DT 27701 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27701 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27701 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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Today is your last chance to enter our January 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 How chess is played in general (6,3,5)
A cryptic definition of how chess is played

10a Nasa’s speciality quickly harbours love (9)
An adverb meaning quickly around the Greek god of love

13a Some leave when one’s not at one’s best? (3-3)
This could be a short period of leave from work

18a Carefully selected husband together with old Scotsman being mentioned (4-6)
H(usband) followed by a three-letter conjunction meaning together with and what sounds like a member of an ancient people that used to inhabit parts of Scotland

22a Eminence following leader of Eucharist taken by Catholic priest (6)
An eminence or rising piece of ground preceded by the initial letter (leader) of E[ucharist] inside (taken by) the abbreviation for a Catholic

23a Light meal taken by singer-actress. Chips, perhaps? (7)
A light meal followed by a US singer-actress gives the profession of someone like (perhaps) Mr Chips

27a Excel at trick showing some beef (9)
This verb meaning to excel at a trick in a card game like whist or bridge comes from an adjective meaning showing or open followed by a cut of beef

28a Performing alone, Simon somehow obtains part in South Pacific (7,7)
A word meaning performing alone followed by an anagram (somehow) of SIMON and a verb meaning obtains a part in, perhaps, a play


2d Load caught being put on legendary ship (5)
C(aught) followed by Jason’s legendary ship

3d Means to cross London that destroys terraced houses (6)
he type of card used for travel on bases and trains in London is hidden (houses) inside the clue

4d Great Western Railway company (10)
Two definitions – one of the great Westerns, starring John Wayne and a UK company that operates trains, as well as buses, trams, express coaches and ferries

6d Shovel and pick worker‘s reserved (7)
Two definitions – the first being Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Sneezy and Dopey’s mate who works with them in the mine

7d Roll ball succeeding a great deal (9)
A type of sweet roll and a ball or formal gathering preceded by (succeeding) the A from the clue

14d Topless dance to cause anxiety to old female relative (10)
Start with [D}ANCE without its initial letter (topless) and follow it with a verb meaning to cause anxiety to

16d Run by city, German one mostly, with one friend (9)
Most of a German one (i.e. city) followed by I (one) and a friend or mate

19d Hitch as concert featuring Elbow more than half over (7)
A concert, like those held annually at the Albert Hall, around the reversal (over) of more than half of ELB[ow]

25d Blue feathers (4)
Two definitions – blue as in depressed and soft feathers

The Crossword Club is now open.

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: cap+tinker+Ellis+manned+all in=Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

47 comments on “DT 27701 (Hints)

  1. This must be an easy crossword today, because I could do most of it before my better half arrived on the scene, much to his annoyance. It follows therefore, that I enjoyed it very much so I’m giving it **** s for enjoyment.. Thank you to the Saturday setter and to BD.

  2. All went quite well until I entered the wrong second word for 8d – now that turned out to be very silly of me when I realised my mistake – but until that point I scratched my bald head for quite a while on the SE corner.
    I did not understand the wordplay for 6d, and while I could see the answer, it was only after looking at BD’s hint that I understood the wordplay!

    Then I always struggle when I see references to churches and religion, but finally managed those too – although the berry is more blue in my mind, than black. Used to make wine from them.

    So a fair enough puzzle – 2*/4*

  3. Finished, liked 8d. Not sure of my answer to 21d but it fits. Can somebody explain please.

    1. Try going through the alphabet and find one letter that would turn your answer into a woman who attracts the opposite sex. You might get quite a long way through the alphabet.

  4. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but very difficult. Needed electronic help for 4d, 12&22a. Favourite was 8d. Was 4*/3* for me. 14d was a new word for me, but I got it from the wordplay.

  5. It was a pleasing start to the day to find that the crossword was on the back page of the Telegraph and I thought that this was a fair but testing puzzle. I particularly liked three clues – 3d, 4d and 6d – where it was possible to see the answer, without fully understanding why, but a re-reading of the clue provided the logic.

  6. Just my cup of tea which is not always the case on Saturdays. End of 22a new to me. 27a my Fav.. Presumably none of our bloggers will have any problem with 8d. Thanks Mr. Ron and BD. Beautiful sunshine in W. Sussex but nippy. **/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  7. This was a very enjoyable (3*) read & write romp. Having finished I needed only to justify the wordplay for two of my answers: 4d & 6d. The penny finally dropped for 6d but I did need BD’s help to understand 4d fully.

    With so many good clues to choose from picking a favourite was the hardest part of this puzzle, but I will settle for 14d.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

  8. I really enjoyed this one.
    Had a spot of bother trying to justify 10a – is it fair to use the God of love in the answer when the clue just says love?
    Working out why 6d was right took a while but I loved it once I got there.
    We haven’t had crossword land’s favourite singer/actress for a while.
    Even I managed the chess clue today!
    I’m not sure I’ve ‘met’ 14d before but the answer was pretty clear.
    I liked 23a and 21d. My favourite was either 28a or 6d.
    With thanks to today’s setter and to BD.
    Snowing this morning but sunny now although it’s still very cold. Back to NTSPP . . .

      1. Welcome to the blog, BrianB.
        Please don’t supply partial answers – this is a Prize Puzzle.

  9. Thank you setter, I really enjoyed your puzzle – too many favourite clues to list ! I am glad you gave a hint for 6d BD – I had the answer but also struggled with my lack of GK again ! A smattering of snow round here this morning, enough to bring the traffic to a halt on our ungritted roads. What’s new http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  10. The long boundary clues were entered first which helped the remaining solve quite a bit. Took me a while to get 3d (means to cross london) so i would suggest this is an excellent hidden clue. 6d! I filled it in and it was only after i completed the crossword and looked at it again that i finally twigged! I guessed the parsing of 4d (railway co) but was unsure.

    A pretty good puzzle! very enjoyable

    many thanks setter and BD

  11. Thanks as always to Messers Ron and BD for our usual fun and crumb filled morning. A brisk but sunny 10F here in the colonies – Mrs T and I will be trying curling today with homemade stones.

  12. The answer to 3d was pretty obvious once a couple of checkers were in place but I’d no idea why. As I haven’t been to London for about 15 years I’d simply never heard of it.

    Excellent puzzle with loads of good stuff so thanks to the setter and to BD for explaining 3d.

  13. Complements to Mr. Ron for a very enjoyable puzzle , although not exactly easy for me. 3d was my favourite clue and very much a d’oh moment when I twigged. I also liked 7d when I got it.. Thanks to BD for the hints .

  14. Well, I finished before the published hint today, which is my personal objective, and got it right. However, I could not see the rationale for a number of clues so I hope that BDs’ hints have covered those clues, which I am not checking, having watched Saracens beat Munster conclusively. Many thanks to Mr. Ron for a fine puzzle.
    Hints now checked and answers understooc

  15. No great problems apart from 6d which is just awful (I take my hat off to anyone who made the connection between shovel and pick and the group it refers to).
    Bit religious for my taste and could someone please explain the archdeacon in 12a, not easy I know on a prize day.
    Thx to all

    1. If you have the ‘black berry’ part of 12a, then try looking up the letters in the middle in the you-know-what-I-am-going-to-say!!

      I have a challenge for you for 2015 – instead of saying ‘why does x mean y’ or ‘I didn’t know that meant that’, I would like you to do a bit of research into the word (a bit of forensic investigation ;) if you like), find out what else the word means, what its derivation is and so on and increase your word knowledge and fun with crosswords.

    2. 12a Central European archdeacon tucking into black berry (7)
      The three-letter abbreviated form of address for an archdeacon inside (tucking into) a type of black berry

  16. Thought this was a good Saturday offering with thanks to Big Dave for explaining some of the answers fully. ***/*** for me due to the time it took to decipher some of the clues.
    a number of prospective favourites, but I’m going for 28.
    Clear skies here, and our (ungritted) road still frosty, but so much better now the wind has dropped.

  17. Good fun and good going for this Saturday crossword.
    Thought 3d was a bit unfair even though I have two or three of these that I give to friends when they go to visit London. (advertisement) Remember you can fly to Hyères from City airport or Stansted from spring to autumn.
    Thanks to BD for explaining 6d and for the picture from his Kinder Surprise collection.

  18. Enjoyed today’s offering. Stuck on 2d briefly surely it’s mythical rather than legendary?
    Loved, loved, loved 8d! Completed it all without help but needed BD’s help to understand exactly how some answers fitted the clues. Thanks to BD and the setter. It was a pleasant way to spend the time

  19. I really enjoyed this. My favourite clue of the day was 3d, which took me far too long to spot. Runners-up 23a and 29a, the latter chosen partly because of the time it took looking for the solution to the anagram. (Yes, I’d spotted those obvious anagram indicators ‘performing’ and ‘somehow’.). I had to resort to the hint to understand my answer to 6d. All in all, good fun and 4* (for both, I’m ashamed to say).
    Many thanks to the setter and to BD.

  20. Really enjoyed this – a few stickers to challenge after a quick start with my morning cuppa. Last in 22a. 8d was rather clever. Thanks extended to BD and to the Setter of course.

  21. 2*/3.5* for my money, and 10a favourite clue. Thanks to the setter for a pleasing puzzle, and to Big Dave for the hints (which l didn’t need on this occasion).

  22. Very enjoyable. First in was 9d then I puzzled about 1a until I got 2d when it became obvious. 26a is a new word for me. Although I have the answer for 6d I’m not sure how it fits the clue. Favourite 20a it created a wry grin.

    Thank you setter and BD

  23. I have never used 2d but I have heard of it as it is advertised a lot. I had to google 4d since I never actually watch that type of thing.I thought 8d and 5dwere amusing .Thanks setter and BD.

  24. **** for enjoyment and a fairly light challenge which was almost a R&W. 14d was my favourite. Thanks to the setter and BD for the review.

  25. Good Saturday fare I thought. Everything went in fairly easily once the ‘biggies’ were unravelled. 4d was my favourite; a lovely clue.
    Thanks to the setter and BD.
    Now if only my football team had won….

  26. A workmanlike solve in average time for me today, although I failed to fully appreciate both 4d and 6d until reading BD’s hints.
    Thanks to both the setter and BD.

  27. In contrast to the general consensus I thought this one was a bit tougher than normal and therefore found BD very helpful!

      1. The Saturday prize puzzle is usually a late Sunday evening job for me and I almost finished it last night before brain went to sleep. Picked it up this morning & the last five went straight in! Some great anagrams especially 8d &9d. ***/*** for me. Didn’t need the hints but like to read the blog to see how other people got on.

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