DT 27061 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27061 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27061 (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.


8a           Things drifting, not turned round by board (8)
To get these organisms that drift in oceans, lakes or rivers revesre NOT after a board

10a         Agile Romeo embraced by Mata Hari? (4)
The letter represented by Romeo in the NATO Phonetic alphabet inside the type of secret agent of which Mata Hari was an example (definition by example – indicated by the question mark)

14a         Not good-looking! (4-4)
A cryptic definition of an adjective meaning having the power to cause harm by a look

15a         Comment on late news? (7)
A cryptic definition of an inscription on a gravestone

Milligan gravestone

24a         Cut to remove bird’s tail (4)
Drop the final letter (remove … tail) from a wading bird

26a         Teacher’s account seen by the man as source of worry (8)
A charade of a senior teacher, the abbreviation of AC(ount) and the male pronoun


1d           Nonsense to applaud with role backfiring (8)
A verb meaning to applaud followed by the reversal (backfiring) of a role in a play

5d           Type of crack that’s parting? (8)
This type of very thin crack could be a parting on the head

6d           Gossip in phone kiosk? (10)
A verb meaning to gossip followed by a phone kiosk gives someone who is, possibly, gossiping in a phone kiosk

19d         Flair giving Peter pain (7)
A charade of J M Barrie’s Peter and a pain

24d         Close main line (4)
The main, as in the Spanish Main, followed by L(ine)

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: {thanks} + {shallot} = {thanks a lot}

ARVE Error: need id and provider

104 comments on “DT 27061 (Hints)

      1. “It made more sense”

        No it didn’t. The answer, hyphenated as given in the clue, is in the dictionary. Reverse the two parts of the answer and the result is registered trade mark for a Royal Mail service, which is not hyphenated.

        1. Yes it does, no-one talks of sending anything as in the answer but rather the usual phrase is the other way round hyphenated or not.

  1. Quite straightforward I thought with no great problems and I did enjoy 15a.
    Very sad about Tony Greig, met him once, a lovely guy with a wicked sense of humour which he needed when facing that WI fearsome fast attack.

  2. Morning Dave and everyone, hope you all had a lovely Christmas, first crossword I’ve had time to comment on is todays, although I don’t really have much to say about it, no fav clue and a two to three star for me today, not keen on 4d and 15a

    1. Hope you had a good Christmas too. Until Thursday I hadn’t looked at a crossword since last Sunday – don’t remember such a long gap – terrible withdrawal symptoms!

  3. Thank you setter and BD. Managed to get through with no hints – a relief after yesterday ! It is grim again oop North and about to get worse with another visit to The Reebok. I wish there more away games.

  4. Enjoyable straight-forward puzzle. 2 for ease and 3 for enjoyment.
    Initially ended 22a with a T and then saw married!

  5. No problems today, an easy ride; almost too easy as it was done and dusted so quickly — for me. No real favourites though I quite liked 12A because it’s a word I haven’t used or heard in years. Thanks to setter and BD

  6. This was a bit like the Domino effect – once I got started the rest just fell into place. Thanks to the Saturday Maestro & to BD.

    Mrs S at the sales so I can look forward to The NTSPP without fear of interruption. The rain is absolutely persisting down here in West Bridgford.

  7. That was enjoyable and comparatively gentle ….I’d like to think I have got cleverer over the Christmas period but probably just fatter :)

  8. I found this puzzle to be rather disappointing because I didn’t feel tested by it and, like Mary, I don’t really have anything further to add. However, I do agree with the comments above about Tony Greig, who was a fearless batsman – there were no helmets in his day – and an extraordinary fielder. May I take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy 2013.

  9. Agree with Cara & Mary – the puzzle matches the weather.
    It would be interesting to compile an “English” cricket team of players actually born in South Africa – Greig, Lamb, Smith, Strauss, Pietersen……… but that is perhaps best done in another forum.

        1. Colin Cowdrey was born in Bangalore, India.

          Ted Dexter was born in Milan, Italy!

          (Not so much a blog about the crossword – more like Test Match Special!)

          Ps. I found today’s crossword a mere “write-in” – apart from 15a!

          1. Franco – see my initial comment above, though BD doesn’t seem to mind having contributed himself.
            I expect we’ll draw some cross-fire from The Girls, however !!

            1. Not from me, yet!! I don’t think that I’m in a position to complain since I’m one of the worst culprits when it comes to muttering about non-crossword stuff! :smile:

      1. I reckon the above adds up to a pretty formidable squad that would have given any side a run for its money.

  10. Thanks to all for the hints (and glad to see fewer lift and separate photos). 12C here in Boston so all ice has melted – definitely not New England weather.

  11. I found this one fairly straightforward and enjoyed it – it’s given me something else to think about besides the torrential rain and the permanently wet and muddy collie – permanently wet and muddy Kath too!
    For some reason I had a totally blind spot about 5d – I had alternate letters – it was my last answer. Also spent quite a while trying to justify the wrong kind of discrimination in 22a.
    I liked 14 and 26a and 13d. 6d made me laugh.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and BD.
    Going to have a go at the NTSPP later.

  12. After a really manic morning, including battling some really strong winds, it was nice to sit down at the kitchen table and find a straightforward Saturday puzzle so thank you Cephas. Thanks to BD for the hints too.

    I can recommend the NTSPP.

    Apologies to anyone who doesn’t like the horrible face some people get instead of my flowers. I can see my flowers perfectly well and have no idea whatsoever how to fix the problem.

  13. More haste less speed ! Rattled this off in disdain to now find an error for 24d I entered a 4 letter word for part of the standard rigging on a sailing vessel ,one of the synonyms for which is close .
    Humble pie for dinner .

    Thanks once again (CS I am getting flowers but they need a little water)

  14. Fairly straightforward but five open clues left at lights out last night. BD helped on four of them – thank you – but still stuck on 17a, anyone got any ideas? Thanks in advance.

    1. 17a Plants in this place may conceal trap (7)

      An adverb meaning ‘in this place’ contains a verb to trap.

    2. Well, if you have everything else then you must have the three even-numbered letters. That should make it easy to place the four-letter word for “in this place” around the outside. Inside is a three-letter word for “trap”, for which you have the first and third letters and merely need to choose the vowel in the middle.

      Hope that helps :-)

      To Gazza – so, I need to type more quickly!

  15. Breezed through this today didn’t need any help at all, last one in 17a, off to walk the Labradoodles over the fields now before it starts raining here in the south east. :roll:

  16. “It made more sense”

    No it didn’t. The answer, hyphenated as given in the clue, is in the dictionary. Reverse the two parts of the answer and the result is registered trade mark for a Royal Mail service, which is not hyphenated.

    Not to us mere mortals , I knew something was wrong so came to this site to find out what it was.

    I am simply not worthy


    1. There are two important things to notice about the clue.

      1. the order of the charade that leads to the answer is stuation then vacant

      2. the answer is hyphenated

      The alternative answer that many filled in does not satisfy either of those, and is also a registered trademark.

  17. Richard, I still think my first (wrong) answer works better. Fingers crossed for West Brom at Man U today. Was going to go to the Stevenage game but it was called off first thing. Grey and wet here in East Herts.

    1. 4d Hammer on the door? (7)

      I think it is intended as a cryptic definition of something found on a front door – but it is a bit weak.

  18. I did not meet my dad’s challenge of a completion time of xx minutes but I completed 95% in fairly quick time (for me).

    For once, I did not need the hints but thanks to BD for doing such a sterling job and providing a forum for newbies like me to learn.

    1. Sorry Dawn, but the convention is that we don’t mention solving times, whether they be targets or actual times achieved as it can discourage people who take a long time to solve a cryptic crossword.

      I am sure it won’t be long before you reach your dad’s target – let us know when you do.

      1. My apologies, I wouldn’t want anybody to be discouraged by anything I’ve said. As for reaching dad’s target, that will take a while as he’s done the crossword for longer than I’ve been alive so I have a way to go yet.

        This site is fantastic at providing support to anyone who asks for help and I have done enough of that so I will play nicely from now on :-)

        1. There are plenty of days when I’m pretty sure that I would get away with telling you all how long a crossword had taken me. Even on a good day my time couldn’t be discouraging to anyone – not that I ever time myself.

          1. Well, at least we can be fairly sure it was under an hour. Unless Dawn’s dad set the target as 99 minutes. Surely, she would have used hours as her units, rather than minutes. Well done Dawn for breaking the hour barrier at least! If your father had set a lower time I would consider him to be a bit stern, even though I’ve never met him…..or you.

      2. Does this mean we have new laws, breaking of which mean the Naughty Corner?

        Rule 1: Do not provide better hints (it upsets the hierarchy).
        Rule 2: Do not mention answers (unless it involves Diss or Tring – see 27060)
        Rule 3: Do not talk about sport (except those with balls or wheels).
        Rule 4: Do not mention completion times (it makes us feel inadequate).
        Rule 5: Do not use sweeping sexist generalizations (unless justified).
        Rule 6: Do not criticize fellow contributors (unless cunningly disguised).
        Rule 7: Do not use imperial metrics (it makes us feel old).

        What else am I missing? I tried to search for naughty corner on the site and was rewarded with:
        Sexy Saudi Arabian Girls
        Rank #1 Saudi Arabian College Girl See CollegeRanks at CollegeRankr

        Why does Google profile us thus?

        1. Just to clarify:

          Better hints are welcome, as long as they don’t involve giving away elements of the answer or the use of alternate clues that happen to give the same answer. But this only applies to the Saturday and Sunday prize crosswords

          Diss was not in a prize crossword. By request, we try to avoid giving away parts of the wordplay in the hints, but that does not apply to the comments (on non-prize puzzles)

        2. I think that this is pretty lawless place – the only ‘laws’ that I know of are no bad language and no libel. Long may it continue and thanks to all who uphold those ‘laws’.

  19. Great puzzle. Nice balance of clues with some difficulty here and there but always soluble. Thanks to Cephas for the usual quality and to BD for the hints

    1. PS. I would also like to add a word about the passing of Tony Greig who I never considered was British but he came to our game when we needed him against the Australian fast bowlers. He demonstrated courage at a critical time and fine leadership and will be sadly missed

      1. Yes – very sad and I always liked listening to him commentate. On the subject of D’Oliveira, mentioned above, I did not realise until today that when England play S. Africa, they play for the Basil D’Oliveira Trophy.

        1. I went to a benefit dinner for a Worcestershire player (Paul Pridgeon) and after the main course the MC proposed the Loyal Toast, so that Mrs D’Oliveira could smoke a cigarette. You can’t do that now!

            1. I’m afraid not, I was with a former member. We also had a benefit cricket match between our local Hanley Castle team and a Worcestershire eleven.

          1. No – you can’t! Anyone who smokes these days is almost a criminal – when I completely disappear from here you will all know that I am in prison! :sad:

  20. Thanks to the setter & to Big Dave for the hints. Went straight through this until I came to 24a, luckily I got it right, thanks to Big Dave for the explanation. Was 1*/3* for me. Very dull & windy day in Central London. Nursing a bruised hip and elbow after falling on my front path yesterday, slippery flagstones no alcohol involved :-)

  21. Finished what felt like a fairly pedestrian crossword although I did need the help of hints and tips. Nothing produced either a wry smile or a grimace. I don’t really like the answer to 16d it feels somewhat inelegant.

    Glad to be finding the time for the Saturday crossword again

  22. Thanks BG for the amusing ,from the grave , joke from Spike Milligan.”duirt me leat go raibh me broite”. (I told you I was sick). Never realised he was Irish .I had resolved not to bother anyone until I was down to the last three. Despite all the comments on 17a I( must be really thick),am stuck on 3d, 11a, 17a, and18d. Any help gratefully received .

    1. 3d Boss takes leader of industrials round workroom (6)
      The definition is workroom and the boss is not the person in charge but a projecting knob.

      1. got that one now ,thank you. Still don’t know what a projecting “boss” thing has to do with it.

    2. 18d Georgia’s portable lamp (8)
      You want a type of lamp. The abbreviation for Georgia (the US State) plus the ‘S is followed by an adjective meaning portable (i.e. not too heavy to carry).

        1. For 17a you’re not looking for specific types of plant – it’s just a general word for plants collectively.

          1. I think I may have got it now ,cant fit that with any kind of trap I’ve ever heard of,also didn’t know that that other word could be an adverb, grammar was unfashionable during my school years.

            1. Una. I’ve deleted the last part of your comment as it amounts to an alternative clue. You seem to have the correct answer.

              [Which is now the middle part as you amended your comment!]

              1. I wish to change my “name” to”w” without a change in icon (little pictograph). Is this possible?

  23. Enjoyable but over all too soon! Quick solve after Nottingham to Cornwall drive. Last in for me was 24d! When looked again got it straightaway. Got all the others. Had a lucky escape with 16d. Luckily had checking letters as otherwise would have had the words the other way round. Liked 15a – on right lines but first word I thought of (as a DT reader) had one too many letters.Other favourite 6d. Hope to post this comment now but will involve me hanging of upstairs window with my I phone

  24. I thought 14a was the hardest. to resolve..I couldn’t decide on the final letter for ages. Rest of it was sorted sharpish, so certainly not the hardest we’ve seen this month. Shame there weren’t any cricket clues

  25. beautiful old and very top-heavy pyrocanthus blown down last night. It had wonderful garlands of white blossom every June.Well, those of you east of me expect storms.

  26. This went in far too quickly to have any real value as a prize puzzle. Shame really as some recent ones have had a fair degree of difficulty. Thanks to BD and the setter. I am now playing catch up on a number of puzzles as I have stayed off them while away in Holland for Christmas.

  27. Well I have browsed the forum for a while now but this is my first post. I don’t suppose anybody will be around for this one still but;

    Thanks to all involved. I find the hints very helpful.
    Unusually for me I only needed hints for 17a.
    Not so unusually you lot are soo clever. I am stuck on sw. Corner. Namely 23a, 25a,19d + 21d. Any help gratefully received.

    1. I just finished lunch so will have a go

      23a an anagram (turns) of LIBERAL OFF produces a list of items to eat
      25a Another anagram (out of character) of HE ACTS produces a synonym for virtuous
      19d Has been explained elsewhere – see BD hints
      21d THe abbreviation for Hospital followed by a number go together to make another word for summit or distance upwards.

      Hope this helps.

      1. Thanks Crypticissue.

        All done now. Convinced myself 25a was not “another” anagram.

        Btw another solution to 23a replaces letter 2 with letter 8. Completely meaningless as an answer but destroyed my ability to “see” the other clues.

        Thx again to you all and a happy New Year

        1. The setter of this puzzle is very fond of his anagrams, so if in doubt look for an anagram! He should be back the Saturday after next so you can see if that works then.

          1. How do you know who the setters are? Not like the grauniad or the times (both too tough for me)!

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