DT 28474 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28474 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28474 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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Hello everyone – Kath here. BD is on his way to Macclesfield for the ‘do’ so I’m pretending to be him today. If anyone needs hints for any of the clues that I haven’t done then please ask.

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            Disapprove of hiding current drop in value (10)
A verb to disapprove of or disparage which contains (hiding) the one letter symbol for (electrical) current in physics.

9a            Trail volunteers returning in pursuit of normal soldiers (10)
A short word (3) that means normal or equal is followed by (in pursuit of) a reversal (returning) of a trail or track left by an animal and the two letters for the volunteer army.

10a         Just over half of Beatles worked to make ‘Help!’ (4)
An anagram (worked) of the first four letters (just over half) of BEAT(les).

13a         Go in after fish and chips (9)
Chips here is a slang word used in the building trade – an edible freshwater fish is followed by (after) a synonym for go in.

20a         18 goes over and samples baked goods (8)
A reversal (goes over) of another word for the answer to 18a is followed by samples or tastes.

23a         Shock at zebras regularly becoming dangerous animals (3-6)
This shock is a lot of long hair such as that on a horse or male lion – follow it with the AT from the clue and alternate letters of z[E]b[R]a[S].

29a         Both rather fancy dish (5-5)
An anagram (fancy) of BOTH RATHER



1d            Take exercise drug (4)
A word meaning take or study is followed by the usual two letters for physical exercise

2d            Green lights for a motorway and street, northbound (7)
A short word that means ‘for a’ or each is followed by a motorway, the one that goes from London to the north, and then a reversal (northbound) of the abbreviation for street.

3d            Spare millions a woman left on the side? (12)
Spare or left over, the abbreviation for M(illions), the A from the clue, a woman’s name – an educated one – and the abbreviation for L(eft).

14d         Finally be amusing about working and saving money (10)
The last letter (finally) of bE is followed by an adjective that means amusing or funny which contains (about) a little word meaning working or not switched off.

17d         Elements of football and cricket used in religious festival (8)
Two bits to this answer – begin with a word that means transfer the ball from one player to another in football and follow that with a series of six balls in cricket.

25d         Auntie‘s complaint cut short bishop (4)
Most of (cut short) a four letter word that means a complaint or a grumble is followed by the one letter abbreviation for a B(ishop).

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64 comments on “DT 28474 (Hints)

  1. A very pleasant puzzle this morning, with very little headscratching and some laughs on the way. My favourite was 23a after a real penny drop moment. Thanks to the setter and to Kath for the hints.

  2. This had two distinct parts for me – the north west corner and the rest of the puzzle. Have a good weekend all.

  3. I thought this was lovely. Very entertaining with some smiles along the way. Favorites were 23A, 1D and 11D. thanks Kath and the Saturday Setter.

  4. A fast canter for this one – 1.5*/3*.

    I may be imagining things (I have been out in the sun for two days straight, so my mental state might be more in question than usual) but this one seemed to be ‘overflowing’ with oldies but goodies

    Favourite – 5d.

    Thanks to the setter and Kath.

  5. Not too taxing on a hot and sunny day in the East Midlands. I liked 3d the most though it took me a while to solve.

  6. Yes, like Expat Chris, I thought that this puzzle was lovely as well. I particularly liked 3d too and I’m amused by Kath’s sense of humour – not only because of the wording of the hint but the innocence of the photograph…

  7. Hmm, I thought this was OK but nothing special. No real standouts and overall 2/2.5*.
    I don’t mean to sound carmudgeonly honest!
    Thanks to the setter, and to Kathy for leaving her garden unattended.

  8. Pretty straightforward, and */*** for me. Loved 1d, which made me smile, but not as much as cartoon for 14d which reminded me of a recent trip with a certain Irish airline.

  9. Managed to complete today without too much agony, although I needed the hints to see why I got a couple
    answers. So thanks to Kath for that.
    Favourites were 15&16a.

  10. */***. Enjoyable but brief. The east side went in fastest but had a few pauses with the west. Favourites were 15&23a and 5d. Thanks to the setter and Kath for the hints.

  11. Quite right, Expat Chris, most enjoyable puzzle today.
    I needed the hints for the explanation for 9a, forgot that word for trail, and 2d.
    Fave was 25d with 5d running very close behind.
    Thanks to the Saturday setter and to Kath for standing in. I hope D is having a good time.

  12. Must be me being super dim but I had real struggle and an enormous amount of electronic help. Thanks to setter and Kath off to attempt GK crossword, fingers crossed OH will make some tea in near future.

  13. This tyro’s improving – no hints needed today, but had to come here to find out why 23 had to be what it is. Must buy a book of synonyms! What an amazing language we have – do such cryptics exist in other languages?

  14. Goodness I wasn’t switched on this morning! End of term-itis I think. It turned out to be a lovely crossword after all. Thanks Kath for getting me started!

  15. Very difficult, and unfortunately most of the hints are for ones I have got.
    Oh well, another failure, definitely getting worse.
    Thanks to Kath and the setter

    1. Oh, Hoofit, don’t despair. We all have ups and downs, but somehow the dim days disappear and all is clear again. I think we’ve had some pretty tricky puzzles this week, at least they were for me and I’ve been doing these for an awfully long time.

    2. Oh dear – my standard response to any near disaster – a friend of mine says that it’s a ‘nursey expression’.
      Can I help you with a couple of extra hints that would set you on your way again? If there are any ones in particular – those that would give you starting letters perhaps – then let me know.
      You’re not a failure and you’re not getting worse – you’re just having a bad day. Cheer up! :smile:

      1. You can help me out with 26a. I put an answer in but for the life of me I don’t know why.

        1. Hi Merusa,I think I can help…
          The definition is “short” and the wordplay is a dog + the (front) tip of tail

          1. Grrrr! I had the wrong last letter, no wonder it didn’t make sense. Thanks a million Hoofit.

    3. As Merusa said, don’t despair. I remember being of the same mindset a while back and she said the same to me – so I stuck at it and slowly the fog clears.

      It’s frustrating at times but crack on and enjoy the ride.

      1. Thanks for the kind words.
        It’s hard to rationalise why sometimes I can do them, and sometimes I can’t. It must be a wavelength thing, I suppose. A good example is that ‘Beatles’ clue, until I read Kath’s excellent hint, it was a total mystery.
        Anyway, I have just cheered up watching a video my granddaughter throwing the wellie at her sports day last Friday.
        Kath, thanks for the offer, but I managed to complete via a combination of hints, the DT online ‘reveal letter’ and online crossword solver. Cheating, or what!!

        1. It is always all to do with wave-length. Most people think that the Monday crosswords are the least difficult – I fight with them.
          No – not cheating – I really don’t think that you can cheat yourself – others can disagree if they like but we do this for fun so don’t forget that it should always be fun.
          Just keep going.

    4. Found this hard to get going with initially – finally got going with SE corner and the rest slowly came together! Some good clues – 1d a classic.

  16. Loved this one today. Just the right amount of difficulty to make it enjoyable.
    Oysters and barbecued tuna on the menu tonight!
    Tanks to Kath and our Saturday setter.

  17. A good start to my Saturday. Well any day I can finish without googling is a good day. Favourite was 15a. Thanks to setter and to Kath for hints.

  18. Enjoyable and most definitely on the easy side. Last in 26ac, where for some reason I kept looking for the ‘tail’ rather than ‘tip’.

  19. Short but sweet:1*/3.5*. My favourite was also my last in – 3d. Thanks to the setter, and to Kath.

  20. I am completely stuck on 5 down. I have x something, * something, *. I put in asterisks for the on the bounce letters so I don’t give the other clues away. I can think of plenty of words that would fit but I just don’t understand why.

    1. 5d has lurking within it another word for ‘spills’ which here is a plural noun which you will have to look up in the dictionary and then look for synonyms

      I have x’d out the wrong letter you had at the start so you may want to look at Kath’s hint for 1a and put the correct solution in there first to get the correct first letter for 5d

      1. So what’s the actual definition,? I am as confused as Carolyn, though I know I have the right answer

        1. You are probably too young to remember ‘spills’ but a trip to the dictionary may help – I nearly put a phrase there which would have sent me to the naughty corner.

          1. Many thanks Sue, the definition of ‘spills’ is certainly new to me. I see it now!! Thanks.

        2. The actual definition is ‘spills’ – a plural noun, as CS says, not a verb.
          I daren’t say any more for fear of the naughty corner – can I be sent to the naughty corner if I’ve done the hints? :unsure: Who would send me there?

          1. I’m about to go to bed so presumably if I’m the only other one around, you may be safe (ish)

            I’ve just learned that today’s setter is Mister Ron, who apparently didn’t realise he was solving his own crossword until he’d got quite a few clues into the process

      2. Doh! I see now how wrong I was on 1A. No idea why I did that. I’d like to blame wine but it’s only 5.07 p.m. here and my lovely long-suffering husband has only just poured me a glass….

        OK now I have corrected that… I will take another look. CrypticSue I want to know the phrase that would put you in the naughty corner! LOL.

        Nope…. Hmmm…

        1. I’ve made a note to put it in a comment when Gnomey’s review is published on Friday morning. All you have to do is make a note to read it!

  21. OK got it. 5 down. Looked at dictionary. I am older than dirt, or so it seems sometimes, especially lately. but I hadn’t heard of that noun. I was born in the UK and lived there on and off throughout my childhood. Then was gone for a while but again in my early years as a young married woman and mum…. but moved across the pond (I actually dislike that expression so gawd knows why I am using it) in 1989. So while I know a lot of the older British terms I am at a loss with how much the language has changed. Totally off topic but I have no idea why UK comments on newspapers use the term ‘simples’ and other much ruder terms that simply didn’t seem to exist when I was there. But enough veering off at tangents! I have finished the corssword. Roll on 7 o’clock and I can print off Sunday’s!

    1. I knew it from living in London from 1960-1965, so it should have been familiar to you. They might not have been things that you would need if you had a working pilot light. Oops, have I said too much?

    2. “Simples” is from a rather irritating advert for a web comparison site for finding best deal on insurance etc. The premise involves several meerkats who for some inexplicable reason have russian accents. there is a play on words between Compare the market( the website) and compare the meerkat. The tagline is the Russian accented “Simples” to justify how easy it is to find a good deal.

  22. Very nice though I don’t understand 5d.
    My favourite is 17d.
    Thanks to Kath and the setter.

  23. Very nice puzzle today, I had a little trouble understanding the wordplay for 8a, reversing this bit and that bit but not the other bit – grrrr!

    Enjoyed the Rugby this morning, I thought the All Blacks got the rough end of the Refereeing decisions but it was just about a fair result – if not a little underwhelming. The Lions did a lot better than virtually everyone predicted, pretty successful tour!

    There’s talk about doing away with the British Lions which would be a great shame, it’s got to be the pinnacle of any British or Irish players career to wear the red jersey.

  24. No opportunity until now to tackle today’s exercise due in part to a feast of TV sport – All Blacks and Wimbledon – so pleased to find I could sail through it with just a slight hold-up in the NW. Some of the clues had a a rather rookie feel about them but now gather from CS that that is not the case. For me the COTD was 13a. Thank you Mister Ron and also Kath for standing in for the boss.

    1. The definition is election.
      It is an anagram (terribly) of close battle and a single letter for Republican.
      Hope that helps.

  25. Finally got to Saturdays paper after a busy day watching the TdF and a trip to local food festival.
    I am with Toadson on this, The NW corner was the toughest bit for me too.
    I almost had a 19d when I saw that many of the clues I was struggling with were unhinted here but felt a bit of an 18a when with a bit of caffeine stimulation they all dropped in.
    With this sites help I’m getting better at this crossword lark.
    Lots of nice wordplay special mention to 1a and 14d

    Thanks to Kath and everyone else who has improved my crosswording and to the setter.

  26. Thanks for the blog, and I’m pleased that most people seem to have enjoyed the puzzle. As has been pointed out in the comments, I started solving the puzzle having forgotten that it was one of mine. After solving two clues I thought to myself “blimey, I’ve got a crossword coming up with a clue very similar to that”. A couple of clues later I realised why …

    1. Thank you for dropping in, found it hard work but enjoyable workout for Saturday. Recognise your problem as I bought two copies of the same puzzle book and was several pages in before I realised what I had done.

    2. I have that problem with some of one particular setter’s puzzles that I test as the gap between testing and publishing can be so long that I quite often wonder why other solvers are finding a particular puzzle very difficult until I realise it is an ‘old friend’ of mine

    3. CS said it was you! Thanks for popping in and owning up. I had to laugh at you solving your own crossword. Revisit us again soon.

  27. Another good puzzle. That you Mister Ron. Thank you Kath for the explanation of 9a. Did not get the trail at all. I am very familiar with spills. Used to come in small bundles and were different colours. Happy memories. Bottom half went in easily but top half except 2d and 15a had to wait until today. A lot of favourites. 23a was particularly clever also liked 1, 10 and 13 across. Not to forget 1, 3, 8 and 19 down. Much slower for me than most during the week but none the less enjoyable.

  28. I cannot get 6 across and 16 across. Can anyone help, please? It may be because I have 7 down (beginning with *) wrong.

    1. 6a Push five to leave Oxford? (4)
      Remove the Roman numeral for five from a verb to push to leave what an Oxford is a variety of.

      16a Hole found in old vehicle beginning to rust (6)
      A slang word for an old vehicle followed by the first letter of rust.

  29. Finished it Saturday but it was hard going – although I didn’t need the hints, somehow it came together. The zebra answer leapt out but I could not justify it for some time. As usual some clever anagrams. Watched the Lions match in the pub it was heaving and I was forced to stand…however it was a fair result. Then -concentrate on the crossy!
    Glad all enjoyed it as well.

  30. Houseguests have all left, and I have finally been able to grab some time for myself. I really enjoyed this once I got my head around a few things. 23a was favourite. Many thanks for your splendid review Kath and many thanks to the setter.

  31. I thought this one was quite good, by Sat Prize standards (I usually find them a bit on the easy/elementary side). 2.5*/3*.

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