DT 27695 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27695 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27695 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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There’s still time to have a go at our January 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    Take over from endlessly flexible worker (8)
Most of (endlessly) an adjective meaning flexible or lithe followed by the usual worker insect

8a    Woman goes round new border village (6)
A woman’s name around N(ew) gives this famous village near the England / Scotland border – tut tut, this is not the full name of the village!

10a    Central figure that’s not unusual being into hare coursing (4-4)
This central character in a story lacks unusual attributes – an anagram (coursing) of INTO HARE

13a    Bounder in Channel Islands with a jumpy creature (6)
Put a bounder or scoundrel between the abbreviation for the Channel Islands and the A from the clue

15a    That follows coffee after end of dinner (6)
Newspaper version – “That follows coffee before end of dinner”
A type of coffee followed by the final letter (end) of [dinne]R

21a    Jack played games making the introduction for major celeb (8)
A three-letter jack or sailor preceded by (making the introduction for) an anagram (played) of GAMES

23a    Initiative to stick with small part, backing number one (8)
A three-letter verb meaning to stick followed by the abbreviation for P(ar)T and the reversal (backing) of the short version of number and I (one)

25a    What one could be doing with a pitch fork (6)
… checking the pitch of a musical instrument, perhaps

26a    Expelled from university and locked up (4,4)
Two definitions – the second being what a judge ordered should happen to a convicted criminal


1d    Disgrace, having no time for Greek character (5)
Drop the T(ime) from a disgrace or shame to get this Greek character

2d    Sounds like an insignificant item of female attire (9)
The first part of this item of female attire sounds like an adjective meaning insignificant

4d    Holy orders (3,12)
… that were given to Moses on Mount Sinai

5d    Like the Tin Man, mug with twitch — ‘O my heart!’ (7)
A verb meaning to mug or steal from and a twitch around (my heart) O

6d    Less than a full team play out miniature scene (7)
The two-letter representation of the number in a team after one player has been sent off inside a play or theatrical entertainment

12d    Henry taking steps in the gloaming (4-5)
The three-letter abbreviated form of Henry followed by a set of steps or stairs

16d    VAT guy arrests one driver (7)
The levy of which VAT is an example and a guy around (arrests) I (one)

17d    Common-sounding element of poetry and slang? (7)
This element of most poetry also describes a type of slang popular in London’s East End

22d    Beam before negative response for send-up material (5)
A beam followed by the reversal (for send-up) of a negative response
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: whale+weigh+station=railway station

94 comments on “DT 27695 (Hints)

    1. 20a Leniency is unknown among the non-clerical (6)

      A mathematical unknown (which you should already have as it is a checking letter) inside a word meaning the non-clerical people in a church (i.e those who are not part of the clergy).

  1. Is it just me or was that a tricky little rascal? I certainly struggled a bit in places.

    Not keen on 15a as the clue clearly says the coffee is after the end of dinner, not the other way round. It’s Yoda-speak http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

    Liked 4d but I think 12d was favourite.

    Anyway, thanks to the setter and BD. Now for the NTSPP.

      1. In comparison to previous puzzles, I thought that this was relatively easy and I actually liked 15a – probably because I saw the answer straightaway. I don’t think that you’ll have any problems with the GK, Sue, because [and I hope that this doesn’t sound as though I’m boasting] I’ve just finished it.

        1. Mr CS is working on the GK today – I have other things to do including making a 10″ lemon cake (not for the Birthday Bash but for another event).

      1. Interestingly, I solved the paper version, copied the online version for the draft review template and never noticed the change in wording. Draft review suitably amended. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

      2. The online version of the clue now has ‘before’ instead of the incorrect ‘after’.

      1. Sorry, I’m with CS – 1* time for me today. Odd though, I didn’t write in an answer until 15a but then everything went straight in (apart from discovering I can’t spell 6d!).

        PS just saw your comment on Dire Straits – sensational wasn’t it? With you on Billy Joel too, we have seen him live twice.

        1. Yes, absolutely brilliant. There’s another one on tonight at 9.00pm – we’re going out but have set it up to record. I’m very envious that you’ve seen Billy Joel – I’d love to – would also love to see James Taylor.

  2. I thought this was just an excellent puzzle. Lots of good clues, a bit of a brain workout but not too taxing. Really enjoyed 5d and 6d.

    Now back to making pork pies – the store was out this week and these are hard to find this side of the Atlantic!

    1*/4* by my reckoning.

  3. Thank you setter – a typical Saturday puzzle I thought, not too taxing. Thanks for the hints BD as usual. A bit of a relief after the last few days – for me at any rate.

  4. Most was relatively straightforward, but I ran into trouble in the north-east. (I’m sure there’s a moral there). I had completely forgotten the word for 13a which was last in and was aided and abetted by the hint (thank you BD). I’m sure I could have got it by wading through the Thesaurus or Col Hill’s Crossword Dictionary, but much more fun to come here and see the excellent picture and hint. 15a was my favourite. 2.5*/4* for me. Many thanks to the setter and to BD, as ever.

    The quickie pun is a real groan!

  5. I thought this a a good bit trickier than the normal Saturday fare but managed to do it without reference to the blog or other help sources – that always cheers me up.

    Now for a day of Football and Rugby and then more Football – Spiral’s back tonight – it’s all go!

    Onward and upward – come on you Hammers! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  6. Tricky today for us, and we were about to give up even with the hints, however after managing to get 6 down, which I didn’t like, we finished. Hurrah! Thank you to the Saturday setter and to BD.

  7. Not much to add – I thought the after end of dinner (15a) was awkward, pleased to hear the paper version is different (? Just how would that happen?)

    Of interest to me was 14d – in a recent clue writing competition to clue “bah hambug” the winning entry was ” Christmas xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (3,6)”

    Many thanks setter and bd

    1. I think you might be heading for the naughty corner! You’d better nip off to CS’s kitchen and pinch her 10″ lemon cake when she’s not looking.

    2. The cake still has five minutes to cook and it is for a retirement party at work so no-one however naughty they are is getting a slice today. I have corrected the ‘offending article’.

      1. Do you remember Michael Miles and his yes-no interlude on Take Your Pick? How easy it is to say something that you have been asked not to say!

  8. I’m with pommers on this one – I found it quite tricky and took ages to even get started.
    I had so many answers ending in vowels that I began to think I’d screwed up the whole thing but most of them sorted themselves out, apart from 8a which I wouldn’t have got without the hint.
    I liked 5 and 9a and 4 and 14d.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    Not surprised the poor little chap in the 13a piccy looks as if he’s on his knees – he’s got a pin or something through his middle. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
    About to tackle monster pile of ironing then the NTSPP as a reward if I manage to find the bottom of the ironing basket.

    1. Hi Kath – I had exactly the same experience with the vowels. I’d convinced myself I’d got at least two wrong, but as you say, it sort of just came right.

    2. I can sympathise as I have had three intensive ironing sessions this week. I keep thinking that someone nips in while I am not looking and dumps their laundry in my basket. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  9. First impression was a bit forbidding but then East side went in quite quickly followed more slowly by the West. I made things difficult for myself by opting for insignificantly wrong word in 2d. Liked 12d although first part is a bit of an old 14d chestnut. ***/***. Thanks setter for relaxing trip and BD for being there with some hints in case of need.

  10. After what was for me two frustrating puzzles yesterday, this was was just the right tonic. I was going beautifully until the SE corner – clearly at the outset I was not ‘thinking’ when it came to 14d, but once the light dawned the SE corner yielded as well. (I’m not sure I understand the second part of the wordplay in 26a). I was afraid of obscurities on first reading, but it turned out that my misgivings were entirely unfounded. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle – and I enjoyed reading the blog as usual. Many thanks to all.

        1. Yes – it’s a term meaning precisely that. I think it might be a bit slangy – probably something you’d hear in a TV crime thingy – the judge 26a’d him for thirty years, or something like that.

          1. Thank you all – I have it now. It wasn’t a term I was familiar with and I couldn’t find a reference to it anywhere.

  11. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, some great clues. I had a job getting started. Completed four corners NE, SE, SW & NW. Last in was 8a. Favourite was 23a. Was 2*/4* for me. Agree with Pommers that 15a was Yoda-speak.

    1. Most enjoyable. We’re with Pommers and Heno.

      Sunny and warm here in Boston (20 degrees!).
      Skating and hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps me thinks.

      Mr and Mrs T

  12. Any other users of the iPad app having problems. I updated to the latest version last night and today’s paper downloads but won’t open … so I haven’t looked at the puzzle yet. Grrr!

  13. Stuck til 13a and then slipped into the routine. Am I the only person who found some clues unnecessarily wordy? Did need the hints for one or two so thanks for that folks

  14. After failing to get a single across clue until 26a, on first read, I was not hopefu but then the SE corner went in quickly and the rest gradually fell into place. Satisfying finish.
    Hints only covered the clues already completed but welcome reassurance that I was on the right track!
    ***/*** for me today. Favourite 9a but several others come close.

  15. Enjoyed this one. Lots fell into place when 4d completed early on. Had to guess 6d and look it up in brb. Quite liked 5d. **/*** and nice to finish without the hints – not always the case by any means.

  16. I also found it a bit more difficult than previous Saturdays.
    And grateful that 11a wasn’t an obscure destination.
    13a was a bit confusing in its construction I felt.
    Talking of construction, I thought BD was only making model aircrafts. His home made Tin Man is superb.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the review.

  17. Re.. 8a, tut tut, this is the full name of the village, there is a smaller village down the road which has a 5 letter suffix, but 8a is perfectly ok.

  18. This was a read and write and a welcome relief after the brain-grinding offerings of recent days. And all the more enjoyable for that. Particularly liked 10a and 12d, both of which brought smiles. 1* difficulty but 4* enjoyment for me. Good, too, to be able to comment on the same day that the puzzle appears. Thanks to setter and to BD for the hints (unneeded today) and for being the brains behind this excellent blog

  19. Very enjoyable but not a simple solve for me. I really like puzzles with clues whose answers have a vowel at the end. I liked 5a&5d and 6&12d also made me smile. Thanks to the setter and BD for the review. Kippers for breakfast – I love them but they tend to stay with me for the rest of the day.

  20. Nice Saturday offering, thanks setter. Had a problem with 24a, got what I was sure was the answer but why? Of course, there was no hint for it, but I finally twigged after staring at it for ages.
    I got confused by 15a but eventually went ahead and ignored the “after”.
    Fave was 4d, many runners up, so many good clues.
    Thanks BD for your review.

  21. As others have said, I found this puzzle quite difficult at first but then it opened up and became easier as I progressed. It was very enjoyable intermingled with the rugby. Many thanks to BD for the hints and to CS for the support. Also well done Mr. Ron

  22. Second go to comment as I got thrown out. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif . Not an easy ride thought top right hand corner was going to be my downfall but standing in kitchen toasting OH’s crumpet 9a loomed and I managed to finish it. Thanks as always to BD and setter, off to do GK.

  23. any permitted clues to 11a would be welcome. it’s my last one, so I have the three letters from ‘down’ clues. Infuriating

    1. Unfortunately it is totally illegal.
      I’m afraid you’re on your own for this one.
      If it’s the fountain pen you’re after, you still have a few days. I’m sure it will come to you.

    2. 11a – the definition is island. It’s a short word meaning also containing (in the interior) another word for land – not a noun but a verb to land or catch.

      1. Ou la la. Just hope that nobody noticed. I think you’re in the dog house my friend.

        1. Why the dog house/naughty corner? We’re allowed to give a hand as long as we don’t give an alternative clue or mention anything in the answer, even on prize puzzle days. Maybe I’ve missed something . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

          1. Sorry Kath, it’s me who missed something, A bit like cricket. I’ll never understand complicated rules.
            At least in France, since the cultural revolution of 68, it’s forbidden to forbid.

      2. Thank you so much Kath !

        I’d finished the Quickie, this was the only one left in the cryptic and it was driving me bonkers !

        Thanks also to the setter and (as always) BD. I visit you all most Saturdays but often don’t have time to chat so struggle on on me own !

  24. It’s been a while since I attempted a crossword. I found the left half slightly easier than the right. Favourite clue 9a mainly because it’s a word I really like.

    Thank you setter and BD

  25. I’m with Pommers on this one. My first one in was 18a and then 28a and I thought I was going to get nowhere with it, then it gradually started to fill in & suddenly I had completed it & really enjoyed it . Thank you setter & BD for explaining 8d. Re13a ,we were in New Jersey in the summer while there was a plague of them around and they made a horrendous racket and just flew into you from all sides. Apparently they come above ground every 17 years so this Christmas my husband was having a chat to our 4 year old grandson about them and grandad said to grandson “Next time they come out you will be a grown man and may have a little boy of your own” “Don’t be silly ,women have have babies and men have beards” Well his Dad & Grandad have beards. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  26. I agree with pommers and Kath,tricky in places. It didn’t help when I tried to shoe horn a different but much better description of womens nightwear into 2d.I hope that doesn’t break the rules.Other than that , very enjoyable. Thanks BD and setter.

  27. A relatively gentle canter: 2*/3* or so. As for favourite clue, l was tempted by 1d on the (admittedly weak) grounds that l once owned one, but will plump for 3d instead. My thanks to the setter, and of course to Big Dave for the hints.

  28. 19 D has me foxed. I have the answer but don’t know how it can have anything to do with an audience.

    1. You’ve changed your alias since your last comment so this one required moderation. Both aliases should work from now on.

      19d For the audience, draw a number – get tense (7)

      ‘For the audience’ signals a homophone so we need a sound-alike of draw and that’s followed by a number.

  29. Zoomed through but hit the buffers with 6d until the shilling dropped. Thanks to BD et al.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  30. **/**** for a puzzle that I didn’t think was particularly easy at first sight (pommers et al) but gradually yielded satisfactorily. Thanks to BD and setter.

  31. Not as difficult as it appeared on first read through and most enjoyable – 2.5*/4*. Thanks to the setter and Big Dave for the hints.

  32. It is a while since I have done a Saturday Cryptic as I’m usually engrossed for ages in an NTSPP http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_lol.gif. Like Kath and Pommers I thought this one a little tricky, but then I got onto the right wavelength and thoroughly enjoyed it.The two clues I liked most were 5d and 14d.

    I didn’t need the hints to complete this puzzle, but thoroughly enjoyed them too.

    Very many thanks to the setter and to Big Dave alike for **** enjoyment. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  33. Just got around to this today. Not too bad. NE corner last to go in. Did the paper version so 15a made sense :D. Favourite clue was 9a.


  34. I have an answer for 19d – the only word possible – but can’t see its relevance to the 1st part of the clue. Any useful hints would be much appreciated by this first-timer.

    1. Welcome to the blog John

      19d For the audience, draw a number — get tense (7)
      What sounds like (for the audience) a draw or equality in score is followed by a number

  35. Have just got back to the Crossword. Thank you Gazza for your reply it helped enormously.

  36. Thanks BD.

    Fortunately, I had the satisfaction of hearing the penny drop just before your hint came in.

    Kind regards, WJ

    1. Hello hello,
      You should have a go at NTSPP from hieroglyph. Wearing green wearing green.

    2. Well, this is odd. When I posted my comment there were two identical messages from westonjohn.
      Ah the wonders of modern technology! Sorry to be such an ass.

  37. Thanks Kath for the help. 11a last one in for me. My first post too having been an ‘on-looker’ for a few years now. Great site.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Rico. Now that you’ve introduced yourself I hope you’ll become a regular commenter.

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