DT 27899 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27899 (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    Pale in colour after meeting the Spanish (6)
A word meaning after followed by the Spanish definite article

10a    It could be a grave sign of stress (6)
When preceded by grave this could be a sign that a vowel is to be stressed

16a    Bulb in garden plot diseased (8)
This bulb is the kind used for illumination; just put it inside a three-letter garden plot – I have recently converted almost all of our house to LED bulbs, and the electricity bill is significantly lower; as an example the four main lights in the lounge now use 20 watts in total instead of 160

18a    One can fasten a garment yet not in reflection (6)
A three-letter word meaning yet followed by the reversal (in reflection) of NOT

22a    Rang Bill about two, on the phone, and demanded an explanation (6,2,7)
A verb meaning rang on the telephone and a bill around the two-letter word that sounds like (on the phone) two

27a    Without a stitch in this suit? (8)
When followed by suit, this means without a stitch of clothing

I bet you knew I’d find an illustration for this one!

28a    Monstrous thing, being last for ages (6)
Split as (4,2) this is a phrasal verb meaning to last for ages

30a    Agreement to attempt to catch swallow (6)
An attempt around a verb meaning to swallow food


2d    Supper with recklessly raised spirits? (9)
A rather poor cryptic definition of someone who has raised spirits due to supping too much of the hard stuff

3d    Strangely ethical to keep old diary of religious studies (11)
An anagram (strangely) of ETHICAL around O(ld) and a diary

6d    Bush  senior in church (5)
Two definitions – the first being a type of bush which has nothing to do with a certain US President

8d    Having flipped, a 50/50 call follows (5)
One of the two results (50/50) that can follow the flipping of a coin

13d    Nobleman‘s gold hair mainly to be restored (7)
This Spanish nobleman is an anagram (to be restored) of GOLD and most of (mainly) HAI[r]

15d    Misleadingly, perhaps, put in policing organisation, getting knocked back (11)
A world-wide policing organisation followed by a verb meaning knocked back some food – I only knew the mathematical meaning of this word, but Chambers has “to insert a word or passage in a book or manuscript, especially in order to mislead”

17d    Banker‘s material (5)
… this banker is a Scottish river

19d    Definite C&B (3-3-3)
Split C&B to get two methods of dismissal in cricket

26d    Tom is shown round employment department as trainee (5)
The type of animal of which tom is an, unindicated, definition by example around the abbreviation for the long-defunct Department of Employment (now covered by the Department for Work and Pensions)

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: brat+tizz+lava=Bratislava


  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    1*/3* for an easy but pleasant diversion with some nice surfaces. 13d was a new word for me and, like BD, I didn’t know before checking my BRB that 15d can sometimes be misleading.

    12a was my favourite – an excellent anagram with a perfect surface read.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

    P.S. My 27a suit doesn’t look anything like the picture in BD’s hints.

  2. JonP
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Very enjoyable and straightforward today. Thanks to BD and setter */****

  3. Brian
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    No problems, went in almost as a R&W. Thx to Mrs B for getting the 15 letter anagram in 12a and also the one in 21a. She is a real wiz at anagrams.
    Best clue for me was 19d, made me smile for ages. Let’s hope for a triple England win today. Away the lads!
    Thx to all.

    • JohnY
      Posted September 5, 2015 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      The cricket boys will have to look a bit more interested than Thursday for that to happen! Talking of which, shouldn’t 19d be lower case? (not that it threw me too much).

      • Vancouverbc
        Posted September 5, 2015 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

        19d is different in the electronic version – but still the same answer. Correction – total aberration! It’s the same. */*** overall. Thanks to the setter and BD for the review.

  4. jean-luc cheval
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Pretty straightforward.
    Didn’t like 2d much as BD pointed out.
    But loved 20d.
    Thanks to the Saturday setter and to BD for the blog.

    • Banksie
      Posted September 6, 2015 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      I didn’t like 2d but for another reason.

      I have had personal experience of the illness referred to and am uneasy about refs in crosswords that seem to trivialise it.

      It is far from trivial.

      Am I being too sensitive about it?

  5. Kath
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I agree – very straightforward but quite good fun.
    It didn’t take very long but there’s still the NTSPP and the MPP to keep me out of mischief.
    I was terribly dim about 16a – got the answer without any trouble but completely missed the ‘why’ bit.
    I guessed 19d – blasted cricket!
    I liked 22a and 26d. My favourite is either 27a or 20d – loved both of those.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

    The red sign that usually goes round and round at the top of the prize crosswords and tells us to behave ourselves seems to be hanging by a thread today instead of whizzing around – it looks a bit sorry for itself!

  6. Collywobbles
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Usual enjoyable Saturday fare. I wish that Thursdays were like this. 13d was a new word for me and, yes, I agree with BDs’ comments about 2d. I think that I know 27a so I will not be asking for the phone number. Many thanks to BD for the hints which helped me to get unstuck and Mr Ron for a fine puzz;e finished by lunchtime, which is my target

  7. Marilyn
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    We found 25d difficult. We have an answer now but it is not satisfactory. I see you do not give a hint.

    • Posted September 5, 2015 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Marilyn

      I didn’t give a hint for 25 Down because I read the clue and wrote the answer straight in!

      25d Move quickly northwards, then east, in traffic (5)
      The reversal (northwards in a down clue) of a verb meaning to move quickly is followed by E(ast)

    • AlanC
      Posted September 5, 2015 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      25d was also the final answer for me. Not helped by the fact that I wasn’t 100% happy with the last 4 letters of 29a.

      • gazza
        Posted September 5, 2015 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        Welcome to the blog, AlanC.

  8. Caravaggio
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    I was delighted to find that this was a straightforward puzzle as Windows 10 is consuming so much of my time at the moment that I am regretting having updated to it in the first place…

    • Franco
      Posted September 5, 2015 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      Isn’t it supposed to be easy to reinstall your previous version of Windows if there are problems after installing Windows 10?

      Stupid question!

      I rather like 8.1 and am in no hurry to bugger it up (technical term)

  9. Emma
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Have managed this one. Hooray, hooray (a very rare occurrence) but don’t understand what the word ‘grave’ implies in 10a.

    • Posted September 5, 2015 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      It’s all in how you pronounce it – not in the way that means serious! This “sign” is only used in English on words borrowed from another language, such as French.

      • Emma
        Posted September 9, 2015 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        Thank you!

    • Liz
      Posted September 5, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      As opposed to *****? PS, BD is this allowed?

      • pommers
        Posted September 5, 2015 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        I think you’re straying into the area of “alternative clue”.

        • Liz
          Posted September 7, 2015 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

          Whoops! Sorry!

  10. Jaycat
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Took me a while as I had wrong entries in some which confused me. Very witty and educational puzzle so very enjoyable. Still stuck on 25d if anyone can help with the wordplay?
    Agree about 2d, didn’t think the answer was right but checking letters dictated otherwise.


    Thanks to setter and BD for the hints.

    • Posted September 5, 2015 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      See my reply to comment #7 above for 25d.

  11. neveracrossword
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    A quick but pleasant solve. Thanks to setter and to BD for explaining the cricket part of 19d.

  12. Sarah
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I agree about 2d. This for me was a mix of R &W and head scratching. Last in was NE corner mostly because you can’t fill in 8d without some other letters!!! 13d was a new word for me. I am still not sure that all my answers are correct!! Hey ho ?

  13. Badger
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Pretty straightforward as many others agree. 12a was a clever anagram I thought.
    Last one was 28a which was obvious but couldn’t justify until I read BD hint- ….doh…! txx BD. There were a few new words- 13d & 20d -I must have had a sheltered upbringing….and then 27a -avert your eyes…! Thanks to setter also.

  14. Sheepdog
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    When I was a boy – good grief, how can remember so far back – my sister tossed a thru’penny bit and it landed on it’s edge. Something I’ve never managed to achieve since!

  15. pommers
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Well, this didn’t put up any sort of a fight at all. It just rolled over onto its back and wanted its tummy tickled. Still enjoyed it for the short time it lasted.

    Ta to the setter and BD.

    BTW, I can recommend the Mudd puzzle in the FT.

  16. Michael
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Pretty straightforward – 13d was a new word for me!

    England toiling in the Rugby after a good start – and up against it a bit in the Cricket – I don’t know which to watch! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  17. Gwizz
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    D’oh! Flew though this puzzle but came to grief on 15d by putting the completely wrong answer in without thinking. Oh well, guess I won’t win the prize this weekend…. again.
    No real favourites, 1/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter and BD for his hints.

  18. Hilary
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    I am a happy old lady, after the horrendous struggle with the MPP this was a delightful treat. It all fell nicely into place and I even dredged 13d out of the depths of my memory. Several laugh out loud things including 27a but my absolute favourite has to be 12a because I love the sound of the word and I managed the anagram all by myself. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    • Hilary
      Posted September 5, 2015 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      P S so excited I forgot to say thank you to BD and the setter.

  19. Merusa
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable puzzle with no real hiccups; apart from having to google c&b as I had no idea what it meant.
    I liked 28a and declare it my fave.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for your review, particularly explaining the “why” of 2d.

  20. jg
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Brian! Away the lads? Howay man, ger’it reet.

  21. Liz
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Yes a comfortable solve with no big headaches, although 25d did give me a bit of trouble at first. What a great word 20d is! 1*/3* thanks to setter and to BD.

  22. Salty Dog
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Easy on the intellect but quite pleasant: 1*/3*. Top clue 16a for me, but 14d was good as well. Ta to the setter and to Big Dave.

  23. Angel
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    A not too demanding but thoroughly enjoyable Saturday exercise. Thank you Mr. Ron and BD with whom I agree re 2d. Joint Favs 10a and16a. ***/***.

  24. Robin Newman
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 9:24 pm | Permalink


    needed the hint for 19D & enjoyed the hint for 27A

  25. Una
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Like all cryptics , I begin thinking it makes no sense at all and is quite beyond my ability, but after I find a few anagrams , I have a few checkers and hey pesto ! it begins to unravel.
    The hint at 16a helped solve 2d which is my favourite.
    Thanks BD and setter.

    • Kath
      Posted September 5, 2015 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Una – you’ve just reminded me how much I love pesto and how long it is since I made it! Supper this week sometime, I think! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  26. Jaylegs
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Nice crossword quite straightforward **/**** ? Thanks to BD for an interesting set of hints ? Liked the anagrams at 12a & 3d

  27. Tstrummer
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Easy fare in front of the wood-burning stove after an unscheduled and fully clothed dip in the River Lee trying to rejoin the boat at Hertford Lock. 2d was my top trump today. Thanks to setter and BD

  28. judetheobscure
    Posted September 6, 2015 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Quite straightforward though didn’t know 13d and don’t like 2d at all.
    Also not sure on the parsing of 14d though no other word will fit.

    • Posted September 6, 2015 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      14d Go round men’s section (5)
      The abbreviation for men, as in soldiers not holding commissions, followed by a section or part

      • judetheobscure
        Posted September 6, 2015 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        Aaargh – those soldiers again – must revise my military terminology – thank you http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  29. Firkin Nell
    Posted September 6, 2015 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Thank you setter and BD no help needed today liked the pic in 27a

  30. Mep
    Posted September 6, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks for the hints.

    I read 2d in a different way……raising too many glasses of spirits……..not having raised spirits in the happiness sense?

    • gazza
      Posted September 6, 2015 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      You’ve changed your email address so your comment needed moderation.
      That’s how I read 2d as well.