DT 27402 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27402 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27402 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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There’s a new prize Puzzle available today.  You are strongly advised to read the instructions thoroughly before entering.

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”.

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

Some hints follow:


1a Pests concealed in recess mostly (6)
A three-letter word meaning concealed inside most of a recess in a church

4a People photographing  fish (8)
Two definitions – the setter is using the fact that fish is both singular and plural!

11a Piece following article on hot part of Aga saga (3,6)
A small piece follows the definite article and the hot part of an Aga

13a French girl’s name? No, English one (5)
The French for a girl followed by N(ame)

17a Smack accompanied by slap then settle one’s differences (4,3,4,2)
A smack on the cheek with some cosmetics which are “slapped” on

23a Knight put in good spirits engaging against old fighter (9)
Start with a verb meaning to put in good spirits or hearten and insert (engaging) the single-letter abbreviation for against, as in France against England, and an old boxer

25a Tight pain, variable (6)
This adjective meaning tight with money is derived from a sharp pain and a mathematical variable

27a Show on television loose material that’s new (6)
Some loose stones followed by N(ew)


1d A European levy to produce inflation? (6)
The A from the clue and E(uropean) followed by a levy or charge

6d Sage perhaps makes fuss over book (3,4)
A little used word for a fuss or commotion followed by B(ook)

7d Praise old group given a boost (5)
A two-letter word meaning old followed by the reversal (given a boost in a down clue) of a large group

12d Monk well read in Latin keeps order at home (11)
The Latin for well around an order and the two-letter word for at home

15d Piece of kit I can reorder with electronics company around (9)
An anagram (reorder) of I CAN inside an electronics company famous for its computers and mobile phones

18d Chemical giving one very good mood (7)
Someone who is very good, i.e. an expert, followed by a mood

20d Writer Charles perhaps taken in by trick (6)
The first name of R&B singer Charles inside a trick or ruse

22d Outer surface about to corrode (5)
The single-letter Latin abbreviation for about followed by a verb meaning to corrode

Highlighted words are to be found in my new “Usual Suspects” page.

The Crossword Club is now open. Feel free to leave comments.

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: {cell} + {frays} + {in flower} = {self-raising flour}

70 comments on “DT 27402 (Hints)

  1. I am finding this puzzle a little difficult but, so far, challenging. About half done but stuck so hints are welcome
    We could do with a few more hints, especially 11a

    1. Collywobbles, the answer is the name of a book which could be considered as a saga. It is a charade where a synonym for piece is placed after (following) an article and the hot part on the top of a cooker or Aga..

    2. You appear to have commented again earlier today using the mistake-filled name/email address from the other day, and then using the correct one. This causes BD or one of the other bloggers extra work so it would be appreciated if you could make sure you have the correct information before pressing ‘post comment’.

      1. I think your comment is addressed to Collywobbles as it is not indented under my comment, and I am fairly sure that my e-mail address / name are OK. But I’d like to be certain that I am not doing anything wrong as I certainly wouldn’t want to make any extra work for the wonderful bloggers who make this such a great site.

        1. It was definitely address to Collywobbles or C ollywobbles as he calls himself when trying to cause extra work, in addition to having the wrong initial at the start of his email address http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

          1. CS, I did ask you the other day if you could delete the incorrect name e.mail address which was caused because the information was not automatically filled in and I did not notice it. However, if you cannot I will make sure that I will check it in future

                1. The method for deleting cookies is browser-dependent – consult the help for the browser you are using (and if you ask what a browser is I’ll scream)

                  1. What is a browser?
                    On less pleasant news England are a shower. What a loss against France

  2. Had a busy morning today! Done this one, the Grauniad prize (very good) and the BD Monthly Prize puzzle (highly recommended). Saving the FT Don for later.

    Enjoyed this one but no particular favourite.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  3. I thought that this puzzle was a gentle stroll for a Saturday morning and didn’t present any problems. For those of us who are sports-minded, it’s a distinct advantage to get the crossword out of the way in the morning because we won’t be getting anything done this afternoon from 14:30 onwards…

    1. Great minds think alike (or is it ‘fools seldom differ’?). I too was pleased to romp through this ahead of becoming a sporting couch potato for rest of day/weekend. At least Team GB got us off to an excellent start last night with Davis Cup and let’s hope for more of the same and also with the rugby contre La France.

  4. 2*/4* for me for this challenging but very enjoyable puzzle.

    Although I got the answers quickly for 1a, 6d & 7d, it took me a while to understand the wordplay for all three. In the case of 6d this was because the synonym for “fuss” was a new word for me (even though it is very similar to another word with the same meaning). For 7d I still don’t understand the derivation of the final three letters and will wait patiently for BD’s further hints.

    20d was my favourite because, until the penny dropped, I was nicely “taken in by (the) trick” of the cunning (but very fair!) reference to Charles.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD.

    1. 7d the first two letters are the ‘old’ bit – the last three have been ‘given a boost’

      1. Thanks CS, that was exactly my logic but I must be having a very thick moment as I still can’t see how those three letters relate to “given a boost” http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

        1. Ah! I think I’ve got it now! It’s “group” turned upside down. But is that really “given a boost”?

          1. Thanks very much, Kath. Our comments have crossed in the ether. I think I must have had my Eureka moment as a result of telepathy between Oxford and London while you were typinghttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif.

            1. I hate it when comments cross in the ether but glad that the telepathy seems to work quite well. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

              1. Giving a boost to equalling turning something upside down is new to me.
                Sounds a bit silly but I’ll live with it as a crossword peculiarity.
                I got the clue thinking it was that, though.

  5. I found some of this very straightforward and some of it quite tricky, particularly most of the bottom right corner.
    26a took ages – thinking of the wrong kind of ‘gas’. I could see what 6d had to be but it took a while to work out why. I was also slow to get 15d.
    I liked 23 and 25a and 19 and 20d. My favourite was 17a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron, BD and, in advance, anyone who can explain my answers to 13a and 12d – maybe they’re wrong.
    It’s cold and windy in Oxford but at least it’s dry and we have a bit of sun.

    1. 13a is the French pronoun for a girl followed by Name

      12d, start with “well” in Latin and insert (keeps) an order and the usual “home”.

      1. Thanks pommers. I had a complete blind spot about 13a and 12d was just total stupidity – my Latin “well” was the first four letters and having seen that I didn’t get any further. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

  6. To start with I found this one a bit tricky but after a short break I had a few penny drop moments and completed it without any problems. Thanks to setter for a stimulating morning.

  7. Thank you setter, an enjoyable Saturday puzzle. Managed to solve it in spite of family coming to stay. A great excuse not to join in Monopoly ! As mentioned above, good to get it done before the day’s sport. Thanks BD for the hints and thanks to CS and Kath for the explanation of the last 3 letters of 7d.

  8. Really enjoyed this one particularly liked 17a and 5d, thanks for hints Dave though I didn’t need them today, I have decided to ‘particularly like’ certain clues now so that way I can get away with having more than one ‘favourite’ http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif
    won’t be commenting much today…Come on Wales…I do hope you’ll all be cheering Wales on http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

    1. I’ll support Wales against Italy today as long as you agree to support England against France.

      Is that a deal?

    2. Certainly will Mary. Myself and 5 mates have each put €5 in a sweep. It’s winner take all and I’ve got Wales so “Come on you Wales” :grin:

  9. Enjoyable puzzle.

    Faves : 14a, 17a, 5d & 12d.

    Weather still sunny here in NL but cold!

    Going out tonight to celebrate an old ladyfriend’s 80th birthday anniversary along with other friends. She is off to Australia next week so I got a novel for her to read on the flight.

  10. Very enjoyable today. Bottom right hand corner took a little while especially 25a & 20d for some reason. Rugby for the rest of the afternoon in our household, but that’s OK since it’s quite wild & woolly here on the east coast. Thank you setter & BD.

  11. I was just starting to think we’d got an easy one today, when I got stuck on 12d (right answer, wrong reasons), 18d (a very clever clue, I thought, once I’d solved it) and 26a which was my last one in (I was also thinking of the wrong “gas” until I read Kath’s “hint” that I should be thinking of a different sort of gas).
    In 12d, I found two Latin words in my (correct) answer which I thought meant “well read” and I thought BIg Dave’s hint was incorrect until I checked the meaning of my two Latin words and found that they meant “well said”! Which threw me as my answer was both a monk AND a monastic order and I could not find another “order” in my answer until I saw that I had to split the Latin “well” – and then I found the “order”.
    Big Dave, I hope that none of the above breaks any rules, but I know you will delete the previous paragraph if it offends!

  12. I sat at stared at this over breakfast and couldn’t get anything except 17a! A few hours later, the clues started to trickle in – although I mostly thought of a word and then made it fit the wordplay! Finally completed! Now off to put the Christmas decorations in the loft!

    1. My average ratio for putting the word in first:working out the clue first, is about 2:3
      Often wondered if this is fairly normal.

  13. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave. A very enjoyable puzzle, but not too tricky. Just needed the hint for 23a, I had the wrong definition in my mind. Favourite was 11a. Was 2*/3* for me. Blue sky in Central London.

    1. I was in a bit of a muddle with that too but the only way I can make sense of it is that the first three letters mean ‘one’ and also ‘very good’ in a slangy way – then the last four letters are the ‘mood’. I could easily be completely wrong about this but if I am I’m sure someone will tell me. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      1. I took the first three letters to be “one very good”, i.e. someone who is very good at something, then as Kath says the last four letters are “mood”.

      2. I struggled with understanding this one too, so glad it wasn’t just me, and still am not clear why it’s right! Poppy panting for some romps as we (at last) have a dry patch, so I won’t stay. But greetings to all.

        1. Kath, I didn’t think “one” played a very important part in getting the answer. I understood “one” to mean “any person”, i.e you, the solver. Then “very good” gives us the first part of the answer and the last four letters are a word meaning “mood”.

  14. I found this harder than usual for a Saturday and it took me a little while to get going. 15d was my favourite as was 24a. Thanks to The Setter and to BD of course. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  15. Straightforward, but slightly more tricky than the usual Saturday offering. I really enjoyed 26a, my last one in, when I saw it written in. Loved 20d too. 3* difficulty, 4* enjoyment. Thanks for the well-illustrated hints (though not needed today) and to the setter

  16. I found this very enjoyable. I liked 10a and 5d best, with honorable mention going to 17a. Thanks to setter and BD for review.


  17. A nice puzzle , not too hard . Submit accepted my answers, but I still can’t see how clue 26a work. Thanks to the setter and BD.
    King Lear weather here all day “Blow winds, crack thy cheeks”.Absolutely dreadful. It wouldn’t surprise me if both islands were flooded.

    1. Una, 26a is an anagram (develop) of “net trade” and the defintion is “did gas” where gas is a verb.

        1. I do agree with you that it is very doubtful that anyone would actually want to say “did gas”, but the construction with “did” to make a past tense works OK with some verbs, e.g. “she did laugh” = “she laughed”.

  18. Agree with a number of comments that this was a bit harder than the average Saturday fare. All done apart from 26a which I will have to take a break from – according to Tstrummer, it’ll be worth it. ***/*** for me. Big party tonight better get ready. Thanks BD and setter.

  19. England snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, Man Utd continue hell bent down the road to self-destruction but what else? Well, Wales have kept my potential €30 alive and the result of the day has to be:-



  20. Grateful thanks to BD for the blog. I didn’t allow enough time to do this one today and simply wouldn’t have attempted it were it not for this site. I shamelessly dipped in here to help me get going and that enabled me and Mr Chambers to complete it. Eyes-wide-open about who did it, but it’s another good example of sensibly (IMHO) using the blog. In spite of the help received, I still managed to misspell 26a. 11a made me chuckle and 14a was my favourite. */**** if you see what I mean… Thanks to Mr Ron too for a nicely crafted puzzle.

    As with most of the country, it’s throwing it down here in Birmingham, but I’m lucky enough to be 600ft above sea level and on top of a hill. I appreciate some of you are less fortunate and my thoughts are with those who are suffering in this awful weather.

  21. All done, but didn’t enjoy it much (mind you, that has a lot to do with England’s failure to nail what would have been a deserved victory over France!). 11a and 23a did at least cause a crinkle at the corner of the mouth.

  22. Not easy today, took three visits whilst on the plane. Very enjoyable for all that.
    Greetings from sunny Barbados.
    Thx to all concerned.

  23. Hi,
    Re. 7d I took ‘boost’ to mean ‘elevate’ or ‘send up’ for the last 3 letters.
    Seemed to work in my mind!
    A nice puzzle – liked 11a :-)

  24. 18d was my favourite.
    Didn’t need any help but thanks anyway.
    I don’t often have favourites and have turned into a ‘lurker’

  25. Thanks again BD et al. I could not have completed this without your collective hints.

    Persistence pays off….I guess.


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