DT 28558 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28558 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28558 (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    Troops ordered to accept tackle (7)
A four-letter verb meaning ordered or commanded around some tackle or kit

10a    Flashy fliers leading swimmers (7)
Our usual fliers followed by (leading) some swimmers

12a    Article set out how to become famous rock group? (3,3)
The definite article followed by an anagram (set out) of HOW

13a    Bill promises to pay after repair, being dishonest (10)
One of our usual bills is followed by our usual promises to pay and preceded by a verb meaning to repair

16a    Scheme news boss threw out (9)
A scheme is followed by a two-letter newspaper boss

25a    Frantic having refined novel, penning the last character (8)
An anagram (novel) of REFINED around (penning) the last character in the alphabet

27a    Need to have verse in poetry replaced (7)
V(erse) inside an anagram (replaced) of POETRY

29a    Someone on boat beginning to sell fish (7)
The initial letter (beginning) of S[ell] followed by a smoked fish [BD’s favourite!]


2d    Getting to feeling pain again (8)
Split as (2-6) this could mean feeling pain again

3d    Present coverage in newspaper after US soldier stole (4,4)
A two-letter newspaper preceded by our usual US soldier and followed by another word for a stole or shawl

4d    Record on order — keep being inconvenience! (10)
A four-letter music record followed by an order awarded for eminence in any field and another word for a keep

7d    Case on which one takes a stand, so to speak (7)
This case is typically used by politicians to stand above those around them

11d    Take notice of circling scruff limiting parking, getting browbeaten (9)
A four-letter verb meaning to take notice of around (circling) the scruff or nape itself around (limiting) P(arking)

14d    Sweet wine — it’ll be felt later on (10)
A six-letter a colloquial word for a sweet or dessert followed by a type of wine

17d    Bring to light boat having stopped short abruptly in the middle (6,2)
… abruptly in the middle is the middle letters of abruptly!

19d    Having Elvis hairstyle, I will be knocked out by a drunk (7)
Start with an adjective meaning having an Elvis hairstyle and replace (knocked out) the I by an A to get a verb meaning drunk

23d    Run on guide to London or South — they’re used for short cuts every morning (6)
A charade of R(un), a street guide to London, OR from the clue and S(outh)

26d    Italian 11 Across that erupts in Canterbury? (4)
Hidden (in) and reversed (erupts) inside the clue – doesn’t work for me even if the definition is taken as “Italian 11 Across that erupts”

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: Heston+blew+menthol=Heston Blumenthal

54 comments on “DT 28558 (Hints)

  1. Easy puzzle today, for a change. I liked the homophone, and the reverse lurker. I did wonder how Pompadour would squeeze into 19d. , but I guess the King could agree to the more generic description.
    Googling 11a. made me realise I need more exercise of the non-cruciverbal type.
    Gratitude to all who make this blog a success.

  2. Pleasant saturday morning puzzle, I liked the simple ones that worked very well e.g. 29a (BD’s favourite), 27a, 7d, & 8d.

    I also liked the Tommy clip

    many thanks BD & setter

      1. And mine Dave, drives the rest of the family nuts when I cook one on a sunday morning

  3. Simple and wholesome Saturday fare and I think a pangram to boot. Went down a treat. No outstanding clues for me today.

  4. Last Saturday, Senf used the expression ‘curate’s egg’ and that’s what I thought of this puzzle. I can’t believe that anyone will have a problem with 21a and 8d but, nevertheless, the battle of wits with the setter was very enjoyable. Whilst I also liked 29a, my favourite was 14d because, at first, I couldn’t ‘prove’ my answer but then the penny dropped…

  5. A fair bit of Lego today I thought in what was a straightforward but enjoyable Saturday puzzle. My favourite was 17d and overall this was 2*/3* for me.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  6. For some reason first impression was decidedly forbidding (or should it be foreboding?) but once underway (or should it be underweigh?) it all began to slot into place smoothly with just the NW corner taking a bit of extra thought. I too had to Google 11a. My Fav was 7d. Thank you Mysteron and BD.

  7. I found this somewhat more difficult than previous Saturdays. The NE and SW corners seemed to go in OK, but the NW and SE were more stubborn. Indeed I am still stuck on 18d – even with all the checkers (assuming I have 21a correct). Any help gratefully accepted.

    With thanks, as always, to BD and the setter…

    1. If there is no hint, there’s a good chance that it is easy!

      18d Revolutionary test case for music-maker (8)
      An anagram (revolutionary ) of TEST CASE

      1. Doh!
        I did have 21a wrong! For some reason I had written in the city not the verb. I can’t believe I didn’t check that.

        Thanks BD! All done now.

  8. After a few tricky Saturday crosswords I thought this was fairly straightforward.
    With several of the less common letters in I was playing ‘hunt the pangram’ but we’re minus one letter, I think.
    Very few anagrams.
    9a and 7d were my last two answers.
    I liked 11, 12 and 29a and my favourite was 7d.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

  9. A very good Saturday workout, very enjoyable, and completed at a fast canter – **/***.

    Candidates for favourite – 13a, 17d, and 27d – and the winner is 23d.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  10. I agree with Dutch that the simple elegant ones were the highlights today. My favourites are 2d and 14d.

    There were a couple of minor hmms for me but overall I enjoyed it.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

    P.S. proXimal yesterday beat a record for the clue type discussed in this blog. (Obviously, don’t click if you still intend to tackle that puzzle.)

  11. I thought it was a pangram also, but from the comments above I see that’s not the case. Having trotted nicely through the puzzle, do I now go back and find it by a process of elimination? Nah…the NTSPP awaits. 2D and 11D were my favorites today. Thanks to the setter and to BD for the review.

      1. Sorry, I hadn’t read this comment before more or less duplicating it above. What’s that about great minds and fools….? 😂

  12. 2*/2.5*. This was a bit of curate’s egg, fairly straightforward with some good clues but, like yesterday, it was another very wordy offering sprinkled with some iffy surfaces (e.g. 4d, 11d, 17d).

    This was a pangra. I wonder if devious setters do that deliberately to tease solvers? It certainly held me up slightly today looking for a non-existent letter for my last couple of answers in the NE corner.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

  13. A good Saturday puzzle in which, like Kath, the last two to fall were 9a&7d. I had a slight IT panic over 9a which didn’t help but have no excuse for 7d.
    I did have an ‘umm’ alongside the answer to 18d – not convinced that the definition is sufficiently accurate – but it was easy enough so no harm done.

    Thought 2d was rather clever and 8d made me smile (recent, painful experience). Favourite was 7d – my last one in.

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

  14. 21a -I had the ‘usual’ ancient city fronted by ‘to’ -get it ? – but it didn’t fit with with 16a obviously….
    Last one in was 19d the answer was not in my Thesaurus, probably because it’s 25 years old ….
    Liked 10a, 13a & 4d particularly.
    15a v similar to last week’s Prunella in the principle -held me up for a while…
    Enjoyable though, and managed without hints.
    Thx to BD & compiler

  15. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy – finished well before lights out last night – no problems whatsoever!

    I’m taking it easy trying to recover from a minor operation on Thursday, it involved a skin graft that was taken from behind my left ear (for some reason!) I managed to open up the stitches and had blood runing down my chin before I realised – not a nice sensation!

    It gives me a perfect excuse to watch the sport all day – I’ve already seen Liverpool v Man United – which was a waste of time – and am now watching the Golf until Racing 92 v Leicester – it’s a hard life!

      1. No, I’ve bought a new Bosch – Currys are delivering it tomorrow!

        To be fair, my Hotpoint Dryer was 18 years old and this was the first problem we’ve had with it – I reckon we’ve had our moneys worth!

  16. I don’t like “instant message” in 9 across at all… can someone explain it. I have the answer but I had to cheat so feeling robbed that I didn’t complete the puzzle entirely on my own. “Droning sound of instant message when holding on”

    1. 9a – the first two letters are the ‘instant’ and then you need a four letter word for a message or a short letter which contains (holding) on.

    2. Snap – but I think you could very well be heading for the naughty corner whereas I’m off to the garden again!

      1. Deletion requested I better go make a lemon drizzle so I don’t starve in the naughty corner.

  17. Enjoyable puzzle today that I managed to complete without hints from here or Mr Google. I had a wrong 2nd word in 11a but checkers from the down clues soon put me right. Delayed a bit by 28a as I was spreading a bit of Oxford thick cut on Mr Warburton’s finest at the time and had the wrong preserve on my mind. There was a lot to do to the clue for 11d but I parsed it after I filled it in.
    Last ones in were 24a and 17d.
    Just realised that I won’t win today as I submitted 19d with a wrong final letter (I used a present tense when it should have been past) Even if you clear the grid it won’t let you submit. No worries though as the only person I know who has ever won was my Aunty Kath, who introduced me to crosswords and gin rummy, who used The Telegraph playing cards she won in the 60’s/70’s to thrash me at Gin.
    Thanks to BD and the setter.

  18. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. An enjoyable and straightforward puzzle today. I like the comment above about a Christmas Pangram 😁 I was looking for the missing letter when I was solving 10a, which was last in. Favourite was 8d. Was 2*/3* for me.

  19. Most enjoyable, requiring some thought on my part.
    I never knew the Elvis hairstyle, thus I found 19d a bit confusing as I was using another word for a hairstyle which is spelt differently.
    Thinking it was a pangram helped a lot. I rather liked 10a.
    Thanks to the Saturday setter and to BigDave for his hints. We can only get tinned 29a, not nearly as good, but I find smoked trout to be a good sub.

  20. Probably the quickest ever for me. Most went straight in but left with 1d which I got after a bit of thought. Was looking for an obscure musical instrument for 18d. I thought I was right when I checked google until I read on and found I was looking at a weapon! Never crossed my mind that I had 21a wrong but I made the same mistake as Arthur Dent. No problem then although I did have a mild flirtation with a make of old fashioned record player. I’ll pick two each way as favourites – 13 and 25a and 3 and 4d. Should just add I expected problems with 9a as checkers were vowels and it could have been something technical – however easy when I started to build it up. Thanks setter BD and all.

    1. Goodness – that takes me back a long way! My parents bought me one of those record players for my 12th (?) birthday. The first two had to be returned for replacement as they quite literally ‘went up in smoke’!

  21. I guess if 12a was your thing, a 70s answer would come naturally for 16d – although, as a musician, I was a bit put out by it!
    Favourite today was the humble 21a, which was teasingly a clue possible to read either way, until 16d went in. (Ah, yes, 16d: let’s not go there again…)

  22. Very enjoyable puzzle for me -about right in terms of difficulty and all clues fair with nothing obscure…..I also picked up on the ‘Christmas’ pang ram and wondered why the setter would go to such obvious trouble to get all the harder letters in but then miss one…..is it to mislead or for some other reason?

  23. A bit of a curate’s egg for me today; mostly fairly straight forward but there were a couple of odd clues such as 4d and 17d. However finally the coinage dropped sufficiently for me to complete.
    27a was my top clue and overall I’ll go 2/3*.
    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints.

  24. Very enjoyable, and a bit easier than recent Saturdays, with a sprinkling of good clues.
    The 11a was probably the band at 12a, I saw them at Charlton in about 1974 and I don’t think I have been to a rock concert to equal that since, though Bruce Springsteen goes close.
    Thanks BD and Mr.Ron.

  25. On the easy side, though 16ac, 7d and 11ac held out for a while at the close. For too long I couldn’t get a word with 5 letters rather than 4 out of my head for the second part of the latter.

  26. Got there in the end, thanks to BD and Mr Google. Got held up by thinking 28a was an edible type of preserve, and at 18d as I missed that it was an anagram and thought it began with crossword land’s favourite revolutionary.

  27. Liked the homophone and the reverse lurker too.
    Last ones in were 11d and 13a which were both new to me and had to be checked in our trusted friend.
    Thought also that 7d was in two words but yet again the BRB set me right as it has an inverted wiggly bit between the two.
    27a favourite.
    I recommend the fish in 29a. Along with other fatty fish such as sardines and mackerels. They will keep us fit till we are a hundred.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD.

  28. I enjoyed solving this one, as others have said fairly straightforward. I am puzzled by 19d, as the clue reads I feel the answer could be either the a or i version. I think 21a is clearer in that the ancient city appears only when said. My favourite clues were 14d, 19d and 23d.

    1. Read the clue again, Pentomino, there really is only one possible answer. By the way, love your moniker!

      1. Yes I agree it has to be the a.
        I was amazed that when I first posted yesterday that the moniker was added so quickly.

  29. Very satisfying crossword – actually finished this week’s unlike last Saturday!! Few chuckles along the way!

  30. Found this very enjoyable. Last one in was 9a as looking for the pangra. Favourite was 14 down

  31. A nice gentle Monday lunchtime canter through this weeks puzzle which was quite a relief after my struggles with the last two editions. I only needed to consult the Thesaurus twice to check my answers. I’m so chuffed with myself I might even submit it. 14d was my favourite.

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