DT 27971 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27971 (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.


3a    Labour crushed on the left, as preliminary task (10)
Some labour preceded by (on the left) a word meaning crushed

8a    Make beloved finish feature (6)
A verb meaning to finish followed by a facial feature

9a    Elusive to describe it in translation on screen (8)
An adjective meaning elusive or understated around (to describe) IT

11a    Help animal first (6)
An animal followed by what resembles a shortened version of first

14a    Old form of radar in place of wireless? (13)
Split as (5,8) this could be the place where a wireless is found

23a    Decorative carpeting with no name or cost (5,3)
An anagram (decorative) of CARPETI[N]G without the N(ame)

25a    Instruction to get partially undressed? (6)
Split as (4,2) this could mean to get partially undressed

26a    Releases sufficiently large promotional gambit (4,6)
Split as (5,5) this becomes a charade of a verb meaning releases and an adjective meaning sufficiently large


1d    Photograph seaside landmark that could be more stylish (8)
A four-letter colloquial word for a photograph followed by a seaside landmark

3d    Shopkeeper pronouncedly less refined (6)
Sounds like (pronouncedly) an adjective meaning less refined

4d    Overthrow involves upset to welcoming American (4)
The reversal (upset in a down clue) of TO around (welcoming) an abbreviation for Ameriican

13d    One underweight? Invigorating air needed (5)
ONE from the clue preceded by (under) the abbreviation for an avoirdupois weight

16d    Advance in line (8)
IN from the clue followed by a line ironed into fabric

17d    One tells of Scottish island going up over rocky height (8)
The reversal (going up in a down clue) of a Scottish island followed by a rocky height

21d    Frozen dripping (6)
A rather weak cryptic definition of some frozen material that drips when the temperature increases

23d    Stay for start of party (4)
A word meaning “for” followed by the initial letter (start) of P[arty]

The Crossword Club is now open.  I’ll be back at lunchtime after my monthly visit to the Village Café and 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: peas+sand+cues=p’s and q’s


  1. bifield
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    A read and write for me this morning. Not really a prize puzzle standard by my reckoning. Thanks to setter and to Big Dave for the hints.

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    R&W for me today but reasonably entertaining (2.5*) in spite of the lack of challenge. Unlike yesterday, the cluing was commendably brief apart from 24a. I needed to look up 14a in my BRB as this old word was a new word for me.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

  3. Graham
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Nothing too strenuous for my rapidly reducing grey cells & like others was almost a R&W,last one in was 14A I had the first part then the penny dropped.Many thanks to the setter & to BD for his early hints.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

  4. Vancouverbc
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    **/***. Straightforward but some enjoyable clues: 9,20,24 and 25a. Thanks to BD for the review and the setter for distracting my jet lag.

  5. Young Salopian
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    My only disappointment was that it was over too quickly. A pleasant enough exercise and entertaining despite the brevity. No real standout clues, but all were fair and doable. 1.5/3 from me today, with thanks to Mr Ron, if it is he, and BD.


  6. Michael
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    I tried to download it last night from the Telegraph Puzzles site – it was down for some reason so I gave it up as a bad job.

    I waited for the Newspaper to be delivered this morning before I could tackle this – pretty straightforward, typical Saturday fare – no artificial aids required for this one but quite enjoyable!

    Football, Rugby, more Football, ‘The Bridge’ and Match of the Day on the menu today – I don’t know how I fit it all in!


    • Brian
      Posted November 28, 2015 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      Wish I could get into the Bridge but it’s subtitled which always ruins a production for me. You spend all your time reading the damn things and missing the acting.

      • Posted November 28, 2015 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        I record it so that I can wind it back each time my attention wanders. This Saturday night slot on BBC4 is the highlight of my TV week.

        • Heno
          Posted November 28, 2015 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

          I love the Bridge, it’s a lot easier to follow than the Killing.

          • Gazza
            Posted November 28, 2015 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

            It’s great to have The Bridge back and Saga is as brilliant as ever.

            • Michael
              Posted November 28, 2015 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

              Arne Dahl was very good too – I’m sure you can still watch it on the iPlayer.


          • Una
            Posted November 28, 2015 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

            I am about 14 episodes into The Killing which is beginning to wear a little thin, the first 8 episodes were brilliant.

            • Gazza
              Posted November 28, 2015 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

              Do persevere. In my opinion the first series (episodes 1-10) and the third (21-30) were much better than series 2.

              • Una
                Posted November 28, 2015 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

                Thanks for that.

              • stanXYZ
                Posted November 29, 2015 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

                The Bridge … Two hours of Nordic Noir on a cold wet November evening … just perfect!

                Der har brug for undertekster?

                Som behöver undertexter?

  7. Paso Doble
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    The same as previous comments….it was read and write for us but enjoyable with clever cluing as usual from Mr Ron.
    Thanks to him and to BD for the hints.

  8. JonP
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Yes indeed; a write-in for me too, but found it an enjoyable puzzle to solve. I was not familiar with 14ac but it was obvious from the wordplay. Thanks to BD and the Mysteron */***

  9. Caravaggio
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I’m in agreement with those who’ve preceded me with their comments and I didn’t have much of a problem with this puzzle either but, like JonP above, I had to check Dave’s hints because I would have expected the answer to be two words in keeping with his suggestion.

  10. Dinosaur Pete
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    EUREKA !!!!!

    After I really can’t remember how many years that I’ve been visiting you all for help and advice, for the second week running I’ve managed to finish on my own !

    Thank you for all the hints and explanations BD, and help and encouragement from all of you.

    Oh I’m so happy !!

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 28, 2015 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Brilliant – that’s the sort of comment we really love to read.

      • Young Salopian
        Posted November 28, 2015 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

        Well done! It’s a great feeling when you think you have finally cracked it.

    • Kath
      Posted November 28, 2015 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      Well done from me too. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    • Merusa
      Posted November 28, 2015 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Congrats! Isn’t it a great feeling?

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 28, 2015 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

      Well done to you. May you finish many more.

      • Dinosaur Pete
        Posted November 29, 2015 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        Once again, thanks to all of you !!

  11. dutch
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Lots of straightforward clues, though I quite liked some of them (11a, 25a). I wasn’t very keen on 14a or 7d (Eli).

    Many thanks setter and bd

  12. Kath
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I agree – straightforward although I’ve never heard of 14a – the first five letters were pretty obvious so checked with BRB.
    Either I’m being dim about 18d or I’m missing something – there again maybe my answer is wrong.
    25a was my last one – silly as I’ve met it before.
    I thought for a while that it might be a pangram but as usual whenever I start to think about that and remember about it too it wasn’t – never mind – one day it will be!
    I liked 9 and 12a and 1d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    Friends coming for supper so cooking to do – hope I might squeeze in the NTSPP too.

    • Posted November 28, 2015 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      I don’t see a problem with 18d

      A long way to carry one about — should be lighter (6)

      A long way around I (one) and a two-letter word meaning about

      • Kath
        Posted November 28, 2015 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        Yes – of course – how stupid. I had the ‘long way’ about I (one) and then the last two letters!! Oh dear! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
        Thanks BD.

        • Colmce
          Posted November 28, 2015 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          I’m with you Kath, that clue took longer than all the rest of puzzle combined.

          Doh, when the penny dropped.

          • Kath
            Posted November 28, 2015 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

            Oh good – thanks – nice not to be the only one doing something really dim! I’m not sure I’d have sorted it out if BD hadn’t stepped in – a total blind spot.

  13. Brian
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Quite agree with the previous comment, just about a R&W, probably the easiest Saturday for a long time. A great one for those new to cryptic puzzles.
    Said as one who is is at the early midway stage!
    Thx to all.

  14. merusa
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Agreed, an easy-peasy Saturday offering. See, you don’t have to tear your hair out in order to enjoy a crossword.
    Didn’t know 14a but so easy to work out when you have every other letter.
    I liked 9a and 24a.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for his hints, not needed today!

  15. Heno
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A read & write for me, but I no real wow moments. Last in was 18d. Was 2*/2* for me. Clued to the Tennis at the moment. Come on GB.

  16. Miranda Lewis
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    I`m stuck on 12a and 23a and 14a

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 28, 2015 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      There are hints already for two of them

      12a. Def is winning. A man’s name and some promises to pay

  17. Miranda Lewis
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Delete 12a. I`ve just twigged the aswer

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 28, 2015 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Even if you are repkying to yourself, if you click on reply it will keep the thread together

  18. weekendwanda
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed it enormously, but as all have aid – all over too soon. Simplicity can be harder to achieve than complication. 8a, 23a, 26a and 13d all touched the spot. Thanks compiler. Do we know who? Thanks BD and all – always interesting to read but not needed today.

  19. Gwizz
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    More like the old Saturday puzzles which to me were always easier than those of the preceding week. Almost a R&W but enjoyable enough while it lasted. No real favorite and 2/2* overall.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for his hints.

  20. Langstone Joe
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyed today’s puzzle, mostly as it was easier! Still needed a few hints though :)

  21. elmothelion
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Fairly straightforward but needed help with 22a. Still can’t get 10a Help please

    • Gazza
      Posted November 28, 2015 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog,emothelion.

      10a Part of shoe damaged – blow!
      Part of a shoe (5) followed by a verb meaning damaged or wounded.

      • elmothelion
        Posted November 28, 2015 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        Many thanks

  22. Una
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    For once I concur with everybody else , reasonably straightforward , with the exception of 14a, which I had not been aware of.Nonetheless, very enjoyable.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  23. Drapdor
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Amazed that I finished with no help!
    I did not know the word at 14a but it can’t be anything else.
    As everyone says, this was easier than many, but such a nice feeling to finish single-handed, especially as this would have bewildered me only a month ago!
    Thank you to the setter and BD.

  24. Robin Newman
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to all concerned

  25. Miranda Lewis
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Still struggling with 23a and 14a. Any thoughts?

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 28, 2015 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      As I said earlier, have you read BD’s hints?

    • Badger
      Posted November 28, 2015 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      Glad someone else had trouble with 23a…Had all the letters but confused a middle ‘a’ in word two with something like a carpet. Dohhh…
      Everything else was R & W.
      Had it all done-apart from 23a- being driven up to Cheshire. Back in time for Mrs B to watch Strictly
      Thanks BD and setter

      • Flintelliejet
        Posted November 29, 2015 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        I was doing exactly the same as you Badger and my brain refused to budge!
        It makes a nice change for me to visit this site to seek guidance on just one clue and not most of them http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

        BD. A big thanks as always http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  26. Miranda Lewis
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Thankyou for some reason your first reply didn`t come to me.

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 28, 2015 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      When you come back to look at the blog it is always worth scrolling up and down the comments that may have appeared in the interim to see (a) if anyone has replied to you or (b) someone else has asked a question to which there has been a helpful hint that might assist you.

      At the risk of repeating myself endlessly, plese click on reply when you are replying to a comment either you’ve made or someone has made to you, as it does keep the comment ‘conversation’ together, which also helps others looking for assistance.

  27. Angel
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Pleasant enough but IMHO nothing to write home about. Joint Favs were two brief ones – 25a and 23d. Thank you Mr. Ron and BD. ***/***. Fingers crossed for Davis Cup success tomorrow. Didn’t the Murray brothers do well? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  28. Hilary
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Plodded happily through without any help, cheered me up after a rather fraught week which almost led me back into the cupboard under the stairs with the poltergeist. GK finished as well so I can go back to reading Raymond Briggs latest book on Kindle. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif thanks go BD and setter.

  29. Salty Dog
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Pretty easy, but quite fun: 1*/3.5*. I liked 24 and 25 across, but my favourite was 17d because I love that island! Thanks to Mr Ron, and to BD for the hints.

  30. Tstrummer
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Completed in a trice after going to matinee of Harlequinade with K Brannagh and Z Wanamaker. Hilariously brilliant. I quite enjoyed the puzzle, but it was, IMHO, far too easy. I know others will ( and have) disagree (d), but still … Thanks to BD for being there and to the setter. 0.5*/2*.

    • Jane
      Posted November 28, 2015 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

      In case you’re still logged in, TS. Mrs. Bridge gets a gold star from me! The style of writing strikes me as being much like your own – economy of words but putting so much across in them. Many thanks.

  31. jean-luc cheval
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    Had to pop in to thank BD for the beautiful picture from “le fabuleux destin d’Amelie Poulain” in 9a.
    And no! She is not my daughter!
    Agree about the difficulty level and found this crossword very pleasant.
    Just printed Prolixic’s NTSPP and will do it in the morning or lunchtime. It’s already quite late.
    See you all on Sunday.

  32. Snape
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Nice to be able to finish a crossword, although I still needed a couple of hints. For a start I had checkers 1 and 3 in 23a, and bunged in an answer meaning decorative carpeting – strangely the parsing eluded me. Ah well.
    Enjoy London!

  33. Sarah
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Rehearsals all day yesterday so I thought I would have a quick look this morning before yet another rehearsal! A lovely crossword. Many r and w but one or two with a bit of a think. I love this sort of crossword where the clue and definition match so beautifully. So no need of the hints but a nice way to pass the time. Thanks as ever to BD for the blog and to the setter http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif