DT 28749 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28749 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28749 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club
Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Greetings from Warrington!

Mr and Mrs BD are off doing swinging things with car keys, so I am popping in to hold the fort today.

It’s a lovely puzzle, probably by the original Mysteron, given a couple of the clues; though I have to say that I had one huge face palming moment when I couldn’t see the last one to go in and eventually after a large coffee and several crumpets, it hit me!

I’ll be around keeping tabs on things, so remember to play nice.  A couple of the definitions used in today’s wordplay are things that you only find used in Crosswordland, so visits to the places below are recommended.  And no answers please!

If you finish and are looking for other challenges, there are other puzzles around to tackle, and if you are a Dada fan, he’s all over the place today in the Guardian and Financial Times puzzles, both of which are free to air through the websites.

My day is being spent vetting some quiz questions for a TV show and watching the Champions’ League Final and willing my team on to win.  Without going into the merits of such things, it is available to watch for free via the BT Sport app and BTSport.com website.  Allez les Rouges!

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 Big news story — sad end of space flight (10)
The word for a major newspaper scoop plus something meaning when you feel sad or blue.

11a Bits of squid etc the French caught in net cast indiscriminately (9)
The definite article in French goes inside an anagram of cast net.


14a Shopkeepers’ basic cost not recovered (12)
An anagram of basic cost not gives purveyors of things that are smelly and leave horrible detritus (climbs down off soapbox).

18a Dance from the 1960s made a hotspot delirious (6,6)
The name of a 1960’s dance is an anagram of made a hotspot

24a Threatened one legislator with abolition (9)
The Roman numeral for one, plus an abbreviation for an elected legislator plus what you are doing when you abolish something.

27a Maybe shares how cleric is dressed for service (10)
The way a churchman dresses on a Sunday or special occasion. It’s an expression but run together to make one word.


1d Rare blemish on church (6)
Add the abbreviation for the Church of England onto something that means a blemish.

2d Like a wild animal at university, interrupting row (6)
Here’s one of those words you only see in Crosswordland (and Crypticsueland!). Inside a word for a row or queue goes a short word meaning to be at university.

3d Learning gossip when drunk — with this? (9,5)
If I tell you that drunk here does double duty, as an anagram indicator and part of the definition, that may help you. Unscramble ‘learning gossip’.



4d Go out with actor Terence — one might make an impression (4-5)
A word meaning to go out with someone plus the name of a famous actor called Terence who seems to have been around forever and is still going strong.

9d PC operating system rarely seen nowadays (7,3,4)
My favourite clue of the day! A lovely cryptic definition for how PC’s used to go about their duty in the Good Old Days. Don’t think computers!

17d I call for help carrying most important electronic and nuclear materials (8)
After I goes an abbreviation for a cry for help. Inside the cry goes a word meaning most important or vital and the abbreviation for electronic.

22d What may stop cricket broadcast as a rule (5)
A word that means rule sounds like what England will be praying for at Lord’s today.


Right- in the words of Mr Burns, fly my pretties, fly – and play nicely!

The Crossword Club is now open.

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: Sheikhs + pier  =  Shakespeare

46 comments on “DT 28749 (Hints)

  1. Regulars will know that I was actually at the Village Café and Market, and have returned with some freshky-cut local asparagus for lunch. Thanks to Tilsit for taking over the chair. Like him my favourite, once the penny dropped, was 9d.

    1. Bet it won’t be as fresh as our asparagus – we’ll be picking it about two minutes before lunch

      1. Ah, but mine is Worcestershire asparagus – the best you can get – from the banks of a nearby river and picked this morning.

        1. I remember my mother telling me of how she and other wives were sent to spend a few weeks in Worcestershire during the war while their husbands were there on home operations, the idea being to get as many of them as possible pregnant. Her abiding memory was of the fabulous local asparagus. It didn’t help her to conceive at the time but she made the most of the produce!

  2. Somewhat of a curate’s egg for me, with a furrowed brow or two, helped by a sprinkling of oldies but goodies, and a big groan when the penny finally dropped on 9d, completed at a gallop – **/**.

    A struggle to identify a real favourite, but 4d was pretty good.

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  3. 1/3 for me today. Liked 19 & 26d and never heard of the 16d term, let alone tried it.
    Thanks to setter and to Tilsit for the blog whilst BD enjoys a well-earned break.
    I read with dismay about Florence’s tits in yesterday’s blog…. Ours are about to fly the nest and we might be capable of woodpecker-murder or squirrel-murder should they even dare try to harm ‘our’ babies. My wife would cry for a week. Our Nest-cam died just after they hatched (how typical) but we have still been impressed and charmed by the drive of nature.

    1. I just hope that everyone reading has been following the saga of Florence’s nestbox – otherwise they may be worrying about her failed implants!

      1. The only implant I have is a lens in my right eye! The blue tits are still in the nest box, but spreading their wings and trying to fly. Tomorrow maybe?

  4. A mildish Sat Prize with good clues and an enjoyable solve, but over too quickly. My favs: 9d, 19d and 14a – you don’t see many of those around these days as small, independent shops. 2* / 3*

  5. 9d the standout COTD for me in this enjoyable romp through crosswordland this cloudy, damp Marches morning. A good clue mix, some well-constructed anagrams and a lot of fun to be had along the way. 2* /4* overall from me, with thanks to our Saturday setter for a good challenge, and to Tilsit.

  6. I thought this was a great puzzle which initially prompted a lot of head-scratching. With about one third of the grid done was about to leave it for later when the penny dropped with 1a. And then everything fell rapidly into place.

    Favourite clue 9d but also liked 1a, 18a, 5d and 19d. Didn’t know the use of the word in 16d. Slight quibble with 12a but otherwise well clued IMHO and very enjoyable.

    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit – I too will be cheering on the Red Men tonight despite being a Carlisle Utd fan. We don’t get to too many European finals…

  7. Thank you to the setter for a good brain training session this morning. What a joy when 9 down was accomplished ! Thank you to Tilsit too.

  8. Overall good fun with plain-sailing in the West whilst the beast from the East delayed things a bit. Had completely forgotten 18a and unaware of 16d. 9d definitely Fav when PC finally dawned on me. TVM Mysteron and Tilsit for sitting in on this (so far at least in West Sussex) sunny day.

  9. No problems here with 9d – I think about computers as rarely as possible so never thought beyond the required definition.
    One thing I hadn’t heard of before was the ‘flirting’ in 16d. A quick look in an online dictionary (sorry, CS) gave me a synonym that I very much doubt would have passed muster with our crossword editor!

    Favourite here was making an impression with Terence.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Tilsit for manning the fort.

  10. I enjoyed today’s crossword – not too easy but not too tricky either – just right for a Saturday morning.
    I only remember the 18a dance from the film ‘Dirty Dancing’ and I’ve never heard of the 16d flirting.
    5 and 9d were my last answers.
    I’m probably being terribly dim here but I can’t see where the second letter of 7d comes from.
    I liked 11 and 27a and 9 and 19d. My favourite was 17d.
    With thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.
    Muggy in Oxford – sun one minute then the sky goes black and we get a torrential downpour – a bit frustrating but good growing weather.

  11. Yes I also have 9d as the odds on favourite . Completed fairly quickly before the hints appeared .
    Got wet last night on the bowling green , playing again this afternoon and tomorrow morning , busy times .
    Hope red is the colour today , Scarlets first then Liverpool .
    Thanks to everyone .

  12. A most enjoyable crossword altogether. I love anagrams – they help get one started – and particularly liked 18a (which I don’t recall doing but was hopefully too young) and 3d which is also the name I use for my antique, very comfortable and slightly exotic sun lounger.
    Like Kath I struggled to see where the second letter of 7d came from (perhaps the word ‘abbreviated’ between ‘of’ and ‘verse’ would have helped).
    My daily routine needs changing – I do the crossword in bed with two morning cups of tea and by the time I have finished feel too guilty about yet another lie-in to do anything crossword-y until late at night, by which time all that can be said about the day’s puzzle has already been said on the blog most eloquently by others. But I do enjoy all the comments and mean to put my oar in more often. It would be great to meet the ‘regulars’ and hopefully there will be another opportunity in January as next winter Mr PC is not seeing fit to whisk me off for winter sunshine, having other plans regarding floaty boaty things.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for all the fun.

  13. Thank you for today’s hints, Tilsit, because I needed your explanation as to why I’d arrived at one particular answer. I hope you’re enjoying better health.

  14. A good fun crossword with 9d being pick of the bunch. That penny certainly took a while to drop!
    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for depping duties.

  15. Lovely puzzle. 9d my favourite and a bit of a “silly me” moment when I finally saw the answer. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit for the commentary.

  16. Thank you to setter and Tilsit for a good brain challenger today. Just stuck on 19d… Same favourite as many others in 9d. The flirting clue also held me up but after some digging found out the old word for it. But a much, much better result for me than yesterday.

  17. A good prize puzzle that created a fair bit of head scratching with a slow start. SE corner was the sticking point for me, but several clues held me up all over the grid. Felt I should have completed this with a lot less trouble but couldn’t quite get on the wavelength for one or two, but eventually it all came together. Overall very enjoyable with some excellent clues agree with all that 9d is a brilliant clue.

    Clues of the day: Obviously 9d followed by 19d my last in.

    Rating: 3* / 4*

    Thanks to Tilsit and the setter.

  18. Enjoyable, and one that felt decidedly tricky while solving but still finished in about ** time. Last in and pick of a very good bunch was 9d.

  19. I loved 9d once I’d worked out the PC bit. Thank you Mysteron and Tilsit.

  20. Excellent crossword, just about right level for my poor brain.
    Like others 9d my favourite once I had the right PC.
    What a goal by Gareth Bale.
    Thanks all.

  21. No one has really mentioned 19d in detail – only one i just can’t get – everythings else is in, and it’s driving me nuts, as they say !
    Please help, someone !!

    1. 19d Use craft to obtain foremost of white fish (6)
      The foremost letter of white and a verb to fish.

      1. Thanks for this hint Gazza, I had the crossword done except for this last entry and came here for help only to find none… Until I fortunately came across your comment! Great puzzle, favourite was 9d which went in fairly early after putting aside the misdirection. Thanks Tilset and setter

  22. many thanks, Gazza – did consider that as a possibility and then discarded it – don’t really like the clue -, “act craftily” might have worked better, IMHO, as they say ! Thanks again, Almo

    1. The setter has used that definition to give the clue surface some added misdirection to lure the reader into thinking too much about boats/fishing.

  23. Late to parade on this one. I took the day off to go cheese and art shopping. Romped through this waiting for paper boy to bring sundays offering. As others have said 4d and 9d podium I would like to include 7d.
    A couple of dodgy ones though. I can’t parse the middle letter of 12a fairly sure I have the right answer tho. Some discussion here about 16d has caused me to doubt what I thought was an obvious bung in but unparsed I may be missing something.
    Thanks to tilsit and setter lets go tackle todays.

  24. Really enjoyed this crossword, like others 9d was the favourite. Thanks for your help Gazza with 19d as we too were having problems with this one.

  25. Only started this afternoon as out for the day at Wightwick Manor yesterday and long scenic route home. Favourites 1 and 13a and 20d with 9d the winner. Oddly I got it straightaway although waited before putting in the first word as I thought there could be alternatives. I am used to an 8 letter word. The other long down clue 3 was my only hold up and last one in. I did exercise care with 19d after I originally thought of a floating craft. I thank the setter (especially for 5d for reasons which I shall not reveal as it is a prize crossword) and to Tilsit for stepping in. Always worth reading even if not needed.

  26. Not too bad this week – like many 16d – never heard of that usage – keep away from Urban Dictionary though :o

    10a – will need a reason for end letter once answers revealed later in the week

    Given my age, no need of a hint for 18a :D

    Just start to pour with rain here now so all gardening cancelled and Monaco GP live beckons in a bit


  27. I came for help with parsing 12a, and found none. So it must be easy? So I’ve probably got the wrong answer…

    1. Welcome to the blog

      I’ve spent quite a while trying to work out how to hint at this without going to the Naughty Corner so here goes: A verb that starts a question in a similar way to may, the abbreviation for the Latin word meaning to see and a fool go together to produce a verb meaning to seek support

  28. Crypticsue

    Thanks, but I think you are on the naughty step already (!) and might want to edit your 12th word in sentence two…

    And it appears that the word ‘see’ parses as a single letter? So I do have the right answer. I just don’t like the middle bit.

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

    1. the word see as a single letter turns up regularly in Crosswordland so it is one to remember. And thank you.. I wouldn’t have wanted to be in the NC as Mr CS has just finished all the Jaffa Cakes

  29. Completed Saturday -needed hint on 9d – doh moment there…! Couldn’t believe it ! It’s been a busy weekend so haven’t had a chance to do the blog.
    Wasn’t sure about the term in16d for flirting but couldn’t be anything else. Ditto for the middle letter in13a. Otherwise thanks to Tilsit and the compiler!

Comments are closed.