DT 27079 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27079 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27079 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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Today is your last chance to have a go at our January Prize crossword.

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           Macabre kill unravelled — he threatens to expose offender (11)
An anagram (unravelled) of MACABRE KILL

ARVE Error: need id and provider

9a           I am a success in perfect form (5)
The abbreviated form of I am followed by the A from the clue and a success

10a        Working contract for stylish gnashers? (9)
A two-letter word for stylish followed by a set of false teeth (usually in the plural, but not here)

11a         Musical style of Rice perhaps in vogue (7)
The first name of Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s lyricist inside a word meaning vogue or fashion

ARVE Error: need id and provider

14a         Regular performer let round team (8)
A regular performer in a club comes from a verb meaning to let a property around a team

19a         Native-American dance leading to onset of inundation (4)
A dance followed by the initial letter (onset) of Inundation

ARVE Error: need id and provider

26a         High position — Jane holds one (5)
This high position for a bird of prey is derived from the surname of Jane, the heroine of the eponymous classic book, around I (one)

27a         Assassinated President — heinous act — needs initially lots of lawyers (7’1,3)
The US President who was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth in 1865 followed by a heinous act and the initial letter of Needs – great to see the apostrophe indicated in the enumeration!


2d           Succession followed by monarch such as Queen Mary (5)
A genealogical succession followed by the single-letter Latin abbreviation for a monarch

3d           They’ll make champs toast including women (7)
These people who champ or masticate come from a toast uttered prior to drinking around (including women) W(omen)

8d           Spy on headquarters, providing interference (11)
A spy who successfully infiltrates a rival organization followed by a headquarters or base

13d        Illustration showing mostly favourable quality about Greek character (7)
Most of a favourable quality around the twenty-first letter of the Greek alphabet

16d         Heartless clique upset a politician producing intense discomfort (9)
Start with a five-letter clique or xxx, remove the middle letter (Heartless), reverse what’s left (upset) and then add the A from the clue and a right-wing politician

18d         Weapon gathered aluminium alloy (8)
A charade of a weapon, a three-letter verb meaning gathered and the chemical symbol for aluminium – if you thought that aluminium on its own provided the last five letters of the answer then it would be a “definition by example” and would need an appropriate indication such as perhaps or maybe

24d         Drive bowling of Swann? (4)
A short drive in a car is also England cricketer Graeme Swann’s type of bowling

ARVE Error: need id and provider

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: {picker} + {Lillee} = {piccalilli}

82 comments on “DT 27079 (Hints)

  1. A reasonably quick romp followed by a hiatus followed by a quick romp. 8d was delayed by a conviction that 007 must be involved. Once that was corrected the NE came along well enough. Rather liked 17a and the concept of stylish gnashers in 10a.

  2. Morning Dave et al. I liked today’s offering. 27a and 17d in particular. I wasn’t sure about 9a..and even your clue Dave only confirmed my thoughts rather than assured me! Have a good day.

    1. Chambers gives the definition for the last two letters as “a success (informal)”, presumably only when used in a suitable phrase, such as being preceded by Thunderbirds are ….. The answer is defined as “The last or perfect stage of an insect’s development”.

      1. I suspect that Carl Jung would disagree… but he would be usedn’t to debating collective consciousness (or some such twaddle) via online crossword blogs.

  3. A smidge longer than usual for me, not helped by my putting the wrong word in 19a to start with (as the setter probably intended we should!). Thanks to him and BD too.

    We finally got some snow overnight but not enough to make a snowman even if I was allowed outside to play.

  4. Really enjoyed this one, no particular problems just a bit of thought required.

    Thanks to BD for the hints and to the setter.

  5. Straightforward, I thought, but I needed the 24D hint to find out who Swann is. We don’t get much in the way of cricket coverage here in the USA. Another enjoyable week. Thanks, Big Dave and all the contributors.

  6. A tad easier than hoped for in a Prize crossword.

    My iPad version has no [Submit] button. Most annoying. Perhaps he one i reported earlier in the week (on a weekday puzzle) has gone walkabout.

    Apologies if posted twice (with alterations), but my first attempt didn’t appear.

  7. My solving time put this towards the end of ** territory with only a couple of stickers at the end which was more my fault than anything. Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

  8. To Merusa, re comment on 14 Jan (it won’t let me post in that thread):

    Apologies, I missed the replies. Lake Buena Vista (for my son’s wedding) then over to Bonita Springs … where it’s a few degrees warmer.

    It’ll be no comfort to those shivering in the UK, but I had to don a jacket on Thursday night to be able to sip my Dark and Stormys outside at the Bahama Breeze, and it was drizzling when I emerged from the Outback Steakhouse yesterday evening. ;)

    1. Bontita… Doc’s on the beach, where even the seadoos have the emergency red strings incase the elderly have a esposide. For the benefit of the rest – a Dark n Stormy is a very strong rum and ginger beer (Gosling’s of course) drunk only by Brit expats when overseas, never at home.

      1. Personally, I would consider that a waste of good ginger beer

        Pommers/Pommette have been a bit quiet – hope all still progressing well there

        1. Still here and getting a lot better. Find out from the Doc on Wednesday. Been to our apartment for a few days R & R but the downside is no internet. Thanks for your concern (and Kath too of course).

          Hope the eye’s recovering well.

          1. r&r in an apartment in Spain sounds good – if only I was allowed to fly I’d come and join you.

            Eye is not so sore but it is going to be several weeks before I will get to see properly. I am seeing my Doc on Tuesday and hope he will be able to tell me whether the procedure has worked.

            Upside is that at least I won’t have to drive to work in all this snow and ice etc.

    2. I am in Miami and our lovely warm temps dropped in the last couple of days, which I hate. I am a hot-house flower and prefer 90s to 60s. It’s going to warm up but get cold again … Grumble, grumble, grumble. Sorry UK folks, I really feel for you.

      1. 60’s? Try noughties and below! :sad: Never mind – enormous fire going and ten friends coming for supper this evening.

        1. Just spoke with a friend in Wales, and she says she is enjoying the cold and snow! No accounting for some folks tastes, and she is also a tropical bird from jamaica!

  9. Got virtually through this but have completely stalled on 10a. Does it involve swearing or dying? Am I allowed to ask for hints for this one? (Apologies if inappropriate.) but many thanks to setter as well as to BD for engaging hints which helped me understand why some of my answers were right!

        1. You’ve whetted my appetite now. The links to all the video clips are blocked by my company firewall so I’ll have to pop round to a friend’s to see them!

          */*** for me today with many thanks to the setter and to BD

        1. Internet off all day Poppy, couldn’t even print the crossword, still we were warm and had power unlike a lot of places not too far away, it’s still quite a white world here although just over 2 miles away in town there’s very little snow

    1. Chambers gives the gnashers only in the plural, suggesting that in the singular it means only one gnasher, but the ODE gives “usually plural”.

  10. Thank you setter and BD for your hints. Can’t have been too difficult if I managed to finish ! Very enjoyable – now for snow shovelling.

  11. Lovely crossword although I suspect some may think there are too many anagrams! Some great clues…favourites 14 17 8 and 16. Thanks for the explanation of 11 but still don;t understand 19…I am assuming the dance is three letters? But googling what I think it is yields nothing.

  12. Very enjoyable waking-up brain massage, a prelude to going out?
    Perhaps not, all sludge and wet.
    Many thanks setter and BD.

  13. Pleasant puzzle.Last one in 27a where the apostrophe confused me which isn’t terribly difficult .
    Snowing yet again in N Yorks after 5 hrs of same last night on the positive side it is a giddy 1C .

    Thanks once again

  14. Morning Dave good to be back, after over 24 hours without internet, still its far worse for othes without power, heating etc.
    can’t say I liked this crossword today, never heard of 27a before, thought a 3d would be chomps not champs, though 13d was obvious to work out why was another matter! no not one for me today but nice to be back :-)

  15. Would have been really nice if it were not for 10a and 3d which I didn’t like at all.
    Shame. Apart fom that OK.

    1. Sorry forgot my manners, thx to the setter and to BD for explaining 3d which completely foxed me.

  16. Got through that a lot quicker than I should have after spending yesterday at a beer festival. Still think 3d was a little odd.

  17. Clearly sledging cleared the mind as I rattled this off rather rapidly favourite being 8d. All done now to get hair cut.

  18. Anagram-tastic: I still enjoyed the puzzle.
    12a had me misusing “banks” (fog!) which stalled me until that train was derailed!
    27a will always be associated with a certain Royal College and unpleasant exams therein!

  19. Is it me, or is 9a a frequent flyer in crosswords? Clues usually allude to the entomological , rather than the psychoanalytical definition.

    Forgot to say thanks to the setter in my earlier post.

    1. Certain words like ETUI are the only ones that fit with some combinbations of checking letters – like the dreadful USEDN’T from two weeks go.

  20. A workmanlike puzzle, knocked off over a delicious and warming bowl of homemade soup.
    Needed the hint to understand 16d – whereas I quite like being part of the alleged synonym, I don’t wish to join a clique.
    Thanks to setter, BD and Mrs D (for the soup)

  21. I enjoyed this but was slow to get started then was slow again with the last few answers.
    I didn’t know the 19a Native-American but with three of the four letters already in it couldn’t have been anything else so looked in BRB. Needless to say I had no idea who Swann is. I wanted to make 10a end with an ‘S’ and was a bit slow to understand 13d and, yes, I had the wrong reason for 18d, as suggested in the hint.
    I didn’t like 3d much but did like 17, 20 and 27a.
    With thanks to the setter and BD.
    Still quite a lot of snow here and can’t move car – lots of people for supper tonight – think they’ll have to walk here.

  22. Thanks to Setter and BD for the hints, and to the crew. 26a reminds me of my Dad using “Aerieor” whenever he could in scrabble. It seems that the US variant also begins with an A. Cold and sunny in Boston. Mrs T has started reading gardening books… could be a good year!

  23. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints, which for once, I didn’t need. A lot of good clues, hadn’t heard of 19a, but the wordplay was clear. Started with 1a, last two in were 9a, not heard of that context before and 8d. Favourites were 20&25a. Most enjoyable puzzle. Was 2*/3* for me. Snow turning to slush in Central London, but will probably re-freeze overnight.

  24. I must have had my brain in gear this morning as I finished the puzzle before 9 this morning, a rare event. Now have to scan and send it to our daily. R200,00 (GBP 15) gift voucher on line! 3 d caught me, and I did not really like the result! Thanks for the blog again.

  25. Although I’ve only just finished today’s puzzle, I’ve not experienced any difficulty with it and now I feel guilty because I marked it as merely ‘average’. The conditions around here, in South Cheshire, are bordering on dangerous and, for that reason, I’ve been doing some shopping for elderly neighbours who would be risking life and limb if they ventured out of doors…

  26. Once again I am indebted to BD for the hints, thank you kind sir!

    If it wasn’t for the anagrams, I wonder whether I would even start half the time and I certainly wouldn’t finish without the BRB and Thesaurus.

    I knew 27a from my time in London and eventually managed to finish this off. The bottom half went in a lot quicker than the top half and I too, rather liked 17a :-)

  27. Thanks to Setter for amusing but not too challenging a task today and to BD for hints (for once not needed) with Scott Joplin a bonus. Not sure about 3d!

  28. Started late but finished quite quickly for a change. Only needed a couple of hints. Whilst getting 21a from the letters available , it took me a little while to work out why – and then the penny dropped; so obvious!

  29. Thanks for the hints we needed them this week to finish off – 3d was the stumper and so easy when you have a hint! What wombats we were, I’m putting it down to the cold weather! :-))

  30. That was pleasant, although it took rather longer than it should have because I fell asleep in the middle… I’d had an hour-long walk and then spent ninety minutes clearing the snow, so dropping off once I was warm and seated was fairly predictable, I suppose :-)

    For 27A BD wrote “great to see the apostrophe indicated in the enumeration!” with which I enthusiastically agree!

    Thanks to BD and setter (do we know who it was?).

  31. despite hints I am experiencing great difficulty with 16d. Could my 15a be wrong ? deeply stuck !

    1. 16d – another word for ‘clique’ or a gathering of people, without its middle letter (heartless) is reversed (upset) and followed by A (from the clue), and a type of politician.

          1. last two:7d and 22d, both doing my head in. please ,please assist to the slowist solver on the planet

            1. 22d – the definition is ‘serious crime’. You are looking for a member of the clergy, without the first letter (beheaded)

              1. the in house lawyer came up with the answer finally,the delay being due to mostly that particular clergyman is rarely mentioned in these parts.

            2. 7d -(this type of) platform, or principles of a political party is an anagram (setting out) of ‘team’s info’

              1. thanks for all your help.Much needed, although I have to admit to lazyness.The answers look so obvious in retrospect that one imagines one would get them in the end. Even if it took days. The emphasis is on imagines.
                Totally disagree about ******** (whom I like), surely Verdi is Italy’s foremost composer ?

                1. Hello Una

                  In 20A the word “foremost” is telling you to take the initial letter of “Italy”, and the answer is a composer.

                  The clue makes no claim either way about the status of that composer!

                  And yes, Verdi is sublime :-)

    1. Welcome back, Maz8 – you’ve changed your alias since your last comment (in 2010) so this comment required moderation.

  32. Thanks to setter BD and for all your comments. Needed a bit of BRB help. Liked 17 21 and 27a. Last one in was 27a and I kicked myself!

  33. Good morning. Thanks for hints, finished on second sitting this morning, but please could someone explain 23a, I get the “keeps” but I always struggle with soldier clues. Thanks

    1. Soldiers can cause a lot of problems as there are so many things they can be – ants, OR (other ranks) and so on. Here you are looking for the initials by which we refer to the ‘irregular’ ones, the soldiers who have a full time job and are called on to fight in times of conflict. The two letters are put in a word meaning checks, or holds in.

      Hope that helps. There is still cake left in the corner tin, but I think its a bit early to be sent to the naughty corner as I have a few things to do this morning.

      1. Thank you. All clear now, simple when someone’s explained it, that’s why I love Cryptic crosswords so much.

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