DT 27534 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27534 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27534 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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A new month brings a new Prize Puzzle.  This month’s prize has been donated by Tim Moorey.

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    Lusty skill shown in country dance (6)
A skill inside one way of spelling a particular country dance

4a    Carrying  hose (8)
A double definition – carrying as in having in store and hose as in footwear

9a    Transform dog biting a European (6)
A mongrel dog around (biting) the A from the clue and followed by E(uropean)

14a    Article among DJs’ equipment to overcome disadvantage (4,3,6)
The definite article inside some equipment used by a DJ

17a    One provides entertainment supply (13)
A cryptic definition of an entertainer who is necessarily supple


24a    Vegetarian and soldier run off together (8)
This vegetarian animal is a charade of a soldier insect and a verb meaning to run off together, usually with a view to getting married

25a    See transfixing crash in skiing race (6)
A two-letter word meaning see inside (transfixing) a crash

27a    Crystal-gazer frightening heartless queen (6)
An adjective meaning frightening without its middle letter (heartless) followed by the Queen’s regnal cipher


1d    Sermon, religious, delivered without note (6)
An adjective meaning religious around the third note of the scale in sol-fa notation

3d    Gossip rag featuring lovers primarily (7)
A rag or torn shred around the initial letter (primarily) of L[overs]

5d    It could be floating in the wind, lost (11)
This semi all-in-one clue, where the whole clue provides the definition, resolves to an anagram (floating in) of THE WIND LOST

7d    Italian football team  sink in ground (5)
Two definitions – one of Milan’s two main football teams and a verb meaning to sink in the ground

12d    Learn precise words to rap after chap embraces bird (3,2,3,3)
A verb meaning to rap gently follows a five-letter man’s name around (embraces) a small bird

15d    Improvement near end of game going to one side? (9)
Split as (4,5) this is an improvement in performance near the end of a game

20d    See me splitting batsman’s head and ear! (6)
Another semi all-in-one where the, cryptic, definition is a fast ball in cricket which is aimed at the batsman’s head head-high ball – ME inside the initial letter (head) of B[atsman] and EAR

22d    This writer, with rising deposit, had a get-together (3,2)
The first person singular objective pronoun followed by the reversal (rising) of a verb meaning to deposit
The Crossword Club is now open. Feel free to leave comments. I’ll be back after this month’s 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: {beer} + {trick} + {spotter} = {Beatrix Potter}

42 comments on “DT 27534 (Hints)

  1. 27 ac was a new word to me, and it took me a little while get the supple bit in 17ac otherwise an easy but not unenjoyable solve.P.S. I assume Big Dave meant to underline gossip and rag in the hint for 3d.

    1. No – gossip is the definition and rag is part of the wordplay. The magazine to which I think you are alluding doesn’t fit the wordplay.

      1. Yes, your right of course,I didn’t see gossip as a noun. Having said that, I can’t see why the mag dosen’t fit. Is there a convention that rag can’t be part of the word build and part of the answer?

        1. I really enjoyed this.
          I started off thinking it was going to be tricky but then got going and all was OK until my last few answers.
          The last two were 27a, which was a new word for me, and 20d which I’m sure no-one would expect me to have done quickly.
          17a had to be what it was but I didn’t see why for ages, and I mean ages!
          Some really good clues – 4 and 24a and 5 and 8d. 17a was going to be my favourite but the picture put me off so now I’ll have to find another one. OK – decision made and it’s 19d.
          With thanks to today’s setter and BD.
          Absolutely pouring with rain http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gifbut the garden really needs it and I think the NTSPP will keep me very happy for a long time probably and then, of course, there’s the tennis.

          1. Now how did my comment get there? Must have replied to Mary again by mistake – oh dear! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

  2. I think 27a is probably a new word to most people! Like the misdirection in 17a, got the answer but misread the last word.
    Very enjoyable but favourite for me was definitely 20d, been on the wrong end of several of these before helmets and they hurt!
    Thx to all

    1. You’ve said it all, Brian, but, fortunately, I was never on the receiving end of a 20d, although I did play in a match where there was a mid-wicket confrontation because of one and the two protagonists had to be separated by the umpires…

      1. An unfortunate coincidence is that Shane Warne was on the receiving end of one of these at the 200th Anniversary match at Lord’s today and has a suspected broken hand and will not be bowling

        1. I’ve just heard that his hand is broken, Sheepdog, and Warne’s not going to take any further part in the match.

          1. Of all the people that Brett Lee could have delivered that ball to, it had to be the great Shane Warne – I hope we’ll see some magic from Muralitharan instead

    2. There was an American TV programme called Charmed about three witches Pru, Piper and Phoebe (Pru was killed off and replaced by Paige). 27 cropped up a few times in that!

  3. 17a got to be my favourite today and ……. 27a not a new word for me as it crops up a lot in historical novels http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif
    I found this difficult to start but easier as I sat in the sunshine …which is now disappearing http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif
    wasn’t keen on 24a could have been any animal!!!!!

  4. 2*/3* for an enjoyable puzzle today. Like most others, apart from Mary, 27a was a new word for me but easily derived from the wordplay. My favourite was 17a and, although I got the answer quite quickly, it took an age for the penny to drop on the wordplay.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD.

  5. As per usual for Saturday – no sweat today but enough amusement. Didn’t really have a fav until I read BD’s hint to 17a which caused the penny to drop and me to LOL. Thank you Mr. Ron and BD. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  6. Thank you setter. An enjoyable puzzle with one or two tricky clues. Good to get it finished and have some time to get ready for the Katherine Jenkins picnic concert. Perhaps a few refreshments whilst sitting in the evening sunshinehttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif Thanks BD for your hints.

  7. Some good ones today.
    My last was the top right corner 1a and 1d .
    The country dance came home when I realised it is a tune byPercy Grainger.

    I looked up 27a in my old decoder then the dictionary – new to me too!

    Liked 1d.

  8. When we first looked today, it seemed difficult, but after getting one or two answers, we managed to finish. However, I’ve no idea what the country dance is in 1across, usual spelling or not, I’ve never heard of 27 across either and wouldn’t have got the answer to 24 across without the checking letters. Even so, it was enjoyable so thank you to the setter and to BD of course. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  9. Can’t manage to get 27a although the rest of it is done! Got all the checking letters (I think) but still no joy… Oh well. Tomatoes loving the rain and staying within reasonable bounds. Poppy contentedly watching our goldfinch family stuffing their beaks (Mr P and I brought her up very strictly that birds are part of ‘our’ family, so she sits quietly when they’re at the feeders. Greetings to all.

    1. I’d never attempt to better a BD hint so just adding a bit to his. The adjective meaning frightening in this case is a five letter word without (heartless) its middle letter but it can also be spelt with six letters (which is, I think, how I would spell it) – not sure if that’s very helpful.
      Our tomatoes are now quite a lot taller than I am.

      1. Thanks Kath – that’s helpful & I’ve now got it – although, as with some others, it’s not a word with which I’m at all familiar! Hope your deer-proof fencing is doing its job…http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  10. Just finished today’s crossword, and like quite a few of the people commenting today, I mis-pronounced the word “supply” in 17a until the obvious answer made me realise it was an adverb and not a verb or noun; The answer to 27a fitted in, but I had to Google the word (it was not in any of my dictionaries) to confirm its meaning AND that there was such a word!
    And now the bad news: Our local newspaper (in South Africa) announced this morning that although they would continue publishing the Telegraph crossword, they would no longer be offering the weekly prize. The prize is R200, which translates to about 11 pounds sterling (No pound sign on South African computers!), so it really is peanuts, but the fun of completing the crossword each week and entering the competition has now gone. In the small city in which I live, there is a small group of crossword fans and maybe 20 or so who take turns in winning, so the fun of checking each Saturday to see if you are the one with the “bragging rights” has also gone.
    (I see that there are often comments from participants to this blog about the Telegraph’s ineptness in their handling of the computerised version of the crossword. It seems that it is in the nature of newspaper publishers that they don’t think it necessary to consider what their readers want! I wonder who runs the PR department of our local newspaper!)

  11. Very enjoyable today, especially as I have been having mental blocks of late and been very discouraged. The biggest problem was misreading the meaning of supply in 17a, as did a lot of others, but a huge smile when the light bulb went off. A new word for me, too, at 27a but easy enough to work out and google. I had no idea why 20d was correct but it had to be, and the alternate spelling for the dance in 1a was new to me.

    Favourite is 1d, runners up are 21a, 4a and 8d. Thanks to setter and to BD for review.

    I’m glad that Petra (can’t spell her last name) won the singles, though I do like Bouchard and feel she’ll get there one day.

  12. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle with some very good clues. No major holdups, favourite was 18d, last in was 20d. Was 3*/3* for me. Just moved to another part of Devon. Got WiFi but no mobile phone signal.

  13. Faves today : 27a & 12d.

    Weather in the Golfo Sambracitana still magnificent.

  14. Took a while to get going having read through across and downs but once the NE was started the rest almost fell into place. I also had never come across 27a but the wiki confirmed the checking characters were right. I really liked 15d. 3*/3* for me.

  15. I got there finally. I thought it was a bit trickier than the usual Saturday puzzles. 17a was my favourite. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  16. I thought this was a beautifully constructed puzzle with plenty of deft misdirection, humour and a new word for me (27a) which fortunately was in my iPhone BRB. 17a was my favourite and as with some others it was some time before the penny dropped. Many thanks to the setter and BD for the review (thus far) and the pictures (oh all right… 17a) :-)

    I know I shouldn’t make sweeping statements about the differences between the sexes, but if proof were needed that this particular male cannot multi-task, this afternoon had it in spades. The paper girl (Mrs W) was late and I was trying to toggle between the Tour de France, Wimbledon and the F1 qualifying from Silverstone… as well as attempting to do the crossword. Complete fail until aforementioned sporting events were over, when the puzzle became relatively straightforward. I’m sure there’s a moral here somewhere.

    P.S. The Quickie pun was nice too.

    Have a good weekend all.

  17. Done whilst queuing at Lord’s! 17a was lost on me a tad but I get it now. 20d was appropriate – Brett Lee delivered one to a certain Shane Warne today and Warney has apparently suffered a broken hand as a result. 27a is a new word for me. Thanks for the Review and to The Setter.

  18. A very enjoyable puzzle, just tricky enough to satisfy but not to strain the old grey matter. 2.5*/4* by my reckoning, and 24a my favourite clue. I could see what 17a had to be, but “supply” had me foxed for quite a time. Clever old (or young, of course) setter! Thanks to BD for the hints too.

  19. It has taken ages, and so nearly managed to do this for the first time ever without looking at the hints, but 27a and 20d stumped me. 17a brilliant, I had answer but only realised why after reading comments. Thanks to everyone who contributes to this site, I’m finally feeling like I’m making some progress with cryptics.

    1. Your comment went into moderation as you changed your user name. Both should now be recognised.

      Congratulations on the progress. It won’t be long before you polish off the Saturday puzzle without the hints.

  20. i am completely stumped, dispite having 3 checkers ! I see most people had a bit of trouble with it too.Very annoying.it feels like a giovanni to me . Oh cancel that,finally got it, I definately never heard of it before. It spoilt an otherwise very pleasant puzzle.Thanks BD for the hint.

  21. Quite enjoyable but finished it without really having solved all the clues. Like some others 27a is a new word for me and being the worst sportsman in the world the cricketing term was also new. Thanks to Big Dave for explanation of 17a. I really couldn’t bend my brain to justify the answer.

  22. I found this really tough, and had to sleep on it. I had a different type of dog for 9a leading to a different type of transform with identical wordplay. That made 1d impossible, but I got them both the moment I looked at the hint for 9a. The other one I didn’t get was 5d, which annoyed me, because I’d tried the right anagram but just couldn’t see it. Grr!

    Oh, and I also needed the hint to parse 25a, and solved 20d and 27a from the word play only, before looking up the words. I’m hoping today’s is more gentle! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

    Thanks to setter and Big Dave :).

  23. No comments or hints for 6d?
    Got everything else but I Haven’t A Clue for the answer to 6d.
    Anybody, please.

    1. Welcome to the blog Mike

      I do try to pick out 16 of the harder clues, and this one didn’t make the list.

      6d Monstrous creature to strike a chord with artist (7)
      A charade of a verb meaning to strike a chord, as in a striking clock, followed by the usual artist

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