DT 27822 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27822

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27822

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning one and all. The Sun has got his hat on today and once the blog is written I have nothing to do and all day to do it in. Once again our Monday wizard has set a puzzle to delight. Not too difficult but there are some pitfalls in there to test you. Today is National Best Friend day. Catch up with yours and chew the fat for a while. One day you may not be able to so take the chance while you can.

Just for Jane who comments regularly, here are

The 8 wonders of the Isle Of Wight
The Isle of Wight has its very own eight wonders (one more than the world!)…

  1. Cowes you cannot milk
  2. Freshwater you cannot drink
  3. Lake you can walk through and stay dry
  4. Needles you cannot thread
  5. Newport you cannot bottle
  6. Newtown which is old
  7. Ryde where you walk
  8. Winkle Street where there are no winkles

Last week Saint Sharon and I turned a quick shopping raid into a whole day out in Coventry. That day inspired the illustrations for this review. How many can you name?

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    Successfully managed an abduction? (7,3)
CARRIED OFF: A double definition here. To have successfully done something or to have snatched and ran away with something. The good folk at Coventry’s Herbert Art Gallery and Museum have certainly done this with their exhibition based on the history of children’s television. The actual Muffin puppet is their first exhibit. Here he is.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

9a    A bird’s twittering, perhaps (4)
CHAT: This bird is a member of the thrush family. To twitter away is to talk informally.

10a    Fail to honour the commitments of one’s class? (4,6)
PLAY TRUANT: To fail in your commitment to attend school. Your reviewer today preferred this option to being hit repeatedly with sticks by bullying schoolmasters. I wonder if it was possible to do this from Play School?

11a    Fair game (4-2)
HOOP LA: A fairground game where prizes may be won by tossing a hoop successfully over the prize on offer.

12a    Cafe serving hot peas (3,4)
TEA SHOP: There is an anagram at play here indicated unusually by the word serving. HOT PEAS give us the fodder. Whilst I would expect to see hot peas in a café, I would not expect to see then in the answer.

15a    Supporting, though not coming forward (7)
BACKING: A double definition. The second usually used because one is moving away from something frightening like spiders. Eeeeugh!!!

16a    Trade reforms going in step (5)
TREAD: Anagram (reforms) of TRADE

17a    Yes — about to include parking spot (4)
ESPY: Make an  an anagram (about) of the word YES Include as instructed the letter P from P(arking) The inclusion is instructed not the letter. In crosswordland the word parking nearly always denotes the letter P. It just does. We could start a new section alongside Usual Suspects called Ones To Remember

18a    Failed test that undoes writer’s revision (4)
STET: Anagram (failed) of TEST – an instruction to ignore a marked alteration on a printed proof.

19a    Girl’s name that is that of one on stage (5)
ANNIE: Take a three lettered girls name and add the latin abbreviation for id est (that is) to find yet another girls name and the title of a musical show I once wasted a couple of hour of my life watching.

21a    It may help to preserve the ocean sailor (3,4)
SEA SALT: This old method of preserving food could also be used to describe an ancient mariner. The second word of this clue was used last week to denote the wore “cure” which held me up somewhat. Coleridge’s Rhyme of The Ancient Mariner is the only poem I know with the word Eftsoons in it.



22a    Solve a mystery and become brighter (5,2)
CLEAR UP: Another double definition. A third might be said about spots after measles or chicken pox

24a    Collect  petition (6)
PRAYER: And another mighty fine double definition. Think religion for the first and request for help for the second.

27a    Cover provided for Scottish furniture designer (10)
MACKINTOSH: Not Thomas. Charles Rennie.

28a    A head that takes part in teaching (4)
EACH: The answer is hidden in the clue indicated by the words takes part in.

29a    Cut off in this dire resort (10)
DISINHERIT: To cut off from a will. Anagram (resort) of IN THIS DIRE. The word Dire is the first word of a popular group. Here is a track from their first album

ARVE Error: need id and provider


2d    Skilled student in Lincoln (4)
ABLE: Place our usual suspect for a L(earner) inside the first name of the sixteenth president of The United States Of America. “But apart from that Mrs Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play”

3d    Pronounced similarities (6)
RHYMES: These are words that sound like each other such as Jane and pain. They are used plentifully by poets. Here is a song that includes the answer. Just for you Jane.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

4d    Listeners burning to be in hearing distance (7)
EARSHOT: Split 4,3. What our organs of hearing would be if they were burning

5d    Approve of American fashion (4)
OKAY: The American way of spelling a word of approval. I hope this hints gets your OK.

6d    Fool in rage about uncontrolled heat (7)
FATHEAD: This rage is a fashion or craze that will quickly pass. An anagram (uncontrolled) of HEAT is placed inside.

7d    Robber that holds up store? (10)
SHOPLIFTER: One who steals displayed goods from a store

8d    Shortest way to the top, believe me (8,2)
STRAIGHT UP: Yet another double definition. A third might be No Messing. This answer perfectly describes the route to the summit of Scafell from Wast Water.

12d    Religious theorist others hope may be converted (10)
THEOSOPHER: Anagram (may be converted) of OTHERS HOPE

13d    One may turn up to put one in (10)
APPEARANCE: One of these is the act of turning up or participating in a public event. Can you name these two original puppets?

14d    Photograph by which a crook is identified? (5)
PRINT: These identification marks are sometimes known as dabs, Dactyloscopy is your new word for today and should lead you to the answer if you are not already there.

15d    Put graduates in charge — that’s fundamental (5)
BASIC: Take our usual abbreviation for Bachelors of arts before our usual abbreviation of in charge to reveal the answer which perfectly describes this type of clue and it sums up childrens TV from the fifties

ARVE Error: need id and provider

19d    Frightened by a number with guns (7)
ALARMED: A from the clue, the Roman Numeral for 50 and an adjective meaning to be equipped with guns

20d    It alone can provide a sense of euphoria (7)
ELATION: Anagram easily solved using the words IT ALONE

23d    A loose relation (6)
AUNTIE: A from the clue and a word meaning to loosen like a shoelace or a knot will give this female relation. Your Mum or Dads sister. Also the name of The BBC who gave us the work of Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin.


25d    Book some variety turns (4)
ACTS: This book is biblical and tells of The Apostles

26d    Wine that sparkles as it rises (4)
ASTI: This sparkling Italian wine is formed by using AS directly from the clue and adding IT (also from the clue) but backwards as indicated by the word rising.

A little bit of Led Zeppelin aided and abetted today’s review.

The Quick Crossword pun: speck+tackle=spectacle

72 comments on “DT 27822

  1. 1.5*/4*. Exactly as we’ve come to expect on a Monday – light and great fun from start to finish.
    My short list of goodies today is 11d (my favourite), 3d (my last one in), 7d & 12d.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

    P.S. MP, many, many thanks for the Dire Straits’ clip. That is one of the greatest tracks ever!

    1. Very amusing today. I liked 13d. Must have looked a right burk in the coffee shop as the gasp of realisation over took me

    2. Not very happy about 5d but otherwise a good start to the week. 21a was rather nice. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  2. Nice gentle start to the week needed the clue for 3d last one in */** difficulty **** thanks to Miffypops and setter

  3. A nice start to the week with a straight forward puzzle. I was not aware that the spelling of 5d was only a US thing – I have been in North America too long!


    Thanks to the setter and MP for the blog. I am always incredibly impressed at the effort taken to produce these hints – it takes a lot of dedication!

  4. many thanks Miffypops for a great review. Did all the OU stuff go ok?

    Today’s puzzle seemed a bit more off the wall than the usual Monday Rufus and I found it a little harder. I didn’t make my life any easier by entering “eat” for the first word of 13a. 1a is interesting, “managed” apparently does some double duty in the double definition, all fixed with a question mark – or perhaps it’s an all-in-one?

    MP in 17a “about” needs to be an anagrind rather than a reversal for the clue to work. I was wondering how “Put” works cryptically in 15a.

    My favourite today is 7d – just lovely. I also liked 28a.

    Many thanks Rufus and thanks especially for the dire straits Miffypops

    1. 17ac, Sorted. Thanks. Th OU assignment was pinged in with 5 minutes to spare. It is the last one of my two level one courses. My first level two course begins in September. Creative Writing. Hopefully I will be be able to make it up as I go along.

      1. brilliant! I’m impressed you’re managing that on top of everything else. I have been thinking about creative writing….

      2. Aha – I’m also an OU student. Completely different subject area though – Computing for me. Not a field of expertise (I’m more of a music/literature person) but I wanted to learn. Last assignment of the course went in last week so a nice restful – crossword filled – summer beckons :)

        1. Where are you on your pathway. I start my first level two module in September

  5. Bright start to the week, amusing clues like 7d, 9a, 21a. Only required one cup of tea so a */*** for me. Thanks Miffypops for the old 1950’s pics of Muffin, Andy etc(not Murray), didn’t have a telly then but a friend did-somehow the strings didn’t matter in those carefree days

  6. How was the trip? I heard the museum has been packed over the last couple of weeks so have only walked past.

    1. Hello Boxy, We ate at Playwrights and walked through the Old Cathedral ruins where I decided Sir Basil Spence was a genius. We then had an hour or so in the exhibition. It was very very good. Too much Swap Shop and not enough Tiswas though. The items follow a timelime so anything including and following Teletubbies meant nothing to me. I would have liked to see more of Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin’s work. Stop passing by and walk right in. it is on until September 13th

      1. Funny; when things are on your doorstep you often take them for granted. I really should nip in the transport museum more often as it’s cheaper at half the price (free), much to a lot of peoples’ amazement.

  7. Thanks for that walk down Memory Lane, Miffypops – 15d indeed but it was all we knew! A really enjoyable Rufus which we would give a **/***.
    Here is one of our favourite Dire Straits tracks from that first album – when we were ‘Walking in the Wild West End’ in our 20s!

    1. Thanks to both you & MP for the links – these took me back to 1980(?) which was the year the current Mrs & I got married.
      I’ve just spent the last 10 minutes ‘knopfling’ the wotsit out of my air guitar. Time for a lie down now I think.

      1. Bang on Spindrift, I think the album could have been released in 1979 but hit the populace in the early part of 1980. Keep that air guitar going!

        1. We went island hopping in Greece. The first LP. Was being played everywhere. I remember the first time I heard it on a Sunday night. I bought it next day in my lunch break. It stayed on the turntable until Dylan released his next Album.

  8. Very enjoyable. Very Easy. But very enjoyable
    Many thanks to Rufus and MP

  9. Again a really enjoyable challenge..thanks for the tips as usual… Did especially enjoy 23 down ..life as an auntie will never be the same… Never noticed that. All good wishes

  10. Good heavens. With all the nostalgia, I forgot where I was for a minute… Where did you find all those?

  11. */****

    Great start to the week. No horses scared and plenty of smiles. 18a was my last in as I failed to spot the anagram. Almost put Mae West in for 21a but that’s mostly because I’m an idiot.

    Favourite is 7d with 12d coming a close second.

    Many thanks to the setter and to MP for your usual brilliant blog.

    Jane, I hope you have s fantastic time away. You’ll be missed here. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  12. Enjoyable, typical Monday puzzle. Not too taxing but I can’t for the life of me me see how 28a relates to ‘a head’. Probably being incredibly dense but, help!
    As a Dire Straits/Mark Knopfler fan since 78, thanks for the nostalgia. I’d forgotten how awful music videos were on those early MTV days!
    Thanks to Rufus and MPs.

    1. You could tell a group of people that the cost of something would be £5 per head or you could say £5 each. Does that help.

  13. I thought 28a and 11a were pretty poor – anyone else? – but otherwise an enjoyable puzzle ….

  14. That presented no problems at all so have yet to read MP’s hints which I gather involve a Sentimental Journey so look forward to that. Thanks Mr. Ron and MP. Southern half was a R & W and the North just a bit more tricky. */***. Amused myself by making up clues for the old-fashioned version of 12a ending in ‘pe’! A nice gentle start to the week. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_razz.gif

  15. Hi MP – your personal 3d checking in (Jane/pain).
    What a star performance from you today! I was full of hope when I spotted the magic word in the 29a clue but never imagined you would allow TWO Dire Straits tracks in the same review. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif
    Actually, I rather thought Bon Jovi might have made it into 24a.

    Loved the walk down memory lane with the clips from children’s TV. We didn’t have a set back then but a friend who lived in one of the ‘pre-fabs’ had one of those tiny TVs that incorporated a magnifier over the screen and I took to trying to persuade my Mum that we needed to visit her Mum on a regular basis!

    Oh, sorry – on to the puzzle:-
    Found this a little more challenging than the usual Rufus, just about pushed into 2* time with a 3* for enjoyment. For the first time ever, my first answers came in the middle and then I worked outwards – how odd is that (no comment necessary, MP).
    21a had several alternative second words before I hit on the correct one.
    Much enjoyed 10a plus 4&8d but favourite goes to 7d.

    Panic mode re. packing in full swing here. If I thought I could actually cope with two wheelie cases all problems would be solved but, as you rightly point out, MP – once I arrive in Ryde I’ll have to walk!

    Thanks to Rufus for a good puzzle and to MP for bowing to popular demand for Dire Straits.

    1. I have no reason not to include Dire Straits Jane. Their first album is possibly the best debut album ever. I saw them several times in some lovely little venues. Enjoy your break. I am keen to see how long you will be able to keep the doing of nothing to help.

      1. Given that I won’t get there until around 6.30pm I might manage the first night but after that………!
        A very fine line divides ‘help’ from ‘interference’ in the world of offspring so I shall endeavour to restrict the efforts to basic household chores.

      2. I might have mentioned this before Miffypops, but I’ll mention it again. I was production assistant to Julien Temple on the video for ‘Tunnel of Love’ by Dire Straits and appeared for a split second or two in the fairground scene. More importantly however, the first album which you highly praise was an important factor in the first time around courting days of Paso Doble.

      3. I’ll go for Closing Time by Tom Waits; Santana, by um?; or Are You Experienced as contenders in the best debut album stakes. Plenty more where they came from

  16. Terrific puzzle from Rufus. 2d was my stand out favourite.Thanks for the Dire Straits track, Miffypops.

  17. I suppose it must be quite hard to submit crosswords every Monday in two different newspapers. And this one really showed signs of fatigue.
    No matter how much 21a is needed, this one is definitely not going to be kept in the annals of crosswordland.
    I yarned all the way.
    Good thing MP cheered us up with a wonderful review and he clearly chose the word Dire as the centerpiece of his analysis.
    Thanks to all.

    1. Goodness, JL – not like you to get so little enjoyment from a puzzle. Have looked back over it and can’t see why you thought it was SO poor. Any enlightenment you can shed?

      1. Hi Jane,
        I can’t quite put my finger on it but I wasn’t very inspired.
        Didn’t like clues like 1a (abduction?) and 8d ( believe me?)
        Nor 3d and 9a come to think.
        13d was an old chestnut and others seemed a bit childish like 14d and 27a.
        Just finished the Rufus in the guardian. It’s a bit better but there again he knew he was going to be cut off twice!

        1. 1a & 8d I quite liked – maybe a bit too idiomatic for your taste? As for the others you mentioned – I can go along with you to some extent but didn’t have a huge problem with any of them.
          Isn’t it fascinating to read other people’s ‘takes’ on a puzzle!

    2. He was in the FT today (as Dante) and on Monday last week. Think you’re right – this was not one of his best.

  18. Clever puzzle – one of the best examples of just how good a “straightforward” Rufus crossword can be. As usual for me, some answers went in without completely understanding the wordplay e.g. 28a. 1*/4* for me. Many thanks to Rufus and Miffypops

  19. The guardian puzzle today by Rufus has a few minor disappointments that have surprised the commenters – as well as some great clues.

  20. Dire Straits – bliss, must dig out CDs. Lovely Monday stroll through anagrams plus. 27a dear to my heart because he lived just along the coast in Walberswick for a while before being hounded out as a German spy. Old enough to remember Annette Mills and Muffin on Sunday afternoons. Thanks to MP for a brilliant giggleworthy blog and thanks to setter.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

  21. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very enjoyable start to the week. I was beaten by 9a and 3d, needed the hints for them, otherwise it was very straightforward. Was 1*/3* for me. Favourite was 7d, which made me laugh out loud. Clouded over now in Central London.

  22. */***. Right on my wavelength and very enjoyable. Thanks to the setter and MP for the review and reminding me of captain pugwash.

  23. I don’t want to be difficult here but I thought some of it was much trickier than usual for a Monday so 3* and 3* from me.
    I was held up by several in the top left corner – couldn’t see 10a for ages, nor 3d, my last answer.
    Couldn’t get 12a for far too long either – mainly because I managed to split it 4,3 which really wasn’t very clever.
    I dithered about the second word of 1a but 6d sorted that one out.
    I liked 9 and 10a and 7 and 23d. My favourite was 19a – the name of our very badly missed collie. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif
    Thanks to Rufus for the crossword and to MP for the hints and piccies, specially the Dire Straits.

    1. I too was held up by the top left and needed the confirmation for 3d (thank you MP) – just didn’t seem very cryptic to me. I seem to remember saying the same about another puzzle which turned out to be Rufus so perhaps I just need to get on his wavelength a bit better.
      The rest of the puzzle was about as r&w as I’ve ever managed so I’m going to give it a 2*/2*.

  24. It’s hard to imagine a Monday puzzle being more straightforward than this one. It would be ideal for someone wanting to dip their toe into the cryptic crossword world I reckon.

    The usual plethora of anagrams – can there ever have been easier ones than 12a, 16a and 19a (the very seldom seen four letter DT anagram)?

    My favourites were 28a and 23d.

    Many thanks to Miffypops and Rufus.

    1. Yes,19a is a particularly rare example of a four letter anagram with five letters :wink:

      1. You win the prize for spotting my deliberate mistake! Thanks, RD.

        Sorry, I meant 18a of course.

  25. Well I struggled a bit with this today, but have to hang my head in shame that 3d was my last one in. Please don’t tell Mr. P. because he earns his living making these, & scripting things http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif so I can’t quite believe it took me so long to get! But oh! MP the treat of your fabulous review! Thanks so much for encouraging me to look over my shoulder back at Memory Lane. I wonder what the gorgeous Harrison would make of Muffin? No prizes for guessing that the four hooves won the day when I was tiny!! Thank you setter as well. Poppy is keen for an outing, so I have to run. Greetings to all. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  26. Simple but beautifully elegant (mostly). I had a wrong second word for 1a until 6d came along, but it was smooth progress until a few stragglers held me up a little at the end.

    Thanks to Rufus for the crossword and to Miffypops for the review – totally inspired!

  27. No problems with this one…quite straightforward really. I quite liked 3d, 8d, & 23d and 18a took me back to my years in the civil service…..’stet’….’let it stand’ in Latin…a very useful instruction if one has mistakenly crossed something out or altered it……Not used much now I guess unless one is a proof reader….unless you know different of course? This was a 1*/3* for me. Thanks to setter and to MP.

  28. Our usual starting point is the NW corner and today this was where we found the trickiest clues. We moved on around the puzzle and then came back to finish off there instead. They were not a problem by this stage. Pleasant solve.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

  29. I must be a bit thick.
    10a floored me, thought it was something to do with knight errant.
    Nice misdirection.
    Otherwise little or no problems. As it should be on a Monday.
    Thanks Rufus, and Miffypops.

  30. Miffypops, thank you for mentioning, albeit obliquely, one of the great pop guitarists and groups.

  31. As expected, a gentle intro to the week: 1*/3*. As for my favourite clue, given my nom de plume it has to be 21a. Thanks to Rufus for the entertainment, and to Miffypops for the review. I’m sorry to say that l spotted all the children’s TV characters. No Noggin the Nog, though. I too am an Oliver Postgate aficionado, and Noggin was surely his finest creation.

    1. There wasn’t much about them at the exhibitionn which surprised me. I will Nog away another day.

  32. Hello to TStrummer who will drop in soon. The music is not quite the high end stuff I usually use but it is up there knocking on the high end door.

  33. Either I’m getting better or the setters have become more lenient but I’ve fairly whizzed through the last few crosswords, including the weekend ones! I attended the Telegraph offices in Victoria last week having been invited to take part in some market research on their iPad app. Apparently they are bringing out a new version soon which will enable us to complete the crossword on a smart phone

  34. An absolute *@!*##^*# of a day, taking 15 hours to get home via taxi, train, train, taxi, aircraft, train, train and shanks’ spongy. Managed to pick a DT at Gatwick and thankfully could immerse myself in Rufus once I’d unpacked and killed several dozen of the hundreds of tiny moths that are currently infesting my flat. Like many people, 3d was my last one in and took a deal of head scratching before I twigged, and for that reason, it’s my favourite and took me into3* time and 3* for fun. So thanks to Rufus for giving me a good end to a dreadful day. And thanks too to MP for an even more splendid that usual review: I can still do a passable impersonation of Captain Pugwash (Wohoa my hearties!) but what was all that about with Master Bates? As for Dire Straits … Hmm, I’m not sure about that crisp Stratocaster tone, I prefer the Les Paul sound of Brothers in Arms – richer, fuller, with more sustain and the beauty of the music not buried in a flurry of notes. But each to his/her own. But best debut album? Nah. Think Joni Mitchell, Led Zeppelin, Robert Johnson, Otis Redding … Thank goodness we don’t all like the same thing

  35. Love the Monday puzzle and love Miffypops! Today was a corker- haven’t listened to Dire Straits for a long time, in spite of getting my vinyl all set up again recently. Don’t seem to have the time , now I’m older! Forgot what a great guitarist MK was/is.I especially like that MP’s clips never include all those tawdry bottoms and cleavage so beloved of some of his colleagues, but are always witty and interesting. Thanks MP!

  36. Thank you Rufus for a nice Monday puzzle – albeit done on Tuesday as the DT is a day behind here. Thanks MP for your review and hints.

  37. Have the puppets in 13d hint been identified. The only thought I have for one is Polly Pigtails. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_question.gif

  38. Was left staring at 3 blank answers for ages before I went to bed last night – 3d, 10a & 24a. But inspiration struck in the morning to finish them off (10a last one in, after 3d came to me) but not able to post until now. I did find this crossword a bit odd, not sure if it was just me not really getting the setter/different types of clues, but there were quite a few clues where I was struggling to make much out of their separate elements which turned out to be seemingly not that cryptic all-in-ones (e.g. 11a, 5d) or so ‘simple’ that didn’t feel quite right (16a hardly changed anagram, 19a name+ie = longer version of same name). I did like 4d and 7d though and 24a was satisfying ‘ah’ when it finally came to me. Thanks to Rufus for the challenge and MP for confirming my answers & thinking.

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