DT 27725 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27725 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27725 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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Have a go at our February 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.


4a    Steer round trouble on minor road that’s delayed traffic (8)
Put a verb meaning to steer or change the course of a sailing ship around a three-letter verb meaning to trouble and the category allocated to a minor road

8a    Run West perhaps astride horse (6)
To get this verb meaning to run or administer put the forename of Miss West, the actress, around a colloquial word for a horse


9a    Cast net — fish to get caught up (8)
An anagram (cast) of NET is followed by a verb meaning to fish

12a    Bring over Whistler’s new art that’s revolutionary (8)
The three-letter abbreviation for a whistle-blowing sporting official followed by the S from ‘S, N(ew) and ART all reversed (that’s revolutionary)

13a    Break articles possessed by British Queen (8)
The indefinite article and the definite article inside BR(itish) and the Queen’s regnal cipher

16a    Reptiles pushed back group of animals, 500 cut off in very hot day (8)
The shortened form of some reptiles is reversed (pushed back) and followed by a group of animals from which the final D (500 in Roman numerals) has been dropped (cut off)

19a    Hamlet character needs endless noxious drink? (8)
No, it’s nothing to do with Shakespeare – this person who lives in a hamlet is derived from most of (endless) an adjective meaning noxious followed by an insipid foreign beer

21a    Suitable item for stage production — American medical drama (6)
An item used in a stage production followed by an American medical drama

26a    Superior newspapers covering South American city (8)
To get this Mother Superior put a generic word for newspapers around (covering) a South American city


1d    Arson’s caused damage in my brickwork (7)
An anagram (caused damage) of ARSON inside MY

3d & 4d    Heroine — lover left her, subsisted wretchedly (4,2, 3,1’11)
This heroine of a Thomas Hardy novel is an anagram (wretchedly) of LOVER LEFT HER SUBSISTED

5d    One that’s made contract, one no-trump, defeated (8)
Someone who has made a contract to marry comes from I (one) NT (bridge notation for no-trump) and a verb meaning defeated or finished

6d    Low council tax shown in pension? (1,3,1)
The second lowest category of council tax (4,1), when split (1,3,1), gives a pension or boarding house

14d    Time to study English philosopher — tedious work (9)
T(ime) followed by a verb meaning to study and the surname of John Stuart, the English philosopher who is a frequent visitor to crosswords



15d    Giving false praise he is a hypocritical type (8)
An anagram (giving false) of PRAISE HE gives this very self-righteous or hypocritical person

20d    What’s left, say, with delicate trimming (6)
What’s left by to a beneficiary is derived by putting the Latin abbreviation of say / for example inside (with … trimming) an adjective meaning delicate or ornate

22d    Post Office stocks exciting picture (5)
The abbreviation for P(ost) O(ffice) around an adjective meaning exciting or sensational
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: fill+Adele+fear=Philadelphia

61 comments on “DT 27725 (Hints)

  1. I am finding this puzzle very difficult compared with normal Saturday ones but I am pressing on without reference to the hints as long as I can, given the Rugby starts again this afternoon. I’ll probably give in ultimately

  2. Terrific – I loved it. So nice to have a Saturday puzzle requiring a little more application than usual. So many good clues including 19a, 2d, 6d and 17d. TVM Mysteron and Big Dave. Let’s have more of the same. ***/*****.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  3. Dear o dear that was tough! Only managed to finish it by dint of fitting a word into the checking letters then trying to unpick the clue. So many really poor clues in this one. I think the DT must be getting too many competition entries.
    Minus 100 for fun for us.
    Thx for the hints but can’t bring myself to thank the setter for this one I’m afraid.

      1. What a pity that BD’s delightful blog which is enjoyed by so many of us should have its tone lowered by OTT comments such as these from Brian. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

        1. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

          I don’t agree with Brian on this occasion but his comments are always more interesting to read than those who simply say:-

          “My Rating is ***/*** Thanks to the setter and the blogger”.

          Thanks to the Setter and the Blogger!

            1. Angel,

              We all have different interpretations of OTT.

              ps. What a nice garden in your Avatar! (Drinkstone?)

      1. Really enjoyed this and I concur a better work-out for the grey matter than normally required on a Saturday. In fact, the most challenging of the week I think. Some good clues. Many thanks to The Setter and for the review. Enjoying watching the long tailed tits feeding in the garden. Off to ‘cycle and then a glass of wine to celebrate West Brom’s demolition of Sam’s boys. Let’s not mention the cricket but hard luck James Taylor. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  4. I had quite a tussle with this – but it was well worth the effort. Thanks to setter and BD.

    1. My sentiments entirely! Mind you, I was listening to the cricket at the same time on 5 Live Extra but completing the puzzle was far more pleasurable than the outcome of the cricket…

  5. Great puzzle tickling the grey cells nicely! 3*/5*. Many clever clues, 6d, 26a and 19a which my last word in. Enjoyed it tremendously. Many thanks to the setter and BD for the hints not needed but nevertheless read…

  6. 3*/4*. I found this an excellent and very enjoyable challenge with lots of amusing surface readings. Quite tough for a Saturday prize puzzle.

    There are too many good clues to list them all, but 2d and 3&4d deserve a special mention.

    Isn’t the ‘s in 1d unnecessary?

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

    1. The apostrophe is short for ‘is’ so the second s is not included…

      It was tough and I spent ages looking at Hamlet…!

      Couldn’t get 8a -thinking of cricket (run) and right to left (west) so thanks for the hint BD.

      2d was clever. Never assume any word in Prize Crossy !

      1. I agree that the second “s” is not included in the anagram fodder but I think the clue would read perfectly without it.

  7. This felt pretty tricky but when I checked the time taken it was well within my 2* limit. I reckon the grid made it harder than it maybe should’ve been. I found it a pleasant solve overall- with thanks to BD and setter **/***

  8. Lots of misdirection and some lol’s! More challenging than most Saturday offerings. 2*/4* for me. Thanks to setter.

  9. Really really struggled with this one.
    Had an answer that agreed with Big Dave’s for 8a but just could not see how it would fit.
    (Do now).
    Most of my answers were ‘guesses’ which I then made fit the clue…..which doesn’t seem right to me….but what do I know? I’m a beginner .

    Thanks to Big Dave and the setter.

  10. I didn’t find it any trickier than usual, and discovering that the review will contain 9 instances of the same type of clue, 7 of which in the Acrossesy affected the enjoyment factor for the reviewer.

    I can highly recommend today’s NTSPP

  11. What a delight to have a Saturday puzzle that needed some thought after the soft and bland offerings of recent weeks. Hardly a duff clue, with 2, 6 and 19 all stand outs. My clock shows me halfway between my 2 and 3* cut off points so 2.5*/4* for a lovely start to the weekend.
    Thanks Mr. Ron, come back any time.

  12. Definitely harder than most Saturdays. But what a joy.
    Great clues all round and despite some long moments of solitude, I managed to solve it without the hints.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD.

  13. One of the better Saturday puzzles.

    Just off to tackle Gazza in the NTSPP before the rugby

    (I must remember to submit my entry to this month’s MPP – I’m still counting.)

    1. I’ve still got two gaps in the MPP – that, and knowing nothing about mousetraps counts me out I reckon. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  14. ***\**** for me. Slow to get the first couple in but steady progress from there. Really enjoyed it.

  15. I absolutely loved it! I thought it was clever without being contrived and very good fun. 3/4D went in early, which was a help. The only clue I did not fully understand was 6D (no surprise there) but I got the answer from one word and without checking letters. I had a number of clues checked as potential favorites, but 19A won out. Many thanks to the setter and to BD for the review.

    Off to try my hand at the NTSPP.

  16. Really quite enjoyed today’s effort, especially getting 3/4d straight away. After that it took a bit more thought, but I found the clues very reasonable. Thank you to the Saturday setter and to BD. Now for the rugby. Come on England

  17. Trying to Multitask – watching West Brom v West Ham in the Cup whilst having a go at this one – maybe it’s my disappointment with the Hammers performance or what (oh no – just gone 3-0 down!) but I found this one pretty hard going. Some good clues, spectacular anagrams (the Hardy heroine one was brilliant!) – a lot harder than normal for a Saturday.

    Ah well – Onward and Upward – ‘Swing low sweet chariot’ – Come on Engerland-ah! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  18. Brilliant crossword. Took a little while to get going but all done and dusted within a reasonable timeframe. A ***/**** from me. Favourites 12, 26, 2 and 17.

    Now here’s one for you all. A cruciverbalist friend has a book of cryptics and one of the clues was The (4) and the answer was Glow. It’s got us stumped but I’m sure someone here will come to our rescue !

    1. Hi Roger – do you mean that the entire clue is ‘The’ and it has a four-letter answer or that the clue is ‘The (4)’ with a four-letter answer?

  19. I’m sitting on the fence – one of my favourite places! I haven’t quite decided yet whether I thought it was trickier than usual or not. Really enjoyed it anyway.
    I was slow to get going but then most of the rest went quite well, helped by the long answer down through the middle, but then got stuck with the last few.
    I had to check the spelling of 4d – not the first bit of it!!
    I couldn’t do 1d for ages.
    I liked 1 and 23a and 5d. My favourite was 25a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    Stuff to do then will see if I’m up to dealing with gazza!!

  20. After some of the comments I am feeling very pleased with myself having finished it quite easily.
    A change from Thurday!

  21. Did not help myself by printing off Gazza’s beautifully crafted NTSPP , I did not realise that I was way out of my depth. Then turned to this delightful offering and ran straight into the buffers, struggled through and got cross because even with BD’s helpful hints it took ages for pennies to drop, so stupid. Have shelved GK to tomorrow as my poor little ego cannot take anymore battering. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

    1. Feeling a bit better, after a very gentle hint I did finish NTSPP puzzle and have managed to justify what I have done, Also gone back on Saturday’s puzzle and reassessed it, perhaps I am not a complete twit after all. I am so grateful to BD and everyone here for their encouragement. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  22. Have to go along with the majority today. A great puzzle, not at all easy.***/****
    Took me 2 or 3 goes to complete but got there inthe end.
    I’m giving my vote to 17d today just ahead of quite a few others.

  23. Thank you setter. I found that difficult and must confess to cheating in the interests of progress and using some hints.Trying to fit the puzzle in between packing up, spending a few hours at Beamish Museum with grandson and going out this evening was just too much – as I am such a slow solver. So many thanks BD for the hints.

  24. ***/****. Great puzzle albeit tricky. Some great clues – 2&6d were my favourites. Thanks to the setter for a good challenge and BD for the review and lifting the fog over 8a which was a correct bung in for me.

  25. I agree this was a super puzzle but very, very tricky.
    Like ExpatChris, 6d was slow, a Brit thing, also 4a, but I got there anyway.
    Luckily, I got 3/4d right away, very obvious, and gave me a starting point for lots of clues.
    Natch, I looked up the cast of characters for Hamlet, but I eventually tumbled.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for review.
    Fave is 3/4d.

  26. I really enjoyed this puzzle – lots of clever clues and plenty of clever misdirection. 2*/4* for me, and l can’t split 2d and 8a for top clue. It took me a while to spot the lady in the latter! Many thanks to the setter, and of course to BD for the hints.

  27. Very enjoyable but it needed to be left to mature a couple of times and then re-attempted. I liked 3&4d for some very local reasons, and my favourite was 2d with honourable mentions to 18, 20, and 23.
    3*/5* as best I can judge (3* means without the interruptions) – and many thanks to the setter and to BD.

  28. Very tricky indeed,I got about half-way there and then I resorted to hints. Thanks to all concerned.

  29. Very pleased to finish Saturday’s cryptic, when Big Dave missed two. [Edited comment because alternative clue given – if you put ‘think …’ in a comment, it is definitely an alternative clue. CS]

  30. As this is a Prize Puzzle, BD deliberately doesn’t give hints for all the clues, just some of the more difficult ones. I had to edit your comment because you had given alternatives which, as it says in the Big Red Box, is definitely not allowed.

    This is supposed to be a reply to Paula which has somehow found itself as a separate comment.

  31. I’m in the slightly trickier than normal brigade for a Saturday but felt all the better for it. 4a had me pondering for far too long. Thanks to Setter and BD

  32. Superb! More of a challenge than we’re used to on Saturdays & I had to come back to it this morning as I ran out of solving time before he rugby started. Strangely enough the HEROINE came to me 45 minutes into the England game!

  33. I thought all the answers were fairly straightforward (i.e. the clues all parsed very nicely) but I certainly had to think a little harder than usual on a Saturday. Like several others, I got 3/4D fairly quickly, which led to a slew of answers around the central core but then took a little while to gradually fill in the edges. Started & finished last evening but only just found a moment to read BD’s hints and the comments which I always enjoy. Fave was 23A as I’m currently suffering from a damaged one myself following a skiing accident (my football days being over long ago!). Probably 3*/4* for me. Thanks BD & setter. Will have a go at the NTSPP as it got such a good recommendation.

  34. After an enjoyable day in London yesterday, I looked forward to doing this crossword today but ….would it be too controversial to say that I agree with Brian? Boy did I need your help BD. Like Brian I found the answer and then worked out how the clues fit. Much as I enjoy a challenge I have to say that I would never have finished without the hints, However, I do realise that this setter and I are on different wavelengths and it was nice to have a challenge. So thanks to setter and BD (but mostly BD!!)

  35. Well, that was a change for a Saturday! I came back to complete this one after sauntering through Sunday’s as I felt more able to complete it. A really good challenge and I confess to the Hamlet clue sending me off at a tangent.
    Oh well. I’ll select that one as my favourite because it fooled me!
    Thanks to the setter and BD for his hints.

  36. Not really happy with 5D: “…and a verb meaning defeated or finished”. Is it just me that thought the verb in the answer meant finished without any particular relation to defeat? Can’t think of a situation in which these words are synonymous. Otherwise agree with all who found this tough, but good clues.

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