DT 28378 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28378 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28378 (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    Almost all of Georgian city is imposing (6)
Most of a city in the US state of Georgia – which is in the news for four days every year

4a    Italian with list reflected by silver stirrer (8)
IT(alian) and the reversal (reflected) of a list all preceded by the chemical symbol for silver

11a    Moor that is in place seen heading west (3,2)
This phrasal verb meaning to moor a boat is derived by putting the Latin abbreviation for “that is” inside the reversal (heading west in an across clue) of a verb meaning to place

13a    Puzzle of indefinite number on bonus (7)
This verb meaning to puzzle comes from a charade of the letter that represents an indefinite number, ON from the clue and a bonus

15a    South American writers first to evoke what Hitchcock wanted? (8)
A charade of S(outh), an abbreviation for American, some writing implements and the initial letter of (first to) E[voke]

18a    Just released, with nitrogen in mixture (5-3)
A three-letter word meaning with and the chemical symbol for nitrogen inside a mixture

26a    Short row about winning flower (5)
Most of a row around a two-letter word meaning winning

29a    Poems about small area in old grain port (6)
Put some poems around S(mall) and then add A(rea)


1d    Gangster, unaccompanied, carrying detonator (2,6)
An adjective meaning unaccompanied around (carrying) a type of detonator

2d    Stops burning leaves (4,3)
Two definitions – the second being a verb meaning leaves the house

3d    ‘Boy’s Own’ dropping Western writer from Scotland (9)
A boy’s name followed by O[W]N without (dropping) the W(estern)

6d    Something that flits up and down, a new moon (5)
A palindromic bird is followed by the A from the clue and N(ew)

7d    Order is about right support for climbers (7)
A four-letter verb meaning to order and IS from the clue around R(ight) – these climbers are plants

17d    Awful delays restricting team? Reading affected by this (8)
An anagram (awful) of DELAYS around (restricting) the Roman numerals for the number in a cricket or football team

21d    Sheds original bit of light on teas prepared (4-3)
These sheds are constructed from the initial letter (original bit) of L[ight] followed by an anagram (prepared) of ON TEAS

24d    Jack in girl, trained assassin (5)
J(ack) inside a girl’s name

The Crossword Club is now open. Back on familiar territory today with a puzzle littered with old chestnuts.

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!

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The Quick Crossword pun: purr+sway+shun=persuasion

72 comments on “DT 28378 (Hints)

  1. */*** for me, very straightforward and only a few pencil strokes short of a R&W – favourite 5d.

    As promised on Monday, and as a prelude to today’s rugby marathon, here is Ella Eyre (and friends) from a couple of years ago – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQ9hw9H9F_Y (I tried to find a way to embed the video in my post, but failed miserably).

    Apparently some American Academics (an oxymoron?) are complaining about ‘misappropriation’ of a gospel song. Google suggests that England rugby fans started singing it 29 years ago, so the academics appear to be a bit slow on the uptake.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

    1. Thanks for the clip Senf. Don’t watch much Rugby so had not come across it before. Will have my eyes (and ears) open tomorrow…

    2. It was always sung in rugby clubs after the game, with suitable gestures, and, let’s face it, the song’s as tuneful as the National Anthem which, in comparison to ‘Fratelli D’Italia’ and ‘Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’, is a dirge.

      1. I was aware of the ‘suitable gestures,’ I have been trying to remember if there were ‘alternative’ words.

    3. Have to say your reference to ‘an oxymoron’ is a bit cheeky. Laura Wright’s rendering of Swing Low Sweet Chariot is always rather more tuneful than Ella Eyre’s.

        1. Hi Expat Chris – long may the ‘special relationship’ continue. 🇬🇧🇺🇸

    4. Oh dear, Senf – I was really looking forward to your ‘first course’ of weekend musical clips. Please promise me that tomorrow’s will not be another ode to that euphemistically entitled ‘game’.

      1. Jane – in my ‘defence,’ earlier in the week I did say that today’s would be ‘an appropriate offering for the day.’ But, the greatest rugby tournament in the world ends today; so, tomorrow, normal service will be resumed.

  2. For those of us who complete the puzzle in the paper, it’s always pleasing to find that the grid’s on the back page but today, while there is a grid in situ, it’s the Dame Vera Lynn centenary crossword… I kid you not! Decca Records has hijacked the back page to trumpet Dame Vera’s 100th birthday celebrations. From my point of view, that wasn’t the best start to the day, but, as I sank my teeth into the puzzle, things rapidly improved – it was a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle and I can now concentrate on the rugby.

      1. If knowledge about the lady in question is GK that is. I would have thought it more related to a specialist subject.

    1. I was born on Dame Vera’s 30th birthday, so I won’t have a word said against her!

      I was going to add I hope I look like her when I reach her age, but that might give you the wrong idea :wink:

      1. So happy birthday RD! Definitely wins the prize for the most oblique birthday notice. I hope you get to her age, no matter how you look.🍻 or🍾 as the case may be.

  3. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle with some very good clues. Just needed the hints to parse 26a. I liked 10a, and 25a made me laugh, but my favourite was 1d. Last in was 1a, penultimate was 2d which required much head scratching. Was 2*/4* for me.

  4. Just me or did anyone think the way the clues ‘went’ particularly in the Downs where the RH side was completed before there was any requirement to move to the left of the grid, was a bit unusual/odd/different?

    1. Yes, I suddenly looked & the RHS was done with about 3 in the West. I put it down to my rather haphazard approach.

    2. had exactly the same here. 9d went in first then nothing to the west side until the east was done. didn’t realise 29a was known for grain so that was todays live and learn moment, and having the wrong Georgia on my mind meant 1a was last one in.
      fave clue a tie between 3d and 10a.

      would maybe have finished it first pass if it wasn’t for the noisy brats in Costa and I needed BD’s hint for the last couple.

      thanks to BD and the setter.

  5. After a ridiculously slow start this all fell into place without much trouble.
    I was fooled by the ‘Georgian’ bit of 1a to begin with.
    15a had me trying to think of a specific Hitchcock film.
    I love 26a’s but so do the slugs and snails, not to mention the pesky muntjacs.
    I liked 28a and 2 and 9d. My favourite was 5d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

  6. Sorry Sue, it might just be you. I had my fairly typical ‘shotgun’ approach on this one.

  7. Contrary to the rest of you…nothing new there then…..I’m afraid I didn’t like this one very much. When the penny dropped, the feeling was more, ‘-oh I suppose so’ rather than, ‘gosh yes!’ But who am I to comment, I’m just a beginner.

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints.

  8. Short-lived cruciverbal fun today but that’s OK by me as first course of the RU feast kicks off – 🌹👍. NW corner last to give way. Failed to parse 18a and 6d was new to me in that context. 2d became Fav after slight delay in fathoming. Thank you Mr. Ron and BD.

  9. I agree it was a bit unexciting but it nicely misdirected me in 1a where I spent a long time trying to fit in the only Georgian city that came to mind. I also had a few moments pondering why my answer to the port in 29a could work. Many thanks to the setter and to BD, whose help I needed to understand my answer to 18a.

  10. I found this to be a straightforward puzzle which didn’t take me long to complete.

    Thanks to BD and setter */***

  11. ½*/2½*. This was pleasantly enjoyable in spite of being R&W apart from 21d which was my last one in and favourite. This needed a pause for thought due to its beautifully disguised definition and the initially apparent impossibility of the second word from the checkers.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron & BD.

  12. Mostly a gentle run solved clockwise from the NE corner. As RD 21d looked impossible for the checkers so dailied trying to see what was wrong. Silly really.
    Didn’t particularly like 3d. Nothing outstanding for me.
    Thanks to setter & BD for the explations.

  13. No complaints here – bright and breezy with a few smiles along the way.
    Top three for me were 2,5&9d with 1d getting a mention for a slightly different take on crosswordland’s favourite baddie.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and top marks to BD for ‘carrying on regardless’ despite yesterday’s totally unwarranted diatribe from one of our erstwhile contributors.

  14. Lovely puzzle, just right accompaniment to my Saturday breakfast, would give it a **/****. Good clues, and difficult to pick a favorite, but probably 5d. Have to find something else to tackle over lunch. Been pleasantly cool here in South Florida the last few days, unexpected for mid March. Loving it, but suspect Merusa doesn’t as she revels in the heat and humidity 😊

    1. You are so right! I’m celebrating being able to get in the pool once again now that it’s warming up.

  15. I fairly galloped through this until I got to the NW corner, and now that I have completed it, I have no idea why. First of all, I got hung up on another Georgia, dim. Once I tumbled to 1d, it all fell into place.
    Fave was 5d, but lots of other fun clues.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for his review.

  16. Unless I am missing something surely 7 down is FOR plants rather than plants themselves.

    1. BD is just helping you by explaining what the climbers are in case any solvers were thinking of other sorts of climbers

  17. A R&W mosly. Possibly the easiest of the year t date. */**. Thanks to the setter and BD. The snow has been replaced by rain but sun is promised for tomorrow.

    1. But what about saying something nice about at least one of the other clues of which there were twenty-nine.

    2. Please calm down.

      Many others ( justly) praise what’s successful, so my comments would be superfluous, wouldn’t they?

      Respectfully submit that anyone can submit paens, that’ s easy, isn’t it? (“I solved in 2 mins 53, so simple”).

      This puzzle, has NPNS (No’Pop No Style) IMHO

      Suggest that sycophancy doesn’t help compilers create better puzzles, but Constructive criticism does. X

      1. That would be true if it wasn’t for the fact that you only use this site for complaints. Your future comments will be carefully monitored.

    3. I wouldn’t say your original comment was particularly constructive, but then again I don’t compile crosswords.
      Not everyone can spell paeans even if they can submit them perhaps

      1. P.S. Do you believe the 2 min, 53 secs? Sounds as truthful as some others I can name!

        1. cd isn’t saying that he/she solved the puzzle in that time, just giving it as an example of ‘paens [sic]’.

          The fault with that example is, however, that (a) we don’t quote solving times here and (b) even I can’t solve a crossword that quickly!

    4. I really do not know what to say here and sometimes it is better to say nothing. I can ask myself the three questions of what I want to say which my parents taught me and which I taught my children and will eventually passed on to my grandchildren. About what you want to say

      1. Is it true?

      2. Is it kind?

      3. Is it necessary?

      If the answer to any one of the above is no then do not say it.

      So I will not respond to the above. You can work out which of the rules my reply would contravene.

  18. Glad everyone found this easy, I couldn’t do it. Many of the clues made little sense to me.
    Hardest since Giovanni a couple of weeks back.
    Tomorrow will be much easier for me.
    Thanks to BD and Mr.Ron

    1. Hoofs,
      Not a good day then.
      Could have done with Millwall sticking a few past Bury to help Oldham’s survival chances.
      Bit parky for golf too!

    2. Thank goodness I’m not the only one! Not quite finished yet but I’m still a newby and sometimes the penny doesn’t drop till about Wednesday 😎 very much enjoying it though and I love the fact that every day I learn something new! Thank you to the setter, BD and all of you

  19. I found nicely straightforward , but still amusing.
    10a was my last one in , proving that I certainly am not.
    Thanks to the setter and BD.
    I didn’t actually watch the rugby , but from the headlines I see Johnny Sexton played a role , but hasn’t he retired , several times ?

  20. A pleasant doddle (and as such balm to a disappointed England supporter), something like 1*/3.5*. I was tempted by 3d as favourite, in recognition of the pleasure afforded by one particular book for as long as I can remember, but in the end I decided to plump for 10a. Thanks to the setter, and to Big Dave for the hints.

  21. Someone please help with 10a – the only one I’m short of, and hardly mentioned above., except for the last comment from Salty Dog, whose favourite it was.

    1. 10a Most shrewd about large mountain (9)
      Abbreviations for ‘about’ and ‘large’ followed by a well-known mountain.

      1. Molto ta, Gazza – how on earth did I miss this ? Just didn’t associate “shrewd” with the bit of the answer that matters !

    2. Dont want to incur the wrath of BD by contravening the etiquette. but I think would underline the first 2 words of the clue as they are the direct hint to the answer. I would check the usual suspects page for what “about”and “large” can be abbreviated to in crosswordland and finally dont just think about ***************.

      If that doesn’t get you there you will have to wait for cryptic sues debrief after the comp has finished.

      Gazza beat me to the post button

      1. It is Gnomethang doing the debrief this week – once I’ve posted the MPP Review later today, I get a ‘week off’ from blogging duties

      2. Molto ta, John Bee – how on earth did I miss this ? Just didn’t associate “shrewd” with the bit of the answer that matters !

      3. Yes you did breach the guidelines – beware any phrase that starts “think about”.

        If you actually meant that the definition is the last two words then one of those would be doing double duty – which is not allowed.

        By the way direct abbreviations are not given in the Usual Suspects (see the introduction) – try the BRB instead.

  22. Did the job Saturday morning before sitting down with my mate (boy as in 3D) to enjoy the rugby -well, England match- say no more…..
    27a was good one, a bit like grannies slipper last week, however 3D was stretching it a bit. 21a stretched me as above noted, thinking -no such word- until it dawned….
    Likeable though & thx to BD and setter.

  23. About average for a Saturday Prize, which are obviously always designed (these days) to be very mild so – presumably for marketing reasons. Which is fair enough – nowt to do with me, is it. Quite enjoyable, though. 1.5*/2.5*.

  24. Good fun puzzle..and well done the Lions. Conspiracy theories abound down here in this part of the world today

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