DT 27552 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27552 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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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 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    Settle on a posh carriage (6)
A verb meaning to settle or come down followed by the A from the clue and the usual single-letter meaning posh

9a    On the map, going up in the world (10)
The direction in which you would be going if you were moving from the bottom to the top of a standard map

10a    Assured of success in having got off the booze? (4,3,3)
A word meaning indoors together with an adjective meaning off the booze or teetotal

12a    Express grief having very small amount of money (4)
A word of Scottish origin meaning very small followed by an amount of money (also very small)

18a    Want rotten fielder far away from the wicket! (4,3)
A verb meaning to want or yearn followed by an adjective meaning rotten or rancid

20a    Good circular pan covers beginning to require basic preparation (10)
G(ood) followed by an adjective meaning circular and a pan used to cook oriental food, the latter around the initial letter of (beginning to) R[equire]

23a    Change of accent is appropriate (10)
This anagram (change) of OF ACCENT IS gives a verb meaning to appropriate or seize

26a    Bold lover not liked initially (6)
An affectionate term for a lover without the initial letter of L[iked)


2d    Catch the girl singer appearing first? Absolutely (10)
A three-letter verb meaning to catch followed by the objective pronoun for the girl and preceded by a male singer with a high voice

4d    A Parisian fiancé’s chance (10)
The French indefinite article followed by a fiancé or person who means to get married

5d    Snoop’s full of insulting primness (7)
A verb meaning to snoop around (full of) an adjective meaning insulting or impolite

7d    One’s musical tongue? (5,5)
This musical instrument is also a cryptic definition of the tongue

8d    Now opening for a season (6)
The two-letter abbreviation for “in the year of the Lord” (now) followed by an opening or aperture

13d    Instruments of supersonic potential (10)
… watch out for the anagram!

15d    Accumulated capital used on mansion and diamonds (10)
The capital of a company, often divided into shares, followed by a slang word for a mansion and D(iamonds)

16d    Engineers taking part in light diversion (10)
The usual military engineers followed by a part or segment gives a process by which light is diverted

24d    Dear French  singer (4)
Two definitions – the French for dear or expensive and an American female singer

The Crossword Club is now open.  As this is the last Saturday of the month, I’ll be at the Village Café and Market until lunchtime.

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: empty + prom + mrs = empty promises



  1. Sheepdog
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    I assume I have 3 right – but it is not a river I know – otherwise no problems today

    • Brian
      Posted July 26, 2014 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      It’s in Derbyshire in the Peak District.

      • Sheepdog
        Posted July 26, 2014 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        Thanks, I just googled it too. I don’t know that neck of the woods

        • Brian
          Posted July 26, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

          Try to get there at some stage, it is stunningly beautiful with some lovely pubs but get away from the main area to the little known dales.

          • Sheepdog
            Posted July 26, 2014 at 10:36 am | Permalink

            I don’t get north of the M25 very often, I might get a nose bleed if I go that far up! I’ll have to give it a go.

            • Sheepdog
              Posted July 26, 2014 at 10:36 am | Permalink

              (Give a trip to the Peak District a go – not the nose bleed)

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    I found this a strange puzzle. On my first pass I only had very few answers, but on my second pass everything fell into place quickly. My rating is 1.5* for difficulty and 2* for enjoyment.

    Nothing about this particularly floated my boat today, and my only issue was to understand how mansion in 15d related to letters 6-9 in the answer. So thank you BD for your explanation of this
    and for the early posting. Enjoy the café and market! Thanks too to the setter.

  3. Brian
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    I agree with Rabbit Dave, took longer than it really ought to have done. Nothing to rave about but always nice to see a cricket clue (sorry Kath but you do have your Ray T’s to enjoy).
    Seems very odd to be starting a Test match on a Sunday, not sure I approve.
    Thx to all

    • Sheepdog
      Posted July 26, 2014 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      Sunday was always the rest day in the past. Sunday’s were very dull in my youth, no cricket, no footy, no shops open.

    • Caravaggio
      Posted July 26, 2014 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      I agree with both you and Rabbit Dave but, in mitigation, I had one eye on the television and the Commonwealth Games! On three occasions when there was a rest day on a Sunday during a Test match – twice at Old Trafford and once at Trent Bridge – the late Bill Frindall turned out for my cricket club and, needless to say, the rest of the TMS crew were primed to ask him on a Monday morning how he’d got on. That couldn’t happen now…

  4. Angel
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Thanks setter and BD for hints which helped to sort out extreme NE corner for me after putting ***** for 9a. Apart from that plain-sailing again on a Saturday. Wonder if Kath enjoyed 18a. Liked 1a and 2d. **/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    • Prolixic
      Posted July 26, 2014 at 10:25 am | Permalink


      We don’t include even partial parts of the answer, correct or incorrect! If it is any comfort, I did exactly the same with the answer to 9a.

      • crypticsue
        Posted July 26, 2014 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        Me too

      • gazza
        Posted July 26, 2014 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        If it’s what I think it is, me too.

        • Poppy
          Posted July 26, 2014 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

          And me …

          • Rick
            Posted July 26, 2014 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

            me five

            • Carrie
              Posted July 26, 2014 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

              Me six, then I got 7d and realised my error :)

              • Tantalus
                Posted July 26, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

                Us seven.

                • 2Kiwis
                  Posted July 26, 2014 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

                  And eight!

                  • NJoy
                    Posted July 27, 2014 at 10:03 am | Permalink

                    And me!

                    • Jezza
                      Posted July 27, 2014 at 11:11 am | Permalink

                      I didn’t look at the puzzle, but a quick check online with the hint letters, and I would have made the same error too!

      • Angel
        Posted July 26, 2014 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        Apologies, I stand duly reprimanded and will accept a short sentence in the naughty corner but am reassured that several great minds thought alike. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

        • Collywobbles
          Posted July 26, 2014 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

          Has anybody got any cake. Where’s Mary?

          • Kath
            Posted July 26, 2014 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

            Too hot to be making cakes today!
            As for Mary she seems to have gone on an extended walkabout – or probably an extended camper-van-about. Whatever she’s up to I hope she’s enjoying it.
            She’ll be in such trouble when she eventually returns! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

          • Angel
            Posted July 26, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

            Thanks for your efforts on my behalf but it is in fact perhaps a bit hot to be eating cake, never mind baking it, but I am hoping for a drop of water. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

        • Tantalus
          Posted July 26, 2014 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

          Or as my mother used to say “fools seldom differ”.

      • Kath
        Posted July 26, 2014 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        And me – only difference being that I didn’t even have the wit to doubt it until I really couldn’t do 7 and 8d!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

    • Kitty
      Posted July 26, 2014 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      Ditto! Held up that whole corner for me. Nice to be in such illustrious company though http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_biggrin.gif.

  5. Rose
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Got the answer to 13A but didn’t see the anagram! Thanks Dave for helping me see why its right. Duh.

    • Kitty
      Posted July 26, 2014 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      Oh! Only just seen that! Have another “ditto” :).

  6. Sweet William
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Thank you setter, not a particularly hard puzzle even for me. Nice to get it finished, but no amazingly funny clues. Thanks for the hints BD.

  7. Hrothgar
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    I woke up at 3am, did this, then went back to sleep.
    Nicely constructed puzzle.
    Thanks to the setter and BD

  8. Little Dave
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    1a features quite often. All done whilst/while enjoying a cup of tea. 20a was my favourite. Can anyone advise on whilst/while as never quite understood correct use? Overall a typical Saturday challenge. Off to watch my sons play cricket. Thanks to The Setter and for the review.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted July 26, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      It may not be correct but I have always worked on the basis that whilst is used when the following word starts with a vowel, and while when the next word begins with a consonant. But I expect anything goes nowadays!

    • gazza
      Posted July 26, 2014 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Eric Partridge gives an example where the use of while is very ambiguous and whilst would be better: The curate read the First Lesson while the Rector read the Second.

  9. Graham Wall
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    I took longer than needed to complete this puzzle due to my own stupidity. On 14A I was using the wrong words for the anagram and I was misreading 23A Got there in the end without the hints but I had to look at the blog’s glossary of cricketing terms as I am a rugby union man myself. I would rate this as a 3*/4* There seems to have been a dearth of humour and smilers this past week. Enjoy the weekend everyone and my thanks to Big Dave for the review.

  10. Poppy
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Can anyone help me with 20d or 11a? I’m having a thick morning, but don’t want anyone sent to the naughty corner on my behalf – especially as I haven’t heard that any of CS’s delicious cakes have made it there… Otherwise got there in spite of not knowing 18a, and making a silly assumption about part of 9a which slowed me up. Thank you setter, and BD.

    • Angel
      Posted July 26, 2014 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Poppy, at risk of prolonging my spell (or 11a) in the naughty corner – with or without cakes – the answer to 20d is a usual cruciverbal letter mix.

      • Kath
        Posted July 26, 2014 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        That was a sneaky hint for 11a! We’re allowed to say that something is an anagram even on Saturdays and Sundays.

        • Poppy
          Posted July 26, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

          Thank you so much, Angel and Kath, and of course now they are in I’m suitably embarrassed as they seem so obvious – d’oh! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

  11. Collywobbles
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Despite BD’s hint above I can’t see 10a, even though I’ve got all of the checking letters. The answer is undoubtably easy but would a kind soul put me out of my agony so that I can finish

    • Collywobbles
      Posted July 26, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Don’t worry folks, I’ve just had a ‘Gnomey moment’ and got it

  12. Collywobbles
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to BD for the hints and to Mr Ron for the puzzle which I found difficult at first but which opened up

  13. Kath
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    I think I’d go for 2* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment today.
    My main problem was getting the last half of 9a wrong but I’m not feeling too bad about that as so many others did the same.
    Thanks to Brian and Angel for thinking of me with 18a! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
    I couldn’t do 11a for far too long.
    I liked 14 and 23a and 7 and 13d. My favourite was 2d.
    With thanks to the setter and to BD – if you haven’t already scoffed all the cake in the cafe I think some is needed in the naughty corner.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    • Kath
      Posted July 26, 2014 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      PS I know that the picture hint for 7d is the “what” rather than the “who” but it’s definitely the wrong Jones – Paul would have been much better! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      • Posted July 26, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        I did start looking for a picture of Paul Jones, but Google threw up the delightful picture of Brian. I used to hate Paul Jones because he is older than me and looks younger, but one day, when I was queuing for his autograph, I realised that it is all makeup!. I first saw Paul at the Marquee back in about 1966. He and the rest of Manfred Mann brought the house down with their version of Bob Dylan’s infamous “With God on Our Side”.

        • Kath
          Posted July 26, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

          Thank you – they were brilliant and were my favourite group in the mid 60’s. We saw them at the Malvern Winter Gardens probably in ’65 or ’66. Paul Jones was wonderful, and still is.
          I think his version of “I Put a Spell on You” is the best but suspect that others may not agree!

        • Gunnersjon
          Posted July 26, 2014 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

          I used to feel the same about Paul jones as BD after he pushed me out of the way at the bar in klooks kleek in west hampstead 1965/66. We’d gone to see Brian augers steam packet.

  14. Vancouverbc
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    A steady march through a not very enjoyable puzzle. No outstanding clues so a 2*/2*. Weather’s back to scorchio so my walk to the beach will need to be punctuated with a beer. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  15. Dinosaur Pete
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful BD, thanks for that ( Manfred Mann). So many memories !
    I’m still around but often have to rely on your help as there are so many other things to do that crosswords tend to get pushed to the back and overlooked. I think one has to be a regular cruciverbalist (?) to be any good !
    However, I’ve filled in all the squares today (with electronic help as well) but there are one or two that I really don’t understand. I’ll try to catch the answers when they are published.

  16. Derek
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Pleasant Saturday puzzle.
    Faves : 10a, 20a, 26a, 2d, 8d & 16d.
    Lots of sun after yesterday’s thunder down here in F83!

  17. Heno
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. Started with 12a, finished with 2d. Ni hints needed for once. Favourites were 7&16d. A very nice puzzle, I struggled a bit with the top half, but it eventually fell into place. Was 2 */3* for me. A bit cloudy now in Central London.

  18. Carrie
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Hugely disappointed I didn’t make it to London to see Medea. There has apparently been a lightning strike and this there were/are no trains going through Stonehouse to Paddington. Instead I treated myself to a newspaper crossword and a big slice of Sachertorte as compensation.

    I struggled to get started and resorted to H&T sooner than I should have done. I think my little brain has been addled by the heat and sugar overload.

    Why does cricket have such funny names for things xxxxxxxxxxx?

    Was misled by 21a and 23a so they took a while

    Favourite was 21a

    Looked up mehitabel and now get archy and mehitabel references.

    Thank you setter and BD

    • crypticsue
      Posted July 26, 2014 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      Edited because you are straying into the realms of alternative clues/wrong answers.

      • Carrie
        Posted July 26, 2014 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        Oops, that’s me in the naughty corner too :(

        I’ve had cake but I would like lashings of ginger beer if there’s any going

        Seriously, apologies I did not realise that I was breaching rules and regs


        • crypticsue
          Posted July 26, 2014 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

          As BD says in the big red writing at the end of the hints, if in doubt leave it out.

          Sorry we finished the ginger beer at lunchtime.

        • Kitty
          Posted July 26, 2014 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

          Oh no. I haven’t (yet) done anything naughty, but I can join you in the naughty corner for a drink. I don’t have any ginger beer, but I do have wine :).

          Hope your brain has cooled down, and you’re not too dejected after a thwarted trip.

          • Carrie
            Posted July 27, 2014 at 6:40 am | Permalink

            Hi, a belated welcome to the naughty corner I only found your blog this morning. As there is no ginger beer, wine lovely

            I can get to Medea another time, spent a lovely afternoon with the crossword so okay all round

  19. Dawn
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Having spent all my working life for two different 19d, it would have been shameful not to have got it.

    Thanks to BD for the hints as ever and setter too.

    This was much easier for me than last Saturdays.

  20. Kitty
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    I really needed an easy Saturday crossie, today, and I was happy that I appeared to have my wish. Then … argh! It was true that I was doing it in spare bits and pieces of the day, but it took far longer than it should, and I’ve lost count of the times I thought “gah! – really should have got that quicker!” Ah, well, my brain is still fried (or more like steamed, I think: heat + humidity = frazzled Kitty). I take comfort, at least, from the fact that I did in the end complete without external help of any kind, even if I’m glad I didn’t set any timer.

    Thanks to Mr Ron for a puzzle where the only fault I could find was with myself, and to Big Dave for providing the hints that I always know I can turn to in extremis.

  21. Una
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    A very pleasant puzzle today.Thanks for the cricket hint !

  22. Kingsley
    Posted July 27, 2014 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Unlike some, I thought that there were some really clever clues.
    I finally realised what the answer to 21a was and at the same time realised that the “light diversion” which I had put in as my answer to 16d was wrong, and the two then became my favourite clues! (They deadheated, that’s why I can have two favourites http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif) I thought 5d and 8d were also pretty clever. Guessed the river in 3d (had never heard of it) and Googled it to confirm.
    Can someone explain the fifth and sixth letters in 17a, please?

    • Posted July 27, 2014 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      17a Cleaner with little energy’s given notice that needs to be worked out (7)
      Between the cleaner and the “little energy” put a notice – so the answer is that it’s a short word for a notice.

      • Kingsley
        Posted July 27, 2014 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        Thank you, so obvious, really. I thought they were an abbreviation for some sort of notice unknown to us “colonials”!

  23. NJoy
    Posted July 27, 2014 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Late again as always. I didn’t get to it until breakfast this morning. I really enjoyed this puzzle and glad to find I was not the only one who got held up by 9a. I liked 13d for the surface read and 16d. 2d took me longer than it should and only when I had all the checking letters – good clue. All in all a good start to the day. I can’t delay the gardening any longer so here I go before it gets too warm.

  24. Reggie
    Posted July 27, 2014 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Very straightforward nearly a straight fill in. Nevertheless very enjoyable. For me the 23a&d were what held me up a little. */*** I think.

  25. Bob
    Posted July 27, 2014 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Please can someone please assist
    3d got the river but not sure how it fits in with the clue
    6d completely baffled!
    23d no idea where it is leading.
    Otherwise finished but would have struggled without BD.

  26. Clive
    Posted July 28, 2014 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    The Bobby is a *** and the ring inside it is * = **** (as in *******-****)

    3 down baffles me too. I thought it might be ****, a river, and the port would be *****. But there doesn’t seem to be a River ****. Can you help please?

    • Posted July 28, 2014 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Clive

      Please read the instructions about what you can and cannot say about current prize puzzles before posting again – it’s in bold red letters at the bottom of the post. The river does exist, and a simple search on Google would have confirmed that.

  27. Freddie
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Cant get a Parisian Fiance’s chance at all. Can any1 help with some further clues?

    • Posted July 30, 2014 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Freddie

      Not without giving you the answer. Try reading my hint again – at least you should get the first two letters!