DT 28234 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28234 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28234 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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    One noted for stubborn tenacity making target with almighty backing (7)
A target, or more accurately the centre of one, followed by the reversal (backing) of The Almighty

9a    Frolicking inside college in outskirts of Swindon? Best say nothing (7,2,6)
An anagram (frolicking) of INSIDE COLLEGE inside the outer letters (outskirts) of S[windo]N gives a saying that suggests that often the best thing to say is nothing – advice that the person who complained about the time that this blog was posted (in a comment that I deleted) could well take

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

11a    Of high quality, prize trophy goes west (3-6)
The reversal (goes west in an across clue) of words meaning a prize (6) and a trophy (3) – there is a page on palindromes and semordnilaps here; they are worth remembering when solving clues like this one.

15a    One who sells tins, rye and soda? (5)
The tradesman whose wares might include any or all of these

16a    Dismissed in style? Say what you’re thinking (3,4,2)
A three-letter word meaning dismissed in cricket followed by a phrase meaning in style (4,2)

18a    Aims often set out in this (9)
One of the better all-in-one clues in which an anagram (set out) of AIMS OFTEN is described by the whole clue

22a    Medical condition of an old king — a version inaccurately advanced (8,7)
AN from the clue, O(ld) and the Latin for king are followed by an anagram (inaccurately) of A VERSION and A(dvanced)

24a    Greek character reportedly regarded as drunk (3-4)
What sounds like a Greek character is followed by a four-letter verb meaning regarded or watched


1d    Kiss before drug, keeling over in roadside shelter? (3,4)
four-letter word for a kiss followed by the reversal (keeling over) of a drug

2d    Scottish pop diva’s footballer being dragged along on new song (5,4,2,4)
A Scottish pop singer, the S from ‘S and a footballer are followed by a phrase meaning being dragged along (2,3) and N(ew)

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

5d    Airman up for trial? (4,5)
This airman tries out aircraft while up in the air

7d    Fail school subject — but be remembered (2,4,2,7)
This could mean to fail a particular school subject

8d    Climber needs to catch up on correct procedure, mostly (7)
The reversal (up in a down clue) of a three-letter verb meaning to catch is followed by most of a word meaning correct procedure or routine

14d    Damage that is seen after child runs off vessel used by cook (4-5)
A three-letter verb meaning to damage and the Latin abbreviation for “that is” are preceded by a word for a child from which the R(uns) has been dropped (off)

17d    Pot if tense? Head of agency drank bubbly (7)
T(ense) and the initial letter (head) of A[gency] followed by an anagram (bubbly) of DRANK

20d    Admit academic robe’s no good at university (3,2)
Drop the G(ood) from an academic robe and add the usual word for at university

The Crossword Club is now open.  Thanks for your patience this morning.  Please remember that those that contribute to this website give up their time for free and they do have a life outside of crosswords [yes, Franders, I do mean you].

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: bray+zing+stake=braising steak

88 comments on “DT 28234 (Hints)

  1. 3*/2* for today’s curate’s egg of a Lego-fest. I found this a mixed bag both in terms of difficulty and enjoyment. The kiss in 1d was new to me, and the complete parsing of 15a eluded me as I’d never before heard of tins in that context.

    Thanks to the setter and to BD.

  2. Not overly taxing but good enjoyment, 1.5*/3*.

    Favourites were 15a, 7d and 14d.

    Thanks, BD, for the hints even though not needed, and to the setter

  3. Not too many problems with this. Being relatively young I didn’t know 2d, but worked it out from the wordplay. Had a blind spot with 15a. Chuckled at an alternative clue idea for 7d. Today’s favourite is either that or 20d.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

    I’m glad it’s October for my diary this month is full of nice things, many of which crossword-related. There are a couple of notable birthdays (most of the best people were born in October!) and the fun starts with a friend’s birthday drinks this afternoon/evening. I wish you all as happy a weekend as I am planning to have.

    1. Relatively young, or just not really old?

      Re 7d; me too, or me an’ all, as an Eastender would say.

      PS ‘October’ should read ‘September’. Have fun and enjoy.


      1. Young to anyone in their 40s or older; old to 20-somethings or younger. I will probably be adding another mile to the clock before this month is over…

  4. Thank you for the hints, Dave, because it had got to the point where 17d was driving me up the wall and I’m pleased to say that I’ve come down now… Needless to say, I could see what the answer might be but I couldn’t prove it and, for that reason, I’ve been grateful for your assistance. Ironically, the rest of the puzzle didn’t cause me any problems.

  5. Enjoyed this exercise while looking at the pouring rain outside but now the sun shines and I can get on with planting some bulbs etc. – hooray. No hassle today (**/***) but last to go in was 2d where I got the pop diva but had forgotten the song so thanks BD for the Fats Waller recording. Needed help to parse 17d – suppose “bubbly” is appropriate here? Fav 16a. Thanks Mr. Ron.

  6. Not too many problems, just with 22a, very clever clue that escaped me totally until the penny dropped.
    I thought this was a bit harder than recent Saturdays.
    I couldn’t parse 17d and it was my last in.
    Oddly 9a was on the radio yesterday, I never realised that it was actually a ‘b’ side to a record by Franki Valli and the Four Seasons a few years earlier, but the Trems did it justice.
    14a – Didn’t know the word for the first part of the answer
    Favourite was 14d, which I managed to spot quite early.
    Many thanks to BD and to Mr.Ron.

  7. Oh dear, another missing apostrophe (of contraction this time) in the enumeration*, and I thought that the Telegraph was one of the upholders of English grammatical tradition.

    For me, a quite enjoyable puzzle completed comfortably before lights out last night but not without some head scratching – 2.5*/3*.

    Favourite 7d.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

    * In 2 for anyone who did not notice.

    1. Your complaints will fall on deaf ears at the Telegraph – on the handful of occasions that apostrophes have appeared in the enumeration it was for names like O’Grady.

      1. BD – thanks. Perhaps I will become a modern day Don Quixote and keep on tilting at the ‘punctuation’ windmill, any volunteers to be my Sancho Panza?

    2. The apostrophe is there in the clue but I wonder how it could appear in the solution (or am I missing something?). At least in this instance the apostrophe is not being used before an “s” in a plural which often seems to be the case these days.

      1. There is an excellent book by Lynne Truss on the (mis)use of punctuation called ‘Eats, Shoots and Leaves.’ I recommend it.

            1. Yep, have that book; very entertaining.

              I got the message once “Please call in office from 12:00”.

              So I duly arrived, only to find he’d missed the comma after ‘call’.

        1. I agree with you entirely, Senf, and I received two copies as presents that particular Christmas – one of which I managed to exchange through a certain national bookshop. That just proved to me that at least two of my friends actually thought that I was a pedant…

          1. I was in fact also given two copies so presumably I have the same pedantic reputation as you!

    3. It is usual to omit apostrophes from enumeration in crossword land – I don’t know why, it just is.

  8. Very enjoyable…Thanks BD and setter….. it’s good for me when the hints are later on line as it makes me work the grey matter!!

  9. Having been beaten by ‘manly’ and ‘noisy’ last night, I enjoyed this quite witty Saturday puzzle. Have a good weekend all.

  10. Loved this offering! A very nice mix of clues but like many above, I hadn’t heard of 2d. My favourite clue by far was 18a. It wasn’t too taxing but did give me pause to think. Thanks to the setter and BD

  11. There’s quite a lot of talk on here about stretched synonyms and obscure words, so I penned this pertinent adage: Lament not at the of reading an unknown word – but rejoice that it can be yours on a later day.

    1. There are many words, most of them appearing on the back page of Friday’s papers, that I don’t want to be mine today or at any time in the future. Since the purpose of language is communication then what is the point of using words that no-one else understands.

      1. Perhaps because they fit into the crossword grid? The Times cryptic on Friday was a lot worse.

      2. But none of us know any word till we learn or research it. They’re all unknown or obscure till we do that.

        1. But there is a difference between learning words that mean something to others and learning words that mean nothing to anybody.

          1. That may be true in general life, but here we are talking about the surreal world of cryptic crosswords. “Strophe” is an obscure word which, now I’ve learned it, definitely means something to me and next time it appears in a crossword I’ll be ready for it – and so will plenty of others on here too, I suspect.

          2. True enough – but that is not the issue when it comes to crosswords as they are puzzles not communications. My problem is not that English has a large number of obscure words – because indeed it does -, it is that they not be used in puzzles just because they are obscure and make the puzzle difficult to solve purely because they are obscure.

            It is not a problem making a crossword puzzle difficult by such means, but that does not mean that solving it is enjoyable. The art of creating puzzles by my estimation is that they be solvable by some careful thought and an unravelling of a clever riddle – not by an encyclopedic knowledge of Roget’s Thesaurus.

            I really enjoy learning new words and obscurities, even, if they are learned as a result of solving a clever clue – but not just because they are a synonym that is stretched or very rarely used and thus not something that can be deduced.

            1. George. That was my very point – that cryptics clues are rather surreal word puzzles, not everyday communication. I wrote a tongue-in-cheek adage to succinctly encapsulate my opinion about comments regarding so-called stretched synonyms (many of which aren’t particularly stretched when you research them) and obscure words. I love cryptic crosswords and I love semantics and I also like to record/ remember previously unknown words, many of which are quite obscure. I don’t want to recall them for everyday conversation but just as a general interest (ie semantics) and just in case they appear in a later puzzle. All setters have always regularly used “obscure” words in cryptics (often because it’s the only one that will fit into the existing checkers) – and if they’re listed in the BRB dictionary or thesaurus, they’re fair game.

          1. There could not have been an instanter response from the audience.

            Nope, agreed, that’s c**p :smile:

          2. It’s a legal term, an adverb, meaning immediately or at once, so: The writ needs issuing instanter.

  12. Another one here who was unfamiliar with the archaic word for ‘kiss’ and struggled a little with the parsing of 17d.
    Nice puzzle with my top two being 18a & 7d.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and the long-suffering BD. Anyone waiting for today’s review could have just made a start on the MPP!
    On to Gazza’s NTSPP now……..

  13. Bit tricky I thought especially as I hadn’t come across the song in 2d, needed Google to confirm that one it was so old.
    Last in was the homophobe in 4d, v clever. My fav was def 7d, a real smile clue.
    Thx to all

  14. Nothing to excite or offend for me. Never heard of the kiss in 1d but BRB says it is “a rude or playful kiss” so perhaps that reflects a sheltered upbringing (or a dull life?).
    Thanks to setter & BD for hints that clarified a couple of parsings.
    Let’s hope we’ve remembered how to play proper matchplay golf (foursomes) today.

    1. i did know the ‘kiss’ word but not the answer for 2d but got there by realising it couldn’t be Susan Boyle!

  15. I thought this was quite a good Saturday puzzle. Quirky and fun. I haven’t come across answers like 22a very often that’s for sure! 7d was my favourite, and 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints.

  16. Yay, finally managed to break my duck and solve a crossword without resorting to BRB, thesaurus, Mr Google or this excellent site and reading the hints or speaking to Dad 😀

    I read the hints and reviews every week and BD deserves a medal for his sterling work, thank you

    No idea who the setter is today but it is obviously my wavelength-thank you anyway

    Now all I have to do is repeat in subsequent weeks (eeek)

    1. Very well done, Dawn. It’s a great feeling when you finally manage your first successful solo run. There will be some ups and downs, but I’m sure you’ll have many more successes to come.

    2. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, with some great clues. I was surprised that I had heard of everything, including 1&2d & 9a, all a rarity for me. Favourite was 14d, and last in was 8d. Was 2*/4* for me.

  17. There were some nice smile clues here, none making ones brain spin.
    In the instance of 2d, old age has an advantage! I loved the Fats Waller version, BD, thanks so much for that.
    I liked 9a, 10a and 14d, but fave is 7d.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for the hints; don’t let the idiots spoil your day, just ignore them.

  18. Thank you BD and setter for lively brain workout,. one of those days where things dropped into place nicely once I had a few letters in but I did need BD at times to qualify what I had done. BD letter in post some time next week which you might find interesting.

    1. How are you doing, better I hope. It’s no fun when you have so many stressors in your life. Keep well!

      1. Thank you for kind thought, we are now getting help we need and hopefully over next few weeks things will sort themselves out. :rose:

  19. I saw the original post and am amazed that anyone would comment on the hints being late!! We are all grateful for the hard work that BD and the rest of the bloggers put in

    1. And from me too. BD and the bloggers are saints in my book and have added so much enjoyment to my cryptic attempts.

  20. Very late today – busy, tired and have a cold. :sad:
    Oh well – too bad – on to the crossword.
    I found this one quite tricky in places – don’t know why now that I’ve finished it – perhaps due to everything in the first bit of my comment.
    14d was my last answer and I was really slow to get 7a and 6d.
    I’d vaguely heard of 2d even though, having asked Mr Google, it wasn’t the song I was thinking of – mine did have the same girls name in it.
    I think we’ve had the 1d kiss quite recently.
    I liked 9 and 16a and 4 and 7d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    I didn’t see the original comment but can guess the content.

  21. Another enjoyable Saturday puzzle from Mr. Ron I presume. So, many thanks to him and to BD for the hints, especially 2d which took me back a long way

  22. Enjoyed this and love the blog- it has kept me sane on many occasions… Being medically inclined did anyone else have 22 a as ******** ******* which actually fits with the checking letters I had at the time?

    1. Welcome to the blog, Skidoc.. As this is a prize puzzle please don’t give alternative answers until the full review is posted next week.

    2. I am guessing at your first word. I did – could not completely parse it of course. I just checked the hints and realised I had the wrong first word!

  23. A few new words and quite enjoyable. Liked 14d because I solved it never having heard of the thing. I also liked 16a. 22a was the last one in, I got fixated on old king Cole for quite a while.
    Thanks all.

    1. Re 14d -Well glad you got it, Graham because I don’t get it at all, even though I have all the letters from the other answers …& last answer.

      Seems that no one else had trouble, so it is irksome. Came back to the crossy after catching up with W/e jobs but…..!
      Thx for trying, BD!

  24. A few new things learnt in a straightforward, enjoyable puzzle. Two hours at a botched DIY job has evidently done my solving skills the world of good.

  25. Managed this with no electronic help, but did need some of Big Dave’s hints, thanks, to finish. Particularly enjoyed 9a (third word) as we are off to celebrate our Golden tonight, making us officially old. A good start to the day 😊

    1. Thanks, had a lovely dinner with family including grandkids. Chose pearls this time round, did diamonds for the 25th – how quickly these dates come around. Granddaughter is already 14 and nearly the age I was when we had our first date. cannot believe how fast the years fly by. I swear the clock moves faster since we retired.

  26. If it hadn’t been for the hint in 15a , I might never have gotten the song .Otherwise a very nice crossword.
    Thanks BD and setter.

  27. What a lively blog.
    Shame I was working all day (as usual on a Saturday) as I would have loved to put my oar in.
    Respect to those who new 2d. Guessed it right and had to check it on the web. Didn’t really make it to Top of The Pops did it? Or didn’t even 7d for that matter.
    The rest was pretty straightforward but very enjoyable.
    Favourite is the all in one anagram thingy in 18a.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for this great website.

  28. Thank you setter and BD. This was a curious one for me. All slipped in quickly and neatly but there were several which were obvious answers which I could not parse. Did not spot the part anagram in 17d although the answer was obvious. Fell into the same trap as Skidoc above with 22a. Overall I would say the puzzle, hints and comments are 14a.

  29. Never disappointed by our Sunday setter.
    Nice construction in 25a.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the blog

  30. I thought this was very good for a Saturday effort and I rather enjoyed it. 3*/3.5*.

    BD. I was just wondering. 1d – although the answer is (3,4) would it be worth mentioning in the hint that the wordplay is split (4,3)?

  31. Very late finishing this as the weekend got away from me a bit…..all those apples to get in and sort out plus chutney to make from the plums frozen last month. House still reeks of vinegar and that’s just the first batch….lovely to have it, though.

    Enjoyed this crossword very much and managed it all without electronic aids or hints…..though was very puzzled by 4d until I read Brian’s entry. A homophobe, who’d a thunk it? Not me anyway,

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints and this wonderful blog.

Comments are closed.