DT 27989 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27989 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday 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”. Where the hint describes a construct as “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    Ruin simple mechanical part in kitchen appliance (10)
A four-letter verb meaning to ruin followed by a simple mechanical part

9a    Mineral gunners kept in container (5)
The two-letter abbreviation for gunners in the army inside (kept in) a container

10a    Fashionable French writer takes ship for northern city (9)
A charade of a two-letter word meaning fashionable or current followed by the surname of a French author and our usual ship

14a    I will set down after nasty chap with current American car (8)
The abbreviation for “I will” preceded by (after) a nasty chap and followed by a type of electric current

17a    Aquatic creatures returning fight around river (6)
The reversal (returning) of a fight (3,2) around R(iver)

21a    Anne perhaps to deal with broadcast in a Scottish way (7,6)
The title of our Queen’s daughter followed by what sounds like (broadcast) a verb meaning to deal with

26a    Flat race maybe failing to finish (4)
The type of occasion of which a race is an example (maybe) without its final letter (failing to finish)

27a    Sewer of open water leading to mass anxiety (10)
A three-letter word for some open water followed by M(ass) and a word meaning anxiety


1d    Obligation of first appearance leaving university (4)
Start with a first appearance and drop (leaving) the U(niversity)

2d    Get rid of journalist that’s played violin badly (7)
A five-letter verb meaning to get rid of followed by our usual journalist

3d    Speaking enthusiastically of disc with song Los Angeles rejected (6,7)
An out-dated word for a vinyl disc followed by a song and the reversal (rejected) of the abbreviation for Los Angeles

5d    Presley with energy overwhelming island’s little folk (5)
Start with the first name of the King of Rock’n’Roll and insert E(nergy) instead of I(sland)

7d    Churchman to talk at length about the Spanish (7)
A verb meaning to talk at length around the Spanish definite article

11d    Getting back in control before declaration (13)
A four-letter control followed by a declaration

16d    Raised issue that’s against the current (8)
A two-letter word meaning raised followed by a verb meaning to issue or flow

20d    Set place to rest on lake (7)
A place for a child to rest followed by a Great Lake

23d    Those in favour will give a positive response (4)
The A from the clue followed by a positive response

The Crossword Club is now open.  I’ll be back after the Village Café and Market.

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: may+commends=make amends


  1. dutch
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    A pleasant and straightforward start to the weekend – I hesitated a bit with the old vinyl (3d) but it had to be right

  2. Stone Lee
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    */** difficulty and **/*** enjoyment. Fairly straight forward with no new words. Took me a long time to understand 4 down – even after I had finished. Favourite from a very short list of candidates was 3d – mainly because I like the sound of the phrase. Thanks to setter and BD.

  3. Rabbit Dave
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    1*/2.5*. Straightforward but reasonably pleasant. I didn’t know the slang meaning of ruin in 1a but found it in my BRB. I agree with Stone Lee’s choice of 3d as favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD.

  4. JonP
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Straightforward solve where I found quite a few just went straight in from definition without parsing them as they were obviously correct.

    Thanks to BD and setter */***

  5. Little Dave
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    This was a read and write done over a latte at Watford Gap. Off to watch West Brom beat Bournemouth. Thanks to BD and to The Setter.

    • Paso Doble
      Posted December 19, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Well done Little Dave, but I’ll be watching a different match to you whereby the Cherries will be comfortably sitting on top of the cake with the Baggies served as an optional extra..!!

      • Little Dave
        Posted December 19, 2015 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        Ouch! We were awful. Not happy.

    • Miffypops
      Posted December 19, 2015 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      As Every Manchester United fan knows – You can’t beat Bournemouth at this time of year

      • Tstrummer
        Posted December 19, 2015 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        Terrible screeching outside my window. I looked out to see five Manchester United fans playing football with a cat. I was about to call the RSPCA when the cat went 1-0 up

        • Paso Doble
          Posted December 19, 2015 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

          Well well well…The Cherries are dancing in the streets in Sandbanks tonight and the Foxes will be singing their heads off around the Clock Tower.
          Are you a Norwich supporter Tstrummer?

          • Tstrummer
            Posted December 20, 2015 at 12:06 am | Permalink

            Nope. I’m a Lilywhite. Of course

            • Paso Doble
              Posted December 20, 2015 at 9:46 am | Permalink

              Ah, just up the road from us. Doble’s daughter used to play for their ladies team so we are also supporters.

  6. jean-luc cheval
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    It’s been a week where the NW corners caused me the most problems.
    Every day I had to access the crossword from the bottom up.
    Knew the expression in 3d but not the vinyl reference.
    The synonym of ruin in 1a was also new to me.
    21 brought back memories of some good Hogmanay parties as the whole area is closed to traffic.
    Could the setter be Scottish?
    Thanks to him or her and to BD for the blog.

  7. Snape
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    As usual a pleasant and straightforward Saturday puzzle – the only day I can regularly complete without hints. SE corner was more of a struggle than the rest. I spent too long on 22d, but that was mainly because I was trying to get the answer from the clue to 20d.

    I liked 24a (only one thing better than a good homophone, and that’s a bad homophone) and 11d, which was nicely disguised. There were couple of clues I’d be awaiting Prolixic’s verdict on in another setting.

    Thanks to BD and the setter.

  8. Michael
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Very nice and straightforward – typical of a Saturday, plenty of anagrams, no obscure words, no Religious references – what’s not to like – well, the only thing I can think of is that it didn’t last long enough!

    I’ve avoided the nightmare of Lakeside – eldest Daughter and Daughter-in-Law are taking the Boss this year – it’s Rugby-more Rugby-some Football and yet more Rugby for me – I’m like a Pig in the ‘proverbial” – heaven!


    • Merusa
      Posted December 19, 2015 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      I think 12a and 7d could qualify as religious references, no?

  9. crypticsue
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Anyone wishing to enter the competition in order to win the pen should take note that the closing date for entries this week (because of Christmas Day being on Friday) is Thursday at 9am, which is when my review will appear.

    • Angel
      Posted December 19, 2015 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      Wonder how many BD bloggers have actually won a pen? After many years of entering by post and more recently online I gave up trying sometime ago! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      • Caravaggio
        Posted December 19, 2015 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        The Compliments of the Season to you both and I do have the pen but I won it for the Herculis puzzle. I’ve no doubt that if you try Google Images and enter something like ‘Inoxcrom matt black fountain pen with gold fittings’ then the right image will appear and the Telegraph personalisation is a Gothic ‘T’ in the dome of the cap. Incidentally, I didn’t have any problems with this puzzle either!

      • spindrift
        Posted December 19, 2015 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        I think there have been a few over the years & they’re holding their Christmas party in a telephone box in London next Thursday.

        • judetheobscure
          Posted December 19, 2015 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

          I got the runners up at my first attempt. A little bribery to keep me sending them in perhaps?

      • Little Dave
        Posted December 19, 2015 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        After 20 years I won a runner-up prize two years ago. A pen and notebook. Three published letters though!

        • Angel
          Posted December 19, 2015 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

          You beat me on crossword prize but I beat you on published letters!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      • weekendwanda
        Posted December 20, 2015 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        I very rarely enter but did winner a runner up prize of notebook and pen. Prizes have varied over the years. An acquaintance of mine won a first prize which then was a Mont Blanc pen which I covet.

  10. Angel
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Was content to have another enjoyable Saturday ride in the park as Christmas chores await my attention. Surely the word used in 15a are not the activity itself. I was drained for a while with 27a. Thanks Mr. Ron and BD. **/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  11. Brian
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    No problems, not quite a R&W but not far off. Please tell us taxing end to a week of fiendish puzzles.
    Thx to all

  12. Brian
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Sorry should say “pleasant end to a taxing week”
    B…..y predictive texting!

  13. Paso Doble
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Good stuff….all over too quickly. I suppose we’ll have to do the bumper GK thing now to waste the afternoon.
    Thanks to the setter & Bib Dave for the hints.

  14. Robin Newman
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    the leaderboard on the website is stuck on cryptic puzzle number 27933, and has been for months

    • Gazza
      Posted December 19, 2015 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      I got this reply from Telegraph Towers when I enquired whether they were still giving out prizes for the ‘Prize Puzzles’ since the list of winners hadn’t been updated since early October:

      Thank you for contacting the Telegraph Media Group.
      Further to your enquiry I am sorry to advise that the Leader board feature on our Telegraph Puzzles service is currently not functioning correctly. The Leader board has been frozen and not updating for the past few weeks. This is also affecting the Puzzle Prize winners from not updating. Please note that Prize winners are still being drawn.
      Our technical team are aware of these issues however we are unsure of a timescale for resolution.
      I really am sorry for any inconvenience caused and we are working to get this resolved as soon as possible.

      • Robin Newman
        Posted December 19, 2015 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        Thanks-and also to the setter & BD for the blog

  15. Kitty
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Not much to say about this one. Everything went in fine, though I had to check the 1a ruin in the BRB and needed the blog to understand the 3d disc (which isn’t in the BRB unless my eyes and/or brain have stopped working, but is in the ODE). A pleasant accompaniment to breakfast.

    Since I am a teenage boy in the body of a 30-something female, the main smile of the day was 9a in the quickie.

    The snow is hypnotic. I am trying to work out why sometimes it follows the mouse, sometimes it flees it and at other times it ignores it completely.

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave.

  16. Robin Newman
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    15D in the quickie-I think that the clue would more accurately read as cake, rather than pie

    • Kath
      Posted December 19, 2015 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      I do see what you mean although it is made with pastry – does that make it a pie? I’m not sure I’d call it a cake or a pie. What I am very sure about it that I will never make it again!

      • Robin Newman
        Posted December 19, 2015 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        My Czech other half (who set me off on this comment !) says that strudels are not made from pastry but dough-the following is a part extract from Wikipedia on the subject:
        “Traditional Hungarian, Austrian, and Czech strudel pastry is different from strudels elsewhere, which are often made from puff pastry…. Purists say that it should be so thin that you can read a newspaper through it. A legend has it that the Austrian Emperor’s perfectionist cook decreed that it should be possible to read a love letter through it. “

  17. Kath
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Straightforward although I’d never heard of the 1a ruin or the 3d disc – I agree it’s not in the BRB.
    I liked 10, 21 and 27a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    I feel as if I’ve got too much to do so will probably do, or try to do, the NTSPP to put it all off for a bit longer!

    • Miffypops
      Posted December 19, 2015 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      A xxxxxxxxxxxx is a gramophone record. What other form of xxxxxxxxxxxxxx could there be? I am off to the naughty step now. On both counts

      • Miffypops
        Posted December 19, 2015 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        Ha Ha

  18. Mike Withers
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Either I am getting better or these are getting easier, suspect it’s the latter.

  19. williamus
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Saturdays seem to have returned to a more predictable format and for me that’s not a bad thing… good not to spend too long taxing the grey cells on a wet Saturday afternoon. Very enjoyable though. Apart from confirming a couple of definitions in the BRB (e.g. 1a) no additional help required. For some reason 27a took longer to get than it should have and was last in. 20d was favourite. 1.5*/4* for me. Thank you to Mr Ron and, as ever, to BD for the blog.

  20. judetheobscure
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    27a was last in for me also. Getting the correct first word was the key ;)
    Otherwise almost r&w. 1*/2* with 4d my favourite.

  21. Gwizz
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Pleasant fun as it always used to be on a Saturday! I think I prefer it when the challenge is greater though…
    3D was my favourite and overall I think 1.5/3*
    Thanks to the setter and to BD

  22. Kitty
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Here is a link to Bridget’s brilliant single Christmas cards mentioned in today’s features section:


    One of them is sweary, so don’t click if that will offend you. Or do click, but don’t complain I didn’t warn you.

  23. Esme
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    I.’ve won a runner up prize 3 times. Is the first prize pen the same.

  24. Airhead
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    struggling at SE corner

    • Heno
      Posted December 19, 2015 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      27a is a word sum. Naughty Corner here I come :-)

      • Airhead
        Posted December 19, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

        Happily I figured it before your help, so naughty corner doesn’t apply in this case. Thank you.

  25. Heno
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but quite straightforward. Wasn’t quite sure about the first word of 3d, but it had to be right. Favourite was 21a. Last in was 11d. Was 1*/3* for me.

  26. Young Salopian
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    It’s all been said. Nothing sensible to add. 1*/2* for me with thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

    Having just watched Saracens demolish Oyonnax on tv before doing the puzzle, and bearing in mind the French side are bottom of their league, Sarries still look like the team most likely to carry all before them. That’s ten from ten in all competitions. Awesome.

    • Miffypops
      Posted December 19, 2015 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      Not having anything sensible to add has never held me backYS

  27. Merusa
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable. Fave was 21a, with 27a and 3d as runners up.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for his hints.

  28. Vancouverbc
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Gentle puzzle with some very enjoyable clues. Really liked 17,21&27a and 3d. Thanks to the setter and BD for the review.

  29. Sarah
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this. Yes it was mostly r and w for me but one or two made me think. No hints needed today. Yeah!!! Thanks to the setter and BD and Merry Christmas to all. I have really enjoyed this blog and reading everyone’s thoughts regarding the crossword so thank you everybody and Best Wishes for the NewYear ??

  30. Una
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Some people are saying they never heard of that “ruin” in 1a. I am pretty sure those of us who have been doing these crosswords for a little while have indeed heard that ruin before.Otherwise I wouldn’t have got it.
    I loved 3d, 21a and 19a.
    A very nice puzzle.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  31. Salty Dog
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    In the depths of a streaming cold, since my bride kindly brought it back from her pre-Christmas visit to her old Mum, but this puzzle was a pleasant – albeit brief – distraction from seasonal self-pity. 1*/3* for my money, and 7d was my favourite clue. Thanks to the setter, and to BD.

  32. Drapdor
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed this, not too difficult but with some nicely misleading bits e.g. 27a.
    I hadn’t come across the 1a synonym for ruin either, though that did not hold me back.
    I liked 12 a (just like the oft-repeated answer), 19a and 3d.
    Thank you to the setter and BD,

  33. Jane
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Hi TS,
    I guess you’ll be down here before long! Have finished reading TCHR and think I have definitely determined that JI is not for me. If ever there was a case of an author interfering too much with his own stories, then this is the man. I think he needed to take a salutary lesson from Mr. Connell. Sadly, the givers of awards appear not to have shared my views!
    I’ve now embarked upon Tess of the D’urbervilles as I await the delivery of Jude. Hopefully, Mr. Hardy will restore my faith in the literary giants.
    ps I’m glad that the cat won out!

  34. Tstrummer
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    I went up to London’s fashionable West End to do some Christmas shopping this morning. Never again (as I say every year). I succeeded in buying some Body Shop stuff for the granddaughters that I could have got anywhere and after attempting to get into Selfridges and John Lewis but being beaten back by the crowds, I found a quiet little pub just round the corner and had a large one with a pint of Pride. That was it. Next year, at the same time, I’m just going to go out the front door and bang my head on the kerb for five minutes – it’ll save time and money, and be more enjoyable. I went home, made scrambled eggs, listened to the football and completed this fun but unchallenging puzzle with some coffee. I liked 27a. Thanks to setter and BD. 1*/3*

    • Jane
      Posted December 19, 2015 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      Ho hum – just missed you. Maybe you’ll look in again later? I’d hate for my pearls of wisdom to go unnoticed!

      • Tstrummer
        Posted December 20, 2015 at 12:12 am | Permalink

        No chance. Pearls always enjoyed, wisdom even more so

  35. Florence
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Only have half a dozen left to do but must get ready for a Christmas party. Favourite was 21a. Not sure why 17a is what it is so will have to wait for the full review. Ah, just got it!! Thanks to the setter and to BD.

    • Kath
      Posted December 19, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      17a are aquatic ********** carnivores. You need a fight – or a bit of a bicker – you need to split it 3,2 – bung in the usual one letter abbreviation for a R(iver) and then reverse (returning) the whole thing.

    • Kath
      Posted December 19, 2015 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      Damn – didn’t read the last bit of your comment! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

      • Florence
        Posted December 20, 2015 at 12:03 am | Permalink

        That’s ok Kath. You were just trying to be helpful. Just got pack from Christmas drinks party so hopefully finish last few clues over a cup of tea.

  36. Michael
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Wow – ‘the Bridge’ has just finished – that was really good – Nordic Noir at it’s best!


    • Kitty
      Posted December 20, 2015 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      Yes. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

  37. Framboise
    Posted December 19, 2015 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Agree with everyone, a nice easy puzzle to finish the week. Favourite 3d. 1*/3*. Did not need the hints but read them all the same, many thanks to BD and to the setter. Bracing myself to face the shops on Tuesday… Tomorrow Christmas cards – debating if I should write a very short round robin and Monday dentist for an implant. However busy I am, I always find time to do the Cryptic puzzle in the morning, my treat for the day! Joyeux Noël to all!

  38. Florence
    Posted December 20, 2015 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    Finished. 27a last one in. New favourite. Was barking up the wrong tree with it, so it made me smile when I got it.

  39. weekendwanda
    Posted December 20, 2015 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Went to bed with 1a and 1d incomplete. Problem with 1d was that I had another obligation in my head. Cannot explain my problem with 1a. Suffice it to say it instantly appeared when I looked at it this morning. Although I then got 1d after the first letter confirmed I needed the hint for the explanation! Wishing all a very merry Christmas and looking forward to the birthday party at the end of January.