DT 27056 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27056 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27056 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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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.


1a           Waste energy to operate fiddle (6)
Waste or rubbish followed by E(nergy) gives a slang verb meaning to play the fiddle

10a         Outlaw posed scruffily keeping challenge to return (9)
An anagram (scruffily) of POSED around (keeping) the reversal (to return) of a challenge

12a         Right-wing American somehow reckoned to ditch Obama at first (7)
An anagram (somehow) of RECK(O)NED without (to ditch) the O (Obama at first)

14a         A section downsized with skill (5)
The A from the clue followed by the abbreviation of a section of a business

23a         Means to dispose of dead mostly surrounded by massive monument (7)
Most of a means to dispose of a dead body, much used in India, followed by a preposition meaning surrounded by

28a         Snare fish after net damaged (8)
A verb meaning to fish after an anagram (damaged) of NET

29a         Checked out old soldier’s unruly youth (6)
A North American word for an old soldier followed by an unruly fifties youth


1d           Pretentious air actually existing among stars (8)
A charade of a pretentious air and an adjective meaning actually existing

3d           Feel anger towards being taken in by a frontman (9)
A verb meaning to feel anger towards inside (being taken in by) a three-letter word meaning a, as in “revs a minute”

6d           Charity needs steer over footballers with money (5)
A two-letter steer followed by the organisation that runs football and M(oney)

9d           Mention Nick … here he comes! (4,2,3,5)
Mention (4,2) followed by Old Nick (3,5)

17d         Protector of flock to collect old money keeping nothing (8)
A verb meaning to collect followed by a pre-decimal coin (old money) with O (nothing) inserted

ARVE Error: need id and provider

24d         Gibson perhaps willing to get fruit (5)
The first name of the star of the Mad Max movies followed by a two-letter word meaning willing to participate in an activity

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: {Pharaoh} + {aisles} = {Faroe Isles}

67 comments on “DT 27056 (Hints)

  1. Very enjoyable thank you setter – and may I wish you a Merry Christmas ! Yet another new word for me at 1d. Thank you BD also for the hints. Its grim oop North today ! Don’t think we will be joining in the £5bn spending spree.

  2. Most difficult for a Saturday for a long time for me. The bottom rightt is a complete mystery. Some very weak clues such as 1a and 3d. Not enjoying this one at all.

    1. Ok all done now but don’t see why the last three letters of 29a are an unruly youth or where the old money comes in in 17d! For me one of the poorest Saturday puzzles for a while. Thx to BD for the hint for 1a which I still think is so poor.

        1. Isn’t it time these youths were retired – they have got to be well into their seventies by now; perhaps they still lurk in the corners of the old folks’ homes swinging their bike chains in a menacing manner.

              1. He definitely comsidered himself one of the others, with the shoes, the jacke,t the drainpipes and the hairstyle, now what was that bit in the front called… I didn’t know him then of course, being way too young :-)

    2. I agree. I guess that after yesterday’s relatively easy one I am not surprised this is a bit of a stinker (for me). Hardly got going at all last night – 3 completed before lights out, and still struggling even with the help from BD. Looking forward (hopefully) to a nice gentle heavily themed puzzle for Monday.

  3. Well, having woken up and found that the world is still here, I suppose I had better go an do the Christmas shopping after all…
    The puzzle might have to wait…

  4. I did not find this quite the cakewalk that some did .NW corner was not helped by yet another unspotted typo in 10a and 1d fell outside my knowledge of astronomy (0) and was my last one in .I did find it very enjoyable fave 16d .
    My garden has developed several new water features overnight !
    Thanks once again .

  5. Good morning Dave and thanks for hints, didn’t need them to complete but did need them to understand a few, I didn’t find this as easy as some did in fact my CCD and little electronic friends were in frequent use, some of the readings I thought didn’t make much sense either eg 6d, a crossword of four corners for me with the top left corner being the last in, a three star IMHO, got there with perservation but not one of my favourites

  6. Fairly straightforward once I got into it. Like Mary, NW corner delayed me most, particularly since I didn’t know the meaning of 1d, even though I’ve seen the word fairly often (in SF mostly).
    14a last in for me – didn’t think the solution fitted the clue until I saw BD’s prompt.
    Thanks to BD & setter and a Merry Christmas to all.

  7. The Compliments of the Season to you all and thank you for the hints, Dave, because I ran into the buffers in the NW corner like Only Fools did. I’m pleased to say that all my Christmas shopping was done some days ago because it is the most miserable of days in South Cheshire and my pluviometer is going into overdrive.

  8. I found most of the clues rather mechanically solverable.
    But I do wish I could stop thinking of the right word(s) first and then fitting it to the clue.
    I wish my mind worked, as it should for crosswords, the other way round.
    If you get my drift.
    Many thanks setter and BD.

      1. Hi Mary,
        ..but,really, no choice, the word just pops up from one’s subconscious.
        Season’s Greetings :)

        1. Well, that’s because you are clever then Hrothgar, nothing you can do about genius :-) Merry Christmas to you too

  9. I agree Mary – it comes with experience and of course learing the conventions (plus recognising the odd favourite answer). I have a golf lesson today and am probably the equivalent of a crossword novice!

  10. Loads of Christmas pud and mince pies in the naughty corner today should anyone end up there hats and crackers too and a bowl of punch,!

  11. I’m still working on today’s crossword. It’s the first time I’ve managed to sit down on a Saturday for months. I am soooo out of practice.

  12. Only difficulty was self-imposed trying-to-be-too-clever.
    Managed to solve 1a as ” Anagram (fiddle) of OPERATE without (waste) E = ATROPE ”
    Made 1d very difficult, I can tell you!

    Otherwise I tend to agree with the “easy and a bit dull” consensus.

    Thanks to setter & BD

  13. I found this quite difficult to get started on but then it more or less did itself, with just a bit of help from me.
    I had a protector of the wrong kind of animals to begin with for 17d, even though I couldn’t see why – 20a sorted that one out. I’m not sure about 12a – why right wing American? I thought it meant something completely different – and so does the BRB. I also think that 25a is more a musical part than a style but I’m probably just nit-picking because it’s wet, I’ve got too much to do (why am I sitting here?) and I’m grumpy.
    I thought 9d was brilliant.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

  14. Anyone else spell 27a with an S for the second to last letter? It is only now that I am drafting the review that I realise that it should be a Z for the wordplay to make sense!

        1. I think so because we are only mentioning one letter – I don’t mind as I do like both the pudding and the pies. You obviously need to try my home made mince pies which have extra delicious pastry.

    1. Having needed this part of the blog to solve the clue, Z makes sense as I take it to be part of a shortened form of the name.

    2. Re 27a, I did the same this morning. It went completely unnoticed because I did not bother to enter the puzzle online.
      Apart from that, 1* difficulty for me today. Thanks to setter, and to BD.

  15. I always get a warm glow when I derive a completely new word to me from the clue, refer to Chambers and find it exists 1d.

    Found this relatively simple after a slow start, also confused s/z. (Oxford spelling).

    Thanks to the setter for the puzzle and to BD for the review.

    1. Same here.
      I always write them down in my “Notes” App. on my iPad.
      That’s how smug I am. :)

  16. Finally finished but I’m still not sure about 25a and the second word of 5d. I think I have got them but only by a process of elimination.

    A happy Christmas to one and all.

    1. For 25a ‘let flow’ means ‘let wine, for example, flow’
      5d is built up from admitting (6) and ‘taking steps’ (8).

      1. I must be really dim but even with these hints I am still stuck on the first half of 1d, second half of 5d , and 25a.

        1. The first half of one down is a word with many meanings one of which is indeed ‘pretentious air’ Can’t think how to hint any more without being in the naughty corner, but there aren’t many four letter words with those checking letters so why not have a guess and check in the dictionary.

          The second half of 5d means taking steps in the sense of walking on something.

          25a is explained by gazza and I don’t think I can improve on it apart from wondering if you played a recorder in junior school?

          1. Finally, at long last, amen.More dictionary trawling. No, I didn’t play the recorder at school, but have heard others use the term. Gazza’s clue great ,retrospectively.Thanks to everyone from one very ” late developer” .

            1. Will the Telegraph accept heavily overwritten corrections or should I buy a another copy of the paper and fill it in neatly ?I can hardly believe I am entering a crossword competition.A big thanks to all my patient tutors, and seasons greetings.The weather is lovely,blue skies,warmish, and breezy.

                1. Thanks for your link, I’ve posted it already. Of course I dont expect to win, I am delighted I was able to enter. A great leap forward for me,with all the help I’ve received.

  17. Thanks to the setter & to Big Dave for the hints. Found this quite straightforward, didn’t need the hints for once. No real favourites. Was 2*/2*Thought 16d was an old chestnut. Merry Xmas to all the setter’s, bloggers and lurkers, special thanks to Big Dave for running such a great site.

  18. Not too bad, ***/*** for me, but NW corner took a bit longer with 1d last to do.
    (Not so much a white Christmas here in Dorset – more a sub-aquatic one in a few places.)

  19. Crossword done, West Brom win and some very pleasing wood shots at my lesson. Time for a nice glass of wine. Still raining.

  20. late start today but completed without alarm after a slow start. Merry Christmas Dave and to all the “subscribers”

  21. Nothing too taxing today, despite coming at the end of a tiring and trying day.
    A couple of ‘Americanisms’ I thought. * and a half/***

  22. A very Merry Christmas and many thanks to all , especially Big Dave .
    Although I do not finish every Saturday puzzle without help, my ability to
    do it fairly regularly is all due to this site and its contributors , again , many thanks


  23. Yes, this is a great site, Thanks! Needed some help with Saturday’s crossword; it’s so good to be able to turn to Dave et al. when you’re desperate! Really struggled with 1d and 5d and 4a (American?). SueB.

  24. A very satisfying puzzle and many thanks to BD for the valuable hints. A happy Christmas to all and special thanks to BD for managing such a friendly and helpful site

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