DT 28252 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28252 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28252 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club
Hosted by Tilsit

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Morning all!

While Big Dave and most of the gang are away at the big crossword event of this week, the Times Crossword Championships, I’m holding the fort for the next two weekends.  Good luck to those taking part including our very own Crypticsue and Verlaine, and our regular Saturday setter Cephas, who has been there in the past and may be there today, and Micawber.

I will be dropping in from time to time today as I have to work, dealing with the energy and communications complaints of most of Great Britain.  So I’m trusting you all to behave and play nicely.  However, a few of the regulars will be around to keep an eye on things and dispense opening medicine to anyone being naughty, I’m sure.  I believe Gazza has a big bottle.

I haven’t done much solving recently for a couple of reasons, so found this quite challenging.  I’d guess it wasn’t by Cephas but our Mystery chum.

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             Law passed by House after a complaint put in motion (3,2,10)
An anagram of AFTER A COMPLAINT gives you something put through by HM Government.

10a          Information presented systematically in small computer incomplete (5)
The name of a small hand-held computer missing its last letter is where to find data presented in order.

12a          One certain knack that’s reduced kind of exercise (9)

The description for a kind of exercise is found by taking a letter meaning one, adding a word for a quantity and also something that means a knack or a ruse, minus its last letter.

14a          Shaw comes across old and hollow? (6)
A synonym for a shaw, a wooded area, goes round O for old and gives you something the could be said to have a hollow (and is found twice on a 7” record, for those of an age!)

18a          Fat duke excellent in old-fashioned way (8)
A word for an type of fat is found by taking D for Duke and adding an archaic way of saying excellent.  Think of ___ Yarns, that starred Michael Palin.

22a          Was I not AB at sea? Yes I was (9)
An all-in-one clue, my favourite today.   An anagram of WAS I NOT AB gives  you a job where someone had to be an ‘A.B.’ to be one!

24a          What one may throw and see snaring beast of burden (5)
Inside a short word for look or see goes the name of an animal to give something thrown by a cowboy.

26a          Having many weapons thereto met death in action (5,2,3,5)
An expression meaning having lots of weaponry is an anagram of THERETO MET DEATH.


1d            Drawn from every part of university left (7)
A wordsum.  A word meaning every part of something + U + an expression for left (wing) = a word meaning drawn or attracted.

2d            As if Chicken and Rice perhaps should be put on in a lazy way (7)
A description of being chicken or cowardly is found by taking the name of a famous lyricist named Rice and adding a word for in a lazy way.

3d            Defence Secretary’s promise holding individuals to resign (4,2,4,5)
The surname of the current Government Secretary of State for Defence and a word meaning promise has something that means inside.  Put together, these all give an expression meaning to resign or be forced out of office.

7d            Ban thus restricts business expert (7)
The abbreviation for a qualification assocated with business is surrounded by the Latin word for thus or therefore.  This gives a type of ban.

8d            Over-sentimentality of Electra complex (7)
A slang word for schmaltz or over-sentimentality is an anagram of Electra.

15d         Flourish taking healthy food recipe (8)
The name for a type of food that’s good for the bowels is added to another word for a recipe and gives a word meaning to flourish.

17d         After time, Swallows and Amazons author almost makes one beam (7)
The name for a type of beam is found by taking the abbreviation for time and adding the surname of the author of the book named in the clue, minus the last letter,

21d         What one gets to change the locks (6)
A cryptic definition and one to make you smile to finish.  Think of locks in terms of what a coiffeur does!!

I’ll try and add some pics to liven things up later.  Now remember, play nicely! 

The Crossword Club is now open.

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!

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The Quick Crossword pun: mountie+gnash=mountain ash

95 comments on “DT 28252 (Hints)

  1. I found this one not too tricky today. The three long anagrams went in straight away to give me a good start and the rest followed. Good luck to those in the Times Crossword Championships and thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the hints.

  2. 1*/3*. This was R&W for me apart from two clues which took a little time to parse. Nevertheless I did enjoy it thanks to generally smooth surfaces, although 12a & 14a did read a little strangely.

    I needed the BRB to check the Shaw in 14a. I also got my knickers in a twist with the wordplay for the obvious solution to 9a as I initially tried to parse it split as (4,5) thinking the setter must have gone mad with the second part of the answer!

    22a was my favourite and 13a made me LOL, but all four long clues deserve a special mention too.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Tilsit.

  3. Finished before the porridge got cold this morning. 1a was straight in, followed by the remaining long clues which gave me lots of checking letters. Best of luck to Crypticsue and the rest of the crew in London today. Have a great day. Thank you Mr Ron and Tilsit. I can’t believe a certain gentleman on the site is being asked to leave!

      1. Run through the comments below RD, and you may spot who I mean. I could have the wrong answer of course.

    1. I just read it as a general encouragement

      Thanks Angel for the kind words

      Oh dear, I hope I don’t need any of Gazza’s medicine now..

  4. I took a long time to get started, but once I had a pawhold things went well. Just needed to check the 14a Shaw. I really liked the 2d Chicken and Rice, but I think I’m duty bound to choose 5d as my favourite.

    Many thanks to our mystery chum and to Tilsit – your intro made me smile more than the crossword did :).

    Have a great weekend whatever you’re doing. See some of you very soon. :yahoo:

  5. Found this a little difficult today … finishing the bottom half first … good luck Dave, Sue and all others taking part today, I’m sure everyone will behave themselves in your absence and whilst I may not be keeping an eye on them as I used to, I’m sure with Gazza in attendance, nice tho’ he may be, they won’t get away with anything, hopefully the ‘naughty corner’ will remain empty!!! Speaking of the naughty corner … why is a certain gentleman being asked to leave and not just given a spell in the naughty corner, without cake and liquid refreshments???? :-(

    1. Good morning, Mary! It’s nice to see your name appearing again. You haven’t mentioned 14a but I had to reach for the BRB to check the definition too but otherwise everything else fell into place very nicely. BT Sport are showing Liverpool v WBA at 17:30 and I’m going to very disappointed if we don’t pick up three points…

      1. Hello Cara, nice to ‘see’ you too :-) , why 14a??? … todays game is hopefully one to win!!!!

  6. I am finding this puzzle very difficult as predicted by Tilsit. I may be tempted to watch the rugby instead. Hi Mary, good to see that you are still around. Good luck to BD and the team. Many thanks to whomever for the crossword and also to Tilsit for the the hints. I am going to be on my best behavior today and avoid Gazzas’ wrath (gentle though it is)

    1. Hey, Collywobs, yes I am still around but don’t find so much time to visit these days, I still do the crossword most days though and call in occasionally to make sure Kath has you all behaving yourselves!!!I found todays puzzle quite a challenge particularly the top R/H corner, so don’t be disheartened

  7. Just back from holiday. Not too difficult today but a few i just couldn’t get all the cryptic bit (eg 13a, 5d, 7d) so thanks for the parsing where given. Good luck guys. thanks all.

  8. I enjoyed this (like Mary it was the bottom half first) – Chicken and Rice, Electra complex, Shaw, the long anagrams – all great stuff

    Many thanks setter and thank you Tilsit for the review.

    Good luck to contestants and celebrants today – I will miss this, I have a big party at the snow goose tonight – a 50th birthday (not mine obviously) – the whole place has been reserved, Chinese Marbles are playing, should be great fun.

    I do hope to see everyone in York next weekend though.

  9. Thought this was a little more tricky than the usual Saturday fare but very enjoyable.
    Like RD, I had to look in the BRB for the Shaw and also tried to split my 9a answer as 4,5!

    The four long ones were good, I also liked 2&15d.
    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to Tilsit for manning the fort. For when you call in later, Tilsit – do you know when your next Hive Minds appearance is being screened?

    Hope everyone who is attending has a great time in London.

  10. Enjoyed having a bit more of a challenge than on some Saturdays. Again nostalgic thoughts of F and S with 6d and I went on a fruitless wild goose chase around GBS for 14a. Failed to parse 2d bung-in. Thanks Mysteron and Tilsit. ***/***.

    1. I also fell for the mis-direction on GBS for 14a, but, by waiting for the three checkers from the down clues it became obvious that he had nothing to do with it.

    2. Hmmm – I’m obviously a bit less “araldite” than the two of you – the Shaw I thought of was Martin.

      1. Kath – Not necessarily more ‘araldite,’ more a case of Shaw in a crossword clue is an automatic trigger for GBS.

      2. I wouldn’t have made that mistake Kath ‘cos I’m afraid I don’t know who Martin Shaw is! I will now Google him.

        1. I bet you do know him – he’s lovely. He was the curly haired one in the Professionals donkey’s years ago and has been in lots of things since.

              1. I’ve been well and truly had! The only Rick Shaw that came up on google is a DJ here in S. Florida!

              1. The Dalgleish stories were based on P.D. James books and were excellent. You must be able to get them, maybe the library? Yes, I liked George Gently as well, have some DVDs here.

  11. For me, not as challenging as Giovanni yesterday and completed comfortably before lights out last night; although, having got one or two of the answers, I did have to head scratch on the parsing, 2d for example. Also, I had to look up the author of S & A before solving 17d, so 2.5*/***.

    Not necessarily the same clue, but didn’t we see 6d recently?

    Stand out favourite 3d, a 15 letter non-anagram clue will always take top honours for me.

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  12. Definitely a case of working from the bottom up to the top for me – but all went along very well with this ploy! Nice puzzle – a couple of strange word plays but all very enjoyable.

  13. Found this difficult and needed help,both electronic and from the hints.
    Did not enjoy it much either I’m afraid.

    Thanks to Tilsit for the much needed hints.

  14. The general style of this crossword felt a bit unfamiliar – I thought it was terrific – lots that made me laugh.
    I thought that 6d meant immediately rather than without provocation but there are so many sayings that I’ve always misunderstood I’m not going to quibble.
    I will quibble with 16d and say that it’s not ‘spots’ it’s a ‘rash’ which is completely different – who cares though – it’s a crossword.
    I have met the 14a Shaw but still had to check in BRB.
    I always forget the 11a set.
    I liked 16a and 6, 8 and 16d. My favourite was the chicken and rice!
    With thanks to whoever set this one and to Tilsit.
    Good luck to all “our lot” in London today and please could we have some pics?

    1. I don’t like the meaning for 11a as I very much doubt anyone calls it this any more. Highly reminiscent of the war years, valves and bakelite!

      1. ******** perhaps but not *****.

        [Please don’t provide actual or alternative answers. Gazza]

  15. Bottoms up for me, too. I didn’t know the 14A word but have since checked the BRB, and I’m not at all sure about the shut up in 5D, though I have an inkling. I liked the puzzle a lot, with 2D my favorite. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit. Looking forward to the Maize puzzle and this dark and gloomy day is just the excuse I need to idle some time away.

    1. Not sure I understand the connection, but the shut part of 5d is listed in the entry for shut in the Chambers Crossword Dictionary and then the ‘up’ indicates reversal in the answer.

        1. Mary – Thanks. You are correct. I received a ‘personal’ e-mail from Tilsit telling me the same thing. My brain has not warmed up properly yet, still quite early in the middle of Canada.

        1. Doesn’t make sense otherwise…
          Good to hear all the news today from you lot.
          Thanks all

  16. Hugely enjoyable, great fun and reasonably comfortable to solve. Nothing terribly scary, and some notable clues, especially 2 down, my favourite today. 2*/3.5* overall with thanks to the Saturday setter and Tilsit for standing in.

  17. Very enjoyable after struggle with top half after lower completed fairy easily.
    Shaw to me is a town near Oldham , then GB but BRB set me right.
    COTD was 22a.
    Thanks to setter & Tilsit for review.

  18. Great fun, loved it. I didn’t know the Rice in 2d, nor the Defence Sec in 3d, but I googled both and learned something new. I also didn’t know the Shaw in 14a and had to google that as well.
    Nice to see 6d again, but fave has to be 22a, clever clue.
    Thanks to setter and to Tilsit for his hints.

  19. Thanks to Dave the Rave and setter for a great way to spend Saturday afternoon. Naughty me did a bit of bunging in and look it up afterwards, long anagrams certainly helped but unusual favourite was 25ac just because I liked the sound of the word. Off to do GK in the Weekend or I might make a pot of tea. :yahoo:

  20. Tough today at least for the top half. The definition of a shaw is new to me, it never ceases to amaze me the way setters can find these obscure words!
    9a held me up for ages and at first I had the wrong first four letters but got it eventually.
    Thx to all

    1. Me too! Still do not understand 9a parsing. Thoroughly enjoyable though – thank you setter and Tilsit.

      1. 9a It illuminates difficulty following strike (9)
        Difficulty (6) follows a verb to strike (3).

  21. This one took me a while to get into but as more clues fell the easier it got (as is so often the case).

    An enjoyable puzzle, with thanks to Tilsit and setter **/****

    P.S – just wondering about the Times championship today – I’m assuming it’s 9 on the spin for MG but maybe not?? Sounded promising for an esteemed blogger of ours earlier…

  22. Mmm, nice challenge for a Saturday! 2d fooled me, even with the chequers in, but finally the penny dropped. Good clue and also my favourite. 3/3* overall.
    Thanks to Mr Ron, and to Tilsit for holding the breech.

  23. Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the hints. This was all plain sailing until I got to 14a, had never heard of a shaw, so needed the hint to sort his out. I liked the 4 long clues, but my favourite was 5d. Was 2*/3* for me.

  24. All done pretty quickly, though without fully understanding 5d and 14ac, so thanks for the blog and the comments above which explained both ably. Lots of nice long phrases to open up the grid, and only 12ac to really cause problems, mainly because I got a different sort of ‘certain’ stuck in my head. Good luck to all competing this weekend.

  25. Very tricky , and Tilsit’s hints were mostly for the ones I had got. I liked it though.
    Thanks to Tilsit and to the setter.Any guesses as to who ?

    1. Welcome to the blog, The Sloth.

      5d Cream shut up, cat being around (6)

      Reverse a word meaning shut (as used of a door) inside a big cat.

        1. 25a Once more live in check clothes (9)
          A verb to check (4) followed by another word for clothes (5).

          The definition of 16a is “rat”.

  26. Garza

    Thanks for that. I was just thinking of a cat and didn’t see a ****.

    I can rest easy in my bed now

    The sloth

  27. Managed to do without hints, but struggled in NE comer and needed help of the thesaurus, and my 1985 ‘crossword solver’ . Liked 7d, and 14a as the clue deliberately aimed you at GBS! Also liked the long anagrams which got you going. So, found it entertaining. Lots of examples of misleading words, eg 11a -never assume the ‘obvious’ ! Well done all!

    For the sloth -a cat can also be a **** …not this time though.

  28. Jeez – a two day struggle for this tyro! 2 and 14 the worst (learned a new word!) and I still don’t understand 5. Don’t suppose anyone will read this late post to explain!

      1. Unfortunately, the posts are not numbered here (Chrome), Mr (very) Muddypops.

        PS – Call me a stickler, but wouldn’t it be nice if folks actually read the blog before posting? Must drive the mods potty!

        1. I did read it, but still didn’t get it – till now, when it clicked! (I’m sure the mods can suffer fools even if not gladly)

    1. If you’re looking at the comments on a computer – what you need is Gazza’s reply to The sloth at 28.

  29. I enjoyed doing this one and very much welcome the return of some multi word answers, such as for 26a (5,2,3,5) and 3d (4,2,4,5), which don’t seem to have featured in the Telegraph for quite some time.

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