DT 27917 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27917 (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    Pain from exercise in saddle perhaps (6)
Two definitions – the second being something of which saddle is an example (perhaps)

5a    Detectives must probe old coin in the West (8)
The usual detectives inside O(ld) and a foreign coin

11a    Someone lacking faith in one violinist (8)
A charade of someone who has no religion, IN from the clue and I (one)

15a    Drink humorously described in a manuscript penned by a dramatic diarist (5,3)
The A from the clue and the abbreviation for M(anu)S(cript) inside another the A from the clue and the surname of the doctor’s wife who’s fictional drame was serialised on the radio for many years – try to think about her without saying “I’m rather worried about Jim”, bet you can’t!

The cast of "Mrs Dale's Diary"


21a    One harshly rules what one can’t do to a leopard? (6)
Split as (2-4) this could be something one can’t do to a leopard

23a    Distinction of modern artist from ‘ere (8)
The surname of a modern British so-called artist, I saw her “Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–1995” at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition many years ago, followed by a word meaning from here without its initial H

27a    Box — one acceptable for horse (8)
A box or stable followed by I (one) and two-letter word meaning acceptable

28a    Engine stops going by elevated railway (6)
A verb meaning stops going, especially when applied to an engine, followed by the US elevated railway


2d    Portia rarely displays luxurious headgear (5)
Hidden (displays) inside the clue

3d    Trollope novel in Churchill’s retreat? (3,6)
This could, if split as (3,3,3), be thought of as Churchill’s retreat

4d    Big actor falling short — that is what you need for a sad movie (6)
Most of the surname of the actor who starred in the film Big followed by the Latin abbreviation for “that is”

5d    What can make email bounce between two cricket sides very rarely (4,2,1,4,4)
An anagram (what can make) of EMAIL BOUNCE between two instances of one of the “sides” in cricket

6d    Revolutionary Nazi guard — knight perhaps (8)
One of our usual revolutionaries followed by a Nazi Guard (2,3) gives something of which a knight is an example

16d    Corporation to relieve Levantine city (5,4)
This corporation is a roll of fat around the midriff – it’s a charade of an verb meaning to relieve or save from and a city in the Levant

17d    Meat that’s cooked soft with butter in sparkling wine (8)
The musical notation for soft followed by a three-letter animal that butts inside an Italian sparkling wine

24d    Station in India left from historic building (5)
This station or social standing in India is derived by dropping the L(eft) from an historic building

The Crossword Club is now open.  I’ll be back at lunchtime after my visit to the monthly Village Café and Local Market

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: dire+Titian=dietician


  1. George
    Posted September 26, 2015 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    A quite straightforward romp this morning. I had to check the second meaning of 1a, so learned something new again today.

    I had to stretch my memory in 15a – I had to revive an old memory there! Wow, some of these references surely are ancient.

    1*/4* for me.

  2. Graham
    Posted September 26, 2015 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Not much to say about this one,completed fairly quickly.Thanks to BD for the review,wishing all a good weekend.

    • crypticsue
      Posted September 26, 2015 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      I’ve come over all ‘Rabbit Dave’ and pedantic and thought I’d point out that at the weekend BD just gives hints and either Gnomethang or I provide a full review which appears on a Friday, by which time everyone’s forgotten the crossword and moved on to other things :(

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted September 26, 2015 at 11:12 am | Permalink


      • Kath
        Posted September 26, 2015 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

        Definitely all pedantic “Rabbit Dave” although I would just like to point out that I’m getting marginally better at a) keeping the weekend papers, b) remembering what I’ve done with them and c) commenting on the very good reviews provided by you or Gnomey.

  3. jean-luc cheval
    Posted September 26, 2015 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Same same.
    A cup of tea and a fag and it was over.
    Enjoyable though.
    Just saw a guy with a T-shirt which said: “Apple Moi”. Must remember to find one for BD.
    Thanks for the blog.

    • Posted September 26, 2015 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Don’t waste your money!

  4. JonP
    Posted September 26, 2015 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    I got held up a bit in the SE corner but goodness knows why looking back…. Anyway, thanks to BD and setter **/***

  5. Angel
    Posted September 26, 2015 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    More short-lived but light-hearted fun for a Saturday. Remembered 28a from a recent appearance. Not sure about 16d being quite synonymous! Bunged in 1a so thanks for parsing BD. Fav was 21a. Thanks Mysteron. **/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  6. Rabbit Dave
    Posted September 26, 2015 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    1*/2*. Not much to say except why are the last two letters of 27a a synonym of “acceptable”?

    I don’t like 28a, and in any event some friends who live in the city where you find the elevated railway tell me that the correct abbreviation is just a single letter.

    Thanks to the setter and to BD.

    • dutch
      Posted September 26, 2015 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      how about when something is not **, it isn’t acceptable

      chambers has ** – easy to see how that might be corrupted to a single letter?

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted September 26, 2015 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, Dutch, although I fear you may well be consigned to the naughty corner for two offences!

        I see what you are getting at with the negative view of not acceptable, but I can’t think of an example where the positive equivalence would be used.

        Regarding the railway, my friends say it is the two letter version that is the corruption!

        • Expat Chris
          Posted September 26, 2015 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

          Your friends are absolutely correct.

      • Posted September 26, 2015 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        Off to the naughty corner for you!

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted September 26, 2015 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

          Can you let him out now in celebration of Spurs’ wonderful result?

          • Brian
            Posted September 26, 2015 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

            Oh yes although I see the BBC in its usual miserable way is saying that two of Spurs goals were offside, have to wait for MoD to find out.

      • dutch
        Posted September 26, 2015 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        Oops – damn, apologies

  7. dutch
    Posted September 26, 2015 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Pleasant enough, though I was trying to make the rapper work in 23a. Didn’t know the radio show in 15a but the answer was obvious.

    Liked 18a, 4d, 8d

    thanks setter, BD and CS in advance for the under appreciated full review

  8. Caravaggio
    Posted September 26, 2015 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    I agree with the majority of the previous comments because I thought that it was an extremely enjoyable puzzle but it didn’t last long enough. It was only after reading BD’s hint for 3d that the penny dropped because I’d put in the answer solely on the basis of the book title…

  9. Jaycat
    Posted September 26, 2015 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Nice crossword with lots of diverse answers. Learnt some words and meanings which is good. Needed hint for just one- 16d -got the first word ok, never heard of the Levantine city so couldn’t see why the answer was what it was.

    23a caused me pain as thought of the modern pop group rather than the intended artist as part of answer.


    Thanks BD and setter.

  10. AlanC
    Posted September 26, 2015 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    11a was the last to be entered for me. Liked 18a and 21a. Hate clues like 15a.

    • AlanC
      Posted September 26, 2015 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      Oh, and 3d had be stumped for a while as I was working with Chartwell as Churchill’s retreat!!

  11. Patski
    Posted September 26, 2015 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Brain fade. Not on the setters wavelength at all today! Found it surprisingly hard although I finished it with a bit of help. Liked 21a a lot and disliked 15a. Got the answer straight away but no idea how from the wordplay. There were a couple like that. Never come across the elevated railway before.

  12. Caroline
    Posted September 26, 2015 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Feeling rather pleased with myself, not because I only have one clue to go, but because I remembered elevated railway. It appeared a little while ago and I’m sure Kath commented that it should be put in the memory bank as it sometimes appears. What with that and lum for a chimney, it’s been a good week. Thanks as always to the hinters and setters.

  13. Annamieka
    Posted September 26, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Thanks guys…I used to do this crossword over the phone with my Mum, bad sadly she cannot do it any more. I’m not that good and it was so frustrating and taking me far too long. I’ve finished it…whoopee!

    • Posted September 26, 2015 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Annamieka

      Well done

    • Jane
      Posted September 26, 2015 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      Kath will sympathise with you about no longer being able to do the crosswords with your Mum. Please stay with us – it’s one big happy family here. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    • Kath
      Posted September 26, 2015 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

      Hello and welcome from me too, Annamieka,
      Jane is right – I sympathise with you no longer being able to do crosswords with your Mum. Keep commenting – this is a very friendly and helpful place. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  14. Expat Chris
    Posted September 26, 2015 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Over quickly but enjoyable nonetheless. I do take exception to the word ‘artist’ being applied to that certain person, though. Thanks to the setter, whoever he or she is.

    • Brian
      Posted September 26, 2015 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Oh how I do so agree, reminds of the tale of the Kings new clothes. What is the old adage about a fool and his money

  15. Little Dave
    Posted September 26, 2015 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    All done without too much angst. Beautiful day in Hertfordshire. Thanks to BD and to the compiler. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  16. Brian
    Posted September 26, 2015 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Late on parade today having been to the Thame food fair, scrumptious!
    Not difficult but felt a bit like something set in the 1950s, ie 10a for trousers, Trollops novel, an ancient diarist in 15a and an obscure violinist.
    Having said that I did like 5d and 18a together with the clever misdirection in 24d. Thx to all.

    • Hrothgar
      Posted September 26, 2015 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      I doubt whether anyone under 70 has ever heard of the diarist.

      • Kath
        Posted September 26, 2015 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

        I’m well under seventy but remember my Mum listening to the diarist when we were little.

        • Jane
          Posted September 26, 2015 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

          And so do I – it was part of life in our household.

  17. Hilary
    Posted September 26, 2015 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Kath – pink form submitted. New glasses walking back to car tripped up on kerb, fell on face one eye nearly closed plus glasses in bits. Back when I can see. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

    • Merusa
      Posted September 26, 2015 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear, Hilary, how awful for you. Get well soon!

    • Jane
      Posted September 26, 2015 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Oh poor you, Hilary – and just after such a lovely birthday. Never mind about the glasses for now, just take care of yourself. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    • Angel
      Posted September 26, 2015 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      Commiserations Hilary and very best wishes for a speedy recovery.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif(I was going to capitalise this message to make it easier to read with a poorly eye but thought I might be sent to the naughty corner for that!)

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted September 26, 2015 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      Best wishes for a speedy recovery from me too. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

      • Robin Newman
        Posted September 26, 2015 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        Best Wishes from me


    • Jaycat
      Posted September 26, 2015 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      Come back soon Hilary !

    • Kath
      Posted September 26, 2015 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear – poor you. Who cares about the pink form? Just get better soon. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  18. Merusa
    Posted September 26, 2015 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable offering again. Is Mrs Whatsit in 15a still on the air?
    Never even heard of the “artist” in 23a. Googled her and have to agree with Expat Chris.
    I thought 11a and 5d were clever, fave was 3d.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for the hints, not needed today.

  19. Robin Newman
    Posted September 26, 2015 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    needed the hints to parse 4D, which seems rather obscure to me

    several clues to like-16D, 17D and 20D for instance


    I suppose to say that one answer seems rather topical will get me put instantly into the naughty corner, but here goes anyway

    Thanks to the setter and to BD

  20. Florence
    Posted September 26, 2015 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Nice gentle puzzle, much needed after an exhausting trip to a certain American hypermarket. Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the review. Glad I have managed to finish this before the rugby starts. Best wishes to Hilary for a speedy recovery, and have a good evening everyone.

  21. Gwizz
    Posted September 26, 2015 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Well, unlike nearly everybody else it seems I found today’s puzzle to be a really tricky so-and-so! I got there eventually but it was anything but simple. I’ll just have to put it down to a bad day at the office and move on…
    11a was my favourite (and last to be solved) and 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for weekend duties.

  22. weekendwanda
    Posted September 26, 2015 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Good fun started before and finished after going out to a country event in glorious weather. Last in 16d and 28a. No help needed apart from a list of violinists. Favourites 23a, and 3, 4, 14, 16d, I can remember the radio programme but did not connect with this although got the answer. Thanks setter and BD. Hope to see you on the 17th.

    • Jane
      Posted September 26, 2015 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      Just to say thank you for reminding me about AirB&B. I think no.1 daughter has an account with them so I’ll look into it nearer the time. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      • weekendwanda
        Posted September 26, 2015 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

        That’s fine

  23. Salty Dog
    Posted September 26, 2015 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Pretty straightforward, but not unenjoyable: 1*/3*. Couldn’t really decide between 15a and 17d as favourite, so will go for 5a out of sheer cussedness. Thanks to the setter, and to Big Dave.

  24. Kath
    Posted September 26, 2015 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Sshhhhh – all visitors now either in bed or not home yet – blissfully quiet so thought I’d sneak through and have a quick look at what’s been happening and leave a comment.
    I really enjoyed this crossword – pretty straightforward but with some lovely clues that made me laugh.
    I’m glad that we had the American elevated railway again as that will help to imprint it on the memory.
    Working out why 3d was right took a while and I confess to having to ask Mr Google about the 26a last thing in the Bible although I could see it was an anagram.
    I liked 25a and 20d. My favourite was either 21a or 4d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    It’s a miracle that I can even see the crossword – Elder Lamb is here this weekend – she is SUCH a doodler!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

    • Florence
      Posted September 26, 2015 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

      Glad someone else has a doodler in the family.

  25. Miranda Lewis
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Try a I might I simply cannot get 18 across.

    • gazza
      Posted September 28, 2015 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog, Miranda.

      18a Animal is tangled in yacht’s propeller (8)
      It’s an anagram, indicated by ‘tangled’.

  26. Asmodeus
    Posted October 1, 2015 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Very enjoyable, all solved in a reasonable time- except 25a. No ideas at all! And no hint from BD. Pity

    • Posted October 1, 2015 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Asmodeus

      The lack of a hint is, in itself, a hint that I think the clue is relatively easy to solve. In this case “25a Blue feathers (4)” is a double definition which is a bit of an old chestnut – blue as in depressed or sad and soft fluffy feathers.

  27. Miranda Lewis
    Posted October 1, 2015 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    thankyou gazza, but even with your hint I have failed miserably with 18 across

    • gazza
      Posted October 1, 2015 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      All will be revealed in the full review published at 09:00 tomorrow (Friday).