DT 27713 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27713 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27713 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club
Hosted by Tilsit & Digby

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Greetings from the North of Liverpool.  I’m up in Crosby on a retreat for a weekend while everyone else is gathering for cake in London.  If you are around, do pop over to the Bridge House, it’s a lovely venue and lots of your favourite people will be there, and maybe a few of your tormentors so you can shake them warmly by the throat.  You’ll be made extremely welcome and you will probably get a piece of Crypticsue’s lovely cake.  We had a lovely chocolate cake last night as part of our evening meal, so I have had my quota already.

This is a reasonably straightforward prize puzzle with some nice clues.  It certainly feels like a Peter Chamberlain puzzle, but I have known to be wrong.

I’ll pop in and out up until lunchtime and will then leave you to the tender mercies of young Digby for the afternoon when I hope to be going to look at Antony Gormley’s sculptures on the nearby beach.

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”. Where the hint describes a construct a “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay. Another useful page is Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.

Some hints follow.


1a           Put an end to hard drink (6)
We start today with a double definition type clue. The name of a strong alcoholic drink (from North of the Border?) also means to put an end to a plan or idea.

5a           Bond villain’s not half one to take tips from Smersh — he may go round in a tank (8)
One of the most evil of James Bond’s foes needs to lose the second half of his name. Add S & H (the tips of SMERSH) to something that may live in a tank, the name of a creature.

10a         Stern parent (4)
These little clues are often the trickiest and this was my last one in today. It’s another double definition clue and you need something that can mean stern (but not in the strict sense as implied here) and a word meaning to parent, rather than a parent.

15a         Healthy fare served up by crone in make-up (8)
This is a way of describing the All Bran you eat in the morning. The word for a type of make-up worn by ladies (and the odd gentleman!) on their faces has the name for a gnarled old woman inside it.

26a         It’s smoked and cured each summer (10)
This is the name for a type of pipe and is an anagram (indicated by cured) of EACH SUMMER

28a         Leader in rock broadcast (6)
When you see ‘broadcast’ in a clue, it usually means there’s a homophone to be found and so it is here. The name of a Middle Eastern leader sounds like a word meaning to rock. At this point the Boss would probably inflict Bill Haley singing a certain song involving getting out to the kitchen. I won’t.


2d           Company holding left-wing set of beliefs (5)
The Downs start with a Latin name for a set of beliefs. It has the standard word for a left-winger, often used to be found under the bed, inside the abbreviation for company.

5d           What Faberge often did for classic advertising slogan (2,2,4,2,2,3)
This is the name of a famous advertising slogan from the 1960’s which it was said was dreamt up by the writer Fay Weldon, but she admitted that she worked on the team rather than devised it. You could also say that it’s how the Russian jeweller Fabergé carried out his most precious tasks.

6d           Has fun cutting back lily-white flower (8)
The name of a garden flower is found by taking a word meaning has fun (in a park??) and adding the word described by lily-white, minus its last letter (cutting back).

14d         Get lost with cuddles regularly for great happiness (9)
You are looking for an old word for happiness, or supreme blessedness. A way of telling someone to “get lost!” (or a hit for Michael Jackson) is added to the even letters (shown by regularly) of CUDDLES to give you this word.

22d         Swindle gains little money for villain (5)
The name for a (young) villain is revealed by taking the name for a swindle or fraud and adding the abbreviation for a small quantity of money.

24d         Queen getting into food trade (5)
The name for food (possibly bought in a shop at school?) has R (queen) inside it to give a word for trade.

The Crossword Club is now open.

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: ark+dub+tree+oomph=Arc de Triomphe

77 comments on “DT 27713 (Hints)

  1. 2*/3* for a bit of fun on a wintry morning. What a relief after yesterday!

    My only problem was having to think very carefully about how to spell 26a.

    I liked 5d & 14d a lot, but, with my penchant for brevity,10a was my favourite today.

    Many thanks to Tilsit and to Mr Ron.

    P.S. Here’s hoping all the folk at the birthday party have a great time!

  2. Yes, a great little puzzle – even if I still don’t understand the wordplay for 28a. What has this homophone to do with rock? I am just too square methinks to understand this one! I kept toying with Blofeld in 5a for far too long!

    2*/4* for me.

    1. Think of a famous song from the 50’s by Bill Haley *******************.I will probably get told off now

      1. Don’t know much about Bill Haley – That’s that danged new music – but I’ll take your word for it! Now where did I put that cylinder for my phonograph?

    2. Good morning folks. Sped away and then slowed down on the South side. I thought 14d was rather clever. Just getting over seeing my side humbled by Spurs. Thanks to The Setter and for the review. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  3. Can any one guide me on 27A it’s my last one not solved.Apart from that a nice puzzle to while away a cold miserable day in Southampton.Many thanks to Tilsit for the review.

    1. Graham, the definition is “overtake”. It’s an anagram (getting shot) of “a golfer” placed around (across) the first letter (top of) “pin”.

        1. Is it just me or was that a strangely difficult to see. I new what it meant, and I new which letters to anagram with,and I had all the checkers in, and it still took nearly as long as the rest of the puzzle to spot the word.To add insult to injury I was breaking the Miffypops rule and using a pencil.Sometimes you just can’t see what is in front of your nose.

          P.S. I dont’ suppose I’m allowed to use anagram as a verb, but I just did.

          P.P.S. With a bit of luck Miffypops won’t notice as I’m guessing he is at busy at the imbibeathon.

          1. No it is not just you. Reason is that it is an odd order of letters. When running through the letters to fill in we don’t think of ** at the end or ** in the middle. My last two in however were 12a and 6d which have taken a night’s sleep before they sprang into mind. 6d probably for the same reason plus the fact I did not know what I was looking for particularly with the misdirection on the usual misdirection for flower.

            1. I am a ‘finish on sunday’ type too, saturdays seem too busy so it’s half hour saturday night, finish sunday. I lose all previous day’s banter! I too was non-plussed with 6d, stll missing something in my mind.

  4. Thank you setter – I really enjoyed that and had lots of laughs, in particular in the NW corner. Thanks Tilsit for the hints. Have a great party everyone at The Bridge House http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  5. A jolly puzzle that I rattled through in record time until I had a mental block on 28a. Soon sorted though and on to some logging. 1*/3*
    Have a great day conventon goers. I would love to be with you but as my current diet forbids both beer and cake it might have been too great a temptation…

    1. Rick, I do wonder sometimes if you and I are the same person. 28a was a mental block for me and my last one in!

      1. Me too – I think the use of “shot” as the anagram indicator did for me, but fair and apposite in context.

            1. Been there, done that …

              My other regular faux pas is to write my Ls so badly that they look like Cs, which can be a bit of a showstopper when they are checking letters.

              1. Wow – i thought i was alone in the world of L=C !!

                also , my 4 = 9, same curve as the L, and I don’t quite close the 9…

      2. Great minds think alike – or in this case don’t!
        I’m a bit peeved because I was on for an ipad personal best (tablet solving being slower than pen and paper albeit more convenient).

  6. Would have been a whole lot easier for me if I hadn’t been convinced 21a was “minute”! Works for me :)

  7. A pleasant enough solve over a lunchtime butty but it certainly didn’t frighten the horses. 28a was our last in as well, which is silly as it’s a bit of an old chestnut http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

    We’ll give it */***.

    Very quiet on here today. Has everyone gone to the birthday bash?

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit/Digby.

    1. I agree with you, Pommers, and the same thought occurred to me. I hope that everyone’s having a good time. As I was late starting the puzzle, I was eating a pizza and watching the football on BT Sport at the same time – there was nothing in the puzzle or the football which gave me food for thought…

  8. We thought this was a very do-able puzzle today until we came to 28 across & 24 down, when we had to look at the hints,which is probably why these are my least two favourite clues. Enjoyed the rest though so thank you to the Saturday setter and to Tilsit and Digby.

    1. These were my last too-((or last two!) I liked the puzzle worked down from top,then bottom left to right. Managed without hints though, only checking.

      Liked 9 across and 27a – didn’t spot thr anagram until later!

      Thanks to setter And Tilsit

  9. Not everyone, Pommers. Would that I could, though! Nice puzzle, but count me among those who were held up by 28A. I might have got it sooner if I’d not had a senior moment on the spelling. No favorites, today. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit/Digby. Now back to the NTSPP!

  10. 1*/3* or thereabouts. 14d was inked in as favourite until the penny dropped on 20d, which forced a grin from this miserable old seadog. Thanks to the setter, and to Tilsit and Digby for the hints.

  11. PS. l saw in today’s Telegraph that the chap Colin Dexter based “Morse” on reckons to do the DT Toughie in 15mins. I’m now taking up crochet.

  12. Last in was 28a and entered because I couldn’t think it could be anything else. I “Gibbs slapped” myself for taking so long to realise why it was the answer. Duh! A **/**.

      1. A “Gibbs slap” is a slap on the back of the head as administered by Agent Gibbs in NCIS.

  13. Super crossword, and I agree with Rabbit Dave, a relief after yesterday. I also had a problem spelling 26a; got the answer immediately but had to look up the spelling.
    There were so many fun clues, hard to choose a fave. Loved 9a and 27a, but I think the cup goes to 5d.
    Thanks to setter, and to Tilsit and Digby for filling in. Hope the revellers are having a grand time.

  14. This happily required rather more application than is usually the case on Saturdays and I even had to seek help on one or two. Thanks Setter and Tilsit & Digby. 5d and 14d were grin-worthy. 20d seems to appear here frequently via MP comments. Perhaps there will be a rush of comments once the birthday celebrations break up. Hope you’re all having a ball. Cheers! ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  15. I’m another who was held up by 28a, glad it wasn’t only me who couldn’t see that one!

    Apart from that I really enjoyed it – a bit harder than the normal Saturday but great fun – 14d was very good!

    Onward and upward – now for Chelsea v Man City – it’s all go! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  16. Just been reading the blog – how long has it been since Tottenham have been called the Lillywhites – must be back in the Danny Blanchflower or Dave Mackay days! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

    1. We are still called the lilywhites, just not that often, especially with that day-glo yellow away strip, which makes look like a lot of car park attendants running about. COYS!

  17. **/****. I really liked this puzzle probably because I did it in one sitting. Liked 4,14,20 d and 26a once I got the spelling right. Thanks to the setter and T&D for the review. I hope you have a good time in Crosby where I lived for 11 years and my mum and one of my brothers still do. Enjoy the men in the sea!!

  18. Very enjoyable crossword today, with some excellent clues – 27a being my favourite. Greetings and best wishes to everyone at the Bridge. (Not sure about combining cake and real ale, personally, but I have minimal experience of the latter – maybe they are served separately!)

      1. Dear goodness – it’s bad enough trying to work out the crossword clues without having to consult Mr. Google to figure out some of the comments! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  19. A lot happier than yesterday, the supertoy and I breezed through starting at the bottom right hand corner. By the time we had got to the top it was all dropping into place nicely. Hope the party goes well and the cake lasts out. Thanks to D&T for holding the fort and thanks to setter. Off to attempt GK, enjoyed the article about Jeremy Morse. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  20. Having returned from a highly enjoyable afternoon at The Bridge, we settle down to the crossword. Very surprised that some of you thought it was a one * as we found some of this very tricky. We were, like many others, stumped by 27a (thanks to Rabbit Dave for the clue) and also 28a. A very enjoyable puzzle nonetheless. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  21. I solved this on the train to London sat opposite a lovely five year old girl who wanted to know (a) what I was doing? (b) why I had a cake and what did it smell like? [the verdict was ‘manilla’ ] and (c) how old I was? When I said ‘old enough to be a granny’ she decided that I must be 29.

    All in all you can see why I have no idea how long it took me to solve the Mysteron puzzle. Week 2 of the blogging cycle – 2 weeks me 2 weeks Gnomey – is usually not Cephas but one or the Mysterons, who should in my view, remain mysterious.

  22. I have vague memories of solving and enjoying this pre-beer, but will admit to cheating a little in the SE corner. I put it down to the distractions of solving on the train combined with not knowing 26a. Once I’d cheated on that anagram, it was a slippery slope to asking the BRB for a little more help. Well, we’re all allowed to be a bit naughty once in a while!

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit and Digby.

    1. Short of revealing the answers on this blog, I don’t think that any use of reference material should be regarded as cheating. Just resourceful.

  23. Most enjoyable puzzle after a most enjoyable gathering at Little Venice (I must bring my boat down there). And Jean-Luc – what a star. No problems with the puzzle, but where was the cake? Favourite clue was 9a. Thanks to the setter and T&D 2*/3*

  24. I also did this one in the train on the way to London so no help – no dictionaries or anything – I do like proving to myself that I can do the occasional one without resorting to outside anything. My only “help” was a fourteen month old sitting next to me . . .
    I knew that I knew 26a and I also knew that it was an anagram – it still took a while to a) remember it and b) spell it correctly!
    I’ve really enjoyed today and I’m quite sure that everyone else has too – I’ve met lots of wonderful and lovely people for the first time and seen other equally wonderful and lovely people again having met them before.
    All in all a very good day – thanks to everyone for making it so – thanks and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif and a little http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif to BD for all of it – I really hope that he is basking in glory this evening – he deserves to be.

  25. I managed to do this pre-beers, before i got on the train. I did find the cake (wow, many thanks CS) and a what a delight to see Kath, Kitty, Jean-Luc, miff, etc and not least BD.

    I loved some of the answers here! 5a (bond villain), 9a (primitive weapon), 26a (smoked & cured), 27a (overtake). what a nice puzzle.

    Enjoyed having a go at Jean-Luc’s puzzle at the bridge, may the world beware.

    What a lovely community this is

    Thanks setter and reviewers

  26. Hello everybody. Still in London for the day. Had a really great time meeting all the bloggers and setters at Bridge House.
    Still working on the Saturday back page.
    Mostly done apart from a few clues.
    Out visiting friends all day
    See you all on the blog tomorrow evening.
    Thanks to BD again for the party and CS for the cake.

  27. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Tilsit & Digby for holding the fort. A great afternoon at The Bridge, lovely to meet everyone again, and to meet some new people too. Great turnout. Thanks to Prolixic who gave me a couple of hints that helped me finish this puzzle. Thanks to CrypticSue for the cake, which I was able to enjoy without being on the Naughty Step! Congratulations to Big Dave for steering the site so successfully into it’s seventh year. A very enjoyable puzzle, but quite tricky. Was 3*/3* for me.

  28. Nearly finished after a long weekend and, like most other folk gottuck on 28a. Can anybody give me a heads’ up for 21a

  29. Hi everyone
    I can see the answer to 16d from the checking letters but don’t get it at all. Looked through all the chat and it doesn’t seem that anyone else has this problem. Sigh!

    1. 16d Clothes-drier’s to work in garden — it may be lucky (9)
      A type of clothes-drier (which is usually preceded by clothes-) is followed by the S from ‘S and a verb meaning to work in the garden.

      1. Thanks Big Dave. I sometimes wonder if I will ever get there! I am definitely not a natural. It has been a 15 month hard slog – I am slightly addicted just wish I didn’t find them quite so hard. And because they take me so long I am always leaving my comments about a day after everyone else!

    1. Welcome to the blog Kantara1947

      I can’t speak for the others, but I finished it, and the Quick crossword, before going to bed (the puzzles are published at midnight GMT) and still managed to get up at 6:30 to travel down to London. What I am trying to say is that everyone is different, and if you keep trying you should improve. The best advice I can give you is to make sure you read the review in order to understand how the clues work – for many of us, in the days before the internet, this was a luxury that we just didn’t have.

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