DT 27881 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27881 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27881 (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.


4a    I boast highbrow subject introduced by appropriate presenter (8)
An allegedly highbrow subject preceded by the surname of the presenter associated with this subject

11a    Conductor‘s upset (6)
The surname of a famous Liverpool-born conductor is also a verb meaning to upset or unsettle

13a    Record of top cricket match that was once broadcast in quiet periods (4,4)
This could be a record of a top international cricket match.

16a    Deny being negative in a fit of temper (8)
NEG(ative) inside the A from the clue and a fit of temper

21a    Boost for royal consort proclaimed (6)
Sounds like (proclaimed) the name of our Queen’s consort

24a    Stick around northern party to see rugby player (5-3)
Newspaper version: Rugby player see stick around new party (5-3) – thanks RD
A stick or pole around N(orthern) [or N(ew)] and a two-letter party gives a rugby player usually known as a fly-half these days

25a    Peacekeepers in intricate act of madness (6)
The usual peacekeepers inside an adjective meaning intricate or fancy

26a    Dickens character in uninteresting, dull work (8)
The surname of an eponymous Dickens character inside a three-letter adjective meaning uninteresting


1d    Coaches county seconds (7)
These coaches are featured in my new page of Horse-drawn Carriages – one of the Home Counties is followed by S(econds)

2d    Feature of room provided uplifting change (9)
The reversal (uplifting in a down clue) is followed by a verb meaning to change or supplant

4d    Crazy golf place — club to go wrong at the start (4-2-3-6)
The golf course that has been the venue for the Ryder cup (3,6) preceded by a club of the kind used in cricket and a verb meaning to go wrong or err

5d    Star in danger taking two separate directions (8)
A phrase meaning in danger (2,4) into which two compass directions are inserted separately

14d    Minor leader — one participating in revolutionary affair (9)
I (one) inside one of our usual revolutionaries which is followed by a romantic affair that usually only lasts for a short time

15d    US lawman to make point — it helps to listen (8)
The surname of a famous US lawman is followed by a verb meaning to make a point or sharpen

18d    One used to pray for fool in debt (7)
A fool is placed according to a colloquial phrase for being in debt (2,4)

20d    One who’s beaten up needs start of emergency repair at last (6)
The reversal of someone who has been beaten in a competition is reversed (up in a down clue) and followed by the initial letter (start) of E[mergency] gives a verb meaning to repair a shoe at a last

22d    Gave false report about North having rules (5)
A verb meaning gave a false report around N(orth)

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: parkin+baize=parking bays

43 comments on “DT 27881 (Hints)

  1. A tough slog especially in the bottom half. One of those where you can get an answer from bits of the clue without understanding the whole thing. For instance cannot see the fit of temper in 16a, can’t sort out the second half of 4d (can’t see the word meaning to go wrong) and why act in 25a? Thought 14d was a very poor clue. No favourites today and no ‘smile’ clues.
    Still at least the weather has turned at least in Bucks, hope it continues as big barbie tomorrow.
    Thx to BD for the hints.

    1. Brian, reread BD’s hint for 4d again carefully. It explains clearly where you are going wrong!

    2. 16a – four of the eight letters are given in the clue. Remove those from your answer and what remains is the fit of temper, whether or not you knew it

      4d – a three-letter club is followed by a three-letter verb meaning to go wrong.

      25a – the definition is act of madness

      14d – there is nothing wrong with the clue, it’s just that the answer is not a word in common usage

    3. For 16a look up in the BRB the word made from the second letter of your answer followed by the final three letters.

      in 25a the answer can mean either “madness” or “act of madness”, but the latter is far better for the surface reading of the clue.

      1. Sorry Guys, just don’t see the fit of temper at all, perhaps I have the wrong answer. As its a prize puzzle I can’t go any further but thanks for trying.

  2. 3*/2.5*. I found this a mixed bag. Some clues were easy, some more difficult. Some clues were enjoyable, some not. 24a seems particularly clunky whereas 19a is a very good clue with an excellent surface.

    Isn’t the “A” superfluous in 9a? I didn’t know the slang meaning of 17d but found it in my BRB. 4d was fun and my favourite was 6d (for which the clue but not the answer made me think of MP!)

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

    1. I’ve just read BD’s hint for 24a, and, once again, the on-line clue is different from that in the paper, which is: “Rugby player see stick around new party (5-3)”

      1. In my role as ‘holiday relief blogger’ I’ve just checked the online version against the paper one and we appear to have only one different clue this time.

  3. I found this a very enjoyable challenge with many interesting clues – if a bit heavy on the UK General Knowledge. I did have to do some on-line checking for some of the GK.

    2*/4* for me today.

    Thanks, of course, to the setter and BD.

      1. I found it by using the search facility on the BRB app and guessing which was the correct answer.

  4. I found this a bit more testing than usual, with16a being the last in, (a word I’d not met before.)
    3.5*/4* for me. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  5. I really enjoyed this. Tough but fair and some great clues and no book or electronic help needed! 20d my favourite.

  6. I think I’m with Brian on this one. I really didn’t like 11a. I got it straight away but thought I must be wrong because the tense didn’t fit. Even BD’s confirmation hasn’t mollified me! This was more GK than cryptic, I felt. So not a happy bunny this week. Still got a few more to slog away at. Thanks BD. I would have been completely stuck without you this week!

  7. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, with some tricky clues. Needed the hint for, 14d, a new word for me. Also needed the hints to parse 4a&16a,5d. Favourite was 4d. Was 3*/3* for me.

  8. Interesting … very interesting!

    I really enjoyed this one from the unknown setter.

    The “Crazy Golf … ” one is my favourite.

    Can we have more, please? Hic!

  9. I found this a relatively straightforward affair. 11a is fair enough, and 4d was a little gem. 14d is not a word I have heard of but the clueing led me to the answer. 2/4 with thanks to the setter and of course BD. Back to painting the outside of the house.


  10. I found most of this straightforward except the SE corner that held me up for ages which pushed the puzzle into 3* time… Enjoyable solve with thanks to BD and setter ***/***

  11. Three possibilities today – a) I’m having a dim day; b) I was on the wrong wave length; c) this was a tricky one.
    This has taken me quite a long time, much longer than a usual Saturday – I really enjoyed it.
    I’ve never heard of 14d and didn’t know that 17d was a pest – or I’ve forgotten about it.
    I got into a terrible muddle trying to sort out 5d and 20a also took ages.
    I liked 8 and 19a and 2 and 18d. My favourite, and last answer, was 20d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    Might try the NTSPP.

    1. I agree, but I never did finish. Can’t get 14d or 19a, even with hints, and have no clue about rugby. Otherwise, it was enjoyable, and fave is outstanding 4d, good for a laugh!
      Thanks to setter and BD for his review.

  12. First pass made me wonder if I had spoken too soon when, earlier in the week, I said that I had conquered my fear so I gave DT to OH and went off to renew my driving licence. Having dealt with the vagaries of that I returned, reclaimed the paper and with a little help from BRB and the super toy completed the crossword. Far too many to risk picking a favourite but 17d and 4d made me smile. Thanks to setter and BD. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  13. Trying to solve this while listening to the football from WHL (come on you Spurs) meant that my concentration wavered throughout, but got there quite easily – except for 14d, which beat me all ends up and I needed BD’s hint to finish. I don’t have a BRB, I have a BBB (Collins), which doesn’t have this word, so although I thought it, I couldn’t confirm. That’s the first time I’ve resorted to a hint on a back-pager for months. Still, at least that stops me from getting big-headed and puts me in my place very much as a second division solver, or as the Don would have it, entry level. Sigh. Some good clues, I thought, though, with 4d providing a wide smile, but it’s 26a that takes all three points.
    PS Where is everybody? The only day of the week I get to join in and no one’s come out to play.

    1. I for one have spent large part of day glued to coverage of VJ Day Tribute. Good if somewhat belatedly to give recognition to all those brave people who fought and suffered on our behalf. Cruciverbal work-out today wasn’t too demanding with SE corner last to go in thanks to 14d which I do feel is a bit obtuse or does that make me an entry-leveller also? I presumed the revolutionary bit but couldn’t get any further. Joint Favs 4d and 20d. Thanks Mr. Ron and BD. ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      1. I think that makes quite a few of us as entry level cruciverbalists! Just count how many commenters have claimed 14d as a new word for them.

    2. Don’t take the weekend papers, TS – too much ‘stuff’ that I’d just throw away!
      Keep the grey matter exercised with the NTSPP – you should give it a try sometime.

  14. Like Tstrummer above, I’ve been listening to the radio commentary from White Hart Lane as I was late starting this puzzle but, unlike others, I got stuck in the top lefthand corner. Anyway, I got there in the end and I have to say that 4d was my favourite – probably because I saw the answer straight away.

  15. Phew ! a bit of a struggle with some; just one more to go – 19a.
    I’ll see if Websters can help me. Many thanks BD for your help.
    Got it ! my puzzle master didn’t find the anagram, but I’ve got there at last.

  16. Having got completely flummoxed by the South East corner, we have finally finished this delightful crossword. It was so well clued that, for once, we haven’t had to refer to the blog for any explanations of why we got the answers which we think is a first. Many thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

  17. Well, found this one a bit difficult. Needed hints for 2d, 14d, 21a and found the rest a slog!
    Eventually got there and learnt some words which is good. Not sure I am on the same wavelength as the setter though as some of the wordplay was perplexing.


    Thanks to BD and setter

  18. This one took a bit of thought but comes out at about 2*/3* for me. 15d raised a smile, so gets my vote for top clue. Thanks to the setter, and of course BD.

  19. Was totally stuck with 19a for a long while so decided to consult the oracle.
    But what? No hint for 19a and yet it looks so difficult.
    So read the blog until I spotted TS. I thought it was unusual to find him here so early and Bingo, the word came to me in a flash.
    So thanks to the setter, to BD and to TS.

    1. Always glad to be of help – although mine is a narrow boat; a barge is an unpowered vessel that is pulled, or pushed, by another. Or a horse

  20. ***/***. Fits and starts to get this done. Had to put it down and watch the PGA for a while. Liked 4d, 23a and 24a. Thanks to the setter and BD for the review. Just printed off Sunday’s challenge and sharpening my pencil.

  21. Ho hum. Bringing up the rear again. Almost finished before midnight but stopped to watch rugby highlights on – too late – after MOTD in vain hope that we might actually see some Ireland v Scotland. No chance. Struggled a bit with this one – took forever for the penny to drop at 4d and 14d. Needed hints to confirm 16a so many thanks to BD.

  22. Like some I struggled-but got there in the end. Thanks to a couple of hints from BD.
    Different from the last two weeks, completed without going to see BD!

    Last one was 8a -should have got this straight away as my daughter had an op recently (sorry -procedure!)
    Thanks to setter also.

  23. It appears that the Saturday Crossword is no longer a walk in the park, and this one most certainly wasn’t! I found it quite tricky and many of the clues needed to be teased out. I actually required the hint for the shoe repair one as I was way off beam.
    My favourite was 15d and overall I think 2.5/3.5*. Sorry if that sounds pedantic!
    Thanks to Mr Ron and BD for his hints.

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