DT 28641 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28641 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28641 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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Yesterday Jan, Tom Pride’s partner, sent me the following email:

“Would you be so kind as to pass on my heartfelt thanks to all your bloggers who posted so kindly about Tom. They were all on show at his funeral. Your readers might like to read his obituary which appears today in The Times.”

The link to the obituary was published in a couple of places on here yesterday – https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/tom-pride-obituary-dlb609zqs – but this is actually behind the Times paywall.  If you subscribe to the Times you should have no difficulty reading it, failing that you can register with the website and view two articles a week without paying the subscription (which is what I did).  Alternatively you can email me via the contact page and I’ll send you a copy.  I particularly like the bit about us – “Another passion was crosswords; he contributed to a crossword blog and would attend conventions with fellow fanatics from all over the world.”.

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    Detectives arresting sailor come over with all having their say (10)
A team of detectives around a three-letter word for a sailor and COME from the clue, all reversed (over)

10a    They show where letters should be posted (9)
A sort of cryptic definition of the correct order of letters in a word

13a    Female back exercises, these things counted when one retires (5)
The female pronoun followed by the reversal of some exercises – retires here means goes to bed not giving up work!

17a    Hobbles in turning for example — short sight? (7)
A verb meaning hobbles inside the reversal of the Latin abbreviation of “for example”

19a    Posh Bond girl that’s torn off a strip (7)
The single-letter that represents posh followed by the surname of the first Bond girl without (torn off) the A

22a    Figure that becomes double after spitting (5)
Put this figure after the word “Spitting” to get a double or doppelgänger

24a    Oh dear, rejected embracing bad actor in soap! (7)
An exclamation meaning “Oh dear” reversed (rejected) around (embracing) a bad actor

28a    It sounds like a female relative isn’t for you? (5)
This abbreviated phrase meaning is not in the second person (for you) sounds like a female relative

30a    Exploding star and new moon observed by Queen’s scientist (10)
An anagram (exploding) of STAR followed by an anagram (new) of MOON and the Queen’s regnal cipher


1d    What cheats do in football club that’s dodgy? (4)
Two definitions – take care with splitting the clue

2d    Find 22 rocks blown up (9)
An anagram (rocks) of FIND and the answer to 22 Across

5d    Diving bird caught one coming up, big thing mostly submerged (7)
A diving bird followed by C(aught) and I (one), all reversed (coming up in a down clue)

8d    Withdraws expensive limiting ISA on behalf of son (10)
An adjective meaning expensive around ISA from the clue and a two-letter abbreviation meaning “on behalf of” and followed by S(on)

14d    Familiar kind of service entertains twee daughter (10)
A kind of tennis service around (entertains) an adjective meaning twee and followed by D(aughter)

20d    They’re girls and women, not only children (7)
I’d like to think that there is more to this clue than a cryptic definition of women who can be girls or children, but if there is then I can’t find it These girls / women must have siblings, so they are not “only children” – Thanks Gazza et al

23d    Beer and porter, at heart, will make one dozy? The opposite (5)
A type of beer followed by the middle letters of porter gives an adjective meaning the opposite of dozy

26d    Step, missing a beat (4)
Drop (missing) the A from a step

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: mouse+cart+ear=musketeer

100 comments on “DT 28641 (Hints)

  1. On first read through I thought this was going to be more of a challenge and I had to start in the bottom half, but it soon all started falling into place and was about my average time for a Saturday.

    10a was my last one in for some reason and a synonym for twee challenged me in 14d so I resorted to the Thesaurus for that.

    Pronunciation in 28a doesn’t work for me, I’m afraid. All in all though enjoyable and thanks to all.

    1. 20d. I took this as not meaning “only-children” (ie, having no siblings) but as not restrictively/exclusively children. Is that what you are saying?

      1. I don’t think so. The answer, by definition, cannot be ‘only children’ because they must have at least one sibling.

  2. What a difference a day makes! My problem in accessing the site yesterday has gone away today as suddenly as it came so I am a happy bunny again (with my paws crossed hoping that the issue will not recur).

    2.5* / 4*. I really enjoyed this puzzle except for 10a which I thought was a bit weak. 19a (what wonderful memories that conjures up), 22a & 1d all made it to my podium.

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD.

  3. I found this agreeably tricky for a prize crossword, with the final half a dozen clues taking the same amount of time to solve as the rest of the puzzle. That said, it was hugely enjoyable and very satisfying to complete. 22a was my favourite once I finally got it, and overall this was 3* /4* for me.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to BD.

    Heavy snow here in the Marches, grey and cold.

    1. 10a wasn’t obvious to me. I needed the hint to confirm my answer.

      Agree with you on 20d.

  4. A slow start but then It was good to have a bit more cranial exercise than some Saturdays. Find it difficult to satisfactorily parse 27a and 28a and not too keen on 10a – that might work slightly better in the singular. Fav was 14d. Thank you Mysteron and BD.

  5. Needed a bit of help with a few so thanks to BD for the hints.
    I agree 28a irritated my northern sensibilities and pronounciation.
    Trouble aquiring the twee part of 14d made that LOI.
    21d was my favourite today.
    Took quite a few coffee breaks and time outs so no real impression of the relative difficulty today but seemed a good prize puzzle.

  6. I found it tough and nearly got there. Thanks for the help which confirmed my guess for 10a. 28a still has me foxed.

    1. You’ve changed your alias again – all three should work in future

      28a had me foxed for quite a while too

  7. If 28a is what I think it is that must be the worst homophone ever for Scots. But perhaps I am wrong and someone can put me right.
    Hope I haven’t broken any rules here, apologies if I have.

    I found this one trickier than usual for a Saturday and needed some of the hints .

    Thanks to Big Dave and to the setter.

  8. Completed at the second sitting, there were a few I really didn’t like, and were the last in.

    10a, 27a and 28a were the main culprits. I would have included 20d but for the comments above.

    Many thanks to the setter and BD.

  9. From my point of view, it was rather comforting to read some of the preceding comments because I seem to have plodded through this puzzle today but I’ve got there in the end. Wouldn’t it have been easier to find a photograph of Dele Alli than an old one of Luis Suarez, Dave?

  10. I’ve been filling in the paper version in the back of the car with my mother-in-law. 28d was the last one in. It has to be what it is, but we can’t see why, however we try and pronounce it. The rest of the answers all went in smoothly with the exception of 10a where we were misdirected for a while. Thank you setter and BD.

  11. Have to say that I wrote ‘umm’ alongside several of today’s answers which somewhat detracted from enjoyment of the puzzle. Thought perhaps it was ‘just me’ but there does appear to be other comments along similar lines.

    The posh Bond girl gets my vote for favourite – seem to recall the pic BD used as an illustration being much talked about at the time!

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

  12. I share the view of others regarding 28a. Maybe I have answered incorrectly, as I cannot parse it at all.

    1. Another change of alias. Both should work in future

      Your solution to 28a will, depending on where you live, and whether you have the correct solution, sound like one of your female relatives

  13. A wet, snowy, sleety Saturday morning brightened up somewhat with a very enjoyable prize crossword puzzle. I have no problem whatsoever with the pronunciation of 28 across and can’t imagine any other way of saying it. There are so many good clues that appeal and so I’ll only mention my two favourites . . . 17a & 21d. Thanks to today’s setter and to BD for help in parsing 1a . . . I bunged the word in, but was unsure why it should fit.

    1. Depends how you pronounce the female relative in 28a
      Us northerners pronounce it like the creepy crawly insects!

      1. Yes, I hear it spoken that way when I visit the Rotherham area. But the creepie crawlies don’t have a letter ‘U’ in their spelling, so it has to be a regional mispronunciation. I know I’ll never win the argument – it’s like the path and parth, grass and grarse thing :-D.

  14. We don’t get enough Gazza crosswords IMHO so I do hope everyone will have a go at today’s NTSPP (a) because its really good and (b) because it will encourage him to do another one or two or ….

  15. Another very entertaining Saturday prize puzzle slowed down by the NE corner (10a and 8d in particular – I still have a furrowed brow on those two) for completion at a gallop – **/***.

    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 19a, 11d – and the winner is 19a (the original Bond girl).

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

      1. CS – I had solved them, it was the parsing. I think my furrowed brow is equivalent to jane’s ‘umm’.

  16. Liked the ‘Bond girl’ clue today. I won’t admit how long it took me to see 28a! It might help to mention that the answer has an apostrophe in it, if that is allowed.

  17. Plodded through this one in fits and starts, but overall I found his an enjoyable puzzle. Solved one, next one took ages , then a few dropped into place. 22a eluded me for a considerable time – why I wondered after the penny dropped? I ask myself that question so many times!
    28a was my last one in , as the northern accent doesn’t help here. I enjoyed lots of clues, 1a, 1d and 8d in particular.
    Thanks to setter and BD.

  18. I really enjoyed this one. Not sure about some of 8d though. Parses fine, but….
    Living in Sussex I didn’t have any problems with 28a either, although I sympathise with those in other parts!
    Thanks BD and the setter

  19. I found this rather harder than the usual Saturday and fell over on 28a. Thanks to the setter and to BD – see you next weekend. :)

  20. Mostly enjoyed this – last 2 in were 10a and 28a.
    Never heard of 10a in it’s plural form – and as a northerner 28a is a pretty dodgy homophone for me!
    3* / 3* for us – thanks for the hints BD! And to Mr Ron for the crossword

  21. Well I mostly enjoyed this. But am at least happy that 28a is causing a stir because I know what I want to put in but the checkers don’t work. Irritating thing is as it’s the prize crossword by the time thr solution is published I’ll have forgotten what was bugging me.

  22. Late start today, and could not finish without a couple of hints so thank you BD.
    Couple of clues I thought a bit ‘iffy’ with 10a leading the field.
    17a wasted some time until I realized that my eyes were the problem, I was trying to find a five letter word for ‘hobbies’.
    I did not like 9a but that must be me, as nobody else has mentioned it.

    Thanks to all

  23. Done in two chunks with a dog walk to the top of Blackdown Hill – 2nd highest point in Surrey – in the mist. A wee bitty harder maybe than the average Sat Prizer.
    Still beaten by 28a though, just waiting for the flash of inspiration.

  24. As I was born in County Durham i do agree with all the Northeners re 28across. It reminds me of how southerners pronounce gas mask! It was certainly the last one in after a struggle today. Thank you to the setter and also for the hints.

        1. My daughter has a bedtime story that “rhymes” castle with tassel. Hard to cope with in Bucks.

  25. **/****. Good fun while it lasted. 8d worked for me as did a number of other LEGO clues. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  26. OMG that was tough! Took three goes to complete and needed electronic help. Lots of highly complex wordy clues that took a lot of sorting. Made my brain hurt.
    For me ***/**, not much fun when they are this tricky as far as I am concerned.
    Thx for the hints.

    1. Yet again I find myself agreeing with you Brian. I’m not on this compiler’s wavelength at all

  27. I made heavy weather of this and now I can’t see why – I enjoyed it apart from a few odd clues – well, odd to me anyway.
    1a caused trouble so that meant I had no starting letters at the top
    Didn’t get 10a until I had alternate letters in and even then it was a rather hopeful guess.
    Like Plodder I read the first word of the clue for 17a as ‘hobbies’ – sorted that out and then, because of the problem I’d had, the last bit made me laugh.
    22a took for ever – no excuses for that.
    The 18d anagram also took too long – I don’t think of the answer as oil – suppose it is though . . . :unsure:
    28a sounded OK to me but then I’m a southerner.
    I liked 9a – short and to the point – and my favourite was 20d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

  28. I found myself completing this one in fits and starts. 28a didn’t bother me but 10a did.. I just found the clue a bit odd. 9a was my top clue; I remember when that picture first came out.. every small (and not so small) boy’s dream!
    2/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints… and the picture!

  29. Third day running I struggled and sadly today I didn’t enjoy the struggle. Roll on tomorrow, thanks to BD and the setter.

  30. Blimey that was hard. I had visit BD’s hints to get a couple to keep going, even so, I never did get 1d. Not likely that I’d know what cheats do in football clubs.
    I can’t imagine anyone pronouncing 28a like that, oh well.
    As Orphan Annie says, roll on tomorrow, at least we know that Virgilius will come up trumps.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for his much-needed hints.

  31. Even with all the talk I can’t get 28a
    Sounds like a female relative?
    Not one I can think of


  32. Definitely on the tricky side, say ***/**** for difficulty. 28ac doesn’t work in Wales either, and was my LOI.

    1. So with a Welsh father and a Geordie mother, I didn’t stand a chance (no r in that word) did I?

  33. I agree with the assessment of agreeably tricky. Had to really work on this one. Would have given up without some of Big Dave’s hints. 1d and 9a were last in, shortly preceded by 28a, awful homophone. Of course I put in another female relative beginning with a, although I wasn’t comfortable with it, and that threw me off. But 26d was fairly obvious so that put me back on track. Went to our local Orchid Show between both solving sessions, but plants there were somewhat lackluster this year, probably because of the recent cold weather (cold for us).

  34. Bit of a slog for me today: the annual brain cell cull at the Exeter Festival of Winter Ales yesterday probably didn’t help me much either. Glad to see a few other people found it a bit harder than some Saturdays.

  35. Such drama regarding 28a! On a technical point, should the answer pattern not be (4’1) rather than (5)?

  36. Quite enjoyed this. Everthing went quite well untill 28a which despite hints tips etc I cannot see despite having three letters

  37. It’s a funny old game……..

    I had no trouble with 28a but I couldn’t see 22a for love nor money.


    Thanks for the email BD.

  38. Ref 22a got it fairly quickly as it was one of my all time favourite progammes. I would love to see it return in its old form as there is so much material for them to work with

  39. I found this took much longer than a normal back pager, especially a Saturday one, but I think that is actually just because there are some very weak clues here, 10a and 27a in particular. I take the point that is more to 20d than first appears, but as you can put the answer in too easily without needing to understand it, I include that one too. The only one I struggled over that made me smile when I finally saw it was 19a. Sorry, not enjoyable and must do better….

  40. Enjoyed this one, a steady pace but got there eventually though I did have to check out the blog to check the parsing on some of my answers. I very rarely comment on this blog but I thought it about time to thank Big Dave (and latterly Senf for Sundays) and all bloggers because following this blog has hugely helped my understanding of cryptic crosswords. I used to find it very hard to finish the prize crosswords and I needed various hints and help, but nowadays I manage both weekend crosswords unaided. Thank you all, especially the setters!

  41. This was tricky, odd and has a few iffy clues to boot (27a, 28a, 26d (def) etc). Didn’t feel at all like one of our regular Saturday setters.

    I’m born and bred South of London, but even I don’t like the homophone – ‘could sound’, ‘to some’ or ‘in Kent/Essex’ and I’d have no complaint. I wouldn’t be at all happy if it were a homophone of something pronounced in a different regional accent, a bit unfair methinks.

    I think I enjoyed it, but overall I’m with Jane in the ‘umm’ camp.
    Many thanks to setter and to BD

  42. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very nice puzzle, quite tough in parts, but I was on the right wavelength. I liked 1d, thought that 27a was very original, didn’t like 28a. Last in was 10, favourite was 19a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  43. 28a was one of my first ones in. I’m still having trouble with 1a and 14d though. Isn’t the wavelength thing extraordinary!

    Love this blog. Thanks for the hints and entertainment.

  44. Coming from Cornwall, I didn’t think of trying 28a with a Surrey accent, so it didn’t quite work for me and consequently was the last answer in. Needless to say I didn’t like the clue, and only got there once I’d read the blog, so thanks to everyone. Today I have also learnt that the first letter of 19a is the single letter which represents posh, which I only got when I parsed 14d. I needed BD’s tips today to help me finish off after easy wins in the NE corner, so many thanks BD, and to the setter for providing a more challenging than normal brain teaser. 21d was my top clue this week.

  45. I decided to leave it until later today, as I too had trouble with 28a and found the hint which wasn’t there yesterday.Thx BD!
    I agree with many on e.g 10a, so it was a struggle…Needed maths to get the right answer to 27a as my first stab didn’t fit! My ‘blodger’ came in handy a few times…!
    Is it correct to say that in Surrey ‘cor-ner’ rhymes with owner?
    Still, good to finish it!

  46. As a southerner, 28a posed no problems, but I can see non-southerners struggling with this. However, I am still clueless as to what 10a is. There is a tragically obvious word that fits, but I still am not convinced.

    Apart from 10a I rather enjoyed this! 14d gets my vote as favourite due to the elation/groan moment when the penny dropped.

  47. Like everyone and their whippets, I was not impressed by 28a. Also 10a was pretty poor. Other than those, it was an excellent puzzle with some superb clues. 1a, 17a, 24a … great fun.

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