DT 27450 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27450 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27450 (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.

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 Crucial moment at Wimbledon affecting two times champion (5,5)
A clever anagram (affecting) of T(ime) T(ime) CHAMPION

9a Old cars  popular with learner visiting more than one state (3,7)
A two-letter word meaning popular and a L(earner) inside (visiting) more than one (i.e. plural) state of agitation

12a Hunter’s habit perhaps put an end to soft wimps (6)
The final letter (end) of sofT followed by some wimps

13a Follower of false gods, I procrastinate (8)
Split as (1,2,5) this could mean I procrastinate

18a Major initiative — single picture left in movie (5,7)
Placing Major as the first word in the clue conceals the fact that this incentive was launched by former Prime Minister John Major – a three-letter word meaning single, a four-letter picture taken with a camera and L(eft) inside an adjective meaning movie, as in movie camera

21a Florence ruled by fish (8)
Flo(rence) followed by a word meaning ruled by or subordinate to

24a O! What comes from pen? Animal noise (4)
The O from the clue followed by what flows in a fountain pen

27a Help Charlie with initially important position (10)
A Charlie or twit followed by the initial letter of Importance and a position or posture


1d Grumble endlessly about a change (6)
Most of (endlessly) a verb meaning to grumble around the A from the clue

3d Hard manner and sauce — shock treatment’s needed (12)
H(ard) followed by a manner and some sauce, perhaps one added to a salad

5d Wastrel we enrolled to be employed (4-2-4)
An anagram (to be employed) of WE ENROLLED

8d A newspaper probes depravity in minister’s place (8)
The A from the clue and a low-quality newspaper inside depravity

14d Women taking orders from printworks around S American city (10)
These women are taking holy orders – put some printworks around a three-letter South American city

16d A very loud reprimand’s given outside place for punishment (8)
The A from the clue and the musical notation for very loud with a verb meaning to reprimand around the outside

19d ‘Mercury’ maybe getting slightly twisted in printing roller (6)
Start with the heaveny body of which Mercury is an example and reverse the last three letters (slightly twisted)

23d Antipodean it’s essential we picked up (4)
Split as (2,2) this sounds like an adjective meaning essential and we – a couple of our regular commenters should have no trouble with this one!

Highlighted words can be found in The Usual Suspects.

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

I’m off to the Village Café and Market – back around lunchtime.

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: {Venice}+ {whaler} = {Venezuela}

89 comments on “DT 27450 (Hints)

  1. Not a good day…………

    Had to use the hints, which I always see as a bit of a failure, even though I appreciate having them there. No idea why 3d and 8d are what they are. 9a a completely new concept to me – I would never have got that – I assume that’s where **** ****** and **** ***** got the band name from. Thanks to BD for the hints.

    Didn’t really enjoy this one.

  2. Very straightforward I thought. 18A was new to me but not difficult to work out. I liked 6A and 11A. Thanks to the setter and to BD for the review.

  3. Thanks setter – I enjoyed this challenge more than some Saturdays and managed without hints with exception of working on wrong major in 18a and in spite of having alternate letters – thanks BD for sorting that rather tortuous initiative for me. 24a quite a nice little giggle. ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  4. Thank you setter. I enjoyed that in spite of having less than a clear head ! Quite tricky, but some good fun clues 9a in particular. Never heard of 18a, but saved by Google. Thanks for the hints as usual BD. Nice day in the NW – to be spoilt at 3.00 pm by the weekly torture.

  5. I found this puzzle quite difficult and did need to use the hints, thanks BD, but found it very enjoyable. I found 18a rather convoluted and 9a tricky but, otherwise, satisfying. Thanks to setter. 3* for me

  6. 2*/4* for me today for a hugely enjoyable puzzle. I managed all but 18a in reasonable time, and, even though I twigged the right Major, I still couldn’t get the answer until I saw BD’s picture.

    I shortlisted five stand out clues: 1a, 9a, 13a, 3d & 23d.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

  7. Wrong envelope day on a Saturday?
    That’s stretching it a bit.
    Great struggle though,but we got there eventually.
    Loved 9a, 18a, 19d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to BD

  8. No problems today although 3d took me ages as I couldn’t get the manner bit.
    A bit of a clue to the shock bit in the quick crossword with the London Mayor.
    Thanks to both.
    I’ve done the quick today but I’m sure they are getting harder.

  9. The hardest Saturday solve for many years, even allowing for the fact that I was trying to solve it in a room full of bellringers either chattering or ringing bells. Had to come here for a hint for 18a too so thank you to BD.

    1. i don’t think I’ve ever heard you say that you needed a hint before today. I also thought that it was the most difficult Saturday crossword for a very long time.

      1. Like you, Kath, I can’t recall Crypticsue ever saying that she’d needed a hint. I’ve found that remark to be reassuring because I needed a hint too – I wonder whether it was the same clue – and, similarly, I thought it was one of the most difficult puzzles for years.

    2. Completely agree. I was glad to reach your post after reading the previous ones. I was beginning to think it was just me. Since I only needed the hints for 18a, I am now feeling much better. Thanks Sue.

  10. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.giffor the third day in a row.
    I found this very tricky – 4* for both difficulty and enjoyment.
    I would never have got 18a or 19d without the hints.
    I’ve never heard of 19d or 9a.
    Too many clever clues to write them all so a few are 27a and 4 and 20d. My favourite was either 1 or 9a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and BD.
    Need a lie down now but really should cut the grass.

  11. I figured out the clues in about ******! Is that a good time for a Yank? What I cannot figure out is how to get around constantly having to log in every day. Any suggestions.

      1. Although cookies need to be enabled it doesn’t solve the problem. I’m sure it is caused by staggering incompetence in the support team.

  12. My word, this was a difficult Saturday puzzle & we certainly needed the hints for one or two before we could work out the rest. Although we’ve the answer for 3 down, I don’t understand why, even with the explanation. Anyway, thank you to the setter & thank you BD.

      1. Thank you,. I understand that, but what has it got to do with shock treatment. I’m probably just being dim.

        1. Assuming that you have the answer, one meaning of shock corresponds to the first four letters.

          1. Like Sheila, I found this clue VERY obscure. I got the answer and the 1, 3, 8 split, but did not understand the reference to “shock” until gazza’s explanation.

  13. Must have been on fire today as I completed the puzzle unaided whilst having lunch!! 1d and 12a were the last to fall into place. An interesting and enjoyable puzzle, many thanks to the compiler. **/****

      1. Yes – I agree. I thought it was really difficult. Of course what we don’t know is if the lunch was a very long one.

        1. The old gag… Got up. Had breakfast. Did the Telegraph Crossword…. had breakfast again.

  14. Well, I got there but would never have done so without BD’s hints and a lot of electronic help. I found this the most difficult puzzle that I’ve seen for a long time – some of the clues were far too convoluted for my simple mind. So, as always, grateful thanks to BD for helping me on my way and if all the puzzles are this hard in future, I think the DT should upgrade the prizes !!

  15. I found this tricky today too, I’m glad it’s not just me. Needed a few hints to finish today and for some explanations for my answers.Thanks to setter and to Big Dave for the review.

  16. Thought I was going to sail through today when 1a & 2a fell straight in . . . then wham! Managed to finish with help of your hints BD but can’t fathom 20d yet. a little hint would be very welcome.

    1. 20d The definition is lag. Start with the ‘in’ from the clue and then an anagram (recast) of team. If necessary check BRB for all the different meanings of lag!

      1. Thanks Kath, knew I was missing something obvious cos no-one else seemed to have any problem!

  17. 18a still makes no sense to Mrs T and I – out last clue. We sometimes think we are speaking a different language?

    And thx to bd and mysteron for a walk in the park (in a Yankee accent).

    1. There was a telephone number that you could dial (0345 504030) to complain about the plethora of white and orange monsters that populated most of our major roads. Calling it didn’t do any good, but it kicked the problem into the long grass.

    2. Anyone not British, would I imagine find this incomprehensible.
      So, in my view, no reflection whatsoever, on your solving ability.

      1. I doubt if anyone in South Africa (where I live) would have heard of this “Major” initiative. Even after reading BD’s hint and seeing the picture, I was no wiser. So I Googled the first word of the answer (obvious after seeing BD’s picture) and “Major” and up popped the answer PLUS a full explanation from Wikipedia!
        I enjoyed 13a and disliked 23d, the answer to which was obvious while the wordplay was awful. (In my humble opinion, that is).

  18. I meant to say earlier, I am really glad it is nearly the end of March because then we get a new setters’ word of the month – 24a has appeared in so many crosswords in the last couple of weeks that it just writes itself in now. I wonder what April’s word will be?

  19. I really enjoyed this, a good workout but very doable, except for 18a that totally stumped me. I didn’t get it even with the hints and had to google it. I remember my Dad telling me about 9a. I loved 1a, 9a, 24a and 23d in particular, just can’t decide on a favourite. Thanks to setter, and to BD for the help with 18a.


  20. The hardest Saturday I can remember and I needed the hint for 18a, my last one in. And when I saw it, I kicked myself in the bottom. Thanks to BD for the nudge and to the setter for a most satisfying challenge. 4*/5* for me

  21. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Big Dave for the hints. The most difficult Saturday puzzle for ages. Needed the hints for 1,9,12&18a to complete. Favourite was 21a. Was 4*/4* for me. Nice warm day in Central London. Dreading watching the Gooners later.

  22. This one started off quite smoothly, then ran into the sand. Some of the clues are superb, like 18a, and others (notably in the SE corner) l have still not fathomed. Certainly 4* territory for me. BD – could you possibly stretch to a hint for either 22a or 20d?

    1. Kath has given a hint for 20 down at comment #17.

      22a Shawl, new, makes one hot (6)
      A shawl followed by N(ew) gives an adjective meaning hot in the sense of illegally obtained

    2. My hint for 20d could have been better – I’m just a mere novice.
      I should have said that the definition is lag (rather than lag behind). You need the IN (from the clue) and then follow that (behind) with an anagram (recast) of TEAM.

      1. Bless you both for coming to my rescue. Now l have those hints l can’t believe l didn’t get them myself!

  23. We are going to break our rule about not commenting on prize puzzles. 23d was of course our favourite which we got immediately. However we did consider 18a probably the most unfair clue that we have seen in a long time, despite having worked it out with help from Google. These puzzles have an international following and this one will be published in newspapers throughout the English speaking world in the next few weeks, This answer will be totally alien to the great majority of these solvers. However all the rest were good fun,
    Thanks Mr Ron and BD.

    1. Why don’t you comment on prize puzzles? I suppose the naughty corner is a very long way from NZ – is that what puts you off?!!
      I’ve never lived anywhere other than the UK and I still found 18a impossible – I agree that it’s going to be tricky for non UK residents.

      1. There are generally lots of comments on the weekends, and it saves us worrying about accidentally giving inappropriate hints. Always read and appreciate the comments though and get envious of the cake.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

        1. No cake today but don’t think that anyone has been sent to the naughty corner.
          I think that trying to give a hint without giving something away is challenging which is why I enjoy it. In general I leave it to the experts . . .

          1. It was in a speech Major made at his Party’s Annual Conference.
            I doubt whether half the population of the UK have ever heard of it.
            But in fairness to the setter, it was a clever construction and doable.

    2. Greetings, Antipodeans! I agree with you completely! (I’m thinking of changing my username to “Springbok”.) Did you watch the Super Rugby matches over the weekend?

        1. I have just checked on my globe, and yes, I guess you are correct! (But leaving a comment on a British blog, discussing a clue in a British newspaper’s crossword, I was using the word in its British sense!)

      1. Sorry for the late reply, just out of bed here. We don’t subscribe to Sky so do not get access to most sport. Despite being true blue Kiwis, we are not avid rugby fans, Yeh, change your name to Springbok. Cheershttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    1. No – 18a was not easy. Anything that CS needs a hint for is a tricky clue plus a bit – trust me.

  24. Wow, totally agree this was one of the most difficult Saturday puzzles I can remember. My solving times are poor at the best of times but for a Saturday times three today. 18a, I got it eventually but sympathise with overseas contributors, hardly the most commonplace phrase. Anyway thank you BD and setter

  25. I usually enjoy Saturdays crossword as clever and thoughtful, providing a whole weekend of pleasure but today’s is obtuse and difficult – much like Thursday! Please compiler give us a break at the end of the week?!!! The ‘yawn’ department of some responders is so so frustrating!!

  26. 18A seems to have raised a few hackles. I have not lived in the UK for 35 years, but I was able to work out the answer from the clue and checking letters quite readily and confirm it with a Google check. Answers peculiar to the UK are certainly more challenging. That’s the price I expect to pay for doing the DT crosswords. Unfair? I didn’t think so. And we overseas solvers do get a reasonable amount of “easy for us” clues. I couldn’t begin to count how often US and Canadian States/Provinces, cities and lakes/ waterways pop up as all or part of an answer.

    1. A good response. I believe that the DT is a Brit’s game and they can make the rules, so inside phrases, etc., are quite acceptable. I did think that 18a was a bit of a stretch, but what happened in the end? I missed solving one clue in a very entertaining puzzle, big deal, not the end of the world. I just try to keep a perspective.

  27. Phew ! Done at last with help from BD and Kath and kind words from Hrothgar.18a was an unfair clue , I mean John Major’s era was a long time ago, apart from never making it onto international news.Doesn’t that very nice man , Phil, look at these ? I am not really complaining , as I really enjoyed this puzzle. Thanks all !

    1. I just wanted to add that I often listen to radio 4, or catch the BBC news and I have a fairly good memory, for trivia,(not the shopping list) and I can’t recall it at all.

  28. What a lot of comments today – I’m really pleased about it. As always thanks to BD and all the other clever people who help the rest of us so much. One of these for every one of you. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    1. But Kath, you recently became one of those people – better send yourself a rose too

      1. I don’t count me – the rest of you are in a completely different league!
        Can’t remember when you’re off to UK but hope that it all goes OK.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gifandhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  29. Strangest it might seem, it was 19d that took me the most time to solve, was thinking ****** but not from being too close the sun. 18a I got from the clue but look up why it was a Major initiative. Very enjoyable.

  30. Completed this one all bar the dreaded 18a in a very rainy NYC. Thought it was pretty hard for a Saturday. Now for the delights of Sunday’s which I am sure shall not disappoint.

  31. Gave up today (Sunday) as was completely stumped by 18a. My very last clue. Would never have got it in a 1,000 years.
    I’d like to know. Do those who use your hints go on to enter a prize puzzle? Surely not!
    Cannot have a go at today’s Sunday Telegraph crossword as “Life Style” with the puzzle was missing from my copy. Maddening.

        1. The only thing that I’ve ever entered was an MPP by gazza about eighteen months ago. I won it – complete fluke and luck, I know – I could become a gambler!

  32. Blimey! That was a tough one for me. Needed help with 18a, like a lot of people and 9a was a new one on me. I kept thinking of the more familiar xxxx / xxxxxx answer and tried to cram it into the xxx/xxxxxxx space :D


  33. Hi Everyone.
    This was a “completed in one session” this morning, which for me which is very unusual. It probably helped that I knew what a 19d was and I got 9a immediately – it took me longer to see why it fitted. Maybe I’m slowly getting better at this.

    Last one in was 1d. Thanks for the hint for it!


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