DT 27731 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27731 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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Today is your last chance to enter 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.


1a    Nudist should cover the feminine French back one’s studying in the wild (10)
Put a nudist around the reversal (back) of the feminine French definite article

9a    Irritation of fine to be passed on (3,3)
An irritation followed by OF and F(ine)

11a    Penny has a part in limited release (6)
P(enny) followed by the A from the clue and a part in a play gives limited release from prison

12a    Note it’s old currency (4)
A verb meaning to note or write down and a currency that has been superseded by the euro

18a    Get to know about the thing seen on the moors (7)
A verb meaning to get to know or be informed around THE

24a    Back  in the Commons? (8)
A verb meaning back or recovered and a cryptic definition of being elected as an MP

26a    After lunchtime, two learners will join Sid as he goes round slope (8)
The Roman numeral for the usual lunchtime followed by a couple of L(earner)s and SID, all inside (goes round) HE

28a    Change of heart — coach’s to drop one near factory (10)
At Papworth Hospital, maybe! – a verb meaning to coach from which the I (one) has been dropped followed by the S from ‘S and a factory


1d    Find way to raise the terrible match attendance (8)
The reversal of the Terrible Russian Tsar followed by the word for the attendance at, for example, a football match

5d    Go and fish where one pays one’s way (8)
A go or stint followed by a freshwater fish

6d    Take away warship on land (8)
An underwater warship followed by a stretch of land

7d    Large independent cat offers vital bond (8)
L(arge) and I(ndependent) followed by a generic word for a cat

15d    Mother and I will have nearly everything that’s relevant (8)
The Latin for mother followed by I and most of (nearly) a three-letter word meaning everything

19d    Way paper presents moving trial (4,4)
A way followed by an examination paper

21d    Stop going uphill as well (4,2)
A palindromic (uphill as well) phrasal verb meaning to stop, for example a horse, from going

22d    Articles about drink causing heart disease (6)
The two-letter and single-letter indirect articles around an alcoholic drink
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: vent+hill+hate=ventilate



  1. JonP
    Posted February 21, 2015 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Enjoyable R & W for 95% of it. I got held up briefly in the SW corner. Thanks to BD and setter 1.5*/3*

  2. Brian
    Posted February 21, 2015 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Usual Saturday fare, not that easy but with some v clever clues i.e. 2d and 26a. Unfortunately totally missed the palindrome which made this for me the best clue of all even if the answer was obvious. Thought 19d was a bit weak but that’s picky.
    Down to the electronic version now for a couple of weeks providing the holiday wifi works.
    Thx to all.

    • George
      Posted February 21, 2015 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      I missed the palindrome too – now I know why I did not fully grasp the clue – yes, very clever.

  3. George
    Posted February 21, 2015 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Yes, a fairly easy romp as it turned out. I struggled to get started and thought it was going to be a battle – but then I found some footholds and the rest fell into place more quickly than I had initially feared. My last in was 2d which eluded me for a while for some strange reason.

    2*/4* I would say.

  4. Angel
    Posted February 21, 2015 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Mostly plain-sailing but held up in NE corner so, as I have “stuff” to do, I was relieved to have BD throw me a 7d. Fav was probably 1d. TVM Mr. Ron and BD. ***/***.

  5. Rabbit Dave
    Posted February 21, 2015 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    1.5*/3*. This made a pleasantly enjoyable start to the weekend. 21d was my favourite and I love BD’s wonderfully succint comment for this clue that the answer is a palindromic phrasal verb!

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

  6. Caravaggio
    Posted February 21, 2015 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Although I do agree with the previous comments, 7d was my favourite clue – I could see what the answer was but not why. There was a loud clunk as the penny dropped…

  7. jean-luc cheval
    Posted February 21, 2015 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Much easier than last week.
    Wasn’t too impressed by 9a,10a,24a and 19d.
    Liked the palindrome though.
    No real favourite today or maybe 4d for my theatrical past.
    Thanks to the setter.
    Liked the pic from BD to DB.
    Nice to see David Bellamy.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted February 21, 2015 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Yes, but thank goodness DB is not naked.

    • Hilary
      Posted February 21, 2015 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      Is there anything you have not done?

  8. Sarah
    Posted February 21, 2015 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Did 1a straightaway then read through all across clues without doing anymore. However I did manage to complete it without resorting to hints. Enjoyed the majority of the clues. Many thanks to the setter and BD (even though I didn’t need the hints today, I still enjoyed reading the blog)http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  9. Kath
    Posted February 21, 2015 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    An extra * for difficulty just for my last two answers which took ages so 2* difficulty and 3*/4* for enjoyment.
    I only had a few answers in after reading through all the across clues but then got lots more from the downs.
    After that it was pretty straightforward until I got to 26a and 21d – spent ages wondering who the hell Sid was but did eventually sort him out and then completely missed the palindromic 21d – oh dear!!
    Not many anagrams.
    I liked 14 and 28a and 1 and 5d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    Friends here for supper tonight so need to cook and tidy house a bit then NTSPP.

  10. SheilaP
    Posted February 21, 2015 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Got the answer but not the palindrome, until I read the comments. Thought this was quite difficult, but managed to finish with only a little help. Thank you to the Saturday setter and to BD.

  11. Chris
    Posted February 21, 2015 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Pleasant and reasonably straightforward. (Worse than missing the palindrome is when you miss it twice. I looked for the palindrome, becuase of the clue. Couldn’t see how to include one. Did the clue anyway a bit later. Only actually saw the palindrome when reading the review!) I liked the picture for 1d! Thank you to BD and the setter.

  12. overtaxed
    Posted February 21, 2015 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Finished this with no aids, which is unusual for me, so*/*** for an entertaining puzzle devoid of words known only to setters.liked 7d best, among a number of others.
    ThaNks to setter and BD for the hints.

  13. williamus
    Posted February 21, 2015 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    I started and filled in the north-west corner pretty much read-and-write apart from 2d which was my last in. I then got a bit bogged down and I too missed the palindrome, so was unhappy with the answer before coming here – doh! – thank you BD. Otherwise 17d was favourite. I’m not sure it’s intentional but I do hate :-) puzzles that draw you in with a deceptively easy start and then laugh at you as you struggle… I came here earlier than I should have done so 2.5*/3 for me. Where’s the rugby gone?

    Many thanks to the setter and BD for the explanations and the blog

  14. Lulubelle
    Posted February 21, 2015 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Still struggling with 2d. Any hints welcome – within BD’s rules, of course. Otherwise almost a read and write today….

    • williamus
      Posted February 21, 2015 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      I know I should really leave this for BD to do (I hope this doesn’t get me into trouble!) What you do when you negotiate xxxxxxxxx.. (I’m waiting for the clip round my ear from BD)

      • crypticsue
        Posted February 21, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        I am not going to clip you round the ear but I have deleted part of your hint because it wasn’t correct.

        2d The definitiion is film. As Williamus says, whyou do you when you negotiate followed by (over) the letter that looks like a one and the ‘opening’ of extra.

      • williamus
        Posted February 21, 2015 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Cryptic Sue http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

  15. Merusa
    Posted February 21, 2015 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    I found this all slipped in pretty easily, but 21d did hold me up for a bit, loved it when I got it.
    I thought there were some lovely clues, 7d, 1d (especially the pic) and 20a, but my fave is 21d.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for the review.

  16. Sweet William
    Posted February 21, 2015 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Thank you setter, a not too taxing Saturday puzzle and very enjoyable. Thanks BD for the hints which I always check. I wish I knew what a palindromic phrasal verb was !

    • Kath
      Posted February 21, 2015 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      You know what a palindrome is – at least I assume you do. A phrasal verb is a verb with an adverb attached to it but the whole lot is being used as a verb – well, something like that anyway! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      • Sweet William
        Posted February 21, 2015 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Kath, I think I will have a large drink and think about all that http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

      • Lulubelle
        Posted February 21, 2015 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

        Thank you. Sorry for the late response – have been otherwise engaged tonight! That was very helpful. Had a blank moment or two…

  17. Hilary
    Posted February 21, 2015 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    After the last two days of struggle I was in two minds whether or not to have a break today. Having read through the clues and spotted a few I thought I knew I picked up my trusty pencil and two cups of tea later I had finished. Rather fond of 17d and of course the palindrome which was almost my first one in. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    • Hilary
      Posted February 21, 2015 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      P S Thanks to setter and BD – I keep forgetting my manners – sorry.

  18. Salty Dog
    Posted February 21, 2015 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Very straightforward, but not unamusing: 1*/3*. Some nice clues, of which my pick is 1d – haven’t seen this terrible character for some time. Thanks to the setter and Big Dave.

  19. Dinosaur Pete
    Posted February 21, 2015 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    All done (as always with help from BD to whom grateful thanks) except for 6a which is making me feel incredibly dumb so any help would be welcome !
    Honestly, how can you get stuck on a four letter answer when you know two of them are correct because BD gave clues?

    • Angel
      Posted February 21, 2015 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      At risk of the naughty corner try Italian the inside thus.

      • Dinosaur Pete
        Posted February 22, 2015 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        Thank you Angel ! I hardly slept a wink thinking about that one – Hah, Hah !

        • Angel
          Posted February 22, 2015 at 12:28 pm | Permalink


          • Rachel
            Posted February 22, 2015 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

            Thank you Angel – I’m another dumb brick who couldn’t get the missing two letters of 6a. Thanks also setter and BD! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  20. Gwizz
    Posted February 21, 2015 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    A very Saturday standard puzzle I thought. Nothing too demanding. Favourite clue for me was 7d. Thanks to the setter and BD for the truncated hints.
    2*/ 3*

  21. Framboise
    Posted February 21, 2015 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Not too demanding but very pleasant, almost a W and R in parts. The palindrome was nice. Nothing too exciting but liked 7d. Many thanks to BD and the setter. Had old friends here today with whom we played Bauernschnapsen all afternoon – a typical Tyrolean card game.

    • Framboise
      Posted February 21, 2015 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

      Sorry I meant a R and W of course!

  22. mcmillibar
    Posted February 21, 2015 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    A one-and-a-half-pinter at the pub in the afternoon left me about four still open to await the second pass. Quite liked 1d, with a fav of 24a but only because I got a bigger penny-drop because I had gnarled it longer than I should have.
    Thanks to all. btw.. with a v simple app (I use Scanner Pro) one can take a picture of the crossword – in a pub, say or, ahem, elsewhere – and email it as a pdf to print off at home.
    Have a good Sunday everyone!

  23. TonyT
    Posted February 22, 2015 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    The palindrome was the last one in. A simple but brilliant clue. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  24. Little Dave
    Posted February 22, 2015 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    All done without too much angst. Enjoyable but over too quickly. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  25. Heno
    Posted February 22, 2015 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, favourite was 21d. Last in was 24a. Was 2*/4* for me.

  26. Orsat
    Posted February 22, 2015 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t have too much trouble with this one, so now I’ve caught up with my backlog and I’m up to date. OK, a day late. Last in was 23a for some reason, preceded by 2d. Thought 21d was a bit weak until I saw all the discussion about the palindrome. First in was 1a and I wondered what the illustration would be … Thanks to BD and setter.

  27. Davespot
    Posted February 22, 2015 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    They never taught me at school what a palindromic phrasal verb is! Like others. 21d my favorite clue. Relatively easy but enjoyable puzzle.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    • gazza
      Posted February 22, 2015 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog, Davespot.

  28. Collywobbles
    Posted February 23, 2015 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    I know it’s a bit late but can some kind soul help me with 20a. It seems incredible that it is only 4 letters and I have 3 checking letters but I just can’t see it unless one of the checking letters is wrong, which I doubt. Then I can finish and get on with today’s.

  29. louise
    Posted February 23, 2015 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    The answer is backwards in the clue (overturned)

    • Posted February 23, 2015 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Louise – your comment went into moderation because you dropped the G from your alias.

      • Collywobbles
        Posted February 23, 2015 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        Oh, that’s a bit harsh BD. Many thanks Louise, but does that mean it starts with ‘*’. I just can’t see it. ( I bet that I am being moderated now, see you on the naughty step)

        • Posted February 23, 2015 at 11:46 am | Permalink

          If you change your alias or email address you are effectively posting for the first time. Nothing harsh about it – the software does that not me. If that safeguard wasn’t in place we would have dozens of spam comments every day.

          • Collywobbles
            Posted February 23, 2015 at 11:57 am | Permalink

            OK, I get it.Now, can you help me polish off this clue. I’ve done the reverse thing and it still doesn’t make sense

            • crypticsue
              Posted February 23, 2015 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

              Seriously… if you have three letters and you can find them and another reversed in the clue, try looking up the result on Google and you should find a boat.

              • Collywobbles
                Posted February 23, 2015 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

                Seriously CS thanks for your help, I’ve got it now. I just couldn’t see the reversal properly. Finished now, thank goodness. Now for Mondays’

  30. Noreen Anderson
    Posted February 23, 2015 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Hi all,
    Managed to finish (I think). I have put an answer for 23a which I think is right but I don’t know why.

    Help and thanks

    • Posted February 23, 2015 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Noreen

  31. simon
    Posted March 1, 2015 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the tips. 26a was my favourite too.