DT 28420 (hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28420 (hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28420 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Thanks to all, especially the generous lady who sent me a cheque, for your support of our Open Gardens weekend, which raised over £6,200 for our local churches.  Thanks also to Tilsit for stepping up to the mark to provide hints for the last two Saturdays.

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    In horse-drawn vehicle heading south-east I travel wearily (7)
Inside a horse-drawn vehicle (4) and the abbreviation for South-East insert the I from the clue

5a    Get sick with having skate around track (7)
A verb meaning to get sick and W(ith) inside (having … around) a skate (of the piscine kind)

12a    Public boxing has first of youngsters being too impulsive (9)
An adjective meaning public around (boxing) HAS from the clue and followed by the initial letter (first) of Y[oungsters]

15a    Telephone number unknown lost? Make temporary arrangement (3,2)
A phrasal verb (4,2) meaning to telephone without (lost) the letter that represents an indefinite number – “unknown” would appear to be a red herring as the unknown numbers are represented by X, Y and Z; as it reads better as “telephone number lost” does this suggest editorial interference?

16a    Punter‘s happy sound about horse race (9)
A happy sound, like that made by Kitty perhaps, around a type of horse race

22a    Naughty affairs bothered like-minded people (5,2,1,7)
The anagram indicator here is naughty

23a    Like ancient oracle, I’d help confused Corinthian leader (7)
An anagram (confused) of I’D HELP followed by the initial letter (leader) of C[orinthian]

24a    Fool accepts certain guarantees (7)
A fool around an adjective meaning certain


1d    Hybrid fruit with sharp taste the Spanish love (7)
A sharp taste followed by the Spanish definite article and O (love)

3d    Copy bureau‘s hard work crushed by signs of burglars (5,4)
H(ard) and a musical work preceded (crushed in a down clue) by signs that, when left by burglars could lead to their arrest

4d    Stethoscope shows distinctive character (5)
Hidden (shows) inside the first word of the clue

7d    Famous painting referee put out (9,6)
A colloquial word for a referee (8) followed by a verb meaning to put out a fire

13d    Sedative — placatory item given by mouth mostly (9)
A three-letter placatory item followed by most of a mouth or opening

15d    Towered over short American friend, one with potential to bloom (7)
A verb meaning towered followed by the shortened version of an American word for a friend

Here’s another (very cryptic) hint

19d    Dutch artist broadcast nonsense (5)
Sounds like (broadcast) some nonsense

20d    I will occupy seat — seat of government (5)
The I from the clue inside a comfortable seat gives the seat of government of a European country

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: poe+goes=pogos

77 comments on “DT 28420 (hints)

  1. Is the setter an ornithologist? I make the comment quite simply because of the similarity in two specific answers and, of course, the answer to 10a. Either I was inspired this morning or this was one of the easiest puzzles for a long while. And, as Dave provided an explanation some time ago in ‘The Usual Suspects’, no-one should have a problem with 17d – once seen, never forgotten.

    1. I beg to differ, I forget them every time and only remember after I’ve got the answer and try to explain the missing letters.

  2. Nice normal Saturday morning. I too noticed that it was particularly Jane-friendly.

    The first word of 7d was my last in. I liked 14d and 20d.

    Thanks to the setter and to BD. Happy weekend all.

  3. I thought this was a really good crossword and enjoyed it very much.
    To begin with I thought it was going to be a difficult one as I didn’t have many answers after reading all the across clues.
    8d is a bit like muesli – well, I suppose it isn’t really except in a crossword it’s a question of getting the right spelling to fit the clue.
    I got into a muddle with 16a.
    I liked 12 and 18a and 19d. My favourite was 7d – or it might be 19d – whatever – they both made me laugh.
    With thanks to whoever set this and to BD – well done to the residents of Hanley Swan with their open gardens.

  4. Completed at a gallop, continuing the trend for ‘user friendly’ prize puzzles, I hope Vergilius’ puzzle tomorrow is the same.

    Favourite 9a or 7d, I can’t decide between them.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  5. I thought 7d was comfortably the outstanding clue of the day. The whole puzzle was a delight from start to finish, and certainly cheered up a dank and drizzly Marches morning. This was 2*/4* for me overall, with many thanks to our Saturday setter and of course BD.

  6. There was a lot to enjoy in this prize puzzle, with my favourite clues including 7d, 9a and 3d. Solved pretty much at a canter, allowing plenty of time for jobs in the garden – sadly the weather here has other ideas, so the window boxes etc will have to wait. Thanks to setter and B D

    1. Ooh does that mean that it is raining where you are??? I can’t do planting out or anything much because it hasn’t rained for weeks and everything’s drizabone

      1. I think the name is probably a bit of a give away!
        We’re SO dry in Oxford that I can’t do anything either. Half of me thinks that this little green island that most of live on will never really be short of water and the other half of me thinks that we’re all doomed. :unsure:

        1. Think positively, Kath. At least the sitooterie will stay pristine for a little while longer!

      2. It’s rain that does very little good in the garden. Drizzly, mizzly and cold too. Tomorrow looks warmer though

        1. Lovely day here again today (Sunday) – and absolutely no rain again – plugs are gradually giving up the ghost cos I just get so bored with all that watering. Envy you your little bit of drizzle – probably better than a heavy downpour when things are as they are.

  7. A very enjoyable puzzle. A few beautiful gems in an elegant crown, too. I do not see a poor clue or questionable answer. Bravo!

  8. Gentlre start to the weekend. 19d LOI – not an art buff so needed all the checkers.

    Nothing really outstanding but 9a a non-anagram 15 letter word deserves top spot

    Thanks to setter & BD for hints.

  9. There were a few words or things which were new to me in this puzzle, but I was impressed by the fact that there was no need to look them up, as they could be completely constructed from the wordplay. Solved reasonably quickly, so I printed off today’s Guardian, before seeing the ‘special instructions’. (Not a chance in hell, basically). Eventually came across a GK puzzle in the FT which was set by Falcon – a nice change. Have a good weekend all.

  10. Good clueing throughout but, overall, too benign to deliver full satisfaction. 7d was a fine example of this. 1*/2*.

    13d is a word that’s been around a long time and we wonder what the recent commenters on verbs derived from nouns make of it. Surely it cannot be an Americanism?

    Our favourite was probably 3d.

    Thanks to BD and the setter.

  11. Not difficult, but most enjoyable: 1*/4* in my book. 7d made me laugh, so gets my vote for favourite clue. My thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints.

  12. Must be me, I found this very tricky indeed. Having completed it I understand fully about 2/3 of the clues. Never come across 6d spelt without the H, must be an Americanism, the fruit in 1d was new to me and I always trip up on these archaic horse drawn vehicles.
    I found this a real slog
    Thx for the hints.

      1. I always spelt it with an “h” and thought it was the English way, until I came to live here and they leave the “h” out. I thought without the “h” was an Americanism – live and learn!

      2. If “archaic” is used by Brian in the sense of antique or antiquated, there is a sound argument that in 2017 any form of horse-drawn transport can properly be described as archaic.

    1. There are a number of different spellings – that seem to based more on marketing than on Webster’s axe work.

      Thanks to the Mysteron and BD (and The Hebden Bridge Lad for the past fortnight). Great puzzle polished off last night here in a rainy Boston. Wisteria almost in bloom finally.

      Mrs & Mr T

    2. Do you mean 6d?

      And if that’s your idea of an archaic vehicle, words almost fail me!

        1. Well in that case someone else can tell him to look it up in the BRB where he’ll find it is of Turkish origin not American.

            1. Translations from other alphabets can never be exact. My recollection from when this product came to our shores was that the H was more common than it is now. Brian would find Wikipedia more illuminating on the subject. With regard to 1a perhaps Brian has missed the significance of the I in the clue and thinks the horse-drawn vehicle has five letters. Can be no other rational explanation as the vehicle is certainly not archaic.

  13. I’m a bit Brianish too. I completed the crossword fairly easily but still can’t see the parsing of some clues. 1 d was new to me but many clues have been seen before. I’ve no idea how the first part of the clue fits the answer for 12a. Thanks to the usual suspects.

  14. I thought there was rather a lot of GK in this one – nothing that caused too much trouble although I did need to check on the painter’s nationality. Avian references duly noted and appreciated!
    Rather liked 12a but my vote for the top slot came down to a choice between 9a & 7d. Finally accorded the honour to 7d as the surface of 9a didn’t read quite as well.

    Thanks to the Saturday Mr. Ron and to BD – well done on the donations from the Open Garden weekend.

    The northerly wind is deterring me from doing any work in the garden so think I’ll ditch that idea in favour of the NTSPP!

          1. Is it not an apostrophe to show an omission (graph) or is that too simple?

              1. I would’ve thought so Jane but I have only read “Eats shoots and leaves” once so I am not fully qualified.

                1. I’ve read that, great fun! I wasn’t a huge English grammar fan at school. I preferred the literature classes much better.

              2. One photo, two photos

                With an apostrophe, it means belonging to the photo, eg the photo’s frame was made of gold

                1. One photograph, two photo’s is in my view equally correct. The apostrophe does not only indicate possession but also omission as Jane has used it. However p42 of ES&L says that “it is generally accepted that familiar contractions such as bus, flu, phone, photo no longer require apologetic apostrophes.” I said I had only read it once…However it does not say it is incorrect, just has fallen out of use.

                  1. I believe Jane used it in the same way as we were taught (in my day) to spell ‘bus and ‘phone at junior school although I have never seen it used with photo

                2. CS
                  Of course the original use of the apostrophe was to indicate missing letters and it still has tha use (in my reply I used would’ve deliberately) see E,S&L p38. To state it indicates the possessive in such cases is wrong. Probably Jane, like me is “old fashioned” & uses photograph not photo.
                  I am sure no-one minds being corrected when they are wrong as they learn something
                  Being corrected for being right I don’t think is what a blog should be about. It makes me feel my contributions have no value.
                  I will still gain from reading the reviews and views so I thank all contributors in advance.
                  For Senf (I think).
                  Use of apostrophe to indicate plurals of letters:
                  “How many f’s are there in Fulham?

                  “There’s only one f in Fulham”
                  As they say there’s no answer to that!

          1. Thank you for those, BD. It’s always nice to see how much work some dedicated folk put into their gardens and I should imagine that the threat of ‘open gardens’ weekend keeps you all very much on your toes on the maintenance front!

          2. Thank you for those, BD. It’s always nice to see how much work some dedicated folk put into their gardens. I would imagine that the threat of ‘open gardens’ weekend keeps you all very much on your toes on the maintenance front!

  15. Loved it! Lots of good stuff. Fave was 7d, but 9a and 14d deserve an honourable mention.
    Thank you setter, please come back soon, and to BD for his hints.

  16. Pretty easy but just don’t get 19d -found the artist but can’t make sense of the other part of the clue. Help please!

    1. A word that means nonsense which sounds like (broadcast) the artist…

        1. The non artist word was just not a word I knew. Looked it up now. Learnt something today.

  17. Off to a cracking start thanks to the four 15-letter solutions falling quickly into place followed by several anagrams. Quite a few clever clues but not really a Fav. Good to have a bit of GK for added enjoyment. Needed help to parse 5a. I see I’m not alone in spelling 8d with an ‘h’ and an ‘o’. Thanks Mysteron and BD.

  18. Enjoyable, and pretty straightforward, especially for a Saturday. First in 9ac, last in 1ac. Yes, it was that sort of solve…

  19. A nice puzzle, although I can’t claim to have found it easy. 9a was favourite. 19d, 11a and 10a caused me grief though.

  20. Very enjoyable, not too tricky.
    Thanks BD and Mr.Ron.
    8d had to be, but I have absloutely no idea why, what’s a Mongolian tent?

      1. Thanks LROK. None the wiser, I will have to wait for the hints to come out.

        1. Doesn’t anyone listen to The Archers?

          Jennifer is always helping Kate to prepare this sort of Mongolian tent for guests.

        2. Hoofit.
          There’s over 50 [mongolian tents] in Wales on bnb. Thought they were the accommodation of choice – you lead a shltered life! (But not by a Mongolian Tent obviously)

  21. 7d was favourite in a pretty good Saturday crossword. I enjoyed it.
    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints.
    Well done on your garden fund raising!

    1. BD’s given a hint for 12a.
      6d – the definition is ‘good shot at archery’. You need a six letter word for a champion or someone who has beaten everyone else without the first letter (missed initially).

  22. Sadly in a minority yesterday. Did the avian clues first and thought it was going to be a lovely solve. I was clearly not on the right wavelength as I found much of it as a slog. Needed the hints for some of the parsing eg 12a. But you can’t please all of the people all of the time. In fact you can’t please some of the people at any time. I persevered however but look forward to the next Ray T

  23. Late in catching up with gardening so missed all the banter. 7d took time until the penny dropped, and I found the BD picture online…Enjoyable puzzle, despite my usual slow start. I always enjoyed using 9a in my workday letters, it has an aura about it.
    Thanks to BD& Mr. Ron – now to camera shot and send in.

Comments are closed.