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DT 28677 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28677 (Hints)

The 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    Levity is unpleasant for the elderly (8)
If the answer is split (3,2,3) it could just about mean unpleasant for the elderly

5a    Learned thoroughly from Englishwoman or Irishman (3,3)
A three-letter word meaning from followed by a forename that could be that of an English woman or an Irish (or English!) man

9a    About to get showiest clothes in factory? (8)
A two-letter word meaning about or concerning followed by one’s showiest clothes

12a    Metalworker, one whose plans became firm? (7)
This person’s plans could be the start of a firm or company

13a    Sheet anchor (11)
This heavy item “anchors” sheets, typically on a desk

16a    Excessive admiration — from Leander? (4-7)
This could be what drove Leander to swim the Hellespont every night, until he drowned!


23a    Not in suitable gear (6)
A three-letter word meaning “not in” is followed by one meaning suitable

24a    Convinced it is more than zero (8)
This double definition is a lot easier to solve than it might seem at first

26a    Extremely healthy, or OK (4,4)
Two definitions


1d    Treasurer that’s bent rubs artist up the wrong way (6)
This treasurer of a school, or similar organisation, is derived from an anagram (bent) of RUBS followed by the reversal of our usual artist

2d    Reduce tension in exercise after low marks (6)
A verb meaning to exercise or deal with after three very low marks in an examination

7d    Example is made of soldier — understand thousand supporting that (8)
An airborne soldier is followed by (supporting in a down clue) a three-letter verb meaning to understand or get and the Roman numeral for a thousand

12d    In addition, hide article on Resistance, said Heath (11)
A charade of the hide of an animal, the definite article, R(esistance) and what sounds like (said) a heath

14d    Dark grey tea Carol brewed (8)
This looks as if it ought to be an anagram of TEA CAROL, but it’s actually a colloquial word for tea followed by an anagram (brewed) of CAROL

15d    A capital — as the locals write it, it faces north, cold and fragrant (8)
The A, gifted from the clue, is followed by how the locals spell this European capital city, the reversal (faces north in a down clue) of IT and C(old)

18d    According to the radio, deprived urban area shows dearth (7)
What sounds like (according to the radio) an adjective meaning deprived is followed by an urban area

19d    Look pleased about one’s figure (6)
A verb meaning to look pleased around I (one) gives this figure of speech

20d    Begun realignment to reveal fake (6)
Hidden (to reveal) inside the clue

The Crossword Club is now open.

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The Quick Crossword pun: rhea+wind+doze=rear windows

63 comments on “DT 28677 (Hints)

  1. 2* / 3*. This made a pleasant start to the crosswording day with the NW corner proving to be the most difficult and taking my time over 1*.

    My favourite was 23a closely followed by 13a.

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD.

    Now for the NTSPP and MPP.

  2. I’d agree with RD that this one is a 2* crossword. However, my favourite has to be 24a because for the first time for days it is ‘more than zero’ – we have puddles rather than thick snow and ice and the garden birds have all emerged from wherever it is they were snuggled down for the last five days.

    Thanks to whichever Saturday setter it was and to BD

    1. Like you, Sue, I’ve been watching the birds’ activity in the garden and the reappearance of long-tailed tits which, curiously, were missing when I submitted the entries for the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch. I digress… This was a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle and there were a number of occasions when the answers caused me to smile.

  3. Very enjoyable and reasonably straightforward, slowed down to a gallop for completion by 19d – **/***.

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 13a, and 18d – and I think I have to go with 18d.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  4. A pleasant diversion from the seemingly omnipresent snow. I wasn’t familiar with Leander so I googled him and it basically gave me the answer. However, the rest of the puzzle I found to be straightforward.

    Thanks to BD and setter 1.5*/3.5*

  5. Oh dear that R& W fun was over all too soon. I Imagine the DT will get plenty of cruciverbal prize entries today. Leander occurring to me was via Henley rowing association. My Fav and runner-up were as per RD but possibly in the reverse order. The Quickie presented just a bit more challenge. Thank you Mysteron and BD.

    1. I now see that R & W in Comments is discouraged – apologies for the transgression. 🤭

  6. I was a little over 2* time as I was inexplicably held up by four clues which, looking back, were not difficult, so 2.5* /3* overall for me. Favourite was 13a. Unlike CS we have yet to reach 24a territory in our part of the world, but I live in hope.

    Thanks to the Saturday setter for an entertaining workout, and to BD.

  7. Woohoo, completed whilst standing on a train enroute to London – got the answer to 11 across but where does Jack fit into it?

    1. Jack is often used to represent the abbreviated person in the first two letters of your solution – and that’s all I’m prepared to say as I can’t go to the Naughty Corner as we have to go out for some essential supplies

  8. A gentle, straightforward Saturday puzzle but certainly quite enjoyable. Only one thing spoiled it for me, 21a: a very weak, only-cryptic-by-the-skin-of-its-teeth clue which has no place in a Prize crossword – certainly not in the DT! 2* / 3*

    1. Like you and MalcolmR, I too had reservation as to the cryptic veracity of 21a.

    2. I think it is cryptic. I agree that the first three words would give the answer but not a cryptic one. Adding the second three makes it a good clue in my view.

      1. 21a is technically “cryptic” (just about) but it is very weak/obvious/transparent and has virtually nothing truly cryptic, mysterious, hidden, enigmatic, perplexing, obscure about it – and that’s what all good cryptic clues should have. It was inapposite to the rest of the clues, because they are all expertly written/constructed and contain real “crypticness”.

  9. NE and SE trickier than the other side. 24a unlocked 12d and a couple of others. 2* for me, with 7d favourite
    Thanks BD and setter

  10. Got through this one, though I did have to check my answer to 19d with the hints.

    2 homophones that don’t work for me in this one…..just saying……

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave.

  11. I found this crossword like the weather…..milder than the last few days. I’m sure that we’ve seen 1a already this week. Either that or I’ve got 1a wrong. Many thanks Saturday setter and BD.

        1. I don’t know how to post the vids directly but that one is a good prompt to an awful lot of french(ish) bits of crosswords

          1. John, I’ve edited your comment to make it play the video in place, which I hope is what you wanted.

      1. Yes, Florence, that one went straight in. No database needed to recall that it featured in a very recent puzzle I blogged :)

        What’s bothering me now is that when I wrote that hint I felt that we’d seen the answer somewhere recently and so I didn’t bother to provide a dictionary link. But now that I have looked in the database, the most recent appearances are a Toughie in May 2017 (before I was attempting toughies, I think) and a back-pager in January 2015 (back when I was just getting started). I did write a comment on the blog for the latter puzzle, so I suppose that’s where I was remembering it from. Time in crosswordland is a funny thing.

    1. We have seen 1a a few days ago. If we had not I doubt whether I would have got it so quickly. The other clue (which I cannot now recall) was easier to solve.

      1. Thank you for confirming that. It reassures me that I’m not going mad with the snow. I wonder if it’s the same setter.

  12. Completed in ** time. The NW corner was a bit slow, but as soon as it fell, the rest followed. My only reason for not finishing in * time was my insistence that there must be an “IS” inserted into 19d. I found 12d a bit clunky, and 21a was hardly cryptic. COTD 18d, it brought a smile to my face.

    Many thanks to the setter and BD.

    1. Ditto 19d. I always have difficulty with this type of clue of which we have a number recently. I was looking for a different type of figure and there were several to choose from.

  13. Struggled a bit earlier in the week a headcold filled my sinuses and emptied my brain but as the snow melts and my head clears all becomes clear. SE last corner to come to mind with a little help from the hints so TYVM
    to BD and the setter.
    14d and 7d faves today.

  14. Enjoyable diversion on a cold Saturday morning, although I shouldn’t complain as the white stuff spared us on its travels.

    Thought 5a was a bit weak but that was only a small niggle.

    Top three for me were 13,16&23a with 18d not far behind.

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

  15. Don’t normally look in on a weekend – but wanted to see if my parsing of 19d was what BD thought. The rest of the puzzle was very enjoyable with the possible exception of 12 & 18d. Not too sure about the ‘homophones’ there and I think that Gazza might probably agree.

    Thanks to setter and BD.

      1. The homophones are OK if you speak Estuary English like wot I do. I received this pronunciation from birth.

  16. Most enjoyable & would have been better if I wasn’t suffering from three cracked ribs. Don’t ask!

  17. Pretty straightforward for me which probably puts it as a more easier Saturday offering than usual – enjoyed it though and my favourite was 13a.

    16a took a bit of time on account of my knowledge of Greek Mythology being a tad sparse.

  18. I did not ‘gallop’ through this one and for me it was not ‘over too soon’. Don’t really know why looking back. Flatpack clues like 15d never really float my dingy and, like Gazza, the less said about 18d the better. Consequently, it was down on enjoyment for me – rather a chore actually. Probably just an off day. ***/**
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  19. Liked 18d. Also 11 and 16a. Top favourite 13a. For some reason I took ages over 1d followed only by 19d. Thanks setter, BD, and all.

  20. 1.5/3. Second time I’ve seen 1a this week. Favourites were 7&18d in that order. Thanks to the setter and BD for the hints.

  21. Enjoyable and at the fluffy end of the DT scale. My favourite was 23a. Thanks to the setter and BD.

    I’ve seen a lot of discussion of the subject lately and don’t really want to add to it, but will just say one thing. I think if we require puns to be perfect homophones in all accents it would kill off the clue type.

  22. Rural roads and snow meant that I could not get a paper until 2pm by which time I was suffering serious withdrawal symptoms, so first puzzle this week
    and most enjoyable.
    21a was one of the last as I was deeply suspicious of so obvious a clue. Last in was 18d a brow slapping moment.
    All in all fun and quite quick (for me)

  23. Super Saturday from the setter. Not a difficult puzzle but a real treat. Loads of excellent clues good fun and plenty of smiles along the way. Really liked a lot of the clues and to mention a few, 1a / 10a / 24a / 7d / 18d all hit the spot. The wrong four letter word in 16a held me up and serves me right for not reading the clue properly and was last in.

    Clue of the day: 18d

    Rating: ** / ****

    Thanks to BD and the setter.

  24. It took me ages to get on this setter’s wavelength, no idea why, but once I twigged it, I was off and running and loved it all.
    Fave is perhaps 13a, or maybe 18d, or 16a … Can’t make up my mind.
    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to BD, that’s a particularly fine 13a.

  25. I found today’s puzzle a bit of a head scratcher for a start. I just couldn’t get a toehold on the north-west corner, so I gradually solved here and there, until sufficient checking letters gave enough help to complete three-quarters of it. Once 1a had dawned on me, the remainder soon fell in to place. I have no grouse over 18d, making it one of my favourites with 16a, 1a & 13a. A very enjoyable solve. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  26. An enjoyable solve which I completed at a steady pace. I don’t have any problems with the homophones; as Kitty says if one took them too seriously they wouldn’t be around for long and that would be sad.
    2/3* overall, and the chestnut at 13a was my top clue.
    That to the Saturday setter, and to BD for the hints.

  27. I was terribly slow to get started but once on the go then things fell into place – I had more trouble with the Quickie.
    I didn’t have a problem with either of the homophones.
    24a was my last answer.
    I liked 11 and 16a and 17d. My favourite was 13a.
    Thanks to today’s setter and to BD.
    Snow is thawing now even though it’s only 2C and still feels jolly cold.

  28. A nice steady solve on this one. For me it didn’t hit the heights of some recent Saturday puzzles, but I’m still glad that I invested the time required to solve it. Favourite would have to be 12d. Thanks to the setter and to BD.

  29. Very difficult. Beaten by nw corner as I had never heard of 1a and the wordplay was pretty incomprehensible. As was 2d.
    Thanks all.

  30. I was slow to start with only a couple of the across and down clues going in on the first pass. But then they began to fill in, and with BD’s hints for the few holdouts I was able to finish. Quite enjoyable.

    Here’s hoping everyone has come through the snow and storm ok, and that the freezing rain doesn’t keep you indoors much longer, and that you still have power. Mother Nature certainly likes to test us all in different ways.

  31. I didn’t get any of the acrosses until 22ac, at which point I thought this was going to be a right stinker. From then on though progress was rapid, finishing in about */** time, so perhaps just a matter of getting on the setter’s wavelength?

  32. I seem to have found it trickier than most .
    24a is indeed a very fine clue .
    I had the wrong metal worker and the wrong cupboard for a long time.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  33. Thank you folks – I have not done the torygraph crossword for about 3 years and it has changed out of all recognition.
    With your helpful hints and tips over the last couple of weeks I have rejoined the crossword world and today completed it without any assistance!
    Thanks again

  34. Couldn’t get a paper today because of the snow, and my daughter had to photo her copy to me by e mail -about 75% of full size! However finished it OK finding it easier than the clues first suggested. 12d was a prime example- expecting it to be quite convoluted!
    Now to photo it again and send in!
    Thanks to setter and BD for the hints check

  35. OK This is totally off topic and I apologise but I am not sure where else to ask. What on earth does ‘woke’ mean?

    1. As far as I know it’s simply the past tense of the verb ‘wake’ – as in ‘I woke to discover that it was another beautiful morning’.

      1. That’s what I thought! But I keep seeing it in UK online newspapers and today heard it on some TV show here in Canada (I have trouble remembering anything these days so sorry can’t remember which one – and by the way where are my glasses? and why did I go down to the basement?) and they were describing the upcoming royal wedding as a ‘woke’ affair. For the life of me I really have no idea whay they mean by that.

        I just turned 64…. so I will probably never know. :-)

        1. Ah – just looked it up in the online Telegraph. Apparently it’s being used as an adjective meaning ‘socially aware’ – describing anyone and anything not expressing antediluvian views.
          Ho hum – don’t think we need to bother ourselves overly with that one, do you!

          1. Definitely Not! LOLOL. How funny. My lovely hubby just said ‘Seriously? You asked about that nonsense?’

            So I am going to pour him a nice nightcap of Scotch (even though it is only 7.20 p.m.) and have a glass of wine and have a look at ‘tomorrow’s crossword today’ as we refer to it in this house and hopefully giggle at the smutty and corny ones and puzzle overnight on the flipping clever ones. And then check this wonderful site for help on the ones I have no clue about

  36. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle. I found most of it quite straightforward, but I got stuck in the SE corner. Needed the hints for 24a & 18d, couldn’t get 18d initially because I got 26a wrong, doh! Favourite was 15d,was 3*/3* for me.

  37. Isn’t solving crosswords peculiar? I thought last week’s was relatively straightforward and finished it in record time without any hints, while others found it difficult. This week the position is quite the opposite, so much use was made of the BRB, and the blog for the clue to 19d as I was looking at a totally different figure, Favourites this week week were 12d and 16a. Thanks to BD and the setter.

    Thanks also go to John Bee for that wonderful rendition by the very funny Kenneth Williams who used to make me laugh just by looking at him. An hilarious start to an otherwise damp Sunday morning.

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