DT 27319 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27319 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27319 (Hints)

Hints and Tips by crypticsue

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Big Dave is on his way to Sheffield for the special Sloggers & Betters Gathering to celebrate John Henderson’s 50th birthday so it’s my turn to provide you with some hints for the Saturday Prize Puzzle.

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.

Across Clues

1a           See leader’s husband introduced to chap Boris sacked (10)
The person who leads a ‘see’ is an anagram of  CHAP BORIS with the abbreviation for husband inserted.


15a         Source of luxury food — rush ahead to acquire tons (8)
Insert the abbreviation for tons into an expression meaning to rush ahead.


20a         Word spoken by Ernie’s partner — it’s spicy (8)
A homophone of a synonym for word followed by the name of Ernie’s partner.


24a         Indication of one’s ignorance? (4)
If  you are solving  the newspaper version where the clue runs over two lines, the solution is particularly well hidden.

26a         Keen old fellow coming round (4)
Once you realize that here ‘keen’ means to wail over the dead, the wordplay is very clear.

29a         Painting with trendy girl held by me is a piece of tack (10)
Part of a horse’s tack –  words meaning painting, trendy and girl are ‘held’ by me.



1d           Functionary gets a day in Rome cut short (4)
A confidential assistant to a person of rank is obtained by following A with almost all (cut short)  of the Roman word referring to the 15th day of certain months.

3d           Computer entrepreneur’s taken a cut, hiding bad sign in market (12)
A London market is obtained by putting an anagram (bad) of SIGN into almost all (taken a cut)  of the name of one of the world’s best known computer entrepreneurs.


4d           King fell over, thus being put first in place of invalids (8)
The Latin word for ‘thus’ turned up recently so I hope people remember it and start off this solution with that word followed by the abbreviation for King and a reversal (over) of an upland tract of wasteland.

11d         Break Italian football team on purpose (12)
The short way of referring to a well-known Italian football team followed by a purpose or specific errand.

17d         Traditional musician with funny tune in repertoire (8)
Someone who plays an old stringed instrument  – insert an anagram (funny)of TUNE into a repertoire or catalogue.


25d         Part of church where Welshman’s turned up (4)
A reversal (turned up in a down clue) of a Welshman’s name.

Feel free to leave comments or ask for a hint if you’re totally stuck on a clue.

As I solved this crossword, I thought ‘this is going to be one of those days when people say “why does? …  and/or … I didn’t know x meant y”.  As I am ‘home alone’ today with most of my fellow bloggers going to Sheffield and Gazza having filled in the appropriate paperwork  for an afternoon out, can I please ask that people read the instruction in red just below here, and think very carefully (and perhaps check their dictionaries first) before they post comments on  today’s crossword.

As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment.

Please read these instructions carefully. Offending comments may be redacted or deleted.

The Quick crossword pun: {yule} + {lessees}  = {Ulysses}


94 comments on “DT 27319 (Hints)

  1. Overall 2* for difficulty and 3* enjoyment for this fun work out on what was a rainy Saturday morning, but the sun is trying its best to break through at the moment. I rated three quarters of today’s puzzle as 1* difficulty with the NW proving much trickier at 3* level. 3d was my last one in.

    For me, 26a and 8d involved new meanings for keen and nymphs respectively, and 29a was a new word, but the answers were easily derived from the wordplay.

    Lots of enjoyable clues. I marked 1a, 9a, 3d as especially good and 22d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to Cryptic Sue.

    1. Yes, I needed a visit to the BRB site for 26a and 8d – 8d was a new word for me.

      A very enjoyable puzzle!

      Batten down the hatches for Monday’s expected storm – I hope it’s not as bad as 1987, that was an horrendous experience.

        1. . . . perhaps not! It does sound as if it could be pretty bad although I’m sure the met men have to cover themselves.

          1. Just been out for a walk round the marshes. It’s very warm and the wind has increased in strength just in the 3/4 hour we were out.

            1. Well we are determined to go, we had some pretty nasty storms up in the highlands of Scotland last month with the van rocking and rolling in the nights, pretty scarey

              1. Michael Fish has just been on saying that the rumours of a hurricane are nonsense – you have been warned!

  2. Really enjoyed this one – more of a challenge than some Saturday offerings. **/****. 9a and 29a are favourite clues but not sure about 26a. Anyway fun way to start weekend. Thank you setter.

  3. Morning sue, thanks for review, I did finish without but needed one or two explainations, no real favourites for me once again today, between two and three stars for difficulty IMHO and only one for enjoyment :-( , I think Brian is providing the food for the naughty corner today :-)

      1. Mmmm sounds delicious don’t think I’ll be there today though Brian ;-) , but you never know, I have a bit of a boring day ahead

      2. Sounds superb. Save me a slice – not that I am intending to be naughty but I definitely haven’t got time to bake today. I am also blogging the NTSPP (do have a go when it appears at 12 noon) and fitting in the usual Saturday chores in between.

        1. I finished the last one so that gives me the urge to have another go.
          Do you prefer your apples in the mix or as a layer?

        2. I’m trying to post, but it’s going in the Spam queue. Thanks to the setter, and to crypticSue for the hints. I enjoyed this one but was beaten by 5d, I had forgotten this word. I also had 25d wrong which made 29a impossible, all sorted now. Favourite was 11d. I hope the storm misses us, as by roof blew off, if you’ll pardon the expression, in 2000.

      3. I don’t bake cakes or cookies for the simple reason that I’m absolutely terrible at it! Savouries are much more up my culinary alley. Fortunately, both my sons were smart enough to marry fabulous bakers so at Christmastime I just happily accept the gift boxes.

        1. Lucky You Chris, I don’t bake simply because I would eat it all and I really can’t afford to put on weight!!!

    1. Good morning, Mary, and I agree with you entirely. I didn’t find this puzzle very enjoyable either and I found that I was correctly anticipating the answer without really knowing why. Thanks to Sue for holding the fort this morning.

      1. Morning Cara, thank goodness someone agrees with me, I feel I’m becoming a bit of a grump when I don’t enjoy puzzles and everyone else seems to! Who are we playing today?

        1. The Baggies, Mary, and, if I’m not mistaken, we have a West Bromwich Albion supporter in our ranks so I’m not going to make any predictions this week other than the fact that Steve Clarke will receive a warm welcome at Anfield.

  4. Took a bit of sorting out this one but with some lovely clues such as 15a and 18a and my personal fav 29a (got two of these in a drawer somewhere now I don’t ride anymore). Thought 1d and 4d were tough but solvable.
    Thx to the setter and to CS for explaining my answers to the two tough ones above.

  5. I enjoyed this one today, hard enough to make me think but not enough to make me tear my hair out. Thanks to Setter and to Cryptic Sue for the hints which were not needed today.

  6. Thank you setter – a very amusing puzzle with a variety of clues – and a lot of new words for me. Thank you for the hints CS – sounds like a busy day for you ! My day goes downhill from here – obligatory visit to The Reebok !

  7. I agree with Battledore – much nicer today. CrypticSue – not that I needed it, but I think you may have an error in your hint for 1a

    1. So I did – that’s what comes of trying to hint without giving too much away. Thank you – I’ve corrected it now.

      Not sure I am a fan of the image conjured up by your ‘name’ – at least there isn’t an avatar picture to go with it :D

  8. The NTSPP is now available. Do have a go – it is a great crossword and you will be able to say you have solved clues written by some of the country’s top setters.

  9. Fairly straightforward and finished before lights out last night with help from the BRB where I found, for me, a new meaning for the answer to 26a. I thought that some clues were a little convoluted – 4d for example. But, enjoyable nonetheless.

  10. Cryptic Sue, it seems you have last week’s puzzle number in the heading to today’s crossword?

  11. Thank you CS for holding the fort so well, and do hope JH’s birthday do goes brilliantly with as many of the ‘gang’ as can get there. Have a super time all of you there today and hope you don’t get blown away tomorrow, I loved 29a because I’m mad on them, so really appreciated the partial pic! And thank you setter for restoring my confidence… I might even have a peep at the NTSPP, but with a very busy day ahead, might not be able to take enough time. Greetings to all.

    1. Poppy now it’s my turn to say you were missed, and Kath, it was a great day. Until the next time……

  12. ***/**** for me. I found the north-west area significantly more difficult than the rest.

  13. I really enjoyed this one very much. I thought there were some quite tricky clues mixed in with some easier ones to get us off the ground.
    I was slow to get lots of the long answers – 1 and 9a and 11d – which didn’t make life any easier.
    I didn’t understand for ages why my answer for 3d was right – I saw the computer chap’s surname cut short at the end but completely missed his christian name. I know a smutty joke about him – just debating whether or not it’s suitable for here!
    I liked 9 (eventually) 10, 27 and 29a and 2 and 14d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron. Special thanks to CS for all the overtime!
    Really want to have a go at NTSPP but ten people for supper tonight – most of the cooking is done but house is still a tip! :sad:

    1. Oh, go on! Live dangerously and tell us the joke.

      The worst that can happen is a spell in the naughty corner, and even that may not be too bad if Brian has made his Autumn apple honey cake by then.

    2. I was wondering where you were Kath, busy in the oven I see, don’t worry about the house, I’m sure the lovely food will more than take their minds off it :-) have fun, maybe you can tell the joke during dinner!!!

      1. My starter is an absolute disaster! Motto – when something doesn’t go quite right try doing it the way husband suggested the day before! :sad: and :roll:

        1. Do what I do, Kath….just bring it to the table with a flourish as if it was meant to be like that, look everybody in the eye and smile brightly….and kick husband hard under the table if he dares to say a word!

  14. I didn’t find that exactly easy but got there in the end. Favourite was 9a.thanks to Setter & CS.

  15. Good afternoon from windswept Hertfordshire. All done last in 26a. Thanks for the review and to The Setter of course.

  16. Though some of this was a little harder than the usual Saturday, I really enjoyed this. Most just fell into place, others took more thought. I needed the hint to know the why for 3d, but how on earth I missed it; he has to be the most famous computer entrepreneur in the world. Being a rider in the distant past, albeit a not very good one, 29a was no problem, especially as my mare had a habit of throwing her head all over the place. Thanks to all, particularly CS with all her activities today.

  17. I could do with some help on 5d. I’ve got all the checking letters but I just can’t see it

  18. Another enjoyable offering from anonymous. I liked the clueing in 22d and 29a.My riding days are over too, I am sorry to say.A gallop in the Wicklow hills used to be a great pleasure.I finally learned how to spell that spice in 20a, after examing some packets of it in the kitchen.I don’t understand the “fell over ” part of 4d.
    Thanks, Crypticsue.

    1. Over is a reversal indicator. If you look up the dictionary definitions of fell you should see the one that fits the clue. Or else have another read of my hint above.

  19. 2D: I have just had to “google” why the last letter of 2D earned a place in the answer. I wonder if I will ever understand all the cryptic abbreviations. Thanks to all the contributors, I am learning loads and really enjoying my saturday crossword treat now I have discovered this site.

    1. There’s a useful paperback book called ‘Chambers XWD a dictionary of crossword abbreviations’ which is a very handy quick reference for the abbreviations used. Amazon often have second-hand copies available.

  20. I thought today’s puzzle was quite challenging, and, unlike Mary, I found it very enjoyable. There were (IMHO) some pretty clever clues, such as 9a, 13a, 20a and 4d (which, of course, made me feel equally clever when I solved them!) Last one in was 10a – I had to Google “Gregory” and there was the answer staring me in the face!
    Thank you to Sue for the hints – I had got the answer to 1a but had not appreciated, until I read her hint, the importance of the word “See” in the clue.
    Typical “English” weather here in the Eastern coastal area of South Africa today…grey and wet!

    1. It is also worth remembering that when you see ‘see’ in a puzzle, more often than not the answer is Ely :)

      1. Thank you, Sue, my day has not been wasted! I have checked and have now discovered that Ely is the seat of the Bishop of Ely, and I assume that the convenient length of its name is the reason for it being a popular answer to “See”clues? (Rather like that well-known two-lettered “ancient city”?)

  21. You all seem so clever getting this puzzle done so quickly.Before I discovered ‘the blog’ the D T puzzle lasted a day or two as the penny dropped or was sometimes completed first go. Now are they getting harder or with age , am I not so bright?
    Thanks for all the tips, just 13 A puzzles me ?

    1. 13a Make a fresh plan covering new standard at sea (3,6)
      Put a verb meaning to make a fresh plan around (covering ) N(ew) to get a standard flown by some ships at sea

  22. CS, I can’t seem to get 26a unless I’ve got 14d incorrectly. Are we talking xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    1. Yes but I have edited your comment as I think that definitely counts as an alternative clue.

      I have given a hint for 26a. You need an abbreviation for old inserted into another word for fellow.

      1. Got it thanks. Am I off to the naughty step now or will everybody be off onto todays’ puzzle

        1. You are probably just about OK. Everyone is probably battening everything down ready for the promised storm. Its very windy here already.

          1. I’m just winding up CS. 7d. Normally odd characters is every second letter but, of this clue, which words?

            1. Hi collywobs you need to find a word for ‘crack’ take the odd characters in ‘cartel’ with a four letter word for ‘depravity’ to get the answer

              1. Thanks Mary. Yes, BD, but where I struggle is when there are odd letters, even letters or an anagram associated with a completely different word to get the answer. Now, last one. I have the checking letters for 16a but other than ****** [incorrect answer redacted], which is wrong, I cannot get the answer. Help please

                1. The definition is command. The clue is very clear. HE is ‘bound’ by a word meaning supreme.

                  BD’s remark at 3.21 refers!!

                  1. Thanks CS, got it and finished. On the weather, they didn’t forecast it in 1987 and it happened. Do you think that it is the reverse today?

  23. I enjoyed this one as it had some clever word plays and double meanings, Perhaps too many anagrams. 3d was my favourite.

  24. Puzzles inexplicably missing from the iPad Tele for me today. :( I came here to see if anyone else had a problem. Either nobody here uses iPad or they singled me out. Grrrr.

    They’re back on Sunday so looks like it was just a blip.

  25. Spent a sleepless night waiting for the big storm which hasn’t arrived yet* and hearing news on the hour every hour of Lou Reed’s demise whose group broke up in 1971 . Must confess – never heard of him. Crossword finished exceot for7d & 16a.

    *Met Office chart on internet showed storm path over my house then into West midlands and East midlands. Met Office 100 year computer forecasts of catastrophic global warming are a load of rubbish as well.

    Just solved 7d.

  26. Power cut during the early hours, but back on again. :smile: This was a puzzle of two halves. The first went smoothly. Then I seemed to lose the wavelength and the rest became a bit of a trudge. I was slow to pick up anagram indicators and just generally out of key with it. I’m afraid that I’m with Mary and Caravaggio on this one. I didn’t really enjoy it that much. :sad:
    I needed Crypticsue’s excellent hints to parse 4d; and also 1d, where I used a Latin word for *** , which also sort-of works but is clearly not the right way to do things! :oops:
    Thanks to the setter and to Crypticsue.

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