DT 27642 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27642 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27642 (Hints)

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

There’s still time to enter our November Prize Puzzle.
If you do enter, please read the instructions very carefully.

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    Field a defender primarily to eliminate top football team (4,6)
A field or domain followed by the A from the clue, the initial letter (primarily) of D[efender] and a verb meaning to eliminate or remove

6a    Little woman to take gamble with husband (4)
The shortened version of a woman’s name (one of the March sisters in Little Women) is a charade of a verb meaning to take a gamble and H(usband)

11a    Canal worker receiving benefit including one engaged by King George (9)
This Venetian Canal worker is derived from a slang phrase meaning receiving benefit (2,4) around (including) I (one) all inside the King George’s regnal cipher

14a    Worker calling round with agitated gesture (4-8)
A four-letter worker and a verb meaning calling around W(ith)

18a    Spend childhood accommodating grandparent’s first whim (7,5)
A verb meaning to spend or devote and a word meaning childhood around the initial letter (first) of G[randparent]

21a    Like some poems of Lamb about, say, cold (7)
The pen name used by Charles Lamb, yes the one that came up very recently, around the Latin abbreviation for “say / for example” and followed by C(old)

26a    Drop  charge (4)
Two definitions – a drop or small amount of, say, soda and a verb meaning to charge or hurtle

27a    American road not willing to go round river (10)
The state of not having left a will around R(iver)


1d    Modify wording of communist decree (6)
An adjective meaning communist or left-wing followed by a decree

4d    Venetian ruler got a rise hoarding diamonds with ruthless attitude (3-3-3)
The title of the chief magistrate in republican Venice and Genoa followed by the reversal (rise in a down clue) of GOT A around D(iamonds)

5d    Archery shot a bad one missing first place (5)
A bad person without (missing) his initial letter (first place)

7d    Single brief medical upset at centre of large-scale outbreak (8)
I (single) and the shortened form (brief) of MED[ical] reversed (upset) inside an adjective meaning large-scale

8d    Historic buildings, etc — one in Russia loses millions (8)
Start with an historic building in St Petersburg, Russia and then drop (losing) the M(illions)

16d    Brilliant to splash out on papers, quids in (8)
A verb meaning to splash out one’s money is followed by (on in a down clue) personal papers (2) and then the symbol for pounds sterling (quids) is inserted

17d    A cry for help about ultimate in dangerous material (8)
The A from the clue and an internationally recognised cry for help (3) around an adjective meaning ultimate or foremost – I hope you didn’t waste too much time trying the fit the final (ultimate) letter of [dangerous]S into the wordplay!

22d    Gormless Scottish mountain dog (5)
Start with one of a range of Scottish mountains and drop (-less) the GORM bit

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: Sighed+bored=sideboard

67 comments on “DT 27642 (Hints)

  1. Well, I’ve finished this puzzle but I’ve had one of those days where I’ve put in answers without knowing exactly why and, for that reason, I’m grateful to Dave for the hints – particularly 16d – and the explanations.

  2. 3*/4*. I really enjoyed the variety of clues and the challenge of this excellent puzzle. I had quite a few “bung it in” clues today, but I managed eventually to unravel the wordplay for all of them. It helped that the type of Lamb referred to in 21a occured a few days ago.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD whose help I didn’t need today.

  3. Finished but wasn’t sure of the parsing of 22d (gormless..) or 7d (outbreak). So Many thanks Dave for the enlightenment. Last one in was 14a, hadn’t seen the “with”. Took me a while to get the first 4 letters of 18a as well.

    The american road (27a) made me smile as did2d and 17d when the penny dropped.

    many thanks setter & BD

    1. Must admit I also couldn’t parse 22d but Mrs B saw it straightaway. Thought it was dead clever!

      1. Brian when 22d appeared before as Gormless mountain dog in April DT 27463 you queried other clues but not this?

          1. My friend thought it was a good clue too, but her 22d was more than a little offended at the inference that she might be gormless http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  4. Yay! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif Finally I’ve managed to find time to do a crossword on its publication day :). This was done while stuffing down a much bigger breakfast than usual, and it was a most pleasant way to wake up. The SW was the last to yield, and I was stuck for a while on 17d for the very reason BD identified (and because at the time I was lacking checkers from 21a and 26a). Many of the answers slotted in before I’d worked out why. I wouldn’t have managed 21a but for its recent appearance, so I’m happy to have that new knowledge further cemented in my little brain. I can’t pick any real stand-out favourites, but it was all very enjoyable.

    Thanks to the setter and BD. Happy Caturday to all! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    1. Well done Kitty! It’s so encouraging isn’t it? And this site is brilliant for help and learning. Hope the rest of your day is as good…

      1. Oh, thanks Poppy :). That’s not actually what I meant: just that I’ve been really busy of late so haven’t had much time for crosswords. Thanks to this site, I’m now equal to most backpagers, and can tackle harder ones too if I put some time and effort in. Today is indeed looking bright for me – hope it is for you too.

  5. Certainly not the usual Saturday one-banana task and thus most enjoyable. Thanks Mysteron and BD particularly for your hint to 26a which prevented me from bunging in wrong word. East side definitely more straightforward than West. Tried to use wrong character in 19d.
    Fav was 18a. ***/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  6. Apart from a silly blunder for 21a which meant I was totally adrift for 22d, I was delighted to finish. Thought 13a a neat clue which foxed me for a while. Thanks to setter and BD.

      1. How lovely to hear from you Mary – we’ve all missed you! Do hope you had a really good time away. And if the latest production of the RSC’s version of Loves Labours Lost goes on tour and comes anywhere near you I heartily recommend it – wonderful set and music and lighting, plus good acting and a killer ending! Take care of yourself. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  7. Bit of a slog today I thought. One of those you just have to keep chipping away at with no great Eureka moments.
    Got an answer for 13a which parses the first part of the clue but France or Desert? Can’t see them at all.
    Thx for explaining the childhood in 18a, obvious when it is explained!
    Thx to all.

    1. No wonder you are struggling.

      It’s a five letter word at the start of the wordplay for 1 across.

      In 13a, it’s the French for “to be” inside a verb meaning to desert, possibly a sinking ship!

  8. Enjoyable after a slowish start to get away. No particular favourite but thanks of course to the usual suspects. Off to hit some golf balls.

  9. Funny how it goes. I had no problems today apart from parsing 21A (must have been AWOL that day or not paying attention) and I actually thought it was a bit easier than most Saturday offerings. Just on wavelength, I guess. Thanks to the setter and to BD for the review.

  10. 17d took a while and was my last one in. I did exactly what BD hoped we didn’t!
    Rest of it was fine. Not many chuckles but 27a and 22d raised a smile.
    Thanks to both setter and BD. 2*/2* for me today.

  11. Really good fun today and after a slow start we finished with a flourish. I liked 21 across and we would have been a bit quicker with 9 down if we had spelt another answer correctly. Thank you setter and BD on a rather miserable wet afternoon.

    1. Hi SheilaP – I’m not a ‘weekender’ (time to catch up on the ‘real’ world) but hoping that you caught up with my late night response yesterday?

      No-one will complain about today’s NTSPP, surely? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

      1. Hi Jane, yes, I did catch up with your response this morning. You do keep late hours don’t you? I think the only clues that really rather annoy me, are those where the setter has looked up the most archaic and outdated meaning for the answer to his clue, which nobody has ever heard of, and then everyone tells you that it’s in the BRB as one of the 15 definitions of the word. There, rant over. Have a nice rest of the weekend.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

        1. I know what you mean but, whenever that happens, I always imagine the setter facing an almost completed grid with a few remaining ‘gaps’ where the checking letters refuse to fit into anything other than ‘definition 15’ in the BRB! I could, of course, be completely wrong but it makes them seem a bit more human somehow!

          As for the BRB – I have several times pondered about buying a copy but have yet to find any accord between reviewers as to which edition is the ‘best’. Guess I’ll just stick with my trusty ancient copy of the OED and Mr. Google for now!

  12. Hi all signing in today to prove I’m not a myth!!! I didn’t find this too easy but manged to finish without help although it took me a while to see some of them! I thought 21 a was an awful clue we don’t pronounce it anything like that here in West Wales!! Good to be back although don’t know how long for with state of our internet! Playing in memorial service in morning and then off to pick up new dog from rescue site, he is cross beagle and a yr old so life will be lively for a while!, I see Kath has taken up a bloggers chair I am very impressed well done Kath proud of you :-)

    1. Good to hear from you, Mary. I hope you’re watching (and supporting) Wales – it’s a very entertaining match. 21-21 at half-time.

    2. Welcome back Mary, and I’m so glad you’re getting another rescue. There are so many out there looking for forever homes.

      1. We’re keeping our powder dry for next year’s World Cup, Mary. We don’t want to reveal all our cunning moves in advance. :D

        1. France seems to be doing all right v Fiji. However Toulon penalized by so many absent international players lost at castres.

    3. Well – hello Mary! SO nice to meet you at long last, although your blogging reputation precedes you courtesy of Kath et al.
      Looks as though you could possibly be my nearest DT neighbour – yet to discover a fellow ‘Anglesonian’. Care to divulge your whereabouts in west Wales?

      Hope that Hanni registers in with you as well – we’ve been helping Kath to dilute the ‘serious’ mob in your absence. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      1. Hi Mary. It’s lovely to ‘meet’ you and to know you’re not a myth!
        I hope the memorial service goes well tomorrow.
        And good luck with the new puppy. We’ve never had any experience with rescue dogs. Though there is a Saint from the LBDR I’m not allowed.

    4. Well – hello again Mary, and about time too if you don’t mind my saying so!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif
      Can’t believe so much time has been wasted on Rugby/Football on your first day back – don’t worry – I’ll duck now.
      Good luck with the playing tomorrow at the memorial service and with the new rescue pup – really look forward to hearing about him – beagle cross what?
      Do hope that the internet keeps going.

  13. Great fun, l loved it. I did need the hint for 1a, but when I got the answer I realised that I had heard of the team. Fave was 22d, pretty clever. Thank you setter, and thanks to BD helping me “get” 1a.

  14. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Big Dave for the hints. My first completion since Tuesday, hooray. Found this tricky in places, but very enjoyable. Some super clues. Favourites were 1&15a. Penultimate was 21a, last in was 22d. Was 3*/3* for me.

  15. I thought today’s puzzle was a bit of a slog to be honest. No real problems, 22d was my favourite.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and BD for the hints.

    1. I agree with Gwizz!! I also got caught by 17d and had a wrong answer for 27a until I came to do the down clues. Not my favourite crossword this. I’m afraid. Thanks BD and the setter

  16. If you have solved this one and fancy solving a great puzzle, I highly recommend today’s NTSPP.

    1. Great advice, Sue. If anything the NTSPP is even better than today’s cryptic, and that’s saying something!

    2. Thanks for the pointer, was about to take pooches out but the fireworks too much, i’ll take them later

  17. 2.5*/4*. Great fun and well worth persevering. Loved 1a and 4d. My better half won’t like the Liverpool result so dinner’s going to be my task later today. Thanks to the setter and BD for the review.

  18. Always a very good crossword on Saturdays. Even though I am still stuck with 21a, I don’t think there is one single clue I didn’t like. Just perfect straightforward word building. Needed BD’s help for 22d I didn’t know that race of dogs but I remember a great skiing trip to Aviemore. So thanks a lot to the setter and to BD for the review

    1. I well remember my first skiing trip to Aviemore – when the resort was in its infancy. Broke both knee-caps and had to be carted off to the nearest hospital (a maternity unit some 40 odd miles away!). On the upside – the skiing instructor who accompanied me was the height of my teenage dreams. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_heart.gif

  19. Thank you setter – not straight forward at all for me and needed to check your hints BD to make sure that I had some answers correct. Many thanks for the hints as always.

  20. Thank you BD from one of your most devoted fans, although I did not need your help today my confidence as gone up by leaps and bounds since I discovered you. Perhaps my antique brain is unlike the rest of you but several of the answers that you had trouble with popped into the grid ‘Just like that. Fave rave today was 14a because my OH does a lot of that.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

  21. A very good puzzle, not too easy and I accepted the hint for the canal workers and the road. Thanks to the setter and BD.4d was my favourite.

  22. Another vote for 22d. I was stuck for ages on 2d because there is an alternative almost plausible answer for 12a if you don’t have 2d in it works perfectly with crater. I eventually realised that my 12a had to be wrong and then saw 2d but I’m still unsure how it is planted in a bed. I don’t know if the setter intended this diversion, but if they did it is very wicked.

    1. Planted in the sea bed – feeling pretty safe here – I don’t think there’s much, if anything wrong with that, and anyway it’s too late to be sent to the naughty corner.

  23. Very late here today. We’re having a weekend away in the New Forest – somewhere not too far from home but also a place that neither of us has ever visited.
    Woke up – pouring with rain, and I mean pouring – cats and dogs and a howling gale too. Went and had breakfast.
    After breakfast it was still raining so I did the crossword. Not too many problems apart from explaining the first letter of the second word of 14a – stupid!!
    I bunged 1a in because it’s a team I’ve heard of – worked out why afterwards.
    I knew 9d was an anagram but took a while to remember the words that I was after.
    I liked 6 and 12a and 9d. My favourite was 22d.
    With thanks to the setter and to BD.
    NTSPP will wait until we get home tomorrow, but I’m looking forward to it – love gazza’s crosswords. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    1. I can promise that you’ll love it, Kath. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

      So sorry to hear about the weather in the NF – it’s such a lovely place to visit but really benefits from the odd shaft of sunlight through the trees. Hopefully you still enjoyed a bit of R&R and the chance to recover from both the sneezes and the excesses of the London partying!

  24. Found it harder today -without BD hints would nt have made it – thanks BD !

    Still it was my birthday and I also watched the E v NZ match in the pub….too much kicking away -no change Mr Lancaster…

    1. Probably nothing, Hanni. I reckon we just all get to take a turn – I was getting two ‘moderations’ a day until recently.

      Trying to stay below the radar. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  25. if possible would like to comment on today’s quick xword
    was stunned to see that I had one error
    checking this am I see that Telegraph answer to 3d is “engineer”- I had “engender”
    clue was “bring about”
    I think my answer was more apt-both fitted in 100%
    hope the compiler reads this


    Disgruntled Xword Addict

  26. Failed to see why ‘**’ represents ‘ambassador’. Does it refer to the person or the car.Anyone help ?

Comments are closed.