DT 27390 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27390 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27390 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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Today is your last chance to enter our January Prize Puzzle, and don’t forget the very special prize!

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.

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.

Some hints follow:


3a Greet workers led by wag (5,5)
Some workers after (led by) a verb meaning to wag or wobble

11a One famous singer, not old — he died escaping Crete (6)
I (one) followed by a famous singer without (not) his final O(ld)

12a At times fashionable, with that being so (3,3,4)
A charade of words meaning “fashionable” or “up to date”, “with” and “that being so”

20a Look about in box in carriage (3,7)
A look or aura followed by the two-letter word meaning about inside a verb meaning to box (as in 23 down)

23a Sat, agitated, with phone going off in carriage (8)
An anagram (agitated) of SAT followed by an anagram (going off) of PHONE

26a See actress in great cocktail dress before start of Oscars (5,5)
An anagram (cocktail) of GREAT followed by dress or clothing and the initial letter (start) of Oscars


1d Humanitarian outfit embarrassed and annoyed (3,5)
A charade of adjectives meaning embarrassed and annoyed

2d Character willing to bring old maid, perhaps (4,4)
A character or eccentric followed by an adjective meaning willing or up for gives a competitive amusement of which old maid is an example (perhaps)

3d Odds studied in advance (6)
The two-letter abbreviation for the betting odds at the start of a race followed by a verb meaning studied, as in studied at university, gives a verb meaning to advance or expand

5d Look on ship for a kind of cosmetic (8)
A verb meaning to look followed by a large passenger ship

13d Poet in centre of Corfu (5)
A word meaning in (one’s residence) followed by the middle letter (centre) of CoRfu

16d Figure blocking female in lift (8)
A figure or number inside (blocking) a Scottish dialect word for a female gives a verb meaning to lift or raise

19d Cambridge college student’s last Bordeaux (6)
A Cambridge college followed by the final letter (last) of studenT gives a name for red wine from Bordeaux

23d Knocks over box (4)
A verb meaning knocks reversed (over) gives a verb meaning to box

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

Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

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: {common} + {dear} = {commandeer}

55 comments on “DT 27390 (Hints)

  1. Not sure if that was easy or whether I was just on the right wavelength, did not need any hints for a change.

  2. No great problems today except perhaps for 20a which took a bit of unpicking.
    Learnt a new carriage today in 23a but best clue for me by far was 26a.
    Thanks to the setter for a pleasant start to the w/e and to BD for the hints although not needed today. Off to see how much the bank is going to rip me off for dollars for my upcoming foreign trip.

    1. Don’t get your dollars at a high street bank. Buy on the internet if have time or tesco’s is usually most competitive

  3. 1*/3* for an enjoyable romp today. I was only held up a little by 2d, which was my last one in. The answer to 23a was a new word for me but easily worked out from the clue.

    26a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD

  4. This was not too easy IMHO I am still on the antibiotics so will blame them for my brain fog!!! No real favourites for me and a two to three star for difficulty

    1. I hope that you’re beginning to feel better – was wondering where you’d got to. Your absence was not only noted but commented on – gazza thought you might have flown off with the 2Kiwis as they seem to have gone AWOL too.

      1. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif Hi Kath, this bug is not nice just as you think you’re better and do something it reminds you that you’re not, thus my intermittent appearances!!! I thought I was here everyday last week except Friday though??? Feel really tired all the time

  5. Quite a few old favourites in this one – and my least favourite sweet in all the world too. Surprised that people don’t remember 23a from previous crosswords – it is a ‘favourite’ for setters.

    Thanks to the Mysteron and BD.

    1. I concur with everything you’ve said, Sue, and wasn’t it nice to find the puzzle on the back page of the paper for a change?

          1. Except that it’s not one anagram, but two joined together!

            The other carriages have been defined as an anagram of this one and/or vice versa in earlier Telegraph puzzles.

  6. This was over too quickly – fractionally longer than time to at my boiled egg. I hope this does not incur the wrath of BD. it may have been an Ostrich egg! Thanks to the Setter. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    1. Also breezed through this one although I think my egg would definitely have been hard-boiled by time I had completed. Thanks Mr. Ron for good clues and BD for once again being there in case of need. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  7. Thank you setter, a very enjoyable puzzle, not too taxing especially after the last couple of days. Thanks BD for the hints and pictures. Hoping to enjoy some 19d tonight with some guests – but perhaps not quite of the same quality of the label on your bottle ! If only !

  8. Enjoyed today’s effort,& managed to finish without resort to the hints for once, except for checking the wordplay for one or two of them, so thank you Setter & BD.

  9. I enjoyed this and agree with others that it was fairly straightforward – it’s the first time this week that I’ve said that – quite a relief!
    My last ones were the second word of 20a and 16d. I needed the hint to understand why 13d was what it had to be.
    I nearly put the wrong carriage for 23a – the only thing that stopped me was that the clue made it a singular carriage and I’d have had two, or more. In any case getting 24a would have made my 23a an impossibility. I agree with CS – 24a’s are horrible and smell of nail varnish remover – yukky!
    21d made me laugh – we were in Venice several years ago staying in a little tiny flat. One morning I set off on my own to prove that I could get to the 21d bridge and then back to the flat without getting lost – all I did was prove that I couldn’t so I was doing exactly what the clue says!
    I thought there were lots of really good clues – just right for yet another miserable grey day.
    I liked 12 and 26a and 4 and 19d. My favourite was, for the reasons above, 21d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and BD.
    Off now to have a go at NTSPP.

  10. II found today’s puzzle quite difficult, although I finished it without the Hints, but I must admit I needed them to explain the logic behind some of the answers, for example 20a and 3d. 22a was a new carriage to me (Google helped!) and I had never heard of the sweet in 24a (my last one in) and it took a long time for the penny to drop (sorry, BD!) and to realise that the “couple in conversation” indicated a “sounds like…” pun. (Hope I’m not in trouble for any of this and that Big Dave can edit out anything which he feels might cause harm before it does!)

    1. BD has either decided your comment is OK or he hasn’t noticed yet.
      If you end up in the naughty corner I do hope that you like marmalade because that’s all there is in there so far today unless CS has been baking.

  11. Did not like 20a at all and still really struggle to see it. Apart from that 23 degrees in Cyprus today so no hum

  12. I was on wavelength today and didn’t need hints. It never ceases to amaze me how differently we all think. Favourite is 11a. Thanks to setter and BD for review, entertaining as always.

  13. Back home from France and opened a bottle of 19d and returned to the comfort of the DT torture. A nice easing back into the swing of things, no hints required and a couple of nice smilers, 24A and 26A deserve mention. I would rate 2*/3* My thanks to Big Dave for the review. I have made a promise to myself to seriously attempt a Toughie next week.

    1. Start off your promise to yourself about trying Toughies by having a go at today’s NTSPP. I very rarely finish a Toughie but have, just, finished the NTSPP. I think they’re quite a gentle let-in to Toughies – trickier than back page crosswords but not as difficult as Toughies.

        1. I thought to begin with that you meant the ‘red pen’ of our lord and master/head honcho but couldn’t see why – now I see what you mean! Have a go at it tomorrow. Good luck – I enjoyed it. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  14. Hello all. A doddle today. But a nice doddle. A one-pass fill-in. There will be lots of post in their in bag for this comp to try to win the Biro or whatever the DT can afford these days. Thanks to the setter and as ever, BD who basks in our love.

  15. I found it very reasonable , although I, too ,initiallly opted for the other carriage until it didn’t fit.The other floated back from memory as it was also the name of a school I attended. Favourite 11a. Thanks to setter and BD.

  16. Good puzzle but still struggling with 20a, 6d and 18a. Ah well, perhaps I will see the answers tomorrow.
    Thanks to all.

    1. 18d, difficult to give a hint for except to say it’s a double definition,20a, I just guessed it from the checkers , but the definition is carriage.As to 6d, I can’t think of an allowable hint. Sorry.

  17. Good puzzle today, favourites 24 (if you haven’t heard of them go to a sweet shop and buy some – well worth it). Hope this comment is legal…

  18. got 12a early in the piece, but still don’t know why ! Even with the hints above I must be having a senior moment ! Somebody please explain !Thanks

    1. Dave’s hint is very clear – not sure I can say any more without going to the naughty corner and I have too much to do today for that The three bits of the answer relate to the three ‘words meaning’ bits of the hint.

  19. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. An enjoyable puzzle, not too tricky. Last in was 20a. Favourite was 26a. Was 2*/3* for me. Might try the NTSPP.

    1. I’ve expanded the description of “studied” and explained the definition. If you have the other answers then you already know the 2-letter betting odds so you only have to add the synonym for studied.

  20. Was I alone in “solving” 8a by using half the letters of “Deal affected” to produce what seemed to me to be a perfectly acceptable but wrong solution? Progress in the top left hand corner was consequently much slowed. Doh!

    Just noticed Ronnie’s comment. I guess great minds think alike or is it something about fools seldom differing?

  21. An enjoyable crossword. Common words arrived at in a most uncommon way. Some clever stuff and a bit of humour.

    1. Your comment required moderation because you’ve changed your alias since your previous posting. Both aliases should work from now on.

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