DT 27020 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27020 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27020 (Hints)

Not Quite So Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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It’s not too late to enter this month’s prize puzzle!

Greetings from the Calder Valley!  New PC configured and all up and running, though I am going to need some more training on one or two of the bells and whistles that go with it.  Big Dave is on his way to Derby for th S&B meeting and so it falls to me to guide you through a few hints on the Saturday Prize puzzle.  Thought this was quite a challenge this morning with the bottom left corner providing a bit of a battle.  If you are in the Derby area, do pop down and say hello to the gang, they’ll make you extremely welcome and you will get to meet some of your favourite (and not-so-favourite) setters!

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, an assortment of clues, including some of the more difficult ones, have been selected and hints provided for them.

Don’t forget that you can give your assessment of the puzzle. Five stars if you thought it was great, one if you hated it, four, three or two if it was somewhere in between.

Could new readers please read the Welcome post before asking questions about the site.

Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.


1  Houseworker perhaps.  I toil furiously in dreadful panic (10)

We start with a ‘double’ anagram.  The name for someone who works in a famous House in Westminster is found by making an anagram of I TOIL and putting it inside an anagram of PANIC.   in effect it’s just an anagram of the ten capitalised letters, but our setter veiled it in a nice way.

9  Bird needs a moment, being fabulous (10)

The name of a mythical (often clued in crosswordland as fabulous [as in fable]) bird  is found by taking the name for a male one and adding to it A and something that means a moment or split second.


15  Coach in job a 1 Across means to secure delivery (7,5)

The first thing you need to do is to solve 1 across to make this work as the answer to it provides a key word in the clue.  A word meaning to coach or put on goes inside something that means a job or title and after this goes an abbreviation associated with the answer to 1 across.  This gives you something that you secure to a parcel or envelop to guarantee its delivery.

22  Locality around a grand house (6)

The name for a large house where titled people live is found by taking a description of a locality and putting  it around A.

25  Perhaps Babe’s heart goes to hunter of boar (3-7)

If you remember what sort of creature Dick King Smith’s famous creation, who starred in a couple of films and add a slang word for its heart you get the name for someone who used to hunt the wild version of the creature.

27  Garage gets building concrete materials (10)

An anagram (building) of GARAGE GETS will give you the  B&Q description of concrete materials used in the building trade.


1  Strike enforcer takes nothing from coal product in mine (6)

The name for someone who ensures  a strike goes on, usually by standing on a line,  is revealed by taking the name of a type of coal, removing O from it, and placing it inside the location where the stuff may be found.

3  Control ball aiming for goal in sport (4-8)

In football if you catch the ball on your chest and then juggle it on your foot, you are said to do this and add a word meaning aiming (a weapon); together this leads to a type of sport associated with Bisley.

5 A cricket club phone sound cut short in Stanley’s place (10)

Just up the road from me and home to a famous football team named Stanley (exactly!).  To get the name take A and add the abbreviation for a cricket club and the noise made by a mobile phone with its last letter missing (cut short).

11 Liberal is redrafting Parliamentary process (5,7)

A lovely clue.  The name for an early procedure associated with a bill (usually produced by 1 across!) is an anagram (Liberal) of IS REDRAFTING.

23 Druggie, Liverpudlian but not Scot mostly (4)

The name for someone who makes a habit of taking drugs is found by taking the nickname for a person from Liverpool and removeing SCO (most of the word SCOT).


The Crossword Club is now open. Feel free to leave comments.

Please don’t put whole or partial answers or alternative clues in your comment, else they may be censored!

The Quick crossword pun: {TROWS} + {OPPRESS} = {TROUSER-PRESSTAH DAH!

87 comments on “DT 27020 (Hints)

  1. Really enjoyed this puzzle, and it didn’t present too many problems as the clueing was very fair.

    Thanks Tilsit for the hints, not needed today though, and to the setter for brightening a dull dreary day in Kent.

    Can’t get up to the S&B meeting but will raise a glass in sympathy.

    I presume CS won’t be able to supply cake for the naughty step so I have prepared an Orange drizzle cake with Cointreau for the miscreants.

    1. I am not in Derby but at home. Glad you are providing cake for the corner as the two chocolate stout cakes currently in the oven are destined for home tomorrow and work on Monday.

  2. I enjoyed this. Was puzzled by a wrong but plausible answer at 24a which didn’t (of course) fit with the elegant solution for 16d (or 17d but that came later). And spent far too long on 19d not thinking laterally about forwards, and on 20d because I was convinced it involved a postcode – doh!

    I often find that for a tricky down clue it is helpful to write out the part-solution word horizontally, it seems my brain can search for matches more easily this way. Does anyone else do this?

        1. It’s ok – both should work now but with different avatars because the avatar is linked to your email address.

          1. I seem to have a particularly unhappy one! Is that random or do I just look more miserable than I feel on a sunny morning in Yorkshire?

  3. Orange drizzle cake? with Cointreau? Colmce you are tempting me! Naughty step will be full today, I think. Seriously I found this difficult, just not on the same wave-length and without the anagrams I’d be in trouble — as it was really needed tilsits hints for 3D. Liked 6and 13A, 8 and 14D Didn’t know who or what Stanley was in 5D until reading the blog. Thanks to setter and Tilsit. Another lovely hot sunny day in this part of Italy, gets almost boring! We need RAIN

  4. Good morning Tilsit. I think that there is something wrong with the hint for 9. Perhaps it should read ‘male one’ or ‘male hen’

    1. I’ve added an ‘e’.

      Because my eyesight is not as brilliant, the OU Disability team (I’m doing an OU Degree) recommended a larger key keyboard. However the keys are arranged alphabetically rather than the standard Qwerty design and I am not used to it.

      Mind you the first time I used it, I came out with a load of typing that only an Eastern Europmean would probably understand!

  5. Very, very enjoyable today. Thought 25a was the tool used to dispatch the beast, not the dispatcher. Don’t quite understand the cluing for 14d although I’m sure I have the answer correct. **/***** rating for me. Thanx to Compiler and to Tilsit.

    1. Hi Wayne, for 14d the first two words of the clue are the definition; the solution can be split up as a word for a celebrity and a word meaning ‘covering up’ but with the ‘i’ taken out

        1. I tried to edit my comment (because it was a bit garbled) but I can’t save the change, the window just hangs on ‘saving’ (under Firefox)

        2. Thx to all for the clues. Can Tilsit send himself to the naughty corner – Dance of the seven ____ seems like an infraction! Maybe the cake tempted him. Or maybe his British rail keyboard is the culprit.

      1. Have to change my glasses, read the clue as having an exclamation mark after the word not, when in fact it’s an ‘i’.
        Thanx again.

    1. Try the two four letter answers:

      24 is a double definition. Think of a footballer failing to score (on the pitch!) [Do this and you will get “miss”, which is the wrong answer! Try cricket instead. BD]

      Likewise 26 the list of players in a drama which is also the past participle of a verb meaning to find or throw.

      1. Thx Guys, got 26a, don’t get the avoid in 24 and 21 is a complete mystery as is 14d. Enjoyed the rest of this puzzle but finding the SW very sticky indeed.

        1. For 21a: 1st word of clue is the definition, then cryptically it’s made up of a common abbreviation and a word for someone who (im)presses…

          For 14d: look it up on this blog

    1. I find that I often have to access two or three times on the iPad version to get the site to fully load. Been like ever since BD switched sites.

    2. I don’t kmow what you mean by lagging.
      I have a problem on my IPad3 .
      The Telegraph Cryptic, this one, has not downloaded now for two days.
      I’ve checked and re-validated my details etc. and I’ve E-mailed “Stand Alone” the App people..
      Anyone else this IPad problem?
      The Telegraph Quick one downloads OK.

      1. My problem is that when switching to the crossword there is a delay before I can do anything. The screen locks up. Doesn’t happen with any other app. I have noticed that it takes longer to start downloading in the first instance.I have I pad 2.

  6. Late start today and thought I was going to fly through it ,but not so,to some degree as a result of an unforced error! [ in Brians favourite corner]I like puzzles that produce smiles and this did .2.5*\3.5 for me .

  7. I thought that this was a very pleasant start to a Saturday morning and, having completed this puzzle and got all my little jobs out of the way, I can now watch Wales v Argentina with a clear conscience and I’ve no doubt that Mary will be in total agreement.

  8. Just pulling into Derby now.This one kept me occupied for part of the run into London.thanks to the better and to Tilsit

  9. Help please! Is 6a the one who lived at Ayot St Lawrence and if so what has it got to do with “safe for audience”? is 24a a cricketer’s failure to score? If so, I’ve never heard it in a footballing context!

    1. I don’t know where the writer lived but if you say his name out loud (for the audience) it sounds like a synonym for safe. 24a is usually applied to cricketers.

          1. Just checked and he did indeed live there.

            Do tell, have you borrowed Tilsit’s keyboard or had too much cointreau :D

          2. Well there’s a house called ***** Corner there! Don’t know if he was born there or only lived there. I really should visit as it’s only 10 miles away from me!

      1. Hi CS,
        I’m from the North you know, so the homophone for 6a just doesn’t work. For me, the pronunciation of the word in question is “SH” followed by a Yorkshire river. Whereas the writer would sound more like the fringe line of the sea. Totally different sounds. (p.s. I know this isn’t your fault as you didn’t set the puzzle, but I had to post this somewhere!)

        It really makes me mad when homophones are used which only work for a particular regional accent, presumably the Sout West in this case?

        Grumble over, and back to looking through Monday’s paper for a Toughie.

  10. I am ptrduming because of the anagrams that this is Cephas with his slightly trickier hat on. Not that much trickier but… I did enjoy myself so thank you to him and Tilsit too.

    I can recommend the NTSPP too.

      1. Dammit – I was just going to edit that. It was a more haste less speed coupled with waiting for major surgery on my eye. That’s my excuse anyway.

        Happy Birthday wishes to your mum.

  11. After getting most of the way down the crossword I had inwardly groaned and again thought that I might have to put it aside as a ‘fail’ on my part. But, as I’ve learned, perseverance helps and it all dropped into place. Well, almost, as I had 5D wrong (see above) and also 24 ‘miss’ . Thoroughly enjoyable…always seems an anti-climax once it has all been done!

  12. I enjoyed this one today, and it required a little more thought than normal for Saturday.
    Thanks to setter, and to Tilsit.

  13. Well I found it tricky today & made same mistake on 24a as Roger &. co so SW corner took forever. Finally got 6a but don’t think synonym works if you’re frum t’North! Think must have 13a wrong cos can’t fathom 8d.

    1. I’m struggling with 8d as well. Can anybody help?
      well, I am sure that I have it but I cannot see why

    2. I’ll try with 8d although I know that not only will someone beat me to it but also that the hint provided will be better than mine.
      The definition is dignitaries. It is a five letter word for cats – and stop thinking about felines! Inside that you need ‘or’ from the clue and the head of (S)tate. Hope that helps – good luck.

      1. Thanks Kath, Got it. It was the Head of State that threw me.

        Great puzzle. Thanks to setter and Tilsit whose hints were most helpful.

        Now for a weekend of Rugby. For anybody in France, don’t forget you can get France V Australia on Channel 2 this evening. It should be the pick of the games

    3. I’ve been struggling with the NE corner for the last hour, since the 6a homonym didn’t work for me. The penny finally dropped for me re 8d, when I realised the cats weren’t felines Does that help?

  14. I thought this was REALLY difficult – maybe because of all the sporting clues.
    I still can’t do 21a even though I have alternate letters and I still don’t understand what I have for 16d – I’m beginning to think it might be wrong although it fits with 18, 24 and 26a and means ‘from time to time’. Clearly NOT my day! :sad: although I’ve enjoyed it it’s taken me ages.
    Lots of very clever clues, it’s just that quite a few were far too clever for me!
    I thought that 18a was brilliant, particularly given the reputation that Labs have for chewing everything in sight!
    I also liked 13 and 25a and 1, 7 and 11d.
    With thanks (I think) to ?Cephas and Tilsit.

    1. 16d – Definition: “…from time to time”.

      “Is” from the clue then a synonym (2) for “act” reversed – all inside another word for long story (4).

      (Not too keen on Orange drizzle cake or any other type of sweet, in fact. But, is there any Cointreau left?)

      1. Thanks Franco – have just seen the error of my ways – my 16d was wrong which was why I couldn’t make any sense of it. My answer was another word for from time to time beginning with ‘S’ which gave me 21a beginning with ‘R’ so no wonder I couldn’t do that one either!! :roll:
        Moral – if you have an answer that you don’t understand it’s probably wrong!!

        1. I agree Kath; 16d was cunning. As well as the word you had there is another one (beginning with ‘E’) that works for 18a and 26a and, worse, it works for the *wrong* answer to 24a. It isn’t a good solution for 16a though and makes 21a and 17d insoluble (I think).

  15. Haven’t looked at the puzzle yet, but I hope all those at Derby have a great day. I’m afraid I am unable to attend as I have tickets for Arsenal vs Fulham this afternoon.

  16. Not as difficult as I made it, much more enjoyable than last week’s. Liked 3d, not impressed with 6a. 3*/3* for me due to getting stuck in NE corner.

  17. Really engiong this. Still one or two to go but am confident will finish before tea.

    Wet and grey here so no real reason to go out.

  18. Thank you setter and Tilsit. Very enjoyable puzzle. Enjoying the sunshine up in Hexham. Family get together not helping with puzzle solving, but managed to sneak enough time to finish ! Not sure about tomorrow !

  19. Groannnnn! Beaten by 17d and 21a. Despite all the help from this blog I am beaten. I had a young lady for 24a which did not help at all. I now have a bird which seems to help….but still may be wrong. I might have to hit the bottle of red. Lots of that stuff made here in the south of France. Don’t get too excited. It rained here today!

    1. 17d Loudly criticises accommodation (8)
      It’s a double definition – a) a verb meaning criticises loudly (as a member of an audience, perhaps) and b) accommodation (for soldiers).

    2. Just had a right royal ********** from the misses. That helped me. That in turn helped me get 21a. That showed me that I had 16d wrong.

      All done.

      Now, where is that cork screw!

  20. I thought that this puzzle was a shade harder than usual for a Saturday job!
    Faves : 15a, 18a, 25a, 3d, 5d & 11d.

    Consider 6a very weak as being a Tyke by birth I pronounce the letter R.

    But not initial H!! ‘ull, ‘alifax & ‘uddersfield!

  21. Revisiting this hoping that I would see something different – but can’t.
    Please can someone explain what beset by cats has to do with 8d and also the working behind 10a.
    Got the answers but I would like to understand them!

  22. Thanks to the setter & Tilsit for the hints. Managed this ok, but was more difficult than usual. Started with 1a, finished with 22a, favourites were 25a & 5d. Thought it was 3*/3*. Very enjoyable, weather perked up about 4pm,should be a nice day tomorrow, for the Rememberance Service.

  23. I know I’m late joining the party but yesterday’s exertions (walking endlessly around the model exhibition at Telford with Himself) have done nothing to enocurage the juices today.

    Finished only after much head scratching and consultation with hints and blog and Dad (who is to blame for getting me into cryptic crosswords in the first place) :D

    I loved 5d and fell into the trap on 16d by including a word beginning with S and not reading the clue properly.

    Thanks for the hints, Tilsit, as ever gratefully received.

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