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DT 28384 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28384 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club
Hosted by Tilsit

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Morning all, BD is off being lead negotiator at the Hanley in Swan Brexit negotiations, so I have stepped into the breach to keep an eye on today’s goings-on.

I rather suspect we have a visit today from the Mysteron with a puzzle that I really enjoyed (2.5* &4*).  I suspect some of the traditionalists may find it not to their liking, but it’s rather amusing with a few topical references and neologisms scattered around.  There are also a fair few anagrams around, and I have ignored most of the longer clues that feature anagrams.  There’s also one rather poignant topical clue at 1 across which should become apparent. 

Thank you to our Mysterious Setter for a very pleasant solve that was not too taxing.

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.  Even the Quickie Pun today is somewhat topical!

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.

Some hints follow.


1a  Detective novel as modern oeuvre (9,5)
We start with a rather poignant clue.  You are looking for the name of a fictional detective whose creator was in the news earlier this week.  His full name as revealed in the book and episode of Death Is Now My Neighbour is an anagram of AS MODERN OEUVRE.

10a Trait — unusual trait shown by Scottish isle (9)
This is a word meaning a trait or quality.  Unusual indicated you should rejig the letters of trait and add the name of an island in Scotland.

13a Football team, colourless, switching pair at the back (6)
The name for a football team, a suffix used by three English and one Scottish, plus a Scottish team that uses it as a first name, is revealed by taking a word that means colourless (think humans and rabbits especially) and switching the last two letters around.  Quick quiz –  can you name the five clubs?  Answers below!

18a Bachelor engaged in playing golf endlessly, working intermittently (2,3,5)
If you are like Gnomethang  and are enjoying a good walk spoilt on a seaside course, you are here.  Remove the last letter and insert B (bachelor) and you get a phrase that means something working intermittently, like an old TV set, or Gnomethang!

20a Emperor Haile Selassie’s follower mostly rejected (4)
A word for an emperor or ruler is found by taking the name for a follower of Haile Selassie (the short form) and losing the last letter.  Reverse that lot and you’ll see a foreign ruler.

22a & 23a Former sprinter tailed after body found in Cambridge college (6,7)
Stretching across two entries, the name of a famous college at Cambridge is found by taking the Latin name for a body and adding the surname of a British gold medal sprinter, minus the last letter of his name.

28a Treat pensioner for moving picture (14)
The word for a type of image or picture is found by rearranging (for moving) TREAT PENSIONER.


2d  Famous denial to Father Crilly (5)
A word meaning famous is revealed by saying what you would say if you were denying  something to the TV priest Father Crilly, a famous TV comedy priest.  Which gives me a chance to play this….

4d  Variety show provides remarkable value tempting one to come in (10)
An anagram (REMARKABLE)  of VALUE with inside the name of a famous person from the Bible who regularly commits the sin of temptation.  This will lead you to the name fr a type of variety show, or the business itself.

5d Taxi service one needs right after underground fails to start (4)
Another topical one.  The name of a controversial 21st century taxi company that is in the news is found by taking the name for the London Underground, losing the first letter and adding R (right).

9d  What usherette must do because of love without response (5,1,5,3)
A euphemism for having an unrequited crush on someone is also what a cinema or theatre usherette should do while the show is on.

16d  Farmer’s second yield from croft — reap freely (5-4)
The name for the second harvest on a farm is an anagram (freely) of CROFT and REAP.

24d Surreptitious activity reported in Irish county town (5)
The name of an Irish county town is a homophone of what you might say if someone took a crafty attempt at something behind your back.

25d  Wilder element that’s inherited (4)
We finish (and it was my Last One In today) with a double definition.  The first name of a famous movies star named Wilder is also a scientific term for something you inherit from your parents.

That should be enough to get you up and running.  Remember the Club rules.  I’ll be around throughout the day to make sure you play nicely.  The Crossword Club is now open.

Answer to Quiz:  West Brom, Brighton & Hove, Burton, Stirling and the eponymous Rovers from Scotland.

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The Quick Crossword pun: misses+browns+buoys=Mrs. Brown’s Boys

70 comments on “DT 28384 (Hints)

  1. 1*/3*. I found this virtually R&W until I shuddered to a halt with only three answers missing: 13a, 20a & 24d. I needed a bit of help from Wikipedia with the latter two as neither Haile Selassie nor Irish towns are my specialist subjects.

    13a spoiled an otherwise enjoyable puzzle as I think the definition is very unfair. I’d like to say more but I haven’t got time to be sent to the naughty corner today.

    Apart from that there was much to like with lots of smooth surfaces and some inventive anagrams. I have ticks by all four long clues at the edges as well as 22/23a & 5d.

    My favourite long clue (and I am sure it will be Kath’s too) is 1a and my favourite short clue is 5d.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Tilsit.

  2. The sun is shining, the puzzle’s on the back page of the paper and 1a went in straight away so all’s well with the world. I was grateful for today’s hints, Tilsit, because I was going round in circles with 18a and it’s amusing to learn that Mark Twain and Gnomethang are kindred spirits…

    1. Going round in circles is what golfers do too, Aljanon. They start from the clubhouse, go round in a big circle and return to the clubhouse.

  3. I thought that this was a good Saturday prize puzzle, with a little bit of head scratching and no requirement for electronic assistance except to identify Father Crilly, which I finished comfortably before lights out last night – */***.

    Last one in, with a big groan, was 13a.

    I am sure that, for obvious reasons, Kath will like 1a, but my favourite is a toss-up between 2d and 24d, and I think that 24d gets the nod.

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

    1. I have spent the last ten to fifteen minutes trying to decide if this comment is 19d or not.

  4. Having read the early comments and pre-solved some of the crossword, 13a: Although the surface isn’t perfect, I think this is generally an excellent clue – original and innovative, and therefore probably unpopular with the purists/pedants.

    1. Exactly, and a perfect diplomatic prophylactic preventing the pedants from revolting.

      1. No, the word “pre” is not a tautology. Please explain why you think it is, and then I will describe why you are wrong.

  5. Didn’t really play fair with the setter today – tried to rush through this one despite the little voice that was telling me to get on with some gardening whilst the good weather lasts.
    Kath will doubtless shed the odd tear and go for 1a as favourite – my own top three were 6,9&24d.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and also to Tilsit for manning the fort – the 2d clip reminded me of why I never bothered to watch that series!

  6. A very pleasant accompaniment to a very late breakfast.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the Saturday service and for the 2d clip. :)

  7. Super puzzle. Enjoyed every minute. Many thanks to Mysteron and to Tilsit for excellent hints

  8. I found this a bit of an ********* (FROM 1AC) for a Saturday crossword but got there in the end. Learned some stuff in the process and enjoyed it.


  9. An enjoyable puzzle. Spent a long time looking at 27a a certain way, before realising it needed to be looked at slightly differently. Have a good weekend all.

  10. Three days in succession of great puzzles. This one probably brought the most laugh out load moments

    So much to like (e.g. 13a, 18a 25d,) but favourite was 20a.

    1.5*/4* for me last night, under a clear, warm starry night with a glass of vino.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron for such entertainment and to Tilsit.

  11. Very enjoyable and a nice break from the NTSPP for which I have exactly two answers. 1A, 20A and 6D get my vote. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

    1. Hear hear… And glad to See some Britishisms that will completely Fox my American pals.

      5* enjoyment even if we did stay up to watch Aussie GP qualies.
      Thanks to the voices of the Mysterons and the lad from Widdop.

      Mrs & Mr T

  12. Very good with some excellent anagrams – I didn’t see anything wrong with 13a and can’t understand what RB’s got against it. I’m happy to say I got Tilsit’s little quiz, even the Scottish clubs.

    Saints v Tigers this afternoon is the only sporting highlight this weekend – I hate these International breaks – watching England at Football drives me nuts , so I gave up watching them years ago!

    1. Michael,
      Could be that RB is a fan & doesn’t think the team is colourless I guess.

    2. Michael, my issue with 13a is that the definition is “football team”. As Tilsit has pointed out in his “quiz”, the answer is part of the name of several football teams, but it is not a football team. That is a great shame as it is an otherwise excellent clue. You might just as well say that Wednesday or Alexandra is a football team.

      1. But Wednesday and 13a are very common and well-known shortened versions of the said football teams and therefore OK for a cryptic clue. Plenty of these standard cryptic clues do not have an exactly precise definition and as BD once said (something like): Cryptic clues are mere word puzzles and not pieces of perfect literature. I’m sure you’ll disagree…

  13. Enjoyable and not too tricky until I got to the last three answers – 18a and 4 and 9d – which took ages.
    Quick quiz? You must be joking – it was much as I could do to get the answer.
    If I felt like being picky, which I don’t, I’d have a grumble about 6d – there’s a difference between spots and a rash.
    I liked 18 and 22/23a and 9 and 24d. I’m sure I don’t need to tell anyone that my favourite was 1a – most of you seem to have guessed already.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to Tilsit for standing in for BD.
    NTSPP will have to wait – beautiful sun here so off to the garden.

    1. It’s one of my favourite all-time shows, and I watched the episode mentioned above the other night. It featured Roger Allam as one of the suspects and he went on to be Insp Thursday in the second spin-off show.

      There is a drama on Radio 4 starting in a moment which features Neil Pearson as the detective. Will catch it on iPlayer later just to see.


      1. Roger Allam is so talented. He was the narrator for Archer’s first of the Clifton Chronicles and he was soooo good, incredible.

        1. I heard him recently on Radio 4 Extra as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables – a very good version.

  14. Lovely solve with a nice mixture of the straightforward and not-quite-so.
    My COTD was 27a with 13a R/U.
    No doubt about Kath’s choice – unless she is in a ” don’t want to be predictable” mood. She wasn’t but she can type quicker than me.
    Thanks to setter & Tilsit for the explanations and illustrations.

    My router packed in on Wednesday so couldn’t comment on Brian’s Thursday post which is hands down winner of the Post of The Week (probably month) award. Like a certain credit card “priceless”

  15. Nothing to really scare the fish from the swim, but I really did like 13a – most original. Other chuckle inducing clues were 20a & 24d. A good fun puzzle, thanks to the setter and Tilsit. Enjoy the sun y’all.

    1. I’m not sure if the reason for the word rare in 12α. And I’m still not convinced I have 3D correct. There seems to be two words that would fit.

      1. Welcome to the blog Dom!

        Rare is essential to the clue as it provides two of the letters. The solution blog next week will explain everything.

        1. Thank you I understand now. I had worked it a a different ( wrong) way. Still struggling with 3 d I think I have the answer but I don’t know why. Thanks again. Dom.

          1. 3d Character introducing number of additives allowed by law in extract (6)

            Often there are many words that fit the checking letters (there are three in Chambers and four in both Collins and the ODE).

            The correct answer is built from the character introducing [a] number of additives (1) and an adjective meaning allowed by law (5).

            1. I’m with Dom on this! Hey ho, have filled in all the squares and the sun is shining: what’s not to like! Thank you setter and Tilsit, great fun and finally crawled in with 3D. Off to check lunch in the 15a now ;)

        2. Tilsit
          Just noticed the title seems to have the incorrect puzzle number: DT 28394 (sic).

  16. Enjoyed this but failed with a couple. I thought 22/23a was a sprinter, then I read the hint and immediately got it. I’m so cross with myself. I never did get 13a, I’ll look up football clubs in a minute.
    I got 1a immediately and that helped a lot, it’s also my fave. I liked quite a few others, 18a and 9d in particular.
    Thanks to setter and to Tilsit for his hints.

    1. I’ve just revisited Tilsit’s hint for 13a and think I’ve got the answer. I won’t bother to search if it’s a football club, not really interested!

      1. It is quite an interesting word and worth a little research IMHO (…so much more than a football club).

        Mrs T

        1. So right! I’ve just had a session with Wikipedia, I knew that it was an old word for GB but I had no idea how rich the history is. Thanks for that suggestion.

    2. What is the Sprinter connection? Got the answer (my first in!) but cannot co pletely parse the clue….

      1. your second word should be almost all of the surname of a sprinter (tailed indicating the removal of the final letter)

  17. A gradely puzzle solved in a Starbucks in Ny over a ‘Vento’ or two. **/****. I don’t think I have ever tackled a crossword before by solving all the long peripherals first which made it kind of fun. Learned a thing to two as well from the parseable answers. Thanks Tilsit and Mysterion.

  18. I found this more challenging than usual, but managed most of it without electronic help. Had the wrong “team” for 13a which I knew wasn’t right but couldn’t sort it out until I’d had a coffee break. Still puzzling over the parsing of one or two but hopefully the penny will drop soon! Thanks Tilsit ( ps the headline has the wrong crossword number) and today’s setter

  19. **/****. Late on parade today after a very lazy morning. Enjoyable if not overly demanding puzzle. Thanks to Tilsit for the review and the setter for an enjoyable (late) start to my day.

  20. We found this trickier than some of you but enjoyed it nonetheless on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Thanks to all. ***/****

  21. Yes, I too found this a bit trickier than some people but I did finally complete it. Using the wrong Scottish island didn’t help much either! 13a was my favourite and overall 2/3.5*.
    Thanks to the Saturday setter for an enjoyable challenge, and also to Tilsit for the hints.

  22. So near and yet so far, I was almost there but defeated so far by 8d…favorite was 9d until I filled in 6d and then that became COTD. I first thought this was some Dawson person of modern times that I would not have heard of, but thankfully it was someone from long ago. Same with 13a clue. The only football teams I recall are those I heard my Dad repeating when he listened the football pools results each week. Boy did we kids have to be quiet then! This puzzle definitely made me work hard, but then the weekends do that when there is no easy click to press.

    1. Ha ha, football pools! That brings back memories, same, only teams I recall were from them good ‘old days with dad checking his pools

  23. Thoroughly enjoyable, a little tricky but not to the point where I got stuck. Except where I typed the wrong letters in the wrong squares. Perhaps **/***? Nice tribute at 1ac.

  24. I’ll try again as my previous Comment seems to have got lost in the post. Terrific solve with great combination of GK, witticism and the inevitable anagrams. Not sure about ‘rejected’ in 20a and I bunged in 25d who now rings a bell. In spite of Kath’s professional quibble 6d was Fav for me. Thank you Mysteron and Tilsit for your fun after the event.

  25. Beaten by this today, much harder than yeterday. I could not do the NE corner at all
    6d – No idea who ‘dawson’ is
    7d – Did not know the ‘digs’ bit
    8d – presumably an anagram, but could not solve it
    11a- No idea
    13a – The only one with a hint and I have absolutely no idea what it is driving at!!
    Shame because I did the rest of it in double-quick time
    There is always tomorrow, thanks for the hints, and Mr Ron.

    1. Hoofs if you look at Tilsit’s quiz & the answers it should point you in the general direction.

      1. Thanks LROK, and got the football 13a thanks to the hint.
        I was in the middle for a cup semi-final yesterday, so was a bit knackered!!

    2. You’ve picked some of the best clues. PC so can’t go into details, but if you look again the penny will drop. Especially 3d, very funny.
      Kath – a rash is spots, isn’t it?

  26. It must be a wavelength thing again. Unlike HIYD, I was right “on” for this one, and can only score it 1*/3.5*. Although tempted by 1a – I loved the character, and the car (although I think my 1964 Daimler 2.5 litre V8 was even nicer) – I plump for 18a as favourite. Thanks to the Mysteron, and to Tilsit.

  27. Certainly different. 11a last one in. Thought I was not going to finish without help but I did. Very topical eg 1a and 5d. Looking at the comments there were lots of different opinions as to how hard or not it was and different sticking points. You did need to know a few names to assist with solving. Thanks setter Tilsit and all. I do not think there has been a response yet from Brian. I would be interested in his views after his corker earlier in the week.

  28. Apologies for the late post but this was a late solve for us. Not taxing but very enjoyable – 1.5*/3.5*.

    Favourite was the usherette clue.

    I’m a golfer; played today; was rubbish. End of.

    Thanks to Tilsit and the mystery setter.

  29. Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, the best Saturday puzzle for ages. I don’t know why but I really struggled with 17a&14d. I did enjoy 13a, but I take RD’s point. My favourite was 22&23a. Was 3*/4* for me.

  30. Nicely completed before lunch on Saturday-luckily not needing the hints, but fine weather forced me outside to tidy up plus other garden jobs…
    Liked the anagrams, particularly 1a. Liked 4d, – interesting interpretation of ‘ tempting one’ – well done Mr Ron!
    Sorry I didn’t need Mr Tilsit but glad there is someone taking over the onerous responsibility! Glad it’s not me!!

  31. I found this to be significantly better than the usual Saturday offering. Averagely challenging and quite enjoyable. 2.5*/3*.

  32. Some very good clues, I thought, including 5D, 8D and 9D.
    Perhaps a little heavier on general knowledge than usual (also the quickie pun), but nonetheless enjoyable for that.

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