DT 27420 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27420 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27420 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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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:


1a Harvey’s struggling — he’s lacking change (4)
An anagram (struggling) of (H)ARV(E)Y'(S) after dropping (lacking) HE’S

8a The precise item (8,7)
An adjective meaning precise followed by an item

9a Leg ring available if required (2,4)
That alternative cricketing term for the leg side followed by a verb meaning to ring on the telephone

15a Large number of stockings with a hole in — 6 perhaps! (6)
A Roman number for a largish number and some stockings around (with … in) the letter shaped like a hole give a verb meaning the same as the answer to 6 across

19a Peacekeeping type, we hear, is not requested (8)
The usual peacekeepers followed by what sounds like (we hear) a type or kind

22a Get real  land (4,4,2,5)
Two definitions – the second being what an astronaut hopes to do!

23a It’s in taste to allow it to stand (4)
Hidden (it’s in) inside the clue is a Latin term used by printers to indicate that a deletion should be ignored

25a Must cast out piece of soot (4)
An anagram (cast out) of MUST


1d Sid voiced upset: ‘This CD needs watching‘ (9)
An anagram (upset) of SID VOICED

3d Very obvious court order’s needed over lager being spilt (4,5)
A court order followed by an anagram (being spilt) of LAGER

5d Less common initially, Art and English being interspersed among reading, writing and arithmetic (5)
The initial letters of Art and English interspersed inside the three letters used to collectively refer to Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic

6d It could be free or highly valuablethat’s amusing (9)
Three separate definitions, the first two illustrating a contranym (a word that has two opposing meanings)

7d Volcanic crater plays a part in topographical derangement (7)
Hidden inside (plays a part in) the clue

12d Champion rugby player’s single set of books (9)
A champion or xxx is derived from either of two rugby players in the front row of the scrum, the number that represents a single and some books in the bible

13d High-flier that’s unusually below par (9)
Two definitions – the second being a score of three below par, which any golfer will tell you is unusual!

14d Shelter is closed, welcoming in French after November (6,3)
IS and a word meaning closed around the French for in and preceded by the letter represented by November in the NATO Phonetic alphabet

17d Venetian merchant and soldier held up by ten (7)
The Merchant of Venice is built up from a soldier insect, a word meaning “held up by” and the pair of letters that look like the numerical representation of ten

20d Band take off, covering Queen (5)
A phrasal verb meaning to take off in an aeroplane (2,2) around the Latin abbreviation for Queen

Highlighted words are to be found in my new “Usual Suspects” page.

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: {peak} + {unease} = {Pekinese}

61 comments on “DT 27420 (Hints)

  1. My rating is 1*/2* today. It was basically read & write apart from my last two in (19a & 20d) which took a little longer. 22a was my favourite.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD for posting early today. Now I can concentrate on the rugby later!

    P.S. Happy Birthday, Rufus.

    1. My sentiments entirely except I tarried a little longer over 15a. As Wales put France in their place last night, Mary, Gazza and I now need England to beat Ireland this afternoon… Many Happy Returns of the Day, Mr Squires, and long may you continue to entertain us.

    2. The same two held me up for ages, mainly because it took so long to realise why 20d was what it looked as if it was. (If you see what I mean.)

  2. This was over far to quickly & dare I say not very difficult for a prize competition.Many thanks for the review, now off to take the mutt for his weekly swimming session the things I do for love!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  3. An enjoyable breakfast-time doddle with 3 sports represented. Thanks Mysteron and BD (although I suspect you may not be much in demand today?) */***. Yes indeed RD, now it’s all hands to the pump willing England to stick it to O’Driscoll and Co. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif – English rose.

  4. Straightforward solve this morning though enjoyable 1*/3* for me, now ready for an afternoon of rugby.

  5. Completed while sitting in the garden in the sunshine (in Devon). The opposite end of the difficulty scale to yesterday’s toughie.

  6. Happy birthday to my favourite setter…have a lovely day “Rufus’…I hope the sun keeps shining for you http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  7. A lovely morning of sunshine lets hope it lasts! I give this a two to three star for difficulty just because I was stuck for a while on 3 clues at the end! Why in hindsight I’ll never know, sometimes you can make it just too difficult by reading too much into a clue! Favourite today 8a, guess I’ll have to rely on England today to do Wales a favour and beat Ireland!! Normally I would be supporting the boys in green in this match

    1. Bonjour Mary, As I have said before, and I hate to say it, but I think that Wales have the best team in the 6 nations. England will have their hands full beating Ireland and I would like to see Italy beat Scotland.
      Lovely puzzle this morning as usual for a Saturday. It’s a pity that we usually don’t know who is the setter. Just missed my target of finishing by publishing time but thanks to BD for the hints (needed for understanding a couple of clues) and to Mr. Ron. 7d was a new one on me and I have not used 23a since school

      1. Bonjour collywobs, ca va?? Yes I agree England will have a hard task this afternoon! 7d was new to me too and ditto your comment re 23a :-)

        1. Collywobs you just click on the one you want http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif a load of ‘gobbledygook’ comes up but when you see your comment your chosen emoticon will be there

  8. Happy birthday Rufus. A tad to simplistic for a Prize at */**. Still can’t see the wordplay for 4d unless I have it wrong. Did not know the alternative defs for 25a and 23a a new word for me. Off to get rid of some calories in the garden then maybe the E v I game.

    1. 4d – the usual military engineers inside another word for action (of an aggressive kind) is a term for what is carried by a haulier.

    2. Hi McM 4d… you are looking for a word for ‘load’, take a five letter word for ‘action’ and insert the usual two letter abbreviation for ‘engineers’ to get your answer

      1. Thanks both. Of course. I had the end 11a wrong and with a ‘*’ as closing letter, ’twas much harder.

  9. An enjoyable and relatively easy solve- thanks for the hints – I always feel better understanding the wordplay!! Now I can enjoy my afternoon of rugby at the Rec ,not in front of the TV , lets hope the weather stays fine.

  10. A very straightforward */*** for a Saturday lunchtime. I liked 8a best. As for the afternoon’s entertainment – as a Scot I have to admit I have given up for the season so just have to say “Come on the Irish”!!

  11. I would have to agree with Rabbit Dave (above) on read and write, so this was easily finished before lights out last night. Nevertheless, it was quite enjoyable so I give it */*** – favorites 8a and 22a – I like easy to solve 15 letter clues. Hopefully, the on-line feed for the Rugby is behaving later on, I expect E v. I to be a close run match. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  12. Managed again without hints, I can’t believe it. Pride coming before a fall I fear. As regards the rugby….can anyone explain why Wales are allowed to have the roof on their stadium. I thought rugby was supposed to be an outdoor game. Come on England.

        1. We think the only sport that must have a roof (per the rules) is real tennis? And Thanks for an enjoyable morning – Mr & Mrs T

        2. I think it gives Wales an extra home advantage because of the intensity of the noise, which is why they close the roof on every opportunity. It must be very intimidatory.

  13. I often see complaints on this blog about problems you Brits have with the inefficiencies (is there such a word?) of the Daily Telegraph. Well, you will appreciate my irritation with our local (South African) newspaper which re-published yesterday’s puzzle as the prize puzzle this morning! I thought it was quite difficult, but managed to finish it (including the – to me – obscure reference to a “horsy leap” in 19d) and then went to look at the Hints for yesterday’s puzzle. And, of course, as it was not a prize puzzle, all of the answers were there! It seems that newspapers all over the world are totally hopeless. The old line about being unable to organise a booze-up in a brewery comes to mind!

    1. Collywobs – I think something has gone a bit wrong here but I’m not clever enough to know what. Oh dear! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
      What you need to do is just go down to under the comment box, select the little face that you want, click on it and then press the Post Comment thingie.
      http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gifComme ca!

  14. Hi folks. Have just been to sunny coast for half term and settled in my chair after the drive back and rattled it off quite quickly. 15a was my favourite last in 14d. I hope you are enjoying sunny weather like we are in Hertfordshire. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  15. I think that I’ve got here just in time for all of you to disappear off to watch Rugby – now I feel like Billy No Mates.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gifThat’s fine – don’t bother about me – I’ll just talk to myself.
    Well, I enjoyed this one – I agree with everyone else that it didn’t take very long, even though I was doing it with one ear while the other was occupied by my sister talking into it.
    While I was actually doing the crossword I felt as if there were a lot of anagrams but I’ve just counted them and changed my mind.
    The only one that held me up was 12d and I do admit to getting into a terrible pickle with that.
    I liked 15 and 22a and 6d. My favourite was 10a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and BD. Going up the garden now – it’s no fun being here on my own.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    1. Hi Kath don’t take it personally we are all your friends but the internationals are well important http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

      1. I hope that you’ve all had a good afternoon watching rugby and that everyone is happy with whoever won – I’m choosing my words very carefully here. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
        I’ve had a lovely afternoon doing very useful stuff in the garden with the sun shining. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  16. PS A very Happy Birthday to Rufus. I see that Mary has already given him lots of flowers – I’ll add another one. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  17. Like most, this was a walk in the park. I didn’t know 7d but it was so obvious, a quick google confirmed d it. Had no idea why 9a was what it was, cricket term explains it. Well, favourite, I’m going for 22a, with honourable mention to 8a, 10a and 20d, took me a long time to rumble that one. Thanks to setter and BD for review and explaining the cricket term.

    Very, very Happy Returns to Rufus, my favourite setter. Here are some more flowers.


  18. I have been absent from crossword land these last few days so this was a pleasant welcome back. Not really difficult but enjoyable nonetheless . I think 12D was my favourite. Thank you Big Dave for the blog. Now for the rugby!

  19. Thank you setter, not too hard, which suited me. Did most of it with Mrs SW on the way up to Bamburgh for our annual week birdwatching. Here just in time for the rugby. Thanks BD for your hints.

  20. Just started doing crosswords again. This one was fairly straight forward and I think my favourite was 8A – probably because I teach English! Thank you Big Dave for the blog.

    1. Yes indeed, a great weekend of rugby altogether and special congratulations to the home side at Twickers. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

      1. And a point for the Mighty West Brom! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif. Thanks to BD and to The Setter. May even do some work in the garden tomorrow!

  21. This crossword reminded me of last Tuesday’s, cryptics 101, lets say.I don’t suppose I would have been saying that a year or two ago.
    As to the rugby, well, there can be only one winner and the better side won.
    Thanks to the setter and BD for the blog.

    1. PS I’m beginning to think that Brian has fallen into the Bermuda triangle . Oh and Many Happy Returns to Rufus !

        1. The puzzles have been very gentle this week, I suppose we will have to wait for a real challenge to spot him.Personally , I suspect one contributor but then I’m usually wrong about these things.It’s funnny to think I miss his diatribes ! Do you remember his response to a Giovanni that had 5 unknown words , not including osculate ?

  22. Didn’t get round to this until evening (last week’s storm damage to repair and rugby matches to watch), and even then distracted by the umpteenth showing of my old favourite “Airplane”. I found it an enjoyable but quite straightforward puzzle and would agree with a 1*/3* assessment. Thanks to BD, and to Mr Ron, and to a certain Mr Danny Care.

  23. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave, quite straightforward, but was a bit held up on the bottom half. Enjoyed it ,11a was a new word for me. Favourite was 7d, great word. Last in was 19a. Was 2*/2* for me. Off to Poole for the day tomorrow .

  24. Saturday chores, plus lots of rugby to watch and a friend’s 60th birthday party in the evening turned this into a Sunday breakfast puzzle for me. It proved to be an enjoyable but untaxing ride. Initially I thought I might break my record as I set off at a gallop, but a couple of late fences slowed me down and I cantered over the line before trotting off to watch the closing events from Sochi. I even considered a celebratory curvet but my legs aren’t what they were and you can only stretch a metaphor so far! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif
    **/*** for me.

    Thanks setter and BD.

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