DT 27103 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27103 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27103 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Today is your last chance to enter our Monthly Prize puzzle competition.

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.

Could new readers please read the Welcome post before asking questions about the site.

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.


1a           How ladies rode interests designated driver taken in drink (10)
Start with some interests or factions then add the abbreviation for Designated Driver inside (taken in) an alcoholic drink

ARVE Error: need id and provider

12a         Walk clumsily after boot’s last seen in garbage (7)
A verb meaning to walk clumsily after the final letter (last) of booT

17a         Noblewoman of the French moving kings, queens, etc (7)
One form of the French for “of the” followed by a simplistically defined board game

19a         Excuse put forward before modern communications method (7)
Split as (3-4) this could mean before SMS was invented

21a         Religious follower, a saint captivated by John Paul II perhaps (7)
The A from the clue followed by the two-letter abbreviation for saint inside (captivated by) John Paul II or anyone else born in the same country as him

22a         Top awards left in gallery (5)
L(eft) inside the gallery or upper circle in the theatre

30a         Contribution to argument from page — won’t Henry get upset (10)
P(age) followed by an anagram (get upset) of WON’T HENRY


1d           Chap perhaps giving rise to Love (4)
Reverse (giving rise to in a down clue) the Greek god of love

4d           After end of year, old communist upset GCHQ worker perhaps (7)
The three-letter abbreviation for the last month of the year followed by O(ld) and the usual three-letter word for a communist reversed (upset in a down clue)

8d           Aids to anonymity for celebrated girls (10)
These aids to anonymity could be worn by celebrated girls! – a verb meaning celebrated or extolled followed by some girls

16d         Fine good-for-nothing comes up with delicate tool (7)
F(ine) followed by a good-for-nothing person reversed (comes up in a down clue)

20d         Net to provide security from sound circus apparatus (7)
A net or lure followed by what sounds like a verb meaning to provide security from or alleviate

ARVE Error: need id and provider

26d         Monstrous yarn that’s historical originally? (4)
Take the initial letters (originally) of the first four words in the clue

Many solvers will recognise the old chestnuts that litter this puzzle!

The Crossword Club is now open. Feel free to leave comments.

Please don’t put whole or partial answers or alternative clues in your comment, else they may be censored!

The Quick crossword pun: {soup} + {Amman} = {Superman}

90 comments on “DT 27103 (Hints)

  1. What a fabulous crossword! Some clues that made me chuckle out loud. Superb. Favourites 18, 20, 21 and 24. Brilliant!!!

    1. My sentiments entirely, Roger, because 21a made me chuckle and I thought 16d was ingenious as well. I think this has been one of the best puzzles we’ve had in recent months and I really enjoyed it.

  2. Good morning Dave, it took me ages to get going on this but once I did it flowed quite nicely except for bottom left corner, having put ‘swag’ in for 29a for some reasom! left me really puzzling over 22a and 23d until the penny finally dropped!!! 30a I wanted to put ‘crosswords’ in but saw the error of my ways, quite a few clues I liked inc 24a, 28a and 18d, thanks for hints Dave tho’ didn’t need them today, once a bit of perservation got me going I was fine, probably a three star for me today

  3. Like you Mary I struggled to get started for a long time but once I got a foothold North went in quite quickly, except for 1d for some reason, so I’m now focussed on South with some difficulty – I think that I’ll need some of the hints

  4. Blimey, that was over quickly – a new personal best by quite a margin. Pleasant enough, but I’d prefer a little more challenge!

    Re 15A – that’s a pleasing anagram :-)

    Thanks to BD and setter.

    1. 15a is one of my favourite ‘apposite anagrams’. The others being THE CLASSROOM = SCHOOLMASTER and ELEVEN PLUS TWO = TWELVE PLUS ONE.

    1. I’ve just seen your comments, Nigel, and, as you’ll see above, we’re totally in agreement!

  5. Don’t think I have seen so many chestnuts grouped together for a very long time which made solving this puzzle a very straightforward experience

    Thanks to the Saturday Mysteron and Bd.

    1. For you. I admire you solving ability and have been on the receiving end of your generosity many times for which I am very grateful. Apart from 2d and 4d, I didn’t recognise any old chestnuts because I haven’t been doing them for long enough, yet .

    1. Really???

      The definition is a state. The first three letters are an expression meaning ‘in the style of’ and the rest is a president ‘neglecting’ his first letter.

      1. Thank you CS. Now that I feel thoroughly told off could you do the same for 28a. (I hesitate to ask)

  6. Excellent puzzle. I finished in very good time – for me at least – and only needed a few hints. Thanks to the setter.

    Now for the garden……………………..

  7. Can someone give me a clue for 2d please? I think I’ve got the answer but I can’t work out the wordplay. Thanks!

    1. The abbreviation for English, followed by a preposition that can mean yet, in the sense of and yet all inserted in an Italian poet to give you a posh girl.

      1. Thanks! So easy when you know. Unfortunately, I thought the Italian poet was actually a French author!

    2. I worked out to be ***** as the Italian poet include an ‘E’ for English and ‘***’ as a substitute for ‘yet’ – mix it all up and what do you get!

  8. 1a was my first one in because in the dim and distant past I occasionally rode one (while feeling rather unsafe)! Kept going well until the NW corner & floundered there for a while not helped by being a (inc. the extra D for delicate) total idiot and putting “fiddler’ in for 16d – with my own clear what-I-call-logic explaining it!! When it finally crossed my mind that I might be wrong with that, & found the correct solution all the rest fell into place. Phew! Many thanks to the setter for a fun puzzle, & to BD for hints which I actually didn’t need today (amazing!)

      1. Thanks, Mary, that’s very encouraging. And it is SO good to have you back again (not forgetting dear Angel still…)

    1. Apparently it was Rita Mae Brown who said “If the world were a logical place, men would ride (in this manner)”.

      As a motorcyclist, I beg to differ :-)

  9. Final clue 19a. I’ve got all the checking letters but I can’t find a word that fits despite BDs’ hint.Can someone help?

    1. As Dave says collywobs split the answer 3,4 the final four are what most people use to communicate with someone on their phones i.e. ‘modern communications method’ the first three mean ‘before’

  10. Lots of great clues and a couple of ‘golden oldies’, but it was a somewhat fleeting entertainment after yesterdays challenge.
    Favourite probably 14d. Thanks to all.

  11. I muddled myself with 9a: I put RUMBA as in a rum BA ’til I got 2d then realised. Can someone tell me the wordplay for 21d please. The only one left. I am pretty certain of the answer but have no idea why. Thanks

    1. 21d the definition is leave, you need the ‘a’ from the clue followed by a four letter word for a group of musicians, followed by a two letter word for playing as in a live act

  12. Oh! Got it now but not what I originally thought which didn’t make sense anyway! great crossword. Thanks

  13. Managed without hints today. Last in was 25d because I was sure that “not level like famous gardens” must refer to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon!

  14. Enjoyed that – many thanks to setter and BD for some explanations (hints not needed for once!) However, could someone just clarify 13a please as I’ve never heard that word as a noun, only as something you do with a bucket – if you see what I mean!

    1. I’ve just checked my elderly copy of the BRB, and that word is indeed shown as a noun, it being the thing (for example, a bucket) that you would use to do the verb :-)

        1. It is well worth investing in a copy – expensive but so helpful when sorting out why something means something.

          I have three copies – the latest version lives upstairs by the side of the computer, the 11th edition downstairs in the sitting room, and we also have a 1948 edition given to my parents as a wedding present. You can never have too many dictionaries.

          1. I have a number of copies but they were purchased unused but for £2 each from a remainder warehouse!

          2. Without BRB I would not have got as far as I have and because it is so good, I chose the BRB Thesaurus too. Money extremely well spent and it too has meant my solving ability is improving. Sometimes, when you get the answer, the wordplay clicks and it helps your understanding….and sometimes it doesn’t :-)

        2. The Chambers Crossword dictionary is also well worth the money, this is the one I would really be lost without, even though I have both

          1. I have Bradford’s Crossword Dictonary too – you quite often find that a word you need will be in either Bradfords or Chambers Crossword Dictonaries but not necessarily both.

          2. Yes, I use that a lot too, Mary. But my main problem with my BRB is lugging it upstairs or downstairs! :-)

  15. Another enjoyable Saturday crossword – managed without hints again. 30a took me a moment or two, 15a made me smile – not seen it before but I am sure it pops up from time to time. 20d good too.

  16. Hi from South Africa! Finished it today (with a little help from BD!), but – although I have the answer to 14d, I don’t get the wordplay. I assume we have a two letter abbreviation (“limit”) of “self-confidence” but how the rest of the word connects to “school tests” simply ******* **!

    1. Hi Kingsley. Just spent some time figuring this out myself. There are three parts to the answer. A three letter word for “limit” then a three letter word for “self-confidence” all inside a four letter abbreviation for “school tests”.

  17. Just a general query and I apologise for my ignorance but what’s this BRB that’s referred to?

    1. BRB is the Big Red Book, the Chamber’s Dictionary, which is the official reference for DT crosswords.

      It is possible to search it online, but as Big Dave has had occasion to point out to me in the past, the free online version is merely a subset of the Real Thing.

      Anyway, if you follow this link


      you’ll see how to look up a word of personal interest :-)

  18. Very enjoyable puzzle today albeit very easy.

    Old chestnuts are always welcome in this neck of the woods.

    1. Exactly .
      And some of the comments above prove that old chestnuts for some are new to others .

  19. This had everything I like about a crossword – clever, humorous clues that did not take all day to solve. First mate and I did it together over a coffee and it is the first time I have awarded a 5* for enjoyment and a 2* for difficulty. A big thank you to the compiler and BD.

  20. Thank you setter, Dave and all contributors. A different style I thought. Only two complaints – firstly too quick and secondly some answers eg 1a and 14d were obvious without getting into the cryptic clue. Last one in was 19a and I resorted to the hint Was on the right lines and I should have persavated. This was a one session solve so I could not be bothered. It is the first time for ages I have got down to it on Saturday so wished it had gone on for longer. Liked 27a and 4 11 and 16d particularly.

  21. Well, that was a fun canter this morning. Enjoyed seeing some old friends, e.g., 15a. I like a bit of challenge but today’s puzzle restores ones self-confidence.

    It’s raining. Not a cause for unbridled joy for a waterlogged nation, but we haven’t had rain for three months and my front “lawn” looks more like hay than grass. The fresh smell is pure heaven.

    1. Yes I agree, Merusa – having dented my confidence badly with a Toughie recently, this was just what I needed to get enthused once more.

  22. Having spent all day, so far, sorting out muddles of the ancient Mum variety I’m now fed-up and grumpy so I’m not sure that I would have coped with a tricky crossword – and this wasn’t one – probably just as well.
    I enjoyed it but agree with others who have said that it was over pretty quickly. The only two that held me up were 8 and 26d. Oh, and 21a – that was fine once I remembered that he had a nationality as well as a rather high position in the church!
    I liked 24 and 30a and 14, 16 and 25d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and BD.
    Off for grumpy dog walk now then going to have a go at NTSPP.

  23. Thanks to the setter & to Big Dave for the hints. A fairly gentle stroll today, didn’t need the hints for once. started with 1d, finished with 26d. favourites were 24a and 11&16d. Thought a few of the clues were old chestnuts, 15&28a and 21&25d. Quite enjoyable, was 2*/3* for me.

  24. Finished the crossword with ease today, which is great, as I can get on with other things, and also got of to watch the Africa Open on our golf course. The wind blew much to my delight, as I think these pro golfers don’t get enough windy conditions! 12 a the best clue today.

  25. This was definitely on my wavelength today and I can hold my head up high because I did not look at the hints or comments until after I had finished.

    Thanks BD for the explanation of 1A, I got the answer but didn’t know why and thanks to the setter too.

    Enjoyed 17A amongst others and it feels strange to recognise some clue/answers from previous puzzles.

  26. Zolomed through this one and all done wihout too much angst. Thanks to the setter and a good weekend to you all.

  27. Very enjoyable crossword. Finished South with a little help from my friends and BD for which thanks and also to Mr. Ron

  28. Having a tooth out on Thurs might have got me out of the IKEA trip but it had to be done today!

    We got a result though! Pommette found just the kitchen table she wants on IKEA’s UK website priced at £140. So we went on their Spanish site to find out if it’s in stock at their branch in Murcia, only to find it is and it’s only €99 – wow, great methinks. We get to the shop to find it’s on offer this week at only €54.95 – sometimes the Gods do smile upon one :grin:

    1. I bought a table 5 weeks ago in a Laura Ashley franchise,they made me pay cash up front, with a ten week delivery date.Everyday I’m just hoping they don’t go bust.It was well reduced though.

  29. Enjoyable puzzle, thank you setter. Thanks BD for your hints. Had to get through this reasonably quickly as the we were to meet up with our family in Newcastle to visit the Hancock Museum. Managed to stay out of the Clueless Club again so guess that it was not the most taxing of crosswords – good fun nevertheless.

  30. I’m a newcomer to the exciting world of cryptic crosswords and really enjoying the challenge to my ‘grey matter’. At the risk of appearing thick….could some one please give me a hint or 3 for 27a.Thank you.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Ianey.

      27a Hear a word broadcast as a tip for The Archers (9)

      It’s an anagram.

      1. D’oh! Can’t believe I didn’t see that anagram at all. I solved it on the last part of the clue once I had checking letters. Still so much to learn, sigh….

  31. I’m new here – just to say thanks, ‘cos I sometimes have to use Chambers Wordsearch to finish the DT Saturday Prize [main reason for taking this paper on Sat – plus the motoring section] but this site I’ve just found is more fun as explanations are often given!
    Got briefly stuck on 11d – tried to make tapioco fit!

    1. Hi Leveret – welcome to the blog. Now that you’ve found us I hope that we’ll hear from you on a regular basis.

    1. As has been previously observed the definition in 1 across is rather obvious and the surface reading is dreadful. There is, however, a cryptic element in the wordplay.

      1. Yes, it was so cryptic I just ignored it, and went with the answer I first thought of , a tactic that usually works for me except yesterday with chestnuts and sweetcorn.I am beginning to like those clues that you can only get from following the cryptic clue closely.

Comments are closed.