DT 28096 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28096 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28096 (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    Plant that could give beast of burden trouble on the way back (8)
A beast of burden followed by the reversal of a verb meaning to trouble or distress

9a    Someone making excuses for record I delivered in a job (9)
A record, maybe one kept by the captain of a ship, and the I from the clue inside the A from the clue and a job

15a    Manufacturer in Germany and America meeting employee on approval (13)
IN from the clue followed by the IVR code for Germany, the two-letter abbreviation for America and an employee who is on approval

18a    Charge a boy touring Cornish resort in holiday time (7,6)
A three-letter charge, the A from the clue and a boy around (touring) a Cornish resort (2,4)

23a    Soak up sun in autumn month — it’s 45 degrees (6)
A verb meaning to soak up the sun’s rays inside the three-letter abbreviation for an Autumn month

27a    Conductor‘s chosen baton to lead first part of Eroica (9)
Not someone wielding a baton, but a conductor of electricity! – an adjective meaning chosen followed by a three-letter word for a baton and the initial letter (first part) of E[roica]

28a    Official disallowed rugby score ace secured (6)
A disallowed rugby score (2,3) – remember the sign shown when the TMO decides against a score being awarded – around (secured) A{ce)

29a    Unproductive performers to be removed from musical stage? (4,4)
As one word these unproductive performers give the name of a stage in a famous musical

ARVE Error: need id and provider


1d    Clergyman takes tea with nothing added (8)
A three-letter word meaning tea followed by an adjective meaning with nothing added

2d    Dreamy doctor appearing in Casualty finally (5)
A two-letter abbreviation for a doctor followed by a two-letter word meaning appearing in and the final letter of [Casualt]y – while it is not necessary to know that Casualty is a weekly medical soap opera, it would explain to overseas solvers why the word is capitalised in the clue

3d    Cat — punishment that’s held over son (7)
Punishment of the kind regularly handed out to schoolchildren around (that’s held) O(ver) and followed by S(on)

7d    Small female in health resort rejected desires (9)
An adjective (originally French) used to describe a small female inside the reversal (rejected) of a health resort

8d    German  person eating less (6)
Two definitions – a German male first name and someone who is on a regime that involves eating less food

14d    Get girl in elaborate rite (8)
Get in this context means to annoy – a girl’s name inside an anagram (elaborate) of RITE

16d    To reduce agitation apparently is putting off (9)
This could be (apparently), but isn’t, a verb meaning to reduce agitation

21d    Television  vet (6)
Two definitions –according to Chambers, when preceded by “the” this can mean the medium of television

24d    Eager to get support of old in large numbers (1,4)
An adjective meaning eager followed (to get support of in a down clue) by O(ld)

25d    Present from the relations (4)
Hidden (from) inside the clue

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: soul+Eric+lips=solar eclipse

92 comments on “DT 28096 (Hints)

  1. 4*/3*. I found this very tough for a Saturday puzzle, but nevertheless mostly very enjoyable. I put in the wrong answer for 2d using a different two letter doctor to give a bit of an obscure word which could at a pinch mean dreamy, which delayed 1a for me. 23a was a new word for me but the answer could be worked out from the wordplay. 27a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

  2. Oh dear. I was very slow this morning and was pretty sure it wasn’t the puzzle, so thanks to RD for the reassurance! Got there in the end, but did have to look up my guess for 24d which I’d never heard of (EDIT: oh no, wait. Now I have woken up, I realise that of course I have), and needed that final checker before I managed to twig 29a. Still, an enjoyable solve.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

    Not sure if I will have the stamina to tackle the ntspp later, but it might be good for a laugh.

  3. Many thanks BD

    An enjoyable solve – I especially liked 27a

    I had 2 concerns: including “female” in 7d changes things from an adjective to a noun, does that work? and Uncle Sam ******************.
    Many thanks setter .

    1. I’m not prepared to go to the Naughty Corner but will just say that if you look up Uncle Sam I think you will see that the 3 is right.

      1. all the references I’ve looked in (brb, collins, oxford, wikipedia) do not include a third word in a translation, which makes sense, doesn’t it? Not to worry.

            1. CS. 22a. Isn’t this just a straightforward clue: an abbreviated country inside a particular song? Why all the arcane discussion?

      1. Chambers (and the ODE) have the word in question as an adjective and not as a noun. It is, according to my Collins French Dictionary, a noun in French but in that case it would need to be indicated as foreign.

      1. Welcome to the blog Questasalse

        The reason no-one else has put that is that they are complying with the instructions in red at the end of the post “please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT”.

    2. Personally I wouldn’t put that part of 7d as necessarily female. That was my only quibble for this crossword.

  4. I got totally ‘bogged down’ on 18a and 10d, partly because my answer for 16d was wrong which meant the starting letter for 18a was wrong. But, with a flash of inspiration(?) on the Cornish resort, I got there in the end with some medical education (10d) on the way. Favourite 18a, even though it did cause me problems including being unable to shake the thought that resort was an anagram indicator. Thank to the setter and BD. Happy St Georges day!

  5. This prize puzzle fits neatly in the procession of difficult puzzles for me this week. I couldn’t find any anagrams to start me off and luckily managed to get 8d and 11a to get going.

    Ended up with many answers but couldn’t see the wordplay to verify them. Needed most of the hints and as much computer power as I had at my disposal to finish it.

    Still, it was nice to finish it.

    Liked 28a, 1a 11a and 21d.

    Thanks to setter and BD

  6. Phew that was a tough one for a Saturday but comforting to know I am not alone in finding it so. Needed your help, BD, to finish off in SE corner (23a/24d) so thanks for that and to Mr. Ron for setting us the challenge. Now on with the weekend motley. ****/***.

  7. Thank you for the visual clue for 29a, Dave, because I immediately realised what the answer was and that evoked all sorts of memories of Uncle Mac – and Ed Stewart – and the immortal lines:

    Introducing Henry Miller –
    Just as busy as a fizzy sarsaparilla…

    I remember asking my father what a ‘sarsaparilla’ was and so he wrote it down for me and then pointed me in the direction of the dictionary. Yes, it was a copy of Chambers…

  8. Wow. The Saturday setter has upped the ante. I found this very challenging and a slow solve. I got there in the end, though. 14D was last in, with 29A my runaway favorite when the penny dropped. Thanks to the setter and to BD.

    Having seen who the setter is for the NTSPP, I think it’s going to be a long day.

  9. Phew! That was tough. Needed the hints to parse my answers to 1a (spent ages trying to fit in other more common beasts of burden), 15a and 29 but having seen the reason, very clever! Very satisfying to complete. For me ***/***
    Thx to all

  10. I think they’ve got the envelopes mixed up again – far too difficult for a Prize Crossword!


      1. Not in general but yes as far as this crossword is concerned. Michael is spot on – today’s crossword is much harder than usual for a Saturday. I spend £2.00 for the pleasure of actually being able to complete this crossword unaided – I’ll think twice if they keep this up!

        1. But, isn’t it a case of being on the same wavelength as the setter – different days for all of us? For me, for example, on Fridays (Giovanni) there are (rare) occasions where it is almost R&W and others (like yesterday) where I can only complete around two-thirds without resorting to the hints. And, I am finding that even Mondays (Rufus) are getting a little trickier.

      2. I’ve got no idea if the Prize Crossword should be easy or not – but I would have thought that from the Telegraph’s point of view it would be in their interests to have as many people doing it as possible – they are in the Selling Newspapers business after all – making the Crossword difficult would tend to put the punters off and eventually depress sales.

        Maybe I’m looking at it in a too simplistic way but it sort of makes sense to me!

        Oh, and I managed the puzzle without any outside help – it just seemed to me to be a lot more difficult than the normal Saturday fare.

        1. As I mentioned earlier Michael, I buy the Saturday Telegraph purely for the crossword and because it has, up until now, been set perfectly for someone with my fairly limited ability – challenging but doable. This crossword was a complete curve ball to me and, unusually, harder than some of those earlier in the week. Either, as you say, they got the envelopes mixed up or they’re shooting themselves in the foot. One more like this and I won’t be spending £2.00 on a Saturday again.

  11. Oh good – I thought it was going to be another of those “just me” days but now I can see that it isn’t.
    Really pretty tricky – I’m becoming more and more convinced that the fewer the anagrams the more difficult I find a crossword.
    Like Brian I spent too long with the wrong beast of burden in 1a even though I have several of them – the 1a’s not the beasts of burden – in the garden.
    15a took a while to put together and I spent too long on the two letters rather than three for Uncle Sam – dim.
    I didn’t know 23a but could work it out from the clue and look it up.
    I have no idea who the ‘TMO’ is in the 28a hint or what he’s holding up but whatever – I do at least understand my answer now.
    I liked 1 and 11a and 6 and 10d. My favourite was 17d – I should think Kew would freak out if they had that!
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    I can tell without even trying that the NTSPP is going to be well and truly beyond me . . .

    1. On a scale of blooming trickiness – today’s backpager was extremely blooming tricky – and solving the NTSPP wasn’t as blooming tricky as it might have been, (unlike explaining it for the review :phew: ) so why not try and see how you get on.

      1. OK – thanks – maybe, although I suspect your scale of “blooming trickiness” and mine are two very different things. :unsure:

      2. All I can say at the moment is that although today’s back-pager was indeed extremely blooming tricky it was a doddle compared with the NTSPP, which is way more blooming tricky. After a massive struggle I am half way through but I can’t yet fully parse at least half of those answers.

    2. TMO = television match official. In the good old days a match lasted 80 minutes plus the half-time break. Now it takes much longer, partly because of the references to the TMO.

  12. Maybe a bit tougher than the usual Saturday prize puzzle but I did not find it too taxing. I enjoyed this one quite a bit. 2*/4* for me.

  13. Far more difficult than the average Saturday Prize Puzzle – but most enjoyable.

    I normally have a go at the NTSPP but having seen who the setter is and having read the preamble I will save my very expensive printer ink for another day. Good luck to all who attempt the NTSPP.

    BD – I may be wrong but isn’t it a 2-letter abbreviation in 15a?

    1. Have a go at the online version – no ink involved there. Ignore the ‘structions for a while , I never look at structions until I’ve got a few solutions written in. Then just read the first line of said ‘structions and then have another go. I’ve known a lot harder Elgar puzzles than this one and you may be surprised how far you can get with it.

  14. Wow, that took a long time. For some reason 19d eluded me until the end. Favourite clue was 18a, as I was going to say. Now looking for an opportunity to use the newly learned 10d in everyday conversation.

  15. More coffee needed than usual plus a dog walk to clear the mind before success (hopefully). I think 26a, if correct, was a new word for me. Thank you BD for your usual elucidation.

  16. Stuck, stuck, stuck.
    Time to give up. 😟
    Not because I’m a quitter, but I have exhausted all my resources, and if I don’t shop, there will be no food on the table tonight. Did all but five and I am quite pleased with that as everyone seems to have found it a challenge today.

  17. Joining the crowd, I will say that solving today’s prize crossword was a battle! The fact that I invented a word for 10d and got the first part of 18a wrong resulting in making me a dog’s dinner of the centre of the puzzle. But I did not give up and my fortitude paid off. Phew, it was tough. I always thought that 24d was a French expression… Did not know 23a but it was not difficult to work ou from the clue. My favourite was 15a. Many thanks to setter and to BD.

  18. Phew! Thank you everyone….it isn’t just me. THat was a tricky one…….well is still being a tricky one actually, but I am determined to persevere. Thanks BD your hints have helped enormously today.

  19. Blimey, that was hard! It took many breaks and help from gizmo, even so, many answers went in but needed the hints to know why.
    My fave was 18a.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for unravelling the answers for me.

    1. My thoughts and prayers go with you for next week, wishing you a good outcome and a speedy recovery.

  20. Continuing the run of tricky puzzles IMHO. Enjoyable enough solve but was hoping for something slightly less time-consuming.

    Thanks to BD and setter ***/***

  21. This is really difficult and pleased there are only two of mine not filled in considering all the top solvers found this difficult for a Saturday. Struggling with 10d (not much chance of that one being solved) and 13a but going to stick at it. Really enjoyed getting the answers to 15a and 18a and some other clues I really liked such as 22a / 14d.

    Is 12a a play on words from a clue and answer the same as yesterday?

    Anyway although not completed I will give it 4.5 / 3

    1. That’s it for today will look at it again tomorrow.

      Thanks to BD for the couple of H&T used and the setter.

        1. Yep its right can see how the clues are structured now for 13a and 10d straight forward once you have got them.

  22. Definitely a little more thought than is usually required here on a Saturday, in particular in the SE corner. Not realising that 10d was indeed the plural of the slightly better known singular form gave me pause for thought, despite being certain who the poet in question was. You learn something new every day. :-)

  23. Not too bad in the end, although there was a stage quite early on when I thought it was turning out a right stinker. Then a few pennies dropped and the grid practically filled itself. 2*/3.5* is about right, and favourite clue 18a. I loved 8d and 29a too – the latter conjures up one of my favourite childhood wet Sunday afternoon films. Thanks to the setter, and to BD.

  24. Tough, but fair, couple of new ones for us – 23a & 24d. Not sure of 2d, if we’ve got it right! Thanks BD & the setter.

  25. Phew! That was no picnic! Just as I pressed the button to send the winning entry in I realised I had 2d wrong. Oh well, it’ll have to be next week then.
    I too liked 29a across and now of course find the song going round and round me head.
    3/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for his hints.

  26. Phew, what a stinker! The bits I did were enjoyable but still not finished and most of you will be fast asleep by my time. Thanks to the setter and BD for enlightening me on a couple. Back to the drawing board 😕

    1. …. at last – finished having taken a short break, pulled out the BRB and more use of the computer, and had a word with myself. I still regard this as a tough challenge.

  27. Started with the anagrams and thought it would be an easy Saturday – wrong. Finished it tough, after a few wrong turns.

    1. I presume you mean in addition to the hints BD provided and any of the clues for which further help was given in the comments?

      Providing you haven’t got too many clues you need help with, ask a question about a couple of them and we’ll see what we can do.

      There is also a site called The Answerbank – there’s a link to it under the Links tab at the top of the page. Quite often you will find that someone has already asked about the clue you are having trouble with too.

    1. Citizen of a European country, minus it’s final letter (trimmed), at least that’s how we parsed it HIYD!

        1. If you were born in that country, you’d be xxxxx. Sorry, we’re not as good as BD et AL at the H&T’s!

              1. I was not questioning whether the country in question is in Europe or not, but whether it is a European countryman that is trimmed, for example Brazil is a country but Brazilian is a countryman not a country.

                1. HIYD. 4d. The clue parses thus: Flag (definition) = of European country (a 5 letter word for a particular European nationality) trimmed (with the last letter removed). And the answer is *********.

                  * BD. Remove the last sentence if deemed an “alternative clue”. [It was!]

                  1. What’s the difference between a hint and an alternative clue? And how is it OK to give loads of hints for a prize crossword and then get castigated for giving an ‘alternative clue’?

                    1. An alternative clue is one that leads to the correct answer but is not the actual clue – if you are going to do that you might just as well give the answer.

                      One of the main objects of this website is to help people to understand how clues lead to the respective answers. I don’t mind others helping us to achieve that aim, but please do so within the guidelines given at the bottom of every weekend prize puzzle post.

                  2. Thanks BD. Sorry if I’m being a bit dim here but your hints also lead to the correct answer, thereby helping solve the prize crossword; so I don’t see the difference?

  28. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable but very tricky puzzle. Needed the hints for 1a, could only think of ass, as a beast of burden, doh! Still can’t get 24d,despite reading the hints. Favourite was 22a. Was 4*/3* for me.

  29. I did this little teaser on Sunday morning, having driven back from Devon in time to watch Wasps lose their semi final against Saracens, in which the man from 28 across was much in evidence. I then drowned my sorrows and my brain went into unthinking mode until this morning.

    This was right up there with the hardest Saturday prize puzzles. Some clues were downright hard, but that seems fair for a prize puzzle. A stroll in the park it should not be. It was doable, but a struggle nonetheless. No real favourite, although the high-numbered across clues were the excellent, and 17 down was clever.

    4*/3* I think from me, with thanks and a large PHEW to Mr Ron and BD for his continuing hard work on the site.

  30. That was a struggle, had to make copious use of the hints and the BRB.
    New words for me 26, 23, 24.
    Been a tough week….

  31. Yippee. Finished. !!!! Thanks setter and BD. This was an enormous challenge for me.

  32. Bringing up the rear yet again. Just finished, although did fly out to Portugal on Saturday. Needed Mr BD plus e-help for this one, but great enjoyment. Still haven’t parsed 4d. Thank you again, both setter and Mr BD.

    1. I’m in danger of a telling off….

      You sure are! What is it about ‘no alternative clues’ that you didn’t understand? CS

  33. I haven’t tackled this till Monday-it is always good and encouraging to know that others are finding some crosswords hard if you are also, but they are not necessarily the same ones as others! I agree with Senf, as I am often surprised when I can do some with relative ease (not that often!) and others find them hard, and vice versa, so its horses for courses, but I definitely don’t think they should get easier because some people find them hard on occasion! I just think I should up my game and try harder, which I thought was the point. Thanks for the blog.

  34. Finished this only with a lot of help from the IT department.
    Still cannot understand 24d. I have the answer but cannot find any definition which fits with large numbers???
    Explanation would be welcome, thanks.

    1. The definition, as underlined in the hint, is “in large numbers “. Have you tried looking up your answer in a dictionary, preferably Chambers? And don’t forget that the enumeration is (1,4).

  35. i tend to agree with michael, i didn’t find it too difficult but i think that as i have been doing the telegraph crossword along with the times and the daily mail for many many years, one becomes accustomed to quite a few of the clues which tend to come up fairly often. i would recommend bradfords for those that are not familiar with some of the old chestnuts. i didn’t have to use it for this one but i do use it often and it is an absolute must for any crossword fan

  36. Very challenging. Have had it on the go most of the week and only just finished.
    Surprised that 22a didn’t make it on to the hints list as that was my last in – not a word I’ve heard before in that form. Also slow with 24d, 23a and 14d.
    Enjoyed 18a and 27a.
    3.5, verging on 4* difficulty, 4* enjoyment :)

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