DT 28432 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28432 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28432 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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Many thanks to Tilsit for holding the fort while I was in Nottingham last week.  My pictures can be seen here, with more from Lynette (Joyce of Bert and Joyce) to be added later [update: now added].

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    Work out chairman’s bust on board (10)
A charade of a six-letter verb meaning to work out or calculate followed by the position of a chairman within an organisation

6a    Go crazy when rejected (4)
The reversal (when rejected) of an adjective meaning crazy – be careful as there are two such adjectives and only one of them gives a word meaning a go or attempt when reversed

10a    Mole’s friend is irritable (5)
… the first definition is a character from a famous children’s book

11a    Very East European to be losing head, that’s common (9)
V(ery) followed by an East European national without (losing) his initial letter (head)

12a    Racer over 8 furlongs holds nothing back, being one that works hard before Ascot (8)
Someone who runs races over a distance of 8 furlongs around (holds) the reversal (back) the reversal of a three-letter word meaning nothing

15a    Water tower (7)
… something that tows in the water!

19a    Man marooned on Treasure Island long time finds large-leaved plant (7)
The surname of an ex-crewman of Captain Flint’s who has been marooned for three years on Treasure Island by his crewmates followed by a long period of time

21a    The Royal Marines heading lowly sailor’s vessel (7)
THE from the clue followed by the initial letters (heading) of Royal Marines and the designation of our usual lowly sailor

24a    Simple, detective joke, as some would tell it (8)
Once the definition has been separated from the wordplay, this gets easier – split the answer (4’1,3) and it sounds like (as some would tell it) a joke from a (fictional) detective – does “as some would tell it” successfully cover the fact that this homophone doesn’t work for everyone?

28a    Reactionary fellow that’s full of gas (5)
Two definitions

30a    Hamlet‘s resolution (10)
Two definitions, the first having nothing to do with a famous play by Shakespeare


1d    Stable business (4)
Two definitions (again!)

2d    Elderly mounting clicking (7,2)
Three definitions (for a change!)

4d    Shelter to put up pauper (4-3)
A shelter followed by the reversal (put up in a down clue) of TO

7d    It is not commonly a corrupting influence (5)
Two more definitions – a common way of saying “it is not” (‘5) and a noun meaning a corrupting influence, more usually used as a verb

9d    Sea creature unadorned with pinch of salt (8)
One of the last clues that I solved – put an adjective meaning unadorned around the chemical formula for salt

20d    Succeed with a herb placed around top of escalope (7)
The A from the clue and a herb around the initial letter (top) of E[scalope]

23d    Flag and fade away (5)
Our penultimate double definition – a type of flag, usually blue and a verb meaning to fade away

26d    Turn corner (4)
The end of the multiple definitions! – a turn or performance and a corner or awkward situation

The Crossword Club is now open.

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The Quick Crossword pun: beau+belles=Bow Bells

56 comments on “DT 28432 (Hints)

  1. A nice crossword for a chilly Oxford morning – and now it’s chucking it down with rain again.
    This one all went together without too much trouble apart from a few answers.
    I don’t think I’d met 11a before and needed as many letters in as possible before I saw it.
    I’ve never heard of 8d but it couldn’t have been anything else and it’s in the BRB.
    30a was fine once I realised that it was nothing to do with Shakespeare.
    I suspect the 24a homophone will cause trouble although I think it’s OK.
    I got stuck for ages with my last two, 28a and 26d – I remembered 28a but I found it hard to make the answer to 26d = the first definition.
    I liked 19 and 24a and 20d. My favourite was 10a – simple, I know, but I liked it.
    Thanks to today’s setter and to BD.

    1. Kath:
      24a – I had all the checkers so I solved it on the definition, but I think the homophone is a bit of a stretch; perhaps, as BD suggests, the ‘as some would tell it’ is the setter’s way of covering him/herself.
      26d – I had some head scratching over the second definition.

  2. I found this a real mixed bag today. Most of it fell into place smoothly but a handful of clues seemed quite impenetrable and I needed to resort to electronic help to finish. Some of the surfaces were good and some were really clunky.

    I particularly liked 30a and 9d.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

  3. Plenty of head scratching with some electronic assistance today, especially in the SE corner, and I am not sure that I like 26d much.

    Favourite – although the clue was somewhat wordy – 12a.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  4. 9d just pipped 12a at the post for my favourite in this slightly tricky puzzle. Like RD above, three quarters went in smoothly, but the last few held on to their secrets a little longer than I would have liked. Overall it was a fair tussle.

    Thanks to the Satuday setter and BD.

  5. I found this one fairly challenging but nonetheless very enjoyable.
    Particularly liked 12a, 24a, and 9d for the chemistry. Last in was 6a after 8d.
    Many thanks to the setter, and to Big Dave for his excellent hints. 3*/4*.

      1. – Mr. Ron = Mysteron = unknown setter
        – Mister Ron = Samuel when he is setting a back-pager (recently every second Thursday)

  6. Probably should have gardened then taken cruciverbal exercise however that was very enjoyable. Anyway fingers crossed as the sun is still shining here in W. Sussex so out I now go to annoy the neighbours with my hedge-cutter! Difficulty level was just right for yours truly. No new words here but one in the Quickie. 15a became Fav after penny dropped then 1a and 30a were my runners-up. Thank you Mysteron and BD.

  7. I found his a real mixed bag with the SE corner requiring the most head scratching. Clearly the brain is still snoozing! Happy weekend all

  8. Like the others who’ve posted before me, I too found that this was a curious mixture of clues but nevertheless enjoyable and, as the answer to 28a isn’t a word which is in modern day parlance, I wonder whether it’s an indication of the setter’s age. The rain which Kath was experiencing when she posted her comment is now pounding down in South Cheshire and will be a good test of the efficiency of the local cricket clubs’ covers…

  9. Needed to do a bit of research on the character in 28a and finished off with 26d.
    Knew the others in 10a and 19a though.
    Very strange word in 11a IMHO.
    A pleasant morning distraction.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the club.

  10. If it is raining where you are – or even if it is not – I can recommend today’s NTSPP

    1. It’s not raining here, at the moment anyway – I’m doing stuff in the garden and saving the NTSPP for whichever happens first out of my getting fed-up and more torrential rain.

      1. We had a torrential rain yesterday, most welcome, but it only lasted for an hour or so. Every little bit helps!

        1. We had torrential rain all day on Wednesday, can’t remember Thursday but I think I cut the grass so it must have been dryish, yesterday some rain and today has been downpours interspersed with dry and a bit of sun for just long enough to go outside again before the downpour starts again. I’ve been banging on about needing rain for so long and I’m absolutely delighted – I won’t be complaining for some time yet.

  11. I found this really difficult and had to resort to BD’s hints for 24 & 28a and 26d. A bit too clever and obtuse for my simple brain so a ****/** for me. Many thanks to the setter and BD.

  12. A good workout today. The sea creature held me up for a while. 11a and 15 a were my favourites. Thanks to BD and setter

  13. Whew! A real mixed bag today. I needed gizmo to help with some, e.g., 11a as I was fixated on the “east” being stand alone.
    I thought of the answer for 28a but didn’t write it in, and I never did get 26d, I was way off piste on that one.
    I liked 19a, I would like to have it in my garden but my soil is very sandy.
    The rest was pretty much tikai babu, fave was 10a, natch.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for his hints.

    1. BD’s site is a fount of information. Thank you Merusa for introducing me to the tickety boo equivalent (Hindi?).

      1. I think it is Hindi. I picked it up as a child from some kids who had lived in India and spoke Hindi.

  14. Struggling this morning and running late as I was confronted by 2 Black Racer snakes, about 4 – 5 ft long each when I stepped out onto our screened in patio. Thank goodness I spotted them before our elderly cat did. They are harmless but aggressive if approached. Thankfully we were able to encourage them to go back outside with the aid of our garden hose (it is illegal to harm them), and before they got in the pool. Snakes swim very fast across water, and these ones are called Racer for a reason. Excitement over I don’t seem to be concentrating this morning. Will return over to lunch when brain might work better 😊

    1. Blimey! We don’t usually have them in this heat, I don’t know where they go to, but they come out a lot in winter, trying to get warm. I am always worried that my two youngsters, professional hunters, will catch one and bring it inside. I hope all is well now and brain functioning again!

  15. I completed about thre quarters of this and then had an enforced break. (Lawn cutting).
    When i eventually returned the final quarter was almost R&W; strange how the brain works…. mine anyway.
    15a wins for simplicity and 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter (who he?) and to BD for the hints.

  16. I could simply put ‘ditto’ under Kath’s comments today, which disposes of anything I might have said regarding 11,24,28&30a plus 26d! However, I also have to admit to woeful ignorance on the subject of military operations.

    Top three for me were 10,12&24a along with 8d.
    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD – enjoyed putting some more faces to names from your photographs.

    1. I think there was a crossword with lots of the World War 2 military stuff in it – can’t remember much about it but I’m sure someone will!! What I can remember is that it had lots of the D-day landing places in it.

      1. Think I can vaguely remember that, Kath, so it must have been within the last couple of years or so.

        1. I’m reasonably sure it was an actual crossword but maybe the inspiration came from that article?

  17. As others have said: a mixed bag today. I happened to be up at just gone Midnight, so decided to solve it then and attributed my fairly slow progress to the time of night but maybe it wasn’t?

    It was 3*/3.5* for me and seemed like it may’ve been a different Saturday setter..?? I’m not too sure.

    Thanks to BD and setter.

  18. A couple in the NE corner held me up, taking me just over the line into 2* territory. 3.5* for enjoyment, though, and I particularly liked 24a. Thanks to the setter, and to BD.

  19. Challenging and enjoyable in equal measure, say *** for difficulty, just about? Biggest groan when I eventually spotted what was going on in 30ac.

  20. Enjoyable fare 2*/3*

    Had no trouble with the 24a homophone and thought it our favourite. Also liked 9d and 22a. Had an early hiccup by putting in STUD for 1d as first answer, but soon fixed.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  21. Back in crosswordland after the excitement of Wembley yesterday.
    I did most of this yesterday morning with the intention of finishing off last night, but after a curry and too much beer that was out of the question.
    I finished off this morning, I thought it was a bit of a mixed bag, though 24a and 9d were good clues. Favourite being 24a.
    Thanks BD for the hints and blog, and the Saturday setter.

  22. No one seems to have mentioned 17a – I’m sure I’ve got the right answer but can’t for the life of me, see why – my answer fits with “outside the church” perfectly,
    but what it’s got to do with “Parisian” or “most of close” has me totally baffled. It didn’t warrant a mention in the Hints section so I must be having a senior
    moment !

    Someone please put me out of my misery ! Thanks

    1. If you have the correct solution, two of the letters are a word you’d use for ‘the’ if you were speaking in Paris. Remove that word from the solution you have, and you should be left with almost all (most of) a word meaning close

      1. thank you, crypticsue – I was thinking of the male version of “the” in Paris, when I should have been looking at the female version.

        Stupid boy !! – Many thanks again, Almo

    2. Some tricky clues for me – not very good on military. 11a new to me too. almo, I read 17a as a word meaning lock up type of close, with last letter removed, around french the. Like you I got the word from the letters & not the clue.

      1. thank you, Louise, for your interest in my problem ! See my reply to crypticsue above

  23. Still plenty of frustration in this house. Just can’t get the last one, 26d!

  24. re 17a – new word discovered this morning for two words spelt identically but pronounced differently, as here in 17a.
    Apparently it is called a heteronym.

    Close (pronounced “cloze”) as in the verb, and “close” when it isn’t a verb !

  25. I think I must have something wrong, though I can’t see what, as I simply cannot get 22a. I have all the checked letters but an electronic dictionary search doesn’t throw up anything which fits the clue. Help!

    1. Ah, got it! It was the “shock” definition which was holding me back. My thesaurus didn’t list that.

      1. It did list it but I am obviously suffering from selective vision. Incipient old age …

    2. You’ve changed your alias so your new comments required moderation. Both aliases will work from now on.

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