DT 27666 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27666 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27666 (Hints)

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It’s nearly Christmas and it’s time for our December Prize Puzzle!

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    Driving manoeuvre, say doing a U-turn, with Gabriel getting clipped (4,6)
Reverse (doing a U-turn) the Latin abbreviation for say or for example and follow it with the type of spiritual being of which Gabriel is an example, without his final letter (getting clipped)

9a    Mafioso trashed Rome around summer time (7)
An anagram (trashed) of ROME around the UK’s summer time

10a    Match official testimonial with no charge taken (7)
Start with a testimonial and drop the abbreviation for N(o) C(harge)

14a    She wrote ‘A Transatlantic Decade’ (6)
The A from the clue, an abbreviation for a transatlantic country and the number of years in a decade

15a    Aid to understanding foreign films being nuanced about it (8)
An adjective meaning being nuanced around IT

19a    Area west of New South Wales the Queen’s come back to (6)
A(rea) followed by the abbreviation for New South Wales and the Queen’s regnal cipher

22a    Amount of business done by electronics company is sweet (5,8)
This could be the amount of business done by a US electronics company

27a    Keep protection with cutting through dreary escarpment (10)
If the clue said “protection for a keep” it would be a lot easier! – W(ith) inside (cutting through) an adjective meaning dreary then an escarpment


1d    Like pheasant, e.g. male having bright covering (4)
M(ale) inside an adjective meaning bright (at least that’s what it used to mean!)

2d    A Roman assassin moving right up in a tree (7)
Start with the A from the clue and the name of one of those who assassinated Julius Caesar then move the R(ight) up one position

3d    Dairy product, possible output of goat etc, it’s said to make you (7,6)
An anagram (possible output) of GOAT ETC followed by a word said to a photographer to make you smile – surely there’s a word missing from this clue

5d    A bloomer to stick around Eastern princess (8)
A three-letter verb meaning to stick or glue around E(astern) and Hindu princess (or more accurately a Hindu queen, the wife of a raja)

8d    Show passion and skill embracing wife and lover (10)
A six-letter verb meaning to show passion and a skill around (embracing) W(ife)

13d    Being madly made, does it rise when sheep’s angry? (10)
Split as (3’1,6) this could be something that rises when a male sheep is angry

21d    A Big Apple entertainment failing to start, in a haphazard way (6)
The A from the clue followed by the abbreviation for the city known as the Big Apple and some entertainment without its initial letter (failing to start)

23d    One’s sore, getting left out of fashion (4)
Drop (out) L(eft) from a fashion

The Crossword Club is now open.

The blog gets a mention in the Inquisitor section of today’s Independent.  Many thanks to John “Elgar” Henderson.

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The Quick Crossword pun: barb+accuse=barbecues

42 comments on “DT 27666 (Hints)

  1. Quite enjoyable. **/*** for me. Last in 2d after a quick Google to check what must have been the answer. Agree word missing in 3d, made me smile! Thanks to all, have a nice day.

  2. A gentle Saturday puzzle. I think that 9a, 14a and 19a are nice clues. 16d last in for me as this is not a word I come across very often. Now time to get out into the garden and make the most of this crisp bright day. Thanks to setter and Big Dave.

  3. Thank you for today’s hints, Dave, because, whilst I’d put in the correct answer for 1a, I didn’t fully understand why and it was my failure to correctly identify Gabriel’s standing in the celestial hierarchy… Otherwise, like Ian and Xcoder above, I thought that it was a pleasant puzzle for a Saturday morning and didn’t present any problems.

  4. R&W for me but good fun. BD, the missing word in 3d does appear in the paper.

    2d & 16d were new words for me but easily derivable from the clues. 13d was my favourite today.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

    1. PS: BD, there’s a typo in your heading. It says 27660 not 27666. The devil has been at work.

  5. Noticed the missing word too. A nice puzzle, last ones info me were 27a (i like “keep protection with”) and 16d (brag about amateur) which was a word I had to check.

    I like 1a (driving manoeuvre), 12a (organised worker) with a lovely anagram, 19a, where I considered South Australia, 11d (the party crasher) for another lovely anagram and 8d again nice surface. Elegant clues throughout without being too hard made this very enjoyable.

    I also like 13d, the angry sheep.

    Many thanks setter and Big Dave

  6. Great Saturday puzzle as usual. Last one in was 16d. Took me a while. Thanks to BD and setter and a good weekend to you all.

  7. Pretty much a R & W here too but some good clues in there. Shouldn’t 13d be a word beginning with b that sounds like madly’ instead of ‘madly made’. My online version said madly??? Thanks to BD and setter 1.5* / 3*

  8. When I first looked at this I thought it might be out to make trouble but it didn’t really, although it took me a while to get started.
    I’m glad that BD picked 10a as one to give a hint for – I got into a muddle explaining why it was what it was – not sure that I knew the abbreviation N.C.
    27a took me ages to understand and 13d was my last answer – and it made me laugh.
    2d and 5d might cause a spot of bother for non-gardeners – well, certainly 2d although most people will know 5d. ?Brian . . .
    I liked 14 and 25a and 2 and 5d. My favourite was 13d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and BD. If it’s time for the December prize puzzle I’m sure it should be snowing . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  9. One of those puzzles that you finish but with almost no satisfaction.
    A couple of really poor clues in 27a (the keep protection bit was good but the rest was pathetic) and 26a. The only outstanding clue i thought was 14a.
    All in all a bit of a slog.
    Thx to all.

    1. Now, Brian 27a wasn’t ‘pathetic’ I had all the available letters, then suddenly the word leapt off the page! I had fun working working out how it was derived. I was travelling North up th M5/M6 -God the roadworks-wife driving whilst I filled in a photocopy & had to wait till I got home to look up 2d in my Decoder – never heard of it! 1d -nearly went wrong on last letter of this -subtle.
      Thanks to cooler & BD

  10. Thank you setter, not too hard. New word at 2d. Thanks for the hints BD – particularly the explanation of 1a. Bunged it in and you hint clarified matters.

  11. Feeling very satisfied as almost all of it went in nice and easily this morning (close to my record time – yay!), then the end bit took a little pushing before slotting into place. My last entry was 2d, which I worked out then looked up. I noticed the missing smile but it caused no problems, unlike when smiles are missing from real life. Favourite has to be 13d. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  12. Very enjoyable and not too difficult. Thanks BD for confirming my solution to 2d. I knew that had to be correct although Wikipedia informed me that it is a plant. However, it showed a picture of a large tall plant so I allowed for ‘poetic licence’ on the part of the setter.

    Sunny but cold in N Norfolk.

  13. Just enough to chew on to take it into 2* time for me, with 16d the last to yield. 13d a clear favourite.
    Glad to see the aliens have brought the real Brian back to us.

  14. Up early today to greet the rain. Very enjoyable puzzle and not many hold ups. Favourites were 1 and 22a, 11 and 13d. 2d is well known in these parts. Thanks to the setter and BD for the review.

  15. Well, I really liked today’s crossword and my favourite was 22across. 2d put up a bit of a fight, but we whipped it into shape, though it was a new word for me. Thank you to the Saturday setter and to BD.

  16. Finished it all, I think, but do not fully understand my answer to 25a. Can anybody explain it to me?

    1. the usual abbreviations for Time and Foreign Office, inserted into a 4 letter word for riot; as in having fun . The answer meaning to move at speed.
      13d my fav today

  17. Rather more use of the thinking-cap than some Saturdays so much enjoyed. Thanks to Mysteron. Can’t believe I needed BD to parse 1a for me and also to confirm 2d. Anyway thanks for that. Particularly liked 13d and 18d. ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif. Now back to dreaded Christmas card writing – season of goodwill?! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  18. Hippy – AJS the initials of part of the clue are in the middle of a sort of riot. Hope that is not too much information. So interesting we are all different. 2d was no problem – did none of you sing the song as schoolchildren? No real problems. Some I got then worked out why! I had no problem with the second word of 3d as I have the paper copy which had the full clue. The first word took longer – a well hidden anagram I thought. The answer in 16d came from somewhere in the back of the brain. Was not sure of the parsing of 18d but have just got it as I type this! Thanks to setter and BD . Probably 22a and 11d are my favourites but difficult to choose.

  19. I thought this was great fun, loved it! New word at 2d; no, weekendwanda, I don’t know the song. I needed help to understand 1a, thanks BD. Fave was 13d with 27a as runner up. Have a good weekend all. Thanks to setter and BD.

  20. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, favourite was 22a, very original. Last in was 2d. Was 2*/3* for me.

  21. A good puzzle this one with some rather nice clues. I don’t know whether it was simply the way my brain was working today – or rather wasn’t working, but I thought this was far more of a challenge than many back back puzzles have been recently. I particularly liked clues 27 across & 20 down – which meant that the bottom right-hand corner kept me thinking for far longer than much of the remainder. Thanks to the setter for a most enjoyable puzzle.

  22. Thank you, setter, for a pleasant gambol of a Prize Puzzle. 2*/3* or thereabouts,and favourite clue status shared between 14 and 27 across. Thanks to BD for the hints too.

  23. Looked quite tricky on a quick read through over breakfast, but once started it fell into place nicely. 2*/4*.
    Thanks to the setter for such an enjoyable Saturday puzzle, and special thanks to BD.(I was never going to work out the relevance of the last 5 words of the clue to 27a despite my answer being correct!). Having read the explanation it’s now my favourite clue.

  24. Thanks to setter and BD for a splendid end to the week, no major problems but did have one silly to start soon rectified. I am not going to risk a smacked hand from Kath so I will settle for 22a which made me giggle – little things please little minds. Bright and chilly in Suffolk today. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  25. How many of you read the daily quote in the right hand margin? Today’s is absolutely perfect. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  26. Only managed to purloin this one from the neighbour’s paper today. What a lovely puzzle with so many potential favourites that I’ll keep them to myself sooner than risk upsetting Kath!

    Many thanks to an excellent Mr. Ron and to BD for completing the parsing for 5d.

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