DT 28108 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28108 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28108 (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    Wood panels found in carts and bed (8)
Some old-fashioned carts, from the time of John Constable, followed by a child’s bed

11a    Bather uncovered New York pickpocket after swindle (6-6)
The abbreviation of new York and a pickpocket preceded by a verb meaning to swindle

13a    Baltic capital left behind crazy song (8)
The capital of a Baltic state and L(eft) preceded by an adjective meaning crazy

15a    Wear down a sharp point with energy (6)
A simple charade of the A from the clue, a type of nail with a sharp point and E(nergy)

18a    Mild expletive from martial arts expert about right (4)
A martial arts expert around R(ight)

21a    Bond — that man’s in a downward career trajectory (8)
The pronoun meaning that man and the S from ‘S inside the A from the clue and a downward career trajectory

27a    Means to help about spring (8)
The two-letter word meaning about followed by a spring or wellhead

28a    Long-term plan to get lost sheep caught (8)
A verb meaning to get lost around (caught) a sheep in its second year.


2d    Like Hook and his sound beginning (8)
Split as (2,6) this could mean like Captain Hook from Peter Pan, but it actually describes the sound of the first letter of H[ook]

3d    Jackanory versery perhaps? (7,5)
This children’s “versery” describes the relation between the first two words in the clue

6d    Welcome good pair of workers in stables (4-4)
G(ood) followed by a three-letter worker and a four-letter one, both of whom might be found in stables

7d    Chicken seen in this grocery store? (4)
Not one for our overseas solvers – when the answer is split (2-2) it gives one of a chain of grocery stores famous in days of yore for their sadly-missed divvy (dividend)

8d    Good person to encourage top person in a party (8)
When split as (2,4,2) this party leader’s surname becomes a good person followed by a phrasal verb meaning to encourage

14d    One carries burden Oriental priest mentioned (5)
Sounds like (mentioned) an Oriental priest

19d    Fascinating old fighter meeting one in boxing venue (8)
A retired soldier (old fighter) and I (one) inside a boxing venue

25d    Charms eroded initially for old lovers (4)
Start with some Germanic charms or spells and drop (eroded) the initial letter

The Crossword Club is now open.

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The Quick Crossword pun: Stan+dandy+liver=stand and deliver

52 comments on “DT 28108 (Hints)

  1. Nice and quick Saturday puzzle this week. A number of what I would call slang terms in this one with which I was not too familiar.


  2. 2*/3*. A pleasant diversion on lovely sunny morning. I held myself up having solved 18a across correctly by writing in a wrong slightly less mild expletive, which made 19d impossible until I realised the error of my ways. How stupid is that?

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

  3. There are times with crossword puzzles when one has a sense of deja vu and this has happened to me this morning with 15a, 26a and 28a. What’s particularly pleasing is that my personal memory bank isn’t failing me but, as I’ve a self-deprecating nature, I’d better mention that the significance of the answer to 8d eluded me for a moment or two…

  4. At the start this seemed a little stale with some strange surfaces but then it took a massive upturn, with plenty of interesting clues. First one I came across that I liked was ‘Rump cooked rare’ (16a). Then I found 16d (star trek), 2d (Hook) and 3d (Jackanory), all lovely.

    25d made me smile because of a country song.

    Many thanks setter and BD

  5. Another Saturday lemon squeezy romp which means I now have no excuse for not getting on with things in the garden – (grateful for having “down-sized”) – heatwave permitting. Fav 2d with 13a as runner-up. Thank you Mr. Ron and BD. */***.

  6. Very straightforward, very enjoyable, and completed very comfortably before lights out last night. However, while the Telegraph puzzle web site ‘told’ me everything was correct when I submitted, I was left a little puzzled by some of the parsing. BD has helped on one of those with the information on a ‘sheep in its second year’ (which I am now sure I have heard before), but I am still somewhat mystified about the initial letter being ‘dropped’ in 25d – I can only assume that it is a 2d.

    No stand-out favourite for me – */***. Thanks to the setter and to BD.

  7. Mr Ron in a benign mood with this one. A comfortable and enjoyable solve with nothing too obscure or awkward. 13 across my favourite and 2*/3* overall, with thanks to the aforementioned and BD.

    Off to watch Wasps play the already relegated London Irish this afternoon. We hope the threatened heavy downpours don’t materialise over Coventry.

  8. Can’t do 25d. Just can’t get it! Done the rest so I’m only missing one letter, which makes me feel very stupid.

    1. When I’ve only got one letter missing I go through the alphabet mentally – if you do that with 25d you won’t have to go very far – it’s also a really useful Scrabble word.

      1. Thanks, but I’m still in the dark! I got the sheep one though – I knew the term, admittedly not well-known but I come from a farming background ….

        25d must be a word that I just don’t know!

        1. I am guessing you are stuck on the second letter. If this is the case, it is the second of the two letters that compilers usually use for former (old) lovers, and presumably you have the first from the checker in 23a.

          1. Oh – I thought it was the word for charms without its first letter that was the problem – think we’re probably talking at cross purposes and making what might be a bit misty into a complete fog.

              1. Yes, it was the second letter that was missing. I use the past tense because the penny has eventually dropped! Doh! Actually, I had to go a long way through the alphabet. I’m with Senf on this one, sorry Kath.
                Thanks for your help.

  9. Nothing to scare the horses but extremely enjoyable nevertheless. A few chuckle moments and bizarrely held up by 26a (last in) which I know is an old chestnut. 8d very topical and 7d for all its simplicity was my favourite. Thanks to Mr Ron and BD for the blog.

  10. Enjoyed this one but struggled with a couple until I saw the hints and the doh!s began.

    28a had to be what it was…..but a two year old sheep?….😕

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave.

    1. That’s what I thought when I saw BD’s hint. But, I googled ‘What is a ***’ and sure enough it is a sheep in its second year. Just one of the ‘odd’ words from the animal word that find their way into crosswords – neat (cattle) and ounce (lynx) being two more; although, this one is perhaps one of the oddest.

    2. This time last week my friend and I were walking past a field full of such sheep, and having discovered we knew all the names for the various ages of sheep, 28a didn’t cause me any problems at all.

  11. I thought this was a bit tricky but I seem to be the only one, so far, so I’m either having a dim day or a wrong wave-length day – I hope it’s the latter.
    I don’t like using ‘crosswordese’ in case there are new people commenting who may not yet have met some of it but there were quite a few double unches i.e. two consecutive letters that are unchecked.
    I didn’t know the 6d welcome and, having been completely taken in by the clue, spent quite a while trying to fit the name of an old boxer into 19d – oh dear!
    If we hadn’t had something similar fairly recently I probably wouldn’t have got 2d.
    I liked lots of these clues and thought there were some good anagrams.
    I liked 11 and 28a and 2 and 22d. My favourite was 7d because it reminds me of the Two Ronnies crossword sketch which finishes me off however many times I see it.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

    1. No Kath, I am with you today. As I read all the comments I thought it must just be me so I was so glad to see what you had written. I am not at all on the same wavelength as the compiler this week. I did enjoy the anagrams however. Hmmmm not my finest hour. I definitely needed the hints to get me on my way after the anagrams! Thanks as always BD 🙂

  12. BD – with reference to your comment on 7d, should not be a problem for Canadians, there are plenty of those stores here and they still give a divvy (well their version of it); and, as an ex-pat I have memories of what they used to be like in the UK.

  13. Very enjoyable. 4d was my downfall, but eventually clicked. Thank you Mr Setter and Mr BD. For anyone who is interested, whilst the UK enjoys sunny weather – here in the Algarve dull and rainy.

    1. This part of the UK (East Kent) has the usual thin cloud and cold wind we usually get when the rest of the country is having hot sunshine. Although syaing that, the washing has dried a treat, eevn though it does mean that when I’ve finished drafting the NTSPP review, I’ll have to do the ironing.

      1. It’s hot and cloudy in Oxford – the clouds are getting darker by the minute and it looks as if the heavens are about to open. Going to get washing in and see if I can get at least some of the grass cut.

  14. It took a while for me to get going but then it was an enjoyable early morning exercise with some nostalgic 60’s music in the background. I do wonder if the person featured in 8d appreciates being a DT solution again. 2d made me smile and 28a across expanded my sheep vocabulary – never a bad thing to have in your armoury😂

  15. */***. Very straightforward but enjoyable solve. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  16. I found it fairly straightforward but certainly not in the write-in club.

    Thanks to BD and setter **/***

  17. Great puzzle, quite tricky but very doable. We’re off to the pub shortly
    to see Bocelli chanting, The Foxes winning and receiving the trophy.

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

  18. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Big Dave for the hints. A very nice puzzle, a little tricky in places. Needed the hints to parse 8d, to get 27a. Favourite was 13a. Last in was 28a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  19. I’m back at home again, having declined to go to rehab and settling for home PT and nursing care.

    I found this decidedly tricky but don’t know why, just not the same wavelength.
    My fave was 13a, dunno why, I just liked it.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for the hints.

    1. Hi Merusa,
      Just popped in when I realised you’d posted a comment. Sounds as though your op went ahead this time – best of wishes for a speedy recovery.

  20. I didn’t find this particularly easy. Read through, could only do 9a, and decided to spend day in the garden pottering. Sons have just lit the barbie, and I have just managed to finish the crossword. I read it through again and decided I still couldn’t do it, but strangely enough, once I saw the pictures for 7d and 11a, I was away. Thank you BD and setter. I feel comforted by the fact that one or two others couldn’t quite get on the wavelength.

  21. Not dead easy for me but then it never is! Managed to complete with two H&T 13a / 28a got 28a but not sure why?

    Enjoyed it with some good clues and some I found obscure, so pleased to finish it.

    Favourite today 7d and it took me a while to get that and I think that’s been in before?

    Overall 3 / 3.5

    Thanks to BD for everything and thanks also to the setter.

  22. Quite tricky I thought.
    25d and 27a foxed me until pennies dropped.
    Many thanks to the setter and to BD, especially for 11a.

  23. A fairly breezy solve on what was a bright sunny day. Until we were hit with thunderstorms and flash flooding. The great British summer, eh?

  24. This one flattered to deceive as I thought I was being very clever at first and wrote in several straight away then dried up and ended up getting a lot of help from the hints and the electronics and the comments!
    Not very satisfying at the end of the day but I do have a garden with most of the beds covered in a mulch of lovely dark juicy compost which happened in between bouts of solving. My favourite job in the garden!
    Thanks to BD and everyone and to the setter.

  25. 1*/3*, and 28a was the only clue I found particularly interesting (but then I’m a miserable old git at the best of times). Thanks to the setter and BD.

  26. Very enjoyable , when completed, though I found it a bit tricky to get started.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  27. Piece of cake and much more doable than some recent Saturdays. Ta to BD and the setter. 1*/3*

  28. Wow. Just finished this after doing it in bits during stops in a road trip I did on a scooter over the four-day weekend here. 2d and 15d were the last to go in. Favourite was 11a. Came here after I’d submitted it – enjoyed the pictures as usual.

    1. Very tricky, did not understand the wordplay of 22d, 25d, 28a, even with the hints, long wait until the answers come out.

  29. A reasonable quality challenge for a Saturday. No real problems, 11a made me smile and is therefore my favourite. 2/3* overlall.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

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