DT 27732 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27732

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27732

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good Day to one and all. Today’s puzzle is a little cracker which I enjoyed very much. 10 across has had me smiling since I solved it. The sun is shining here in Downtown L I but the temperature is not high. I feel an outdoor day beckoning. Long Hawthorn hedges were made for days such as this. Billhooks, Slash hooks and Saws of all kinds were made for boys such as I. there may even be a fire. What joy.

The hints and tips below are here to help and guide you. I hope they serve their purpose. Definitions are underlined. If you still need an answer after reading the hint then press click here and the answer will be revealed. If you do not want to see the answer – do not click.

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    To suppress frauds they’ll be needed in court (6,7)
SQUASH RACKETS: These are long handled stringed bats used to play an indoor port which uses a little ball just the right size to cause terrible eye injuries. The first word is a verb meaning to subdue and the second is an illegal or dishonest scheme for stealing money

10a    Dot three i’s in various places, many being silly (7)
IDIOTIC: The letter I inserted three times into the word DOT followed by a single letter which represent one hundred in Roman Numerals. A joyful and clever clue.

11a    Photograph way-out couples (5-2)
CLOSE UP: This photograph taken at short range is an anagram (way-out) of COUPLES

12a    Amphibians with feet going in two directions (4)
EFTS: Two points of the compass around the abbreviation for feet (12 inches) will give an alternative name for a Newt. I used to have a pet Newt which I named Tiny. Why did I call him Tiny? Because he was My Newt

13a    Hit 150 before getting dismissed (5)
CLOUT: This heavy blow can be used as both a noun or a verb. Place a word meaning to be dismissed at cricket after the Roman numerals for 150

14a    Duck! It’s Captain Hook’s bosun! (4)
SMEE: As the clue says Captain Hook’s Bosun in the novel Peter Pan by J M Barry. This is also the name of a type of Duck

17a    Criticises VAT in speech? (7)
ATTACKS: Homophone time. A word that sounds like (in speech) what VAT is

18a    It may appear as smart on the stern of a boat (7)
TRANSOM: Anagram cleverly indicated by the words (may appear as) of SMART ON

19a    He got on in new form, being energetic (2,3,2)
ON THE GO: Anagram (in new form) of HE GOT ON

22a    More changes put around by ruler (7)
EMPEROR: A partial anagram (changes) of MORE put around an archaic term meaning by means of

24a    Romany loses my horse (4)
ROAN: Remove the letters MY from the word Romany to leave a type of horse

25a    Muscular like some bully? (5)
BEEFY: Ian Botham’s nickname. Another word for a meat when salted or “corned”

26a    A number remains — so hurry! (4)
DASH: The number here is the Roman Numeral for 500 followed by the remains of a fire. This reminded me of the time I visited the Samuel Morse museum and saw a note he left to his sister Dorothy. Dear Dot, must dash, Sam.

29a    Convict dividing hoard and plunder (7)
PILLAGE: Crosswordland’s favourite three lettered convict is placed inside a hoard or a large amount of something to find this word meaning to rob using violence in a time of war

30a    Study bill for dispatch (7)
CONSIGN: A simple construct. Take our usual suspect for study and add a word meaning an advertisement.

31a    Paper clip that will to keep things secure (5,8)
PRESS FASTENER: The first of these two words collectively describes Newspapers and Journalists. The second is a hardware device that joins two objects together. I have not seen this term before. The second word has always been Stud. These are often used on items of clothing


2d    Five players still not inwardly disheartened (7)
QUINTET: The collective noun for a five piece band. The word NOT loses its middle letter and is placed inside the word quiet (still). This clue does not work for me. What do you think?

ARVE Error: need id and provider

3d    Performs  religious work (4)
ACTS: A double definition. The second being the fifth book of The New Testament

4d    They may rise up in anger (7)
HACKLES: These are the erectile hairs along an animals back which rise when it is angry or alarmed

5d    Bill, a relation (7)
ACCOUNT: A double definition

6d    It may be tied for speed at sea (4)
KNOT: A double definition, the second being a measure of speed at sea.

7d    It doesn’t normally contain mother’s ruin (7)
THERMOS: Anagram (ruin) of MOTHERS

8d    It’s used to make pictures or compare a thing differently (13)
CINEMATOGRAPH: Anagram (differently) of COMPARE A THING

9d    Fast-moving  drug dealer (5,8)
SPEED MERCHANT: A double definition. A motorist who enjoys driving fast or a retailer of amphetamines. A third definition describes a fast bowler such as Bob Willis

15d    Direction followed by ship’s complement that drives it (5)
SCREW: A ships propeller can be found by putting the collective term for a group of people who work on and operate a ship after one of the points of the compass

16d    Sharp crooked instruments (5)
HARPS: Anagram (crooked) of SHARP

20d    Advertisement that’s attached to back of vehicle (7)
TRAILER: This advertisement which is usually seen at the cinema an also be towed by a vehicle.

21d    One’s naughty spirit as an individual (7)
ONESELF: ONES straight from the clue (as easy as that) followed by a supernatural creature of folk tales, typically represented as a small, delicate, elusive figure in human form with pointed ears, magical powers, and a capricious nature. Not a pixie. The other one. A goblin you say? No! The other other one

22d    Carries out  personal property (7)
EFFECTS: A double definition, the first being to cause something to happen or to bring about. The second being ones belongings

23d    Become aware of the facts about a tissue of lies (7)
REALISE: A charade formed by placing Crosswordland’s usual suspect for about. A directly lifted from the clue and an anagram (a tissue of) of LIES

27d    Don’t answer a question but have exam success (4)
PASS: To not answer a question as in the TV show Mastermind. The opposite of a fail in an exam.

28d    Working with the Church in former times (4)
ONCE: A two lettered word meaning at work followed by the initial letters of the C(hurch) of E(ngland)

The Quick Crossword pun: count+acclaim=counterclaim

83 comments on “DT 27732

  1. 1*/4*. A joyful start to a Monday morning from yesterday’s birthday boy. 7d was my favourite. Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  2. Nice quick (1*) start to the week. (I was unable to do 8d without writing the letters out however – sorry Miffypops!) I enjoyed the wordplay but no especially stand-out clues for me today. I agree with the 3* enjoyment.
    Many thanks for the review MP, and thank you to the setter.
    PS I forgot to say happy birthday – and to appreciate the nice misdirection in 31a.

  3. Lovely start to the week. For fans there is another gentle Rufus in today’s Guardian (and it’s free online).

    Favourites were 10a (dot three i’s ) and 7d (mother’s ruin), both have already been mentioned. I also liked 24a (Romany..) with the letter order unchanged, and 21a (one’s naughty spirit…) with the “one’s” brazenly unchanged. I’d heard of the paper clip (31a), don’t know why, and to me 2d (five players..) was ok although I agree the clue would have been better with the last two words exchanged – not sure why that wasn’t the case.

    Many thanks Miffypops and Rufus

        1. Hi spindrift I can see I’ve been absent too long! your spelling is slipping, you left the ‘r’ out of perservate!

  4. More delightful recreation. Fav probably 1a. Had to look up 12a and had forgotten 14a which reminded me of my mother’s photo album where she put that word under any pictures of herself! Thanks Rufus (Many Happy Returns of yesterday) and MP (wonder why 2d doesn’t work for you – seems OK to me). ***/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  5. Thank you Rufus, a very enjoyable puzzle with lots of good clues. I liked 11a in particular. Thanks MP for your review and hints

  6. */****

    What a lovely way to start the week. Pretty much a R & W. 18a was my last in, no idea why. Favourite clue is the rather sublime 10a.

    Many thanks and a belated happy birthday to Rufus. Thanks also to our master of Mondays, Miffypops. Magnificent blog.

    Enjoy the toys and fire making. The newt joke was appalling.

  7. I zoomed along quite well with this puzzle. I thought there were a few weak clues such as 21d and 25a – 14a is an old chestnut – but all crosswords are enjoyable! 1*/3* would be my thoughts.

  8. Found this puzzle delightfully straightforward – either Rufus is in a very good mood or we are slowly improving. We agree with MP about the press stud and a couple of easy lifts from the clues in
    21d and 23d. Liked 9d very much – my mother’s favourite term for reckless drivers. Thanks for a most enjoyable puzzle to Rufus and a great blog from Miffypops.

  9. Two days in a row, wow!!! I enjoyed Rufus today, nothing new there then! MY favourite favourite was 17a, my almost first favourite was 24a and I also liked 27 & 28d! Is that ok Kath??? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    1. Now you are treading on very thin ice …

      … I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes when Kath reads your comment.

  10. Just right for a Monday, going for a */***.thanks Miffypops for the blog pics, i see we have the ‘Great Crested’ variety in12A which are not ‘minute’, they may be a European protected species, but appear in virtually every pond in Cheshire and Flintshire-known as ‘developers bane’. Liked 7D and it reminded me of Pat who thought it was the most wonderful thing in the world, -when asks why? he replied ” because it keeps hot things hot and cold things cold” what’s so wonderful about that asked the questioner-but how does it know responded ,Pat !

    1. I heard that when David Beckam learned that it would keep hot things hot and cold things cold he filled his with coffee and ice cream

  11. Only one minor problem today so 1* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    Started off with ‘meaty’ for 25a – stupid and it totally mucked up 22d for a little while but it wasn’t too tricky to sort out when 22d became obvious.
    I agree with what’s already been said about 31a – I’ve only ever heard of press studs so the second word took a little while.
    I liked 10 and 14a and 4 and 7d.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.
    Cold in Oxford – so far today we’ve had rain, lumpy rain, sleet and hail – very windy too. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  12. Warm welcome from sunny Barbados. Nice easy start to the week, at least it was when I got my quartets and quintets sorted, Doh! Never heard of 31a before, perhaps it’s a technical term for a press stud. Enjoyable nonetheless.
    Thx to all.

  13. I want to give a big thank you to everyone who has encouraged me to continue with the crossword.
    Today I completed it unaided, apart from numerous cups of coffee!
    I am going to enjoy the elation for a few hours before checking the answers and finding out why 2d is right.
    Thank you everyone including the setters and those who write the reviews.

  14. Like Monday puzzles a lot, but just have a tiny gripe with 19 across and 21 down, which both have words lifted straight out of the clues, in the answers. Apart from that I’ve no complaints, so thank you to the Monday setter and to Miffypops.

  15. Nice gentle start to the week with nothing particularly difficult. Thought 21d was a bit weak but I did enjoy 1 & 18a. 31a had me scratching my head for a bit but 22d was my favourite.

    Thanks and belated birthday wishes to Rufus and to MP for the usual enjoyable review (notwithstanding his ‘newt’ joke).

  16. Wonderful puzzle. 1A was the last one that I got and is also my favourite. Loved 7D and 9D too. Thanks!

  17. Nothing too difficult as ever for a Monday, and the usual pleasing wordplay and anagrams.

    I agree with the consensus of opinion regarding 21d, but it didn’t detract too much from the overall enjoyment.

    Thanks and belated birthday greetings to the setter, and thanks too to Miffypops for the review.

  18. Saving mine til later as I’m flying south this evening, but since finding this blog last week it has made such a difference and helped so much I have printed off the tips for the journey. Hopefully the hours will literally fly by, and all will be ship shape by the time I touchdown – again thanks to everyone for all the advice and help :-)

  19. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A super start to the week. My only problem was getting 30a which was last in. Favourite was 1a, as I’m well in to that game. Was 1*/4* for me.

  20. Apart from reluctantly (& wrongly as it turns out) putting Brass for the first part of 31a, I really enjoyed this. I thought metal would make something more secure – d’oh! Thanks muchly to the setter, and as always to Miffypops. Feeling very joyous because the vet has just told Mr P. and me that Poppy will not need surgery on her eye (after being attacked by a collie last year) – and we’ve stayed firm friends with the poor owners of the collie too… So it’s happy yips all round. (Thankfully Poppy is not a yapper.) greetings to all. Isn’t it lovely to have Mary back in our midst again http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  21. Pretty much R&W but plenty of smiles along the way. 1*/3* seems about right. Thought 16d was a bit weak but didn’t have a problem with 2d. Favourite was 9d with a mention for 17a & 21d.
    Surprised about the comments re: 31a – it was a far more commonly used term in our house than press stud. Took me back to childhood and the dreaded liberty bodice (which was far from liberating) which fastened with a copious amount of 31a’s of the rubber variety. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

    Thanks and belated birthday wishes to Rufus and cheers to MP – loved the joke about the little crested fellow although can’t say the same for the music choice at 12a. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

        1. Yes – it was certainly ‘poppers’ when my two were small, but way back when I was small I doubt my Mum would have ever heard of the word!
          I well remember the contortions required to get at least one finger behind said popper when dressing the infants –
          a) to make the darned thing ‘pop’
          b) to avoid the screams that would ensue if you applied too much pressure on that soft baby flesh.

          I guess it’s all done with Velcro these days?

  22. Enjoyed this crossword very much and almost managed all of it without electronic help.
    Only grouse I have is that I have never seen Press Fastener before, only Press Stud.
    Thank you very much to the setter and to the reviewer.

  23. Happy little old lady, thought I might struggle but working gently up from bottom right hand corner. After a cup of coffee and one square of chocolate I had finished. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops for making Monday just a little bit brighter. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

    1. Hello Hilary,
      I never had a chance to reply the other day. But I think your question was addressed to me.
      Before becoming a restaurateur, I only have had one employer in my life and that was Capital Radio (194 if you don’t mind) from 1982 to 1988. I was working in a theatre called “The Duke of York’s” in St Martin’s Lane, where I held different positions until I became a Front of House manager. It’s a glamourous way of describing a catering manager.
      After that I bought a wine bar in Garrick St with a lovely Irish business partner from an antipodean producer called Mark Furness.
      We then opened a few other places around the west end. Café Santé, Café Soho, Bar du Marché in Berwick St, SW Baker in Buckingham Palace Rd and Sandwich Gallery in Holborn.
      Left it to a friend in 2000 when I decided to come back to sunny France.
      So you see, my CV is quite short. I haven’t done so many things after all. However, with such social professions, I know more people than I’ve had hot dinners.

      1. Hi Jean-luc,
        Well – that’s also satisfied my curiosity! Your CV may be short but I bet the life it encompasses has been fairly colourful.

        1. Thanks Jane,
          Theatreland is such a wonderful part of London. I do miss it sometimes.
          But you should have heard me when I had to do the fire drill before curtain’s up. Good thing nothing ever happened. Nobody would have understood a word.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

          1. I can imagine! Though it’s amazing how much French some people understand.

            It may have been asked before, and yes I know I’ve been on the blog for awhile now, but how did you get into cheffing?

            Cheffing is a word.

  24. Good afternoon all.
    Got back from work and sat down to tackle the crossword.
    Set the washing machine on a 30 degrees quick wash and spin and managed to finish at the same time.
    Rufus is always a pleasure to decipher and found this one totally hassle free. It proves that we do mellow with age.
    Just one quibble. For 5d, I never understand the use or non use of the “a” . What is the exact rule?
    Favourite is 7d. Lovely surface.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the usual entertainment.
    Off to print the rookie now. See you later everybody pips.

    1. That’s a new and devious way to give everyone an idea of how long the crossword took you.
      Now there’s a new game we could play – the most obscure ways of timing a crossword! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

          1. How many slices of bacon? Was it back or streaky, smoked or unsmoked? How was it cooked? Was the lettuce shredded? Type of bread? Order of ingredients on the bread?

            Pommers you can’t just say BLT and leave it at that. Details Sir! ;-)

            1. From bottom to top:-

              Large slice white bread, toasted and spread with mayo
              3 rashers back bacon
              4 thickish slices from a large tomato
              Plenty shredded Romaine lettuce
              Large slice white bread, toasted and spread with mayo

              Pommette opens hers up and adds HP brown sauce, yuk. But it’s all for €3 which is pretty good and it takes a fair bit of eating. It’s our usual Monday lunch, along with Rufus of course, before the bridge starts. Don’t ask about today’s bridge, some things are better forgotten.

              1. Fantastic stuff. I’m glad I’m not the only one who toasts bread for bacon sandwiches, the OH insists on it. However I cannot understand a BLT yet. Mayo is something that is eaten with the latter ingredients. I’m with Pommette on HP sauce though, but it has to be on the side of the plate.

                AA Gill cannot compare to the food blogging skills here. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

                However your Monday lunch is eaten, it sounds wonderful. :-)

    2. My washing machine quick wash has three settings -15, 30 and 45 minutes – so now assuming that yours has the same facility we have to guess which one you set your washing on, ah, ah!

      1. I think I will have a word with the manufacturer as to why my quick wash takes so long.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

      2. My washing machine has two settings – on or off – either it will work or it just says NO – too much in here so I’ll stop with all the water still sitting in me and then, when you think I’ve finished and you (stupidly) believe me and open the door I’ll just tip all the residual water all over the floor. Could be time for a new washing machine . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    3. use non-use of a:

      seems to be permissible in terms of definition, in so much as “account” = “a relation”.

      However, I have been told that unnecessary words in a clue were unacceptable baggage, and this has become part of my crossword value system (!). So it becomes a matter of taste – my preference would be the more succinct clue “Bill relation (7)”, which is something I have always wanted but never quite managed to do.

      1. While “Bill relation” works as a straightforward double definition, some setters clearly like to try some deception (and Rufus particularly enjoys doing so!), so “Bill, a relation” misleads the solver to think that Bill is the name of a relative.

        Which brings to mind a recent exchange in the House of Commons. An MP, who will remain nameless, was trying to remember someone’s name and said it was “Bill somebody”. The riposte from the other side of the house was that wasn’t a name, it was one of the forgetful MP’s party’s policies.

        1. Thanks to you both.
          RD, I wish we had the same kind of humour in our so austere Assemblée Nationale.

  25. 1a make me laugh! What a lovely puzzle this was! Not difficult but really enjoyable. My first one in was 2d and my last was 14a. Never heard of press fastener either. 1.5*/4* with 10a as favourite. Many thanks to Miffypops and to Rufus hoping yesterday was a splendid day for him.

  26. Very happy birthday Rufus, for yesterday, and so many thanks for all the pleasure that you unfailingly give us and similar thanks to Miffypops too. I have enjoyed this, off and on, all day. It would probably take me at least ** washing machine cycles (I’m not saying which setting but it is probably not a 30 degrees quick wash). I though 10a, 11a and 7d were great.

  27. Good fun as always on a Monday. Agree with others that there seems to be either a surplus TO or a word missing in the clue for 31a, bit it did not interfere with the solving process.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

  28. Late checking in as Sadie had to go to the vet for her annual exam, passed with flying colors!
    Thanks Rufus for another lovely puzzle, as usual. Thanks to M’pops for the review. No matter what anyone else says, I think your newt joke was funny.
    Fave was 1a with honourable mention to 10a.

    1. Emma,
      Your comment needed moderation because you’ve changed your alias since your previous posting. Both aliases should work from now on.

  29. Very gentle, but fun to do. 1*/3*, and a perfect start to the week. My top clue is 7d – although it’s an anagram the “mother’s ruin” tempts one down a different cryptic alley. Thanks to Rufus, and to Miffypops for the review. I loved the ancient newt joke!

  30. All relatively strightforward today. 7d gets my vote as favourite. I had to look up Captain Hook’s bosun – don’t think i have ever seen Peter Pan – my education must be sadly lacking….!

    1. To further your education and at the risk of hearing “oh not again!” But the first ever performance of Peter Pan was at the Duke of York’s Theatre and I remember the original playbill proudly framed in the manager’s office.

    2. try watching Jake and the neverland pirates on children’s tele( disney channel ), he’s on several times a day .
      Obviously someone in my household watches this and he is 5 years old , normally watching Disney channels does not give me a selective advantage .

  31. A wonderful puzzle – 2*/4* and an equally wonderful blog. Many thanks to Rufus and Miffypops respectively.

  32. despite these hints and tips I still can’t see where the “c” for one hundred comes in the clue in 10a – somebody please tell me
    Re 31a – some people above have thought there was a misprint in the clue – a spare “to” that doesn’t appear to be doing anything. I agree, and isn’t there another
    misprint there – surely the first word of the clue should be “papers” (plural) – it then makes sense !

    1. Good morning Almo. It is the word many that indicates thee letter C which is 100 in Roman Numerals. I suppose it could be L D or M. Crosswordland is a strange old place. I hope that helps.

    2. 10a. You’ve actually got it sussed. The ‘c’ does stand for the Roman 100, clued as ‘many’.
      We agree that 31a has either a surplus TO or lacks a word such as SERVE after the TO for it to make sense. In a sentence such as ” She represented the paper” or “she represented the press” the singular versions can be synonyms..

  33. So I finished tomorrow’s first and then thought I would ‘do’ today’s whilst my brain was working reasonably efficiently. A good Monday puzzle that was not quite R&W and my favourite clue was 17a partly cos I must bring out the Sage 50 and start on this quarter’s details….
    Thanks to Rufus (belated Happy Birthday) and MP for his review.
    Oh and 1*/ 3* for the crossword.

  34. No-one else had a slight twinge at the present tense of the definition for 8d, when said device hasn’t been used for about a century?

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