DT 28982 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28982 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28982 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club
Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Morning everyone

The Boss has gone off to the local market and left me looking after today’s prize puzzle.  This was a bit more challenging than some of the recent Saturday offerings, but was very enjoyable.  I found the top half seemed to go in quite normally and then the lower half presented a few things to think about.

Thank you to the setter.  If you are scratching around for things to do, you may like to go and find today’s Financial Times where Rosa Klebb has produced a rather fine and witty puzzle.

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           University spoken highly of given a boost (8)
The abbreviation for university followed by something meaning spoken highly of something gives you a word meaning boosted.

6a           Reportedly one might provide alien craft? (6)
The name for a spaceship for an alien sounds like someone who may supply things.

11a         European Union brought in right kind of fur that can be recycled (8)
The abbreviation for the European Union goes inside a short way of saying right and word for a kind of fur worn by women to give something meaning recycled.

13a         Celebration of moving conflict between two dynasties (5-7)
A word for a gathering to celebrate a change of dwelling comprises something meaning conflict coming between two words for dynasty, the first a generic name and the other a name for a Chinese one.

16a         At home during date, father cooked chicken (5-7)
A description for someone who is chicken is a short word meaning at home inside an anagram of date and father

21a         Slap on the mouth (8)
What ‘slap’ is colloquially and where it goes is a cryptic definition.

23a & 24 Aspiration provides motivation embracing grand image of Oxford (8,6)
A description associated with Oxford is made up of a word for an aspiration and a way of saying is providing motivation with and abbreviation for grand.

24a         See 23 Across

26a         Turn around keeping hand in skipping (8)
A word for a turn in a game is reversed and has a name for a hand and the word in within.  This gives something meaning skipping.


2d           Actor has power over film (6)
The name for someone who treads the boards has the abbreviation for power, plus a word for a film on a surface of something.

4d           Plant in river being cultivated by wise old president (9)
A type of American plant is found by taking the abbreviation for river and placing that inside something meaning wise and the surname of two former US Presidents.

5d           Run down bottom of escarp in scrub (7)
A word meaning to run down is made up of the last letter (bottom) of escarp, inside a word meaning to scrub or cancel something….

6d           Cancel boxing match? (5)
… and this is a double definition  for a word that could have defined the indication in the previous clue!

7d           Like most police, kept in the dark when second note goes missing (9)
A way of describing policemen is a word meaning kept in the dark about something without the second N, for note.

14d         A new suggestion — Italian wine that’s served in trattoria (9)
Something you’d get to start your meal in a trattoria is made up of a word sum.  A + abbreviation for new + a word for a suggestion + the name of an Italian wine.

15d         A queen needing husband in inferior play (3,5)
The name of a famous contemporary play is a way of saying inferior with A, plus the abbreviations for queen and husband inside.

17d         Old car with restricted amount of actual leg room (7)
A hidden answer for an old banger.

22d         It is not commonly a defect (5)
If you said ‘It is not’ in certain parts of the country, you have it sound like a word meaning a defect.

The Crossword Club is now open.

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The Quick Crossword pun: Kwai+turf+yew=quite a few

96 comments on “DT 28982 (Hints)

  1. Reasonably straightforward and about average for recent Saturdays, the enjoyment only spoiled by 8d when at 12:20am GMT I thought ‘Oh dear, another one for RD.’

    Favourite – a toss-up between 13a and 17d.

    Looking forward to the oval ball games later; at least I will not have to endure the Welsh Whiner when I watch the second game. I am expecting that he will have a lot to whine about!

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  2. 3*/3*. This was enjoyable, much more so than last week’s Saturday Prize Puzzle. It was mostly straightforward but a handful of clues proved quite challenging. I won’t mention the nebulous woman putting in an appearance as Senf has kindly already done that on my behalf. However, that was more than offset by 18a, a lovely pithy triple definition, which gets my vote as favourite. 13a & 23a/24a also deserve special mentions.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

      1. Good to see you are wide awake, MP (Magnificent Pedant? :wink: ), and have spotted my deliberate mistake.

  3. I found this quite easy until I got to the 19 ac 15d pairing which took as long as the whole of the rest of the puzzle. Very enjoyable so thanks to the setter. Thanks to early bird Tilsit for the hints. I am only commenting on a weekend because I forgot to ask all of you children out there to play nicely. So play nicely children. As for the England rugby team You can play as nastily as you want to today. Just win.

    1. I struggled with 19a too, finally bunged in an answer which I have only just had a penny drop moment. Not usual names for UK, methinks?

    2. I can almost sympathise with those poor England fans having to queue 2 hours or so to get back home through the Brynglas Tunnels after losing so comprehensively.

  4. Strangely, in contrast to Tilsit, in general I found the bottom easier than the top and enjoyed it on the whole. However there was one clue I didn’t like at all – 19a and it is to do with the first word of the clue. Won’t say any more it being a Saturday.

    I also thought of RD when that woman turned up.

    Many thanks to the setter and Tilsit

      1. Really, Brian? About 15% of the blog readership resides in America. There’s even an American blogger here who often helps you solve the clues that you can’t get, even though they’re written in pure British English. Why are you insulting them?

        1. Language is fluid, it evolves. I live in North America, in Canada now but I did live in the US for a while. Before that I lived in numerous countries. Just like in the UK the regional differences are fascinating when it comes to language, even slang. I remember my dear Dad getting so exasperated when we lived in Barbados when I was a young teen and would talk about going to a fete pronounced ‘fette’ (it’s a teen party or it was then) and he would say ‘Fate Fate Fate It’s pronounced Fate!’ That’s just one example.

          Personally have an extreme dislike for the way that certain terms have changed : was stood instead of was standing; was sat instead of was sitting, and so on, but that’s just because I can sometime be a bit of a grumpy old woman :-) I blame the arthritis, my excuse and I am sticking to it.

          Like I said further up, I really love the clues like 21a because of the use of a British slang term or clues that are otherwise peculiarly British. I like the giggles and memories. I am not homesick as such, well if I am it is more intangeable really, I am homesick for a place that isn’t even there any more. Does that make sense, anyone?

          1. Oh I am definitely homesick, and parts of it are still there as I remember it, Isle of Wight for instance. Have to make do with visits, watching a lot of British TV, radio and reading books set in England.

            1. LOL I had my first born on the Isle of Wight. Fabulous rock concert but I did actually have him in the hospital in Newport.

              1. Love the whole place, especially Bembridge and Chale Bay, where we stayed in a lovely B&B a few years back. Time has definitely stood still on the island.

                1. I am so happy to see your reply Bizzylizzie! I was just thinking about the IOW.

                  Sorry BigDave I know this is completely off topic. I will try to think of a cryptic thing to throw in.

                  Bizzylizzie I lived in Cowes and then Newport 1971/72. I was so young and and stupid yet so totally fearless I wish I had that daft naive confidence now. My cousins though I called them Auntie and Uncle ran a holiday camp in Cowes. Yes there were still pop/rock concerts, and all kinds of other things. My goodness the memories!

                  Yes you are right, it is a bit Brigadoon there. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I have been back a couple of times, just to be there…. Just to see it.

                  OK Big Dave. In the maternity ward in Newport having had my baby boy we new mums would wave at (bear with me I have never, ever tried to create a clue, and bear in mind ot was peculiar to the summer of ’72)

                  Laggers dissenting from on high on play area named for famous striker.

          2. Oh – what a lot of really interesting comments to read – can’t do it all now as I’m starving hungry and we’re about to have supper but just for starters the thing that jumped out at me from your comment was how you dislike – ‘stood’ instead of ‘was standing’ and ‘sat’ instead of ‘was sitting’. I don’t think it’s all changed so much as just plain grammatically incorrect. ‘Stood’ and ‘sat’ implies, to me at least, that someone ‘put you there’ rather than its being a past tense ie it’s passive.
            Hope that makes sense – I’m glad to have found someone else who agrees with me – I’ve been banging on about it for a very long time.
            I hope I’m not wrong about all this but, if I am, I’m pretty sure that someone who is on safer ground grammatically will say so.

        2. Indeed Mr K. I’m not sure why Americanisms are considered “nasty”, or for that matter “dreadful” – as I’ve seen a few others here refer to them.

          I think Brian is a bit of a wind-up merchant if the truth be known…..

          1. In Brian’s defense, I do have to admit that we are saddened on trips home, when we hear Americanisms that have crept into everyday use in England, such as “Have a Nice Day”, and the eating of peanut butter etc. And yet you won’t find many Americans eating Marmite 😊

            1. Canadians do but even then it is a select group. One of the countries I lived in was Holland (Netherlands) and if you really want to see some amazing gurning offer an unsuspecting person some Dubble Zoute Drop!

                  1. It’s not just spelling, sometimes especially if I am tired I forget which word or pronounciation to use. In Canada we straddle the divide a bit so it is easier but when I am in the US I tend to use the US spelling/pronounciation/words because it is simply easier than trying to explain.

                    On a visit to the UK I once used the US way of say Caribbean CaRIBbean rather than CaribBean and my youngest sister just about bit my head off.

        3. Well said, though I feel you’re fighting a losing battle here. I didn’t like the diminutives in 19a today or “dove” yesterday, but I certainly wouldn’t get hot under the collar about them. Unless we want English to be as dead as Latin, we have to accept the changes with good grace.

          In any case, what would we do without dear Brian to shake us up?

        4. Good for them, when I last looked the DT was a British publication, isn’t US English making enough of an impact without crossword setter encoraging it. Presumably our US cousins like the English DT crossword because it is British.
          It is my opinion that creeping Americanisms are distorting our grand and glorious language.

        5. I don’t have a problem, of course, with language changing or with solvers complaining when they were misled by a foreign word that wasn’t indicated as such.

          But I object to the language that I speak (when I’m not here) being described as “nasty”.

          1. I agree, well there are some ‘nasty’ words that I hear and read that I wish people would not use, even in jest, but they are the really crude types of words used to disparage/insult/belittle and even those, I told my children and tell my grandchildren that words like that have no power unless they let them*.

            But overall I would say that language in general, words, even the froggy French ones! (it’s a joke OK!) are all wonderful. Damn now I have Flanders and Swann ‘The English, the English, the English are best!’ flitting about in the empty landscape of my mind heh heh.

            I love that I learn something new every single week in crossword world, often many times a week. Isn’t that what crosswords are for? Fun and learning?

            *Don’t let them have that power over you. I have a number of grandchildren, many are adopted, the come in various shades. Their Nana (me) adores each and every one of them. M grandson who is the sweetest young man and very talented at any sport he turns to – recently wrestling and American Football – or Football at they call it there :-) – decided to quit. He was just 12 at the time. Why? Because of the really appalling words being yelled at every match and game, not just by competitors and kids but by the parents. He didn’t quit because he was intimidated. He quit because he didn’t like how angry those were making him feel. So apart from that kind of use of language, I love words and language in all its forms.

            OK backing out of the fray now. I am not usually this heavy, I much prefer to giggle than gripe, life’s too short. LSH is cooking dinner tonight. I think I shall ask for a starter/appetizer. A nice olive or two plus perhaps a litgtle onion…… wrapped in gin and vermouth. Im sure it is on the recommended food chart somewhere :-)

          2. Just to be fair to Brian and to add a bit of balance, I’m not sure that he actually meant nasty to mean awful, repulsive, vile, odious, etc as a direct insult, but alternatively to mean difficult/tricky (see the LRB) – as in “the unindicated Americanism meant I had a nasty problem to solve”. But, in any event, the word “nasty” is probably best avoided on here.

        6. Oh crikey! I’ve only just seen the can of worms I opened here. I fear enough has been said, but I do think as it is a UK newspaper, Americanisms should be indicated

      2. We probably have to accept that since the English language is almost entirely made up of other bastardised languages, most notably French, it is not a fixed science, but a work in progress and always will be. We all know what fender, pants, TV dinner, trunk, fawcett etc are, so what’s the problem?

        We’re familiar with ‘the French’ for ‘LE/LA’ etc so I don’t see why language bounced back from over the pond is any different.

        Nasty is a word you use often to describe puzzles, ‘sloppy’ setters and now answers you don’t like – nobody else ever uses these descriptions for anything relating to a crossword. Not having a pop, just saying.

        Incidentally Mr K, that is an interesting stat, got any more?

        1. Oh yes, I have many more :) . I’ll think about including statistics on locations of site visitors in a future blog intro.

          1. You are right in that most Brits understand the Americanisms you mention (probably from US TV shows). But it often doesn’t work in reverse. When first in Florida, I asked someone in a supermarket if it was ok to put something in the trolley, and was met with a vacant stare.

            1. Well it must work both ways because I understand many US children are tending to use Brit-speak/accents thanks to Peppa Pig being so popular across the pond! 🐷.

            2. Nowadays I live in a place (a small Caribbean island) where we have many Us/Canadian residents, mostly just in the winter months. It’s been an education and, usually, amusing for all sides (Brits and non-B) chatting over the English language, it’s idioms, it’s alternative spellings or meanings, etc.

              What a joyous language English is, globally, in that it can have such a variety. And I’m ignoring the joy of “local” pigeon English. Long may it continue.

              And, I am sure this great Blog has plenty of room for solvers with alternative views about what is, after all, only a puzzle.

              Ps. Well done Wales. I’ll leave my analysis of the game for a Sport only blog!

      1. Yes, I’ve only just got it to fully explain the bung-in…..

        Don’t like either of those shortenings.

  5. Similar experience here. Top half went in promptly bit more thought required in the SW. 17d nice clue but awful car which I happily left upside down in a ditch many moons ago. Enjoy the Rugby whoever you are rooting for. As Lister (Red Dwarf) said of “Foxy Boxing” I am just praying it goes the distance!

  6. I liked this one a lot and found it quite tricky in places – certainly better/more challenging than many past Sat Prizes have been. I would describe the woman not as “nebulous”, but glaringly conspicuous (once the checkers are in). It was an enjoyable/entertaining puzzle with plenty of good clues and I’ve ticked 4d, 7d, 14d. 3* / 4*.

  7. Bit tricky but brilliant puzzle. My favs were 13a and 21a but all in all very elegant.
    Thx to all

  8. This was all going well until I got to the SW corner and I was quite enjoying it. However, I have completely given up on 15d. I guess it’s one of those you either know or you don’t. It doesn’t help that the only answer I can think of for 19a is one I cannot parse. The old grey matter isn’t up to the job today. Thank you for the hints anyway.

    1. There will be a picture along in the near future to help. I can’t upload them at the moment and am awaiting help.

      1. ‘Help’ has just returned from a successful shopping trip in Canterbury and has added the pictures

    2. Chriscross.
      – The “Chuck” in 19a is the American diminuitive of a man’s name. Hope that helps with the parsing.
      – Tilsit’s hint explains 15d precisely if you go through what he is saying step by step. It’s very much a Toughie level Lego/Russian Doll style construction. Alternatively I feel sure when he has been able to upload the picture, the penny will drop with a resounding clang.

        1. The help was doing her best to be quick but realised as soon as she’d updated the blog post that she’d missed the vital one

      1. I had an uncle familiarly known as Chuck … he was born and bred in Middlesbrough, Teesside … as far as I know he never visited America.

    3. Thank you. I finally caught on to 15d. One if my probems was of my own making, as I had put xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. That threw the whole corner out of whack. Hope it helps anyone else having trouble with same clue

      [Redacted – the red instructions clearly tell you not to include information on ‘wrong’ clues etc in your comments]

  9. Enjoyable, and tricky in parts as has been said already. Thanks to Tilsit for the Rosa Klebb recommendation. Have a good weekend all.

    1. The first time I met Arachne I said it was nice to meet a female setter that didn’t look like Rosa Klebb – she remembered that conversation when choosing an alias for her FT puzzles!

      1. You’ve set up high expectations now, BD, that all the gentlemen setters will have to look like Bond, rather than say, Goldfinger or Jaws.
        Of course, it is the case that many of the villains are infinitely more glamorous than 007, despite their physical idiosyncrasies.

  10. Like others held up by the 15D & 19A combo but got there eventually before the hints .
    Excellent crossword with my joint favourites 13D & 21A .
    In proportion to the population ration of about 20 to 1 , I seem to be one of the few supporting Wales today . GOLIATH vs David ? Well we know who won that battle !!
    Greetings to everyone from sunny Sout Wales .

    1. I join you – is the ratio really only 20 to 1? What noisy neighbours we have.
      The official selection committee at the golf club is more than somewhat pessimistic. The England team may not receive quite such a cordial welcome to the Principality mind.
      Also echo your views on today’s offering.
      Thnks to setter & Tilsit & the team

      1. Is that Butler or Davies BD? I judge you mean the latter from “squeeky one”.
        Great game at the minute.

    2. Although I was born and raised in the heart of the Kent mining community, Wales is the Land of my Fathers (both my natural father who died when I was an infant, and step) so it’s Wales for me every time.

  11. I can’t see beyond the excellent 13a for my COTD. This was a pleasantly tricky but very doable Prize Puzzle and enjoyable throughout. Thank you setter for the challenge and to Tilsit for standing in for BD. It should be an epic battle later this afternoon in the Principality.

  12. It’s officially Spring now because I have just cleaned the patio. To celebrate I thought I would sit down with a pot of Monsooned Malabar and tackle this super crossword. Like others I was stymied in the SW by some rather fine clueing that left me feeling like a dog of ours once looked after she thought she’d have a go at some discarded chewing gum. Took a bit of sorting out.
    Great fun though with 19a getting my nomination with 13a and 16a close behind.
    Thanks to Tilsit and our setter.

  13. Learned a new Americanism today, courtesy of phone-a-friend. Not overly happy with that one, nor the definition of 15d.
    Quite liked several of the others – 13d made me smile but top billing went to 13a.

    Thanks to our setter and to Tilsit for manning the fort in the boss’s absence. I must second his recommendation to try the Rosa Klebb in the FT, another excellent puzzle from the spider lady.

    PS I won’t say that Anglesey is totally deserted but it did seem rather suspicious that my local supermarket home delivery service had no available time slots for this afternoon!

  14. Found this quite gentle and reasonably enjoyable last night **/** for me.

    Like others, I only parsed the first part of 19a after a bung in.

    Sorry RD, but I liked 8d because of my crazy sense of humour; the vision of the said women sitting at a corner table covered in the said thing with a bottle in front of her.

    Thanks to all and enjoy a great sporting weekend. Thanks goodness for VPNs.

    1. I’ll be honest with you, Wahoo, I think 8d is fine. It’s an excellent clue and, with the checkers in place, you are only looking for one letter. It’s the general principle of “boy, girl, man, woman”, which a few setters seem to use as a bit of a cop out, that I don’t like. That said, I never underestimate how much effort goes into setting, and most of our setters have my unqualified admiration.

  15. I got there in fits and starts. Enjoyed it a lot. I do love seeing very British usage of words like the first word in the clue for 21a. I don’t believe it is used this side of the water.
    Lots of favourites.

    BTW that East European does seem to roam around a lot in Crossword Land :-)

  16. Are you inferring that all other female setters look like Rosa Kleb? If I were a female setter I would be bridling!

  17. Two rugby matches back to back are all very well for the sporty types, my husband has settled down for the duration. Nice crossword, sitting in the sun – I would not have finished it but for the hint about 15d, I was completely on the wrong track.

  18. Bizarrely I found the SW corner went in almost immediately. I found this harder than usual because my brain does not work the same way as this setters. As others have said further up, I am not keen on Americanisms. Still it’s kept me busy whilst awaiting the rugby! Thanks to the setter, to Tilsit and your “help” 😂

  19. Very enjoyable puzzle with 13a&14&17d getting the podium places. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit for the hints.

  20. I found this a bit tricky, the north yielding first but needing to refer to the hints to get back on track in the SW at one point.
    Like most, took forever to know why 19a was right.
    Fave was 13a, but 15d needs mention for such a good movie/play.
    Thanks to setter and to Tilsit for his hints and pics.

  21. That was good and a nice reward for having done loads in the garden first, not that I didn’t enjoy the gardening too.
    To begin with I thought it was going to be very difficult but things improved once I got going.
    I was doubtful about my answer to 19a – pretty sure it had to be right but didn’t know the first bit until I read all the comments.
    Was there really only one anagram – it’s all that I can find.
    Clues that stood out for me today included 10, 12 and 13a and my favourite was 21a because it made me laugh.
    Oh – I suppose I’d better include 23/24a in my list, if only out of loyalty to the place I’ve lived for over fifty years!
    Thanks to today’s setter, whoever he or she may be, and to Tilsit for the hints and to CS for the pics.

  22. Now I thought that was more straightforward than recent Saturdays. :-) Enjoyable, with the south perhaps a touch more difficult than the other half.

  23. One of the best puzzles lately, having got there wondering why it took so long. 3.5*/4.5* .
    Many thanks to Tilsit & CS for hints & photos.
    As a treacherous aside… FT weekend puzzles are well worth the effort, especially when composed by the inimitable Rosa K!

  24. One of the best puzzles lately, having got there wondering why it took so long. 3.5*/4.5* .
    Many thanks to Tilsit & CS for hints & photos.
    As a treacherous aside… FT weekend puzzles are well worth the effort, especially when composed by the inimitable Rosa K!

  25. Gosh that was hard work today, but thanks to the setter for the challenge and to Tilsit for the badly needed hints. Of course I bunged in the version ending with an O for 14d which threw me off course.

  26. Just watched the big game having carefully avoided finding out the score first. Wales were well worth the win; England flattered to deceive once more. I’m really looking forward to the World Cup now but winning the Six Nations is next on the agenda!!!

  27. Well that wasn’t my scene at all and I couldn’t begin to get onto the wavelength; in fact I gave up and threw in the towel with less than half accomplished. Was pleased to unwind with a RU feast but pity about the England result. 13d was Fav for me from amongst the clues which I did actually manage to solve. 😰.

  28. I need help with my final answer, 25 across. Must be my brain but I don’t see it. Can somebody give me a nudge in the right direction. Thanks

    1. 25a This person overwhelmed by small amount of money gets stick (6)
      It should give you a nudge to know that the definition here (stick) is a verb.

    2. OK Big Dave please don’t put me on the naughty step but how about a completely alternate type of clue?

      The swimming pool in the Beverly Hillbillies.

  29. First class crossword.
    Fell at the last fence needing a hint for 6a.
    Too many brilliant clues to single any one out.
    Thanks BD and Mr.Ron.

  30. Quite a challenge for me today, needed two hints, to complete, but I can accept that.
    I was looking in the magazine for Simon Williams’ column, which always gives me a laugh. The column was sadly absent this week – anybody know if it’s come to an end ?

  31. Am I the only one irritated by the phantom ‘r’ necessary to parse 6a? Although now settled forever in coastal East Kent, I’m a Glaswegian originally and do not pronounce (as an example unrelated to the clue) the word “drawer” as “drawrer”. Do others not from the ‘sarf east’ perhaps agree?

    1. You’re not the only one but I fear that we’re fighting a losing battle – nearly all UK professional crossword setters seem to hail from the South East of England.

  32. When we first looked at it we could only do one clue! Took us over an hour and listening to the Archers to finally click. Brain has now dribbled out of our combined ears! Now for the Sunday one.

  33. Very late today as all the kids any grandkids with us for half term and then the clean up..I found it tricky to get going but then it all came together in a rush. There were a few that had unusual definitions eg 19a & 25a, but my favourite was 13a. Sorry I missed out on the early ‘chats’ but don’t get me going on Kill om metters!

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