DT 28588 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28588 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28588 (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    Bolshie footballer (4-6)
With the hyphen it’s a bolshie or person with radical views, without it’s a player in football

6a    Outrageous Australian with English genetic make-up (4)
This outrageous Australian Dame, played by Barry Humphries, is derived from E(nglish) and the three-letter abbreviation for genetic make-up

9a    Cure a troublemaker from the Fifties with an obsession (7)
A charade of a three-letter cure, the A from the clue and a Fifties youth with a reputation for making trouble

12a    Act to restore control say people wanting Brexit ultimately (13)
Another charade – a four-letter word meaning to control, a five-letter verb meaning to say, some people and the final letter (ultimately) of [Brexi]T

14a    Power cut is heartless shocking thing (6)
Drop the middle letter (heartless) from a shocking thing

17a    Contains nuts, OK (8)
… yes, it’s simply an anagram (nuts)!

24a    Biblical villain’s exercises (7)
A villain from the New Testament followed by the S from ‘S

26a    Legal documents cited posh hotel (4)
This posh hotel sounds like (cited) some legal documents

27a    One predicts future star remixing old record by Queen (10)
An anagram (remixing) of STAR followed by O(ld), a record kept by a ship’s captain and the regnal cipher of our Queen


1d    Fine to be carried in illuminated hoist (4)
F(ine) inside (to be carried in) a word meaning illuminated

2d    Trade Secretary leads 1 Across a merry dance (7)
It can be dodgy referring to the positions currently held by politicians, but last time I checked this one was still the Trade Secretary or, more accurately, Secretary of State for International Trade – add someone who is a 1 Across to get a merry dance

4d    New German car’s failing to start on motorway being out of gear (6)
N(ew), a German car without its initial letter (failing to start), the S from ‘S and M(otorway)

7d    Face shock treatment in a manner of speaking (7)
A face, typically that of a timepiece, followed by the three-letter abbreviation for a treatment using electric shocks

8d    Contrary contribution to Christian tithes I subscribe (10)
A ten-letter lurker (hidden word) in which, while contribution may appear to be performing double duty, the first word can also be a noun

18d    Informal letter from fundraising broadcast upset hospital left out (7)
Start with a fundraising broadcast, like last night’s one in aid of Children in Need, reverse it (upset in a down clue) and finally drop (left out) the H(ospital)

20d    Margaret welcomes alien in tryst (7)
A three-letter short form of the name Margaret around (welcomes) Spielberg’s alien and IN from the clue

23d    One does for fish (4)
A “lady who does” is also the name of a type of fish

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: cyst+Erin+lore=sister-in-law

66 comments on “DT 28588 (Hints)

  1. 2.5* / 3.5*. This was an enjoyable solve which all came together quite smoothly with a bit of cogitation.

    “Merry” in 2d leads to an inaccurate definition but its inclusion helps to create a splendid surface. On the other hand 8d is a great lurker but the surface leaves a lot to be desired.

    I’ve ticked the following clues: 12a, 17a (my last one in and favourite), 22a, 27a & 2d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD.

  2. Early today – a very straightforward puzzle, very enjoyable!

    21d reminded me of the great Terry-Thomas from my favourite film ‘I’m all right Jack’ – ‘The chap’s an absolute xxxxxx – sort of chap that sleeps in his vest!’

    Lots of sport today – the North London Derby followed by England v Australia in the Rugby – I’m in for the day!

  3. I really enjoyed this Saturday morning solve. Not straightforward, needed a bit of thought and a few laughs to be had en route so 2.5* /4* for me. Several good clues pushing for the top of my podium, but he 1a/2d combo just took joint first place. Also, the outrageous Australian was a laugh out loud moment.

    Many thanks to the setter for a fun tussle and to BD. Good luck to all the home nations this afternoon.

  4. Very enjoyable, took a while to get going, and, even though the NE corner held me up (the Australian – oldie but goodie?) completed at a gallop, no ideas about the setter – **/***.

    Candidates for favourite – 26a, 8d, and 23d – and the winner is 26a, a very good clue.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

    (Breakfast will be delayed while I watch the North London Derby. I might follow the ‘old tradition’ of putting the kettle (a.k.a. Keurig coffee machine) on at half-time for a caffeine infusion.)

  5. Started at a canter 1a and 4 out 5 of the linked down clues were straight in but things stopped going smoothly soon after. Cogitation and caffeine helped move clockwise until the SW remained. The nature of 17a was well hidden but when the penny dropped so did the rest. 14a although solved was unparsed until I saw the hint.
    The anagrams, particularly 22a and 3d were neat.
    8d and 19a equal COTD.
    Thanks to BD and the setter.

  6. This gave me a lot of pleasure to solve and plenty of smiles. The outrageous Aussie was amusing both in the puzzle and on television. I liked the1a/2d combo a lot. I was taught that the true biblical villain was Judas. I cannot pick a top clue being spoilt for choice – 4d,16d, 7dand 9a are all worthy contenders

  7. Very enjoyable puzzle today…..my only problem is 16d….I have an answer and think it must be correct, but cannot really ‘see’ why. Is it an all in one clue? I’ve never been very good at them.

    Thanks to the setter and Big Dave.

    1. I think it is an all in one clue, but am unsure of the penultimate letter. Google has both. Very enjoyable, thanks to setter and BD.

      1. To be an all-in-one clue there would need to be some wordplay – I think it’s just a cryptic definition referring to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

        1. By the way, if you enter the “alternative” spelling of the answer as part of said wonder Google refers you to the spelling expected by the online site, so I don’t see a problem there.

  8. Like those who’ve commented before me, I found this puzzle to be most enjoyable and it was a pleasure to do battle with today’s setter. Having got the puzzle out of the way and submitted it online, I am now free to concentrate on today’s rugby and, to a lesser degree, the football although I do appreciate that Big Dave will be preoccupied from 12:30 onwards…

  9. Took me longer than it should have done to twig the outrageous Australian – I was going about the whole thing the wrong way round!
    Looks as though we’re going to have a variety of ‘favourites’ being nominated today – sign of a good puzzle?
    My own podium list features 9,22&24a.

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

    PS Just looked at the instructions for the NTSPP – that could cause a few ‘rubbings-out’ methinks!

    1. I set about the NTSPP with similar trepidation, but the instructions didn’t cause me any problems in what is probably one of Radler’s easier puzzles.

    2. I was just going to come and say “be careful how you do the writing-in” in the NTSPP – it does take some concentration!

      1. Indeed – filling it in correctly was harder than solving the clues in places!
        The garbled grid is strangely distracting to me. Good though.

  10. Super crossword.
    I was very slow in the SW corner principally because I completely missed the anagram indicator for 17a, eventually bunged the answer in then shook my head in wonder at my stupidity.
    I could not spell the 2nd word of 11d, which made the snake in 15a somewhat tricky, but as there is only one three word snake in crosswordland, easily remidied.
    I did not know that 23d was what it was.
    6a and 24a were gems.
    Thanks Mr.Ron and BD, hope you get the right result at the Emirates.

  11. This was my very favourite crossword. Like Hoofityoudonkey I missed 17a indicator. What a pleasure this was. More of the same please!

  12. What fun – */**** for my money. Favourites were 6a and 21d (because in my imagination l could hear the incomparable Terry-Thomas saying it!). Thanks to the Mysteron and BD.

  13. This one was a ‘new wavelength’ for me, since I don’t usually do the Saturday crossword. Easy inroads were provided by 14 and 27a, along with 13 and 16d (solutions to which were fairly obvious from definitions, with parsing to follow). A clever cross reference between 1a and 2d rendered the latter clear favourite. Solving time: 3*, enjoyment level: high!

      1. Thanks for that – but email address hasn’t changed (and my avatar has disappeared). I’ll check at WordPress.

        1. What you have done is to combine your earlier email address with your slightly modified alias. I have changed the email adress on this one to demonstrate.

          1. That’s great! Many thanks – and apologies all round (previous account was supposedly deleted).

              1. That’s it fixed now (new recruit to Gravatar system, hence confusion over procedure). Many thanks.

  14. Another top draw puzzle with a good mix of clues, l really enjoyed it. Right up my street. An excellent week of super puzzles by the setters. Many thanks.
    No help required again, very different to eighteen months ago when I started following this blog. Thanks to all of you for the help.Toughie soon l hope?

    Rating ** / ****

    Clue of the day 10a followed by 8d

    Thanks to BD and the setter.

    1. I rarely comment at the weekend but your post stands out to me. I just love to hear from people who acknowledge the help that this blog provides. Thank you for your thanks. It is what keeps me providing hints and tips. Good luck in toughieland

      1. Like Howitzerx3 I’ve become so much more competent and confident with cryptic puzzles thanks to this blog and all the lovely people who provide extra hints and explanations.
        This website is a treasure; it’s my happy place at the end of a long day and I’m always surprised how wrestling with the clues can put all life’s other frustrations out of my mind.
        I really enjoyed this puzzle and just needed a nudge for the 6a/7d combination and it seems I wasn’t the only one.
        Thank you BD and all the regulars.

        1. Thanks Adastra & Howitzerx3

          It’s great to know that we are achieving our main aim, and it encourages me to keep this site as a happy place, in spite of the occasional attempt to spoil our fun.

          1. It’s great to get your comments MP and BD I really appreciate the time you have taken to acknowledge our comments please continue with all your hard work. I enjoy the blog so much, I know many others do with all their posts.

            Thanks again. Adastra has hit the nail on the head with the word

  15. I thought this was a very good crossword which did take some serious head scratching to complete. 23d was my favourite, so simple so clever. 2.5/4* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints.

  16. Wotta lotta fun with this one, wonder who the setter is.
    I got 1a right away and thought this was going to be easy peasy, but I did get bogged down in the SW side.
    Really difficult to choose a fave, maybe 22a, but 17a deserves mention.
    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to BD for his hints.

        1. If it is Samuel, I have loved his offerings in the past. I’m just not good at picking a setter.

  17. It’s hard to choose which clue bothers me most. 3d, 23d, 25a, 12a
    12a should not have the ending it does based on the clue.
    3d I had never heard of, but ok that happens,
    25a stinging does not seem to be an appropriate definition
    23d I still don’t understand why this person says I do.
    Apart from those it was fair, but rather frustrating both during and after.

    1. I can’t think quite how to explain 23d without ending up in the naughty corner, and although I’ve done lots of baking today, I still have things to do. I can say that this person ‘does’ but you are probably too young for this reference. Come back and read my review on Friday and I’ll explain all

      1. I often wonder how younger people and non-residents cope with the obscure nooks and crannies of the English language such as this. Now I come to think of it I don’t even know what a cranny is, but I know it when I see it.

  18. */** for difficulty here, for an enjoyable Saturday challenge. Last in the NW corner – 3d was new to me, so needed all the checking letters to confirm. On 2d I kept picking the wrong 1ac. :-)

  19. After reading the across clues and getting none, I thought this was going to be a real fight, but then the down clues went in relatively quickly, and the checkers gave up the across clues. Had to look up the Wonder though….

  20. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A fantastic puzzle today, not too tricky, but packed with humour with some very good clues. I liked the linked clues 1a&2d, and 9,17,24a,13&21d, but my favourite was 6a. Was 2 ✳ / 4 ✳ for me.

  21. A delightful Saturday Prize Puzzle.

    If I had a thesaurus I would also call it pleasing, entertaining, enjoyable, amusing and gratifying etc etc.

    1. Welcome to the blog.

      I’ve had to edit your comment as it falls into ‘alternative hint’ territory

  22. Lovely puzzle as has been noted above!
    Glad I didn’t open the blog yesterday as the outrageous Ozzy didn’t come to me until early this a.m, when all fell into place. Watched the big Ozzy match in the pub yesterday p.m what a difference to last week…!
    So, many thanks to BD and the setter, for his excellent clues and anagrams.

  23. Just got round to doing this crossword (Monday morning). What a beauty. **/*****. Nearly all the clues could stand out on their own, but my favourite is 17a – well hidden, closely followed by 16d.

  24. I thought this was a really good puzzle, better than the normal Saturday Prizes which are often a bit on the tame side for me. 17a was a cracking clue! Very enjoyable – that’s 4 excellent back-pagers on the trot, all about the same difficulty/enjoyment. 3* / 4*.

  25. I haven’t had time to look at this puzzle until today, so have missed the main blog action. Great puzzle, as I was able to complete it without hints or Google, so I must be getting my head around the clues. 6a was a struggle until the penny dropped and I laughed out loud, and was therefore my favourite.

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