DT 27821 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27821 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27821 (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    Large building site conceals article (6)
A site or location around the indefinite article

4a    Knife fight about where the cash is kept mostly (8)
A fight (3,2) around most of where the cash is kept in a shop

9a    ‘Ring me’, missing the start — call again (6)
A ring or stadium and the ME from the clue without (missing) the initial letter (start) of the first word gives a verb meaning to call or designate again

11a    Fake diamond is a national symbol (8)
A four-letter word meaning fake followed by a colloquial word for a diamond

15a    A comedian’s accessory has fishes caught in a couple of seconds (8,5)
This accessory used by a particular comedian may be unknown outside the UK! – Crosswordland’s ubiquitous fishes between (caught by) two of the same seconds or brief moments of time

24a    Who’ll renovate antique luxury car round back of furniture shop (8)
The two-letter abbreviation for a type of luxury car around the final letter (back) of [furniture]E and a shop

27a    Old music club put clergyman back in prison (6)
The reversal (put … back) of the three-letter abbreviation for a clergyman inside a slang word for a prison

28a    Aristocrat and toff leading motor race in France, failing to finish (8)
A toff followed by a French motor race (2,4) without its final letter (failing to finish)

29a    Guard southern access point (6)
S(outhern) followed by an access point


1d Study South American country’s broadcast (6)
This verb meaning to study sounds like (broadcast) belonging to a South American country (South American country’s)

3d Cloth that’s white or light blue one-third off put on cape (7)
Two thirds of the light blue associated with one of our universities followed by C(ape)

5d Youngster not in employment, education or training on the way up (4)
The acronym for Not in Employment, Education or Training reversed (on the way up in a down clue)

7d Taking top off, force lock (5)
Drop (off) the initial letter (top) force or significance to get a lock of hair

8d Facing the bowlingout! (2,6)
Two definitions – facing the bowling in cricket and out or withdrawing one’s labour

12d Group of settlers pass over US city (6)
A mountain pass followed by O(ver) and the two-letter abbreviation for a US city

14d Prisoner on good terms with officer (6)
A two-letter adjective meaning on good terms with followed by a ship’s officer

21d Drink of unknown manufacture? (6)
Split as (5,1) this could be something of unknown manufacture

25d Things used to cook up long story (4)
The reversal (up in a down clue) of some range cookers (like ours which is pictured in Big Dave’s Kitchen!)

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: beech+buoys=Beach Boys

60 comments on “DT 27821 (Hints)

  1. Quite a straightforward puzzle for the Saturday Prize this week.

    I do wonder very often at the age of some of the references in the DT puzzles – Fanny Cradock and Sid James a few days ago then 27a and 15a today – do young people have any sort of clue about these ? You have to be an octogenarian to get some of these I think!

    2*/4* would be my rating and thanks to the setter and BD for my daily crossword fix.

    1. I agree with your comments, George, and I’ve queried the age of the setter in the past because some of the expressions used have been archaic – one of which, in recent weeks, was a reference to Billy Bunter as the ‘Fat Owl of the Remove’…

      1. Yes, even an old fossil like me can barely remember Billy Bunter. Ah – the nostalgia is hitting.

    2. I agree with this. The answer to a clue about someone who works in an office a few weeks ago was Articled Clerk. I fondly remember signing my Artciles but that was 40 years ago.

  2. Quite hard, I thought, for a Saturday.
    Pennies dropped quite noisily, eg 27a and 9a.
    Overall, very enjoyable.
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  3. Another one where one corner, this time the NW, pushed up my solving time beyond 2*. My rating therefore is 2.5*/3*. I enjoyed this even though the setter has delivered an overdose of charades, but the saving grace for me is that the surface readings are all so smooth.

    BD, many thanks for your hints thus far. Can I put in a request for one for 5d please which is the only answer I can’t parse?

    Many thanks too to Mr. Ron

    1. Many thanks. I assumed it must be something like that, but it is a new acronym for me.

  4. It’s going to be a hot weekend.
    Haven’t done yesterday’s back page yet and I see that the monthly prize and the not the Saturday prize are also online.
    As far as today’s DT is concerned, no real problems apart from writing 25d the other way round.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the blog.

  5. Nice, and not taxing. 15A brought back memories and made me smile so it’s my favorite. Thanks to today’s setter and to BD for the review.

  6. Thanks for the help today, I needed a little nudge in a couple of places. Breezed through the top half, but just couldn’t get going on the lower section for a while. I’d go 3/3. Thanks to the setter and for the help.

  7. The N.E corner held me up I must learn how to spell a kind of knife properly. Younger solvers have my sympathy for clues 15A & 27A,liked 8D 17D. Many thanks to the setter & to our leader BD.

  8. Fairly simple for me mostly but one or two toughies. I hear the comments about older references but 15a made me LOL and 17d made me smile so they are my faves. Thanks to BD for the hints – not needed other than 21d was an obvious answer from the checking letters but I couldn’t see the parsing until I checked the hint – makes sense although I’d normally associate a different letter to the 1 in 5,1. Thanks to the setter for an enjoyable cerebral workout. Looking forward to having a go at the MPP a little later.

  9. **/**** Unlike Rabbit Dave, we enjoy the charades, and enjoyed this puzzle where we thought that Mr Ron was quite on form with a variety of clues. We don’t mind the Sid James/Fanny Craddock references as many clues go much further back in history. 15a was a gem so we agree with Expat Chris on this one (our parents and grandparents would roll on the floor giggling their heads off to this).

    Thanks to BD for the amusing photo!

  10. I was a bit slow to get into this one – can’t see why now I’ve finished it.
    It took ages for me to see why 9a was what it had to be.
    I did vaguely remember 15a but had to ask Mr Google who it belonged to – possibly not a very fair clue to non UK people.
    5d was my last answer – eventually remembered the acronym – think it might be a newish one and, again, not too good for non UK folk.
    8d was, needless to say, a complete mystery to me and I couldn’t get it until I did 15a.
    I couldn’t decide which way up 25d was going to be.
    I liked 24 and 28a and 3 and 20d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    Lots of people here for supper tonight so off to do some cooking – NTSPP and MPP may have to wait until tomorrow.

    1. I think your protestations of ignorance about cricket are ringing a bit hollow, Kath, after you got ‘middle’ on Thursday – I suspect that you’re really a closet fan. :D

      1. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gifWhat little I know about the beastly ‘C’ word I’ve learnt here.
        Thursday was a mixture of luck, guesswork and look it up!

  11. I am obviously as old as the hills because I managed this one without any help, thanks to BD as always for the blog and thanks to setter for a delightful weekend treat. Gorgeous day in Suffolk albeit windy. Have a super weekend everybody. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  12. A joke by the ‘particular comedian’ posted by BD.

    ‘Oh what a beautiful day for getting out the dictionary (BRB?), lying on the lawn and looking up skirts!

  13. Got stuck on 10a for a while until I realised 7d did not refer to taking off clothes!

  14. Why is it that I always struggle when everyone else thinks it’s easy and breeze through “difficult” ones. I have really struggled today but I suspect that I am far too young for some of the references. Oodles of thanks to BD. I’d have had a near blank grid without him!

  15. As always I turn to you all to explain a few of the clues. This week 10a has me stumped – I have an answer that fits, but can’t see why – any clues?

    1. Louise, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [Edited because I think Paso Doble – see below – is correct that the hint strays into the world of alternative clues CS]

      1. Thanks – not come across that female title before! Enjoyed this one, but not so keen on clues where letters are removed from words as there seem so many options!

        1. Louise, I replied earlier with a very similar explanation to Rod’s…then retracted it because I thought I might get into trouble with the hierarchy for offering an alternative clue.

          1. Apologies to all and I have slapped my wrist. However, in my defence I don’t quite see how what I said could be an ‘alternative clue’. It was surely less explicit than the hints for 15a or 3d for example. Anyhow, point taken and I bow to the more experienced bloggers.

  16. I’m with Sarah on this as I too found this one difficult.
    Recognised all the references, though, so clearly very old as well as dim.

    Thanks to Big Dave and to the setter.

  17. For some reason (like Kath) I had difficulty getting started with this one and almost didn’t bother (garden needs some attention). Glad I persevered because I quite enjoyed it – just the right amount of application required for a Saturday. 2.5*/3.5* for me. Corny but I enjoyed 20d and 11a. Thanks to the setter and to BD.

  18. Long time lurker, first time commenter simply wanting to say thanks for all the tuition provided on the site. Gradually able to do more and more before seeking help!

    1. Welcome. Now you’ve de-lurked, I hope you’ll come back regularly and comment.

    2. Welcome from me too – please keep commenting – the more the merrier, or something along those lines. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  19. managed to finish this one in about xxxxxxxxxxxx (bit of a record for me!)

    cannot see how one rates this time for difficulty-have looked through FAQ’s

    presumably the enjoyment ratings are relative

    thought 15A very good


    1. Not only are the enjoyment ratings relative but also so are people’s ratings for time and difficulty level and for this reason we never quote times, just say ‘a record’, it took two cups of tea/pints of beer/longer than usual/less time than usual and so on.

  20. Lovely puzzle. Thanks to setter and big thanks for the hint for 3D, which allowed me to complete the puzzle and to find a fabric of which I was previously ignorant.

  21. Lost my hudl so had to buy (use my vouchers) a new one. Therefore may have wrong name for this blog.
    Anyway, really enjoyed this offering.**/**** for me. Did not need the great hints above even though I struggled to start. Slowly slowly filled in a few, then, with some letters in completed the remainder in double quick time. Loads of favs. Perhaps 11a. Thanks all.

  22. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but quite straightforward. Managed to complete, but needed the hints to parse 9a,3&5d. Favourites were 15&22a. Last in was 26a. Nice and sunny in Central London. Looking forward to Barca vs Juve.

  23. This is a red letter day! First time I’ve ever finished the Prize crossword without any hints or electronic help. Just an occasional sneaky peek at a thesaurus. Now more enjoyment watching the world’s most entertaining football team: Barcelona

    Thanks to setter and BD

  24. Finished this one all in one day so got to be good :D Came to the blog for parsing of 1d and 9a.
    Really enjoyed it – fave clues 8d and 18a.
    PS. Is it the intention to have the hover text on the images give away the answer?

    1. That’s a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) so guess where you’ll find the answer. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

      1. Ah OK – bit surprised given the big red pop-up :)

        Interested to see they receive “thousands” of entries. Must have been real beginner’s luck to pick up the pen and notebook on my first ever entry http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

        1. I had one too,early on but nothing recently…had to look up a hint for. 11a – last one- could have kicked myself …stupid. Odd that I found top left hardest.

          Good puzzle liked the comedian one best -very clever.

          Thanks BD And the setter -can we assume you are not a teenager….?

  25. A pleasant little romp of a puzzle: 2*(only just, but one has to be honest)/4*. I much enjoyed 15a. Thanks to Mr Ron, and to Big Dave for the hints.

  26. Certainly an above average Saturday offering with plenty of food for thought plus a bit of fun? Needed help with 15a and still wonder how it parses as surely plural of the fish is same as the singular? Always forget the group in 12d and not helped by originally plumping for wrong US city. South went in ahead of North. Thanks Mr. Ron and Big Dave. ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  27. Back after a long break. Didn’t find this one difficult favourite clue 11a. Thanks.

  28. Quite an old fashioned feel to this one, but enjoyable nonetheless. I hope I remember the spelling of 4a from now on.Pretty good clue , I thought. 11a is not actually a national symbol though most people think it is.The actual national symbol is a musical instrument, as seen on the coins.OK, I admit to being a pedant.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  29. Grateful for the parsings of 9a (ring me) and 3d (light blue), which had eluded me though I had the answers. Favourite was 12d (…pass over US city).

    Many thanks BD and setter

  30. Thank you setter for a good fun Saturday puzzle. Thanks BD for the hints. Getting a bit hot here – thunderstorms coming apparently !

  31. This for me was a very Saturday type crossword; not that difficult but with one or two interesting clues that needed a little bit of weekend cogitation!
    15a was my fave as it was completely unexpected (for me) in a (almost) back pager. Wow, am I really that old? Seems like only yesterday…. I think I had better lie down…
    2*/3* overall and thanks to the setter and BD.

  32. Very warm today so sat in the shade and did Saturday and Sunday puzzles. The former was more difficult than the latter but both very rewarding. Thanks to the setters and BD for the reviews.

  33. All done exept 7d despite the clue from BD still cant fathom it out.
    Any chance of another clue?
    Thanks in anticipation.

    Sorted now. Misspelt 4a.

  34. A difficult one for me but showed my age getting 15a quite quickly. Thx again for all the hints.

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