DT 28084 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28084 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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I have added a long-overdue page about the etiquette that should observed when posting comments.
It can be found under Contact in the main menu.

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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    Get rid of European predicament (6)
A verb meaning to get rid of followed by E(uropean)

12a    Wretched chap with list of duties taking turn as supervisor (7)
A three-letter wretched chap followed by the reversal (taking turn) of a list of duties

13a    One promoting health — of flower? (7)
Split as (2,5) this could be a health drunk to a particular flower proposed by this person

17a    Licence for every letter head (14)
A three-letter word meaning for every followed by a letter and a headland

23a    Take plunge, having kind of comfortable job with police force (7)
An adjective used to describe a comfortable job followed by the abbreviated form by which London’s police force is known

24a    Tasteless stuff Venetian artist announced, crafty fellow (9)
What sounds like (announced) some tasteless or vulgar stuff and a Venetian artist

26a    Does perhaps clothing indicate what’s fashionable? (8)
These does are female animals – put them around a verb meaning to indicate

27a    Football club cancel tickets for enclosure (6)
This Scottish football club is hidden (for enclosure) inside the clue


1d    The main view south on break touring Austria (8)
This view of the main comes from S(outh) followed by a break, as in a short holiday touring in Austria perhaps, around the IVR code for Austria

5d    Dubious business practice like factions taking drugs (5-9)
A two-letter word meaning like followed by some factions and a verb meaning taking hallucinatory drugs

7d    Fool, I eat less having nothing to replace energy (5)
The I from the clue followed by a verb meaning to eat less in which O (nothing) replaces E(nergy)

8d    Make certain of being on river (6)
An obscure three-letter word meaning being or existence (when did you see it used other than in a crossword) followed by a river

15d    Tom Bates messed about, holding a vessel (9)
An anagram (messed about) of TOM BATES around (holding) the A from the clue

18d    Injuring old Lib-Dem leader after month in France (7)
The name by which former Lib-Dem leader Menzies Campbell was known (based on the Scottish pronunciation of Menzies) preceded by the French name for the fifth month of the year

20d    Showed feelings being relegated, losing head (6)
A verb meaning relegated without (losing) its initial letter (head)

22d    Plunders  fortified wines (5)
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: shoal+dub+own=shoulder bone


  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    3*/4*. I enjoyed this a lot. It was nicely challenging, and almost all the surface readings are very smooth.

    1a is a very topical clue for those of us in the UK! I needed my BRB to understand the derivation of the first three letters of my answer for 8d. 24a is a clever construction, and I loved the misdirection in 26a.

    14a gets my vote as favourite – a perfect anagram with a great surface.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

  2. Jox
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Had to check in for the reasoning behind 8d, otherwise a nice start to the day. Off now to walk the 21a before the rain sets in.

  3. Young Salopian
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    A very comfortable and enjoyable early morning solve. My only sticking point was the obscurity in 8 down, but it had to be what it was so no complaint. 24 across my favourite, although some of the anagrams were brilliant. 2*/4* my rating.

    Mrs YS and I are off to watch Wasps v Exeter in the European Cup QF this afternoon in what should be a close and exciting tussle between two very good sides.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

    • Young Salopian
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      When I said close and exciting I didn’t expect a one point margin of victory and a last minute try and touchline conversion to win it. Wonderful, wonderful game and a tribute to two very good sides. Next up Saracens in the semi.

  4. George
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    A nice straight forward Saturday puzzle. Lots of anagrams it seemed to me. 1*/4* for me today.

  5. Brian
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Bit tricky but very fair. Last in was 1a as I spent ages trying to insert xxxxx! Not too keen on 14 letter anagrams and must admit resorting to electronic means to solve 14a.
    Did like 21a and 25a. I’m sure I must have come across the three letter word for being in 8d but can’t remember when. Is there a special dictionary of obscure words produced for crossword setters, possible written by the Don 😀
    Thx to all

    • crypticsue
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Big Dave does ask very nicely (in red writing) that people don’t put in answers whether whole, partial or in this case incorrect.

      Mr Manley’s book of obscure words for crossword setters exists purely in my imagination. Someone once told me I should be careful what i wish for!!

    • Posted April 9, 2016 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Sounds like a good idea for a new page!

      I just need to add a few more like running water = EA

      • crypticsue
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        I think some setters use quite enough obscure words without you providing them with a list of further options

  6. JonP
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    A pleasant and straightforward puzzle which was just the ticket for me with a befuddled head due to jet lag.

    Thanks to BD and setter */***

  7. Angel
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    A joyful way to start the weekend. Thank you Mr. Ron and BD. It’s reassuring to know I wasn’t alone in struggling to parse 8d. East was definitely best today but West gradually fell into place. Rather a lot of anagrams. Fav was 24a but several close runners-up. Next task – to pick a winner or even a runner-up in the GN. ***/***.

    • crypticsue
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      If you read my (just drafted) review when it appears on Friday morning, you’ll see why I think we get the impression that there are a lot of anagrams. I expect someone else will say why in the comments during the day, but I do like to add a bit of interest in the reviews, even if by Friday people will have forgotten all about the puzzle and probably won’t even look at the review.

      • Kath
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        I won’t have forgotten about it by Friday – I’m getting a bit better at remembering to look.
        As for why it seems as if there are lots of anagrams – well, I was going to say something about it – I do have an idea but would hate to tread on your toes! :negative:

  8. Attila the Hun
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    I recalled the obscure word starting 8d from chemistry lessons long ago, where (IIRC) it meant a condensation of the essence of something. It’s amazing what you can drag back from 50 years ago.

    3/4 for me, Trying to complete the puzzle before the coffee perked, I was stupidly misdirected in 24a by the reference to Venetian and crafty fellow … but 22d soon sorted that out.

  9. Wahoo
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    A gentle but pleasant (*/***) puzzle for the end of an interesting week’s collection – surely something for everybody this week?

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  10. Kath
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this one a lot too although I was very slow to get started – don’t know why.
    I thought there were a couple of misleading anagrams – 14a where I tried to get the answer out of the wrong letters and 16a where the indicator could have been either ‘mysterious’ or ‘assembled’ – maybe I’m just being dim today.
    I needed the hint for 13a – was thinking of the wrong kind of health – or maybe just wasn’t thinking at all.
    Like others I’d never heard of the first three letters of 8d but it is in BRB.
    I went a bit blind about 27a – the combination of a hidden answer with ‘Football’ in the clue – oh dear!
    I liked 1a – very topical – and 21a and 18d. My favourite was 24a.
    With thanks to whoever set this one and to BD.

    • Weekendwanda
      Posted April 10, 2016 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Quickly scanning the comments. Misread yours to “I enjoyed this on the loo.” Before I spent too long trying to guess whether a quick or slow solve I spotted my error.

      • Kath
        Posted April 10, 2016 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        Should have gone to Specsavers!

  11. Wahoo
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Just read the hints and seen your photo for 27a. Perhaps the clue might have read “Football Club Inter cancel tickets for cup opponents! :)

  12. Penky
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Lovely straightforward one, got my self_
    -confidence back after a couple of stinkers last week. Didn’t need the hints but thanks to BD and setter.

  13. vancouverbc
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    **/***. Enjoyable solve in clockwise order starting in the NE corner. Thanks to the setter and BD for the review.

  14. Senf
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    More than a little tricky, but completed before lights out last night. I managed to get 26a while totally missing the way to read ‘does.’ That and potential misdirection (sorry Kath I enjoy clues with two potential anagram indicators) made it very enjoyable; so, **/*** for me. Favourite 14a – which two words to choose for the anagram ‘mix’ and a single 14 letter word!

    • crypticsue
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      You’ve changed your email address – both new and old should work now

      • Senf
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        Thanks CS – in the process of relocating from the USA to Canada – hence the e-mail change.

  15. pommers
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was going to be a tough one when we only got five of the acrosses on first pass but then we got every one of the downs so it was pretty much done by then. I guess */*** would be about right.

    18d was probably favourite out of quite a lot of good stuff.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  16. Kitty
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    It took a long while to get my brain in gear this morning, but once I was awake I enjoyed this. I’d forgotten that bit of 8d and also the wines in 22d, even though I’d put money on having encountered them both before.

    I won’t say anything about anagrams yet but will wait until the full review.

    With thanks to today’s setter and BD. Hope you’re all having a super weekend.

  17. Caravaggio
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    I was late starting today’s puzzle but I’ve made good progress while watching West Ham v Arsenal and found it to be thoroughly enjoyable. As an aside, I once completed the Telegraph prize crossword while scoring a game of cricket… Who says men can’t multi-task? I liked the construct of 17a and appreciated the anagrams too although, I suspect, there will be criticisms of there being too many of them.

  18. TheTeesdale2
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable puzzle for a sunny Teesdale morning, and managed it without MrsTT2, who’s heading to Berkshire for a sensible and sophisticated Hen Night! Thanks to the setter and BD for help with parsing 8d.

  19. jean-luc cheval
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Had the same problem parsing the first part of 8d and had to check why the second part of 18d was what it seemed to be. Not only do we have to remember Old Lib Dem leaders but also their nicknames is a bit unfair IMHO.
    Favourite is 7d.
    Thanks to the Saturday setter and to BD for the blog.

  20. Sarah
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Managed this without any help but mostly by guessing the answer and then fitting the clue! Not my favourite way to work. 8d has been used a couple of time before. Had a break mid puzzle to place my bets. Mr Sarah, who usually does this, is away. So 50 p each way….the last of the big spenders! Thanks to the setter and BD. I missed the last week when I couldn’t log in. Have a lovely weekend and may all your horses come home!! 🙂🐴

  21. Carolyn in Ontario
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    I have never posted before but have been lurking for ages. I love this site and just wanted to say thank you. I got off to a great start with Saturday’s crossword but have now come to a screeching halt, but then that’s what I love about the DT cryptic puzzle even though I do sometimes feel thick as a plank when I finally get to see the solutions!

    • Gazza
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog, Carolyn.

      • Carolyn in Ontario
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        Thank you! Finished it. Hubby half got the last one. I had trundled down one avenue of thought and was kind of stuck on that so couldn’t see the flipping obvious. I do that.

  22. Howitzerx3
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    This week has not got that much easier for me. Found this difficult to get going and like Kath used the wrong words for a couple of the 14 letter anagrams (that made me feel a bit better Kath) Messed up 5d also put ********* instead of ********* last in was 24a due to the error but sorted eventually.

    Thanks to Big Dave for H&T with 17a 25a and 24a

    Favourite clues 23a and 18d

    Thanks for the support this week everybody which was my first week on the blog posting and managed to complete six out of seven. Guess the day I failed to do it?
    Thanks to BD and the setter Rating 3/2.5

    • Kath
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Well done – and I’m glad I made you feel better. No, I can’t guess which day you failed – Thursday? :unsure:
      Just keep going – you’re doing really well and you’ll learn loads here very quickly. :good:

      • Howitzerx3
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        Kath how could I fail Thursday when you did the fantastic job with hints and tips? It did begin with a T though?

    • Gazza
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Please don’t put correct, or even incorrect, answers in your comments on Prize Puzzles.

      • Howitzerx3
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        Sorry about that comment noted thanks.

  23. Ora Meringue
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Struggled a bit with this but got there eventually then wondered (sometimes) why I had found it so difficult. Bit of brain fade maybe.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Big Dave without whose site I would have given up on cryptics long since.

    Hope all the punters amongst you do well in the National today. I’ve risked a pound of my hard earned on the favourite…..I really throw caution to the winds sometimes.

  24. Jon_S
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    An easier puzzle than we’ve had on a Saturday for a few weeks. Favourite clue 26ac.

  25. Badger
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Came back for hints today to check 21a – but wasn’t one! Got the answer but hard to get justification, I thought. 8d also a challenge, but had to be what I assumed. Liked the the long ones especially 5d and 9d. Thanks to BD and setter.
    Missed the National -painting garden gate and forgot!

    • Posted April 9, 2016 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      Try looking in Chambers or The Usual Suspects for pet.

      • Badger
        Posted April 11, 2016 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        Thanks BD -never thought of looking there, couldn’t find in dics or On line synonyms !

  26. Framboise
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyed today’s offering! Neither too easy or difficult, just an invigorating working of the grey matter. Lots of clever clues but my favourite was 24a closely followed by 7 which made me laugh. Nice to be able to check the parsing of 8d and 13a in BD’s hints so many thanks to him and to the setter.

  27. Una
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Very pleasant. I surprised myself by getting 27a.
    5d was my favourite.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  28. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Miles off the pace with this, disappointing after solving yesterday’s so quickly.
    Brain is much at the moment, leave until the morning…

  29. Florence
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Out shopping this morning and watched Saracens V Saints rugby this afternoon so really late start to the prize puzzle. I have seen the second word of 1d so many times over the last few weeks, but was caught out yet again. Brain not acting as a sponge, more like a sieve. Favourites were 23a and 18d. Thank you setter and BD.

  30. Heno
    Posted April 10, 2016 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. I liked the etiquette page, well said BD. A very enjoyable puzzle, but quite tricky in places. Managed ok, just needed the hints to parse 1d,8d&26a. Last in was 13a,which was also my favourite. Was 3*/3.5* for me.

    • Kitty
      Posted April 10, 2016 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      I think if I’d written the etiquette page it would say: “Don’t be a ****!” – but you put it very nicely, BD.

  31. Tstrummer
    Posted April 10, 2016 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    Une promenade dans le parc after some of this week’s offerings, but some lovely clues. 17a prit le biscuit. Merci a tous. 1*/3*

  32. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted April 10, 2016 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    That was a slog!! I have no idea why. Watching Rory fade at Augusta last night probably put me in a bad mood!!
    Many thanks to BD for the hints and the continued excellence of this website, and thanks of course, to the setter.

  33. Weekendwanda
    Posted April 10, 2016 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Quick solve in bed this morning. For me it was the NE that went in last. I could think of two answers for 8d (at least) and like others it was the first part I did not understand “being”. Took xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx and I was right. Also flummoxed for a time with 4a. Then realised what fit and only then spotted the anagram. Doh! Some very clever stuff. Perhaps 24a favourite. Thanks setter et al.

    • crypticsue
      Posted April 10, 2016 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Whether or not you inended it or not, you were definitely in alternative clue land with part of your comment.

      • Weekendwanda
        Posted April 10, 2016 at 9:10 am | Permalink

        Did not see it as an alternative clue. Play on words perhaps. My mistake

  34. bifield
    Posted April 10, 2016 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Very slow to get started but after leaving it for a while all became clear. Overall a good puzzle for a Saturday but now I cannot see what held me up for so long. Thanks to setter and to Big Dave for the hints.

  35. Melissa
    Posted April 10, 2016 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    I started doing crosswords at Easter and have just finished yesterday’s Telegraph 28084, my first ever completion! To say that I’m thrilled is an understatement. Am still getting the hang of the different types of clues, but have a real sense of accomplishment.

    • Posted April 10, 2016 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Melissa

      Congratulations – we’re always pleased to hear success stories.

    • Kitty
      Posted April 10, 2016 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      Congratulations, Melissa.

      If you only started at Easter, I predict you’ll be polishing off the Toughies come Christmas!

      • Melissa
        Posted April 10, 2016 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Dave.

        @Kitty, I wish I were that confident!! A Thesaurus and OEM have been a Godsend, as has the How to solve the DT Crossword book! Am addicted now!

  36. Gwizz
    Posted April 11, 2016 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Well done Melissa, it took me months and months before I could claim to have successfully completed a DT Cryptic!
    This was more of a challenge than usual for a Saturday. 24a was my fave and 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to MrRon and to BD for his hints.

  37. Mike Bee
    Posted April 11, 2016 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Found this one a bit tricky. Struggled with 1a,10a,17a,26a,5d,6d and a few others. Quite liked 8d! Still, at least got it finished before Tuesday this week.