DT 27606 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27606 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27606 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club hosted by Gazza

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Big Dave is having a well-earned Saturday morning off so you’re stuck with me today. 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.

Across Clues

1a Group of stars is able to set down beside church with Queen (6)
A verb meaning ‘is able to’ followed by one of the usual abbreviations for church and a single-letter abbreviation for queen.

11a Decorative ware from major look back by Institute of Contemporary Arts (8)
String together the abbreviation for major, the reversal (back) of an exclamation meaning look or behold and the abbreviation for the Institute of Contemporary Arts.

15a Beast’s tender arm — send for treatment by hospital (8)
Note that the definition here is the first two words. We want an anagram (for treatment) of ARM SEND following (by) H(ospital).

23a US city to endlessly acclaim (in their style) Scottish singer (8)
The US way of spelling a verb to acclaim or salute loses its last letter (endlessly) and that’s followed by a female Scottish singer.

26a Old maid perhaps about to sneak a look turning over Lady Chatterley’s Lover, say? (10)
To get the profession of Oliver Mellors start with what Old Maid is an example of. Now put together a preposition meaning about or concerning and a verb to sneak a look and reverse it all (turning over).

28a Husband aboard shabby boat (6)
Insert the abbreviation for husband into an adjective meaning shabby or gloomy.

Down Clues

2d Most powerful among historical Pharaohs (5)
This describes the most powerful or influential member of a group of people or animals. It’s hidden (among) in the clue.

3d Sergeant perhaps engaged in programme in open space at Waterloo? (9)
Waterloo here is the station, not the battlefield. The abbreviation for what a sergeant is an example of in the army goes inside (engaged in) a programme or syllabus.

17d Traces Farage endlessly wearing running clothes (8)
We have to remove both ends from the forename of Mr Farage, the UKIP leader, and insert what remains in running tops.

24d Hanger-on gets shelter by church (5)
A word for shelter or the sheltered side followed by one of the abbreviations for church.

If you’re stuck on any other clue then ask for a hint and you may be lucky.

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The Quick crossword pun: SOUP + OFFICIAL = SUPERFICIAL

60 comments on “DT 27606 (Hints)

  1. 2*/3*. Despite the clue involving an American spelling (clearly clued!) and a split infinitive, 23a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza (despite you remembering the dreaded red pop-up in BD’s absence!)

      1. Mea culpa. Gazza, you are of course perfectly correct! Remembering here is a gerund which is a nounal form of a verb and so requires a possessive pronoun.


    1. American spelling? If you mean the one I think you do, that’s not standard American spelling at all.

      1. I’m puzzled by your comment. In 23a, as described in Gazza’s hint, the first part of the answer is clued by removing the last letter from what I and evidently Gazza believe is the US spelling of the verb meaning acclaim. In the UK we (correctly :wink:) spell that word with a u.

        1. Ah… I thought you were talking about 4D! To be honest, 23A was so obvious I didn’t bother to parse it. Bad Expat!

  2. I found this tough for a Saturday. Scratch that – tough for any day. 11a was a new word for me, as was 14d, though that was easy enough to work out. I also gave up and used the hint for 3d.

    Thanks to Mr Ron Setter, and to Gazza. I’ll be interested to find out if others struggled of if I’m just having a dull day. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  3. Thank you setter, an enjoyable Saturday puzzle, perhaps more tricky than usual. Thanks Gazza for your hints. Took a while to solve – still distracted by the “banned subject” – I wonder if BD had any influence over Matt in the creation of todays cartoonhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  4. I have an answer for 11A that fits what I believe to be the definition, but if it’s correct, I don’t understand all of the word play. Bit trickier than the usual Saturday offering, but enjoyable. thanks to the setter, and to Gazza for the review.

    1. The abbreviation for a major followed by a two letter word meaning look reversed (back) followed by the abbreviation for the Institute of Contemporary Arts gives a type of decorative ware.

      1. Sunday evenings trapped with the parents watching Antiques Roadshow seems to have yielded t least something ;)

        1. Welcome to the blog, roger.

          22d Soldier set up toilet for primitive dwelling (5)
          Reverse (set up, in a down clue) the usual abbreviation for a US soldier and and an informal word for a toilet.

        2. 14d You need to string together 3 words. I, another word for seranade and another word for girl

          Sorry Gazza

        3. 14d I serenade girl – it will make things clear (9)
          This is a substance that can be used to clarify wine or beer. Put together I (from the clue), a verb to serenade and another word for girl.

            1. Welcome to the blog, Nan.
              Since this prize puzzle was from some weeks ago the full review has already been published so you can see all the answers and explanations here.

  5. Some days you read the clue, look at the grid and tap in the answer as fast as the iPad will take it. Today was one such day, proof of the restorative power of a very classy Valpolicella. I may repeat the experiment this evening!

    1. The answer is a musical. It comes from a two letter word meaning fine followed by the abbreviation for old and a two letter word for mum. Inside, you add a three letter word for a musical note.

  6. Straightforward in the most part for me – last in was 23a – although I should have thought of the singer earlier as she was definitely around when I was a follower of popular music!


  7. Another enjoyable puzzle for Saturday.

    many congrats to setter…if I read the runes correctly.

    Thanks Gazza, for hints but not needed today.

    1. I’ve only just got round to doing this one – yesterday (Saturday) was rather chaotic for too many reasons to go into here.
      I don’t get what everyone else seems to have done. Probably a bit late – don’t expect anyone will be reading this now. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

        1. Yes – thanks, I did eventually see that but I thought the implication was that we ought to know who the setter was.

  8. Very enjoyable and fairly straightforward. The only problem I had was trying to unpick 23a, couldn’t see the instructions in parenthesises. Thx to Gazza it now makes perfect sense.
    Thx to the setter and to Gazza.

  9. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle that I struggled with at first, but almost got there in the end. I had a wrong answer for 11a. Favourite was 14d. Was 3*/3* for me.

  10. Enjoyed this one..I think Gazza that 1a should be a one letter word for church and a two letter word for Queen (capital Q) Splitting hairs a it though!

    Thanks for tip on 26a which I got (having years ago read the book….) but couldn’t justify! I’d never heard of 11a but got the word and then looked it up in the dic.

    Liked 9a and 5d which was a very clever anagram.

    5a -example of never assume two words together are connected.
    Thank to setter.

        1. Yes as a 2-letter abbreviation, but you can’t pick individual letters out of multi-word abbreviations. For example you can’t use A to mean Air because of RAF or R to mean Repetitive because of RSI.

  11. At last..all finished..found it quite tricky and definitely needed some of the hints.

    Thanks setter and Gazzahttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  12. Quite obviously, I’ve been late in starting today’s puzzle but I’m pleased to say that I found it fairly straightforward – apart from one four-letter answer where I had two possible solutions with two checking letters in place. However, I know now that I’ve got the right answer. It’s been good to see you back on parade, Gazza, and thank you for the hints, although I didn’t need to use them.

  13. I do think the Saturday puzzles are getting harder, still, I enjoyed this very much. I liked 11a, 23a and 5d, but my fave was 5a, maybe because I liked the musical so much.
    Thank you setter and to Gazza for the review, not needed today!

  14. Nothing too taxing today 17d being my favourite. Thanks to The Setter and for the review of course. Now going to look at yesterday’s as I did not get a chance to look at it. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

  15. **/*** although I didn’t really like 19a. Liked 11a which I wrote in before spending 5 minutes working out why. 14d took me back to some fond autumn tasks to make excellent use of the windfall. The golf held me up today so just going to start Sunday’s puzzle. Many thanks to Gazza for the hints although not required today.

  16. Am I the only one who ends up doing Saturday’s puzzle in the early hours of Sunday morning? Agree this was a wee bit harder than usual. Got 26a but took ages to work out why until I stopped thinking of John Major’s old ladies cycling to church and remembered the alternative. Liked 23a and 5a. Last one in was 17d – must be getting tired!

  17. Just got round to doing this one – only a day late.
    Having got off to a very slow start I ended up not having too much trouble.
    I’ve never heard of 11a but it wasn’t too hard to work out from the clue and look up.
    I liked 26a and 5d.
    With thanks to the setter and to gazza.

  18. Been away so only just settling down. I think is harder than usual but I did know 11a, T hanks to Gazza for the much needed hints today

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