DT 28042 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28042 (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    Running commercial vehicles on initially tight allowance (14)
A two-letter commercial followed by some vehicles, the initial letter of T[ight] and an allowance

12a    Nevertheless halt sale, silly me! (3,3,4)
An anagram (silly) of HALT SALE followed by ME

14a    Very great number heading off after start of migration (6)
A number without (off) its initial letter (heading) preceded by the initial letter (start) of M[igration]

15a    Recalled top of fancy flower (8)
The reversal (recalled) of a top or cover, OF from the clue and a fancy or whim

18a    Again docked across the dam (6)
Most of (docked) a four-letter word meaning again around (across) THE from the clue gives a dam or female parent

21a    Dance waving pretty sash (10)
An anagram (waving) of PRETTY SASH

25a    Ring French friend about fake Japanese art (7)
The ring-shaped letter and the French word for a friend around (about) a verb meaning to fake or falsify

26a    A somewhat restrained comment below formal declaration (14)
A straightforward charade of a word meaning below and a formal declaration


1d    Praise a Conservative allegation (7)
The A from the clue followed by C(onservative) and an allegation

2d    What bridegroom may get me at rip-roaring resorts bordering Oman’s capital (8-7)
An anagram (resorts) of ME AT RIP-ROARING around (bordering) the initial letter (capital) of O[man]

5d    True about victim being in denial (8)
A four-letter word meaning true around the victim of a joke

6d    Rookie in bid to join infantry (10)
A bid followed by a word for the infantry

7d    Canteen had soups requiring stirring –- a matter easily resolved (4-3-4,4)
… haven’t we seen this one recently?

8d    A grand on top (2,4)
The A from the clue and a word meaning grand or wonderful

16d    Mythological king you almost sussed out (8)
An anagram (out) of most of YO[U] and SUSSED

17d    Added to register, the Queen’s surgeon (6)
A register followed by the Queen’s regnal cipher gives the surname of the surgeon debatably credited with the invention of antiseptic surgery

20d    Lynn, perhaps, banking on Italian city (6)
… this Lynn is the surname of a wartime songstress

23d    Cover  skin (4)
Two definitions

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: Moss+quay+tow=mosquito


  1. Caravaggio
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    I found this puzzle to be thoroughly enjoyable but I have to confess my guilt. Whilst I arrived at the correct answer for 2d, I’ve never heard of the expression and I’m not in the first flush of youth. 1a caught me out as well because I looked at the first word of the clue and assumed that it was the verbal form; it’s not!

    • Angel
      Posted February 20, 2016 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      I made the same mistake with 1a which held me up on 7d for a while.

      • Caravaggio
        Posted February 20, 2016 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        I’m pleased to see that it wasn’t just me, Angel!

  2. Young Salopian
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    9 across my pick of many great clues in this enjoyable crossword. 15 across came a close second and 19 down made me laugh. Overall a fun solve on this miserable Marches morning.

    2*/4* from me with thanks to our Saturday setter and BD for his hints.

  3. Rabbit Dave
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    3*/3.5*. This seemed relatively tough for a Saturday Prize Puzzle with the NE corner taking my time over 3*. I found it very enjoyable on the whole with some nice surface readings, but I thought the very obscure 21a and 2d slightly took the gloss off it. Both these answers were clearly anagrams and, once all the checking letters were in place, both became obvious but needed verifying in my BRB. I was a bit surprised to find the bizarre 2d there.

    13a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

    • crypticsue
      Posted February 20, 2016 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      21a has been in crosswords many times before. I’d also heard of 2d too.

      • Posted February 20, 2016 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        I can only find 21a in a Saturday puzzle from over four years ago and a three-year old NTSPP – no trace of 2d, which was a new word for me.

        • crypticsue
          Posted February 20, 2016 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

          I’ve seen 21a in ‘other places’, usually accompanied by comments that people have never heard of it

          As for 2d, that appears quite often in the sort of book my mother would have referred to as a “historical hysterical”

          • Rabbit Dave
            Posted February 20, 2016 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

            Perhaps it’s a woman thing? :unsure:

            • Angel
              Posted February 20, 2016 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

              You may be right RD. We had Scottish dancing lessons at my all girls school (down South!) and we certainly were taught the **********!

              • Merusa
                Posted February 20, 2016 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

                Yes, we had Scottish dancing lessons too, and 2d would appear in the books we read as teenagers, what C’Sue calls historical hysterical!

              • Angel
                Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

                How remiss of me to be specific about solution – sorry BD. :oops:

            • Weekendwanda
              Posted February 22, 2016 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

              As a woman of a certain age I had definitely never heard of 2d and it took me a while to get 21a – but when I did it was vaguely familiar. The first word of 2d was easy to get with the checkers which made it even more puzzling. I did not like 24a. Got it eventually without knowing why. However, thanks setter, once finished it gave me a lot of satisfaction

    • Kitty
      Posted February 20, 2016 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      I think 13a is the most obscure of the lot – I can’t find it anywhere!

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted February 20, 2016 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        Just a little test to see who is paying attention. Well done, Kitty! You win the prize.

        Perhaps I meant 13d…

      • stanXYZ
        Posted February 20, 2016 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        Kitty, aren’t you being overly pedantic?

        • Kitty
          Posted February 20, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps, but RD is hardly in a position to complain about pedantry!

          Besides, in life I find you can get into awful trouble if you confuse across with down.

  4. Spook
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Like Carravaggio I have never heard of this also not being in the first flush of youth,an enjoyable crossword nevertheless. However all eclipsed by the birth of third grandchild yesterday.
    Many thanks to Big Dave for his ellightening hints.
    Pretty wild here in North Cornwall.

    • Hilary
      Posted February 20, 2016 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Congratulations, you forgot to mention boy or girl. Hope all well.

  5. Owdoo
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    My reaction to this puzzle is almost identical to Rabbit Dave’s comment. Both 2d and 21a fell under Mr Holmes’s principle of having eliminated all other possibilities that which remains, however improbable, must be the correct solution. Both required my BRB for confirmation, and it’s a while since I needed to visit the bookshelf on a Saturday.
    Thanks to the setter for the challenge, and BD for this site in general.

  6. crypticsue
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Today’s NTSPP is highly recommended if you are wondering what to do on this murky afternoon, or even if you’re not….

  7. Gwizz
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Today’s crossword didn’t float my boat I’m afraid. I laboured my way through it with few smiley moments. My last one in was 18a, it took me a while to realise which of the two possible initial letters to use. But I got there.. 2/2* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and thanks to BD for his hints.

  8. Angel
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    This didn’t really float my boat but not sure why not. :neutral: Will perhaps follow CS’ recommendations and have a go at the NTSPP for the first time. Thanks Mysteron and BD.

  9. Kitty
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    A few sticky areas today. I used help to get the two strange ones in, but the rest were much more manageable and I enjoyed them.

    2d sounds like it could be a euphemism – it was almost a shame to look it up and have the actual meaning confirmed. I liked the definition in 17a, and 10a made me smile too.

    Thanks to the setter and BD. Happy Caturday to all.

    • Jose
      Posted February 22, 2016 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      2d a euphemism? Language, Timothy…. :scratch:

  10. JonP
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I found this to be straightforward and agree with Kitty regards 2d!

    Enjoyable stuff as always with thanks to BD and setter */***

  11. Sarah
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    More difficult today, definitely! My favourite was 17a. I really needed the hints today but did know 21a -mostly because I am singing a number of Scottish songs at the minute and this word features in several. Thanks BD and the setter. It certainly has given me a longer pause for thought than usual

  12. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Too difficult for me.
    Back to the quick crossword…

  13. Paso Doble
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    We found this a very enjoyable puzzle for a wet Saturday morning with just the right amount of difficulty to make it interesting.
    A spelling mistake in 16d held us up before having to Google 21a.
    Thanks to everyone as usual.

  14. jean-luc cheval
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    The second part of 2d was also a surprise for me and had to resort to an anagram search engine for 21a. It has been such a long time since I used it that the name “starhorse” was still showing in the box. And that was at the time of his first rookie.
    Although 13d sounds a bit Yoda-ish, it is my favourite.
    Thanks to the Saturday setter and to BD for the blog.

  15. Hilary
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Had to resort to both pencil and electronic help today but I got there in the end. Off to try NTSPP fingers crossed it is not go hard. Nasty afternoon cold and damp.

  16. Chris
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Thought it seemed to trigger the feeling I get doing a Giovanni – all enjoyable and very fair but not on my wavelength and with at least one word I’ve never heard of! (In my case, 21a, which needed electronics.)
    Many thanks to the Mysteron and BD.

  17. Merusa
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed this very much and had no difficulty with the “obscurities”.
    I did need the hints to know why 18a was what it is.
    Fave was 6d.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for his hints.

    Guess what? My name and email info has appeared again! It’s all magic, isn’t it?

  18. Leveret
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    I thought more difficult than most, then it suddenly worked. I see the regulars have seen 21a before – that was my last in – never heard of it. I’m sure I’ve seen 7d recently here – this Sat prize xword is the only one I do.

  19. Little Dave
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Found this quite tricky. West Brom out of cup so off to sulk. See you next week. :sad:

    • HoofItYouDonkey
      Posted February 20, 2016 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Not good, that coin being thrown by one of the WBA fans at the WBA player at the end of the game.
      Looked nasty.

  20. Michael
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    I remember 7d from last Saturday when the clue was ‘It’s clear-cut what to do at start and finish of packing’ – maybe it’s a favourite phrase of this setter or something, only this week he managed to make an anagram out of it.

    Very enjoyable with nothing too difficult – I’d never heard of the dance at 21a and my Anagram program didn’t find it, I managed to work it out from the checkers and look it up.

    Just watching Bournemouth v Everton – Bournemouth have just missed a penalty!


  21. Vancouverbc
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable particularly 15a. Thanks to the setter for brightening my Saturdaymorning and BD for the review.

  22. Una
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    26a is my favourite . I never heard of 21a.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  23. Jon_S
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    A little more straightforward than the last couple of Saturdays, though with a couple of unknowns I needed to check, 21ac in particular. 2d was new to me as well, but it couldn’t have been anything else, could it?

  24. Tstrummer
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Harder than the usual Saturday fare, but quite fun. Like Kitty, I thought 2d was a euphemism, but the BBB confirmed it does, or did, exist. Thanks to BD and the setter. 3*/3*

  25. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Anyone able to give me more of a clue about 1a??
    Been staring at it for hours and getting nowhere.

    • Maggie
      Posted February 21, 2016 at 12:54 am | Permalink

      Good career for an ESTJ?

      • HoofItYouDonkey
        Posted February 21, 2016 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        Thanks very much. I had to google ESTJ
        Finally managed to work out what the vehicles were, and the allowance as soon as I looked at it this morning.

        • HoofItYouDonkey
          Posted February 21, 2016 at 10:51 am | Permalink

          Finally defeated by the Scottish dance (a word I have never heard of).
          On to Sunday…

        • Maggie
          Posted February 22, 2016 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

          Glad it wasn’t too cryptic for you. Topical for me as I am doing MBTI training. Great to have someone else blogging who hasn’t finished before breakfast ?

  26. Heno
    Posted February 21, 2016 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, with some tricky clues. Had never heard of 2d or 21a, but CrypticSue is correct about 21a being in previous puzzles, but I’d forgotten it. Guessed 14a, but got 18a wrong had ****** for dam, thought it should have been damn. Damn :-) Favourite was 15a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  27. Taff Wellian
    Posted February 21, 2016 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Ouch, found this challenging to the point that I had to have a big second bite at it today. Usually try not to use blog clues whenever possible but had to Google 2d & 21a, wouldn’t have got those; just completed the last answer, a good workout for a Saturday (and Sunday!), nice one setter, many thanks BD.

  28. Jose
    Posted February 22, 2016 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    This was significantly more difficult and enjoyable than the usual Saturday offering. The two obscure answers made it all the better for me – they’re both in the BRB, so perfectly acceptable and legitimate. 3*/3.5*

  29. terry healy
    Posted February 22, 2016 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Could i have help with 2 down and 24 across many thanks Terry

  30. pycoed
    Posted February 22, 2016 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    *********************. The answer means building.

    2d *********************,

    • Posted February 22, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      It’s probably better if you don’t try providing hints for future prize puzzles. The object is to explain how the clue works without using information that is not in the clue. Embellishment is OK, but “what word could go in here?” is not. Additionally, part of your explanation for 24a is incorrect.

  31. PeterG
    Posted February 23, 2016 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Managed to finish eventually. 21a was a struggle, had to resort to Google. Got 24a but still don’t fully understand where two letters in the middle of the answer come from. A bit dozy I am.

    • Posted February 23, 2016 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Peter

      24a Building equations, at first provided in numbered cubes (7)
      Those two letters are the “provided” that is disguised by the surface reading and need to be inserted into the “numbered cubes”. Remember that because it is bound to come up again. This is one of over 200 constructs given in my Usual Suspects page