DT 27773 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27773 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27773 (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.


1a    Food for picnic spread I chew visiting beach (10)
An anagram (spread) of I CHEW inside (visiting) another word for the beach

10a    Balance achieved by former party of the centre — right area (5)
The abbreviation for a political party of the centre before (former) its merger with the SDP followed by R(ight) and A(rea)

13a    There’s remarkable energy about Conservative when deputy leader’s in charge (7)
An anagram (creatively indicated by remarkable) of ENERGY around C(onservative) – this deputy leader is not Nick Clegg but someone standing in for a monarch

14a    Chef in big country house may have one? (7,5)
I’m not sure that most chefs would appreciate being called this, but it is what they do! – add IN and a big country house to get something that might be used by a chef in said house

18a    Fancy a soft drink consumed by kid (4,1,5,2)
The A from the clue and a five-letter soft drink inside a phrasal verb meaning to kid (4,2)

23a    Pardon little woman keeping home (7)
This little woman is the youngest of the March sisters – put her first name around (keeping) a home, particularly one for birds

25a    Actor seen in clubs (5)
Two definitions – the surname of a British actor and some golf clubs

27a    Honestly, it’s what shepherd seeks in Bible reading (8,2)
Sounds like (reading) what a shepherd may be seeking (5,3) in one of the parables in the Bible


1d Show is cut, having brought in little money (6)
This verb meaning to show or display is derived from a cut around a small amount of UK money

2d Browse books dipping into ‘The Flower of Africa’ (6)
Not OT or NT but two of the abbreviations for B(ook) inside an African “flower” or river

3d Queen’s expression showing a tremendous awe? Not exactly (2,3,3,6)
This expression, famously used by Queen Victoria, is an anagram (not exactly) of A TREMENDOUS AWE

5d Kitchen utensil’s taken first slice off apple (5)
Drop (taken … off) the initial letter (first slice) from a Kitchen utensil

8d Outlaws and William finally make mistake with strong desire to capture maiden (5,3)
I loved this one as William Brown’s gang in the Just William stories were called the Outlaws – a different bunch of outlaws are derived from the final letter of (Willia)M followed by a verb meaning to make mistake then a strong desire around (to capture) M(aiden)

16d After church a Yankee turned up and almost messed up priest’s garment (8)
CH(urch followed by the A from the clue, the reversal (turned up) of the two-letter abbreviation for a Yankee or American and most of a verb meaning messed up or bungled

20d Craft shops stocking unknown fragrant plant (6)
An anagram (craft is another creative anagram indicator) of SHOPS around a mathematical unknown

22d Sharp  pain (5)
Two definitions – sharp or clever and a verb meaning to pain or hurt

The Crossword Club is now open.

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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!

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The Quick Crossword pun: van+Tay+earn=vingt-et-un

69 comments on “DT 27773 (Hints)

  1. I have put in an answer for 27a, but still dont understand even with your hints
    Can you give me more help?

      1. thanks Big D, much appreciated

        that is a completely new word for me. We learn something new every day !!

        Hope your horse comes in this afternoon at the Grand National

        1. If you see sheep in a field with a splash of coloured paint on their backs, it is a sign that the ram has done his job and they are said to have been ***ped.

          1. Thanks everyone, one of many that I simply didn’t understand today ! However having finished the shopping, started digging the garden (still half under water) and cooked supper, I’ve only got four left to do !!
            Not enjoying this one but as always, many thanks to BD and, I suppose, the setter.

  2. Thank you setter, an enjoyable puzzle – just about my standard ! Thanks for the hints BD. Last visit to the Macron for us this season. Something of a relief http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  3. Not my quickest ever Saturday solve but very enjoyable. I looked up the word I had made up for 20d and lo and behold it was there. Also cheekily looked up the priest’s garment. Was amused too by how the Yankee almost messed it up.

    In general I liked the down clues best; I have noted 6 of them (1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 22) to 3 acrosses (12, 18, 27). You won’t be interested enough to look at all those, but pick one at random and we’ll call that my favourite.

    Have a very happy Caturday all. I’m off now, but will leave you with a video a good friend sent to me this morning after hearing it on the radio. It’s about another of my favourite things and made me laugh. May you have laughter today too.

    1. I heard Sounds of the Sixties too – compulsory Saturday morning listening in my house!

  4. I thought this was quite difficult while I was doing it – now that I’ve finished it I can’t see why. I enjoyed it.
    I needed the hint to understand 27a and untangling 14a took a while – was thinking of the wrong kind of ‘kid’.
    Didn’t know, or had forgotten, the 16d priest’s garment so I was slow with that one which held up 24 and 26a.
    I liked 24a and 4 and 9d.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    Stopped raining – off to the garden.

    1. It was actually the first word I thought of, but then doubts crept in, knowing the words for priests garments was all so long ago, I thought I might be just be making the word up, so I googled it.

  5. I thought this was quite a challenge and much better than the usual Saturday standard. I started it late last night UK time as I’m overseas so I suspect I was a tad weary because this morning things slipped into gear nicely. Not helped by me getting an alternative answer for 1d before I realised the error of my ways. All said a great challenge and thoroughly enjoyable. Thanks to BD and everyone else of course. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  6. Tough but enjoyable. Eagerly awaiting down hints and hoping they will include 1d. I have entered an answer but it was a ****, not a show. Thanks BD and double thanks if you include 1d.

    1. It’s not a show but a verb meaning to show or display. Please be careful with giving alternative interpretations of the clue.

  7. Hmmmmm! Not my favourite crossword of all time. But once I worked out the answers I couldn’t understand why it seemed so tricky! Maybe it’s the after effects of the sedation I had yesterday….that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it! Thanks to the setter and BD. I like it when the hints confirm what I thought the answer could be so I know I’m on the right track

  8. Very enjoyable. I needed the hints for 1D. 27A is my runaway favorite. Thanks BD and today’s setter.

  9. 3.5*/4*. This was very enjoyable and a huge relief after yesterday. The SE corner was the last to fall taking me over my 3* time.

    Although I got the answer to 18a quickly, it took a while for the penny to drop regarding the relevance of “kid” in the wordplay. A loud “d’oh” was uttered much to Mrs. RD’s consternation.

    Lots of clever clues to choose from with consistently good surface readings but 27a was my favourite, with 3d & 20d coming close.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD.

    1. I also liked 27a but had it wrong at the end to start with- them the penny dropped-however the 5,3 version (BD) never dawned. Pleased I got there in the end without BD, but took ages to get going! However I valued a check. Thanks BD. Amazed I took so long to get 24a !
      Hey, has anyone won the fountain pen recently?

  10. A nice easy one for me today. Not quite a R&W but quite close. Much better than yesterday! What gave me a good start was getting 3d, 4d, 14a and 18a quickly then all the checking letters gave the rest of it away.

    2*/4* is my rating.

  11. I thought that was hard work – but I’ve had a strange week – I struggled on Monday, but had no problems on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – then could barely start yesterday’s.

  12. Another excellent if not slightly trickier offering for a Saturday. Completed this in 2 shifts with the intervening period spent fighting our way through Mozzie’s for holiday wine, beer & other comestibles. Away from Monday & going up to Sandsend for 5 days – no wi fi & no easy access to a paper which I object to paying for anyway as I subscribe on line to both the news & the crossword site. But hey ho you can’t have it all.

  13. What a boring tedious slog that was. Very tough and no stand out clues at all with a couple of obscure words in 16d and 20d. Very little fun as far as we were concerned.
    Thx to BD for the hint to 10a which enable us to finish that devilish top left corner.
    Still at least there was a cricket clue today

  14. All done, but I found this much more difficult than last week’s offering. I thought some of the derivations were a little esoteric for me on a Saturday. I appreciated the hints for rationalising some of my answers and specifically for help with 16d (thank you BD) which was last in. I know I’ve seen it before but I honestly can’t remember when. Satisfaction with finishing this puzzle therefore slightly spoilt with me cheating. 27a was my favourite… very good. Thanks to the setter and to Dave for the blog.

  15. This took ages and ages to finish, but was worth the effort. Lots of good clues, but didn’t like 1d which was the last one in. We have what we think is the correct answer for 27a, but don’t understand the Bible reading bit. It’s probably obvious, but there you go.Thank you to the Saturday setter and to BD.

    1. I think the Bible is a red herring – the important word is the ‘reading’ telling us that it’s a homophone.

  16. Was it just us or is this a bit trickier than recent Saturdays have been? Seemed to take a while longer than usual. Oh well, it was a bit of fun so thanks muchly to the setter and BD.

    1. Certainly not just you – I thought it was a very big bit trickier than recent Saturdays.

  17. I’ve been away for a long time and now am struggling to get back into the crossword mind set. I did manage to do this, however, and thank BD for the hints where I was stuck. The only clues now which I’m not sure I have right are 11 and 26a and 19d. I also had another preposition in mind for the end of 18a.
    Thanks to the setter and BD

  18. Straightforward solve again for a Saturday.
    16d was no problem as we use the word in France.
    I quite liked 9d and 24a and the misleading 12a.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

    1. Re 16D – the word is used in England too, in the churches of a particular branch of Christianity!

  19. What an superb crossword! This is the first time that I have given five stars to any crossword, and it is richly deserved.

    Quite often I find the Saturday crossword unchallenging and therefore a little unsatisfactory, so a small part of my pleasure is due to being taken into 3.5* time, but this would have been a delight on any day of the week.

    Much praise to the setter, and thanks to BD too.

  20. Quite a challenge today but after initial despair I made steady progress to an unaided finish. I very much enjoyed it and many thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints.

  21. Apart from 16 and 20d, which were well into gk territory, I thought this was a good challenge. Liked 27a, once the penny dropped. Didn’t need the hints today, whereas yesterday required several, and Thursday was just too difficult for me.
    Thanks to BD and setter. Off to collect some cash from the Grand National now:)

  22. Definitely a little tricky for Saturday, but I got there in the end, and the bung-it-ins appear to be correct.
    Fave was 27a, how clever is that, runner up 8d.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for the review.

  23. Phew, what a day. I’ve had qualifying for the China GP, a four and a bit mile horse race, then a boat race and there’s still another boat race, qualifying for the MotoGP and a round of golf to come. I will be knackered after that lot.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

    Tomorrow gets worse. Grand Prix, MotoGP and the Manchester Derby and amongst that lot there’s the Paris-Roubaix bike race – good luck on the cobbles Wiggo – followed by another round of golf. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    I’ll be glad when it’s Monday and I can just play bridge for the afternoon.

    1. Hear hear Pommers, we’ve got exactly the same agenda in our household this weekend. Exhausting stuff indeed, intertwined with the world and his wife coming over for a barbecue tonight. Double phew! We’ll be supporting the red half of Manchester tomorrow…..

      1. And me too! I’m afraid that I’ve not been concentrating on the crossword today and, as a result, I’m rather late posting my contribution. It took a long while for the penny to drop with 27a and, when it it did, there was a loud clunk, a wry smile and a muttered oath…

  24. We found this a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle and thought that it might be quite easy after a lighting start. It wasn’t because we got held up after a while and had to ‘Google’ 16d. However, we got there in the end after a break for the delivery of our antique Italian chimenea which will be christened for tonights barbecue. Thanks to BD and the setter, who other ‘bloggers’ believer to be Mr. Ron.

  25. The electronic supertoy and I struggled through somehow but we did find it quite complex and needed BD to sort us out – thank you. Several giggles including 2d and 26a but then most people have accused me of having a weird sense of humour. Hope weekend going well, have spent day revising article after silly man changed his mind from 650 words and six pictures to 800 words and 8 pictures. He will probably end up rejecting it – Spit. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  26. Great fun, albeit quite short-lived: 1*/4* for me. As for favouritism, l was tempted for a while by the name of my first boat at 24a (a propitious name for a boat, l always thought), but as soon as the penny dropped on 27a there was no contest. Thanks to the setter, and to Big Dave for the hints.

  27. Today’s intermittent cruciverbal activity squeezed in between listening to Grand National (unsuccessful), watching Boat Races from friend’s house on Thames near finishing post (fun) and now Masters golf not to mention Chinese GP. Nevertheless it was an unusually entertaining cruciverbal exercise for a Saturday for which many thanks Mr. Ron and BD. 19d was Fav when slang word dawned on me.

  28. Re 27a, I needed the hint badly, as I always thought of that shepherds item as lost rather than the other thing. A weird and devious clue.Overall, a tough enough puzzle , and enjoyable. Thanks BD and setter.

  29. How strange, I finished this one without recourse to BIg Dave and his helpful hints. I usually end up checking one or two to confirm what I have.

    1. There’s already a very good hint for 14a and I’m not prepared to expand on it.

      9d Blaming childish art — ordinary, not advanced (6-8)
      Start with some childish art (6-8) and insert O(rdinary) in place of the A(dvanced)

      1. sorry to have been so thick as not to pickup on your additional clue for 14a – now I see it, it’s bl**ding obvious !!

  30. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. I really struggled with this, like Brian I didn’t like 16&20d, needed loads of hints. Still stuck on 26a, any help would be much appreciated. Was 4*/2 * for me.

      1. If your comment includes the words “think of” then beware, you are almost certainly straying into alternative clue territory.

        It’s just as easy to put “you need a type of bear and then remove its initial letter (heading off)”.

  31. Found this one quite difficult but enjoyed it.
    Needed quite a few hints.

    Is there an anagram indicator in 19d ?

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave.

  32. Found 1d and 2d most difficult given the less than obvious interpretation of the clue. Other than that quicker solve than normal.

  33. Struggled with 27a but compared with last Saturday found this easier for a beginner. Thanks for the tips. Still got three more to do. Hoping to improve soon.

    1. For 26a please see comment #33.

      17d Hyped-up spells of cricket out of date (8)

      Some spells or parts of an innings in cricket followed by a three-letter adjective meaning out of date or obsolete.

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