DT 27337 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27337 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27337 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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It’s your last chance to enter the November 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.


3a Troops slip over wet blanket (10)
An anagram (over) of TROOPS SLIP

8a Reason to go about half-time (6)
A verb meaning to go around the first half of TIme

9a Bird that’s trapped fish behind bars (8)
A fish preceded by some bars which form a prison

14a Sort of diet that is less stiff (6-7)
Could be less of a stiffening agent

22a Smooth tongue (6)
Two definitions – a verb meaning to smooth and a language (tongue)

24a Good man, Leonard — he’s living within a distant island (2,6)
The usual good man and the diminutive form of Leonard around (living within) HE and followed by the A from the clue

25a Sign worker’s put inside shelter (4-2)
A Sign of the Zodiac around (put inside) a worker insect

26a Notwithstanding lacking in variety (3,3,4)
This phrase meaning notwithstanding suggests a distinct lack of variety


1d Won over by commercial, say, that’s to be wrapped up in the present (8)
WON reversed (over) followed by a two-letter word for a commercial and an anagram (that’s to be wrapped up) of SAY

2d Conqueror, one annexing a state (8)
A conqueror followed by I (one) and (annexing) the A from the clue

4d When penny drops from pocket there’s a shout of pain (4)
Drop the initial P(enny) from a pocket

5d In case this help might be needed (5,3)
A cryptic definition of the kind of help that might be needed in a court case

7d Renounce Frenchman, say, on the way up (6)
The first name of many Frenchmen, including M Artois from ‘Allo ‘Allo!, followed by the reversal (on the way up in a down clue) of the Latin abbreviation of say / for example

13d Old European making one or two points (5)
One compass point followed by OR and two more compass points

17d What prolific artist may do to make random selection (4,4)
This could describe what a prolific artist may do

18d One entertaining the Spanish in residence (6)
Someone who entertains followed by the Spanish definite article

23d Info turned up at short notice (4)
The reversal (turned up) of AT and a two-letter word for a notice

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

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

Please read these instructions carefully. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted.

The Quick crossword pun: (judge} + {meant} + {awl} = {judgemental}

68 comments on “DT 27337 (Hints)

  1. My rating is 1*/3* today for a gentle but enjoyable puzzle, with 6d my favourite clue.

    I did get held up slightly in the NE corner with my ***** answer in, having ***** put ***** as the ***** word for 5d. (I’ve redacted myself by removing the same five letter word four times. I didn’t think I would get away with mentioning my wrong answer even once on a Saturday!).

    Many thanks to the setter and BD.

    1. “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

      I never understand these parables!

  2. Many thanks BD. I had finished except for 9a and I’ve being trying to solve it for 30 minutes.

      1. Yes I saw the hint BD which enabled me to finish things off. Yes, Mary, I seem to be able to finish the Saturday one before Dave publishes and that’s my target. I really enjoy that puzzle, I don’t know why.

  3. Morning Dave, thanks for hints tho’ I didn’t need any today, I thought I was going to but took a break, had a shower and cleared the cobwebs away, I enjoyed this one with two favourites, morning Kath ;-) , 6d and 17d, no obscure words, all the clues ‘workable’ IMHO of course! typical damp November day here not raining though so I will make a dash for the shopping before it does back later if I don’t get invaded by grandsons!!!

    1. Mary, I don’t mean to be rude… but if you’ve got cobwebs perhaps it’s been too long between showers!


  4. Managed to finish with relative ease, no real favourites but a good way to start off a Saturday morning.Many thanks to the setter & BD for the review.Just off to talke his highness the corgi for his weekly swimming therapy.

  5. Like Collywobbles, I was stuck on 9a because I have to admit that it’s a word I’m not familiar with and I had to resort to using a certain electronic aid which provided the answer. Otherwise, I found this puzzle to be relatively straight forward and I can now over-indulge myself with rugby this afternoon…

    1. I used my electronic aid, Cara, and it (Seiko Britannica concise encyclopedia) came up with ziltch so BDs’ hint was very timely.
      I am under-indulging with rugby because my charming wife has persuaded me to give up Sky Sports in favour of BT Sports so I’ll have to make do with the highlights and watch the second division play (Wales V Argentina)

            1. Well, I am off to eat humble pie Cara, Wales are looking very exciting. Let’s hope that England don’t let us down. I know that the match is over but Mrs collywobbles won’t let me have Sky so it’s channel 3 at 20.00

        1. Well, Merusa, I’ve just tapped the whole word in and got nothing so I don’t really understand

  6. I enjoyed this – started off thinking it was going to be a tricky one but everything more or less fell into place. I’d say 2*/4*.
    I had the wrong answer for 16d for a while which made 14 and 20a almost impossible. Once that was sorted out the only remaining problem was 9a – even with alternate letters in I still couldn’t get it for ages and was beginning to think that something had to be wrong in the top right corner but finally saw it. In his hints BD has underlined the ‘bird’ as the definition – far be it from me to make difficulties but I thought the definition was ‘ bird that’s trapped’.
    I liked 20a. I thought 6 and 13d were really clever clues – I’m not quite sure yet which of those two is my favourite!
    With thanks to Mr Ron and BD.
    Horrible day here – cold and drizzly. Going to try the NTSPP.

          1. Good idea – think I’ll go for that unless it’s the thin end of the wedge which is an expression I completely misinterpreted until quite recently. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

              1. It means a small beginning that is bound to be followed by a large or significant (and usually unwelcome) development. Until quite recently I thought it meant not getting your fair share – as in if you had the small or thin end of the wedge of a piece of cake, for example, someone else would be getting more than you did! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    1. I usually let BD know about the pun words in italics in the paper but Mr CS and I went out for longer than usual this morning so I was very late letting him know..

    2. I like the puns… a useful diversion if (when) I get stuck on the cryptic. Often helps me with the big one.

  7. Late start today for me (for once I slept past 4:30 am). Agree this was straightforward. No favorites today. Thanks to the setter and BD for the review. On to the NTSPP!

  8. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A nice puzzle, a bit tricky in places. I made it more difficult by having the wrong answers to 3&6d, but eventually sorted it out. Last in was 9a. Favourites were 16 & 17d. Was 2*/3* for me. Sun has gone now in Central London.

    1. Yes putting the more obvious (to me at least) answer in 3d doesn’t half cause problems with 12a!

  9. ***/** for me. Couldn’t get into this one as I would have liked for a Saturday, so came here for a little inspiration to get me going. Can’t say it was my favourite puzzle, but that’s probably just me. Made it more difficult by being too quick for my own good with a couple of answers. 9a was nearly a new word/derivation for me. 17d made me chuckle. Many thanks to BD and the setter. Good luck with the Rugby (both varieties).

    1. There is only one type of rugby… I won’t have the chicken-scratch abomination in the house! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  10. What a joy to find a ‘proper’ cryptic crossword today, instead of the humourless convoluted computer generated spelling games we seem to be plagued with.

  11. Enjoyable puzzle. Put the wrong answer in for 26across which slowed us down a bit & had to resort to google to check the answer to 9across. However we finished it in reasonable time for us so we’re happy bunnies. Thank you setter & BD.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  12. Thank you setter, once I got under way it wasn’t too difficult. Thanks BD for the hints.

    1. The hint may be extended:

      A fish preceded by some bars which form a prison to mean “bird that is trapped”

  13. Good puzzle. As above, I shot myself in the foot with a wrong answer to 3d, that made 12a a very strange country, but still no excuse as it was plainly an anagram without the letter I had used. That held me up and made the puzzle harder than it should have been. Last one in was, as with most, 9a and I had to use gizmo to get that.

    Thanks to setter and BD for hints, not needed today.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  14. PS It did take me a very long time, all afternoon in fact, but it’s cold and wet and I decided that, just for today, I’d give the sport a miss!!!!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    1. Been lovely and sunny here today – I’ve had a very busy day – just hoping I can get the satsuma marmalade to set before Strictly starts.

      1. CSue is lucky Kath, I walked the mutts plus 2 at 08:00 this morning and by the river t’was glorious. By 10:00 grey grey grey.Strictly. yuk eek no no no no, but that marmalade sounds good :)

        1. Dancing and marmalade is good but maybe not at the same time! Walked with collie this morning – a bit grey and very chilly but drizzling by the time we got home and has carried on doing so all day. Goodness knows what it’s going to be like this week if the met men are right . . .

  15. Found today’s puzzle mostly not too difficult. Managed 9a although I was not familiar with the word but still struggling with 16d. Favourite was 11a.

    1. Maggie with 16d you need to include a roman numeral alluded to by the 1st word in the clue inside a six letter word meaning sensual revelry

      1. Hi Andy – thanks I have it now, I hadn’t thought about Roman numerals. No, it hasn’t really taken me 4 hours, I was out for a curry then catching up on Masterchef :).

  16. The grey matter, what’s left of it, isn’t working at all today.I am suffering from “man flu” so virulent that it has crossed the species barrier and is now affecting (effecting ?) women ( and my spelling , probably ).I found myself needing almost all the hints and still can’t get 23a . Any assistance appreciated.

    1. Sorry to hear you are poorly.

      The definition is ‘one believes’ A record followed by an anagram (should be organised) of PILE

      1. Thank you CS, got it now, I hope you don’t catch this one. I got it from a colleague who was out, came back in for a day, sneezed all over me and then took another week off.

    2. Sorry to hear that you’re poorly – you’d better ask gazza about women getting ‘man-flu’! This goes back a long way but I haven’t forgotten it – nor will I let him off the hook! It was all to do with the size of hankies . . .
      Here’s a little flower to help with your convalescence. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  17. Most of yesterday spent on an outing to London with my family. But last night and this morning managed to complete the crossword. Last one 8a came to me finally after a nights sleep! Favourite 17d. I’m really enjoying my time with the Saturday telegraph now! Thank you Big Dave for the clues – although only a few needed. 9 & 24 a (8a of course – above) and 1,2 & 7 d. Your help is terrific – just enough to fire me into action! Until next week. Michael.

  18. I enjoyed this puzzle and managed to complete it without hints. I particularly liked 2d, 6d and 16d. I had a big chuckle at 4d — beautifully illustrated by Big Dave’s choice of picture!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif
    Many thanks to Cephas for a lovely puzzle and to Big Dave for delightful, helpful hints.

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