DT 28300 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28300 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28300 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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    Petition therefore within the law (7)
A two-letter word meaning therefore followed by an adjective meaning within the law

5a    Lots in detective team coming back with force (7)
Put a word meaning lots inside a team of detectives and reverse (coming back) all of it

11a    European caught notorious criminal — one with high self-opinion (3-7)
E(uropean) followed by a three-letter verb meaning caught and the soubriquet be which a notorious criminal was known

14a    Old scientist treated English troop (12)
This would-be scientist is an anagram (treated) of ENGLISH TROOP

21a    Team triumphed (4)
Two definitions – a team of people, such as those who operate a ship, and a verb meaning triumphed or celebrated

22a    Record not so strong I put in denial of responsibility (10)
A four-letter gramophone record followed by an adjective meaning not so strong around (put in) the I from the clue

25a    Instruction providing unfavourable information about the City I have to follow (9)
Some unfavourable information around the postcode of the City of London followed by the abbreviated form of “I have”

28a    I’m surprised, keeping poems by Tennyson originally in reserve (7)
A two-letter interjection meaning “I’m surprised” around (keeping) some poems and the initial letter (originally) of T[ennyson]


1d    He delivers cutting remark about wife with hesitation (6)
A verb meaning to remark around W(ife) and followed by a two-letter hesitation

2d    American soldier visiting upset Christmas host (6)
Our usual US soldier inside the reversal (upset in a down clue) of another word for Christmas

4d    Lady’s partner married in horse-drawn vehicle (5)
The necessary capitalisation of this dog from a Disney cartoon is disguised by placing it at the beginning of the clue! – the name of her partner is derived by putting M(arried) inside a horse-drawn vehicle

5d    Some French fiend and a tragic heroine (9)
The three-letter French word for some followed by a fiend and the A from the clue

8d    Naval vessel runs old fighter into shelter built for fliers (8)
R(uns) and a retired military person (old fighter) inside a shelter built for fliers, especially doves

16d    Dumps Labrador perhaps (5,3)
This a colloquial word for the kind of depression (dumps) from which Winston Churchill used to suffer could also describe some types (perhaps) of Labrador

23d    Elite athlete once running round East (5)
The surname of a former athlete around E(ast)

24d    Top marks picked up by expert (4)
M(arks) inside (picked up by) one of our usual experts

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 – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted.  In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

The Quick Crossword pun: pidgin+toad=pigeon-toed

49 comments on “DT 28300 (Hints)

  1. To cheekily misquote a regular contributor, comfortably completed before lights on this morning. A dank grey morning in S Worcs: nice to have it brightened with a first cuppa and this enjoyable offering.

    I found very little not to like. Neat, elegant clueing; some very clever misdirection; imaginative anagrams and all seemed very fair.

    LOI was 21a which I thought was excellent, immediately preceded by 16d which I worked out eventually but had not encountered before – to my surprise, on reading up about it afterwards. COTD: as so often, two clues share the honours – 14a and 18a, both of which are just brilliant.

    Thanks to setter and BD. What a handsome creature you’ve selected to illustrate 16d.

  2. If not the hardest of the week , perhaps the puzzle with the most obscure clues and lots of ‘penny dropping’ moments. Very good. Have a good weekend all.

  3. The email entry closing date for this Prize Puzzle is 23.59 on Christmas Day – I wonder how many entrants will be submitting post their Christmas dinner??

    The closing date for postal entries is also different this week – 9 am on Wednesday 28 December which is when my (hopefully eagerly awaited even if rarely commented upon) review will also appear.

  4. I wasn’t going to say it today, but, after Mark’s comment above, completed comfortably before lights our last night. Although there was some head scratching on some of the clues. However, the only electronic assistance I needed was to Google for rebel fighters (13d) and confirmation of 14a.

    Long favourite 22a – although I did try to work with one of the two letter favourites for record to start with. Short favourite 4d – clever construction of the clue.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  5. 3*/2*. Although there were some good clues, this was a veritable Lego-fest which, in my eyes, made much of it rather one dimensional with some of the wordplay seeming a bit contrived. However I feel sure that charade lovers will have enjoyed it much more than I did.

    Thanks to the setter and to BD.

  6. I was banging my head against a brick wall after half an hour and only three clues. A cup of coffee solved the brain problem, and hey presto, it all fell into place. I had a great feeling of satisfaction and had ticked several clues I liked – 9a (even if a bit simple, made me smile), 22a,28a and 16d. (I guess Kath may like that one). 6d I had to drag out of the old memory bank for the last part of the clue. Many thanks to the setter and to BD. Now off to do something with a very large packet (sack!) of dates. Not sure what.

  7. The Compliments of the Season to one and all. Like Toadson, I found that were varying degrees of obscurity to the clues so I’ll add that, in similar vein, I filled in the answer to 16d with the strains of Led Zeppelin playing in the background of my mind…

  8. Great Saturday puzzle, enjoyed 11a 18a 1d and more

    17d confused me at first but soon saw the error of my ways.

    Many thanks BD and setter

  9. I thought this was more challenging than most Saturday puzzles. I did enjoy it and my picks are 14A and 17D. My thanks to BD and the setter.

    Since we are being treated to freezing rain this morning, my plans to help lay Christmas wreaths at the local Veterans Cemetery are cancelled, which gives me more time to enjoy the NTSPP.

    1. I’ve been thinking of you and my other Washingtonian, or Virginian/Marylandian friends. It is unbelievable how bad the weather has been, and we bask in 80+F degree weather here. That was not meant as a “dig”, I really feel for you.

  10. I found this vert tricky and had to resort to the electronic aids in the end ……followed by a bit of head slapping.

    Not sure about the verb in 21d……would certainly not have got that without the hints.

    Thnks to the setter and to Big Dave.

  11. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A fairly straightforward puzzle, no real hold ups. Last in was 1d. Favourite was 14a. Seemed to lack a bit of sparkle. Was 2*/2* for me.

  12. Managed to get the wrong doctor in 14a at first not understanding what the old had to do with it until I parsed 3d and 15d.
    Had difficulty reconciling the answer to 16d as my research was leading me to a kind of syndrome about some man made selection which could be remotely associated with the definition.
    Favourite is 5d. Although 18a was not far behind.
    Going on my break soon. Time to print the NTSPP.
    Thanks to the Saturday setter and to BD for the blog.

  13. I found this wickedly difficult, not being able to finish the SE corner.
    I can’t really say I enjoyed it, but I think that’s just me being thick today. The top half went in quite nicely, but I sweated bullets in the bottom half, and when I found I was using my gizmo for all the remaining clues, I just lost interest.
    My fave was 16d ‘cos that’s what I’ve got! I thought 9a and 4d were pretty good too.
    Thanks to setter for the bits I could do, and to BD for the hints.

    1. You’re not alone in finding it difficult. I see that after a week in which every crossword on the Telegraph online puzzle site was rated by solvers at two or three stars for difficulty, today’s is getting a five star rating. I thought it had several really tough clues. It was by far the hardest of the week for me.

      1. I know. I sailed through most of the week’s offerings, this one brought me up with a jolt. At least it prevents me getting too cocky!

  14. Good fun, but I had quite a tussle with the last few and needed some electronic help to finish. Oh well. I’d never heard of the 16d expression or of the shelter ingredient of 8d, nor have I ever heard anyone use the verb in 21a. It’s always the other possibility. Clever clue though and I’ve learned a couple of new terms, so I can’t complain.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD.

  15. I’m with Ora Meringue and Mr Kitty. I’m afraid I resorted to the hints very early on. I wouldn’t have solved some clues without them…some very lateral thinking going on.
    Seasons Gretings to all 🎄🎄

  16. Another excellent puzzle which i completed once again with my cup of tea in bed. Some of this was nicely misdirecting so even more rewarding as the coins fell. My favourites were 4&6d but Mrs Vbc liked 16d because this clue from BD was just like our last labrador Holly. Thanks to the setter and BD for the hints.

  17. Saturday puzzles nowadays are so much more satisfying to solve. I was completely hooked on this one so delayed setting off for yet more Christmas shopping from which I have just returned with mission still not accomplished – grrr. Bunged in 14a having missed the treated indication. Fav for its surface read was 19d. Thank you Mr. Ron nd BD. ***/****. 🙂

  18. Enjoyed it very much and have completed it except for 15d; it has me completely stumped. Yackee da !

    1. 15d Race in the bustling business centre (9)
      It’s an anagram (bustling) of IN THE followed by a business centre.

    2. Start with an anagram (bustling – a bit unusual for an anagram indicator) of IN THE followed by a short word for business centre, gives another word for race (not the competitive sort).

  19. I thought this was a great puzzle, the best we’ve had in a while. On the tricky side, but all perfectly gettable with a little perseverance. More like this please. :-)

  20. A good test today. Worked my way to the SW corner and needed the picture hint for the first word in 16d before 21a became obvious. No easy lurkers, so gets a tougher score. Answer to 8d came easily but took a while to see the charade. River in 27a was new to me. Off on holiday to San Diego tomorrow, anyone know how to get the DT crossword on-line?

  21. Phew got there in the end, thanks to Big Dave. Not sure how 21a fits triumphed, and 6d held me up for a long time. Not come across that to do with cattle before, if I have the right answer. Favorites were 11a and 15d. We have 3 laptops and 2 have died this week. Last week it was the DVD player. Plus Dyson refused to turn off. AC still backing up in drainage pipe. We are doing a lot of head scratching and counting to 10 at our house… Thank goodness for our IPads, touch wood.

  22. Thanks heavens that’s over, least enjoyable puzzle for a long time, can’t parse a number of the clues, but unusually, I don’t care, just glad it’s over.

    1. Strike the above from the record.
      A bad day on the football pitch refereeing moronic footballers put me in a bad frame of mind.
      Nothing wrong with the crossword, just difficult.

  23. Thought I could whizz through this one when I’d finished ‘decking the halls’ in preparation for daughter’s arrival for the holidays. How wrong I was! Found this quite a lot more difficult than the usual Saturday offerings and didn’t know the composer, the fighters or the 16d expression.
    Think I got too frustrated to really enjoy the solve but 20d made me smile – my Christmas treat to me every year!

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD.

    1. I got 10a from the clue and only then remembered the composer’s name. His Easter oratorio used to be a great warhorse for choral societies in the North at Eastertide but I don’t think it’s much performed now and even in his lifetime was the subject of a joke:
      Q: Have you heard of *******’s “Crucifixion”?
      A: No, but he had it coming to him.

  24. This seems to have been a “Marmite” of a puzzle, judging by the tenor of other comments. I loved it, and thought it the best Saturday puzzle for a long while. No more than 2* difficulty, but a solid 4* for enjoyment. Out of a clutch of contenders, I choose 17d as my favourite clue. Thanks to today’s Mysteron, and of course to Big Dave.

  25. Stinker. Hardest Saturday one for ages, and I still can’t see some of ’em despite the hints! Thanks to BD anyway.

    1. I’m with you all the way on this one Sam – a reet stinker! Funny though how one man’s meat is another man’s poison since some of the clues mentioned as troublesome above I found quite easy while others not even mentioned proved impenetrable!

  26. I completed this on Sunday morning, and must offer my congratulations to the setter for beating me all ends up. I cannot remember when I have had to resort to hints or electronic help, but that was the case with seven of the clues. For me this was 5*/2* overall, with no outstanding favourite. Christmas certainly came early with the gift of the Lego set, for which many thanks to Mr Ron and BD for some of the explanations.

  27. I desperately tried to get ************** or some such made up word in for 14a, so was grateful for the hint which put me onto the right path. Thanks for the hints to BD and to the setter.

  28. A languid start. -and like others, being a bit thick. Did finish without hints though. SW corner was last to complete as I was slow with the Churchillian one. Liked the link between 9 & 10 across, as usual a few clever anagrams. Was late picking up the paper as dark and gloom delayed my (push) bike trip.

    Wish all the best for Xmas. To BD, Mr Ron and all you bloggers – may be late competing next Sat with the tribe arriving…..

      1. Thank you – now I understand. Little excuse after a lifetime in the NHS. Just love your blog, BD. Really appreciate all your endeavours – every day.

  29. Hmmm, a very tricky little number for a Saturday. I rather enjoyed it; there were some excellent clues including 16 and 13d, the latter of which was my favourite.
    3/4* overall.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

  30. I can’t work out 17d. I think it’s ************ but can’t work out why. Can see ********** in it but not the rest. Can anybody help? Thanks.

    1. Welcome to the blog Jilly

      Please read the instructions before commenting again. You’ve got it very wrong – IN T(ime) is followed by the reversal (flows from the south in a down clue) of a word meaning great

  31. Thanks to the setter for this very enjoyable puzzle. I thought it was more difficult than people seemed to report. It must be me. But some of the clues were very clever, particularly 14a and 18a. I also liked 13d and 15d

  32. This was an excellent puzzle, more challenging than the normal Saturday effort. That’s four good ones on the trot now. 3*/4*

Comments are closed.