DT 28414 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28414 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club
Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +


Morning all!  BD and Mrs BD are among the jams and fruitcakes at the local village fete today, so I’m here with your hints.

Another fine puzzle for a Saturday with a couple of little head scratchers to sort out.  I’m guessing it’s Cephas today.  The puzzle doesn’t have too many anagrams which is a plus for me.  There is a typo in 18 down, in both newspaper and online versions,  with an L missing from one of the words in the clue. (now corrected on line!)  However, it’s obvious what the word should be and it doesn’t affect anything in the puzzle.

If you are still at a loose end, you can have a crack at my very own General Knowledge Jumbo puzzle which is featured today at the Independent website. See if you can work out the connection between the three specific answers. It’s one of my more devious links!

It’s here!    


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             Southern headland with river cutting through tight spot (6)
We start with a word for a tight spot, as often encountered by Batman and Robin on TV in the 60’s,  Take something that refers to Southern and the name for a geographical headland as found at the tip of Africa or South America.  Insert an abbreviation for river and you have your word.

4a             Factory in which one must be seen as flexible (6)
Something that is flexible is said to be this.  Inside a word that means a factory or manufacturing base is the Roman numeral for one.            

10a          Relative managed to find accommodation in grand US city (6)
The name for one of your relatives is revealed by taking a word that means managed and putting it inside  (find accommodation) the abbreviations for grand and a famous American city.

13a          Attend a sanctuary and go into withdrawal (4,1,7)
Think of the first word here as an order.  If you were told to attend a place that was a sanctuary or religious gathering you would be told you needed to ___ (2,2) such a place.  Merge the first two words and you get an expression that in military circles means to withdraw. 

16a          Glassy-eyed, quite a sight in bed (12)
The definition here is cryptic.  A word for something that is something to behold goes inside to bed and it gives you a description of someone including myself.  No,not THAT I know a good lawyer!

20a          Rich source listed (4-6)
A phrase meaning rich is found by taking something that means a source of something – think water or other liquids, and adding a word meaning listed

22a          Ate sandwiches a good person went without (6)
This held me up more than it probably should have done.  I could see the bits but made a mess of assembling the answer.  Something that means ate needs to have A and an abbreviation for someone who is regarded as being good.

25a          Seek measures with rights enshrined (6)
A word meaning to seek is found by taking the plural word for a measurement and inserting the standard single-letter abbreviation for right twice (rights).


1d            Break in journey provost arranged when going round Orient? (8)
The name for a break in a long journey is found by unscrambling (arranged) PROVOST around the abbreviation for the Orient.

2d            Pass on Marmite mother’s left for spreading (5)
This is a slightly more complicated clue.  If you remove the abbreviation for mother from the name of the cooking pot (or vile spread) and then rearrange the remainder (spreading), you get something that means to pass on.

7d            Resident football team missing one six-footer (6)
Probably my favourite clue today.  If you take a football team and remove one player you are left with this number (think Manchester United on Thursday evening) and then add the name of a creature often described in crossword land as a six footer (as it literally has them!)

8d            Where numbers can be found all day and all night (5,3,5)
Split the clue into two (almost!) and you have two separate definitions, the first of which is slightly cryptic.  The picture may help with this.

14d         Time to appear in strange tableau daughter carefully organised (9)
If you carefully origanised something into order, you may be said to have done this.  It’s an anagram (strange) of TABLEAU with the abbreviation for time inside, and the one for daughter afterwards.

15d         What those with largest families do last of all (8)
This is the same idea as 8 down.  Break the clue down into two parts. The second part is the main definition and the first is a cryptic way of saying what people with the biggest families do.

18d         Old tape repaired jumper at an earlier stage (7)

An anagram (repaired) of OLD TAPE will give the name for something that will turn into something noted for jumping!

21d         Minister making some civic arrangements (5)
A hidden answer that gves the name for a minister of the church.

The Crossword Club is now open.

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!

Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

The Quick Crossword pun: pan+err+seer=panacea



  1. Posted April 29, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Being pedantic, it was my sister and I that went to the Village Café & Market this morning, but more importantly this weekend is Hanley Swan Open Gardens. We are garden number 9, so come and see us if you are in the area.

    • jane
      Posted April 29, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Looked on the link but couldn’t see any pics of the individual gardens on show. Have you got any that you could put up for those of us who are unlikely to make it across to Hanley Swan?

      • Posted April 29, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        Not at the moment. Will try to add some later.

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I am struggling to rate this, but I’ll settle for 3*/3*. It took me a while to get onto the right wavelength and then it all fell into place quite nicely. Overall it was enjoyable but spoilt very slightly by a few things:

    – 12a With my pedant’s hat on, there is only one worker on each side. “Workers on both sides” is ambiguous.
    – 22a Unless Gazza can construct a sentence to show otherwise, the part of the answer clued by “ate” is not synonymous with ate. My BRB does in fact confirm that the former should be followed by “on”.
    – 3d Why doesn’t the clue say “to pollinate”? My BRB does say that pollen can be a verb, but I think it’s very unlikely that anyone other than our friends across the pond would use it as such!
    – 18d There is a typo in the paper again today! That’s two days running. Aren’t spellcheckers ever used?

    2d was my favourite and other ticks went to 13a, 16a, 20a and, my last one in, 15d.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Tilsit.

    • Angellov
      Posted April 29, 2017 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      As is often the case, I agree with RD’s “pedantic” comments except that surely it doesn’t matter whether it’s pollen or pollinate as it is merely the first letter that is required – or am I missing something?

      • Jose
        Posted April 29, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        A. With pollen, the surface is flawed grammatically – with pollinate, the surface makes proper sense.

        • Jose
          Posted April 29, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          Having said that, I’ve just checked in the SOED and pollen is listed as a transitive verb with exactly the same meaning as pollinate. So maybe the setter is right – I give up, I’m going home for me dinner!

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted April 29, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        Angellov, I agree that it doesn’t make a jot of difference to the wordplay. I simply don’t like the American trend to use nouns willy-nilly as verbs and “to pollen” seems to me to be hideous particularly as”to pollinate” parses equally well.

        In my opinion one of the worst (of many) examples of “verbing” is “to scissor” meaning to cut with scissors. Not forgetting “to verb” of course!

        • Posted April 29, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

          Dreadful neologisms are rife.

          I particularly dislike ‘to medal’ meaning to win a medal and the corresponding ‘to podium’.

          • Merusa
            Posted April 29, 2017 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

            Frankly, I can’t say I’ve ever heard or read “to scissor” or “to medal” meaning to cut or to award. Maybe I don’t get out enough!

        • Expat Chris
          Posted April 29, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

          There speaks someone whose country gave the world “to trouser.”

          • Rabbit Dave
            Posted April 29, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

            That’s definitely not part of my vocabulary! :negative:

        • crypticsue
          Posted April 29, 2017 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

          The 3d ‘neologism’ can be found in the 1949 Edition of Chambers Dictionary and the Lloyds Encyclopaedic Dictionary of 1895

          • Jose
            Posted May 2, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

            Yes! And it’s listed as a verb in my 1997 BRB and also in the SOED, so accusations of “neologism” and American “verbing” of nouns are unfounded.

            • Posted May 2, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

              In the SOED it says:

              verb trans. Pollinate; cover or sprinkle with pollen. poet. rare.

    • Aljanon
      Posted April 29, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Well said, Rabbit Dave, because I’m a self-confessed pedant! Our American cousins’ bastardising of our language is something which constantly annoys me and, in my eyes, they’re quite capable of turning any noun into a verb… However, I thought that it was a quite enjoyable puzzle and I particularly liked 7d.

      • BusyLizzie
        Posted April 29, 2017 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        And can I add the current trend on both sides of the pond, to add ity to words, such as physical becomes physicality, etc…

      • snape
        Posted April 30, 2017 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        I would disagree that this is solely an American trait – we have been doing it for centuries (Shakespeare was prolific at this sort of thing) and I would argue that it contributes significantly to the aspect of our language that allows us to have cryptic crosswords. Have you ever vacuumed (or Hoovered) the floor? Been burgled? The formation of verbs from nouns often saves time – at work I routinely column what I make, rather than purify it by column chromatography. It saves so many words, it quickly becomes part of the language.
        What is often assumed to be an Americanism is often a Britishism that has just fallen out of use here.

    • Gazza
      Posted April 29, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      The relevant verb in 22a can be intransitive so can be a replacement for ‘ate’ in a sentence such as ‘We ate at a local restaurant’.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted April 29, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink


        I take your point Gazza but the replacement word doesn’t feel right to me in that context and I wouldn’t ever consider using it in that way myself.

        • Jose
          Posted April 29, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

          How about: His tooth came loose as he ***/ate?

    • Mary
      Posted April 29, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Hi RD, with you on all your pedantic points :-)

    • Tstrummer
      Posted April 29, 2017 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

      My god, if they used spellcheckers (banned by all proper newspapers) all puzzles would be unsolvable

    • gnomethang
      Posted May 4, 2017 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

      Any noun can be verbed

  3. Jose
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    T. 18d: There’s also a typo in the clue above, a missing i – or is that the one you meant?

    • crypticsue
      Posted April 29, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      That is the one he meant – the blog template is prepared from the online version of the crossword.

      In order to prevent further comments in the same vein, I’ve corrected the clue in the hints so it now matches the current online version of the puzzle

  4. Draftol
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    This must have been easy, as it’s only the fifth time in four years that I have managed to complete a Saturday crossword without any hints or resorting to electronic help. I’ve never posted before but I just felt so chuffed I wanted to share.
    Thanks for an enjoyable puzzle.

    • crypticsue
      Posted April 29, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog – that’s brilliant and definitely deserves feeling chuffed

    • Kath
      Posted April 29, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Well done and welcome from me too. I didn’t find it that easy today.

    • Badger
      Posted April 29, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      Welcome Draftol, however, I don’t think you should feel guilty about using ‘electronic’ assistance!,
      I’m sure I’m not alone in solving this prize crossword in this way…!
      I use the hints normally to check, and occasionally resort to taking the advice offered. Sometimes I’m chuffed to get a tricky one and have a ‘Doh’ moment, e.g. today not seeing 8d until quite late on- don’t we all?

      Enjoyed today after a morning delivering Election leaflets for Council seats.
      Thanks to Tilsit & Mr Ron.

      • John Connor
        Posted April 30, 2017 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        Electronic assistance or even the consultation of a dictionary voids the effort in my opinion. I concede defeat when I consult the hints

        • Posted April 30, 2017 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

          Fortunately it is not my opinion nor that of many others. I hope no-one who reads your comment will feel intimidated. Crosswords are meant to be fun, certainly on this website.

          • bt22
            Posted May 11, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink

            I agree with you both, crosswords should be fun, but I too feel much more chuffed to finish one unaided. I see the use of aids as learning tools. The challenge I find is remembering what I’ve learnt 😚

    • florence
      Posted April 29, 2017 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      Congratulations Draftol

    • Mcmillibar
      Posted April 30, 2017 at 1:09 am | Permalink

      Hello Draftol. Fine effort. Congrats.

  5. Toadson
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Personally, I rate this puzzle highly because it made me laugh out loud four or five times. Nothing more to say really. Have a good weekend all.

  6. Angellov
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    It is always satisfying to complete when the initial impression had been somewhat daunting as was the case today but I enjoyed the ride. I nearly bunged in wrong word with different initial letter for 22a. Fav was 15a by a whisker from 20a. Quickie was also entertaining including the relationship between 1a/3a/5a, 23a and 10a. Thank you Mr. Ron and Tilsit.

  7. Mary
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for ‘help’ Tilsit though I did just manage to finish without, 15d being last in, no real likes or dislikes today but did think 17d didn’t make any sense in the reading and in 3d is there actually a verb ‘to pollen’ ????
    Changing subject Tilsit, did you ever publish your crossword where you asked us to provide clues a few months back???

    • Merusa
      Posted April 29, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      How’s Cai?

  8. Kath
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m with Toadson on this one – I really enjoyed it and found it a bit more difficult than some Saturdays.
    I didn’t notice the 18d typo – I never notice that kind of thing just as I miss Ninas, pangrams and themes – you name them, I miss them.
    I got hopelessly bogged down with my last four answers, two in each of the bottom corners, and they took me ages to sort out.
    The other thing that held me up was the first word of 13a.
    Lots of good clues so I’ll try to keep my list short(ish) – 10 and 16a and 15d. My favourite was 15d.
    Thanks to today’s setter and to Tilsit for standing in to do the hints – good luck to BD with his open garden.
    Talking of gardens, just for a change, if we don’t get some decent rain soon I’ll :cry:

  9. Young Salopian
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    2d my favourite in this far from simple Prize Puzzle. 15d and 25a were my final answers, and overall this was 3*/3* for me. This was one of those crosswords where five minutes away from staring at the final six clues worked wonders.

    Thanks to the Saturday Mr Ron and to Tilsit for his partial review.

    • crypticsue
      Posted April 29, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      As it is the day for pedantry, can I point out that Tilsit did the hints, I’m the one doing the review

  10. jane
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Took me a while to get into this one and it felt a rather unfamiliar style – I was surprised to see Tilsit’s comment about it probably having come from the pen of Cephas.
    Didn’t write in 12a until late in the solve as I kept thinking that there must be something I’d missed that would better suit the definition – apparently not!
    Last two to fall were the nautically themed duo in the SW corner.

    Podium places went to 13&16a plus 8&19d.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to Tilsit for the review. The 4a pic made my eyes water a little.

    • jane
      Posted April 29, 2017 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Meant to say – I’m sure we’ve come across 7d in a fairly recent puzzle. Anyone else remember it?

      • Senf
        Posted April 29, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        Jane – I agree on 7d. I also think that there are some more oldies but goodies, such as 8d, today.

        • Mr Kitty
          Posted April 29, 2017 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

          [data redacted] – oops

          7d has appeared a few times in the past year. 8d was last seen in 2012

          • jane
            Posted April 29, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

            Thanks, Mr.K. I wasn’t sure whether you’d be around at the weekend or indeed whether you’d surfaced from the race against time at work!

  11. Senf
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Completed at a gallop (almost R&W) without any safety nets of books of reference or electronic assistance as I was on an aircraft and all those good things were packed away.

    General concurrence on the structure of some of the clues.

    Standout favourite 16a, a big smile when I got that one.

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  12. Brian
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Very tough today, first pass yielded 1 answer! With a bit of electronic help I eventually completed it but I really don’t enjoy this type of crossword, time is too short to spend hours pouring over obscure clues for me. As always the one clue that I didn’t understand is not hinted, I have an answer for 11a but cannot see the connection to either part of the dreaded two part, no clue clue. Best clue for me was 7d.
    Still at least there were no religious clues but unfortunately no cricket ones either. Didn’t Somerset do well😀

    • crypticsue
      Posted April 29, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      If you can’t see the connection in11a, you might have the wrong solution?

      • Brian
        Posted April 29, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        That’s what concerns me! I can see that someone in Office could be said to be in **** but can’t see the connection tion between a mailbag and a ****

        • crypticsue
          Posted April 29, 2017 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

          Come back on Friday – I’ll do you a special explanation – I’ve got too much to do this afternoon to spend any time in the Naughty Corner.

          You could just remove the ‘a’ before the **** at the end of your comment and if that helps

    • BusyLizzie
      Posted April 29, 2017 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      I too think I have 11a right, but if I do, I don’t see why the clue says mailbag and not just mail?

  13. Golfer M
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    First post for me. Interesting but not overly difficult (did not visit the site until done).
    22a last for me. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • crypticsue
      Posted April 29, 2017 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog

      I’ve had to edit your comment as you are giving a wrong ‘hint’ to the answer for 25a

      • Golfer M
        Posted April 29, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        Must have the wrong answer! Can’t see the correct one even with the clue.

        • crypticsue
          Posted April 29, 2017 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

          You have the right answer (probably) – I’ve just read the hint which is confusing. What about

          A plural measurement containing two lots of the abbreviation for Right (rightS)

          • Golfer M
            Posted April 29, 2017 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

            Thanks, that was what I was getting at.

          • Rabbit Dave
            Posted April 29, 2017 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

            That’s a bizarre hint for 22a. :wink:

          • Heno
            Posted April 29, 2017 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

            Thanks Sue, I was looking at putting rt in the clue after read Tilsit’s hint

  14. Gwizz
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was a worthy challenge for a Saturday Prize Crossword. Some good clues of which 16a stood out for me. 3/3* overall.
    Thanks to Mr Ron, and also to Tilsit for the hints.

  15. stanXYZ
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    The three clues that podiumed for me today were (in no particular order) 13a, 15d and 19d.

    Very difficult to choose a favorite.

    (My spellchecker raised no objections … must be American)

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted April 29, 2017 at 3:42 pm | Permalink


    • Angellov
      Posted April 29, 2017 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      Here we go again – Podiumed ??!!

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted April 29, 2017 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        I think StanXYZ is having a laugh. At least I hope he is …

        • Kath
          Posted April 29, 2017 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

          Nothing to do with the crossword at all but the last bit of your comment reminded me of a friend of ours who was an art teacher and marked exam papers. When asked to describe the cubists one answer said, “Artists who used lots of angels in their paintings!” and his comment was, “I think you mean angles, at least I hope you do.”

  16. Portobella
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    A tough challenge today,but very satisfying when I eventually completed. Also some very entertaining comments.

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  17. BusyLizzie
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Tougher than recent Saturdays, and I still have half a dozen to solve. Time to exercise now, so hopefully all will become clear later over lunch…

  18. Merusa
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t find this difficult at all, though I agree with RD that “to pollen” rather confused me at first.
    My fave was 13a with the very clever 15d coming in a very close second.
    Thanks to setter and to Tilsit for his hints.

    • John Connor
      Posted April 30, 2017 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Then you used hints to solve the puzzle? It seems rather odd to say it was easy if you required assistance.

      • crypticsue
        Posted April 30, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        She isn’t saying she used the hints, she’s just thanking Tilsit for giving up part of his Saturday to provide hints for those who need them

        • Merusa
          Posted April 30, 2017 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

          Thanks, CS!

  19. Cornishpasty
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Just popped in to seek parsing for the first word in 13a. 16a held me up for quiet a while, strange since I wear glasses! An enjoyable puzzle. Now back to Thursday’s which is putting up quite a battle in the SW corner.

  20. Michael
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    15d last in and also the best, for me.

  21. LabradorsruleOK
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Like others took a pass to get “tuned in” but then went steadily.

    16a and 15d last two in and joint COTD for me. Like others not sure about “to pollen” & with BD on “to medal” (along with “threepeat”) as least favourite Americanism.

    Thanks to setter for an enjoyable solve & Tilsit for hints / review or whatever the official term is.

    • Merusa
      Posted April 29, 2017 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Threepeat? What on earth is that? Perhaps I don’t live in America as I’ve never heard of any of those.

      • stanXYZ
        Posted April 29, 2017 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        Threepeat … three consecutive victories in US sport. Possibly achieved by the winningest team?

        Oh Dear! What are they doing to the English language?


      • LabradorsruleOK
        Posted April 29, 2017 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

        They are used by your sports commentators.
        Probably not the favourite channels in the sitooterie. Now there is an Americanism I can live with.. Much better word than “conservatory”.

        • Merusa
          Posted April 29, 2017 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

          Sitootery comes from my Godson’s father who is Scottish. It’s where you “sit oot”, see? The usual viewing here is definitely not sports, except for tennis.

          • Kath
            Posted April 29, 2017 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

            I love your ‘sitootery’ word – ever since you first used it I’ve been trying to find a bit of our house or garden that I can rename.

            • jane
              Posted April 29, 2017 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

              I know exactly which bit I’d rename, Kath. Seem to recall spending a lot of time ‘sitting oot’ there!

  22. jane
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    In case you pop in again, Tilsit – I’ve just completed the GK Jumbo you mentioned. Correction, Mr. Google did most of the puzzle and I filled in the answers! However, I did manage to get the clue connection although only through knowing what my daughters have got up to in the past. Wild horses wouldn’t persuade me!
    For anyone planning to print it off – make sure you’ve got a microscope to hand, you’ll need it.

    • Merusa
      Posted April 29, 2017 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Just done that, and, yes, I do have a magnifying glass close to hand!!

    • Kath
      Posted April 29, 2017 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      I haven’t even managed to print it out yet but will ‘perservate’, or call in the troops for assistance which is probably more likely.

  23. Malcolm Clark
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Discoverd this site about 2 years ago. Now have a look most days even if I don’t need assistance. I think it is terrific! I thought today’s crossword was very good. Last one 22a. Other good clues 20a, 6d,15d,17d

  24. Mr Kitty
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this one, and thought it was the best Saturday puzzle for a long time. So many great clues that it’s impossible to pick a favourite.

    Re the discussion above, I see that pollen, scissor, medal, and podium are all listed in the BRB as having verb forms. But only for medal does it say “North American”. So we can’t be blamed for all of them. I do like trouser as a verb though, and, so far, it’s the best container indicator I’ve encountered in a cryptic clue.

    • Paul
      Posted April 29, 2017 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      Lots of comments today re 3 down but, as I read it, there’s no suggestion of a verb “to pollen”. It simply says… beginning to pollen … which is surely just asking for the first letter of pollen or am I not allowed to say so on a Saturday.

      • Mr Kitty
        Posted April 30, 2017 at 1:43 am | Permalink

        Hello Paul, and welcome to the blog.

        The discussion is about whether the surface reading “beginning to pollen part of flower” makes sense. I think most feel that it would read better as “beginning to pollenate part of flower”, even though apparently pollen can be a verb. As you say, either form works as word play.

  25. florence
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Lots to smile about with this one. I liked16a, 15d and 17d. Wasn’t so keen on 12a. Workers? Worker surely ?Last two in were 19d and 24a. Thank you Tilsit and setter.

    • Terry Berry
      Posted April 29, 2017 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      The same two I’m left stuck on this week.

      • crypticsue
        Posted April 29, 2017 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

        You’ve added a second word to your alias. Both should work from now on

  26. Jon_S
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    About ** for difficulty? 15d foxed me for a long time at the close, and raised a well deserved groan. :-) 6d was rather good I thought.

  27. Lulubelle
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Still struggling with 15d and 25a, despite the clues ( but thanks anyway!). Must be having a brain fade this evening after all day war on weeds. Will get there before midnight since offerings on the box tonight are pretty dire.

  28. Salty Dog
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Just short of 2* time – a bit stiffer than the usual Saturday fare – but most enjoyable. My long-time favourite was 13a until l cracked 16a, and I liked 19d as well. Thanks to the setter, and to Tilsit.

  29. bjs
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    As a product of an eighties Comprehensive – where the only grammar I learned was German – the earlier debate on the clueing is very informative!! As my 6-year old would say: “I’m not pedantic. I’m very pedantic!”

    Still stuck on 15d and 25a…

  30. Heno
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the hints. I found this very enjoyable, but very tricky. Made more so by getting 1a wrong initially. Couldn’t get 16a from the hints, had to use electronic help, would never have got it otherwise. Needed Crypticsue to refine the hint for 25a. Last in was 15d, couldn’t get that from the hint either. Was 4*/3* for me.

  31. Tstrummer
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    Did this on the boat after Antony & Cleo at Stratford. Found it quite tricky for a Saturday, with the nautical pair in the SE last in. A good tussle though. Thanks to setter and Tilsit. 2*/3*

  32. Expat Chris
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    Frankly, I found the discussion on “Americanisms” today quite unsettling. It’s made me feel unwelcome and consequently much less inclined to comment in future. I shall stay with the Toughie and the Rookie corner where the focus is on the puzzle itself.

    • Posted April 30, 2017 at 1:47 am | Permalink

      Please don’t contribute less, Chris – I for one would miss you on the back page.

      There’s often the odd comment or thread that is less welcome, but I think the best approach is to lead by example. I’m less inclined now than I once was to comment on prize puzzles for a different reason, but perhaps I should follow my own judgement and keep on regardless.

      I commented earlier offline that people seem to be quite quick to blame usages of language that they don’t like on those across the pond. Where did “verbing” originate? To pollen? To podium? Without research, I don’t know. (Personally, I quite like verbing, though do in fact find the podiuming and medalling examples rather ugly. Actually, I think I like verbing when it is done informally and then dislike the practice once it’s become acceptable. I just like to be different!)

      Regarding Americanisms (or any other languagisms), in general I think they should be indicated unless they have fully made the linguistic journey, and so an unindicated one is a fair gripe. (I could be persuaded otherwise though – à la Dutch’s comment quoted here.) I’m also unhappy when people criticise British references in a British puzzle (though where they are syndicated, that’s probably a reasonable objection). As an example, I recently had the opportunity to try some NZ cryptics, and smiled when I came across a clue where winter was referred to as being in the middle of the year. Different perspectives are good!

      Note this is different from merely noting “Droitisms” or saying that a Britishism has caused difficulty – that’s simply sharing one’s experience of a puzzle and is exactly what a forum such as this is about.

      I hope that’s coherent – I’ve just returned from helping a friend celebrate her birthday, so am not the most sober of kitties. I notice it has got rather late, so will head bedwards now. ‘Night!

      P.S. I remember enjoying the puzzle, so thanks to the setter for that and to Tilsit for the hints.

    • LabradorsruleOK
      Posted April 30, 2017 at 6:03 am | Permalink

      I am sorry you were made to feel “unwelcome” by comments on Americanisms. As one who so commented I apologise.
      The debate was about whether “to pollen” was an Americanism and your original comment about to “trouser” was spot on. In fact “pollen” is in BRB as a verb without indication that it is an Americanism (& “trouser” is, but indicated as slang). Of course there are those that adulterate our own language and they get criticism too. The point being, I guess, that the Telegraph and the backpager should be maintaining standards of “English English” not letting them slip.
      I enjoy my annual visit to the US & 10 days time will be in a condo (as opposed to a holiday flat) in Palm Springs. I will thoroughly enjoy conversations with Americans from all over the States, listening to what they say rather than how they say it. When in Rome etc.
      As I said I don’t like “threepeat” but it is probably more descriptive than “hat-trick” when I think about it. So even your post achieved what a forum is about – it made me think.
      I am not good enough to do the Toughie so it is the comments of those , like you, that can that improve the ability of people like me.
      Stick with us your company will be missed.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted April 30, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Chris, I was aghast to see your comment this morning and I am really sorry that you have been made to feel unwelcome. Please be assured my remarks in this context are intended to be totally tongue in cheek, and I had thought from our previous exchanges that was the way you perceived them. My one serious point is that in my opinion setters should indicate non-British references for puzzles intended for publication in a UK newspaper, which to be fair most do.

      I love your contributions and this blog would be a poorer place without them. Please do keep on commenting regularly.

    • crypticsue
      Posted April 30, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      What’s really sad about this is that the clue in question isn’t intending the use of a verb and, as I said, in the last comment @2 above is that to pollen is neither a neologism or American, but can be used as a verb if so desired.

      I am reminded of something the late lamented Petitjean said about the internet and the instant nature of comments and the inability to retract them. He fondly remembered the days when if someone didn’t like a clue/crossword, they wrote to the editor, after a week or so the editor might reach that letter in his in-tray and forward it to the setter, by which time up to six weeks would have passed and the original complainant would have forgotten all about whatever it was they didn’t like about the crossword. Nowadays people seem to pick on something and then go on and on. It is after all only a crossword, there’ll be another one along soon.

    • Angellov
      Posted April 30, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      I well understand your resentment at some inappropriate criticism but please stay with us. As an erstwhile NYC resident I always enjoy your input from across the pond. 🙏🏼.

    • Merusa
      Posted April 30, 2017 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Please don’t leave us, Chris! I often wonder if the French go on and on about the mutilation of their language by Quebecans. Languages are living things, except for a few, and as such they will grow apart from the mother tongue naturally, as each region adds their own phrases and words. Thus, Californians will have differences to Floridians, and even as I grew up in Jamaica and spoke patois when I chose, when I go back today I can barely understand it. On the other hand, as this is a British paper, I don’t complain (well, not too much) about Britspeak. It’s their puzzle, they can do as they wish.

      Will you let us know that all is forgiven and come home?

  33. Mcmillibar
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    Very late to the puzzle today but it was fun, imaginative, stimulating and elegant in places. **/***|* . Bestest was 6d. Thanks setter and Tilsit though your assistance needed only for additional fun. Lost a few plants in that pesky frost the other night in the South. Ho hum.

  34. Hoofityoudonkey
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    Did most of this yesterday morning, finished off today.
    My brain must have returned from Lewes as i found this ok.
    I could not parse the second half of 7d, i see it now thanks to Tilsit’s hint, i have not come across that before.
    I thought this was an excellent crossword, very enjoyable thanks to Tilsit andvthe setter.

  35. Catnap
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    I really liked this puzzle. ***/**** for me. I found it a bit tricky in parts, and had to wait for a couple of huge penny-dropping moments to complete it. My fave was 16a, followed by 15d.
    Many thanks to our Saturday setter for an enjoyable solve.
    Many thanks to Tilsit for the super hints. Although not needed, I have enjoyed reading them.
    I have printed off your Jumbo puzzle Tilsit to enjoy later. Thank you very much for the link.

  36. GMY1965
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Been decorating so just doing yesterday’s crossword. Please folks hints for 19d and 24a. Thanks!

    • hoofityoudonkey
      Posted April 30, 2017 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      19d – Don’t get the wind up – (whole thing is the definition) – Split (2,4) it’s how you might tell someone to relax (I think this is what they call an ‘all-in-one clue’)
      24a – New style our ships must follow – (‘New’ is the definition) – 4 letter word for style and (must follow) 2 letters for ‘our ships’
      Hope ok with the management, please delete asap if it breaks the rules

      • GMY1965
        Posted April 30, 2017 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        Thanks! Got both now. Much appreciated. Now to start today’s one.

  37. Phil a oafish
    Posted April 30, 2017 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Apologies if anyone has already mentioned this but I found the answer to 25a by twice inserting the one letter abbreviation for right into the measurement, rather than a two letter abbreviation.

    • crypticsue
      Posted May 1, 2017 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      It’s been mentioned once or twice -always a good plan to read the comments before commenting

    • Posted May 1, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      I’ve updated the hint to remove the ambiguity.