DT 28552 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28552 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28552 (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    Like amateur in church, primarily (4)
The initial letters of four words in the clue

9a    Friend’s stable occupation (6)
Two definitions – a colloquial word for a friend and someone who has a stable occupation (i.e. works in a stable)

10a    Fight against doctor in Ulster, perhaps (6)
… this Ulster is something that is worn

14a    Expression of disgust that man’s picked up as Poet Laureate once (6)
A three-letter expression of disgust inside (picked up) that man and the S from ‘S

19a    Fashion designers (not one English) supplying outfit (8)
A not-so-obvious anagram (fashion) of D[E]SIGNERS without (not) one E(nglish)

21a    Draws little man as going after fling, being retired (8)
These draws are forms of sweepstake – the shortened form (little) of a man’s name is followed by AS. the latter being preceded by the reversal of a fling or throw


23a    Lark about entertaining old soldiers (6)
The reversal (about) of a verb meaning to lark or frolic around (entertaining) O(ld)

24a    Scales, perhaps, everything back after cut (8)
The first name of a famous actress is derived by reversing a three-letter word meaning everything after a verb meaning to cut

26a    Book dedication of egotist (4)
Split as (2,2) this could be the dedication of egotist


1d    Songwriters call up securing one in charts (9)
The reversal (up in a down clue) of a three-letter word meaning to call or shout around (securing) I (one) all inside some charts

2d    International sportsman with skill getting bronze — he enhanced many grounds (10,5)
A three-letter International sportsman followed by a word meaning skill and a word meaning bronze – Mrs BD and I visited one of the grounds that he enhanced last week

4d    Brief agreement raised as gesture of respect (7)
An adjective meaning brief is followed by the reversal (raised in a down clue) of a word of agreement

5d    Stolid politician, one accosted by drunk (7)
Our usual politician and I (one) inside a colloquial word for a drunk

15d    Angus turned up with mysterious source of sweetness (5,4)
The familiar name for someone called Angus is reversed (turned up in a down clue) and followed by an adjective meaning mysterious

17d    Anything from Yorkshire upset a couple (3)
The reversal of a Yorkshire word for anything

20d    Talk at length about old stamp (7)
A word meaning old followed by a verb meaning to stamp

21d    Carry on miles — something regarded with awe (5)
A verb meaning to carry followed by (on in a down clue) M(iles)

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: belle+greyed=Belgrade

40 comments on “DT 28552 (Hints)

  1. I made heavy weather of this but now it’s completed can’t see what all the fuss was about, it was an excellent puzzle giving my grey matter a good workout. Many thanks to the setter & to BD.

  2. Hard going – a cut above the usual Saturday fare – it could well be a case of the Puzzle getting into the wrong envelope!

  3. I enjoyed this a great deal though it was far from easy and learnt something in the process. The musical instrument was new to me. There were several clues to savour. I have heard of the famous gardener but the excellent wordplay would have made it possible to identify him even if I hadn’t. Besides 2a I liked 26a, 21a and 15a raised a smile. My top clue was 3a

  4. 2*/4*. I really enjoyed this thanks to some excellent cluing with great surfaces (except for 21a). Although I found it quite straightforward, I made the solve slightly more difficult for myself by initially writing in 17d the wrong way round which then held me up a bit with 16a & 21a.

    Ticks went to 3a, 9a, 26a & 19d, and my double-ticked favourite was 2d.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

  5. Having reversed the answer to 17d – and I don’t think that I’ll be the only one – I rather handicapped myself for a while but then the remaining answers fell into place fairly quickly. I could see what the answer was for 18d but then it took a few minutes for the penny to drop as to why and, for that reason, I’ll nominate that clue as being my favourite for today.

      1. And that makes three of us then, Ora! I was interrupted while typing my comment so I hadn’t seen Rabbit Dave’s remark about 17d which preceded mine.

        1. And I also – delayed the SW corner for some time ! Couldn’t make any words at all there! There were some clues in that area which stretched reality somewhat – rather testing…
          For PLR above, 18d looks like a piano and sounds like a xylophone!
          Mahler is fond of its use.
          BD has produced a helpful hint (!) for 24a – and for ages I thought it was posh name for fish or even musical scales!
          Best one was 6d for me

          All in all I was happy to finish it before Sunday breakfast .
          Thanks to BD and compiler.

  6. For me, this was a curate’s egg, including stretching a few definitions but apparently supported by the BRB or LRB – **/**.

    Co-favourites – 3a and 26a.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  7. Good fun, and like Rabbit Dave 2D gets my top spot. Many thanks to the setter and to BD.

  8. I thought this was really good but (or and) jolly difficult – it’s taken quite a long time.
    I confess to needing the hint to see why 1d was what it had to be and got into a pickle with 15d – never thought of the shortened name although the mysterious bit was clear.
    11a also caused trouble – my first thought was wrong but, having thought of it, couldn’t get it out of my head.
    I always forget what ‘Ulster’ can mean and I’ve never heard of 9a being a friend.
    I liked 16 and 26a and 15 and 19d. My favourite was 2d – I always used to think that he was a she.
    Thanks to Mr Ron (Mister Ron?) and to BD.

  9. Terrific puzzle this morning with 2d the clear favourite. A good clue mix and tough enough in places to push out the solving time and the level of satisfaction during it’s completion. 2.5*/4*.

    Many thanks to the Saturday setter and BD.

  10. Took ages, but I got there. Probably harder than usual Saturday. I liked the background “theme” of “attire” , although probably unintentional. (6a. 10a. 11a. 19a. 15d. ) and “celebrities”. (14a. 24a. ). I think this does enhance the enjoyment and memorability of a crossword.
    Favourite was the lurker.

  11. Took a while to register the required Ulster and to sort out the tight trousers (think I was probably hung up on the same variety as you were, Kath!) but I enjoyed solving this one. Maybe a few slightly stretched synonyms but nothing outrageous.

    Several ticks on the page but I’ll give the nod to 26a – really amused me.

    Thanks to Mr. Saturday Ron and to BD for the club.

  12. I agree with Michael that this was more time-consuming than is often the case on a Saturday but then IMO, as Colin Dexter said ‘’The hobby and the habit of solving crosswords is the most serene and civilised way of wasting time’’. First read through yielded only a couple but then after eventually getting to grips with the NE corner it all gradually began to fall into place. Stupidly failed to parse my bunged-in 17d. Liked several including 13a, 26a (when penny dropped) and 19d. TVM Mysteron and BD.

  13. Enjoyed this. Had some trouble with some in the south, but slurped some more coffee which did the trick.

    My favourites are 26a and 19d.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  14. Ah, website working again! Thanks BD.

    East half went in quickly but not so with some in the West, taking me to over ** time. I actually found it a bit strained with some poor surfaces last night and felt the same again this morning when I reread it. E.g 21a as a meaningless surface. 15d with nothing to indicate a shortened name. But as I always think, I am sure I couldn’t do any better, so thanks to the setter.

    Overall **/* for me.

    And may I just say best of luck for New Orleans and the Gulf Coast as Hurricane Nate approaches tonight.

    1. Good to have you posting again. How has your little island been coping? Puerto Rico seems dire but San Juan has a gutsy mayor.

  15. I made heavy weather of the SW corner, with slowish progress elsewhere. My mind was half on Strictly blasting away over in the corner, though, so concentration levels weren’t what they should be.

  16. Like Gazza I’m just seeing if it’s possible to post a comment – the trouble is that now I haven’t got anything to say – oh dear!
    I had a very quick look at the NTSPP and didn’t get very far – will carry on tomorrow.
    I haven’t yet looked at the MPP.

  17. Oh thank goodness the site is working again, kept getting a host error from cloudfare. Thanks to Big Dave for all his efforts on getting up and running again. Today’s puzzle being yet another tricky one I really needed some hints to get me on the right path. Still a few to go but getting there.

  18. Good to be back on site, huge thanks to BD.
    I really enjoyed this. I bunged in 17d, what else could it be, appreciate BD’s explanation.
    Lots to like, not sure but I think 2d is fave. I also liked 24a ‘cos I like her, so sad she’s doing so badly.
    Thanks to the Saturday setter and to BD.

  19. Tough for a Saturday. Had my work cut out to complete but finally made it. My last one solved was 21a which also became my favourite once I understood it. 3/3* overall…. on a Saturday!
    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints.

  20. Top end of 1* difficulty, but a strong 4* for enjoyment. Lots to enjoy among the clues – 9a, 17d, 26a to the fore for me – and all in all time well spent. Having spent the afternoon in Exeter being entertained by a combination of Chiefs and Falcons, though, l would probably have been delighted by any half decent puzzle. Thanks to the setter, and to BD.

  21. Tough that, far too many I could not parse, 13a, 15d, 18d, 19d.
    Bottom half in particular was difficult and the double unches made it even harder.
    Thanks BD for helping me to unravel it, and the setter.

  22. Definately a bit hard for me. Really needed this place for quite a few and you were down a while. Good to see you back and alternative website noted.
    I had the wrong trousers and despite the fact I have lived in Yorkshire for 50 years I got 17d the wrong way too.
    13a COTD

  23. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A terrific puzzle, wondered if it was a Mister Ron creation? Lots of very good clues. Last in was 21a. Favourite was 13a. Was 3*/4* for me.

  24. Glad the site is up and running again. Many thanks BD. Struggled with this yesterday, but couldn’t get the review up for the help I needed. Hadn’t heard of 9a as a friend, but 17d was familiar having spent time in Yorkshire. Thank you setter for the challenge.

  25. I agree with many others. This was an excellent crossword with some very good wordplay and smooth surface reading. It certainly seemed more difficult than the usual Saturday crossword though the solutions were not obscure words. Looking back, it seems like I should not have had so much trouble. I guess it’s the clever clueing that makes it so tricky, as one considers various possibilities of how to piece together an answer. In my case that usually means barking up the wrong tree. Many thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable crossword and to BD.

  26. Being relatively new to the DT Prize crossword, and this site, I found this weeks puzzle impossible to get into without BD’s help, so thank you BD. Once started I managed the bottom half fairly quickly. The top left hand corner was the last bit to be finished. I had to look up alternative meanings for the second half of 3a and for 10a before I got the answers, so have learnt something new, and 8a and 13a were put in before I worked out why. A thoroughly enjoyable waste of a morning,

      1. Thank you. I’ll tell myself that next time I’m supposed to be doing something else! Now,
        back to digging the garden.

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