DT 27649 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27649

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27649

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

A mixed bag from Rufus today with nothing too strenuous. We do have rather a lot of strong alcoholic spirits but we can temper the effects of such with the water and food Rufus has kindly provided at 27 and 15 across.

In the hints and tips below definitions are underlined in the clue. The hints and tips are there to help. If you really need an answer click on the shaded area and the answer will appear

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    Vicissitudes rarely encountered in Holland (3,3,5)
UPS AND DOWNS:    One of the definitions of vicissitude is “alternation between opposite or contrasting things” which might help towards the solution. A one letter change to that definition gives “altercation between opposite or contrasting things. Which might also help with solving. Either way Holland is a flat country so does not have many of these. I hope that helps. If not you can rely upon the checking letters and the fact that three letter words in long clues are usually either AND or THE. Vicissitudes in the clue is plural so at least one word will end in the letter S. Hopefully the rest of the puzzle will allow me to be more succinct

9a    Relation seen in public performance (9)
OPERATION:    Place a noun meaning the quantitative relation between two amounts showing the number of times one value contains or is contained within the other inside an adjective meaning in public

10a    Partygoer in right state (5)
RAVER:    Place the initial letter of R(ight) before a verb meaning to state or assert to be the case.

11a    Resident at home, needing companion (6)
INMATE:    Our usual suspect for at home followed by a word meaning chum or pal will reveal a resident, a guest of Her Majesty perhaps

12a    Force acquiring thousands by way of business (8)
COMMERCE:    I have seen this clue before and remember wrestling fiercely with it. It raised its cheeky head again today and got slapped quickly down. We need to start with a verb meaning to persuade (an unwilling person) to do something by using force or threats, into which we add (acquiring) two of the Roman Numerals for thousand. We need two of these because the word thousands in the clue is plural

13a    Fool that’s popular, backing another fool (6)
NITWIT:    We are back with the crosswordland favourite word for popular but this time reversed (backing) apply another fool to this and amazingly we get another word meaning fool. This simple concise well written clue is a joy.

15a    Nothing lost in getting every necessity provided (3,5)
ALL FOUND:    The opposite of nothing lost means to have everything provided. Often used in hotels and guest houses but originally used in connection with wages for employment where food and lodging were provided.

18a    Patient had to give up work (8)
RESIGNED:    A double definition. The second meaning to have voluntarily given up work.

19a    Mourn death of George, King and Emperor, the night before (6)
GRIEVE:    With a small thank you to Big Dave. How one might abbreviate George, King and Emperor (Georgius Rex Imperator (Latin) – GRI) followed by a word indicating the night before Christmas perhaps.

21a    This ruler won’t give an inch (8)
DICTATOR:    This ruler is not used for measurement. This ruler will rule by total power.

23a    Sound sort of artist (6)
STRAIT:    Anagram (sort of) of ARTIST providing a watery sound,

26a    Class or form taking English (5)
CASTE:    To form or to mould followed by E(nglish)

27a    Water for a mother pig (5,4)
ADAM’S WINE:    Split 1,3,5, we have A from the clue. A word meaning Mother (Sire would be the father) and a word for pig or pigs in general. Split 5,4 they give us a term meaning water. More frequently seen with the second word replaced by ale

28a    Go flat out to broadcast good golf score (6-5)
SPREADEAGLE:    Take a word meaning broadcast and a golfing term meaning to score two under par to reveal a term meaning to stretch someone out with their arms and legs extended.


1d    Upper-class chief Scotsman finds too good to be true (7)
UTOPIAN:    Take our usual single letter suspect meaning Upper-class, a three letter word meaning chief and the name crosswordland has chosen for a Scotsman when it doesn’t want to use the word MAC. The answer is to do with a novel written by Sir Thomas More in 1516. It also describes my life with Saint Sharon but not her life with me.

2d    South side, it’s hot and humid (5)
STEAM:    S(outh) and a word for a side in sports such as cricket or Rugby

3d    The gin ran out — almost a disaster (4,5)
NEAR THING:    Anagram (out) of THE GIN RAN. I hope the gin never runs out, or the tonic, or the lemons.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

4d    Spot an ineffectual person (4)
DRIP:    A double definition the first of which is slightly obscure and means to rain slightly

5d    Express desire but in an irresponsible way (8)
WANTONLY:    Split 4,4 – to express desire and a word meaning but. Combined it means to behave in a sexually immodest or promiscuous manner

6d    Play in street to get drink (5)
STRUM:    To play a guitar or similar instrument by sweeping the thumb up or down the strings. The abbreviation for street and an alcoholic drink made with sugar cane or molasses

7d    Foreshadow an empty decanter? (7)
PORTEND:    A sign of warning. Maybe that the after dinner drink has run out.

8d    Proposal to provide public with running water (8)
OVERTURE:    Public as in done or shown openly followed by a river which flows through the Yorkshire Dales until it reaches Cuddy Shaw Reach and changes its name to The Ouse

14d    Match-box trial (4,4)
TEST CASE:    This match is a sporting tie between two nations. The box might be used for luggage.

16d    Anticipation of what might be set for tea (9)
FORETASTE:    Only our third anagram of the day so far. It follows the order of definition, indicator, fodder.

17d    Elegant braid one may make (8)
DEBONAIR:    Anagram number four which is made up differently to the one above and is less obvious with a possible anagram indicator at either end which could misdirect. The order follows thus, definition, fodder, indicator

18d    Politician, liar and cad needs to reform (7)
RADICAL:    To complete a trio of anagrams we have an anagram (needs to reform) of LIAR and CAD

20d    It’s the absolute end! (7)
EXTREME:    Furthest from a given point

22d    The regions are as follows (5)
AREAS:    The answer here is given in the clue – ARE followed by AS

24d    Maturing drink in silver container (5)
AGING:    One of the aforementioned drinks inside the chemical element symbol for silver

25d    American lawman given thanks for information (4)
DATA:    A D(istrict) A(ttorney) and our shortened word of thanks.

On Saturday 28ac stumped me. I had four out of seven letters and stared and stared at the clue which refused to give up its secrets. I returned to the clue on Sunday and after an age worked out the second letter and why it must be so. I now had five out of seven letters and still the answer would not come I did my usual trick of going through the alphabet letter by letter and still nothing. Today I returned to it and the answer came. It is so obvious and so simple that it has made a complete 28ac of me. For those of you who are new to solving cryptic crossword puzzles take heart. Those of us who have been at it forever still fall down.

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

88 comments on “DT 27649

  1. A pleasant and easy ride which kicks off the week nicely. Thanks Rufus and also MP for explaining 9a. Fav a tie between 27a and 28a. */***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  2. 1.5*/3.5*. The usual Monday fun! A tiny bit more than one star for difficulty today and a bit over 3* for enjoyment.

    My short list of goodies is 1a, 13a & 27a.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP – what a great picture of a kitten!

  3. Almost a read & write in today but there’s always one that I just couldn’t get what makes it worse is the fact that it was only a four letter word two of which I already had. Favourite clue for me was 27A, many thanks to miffypops & its reassuring to know that he is like the rest of us a mere human.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

  4. I particularly enjoyed 22d for brazenly displaying the answer in full view, even though this is strictly a charade, I guess. 9a (relation seen in public) i also thought was excellent misdirection. I had the answer from checked letters but still took me a while to see the wordplay.

    Unfortunately I read the “ruler” (21a) as “someone who rules” before i thought of a straightedge – I wonder whether moving “inch” to the start of the clue might have helped.

    Other favourites are 1a (Holland(!)), 23a (sound sort of artist), 27a mother pig and 16d (anticipating tea)

    Many thanks Rufus and miffypops

  5. Got into a dreadful mess by putting DOS AND DONTS for 1ac so I was unable to complete the NW corner until I had the correct answer. Apart from that debacle, the rest of it was pretty straightforward. Thanks to Miffypops and Rufus **/***

  6. **/***
    Oh what a tangled web…
    I’m glad MP got 12a because for the life of me I couldn’t parse it. In fact I just stared at it menacingly…N.B. clues don’t respond to menacing stares.
    Everything else was slotting in well until I got to 21a and was misled into playing around with something to do with the metric system.
    There were some joyous bits though. 13a for me was just lovely with 28a a close second.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the rather brilliant blog. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif I generally prefer dogs but that kitten is cute.

  7. Difficulty like beauty is def in the eye of the beholder. I found this very tricky and worthy of a three star rating.
    Too many not quite right clues for me such as 27a (ghastly clue I thought), 4d, 28a and 23a. Not even Google recognised 27a, the phrase is Adams Ale never Adams Wine or has anyone else come across the phrase?
    Could someone please give me a cogent explanation for 9a, I find Miffypops one even more obscure than the clue!
    Thx to all.

    1. Brian, think of a synonym for lecture beginning with ‘o’. Then think of a word meaning the relationship between 2 amounts. If you place that in the first word you get a word meaning performance.
      Good grief….I don’t think I’d like to be a blogger.

        1. I do what are called Masonic Orations in many Lodges and they are certainly types of lectures. I try not to make them operations though!

        2. I didn’t know if Brian couldn’t understand the clue at all or MP’s explanation, which I thought was fine. So, I attempted to explain it another way to see if it helped.
          You could take puplic performance to mean lecture, hence the synonym, oration.
          I’ll go back to my corner now. :-(

      1. Ok can see that oration could mean lecture but don’t see the per. I suppose equal to implies a relationship but it’s a bit weak.
        However, why should operation mean performance. Just think the whole clue is very weak, a bit like most of today’s effort. Thanks for trying to illuminate me, I appreciate your efforts.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

            1. Thanks CS for bringing clarity to a clue that I couldn’t fathom out (even with MPs’ hint and those of all the other contributors). 2* for me today but just as enjoyable as any other Monday, thanks to Rufus. Thanks also to MP for some hints which were desperately needed

    2. Brian – Adam’s Wine came straight out of Chambers crossword dictionary. Although, I agree that Adam’s Ale is probably more common.

    3. This is why i think 9a is actually a good clue – easy in hindsight, but good misdirection. I got operation from the checking letters and it still took me a while to parse – i think because “relation” sends you (me, I should say) on the wrong track

    4. I agree Brian. At least 2 5 difficulty for me. I too have never heard of Adam’s wine and only got this because of the checking letters and Google. How anyone considers 9a, 8d and 20d to be read/write clues baffles me.

      1. The Len Goodman of crosswords, I like that idea. And I get to sit next to Darcey Bussell – result! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  8. Straightforward solve today as usual for a Monday!

    Faves : 1a, 27a, 5d & 14d.

    We do have a few of 1a here in NL particularly as one goes inland or westward!

    Weather sunny once more.

    1. yes! there is even a hill. I think the clue gets around this fairly by using “rarely”.

      Where in NL are you?

  9. Very straightforward and easily completed before lights out last night (with considerable help from Chambers crossword dictionary). So, thanks to Rufus for a gentle start to the week and to Miffypops for the usual tasteful and not overdone in quantity illustrations.

    1. The google images for spread eagle offered some interesting alternatives but I have no wish to offend. Cute kittens can never offend

      1. Sounds like my friends way of dealing with nuisance calls. He lets them go through their initial spiel and then says ‘I like kittens, do you like kittens?’ At this stage they usually hang up,

        1. Another one is – “do you like meat pies? If you do would you like to come around & see my collection?”

  10. I always remember the Emperor bit from old coins – Ind Imp as the abbreviation of Indiae Imperator (or Imperatrix for Queen Victoria).

  11. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A nice puzzle to start the week. Favourite was 13a. Last in was 7d, which took a lot of thinking about. Was 2*/3* for me.

  12. An enjoyable and comfortable start to the week with exception of 8d which stumped me. Thanks to MP for help with that one.

  13. A bit more than 1* for me and 3* for enjoyment feels about right.
    I had to look up vicissitudes before I did anything – had a rough idea what it meant but checking it first seemed a good idea.
    I was slow to see 9a – thought of brothers, sisters, nieces etc etc before I got the right kind of relation.
    Needed the hint to understand the third letter of 19a so thanks to MP (and BD) for that.
    Like Hanni I convinced myself that 21a was going to be something to do with the metric system – having got the first and third letters only added to that idea.
    I spent too long trying to make 28a an anagram and the answer was going to be something to do with golf that I’d never heard of.
    I liked 13 and 27a and 3 and 20d. My favourite was 4d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Miffypops – specially for the kitten picture. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif
    Horrible weather today – a good excuse to have a go at Rookie Corner.

  14. We made a little heavier work of it than usual for a Rufus, but all most enjoyable. Feeling a bit of a 13a for having failed to parse 9a. In my defence I’m bleary-eyed and lacking sleep http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif.

    My favourite clue might be 13a, or perhaps 5d, but favourite hint by a country mile is of course 28a :).

    Thanks to MP and Rufus.

  15. Brian, the explanation for 9a given by MP could not be clearer. If you can’t understand it you should not really be doing a cryptic crossword. I agree with Kath – where did you get lecture from, Hanni.

    An easy romp to start the week.

    1. Go easy on Brian, the last thing you want is for him to stop commenting. He is a huge entertainment factor for most of us.

        1. I think it’s fine – if Brian didn’t like a bit of teasing he wouldn’t set himself up for it so much.

        2. I am sorry if I was rude, it was not intended to be so. I won’t do it again, you may continue pecking at Brian.

  16. Just one or two tricky clues today I thought. I’ve never heard of Adam’s Wine though 3 letter ale was never going to fit into 4 letter wine. I quite liked 1 across and thought 21 across was something metric, but Mr. SheilaP, who never thinks metric got the correct answer. Thank you Miffypops and the setter.

  17. */**. Not the most edifying puzzle. Thanks to MP for a neat review which I didn’t require today. Earlier references to dancing in the blog were relevant to me as i completed the puzzle during the NA version of Mr Goodman’s show. You can perhaps tell my better half is more attuned to this programme than I am.

  18. I enjoyed both the puzzle and the review, so thanks to both Rufus and MP for them 2*/4* for me.
    I confess I rejected my correct answer to 9a for quite a while before using my “write it down and stare at it” method to see why ratio is a relation alongside aunts, uncles, cousins . . . Well done Rufus.

  19. Liked 7d and 27a (though I had only heard of the ‘ale’ version up to today). Needed the blog to explain the ‘i’ in 19a. Thanks.

  20. 27a – I always thought it was “Ale” – Just off for a pint of Adnams from the local brewery.

    Cheers, Miffypops!

  21. I am a totally hopeless case, I am so addicted to BD and the gang that I have read the whole blog BEFORE I even started to look at the crossword. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif There is definitely no hope for me at all.

    1. Reading the whole lot is half the fun – sometimes the comments are more entertaining than the crossword so no need to http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif at all.

  22. A pleasant Monday solve. It all went together without major hold-ups for us.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

    We notice that there are not many comments on the Rookie Corner. It is a nicely put together puzzle and did not take us much longer than this one. Well worth a look we thought.

  23. Thank you Rufus. I struggled with this. Basically ran out of time. Wasn’t helped by putting in “test fire” for 18d. Spent the day at Leighton Moss and had further failure with the starling roost – only about 50k birds and most are diving straight into the reedbed. Compensation is staying in favourite pub !

    1. You should worry, SW! I took my U3A birding group over to Malltraeth Marshes to view the starling roost. The starlings, however, had decided to roost at Beaumaris (some 30 mns. drive away) and all they got to see was a few little black dots speeding across the sky in that general direction! No sign of any of the three over-wintering Bitterns either. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  24. Managed to finish it without resorting to Miffypops’ s review – although 9a gave a run for my money! Was not familiar with 15a expression so learnt something.
    1.5*/3* for me with 21a as favourite – like Kath went along decimal way which of course did not fit! Many thanks to Rufus and Miiffypops – loved the kitten picture and the comment about Google alternative illustrations!!

  25. Is anyone else wondering why so many of us (including me) had trouble with 9a – it’s not one of the more difficult clues. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  26. When I actually came to do the crossword I found, thanks to my antique brain, I had not remembered too much from my read-through so I had a lovely time. No fave rave but 13a probably sums me up.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  27. An enjoyable starter to the crossword week. Much of the grid went in quite quickly , but a few clues took longer to resolve (even when the solution was pretty obvious). On balance, then, about 2*/4*. 7d and 9a vied for favouritism, and l still can’t split them. My thanks to Rufus, and to Miffypops for the review. My better half liked the kitten!

  28. I think that Kath and I are quite similar. I had to look up vicissitude. It is not a word that I would ever use as it is far too difficult to spell. I was never going to get the golf one. Please can we have some horse riding ones, stirrup perhaps? (girth, Pelham bit?) I thought to begin with that it was going to be easy but then it wasn’t, probably because I spent last week doing the garden with the puppies and not crossword solving. Thank you Rufus and Miffypops.

    1. . . . snaffles, martingales, fetlocks, withers . . . all better than golf, etc etc!
      As for gardening with puppies – hmmm – doesn’t sound like the best combination although I’m sure it beats the hell out of trying to garden with chickens – really not good. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  29. A rare opportunity presented itself – a dog walk to the pub on my own, a couple of pints, biro in hand. Old-fashioned paper version of the DT just sitting there. Had to be done. Completed in two pints – both crosswords which I thought were jolly nice both.

      1. Hi Una, I do miss you all. Seems like the site is going great – lots of new peeps and a healthy glow about it all. First thing I’ll do when I retire is set up camp here.

  30. Hello everyone. SE corner gave me a bit of a hard time as I wrote forestate instead of fortaste in 16d. Needed MP to unravel my mistake as I was stuck wth 23 and 27a. So stubborn that I was looking for a river called amapa ling for 27 a. “A ma paling” that makes sense with the clue. Well, anyway, had to reveal 4d. Just didn’t see the synonym. I loved 28a. Such a great expression. Off to rookie’s corner. It sounds very French. Thanks to Rufus for the enjoyable puzzle and to MP for the hints and answers.

  31. Ps: To all the lovely retired ladies on this blog, I am sure that you don’t go buying alcohol online when you leave BD’s site as today’s DT claims, you are wise enough to brew your own.

  32. After a busy few weeks and being unable to get at the crossword, really enjoyed this, and it all slotted into place. Did half this morning, and half after supper. Many thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  33. Straightforward fun from Rufus, so thanks to him, and to MP (BD) for reminding me of imperator, which I had completely forgotten and wondered where the I came from.

  34. Did have to think about adams wine or ale. Rufus in the guarniad had me totally beat though with this offering .

    One hears word of it (5)

    answer was obvious but parsing it???? That’s why my hat is doffed to MP et al for stepping up to the plate. Oh and thanks to Rufus

  35. Another enjoyable Monday, thanks to all. I hadn’t heard of 27a, and went wrong on 14d and couldn’t then see 26a, which made me feel a 20d 13a. Thank you MP for your review. Favourites were 6d, 7d and 8d.

  36. Finding it SO difficult to get the back-pager completed with visiting younger daughter chattering away at warp speed! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    For some reason 23a refused to yield – despite my living overlooking the Menai Strait, and I struggled to parse the first word of 14d. Perhaps I should give up on crosswording until peace descends in January! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

    Loved both the clue and the picture for 28a – smiled when I thought of you reading it, Kath! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    At long last, MP – I can award you a Blue Peter badge for saying something genuinely nice about St. Sharon (1d) – poor girl gets more than her fair share of grief in most of your reviews. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    Favourite has to be 3d – just a personal thing, but I do worry about MP putting lemon in it. Could you possibly buy in some limes if Hanni and myself pay you a visit? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    Thanks to Rufus and apologies for lack of concentration on your puzzle and thanks to MP as always for a great review.

    1. Hi Jane. 3d made me smile too! I can’t think why ;-) .
      Has she started talking about wedding plans yet? And has she cooked? I do hope you’re well?
      I’m back in my corner. I’ll be here for awhile. With limes and right now a large Newfie, (dog). And a very British cup of tea.

  37. 27a stumped me and had to google it I am afraid (sacrilege) and got the answer but I have to admit have never heard the term Adams Wine

Comments are closed.