DT 27936 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27936

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27936

Hints and tips by Kitty

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment ***

Welcome to Big Dave’s Crossword Blog on this unremarkable October morning (at the time and place of writing) which I hope finds you well and in good spirits.

Rufus has provided us with some light and fluffy entertainment in his trademark style.

I was all ready to provide the multi-word patterns for those of you who solve on tablets and don’t enjoy the extra challenge of figuring those out, but the issue seems to be fixed. Hurrah!

The definitions are underlined in the clues below. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER boxes. The “click here!” is not an instruction but an option – click to reveal the answer should you wish.

Do leave a comment telling us how you found it and what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    Cab ranks offering quick fare here? (5,3)
SNACK BAR: We kick off with a nice anagram. Jumble the letters (offering) of CAB RANKS. This is the kind of fare you swallow

6a    Father, finished working, is to depart quickly (3,3)
POP OFF: The first word of the answer can be a pet name for father, the second can mean not working and the whole is as underlined

9a    It is twice returned by an old painter (6)
TITIAN: This one has been around a bit, but is still nice. You need the IT from the clue reversed and repeated (twice returned) followed by the AN

10a    Attractive catch in witchcraft (8)
MAGNETIC: Three letters for capture or gain inside witchcraft or sorcery

11a    Presentation of laws to be amended (8)
BESTOWAL: This is an anagram (amended) of LAWS TO BE

12a    Such a dog may be involved in many dubious accounts (6)
SHAGGY: There is a type of dog featured in a three-word phrase meaning a whimsically long-drawn-out story. Fetch!

13a    Mixed drink made girl lean drunkenly (5,3,4)
LAGER AND LIME: A clue which just screams “anagram” but where you have to do a little bit of counting to identify which is the indicator and which is the definition. Mix the letters (drunkenly) of MADE GIRL LEAN.  Delicious!

16a    Lynch your boss? Be ashamed of yourself (4,4,4)
HANG ONE’S HEAD: This phrase could mean to kill the chief in the manner described, but generally means to be deeply ashamed. Without checking letters I’d have bunged “your” in as the second word (as it is in the clue), but it’s the other one

19a    Desert storms – didn’t push on (6)
RESTED: It’s an anagram (storms) of DESERT

21a    Final notice for the Press? (8)
OBITUARY: A gentle cryptic definition of an article about a recently deceased person

23a    By no means a fleet response that may raise a laugh (3-5)
ONE-LINER: This clue did raise a smile. Remove the hyphen from this quip to see a vessel which could be a single unit of a fleet.  Nominate your favourite one of these below and I’ll add an illustration of the winner tonight

24a    Property in East, say (6)
ESTATE: The property we’re looking for (which may be called Chestnut Cottage) is found in the E(ast) together with a word meaning speak

25a    Blacksmith who makes money illegally? (6)
FORGER: The answer can mean a metalworker or alternatively a counterfeiter

26a    Sinner he reformed and put in a hallowed place (8)
ENSHRINE: An anagram (reformed) of SINNER HE. We’re in the present tense here, even if the surface reading suggests otherwise



2d    Notts opener wasn’t well caught (6)
NAILED: The first letter (opener) of N(otts) followed by a word meaning was sickly or indisposed

3d    Hard rock for Mr Eastwood (5)
CLINT: Well, I’d heard of the hard rock which rhymes with the this, but the answer itself was a new one on me. Mr Eastwood gives the game away though

4d    Transport that’s climbed upon for personal advancement (9)
BANDWAGON: Jump on this figuratively to follow a trend or literally as illustrated below

5d    Walker or climber (7)
RAMBLER: There are two definitions here. The climber, being plant not person, is flora.   The walker may be Flora (or have any other name) and, if overly verbose (as I am being in this very hint), may also be a third definition of the answer.  I have been known to be one of these: in fact there was a time when … yadda yadda yadda…

Ramblers in Wales

6d    They may hold up trains (5)
PAGES: Since the solver might be expected to think first of rail-bound locomotives, it is logical to immediately discount these and go seek other meanings of train. Maybe go to a wedding.  Which I did, but was held up a little because BRIDESMAIDS is far too long.  I despair!

7d    Persisted and finally succeeded (9)
PREVAILED: Two definitions: persevere, or continue; and win through

8d    Just willing to be easy prey (4,4)
FAIR GAME: A straightforward word sum where the first and second words of the clue respectively define the first and second words in the answer. Together, they make a legitimate object for attack or ridicule

13d    Frivolous commercial for electrical device (5,4)
LIGHT PLUG: Exactly the same form here as for the previous clue. I couldn’t find a specific device with this name

14d    Denis seen to be wanting (9)
NEEDINESS: Anagram (to be) of DENIS SEEN. Wanting here is a noun. Chambers used to have a waggish definition of “gerund-grinder” but it’s been expunged

15d    Tie down a lunatic in attack (4,4)
WADE INTO: A mash-up (lunatic) of the letters in TIE DOWN A

17d    Southern company press for means of punishment (7)
SCOURGE: Make a whip by following the abbreviations for S(outhern) and CO(mpany) with a verb meaning strongly encourage.  Oww!

18d    Language rarely heard in British school (6)
BRETON: Br(itish) and then a posh school

20d    He gives direction in entrance (5)
DONOR: Simple once you’ve isolated the definition. Poke one of the compass points into an everyday type of entrance

22d    Unqualified to make a statement (5)
UTTER: Rufus always gives us plenty of definitions, and here are two more to finish with. The second is straightforward (say, speak) while the first means out-and-out or absolute


That was fun – thanks, Rufus.

If you spot any of the deliberate mistakes (there is at least one) please flag them up and I’ll make corrections after I return this evening if nobody steps in sooner.

Do chip in below the line and join the conversation!

The Quick Crossword pun: mar+can+tunny=Mark Antony

89 comments on “DT 27936

  1. As you say, Kitty, Mr Eastwood could mean only one answer to 3d but I really don’t get it. Is there such a thing as a hard rock called that? Can anyone help?
    Thanks for hints Kitty.

  2. Nice easy stroll for me, lots of fun with a touch of humour! But my standout clue has to be 23A.Thanks to the setter & Kitty for the review.

  3. Damn and blast. I posted this once and the web site crashed on me.

    1*/4*. Light but great fun as always. My favourite was either 16a or 23a.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Kitty – great pics!

  4. Only the second word in 13d held me up a bit in order to finish the SW corner.
    No real stand out clues but pleasant solve nonetheless.
    For 23a: Age is an issue of mind over matter, if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.
    Mark Twain.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Kitty.

  5. I think I have about four to do. The app has decided to only show the bottom left quarter of the puzzle. What I have done has been quite enjoyable. Thank you Kitty for jumping in with all four paws and thank you Rufus. All four drinking pals, The Englishman Irishman Welshman and Scotsman will be able to walk into a bar together next weekend but they won’t get served. The Australian barstaff will watching the Rugby

    1. If they do eventually get served presumably the Scotsman will be treated to commiseration drinks on the house and in turn will raise his glass to come-uppance for Craig Joubert for a dreadful decision followed by disgraceful cowardice.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_twisted.gif

  6. */****

    liked 12A, 13A & 21A

    7D does not seem to be cryptic

    answer to 14Dis a noun, but clue asks for a verb..?

    Thanks for the hints & to the setter

    1. agree with 7d, the two halves of the double definition would seem to be closely related.

      14d – you can turn almost any verb into a noun by adding “ing”. “The wanting drove him mad”

      1. point taken re 14D, but perhaps I would not expect to see this style outside of crossword land !

  7. Great blog – thanks Kitty. I reckon that the deliberate mistake is describing 13a as delicious.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    1. Perfectly awful stuff. Then again so is lager and orange and lager and lucozade. Or anything to do with ‘energy drinks’ and Lapsang Souchong.

  8. */****

    Breeze of a puzzle that was over too quickly but made me smile.

    Many thanks to the setter and to kitty for blogging.

  9. Quite happy to go along with Kitty’s rating – just out of 1* time because I dithered over the second word in 13d and needed to check with Mr. Google that our hero at 3d is indeed a ‘hard rock’. Ahh – I did enjoy those films.
    Podium list includes 12,16&23a.
    Thanks to Rufus and also to our favourite feline – nice to see you back in the blogging chair, Kitty. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      1. You certainly have and you’re making a darned good job of it!
        Thanks for all the fun today, Kitty. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  10. Firstly ***** pics from Kitty.Yes it was light and fluffy, but ideal for a Monday a */*** for me.
    Liked 12a- last in, and amusing wordplay throughout from the setter.
    Was once asked what my favourite 23 across was-I replied Titanic!

  11. Nice easy one for the start of the week. Never heard of clint before, but looked it up and apparently it is a type of limestone.

  12. Favourite one-liner:
    I’m getting very forgetful so I’ve set my password to ‘incorrect’. When I get it wrong the computer reminds me what it is.

    1. I love that Australian beer. Kangerbrew. You can really taste the hops.

      My college has accused me of plagiarism. Their words, not mine

    2. Red sky at night, Shepherd’s delight. Blue sky at night, day.

      I deleted at the German names off my phone. It’s hans free.

      There always telling you to live your dreams. But I don’t want to be naked in a meeting I haven’t prepped for.

      I’ll stop there.

  13. I’m afraid 6d did for me…..I could see no other answer but the bridal connection eluded me.
    Thanks to Kitty and to the setter for starting my week on a bright note .

  14. Thanks for great blog Kitty, maybe they should’ve added a third definition to 5d just for you, it could have been … walker, talker or climber!!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif Just kidding! I am v impressed with your blogs http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    1. Aww, thanks Mary! Do you have any favourite 23s’s for us? I’m spoilt for choice already but do enjoy being spoilt!

  15. */**** for us too. We always love Rufus’ charming starts to the week. This was a bit easier than usual but as enjoyable as ever. Thanks to Kitty for the blog.

  16. Probably the easiest back-pager I have come across. The anagrams were clearly signposted. Thank you Kitty and setter.

  17. My type of Crossword, loads of anagrams and pretty straightforward clues apart from 5d – the following BBC recording might help :-


    I can’t help but think the words ‘leaves’ should have been in the clue.

    Anyway, a very good puzzle, lots of fun!

    Some great sport over the weekend, you have to feel sorry for the Scots – a real tough decision at the end there and the way the Referee departed the pitch at speed makes it doubly suspicious – I can’t help but think this is the last time we see Mr Joubert.


  18. Very enjoyable but disagree with the rating, I thought it was a tricky little beggar deserving at least a 2.5 for difficulty but a 4 for enjoyment.
    Last in was 6d, very clever but had me puzzled for ages. Not too comfortable with utter for unqualified in 22d.
    Now back to my Mary a Berry Frosted walnut cake, now at the caramelising stage, wish me luck!
    Thx to all

  19. 1* difficulty and 3*/4* for enjoyment.
    None of my usual “Monday trouble” today – I do struggle with Rufus sometimes.
    I dithered a bit with the second part of 13d – light switch and electric plug but I’ve never met an electric plug before.
    I didn’t know the 3d rock either but the answer was obvious.
    I liked 12 and 16a and 5 and 8d. My favourite was 23a.
    Thanks to Rufus and thanks and well done to Kitty. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    1. Rats! It’s the light plug that I’ve never met – that’ll teach me. I was so busy putting the right words in bold type that I screwed up the last bit. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

      1. I have yet to discover the way to access bold type, underlining or anything of a similar ilk when posting on the site, hence my reliance on exclamation marks, capital letters etc. BD had to sort out an avatar for me and it took ages to get to grips with ‘reply’ and emoticons. The very thought of including ‘links’ and pictures is enough to send me into apoplexy so worry not, Kath, your abilities outshine those of very many of us. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

        1. It’s in the FAQ’s I think under formatting. Have a go. I like your avatar. It blends into the background without the box around it.

  20. Mum and I enjoyed ourselves today! Chocolate biscuits all round. Now we are going to wrestle with Herculis.

    1. My word, Peta – you and your Mum are turning into gluttons for punishment. Alternatively, you’re both just gluttons for chocolate biscuits and need an excuse to justify eating more! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

      1. Any excuse for more chocolate is a good one! Have celebratory biccies if you do well, and commiseratory ones if not.

  21. Hola from the Vega Baja (to quote my other half – who’s abandoned me to go and see his mum).
    I was flying through this all on my little ownsome until 3 or 4 answers just wouldn’t show themselved to me.
    So I give it ** / *** – last ones in were 6d and 12a – just couldn’t see these at all.
    And yes I was thinking bridesmaids too until the penny finally droppy DOH !!!!
    I wrote 22d straight in – but wasn’t keen on the “unqualified” definition until I looked it up to find the synonym. Another DOH !!!!

    Thanks Rufus and Kitty for a nice puzzle and great review respectively

  22. Thanks to Rufus and to Kitty for the review and hints. A very nice puzzle to start the week, was a read & write for me, which is very unusual for a Rufus puzzle. Still very enjoyable. Favourite was 12a. Was 1*/3* for me. Having a nice walk over Kenwood. The pond excavations at Parliament Hill are now very deep.

  23. Undiluted joy from start to (fairly quick) finish.

    Delicious anagrams (and some superb indicators to accompany them), lovely double definitions, great cryptic disguise – who could want for more on a Monday!

    My three personal favourites of the day were 23a, 2d and, in particular, 6d.

    Many thanks indeed to both Mr. Squires and Kitty.

  24. Rufus kicked the week off gently for us. No real problems but a niggle or two viz. 12a hardly dubious rather long-winded; 5d cryptic?; and I’m with Kath on 13d. Thanks Rufus and Kitty. **/**. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  25. Normal Monday fare from Mr Squires. Nothing to scare the horses but enjoyable nonetheless. No particular favourite but thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and Kitty for her amusing review.

    A bit down today after yesterday’s fiasco – had £30 on Scotland to win @ 12/1http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    We were not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but were not helped by the clowns who are meant to be professional officials. C. Joubert, Skeen (TMO) and G. Jackson – remember his appalling début at international level on the Scotland v Wales match in the 6 Nations this year?

    Anyway – moan over http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

    1. Hi SL.
      Are you more worried about the £30 or the fact that Scotland lost?
      I seem to remember that rumour about the Scotts. Not surprised that one of your countryman just won the Nobel prize for economics or was it economies.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

      1. Hi JL

        Most definitely the latter – although it would have been nice to take some money from the bookmaker (he laughed when I placed my bet). If we meet at one of the blog soiree’s I will show you how generous we Scot’s are http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

        1. Forget the line out problems at the death. It should have been a penalty to Scotland before that for the late hit on their fullback. Should have gone to the TMO and that would be that. Dreadful end to a top game.

        2. My experience is that SL is indeed generous http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif. I’m pretty sure I owe you a drinky or two, but memory is a little cloudy.

  26. Usually finish a Monday unaided, but came unstuck on three today. Well two, really. I knew that 10a was magnetic, and got as far as mag… then finished with ician!!! Brain addled after making sixty rum and ginger truffles. Won’t make double quantities ever again. Put in light bulb for 13d and failed miserably to justify it. Finally, thought that 15d was an anagram of ‘tie down a’.Couldnt work it out, and so put the letters into an anagram solver, which told me no answer existed. It was clearly wrong !!! Thanks to the setter, and to Kitty for the terrific review. Loved the pics. I have no objection to being handed a Mexican beer with a slice of lime in the bottle. Just don’t give me anything with white rum or vodka. Had a lovely time at the George on Saturday. Such a nice bunch of people. I am in awe of all the setters/reviewers.

    1. I don’t mind you being in awe of the setters Florence and you can be in awe of the rest of the blogging team. I am just a poorly schooled orphan boy who wings his way through life. Nobody should be in awe of me. Well, Saint Sharon maybe, as my wife that is her duty

      1. I am not going to rise to the bait – I am not going to rise to the bait – I am not going to rise to the bait http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

    2. Sorry that I didn’t manage to meet you on Saturday, Florence. I had a suspicion that I would be staying late and so thought it wise not to arrive too early.

      1. Sorry I missed you Kitty. I was with Mr Florence who had another agenda, so could only stay a little while. I am sure that there’ll be another occasion to meet up. Your review today was sooooooo good.

        1. Thank you Florence! You simply must make the birthday bash in January – something tells me that it will be a real corker http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif.

  27. Good afternoon everybody.

    Mostly straightforward and typical Monday enjoyment but the last four or five put me into three star time. As it turned out I thought 15d, 10a and especially 6d and 6a were all clever clues. Last in was 7d.

    As an aside I’d welcome a rather less gentle start to the week generally , especially as there’s no Toughie to resort to if the back page puzzle is, as it often seems to be, at the ‘easier’ end of things.


    1. You’re quite right about there being no Toughie on a Monday – have a go at the Rookie Corners – I could easily be wrong (I am quite often) but I think they were introduced by BD to fill a gap and to give new setters a chance. They do vary hugely in the level of difficulty – I found today’s pretty tricky but . . .

  28. */***. Reasonably straightforward using a mix of paper grid and electronic clues as my printer didn’t want to print these for some reason. Up early today to vote. There’s speculation that the outcome could be dependent on whether later voters will turn out or forego their democratic rights to watch the Toronto Blue Jays in their crucial game this evening.

    1. I once saw the Toronto Blue Jays. The most boring night of my life. In England we call baseball rounders and leave in to the girls

      1. “Leave it to the girls”!

        Once again MP…unbelievable. I’ve typed that so often my tab predicts it.

  29. A nice gentle puzzle that made a satisfying duo with the trickier Rookie to complete our daily dose of cryptics. Good fun and a great review to go with it.
    Thanks Rufus and Kitty.

  30. A jolly little puzzle! 1/2* for difficulty (l got held up in the SW corner and took time to spot that 15d was an anagram) and 3/4* for enjoyment. 20d was my favourite – simple yet clever. Thanks to Rufus, and to Kitty for the review.

  31. Thought this was harder than the Saturday puzzle as I needed hints for 6a, 6d and 12a. Enjoyed the humour and the precision. But why does 1a and 25a have “?”, whereas 6d and 12a do not?
    Impressed by those who thought it a doddle. ***/***

  32. Enjoyed the puzzle today once I had stopped hampering myself by putting ‘bar snack’ for 1a. Favourite was 21a but loved the 23a’s in the blog. Thanks kitty and Rufus.

  33. No-one else irritated by 16ac, your boss and yourself, but the pronoun in the solution being ones?!

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