DT 27707 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27707 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday 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”. 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.


3a    Piano works — ‘Aida’, for instance? (5,5)
A type of piano followed by the Latin for works (a plural form of one of our usual suspects)

8a    Realise  one can do this at the bank (6)
Two rather similar definitions

10a    Having retired, little woman retrospectively retains value (8)
The 3-letter shortened (little) form of a woman’s name is reversed (retrospectively) around (retains) value or worth

12a    Space for painting needed by dull little apartment (6,4)
The space where an artist works followed by an adjective meaning dull

22a    Ill-treatment of inspirational woman is to be admitted (6)
A woman who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist around IS

23a    Rebel Frenchman aged badly (8)
A French forename, familiar to all who watched ‘Allo ‘Allo!, followed by an anagram (badly) of AGED

24a    Command — it’s what winner of horse race had? (8)
Split as (4,4) it could be what the winner of a horse race had

25a    One gathers that you don’t want to meet if it’s grim (6)
Put grim in front of this person who gathers the harvest and you get a personification of death in the form of a cloaked skeleton wielding a large scythe – and no-one wants to meet him!

26a    Dolefully idle? (10)
Idle and, possibly (as indicated by the question mark) on the dole


1d    Not Maria’s woolly drawer (8)
An anagram (woolly) of NOT MARIA

2d    Broadcast bothered an angry woman (8)
What sounds like (broadcast) a verb meaning bothered or pestered followed by AN

3d    Hospital within reach in poor quarter (6)
H(ospital) inside (within) a phrasal verb meaning to reach (3,2)

You only got a hint for this one so that I could add this Elvis video!

6d    Parents going round an isthmus (6)
The two-letter forms of both parents around AN

7d    Outcome? About second last, in short (6)
The two-letter word meaning about or concerning followed by S(econd) and the abbreviation (in short) for a word meaning last

15d    Endanger surrounding area, which is magnificent (8)
A verb meaning to endanger around A(rea)

16d    Cable TV, it’s said, has little weight (8)
What sounds like (it’s said) a colloquial word for TV followed by a small metric weight

17d    Bad performer (4-4)
A charade of an adjective meaning bad and a performer gives this person who commits profoundly immoral and wicked deeds

Here’s another “Bad” performer, this one has nothing to do with the clue!

21d    Ugly rumour may oust leader from firm (6)
This ugly rumour is derived from a word meaning may (although pedants might disagree!) followed by an adjective meaning firm without (oust … from) its initial letter (leader)

23d    Count coming from Loire — lynched (4)
A verb meaning to count on or depend is hidden (coming from) inside the clue

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: Lawrence+Olivia=Laurence Olivier



  1. Kath
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    I was slow to get started but then it all sorted itself out reasonably easily.
    I had the most trouble with the top left corner – was thinking of the wrong kind of drawer for 1d – and the wrong synonym of value (a four letter word rather than five) in 10a.
    I was doubtful about 24a although split 4, 4 it did mean what a winner of a horse race had – the answer meaning command is not in the BRB – well, not in mine anyway – but it is in Chambers Thesaurus.
    21d has turned me into a pedant – don’t think the first three letters are the same as may.
    I liked 14a and 3d. My favourite is either 11 or 26a – probably 11a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    NTSPP later on, I think – going to make marmalade first.

    • Kath
      Posted January 24, 2015 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      Never been first to comment before – it’s made my day! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      • Merusa
        Posted January 24, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        Congrats on being first! I agree about the first three letters not meaning may.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted January 24, 2015 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you about the first three letters of 21d. It was hammered into me more than half a century ago by a very pedantic English teacher (who bears a large responsibility for my well developed sense of pedantry!)

      However I am appalled to see that my BRB defines may as “auxiliary verb expressing ability, possibility or contingency”. The first of these implies that 21d is OKhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

      • Kath
        Posted January 24, 2015 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        I suppose we’d better not argue with the BRB but even so http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

        • Merusa
          Posted January 24, 2015 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

          I remember being drummed to answer the phone “may I help you” as the alternative suggests inability!

    • Hilary
      Posted January 24, 2015 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      My beloved Dad used to say – Of course xxx xxx but whether or not you may is an entirely different thing.

      • Kath
        Posted January 24, 2015 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        Ah – our beloved Dads – Jane will be in here in a minute like a rat up a drainpipe . . .

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted January 24, 2015 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        May you say that on a Saturday, Hilary?

        • crypticsue
          Posted January 24, 2015 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

          Took me a while to see what you ar on about – I have decided that ‘no Hilary may not’ and have edited accordingly. Her comment definitely infringes the Red Box ‘partial answer’ criteria.

          Sorry Hilary, and there’s no cake either – I have four cakes (2 made and in fhe freezer/two to make) for two different events next week and there isn’t even a crumb for the Naughty Corner.

          • Hilary
            Posted January 25, 2015 at 7:39 am | Permalink

            Sorry not thinking quite straight after nasty infected tooth extraction on Thursday added to infected eye which is why I have been lying low. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

  2. Sweet William
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Thank you setter – quite tricky I thought. Difficult to get a foothold, but once under way with a few checking letters became quite manageable. I thought 24a was a bit of a laugh ! Thanks BD for your hints and the video. Big game for us at Anfield today……memories of ’93 – probably all we’ll have after 90 mins !

  3. Caravaggio
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Like Kath, I was slow to get started but then everything seemed to fall into place reasonably quickly. However, I’m not sure about the answer which I have for 8a which will surprise Dave as he knows what my profession was at one time, many moons ago…

  4. Angel
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Another all too brief Saturday game but enjoyable anyway. No real problems except my simple-minded inability to parse 25a without BD’s help. Liked 24a and 26a. Thanks Mr. Ron and BD. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif ***/***.

  5. Toadson
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    An average Saturday puzzle. Not particularly convinced by 8a, and thought 17d was barely cryptic. 21d was new to me. Thanks to all.

  6. Hanni
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Decided to get the Telegraph today.

    Nothing overly taxing but I took far too long getting 14a even though I had most of the checking letters in. *Hangs head in shame*

    Like others, I have an answer in for 8a but I’ve no idea if it’s correct. In fact I’m not entirely sure my answer makes sense.

    24a is getting the favourite prize today. ..a lovely clue. :-)

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD for blogging.

  7. Collywobbles
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I need 18d to finish. Can any kind soul give me a heads up

    • Hanni
      Posted January 24, 2015 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      A synonym for team, a synonym for a response, reversed (written up), should give you a 4, 2 saying for ‘profile’.

      Hope this doesn’t put me in the naughty corner.

      • Collywobbles
        Posted January 24, 2015 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        Many thanks Hanni. If you go to the naughty corner I’ll take you over some fruit cake.
        I agree with Kath in that 21d ‘***’ and ‘may’ don’t seem to be the same meaning
        Otherwise, another enjoyable Saturday puzzle. I don’t know why I like them so much compared with the rest of the week but, anyway, many thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD for the hints

        • Posted January 24, 2015 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

          You’ll need the fruit cake yourself!

          • Collywobbles
            Posted January 24, 2015 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

            OK I’m taking it now with a nice cup of tea whilst watching the Rugby

  8. Rick
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    I can’t be sure of my time today as holding an ipad in one hand and trying to enter the answers with the other while cuddling a puppy is suprisingly difficult. It didn’t take long though so it looks like another 1* Saturday. The puppy has now shifted position to my lap and is sleeping off a big lunch. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

    • andy
      Posted January 24, 2015 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      Polly settled in it seems :)

      • Rick
        Posted January 24, 2015 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        Taken over more like!

        • Kath
          Posted January 24, 2015 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

          Glad to hear that she’s settled in/taken over so well. How old is she?

          • Rick
            Posted January 24, 2015 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

            8 weeks, 1 day. The calmest, most chilled puppy I have ever seen.

          • Kath
            Posted January 24, 2015 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

            How lovely – she obviously thinks that you’re her Daddy! When we got Annie she was six and a half weeks old – too young to leave her Mum really. We had three five year old “don’t mess with us” kind of cats – they were appalled at the new addition to the family and used to chase her – the sight of a tiny pup hurtling round the garden with her tail between her legs chased by three cats was quite funny and I worried about her but it really taught her that she needed to treat cats with respect.

    • Merusa
      Posted January 24, 2015 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Glad to know she’s settling in, keep us up to date!

  9. pommers
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Only three of the acrosses but then thirteen of the downs – wierd http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

    Enjoyable so thanks to the setter and BD.

    • Steve_The_Beard
      Posted January 24, 2015 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      “wierd “? Perhaps you mean wired :-)

  10. overtaxed
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    **/*** for me today. Struggled with 24a (command) – a little tenuous, and 21d was a bung in. Otherwise fairly straightforward today. Thanks to setter and BD for the hints. Might manage 9 holes this afternoon now the course has reopened.
    Liked 12a amongst others.

  11. Brian
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    No great problems apart from 8a which I think I have got but not sure about the realise bit unless it’s something you would do with your assets (might get sent to the naughty corner for this but can’t think of another way of putting it).
    Thought Command was a bit weak in 24a but it’s still a clever clue.
    Best clue by far for me was 25a, for lovers of terry Pratchett he had a horse called Binky which he was very fond of.
    Thx to all.

    • Steve_The_Beard
      Posted January 24, 2015 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      Surely we all love Binky :-)

  12. Chris
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Very pleasant Saturday puzzle with several enjoyable clues; I liked 1d best, although I had marked the last three across clues as runners up. Many thanks to BD and the setter. 2* / 4*

  13. Rabbit Dave
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    This easy but enjoyable puzzle was R&W for me today except for 24a my last one in, which took a while for the penny to drop.

    Thanks to the setter and to BD.

  14. jean-luc cheval
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Did the crossword this morning but had to work until now.
    Quite an easy solve bar 8a which took me a while until I realised I swapped letters in 3d.
    Read some of the paper but don’t seem to have the part where my good friend Tina Horvath from Brighton appears. There seems to be a food bloggers competition going on. She is just great.
    Everyone should vote for her I think.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

    • crypticsue
      Posted January 24, 2015 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      You have mail!

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted January 24, 2015 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        Thanks. Her dinner club is just great.

  15. Ora Meringue
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Struggled with this today, but not as much as I struggled with yesterday’s.
    I too have my doubts about my answer for 8a, but reading Brian’s post has cheered me up.
    I am also struggling to see that 24a = command.
    I’m afraid I’m in the pedant camp with the first three letters of 21d too.

    Thanks for all the clues.

    • Kath
      Posted January 24, 2015 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      I agree about 24a but it is in the thesaurus – not the BRB though.

  16. andy
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    24a last in / parsed. Now to walk Cyth Cuth Lulu Cher Ben and Archie. Thanks to BD and setter

    • Kath
      Posted January 24, 2015 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      However many have you got now? I’m guessing that you’re dog sitting – well, I hope so anyway.

    • Merusa
      Posted January 24, 2015 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      You seem to have collected more since your last post!

    • andy
      Posted January 24, 2015 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Just the two Kath, but this weekend got six.. Explain all next Sat if you still going m’dear. Merusa Kath is correct, I do dog sitting / walking as a sideline. My Lodger in constant turmoil , and previous post mentioned those I owned and have passes away. Nelson was a boxer who adopted me, Thabo literally saved my life, and I miss him too.

      • Kath
        Posted January 24, 2015 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

        Yes – still planning on going next Saturday. I remember very well the night you said R.I.P Thabo – I was in shreds. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

        • andy
          Posted January 24, 2015 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

          Not quite in as many shreds as he was Kath. Drunk driver let out of prison in December. He back in Lithuania now, again I’ll let you know on Saturday. Let ‘s just say he couldn’t stay in this city ;)

  17. Vancouverbc
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    ***/***. This was fairly straightforward but some clever clues held me up for a while. I particularly liked 24a and 6&7d. Another inch of rain today means I can focus on mending my garage door raiser.

  18. Merusa
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable Saturday offering, loved it, so, many thanks to setter.
    Fave 24a but honourable mention must go to 3a.
    Thank you BD for the review, particularly the Elvis clip, what a sexy voice!

  19. Salty Dog
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    A pleasant doddle: 1*/3. I liked the simplicity of 24a, so nominate that for favouritism. VMTs to the setter, and of course BD.

  20. Hilary
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Still tied to electronic supertoy which came in handy for a couple of clues but all in all a delightful Saturday treat. Thanks to BD and setter as always, no particular favourite although 10a and 20a amused me. Off to do GK. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  21. carlos
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    top left hand corner caused me the most problems today, and I had to resort to the clues above to complete, the rest I really enjoyed and managed to complete. Had to use the now regular tactic though of leaving it alone for a few hours, for some reason it all becomes clear on the second viewing. Even though my activity between the first and second attempts was a trip to Sainsburys. Which is next to a really good real ale pub. Long story short, I left to get the shopping, and arrived home four hours later with no shopping.

    • Kath
      Posted January 24, 2015 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      The gap when you go off to do something else, even if it’s the shopping in your case, or a wander round the garden pulling out a few weeds or raking some mole hills in mine is called, according to Crypticsue, cogitation time. The brain is pretty amazing and does its own thing while you’re occupied doing something else.

      • andy
        Posted January 24, 2015 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

        Mary used to call it something else didn’t she?

        • crypticsue
          Posted January 25, 2015 at 9:51 am | Permalink


          • andy
            Posted January 25, 2015 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

            Well remembered m’dear.

    • Hilary
      Posted January 25, 2015 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      You have definitelyy got style. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  22. JonP
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    I found some of this very straightforward and some of it decidedly tricky. I do find, due to being a relative noob at this, that I enter a lot of answers from definition first and then justify them via wordplay. This is fine when one knows the word. If not, then it’s completely necessary to fathom the wordplay. My New Year’s Res re: crosswords is to become more fluent with wordplay and less reliant on straight definitions.

    Thanks to BD and setter ***/*** for me today.

  23. Una
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    I had a totally off day yesterday, and today 24a took some internet assistance.You could say it was a 14a. I liked 26a best.

  24. Sarah
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Like JonP I did most of this from the definitions. This was a tricky one for me today. Hey ho, it keeps me occupied! Thanks to the setter and BD http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  25. Owdoo
    Posted January 24, 2015 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Add me to the 21d pedants club please. My stepdaughter often asks me: “Please may you …” when she wants me to do something for her. I know she is trying to be polite but it annoys the hell out of me. I’ve explained the difference several times but it’s so ingrained from her mother’s teaching when she was young that she seems incapable of correcting herself!
    Nevertheless, I enjoyed this uncomplicated puzzle and the Elvis video so thanks to both the setter and BD.
    1*/3* for me today.

  26. Rufus the Dog
    Posted January 25, 2015 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    That was fairly straightforward except 24a is not a word I use that often, 8a I ‘think’ I have right – it fits both parts of the clue at any rate


  27. Heno
    Posted January 25, 2015 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. Enjoyed this one, but got stuck in the NW corner. Can someone please help me with 10a, I have all the checkers, but only one word fits in, but I can’t see how it can be that. Never heard of 8a. Knew 1d was an anagram, had the fodder, but couldn’t solve it. Was 4*/3* for me.

    • Owdoo
      Posted January 25, 2015 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      Since BD has already provided a hint for 10a and this is a prize puzzle I’m not sure we are allowed to offer any further assistance Heno. But if there is truly only one word that fits the checkers then perhaps I can offer Mr Sherlock Holmes’s advice: “When you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

      • Heno
        Posted January 25, 2015 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Owdoo, good advice, but I’ve read the hint & still can’t get it.

  28. Terry Healy
    Posted January 25, 2015 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Could i have some help with 10 across please

    • crypticsue
      Posted January 25, 2015 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Big Dave’s hint is very clear

      • Rick
        Posted January 25, 2015 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        As you may be deemed to be a partial answer shouldn’t you banish yourself to the Naughty Corner?

        • Heno
          Posted January 26, 2015 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

          At last, I’ve got it. My electronic help only gave “********”, which I knew was wrong.