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DT 28390 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28390 (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.


7a    PTO to see it (8)
Please Turn Over (PTO) to see this

10a    A hat the French female brought back in fleecy wool (6)
The A from the clue, a brimless hat and the feminine French definite article all reversed (brought back)

12a    In every rota going round, insert colonel as coffee-maker (10)
A three-letter word meaning “in every” and the reversal (going round) of ROTA around the abbreviation for COL(onel)

15a    Enforce order with redistribution of wealth — took a nap first (3,4,3,3)
An anagram (redistribution) of WEALTH preceded by (first) a phrase meaning took a nap

18a    Warn of collapse, no longer frozen? (4,6)
A verb meaning to collapse followed by a phrase meaning no longer frozen (3,3)

20a    Head’s put by cash for cake (8)
An informal three-letter word for the head preceded by an informal word for cash

23a    Welcome break from porridge? (6)
This welcome break could be a period of time away – perhaps an illegal break from prison

24a    Gatecrasher called and stormed (8)
A three-letter device used to crash a gate and a verb meaning called


1d    Spin without beginning to unravel (6)
Start with a verb meaning to spin and drop its initial letter to get a verb that, according to one of the definitions in Chambers, means to unravel

3d    Two kinds of fuel sent up to cover the Queen’s women’s quarters (8)
These women’s quarters in a harem are a write-in for those who have seen it before – two three-letter fuels are reversed around the Queen’s regnal cipher

4d    Speed of progress through life (6)
Two definitions – a verb meaning to speed and one’s progress through life

5d    Note this accommodation could be for two families (6,4)
This type of musical note could be seen as accommodation for two families

8d    Elector all at sea? (8,5)
A cryptic definition of the type of voter who often decides the result of an election

13d    ‘Bout of weeping got pram fixed’ — could be a coded message? (10)
A three-letter bout of weeping followed by an anagram (fixed) of GOT PRAM

15d    Cromarty’s partner wearing flimsy fabric, being game (8)
Not Cromarty but the other part of the name of this former county of northern Scotland inside some flimsy fabric

22d    Man‘s post redirected (4)
There is a fine line between indirect anagrams and indirect reversals; the latter is regarded as “fair” but you can make up your own mind – this man’s name is a reversal of a word meaning post or letters

The Crossword Club is now open.

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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: pill+grim+edge=pilgrimage

66 comments on “DT 28390 (Hints)

  1. For once did this on the right day. No problems or complaints. Favourites 10a and 15 and 19d. Last to fall was NW corner apart from 7a which was early in. Helped once I had 10a. Last in 3d which I could not recall but was easily worked out once I had the checking letters. Will be interested to see what Brian makes of this one. Look forward to looking at further comments. Thanks setter and BD for hints which I shall read now.

  2. Another puzzle that was not too exciting. One long oldie but goodie, but several clues that I thought were somewhat contrived. As it is a prize puzzle, I will not comment further.

    Favourite 15d – quite clever compared to most of the other clues.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  3. I enjoyed that – not difficult but good fun.
    I agree about 3d being a write-in having seen it before – I think the same could be said of 8d.
    Not many anagrams.
    I did spend a bit of time trying to think of a printing term for 7a which was silly.
    Does anyone use 12a’s any more?
    I liked 10 and 24a and my favourite was 23a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

    Lots of building going on in the fields round us – yesterday they managed to go through the gas main so no gas until Monday at the earliest – oh dear – oh well, at least it’s not cold.

    Does anyone who gets the paper think that the story on Page 3 has anything to do with the date or do I have suspicious mind?

    1. Yes Kath it is – story on Page 3. The bear’s nickname is Lirpa Loof – a giveaway to a crossword solver who likes anagrams!

      1. Ah – I didn’t read as far as the bear’s name – when I got to the bit about them walking the streets of Glasgow in years to come I started to smell a rat.

        1. Nothing will ever beat the spagetti trees of 1st April 1957. As a girl I was completely taken in for two reasons – Richard Dimbleby and Panorama had gravitas and at that time the only spagetti I had seen was in a tin.

    2. Come to think of it you must be right, Kath, about the Fool story – didn’t occur to me but it really is a bit far-fetched and I didn’t even rumble the anagram as mentioned by Weekend Wanda. How thick can one get?! 😄

      1. Reading the DT this a.m. (and indeed overlooking the Polar Bear hoax) I was at the same time half listening to the BBC Today programme and was amused to be reminded of an April 1st Panorama programme many years ago. Richard Dimbleby’s authoritative presentation apparently succeeded in persuading many listeners of the authenticity of the story about spaghetti growing on trees in a village on the Italian/French border! 🍝 😄

    3. Kath – if the Page 3 story is about polar bears in Scotland or increasing the value of your house by spending £40 (two stories in the on-line version) then I would be very suspicious.

    4. I use my 12a when I have a crowd round.

      Hope that doesn’t get me on the naughty step.

  4. A great way to end an entertaining cruciverbal week. This was farly plain sailing but with just enough bite to retain interest. SW corner was last to yield. Not sure about first word in 15a. Fav was 5d. Thank you Mysteron and BD.

  5. Yes, 3d’s been around the block a few times but it still amuses me. Like the previous contributors, I didn’t experience any problems either and I’m now about to start on the GK puzzle but will have to stop to give my undivided attention to the Merseyside Derby which kicks off at 12.30…

  6. Finished but thought it one of the worst clued crosswords for some time. Very little fun, very much a ‘well I’ve started the damn thing, I’m going to jolly well finish it’ type of puzzle.
    For me ***/*
    Thx for the hints.

    1. Your final statement, Brian, is basically what I felt yesterday. I thought this was ok today. By the way, just in case anybody is interested, yesterday’s Guardian appears to have a Bob Dylan theme!

  7. 12 across is possibly the worst clue I have ever read. Other than that there was not much to hold up a Saturday morning. Coventry v Rosslyn Park this afternoon.

  8. Fairly simple but enjoyable solve. Managed to recall 3d from previous outings and was grateful for having listened to shipping forecasts in the past when it came to 15d.
    The oldie but goodie at 8d made me smile and the laurels went to 24a.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD.

    PS Just spotted who the setter is for the MPP – that could be the weekend taken care of!

    1. I think you’re right about the MPP, Jane. I’ve started it and it’s clearly going to be an iterative solve – try to do a few, go away, do something else, then come back and try to do a few more, etc…

      1. It is friendlier than most Radlers- I have mentioned it once before on the blog but can’t say exactly when as it might give away how long it took me – all done in one go without access to reference books or the interweb!

        1. I agree, CS. Once I’d eventually got onto the right wavelength it all came together nicely with a good few laughs along the way.

  9. I have to say that I didn’t find this quite as easy as others here, but enjoyed it .

    Last in was 7a and I expect you heard the penny dropping all over the country.

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave.

  10. 1*/2* for an unchallenging and unexciting solve. I’m in the bit dubious camp regarding 22d, but the answer is pretty obvious from the checking letters. I agree with MP about 12a, and with Senf about 15d being the stand-out clue.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

  11. ********* of which nearly half was spent on 1 down (which is a bit iffy IMO) and 10 across. Favourite was 23a or 18a

      1. Thanks .. I’ve used you for occasional answers for a while. Much appreciation to all concerned.

  12. Feeling much better today after yesterday’s difficulties with the S W corner. I just loved the page 3 story, especially the Haggis kebabs! Thank you for a good puzzle which needed no help.

  13. I enjoyed today’s offering. It was fun, with some nice synonyms and constructs. My only frown came from Man’s post redirected; it’s a clue that reads well, but reversed synonyms? Hmmm. ****Enjoyment and **Difficulty from me. Happy weekend, all!

  14. I normally subscribe to the view that if you have nothing good or positive to say about something, it is best to stay silent. Suffice to say the highlight today was the polar bear.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter and BD.

  15. Gentle and pleasant enough. It’s not my favourite (though I can’t decide which one is), but I think it might be going just a little far to dub 12a the worst clue ever.

    With thanks as ever to BD and to the setter too.

    P.S. With apologies to non-UK readers, I thought I’d draw your attention to the vintage episode of Call My Bluff currently on iPlayer (Link). I used to love it in those days, back when Alan Coren and Sandi Toksvig headed the teams.

    1. My immediate thought on seeing ‘vintage Call My Bluff’ was Robert Morley and Frank Muir with Robert Robinson in the chair.

      1. Me too – loved Robert Morley et al. I recall Frank Muir and Dennis Norden in several excellent programmes. I am so disappointed I can’t access Kitty’s site.

    2. Robin Ray preceded Robert Robinson in the chair and then Arthur Marshall followed and in fact I believe the initial series ended when he died but then it started again in about 1996 with Bob Holness as chairman. I seem to remember Sheridan Morley (Robert’s son) taking part in some episodes but he sadly died young in 2007.

    3. I’m a slightly different vintage!

      My memory has been playing tricks on me though, as I’d thought that the Holness/Toksvig/Coren years were a bit earlier than they actually were.

    4. I have just checked the database for worst ever clues and 12 ac is number one with a bullet. It also takes second third and fourth place.

  16. I have got answers for the all clues, but am not 100% sure about 14a. Can anybody help me to find the correct reasoning behind the answer.

    1. For 14a you need a girl’s name (woman).
      A two letter abbreviation for each contains (being hugged by) the one letter abbreviation for Liberal and the Latin numeral for fifty.
      Hope that makes sense.

      1. Thanks, didn’t consider the abbreviation for each, not one that I usually use.

      2. Thanks Kath from me too, it was obvious, but I had to guess at the shortening of ‘each’…

    2. Concentrate on abbreviations for all four letters of the woman – hope I’m safe from censorship! (Have just read Kath’s hint and she has certainly beaten me to it and puts all the cards on the table but then again she is a recognised hinter!)

  17. We plodded through this with difficulty owing to a couple of wrong answers.
    When they were corrected, the whole thing became clearer.
    Good and enjoyable Saturday puzzle ***/****
    Thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

  18. This crossword didn’t really sparkle for me. Some clunky clues including 12a well to the fore. However all done and submitted. No real favourite. 2/2* overall.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD For the hints.

  19. Well I for one thought today’s cryptic was almost perfect. Got stumped at 22d until I read Big Dave’s hint. Yup, not a fan of this type of clue. 3d was a new word for me but got there by juggling the letters and then googling for confirmation. Favorite was 18a, nice clue.

  20. This felt more difficult than it really was – if that makes any sense.
    I was so proud of myself for remembering the other meaning for “porridge” and the elector at 8d.
    I liked 3d but fave was, of course, an animal at 10a.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for the hints.

  21. Found this a solid puzzle – OK, but not much sparkle. The answer to 23a was clear enough, but I did wonder about “break” appearing to be part of both definition and wordplay. I thought that was frowned upon? Thanks to the setter and to BD.

    1. I took the question mark as indicating that “from porridge” was a humorous example of the welcome break. Perhaps the phrase should have been preceded by an ellipsis.

      1. Thanks, BD. The ellipsis is a good idea – the clue certainly would have worked better for me configured like that.

    2. I am confused, the word break only appears once in the clue??
      Maybe the paper clue is different??

      1. I think they are saying that the clue might read better with ellipses in the middle of it

      2. Hi, hoofit. “Break” only appears once in the clue. The definition is “welcome break”. My question came about because I was seeing the wordplay as being the cryptic “break from porridge”, which would mean that “break” was being part of both the definition and the wordplay.

        1. Thanks both, yes,I see what you mean, I had to convince myself that I had the right answer, it was a bit confusing,

  22. Struggled in the SE corner, mainly due to loss of a bit of interest…
    Thanks all, no particular favourite today…

  23. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. Quite straightforward, but somehow uninspiring. Needed the hints for 22d & 23a. Was 2*/2* for me.

  24. I made a bit of a hash of the SE corner, mostly because my first guess at 5d was wrong and I took too long to recover. That said the rest was straightforward enough, as was that corner when I saw sense. :-)

  25. I enjoyed that but I didn’t find it quite as easy as some of you.
    I’m giving 15a my top vote and 8d as a close runner up.
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  26. Please could anyone help with 2d , in Sat. prize crossword , 28,390 ,I have 2 possible answers but…

    1. Welcome to the blog.

      If I tell you that the definition in 2d in ‘song’, does that help you sort out which of your possible answers is the correct one?

      BD will move you to the right page in a bit but just to let you know that it is always best to comment on the ‘right’ puzzle – ie your comment today should have been posted on the DT 28390 (Hints) page

  27. Enjoyable and about the right level of difficulty for me.
    Liked 23A and (Miffypops comment 7 above notwithstanding !) found the surface reading to 12A amusing.
    Wonder whether the clue in 6D could have included a question mark.

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