DT 27683 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27683 (Hints)

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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”. 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    Hotel employee that’s more to the left? (6)
By adding a comparative suffix to a nautical term this could, but doesn’t, mean more to the left

4a    During which there’s the prospect of hidden riches? (4,4)
A cryptic definition of prospectors hurrying to dig up hidden riches

10a    Stride out, catching dancer’s skirt half torn off — waste (8)
An anagram (out) of STRIDE around (catching) either part (half torn off) of a ballerina’s skirt

11a    Warning of thaw? (6)
Split as (3,3) this could indicate that a thaw has taken place

13a    Large number behind bars were scrounging (6)
A large Roman numeral placed inside an adjective meaning behind bars

20a    Lapel back incomplete (6)
Most of (incomplete) a word meaning back

23a    Steps outside a new window (8)
Some steps that make a staircase around the A from the clue and N(ew)

26a    Delay for one with the doctor coming round (6)
I (one) and THE inside D(octo)R


1d    Arrogant pair do uplifting drawing in university (5)
P(ai)R followed by the reversal (uplifting) of DO around (drawing in) U(niversity)

2d    One doesn’t mind showing it (9)
An adjective meaning understanding or leniency,

4d    Courtier’s victory? (4,3,3,5)
… for a player on the tennis court

6d    Opening / cause of downfall (7)
This verb meaning opening or disentangling can also be a downfall or ruination

16d    Plain vehicle goes from South America to North America (7)
A commercial vehicle sandwiched between the abbreviations for South America and North America

17d    Idiot one’s seen holding raised period weapon from Africa (7)
An idiot and I (one) around (holding) the reversal (raised) of a period of time

19d    Announced which river crossing will be somewhere near London (7)
A word that sounds like (announced) a word similar to which followed by a river crossing

22d    Woodland being settled over unknown river (5)
A verb meaning settled or rested followed by a mathematical unknown and R(iver)


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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!

Please read these instructions carefully. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted.

The Quick Crossword pun: out+sore+sing=outsourcing


  1. Sweet William
    Posted December 27, 2014 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    A nice gentle Saturday puzzle thank you setter. Thanks BD for the hints always handy for checking purposes.

  2. williamus
    Posted December 27, 2014 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    This was a really enjoyable puzzle **/**** – not too taxing but certainly not read-and-write for me. Lots of misdirection and some understated humour to keep me amused. Held up by making a complete pig’s ear of 15a. 20a was my favourite.

    Thanks to the setter and to BD, as ever, for the blog.

  3. Jezza
    Posted December 27, 2014 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    My first look at a Saturday puzzle for a few months, and nothing too troubling in this one. My only minor delay was trying to fit a different answer into 26a with the checking letters, which did not parse anyway!
    Thanks to setter, and to BD too.

  4. Rabbit Dave
    Posted December 27, 2014 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    2*/2* for a moderately enjoyable puzzle with some good clues and some not so good.

    I couldn’t understand the wordplay for 13a and so I was hoping that the hint would provide the explanation. However I still can’t see how the clue directs you to put a large number inside behind bars unless behind bars is doing double duty, which I thought was against “the rules”.

    20a was a new word for me.

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD.

    • Posted December 27, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      I thought much the same as you – I think you have to take “behing bars” as “is *****”, but it’s not a very good explanation.

    • Vancouverbc
      Posted December 27, 2014 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      I also thought 13a was not a good one and in my view the wrong tense but the answer had to be what it was. This was a poor clue for me amongst many amusing and well constructed ones particularly 9, 11 & 20a and 4, 19 & 22d. Thanks to the setter and BD for the review.

      • Collywobbles
        Posted December 28, 2014 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        I am still struggling with 13a, can anyone help me?

        • crypticsue
          Posted December 28, 2014 at 10:43 am | Permalink

          BD’s hint plus the discussion in the comments above yours, especially if you have the checking letters should be enough help for you really.

          • Collywobbles
            Posted December 28, 2014 at 10:47 am | Permalink

            Well it’s not really. I can’t see it and it’s my last clue

            • Posted December 28, 2014 at 10:54 am | Permalink

              We can only go so far with help for prize puzzles. I’ve already deleted one comment which ignored the request not to give answers.

              • Collywobbles
                Posted December 28, 2014 at 11:03 am | Permalink

                I understand BD and I may have a wrong checking letter but I can’t see it. It is very frustrating to not be able to finish as I am sure you know. I don’t send in the Saturday puzzle so I’ll just carry on puzzling it.

      • Geoffm
        Posted December 31, 2014 at 8:31 am | Permalink

        I also thought this clue was poorly worded, agree about the double definition and slightly wrong tense (past vs past continuous). My favourite, which no-one else seems to have mentioned, was 12a which made me chuckle.

    • Michael
      Posted December 27, 2014 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      Seems perfectly straightforward to me – and in the right tense!

    • Badger
      Posted December 28, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      I’m glad someone else found 20a a new word ..! Thanks for the hint and the dictionary of course.

      New words crop up all the time -there was one today in the Sunday Mail ‘Wordplay’ (don’t laugh!) -LEMMA for a mathematical theory ??? I have an Engineering degree but I had never come across it…

      Anyway I can send in Sats Crossy now

      Thanks Setter and BD

  5. JonP
    Posted December 27, 2014 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    A steady solve which was enjoyable while it lasted. Back to the leftovers now…. **/*** Thanks to BD and setter

  6. SheilaP
    Posted December 27, 2014 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Nice puzzle for the day after the day after Christmas Day. Although we had to check one or two with the hints we managed most reasonably well. I liked 4 down which we got, though I don’t understand what courtiers has to do with it. I’m sure it’s obvious to everyone else, but there you go. Thank you to the Saturday setter and to BD. I keep thinking today is Monday for some reason. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

    • Geoffm
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Sheila, much the same as BD explained for 1a, courtier could (but doesn’t) mean the person to whom the answer to this clue would be addressed – hence the question mark.

  7. Heno
    Posted December 27, 2014 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, that was mostly straightforward, but had a couple of tricky clues. I resorted to electronic help to get 6d, I always struggle with double definitions, and 20a, which I’d never heard of. Favourite was 25a. Was 3*/3* for me. Off to my uncle’s Birthday party, mine tomorrow http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

    • Merusa
      Posted December 27, 2014 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      Happy birthday for tomorrow!

  8. Omar
    Posted December 27, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    13a seemed logical to me but 17d and 20a involved words I didn’t know, though I managed to work them out in the end…..an enjoyable puzzle with enough easy clues and old chestnuts to get off to a flying start….

  9. crypticsue
    Posted December 27, 2014 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    As a way of diverting you from all those Christmas sweeties and the like trying to lure you into bad ways, can I recommend that you have a go at the Jumbo NTSPP.

    • Merusa
      Posted December 27, 2014 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Where do I find that, crypticsue?

      • gazza
        Posted December 27, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        It’s on this site, on the front page titled NTSPP – 255.

        • Merusa
          Posted December 27, 2014 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

          Aha, thank you!

        • Merusa
          Posted December 27, 2014 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

          Loving it! I’ll keep gnawing at it!

  10. RobinNewman
    Posted December 27, 2014 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    nice puzzle-hints appreciated !

  11. Angel
    Posted December 27, 2014 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Today’s task really was mostly routine duck soup. **/**. Thank you Mr. Ron and Big Dave. I too go along with comments re questionable tense in13a. My goodness it seems ages since we heard of Charlie Drake. Let’s hope tomorrow’s ST brings a bit more arcane pleasure. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  12. Merusa
    Posted December 27, 2014 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    This slipped by very quickly for me, and it was very enjoyable. 17d has popped up quite often in puzzles and, wonder of wonders, I actually remembered it. My fave was 4d, no problem with courtiers!
    Thanks to setter and to BD for the review.

    • Merusa
      Posted December 27, 2014 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      P.S. Thank you so much for the George Formby clip, had forgotten about him.

  13. Dawn
    Posted December 27, 2014 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    20 across presented no problems, dredged from memory of fashion course thirty plus years ago but some of the others were not so cooperative!

    Thanks as ever to BD for the hints and site

    15 across made me smile

  14. Chris
    Posted December 27, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Not too challengiing and quite pleasant to solve – which fitted in well with a busy day. 1*/3* for me and several enjoyable clues. Many thanks to setter and to BD.

  15. jean-luc cheval
    Posted December 27, 2014 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Nice Saturday offering as usual.
    Not too taxing.
    I agree that 13a is missing something but it didn’t stop us all from getting the right answer or so it seems.
    16d favourite today.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the review and his extensive knowledge of the lyrics from his entire George Formby collection.

  16. Hilary
    Posted December 27, 2014 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Another enjoyable stroll through my memory to dredge up answers, 20a among others. Put wrong answer in 8a initially but soon realised the error of my ways after checking 1d in thesaurus. Thanks to setter and BD. Off to do GK crossword. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

  17. Michael
    Posted December 27, 2014 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Nice and easy typical Saturday puzzle – good fun!

    For some reason my IPad has suddenly developed a blue column with a yellow exclamation mark on top of it just to the bottom left of the puzzle – I’ve tried to click on it but nothing happens – any ideas?

    Onward and upward – roll on 2015 http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  18. Salty Dog
    Posted December 27, 2014 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Untaxing but not unenjoyable: 2*/3* or thereabouts. I’m not sure what it is about 13a, but l agree that it doesn’t quite satisfy. Other clues did, and 16d was my favourite. My thanks to Mr Ron, and to Big Dave for the hints.

  19. Tony
    Posted December 28, 2014 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Can I have a hint for 14down; completely lost on this one

    • Posted December 28, 2014 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Tony

      14d Removing moisture from tiny gourd that’s sprouted (6,3)
      It’s simply an anagram (that’s sprouted) of TINY GOURD

  20. Tony
    Posted December 28, 2014 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I am a dolt as I was trying to fit the answer 3 and 6!

  21. Anphdax
    Posted December 28, 2014 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for puzzle, hints and the blog, all very enjoyable

  22. Bob
    Posted December 29, 2014 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Just completed it with a lot of help from BD. Thanks.
    Got the answer for 25a but cant explain the last 2 letters of the answer.
    Can someone please explain without giving too much away?
    Thanks in anticipation.

    • gazza
      Posted December 29, 2014 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      The last 2 letters mean mum (as in ‘keep mum’).

  23. Geoffm
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Hi BD, thought your hint for 17d brought you close to sending yourself to the naughty step!