DT 28126 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28126 (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.

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.


4a    Don Juan‘s Spanish house beside river flowing west (8)
The Spanish word for house followed by the reversal (flowing west in an across clue) of an English river

8a    Very old Scottish chimney shown by English book (6)
V(ery) and O(ld) followed by the usual Scottish chimney, making its first appearance for a while, and E(nglish)

10a    One from the country having drink after 6.50 (8)
A sort of alcoholic drink preceded by the Roman numerals for 6 and 50

12a    Rip off iron on the wagon? One gets stuff to throw at people! (8)
A three-letter verb meaning to rip off or cheat followed by the chemical symbol for iron, an abbreviation for “on the wagon” or abstemious and I (one)

16a    Admirer drunk and shot in dance (8)
A three-letter admirer followed by an anagram (drunk) of AND and a shot or attempt

24a    Reveal record waste (8)
A record or album followed by a verb meaning to waste or squander

25a    Many aboard worry it’s bulging outwards (6)
A charade of the Roman numeral for a largish number, a two-letter preposition meaning aboard and a verb meaning to worry

26a    Current monitor coming from north-east, not north (8)
An anagram (coming from) of [N]ORTH-EAST without (not) the N(orth)


1d    Detailed zoo rhino’s blurred range of vision (7)
An anagram (blurred) of ZO[o] RHINO without the final letter (detailed) of zo[o]

3d    Stand by as one says mass (6)
Sounds like (as one says) an exhortation to stand by

4d    Confer after City unexpectedly perform successfully (5,4,6)
An anagram (unexpectedly) of CONFER AFTER CITY

7d    Old soldier chopped tree in front (7)
An anagram (chopped) of TREE inside a word meaning the front

15d    Amazing result of strike (8)
Two definitions – an adjective meaning amazing or stunning and one possible result of a fight or bout

17d    Pitch up, being restrained by excellent mum in scrap (7)
The reversal (up in a down clue) of a three-letter verb meaning to pitch or toss inside two-letter words meaning excellent and mum or quiet gives a verb meaning to scrap or get rid of

18d    Dazed non-fliers in resting place (7)
Some birds that can’t fly inside a resting place

22d    Aggressively male Chinese leader touring Switzerland (5)
The first name of a former Chinese leader around (touring) the IVR code for Switzerland

The Crossword Club is now open.

As it’s the last Saturday of the month, I’m off to the Village Café and Market – back around lunchtime.

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: purr+specks=Perspex®


  1. Hilary Blagbrough

    Many thanks to the setter for a pleasant diversion for dull a morning.
    For once we didn’t need the clues except to confirm our parsing of the answers (thanks BD).

    By the way, have you missed out a bit of the clue for 17D?

  2. Jose

    This one contained some good cluing, but overall pretty mild and fairly unchallenging – especially for a prize cryptic. 3d: Just a slight pedantic quibble – strictly speaking, the answer and mass are not synonymous. There is a subtle but very important scientific difference between the two. That’s just an observation, not an alternative clue (I hope). 1.5*/2.5*

      • Prolixic

        If you can wait until midday, there is a cracking NTSPP by Gazza that would not be out of place in the national press.

        • Jose

          P. I was going to print this off (at the library) but the clues need scrolling to read and you’d have to print it 3 times with the clues in different positions to get them all captured. So I didn’t bother. Is there any clever computer trick that allows you to print the grid and all the clues on one sheet of A4?

    • Faraday

      I feel Jose that your quibble with 3d carries some gravity and is justified😂 If I too can indulge in a little physics pedantry I would have been happier in 26a if “monitor” had been replaced with “moderator”. I think the BRB (and Ohm’s Law) just about make it acceptable. This is on a nit-picking par with my chemistry teacher blood pressure rising every time I recycle glass. Nearly all glass is clear, some is coloured and some is colourless – just like solutions, the wet ones that is, not the crossword versions (although they’re not very clear at times……😂)
      Thank you, as usual, BD for your elucidation and this wonderful blog.

    • Senf

      Reference 3d, even as an engineer, I consider that compiling crosswords must be an art rather than a science – so, there is always potential for some ‘artistic licence’ to be exercised by a compiler. Then, there is the ruling from the BRB!

  3. Rabbit Dave

    1*/2*. I didn’t find this pangram much of a challenge, and it had far too much Lego for my taste (17 whole or partial clues!).

    Thanks to the setter and to BD.

  4. jean-luc cheval

    Not much of a challenge but a few smiles in 3d, 14d and 19a.
    The pangram helped in 25a.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the blog.
    Can’t wait to go back home this afternoon to print Gazza’s long awaited crossword.

  5. Senf

    Lights out had to be postponed last night to enable completion, although that did include an interlude to meet my son at the airport. Apparently, I found this more challenging than others who have blogged already. Oh well, that will happen occasionally.

    At some stage, I had a passing thought about a pangram. Perhaps it might have helped if I had followed up on it.

    Last one in was 15d which, for reasons I didn’t understand when the penny dropped, took some hard staring down.

    Favourite would be 19a – my favourite type of that refreshing libation.

    Thanks to the setter and to BD.

  6. Michael

    Slightly harder than a normal Saturday puzzle but very enjoyable nevertheless.

    A great day for sport with Sarries v Chiefs then Hull v Sheffield Wednesday and all rounded off with the Champions League final – any lulls in the action can be filled by the Test Match or BMW Golf – what to watch and what to record, decisions, decisions!


  7. Kath

    First of all, Happy Birthday Mary, if you’re reading this – a little birthday :rose: for you.
    I think I enjoyed this more than the rest of you – I also think I found it trickier than the rest of you.
    I was very slow to get going then the right hand side went OK but the left side seemed to take ages.
    12a was a bit of a problem because, for some reason, I only read the first sentence of the clue – don’t know why.
    21a gave me my usual technical blindness – not helped by the lurking nature of the answer.
    I was slow with the 4d anagram – sounds like ‘managementese’ to me and I don’t do that very well.
    I started off with the wrong answer for 15d which didn’t help anything.
    I liked 4 and 10a and 1d. My favourite by a long way was 14d – made me laugh.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    Stuff to do now with Gazza’s NTSPP as a reward to look forward to later.

  8. Kitty

    I did this when I woke up at too early o’clock, before going back to sleep. Since then I have lost all memory of the puzzle, as has my tablet. Just thought I’d pop in anyway to say thanks to the setter for the crossword and to BD for the blog.

    Happy Birthday Mary, and have a good weekend everybody. :bye:

    • Caravaggio

      You may be amused to know, Kitty, that, since ten o’clock when I finished the puzzle, I’ve lost all memory of it too… To put things in perspective, I thought that this was an eminently forgettable puzzle – without any “Eureka!” moments – although I do appreciate all the time and effort that the setters put into compiling their work. Many Happy Returns of the Day to Mary, my fellow Geminian, Liverpool and Wales supporter.

      • Kitty

        It’s a big ask of a crossword to be “memorable” – when one is, that merits special commendation. In general, being pleasant to solve is the only requirement (which includes considerations such as fairness).

        A difficult puzzle has to be worth the time spent: an easy puzzle only has to be worth the time spent. I have no complaints today. Other than those raised amusingly by Faraday (comment #2), that is!

        Edit: I don’t mean to suggest the puzzle has a low “value” when I talk of worth above: easier puzzles are not in general easier to compile, nor do they take less skill, so the appreciation of the setter’s art is just as high.

    • Senf

      I have a theory, totally unsupported by any evidence, that, when a clue is somewhat ‘clumsy’ in its reading, there has been some editorial involvement and the clue is not the way the compiler originally wrote it.

    • BusyLizzie

      Hubby helped me with this one, and his quibble was that this does not monitor, it controls … I would have had no clue, no pun intended 😊

  9. pommers

    I’ll get to this one later over the customary pre-prandial.

    Just to let you know it’s the hottest day of the year so far here (30C) but it’s peeing down!! Very sticky :sad:

  10. Brian

    Glad someone found this easy, I thought it was damned tricky esp on the left side. Have I missed something amongst the plethora of words this setters uses for 1d, where does it tell you or imply that the last letter of zoo should be dropped?
    For me ***/*
    Thx to all

    • Senf

      In the Small Red Book, and presumably the BRB, the first word of 1d is described as a ‘tail deletion indicator’ – that seems reasonably clear.

    • Ora Meringue

      I’m with you, Brian.
      I had the devil of a job with this one.
      Needed lots of electronic help and lots of hints.
      Not much fun for me…..and I totally agree with the above objections to 3d and 26a.
      I would never describe myself as a physicist, but I did have a good science education and my physics and chemistry teachers would have erupted in fury at those definitions .

      And the weather is grey where I am…warm but overcast so a bit sticky.
      Not the best Saturday for me.

      • RichardW

        No, me too. No answers on first read through, RHS came out of the fog; LHS took longer to develop; e-help needed to get 1d and a few in the SW corner to finish. Oh, and as a CEng I agree about the artistic licence applied in 3d and 26a!!

  11. Merusa

    Wishing you a very Happy Birthday, Mary!

    Well, I enjoyed this, even though it was on the easier side, particularly 14d, that was when I tumbled to the pangram and I knew to look for unusual letters.
    Thanks you setter, and thanks to BD for the hints.

  12. paso doble

    Didn’t find this as easy as some but we enjoyed it – Doble likes lego clues! A **/*** from us. Thanks to the Setter and to Big Dave. Have a good Bank Holiday everyone.

  13. Gwizz

    Just for once I realised that a pangram was on the cards. Normally I never notice until I read the blog! I quite enjoyed this puzzle, Don Juan’s gaffe and excellent mums made for some grey cells to come out of hibernation. In fact I’ll nominate 17d as fave,.
    Overall 2/3*
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.
    Now for the footie…..

  14. Heno

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. I enjoyed this. I found the top half read & write, but the bottom half put up more of a challenge. As I have a scientific background, I also agree with the comments about 3d&26a, but am happy to give the Setter poetic licence. Favourite was 19a, last in was 18d. An old chestnut in 10a. Was 2*/3* for me. Sun trying to come out at last in Central London. Have a good Bank holiday everyone.

  15. Vancouverbc

    Tricky in parts I thought. So it took longer than it should in retrospect and required two sittings – one last evening and again this morning. However more inspiration in the light of day seemed to crack it. I don’t always spot a pangram either but this actually helped me with a couple of clues. Thanks to the setter and BD for the review.

  16. Florence

    Loved the detailed bit of 1a. It was my last one in when the penny dropped. I sort of knew what to do with the clue, but couldn’t get there as I had eight letters not seven. Now understand, if I see it again. Liked 17d once I was able to get to grips with what I was doing with it. I enjoyed this puzzle with some easy and some not so easy clues. Thank you BD and setter and ‘Happy Birthday’ Mary.

  17. Angel

    A bit humdrum but slightly more engaging than some weekend prize offerings. Nothing really Fav-able. Messed 18d by putting on in 23a. Thanks Mysteron and BD. **/**.

  18. Collywobbles

    As usual, an enjoyable puzzle on a Saturday. Many thanks to Mr Ron or Mr Rons and to BD for the hints which were very useful

  19. Bluebell

    Enjoyable solve but I have to take issue with 26a which is strictly not a current monitor but a variable resistor.

  20. BusyLizzie

    A grey and (thankfully) somewhat wet morning in South Florida, but thanks to Big Dave I managed to finish the puzzle. Well almost. 2d eluded me for some reason.

  21. Jon_S

    Tricky in places, though always interesting. Shouldn’t 15d be two words, or at least hyphenated?

  22. JonP

    I found this quite difficult and my solving clock ticked over into 3* territory as the last couple of clues fell.

    Thanks to BD and setter ***/***

  23. Salty Dog

    Rather more gentle than recent Saturday cryptics – about 1/2* difficulty and 3* enjoyment. I liked 17d, so that’s my favourite. Thanks to the setter, and BD.

  24. Young Salopian

    I did this on Sunday morning while staying with friends near Bath. Nothing too difficult, although the LHS took me longer than it should have done. This was 2*/3* for me, with belated thanks to Mr Ron and of course BD. Driving back to the Marches later via more friends so will probably do Sunday’s puzzle on Monday.

  25. HoofItYouDonkey

    As ever, three quarters completed in double-quick time, the rest unfathomable without BD’d hints and various internet sites. Could parse most things, but where does ‘mum’ comes from in 17d. I am still far too inexperienced with ‘crosswordspeak’ to complete unaided, I guess that comes with practice, like ‘detailed’ with 1d.
    Still, lots to enjoy, thanks to BD and the setter.
    Off to Wembley now to cheer Millwall on in the League 1 play-off final, though I suspect I am in for a disappointing afternoon.

  26. Mary

    Thank you Dave et al for this brilliant birthday gift and wishes I have a slot at the mo for wifi and hope you all see this xxx

  27. Weekendwanda

    Happy birthday. For me no problem with most of the puzzle but then the last three I thought I would never get. I got 15d (I was trying to put the last letter of the pangram in the wrong place) then 26a. I thought it was a technical term I did not know and was much easier once the penny dropped as to the type of Cole. This left me with 17d which I got with the checkers and then worked out why! Now I have to do all those jobs I have postponed whilst pondering upon the above. Thanks all.

  28. GramPhil

    I enjoyed this one and managed without the hints. Thanks to all.
    A few years ago when I was a physics teacher I would have felt extremely cross about the previously mentioned 3D and 26a. But now I’m retired and can happily forget all that pedantry.


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