DT 27643 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27643

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27643

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I thought this a little bland until I started to parse the clues and realised just how many clever clues and misdirections there are. I have waited a while for the chance to include the video clip at 10 across and the reference to Alice gave me the opportunity. Thank you Rufus for that. As we have a few musical references in the puzzle today I have gone with a musical theme to the blog. I hope you like it.

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    Animal with a head for heights (7)
GIRAFFE: I think that this clue only just creeps into cryptic territory. If you are having trouble, think tall animals with long necks and if you still cannot solve the clue – give up.

5a    With air-conditioning being installed, wise to find peace and quiet? (7)
PRIVACY: This is more like it, possibly my favourite clue today. Obvious from the checking letters and the definition at the end. Place (installed) the initial letters of A(ir) C(onditioning) inside an adjective meaning wise or sharing in the knowledge of something secret or private.

9a    New car is on account, but capital is required (5)
ACCRA: The capital city of Ghana formed by an anagram (new) of CAR after our usual suspect AC(count)

10a    Alice pops out of the church (9)
EPISCOPAL: Anagram (out) of ALICE POPS. Thank you Rufus for the opportunity to show the attached video clip. It is well worth the watching.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

11a    One bound to learn his craft (10)
APPRENTICE: A clever all in one clue referring to the practice of being indentured to a trade and the title of one so bound. Mine was in Precision Engineering and has been invaluable despite leaving engineering shortly after my time was served.

12a    Quietly fish in Isle of Man port (4)
PEEL: Place a long thin slithery snakelike fish after the musical notation for piano. Incidentally did you know that PP is pianissimo and PPP is pianississimo. Now there is a word.

14a    Go-ahead to join low-key revolution (12)
ENTERPRISING: And straight away we again get the musical term for piano indicated by the word low-key. Stick it after a verb meaning to join an organisation and before an armed protest or revolt against authority.

18a    Token expletive in defiant response (12)
COUNTERBLAST: A token as might be used in Ludo or Snakes and ladders followed by an exclamation expressing annoyance

21a    Orchestral piece initially written on back of envelope (4)
OBOE: The initial letters of the last four words of the clue will reveal an instrument which is used to tune an orchestra. I tried so hard to justify OPUS for this clue thanks to the excellent misdirection Orchestral piece initially giving the OP

ARVE Error: need id and provider

22a    Type of agent  having insurance? (10)
UNDERCOVER: This clandestine secret agent could be split 5,5 to have valid insurance policies in place

25a    They have telling parts in play (9)
NARRATORS: Those whose speaking parts in a play help to move the story along

26a    Trouble caused by a small number in New York (5)
ANNOY: A charade of A from the clue and the abbreviation for number inside the initial letters of New York

27a    Seamen can put forth in tattered clothing (7)
RATINGS: Non-commissioned sailors in the navy. Place another word for a can inside a word for tattered clothing

28a    Caught girl taking dictionary (7)
LASSOED: A term for a girl followed by the initials for the Oxford English Dictionary

ARVE Error: need id and provider


1d    Leave for a holiday and get lost (2,4)
GO AWAY: A double definition here. The second being rather derogatory

2d    Take Latin (6)
RECIPE: The Latin word for Take. Rather unfair I think. Thank you Big Dave

3d    Brothers terrify ant in play (10)
FRATERNITY: Anagram (in play) of TERRIFY ANT.

4d    Key-hole operation? (5)
EVENT: Our musical theme continues with the key here being a musical key followed by a hole or opening.

5d    A head for capital investment? (9)
PRINCIPAL: Another double definition. The head of a college perhaps.

6d    Move slowly in church (4)
INCH: The answer here is included in the clue but I am not sure that is intentional.

7d    Perfect order for dessert (5-3)
APPLE PIE: I always think that this expression for perfect order is more commonly used in America. As a dessert it is one of those that my late mother did so much better than Saint Sharon probably because my late mother overdosed us on sugar.

8d    Noel’s pieces of firewood? (4,4)
YULE LOGS: The firewood burned at Christmas.

13d    Those in primary education, say, showing excellent form (5-5)
FIRST CLASS: Although we have eight words in the clue this is still a double definition.

15d    To slip up 1-0 against us is wrong (9)
ERRONEOUS: A clever charade here. Take a three letter word meaning to go wrong (slip up). Then ONE (1), O and US.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

16d    Drinking vessel (8)
SCHOONER: Although this is an old chestnut I didn’t get it until late in the solve. A sailing ship with two or more masts and a glass for drinking large measures of sherry.

17d    His word is law at a court building (8)
AUTOCRAT: A cleverly hidden anagram (building) of AT A COURT

19d    Still rings up, nevertheless (4,2)
EVEN SO: No stir in the air, No stir in the sea, The ship was still as she could be. Her sails from heaven received no motion. Her keel was steady on the ocean. Take a word meaning still and add some rings. In this case it’s the round letter and it’s plural and reversed (up).

ARVE Error: need id and provider

20d    Extremely ragged (6)
FRAYED: Torn at the edges.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

23d    One means of support for an artist (5)
EASEL: Is this the oldest and most used chestnut of all? The frame upon which an artist might support his canvas

24d    Fine stuff that you can sit on in summer (4)
LAWN: A fine linen or fabric. A sward.

Still listening to Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes. Much to Saint Sharons’ chagrin.

The Quick Crossword pun: court+arise=cauterise

82 comments on “DT 27643

  1. I’m afraid I go along with MP’s initial reaction – a bit uninspiring for me. Thanks Rufus and MP for musical hints – only needed so as to avoid opus for 21a. No favs. ***/** http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  2. slight correction to 23d, there is only one “s” in canvas

    definition of 24d was new to me, otherwise an enjoyable crossword

    favourite today was 10a

  3. Rather underwhelmed by this puzzle. Despite both of us having Latin O’level (many years ago), we fell at the hurdle of 2D. Did not enjoy, at least it was quick!

  4. Thank you Rufus – I found that very hard and wondered if I would get to the end. I did, with a few “bung it ins” and discovered that one was correct – 2d and the other two were wrong – 4d and 24d. Some very clever clues, but all a bit too much for me ! Many thanks Miffypops for the decode http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  5. Telegraph rated this puzzle 1 for difficulty, but I found 2d and 4d rather obscure

    I liked 22a – 16d brought back some nice memories

    1. You’ve changed your email address!

      The Telegraph ratings are probably based on solving times and a lot of users must solve the puzzle in the newspaper and then enter it online. At least one solver has found a way to cheat the system and achieve impossible solving times. Then there are those who print out the puzzle, which sets the clock running, and don’t submit the puzzle until the evening. The bottom line is that the rating has no value whatsoever. Our rating is based on the reviewers own solving time, and takes account of their own solving ability. I know which I prefer.

        1. Quite.
          They are meaningless.
          A read and write one a week or so ago carried a 5 rating for difficulty.
          Perhaps the DT ought to revise its methodology.

    1. Welcome to the blog Mike

      “Take” it from me it’s RECIPE! It’s an old chestnut in crossword circles, although it only appears occasionally in back-page puzzles. It can be abbreviated to R (see below).

      It’s also used in prescriptions – take the following – and there it is indicated by this symbol:

      1. I bow to your wisdom and experience sir!

        Still, if there is room for debate even after the clue is explained (see comment from F1lbertfox) then the clue could use improvement imho.

        Thank you for the welcome.

          1. The confusion is that RECIPE is part (the present imperative, to be precise) of the Latin for “receive” and is not derived from anything meaning “take”.

            1. Welcome to the blog Martin

              From Chambers:
              noun (plural recipes)
              * Directions for making something, especially a food or drink
              * A prescription (archaic)
              * A method laid down for achieving a desired end
              ORIGIN: Latin recipe take, imperative of recipere

              1. So Chambers doesn’t actually have it as a definition, but merely quotes the Latin to show its roots?
                The Chambers Crossword Dictionary does however show it under take – it’s no. 111 on the list!

      2. Indeed. The ancient apothecaries’ symbols. Libra, Uncia, Drachma, Scrupulus. Haven’t thought about them in years.

  6. I think it took me at least twice as long to get an answer for 2 down as it did for the remainder of today’s puzzle – and still I chose the wrong word – d’oh! I thought Latin for take was ‘capio’, but of course that didn’t fit – so for no clever reasoning I chose the word ‘recept’ as I thought it sort of fits. Still trying to get my head around recipe, as I really can’t understand the connection. Otherwise a gentle enough start to the crosswording week, Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

      1. Ah well, I’m going to use my ‘RECIPE’ for a batch of Chocolate Fridge Cakes later – that recipe will do me nicely, lol. ;-)

  7. 3*/3*. I thought this was very enjoyable but I have downgraded from 4* to 3* on account of 2d. Like F1lbertfox I spent a very long time on it – my school Latin teacher will be turning in his grave!

    The second meaning of 24d was a new word for me, and my geography of the IOM is severely limited so 12a was a “bung it in” job. I must also confess to misspelling 15d having wrongly parsed “to slip up” as “err on” :oops:

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  8. I agree with 2* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    I didn’t have “Monday Trouble” – well, not as much as usual anyway.
    Thought we were a bit low on anagrams today and completely missed the cunningly concealed indicator in 17d which was my last answer.
    I didn’t know the IOM port but did know 2d from being a nurse – a prescription starts with an R with a long tail and a thingy going through it which I can’t do on a keyboard. All we had to do then was decipher precisely what it was the doctors had prescribed – appalling writing seems to go with the job.
    21a took ages and so did 11a – escapist was too short (and not really right anyway) and escapologist was too long.
    I liked 10 and 22a and 24d. My favourite was 1d.
    Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  9. Entertaining crossword spoiled by one stupid clue, like F1L bert fox, assumed 2d was latin for take, but when I looked this up the same word , ‘capio’ came up ,which obviously didn’t fit the clue as this was the last in and I was sure of the other 3 letters. Overall I would give it ***/*** as it was more difficult than appeared on first reading. Thanks Miffypops for the ‘pics’-Keith,Gene and the two R’s all on one blog!.

  10. For me too – I think the whole point is that you should not need specialised ‘uncommon’ knowledge to solve these puzzles

  11. ***/***.
    Well that’s blown the cobwebs away this morning with quite a few bung it in moments. I parsed 12a correctly but had no idea about the actual port. I didn’t see the anagram for 17d so just guessed at the answer. I needed the hint for 24d and still got it wrong.
    the more I look back on it the more I see how clever it is. It’s just me that’s not. 2d didn’t cause a problem but it took me an age to gets 5a and therefore couldn’t see 8d. Hey ho. I take comfort in the fact I’ve nearly finished yesterdays Mephisto. Although I guessed at a few answers there too.
    Favourite clues were 22a and 15d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for your usual brilliant blog. I really need to learn the skills in the video for 28a. Allsorts of mischief I could get up.
    Another glorious day in N.Yorks, marred by the fact I am at my desk. I hope everyone is well today,

  12. Thanks miffypops I needed a couple of hints today.I thought that 12A was in Liverpool, is it also in the IOM or am I being thick as is the norm? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  13. Finished a little earlier than usual with not much recourse to hints but when I read them were fun.

    On the whole enjoyable with the odd one or two that irked e.g. 1a and 18a I’m not sure why.

    Favourite is 22a

    Thank you Rufus and Miffypops

  14. I enjoyed his puzzle, tricky enough to please when I got the answer! I particularly liked 14a and 2d (long-ago memories of Latin classes helped there). My final answer was 4d – often the shortest are the most difficult. ***/***

  15. A treat to do most of the puzzle with my lovely cup of free Waitrose – cappocino! – confused with 24d initially on the beach Thanks again!

  16. I enjoyed this though sometimes I feel Rufus takes me on a very strange journey between sublimely subtle cryptic definitions and old chestnutty schoolboy puns – all perfectly crafted, of course. I was lucky with 2d, I could see the cryptic definition easily enough but I don’t know any Latin. However, my first guess of the answer was confirmed on looking it up. I struggled more with the expletive in 18a – how to be sure this was right with few checks? but the answer was also confirmed in brb.

    Favourites were 28a ( caught girl) and 21a (orchestral piece)

    Thank you Rufus and miffypops also for the Alice clock ( I think)

  17. As usual I came up short on the Monday Rufus … needed the explanations for 4d and 24d.

    Great review from Miffypops (as usual) – especially clever to include the brilliant Two Ronnies’ Sketch!

  18. Well, this started quite well really, but in the end we had to resort to the hints to finish. I put recipe in simply because I couldn’t think of anything else to fit, without knowing why. 1 across didn’t seem particularly cryptic I didn’t think, but all in all we enjoyed the Monday puzzle as we usually do. Thank you setter and Miffypops.

  19. Favourite for this puzzle is definitely the brilliant review from MP! Gene Kelly, Alice clock, Two Ronnies – just what I needed to face a Monday.
    Completely missed the anag. in 17d but got there happily enough without it.
    Fell headlong into the ‘opus’ trap at 21a.
    10a – I’d love to see someone try to get ppp into a grid!

    Thanks to Rufus and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif to MP.

    1. Agreed Jane. Writing a clue for ppp would be fantastic. I wonder how many of us would spot it?
      How did your very busy weekend go?

      1. Hi Hanni, hectic weekend finally came to an end – everything successfully completed!

        Lots more ‘hectic’ to come! The newly-engaged daughter has had to wave a temp. farewell to her sea-going partner and is due to return to the nest on Thursday evening. She’ll be with me all the way through ’til early January, with her other half joining us when he gets back – just before Christmas.

        Cleaning and shopping in full swing! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

        1. Gosh that’s harsh him having to go away so soon. Hope the cleaning is going well.
          I thought about you over the weekend. I was out with friends and I spotted an unusual bird, well I thought so, and was reliably informed that it was a male snow bunting? Something like that. My knowledge of ornithology is awfil. I’m pretty good at spotting the very large owl that sits in a tree nearby. But I’m fairly certain that a toddler could do that!

          1. They’re lovely little birds – we’ve got a few of them around on the coast at the moment, along with some Lapland Buntings, but they’re certainly not common. Well done you for spotting it – the ‘birding’ bug just might get you one of these days! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

            1. Oddly enough it was on the coast. Runswick Bay. I’m not usually good at spotting these things. Did used to get a kick out of seeing the Golden Eagles when I lived on the west coast of Scotland. Seriously huge.

    2. I agree wholeheartedly. Singin’ in the Rain one of my most favourite films ever and the 4 Candles episode of the 2 Ronnies probably their funniest (IMHO). Very nostalgic and IMHO the hints much more entertaining than the puzzle itself. Thanks again MP.

  20. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I didn’t study Latin, but luckily I remembered 2d from another puzzle ages ago. Last in was 24d, which I guessed right, having never heard of the less usual definition. Some really clever clues, favourite was 15d. Was 2*/4* for me. Was lovely and sunny earlier, but now dull in Central London.

    1. It’s sunny where I’m staying in South Ken right now, but it rained on me during my run earlier. Fortunately, that happened after I was nicely warmed up, so it was positively welcome :).

  21. After yesterday’s delight, I join those of you who are feeling a little underwhelmed. That may well mainly be due to my ego being dented since, unusually for a Monday, I needed a little help. 2d was a guess, I didn’t know the 24d fabric, and 11a, 14a, 22a, 27a and 7d all provided opportunities for Mr Kitty to beat me. Grr!

    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the usual entertaining review http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif.

  22. Not bad start to the week, best clue was 15d. Last in was 2d, Haven’t studied Latin for 30 years!

  23. Another excellent, and subtle, Monday crossword from Rufus which always starts the week off well and many thanks to MP for some excellent, and funny hints

  24. Quite enjoyable, but a little obscure. I also had ‘recept’ for 2d. Liked 20d and 28a. Thought 23d was barely cryptic. Thanks to all.

  25. As usual, I was right on wavelength with Rufus. I had no problem with 2d, even knowing no Latin, I worked on the theory that all recipes start “take six eggs …” or whatever!
    It took a long time to see the anagram in 17d but got there in the end.
    Loved, loved your Alice clock, M’pops, thank you for that.
    When I was young, I had many “frocks” made of Liberty lawn with pretty sprigs of flowers, very apt for young girls, so no problem with that.
    Fave was 13d.
    Thanks Rufus, and to M’pops for the review.

  26. ***/*. Not very satisfying today and 2d was a total mystery for me – I have now googled the answer and it provides confirmation although googling Latin for take doesn’t help at all. Thanks to MP for the review.

  27. As a recently retired GP, 2d was a cinch and I thought I was onto a medical roll with 4d but eventually realised “keyhole” was non-medical and liked the the answer even more for the diversion.
    The other Latin abbreviation we used to add to hand written prescriptions was “sig” .
    Meaning ” let it be labelled” but I don’t think I’ve seen it used in crosswords.

  28. Good fun, and as the Rookie Corner (and that is really good fun too), was not available at that time, we went to the Guardian for our second dose of Rufus. As we had also had a couple of the weekend puzzles to catch up on too, it ended up as quite a full crosswordy day. Who said anything about addiction!.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

  29. Late input from me as was at one of the Leiden hospitals for eye checkup after laser treatment some weeks ago. All OK! Next step is ordering new spectacles.

    Pleasant fare from Rufus!

    Faves : 5a, 14a, 28a, 2d, 7d & 24d.

  30. A little more difficult than usual for a Monday I thought. Good tho’, no real favourites and no real problems.
    Thanks Rufus and good revue MP!

  31. Thanks , Miffypops, for explaining 21a. I too spent a while trying to force opus in.A very pleasant puzzle , lots of write ins, but not too many.

  32. Another one who did Latin at school and had never heard of the 2D version. I needed your help for 4D, otherwise fairly straightforward but certainly more than 1* for difficulty – 3* for enjoyment.

  33. Splendid start to the week thanks to Miffypops and Rufus you have made a liitle old lady very happy. Perhaps I am too easily pleased but I had a lovely time my fave rave was 10a for no better reason than I loved the sound of the word.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    1. It is a lovely word Hilary. I hope you had a peek at the video. Saint Sharon and I were in Belfast recently and went to see The Alice Clock. I hope the week brings success and you can stay out of the cupboard under the stairs. We called it the bogeyhole.

  34. 2d was my Achilles heel too; there are lots of holes in my knowledge of Latin, and that clue dropped neatly into one of them. Otherwise fair enough, if not particularly gripping. 2.5*/3* for me, and 28a my pick of the clues. Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

  35. Thoroughtly enjoyed today – even though 2d was our last in. Did Latin at school, as did pommers, but we both only remembered it at the last minute. 2*/4* for me.
    I made some lovely floaty tops and dresses in the 60’s and 70’s out of 24d – so didn’t struggle with this one.
    And as for 12a we only ever managed to go there once when the seas were calm in the Irish Sea. The west coast of the IoM can be pretyy nasty if there is any wind blowingm and there is no really safe and secure harbour – but 12a is very pretty and the nearest you’ll get!
    Thanks to Rufus for an enjoyable start to the week and to Miffypops for your usual excellent review.

    1. I never did latin at school, no opportunity . Really wish I had as would have helped in languages and in the last few days in solving. Thanks to BD I have a new school ;)

      1. Dont worry about Latin – agree can be useful with the origin of words but what a pain for weekend homework!

  36. I had completely forgotten about the crossword after watching the videos. I took my children to see the Stones a few years ago as I thought it may be the Stones last concert. Alice reminds me of Southwold Pier and Tim Hunkin’s Water Clock. 2d was fine and opus was there until I twigged. 24d was a fill in first time. I needed the help with 4d and 26a. Thank you Rufus and Miffypops.

      1. We live near Southwold and when I could still walk we always took any visitors to the Pier and tried to time it right. Most people guffawed but there were a few pursed lips and we never viewed them in the same light again.

  37. Well done!!…. I don’t get long enough during the week to complete this enjoyable challenge and your help and guidance is most welcome. Thanks !!!

  38. Thanks very much to Rufus and to Miffypops. I enjoyed this which was ok with a few nudges from the blog. Favourites were 8d and 15d.

  39. i agree with all the negative views on recipe, i did latin and greek at school and i have to say that is a very poor clue with a very dubious solution

    1. As I mentioned earlier, this has been used in many previous crosswords by a variety of setters and is given in Chambers, the setters bible, so I fail to see how it is a poor clue. It usually appears as “take” in the clue which represents “R” in the wordplay, so it would be better to file it away for future reference than to whinge about it being used.

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