DT 28060 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28060 (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    Book about Russian ready to be awkward (11)
A large book around some Russian ready/money

7a    Upstart hit back with place being unfinished (7)
The reversal (back) of a three-letter hit followed by most of (being unfinished) a place or location for a sports event, concert, etc.

10a    Charlie‘s just the thing to snare fashion designer endlessly (5)
A two-letter word meaning “just the thing” around (to snare) most of the surname of a famous French fashion designer

14a    Cut around edges of tile to make smaller (7)
An adjective meaning cut or cropped around the outer letters (edges) of T[il]E

15a    Bad hands move slowly on board steamship (7)
These bad hands are untidy handwriting, and once you realise that it’s quite easy to put a verb meaning to move slowly inside (on board) our usual SteamShip

20a    Sick of commander interrupting meal (3-6)
OF from the clue followed by a Commanding Officer inside (interrupting) some finely ground meal

22a    Have a close shave as English exercise cut short (7)
This verb meaning to remove hair is derived from E(nglish) followed by most of (cut short) a form of exercise

24a    Increase in support gives good basic training (11)
Split as (7,4) this could mean “gives good basic training”, but you are better off using the checking letters to derive the definition and then confirming the wordplay


1d    Stations for period in India (7)
A period of time followed by IN from the clue and the letter represented by India in the NATO Phonetic alphabet

3d    Black Country man, I’m brought up in fog (7)
I’M reversed (brought up in a down clue) inside a fog

5d    Present politician money from church (9)
A verb meaning to present followed by a right-wing politician

7d    Investigates squalid hotels as place to hide out (7,4)
Pedants like me will say that the enumeration of this hiding place for a Roman Catholic cleric during times of religious persecution should be (6’1,4) – a verb meaning investigates or snoops followed by an anagram (squalid) of HOTELS

16d    Boring brief relationship after scripture lesson (7)
This type of boring is found in some firearms – do what is says on the can and put a brief relationship after a scripture lesson

17d    Terrible investor runs out broke? (5,2)
An anagram (terrible) of INVESTO[R] without the R(uns)

19d    Nervy about head of tribunal being unbiased (7)
Put an adjective meaning relating to the central nervous system around the initial letter (head) of T[ribunal]

21d    Pivotal point of fishing expedition (5)
Hidden or lurking (of) inside the clue

The Crossword Club is now open.

I’m hoping that the performance problems experienced yesterday have been resolved by deactivating a couple of plugins, one of which is the one that allows comments to be edited.  I have re-activated this facility, but if it turns out to be the cause of the problems I will have to remove it permanently – I hope you all appreciate my predicament.

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: car+birettas=carburettors


  1. Jose
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    RIP: Keith Emerson, who has died aged 71 – apparently taking his own life.

    • Michael
      Posted March 12, 2016 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      I saw Emerson, Lake and Palmer at Chelsea College in the early seventies – a very sweaty night – I can only remember their rendition of ‘America’.

      Sad news – that generation of my musical youth seem to be dying out!

      • Attila the Hun
        Posted March 12, 2016 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        But there’s one heck of a supergroup up there (or maybe down there).

        I might be old, but at least I got to see all the good bands.

      • Bluebell
        Posted March 12, 2016 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

        Strangely enough I have recently been transferring my old LPs on to my computer and only last week one of them was Emerson Lake and Palmers Trilogy. It reminded me of what a brilliant track ” From the beginning ” is.
        I had to re-run it several times.

        • hoofityoudonkey
          Posted March 13, 2016 at 7:48 am | Permalink

          Pictures At An Exhibition remains one of the greatest live albums ever made.
          RIP Keith Emerson

      • Wanda
        Posted March 14, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        I saw The Nice several times in the late 60s. Keith Emerson was a brilliant musician and always fantastic to watch. I was lucky to be at the very first ELP gig in Portsmouth Guildhall. Sad news indeed.

    • Little Dave
      Posted March 12, 2016 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      I’m from Cradley Heath – proper Black Country. We are not (and have never been) 3D. Come on West Brom (next week).

      • John Connor
        Posted March 13, 2016 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        Hear hear. I suppose the good folk of Tipton, Gornal, Sedgeley Dudley Rowley Regis et al feel exactly the same way! : :good:

        • crypticsue
          Posted March 13, 2016 at 10:45 am | Permalink

          Welcome John.

      • Ian Walkden
        Posted March 14, 2016 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        I very much agree. Most misleading.

        • Gazza
          Posted March 14, 2016 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

          Welcome to the blog, Ian.

  2. jean-luc cheval
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Pretty straightforward solve.
    Nothing outstanding but pleasurable.
    Could our mystery setter be in 3d?
    Thanks for the fun while it lasted and to BD for fixing the blog.

    • Posted March 12, 2016 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      I am beginning to understand why the previous hosting company were unhappy with the site being on shared hosting. On there we shared 4 cpu cores with 15 other sites and had 1GB of memory to ourselves. We now have exclusive use of 3 cpu cores and 5GB of memory and one rogue plugin can gobble up all of it and want more, which is what I believe happened yesterday. When that happenned I was unable to access the dashboard for several hours so could not disable an, as yet fully isolated, plugin. If I am right it is one that is used in anger once or twice a week and spends the rest of it’s time checking to see if anything needs to be done.

      • Una
        Posted March 12, 2016 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

        I wish I knew what you are talking about. Some other site is inserting a plugin ?The mysteries of High tech.

        • judetheobscure
          Posted March 15, 2016 at 10:44 am | Permalink

          I would guess it is more like: BD activated a plug-in which presumably has some nifty but little-used functions. However, some plug-ins are not very well written or are not compatible with other parts of the website, and hence cause more trouble than they’re worth.

  3. crypticsue
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Another straightforward Saturday solve – although I have to admit I’m waiting with bated breath to see what Brian thinks about a couple of the clues :whistle:

    Just drafted the review while Facebook messaging with No 2 son – it is apparently too hot in Ho Chi Minh -38 deg and he’s spent the day by the pool – jealous – me? :yes: If you have the fog and 6 deg temperatures like we have in East Kent today, I recommend you stay indoors and have a go at today’s excellent NTSPP when it appears at noon.

  4. Jose
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    BD, or any other expert: Further to clues that “defy precise categorisation” (DT 28058), I was wondering why the following two sorts of clue rarely appear in descriptive lists of cryptic clue “types”:

    1. The Novelty or Maverick clue, such as 1a. (1,6,3,1,4). Answer: I haven’t got a clue. These are pretty rare but do keep cropping up from time to time.

    2. The Spooner clue. These have become quite common over the last 5 -10 years and although many expert solvers don’t like them (I quite welcome the occasional one), the setters do keep compiling them and the crossword editors keep allowing them.

  5. Angel
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Congratulations BD on achieving lift-off again. Pleased today’s offering wasn’t too challenging hence enough time for a couple of chores prior to an afternoon’s suffusion of RU – come on England. Hovered over 16d because surely second capital letter of scripture lesson is * in UK schools? Fav was 1a. **/***. :yes:

    • Angel
      Posted March 12, 2016 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      Yay, England did it (by the skin of their teeth) after a 60 minute prime performance but a finale of 20 nail-biting minutes. :yahoo: Fingers and everything else crossed for the grand slam next weekend.

    • judetheobscure
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      My ** was ** (****** ******) but I have heard ** used in some schools.

      • Posted March 15, 2016 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        This prize puzzle is still current.

  6. Michael
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Yes pretty straightforward as normal on a Saturday.

    I thought the ‘Black Country’ was [too much information, wait until Friday to have this discussion. BD] – umm!

    Very enjoyable all the same.


    • Faraday
      Posted March 12, 2016 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      A very enjoyable challenge but I did feel that in 3d there might be geographical storm brewing😄

      • Little Dave
        Posted March 12, 2016 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Agree. Poor clue but a worse grip of geography.

    • Caravaggio
      Posted March 12, 2016 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I agree entirely! I confidently expect that those who originate from Wednesbury and Tipton for example will soon be up in arms… However, I’m always pleased when a crossword causes me to reach for Chambers – to look at the possibility of a word I’ve never heard of before – and 3d has done just that.

    • Angel
      Posted March 12, 2016 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      I married a Wulfrunian (not a 3d) who informed me that his Black Country was where the coal seam came to the surface. :roll:

  7. Michael
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    I don’t know what’s happened – I put in an entry into the blog using my userid and email (which I had to enter) and then went in again to edit it, when I filed the updated entry it came back with my userid as ‘undefined’ – I swear my userid and email were in the form – something strange going on with the cookies??


  8. Sarah
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    This didn’t take me as long as usual though was not an instant read and write. My favourite clue was 23a. I agree with many of the above comments. Michael is lucky to have avoided the naughty corner though, I think. Thanks to BD for fixing the blog. It can’t have been very easy. Have a good weekend one and all 🙂

  9. Graham
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Having the worst handwriting in the world 15 A the picture looks a lot better than mine.
    Needed a couple of hints in order to complete, many thanks to the setter & BD for his usual guidance.

  10. Kitty
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t know 21a or the 3d fog (though I was able to guess) and have to admit to using electronic help to get liberated in the NW. Other than that, nothing to declare.

    Thanks to the setter for the puzzle and many thanks to BD for all the hard work on the blog.

    Happy Caturday everyone. You can haz cheezburger.

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

      And a Happy Caturday from everyone at Crufts.


      I cannot decide on the Best in Show today … maybe 1a?

  11. Young Salopian
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    A comfortable and enjoyable Saturday solve. I loved 1 across and 3 down. I’m glad the site is up and running again. It felt strange not being able to access it properly yesterday.

    2*/3*’ feels about right, with grateful thanks to our mystery setter and BD, particularly for his hard work fixing the site.

  12. Leveret
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Must be getting better. Down to xxxxxxxxxxxx, but needed help from Chambers for my last in, 10a. What a chump! Only look on here when completely foxed otherwise defeats object of staving off dementia. Has anyone on here actually won a pen? (my pathetic twilight years goal!)

  13. Gwizz
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was of better quality than usual for a Saturday. Some nice clues including 1a and 7d as well as some needing the little grey cells to wake up.
    7d was my favourite and I think 3/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for his perseverence and hints.

  14. Brian
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    One great clue in 1a but the rest was all a bit tedious.
    Quite tricky but little fun.
    Thx to all

  15. Peta Jackson
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    3D is factually incorrect. I solved it easily as it is an error I am frequently exposed to.

    • Little Dave
      Posted March 12, 2016 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      Alroit ar kid. 😀

      • pommers
        Posted March 12, 2016 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        Yam foyn.

        • Little Dave
          Posted March 12, 2016 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

          Bostin’. Ope yow ave a gud wikend. Come on yow Baggies. ✌️

    • pommers
      Posted March 12, 2016 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      It’s the stupid sort of mistake that the crossword editor should pick up. A clue that should never have been printed.

  16. Weekendwanda
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Mostly in smartish. Nice to be able to sit down in a sunny room and actually do it on a Saturday. Being from the East Midlands and not an expert I would query whether a (answer) comes from the Black Country. I was held up a bit with 7a – thinking of another French word that can be a synonym for upstart. Never heard of 21a but easy to work out. Ia probably my favourite clue. Last one in by ages was 7d despite all of the checking letters. Anyone else confess to that? I did not spot the anagram until I had the answer and I would not automatically think of part of the answer as a synonym for investigates. I shall look forward to reading more comments and thank the setter and BD (although hints not needed today).

  17. Mary Whitechurch
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    For the last 10 days or so I have been unable to access your website on my phone though it is working perfectly on the PC and tablet. Do you have any idea why this should be?

    • crypticsue
      Posted March 12, 2016 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      There have been lots of problems with the site since the transfer to a new host server. I can only access the site through Firefox and Google Chrome when I am at home. At work we have to use Internet Explorer and, unlike the rest of us, the firewall doesn’t like BD’s blog at all.

    • Posted March 12, 2016 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Mary

      It seems to have something to do with some ISPs maintaing their own copy of the DNS and not clearing it down as often as they should. If you can, ask them to clear their DNS cache.

      • Badger
        Posted March 14, 2016 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        BD -do you work for GCHQ? All gobbledegook to me. Despite the dispute over 3d I liiked it! Managed w/o a hint, as usual getting the word with a few letters and then working back to the clue. Thought 1a was excellent. 21a was a word that came from the depths.
        Thanks to the setter as usual.

  18. pommers
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    We enjoyed this, perhaps because it was solved over a coffee in the square after a mooch round the market looking for a new handbag for pommette and a watch for me. No luck on either front.

    Nice and sunny here and about 18C so very pleasant, as was the crossword. We’ll give it **/****

    Favourite was 21d’s fishing expedition which had me barking up the wrong tree for a while, d’oh!

    Thanks to setter and BD as always.

  19. Merusa
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t find this as easy as most did, and I had to use my gizmo for a couple at the end. Somehow I was just off wavelength, but there were some good ones. Last in was 3d, never having heard of the mist I had to google it.
    Fave was 7d, but 1a deserves honourable mention.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for his hints, and all his work keeping the site going.

  20. Hrothgar
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    I just love it when I create a word, new to me, and find it to be the correct solution.
    22a in this instance.
    Enjoyable puzzle.
    Thanks to the setter and BD

  21. Robin Newman
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    enjoyable puzzle
    spent a while thinking of the wrong sort of boring in 16D

  22. Chris
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    I can’t see why 3d has “man” in the clue. I had problems parsing the (unfamiliar) fog because the word I suspected must be fog, had too few letters.
    Hope that is vague enough to pass the Saturday filters!

    • Angel
      Posted March 12, 2016 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      Depends whether 3d is used a noun or an adjective.

    • Hrothgar
      Posted March 13, 2016 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      You need man in order to understand the answer to the clue.
      Hope that helps.

  23. Una
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Not my favourite crossword of all time.I found quite a few of the clues 1a and I never heard of the phrase in 17d.
    I expect I am having a 10a day , or perhaps that condition extends longer than that, in me.

  24. Jon_S
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    Pretty straightforward, bit of a hold-up at the end on 22ac.

  25. Metman
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Just got around to this and found it enjoyable but not too taxing. I was a meteorologist for 46 years and have never heard the term **** for mist! Where did that come from?

    • Gazza
      Posted March 12, 2016 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      Please don’t give away partial answers.

      • metman
        Posted March 12, 2016 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

        my apologies Gazza, didn’t think

      • Weekendwanda
        Posted March 14, 2016 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        I had a feeling I had heard word before and wondered whether it was an old English word, perhaps forums in Shakespeare. As J-L and Framboise will know it is certainly a French word. Ah just seen J-L’s cryptic comment below!

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted March 12, 2016 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

      Try your friendly neighbours. :bye:

  26. Bluebell
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable solve. I had to break off to go to the local inn to watch the England Wales rugby.Great win for England although a bit squeeky bottom towards the end. The beauty of living on the Welsh border is watching it with the Welsh fans.
    A great atmosphere and handshakes all round afterwards.
    Managed to polish off the last few clues on return. A few favourites 3d, 18a and 16d I thought 17d a bit odd

  27. Salty Dog
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    An enjoyable doddle: 1*/4*. Best clue contenders, for me, are all in the NW corner – 1a, 1d and 7a. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  28. snape
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t mastered gerunds yet, but is 9d an example? Otherwise (and I’ve only just got round to this, and I’m about halfway through) the answer I’ve got, and I think must be right, doesn’t seem to match the clue. No one else has mentioned it, though.

    Enjoying it though, thanks to the setter, and to BD.

    • stanXYZ
      Posted March 12, 2016 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      Isn’t the English Language wonderful?

      Three adjectives to describe a gerund – gerundial and gerundival and gerundive

  29. Florence
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Felt exhausted after watching the rugby. Glad today’s crossword wasn’t too taxing.I wasn’t keen on 7d and had to check the review to confirm that I had worked the clue our correctly. No real favourite today. Thanks to the setter and to BD.

  30. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted March 13, 2016 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Late today after refereeing a horrendous game of football yesterday, 4 yellow cards, 2 red cards all for the same team. Is it worth it???? Needed a curry and some Old Speckled Hen to clam down. And Swindon equalised in the last minute against Millwall…grrr… :mad: :mad: :mad:
    Enjoyable puzzle to compensate. Needed a couple of hints…More for confirmation than anything else.
    Thanks to BD for the hints, very helpful, and the setter.
    Anyone do the crossword by the DT website?? If so, do the prize crosswords entered via this get entered to the prize competition???

  31. Roland
    Posted March 13, 2016 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Is everyone still having problems accessing Big Daves web site as I am?

  32. Collywobbles
    Posted March 14, 2016 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    BD – I’m coming to the puzzle late this weekend and, looking at your hints I can’t understand how 7d can end with * and 22a start with *. Can you help?

    • Posted March 14, 2016 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      First – you ought to know better by now than to publish partial answers, which have now been redacted.

      You have failed to read the hint for 22a properly – read it again.

      • Collywobbles
        Posted March 14, 2016 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        Sorry, I thought that I would be the only person looking at a Saturday puzzle on Monday

  33. judetheobscure
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Some of us don’t start crosswords until several days later ;) On this occasion I was delayed by rugby (international) on Saturday. An extremely jolly afternoon and evening was had by all :D
    And rugby (junior) on Sunday with two of my boys involved in cup finals/semi-finals.
    When I finally got around to the crossword, after a slow start it yielded quite smoothly. A couple of new words, 21a and the fog from 3d, but both solved by the parsing and subsequently looked up.
    Not keen on 17d; just doesn’t seem like the right tense though it’s an odd word all round :)
    But loved 1a and 8a.