DT 27624 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27624 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27624 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club hosted by gnomethang

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Today is your last chance to enter the October Monthly Prize Puzzle.

Your blogging team will be strongly represented at the London convention today, so you will be in the hands of a much smaller team.  Many thanks to gnomethang who has volunteered to set the ball rolling before he too heads off for Wapping.  BD

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 Not even an Irishman goes to church before the start of Yule (6)
A short common Irishman’s name goes before an abbreviation of church and the first letter of Yule.

12a Some savant gardener breaking new ground (5-5)
A hidden word (indicated by ‘some’).

16a Vulgar riches seen in international club (12)
A charade of a word meaning vulgar or low-born and a synonym for riches.

20a Melting ice lolly that could be used as a bribe (5,5)
A transient form of melting snow followed by lolly or filthy lucre.

25a Invite to come over stream to get on (6)
A word for a stream or rill followed by on from the clue.


1d Pattern of work over, aimlessly talk about party (5-3)
Reverse an abbreviation of a musical work andthen place a party inside an anagram of TALK.
Polka Dot Dress

6d Infusion mixed at heel bar (6-3)
An anagram (mixed) of AT HEEL BAR

14d Second team in force for red-light district (4,5)
A word for second (in command) and then a team or side of sports players.

15d Doctor has consumed last of flat fish (8)
The last letter of flat inserted into a doctor that has specialised.

19d Intended to take flight (6)
A cryptic definition of one who runs away (in flight) to get married (is fianced/intended).

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: REEF+RAYS+ZING=REPHRASING

69 comments on “DT 27624 (Hints)

  1. Morning All! I’m heading up shortly to the Town of Ramsgate to join those that are already travelling from further afield. I’ll be able to help via my phone and if I get the app sorted may be able to add further hints. In the meantime please play nicely amongst yourselves and don’t go near the Naughty Step – I don’t do cake!

  2. One of the most horrible Saturday crosswords for a long time in my opinion.
    Not just that it tough but because so many of the clues were so poor.
    All done now except for 9d (why is there never a hint for the ones you can’t get :-) )
    The last three days crosswords have really depressed me.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    1. 9d Had a ripping time? What a nuisance! (5,4,2)
      The last three words are the definition and the start of the clue should put you in mind of a phrase where something has been ripped.
      I can’t see anything particularly poor in this puzzle.

      1. It’s good to see you make an appearance on a Saturday morning, Gnomey [as Mary would say]. I agree with you – I didn’t find this puzzle difficult and maybe Brian’s just having a bad patch because we’ve all been there…

            1. I wondered that too so I looked it up in the online Slang Dictionary, which says that is an instance of falling face forward, with one’s face striking the ground! The mind boggles as to what Gnomey was up to when solving 19d.

    2. I am inclined to agree with Brian on this 9d clue, it took me ages, and is very old fashioned, like something James Stewardhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif might say in a western.All the hints were for the easy ones I thought, as well.But I liked the puzzle , over all. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  3. A reasonable puzzle to brighten a very dull Saturday morning. Thanks to setter and to Gnomethang for the hints. The quick crossword pun is totally different in my paper today.

    1. I got this from online, bifield. I’ve checked that it is todays so maybe there was a last minute change.

  4. I thought this was reasonably straightforward though 7d took ages and was last in. The penny’s just dropped why it’s what it is. Probably my favourite. Thanks to the setter and I’ll look forward to the review.. and Monday of course!

    Just left Didcot in the dinning car behind class A4 “Bittern” en route for Bristol… this is THE place to do the Saturday Teleg :-)


    1. As you were everyone – I emailed bifield and I think that I had yet to update the quickie at the time and it remained default as WILL+BE+HERE+=SOON!

        1. I did’nt actually check the pun, I just saw the three answers were different to mine. Sorry for the confusion. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

  5. This is my kind of Saturday crossword. Not that difficult overall, but some clues challenging enough to make me ponder a while. I liked several…1D, 14D,19D and 20A, but 9D is my favorite. I needed all the checking letters so it was the last one in and raised a smile. Thanks to the setter and to Gnomey for the review. Hope y’all have a lovely time at the convention and looking forward to some pictures in due course.

    1. Hear hear. Thanks to Messers R and G… And to expat C for that southern drawl.

      Mrs T is stuck on 19 and 22 – help please.

  6. 1*/2.5*. Apart from 13a, 14d & 7d. which were the clues I liked best today and which required a modicum of thought, this was a read and write puzzle but still a reasonably enjoyable diversion from the dull weather here in London.

    Here’s hoping everyone who goes to the Cruciverbalist Convention today has an excellent and not too sober time.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gnomey.

  7. All finished apart from 7d …. Penny hasn’t dropped for me yet ! Don’t suppose anyone is allowed to give me a clue?!

    1. 7d Attempt to guard goal with it
      The definition is neatly disguised – the last two words. A word for goal inside (guarded by) a word for attempt. I was mislead as well initially.

  8. Thank you setter, I found that harder than the usual Saturday – and probably more so as we have family and grandchildren staying. I must admit that I didn’t find it much fun either. Well done all you folk who are in the one star camp. Many thanks Gnomethang for your hints – have a great time with all your colleagues, you all deserve a day out http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  9. Enjoyable to do on a rather damp Saturday. (I did this in my quickest time ever for a back page, much to my amazement – usually I rate them a difficulty star or two extra compared to everyone else. It has to be something about harmony with the way the setter thinks, rather than just the actual difficulty.)
    Many thanks to Gnomethang and the setter.

  10. I don’t think that this one was as tricky as I found it while I was doing it – either wrong wavelength or low marble count today.
    I just couldn’t see 9 or 19d for ages and neither of those two is difficult. Oh dear!
    I thought there were some good clues and enjoyed it.
    I liked 1 and 20a and 1 and 9d. My favourite was 14d.
    With thanks to today’s Mr Ron and to gnomey.
    I hope that everyone has fun today.

    Now then you lot in London – we know that the “Big Cats” are otherwise occupied today so unless all of us “Little Mice” start to get some photos pretty soon we’re going to cause trouble! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

    1. Just to let you know Kath, you were dead right. I had a flu jab yesterday, and last night I developed raging flu with a temp of 101F and aches and pains. Still under the weather so won’t manage the crossword, all I want is sleep. I should have listened to you!

      1. I have mine coming up, and if it’s anything like last year’s, I will have a burning swollen arm for a week! I don’t know what it is about the vaccine they’re using now, but it doesn’t like me at all.

      2. This is meant to be a reply to Merusa in case it ends up in the wrong place.
        Oh dear – poor you – I do hope that you feel better soon. Would a little http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif help?

  11. Very straightforward Saturday fun. Close to breaking my record time, but not quite.
    Thanks to both setter and gnomethang.

  12. This was an enjoyable romp for me today **/****. Thank you Mr. Ron and Pommers for parsing 7d for me. Liked 9d and 12a which took a while to ring a bell. Thanks BD also. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_razz.gif

  13. I thought this was a very reasonable puzzle today and we didn’t need the hints. The top right hand corner took longest and my favourite was 9 down. Thank you to the setter and to gnomethang. We’ve actually seen some sun this morning in Scarborough, but only a little peep in case we get over excited. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  14. I thought Hot and Up featured repeatedly today.. Obviously some disguised reference to the Ramsgate sesh today, which I almost went to. Looked at the train times this morning and got dispirited at the 3 hours it would take me to get there (and back).

    But I am already regretting not being with you all – hope you have a brilliant day.

    Favourite clues today were 1d ( pattern) and 18d ( I swayed..)

    Warm wishes to all in London

    Thanks setter and gnomethang

  15. I agree with Ex-Pat Chris, enough to make me think but not so difficult that it couldn’t be done eventually. The top left hand corner took me the longest today but I have enjoyed it overall. Best wishes to those in London! thanks to Gnomethang and the setter

  16. The definition is pen. It’s an anagram (new) of ROBIN without the last letter (dropping end off).

    1. Kath, you appear to have answered a question that no-one has asked yet http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      Bizarre, but I feel sure there must be some rational explanation!

    2. This was a reply to someone who asked for a hint for 21a but the original comment has gone AWOL – now I feel like a silly billy! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

      1. . . . and it doesn’t seem to work when I use the reply thingy – let’s see if it works now because I know that I pressed reply . . .

        1. The same thing happened to me with my comment 19 which was supposed to be a reply to your number 18.

        1. And now the question that you answered at 14:35 has been asked at 15:24!

          Can you tell me urgently please what tonight’s lottery numbers will be?

          P.S. and now I feel like a silly billy too because the earlier comment numbers have changed since I posted my comment at 15:14!

          1. Reminds me of this old joke:

            The bartender says “we don’t serve time-travellers here”. A time-traveller walks into a bar.

  17. Not the best of crosswords I have seen. A few iffy clues in there such as 4A and7D. My rating is 2.5*/ 1*. Thanks to gnomethang for the review.

  18. Very enjoyable, made more so by meeting some old friends, eg 15d.
    It has served us well, could it now be given a decent burial?
    Last in 19d, excellent clue.
    Many thanks to the setter, and to gnomethang for the review.

  19. Really pleased with myself since I finished this one without resorting to the hints. Haven’t done that for a long time.

  20. I thought this one was fairly straightforward. Interesting that there are a range of difficulties listed. 1*/4* by me.

    Some days I seem to be in a better crossword mood than others, perhaps!

  21. Last one in 2D, “Soldiers right to work outside”, but please can someone explain it to me, I get no satisfaction of finishing unless I understand the word play. Thanks

    1. Take the “to” from the clue and a two letter abbreviation for a work and put these around a single letter abbreviation for right to give another word for a group of soldiers.

  22. Thanks to the setter and to Gnomethang for the hints. I hope you are enjoying the Duke of Ramsgate, sadly I had tickets to watch the Gooners, so I couldn’t get there. Not much sparkle in today’s offering. Glad to see an album cover of the late Captain for 12a. Favourite was 20a, was 2*/2* for me.

  23. Er… If I may just pop in to say that this was almost a ‘read and write’ puzzle.. 7d was for me the best clue because you really did have to read it carefully or else you missed it!
    Thanks to Mr Ron and Gnomethang
    And lastly, oh Brian…!

  24. Life is looking up, loved it because I solved it without any help. Rounded off what has been a dodgy (nearly put 1a in) week for me crossword-wise but I can come out of the cupboard and put the tissues away now.
    Lovely day in Suffolk sorry to gloat.

  25. A jolly little puzzle; not hard but enjoyable – say 2*/3*. I suppose 1d is my favourite, but l liked 15d as well. Thanks to the setter, and to Gnomethang for the hints.

  26. I’m New here. Funnily enough 9d was my first answer. I think it’s ‘an age thing’. In today’s world the obvious answer would be unprintable, especially in the Telegraph!

  27. I’m new too , been peeking at your hints for a while now . Always feels like cheating though. My 82 year old mum is my “crossword queen” she is teaching me how to read the clues. I also got 9d quickley I’m 53 but then I often find the short-word-long-clues more difficult . Had a slap-head moment at 15d :)

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