DT 28258 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28258 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28258 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club
Hosted by Tilsit

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Good morning, back for another weekend while the troops are partying like its 1999.  The gang is up in York celebrating Elgar’s birthday so here’s hoping they have a great day.

I found this a bit of an odd puzzle with a number of answers going in and I really had no idea how they worked until I sat for a while and thought about it.  I’m never sure that’s the sign of a good puzzle.

Do let us know how you felt about the puzzle.  I will be at work for part of the morning keeping Ombudsman Services ticking over.  I am sure the lovely Crypticsue will be popping in and keeping a watchful eye on things.  I’ll see you all tomorrow!

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             Strange saga: flour used in sweet cake (5,4)
The name of a type of cake that looks like bread is found by rearranging SAGA FLOUR.


10a          Old-fashioned supporter somewhere in the field (6,3)
The name for a fielding position in cricket is found by taking a word meaning old-fashioned and the type of support for furniture such as a table.

13a          Own accommodation in the barracks? (7,8)
A cryptic definition where the whole thing defines it and if you break it up you get a word meaning own, solo or single and the name for accommodation in the armed forces.

18a          A special Sunday: convert led through in a perfect state (3-4)
I had never heard of this.  An anagram of LED goes inside for the description of something that’s perfect.  This gives you the name for a Sunday leading up to Easter.

20a          One caught splitting gold, perhaps, being clinical (7)
The number one and C for caught goes inside something of which gold (or silver or bronze) can be a type.  This gives a word that refers to a clinic or hospital.

23a          Supreme, Diana at home with Italian composer (7)
The surname of the lady who led a 1960’s group takes a short word meaning at home and I (Italian) to give a famous composer.


25a          Cathy’s new bloke is a sailor (9)
Rearrange CATHY’S and add a synonym for a bloke to give a type of sailor.



1d            Avoid team with pace (8)
Something meaning to avoid is found by taking another word for a team and one for a pace.

2d            Writing in a small room, perhaps, I will support German count on attack (8)
This sort of troubled me.    Not ure what the definition means.  A type of writing is found by taking the German word for a count, adding a type of seizure/attack and I.   Crypticsue suggests that if you look up the solution in the dictionary, it is very clear which small room is being referred to!!

5d            Four performing four dances in elaborate dress (4-4)
The French phrase for elaborate styles of dress is found by taking an anagram of four and adding another anagram of four.

6d            I agree to be present repeatedly on the radio (4,4)
What is yelled in Parliament when someone agrees is a homophone of some thing that means present, taken twice.


8d            This strike would pose an empty threat (6)
A cryptic definition for a type of strike which happens when you have an empty tummy.

15d         Earnest request to take food through gate (8)
Inside the word for a gate or door goes something that means to take food, leading you to a way of saying to request earnestly.

16d         Avoiding reality of mass epic developing (8)
A name in psychology for the art of avoiding reality is an anagram og MASS EPIC.

18d         Rodent, cat and farm animal, climbing (6)
A type of rodent is revealed by taking the name for a cat and a type of sheep and reversing each.marmot20d         Police force and church welcoming one measuring style (6)
The abbreviation for the London police force and an abbreviation for one of the main church religions with one inside gives you a name for a measuring system.

21d         County staff turned up on telly (6)
A word meaning a staff or large stick is reverse on put on the word for a TV.  This gives the name of an English county.

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!

Please read these instructions carefully. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted.

The Quick Crossword pun: Whit+takers+almanacs=Whitaker’s Almanacks


72 comments on “DT 28258 (Hints)

  1. All over too soon since, as is usually the case on Saturday, today’s offering caused no pain at all except with 18a which I now gather has to do with refreshment. No Fav. Thanks Mr. Ron and also Tilsit for once again being there for us. **/***.

  2. Tricky bottom half but some great clues in 17d and 18d.
    Very enjoyable but for me the most difficult puzzle this week. However any puzzle with a cricket clue is alright for me (sorry Kath)!
    Thx to all

  3. 1*/2.5*. I guess this is probably pitched at about the right level for a Saturday prize crossword – pleasant and undemanding with a broad spectrum of clue types.

    13 a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Cephas (assuming CS’s inside information is correct in her review yesterday of last Saturday’s puzzle) and to Tilsit for standing in once again.

  4. Quite enjoyable, with some head scratching, but solved without any ‘look ups’ – **/** or ***.

    18a was new to me also, but was easy enough to deduce without knowing what the special Sunday is.

    Favourite 17d which was my last one in, although 13a came a close second as it is a 15 letter non-anagram.

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  5. Had to look up 18a, but managed the rest and enjoyed it very much.

    Needed help with the unravelling for one or two, so many thanks to Tilsit and, of course, to the setter.

  6. Some great clues, I thought, and pitched right, as RD says. I liked 25A but my favorite is 17D. Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  7. I always thought that 5 down was the sound of the silk dresses moving as the girls danced the can can.

  8. I was a bit slow with some of this – don’t know why – I’ve just gone through it all again and it’s rather grown on me.
    I rarely notice anything to do with the grid but I certainly did notice the large number of unchecked letters in this one.
    It took me ages to realise that 10a was ‘crickety’ and had the first letter of the second word wrong to begin with which made 7d impossible. Dim.
    I’ve never heard of 18a but got there eventually.
    Untangling 2d took me for ever.
    I liked 6 and 23a and 17 and 20d. My favourite was 8d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to Tilsit.
    Off up the garden – will keep NTSPP as a reward for later.

    1. I had to smile at the idea of the NTSPP being your reward for gardening. As its blogger, I’m not entirely sure what I’m being ‘rewarded’ for!! :scratch:

      1. I said that before I’d spotted who the setter was – think I might give up here and now! :sad:
        At least there’s a great big puzzle pully-outy-thingy in the paper – that’ll keep me quiet for a while.

      2. Oh Dear!

        I’ve just printed out the NTSPP without looking who the setter is!

        My inability to understand the preamble makes me think that I should do something more rewarding instead. But I will have a go.

          1. The significance of the setter is that he is notoriously difficult.
            He sets occasional Friday Toughies as Elgar.
            I don’t even understand his clues let alone ever get any answers – actually I think I might have got one, once.
            It feels, to me at least, a bit like going into an exam and finding all the questions written in hieroglyphics.

        1. Hope you’ve got your shin pads handy

          Phobia is the definition. A (from the clue) plus a(nother) form of something

  9. Good Saturday puzzle for me. At least as difficult a solve as yesterday I thought. Like others not heard of 18a.
    23a, 8d and 17d were really good with 17d COTD.
    Thanks to setter & Tilsit for review.

  10. An enjoyable puzzle, as Saturdays usually are. We think it’s worth 2*/3*. 17d was nice but we both felt it was pipped by 23a.

    Thanks to Tilsit and the setter.

  11. Nice and straightforward, normal Saturday fare – nothing to frighten the horses.

    Gave me plenty of time to do my Saturday morning chores.

    Looking forward to Saracens v Leicester – I hope it’s better than last nights game!

  12. I was grateful to Tilsit for his interpretation of 2d because, without it, I’d still be scratching my head. It seems to me that majority of the ‘writing’ is now spray-painted on to walls and my son, Adam, contrived to find a personalised version [photograph available on request] on a wall in Berlin… I digress. I thought that this was a most enjoyable puzzle which brightened a gloomy morning in South Cheshire.

  13. This was over very, very quickly for me today. I am not sure I would even give it 1* for difficulty.

    I don’t think 18d are that common in the UK, but we have lots of various sub species of these fellows in North America, so a well known little critter here.

  14. Straightforward enough and reasonably enjoyable. Like others before me, a couple of head-scratching moments but my equine friends were largely untroubled. I liked 10 scross for the cricket connection but my favourite was 17 down. 2*/2.5* overall.

    Many thanks to the Saturday setter and to Tilsit for filling in. I hope all visitors to York have a thoroughly good weekend. Mrs YS and I are looking forward to our trip to Coventry tomorrow to watch Wasps take on Newcastle.

  15. 18ac mystery but solved once other letters in, no major holdups with some nice anagrams, 11ac felt familiar but favourite was 5d because it sounds magic. Thanks to setter and Tilsit off to start GK in Weekend. Hope all going well in York looking forward to photos, great to put faces to names. :yahoo:

  16. Agree with Young Salopian – straightforward and enjoyable. We had never heard of 18a and this caused us a bit of head-scratching until we found something that sounded reasonable! Good wishes to all in York and thanks to Tilsit and Mr Ron.

  17. I struggled with this…not helped by trying to do it on the London bus replacement service! Not altogether sure about it now it’s done either. I really liked some clues and was clueless about others! Thanks for the hints. They were desperately needed today 🙂

  18. I thought this a bit harder than Saturdays of late. **/***. Favourite was 8d. Not too sure about 7d though. Thanks all.

  19. Agreed, pretty straightforward. My last in was 23a, I had tunnel vision with crosswordland’s usual Diana – how thick can one be, the clue all but spelt it out.
    I even got the crickety one on first pass, where on earth did I drag that one up from.
    There were some fun clues, 17d is clever, but my fave is 5d, I love the sound of it.
    Thanks to Cephas and to Tilsit for stepping in once again. Can’t wait for the pics to be posted from York.

  20. I found this to be very ‘scratchy’ – I could never really get going but somehow managed to complete it. I don’t know if I enjoyed it or not really. No real favourite and 2/2* overall.
    Then again, it’s probably me….
    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for stepping in with the hints.

  21. Although no hints needed, the SW corner took a long time. The Sunday was new to me, as was the TV spin off lurker
    , is that similar to segue?

  22. I think that the setters have been very kind this week. My only problem today was putting 16d into 15d so caused me problems with the sw corner until I sorted the very easy 22a and 25a. I liked 6d bit I think I’ve seen it before. Thank you setter and Tilsit. I must find another puzzle to do, otherwise my husband will put a paintbrush in my hand. I’m just having a break with a cup of tea.

  23. Hope all are having a great weekend in York, one of my favorite cities, and of course it has a Betty’s Tea Rooms. Today’s puzzle was not my cup of tea and I had to fight to get to the end, even with Tilsit’s help. Even when I got an answe it did not seem to quite fit the clue, no smiley moments on this one for me.

  24. Pretty straightforward again. 18ac was new to me as well, though according to Wikipedia it’s a less common name for something else I won’t be able to name without giving the game away. :-)

  25. Very enjoyable for a Saturday…Lots of lovely clues, a few thoughts…
    10a – I didn’t get the relevance of ‘old fashioned’, why is it in the clue????
    18a – Never heard of it, but managed to work it out from the clue…
    23a – Great clue, and favourite…
    Thanks to Tilset and Mr.Ron

      1. Thanks, but none the wiser, I solved the clue ok, just like to dot the “I’s” and cross the “T’s”

        1. If you look up the first word in the solution in the BRB, after working your way through lots of definitions you will find the relevant one – and that’s all I’m prepared to say on a Saturday.

    1. The first word in my 1950s youth referred to old foggies who weren’t hip or with it etc Usually used wrt to ones taste in music or lack thereof.

  26. Some light relief after another tedious day’s house painting. 1*/3* or thereabouts, and my favourite would be 26a except that tomorrow is that awful day when my boat comes out of the water for the winter. That being so, I will go for 17d instead. Thanks to the setter, and to Tilsit for the hints.

  27. I am getting virus alerts from the site (and only this site) every time I click ‘back’, anyone else getting these???

    1. Yes, something strange happening with the site. I keep being directed to a prize giveaway site and once to somewhere much more questionable!

        1. Thanks – been lurking for a while, but the weird ‘goings on’ with the website got me out of my shell. That and the fact that I seemed to be the only one who was struggling with 19d (sorted now).

          1. Brigid, what did you mean by ‘weird goings on’ with the website? Also stuck on 14d – last clue.

  28. Not usual to comment on Satuday, but managed to finish early!
    One or two eg 5d 18d not in my vocabulary, but ‘had to be’, and no hints needed.
    Enjoyable, so thanks to all concerned.
    Had time to peel apples and cut back my blackberries, had a great crop this year, all frozen to last until next season!

  29. SW corner tricky. I agree with other comments about 18a. Unless I’ve stuffed up, shouldn’t 12a be either one word, or 2-5? These cricketing references are increasingly taxing after 20 years in non-cricket Indonesia. Thanks to all.

  30. In passing, 15d in the small crossword will have my old English master, Harry Asquith, spinning in his grave. I well recalli incidents where a boy would raise his hand and, upon being acknowledged, enquire, “Please, Sir; can I go to the toilet?” When they reached the door, Harry would ask, “Boy! Where do you think you are going? I said you ‘can’ go to the toilet. I didn’t say you ‘may’!”

    I hope this tiny indiscretion will not see me sent to the naughty corner.

  31. Is there anyone out there still able to give me a hint?
    I’m stuck on 7d and 12a. I can get one or the other but either answer doesn’t fit with the other. Aargh
    Thanks to Tilsit for the hints he has given though. Just needed a nudge with 18a which is new to me.

    1. For 7d start with a 3 letter for what you might run up in a Bar when you pay at the end of the evening. Followed by a 3 letter word for allow. For 12a it’s a Cryptic definition of what you would need to do to come back in again. Hope I don’t end up in Naughty Corner.

  32. Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the hints. A strange puzzle that was very straightforward in the top half, and more difficult in the bottom half. Like Tilsit, I’d never heard of 18a, but managed to get it from the wordplay, this was my last one in. Favourite was 23a which made me laugh.

  33. Finished at last – needed help for the bottom left hand quadrant – well, just 18 a and d really. Amazes me how some of you can identify setters! Thanks for the hints.

    1. 19d Indicate no time that river flows over (6)
      NO (from the clue) and the abbreviation for time with the name of a UK river around them.

      1. Thanks, appreciate you taking the time to help. Penny dropped before I saw your response. Hooray, got there in the end. Pleased to be improving every week :)

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