DT 28048 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27048 (Hints)

Big Dave's Saturday Crossword Club

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I am hoping to be able to move the website to a new server tonight, which should solve many of the recent performance problems.  This will mean that the site will be unavailable for several hours while the data is moved and the server address is updated.  This should start at about 9:00 pm tonight and be complete by early Sunday morning.

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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 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    Obstacle for canoeists paddling initially in storms (6)
The initial letter of P[addling] inside a verb meaning storms or ransacks

4a    Critical remark makes good chap flutter (8)
A good chap followed by a three-letter verb meaning to flutter, especially to flutter an eyelid

13a    A shortage, unfortunately (5)
The A from the clue followed by a shortage

14a    Oxford detective with not so much in bank, cruelly (13)
The surname of Kath's favourite Oxford detective and a word meaning not so much, all inside a verb meaning to bank or depend

21a    French friend's entertaining at fiddle (5)
The French word for a friend around AT from the clue gives a make of violin (fiddle)

24a    Armoured battleship can lord it endlessly at sea (4-4)
An anagram (at sea) of CAN LORD and I[t] without its final letter (endlessly)

25a    International relief includes pence still owed (6)
International relief (2,3) around (includes) P(ence)

27a    Bill losing head swallows unknown shellfish (6)
A bill or placard without (losing) its initial letter (head) around a mathematical unknown


1d    Programme shown before about cultural material (6)
The type of programme without which channels like Dave would not exist cones from a prefix meaning about followed by some cultural material, which is a posh way of saying vegetable matter dug from a bog

3d    Appropriate behaviour for environmentalist breaking into oil storage facility (7)
A three-letter environmentalist inside a facility used to store oil

5d    Games played between drinks in fund-raising event (7,4)
An anagram (played) of GAMES between two three-letter alcoholic drinks gives a fund-raising event that should stay where it belongs, in North America – we use a slightly different term here in the UK, and North American usage should, ideally, be indicated in the clue (rant over!)

6d    Relative to perform dance getting up in church (7)
This word meaning a relative or someone related by blood is derived from the reversal (getting up in a down clue) of a verb meaning to perform a specific dance inside one of the usual abbreviations for church

8d    Keepers of birds gobbling first bit of nutrition (8)
Some birds (the setter has used an inclusion indicator that helps lead to the right birds) around (gobbling) the initial letter (first bit) of N[utritionh]

15d    Small, with damn clean brickwork? (9)
Once the definition has been separated this charade of S(mall), a word meaning with and an interjection meaning damn is a lot easier

19d    Childhood, as imagined (7)
Split as (2,5) this could mean as imagined

22d    An attack of illness on the go (5)
Split as (1,4) this could be an attack of illness

The Crossword Club is now open.  See you all when I get back from 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: weal+metre+gain + (across the bottom) some+Sunni+day We'll meet again, some sunny day   Thanks to Robin for spotting the second line of the pun.


  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted February 27, 2016 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    1*/2.5*. I found this quite enjoyable today although pretty much R&W except for my last two in: 4a & 6d, which took a bit more cogitation. I made 4a more difficult than it should have been having convinced myself that the last three letters were a different sort of flutter.

    One of the clues prompts me to ask when the much missed Kath will be back with us?

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD. Good luck with the server migration, BD. Hopefully tomorrow will be a new dawn for this wonderful blog.

    P.S. Needless to say I agree totally with BD’s comment about 5d!

    • judetheobscure
      Posted February 27, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Much the same – 4a last in for same reason and didn’t like 5d.
      1*/2.5* – a half last for 5d. Favourite clue 21a – my father’s favourite fiddle ( if such a term is appropriate) :)

  2. Nev
    Posted February 27, 2016 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    A 3*/3* puzzle for me today, with only the NE corner holding me up for a while. I particularly liked 14a and 8d.

  3. Young Salopian
    Posted February 27, 2016 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    A fairly gentle stroll in the park this morning, with our equine friends completely unmoved. My favourite clue was 14 across, my last in 6 down. 1.5*/3* seems about right, with grateful thanks to Mr Ron and BD for his early posting. Good luck with the new server.

  4. Heno
    Posted February 27, 2016 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle. I spelt 11a wrongly, so that made 5d impossible. Once I looked at the hint for the latter, I was able to sort it out. Agree with BD about 5d. Favourite was 20d. Was 2*/3* for me. Good luck with the site move later BD.

  5. Angel
    Posted February 27, 2016 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    What a star you are BD to produce hints on a day when you obviously have other important things to think about re your change of server – TVM and good luck with that. :rose:

    This challenge was much more uplifting than some Saturday offerings – thank you for that Mr. Ron. North completed first with a slight delay in the South but nothing too serious. Wonder whether obstacle in 1a clue should be in plural? Joint Favs (while Kath’s away!) were 14a and 15d. ***/****. :good:

  6. Posted February 27, 2016 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Like those who’ve commented previously, I didn’t experience any difficulty with this puzzle either, although I was bemused by the answer to 5d. I hope all goes well tonight, Dave.

  7. Prolixic
    Posted February 27, 2016 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    If you are at a loose end, I can recommend Beet’s excellent NTSPP crossword today. It is not to tough but very enjoyable to solve with some very clever penny drop moments.

    • crypticsue
      Posted February 27, 2016 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      I second that suggestion :yes:

    • Wahoo
      Posted February 27, 2016 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      I’ll try that then after I’ve mowed the lawn and before the rugby (at Twickers) starts as I did not really enjoy this one! Felt quite “flat” to me or maybe I have a bit of a fuzzy head this morning!

    • stanxyz
      Posted February 27, 2016 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      I “third” that suggestion … indeed an excellent NTSPP from Beet … I support the seconder!

  8. Pasa Doble
    Posted February 27, 2016 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    We really enjoyed this puzzle – not too difficult but lots of fun. (Doble agrees with BD about 5d but Paso says that it is also a Northern expression). Thanks to Mr Ron for a great start to the weekend and to BD for the hints. **/****

    • Chris T Heswall
      Posted February 27, 2016 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      The expression at 5d is quite usual in this part of the North West.

      • Anneeflower
        Posted February 27, 2016 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

        I agree, I’m from the Midlands and have no problem with this phrase.

  9. Kitty
    Posted February 27, 2016 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    After a couple of slow days this went in like a dream. I agree about 5d, but at the time just assumed it must have crossed the pond. I don’t really have a favourite but liked the quickie pun so will go for that.

    Many thanks to the setter and BD.

    A couple of bits of housekeeping now before I tuck in to the Beet. :yahoo:

  10. Robin Newman
    Posted February 27, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    in addition to the top line Quickie pun, there also seems to be a bottom line one, or am I imagining things ??

    • Kitty
      Posted February 27, 2016 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      So there is! :good:

    • Angel
      Posted February 27, 2016 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      Depends how you pronounce 25a!

      • Posted February 27, 2016 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        The Quickie puns are meant to be of the tooth-sucking variety!

        • Robin Newman
          Posted February 27, 2016 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for the mention-actually I had not noticed the fourth word !

  11. jean-luc cheval
    Posted February 27, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Miserable day down here. The Saturday market was almost empty. Relaxing at home as the child’s mother offered to do my shift but insisted that she wasn’t going to extend her generosity for tonight’s service. C’est la vie.
    4a wasn’t a problem as we saw it in yesterday’s Elgar.
    15d and 27a made me laugh
    Favourite is 14a too.
    Great fun.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD.
    Good luck with the move. Prolixic puts the pressure on. Time for the Beet.

  12. Sarah
    Posted February 27, 2016 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    I knew my brain worked differently from everyone else’s! I found this quite hard today and needed the hints. Mind you I think I am particularly dim-witted this morning after a rather rubbish rehearsal first thing. 9a is an old favourite but I did like 14a today. Many thanks to the setter and to BD and good luck with the “move” later

  13. Vancouverbc
    Posted February 27, 2016 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    */***. Straightforward but enjoyable. Liked 6d in particular. Thanks to the setter and BD for the review.

    • Vancouverbc
      Posted February 27, 2016 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      …. And by the way, I have never heard the term for 5d here but I did in the UK. Perhaps a northern expression?

      • Admin
        Posted February 27, 2016 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        Both Chambers and the Oxford Dictionary of English give the term as North American.

        • Vancouverbc
          Posted February 27, 2016 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

          QED perhaps – although as an example the term “get” referring to Jewish divorce process isn’t in the BRB (13th edition) so I’m never absolutely convinced of its infallibility.

  14. Gwizz
    Posted February 27, 2016 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    I quite enjoyed today’s offering and thought there were a nice mix of clues. While Kath’s still away I’ll vote 10a and 6d as favourites. 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to BD for the hints….. and good luck this evening! :good:

  15. Hilary
    Posted February 27, 2016 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    First of all BD good luck with the move, serious crossed fingers for you. What a star you are to get the hints up and running with all the rest of things you have to think of. Not sure what I think about crossword some answers slipped in and others took time but no pencils were used and I only checked one word in BRB. Off to do either NTSPP or GK or I may just read. :bye: thanks to setter as well.

  16. Rai
    Posted February 27, 2016 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    I am wondering about 1d. Having seen BD’s hint, the term “cultural material” seems ambiguous (I must confess that BD’s interpretation is new to me). There is another meaning that can apply which is artistic or cultural and gives an overall answer meaning “Programme shown before”, albeit less used. Many thanks to BD and all the respondents – always an enjoyable read.

    • dutch
      Posted February 27, 2016 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      yes, i did that, it fit all the checkers and the clue ( i thought) but was labelled wrong on submitting

  17. Merusa
    Posted February 27, 2016 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    This went in so quickly, I couldn’t believe it! Except, like Rabbit Dave, for 4a and 6d, and I needed the hint for 4a. I was so sure it was another flutter.
    I needed to check the spelling of 11a.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for his hints, needed for 4a today. Good luck with the changeover, I hope this doesn’t mean you’re going to be working all night.

  18. Jon_S
    Posted February 27, 2016 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    A good Saturday puzzle. Caused myself some issues with 4ac and 5d by getting myself hung up on the wrong kind of good man and flutter in the former, and the wrong drinks in the latter; an answer, BTW, that was new to me as well…

  19. Una
    Posted February 27, 2016 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Woe is me , Ireland lost the rugby and it looks like a hung Dail.
    The crossword was fine , I have no complaints about that.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  20. Faraday
    Posted February 27, 2016 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this one with a few solutions that made me smile. I think 21a was new to me and my non-conformist background made me query the validity of the solution for 11a but the BRB has just about convinced me. With England winning all is well in the world but if we’d been NZ I think we’d have been 20 points ahead at half time?

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted February 27, 2016 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      Only 20 points? At least 40 we would think. :good:

      • Faraday
        Posted February 27, 2016 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

        OK, you won the World Cup, you’re the best but you need to be gracious in victory and let us mere mortals dream??

  21. Jose
    Posted February 29, 2016 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Did this one sporadically over the weekend. Slightly more difficult (which is good) than the usual Saturday offering and quite enjoyable. 2*/3*

  22. Tstrummer
    Posted March 2, 2016 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    A brief little spurt of fun and it was all over. I would have preferred a stiffer challenge. Ta to BD for the hints, not needed today. 0.5*/2*

  23. dimbo
    Posted March 2, 2016 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    ‘Split as (1,4) this could be an attack of illness” you say. Sorry but I don’t see how the 4 part is an illness !?! Further clues please?

    • Gazza
      Posted March 2, 2016 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog, dimbo.
      The 1,4 phrase can be an attack or period of illness as in ‘* **** of flu’.

    • Posted March 2, 2016 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      If your 2nd word is not defined in Chambers as “A fit or attack (of an illness)” you may well have the wrong answer.

  24. judy hogg
    Posted March 17, 2016 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    I need 11across please