DT 27869 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27869 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27869 (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    Too easy as the Italian gets mug running round (6)
The Italian definite article inside (gets … running round) a mug or visage

4a    Go mad before long — it’s not serious (8)
A verbs meaning to go mad and long or yearn

12a    Maybe fifth set of French drink (7)
Possibly the fifth set in a men’s Grand Slam tennis tournament – the French for “of” followed by an alcoholic dring

14a    French composer mocking work rejecting king (5)
I just had to share this definition from Chambers of the “mocking work” – a literary composition, originally in verse, essentially a criticism of folly or vice, which it holds up to ridicule or scorn, its chief instruments being irony, sarcasm, invective, wit and humour – just drop (rejecting) the single-letter Latin abbreviation for king

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15a    Drops the crocks? See what results (8)
A well-concealed anagram (crocks) of DROPS THE

25a    Gold goes up in price then flags (7)
The heraldic term for gold followed by a verb meaning goes up in price gives these flowers also known as flags

27a    Maybe fan of bit-part player and thespian sharing a part (9)
This type of fan is derived by taking a bit-part player in a film and a thespian and overlapping the last part of the former with the first part of the latter

28a    Old campaigner, note, following my naval vessel (8)
An old campaigner or soldier and a note in the scale in sol-fa notation preceded by an interjection similar to “my!”

29a    Agent welcomes rest for bounder on TV once (6)
An agent like James Bond around a short rest or nap


1d    Finished puzzled? That’s typical of the Toughie! (8)
An anagram (puzzled) of FINISHED gives how the Telegraph describes its Toughie crossword

3d    Toad’s disguise from Los Angeles strip (9)
The disguise used by Toad of Toad Hall when he escaped from prison comes from a charade of the two-letter abbreviation for Los Angeles and a verb meaning to strip or disrobe

6d    Petition in newspapers (5)
Two definitions – a verb meaning to petition or demand and a generic name for newspaper

7d    Ham and a well-ripened cheese finally sent up (7)
This ham or dabbler is derived from the A from the clue an adjective meaning well-ripened with the final letter of [chees]E sent up or lifted

16d    Article on back mostly in horse ride? (9)
The indefinite article and most of the word for the back of a sheet of paper inside a horse ride give this article described by the whole of this &lit / all-in-one clue

19d    Top-class seaside venue featuring old rock band (7)
A seaside venue around a rock band that, for someone like me, is positively new having been formed in 1980

22d    Someone in routine job can up and drink (6)
A three-letter word for someone in a routine unimportant job in a large organization followed by the reversal of CAN

24d    Kid influenced by speech (5)
This type of leather sounds like (by speech) a verb meaning influenced

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: logger+rhythm=logarithm


50 comments on “DT 27869 (Hints)

  1. After a quick start I was significantly slowed down as I progressed through this puzzle. I thought it was going to be straightforward but it proved to be a bit of a struggle (for me). Thanks to BD and setter ***/***

  2. What a stinker! Someone at the DT has really got it in for solvers this week with some really tough back pagers but this for me was the most difficult of all.
    *****/*. Even completed this had almost no enjoyment at all as far as I was concerned.
    Thx for the hints.

  3. I guess that this is what is fascinating about crosswords as I polished this one off without any bother at al and really enjoyed it !! Unlike others in the week.

  4. Found this hard going but rewarding to solve. There are some very clever clues and fine wordplay.
    Especially liked 15a,25a,27a and 2d.


    Thanks to setter and BD

  5. Interesting that there are some extremes in rating this puzzle. I found it hard to get a foothold, but then it all sped up so that I would rate it in the middle of the pack as 3*/4*

    I would agree, though, that this week has been a bit more tricky than some weeks!

  6. I have to admit my guilt and say that I couldn’t have finished this puzzle without Dave’s hints – for which I was extremely grateful – and my initial reaction, after reading through the clues, was not even to bother starting… But I did. It was a struggle from beginning to end and I doff my cap to Roger.

  7. I agree with JonP as I was off to a flying-start in the East but West was much more of a challenge. Overall standard just right for Saturday fun. ***/***. Liked 18a. 15a is new one on me. Not sure about 25a. TVM Mr. Ron and BD. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  8. Ah, I redeemed myself! No problem with today’s offering, phew. Much enjoyment to boot. The top half was easier than the bottom one. Now for a bit of a banter, although I am getting 5d, I hope I won’t need a 9d in the near furture. Wonder if this will get pass BD… Favourite 1d. I would rate this as **/****.

    1. Me too with 5 and 9d! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif
      I can’t see why this shouldn’t get past BD, or whoever is ‘policing’ us today!

  9. I found this difficult too – maybe because I was expecting it to be after the crossword week that we’ve had.
    My last answer was 28a – I always forget about that kind of ‘old campaigner’ and can only think of another meaning of those three letters.
    Was also pretty slow to get 22d.
    I missed the anagram indicators in 15a and 1d for far too long.
    I liked 27a and 1d. My favourite was 5d.
    With thanks to whoever set this one and to BD.

  10. Another stinker for this week but I did find this one clever, in parts, and downright impossible in others. I didn’t know that an **** could be an ****. Many thanks to Dave without whose help I would not have finished and good bye to the setter because we are supposed to enjoy the Saturday puzzle without sending it in for the prize

    1. 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!

  11. Well, surprise for us, we actually finished without needing the hints, probably because the clues at least gave us a chance to see what we were looking for. Thank you to the Saturday setter and to BD.

  12. My electronic super toy and I really enjoyed ourselves today. Some how with me guessing the answer then checking it out worked rather well but I was eternally grateful to BD for explaining my wild guesses. Perhaps one day I will get to the stage where I actually understand my answer every time but for now I will stick to bung it in and hope for the best. Off go do GK crossword. Thanks also to setter.

  13. The end of an interesting week for DT cruciverbalists. I don’t think I agree that this was a stinker, although some of the wordplay did not nesessarily lead to the answer as expected. A couple of obscure references didn’t help. As has been said before, most of the enjoyment quotient is derived from having to think laterally, and a speedy finish will not guarantee enjoyment. I think I will mark this 3/3. The week overall would probably rate the same, which reflects a decent half dozen back-pagers. When you consider we are approaching 28,000 crosswords in number, and take into account the ever-changing landscape of our language, it is hardly surprising that some solvers will struggle or just plain dislike a grid. I suspect next week we will be back to normal, whatever normal is. Thanks to setter and BD, and of course all our contributors who always have something to say.

  14. I thought 1a would give the tone.
    NW corner was quite straightforward but the rest was a bit of a slog.
    15a was my last in.
    Favourite is 27a.
    Thanks to the Saturday setter and to BD for the blog.

  15. Thought this was tricky but just about doable. Some new words at 15 and 25, but also some very good clues including 12a, 27a, 1d, 17d and 19d.
    4/3 for me today.
    Thanks to BD and setter

  16. I am just grateful that this was a tad easier than the past week has been.
    Last in was 28a; 15a was a bung-it-in, missed the anagram completely.
    I have a problem choosing a fave as I loved 3d, dear toad of happy memories, and thought 5d clever.
    Thanks to setter for sparing us today, and to BD for the review.

  17. Been on crossword-free tour in France, Spain and Switzerland most of July, so found ALL the puzzles hard this week. But this one had many an “Aha” moment. Didn’t see the 1d anagram and tried hard to fit the wrong composer in 14a. Thanks to BD for your help and to the setter for a satisfying start to the weekend

  18. We actually quite liked this puzzle but it took a bit of working out. A bit of electronic assistance was required though….
    Thanks to the setter and Big Dave.

  19. I quite liked this puzzle too. It took a while to complete but then the pleasure of completing far outweighs the extra time spent. That’s what I think guv.
    5d made me smile and 3/4* overall.
    Thanks to the setter and BD for his hints.

  20. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable but very difficult puzzle. I needed the hints for 14&23a,19&24d. Also needed electronic help for 18a which was last in. Favourite was 27a. Was 3*3* for me.

  21. Hard but very enjoyably satisfying.
    3d surprising what one retains from one’s childhood.
    Many thanks to the setter and to BD for the review.

    1. 3d – or what takes someone a very long time to remember from one’s childhood although I did at least know that something was ringing a bell somewhere.

      1. There is a drawing of it in the book which I remember.
        (Whoops, hope I haven’t broken the Saturday rule)

  22. I started slowly, and wondered whether this was a real challenge, but in the end completed only a couple of minutes over 1* time. So l’ll call this 2*/3*. As for my favourite clue, that just has to be 29a – not because it was particularly clever or difficult, but because it made me snort with laughter when l spotted it! Thanks to the setter for filling some of the time l had planned to spend watching the Edgbaston Test, and to BD for providing the means for me to confirm my solutions.

  23. What’s that ******? Two men have fallen down the old mineshaft? We won’t be able to get a truck there? We need horses and ropes? Tell you what ******. We are in the middle of dinner b****r off until we have finished. 29ac summed up

    1. Am I being dim – could you be a bit more specific, when you’ve finished dinner, of course? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
      I’ve obviously missed something here so http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif to you, MP.

    2. “What’s that ****? You’re the answer to a famous crossword clue today? Wow ****, I’ll get onto that right away”

      Loved 29a too.

      I also liked 1d

  24. Really enjoyed this one, and was able to complete it without the hints. Took a little while longer than normal for a Saturday ,but a relief after this weeks challenging set of puzzles. Thanks to the setter and to BD. 3*/4* for me.

  25. A really nice crossword, a little on the difficult side for a Saturday ;) Liked 3d & 7d. **/****. Thanks to BD for a couple of hints

  26. Without meaning to 4a, this certainly was 1d at times,but the 12a on whether it was a stinker or terrific was 3d, for which I needed a hint, (which is inexcusable given the number of times I have read it), and is in my opinion an excellent clue.
    Thank you setter and thank you BD.

  27. Quite tricky this one. I thought I’d completed it, but on reviewing BD’s hints I now see that I totally missed the well hidden anagram at 15a and as a consequence misspelled the answer.
    Thanks to the setter for putting up more of a challenge than a usual Saturday, and to BD for putting me straight.
    3*/4* from me.

  28. Blimey! Haven’t done a crossword for weeks, yet did this one this morning in (…oops originally put in the time , then realised it’s de rigeur, lets just say a long cup of coffee, whereas normally I’d take a day or more) Had a look in here expecting everyone to say it was too easy(!!) Only to find I am actually a geniushttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif Last one in was 24d. Favourite? 29a of course!

    It’s truly amazing how the brain works so differently in different people & in different times!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  29. Why no mention of 11a? No answer on internet yet everyone on here has finished the whole Xword?

  30. What I hate is when EVERYONE else says ‘Really easy today, finished before I went out to milk the cows!’ and I am still struggling after dinner, but it was nice to know that others have been finding some difficult this week and quite satisfying when I have found some OK, including today! There seems of late a lot more owning up to difficulty, or is that my imagination? Whatever, I find it a lot more encouraging than blanket breeziness. I agree with Young Salopian, though and have now accepted that my lack of inspiration on some does not mean I am hopeless per se! Miffypops usually spurs me on to greater confidence, too. Thanks everyone.

    1. Candida, I appreciate your candour and couldn’t agree more with your first sentence. There’s no need for anybody to rub it in if they find it easy. I enjoyed this one and it’s always nice to see lesser used words cropping up (15a and, to a lesser degree, 25a) as a reminder of the richness and etymology of the English language. That’s something all can enjoy for free yet too often fail to recognise. Of late I have saved the Saturday crossword until after a Sunday evening session in the local around a log fire in drab Widnes. The lousy beer is probably both my inspiration and the reason for this rant for which I apologise.

  31. Bit of serendipity.

    We downloaded the paper on hotel wifi since we were on a short break. Over breakfast, we were struggling a bit until the a well known track by band mentioned in 19d started playing.. Just as I was trying to think of bands with short names.

  32. My usual three-day approach has done the trick again. Day 1 – NW and SE corners. Day 2 – NE. Day 3 SW. Had to look up 15a, 25a and 28a in a dictionary to make sure my hesitantly filled in answers were correct. Favourite 27a. 3*/2*. Lost a star on enjoyment because I don’t like the second part of 4a http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

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