DT 28264 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28264 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28264 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

I’m sure that most of you are aware by now that the site has been unavailable for most of the day.  Smarthosting have been very helpful and installed a firewall to fight off what one of their support staff described as “a massive inbound attack”.

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    Rather dull people — time to give some flattery? (12)
An adjective meaning rather dull followed by some people and T(ime)

9a    Sort of contract for sirloin or rib-eye perhaps (2-5)
This contract is one for bridge players – split as (3,4) it could define a cut of meat like sirloin or rib-eye

13a    Bank provides accommodation for $1,000 animal (5)
A bank or row around (provides accommodation for) the letter that indicates $1,000

14a    Angus brought back esoteric sweet stuff (5,4)
The reversal (brought back) of the three-letter affection name for someone called Angus is followed by an adjective meaning esoteric

19a    Mexican ready to assemble posse (5)
… ready here is money!

21a    French cop in international force (7)
This slang word for a French cop is in Chambers – put him inside INT(ernational)

23a    Shame on you getting stuck into booze more like Botham? (7)
An archaic three-letter word meaning “shame on you” inside some booze – to understand this one you need to know Ian Botham’s nickname!

26a    By implication, fat royal without consideration (12)
Split as (6,6) this could mean fat (in a negative sort of way) followed by an adjective meaning royal


1d    In cricket club, Bell’s sound (7)
This cricketing term comes from a charade of a club-like cricket accessory followed by the sound made by a bell

4d    Scrap and run in Slough (5)
R(un) inside a verb meaning to slough or remove

6d    Peace vehicle impounded in Iran unfortunately (7)
A commercial vehicle inside an anagram (unfortunately) of IRAN

7d    Men on board captain’s place on ship — posh area (13)
Some chessmen are followed by where the captain of a ship is usually to be found to give a posh area of London

8d    Thus nerd in crash with traffic staggered (13)
An anagram (in crash) of THUS NERD is followed by traffic or dealings to give an adjective, not a verb, meaning staggered

15d    US soldier captures a coarse Italian revolutionary (9)
Our usual US soldier goes around the A from the clue and an adjective meaning coarse or rude

18d    Inscription around grave — a record before death finally (7)
Around a grave, typically one for many bodies, and the A from the clue put a an old-fashioned 4-track record then add the final letter of [deat]H

22d    Maybe book of film that is in the can (3-2)
The Latin abbreviation for “that is” inside a can

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: pollen+easier=Polynesia

61 comments on “DT 28264 (Hints)

  1. Clearly a bad day for you Dave, many thanks for getting the site up and running again. I hope the problems are all sorted.
    The crossword?? No problems, but I could not parse 20d. 12a is a strange one but in the BRB. Enjoyed 19d and 9a, my favourite was indeed 19d

    1. Eventually parsed it as: another word for arch, adjective not noun, goes around (bridges)….. Then the rest fell into place and made sense. That and 17d were my favourite clues and the last ones in. Recently discovered and love your website.

        1. I have been thinking of you all day, Dave. If it had been me, I think I would have thrown my hands up and said pax. You not only have persistence and tenacity, but great thoughtfulness to go to all this trouble for us, your fan club.

  2. We started off thinking it was impossible but eventually got into it and found it very enjoyable.


    The sloth

    1. Me too. I was very slothful but eventually got all but 20d, for which I needed the hint above. Thanks Dave for that, without that hint my Monday would have been wasted!

  3. I think the blog site came out in sympathy with the crossword, what a stinker!
    Zero fun and an almost incomprehensible slog, IMHO quite the worst Saturday puzzle for a very long time.
    Well done BD for getting the site back up.

    1. Sorry, Brian. In the time I wrote my post yours must have been added and our two entries couldn’t be more opposite in tone. I didn’t write mine in response to yours, honest! One man’s meat and all that, I guess.

    2. I agree Brian, I really struggled with this one, the first time in ages. I guess for me it was one of those days.

  4. I agree with hoofityoudonkey – had all sorts of problems accessing the site today but glad to get in eventually.

    A real shame because today’s offering was top notch. As posters have observed so many times before, it’s all about wavelength and, on this occasion, the setter and I were as aligned as could be. Everything solved like a dream until 20d which was my last in and did need electronic assistance. To my shame as it seemed so obvious once I saw the word. I’d had the right idea early on but had plumped for ‘isn’t’ and couldn’t get it out of my head.

    Many contenders for favourite. Loved 1a, 14a, 23a, 26a, 1d, 2d. Top marks though are shared between 19a – fairly obvious but a lovely neat clue and 19d which doesn’t read quite as smoothly but is a nice construction and takes me back to those pre-Euro days.

    Many thanks to the setter for a delightful half hour this morning and to BD for the review and for sorting out the web-site.

  5. We finished this in reasonable time then came up against the problems accessing the site. We echo HIYD’s thanks to BD for sorting out whatever the issue was (and, hopefully, whoever caused it).

    We loved many of the answers, and we’d like to highlight 9a, 10a, 14a, 21a, 23a, the magnificent 26a, 1d, 17d (outrageously good surface), and 20d. A great crossword worth 2*/4*.

    Thanks to BD and the setter.

  6. Hurray we have lift off. Cheers! Well done BD for sorting whatever the problem was AND to boot doing the hints for us. Must have been a frustrating/exhausting time for you. I can’t believe I actually completed this after such a sluggish start but did enjoy the battle. Needed help parsing 14a. Liked 9a, 23a and 22d. ****/***.

  7. If solving time reflects degree of difficulty then this, I found, was more challenging than the usual Saturday puzzles and was a very enjoyable challenge. 22d was new to me, 2d amused and 21a increased my knowledge of the French gendarmerie.
    Thank you BD for resuming normal service – my life was strangely empty without being able to check the banter throughout the day😂

  8. I was starting to suffer withdrawal symptoms. Where would we be without our daily fix of the site. Thank you BD for the review and for all your effort in getting the site up and running again. Thank you too Mr Ron. I enjoyed 9a,1d and 8d.

  9. As with so many things in life, you don’t really appreciate how important they are until there are gone. So, great to see the site up again, thanks for your efforts Big Dave and your many helpers. I found this puzzle to be a limitless more challenging than the usual Saturday’s, a bit more like they used to be, or seemed to be, 40 to 50 years ago when the prize was a coveted pack of playing cards.

    Although tough sledging, no hints required today, my rating would 3 and three.

  10. BD huge thank you for sorting things out. Every time I tried to access I thought of you tearing your hair out. To say you must have had your day ruined is an understatement I’m sure
    The puzzle was more difficult than the usual Saturday.
    Bet Merusa is hoping 9a is prescient. Its accidental topicality makes it my COTD.
    Thanks to setter. BD: Thanks are not enough but will have to do.

  11. Not allowed edit for BB read BD. My apologies – it’s late for my tired old eyes.
    What a performance by the Irish in Chicago. Have the Kiwis ever shipped 40 points before?

    1. A lot of functionality, such as the ability to edit comments, is provided by plugins and they are usually the first thing that gets disabled when a site is experiencing difficulties.

      I have re-enabled them now, and edited your typo.

    2. According to Dr Wikipedia (so it must be true!) they lost 26-40 to South Africa on 14/08/04 so it does happen, but only 4 times since 1900 😂

  12. Wow, just when I was about to concede defeat I got through.
    A trickier than usual puzzle for a Saturday, but all the better for it to my mind.
    Favourite clue? 8d I think. Overall 3/3*
    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints as well as saving the world.

  13. Like an achievable Guardian crossword. Ideal! Have a good weekend all. And I missed the site too. Becoming addicted…

  14. Very entertaining with some really clever clues. Shame the site got hit with a DOS but good to see it back. I wonder if the providers can consider call gapping which would possibly allow some random access. Thanks to BD and the setter for an enjoyable challenge.

    1. Well, Vbc, old friend, I see you’ve remembered some stuff from before you left IT Operations and moved to Development! Being pedantic, as I sometimes am, it could have been DDOS attack. Nice to see you’re back in Canada, shame we were away when you were visiting.

      1. I asked for a simple explanation of what had gone wrong and the answer I got was “Your site was simply being DDoS’ed”. I wonder if this was in retaliation for removing the code that had been inserted by hackers last week.

        1. BD, I expect this was the case. I find it difficult to understand the mentality of hackers attacking a site like this. There can be no gain and if anything points to envy/jealousy of such a successful website. More power to your elbow!!

          To my friend SSy, i can see youre enjoying Oz. Shame we missed last month.

  15. Dear Darling Dave, how I missed you yesterday and my heart went out to you for all your struggles. You really are a star. Faced with solving the crossword without back-up felt formidable but gently working through I realised that I had got there. Four long clues round the edge helped, several smiley answers but no particular favourite. :rose;

  16. Welcome back. Yesterday’s excellent puzzle seems a long way away but I do remember enjoying it and having no real problems solving it. Many thanks to the Saturday setter and to BD for what must have been a frustrating day.

  17. Thanks to the setter and especially Big Dave in view of the dreaded technical problems. Last in 20d, thanks for the additional hint.
    Like 9a – very topical!!!

  18. And a huge thank you from me too. How I missed you, BD. Couldn’t live without you. Really stretched with this one, and would not have got there without you – thank you for all your endeavours.

  19. This was a decidedly tricky puzzle for me but I found it an enjoyable solve. I thought that there were some excellent clues with good surface readings. Thanks to the setter for exercising my brain and to Big Dave for his sterling work in getting the site up and running again.

  20. Aha – clearly back on line, but eventually managed to complete without hints, although difficult. Since when does ‘arch’ = ‘cunning’? Not in my old OED!

    1. I think it does not 😏 The three letter word meaning arch bridges (straddles) the slang for are not 🤔 With the complete word meaning perfect! My last in and I think my favourite clue 😀

  21. Found this one decidedly trickier than most Saturdays – that will teach me to get complacent!
    Took a while to sort out the parsing of 18d as I had the record in the wrong place and still not sure that I’ve correctly sorted out 16a.

    Favourite was 26a – laugh out loud moment!
    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to our hard-working BD. Glad to note that most of the ‘gang’ have got access to the site back on track – still somewhat sporadic at this end.

  22. glad to see you up and running again big man – i found this tricky to start with but with some perseverance i eventually completed it. 20d was the last one in and also my favourite.
    thanks to bd for his excellent site

    and now for the ntspp…

  23. This was definitely more tricky than recent Saturday puzzles. 20d was my last in (no surprises on that one) with electronic assistance and without understanding the parsing, but the puzzle web site accepted my answer so it must be correct.

    Two favourites, 9a and 26a.

    Thanks to the setter and BD for his sterling efforts in defeating the intruders.

  24. Good afternoon everybody.

    Found this quite tricky throughout. Finished eventually on the long clue down the right hand side so I’ll pick that as favourite.


  25. As usual -last in on a Sunday evening, finished Saturday with 20d and no hints, following a slow start. However had family staying the w/e so didn’t have access to I pad. I thought there were a lot of clever clues, like the long ones top, bottom & sides and enjoyed those.
    Also being late missed the reported access problems…..
    Thanks for sorting it BD!

  26. absolute stinker – overly thought out clues which trapped me into the wrong train of thought ….a real trial by attrition. Did not enjoy this puzzle at all -can’t believe the setter missed the chance to put a bit of “american politics” into one of the across clues…

  27. I’m still baffled by 16a. I have a solution based on “person serving” as the definition and the first four letters being an abbreviation for a minor nobleman. Presumably the last two letters are the usual abbreviation for the Queen but how do you get the remaining three letters? Or have I perhaps got the answer wrong?

      1. Ok, thanks for that and indeed thanks for all your sterling efforts providing this website, but there’s no indication in my BRB of those two words being synonymous.

  28. This was much better than the usual Saturday Prize and well worth a comment. 2.5*/3.5*. And a big thank you to BD (and anybody else that helped) for working diligently all day/evening and finally posting the blog at 10.41 on a Saturday night. As Roy Castle would have said – That’s dedication!

  29. Brilliant puzzle and, as you can judge, it took some time. I did find some difficult bits but I did do it myself. Many thanks to the setter for a well constructed crossword which gave much satisfaction.

    Many thanks also BD for getting the site up again. We would be lost without it.

Comments are closed.