DT 28671 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28671 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28671 (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    Strip having turned brown bathing in river (6)
The reversal (having turned) of a shade of brown inside a river

9a    Crazy person from Northern Ireland area absorbed in computer (6)
The abbreviations for Northern Ireland and Area inside a type of computer

10a    Greek character cheers collecting ultimately excellent marks (8)
A letter (character) of the Greek alphabet and a two-letter a colloquial word for cheers around (collecting) the final letter (ultimately) of [excellen]T

14a    Refined frigid brunettes I’d abandoned — one wouldn’t make much of a catch! (13)
An anagram (refined) of FRIG[ID] BRUNETTES after I’D has been dropped (abandoned)

23a    Front of book, e.g. Master and Servant (5,4)
An appellation of which Master is an example (e.g.) followed by a servant

24a    Temperature right in old Spanish kingdom to produce aromatic herb (8)
T(emperature) followed by R(ight) inside an old Spanish kingdom

26a    Looks for food and shelter initially having no fixed abode (8)
This delightful word meaning burrows into the ground for food is followed by the initial letter of S[helter]

27a    Strapping king in private room (6)
The Latin abbreviation for king inside a private room


1d    Spoil mother with advance of years (6)
A mother, usually one in the animal kingdom, followed by the advance of years that gets us all!

3d    Curse about engineer briefly coming up in police hunt (7)
An interjection used as a curse around the reversal (coming up in a down clue) of the abbreviation of ENG(ineer) gives a systematic police search for a wanted person

5d    Learn precisely what to do for post in Greendale (3,2,3,3)
This could mean what you have to do to collect your post from the fictional postman who lives in Greendale

8d    Provide more weapons for East German last of all (8)
This verb meaning to provide more weapons is followed by the German for East

15d    Person in Crowd Scene One in movie, concealing head — fan? (9)
It’s all in where you split the wordplay! – a person in a crowd scene is followed by someone in a movie without (concealing) their initial letter (head)

16d    Classic sports car — Micra’s crashed catching it (8)
This classic sports car, manufactured by Reliant with an engine provided by Ford, comes from an anagram (crashed) of MICRA’S around (catching) IT from the clue

20d    Pay agriculture department unknown amount (6)
The abbreviation for the Government department responsible for, among other things, agriculture is followed by a mathematical unknown

22d    Piece of bric-a-brac made of copper and gold turned up around India (5)
The chemical symbol for copper followed by the reversal (turned up in a down clue) of the heraldic term for gold around the letter represented in the NATO Phonetic alphabet by India

The Crossword Club is now open.  I’ll be back after my monthly visit to the Village Café & Market.

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The Quick Crossword pun: cook+kook+lock=cuckoo clock


Pictures of the Birthday Bash are now available

84 comments on “DT 28671 (Hints)

  1. A very pleasant solve this cold morning. Nothing terribly obscure, and very enjoyable while it lasted. 5d became my favourite once I understood the connection, and overall this was 2* /4* for me.

    Thanks to the Saturday setter and BD.

  2. The Cryptic crossword is the best way to start the day, accompanied by a bucket of tea provided by my wonderful and understanding husband, and today’s did not disappoint. Lots of good stuff – my favourite for smile quotient was 5d. Thank you to the setter and to BD for all the enjoyment.

  3. Not bad for a Saturday Prize – up to about average compared to a weekday back-pager. My favourite clue was 23a, which is better with the italics as included in the paper version. 2.5* / 3.5*.

  4. Much fun to be had whilst playing this comparatively undemanding word game. My Fav was 5d. Thank you Mysteron and BD.

  5. 2* / 3*. A very nice start to the weekend not too difficult with some interesting words scattered among the clues and answers. Double ticks were awarded to 14a, 17a, 26a & 5d.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

    P.S. Apart from the crosswords, for me one of the essential parts of the Daily Telegraph is the Matt cartoon and in today’s colour magazine it was lovely to see an article celebrating his 30th anniversary as their front page cartoonist. 30 years of consistent brilliance!! Incredible.

    1. Yes indeed re Matt cartoons – superb and one can rely on finding them on the front page which is more than can be said about the Cryptic Crossword and the back page.

    2. Hear hear re Matt
      On some days Matt and the crossword are the only things I must read in the dead tree version.
      It would be nice if we could have a Matt rendition of the man doing the crossword that appears in the electronic version.

    3. Very much enjoyed reading the article in the DT on Matt today, obviously a really nice person who works hard to bring a smile to our faces when we read the paper, print or on line. One of the most heard questions in our house is “Did you read Matt today”. Congrats to him of 30 years of doing just that, perfectly and always on topic. Long may he reign 😊

    4. There was an interview with Matt on the Andrew Marr Show this morning.

      Available on BBC iPlayer – 34 minutes into the programme.

      1. Just listened – very interesting, thanks. I’m amazed that he produces six cartoons every day from which one is selected for publication.

  6. I had to check 16d with my husband, as I’m not familiar with classic cars, and had to use the old memory bank for 5d. It’s a long time since I’ve heard Greendale mentioned, but it’s my favourite clue, although I liked 14a too. Many thanks BD and setter

      1. I see – the clue has not been written in its entirety in the hints. The words “in old Spanish kingdom” have been omitted after “Temperature right in”.

        1. That’s what comes of quickly reading the hint and not checking that the clue itself wasn’t transferred correctly from the Telegraph Puzzles puzzle to the blog template.

          I’ve corrected the clue so there shouldn’t be any more confusion now

            1. Morning Big Dave, Just read the results of your survey and a good read it made. Interesting points and a lovely insight.
              Have to admit to being a ‘lurker’ and have used the site for clues and night time read to keep up with the regulars and the gossip.
              Off to get the DT now, no rugby and snowed in so I may be in for a record solving time (before bedtime)! Keep up the good work………..The G.L.C

              1. Welcome to the blog Kevin

                Don’t worry about being a lurker – our policy is “ambitious managed delurking”, whatever that means!

    1. BD’s hint is very helpful with regard to 24a – look up the kingdom and all will become clear

  7. Delightful way to start the weekend. Never occurred to me to consider 16d as a ‘classic sports car’ – guess that’s the age thing catching up on me!

    Ticks awarded to 14&26a plus 5d with the laurel wreath going to 5d.

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

  8. I have to admit to a FAIL today. I guessed the answer to 26a, but have never heard the first term before. As for 20d, I just couldn’t see it and had to resort to electronics. Minofagandfishx didn’t fit.

    Many thanks to the setter and BD.

  9. At first sight, I really thought that I was going to have problems with this puzzle but I didn’t and I’ll just mention as well for the benefit of Crypticsue, who at some time during the day will turn her attention to the GK puzzle, that I very much doubt it’ll cause her much head scratching.

    1. In the time I’ve had available (not a lot) I’ve done most of the GK but left a few for Mr CS to look up as I don’t want to spoil his fun ;)

  10. Enjoyable Saturday puzzle. Probably liked 5d the most. Have a good weekend all. By the way, the final incarnation of 16d was an abomination. If you’ve never seen one look on line – the designer must have been blindfolded when drawing it up.

    1. IMHO Reliant design always left a lot to be desired and I am reminded of the Robin of Only Fools and Horses fame!

              1. It is said that it was given to Princess Anne by her parents as a joint 20th birthday cum Christmas present.

      1. I’ve just seen one one my afternoon walk – yes, reminiscent of a tatty Reliant Robin, but with 4 wheels.

        1. I fail to see a connection between 16d and a Reliant Robin. Having said that I also do not think of 16d as a classic sports car, but it was very easy to solve with all those consonant checkers.

      2. Being somewhat pedantic, I would point out that the Reliant in ‘Only Fools & Horses’ was not a Robin, but a Supervan.

  11. A good day today, so pleased the memory bank managed to recall events of many years ago, making 5 down a top favourite. I totally agree with Rabbit Dave, Matt sets the day off on a Happy note, smiling as you pick up your pen and turn to the back page. Thank you to the setter and BD.

  12. This turned out to be a curate’s egg for me – some very good clues, and some not so good, completed at a fast canter – **/***.

    Standout favourite – 5d (which I got without having to research Greendale, not sure what that says about me).

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  13. Managed to complete this despite a heavy cold. NW the last to fall.
    COTD as others have said has to be 5d.
    A wrong ending to 8d held up the anagram in 14a.

  14. Some of this was a bit of a struggle, the rest went in well.

    I do not understand s(nout) in the hint for 26a. Can someone tell me what I am missing, please?

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave

    1. That’s because it should be the ‘initial letter of Shelter’ I think BD was thinking of the verb that is the first part of this clue and an associated word which went into his hint. He’s around this afternoon so I’ll give him a little while and if he doesn’t edit his hint, I will

          1. Thanks for that, I made a booboo on this clue but after reading the blog and your revision I see my mistake now. Rereading my earlier post I realise I forgot to thank you and the setter so please accept my thanks now. I blame this cold which has bunged me up mentally as well as physically.
            I’ve been mainlining Lemsip for 3 days now.

  15. **/***. I wonder how many of our non-UK contributors recognized the 5d location or the government department in 20d. I expect reverse engineering would get them there. Thanks to the setter and BD for the hints.

    1. We knew the 5d place but not the department in 20d. After this puzzle we moved on to the GK puzzle and there was the department in one of the clues.

  16. Stuck on 4a. Thought it was an anagram but can’t make it work. Got another idea but there is a letter extra!

    1. Not an anagram – a big of Lego – the definition is shining and you need the chemical symbol for silver and some ‘items thrown out’

  17. Another excellent puzzle following on from Giovanni yesterday that really suited me with some great anagrams. Completed with NE corner last to fall and got 8d from the word play without knowing the German part. Last in 10a that took a bit of working out, and didn’t know Greendale in 5d but figured it out. Again as yesterday so many top notch clues to choose from. A contender for puzzle of the week in my opinion.

    Clues of the day: 14a / 5d / 15d and many more.

    Rating 2.5* / 4.5*

    Thanks to BD and the setter.

  18. A nice start to my Saturday, good fun.
    I had no idea where Greendale was but I guessed the answer, so pleased to see it was correct. Likewise the agri department in 20d. I shudda googled them but I was so sure they were right, I saved myself the trouble.
    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to BD for his hints.

  19. Gentle but not without its good points: 1*/3.5*. My pick was 10a. Thanks to setter and hinter.

  20. Like Senf, I thought this was uneven. Both 14a and 17a are clunky and obvious, possibly as intentional provision of footholds. On the other hand, 25a, 8d, and 19d all have smooth surfaces and answers that emerge nicely from the wordplay. I had heard of the 16d but didn’t know much about it, so I’ve been researching its specs – amusing what used to pass for a sports car. Thanks to the setter and to BD.

  21. Enjoyable to me. Do not think anyone will have much to complain about. 17a was my first one in. Easy to get from the first four words as a “straight” clue. Many which I thought would prove difficult revealed themselves to me as if by magic e.g 10a. Favourites across 10 and 14 and down 8 15 and 20. The SE was last to fall with 25 and 27 being the last two. Thanks to setter and BD having read the hints post-solve to check. I always enjoy everyone’s comments, varied as they are.

  22. A nice gentle puzzle which I managed at half time between Ireland v Wales. the penny has just dropped for 8d and I’ve changed west to east, so now it makes sense. 4a was last in as like Toni I had * at the end and so it was the last clue parsed. No help required today, woo hoo!! 5d made me smile and recall my daughter’s enjoyment of the programme, it was a while ago as she’s 34 today, and childminding duties are therefore required this evening! A few favourites for various reasons were 10a 14a and 20d.

    Like many others, Matt and the crossword are my first go to’s of the Telegraph, so well deserved recognition for Matt, and an amazing 30 years of brilliant cartoons.

  23. A mixture of some very good clues and one or two clunkier examples. Still made for a fair challenge. 8d was my favourite although 5d wasn’t bad.
    2/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

  24. Mostly a straightforward solve but I’m ashamed that I didn’t know neither the department nor the definition regarding 20d.

    Enjoyable puzzle however and “must do better” written on today’s report card.

    Thanks to BD and setter – DNF

  25. About middling difficulty I thought. A little difficulty in the NW corner with 1ac and 3d, and in the NE corner with 8d. 5d was a new phrase to me and, while I got the general idea what I needed to be doing, I needed all the checking letters to get the words exactly right. :-)

  26. A pleasant ending to a not too taxing cryptic crossword week. A fairly mixed bag of clues, but I did like 5, 8 & 15d in particular. A nice puzzle to solve after a Saturday partly spent looking for soft furnishings in some of Kidderminster’s stores.

  27. Well I am rubbish today, giving up with two thirds done. Unfortunately the ones I need help on are not the ones with hints. Perhaps brain will kick in later over a cup of tea. Disheartening when so many report finding this easy today.

    1. Don’t worry Lizzie, I had a big struggle with this too. Most of the ‘easy’ camp are Toughiers, so they are bound to find it easy.

      1. I would never use the word “easy” when referring to the DT cryptic crossword. For ninety nine percent of the population it’s totally off their radar and we should never fotget that! It will never actually be easy.

    1. Not last month or next month it must be this month.

      Takes his Lemsip off to the naughty corner.

      1. You would be a candidate for the naughtie step if I knew what on earth your hint meant!!

  28. Can only think the crossword editor fancies an easier time with less answers to check. Way way above my paygrade. Dreadful.
    For me *****/*

  29. Opened this one after a great day viewing the day’s rugby. Good capable crossword which amused and pleased. **/***
    Thanks to setter & BD.
    Off to make tea for the ladies of the house who have been watching awful TV and don’t really deserve it.

  30. Much enjoyed this puzzle though bewildered by Greendale. COTD 14a followed by 10a. Thanks to setter and BD.

  31. Enjoyable. Finished on my second session today. Why is it that after struggling to finish on Saturday when I look again on Sunday morning everything falls into place quickly
    Particularly liked 5d also thought 8d clever

    1. Because there’s a bit at the back of your brain somewhere that keeps on thinking about the clues even though the rest of you has moved on to other things. That’s what I believe anyway, which is why if you’re stuck, it’s always worth putting the crossword down for a while.

      1. I believe that also, proved when an answer suddenly pops into your head when you are doing something completely different.

  32. Well I did finish on Saturday am but with family staying no chance to look in on the blog.Like most, I thought 5d was a peach. There were a few goodies to savour, eg 14a as an anagram and 26a. Luckily didn’t need the hints but Google to confirm so thanks BD, and the setter.
    Gloom on the Rugby front though -why don’t they listen to me….?

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