DT 28743 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28743 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28743 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

This week hosted by crypticsue

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Last week BD had a hard job trying to choose which clues needed hints, this week I’ve had quite a time trying to decide which ones to leave out – I’ve provided a selection of what I considered to be the more difficult clues, but please ask if I’ve omitted some you really can’t ‘see’ as, if I’m doing one of the many other things on my list of things to do today, I’m sure someone else will be pleased to assist.

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.

My full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.

Some hints follow.


1a    Did press find Ecstasy in psychedelic drug? (5)
The abbreviation for Ecstasy inserted into an anagram (psychedelic) of DRUG

11a    Eastern Times colour covers cold and obsolete (7)
The abbreviation for Eastern, the sign used in sums to mean ‘times’ and a colour, the latter covering the abbreviation for Cold

13a    Capsized ship that’s trapped way down in rushes (6)
Capsized is probably more suited to be a reversal indicator for a Down clue.  However,  here it indicates a reversal of an adjective meaning way down trapped in the usual abbreviation for ship

15a    What goes up when it’s coming down? (8)
A cryptic definition or an old riddle?

23a    What links ‘Only Sixteenand ‘When I’m Sixty-Four, and who likes them? (7)
At the same time as giving you an earworm, this clue actually relates to what the numbers 16 and 64 represent in maths – the second definition may be getting at those of us who remember the songs in question!

24a    Othello overthrown after plot in pillow-talk scene (7)
A reversal (overthrown) of the nationality of Shakespeare’s Othello goes after a garden plot

28a    Neglected quartet reportedly arrived one short of a team (9)
A homophone (reportedly) of a quartet, another way of saying arrived and the number one short of that required for a cricket or football team

29a    Bear in booth (5)
A double definition to finish the Across clues – one a verb, the other a noun


1d    Cosmic, like a little limerick apparently (9)
This adjective meaning cosmic, if split 3, 6, into a combining form meaning one and a reference to poetry, could, apparently be like a little limerick. I was helped by a visit to the BRB when parsing this one. It’s the sort of clue makes me glad I normally review Saturday puzzles where I provide the exact parsing, not try to produce a hint without giving too much away!

4d    … is son covered in leaves? (6)
The abbreviation for son covered in a way of saying leaves

7d    Instruments playing score for the listener with opinions (9)
A homophone (for the listener) of a score in a particular game (playing) with some points of view (opinions)

8d    Party’s full of students — they have very small houses (5)
Another way of saying Party’s ‘full of’ two lots of the abbreviation for students

14d    Meet where Cockneys buy chicken? (9)
This verb meaning to meet sounds like somewhere a Cockney who drops his aitches might buy chicken

16d    Changing date to hold draw was trying (9)
An anagram (changing) of date to hold a synonym for draw (the dictionary will help here)

17d    Good person taken in by criminal with social worker’s uniform (8)
A clue full of the usual suspects – the abbreviation for a good person is ‘taken in’ by an abbreviated criminal and one of Crosswordland’s social workers

22d    Get in boat at sea — and no bait prepared? (6)
The sort of clue often provided by the Sunday Maestro, containing as it does two anagram (at sea and prepared) opportunities

25d    After work, time for something dramatic? (5)
A period of time goes after an abbreviation for work

The Crossword Club is now open.  As Miffypops would say:  ‘please play nicely’.  

Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

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!

Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

The Quick Crossword pun: role + inns + tones = Rolling Stones

46 comments on “DT 28743 (Hints)

  1. Hi Sue
    Back again – like the bad penny. Some nice clues in this one (14d&22a made me smile), but until I read your hint I really did not get 1d, so thanks for that. And as a Lord of the Rings fan I did not like the clue to 25d – not the same creatures at all!

      1. Yeah. Finger trouble – sorry.
        PS It was nice and quiet in town with all the girls watching the goggle box!

  2. Liked this one, particularly 23a, as well as 1, 14, and 22d. Now to spend the day away from any TV sets ….

  3. I enjoyed this puzzle very much. My favourite is 3D. For the first time I didn’t need to refer to cryptic sue. Now my wife wants to watch them arriving for the weeding. Here we go, it’ll be a long day……

      1. I’m going to split my time between watching the wedding and watching Mr CS doing some weeding – so if Mrs Spenseroo wants to join me :D

        1. Everyone in America is watching and loving it, but then, I’m an unabashed royalist and have always been, they are such a class act. The POW made a very powerful gesture, I hope someone in the White House is watching and taking notes.

    1. “Weeding (?)

      That reminds me … a good excuse to do something before the Cup Final starts.

  4. Could not do this for toffee.

    Needed 8 of the hints plus electronic help.

    Thanks to crypticsue.

  5. Thought that was a good Saturday puzzle with a couple of oldies but goodies thrown in, although I do have a question mark over one of the definitions in 21d – surely an operator needs to be involved?
    The Cockney buying chicken rather amused me, good spot by the setter.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to CS for filling in for BD who is doubtless at the local monthly market.

    Think the hint for 17d has been given the wrong clue no. in your post, CS.

  6. 2* / 2* for a curate’s egg today with some iffy surfaces. Parts of this were enjoyable but there were some strange clues, e.g.: 15a doesn’t work because the “it” coming down is not what’s going up; 23a is very odd; in 1d – why is it “little”? A limerick by definition is little; and, as far as I know, “booth” in the context of 29a is an American expression.

    I did like 22d. As CS says this is the sort of clue we expect to get on a Sunday. 14d also deserves a special mention.

    Thanks to the setter and to CS.

    P.S. I can definitely recommend today’s NTSPP from our very own Silvanus.

  7. 23a needs a tweak CS; 16 and 64… (don’t like the clue much personally)

    Off to do some weeding.

  8. Reasonably straightforward, enjoyable, and completed at a gallop – **/***.

    A furrowed brow at a couple in the SE, especially 16d and its synonym of draw.

    Candidates for favourite – 23a, 28a, and 23d – and the winner is 23a.

    Thanks to the setter and CS.

  9. Thank you for the hints, Sue, because I’ve struggled with today’s puzzle. So, if there are any lurkers reading this, don’t be embarrassed by having failures from time to time because it happens to all of us…

    1. It certainly does. With me it’s usually when everybody else finds it a doddle. Ho hum…

  10. 23 d….. I get quiet little gnome, but the rest of the clue makes no sense to me. Could someone explain it? Thanks, Lostboy

    1. Not without ending up in the naughty corner. Try looking up works in the dictionary as a first step

      1. Thanks CS….. it turns out to be the definition of rank that threw me. Funny how you (well me anyway) can have a complete blind spot.

  11. I thought this was going to be a pangram, thus 13a took ages trying to fit in the missing letter – oh well.
    Fave was 23a.
    Thanks to setter and to Crypticsue for her hints.

  12.  A puzzle of 2 halves for me. The east went in before I got started in the west. Nothing leapt out as COTD but there was almost an audible clunk when the penny dropped on the Cockney Chicken. So that gets my vote. Not sure what the elipses add to 3 and 4d but probably not thinking straight as I was distracted by the Royal Weeding. (Imagining Charles apologising to a dandelion before he pulls it out of the lawn etc.)
    Thanks to setter and CS.

  13. Well I had lots of solutions where I just put in the crossers … Lots of head-scratching. Maybe my 5am rise to work in the woods didn’t help! Anyway I got there but am still bamboozled by 16dn. If you are still there crypticsue, I would appreciate a hint.

    My 92 year old Mother is not going to like this one!

      1. I’m assuming you’ve emailed SW with a hint for 16d. If not, please let me know and I’ll do my best to help him

        1. Any chance of a hint for 16d for me please? Otherwise enjoyable puzzle today. I laughed out loud at chicken clue. Thanks to setter and CS.

            1. Yes, JB has emailed me and the penny finally dropped. Thanks to him and all of you.

  14. Only got 3 answers on first pass, but then it came steadily together. Grateful for CrypticSue’s very helpful hints on a couple of holdouts, including 14d and 23a. It’s been raining almost non stop here in sunny South Florida every day since last Saturday (except for yesterday) and very wet and grey again today. So I’m going to have another coffee and watch the wedding highlights I recorded earlier. But some of my friends did get up at 4 a.m. to watch….

  15. Another super Saturday puzzle with lots of smiles and good fun. Always seem to be on the Saturday setters radar and today was no exception. NW corner proved to be the trickier for me today with last in 4d. Many great clues today and really liked 1d and 14d both brilliant! (Sorry about that Linkalot.) Overall a real treat to have completed the puzzle and really enjoyed it. First post disappeared must be a problem somewhere, anybody aware of issues posting?

    Clues of the day: Obviously 1d / 14d

    Rating: 3* / 4*

    Thanks to CS and the setter.

    1. I too have had some difficulties posting from my android (but not from laptop) I seem to have narrowed it down to a data saver I installed to avoid exceeding my data limit before I went to London.
      I’ve uninstalled it now and everything seems to work again.

  16. A nice romp today and I enjoyed being back in the game after a few problems. However, my instinctive reactions have definitely gone up a notch.
    Thanks to setter and cs.

  17. Haven’t Saturday crosswords become more challenging recently? Much more fun to my mind. This one was no exception with 14d being my top clue, although I expect is it an old chestnut.
    Thanks to the setter and also to CS for her hints. Now for some weeding… on second thoughts perhaps after the cup final.

  18. I enjoyed this one and found it a bit quirky in the clueing but fun to solve nonetheless.

    Thanks to CS and setter 2*/3.5*

  19. Thought that was excellent. Pretty quick for the most part, I then got stuck on 12ac and 7d in the NE corner, and 23ac and 14d in the SW corner. Overall time then about ** for difficulty. Favourite clues 22d and 26ac.

  20. Did this one early Sunday morning before going out in the garden. A straightforward solve for a prize puzzle with one or two leaps of faith needed to complete it. 22d the standout Virgilianesque clue for me, and 2* /3* overall.

    Thanks setter and CS.

  21. Interesting puzzle, hints and comments. Difference of opinions on difficulty level and favourite/less favourite clues. I think 16d seems to have caused the most head scratching. It was one of my last in but the final one was 27a which I have only just managed to parse. I haven’t managed to parse 18a although I believe I have the right answer. 11d favourite. Clue works for me. Followed by 14 and 21d although I expect the latter is an old chestnut. I have to admit that I only started this today due to watching certain nuptials yesterday.

  22. Ouch!!! My brain must be fuddled today! I found crypticsue’s hints more cryptic than the clues! But I will keep trying until Wednesday……..

    1. Welcome to the blog Brian

      They are meant to be hints, so you still have to do the work. Although you may think they are cryptic, remember that you always get the answer underlined, which is often all you need.

  23. Yes, a bit of a curate’s egg – quite mild, but certainly a “fun” puzzle. 22d: I don’t do the Sunday crossword so I haven’y seen many of these “belt and braces” type of clue. Admittedly quite clever, but a low reading on the cogitatometer – am in two minds about it. 2* / 2.5*.

  24. A bit late but noted fewer subscribers – not surprising with the Royal Wedding on Sat and then a street party on Sunday with catch up today.
    Fair to middling this time some easy some obscure, needed a couple of hints for which I am grateful to Sue!. l was puzzled by 15a and it suddenly came – so obvious !
    Enjoyed it nonetheless – thanks too to the compiler.

Comments are closed.