notice surveillance (9)
OVERSIGHT:    A double definition the first being an unintentional failure to notice or do something.

20d    Typical measure by couple to show affection (7)
EMBRACE:    The measure here is one I learned from this very blog on Monday May 12th 2014 puzzle number 27487. It is one of the printer’s measures used as spacings between words or letters. There are three such measures known as an EL, an EN and an EM. Place one of these measures before a word meaning a couple or a pair of something to end up with a cuddle which we all need now and again

21d    Be born healthy, get an advantage (7)
BENEFIT:    Take BE from the clue, a Latin word for born, and a three letter adjective meaning of good health

23d    Be of one mind about being in time (5)
AGREE:    Place our usual two letter suspect for about (not C for circa) inside a three letter word meaning Time or a particular period in history.

25d    Initially agreed, a mixed-up type animal (5)
OKAPI:    I can get agreed to be OK. I can steal the A from the clue but I needed Big Dave’s help with the PI. This is what he wrote. PI (also pie / pye) is mixed up printing type.  Maybe a new “usual suspect”.  I think it dates back to the time when letters were put into racks prior to printing (a bit like the old John Bull printing kits) and this was a box of assorted letters.

26d    Kink in nautical knot (4)
BEND:    A double definition. The second nautical reference is new to me but I am sure it will be there in your big red books.

Bob Dylan’s album Highway 61 Revisited has seen me through this blog today. Thank you Bob.

59 comments on “DT 27625

  1. I liked 24 and 27a.

    Thx for yr hint for 1a and 1 and 2d MP! I always forget that other meaning of 1d….

  2. some nice subtleties from Rufus again this morning – i made my life harder by rushing in with “detachment” for 1a, did anyone else do that?.

    i loved the daring pieces of underwear (21a), the typical measure (20d), where it took a while for the “typical” to register. I though 29a was a nice new take on an often seen word. Thanks to miffypops and BD for explaining “PI” – I was missing that.

    and thank you Rufus

    1. I certainly did Dutch, then just couldn’t see why nothing else was fitting. I had to walk away, do some work and look again. Today really wasn’t my day. :-(

  3. I found this one quite challenging today but I did make it to the end without hints.

    4*/3* for me today.

  4. I also made an error in 1a but I had RETRACTION which seemed a good answer I thought and rally delayed me in NW corner. Got there eventually .

  5. ****/**
    It all went a little bit wrong this morning. I started by putting ‘detachment’ in for 1a, ‘coxswain’ in for 17a and couldn’t work out why 25 down wasn’t ‘koala’! It certainly took a bit of sorting out. Oh and I had to check 14d was an actual place and had to confirm what 10a was too. I’d never heard of it either MP.
    I did get there in the end but it was definitely a slog. I hope everyone had an OK weekend whatever they were doing.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for blogging. :-)
    We seem to have escaped the worst of the weather here, that’s got to be a first.

  6. 2*/3*. I couldn’t finish this today because my first answer in was “retraction” for 1a which completely scuppered 2d & 3d. I didn’t bother to recheck it because it seemed to make perfect sense: RE (“military”) TRACTION (“force”) leading to the definition “withdrawal”, and I assumed “calling” was just there for the surface reading – what a silly billy I am. Comforting to know I was not the only one to be led up that particular garden path!

    After getting about two thirds of the way through I became convinced this must be a pangram. I was only missing J, Q & Z at that stage, and then the J popped up too. Wrong again!

    My favourite was 24a.

    Nevertheless, many thanks to Rufus for a most enjoyable puzzle and to Miffypops.

  7. Usual Monday offering, not too taxing but enjoyable all the same. I would rate this as 2.5/3 for me. No particular clue stood out for me. With regard to 24A, I used to wear the number 9 shirt and my wife says the hint to the clue is very true. Thanks to Miffypops for the usual high standard review .

  8. My first impression was one of foreboding but I gritted my teeth and pressed on. Gradually it all started to fall into place and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. One of the best for some time. Thanks so much Rufus and MP for being there. Lots of favs (sorry Kath) which included 13a, 17a, 21a, 22a and 21d. ***/*****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  9. Thank you Rufus. I made hard work of that and was relieved to see that I was not alone. I was messing around with “retraction” at 1a until 2d and 3d pointed me in the right direction. Thank you Miffypops for your review and hints. PI was new to me, but I bunged the answer in anyway. 22a reminded me of Mary, with the word “bill” doing double duty ?

  10. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A super start to the week. I was also convinced that it was going to be a pangram when I put in my third answer, which was 9d, wrong again! I was completely stumped on 1a, needed the hint for that. Last in was 2d. Favourites were 24&27d and 14d, even though I’m an Arsenal fan :-)
    Was 2*/4* for me. Lots of great clues. Clouded over now in Central London.

  11. Brilliant clip for 27a! Nice one Miffypops – roll on 2015 – Six Nations then the World Cup. I do not expect my liver to survive.

    Thanks to Rufus as well who’s in similar mood over at the Grauniad.

  12. Not one of my favourites – I swear there must be something ‘military’ that can be represented by any combination of two or three random letters and my heart always sinks when I see a ‘sporting’ reference (Hi, Kath – how’s the rugby knowledge coming along?).
    Strangely enough, the couple that gave you issues, MP, didn’t cause me any grief at all! 25d put me in mind of a piebald pony and I spent many Brownie hours learning to tie sheet bends, round turns and two half-hitches etc. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif
    I just KNEW you’d come up with a clip for the ‘string plucker’ but I was a little worried about the illustration for 23d – where on earth does that come from? Looks like a picture from a childrens’ book – but surely not! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif
    Glad you’re back home safely, MP. Worry not, funerals don’t get repeated and weddings – although they sometimes do – usually have a few years between them!
    ‘Nuts and muttons’ http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif is that another Spoonerism I’m struggling with? Wouldn’t surprise me, I’ve only recently had the penny drop over Slogs and Betters!
    Many thanks to Rufus – especially for 11 & 13a – and to Miffypops for his usual brilliant touch with the review.

    1. Because the terms En and Em sound so alike and could be mistaken amongst the noise of an old fashioned printworts the workers used the terms Nuts for Ens and Muttons for Ems. It is similar to the phonetic alphabet inasmuch that it helps to minimise mistakes.

    2. What Rugby knowledge – oh dear! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif
      As for Bloggers and Setters I’m afraid I had to ask what it was – and I only chose a day when there was a Spoonerism in the crossword – did I feel dumb, or what! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

      1. Don’t worry about the ‘feeling dumb’ bit – I decided to have a go at Friday’s Toughie (which actually went surprisingly well on the whole!), but one of the answers that I only got at the last moment was the ‘island’ in 2d – and where do I live……….. yep, on that very island! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  13. I’m back after a lost weekend as an unscheduled guest of the NHS (all fine now). I now know you can do the Saturday prize crossword one handed on the iPad while the other arm is hooked up to an IV drip!
    Just a bit trickier than recent Rufus offerings I thought. The explanation of 25d is a relief because I was convinced it should end apu but clearly it didn’t. I also felt very smug about coming up with ‘bandolin’ for 24a until I realised that didn’t fit either. Sorting that SE muddle took longer than the rest of the puzzle.

      1. Indeed, whose catchphrase is, “Thank you, come again”. For techie types it’s also a processing unit.

        1. Hope you’re feeling better Rick :-) My Simpsons knowledge comes from the joy of having kids….for some reason they can’t get interested in documentaries about the ‘Space Race’! We have similar battles about the presets on the car radio.

    1. Poor you – do hope you’re completely recovered now and that they were all nice to you and looked after you properly – no pictures of grapes available so you’ll have to make do with a little http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    2. I’m glad you’re out, hospitals are surely not the most cheery of environments. Keep well and keep out of those horrid places

  14. Usual Monday hard work but quite enjoyable. For me ***/**.
    Glad Miffypops got confused by PI as well. Def one to add to the list of obscure meanings which grows longer daily. Never come across 24a before but if you can have a guitarist then why not a banjoist!
    Best clue for me by far was 27a with special mention for 14d.
    Thx to all.

  15. Many thanks for the “Duelling Banjos” clip from “Deliverance – the brightest spot in a rather disturbing film! As for the crossword – fairly straightforward today so I’d give it **/***

  16. Tougher than recent Mondays .. Needed a hint or two .. The review has reminded me of Highway 61, which includes a favourite Dylan track ‘Desolation Row’.

  17. A little more challenging than some Monday’s (though I never find any of them easy) and it took a while to get going, but once we got one or two in it fell into place. I must admit there were quite a few bung ’em in answers but they proved to be correct (even banjoist) which has an entirely different definition in my dictionary Thank you setter and Miffypops.

  18. Probably 3* for both difficulty and enjoyment.
    As previously talked about retraction for 1a messed things up in the top left corner and absent-mindedly spelling 28a like some kind of guardian messed up the bottom right. Not a good start to the week.
    The 12a anagram took a while as I could only think of poker being the card game.
    I only got 27a when I had more than half the checking letters in – no surprises there!
    I liked 13a (used to get everywhere by hitching) and my favourite was either 21a or 9d.
    With thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.
    Now to see if I can finish cutting the grass before the tail end of Hurricane Whatever he’s called this time gets here – then to have a go at Mr Rookie.

  19. A lovely, most enjoyable solve earlier this morning and having worked as a letterpress printer in my distant past, the printing related clues caused no problems for me. Anyone who has ever dropped a case full of metal type on the floor or dropped type which has been set for printing, will NEVER forget what pi or pie means. 1 down and 1 across were my last ones in, as I wasn’t 100% certain to begin with. I guessed this was a Rufus puzzle before reading the intro to today’s blog – having cross-checked a couple of answers I discovered that some clues were used back in 2003 by Rufus in ‘Guardian’ puzzles that year. Having solved today’s puzzle and cut our back lawn before ‘Gonzalo’ arrives, I’m feeling quite contented. Thanks Rufus and thanks to Miffypops as well.

    1. I know Rufus is not afraid to recycle clues but this one is in today’s Guardian:

      A wild animal but it’s all right, a quiet one (5)

      Perhaps he bought a job lot?

  20. I thought this tricky for a Monday. I usually sail through the Rufus puzzles. Having the wrong answer in 1a, see above with Kath, sent 2d and 3d into tail spins. Otherwise, all very enjoyable. Fave has to be 20d, but I loved 17a and 21a as well. Thank you Rufus, and thanks to M’pops for his usual entertaining review.


  21. I found this quite difficult today but ,then again, I’m not one of the ones who find Rufus’s puzzles easy, but I’m pleased I’m not alone today. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops .Couldn ‘t have done it without you MP.

  22. Thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle and felt that I should have finished it on my own but I did need help from MP, for which thanks. I felt that 21d and 30a were particularly clever. On the whole this was 3* for me but I should have done better. Many thanks Rufus for a fine crossword

  23. I started off thinking this was going to be something of a quickie, but then it got enjoyably meaty. I’m a bit grumpy now though because I didn’t quite make it without help. Grr!

    4d confused me because I hadn’t seen it spelt that way, so wasn’t sure if I was having a dozy moment. I hadn’t heard of 14d, but that’ll just be my woeful lack of geographical knowledge again…

    I liked 28a just fine without the fishing reference :). I also liked 17a, 20d, 24a, and 13a which I’ll go for as favourite.

    My thanks to Rufus, to BD for the PI and to MP for the entertaining-as-ever review. More fury than furry made me smile http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif.

  24. Interesting to note that the rugby position in 27a is always known as Half-back here although we are familiar with the alternative northern hemisphere name. We had never heard of the 14d town of course but simple enough to work out from the wordplay. We did know the printer’s terms but were fascinated by the ‘nuts’ and ‘muttons’ information and explanation. A good fun puzzle.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

  25. 2d was my last in, and I think that “only a small number” is really stretching it to make the surface reading look better, especially as support isn’t the normal usage for vindicate.. Or maybe it’s supposed to be a semi cryptic definition. Anyway, wasn’t so keen on that. Thanks for the explanation of PI…

  26. Late input from me as was at my daughter’s over the weekend and got back home late this afternoon.
    Very pleasant fare from Rufus.

    Faves : 10a, 27a, 14d & 25d.

    At first had civet for 10a and had a lot of bother with the NW corner until I corrected 10a!

    Weather here is still VG – more like August than late October.

  27. 2d was my last one in as well. Tricky little number from Rufus and still I enjoyed the tussle.I didn’t know the Sussex town even if it was obvious from the clue.I really liked the videos from Deliverence and the scrum halfs. I am still unsure why the banjo playing boy got so unfriendly after the “jam”.Great film.
    Thanks for clearing up various other mysteries, Miffypops, and to Rufus for never being boring.

  28. Thanks to Rufus for a good start to the week (2*/3*ish). I liked quite a few clues, but 1a was my favourite. Thanks to MP for the review as well.

  29. Much more enjoyable than last week’s Rufus. And this week I was prepared for “pet”! 1a caused a lot of trouble – I put RETRACTION which I thought was a pretty decent fit for the clue, so chaos ensued. I’m not wildly happy with “only a small number” for V. I understand, I just think it’s pushing things. However, there was a lot of good stuff to make up for the quibbles. 9d and 21a are particular favourites. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  30. Much trickier than the average Monday puzzle I thought, but it succumbed eventually and I learned a couple of new words along the way. 21a raised the biggest chuckle.
    Thanks to both Rufus and Miffypops.

  31. I too floundered with retraction for 1a before coming here for succour only to find I wasn’t the only one to have been suckered instead. I suspect this was pay back for last week that some thought easy.

      1. Thanks! Been visiting for a while but yes, first post on this most excellent site. One of those clues where you’re going “It must be RAGE, nothing else fits” but never heard of PET as a tantrum until now. Cheers for the link.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

  32. Hello everyone. My problem was more on SW corner as I penciled Winchester for 14d. Not very good with football. But when it comes to rugby, Toulon won again against our little welsh friends on Sunday. On the way to win the H cup again. Parce que Toulon!!! Thanks to Rufus and MP for the fun review.

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