DT 27803 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27803 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27803 (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    Decision given by Italian who made notes before court (7)
The surname of an Italian “who makes notes” followed by C(our)T

5a    Nickname promises to be questionable (7)
A verb meaning to confer a nickname on followed by the usual promises to pay

10a    Lying about joining with criminal (9)
The two-letter word meaning about followed by a three-letter word meaning “joining with”, as in kitchen-***-dining-room, and an adjective meaning criminal or dishonest

12a    Stop in area to follow TV doctor (4)
A(rea) follows a well-known Doctor in a long-running TV series

18a    Part of body of country, large and wild to the west (7,5)
A four-letter word for a country preceded by (to the west) an anagram (wild) of LARGE AND

21a    Composer has dropped in for some meat (4)
Start with the surname of a Polish composer and then drop the IN

26a    Popular at present yet without any chance of success (2-3)
Split as (3,2) this could mean popular at present

28a    Ruler more troubled for each being imprisoned (7)
An anagram (troubled) of MORE around a word meaning “for each”


1d    French dance in which I’ll get covered up, in case (6)
The French for a type of ballroom dance around (in which … will get covered up) the I from the clue

3d    Knight invading being put in grave captivity (10)
The chess notation for knight inside (invading) the act of being put in a grave

7d    Rigorous examination about catch at sea (8)
A four-letter preposition meaning about or concerning followed by the number of fish caught at sea

8d    Places university knocked back, held by models (8)
U(niversity) and a verb meaning knocked back or devoured inside a verb meaning models or poses

15d    Laugh out loud, striding along and bounding about (9)
Textspeak for “Laugh Out Loud”, not as many seem to thing “Lots Of Love”, followed by a verb meaning striding along

16d    Fabulous being cooler — then caught island flu outbreak (8)
An apparatus that creates a current of air for cooling followed by C(aught), I(sland) and an anagram (outbreak) of FLU

20d    One laments being more intense (6)
Two definitions – the former being a professional mourner and the latter an adjective meaning more intense or more penetrating

24d    Snake Pass contains one (4)
This verb meaning to snake or wind is derived from a mountain pass around 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: shut+till+cock=shuttlecock

46 comments on “DT 27803 (Hints)

  1. Enjoyed this puzzle immensely and had no trouble except for 18a which needed a dictionary to verify as I was unfamiliar with the said body part. Thanks BD.

  2. Saturday puzzles are much more fun these days and this was no exception. Thank you Mr. Ron and BD. Was initially out on a limb for 18a and bunged in 20d. **/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      1. Not sure why you haven’t used alias but both should work now.

        Any relation to Robin??

        1. yes, Robin,s me, more than likely

          does one need to use an alias-I do not intend to write anything defamatory !http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

          1. You don’t need to use an alias – it is just that Martin Newman had used one before and you both have different email addresses. Having one Newman comment on another’s post made me wonder if you were related

            1. Leave the lad alone! If he wants to be Martin or even Robin-So be it!

              Happy with today no hints required-liked 11a -clever and 18a took a while to get that one.

              Completed it whilst being driven to Cheshire -on a photocopy so need to tidy it up for scan to DT.

              Thanks to BD & setter.

  3. Finished before lights out last night, but no great sense of satisfaction as I found some it quite laborious. But, at least it was better than Friday’s puzzle.

  4. 1.5*/4*. Very enjoyable. I actually solved this very quickly but it took me almost as long again to parse everything fully with a few tangled Lego clues to unravel. I agree with Dutch about 11a, which was my favourite too.

    Just taken a break from jet washing the patio. At least it’s sunny and warm outside. Back to the grindstone now …

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD.

  5. Thank you setter, an enjoyable Saturday puzzle and not too difficult. Thanks BD for your hints, always helpful.

  6. Oh dear. Am I the only detractor? I really needed the hints today. I particularly disliked 21a because “has” is a wasted word which threw me completely. I must have run through every composer trying to figure it out and then it was so blatantly easy once I parsed it correctly!! I did like 11a but didn’t really enjoy this one I’m afraid. Thanks to the setter and to BD without whom I would be staring at far too many blank spaces!!

    1. I enjoyed this but did find it really tricky – pleased to have a bit of company as I think we might be the only ones.

  7. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif No-one would believe the mess I’ve made of this one – at least I hope they wouldn’t!
    I didn’t get many answers to begin with but one of the few was 22a – all fine until I got 13d and that was where all the trouble started as they just didn’t get along together.
    Rubbed out 22a and left 13d were it was – wrong choice.
    18a would have been OK if I knew my easts from my wests!
    Wrong second word for 26a which made 20d impossible.
    I still have no idea what the 1d French dance is – I’ve tried bunging in the letter we’re supposed to have taken out but . . .
    To cap it all the piccy for 24d has made me go all wobbly! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
    Whatever all this sounds like I really enjoyed the crossword – my favourite was 6d – it made me laugh!
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD – off to the garden.

    1. Kath, in 1d there are several examples including Triste, Macabre and Pathétique in which to include the letter – naughty corner for me? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_confused.gif

  8. After a very busy week where crosswords came a poor second to everything else I picked up my trusty pencil prepared for the worst and loved every minute of it. My only complaint was that it was over too quickly. Slight problem with wrong biscuit but I soon sorted that out, 15d did make laugh and like Kath favourite is 6d. Sunshine in Suffolk but cool breeze. Thanks to BD and setter.

  9. Liked this a lot. Some easy clues and some I had to work hard at. Certainly not r and w. Favourite 18a, and **/*** for me.
    Thanks to setter and BD.

  10. Nice mixture of a few gimmes and a few head scratchers. Very enjoyable. **/**** from us.

    Many thanks to setter and BD.

  11. Lovely puzzle and easier than a normal Saturday but taxing enough to be interesting with some good clues…**/*** for us.

    Thanks to Big Dave and Mr. Ron.

  12. I found this a bit more tricky that yesterday’s Giovanni, but finished in 2* time. Many enjoyable clues. I liked 14a, 18a, and 15d. But spraying the champagne over the dancing girls from the top of the podium is 21a for its pure simplicity. Many thanks to setter and BD.

  13. Good Saturday puzzle.
    Despite rushing and writing a wrong 18a, one near the kidney, I realised my mistake and quickly went on.
    7 and 8d were the last ones in.
    Thanks to the Saturday setter and to our host for the weekend blog.

  14. This is probably the latest I’ve posted a comment but, in mitigation, I had to postpone starting the puzzle because I had an unexpected visitor… Once I got started, I’m pleased to say that everything seemed to fall into place quickly and I’m amused by Dave’s comment for 15a because Cameron made the same mistake.

      1. I’ll go along with Mrs BD. I thought it meant that too for a long time.

  15. Good afternoon fellow solvers. I started this as I waiting for my dental appointment and finished it after I’d had my hair cut. Beautiful day here so jobs done in garden. Thanks to BD etc.

  16. Really enjoyable puzzle today and managed to finish without hints, so thank you to the Saturday setter and to BD.

  17. Excellent Crossie but it took me a while to find first gear and get the handbrake off. Got it all done in a onner though but not quickly. I liked this one – thank you setter. 11a anagram is sweet and therefore my. Busy day in the garden today so only got to this in the last hour of sunshine with a glass of. Heaven.

  18. My only problem was that i had never heard the word for a professional mourner. I puzzled and puzzled, began to be convinced I had a wrong letter! Just gave up and googled the mourner. Got the body part but did not spot the anagram! Thanks setter et al.

  19. Only looked at this when I’d finished as I couldn’t parse a couple of my answers. As someone who is phobic about snakes I wish I had’t looked at al!!

  20. Didn’t really get around to looking at this until today. Really enjoyed it. 18a took me a moment until the second word winged its way into my consciousness :D


  21. This was a fun Saturday puzzle. I agree with Pommers that some of the clues were straightforward whilst others demanded a bit of head scratching. My fave was 15d. I also liked 23d and 24d amongst others. **** for enjoyment from me. Many thanks to the setter.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_lol.gif

    I always enjoy Big Dave’s hints and find them invaluable, even though I didn’t need them on this occasion. Thank you very much, Big Dave.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  22. I enjoyed this one too as I managed to complete it without any help from hubby or other sources (a rare occurrence). Though it did take me until this morning to get the last clue in, 3D, which I didn’t realise had the “knight” letter in it http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif Favourite, like many others, was 11A.

  23. A wee bit late; all due to days, nay, weeks packing boxes. I even dream about the blasted things now! Anyway a nice Saturday puzzle, even when it’s done on a Monday. 2*/3* overall and 14a was my fave.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and of course BD.

  24. I’ve got a word that means lacking precision but still cant see how it is associated with malaria.
    Possibly feeling a bit dense this evening. Sorry!

    1. I’ll try and explain:

      23d Lacking precision against malaria? (5)
      To get this adjective meaning “lacking precision” a single letter meaning “against” is followed by an ailment of which malaria is an example, as indicated by the question mark.

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