DT 27797 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27797 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27797 (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    Cheated with young lady somewhere in Ireland (7)
A four-letter verb meaning cheated followed by a young lady

10a & 11a    He wrote of crimes involving horrendous carnality (3,6,5,5)
A very clever anagram (involving) of HORRENDOUS CARNALITY

14a    Body Shop’s task producing puffs about German flower aroma primarily (5,7)
A verb meaning puffing or gasping for breath around a German river (flower) and the initial letter (primarily) of A[roma]

22a    Show consisting of a musical instrument (10)
A show or musical performance followed by a two-letter preposition meaning “consisting of” and the A from the clue

26a    Tip that’s acceptable to be expected (2-3)
This verb meaning to tip or invert comes from the single-letter which represents acceptable and a verb meaning to be expected or imminent

27a    Contested election returns deserve recount (7)
The reversal (returns) of a three-letter verb meaning contested an election is followed by a verb meaning to deserve or be worthy of

28a    An old poet using leisurely pace (7)
THE AN from the clue followed by an old Italian poet


1d    Present from French tribesman north of the border (6)
The French for “from” followed by an ancient tribesman from north of the border

2d    Hose sprayed on sly catching indefinite number (6)
These hose are the kind that are worn on the feet – an anagram (sprayed) of ON SLY around (catching) the usual indefinite number

5d    Sandwich bishop found with trace of damage round it — mouse may have moved it (6,3)
A sandwich and B(ishop) both inside (with … round it) a trace of early damage to the skin

7d    Call up for one from Irish city good at sport (8)
The reversal (up in a down clue) of a verb meaning to call replaces (for) the ONE in an Irish city

13d    It may be amusing to expose King George among cast (10)
A three-letter verb meaning to expose or broadcast and King George’s regnal cipher inside (among) a verb meaning to cast or mould

16d    One gets into row about servant (8)
I (one) inside a verb meaning to row with a pair of oars and a two-letter word meaning about

17d    Electrical device more inactive without volts (8)
This can be read in two ways with the same result – an adjective meaning more inactive around (without) V(olts) or this electrical device becomes an adjective meaning more inactive without the V(olts)

19d    Succeed bagging George for a duck (6)
A three-letter verb meaning to succeed around GEO(rge)

20d    Theologian in market for lumber (6)
The usual theologian inside a market gives a verb meaning to lumber or encumber

24d    Odd characters in Boeotia, or one of them (4)
The odd letters in a word in 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!

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The Quick Crossword pun: totter+numb=Tottenham

58 comments on “DT 27797 (Hints)

  1. I was chuffed to finish before you came on line but I am unclear about the first part of your suggestion for 17 down

  2. I had to look up 19d to get a foothold in the SE corner (couldn’t concentrate due to the cacophany of ‘duelling chainsaws’ next door) , but apart from that I found it to be not too tricky. Thanks to BD and setter **/***

  3. Mmm. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
    Not sure how to rate this both for difficulty and enjoyment. On balance I’ll go for 3*/3*. Some clues were write-ins, some were challenging and some downright difficult. Similarly there was lots to enjoy, but for me the gloss was taken off by several convoluted wordy charades, although, to be fair, 5d was excellent thanks to the superb surface reading.

    Although the answers were obvious from the definitions and checking letters I couldn’t parse 26a & 7d fully, so many thanks to BD for the hints and enlightenment. The cunningly misleading 14a was my last one in, and 20d was my favourite.

    Many thanks too to Mr. Ron.

  4. Quite steady romp today. 17d was my last in after running through just about every device in the house and not finding one that fit. But eventually it was found!

    1*/4* for me.

  5. Took a while for the penny to drop for 14a, but after that everything fell nicely in to place. Thanks to BD and the setter, and I rate this as 2*/3*

  6. 10a and 11a was indeed a very clever anagram, Dave, and I’ve no doubt that some of our contributors may have seen it before; however, I hadn’t and it was one of those joyous moments when you think to yourself, “Surely it can’t be?” and then find that it is!

  7. Some of the more obscure word meanings took a bit of working out (1d, for example) . Enjoyed the Irish clues (being Irish myself) but 7d took a while for the penny to drop as did the fact that 10and 11a was an anagram.

    As a matter of interest, how does one insert a smiley? I have tried over end over but failed.

    1. Simply click on whichever emoticon you want to use from the selection that appears undrer the Comment box.


        1. That long line of text will magically transform into the emoticon when you press ‘post comment’ http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

          1. Thanks for the tip Sue. I too have had problems with this and didn’t want risk putting a load of gobbledegook into my posts.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

        2. Go on – try it! Just like this http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif
          The first time I ever did it I was just as confused as you and deleted it all very fast but it works! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

            1. Under the row of ‘little faces’ is something that says ‘More’ – if you click on that you get a whole load more. My favourites, to be used when I’ve done something particularly stupid, are http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif. They get used quite a lot.

  8. I enjoyed this one today. The misdirection in 14a took me a while to spot, and my last one in was 17d.
    Thanks to setter, and to BD.

  9. Didn’t immediately find the setter’s wavelength for some clues, but in the end enjoyable. Have a good weekend all.

  10. like some of the other comments i found this a mixed kettle of fish & i know for a fact that when it comes to my ‘duty’ call to my 85 year old mother tomorrow that she will have something to say about 5d being as she is a complete technophobe.

  11. Finished in ** time but in my opinion one of the poorer Saturday offerings. Wordy clunky clues (27a, 14a, 5d for example), no smile clues and I still don’t understand the ‘one of them’ in 24d although the answer is obvious from the odd characters clue.
    Not much fun for us I’m afraid so our rating would be */**.
    Thx for the hints.

    1. If you look up the one word in the clue you haven’t heard of, all will be revealed ;)

  12. The cryptic was quite easy … but I am still struggling with the SE corner in The Quick … got the theme but … .

    … finally solved it. Never heard of the “loaded dice” before.

      1. Yes!

        But did you get 8d & 22d – Think the setter might be a WHU fan … ?

      2. Lumme, I’ve lived in SW6 for 41 years and never come across this expression for loaded dice.

    1. Um… isn’t there some sort of rule about not discussing the quick crosswords in the hints for the back pager in case people haven’t looked at the Quick crossword yet? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      1. That’s brave of you – I thought of saying that too but decided discretion was the better part of valour.

        1. I am going to be brave as well and have a wee moan about 5d and the hint thereto. Although I got the answer it is fair to say that the sandwich is not a sandwich until it becomes one. How cryptic is that?http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

      2. sorry to disagree Crypticsue, but does the same not apply to the cryptic crossword also
        I found the discussion on the quick crossword quite interesting and there does not seem to be a forum for it, other than this one

  13. I found this a 3/3 today. In common with fellow strugglers 17d was my downfall. Naturally once the penny dropped it was so obvious. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  14. I thought this was really difficult – good fun too but http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif . I hope that it’s just a case of wrong wave length!
    Husband got 14a – I’ve never heard of it. Any dents in my car, regardless of who put them there, stay there.
    I made 28a impossible by ending up with the 23d country rather than the dance – oh dear – sorted that one out but http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
    5d took ages. I had to read the hint about ten times before I finally understood why my 7d was right and 17d took ages too – can’t do electrics.
    This has all taken me a very enjoyably long time. I liked 1 and 10/11a and 4 and 15d.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

  15. Good afternoon fellow solvers. I thought this was par for the course for a Saturday with nothing to inspire particularly. That being said I did like 5d and 14a was fairly clever. Last in was 16d. 5a appears from time-to-time I recall. A relaxing afternoon for me having spent a morning filling a skip. Good exercise Mrs LD tells me. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_heart.gif

  16. We really liked this puzzle and agree with BD that 10a/11a was a really clever clue. There were definite indications that it was a Mr. Ron
    crossword but we will thank Big Dave anyway even if we didn’t need any hints. The great thing about the hints and tips is to read them afterwards
    and find out why. This is why we are learning.

  17. This started well for me. I saw 10/11a immediately so that was a big help….and then the flow stopped!! Needed some hints to get me back on track so thanks for those BD. not as enjoyable as last week but enough of a challenge to make me think

  18. A bit trickier than the typical Saturday puzzle, but we had the time to work our way through it. Thank you setter for the fun ! Thanks BD for the hints.

  19. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very difficult puzzle, was a slog from start to finish. Needed 6 hints to finish. Was completely stuck in the SE Corner. Was 4*/2* for me.

  20. Saturday Cryptics are certainly more enjoyable these days and this was nicely testing. 17d unknown to me but crossings meant it had to be. Wracked my brain to find eine Blume to use in 14a until I cottoned on to the usual alternative meaning. ***/***. Thanks Mr. Ron and BD. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  21. I found this one quite difficult and needed a number of the hints.
    I thought some of the clues were very convoluted and was glad to see that others here had also found it tricky.
    Mostly enjoyed it, though, specially the wonderful 10a and 11a .

    Thanks to Big Dave and to the setter.

  22. A very satisfying puzzle; not too hard (2*) but clever and engaging (4*). Can’t decide between 14a and 13d as favourite. Many thanks to the setter, and to Big Dave.

  23. I didn’t find it difficult until the last few, 13d for example. Anyway, finished now, thank heavens. Thanks BD and setter.
    It threatened rain all day but didn’t.Sort of gloomey and grey. Where is early summer ?

  24. Quite a challenge for a Saturday.
    Some constructions were not easy such as 13d. That king could have been in two places and that made it harder to parse. I myself don’t enjoy these places at all. Glad daughter is grown up.
    16d also wasn’t evident.
    Hope I have 27a correct as it doesn’t make much sense to me.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

  25. First post for me – first to say thanks to this website which I admit I occasionally have to use with cries of ‘cheat’ from my wife – and secondly did anyone else struggle with the bottom right hand area having mistakenly put in a ************** for 20d?!

  26. 14a (body shop’s task) was my last one in and my favourite with a great “ah!” moment. I also really loved 9/10a (he wrote of crimes) and 5d (mouse may have moved it).

  27. This crossword was not particularly Saturday-ish at all! It took me an awful long time to complete and that was only because of the Big Man’s hints. Thanks BD! 17d was the culprit. I just could not see it.
    Ah well. 14a was my favourite and I’ll give the puzzle a 3*/3* overall.
    Thanks too to Mr Ron for the challenge.

  28. I agree this was quite difficult. I don’t usually bother with the Saturday puzzle, but had a go yesterday. I did have to use my electronic helper and some of the hints to complete, but found it quite enjoyable. Last in was 14a which I puzzled over for ages, and even when I got it I didn’t understand why, so had to look at the explanation. I thought 20d was funny and I had a yahooooo! moment when I got 10 & 11a…….I knew it but just couldn’t make the anagram work…. Until I Remembered the relevant name! ***/*** Thanks to setter and to BD for hints.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

  29. Well I found this remarkably hard for a Saturday, perhaps not helped by having three dogs all demanding constant attention in the confined space on the boat, where I had no recourse to t’internet, and so BD’s hints were inaccessible, as were any online cheating machines, and I had to plough on unaided. I also got into a mess by absentmindedly filling in 2d in 1d’s slot while trying to stroke two spaniels at once while the third tried to jump into my lap. All in all, with interruptions, I strayed into 4* time, but I’ll also give it 4* for the challenge. Thanks to all and I look forward to my day off tomorrow when, with luck, I’ll be able to comment on the same day as everyone else.

  30. Hi Dave, just discovered this site and think it’s brilliant. Thank you. I managed to fill the grid with these great assists but could do with having one tiny point explained from 26a. Having got 13d I’d like to understand how this single letter represents ‘acceptable’. Are you able to let me know?

    1. Welcome to the blog Legolass

      Try looking up the letter in Chambers and you should find
      “as used by or found among the upper classes, hence socially acceptable”

  31. I agree that some of the clues were trickier than others. I did manage to work out 17d, but got stuck on 13d and 26a. I now have these two answers, thanks to Big Dave’s excellent hints.

    On the whole, I really rather enjoyed the puzzle. Fave was 10a/11a, but I also liked 12a, 14a, 28a, and 16d.

    Many appreciative thanks to the Saturday setter and to Big Dave.

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