DT 28246 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28246 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28246 (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    Producing great strides — and forcing giants to wear small pairs! (6,8)
A verb meaning forcing is followed by some giants inside the abbreviated form (small) of P(ai)RS

9a    Growing one is illegal, but many of us grow more than one (3,5)
This could be something that is grown to produce an illegal drug, but it is normally something that is grown to produce something much more innocuous

12a    Take hold of feline companion (5)
A feline followed by a Companion of Honour

14a    One’s always right in store (8)
This person is proverbially always right when shopping in a store

19a    Such prospects show one’s in the pink (4)
This word meaning of a pinkish colour can precede prospects to show that one is “in the pink”

23a    American entering valley to gather corn? (5)
Put A(merican) inside (entering) a narrow valley

25a    Float I and be capsized aboard rescue craft (8)
An anagram (made to burst) of FLOAT I around (aboard) the reversal (capsized) of BE

27a    Food that could be said to produce a curiously lasting feline smile? (8,6)
A type of cat (feline), famous for its smile in a well-known children’s book, is followed by what might be said to make said cat smile for a photograph


1d    Female diplomat to get on first cruise (6,6)
A four-letter female is followed by a diplomat and a verb meaning to get on in years – if your female has six letters you might find difficulty parsing the rest of the wordplay!

2d    Continue to have loud rumpy-pumpy exercises (4,3)
A verb meaning to continue to have is followed by the musical notation for loud and the two-letter word meaning rumpy-pumpy

4d    Concerned with digestion? Go getting nervous reaction (6)
Go or energy followed by a nervous reaction

10d    Sweet wine, not very much (6,6)
This dessert is derived from a fortified wine followed by a small amount

15d    Titled woman, 50, dropped by many (8)
The Roman numeral for 50 is dropped from a word meaning many

18d    Grand king looks down on the old getting sent up, his bent being rather gloomy (7)
G(rand) and the single-letter Latin abbreviation for king are followed by (look down on) the reversal (getting sent up) of an old word for “the” and an anagram (bent) of HIS

20d    Sketch route for getaway? (7)
Split as (3,4) this could be a route for a getaway

22d    Distance member goes round north — this is to be cut (6)
A member or limb goes around N(orth) and is followed by TH[is] from which the IS has been dropped (to be cut)

The Crossword Club is now open.

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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: para+norm+mall=paranormal

52 comments on “DT 28246 (Hints)

  1. 2*/3*. A pleasant diversion for a Saturday morning which I made more difficult for myself at the top by initially putting in the wrong first three letters for 4d.

    We seem to be having a lot of 17a at the moment. How many different spellings can it possibly have?

    I needed my BRB to confirm the meaning of 23a which, although very old, was new to me.

    27a was my clear favourite with 9a in second place.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD.

    1. It’s the age thing again, Dave – if it can’t be done in 140 characters or reduced to a four-letter acronym forget it . . .

      Us 80-year olds do have some advantage.

    2. For yet another spelling someone might just come up with a clue leading to French spelling for the “curdled food”!

  2. This was definitely over before it began, but very enjoyable – */*** for me.

    To add to Rabbit Dave’s comment on 17a, 3 spelling variations in the last week or so; and, I think there are no more variations so if it comes up again it will be repeats.

    Contenders for favourite 1a and 27a, both long answers that are not anagrams; and the winner is 27a.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  3. This was quickly dispatched & in my opinion was one of the easiest Saturday crosswords I have ever had the pleasure to solve. Many thanks to the setter & to BD for the hints.

    1. Same here – easiest I’ve known – except for 18d for which I needed the hints to work out the abstruse reasoning.

  4. I thought this was straightforward with some really good clues.
    Just for once I don’t have very much to say – no problems – I enjoyed it and I’ll leave it at that.
    I liked 9 and 24a and 2d. My favourite was 1d.
    With thanks to our Saturday setter and to BD.
    It’s a nice sunny morning in Oxford but the forecast is rubbish so off to the garden while I can.
    NTSPP later.

  5. An enjoyable puzzle which took me a little longer than most Saturdays.

    I sort of wanted exercise in 2d but I guess it can work as is

    Many thanks BD and setter

    PS. Today’s Guardian is a lot of fun and not as hard as you might first think

  6. I managed to complete it but could not fathom the reason for my answer to 18 down. So thank you for the explanation.

  7. Over too quickly, but pleasing nevertheless. I also like 27A..the clue, that is, not the answer. thanks to the setter and to BD for the blog.

  8. This puzzle, to my mind, was thoroughly enjoyable because of the mixture of clue types. I particularly liked 1d because, whilst I could see immediately what the answer should be, I had to read the clue a number of times before the penny eventually dropped. Like Expat Chris, I liked the wording of 27a too but maybe living in this part of the world gives me a distinct advantage with the actual answer…

  9. Straightforward but enjoyable nonetheless.
    Seem to remember similar clue for 24a. Also liked 15d but 27a COTD for me.
    Thanks to setter & BD for the review.

  10. If a Saturday crossword has to be more straightforward, then this is the standard of cluing required to make it still enjoyable. Thanks setter & BD.

  11. Loved every minute of it.
    Just perfect prior to a busy day.
    And what a beautiful day we are having now that clouds and rain have gone.
    Feels like summer again.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the blog.

  12. Funnily enough, it took me ages to get into this setter’s way of thinking, but once I got there, it just seemed to flow. Loved it.
    Rumpy-pumpy, really? I had to look that up, but I don’t think I’ll be using that phrase anytime soon.
    Good fun, and the pic of 10d looks scrumptious, but fave is 27a.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for the hints.

    1. I know a very funny joke to do with Postman Pat and Mrs Goggins getting up to a spot of rumpy-pumpy.

        1. Probably not here – a bit too long and anyway quite rude :oops: and I’d hate to be banned for ever (which reminds me of another joke!)

    2. P.S. 9a is very topical for me. Amendment 2 for Florida when we vote on 8th November is to legalize medicinal “whatsit” (don’t want to go to the naught corner) for debilitating diseases. My rheumatologist has advised me to vote “yes” as she feels it would help me enormously with my arthritis! I was horrified, even coming from Jamaica, I’ve never used it and not sure I want to start now.

      1. Just think of the savings on prescriptions – you could grow your own!
        Probably what DT would advise too. You would have to be on something to vote for him now.

        1. Surely you jest! I’d land up in gaol! In any case, the medicinal kind is put into pill form and I’m assured that it doesn’t make you high.

          Re DT, he’s the one on something, big time. Did you not hear him sniffle all the time during the debate? Oh gawd, and he might win, alas, alack!

  13. People seem to like 27a which is great. I thought that “feline” was a giveaway and that the clue might have been more interesting without it – I wondered if it was an editorial addition. Any thoughts?

    1. Why do the trickiest questions always seem to crop up at the weekend?!

      I don’t think the clue makes sense with referring to a specific feline smile. As mentioned by BD in his hint, this particular feline appears in a well-known children’s book. He has a habit of vanishing and, when he does so, the last thing to disappear is his smile.

      I hope that helps, Dutch, and doesn’t get me sent to the naughty corner.

    2. Dutch,
      Isn’t ‘feeline’ necessary to fix the source of the 6 letter word? The only other way to get it would be from the checkers (there are more than 50 English sources) & would that then not be a poor clue?

  14. A fabulous crossword because of the mix of clues and an escape from the American spelling of 17a. Quite a r and w for me but as I did the GCHQ questions first perhaps my brain was more warmed up than usual! I found 23a easy because I know a certain painting. 9a made me laugh. Very enjoyable overall. Thanks as usual to the setter and BD

    1. You mean you could do the GCHQ questions??? I’m very impressed – I had a go and failed dismally on most of them. :sad: It’s fine – I didn’t want to go the GCHQ anyway.

      1. Ooh that sounded a bit grand! I didn’t manage all of it …and one question I still can’t see how the answers match the clues in anyway. But I’ve always enjoyed IQ tests. (And it took me ages)

          1. GCHQ has been the Government Communications HeadQuarters since WW2. Bletchley Park was the code breaking establishment during the war. (Enigma)
            I just hope that I’m right on all this but I’m sure that someone will tell me if I’m not. :unsure:

            1. Oh, I remember Bletchley Park, and loved the TV series.

              I am sure, LROK, that I’ve been on their radar for some time, what with my cartoons and ribald remarks.

  15. I did this while I watching Toulon v Saracens – great game and a brilliant result!

    Oh, and the puzzle was ok as well – the normal Saturday mix of good anagrams and straight-forward clues – not really taxing!

    Now for Crystal Palace v West Ham – come on you Irons!

  16. Loved it! Good mix of clues. Last one in 23a because I was convinced 18d had something to do with Hallowe’en. Good to be a bit taxing though and if I’d followed the clue properly I wouldn’t have misled myself.

  17. Delightful way to spend Saturday afternoon especial treat in that the long clues were not anagrams and fell nicely into place. Right do I do the GK crossword in Weekend or NTSPP, or shall I go mad and attempt both? Have a nice weekend. Favourite had to be 27a because it is a house treat.

  18. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle with a good mix of clues. Pretty much read and write. Favourite was 27a. Last in was 20d. Was 1*/3* for me.

  19. An enjoyable, pretty straightforward solve. I struggled a little with the cryptic definitions, never quite feeling that I was on the setter’s wavelength, but not for too long. Say ** for difficulty in the end.

  20. Well, that was fun , just the kind of crossword I like . A lot of the clues’ solutions made me smile, including 1d, 11a , 14a, 24a and 27a.
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  21. Just right for Saturday breakfast time – light, fluffy and fun.
    I particularly liked 24&27a plus 1d, with 1a getting the gold star.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron for the enjoyment and to BD for the Saturday Club.

  22. A veritable pleasure of a puzzle; 2*/4*. For a favourite, I am torn between 1a and 24a. Many thanks to the Mysteron, and to Big Dave.

  23. A nicely clued gentle Saturday, with plenty to smile about.

    I have been spoiled for feline content in today’s crosswords. I think 27a has to be my favourite; I also liked 1a, 9a, 12a, 24a, 2d and more.

    Thanks to the setter and to BD.

  24. Yup, finished in a trice
    after spending many hours in traffic coming back from visiting Arthur Bear, my new grandson, who is very cute. No stand-out clues, but gently satisfying nonetheless .,. Ta to setter and BD. 1*/3*

  25. As usual Saturday never fails to deliver . A wide spectrum of clues(ing) which alas is not always the case during the week .This wasn’t difficult but it seemed to trigger an endorphin rush , nirvana,. Thanks to the setter and BD

  26. All finished, but I never felt that I was truly on the wavelength.
    I liked 18d.
    Thanks to BD and Mr.Ron…

  27. I have finished the crossword but don’t understand the ‘diplomat’ in 1d. Sorry BD, just read the review. Realise it’s better split (4,5,3). Now I get it. Many thanks to BD and setter.

  28. 1a made me laugh aloud when I finally saw it – my favourite, possibly ever! 5d must be xx xxx xxx but I don’t quite see why. Overall excellent, the best for months. Thanks Mr Setter and BD

    1. 5d – Sorry, wish I could help as I know how frustrating it is if, like me, you are fairly new to this, but this is a prize crossword, so there are strict rules…

  29. I only did this puzzle Sunday morning as we were out most of yesterday travelling to, and watching, the demolition of Zebre by Wasps. I found this reasonably straightforward although I did try to over complicate a couple of answers. I enjoyed 27 across very much, but 1 across takes pride of place as my favourite.

    2*/3* feels about right, with thanks to our Saturday setter and BD.

  30. Have only just got around to this after super weekend in Canterbury celebrating granddaughter’s wedding in the Cathedral. Fortunately today’s exercise was not too challenging and leaves me time to now tackle ST 2870. Had to call on a couple of prompts in SW corner. Couldn’t parse 18d but in any case I do feel a 15 word clue for a 7 letter solution is a bit over the top. Thanks Mysteron and BD. **/***.

  31. Late as often- away for long weekend. Are we still operating with two “badgers”?
    Managed to complete without hints despite putting 21d in 22d slot, and having to ‘blodge’ the answer out. Enjoyed getting it out finally.

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