DT 27139 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27139 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27139 (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 and the FAQ 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.

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1a           Spread small amount of butter on middle of bread (4)
A small amount of butter followed by the middle letter of brEad

8a           Son cracks this puzzle’s ingenuity — hard challenge (5,6,4)
Put S(on) into the type of puzzle you are currently doing then add the S from ‘S, some ingenuity and H(ard)

11a         Walk slowly past senior common room, or take off quickly? (8)
I hope you remembered the Senior Common Room from a few days ago!  – add a verb meaning to walk slowly

15a         Barker perhaps holding rubbish piece of sculpture (6)
… this Barker is the delightful lady that presents A Question of Sport – put her around (holding) some rubbish

17a & 19a             Sitcom of old times — demure artist is being introduced (3,5,8)
Put an adjective meaning of old times around (being introduced) an adjective meaning demure and an alleged artist best known for persuading some people that her bed is a work of art

22a         Ancient worker breaking into keg has drunk parting gift (6,9)
An adjective meaning ancient and a worker inside an anagram (drunk) of KEG HAS

25a         Dope causes twitch? (4)
Newspaper version – Stupid chap dried meat (4)
Two definitions


1d           One international sportsman comes up and punches those eschewing violence (9)
Reverse I (one) and an international sportsman and then add a verb meaning punches

3d           Unhappy near fellow that’s skilful (9)
In this context near means parsimonious or stingy, so a stingy fellow is followed by an adjective meaning skilful

4d           Band breaking into small cry of delight (7)
Put a four-letter word for a band inside the Scottish word for small

6d           Snapper we employed here? (9)
An anagram (employed) of SNAPPER WE

7d           Tom’s hesitation stated repeatedly as one laying out fare (7)
This tom is a domestic animal, follow him with a two-letter word of hesitation, and then the same word again (repeatedly)

12d         Accomplish with the German’s historic loss of civil rights (9)
A verb meaning to accomplish is followed by the German definite article to give an old law involving the loss of civil rights through conviction for high treason

14d         Complaints over wood getting fungus (9)
Some complaints are followed by a type of wood to give this fungus

20d         Fish making bad smell with head cut off (5)
A bad smell without (cut off) its initial (head) S

The Crossword Club is now open. Feel free to leave comments.  I’m off the the village Café & Market – back around lunchtime.

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

The Quick crossword pun: (cooker} + {borough} = {kookaburra}

61 comments on “DT 27139 (Hints)

  1. What a splendid crossword, great fun.

    Initial scan yielded two answers, both subsequently wrong as it happens, followed by a long period of contemplation which yielded very little, then the penny dropped on a few, and it all fell into place.

    Thanks to BD for the hints.

    Thanks to the setter for great entertainment on another grey grim Kent day.

    All set to supply answers as required, need some cake to cheer me up as all my Easter plans lie in ruins.

  2. We got there.
    Was it deceptively hard, or do I mean easy?
    Good fun.
    Thanks to the setter and BD

  3. I agree with Colmce – great fun **/****. Many thanks to the setter and to BD for his hints, which I only needed to explain the meaning of near in 3d.

    It took me an age to see why I had got the right answer to 4d simply because as old rocker weaned in the 60s I became transfixed that “band” referred to the first three letters of the answer.

    Despite working out the answers successfully, I’d never heard of the fungus in 14d nor the meat in 25a.

    1. In case people think I’ve gone barking mad about 25a. The clue in the paper is different from the one given in BD’s hints. Thankfully the same answer though!

    2. There is a different clue in the on line version for 25 a “dope causes twitch ?”

      All adds to the fun!

    3. Re 25a – I’ve heard of the meat. I guess that makes the clue a potential triple definition :)

  4. The iPad has a different clue for 25a to the one in the paper, though both fit the answer:
    ‘Dope causes twitch?’, as opposed to ‘Stupid chap dried meat’.

  5. Slow start, but then it all seemed to come together, still not sure about 5d though!

    Thanks to BD and the setter

    1. A puzzle of 2 halves perhaps?
      5d works fine for me – old money is the last part of £.s,?, inside (invested) in a synonym for debts, resulting in a word for swells, or toffs.

  6. Wondered if 13d was targeting BD .Apart from the anagrams and 16d yet again thought this was a smashing puzzle .
    Layer of snow this morning which has quickly vanished .
    Thanks very much .

  7. Morning Dave , thanks for the hints, once again needing one or two of them, I thought this was a difficult puzzle, even after getting the answers it took me ages to see why some were what they were, e.g. 18d and 17a, at least a three star for me, did I enjoy it? not particularly, fav clues 1a and 6a, blue skies, sunshine but very cold once again here today

    1. Mary, many thanks for your delightful poem. It has inspired me to persevere a bit more. And today’s seemed to click with a few gaps 5, 21 and 23

  8. Really enjoyed this, despite trying to make a different kind of access provider fit in 10A initially. 17A made me happy, partly because we’ve been watching re-runs recently here and so for once I knew the answer, and partly because working out the bits and pieces was fun. I have to agree with BD about the ‘alleged” artist. I’ve never heard of the answer to 5D being synomous with swells and I respectfuly disagree with Chambers on that..

    Many thanks to BD and to the setter.

    1. I think ‘ swells & *****’ are American words, rather than English. Enjoyable crossword …thanks to setter & hinter.

  9. Struggling to fully understand 2d, I have the answer and can see link to Del Boy, however although I can see a little “bit of rubbish” inside the answer, I can’t work out the link to scrap dealer, or where the definition is?

    1. You are obviously too young to remember Rag and Bone Men who were known as ********. The definition is the surname of, perhaps, Del Boy.

      1. Thanks. I never knew that about rag-and-bone men, but googled Del Boy so arrived at the right answer.

  10. Happy Easter everyone! I didn’t have many problems with this puzzle apart from 8a and so thank you for the hint, Dave, because I’d convinced myself that the third word was a plural word for ‘ingenuity’ – and it wasn’t!

  11. Thanks Crypticsue, understand now! I remember Steptoe and Son, still enjoy the repeats, but don’t recall them being referred to as ********.

  12. What a nice offering today no real issues or problems,liked 8A & 13A thought 21A quite clever,thanks to BD for the review still cold but dry on the south coast the only wind is comeing from the dog after finishing my indian last night.

  13. Found this really hard today. ****/*** , although some were so obvious with hindsight.
    12d was a new word for me.

  14. Tricky start then the top half fell into place but got held up by 14d, not a fungus I have heard of before. Overall very enjoyable Thx to BD for confirming the newer to 14d, thank the Lordfor a google.:-)

  15. I enjoyed this one a lot but found it quite difficult – scrambled brain with lots of things going on.
    I was very slow to get 8a which didn’t help – kept trying to make it an anagram but nothing added up to the right number of letters. 17/19a also took a while. I’ve never heard of 12d or the 14d fungus but have heard of the 25a dried meat. I needed the hint to explain why 1d was what it was. I only got 2d because we have had a similar clue before. Started off with the wrong answer to 10a.
    I think my answer for 24a has to be right but don’t really understand why.
    I liked 8a and 4, 13 and 20d.
    With thanks to the setter and BD.

    1. 24d He told tales of war in Resistance (6)
      A word meaning in or ‘not away’ followed by the abbreviation for Resistance.

      1. Thank you gazza – how couldn’t I see that? I got a bit hung up on trying to make something of the middle three letters even though I know that’s not the right spelling.

          1. Thanks – I printed it just two minutes ago – now you’ve made me curious! Rather a lot of comings and goings around here and we’re out this evening but will definitely try to hide away somewhere to have a go at it.

  16. Erm… yes… I found this quite tricky for a Saturday and had to come here for a little help (actually quite a lot!). If I was honest I’d say I didn’t enjoy this one, particularly to start with. As I got into it, though, I began to appreciate the humour and the misdirection which what I love about the DT. It was a relief to finish it, though!

    Absolutely not a criticism of the setter to whom thanks and of course to BD for the much needed encouragement.

    Is it just me that feels a strong sense of guilt about coming here earlier than I feel I should?

    Too much navel gazing for a Saturday afternoon! Still quite a lot of snow here in Northfield in Birmingham but the Sun is doing its best.

    Have a good weekend all.

  17. Enjoyed the puzzle today. Liked 22a and 8a. Thanks to BD and thanks to CS for the extra explanation of the word play in 2d! Thanks also to the setter.
    Our snow is finally melting here although it’s still cold in the mornings. Going to the Sugar Bush today (Maple syrup) with my daughter and granddaughter. The sap is running!

  18. Thank you to the setter, and to BD for some hints that helped me finish. Liked 11a which made me think of the film Reach for the Sky amongst others. Didn’t know 12 or 14d, so more new words into my rather overflowing in tray, but very much enjoyed the stretch. Packing for Scotland, but haven’t got snow-tyres so hope it will all be negotiable. Greetings to all.

  19. After a slowish start I managed to complete this withour too much challenge. 8a was rather clever. Otherwise fine.

  20. I loved this puzzle, even though didn’t know the scrap dealer name for 2d. I had to google Del Boy and 14d, never knew that as the name of a fungus but it does look like its name! I agree that both definitions of 5d are Americanisms, perhaps Chambers has just given up trying to keep pure English.

    Thanks to BD and setter for my Saturday’s entertainment. They promise us rain next week, I won’t hold my breath.

  21. Enjoyed today’s. Took a while to get going. I got 17/19a before I understood why.

  22. Just back from a walk in lovely spring sun here in Edinburgh. Still nippy East wind though…………

    Am foxed by 2d. I know it’s been explained, but could someone enlighten me further? Yes, I remember Steptoe.

    1. See if my hint at 10 above helps. If you know Del Boy, the solution is quite clear.

  23. The NTSPP Page is very quiet today. Although it has a theme of nostalgic interest to ladies of a certain age, there’s nothing to stop the gentlemen having a go too!

  24. Not on this wavelength at all today and I felt doomed when dad told me first thing that he’d only got a couple on his first read through…no hope for a beginner like me :-)

    Got there in the end though and thanks as ever to BD for hints and comments on the blog today. 11a made me smile.

  25. Finally got round to this – 3 hrs in Legoland has dulled the brain, but finally got to the end and thought that it was one of the more difficult Saturday puzzles. Thank you setter and BD for your hints. Back to jigsaws now !

  26. Most enjoyable my thanks to setter & B. D.
    Initial concerns about lack of homonym indicator for 14D resolved when I spotted that the first word was plural.
    Despite being a bloke of a certain age . I shall follow Sue’s advice and have a crack at thne NSPP.


    D. D.

  27. What a fine crossword this was. Intermingled with the Rugby this afternoon the day has been very pleasurable. Many thanks to BD for helping to get me started

  28. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. Enjoyed this a lot, no real problems. Started with 1a, finished with 13d, which was a new word for me, but was obvious from the wordplay. Favourites were 8a, 1 and 6d. Was 2*/3* for me. leaden skies again in Central London.

  29. Got an answer fir 23A but not happy with it.
    On the whole though a very good one today, tricky, but doable.

  30. I agree with many of the comments above in that this was an ideal bank holiday weekend crossword. Not too difficult to spoil the day but hard enough to keep me thinking for a while when it was too cold to contemplate going out. I liked the construction of 8a.

  31. Enjoyable Saturday puzzle.

    Faves : 3a, 8a, 17 & 19a, 22a, 2d, 4d, 12d & 14d.

    My daughter (or son-in-law) will collect me tomorrow to go somewhere for Easter dinner.
    They always leave the venue as a surprise!

    Here it is still winter! Snow flurries all day!

    We can only blame the gulf stream and el nino!

  32. I really enjoyed this, 4* from me. 8a nearly had me – note to self, read the clue carefully. 12d a new word.

  33. It is not often I finish with no help of any kind but this Saturday I did.
    Last one in was 12d , not a word I knew but couldnt be anything else .
    My first scan produced only 3 answers but when I picked it up again
    on Saturday afternoon I filled in over half the remaining clues in half an hour.
    The rest fell into place a bit more slowly .
    I am feeling very pleased with my self.
    My thanks to BD and the other regular contributors , without your help in the past
    I would not be capable.
    Happy Easter.


    1. Well done Richard. I always leave a puzzle on which I am very stuck to ‘cogitate’ – there is a strange bit at the back of your brain that keeps working on the solutions while you do someting else.

      Happy Easter to you too.

  34. Rather late I know, but having just round to Saturday’s puzzle, and despite reading the comments, I’m still stuck with 3a, 10a, 21a and 12d. Would be grateful for some help please.

    1. BD has given a good hint for 12d

      3a Cut we employed in 1960s style (5)
      Insert WE in a dress style of the 1960s.

      10a What provides access in father’s game (8)
      A short word for father and the ‘S from the clue followed by a synonym for game.

      21a Put in relief manager having backed me first (6)
      An informal word for manager preceded by a reversal of ME.

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