DT 27205 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27205 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27205 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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Today is your last chance to enter our June Prize puzzle.

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.


1a           Black stuff covering bishop’s pen (6)
A black fossil fuel around the form of address for a bishop

4a           Breakfast food cooler? (8)
Two definitions – a breakfast food   and a cooler or jail

8a           Scientist on holiday entering wine store (6)
A three-letter adverb meaning on holiday or away inside a case with compartments in which to store bottled wine

12a         Hard-hearted, without Biblical character? (8)
This could mean without King David’s great-grandmother

13a         Sauce with food — it’s red and goes on chops (6)
A three-letter word meaning sauce or impudence followed by some food gives a red cosmetic

18a         Muscles stretch — that’s in theory (8)
A three-letter abbreviated form of some muscles followed by a stretch or extent

21a         Put forward in support of sterling (8)
A three-letter word meaning in support of followed by the standard monetary unit of sterling, so named because it used to be worth its weight in silver

26a         Mischief-maker trapping insect, all round it’s pathetic (6)
A mischievous or fairy-like being around (trapping) around an insect, all reversed (round)


1d           Accountant and graduate left small party (5)
The abbreviation for a Scottish accountant followed by a graduate and L(eft) gives a small political group

2d           Rush outside recently having restored energy (9)
A rush of the kind that grows in a marsh around an adjective meaning recently having or latest

3d           Row over time needed for descent (7)
A row followed by (over in a down clue) a period of time gives descent or ancestry

6d           In retrospect, we would decline a little liquid (7)
Reverse (in retrospect) the abbreviated form of we would and follow it with a decline

12d         Fizzy beer left by beast — revolting (9)
An anagram (fizzy) of BEER followed by L(eft) and a beast

17d         Act without restraint in high-scoring cricket match? (3,4)
A phrasal verb meaning to act without restraint is also a description of a high-scoring cricket match

22d         Miss a trick (5)
Two definitions – a verb meaning to miss and a trick

The Crossword Club is now open. Feel free to leave comments.


The Quick crossword pun: (Mars} + {cap} + {pony} = {mascarpone}

95 comments on “DT 27205 (Hints)

      1. Of course I know it’s not RayT, Dave, and I have come to enjoy, and solve, his puzzles. But, this is far more than 2*. Let’s see what other folk say!

      2. I totally agree, Dave, because, after my dismal performance last Saturday, I ripped through this puzzle – much like Lancashire’s two opening bowlers did to Essex’s batting line-up yesterday…

        1. Oh Dear! And then 17d appears the next day!

          [A comment from somewhere in Essex … :cry: ]

    1. It took me slightly longer than usual for a Cephas but it’s still in 2* territory (just).

    2. I didn’t whizz through it, but it certainly is do-able with a lot of nail biting. I would give it **+.

  1. I found this a gentle but nonetheless enjoyable puzzle today. Rating */*** with 4d my favourite.

    The only help I needed was to reach for the BRB to check the meaning for my answer for 11a.

    16d seems to crop up on a 16d basis!

    12d seems strange to me. The clue seems to be pointing to an adjective but the answer is a noun, or am I missing something (as is often the case)?

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

    1. I thought 12d was very clever. “Fighting” might be a crossword clue for “battle” – or “eating” for “meal”. (N’est-ce pas?)

      1. Mmm. I understand what you are saying, but I’m not totally convinced. You wouldn’t say “I enjoyed that eating”, or “it was a bloody fighting”, would you? Also, in the BRB eating and fighting are listed as potential nouns as is revolt, but revolting is not.

        1. While I don’t like this use of revolting, you could conceivably say the revolting was violent or the fighting was bloody – it’s all in how you construct your example.

          1. Personally I might say the fighting was bloody, but I would never say the revolting was violent. Nevertheless, I submit….

  2. Today was a pleasure with 13a’s misdirection catching me hook, line, sinker and copy of Angling Times!
    Just got 25a left which I just know will have me wincing at my slowness when I spot it, or someone helps me spot it…

      1. Oh Lordy. I had discounted that on account of wrongly putting **** as the second word of 17d. All now clear thank you.

    1. 25a – the definition is storyteller and it’s an anagram (stirring) of rant and roar.

  3. Today’s NTSPP is recommended – for those new to the blog, this isn’t something found in the paper, but a special crossword just for BD’s blog. There is a link to it, either from the home page, or at the top of the list of Recent Posts at the top of the right hand ‘column’.

    1. Got it and downloaded. I hope you aren’t getting me bogged down and spending the day tearing my hair out!

  4. I found this quite tricky in places – don’t know why – I just did. Very enjoyable but it’s taken me some time.
    If I’ve ever heard of 11a before then I have forgotten it. I wanted to make the second word of 17d the same as Burkey but already had the last letter from 25a which I was fairly sure about – is it a real cricket term? I can’t find it anywhere. Even having read the hint I still don’t understand my answer for 21a – I get the first three letters meaning ‘in support’ but where the rest of it comes from remains a complete mystery – oh dear!
    I liked 8, 15 and 20a and 4 and 14d. My favourite was 13a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

    1. If you can’t understand the second bit of 21a it probably means you’ve got the wrong answer.

      1. Thanks gazza and CS – you’re both right, of course – how could I possibly have been so dim – 6th and 7th letters just a little bit wrong! :roll: and :oops:

          1. Any excuse is better than none! Might play with bold and italics too while I’m here – chucking it down with rain in Oxford and it’s not even warm. :sad:

            1. Warm sunny, very very gusty wind, occasional downpours, but great washing drying, lemon cake baking, blog typing weather. Sorry it isn’t as good where you are.

              1. Am watching the tennis from Queens and they’re hopping on and off the court like rabbits. It must be so difficult for the players

    2. Look at the second part of your answer for 21a and think about ‘sterling’. Put your shin pads on first though as it will hurt when you kick yourself.

  5. An enjoyable puzzle, though I needed a couple of hints, favourite has to be 13a as it made me laugh!
    Many thanks, as ever, to the setter BD for his helpful hints.

      1. I was rather surprised to see 13A in the dictionary – I’ve only ever heard it in Ab Fab, and I have a wife and two daughters!

  6. I read the blog everyday and the one’s I find impossible everyone else finds a gentle romp! Today’s was a pleasant morning’s work, but I’m stuck on 17d. How hard can it be to think of a 4 letter word when I have the two checking letters! Please can someone give me a gentle nudge? Thanks to setter and BD.

        1. Thanks Amanda. Sorry you got into trouble! I think Prize Crosswords have a different protocol! And I’m still stuck!! Just about to list every permutation of that cheeky four letter word!

            1. Thanks but I still had amok in my head! Eventually found it – the 41st out of a possible 52 permutations – and I’d still never heard the expression. You definitely do learn something new everyday!

              1. Synonyms of words in the clue, which I use all the time.

                Alternative clues are those which happen to have the same answer but have nothing to do with the clue.

    1. 23a Virginia not involved in crooked villainous trick (8)

      An anagram (crooked) of (V)ILL(A)INOUS after VA (abbreviation for the US state of Virginia) has been removed.

      1. Ooh thanks v much that is unexpectedly devious. I would have expected the VA to have been together in that construct, but live and learn, hopefully!

        1. The convention is that it’s OK if the letters are in the same order in the fodder – otherwise a further anagram indicator is required. Is it contrived? Yes, but don’t blame me, I’m only the messenger..

  7. As always seems to be the case for me on Saturdays – a slow start followed by a fast final furlong. Most enjoyable & thanks to BD for the hints as usual.

  8. 1* time for me this morning. Thanks to setter and to BD.
    Is the abbr in 1d specifically Scottish?

  9. At first pass I had very few answers – 21a was my first in – but things soon started falling into place. Managed to finish without hints or electronic help, though I did have to use the thesaurus a few times. I put in the only answer I could think of for 17d and found the correct one.
    The thesaurus is on my iPad. Hope that doesn’t count as electronic help.
    Dredged the answer to 11a from the back of my mind, but like Rabbit Dave had to look it up in the BRB to check its meaning.
    For me it was low ** difficulty/ **** enjoyment.
    Thanks as ever to setter and BD.

  10. I actually raced through this, and would have finished much sooner had I not stared disbelievingly at my (correct) answer to 13A for 10 minutes. Call me Grumpy Chris today, but I thought it rather 26A…and an alternative spelling that’s not in my BRD, 9th Ed. Still, I did like 17D. Not often that I can work out a cricket clue. Thanks to the setter and to BD. Now, onward to the challenge of the NTSPP!

    1. I also was not as keen as the majority on 13a. Can’t find this spelling anywhere even on google – certainly not in Chambers or any of the online dictionaries. Also wasted time staring it as sure there must be some other related word. Maybe I’m being a bit of a grump (I thnk my husband would agree – we’re preparing for a children’s birthday party which doesn’t bring out the best in me!) but even though the misdirection was clever I found it dissatisfying to solve because the spelling was dodgy. Also liked 17d though and found the puzzle enjoyable and fairly straightforward as a whole

        1. Which copy of Chambers do I need to have? I think ours was a wedding present so is 10 years old. It does have the word we are discussing in but not with the same meaning – just as an old Scottish measure.

  11. Nice one. I agree 2* maybe 2.5* difficulty if only because it took me quite a few minutes to get into. No issues with any of the clues or definitions and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. Some nice humorous touches (12a always makes me chuckle as it’s Mrs W’s name). Like some others I fell for the misdirection in 13a, very good. For some reason, last in (forgive the cricketing pun) was 17d… I was mentally going through four-letter words with the checking letters before it came to me.. doh!

    Many thanks to Cephas (?) and BD.

  12. R 12a. I’ve often wondered why the first half of the word is never used as an adjective. If you are
    soft hearted you must be full of it!

    Enjoyed this one very much. Thanks to compiler and blogger.

    1. I remember that word vividly because it was in an English Vocab test at school, and only one person got it right (not me!).

  13. Just noticed that the quickie pun is actually four clues together, rather than the three that the italics suggest…

  14. Straightforward for me today. And anything that I can complete without any help has to be ** or less. Or maybe * or less. Is there ever a “less than one star” like some restaurant columns?

    One of those days when words emerge out of the air, I guess.
    Normally I do the Sudoku first on a weekday. On Sat not. Perhaps I should avoid stimulating one part of the brain before going straight to another………. Only about 3 ins apart but still…..

  15. I’m sure this has been asked many times, but why do we never say ****ful, when we often say ********?

    1. And we hardly ever use couth, but often use uncouth – and so on. (My spellcheck queried the former but not the latter)

  16. I agree with Collywobbles, I think it was quite hard today & I don’t think the answer to 12 down is the correct part of speech, unless we’ve got the wrong answer of course. Thank you setter & hinter.

  17. Thought this was a little more difficult than 2* perhaps 2.5 but once running it was fine.
    Not perhaps the easiest of Saturday puzzles but very fair. I even remembered that the way to address a Bishop (Thx CS).
    Did like 18a.
    Thx to all.

  18. Thanks to Cephas and to Big Dave for the hints. I quite enjoyed this, it was a bit tricky in parts, but I managed ok, was 2*/3* for me. Favourites were 13&26a and 20a raised a smile. Sunshine and showers in Central London.

  19. I did finish with a little difficulty. I wondered why 4a was cooler but googled it and there it was, another Brit speak; I’ll try to remember that, but it’ll probably never come up again. And 13a??? Never heard of it, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Enjoyable, thanks to all.

  20. A pretty straightforward solve today!

    As this is a prize crossword, I am not getting involved with blogging – I don’t wish to get into the sin bin!

    I enjoy reading all the comments – some people make hard weather of some of the puzzles.

    To be a good solver, one has to have a first-class memory!

  21. Well last week I thought you were all a load of cleverclogs because I found it really difficult and didn’t complete it!! Well, I did by Thursday. This week I’ve finished it but I confused myself as 1A I put STABLE because of SABLE then didn’t know where the T came from. 15A fooled me as I thought it should have an ‘A’ in it. Anyway, a very enjoyable puzzle and glad it stretches my little mind, so thanks for that!!

    1. Welcome to the blog DeeCee (I’ve removed the capitals as they are bad form on the internet)

      Please be careful when discussing prize puzzles in this way – it’s so easy to give away answers, or even letters in answers.

          1. Haha!!! That is so funny and so glad I didn’t mess up – though I am hours behind everyone else so …….. but I will be careful next time, just in case I am on the ball sooner …!! Fat chance!!

  22. Found the first three quarters a 1* but battled a bit with the SW corner. Despite the spelling I liked 13a . Definitely 3* for enjoyment as some fun clues. Despite a grim forecast today Cheshire has been sunny again! I think the Earth!s axis must have shifted a tad.

  23. Am I alone in thinking that BD has missed a wonderful picture opportunity in 20A ? :-)

      1. But of course! The young lady au naturel would, naturally, be optional :-)

        By the bye, I’m rather fond of the use of water in Bill Viola’s works.

  24. Found this one easier than last week’s, with most of the clues flying in. Liked 13A best. Very windy here, garden pots in danger of taking off. Babysitting new granddaughter tomorrow – wish me luck!

    1. Good luck with new granddaughter – does that really have two D’s – looks funny but seems to have passed spell checker as not underlined. Our entire garden is in danger of taking off – I hate strong winds at this time of year when everything has got very tall.

  25. Done whilst dodging the rain at the cricket in Edgbaston. Are we going to get a summer anytime soon? 17d hardly described today’s entertainment which was ruined by the rain. Bah!

  26. Had to use your clues today as I did not have my Chambers at hand. I am visiting my son in London and had to purchase the Telegraph to do my weekly puzzle. Our daily uses this puzzle in the South Africa, and I just had to get my fix!

    But you call this summer, on Thursday at midday, the temperature was 24C, and I have come to escape our winter! I hope I have brought some warm weather with me!

    Once again thanks for the blog and all the subscribers.

  27. Been busy today so I’ve only just got round to it this evening – pretty straightforward although I didn’t like 13a – downmarket slang to me – but then again what do I know!

  28. I found it really very pleasant except for the last two I can’t get ! Any help accepted for 14d and 17d ,even the earlier discussion didn’t help.

    1. Oh well ! everyone has gone to bed or on to Sunday’s treat. I wonder if there will be a “Bloom’s day ” theme.I’m not looking at it until tomorrow.Got 14d but still stuck on 17d

      1. We’re here. 14d. Definition is celebrity. Made up of word for being and word for mature.
        17d. definition is “act without restraint”. *********************.
        That’ll probably get me on the naughty step [It has! BD]

        1. Thanks , KiwiColin, got there in the end by myself, but it’s really nice to know that somebody is out there .I may be of help to you tomorrow if it is “Bloom’s day ” themed . Cheers !

      2. I think I may have finally got 14d, and I don’t know why it took me so long !I suppose I don’t associate the phrase with cricketers .

  29. Afternoon folks. All done bar 15a. Well, I think I have it via the first phase, but just do not understand how the second fits.

    1. Oh, sorry, I do have the last word as a definition. This vanishing husband is confusing me still.

      1. Split your solution 4, 2. If you put H for husband before the 2 letters all should make sense :)

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