DT 28294 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28294 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28294 (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.


1a    Contracted Spanish city girl to provide song (8)
A Spanish city without its final letter (contracted) followed by a colloquial word for a girl

9a    Attenborough maybe winkling out little fellow, one barely seen in public (8)
Start with the occupation of someone like (maybe) David Attenborough and drop (winkling out) the shortened version of a man’s name (little fellow)

10a    Country steps back too much — it elevates a woman (8)
Some steps that might be found while on a walk in the country followed by the reversal (back) of an abbreviation meaning too much

13a    Pop in translated name for country (6)
An anagram (translated) of POP IN followed by N(ame)

20a    Capital increasin’ by 100 per cent, it is reported (6)
This capital city sounds like (it is reported) a verb meaning increasing by 100 per cent when the final g is not pronounced

21a    Extra pay might make you this? (8)
This anagram () of EXTRA PAY gives something you may become if your total pay exceeds your allowances [Thanks YS – I missed the wordplay again!]

24a    Gosh, care when stirring must come first in buttery (6)
A two-letter word meaning gosh preceded by (must come first) an anagram (when stirring) of CARE

26a    Condition made by church council withholding zero foreign capital (8)
Start with a church council, drop (withholding) the O (zero) and add a foreign capital city


1d    Leader of exodus from East entering Stirling, say (5)
E(east) inside (entering) the surname of, for example (say), a famous person called Stirling

4d    Taff’s harmony led rousing anthem (4,2,2,7)
This anagram (rousing) of TAFF’S HARMONY LED gives an appropriate anthem

6d    Urban, and more muscular? (5-2)
An adjective that means covered with houses (urban) could also mean more muscular

7d    Fashion centre with diamonds in reserve (9)
An anagram (fashion) of CENTRE around (with … in) a three-letter word for diamonds

12d    I am to intervene without delay (9)
The shortened form of “I am” followed by a verb meaning to intervene in a dispute

14d    Plundering vessel, soldier is supported by the monarch (9)
An ordinary soldier is followed (supported) by the Queen’s royal cipher

19d    Book that makes you cross, one clutched by silly clone (7)
The letter shaped like a cross and I (one) inside an anagram (silly) of CLONE

22d    Have correspondence at the end? (5)
A loosely cryptic definition, when referring to words, of a verb meaning to be alike (have correspondence) at the end

The Crossword Club is now open.

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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!

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The Quick Crossword pun: inns+stir+gram=Instagram

30 comments on “DT 28294 (Hints)

  1. 1*/3*. This was a very pleasant but untaxing offering today. I just needed to check my BRB for a new but seemingly old meaning for 14d. 4d was my favourite – a clever anagram with a smooth and relevant surface.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

  2. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle which I found quite testing places. 22 down and 26 across my last two in, and several clues vying for favourite. That honour goes to 10 across which just beat 9 across into second place. 2*/3*.

    Thanks very much to our Saturday settter and to BD.

    Re 21 across – an anagram surely?

  3. As is so often the case, the bark was worse than the bite and this turned out to be eminently doable and good fun to boot. Several goodies including 9a and 20a. Missed 21a as anagram however did twig and liked 7d. Thank you Mr. Ron and BD. ***/***.

  4. As RD said, a pleasant enough solve but nothing to tax the grey cells. Quite liked 4&22d.
    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD – smiled over the pic for 9a – seems rather bizarre to strip down to the nothings and then bother to don a bathing cap!

  5. Yes, RD has got it about right – pleasant but untaxing. But having said that, I’m sure it must be quite difficult for a setter to keep the clues within a specified difficulty range rather than being unfettered and going all-out. I thought 12a was quite clever and amusing. 18a reminds me of a cracking malapropism from Hilda Ogden in Corrie. Annie Walker had been berating her for not cleaning the toilets properly and Hilda retorted in defence: “I do me best – nobody’s inflammable!”. 1.5*/3*

  6. I agree – a nice and not too tricky Saturday crossword.
    I confess to grinding to a complete halt for far too long with my last three answers which were all in the bottom right corner – once I got one of them the other two followed.
    13a took ages – I’d forgotten about it.
    I liked 18 and 20a and 2 and 22d. My favourite was 4d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    Grey and drizzly in Oxford – what a good excuse for having a go at the NTSPP.

    1. Oh good – an ‘alphabetti spaghetti’ NTSPP – I love them even though they drive me absolutely mad.

      1. Yes, that NTSPP looks a bit weird at first, but the big clue down the middle is pretty obvious and it gives quite a few checkers for some across clues. I think I’ll print it off and have a go at it at home later. Thanks for drawing my attention to it.

  7. Got cracking with this one at about 01:15 after the excellent (long) documentary on Bob Dylan – finished it off this morning. SE corner stumped me for a while. 4d and 21a came joint top for me.
    Thanks Mr Ron and to BD. **/*** with a few tricky clues which always seem to take me ages.
    Nasty wet mizzle in the SE today, If only I had access to tomorrow’s Virgilius.

    1. You don’t have to wait for tomorrow.
      The Guardian prize is from Virgilius / Brendan. Right up your street as well.

  8. Extremely enjoyable, and not too much of a head scratcher. I was a bit surprised to see 1a appearing for the second time in two days, albeit with very different clues. Definitely one for Mr Kitty’s stats collection.

    My list of candidates for favourite kept growing and growing, so too difficult to single one (or two) out (yes, I know you can’t single two).

    Minus 21 degrees C, too cold for snow, with the mercury dropping another 7 degrees by this time tomorrow, with varying amounts of wind chill.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  9. For reasons which will be readily appreciated by Mary and Gazza amongst others, I particularly liked 4d – how apposite! I’d made very good progress until, like Kath, I slowed down in the SE corner so I had a break for half an hour and then found that, as is so often the case, everything fell into place fairly quickly.

  10. Papers were late today so had to go down twice… However got through fairly easily with no hints. Also like others, had some amusement. 4d & 21a clever with 9a cheeky – Does David do this Xword?
    Some may have missed me for the last 3 weeks -no internet but a short break in Budapest made up for it.
    All thx to BD and Mr Ron

  11. Pleasant indeed and not very taxing. Enjoyed over an al fresco lunch which makes a change from the cold and wet in Great Malvern. fav has to be 4d.

    Ta to setter and BD.

  12. Not difficult but hugely enjoyable.
    Lots of smile clues, loved 12a, 20a and 26a in particular, but fave is definitely 4d; fond memories of all those fun holidays in Wales with my friend in Drefach.
    I took waaay too long with 13a, I had the wrong anagram letters, but it eventually came to me and was my last one in.
    Thanks to the setter for a good start to the day, and to BD for his hints.
    I agree with Jane, the bathing caps do seem to be surplus to requirement!

  13. I thought 4d was very clever and i also liked 10a and 21a. Nice puzzle.

    Many thanks setter and BD

  14. */***. Not too challenging but enjoyable. My favourite was 20a because of the doh moment which made me smile. Thanks to the setter and BD for the hints. Very festive weather at the moment but thank goodness i dont live in northern BC where wind chills are taking it to minus 40 – frost bite in a minute for exposed flesh.

  15. Really enjoyed this one. Lots of satisfying, fun clues. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the blog. 1.5/3 from us.

  16. A very slow start for me, for some reason. I think I only had three across clues on the first pass. But, like a heavily laden train, once I got going there was no stopping me. Favourite definitely 4d.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  17. Satisfying puzzle today, with 4d being the favorite. I did get led up the garden path on a few others until I put my thinking head on, and managed to cross the finishing line.

  18. DIY inspired weariness meant I didn’t wake up until I got to the down clues, but from then on it was pretty plain sailing, with the SE corner last to fall. Lots of nice clues, favourite 20ac.

  19. Nice, non too taxing crossword.
    Like others, 4d was my favourite, what a stirring anthem it is, even for an Englishman, compared to out dirge.
    Thanks for BD for the hints and the site and Mr.Ron for a cracking puzzle.

    1. Just catching up after two days wrestling with golf handicapping processes.
      Will start Sunday now after spending too long having been confident on 22d which I had wrong.
      Agree re 4d COTD and COTM for me was 4d. In the Arms Park or the Millennium with the roof closed Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau is a call to arms like no other.
      Thanks to setter & BD for hints

  20. I’d like to think my crossword skills had suddenly increased… but.. I think this week’s was a bit easier as I needed no hints which is, frankly, unusual :D

    1. Welcome to the blog James

      Had you, as requested, read the Comment Etiquette and the FAQs before leaving your first comment you would have found that it is all covered there.

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