DT 28102 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28102 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28102 (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    Frivolous chatter, at first it’s illuminating (8)
An adjective meaning frivolous preceded by (at first) some chatter

11a    Person that runs after ball one gets to fly many a mile (12)
A person that runs preceded by (after) a ball-shaped object gives this traveller that you just might encounter somewhere else today!

15a    Visual showing humour? Don’t start that! (6)
Take an adjective meaning showing humour and drop (don’t start that) the initial letter

16a    Soldiers must surround a base (4)
Some soldiers around the A from the clue gives an adjective meaning base or wretched

21a    Father has an allowance — that’s sweet (8)
The two-letter abbreviation for a religious father followed by an allowance with its indefinite article (1,5)

23a    Border constituency? Not necessarily (8,4)
This type of parliamentary constituency is more borderline than on the border!

26a    Trickle from said river (4)
Sounds like one of several rivers, the best-known being in Yorkshire

28a    Kind of chutney in cheese sent back (4-4)
A four-letter word meaning in(doors) followed by the reversal of an insipid cheese


2d    Fourth part of play — at end of scene set off (8)
Think about it – what is the heading of the fourth part of, say, a Shakespeare play (3,2)? Then add AT from the clue and the final letter (end) of [scen]E

3d    Established like the one at the front of the queue? (4-8)
This describes what the person at the front of a queue has been doing

6d    Fail to notice maiden perhaps going to butcher’s (8)
What a maiden is an example of (perhaps) in cricket followed by the word represented by butcher’s in Cockney rhyming slang

7d    Mug containing most of material (4)
This mug is a stupid person and is derived by dropping the final letter (most of) from some material

14d    Was he after some of that bundle? (5)
Hidden (some of that) inside the clue

16d    Food from Eton — tucked in after male fellow diner (8)
The word that follows Eton in a delicious dessert followed by a verb meaning tucked in or digested, the latter being preceded by M(ale)

17d    Objective: a rider’s weapon to be used in plot (8)
New clue (online only) 17d Objective: a weapon sawn off at the end to be used in plot (8)
To get this adjective meaning objective put the A from the clue and a weapon carried by a mounted soldier inside a garden plot – but due to what looks like an error in the clue, the weapon needs to be truncated first [or perhaps the wordplay should have been “a rider’s weapon to be used in empty plot”]!

19d    Large, exotic maidens venturing into unknown? On the contrary (3-5)
Don’t put this anagram (exotic) of MAIDENS inside (venturing into) a mathematical unknown but do it the other way around (on the contrary)

25d    Strip of wood from machine, unfinished (4)
Drop the final letter (unfinished) from a type of machine

The Crossword Club is now open.

An early posting today as our garden is open to the public, along with seventeen others in our village, from noon until 5:00 pm today, Sunday and Monday.  If you are in the area, why not come along.  Admission is only £5.00, covering all of the gardens.

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The Quick Crossword pun: pro+paw+shun+eight=proportionate

95 comments on “DT 28102 (Hints)

          1. C. In the answer, the weapon in question definitely has its (pointed) tip missing – not sure you could describe that as a “tail”. It might generally be the missing tail (end) of a word, perhaps…

        1. Definitely a letter missing. You can either have the weapon or the plot but not both but you could also say the same about 13a. Not my favourite crossword today. I am glad we have the puzzle page.

          1. I think 13a is OK, Sarah. There are three possible spellings for the word meaning dull, which respectively have 3, 4 & 5 letters. I would only ever use the 4 letter version, but the 3 letter version crops up from time to time in crosswords.

  1. Another enjoyable Saturday walk in the park. Thank you Mr. Ron and BD. For some reason had mental block over 7d but of course BD sorted that for me. Liked 6d although the maiden does seem to put in regular appearance however Fav was 18d – yum! **/***.

  2. Yes, I popped in to check 17D because thought the same thing – missing E. I’m attributing this to my Saturday morning fug, but can’t make sense of the surface in 11A – can anyone help?

    Thanks for the blog BD.

  3. Just finished it without needing to resort to the hints,a nice way to start off the day. Many thanks to the setter & to BD for the hints. Wishing all a jolly good bank holiday weekend.

  4. Generally enjoyable puzzle but spoilt by the error in 17d presumably missed by the setter and the editor.

    As the clue can be read either way, I wasn’t sure about 26a to start whether “trickle from” was the definition or the homophone until I got the checking letter from 19d. Is that sort of ambiguity OK in cryptic crosswordland?

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

    1. I thought the same, but as it was “said river”, I assumed (correctly as it turned out) that the answer = “trickle”.
      Hope I have not contravened any Saturday rules.

      1. I think that ambiguity can be unfair, but I don’t think many will regard the “said” as applying to the trickle.

        I don’t think you have transgressed!

        1. Does the ambiguity become unfair when the “said” is taken as applicable to “trickle from”?
          Sorry …. my mistake I think.

          1. On reflection, I think this specific clue is not ambiguous using the definition “trickle”, rather than “trickle from”.

            So “trickle” = [from] “said river”.

        2. BD. Doesn’t this clue parse simply as: Trickle from (definition/answer) said (homophone indicator) river (a particular river, the homophone partner)?

          1. Or more accurately: TRICKLE (definition/answer) = FROM (i.e. derived from the following word play) SAID (homophone indicator) RIVER (a particular river, the homophone partner)?

  5. I enjoyed 3d (Established…). Was a bit underwhelmed by 28a (kind of chutney…), 16d (food from Eton..) and 19d (large..). Took me ages to get the second word for 23a (Border constituency..), my last one in.

    Glad everyone else also noticed 17d wordplay has an extra letter.

    looking forward to wherever else I may encounter 11a

    many thanks setter and BD

  6. What a pleasant way to spend an overcast Saturday morning! I thought that it was a delightful puzzle and I particularly liked 2d which made me smile when the penny dropped. I’m slightly bemused by the comments about 17d because, going on the wording in the paper, there’s nothing amiss – it’s right!

    1. It’s wrong in our paper although I didn’t notice it until others pointed it out.
      The first and last two letters are the ‘plot’ which means that the weapon is missing its last letter.

      1. Yes, you’re right, Kath! I re-read it, after I’d noticed the comments, and I missed it again… For my sins, I shall go and stand in the corner of the room facing the wall – it’s preferable to the naughty step!

              1. It seems it’s I who should be counting marbles rather than you Kath but whichever way you look at it I think we’re all saying the same thing.

  7. Fairly straightforward I thought.
    My only couple of problems were my own fault – I spelt 26a like the river and had the wrong kind ‘get rid of’ in 18a.
    I didn’t know the 25d strip of wood but have met the machine so that was OK.
    It felt as if there were lots of anagrams while I was doing it but there weren’t really.
    I liked 11 and 17a and 3 and 6d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

    Good luck with the open garden – I thought you weren’t a gardener. A long time ago when someone was being particularly rude about the blog he or she suggested that you took up drugs or gardening instead. Your reply was that you hated gardening and couldn’t afford drugs!

            1. Don’t know how you do it. Was slow today because of Welsh Assembly campaigning..
              Was stuck on the Eton one -never heard of this ‘food’, so couldn’t justify my correct answer. Thx BD.

              Like most I was last in with 17d but looking for a firearm… A little pistol kept in the inside pocket…wrong. Agree with the missing letter though!

    1. i also initially had the wrong hovel in 18ac. In my opinion it’s a perfectly good answer, and as such means that checking letters are required. As I solved it on my first reading of the across clues, I didn’t have any checking letters, so confidently wrote in the wrong answer. It didn’t cause much of a delay since the answers to 8 and 12d were fairly obvious. However, along with 17d, it did rather spoil the crossword for me. I think setters should avoid ambiguities like this.

  8. I was slow to wake up this morning after a nice long lie in. The crossword, with a side of breakfast, was an ideal way to stir the brain into some kind of functioning state.

    The 17d mistake was unfortunate but these things happen. I hmmed at 28a – it reminded me of the kind of jam we had recently.

    Like Kath, the 25d wood was new but the machine was all I needed.

    19d made me laugh and wonder how many people out there would respond to the definition with an “I wish!”

    Sometimes the simple ones are wonderful. Loved the image conjured up by 17a.

    Thanks to the setter and to BD.

    1. I followed your instructions and had a look at your wonderful toughie blog yesterday. I have no idea how you, or anyone else, could unravel that puzzle. It was entertaining, but I only knew one in three words – now you know why I never attempt the toughie. Congratulation!

      1. Hi Merusa,

        Your comment should be addressed to Kate R (whoever that may be). Did you misread the name at the top? Easily done – but I’m flattered that you thought it was me!

        P.S. I have all my fingers crossed for you for next week. Hoping you’ll have cause to shout, “hip, hip, hooray!”

        1. Well, it certainly fooled me! I thought it had your fingerprints all over it! Thanks for the good wishes!

  9. Thanks for confirming the missing letter in 17d. I was struggling for an alternative weapon until I read the hints.
    I enjoyed the exotic maidens and galloping horses.

  10. No hold-ups except to wonder about 17D, like everyone else. Thanks to the setter and BD. Off to do some planting before it rains again, then the NTSPP.

    Do you really have snow forecast over there?

    1. I think there may be some snow forecast for the north of England and Scotland – they’ve had a fair bit – silly, isn’t it? It’s May morning tomorrow and all the silly ******* will be risking life and limb jumping off Magdalen Bridge into the river.

    2. I wish you could send some rain down here. My poor “garden” looks like the Sahara. This is supposed to be our rainy season. The world is upside down.

    3. countless cycles of hail storms interspersed with unblemished blue sky here today. at the moment its clear again

  11. Managed this one pretty well for me….only needed help with a couple.

    I cannot get on with 28a, though.

    It has nothing to do with chutney and could as well have been Kind of cake or kind of dress….

    Am I missing some cruciverbalist point here?

    Or just being my usual dense, literal self?

    Many thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints….and for the site.

      1. Ours too….but we do not have mango
        But we also have a stock of 28a jam and sometimes some 28a cake…

  12. 2*/3* with 2 down my favourite clue in this fairly straightforward Saturday offering. 17 down had to be what it is, but like others before me I was more than a little frustrated by the editorial mismanagement. Still, it happens so rarely that perhaps we shouldn’t grumble. Yet another pangram in the quickie. Is this a regular Saturday occurrence too? Many thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

    Dark black rain clouds scudding to the right and left of us, but no rain yet in our part of the Marches…….

  13. That was a struggle.
    Not sure why, needed some of Dave’s hints to get this all sorted. Clues where you have to break the logical sequence of the wordplay, like 1a and 11a, I often fail to recognise.
    A bit warmer today down South, hope the snow stays away for you all further North.

  14. Apart from the blip with 17d this was a very nice crossword for a Saturday. I find Saturday crosswords vary so much, far more then the other days of the week. Anyway this was a goody, with several clues vying for fave but I’ll go for 18d which I thought was very clever. 3/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

  15. Nice entertainment for a Saturday morning.
    I missed the error in 17d, never noticed it, there could only be one answer so I bunged it in.
    Like Kath, I put the wrong hovel in 18a, but soon sorted.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for his hints.

    I wish I could see the garden, looking forward to the pics.

  16. I spent the morning re-hanging the curtains in my living room after all the rebuilding, decorating etc has finally been finished, it’s been a long old job!

    Did this crossword whilst watching Northampton v Bath and thought it fairly straight-forward until I read the blog. I must admit I’d missed the problem with 17d and it took me a couple of re-reads until I saw what everyone was going on about – we all make mistakes even the Telegraphs brilliant Crossword compilers – it’s not the end of the World give him some leeway!

    Having said that I thought it was a very good puzzle – really enjoyed it!

    More good news West Ham stuffing West Brom 3-0 away from home – brilliant!


  17. This was a nice solve after my struggles yesterday with no H&T used. Being me didn’t notice the error on 17d can see it now after looking at the blog. Struggled to get my head around 16d got the answer but still don’t fully understand it? Like Kath put the wrong word in for 26a until the penny dropped after solving 19d.

    Overall regardless of the error I really enjoyed it.

    Clues I liked 26a / 2d / 4d but favourite is 15a.

    Rating 2.5* /4*

    Thanks to BD and the setter.

  18. Fairly straightforward and I’m also one of those who thinks 17d doesn’t parse and BD’s suggested alternative clue works better. Thanks to the setter and BD for the review. Good weather yet again which I think has not been the case in Blighty according to my email friends.

  19. We agree with everyone about 17D. However, there are more important things on the agenda this weekend.
    Leicester winning the Premier League we hope,and possibly 2D from the NE corner

    Enjoyable puzzle from Mr Ron, so thanks to him and BD for the hints ***/****

    1. To hell with Leicester, the Premier League and such trivia – we haven’t heard anything about your collie/terrier cross pups for ages – what about some pics of them, please.

  20. I really enjoyed this puzzle today and didn’t need too many of the additional hints to finish it.

  21. Spent far too long on 17d wondering where I’d gone wrong, but quite clearly hadn’t gone wrong. Managed to put the first part of 16d into the second part because of the ‘tucked in after’. The penny didn’t drop for 2d for ages. Thank you for the review BD and I agree with your comment about the cheese in 28a. I only eat it because it’s lower in fat than other more yummy cheeses. Thank you setter for today’s prize puzzle.

    1. I agree about the 28a cheese – not worth eating – tasteless rubber. The answer is to eat the squidgy yummy ones but less often. Either that or you just say, “What the hell . . .” and carry on regardless.

  22. 1/7/15 all combined to give me a hard time today. In retrospect this can only be put down to my slightly frazzled state of mind.

  23. Really not a fan of 28a, not a great clue if you ask me :/

    Good apart from that though.

  24. Re 17d the clue has now been changed to

    17 Objective: a weapon sawn off at the end to be used in plot (8)

    and the corrected clue, and an apology, will be in Monday’s newspaper

    1. Thanks for that CS and it shows the power of this blog! However it did not spoil an excellent Saturday puzzle for me.

      Thanks again to all of you for the effort you put in to this wonderful blog doing the H&T, reviews etc. Priceless!

      Not forgetting BD as ever.

  25. I thought it was fairly tough, just me I suppose.
    Most of my chutneys are 28a as well.Nicer and quite a good way to use up tomatoes etc which are not at their freshest.
    I liked 19d best.
    Thanks BD, I used the hints extensively and thanks also to the setter.

  26. This felt rather a slog but the clock tells me it’s 2*, with 3* for enjoyment. No question about the favourite clue for me – 19d – I’m all in favour of large exotic maidens! VMTs to the setter and BD.

  27. Took me far too long to see 1a/2d. Goodness knows why. The rest of it was straightforward (I never saw the glitch in 17d). VMTs to all. 2*/3*

  28. 10a. I got ****, because dangerous act could be ***** (yes, that meaning is in the dictionary), endless so lose the *, and shock of hair. No wonder I had to resort to BD! Thanks as ever, and enjoy the long weekend.

    1. Poor Sam,
      Going to spend the night in the cold. I don’t envy you. Brr.

  29. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A quite straightforward puzzle. Entertaining, but not too tricky. Favourite was 21a, last in was 7d. Was 2*/3*for me.

  30. This took some effort for me. Couldn’t work out 19d at all. I got 26a and then tried to fit some other large exotic maidens (from S.America) into the answer somehow! Other than that, 3d made me laugh. Because of the time taken (in several sittings) I would say 3 star difficulty. As usual, the blog helped me look again at a few clues that I got but hadn’t fully worked out.

  31. Well, that’s the first and last time I’ll ever use the word in 27 across

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