DT 28018 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28018 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27018 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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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    What makes crust start to rise in pie? (6)
The initial letter (start) of R[ise] inside a type of pie, maybe one from Cornwall

9a    Place found in rickety pier causing undulation (6)
PL(ace) inside an anagram (rickety) of PIER

11a    Poet‘s house next to watercourse (6)
HO(use) followed by a watercourse, usually one associated with a watermill

14a    Little time for sleep? (5,5)
A charade of an adjective meaning little and a period, or periods, of time – a sort of all-in-one, or nearly so

22a    Squirts rush out when it’s played on the lawn (8)
This appears to be a pretty weak cryptic definition of something played on the lawn in order to water it

23a    ‘Nearly all.’ — ‘Nearly all?’ — ‘Nearly …’ (6)
Nearly all of AL[L] followed by a word meaning nearly all

24a    Living with cook as a temporary solution (5-3)
Living, as in “the ***** and the dead”, followed by a verb meaning to cook, as in to cook the books

25a    Ollie’s partner’s spoken a few lines (6)
What sounds like belonging to (‘s) Ollie Hardy’s partner followed by the A from the clue

27a    Game groom’s first to be hugged by future relative (6)
The initial letter (first) of G{room] inside the lady who is about to become his relative


1d    Buy tea bag on the way round (8)
An informal word for tea inside (on the way round) a money bag

2d    Prue’s new chap is one with great abilities (8)
An anagram (new) of PRUE’S followed by a chap

3d    Check of presents? (4-4)
A check on those present, maybe in a class at school

7d    Teacher misses motorway pressure (6)
Start with a female teacher and drop (misses) the two-letter designation of a major motorway

13d    Award one fails to win (5,5)
… usually given to the one who comes last – wooden spoon doesn’t fit!

15d    Pump provided by men in apartment above (8)
Some soldiers (men) preceded by (above) IN from the clue and an apartment

16d    Urged United to support 27 opponents (8)
A verb meaning united follows (to support in a down clue) two opponents in the game that is the answer to 27 Across

20d    Help musician starting late (6)
A musician who sits in the string section without his initial letter (starts late)

21d    Declared Scots know to get half of spoils beforehand (6)
The Scottish word for to know follows (get … beforehand) the first half of SPO[ils]

The Crossword Club is now open.

I’ll try to add a few pictures later.

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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!

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The Quick Crossword pun: nay+burr+hood=neighbour

67 comments on “DT 28018 (Hints)

  1. 3*/2.5*. It took me a little time to get onto the setter’s wavelength today, but after I’d finished this pangram I couldn’t see why I had made such heavy weather of it. In the NW corner four of the answers eluded me for some while. Overall a mixed bag – some of the wordplay was good, but some of it felt rather contrived.

    In 17d, the thought of “wife – have outside in warm spell” brought back some happy memories.

    The superb 23a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD.

          1. Not a new rabbit, Merusa, just a new picture. My original picture was not actually my dear departed bunny but a copy of an image I found on Google that looked just like him when he was very young. I decided he merited a picture of himself as an adult, which is how I best remember him.

            By the way, did you see the picture of the huge rabbit on the back page of the Weekend section in today’s Telegraph? Amazing!

    1. Strange, I got going on the NW corner, then NE and worked down !

      Last one was 16 down. I guessed 22a -like BD it was hard to justify…Guessed 18a and had fun working out how the setter designed it,!

      Interesting today. My (real) name was also a clue!
      Thx BD & setter.

  2. Saturdays are a little more testing and much more fun these days and I enjoyed this a lot. All good, honest clues but IMHO there isn’t really a standout Fav to nominate. Thanks Mysteron and BD. :good:

  3. I rattled through three quarters of this but came to a halt in the SE corner which took longer to sort out than the rest of it..

    Enjoyable solve with thanks to BD and setter **/****

  4. 3*/3* for me. Write-in for the NW corner, struggle in the SE corner, with 17d last in, although I don’t really understand why!
    Thanks to compiler and BD.

    1. Looking at the SE corner post-solve, I think that the reason it may’ve been the trickiest corner for some of us is primarily due to the fact that there are no starting letters for any of the clues..??

  5. I normally just sit quietly in the background and just appreciate you all, but I had to stick my nose in today to say that I absolutely loved the ‘doh’ moment of 23a which was my last one in.

    My thanks to the setter (and all the setters) and of course to BD.

    Have a wonderful birthday bash

  6. Not quite sure how to describe this one, it’s a bit like one of the mouth-watering desserts you see in a bakers shop that’s turns out to be dry and a bit tasteless.
    I needed an explanation for 10 clues today even though I had the right answer.
    22a was poor, 23a was daft, don’t see why the word ‘way’ is used in 1d, 13a doesn’t quite work properly (second place fails to win as well) and don’t understand why late in 20d would indicate leaving off the first letter.
    For me **/**

    1. Similar sentiments to Brian. I needed BD’s words of wisdom too many times to explain why my answers were correct. I don’t think I ever quite got on the setter’s wavelength. 23a is a bit like Marmite – you either do or you don’t. I’m still a bit undecided. 14a was sadly very apt for my first look today??

    2. 13d – but on this occasion the answer isn’t ‘second’.
      Also, ‘second’ is six not five letters.
      Clue asks for five.
      Could apply that reasoning to nearly every clue.
      An alternative answer, that is.

    3. Yes, like others have said, much checking of the hints to find out how the answer was derived from the wordplay

  7. Nice pangram which I forgot to use to help me get my Last One In (16d, Urged United..). Otherwise not exceptionally inspiring but I did like 23a (Nearly all).

  8. A virtual write-in for me – only 16d caused a bit of thinking. I’d award **/*** for this puzzle.

  9. A couple of weak clues but overall I enjoyed this mornings puzzle. Thanks to setter and to Big Dave for the hints.

  10. I thought that this was a lovely puzzle – thoroughly enjoyable – and it was made even better by being on the back page of the paper. Norwich 4 Liverpool 5 – a scoreline from a bygone era, especially as Liverpool had Flanagan and Allen on the bench…

  11. Enjoyed this one from Mr Ron but were stupidly stuck for ages on 16d. Thanks to BD and the setter.

  12. I quite enjoyed this once I got going. Just like Dutch 16d had me stumped as last one in until I twigged it was a pangram and had 1 letter still to use. ***/****for me.
    Thanks to Bd and the setter.

  13. A very enjoyable puzzle, first one I have attempted since last Sunday. I would rate this as a 3*/3* I liked 17d. Thanks to BD for his efforts.

  14. Very enjoyable and reasonably straightforward – I too was held up by the SE corner but it slowly came together – no assistance required today!


  15. Surprised we’re allowed to mention the fact that a prize puzzle is a pangram but Dutch seems to have got away with it. So I’ll venture to say that it did help me for once. LOI was 16d where the penny was resolutely refusing to drop until I thought, “Ah, I probably have to get a particular letter into this” and then it all became obvious with a big D’OH.

    Nice puzzle and **/*** from me.

    Ta to setter and BD.

    1. As far as mentioning ‘you know what’s’ is concerned, at least the mention is hidden in the comments, unlike the day when some bright spark used the Comments page to inform the world that that day’s puzzle was indeed of those puzzles, thus ruining the unstarted puzzle for the helpful blogger who’d gone to look at his comment to see if they needed assistance. :sad:

  16. Definitely a mixed bag today.
    The pangram helped me get 16d too.
    Never heard of that verb before but it does exist in French as well.
    The example given was: I ****** you to leave the country. That’s not very nice as I haven’t arrived yet.
    New synonyms for me were the watercourse in 11a and the living in 24a.
    Have to admit that the latter was very good indeed.
    The two musicians in 8d and 20d were also quite good.
    Thanks to the Saturday setter and to BD for the blog.
    It’s just a shame that we can’t access the gravatars anymore. RD’s pet seems to have a nasty black eye from where I stand. I’m sure it’s not the case.

  17. Like RD, it took some time to get on to the setter’s wavelength, but once in, it became much easier.
    Fave was 23a, with honourable mention to 13d.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for his hints.

  18. I enjoyed this a lot. I agree with others that the SE corner was the most challenging, but for me also the most satisfying to solve. 23A is my runaway favorite. Thanks to the setter and to BD. Now, dare I try the NTSPP?

    We seem to have got off lightly with the big snowstorm. It’s not over yet, but the snow is sporadic and light now and we only have around a foot so far. I’m quite disappointed!

    1. Watching the news this morning, I did wonder how you were doing. It’s chilly here in Miami, will dip to the 40sF tomorrow morning, all the Floridians are out with their boots and sweaters. Unfortunately, I only have sandals and cotton frocks, but I do have the heaters on to 80F, so I’m toasty and warm.

  19. Well this was the first time for ages that I:
    1) Realised that it could be a pangram and
    2) Found that the realisation helped (in the SE corner)
    THanks to the setter – I quite enjoyed this!

  20. ***/****. Really liked this once I got on the right wavelength. 23a was the best for me. Thanks to BD for the review although not needed I’m happy to say and to the setter congratulations on a very interesting challenge.

  21. I find that once I spot a couple of lesser used letters I automatically think P******. And so it was today. Not that I used the information as I already had 16d. But I would have had I not……
    23a smashing clue. 3/3* for a Saturday puzzle.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to BD for his hints.

  22. Straightforward, but really didn’t like 16d which was last in. I haven’t played 27 much, but I’m pretty sure you play in pairs, meaning that at least one of those opponents is your partner.

  23. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. Some very good clues, and some not so good. Started with 1a, which made me smile. I got 25a wrong, so needed the hints to correct it. Also needed the hint for 16d. Favourite was 23a. Last in was 17d.Was 3*/3* for me.

  24. Sorry, novice question please…
    15d – Soldiers (men) xx? Why??

    Dear HYD

    I have had to edit your comment because you are in incorrect answer territory. Pump here is a noun not a verb. The abbreviation for soldiers appears a lot in cryptics. I ‘think’ it appears in the usual suspects page.

    Also, if you think the two letters you mentioned above are correct, you must have the solution to 27a wrong – BD has given a hint for that one.


  25. Here was I thinking I’d got it done correctly without hints, only to find, as result of the pan jam discussion, that I had spelt 25a with a s rather than a z.

  26. Nothing to take exception to, nor indeed to frighten the horses: say 2*/3*. I enjoyed 25a, so that’s my favourite. Thanks to the setter, and of course to Big Dave.

  27. Felt like solving four separate puzzles, one in each corner. SE last to give as put present participle of verb in rather than whatever correct terminology for answer is at 18a. Confused? So was I. Nearly **** as a result. Enjoyed the tussle though.

    1. It took me three attempts to get the correct form of this word which held up the SE corner somewhat :)

  28. Saturday’s seem to have grown trickier this year, which is no bad thing. This one took a while to unravel in the SE corner and took a while longer to parse once the answers came. Very few gimmes and some delightful wordplay scattered throughout. Like many others, 23a was the standout for me. Thanks to the setter and, as always, to BD. This time next week, I can say that in person. 2*/3*

  29. Completed this on the plane out to Tenerife, where I was delighted to see that we have wifi, so I will not feel cut off from the rest of you for the next week.

    3*/3* for me, with thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

    Fantastic win by Wasps in my absence over Leinster.

  30. I wasn’t quite in the crossword zone but enjoyed this nonetheless. Much mirth was had with 22a via a wrong answer, but I am prevented from going into detail because it’s a prize. Speaking of prizes, liked 13d too.

    Great illustrations today, BD. Thanks to you and also to the setter.

  31. I agree with Cryptor – seemed like four separate puzzles to me. Usually I have no method and flit about. This one was different, neat and enjoyable.. I started with 1a and did NW, NE, SW, SE in that order – 16d being the last in preceded by 17d. Very interested by the comments. I found this a very unusual and workmanlike (in a flattering sense) puzzle. No clue took time to solve apart from those I have mentioned. All could be built up and unlike Brian (not for the first time) I worked them out from the word play and not vice versa. I think I am in a minority of one in liking 22a. Favourites 27a and 17d. Some clues of the Marmite variety. Thank you setter – will you remove your mask? Thanks BD – enjoyed the hints after the event and alway interested by the comments and the different views. Looking forward to next Saturday’s party

  32. Spent all day yesterday cooking and entertaining guests. Had to get up early to do breakfast this morning. Just finished yesterday’s offering whilst husband takes guests to Heathrow for their ski trip. I was a bit slower with this than normal, and not really sure why. 8d was favourite, because it’s what I am. Was ? Last one in was 17d. Must have been having a particularly dim moment, as it’s not that difficult. Didn’t get 23a at all so needed the review. All still very enjoyable. Thank you to the setter, and to BD. Now for 27a.

  33. Didn’t enjoy this week’s as much as usual. Took me an age to get my head in the same place as the compiler.

    22a and 24a completed ok after the related ‘downs’ but poor clues for me.


  34. I really enjoyed this: a good mix of r and w and some real head scratchers. Strangely it was the NW corner that went in last but now I’ve done it I really can’t see why!! Thanks to the setter and BD. Have a great w/e next week. One of these days I will come and meet everyone but we have an FA cup fixture which cannot be missed.

  35. Help – I’ve taken this on holiday after saving up crosswords and can’t for the life of me figure out 16d. I know I’m a latecomer but please help!

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