DT 27564 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27564 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27564 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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There’s a very special prize for this month’s 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    Knocked back excess fare (7)
A cryptic definition of having had (knocked back) too much (excess) food (fare)

10a    Take a chance, about to take a chance with beef (7)
A verb meaning to take a chance or gamble around a verb meaning to take a chance or dare

12a    Space  dust? (6)
Two definitions – space or emptiness and to collect dust with a Hoover – the question mark is supposed to indicate the questionability of the second definition!

15a    Share 50 per cent of religious studies (4)
This share, like the one for which the Co-op was famous, is the first half (50 per cent) of religious studies

21a    Blushing, having nothing to perform again (4)
The colour associated with blushing followed by O (nothing)

27a    With 99 more, it would bring a German up to the mark (7)
One hundred of these used to make a German mark – as the mark is no longer the currency of Germany this would have been better expressed as “With 99 more, it would have brought a German up to the mark”

28a    In principle guys will provide accommodation (8)
Inside a principle place some guys to get this building divided into dwellings for a number of families

29a    Hold on extremely carefully first, going for a ride (7)
A verb meaning to hold on preceded by (first) the outer letters (extremely) of C[arefull]Y


2d    Word for word, brave novel by little man (8)
An anagram (novel) of BRAVE followed by the shortened form of a boy’s name, like Bob Cratchit’s son in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

3d    Short headstrong Russian leader and svengali (8)
Most of (short) an adjective meaning headstrong followed by the surname of the current Russian leader

6d    Lift provided when company reveals disaster (6)
The reversal (lift in a down clue) of a two-letter word meaning provided or “in the event of” is followed by a two-letter word meaning when and CO(mpany)

8d    Porridge and young fish cook rapidly in pan (4-3)
A word meaning porridge or time in prison followed by some young salmon in their second year

11d    Display of flower power coming down? (9)
A cryptic definition of a place where a river (flower) descends rapidly

14d    Just as likely to happen literally in centre of Dallas (5-5)
The Roman numerals in the centre of [Da]LL[as]

18d    Drug habit, but not about to get supplement (8)
Start with a drug habit and drop (not) the C(irca), the Latin abbreviation for about

26d    Woman that is leaving the BBC (4)
Start with the nickname for the BBC and drop (leaving) the I.E. (that is / id est)

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: buy + Zante + hum = Byzantium

62 comments on “DT 27564 (Hints)

  1. Enjoyed today, finished before second cuppa. Especially pleased with 27a and remembering German currency.

  2. Not overly difficult but a pleasant solve on a Saturday morning. Thanks to compiler and to Big Dave for the hints.

  3. Thank you setter, I really enjoyed that. Not too easy – but clearly not all that hard if I could finish it ! Thanks BD for your very detailed hints. Family invasion tomorrow and off to Anglesey for a few days bucket and spade holiday……in the pouring rain apparently. Time to adjourn to the bar to do the puzzle maybe ?

  4. Enjoyed today’s crossword: enough to make me think but not too taxing. Needed Big Dave’s hint for 11D, perhaps I am too young?? My favourite clue was 8D. I also agree with BD’s comments re 27a. I had just said as much to my husband!

  5. Finished but tediously difficult. No favourite clue, most just plain drudge esp the top left.
    Thx to BD for the hints in explaining a couple of clues.

  6. I agree with everyone else – fairly straightforward but several to make you think. 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    Also agree with others about 27a.
    I was slow to get 11a and 11d. For a while thought I must have got something wrong as 15a looked a bit unlikely.
    I didn’t understand why my answer for 16a was right until I looked up bottom line in BRB.
    I liked 12a and 3 and 17d. My favourite was 29a and, at the risk of being predictable, 7d made me cry! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif
    With thanks to today’s setter and to BD.
    NTSPP later but garden first, although it now looks as if it’s about to rain.

  7. 1*/3*. I found this pretty much read and write apart from a couple in the NE corner and 15a which I couldn’t get at all. Nevertheless I thought it was very enjoyable with some amusing moments. 3d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD particularly for enlightenment on 15a.

  8. A quick solve last night . 6d and 12a last two in – and one or other of those was favourite. */** for me. After the last few days, perhaps Sunday’s will be a little more challenging?

    Hope the remnants of “our” tropical storm Bertha don’t spoil everyone’s Sunday!

  9. A pleasant solve, which took me a little longer than perhaps it should, and I peeked at BD’s hint for 15a. Had exactly the same thoughts as others re 27a, and one of the clues made me chuckle, but I won’t say which one… I liked Big Dave’s hint for 12a. Many thanks to him and also to the setter. **/*** for me, and I shall plump for 1a as favourite :).

  10. Can anybody give me some help with 19d…..I have various answers but cannot see which should fit.

    1. 19d Father and I needing passage for ship (7)
      The abbreviation for a religious father followed by the I from the clue and a passage into a city – York being an excellent example.

  11. I’m having a bad day. Can anyone give me a clue with 9a and 22a. I’ve some mojito drizzle cake for the naughty corner…….maybe if I hadn’t sampled it I would have managed to complete crossword. Not struggled like this in ages. Thanks as always to setter and BD.

    1. 9a – An expression meaning ‘that’s enough’ can also describe what you do in the first part of the clue.

      22a loud music + a regular boyfriend give you an adjective meaning ‘not to be moved’

  12. Good Morning
    Wow, whizzed through this one this morning. Certainly not always the case. Only resorted to Big Dave on 15a. Never heard of it.
    14d probably best clue.

  13. A Goldilocks puzzle for me – not too easy, not too hard, perfect Saturday morning fayre. Finally got 15a after ages trying to work in an old schooldays abbreviation (which I cannot write, for a subject I am not allowed to mention, for fear of BD’s wrath.) I may have said too much already – where’s Kath when you need her for back up?

  14. Finished without hints today, hurrah. Fav. was 8 down which I saw straight away, a rare occurrence I might add. Liked this puzzle very much, so thank you to the compiler and to BD. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  15. Well, after “complaining” that I had never won a prize after sending in every week for nearly 6 months –
    guess what- a smart notebook and pen as consolation prize in 27552 !! Take it all back now !
    thanks to BD for curing my mental blockage on 6d to finish today’s which looked hard at first but v enjoyable. Especially liked 3 down -v clever.

    1. Well done Badger, it is a rare day that we hear from someone who has actually won the prize http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    2. Congratulations.
      I won the Pad and Pen R/U prize about 3 years ago. It just arrived in the post. Complete surprise as I never check the winners. Still haven’t used the Pad – just leave it lying in view on my desk…Most expensive Pad I’ve ever bought in entry postage.
      Out of interest, do you think there is more chance of winning by Scan, Post or makes no difference?

      1. Thanks to cryptic sue and SC for responses -Yes I scan and send in an e mail as a saved Word document , or it would cost a fortune over time…
        Perhaps it would depend on how the DT pick the winners I.e. From a sack of paper copies or electronically as to whether an early or last minute submission is best !!

  16. Pretty straighforward, I thought. Made it more difficult by putting “habit” for 13a initially, but once that was corrected, mostly read and write. 1*/3* rating, favorite 27a. Thanks to compiler and BD.

  17. really thought 27a would be ******* because a german is a ***and there was a german singer that sang ** *** ********

    could have been ******* but now i know its not

    1. I put it in bold red capitals at the end of the post, and in a pop-up box – still some insist on posting incorrect answers. If you want to do that wait until Friday’s full review.

  18. ***/*** It seems as though I found this more difficult than most here and I did need a peek for help in understanding the rationale for some of the answers. Having said that, I quite enjoyed what to my mind is a well constructed puzzle with some well-disguised anagrams and misdirection. 14d was my favourite. 17d and 24a simultaneously last in (if that’s possible). I’ll need to look at both again later to understand why they’re right… for now the Sun is still out when it should be raining so I’m off to do a bit of hedge cutting. Many thanks to the setter and to BD.

  19. Thanks as ever to BD for the hints

    10a made me groan, not too old to have heard of 15a and 27a was a gift

  20. After the last few Saturday puzzles I thought today’s reverted to type. To me, much easier than those of the week as it always used to be!
    Almost a read and write; good fun though. 14d was my favourite.
    Thanks to setter and BD.

    1. Yes, I thought this easier that some of the last Saturday puzzles. A very pleasant solve.

  21. Always pleased when Saturday’s puzzle is not just a write-in and today’s presented some pause for thought.and d’oh moments, Thanks setter and BD. Liked 27a and 14d but not 15a. ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    1. It’s probably a good idea to click on “reply” rather than just write another comment – that way everything to do with one subject stays together and makes more sense to others reading it.

  22. I found this a little tricky in the NW corner for a Saturday puzzle, and I never did get 15a. Favourite was 14d, though it did take a bit of working out! Clever, clever. Thanks to setter and to BD for review.

  23. I would rate this 2*/3* and quite enjoyable. Thanks for the hints BD and to Mr. Ron for the puzzle

  24. Fairly straightforward this week. A few groan worthy answers.
    I won a book token many years ago, in collaboration with my father.
    Always felt I had not earned it by myself – until the other month, when, lo and behold, I won a pen by my own efforts! Very proud moment.

  25. Took me a while to get going (I will insist on starting in the NW corner) but once I had a few solved, the rest fell into place pretty quickly as is often the case. Enjoyable crossword with thanks to Mr Ron and BD **/***

  26. I enjoyed this very much, particularly as I had been up most of the night (work) and was really tired and yet managed to get quite a chunk of answers put in on my first pass. I have rarely finished these until recently when I have started “cheating” and looking at your hints. Contrary to most I didn’t like 27a. I rolled my eyes at 11d and my favourites were different from everyone else’s, 29a and particularly 24a. Again thanks to BD and the compiler. I found this very satisfying.

  27. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very nice puzzle with a few to make you think. Last in was 27a, also the Favourite, a real penny drop moment http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif
    Was 1*/4* for me.

  28. Mostly very straight forward, with a few clever little ones.Amoung the clues that stud out for me were 10a, 12a,15a and 27(the misleading grammar , as BD pointed out , held me up).Thanks to all concerned.

  29. After review I can’t see a bad clue here all very enjoyable – even 3d which looks at first a straight literal is actually a charade too, favourites, 10, 11(both) 27&29.
    I needed the BD hint for 15 though thanks to setter and BD hints.

  30. Whilst fairly straightforward I found NE and SW corners tricky. My last clue in was 27a mainly because I was convinced it ended IC for 99.
    A **/*** for me.

  31. Found this one very hard to progress once I’d solved the first six or so clues yesterday. So, as usual, slept on it and made better progress this morning.

    So for me this was difficult but enjoyable. Many thanks to BD for his hints, quite essential. Last one in was 7d just didn’t see it. Fav without a doubt was 14d had me groaning to Mrs G.

    Enjoy the weather.

  32. It would be interesting to know approximately how many entries there are to each Saturday Prize Cryptic Competition and how many of these are by E-mail !

    1. Hi Jay legs. Before it went to email entry it was estimated that there were about 5,000 entries per week. I don’t know how true this is. What I do know is that I got a runner up prize a few years ago after about 20 years of entering. A rather basic note pad and a ball point pen – materially not a lot but nice to get pulled out of the hat! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  33. Done on the train to Cambridge. All fairly tame save 15a which is a poor clue/answer in my view. Otherwise a typical Saturday distraction. Thanks to BD et al.

  34. Enjoyed this one, done on the Sunday morning, although I raised an eyebrow at 27a and share BD’s reservations about that clue. Fortunately I’m old enough to remember them.
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  35. Thank you, setter and BD. I enjoyed all of these, especially 13a and 11d. I just could not see 27a until I read the comments, otherwise I managed them all once the checking letters came. Thank you BD. This blog has made all the difference.

  36. Not one of the easiest but I’m only still struggling with 17d. Believe I’ve cracked it but can’t justify the 4th, 5th & 6th letters.

    1. Welcome to the blog Jay

      17d Criminal brutal in court (8)
      This is an anagram (criminal ) of BRUTAL IN – court is the definition, not part of the wordplay!

  37. A very late start for me as too much to do and an early evening kayaking session on the Nickomekl river with a perfect sky and mountains in the background. The puzzle was a 2*/4* for me but as always grateful to the setter and BD.

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