DT 28276 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28276 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28276 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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With regret I have had to withdraw the subscription facility.  It was provided by an outside source and, as it has not been updated for over a year, is not compatible with the latest version of WordPress.  It was responsible for the unavailability of the blog last Wednesday, which is the main reason it was withdrawn. 

One way of being informed of new posts and/or comments is via an RSS feed – a link has been provided in the sidebar to assist with this.  As this is a pull notification it is entirely under the control of the subscriber, which means both subscription and unsubscription are easily achieved.  There are many ways of operating an RSS feed  but my own personal preference is by using the Firefox add-on Brief.

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    Run off with pins and needles for a short time (10)
A four-letter verb meaning to run off is followed by an adjective meaning experiencing the sensation of pins and needles

10a    In row, no writer offers penetrating article for the household (3-6)
Inside a four-letter row or layer insert NO from the clue and a writing implement

12a    Growth for helping to secure our time on earth (13)
A three-letter word meaning for and a helping around a 4-letter word meaning our time on earth

15a    Look close, I will pick up fellow (6)
A verb meaning to close, as in to close a door, and I from the clue around F(ellow)

17a    Rubbish let off gas (6)
Some rubbish followed by an anagram (off) of LET gives a verb meaning to gas or chatter

24a    Something deep in Iowa, old-style country (9)
A deep chasm followed by IN from the clue and the abbreviation for the US state of I(ow)A

26a    What rough seas do to ship (4)
What rough seas do (to a ship) is a charade of TO and our usual ship

27a    People out to waylay those not out? (6,4)
A cryptic definition of a group of people who are out on strike and trying to persuade others to join them


1d    Carbon will puncture spare tyre in particular (4)
The chemical symbol for Carbon inside (will puncture) a spare tyre (the one that goes around the body not on a car)

2d    Round headland, see running fugitive (7)
Around a headland or promontory put an anagram (running) of SEE

3d    First piece of opera singer told he must perform? Could be (3,10)
A clever anagram (must perform) of O[pera] SINGER TOLD HE gives something said opera singer might perform

4d    Tucking into bananas endlessly, there’s nothing for Frenchman to make healthy bit of food (8)
Start with an adjective meaning bananas or mad, drop the final letter (endlessly) and insert (tucking into) the French word for nothing

7d    Church leader needs pollsters to overturn argument (7)
The reversal (to overturn in a down clue) of a polling organisation is followed by an argument

11d    Be reluctant to co-operate in obscure piece of drama (4,4,2,3)
This could be a piece of drama that can only be obtained understood with difficulty

16d    Path that can take one to Broadway? (8)
An American word (Broadway is a road in New York) for a path

18d    Patterns on textiles being drawn certainly (3-4)
…. Split the answer as (4,3) to unravel the wordplay

23d    It’s inherited from Kelly perhaps (4)
Two definitions – the second being the first name of an actor / singer with surname Kelly

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: history+onyx=histrionics

65 comments on “DT 28276 (Hints)

  1. 4*/4*. I found this tough, particularly in the NW corner, but very enjoyable in spite of a couple of iffy surfaces – notably 10a.

    There were too many excellent clues to list them all but I gave double ticks to 1a, 17a, 24a, 26a, 27a, & 18d, with 11d my favourite.

    I made the NW a bit more difficult than it should have been by confidently putting in another very similar word as my answer for 12a with three different letters in the middle without checking the parsing. This messed up 4d for a while.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron for providing such challenging entertainment and to BD as ever for everything.

    1. P.S. BD, I took the parsing of 11d to be “understood with difficulty” rather than “obtained …”

  2. What a relief to be able to access the Blog again! I seem to have got inside the compiler’s mind very quickly this morning and, as a result, I didn’t experience any difficulties until 27a – and then the wheels fell off… Having wasted a considerable amount of time trying to find a cricketing expression which fitted the bill, the penny eventually dropped and I’m sure that the clang could be heard in Worcestershire.

  3. First of all hearty congratulations to our friend Maize from Rookie corner who has a debut puzzle in the independent today – Wow, Maize, well done! I’d love to say more – without giving anything away, I think the nation will be in awe. Don’t look at fifteen squared until after you’ve tried the puzzle – I wanted just to see the comments but many answers are presented in the blogger’s preamble.

    I found today’s prize puzzle quite tricky. I didn’t know 15a. 21a suggested an improbable picture to me. A lot of clues took me longer than they should have, eg 25a.

    Plenty to enjoy. I rather liked 3d and 5d.

    Many thanks setter and thank you BD

  4. Very enjoyable for a Saturday, despite the irritating term at 14a! I also liked the ‘cricketing’ misdirection. Have a good weekend all.

      1. Puts me in mind of these completely self-believing idiots on The Apprentice, yabbering away into the end of a horizontal smartphone. Oh God.

  5. A bit trickier than the usual Saturday fare but no real problems. Altogether an enjoyable solve. Thanks to Mr Ron and to BD for the hints and all his work on keeping this site working.

  6. Another quite challenging Saturday puzzle but one that I really relished. I did have a bit of an issue with the synonym involved in part of 14a and, like Caravagio, thought for quite a while that 27a was going to be one of those clues that causes both Kath and myself to develop blindness!
    Didn’t feel that the definition at 21a was sufficiently specific but I guess that’s just nit-picking.

    My top two were 1a & 1d – love a bit of humour and those definitely put me in the mood to enjoy the rest of the solve.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron for the fun and to BD for both the review and defeating the current gremlins. So sorry that we can no longer enjoy the subscription facility – I’ll have to see if one of my IT savvy daughters/friends can deal with this RSS feed business for me!

    1. I agree with you about 21a but, unusually, I didn’t feel in a particularly nit-picking mood this morning!

      1. 21a: we think we have an answer from the anagram but for the life of us, can’t see how it fits ? Or is it all misdirection?

        Mr & Mrs T

        1. The answer is an anagram, but for me the definition “raising this?” is a bit dubious although possibly justified by the question mark.

    2. 21a: I thought this was quite tricky to parse but, giving the setter the benefit of the doubt, ultimately OK. I can’t explain fully explain without getting a flea in my ear, but it all hinges on how creative you are in interpreting “cheered” in the clue.

  7. My goodness I had difficulty with this. I would give it 5 stars for difficulty! So grateful for the hints which got me started on a very tricky trip.

  8. Good test for me with two sessions needed. Rare for a Saturday.
    Enjoyable solve & satisfying to complete.
    COTD was 3d. Brought back memories of the annual school production. 27a a nice mis-direction. Reminded of safety duty in the 80s
    Thanks to setter & BD for hints

  9. Tough today. Needed the hints to confirm my answers to several as I didn’t fully get the clues as in missing the anagram in 3d. I’m afraid I don’t understand the hint for 12a, B4l? What does that mean? My fav for today was 24a which I thought very clever. Not heard the term in 15a for many years, not since I lived in London.
    Enjoyable solve though. For me ***/***
    Thx to all

  10. :phew: I found that really tough – glad to see I’m not the only one to think it was trickier than the usual Saturday crossword.
    I almost gave up on my last two answers – 27a and 16d – but bloody-mindedness made me carry on.
    When I had alternate letters in 15a it looked so unlikely that I thought I’d got something wrong but then remembered the word as my Dad used to use it.
    The 21a anagram took ages.
    27a sounded convoluted enough to give me ‘cricket blindness’ – glad I wasn’t the only one with that too.
    I thought 8d was a brilliant anagram.
    Just a few of the clues that I liked are 24a and 7 and 8d. My favourite was 11d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    Off to sort out yet more leaves then NTSPP later.

  11. I agree that this a tough backpager today. Quite often we think that the Saturday Prize Crossword is a piece of cake. This one was not. Many terrific clues, and I cannot pick a favourite out of such a selection. I, too, fell for the misdirection in 27 across. 14 across my last one in, and overall 4*/4* from me.

    Thanks to the Saturday setter and BD for all his hard work.

  12. I am stuck on 25a. It is the last one to go in and for the life of me I cannot see why it might be any word that would fit. Unless I have made other mistakes which I feel unlikely. Can anyone help?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Michael
      Radio should give you the hint – thus pointing you at the other end of the clue for definition. I hope that helps without giving too much away and breaking the Saturday rules.

  13. Lovely puzzle for a Saturday morning. Many thanks to the setter for an enjoyable accompaniment to the second coffee in bed. And to BD for the review.

    Lots to commend here: 1a is nicely assembled; I don’t think I’ve ever encountered 15a in a crossword before and it’s neatly constructed (didn’t help that I got the last letter first which really got the grey cells whirring); I’m with Kath on 8d; 24a parsed excellently and 27a brilliantly misdirected.

    COTD for me was 11d, again for that reason of elegance.

    ‘Fraid I’m not a fan of 21a – neither the clue nor the stuff itself!

    Lastly – twit of the day: I did resort to electronic assistance to find 12a which I’d thought to be an age of the earth (like pleistocene) and maybe one I’d not heard of. If so, I was quite prepared to give myself the credit in principle. And then found I’d be on totally the wrong track. Clue totally fair and quite clever.

    1. With you on a couple of points, Mark.
      15a – that last letter appearing had me checking on the spelling of 8d!
      12a – oh yes, there’s bound to be some we laypersons haven’t encountered so it seemed highly likely.

  14. Funny how the solving process can be different from one person to the next.
    Had all the I’s as checkers before any of the clues ending in that letter fell. Thought the setter was Italian at that point.
    Enjoyable crossword and an equally good one in the guardian if I may say so.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the blog.

      1. Got it printed and in the file of crossies for the forthcoming hols. Off to Cordoba tomorrow, then the Algarve to see a mate and a stop in Sevilla on the way back. See y’all next weekend

      2. Finally persuaded the Independent site to cough up the Maize puzzle. Have to say I preferred the one Maize did for our own BD site!

  15. Crikey, that was hard! I, too, thought I had 8d wrong when I tried to solve 15a, then I tumbled to the answer, loved it, long time since I’ve heard that.
    I had 27a wrong, I thought it was a crickety clue and bunged something in. The correct answer is very clever.
    Fave is 3d, with runner up 11d.
    Thanks to setter, and to BD, especially for the hint at 27a!

    Of all things, my newspaper today was delivered with the Spanish version, I can’t understand a word of it and I miss my funnies.

  16. A very nice puzzle.. Tricky enough to be interesting but not a brain masher. I think 27a might be fav but there’s a lot of good clues to chose from.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

  17. Enjoyed today’s offering especially 1a and 4d. My vote for favourite goes to 27a – thought at first it was a cricket clue but suddenly got the drift! A good working for the brain cells. Although I have been absent from the blog, I have done the crosswords, got help when needed from the blog but have not had the time or inclination to comment being too wrapped up in Mr Framboise’s radiotherapy treatment. Only two sessions left, hurrah! Looking forward going back to Sussex and spending time with our son and family. Many thanks to setter and to BD for the hints – needed to check my answer to 18d…

    1. As a blogger from W.Sussex, I send very best wishes to you and indeed Mr. Framboise for a successful end to the treatment and then a happy time with your family.

    2. Good luck to Mr. Framboise! And only two left, that’s great. He must be totally exhausted, it makes you so tired all the time.

  18. I assumed I wasn’t quite on wavelength with this one and fully expected to see R&W in several comments. However, that doesn’t seem to be the general opinion and I’d agree.

    Thanks to BD and setter ***/****

  19. That was pretty tough , so much to learn yet from BD and the other masters and mistresses of the art of solving cryptics.
    I was very grateful for the tips.

  20. Definitely a toughie, one where I solved clues here and there without managing to get a real foothold in any part of the grid. Thanks for an enjoyable challenge. :-)

  21. Yes, this was quite a challenge but no less enjoyable for that. NW corner was last to fall. Not too sure about 21a clue. Liked 12a and 27a. I suppose 8d could be deemed to be in the neck. Altogether a good time was had (by all?) and great that the fun lasted longer than some Saturdays. How sad that there will be no subscriptions in future – like Jane I will perhaps have to rely on the younger generation to sort the RSS feed for me. Thanks Mr. Ron and BD. ***/***.

    1. Hi Angel,
      It turns out to be quite easy. Have a look on the right of the review to where it says RSS links then click on ‘all posts’. That brings up a page with a ‘subscribe’ option given. Click on that and you also get the option to add it to your favourites bar.
      Sadly, we won’t get emails any more but a quick click on the icon you will then have will show you when a new post has gone up.
      Hope you can follow that!

      1. Thanks for that Jane
        My clicking on RSS Links + All Posts produces a large block of all the Comments running one into the next – impossible to read. I will persevere! Gather RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary?! 🤔

        1. I find the RSS feeds much better than the old subscriptions, easy to turn on in outlook, if you have it

  22. An interesting puzzle, but surely not as difficult as all that. I make it something like 2*/4*, and favourite clue was definitely 15a. Many thanks to the Mysteron, and to BD.

  23. Unusually mind boggling for Saturday but with a fair modicum of help I arrived. Panicked slightly when I spotted 21ac but thanks to misspent youth I dug deep into my memory to find answer. Lots of possible favourites but will settle for 27ac because of clever misdirection. Thanks is to setter and BD, off to try GK in Weekend.

  24. Strangely, I seemed to be on the right wavelength today, and most of it made sense, but some clues were definitely hard work. Haven’t heard 15a said since we came across the pond. Thanks to BD for hints which definitely helped.

  25. Completed on Eurostar on surprise trip to Paris earlier today. Enjoyed the comments above. Surprisingly I did not find it difficult although difficult for me to parse some of the clues e.g. 21a. What connection has the answer got to the clue? Last one in 13d. Know it is an anagram. Second half easy. First half can only be one thing I think but I was not sure this was a word. Confess I did not carry BRB with me on Eurostar. Thanks setter. BD et al. Glad to see the site up and running.

  26. This must be one of the toughest Saturday crosswords for ages! A really excellent challenge with a very good selection of clues. 8d, 15a and 11d are good examples. In fact 11d is my favourite. 4/4* overall.
    Thanks to Mr Ron, and to BD for the hints and the strength to persevere! Thank you.

  27. I rarely/never comment on a Saturday or Sunday. This puzzle is impossible for me to fathom out. I have eight clues solved. An inkling for another and that is that. I may or may not return to this puzzle. I don’t like verbosity in clues. PHEW!

  28. Three to get now. Two of which are anagrams so I will finish this later. No so bad as I first thought.

  29. I was out for much of yesterday, so even though I had struggled my way to about half of it, I used many aids to finish this of this morning as I want to enjoy the day doing Sunday’s which I make the best of the week.
    I thought this was very tricky and not particularly enjoyable.
    Thanks to BD for unraveling and Mr.Ron….

  30. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable but difficult puzzle. I needed the hints for 12,15,24a. Last in was 3d. Favourite was 27a. Was 4*/3* for me.

  31. Earlier than usual, but needed a couple of hints -thx BD. Like Michael White above my last one in was 25a but I should have known better! I was also fooled by 27a – yes, thought it was cricket linked. Liked 8d and 19 & 24a.
    Missed the blog last week – so what happened?

    Thx also to Mr Ron!

  32. This one was excellent! Far more challenging than the normal Saturday Prize, with very good cluing and an enjoyable solve. 3*/4*.

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