DT 27039 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27039

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27039

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

It is cold and damp south of the Loire today, which may explain why I found this crossword by Rufus a bit trickier than normal. Please feel free to leave a comment.


1. Leaped — above oneself? (6,2)
{JUMPED UP} – A phrase that means to leap upward, could also be an informal reference to an arrogant upstart.

6. Cut it and keep quiet (6)
{CACKLE} – Think of a phrase that begins with “cut the”, and then add the third word. The answer actually refers to a word that means to squawk or talk with shrill notes.

9. Two men cut down prey (6)
{VICTIM} – A word that refers to one who is harmed or killed by another can be constructed from two shortened men’s names.

10. Evocative of European river ebbing fast (8)
{REDOLENT} – The definition is “evocative”. Take a river of central Europe that flows from the northeast of the Czech Republic through Poland and Germany to the Baltic Sea, reverse it (ebbing) and then add the 40 days from Ash Wednesday until Easter.

11. Knots of painters? (8)
{BOWLINES} – Painters in this clue refers to ropes attached to the bows of boats, used for tying up.

12. She and men get involved and become engaged (6)
{ENMESH} – An anagram (get involved) of SHE and MEN.

13. Speed check (12)
{DECELERATION} – A decrease in velocity.

16. Holy orders? (12)
{COMMANDMENTS} – There are 10 of them.

19. Doesn’t fancy being under the influence (6)
{STONED} – An anagram (fancy) of DOESN’T.

21. Anticipate warning shout to Gessler’s opponent (8)
{FORETELL} – A golfers warning when he hits a wayward shot is added to a famous archer who refused to bow to a pole with a hat on it.

23. One gets fed up with people (8)
{CANNIBAL} – A person who who eats the flesh of other human beings.

24. Result in changes for part of Ireland (6)
{ULSTER} – An anagram (in changes) of RESULT.

25. Many dwell on this anagram made by setter (6)
{STREET} – An anagram of SETTER.

26. Bought back, having had second thoughts? (8)
{REDEEMED} – RE and a word that means to judge or consider.


2. International group is performing in concert (6)
{UNISON} – The abbreviation of the United Nations, IS, and a two letter word for in progress or operation.

3. Floral decoration in plate manufacture (5)
{PETAL} – An anagram (manufacture) of PLATE.

4. Party dress container found in good order (9)
{DOMINICAN} – DO (party), a short dress, and a metal container is also a member of an order of preaching friars.

5. Reading ‘Country Girl’ (7)
{PERUSAL} – Take a South American country, then add a girl’s name to get a word that means to read or examine, usually with care.

6. Beg for keys (5)
{CADGE} – A word that means to get by sponging or begging can be constructed from the letters of various musical keys.

7. They spend their time together (4-5)
{CELL-MATES} – In prison.

8. It’s not a close-up, you can bet on it (4,4)
{LONG SHOT} – The opposite of a close-up, is also something with a slight chance of winning.

13. Funny comedian touring North, in total control (9)
{DOMINANCE} – An anagram (funny) of COMEDIAN around N (North).

14. Make a series of calls on zero zero (4,5)
{RING ROUND} – A phrase that describes making a series of telephone calls could also look like OO.

15. Agree to get less (8)
{CONTRACT} – Double definition, an agreement between two parties, to reduce in size or shrink.

17. It will give you warmth and peace (7)
{MUFFLER} – Another double definition, a heavy scarf worn around the neck, is also a device that absorbs noise.

18. Uncover swindle (6)
{FLEECE} – Remove a sheep’s coat, or to defraud someone.

20. Financial obligation limits university entrance (5)
{DEBUT} – Place something owed, e.g. money around U.

22. Discrimination 23 Across appreciates in people (5)
{TASTE} – The ability to discern something excellent or appropriate, could also refer to what 23a would also anticipate from a good meal..

The Quick crossword pun: {rigger} + {mortice} = {rigor mortis}

65 comments on “DT 27039

  1. Nice enough start to the week without any real doh moments. Favourite was 4 and also liked 11 17 23 and 22. Don’t think that 13a and 16 were very cryptic though.

    1. I really should try doing the xword before going to the pub for an early evening livener. Might do better. Feel so much cleverer after ‘cheating’ here.

  2. Fully agree with Libellule’s rating. Thought this was a distinctly tricky start to the week. Bit of a slog and no great moments. Many Thx for the hints which enabled me to finish the SW corner.

  3. Hi Libelulle and thanks once again for the hints, I needed them today to finish off 6a, which I stil dont really see and 11a despite having had various boats for years I do not recall the word painters for towlines! fav clues today 4d, 8d, 14d, 24a and 23a,

    1. Where does the ‘keep quiet’ bit come into 6a? am I being particularly thick? don’t all rush to say ‘yes” :-)

      1. Mary,
        The phrase “cut the cackle” means to shut up or keep quiet, if you haven’t heard of the phrase then the clue doesn’t work. A painter is a rope in nautical terms, and a bowline is a knot used to form a fixed loop at the end of a rope. The bowline is sometimes referred as King of the knots because of its importance. It is one of the four basic maritime knots (the other three are figure-eight knot, reef knot and clove hitch).
        Hope that helps.

        1. You forgot the “round turn with two half hitches” which is one of the few knots which can be untied when under load. I’ll get me coat :grin:

    2. oops not my day, I see now after reading blog it is bowlines at 11a not towlines! still not heard of ‘painters’ in this respect though

  4. Enjoyable crossword from Rufus to start the week, a little trickier than usual I thought but no real headaches. Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the usual masterly review.

  5. 3*/3* for me today. Last one in was 11a; nautical terms are not my forte.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to Libellule.

  6. A slow start but perseverance paid off. Not a bad start to a dismal Monday morning and overall quite enjoyable Thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for the review

  7. Found this hard and needed hints to finish NE corner. Would never have finished without them ! Thank you Rufus and Libellule for the lifeboat !

  8. A few head scratchers for me ,got in a muddle with 6d and 10a resulting in wasting time inventing new European rivers for a while .21areminded me of the excellent Willoughby Goddard who became a childhood hate figure .
    Liked 6a,11a,23a,18d.
    3*\3.5* for me

  9. I am tolerably competent at these crosswords and usually finish them with maybe a few that need electronic help or the excellent hints here, And occasionally I struggle like yesterday.

    And then we have crosswords like today’s that, to be honest, I don’t think belong on the back page. I did precisely four clues. Four. I tried. I tried very hard. Then I ripped it up.

  10. No big problems here today although I can’t say I enjoyed 6D, clues like this can be used for any words that contain the letters A-G and so don’t really work for me. Regarding 11A, all I can say ids that FINALLY I have managed to make us of the Seamanship lessons we had at school for the first two years I was there.

  11. To begin with I thought that I was going to be on completely the wrong wave length – I often am on Mondays – but then got going and ended up doing it quite quickly, for me, and enjoyed it far more than I usually do on Mondays.
    There were several that made me ‘chortle’ – 6 and 23a and 22d.
    I was stupidly slow to get a few in the bottom left corner. I didn’t know who Gessler was.
    My favourites were the ones that I’ve already mentioned and 19a and 14d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.
    Back to the grey miserable drizzlies here. :sad:

      1. Sun has come out now – forecast is for very cold again from the middle of week. How is your dog? Do hope that she is recovering.

  12. Did not take too long until 6a and 6d. Not entirely convinced by the latter – there must be a wide variety of words which can be made up from the musical keys. 18d is a curious word: my electronic Chambers has it as 1) to shear and 4) to cover with or as if with wool. These seem to be the exact opposites.
    Thanks to Libellule and Rufus.

  13. Is this Rufus on steroids? Not the usual gentle start to the week and I fully agree with Lilubelle’s rating.
    Oh, just had a thought. Is this the harbinger of a very difficult week to come?

  14. On first read through i thought that it was more difficult than usual,especially for a monday, but it did,nt take long once started so i’m scoring it **/***.Liked 10a and 23a coupled with 22d, also 11a; thanks Libellule for the knot lesson for11a-thought originally the solution had something to do with ‘wading birds’Is Peter above referring to that famous ‘setter’ Mr R Binger of Doom?

  15. As always, Rufus was nauGHTical eg 11a (joke)
    Found this easier than a 3***
    Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

  16. I agree that Rufus had some tricky moments today but still 2* difficulty and 3* fun. Thanks to him and Libellule too.

    A technical question – can we still call this the ‘back page’ puzzle if it isn’t on the back page?

    1. Perhaps we should run a competition to rename it. What about the GIVRAY to reflect our favourite setters? Bit corny perhaps :-)

      1. ..or “The sometimes Back Page Puuzzle except in France where it’s printed in the Sports Section”
        Perhaps too long, though.

        1. I fear that we must accept that the handful of folk like me who still prefer the paper method of completing a crossword don’t have the financial muscle of O2, Vodafone or Skoda and learn to live with it.
          Only gusting 3* for me because inserting COMPOUND at 15d delayed things a tad.
          Many thank to Rufus, who clearly remembered some of his Dartmouth seamanship training, and to Libellule.

      2. What about NTBPP so that his sister, NTSPP on Saturdays, has a companion? Actually I think the Inside Job from Prolixic is the best option. I’ll get me coat too!!

    2. Perhaps the Inside Job?

      Surprised that people found this trickier as this was well under a two-stopper for me. Delightful to solve as Rufus invariably is though.

    3. I hope they don’t keep putting it inside – but fear they will if the advertiser pays them enough.

    4. Maybe we should complain to “Letters to the Editor” – dtletters@telegraph.co.uk

      But I’m sure that he/she will be much more interested in getting the money! I wonder how much a full back-page advert costs? And how many people actually take any notice?

  17. I’m afraid I’m in the “are you sure it’s Monday?” camp. Had to come here for a little help (oh all right, quite a bit) in understanding how I’d got some of the answers. Very enjoyable (no, honestly) though I hope that Rufus has a better weekend next week before he sets the Monday puzzle… I prefer my Monday mornings to be a little more gentle.

    Seriously, many thaks to Rufus and Libellule

  18. Seemed harder than the usual Monday to me also – got stuck a third of the way but as others say, perseverance paid off and managed without hints in the end.

    1. As someone said last week, it would be very boring if we were all the same. I enjoyed this one far more than I usually do on Mondays.

  19. Quite tricky and some clunky clues that were a tad tenuous in part. Not my favourite puzzle but done nevertheless.

  20. As I am still a duffer at cryptics, I dont expect much of myself yet,but only 12 for a monday is poor for me.I like the style of the clues so lots of doh momments !Thanks to Rufus and Libellule

  21. like other folk I found this a little harder than a normal ‘Monday Rufus’ and therefore the hints from Libulle were greatfully received. Definitely 3* for me, thanks to both

  22. Didn’t find this tricky at all but it raised a few smiles :smile: Maybe it’s just me but I’ve thought Rufus’ last few pouzzles, both in the DT and Grauniad, have been lacking his usual sparkle but with this one he’s really got his mojo back (whatever one of those is)!

    As a sailor I thought the “knots of painters” clue was very clever :grin:

    Many thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

    1. Don’t very often look at Grauniad but I agree with you about the last few Monday puzzles – really enjoyed it today. Quite a few giggles which I, somehow, don’t associate with Rufus. Also liked the quickie pun. As an Aussie friend of ours would say “plus out of plus”! Never really quite understood it myself!

      1. Kath, if you have the time and the inclination the Grauniad is always worth a look. Generally a bit trickier than the DT but there are several setters who do both. Giovanni = Pasquale, Virglius = Brendan, Dada = Paul and Rufus of course on Mondays. The Sunday “Everyman” is usually fairly benign. Also worth a tussle are Arachne, Orlando and Chifonie. Puzzle is free every day so you’ve nothing to lose. Also the FT is available for free where Rufus = Dante (on a Monday), Giovanni is Bradman and Dada = Mudd..

        1. hope this post works, darned power cuts, I really enjoyed todays Indy by young Rorschach as well, thank you to whoever left the paper on the train!!

  23. Generally good for me but like some others I found NE the hardest. Could not get beyond parasol for 5d, the only justification being it fitted! Kicked myself. Also convinced 7d was birds and wondering about jail of ga when the penny dropped. Worst clue 6d. Liked 13 and 16a and 14d. Thanks setter et al.

  24. This one took us a little longer than usual for a Monday so we are quite happy to see the *** rating for difficulty. Lots of fun clues so *** for enjoyment too. What tickled us most was 23a and its companion clue 22d.
    Thanks Rufus and Libellule.

  25. I thought that this puzzle from Rufus was much more thought-provoking than usual – very fine nevertheless!

    Likes : 10a, 11a, 21a, 23a, 26a, 5d, 7d, 13d, 14d & 17d.

    We had snow in the morning but it did not settle except in the woods across the street.

    Chicken fillet tonight with a drop of Vouvray then rasps.

    I had a cold over the weekend but shifted it with the good old Laphroaig!

  26. Thanks to Rufus & Libellule for the review & hints. Found this quite straightforward. Was 2*/3* for me. Started with 1a, finished with 18d. Favourites were 10&23a, lol moment, and 5d. Weather a bit mixed today in Central London. Hopefully sunny tomorrow.

  27. Not the easiest, but fun. The confusion about 11a… the rope for mooring a small boat is called a “painter” and it is normally attached to the bow, and then to th dock hence a bow line a
    and a knot a bowline.

  28. Quick start – but too quick. Had United for 2d… Then struggled with 6a. Certainly 3* for me. Enjoyed the ride though. Thanks all

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