DT 27930 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27930

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27930

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Good morning to one and all from the heart of Downtown LI where all is well with the world. If you are solving on iPads the four long clues around the periphery of the grid are all given as 13 characters. They are not. See below for the correct spacings. According to the timer on my iPad I solved this puzzle in 00.00.00 time. Beat that if you can.

If any of you play rugby for England can you please ignore the coaches and the captain and just play rugby. All of your natural talent and flair has been trained out of you. Also ignore anything said by anyone from the world of Rugby League. The two codes do not mix well.

It is October. Bob Dylan is visiting. I have tickets. Bring it on.

I owe Hanni an apology for saying last week that she was good at falling off horses. Hanni is an excellent horsewoman. She rides well, jumps well and trains horses well. She occasionally falls off them too. I look forward to meeting her in November

Below are my hints and tips to DT cryptic puzzle No 27,930 which will hopefully help you to solve the clues that you are finding difficult. Try the hint first and if you are still in the dark click on the greyed out box that says click here and the answer will be revealed.

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    Four on the fiddle? (6,7)
STRING QUARTET: A group of four musicians, two violinists (fiddlers) one viola player and a cellist. Are viola players and cellists fiddlers?

ARVE Error: need id and provider

10a    Serious listener sent astray (7)
EARNEST: The organ used for listening and an anagram (astray) of SENT.

11a    Media must make stand about false statement (7)
DAILIES: The media here are your newspapers which can be made by placing a low platform or lectern around a fib or untruth

12a    Place where cubs may be left warm and dry (4)
LAIR: L(eft) and a word meaning to warm laundry that had been washed in order to remove dampness

13a    Beginner to make money and gain experience (5)
LEARN: The beginner here is a L(earner) which when combined with a verb meaning to make money in return for labour or services will give a word which means to gather knowledge

14a    Liberal-approved party game (4)
LUDO: This game was derived from an Indian game called Pachisi. It was patented thus in 1896. In the late fifties and early sixties it was played regularly in our household. I had the green counters. The clue is a charade of three crosswordland usual suspects. Follow the instructions and it will fit into place nicely. The word L(iberal) gives us the letter L. The word approved strangely indicates the letter U from way back in time when there was a fashion for calling things U and Non U. A party is a “Do” put the three together to find a board game.

17a    The loss-making accommodation for students (7)
HOSTELS: Anagram (Making) of THE LOSS

18a    Odd, Bobby not on his round? (7)
OFFBEAT: The opposite of ON and a word describing a policeman’s regular patrol.

19a    Idealistic Scotsman follows upper-class head (7)
UTOPIAN: For the first letter here see my hint for 14ac. Add a word meaning head or the upper echelons and follow both with one of our two regular Scotsmen. Not Mac, the other fellow

22a    Doubly exclude a major Shaw character (7)
BARBARA: Use two (doubly) words meaning to exclude as I might do to prevent unruly customers coming into my pub and add the A from the clue to find this character from a play by George Bernard Shaw

24a    Has old-fashioned style (4)
HATH: The old fashioned word for Has. Think scorned women, fury and hell.

25a    In the current era, grasping chaps improve (5)
AMEND: Take the term meaning after the birth of Christ and insert a word for chaps, geezers or fellows. I find it amusing that Rufus has used the term “In the current era” because the world of academia no longer refers to the birth of Christ to denote historical time but uses CE (common Era) and BCE (Before common era) instead.

26a    Gaze endlessly, seeing famous actor (4)
STAR: remove the last letter (endlessly) from a verb meaning to gaze to find a term used to denote anybody famous.

29a    Stern-looking sport contestants (7)
OARSMEN: These sportsmen who include Sir Steven Redgrave amongst their ranks look towards the stern of their boats. Women can row too. Check this link to read about some inspirational women Saint Sharon and I met recently.


30a    Main road? (3,4)
SEA LANE: a route at sea designated for use or regularly used by shipping. (Copied directly from google)

ARVE Error: need id and provider

31a    What it is is difficult to say (6-7)
TONGUE-TWISTER: An all in one clue which defines as a sequence of words or sounds, typically of an alliterative kind, that are difficult to pronounce quickly and correctly, as, for example:

I saw Susie sitting in a shoe shine shop.
Where she sits she shines, and where she shines she sits.


2d    Vegetables growing from vessel in rubbish dumps (7)
TURNIPS: place a three letter tall rounded vase inside the plural of your local council waste disposal site

3d    Date that is timeless (4)
IDES: in the ancient Roman calendar) a day falling roughly in the middle of each month (the 15th day of March, May, July, and October, and the 13th of other months), from which other dates were calculated. That is in Latin is ID EST. The word timeless in the clue instructs us to remove the letter T. Thank you Big Dave for parsing that one for me.

4d    Collects the rags after sorting (7)
GATHERS: Anagram (after sorting) of THE RAGS

5d    Drug one’s made to experience (7)
UNDERGO: Anagram (made) of DRUG ONE

6d    Sally is right to help (4)
RAID: R(ight) and a verb meaning to help or assist

7d    Mince pie and preserve for a gourmet (7)
EPICURE: Anagram (mince) of PIE and a verb meaning to preserve a foodstuff. Mmm food. Kippers. Yay.

8d    Highly regarded, with spring in mind? (4-7-2)
WELL-THOUGHT-OF: this phrase meaning commendable or laudable comes from a source of water and a term meaning brought to mind

9d    Flying sector health risk in naval vessel (6,7)
ESCORT CARRIER: An anagram (flying) of SECTOR followed by one who transmits a disease but does not suffer from it. The doctor says that I have Hermes, just like Herpes but I am a carrier.

15d    I will get a number to follow through danger (5)
PERIL: I from the clue. The letter denoting the roman numeral for fifty come after a word meaning through or by means of

ARVE Error: need id and provider

16d    Blazing with a loud anger (5)
AFIRE: A from the clue. The musical term for loud and a noun meaning anger

20d    Oration rewritten for part of Canada (7)
ONTARIO: Anagram (rewritten) of ORATION

21d    A man who’s proposed? (7)
NOMINEE: One who is nominated or proposed as a candidate

22d    Group observed in cutter (4-3)
BANDSAW: A collective name for a group of musicians followed by the past tense of the word see.

23d    Cut a tea break to get things moving (7)
ACTUATE: Anagram (break) of CUT A TEA

27d    Sticks up for being self-satisfied (4)
SMUG: Reverse (up in a down clue) the acts of gluing or pasting

28d    Crazy  cricketers (4)
BATS: A double definition. These cricketers stand at the wicket

Solved whilst listening to Van Morrison who I get to see again in December.

The Quick Crossword pun: hangar+round=hang around

83 comments on “DT 27930

  1. CANNOT believe I’m the first to leave a comment today as I’m usually one of the very last . */*** for me this lunch-time as I found this puzzle reassuringly easy-peasy so I haven’t got the dreaded Alzheimers after all – phew ! Last week could hardly complete a single cryptic crossword,let along the toughie….Good start to a sunny Monday so thanks to setter and here’s hoping for brain-works the rest of week…..LIked the last clue across !

  2. Finished comfortably before lights out last night; although last one in was 15d and I was not convinced I had got it right until I read MP’s explanation above. Also, no idea about the GBS character in 22a (which play anyone?) but the answer just had to fit. Favourites were all 4 of the 13 letter (total) clues. Thanks to Rufus for a gentle start to the week and to MP for the usual excellent review.

  3. Thanks to Miffypops and Big Dave – finished this in ** time mainly because I couldn’t parse 3d either and still not convinced about 15d. Thanks to the setter as always.

  4. Rufus is in a similarly benign mood over at the grauniad – thanks to he & to MP as per.

    1. And so I have. That’s anagrams for you. Maybe somebody will change it. Maybe nobody will.

  5. Greetings from sunny Northumberland, what a beautiful part of England.
    No great problems with the puzzle after I tumbled to the iPad problem. Spent ages trying to understand the escort carrier as one word!
    Apart from that a pleasant start to the week with no great problems and really loved 29a, what a clever clue, made me smile.
    Thx to all

  6. Excellent Monday my first and probably only “fill in” thanks to setter although I suspect that Tuesday will be back to normal.
    Passed through Hanley Swann and mentally doffed cap to Big Dave, did notice camera van at the last minute though. Difficulty for me **/****

  7. 22a definitely my favourite for the major connection.
    I’m a real fan of theatrical references.
    And talking about shows, MP’s review is a masterpiece.
    This crossword didn’t require any outside help. Not even a thesaurus.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  8. A gentle Rufus Monday – no stand-out favourite and not overly convinced by 15d. 1*/2* for me. Thanks to Rufus for unwinding the brain cells following the Rookie battle!
    Great blog, MP. Loved the traffic jam concert but think the 20d hint needs a re-write and couldn’t get the 15d clip to play – no idea what it was meant to be! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      1. Pity I love that hymn. I can only get the message “An error has occurred – please try again later”.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

          1. Thank you so much BD for once again sorting problem. My day has begun with a tear or two! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif (I do have to say however that I have heard congregations make a better job of the sailors’ hymn – quite a dirge!)

  9. Bright start to the week ,as it should be, has to be a */*** for me . Was toying with ‘ idea ‘ for 3d-last in, until the latin phrase ‘beamed up ‘ to save the day. Liked 22a, remember one of my favourite actresses, Wendy Hiller, in the film title role. Went to see 10a at the Lowry on Saturday with Nigel Havers and Martin Jarvis hamming it up and Sian Phillips a well suited Lady B . Thanks to Miffypops for the blog/pics,1a looks seriously impromptu!

    1. I remember MP going to see the Coward play not long ago. Said the same about the two actors.
      But Sian Phillips. That takes me back. Worked with her daughter on a show once. At the time her dad (Peter O’Toole) was at the Haymarket in Bernard Shaw’s The Apple Cart. Thanks for the memories.

  10. Nice start to the week. **/***. Also had a moment with 15d and I would take issue with 25a. To amend isn’t necessarily to improve surely, to alter would be more precise.

    1. The BRB gives for ‘amend’: to free from fault or error; to correct; to improve; to alter in detail with a view to improvement; to rectify; to cure; to mend.

  11. Nothing too difficult with this offering, just enough to make one think. Quite enjoyable too. I must say it is years since I heard anyone using 28D in that context. Thanks to MP for his usual enjoyable blog. I would rate this 1.5/2.5

  12. 1* or 2* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    I have no idea how anyone would have got the four long answers round the outside if they were all supposed to be thirteen letters.
    1a – ‘Violin Quartet’ wasn’t helpful but sorted as soon as I got onto the down clues.
    I was slow to get 9d – in fact it was my last answer – and 11a – don’t know why I had a problem with that one.
    I liked 12 and 31a and 9 and 28d. My favourite was 29a.
    With thanks to Rufus and to MP.
    Need to have a quick look at Rookie Corner comments to see if it’s just me being dim or if it’s really tricky – then off up the garden in the sun.

  13. A very nice crossword. didn’t get 21D until I had all the letters across. 3 down beat me I’m afraid. Knew it was ides but couldn’t work out the timeless bit. Probably lulled into a sense of false security by the easy anagrams. **/***

  14. Definitely a **/*** for me today. Had no problem with 15d but got fiancé into my head for 21d, even though I knew it didn’t fit, and couldn’t get past that for a while. I got 29a from the letters and then clicked, this was my favourite clue. Thanks to Rufus and to MP, for a particularly amusing blog today.

  15. Nice easy one for a change……more like a quick crossword than a cryptic I thought. 1*/3* so quite enjoyable. Thanks to MP and setter.

  16. **/***

    Up to 2* as I couldn’t parse 3d. At all. Seemed to fit though. The rest was a gentle breeze.

    Loved the clip for 1a. Admire the women of 29a.

    No stand out clue but a pleasant solve.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for a great blog. You are sweetness itself to say sorry. Though never needed.

  17. Torn between catgut strings for 1a, and carrots for 2d. Surely one had to be right ? Clearly not. The down clues sorted me out. Enjoyed 28d and 31a. Never think of a shipping lane as a road, so took ages to parse 30a. It has caught me out before. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops. I am over the whole England Rugby World Cup thing. Roll on the 6Nations.

    1. What with catgut and carrots you certainly know how to make life difficult for yourself.

      Not quite sure if this could be pushing my luck but what’s the difference between a tea bag and the English Rugby team? I’ll duck now . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

        1. SL and Hanni are right – the tea bag is in the cup for longer. Some friends of ours were here on Friday evening – one of the blokes is not only Welsh but absolutely fanatical about Rugby.

  18. **/***. A gentle romp to start the week. Thanks to MP for an excellent and amusing review and the setter for an enjoyable puzzle. It’s thanksgiving today so even better and congratulations to Matthew Fitzpatrick who won the British Masters and is a member of Hallamshire GC, my old track. What an amazing talent he is.

  19. Fairly easy even for a Monday, although I couldn’t work out the cryptic clues for 3d and 15d

  20. thanks for the review miffypops.

    I liked 11a (media), and the all-in-one character of 12a (cubs). Also like 17a (loss-making accommodation) and I thought 3d (date that is timeless) was very clever. I enjoy the typical rufus cd’s like 21d and 24a.

    Many thanks Rufus

  21. Thanks to Rufus and MPs for a splendid start to the week. Four lovely long clues round the edge kick started things nicely, favourite – on dangerous ground here because the choice is quite wide but in the end I went for 29a as I loved the mental picture it conjured up. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  22. Fairly gentle – like Miffypops I guessed 3d but could’t parse it….15d was last in and again I struggled to parse it and still feel it is a bit over-contrived….but otherwise nothing obscure, so **/*** for me….

  23. Near enough a R & W today but well worth doing. A very nautical theme I thought with clues such as 9d, 29 & 30a (you could include 14a if you called it by it’s proper name ‘Uckers’). I wonder if that was what Rufus was thinking of. I will go with 29a as my favourite today – v. clever IMHO

    Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and mp for his amusing review.

  24. We took the sea lane and sailed through this without any problems. It was (as many others say) a very enjoyable start to the week. **/****
    Thanks to Rufus for a splendid puzzle and to Miffypops for his always entertaining review.

  25. A pleasant relief to have the straightforwardness of a Rufus puzzle to act as an antidote after the earlier struggles experienced in RC.

    The Shavian play in 22a had previously escaped my attention, sad to relate, but it was totally solvable from the wordplay.

    The two clues which stood out from the rest for me were 3d and 29a, absolutely superb.

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires and to Miffypops for his fun-filled critique.

  26. A most enjoyable puzzle, somewhat interrupted by the arrival of a BT engineer to sort out the broadband which has been defunct for some days now. After going through the usual “switch it off and on again” ritual he shinned up the pole and declared the connections rotten. It now works. Possibly equally exciting my daughter got engaged at the weekend.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_heart.gif

      1. Not sure who the congrats are meant for, MP – the engaged couple or the BT engineers? Since Hanni insists that you are ‘sweetness itself’ I shall assume the former and would add my congrats to the happy couple.
        By the way – I do hope they don’t read HF’s comment. To have their great news described as ‘possibly equally exciting’ to BT fixing the broadband doesn’t seem like the likeliest route to a great relationship with the prospective son-in-law! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  27. I just adore Rufus.
    So many delightful clues, loved 29a and 31a, but why stop there, they were all good.
    My fave was 22a ‘cos that’s my name, a bit old fashioned, but that’s okay, it’s mine.
    Thanks to my hero Rufus and to M’pops for the usual excellent review.

    1. My lovely mother-in-law was called 22a as is my equally lovely sister-in-law so you, and they, are in good company I reckon.

  28. A very gentle Rufus today.

    Great blog from Miffypops – I thought the String Quartet were first class – A1?

  29. 1.5*/4*. Usual Monday fun! 3d was my last one in. Lots and lots of potential favourites here, but I’ll settle for 18a.

    Many thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  30. Nice and straightforward */*** the only tiny item in the ointment was 3D ? Thanks to MP and to the setter for a nice gentle start to the week ? Liked 29a, 11a & 13a

  31. Thank you MP for the hints. Needed the explanation for 3d. think it’s a **/*** for me. 9D reminded me of the joke.. Doctor, doctor I think I have Hermes. Don’t you mean Herpes? No I’m only a carrier…

  32. We got off to a bad start by confidently writing in ‘violin strings’ for 1a. When this would not fit with anything else we had another look at the clue. Once that was sorted it all fell into place very smoothly.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

    1. For the first time in days I didn’t follow you down the blind alley, 2Ks. Probably only due to not committing to 1a until I had some checkers in place!

    2. We got that one straight off….but can fully understand why you put violin strings in. both answers work!

    3. I had ‘violin quartet’ as a first idea and you had ‘violin strings’ – we were all wrong – what we obviously need is another combined effort, as in May this year! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  33. Another very enjoyable Rufus puzzle. 18a is my favourite.
    I accessed this through FaceBook, as my new computer was giving me endless trouble , which have been mostly solved by buying some booster thing that really has speeded up the modem.However, when I try to access this site I keep getting a weird message about phone top ups and so on ! If anyone knows how to get rid of this “error”and let me have normal access to the site, I would be very grateful.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  34. I enjoyed this gentle challenge from Rufus – with the exception of 3d (a great clue, now I see it), which I got, but parsed wrongly. I had the “T” at the beginning, not the end, thinking Tides for Date. Damn. Thanks to MP (&BD) and Rufus.

  35. The timing out problems seem to have reappeared – what was the server called Thunderclap Newman or something – whatever, it’s screwed up!

    Getting to today’s puzzle – easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy (I must turn off predictive text It’s driving me nuts!)


      1. Re servers, I know it is a different country , but I have finally twigged the my internet problems have arisen because Virgin have taken over my previous server, UPC, and their service is abysmal. Contract over in February and I am moving.

    1. Ooooh – I’d forgotten about Thunderclap Newman and “Something in the Air” – loved it – 1970’ish? Oh dear – it’s made me go all funny again just remembering it and everything that I associate it with! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  36. The mistake with the enumerations provided a bit of an extra challenge for my sluggish, sleepy little brain today, but once I twigged what had happened it was ok. Other than being slow I had no problems with 1a, but what did trip me up was inputting RING as the first four letters of 22d. It was only at the end, scratching my head at 22a that I thought to have another look and realised my mistake.

    Re your hint for 29a, women can indeed row. I took Mr K up the Serpentine yesterday, before watching a heron do a tightrope walk act and witnessing a chap sliding into the water. Today’s park outing was more solitary and less fun, and tomorrow it’s back to real life http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif.

    Many thanks to MP and Rufus.

  37. Gentle start to the week. 1a sprang instantly to mind and it remained my Fav with 31a being a close runner-up. Good to have BD’s parsing of 3d – clever! Thank you Rufus and MP. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  38. The DT really needs to get the iPad version sorted. It’s the same today (13th) and is making it all a bit ridiculous. Quality newspaper, dodgy IT department.

  39. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very nice puzzle to start the week. No major problems. Was 2*/3* for me.

  40. I immediately decided 1 across answer was “VIOLIN STRINGS” as there are 4 on a fiddle which made life difficult until we got the actual solution!

  41. Hmmm, shows how unobservant I was today… 13 letters ? Where? I didn’t notice, I just plonked the answers in regardless. A very gentle start to the week. Thanks to Rufus and MP for his entertaining review.

  42. Did this last night but couldn’t open the site to check in. My notes say 1*/3*, and best clues were 7d and 29a. Ta to Rufus for a pleasant start to the week, and to MP for a typically enjoyable review.

    1. Welcome to the blog Rod

      There have been no changes, and if you leave the browser window open for a while it works on all the browsers I have tried.

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