DT 27755 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27755 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27755 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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Today is your last chance to enter our March Prize Puzzle

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, an assortment of clues, including some of the more difficult ones, have been selected and hints provided for them.

Don’t forget that you can give your assessment of the puzzle. Five stars if you thought it was great, one if you hated it, four, three or two if it was somewhere in between.

Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”. Where the hint describes a construct a “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay. Another useful page is Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.

Some hints follow.


1a    Copper, special originally, eating something done that’s succulent (6)
The chemical symbol for copper and the initial letter (originally) of S[pecial] around (eating) something that is done gives this succulent plant

5a    Mineral springs help? Yes, indeed (4,4)
Some mineral springs followed by a three-letter word meaning help

12a    Released the Parisian solicitor (3,3)
The French definite article followed by someone who solicits for business, maybe to sell tickets on the black-market

13a    Saying said by Eastern biblical character (4)
A word segment that sounds like (said) a saying preceded by E(astern)

15a    Substitute Dopey, initially, for Bashful? (8)
A substitute or stand-in followed by the initial letter of D[opey] – nothing to do with two of the dwarves!

18a    Way to pay for course (8)
This way for pedestrians only comes from a charade of a verb meaning to pay for a bill and a course or route

26a    Unintended exchange of early letters with old golf club by wretched miser (10)
An old type of golf club followed by an anagram (wretched) of MISER

27a    Refused to abandon one’s belief in organised company (4,4)
Organised, as in organised a meeting, followed by a company

28a    Politician, English, before University frolic (4-2)
E(nglish) and U(niversity) followed by a frolic


2d    A city in Italy locally known for perfume (5)
Split as (1,4) this is the A from the clue and the local name for Italy’s capital city

3d    What an athlete may wear in line with action (9)
A line or way followed by a court action

6d    Lacking energy, and unprepared at the supermarket? (8)
This could mean being unprepared at the supermarket because you had no idea what items were needed

14d    Who’s working still, we hear, to create the best exhibit? (9)
An anagram (working) of WHO’S followed by what sounds like (we hear) still or quiet

16d    Hospital doctor pressing substance right into bottom (9)
The four-letter substance of a speech and R(ight) inside bottom or posterior

20d    One knight to leave money, as intended (6)
Drop (to leave) one of the letters which is the chess notation for kNight from money or funding to get a guy who is intended or betrothed

22d    Greatly affect winning margin (2-3)
A two-letter word meaning winning followed by a margin or extremity

24d    Course record, very good over mile (5)
A four-track gramophone record followed by a two-letter word meaning very good and M(ile)

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: screw+pulls=scruples

61 comments on “DT 27755 (Hints)

  1. Enjoyable but a tad trickier than a normal Saturday. Took me a while to get going before the gears started to turn. Thanks to BD and the Setter. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  2. Enjoyed this crossword very much and only needed a wee bit of help from the hints and from my trusty computer.

    Thanks to Big Dave and to the setter.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  3. I’m struggling with this one. It’s half done and I think that I am going to need BDs’ help to finish

  4. I needed to get this puzzle out of the way fairly quickly as I intend to gorge myself on rugby this afternoon and, as it’s a 1:30 kick-off in Rome, it’s 12:30 here – it’s too early for we dedicated cruciverbalists! Anyway, I succeded and I particularly liked 5a.

  5. For me, a relatively quick Saturday puzzle. Took a while to get 28a and 20d. Have a good weekend all.

  6. A bit of a slow start on the top half, but gathered speed in the lower half and then all came together well. I liked 26a because I always enjoy a good one of these! Not too sure about 28a, though!

    2*/4* again for me today.

  7. I think I’ve solved this one correctly if what I’ve written in for 22 down is right. Not an overly hard one today, but much trickier in parts than one or two prize crossword puzzles have been of late. 5 and 28 across are a couple of clues that took my fancy. Thank you Saturday setter.

  8. I liked this one and didn’t have too much trouble until the last few answers which took quite a while.
    All the problems were in the bottom half.
    For some reason the 17d anagram took ages – don’t know why – just being dim.
    I was slow to get 28a and then I was left with the first word of 27a and the last bit of 22d – I just couldn’t find anything that made the second part of 22d equal margin – suppose it does!
    I didn’t think that the surface reading of 23a made sense but I liked the answer because I always like them when they’re clues – not really sure that sentence makes much sense either!
    I liked 11a and 15a (once I’d remembered the right kind of substitute!) and 1 and 6d.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

      1. Makes marginally more sense than the third and fourth letters in 24d. I fail to see how that can mean ‘very good’. I got the answer as nothing else fitted the clue but I don’t understand it. Thanks setter for a nice test of the brain power and BD for telling me that I got 24d correctly.

        1. We are in agreement about that two letter word. A typo in the BRB perhaps? Can anyone construct a sentence where that word could be exchanged for “very good?”

          1. I certainly won’t take up that challenge! I can’t imagine any variation that means very good.

  9. Thank you setter, enjoyable but rather tricky I thought, in particular the shorter answers. Thanks BD for the hints. Sun is shining, lawn needs mowing – wall to wall rugby. What to do ?

  10. Mr Kitty is being insufferable justifiably proud as he beat me to quite a few of the answers this morning. His favourite is 16d. I’m not so sure, but will be obliging and go for that one.

    The RHS went in quite fast, but more work was needed in the LHS. I’d agree that it’s a little trickier than some Saturdays, but an enjoyable start to the day.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

    Happy Caturday to all, and may Long Itch be full of glorious music enjoyed by many ticket holders.

    1. Mr T is also insufferable, I have started to omit words when reading the clues to prevent him getting them quickly. Alzheimer’s by proxy?

      Mrs T

      1. Sometimes despite our best intentions, collaboration can edge sideways into competition. He’s still a novice, but I’m very impressed how quickly he’s progressed to a point where I start to feel threatened! He has mollified me a little by crediting my excellent teaching.

  11. Found today’s offering rather benign after yesterday’s! No problem apart from 22d for which I needed the hint to check that my answer was correct. My last one in was 24d. Liked 28a and 16d. Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD. Grey day here in Hyères but yesterday managed to see the eclipse from our terrace as the sun obligingly put in an appearance just a the right time…

    1. To answer your question of the other day Framboise I live in the Languedoc so we are almost neighbours

      1. Do you live there all the year round? I was born in Nancy, 20 km from Domremy, birthplace of Jeanne d”Arc. We came to Hyères to be near my brother when he retired. As you say we are almost neighbours. May I ask you what made you choose to live in Languedoc? Watching the rugby match!

        1. Hi Framboise,
          I bought a house here 14 years ago and we moved here when I retired 5 years ago. The decision to live in France was made when I was 21. A group of us lads travelled through France to a villa in Spain when I said “this is the place for me”. It was just a question of when and where. It reminds me of Blighty in the 50’s which is where I spent my youth. Languedoc because I could not afford Provence and the countryside and lifestyle is similar. I have not been back to Blighty since we got here and I have no ambition to go. It’s not to do with the weather it’s the cogestion etc etc

  12. I thought this was a trickier than usual for a Saturday (so was the Quickie!). 28A took a while and I never solved 20D. Not a fan of 22D or the second part of 14D, but 12A made me smile. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  13. Help please on 9a – we think it’s an anagram and results in some unknown british tv personality that thankfully never made it to these hallowed shores.

    Mrs T

  14. Saturday is never a disappointment.
    The only trouble was 13a as I don’t pronounce it that way but the answer was quite obvious from the checking letters.
    I agree with Kath about 26a. I like the answer as well but not the surface.
    My favourite is 23a.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

    1. If your favourite is 23a JLC can you give me a leg up with it

      Sorry, I take that back, I have just had a Gnomey moment

  15. Found this quite kind to me. My only real problem was 22d where I had written in 21a incorrectly, leaving out a letter, hence 22d was a very strange word. Eventually sorted.
    Liked 5a and 9a, but fave was 20d.
    Thanks to setter and BD for such a nice start to Saturday.

  16. pleasant puzzle though a few answers didn’t feel obviously right (4d, 22d, 27a).

    my favourites were 16d “pressing substance right into bottom” and 17d “risk a wet undoing”

    many thanks setter, thanks BD and congratulations Wales

  17. A 3 sitting puzzle for us but got there in the end. Best clue for us was 16d.
    Still not sure about the 2 letter answer in 24d down meaning very good. I would have thought it meant xxxxxxxx but a picky comment.
    An enjoyable outing. Thx to all.

    1. Unlike you to be picky Brian http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif but I’ve had to edit your thought as it goes against the orders of the Big Red Box.

  18. Finished. Enjoyable puzzle except for 23a which I don’t really understand. Many thanks to the setter and to BD whose hints got me going when I was stuck

    1. If you have the right answer to 23a, you should see which part of the clue is the definition, then look at the rest of the clue and see which parts of your solution fit which parts of the clue.

      1. NO, I’m with Collywobbles on this one. Still can’t parse the clue. Found the rhs quite easy but the Lhs really made me think. Thought this week’s offering was just about right: some easy ones to get me started and others requiring much more thought. Thanks to the setter and BD

        1. Try and divide the solution in 4/4: the first four is a word that means flap and the second one rigid or serious missing the final letter, does it help?

  19. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but quite tricky. I needed the hints for 1a and 2d. Worth a mention were 11&16a and Favourites were 15a&16d. Last in was 4d. Least favourite was 8d, the oldest of all the chestnuts :-) Was 3*/4*

  20. I found this quite difficult, all in the lower half as other people have said. (I know the BRB gives ‘very good’ as a meaning of the 2-letter word, as per 24d, but I cannot imagine it actually being used like that.) My favourite clue was 15a which made me smile.
    Many thanks to BD, whose hints I needed to parse my answer to 24d, and to the setter.

  21. I found this to be straightforward but couldn’t see the first half of 27ac and needed BD’s hint – I just seem to get stuck on easy clues occasionally. Thanks to BD and setter **/***

  22. Yes, 2*/3* seems about right and 20d gets my vote as top clue. Thanks to Mr Ron, and of course to BD.

  23. Having done Thursday’s RayT mind-twister while listening to the football this afternoon, this one was a breeze in comparison. I liked 5a and 20d, although the rest were enjoyable too. I’ll give it 3*/3*. Thanks to setter and BD

  24. Quite tricky in parts, thanks for the hints.
    Re the RBS rugbyhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif
    Hope I haven’t offended anybody !

  25. Managed to complete quite quickly and very enjoyably (thanks setter and BD) over breakfast **/**** and then was able to give full attention for rest of day to the rugby but how sad to see England get so near and yet so far.

  26. Hi all
    Have completed this (hooray!) but am befuddled about 16d. Have put in an answer that I think must be right with the checking letters but can’t see it at all. If I am allowed help, would love it!

        1. Thought I had already sent this but thanks BD for the extra help – I needed it!
          Think I forgot to press ‘post’ last time.

  27. Any help with 25a please. Last one to get and been looking at it since yesterday! Name of a lake?

  28. As a general comment I find the statement “It’s in the BRB” to be rather irritating. The whole point of a crossword is that it should be enjoyable to solve and I find that the enjoyment is considerably reduced when I fail to solve a clue only to find that it involved some totally obscure meaning of a word or worse still an obsolete term that I’ve never heard of. Just to give an example not related to this particular puzzle, never in my life have I heard of cattle being referred to as “neat”. I realize that this is probably just due to my limited education but I just wanted to have a whinge at someone and this seemed like the place to do it. Incidentally whinge is in the BRB despite the fact that Firefox’s spellchecker doesn’t recognise it. Actually Firefox’s spellchecker doesn’t recognise “Firefox” either or “spellchecker”.

    Nonetheless thanks to Big Dave and all his helpers for this excellent site.

    1. It’s good to have a whinge however you spell it. I was doing that the other week when Italy scored too many tries v Ehgland. I knew we would regret it…

      I was late finishing the crossy because I spent the day watching rugby.

      I needed a few hints this time as there were some ‘odd’ clues, so thanks to BD !
      Does BD get up at 4 am to do the crossy In quick time?

    1. 9a – It’s a hidden clue … somewhere in the clue you will find the answer. Definition “Metal products”.

      1. Ooops! Wrong puzzle!

        My reply was for the Sunday Virgilius 9a. [Must stop drinking!]

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