DT 27486 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27486 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27486 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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There’s still time to enter 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.

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    Dish of seafood an aid to growth (8)
Split as (4,4) this could be a dish of seafood, but it is actually a product, made from seafood, that is used as fertilizer

11a    Veteran using net more certain to catch fish initially following change (6,6)
An adjective meaning more certain around the initial letter of Fish and preceded by some of the change that you might find in your pocket/purse

15a    Bush expels one from a spy organisation twice (6)
Start with the A from the clue and then add the US spy organisation twice over, dropping I (one) from one of the occurrences

18a    Ruth to be mine before year (4)
This other word for ruth (which I have just added to my Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing page) is derived from a three-letter word for a mine followed by Y(ear)

21a    Chamberlain perhaps to perform round Home Counties (8)
This word applied to former Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain because of his failed policy towards Germany in the period leading up to World War II is derived by putting a verb meaning to perform on stage around the usual suspect for the area of England known as the Home Counties

23a    Fan to rub down athlete’s essentials (4,3,5)
A charade of a three-letter word for a fan or enthusiast, a verb meaning to rub down, typically to rub down woodwork prior to painting, and a possessive noun (4’1) for a famous sprinter

26a    The Thames in some parts is doubled (4)
The name given to the Thames in the area around Oxford is simply IS followed by IS (is doubled)

28a    Fashion expert perhaps does clothes symbol (8)
Put the species of which the females are called does around (clothes) a symbol


2d    Forge raw ore in making this (8)
An anagram (forge) of RAW ORE IN

3d Senior politicians will get exercise having kick around on sports ground (5,2,5)
A verb meaning to exercise or utilize inside a colloquial verb meaning to kick and followed by a famous sports ground in St John’s Wood, London

4d Goon associated with church briefly (6)
Two definitions – one of the Spike Milligan’s characters in the Goon Show and the abbreviation (briefly) of an adjective meaning associated with or relating to the church

5d Prune supplied energy for run (4)
A verb meaning to prune followed by E(nergy)

6d Douglas perhaps sober getting medical treatment (5-3)
The type of tree of which Douglas is a variety (perhaps) followed by an adjective meaning sober or sedate

12d A paper surprisingly probing revolution making fresh judgement (12)
An anagram (surprisingly) of A PAPER inside (probing) a revolution or revolt

17d I’m involved with venture in which leader’s removed (8)
An anagram (involved) of I’M with (V)ENTURE without its initial letter (leader’s removed) gives Fletcher Christian or one of associates, perhaps – thanks to StanXYZ for the wordplay

24d    Fox catching a despicable person (4)
Put the Scottish word for a fox (see my Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing page) around the A from the clue

25d    Bachelor embarrassed having produced children (4)
B(achelor) followed by an adjective meaning embarrassed

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The Quick crossword pun: {Wes} + {Thailand} + {Wight} + {Terrier} = {West Highland White Terrier (Westie)}

41 comments on “DT 27486 (Hints)

  1. As usual this was a Saturday joy-ride with enough slightly taxing clues. Thanks setter and also BD for being there with hints to call upon in case of need. **/***. Tried to somehow extend Neville for 21a. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  2. Well I did it but some not nice clues eg 22 d and 24 d .So a real mixture and my score is ****/** . Supposed to play bowls later but green flooded !

  3. What a boon the Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing section is because, whilst I knew the answer to 18a, I most certainly didn’t know how I’d arrived at the answer to 24d. I’ve taken time to look at some of the other definitions and I’ve had my eyes opened! Thank you Dave. Otherwise, I’d not experienced many difficulties with this puzzle and, whilst I liked 23a, the clue was somewhat convoluted.

  4. I needed you today. Thanks for the help on 21 a which helped me finish with the last clue 22 d. I had an incorrect answer here , and also thank you for explaining 28 a!!! Thumbs up.

  5. Found today’s puzzle a tad clunky with some clues that did not quite work for me. Perhaps I am being over-critical? Anyway all done but not as entertaining as what we have been given earlier this week. Have just been to watch the women’s cycle race head through my town. Come on Laura Trott! Thanks to The Setter and for the review. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

  6. I found the puzzle OK except 28a, which I got but could not understand why, until Big Dave came to the rescue.

  7. A tad more difficult than usual for a saturday imho. All done but can’t work out why 19d is what it must be. Thanks to the setter & to BD for the hips & tints.

    1. You start with a three letter article, then the cricketing abbreviation for “Over” and a four letter word meaning origin.

  8. A tad more difficult than usual for a saturday imho. All done but can’t work out why 19d is what it must be. Thanks to the setter & to BD for the hips & tints.

  9. Really liked today’s effort and managed to finish without resorting to the hints, except to see why I had managed to get to the right answer. I find I quite often know the what, but not necessarily the why, if you know what I mean. Anyway thank you to the setter and to BD.

  10. I think I have the answer for 22D but it is the name for a Greek god, not goddess. Could anyone help with the clue, please, in case I am mistaken?

    1. Welcome to the blog Allan

      22d Cloak on a small Greek goddess (6)
      A cloak or shroud followed by the A from the clue and S(mall) gives a Greek goddess (definitely not a god!)

  11. 17d – My favourite for today!

    I may be sent to the naughty corner but isn’t it an anagram of “Im” and “(v)enture “

  12. I’d rate this as ***/***
    It’s always an enjoyable crossword if I finish. Nevertheless I would not have done so without Hints and Tips. I found the south west corner the hardest. Learnt something new – the Goon character . My favourite was 6d, the least favourite 22d.

    Thank you BD and setter for an entertaining break from Saturday ‘chores’

  13. I thought this was more difficult than lots of Saturday puzzles, apart from the one that we had about three weeks ago which was a proper stinker.
    I would never have got 4d without the hint – I’d already googled the goons but didn’t think of going any further than the actors.
    21a took a long time as did 22d, and quite a few others. I spent too long trying to find a word for bottles without its first letter (10a). Oh dear, yet again.
    I liked 18 and 23a and 3 and 16d. I think my favourite was probably 24d.
    With thanks to the setter and BD, especially for the 4d hint which would have driven me mad for the rest of the day.
    The best description of the weather today is inconvenient – sun and blue sky one minute and then, just when I go outside, torrential rain – two minutes later more sun.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  14. Managed without too much trouble, except for 3d, which I would never have solved without BD (didn’t even recognise the picture!!). Last in 20a, which I found underwhelming. Thanks to BD for the scottish word in 24d, which is new to me.
    As an 11a myself, I think this puzzle may be easier for me than someone younger (e.g. 21a).
    Thanks to BD and compiler.

  15. Two ‘Wolves in Sheep’s clothing’ in one puzzle – suspicious or what!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    1. Welcome to the blog FayeC.

      20a Encouragement to have run out in vehicle (6)
      Put the cricketing abbreviation for ‘run out’ inside a vehicle.

  16. Ying tong from Boston! A very enjoyable start to the weekend with some lovely clues. 23a drew giggles from Mrs T with the obvious “insinuendo”.

    Many thanks to Andover for our synaptic sojourn.

  17. I found this very, very difficult. The answer I had for 11a was put in as a last resort as had never heard of it; my fault, I should have googled it as there are many references to it online. I never did get 4d, which is unforgivable as we had a huge Goon following in Montego Bay in the late 1950s, even bought the LPs and sat listening to them by the hour. One in particular was memorable, when they dismantled a gaol, stone by stone, and shipped it across the channel to France. Whatever brought that to mind. Happy days. Favourite is 15a. Thanks to setter and BD for review, I needed you today for many explanations.

  18. Very enjoyable puzzle, thank you setter particularly liked 23a and 3d ! Thanks BD for your hints.

  19. Despite the double unches I liked this a great deal. 23a raised a chuckle. Solved at Wansford railway station where a beer festival involved entering carriages on a steam train to get beer then relax on the platform. Nene Valley Railway. Now off to Castor beer festival , I fear I might struggle with Virgilius tomorrow ;)
    Thank you BD and setter

  20. A much enjoyed puzzle which I managed to solve without having to resort to BD’s hints (many thanks for them) – could not help looking at them as at times I like to understand why the answer is what it is, 19d for example. 11a and 23a made me laugh. For me 2.5*/4*.
    Many thanks to the setter for a great start of my day.

  21. Thanks B D the ones you missed out on the hints gave most trouble .enjoyable ,for me ***\***, Thanks to setter liked 11ac,&21ac

  22. About 2*/4* by my reckoning – on the gentle side for a prize crossword – and 11a was my pick of the clues. My thanks to the setter, and to Big Dave for the hints (although l only needed them to see why my answer to 28a was right!).

  23. I found it harder than usual and was very grateful for the hints.Thanks BD. I thought 23a was a wonderful clue.

  24. I thought this was quite challenging. Finished it last night but had to come to the Hints to find out why my answer to 28a was right! (I even found the Hint difficult because I was reading “does” as “duz” instead of “doughs”!) I had never heard of the net user in 11a (although I am one). BD, do you not think the “fan” in 23a is a candidate for your Wolves in Sheeps’ Clothing page? (That was a new use of the word for me.)

    1. I think that the use of “fan” is only confusing because of its context and misdirection is part of the art of crossword setting. To stray into that territory would mean competing with Mrs Bradford’s excellent Crossword Solver’s Dictionary.

  25. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, with some tricky clues. Favourite was 11a, last in was 22d. Great fun was 3*/4* for me. Late commenting due to a trip to Rugby.

  26. Morning all. I don’t suppose anyone has a scan of the empty crossword
    ? I forgot to pick up a paper yesterday…

  27. My thanks to the setter for a very entertaining puzzle. I can’t decide which is my fave — 11a or 23a. I also very much liked the anagram 17d.

    Although entertaining, I found this puzzle quite tricky in places and was very glad of Big Dave’s hint for 4d. I Googled the Goons, but drew a blank. Don’t think I’d ever have got this without help. Thank you very much, Big Dave for the excellent hints.

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