DT 28946 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28946 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28946 (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.

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    At sea, I’ll float fleet (8)
An anagram (at sea) of I’LL FLOAT

11a    Sucker‘s target? (5-3)
Two definitions – do they still make these sweets?

12a    Calm down quickly if captured (6)
An adjective meaning quick around (captured) IF from the clue – is it just me or has the setter defined an adjective with an adverb (quickly)?

13a    Supports two old railway experts (4,2,6)
A clever charade of two (4,2) and “old” UK railway and some experts

21a    Type of fiend that’s found outside (5,3)
A cryptic definition of a “fiend” who enjoys being outside

24a    We backed abandoning the wrong crowd (6)
Drop (abandoning) the reversal (backed) of WE from two words in the clue

25a    New York perhaps withholding drug — trendy drug (6)
New York is an example (perhaps) of one of these – drop (withholding) our usual single-letter drug and add a three-letter two-letter word meaning trendy

26a    Kind of blue? One follows in leader’s plane (3,5)
Having difficulty with this one? – I’m not surprised. If the answer is followed by “One” you get the US leader’s private plane.



2d    About five kilometres for the union (6)
Two definitions – the first being a nautical measure of length

4d    Thief left fire-raiser, reportedly (9)
L(eft) followed by what sounds like (reportedly) a fire-raiser

5d    Complicated trade with company offering particular style (3,4)
An anagram (complicated) of TRADE followed by CO(mpany)

8d    Shop without obligation? (4-4)
A word suggesting without an obligation is actually a type of shop mostly found at airports

14d    One might guard female captured by flier (9)
This person, who might guard the crown jewels, is derived by putting F(emale) inside a brightly-plumaged bird (3-5)

18d    Meal to take out (6)
A meal consumed in the open air

20d    Lady the lender houses (5)
A girl’s name is hidden (houses) inside the clue

22d    Brother‘s ring seen underneath instrument (5)
The answer is one of a famous comedy team of brothers – O (ring) preceded by (underneath) a musical instrument

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: Pharaoh+islands=Faroe Islands

73 comments on “DT 28946 (Hints)

  1. I finished this but needed BD’s explanation of 26a to understand it fully. A workmanlike offering, I thought. Thank you BD and setter

  2. 1* / 2.5*. Although this was unchallenging it was pleasant enough. I thought it was going to be an unmentionable in terms of difficulty until I reached the SE corner which held me up slightly, not least because I became transfixed for a while that the first three letters of 14d were the flier which made the obvious answer impossible to parse.

    The outstanding clue was 13a.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD, and yes, I agree with you about 12a.

    1. I may get sent to the naughty corner for this, BD, but it’s just occurred to me that 12a could have been easily resolved using another word in the clue which is not only an adverb but also an adjective with the required meaning.

  3. Quite easy for a Saturday. Although I got 14d, I failed to spot the bird till I read the above, so thanks for the obvious clue!

  4. This was very mild, especially for a Prize crossword, but the clues were OK and I quite enjoyed it (while it lasted). BD, you’re right about 12a but I didn’t notice till you mentioned it. Favs: 13a and 14d. 1* / 2.5*

  5. Same as Square Leg I had the answer for 26a before I understood it. 21a was a bit of a leap of faith too. 13 a took a while to get the right railway reference too. The pic for 11a reminds me of Grandma Bee who always had a tin of Jesmona Black Bullets to hand and I did see they were still available the other day.
    Thanks to BD and setter.

  6. I found most of this straight forward although got stuck in bottom right corner and needed to come here for help. Even reading BD’s tip for 21a, I still don’t understand the answer (I’ll search through the mine/usual suspects to see if that enlightens me).

    Thanks to setter and BD.

    1. You’ll probably be more enlightened if you put your solution and the word ‘fiend’ into an internet search engine

      1. Brilliant! Many thx for putting me out of my misery as it was the last in and the only one I didn’t understand. 😀

      2. Wow….never heard the phrase before ….thanks Sue! Even happier now I see others getting stuck on this one too!

      3. I nearly reached Senf’s gallop until I came to this fiendish clue. I knew the answer but it took everyone’s help and the suggestion of the internet to make the penny drop. Glad I was not alone. Great puzzle, my thanks to all.

      4. Thank you CS. I agree with all the comments, and had worked out the answer for 21a but could not understand until you came to the rescue – thank you. And, of course, a huge thank you to the setter and BD – attainable and enjoyable.

    2. This comment was redacted because not only were you giving a hint for a different clue to the one required, you were using the words ‘think of’ which as BD used to say, if you are saying that you are definitely giving too much information. [CS]

  7. Off to a flier but SE corner took as long as the rest . No stand out favourite but enjoyed while it lasted .

    More good rugby today to watch .

    Have a good day everyone .

  8. Glory be, finished this with no help. But could somebody please explain 21a. It was a bung in for me which fitted.
    Thanks as always to BD and the setter.

  9. Much easier than usual today. I took longer to solve the bottom half of the puzzle than the top. I was also confused by the hint for 25a, which I think should read “drop (withholding) our usual single-letter drug and add a two-letter word meaning trendy”. Thanks to Big Dave and the setter

    1. And so it should! I use a phrase converter to speed up the writing of the blog – for two-letter I only have to type 2l so I must have typed 3l by mistake.

      1. Thank you for your explanation of 26a, Dave, because, whilst I could see the answer, I couldn’t fully understand why. I’m fascinated by your use of a phrase converter because, thinking back to the days when I contributed sports reports to local papers, how I could have done with one!

        1. I used to use Flashpaste, but switched to PhraseExpress some time ago. As well as an easily maintained library it allowed me to import Word’s autocorrect values and provides a Clipboard cache.

          1. BD – You can actually just do it all in Word by adding things like 2L to your spell checker (Auto-Correct Options)! At least, that’s what I do!

  10. Very enjoyable and gives me time to get some Saturday jobs done.
    Thx to all and to CS for explaining 21a.

  11. As for njm55n above, I found the bottom put up more resistance than the top. The kind of blue was new to me but deducible. 11a went in from definition as I didn’t think of the sweet, which I’ve never met personally. Similarly, 21a was a “well it must be” and a shrug, so thanks to BD for helping me see the daylight there.

    Agree about 12a, but have to admit I was too quickly at that point to notice. :scratch:

    I did really like 13a and 24a.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  12. 21a my last one to parse, 13a my absolute favourite of many. Like others before me, the SE corner stopped this being ‘you know what’ but overall it was still pleasantly challenging and straightforward.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

  13. Same as others, SE corner trickiest, but overall pretty gentle for any day I thought.
    Thanks to setter & BD for the parsing of 26a it passed me by completely.

      1. BD.
        You can still buy the 11a sweet but I don’t think my dentist would approve if I bought a quarter pound bag. I preferred Uncle Joe’s anyway.

          1. Nah – they’re totally different. 11a are black and white and whilst big, not enormous. Gobstoppers are single colours and virtually fill your mouth – well at least they do on a child :lol:

              1. And buying a quarter of anything by another lot.
                Bring back sweets in glass jars and penny chews I say.

  14. Very straightforward compared to recent Saturdays and, for the second time in three days, the proscribed term came to mind – 1.5*/2.5*.

    Although, somewhat strangely for me, I completed all of the North with only a couple in the South filled in.

    Favourite 4d.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  15. Very enjoyable.
    Thanks for the heads up on 21a and 26a. I actually guessed 21a with just a couple of letters, but could not bung ut in as it looked like nonsense.
    SE corner was very tricky, a curious mix today of very easy and downright fiendish clues, but no worse for that.
    If someone could give me the heads upon the difficulty level of the NTSPP, I would be obliged.
    Thanks BD and setter.

        1. Thanks both, I’ll look at it tomorrow when I have decided that my brain is too small to attempt Dada’s puzzle.

    1. NTSPP much more entertaining than the first half of the London Derby I am watching while completing it!

  16. As others found, it took a while to parse 26a but otherwise a straightforward and quite enjoyable puzzle.
    Top billing went to 13a & 14d.

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

  17. Very gentle but enjoyable. */***. 13a and 24a were, for me, just beaten to first place by 21a. Many thanks setter for some light fun before lights out and to BD. I didn’t notice the adverb/adjective problem with 12a. Let’s see what mood Dada is in for Sunday.

  18. 2*/3* for us – like others got a bit held up up the SE corner.
    Agree on 12a and I wasn’t happy with 13d – although pommers says it’s ok for him.
    Living to me should be *****ing not *****ent – but I’m a total pedant!
    Thanks to Mr Ron and BD

  19. This was pretty straightforward for a prize crossword and I finished it in record time. Only 13 a held me up a little and I did chuckle, when the penny dropped.

  20. I thought we were back to straightforward Saturday crosswords and then I got to the bottom right corner. :phew:
    Even with the hint I still don’t ‘get’ 26a – am I being dimmer than usual – why is the definition the first three words of the clue?
    Apart from that corner my last answer was the last word of 13a but that was OK once I got the 14d guards.
    Not many anagrams today.
    I liked 11 and 16a and 8d.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD.
    Might try the NTSPP but not holding out much hope as brain doesn’t seem to be fully functioning today.

      1. Yes – thank you but I was at least right about something and that something was that I was being even dimmer than usual – I can’t elaborate further as I’m not going to risk the naughty corner so all I’ll say is that the second word of my answer for 26a was wrong – husband just pointed it out. Oh dear!

        1. My school skirt was that shade of blue so answer came very quickly. Much nicer than the more usual navy blue although berets and blazers were the latter

  21. Very enjoyable, even if I managed the answers but wasn’t too really to sure why. Thanks for the hints BD.

  22. This was a pleasantly gentle stroll in the park. 11a raised a smile. Not sure about 18d. Thank you Mysteron and BD.

  23. Enjoyable solve, started late after a 6 mile hike around the Ridgeway this morning. Thanks for the explanations of 21a and 26a. 13a raised a chuckle. Many thanks to the setter and BD.

  24. An interesting puzzle definitely of two halves. Like several other people here the bottom right sector did need an extra bit of thought. 13a was favourite.
    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints.

  25. Delightful puzzle, top half went straight in, with the bottom half holding out longer. Thanks to Big Dave for the couple of hints I needed to finish, and thanks to the setter for not making me feel stupid today. Makes for a shorter breakfast time today.

  26. */**. Top half went in quickly but slowed a lot for the bottom especially the SE corner. 13a was COTD. Thanks to all.

  27. This was definitely a puzzle of two halves with the North very gentle and the South somewhat tougher, 26a being a prime example. Still, got there in relatively speedy fashion. 13a gets my COTD.
    Thanks everyone

  28. A very gentle prize crossword indeed. Good fun while it lasted. Favourite clue for me was 13 across. Purely my own opinion, but I thought 21 across was one of the silliest in a long while – still, they’re all there to be solved. My thanks to today’s setter and BD.

  29. Thanks for the 26a hint, especially as our own [answer] has a specific colour, which put me off for ages. However, can I record gratitude – even though I’m sure the answer must have popped out almost immediately for most people – for 1a’s odd alliterations of Ls and Fs; made me giggle.

  30. Like so many I found the SE corner a little odd- having the answer but not understanding why..e.g. 21a. Thanks to BD for the hint on 22d- no wonder I couldn’t find it in my Decoder word book! 13a was a goodun!
    22a was an obvious answer but why? Doh moment..However very enjoyable. Thanks to the setter!

  31. Loved it, most enjoyable. Fave was 13a but much to like.
    Like most, the SE corner held me up a bit. I’m a fan of the author who wrote 21a and have that on my wish list, so that presented no problem.
    I completely missed the meaning of 26a, maybe because I felt “leader” is a bit of a stretch.
    Thanks to whomsoever for the fun and to BD for his hints and pics.

    1. If you tell us the number of the clue someone will reply pretty quickly and give you a hint – that’s if you want one.

  32. 2*/3*…
    liked 21A (type of fiend that’s found outside)..
    Thanks for the hint to 26A !

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