DT 28336 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28336 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28336 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club
Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Greetings from the 07:19 Virgin Pendolino hurtling from Warrington to London, we are running 13 minutes late due to Wigan, nothing specific, just the place.  I’m looking after things for the weekend so I’ll be here tomorrow as well, while BD is having a nice weekend off.

Looking forward to catching up with chums old and new and it should be a grand do.  I have a little surprise for everyone there, not as good as lemon drizzle cake, which I hope will be putting in an appearance as well.

This was a fairly straightforward run today, I’m guessing set by our regular Saturday supremo rather than by Mr Ron.  I was wrong!  It is by Mr Ron!

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           Being enthusiastic with detailed planning after European Union (10)
Probably one of the tougher clues to start with, as it’s a word not normally used in conversation.  OIf you are really mad keen on something you may speak about it ad nauseam (like me and crosswords, quizzes and bridge!) and this is the adjective that describes that.   Take the abbreviation for that organisation we are leaving soonish and add a word that means with detailed planning

6a           Tiny amount of holiday in spring (4)
A double definition for the name of the late spring bank holiday (very big in Wigan) and a slightly more unusual word for a small amount of something.

11a         Writer from old days you style vacuously as flat (9)
The name for a type of an upmarket flat is found by taking something that writes, add how you addressed someone in days gone by as ‘you’ and the word ‘style’ minus its innards (vacuously).

14a         Emergency vehicle dodges around beset by environmentalists (5,7)
The name for one of those old fire engines and the nickname of Diana Moran who used at appear on Breakfast TV is found by rearranging the word ‘dodges’ and putting it inside the name for people who care about the environment.

21a         Nothing in Heart’s broadcast for range of listeners? (7)
I liked this clue with its nice surface reading.  The name for how far you can hear is found by taking the symbol for nothing, and putting it in an anagram of Heart’s.

24a         Stand in sea in disguise that may be put on to fish (9)
A word meaning (with)stand goes before an anagram to give something you put on fish, though I’d rather have it on steak.

27a         Snoop around about small storage space in part of church (10)
A word meaning to poke your nose goes around a short word meaning about + S (small) and a little amount of (computer) storage space.  This gives the name for a part of an English church.


1d           Concentrate? It’s hard after new member of comedy duo comes around (6)
A word that means concentrate as in quantity and quality can be found by  taking the first name of a famous comic double act (not the one with the short fat hairy legs) and placing him around N (new) – add the abbreviation for hard afterwards and all is revealed!  Any excuse to show this….

The Beeb won’t let me put Shirley Bassey up but this will do!

4d           One with special powers ahead with the Queen carried by prancing horse (9)
A word meaning ahead or rising goes before the abbreviation for Her Maj and put all this inside an anagram (prancing) of HORSE to give someone you will believe can fly and save the world.

9d           Olympic cyclist’s father makes a stack in Scotland (3,3,3,2,3)
A cryptic way of describing Sir Chris’ dad is the name of a famous landmark in the very north of Scotland.

15d         Like a coward clutching contents of till — innocent? (9)
How you would describe someone without courage or lacking bravery needs IL (the contents, innards of TILL) to give a word meaning innocent.

17d         Inexperienced traitors shot up by southern defence system (4,4)
A word meaning inexperienced, often applied to recruits, and a word for traitors are both reversed and then take S (southern) to give Ronald Reagan’s missile defence system.  Oh, and a famous film featuring the trials and tribulations of the Skywalker family!

22d         One making effort right to break rank (5)
A word for someone having a go is found by taking R (right) and putting it inside a world for a line or level.

Now play nicely while we are all away and remember we’ll be popping in to put people who give more answers away on the naughty step.  And there’ll be no lemon drizzle cake for you.  See you tomorrow!

The Crossword Club is now open.

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The Quick Crossword pun: pun+will+be=here

74 comments on “DT 28336 (Hints)

  1. Presumably this nice piece of cake will not have caused worsening of any sore heads being nursed by last night’s cruciverbal revellers however only cure would be a hair of the dog! Fav has to be 9d. Thanks “Saturday Supremo” and Tilsit. Cheers and have fun gang.

  2. This was very simple and straightforward, as usual for a Saturday prize – a fun, unchallenging crossword. 14a and 9d might be a big difficult for some – you either know them or you don’t. I though the use of the same intersecting part-word in 11a and 7d was a bit amateurish (that’s assuming I’ve got both answers right). 1.5*/2.5*.

  3. 2*/4*. This proved to be a very enjoyable start to a day of cruciverbal celebration.

    I got held up slightly by 24a, my last one in with a nicely disguised definition, and by two clues (6a & 3d) for which the answers were obvious from the definition and checkers but I struggled to parse. For 6a I tried to put the abbreviation for holiday inside a (non-existent) word for spring to get a tiny amount. It never occurred to me until I read Tilsit’s review that it was a double definition. D’oh! Once I eventually unravelled 3d, that took my vote as favourite.

    My only question, which is not going to be easy to answer without the naughty step looming, is how does “spring” convert into the letters needed as part of the answer to 8d? I think I understand what the setter is driving at, but I don’t think it’s accurate.

    Many thanks to “SS” and to Tilsit.

    See those of you at the BD Birthday Bash later. I aim to get there at around 2 pm.

    1. Ignore my ravings about 8d. Tilsit has very kindly sent me an e-mail explaining that I was looking at the wrong three letters!

  4. Was hoping there would be a hint to explain 3d? Although I have the answer I can’t for the life of me see why!!! Happy New Year everyone …
    Hope you all enjoy the birthday bash :-)

    1. Mary, you’ll be amused to know that I killed off Caravaggio earlier this month and now masquerade under this nom-de-guerre. A Happy New Year to you too.

  5. Many Happy Returns of the Day from a grey and damp South Cheshire. Doesn’t the time go quickly when you’re having fun? Eight years… I loved 9d – it reminded me that the BBC covered Joe Brown’s ascent over three consecutive nights in 1967 and, no, I’m not talking about the guitarist.

  6. A fairly comfortable solve today, although I agree with you Tilsit. I prefer 24a on my steak. I like hollandaise on my fish. Happy Birthday BD and best wishes and thanks to all the crew who help to make this such a wonderful site. Have a great day in London. Thank you Tilsit and setter. Enjoy your weekend wherever you are.

      1. Wish I could be there.But got back late last night from Granny sitting in Northumberland. No computer/printer…… no paper version either. Didn’t get to the newsagent fast enough for the two copies available. Miffypops is that you next to Kitty, and is Saint Sharon in the pics ? Love the pics of everyone. Made my day after a challenging three weeks.

        1. Hi Florence. That is indeed me next to Kitty pleading for my life. Saint Sharon appears in both the top left and bottom right of the paired pictures in a white top. The bottom right picture shows myself Saint Sharon Jean Luc Cheval and Shropshire Lad.

          We all seemed to have a good time.

          1. Thanks MP. Nice to see a pic of Saint Sharon. I now know who you are talking about. Hope you are both still enjoying the Lexus.

  7. Because of time zone change effects, I was wide awake at midnight, so I cantered through this and then went back sleep. Very enjoyable. Just finishing the first pint at The Bridge House. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

    1. Wow!

      Winnipeg to London for a pint (or two?). I’m impressed!

      Hope you all have a lovely time!

  8. ‘Fraid the experts here (all three of us) are scratching our heads about 3d as well.
    Thought 9d was neat, though!

  9. Delightful start to the weekend from the voice of the mysterons, 18 a was our cotd, and 1 d has us humming…

    Bright and mild here in mass (38) – wisteria is getting quite confused.

    Mr & Mrs T

  10. A well-paced fastish trot with some very nice clues/moments/smiles along the way. 2*/3*.

    Our favourite was 11a. I’ve been doing cryptics for approaching 50 years now, so why do I not remember ever previously having encountered the marvellous, almost self-defining, anagram that features in 12a? I guess Mr Kitty will now tell me it’s featured n times in his database!

    Hope this attending enjoy their bash in London.

    Thanks to Tilsit and Mr Ron.

  11. 3d was clever but beaten by 9d as my favourite. Overall I enjoyed this puzzle and felt it worthy of a 2*/4* rating. Many thanks to the Saturday Mr Ron for a fun challenge and to Tilsit for filling in for the main man.

    Happy Birthday to the site from a fellow Aquarian.

  12. Got loads of answers and I understand about half of them, cannot get on this setters wavelength at all. Far too verbose for my taste with too many leaps of faith and sloppy clues.
    For me ***/*
    Thx for what hints there are.

    1. Yet again, I’m with you Brian. I think we must be on a similar wavelength. I am persevering for the moment but agree about the verbosity!
      TIlsit, I am so grateful for your help today. I really struggled to get started.
      Happy Birthday BD. Enjoy the weekend everyone

      1. Congratulations Sarah. I think you are the first person who has ever confessed to being on Brian’s wave length.

        1. Well if Brian has struggled so have I and I’ve also noticed ORa Meringue seems to agree with us. We always seem to be able to do the ones that everyone else struggles with. And I’m trying to keep a positive note!!! 🎶🎶

  13. Contrary to another view I actually thought this was a pretty good crossword! We really are all different aren’t we? There were several good clues, including 9d, but my favourite was 6a. 2/4* overall.
    Thanks to the Saturday mysteron, and to Tilsit for depping duties.
    Have fun in W9 y’all. And Happy Birthday to the site!

  14. I found this pretty tricky in parts, and 9d a bit unfair – who the heck is Olympic cyclist’s father? I suppose the cyclist’s name is the last word. I managed to solve it once I had all the checking letters and a quick google.
    Another one was 14a, I did check Tilsit’s hint and googled the lady’s nickname, didn’t bother to go any further.
    I did enjoy the rest, and I loved 3d, my fave.
    Thanks to setter and to Tilsit for your hints.
    Have a good time all.

  15. What a brilliant clue for 3 down. Although the answer was clear, parsing it took far longer than many have for ages. Six very enjoyable puzzles this week and all of them solved in what I’d call par for the course. Thanks to all setters and hinters.

  16. Very enjoyable. My shame at 6a being my last one in, was offset by the delight when the blog helped me to parse 3d. Happy birthday indeed – what a boost to the crossword enjoyment factor a visit here always provides.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  17. Enjoyable, and pretty straightforward for a Saturday. A few less common words in the answers, but the wordplay was quite clear for each. Something new learnt at 9d. :-)

    1. Waterloo. Change the last letter O that looks like nothing to a letter G (good) you then get a word that fits the definition. Not easy but a wonderful Doh! Moment when it makes sense.

      1. And that is the only clue I have looked at today as it was puzzling people at the get together. You are not alone.

        1. It took me ages, but when the penny dropped, what a feel-good moment. I thought it was super clever.

  18. Just not on the wavelength at all for this one.
    Took absolutely ages to finish, needed quite a lot of electronic help and several of the hints.
    Not my finest hour.

    Hope everyone has had/is having a great time at the bash.

    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  19. Brian is spot on.
    Can parse very few of the answers.
    I find this wordy type of cluing, like Giovanni very difficult to unpick, that;s why Jay and Virgillus are so good.
    Thanks to Tilsit and Mr.Ron,

  20. Enjoyed both the puzzle and the pictures of those able to get to the Birthday Bash. Wish I could have been there to join in. Today’s puzzle was right up my street, a struggle at times, but all fell neatly into place eventually. Husband knew 14a (without the hint) and I did have to google 9d as I had not heard of it before.

  21. I don’t want to be the party pooper but we have explicit guidelines about things and it seems ok for certain people to breach them.

    I know we all have different solving abilities but for every Brian having a whinge because it’s not on his wavelength, then there are a great many who enjoy this setter’s puzzles. If it’s the guy I think it is, he has a long outstanding pedigree and they fit this puzzle slot well

    Sometimes a device or clue has been used that is unusual. Maybe I should have tried to explain it but I took a decision not to. I did post an additional hint but others seem to want to explain everything. When I began solving, there was none of this and I had to wait either till the next day or several weeks before the solution is published.

    This blog is unique in doing what it does. The Times blog and 15 squared don’t touch prize puzzles till the day the solution is published. Try Answerbank where no one has any scruples about these puzzles.

    The rules of the Prize Puzzles are clear otherwise we have the professional prize hunters asking for every answer and it also makes Sue and Barry’s sterling work blogging them in ten days time, all a waste of time.

    1. Well said. I for one am sick and tired of reading Brian’s whinges. In my opinion the comments he makes say more about Brian than they ever do about the crossword puzzles.

    2. I have deleted the offending comments – leaving this one high and dry!

      There is no place on this website for aggressive posting.

  22. It took some time for me to get going on this one but I found it very enjoyable once started. Thank you for the 3d explanations, 17d was I felt very clever and 9d amused me.
    As for my weekly moan about the DT App consistently telling me that I had made mistakes the previous week I phoned them to complain. “We’ve never had any complaints about this before” was the reply. Yeah, right – two linguistic negatives making a positive I think! Their advice – delete the App and reinstall it! I complied. The result – apparently last Saturday I scored 00/29😤😩😤
    I can’t wait for tomorrow……😂

    1. Hi Faraday, can’t believe they said that to you. As I’ve mentioned before, I have actually emailed them screenshots of their mistakes.

      Here is a response I received on 11/10/16 (one of many over the months). I have spared his blushes and deleted his name, but note the grammar – from The Telegraph!

      Dear Margaret

      Thank you for contacting the Telegraph Media Group.

      Further to your enquiry I am sorry to learn that your recent Cryptic Crossword submission showed as if you had got 3 across wrong.

      I can confirm that you was indeed correct with the answer being Doncaster and sincerely apologise for the error.

      I am sorry for any inconvenience caused and have advised our Digital team so we can try to prevent this issue reoccurring.

      Yours sincerely

      Xxxx xxxxxxx
      Customer Services
      Telegraph Media Group

      1. Thank you Margaret. I’ll be ringing again on Monday. I’m almost hoping it gets it wrong again tomorrow 😂😂

  23. Happy Birthday! I was taken into 2* time by cudgelling my few remaining grey cells into parsing 3d, so 1.5*/3.5* for my money. I loved 9d, was tempted by 14a, but in the end plumped for 7d as favourite. Many thanks to the Mysteron, and to BD.

  24. Missed Lat week’s blog because of other pressures although I sent it in to DT.
    Thanks to a couple of hints I did finish it but found it somewhat testing -as observed there were a few clues where the parsing was somewhat testing, but had to be the answer – eg 3D & 7d. Liked 9d & 16d
    Thanks BD & Mr Ron for the challenge.

  25. Happy birthday to the blog, well done to Big Dave. Thanks to the setter (maybe it was Shamus?) and to Tilsit for the hints. I really enjoyed this one, some super clues. Needed the hints and comments to parse 3d,finally I understand it. 12a was a real old chestnut. Enjoyed the rest of it. Thought 27a was very good, but my favourite was 9d. Last in was 24a. Was 3*/3* for me. Hope you all had a great time at the birthday party.

  26. that very loud sound you all just heard was the sound of the penny dropping on the kitchen floor as i finally twigged 3d. i hope everybody had a good time & that the nurofen/ alka seltzer/ rennies were not need as the result of your bacchanalian excesses.

  27. Due to “The Birthday Party”, The Blog’s not Pinter’s, subsequent babysitting and chatting on the train, I have only just finished this. Problem solving last three entirely self-inflicted. Omitted to notice that 17d was two words, Entirely forgot the usual synonym for lock despite its frequent use and not sure about the parsing of 6a. In my head I thought there was a synonym in the clue for tiny amount but only confirmed it when home with the BRB. Did not appear as a synonym when I googled it. Unlike some I did not like 9d as had never heard of 9d and was looking for haystacks! 3d brilliant – did not parse but answer obvious. When I read the hints above I was even more impressed. 14a had a mixed response from bloggers. It was a good clue in my humble opinion. You did not have to know Diana Moran – that was just a bit of extra help from Tilsit. They are still brought out when the one of the three emergency services is on strike. Thanks again for Saturday and hope to see Brian there next year.

  28. Just to point out that two of the answers for the Saturday quickie, shown in Monday’s paper, are incorrect-namely 25A and 20D

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