DT 28138 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28138 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28138 (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.

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.


5a    Secrets spilled about power and emblems of authority (8)
An anagram (spilled) of SECRETS around P(ower)

10a    Reportedly rough passage (6)
Last weekend Badger asked about the positioning of homophone indicators – well here it precedes the word rough so the answer is a word meaning passage

11a    Charming volunteers repaired flutes (8)
The usual two-letter abbreviation for volunteer soldiers followed by an anagram (repaired) of FLUTES

15a    Cheek given about maiden over being tired (4)
A word meaning cheek or impertinence around the letter used to represent a maiden over in cricket

19a    Continually elected? Clearly (12)
A two-letter word meaning elected followed by an adverb meaning clearly or unquestionably

22a    Safe to slate boyish man? (5,3)
Criminal jargon for a safe followed by a verb meaning to slate or criticise

25a    A jolly woman in navy (6)
The A from the clue, our usual jolly and a woman’s name

26a    Old celebrity on French street, returning for train (8)
O(ld) and a celebrity preceded by the reversal (returning) of the French word for street


1d    Meagre sum originally held in reserve (6)
The initial letter (originally) of S[um] inside a reserve or substitute

2d    Electoral area undermining environmentalists is common (10)
An electoral area that is usually smaller than a constituency preceded by the party that regard themselves as environmentalists

4d    Volunteer to house complete delinquent (8)
A verb meaning to volunteer around (to house) a three-letter word meaning complete gives a delinquent

6d    Fried noodles, food I must feed soldiers (4,4)
Some food followed by the I from the clue inside some soldiers gives my favourite Chinese dish

7d    Turning honest about it, criminal is to avoid being committed (3,2,3,5)
An anagram (turning) of HONEST around IT and followed by a criminal

9d    Last character to wear striking clobber (4)
The final letter of (last character to) [wea]R followed by an adjective meaning striking or withdrawing one’s labour gives a verb meaning to clobber or overwhelm

13d    Finn and Turk go out to get a musical instrument? (6,4)
An anagram (out) of FINN and TURK GO

20d    Wipe the floor with this? Is to be scrubbed ahead of series (6)
Start with TH[IS], drop (to be scrubbed) the IS and then add a series or large number of instances of anything happening at the same time, as in a series of strikes

23d    E.g. 22 take part in a game (4)
Two definitions – the first being the kind of literary production of which the answer to 22 Across is an example (e.g.)

The Crossword Club is now open.

Today is Big Lunch day across the country.  This year it has been timed to celebrate the Queen’s (official) 90th Birthday.  Our celebration starts at midday on the village green, which is immediately outside our front gate.

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: plait+owes=plateaus

55 comments on “DT 28138 (Hints)

  1. 1.5*/3*. A pleasant diversion for a Saturday morning. I found this mostly 1* level for difficulty but the SW corner increased my time with the interlinked 22a, 25a (last one in and favourite) and 23d putting up more of a fight.

    Nice to see generally brief cluing, particularly for the across clues.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

  2. I’m not sure about the answer to 13 down being a musical instrument, but someone will probably prove me wrong. Otherwise this was a very enjoyable and well-constructed Saturday puzzle. My favourite was 6 down, and there were a couple of clever and long anagrams to get me started.

    2.5*/3.5* overall, with thanks to Mr Ron and of course BD.

  3. I agree with the previous comments and, like Young Salopian, I wasn’t particularly happy with answer to 13d but Chambers does refer to it as an ‘instrument’ while the OED describes it as a ‘device’. As you can probably tell, my bookshelves creak under the weight of various dictionaries… I am already gorging myself on sport because the BBC is broadcasting rugby and cricket simultaneously on radio while there are two games of particular interest in the Euros later. Have a good weekend.

  4. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. I found this quite straightforward, but was held up a bit in the SE Corner. Last in was 26a. Favourite was 25a. Looking forward to watching England later in the Euros. Was 1*/3* for me.

    1. After the brill performances of the Rugby and cricket teams this morning the footballers have a lot to live up to!

  5. A bit tricky in places, but doable. 24A is new to me. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  6. Have enjoyed doing this whilst watching the special and impressive Trooping of the Colour Birthday Ceremony. Excuse me Your Majesty I didn’t miss much. Presently awaiting the Flypast. Enjoyed the diversion which was nicely challenging. Thank you Mysteron and BD. ***/***.

  7. I am not on the village green outside Big Dave’s house, I’m in the Swan pub instead. Where have all these people come from?

  8. Personally I found this a very poor puzzle hardly worth the effort. It was one of those that you are determined to finish just because it is so poor.
    Too many sloppy clues to list.
    Thx to BD

    1. Why not have a go at today’s NTSPP – most of it won’t take you long and you’ll learn three new things in the dictionary in the clues that made me pause.

  9. I wasn’t keen on “to wear” in 9d, but otherwise enjoyed the puzzle. I guess instrument has more meanings than you are mislead to think by prefixing musical (13d).

    Many thanks setter and bd

    1. I think you have cracked the mystery of 13 down, that and RD’s question mark above.

  10. Smooth enjoyable puzzle. Was looking for a different kind of instrument in 13d but liked the misdirection.

    I do like brevity in clues so this appealed to me.

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD for a great blog. Hope the weather stays dry for your Big Lunch and that everyone enjoys themselves. Pics?

  11. **/***. Mostly straightforward but the SW corner took a little more thought. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  12. 26a penny drop which enabled me to finish without hints, however, big thanks to BD and setter. Still wallowing in the euphoria of having my very own crossword despite the fact that I could not complete it. Off to get tea then if brain lasts out will attempt GK. Hope all celebrations go well and weather holds although forecast does not bode well for tomorrow.

  13. I found this tricky in places but enjoyable.
    I had a wrong answer in 1d, but when I had the answer to 12a, I revisited it and found the correct answer.
    Very difficult to choose a fave, but I think 25a has to be it.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for his hints.

    BBC America is total rubbish. I would expect that they would broadcast the Birthday celebrations, but all they have on is stupid Top Gear.

  14. I am a professional musician and I agree with with the above comments re 13 d. It took me a while to get there and I was feeling very stupid so I am glad other people felt the same! I have never heard the “safe” word so I needed the hints for that one and I don’t “do” cricket either so this wasn’t the crossword for me. However I enjoyed the challenge. Saw the flyover in formation on its way to London so hope everyone is having a good day. Thanks to the usual suspects. Am going to snooze in the sun!

  15. Strange – completed this fairly easily but I always check before I submit for the prize ( won one once!) and today I am bring told my solution is incorrect. Can’t see an obvious error ( eg the homophone in 10a). Is the navy in 25 a xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ?Be glad of any suggestions.
    Thanks to all for this site.

    1. The big I’ve xxxx’d out in your comment is part too much information/part alternative clue.

      The word ‘jolly’ can be found in BD’s Usual Suspects or it might be in Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing. Wherever the information is hiding, it will help you decide if your solution is the correct one.

      I would imagine the problem you have is with 10a.

      1. CS is correct. In the prologue above it says “Where the hint describes a construct as “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects.” On top of that it is one of today’s gimmes, so hovering over the picture provides the answer.

  16. Thank you both – but no joy. Didn’t know the jolly, but had got the answer ok. Have also used the correct homophone – substituting it doesn’t work either. Hey ho – back to the drawing board!

  17. In desperation I cleared it, rewrote my answers and resubmitted – this time it said it was correct. Must have been a glitch in the system. Thanks for trying to help. Come on England – but what a goal by Gareth Bale as an aperitif!

    1. This happens to me each weekend on the tablet. I usually submit it anyway, and find that all my answers are correct when the solution is published in the puzzle section of the tablet version the following week. Weird, but you are not alone.

  18. I found this to be a bit so-so, I found some of the clues were a little clunky, however I did complete eventually.
    No particular favourite and overall 2/2.5*
    Thanks to the setter and of course, BD

  19. Fairly plain sailing, only held up at the end by 20d which I guessed in the end without managing to parse the clue at all, TBH. Thanks for the explanation!

  20. Trooping the Colour, rugby, cricket, so much to distract me today. At least I managed to finish before the football starts. Started at the bottom and worked my way up, because spotted the answer to 25a so bunged it straight in. Came unstuck on the jolly bit of 25a but the BRB sorted that out for me. I didn’t really have an issue with 13a. I’m very open minded about what is classed as musical, and in any case the question mark is there if anyone thinks the answer is questionable. Thank you BD for the review, and thank you setter. Been a great day. Even saw the flypast …on its way home.

    1. How brilliant that you got to see the flypast..and will newly fixed vision!

      Last year (late summer possibly) four spitfires flew over the moors on their way to something. The noise was incredible, heard them well before you saw them.

      Hope you’re recovering well. :smile:

    1. Start with a 5 letter word for what you might assign as a value you to something (rate), followed by a a child’s game often seen in a playground. The definition is something seen in on items in shops perhaps.

  21. I needed hints this week – for explanations. One of the last in 25a. ‘our usual jolly’ ?? What is this? Never heard of it.

    1. Did you read the prologue?

      “Where the hint describes a construct as “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects.”

  22. I’ve not been able to do the crosswords regularly of late, and maybe that’s affecting my performance but I found this on the tricky side – got there in the end, but I’ll have to give it 3* for difficulty, which is unusual for a Saturday. Thanks to the mysteron and, as ever, to BD.

  23. Was a bit held up with the last one in 20d.
    Had a good laugh at 19a. French politicians fit the clue perfectly.
    Continued laughing with 25a and 26a. Two different ways to try to invade Britain.
    Thanks to the setter for putting me in a good mood all day and to BD for the blog.
    Hope everyone enjoyed the festivities on the 2d.

  24. Pleasant Saturday fare which I have but a hazy memory of. I do remember that the safe in 22a was new to me last time it came up, but pleasingly I hadn’t forgotten him.

    I and had no problem with 13d as it’s an instrument and it emits a musical note. Dutch has it right at comment 11, I think. I noted 7d as favourite.

    With thanks to the setter and BD.

  25. Bit of a struggle, this as the mind (and body) is recovering from a rain-soaked 36 holes at the Golf Club Invitation Day.
    A good puzzle though, many thanks to BD for the hints and the setter.

  26. I had the wrong answer for 25a -had the full word for “usua l” jolly -which seemed to fit…that threw me for “easier” attached answers. I was glad for that 25a illustration!
    Luckily I was aware of the answer to 24a…
    A few “odd” clues however,but completed this a.m. as we had a great street party yesterday in sunny weather despite putting flags up in the drizzle!,
    Thx BD and setter!

  27. Fairly straightforward and pretty easy – so normal for a Saturday Prize. Quite enjoyable to solve. 2*/2.5*. But wish I could give it 4*/5*

  28. To Dutch’s point about 9d, I had a slightly different read which makes more sense (to me, at least): the last (letter of) character ‘wears’ striking.

  29. I usually manage to finish the Saturday puzzle (occasionally with a little help from the blog), but I found this one really difficult and still haven’t finished it, even with hints. I feel really stupid especially when so many people say they found it easy. Perhaps the ones who don’t manage it – just don’t admit it ? Thanks for all the helpful hints.

    1. Welcome to the blog Alix

      I’m sure your solving will improve if you keep following the blog. The full review will be posted on Friday – not long to wait.

  30. I tried to access the Usul Suspects but am informed the webpage cannot be reached. Is anyone else having a problem or just lucky old me?

  31. Found it daunting at first,but once I got into it…..24 across was new to me.I also had doubts about 13d.The crossword is the highlight of the new week,a friend sends it every Sunday and it keep se me busy on Mondays!Great entertainment.

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