DT 28000 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28000 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28000 (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    Enthusiast thanks old country endlessly for classic cartoon (8)
A charade of a three-letter enthusiast, a two-letter word of thanks and most of the former (old) name of a country

9a    War cry makes less important European retreat in turn (8)
Do today’s kids still run around shouting this as we used to do? A five-letter word meaning less important and E(uropean) all reversed (retreat) inside a turn or attempt

13a    Superior newspapers featuring South American city (8)
This Mother Superior is derived from a general word for newspapers around (featuring) a South American city

18a    Doh or ray, me or fah, soh or lah, but …? (4)
Split the answer (2,2) to see what’s missing!

20a    Charge again — reason for linesman to take over (6)
In this context, to charge means to load or put something into – split the answer (3,3) to get a reason for a linesman to take over (although they are not called linesmen these days, but that would spoil the joke)

21a    Motorway dash — a mistake, literally (8)
The designation of a major motorway followed by a dash or run gives a mistake in a piece of literature

23a    Complaint in favour of Victoria perhaps taking note (12)
A three-letter word meaning “in favour of” and a structure of which Victoria is an example (perhaps) around a note in the scale in sol-fa notation

26a    Cooks  deer (4)
… remember that deer is the plural of deer

28a    Condemn level of pay for directors? (8)
Split as (4,4) this could be the level of pay for directors


2d    Working on Barrie and how we usually see Peter Pan? (8)
An anagram (working) of ON BARRIE

4d    Well-dressed  timber (6)
Two definitions that are not helped by the double unch

6d    Seriously intellectual teacher on course missing start (8)
A university teacher followed by a course or circuit without (missing) its initial letter (start)

8d    I laid in money for piece of meat (8)
The I from the clue and a three-letter verb meaning laid or put inside an item of paper money

12d    Street musician ranging freely needs to be in proper condition (5-7)
An anagram (freely) of RANGING inside a proper condition

16d    Piece of music needing two instruments (8)
Combine two four-letter instruments

ARVE Error: need id and provider

22d    Suppress mischievous little fellow — that thing’s upsetting (6)
A mischievous little fellow followed by “that thing’s” all reversed

25d    Competent bishop hampered by drink (4)
B(ishop) inside (hampered by) some alcoholic drink

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: faux+claw=folk lore

97 comments on “DT 28000 (Hints)

  1. 4*/3.5*. A few tough clues took this largely very enjoyable puzzle up to 4* time. However I have docked half a star for enjoyment as it was slightly marred for me by having two clues which used the same device, one of which also contained the answer for the other. I can’t say more for fear of becoming the first occupant of the naughty corner in 2016.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD.

  2. My favourite of 2016. Favourite 28a, followed by 24d, 14a, 1a, 17d and 21a. Difficulty in parsing 19d, 8d and 20a. All in all a good puzzle and very enjoyable. Bonne Année.

  3. Number 28,000 and still going strong.

    2*/4* from me today. I loved 11 across for the inference and 2 down and 18 across for being clever. The whole puzzle was hugely enjoyable and a pleasant distraction from yet another miserable day.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

    1. Loved this one. Some of the clues were really delightful. 11 and 18 a were my faves too.

      Thanks everyone.

    2. You’ve said it all, Young Salopian, and, if it’s of any consolation to you, it’s a miserable day in South Cheshire too. Besides that, Liverpool are a goal down to West Ham at Upton Park…

  4. A tad more demanding than some Saturdays hence good fun but no outstanding clues for me. 27a amused. The level of pay in 28a is not only for directors. 9a new to me. ***/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  5. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, with lots of humour and some tricky clues. Managed without the hints for a change. 11&20a made me laugh, but the Favourite was 13a. Thought 26a was a bit weak. Iast in was 8d. Was 3*/3* for me. Off to the the Goonerium later.

  6. I’m only really dropping in to maintain my crossword club membership. I don’t have much to say about the puzzle, completed at it was at ridiculous o’clock after having given up on trying to sleep. It didn’t last long and I noticed the same thing RD did, but doing it was considerably more enjoyable than not, for which I am grateful.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

    P.S. This month’s MPP is not too tricky and well worth a go if this one left you with some free time.

  7. Well, a happy new year for me then as I worked through this one with a comfortable **/***. Just right for a miserable wet and windy morning and cancelled golf.
    2d and 9a were favourites if pressed.
    Thanks to setter and BD and happy 2016 to all.

  8. Happy New Year everyone. hope 2016 will be kind to you all … I found this a little difficult for a Saturday crossword and putting the answer to 2d in at 1a didn’t help!!! Fav clues for me were 18a and 17d, hoping to visit a little more frequently this year, otherwise you may all forget about me … http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  9. Well, since there are 3 pens up for grabs I used my very best handwriting to fill this one in…11a and 26a made me laugh out loud…happy new year to all ?

  10. We found this a bit more difficult than the usual Saturday puzzle but thoroughly enjoyable. Were held up with a wrong answer in 23a but got there in the end. ***/**** from us. Ooops – nearly forgot to thanks BD and the Setter.

  11. Very enjoyable thank you. Early for me as I tend to be several days behind. On first look seemed impossible but all came together without assistance. Grateful for parsing of 9a although answer obvious. 28a is a marmite clue I think – you’ll love it or hate it. It was my penultimate answer followed by 22d which for some reason I found very hard. There are so many Brownie sixes named after mischievous little fellows I could think of all the wrong ones. 13a was the favourite after a Doh! Moment followed by 20a and 17d. Several where it was necessary to break up the word to get the full benefit of the clue. Thanks setter and BD and a Happy New Year to all.

  12. No problem – one of the easier Saturday puzzle.

    My only gripe is that I entered it into the Telegraph App and it was accepted successfully – BUT then it came back saying I had a mistake in my grid, 10a was highlighted as the error – which I thought was fairly obvious – a four letter word for a fierce reptile which sounds like an injured person – as I said obvious!

    I’ll just assume another Telegraph App glitch!


    1. I don’t blame the App as I did not recognise it as a word either – to me it’s a shortform!

      1. Yes, but it’s the normal shortform word for the fierce reptile and sounds like a person who is constantly injured – that’s what the clue is after – as I said obvious!

        1. I was not sure about this either, sounded like slang for the aforementioned reptile to me??

  13. Oh dear Miffypops…You warned us quite recently not to employ the same kind of tactics that we once used for a backpager during the weekend.
    Vey amusing though….even if the paper has to open many more envelopes than normal for people in search of the Holy Fountain Pen.

    1. I think your comment and the following one have been orphaned as I have deleted the offending comment rather than redact 90% of it.

    2. Glad Miffypop’s comment has been deleted. There is being clever, trying to be too clever, and trying to spoil the fun for those who have not yet completed the puzzle. Hope he has been rusticated.

      1. Blimey, ‘rusticated’ – that’s a bit strong – he must have commited some sort of heresy – don’t forget he’s a poor uneducated orphan boy so you should allow him some degree of leeway – but on the other hand giving away answers when we’re all vying for the Holy Grail of a Telegraph Fountain Pen – well, that’s beyond the pail – off with his head!


        1. The pedant in me can’t resist pointing out that the expression is “beyond the pale” (fence) – outside the limits of civilised behaviour.

          1. Speak roughly to your little boy and beat him when he sneezes. He only does it to annoy. Because he knows it teases. Oh dear. I have done it again. There is no hope

          1. Unfortunately, I missed the comment from Miffypops before it was deleted by the censor.

            What did he say?

            1. He managed to get every answer of the puzzle into a comment about answers not appearing in comments!

  14. Just finished,last one in was 22D forgot that there are two three letter little fellows.I do hope Miffypops doesnt get 28A for his amusing tweet.Many thanks to the setter & BD.

  15. I have to agree with BD’s */** for this one. Nothing else to say really.

    Ta to the setter and BD.

  16. I enjoyed this one a lot – never sure whether it’s a lot or a lot – whatever.
    Started off thinking that the ‘thanks’ in 1a was plural which left me with a problem ‘old country’ – dim!
    As I tried to make an anagram out of the wrong letters in 11a I thought ‘sloshed’ was an unusual anagram indicator.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
    12a took a long time to sort out as did 8d.
    I liked 10 and 27a and 2 and 14d. My favourite was 11a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

      1. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif Whichever way I do it it looks wrong so I just alternate them on the grounds that then I’m right at least some of the time – not any more though!

  17. Assuming it’s he, I’m growing to love Mr Ron’s puzzles. I found this really quite tough but hugely rewarding to complete (even if I did end up coming here for a couple of hints). Plenty of humour and misdirection with a smattering of “doh” moments – very nice. ****/**** Lots to choose from here, but 20a was my favourite. Thanks to Mr Ron and to BD for the hints.

  18. Will Miffypops be still with us this coming Monday?
    Banned for eight months like Eric Cantona?
    Or just sent to the sin bin for a couple of days?

    Leicester against Bournemouth today!

  19. Interesting range of difficulties today – I am with the */** group. Wasn’t around yesterday so just wanted to wish everyone a happy, prosperous and peaceful 2016. Thanks as ever to the setter and BD.

  20. Don’t understand the “unch” reference for 4d in the hints section. A nice one to start the New Year.

    1. Welcome – an ‘unch’ is an unchecked letter – one you can’t get from a solution going across the one you are looking at. In the case of 4d, the second, third and fifth letters are ‘unches’.

      1. The pedant in me can’t resist pointing out that the ‘unches’ in 4d are actually second, third and fifth letters. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

        1. The pedant in me can’t help but point out that you keep starting the sentence with phrase ‘The pedant in me….’.


          1. I use ‘just’ far too often, put in too many exclamation marks and all sorts of other stuff but that’s what the BD site is all about. Say it as you see it.
            Apologies to RD, TS and your good self (and doubtless many others) but you love us all really. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  21. Good win for West Ham today over a poor Liverpool – Sarries against Leicester now and then more Rugby and Football later – it’s all go here!


  22. Sigh of relief from me as found this much easier than last two days. Thought I was losing my mojo! Having just tuned in and missed Miffypops now deleted comment, I’m dying to know what he said. Any chance of edited highlights?

  23. Sailed through then ran aground on 24d. Took ages to realise the need to take the last four words literally.

  24. Nasty dingy afternoon here brightened by crossword, must be a wavelength thing but I enjoyed it. Old enough to remember 1a and 9a, 8d from recent appearance but favourite had to be 13a for the penny drop moment. Thanks to BD and setter, off to try MPP. If all else fails there is always GK to try. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  25. **/****. Really enjoyed this and especially 13, 18&20a and 14&17d. Took a while to get Steve Ovett out of my head. Thanks to the setter and BD for the review. Another perfect blue sky and very frosty.

  26. I too, Kath, enjoyed this a lot. I thought there were some amusing clues, 27a, 9a, among others.
    Fave was 18a, but others nipping on the heels.
    Thanks to setter, and also thanks to BD for explaining 22d.

    P.S. I’m getting so tired of having to type in my name and e-mail every time; that’s my grouse for the new year!

      1. You’re talking to what pommers calls a technopeasant ! I don’t even know what cookies are, much less how to clear them!

    1. Glad I’m not the only one suffering from this. It started about a month ago and is a real pain!

      1. Bran (aka Brian) – have you checked your “cookie” settings?

        I have no problems – this website always remembers who I am (unfortunately).

        1. That’ll be down to the BD scary Hitler face – he’s only appeared to me once, but that was frightening enough.
          I’m sure he lurks in the ‘cloud’ or wherever, waiting to pounce. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    2. Don’t know whether this will explain anything, Merusa, but whilst my Windows 7 (which uses Explorer) was in for repairs I had to fall back on my trusty old Vista and access the site via Outlook. I then had to put in email address etc. every time. As soon as I got Explorer back, everything returned to normal.

  27. I found this very amusing , and very guessable.
    Thanks to the setter and BD.
    Happy New year ,if I haven’t said that already.

  28. Great fun: 1*/4* according to my own (entirely subjective) criteria. 9a made me laugh – no mean feat on a horribly wet and windy day – so assumes the mantle of favourite clue. Thanks to the setter, and to Big Dave.

  29. After my yesterday’s ‘gushing out’ I will be brief. Many thanks to the setter for a pleasant puzzle. Liked 9a,13a and 14d… 1.5*/3*. Sorry I missed Miffipops deleted comment! Thank you also to BD for the hints needed to parse some of my answers.

  30. What a great crossword! So many xcellent laugh out loud clues, too many to mention. The best of the week by many country miles. More of these please DT.
    For me **/******
    Many thx to the setter for rounding off a pretty awful crossword week.

  31. I enjoyed this but recognised a few old chestnuts…however I like roast chestnuts at this time of year!!! So sorry I missed Miffypops’ determined attempt to sit in the naughty corner.Thanks to Mr. Ron and BD and Happy New Year to you all ???

  32. A good mental workout for a Saturday crossword! Most enjoyable. 22d was my final entry as I was determined it was the other three lettered sprite that was involved. It was my favourite once I realised my error. 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to BD for his hints.

  33. Yessir I agree straightforward and good fun ? */ ***** Liked 13a, 17a & 17d Chestnuts roasting by an open fire, but after all this still the festive season http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  34. I thought I was destined to fail today, but got going nicely after half an hour or so of blank staring. 2 down was my C.O.D, very nice !

    ***/**** from me. Thanks to setter and BD.

  35. Really enjoyed this one up to the point I got absolutely stuck trying to finish it on 7d 24a and 26a. Daft really, three four-letter puzzles, I can make some sensible solutions but blessed if I can get them to fit the word play.

  36. Happy New Year to all you nice people. Loved today’s offering, and 20a was my absolute total all-time favourite!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    Thanks to brill setter and BD.

  37. Harder than usual, but fun. 20a marvellous, but 18a marvellouser. 2*/3* thanks to all

    1. Hi Sam,
      Don’t get the weekend DT but just pop in to make a nuisance of myself from time to time! I wonder whether you have considered all the definitions of ‘fit’?

  38. Red letter day for me.
    Completed it for the first time with no assistance from this excellent blog. It’s been years since I last did the DT cryptic crossword regularly and I’m dead chuffed.
    Just need to check 22d as got the correct answer but did not understand the clue.
    Thanks to these notes and the setter.

      1. The first 4 letters are, according to Chambers, the persons who administer an organization (typically the directors) and the second 4 letters are the level of pay.

  39. Not very taxing but quite pleasurable.
    Agree that if was full of old chestnuts like the piece of meat in 8d, the apartment in 19d and the woman’s love in 16a.
    Liked 2d and 22d.
    Thanks to the Saturday setter and to BD for the blog.

  40. Not partaken for a few weeks as I managed w/o help and scanned and sent in.
    Today was different -it took me a while to realise that the ‘obvious’ reference to anagram in 3d didn’t fit the words available and was amazed that it did! V clever.

    Last one was 20a- had my sight on another word, but couldn’t justify and then the penny dropped..8d needed the hint – I had the word in the back of my mind but but didn’t appear in googles? Thanks for that BD thx too to setter?

    All this whilst in the throes of racking cough and permanently clogged nose.

  41. Done on Sunday after a busy weekend. Fairly straightforward (once I too had put 2d in 2d and not 1a) until bottom right. Needed help down there though, so thanks for the hints!

    18a my fave as was clever.


  42. Another enjoyable puzzle. 2* for me. Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD who helped me with the last two clues to finish it off

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