DT 27637 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27637

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27637

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I solved and reviewed this early today because Saint Sharon wants to see The Poppies at The Tower Of London. I didn’t know they did gigs at The Tower and I have no idea what songs The Poppies sang. I suppose she has to get her own back for the number of times I have inflicted Bob Dylan and Van Morrison upon her. Wish me luck. An excellent and tricky puzzle today which took a little longer than usual especially the North East (Top Right) corner.

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    Star, a bit dim, is embarrassed and diminutive (3,5)
RED DWARF: Place a verb which means to cause to appear small or insignificant in comparison after our usual crosswordland colour denoting embarrassment to find a star less bright than our own sun

6a    Impressive  time of the year (6)
AUGUST: On of our twelve months also doubly defines itself as respected and impressive

9a    He reviews  one with opposing views (6)
CRITIC: E.G. Kenneth Tynan, Clive James. Charles Spencer, Matthew Norman who have all written for The Daily Telegraph.

10a    Really fancy outing on a ferry (5,3)
YEARN FOR: A delightful anagram here with a lovely surface read and an indicator that is not immediately obvious. I would like to see more anagrams like this.

11a    A chartered accountant meant to retire for the scholastic life (8)
ACADEMIA: This is the world I sit in when studying for my Open University degree. First take the A from the clue and the abbreviation for Chartered Accountant. Now find a word meaning meant or targeted and reverse it as indicated by the word retire in the clue

12a    Rise in prices, perhaps, left east of Paris ruined (6)
SPIRAL: Anagram (ruined) of PARIS followed by (East of) L(eft)

13a    Few vehicles about, but this will control them (7,5)
TRAFFIC LIGHT: Red Amber Green. Need I say more?

16a    Seems return for my passage will be by end of day — pity! (4,8)
FEEL SYMPATHY: This clue is a charade. Split 5,2,4,1, It works as follows. Take the plural of a word that means to experience an emotion or sensation. Add the reverse (return) of the word my, a word meaning a passage, way or track, and the final letter (end of) the word day. There now that wasn’t too difficult was it?

19a    Horses  one’s used in a racket (6)
STRING: Golly Bongs what a lot of definitions this word has. Rufus has given us two of them here. One used as a plural and one in the singular. The horses are a group of racehorses trained at one stable. I have also heard Polo Ponies descried as such. For the reference to the racket mentioned in the clue think Tennis and catgut.

21a    Pound note put back in share account (8)
RELATION: Take our usual abbreviation for £1 add the third note of the musical scale. Reverse them both (put back) and insert them into a word which means a share.

23a    Cadger is going off in shame (8)
DISGRACE: Anagram (going off) of CADGER IS will reveal a state I seemed to be constantly in at senior school

24a    Support attempt to back horse to come first (6)
GANTRY: Split 3,3 you need a tired old horse reversed ( back) and a word meaning attempt

25a    Change into  suit (6)
BECOME: A double definition and a fine pair they are too.

26a    Nurse that is meeting son’s agreements (8)
TREATIES: Find a word which means to nurse, doctor, or give medical care to. Add the Latin abbreviation for that is (id est) and add the S from S(on)


2d    No rice pudding for Caruso, for instance (6)
ENRICO: An anagram (pudding) (love it love it love it) of NO RICE will give Caruso’s first name.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

3d    Old-fashioned but popular with the boys (5)
DATED: Elvis Costello wrote and sang this line. “You may not be an old fashioned girl but you’re gonna get *****. Dave Edmunds covered it

4d    Escort agency is brought to account (9)
ACCOMPANY: Take a word meaning a firm or agency and add it to the abbreviation for an account.

5d    Rugby player is crafty one of a pair (3,4)
FLY HALF: Standing next to the scrum half this player can be the bane of an inside centres life. Note to players in this position, passing is not illegal

ARVE Error: need id and provider

6d    A lot to collect (5)
AMASS: A double definition. Split 1,4 you need A from the clue and a large body of matter.

7d    Culture for breeding (9)
GENTILITY: Another glorious double definition. The first meaning to have the quality of social superiority as demonstrated by polite and respectable manners, behaviour, or appearances. .

8d    Tolerates  corporations (8)
STOMACHS: One of the last ones in and dragged from the back of my mind due to the word corporation giving the answer Tum some weeks ago which was the cause of comment on the blog. A double definition the second of which can be solved by thinking of another word for your tum

13d    Addressing some criticism (7-2)
TALKING TO: A dressing down such as a person in authority might give to a wayward underling

14d    List and a record used in acute novel (9)
CATALOGUE: Anagram (novel) of ACUTE including the A from the clue and a record such as might be written by the captain of a ship.

15d    Sit a certain way for the ideal journey? (8)
BESTRIDE: How one might sit on a horse. Split 4,4 it might make for the ideal journey. It is one of the many reasons I married Saint Sharon. (Oh er missus)

17d    Flawlessly finished, though tense (7)
PERFECT: A double definition. The second being something to do with English grammar.

18d    Path  that students may take (6)
COURSE: Another double definition which should not give too much trouble.

20d    Elegance of a short prayer (5)
GRACE: The opposite of 23 across. The short prayer may be said before a meal perhaps. Here are some examples.

Lord who walked in Palestine, And turned the water into wine, Please forgive us foolish men, Who strive to turn it back again. (Harry Walker President of Coventry Rugby Club and 99 years old.)

Rub a dub dub, Thanks for the grub (Bart Simpson)

Thanks Mate, For what’s on my plate. (Anon)

22d    Conviction that can be reversed? (5)
TENET: A palindrome (can be reversed) of a principle or belief, especially one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy. Copied and pasted after a google search.

Solved whilst listening to disc one of Dylan’s Basement tapes. I will let you know what The Poppies sounded like next week.

The Quick Crossword pun: seek+whence=sequence

Crypticsue’s pictures of The Poppies at The Tower:
poppies 2 poppies 1poppies 3

70 comments on “DT 27637

  1. 1*/3.5*. I found this almost read and write except that I just couldn’t get 25a without revealing the answer above. Nevertheless I did enjoy this with the usual Rufus light touch in evidence throughout. 13a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.

  2. Thank you Rufus for an enjoyable puzzle. Like you MP the NE corner was the last in. Many thanks for the review and hints. Have a wonderful day at The Tower. We know a few people who have been and I gather it is quite an emotional experience. We haven’t been but have bought one of the poppies.

    1. It is indeed quite an experience to see all those poppies and what they represent. The photos I took and those you see in the press aren’t quite the same as seeing it for real.

  3. Thanks to Rufus but special thanks to Miffypops for the video clip for 5d – a truly magnificent moment in the history of the great game. Roll on 2015!

  4. ***/***
    I really don’t help myself at times. I completely messed up the NE corner too. I wrote in gravidity for 7d and convinced myself it was correct. This messed up the anagram I had for 10a and the answer I knew to be right for 6d. I’ve rubbed out and replaced so much of the corner, the paper’s nearly worn through.
    15d and 25a kept eluding me and 26a required me to use the Miffypops rule.
    There were some lovely clues though. 1a stands out, with my favourite being 22d. Pallindromes are fantastic things.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the entertaining blog. Very humorous as always. :-)
    It’s beautifully sunny here in N. Yorks and I’ll be stuck inside all day. Hope everyone has had a good weekend.

  5. Very pleasant APART from the dreadful top right corner. Sorry to disagree with Miffypops but I thpught 10a was a perfectly awful anagram. For me ** but top right pushs it into a *****. Shame because the rest was great but that part totally ruined the puzzle for me. Tell you what, 8d turned mine, dreadful clue!
    Did like 13a and 1a.
    Thx to Miffypops.

      1. An awful anagram is one Brian can’t solve. A perfectly awful anagram is one he can’t solve at all.

    1. I’m far from an expert solver, but I loved the anagram for 10a. Perhaps there was a slight bit of subterfuge on first pass, but that made it all the more fun.

  6. A bit of a strange offering today as far as I am concerned. Some very good clues (13A,7D for example) and some very poor and laboured ones (10A and 16A) I needed the hints in order to complete. I would rate this as 4*/2* There was a grace which went “Bless this bunch as they crunch their lunch”. Thanks to Miffypops for his thorough and humorous review.

  7. I found it quite easy apart from the SE corner which I struggled with but managed to finish it without help. I couldn’t work out why 16a was that but got it with the checking letters. Thanks for the explanation. 1a, 25a and 13a were the favourites. Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

  8. I’m not going to argue with 3* and 3*.
    Lots of these took me quite a long time – in fact the whole thing has. It’s one of those that, having finished, makes me wonder why I had trouble.
    16a – I thought anagram except it obviously wasn’t – that took a while to sort out.
    Most of my problems were in the bottom left corner, apart from 10a which I didn’t see for ages.
    I spent too long barking up the wrong tree with 7d and trying to make it something to do with bugs in a laboratory.
    19a and 15d were my last ones.
    I liked 10 and 25a and 7 and 8d. My favourite was 13a.
    Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops – hope that you have a good day.
    I’m a terrible “sneezel weasel” – the technical term in our family for someone with a beastly cold. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    1. Poor you – I guess that means the Pet Lambs will come down with it as well. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
      Unless, of course, they brought it to you!

      1. No – they didn’t bring it – I got it the day they arrived which is far too soon. If they haven’t caught it from me they’ll have a second chance on Wednesday. We’re going to have dinner with them in London as Bonfire Night is elder Lambs birthday – by then husband will probably have caught it from me.

    2. I loved Christopher Robin’s wheezles and sneezes :)

      I hope you are tucked up and feel better soon Kath.

    3. Thanks Hanni, Carrie and Rick – I love A.A.Milne too – less keen on the large Scotch as I already have a headache! I don’t really feel ill – just snuffly and snotty – too much information probably and anyway it’s only attention seeking behaviour! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

      1. Well, I think you’re allowed a little self indulgence when you’ve got a cold and it’s certainly not attention seeking! Have you seen men with colds?
        I’m still with Rick on the large Scotch/ultimate hot toddy ;-)
        Might not be around tomorrow but hope you feel a little better.
        Carrie. I love Christopher Robin too!

  9. Can’t decide which I enjoyed more – the puzzle or MP’s review. I do hope that Saint Sharon forgives you (in time) for your revelation at 15d. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif
    25a and 8d were the last ones in – didn’t know alternative definition for the latter so it was a bit of a bung in.
    Favourite has to be 13a although I also really liked 1&16a.
    Thanks to Rufus for a delightful accompaniment to the ironing and to MP for making me laugh as usual.

    I hadn’t come across Golly Bongs before but intend to put that phrase high up on my list of ‘polite’ swear words. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  10. Good start to the week – thanks Rufus for that and MP for such explicit hints which I enjoyed reading although they weren’t needed today but NE did hold me up a bit. Liked 13a, 24a, 8d and 17d. ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gifMP – hope the crowds at The Tower weren’t too horrendous. I gather they are now trying to discourage people from going. Such a terrific tribute though.

  11. I found this a bit of a ‘plod’ with no outstanding favorites and I managed to finish before lights out last night – still it and Saturday’s puzzle have helped me get back into the swing of solving after a six ‘disruptive’ international business trips over the last few months. And, I always enjoy a MP review!

  12. Solved this puzzle in four clockwise quarters from the NW, no real holdups so a **/*** for me. Short snappy clues-right up Rabbit Dave’s street, known as a ‘Phil Silvers’ in the trade. Thanks Miffypops for the ‘pics’,remember Mr Caruso from my grandparents, big thick 78’s on a wind up gramophone with needles! oh and thanks for 5A-always worth a showing.

  13. As soon as I’d put in the NW and SE corners quite quickly, I thought “uh-oh”. Got the SW after quite a slog (15d and 19a were clever), I then met the NE with trepidation…..

    I didn’t think 10a was an awful anagram, but it was naughty….having got the Y from 5d, I thought it would be a cinch, then noticed THREE words on the clue with Y in them. Didn’t get 6a for ages because I was faffing about trying to get both ‘advent’ and ‘autumn’ to fit.

    Good workout and sympathise with Kath as am also infected. I blame public transport in London last week……

    1. I hope you feel better too Bluebird. I frequently blame London public transport for things. Usually with no correlation to an actual event but I still blame it. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    2. Let’s have a race to get better – something to aim for always helps. I have to confess that I’m really making a fuss about nothing – hope that you’re not really grotty.

  14. I found it quite easy except for the NE corner. I have no idea why 8d is the answer it is – the first part of the clue is clear – but the second????? The hint above did not make it any clearer for my slow wits.

    2*/3* for me.

    1. George, Chambers gives one definition of corporation as ‘belly, especially a pot belly’. It’s an old crossword favourite – file it away for future use.

      1. I suppose I need to get a Chambers dictionary, as this meaning doesn’t seem to appear in the OED or other dictionaries I have.

  15. **/***. No real favourites but no problems either. I, for one, like the unusual clues, so agree with MP about 10a. Thanks to all.

  16. Nice Monday offering, which means that we could do it, more or less so thank you to the setter and to Miffypops. I’m sure you’re right CS about the poppies, but even the TV pictures are spectacular. I wish we too could go to see them to pay our respects to all those who have given their lives for us.

  17. Thanks to Rufus for a super puzzle. I needed the hint for 25a, somehow just didn’t see it. Fave was 13a. Thanks, too, to M’pops for the entertaining review, in particular 20d!

  18. I did not feel this was typically Rufusian as I was solving it – can’t put my finger on why. I too looked at a lot of blank spaces in the NE corner until 6a went in and got me back on track. That took it into 2* territory for me. I agree with MP that 10a is a terrific anagram – awfully good even!

  19. Straightforward until the bottom left corner for which I resorted to two hints. Thanks to all.

  20. I enjoyed this today and didn’t find it too tricky. Unusually for me I seemed to be on Rufus’s wavelength . My favourite clue was 15d which was also my last one in.

  21. I really enjoyed it – I’ve done the cryptic, the quick, Herculis and the two Sudoko’s this morning – it’s been all go!

  22. I did find this puzzle a bit more difficult than the usual Monday Rufus but none the less enjoyable for that. Many thanks Rufus and thanks to Miffypops for the hints which came in very useful

    1. Glad I wasn’t the only one to struggle with this one… in fact I admit I had to come here early for the first time ever on a Monday. I don’t think I really enjoyed doing it but now it’s done and I look at it as a whole, what an excellent puzzle this was. Lots of misdirection, humour and clever clue construction… and that’s just Miffypops’ review! :-) seriously, many thanks to Rufus for making making my brain work a bit harder for a Monday and to Miffypops for helping so eruditely when it didn’t work hard enough.

  23. Feel very contrary today after reading so many complimentary comments ! I struggled with the SW corner, especially 18a, 25a and 15d but found the top half of puzzle easy. Thought some clues boring eg 11a, 24 a, which have appeared many times…..13a was easy but amusing as was 8d. 3*/2 on the whole. Does anyone recall the Manx cat clue some years ago ? I remember finding it one of the funniest ! Off on hol. tomorrow to the Cotswolds – no shop in village so shall have to wait for my ” D. T.” alas.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  24. Enjoyable fare from Rufus to get one off for the week!

    Faves : 19a & 15d.

    Rain bucketing down today!

  25. I am generally nowhere near to being on Rufus’s wavelength at all, but over the last month I’ve tried to knuckle-down and persevere when stuck and it seems to have paid off a bit. I found this around 2* difficulty I think. I find it difficult to reconcile the given difficulty level on Monday as most people have it on a 1 or 2 star and I generally think it to be around 3 at least….

    The rest of the week I’m able to pretty much relate to the given star for difficulty, so I think it’s just Monday’s that seem to go a bit boss-eyed for me.

    Anyway, thanks to MP for the amusing review and to Rufus **/***

  26. An excellent crossword. I understand the concern about 8d but the older reader may remember a comic postcard of the post war era with s picture of a large pompous red-faced obese town mayor standing alone in his pomp. … The caption read The Mayor and his Corporation” . Been doing this crossword for ages but the first time I have ever commented. Some great clues.Thank you.

    1. Welcome Roger. Now you’ve ‘delurked’ I hope we’ll see more comments from you in the future.

  27. We also thought that this one was a little trickier than we often see on a Monday. We are constantly amazed that someone who has produced so many thousands of puzzles over a very long career, can still inject such wit and spontaneity into his puzzles. A truly great talent.
    Many thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

  28. Hmm, bit more of a scramble than usual for a Monday but still a very good puzzle I have to say. I liked the anagram in 10a, very sneaky! However I have to admit that although I should have known better as it does appear in one form or another quite often, I was beaten by 25a
    Oh well. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif
    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  29. My first in was 19a – hardly surprising as a big treat for me on misty early mornings was seeing the strings of racehorses being taken out to the Gallops at Newmarket and seeing these great beasts steaming gently as they pulled up… Anyway, was terribly pleased with myself for having actually remembered to wait before writing in a ‘c’ for the last letter of 11a. I think this means I’m actually picking up the hints!! Thanks to setter & Miffypops. Hope you had a good day at the Tower. Mr P. and I were deeply moved when we visited – not least thinking that if each beautiful poppy was instead a dummy of a full sized human, the Tower itself would have been buried from view. A shocking thought. We too have bought a poppy, but I don’t think we get them until next year? Greetings to all.

  30. Very enjoyable. Top right was a struggle. 10 and 15 were a light bulb moments when I realised where the clue was leading me.

    Don’t get 8d

    Favourite 13a

    Thank you Rufus and Miffypops

    1. Carrie – re 8d – go back to comment 15 on the first page of comments – or look in the ‘Usual Suspects’ bit.

  31. Rufus fans are thrice blessed today. In addition to his usual spot in the Grauniad he has also contributed the prize puzzle in the FT (as Dante) – both available to download online.

  32. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very difficult puzzle to start the week. I always struggle with double definitions, and so it was no surprise that I needed the hints for 6a,7d&25a. Also missed the anagram in 12a. Not my day. Favourite was 13a. Was 4*/3* for me.

  33. Dire day weatherwise in East Suffolk, new neighbour moved in and I am feeling sad because 1. I have just parted from a cherished friend and 2. I couldn’t do the crossword today. Back to cupboard under the stairs with my box of tissues.

    1. Oh dear – poor you.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif The weather will get better, the new neighbour might become a friend and as for the crossword – well, it is, after all, only a crossword. My Dad would have said “Worse things happen at sea”, so come out from the cupboard under the stairs.

  34. Quite challenging puzzle from Rufus. I found a few clues cleverly misleading like 10a. 13a made me laugh. It’s the kind of thing you would expect to hear from a chinaman. Thanks to MP for the very personal review and to Rufus again

  35. I too struggled a bit with the SW corner, which nudged the overall difficulty up to about 2.5*, but have no particular favourite clue. Thanks to Rufus for raising the bar a little on the usual Monday fare, and to Miffypops for the review.

  36. ***/*** for me. I had never come across 8d but it was the only word that fitted. Apart from that an enjoyable solve with thanks to the setter and MP for the review.

  37. Not the easiest Monday solve, necessitating a 6 crossword dictionary lookups and short cutting 2 anagrams. I enjoyed 3d. 20d and 22d and the lovely Santa Lucia clip. Many thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

    1. You’ve changed your alias since your last comment so this needed moderation. Both aliases should work from now on.
      In 12a the L(eft) is to the east of (i.e. follows) the anagram of Paris.

        1. I have just read my hint again and it is a little clumsy. Due to rushing as we needed to get off to London. Sorry for that David Jefferson

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