DT 27516 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27516 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27516 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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Have you had a go at this month’s Prize Puzzle?

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”. Where the hint describes a construct a “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay. Another useful page is Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.

Some hints follow:


1a    Top hard men having a row (6)
H(ard) followed by a group of men having a row in, say, the Boat Race

4a    Item worn on divers occasions? (8)
… an item worn by divers

11a    Military band (6)
… as worn on a uniform

14a    Awesome moment set back a French intellectual (10)
A two-letter short period of time followed by the reversal (set back) of the French indefinite article and an adjective meaning intellectual

22a    Bit of food Greek character and I found in river (8)
A letter of the Greek alphabet followed by the I from the clue inside the UK’s third longest river

23a    Land of make-believe found in mountain range on the way back (6)
CS Lewis’s land of make-believe is hidden (found) and reversed (on the way back) inside the clue

26a    Playful banter unsuitable for the elderly (8)
Split as (3,2,3) this could mean unsuitable for the elderly

27a    Marksman put down rook after another bird (6)
R(ook) follows a wading bird


1d    Good-looking employee takes part (8)
A charade of an employee, especially one in a factory or on a ship, and an indefinite part of the whole

2d    Blissfully unaware? (8)
A not-very-cryptic definition of an adjective meaning oblivious

3d    Kinky tape in back projection — that’ll raise temperature (4,4)
An anagram (kinky) of TAPE inside a projection on the back of, say, a camel

6d    Miss as the result of tight bowling? (6)
This Miss or unmarried girl is also an over in cricket from which no runs are scored off the bat

7d    Joined forces in one side of Sheffield (6)
… or Manchester

15d    One kills two animals in the end (8)
The same three-letter animal repeated and followed by IN

17d    Seller of gossip? (8)
Two definitions – a tradesman who sells to the public and someone who gossips

21d    Porker, remarkable one that flies (6)
A porker, as an animal not a fib, followed by an anagram (remarkable) of ONE

The Crossword Club is now open. Feel free to leave comments. I’ll be back after this month’s Village Café and Market.

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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!

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The Quick crossword pun: {roar} + {matt} + (Ariel} = {raw material}

39 comments on “DT 27516 (Hints)

  1. Finished but with a sense of discomfort. Very little seemed quite right with odd tenses and strange wordplay.
    Not too difficult but not much fun either.

      1. I don’t think there’s anything wrong there. The …ing ending is used in both the present participle “I’m taking my dog for a walk”, and the gerund “The taking of Pelham 123”. It’s the gerund form that’s used in the clue.

  2. it’s been a most enjoyable start to the day – the Telegraph crossword, sun streaming in through the windows and the commentary of New Zealand [28] v England [27] on the old steam radio. It will be interesting to see if Wales can give South Africa a game now. Thank you for the hints, Dave, because there was one answer which I wasn’t sure about and, having looked up the definition of that particular word, I’m surprised at what I’ve read…

  3. Thank you setter – I struggled to get going with this, and continued to struggle to the end ! There didn’t seem to be any LOL clues, so it wasn’t the most enjoyable of puzzles. Thanks BD for your hints – you must have been up early this morning !

  4. Started in NE corner with 7d and then worked in a clockwise direction with 3d last in… What I am going to do now until 11pm? Saturdays seem to be getting easier.

  5. No real problems with this other than 17d… for which I have an answer which just doesn’t look right. The iTunes BRB which is normally reliable doesn’t help me… I’ll have to get the proper tome down to check. Unusual mixture of wordplay but some nice clues too: I’ve seen 26a before but it still raised a smile. Many thanks to the setter and to BD. Cheers

    1. With regard to 17 down, very few dictionaries bother to give full definitions of agent nouns, but if you look at the first two definitions of the associated verb it might make more sense.

      1. Thanks for the pointer Dave… a quick surf of a couple of on line dictionaries confirms what you say. Cheers

  6. I thought this was about 2* or 3* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    Started very slowly and then got going but had a spot of bother in the top right corner mainly because I had the wrong ending for 12a.
    I had 13d wrong to begin with – it fitted with everything except 18a which it made impossible – oh dear – sorted that eventually.
    Missed the hidden answer in 8d – oh dear again.
    When my sister was about 15 she did exactly what the woman in the 4a piccy is doing because of a very slippery springboard. Oh dear, yet again.
    I liked 14a and 5 and 16d. My favourite was 21d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

      1. I sometimes wonder if I’m ever going to get to grips with them – I always miss them. Perhaps I have to go through every crossword trying to hunt them out before doing anything else – but I don’t want to get too mechanical as that would spoil the enjoyment.

  7. Thanks to Messers Ron & Dave. We are so excited that “awesome” is used – thought that it had been relegated to those words only used by Yanks (segue, eggplant, catsup….).

  8. I did not particularly enjoy my morning, partly because I have a dose of ‘flu, partly because I found today’s crossword somewhat unsatisfying, and partly because England lost to the All Blacks by one point. (Like most of my countrymen, in rugby, I support South Africa and anyone who plays against New Zealand.) And then France played a match in which they showed hardly any of the traditional Gallic flare!
    Oh well, maybe the Boks can play a decent game later this afternoon…

  9. With reference to 2d. Thomas Gray is well known for his phrase, “where ********* is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.” The phrase, from Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College, is possibly one of the most misconstrued phrases in English literature. Gray is not promoting *********, but is reflecting with nostalgia on a time when he was allowed to be ********, his youth (1742).

    Thanks to Messrs Ron and Dave.

  10. With regard to the question about anagrams (yesterday) I enjoy them.

    Like Kath I also missed the hidden answer re 8d which was the last one in for me

    Favourite is 26a closely followed by 21d

    Thank you Mr Ron for the puzzle and BD for the review

  11. Pretty straightforward solve today.

    Faves : 10a, 25a, 27a, 3d, 15d & 21d.

    Had a few days in hospital for a general checkup of my gout and atrial fibrillation.
    MY son and his pal are here so they keep a good eye on me.

    We and my daughter’s clan are all going to dine tonight at Alphen a/d Rijn. (For me no more wijn)

    Weather here in NL is real summer.

    1. Nice to see the return of Total Football from the men in Orange once again!

      Shame that you will not be able to drink any “wijn” to celebrate!

      As to the crossword … ?

    2. No more wijn ! Well, I suppose there are worse things.I wish you would pas some of the real summer over here.It’s a bit insipid so far.

  12. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A fairly straightforward puzzle that I found a little dull. Last in was 22a, favourite was 8d. Was 2*/2* for me. Good luck to England later.

  13. Another superb Saturday puzzle. A bit disappointed that England did not beat the All Blacks. They faded a bit in the second half. Now settling down for the Welsh match. I hope that they do better

    Does anybody know the score in the French game (my adopted country). I missed the ending

    Many thanks to BD for the hints which I did depend on this week and to the setter who is, as always, a mystery (but he sets good puzzles)

    1. The Aussies won 6-0 – with two penalties – it was 0-0 well into the second half and the French were unrecognisable from last weeks lackadaisical display!

  14. I, too, found this a bit dull, unusual for a Saturday, but not totally a walkover as I found the NW corner tricky. I had a look at the hints for 1a and then the rest fell into place. Fave is 18a, with honourable mention to 26a and 14a. Thanks to setter and to BD for the review and help finishing.

  15. First glance at this was quite off-putting however it slowly fell into place but did require rather more effort than is usual on a Saturday – don’t mind that. Perhaps brain a bit sluggish after sleepless night thanks to ferocious thunderstorm. Not overly entertaining. 5d definitely a dubious clue. Wasn’t sure about 17d but BD suggestion to Williamus confirmed it for me. Thank you setter and BD. ***/**. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

    1. I don’t understand why people think 5d is iffy. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
      We also had a massive storm last night – thunder, frightening and torrential rain – 1/2″ in three hours. My nearly 92 year old Mum assures me that she didn’t have any of it – she says that she doesn’t ever go to sleep at all – she lives about a mile from us!

      1. IMHO the clue to 5d uses the present participle of a verb whereas the required answer is a noun. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_confused.gif How fortunate for your Mother to have been oblivious of the raging storm which, as you say, was quite frightening. The garden enjoyed the rain though!

        1. The act of taking money from the bank is a **********. A retirement is also a ********** – where’s the problem?

          1. pommers, what exactly is the solution to 5d?

            Or have you spelt it out already?

            Double Detention for you my Lad !

            1. Pommers has to be forgiven – he’s in the middle of a three day village fiesta so anything could happen! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  16. All done whilst at Lord’s today (Warner Stand) and over too quickly (unlike the Sri Lankan innings!). 6d was topical for me and 1a was my favourite. Need to bowl them out early tomorrow but the pitch suggests a draw. Thank you to The Setter and to The Reviewer.

  17. Not too difficult once l got stuck in, but l took a while to get a foothold. On balance, l would rate this one at about 2*/3*. 6d gets my vote for favourite clue. Thanks to Mr Ron for the mental exercise, and to BD for the hints.

  18. I found it hard going but that’s my problem , not the xword.Lots of good clues. 14a and 5d are my favourites. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  19. Thanx. I thought I’d seen the light with ‘*****’ at (8d) and was getting warm with ‘*********’ at (3d).
    Is it acceptable to send the solution in pencil? I generally fill it in in ink. What’s the convention? It’s some time now since I found my name in Monday’s paper.

  20. I share the general feeling of slight discomfort at some of the clues this week. I agree that the clue could be better for 5d. There are at least two other ways of wording it which would allow better the gerund case interpretation which is clearly what is intended.

    Finished it, (I think) without any hints, although did use the dictionary to check 26a. I have an answer that fits the letters for 13d, but not entirely sure how it fits all of the clue – we shall see! I also missed the hidden word in 8d for a long time so that has to be my favourite – very clever.

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