DT 27743 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27743 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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The March Prize Puzzle is available today.

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    Searched for somewhere to spend the night (6)
A three-letter prefix meaning for followed by somewhere to spend the night

9a    Exhaust resources in practice session (3-7)
A phrase meaning to exhaust resources, when hyphenated, is a practice session

10a    Mole‘s holiday by river? (10)
This mole can be found on the beach forming a barrier against the force of the waves – a short holiday is followed by the contents of, for example, a river (the question mark indicates that out-of-the-box thinking is required)

17a    Secure part that’s appealing (7)
A verb meaning to secure or gain followed by a part

20a    Free port erects a position to examine one’s past (10)
An anagram (free) of PORT ERECTS

23a    Drink up (7,3)
A cryptic definition of a drink which is taken while on horseback (up)

25a    Dry goods will be carried here? (2,3,5)
This adjective meaning dry or abstaining from alcohol could be where goods will be carried

26a    Dodgy legality when two learners go merrymaking (6)
An anagram (dodgy) of [L]EGA[L]ITY after two L(earner)s have been dropped (when … go)


2d    Salesman revises orders, being dictatorial (10)
The usual three-letter salesman is followed by an anagram (orders) of REVISES

4d    At end of play they do this sketch on puzzles (4,6)
What happens at the end of the day’s play in cricket comes from a charade of a verb meaning to sketch and one meaning puzzles

5d    Set loose in Paris, one parts heading north (7)
The French (in Paris) for one followed by the reversal (heading north in a down clue) of PARTS

7d    Security pass on the side (10)
This asset which provides security for a loan comes from a charade of a mountain pass and an adjective meaning on the side

13d    Deeply agitated, first to get wrapped up in breeze (10)
The three letters which can represent first inside (get wrapped up in) a breeze or current of air

15d    Superficial understanding shown by second of concern? (10)
S(econd) followed by an adjective meaning of concern or importance

16d    Folly one’s revealed in fancy plumbing fixture (6,4)
Folly or futility followed by a word meaning one or a single thing

19d    Crowd round honey-maker welcoming Spaniards’ positive reaction, for example (7)
A honey-making insect around (welcoming) the Spanish for yes (positive reaction) and the Latin abbreviation of “for example”

24d    Little being put together for each one (4)
A three-letter word meaning “for each” followed by I (one)

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: sell+bloc+aitch=Cell Block H



  1. dutch
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I found SE a little harder to crack than the rest of the puzzle. I liked “drink up” (23a), “Dodgy legality..” (26d – this was my last in as it took me ages to parse), and I like the “security pass” in 7d.

    Many thanks setter and BD

  2. George
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    This turned out to be a little trickier than I had expected at the start. I managed to put answers in all over the puzzle, but with only a few checking letters – then the thinking cap had to come on to fill in the rest.

    I liked 10a simply because it took me a while to understand the first word of the clue and I liked the misdirection!

    I was well into 3* time by the time I had finished.

  3. Caravaggio
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Like Dutch, I came unstuck in the SE quarter but, once I’d solved 15d, everything else fell into place reasonably quickly and I too liked 23a and 26a.

  4. williamus
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    For a change I found this quite straightforward, though I did delve into the BRB a few times to expedite completion. I’m never sure whether to think of that as cheating a little bit. Either way, I enjoyed this. In fact it felt a little like a Monday. 24d is word I haven’t seen for a long time and misspelling 26a (doh!) held me up momentarily. 11a was my favourite, if only because the clue was much cleverer than a lesser setter (e.g. me) would have used. Many thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints, unusually not needed today.

    • Dutch
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      Diving into brb is not cheating, it is highly recommended

      • williamus
        Posted March 7, 2015 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Dutch, I feel better already :-)

      • Gill
        Posted March 8, 2015 at 8:05 am | Permalink

        Sorry new to all this and to Big Dave .. What is BRB?

    • Badger
      Posted March 8, 2015 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      I use Thesauras Crossword decoder ( a little book from 1985 with a. List of words from 3 to 15 long – I haven’t seen them in book shops these days) and dictionaries first before ling at hints, so NOT cheating in my view! I also got stuck in SE corner
      So thanks for hints BD.Should have got 23a though.

  5. Kitty
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Second words provided the tricky bits for me today.

    I hadn’t heard of 23a but guessed at the first word, looked in the BRB and there it was. That enabled me to see the missing second bit of 16d.

    I was also held up by the latter part of 4d. Far from my favourite kind of play, but better the end of it than the beginning :).

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

    Happy Caturday to everyone. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    • Tantalus
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Happy Caturday to you

      • Kitty
        Posted March 8, 2015 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        purr :)

  6. Tantalus
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Messers Ron and Dave for a crumb filled delight, cheeky but with a lingering Oxford thick cut aftertaste.

    Deep and crisp and Cabin fever here in Boston.
    Do you English get cabin fever?

    • Merusa
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Every time I look at the news, I think of my Bostonian friends. I can’t imagine snow and cold like that. Hopefully it will soon be over.

    • Expat Chris
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      We’ve only just had our first significant snowfall off the winter here in Southern Maryland. Boston is really suffering. Best you can do is stay safe and warm! Hopefully when it finally thaws there will not be too much flooding.

      • Merusa
        Posted March 7, 2015 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        A friend in Arlington, works at the Kennedy Theatre, told me that they closed one day because of weather! That must have been that snowstorm you had.

        • Tantalus
          Posted March 8, 2015 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

          Yep, 3 meter snow banks outside our house (that’s a fathom and a half in old money).

  7. Kath
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was of average difficulty for a Saturday.
    I had a few minor hold ups. There are so many different meanings of ‘mole’ – thought of just about every kind except the right one. I had the wrong spelling of 26a which held up the second word of 16d for a while. I was thinking of the wrong kind of ‘play’ in 4d – should have known better and learnt by now!
    Not many anagrams – I made it three but since I can’t spell today maybe I can’t count either.
    I liked 9 and 10a and 7 and 15d. My favourite was 25a.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    Lovely sunny day – off to the garden. Had a quick look at MPP and have got as far as establishing what I’m looking for but not much further.

    • Brian
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Well done with the cricket clue, I think you and sport is a bit like me and religion!

      • Kath
        Posted March 7, 2015 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        Thanks – I can’t do religion either . . .

        • pommers
          Posted March 7, 2015 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

          . . . neither can I http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

          • Merusa
            Posted March 7, 2015 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

            You should have gone to a Church of England boarding school; chapel morning and night, church twice on Sunday and Sunday School, plus “diviinity” as a subject taught! We were awash in it.

  8. Little Dave
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was a little more challenging for a Saturday but nevertheless go it done without too much angst. 26a was my favourite. Thanks to The Setter and to BD. Big game today: COME ON WEST BROM! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  9. Graham
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Can any body please give me some guidance on a couple of clues please,brain not functioning properly today 11a, 8D. many thanks in advance.

    • Collywobbles
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      Can somebody please help Graham with 11a?

      • Angel
        Posted March 7, 2015 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        No problem! 11a 3 letter word for regulation followed by new shortly gives word for fine linen. 8d is exactly as it says word meaning risk or fortune.

        • Collywobbles
          Posted March 7, 2015 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

          Many thanks Angel. It wasn’t actually Graham who needed the help – it was me. There, I’ve said it

          • Angel
            Posted March 7, 2015 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

            You’re welcome whoever you may be. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    • crypticsue
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      If you look Graham indicated at post 10 that the penny had dropped with regard to his missing clues, but I have put a hint here because you obviously haven’t got them yet ;)

      11a The definition is ‘fine linen’ and you simply put a regulation before the abbreviation for new.
      8d is a double definition clue

  10. Graham
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Brain just kicked in & the Crossy is solved,all is well in the world, off out to the garden to plant an apple tree.

  11. Brian
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Tricky little blighter I thought but quite enjoyable although the last in 24d caused a lot of head shaking. Still don’t get 21a but there is only one answer it can be from the checking letters. Two nice clues in 25a and 23a both made us smile with special mention for 10a (the capitalisation held us up for a while).
    Thx to all

    • crypticsue
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Try splitting your solution to 21a into two and then reading the clue again.

      • Brian
        Posted March 7, 2015 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

        Still makes no sense perhaps even less split 2/2. Thx for trying, I’ll have to wait for the full revue.

        • andrewkiwi
          Posted March 7, 2015 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

          Have you seen The Sound of Music Brian?

        • Badger
          Posted March 8, 2015 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

          Tryi singing the scales Brian !

  12. Expat Chris
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    My only hold up was the second word of 16D because, like Kath, I had spelled 26A incorrectly. I rather liked this puzzle, especially 10A. 25A, 7D and 19D. Thanks to the Saturday Setter and to Big Dave for the review. On to the NTSPP now.

    • williamus
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      I spelt it wrong first!

      • Expat Chris
        Posted March 7, 2015 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        So you did! I missed that.

  13. Hilary
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Still struggling and got two wrong but sorted out now thanks to BD, thanks also to setter as I really enjoyed the wordplay. Lovely day in East Anglia and Southwold heaving with people this morning when OH drove me over to pick up a book I had ordered. Off to attempt GK, the trusty pencil and I will be back on parade tomorrow. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  14. Framboise
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    I too found the SE corner trickier but persevered and managed to complete this throughly enjoyable Saturday solve. The second word of 16d held me up but once I solved 23a – never heard of the expression before! – I cracked it. 19d puzzled me as I wanted to squeeze in the wrong Spanish word! Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD. 3*/4* with 26a as my favourite with 7d as a close runner-up. Mr Framboise and I had a lovely lunch yesterday at Mr Horse’s restaurant….

  15. Merusa
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    I found this a delightful solve, even getting the cricket reference, must have heard it before. I could name several outstanding clues, but my fave will be 23a, with 25a and 10a as runners up.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for your review.

  16. Heno
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A tricky puzzle, but very enjoyable. Needed the hints for 25a,4&19d. I was having a dim day, should’ve got them, but it was not to be. Favourite was 7d. Was 3*/3* for me.

  17. Sweet William
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Thank you setter. Not the easiest Saturday puzzle, but managed to solve it on the train to Birmingham. KJ at the BSO tonight plus an enjoyable meal I hope.

  18. Sarah
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Oh help!…I mean it. I came to do today’s offering after rowing up an estuary and singing for a world women’s day event ( I’m a 24 d in everyday life) . I thought I’d come to it fresh, but OMG I couldn’t get started! Thanks so much BD, this is obviously not the compiler for me so I couldn’t have done it without your help. Am singing next w/e too so hope that crossword is more my thing. Have a great weekend everyone

    • crypticsue
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      Given the dictionary definition of 24d, I am fascinated to learn all about your everyday life although we’ll probably have to wait until Friday when you can comment on the review.

      • Merusa
        Posted March 7, 2015 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        Me too! The mind boggles!

  19. jean-luc cheval
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Usual Saturday fun.
    No real favourite though.
    Thanks to setter and BD for the hints.

  20. Gwizz
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Ooh Sarah, I’m almost thinking of delaying my comments until one or two others have contributed to put some distance between us!
    I’m afraid I thought this was a relatively easy solve and I liked 23a as others have.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and BD for his hints although just for once I didn’t need them!

  21. Angel
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    So good to have a bit more of a run for our money on a Saturday and very enjoyable at that. The kind of mole in 10a didn’t cause the penny to drop for a while. Particularly liked 23a and 25a. ***/****. Thanks Mr. Ron and BD. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  22. andrewkiwi
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    */*** for me. Everything fell in quickly and smoothly except for 23ac, because I had a most excellent solution for 16d which places the definition at the other end of the clue, but also turns out to be most wrong!16d would be my favourite if my solution had been right! But in its stead I’ll choose 4d. Thanks setter and BD.

  23. JonP
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    I found this took a while to give up its secrets, so although I solved it reasonably comfortably within my 2* time – it felt potentially trickier. Thanks to BD and setter 2.5*/3.5*

  24. Rufus the Dog
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Felt like a different compiler than usual today. Some clues very easy 3d,9a for example others had me stumped, mostly SE corner.


  25. Salty Dog
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    An enjoyable and satisfying puzzle – 2*/3.5*. Quite a few clues took my fancy but my tip for the top is 4d. Thanks to Mr Ron for this entertainment, and to Big Dave for the hints.

  26. Una
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Like Salty Dog above, enjoyable and satisfying, and I agree that 4d was probably the best clue and 25a perhaps sharing top place.I don’t quite understand 6d though. Thanks setter and BD.

    • gazza
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      6d Having no end of attractiveness, one cleans up (4)
      Start with a word meaning attractiveness or glamour and drop the last letter (having no end).

  27. weekendwanda
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    For the first time in weeks I have had the opportunity to start and finish the Saturday puzzle in the day. Just hit the right spot I felt. Not too quick a solve but no real hold-ups. Some very novel clues. Like others I was left with the SE corner but managed without hints or recourse to BRB or hints. I had the wrong third word for 25a but once I changed that the ending at least of 15d became more obvious. Then in came the last three. Liked 4d although had been on a more theatrical than sporting pursuit. Also 23a and 24d when eventually got them. Thanks setter, BD et al.

  28. Dawn
    Posted March 8, 2015 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Late to the party as usual these days, which is why I haven’t commented for a while. I would never have finished without the hints and blog so thank you all and BD

    Never heard of 23a but got it after consulting BRB.

    I too, have always wondered if using resources like BRB and thesaurus is cheating, the day I finish a crossword without either and not resorting to hints is still not even on the horizon!

    • Badger
      Posted March 8, 2015 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      See my comments at 4 above, Dawn. You!re not alone!

      • Tantalus
        Posted March 8, 2015 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        Dawn & Badger, you are not alone.

  29. Kate
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Why is 12a the answer I have??? Can’t say what my answer is of course but the rest of the puzzle is complete :)

    • Posted March 12, 2015 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Kate

      12a Nurse regularly meeting journalist, which is enjoyed (4)
      The even letters (regularly – can also mean the odd letters) of [n]U[r]S[e] followed by the usual two-letter journalist