DT 27798 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27798

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27798

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

A championship contender from Rufus today. Full of mischievous misdirection and great surface reads plus plenty of anagrams for those who need them to gain a way in to other clues. Miffypops is off on holiday to St Mawes on The Roseland Peninsula so Kitty will be providing the excitement next week.

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    An officer gets this percentage (10)
COMMISSION: People in sales often get paid only this. The more they sell, the more they get. It is also a high ranking position in the armed forces. An artist might be offered one to paint a portrait, dog, cat or house for which he or she will receive a fee.

6a    A direction to lower a boat (4)
SCOW: A point of the compass is followed by a word synonymous with all of the following, intimidate, daunt, browbeat, badger, dragoon, bludgeon, tyrannise, overawe, dismay, dishearten, unnerve, subdue, scare, terrorise, frighten or petrify. Experienced solvers ought to be familiar with the word. For newcomers it is a farm animal and a derogatory term for an unpleasant or disliked woman.

10a    Disciplinary panel assembled (5)
PENAL: Anagram (Don’t ya just love them) of the word PANEL indicated by the word assembled.

11a    I’m in a state — it’s excitement (9)
ANIMATION: Place the letters I’M from the clue inside a term meaning a state or a country to find a noun meaning the state of being full of life or vigour. A second definition of this word leads me cryptically to this clip which I have wanted to use for ages (In Frank McCourts book ‘Tis he used the words “the excitement” when referring to making love” )

ARVE Error: need id and provider

12a    Capital place to resettle when idle (3,5)
NEW DEHLI: This capital city can be found by rearranging (resettle) the letters WHEN IDLE

13a    I’m a long time making a picture (5)
IMAGE: Once again we use the letters I’m from the clue. This time we put a three letter word meaning a long time after it to find a word meaning picture.

15a    Uniformly gusty with initial change of direction (7)
EQUALLY: Take a word meaning gusty or blustery or breezy or blowy and alter the first (initial) letter from one point of the compass to another to find a word meaning uniformly.

17a    It’s expected to be unaffected (7)
NATURAL: A double definition here. Both of which seem to fit the following: “in accordance with the nature of, or circumstances surrounding, someone or something.”

19a    Sounds like a private bitterness that’s harboured (7)
RANCOUR: A nice sound alike or homophone starts off this clue. This private is serving in the armed services in the rank and file. Spelled to fit the grid we have the harboured bitterness.

21a    Charles replaced trees (7)
LARCHES: Anagram (replaced) of CHARLES

22a    City of Arabs (5)
BASRA: Anagram (OF) ARABS. Discussion opportunity. Is the word of an anagram indicator or not. Hand’s up if you did a bung it in and hope with MECCA

24a    Fare-dodger ‘s stash (8)
STOWAWAY: A double definition of one who hides aboard ship without paying for his passage or fare and the act of hiding away or stashing something. By the time this clue came I was getting a little peckish so was misdirected by the word FARE and sent to the larder looking for an answer.

A young blonde woman was so depressed that she decided to end her life by throwing herself off Beachy Head. She was about to leap when a handsome young sailor saw her tottering on the edge crying. He took pity on her and said “Look, you have so much to live for. I’m off to Australia in the morning, and if you like, I can stow you away on my ship and you can start a new life there … I’ll take good care of you and bring you food everyday”.

“How can I repay you for such kindness” she asked.

“Just let me make love to you each night…” The blonde agreed.

That night, the sailor brought her aboard and hid her in a lifeboat. From then on, every night he brought her three sandwiches and a piece of fruit, and they made passionate love until dawn. Three weeks later, during a routine inspection, she was discovered by the captain.

“What are you doing here?” the captain asked.

“I have an arrangement with one of the sailors, who stowed me away” she explained. “I get food and free passage to Australia and he’s screwing me”.

“He certainly is”, the captain said. “This is the Isle of Wight ferry.”

27a    Floods one sister with appointments (9)
INUNDATES: Lego time. Build it up bit by bit. Take the letter that looks like the number 1. Add a sister who wears a habit. Finally place a word meaning appointments (think boy meets girl)

28a    Dad’s Army food (5)
PASTA: Take the plural of an endearing term for your father and add the initials of our usual suspect volunteer army . Having tempted me with non existent food Rufus now offers me flour and water. Why torture me with this stuff. I make no apology for repeating the finest recipe ever for this alleged food. Boil water in a pan. Add every piece of this that you have in the house. Season it if you feel inclined. Drain through a colander. Throw it in the bin and go down to the fish and chip shop or order up a curry.

29a    Capture and shoot (4)
TAKE: A double definition. The second being what you may do to produce a film when using a cine or video camera.

30a    Joint accompaniment? (10)
VEGETABLES: What accompanies your Sunday roast joint of beef, pork or lamb.

ARVE Error: need id and provider


1d    Get by with service dress? (4)
COPE: Double definition. The first being to deal effectively with something difficult. The second being a rope worn by a bishop during a religious service.

2d    Model male, born one of five (9)
MANNEQUIN: More lego required. Take a three letter word meaning a male. Add a two letter word meaning born (often seen as a three letter word) and finally add a word which means what you are if born one of five

3d    I had been in front, but became lazy (5)
IDLED: Place the shortened form of I had in front of the past and past participle of lead.

4d    He went to see the doctor in Africa, lest any could be in doubt (7)
STANLEY: Anagram (could be in doubt) of LEST ANY

5d    A view of duck on the wing (7)
OPINION: This view or judgement can be found by putting the letter that refers to a nil score in cricket before a word meaning the outer feathers of a bird’s wing

7d    Tea service? (5)
CHINA: A fine white or translucent vitrified ceramic material is also a term for a beverage.

8d    Dawn breaking with strange lustre gives one the travel bug (10)
WANDERLUST: It is buy one get one free with the anagrams here. First we have an anagram of DAWN (breaking) followed by an anagram of LUSTRE (strange)

9d    Container crates in shambles (8)
CANISTER: And another anagram (Shambles) of CRATES IN

14d    Thrown together in the war, German joining the Italian in bar (5-5)
GERRY/JERRY BUILT: Take a rarely used (but popular during the war and immediately after) slang term for a German for the first word. The second is formed by placing a preposition meaning except; apart from; other than around the Italian word for THE. Thanks to Vince and Rod for pointing out an earlier error to this hint. You may use either of the first words indicated in the click box [But the online site only accepts the second option.  BD]

16d    Old rates for exchange which are tight on people (8)
LEOTARDS: Anagram (for exchange) of OLD RATES

18d    Tries to enter bona fide practice (9)
REHEARSAL: Place a legal term for tries (as in judges a case) inside a term meaning bona fide or genuine

ARVE Error: need id and provider

20d    Decoration for a party? (7)
ROSETTE: A favour worn by supporters of a party during last Thursday’s election.

21d    Inspection of river rising in Cornish resort (4-3)
LOOK-SEE: Take a three letter river and turn it upside down (rising) and place it inside a Cornish holiday resort named after the river that divides it.

23d    Narcotic drug for a smelly animal (5)
SKUNK: This black and white American mammal sprays out a foul smelling liquid when attacked is also the street name of some drugs. We don’t do drugs, do we?

25d    It comes first in medical pharmacopoeia (5)
ALPHA: A lurker. Hiding away within the letters of the clue and indicated simply by the word IN

26d    Childishly I claim the luggage (4)
BAGS: What your luggage consists of and a term used by children of all ages when claiming something ahead of others. We still do this regularly.

Solved to the lovely tunes and songs of the mighty Bellowhead. Happy birthday Ruth.

The Quick Crossword pun: knock+tern=nocturne

80 comments on “DT 27798

  1. I am a bit surprised that MP rated this as 3* for difficulty – it was close to a Read and Write, I thought – definitely easily finished in 1* time. Lots of anagrams which were mostly straightforward and gave a big boost to the rest.

    1*/4* is my rating and as usual thanks to MP and the blog and Rufus for the puzzle.

    1. I never alter the ratings George. They arrive at 3/3 and they leave at 3/3. The difficulty of any puzzle sits with the skill level of the solver and will therefore differ from solver to solver.

  2. Odd, I thought this was one of the most straightforward Monday puzzles for a long time. For me */***
    Some really nice clues such as 14d (once lived in a house like that!), 1a and my favourite 30a.
    Only thing I needed explaining was why Cope was service dress which to me is an army uniform but the answer was obvious from the rest of the clue.
    All in all an excellent start to the week.
    Thx to all.

  3. Lovely Rufus puzzle today which was slightly more challenging than usual. We agree with the evaluation by Miffypops……The only confusion in this household was the G or J in 14d. One of us spells it with G, the other one with a J.

  4. Great puzzle full to the brim with Rufus’s simple elegance. I’m amazed I didn’t get 10a immediately, but there you go, I didn’t (disciplinary panel assembled). Similarly styled clues include 21a (charles replaced trees), 22a (city of arabs – and yes, the “of” is essential to the simple elegance of this clue), 28a (Dad’s army food), 9d (container crates in shambles), etc.

    Then he adds a subtle level of sophistication and and we get the masterly 15a (uniformly gusty), 17a (It’s expected..), 24a (Fare-dodger’s…), 27a (floods one sister…), 2d (model male…), 4d (he went to see doctor…) – all still signature Rufus stuff and wonderful

    In 14d, I convinced myself that “in the war, German” was the more politically-correct parsing. But both work.

    Many thanks Miffypops for superb review as always, and thank you Rufus for a puzzle with many smiles

  5. Reasonably straightforward, but I thought that this was a little more tricky than average for a Rufus. Three open answers left at lights out last night which, wouldn’t you know it, went in easily this morning. So, I would go one * less than MP on difficulty and give it **/***. Favourite was 24a, which was the last one in. MP – have a good time in Cornwall next week.

  6. Miffypops – thank you – i’d never heard of Bellowhead until today – what a sound! They’re now in my playlist on Spotify.

    1. Miffypops got me started on Bellowhead last year. Aren’t they fantastic? Youngest daughter type thing even sings along instead of Katy Perry in the car. Result. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

  7. Blast! Just didn’t get the Sunday roast and the children’s expression.
    Meat and three veg. Obvious when you know the answer.
    But I’m never grumpy if I don’t succeed in finishing. C’est la vie.
    Better luck on the rookie maybe. Haven’t had a look yet.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for helping me.

    1. Ps: I said before that I used to go to Falmouth quite regularly. Had a girlfriend from there actually. I remember St Mawes but the only place to stay was that hotel owned by Rocco Forte’s daughter. She even bought the wee boat owned by Il Duce and used to pick up customers from Paquet house. Is it still the case? Or are you staying with friends?

      1. The Hotel Tresanton. We will be sipping Pimms and lemonade on the sun terrace. I will eat their adorable crab sandwiches.

        1. We spend a lot of time in Cornwall and crab is always (and should be) on the menu.

  8. */****

    Straightforward fun. A fine start to the week. It took me a little while to see the anagram in 4d even though I had the answer. Hey ho.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for a great blog.

    2 small points…I can see the answer for 21d and there appears to be something very wrong with the gentleman in the pic for 13a. No idea what.

  9. 14d. The second word in the answer is BUT around the Italian for the definite article.

    7d. This was my last in, and only because it seemed to fit. I don’t really see how it works?

    1. I agree with you about 14d.
      7d is a sort of double definition. It’s one kind of tea (Indian or China) but a tea service is also made of it. I spent too long trying to make ‘cuppa’ work! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

    2. Well spotted Vince Buitt is not a word. It is the result of solving the puzzle in my sleep at silly o clock and blogging it a couple of hours later.

  10. Sorry to be pedantic, Miffypops, but your hint for 14d is not quite right. The second word does not contain the It(alian) but the Italian word for the definite article ‘the’

    1. No need to apologise for pedantry, Rod. Let’s have more of it, I say.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    2. See my reply to comment 9 above Rod. Thanks anyway. It is nice to know the hints get read.

      1. Of course they are read Miffypops , your hints are often better than the puzzle itself .

        1. Good grief – just watched it. Not only did he smile but he also opened his eyes once or twice!

        2. We saw Leonard Cohen at The Manchester Opera House on this tour. Gig of the year.

      2. I always read the hints every day, whether or not I need them – it’s all part of the fun and part of this brilliant blog. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      3. I always read the hints MP. They are a source of elucidation and, often, laughs. I like to think I could identify the blogger from the hinting style: BD’s authority; Gazza’s concise precision; DT’s ease of expression; K-squared’s obvious delight at the task; Kitty’s slightly off-the-wall but more up-to-date cultural references – and your love of anagrams, musical taste and appreciation of Italian food.

        1. Dts word count versus mine. Golly bongs he is a master of the succinct. You didn’t mention Kath’s horror, nervousnous and honesty. Or that bloke Dutch winging in like an old pro first time around.

          1. Mea culpa on Kath, the easiest reviewer to spot. Sorry Kath. I couldn’t mention Dutch as he’s only done it once. But I’ll know him next time

      4. For once, MP, you really should try the Rookie – think you might get something from it that you’d very much appreciate!

  11. I’ll go for 2* difficulty and in between 3* and 4* for enjoyment.
    22a was my last one – didn’t recognise it as an anagram and kept thinking we were being fooled into thinking of horses.
    I was slow with 24a (love the joke, MP) 30a and 14d and didn’t know which spelling of the first word to use – not that it mattered much.
    I liked lots of these so will just pick a few to mention – 6 and 15a and 8 and 14d. My favourite was 21d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  12. 1*/4*. What a joy! Brief cluing and smiles all the way.

    6d was a new word for me confirmed in my BRB. Almost all the clues made my long list of candidate favourites today, with my short list being 28a, 30a, 2d & 26d. If pushed I’ll settle for 30a.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  13. For some reason it took us ages to get going today and we had to look up the whys and wherefores for some of the clues, but it was a good and quite straightforward crossword so thank you to the Monday setter and to Miffypops.

  14. Thanks to Rufus and Miffpops for the review & hints. I enjoyed this very much, some very amusing clues. Thought it was 1*/3*, but I was totally defeated by 30a, double Doh!!

  15. Have a great holiday, we used to go to Cornwall for holiday stayed in Looe and St Mawes – happy memories. Enjoyable way to start the week with some typically delicious clues which were on my wavelength. ** for difficulty but *****for enjoyment.

  16. Delightful stuff as ever for a Monday, with at least eight more anagrams than a certain other puzzle earlier today!

    Favourite by a short head was 15a.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops (the Simon’s Cat video is sublime !!)

      1. I’ve encountered him before, don’t worry. A very appropriate substitute for Kitty before she returns solo next week then!

  17. Nice Monday fare again.

    Faves : 6a, 24a, 4d & 14d.

    Used to potter about on Loch Lomond in a 6a when I lived am magh Leamhna!

  18. I sailed through this one in 1* time except for two annoying clues which you helped me with MP so thanks for that and also thanks to Rufus for another 4* enjoyable Monday tester

  19. Agree with 1*/4*. A jolly puzzle to start the week. 14d my favourite. VVMTs to Rufus, and to Miffypops for a hugely entertaining review (complete with utterly inappropriate joke, which of course, l did not laugh at). I have to say that last bit, because my wife’s a blonde. Enjoy St Mawes – last time l went there l ran aground on the south side of the harbour trying to avoid the working boat race fleet, but you should be safe enough in a hotel!

    1. We got shipwrecked on The Place Ferry. We are staying in the same holiday let that we stayed in last year. I hope to go out on a fishing/crabbing boat one day.

  20. I think you have to be of ‘wrinkly’ age to be familiar with the answer to 14d, so as nobody has indicated a lack of familiarity with it can I assume that not many youngsters are logging in?

  21. 6a and 14d took me into 2* time, but what a joy this puzzle was. I’ll give it 4* for that. Thanks to Rufus for the entertainment and to MP for the usual top-notch review. Very good to hear Dress Rehearsal Rag (That’s a funeral in the mirror and its stopping at your face) from the master of all songwriters. If you don’t like that, then you don’t really care for music, do you?
    Have a great time in Cornwall. Used to go there a lot when the kids were small. The Packet series of newspapers are cherished by me for two reasons: the Falmouth Packet had the world’s greatest scoop – the result of the Battle of Trafalgar; and much later, the Helston Packet had my favourite splash headline: “Apathy rages at beauty contest” – apparently only three women had entered the Miss Helson contest.
    My favourite headline of all time, however, was in the late-lamented News of the World: Reggie Kray killed Jack “the hat” McVitie. The picture of the prison meeting between Reggie and the Krays’ associates Charlie Richardson and “Mad” Frankie Fraser over tea and biscuits in 1994 was immortalised in the headline “I could murder another McVitie”

    1. A day off obviously does you the power of good, TS – sounding positively chipper today. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

      1. A weekend on the boat, no hassles on public transport, some splendid pate de campagne, a pint of London Pride and Van Morrison on the stereo. All of these things up my chipperness quotient and rock my gipsy soul.

    2. I had a mate who worked for newspaper distributors Goddard and Poke. He collected odd headlines. His favourite. Talk On Cheese At Shustoke Women’s Institute

      1. You’ve got to go a long way to beat “Whitstable mum in custard shortage”.

        1. Or the lady at the Co-Op Annual general meeting asking why custard had gone up by 5p. They were discussing a multi million pound development at the time.

    3. Interesting information about Trafalgar. But did you know that the last survivor of that battle is a Hyérois named Louis Cartigny. Even queen Vic sent somebody for his funeral. He also lived in my street till the ripe age of 101 but I don’t know where.

      1. He died a few hours before Queen Victoria arrived in Hyères. The roundabout separating Avenue du 15e Corps and Alphonse Denis is named after him!

      2. I did not know that. Those were bloodier but perhaps more honourable times.

  22. Very much enjoyed today’s puzzle and only needed the hint for 5d…then could have kicked myself when the penny dropped.

    Thanks to Miffypops and to the setter.

  23. On a beautiful sunny day here in Shropshire after some much needed gardening, I retired to the patio with a very nice glass of Sancerre and today’s puzzle. I’ve not always been a fan of Rufus (especially when he used to set the crossword in our local paper) but today’s offering was a delight. Lovely elegant clues with excellent surfaces and set at a level to entice, and give confidence to, new cryptic crossword solvers.

    So thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and MP for his review. Now…… back to the winehttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    1. Oops – forgot to say that there were too many lovely clues to pick one as an outstanding favourite. There you go Kathhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

        1. OK – 15a for it’s very clever wordplay (but surely I must have some favourites in the bank by nowhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif)

          Btw Kath, how is Mary these days? Haven’t seen a post or mention for some time, so I do hope all is well.

  24. Must be having an ‘off’ day as this only gave me 2* for enjoyment, possibly 1.5* for difficulty as I wasn’t sure about 1d for a while, which rather put 1a on hold.
    Liked 15a plus 5&14d, favourite was definitely 2d.

    Thanks to Rufus and also to MP for a great blog – love Simon’s cat sketches and will bear in mind your warning re: free passage on the IOW ferry when I have to use it in a few weeks time to go and visit No. 2 daughter!

    As for the vid. clip at 18d – reminds me of the time some years ago when a good friend lost her partner to cancer. He left several bequests to friends and, when my friend called one of them to let him know what he was to receive, his reply was ‘thank God for that, I thought it might have been his Leonard Cohen collection’.

    Off to re-join the battle with the Rookie – proving a little tricky at the moment.

    1. Jane, just to tell you that I went to Chichester at the weekend and enjoyed “Way Upstream” – certainly a very ambitious water setting!

      1. So pleased that you went, Angel, and glad that you enjoyed it. I saw Jason Merrells at Stratford a few years back – he’s a pretty good ‘serious’ actor as well!

        1. Dear goodness – get head back on straight! Meant to say, Jason Hughes – although the afore-mentioned Jason Merrells is pretty good at Shakespeare as well! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  25. Most enjoyable. Flailed around for a bit on 30a until I remembered that in the UK a joint could a roast!

  26. A nice gentle start to the week! Some lovely clues and………no need to resort to the hints….Hooray! My favourites are 5d, 14d, 21d, 23d, and 26d….great clues. I also liked 30a……one of my favourite ‘Spitting Image’ episodes……. Newzoids just don’t cut the mustard!
    Thanks to setter and to MP for the review…very enjoyable…*/****

    1. I think that having five favourites is pushing your luck – to put it politely anyway, but only because ‘bad language’ is one of the few things that is banned here. Oh dear! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  27. Very enjoyable and more than one star for difficulty, for me anyway.I loved 26d. I recall my sister at three year bagsing everything in sight. And some things don’t change. 4d brought a smile ,as did the pics in 13a.
    Thanks Miffypops and Rufus.

  28. I relished being able to rise at half-sensible o’clock this morning to enjoy the crossword without undue terror.

    14d was my last in, but I started it with a G. No real favourite, just lots of nice clues. Thanks Rufus.

    I very much enjoyed the review – thanks Miffypops.

  29. It,s funny how one wrong un can throw you out. I thought it was rankled or rankles for 19a.which of course threw out 16d 20d 24a. I even thought it might be rankers. Did I get rancour? No I did not. Silly me. So nearly three star territory for me today.

  30. Gentle but nost enjoyable start of the week. Started it while waiting for my half yearly blood test and was chaffed as I completed half of it all on my own without any dictionary or electronic help, so there. 30a made me laugh as did 2 down. Was not aware of 26d although guessed it – probably comes from the fact that my childhood was spend across La Manche. 1*/4* for me with many thanks to Miffiypops and to Rufus.

    1. I would never criticise anyone who can solve a cryptic crossword in anything other than their first language – I’m far too full of admiration.This is absolutely not a criticism but I know that my French sister-in-law likes to be told if she says something that’s not quite right. When you said ‘chaffed’ I think you meant pleased with yourself in which case the word is ‘chuffed’. Well done anyway, and still full of admiration! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  31. Thank you Rufus for a most enjoyable puzzle and thanks MP for your review and hints. A lovely day at Strumpshaw Fen in Norfolk sunshine.

  32. Another lenient kick off to the week so thanks to Rufus for that and to MP for your special brand of hinting which is always fun to read through after the event if not before. Can’t say I have heard children these days using “26d” but I do certainly remember it well from days of yore. */***.

  33. Many thanks, MP. Truly Ace as usual…and Rufus too. Favourite day of week, so much so that I have spun it out till Tuesday. :)

  34. 27a was my favourite in a delightful crossword to start the week. Today is Thursday and at last I have caught up. I am not moving house again; the lack of routine is awful!
    Thanks to Rufus and MP. S’funny, I know I’ve heard that joke before somewhere….

Comments are closed.