DT 27295 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27295 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27295 (Hints)

Big Dave’s 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.

Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ 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 Predict what are opening leads effectively in quarter of hands (10)
A verb meaning to predict is followed by the initial letters (opening) of Leads Effectively to give the quarters for the hands on a ship

10a Means of expressing identity on island in the Irish Sea (5)
ID(entity) followed by the abbreviation for an island in the Irish Sea

11a One getting a grip bugs team (4,5)
Some bugs followed by a team, typically one in a rowing boat

12a Old fool embracing that woman — it’ll all turn to ashes (7)
An old-fashioned word for a fool around the third person objective pronoun gives something that will turn to ashes when smoked

18a Consumed to get self-confidence, all right? That’s nonsense (12)
A colloquial verb meaning consumed or ate followed by self-confidence and a two-letter word meaning all right

21a Defunct passage from the Bible incorporated ‘the first shall be last’ (7)
Start with a passage from the Bible and INC(orporated) and then move the first letter to the end

23a Remove priest making a Continental congregation change hands (7)
Start with the French indefinite article (a Continental) and a congegation then change the L(eft) into a R(ight) (change hands)

24a Nothing fresh in stable block (9)
Put O (nothing) and an adjective meaning fresh inside a stable for horses

27a Baseball fielders with two sorts of sportswear (10)
A charade of two different sorts of sportswear


1d Bird around lake is quail (6)
A bird around L(ake) gives a verb meaning to quail

3d Provider of security to search gangly alien besieging castle (7,7)
A verb meaning to search carefully, an adjective meaning gangly and Crosswordland’s favourite alien around (besieging) a castle

4d Show sorrow and take steps to follow the score (5-4)
A verb meaning to show sorrow followed by one meaning to take steps gives a verb meaning to follow a musical score

7d Spray that kills butterflies around Georgia (5,3)
Butterflies or collywobbles around the abbreviation for the US state of Georgia

8d Pulverised with a motor containing diesel initially (8)
An adjective meaning “with a motor” around (containing) the initial letter of Diesel

15d Practical joker‘s influence in classic race (no saint) (3-6)
Put some influence inside a classic horse race from which the St (Saint) has been dropped

17d A club mounting wild revelry — it makes a killing (8)
The A from the clue and a three-letter club followed by the reversal (mounting in a down clue) of some wild revelry

20d Lizards showing small quirks (6)
S(mall) followed by some quirks

22d Refuse time spots (5)
To get this refuse or rubbish combine T(ime) and an outbreak of red spots on the skin

The Crossword Club is now open.  Feel free to leave comments.  I’m off to the Village Café and Market – back around lunchtime.

As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment, else they may be censored!

The Quick crossword pun: (Suffolk} + {eight} = {suffocate}

91 comments on “DT 27295 (Hints)

  1. My rating today is 3.5* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.

    I found this quite tough for a Saturday prize puzzle, particularly in the NW corner, but it was very enjoyable with a couple of exceptions. I needed BD’s help to understand where the first two letters of 23a came from. Personally I don’t think “Continental” is fair game; it should say “French”. I also thought the wordplay for 3d (my last one in) was very convoluted. Other than that there were many excellent clues and surface readings making this a good challenge.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

  2. I must have been on the right wavelength this morning, I found this one very straightforward. thanks to setter and to Big Dave for the review.

  3. Finished but we found this one of the most deeply unpleasant crosswords we have ever tried.
    Very few clues that make much sense and many answers found by using just the checking letters.
    Not nice at least for us. Mrs B’s comment was ‘that’s xxxxxxxxx of my life that I will never get back’

    1. I agree with you Brian. I only got one clue on the initial pass and it was only BDs’ help that got me going. Once I made the initial break it was fairly plain sailing except the I still do not understand 3d even though I got the clue from the checking letters and with BDs’ hint. Can anybody explain it to me more carefully

      1. Hi Collywobbles, with 3d, you need to join a four letter word for search (**********) plus a 4 letter word describing someone who is tall and thin and a two letter film about an alien *******. These three words then surround a four letter castle.

        1. Tintom,
          Your comment needed moderation because you’ve changed your alias. Both should work from now on.

      2. Expanding on BD’s hint while trying not to be sent to the naughty corner:

        A verb meaning to search carefully (4), an adjective meaning gangly (4) and Crosswordland’s favourite alien (2) around (besieging) a castle (4).

        Make a charade of the first three elements and fit a four letter word for castle in the middle of it.

        Hope that helps.

          1. Sorry that my comment looks repetitive. Timtom’s comment, which says the same as mine, wasn’t visible when I posted mine 15 minutes or so later than his :oops:

  4. Brilliant puzzle.
    Too many very clever clues to mention.
    I do like a nice hard think first thing.
    Many thanks to the setter, and to BD for the early review.

  5. Lovely puzzle with lots of variation, loved 18A 19D made me smile 20D was a new word for me but easily solved from the word play & a quick check in the dick & harry. Many thanks for the review. Just off to take the mutt for his weekly swimming session.

  6. The best Saturday puzzle for a long time! Who’s the Setter?

    I’m far too old to giggle but 13a still makes me giggle.

  7. Thank you setter for a good time puzzling. I enjoyed this, apart from my usual struggles with sporting terms (I’m learning!). And was delighted to get 11a across – not that I’m completely sure what it is, so BRB rides to the rescue again. Thank you, heartily, BD for hints that were posted so early I wondered whether you had a trip to market on today. Hope everyone has a good weekend.

  8. I sometimes wonder whether some of the clues give an indication to the age of the compiler and 12a is one in particular. No-one these days would use that word to describe ‘a foolish or silly person’ [Chambers] so thank you for the hint, Dave, and, as a reward, I hope that your beloved Spurs beat Chelsea today.

    1. Perhaps BD could do a quick survey to tell us the age of the bloggers (although that would be discriminatory here on these unhallowed shores)?

        1. I SO badly don’t understand that kind of stuff – I’m really not dim but just can’t make sense of it at all. :sad:

        2. I can get how one counts visits to the site , but how do they compile age, gender , income bracket ? I don’t recall filling out any forms.Not that I am in any way concerned, I just wonder how.

        3. I’m sure I’ve used the phrase ‘Silly old ????’ – if not out loud I’ve definitely thought it!

        4. … which reminds me of the story of the boss who asks the HR Manager for a list of staff broken down by age and sex :wink:.

        5. Perfect, can you also share the geographic demographics? I estimate that Liverpool and Guildford will be the outliers, with the mean in Pangbourne.

        6. Hello Big Dave, Just had a second look at your intriguing Analytics. Amazing how much information has been gleaned. I can’t be the only one who automatically clears everything out of my browser each time I leave the internet. This means that I can visit this excellent site several times a day without being recognised as the same person — unless, of course, I leave a post on each occasion. Do the Analytics make any allowance for people like me?

    2. There you have it! Thanks to bd’s stats we can safely say that most of us are over 45 – and that 22% of us are 55-64. The only question is which 22%? Probably not our hips?

  9. Thank you setter. I found this quite hard but enjoyable and couldn’t make my mind up whether it was the puzzle or too much refreshment last night. I need anaesthetising as I cannot find an excuse to avoid The Reebok today. Have managed to arrange to be away for the last few games. It is the mighty Yeovil today ! Thank you BD for your hints as always.

  10. Great puzzle as usual. Loved 13A, very witty. Took ages over 10A – but had one of those great ‘Aha!’ moments when I got it. Never heard of 11A but you live and learn! Didn’t understand first two letters of 23A, and really didn’t understand reason behind 21A until BD’s help. Thank you BD and thank you Setter!

  11. An enjoyable Saturday puzzle!

    Faves : 11a, 18a, 27a, 4d, 15d & 20d.

    Still Indian Summer here in NL but my daughter (just back after a short week in Cologne)
    tells me we’ll have rain next week!

    Must get to the shops for weekend basics avant qu’il ne devienne trop tard.

  12. I thought this was brilliant but (perhaps that should be and) very difficult. I also thought it had a distinctly American feel to it.
    It’s taken me a very long time – exactly the opposite to last Saturday’s crossword.
    1a and 3d took ages to work out why, or even if, they were what I thought they were. 10a took ages. 11a also took ages – I’ve heard of it but, like Poppy, didn’t know what it was – still don’t really – maybe it’s just something that I don’t need to clutter my brain with. I needed to read the hint for 21a several times before I finally understood it.
    I liked 18 and 23a and 7 and 19d. My favourite was 13a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and BD.
    Our little collie was attacked by three large, unpleasant and totally out of control brutes this morning – she’s fine – I’m a gibbering wreck. :sad:

    1. Oh how horrid for you both, Kath. Hopefully your visit to Suffolk will be just what you all need. Do hope you have a really super time :-)

    2. Thanks all – the main thing is that she is fine – I was far more traumatised than she was! As for apologetic owners – you must be joking but I left them in absolutely no doubt about what I thought of them, their dogs and lots of other stuff too – oh dear! :oops:

      1. Sorry to hear about you dog and their awful owners.An aside and a bit late, (internet free house for a few days due to next door builders amoungst other things), that wrap around the Telegraph last Monday could have been our Honey .

  13. Delayed as I couldn’t down load the Telegraph till 11.30, is it the worst app ever produced?

    Took a long time to get into it but eventually got it sorted.
    Found some of the clues over complicated , and didn’t get much pleasure from cracking them.

    Thanks to BD for the hints, I presume an early kick off explains the early post.

    Charlotte Green…another spurs supporter reading the classified results this pm, another bastion of male supremacy falls to the monstrous regiment.

    Thanks to the setter.

    1. Especially asI’ve asked them several times to include the Toughie and give us a sudoku on Sunday and you just get a wet reply.

    2. I have complained too many times to now receive the courtesy of a reply. But as newspaper apps go, it is not the worst.

      It is, however, one of the most frustrating. I recently reloaded it as it refused to download anything, but I later received an apology by email that there had been technical problems. Given that the paper should be available to download (or be downloaded automatically) by 5am (UK), it should not be beyond the wit of the website operators to email subscribers if it is not available before 15 minutes past.

      Today’s (yesterday’s as I write) wouldn’t download until past six o’clock. No explanation has been forthcoming.

      It seems that the Tellywag (*) hasn’t quite grasped the concepts of ‘always-on’, ‘on-demand’, and ‘customer service’.

      (*) What Blaster Bates (of fond memory) used to call it.

  14. I too enjoyed this one. Good to have something a bit more time consuming at the week end! What struck me was that it seemed very different from most of the usual cryptics. In quite a few clues I found it was necessary to guess the answer first, and then work out the rather complicated reasoning! Is it a new setter? Long may he/she flourish!

  15. Slow start to the day but glad to see some American references. Thx to BD and the cryptognomes (and of course to the voice of the Mysteron). The autumnal colours are just starting here in Boston, with temp around 60F.

    “We know you can hear us earthmen”. What what was that series?

      1. Now mrs t and I are singing the intro song…. Thx

        I do not understand why folk find 13a so humorous?.

  16. Thanks to Mr. Ron and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable and difficult puzzle, needed 5 hints to finish. Favourite was 13a. Was 4*/3* for me.

  17. It was a little difficult getting in, but once I started the downs, it went much better. I also loved 13a, very funny. I was a long time getting 11a, never heard of it but a google check confirmed. I also needed the “why” of 21a. All in all, an enjoyable solve, thanks to all.

    1. P.S. I see Malcolm Gladwell has a new book out but doesn’t appear to have very good reviews. His mother was head girl when I was in lower fourth in high school.

  18. Harder than some recent Saturdays, but about the same as last week . I was left with 4d,11a, 8d,6a which required a few revisits during the day to finally get.

    1. How extraordinary that you thought this was about the same as last week. Isn’t it funny how different we all are in how we see crosswords. Last Saturday I spent the day in A&E with my ancient Mum – I could really have done with something that kept me quiet for a long time – it didn’t. This week’s would have done – in fact I could well have been still sitting in A&E . . .

  19. I found today’s crosswsord VERY difficult and needed BD’s hints for six of the clues, AND I am still left with 26a. From the checking letters which I have, I am pretty sure what the answer is, but I just don’t “get” the reasoning. If my answer is correct, I have “O” for “love” but cannot understand how the other three letters have anything to do with “rejection”. (I am assuming that the answer means “pained” or “in pain”, but maybe I’m on the wrong track).

    Can anyone help?

      1. Sorry, Big Dave. I am aware of the rule and I went out of my way (I thought) to avoid giving any partial answer in my comment. As the Hints always contain the essential meaning to be found in the answer (which is always underlined in the repeat of the clue), I had assumed that it was in order for me to refer to the answer being a word that meant “pained”. Mea culpa! (If you had given a Hint for 26a, would you not have underlined “pained” when you quoted the clue?)

        1. I thought your comment not worthy of the yellow card, and that the other infractions were much more serious “send back” and “Greek god of love”. But then again, it is so easy to criticise the referees – they have such a difficult job to do.

          Rest assured, if you are sent to the naughty corner, I will mount a campaign for your freedom.

          1. Thank you, Tantalus. I see that the Hint for 24a advises that one should “put O (for Nothing)…”
            I did not see that there was any difference in me saying that I “put O (for Love)…” but perhaps there are different rules for referees to those that apply to players!

            1. There is a difference between explaining the wordplay that is actually present in the clue and making a wild guess that just happens to be part of the answer but has nothing to do with the wordplay. If you don’t understand that then please take my advice and say nothing.

              1. It is sometimes hard not to want to contribute more than just “please help”. Mrs t and i have been participating for about a year now and still struggle to walk the lines around the naughty corner. Maybe it is the red text? Anyway, we always enjoy the banter, and thank you.

              2. Of course I understand the point you make, but the “wild guess” I made was made precisely because I did not understand the wordplay and that was why I asked for help!
                Be that as it may, I will be more careful in future!

  20. Thank heavens others found this quite difficult. I thought it was just me being out of practice for a few days. The builders next door cut out our internet connnection amoung other things.Thanks for the much needed hints, BD.Not all of it was difficult, we’ve come across 9d before, in a Virgillius, if I’m not mistaken and I’ve been looking out for 18a as I like this word. I thought it was very well clued.Thanks to setter.

  21. Throughout yesterday I was ‘thick-headed’. I was in the midst of man-pneumonia – that’s worse than man-flu – and my brain was barely functioning. On the first pass i made four entries. On repeated passes, none at all. I gave up, and started self-medicating.

    I wake this morning feeling almost human again, picked up my iPad and rattled through it in reasonable time. There were still some sticky ones, and it took a few moments to puzzle out why the answer fitted the clue.

    We’ll done to the setter, and to Big Dave for providing an explanation for one answer (that was obvious from the checking letters).

  22. Good morning one and all. I thought this was tricky and it took me some time to successfully complete it. Not helped with me foolishly getting the first two letters of 23a wrong. Anyway, all done my favourite being 18a. And 3 points for the mighty West Brom so all is well. Thanks to The Setter and to BD.

  23. I got 21a but still don’t understand it, even with the extra clues here – must be getting old ! Someone please explain further – thanks

    1. Put together a word for a passage from the Bible and the abbreviation for incorporated, then move the first letter of what you’ve got to the end (the first shall be last).

  24. gazza – many thanks for your posting, but you have said exactly what BD said in his hints. If I use the 7 letter word for passage and add the 3 letter word you suggest for the abbreviation, I get 10 letters and all I want is 7 !! Even if I use a short form of the word for passage (removing the first 2 letters) and add 3 I still get 8, and all I want is 7 !!

    I actually finished this one, without resort to Big Dave, but am deeply frustrated that I can’t fathom this clue . Many thanks

  25. ok, gazza – I can now come clean, as it will not affect the result of a prize crossword. My two alternative words were “*******” and “*****” [but they are still too close to the answer – if it doubt, leave it out! BD]- obviously, from what you say, neither are correct. I googled “alternatve name for a passage from the bible” and got nothing of relevance- still deeply confused (dot.com !) – please help !!

  26. finally the penny may have dropped – sorry to have bothered you, gazza – I think it is a 4 letter word that [*** alternative clue deleted ***!

  27. A real bobby dazzler today! Some excellent, very clever clues, and a good few d’oh moments. Many thanks to the (new?) setter, and BD for the further clues.
    Now off to put a rib of beef in the oven. Better be good after the mortgage taken out to pay for it!

  28. I gave this **** for enjoyment. :smile: Although I found some of it quite difficult, I thought it an excellent puzzle — clever, amusing, and a nice variety of words. Like Kath, I took ages to get 1a, 10a, and 3d. I needed Big Dave’s hint for the first half of 11a . (Have never heard of 11a.) I had to look up ‘baseball’ to find 27a — also something unfamiliar to me. I got 21a, but did not parse it correctly. :oops: Those apart, the rest seem to be all right… I liked several clues — 1a, 12a, 13a, 18a, 23a, 25a; and 3d.
    Thank you both very much, Saturday Setter and Big Dave.

  29. BD you have censored my last two replies, but you still put the captions on all the pictures you publish, even on a prize x-word day, so I didn’t think I was being naughty!! Apologies from Almo

    1. Quite correct. There are a limited number of gimmes for each puzzle. If you had followed the blog for a while you would have known that there was an outcry whenever it was suggested that I might stop doing it. Don’t argue – it’s the same for everyone and if it becomes an issue then I will turn off all comments for the prize puzzles.

  30. Blimey! That was a lot harder than last week. Needed a good few of the clues this week so thanks for those

  31. Hi – first post.

    I’ve finally sat down to do the Saturday puzzle – I’m still learning, BTW. I’ve heard of an 11A which was a help :)

    I posted a request for help for some clues but the inspiration came to me after I wrote them – maybe writing it down helped?

    Hello anyway.


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