DT 28054 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28054 (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    Unnerve character returning in rickety old car (10)
A six-letter verb meaning to unnerve followed by the reversal (returning) of a character, perhaps one taken by an actor in a play

10a    Leading man drinking wine in it (9)
MAN around (drinking) a fortified wine, all inside IT from the clue

12a    One progresses rapidly in this designer outfit? (3,4)
A car usually progresses rapidly when in this – it could also be a designer outfit

17a    Awkward type wrestling endlessly for one-time payment? (4,3)
This ungainly or awkward person is followed by most of a type of wrestling which is popular in Japan to get a one-time payment

19a    Annoyance shown by King George during succession (7)
Put King George’s regnal cipher inside a succession or sequence

21a    Come clean about one written about female saints (7)
The single-letter Latin abbreviation for about followed by ONE around F(emale) and two of the single-letter abbreviations for S(aint)

27a    Therapist‘s in work, at hospital (9)
A four-letter word for in, or at the place where one lives, followed by the two-letter abbreviation for a musical work, AT from the clue and H(ospital)

28a    Sign in accounts — no comment (5)
To get this sign of the zodiac, start with some accounts or descriptions and drop (no) COMMENT

30a    Rugby ref’s award achieved by fine endeavour (7,3)
A fine or punishment followed by an endeavour or attempt


1d    Actual region’s miles off (4)
Drop (off) M(iles) from the end of a region or domain

3d    Drunk  started smoking (3,2)
This two-word phrase can mean drunk or what one did when one started smoking a cigarette

4d    Take care of fencing trouble — back part only (4,3)
A verb meaning to take care of around (fencing) a verb meaning to trouble or upset

5d    Clothes variously appear on line (7)
An anagram (variously) of APPEAR followed by L(ine)

16d    Hornblower and his capital short speech (7)
The first name of fictional naval officer Hornblower comes from the initial letter (capital) of H[ornblower] followed by most of (short) a speech

21d    Girl, 22, in frolics (7)
This girl’s name is an anagram (frolics) of the vessel that is the answer to 22 Across with IN

25d    Severely criticise book ending a series (5)
B(ook) followed by the ending or final entry of a series

26d    Game is extremely pricey (1-3)
IS from the clue followed by the outer letters (extremely) of P[rice]Y

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: terror+soar=pterosaur – thanks Kiwi Colin


  1. Caravaggio
    Posted March 5, 2016 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    If I hadn’t looked at your hints, Dave, I wouldn’t be typing this comment now! I’d completed the puzzle except for 28a and just couldn’t see the answer, despite walking away from the puzzle on a number of occasions and then coming back to it. Otherwise, everything fell into place with few problems. I hope the result from White Hart Lane makes your day…

    • Rai Fenton
      Posted March 5, 2016 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Me and the missus too with 28a. … and my day as well – come on Spurs! :yahoo:

    • Badger
      Posted March 6, 2016 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

      Had the same problem with 28a – could see the answer but couldn’t justify .
      So thanks BD! Managed the last two weeks without a hint. The setter has the knack of building up words in small unrelated bits, which is entertaining but can be frustrating! Next week has to compete with rugby -roll on !

  2. Mark
    Posted March 5, 2016 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Isn’t it always the case?……everything done except for a four letter answer with all the checking letters, and I can’t get it. Is 6a one of those clues with the answer already in it, and I just have a knowledge gap for a synonym for ruin?

    • Mark
      Posted March 5, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      I realise that anyone answering this will incur the wrath of BD!!

      • Mark
        Posted March 5, 2016 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        And I will incur the wrath of BD for incitement!

        Can anyone help me by not answering my question?

        • Richard
          Posted March 5, 2016 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

          I learned from this site that if you can’t figure how a clue works, then check for a lurker.

          • Kath
            Posted March 5, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

            I agree with you – the other pretty common reason for not understanding is that your answer is wrong.

            • Sarah
              Posted March 5, 2016 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

              But I don’t think the clue is a particularly good one

    • Posted March 5, 2016 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Yes – it’s to ruin as a verb!

      • HoofItYouDonkey
        Posted March 6, 2016 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        I finally got that from the BRB, but I can’t for the life of me see how it is a synonym.
        We live and learn

        • Posted March 6, 2016 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

          I expect it will be explained on Friday. I’m sure there are situations in which you will have heard it used.

  3. Angel
    Posted March 5, 2016 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Like you Caravaggio 28a was last to go in because I couldn’t parse the obvious solution. Saturdays are more fun these days as we seem to be set slightly more challenging and enjoyable tasks if not really Fav-type clues. Wonder if DT is receiving fewer prize entries! 30a had to be but I hesitated a bit because I don’t really think of award in that context. Thanks Mr. Ron and BD.

    • Angel
      Posted March 5, 2016 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      D’oh my penny has just dropped – silly me – award is of course relevant from one side’s point of view but I was stupidly only thinking of it from the offender’s standpoint hence not exactly an award! :oops:

  4. spursmichaelj
    Posted March 5, 2016 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Hope Arsenal don’t 6a us

  5. Kath
    Posted March 5, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Not sure if it’s me or if this one was quite tricky – not enough comments yet to be able to tell.
    I’m with Mark about 6a – I’ve never heard of it being a synonym for ruin although it’s in BRB.
    I got completely stuck with the last few in the bottom left corner – 28 and 30a and 25d – couldn’t get any of them for ages.
    I have a sneaking feeling that I’ve probably met the 29a play before but had forgotten it.
    I can’t believe that I’ve got this far on in life thinking that 14d meant something completely different. Oh dear!!
    I liked 1 and 28a and 18d. My favourite was 27a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    Too cold to do anything useful outside – well, that’s my excuse anyway – going to have a go at MPP and NTSPP.

  6. dutch
    Posted March 5, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    really liked “succession” in 19a, and the way the charade worked together in 27a. Can’t see the second meaning for 29a (play), maybe i’ve got it wrong. Objected to “famous” in 20d – the clue doesn’t need it and i didn’t know it. Also don’t know why you need “school” in 8d. Now feeling as 15 as can be, off to the pub with the NTSPP.

    • Posted March 5, 2016 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      Try putting your answer and “play” into a search engine. I saw this on the London stage some forty odd years ago.

      • dutch
        Posted March 5, 2016 at 7:24 pm | Permalink


  7. Owdoo
    Posted March 5, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    I too found this a little more challenging than a usual Saturday puzzle. Like previous commenters:
    i) I was unfamiliar with that usage of 6a but knew it had to be the answer and my BRB confirmed it
    ii) 28a was my last one in which had me stumped for a while until the penny clanged.

    27a was my favourite due to its economy with not a single word wasted yet still retaining a nice surface.

    Thanks to both setter and BD.

  8. jean-luc cheval
    Posted March 5, 2016 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    I usually do the Saturday crossword during our staff meal before service.
    Everyone noticed my lack of enthusiasm while solving as I often explain the cleverness of some clues.
    Today my silence spoke volumes.
    I have a favourite though.
    29a for it’s simplicity and the fact that I like the author of the play in question.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the blog.

  9. Woppydog
    Posted March 5, 2016 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    28a still doesn`t make sense to me.

    • crypticsue
      Posted March 5, 2016 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog

      If Big Dave’s hint for 28a had been any clearer then he’d be spending the afternoon in the Naughty Corner

    • Gordon
      Posted March 5, 2016 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Try putting the last word in BD’s clue in front of what the answer must be.
      This was the only one I could not parse, there will be a loud clang when you get it.

    • Angel
      Posted March 5, 2016 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      The accounts could of course be running! :wacko:

      • Kath
        Posted March 5, 2016 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

        What a cunning hint – well done you. :good:

  10. Expat Chris
    Posted March 5, 2016 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    I thoroughly enjoyed this one. 28A is my favorite for the D’oh moment when I parsed it. Thanks to the setter, and to BD.

    I highly recommend the MPP!

  11. Young Salopian
    Posted March 5, 2016 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    1 across held me up as my last one in. Even when I got it I have to admit it was a new word for me, although I think I drove one or two when I was younger.

    That aside, a pleasantly diverting crossword with several good clues, I will nominate 30 across as my favourite and wish the Wasps every success against Gloucester this afternoon.

    Thanks Mr Ron and BD. 2*/3*

  12. Polly
    Posted March 5, 2016 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Am enjoying this one. I usually need quite a bit of time to complete on my own, so still going strong on it. Will look at the hints properly if I get stuck. Like 27a and 26d made me smile – simple but fun.

  13. Framboise
    Posted March 5, 2016 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Needed the hint for 28a – can’t unravel the word play but still trying! Did not know 1a but was easy to work out. Had to check that the lurker for 6a did actually mean ruin, not the only one it seems! Discovered the play mentioned in 29a – thought the clue was superbly concise. My favourite clue was 19a. On the whole a pleasant working of the little grey cells for a Saturday morning. Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD. Good to see Kath back!

    • Kath
      Posted March 5, 2016 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      :smile: Thank you.

  14. Sarah
    Posted March 5, 2016 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t enjoy this much. I don’t feel that the “definition” words in the clue really fit the answers in many cases. This was not as neat as some. I don’t like it when I complete a clue and find myself thinking, “Well, that sort of fits”, which I did too many times. Have a lovely weekend everyone. tHanks BD for your help on this one :bye:

  15. Nickinchester
    Posted March 5, 2016 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t enjoy that much today, and was totally stumped with 28 a until getting the hint. I’m obviously being a bit thick, but even with only 2 letters to go in, and with the hint, I haven’t the foggiest about 4d. I thought that was a bit tough for a Saturday – still it’s nearly beer o’clock…..

  16. Merusa
    Posted March 5, 2016 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    I found this hard going but fun, so many good ones.
    I needed the hints for 28a which had been a bung in, but I had no idea why. Isn’t that clever? It’s my sign, so I’ll choose it as my fave. Loved 19a and 27a as well.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for the hints.

  17. Jon_S
    Posted March 5, 2016 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Pretty straightforward and enjoyable. 6ac was new to me, as was the play in 29ac. Still not sure how 28ac is supposed to work, but the answer was pretty obvious.

  18. Chris
    Posted March 5, 2016 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    I too am a member of the 28a club. I too needed BD to parse it for me – and yes, you could hear the clang miles away as the penny dropped!

  19. Robin Newman
    Posted March 5, 2016 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    one of the helpful websites that I use as an aid gives two spellings for 21D, using the same letters of course-the obvious one is correct
    Thanks to the setter and BD

    • Kath
      Posted March 5, 2016 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      You mean there is another helpful website? :negative: I bet it isn’t as good as this one!

      • Robin Newman
        Posted March 5, 2016 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        not as good at all, but I need all the help I can get

  20. Hilary
    Posted March 5, 2016 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Struggled but got there in the end. Brain not working very well so still relying heavily on supertoy. Off to try MPP wish me luck. If you do not hear from me again I will be back in the cupboard under the stairs with my brand new box of tissues. :bye:

    • Hilary
      Posted March 5, 2016 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      PSThanks to BD and setter, fogot my manners sorry :oops:

  21. JonP
    Posted March 5, 2016 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    A trickier than usual Saturday puzzle in my opinion. I didn’t solve 1ac as I’d convinced myself that there was an anagram involved. Apart from that it was fairly plain sailing but no write-in for me.

    Thanks to BD and setter 2.5*/3*

  22. Una
    Posted March 5, 2016 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    I honestly have no idea why 28 is what it is , but it fits. Otherwise I needed the hint for 1a , as I don’t think I heard this term before.
    Apart from that reasonably straightforward.
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  23. williamus
    Posted March 5, 2016 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Nice to be back courtesy of the Facebook suggestions – thanks. I liked this one because it was straightforward to fill the grid in, but less so to understand why some of the answers are what they are… I’m still working on 28a but I know it’ll come to me in an inevitable “doh” moment. I got 6a straight away if only because we’ve had it before recently (I’m sure Dave will tell me if I ask nicely). 4d was last in – another “doh” moment. 27a was favourite. Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints – not to mention getting us back online. I hadn’t appreciated the extra dimension the blog adds to my enjoyment of the Teleg crossword. Cheers

  24. Tstrummer
    Posted March 5, 2016 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Straightforward and fun. Completed in two passes. 27a &36a battling it out for the yellow jersey. Ta to setter and BD 1*/3*

    • Nickinchester
      Posted March 5, 2016 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

      Get you!!

  25. Gwizz
    Posted March 5, 2016 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Yep! I agree with Tstrummer, straightforward but fun. 21d was my favourite; I just liked the tie-up with 22a. 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to BD for his hints.
    Have a day off now BD, you must need it!

  26. Tractor boy
    Posted March 6, 2016 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    No still don’t get the No comment in 28a, must be very slow this Sunday morning, enjoyed the crossword especially liked 19a.

    • Posted March 6, 2016 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Tractor boy

      Please read my hint again where it clearly states that “no comment” means to drop the six letters COMMENT from the start of a word meaning accounts.

      • Tractor Boy
        Posted March 6, 2016 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        Ah got it! I was thinking of “**”!

  27. almo
    Posted March 6, 2016 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    the dreaded 28a – I’ve read all the comments above and still can’t get it. My dictionary defines the word we’re starting from as “****” – what on earth has it to do with “Accounts” ? Please help !!

    • Posted March 6, 2016 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      You are on the wrong track – read my hint again, it’s all there.

  28. Jox
    Posted March 6, 2016 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Is no-one else over-thinking the tense of the verb in 13a? :wacko:

  29. ActonBryn
    Posted March 6, 2016 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    As a regular solver of DT Cryptic offers , but an irregular user of BD’s excellent hints came to the blog much later than usual to check for 21a and to hear about the 28a fiasco. I had already got it , including responding to BD’s
    nudge of augmenting the setters ” no comment ” by capitalising it to ‘ NO COMMENT “. Thanks BD for excellent
    support over the years. you can’t win them all but you win most of them !!

    • crypticsue
      Posted March 6, 2016 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog.

      I do hope you’ll now join the many regular commenters.

  30. Heno
    Posted March 6, 2016 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but quite tricky in places. Took a long time to get the last clues at the bottom of the puzzle. Managed without the hints. Favourite was 19a. Must learn how to spell 14d. Last in was 25d. Just had a power cut. Hope it comes back soon.

  31. Weekendwanda
    Posted March 6, 2016 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Not tricky but did not give me many smiles. I am in the 28a club. Was my last one in, Got it as being obvious but could not parse. Still could not parse after BD’s hint. Penny dropped finally when he gave up on all the losers and gave it away. Very clever I thought when I got it! My excuse is that I was trying to insert the usual shortform of account. Thanks all.

  32. Jaylegs
    Posted March 6, 2016 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    A bit late in the day for a comment but after reading the blog I must say that I have never known so many to be flummoxed by the solution to 28a :wacko: but when the shed load of pennies drop what a pleasant moment :yahoo: Thanks to BD and mysteron. ***/***

    I might have known that as the Canaries sink into the Sunset, a Tractor Boy would appear :sad:

  33. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted March 6, 2016 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Back from a family trip to deal in Kent….
    Good fun, defeated by:=
    2d – No idea what the clue was all about, I could not see an anagram
    9a – Doubly frustrating as I am a golfer, again, no idea what the clue meant
    4d – First word, don’t know what ‘fencing trouble’ is.
    have a long wait for the solutions, unless anyone can help.
    Thanks to BD for the hints, and the setter

  34. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted March 6, 2016 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, got them all in the end, the site seems a bit up and down at the moment!!

  35. WeedyPigeon
    Posted March 6, 2016 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Very slow to start but got there in the end with your help. Thank you BD!

    Still not sure what the “companion on board” is in 22a?

    Loved 26d!

    • Posted March 6, 2016 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog WeedyPigeon

      The “companion on board” is telling you to insert the abbreviation for a Companion who has rendered conspicuous service of national importance

  36. frederick
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    could do with a little help for 9ac

    • HoofItYouDonkey
      Posted March 7, 2016 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      This foxed me for a time.
      Naughty step beckons if I am not careful…
      Middle three letters is a word related to golf primarily, but does have a wider use…

    • Posted March 7, 2016 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      9a What a golfer may get on tee to one side? (5)

      It’s quite simple – What a golfer may get (1,3) followed by the letter tee (T)

  37. frederick
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Thanks folks – Yet another non-existent obstacle I’ve managed to successfully negotiate.

  38. Badger
    Posted March 9, 2016 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    It’s Weds Eve and I’m amazed at the 28a ‘club’ !

    It seems a lotta folk were tied down with Financial Acconts instead of stories.