DT 28952 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28952 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28952 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club
Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Hello everyone.

I’m standing in for the boss today and we have a puzzle that has all the hallmarks of the regular Saturday Mysteron.  Nice elegant clues with good surface readings.  It was perhaps a little tougher than some of the recent ones, but there were a fair few anagrams to help you get inside the grid.

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 Time with teacher to frame question for difficult employer (10)
The abbreviation for time and a word for a teacher go round something meaning question to give something meaning a boss who makes things hard for you. As an extra hint, it’s also the name of a very popular satellite TV show where celebrities get put through really horrible things.

12a Senator grins wickedly about statesman’s first offence (13)
An anagram of senator grins goes around the first letter of statesmen to give a synonym of offence

14a Bearded woman finally entering American sanctuary (8)
A way of saying something is bearded is found by taking the abbreviation for American and a word meaning sanctuary. Inside this goes the last letter of woman.

17a Call up about lifting mechanism (6)
Take a word meaning shout plus the word up and reverse them to give something that lifts things.

19a Snake coffee’s trendy, reportedly (8)
The name for a type of snake is a homophone for a type of coffee and one meaning trendy.

21a On the way, like oil? (2,3,8)
An expression meaning in the way Is a location for oil at a refinery.

24a Army’s revolutionary command (5,4)
What someone in authority in the army may say to make you spin round. I had this slightly wrong as I went for the obvious answer. This is another way of saying it.

27a Steps adopted by coppers in epidemic (10)
A word for a type of rustic steps goes in side something meaning coppers (as in money) to give an old-fashioned name for an epidemic of something nasty.


1d Get to grips with missing the French food (4)
A word meaning to get to grips with something needs the word for the definite article in French removed to get another way of saying food.

3d Poor running in games meant running miles first (13)
A word for poor running of a business is an anagram (running) of IN GAMES MEANT with the abbreviation for miles at the front.

5d Man behind the counter heading off for mountain (5)
The name of the inventor of a famous radioactivity detector loses his first letter to give the name of a famous mountain.

7d Want to trap serpent that’s ill-tempered (7)
Something meaning want has a biblical name for a serpent inside to give an adjective meaning ill-tempered.

11d Not working, manipulated city’s loan fund (13)
A word often used to describe social conditions that do not work is an anagram (manipulated) of CITY’S LOAN FUND.

13d One petitions current leader of Conservatives to block overthrow (10)
Someone who petitions for something is revealed by finding a word meaning to overthrow something or someone and inserting the scientific abbreviation for electric current and the first letter of the word Conservative.

18d Deflated and sad after service that’s not quite right (3,4)
A word for the result of a poor service in tennis has something meaning sad after it to give a word meaning deflated.

23d Farm building next to empty ravine (4)
An old word for a farm building is found by taking a word meaning next to and the first and last letters (empty)of ravine.

The Crossword Club is now open.

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The Quick Crossword pun: proper+gander=propaganda

47 comments on “DT 28952 (Hints)

  1. Just to say ‘hooray the blog’s back’, that I disagree with our hint giver’s assessment of the difficulty of this crossword, and I recommend the NTSPP

  2. Delayed by the gremlins. Very enjoyable and reasonably straightforward completed at a gallop – **/***.

    I do think that there a couple of unindicated Americanisms, but it’s Saturday so I will stop there.

    Favourite – 21a.

    thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

    1. I only noticed one example but that has become fairly commonly used in the UK now so, reluctantly, I suppose this no longer qualifies as an Americanism.

      1. I have upped my count to three – one definite and two maybes – I will comment on the full review when it is available.

  3. Bother! More gremlins this morning prevented access to the site. It’s good to see it’s up and running again now.

    2.5*/4*. I wasn’t sure about this puzzle when I started but I very much warmed to it as I went along and it turned out to be was highly enjoyable.

    I didn’t know the food in 1d which had me reaching for my BRB but, that aside, it all came together nicely with 14a my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Tilsit.

  4. I enjoyed this, some very classy clues. I have done except 26a which has me scratching my head – and it is obviously considered so easy that there is not a hint for it. I shall ponder………

  5. Try again. Felt this gentle for Saturday.
    Hope this arrives.
    Thx to Mr Ron & Tilsit

  6. Welcome back!
    Thanks Tilsit and setter. And also recommend the NTSPP.
    Managed to do both when I may have given up on the last few and taken a hint but blogs absence made me try again. Completing unaided is still a rare enough occurrence for me to thank all the bloggers and commenters for improving my cruciverbal skills. I am looking forward to meeting some of you next weekend to thank you in person.

  7. Ah, nice to see the blog looking its usual self again. Gremlins visiting the site earlierI presume? A pleasant Saturday puzzle finished pretty much at a canter in two ‘bursts’ either side of a little bit of ‘grandparenting work’ at the local-ish trampoline park. 26 across foxed me right to last, as I had three words in mind before I settled on what I took to be my solution.3 and 13 down were two of my favourites in a fairly gentle prize puzzle. Thanks to setter and Tilsit.

  8. Yeah! Back up and running.
    Thought this was a nice balance – not too easy, not too hard.

    Rather liked the special ceremonies for goblins and the bearded lady seeking refuge.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to Tilsit for manning the club.

  9. Oh good BD is on stream again. This tested the ol’ grey matter somewhat but it was an enjoyable exercise. Thank you Mysteron and Tilsit.

    1. The bit after the dashes is the definition, it’s a 4 letter word for nobody + a 4 letter word for an opening.
      Hope this is ok management.

  10. About right for a Saturday, seems like a long time ago that this was put to bed.
    Very enjoyable, but I can’t remember much about it, this man-flu has knocked my memory for six.
    NTSPP is worth a go for people of my dismal ability, very friendly.
    Thanks all.

  11. Very nice Saturday puzzle, most enjoyable.
    I had an incorrect second word at 24a, in desperation I turned to electronic help and that sorted it for me.
    My fave was the bearded lady at 14a.
    Thanks to our setter and to Tilsit for stepping in. A huge raspberry for those rotten trolls, a pox on all their houses.

  12. I too, had an incorrect second word for 24a, which screwed up other things. Now all sorted, thanks for all your help, HIYD and Tilsit and the setter.

  13. Add me to those who had a different second word to 24a to begin with. Eventually the penny dropped. I am not sure I am totally confident about the second word in 20d – perhaps this is what Gazza is referring to?

      1. Did you resolve which of the two words is the most likely. I think the one which comes first in the alphabet but can’t be sure

          1. I’ll provide an example of how I think it fits the clue when the full review is published on Friday.

              1. Not specifically but Chambers does have the second word meaning ‘in continuance’ and the ODE says it indicates continuation of a movement or action.

  14. Very late in the day I know but I’m struggling to make sense of 1d. Anybody there to help? I’ve finished apart from that and I can see what I think it is but just cannot parse it. With thanks to all.

      1. Thank you. Yes I get that but can’t make sense of the longer word if the word I think it is is correct. I guess I’ll have to wait for the review to enlighten me.

    1. It’s a series of puzzles that I started several years ago to satisfy the demand for a second puzzle each Saturday after the Prize Puzzle had been completed (hence it was not the Saturday prize puzzle). Despite some particularly grumpy opposition in its early days, it has grown and provided more than twenty new setters to the national press.

  15. Thank you for the hints, Tilsit. 14a my favourite.

    20d is almost identical to a 2010 Ray T clue (for a different-length word); back then it had a question mark, which today’s didn’t. 9a here: [redacted – this is tantamount to giving the answer. BD]

    1. Apologies, BD — I thought that because the answer was a different word, it’d be safe. I shall recalibrate my judgement accordingly for the future.

  16. Only just got round to accessing the site after yesterday’s problems. Only hold up was 1d but comfortable apart from that. Belated thanks to all.

  17. Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the hints. A very nice puzzle, which seemed to require a lot of lateral thinking. I liked 17a,but my favourite was 5d which made me laugh. Still baffled by 1d, I think I know the answer, but if that’s correct, it would make the longer word very strange. I’ll have to wait for the review. Was 3*/3* for me.

  18. I enjoyed this puzzlw and did not think itoverly challenging but it did have a slight tendency to Americanisms. Had to look in the hints today (Sunday) to check one or two answers as the blog was down yesterday. Thank you.

  19. I have just come back to the site after the non appearance yesterday am, I panicked at first but managed to complete alone ! I had to blodge out the second word in 24a, as I used the UK version. Having served in the Army I resent the use of American word! Don’t get me on Kill Ommetters!
    So, it was interesting to see so many had the same hesitations as I did. I particularly enjoyed 19a after working down an Internet list of snakes I found it right at the end!
    6a was interesting as I hesitated on letter 3 -surely not ??…Phew!
    Thanks to all – a very enjoyable solve.

  20. I thought that this was quite fair for a Saturday prize puzzle. Thank you setter and thank you Tilsit. I needed the review for the explanation of 17a.

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