DT 28606 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28606 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28606 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

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Come and join the party – this is a Brexit-free zone!  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.


4a    Criticise a metropolitan area’s greed (8)
One of the three-letter verbs meaning to criticise followed by the A from the clue and a metropolitan area

8a    Sacred text fellow’s appended to paintings from the East (6)
A fellow or chap followed by the reversal (from the East) of a collective word for paintings

10a    Stuff in the sea rafter’s located by not capsizing (8)
A rafter or beam (not someone on a raft!) followed (located) by the reversal (capsizing) of NOT

12a    Speaker’s prohibited articles from Left and Right that may go over one’s head (8)
What sounds like (speaker’s) a verb meaning prohibited followed by a pair of indefinite articles, one from the left and the other reversed (from the right) gives an alternative spelling of something that may go over one’s head


19a    Bit of food Greek character and I found in river (8)
A two-letter Greek character followed by I from the clue inside a major English river

21a    Cavalryman seen in northern county town strangely sat out (6)
Drop an anagram (strangely) of SAT from a northern county town


24a    Chord reproduced in opera gig (8)
An anagram (reproduced) of OPERA GIG

26a    Take to court over retaining worth and title in retirement (8)
The reversal (over) of a three-letter verb meaning to take to court around worth or value


1d    Lines of communication? (7)
A means of communication that uses lines

3d    Swallow most of drink (6)
This swallow is most of an alcoholic drink

4d    Rule said pets will be needed for pelt (4,4,3,4)
A four-letter word that sounds like (said) a verb meaning to rule followed by some pets

5d    Breathe out repeatedly making child’s engine for 1 (4-4)
A four-letter word meaning to breathe out followed by the same word gives a child’s engine for 1 Down


14d    In burrow, northern insect getting heated (9)
IN from the clue fb a verb meaning to burrow, N(orthern) and an insect

17d    Wordplay involving a horse and another farmyard animal (7)
The kind of wordplay that can be found elsewhere in this puzzle (but not here!) is a charade of the A from the clue, a three-letter word for a horse and a different farmyard animal

20d    Irritable and so on in your old surroundings (6)
A three-letter abbreviation of a two-word Latin expression meaning “and so on” inside an old-fashioned word for your

22d    Companion always providing comfort (5)
Post-nominal initials granted to a Companion followed by a poetic word for always

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: pencil+veinier=Pennsylvania

63 comments on “DT 28606 (Hints)

  1. I was very grateful for a quick solve today as the Christmas decorations have to go up (a family tradition on my birthday weekend) so I need to get on.

    I enjoyed it nevertheless. Originally put the wrong answer in 5d but 4a soon put that right. Can’t say any particular clues stood out. Last one in was 21a for no particular reason. Many thanks to the setter and BD

    1. Happy Birthday, Margaret. Like you, I’ve been putting up Christmas decorations and so I was pleased that everything fell into place reasonably quickly after I’d had to crunch my way through the snow to pick up the paper…

      1. Thank you very much Aljanon, it’s actually tomorrow, but the family are here today, so the house now looks very festive. Hope yours does too.

        No snow in Potters Bar yet, but I don’t think it’s far away

  2. No pain today but completed in a somewhat unstructured way dodging hither and thither with NW last to fall. Complicated things for myself for a while by putting 12a solution into 16a. Suppose I have to accept that 13a is presumably a dictionary word. No Fav to single out. Thank you Mysteron and BD. Brrr in West Suffolk but so far no white stuff – fingers crossed.

    1. I meant to say Brrr in West Sussex – I moved from West Suffolk 6 years ago but still think of it as home!

    2. I, too, raised an eyebrow at 13a, but as I don’t have a BRB, I’m assuming it’s a word.

        1. This is a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) – Chambers Dictionary is a Big Red Book.

          As for 13a, look at the clue carefully – you need the ‘usual’ abbreviation for trade union, another for a particular newspaper and an anagram (originally) of SITE I wouldn’t personally associate these branches with the word you’d normally think of. I’m not going to explain any better than that, even though I’ve got a lemon drizzle cake to take to the Naughty Corner as I really must deal with the East Kent Ironing Mountain :(

              1. Washing? To add more to the ironing mountain? You Brits are a lot hardier than I. It’s going down to 45F tonight and I’m cold already.

  3. As for last Saturday, and at the risk of annoying some commenters, I found this to be a curate’s egg with some slightly ‘odd’ clues/answers – 13a and 5d for example. Nevertheless, quite enjoyable, and completed at a gallop – **/***.

    Candidates for favourite – 23a, 14d, and 22d – and the winner is 23a.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  4. Needed a wee bit of electronic help for 3 of these but managed the rest.

    Am pretty sure I would never have got 3d without the help, but then it’s a wavelength thing.

    No snow on the ground here yet, but a few flurries and a darkening sky……

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave.

  5. 23a my favourite in this enjoyable and pretty straightforward Saturday puzzle. Nothing obscure, no hold ups and all fairly clued. 2.5* /3.5* overall.

    Thanks to our mystery setter and of course BD.

    Snow yesterday and last night plus the forecast for tomorrow means we had to cancel a few days away in Yorkshire and Derbyshire. At least we get to watch loads of rugby on television.

  6. I too completed this at a fair canter.

    I would raise a small objection to the first half of 10a being a rafter, I always thought rafters were beams, made out of 4×2 or something more substantial than that mentioned within the answer.

    Many thanks to the setter and BD.

    1. MR, 10a. Yes, a rafter could be called a beam, but neither of them are synonymous with a *****, which is more like a “board” (maybe this could be resolved in the Friday review?). But I suppose, to a layman, they’re all just lumps of timber.

  7. Today we are saying goodbye to our own Elvis. The king of French rock n roll has the honours of a national tribute.
    Farewell Johnny. Rest in peace.
    As I just said in yesterday’s blog, this was a very similar solve as the Don’s.
    Remembered 24a from not long ago.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the Saturday club.

  8. A nice straightforward solve to enjoy over coffee after shovelling snow off the drive. I loved 21a and 26a, but several more clues also hit the spot for me. Thanks setter and BD. Hope tomorrow’s weather is better than that forecast – granddaughter and I have an apointment with santa.

  9. 2* / 2.5*. I echo Senf’s comments, as I did regarding last Saturday’s curate’s egg. There were a couple of strange clues and several surfaces were rather strained. I did like the simplicity of 3d. 23a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD.

  10. Thanks to BD and the Setter. I managed to get them all in without electronic assistance BUT I can’t solve 19a even though I know what I am looking for. Can you direct me towards the well-known English river, please?
    23a my nomination for favorite clue.

    1. Hello.
      For 19a, start with a Greek letter then insert the I from the clue in the third longest river in the UK.

  11. Definitely a wavelength thing, I spotted 4d and 4a immediately then working my way up from SE corner and back down found to my amazement that I had completed the grid. Thanks to setter and BD for a delightful Saturday treat. I have not done GK crossword in Saturday for sometime so might give that a go this afternoon. Have a nice weekend.

  12. Thought there were some extremely iffy surfaces in this one, not to mention a couple of odd definitions.
    Not to worry, still some good stuff to be found – 23a really stood out for me with 22d not far behind.

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

    PS Do have a go at the NTSPP from our very own Silvanus – all good stuff!

  13. This one slotted neatly into my personal 1* category – largely due to presence of around half-a-dozen well oiled slip roads leading into the main body of the puzzle (viz: 2d, 4d, 5d, 7d, 25a). Favourite was 5d – raised a smile (however, I suspect that the expression in question will prove quite mystifying to the up and coming generation). Well done, setter!

  14. Was slow to get into this but completed without undue difficulty. My impression that 12a was spelt with a single * kept me from finishing sooner. No stand out clues for me today.

    1. I know I’ve selected this one as a gimme, but try and get out of the habit of describing what you did wrong – save that for Friday.

        1. I always mean to comment on the reviews of the weekend crosswords – it sometimes works for a week or two and then it all goes wrong – the story of my life!
          As of now I’m going to try again and I’ll nag others too – I think that going to the trouble of doing a review and then getting no comments must be soul destroying and it would probably be enough to make me stop doing it. You’re obviously made of sterner stuff than I am. :smile: and :good:
          Enjoy the dancing.

  15. Enjoyed today’s offering – 2* / 3* for us.
    One minor quibble though . . .
    24a is not a chord – it is the playing of the notes of a chord in quick succession instead of simultaneously

          1. Nice clip Roy. I’m a guitarist and I’ve heard of TE but I haven’t seen that snippet before – makes my fingers hurt just watching it…

  16. Call me WeekendHoofit from now on. A combination of early starts, Southern trains and work has unfortunately meant the weekday crosswords are now a cursory glance and then going through the always excellent set of hints.
    So today was great to get my teeth into. As ever, whereas the gallopers gallop, Hoofit trots, but finished fine.
    Last in was 26a, a new word for me but gettable from the wordplay.
    I have no doubt 13a is a word, but surely there was a better word available than that?
    Thanks BD, glad the site is back to normal as I have given up trying to post in the last few days.
    Ta to setter too.

      1. Probably not, Merusa, it’s hard to think up anything to say if you don’t do the crossword

        1. Oh no – you can’t desert us. I associate you with LROK – not sure why but perhaps you and he started commenting around the same time. We seem to have lost him. Where’s he gone? :unsure: Come back LROK – we miss you – all is forgiven, whatever it is.

          1. Thank you for the kind words Kath. I still look in from time time.
            Yes HIYD did start about the same time & he & I share an interest in things sporting. I even forgave him that he was a Millwall fan (nearly).
            To Hoofs – you never found it hard when you couldn’t master Ray T so why get shy now?
            Hoofs, hope you are having time to get your handicap down or at least stay off 7. What do you think of 54 maximum never did get the chance to ask?

        2. Hi Hoofit – I often can’t get a paper, so I often solve the puzzle from the blog. Just as good, if not better.
          If (just because you’ve nowt else to do) you want to make it more challenging, draw out a grid that fits! Solving clues without checkers is good, sharpening fun.
          Hello again to LROK, cheers BD, see you in January :smile:

  17. I enjoyed this, though, heaven knows why, 1d was last in and needed electronic help. Upon completion, I think it’s one of the easiest.
    Apart from the doubtful 13a, it was all pretty straightforward.
    Fave was 4d, but the smoothness of 23a deserves mention.
    Thanks to the Saturday setter and to BD for the hints.

    I know we don’t match your snow, but it’s as black as night here with heavy rain (much needed) and temperatures are plummeting. I don’t do cold and will spend the weekend indoors.

  18. I’m delighted to find somewhere, anywhere, that’s a Brexit-free zone. I know it’s important and blah-di-blah but I’m so sick of it.
    Right, now on to the crossword.
    This one was good fun, I thought, and the right hand side was much easier than the left.
    Like others I was a bit doubtful about 13a – what branches and is it really a word?
    21a had to be what it was but it took me a long time to see why – dim!
    3d – oh, that kind of swallow. :roll:
    I liked 1a and 2 and 17d.
    Thanks to whoever set today’s crossword and to BD for the hints and the refuge from all things Brexit.

  19. An entertaining puzzle with lots of excellent clues, but I’m baffled by 13a, just don’t understand it? Overall enjoyable apart from that one.

    Clues of the day 12a and 14d

    Rating ** / ***

    Thanks to BD and the setter

      1. Thanks Crypticsue as usual you always come up with the goodies, sorry I missed your earlier explanation, think I’ve got it now. That’s the beauty of this blog, you continually learn something new.

        Thanks again.

  20. 20d was my favourite in this entertaining crossword. Probably because it took me far too long to realise what was required. A definite D’oh! moment. 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints.

  21. Well, that was good. Difficult enough to get the old brain cells ticking over, and accessible enough to not be frustrating. Lots of well disguised definitions, 3d my LOI a good example. 24ac was new to me, but gettable, just about. :-)

  22. Finding this very hard…. First read through produced no answers, have now got all but 1d and 3d – can’t see those at all, even with the hints and e-help….!

    1. Look again at 5d and then you should get 1d.

      3d is a bird which is a type of swallow. To go further is entering into dangerous territory!

  23. As this one broke my run of unfinished Saturday puzzles, feeling quite happy although can’t say I enjoyed it, very strange. 13a is not a word I have ever seen in use. Last in was 19a just because I kept focusing on the wrong river. Thanks to BD for really helpful hints. As Merusa says above, we are experiencing a cold front, with unusually low temperatures for South Florida, which my orchids do not care for at all. But i do find it a welcome respite after our hot and humid summer. Roll on winter. But I do feel bad the folks at home who are having some really wintry weather.

    1. So sorry the orchids are complaining, mine seem to be quite happy. I don’t know what they’ll have to say tomorrow though. This hothouse flower is already feeling sorry for herself.

      1. I used to haul them into the house or garage, but now they just have to fend for themselves. I do coddle the large favorite with a towel overnight and the others with flower buds I pull under cover, close to the house. My daughter leaves hers alone, and they seem to do ok.

        Were you here when we had the frost in 1983?

    1. Mr CS had to convince me it made sense! Have a look at BD’s reply @22 above and see if that convinces you that you have the right answer

      1. Mr CS obviously needs to have a word with me as well – I also thought it was a bit of a stretch!

  24. It seems that the hard bit was the NW corner and was left with 12a & 3D. The picture on 12 told me I need not think of some word meaning ‘intellectual’…3D I was looking for ‘drinking’ -thanks BD!
    I agree with comments on 13a despite the detailed and clear clue.
    Enjoyed it non the less -thx to setter!

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