DT 27085 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27085 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27085 (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           Really it is the quickest way to get high (8,2)
The most direct route to a point above one’s head

8a           Worthless weapon returned by a politician (8)
The reversal (returned) of a weapon is followed by the A from the clue and a Conservative politician

10a         Sentimental type having nervous reaction (8)
A typeface followed by a nervous reaction

11a         Marchers should be foot division? (6)
Split as (2,4) this is what marchers should be

23a         Playful little woman has company going to Kent maybe (6)
The shortened (little) version of a woman’s name, like that of the main character in Little Women, followed by CO(mpany) and the area of England where the county of Kent is situated

27a         Tax produces flippancy when it’s dodged (4)
Start with a word meaning flippancy and drop (dodge) the IT – I’m not sure that this works as it is flippancy that produces a tax when it is dodged

28a         Shake and stretch? You’ll get it if you’re on mine (10)
A verb meaning to shake or brandish followed by a stretch or span – both you and the setter need to be on the same one in order to understand the clue



1d           Second strip that’s worn in summer (8)
S(econd) followed by a verb meaning to strip or disrobe

2d           Three-quarters of army group in administration (6)
The first six letters of an eight-letter group of soldiers, commanded by a colonel

5d           Priest takes craftsman to be supporter of a cause (8)
P(riest) followed by a craftsman

13d         Sweet drink on the rocks? (9)
This type of sweet that many remember nostalgically from their childhood comes from a charade of alcoholic drink followed by what is added to a drink to make it “on the rocks”

19d         Cooking his meat first makes you irritable (8)
An anagram (cooking) of HIS preceded by (first) a type of meat

22d         Falling out on the lake? (6)
What you could be doing if you were in a boat on the lake

I will be at our village Café and Market all morning, where I will be exhibiting some of my mechanical calculators – back after lunch.

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: {Liz} + {Ted} + {Bill} + {dings} = {listed buildings}

120 comments on “DT 27085 (Hints)

  1. What a splendid week of crosswords.

    Really enjoyed this one, not too difficult but entertaining.

    Thanks to BD for the hints.

    Thanks to the setter for an interesting start to the day.

    Submitted solution with typo, so that’s my £50 gone for a burton:(

    The sun is shining!!!

  2. Morning Dave, this fell into place fairly quickly today, though there were some clever clues I don’t have any stand out favourites, thanks for the hints, must admit to using two of them :-)

  3. All fine and dandy today though it took longer than it should for 19 and 22D to solve — I went cimpletely blank

  4. As Colmce says, not difficult but entertaining. Thanks to, I presume, Cephas, and to BD too.

    The sun is shining here too, the sky is very blue – let’s hope it lasts.

  5. Sorry, not only fat fingers but no manners either — thankyou very much for a super crossword and helpful hints

  6. One of those which needed two sittings, first pass produced minimal results then the second sitting everything fell nicely into place. Just out of interest has anyone else ever heard of 8a and 23a? Certainly new to me.
    Thx to BD but managed without the hints today. Thx to the setter for an interesting start to the weekend

    1. Brian is obviously suffering from fat fingers too. Does Mrs B know about your interesting tart???? :D

      And yes I have heard of both 8a and 23a.

      1. Like you, Mary, I had come across 23a before but not 8a – one of those words where you think that you’ve got the answer but have to reach for the dictionary to confirm it. The heavy overnight snow is now melting quickly in the sunshine and will probably have disappeared completely by Monday.

        1. Sun attempting to come out here Cara but the snow has all gone thank goodness washed away by the heavy rain we had in the night

      2. My boss used to use 8a regularly when describing my performance and the wasted effort (according to her) that I put into some things… like crosswords

    2. Yes – I’ve met them both before too, although probably only in crosswords rather than in every day conversation.

    3. Hi Brian

      They are both words that I’ve read but never heard spoken – gubernatorial is another example (much more common in American politics, of course).

  7. Enjoyed this immensely – apart from 11a as I struggled with it for far too long, until eventually (with some electronic help) had my ‘doh!’ moment. Many thanks to setter & to BD for the hints. Loving the sunshine today. :-)

      1. Oh, Mary – does that mean you’ve not got any? Wish I could courier a big chunk of it over to you – especially after your car snow clearing yesterday! :-)

      2. It’s sunny in Wokingham, too. Where are you, Mary?
        I really enjoyed this one and managed without hints for once. Had heard of 8a and 23a, though I couldn’t have told you what 8a meant.
        Happy to see that the Quickie is a pangram – I looked that up the other day so now I know what one is.
        Thanks to setter and BD. I love this site!

    1. Sunny in Oxford too. Blue sky, 5C making it feel almost tropical after the last couple of weeks, and nearly all the snow has thawed. Unfortunately can now see what all the lumps in the garden are – the moles have moved back in! :sad:

  8. Having mental block on 24a (only one left) even with checking letters – hesitate to explain what I think the structure is in case I give an alternative clue by mistake:)

    A hint would be appreciated – and at least give me the chancve tp say d’oh!!

    1. You are looking for a four letter word for ‘advance’ that when repeated ‘twice’ means ‘be reasonable’

      1. That was what I thought but for some reason I couldn’t quite get (or do I mean ****) to the right answer.

          1. Hi Amanda

            Given that you’re a cruciverbalist, I trust that “penultimate” is safely stored in your toolkit :-)

            I’m rather fond of “antepenultimate” too, but I don’t often have the chance to use either, alas…

    2. I absolutely hate 24a – not the clue but if someone says it – sounds SO patronising and makes me bristle in exactly the same way as being told to calm down!

        1. That’s just as bad – don’t like either – they both put me into a real grump, although if anyone says it to me it’s probably because I’m already in a real grump!

        2. RIP MW
          Hardly ever hear it nowadays.
          Almost disappeared from our common usage.
          So, why is it a crossword answer?

            1. Michael Winner who made famous ‘Calm down dear’. :)
              Sadly, passed away this week.
              (You had mentioned it in your post, I agree, very patronising, Kath :))

  9. Having cleared snow,made bacon buns,eaten them,assembled a flat pack bookcase all whilst thinking about my last clue 23a think a personal best may have evaded me .A few other enjoyable clues .
    Lovely sunshine on fresh snow ,but hopefully a thaw on the way .
    Thanks once again .

    1. I know I recommend cogitation time when one is stuck solving a crossword, but that’s taking diversionary thoughts to a whole new level. Bacon buns sound very nice. Mind you I am one who thinks bacon anything is good :)

        1. Nothing Mary, although I am defrosting some squares of ginger cake, which I baked and froze in case anyone came to see me while I was off work……. let’s just say Mr CS and I are doing very well for squares of ginger cake but I am sure I could spare a couple for the corner if required.

          1. If I volunteer to go to the naughty step can you help me with 27a CS which I can’t get even with BD’s hint. I won’t need any ginger cake

            1. You need a four letter word for a kind of tax collywobs, I can’t add any more than Dave already has, you need a six letter word for flippancy with the ‘it’ removed

      1. From what I’ve read in the past on this site, it makes being sent to the naughty step bearable when you’ve been bacon :-D

        1. No, CS and Mary sometimes provides cake for people on the naughty step so it’s they who are bacon. I can’t bake, I’m a man

            1. surely there is more to determining gender than cooking skills?

              Sunny and very cold here is Boston – single digits (F). Furnace packed up last night, so took the motor to bits, much to the chagrin of Mrs T… it was like camping on Everest.

              Should get the old girl working soon…

              Thx to setter and particularly to BD for not using a lift and separate pic for 1d.

  10. Very enjoyable crossword – I thought it was straightforward and quickish (for me) to do until I ground to a bit of a halt in bottom right corner. Just couldn’t see 22d for ages.
    Lots of good clues – 10 and 20a and 4, 6 and 17d. Favourite 28a – a word used quite a lot in comments here.
    With thanks to Shamus (?) or whoever set this one and to BD.
    All this talk of bacon rolls has made me hungry again – more toast needed.

  11. All done. Nicely balanced Saturday crossword. For some reason, last in was 21d . Enjoyed 8a most of all. Many thanks to BD and the setter for an enjoyable distraction to Saturday morning. Sun is trying to come out here in Birmingham. Have a good weekend all.

  12. If it isn’t sunny where you are and you can’t go outside, I do recommend the themed NTSPP – it’s tricky in places but very enjoyable.

    1. Just started NTSPP – I’ve done a few but seem to be having a bit of a battle. Might go and say hello to the garden and see if brain goes into action while I’m up there.

  13. My brain is obviously South of Gander while my body is in the (warming up) UK. I just can’t see the wordplay for 7d, although I can guess it from the checking letters.

      1. Bu99er! Missed that completely. At least my answer was correct from the checking letters.

    1. Re 7d. The definition is a form of entertainment. The anagram indicator is jazzed-up. At least that’s how I see it – could be wrong.

  14. That was enjoyable. 8a I knew but have not seen it much in common usage whereas 23a was totally new to me.

    25a I got ok but cannot explain the clue past the first letter

    26a lots of references seem to suggest the last letter is usually different but Chambers has both

    1. 25a is generous. The first two and last two letters are a kind of whip (round) a Roman ‘numberal’ for six.
      26a I’m not sure I know what you mean.

      1. Thanks Mary & Kath… ha ha .. wrong Roman numeral.. obvious when you know how :)

        Re : 26a if you wiki it (I know wiki can be a tad unreliable) then you get an alternate spelling. Never mind though as 19d clinches it :)

  15. Managed this very enjoyable one quickly today with no hints needed. However, although the answer is obvious for 26a, I still can’t see where the fifth letter comes from. The first four letters are a synonym for heather and the last three are “at home” and “one”, so presumably the missing letter is clued from “for all to see” – or am I being completely stupid?

      1. Thanks for this. I did not understand the clueing for the 5th letter. Think it’s very clever. Never seen it before. More used to a Nancy Mitford clue for this letter

    1. It took me a while to see that too RD the fifth letter…think of cinema viewing for all to see

  16. Finished after getting 11a wrong until Big Dave’s clue, still cant see why my answer for 6d is correct. Can anybody give me an extra hint please.

    1. The answer could relate to the top of Snowdon (as in mountain) and also a memorable part of something

      1. I had “best shot” as answer for 6d, I was thinking of Lord Snowdon, consequently couldn’t get answers for 6a and 9a. So thankyou Mary, all sorted now.

  17. Sun out here and the white stuff going. Nice to get out into the garden and see some greenery! Zoomed through this last in 23a. Boys outside playing table tennis so peace descends. Thanks to the setter and for the review.

  18. Finished. Typical nSaturday and most enjoyable. Took a little longer that normal but appreciated help

  19. Despite going out early for the paper, I am still late to join the party.

    Only 9a and 22d to go and cannot see these for the life of me, any nudges gratefully received.

    8a was not a new word for me but 23a definitely was.

    Thanks as ever to BD for the hints and to the setter too and thank goodness for BRB!

      1. 9a Overtaking is being used in the sense of engulfing or containing, so you need a verb meaning regretted around what sounds like a child’s word for a horse.

  20. Late on duty today – too much enjoyment of Burns Night then a lot of snow shovelling. Heavy snowfall here in Lancashire overnight, Enjoyed the puzzle, thank you setter and BD for your hints, which, surprisingly I didn’t need !

  21. Super puzzle, great fun and I loved it. 23a has appeared before, with almost same reference to Little Women. I TRY to do the Times Jumbo every week, so it might have been in that. Thanks to setter and BD.

  22. Superb puzzle. 8a was a new word for me but although I had heard of 23a I couldn’t see it for ever such a long time.

  23. Hi All
    Very bucked with myself as today’s was the first Telegraph puzzle I’ve finished without any help from BD! (Although a lot of help from Roget! Does anyone else use such crutches?)
    Actually, there was one clue which (although the answer was obvious) I had not filled in because I also didn’t “get” the reason for the letter in 26a which represented the phrase “for all to see”. Thanks to Gazza for his explanation, so I’ve now filled in the answer.
    I do feel a bit sorry for you chaps in the UK when I read your comments about the weather. My wife and I watch Sky News regularly and feel that we are lucky to be living in a country (South Africa) that has decent weather! It is summer here, it’s ten to seven in the evening (we are two hours ahead of you during your winter), the sun is shining and I’m sitting here in short pants and summer shirt, counting my blessings!

    1. It is 6.40 on Sunday morning here in New Zealand and I also am sitting here in short pants and summer shirt too, counting blessings.

    2. Hi Kingsley and 2Kiwis,
      Welcome to the blog Kingsley. I think that you and 2Kiwis are really pushing your luck talking about sun, shorts and sitting outside! Only joking – well sort of . . . :smile:
      So far as who uses ‘crutches’ such as Roget – well, you will get different answers from everyone. Some people say that it’s cheating (I don’t think that it’s possible to cheat yourself). Most of us, apart from the real experts, use dictionaries – the BRB is ‘The Chamber’s Dictionary’ and called that because it is a Big Red Book – in theory all crossword answers are supposed to be in it. I do think that the most important thing is to enjoy the crosswords.
      Good luck, and keep commenting.

      1. I think that such comments about the weather from Kingsley and the 2Kiwis should be censored – far worse than “partial answers and alternative clues.”

        1. Agreed – “Would all people wearing shorts in January please make their way to the naughty corner”

          1. Now I’m back in the UK, the shorts are back in the bottom drawer. The tanned legs will fade over time. ;) :(

            1. Oops! Maybe 2Kiwis and I should restrict any conversation to rugby and cricket! (For the non-followers of sport, SA has just thumped NZ in the just-completed Test series here and they nearly whitewashed us in the ODIs, which ended on Friday, which they won 2-1)

  24. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints, which I didn’t need today. Quite enjoyed it, started with 1a, finished with 22d. 8a was a new word for me.Favourites were 1d and 28a, which was my penultimate one in. I took ages to get this, so it pushed the puzzle into 2*/3*. 21d was an old chestnut. Great to see the Sun for most of the day in Central London.

  25. thanks for all the hints, not all needed, but I am stuck on my last one, 6d, as I am not too good on Welsh geography, any clues please ?

  26. A pleasant Saturday puzzle.

    Faves : 8a, 23a, 24a(rather imperative), 26a, 4d, 6d, 13d & 16d.

    13d reminds me of a place in Yorkshire as well as childhood!
    For 6d, concentrate on Y Wyddva not the royal!

      1. Hi Una Yr Wyddfa, is Welsh for Snowdon (the mountain) , there is no ‘v’ in the Welsh alphabet, when a ‘w’ is followed by a ‘y’ it is pronounced ‘oi’, the ‘dd’ is pronounced ‘th’ and the ‘fa’ is pronounced ‘va’ …oithva

        1. Hi Mary,Welsh seems to be even more complicated to read than Gaelic.Did it once have its own alphabet ? I was first taught to read in the old gaelic alphabet and teachers gave all instructions in Irish . I didn’t know they were speaking a different language.We figured out what was required more by body language than anything else.Later the english alphabet was introduced and a great many “h”‘s were put into words which made them much longer and harder to read. Perhaps the same thing happened to Welsh.

          1. I imagine learning to read gaelic must be really difficult, I am not a fluent Welsh speaker and have tried on several occasions to master the language, having been born and bred and lived all my life in Wales oldest town that is not good, I grew up in a house where only my grandfather could speak Welsh thus we didn’t speak it at home, primary school being run by Irish nuns, needless to say there was very little welsh spoken! In secondary school, in form 3 we were given a choice to carry on with Welsh or French, French being the easier I chose that, I do however have a firm grounding in the Welsh language and would know straight away if someone was talking about me!!!

  27. I feel sure that my new solution to 6d is right and nothing to do with geography, but that makes my 9a wrong, assistance needed !

      1. finally , thank you. I hope you didn’t take offense at the suggestion that you might write your memoirs.I spent most of the day reading “the poison seed” by Marianne Walter, a marvelous read.I spend most of my spare time reading war time memoirs or histories. But, perhaps you have written yours already.

        1. Hello Una – I’ve recently finished reading ‘Jock Lewes, Co-founder of the SAS’ by John Lewes. Found it fascinating. Have you read it? Enjoy your blogs & with a very poor (as in non-existent) grasp of Welsh too!

  28. This is the Sunday morning solver signing in. Thanks setter. No hi ts needed but thanks Big D and I enjoyed the comments as usual. Had to correct myself on 1a. Must be my seedy mind – my answer was drug related but seemed to fit unt I got 4d! Also I nearly got 9a wrong with an incorrect first vowel. Luckily I went through the vowels until I could make a word to go round the horse. Listening to the Archers now!

  29. Hello everyone, I know this is the wrong page to comment on Sundays puzzle but for some reason I can’t open up todays apart from Daves comment at the top! So just popping in to say I enjoyed this one, never heard of 21a but lots of others I liked a two to three star for me today :-), I will try again later on the right page!

    1. Morning Mary – glad its not just me ! I get a big black page with something to do with Silvertide cookies and nothing else !

      Like you have finished the Virgilius – good fun as usual. No doubt things will be back to normal soon !

    2. thanks for you help yesterday .I left a comment above but for some reason it is undergoing moderation !

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