DT 27384 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27384 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27384 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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There’s still time to enter our January Prize Puzzle, and there’s a very special prize!

Our very own Tilsit, using his alter ego Harbinger, set the GK Jumbo in today’s Independent.

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:


5a Defying orders, perhaps, fellow learner’s joining expedition (8)
F(ellow) and L(earner) followed by (joining) an expedition

8a One female in France, say, confused and uncomfortable (6)
The female version of the French for one followed by an anagram (confused) of SAY

10a Coal’s left out to light (6)
Drop the initial L(eft) from a type of coal

15a Travel round Antipodean island briefly or Mediterranean island (4)
A two-letter verb meaning to travel around a slang term for a rather large Antipodean island

17a One keeps moving, though certainly not disturbed (5)
Split as (2,3) this could mean not and an adjective meaning disturbed or insane


22a Tense, organised bedspread to cut temperature, becoming calm (8)
T(ense) followed by a three-letter verb meaning organised or managed and a bedspread without (to cut) the T(emperature)

25a Like Olive perhaps, drunk (6)
Cryptically defined as being like the olive fruit

26a Covered second edition about island (8)
S(econd) and ED(ition) around a Mediterranean island


1d Pointless transforming it into refined fuel (6)
An anagram (transforming) of IT inside an anagram (refined) of FUEL

2d Amateurish poet accepting fancy title (10)
An Italian poet around (accepting) an anagram (fancy) of TITLE

4d Others dropping a hint (8)
Start with the others and drop the A

6d Easy to carry, Punch picture editor might use one (5,3)
A verb meaning easy to carry followed by a verb meaning to punch

13d Result of multiplying shown in finished article (3-7)
As (3,7) this could be the result of the act of multiplying two numbers together

14d Becoming match fit (8)
A charade of a verb meaning to match or complement and an adjective meaning fit

16d Mate initially needs ten cycles as competitor (8)
A four-letter informal word for a mate followed by the initial letter of Needs and TEN with its first letter move to the end (cycles)

20d Soundly beat hard nut (6)
Sounds like a verb meaning to beat or vanquish

23d Partly honour Dutch in another language (4)
Hidden (partly) inside the clue

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

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: {meatier} + {wrights} = {meteorites}

84 comments on “DT 27384 (Hints)

  1. Got one on my first pass and thought that would be it. Having struggled through most of the rest, I really needed the hints to complete. I then felt like a bit of a 15a replacing the first letter.
    Great fun though. Thanks for the help boss

  2. Morning Dave, I found this not to bad today although I did have 20d wrong and needed your hint to finish off 6d, no favourite for me, though there were a few I liked, a two to three star IMHO, thanks for hints Dave going to read through just in case I’ve made any other mistakes!!

  3. For some reason I found today’s really hard to get into? Perhaps it’s the Cyprus sun burning my brain? Once I got going though not to bad.

  4. Quite enjoyed this one , spent far to long on 23d till penny dropped.

    Thanks for the hints, needed for explanation rather than answers.

    Thanks to setter.

  5. Tea and toast on my own in Pangbourne and again at BA lounge. Not quite the same without Mrs T and the Breadcrumbs.

    Thx to all for a fun morning in Blighty.

    1. Tantalus, presumably you were on this side of the Pond to escape the Polar Vortex.

      Hope that Pangbourne wasn’t flooded! Quite close to the Thames.


      1. The bridge is closed (repair) and lots of flooding up towards Marlow. If bd would allow us to post pics I would.

  6. With all the checking letters in place, the answer to 16d was obvious but I couldn’t see why and, for that reason, thank you for the hint, Dave, which provided the explanation. Otherwise, I found the puzzle reasonably straightforward and particularly liked the revelation provided by the answer to 19a.

  7. Thank you setter, enjoyable start to the day and about my level of difficulty ( i.e. managed to finish without hints ) Thanks BD for your hard work as always. The day takes an immediate turn for the worse with the prospect of an afternoon at The Reebok.

  8. Nice to have a rather more challenging Saturday puzzle than usual including some different anagram indicators. 8a and 14d among my favourite clues. Failed to get Mediterranean island in 15a thanks to having wrong second word in 6d – should have looked at your illustration BD. ***/*** http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  9. I could do with some help on 12a. I just can’t see it even though I’ve got most of the checking letters

    1. If your hint starts “think of” it’s probably leading to an alternative clue – please see the text in red at the end of the above post.

    2. Hi collywobs you need a 7 letter word for ‘ways’ followed by a five letter word for ‘in front’ to give you ‘immeasurably better’

  10. It’s a really beautiful day in West Wales, blue cloudless sky and warm sunshine, shame I don’t feel up to going out :-(

    1. Sorry that you’re still feeling grotty – maybe a bit of fresh air and sunshine would help? Just a thought . . .
      It’s a lovely day here too but quite nippy – might go and do some sorting out in the greenhouse – it’ll be quite warm in there with the sun on it.

  11. I did most of this quite quickly and easily, for me anyway, until I got to the last few – 2d, the second word of 6d and 20d. They took me ages.
    25a took a while too – all I could think of was Popeye’s girlfriend.
    I enjoyed the crossword – 2 + a little bit for difficulty and between 3* and 4* for enjoyment.
    I liked 12 and 25a and 7 and 14d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and BD.
    I’m off to do some useful stuff and going to save the NTSPP for later – don’t know what to expect at all.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    1. Thanks for the welcome Kath and the hint about clicking on reply … I didn’t know that and of course it’s not bossy it’s helpful ! Done about half of today’s but haven’t had too long to spend on it yet ….too nice to be inside here in Yorkshire !

    2. Same here.
      The second word of 6d eluded me for ages until I ‘accidently’ saw it, which annoyed me.
      Didn’t help by never having heard of the two letter answer.
      Otherwise, a very satisfying struggle, bit harder than usual for Sat.
      Thanks to the setter and BD.

          1. I think Kath was querying the fact that the answer to 6d has a 5 letter word and a 3 letter word rather than 2 letters as you imply in your comment..

                  1. Yes, Jess, I (or He) did.
                    Surprised anyone is confused after my correction.
                    My original post said ‘ two letter answer’
                    It should have said ‘two word answer’
                    Simple, really.
                    cripticsue’s post really confused me.
                    And others, perhaps.

                    1. Re-reading these posts, my apologies, crypticsue.
                      Your post was perfectly underastandable.
                      “He” will try not to make mistakes or mislead in the future.

  12. Mixed weather here on the Cote d’azur, better than last saturday however when it just poured it down all day. I ought to go and weed my “potager” but I think I might just sit here in the sun and try and work out what 21 down is. I have finished the rest but have a total mental block on this, any help would be appreciated

    1. 21d – in this clue, pen is a verb rather than a noun. So you need most of a synonym for ‘pen’ to get a type of court order.

  13. Got it, thanks Sue. It didn’t help that I thought that 25 across was ******! All fixed now.

  14. Persevered this morning & managed without looking at the hints. This is a fairly rare occurrence for us I have to say, & when we do this, all the clues are my favourites, but when we really have trouble with a clue I blame the setter. I don’t really, I’m just joking. Lovely day here in Scarborough, though a bit chilly. Thank you to the setter & to BD. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  15. 2*/3* for today’s puzzle, which I actually spotted is a pangram. Am I allowed to say that at the weekend, or will I be sent to the naughty corner?

    14d was my favourite and last one in.

    Although the answer was obvious, I couldn’t completely unravel the wordplay for 16d. I could see that the first few letters must be clued by mate, but this didn’t help until I read BD’s hint which confirmed this new meaning for me.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD.

    1. Clever clogs with the pangram – I wondered about it when I got a couple of the more unusual letters and then, as usual, completely forgot about it.

  16. For the first time, spotting the pangram helped the solving. 15a last in helped by need to include missing letter. Didn’t need the hints but used a crossword solver for several. I’m never sure whether that is less or more cheating than using the hints!

  17. Not too difficult today.

    It’s good to see that BD has sorted out the spacing problems in the blog – it looks miles better! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  18. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but found it quite tricky. Needed the hints for 26a & 20d. Was 2*/3* for me. Favourite was 17a. Lovely sunny day in Central London.

  19. Found this ** for difficulty today and *** for enjoyment. I needed hints for explanation of 22a and 16d, which, frankly, I still don’t understand the “mate” part, must be Britspeak. I found 15a easy enough to work out and a quick google confirmed. Favourite 12a. Thanks to setter and BD for hints.


      1. Just Googled “British slang” and the first four letters of the answer, and guess what? It’s British slang for a partner or mate. My day has not been wasted!

    1. I too don’t understand why the first four letters in 16d have anything to do with “mate”. As you say, it must be Britspeak!

        1. Chambers BRB is a bit rich for my blood and the online Chambers app has poor reviews. I’ll live in ignorance, thanks, unless I can google it.

    2. I also never heard of this four letter word for mate, though I’m not exactly British, still geographically close enough to be familiar with a lot of slang terms.

  20. Hi everyone. The sun has forgotten what the yardarm looks like as I write this. Filled the grid before rising except for 20d which fell in all by itself later on. Fav clue was 3d which I thought was a lovely thing. Did not really think this one of the better prize puzzles for enjoyment and give it a ** for difficulty.
    Reading through the day’s comments in front of the log burner with a G&T in hand and listening to some new music on Spotify. Does life get any better?

  21. Bottom of the class for me. Just could not get on the wavelength. Struggled to the end with a lot of persavation and little enjoyment.

    ****/** for me

    1. Welcome to the blog Alison.

      3d Barely free from bias (4)

      It’s a double definition – a) barely or by a narrow margin and b) free from bias.

  22. This flu thing I’ve got is abatting , I think.Yesterday , I was too exhausted to comment, after a dismal attempt at the crossword. My doctor says don’t go back to work until 24 hours after being able to do a spot of housework without feeling utterly drained.I did nothing today, so we’ll see how tomorrow goes.
    Back on topic,I enjoyed this puzzle, no outlandish words, some easily deconstructed clues and some obscure, such as 16d.Overall, good stuff, thank you ,setter and thanks of course to Big Dave.

  23. Should we all club together and buy the Telegraph a new alarm clock? Here I am Sunday morning, raring to go, chafing at the bit…so where is the damn Sunday crossword?

    C’mon, guys, at the Telegraph….wake up!!!

    Supplementary question….is this technical debacle going to be an annual event now? Seem to remember us being here before. Anyone keeping tabs as to how long it has been now? Two months? Just glad I cancelled my subscription and got a refund.

    I can empathise with all those who are/have been poorly. Moi aussi..not with the flu but with summat else. Eight weeks duration then a nosedive on Christmas Day….nowt to eat for ten days..nowt alcohol..lost 10kg in ten days …an eighth of my bodyweight…then a trip to A&E to be rehydrated. Now OK…a belated Happy New Year to you all.

  24. Here we go again – Sunday’s crossword is going to appear when someone finally remembers to do it. I’ve just paid my annual subscription, which makes it even more annoying. They could have set up the site from scratch by now. Anyone got a copy they could send me please?

    1. ditto. So annoying of The Telegraph, especially in the lateness of publishing Sunday crosswords on their pathetic ‘website’.

  25. Morning everyone – I’m new here. Good so see so many enjoy the DT crossword as much as me. Am doing OK but 22a is driving me nuts. I’ve done pretty well with the others.

    1. Welcome to the blog patricia.

      I can’t really improve on BD’s hint for 22a, but it’s worth bearing in mind (as others have noted above) that the puzzle is a pangram (i.e. all 26 letters of the alphabet are present in the answers).

      1. Thanks gazza. I’m no wiser. Will go and do something else – perhaps my head will clear after a break.

    2. Hi patricia, welcome to the blog, as gazza says, BDs hint can’t really be improved on, so just try and think of an eight letter word for calm and then see how it fits the clue

        1. Sometimes the answers are so obvious we just don’t see them, that’s not being dim just normal, at least for me it is, I have been doing these about 4 years now and wouldn’t have come on half as well if it hadn’t been for the help of this blog, never be afraid to ask, everyone is really friendly and helpful :-)
          There still aren’t many days when I can complete a puzzle unaided, whether it’s with the help of books, electronic thesaurus, the blog etc. For myself learning the construction of the clues was a big thing, and trying to understand what the setter is looking for, then comes the fun part of trying to figure out the answer!!!

      1. Hurray – I’ve just twigged. I made the mistake in thinking the word ended in something else. I feel like buying you all a drink :-0

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