DT 28659 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28659 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28659 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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    Superior stock fear her presence when aroused (10,5)
An anagram (when aroused) of FEAR HER PRESENCE

11a    False tale about strength of character (5)
A charade of a three-letter false tale or lie and a word meaning about

12a    Novel article in shop, kind of ceramic (9)
A three-letter word meaning novel and the indefinite article inside a large shop

14a    Religious education needed by man who has big shoes to fill? (6)
The abbreviation for Religious Education followed by a man

16a    Back round university, indolent (6)
The back or dorsum around U(niversity)

22a    Supporters get mad gathering in honour of United (9)
A verb meaning to get mad around (gathering) a two-letter word meaning in honour of and U(nited)

25a    Easily persuaded man to take up jangling a bell (9)
A four-letter word for man around (to take up) an anagram (jangling) of A BELL

26a    Enjoy your company, but clear off (3,5,4,3)
This could mean to enjoy your company but it’s actually a phrase meaning “clear off” or “go away”


1d    Calm account provided in movie (7)
The abbreviation for AC(count) and the two-letter word meaning provided or “on condition that” inside a movie

2d    Dress in ermine, standing up in novel bonnet (7)
Hidden (in) and reversed (standing up in a down clue) inside the clue

4d    Captain in Eastern sea showing relief (8)
A captain or chief inside E(astern) and a sea – relief here is a method of moulding in which the design stands out from the surface

7d    Excite special quality in semiprecious stone (7)
That special quality or appeal inside a semiprecious stone

8d    Beg companion to be excused from ballet manoeuvre (7)
Drop CH (Companion of Honour) from a leap during which a dancer beats his or her heels together (ballet manoeuvre)

16d    Whole lot chanted about Hebrews (7)
A verb meaning chanted around the abbreviation for the biblical book HEB(rews)

19d    Agree to restrict nasty smell made by piece of furniture (7)
A verb meaning to agree around (to restrict) a two-letter nasty smell

21d    Swimmer married in elegant room (6)
In Crosswordland a swimmer is usually a fish, and this one is no exception – put M(arried) inside an elegant room

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: Delius+myth=Delia Smith

71 comments on “DT 28659 (Hints)

  1. A good puzzle for lovers of long thingumajigs. The ballet thing in 8d is something I just managed to rescue from the memory bonfire. I was trying to justify another answer for 11a, so that was my last to sort out.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

    P.S. I highly recommend Dutch’s Independent puzzle today.

    1. Me too with 11a, which I had bunged in. I tumbled to the correct answer on reading your comment!

    2. We took your advice and printed out the Dutch puzzle from the Independent.
      Very glad we did as it is excellent.

  2. Two somewhat tricky puzzles in one – North and South. I finished the South first with hardly any of the North completed. The four long answers helped a lot in completion at a fast canter – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 23a, 26a, and 20d – I would normally choose 26a as the 15-letter non-anagram but 20d takes the gold medal today, a very good charade.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  3. I’d have said more of a crossword for lovers of clues where you put something inside something else – thirteen of today’s twenty-eight clues requiring insertions

    Thanks to BD and whichever Saturday it is

        1. I remembered the ‘superior stock’ and so just checked that all the right letters were there in the anagram

  4. Thank you for your hint for 11a, Dave, because I’d finished the puzzle apart from this answer. As everyone will appreciate, once you become fixated upon a particular answer it’s difficult to stop yourself reverting to it – and, because of the checking letters, there is another incorrect option. I loved this puzzle and it’s been a pleasure to lock horns with the setter.

    1. I’m not sure that the alternative answer accurately fits the definition “false tale”. Perhaps this could be further discussed on Friday in the full review.

  5. 2* / 4*. Three long anagrams helped this enjoyable puzzle come together quite smoothly, although there were a couple of what seemed to me to be errors: in 5d the Greek island is spelt wrongly; and in 16d, although there is a fairly common expression the “whole 16d”, the answer itself does not match the clue definition “whole lot”.

    Parsing 22a took me the longest time, 25a was my last one in, 19d raised a smile, and 11a was my favourite.

    11a is an interesting clue. Once the checkers are in place there are only two possible words which could fit as Kitty also appears to have found out. The wrong one actually matches the definition “false tale” which in fact is part of the wordplay for the correct answer. Coincidence or deviously clever setter?

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD.

    1. RD – we have had the Greek island spelt this way before and Wikipedia (a reliable source?) gives both spellings although the ‘other’ spelling is far more common.

      1. Mmm…

        Maybe, but I don’t think you’d find any atlas, travel agent or airline spelling it that way (nor any self-respecting Greek).

        1. A self-respecting Greek will use the Greek alphabet; the name can be transliterated into the Roman alphabet in two ways.

      2. The only entry I can find in my (Revised 13th Edition) BRB is with the spelling in the puzzle being used as a name.

  6. This was one of those puzzles that almost took longer in the parsing than the solving, which was fairly comfortable until I sorted out why some of them were what they were. Overall this was an enjoyable challenge with a sense of achievement at the end, so 3* /4* from me with 23a my favourite from 26a.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter and BD. Another afternoon of rugby awaits.

  7. There never were such times! A crossword I could complete without hints. Is the abbreviation in the middle of 16d cosher (ho ho) that held me up for ages.
    20d was very clever.
    Thanks all

  8. The four solid rocket booster anagrams put this one into orbit in ** time. Most enjoyable start to the w/e. I did not have a preferred clue until, reading RD’s offering realised the smoothness of 11a was indeed worthy of a bun.
    Solved over a coffee pot and listening to ’30 Year’s Fidelity’ compilation on Tidal. Lovely.
    Have a good w/e all. I am working and will miss the game : (

  9. Very nice but I had to be very disciplined not to enlist the services of an anagram solver for 1a & 3d!
    Like RD, it took me a little while to reconcile the parsing of 22a – I hadn’t allotted sufficient letters to one part of the answer.

    Learned something that was new to me about 1d – worth looking it up in the BRB.

    26a was my clear favourite.

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

    PS As Kitty commented – do have a go at Dutch’s puzzle in today’s Indy, well worth your time.

  10. Turns out I got 2 wrong (11 & 14 across) and yet found the rest of it fairly straightforward. Just goes to show …

  11. A very enjoyable solve, trucked on nicely until just 14a was left. No amount of head scratching or banging helped and I had to come here for assistance. I’ll also admit I needed to use electrons to solve the 3d anagram. Parsing 22a took a bit of time, but I got there in the end.

    Overall ***/**** from me with no particular COTD.

    Many thanks to BD and the setter. Now then, Have I got time for a walk to the park before the rugby? Oh, I think so.

  12. Top half took longer than the bottom half, but all completed without any e-help so I’m happy. 16D was my favorite. Thanks to the setter and BD.

    NTSPP up next and I’ll download the Indy puzzle for tomorrow.

  13. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, a cleverer answer than the correct one.
    Unfortunately, did not agree with 16a and 22a.

    A good puzzle. Many thanks.

    1. Big Dave asks very nicely – in big red letters under his hints – that people do not put wrong answers, whole, partial or incorrect in their comments on the weekend prize puzzles

  14. A very comfortable after lunch solve – nothing too taxing, but most enjoyable. I have certain reservations about 16a, but that may well be simply down to my own ignorance of the word’s other meanings. Now to prepare for a trip into our second city for an evening at the Symphony Hall. Thanks to setter and BD.

  15. Another tricky puzzle continuing the theme for the week.
    Took some time to complete and I still don’t understand 16d.
    I do hope the crossword editor is a bit kinder next week to those of us who don’t have the time or inclination to struggle with the tough level of puzzles we have been presented with this last week.
    Thx to all

    1. There’s an old saying Brian, that ‘one man’s meat is another man’s poison’. So I for one would take quite the oposite view as regards this week’s puzzles – including today’s.

  16. I thought this was harder than **, and pleased it was as it filled up all the preamble before the Ireland game!
    Didn’t have a problem with any of the clues although some took a while to a while to come into focus.
    Thanks to BD and the setter

    Is the Independent on line free or do you need to join their club?
    Off to watch England in pub now!

    1. The Indy puzzles are free to access but you do need a bit of patience to get through the adverts which are the way in which the newspaper earns its revenue (and pays the setters!).

  17. This has been yet another ace crossword to add to the week’s tally. Excellent stuff! I too completed this in two halves, the bottom half being fairly straightforward and the top half requiring a bit more thought. 19d was my favourite followed closely by 14a which was also my last one in. 2.5/4* overall.
    Thanks to the Setter, and to BD for the hints.

  18. 1a and 3d were bung-ins then checked. I couldn’t see the wood for the trees as far as 9a was concerned. Simple though it was. I had the wrong definition for ages. Favourites were 26a and 8d. Off to put an apple cake in the oven before the rugby starts. Many thanks BD and setter.

  19. On first read through, I thought it was going to be another extremely tricky puzzle, but I elected to use electronic help for 3d and that started me off. Just as well I did, I can’t pronounce 3d let alone spell it.
    Once off I found it very enjoyable, not easy though. I got 6d early on so that helped a lot.
    I didn’t think 16a meant indolent, but it’s there in the thesaurus, much to my surprise.
    My fave was 26a, but 8d and 20d hot on its heels.
    Thanks to the Saturday setter and to BD for his hints.

  20. I found this an excellent puzzle but tricky, thank goodness for the anagrams that went in fairly easily. Spent ages trying to sort an anagram for 22a assuming that “mad” was the indicator for it. Then tried fitting the wrong island to 5d and finally that being the last one in due to the spelling issue. A lot of great clues and difficult to choose the stars.

    Clues of the day: 6a / 16d / 19d but could have a lot more.

    Rating: *** / ****

    Thanks to BD and the setter.

  21. Gap between two rugby matches gave me time to finish off NW corner (having sought help with 1d which I had wrongly bunged in)and now to comment on an enjoyable sail through the South plus nice challenge in the North. Favs were 1a, 18a, 26a and 8d. Alternative spelling in 5d threw me for a while. Thank you Mysteron and BD.

        1. Mistake – I tried to delete which clearly did not work. I did re-post it to Brian for whom it was intended. I apologise if you were offended by it.

  22. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable, but very tricky puzzle. The long anagrams helped, but the rest of it was very difficult. Last in was 7d, which I had wrong at the first attempt, but needed the hints to get it right. Favourite was 26a. Was 4*/3* for me.

  23. This one was so far over my head it was observed from the Greenwich Observatory. Even the hints have only given me 7 answers. The East side has only 3 answers written in despite my efforts. D- for my performance today.

  24. What a very good crossword week it’s been, including today.
    To begin with I thought I was in for a struggle – very few across answers but then I got lots of the downs.
    Being unable to get 1a until quite close to the end meant that I didn’t have any starting letters at the top.
    It took me ages to see why 22a was what it had to be.
    I lost count of how many times I tried to put 3d in before giving up and checking the spelling.
    I liked 9 and 25a and 8 and 16d and my favourite was 26a.
    Thank you to today’s setter for the crossword and to BD for the hints.
    I’m going to try to make myself keep the NTSPP for tomorrow.

  25. Bottom half completed before top barely started. 1a and d held me up but when they came so did the rest (mostly)
    I liked 19d and 16d was a big penny drop moment.
    14a was LOI and I had to look at the hint to fully parse it. Thanks BD.
    I also liked the backward lurker but sticking with 19d as COTD.
    Thanks to setter too and the midweek bloggers who I always read but rarely have time to comment.

  26. A fairly straightforward ** solve here, though with one or two entered not fully understood. I didn’t know 1ac, but with enough checking letters and the anagram fodder it was straightforward enough to work out. No idea about the ballet move, but again the answer was apparent enough. Last in 14ac where I needed to work through the alphabet following the religious education bit before the penny dropped.

  27. Late on parade today, busy day. I can echo a lot of what’s been said above, I also had the bottom half in with only a couple in the top. Like others I was desperately trying to justify a different answer for 11a.

    The whole thing took me much longer than a normal Saturday so I thought it a lot more difficult or maybe I was just off wavelength today. No complaints though, I loved the challenge and it’s always satisfying to finish after a tussle.

    Many thanks to all

  28. A late start and later finish for us. We did this on the iPad and, without pencil and paper to help with the big anagrams, you can imagine we were a little slower than we’d have liked. Overall a high class offering with much to admire – 3*/4*.

    Not sure what the debate is around 11a. One word that fits the checkers clearly fits the clue as well; the other doesn’t. Simples.

    Our pick of the clues was 23a.

    Thanks to BD and the setter.

  29. ***/***. I gave 6d & 20d standing ovations :-) .
    As many here, I too was fixed on the wrong answer for 11a. I used a glossary of ballet terms to help solve 8d as I’d not first worked out 1a.

    I don’t like ‘get mad’ in 16a, that should be ‘make mad’. There are one or two other minor glitches in the clue wordings which spoiled an otherwise very good puzzle. A good week apart from friday’s shoddy offering.

  30. Splendid puzzle. ***/****. Had to put it down yesterday, slept on it, and sailed through the rest this morning. Great end to a great week.

    1. I too had to look again this morning.
      Needed BD’s help to understand the parsing of a few. Seems I had 11a incorrect. No wonder it didn’t make sense in the parsing!!
      Many thanks for the help.

  31. Well, it’s finally complete, and just in time for the last of this weeks 6 nations matches, but it was a real struggle and I needed all the help I could get. I still don’t get the cryptic part of 9a, and have not come across this particular spelling of the greek island at 5d before. Like Jane, I also learned something with 1d.

    I’m blaming my miserable performance this week down to my head being stuffed full of a heavy cold, so there were several “doh” moments, but 11a wasn’t one of them. I can’t think of any other answer than the one that fits the clue. Isn’t parsing strange though? Many of you mentioned north and south, but I completed east and then west. 20d was my favourite clue this week, and one refreshing cup is on its way. Very many thanks go to BD this week as without him I wouldn’t even have got started!

  32. I found this very good by Sat Prize standards and certainly enjoyable enough. That’s 6 excellent puzzles on the trot, making it the best week I can remember for ages. Let’s hope it continues thus. 2.5* / 3.5*.

  33. Get in last as always, with grandsons arriving here for their half term, was slowed up…
    There were a few which had to be until the penny dropped, but very enjoyable, e.g. 19& 20d. 16d also had me fooled for a while, and was last one in. Thanks To BD for the confirmations. So will send in to DT for the fountain pen, anyone want one??…..

  34. Just wanted to give 15d an honourable mention as the answer made me laugh out loud!

    Got caught by 11a and it was very much a ‘doh’ moment when I realised as the answer I’d originally been happy with doesn’t actually parse well at all! 14a was my last one in.

    Very enjoyable puzzle for me this week, thanks everyone.

Comments are closed.