DT 27851 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27851 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27851 (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    Equip pal to create ornamental work (8)
An anagram (to create) of EQUIP PAL gives some ornamental work

9a    Ardent male meeting me in passage (8)
The male pronoun and ME inside a passage or duct

10a    Prophet: ‘Before noon you will return amazingly’ (4)
To get this prophet start with the abbreviation for the period before noon and then add the reversal (you will return) of a two-letter word that could, at a pinch, mean amazingly when used as an interjection

15a    Small canine — greyhound perhaps? (6)
A truly dreadful cryptic definition of a small canine, based on the fact that greyhounds race around a track

20a    School sandwiches used to be cut in half in station (6)
Our usual school for “posh boys who don’t know the price of milk” around the first half of US[ed] gives a London railway station

21a    Lasting three months  beyond the prime? (8)
Two related definitions – the first meaning “of a three-month period in the year and the other beyond the prime of life

23a    Make fewer complaints about practical demonstration (6,6)
Split as (6,4,2) this could mean to make fewer complaints about

26a    Fox in Scotland trapping a small creature (4)
This Scottish word for a fox is a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing – put him around the A from the clue to get a small slimy creature

28a    See April disentangling trellis (8)
An anagram (disentangling) of SEE APRIL gives a trellis


2d    It is not bound to appeal to readers (8)
A cryptic definition of a small booklet containing information about a single subject that may be stitched but not bound

3d    Logs in to play — action that’s a hopeless endeavour! (6,6)
An anagram (to play) of LOGS IN followed by a military action

6d    Sensational story giving tingle to that female Cockney (8)
A tingle or sensation followed by how a Cockney might say “that female”

7d    Eager Nan’s left cotton cloth (4)
Drop (left) NAN from the beginning of a type of cotton cloth

12d    Old fairytale being intellectual? Not yet fully proved (12)
The two-letter prefix for old followed by a “fairytale being” and an adjective meaning intellectual

14d    Not a square meal for Italians (5)
Drop (not) the A from an Italian square to get an Italian meal

16d    How agreement could be made across bridge (3,2,3)
This phrase meaning at close quarters sounds like a nautical (across bridge) agreement – does “how” indicate a homophone or have I missed something?

22d    Raise money — it’s a risk either way (4-2)
Throw a coin (money) in the air (raise)

25d    Advantage of four-speed gears (4)
This advantage is hidden (of) in the clue

The Crossword Club is now open.

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The Quick Crossword pun: foe+tow+Graf=photograph

51 comments on “DT 27851 (Hints)

  1. Big Dave, not sure I should say this as its a prize puzzle, but since you asked…perhaps the bridge referred to in 16D is the one that connects two lenses.

    1. I thought it might refer to the game – but wouldn’t that be cheating?

      and 14d: I didn’t see the italian square, I just thought these things were usually round – quite nice with both.

      1. I had similar reservations about both http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif14d and 16d. Reasoned by thinking of all 14d as being round (as with New York original ones) and with how = manner in which.

      2. The clue is very cute because it can be read as a cryptic definition or as wordplay plus definition, which gives it all-in-one character

  2. 3*/3* for me today with 23a and 24d the last ones in. Thanks to the setter and Big Dave for the hints.

  3. Totally agree with BD on 15a. And I go even further by adding 2d, 8d and 21a to the list.
    I suppose the only compliment would be for the pangram.
    Apart from that. Dull as dish water.
    Thanks to the Saturday setter and to BD for the blog.

    1. well spotted!

      i’m not quite so negative. I liked 16a, 20a, 26a, 19d, 25d.

      Many thanks setter & BD

    2. I really liked 15a , thought it quite clever.
      Are the Aussie’s all out yet?

  4. Not much to add to the previous comments.

    The NE corner took me a little longer than the rest. The answer to 1a and the clues for 26a & 7d involved new words for me but were all easily guessable. 23a was my favourite.

    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

  5. Thought this doddle was somewhat lacklustre. 7d and Scottish part of 26a new to me. **/**. Thanks Mr. Ron and BD. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  6. Fairly straightforward apart from a couple.
    I tried to use ‘action’ as the anagram indicator in 3d for a little while.
    I don’t understand my answer for 24d although I think it must be right – where’s Jack – I get the last couple of letters but . . .
    I’m not sure that 23a works unless I’m missing something – for something to be made fewer the second word of the answer needs a different spelling – am I being dim?
    I liked 3 and 14d (whichever way that one was intended). My favourite was 12d which I thought was clever.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

        1. I think you need to change your reply before you get sent to the naughty corner :wink:

          1. Oh dear – I’ll only go there if there’s a TV – have to watch the tennis this afternoon. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  7. I can usually determine which clues are anagrams without much difficulty, solving them is not always so clear!

    None of the answers are words unknown to me, the first bit of 26a has been in before

    Thanks as ever to BD for the hints, sterling work as usual

  8. Like most of the previous contributors, I thought that this was one of the easier Saturday crosswords but, unlike Angel, I wouldn’t describe it as a ‘doddle’. Thank you for the hints, Dave, because, whilst I did have the correct answer for 12d, the reasoning for that answer was invaluable.

  9. Fairly straightforward seems to be the consensual view today, and I won’t disagree. Some of the clues seemed a little creaky but the answers worked although I think you need to look at them with a degree of latitude. **\** with thanks to our setter and of course BD.

  10. Glad to read comments as I felt uncomfortable with several of the answers and wondered if if was just me. Thanks to setter and BD off to tackle GK crossword. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  11. Finished this in good time while listening to the Australians capitulate at Cardiff. The cricket far more entertaining than the crossword, I’m afraid. Didn’t really like it, although my favourite was 15a, despite BD’s reservations. 2*/2*

  12. Not too many problems but very enjoyable nonetheless. I thought 16d was clever and undoubtably does refer to glasses. Nice having an anagram as 1a, it gets the whole thing off to a flying start. Learnt a new word in 26a, and last in was 7d, took me a while to understand the wordplay but Google confirmed the answer. Another new word!
    Thx to all

  13. ***/**. Not my favourite and I may be wrong but 27a would have been more acceptable if heather had been replaced by ****. No doubt someone will enlighten me. Thanks to the setter and BD for the review.

      1. Thanks BD. I have always thought of heather as its scientific name and never as ****. I live and learn.

  14. Needed to put a few in from definition only to get going before I managed to get on the setter’s wavelength. Quite an enjoyable solve which i found to be fairly straightforward. Thanks to BD and setter **/***

  15. Quite enjoyable and doable with a few French words thrown in! 15a made me laugh and think of Merlin, our beautiful greyhound long departed but still very much present in our life. First one in was 7d – clever I thought – and last 20a. 2*/3* for me. Many thanks to setter and to BD for the review.

  16. An enjoyable solve. Took me a while to unravel all the answers and learnt new words in 1a, 26a,28a. Last in was 26 a. Not sure I understand the wordplay on 4d if anyone can help within the rules?


    Thanks to setter and BD

    1. I think it’s a 3 letter word in french meaning who or which, coupled with the usual 3 letter revolutionary.

          1. Thanks both, I couldn’t get the red bit but understand now. Hope things in the naughty corner aren’t too bad !http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

    2. The word play on 4d, assuming that I’m right is:- the definition is flan. You need the French word for ‘who’ followed by the first name of a Latin-American revolutionary (red). I won’t go to the naughty corner!

  17. An enjoyable way to spend not very long: 1*/3*. Some nice clues, of which 4d was my favourite. VMTs to the setter, and to BD for the hints.

  18. I thought today’s offering was a bit ‘clunky’. There were a few clues that for me were a little uncomfortable.
    I guess you can’t win them all. No real faves, maybe 15a because it was horrid!
    2/2* over all.
    Thanks to the setter and as ever, BD for his hints.

  19. Just completed this after a day at Hyper Japan! All straight forward apart from 21a because I misread my own writing!!!!! No need of hints today but enjoyable nonetheless.

  20. A very straightforward puzzle today. A R and R. Finished when watching my son play cricket and tuned in to Cardiff. 5 days at Lord’s for me so hope the weather lasts. Favourite clue was 12d. Thanks to BD and to The Setter. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  21. Only just (relatively speaking) picked this up after a full day of armchair cricket and tennis, then out this evening. I found this as straightforward as I found last week’s convoluted. I agree with many that some of the answers were not as exact as they could have been… but this was a relatively easy puzzle so I didn’t mind. Not trying to be perverse but I liked 15a and 14d both of which I thought were quite neat. Learned a couple of new words too. I liked this. 1.5*/3.5* – thanks to Mr Ron (?) and as ever to BD

    Quickie pun was nice too

  22. I couldn’t agree more about 15a , and I, first part of 23a ,to 26a as unsolvable without “wolves in sheeps clothing” .I thought the puzzle veered between pedestrian and odd.Thank you for the hints, BD.

  23. Well, I rather liked it and have no grumbles. 12D is my favorite. Thanks to the setter and to BD.

  24. A first attempt today and managed to complete with a little help from the friends. still find some of the clues a little tortuous though. Not just interpreting but also reading between the lines – perhaps I’ll get used to that in time

    1. Welcome to the blog Planter

      I’ve changed your alias to lower case – the use of all upper case is impolite on websites as it is considered to be the equivalent of shouting

  25. On holiday in Kerry S Ireland this week and its decided to rain after a day of glorious sunshine yesterday.
    Need to finish X word and just stuck with an acceptable answer for 24d. Any chance of a clue.

    1. 24d Jack round with a new woman (4)

      You are probably trying to make it too complicated – J(ack), the round-shaped letter, the A from the clue and N(ew)

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