DT 27253 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27253 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27253 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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There’s still time to have a go at our Monthly 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           Stones’ leader? He’s a card (4,2,8)
A rather weak cryptic definition of a playing card

9a           Perfectionist making jam by the French recipe, in short (8)
A verb meaning to jam or clog up followed by the French definite article and R(ecipe)

13a         Obscure extra had to interrupt broadcast (10)
A word meaning extra or excess followed by HAD inside a verb meaning to broadcast seed

15a         Soldiers and supporter entering in test (8)
A supporter, possibly of a football club, between IN and a word meaning test

16a         Coming into money, married in country (6)
Start with a small unit of Japanese currency and then insert a three-letter word meaning married

20a         Girl, learner, getting rope disentangled for jockey? (8)
A three-letter colloquial word for a girl followed by L(earner) and an anagram (disentangled) of ROPE

26a         Perch on branch or tubers, twisted at the end (5)
Start with some tubers and swap the final two letters (twisted at the end)

28a         Novel actions clubmen organised (5,4,5)
This novel is an anagram (organised) of ACTIONS CLUBMEN


2d           Full pint? Very much so (3,4)
What you might ask for in a pub if you wanted a full pint instead of what was offered

4d           Distribution from shop, in manner of speaking (8)
Two definitions

6d           Legendary Egghead toppled thus? It’s unexpected (3,3,4)
From whence Humpty Dumpty (legendary Egghead) was toppled

8d           Contract marriage partner witnessed in reception area (7,4)
A phrasal verb meaning to contract (4,2) followed by a marriage partner

17d         General worker, agent losing right to join corporation (8)
A six-letter word for an agent without (losing) the final R(ight) followed by a colloquial word for corporation or stomach

19d         Blood red, getting cut, on the canvas — massage needed! (3,4)
A blood red colour without its final letter (getting cut) followed by the state of a boxer who is on the canvas

22d         Keenness shown by Thirty-First’s group of outriders? (6)
The first and last three letters (group of outriders) of THIrty-fiRST

25d         Notice over missing record (4)
Drop (missing) OVER from a verb meaning to notice

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

As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put WHOLE or PARTIAL ANSWERS or ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment, else they may be censored!

The Quick crossword pun: (haul} + {day} + {hand} + {Oliver} + {knight} = {all day and all of the night}

73 comments on “DT 27253 (Hints)

  1. Thank you setter, very enjoyable – 8d clue type seems to have become a regular over the last few days ! Thanks BD for your hints. I needed your hint to tell me why my answer for 25d was right – even though it couldn’t really be anything else. Winter returns – back to the Reebok today. A toss up between that and watching England being outplayed again.

  2. I was surprised to find that there weren’t more comments before mine this morning because I’ve sailed through this puzzle and I’d expected that others would have done so too. I loved 21d because of the misdirection caused by the use of the word ‘lead’… My compliments to the setter and to you, Dave, for your hints.

    1. Oh no you weren’t! [before amendment Caravaggio’s comment started “I’m surprised to find that I’m the first to make a comment this morning … ” – BD]

      1. Only you would have been aware of the modifications to what I originally typed, Dave! Sweet William nipped in while my back was turned.

  3. I’m done too – in fact I was waiting for the blog in the hope that there would be an explanation of 25d – the ‘notice’ bit made me think of ‘ad’ and ‘record’ made me think of ‘ep’ or lp’ but i couldn’t make anything of that – then I had then answer but the ‘over missing’ bit made me think of ‘****o’ – but I couldn’t understand the rest of it.

    Anyway, thanks for that – good luck on the quest for a Fountain Pen!

  4. I am still having payment problems with Worldpay. Could some kind soul send me a copy of todays’ puzzle?

          1. Merci BD, it’s quite like the old days, doing a real crossword and crossing out the numbers when I get a clue.

            1. For some reason the Daily telegraph is also having some problems taking payments for the paper subscription. Since April, they have just been sending us free vouchers because they cannot take the money. Apparently it is not our bank – they are having trouble with a portion but not all. It seems most odd and after 3 months we are starting to feel uncomfortable not paying our way. Perhaps it is something similar with the puzzles subscription?

              1. THEY can’t sort themselves out to take your money and YOU feel uncomfortable? I wouldn’t waste too much emotion on that.

  5. I found this very easy today, and completed it in much less than my standard 1* time. Nevertheless there were some very amusing and enjoyable clues, so I’m going for 2.5* for enjoyment.

    Why does the setter provide an apostrophe for the letter indicators for 23a, but not for 28a? I freely admit to being a grammar and punctuation pedant but that does seem rather inconsistent to me.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and BD.

    1. Ah, the question of whether to apostrophise or not. I suppose the setter realised that the ‘deleted letter’ apastrophe had to be there for 23a but 28a could work without it. I suppose it depends on being a grammar purist or not. But, what is the crossword editor’s role in all this? Perhaps there could be a way of getting her/his thoughts on this topic.

      1. To some extent there is a difference in that the 23a apostrophe indicates a missing letter whereas the 28a missing apostrophe should have been there to indicate the possessive form.

        However the novel’s title definitely has an apostrophe, and the reason we use an apostrophe for the possessive form is that historically the letter “e” was used for this, and so the possessive form of novel would have been noveles, but is now novel’s.

        Right I’ll get off my soap box now, and you are right the crossword editor’s (editores?) thoughts might be interesting.

        1. Now you have me on my soapbox for a little longer. I am, or at least would like to be, a grammar purist, especially when it comes to punctuation. So, I consider that the possessive apostrophe should always be used (correctly). Then, of course, 23a is a foreign language phrase that has been adopted into the English language (without any anglicisation) so I assume that the setter had no choice on including the apostrophe. OK – I’m done.

          1. I agree 100%, Senf.

            Looking at the way I have written soap box and you have written soapbox, I think yours is right. Of course yours (like its, when possessive) should never have an apostrophe :smile:

  6. Morning all ;-) , thanks for hints Dave I needed a couple of the explainations, I took ages to get going on this and didn’t like 1a much, a few iffy readings too IMHO, surely in 20a this is what a jockey sits on rather than the jockey?? liked 10a and 4d, I’ve been missing last couple of days, elderly mother in law has died at the grand age of 96, she lives in France so hasty arrangements for other half to go leaving me with dog to look after, too old to travel (the dog, not me)

    1. Hi Mary, sorry to hear about your loss. Regarding 20a, I think the answer also applies to the rider as well as the horse.

        1. Mary….I used to do a little horse riding, & any ********* was certainly not done by me. I just hung on & let the horse do the work.

    2. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss, Mary, and do hope all the necessary arrangements go smoothly…

    3. Sorry about your loss, Mary. It’s always sad, no matter how old they are or how prepared you are. I hope collie is doing well.

      1. We’re the ones with the collie – Mary’s is a spaniel crossed with a basset-hound, I think – sorry if I’ve got that wrong, Mary. Perhaps it might have been better to leave it to you . . . :smile:

        1. You ‘re dead right. It has a problem with its eyes, I believe. Dogs wrench my heart, I don’t know what I’d do without mine.

      2. Kath is correct about Shadow, she is a first cross i.e. both parents although different breeds are pedigree and yes Merusa she does have eye problems

  7. Finished before lights out last night. Very enjoyable. I had a few different ideas on 8d before I finally settled on what appears to be correct based on BD’s hint above. Last one in was 21d. Having got it, I think I remember it from previous puzzles – must be a candidate for the ‘oldie but goodie’ list if it is not there already. And, tongue in cheek (almost), no possessive apostrope in 28a?

  8. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. I enjoyed this one a lot, some fun clues. Needed Dave’s hint to explain 25d, although I managed to get the answer. 21d was amusing, but it’s really a very old chestnut. Favourites were 24a and 7d. Was 2*/3*for me. CCome on England.!

  9. Very bucked! Completed today’s crossword without any help from BD, Roget, Chambers or Google! (Actually, I can’t claim any expertise, I think today’s puzzle was a lot easier than usual).
    (Although I also claim to being a grammar purist, I was not put out by their being no apostrophe in the middle word of 28a, but have to admit that the apostrophe in the single-letter middle word of 23a helped to indicate that it was not one of the only two English words that have only one letter.)

      1. Thanks BD – I had all the checkers right. A new place that I may never visit, and probably the only word that would fit.

  10. Very enjoyable but tricky in the SE corner. Last in was 27a but must admit its very clever.
    Thx to the setter for a good Saturday puzzle and to BD for explaining a couple of clues 13a and 25d.

  11. Happy to have completed this by lunch. Was convinced 1a had something to do with the Rolling Stones and Jumping **** Flash which rather ruined 2d! Thanks to BD that was soon corected. Thanks too to setter.

  12. Finished. Very enjoyable Saturday fare. Many thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints and the pdf. I may need a little help on Monday but should have the problem sorted by then

  13. Pleased to have finished it and even have the confidence to email it off before the hints came out.
    A rare occasion!

  14. Never mind The Rolling Stones (wonderful as they are!)…

    … the five-word pun in the Quick crossword was a marvellous reference to The Kinks :-)

  15. Thanks for the hints, BD – especially to show me why 25d was correct. And I wonder whether your illustration for 8d was considered by the powers that be who are now pontificating that new build houses must, in future, be made larger after steadily shrinking over the years? Not that I’d enjoy the dusting!! Thank you setter for an enjoyable time solving this. My rescued bee count is now up to five. We can’t spare a single one…

  16. I just hope some of those on my course to help them demystify cryptic crosswords find this crossword as it would boost their confidence. A good range of clues and easy enough for beginners to get their teeth into with a certain amount of satisfaction from many of the answers. As it hasn’t taken myself or my OH long, we might try the NTSPP now.

    1. Course? – what? – should this not be referred to the Stewards for an adjudication?

      Seriously, I didn’t know there were such courses – where is it held?

      1. It was very much for beginners, a day course at the recent Gerrards Cross Summer School. The Bridge courses always go down well (I don’t do bridge but had observed this) so I suggested I should offer a course to help those who wanted to get started on cryptic crosswords. It was a great bunch of people (and over subscribed) and they suggested an intermediate course as well as beginners next year plus perhaps a monthly coffee and crossword meet at the community association. Needless to say I told them all about Big Dave and I know several of them are now new regulars on here. I have no idea whether there are similar courses elsewhere but if anyone wants to run one I can give some of my resources to help them. Tricia

  17. I can’t believe it! I finished this puzzle today without any help from gizmo or anything else! Well, I’d better sign off before I start getting too big for my boots and start crowing. Lots of fun clues, and really not that easy that thought was not required. I loved it, thanks to all, even though I didn’t need your clues BD.

  18. Very quick comment from me today – I can almost hear all of you sighing with relief!
    Finished this one in between doing lots of cooking giving me plenty of cogitation time, not that too much was needed.
    I needed the hints to explain 19 and 25d which I just couldn’t see.
    I liked 27a and 2 and 4d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

  19. Very pleasurable today. Some really great clues. Before ending up with the correct answer for 7D, I had divorce and divulge, both of which answered the ‘Split’ part of the clue! Loads of bees in my garden, Poppy – all after the lavender.
    I am also in the Apostrophe Police, and have been known to insert or remove them from incorrect signage. The most infamous so far has been the Rug’s and Carpet’s shop in Cardiff. Alas, the sign was too high to reach!
    Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable crossword, and to BD for his clues.

    1. Are you certain that the proprietors of the shop in Cardiff are not a Mr. Rug and a Mrs, Carpet? :wink:

    2. So glad about your bees, Sue. I was so shocked a couple of years ago when there was a presentation about the disasters that would ensue if we lost all our bees, so now am much more aware… :-)

  20. Somewhat late in the day, but feel I should add a comment as both a bit of a ******** [Freudian slip? This is one of the answers. BD] on punctuation as well as a French speaker.

    As well as the possessive form the apostrophe also indicates a contraction in English eg isn’t, would’ve etc. Ditto in French – in this case ( which I know I can’t mention yet), the ‘h’ is not pronounced and therefore it would be impossible to use the full form of ‘de’, whence the removal of the ‘e’ to facilitate pronunciation. Cf Un homme d’honneur.

    I rest my case.

  21. I enjoyed this puzzle sat on a train. 17d was a new word for me even though the construction gives it quite easily. Can’t say I’ve read 28a either. Thanks all.

      1. Thank you. My bitch is actually a Beagle/Jack Russell cross but she has the Beagle ears (and the Jack Russell disobedience).Brian was having such trouble with his gravatar a while ago that I decided to have one myself.

  22. Solved it with minimal assistance, which is good for me :-)

    I can’t work out the parsing for 12a…

    1. Your comment needed moderation so I’ve changed your alias to your usual Andyb.

      12a Part of plant found in grassy area, foliage primarily (4)
      A grassy area is followed by the primary letter of foliage.

  23. All done , eventually , with no help except 5d on which I have given up. . . .
    any help to put me out of my misery and let me watch the golf with no mental distractions .

    1. 5d Dawn, woman losing head with gold in clasp (6)
      A woman’s name without its first letter (losing head) contains (with … in clasp) the heraldic tincture of gold.

  24. gazza
    thanks for your reply but sadly your efforts are wasted on me .
    I understand how to form the answer but just cant get the name
    although initially the clasp did put me off the scent

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