DT 28707 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28707 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28707 (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    Excited at a cheap bill with a certain order (12)
An anagram (excited) of AT A CHEAP BILL

11a    Two men, both short and small, used as fall guys (7)
The shortened forms of two men’s names followed by S(mall)

12a    Top Ten record maybe covered by One Direction, extremely colourless (7)
A three-letter word commonly used to describe a Top Ten record inside one of the four main directions of compass points

16a    Examined bug placed by journalist receiving pressure (9)
A six-legged bug and our usual journalist around (receiving) P)ower)

21a    Core group of students to welcome around the French university (7)
The usual group of students around (to welcome) the single-letter Latin abbreviation for around, the French definite article and U(niversity)

23a    Energy goes before a nap that’s cut short — most convenient! (7)
E(nergy) precedes (goes before) the A from the clue and an afternoon nap without its final letter

24a    Left back that is certain to get time off (7)
L(eft) followed by the reversal (back) of the Latin abbreviation for “that is” and an adjective meaning certain

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

William Henry Davies

26a    Standing alone in deep end moving a bit, pleasant but I must get out (12)
An anagram (moving a bit), or more a case of moving one letter to the end, of IN DEEP END followed by an adjective meaning pleasant without (must get out) the I


1d    It could be the thing (7)
Two definitions – the first being a definition by example (it could be) of a part of speech

2d    Parking up with pastries for little nippers? (7)
A simple charade of P(arking), UP from the clue and some pastries

3d    Creatures great and small grabbing first aid offered by this person? (9)
Two three-letter creatures, one great and one small, around the abbreviation for first

6d    Make of liquid I’ve taken in pain (7)
An anagram (liquid) of I’VE inside a pain

7d    Sisters’ place with a lino designed to be boring? (12)
… these sisters are nuns

10d    This person entering exams works OK (12)
The first person singular pronoun inside some exams (in the UK except Scotland) taken by school students as part of the national curriculum and followed by a woks or plant

17d    Cult number one upwardly-mobile area (7)
A cult followed by abbreviations of number and one reversed (upwardly-mobile in a down clue)

18d    Carry off pretty trailing flower in Devon (7)
An adjective meaning pretty follows a river (flower) in Devon

22d    Rude to axe old boy that’s part of act (5)
Start with a seven-letter adjective meaning rude and drop the abbreviation for Old Boy

The Crossword Club is now open.

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The Quick Crossword pun: roar+spin+itch=raw spinach

33 comments on “DT 28707 (Hints)

  1. A mild but enjoyable Prize puzzle. I wonder if 11a will generate twice as much controversy as 4d did yesterday? 2* / 3*

    1. Re 11a – I don’t think so. A very straightforward clue. If it had appeared in a Sunday Virgilius, I doubt that I would have considered that it merited appearing in the hints.

      1. Senf. Yes it is a straightforward clue and so was 4d on Friday – that clue used a device once only, which caused some controversy, whereas this clue uses a very similar device, but dually! I see no problem with either clue myself – I was merely wondering if the contention would be consistent.

  2. 2* /4* for this pretty straightforward but enjoyable and pleasant Prize Puzzle. I enjoyed the evergreen 4d but my favourite was 12a. Spring back on hold here in the Marches as low cloud and heavy rain conspire to deepen the gloom.

    Many thanks to our Saturday setter and BD.

  3. Something of a curate’s egg for me but reasonably straightforward and completed at a gallop – **/**.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 12a and 22d.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  4. This was a pleasant way to pass the morning on a damp and dismal day in South Cheshire and, like Senf, I appreciated 22d. Now for the Liverpool and Manchester local derbies…

  5. Nothing to trouble the old noggin too much today and the picture above illustrating 11a has jollied up a very dull day in Devon.

  6. Quite a lot of clever clues I thought. However, in 15d I can’t see how skirt equates to the five letters required in the middle of the answer which can only be what it is. Otherwise, I found it very enjoyable. Thanks to all.

  7. Stowed away in short order this morning although, like H, I couldn’t reconcile myself to the ‘skirt’ in 15d.

    Can’t resist the ‘aah’ factor so I’ll give the laurel wreath to 2d.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to BD for the club.

  8. This was just enough to keep the cogs whirring. 12a has top spot followed by 23a and 25a. Thank you setter and BD.

  9. A pleasant enough solve after a good walk beside the briny at Gorleston. Seems that our east coast weather is a little more spring-like than some are experiencing today. No standout clues, but most enjoyable all the same. Thanks to BD and setter.

  10. I must have been doing a different puzzle. It too me two pints rather than the usual single pint!

      1. The first pint doesn’t touch the sides. The second takes a little longer. By the time I down the fifth I may have slowed down, given the variable time taken per pint, how would this work? Oh b****r. More numbers.

  11. It’s still cold in the west, with Greenland winds coming all year so far…
    After missing the blog last w/e through activities elsewhere, still managed to get it posted electronically. I found it tricky in places today but got there in the end. Was convinced by the picture in 2d however!
    Will have all Four of the little ones here by mid p.m. so will have duties to perform…
    Thanks to BD and setter and enjoy the schools being off next week all of you!

  12. Finished eventually but today wasn’t totally 10d. My fault not the setter put 11a in the wrong place and made a mess of the grid. Also 12a was put in wrong because I didn’t read the clue properly. Grid now looks like a spider has crawled out of the inkwell over it.
    Favourites of the ones I can still read 7d and 8a.
    Thanks to BD and setter.

  13. Must be on the easier end of the spectrum today – because I managed to finish it earlier than normal and with no electronic help. Didn’t care for 11a because of the endless possibilities as mentioned on yesterday’s blog, but it filled in swiftly once some checkers were in place. Thanks to setter and Big Dave for an enjoyable challenge today. Good all round puzzle, with no sports clues 😊

  14. Once again an excellent prize puzzle enjoyed from start to finish with so many outstanding clues. Saturday’s puzzle always seem to hit the right spot for me for some reason.Not a mountain to climb with this one but very user friendly with a satisfying solve. I also wondered about 15d a bit weird that one?

    Clues of the day: 1a / 2d / 17d all raised a smile

    Rating 3* / 4.5*

    Thanks to BD and the setter.

  15. A nice way to end the week. It wasn’t particularly challenging but it was entertaining enough. 7d for some reason floated my boat, and overall 2/3*.
    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints.

  16. Good puzzle today, solved in between interruptions.
    So many fun clues, so I’m choosing faves based on (1) the pic, I.e. 2d, and (2) the poem at 24a.
    Thanks to the Saturday setter and to BD for his hints. Hope the “disc” is better!

  17. I blame the G&Ts! Last night I couldn’t make much headway but this morning the whole puzzle fell in to place like a dream. Very enjoyable. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  18. Started on the A30 and finished on the M5. Favourites 12a and 1d. 15d had to be what it was but I also struggled to parse. It does work however although it is beyond me to explain why without breaking the rules. I think I must be missing something in 3d as I can’t see why the first animal is great. Completed as four quarters with NE last in. Thanks setter and BD.

  19. Good way to relax after a busy day entertaining family but we were blessed with another lovely fine day. Just enough challenge to make it interesting however 3d,10d and 15d all needed parsing help. NE held out the longest. Make in 6d took a while to dawn on me. Thank you Mysteron and BD.

  20. Thought it was a good exercise in clue construction but the surface of the clues lacked sparkle.
    I’m usually a great fan of charades but even 2d conjured up images that would put the setter on the sex offenders list.
    Thanks to BD for the tremendous work.
    Loved the hint for 7d. Short and sweet.

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