DT 28546 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28546 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28546 (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    Leaves with agreement, offering comfort (3,3,8)
Leaves used to make a drink are followed by a three-letter word meaning with then a word meaning agreement gives comfort or kind words offered to someone in trouble

10a    Bass, perhaps, ditching river for burn (5)
Start with someone who makes musical sounds, a bass perhaps, and drop the R(iver)

13a    Hoses quietly away — it’s an effect of the weather (10)
A charade of a verb meaning hoses, as in hoses the garden, the musical notation for quietly and three-letter word meaning away

16a    Keep transporting box? (6)
If this box is split (4,2) it could mean to keep transporting

20a    Trader‘s harangue about church being led by this writer (8)
A harangue around CH(urch) is preceded (being led) by the two-letter pronoun meaning this writer

23a    Study cafe and its cooking to take away (10)
A three-letter verb meaning to study followed by an anagram (cooking) of CAFE and ITS

27a    Not licked, like eggs before baking? (8)
This word meaning not licked or not defeated describes some eggs before they have been prepared for baking a cake

28a    Where witness should sign? That’s putting it mildly (14)
Split as (5,9) this is where a witness should sign a particular document


2d    A group playing in desert (7)
Christmas has come early with this chestnut! – a charade of the A from the clue, a group and a word meaning playing

4d    Secret tripper‘s pack? (8)
When this tripper who hides in a ship is split (4,4) it means to pack

5d    Endeavour initially lacking bite (6)
The surname of the fictional detective whose first name was revealed as Endeavour followed by the initial letter of L[acking]

8d    Doctor stationed in place at the end of one’s road (11)
An anagram (doctor) of STATIONED IN

14d    Dissolute don briefly left with one way out (10)
The shortened (briefly) of a university don followed by L(eft), I (one) and a way out

19d    Write piece about the first figure in Ancient Rome — emperor, maybe (7)
A verb meaning to write followed by a weapon known in some circles as a piece around the first Roman numeral gives a creature of which emperor is a type


22d    Youngsters working for BP? (6)
These youngsters belong to an organisation, whose motto is Be Prepared, which was founded by Baden-Powell – I hope I’ve missed something, if not this is a very poor clue

25d    Food‘s beautiful, we hear (4)
This food sounds like (we hear) an adjective meaning beautiful

The Crossword Club is now open.

Mrs BD and I are off to get our flu jabs, and then on to the village Café and Market. Back around lunchtime.

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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!

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The Quick Crossword pun: hire+ark+quay=hierarchy

72 comments on “DT 28546 (Hints)

  1. This took me a while to get going but they all gradually revealed themselves,with my clue of the day going to 23A.Many thanks to all.

  2. Really enjoyed this one and thought many of the clues had a slightly ‘different’ feel to them. Anyone got the low-down on today’s setter?
    Finished up with plenty of ticks on the page but finally narrowed it down to awarding the podium places to 18&28a plus 4&11d with a nod to 5d on Kath’s behalf.

    Many thanks to Mr Saturday Ron and to BD for the club – hope neither you or Mrs BD suffer any ill effects from the flu jab!

    1. Samuel has just fessed up to this one on Facebook – he said “it was only after solving a couple of clues that I realised it looked familiar …”.

      1. Mister Ron or Samuel, I think that his realisation that he was solving his own puzzle has happened before.

  3. 1*/3*. This made a pleasant diversion after Mrs RD and I returned from our flu jabs!

    This all fell into place quickly except for 1a, which is an expression I’d never heard of before, although it really couldn’t have been anything else given the checking letters. I failed to parse 19d having missed the relevance of piece – thanks, BD!

    My podium places go to 18a, 23a & 28a.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

    1. What a coincidence. My wife and I also had our flu jabs and I was rewarded for good behaviour with the bonus of a shingles jab in the other arm.

        1. Chocolate or biscuit in the GP surgery!! Your practice must be very affluent. We don’t even get a cup of water.

          1. All we get is a command to sit in the waiting room for 10mns before leaving. None of us do – the place is full of sick people……….

            1. Aren’t you all the lucky ones! Into the surgery; commanded to join the queue – flu jab – then straight out of the exit after purchasing a raffle ticket for the local patients’ association. Compensation was that today’s crossword seemed very straightforward.

              1. Dear goodness – I can think of plenty of ‘local patients’ who I wouldn’t want to pick out of the draw!
                At least we can all award ourselves a gold star for dutifully turning up for the ‘jab’.

        2. I’m due to get my typhoid jab soon followed three days later by my flu jab. Hope the cocktail mixes ok.
          Haven’t finished the crossword yet. A burst pipe has flooded the garage out. I’ll say thank you BD and setter now whilst I have the chance. Just finishing a much needed cup of tea.

  4. As is so often the case, first impression was somewhat forbidding but softly, softly catchee monkey and ta-da! I liked several including 16a, 18a and 28a and indeed 22d once the oily association had been discarded. Thank you Mysteron and BD.

    1. This (22d) was my last one in!
      I too was thinking of the wrong type of person involved in drilling…In my little word book only two fit in the space!
      Agree that plodding along it all came out. Wrongly I assumed that 5d began with an E until I got 1a which was a good one.
      As usual some good anagrams except 14d which fooled me for a while.
      Thanks to BD and compiler.

  5. Like Big Dave, I wasn’t very impressed with 22d but 3d, to my mind, was even worse… Having said that, I enjoyed doing battle with the setter and, having begun this puzzle on a damp, cloudy morning in South Cheshire, I’ve finished it in bright sunshine, although it might just be temporary.

  6. Most of my potential favourites have already been selected by earlier commenters, but I think an honourable mention is due, like PLR above, for the emperor. Didn’t like 22d so have knocked a bit of the enjoyment, therefore 2*/3* overall for me.

    Many thanks to the Saturday setter and BD.

  7. A good Saturday work-out, with some reasonable mis-direction and obfuscation – **/***.

    Candidates for favourite – 28a, 14d, 17d, 21d, and 22d; and the winner is 14d.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  8. I liked 22D! Apart from initially having a completely wrong answer for 24A (it worked for me!), this was a nice gentle start to my day. Thanks to Samuel and BD.

    1. Yes – I didn’t have a problem with 22d either. I did briefly follow the red herring to British Petroleum!

    2. I laughed at 22d, how easily I fell into the trap of thinking it was something to do with the petrol company…luckily brain kicked in.

  9. Thanks to Mister Ron and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, lots of fun and misdirection. Mind you, I misdirected myself by reading the first word of 13a as “horses”. I got 24a and worked backwards to solve 5d. I liked 4d,but favourite and last in was 19d. Even when I had the checkers, I thought I was looking for a person, but eventually the penny dropped.

  10. Thanks for the blog and the comments — and apologies to anyone who wasn’t a fan of 22dn. It seems to have been a bit of a marmite clue. Still, you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

    Flu jabs are obviously earlier in some parts of the country than in others. Up here in Yorkshire, it’s next Saturday. I doubt there will be free biscuits, though!

    1. I thought 22d was a great clue and also 19d, I can’t tell you how long I spent trawling through a list of Roman emperors. There’s one called Pupien that caused some consternation.

  11. One of the most gentle Saturdays, and enjoyed it very much. Just need to figure out 11d to finish. 1a was probably my favourite.

  12. Very enjoyable for me, and I liked 22d as well.
    Lots to like, 14d made me smile, but fave was 1a, remember the movie?
    Thanks to Mister Ron for the entertainment and to BD for his hints.

  13. I cannot get my flu jag until the end of October…….and there are certainly no biscuits or even a glass of water at our surgery . Miserable tripehounds that they are.

    Enjoyed this puzzle very much but got completely stuck on 4d and 25d…..after seeing the hints I really do not know why I was so stuck.
    I liked 22d once I had stopped thinking of petrol.
    (Hope it will be OK to say that.)

    Thanks to Big Dave and to Mister Ron

  14. A very enjoyable start to the weekend. Thanks to Mr Ron and BD. I’ve just submitted my solution into the prize draw. Does anyone know anyone who has received the much sought after pen? It is awarded ‘ to the sender’s of the first three correct solutions opened from all those received’. How does that work in a digital age?

    1. I’ve just realised that if you submit electronically as opposed to by post or email the prize is voucher, not a pen. Silly me, I ought to know by now to read the … manual.☺

      1. Blagged my way into a job on a building site once, knowing nothing about operating heavy machinery. First day, performed RTFM and got promoted soon afterwards.It always pays off.

        1. I had to ask that nice Mr. Google about RTFM (seem to be a few alternatives for the third word!). It put me in mind of the lovely man who used to cover our area fixing computer malfunctions. He always maintained that the highest percentage of his call-outs involved PICNIC issues – Problem In Chair, Not In Computer.

          1. Mr. Google enlightened me too. My experience is that the helpfulness of reading the English version of the FM rather depends on the nationality of the author – Japanese, Chinese, etc. tend to make instructions as clear as mud!

          2. Telephone support: “Close all windows, then right-click on your Desktop.”
            A kerfuffle and a short pause – “Have you done that now?”
            “Hang on…” he says, “I’ve shut the windows, now I’m just looking for a pen.”

            1. If you submit by email, ie by scanning in a copy of the completed grid, is it a voucher that you would win or the very desirable pen?

              1. I think it is the pen, vouchers are the prize when submitting electronically. My original question has not been answered: does anyone know anyone who has won the pen?

                1. I won the pen for the Sunday Telegraph Cryptic in December 2011. And very handsome it is too.

                  Unbelievably I also won a runner up ball point pen for the Daily Telegraph Saturday Cryptic in March 2012.

                  I have been submitting for years so could not believe my luck when I won twice within the space of 4 months.

                  Both were submitted by snail mail.

                  Needless to say, nothing since.

          3. I’ve always known it as PEBCAK – problem exists between chair and keyboard. It’s not a real word but once heard never forgotten.

  15. Looked tricky to start with but got going with a spread of answers the helped with all four corners


  16. Any chance of parsing the following please ? Clue “lizards that may be using a double disguise ” Answer “iguanas” —–Telegraph book 9, puzzle 56–Many Thanks

    1. Looks like an anagram (disguise) of ‘using a’ with another ‘a ‘ (double). Not entirely certain but possibly.

      1. Thank you Letterbox Roy and John P —-I have found that Googling a clue from the Telegraph X Word book often turns up the relevant Big Dave blog from 2009 in full–amazing ! –did not work in this case though–would appreciate help on one other clue–“But it’s no aspersion on the score “–answer “slur”

        1. Slur is also a musical term meaning to play the notes in a flowing style – hence the ‘score’ reference.

  17. I had my flu jab at the pharmacy. No queue but no biscuits.
    Could not get the gist of this at all. With your help I’m now down to one clue. Just waiting for it to drop into my head. You did cover the one I’m missing but I can’t get it yet. It will sink in later. Had too much help to submit it anyway.

  18. All bar 25d went in in 1* time and I’m still trying to twig it AND refusing electronic assistance. Would anybody be kind enough to point me in the rough direction regarding the wretched food please. Fun puzzle and straightforward for 96.43% ish.

    Thanks to Mister Ron and BD. 4* for enjoyment.

      1. Oh, just seen it in the hints, not that the hint gives much away! Maybe a general term for food…

      1. That was the one I was stuck on but finally twigged. Don’t over think it.
        It’s the simplest definition

    1. Thanks folks – didn’t help that I’d dimly put in a wrong answer for 27ac. Once that was sorted out all became clear and people who inhabit the Greater London area maybe heard some clanging.

      Cheers to all.

  19. Slow to get going but eventually I got there. The emperor was my favourite and overall 2/3*
    Thanks to Mister Ron and to BD for the hints.

  20. Lightning fast for the most part, but I got badly stuck in the NE corner and eventually limped home in *** time. Gah.

  21. the wretched 25d – plenty of comment above, and the first time ever I’ve been stuck for the very last clue which is 4 letters long, and for which I have the second and last letters, which I’ve checked and checked. As a last resort I went on to Crossword solver, it gave 131 results, none of which fitted !! Help !

      1. crypticsue – I’m fully aware that BD provided an extremely clear hint for 25d, but after looking at 131 words,as above, none of which fit, I need help !

        1. Try thinking about the clue rather than gazing at a word list. There is a limited amount of help that we are prepared to provide for prize puzzles.

        2. I’m wondering (although I don’t see how) whether one of the checking letters you have from the Across clues is wrong – not least because I’ve just looked at Crossword Solver and for the two letters you should have in your four letter word, there are 155 options for that combination.

  22. I noticed lots of folk have been on about flu jabs…is that because most are ‘OCs’…(0ld codgers) ? We have ours Saturday coming….
    How many ‘youngsters’ can be bothered to do the Prize Crossy?

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