DT 28270 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28270 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28270 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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For reasons beyond my comprehension this website has been under attack over the last few weeks – code was inserted to redirect users to advertising on three separate occasions, twice code was inserted to send out spam emails (but not to those who subscribe to the blog), and a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack was launched against it.  I changed the passwords several times, and now everything seems to be back in order with the exception of warnings being issued by Google etc. – they are quick to add a site to their list and very slow at removing it.

One of the consequences of the above was that defensive software, including a firewall, was added to the site.  Last night I discovered that an option in one of the new routines was causing comments from registered users, mainly bloggers, who left comments while not logged-in to be subjected to moderation.  That should no longer be the case.

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    Flower festival not starting (5)
A religious festival without its initial letter (not starting)

4a    I miss putting egg on first — it’s wasteful (8)
The I from the clue and a three-letter word for a miss or young lady preceded by a verb meaning to egg on or urge

11a    Rubbish in entrance, it’s enough to take one’s breath away (7)
Put one of the three-letter words meaning rubbish inside an entrance

13a    Thief left with fire-raiser, reportedly (9)
L(eft) followed by what sounds like (reportedly) a fire-raiser

15a    Cook maybe prospered thus and enjoyed a long life (3,1,4,7)
At the time of writing Alastair Cook is 30 not out and could be on his way to doing this!

21a    Square fellow (7)
This fellow gives his name to a London Square

22a    Backing bridge partners when one’s in action (8)
Take a pair of bridge partners, use the first one at the start of the answer and insert the other inside ACTION

26a    Sound of bird, small, in dry surroundings (5)
An adjective meaning small inside a two-letter abbreviation of meaning dry in the sense of abstaining from alcohol


1d    23 in every respect (10)
A double definition – the first being another word for 23 Down, which is more usually preceded by “in the”

2d    Tropical tree supplying river in Devon’s source (8)
A river in Devon is followed by IN and the initial letter (source) of D[evon)

4d    Top-class post office shut up (4)
The abbreviation for Post Office followed by an exhortation to shut up or keep quiet

5d    Potter in bundle, upset and led astray (6)
This verb meaning to potter is derived from the reversal (upset in a down clue) of a three-letter bundle followed by an anagram (astray) of LED

10d    Row right after broadcast — it gets many people up in the air (8)
A four-letter row or file and R(ight) are preceded by a verb meaning to broadcast

14d    Match steps required in trial for 10? (4,6)
A match, typically an international cricket or rugby match, followed by a series of steps or stairs

16d    TV programme from novel’s supported by actors (8)
A three-letter adjective meaning novel followed by the S from ‘S and a group of actors

19d    Note curdled milk on the turn (6)
This banknote is created by reversing (on the turn) some curdled milk

23d    One discovered coming from dune? (4)
Discovered here means dis-covered or uncovered, and it’s an anagram (coming from) of DUNE

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: abs+sow+lute+telly=absolutely

44 comments on “DT 28270 (Hints)

  1. Thanks Dave, also for all your hard work keeping the site going

    I enjoyed this puzzle, my first ones in were 23d and 1d, having spotted the 23 reference, and they are my favourites.

    Many thanks setter

    And a very happy birthday CS!

  2. Thoroughly enjoyable puzzle for a dank Marches morning. I got stuck inexplicably on 5 and 19 down, 15 across was very apt (no further comment as will end up on naughty step) and 11 across was my favourite. This felt like a 2*/3.5* with thanks to the Saturday setter and BD, who must be pulling his hair out with all the recent site problems.

    Oh, and many happy returns to CS.

  3. 3*/3*. This satisfyingly challenging puzzle would have earned 4* for enjoyment but I have deducted 1* because, sadly, the wordplay for 19d (my last one in) is inaccurate. The word needing to be reversed is not curdled milk; it is an additive which causes milk to curdle.

    Nevertheless there was a lot to enjoy here with some humour and mostly very smooth surfaces. It was also nice to see a clue which will strike a chord with my soul mate Silvanus.

    I ended up with a lot of ticks on my page, but 15a, 1d & 20d in no particular order are all on my favourite’s podium.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD, particularly for all his sterling efforts to fight off the unspeakably horrible hackers.

    Finally, a very Happy Birthday to CS. :rose:

  4. A very thought provoking puzzle for a Saturday, probably the best of the week for me (although that might not be fair, as I didn’t look at yesterday’s). Have a good weekend all, and thanks to BD for keeping things running.

  5. I’ll never understand what goes on in some people’s minds – but thank for all the hard work in keeping the site up and running.

    Not too tough a puzzle except for a few dubious clues. e.g 19d is not milk on the turn at all as milk curdlers will know! But as with all crosswords, very enjoyable Saturday romp.

  6. A thoroughly enjoyable, if tougher than usual, Saturday puzzle.
    Agree with RD re 19d but really a minor point as some of the others really good.
    Probably a chestnut but 22d appealed to my simple mind.
    Thanks to setter & especially BD. It has to be a twisted mind that deliberately tries to spoil others’ enjoyment. 11a with barbed wire would be too kind.
    Happy birthday CS 👑 for the day.

  7. That was a brill challenge with lots of fun en route. Thank you to Mr. Ron and indeed to BD for all your endeavours on our behalf to keep this site functioning. I tried hard to come up with name/word for a potter in 5d! Liked liaison between 23d and 1d but in fact needed BD to parse 23d for me. **/****.

  8. I really enjoyed this one although I did give myself problems in the SW by having the wrong first word in 25a for quite some time.
    The parsing of 4a took longer than it should have done – we’ve had that many times before and I should have remembered!
    Gave myself a huge pat on the back for twigging 15a. Doubtful I would have done had the first part not been obvious from the checkers.
    11a was my last one in – simply didn’t expect that!
    Top ticks went to 8a plus 1,7& 20d.
    Thanks to Mr. Ron for the fun and to BD for the perservation. I can now only access the site through a proxy server but at least that way I don’t get put into moderation all the time!

    Many happy returns to CS – hope you have a lovely day.

  9. There must be some people in the world who think the site is used for some dark nefarious purpose and that, with our strange aliases, we are all communicating in some form of code plotting who knows what. Or, perhaps there are some very sad people somewhere with nothing better to do. Whatever it is BD, I am very grateful for your Herculean efforts at keeping us in contact.

    Now to the business in hand which, for me, was over before it began – */***. The only problem I had on submission to the puzzle web site was an incorrect first half of 5d which the SRB quickly helped me fix and I easily remained inside the bonus point time limit.

    Favourite, from four contenders, 13a.

    Hope that the oval ball team emulates the round ball team today.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  10. No great problems except for understanding the clue to my answer to 4a, thank you BD, I would never have worked that out.
    Best clue for me was 1d, a real smile clue, along with MentInDisp to 15a.
    My rating would be **/***
    Thx to all

  11. I loved it – really good fun.
    Sorting out 4a took a while and I got a bit stuck in the bottom left corner.
    I also took a ridiculously long time to latch on to the right kind of ‘potter’ in 5d, specially as it was capitalised being the first word – I’m easily foxed.
    I liked lots of these but will just pick out a few – 11 and 21a. My favourite was the 1/23 combination – please note, just the one favourite!
    With thanks for such a good crossword to Mr Ron and more thanks than it’s possible to say to BD for sorting out this mess.
    Wet and miserable in Oxford – bread in the oven and the ironing’s done so I’m going to have a go at the NTSPP.
    Like Jane I can only get here using a proxy server for the moment.

    1. I didn’t mean the mess that BD’s sorted out was the crossword – I meant all the beastliness that’s been going on with the website.
      I agree with LROK that 11a with barbed wire is too good for whoever’s responsible and also agree with Senf that there are some pretty dodgy people around.

  12. A really fun puzzle today, but I really can’t choose a fave as they were all so good.
    I rather liked 21a and the 1/23d combo.
    I couldn’t understand the “cook” part of 15a, so thanks BD for that.
    I, too, join all those who so warmly commented on the efforts BD has put in to keep us going and protect us from those dastardly (wrong first letter?) sewer rats trying to spoil our fun.
    Thanks to setter for a truly enjoyable puzzle.

    1. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear me!! I’ve just seen the banner for our own CrypticSue. May I take this opportunity to wish you the very best of birthdays, Sue, tons of spoilations and a fancy dinner. We all love you so.

      1. Thank you – and everyone else who has sent me birthday wishes. Not much spoiling on this nasty wet chilly day – but we are having a lovely day out tomorrow (weather permitting) with Sunday lunch not cooked by me :yahoo:

  13. Nice puzzle that took a bit of doing.
    I too am a bit curious about 19d – I always thought that the stuff from a calf’s stomach was used to curdle milk, the wording is definitely confusing!

    England are doing very well against South Africa, presently 30-14 to England, the Ref has just given a blatant forward pass as a try for the Boks!!

    On the subject of these attacks on the site, you have to wonder what these morons get out of doing this stuff – just to show how clever they are and upset others – you despair about this sort of thing.

    Many thanks to BD for getting things sorted.

    1. Result – England 37 South Africa 21 – England looking very good and the depth of the Squad is improving!

    1. Yes – what a shame as it’s a lovely, friendly and helpful site. It’ll get fixed – it’s had the odd patch of problems in the past but it’s always recovered, thanks to BD.

  14. Cheers BD for all your effort, on the train from Devon to London mixing the cw with Peppa Pig happy families with my granddaughter and getting a hiding. Will comment more when back home but so far very enjoyable and not too many problems, battery on the phone going…

  15. This one was tricky for me…needed several of the hints.
    Would definitely never have got 19d without the hint because of the slip up in the clue.
    Should the crossword editor not have spotted this?
    If not, what are they for?

    Many thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints.

    Thanks also to Big Dave for all his work on the site.

  16. Hi Big Dave, love the site but it contains malware and is redirecting users to other pages. Both Google and Firefox advise not coming here!
    Hope you can fix soon, it’s been like this for over a week..

    1. BD explained the problem and the fact that it has been resolved very clearly in the introduction to today’s hints at the top of this page

  17. Thanks, once again, to BD for keeping the home fires burning. Have been unable to get in for 3days and am suffering withdrawal symptoms. Happy Birthday to Sue. Crossword went in nicely, worked up and down as is my way to suddenly realise that I had finished, no favourite too difficult to choose. Off to try GK in Weekend.

  18. Really enjoyable puzzle today. Held up only because I has sit out for 20d with made me ponder for too long on 18a. When the penny finally dropped on that one, I could see my error on 20d. But a much better Saturday puzzle for me than last week. So sorry for poor Big Dave, what a headache. A pity some people don’t have more important things to do with their time than screw up blogs like this one. Must be one of those referred to by Ms. Clinton as “deplorable”…. 😊

  19. Very enjoyable Saturday work-out, ideal for a three hour train journey from Devon.
    I needed the hint for 19d as I had never heard of the word, and the double-unch didn’t help…Favourite was 22a, that had a touch of Virgilius about it.
    My uncle’s farm has a formidable tool for gelding horses, he will lend it to me if we can catch these hackers.
    Thanks to Mr.Ron for the puzzle, and Big Dave for everything.

        1. In my youth, I worked with a vet who did field work, I have seen one, formidable it certainly is!

    1. A thought….
      12d…Isn’t it (2,6)??
      10d…Unusual to find a word in the clue used in the answer like that???

      1. With 12d – you’ve been watching too much Peppa Pig & not enough BRB reading, (2,6) or (8) in there. (Looked because I had the same thought!).

  20. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints and keeping the site going. I found this pretty straightforward, but I was completely beaten by 19d, would never have thought of that. Favourite was 15a, was 2*/3*for me.

  21. Well Well What What Life will go on. I do not usually post on Saturdays we all need to thank BD

  22. I think the quickie pun is the first four clues-the fourth clue does look to me as though it is in italics, and the answer makes up a word.
    Far be it for me to argue with such distinguished company, but on looking up the dictionary the clue seems to be OK-cannot say more without being moderated !

  23. This is very late, so of no value other than to nitpick! But the river in 2d is not actually IN Devon. It forms the boundary between Devon and the neighbouring county – or as we call it here, God’s own country. At the moment, thanks to the boundary commission proposals, this is a very sensitive issue where sensible angels fear to tread!

  24. Just getting round to this blog for Saturday. Liked the crossword a lot **/***.
    I am saddened for your travails BD. Thanks for all the graft of sorting it out. This site is part of the fabric of Old England now – like the best parts of the Beeb. It’s unthinkable for it to be digitally tarnished and attacked.
    Goitred Idiots.

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