DT 28438 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28438 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28438 (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.


1a    Nothing was converted into capital (10)
An anagram (converted) of NOTHING WAS

6a    Most of the month’s brandy (4)
To get this cheap brandy drop the final letter from a month of the year

13a    Computer peripheral, second used by baked-bean processor? (7)
S(econd) followed by the type of factory that could be used for processing baked beans or other tinned products

17a    Shocking termination of sentence (11,4)
A cryptic definition of punctuation that expresses surprise!

20a    Initially crossed lines abroad? Shout loudly! (3,3)
A charade of the initial letter of C[rossed], the abbreviation for the type of lines used by trains and an adverb meaning abroad

21a    Tall tree Edward, half-cut, carved into cross (7)
Drop the second half (half cut) from EDW[ard] and insert what remains (carved into) a type of cross


25a    Picket building where prisoners are kept (10)
A picket or sentry followed by a building gives a place where military prisoners are kept

27a    Already sat with a resort guide in a bad way (4,6)
An anagram (with a resort) of ALREADY SAT


1d    Tobacco plant in the wrong place (4)
Two definitions, the first being a colloquial word for tobacco

4d    Told how entering alien’s become upwardly mobile (3,2,2,3,5)
An anagram (alien) of TOLD HOW ENTERING

8d    Skinflint, fellow catching European fish (10)
A fellow around (catching) E(uropean) and followed by a fish

11d    Methodical but not artistic presumably (10)
A cryptic definition that assumes that this approach is incompatible with art

12d    Harmony in a musical instrument (10)
A word meaning harmony followed by IN and A from the clue

14d    Sly creature about — hurried up to cross short distance (7)
A two-letter word meaning about followed by the reversal (up in a down clue) of a verb meaning hurried inside (to cross) the two-letter abbreviation for a short distance

23d    Seedcase donkey’s bitten off at the end (4)
Drop (bitten off) the final letter (at the end – it’s an O) from this word meaning a donkey

24d    Particularly light? (4)
Two definitions, the second being a type of light


The Crossword Club is now open.

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The Quick Crossword pun: log+gauge+Van=luggage van – surely it would have worked better if 1 Across was LUG not LOG?

42 comments on “DT 28438 (Hints)

  1. I managed to complete this at a gallop even with some head scratching. I thought 27a was going to be my LOI until I realized that 24d was incorrect. That meant that I could solve 27a and 24d became the LOI. A sprinkling of oldies but goodies helped the solving time – */***.

    Favourite – one of 8d, 11d, and 12d – I can’t decide which.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  2. 2*/3* overall with the evergreen 17a my favourite. 5d is a regular on the back page I think. 23d was my last one in. Many thanks to the Saturday setter and to BD.

  3. Good fun and no real problems which is something of a rarity for me.
    I did get into a slight pickle with 4d which was just plain dim – me, not the clue.
    The ‘baked beans’ in 13a held me up as I tried to make it an anagram somehow but that was never going to work.
    Not sure that I’ve ever heard of 25a.
    Not many anagrams.
    I liked 25a (once I’d looked it up) and 1d. My favourite was 23d.
    Thanks to today’s setter and to BD.
    Cooler and we’ve had a bit of rain although not very much – off to the garden. NTSPP later.

  4. A bit of a doddle today but no less enjoyable for that. Not much to comment on but 17a picked as Fav. Thank you Mysteron and BD. Grateful for a bit of rain 🌧and now the sun ☀️has come out so the garden beckons.

  5. As a teenager in the ’60s, I spent time with my father, who was also a cruciverbalist, looking at his completed grids and I vividly remember today’s 24d. I didn’t fully understand his answer so I was always encouraged to look at Chambers – like father, like son – and it was then that I saw the light, both literally and metaphorically. I’m pleased to get today’s puzzle out of the way quickly because I’m going to have a busy afternoon – viewing the finals at Twickenham and Wembley…

    1. I can empathise totally with this father/son relationship over the DT crossword. I would ask him ‘how did you get that?’ And he would explain the wordplay. I’ve been tackling it now for over 55 years.

  6. Completed at a rising trot. I can’t be more specific about favourites as my tablet has gone on the blink. Specifically my Dolphin browser used to support Flash Player, an upgrade to Android knackered that, so I am trying to use the Puffin browser, but that seems very flaky. If anyone has any ideas I would be very grateful.
    Thanks BD and the setter.

  7. 1*/2*. Straightforward and reasonably pleasant but what a clunky surface for 4d. Favourite 17a.

    Many thanks to setter and to BD.

  8. That was a pleasant enough journey, but am feeling lazy today, so used some hints and e-help.
    Not heard of 6a, being one who sticks to the pumps.
    Isn’t 14d a character in an old children’s book, if I remember correctly?
    Had the wrong answer in 17a at first, throwing me on 11d + 12d.
    Also a wrong bung in at 23d held up 27a.
    Favourite goes to 17a (after the dropping penny) 3*/4*
    Many Thanks to BD and Setter.

  9. No real problems although there was a bit of a pause before the last three slotted into place – 27a plus 23&24d.
    17a made me smile – others on here will doubtless confirm that I am guilty of over-using it!

    Top two for me were 19&24d.

    Thanks to Mr. Saturday Ron and to BD.

    1. Hi Jane,
      Found the Dragon back race, thanks, might give it a shot next year if I have my new hip in time.

      1. Right – you put your name down and I’ll come and wave you on your way from the start point!

      2. Next one is 2019 – plenty of time to get a new hip and do some training

  10. Got this over and done with early today as the sport beckons – no problems, it all went in very smoothly.

    It’s golf, cricket, the rugby and the Cup Final for me – the boss has gone to Lakeside with her friend and one of our daughters and left me to my own devices – it’s all go!

  11. If I can be so bold BD as to query your hint for 27a, is ALREADY SAT with A not 11 letters when the solution is (4,6)?
    Pedantry rules OK!
    Thank you, as usual, for all your sterling efforts.

    1. As BD is either preparing to watch the football :yawn: or is out enjoying the lovely warm weather :) I have taken the liberty of amending the hint. Interesting that normally when you see ‘with a’ in a clue, it does require the a to be added to the anagram fodder

      1. Thank you. I was beginning to think that I’d lost the ability to count. Now for the cricket and football….🏏🏐🏏🏐😂

  12. A mixed bag today. The top half was just about R&W but the bottom half slowed things down somewhat. I liked 25a having ‘done time’ there in my young army days. 2*/4* for me, many thanks to the setter and BD.

  13. My favourite today was 8d followed by 17a. Got stuck on 23 and 24d for a while but got there eventually. Thankyou for the hints and to the setter.

  14. This was over so quickly, but still a most enjoyable solve.
    Last in was 25a and I needed my whatsit to get the answer.
    My, but there was so much to like I can’t choose a fave.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for tips and hints.

  15. Generally ok but got stuck on 6a I just didn’t think of that month. ???? And 27A dont know why either and got the wrong type of xxxxx for 25a though eventually realised my mistake

    thanks to setter and BD

    1. I don’t think I can do better than BD’s hint without ending up in the Naughty Corner.

      How about there’s an adverb meaning particularly which is also the name of a type of light. If you still can’t get it, , moving your computer mouse over the illustration may assist ;)

    2. I had to ask better half for help with 24d, he said “oh it’s a xxxx light of course”, silly me …. never heard of it 🤔

        1. You’ve changed your alias since your previous comments so this one required moderation. Both aliases will work from now on.

          1. I thought you’d be too busy celebrating the Chiefs’ magnificent win to be rescuing people from moderation.

            1. As commentator Nick Mullins said at the end ‘that kick will put a smile on the face of every neutral supporter in the land’

            2. Typing is a problem because I have no fingernails left! It was a magnificent victory (and well deserved for a tremendous season).

  16. ***, maybe even **** for difficulty today. 24d had me totally baffled and went in on a bit of a wing and a prayer based on one of the definitions.

  17. Right on the 1*/2* cusp for difficulty, and 3* for enjoyment. 14d was my favourite. Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints.

  18. Quite hard for me but maybe because I was doing lots of other things simultaneously. Enjoyed it a lot though with some great clues – 12d, 1d, 15a & 25a. (horrible when people list a lot – there are too many for the reader to bother looking up. So sorry.) Last in was 27a and a bit of strife in the bottom of the grid.

    Good fun, thanks setter and BD for the not-needed-but-nice-to-know-they-are-there hints.

    Stuck for an extra day on Chicago due to airline computer woes.

  19. Generally a pleasant solve although did not make the earth move. However, I found 23 and 24d tedious to be left with. No satisfaction even when I got there. Had not heard of the donkey or the light. C’est la vie.

    1. Wanda, I’m left with 24 d. It can’t be what surely we’re all thinking can it ? I’ve certainly not heard of a xxxx light ! Help !

      1. Please don’t direct your queries at particular commenters. Not only is there a hint for this one, but there is a picture which displays the answer when selected (in Windows). If you think you have an answer, why not feed it into a search engine – by the way, enclosing the two words in quotes narrows the search.

  20. Although not difficult, I’ve been chipping away at this all weekend due to different visitors coming and going. 23d was my favourite. Thank you setter, and thanks too go to BD and CS for pointing me in the right direction for 24d, my last one in.

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