DT 27719 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27719 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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The February Prize Puzzle is available today – why not have a go?

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.


5a    Husband in Christmas show, Marley at first, then ghost (7)
H(usband) goes into the shortened form of a Christmas show which is then followed by the initial letter (at first) of M[arley]

7a    Birds chatter about new bag (7)
A three-letter word meaning chatter around N(ew) and a bag used for catching fish, butterflies, etc.

10a    Candidate‘s cold sore, one almost being concealed (9)
C(old) and an adjective meaning sore or painful around (being concealed) most of ON[e]

13a    Fungus among bundle brought back (3-3)
A two-letter word meaning among is followed by the reversal (brought back) of a bundle of the type carried by a pedlar or an animal

20a    Practically everyone, contrary to expectation (3,3)
A word meaning everyone followed by a conjunction meaning contrary to expectation or other than

21a    Something from the watercolourist? (8)
… who might have painted this picture while sitting on the beach!

28a    A pound, cash thus far (7)
The A from the clue followed by the symbol for a pound sterling and some cash

29a    Heather coming round to put back risqué books (7)
A five-letter word for heather around the reversal (put back) of TO


1d    Powder used by Faust (alchemist) (4)
Hidden (used by) inside the clue

3d    Houseman, English, twice confined suspected terrorist (8)
A houseman in a hospital followed by E(nglish) and E(nglish)

4d    Heavy metal  guitar accessory? (4)
Two definitions – the first being a heavy metallic element and the second an accessory used with an electric guitar

7d    Bell sounding? I must leave (4)
Start with a verb meaning sounding, as a bell might, and then drop (must leave) the I – not a synonym that comes readily to mind; try working out the answer, adding the I and then looking it up in Chambers

14d    Dance clubs round northern Georgia (5)
C(lubs) followed by the round-shaped letter, N(orthern) and the abbreviation for the US state of Georgia

15d    Tea, say, and beer gave out (8)
An anagram (out) of BEER GAVE

17d    Paved footpath in grounds, wide, leading to a yard (8)
Grounds or reason followed by W(ide), the A from the clue and Y(ard)

23d    Speak about short time in lodge (4)
A verb meaning to speak around the abbreviation (short) for T(ime) gives a verb meaning to lodge or reside

27d    Song from Callas needing no introduction (4)
Drop (needing no) the initial letter (introduction) from the forename of Miss Callas

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: rode+easier=Rhodesia



  1. JonP
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I found most of this R & W until I got held in the NE corner and then that took the same time again. Enjoyable Saturday puzzle with some good surface readings. Thanks to BD and setter **/***

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    I found this read & write today and somewhat unexciting (2* for enjoyment). I think any self-respecting 24a would take umbrage at being referred to as a band!

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD.

    • George
      Posted February 7, 2015 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I thought that too! Much growling amongst the violins and brass.

      • Michael
        Posted February 7, 2015 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        Dis band should disband!

      • Bluebird
        Posted February 7, 2015 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        I doubt most brass players would complain, seeing as most of them can be found playing in bands after hours…………

        And, these days, quite a few of the strings can get the extra gigs too!

    • Merusa
      Posted February 7, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. Nevertheless, it is so common in crosswordland, I didn’t have to think and just wrote it in!

  3. Collywobbles
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    NE held me up too. Needed BDs’ tips to break out. Very enjoyable puzzle, Thanks to BD and to the setter (whoever he was)

  4. Caravaggio
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    For those of us who complete the grid in the paper, it was a good start to the day because, for once, it was actually on the back page. Progress was swift until I too ran into the buffers in the north east section of the puzzle – it was only when the answer to 7a went in that the other answers fell into place.

  5. njm
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Just about the right level of difficulty for a Saturday back page puzzle IMHO.
    I too was delayed in the NE corner – thanks to BD for the picture of 13a – I was only familiar with the red variety. Thanks to the setter for an enjoyable start to the weekend.

  6. Graham
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Like others I also came to a grinding halt with the N E corner, must get my boy scouts book of mushrooms out of the attic. Many thanks to the setter & B D for the guidance.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

  7. George
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Writing them in, just whizzing along. Top left, bottom left, bottom right – and then the screeching halt at the top right. I really struggled for quite a while here – not familiar with mushrooms and birds!

    2*/4* I would say. It would have been 1*/4* had the top right not have been so time consuming.

  8. Rai
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed the puzzle, also finishing in the top RH corner. I disagree with the answer to 8d as does Chambers – it’s what goes under the jam!

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted February 7, 2015 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      Rai, you’re thinking about the wrong sort of jam.

      • crypticsue
        Posted February 7, 2015 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        Probably because he didn’t read all the way to the end of the definitions of the solution to 8d.

    • Hilary
      Posted February 7, 2015 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      I checked in thesaurus and it was there, not being more specific as do not want smacked paw.

  9. Framboise
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    It was almost a read and write till I too got held up by the NE corner. Got in a bit of a muddle with 16a but once this was sorted raced ahead to finition. Managed to complete the puzzle without help from BD’s hints – read them nevertheless… Trying to find a favourite, perhaps 7a. Many thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

    • Posted February 7, 2015 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Finition is such a lovely word that it ought to exist!

      • Framboise
        Posted February 7, 2015 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        Oops, must have had my French cap on when I wrote this. I implore for leniency…

  10. Caroline
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Needed 5 hints today so thanks muchly! My alternative clue for 7d is: ********* [alternative interpretation deleted. BD] I’m sure there’s someting terribly wrong with my logic, but it gave me an answer (not necessarily correct!) but who cares as I’m finished before mid-afternoon. Thanks as usual to setter and hinter.

    • crypticsue
      Posted February 7, 2015 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Not only is there something wrong with your logic, you also haven’t read what it says in the Big Red Box – in particular where it says: Please don’t put alternative clues in your comment.

      • Posted February 7, 2015 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        Ask again next Friday and someone will explain about the inadvisability of clues in which one word does double duty.

        • crypticsue
          Posted February 7, 2015 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

          That ‘someone’ will be me http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

          • Caroline
            Posted February 7, 2015 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

            Oops! So very very sorry! Don’t comment for ages and then screw it all up in one go. I will return duly chastened to lurkers’ corner.

            • crypticsue
              Posted February 7, 2015 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

              Oh please don’t go back to lurking – it is so much more fun out in the open.

            • Merusa
              Posted February 7, 2015 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

              No, don’t go Caroline! Puhleese!

            • Ginny
              Posted February 8, 2015 at 9:23 am | Permalink

              Oh please stay, http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  11. Michael
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Well, it’s all go today – firstly there’s Arsenal v Tottenham then there’s the Rugby and some then more Rugby and there’s also Everton v Liverpool to be fitted in somehow!

    But over and above this I’ve managed to fit in this puzzle which wasn’t too bad, just about right, a few anagrams and a couple more tricky ones thrown in to add to the fun!

    Onwards and upward – my OH is a star for putting up with me and my sports obsession – I’ll pay for it later’ http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_heart.gif

    • Vancouverbc
      Posted February 7, 2015 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Difficult day in my house. I’m an evertonian and mrs vbc is a Liverpudlian. I suspect I’ll be making dinner as penance should we win – although on current form i doubt it. the puzzle was very straightforward and probably enjoyable as I had a lot to do yesterday evening so needed a quick finish. Thanks to the setter and BD for the review.

  12. Posted February 7, 2015 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Déjà vu!

    Yesterday in Cardiff the team playing in white came from behind at half-time to beat the team in red. Guess what’s just happened at White Hart Lane!

    • Rick
      Posted February 7, 2015 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      First England, then Tottenham – I think I might pop out and buy a lottery ticket!

  13. Little Dave
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    High BD. Yes, good win for Spurs. Saw them toy with West Brom last week. Ouch. Anyway, all done. Zipped away but messed up 8d rather foolishly. Last in was 13a – new one on me. Have a good weekend one and all. Thanks BD and for the interesting comments. Great rugby last night too.

  14. Angel
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Just right level of application required today however not overly entertaining. Struggle in NE corner also delayed me a bit. A few nicely enigmatic clues including 17d which was probably my fav. Would have been nice to have a 27d from Miss Callas in the hint although I know she features here fairly regularly. Thanks Mr. Ron and BD. ***/***.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif Now back to the rugby.

  15. Gwizz
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Although the bulk of this puzzle was fairly straight forward I found some of the answers to be a little less then definite. However I think I have completed it without recourse to the hints and should I not win then I will just have to wait until Friday to check.
    Thank you setter and BD for the hints.

  16. Hilary
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I joined the gang of all those who struggled with the NE corner, I was such a happy old lady until I hit the buffers. Also needed BRB to spell 16a which did not help. Thanks to setter and BD for firstly confusing me then sorting me out. Off to try GK. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  17. The Navigator
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    After the hysteria over here concerning a far more inferior game with an oval ball (college football vies with God and Guns as the State obsession)… It was a joy to sneak away from work to watch England v Wales in the company of a Frenchman, Kiwi and Aussie. A much superior game… although this match was nail biting at first! Nice Saturday offering, enjoyable and I confess to struggling a bit with the NE corner. It appears I am in good company!

    • Merusa
      Posted February 7, 2015 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      You must live in redneck land!

  18. Sweet William
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Thank you setter for an enjoyable puzzle. Like most the NE corner was last in. Lovely day here in Bamburgh after driving through thick fog most of the way. Thanks BD for the hints, in particular 13a.

  19. Sarah
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    I could do this puzzle but didn’t really enjoy it as I am clearly not at all on the same wavelength as the compiler today….and as a flautist I did take umbrage at 24a.!!!!
    Thanks BD I am not ashamed to say that I needed you today ( that infamous NE corner). Have a good w/e all

  20. Merusa
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    I also found this pretty easy peasy apart from the NE, but it really didn’t take too long to sort it. Once I got 7a, all else fell into place. It took some time to work out the right jam.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for hints, only needed to confirm some answers.

  21. Attila Thehun
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    I might be showing my ignorance here, and I might upset some readers, but with the ban on including answers it strikes me as strange that they are provided for the images. At least on an iDevice, holding a finger on the image pops up the answer or enough to work it out.

    • Michael
      Posted February 7, 2015 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      You’re dead right – I’ve just tried it and the answers are displayed if you touch the image – one for BD to sort out methinks! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  22. Heno
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, I just needed the hint for 15d, can’t believe that I missed an anagram. Favourites were 18d&13a. Was 2*/4* for me. Great fun. Shame about the football, but I must admit that Spurs deserved it.

  23. Salty Dog
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    2*/3, and 13a or 29a favourite. Ta to setter and BD.

  24. jean-luc cheval
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure the Telegraph purposely edits an easy crossword on Saturdays just to get letters in the post.
    Don’t want to brag but I hardly put my pen down on this one.
    11a was my last one in and really favourite clue of the day.
    28a made me laugh because there is always a word that reminds me of someone. This time it was Maureen Lipman.
    Looks like the setter started something a bit naughty in the SE corner but stopped short with 22d.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD.
    Ps: Finition is so appropriate for the work you do as it normally applies to the endeavour to make perfect and could be easily associated to French Polishing.

  25. Robin Newman
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    hints re NE corner appreciated !

    • crypticsue
      Posted February 7, 2015 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      BD has provided hints for the majority of the NE corner.

  26. Una
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    The Telegraph service which allows one to do puzzles on line for a modest fee is refusing to cooperate with me , and although I am ready and willing to pay , I wasted a half hour on Friday trying to make a payment.My laser got changed during the year and I am sure this willl happen to me again.
    The puzzle was easyish but I prefer doing it on line.

  27. Andrew Bale
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    A nice stroll after yesterday’s hike! Very pleasant end to Saturday

  28. Chris
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I do agree the NE corner was much more difficult than the rest. Managed it with a little electronic help.
    Still very good fun to do – thanks to the setter and BD.

  29. Tstrummer
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    I too struggled in the NE corner for too long. All became clear after I looked up the fungus. I knew what the second part had to be, so Mr Google provided the rest. After that, plain sailing. 3*/3*

    • Framboise
      Posted February 8, 2015 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Just to say that I read your post! Nice to have met you a week ago…

  30. almo
    Posted February 8, 2015 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    can anyone help with 11a (not mentioned above) – I got what I think is the right answer almost immediately – but can’t for the life of me see the cryptic bit !!

    • Posted February 8, 2015 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      11a First to spot a spot of misguided flattery (4,4)
      An anagram (misguided ) of the initial letter of (first to) S[pot} with A SPOT OF

  31. Una
    Posted February 8, 2015 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Is there any kind person out there who could send me todays puzzle , I have made a payment with World Pay, but appearently it doesn’t kick in until tomorrow ?http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

    • Posted February 8, 2015 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      You’ve got mail!

      • Una
        Posted February 8, 2015 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        Thank you !

  32. Duggyson
    Posted February 8, 2015 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    I found this hard in the same NE area that others have mentioned.
    Still not clear on 21a, why is this answer in any way cryptic?

  33. weekendwanda
    Posted February 8, 2015 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Late as usual. Interested in the comments. Not the NE corner that foxed me. It was 21a. Thanks setter, BD, and all for comments