DT 28360 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28360 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28360 (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    Reach route through mountains — result! (4,2,4)
A phrasal verb meaning to reach followed by a route through mountains

6a    Eats fast food item around one third off (4)
Eats here is a noun – reverse (around) the first four letters (one third off) of a six-letter item of fast food

9a    Lucky shape: clubs logo’s origin on next page (10)
C(lubs) followed by the initial letter (origin) of L[ogo] and a word meaning on the next page

15a    Person playing is taken in by android that won’t start (6)
Put IS from the clue inside a five-letter android without its initial letter (won’t start)

16a    Women I am with get very hot outside in beach clothes (8)
W(omen), the abbreviated form of I am and W(ith) inside an adjective meaning very hot

19a    Agreement with current line (6)
A type of current or electricity followed by a line

25a    Another case concerning money running short before end of voyage (10)
A two-letter word meaning concerning followed by most of (running short) and the final letter (end) of [voyag]E

27a    Make bloomer over biscuit (6,4)
A make or type followed by the reversal (over) of a flower (bloomer)


1d    Bird found in pile of hay (4)
Two definitions – the first being a male bird

3d    Leader of excavation in ancient city, keen to break out spades as just what’s needed (3,4,5)
The initial letter (leader) of E[xcavation] inside an ancient city then follow it with an anagram (to break out) of KEEN and S(pades)

4d    China leased equipment used in warehouse (6)
A china or mate followed by a verb meaning leased

5d    Birds make disturbance in yards (8)
Put a three-letter disturbance inside some yards or masts

8d    Rail links globe endlessly with American business (10)
Most of (endlessly) a four-letter globe followed by a two-letter abbreviation for American and business

13d    Handy place where nuns stay around eastern Ulster (10)
Put the place where nuns stay around E(astern) and a part of the UK often incorrectly referred to as Ulster (see The Pedant’s Guide)

14d    Do like everyone else and take interest in court case (6,4)
A verb meaning to take an interest in followed by a court case

Published on Monday, 27th February:
Prize Cryptic 28360 correction
20d should read “Criticise one politician over international body that’s holding good (6)” Apologies

Criticise is the definition, I (one) is followed by our usual politician and an international body, the latter around (holding) G(ood)

23d    Look up and down (4)
A palindromic (up and down) look – get the checking letters and you can work out the rest

The Crossword Club is now open.  I’ll add some pictures when I get back from the village café and market.

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The Quick Crossword pun: quays+stone+copse=Keystone Cops

71 comments on “DT 28360 (Hints)

  1. Once upon a time, there was a commenter who expressed solving ‘time’ in pints (consumed). Today’s puzzle was completed while consuming two pints (albeit tiny US 16 oz pints) and fish and chips in ‘The Pickled Pig Pub’ in Rehoboth, Delaware. So, in reality, I have no idea how long I spent on the puzzle, but it was very enjoyable.

    No assistance required, other than the aforementioned ‘brain’ food.

    I am sure I detected some oldies but goodies, especially among the four letter answers in the Southern half.

    Favourite – 27a, just shades out 14d.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

    1. Similarly so, except solved over a bowl of cereal and a couple of cups of coffee. Good fun while it lasted. Echoed thanks to setter and BD.

  2. 3*/3* for a pleasant Saturday morning challenge, although there were perhaps slightly too many charades for my taste, a couple of which were a bit convoluted. Nevertheless I did enjoy it.

    I question 20d. Isn’t the definition a noun and the answer a verb? Wouldn’t the clue work better replacing the “criticism made by” by “criticise”?

    I’m almost aligned with Senf with my choice of favourite. 27a edges out 14d but 26a also earns a podium place.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

    1. I knew I wouldn’t be the only one to question 20d – with it being a prize puzzle, changing the online clue might make it unfair to newspaper solvers. The wordplay is very clear so having the wrong definition word doesn’t affect the ability to solve it.

      1. I too was having an early morning debate about noun v verb for 20d but it didn’t spoil my overall enjoyment of the puzzle. I have to confess that I didn’t understand my answer to 27a until BD explained it to me. It’s a clever clue. Thank you as always.

    2. PS, BD I was going to comment about the use of Ulster in 13d but you beat me to it. Simply changing the clue to read “…around eastern part of Ulster” would seem to do the trick.

  3. I survived Doris. More accurately her effect on the rail network, and the crush, lack of information and near riots at a King’s Cross brought to its knees. Still, I made it out (the running training came in handy) and it was worth it in the end, even including the moderate* hangover and the few cat scratches I picked up along the way. If you get a chance to see Debs Newbold, she now comes with a Kitty recommendation. I have learnt a couple of new terms.

    A quiet weekend is on the cards. Time for crosswords:

    Regarding this one, I can ditto the bulk of RD’s comments above, but may diverge when it comes to favourites. A few to choose from, so I will simply mention that although it’s an old friend I was tickled by 1d.

    With a North American, a South American and a North African in the clues, I feel like there is a missing South African.

    Thanks to the setter and BD. Have a great weekend, lovely people everywhere.

  4. As CS has said, Saturdays are much more satisfying these days and today is no exception. This was fun with the odd bit of food for thought. Several excellent clues from which I can’t pick a Fav. Bunged in 3d, 5d and 27a so needed help with parsing. I also hae ma doots about 20d. Second part of 4d is not necessarily so for a warehouse. Thanks Bd and Mysteron

  5. .’Good fun while it lasted’ is about it. Can’t complain though, having made hard work of Thurs and Friday. Off to spend a tenner at a certain supermarket, and maybe pick up a free Guardian. Glad ‘criticism’ has been discussed, had me wondering. Have a good weekend all.

        1. Well CS, after a scan read of the printable Guardian on my phone, I only got two at the first pass, so have written that one off. A bit defeatist I suppose, but there it is. And I don’t want to spend ages on the thing today.

  6. Needed help with a few today, so not my finest hour, but enjoyed it nevertheless.

    Could see what 6a had to be but could not parse it for toffee.

    Expect you heard the doh! from here when I saw the hint for 9a….head seriously slapped for that.

    Desperately tried to get an alternative city fitted in to 3d……not useful.

    Still, I am better at these than I was, so thanks to the setter and Big Thanks to Big Dave.

  7. I was another who put a question mark alongside 20d but have to admit that my radar didn’t pick up on the Ulster question!
    Quite liked 1a but my top three were 27a plus 2&14d. Favourite was either 27a or 14d (that seems to pass muster with Kath!).

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD for dealing with the hints.

  8. 11d – Without giving too much away on a Prize Puzzle Day – could someone, please, explain what is the significance of without in the clue.

    BD hasn’t given a hint … so it must be easy.

    .ps! Nice puzzle (as they say in France)

    1. Stan, this use of “without” also appears in BD’s Pedant’s Guide as a wrongly used device. Check it out and see if that helps.

      1. I’ve read that many times before … ” .. without the city walls etc etc”

        Without doubt I will miss it the next time it appears!


      2. RD. Without is a valid containment indicator, in this context it simply means the opposite of within. The primary definition in the SOED for without is: On the outside or outer surface; externally. So it would be correct to write: the hard shell is without the soft part of the egg. That’s why the setters use it so often and the editors allow it.

        1. Remember the hymn sung in Holy Week – “There is a green hill far away without a city wall….” etc. When singing this when I was a child I had a picture in my mind of a a hill town with no wall. I have never forgotten that meaning since I realised my interpretation was wrong!

          1. It’s really got nothing to do with green hills or city walls, it’s to do with semantics. Without can mean on the outer surface (like the egg shell) or it can mean right outside/away from. The green hill might be one mile without the city wall, but on the other hand the city wall might have ivy growing without it (ie surrounding it).

            1. Sorry I think you misunderstood my comment. Of course the word is not related directly to green hills or walls! The word without can mean outside. As a child I thought it meant that the City had no wall, rather than that the green hill was outside the city wall. I cannot comment as to where the Ivy was growing as that is part of the lyric of a Christmas carol and not a Passiontide hymn. Did not intend to confuse.

              1. Thank you and no problems, you haven’t confused me, I did understand your comment. I was just trying to steer the explanation about semantics away from the perennial green hill and city walls (which is always quoted when it crops up, for some reason). And the ivy is just hypothetical ivy, just to give an alternative use of “without” – it’s got nothing to do with ivy in any hymn or carol.

  9. Like Ora Meringue, I wasted time by trying to work out how the traditional, two-letter, ancient city fitted into the answer for 3d… And, as far as the answer to 4d is concerned, I am musing as to whether the compiler is a Southerner. If I’m not mistaken, the first component part of the answer is Cockney rhyming slang and not an expression which is used in my neck of the woods. Having said all that, I still found it to be an enjoyable puzzle and the time went too quickly.

  10. For some reason I seem to have found this more difficult than the rest of you.
    I missed the relevance of the fourth word in the clue for 16a so my outside letters didn’t mean very hot, they were a verb meaning to curse – how dim can I get?
    I was also slow with quite a few other not very tricky clues.
    Glad that others have questioned 20d.
    3d is yet another expression that I’ve always misinterpreted – I thought it meant someone who is, or thinks he is, very good at something rather than what the clue implies. Oh well . . .
    I liked 18 and 26a and 5 and 11d. I thought 12a was a good anagram.
    Thanks to whoever set this one and to BD.
    Going to have a go at the NTSPP and then off to London later to meet up with the Lambs to celebrate husband’s birthday.

  11. I did this whilst consuming two bacon sandwiches and a glass of pomegranate juice – it was lovely and so was this puzzle, no real problems.

    I was glad of BD’s blog to understand the workings of 27a (for some reason I find it difficult to use the word ‘parsing’ – a bit too poncy for me – my problem!)

    Plenty of rugby today – I’m hoping Scotland can turn over the Welsh, it could be tough for the Irish against the heavyweight French!

  12. I will go along with all those who went for 27a as the COTD. This was 2*/3* for me, completed as I wait for the start of the rugby this afternoon. I took a star off the enjoyment due to the problems associated with 20d, otherwise an enjoyable and fun puzzle all round.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter and BD.

  13. I found this really quite tricky, had lots of half understood answers such as27a and 3d. Just 22d left, probably obvious but has me stumped!
    Fav clue was 9a and think I have come across 1d with regard to hay before but had to look it up to be sure.
    For me ***/**
    Thx to all

    1. 22d remove the first letter (losing head) from a particular person in the clergy and you’ll get another way of saying in a short time (in an archaic or literary sense)

  14. I had never heard of the use of 1d in this double definition, and it was my last one in. I did stop at 20d before deciding my answer was correct despite what looked like faulty grammar.
    Thanks for the parsing of 27a, which I had failed on. (I suppose it is a biscuit – I have no better description to offer – but it just doesn’t seem much like one!) And thanks also to the setter.

  15. Very satisfying to be on setter’s wavelength today – thank you very much

    Completed this SW SE NE NW, no real hold ups

    Thanks always to BD for the hints, most of which I did not need…could I be getting better 😀

  16. Bunged in 20d too as the parsing made sense.
    Learned a.new meaning for yard in 5d.
    Favourite 16a. Almost time for this down here. Lunch on the terrace is de rigueur at the moment. But mind the ides of march.
    That reminds me. Have I missed February prize results yet? Shall have a look.
    Thanks to the Saturday setter and to BD for the hints.

  17. I rather enjoyed this one. I wonder who the setter was? It wasn’t easy peasy by any means, but huge fun. I love any puzzle where I don’t need to consult gizmo.
    I liked 9a and 27a, but fave was 3d.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for the hints.

    1. P.S. Could someone explain the “pile of hay” in 1d? When I google it, I get some pretty awful sites! Unless I’ve got 1d wrong.

        1. One of the benefits of using a dictionary to check words is you are very rarely likely to encounter anything ‘awful’

          1. I usually do refer to my dictionary, but for some reason it’s gone AWOL and I don’t know why! Need someone techie to find out why.

        2. New definition for me, but then I only used a dictionary as a child to look up vulgar slang, so I never got that far.

        3. Only 3 birds fitted 1d along with a few vulgar definitions as noted. I wasn’t aware of the relevant definition in the clue- there you are -live & learn. My last was 3D believe it or not, it’s usually shorter ones!
          10d was somewhat convoluted but was obvious when I had all the other letters. Enjoyed it though. I had to finish to watch the rugby-looking forward to the Sunday match-hope they don’t give me a hard time…..
          Many thanks BD and setter.

          1. Had to say -they gave me A very hard time.Very.
            Losing at HT . But the 2nd half made up for it…….

  18. ***/***. NW corner held me up in what was a challenging puzzle – at least for me. Favourite was 8d. Thanks to Mr Ron and BD for the hints.

  19. I had the wrong ending for 25a. That will teach me to read the whole clue not half of it . When will I learn? It held me up for a while on 23d, which should have been so easy if I hadn’t had the wrong letter in. I loved 27a. Thank you setter and BD. It was a fun puzzle.

  20. Nice puzzle today. It’s funny how some appeal and others do not.
    I’m not clever enough to understand the debate about 20 D!
    Thanks as ever to BD, not that I needed any help today

  21. One of the more straightforward Saturday puzzles we’ve seen of late, though with a bit of a sting in the tail (for me at least) with 2d and 24ac. Those pesky 4 letter clues! The latter clue type especially seems to be a blind spot as far as I’m concerned. Especially on the weekend when I’m perhaps not at peak form.

    1. I agree with you about 4 letter clues. Too many in this one although 24a not a problem for me. I think it does crop up in crosswords and was easy to find. I was much slower with the others especially 6a and 2d. I found it slow going with the NW last to go in. 9a very clever once I had got it, and checking letters then solved the rest! Like certain other arduous experiences it was good when it was over

  22. I found this a bit of a struggle, 75% of it went down like a dose of salts.
    I didn’t understand what 24a had to do with ‘in perpituity’. Also the ‘tie’ part of 2d.
    I could not parse 11d either.
    So all in all, not a great day.
    Many thanks to BD and BD

      1. Please Sue
        I am guessing that a reversal of 2d = Tie, but I can’t find anything in the dictionary. 24a I suppose must = ‘In Perpituity”, 11d remains a mystery,

        1. HIYD

          – I was held up for a while by 2d trying to make a reversal of “tie” fit. It is in fact a double definition: “tie up” being the first definition.
          – 24a is a lurker.
          – 11d is an anagram (“put out”) of “my generation” without the final “n” (“endlessly”) wrapped round (“without”) a C (chemical symbol for “carbon”).

          1. Sorry, I should probably have added that the definition for 24a is a small case used by a seamstress. The answer is an uncommon word which however seems to crop up frequently in crosswordland!

            1. Cheers RD, yes, I understand.
              I feel a bit stupid about 24a, I did not know the word, but had the twp checking letters. Ditto 2d, was convinced it was a reversal. Nice disguise.
              11d is the sort of clue I don’t like, unfathomable from the wordplay. I got it as soon as I had two checkers from the first word. Did anyone work it out from the wordplay??
              many thanks again RD

              1. At last, a hint for 24a – I’ve never heard of it either. It’s one of the eight offerings from the Chambers hint site – and I now know what a ‘lurker’ is!

  23. Fun while it lasted: 1*/3.5*. 27a is a nicely constructed clue. Thanks to the setter, and of course Big Dave.

  24. Total ‘off blog’ subject – I am soooooo chuffed after Scotland’s performance against Wales today. I can’t recall Murrayfield being so ‘alive’ for such a long time. I think the crossword was OK as well – I think :)

  25. As is customary for me, I saved this one for today. A ‘Senf’ for me, one might say. 27a is an absolutely stonking clue, loved it.
    Really enjoyable crossword, many thanks to all.

  26. Enjoyed finishing this one after a slow start. Last in 3d which I thought was too long and wordy, until I cracked it – big smile!

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