DT 28240 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28240 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28240 (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    Doctor’s job forces leader to behave when in charge (7,8)
A leader of armed forces followed by a three-letter verb meaning to behave inside a charge [Thanks Gazza]

10a    Expert in road went fast (5)
Easy when you know how – just put an expert inside R(oa)D

11a    Good-for-nothing makes Bette lose her head (5)
The surname of the Divine Miss M, but without (lose) her initial M (head)

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

13a    Fortification arranged by having US soldiers coming round working (8)
ARR(anged) – an abbreviation used to show who has arranged a piece of music – inside the usual US soldiers (the ones that were oversexed, overpaid and over here) and followed by the usual two-letter word meaning working

14a    Swear summer in Cannes makes you exhausted (6)
A three-letter colloquial verb meaning to swear is followed by the French (in Cannes) for summer

18a    American wrestler hiding in one tree or another (8)
The surname of an American wrestler of limited acting talent goes inside one type of tree to get another

25a    Dark Blues briefly set off in racing boat (9)
The two-letter abbreviation for the university whose athletes wear dark blue is followed by a verb meaning to set off, as in to set off an explosion rather than to set off on a journey

26a    Suffer poverty cultivating hostile farmland (4,2,4,5)
There are not as many anagrams in this puzzle as I first thought, possibly because they are involved in three of the four long answers – this one comes from cultivating HOSTILE FARMLAND


1d    Youngster requires energy drink (7)
This young bird is a charade of a two-letter word meaning energy and a gin-based drink

4d    Outsider has hot pants the wrong way round (4,4)
Put HOT after, not before (the wrong way round), a type of underwear trousers [Thanks Jane] a verb meaning pants or desires – thanks J-L [it just goes to show that sometimes you can solve a clue in many different ways]

5d    Like newly turfed pitch? Spinning bowler not half needs supporting help (6)
This pitch is one used for playing cricket – the reversal (spinning) of the second half of [bow]LER is followed by some help

7d    What some churches use to arouse passion (7)
Nothing to do with structural features, the first of two definitions is something that is used in, for example, Roman Catholic and High Churches

8d    Back last runner at ‘Aydock? (7)
Split (3,4) this could describe the last runner in a race, without, as in [H]aydock, its leading letter

16d    Detective workers on woman’s side (7)
One of our usual detectives is followed by how workers are known collectively

19d    Molten rock goes skywards carrying aluminium alloy in liquid form (7)
The reversal (goes skywards) of a five-letter word for molten rock around the chemical symbol for aluminium

21d    Put a stop to glitch so bike keeps up (6)
Hidden (keeps) and reversed (up) inside the clue

The Crossword Club is now open.

Mrs BD and I met up for lunch with Expat Chris and her husband during their recent trip to the UK.

     The House in the Tree, Cheltenham
  100816_1021_1.jpg   100816_1021_2.jpg
   BD & Expat Chris    Expat John, Mrs BD and BD

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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!

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The Quick Crossword pun: moat+aweigh=motorway

87 comments on “DT 28240 (Hints)

  1. A bit of a treat – a Saturday puzzle which wouldn’t be out of place on a Thursday. Good fun with several laugh out loud moments. Have a good weekend all, and nice photos BD.

  2. I think that 1a is ‘forces leader ‘ (7) then a verb to behave (3) inside charge or cost (5).

    1. Thanks very much, Gazza. I was puzzled by the second word and I was going to have a go about a verb loosely meaning “to behave” being spelt as a noun. Your comment clears that up nicely.

  3. Not too challenging for a Saturday puzzle (for me), completed comfortably before lights out last night – **/***.

    I agree with BD on 1a, not sure which is odder, the clue or the answer. At least, unlike the other three 15 letter answers, it was not an anagram.

    Favourite 8d.

    1. Sadly I spent ages trying to make it one. Hampered solving 1d then as there was no “*” in the three words. Bought the dummy in rugby parlance.

  4. I thought this was a brilliant crossword – quite tricky in places, for me anyway.
    1a took a while to sort out as did 13a. 18a took for ever – wrestlers are not my strong point.
    Missed the relevance of the ‘Dark Blues briefly’ in 25a – rather stupid from me, particularly – should have got that more quickly than I did.
    1d caused trouble – we had a very similar clue/answer in a Saturday crossword in June – I only know that because I remember exactly where I was when I was doing it – perhaps I should get a life!
    21d was, needless to say, my last answer.
    I liked too many to mention them all so just a few are 23a and 1, 4 and 16d. My favourite was 14a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD – nice pics of you, Mrs BD and Expat Chris.
    Off to make a start on sorting out the garden which is looking very tatty and autumnal.

    1. I agree with almost all of your comments Kath so I will say no more other than many thanks to Mysteron for an entertaining and nicely challenging puzzle and to BD for being on hand as always. My Fav was 8d and I liked Bette Midler’s sentiments in BD’s hint for 11a. I too might now get in a couple of hours of gardening with, WP, more scheduled for tomorrow but it’s no great chore since I “down-sized” a while ago. I do however miss the East Anglian space and distant horizons. ***/****.

  5. 3*/3*. I found this quite tough in places but very enjoyable. I thought perhaps it was slightly over-anagrammed including having three of the long answers of that ilk. I’ll go along with Kath’s choice of 14a as favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD. Good to see pictures of Mr & Mrs Expat Chris and Mrs BD.

    1. You’ve said it all, Rabbit Dave, so thank you because you’ve totally echoed my sentiments and, like you, my only real criticism of the puzzle is that the three large anagrams jumped off the page.

  6. Tricky in places, with 25A last to fall. My picks are 18A and 8D. Thanks to the Saturday setter and BD.

  7. Thank you BD for your usual elucidation which I needed for a few clues. Definitely in the “completed but not fully understood” category for me today. Being pedantic, which I guess many of us are, I’m not certain that all 19d’s are liquid. How sad of me😂
    8d however brought a big smile to my face and helped me to ignore the rain outside.

  8. Really enjoyable solve for me. Spent too long on 1a trying to “doctor” the 3 words following it (no coincidence I guess that they totalled 15 letters).
    Above average difficulty for a Saturday I thought.
    COTD was 8d with the reversal in 21d (quite well disguised in my book ) a close second.
    Thanks to setter & BD for review. Also photos. For me nice to be able to put faces to names so to speak.
    Have a good weekend all especially Merusa & BL after the last few days.

  9. Found this quite tricky and needed some electronic help, but got there in the end.
    Last one in was 1d. Knew what it had to be from the checkers, but could not parse it at all until I saw the hints.

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave.

  10. More fun than usual on a Saturday. It’s very warm here in Pommersland. Thank you BD and setter.

    1. BD rarely, if ever, forgets anything to do with the blog.
      He does, however, have a ‘real’ life to lead as well!
      Have patience, Alchemi.

      1. Hear, hear Jane.
        Alchemi may run a website but I doubt it. There can be all sorts of reasons why you do not / cannot post. One of which is sometimes personal priorities arise. Also ( mostly) technical issues arise. What I do know it will appear.
        This site must be one of the best FREE sources of entertainment around. Let’s appreciate what we have for what it is I say.

        1. The NTSPP is usually posted on Friday night, with a time for actual publication. The last time the NTSPP didn’t appear on time, it was because BD had forgotten to give it a time to post (or had got it wrong by 12 hours, I forget which). As someone who regularly writes stuff for websites, including my own, which are not supposed to appear before a certain time, I know how easy a mistake to make it is. And I’m not complaining because it’s one of my puzzles, but because I’m bored having done all the others this morning.

          1. You are quite right, I do usually set it up on Friday night, but we have had a relative staying with us for a couple of days so I thought I would do it this morning after she had left. The world is full of good intentions.

  11. Found some of this rather more tricky than usual for a Saturday.
    Like LabOK, I tried to make an anagram out of 1a – deterred only by the difficulty of getting the ‘J’ to fit with much else.
    I wouldn’t spell 20d like that, so that caused another slight hiccup.
    Don’t think I knew the American wrestler, so my parsing went awry on that one – I had a different sort of American wrestling in mind!
    2d was also a new name for me – GK rather to the fore today.

    Favourite was definitely 8d – really made me laugh.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and also to BD – lovely to see the pics of Mr.&Mrs. Expat Chris with your good lady and yourself – and thank you for the clip of that beautiful song.

  12. Got it finished but never heard of the underwear in 4d, so learned something today…thank you for clearing that one up…great photos too…

    1. At the risk of being shouted down, the BRB seems to agree with me that the 4d clothing item refers to a garment other than underwear. The latter requires the addition of another word whilst the former is something that young boys aspired to.

  13. Good fun for a Saturday Prize Crossword. Dare I suggest that this was a little more testing than the usual Saturday fare? Anyway, 8 down was excruciating but funny, and was my favourite as a result.

    Overall 3*/3* from me, with thanks to the Mysteron and BD.

  14. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, which I found quite straightforward. I also thought that 1a might be an anagram, but this theory was 21d’ed when I got 2d. Last in was 15d. Thought 18a was very clever, but my favourite was 8d. Also enjoyed 19d. Good chemistry. Was 2*/4* for me. Clouded over now in Central London.

  15. With respect, blog solution seems slightly adrift on the reasoning behind 16d. The solution can indeed be seen as {rest of comment redacted as it mentions the solution more than once. CS}

    Should this be in Pedant’s Corner? Sorry . . .

    1. Welcome – you will however have to change your alias as we have had another commenter called Badger for some considerable time.

      Your comment had to be edited as you had broken many of the rules we have regarding the weekend prize puzzles. You can return on Friday morning when the review of this puzzle will be published and make the points that I’ve edited out from your comment.

    2. Welcome to the blog.

      We already have a regular commenter who uses the alias Badger, so please pick a different one next time. Also, could you please not discuss answers to prize crosswords in detail (see the instructions in red at the end of the post). Finally, try looking up both meanings of the answer and you will see that the hint is correct.

        1. That is I.

          Originally a school day nickname from many years ago.

          A bit late in responding having work done on my house roof, but completed in a moment of inspiration. I thought 14a was interesting in its reference to ‘swear’….
          However I did manage to complete without hints, but thank BD for owning up photographically, let us know if you need help with the fans now you are recognised!

  16. This one was much better than the average Saturday prize offering. Well clued and quite challenging. I particularly liked 9a. 2.5*/3.5*

    PS. A big thank you to BD (and all those others who help too) for providing this absolutely excellent, brilliantly set up/run and totally free blog.

  17. Funny that. I thought “pants” in 4d was synonym to “strongly desires”. It is in my thesaurus. The trousers never occured to me.
    Love the image conjured by 18a.
    14a made me laugh.
    A fine crossword IMHO.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the blog.

      1. That’s how I read it as well. I vaguely remember a hymn that featured a line something like ‘as pants the heart for cooling streams’.

          1. Ah, thanks – that probably makes more sense. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it written down.

            1. You probably didn’t go to a CofE boarding school where you were chapelled and churched numerous times a day!

            2. Funny story: Maggie Smith’s brother lived in Jamaica, and he told a story of when she was a child and had a teddy bear with esotropia that she called Gladly. When asked why the name? She said, “because of that hymn, ‘gladly my cross I’d bear’.” Well, I thought it was funny.

              1. Reminds me of “God has seen her raccoon’s eyes” (God and sinners reconciled) and “Rocket man, burning all the trees off every lawn…” (I suspect a translation for this is not required).

                1. Now that is funny. Meant to italicise ‘is’, but don’t know how on ipad ! Any help…..

                  1. I can’t write the code without the server converting it.

                    The FAQ’s are good reading, see #19 :smile:

                    1. …. or do you mean finding the ‘special characters’?
                      That’s a swipe above the shift key isn’t it?

    1. We too on 4d – it seems that “pants” have some Anglo-American colloquialisms.
      And thanks to Messers Ron, BD and The Cryptognomes for the entertaining morning.
      CsOTD were 1a and 8d.

      Mr & Mrs T

  18. Rain on and off in East Anglia although fine at present, feeling chuffed as have found someone to sort garden out we hope. Found crossword quite difficult to get into so thanks to BD for helping me sort things out and thanks to setter for confusing me in the first place. Off to tackle GK in Weekend. Have a pleasant weekend.

  19. We have to disagree with most of you as we didn’t enjoy this one as much as usual for a Saturday. Good to see the pics, BD. Thanks to the Setter and to BD for the hints. A 2.5/2 from us.

  20. I found this one very difficult to get a toehold, so I resorted to electronic help with the long anagram at 3d. Then I started to get some here, some there, thoroughly enjoyed it after that.
    So many fun clues, liked 18a, not that I know anything about wrestlers, 11a, 23a, but fave is the incomparable 8d, how funny was that?
    Thanks to setter and to BD for the hints, needed your explanation for 1a!

  21. I found this tough but very enjoyable. I was surprised to find 12a hyphenated; all dictionaries that I have referred to (including Chambers) have the answer as one word. As ever, thanks to setter and to BD for the hints.

    1. Bizarrely, Wikipedia has the hyphenated version as the heading but all the references which follow in the body of the text use one word.

    2. I worked in the Shipping Industry many moons ago and certainly don’t recall coming across hyphens, e.g. The British ********* Association.

  22. Very nice Crossword a bit of a step up from the usual Saturday puzzle, definitely a little trickier than normal, and some really good anagrams.

    I didn’t fully understand the answer for 14a, I understood the first part but not the second – thanks for that!

    I hate the International break weekends, thank god for the rugby – a close game between Quins and Saints – some of the collisions have been brutal, one of those tackles and the normal person would need a month off!

  23. Friday night in the local or not, this was a bit tougher than normal for a Saturday, For me that’s a good thing. Another great version of “From A Distance” is by Nanci Griffith, the American country and folk singer.

      1. Quite right. Slipped off piste there when I saw the chance to name check an artist I’ve long admired.

  24. I did find this one tough. Lots of answers that I didn’t understand such as 1a behave, 14a no idea what the French for Summer was, 18a, never heard of the wrestler, 25a got it only from the boat, the rest was a mystery, 15d, still don’t fully understand why you have to take only half of the key word, where is the instruction for that?
    Oh and why the second part of 4d, a complete mystery on all levels. What type of trousers?
    For me ***/*.
    Thx for the hints.

    1. 1a is explained in the hints and comments
      14a Why not, we all did French at school, even if we later gave it up for science subjects?
      18a Fair enough but he is fairly well known
      25a The abbreviation briefly) for the educational establishment that wears dark blue when competing at various sports followed by a verb meaning to set off
      15d It is a recognised abbreviation for the country in question

    2. 4d I think the trousers reference is slightly unusual. Jane is right earlier when she says it’s something boys aspire to – when they want to get out of shorts – but Google came up with one clothing manufacturer selling knee-length shorts and using the word in question.

  25. Found this relatively straightforward once I’d got started but it took until 16a for any penny to drop. 21d was last to go: I liked the hidden clue.

    16d was a word I knew but couldn’t have defined if I asked so useful to have come across it. And I didn’t know 14a could have the meaning it does here but there it is in the dictionary when I checked.

    For me 26a gets top billing for a very neat anagram.

    Very enjoyable.

  26. Top half went in fairly quickly but got much slower with the rest and finished with the SE corner. Very enjoyable nevertheless with 14a&21d my favourites. 40-50mm of rain expected today and worse still east of the coast. Autumn is here!

  27. Quite tricky for a Saturday, but got there via several educated guesses. Last in was the clever revurker at 21 down. I’d thought this word was spelled with a ‘y’.
    Also struggling wih the Quick today !

    Thanks to setter and to BD as usual.

  28. A bit challenging to get started but one answer led to others and it got easier. No hints needed; however, after reading Gazza’s comment on 1a I realized I’d misspelled the second word. Last one in was 8d, it wasn’t until I said it as two words that I understood why and had a good laugh. I hadn’t realized the Huckster was so well known to be included in a cryptic crossword clue. No doubt his recent court win helped.

  29. Found this one quite challenging. Took a long time to get started, and then an age on 18/25 at the end. A misspent youth watching WWF wrestling left me with a surfeit of ‘athletes’ to pick from. :-)

  30. This was a good brain stretcher, with only 10a going in on the first pass. Then others slowly fell in place, and once I got 1a I got on a roll. And it was a while before I realized 26a was an anagram. Thanks for Big Dave’s hints. Favourite was definitely 8a, clever clue! Enjoyed seeing the photos.

  31. Very enjoyable , and the last few were quite tricky.
    I am still not sure which or what American wrestler had to do with 18a.
    I particularly liked 21d, though I definitely needed the nudge.I haven’t heard that word for a while.

    Thank you for sharing the snaps, BD and Expat Chris ; it looked like a lovely occasion.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  32. Another non-wavelength day, this must be the same Mr.Ron that I always struggle with.
    I think I managed 6 clues before I was stuck. Maybe tomorrow morning will shed more light.
    At least I have about a weeks worth of quick crosswords to do this evening!!
    Thanks to BD

    1. Having gone through BD’s hints, that was not a wavelength issue, it was just too difficult.
      Thanks BD and Mr.Ron.

  33. Thanks for your help. Left my tricky ones overnight in case I was inspired. Didn’t see 21d and my knowledge of american wrestlers is obviously lacking. 14a I had guessed, but couldn’t see why – both cryptically for 2nd half and in terms of meaning (still not convinced on meaning). Good crossword, and liked 8d.

  34. I was out all day yesterday and this morning, so just finished the prize puzzle after Sunday lunch. Lots of fun and all over far too quickly. Favorite was 21d. Thank you setter and BD. Clip of Miss M brought back some fond memories.

  35. Catch up time! I thought this was a really good Saturday crossword. Not bad for a Sunday come to think of it. 14a was my favourite; 3/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for his hints.

  36. After a good start having got all the long anagrams I got bogged down. Without hints from BD and other posters on this site (grateful thanks) I’d never have solved 18a. 15d took me until last night as I became fixated with the IVR code for Germany or the 3 letter abbreviation for the official name of the German state, instead of thinking of captions on TV sports programmes.

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