DT 27957 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27957

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27957

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating — Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hello everyone. Today we have a not too tricky Ray T crossword so to those of you who struggle a bit with his puzzles I’d say keep calm and carry on – you can do this one. To everyone else just enjoy it.

In the hints below the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under the things that say “Click here” so only do that if you need to see them. I wonder if anyone will spot today’s deliberate mistake . . .

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


7a            Fine Lady’s principal character in rustic embrace (8)
PLEASANT — Rustic here is a noun – just put the first letter of L(ady) (principal character) inside a rustic or yokel.

9a            Sinew died in part of joint (6)
TENDON — The one letter abbreviation for d(ied) is contained in (in part of) a joint – this kind of joint is the kind found in woodwork.

10a         Prison inmate’s over getting old inside (4)
GAOL — A reversal of (over) a slang word for a convict – not con this time but another one – contains (getting old inside) the abbreviation for O(ld).


11a         Inflame former wife with perfect figure hugging bachelor (10)
EXACERBATE — Begin with the usual two letters for a former wife (or husband or partner), follow those with another word for perfect or first-class and then yet another word meaning figure or judge. In between the last two bits (hugging) you need the one letter abbreviation for B(achelor).

12a         Labour possibly accepting idealists’ leader’s agreement (6)
PARITY — Labour here is just an example, indicated by the word ‘possibly’ – it could just as well be Conservative or lots of other things too. The word for what it is an example of contains (accepting) the first letter (leader) of I(dealist).

14a         Bone tired, lacking resistance, turning docile (8)
OBEDIENT — An anagram (turning) of BONE TIRED without (lacking) the one letter abbreviation for R(esistance).

15a         Sweetheart not heartless with cool allure (6)
ENTICE — Begin with the middle letter of swEet – sweetheart or the heart of sweet – and follow that with the outer letters (heartless) of NoT. Last of all you need a word meaning cool or freeze. Oh dear –too many hearts and heartlesses here – got into a bit of a muddle!

17a         Fate could let out thread holding our origins (6)
CLOTHO — This ‘Fate’ isn’t what’s going to happen to you – it’s one of the three goddesses of fate in Greek mythology – take the first letters (origins) of the middle six words of the clue . . .

20a         Muse about everything that is about work (8)
CALLIOPE — . . . and this ‘Muse’ doesn’t mean ponder or consider – it’s one of the nine goddesses of the liberal arts in Greek mythology. You need a one letter abbreviation meaning about, a word for everything or each and then the two letter abbreviation for ‘that is’ in Latin which contains (about) the usual two letters for a musical work. I do hope you’ve all managed to follow that lot because I’m not saying it again or in a different way.


22a         Means stir facing time (6)
BUDGET — ‘Means’ is the wherewithal to pay. Begin with a verb meaning to stir or shift and follow that with the one letter abbreviation for T(ime)

23a         Resign and go as ordered, causing hostility (10)
AGGRESSION — An anagram (ordered) of RESIGN and GO AS.

24a         Queen with snake producing scratch (4)
RASP — The one letter abbreviation for the Latin word for Queen is followed by a snake. I know there are lots – this one is supposed to have been responsible for Cleopatra’s downfall.

25a         Main Church holding new spiritualist meeting (6)
SEANCE — Begin with main or a body of water and follow that with the two letter abbreviation for the Church of England which contains (holding) N(ew).


26a         Reportedly drink dram, nearly fully sober (8)
TEETOTAL — A homophone (reportedly) of a drink – a hot beverage that some people drink first thing in the morning – follow that with a dram or a small measure of booze and finish off with most of (nearly) a short word meaning fully or wholly.



1d            This exciting vale in wired enclosure? (8)
CLEAVAGE — Not quite sure what to underline as the definition in this one but an anagram (exciting) of VALE is contained in (in) a wired enclosure or animal pen. Or maybe not in this case – whatever! I thought this piccy could illustrate the answer or just the last two words of the clue.


2d            Sob, putting end of thumb on sharp tool (4)
BAWL — The last letter (end) of thumB is followed by (on) a sharp tool or pointed instrument used for boring small holes – hopefully NOT in your thumb!

3d            Only just see after pub (6)
BARELY — See is a noun – it’s a diocese in East Anglia and is preceded by (after) a pub or a tavern

4d            Light from planet, here aligned (8)
ETHEREAL — Our first lurker, or answer that’s hidden in the middle of the clue – this one is in the last three words of the clue – caught him before he caught me!


5d            Tight in bar? I need it to unwind! (10)
INEBRIATED — An anagram (to unwind) of BAR I NEED IT.

6d            Temper beginning to show frequently (6)
SOFTEN — The first letter (beginning to) of S(how) is followed by a word meaning frequently or repeatedly.

8d            Leaves here for a drink? (6)
TEAPOT — A cryptic definition of where you may put some “leaves” (followed by some boiling water) to make the drink in 26a.


13d         Extremist let on train unfortunately (10)
INTOLERANT — An anagram (unfortunately) of LET ON TRAIN

16d         Dawdle around square at first under cold arcade (8)
CLOISTER — Begin with the one letter abbreviation for C(old) and follow that with (under) a word meaning dawdle or linger which contains (around) the first letter (at first) of S(quare).


18d         Part of Dover’s east pointing to France perhaps (8)
OVERSEAS — Our second lurker of the day – it’s hidden in the middle of (part of) the third and fourth words in the clue. This one put up quite a fight but I got him in the end.

19d         Chauvinist continues to take lowest for highest (6)
SEXIST — Begin with a verb that means continues or endures and then take the last letter and put it at the beginning (take lowest for highest).


21d         One after gudgeon left in dudgeon? (6)
ANGLER — You need to know what a gudgeon is – it’s a fish. You also need to know what dudgeon means – it means temper or fury and is often preceded by ‘high’. Just think of another word for dudgeon and insert the one letter abbreviation for L(eft).

22d         Counted and put money away? (6)
BANKED — This kind of counted isn’t one, two, three etc – it means relied on or depended on and the same word means paid some money in for safe-keeping (hopefully!)

24d         Cross threshold turning up (4)
ROOD — A reversal (turning up) of a word meaning threshold or entrance.

I liked 1 and 25a and 1d. My favourite was either 2 or 3d.

The Quickie pun:- WAR + TERSE + KEY = WATER SKI

83 comments on “DT 27957

  1. 2.5*/5*. It’s a Ray T Thursday – hooray!

    19d was my last one in, and 1d was my favourite. As soon as I solved 1d I started to think what picture might be used to accompany the review, and I was not disappointed …

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Kath.

  2. Found this tough going for some reason, but managed three quarters before resorting to the hints, thanks for the selfy in 1D it made my day.Favourite clue for me 12A, many thanks to the setter & Kath for her review?

  3. Certainly an easier example of RayT’s puzzles but still an enjoyable solve. Thanks to Kath and The Great Raymondo */****

  4. Superb puzzle. Took me a little while to get going but then over too quickly. 2.5* difficulty and 5* enjoyment if just for 1d which was excellent ?

  5. It took us a while to get going too, so **/****. Excellent puzzle and a lot of fun.
    Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  6. How I love Mr. T days. Found this a bit tricky in places and had to consult Mr. Google about both of the goddesses but still finished up with a 2*/4*.
    Favourite has to be 1d – Mr. T innuendo at its best!

    Devotions to Himself as always and many thanks to Kath for the review – the 19d pic says it all really, doesn’t it! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  7. Loved this Ray T offering, though it put up some resistance with 1d being one of the last in. Favourites are between 3d and 8d
    Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the excellent blog.

  8. Glad all seemed to like this excellent puzzle -a **/**** for me after I’d tuned in, unlike Victoria we were a mused!-found it a little tricky to start with, agree with Rabbit Dave on 1d as the favourite clue-read it as an ‘all in one’.Thanks Kath for the pic selection.

  9. No real problems with this one; last one in 16d which I stared at blankly for a little while.
    Many thanks to RayT, and to Kath.

  10. I found this on the tricky side, probably due to a combination of my slowness and the grid. I will admit to a soupçon of cheating, as I had to look up a word.

    The first goddess was not to be found in memory because I have a mind like a sieve for classical names. (And other things, but let’s not dwell on that.) Fortunately, it was clued in such a way that it didn’t matter. (The second goddess is big enough not to have fallen through my brain-holes and went in easily.)

    I spent ages just now trying to find the video I might have used to illustrate 1d. It was a great zoom out example of things not always being as they seem. No luck, and now my search history looks somewhat iffy. Grr!

    Anyway, a great crossword with plenty of chuckles and 1d in the top spot.

    Thanks to RayT for all the fun, and to Kath for the nicely illustrated review.

  11. A most enjoyable yet not too difficult puzzle today – I enjoyed the mythological connections too, especially 20 across, which put me in mind of one of my favourite tunes. Here’s the link for anyone interested in a ‘bit of a jig’.

    Thank you to Ray T indeed.

  12. I must brush up my knowledge of the Fates and the Muses!

    (I’ll do that later … it’s time to go to the pub!)

    Thanks to RayT & Kath

  13. **/****

    Having solved this at stupid o’clock this morning I’ve had to read the clues again to remember. And I remembered I really enjoyed it. Some lovely mythical references combined with RayT’s usual humour.

    I’m going to have to pick two favourites in 1d and 15a.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Kath for a great blog as always.

    Beautiful sunshine on the moors and freezing cold. Thermal jodhpurs need to be dug out. I think I was turning blue this morning.

  14. I found this really hard to get into, but I got there in the end. Very challenging and enjoyable. 1d was my favourite, I managed to work out 17a and 20a without knowing the answers, so learnt a couple more facts as well.

  15. A bit tricksy in places, but I loved it – 1d, need I say more, nudge, nudge, wink, wink http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    Thanks to Ray T for the enjoyment and Kath for blogging.

    1. BTW – What’s this ‘My favourite was either 2 or 3d’. Totally unacceptable, you’re only allowed 1 http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

      1. I’ve only got one, your honour, honest – I just can’t quite make up my mind which one it is yet! I’ll let you know later . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  16. 1d does have its admirers doesn’t it?! A lovely Ray T crossword with her Madge making her customary appearance.
    2/4* overall…. and guess which was my favourite… ?
    Thanks to RayT and to Kath for her sterling work with the review.

  17. At first glance not a single answer leapt out at me but after some hard work I managed to get a foothold in the mind of the setter (a really mixed metaphor!!) and eventually got there unaided. The answer to 20a came out of the mists of a long-forgotten classical education. Very enjoyable.

  18. Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, a super puzzle from Ray T as usual. Found most of it quite straightforward, until I was left with 22&26a&19&22d. I took longer over these than the rest of the puzzle. Last in was 19d. Favourites were 17a,1&21d, sorry Kath but it was a Ray T :-) Was 3*/4* for me. Looks like rain in Central London. Forgot to mention that I remembered 17a from an old ELP album & dragged 20a from the depths of memory.

  19. I was amazed that I could actually do most of this, albeit with the aid of my gizmo in places. Even so, I think I did pretty well! Feeling a bit smug here.
    I got stuck on four in the SE corner so needed Kath’s hints.
    Fates and Muses, along with some anagrams, got me started.
    Thanks to RayT and many more thanks to Kath for the help at the end when I was well and truly stuck!

        1. And from me, CS. Hope you’re being treated to a nice meal tonight (with someone else doing the catering!). http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    1. Happy Birthday from me too – hope you’re going out somewhere nice this evening but here’s another little http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif to add to the ones you’ve already got.

  20. Good afternoon everybody.

    A joint effort today and seemed pretty straightforward in the main although left to my own meagre devices I’d not have solved 20a so I have to say four stars for difficulty. Surprised to read it’s one of Mr T’s.

    Trusty BIC still going strong…


  21. Very very difficult today I thought, at least a four star. Not much fun either, clumsy clues such as 21d, clues with no clue such as 1d and bizarre words such as Clotho. Must take issue with 24d, the threshold of a door is the sill according to the BRB, had no idea what a rood was until I looked it up. Oh dear I sound very 13d again, it’s just my natural antipathy towards organised religion!
    Struggling this week with both Monday’s and today’s.
    Should have been the aToughie in my opinion, not that that counts for much!
    Thx for the hints.

    1. Brian, have you got yourself a Chambers Crossword Dictionary ? It has lists of synonyms which includes all the muses and fates by name.I don’t expect myself to remember all of these.

      1. In the Mine under Features tab above there is a list of Mythological Characters of which 17a and 20a are listed.

  22. Do you know there are 51 gender options nowadays ? Anyway , I am female from birth with no alterations.So I don’t find the vale in 1d exciting.And I needed the hint for it as well as 22a and 21 d.
    I can’t pick a favourite. Thanks to Kath and Ray T.

  23. For me it wasn’t the getting into but the finishing off which presented problems. Funny though 1d might be I think it’s a bit tenuous. Have to admit to needing hints for several – 7d (fine?), 12a, 17a, 22a, 3d, and 22d. Altogether a pretty feeble effort on my part. Thanks RayT for the test and Kath who was much needed today. ****/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_confused.gif

    1. Oh dear, I wanted to edit above comment to include Felicitations for Cryptic Sue http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gifbut got message saying “you do not have permission to edit this comment” – wonder why that was. I am also having every day to fill in my name and email above first comment. I am obviously under some kind of surveillance – wonder why?!

      1. Are you using Internet Explorer? – I have to log on every day at work where we use IE but at home Firefox on the computer and Google Chrome on my tablet recognise me for at least two weeks before asking me who i am.

        1. Mine seems to be totally random, Chrome on tablet and PC, tablet has asked every day for several weeks until today, PC never asks – take your pick. I have all but given up on IE.

  24. Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes – especially BD for the banner.

    To answer the questions:
    I made four loaf cakes for work – lemon drizzle, ginger, cherry & sultana and date and walnut
    No I’m not having a meal cooked for me. Mr CS has his birthday next Wednesday so we celebrate both occasions with one meal somewhere in the middle but we haven’t decided when/where/what yet.

    1. You’re more than welcome CS – and early Happy Birthday wishes for Mr CS. I hope you both enjoy your meal http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  25. Happy birthday CS, hope you are being spoilt rotten. Typical Ray T which left me struggling, supertoy helped but got left with 2 for Kath to sort out. Lovely bruises where I kicked myself for being so stupid, why on earth couldn’t I see it first time round? Thanks to Ray and Kath perhaps I will do better tomorrow. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  26. A brilliantly crafted puzzle from Mr. Terrell, just the right level of difficulty in my opinion too. Probably the best back-pager for quite some time.

    A puzzle to encourage a “muse on fate” perhaps?! If I had previously encountered the Fate in 17a I had forgotten it, but I did know the Muse in 20a thankfully.

    Favourite clue for me had to be 21d, absolutely superb!

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Kath, and many happy returns of course to Crypticsue.

    1. Quote … unquote

      Silvanus today: “Probably the best back-pager for quite some time.”

      Gazza: Last Thursday: “I thought it was the best DT back-pager for ages”


      1. Thursdays traditionally seem to produce the most interesting puzzles, even if I totally disagreed with Gazza’s opinion of last Thursday’s effort.

        I do completely concur with him that the variety of opinions on this site are one of its greatest strengths.

  27. I’ve got lists of the Fates and Muses and other Greek and Roman Gods on my phone, I knew they’d come in handy one day!

    I thought this was very, very good – quite hard but doable (if that’s a word!) – very enjoyable!


  28. We’re going to claim two favourites today to celebrate CS’s birthday. 1d of course but we really liked the clue for 21d as well and have put a tick beside that. All the usual cleverness things from RayT, including the word count. We really enjoyed it all.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

    1. I don’t think you’ll get away with that.

      Even though it’s my birthday my only favourite is 1d – not least because of what a clue in yesterday’s Graun called a “Homerian acknowledgement of stupidity”

        1. It is so brilliant, isn’t it? – I’ve written it down everywhere so that I don’t forget it when I next want to use it.

  29. What a lovely clever crossword? Unfortunately I was unable to solve it so ****/**** ? I have this thing about Thursday’s! A very big thank you to Kath for all the hints and to Ray T for a brilliant puzzle ? As we are only allowed one favourite it has to be 7a, people say what use is Classics as a subject at school. They will soon find out ?

  30. Another lovely offering from Ray T. Needed help with one (thanks Kath) so ***/***** I think. Clue of the week award for 1d? Outstanding.

  31. Many thanks to Kath for the decryption and to all for your kind comments. Also, all the best to CS.


    1. Thank you for calling in – I know I always say it but it’s really appreciated by everyone – if it wasn’t true I wouldn’t keep saying it – I’m many things but a fibber isn’t one of them.

    2. Hi Mr. T – you popped in earlier than usual tonight, lovely to hear from you.
      In case you haven’t noticed yet – the 7th birthday party is confirmed for SATURDAY, 30TH JANUARY – not that I’m trying to persuade you or anything……http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  32. Late getting to this but it was worth the wait. Brill stuff as usual but pretty benign for a RayT. I’ll give it **/****, the same as Kath.

    You might think I’d go for 1d as fav but in fact I rather liked the gudgeon/dudgeon clue.

    Much thanks to RayT and Kath – I liked the selfie at 1d http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  33. Nowhere near finishing this (yet) but just done 21d and thought it was brilliant! Ray T, you rock!!

  34. Thanks to RayT, and to Kath for the review. I am at least beginning to enjoy the odd Thursday, which must mean I’m getting somewhere. 3*/2*.

  35. Happy birthday CS. The whole of this puzzle is a favourite. A joy to solve from start to finish except I haven’t finished as I have 22d still to get. It is very brave of you to use a selfie for the illustration at one down Kath. You have my total respect. So thanks to RayT for a great puzzle. But especial thanks to Kath for her very honest and individual style of blogging. I am hoping to view an exciting vale later on. Saint Sharon. You have been warned

  36. Hope this works, because my darling wife has just upgraded me from my old tablet to a new IPad Air. No problems with this puzzle except my ignorance of Greek muses and/or fates, but I got them in the end. 2*/3*, and I’m sorry to be so shallow, Ladies, but 1d was always going to be favourite! thanks to Mr Ron, and of course to Kath.

  37. Like everyone else it seems, my favourite was 1d, though I wasn’t sure you needed the “this”.

    I didn’t like 21d as much as everyone else because of the need to go and check my brb, but it was all great fun.

    Many thanks Ray, Kath, and congrats again CS

    1. Hi Dutch,
      Just a thought – how about you and Dean giving us a musical interlude at the birthday bash in January (assuming the pub would allow it)? Maybe TS could be persuaded to join in. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      1. I never need much persuading where music’s concerned, but I’m still only slowly regaining any kind of competence after the hand ops. I have my first public performance of the year on Dec 12

  38. But having said how much I enjoyed 21d, I’m afraid 1d (fun, but not really properly given in the clue) and 22d (I’d expect an “on” or something here, but far from the most ridiculous ever seen) have taken the gloss off for me. Still, 21d earns a lot of tolerance! And so much better than last Thursday….

  39. 22a and 22d were the last to yield.
    Not sure about about the down clue.
    If count on is indeed bank on, can we suppress the on and say that bank = count.
    Need some expert advice on that.
    1d did make me laugh too but favourite is also 21d for it’s silliness.
    Had the tea hanging in the air in 9d until 14a gave me the pot rather than the cup.
    Thanks to Monsieur RayT and to Kath for the super review.

  40. Right – I know it’s quite early but can all you chaps and chapesses be trusted to play nicely if I head for bed fairly soon? I’m fairly http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif and the thought of bed and book is becoming more and more attractive.
    No-one spotted my deliberate mistake today then . . . ? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    1. Had to read the review all over again.
      Only noticed that maybe the bachelor in 11a is not in the right place.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  41. Marvellous stuff from Ray. I enjoyed every bit of it. The only downside is that it has taken me longer to post this than it took to do the puzzle: I keep getting that Error 522 message. Favourite has to be 1d, but I also liked 26a and 8d. Thanks to RayT and Kath for a typically honest and readable blog. God, this has been a long day. My nightcap is calling me. Loudly. 2*/4*

    1. Me too with error message and I was doing battle at about the same ungodly hour as you. Very frustrating!

Comments are closed.