DT 28456 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28456 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28456 (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    Freshwater cod’s not usually found in this storage facility (5,2,7)
An anagram (not usually) of FRESHWATER COD’S

9a    Liking song by writer (8)
A song preceded by a writing implement

10a    One artist on TV quiz show is Arab (5)
A charade of I (one), our usual artist and a two-letter TV quiz show

15a    Male singer with a single exception holds special attraction (8)
A phrase meaning with a single exception (3,3) around a special attraction or indefinable crowning quality

20a    Drama school endlessly involved in work in USA and part of Canada (8)
Most of a well-known drama school inside the American spelling of a word meaning work

26a    With daughter absent, perhaps son and I will deliver hot food (5)
Drop (absent) the D(aughter) from a youngster, possibly a son, and add the I from the clue to get an alternative spelling of a hot food

27a    Crazy male will make hard case (8)
A colloquial four-letter word for crazy followed by an abbreviated form of “male will”

28a    Film wet area in French cheese bar (5,9)
Put a wet area of land between a French cheese and a bar or worktop


2d    Competitive rider always in hospital department? On the contrary (7)
Don’t put a four-letter word meaning always inside a hospital department; instead (on the contrary) place the hospital department inside the word meaning always

4d    Piece tabloid people penned in serious paper (8)
A colloquial word for a popular tabloid newspaper and some people inside the two-letter abbreviation for a serious (news)paper

6d    Classroom display showing emblem of Richard III before his end (10)
Knowledge of the Wars of the Roses helps here; put the emblem used by Richard III (5,4) in front of (before) the final letter (end) of [Richar]D

7d    Studying in redbrick university (7)
Two definitions – the second being a Berkshire university

8d    See vet providing help for the bat (11)
A charade of a verb meaning to see or spot and a verb meaning to vet or check – this bat is a cricketer, not a flying mammal – the enumeration should, according to both Chambers and the ODE, be (5,6)

11d    Cockney bigamist has this nonsense (6,5)
If a cockney had two wives (bigamist) he could be said to have this

14d    Character of the dump portrayed by French artist — only one small smear (10)
This character is the eponymous hero of a children’s novel by Clive King, just add the surname of a French artiste with only one of the two S(mall)s

21d    Old habit that could make beer better (7)
Split this old habit or garment as (6,1) to get the pair of letters that turn beer into beTTer

25d    The second person in Shakespeare to get short measure (4)
Two definitions – the second being an abbreviated unit of measure (a very small one)

The Crossword Club is now open.

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The Quick Crossword pun: plague+round=playground

54 comments on “DT 28456 (Hints)

  1. 1*/3*. A light and pleasant diversion for a sunny Saturday morning. 21d was my last one in and favourite when the penny finally dropped.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

  2. **/*** – Completed at a fast canter and very enjoyable; although I didn’t ‘get’ the first part of 14d, so thanks to BD for including that in the hints.

    Favourite – my list of candidates kept growing, but I think 8d comes out on top; and, of course, 20a must get an honourable mention.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  3. Liked this, lots of witty clues. A bit like a typical Sunday puzzle but easier. Have a good weekend all.

  4. It might not have taken long to solve, but I thought it one of the most enjoyable Saturday puzzles for some time – I’ve marked several candidates for stardom but I’ll put 14d in gold medal place as it reminds me of the time the boys and I spent ‘with’ that character.

  5. I didn’t knw Richard III’s emblem but it was fairly obvious from the verbage, the other one that bothered me was 19d, pretty obvious but an unusual word.

    Apart from that it was a lovely puzzle, very enjoyable!

    Cricket today with Worcester v Surrey in the RL Cup, I much prefer the 50 over game (behind Tests of course) more like a proper game.

    I watched the Lions earlier, it was ok but they don’t look like scoring tries, I have a bad feeling about what will happen when they face the ‘proper’ All Blacks, it could be embarrrassing.

  6. Unlike commentators above, and it was too early to blame the heat early this morning, but I did find this one of the most challenging Saturdays I can remember however I enjoyed every minute of the challenge. Took a while to sort out 1a. Being of a certain age first part of 6d didn’t immediately occur to me! Toyed with something nocturnal for 8d before penny dropped but now nominate it for Fav followed by 6d. Many thanks setter and BD. 👍

  7. I do sometimes wish that our Saturday setters would pop in – this was a delight to solve and I’d like to be able to tell him/her so.
    It would also have been nice if, for once, 8d had not involved the eccentric game (reference yesterday’s back-pager) but ’twas not to be!

    Hard to pick just one favourite but 28a plus 4&21d are in close contention.

    Thanks to Mr. Saturday Ron and to BD for the not needed but nevertheless enjoyed hints.

    1. I have it on ‘good authority’ that last Saturday’s setter was an Old Testament person well known on this site

      1. Yes, we know who set last Saturday’s puzzle because he advertised it on Facebook. Can your “good authority” tell us the identity of today’s setter?

  8. I too enjoyed this one. 8d was the last one in – did I ever play cricket? D’oh! My favourite was 11d.

  9. I agree with Jane that it would be nice if today’s setter was to put in an appearance on the site because their efforts were greatly appreciated. Like Michael, I too was ignorant of Richard III’s emblem but, similarly I could see what the answer but it’s a cleverly-worded clue and I’ve learned something. I particularly liked 11d – it put a smile on my face.

  10. Found this on the tough side for a Saturday, especially since didn’t know the Richard III emblem & Clive King not my generation. Internet to the check confirmed both.
    28a my COTD – my mother’s favourite film.
    Pity about 20a being geographical but you can’ t win them all I guess.
    Thanks to setter & BD for hints

  11. As a matter of interest can someone define for me the noun “charade” and the verb “concatenate”.My dictionaries do not appear to define charade as putting together of pieces,more to do with untruths, and concatenate, while probably nearer the true meaning, is an unnecessarily clunky Latinism.I would suggest assembly as nominal and assemble as verbal words that are likely to be more apt and easily understood.
    Lovely crossword today had to use my trusty crossword solver for 8dn and kicked myself when the answer came up.Thanx to all involved.

    1. I wasn’t the first to use concatenate in a blog here, but I have used it frequently (I won’t say popularized, because apparently it’s not popular with everyone) and so I take this to be a comment on my blogs. I simply don’t understand this reaction. I thought that most of us are here discussing crosswords because we are interested in learning new words, and that upon meeting one we visit the dictionary and then feel some satisfaction at having expanded our vocabularies. Yes, “assemble” is a more common verbal word (or verb), but a typical puzzle may use the relevant clue construction ten or more times and a blog that goes assemble, assemble, assemble, … is in my view a very dull thing. Hence assemble…, link together… , chain together…, connect together…, combine…, a charade of…, and concatenate… .

      When I first used concatenate, it did not occur to me that it might be viewed by some as an unusual or pretentious word because string concatenation is a basic operation in every computer programming language and every spreadsheet (a string being a sequence of characters) and it’s been around for decades. And even if it’s not familiar, Chambers explains the meaning as “to link together as in a chain” or “to connect in a series” which should make clear what is required.

      On the subject of dictionaries, I suggest that you get a copy of Chambers, where you will also find the connection of charade to “putting together of pieces” explained clearly: “1. A type of riddle, the subject of which is a word proposed for solution from an enigmatical description of its component syllables and the whole”.

      For all those turned off by concatenate, here’s an easy solution: suggest synonymous phrases that you’d be happy with. If I get enough there will be no need for concatenate and I’ll retire it.

      1. Mr K: “concatenate” is a 21st century word for use in the 21st Century. “To join together as in a chain”, according to a well quoted source. (& with Latin roots).
        Mr Kitty without concatenate would be like Rolls without Royce no need to change for me.

      2. I agree with labradorsruleOK. I like concatenate, so there, and can’t wait for an appropriate moment to use it. My circle is composed of technonits and I’m sure I’ll impress them.

        1. I like concatenate too. In any event what’s wrong with a word in which there’s a cat lurking?

            1. As RD said – lurking! :)

              Hi Merusa. I’ve been limiting myself to one crossword per day, and today’s choice was Anax in the Indy (especially given 1d therein!).

              (To be honest some of the early comments here meant that I’d have given this site a miss anyway for fear of breaking at least two of the rules of comment etiquette.)

              Anyway, I will be doing tomorrow’s Virgilius before probably heading back to the Indy for the early days of next week. From Wednesday, however, I will be on holiday with Mr K and so lift all self-imposed crosswording restrictions. :yahoo:

      3. I’m with you on this, Mr K. Concatenate and charade are perfectly suitable words to use in relation to describing cryptic clues, or anywhere else if germane. What’s the point of having dictionaries full of interesting and useful words if we only ever use the common and conventional ones?

      4. There is a corner of my brain reserved for words that I’ve only ever encountered in the engineering world and concatenate is one of them. (until now).

  12. Really enjoyed this Saturday challenge and needed Big Dave to parse 21d – very cryptic indeed! Thanks to the Setter and BD for an enjoyable start to the weekend.

  13. What a treat on a lovely Saturday morning in Nottingham. 8d was my last one in despite having played and watched the game most of my life. My thanks to the setter for this great puzzle and to BD for explaining 14d.

  14. I guessed at 6d, and guessed wrong, so ended up doing a googlething. One lives and learns. I spent a bit more time on this than usual for a Saturday, but not really sure why. Thank you BD and setter. I have managed to avoid doing anything in the garden today because of Lions rugby (at least we won), followed by Trooping the Colour then family lunch. My conscience is getting to me so I will now head out to the shed.

  15. Oh dear, difficult to get on the setter’s wavelength today. Still can’t see why 22d is what it must be….

    1. Hi Leveret,
      The definition is ‘spring’ and the wordplay is ‘British’ plus a type of wildcat. Hope that helps (and that I don’t get sent to the naughty corner!).

    2. 22d – It’s that Darned Cat again!

      Maybe Mr Kitty can provide the statistics – why is this cat so popular with the Setters?

      1. Thanks, jane, I still didn’t get it until in desperation I googled the last bit and found a definition I had never heard of. Now it makes sense! Clearly this is known to you regulars!

      2. My data goes back to 2001. On the back page the cat has been used as a standalone answer 21 times and appeared as a component of the answer 15 times. He has also featured in the quickie 20 times.

        The data doesn’t reveal the “why”. I’d guess that setters like the cat usage because it is an obscure alternative meaning of a well-known word that is also a useful component of several longer words. It also makes for some smooth and amusing surfaces (unfortunately I can’t give examples because I have too much to do today to be spending time in the naughty corner.)

        1. There is a corner of my brain reserved for words that I’ve only ever encountered in crosswords and this is one of them.

  16. I found this decidedly tricky today but immensely enjoyable.
    I had to have a peek at the hint for 8d, floored again by a crickety clue.
    I knew Richard’s emblem, always thought it was an odd choice.
    Lots to like but fave, hands down, is 20a – yeah, I know, predictable – with 11d running second.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for the hints, particularly explaining 14d, never heard of the character.

    1. Hi Merusa,
      I did discover from Mr. Google the probable answer to your question about the choice of emblem – naughty corner threat stops me from relaying it to you, but it’s quite easy to investigate.

      1. Aha, verrrry interesting! Wish we’d had Google when I went to school, who knew?

  17. What a lovely Saturday puzzle! Nicest one for ages. 21d was my favourite, even though it is a chestnut. 2/4* overall.
    Thanks to Mr Ron, and to BD for the hints.

  18. Thanks to BD and setter for delightful way to spend sticky Saturday afternoon in Suffolk. Had to look up crickety one because I always forget it. Too many favourites to risk picking one. Have a pleasant evening.

  19. Very enjoyable but slightly trickier than is usual on Saturdays I thought – maybe my brain is frizzled – 42C in my greenhouse.
    Needless to say I’d never heard of 8d, or had forgotten it which is more likely – whichever, that was my last answer.
    I needed BD’s hint to see why my 21d was right (thanks BD) and, just for a change, I was foxed by the 15a ‘special attraction’ – I always forget the other one too.
    I liked 1 and 13a and 5 and 22d.
    Thank you, setter, and thanks too to BD.
    Friends here for supper tonight – must go and get on although as we’re barbecuing most of it is husband’s stuff to do.
    I had an email from the 2K’s this morning. They are almost at the end of their trip and are in Katherine in the Northern Territory. It sounds as if they’ve had a great time although I think I might have passed on getting really close to 3-4 metre crocs. :unsure:

  20. Reasonably straightforward for the most part but appreciated due to my jet-lagged brain. Incidentally, does anyone here find crosswords harder to solve when on holiday? I seem to struggle with them when away from the homestead – goodness knows why.

    Cheers to BD and setter **/****

  21. Thoroughly enjoyable and over in a flash. Now to languish in the heat once more…

  22. This wasn’t as easy as some of our Saturday puzzles have been , so I enjoyed it more.I’m not quite sure what the cockney had to do with 11d.
    6d was my favourite.

      1. Oddly enough it is classed as rhyming – because Cockney slang can rhyme once removed. I can’t quote this particular one (and its origin may be disputed) due to the embargo until after deadline for sending it. But for example China is rhyming slang for Mate (China Plate). Strange I know but interesting nevertheless.

        1. Quite right. Most Cockney rhyming slang is derived from two words from which the rhyming word is dropped. Many think it clever to talk of apples and pears for stairs, but to the true Cockney it is just apples. The derivation of the term used in 11d can be found by looking it up in Chambers. There are also many websites devoted to Cockney slang.

  23. Interesting solve. I was left with three last night – 8d (surprise, surprise), 20a and 21d. Knew what 21d should be but could not parse so needed 20a to be sure. Google helped me with 20a as had an idea what I was looking for. Then put 21d in but thought it probably a type of beer! Left with what could have been either a cricketing clue (ugh) or a nocturnal animal clue. Got the second half and guessed the rest. Satisfying. Please come forward Mr(s) Setter.

  24. Enjoyably challenging for me today. Last one in 22D. I knew the answer but had not heard of the wildcat so was uncertain putting it in. Favourites today were 4D and 16A.
    Thanks, as always to BD and setter.

  25. Completed on Saturday, after a slow start..hot weather for a change so planting and watering to be done.There were a couple of ‘odd’ ones15a and 21d hard to parse for me. I thought 1a was o brilliant anagram!
    11d clever too.
    I was pleased to enjoy 6d as a lover of the Wars of Roses period!
    Thanks to BD and Mr Ron.

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