DT 27857 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27857 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27857 (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    Happy to draw in Foreign Office facing America (10)
A verb meaning to draw out or evoke inside the abbreviation for the Foreign Office followed by (facing) the two-letter abbreviation for America

9a    South America’s custom to follow hound (7,3)
A charade of the abbreviation for South America, a custom or tradition and a three-letter verb meaning to follow

12a    Egg on broadcast clearly visible (6)
Split as (2,4) this sounds like (broadcast) a phrase meaning clearly visible (2,5)

18a    Consume individual brand then second to admit mistake (3,4,5)
A three-letter verb meaning to consume followed by an individual, a weapon, often referred to as a brand in literary works, and S(econd)

22a    Rummage about taking long time (6)
A word meaning about or regarding followed by a long time

25a    Resolute Heath comes back dressed like a lord (10)
The reversal (comes back) of the first name of former Prime Minister Heath followed by an adjective meaning dressed like a lord

26a    Make good  curse (4)
Two definitions – to make good, for example, a hole in one’s sock and a mild curse

27a    Ian Hislop’s oppo leaving university with grasp of second old prime minister (10)
Start with the name of the other team captain on Have I Got News for You, drop (leaving) the U(niversity and insert (with grasp of) S(econd)


1d    Relic of silver-coated ship, conceivably (6)
The usual Crosswordland ship wrapped in “silver” paper

3d    No coast clean in resort? Find another resort (7-2-3)
This anagram (in resort) of NO COAST CLEAN gives a resort in Essex that has seen better days

5d    A French novelist cuts on the phone, perhaps — that’s not usual (10)
The French indefinite article followed by what sounds like (on the phone, perhaps) a novelist and a verb meaning cuts or curtails

11d    Back previous member of low class (6-6)
A verb meaning to back or support followed by an adjective meaning previous gives a member of a low school class

14d    Cowboy film makes hero a poser (5,5)
This anagram (makes) of HERO A POSER gives an archaic description of a cowboy film, typically one featuring the cowboy singing while riding

16d    Set cut off on ship in coastal region (8)
SE[t] without its final letter (cut off) followed by an adjective meaning on a ship

20d    ‘Pet’ teacher in college where the law gets taught (6)
A Scottish word that is the equivalent of pet, when referring to a girl, followed by a university teacher gives a college where the police (law) are taught how to harass motorists

23d    Steering gear made of hard wood (4)
H(ard) followed by a type of wood

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: dollar+mites=Dolomites

56 comments on “DT 27857 (Hints)

  1. The first pass was not encouraging with only three yielding. But, slowly and with plenty of d’oh moments it all fell into place. I thought 9A and and particularly 27A were cracking clues that brought laugh out loud relief.

    1. Hi all. Can someone enlighten me on 22a as I must be having an especially thicko moment! Thank you.

      1. No – I can’t, and if you’re having a thicko moment so am I. I asked the same question at comment 17 – gazza answered and that seemed to sort it out at the time, but, thinking about it again, I’m still not very sure . . .
        Really not trying to be difficult here but . . .

        1. Thanks Kath. I’m still not convinced. The answer is obvious but the wordplay does not assure me. I will mull it over.

          1. Possibly “an” is not accounted for in the solution or alternatively it should have been in the plural but that’s being a bit pedantic!

  2. Bit of a curates egg. 3/4 are not a problem and quite fun but the SW corner is a 4* stinker. Simply don’t understand the brand reference in 18a although the answer seems obvious. Never have understood the significance of inverted commas in crossword clues such as 20d and 17d. Not familiar with the Scottish term and I think this would be a really tough clue for our overseas solvers. How many I wonder know of the police college or the term? And 5d is just a dreadful clue!
    Still stuck on 17d, 21a and 24a.

    1. Finally finished but I found the clueing in the SW corner very poor. Still don’t get the ‘ ‘.
      Thx to BD for hints

    2. Oh Brian – here we go again – just look up brand in the dictionary and read the definitions until you go ‘Ah ha’!

  3. Like Burkey, my first viewing of the puzzle wasn’t very promising but I persevered – something which England’s batsmen will have to do at Lord’s, preferably for the next three days…

  4. 4*/3* http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif Another tough one today.

    I can’t make up my mind if I love or hate 5d. 20d defeated me completely until I read BD’s hint. Needless to say 17d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron for an enjoyable challenge and to BD.

  5. Another Saturday walk-in-the-park but fun while it lasted. North was faster than South. Avid programme viewer but still failed to parse 27a although solution was obvious. Never heard of 14d. Not sure about pronunciation of 5d. Initially misspelling 13a didn’t help 11d. **/**. Thanks Mysteron and BD. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  6. See! I knew everyone would hate today’s offering because I loved it!! A first read through gave enough clues to complete on second and third rereadings. Clearly my mind works like today’s compiler. Funnily enough 26 a took me a while…goodness knows why as it is much simpler than some of the clues today. oodles of stars. thank-you compiler and BD http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  7. Really liked this, though needed the hint for 20d. Thought 27 was cleverly put together, and my favourite. Thanks to setter and to BD for the blog.

  8. I found today’s pretty gentle, with 20d my only question mark, solved from wordplay only. I enjoyed it – and after the last couple of days it was nice to be able to finish unaided.

    No particular favourites. Maybe 22a. Or 17d, which made me think of RD :). Oh, and 27a brought Hanni to mind :).

    Thanks to the setter and BD. Happy Caturday to you all.

  9. Mr Ron, thanks for a very entertaining Saturday crossword … loved it !

    Can we have more, please?

  10. Like a few others, the SW corner proved my undoing and turned this from a 2/3 into a 3/3. I will have to nominate 5d as my favourite because it made me smile, even though it is a truly horrible clue. Overall a pleasant way to pass the time whilst listening to TMS from Lord’s as England continue to rebuild. Thanks to our setter and of course BD for all his hard work.

  11. How many of our overseas friends have watched or are even aware of Have I got News For You?

    1. I’ve heard of it but never seen it and know nothing about it, but that was not a deterrent to getting the answer.

      1. I love HIGNFY and got the clumsy reference to the second team captain. I also realised the definition and then solved the clue with checking letters. I thought that the whole thing was ugly and didn’t help the overseas solvers (excluding some expats)

  12. This overseas solver had no trouble at all with 20D! None with the SW corner, either. I do not know who Ian Hislop is, let alone his oppo, but the answer was pretty obvious from the checkers. 5D gave me the most trouble and I needed the hint, but its my favorite clue now because of the D’Oh moment. I did like 9A also. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave. Onward to the NTSPP now…

  13. I enjoyed this puzzle. A slight pause at 20d with the first part of the wordplay, although the answer was clear.

    Thanks to setter, and to BD.

  14. A pleasant interlude: 2*/3.5*. Although l quite liked 9a, l go for 3d as favourite – in memory of Sunday School outings there in the dim and distant past. Thanks to the setter for the reminder, and to Big Dave for the hints.

  15. Good thing I remembered Have I got news for you. And the police academy for that matter.
    The ones that slowed me were 16d, 24 and 26a.
    A very enjoyable solve in yet again a very hot day. Temperatures don’t even go down at night anymore. It’s been like that for a whole month already.
    19d is my favourite.
    Thanks to the Saturday setter and to BD for the blog.

      1. You managed somehow to enter a website address, in spite of the fact that I thought I had blocked it off. It’s gone know.

  16. I enjoyed this puzzle and found it about the right ‘strength’ for a Saturday AM. Thanks to BD and setter **/****

  17. Late here – busy with visitors.
    I quite enjoyed this one but was very slow to get going.
    20d was my last answer – I suppose it must have been in the recesses of the brain somewhere but took a while to pop out.
    I needed to check the ‘brand’ bit of 18a, never heard of 14d and I’m not too sure about the first three letters of 22a meaning ‘about’.
    I liked 5d and my favourite was 27a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    All visitors have gone out for a while so it’s blissfully quiet – wonder if I might have time to have a go at the NTSPP . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    1. For 22a I took the definition to be ‘rummage about’ with the answer split 3,3 to mean ‘taking long time’.

      1. Thanks gazza – of course it is! How dim is it possible for a person to be – no need for anyone to answer that. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

  18. We really enjoyed this and got it over and done with far too quickly, so we might have a go at a couple of last weeks toughies before Virgilius tomorrow.
    We prefer Ian Hislop type clues to obscure baroque composers any day of the week.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron & Big Dave…**/****

  19. I loved this, and even got 20d, though where that came from I have no idea.
    27a wins the first prize for being the most esoteric clue, in any crossword ever; glad to see I got it right for the only reason he was the only PM I could think of to fit the letters I had.
    However, no complaints as those of us across the pond had our 14d gift.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for review.

  20. Really enjoyed this one although the SW corner held me up for a little bit. Did not know the expression for 14d – hope I got it right! Did not have a clue about the name of the other team captain in ‘Have I got news for you’ but guessed the answer from the checked letters… Also did the same for 20d, must have been on the same wavelength as the setter so many thanks to Mr Ron. 2*/4* with 26a as my favourite clue. Many thanks to BD for the review – always very helpful to check that one was on the right track. Received my BRB this morning – ordered on Internet and had not realised it was so big and heavy!

  21. Went AWOL yesterday because some fabulous stuff turned up about artist I did exhibition for and I could not resist reading it. Like several others I struggled with SW corner so thanks to BD for sorting me out also thanks to setter for exercising my ageing brain. Have a great weekend. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  22. Sorry Wayne, I thought 5d was a pretty good clue really. It certainly made me think. This Saturday puzzle was edging towards the tougher end of the scale for me; it took a while to get going but eventually it all fell into place. I liked 20d because it made me smile and I liked BD’s hint too!
    Thanks to the setter and BD for the hints.

  23. Great puzzle, like many 29 down foxed me, not enough lateral thinking!!!!!
    Always easier to write a clue than solve it, 4*

  24. I’m in the 5d was a terrible clue society, and my last one in. Without the checkers I’d still be here this time next week staring at it. Other than that, though, I thought this was a fab puzzle with too many smilers to pick a favourite, but if you put a razor to my throat, I’d plump for 9a, which was inspired. Thanks to the setter for a fun end to a day spent largely in car listening with increasing gloom to TMS, and to BD; I didn’t need the hints, but I’m always glad you’re there. 1*/3*

    On the boat this weekend and, for once, the wifi I paid sixty quid for is actually working. Wonders will never cease

    1. Hope that you have a lovely time on your boat and that the wifi carries on working – I liked 5d!
      Knackered – too many visitors who have now all gone to bed leaving us with the clearing up! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

      1. Why am I not surprised that you have so many friends, Kath? Think yourself thankful for that. Anyway, you like clearing up, I can tell

  25. Me too re 5d. 20d was my last in , although I lived there for a year. 9a is pretty good , but I prefer 21a.
    Thanks BD and setter.

  26. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle with a couple of tricky clues. Had to Google 27a to confirm my answer. Needed the hint for 20d which was last in. Wouldn’t have got the first 3 letters, very GK. Was 2*/3* for me. Late commenting due to attending the Potters Bar beer festival.

  27. Bit late to the party I know, but really enjoyed this one. Few toughies but got there in the end and thought there were a few good ‘penny dropped’ moments. Favourite clue 9a as spent a while trying to think of South American countries then realised it was quite different!

    Much improved on last week’s frustrating offering!

    1. Single composer played part back (8)

      Pickles – The definition is ‘Single’. YOu need a German Baroque composer (famous) and then reverse (back) the general name for a part that is played by a cast member in a film/theatre production. The full review will be published tomorrow at 09:00 on this site.

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