DT 27612 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27612 (Hints)

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The October Monthly Prize Puzzle is available 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.


1a    Male hanging around to enjoy carnival (5,4)
M(ale) followed by a hanging screen of tapestry around a three-letter verb meaning to enjoy

6a    Redecorate reception at university (2,2)
A reception or function followed by then usual word meaning at university

15a    Press tycoon employing any number, English without exception (3,4)
A general term for a press tycoon around the usual letter that represents any number and followed by E(nglish)

18a    Plumper game, mostly (7)
Drop the final letter (mostly) from a game which is usually, but not always, played by girls

23a    Make a song and dance about points, being old-fashioned (9)
A verb meaning to make a song and dance around the points of, say, a fork

25a    Contrasting, random pairs in age (9)
An anagram (random) of PAIRS inside an age or time

26a    Long period of time before end of season (5)
A period of time followed by the final letter (end) of [seaso]N

29a    US city architect meeting trouble in heart of Provence (9)
The surname of the architect responsible for designing many parts of London followed by a three-letter word meaning trouble or misfortune inside the middle two letters (heart) of [Pro]VE[nce]



1d    Cracker’s content, having married German chap (5)
You will usually find this inside a Christmas cracker – M(arried) followed by a typical German man’s name

3d    Up for a big band song (2,3,4)
Two definitions – the second being a song made famous by Glenn Miller

5d    Charge for warehousing gold, in part (and silver in reserve?) (7)
Two lots of wordplay for the price of one! – put the heraldic term for gold inside a part, alternatively put the chemical symbol for silver inside a verb meaning to reserve

7d    Unfolding US magazine when boozer kicks off? (7,4)
Miffipops should have no difficulty with this one! – a verb meaning unfolding followed by a US magazine

13d    Flier saying something that’s sharp (8,3)
A flier or leaflet followed by a saying or adage

17d    Broadcast of extremely theatrical variety? (7,1,1)
An anagram (broadcast) of the outer letters (extremely) of T[heatrica]L with VARIETY – the whole of this all-in-one clue provides the definition – I bet a few of you missed that one!

19d    Give up French article during check (7)
This verb meaning to give up doing something, like smoking, is derived by putting FR(ench) and the indefinite article inside a word meaning a check or curb

27d    What could be boring? Everything, it’s said (3)
This boring tool sounds like (it’s said) everything

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: excels+eeyore=excelsior



  1. George
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Yes, all went well until that 17d! I could kick myself now I see your hint! I had the first word but seemed totally blocked by the two single letters. Didn’t clue into the wordplay either. Heavens, I am a twit!


  2. stanXYZ
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    5d – My favourite – never seen this type of clue before!

  3. Graham
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    It’s wet & horrible today in the deep south so a crossy was just the ticket.No problems encountered & it was fairly easy to complete.Many thanks to the setter & B D for the review. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  4. Poppy
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Yes, I struggled with 17d as well, and I got one letter wrong in 23a, so the hints clarified that for me – thanks BD. Love the Glen Miller. And thank you to the setter.

    • Badger
      Posted October 4, 2014 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      23a for me was interesting. Like you I had a choice of two letters (right or wrong?) but the word for ‘points’ I had never heard of ! I expected the usual compass points….believe or not 13d was one of my last !
      I liked the two with single letter words-different!
      Thanks to setter & BD

      • Poppy
        Posted October 4, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        I’m grateful to know I wasn’t alone http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  5. Kitty
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I found this a nice gentle puzzle (mostly), which I savoured and solved fairly systematically corner-by-corner. So it was lucky for me that my problems were all in the final SE: it took me a while to get 19d, 23a, and 29a which was my last in. Couldn’t see it at all for ages, then I came back to it and saw it instantly. I did get 17d – helped rather than hindered by the single letters. Super clue, and today’s favourite. Thanks to the setter and to BD. Hope everyone’s having a lovely Saturday, whatever the weather may be.

  6. Rabbit Dave
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Read & write today. It was light but fun. Loved 5d. Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD.

    • stanXYZ
      Posted October 4, 2014 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Why is “Read & Write” acceptable ,,, whereas “I did it in nn.nn minutes” not acceptable?

      • Posted October 4, 2014 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        Because one person’s “Read & Write” might be 5 minutes and another’s might be 30 minutes. The reason for the “rule” is so that less able solvers are not intimidated by the solving times of the so-called experts.

        Now I have a question.

        This site is provided free to everyone. Why do you have to keep telling me how to run it? Second thoughts, don’t answer that, just take the site as it is or leave it altogether.

        • Tantalus
          Posted October 4, 2014 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

          5 or 30 min? Jeez, it takes Mrs T and I at least 30 minutes to find our spectacles.

          • Una
            Posted October 4, 2014 at 9:56 pm | Permalink


        • Collywobbles
          Posted October 5, 2014 at 10:49 am | Permalink


  7. Owdoo
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    An easier Saturday puzzle with a couple of answers containing two single letters which was an unusual feature I’d not seen before. No real problems anywhere but fun nonetheless. 1*/3*
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  8. jean-luc cheval
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Still stuck with 23a. Even with your help BD. My brain has just stopped working. Never mind. I never sent the grid back anyway. Apart from that, I found today’s quite easy… 15a. Liked the triplette in 5d. Thanks to the setter and BD for the hints.

    • Badger
      Posted October 4, 2014 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      see my comments above with Poppy.

      Don”t get led astray!

  9. Vorkorsigan
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Confusing picture to have with 29a, that definitely is not from the US city of the answer! Wrong music style!

    • Posted October 4, 2014 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      That’s because some idiot asked for pictures of one location and Google images gave him one of a different location! I’ll try again.

      • Vorkorsigan
        Posted October 4, 2014 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        Still, a nice reminder of a visit last year, and I prefer the music there! Thanks!

        • Posted October 4, 2014 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

          I can’t find a picture of the new headquarters of Sun Records, so I’ve added the Grand Ole Opry instead.

          • jean-luc cheval
            Posted October 4, 2014 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

            Or the poster of Robert Altman’s movie

          • Hilary
            Posted October 4, 2014 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

            Definitely a super treat took me back to my misspent youth (no I don’t mean the one I married).

  10. Caravaggio
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I thought that this was a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle, which brightened a damp and dismal morning in South Cheshire; fortunately, the sun has just made an appearance and the conditions at Bradwall Road will be perfect as Sandbach RUFC entertain Nuneaton this afternoon.

    • Caravaggio
      Posted October 4, 2014 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Sandbach 16 Nuneaton 15

  11. Brian
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Nice Saturday puzzle with not too many problems apart from 17d which I thought the 1 & 1 was actually a two letter word and I have learned a new word in 1a. Must admit I too missed the anagram in 17d but the wordplay worked anyway.
    BD seems very touchy today, bloggers beware!
    Thx to the setter and for the hints though not needed today.

    • SheilaP
      Posted October 4, 2014 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Brian, where have you been all your life if you’ve never heard of 1a?

      • Heno
        Posted October 4, 2014 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps Brian means the word for hanging?

        • SheilaP
          Posted October 4, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

          You’re probably right. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

          • Tantalus
            Posted October 4, 2014 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

            New one for us too.

            • Expat Chris
              Posted October 4, 2014 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

              That particular word for hanging generated a quite well know schoolboy joke.

      • Poppy
        Posted October 4, 2014 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        In my book, someone who gives up a whole chunk of their time – especially at a weekend – for free and simply to serve a global group of us who need help to improve their crossword skills, is worth their weight in pure gold, and deserving of all the bouquets we can send… http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

        • Jaydubs
          Posted October 4, 2014 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

          I quite agree, all the efforts are greatly appreciated.

        • Merusa
          Posted October 4, 2014 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

          Hear, hear!! Well said …

        • Tantalus
          Posted October 4, 2014 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

          Hear hear. We are all most grateful for his dedication, efforts and facetious simulation of our grey cells.

          Thank you from Boston. Mr & Mrs T

          • Collywobbles
            Posted October 5, 2014 at 10:53 am | Permalink

            Well said and thank you from the Languedoc

        • Dawn
          Posted October 5, 2014 at 11:03 am | Permalink

          Hear hear, BD you are allowed to be grumpy but please please please don’t give up on this site…you are brilliant with your clues and I can only thank you for your considerable efforts

  12. Heno
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, with a couple of tricky clues. All went well until the SE Corner. Needed the hint for 23a, then all fell into place. Favourite was 5d, originally I missed the double wordplay, so thanks to Big Dave for the explanation. Was 2*/3* for me.

  13. Kath
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t find this particularly straightforward. I’ve got three possible excuses – visitors arriving later so I’ve been cooking; I’ve had a very long phone call with a cousin; I’m being dim, which is probably the most likely.
    I knew the 1a hanging but had forgotten about it so needed the hint to explain my answer.
    I missed the word for press tycoon in 15a so needed the hint to understand that one too.
    Failure number three was 23a – was expecting the points to be points of the compass – oh dear!
    Although I got 17d (eventually) I completely missed the anagram bit of it.
    I enjoyed this one very much.
    I liked 1 and 16a and 5d. My favourite was 17d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    More cooking to do – NTSPP and the new MPP may just have to wait for a couple of days. Raining here.

  14. SheilaP
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable puzzle today which we finished without the need for hints. ( a fairly unusual occurrence). Thank you setter and BD. I think 3d might prove more difficult for younger people than it did for me. That one was a write in.

  15. Sweet William
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Thank you setter. An enjoyable puzzle. We have finished this having lunch in the car. It is pouring with rain here in N Norfolk. Next stop tea, cake and the papers ! Many thanks BD for your hints – especially 5d, which confirmed the answer.

  16. weekendwanda
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    For once had time to do the Crossword on date of publication. Liked it very much thank you. Got 1 a without understanding the wordplay. Knew the answer was right. Do know the “hanging” thanks to Shakespeare but just did not see it. Did not know the word for points and having found some compass points was completely misled, although got the answer.Favourite across 29 and down 7. Worked out 17d which was intriguing. We are all so different – but cannot understand anyone believing the last two letters were a word. Thanks setter – is it Cephas and BD. The rain has stopped so Sainsburys here I come.

  17. Sarah
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyed today’s puzzle. Think my brain works differently from everyone else’s cos I got 17d straightaway, but had to really exercise the little grey cells elsewhere. Nice to have a puzzle where I can do enough straight away to really help with the more tricky ones. Big Dave, I cannot believe that anyone can complain! This is such a good site and very helpful to those of us who are not walking dictionaries. You are much appreciated

  18. Vancouverbc
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Seems like a lot of cross words today. This was a tricky one for me and 17d took me longer than it should given I regard it as a 7, 2 answer. ***/***.

  19. Gwizz
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Well, I enjoyed today’s puzzle; it did not come easy for me but I got through it sans hints. Some nice clues to.make you think but I liked 15a most of all. No particular reason, it just appealed to me.
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  20. jean-luc cheval
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Finally got 23a. Someone could have at least told me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • crypticsue
      Posted October 4, 2014 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      But if they’d done that, they’d have been giving an alternative clue, and they’d have been sent to the naughty corner whereas now you’ll have to spend some time there thinking about the instructions in the big red box!

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted October 4, 2014 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        Oops I am sorry. Thank you crypticsue for putting me back in my place. Won’t do it again.

  21. Merusa
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    I had no problem with any of this puzzle today. I started rather late, no reason, just dilly dallying! Re 13a, I always thought that “flier” was a pilot or bird, etc., and a “flyer” was this. It seems they are interchangeable now, and the English language is rapidly losing its ability to differentiate by spelling. In America, endings for licence, practice, are all spelt the same for nouns and verbs; please say it isn’t so in England.

    Like SheilaP, 3d was a write in and my favourite. I loved “String of Pearls” too. I found 23a the most difficult and the last in. Thanks to setter for a lovely puzzle, and to BD for the review.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted October 4, 2014 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      It isn’t so in England! It’s still “c” for the noun for licence and practice, and (the easy way to remember the rule) advice! and “s” for the verb.

      • Rick
        Posted October 4, 2014 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        Sadly standards are slipping. Any football blog will throw up countless examples of ‘the defense’. It’s a slippery slope and no mistake.

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted October 4, 2014 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. And some might say a “slippy” slope.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

          • Tantalus
            Posted October 4, 2014 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

            Next, you will be saying Aluminum and specialty… Have a nice day.

            • Rick
              Posted October 4, 2014 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

              What exactly do you have against the letter i? It seems unfair to single it out.

            • Expat Chris
              Posted October 4, 2014 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

              We are slowly but surely taking over, Tantalus. Wisely, we sent in Mickey D’s first, to soften them up and kill the brain cells and the will to live. Then we introduced Bud Lite, guaranteed to destroy any vestige of taste. Now we are going after the very thing they hold most dear…correct English Language usage. Make no mistake about it, we will win this war with the help of imported American TV and those dreadful setters with the temerity to include Americanisms in their puzzles. In the words of the immortal Daleks, “We Will Exterminate You!” Party on, y’all!

              • Rabbit Dave
                Posted October 4, 2014 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

                Don’t forget the significant contribution of Starbuck’s to the destruction of taste.

                And can we expect the aforementioned aliens to have their name changed to Dalex?

                • Expat Chris
                  Posted October 5, 2014 at 12:01 am | Permalink

                  NOTHING is worse than what is passed off as coffee in the UK. Starbucks is a step up.

      • weekendwanda
        Posted October 5, 2014 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        Exactly so – yet when I had occasion yesterday to type Practising Certificate the spell checker tried to correct me.

  22. Louiseg
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Thanks again. Read your hints every Saturday – either to help me get the answer or understand the rationale behind what I think! This week 1a foxed me – I had the right answer but couldn’t see why. 23a was the last one for me. Liked 13d.

    • Posted October 4, 2014 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Louise G

  23. Little Dave
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Good evening fellow solvers. Wet and drab few hours in east Herts so an ideal time to shelter from leaf-clearing to tackle it listening to the mighty West Brom lose at Anfield. Still, sounds like we played quite well. Fairly straightforward today I thought. Got 17d before I worked out why. 25a was my favourite. Thanks to BD again and for the review. Off for a family meal tonight to celebrate Mrs LD’s birthday. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_heart.gif

    • Michael
      Posted October 4, 2014 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      I’m in East Herts too – and I used a miserable, wet afternoon to watch Gloucester play Leicester Tigers whilst multitasking by doing the DT Crossword. Thankfully, it wasn’t too taxing today because I kept on getting distracted by a very good match.

      Now for Aston Villa v Man City – it’s a tough life!

      Thanks to BD for all his good work! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  24. Expat Chris
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Having looked at the MPP first, I was 3D for something less formidable and this fit the bill nicely. Thanks to the setter and to BD for once again sharing precious weekend time with us to review the puzzle.

  25. Hilary
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Went very dark at lunchtime in East Suffolk then rained most of the afternoon which gave me the perfect excuse to switch on my super reading light and settle down. After debacle yesterday I found it much easier and even got 17d but cannot say anymore. Several giggles and all in all a throughly enjoyable Saturday crossword. Good thing I read it before posting as I spotted a split infinitive Ooops.

    • Merusa
      Posted October 4, 2014 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      Split infinitive? Shock, HORROR! I just fainted dead away!

      I wouldn’t worry about it, they are littered all over the place these days … books, newspapers, wherever.

  26. Una
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    17a held me up from an otherwise straightforward puzzle. Thanks BD and setter.

  27. Angel
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Fairly straightforward and enjoyable with a slight hiccup in the SW corner mainly caused by difficulty in solving 13d. ***/**. Thanks Mr. Ron for providing means of escape from the dreary weather and to Big Dave http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.giffor yet more of your helpful hints. I managed without but it’s always good to know they are there in case of need.

  28. Salty Dog
    Posted October 4, 2014 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Quite fun – maybe 2*/3.5* or so – with some nice clues, of which l can’t choose between 17d and 29a. My thanks to the setter, and to Big Dave for the hints.

  29. Banksie
    Posted October 5, 2014 at 4:37 am | Permalink


    Apologies for turning up late. Hope this doesn’t wake you up.

    2 comments from me:

    Brilliant video clue for 3d. Worth watching through. Esp Liked the violinists.

    Brilliant reply at comment 6 above. Reminded me of the occasion someone asked you ( for the second time) about double unchers. Laugh?

    I think you run the site very well. You won’t get any questions from me. No siree.

  30. Collywobbles
    Posted October 5, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Can some kind soul help with 22d. I’ve even got the checking letters and can’t see it.

    • crypticsue
      Posted October 5, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Definition is perfectly. Put an abbreviation for adult into a small child and split the result 2, 1, 1

      • Collywobbles
        Posted October 5, 2014 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        Many thanks CS