DT 27648 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27648 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27648 (Hints)

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Today is your last chance 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    Room in which cleaner accepts award (7)
The usual cleaner around an award

10a    Rising costs in Apartment No.1 overturned … (9)
IN followed by an apartment and the reversal (overturned, usually a down clue construct) of the No and I (Roman numeral for 1)

14a    Pipe  officer (12)
Two definitions – a type of pipe and the elected lay officer who traditionally smoked such a pipe

22a    Broomstick? (10)
Split as (5,5) this could indicate that a broomstick is the traditional means of transport for someone involved in this black art

25a    Maltreat said girl with title (9)
What sounds like (said) a young girl is followed by a title or name

26a    Remember this language? The French can (5)
This ancient language is derived from a charade of the feminine French definite article and a can or container

27a    Sack  supermarket worker (7)
A verb meaning to sack or dismiss is also someone who works on the till in a supermarket

28a    Flipping routine — A, B, C and so on — that’s for the birds (7)
The reversal (flipping) of a three-letter word for a routine followed by the types of musical notation of which A, B, C etc. are examples


1d    Grain that’s planted before in California (6)
A poetic word for before inside (planted in) CAL(ifornia)

2d    Warrior that runs a long way (6)
A female warrior and a very long South American river

3d    Stronger beer, mate? (6,4)
An adjective meaning stronger and a quantity of beer which is less than a pint gives how many a man describes his partner,

5d    Second course, perhaps, that will revive you (9)
Two definitions – a subsequent course of training and something that will revive you

7d    Agree company will get part that’s covered in broadcast (8)
CO(mpany) followed by what sounds like (broadcast) the part of a building that is covered in

13d    Finicky  individual (10)
Two definitions – an adjective meaning finicky or fussy and one meaning individual or specific

15d    Book  rest? (9)
Two more definitions! – a book that has been sold off cheaply by the publisher after sales have fallen off and the rest or what is left

20d    Arrests? They’ll attract attention (6)
Yet another double definition – a verb meaning arrests or hinders from growth and things done to attract attention

24d    Army cricket team’s vehicle (4)
The former name of The Army Reserve (it changed its name earlier this year, but most setters have failed to notice) followed by the number of players in a cricket team in Roman numerals

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The Quick Crossword pun: cash+Hugh+nuts=cashew nuts

78 comments on “DT 27648 (Hints)

  1. A first class puzzle and a bit on the easy side but lots of subtle clues and a few hard ones for me I particularly liked 24d and 14a, because I’ve got a pipe of that shape. Furthermore, I finished before publication ao, either I’m improving or it was too easy. Many thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints

  2. 2*/4*. What a relief after yesterday to find a puzzle that was absolutely my cup of tea! A nice variety of clues with good surface readings and many of commendable brevity. I can’t remember a back page cryptic with so many clues of four words or less.

    The interlinked 20d & 28a were my last ones in. For 6d I was pleased not to have forgotten “advanced” from a couple of days ago, and I needed the BRB to check why the obvious answer from the checking letters for 15d was correct.

    My favourite? 22a – you can’t get much briefer than that.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron for an extremely enjoyable puzzle and to BD.

  3. A horrid slog full of those dreadful double definitions and part anagrams. Finished but very little fun. Only decent clue I thought was 23d. Not a patch on yesterday’s brilliant puzzle.
    Thx to BD for the hints.

    1. I thought of you when writing in the solutions to three clues today http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif As for anagrams (partial or otherwise), when I scribbled all over my piece of paper ready for drafting the review, I noted how few anagrams there are today, which made me wonder if this is a Mysteron rather than a Cephas puzzle.

      1. Much apologies CS, I thought BD did the hints for the weekend puzzles.
        Not sure I should ask this but which clues?http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

        1. He does the hints – I do the review which appears on Friday! Unlike my weekend blog share friend, I like to bash out a draft review on the day of solving so that I can remember what I thought about the puzzle without too much effort.

          I am sure you can spot the clues I mean

  4. Nice puzzle – I slowed down a bit in SE. I liked the broomstick (22a) and the birds (29a), as well as the beer mate in 3d.

    Hadn’t really thought of it before but I think double definitions are probably also my least favourite clue – they can sometimes be very hard, typically when you simply don’t know a second definition (perhaps like 15d, though i was lucky here), or sometimes the definitions aren’t truly independent (perhaps like 17d, although i do like this one because it plays on the noun/verb thing with different pronunciations)

    many thanks stir and Big D.

  5. What a lovely traditional cryptic offering. No need for BRB or internet – just a lot of lateral thinking. Loved 22a. Many thanks to the compiler.

    1. You’ve said it all very eloquently, Rod, which makes me think that Brian must have got out of bed on the wrong side this morning.

        1. . . . and not even every Friday – sometimes there are too many religious clues or obscure words on Fridays.

  6. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle for me. No particular hold-ups – slow and steady won the race. Generally I find two (or three – let alone one) word clues challenging, but I managed today. I thought there were some very clever constructions, many already mentioned, but 10a hit the spot for me! Many thanks to all.

  7. Great challenge today, but why are the four letter answers so hard. I had answers for both 6d and 21a but didn’t know why! Thanks for the explanation of 7d as well.

  8. Wow – what a lovely crossword. I really enjoyed this one. 2* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    My last two answers were 1d (don’t know why) and 11a because I managed to convince myself that it was an anagram (move to) of A HOUSEBOAT. Oh dear!
    I know we’ve had it before but I’d forgotten the pipe bit of 14a and I didn’t know the book bit of 15d but BRB did.
    I did notice that there weren’t many anagrams – only three, I think.
    Too many good clues to pick out any special ones (was just about to say something different that would have sent me to the naughty corner) – maybe 18, 21 . . . . no, there are just too many to choose from.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    Stuff to do then on to NTSPP.

  9. Thank you setter – I really struggled with this. A late night, tired and emotional and brain in neutral, really didn’t help with all those double definitions. Got there in the end, but not really my favourite puzzle. Thanks BD for the hints – always important for checking answers.

  10. I didn’t especially enjoy this challenge and I thought some of the clues were rather weak. Not convinced by 27a unless I’m missing something? 22a does not work for me and I think 11a was again a tad poor. Favourite was 28a.

    1. Fairly easy crossword in general but I have to agree part of the SE corner was rather a drag. I also took longer than I should with 27a because I was not familiar with the first meaning and had to resort to my electronic brain. I also thought 28a was rather tricky. My favourite is 5a, pretty much the only type nowadays. Thanks for the excellent hints to confirm those answers that lack evidence to prove.

  11. Took a bit of getting going this morning, but really I quite enjoyed the answers when I managed to work them out. Not as easy for us as for some and haven’t heard of one of the meanings of 14 across, but perhaps I should have. Thank you to the setter whoever he is and to BD.

  12. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A super puzzle, very enjoyable. Stuck on 19d, any help would be much appreciated. Needed the hints for 28a & 20d. Favourites were 22&26a. Was 3*/4* for me.

    1. 19d – The definition is cloak. The Knight is a piece on a chessboard and follow that with half of little.

      1. Thanks Kath, got it now. Wouldn’t have got that, even though I knew the definition, and realised it was a chess Knight, just couldn’t make the connection.

        1. I was stuck on this one too, so thanks from me also. I can now email the completed puzzle in to go in the draw. Never been lucky, although my Dad (long gone) did win a consolation prize many years ago, a double pack of DT playing cards, which I still have, unused!

  13. Yesterday I slotted perfectly into today’s 21a, so it was a great relief that I needed less help with this puzzle. Thank you setter and thank you BD for timely hints. Mr P is on his way to Rutland so Poppy and I are holding the fort down south. Greetings to all.

  14. Thought Todays puzzle excellent. Little Dave mentions some clues being rather weak but shouldn’t this be expected in a non Toughie.
    Do not use aids and would like to know what a BRB is.
    Have been doing DT crossword since 1964 and discovery of this blog has enhanced my pleasure enormously.
    Thanks to Big Dave.

    1. Welcome Sylvia – discovering this blog is life transforming (well crossword-wise anyway). Hope we’ll hear from you again.

      The meaning of BRB can be found in the FAQ section – there’s a tab at the top of the blog – but as you are new I’ll tell you that it refers to a well-known Dictionary, which is a Big Red Book.

      1. And Mrs T did notice that you may be sent down for mentioning an answer (or was that SylviaH’s cunning plan?).

    2. Welcome from me too – be very careful – this blog is terribly addictive!
      I spend far too much time reading the comments which can sometimes be extremely funny. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    3. Welcome SylviaH,

      I might be sent to the Naughty Corner for this remark … but the drop-down menu from the FAQ tab only has:-
      1. Prize Puzzles
      2.Toughie Setters

      How are newcomers supposed to know where to go?

      Hope this link helps:-


      1. If you click on the ‘FAQ’ it brings up the whole list of questions people ask all the time.

        Oh… and Mr CS has decided the cake is far too good for sharing.

  15. What a delight! I must admit that I often find the Saturday offering too easy and sometimes a little dull, but not today :-)

    My favourite was 22A (with no reference to my 3D’s Mother…).

    It would make the clue longer, but brevity isn’t everything, so I’d like to suggest the addition of the word “xxxxxxxxx” to the start of the clue for 4D. What do you think?

    1. It would be a good idea, but as you are giving an alternative clue, I am afraid you’ve been edited.

      I am just about to go and ice a chocolate marble cake – I’ll see if Mr CS thinks we can spare a slice or two for the Naughty Corner.

      1. OK, fair point, I always forget that these puzzles are treated differently!

        Perhaps you might include this suggestion in your review which is published later?

        1. I might… I might not! Seriously though, does no-one ever read the big RED words in the ‘can’t be missed’ Big Red Box? Or even the message at the end of the hints that’s been there for years?

  16. would be nice to see a hint for 8d

    can see what it must be having got all the connecting answers, but the parsing (I think that is the correct term) escapes me

        1. Sorry that’s straying into disobeying the big red box territory again. (I’ve put a dot rather than a letter as otherwise it might get even more confusing!)

  17. */****. Delightful puzzle with a number of amusing answers. Liked 14a, 22a and 28a. Skiing starts this week although manufacturing the snow on Grouse Mountain. Thanks to the setter and BD for the review.

    1. Well said! Mrs T and I enjoyed the puzzle this morning but are still arguing about 17d, please can someone help prove me right.

  18. Mr CS has decreed that I’ve done enough crossword ‘stuff’ for one afternoon so I am going to go and read the paper. I trust that you will all obey the Big Red Box instructions while I’m gone.

  19. Struggled through this one – I can’t say I enjoyed it much.

    Onward and upward – better times are round the corner! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  20. An enjoyable solve today.

    Faves : 11a, 22a, 28a, 2d, 4d & 20d.

    Wet and windy again today but got the shopping done during a short dry period.

  21. I certainly didn’t find this easy by any means, but it was definitely very entertaining, I loved it. I thought 22a was brilliant and worth a good laugh, my fave, but it only won out by a whisker. Never knew the other meaning for 14a, hope I can remember it. Thanks to setter and to BD for the review.

  22. Not sure if you are aware but when I hover over the picture clues for 14a and 22a the answers come up on my Mac Book Air. I’ve never seen this before with your picture clues. Thanks for the great hints, i need the help!

  23. Goodness, I thought this was a bit r & w today. How different we all are! Didn’t really like 7d though 22a made me chuckle. Still, this was a pleasant end to a busy day, and it is satisfying to complete without resorting to hints.

  24. Ending the week a fairly happy antique person. I really enjoyed today with too many fave raves to list, greatly cheered by reading the blog; Kath is correct it is seriously addictive and some days a lot more fun that the crossword. Have relented and asked newsagent to deliver Sunday paper so new challenge (I hate the word) looms for tomorrow.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  25. Revised comments time! I hadn’t realised naming incorrect answers were verboten when there is a prize puzzle involved, my apologies.
    Anyway, this was a lot trickier thean the usual Saturday fare and I needed the help of the hints to sort out 19 and 20 down, both of which I was on a different planet as far as answers were concerned!
    Regardless, an excellent crossword; thanks to Mr Ron and BD for his hints.

    1. It is all made very clear in the Big Red Box which jiggles away for enough seconds for people to read it and take note…http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  26. Some of the clues were R+w, but only a few in my case.I liked 11a, 21a,and 27a.Thanks to the setter and BD.Any guesses as to the setter ?

  27. For some reason l found the NW corner difficult, although looking back on it l can’t really see why. Still, l got there in the end and would rate this at 3*/3*. I suppose 22a is my favourite. I wasn’t aware that 14a traditionally involved pipe-smoking, but we live and learn. My thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints.

  28. Very enjoyable and fairly ‘easy’ with the exception of a couple.

    Favourite 14a but so many to choose from

    Thank you setter and BD

  29. Rather late but busy yesterday and final remembrance service of the year this morning. Excellent puzzle. Some I thought I would never get but I did. I love the all in one clues. Kicked myself when some such as 22a came to me and I think I have seen it before. Last two in 28a and 20d. Just checking the answers I had in BRB because not entirely happy with them when I came upon a similar word to the one I was looking at and realised I was barking up the wrong tree. I wonder how many will spell 17d incorrectly. 3 favourites 21 and 22a and 3d.

  30. Didn’t get around to finishing until this morning. Nearly got caught out by 17d but for a mention of ‘plural’ above :D

    Otherwise some parts were easy, some harder, 19d took me longer than it should have and I had a groan when I got 22a :D


  31. Doing this a bit late as too much of my spare time recently has been taken up with a certain online computer game which released a big update last week!
    I found this puzzle a strange mixture of read and write clues and others such as 20d which caused a certain amount of head scratching. I’ve noticed that it is usually the double definitions which can hold me up as I tend to prefer the charade type of clues.
    Nevertheless, it all went in eventually.
    Thanks to both the setter and BD.

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