DT 27378 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27378 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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There’s a new Prize Puzzle available today – with a very special prize!

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.

Some hints follow:


1a    Reproducing Booth in spirit, I will be crusader against drink (14)
An anagram (reproducing) of BOOTH IN SPIRIT I – with an allusion to William Booth, English religious leader, founder and first general of the Salvation Army

15a    Turner at sea portrayed dynamic content (4)
This circular movement of water is hidden (content) inside the clue – if, like me, you tried to justify a different hidden word then go to the bottom of the class

17a    Clears jungle for American president with journalists (10)
The surname of two US presidents followed by W(ith) and some journalists who produce dull, unoriginal work

18a    One on the bench is bitter being kept back in lively game (10)
The IS from the clue and the reversal (back) of an adjective meaning bitter inside (being kept … in) an anagram (lively) of GAME

20a    Disgraced cricketer’s incredulous expression (2,2)
When the name of a former Pakistani cricketer, convicted in 2011 of conspiracy charges relating to spot-fixing, is split (2,2) it gives an incredulous expression

26a    Supporter of the classics finally cut short (5)
To get this Titan who held up the heavens on his shoulders start with a phrase meaning finally (2,4) and then drop the final letter (cut short)

27a    Performer of ritual mostly bombastic in inclination (9)
Most of an adjective meaning bombastic or pompous inside an inclination or slant

28a    Breaking up rioting detains reprobate (14)
An anagram (reprobate) of RIOTING DETAINS


2d    Whistler’s just the thing to renovate (5)
The abbreviated form of a whistle-blowing sports official followed by a two-letter word meaning the thing

3d    Reckless uprising trapping American soldier (6)
An adjective meaning reckless reversed (uprising) around (trapping) a two-letter abbreviation for American

4d    Rogue bishop to go without protection (10)
To get this rogue a B(ishop) is followed by a verb meaning to go without or be deficient in (4) and some protection

5d    Wooden  actor (4)
This adjective meaning wooden is also the surname of the famous actor who founded the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1904

6d    Bird extremely ridiculous concealing head (7)
Start with an phrase meaning extremely ridiculous or outrageous (4,4) and drop (concealing) the initial letter (head) of the first word

9d    Murder suspect to lam scoundrel painfully (7,7)
One of the murder suspects in Cluedo comes from an anagram (painfully) of TO LAM SCOUNDREL

16d    Using numbers is a drug (9)
An adjective meaning using numbers followed by IS from the clue

19d    Tramples partner’s issue (7)
Split as (5,2) this means tramples, but it’s actually the issue or child, from an earlier relationship, of a partner

25d    Sportsman entertaining rabbi (4)
Two definitions – a sportsman who has represented Oxford or Cambridge University and the surname of Lionel, a famous Rabbi

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: {spied} + {Amman} = {Spiderman} – did you spot today’s mini-theme, indicated by the answer to 9 across?



  1. Sweet William
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Thank you setter. Tricky, but a lot more fun than the last couple of days. Some clever and amusing clues – 20a and 25d come to mind. Thanks BD for the hints.

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    My rating today is 2.5*/4*.

    I thought the rabbi reference in 25d was a bit obscure and I needed Google to sort this one out. Apart from that, this was a very enjoyable offering with some particularly fine surface reading.

    My page was littered with asterisks marking stand-out clues: 1a, 10a, 15a, 22a, 7d, 9d & 19d. It’s not easy to pick one favourite, but I’ll go for 15a. 26a was my last one in.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD, whose hint I needed to unravel the wordplay for 6d. Dave, are the two words actually used as a phrase or should the hint be “extremely (4); ridiculous (4)”?

    • Posted January 4, 2014 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      I initially had the hint as two separate words, but decided that the decapitation worked better if they were considerd together.

  3. Angel
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    As per usual for a Saturday this was a one banana task. Off to a straightforward start with long anagrams around outside and throughout puzzle. No really outstanding clues. Still grey and wet in W. Sussex – hey ho!

    • Tantalus
      Posted January 5, 2014 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      What is a banana task – a new idiom perhaps?

  4. Collywobbles
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Thanks Dave, I have been stuck about halfway on this one so the hints are very welcome and I have missed my target of completing before your hints are published. Now, to finish off a watch the rugby

  5. Caravaggio
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    A Happy New Year to everyone and I have to confess that I was rather disappointed by having three 14-letter anagrams but I suppose that the setter could have decided to ease us into the 2014 prize crosswords and I’ve decided to be grateful for small mercies.

  6. Magmull
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Morning all – filthy day. No probs with the cryptic to-day, but am hopelessly at sea with the Quick! Anyone else having trouble? Can’t think what 9a could be, and its significance. Any clever clogs out there who can give a clue?

    Incidentally, BD, you have made one of your followers very happy! Since seeing your clip of the “Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” a couple of days ago this old bat has been hummin’ and twerkin’ all round the place non-stop, to the horror of great granddaughters who are appalled by the sight. Ah – happy memories.

    • Michael
      Posted January 4, 2014 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      {Superheroes} – thank me later!

      • Posted January 4, 2014 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        Please don’t put answers to other crosswords in these comments as it may spoil the enjoyment of those who plan to do that puzzle later. Also, Magmull asked for a hint, not for the answer.

        • Michael
          Posted January 4, 2014 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

          Ok, fair enough – sorry!

          A hint then – Captain America, Superman, Spiderman etc – collectively!

          • Magmull
            Posted January 4, 2014 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

            Oh dear Michael, sorry to have got you into trouble – the hint has done the trick – can’t think why the penny hadn’t dropped earlier, so thank you, I can now give it a rest.

    • Merusa
      Posted January 4, 2014 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      Happy memories, indeed!


  7. Collywobbles
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Now finished. Thanks for the hints Dave. I needed a couple of the to unblock. A satisfying puzzle (thanks to Mr. Ron) and a happy new year to all

  8. Graham
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Ive got one still to do 4D have got the first part but brain has gone dead for the protection part, apart from that it’s done and dusted which I found more involved than most Saturday offerings.Many thanks to the setter & BD for the review.

    • Graham
      Posted January 4, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Brain just kicked in got it although it’s not a term I’m familiar with.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  9. SheilaP
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Thank you setter & BD for the hints. Once we had one or two from the hints, we managed to finish quite quickly, for us. Really miserable weather here, but not as bad as those poor souls who are being flooded out.

  10. Kingsley
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Finished the crossword (without the Hints!) but needed Google’s help with the reverend rabbi in 25d.
    But I do need help in understanding the last two letters in13a, please.
    And who is or was Sir Humphrey in 10a?

    • Posted January 4, 2014 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      13a Cycle endlessly wearing one skimpy costume (6)
      Most of (endlessly) a pedal cycle followed by a 2-letter word meaning wearing and I (one) – I think you may have parsed the first part incorrectly.

      10a Sir Humphrey Appleby is a character in Yes (Prime) Minister.

      • Kingsley
        Posted January 4, 2014 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        Thank you, Dave. No, I got the first part (most of a pedal cycle) but thought the first letter of the 2-letter word was the “one” (1), hence I could not understand the last two letters of the answer (which I now do, thanks to you)

        • Posted January 4, 2014 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          I think you have given away the fourth letter of the answer! Just shows how careful you have to be when explaining what went wrong. It is, however, fairly easy to get so no naughty corner for you.

          • Wahoo
            Posted January 4, 2014 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

            I had this simply as another verb for “cycle” without its last letter, plus the final one. I dont understand your two letter word for “wearing”?

            • crypticsue
              Posted January 4, 2014 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

              if you are wearing something you could be said to be XX it!

              • Michael
                Posted January 4, 2014 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

                Eh! Sorry to say so but that doesn’t make sense – the clue clearly says ‘wearing one’ which obviously refers to a final ‘i’

                • Posted January 4, 2014 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

                  Try reading the question and CS’s answer again

                  • Michael
                    Posted January 4, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

                    Err… I’m not 100% convinced.

                • Wahoo
                  Posted January 4, 2014 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

                  Hence cycle has to be a verb and not a noun

                  If I wear a medal or a ring, say, surely I am not XX it?

                  • Posted January 4, 2014 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

                    … but if you are wearing a pullover.

                    I think we will have to agree to disagree and move on.

                  • crypticsue
                    Posted January 4, 2014 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

                    In the BRB, wearing is one of the definitions of the two letter word

                    • Wahoo
                      Posted January 4, 2014 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

                      You and BD win! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    • Michael
      Posted January 4, 2014 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      10a – an anagram of ‘be at focus’ – you’re welcome!

      • Kingsley
        Posted January 4, 2014 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        No, I got that and I got the answer. I just didn’t know who Sir Humphrey was. (We don’t get all of the British TV programmes in South Africa, but in fact we did get “Yes, Minister” – but I never knew the name of the character concerned)

        • Tantalus
          Posted January 5, 2014 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

          We thought it Sir Humphrey Davey who not exactly set the name of Aluminum (sic), or Sir Humphrey Lyttleton?

  11. Kath
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Terrible weather (but we are too high to get flooded and we have electricity unlike others) and no sleep last night – my Mum again.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
    I started off very slowly and didn’t really enjoy this one to begin with – too tired and grumpy – but things improved later and I ended up thinking that it was good, but quite tricky. At least 3* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    Looking at the whole thing again now I can’t see why I found it so difficult.
    I couldn’t do 25d even with alternate letters – thought of the answer and looked it up to see if it meant Rabbi – it didn’t. It never occurred to me that it was the name of a particular Rabbi. Stupid or what?
    I’ve never heard of the 20a cricketer but the answer was obvious from the second and fourth letters so that wasn’t a problem.
    Etc etc really – just generally slow and dozey.
    Lots of good clues – all four of the long anagrams round the outside and lots of others too. My favourite was 17a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

    • Merusa
      Posted January 4, 2014 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear, your Mum again. I hope she is doing better, Kath, it must be such a worry for you.

      • Kath
        Posted January 4, 2014 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

        Thank you – she’s fine again now. Me? I’m just knackered and off to bed. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

    • Una
      Posted January 4, 2014 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      Sorry to hear that your Mum is unwell and causing you to loose a night’s sleep.My mother is well, but the sister problem continues.I can’t be in the same room as her or I’ll possibly get a stroke.

      • Kath
        Posted January 4, 2014 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

        Thanks – sisters! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gifI have a sneaking feeling that mine would say the same about me!

        • Una
          Posted January 4, 2014 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

          I some how doubt it, you know what Tolstoy says at the beginning of Anna Karena “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in it’s own way.”

  12. Kath
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    PS Very quiet here for a Saturday – do hope that everyone is OK and not either without power or under water – I’m thinking particularly of people in parts of the country that have been worst affected by the weather.

  13. ChrisH
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Not too bad apart from the SW corner, which needed a glance at the hints. Would never have got 25d in a month of Saturdays.

  14. williamus
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable. I know it’s an obvious thing to say but it’s the mixture of schoolboy and esoteric that I like about Saturdays’ puzzles and this was a good example. I know I’ve come across 10a before but I can’t remember when, so I’ll count it as a new word. My poor spelling (e.g. with 27a) makes things more difficult than they need to be. 20a was my favourite clue today. Thanks to BD and to Mr Ron

  15. Merusa
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    This was a bit tricky for me today but I did manage to finish with the use of gizmo in desperation for the last few. Didn’t know the murder suspect in 9d but worked out as obvious anagram and had all letters, quick google confirmed him. Both 20a and 25d were obvious but needed hint to know why, likewise 6d. Favourite 4d. Good workout, if a little difficult for a Saturday. Thanks to setter and BD for review.


  16. Heno
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. Just like yesterday, I really struggled, needed lots of hints and electronic help. Was 4*/3* for me. Just about to watch the Gooners on TV. I expect a comment from BD if Spurs win.

  17. Wahoo
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Another **/**** for me. Got held up with 19d for a while but that ended up as my favourite clue, just ahead of 9d

    Thanks to setter and BD.

    Hope the weather over there does not cause too much damage

  18. Jezza
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    I quite liked this one today. Having been deprived of home internet since last weekend (weather conditions, and incompetence of SKY, which I am not going to talk about unless anyone has a large supply of Valium) my internet connection is currently courtesy of my nearest Public House (many thanks to the Royal Oak, New Malden…hic). :)
    Many thanks to setter, and to BD, and a belated Happy New Year to everyone in the world (apart from anyone associated with British SKY Broadcasting Group plc).
    Looking forward to Virgilius tomorrow…. another trip to the pub :)

    • crypticsue
      Posted January 4, 2014 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      I’ve heard some excuses for going down the pub in my time….. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  19. Michael
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Quite a straightforward one today – the four long anagrams really gave you a head start! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  20. pommers
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Never been a fan of long anagrams but otherwise it was pretty good. **/*** from us.

    I’d forgotten the Rabbi but fortunately pommette hadn’t :grin:

    Thanks to setter and BD.

  21. Una
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    A fun crossword today, not too difficult, although I had forgotten about the Rabbi.I used to enjoy listening to him on the BBC’s “thought for the day”. His message was always the same : enjoy life, be nice to each other.
    I liked 17a, 27a and 19d amoung others.
    Is there any word about the on-line site being fixed soon? The good thing is managing without letter hints.
    Thanks to setter and Big Dave.

    • crypticsue
      Posted January 4, 2014 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      The DT thingy with the puzzles says ‘final stages of testing’ whatever that means in technology speak

      • Posted January 4, 2014 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        That’s technobabble for “we’re all on holiday and don’t get back until next week”.

        • Merusa
          Posted January 4, 2014 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

          I love it! Technobabble, new word for me and sooooooo appropriate


  22. Una
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif, actually the icon isn’t quite right. I’d like something showing more of a wry chuckle or synical laugh.

  23. Tstrummer
    Posted January 5, 2014 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    3*difficulty and 4* enjoyment for me. 9d and 19d my favourite clues, but plenty more to enjoy as well. I like to read the hints and comments only after I’ve finished (unless it’s yesterday’s back pager, where a hint was invaluable.

  24. small dave
    Posted January 6, 2014 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Did this last night in bed. Failed on two as had never heard of the word at 10a and I was an English teacher! I even knew it was an anagram but still no joy. I suspect most people had to tap this one into the anagram solver!
    Also the rabbi one too obscure for me as it appears to have been for many others. 3* at least but enjoyed it.