DT 27313 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27313 (Hints)

Hints and Tips by Gazza

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Today is your last chance to enter our Monthly Prize Puzzle.

BD is otherwise engaged today so I’ve been deputed to provide hints for some of the more difficult clues in today’s prize crossword.

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.

Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before asking questions about the site.

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”.

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

Across Clues

1a  Keep book behind piano (8)
A verb meaning to book follows the abbreviation for piano.

13a  Monitor timer used by boxer? (8)
This is a person or group set up to keep tabs on governmental or commercial organisations. It’s a timer followed by what a boxer is an example of.

15a  Parking to find accommodation with outstanding evening meal (6)
The abbreviation for parking goes inside (find accommodation with) an adjective meaning outstanding.

17a  American author, Mark  2 (5)
Double definition – an American author called Mark and an old word for two.

23a  Bird call observed by Edward, Penny and Romeo (6,6)
Call (on the phone) followed by the two-letter abbreviation for Edward, the abbreviation for a penny and a Romeo or Casanova.

28a  Shock, finding purser is at sea (8)
An anagram (at sea) of PURSER IS.

Down Clues

2d  Woman‘s beads set around heart of gems (8)
A string of beads (used a lot by Roman Catholics) containing (set around) the middle letters of gems.

3d  Fast-rising TV company playing loud music, and French being gripped (12)
String together a British satellite broadcasting company and ‘playing loud music’ then insert (being gripped) the French word for ‘and’.

8d  Kind of Tory one cares to treat like a small child (3-5)
Start with a term coined by Mrs Thatcher for anyone in her party lacking backbone and add someone in a caring profession (i.e. one who cares).

16d  Tropical tree comes from river Indus, mainly (8)
A river in the South-West of England followed by more than half of the word Indus.

22d  A very filling bitter taste (6)
A and V(ery) go inside (filling) an adjective meaning bitter or acidic.

25d  Not more confusion — metres to be replaced by litres! (4)
Start with a word meaning confusion or disarray and replace the initial M(etres) with L(itres).

Feel free to leave comments or ask for a hint if you’re totally stuck on a clue.

As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment.

Please read these instructions carefully. Offending comments may be redacted or deleted.

The Quick crossword pun: {penal} + {serve} + {etude} = {penal servitude}




  1. angel
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Good fun and glad to be able to complete before busy weekend entertaining family. Favourite clue 23a which took while to fathom. Many thanks setter (Cephas?).

  2. mary
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Morning gazza, I get easily confused these days and when I saw your name I thought it was Friday!!

    I found this relatively easy for me today, a 2* IMHO, I got really stuck with 4d and 5d, even though I knew the answers,by spelling 11a wrong putting two letters in the wrong places, I can confidently say that is the way I have always thought of it and always spelt it, the correct spelling doesn’t ‘sit right’ with me at all :oops:

    • Dawn
      Posted October 19, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      Me too!

  3. Sweet William
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Thank you setter – like Angel, pleased that it wasn’t too challenging as we have friends coming to stay so the veg prep is now under way. Real problem is having to go to the Reebok this afternoon ! Thanks Gazza for the hints – saw a few 23a at Titchwell recently – so I had no excuse there.

  4. Expat Chris
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Morning all. Straightforward, and would have been more so had I been paying closer attention instead of just quickly putting in a word for very large in 27A. Thanks to the setter and Gazza for holding the fort and for the review.

    Can someone explain 8D for me? I have what I’m sure is the correct answer but have no idea why. What does the first 3-letter word have to do with the clue?

    • gazza
      Posted October 19, 2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      The first word is explained in the hint.

      • Expat Chris
        Posted October 19, 2013 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        Got it now. Google helped me out. I’m totally unfamiliar with that term as it is specifically applied here. I’ve been an expat for a very long time!

        • Collywobbles
          Posted October 19, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

          We have to ******** expats. Oh, sorry, I’m an expat too

          • Expat Chris
            Posted October 19, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

            I’m really good at getting the American States, cities and expressions, though!

            • Kingsley
              Posted October 20, 2013 at 6:48 am | Permalink

              Chris, I made the same mistake as you in 27a (I think). Without checking properly, I assumed “our menu’s” had two O’s instead of two U’s, anagrammed it and got the wrong answer.
              I had never heard of the river in the South-West of England (16d), so I got the answer from the checking letters without understanding the clue. Then realised that my answer to 27a HAD to be wrong.

    • Caroline
      Posted October 19, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      I put ******** in for 27a. I thought it was a good answer and an anagram! Obviously not! Thanks to setter and hinter without whom I would not have finished this puzzle.

      [Please don’t include alternative answers. Gazza]

      • Caroline
        Posted October 19, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        Oops, sorry. Forgot it was a prize puzzle. Off to the naughty corner for me!

  5. Jezza
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    For a prize puzzle, I cannot imagine they come any more gentle than this. Thanks to setter, and to Gazza.

    • Caravaggio
      Posted October 19, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      My sentiments entirely, Jezza, and a big thank you to Gazza for standing in for Big Dave. Mary and I can now concentrate on Liverpool beating Newcastle on Tyneside.

      • Sheila P
        Posted October 19, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        Beating Newcastle!!! You’re very lucky to get a draw.

        • Caroline
          Posted October 19, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

          My Liverpool supporting son is at the game in the Newcastle end! We’re from darn sarf so secretly glad it was a draw! Now for the four hour train journey home!

      • mary
        Posted October 19, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        Spoke too soon Cara!!

        • Caravaggio
          Posted October 19, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

          You’re right, Mary! I can empathise with Caroline’s concerns because my son, who works for Newcastle University, is a Manchester City supporter and he too has to remember to behave himself when he’s in with the Geordies…

          • Sheila P
            Posted October 19, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

            Far too many Liverpool supporters on this site I think. Are we the only Geordies to do cryptics? surely not.

            • Tantalus
              Posted October 20, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

              Yep! Judging by the webdemographics the Reds supporters congregate on the Wirral.

  6. Rabbit Dave
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    My rating is */**. This was basically “read and write” today except that my initial wrong answer for 27a included one letter not in the anagram fodder in the clue :-(. That, in turn, held me up briefly with 16d (my last one in) and 24d until I spotted the error of my ways. It looks as if I made the same mistake as Expat Chris!

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza.

    • Caroline
      Posted October 19, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Me too!

  7. neveracrossword
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Having struggled up the north face of yesterday’s toughie, I slid down today’s offering on a cushion of air.

  8. Maggie
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Hurray finished with only 3 hints, a record for me, nice as I really struggled yesterday. Favourite was 15a and 23a. Now, what to do on this wet, grey day?

  9. Collywobbles
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    What a pleasant enjoyable puzzle. I needed your hint on 13a Gazza, it helped me to unblock the rest, for which many thanks. Thanks, also to the setter, whoever he is for a super crossword. I always enjoy the Saturday one

    Sorry for the delay but we have just had another power cut. That’s what comes of living in a third world country

  10. Roger
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Very easy for a Saturday.

  11. akap
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    It may have been simple, but I’m feeling smug. Finished it today with no hints or electronic help. Not often I manage that.

  12. Chris T Heswall
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    I’m with Caravaggio on both the puzzle and the football!

    • mary
      Posted October 19, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Me too :-)

  13. Kath
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    There were three possibilities here – I’m getting better, I was on the right wave length today, or this was the most straightforward crossword that I’ve ever done. I was favouring the last and now, having read the comments, I can see I was right.
    Like Expat Chris and Rabbit Dave I had the wrong answer to begin with for 27a – that’ll teach me to write the letters down before jumping in too quickly – actually, it won’t teach me as I’ve been caught that way so many times and still haven’t learnt. Anyway 16d sorted that out.
    I liked 23a and 8d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and gazza who seems to be working overtime this week.
    As you all know I don’t care much for football so might try the NTSPP – I always find Radler’s puzzles very difficult but will have a go.

    • Tantalus
      Posted October 19, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Hear hear! Well said!

  14. Posted October 19, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    We’ve got it all filled but for 19D. Any prompts for that one? Would have got there a lot more quickly had I not also been slapdash with 27A and noticed the two Us!

    • gazza
      Posted October 19, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      19d End of period in States (8)
      The period is part of a school year, for example.

    • Prolixic
      Posted October 19, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      The definition is end. You need another word for a period, the in from the clue an abbreviation for the States.

    • Tantalus
      Posted October 19, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      19d A period (typically for school) with IN and **. Meaning “end”

  15. zaphod
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    That was pretty straightforward although 11a I have a habit of swapping the * and * :o

    Enjoyed 16d & 23a and also messed 27a at first.


    • Tantalus
      Posted October 19, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      Looks like the censoruberfuhrer stepped in but left no hungry trace of our sentence (7,6).

    • mary
      Posted October 19, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      Me too zaphod, that’s the only way I know it!!

  16. Merusa
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    I found this easy peasy, for a change, and finished with no help from hints or gizmo. I’ll get a big ‘ead soon if I keep clapping myself on the back. Very enjoyable. I didn’t know 7d but easy enough to get and google for confirmation.

    There was a rather cross comment the other day about 10a turning up so often and recommending it be retired. It’ll be interesting to see if it’s commented on again. Thanks to setter and hinter, though not needed today.

    • Magmull
      Posted October 19, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      It was noted, Merusa, but as somebody -you? – pointed out, we might get a spate of “expo”s instead, I thought I’d lie low and say nuffin.

  17. mary
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    The trouble with a puzzle on the easier side ( I’m not complaining ) is that you don’t get so much of a chat going!

    • Kath
      Posted October 19, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      I agree – an easier than normal puzzle doesn’t get the natter going at all. Of course half of them are off in the boozer in London, and have been all day, which doesn’t help the chatty bit. Never mind, Mary, there will be a few sore heads tomorrow but you and I won’t have one! :smile:
      I wouldn’t mind betting that the hints will be late tomorrow unless BD has pressed someone else into action.
      Joking aside now – I really hope that all of those at the get-together have had a lovely day – I would love to have been there but it just wasn’t possible.

      • Expat Chris
        Posted October 19, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        We over-the ponders will probably never have the chance to attend in person. Perhaps we can persuade BD to take a laptop next time and set up a skype conference call so we can all drop by say hello! Mind you, it would need to be after1 pm UK time or I would still be in my jammies.

        • Merusa
          Posted October 19, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

          Wouldn’t that be fun! Unfortunately, I’m far too stupid to be able to use anything as techie as Skype. I keep asking Godson to bring me up to snuff and show me how.

        • Kath
          Posted October 19, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

          Hi Expat Chris and Merusa,
          I think that BD takes all his technology with him but is very busy being the most wonderful host – whizzing around, talking to people, making sure that people who have never been to one of these before are comfortable and have been introduced to others etc etc – I know – I’ve been to two of these get-togethers. Oh, and by the way Merusa, I can’t cope with Skype either.

          • Expat Chris
            Posted October 19, 2013 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

            I love skype. I can talk to family in the UK and Oz face to face. I don’t like it to be spontaneous, though, so I stay off line. I like scheduled chats. It’s just practice, ladies. A few times and you’ll get used to it. I use it for business too. Best part of that is I can pretend to be like a news desk anchor…dressed up from the waist up and in comfy sweats and slippers for the bits that don’t show above my desk.

          • Jezza
            Posted October 20, 2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink

            We prefer Oovoo to Skype; we find the audio/video quality better.

  18. Dawn
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Right hand went in like a dream left hand not so but got there in the end.

    Thanks to Gazza for the hints

    13a amused me

  19. Catnap
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    This was a little easier than usual and I enjoyed it, especially 13a, 23a, 8d and 17d. :smile: I stalled a bit on 19d (my last in), but eventually got it.
    Did not need your hints, Gaza. Nice pic of the tree in 16d. Crossing that South-West of England river by train is scary if, like me, one doesn’t have a good head for heights! Not to mention that the guard rails seem so be so low…
    Appreciative thanks to both setter and Gaza.

  20. Brian
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Got there in the end but was a bit held up in the SW corner because I was convinced the answer to 20a had a double letter towards the end and got really hung up on the boxer being a pugilist!
    The rest was reasonably straightforward after I realised the beads were a religious clue.
    Thx to Gazza for the hints and the setter for the puzzle.

  21. Rod Ash
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    It must have been easy today because I completed it without dictionary or ‘Dave/Gazza’clues. I liked 21a best.

  22. pommers
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Must be record solve! Pommette and I went through the acrosses and missed only 3, then cleaned the downs. The remaining 3 acrosses didn’t put a fight at all.

    Bit of fun though so thanks to the setter.

  23. Una
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    It came pretty close to a total write in and I love the confidence building effect that has, especially after last week ! Favourite: 21a.

  24. Heno
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the hints. A total write-in for me. Not much fun, favourite was 23a. Was 0.5*/2* for me. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves at the Ramsgate. I will go one day, if Arsenal are ever away when this event occurs.

  25. weekendwanda
    Posted October 20, 2013 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    No time yesterday so did this when woke up in the night. Quickest ever so soon able to get back to sleep. 20a took me a few more minutes oddly. Direct contrast from Friday upon which I spent longer on some clues than the whole prize puzzle. Thanks for the explanation of EH. Would never of got that although the answer was obvious. Have enjoyed reading both days comments and hints after the event. I am amazed at how different we all are. Thanks to both setters. Although I felt I had accomplished something when I completed friday’s I did not enjoy as much as some of Giovanni’s. Thought it was a bit serious but I enjoy the variety

  26. simon power
    Posted October 20, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    thoroughly enjoyed this crossword. completed it in xxxxxxxxxxxx which for me is a record. really starting to get the hang of cryptic. many thanks for the hints and the continued work of all on this site.

    • crypticsue
      Posted October 20, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      Well done on your record solve. The site convention is, however, that we don’t mention times, however long, short or even record-breaking in case it disheartens others.

      • simon power
        Posted October 20, 2013 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        many thanks for the heads up. it wont happen again. simon

    • Tantalus
      Posted October 20, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Idioms will mitigate your punishment: try “By the time the cows came home”, “forty bats of an eyelid”, or “before the the 8:16 reached Pangbourne”

      • simon power
        Posted October 20, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

        thanks for that. will bear these in mind in the future. simon

  27. Little Dave
    Posted October 20, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    All done. Like some I also fell into the trap of electing the wrong anagram answer for 27a before I woke up! 3d should be hyphenated?

    • Posted October 20, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      Not according to Chambers and the ODE