DT 28012 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28012 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28012 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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Thanks for your patience during the severe performance problems encountered this week.  This was due, in part, to the phenomenal success of the blog.  Some features, like the big red box that pops up on prize puzzles, have had to be dropped because they were using excessive resources, even when not actively being displayed.  Among others that have been dropped, the calendar widget can now be seen only on the calendar and Google search pages.  BD

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 as “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    Mourns epic in part of theatre (10)
This anagram (broadcast) of MOURNS EPIC gives the front part of a stage in a theatre

9a    Doing stunts on high bar, one caught cracking nuts (10)
A type of chocolate bar – the one that’s full of bubbles – followed by I (one) and C(aught) inside (cracking) a word meaning nuts, crackers or bananas!

10a    Dishes half smashed? Little reptile! (4)
Drop the second half (half smashed) of an eight-letter word meaning dishes to get the shortened word for a reptile, seen here not that long ago

13a    Stop meeting professional villain (8)
Pro(fessional) followed by a villain

18a    Orchestra‘s man arranged main orch. (12)
A four-letter shortened form of a man’s name followed by an anagram (arranged) of MAIN ORCH

21a    Extra work performed in the long run (8)
Split as (4,4) this means in the long run or gradually

25a    People in a series of races have not commonly achieved goal (10)
Some people inside a charade of the A from the clue, a series of motorcycle races and the common or a colloquial version of “have not” gives a noun (not a verb) meaning an achieved goal

27a    Shakespeare role American’s doing well (10)
A role in Shakespeare’s The Tempest followed by the two-letter abbreviation for American


1d    Fish I displayed in position (6)
The I from the clue inside a position

2d    Quiet after performing rugger forward surge (6)
An exhortation to keep quiet follows a two-letter word meaning performing and the abbreviation for rugger

3d    Savoy perhaps with unusual end to Madame Butterfly (7-5)
The type of vegetable of which savoy is an example followed by an anagram (unusual) of WITH and the final letter (end) of [Madam]E

7d    Two types of fuel sent up to house the Queen in women’s quarters (8)
Two three-letter types of fuel reversed (sent up in a down clue) around the Queen’s regnal cipher

11d    Smelly stuff gives fellow utter outrage (12)
F(ellow) followed by an adjective meaning utter or out-and-out and a verb meaning to outrage

16d    Tooth present briefly in place where it should be (8)
This tooth on the rim of a wheel or capstan is derived by putting the abbreviation for PR(esent) inside a place where a bony enamel-coated tooth should be

20d    We hear of Alfred and Alexander, perhaps, in scrapes (6)
The sobriquets given to the historical figures Alfred and Alexander sound like (we hear) this verb meaning scrapes or rasps

23d    Clear  flirtatious move (4)
Two definitions – the first meaning to clear or sanction

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: popper+Qatar+petal=Popocatépetl

94 comments on “DT 28012 (Hints)

  1. 3*/3*. An enjoyable challenge for a Saturday, which I made much more difficult for myself by stupidly writing the answer for 26a in the place on the grid intended for 24a.

    Not surprisingly that made the SW corner the last to fall, and the correct answer for 24a was my last one in and favourite. I also particularly liked 1a, 3d & 8d.

    I was unsure of the meanings of 1a, 15a & 7d, although they were all words which I knew. However the answers were all readily derivable from the wordplay.

    I might have pushed my enjoyment level higher than 3* but there were a few over-wordy and clunky clues scattered around.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD.

    P.S. BD – well done on restoring the performance level of the site. It’s such a relief considering how essential this site is to all of us crossword fanatics.
    P.P.S. BD – there’s a typo in your heading. It should be 28012.

  2. All pretty tame really. */** . No stand out clue or favourite; maybe 25a

    BD, have you got the second part of the hint for 23d mixed up with another answer?

    Thanks to setter and BD.

  3. Wow, am I really in pole position!? A prize in itself?
    An enjoyable test which, in my humble opinion, was more demanding than recent Saturday fare. 13a was a new word, or at least a long forgotten word, for me and 18a amused?
    With South Africa 31-4 what could be better??

      1. And now it’s six! I’m surprised that no-one has suggested that the construct of 8d is poor because, while we can all see what the answer is, strictly speaking that isn’t a definition of ‘batting’. However, I’ve been around cricket and cricketers for a long while so maybe I’m being pedantic. I liked 3d and 27a – probably because I saw the answers fairly quickly.

        1. I know nothing about cricket, but the (on-line) clue refers to “batman’s position” – is that also inaccurate?

          1. That’s the same as the clue in the paper. The normal cricket expression referring to the player who is batting is “at the ——” not “in ——” but even the pedant in me will let the setter get away with this one!

          1. Funny old game, cricket. We have “collapsed” from 64-0 to 71-3! Surely we can’t lose it from here?

  4. Happy Caturday everybody :).

    A bit trickier than the usual Saturday, I thought, though there were plenty of anagrams (I think – haven’t counted) and a couple of old friends to keep the difficulty level down.

    9a is far and away my favourite today.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

    Now, which shall I do first: go running, or tackle Toro’s NTSPP? Decisions, decisions …

          1. Yes – the question was which to do first, not which to do. I didn’t get round to the Toro first, or even third or fourth, but did eventually get to it and agree that it’s absolutely superb :yes:.

  5. The usual high-quality enjoyable Saturday fare, waiting to see if the hockey pitch will thaw in time. My favourite was 3d. Struggled with 4d and 17d.

    Thanks to BD and setter,

    45-6 now!

  6. Interesting, after the gent in the orchestra, I had parsed 11d as “fellow” and “utter outrage” but the second half of that doesn’t quite work.

    Some big words and slightly harder, and much fun – many thanks BD and setter

  7. hmmm two Saturdays in a row it’s taken less than **** 9and 15 across were interesting… c’est la vie

  8. Congratulations BD on your great ongoing success and commiserations on the resultant technical problems which you always seem to adeptly resolve? Anyway it’s good to have you up and running smoothly again.
    Unusually for a Saturday my first impression today was that this was going to be a killer but it turned out to be a pleasant challenge (thanks Mysteron) which was almost mastered prior to your neat hints BD. I stupidly needed them for 17d and to correct a letter in my 9a solution. Fav 3d (once I had stopped thinking around hotel). ****/**. :yes:

  9. I thought this was quite a bit more challenging than the usual Saturday fare and with a couple of new-to-me words. Enjoyable, even though I penciled 9A in without considering the parsing and of course I was wrong. I liked 25A and 27A (because I can’t offhand think of any who do), but I thought 19D was a bit iffy..unless I’m wrong on that one too. Thanks to the setter and BD. Toro next, and I’m looking forward to that!

  10. No wonder I couldn’t parse 9a. Had the wrong kind of aerial gymnastics. That chocolate bar doesn’t exist in France.
    The anagrams had a nice surface.
    Enjoyable challenge.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

    1. My comment 10 above refers to same problem with 9a as you J-L even though as a Brit I should have known better.

        1. Apologies – will try to do better. :oops: It’s probably because these days I seem to have to fill in my name/email more often than heretofore.

  11. Nice and gentle for a leisurely Saturday solve – it’s a good job I had a look at the blog because I had ‘acrobatics’ in for 9a.

    13a was a new word for me which ai actually worked out from the wordplay – and there it was in the BRB.

    Thanks to BD for the heads up!


  12. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. I enjoyed this, but found it very tricky. Needed the hints for 18a,3&16d. Also had 9a wrong. Favourite was 7d. Was 3*/3* for me.

  13. Pleasant synaptic romp but missing Mrs T madly (me being in Pangbourne, she in Boston). Thanks to BD and the Mysteron.

    PS. I have decided that Bowie is not dead and this is just another metamorphosis – why else would he be Lazarus?

  14. Quite a tricky puzzle in places, and I went well into 3* time, but that was offset by the general quality and composition of the clues which means I can give it 4* for enjoyment. Some clever anagrams, and I think we have seen 11 down recently, but I will nominate 3 down and 9 across as my favourites.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and BD, particularly for all the work you must have put in over the last few days to get the site working again.

  15. Incidentally, I went back into the puzzle on the iPad version after posting my previous comment, entered it into the prize draw, and the next time I looked at it told me that all answers were correct, which I thought only happened on the Monday to Friday puzzles.

  16. I really enjoyed this puzzle albeit a gentle solve. I thought that there were a lot of decent clues and a lot of straightforward (ish) wordplay that would suit people starting out with this dark art.

    Thanks to BD and setter */****

  17. Took a while to get going, but plodded through steadily to get there in the end. Favourite clue was 3 down. Thought there were a few obscure words in there this week!

  18. Not often I fail on Saturday but this has me beat all ends up. Can’t even get the answers from the hints which I find very obscure.
    Not enjoying it in any way.

    1. However “obscure” you may find the hints, they tell which part of the clue contains the definition and how to resolve the wordplay. Surely that should be enough.

    2. Finished with huge amount of help from the computer but very little fun, with obscure words like 12a and 14d. For me ****/*

  19. All done and a little trickier than normal. A win for England, bad day for West Brom so time for a glass of wine. Thanks BD and to the Setter. Favourite clue: 11d – second appearance this week. ?

    1. Oh well, my Mum is a massive Saints fan, so at least she will be happy. As you say, odd that a word like 11d can appear again so soon.

  20. After the cataclysmic brainstorm of NTSPP I found this a delightful stroll, slightly let down by spelling in a couple of places but electronic supertoy sorted me out. Thanks to setter and BD. Off to try GK after nice cup of tea. :mail:

  21. Very enjoyable today, slightly more difficult for a Saturday.
    I can’t get 17d, any help would be appreciated.
    I had the second letter incorrect in 9a, not being familiar with the chocolate bar; no excuse, really, as I am sure we’ve had it before.
    Thanks to setter. You’ve done a stellar job BD with getting the site up and running again, thank you for that.

  22. Hi Merusa. A word for pack containing a partial word for revolt. Think David Bowie. Sorry if this deserves the naughty step BD.

    1. Although it leads to the same answer, the clue actually says “pack mainly containing revolt”, so it’s most of (mainly) a verb meaning to pack or load around one meaning to revolt. The second part of your hint would have merited a visit to the naughty step if I had understood it – as it is I think it hinders rather than helps.

        1. You ought to know by know that I live in a musical time warp where the world ends in about 1965. Currently in one CD player: the complete works of Buddy Holly – and in the other Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, and in the kitchen – Elvis.

  23. I did a quick r and w before going out and then found I had to employ the little grey cells for the rest. A few clunky clues but knowing nothing about cricket (I know! Fancy that!) meant that 8 d wasn’t too much of a problem. No need for the hints today and fairly enjoyable I think. Thanks to the usual ?

  24. I thought very tricky for a Saturday that I usually rattle off with my morning coffee. Took ages to get on wavelength. I’d give it***/**

  25. Yes, I would agree that this was a little trickier than usual for a Saturday. And yes, I got the chocolate bar wrong. D’oh!
    Overall enjoyable so 2/3* and I dunno … maybe 28a as favourite.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

  26. **/***. Enjoyable and not overly demanding. Really liked 10&27a and 8d. Thanks to BD for the review and especially for getting the site more responsive. Thanks also to the setter for a very pleasant workout. I need to catch up on the cricket using my proxy server.

  27. **/*** for us. An enjoyable Saturday solve – now we have to get to the football. Thanks to BD and Mr Ron.

  28. Not beyond me today, though 13a needed dictionary confirmation, twas a new word for me. **/***. Actually, I could do with hints on today’s Quick ! Anybody know if these exist anywhere ?

    Thanks to setter and BD.

  29. Found this one a slow long slog. Was feeling pleased to have completed without any hints but needed an explanation for 9a, only to find I got it wrong. Had acro rather than the airy chocolate bar.

    Rate 4 enjoy, 3 difficulty

    1. Hmm, how to help without overstepping the mark… The answer goes off loudly, sometimes for only a drill, but sometimes for the real thing. Once you get that you can parse it yourself!

  30. I`m defeated by 4d and 24a for which there are no hints suggesting that they are easy but not for me.

    1. 4d Crosswordland’s favourite alien inside a set of Christian books means after tax
      24a A quick, sneaky look is a reversal of what you might do to the rules, or the faith

  31. 13(a) was much in vogue in N Ireland when the Unionist dominated Government was dissolved and direct rule from Westminster was introduced in 1974. I’m still waiting for the new buzz word REDACTED which is used so often to obscure details from documents released under FOI requests to appear in a Sat crossword

  32. Straightforward post-dinner fare. More workmanlike than enjoyable. Thanks to setter and big thanks to BD for his efforts on all our behalfs. 1*/2*

  33. Trickier than normal and more enjoyable than normal sat fare thanks to setter and BD took a little longer because of the cricket

  34. Some tricky ones.. 24a not convincing . 9a I had slightly different answer I couldn’t,justify except for BD -thx!
    15a -Had to scour the dental glossary for this one.25 a was a struggle to parse. Otherwise interesting but challenging. Missed the cricket result until l saw Wahoo. Amazing!
    Thanks to setter .
    Can send in now -what hopes for the fountain pen….?

  35. Tough one for me but chuffed to get there sans assistance. Esp. When a few of the words were new to me but parseable. Not too much of a pleasure, more of a challenge and I suppose satisfying in that. Some pretty smart and convoluted clues. Feel like I could have watched a box set of the Sopranos in shorter time though.

  36. Bringing up the rear again. 14d my final clue. A weekend activity that never lets me down … unlike the weather.

  37. Done it all except 4d without any assistance. Have got **** but still can’t get it. HELP!!!

  38. Just noticed a clue in one of the posts so have now got 4d. Would never have got it as would not have thought of it meaning “clear”.

  39. 17d – it’s always the same on Saturdays – the one clue I’m missing aint on the list !! Someone please come to the rescue – I think I may have the answer but can’t, for the life of me, think why !! Molto ta, Almo

  40. Had a quick look at this late last night once all the guests had gone to bed, and decided I couldn’t do it. Woke up this morning, and hey presto, all filled in without help, and very enjoyable. Favourite was 16d, for no other reason than I like the sound of the word. Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the review and keeping us all going.

  41. As a relative novice, was really pleased to complete all bar 15a, which, I suspect is a word that I have never heard of.
    many have said that this was tougher than normal, so double-chuffed.
    Great news about the cricket, how long before we have the word “Broad” as a crossword answer?? So many clues suggest themselves.
    Many thanks to the setter and,of course, Big Dave’s excellent blog.

    1. You are right in that 15a is probably a word you have never come across before, and one might question its use in any non-technical puzzle, but it has been clued as a straightforward anagram (to work) of OPTED with INCISOR.

      1. Thanks Dave, missed the anagram. Will get to work.
        Once done, I can get on with the Sunday chores in snowy South London.
        Come on you Lions this afternoon, cheer me up after Thursday’s debacle.

        1. Got it now, as I don’t possess a gadget, I would have struggled without your help.

  42. I was left with 11d, 23d and 25a. I had an answer for 25a but was not sure why, so I checked the hints and I was correct; the remainding two fell into place. Sadly on reading the hints I discovered that I had not quite got 4d and 9a right. Other than that I was well pleased with my effort.

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