DT 27749 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27749 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27749 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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Why not have a go at our March 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”. 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    Firebrands stirred up maturer blokes (13)
An anagram (stirred up) of MATURER BLOKES

9a    Goes down fast with a lack of calming drugs, not having a temperature (9)
Start with a lack of calming drugs (2,9) then drop (not having) the A from the clue and T(emperature)

10a    One stuffing daily post in university (5)
I (one) inside (stuffing) a daily cleaner

15a    Inadvertently reveal the French doctor in Jersey perhaps (3,4)
The French definite article followed by D(octo)R inside another name for a jersey or pullover

17a    It will build body — heavenly one if given a start (7)
Put an A in front of this body-building hormone to get a heavenly body

20a    Old car journey hard without acceptable motorway (7)
A journey, perhaps one made in a car, and H(ard) around the single-letter that represents socially acceptable behaviour and M(otorway)

23a    Subject for photograph (5)
A two-letter word that can mean “for”, as in “I am heading for the destination”, followed by a colloquial word for a photograph

26a    Steaks, etc, make old king poorly (5)
The regnal cipher for the father of our current queen followed by an adjective meaning poorly or unwell

28a    Austen’s work is subject of study taken in by male and female novelist (9,4)
A five-letter subject of academic study inside a male person and the surname of an award-winning Scottish novelist


1d Reprimands French perhaps helping in a big way (6-8)
Another word for the type of language, of which French is an example (perhaps), followed by a Billy Bunter size helping

2d Start working at Pinewood? (5)
A two-letter word meaning working or functioning followed by a place where filming takes place, like (indicated by the question mark) Pinewood

3d Inauspicious occasion when one has a terrible shock (3,4,3)
This shock is unkempt locks on the top of one’s head!

5d           Spot sailors taking ship round church (7)
The usual tw0-letter abbreviation for a sailor is pluralised, followed by their ship and then placed around the Church of England

7d Modern sculptor’s turning up collecting junk somewhere in palace (9)
The surname of a famous English sculptor and the S from ‘S are all reversed (turning up in a down clue) around some junk

8d Whipped chocolate drunk all day long (6,3,5)
An ingenious anagram (whipped) of CHOCOLATE DRUNK

19d That man personally makes songs, little being articulated (7)
Sounds like (articulated) some songs of praise followed by a little being – the little being is not a homophone which makes the positioning of the homophone indicator a tad questionable

24d Bear father’s letters? (5)
Start with a two-letter word for father and then spell it out (1,3,1)

25d Sweet enthusiast scoffing last of caramel (4)
An enthusiast around the final letter (last) of [carame]L

The Crossword Club is now open.

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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!

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The Quick Crossword pun: cap+tin+manor+wring=Captain Mainwaring

42 comments on “DT 27749 (Hints)

  1. All done without too much to hold up. 20a was my favourite. Thanks to BD of course plus The Setter. Enjoy your weekends folks. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  2. Enjoyed and completed without much trouble. My first one in was 5d (ugh!) and my last 28a which I thought was very clever. 2*/4* with 1d for my favourite. Many thanks to setter and to BD – nice car for 20a! We are promised rain for this weekend, drat!

    1. It’s always nice when 1a goes in easily and is a long word. Sunny down here. Looking forward to an afternoon of rugby.

      1. Indeed! Where is “down here”? Ditto re rugby! Sun shining and blue sky at present so hopefully the forecasters got it wrong…

        1. Apologies Framboise for the delay in replying but I was occupied with the Rugby, which I am happy that England won, and gardening. Down here is the Languedoc and it is sunny again today

  3. Thank you setter. I enjoyed the puzzle although it took me a while to finish it. I wondered if it was the same setter who gave us a lot of fun a few Saturday’s ago ? Thanks BD for the hints.

  4. 22a and 28a made me look at Wikipedia to see if today’s date had any relevance to Jane Austen and, as far as I can see, there isn’t. I liked this puzzle – particularly 17a – and made steady progress which now leaves me free to watch today’s rugby matches without any distraction.

  5. Mostly a R & W except for a few that pushed this into 2* time. Thanks to BD and setter **/***

  6. This was a perfect accompaniment to a relaxed Saturday breakfast including number of cups of coffee. Unfortunately had a slip in 15a which messed up 3d. I reckon 5d is some spot! Fav was 10a. Thanks Mr. Ron and BD. Can now concentrate on much Rugby. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif – fingers crossed!

  7. I really enjoyed this. A few went in on the first pass and then stalled a little. However, once 1d yielded and in turn gave the first letter of 1a, the rest was satisfying steady progress to conclusion. 18a favourite as I was misdirected completely and then had to laugh at myself once I realised. 11a was the usual example of a “staring you in the face” clue foxing me.

  8. Gosh how the puzzle’s differ! Yesterday’s was impossible but today’s presented no problems. Thanks to BD and whoever the setter was.

  9. An enjoyable puzzle, all except for 5d which is still eluding me! I expect the penny will drop eventually.

    1. Welcome to the blog Nev

      I’ve just added a hint for that one, and when you have solved it you will be pleased to know that I decided not to add an illustration!

  10. The first three acrosses produced quiet chuckles, and the rest of the puzzle wasn’t bad either :).

    The couple of works by Austen put me on the look out for any more hiding in the answers. I was held up a bit in the SW, but that yielded after I’d figured out 1d.

    I agree with BD about 19d and also have a question mark over the grammatical correctness of an anagram indicator – won’t say which, because I’m too busy to risk spending today in the naughty corner.

    I hope you are all having a happy Caturday. Myself, I’m just looking forward to tomorrow, for (disasters permitting) it should be full of hugs http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif.

    Thanks to the setter and BD for the hints.

  11. Nice little solve today, no hold ups. GBS must be pleased that 27a keeps appearing still, I wonder if anyone speaks it these days?
    Fave 28a, runner up 1d.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the review.

  12. Pleasant crossword today with some nice clues. I especially liked 9a and 17a.
    For me though 19d and 24d just didn’t work well, both very clumsy.
    Bit too much Austen for my taste but Mrs B was happy. Got force fed Austen and Hardy at school which put me off for life.
    However after yesterday’s weird and bizarre word-fest, this was somewhat of a relief.
    Thx to all.

  13. Lovely mix of anagrams and some gorgeous laugh aloud moments, I must be in a good mood. Overcast and chilly here after pleasant week, OH did mutter something about lawn mower but it has gone quiet and he is reading paper instead. Have a pleasant weekend everyone. Thanks to setter and BD. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  14. Wasn’t quite the walk in the park for me. I took a while with several of the clues and putting ‘news’ in 3d certainly did not help matters! Nevertheless a satisfactory solve eventually, and I’ll nominate 3d as my favourite. 2*/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  15. As some of you will have worked out by now, I don’t get the weekend papers but feel compelled to leave a note here to suggest that everyone tries the NTSPP this week. Imsety has produced rather a triumph!

  16. Right side went in all right but the left was a bit tricky.
    Though Jersey was a Channel Island, missed the indicator in 18a, was trying to put the I in a word for 21a and wasn’t happy with 26a.
    But eventually, everything was sorted out.
    All these misdirections are what I love about crosswords.
    Great challenge.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

  17. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle. Favourites were 20a and 19d. Last in was 16d. Was 2*/4* for me.

    1. My last one in was also 16d. Took longer as was being distracted by the rugby. I think England might rue all those missed chances. My favourite clue was 8d.

  18. Phew, nearly there! Two to go. But Mr P is on a train to Yorkshire & Poppy is demanding some quality time in his absence, so might have to let it go. Thank you to setter and, as always, a huge cheer of appreciation to our great leader – thank you for splendid hints http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  19. Found this a bit harder than the average Saturday, but enjoyed it very much despite the slow progress. I thought there were many enjoyable clues so it’s too hard to pick one favourite. Many thanks to BD and the setter.

  20. 19d was my last one in , as I had a pretty good alternative which I won’t mention due to that scary red box. 8d had me foxed for quite a while, along with a few others. Good tussle.

  21. Paso speaking here… but have to admit that I only got about three clues before other commitments held me back. When I returned, Doble had finished the puzzle in almost record time. Well done her!!

  22. A bit stiffer than the usual weekend fare, but well worth the effort. 2*/4* is about right. I liked 6d, but l think 9a gets my vote for best clue. My thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints.

  23. Hello, new to your blog. We would like help on DT crossword 27749 16 Down. We are unsure what to look for.Thanks. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

    1. Welcome to the blog, Pickles73.
      16d Asian island’s in good condition making use of traditional customs (9)
      An Asian island and the ‘S go inside a noun meaning good condition.

  24. I was struggling with 16d but I see it now. The Asian island was hard to think of at first.

  25. Ditto with the Asian island. I would have had more luck had I not been looking for an island as the answer! Thanks setter and BD and bloggers. Most of it went in OK. Did not need any hints apart from 16d. Not quite sure whether I enjoyed it or not!

    1. It’s such a wonderful island. I know a few people from Hyeres who spend the winter there. There’s even a French school called EFIB so that the kids can follow the normal cursus and carry on when they come back in spring.

  26. Just not on this setter’s wavelength at all.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    Needed a lot of electronic help and some clues.
    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave.

    PS If you have ever had a 5d you would be very unlikely to call it by the definition.

  27. Ora meringue glad to hear I am not the only one who struggled. Thx to big Dave for the tips.

  28. I find BD’s hints to be really helpful there is always an answer or two I get but cannot work out WHY. So thanks and keep up the good work

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