DT 27923 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27923 (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.


2a    Copy-editor number one upset by writing fee (12)
A three-letter copy-editor on a newspaper followed by the two-letter abbreviation for number and I (one) both reversed, the latter three letters being preceded by some writing

8a    Large number have a complaint when it goes astray (4)
In this semi-all-in-one clue, where the whole clue provides the definition, a large Roman numeral is followed by a verb meaning to have a complaint or illness

10a    Greek character returning after short time offers driving force (8)
The reversal of a two-letter Greek character is preceded by a brief period of time

16a    Outbuilding accommodating single wee Scot? (5)
An outbuilding on a farm around (accommodating) I (single) gives a wee Scottish child

17a    Smart hat more than covering Mary’s sister (6)
Even if you know nothing about the bible you should be able to spot Mary’s sister lurking (more than covering) inside the clue

18a    Study complaint in this French place where cross-country runners meet (10)
A three-letter verb meaning to study followed by a complaint or illness and the French for “in this” gives a place where two of Crosswordland’s “runners” meet

23a    Subcontinental graduate’s entered ship (8)
A native of the subcontinent around (‘s/has entered) a graduate

26a    Echoes of swan in flight appear (4,4,4)
A delightful anagram (in flight) of ECHOES OF SWAN


1d    Parrot circling an overhanging shelter (6)
A verb meaning to parrot or imitate around (circling) the AN from the clue

2d    Put off deciding what to do with bed (5,2,2)
This could describe what to do with a bed

4d    Percentage rise ordered to cover area hotel employees (15)
A percentage paid to an agent followed by an anagram (ordered) of RISE around (to cover) A(rea)

6d    Pinching the paper (5)
THE from the clue followed by the pink newspaper

7d    Lavishness of couple rebuilding to house small unit for printing (8)
An anagram (rebuilding) of COUPLE around (to house) a small unit used in printing

16d    Supports leg movement achieved by some potters (8)
A verb meaning supports or endorses followed by a colloquial word for a leg – these potters are the ones who pot balls on the snooker table, not those who throw clay!

19d    Affectedly superior boy and girl (2-2-2)
A three-letter boy followed by a girl’s name

20d    Dicey, showing sign of hesitation leaving court (6)
Drop (leaving) a two-letter sign of hesitation from a division of the High Court of Justice

22d    Base silver starts shining (5)
An adjective meaning base or contemptible with the chemical symbol for silver first (starts)

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: quay+Lyme+pie=Key lime pie


  1. Boltonbabs
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    There is a serious error in the ipad version of this puzzle. 26a has 14 available squares and it is detailed as 4,5,4 totalling 13, both are wrong. Made solving it rather tricky and impossible to send it in. Luckily we won a £50 Amazon voucher last week, so do not feel too aggrieved.

    • Robert
      Posted October 3, 2015 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Hi Babs– how do you get it on iPad please, thanks Rob

      • dutch
        Posted October 3, 2015 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

        you can download from App Store but you need a telegraph subscription

      • jimbow
        Posted October 3, 2015 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        I have just finished the iPad version and SE corner was made more tricky than nececessary because of the error. It soon became obvious there was an extra blank square and the clue gave —-/—–/—-, 13 letters while there is only 12 letters in the anagram. Not very impressive effort from theTelegraph. Adds insult to injury as their new updated app is painfully slow and has some bugs!

        • Young Salopian
          Posted October 3, 2015 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

          It has taken me about two minutes to download the new version, as opposed to two seconds before. I have even downloaded the new iOS version as recommended but am no faster. On the upside, the new digital Telegraph has more content and is an excellent read as a result.

    • Ade
      Posted October 3, 2015 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      I have same problem. Maybe they are too busy with their banal slating of Jeremy Corbyn or their infatuation with the royals to care about writing decent software. The new app is soooooo sloooooooow too

      • Young Salopian
        Posted October 3, 2015 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        I agree. Corbyn doesn’t need the press to make him appear out of touch and a political embarrassment – he does a perfectly adequate job of that himself.

        • Ade
          Posted October 3, 2015 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

          And who needs shoddy journalism when you can read cheap jibes like that

        • Little Dave
          Posted October 4, 2015 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

          Hear hear.

      • Little Dave
        Posted October 4, 2015 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        App for me fine. Much improved apart from the error which is after all, very rare for the DT.

    • dutch
      Posted October 3, 2015 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      congrats on the voucher! I’ve only ever received one after years.

    • jimbow
      Posted October 3, 2015 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Just discovered you can submit it, enter any letter in the extra blank square and hay presto,you have completed.

    • Sim
      Posted October 3, 2015 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Same problem on Android version as well http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

      • Young Salopian
        Posted October 3, 2015 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        May I join the dodgy I-Pad version club too? Very sloppy not to have the grid correctly aligned. Apart from that, this was a fair puzzle, although my enjoyment was certainly tempered by the cock-up. 2/3 therefore with thanks to setter and BD.

        • Michael
          Posted October 3, 2015 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

          Me too with the IPad version the paper says 4,4,4 – the IPad version says 4,4,5 – but there’s actually 14 spaces including a final ‘y’ from a separate clue – what a cock-up! I’ve stuck an ‘x’ in the spare field and submitted it – who knows!

  2. JonP
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    I certainly didn’t find this puzzle to be the usual Saturday AM write-in. It took me a while to get going and I finished it in and around 2 or 3 star time. Thanks to BD and setter 2.5*/4*

  3. Jaycat
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Nice puzzle with great step by step wordplay, too many favourites to mention, it has a great weekend feel and gives a good sense of achievement when complete.

    Thanks to setter and BD

  4. Robert
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Any chance help with 11A– got me truly stumped, cheers.

    • Angel
      Posted October 3, 2015 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Omit answer from word. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

      • Caravaggio
        Posted October 3, 2015 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for that, Angel, because I’d arrived at the correct answer without understanding why; otherwise, I’d had no problems with the rest of the puzzle and thank you too, Kath, because you’ve confirmed my thinking.

    • Kath
      Posted October 3, 2015 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      11a – the definition is ‘went off’ – not went off like leaving but more what could happen to food that’s been lurking in the bottom of the fridge for ages before someone finds it!

      • Angel
        Posted October 3, 2015 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        Wow Kath, we both seem to have avoided the naughty corner although I do reckon you were probably nearer the edge than I! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

        • Kath
          Posted October 3, 2015 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

          Don’t think we’ve done anything too awful – either that or no-one’s noticed, yet!

  5. Angel
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Great – I really enjoyed that. Just enough cerebral exercise. Stupidly didn’t fathom 6d and needed BD assistance with 8a although I had mentally rejected that solution – IMHO it’s rather a vague clue. No Favs just lots of good clues. Thanks Mysteron and BD. ***/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  6. dutch
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed the semi-all-in-one at 8a, as well as the poetic 26a and the quirky surface in 11a

    great stuff, many thanks setter and BD

    by the way, nice joint DIY COW puzzle with 20 contributors as guest puzzle at hoskinscrosswords.com

  7. Brian
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    What a stinker! Got me almost completely fixed.

  8. Rabbit Dave
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    2*/4* for a very enjoyable Saturday puzzle. I didn’t know but guessed the copy-editor in 2a. 23a was my last one in and a new word for me. 11a was my favourite, and I was going to say that I like 25a but I won’t as that might be badly misinterpreted.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD.

  9. Kath
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this one – 2*+ a bit for difficulty and 4* enjoyment.
    I couldn’t get 8a at all – had an idea which I couldn’t explain – it was wrong, that’s why – so needed the hint for that one.
    No other major problems really although I was slow to get 9, 18 and 24a – no proper excuses for any of them.
    I liked 11 and 26a and 1 and 20d. My favourite was 6d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    Now to see if this will ‘go’ and then on with MPP – oh, and there’s an NTSPP too – I am going to be busy!

    • Merusa
      Posted October 3, 2015 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      How do you find the time to do three puzzles in a day!! You must be like greased lightning with your solving. Well done you!

      • Kath
        Posted October 3, 2015 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

        No – I’m not – CS is the greased lightening round here! Anyway, I didn’t say I was going to do them all – I just said that I might have a little quick peep at them and that tomorrow is another day . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  10. Paso Doble
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    We really enjoyed this puzzle. We started off like Lewis Hamilton but then got a bit of engine trouble before limping home. Podium finish. however!
    Like Kath-2* and a bit + 4*
    Thanks to Mr. Ron and Big Dave.
    We hope to see many of you at the convention….

  11. Sarah
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this one and for once escaped the electronic envy I usually feel having always done ( & still do) the paper version. Struggled with 16d til I realised it didn’t mean a clay potter. And I had a wrong answer for 15 d which held me up in the final furlong. However this was quite straight forward for me today. Hope people enjoy the convention. I’d love to get there one of these days. Thanks to BD and the setterhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  12. Heno
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very tricky puzzle, but very enjoyable. I needed the hint for 20d. Got the last letter of 11a wrong, but got the answer from the blog. Last in was 23a, which I had never heard of, but confirmed it by using Mr Google. Favourite was 18a. Was 3*/3* for me. Sun was out for an hour in Central London, but has gone in again.

  13. Graham Wall
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    On first reading this looked a little daunting to me. I found the soft underbelly of 17A and thereafter everything went smoothly. I did have to check with BRB as 23A was a newcomer to me. I particularly liked 26A. Most enjoyable. 1.5/4 I thank BD for his review. I think the new Telegraph app is excellent, but call me old fashioned, I do like doing the crossword on paper rather than digitally.Got to go find a decent bottle of cheeky red in readiness for tonight’s clash with the Wallabies.

  14. Framboise
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyed this Prize crossword. Needed the hint for 8a so many thanks to BD. 2*/4* with 6d as my favourite. I do not like the new DT version for IPad, very slow perhaps because my IPad (3 years old) is almost a granddaddy! Fortunately I can print the puzzles from my MacPro so I did not have any problems with today’s grid. Many thanks to Mr Ron for making my start of the day very pleasant in spite of the grey weather.

  15. Merusa
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this one, but really had difficulty getting into it. My paper is covered in scratchings where I tried to solve anagrams that weren’t there, for instance 4d.
    My first one in was 8a and last was 16d; had no idea about potter but just bunged in what fit with the clue.
    Knew 23a, I remembered it from history at school, and I nominate it as my fave, with 6d as runner up.
    Thanks to setter for Saturday fun and to BD for the hints, needed his explanation for 16d.

  16. F1lbertfox
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    IMHO this was the most straightforward puzzle of the week – with one exception – the answer to 23 across is a word that I have never come across before, but will tuck away in the old memory bank for future use. A nice gentle workout for a Saturday afternoon. Thanks to the setter, most entertaining. I can’t say the same about today’s General Knowledge Crossword though – I found some of that very difficult to answer.

  17. Peta
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Mum and I suffered a bit with this one, but we got there in the end. Definitely deserve our chocolate biscuit today!

  18. Vancouverbc
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    **/****. Very nice puzzle with a few neat misdirections(18a) and clever lego clues like 11a. Thanks to the setter for making my Saturday morning a gentle start and BD for the review.

  19. Florence
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Slightly trickier than the usual Saturday offering, but managed to plough on without too much electronic help.9a and 26a favourites. Thanks to the setter and to BD for the review. Made the mistake, or maybe not, of booking theatre tickets tonight, forgetting England were playing. Oh.. And thanks to Gazza for Wednesday’s toughie…I did actually finish it ..in the end. Good job we don’t mention time taken, but it was the first time I had completed a toughie.

  20. jimbow
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Michael, there’s no clue for your solution “ox”. Ha Ha http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  21. Salty Dog
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Like Filbertfox, l found this a bit too easy, and now have more time than l really want to chew my fingernails before kick-off at Twickenham. 1*/3* is about right. I liked 18a and 6d particularly. My thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints (even though a cursory glance at the picture accompanying that for 4d made me wonder what the answer had to do with a couple of RM Drill Sergeants – a body of men who terrorised me for much of my formative Naval career).

  22. Gwizz
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    A bit trickier than usual for a Saturday puzzle. Not helped by the spacing error etc.
    I eventually completed, 8a was my last one in; I just did not see that one for ages!
    19d was my favourite in spite of just noticing I spelt it wrongly. No Amazon voucher for me then…
    2/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter and BD for his hints.

  23. Hrothgar
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed this very much because I found it quite hard work.
    Especially liked 1a and 21a.
    Last in to my shame for taking so long, 8a.
    No problems on my I Pad Air 2, I use an American Crossword App.
    Many thanks to the setter and to BD.

  24. Una
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    I also found this quite tricky.I liked 1d, 2d, 5d and 15d, and 26a.
    With thanks to the setter and BD.

  25. Miranda Lewis
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    I have an answer to 11ac but I fail to see why even with the hints. Everything else seems ok.

    • Posted October 3, 2015 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

      11a Went round — no answer — went off (6)
      A verb meaning went round or turned without the A(nswer) gives a different verb meaning went off or, as Kath said, what happened to food that’s been lurking in the bottom of the fridge for ages before someone finds it!

  26. Tstrummer
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    Good fun and not too tricky. Completed after listening to England’s humiliation at Twickenham. It’s a good job I don’t care about rugby, otherwise I’d be fuming. But in the last three world cups – cricket, football and rugby – England have failed to make it past the group stage. Good job I’m Scottish and have plenty other failures to depress me.
    Thanks to setter and BD.

  27. jean-luc cheval
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Great Saturday prize too.
    Got a bit help up in SE corner as I swapped two letters in 4d.
    Liked 20 and 22d the most.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

  28. Killer Watts
    Posted October 3, 2015 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable tonight. Could only get stuck in after wallpaper stripping. The rugby was fizzling out, so was able to concentrate on the crossword. My rating today is a **/*****.

  29. AlanC
    Posted October 4, 2015 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Had this one complete pretty quickly except for 21a – and 24hrs later I still don’t have it. Someone please give me a clue and put me out of my misery/frustration.

    • Killer Watts
      Posted October 4, 2015 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Alan, think of [**alternative clue deleted**].

  30. Richard M
    Posted October 4, 2015 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    I’m confused with 26a. The clue asks for a 13 letter answer (4,5,4); BD’s hints suggest a 12 letter answer (4,4,4) yet there are 14 letters to complete the grid?
    It looks like an error in the digital version!

    • Posted October 4, 2015 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Richard

      You are right – see comment #1 above.

      Here is the correct grid:

  31. Killer Watts
    Posted October 4, 2015 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I didn’t think that would be deleted ! ******* ? Come on !

    • AlanC
      Posted October 4, 2015 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Well, I believe I have it now. Not a word I knew and solved with electronic help. It always intrigues me as to which ‘alternate clues’ are allowed and which aren’t given that rolling your cursor over images gives the answers! Still, BD’s site, BD’s rules!

      • Posted October 4, 2015 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        An “alternative clue” is one that has little or nothing to do with the actual clue but happens to lead to the same answer. For “rolling your cursor over images” please see entry 9 in the FAQs.

        • Leveret
          Posted October 4, 2015 at 10:24 am | Permalink

          Entry 9? Can’t see it in either ‘prize puzzles’ or ‘toughies’. (Got them anyway, was looking here for explanation of 11a – clearly something illusory about this clue from above posts – I wonder if others were trying to make ‘**’ an answer of some sort?)

          • Posted October 4, 2015 at 10:44 am | Permalink

            I’ve edited your comment as it is more likely to mislead than to help.

            The information is not in either of the places you mentioned, it’s in the FAQ which is the first entry in that menu.


  32. Kitty
    Posted October 4, 2015 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    The Kitties enjoyed this. My favourite is the one RD was hesitant to say he likes.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  33. Badger
    Posted October 6, 2015 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Nearly didn’t,t do it as the paper was late in the shop. One of those you struggle with and then penny drops-and all falls into place. Loved the “echoes of swans” one. So, scanned and sent in to DT. Watch for the post……(!)

    Thanks to setter and to BD for getting up early again.