DT 27905 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27905 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27905 (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    Politicians being moderate left party having upset comrades — about time? (6,9)
An informal party or gathering of a club followed by an anagram (upset) of COMRADES around T(ime)

9a    Mobile accommodation for one following motorway in Irish county (6,3)
The three-letter word meaning for one after M(otorway) all inside a county in Ireland which is in the province of Ulster

11a    Round in shape, wearing ceremonial dress with a small alteration (5)
Start with an adjective meaning wearing ceremonial dress and reverse the first two letters (with a small alteration)

12a    Performer of church ritual, mostly bombastic in inclination (9)
Most of an adjective meaning bombastic or pompous inside a four-letter inclination

14a    Get by with railway company uniform (6)
A verb meaning to get by or exist followed by the abbreviation for R(ailwa)Y

18a    Honoured woman has quick drinks in pubs (8)
These drinks are usually drunk quickly just before going home – just put them in some pubs

24a    One of 1 Across perhaps to fix end of boxing match (5)
This person with left-wing views comes from a charade of a three-letter verb meaning to fix and an immediate end to a boxing match

26a    Imbecile threatened every rider in competition (5-3,7)
An anagram (imbecile) of THREATENED EVERY


1d    Give comfort to one easily fooled, we hear (7)
Sounds like (we hear) someone who is easily fooled

2d    Somewhere to sleep on holiday around sea, taking lead (4-3)
The two-letter Latin abbreviation for around followed by the abbreviated name for a sea with the latter around (taking) the chemical symbol for lead

3d    Historic Premier League clash — mood changed (4,7-4)
Great surface reading for this anagram (changed) of LEAGUE CLASH MOOD

4d    Ireland’s President Dave, real fashionable (2,6)
No, it’s not me! – this former President of Ireland is an anagram (fashionable) of DAVE REAL

7d    Store a herb around back of larder (7)
The A from the clue and a herb around the final letter (back) of [larde]R

8d    Dark-coloured blemish one’s reluctant to talk about (7)
A blemish on the skin inside (one’s … about) an adjective meaning reluctant to talk

15d    Caught a heartless sports official in a good mood (8)
C(aught) followed by the A from the clue and a sports official (believed by many to have defective vision!) without his middle letter (heartless)

20d    Trail takes opposite directions back (7)
A trail or track left by an animal around two opposite compass directions gives a verb meaning to back or support

21d    Oriental chant — part of Ottoman tradition (6)
Hidden (part of) inside the clue

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: camper+null+orgy=campanology

58 comments on “DT 27905 (Hints)

  1. I found this a bit more tricky than the usual Saturday fare. But stilled enjoyed it very much.
    3*/4* for me.

    1. Yes I agree. Trickier than usual Saturday challenge – a welcome work-out. Last in was 24a. Thank you BD et al.

  2. Very enjoyable. I particularly liked 1a (Politicians being moderate…), 2d (somewhere to sleep, liked “lead” as mentioned in the review), and 3d (Historic Premier League, I liked the use of “premier league”)

    I did think the definition in 16a clued the other half of this team (how’s that for avoiding the naughty corner!)

    Many thanks Dave and setter, especially for the fun separating definition from wordplay.

  3. Yes loved 3d, and 24a defeated me, even with 4 of the 5 letters! Otherwise **/***. Thanks to BD and setter.

  4. Enjoyable puzzle that I found to be maybe slightly trickier than is normal for Saturday. Thanks to BD and setter **/****

  5. 2*/3*. Last one in was 8d, since I became fixated on the wrong type of skin blemish. Thank you BD and setter.

  6. This was a bit of a slog for me today, I rate it 3*/3*
    Particularly liked 3 down once the penny dropped! Thanks to BD and the setter.

  7. enjoyed this one
    liked 1A, 1D, 3D & 4D and the hint to 4D

    trying to follow Dutch’s reference to 16A-comment number 2

    1. Sorry, was probably more cryptic than the clue! The answer normallly comes as one of two items, and I just thought the definition was more relevant to the other.

      1. Thanks
        Think I know the second item, but struggling to relate it to the cryptics of the clue-
        perhaps we can resume in a week, to prevent relegation the dreaded corner

        1. the wordplay clearly indicates one item, but the definition I think applies more to the other, because it uses “on”, hence it lacks accuracy.

          or perhaps the compiler is mixing up the two items – I used to.

          1. Just do what our younger Pet Lamb used to do when she was very little – call it a “banger and mash” and then you can’t get them the wrong way round.

  8. We agree with George that it was a bit trickier than usual. We really enjoyed the long, multi-word clues and would rate it a ***/*** . Thanks to BD and the Setter.

  9. If you normally steer clear of the NTSPP because you think it’ll be too difficult I do urge you to have a go at today’s. It’s very gentle and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it (especially if you like anagrams).

    1. Thanks for the recommendation – could do with a gentle one to restore the battered self-confidence, and I like anagrams.

    2. I do so wish that more folk would have a go at the NTSPPs. Unlike our regular DT dates, one never knows what will turn up there! Fear of the unknown? Come on – you’re all bigger than that. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  10. I made really heavy weather of this one – thought it was the most difficult Saturday Xword for a very long time. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif
    I also thought it was good fun even if I did fall into every trap that was set.
    I didn’t get 1a for ages – don’t know why but that slowed everything down.
    3d made me go blind and I missed the anagram indicator.
    16a and 17d were my last two answers apart from 24a which I needed the hint for.
    I liked 26a and 1 and 3d (eventually). My favourite was 8d – that took me ages too.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    Need a lie down now before having a go at the NTSPP.

  11. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, I particularly liked the 4 long clues. Favourite was 16d. Had to Google 4d, knew it was an anagram, but had never heard of him. Needed the hint for 8d. Was 3*/3* for me. Off to the Goonerium later.

  12. How nice to have a Saturday puzzle with a bit of a challenge (at expense of Daily Telegraph mailing list?!). Lots of clever surface reading and at least several of the anagrams are long ones. Surely an 18a is not necessarily honoured. 8d was last in where like neveracrossword I had originallly tried to use another blemish but crossers soon ruled that out. Needed help with 24a – d’oh. Bunged in 9a as county eluded me. Look forward to more Saturdays like this – thank you Mr. Ron and BD. ***/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_biggrin.gif

  13. Like other contributors, I found this to be a more challenging Saturday puzzle but, nevertheless, it was most enjoyable. My final entry was 10a and I had to resort to Chambers to ensure that the abbreviation in the construct was legitimate – and it was! A terrific game of football at Goodison Park – a comment which may amuse some of you who are aware that I’m a Liverpool supporter…

        1. I agree with both of your comments, Young Salopian! Incidentally, I lived in Shifnal for seven years so I’m familiar with your nom de plume.

  14. Enjoyable but difficult puzzle which I needed the hints for some of the clues. Didn’t know of 24a and had trouble seeing some of the anagrams. Enjoyed 1a, 16a and 12a.


    Thanks BD and setter.

  15. Very enjoyable puzzle.
    Faves : 24a & 3d.

    Weather here in NL is much more autumnal now – will have to dig out the long-sleeved shirts and dump the shorts at last!

  16. A very pleasant way to spend some of my Saturday afternoon. I found this a well-constructed and evenly balanced puzzle, with a good mixture of clues. No particular favourites, but no dislikes either, mainly due to the absence of the hated Spooner. 2/3 with grateful thanks to the setter and BD for an enjoyable post-solve read.

      1. Neither did I, Sheepdog. So you need to split your answer 2-3 and then, like me, you’ll question whether the first word is actually legitimate – and I’ve already provided the answer…

          1. You’ve changed your alias since your last comment so this one needed moderation. Both aliases should work from now on.

  17. Agree with others that it’s a bit trickier than recent Saturdays but enjoyable. ***/*** from us. 1a favourite with 24a and 23a on the podium.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  18. Along with Kath, I thought this was a lot trickier than recent Saturday puzzles.
    needed several hints before I could complete it. So, thanks to BD for the needful, and to Mr Ron.

  19. Thanks to setter and BD for stretching my poor little crossword solving ability to its limits then sorting me out. Made 3d more difficult that it should be by putting across answer in wrong place then spelt last word wrong. Definitely need my new glasses which are due any day.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  20. As ever Big Dave and friends have helped me out. Found this one quite tricky. Prefer answers to be words you actually use – 11a, 12a & 24a seem a little contrived to me :)

  21. Tricky yes, but I thought there were some clever clues and loved it.
    I had to google 24a but it helped to solve 1a.
    I loved 1d and 8d, but fave has to be 3d.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for the review.

  22. I quite enjoyed this one: 2*/3.5* or so. Top clue is the one which made me laugh loudest – 24a. My thanks to the setter, and to the blogmeister.

  23. I realised early on that this puzzle was going to put up a bit of resistance and all the better for that.
    Quite political , wasn’t it ? I don’t know much about 3d but 4d was a rogue to put it politely.
    Mention of 16a brings back fond memories from the seventies.
    With thanks BD and setter.

  24. Excellent puzzle. Most enjoyable. Favourite? It’s gotta be the premier league, great surface, great anagram. Loved it. Last night on the boat. Moored up outside Roydon Marina on the Stort. Leave the boat there in the morning and then back to work. Sigh.
    VMTs to setter and BD

  25. Very enjoyable needed hint for 3d ***/*** Thanks to BD for the hint ? Liked 18a, 25a & 6d! The Canaries are singing ☺️

  26. Busy day followed by evening trip to the gym and a quick 50 lengths of the pool, then home to listen to the last night of the proms. Only just finished the crossword. At least it is still Saturday as I am writing. 1a and 3a were straight in, followed by the whole of the left hand side, with the exception of 26a at which point I ground to a halt. Really struggled with the right hand side but persevered, and great feeling of satisfaction once completed. At one point didn’t think that I would get there. Really enjoyed today’s challenge. Thanks to the setter and to BD.

  27. Excellent Saturday crossword! I panicked on first reading and decided to return later. A slow start and then picked up momentum; 1a took a while to prise out, but once it was the rest fell into place. My fave was 25a and overall I think 3/3*.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD.
    I wish the Owls were singing….http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  28. Terrific fun.
    Interesting political mixture.
    Wonder if 18a refers to anybody in particular.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

  29. We’ve managed to get this completed, and posted off in time, most weeks. This one has us stumped. 10 across … 8 down … completely baffled us. It’s a race against time now. One day our pen will come.

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