DT 27953 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27953 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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 as “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    Settles business promptly and honestly, a pain to administer (4,2,3,4)
An anagram (to administer) of HONESTLY A PAIN

9a I have to follow dreadful court order (9)
The abbreviated for of “I have” preceded by (to follow) an adjective meaning dreadful and C(our)T

13a Flag from European country cut down (4)
Flag is another name for this type of flower – drop the final letter (cut down) from an adjective meaning from a particular European country

17a American explorer brought back to company … this! (7)
The reversal of a fifteenth-century Italian explorer who discovered of parts of North America followed by CO(mpany)

18a Individual entertains male party before audience (2-5)
The number that represents an individual around (entertains) an all-male party

21a Small ship in bay (4)
A double definition – the alternative spelling of a small ship, the more usual spelling has 6 letters, and a verb meaning to bay like a dog

27a Old Lib-Dem leader tucks into lean bit of steak and sauces etc (9)
The shortened first name of a former Lib-Dem leader sandwiched between (tucks into) an adjective meaning lean or slim and the initial letter (bit) of S[teak]

28a    Arrange other matter in Arnie’s vehicle (3,10)
An anagram (arrange) of OTHER MATTER IN – the definition is a vehicle in the sense of a medium for the expressing or performing of something


1d    Visitor from Peru abandoned trip having got lost round centre of Chingford (10,4)
Britain’s favourite visitor from Peru is derived from an anagram (having got lost) of ABANDONED TRIP around the middle (centre) letter of [Chin]G[ford]

2d Stories for instance set up to entertain the Navy (5)
The reversal (set up in a down clue) of a three-letter word meaning for instance around the abbreviation for our navy

3d Like some music Clare Short arranged (10)
A cleverly spotted anagram (arranged) of CLARE SHORT

7d Strains bearing fruit in verses (9)
A verb meaning strains sprains preceded by (bearing in a down clue) a type of fruit

8d Royal family habit to be protected by foot soldiers following Tornados (5,2,7)
A three-letter habit inside the foot of a certain type of animal then some of our usual soldiers, the latter being preceded by meteorological phenomena of which tornados are an example – definite slap on the wrist for using a “definition by example” without the courtesy of an indication

14d Member of crew with muscle, skinny, casing joint (4,6)
A two-letter abbreviated word for a muscle and an adjective meaning skinny around (casing) a joint between edges of cloth

16d Rebel is pressing to capture north (9)
The IS from the clue and an adjective meaning pressing or important around (to capture) N(orth)

19d Religious instruction Eastern sanctimonious saint let out (7)
E(astern) followed by a two-letter adjective meaning sanctimonious or self-righteous, S(aint) and an anagram (out) of LET

25d    Python  at rest (4)
Two definitions – the surname a member of the surreal comedy group who created the sketch comedy show Monty Python’s Flying Circus and an adjective meaning at rest

The Crossword Club is now open.  Thanks for your patience (well, all except one miserable git).

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: earnest+hemming+weigh=Ernest Hemmingway


  1. A G Brown
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Don’t bother goodbye

    • Senf
      Posted November 7, 2015 at 1:20 pm | Permalink


      • Paso Doble
        Posted November 7, 2015 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        ?? for us too. I think that BD didn’t put in so many tips because the puzzle was fairly simple. The four hints available were so obvious that they could put everybody in the right direction without any other help needed.

        • jean-luc cheval
          Posted November 7, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

          BD said that more is to come at the bottom of the review.

          • Posted November 7, 2015 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

            Quite right.

            This morning I set up and published two crosswords (MPP and NTSPP), sorted out a typo in the MPP, went to the doctors’ for a flu jab, popped round to see Son of BD for a coffee, solved this puzzle and the quickie, posted a few hints, had lunch, made some kipper pâté for tea, and now I am back to add some more hints. It’s nice to know that some people appreciate the effort that goes into running a site like this.

        • Merusa
          Posted November 7, 2015 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

          This gent had posted some pretty unseemly comments in the past, if I remember correctly. I don’t think we’ll miss him in the future if he makes good his threat.

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted November 7, 2015 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        You obviously missed something here.
        Didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
        This gentleman was quite upset not to find the review at the time he wanted it to be there.
        Can’t remember having signed a contract with BD about posting times.
        Last week there was an interesting article about how long people were ready to wait in shops before leaving and often never to return.
        I wonder if he will be in such a hurry to meet his maker.

        • Senf
          Posted November 7, 2015 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

          Ah, that must be one of the comments BD deleted (see number 8 below) before I opened up the blog today. I have two challenges for this type of individual (1) set a cryptic crossword, and (2) write the hints for a cryptic crossword; neither of which I could do. I consider that all the setters and hinters do an amazing job and they deserve and earn my grateful thanks.

    • Brian
      Posted November 7, 2015 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      I think perhaps that his problem is in part due to only hints for the easiest clues when this is a distinctly tricky little beggar. Still it’s a shame that anyone should go when on the whole we are a friendly bunch (there are of course exceptions)!

      • Posted November 7, 2015 at 2:36 pm | Permalink


        I always start with the first and last across and down clues, without regard to their difficulty, then fill in about 12 more, mostly chosen for their difficulty.

        • Badger
          Posted November 7, 2015 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

          Is the 1a picture of the exchange in Bristol – I’m told that’s where it originated.
          Liked the reference to Clare short – who’d have thought it?

          Was a bit slow on 25d -was looking for a real snake answer!

          Otherwise no hints needed ta BD
          Thx to setter.

          • Posted November 7, 2015 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

            You are right – I put the answer and “Bristol” into Google to find the picture. Most people know by now that Bristol is my alma mater, so I’ve been there and got the T-shirt.

    • gnomethang
      Posted November 7, 2015 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      I love this kind of comment – can you reply on my reviews too?

      • crypticsue
        Posted November 7, 2015 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        People replying on weekend reviews?? It’ll never catch on.

        • gnomethang
          Posted November 7, 2015 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

          Lol – and Like! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    • Cryptor
      Posted November 7, 2015 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      Mr Brown shook his fist
      With his knickers in a twist.
      All the rest
      know Dave is best
      So Mr Brown will not be missed!

      • Kath
        Posted November 7, 2015 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

        Brilliant http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif but I hope that the beastly Mr Brown is not getting too much publicity – perhaps that’s what twits like he is are after precisely that.

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear! :sad: The third disappointing back-pager in a row.

    I find clues like 8d & 14d simply awful. On the other hand, I thought that 25d was brilliant and my favourite today.

    I blame Miffypops for me getting the last word of 1a wrong because I followed his dictum and didn’t write down the anagram fodder. That in turn held me up for a while by making 6d and 7d impossible until I realised the error of my ways.

    I have never before come across that spelling of 21a as a ship, but it is in my BRB.

    Thanks to the setter and to BD.

  3. Paso Doble
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    A lovely Saturday puzzle – favourite clues were 17a and 20d. We got off to a flying start but got a bit bogged down in the SE corner. **/**** Thanks to setter and BD.

    • Vancouverbc
      Posted November 7, 2015 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely agree about favourite clues. **/***. Tricky in parts but an enjoyable solve. Thanks to the setter and BD. Kipper pate – delicious but not easy to find in these parts.

  4. Senf
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    I found this quite enjoyable, partly because this is the first puzzle I have been able to complete this week without having to wait for the hints to appear. Although, I do agree with Rabbit Dave that some of the clues were, I will use, not the best, and 25d was brilliant. Now, plenty of time to look at the new MPP.

  5. Young Salopian
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    I will go against the current grain and admit to enjoying this one. Unlike RD above, 8 and 14d were two of favourites. One man’s meat etc I suppose. It was nice to see 13a again, even if it is one of those meanings I always forget. I felt that 19d was a little odd, as I have always assumed that saint has a two letter abbreviation, not one. That aside, this was 3/3 for me, with thanks to our setter and BD for his review.

  6. Angel
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    On this dank and dreary Saturday it was good to be stretched a bit more than usual at weekends although BD obviously thought it warranted few hints! Thank you Mr. Ron and BD. Made life difficult for myself by initially wrongly using horseracing term in 1a. Have to agree with RD re 8d ‘cos even now I can’t parse it. Otherwise nothing special to note. ***/***.

    • Angel
      Posted November 7, 2015 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Sorry BD I’ve just seen your footnote re ‘more to come’! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

  7. Brian
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Really struggling with this one.
    Any help with 3d and 21a would be most appreciated. Have answers for 13a, 17a (why ‘this’), 20a, 27a and 19d would also be useful.
    IMHO a thoroughly dislikable Saturday puzzle.

    • Sarah
      Posted November 7, 2015 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      3D is an anagram which fits the rest of the clue beautifully.sadly I am also struggling with 21a, sorry! I don’t know how to explain 19 d without breaking the rules but it is what I call a step by step clue if you start at Eastern.Found this ok but have enjoyed others more. Thanks BD and the setter.

      • Brian
        Posted November 7, 2015 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        Well I did think it should be an anagram of the name in the clue but even with the checking letters I can make no sense of it. I suspect it may refer to a type of music that I am not familiar with.

        • spindrift
          Posted November 7, 2015 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

          think enola gay from a band in the 80s

        • Brian
          Posted November 7, 2015 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

          Forget all the above, I AM AN IDIOT. Mea Culpa. For reasons unknown to anyone including myself, I was trying to make two words.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 7, 2015 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      When Gnomey prepares the review ready for Friday morning, ‘this’ is the word he’ll be underlining in the clue as it is the definition.

      As fr the rest, you’ll have to wait for BD to add some more hints.

      • Brian
        Posted November 7, 2015 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        See my comment above, my only feeble excuse if that I am still very tired having driven some 600 miles yesterday. Still don’t get 21a tho!

        • crypticsue
          Posted November 7, 2015 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

          You know what I’m going to say, don’t you Brian? Look up the last word of the clue in the you-know-what!

        • Brian
          Posted November 7, 2015 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

          Ah think I have it, just more used to seeing it as a 6 letter word but that of course wouldn’t work with the second part of the clue.

        • Angel
          Posted November 7, 2015 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

          Alternative spelling for small ship and alternative to bay by dog.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif (NC for me?)

          • Sarah
            Posted November 7, 2015 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

            Thank-you all. Have now made some proper headway. Still not my favourite type of crossword, sigh

          • Posted November 7, 2015 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

            No Naughty Corner – just a suggestion that you might like to do next week’s hints!

            • Angel
              Posted November 7, 2015 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

              Thank you for sparing me the NC. I should say I was in no way intending to cast aspersions on your splendid efforts on our behalf. I would certainly be quite incapable of shouldering any of your responsibilities including the hints. As always TVM for all that BD does for us. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  8. A G Brown
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Please delete my e mail address from this website

    • Paso Doble
      Posted November 7, 2015 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      I’m sure that the powers that be will delete it. This a friendly website which most of us enjoy and comment on every day.
      Its only a crossword after all!

      • Posted November 7, 2015 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        He’s upset because I deleted two of his comments which were whingeing about me being late with the hints. He won’t be missed.

        I thought I would share a few of his recent contributions:

        Agree with Brian total waste of time and newsprint

        Finished bar two never look at hints so that’s it

        Don’t bother goodbye

        • Paso Doble
          Posted November 7, 2015 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

          Why does he want you to be ‘on time’ ?, whatever that is!…Is he desperate to win a weekend Telegraph pen?

          • Posted November 7, 2015 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

            No idea.

            Here are his (now deleted) comments in full

            “What has gone wrong with this website I e where do I get d t 27953” (sic) on DT 27893 (Hints)

            “Where is d t 27,953” on NTSPP – 300

            • Paso Doble
              Posted November 7, 2015 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

              We don’t understand what his problems are. Surely, the idea is to finish the crossword, using the hints to help if necessary. We, thanks to this blog, don’t often need help to finish but we do need the hints for parsing afterwards. For us, it’s more important to see what the other lot have to say. We wouldn’t be doing this every day without this blog and all the banter.

              • gnomethang
                Posted November 7, 2015 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

                Lol! If you can’t search an extremely well meta-tagged website then the puzzle is the least of your worries!

        • Roydo
          Posted November 7, 2015 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

          Well played BD. Astonishing behaviour from a poster.

    • Posted November 7, 2015 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      By the way, I forgot to add that your email address has been added to the black list, which is as near as I can get to complying with your request.

      • weekendwanda
        Posted November 8, 2015 at 8:30 am | Permalink

        Have read these posts with interest! The man must have a severe problem. Surely only those expert solvers would be looking at the blog so early in the morning to check the answers or more likely the parsing…or perhaps to spur along us lesser mortals. Not read all of the comments yet…late as ever but can admit to not getting 26a and 25d. Will just google that show as only know one member of it who rhymes with a synonym for at rest but has too many letters!

  9. Caravaggio
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I was late starting this puzzle but I’ve been happily entering answers while watching Bournemouth v Newcastle and I’m rather taken aback by Brian’s comments above. However, I’ve put in one answer which I’m not entirely happy about and was hoping that David had clarified matters – and he hasn’t yet!

  10. Nick the Greek
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Quite enjoyed this one. I have to agree with RD about the structures of 8 and 14d but as soon as you work out what’s going on the answer normally comes first and then I work through to justify it. Not a totally satisfactory process. Loved 1d having read them to my children and now my grandchildren, a nice easy starter for ten! Favourite probably 2d, a nice twist. Many thanks to Big Dave and the setter. **/****

  11. jean-luc cheval
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    With all these shenanigans, I almost forgot to talk about the crossword.
    Found it a bit harder than usual but very enjoyable.
    Made the same mistake as RD for the last word of 1a but soon realised.
    Funny how Paso Doble were talking about 15a only the other day.
    All in all a great challenge.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the blog.

  12. Mr Matt
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Am I really stoopid or is SE corner tricky?
    Can anyone please shed some light in 8d

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted November 7, 2015 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      8d is a bit of a Lego construction.
      We are looking for ” Royal Family”:
      Take a three letter word for habit inside some foot (the horsey type) that will give you the first two words. Then take our usual two letter abbreviation for soldiers which follows a synonym of tornadoes.

      • Mr Matt
        Posted November 7, 2015 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        Ah yes
        Get in now – hopefully it’ll let me sort the SE
        Thank you

      • Angel
        Posted November 7, 2015 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        Many thanks J-L for parsing 8d and thus answering my comment 6 above. I have to say however that altogether I’m not mad about it as a clue. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_confused.gif

  13. neveracrossword
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    I got 1a immediately, but didn’t realise it was an anagram until I read the hints. Thank you BD and setter.

  14. Kath
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    I whizzed through most of this and than ground to a total halt for a very long time.
    Like RD and Angel I had the wrong last word for 1a – a racing term and not right for the clue at all – Miffypops has a lot to answer for with all this not writing the letters of an anagram down – never again!!
    That mistake meant that I couldn’t get 6 or 7d and, because of that, I couldn’t get 10a etc etc – in other words the whole of that corner was, to quote CRH, “A total disaaaaaaster”.
    Oh well – got there in the end having sorted out 1a – stupid, stupid, stupid!
    I’ve never seen 21a spelt like that.
    28a had me wondering who the hell Arnie was but the nice Mr Google knew – I have a feeling that we might have had something like this one fairly recently.
    I missed the anagram indicator in 1d so didn’t understand why my answer was right – stupid again.
    I liked 9 and 17a and 3 and 25d.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD. Now to try NTSPP and MPP – in no particular order as they say.

  15. Kevin
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Hello – it’s been a few years since I commented on this blog but have found the odd hint very useful. Today’s puzzle was quite entertaining but for the life of me I’m completely stuck on 13a! Complete brain freeze I’m afraid…

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

      Welcome back Kevin – I’ve just added that one.

      • Kevin
        Posted November 7, 2015 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        Thanks BD – as it happened my brain thawed whilst my comment was being moderated. All done now – thanks again. 25d and 28a both made me smile.

        • Posted November 7, 2015 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

          On here that is known as Gnome’s Law, after Gnomethang, it’s main proponent. An individual instance is known as a Gnoment!

          • crypticsue
            Posted November 7, 2015 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

            It goes back to the ‘olden days’ when Gnomey and I became joint weekend bloggers and I’d find that as soon as I pressed send to ask him a question via email, the answer would immediately come into my mind, so I called the process Gnome’s Law.

            talking of the olden days when we solved the DT cryptic all on our own, with perhaps the aid of the dictionary, and then looked at the solution in the paper the next day to try and see how the ‘ones we didn’t get’ worked – I do wonder how these people who can’t wait for a hint or twelve would have fared back then.

          • gnomethang
            Posted November 7, 2015 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

            I was gnot aware of the Gnoment!
            Excellent stuff!

  16. Jules55
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to just say I think we are lucky to get hints at all for a Prize Crossword and I for one am hugely grateful as without this blog I would still be floundering around without a clue how to solve these ! I don’t finish every day by any means but feel it is a brilliant way to improve and work out how to break down the clue even if some days the answer still doesn’t spring to mind . I rarely look before the evening anyway as it’s amazing how often the answer will suddenly become obvious after going away to do something else for a while . I only looked so early today as I am struggling with 7down and thought I’d got 1 or 10 across wrong . Any help gratefully received !

    • Posted November 7, 2015 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Jules55

      Nice to see that the other miserable old git is the only one who doesn’t appreciate the effort that goes into the hints, so thank you.

      10a Happened upon old carving (5)
      A verb meaning happened upon followed by O(ld)

    • Vancouverbc
      Posted November 7, 2015 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      If you used a term in 1a for a facial feature (as I did initially) this will make 7d difficult.

      • Kath
        Posted November 7, 2015 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        Yes – how could so many of us have done this? Oh dear, yet again!

        • Angel
          Posted November 7, 2015 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

          My excuse is that II lived near Newmarket for too long!

  17. Drapdor
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Making gradual progress….
    I kept thinking of that meaning for 13a but dismissed it as too unlikely!
    I like 24d.
    Still plugging away.
    I am finding this site a great resource. Thank you very much to the setter, BD and everyone else.

    • Posted November 7, 2015 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      This is a site for those who love crosswords, so you should get on well here.

    • Kath
      Posted November 7, 2015 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      This is also a site, assuming that BD doesn’t mind me butting in and adding something to what he’s said, where most of us are decent people who are nice to others. Please don’t take any notice of the shenanigans today – this kind of stuff doesn’t happen very often. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      • Drapdor
        Posted November 7, 2015 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

        That is appreciated, in both senses.

  18. overtaxed
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    I think most people on this blog appreciate how difficult it is to write crosswords, and also to prepare hints for them. Obviously, one or two do not.
    I thought this was a thought provoking crossword, and was grateful for the hint for 7a, as I was unaware of the flower connection with flag. Its always a pleasure to come on the site and read the comments even if the hints are not needed. (They often are).
    I liked a number of the clues today, but nominate 25d as favourite.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the site, and the hints. It adds a new dimension to the DT crossword.

  19. Graham Wall
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    I found I was comparing this puzzle to the curate’s egg. Once I got into my stride it all came together. Thank you Big Dave for the hints and running the site, I certainly appreciate it and look forward to my daily dose even though I do not interact as much and as often as I would like to. I do wonder what thought processes goes on in the minds of ingrates like A G Brown.

    • Young Salopian
      Posted November 7, 2015 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      Very little I would suggest.

      • Merusa
        Posted November 7, 2015 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        And what there is, is all black!

  20. CJ
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Lovely puzzle today and BD plus the many others who commented, hats off for your handling of Mr Brown. BD, I do think that if you go into training you might be able to squeeze in a few more things before 2.34 on a Saturday – maybe dig the garden, a half- marathon, knock out a quick copy of the Mona Lisa?

    • Posted November 7, 2015 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      You’ve changed your alias – both should work now.

      I did forget to mention that in-between I bought a fork handle from the hardware shop – and I resisted the obvious as I was sure the shopkeeper had heard it a few times before.

  21. Merusa
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this one, especially after my dismal efforts yesterday.
    I didn’t know the Lib-Dem whatsit at 27a but it had to be right.
    Aha, all you chaps who followed the M’pops rule and shot yourselves in the foot at 1a. The horse racing term was my first answer, but I diligently crossed off the letters and found my error. Do I feel smug? Yes I do.
    Fave was 1d. I remembered the gent at 25d from a previous puzzle.
    Thanks to setter and to BD, you do such a great job!

    • Kath
      Posted November 7, 2015 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      I’d never do anything just because M’pops has decreed that we should – I’d imagine that way lies madness, ruin or all kinds of other unspeakable things – the anagram just looked really obvious – oh dear! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
      I think you’re allowed to feel smug. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      • Merusa
        Posted November 7, 2015 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        I was only saved by a whisker. I have no idea what made me check the letters, it all looked so obvious!

  22. Faraday
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Well Mr(?) Brown certainly provoked a reaction!

    I don’t usually have time to attempt the cryptic crosswords during the week but I do try to finish the weekend puzzles. I derive some personal satisfaction if I can complete them without electronic help or referring to the Blog but it is a reassuring comfort blanket to know that BD is always there to enlighten me in times of darkness or, as if often the case, to explain to me why my solutions are correct!

    Thank you for all your efforts, they are much appreciated. The only thing missing today was the recipe for the kipper pate……?

  23. Sue
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Was surprised to see so few hints when I dipped my toe in here, but secretly pleased that I had completed so many without any help. Thank you for your help. I appreciate all the hints and have a good chuckle about some of the comments made each week. Please don’t let one ‘miserable git’ get you down. Follow the advice in the clue to 25D!

  24. crypticsue
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Can I just recommend the special NTSPP – well worth a go while you wait for Strictly http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    • Kath
      Posted November 7, 2015 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      I’m really stuck with the NTSPP – done about a third of it http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif but just about to go and watch Strictly http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

      • Young Salopian
        Posted November 7, 2015 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

        That will inspire you?

        • Kath
          Posted November 7, 2015 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

          Probably not but I love it! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  25. sunny_h
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the hints. I love this site for its friendly and helpful comments. It has no place for the guy you kicked. Just finished with the help of hints especially 17a. Fav clue was 1d as childhood favourite.

    • Kath
      Posted November 7, 2015 at 6:55 pm | Permalink


  26. Jules55
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Thank you ! Finished now …. I’d got a certain hot sauce for 17 across instead of what I now hope is correct …. Trying to avoid the NC ! That’s another reason the blog is so good as I sometimes can’t finish because I’ve got a wrong answer ….. And it’s SO reassuring to read that others have put the same thing !

    • Kath
      Posted November 7, 2015 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      Yes – me too with the hot sauce to begin with – if you can’t justify your answer it’s probably wrong – quote from BD a long time ago.

      • weekendwanda
        Posted November 8, 2015 at 8:36 am | Permalink


  27. Leveret
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Yippee again! I must be improving. I’m only a once a weeker and not in a race to finish by Sat lunchtime and usually give it till Sunday pm before resorting to Chambers wordsearch and finally this site if necessary……if only to see exactly how solutions to clues like 8d are arrived at. So I was interested to see the above discussion re dissatisfied posters.
    How can anyone be anything but thankful that someone has given time and effort to create and maintain a site like this? I certainly am.
    By the way, is there a word for mulling over a clues for half an hour, getting nowhere, then coming back to it an hour later and getting a few more in the next couple of minutes?

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 7, 2015 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      Cogitation. There is a part of your brain that quietly gets on with solving the clues while the main part of your brain concentrates on other activities. Magic. Much more useful than just waiting for someone to give up their valuable to provide hints asyou achieve other things while the brain solves quietly away

  28. Kath
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    A quick latish comment before we have wine, supper and watch the dancing. Is this A G Brown, whoever he or she may be, what is known as a troll? If so what does he or she get out of comments like this. I just don’t get it. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
    There are a couple of other people who don’t make nasty comments but do only comment when they have ‘hated’ – can anyone ‘hate’ an inanimate object – a particular crossword or who have issues with a hint that has been given.

  29. Hilary
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Thanks as always to BD for decoding what I have put in the dear little squares. My poor antique brain comes up with an idea but I cannot for the life of me see why BUT once I get here it all drops into place, perhaps one day. However I have to admit that I am more confident about actually writing something in. Off to do GK crossword. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

  30. Una
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t it bizarre how worked up people can get over crosswords ! I am inclined to think that those people are probably diabetic and don’t know it. Low sugar levels.
    Some great clues here , 1a and 1d and 17a in particular.
    I and just about everybody else appreciates this wonderful blog. A virtual toast to Big Dave, and perhaps a real one sometime.

    • Young Salopian
      Posted November 7, 2015 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      Here here. I haven’t really commented about the sad ramblings of the late, unlamented A G Brown, because it’s pretty much been said. I do know, as a relative newcomer to the blog, that slagging off setters and/or bloggers is not a stairway to heaven. We do this for the fun of it, the challenge, the happiness when we complete a crossword in good time, whatever that may be. This site has given me a daily focus, and I wouldn’t be without it. Thanks to all of you who make pertinent, witty, sharp and relevant comments. They keep the spirit of the website alive.

      • stanXYZ
        Posted November 7, 2015 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        Or is it “Hear, Hear”

        I never know …

        • Kath
          Posted November 7, 2015 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

          I know, as you do, but who cares – the sentiment is their, or is it there?

        • Una
          Posted November 8, 2015 at 12:23 am | Permalink

          hear hear.

    • Tstrummer
      Posted November 7, 2015 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      Well, get yourself to the Bridge House in January and have all the toasts you’ll ever need – they also serve alcohol

      • Una
        Posted November 8, 2015 at 12:24 am | Permalink

        I am going to try my level best.

  31. Tstrummer
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Leaving A G Brown to get on with the wreckage of his life, and pausing only to second all the positive comments already posted about this wonderful site and its bloggers, I move on to the puzzle. I got half way through before I’d even lit a cigarette and then hit the wall. Then I fell asleep in the chair by the wood burner with a dog on my lap. A noisy firework made the dog 21a, waking me. Turned back to the crossword and immediately saw that I had the facial feature for 1a, which when sorted the rest slid in like a hot knife through Brie. CS may be right about cogitation, but does it work when you’re asleep?

    • Una
      Posted November 8, 2015 at 12:27 am | Permalink

      Yes ! I solved a very mysterious message from someone after 4 nights sleep.

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 8, 2015 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      It sometimes works better if you do have a sleep. Or is that just my excuse for an afternoon http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

  32. Welsh girl
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t been coming to this site for very long but I totally agree with Leveret, How indeed can anyone be anything but thankful and grateful for the compilers and Big Dave and the effort they put in. I find Big Dave SO helpful, he gives me the leverage to get going. Just stuck on 26a and 25d but I’ll keep going.

    • Posted November 7, 2015 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      I’ve already given a hint for 25 Down

      26a Change in Germany meeting approval (5)
      The IVR code for Germany preceded by a word meaning approval – so be it!

      • hippy ajs
        Posted November 8, 2015 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        Thanks for the confirmation of my answer to 26a, I had finished it all but like to understand my answers to help with future crosswords.

  33. JonP
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle, although I invented an explorer called ‘Sabat’ for 17ac which made things a bit tricky for a wee while in the NE… Thanks as always to BD et al for the unwavering consistency in producing this blog and thanks to today’s Mr Ron **/****

  34. Miranda Lewis
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    I`m finished apart from 20a. I have an answer but I can`t make any sense of the first half

    • JonP
      Posted November 7, 2015 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      A four letter word for sea fog.

    • Posted November 7, 2015 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      Look up sea followed by the first four letters (two words) and you will find a mist!

  35. Rod Ash
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    I heartily agree with many of the comments above. This is a wonderfully unique website, well done BD and long may it continue…without ingrates.

    • stanXYZ
      Posted November 7, 2015 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      Nice Gravatar!

  36. Drapdor
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Today has inspired a clue: No frills, leaves ruffled (8,3).

  37. RichardW
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Odd…draw a diagonal line bottom left to top right. Everything above it went in in short order (bar 21a); everything below it (bar 8d and 28a) is a total mystery, even with the hints!!

  38. Banksie
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 10:36 pm | Permalink


    Please add me to the list of grateful followers of you and your team of bloggers

    Mr brown ( for some reason I assume it is a he) is no loss.

    Best regards

  39. Salty Dog
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    I found this a relatively undemanding but quite enjoyable puzzle: say 1*/3.5* or thereabouts. Only one contender for favouritism, to my mind, and that’s 7d. Thanks to the setter, of course, and not only thanks, but also sustained applause and a hatful of brownie points to BD! Let not the A G Browns of this world get you down, mate – they’re not worth it.

    • Posted November 7, 2015 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

      He didn’t get me down. I deleted two of his stupid comments and if he had left it there all would have been OK.

      • Posted November 7, 2015 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

        He may have inadvertently contributed to a record day on the blog – 23,900 page views and rising.

        • Posted November 8, 2015 at 12:16 am | Permalink

          Total 24,538!

          • Airhead
            Posted November 8, 2015 at 12:19 am | Permalink

            I may have been 1,000 of those views going back and forth trying to solve the puzzle

          • Flintelliejet
            Posted November 9, 2015 at 8:40 am | Permalink

            I’m like Airhead and will keep flicking back and to, for the next few days yet!

            I always visit this fantastic site for Saturday’s hints and I’m very appreciative of the efforts required to host it. So, thank you Big Dave et al.

  40. Michael
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    What’s been going on? Have I missed something?

    A pretty good puzzle today – nothing too bad, even I finished it without too much sweat!


  41. Posted November 8, 2015 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    Now then, 19d. I’ve got 4 of the 7 letters so it must be ……. but (a) I don’t know any two-letter abbreviations for sanctimonious, and (b) I always thought the answer meant letter not religious instruction. Most frustrating.

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 8, 2015 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      It was a letter of instruction….

  42. Shropshirelad
    Posted November 8, 2015 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    I don’t normally comment on the Saturday Puzzle blog, but I am getting heartily sick of trolls having a ‘go’ at this site, the reviewers and the setters, let alone BD. Can’t we just appreciate the amount of effort that goes into producing this helpful site for ‘newbies’ on their journey to crossword Nirvana and helping us old, somewhat mentally challenged contributor’s (that’s me, by the way) to believe we can manage to complete a crossword.

    ’nuff said http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

    • weekendwanda
      Posted November 8, 2015 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Hear Hear!

  43. RosemaryO
    Posted November 8, 2015 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    I also want to add my appreciation for all of BD’s work. I could not finish the crossword without his help and I so enjoy reading the comments!

  44. weekendwanda
    Posted November 8, 2015 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    If I am stuck on two clues I never like to look up as I think I am bound to get them in the end. I confess I never would have got 26a and 25d or, if I had, I would not have known why. Loved 1d which I solved on “visitor from Peru” and then spent ages working out the cryptic part of the clue.! Congratulations to setter and Big Dave for exciting so much much attention yesterday – caused by a man who does not even have the wit to give himself a pseudonym. Roll on birthday bash!

  45. Maisiepaws
    Posted November 8, 2015 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    I have never left a comment before, but, as a struggling newcomer to cryptic crosswords who uses your ‘hints’ on a regular basis I would just like to say (in view of recent comments) how much I appreciate the efforts and hard work of all concerned, without your blog I would probably have given up weeks ago. Thank you.

    • Gazza
      Posted November 8, 2015 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog, Maisiepaws. Now that you’ve de-lurked I hope that you’ll become a regular commenter.

  46. Langstone Joe
    Posted November 8, 2015 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    The last letter of 12a has me stumped. As a novice crossworder (is there such a word?!) I struggle with some (well many) types of clue.
    I now what I think it should be but cant fathom the second part of the clue if the definition is the first part.

    Great site, and resource, many thanks for all those who contribute, really.

    • Gazza
      Posted November 8, 2015 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog. Joe.

      12a Insect bite’s upset (4)
      ‘Upset’ signals a reversal so you have to reverse a word meaning bite or sharpness of flavour.

      • Langstone Joe
        Posted November 8, 2015 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        Ah yes. Thank you.

  47. Heno
    Posted November 8, 2015 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Big Dave for the hints. Well done for getting rid of Mr Brown. Thanks for all your hard work. This site continues to improve my solving skills, and is very entertaining and informative, brilliant. On to the puzzle, which I really enjoyed, just needed the hint for 7d. Favourite was 27a, but there were more super clues. Was 3*/4* for me.

  48. Marylou
    Posted November 8, 2015 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Thanks as ever for your hints on the (unusually) small number I failed to see and also helping me fully understand some of the answers I had – think I need to revise boat names!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  49. spindrift
    Posted November 8, 2015 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    140 comments for a Saturday crossword? It must be a record although i do think Mr Brown did have a point, I mean why go the effort of trying to solve the clues yourself when you can wait for BD to do it for you?

    Looking at BD’s schedule for Saturday I would suggest that someone needs to get up a bit earlier if he doesn’t want to upset the likes of AG Brown.

  50. Anthony
    Posted November 8, 2015 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Try as I might, I cannot relate the answer to 17D to “this!” despite much research. Any help appreciated!

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 8, 2015 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      Have you looked up the person you reversed at the start of the clue to see what they brought back because that is ‘ this’

    • Kath
      Posted November 8, 2015 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

      If I’m right I think that this chap was an Italian who led the first expedition to America rather than an American explorer i.e. he was someone who explored America rather than an American explorer. Reverse his name (brought back) and follow it with the usual two letter abbreviation for company. What he brought back is something that lots of us wish he hadn’t!
      No – I’m not going to the naughty corner – it’s far too late and I’m going to bed!!

  51. Tstrummer
    Posted November 8, 2015 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Angry Git Brown seems to have done us something of a favour: there are more lurkers de lurking to show support for BD and the site than I think I’ve ever seen on one day. Welcome to all of you and I hope you’ll come back again and again.

  52. Florence
    Posted November 8, 2015 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    I know that this is a day late, but have just returned from London, and printed off and completed the Saturday prize puzzle, Sunday yet to do. Thanks to the setter and to BD for providing the review. The site brings so much pleasure to so many people.

  53. number33
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    I’m another one who looks in every week but rarely posts anything and would just like to express my thanks to Big Dave and all his helpers for all the effort they put in. I usually manage to finish all but the last one or two clues but often not understanding why they are what they are and I always know I’ll find an explanation here somewhere.

  54. Posted November 9, 2015 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to all who posted such positive comments.

    As far as AG Brown is concerned, the reason his initial comments were deleted was not because they were complaining about the blog being a bit late, but the rude way in which it was being done. He then compounded this with a couple of petulant comments which I would also have deleted but for the fact that replies had already been added to them. Any subsequent comments he may or may not have posted would not appear here anyway as they are now diverted straight into the spam folder.

    • Hanni
      Posted November 9, 2015 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      Wow, just wow! I’ve no idea what makes people like that tick. And no desire to give anymore thought to him.

      I’m another who appreciates every thing you do. Completely. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  55. Gwizz
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Why soft rodents like AGB have to bother to put their 2p’s worth in I just do not know.
    I thought this was a little trickier than usual.; the racing definition in 1a didn’t help of course! However I got there eventually. Favourite clue was…20a I think.
    2/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and keep on rockin’ BD!