DT 28312 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28312 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28312 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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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    Clears bed‘s clothes after a loss (5)
This looks difficult until you realise that it’s a double definition – clears a flower bed of unwanted plants and clothes worn by a widow after the loss of her husband

4a    Misleadingly articulate girl goes to gallery (8)
A charade of a young girl and a famous art gallery

8a    French author’s second risque character (8)
The surname of this French author is followed by the S from ‘S and S(econd)

9a    Press for a meeting about war hero admitting nothing (8)
The A from the clue and a meeting, usually where boy meets girl, around the abbreviation of a medal awarded to a war hero, itself around O (Nothing)

15a    What a person must do to get into Oxford? Commit a faux pas (3,4,4,2,2)
In Crosswordland Oxford can represent a University, a shirt or, in this case, a shoe

18a    Left-winger may take such editing (9)
Split as (3,6) this gives what a left-winger may take

24a    Clears of building, getting outside (8)
Not immediately obvious, but a lot easier when you realise you are looking for an anagram (building) of CLEARS OF

26a    Was inclined to make fast time covering area (5)
A time of fasting around (covering) A(rea)


1d    Someone in church with proper wish to reform (10)
An anagram (to reform) of PROPER WISH

3d    Maybe bar contains nuts (8)
I like clues in which the anagram (nuts) involves a single word like CONTAINS

4d    The rise of James Anderson (4)
Hidden (of) inside the clue

6d    Part of jacket seen on an independent fashion designer (6)
Part of a jacket followed by AN and I(ndependent)

10d    Money off record released around November (8)
A record followed by a word meaning released or published around the letter represented in the NATO Phonetic alphabet by November

14d    Flask placed in bag at the bottom (10)
Put a famous brand of vacuum flask inside a bag made of open fabric knotted into meshes

16d    Rhythm really oddly unspiritual (8)
A rhythm followed by the odd letters of ReAlLy

23d    Follow story as told (4)
Sounds like (as told) a story

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 – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

The Quick Crossword pun: wind+emir=Windermere

75 comments on “DT 28312 (Hints)

  1. Just want to take issue with 6D. Without giving away the answer- the first three letters of the answer refer to a part of ****** NOT any part of a jacket. The similar item on a jacket is called a ******.
    This is a particular bugbear of mine, so apologies for making a mountain out of a molehill. I was ‘pulled up’ about this since being a toddler and, in memory of my mum, I just wanted to point it out.
    Rant over, best wishes for the New Year to everyone, especially Dave for an excellent web site.

  2. Although progress wasn’t as swift as it might have been, I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle and I was amused by a number of clues, particularly 15a, 12d and 14d. I have been here from the outset but, for pragmatic reasons, I killed off Caravaggio yesterday… A Happy New Year to you all and it would be remiss of me if I didn’t thank Big Dave for all the effort that he puts into this wonderful site.

  3. I enjoyed this offering with a new word learnt in 4D, my last one in was 14D & for that reason becomes my favourite. Many thanks to all the setters & reviewers & wishing all contributers a wonderful new year.

  4. Just wondered if someone could provide a little assistance with 5d. Probably staring me in the face but it’s got me stumped. Thanks. All done otherwise.

    1. Welcome to the blog Gooders

      5d Games being taken up gives sharper edge (6)
      Reverse (being taken up in a down clue) a general word for games

  5. An enjoyable puzzle today. My only real hold-up was 3a, I’d never heard of the author, took some figuring out. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave, not only for today but for all his work to keep this site as enjoyable as it is. Happy New year to everybody.

  6. Lovely last solve of 2016 for me. Took longer than I should spotting a couple of the anagrams sadly.
    Some good clues and 12d is COTD with 14d r/u.
    Thanks to setter & BD.
    The sentiment of how much this site brings pleasure will be oft repeated today. For me finding bigdave44.com has been almost the only bright spot in an annus horribilis (plus the ever happy Biggles). Thank you so much to BD, the “tutors” and all contributors may you all enjoy a happy and healthy 2017.
    I would have said prosperous but having just been informed by my bank that, as from Jan 3rd the interest rate on their savings account will be 0.01% (£1 per 10000) per annum fat chance of that. Bank of UTM (Under the Mattress) has arrived.

    1. Interest 0.01%? I think that’s about what it is here, I don’t have a savings for that reason.

        1. To you and Biggles too! Jo is here, the young ‘uns are out doing Miami and having a good time. They’re at the Savoy for the day, working (online) while overlooking Miami Beach. We have bright sunshine and the early morning chill has gone, in the 70s now and getting ready for the pool.

  7. Very enjoyable – I particularly liked 4a, 8a, 3d, 4d, 6d 17d – all of which have a special little something

    I’d forgotten NYE was tonight already – have a good one everyone.

    thanks setter and BD

  8. A thoroughly enjoyable crossword to see out 2016. A good clue mix, several head-scratchers, and a few laugh out loud moments. 14 down my favourite of many, and 2.5*/4* overall.

    Thanks as always to our setters, reviewers, commenters and bloggers. A very peaceful, healthy, happy and prosperous New Year to you all.

  9. This was generally a good puzzle but spoilt for me by two clues. 24a is horribly clunky and 4d is an unindicated Americanism. What a shame!

    Thanks to the setter and to BD.

    Very best wishes to all for a Happy New Year.

    1. I can’t see a problem with 24a, RD?? Perhaps not the clearest anagram indicator I grant you.

      1. HIYD, there’s nothing wrong with the anagram indicator. The problem is that the surface is nonsensical.

  10. Wot! No knighthood for BigDave?

    Has anyone ever received an award for services to “cruciverbalism”?

    1. We should all look at htttp://www.gov.uk/honours/overview.

      Says “They will usually have made life better for other people or be outstanding at what they do”. Former certainly applies.

      CBE – Cruciverbalist By Example would be apt. Knighthood might be aiming a bit high!

  11. Wow, this is tough. Still stuck on 8a (the only French author I know is Dumas) and 2d which I cannot for the life of me make any sense of.
    Apart from that I thought this was far more tricky than the usual ****/**
    Thx for the hints

    1. Try Guy De Maupassant Brian. Or Victor Hugo, Proust, Camus, Zola, Flaubert, Balzac, Voltaire, Moliere, Satre, Dumas, Baudelaire, Verne, Rousseau. Or you could just read the hint above which should lead you to an answer even without 2ds checking letter.

      1. I got the answer, never heard of the author, part of the satisfaction is solving a clue like this without knowing all the composite parts. I now know another French author, at least, until tomorrow.

        1. Yeah I struggled with the French author also, even after I had the first letter. Got it on my third attempt. Another gaping hole in my education obviously.

    2. 2d is a charade of the first letter (starter) of escalope, a synonym for a cliff (which is in the Small Red Book, the ‘C’ is just there to confuse), and a three letter synonym for obtained. The whole is a foreign delicacy.

    3. Interesting how crossword setters always include at least one word/person/something where the rest of us, as we write the solution in, think to ourselves ‘Brian won’t know/like this one’

      1. Speak for yourself. I wrote the answer in (after quite some deliberation), and at no time thought that.

      2. I don’t often comment on the weekends puzzles. When I saw Crypticsue’s name after mine in the same thread I thought I was being sent to the naughty step.

  12. Great puzzle – just challenging enough, nothing obscure (for me, I know it varies depending on your interests/background), some nice clever clues (14d was my favourite)……**/****

  13. Gave myself a few problems by reading the wrong part of speech into 4a, not knowing the French author and falling for the cricket clue that wasn’t.
    Other than those, all went reasonably well!
    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD.

    Hope you all have a wonderful NYE celebration and wishing you all the very best for the new year.

  14. I needed some head scratching and electronic assistance to complete this one; 12d was a particular problem – 2.5*/3*.

    Stand out favourite 15a, partly because it is a 15 letter non-anagram. The shoe version of Oxford seems to be more popular than the other versions recently.

    Happy New Year to the 2Ks who are already 3 hours into 2017.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  15. A couple of head scratchers but overall I thought it not too taxing and a bit of fun. Liked 4d which turned out to be nothing to do witht he Lancashire and England bowler. **/*** from me.

    Now for the big question of the day – am I going to watch Where Eagles Dare or The Eagle Has Landed. Perhaps I’ll go to the local to think about it.

    Thanks to the setter and BD and a happy and prosperous New Year to one and all. See y’all again next year.

    1. Assuming that you have watched both films more than once already, I suggest you watch the one you have watched the lesser number of times, if you have been keeping count. If not toss a coin. Do Euro coins have heads and tails?

      I am going to watch ‘The Hunt for Red October’ (again).

  16. Well, we did that in our PJs with breakfast. The puzzle was over faster than breakfast which is a real shame because it was as enjoyable as it was swift. 1.5*/3.5* with 14d our favourite.

    Spent most of the morning renaming our hundreds of photos from the recent jaunt down under. Found a great app to help with mass renaming if you have a MAC – “A Better Finder Rename”. Does what it says on the tin. And saved me, conservatively, a day.

    HNY to all and thanks to BD and the setters for continued high standards.

  17. Along with others, I didn’t know the French author. I never studied Eng. Lit. never mind Frog Lit.

    I thought of a slightly different parsing for 1a. The answer being a word for the clothes worn to go shooting but losing it’s first letter.

    Thanks to the setter and BD. And a Happy New Year to all.

  18. This was a real mixture, some gimmes and some head scratchers, but most enjoyable.
    Missed 9a and needed the hint, this enabled me to solve 5d, which was also a holdup.
    Fave was 15a, but 12d deserves honourable mention for the guffaw is caused.
    Thanks to setter, and to Big Dave for his needed hints today.

    Wishing everyone concerned with this DT crossword site, setters, bloggers and commenters, a healthy, happy and prosperous 2017.

  19. Just needed the hints to confirm my last two answers made this an enjoyable crossword.
    Thanks to Big Dave and all on this site and a Happy New Year to all.

  20. A nice gentle end to the year. I guess I was lucky to be aware of the author and of the unindicated Americanism – and not to be drawn too deeply into cricketing minutiae. So all solved reasonably smoothly.

    I think I can observe, without giving anything away, that 21a, 24a and 20d seem to have cropped up quite often in puzzles I’ve done in what seems like the quite recent past.

    I agree with Senf that 15a is excellently clued – though not too difficult to get. The other across clues ranging down that left hand side – 8, 11, 18 and 22 are all very smooth. But COTD, by a country mile, today is 14d. Brilliant, misdirectional and funny too.

    My thanks also to all the DT/ST setters and to all involved with this site. Happy New Year.

    1. Re 4d: I wasn’t confused by any crickety hints, I have no idea who James Anderson is, a cricketer maybe? I’ve heard of John Anderson, my Joe John.

      1. Do I sense a tongue-in-cheek comment? To confuse further, there are both James, John and Joe Andersons in the world of cricket, the latter playing in the Greater London League!

        1. Hi Mark,
          My problem was that I didn’t actually know the ‘rise’ so I looked up Mr. Anderson in desperation!

          1. I’m very familiar with the “rise” so it jumped out at me and I didn’t need to google the gent.

  21. I must confess that I had to look up the French author, but other than that my only issues were with the app doing various irritating things including crashing my poor Tabby (tablet) completely.

    Thanks to the setter for the puzzle, and thanks BD not only for today’s blog but also for all your hard work over the year. What a marvellous site and wonderful community you have created.

    I wish all you lovely people an equally lovely new year. And now I shall go and prepare to celebrate Kitty style. See you on the other side.


  22. Managed without the hints, but the picture was the final confirmation for 1a-thx BD!

    Sorry about last week – I thought the pun would be acceptable but had my wrist slapped for ‘go with the flow’ (floe)……
    Is it regarded as ‘unacceptable ‘ to use an I pad for help, or a dictionary ? I noticed that some have reservations ?? Surely not…
    Good puzzle this week Liked 15a and 18a , 14d was v clever too!

    1. Your question about acceptability of i-Pad: I believe this comes up reasonably regularly as a discussion point (possibly most recently in connection with Gertrude Jekyll?). Just in case it’s of any interest, I work with a rough 6 stage system:

      1. Solve with no help at all
      2. Use assistance – electronic or BRB – to check a definition: is a civet a cat? Is James Anderson a cricketer?
      3. Use assistance deliberately to seek synonyms: what words describe a wooded valley? Thus discovering ‘chine’ and ‘bunny’.
      4. Use assistance to research a topic – what are the moons of Jupiter?
      5. Use hints on Big Dave
      6. Press ‘click here’ and reveal the answer

      More contentious would be the use of anagram solvers and ‘missing letter fill in’ programs. I’m not a fan – though I’ll confess to occasional (but always guilty) use. Laziness, generally, in the case of anagram solver and when facing defeat in the case of missing letters programs. So they’d both come in around 5/6 on my rough scale.

    2. Hi Badger,
      I wouldn’t worry in the least about using ‘aids’ to get to the answers. You’ll find that, as you improve, you’ll need to rely on them less and less. Look at it this way – you must have had an idea of where you were heading to know what to look up!

      1. Thanks Mark & Jane.
        I have sent in every Sat Crossy since 27199 -electronically! So I can’t be doing too bad- managed a notebook and pen somewhere along the way,

        Still, it’s the taking part that’s important -you’ll agree!

  23. **/***. Nice and gentle end to the year. I thought 24a was a bit clunky but really liked 8&15a and 14d. HNY to all the setters and bloggers.

  24. 1a – Needed the hint, never got the double definition and had never heard of the less obvious use – good clue though
    Lots of double-unches today, very unfriendly grid!!
    Lots of good clues, Oxford has appeared a few times recently, about time I remembered it!!
    Fav was 15a
    Many thanks BD and Mr.Ron
    Happy New Year all

  25. A nice end of year crossword.
    I had trouble with 1a – forgot about the widow – and, like Jane, discovered who James Anderson was without needing to.
    I liked 2 and 5d and my favourite is either 15a or 12d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    Happy New Year to everyone.

  26. I wasn’t tremendously keen on this puzzle.I think 8a and 18a could also be described as not immediately obvious.But I got there in the end with help from BD.


  27. There is a particular satisfaction on completing the weekend cryptics when no actual answers are provided. Got there in the end, so thumbs up. Clever clues and some real head scratchers.


  28. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very nice puzzle, which I found quite tough. Got there in the end. Never heard of the French author, but got it from the wordplay. Favourite was 5d, which I think I may have seen before, but still a clever clue. Last in was 9a. Was 3*/3* for me. Happy New Year to all. I’m off down the pub !!

  29. Nice and easy for a Saturday, I did it last night while watching the rugby in the middle of the night – I’m a bit of a martyr to insomnia but it does allow you to get things done while the house is quiet.

    Looking forward to this evenings celebrations, New Years Eve is the best night of the year!

  30. Fairly straightforward, for a Saturday, with 12d giving me a little grief at the end. Unconvinced that the ‘supporting’ in 13ac works for an across rather than down clue, surely not? Enjoyable apart from that.

  31. A good end to the year. I managed to get 1a from the first part of the clue, but had to do a googlething to check the second part of the clue. It was new to me. I had the wrong spelling for 23d which was an automatic fill in, so I was a bit cross with myself for the carelessness.It really held me up for the last one in, 25a. I liked 2d, 7d and 12d. Many thanks to BD and setter, and a very healthy and happy New Year to all.

  32. I would like to take the opportunity to wish you all a Very Prosperous & Happy New Year. ‘Lang may yer lum reek’ :). I’ll no doubt see some of you later on this month.

  33. All good fun – had to guess ‘n check 8a though. We had something similar to 15a recently. 3d is super-smooth, brilliant.

    A huge thank you to all who contribute, with special thanks to Big Dave for all his hard work and patience.

  34. Why is it that the lurkers are sometimes the hardest to get? 4d in this puzzle being the last in and needing your hint.
    I parsed 1a a different way xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.
    Thanks all.

    1. 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

  35. Must be improving-actually completed without hints or google.
    Entertaining puzzle, particularily 15A and 12D.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    Happy New Year to everyone.

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