DT 28600 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28600 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28600 (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    Books for famous steam trains based here? Fools ride so excitedly (4,2,5)
The location of the railway books by the Reverend Awdry is an anagram (excitedly) of FOOLS RIDE SO

11a    Putting the accent on it, plies her trade (9)
I “bunged this one in”, as Miffypops might say, and then spent more time working out the wordplay than on all the rest of the puzzle – if you put the accent on plies you get pliés, a movement in which the knees are bent while the body remains upright, and then read it as “pliés are her trade”, you get this lady

12a    As partners, going off work in principle (9)
The usual two-letter work inside a principle or fundamental

14a    Cleaner polished off and quit (6)
Not our usual cleaning lady, but the shortened form of a device she might use is followed by a verb meaning polished off, as in polished off a meal

18a    Cleaner old Lib-Dem is fascinating (8)
This time it is our usual cleaning lady who is followed by the shortened form of the first name of a former leader of the Lib-Dems

20a    Father collars Republican — he does go on (6)
The posh (Latin) word for father around R(epublican)

27a    It’s excitingperfect maybe (5)
… or it could be future or past!

28a    A neat player fouled somewhere close to goal (7,4)
An anagram (fouled) of A NEAT PLAYER


2d    Concentrated attack thus brings in victory the French held up (5)
A two-letter word meaning thus around (held) the reversal (up in a down clue) of V(ictory), as in V-day, with the feminine French definite article

4d    Groovy kind of light is legendary (6)
A three-letter adjective meaning groovy followed by a kind of light that is becoming extensively used – The Regents Street Christmas lights use 300,000 of them

5d    Offering old boy nothing in the way of classical language (8)
The abbreviation for Old Boy followed by O (nothing) inside a classical language

6d    Cause astonishment in old forces’ sweetheart with energy (7)
A charade of O(ld), the first name of the singer known as the forces’ sweetheart, W(ith) and E(nergy)

9d    1’s railway boss stays perhaps (3,10)
What stays might do for someone!

17d    A fashionable American soldier’s turned up, succeeding in getting badges (8)
The reversal (turned up in a down clue) of a charade of the A from the clue, a two-letter word meaning fashionable, an American soldier and the S from ‘S preceded by (succeeding) IN from the clue

19d    Tennis player — you could see me once with head of racket broken (7)
An anagram (broken) of ME ONCE with the initial letter (head) of R[acket]


25d    Register cooker (5)
Two definitions – a musical register and a cooker such as an Aga

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: awe+gee+bhaji=argy-bargy

66 comments on “DT 28600 (Hints)

  1. At the risk of annoying some commenters, I found this to be a curate’s egg with some slightly ‘odd’ clues and a bit ‘heavy’ on anagrams. Nevertheless, quite enjoyable, and completed at a fast gallop – */***.

    Candidates for favourite – 27a, 4d, and 22d – and the winner is 22d.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  2. I suspect that, like me, you have to have a four year old grandson to stand half a chance with this one. I raced through three quarters and then slowed to a crawl for the last few.

    14a and 15d were the last ones in. I can’t really see why now. Thoroughly enjoyable as always. Thanks to all

    1. Absolutely. Who would have thought ny in-depth knowledge of Thomas the Tank engine would be so useful.
      Still struggling with 15 down!

      1. 15d Pure eating is correct (8)
        Sometimes you can over complicate things! A word meaning pure around (eating) IS from the clue gives a verb meaning to correct or punish.

      2. Quite right, but even though I currently read these books to my lovely grandchildren, I only knew 9d but not 1a. Perhaps I should pay more attention!

  3. I found this a little tricky in places, but really enjoyed the 1a/9d combination. 19d was also a favourite once I had parsed it, and 12a inexplicably my last one in. Overall this felt about the right balance for a prize crossword and was 2.5 /4* for me.

    Many thanks to our setter and to BD.

  4. At the risk of annoying some commenters, but obviously not Senf, I found this to be a curate’s egg with some slightly “odd” clues!

    My rating is 2* / 2.5*.

    Surely the Lib-Dem in 18a needs to be pensioned off?

    17d is an interesting word. In the UK it used to be a plural word which seems sensible given its Latin root, but it now seems also to be used as a singular word too. In the US I believe it is used in singular form, adding an “s” when made plural.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

    1. There appears to be an echo in this blog.

      Re 17d – another example of two nations divided by a common language!

  5. Not my cuppa tea, this one. 11a uses a pronoun and the noun it is describing and would usually replace. 9d doesn’t work for me. Two nice ones: 28a and 21d are admirable; both are anagrams that tie in nicely with the whole clue. * enjoyment ***difficulty from me.

    1. I wonder if 9d doesn’t work for you because you are too young to know that stays were an item of underwear that controlled bulges!!

  6. I thought this was a bit quick for a prize crossword but I was left with 27a and 25d I often find the short ones tricky – too many options. My favourite clues were 6d and 18a. Instruggled with 1a until I came to 9d which gave the game away

    Thanks to everyone

  7. I’m going to confess my guilt: I didn’t know the answer to 1a – I’d realised that it was an anagram – but I did know the answer to 9d so I had to resort to using Wikipedia. However, if you’d like a discussion about the merits of Dr Seuss, then I’m your man! To my mind, it was a most enjoyable puzzle but it had to wait until the rugby league world cup final was over and England were so close…

  8. My antique brain must still be functioning as for some unknown reason I have had a surprisingly good week and today was no exception. Started in SE corner, as always, and working my way up then down, tiny bit of electronic help mainly to confirm one or two words. Last one in 19d with resounding clang as penny dropped. Have a pleasant weekend, chilly and overcast in East Anglia.

  9. A nice crossword for a definitely not nice morning – very cold and now it’s raining too.
    I was slow to get off the ground today and thought I was in for trouble but then got going and all fell into place.
    I could see that 1a was an anagram but couldn’t do it – eventually guessed at 9d and that rang a few bells.
    I dithered about 24a because I felt as if the part of speech was wrong but it had to be what it was.
    Lots of anagrams – not a complaint, just an observation.
    For no good reason 12a was my last answer.
    I liked 14a and 3d. My favourite was either 11a (which took ages) or 19d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

    1. Definitely not – how could I when I’ve kicked up such a stink about it in the past! Just the one, dear, to quote Absolutely Fabulous from many years ago.
      That’s why I said 11a or 19d.

  10. Daughters too old and grandson too young for me to be particularly au fait with the steam train books but I had heard of the 9d boss and did a ‘bung in, look up’ on 1a.
    As some of my learned colleagues have commented, this was something of a curate’s egg but I suppose it had a bit of something to please everyone.

    Top three for me were 11&28a plus 9d.

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

    PS The NTSPP is well worth a try – the penny drop moment is great!

    1. As the books were around in our childhood, you should have a certain amount of au-fait-ness still lingering…

      1. I’m afraid I was far more interested in ponies and had no siblings who might have enjoyed different hobbies!

  11. 15d last in and sat in Cardiff cafe, very enjoyable as the crowds start massing for the big rugby game. Won the 29th Oct. Sunday crossword and have been subsequently granted the freedom of my village along with free milk, there’s talk of a knighthood but I’m not sure I could accept on religious grounds. Got two separate pen and notebook deliveries so they must have been very obviously impressed by my answers. Thanks to all concerned.

    1. Congratulations to Taffwellian, I have submitted umpteen without even one pen let alone two! 14 across had me scratching my head thinking of ******* and *********. So am grateful for the hints, without which I had no success with 11 across.

  12. I too, had to Google for 1A, but just to sort out the last word. I also had the wrong first word for 9D (It’s been a very long time) but it finally clicked and 11A became clear. It’s also my favorite, with 22D not far behind. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  13. Quite a test for Saturday but fun with which to do battle. Not being a train-spotter I needed help with 1a and first word of 9d. Recently saw portrayal of 19d and close rival in a mediocre feature film. ‘Battle of the Sexes’ re Ladies tennis slightly better. NE corner last to succumb. Standout Fav by a long way was 11a with 12a a distant runner-up. Thank you BD for hints particularly for parsing 15d for me (via Ruth) and thanks also Mysteron for excellent challenge.

  14. Ah well, 2 of the 4 I didn’t understand are hinted but not the other two – (3d and 15d) I have answers for both from part of the clue but don’t get “space outing” or “pure eating”
    Despite the hint I don’t on’t see why the second 3 letters in 14a have anything to do with quit. Never heard of 1a but Google came to the rescue. For me the only enjoyable clue was 11a, the rest were just dull.
    So for me **/*
    Thx for the two useful hints.

    1. In 3d the space is a printer’s space.

      As to 14a, please read the hint properly – nowhere does it say that the the second 3 letters have anything to do with quit. You can lead a horse to water, but …..

        1. Me too! Was about to plead for help with parsing 3d so was very glad to see someone else asked first . . .
          All good fun and lovely to gave those wonderful childhood books brought back to mind. Had to use google for 1a – there was a picture of the author with his son – almost a clone!
          Was very glad of the hint for 11a. Thank you BD and setter.

          1. IPad forgot my name and I made a typo re-entering it – lost an r. Which for some reason reminds me of my franglais knock-knock joke. Frappe frappe. Qui est la? Losta. Losta qui? Exactement.

  15. Yes, I had trouble with 3d and 11a – not being familiar with the words of the ‘trade’ so to speak, but figured out that there was no choice for the answer, and they had to be, confirmed when I opened the blog. I thought 26a was a brilliant clue, and as always some excellent anagrams, especially 11d! Thanks as usual for BD’s hints -just to make sure!


  16. Loads of anagrams which is normally food and drink for me but after putting in 7d straight away I then fed the correct ‘fodder’ for 1a and my Anagram program came back with an answer I’d never heard of and immediately assumed was wrong.

    My kids are too old for Thomas the Tank engine so it didn’t mean anything to me and it was only when I put in my original anagram answer for 1a that things fell into place.

    A nice puzzle with maybe a few too any anagrams but enjoyable anyway

    1. …..oh, and 20a and 6d were new words to me but quite easy to work out from the clues and confirmed by the BRB.

      Back to the Rugby – Exeter are giving Bath a drubbing – 28-3 at HT.

      1. Ah .. now I understand why Gazza hasn’t responded to an email I sent him a while ago – he’s obviously too busy being a happy rugby supporter

  17. First one in 16a. Then worked round south clockwise. On completion I ended up with 3?s. 3d, 11a and 6d. All answered thanks to the blog and setter.

  18. Like BD, I bunged in the answer to 11a some time before the light dawned. Very clever clue. I’d never heard of 1a but guessed the answer.
    Having just returned from Tenerife, we are finding it decidedly chilly here.
    Thank you BD and setter.

  19. A lovely puzzle that suited me with loads of anagrams and other intriguing clues. Really enjoyed it. For me, some easier clues mixed with more difficult one’s. Thank goodness to be able to refence our Grandsons literature to complete two of the clues.

    Clue of the day 19d followed by 5d.

    Rating 2.5* /4*

    Thanks to BD and the setter

  20. A bit of a mixed bag, however after a slow start all fell into place. I thought 19d was the pick of the bunch. 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints.

  21. I fully agree with RD that this was a puzzle with difficult clues, easy ones and a generous sprinkling of anagrams. I took more time than I thought it merited after I finished. The area near the goal should not have troubled me at all but it did as did the tennis player though anagrams are usually my strongest suit. Checking letters rendered 11a gettable but thanks to the reviewer for helping me understand it.

  22. I’m too old for Thomas and have no children (except canine and feline), hence I was totally lost with 1a and 9d, though I did get 9d from the checking letters.
    I didn’t know the Lib-Dem, but I think we’ve had it before and I missed it then! Yes, RD, let’s pension him off since I’m obviously not going to remember him. A quick google sorted me out there.
    I loved the gimme at 7d, it really helped to get going, so that’s my fave with 19d my runner up.
    Thanks to the Saturday setter and to BD for sorting 1a.

      1. Oh good! I hope you enjoy. I’m sometimes nervous about recommending books, people’s interests are so different! Just look at this blog!

  23. Splendid puzzle. I liked 2d, but I thought 11a was brilliant. The answer became obvious but once the parse penny dropped, I was totally impressed. 2.5*/****. Nice one.

  24. A bit too quirky for my liking.Even though I was mystified by 1a until I googled it , I did like 9a.
    Thanks to all concerned .

  25. A very pleasant solve that was possibly a little on the easy side considering a prize was at stake. 1 across and 9 down were easy enough for me as a dad who read bedtime stories containing thse ‘words’ to both of my sons in the 1970s and to my kid brother in the 1950s, so they really are not so new. Lots of chuckle moments, which include 9 down. 3, 5 & 15 down were all good clues too. So all things considered an enjoyable solve on a murky Severnside afternoon. Thanks to BD ( I sympathise with you over the frustration you must surely feel when you have to deal with some of the comments) and thanks to the setter too.

  26. Not my cup of tea again, not really happy with my answers and none had that lovely perfect fit feeling. Hope I’m on the wavelength tomorrow.

  27. An enjoyable solve that was straightforward enough for the most part, though at the close I got quite stuck on 12ac, 14ac and 15d at the close. With half a mind on the clues, and half on Strictly blasting away in the background, I did eventually stagger across the finishing line. 1ac I vaguely knew, and 9d was therefore a bit of a write-in. Lots of fun throughout.

  28. This is all wrong. It’s a prize crossword. No ‘hints’ (or cheating, as it’s normally called) should be remotely available.

    1. Yes, agreed, it’s a prize puzzle but –

      a) the prize is a branded pen and some notepads for runners-up;
      b) I doubt that many contributors to this site actually send in their solutions;
      c) the vast majority of comments are about enjoyment or areas of interest.

      Hardly ‘cheating’, it’s just a bit of fun for crossword enthusiasts. The Telegraph team certainly have no objection, so I don’t really see why you should.

      1. Out of interest I have sent mine in every week by e mail since 27199 I.e for 4 and a half years… Did get a notebook a while ago, I do have a smart fountain pen and never use it….
        Could I suggest a quill pen for novelty value…?

  29. I enjoyed that, thanks for the hints BD, 11a must be one of the most obscure clues ever.
    Spurs have gone to pot haven’t they?
    I knew all the T the T stuff having been brought up on it and having two boys who were of the Ringo vintage.
    Fav was 24a.
    Thanks BD and Mr.Ron.

  30. Enjoyed that although a tad anagram-heavy. 11a was favourite – had the answer and took me a while to get to the Doh! moment


  31. I enjoyed this once I got into it. I rushed 28a and parsed the second word incorrectly, which well and truly screwed up the SE corner until I reworked the anagram. The old memory box must still be working as I remembered 1a from reading the books to my daughter some 30 years ago. I needed BD’s clue for 11a but 9d was my favourite, so thanks to BD and the setter.

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