DT 28940 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28940 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28940 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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Happy New Year.  The blog is rapidly approaching the end of its tenth year.  I hope to see many of you, whether old friends or new, at the Tenth Birthday Bash on the 26th.

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.

Don’t forget that you can give your assessment of the puzzle. Five stars if you thought it was great, one if you hated it, four, three or two if it was somewhere in between.

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    Clear backing to enter Brazilian city to reach America is absurd (10)
The reversal (backing) of a five-letter adjective meaning clear inside (to enter) a Brazilian city followed by (to reach) a two-letter abbreviation for America

9a    Mostly seek advice from transport office in Rome (10)
Most of a seven-letter word meaning to seek advice followed by a form of transport gives the office of a chief magistrate in Ancient Rome

12a    TV presenter in cast for folk song (6)
The less sober half of a pair of TV presenters goes inside a verb meaning to cast

13a    Injecting drug, turn to crime fast (8)
Insert (injecting) our usual single-letter drug into an anagram (turn) of TO CRIME

18a    Murder mystery a mother set up ingeniously (3,9)
An anagram (ingeniously) of A MOTHER SET UP – when I saw this murder mystery back in 1962 it had been going for ten years; it’s still there today!

21a    Party needs servile type to get power (8)
A two-letter party or function is followed by (needs) a servile type

25a    Fought against mineral racket once (10)
A seven-letter verb meaning fought against followed by a mineral gives a racket used in an old-fashioned (once) game of the same name


27a    A letter granting authorisation (10)
A three-letter word meaning A, as in tuppence a bag (guess who watched Mary Poppins over Christmas!), followed by a letter


1d    Playground on a street reconstructed (6)
A three-letter shortened form of a playground is followed by the A from the clue and ST(reet)

4d    Drunkard, opulent, spending penny (4)
An adjective meaning opulent from which the abbreviation for penny has been dropped (spending)

7d    Rather like meal to be a success (8)
This meal is not, for example, breakfast or dinner but powdered grain

11d    Generous woman makes complaint about new player (12)
A four-letter verb meaning to complain (makes complaint) goes around N(ew) and is followed by a female player in a drama

16d    Designation of family film acquired by movie-makers working hard (8)
The designation that indicates a family film goes inside (acquired by) some movie-making companies

17d    Truck driver — one trying to go round America (8)
This US term for a truck driver is derived from someone trying around a two-letter abbreviation for America (not the same as the one in 1 Across!)

20d    Scrub allowed to be engulfed by river (6)
This verb meaning to scrub or erase is derived from a verb meaning allowed inside the Jolly Miller’s river

23d    Stop race (4)
Two definitions – while the first was obvious I had to check the second in the BRB, which is a race or family

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. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted.

The Quick Crossword pun: fizz+occult+raining=physical training

53 comments on “DT 28940 (Hints)

  1. Enjoyable start to the day. Didn’t know the exact def at 25 (knew it as the sport).and 4d held me up longer than most of the puzzle.

    thanks to the Boss for the notes and to our setter.

  2. 3* / 3*. Good fun with a nice mixture of easy and tough clues (particularly in the SE corner) plus a bit of everything in between.

    I decided that 17d was a semi &lit clue which means the setter gets a big tick from me for indicating the Americanism.

    7d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

    1. RD. 17d. I was just wondering – if that last word is there to indicate an Americanism, isn’t it doing double-duty because it is also providing another direct function in the word play? Or is it OK to do that in this type of clue?

      1. Jose, a semi &lit clue is defined as one where the entire clue is the definition and only part of the clue is the wordplay.

  3. I liked this one a lot. There were many well-written, middlingly-difficult clues which provided an enjoyable solve. I’ve ticked 18a, 22a, 27a and 7d. I wonder if the 22a answer will be a tad obscure to younger solvers? 2.5* / 3.5*

  4. Well, we completed it over breakfast… wasn’t sure about some of the wordplay though, so thanks to BD for clarifying/confirming our answers for the last across and down.

  5. Fast start , slow finish , good challenge , enjoyed .
    My COTD 11D , last in 23D & 25A .
    Thanks to everyone

  6. Had to dig deep for 25a and 17d was a bit of a guess but everything else fell into place quite easily.

    Think my favourite was 15a.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to BD for the club.

  7. I agree with the earlier comments. This was a good crossword, quite taxing (especially in the SE corner) but well constructed with plenty of good clues and some tricky long anagrams. Particularly liked 4d, 7d, 12a, 15a, 16d and 22a (most of the clues in fact 😳).

    COTD: 8d. LOI: 25a (new word for me, as was 3d).

    Many thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints.

    1. Strange, a few miles down the road we got ours came the earliest ever in the capital this morning.
      Found the puzzle a difficult (& slow) solve for a Saturday & had to check 25a as it was unfamiliar to me.
      Thanks to Mr Ron & BD.

  8. Very enjoyable with a good mix of clues. I will have to go for 7d as my favourite – very clever. I was well misdirected for a while with 1d. It was obviously an anagram of ‘a street’, wasn’t it!

  9. Bit of a tricky little devil but very fair. Enjoyed solving this one even if I took a bit of head scratching to fully parse all the clues.
    Thx to all

  10. Not the easiest Saturday Prize Puzzle but well worth the mini struggle it caused. All was fairly plain sailing until the SE corner which took relatively ages to complete. Some cracking clues, though, with 11 and 16d plus 18a competing for the top spot.

    Many thanks to our setter for the tussle and to BD.

  11. Started slow for me but then I had a bit of a flourish on the right side. Awake again at 3.00 a.m. and got a few more and then after LSH went to work at 5.45 a.m. the cat and I managed to complete it! The cat did so telepthically as she has not quite mastered the pen holding thing. Poor old girl is pretty much on her last legs but she keeps rallying!

    Speaking of old things, Lon Suffering Hubby’s birthday today. As I sent him off to work with his cup of tea I said ‘Yes I still need you, yes I’ll still feed you…’ He looked puzzled until the penny dropped. ‘Oh God! I’m 64.’ LOL.

    I am making him a birthday dinner tonight, lamb chops (NZ of course lovely Kiwis!) and everything else is Canadian. Green beans and twice baked potatoes which he really shouldn’t have but hey, he’s allowed cream and butter and bacon on his birthday heh heh.

  12. I really enjoy the explanatory hints, especially when struggling with one as obscure 23d .
    Thank you for adding such an enjoyable extra dimension to the puzzles.

  13. I enjoyed this very much but found it a real struggle – not sure why now that I’ve finished it.
    1a caused trouble – I had the first three letters being the ‘clear’ . . . not helpful but got there in the end.
    I’d never heard of 23d being race – or forgotten which is more likely.
    Lots of good clues including 13, 15 and 18a and 7d which was my favourite.
    With thanks to today’s setter and to BD.
    Now for a go at the NTSPP – what a lazy day I’m having.

      1. I’m here Kath! I am most days but I only comment every now and again.

      2. Well I’ve been staring at 12ac since 9am, on and off, and even now with a hint I am no closer to an answer. I don’t like this sort of clue that relies on knowing some half of a minor celeb team. Don’t watch TV anyway! Still no one else seems put out?

        Also I have an obvious answer for 23dn having eventually solved 25ac but cannot even with the BRB find the family connection.

        I think my problem with this crossword is that I struggled in the SE to identify the definitions. I’m sure my 92 yo mother will be awaiting my phone call!

        Thanks anway to setter and BD.

        1. The celebrity team is definitely major not minor. You may have been put off as BD mixed them up in his hint. You need the one who has been on TV screens most recently

          1. WW … I still wouldn’t know them as I haven’t lived in UK for over 17 years and judging by what I have seen on occasions I’m sure I’d go along with BD on this one.

  14. If you want a job doing ask a busy person.
    So far today I have taken the lights down, repaired my wing mirror, been shopping, restocked the freezer with home made Lasagne and completed this crossword. Took several stints and like others SE was the trickiest. Thanks to BD and setter. I better have a go at the MPP while the muse is still with me or before some other housekeeping duties are found.

      1. Nice word – It is screaming out for a crossword clue.
        Rubbish finish having called as I have a zest for action (10)

            1. Thanks John. It was originally “gets rubbish …) but the moment after I preessed the comment button I realised how scores would work (Ithink?)

  15. I started out at a fast gallop but the south pulled me up sharp.
    I didn’t know 25a but was able to work it out.
    I had the wrong ending for 27a, yes, I know, very sloppy, but it meant my 20d was wrong.
    Fave was 8d but I also liked 18a. Still running? I can’t believe that.
    Thanks to our Saturday setter, loved it, and to BD for the club.

  16. Trickier than usual for a Saturday but a very enjoyable solve. I also had to check 23d as I had not come across this definition before. Thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

    1. Hi Elizabeth,
      The first five words of the clue give the definition and the remainder describe something that has been previously owned by someone else.

    2. Split the clue in two and read the second half as “something owned before” and it may lead you to the answer.

      1. Hi Jane, I see you beat me to it and your additional “by someone else” is far clearer!

  17. Another in a long line of Saturday crosswords I can’t do.
    In bed with a severe dose of man-flu does not help.
    See you all on Monday.
    Thanks all.

    1. Get well soon, Hoofit. My Mum swore by a hot toddy: honey, lime juice, rum and a little hot water.

      1. Could not agree more! It might not cure but will you care? LOL. I remember my grandmother telling me how (before the National Health) she would spend a fortune on a doctor and then medicine and every time my granddad (he was from Dublin) would march to the outside loo with all the kids in tow and pour it away and as he pulled the chain would say “To the King!’

        1. Many thanks for your advice, ladies. I like the sound of your cures, I shall call room service (Mrs hoofit) and see what she can russle up.
          Seriously, it’s her I feel sorry for, we have our 4 year old grandson staying and she has had to look after him 24/7 while I have been ill, and she has MS.
          Thanks again.

    2. Yes, get well soon. I’ll second the hot toddy, and you can substitute brandy for the rum if you want. Better than any medicine, and if you drink enough you won’t even care if you are poorly…

  18. Didn’t get far with this over breakfast. Returned to it over lunch and with Big Dave’s hints, and a tad too much help from Mr Google, it was done. 25a game was new to me, as was 14d. Never heard of a 17a being called that here in the US – as a union group yes, but as an individual, no. Several really clever clues, but COTD was 20d. Kept me out of mischief 🤔

  19. I never categorise but I think I would give this **** for difficulty. Much of it was enjoyable and I got there without hints. Last three in 25 and 14d and 27a. 21a took me a long time too as I thought of two other words with the first five letters but it took a while for the penny to drop. Favourites 15 21 22 and 25a and 7 and 8d. Thanks setter and Big D. Only 21 sleeps to the birthday bash.

  20. Excellent crossword for a Saturday! I had to work hard to complete it. 25a was my favourite.. for some reason I remember the term from my childhood.
    Thanks to the setter for the challenge, and to BD for the hints.

  21. Finding some DT Xwrds v difficult just lately, with too many obscure clues. Off to try the Times next week!

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