DT 28180 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28180 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28180 (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    Song about Ross Poldark initially being a surly fellow (10)
A song or round for three or more voices goes around ROSS from the clue and the initial letter of P[oldark]

9a    Tablet with primrose that’s got rid of cold — you’ll sleep on it (10)
A medicinal tablet followed by another word for a primrose from which its initial C(old) has been dropped (got rid of)

12a    Vegetable that’s acceptable uncooked mostly (4)
A two-letter word meaning acceptable followed by most of a word meaning uncooked

15a    Liking a swan song (8)
A female swan followed by a song

18a    Show sullen face about a second-grade work (6)
A verb meaning to show a sullen face around the A from the clue and the letter that indicates second grade

23a    Depressed with French and having to enter for every programme (4,5)
A word meaning depressed followed by (with) the French for “and” inside (to enter) a word meaning for every

27a    Rescue vehicle perhaps transported the police by river (10)
An anagram (transported) of THE POLICE followed by R(iver)

28a    Prepare line for fish (4)
A two-letter word meaning to prepare followed by a line has trains on it!

29a    Herded by police, odd one that’s given a beating (10)
A verb meaning herded, or contained, protesters in an enclosed area by the police followed by a word meaning odd or strange


1d    Hat on European’s head (4)
A type of flat brimless hat followed by E(uropean)

3d    Bear trainers will get equipment for emergencies (7,5)
A verb meaning to bear or put up with followed by a colloquial word for training shoes

5d    Tool that man’s taken into small room that’s unfinished (6)
A word meaning belonging to that man (that man’s) inside most of (that’s unfinished) a small room

8d    Jocular remark having drunk ales in storeroom (10)
An anagram (drunk) of ALES inside a room used for storing food

11d    Favour including location of Villa’s museum piece (7,5)
A favour, especially one worn as a badge showing affiliation to a political party, around the location of Villa football club

14d    Captivated in spring time — contrariwise (10)
a spring or leap preceded by (contrariwise) a period of time

17d    Causing panic in the manner of king on film (8)
A word, of French origin, meaning “in the manner of” followed by the Latin abbreviation for king and a film or spray

25d    Fraternal author of tales mostly gloomy (4)
One of two brothers, famous for their fairy tales, without his final letter

The Crossword Club is now open.  I’m off to the Village Café and Market – back at lunchtime.

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: can+guru+hops=kangaroo hops

63 comments on “DT 28180 (Hints)

  1. ***/*** for me today. Looking back not sure why it took so long. Pleasant enough solve but no clues that really stood out. Had to look up 16a – not a word I knew. Thanks to setter and BD for the hints.

  2. That was great. I enjoyed every minute of the solve which was nicely testing. I have heard of second word in 3d for xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Fav 17d. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxbut 16a new one on me. ***/****. Thank you Mysteron and BD.

    1. I had to edit you (twice) because you were definitely straying into alternative clue territory, especially with the first bit!

      1. Ouch – you’re being tough on me! Thought 3d comment would be OK in view of BD’s hint and surely 16d comment could have referred to an alternative for almost anything. Anyway I stand duly reprimanded!

        1. I didn’t read BDs hint for 3d before I corrected you so perhaps I shouldn’t have been so hasty. Better safe than sorry.

        2. Words like “trainers” don’t seem to translate well into American vernacular. Perhaps we could do a page of “special” hints for our US brethren?

          1. A bit like US loafers (with or without penny) and sneakers not being well known in UK.

  3. I found this to be a pretty tricky solve with some good surfaces. I got held up in the SE and failed to get 11d, even though I’m fairly certain that I’ve been duped by a similar clue before…

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

  4. Not my best day today.
    Needed electronic help but got there .

    Cannot say I really enjoyed it.

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave .

  5. I thought this was rather difficult but pretty fair with a nice variation in the clues. I hadn’t heard of the term for song but liked 1a, likewise primrose in 9a. I also liked 14d and 11d. It took me ages to catch on to 26a, doh!, even though it was staring me in the face. 3*/3*, another one that was more enjoyable in the completion than the execution, I think.
    Thanks to setter and BD.
    PS Loved the Quickie pun!

  6. A bit harder than the usual Saturday puzzle but i really enjoyed it. Favourite 11d. Thanks to setter and to BD for the hints.

  7. 9a. I can’t find an alternative word for Primrose in the BRB

    PS. I’ve just thought of it

    1. I had a similar experience to you, Collywobbles, and then it came to me – possibly as a result of the mandatory country walks after Sunday lunch when I was a small boy. Today’s puzzle was a good challenge and thoroughly enjoyable. It seems incredible that, fifty years ago today, we actually watched the World Cup final in black and white…

      1. Ah 50 years ago, the era of 14in screens & ultra fuzzy definition.
        England’s prowess seems to have regressed at the same rate as TVs have advanced.

      2. You’re so right re the World Cup, easy to remember as that was the year we got married and hubby was painting the kitchen of our first house with one ear tuned to the tele. Great memories.

        1. Just been corrected. We did not yet have a tele, and he was listening on the transistor radio!

          1. Difficult to have one ear “tuned to the tele! Another reminder of the past: those transistor radios.
            However, more importantly congratulations on your golden year.

    2. As I remember, we used to suck the nectar out of the alternative to primroses. I don’t know why that one and not others?

  8. Enjoyed this one – no surprise when the very first clue referred to the delicious Mr. Poldark – back on our screens soon, I believe. I did have to check on the song, a new term for me.
    Tried initially to get an anagram out of 3d but, otherwise, quite a straightforward solve.
    15a gets my vote for the day.

    Thanks to our Saturday Mr. Ron and also to BD for the confirmation of parsing.

  9. Great fun and nicely thought-provoking this morning. 29 across my last one in and my favourite. 2.5*/3.5* overall, with thanks to our Saturday setter and BD.

    Going to a wedding shortly with carriages not due until midnight. It’s probably just as well I did the crossword early.

  10. Unusually for Saturday it took two visits. Fair & enjoyable. Had to check 16a but it was all it could be really.
    Favourite 3d – like Angel long time since I heard the ***** word.
    Thanks to setter & BD for clearing up a couple of “where did that come from?” answers.

  11. I liked this one – far more difficult, for me anyway, than Saturday crosswords usually are.
    Lots of these took me a long time to see, including the anagram indicator for 27a even though the answer couldn’t have been much else.
    I’ve been ‘had’ by 11d more times than I care to remember.
    I liked 13 and 26a and 2 and 17d. Not too keen on 3d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    Might try the NTSPP later on although I can’t usually do Radler’s crosswords. :unsure:

    1. Do have a go – I found it at the easier end of the Radler difficulty spectrum.

      1. If that’s what you call, ‘at the easier end of the Radler difficulty spectrum’ I’m not surprised that I’ve never got further with his previous ones! Oh dear, but thanks for the recommendation.
        I haven’t finished it but have had fun . . .

  12. I’m not sure how difficult I found this today as I was interrupted several times by the phone ringing three times, a couple of deliveries, and a neighbour asking for some help. I learned four new words: the song in 1a; the flag in 16a; the author in 24a; and being herded by police in 29a. My favourite is a toss up between 15a and 29a.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron for an enjoyable challenge and to BD for his hints.

  13. I spent a ridiculous amount of time on 11d trying to get este or d’este to fit into the first word. I had just got Ville d’Este stuck in my head (albeit an obscure place) and it wouldn’t budge…….Foreste….Modeste….oh, for goodness sake!

    I had also forgotten that term for police herding, although it did come up in news reports a while ago.

  14. A more stringent workout than usual on a Saturday for me, which added to the enjoyment factor. Many good clues and a couple of great ones. I’ll plump for 11d as top of the pile for its elegant surface, with 15 and 23a hard on its heels. Thanks to the setter for the challenge and to BD for being there. 2*/4*

  15. I took longer than normal to solve this one. 15a and 20a appealed to my sense of humour and I needed BD’s wisdom to explain a couple of my answers to me but missing the anagram in 27a wasn’t too clever. Doh! 😂😩😎

  16. Yes, a bit more difficult than most Saturday puzzles.

    I had absolutely no idea about the wordplay of 11d. I bunged in the answer as it was the only thing that I could think of that fit the clue – but who on earth outside of the UK knows where on earth the Villa football club might be or even who they are? Then 23a was another poser which I again bunged in.

    But all in all I would agree with 3* for difficulty and enjoyment.

  17. Very enjoyable but have 10a left and baffling me. It should be easy but hey ho!

  18. Tough today not helped by having no idea what a round for three voices is.
    Tricky and pretty average, not much fun.
    The only one I liked was 9a.
    Thx to all

  19. Tricky but enjoyable so ***/**** from me.

    Fav was 1a but there’s a lot of nice clues here, and some quite well disguised definitions.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

  20. Thought this was straightforward, but I did it after the ntspp and everything is relative.

    I did enjoy it – I appreciate well-crafted simple things like 28a and 15a.

    Also liked 29a and 13a

    Many thanks setter and BD

  21. ***/***. Quite a tough puzzle but also satisfying once I got the the end. It took two sittings which is also a sign I was struggling initially. Anyway, thanks to all. Another day of pure blue skies, hot temperatures and bizarrely still snow in sight on the mountains.

  22. I thought this was going to be easy peasy, but after filling in the initial round, I got stuck, big time! In the end I shot myself in the foot with putting the incorrect end for 22d (really silly, the clue tells you exactly what to do), so I never solved 29a as I had never heard of that phrase.
    There were some really nice clues, hard to choose, but I think 11d has to be it, followed by 9a and 23a.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for his hints.

  23. Good fun
    Someone commented the other day how the top halves of the crosswords seem easier of the bottom halves. So it was today. The top was R&W, but the bottom was tough.
    Favourite was 9a as the flower in question is one of my favourites.
    Thanks for the hints, BD and also the setter.

  24. Yes, enjoyable, doable and tougher than a usual Saturday puzzle.

    Finished in 2/3* time and would give it 4* for enjoyment. No hints needed, but didn’t previously know the song part of 1a.

    Favourite probably 27a for the cleverly misleading surface.

    Thanks to the setter and BD as ever.

  25. Thanks to Big Dave got almost there, but SE corner has me beat, but enjoyable nonetheless.

  26. Mm, much more awkward than usual for a Saturday. But ‘doable’ certainly. Some interesting clues including 1a with the strange song and 23a which didn’t start with the usual word for ‘depressed’ which did hold me up for a while. I liked 15a bestest so that is my fave for the day. 3/3* overall.
    Thanks to the Saturday Mr Ron, and also to BD for the hints.

  27. My first Telegraph after a week away, and what a one to come back to. Very tricky, but always fair. Not one to solve late in the day while tired after a long journey. :-)

  28. I , like many others , found this pretty tricky, and though I got there in the end,by trial and error, I still don’t understand 18a.
    Thanks to all concerned.

    1. If you have the correct answer you should be able to reverse engineer the wordplay.

      Start with the answer, remove the A and the other letter, the one that indicates second-grade, and you have four letters left. Look these up in Chambers. When you do you might notice something else that tells you that you really did know the word, but keep that to yourself!

      1. Glad to know I’m not the only one who solved 18a without knowing how! That four letter word is in my OED, and I’d never heard of it either; nor the song in 1a. Doing xwords is good fodder for scrabble, methinks! Once again had to resort to Chambers to complete, and BD to check explanations for these two.

  29. Gosh, this gave the old brain cells a bit of a working. I had the wrong ending to 17d, so just couldn’t get 29a for ages until I backtracked. Great sense of achievement once I’d finished. I’ve had problems for the last couple of days trying to print the puzzle off and had to email the paper in the end. Now sorted for the time being, but hope last years gremlins are not about to reappear. Thank you BD and Mysteron.

  30. Completed with no assistance hurrah except for checking in dictionary **** was a word. Very enjoyable

      1. I am very sorry I have only just started commenting and I forgot this was the Prize crossword.

        1. Welcome from me.
          The only crosswords that you need to be careful what you say with are Saturdays and Sundays and the MPP which is the Monthly Prize Puzzle – not a crossword in the paper but just one on this site.
          Good luck and keep commenting.

  31. Average compared with a weekday effort, but very good by Saturday Prize standards. Enjoyed it a lot. 2.5*/3.5*

  32. Bit late -like many found SE tricky. Pity no hint on 24a probably obvious if you read fiction. 23a was stretching it a it….but many good ones. Thx BD & setter!

    1. 24a Author, ‘On the Beach’? (4)
      The author of ‘On the Beach’ was Nevil Shute – which doesn’t fit! The surname of the required author is also something found ‘On the Beach’.

      1. I found something you find on the beach and googled it to get an answer so hope it was OK.
        Thx again!
        Read Mr Shute many years ago -as you say it doesn’t fit!

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