DT 28174 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28174 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28174 (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.


1a    Leaving artillery, becoming very successful (5,5,4)
A verb meaning leaving or departing followed by a phrase that could loosely describe heavy artillery

9a    Resent having to ask for charity, urged otherwise (8)
A verb meaning to ask for charity, usually in the street, followed by an anagram (otherwise) of URGED

10a    Scoring rate? (5)
… on a musical score

13a    Stop working for, say, 24 hours? (4,2,1,3)
This phrase could describe giving a name to (say) a period of 24 hours

15a    Channel follows bridge players making fix (8)
A channel dug out of the ground follows two of four bridge players

18a    King hiding in a French shack, safe and sound (6)
The single-letter Latin abbreviation for king inside (hiding in the French indefinite article and a shack

23a    Commercial role being a defender (10)
A two-letter commercial followed by a role or occupation

27a    Vehicle tracks in market from east and west, say, after crashing (8)
The reversal (from east in an across clue) of a four-letter market followed by W(est) and an anagram (after crashing) of SAY

28a    Blue feathers being chewed (4,2,3,5)
This is a bit of an old chestnut – this adjectival phrase meaning blue or in low spirits suggests feathers are being chewed


2d    Fashionable former partner’s put on sham woolly (7)
A charade on a two-letter word meaning fashionable, our usual former partner and a sham or pretence gives an adjective meaning woolly or vague

3d    Man put fish on fork (4)
I always think that using first names, male or female, in a cryptic crossword is a cop-out, especially as there are a number of other words that fit the checking letters – this man’s name is derived from a pike-like fish with a long slender beaked head followed by the letter shaped like a fork in the road

5d    From bygone days, energy has to go into a medal (3-3)
E(nergy) inside the A from the clue and a medal awarded for sport as opposed to gallantry on the battlefield

6d    Acquire schoolboy grub seized by error — eat up! (3,5,2)
A three-letter verb meaning to acquire followed by some schoolboy grub, much favoured by Billy Bunter, inside an error or transgression

7d    Itinerant lunatic standing in certainly not in charge (7)
An adjective meaning lunatic between a word meaning certainly not and the abbreviation of I(n) C(harge)

11d    Certain Irish football official joining United board (11)
A charade of IR(ish), a football official, U(nited) and a board or bench

17d    Church welcomes Irishman, one that’s put up memorial (8)
CH(urch) around the reversal (that’s put up) of a typical Irish forename and ONE from the clue

25d    Went round dizzily, open mouths raised (4)
The reversal of some open mouths

The Crossword Club is now open.

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The Quick Crossword pun: noble+piece+prise=Nobel Peace Prize

49 comments on “DT 28174 (Hints)

  1. Enjoyed every minute of sitting in the shade in the garden and solving this reasonably straightforward and fun-filled puzzle. Thank you Mysteron and BD. Fav 28a although I do seem to think it has made previous appearances. ***/***.

  2. Brilliant crossword just perfect for a hot balmy summers day,many thanks to the setter & BD. Very interesting obituary for John Pidgeon well worth reading.

  3. 2*/2.5*. A pleasant but undemanding puzzle for a pleasant day. The open mouth in 25d was a new word for me and had me checking my BRB for confirmation of my answer. 19d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

  4. Don’t usually take part in the Saturday Club but had a bit of time to spare midst defrosting the freezer.
    An enjoyable romp with the honours going to 11d and the old chestnut at 28a.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD.

  5. I thought this was the easiest Saturday crossword I can remember but very enjoyable, 1*/2.5**. I liked 1a and 28a, this did appear recently but it makes me laugh.
    Thanks to setter and BD

  6. A very enjoyable solve on a Saturday morning in between trying to keep the peace between three of the grandchildren who are staying for the weekend. Thanks to setter and to Big Dave.

  7. Sorry, chaps. I seem to be the outlier here.
    I found it quite tricky and I didn’t much enjoy it. Particularly did not enjoy 3d.
    Just not on the right wavelength I guess.

    Many thanks to Big Dave for the hints.

    1. I agree with you every week! I didn’t find this particularly easy. It was rather a slog for me today. Thanks for the hints BD

    2. The conflict of part of speech between the solution and the “definition” in several clues, e.g. 23ac, certainly didn’t help, nor did 14dn referring to a “character” rather than a “being” or “creature”, which had me looking for proper names. Also, I’d never heard 19dn used with hyphens as an adjective, and it still looks bizarre to me.

  8. Like Angel [above], I took the paper out into the garden and sat in the shade while completing the puzzle and the time passed very quickly – a most enjoyable way to pass a Saturday morning.

      1. Funnily enough, Angel, I was drinking coffee too but out of a pint mug which, you’ll be relieved to learn, I don’t actually fill to the brim…

  9. This was OK for a Saturday, but I was a little underwhelmed by it I’m afraid. I agree with BD about clues such as 3d; as far as I am concerned they have no place in a cryptic. As I’m being a bit 28a I’ll just say 13a was probably fave and 2/2.5* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for his hints.

  10. Found this a little tougher than most Saturday’s. Still can’t see the relevance of defender in 22a. I can see that latter part of the word is the role but why defender? Seems completely redundant.
    Did like 28a, very much a smile clue and I thought 22d was clever.
    Thx to all

  11. A straightforward solve today which was pleasant while it lasted.

    Thanks to BD and setter */***

  12. Feel as though I have let myself down today. Most of the puzzle was really enjoyable, but just couldn’t get 3d. Such a disappointment when usually the least I can do is finish the Saturday puzzle on my own. Quite discouraged. I had the wrong definition for 3D. Thank you BD for your excellent review, and helping me with 3D. Thank you too setter, because despite 3D I enjoyed the rest of the crossword. My adult children have come home wanting a bbq tonight and offering to cook. Looking forward to a splendid evening.

  13. I quite enjoyed this, but do agree with BD, et al, that 3d is unacceptable. I never did get it, felt sure I knew what the fish was, but had no idea it was supposed to be a man’s name. Grrrr, very cross with that.
    Apart from that, there were lots to like, but fave is going to be 26a because it has four legs.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for his hints.

    1. Can’t imagine taking a ***** for a walkies, or how much room it’s bed would take up.

        1. Or three of us! Don’t yet understand these avatar things otherwise Biggles would make an appearance for mine.
          Met someone who had 4 *****s as “pets” said all they were useful for was keeping the grass short – cheaper to have lawn mower. Apparently they show zero social intellIgence (only sort Biggles has).

          1. Avatars come under the heading of Frequently Asked Questions so have a look there and you should be able to create an avatar all of your own.

            1. Thanks, BD did point that out & went to the site but got distracted will get back sometime soon.

              1. It’s easy peasy, and I’m no techie. I change mine regularly. My current one is my Dad’s teddy bear, and he was born in 1901!

  14. Seemed OK to me, thanks BD for information about alternative in 25d., not come across it before.
    As others not enamoured with 3d,
    **/*** . Thanks setter & BD for blog.

  15. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, some of it was a bit tricky. Didn’t like 3d. Favourite was 28a. Was 1*/3* for me.

  16. I enjoyed it – not too tricky and done while trying to do a million and one other things.
    I don’t know why but 18a was my last answer.
    Had to check how to spell 14d, just to make sure.
    I liked 13 and 16d and 21d – unlike most others I did liked 3d although I take the point that names are a bit unfair. My favourite was 28a – I’ve seen it before – it made me laugh then and it made me laugh again – I’m easily pleased!
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    Lambs home for the weekend so, like Florence and her family, BBQ tonight – unlike Florence we’re cooking.

  17. A very comfortable and trouble-free solve from the Saturday Mysteron. No dramas, no hold-ups, but largely enjoyable. I do agree with the arguments about 3 down, as the second and fourth letters could have been entirely different and therefore properly cryptic without invoking a man’s name.

    2*/3* overall from me, with thanks to our Saturday setter and BD.

  18. Others will no doubt have seen, but there is a good obit for Petitjean in the paper today. What a talented man. I also believe this blog is quoted.

    1. Do you still reside in Hamble? I live in the next village of Netley abbey & went to Hamble secondary school 63-67.

      1. I used to live in Warsash but now near Guildford. It is a lovely part of the country and we still visit every now and then.

    2. Yes – the obituary for PJ was, I felt, a fitting tribute to an amazing and multi-talented man.
      And, yes again, the blog was quoted – I think it was Gnomey who coined the phrase, “We need a slightly mad hat on to solve this one.”
      He was one of the very few who almost always ‘popped in’ to take ownership of a crossword – something that is so much appreciated by everyone.
      I wish I had met him.

  19. As I’m here it would seem churlish not to comment on today’s puzzle which was most enjoyable. Just about the right level for me. The sun is out, England doing well in the cricket and daughter’s 30th birthday. All is good. Thanks to setter and BD.

  20. Not my cup of tea I’m afraid. Most of it was far too easy and there’s three or four clues with which I have issues. Not a great deal of entertainment so it’s */** from me.

    Thanks anyway to Mr Ron and BD.

  21. Tricky. Had to resort to Chambers (but not Big Dave’s hints) to finish it. As usual quite amusing for a tyro to see how many pre-noon posters say how easy it is….! Is there a race to be first? I suppose if you do lots of xwds it gets easier – especially if phrases reappear.

    1. As I am 5 hours after you, being on US Eastern time I am never going to be in the first wave of completions, unless I got up in the middle of the night, and that is not likely 😌

  22. Just on the 1/2* dividing line, and 3* for satisfaction derived. I enjoyed 6d (echoes of Billy Bunter!) and 11d. Thank you to Mr Ron, and BD for the hints.

  23. This was right up my street and would have finished ages ago but had put “**** ** *** *****” for 28a, which made 21d a real head scratcher. Sitting watch our grandson at his weekly basketball game, the right response suddenly came to mind. If I had just paid attention to Big Dave’s hint and great picture…

  24. I can think of another clue , not very cryptic for 14d, *************. ( Obviously I don’t like him very much, but that is enough of politics.)
    I enjoyed this puzzle , which I think is in the Goldilocks territory.
    I entirely agree with BD in that a particular man’s name is a cop out of a hint.
    Thanks to BD and setter.

  25. Unlike most I did not dislike 3d. Yes a lot of words would fit, but you had to know your fish. I had more of a problem with 19d as thought there were two alternatives for this with the second word – although I did not notice it was hyphenated. Did just over a half last night after a party and the rest when I woke in the early hours. Thanks all.

  26. This was a tad better than the average Saturday effort and quite pleasant. Like WW above, I thought 3d was fine – the occasional Christian name is no problem to me. 2*/3*

  27. Good fun.
    Late as usual on a Monday.
    Only problem I had was with 25d as I knew how the clue works, but did not know the word for mouths. Another one to remember.
    I needed the BRB for the fish in 3d. I do agree, it was a bit weak.
    Thanks to BR for the hints and to the setter.

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