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DT 28719 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28719 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

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Many happy returns to Her Majesty on the occasion of her 92nd birthday, and to all those who share this day, including Chris Lancaster, Libellule and last, but not least, myself.

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    Admit home help for puzzle solvers will get 500 entering (7)
This meaningless mumbo-jumbo resolves as a two-letter word meaning home followed by some help for puzzle solvers (like this one) around (will get … entering) the Roman numeral for 500

9a    After large glass, regular’s making unfair demands on women? (6,9)
A large glass of a spirit such as whisky is followed by a word meaning regular and the S from ‘S gives a principle which is unfairly applied in different ways to different people

15a    Tail girl? On the contrary, he’s a responsible lad (4,3)
More mumbo-jumbo – the opposites (on the contrary)

19a    I must get in lift up that’s broken down — it’s pathetic (7)
I inside (must get in) an anagram (that’s broken down) of LIFT UP

22a    Heath perhaps follows account that’s appeared in 26? (5)
The first name of a former left-wing politician who somehow became leader of the Conservative Party and was Prime Minister for four years follows the abbreviation of AC(count) – 26 refers to the answer to 26 Across

26a    Character shown by rugby-participating Lions maybe? That’s a charade (4-7,4)
A character or part in a play followed by a verb meaning participating in a rugby match and the type of animal such as (maybe) lions [thanks Gazza]

27a    Political doldrums? It’s where PM’s placed by gossip-monger (7)
where will you find PM in gossip-monger?

28a    If not dry, accommodating husband should meet that woman (7)
A word meaning the opposite (not) of dry around H(usband) followed by the pronoun for “that woman”


1d    Pint he’d drunk at length (2,5)
An anagram (drunk) of PINT HE’D

2d    Yard man died covering up botched trial prosecuted by Army? (5-10)
A yard or enclosed space, a man and D(ied) around an anagram (botched) of TRIAL

4d    Cold stone etched in simple pleasure (7)
C(old) and ST(one) inside (etched in) an adjective meaning simple

7d    Broke and beaten, professionally (8,3,4)
This could mean beaten by a professional dominatrix


13d    One’s shocked when one’s taken this (5)
The word which follows taken in a phrasal verb meaning shocked

18d    Rant of the French about Conservative I am following (7)
French words meaning of and the around C(onservative) and followed by the abbreviation for I am

19d    Vicar: ‘One must sit in seat in church and look ahead‘ (7)
The three-letter title given colloquially to a vicar and I (one) inside (must sit in) a seat in a church

25d    Beastly person, so contrary (4)
The reversal (contrary – isn’t this a similar reversal construct to that used in 15 Across?) of the Latin for so or thus

It’s not often that I comment on Saturday puzzles but I didn’t enjoy this one bit and have seen better in Rookie Corner. The surface reading of many of the clues is utter garbage and some of the definitions leave a lot to be desired. If you think this one is as 19 Across as I do then make sure you have a go at today’s excellent NTSPP puzzle by Italicus to see how it should be done.

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The Quick Crossword pun: gran+airy+bred=granary bread

92 comments on “DT 28719 (Hints)

  1. Many Happy Returns indeed to Her Majesty, Big Dave, (the much missed) Libellule and Chris L

    As for what I think of today’s crossword, you’ll have to wait until Friday to find out ;)

  2. Happy Birthday to all those mentioned – I wonder if Her Maj is a crossword fan like the others.
    This does seem to be a pretty poor effort, not least 6d which just looks to be wrong (unless I’ve misunderstood it).
    I took the last word of 26a to be ‘Lions maybe’.

  3. Happy Birthday BD et al.🕯🎂
    I tend to agree that this was not one of the best. I have several “answers” which are not fully parsed or understood. I struggled most in the SE but 7d was a nice moment when the penny dropped. I don’t think I’ll submit today as I think some of my dodgy answers are still wrong.

  4. Completed easily in ** time today. Not sure why women get a mention in 9a, it adds nothing to the clue, or maybe a “perhaps” is needed? My 10a is a bung-in, but I can’t see why.

    Did anybody else find the print in today’s paper version even smaller than usual? I’m going to have to ask for a magnifying glass for my birthday.

    Many thanks to the setter and BD.

    1. I don’t think the print size is different – I think it is the fact that the majority of the clues are quite ‘wordy’ so they are all crammed into the ‘usual’ space allowed for the clues

    2. Not only the print but it seems the crossword squares are smaller too – more difficult to fit in my oversized writing!

      1. Comparing last week’s version with this week’s, the only thing that is different is the length of the clues

          1. Oh I am sorry it was intended as a lighthearted comment but as I have just spent an hour squinting at toughie 2005 in bad light I sympathise and apologise if I offended.

  5. Happy Birthday BD et al.🕯🎂
    I tend to agree that this was not one of the best. I have several “answers” which are not fully parsed or understood. I struggled most in the SE but 7d was a nice moment when the penny dropped. I don’t think I’ll submit today as I think some of my dodgy answers are still wrong.

  6. Yes indeed – Many Happy Returns of the Day to our Gracious Queen, BD, CL et al. Today’s puzzle was a delightful way in which to finish off a super DT cruciverbal week. SW was last corner to yield apart from fleetingly using a wrong homophone in the SE for 28a which made 25d a sticking-point. Many thanks to the mystery setter and to The Birthday Boy.🇬🇧🌹🎈

  7. Many thanks to Chris Lancaster for providing a copy of the puzzle just in case the time glitch had not been fixed (which it has).

    An enjoyable puzzle, with some slightly ‘odd’ clues. I liked it that three of the four long clues were non-anagrams, and the fourth was only a partial anagram – **/***.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 28a and 7d – and the winner is 7d by a nose.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

    And, a Happy (Real) Birthday to HM, BD, and all those born on this day.

  8. Happy Birthday Big Dave, Miffypops & Chris (L). Are you holding a ‘Guess our combined age’ competition? Enjoy the rest of the day!

  9. Definitely something of an oddity and I felt that some of the wordplay didn’t quite work. Not to worry, variety is the spice etc.
    7d was the best of the bunch for me.

    Many happy returns to all the birthday boys and girls – particularly our very own BD. Hope you’re all celebrating in sunshine.

  10. Despite the slight iffiness of a number of clues, I found this quite a speedy and enjoyable solve. [**/***]
    15a and 7d are my top clues today.

    Many happy returns to all mentioned!

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  11. Thank you for all the hints.
    I didn’t much like this one either.

    I am totally stuck on 21a and would welcome a hint.

  12. Great puzzle – finished before breakfast then a bit of gardening and a long walk with the dogs, their friends and human companions

    What a great start to the day – now rushing off for a rehearsal for tonight’s concert – commemorating WW1 – a little on the early side I know….

    Back to the puzzle – my favourite was 4d (!) – last one in was 13d

    for today I didn’t mind completing it early (yesterday’s took most of the day on and off – which wouldn’t have been good today at all)

    Thanks to all

  13. Oh dear. Not very inspiring. 2* / 1.5*. Apart from some dodgy surfaces and definitions, 26a & 8d seemed very unconvincing. On the positive side, I did like 27a.

    Happy Birthdays to an extremely distinguished collection.

    NTSPP here I come ..

  14. ***/****. Enjoyable start to the weekend. Thanks to the setter and BD. Happy birthday to those who also share my fathers arrival. He would have been 109 today. His favourite tv program was Star Trek – he was fascinated by the advances he saw during his lifetime and this flight of fancy in particular.

  15. I wasn’t bowled over with this puzzle but I guess it did the business and as Jane says ‘variety is the spice etc”
    7d was probably favourite and a 2.5* for pleasure.
    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints. Happy Birthday young man!

  16. Always enjoy the Super Saturday puzzle and this was no exception today. Possibly the most enjoyable puzzle for me this week. Lots of fun all the way and fortunately I was on the right wavelength from the beginning. SW corner was the sticking point with last in 17d but what a good clue that was when the penny eventually dropped.

    Clues of the day: 5a / 17d

    Rating *** / ****

    Thanks to BD and the setter. Happy Birthday BD to you and HM.

  17. I wasn’t sure about this one as I completed it, and I see my misgivings are given voice by esrlier commenters. I spent too long trying to justify some of the answers, which I can only assime is down to the somewhat clunky clueing. I don’t often comment negatively, but this one was not to my liking. 2.5* /2* from me I am afraid.

    Thanks to our setter and BD, to whom I send Many Happy Returns as well as to the other birthday boys and girls.

    1. I should have added that amongst all the others, 27a stood out like a beacon. Very good clue.

  18. There must be something wrong with me as I thought today’s offering was fine. Happy Birthday to all celebrating today especially HM Queen Elizabeth II. The Union flag has been flying outside my house since daybreak. Only one I could not fully parse was 2d. Did not understand where the women came into 9a even with the question mark. 28a was nicely misleading – and I wonder how many incorrectly spelled the answer. I made a mistake with the last two letters of 18d (my fault) until I solved 27a! I hope the setter is not too discouraged by the response. One man’s meat…….

  19. First things first: Wishing a very Happy Birthday to all who were born this day. I think Her Majesty is so remarkable, she still walks around in high heels and walks without difficulty, here am I at 80, dependent on a zimmer! She’s a truly remarkable lady.

    For the life of me, I can’t find the last word in 26a, googling doesn’t tell me what participating in a rugby match is.
    My fave was 7d, runner up was 27a.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for his hints and pics.

    1. Hi Merusa,
      re the last bit of 27a – what is rugby? Yes, even you and I know that it’s a sport but what else could you call a sport?

      1. Rats! And to think I spent so much time on it, how easy was that? Dumb. Thanks, Kath.

        1. Oh dear – I had one chance to be right and I’m still wrong. Oh well, right word even if it’s for the wrong reason.

        2. Definition 5. wild mammals or birds hunted for sport or food. Not the best definition to use

  20. Happy Birthday everyone and I hope that you’re all celebrating in appropriate style.
    I thought this was OK – I agree that there were some dodgy surface readings but I usually miss that kind of thing, along with pangrams and Ninas.
    I admit to getting into a terrible pickle with the second word of 2d – not only did I think the ‘man’ was just one letter but also, to begin with at least, I was spelling the whole word wrong. :roll:
    I also admit to needing the hint to understand why my answer to 27a was right.
    My favourite was 7d.
    With thanks to the setter, and hopes that he or she isn’t feeling too downhearted by the criticism, and to BD for the hints.

  21. An enjoyable Saturday offering that felt a little challenging while solving, but that I finished in under average time, so… Yes, one of those days. Last in 27ac which is one of many where I got the answer but didn’t spot the wordplay, or rather didn’t bother to go looking for the wordplay. :-)

  22. A strange one this, when I find myself trying to make an answer fit the clue, e.g. 21a. No idea if I am right, and if so why, 27a is filled it without confidence of being right.

  23. Happy Birthday to everyone who has a birthday today, and Happy Birthday to everyone with a birthday on a different day. I have to say that as I’m not sure about Miffypops. Many thanks setter and BD

      1. PS – That sounds as if I’m not sure about MP – what I meant was that I’m not sure that today is his his birthday.

        1. At no point did he actually say it was his birthday, just that today he is 62, just as he was yesterday and will be tomorrow :)

            1. I read somewhere that the most successful relationships occur when there is a gap of 41 years with the Male being the older. I don’t usually post on the weekends because I always end up in trouble. I suppose that will be that case here.

              1. That relationship is called a father/daughter relationship MP, and Saint Sharon knows you too well.

  24. I thought it was quite good. 27a last In not parsed. Checked hints which told me nothing new. Looked at it again. Doh! Thanks all.
    Saved crossword for babysitting duties. Having a nice glass of wine and listening to the rain now the grandchildren are in bed.

    1. BobH – II had the same problem with 27a, it’s the only word that fits in with the the rest of the letters but I still don’t understand it ! Please help

      1. BD’s hint spells it out. Whereabouts in the word ‘gossip-monger’ do you find the letters PM?

  25. Just can’t get 11a – and no hints! I must be stupid as its obviously easy. Done all the others.

    1. Welcome to the blog, JONK.

      11a Goes to sea, with trouble getting in ship.
      Insert a verb to trouble or afflict into the usual abbreviation for steamship.

  26. Belated Happy Birthday to BD et al.

    Safely back home in Puglia at lunchtime today after UK trip. Smooth all the way especially the beer with BD and Pam. Nice to meet you both.

    Also smooth solve to this crossword to relax after the drive, but couldn’t parse 27ac. Also don’t see the direct reference to “women”in 9ac. Favourite 23ac.

  27. Happy birthday to HM, BD and Libellule. Mine’s on Thursday.
    Parsed 27a quite quickly when I got to it, but struggled with 5d until I got onto the right hound. A mixed bag for me today with some dodgy clues I thought, but a quick check on a couple with BD’s blog helped me get onto the setters wavelength. 27a and 7d were favourites this week, so thanks to the setter and the birthday boy.

  28. Happy Birthday to all, particularly BigDave. At last year’s Bash I discovered I used to deliver his paper reliably late every day.

  29. I didn’t get round to looking at the puzzle until after lunch today and at some points almost gave up. A couple of the hints were required to complete it. I agree entirely with BD’s overall assessment. I know rather more about the subject than I should and the use of “never” in the clue to 6d is completely wrong. On a lighter note, innocent soul that I am, the kinky element in 7d completely passed me by.

    Belated birthday greetings to all.

  30. Where are my manners?
    Should have come here first to wish our host a belated birthday. And to Queenie of course.
    Heard there was a royal baby on it’s way. Philip would be a nice name for a boy. Charlie for a girl bien sûr.
    No major hold ups for this prize puzzle.
    Liked 5a.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the club.

  31. I will put something in to fit 27a as I have all the letters from the down clues and am still uncertain. Like BD (hope you are having a great birthday!) and a few others it seems, I was very unhappy with some of the clues…
    Not a good day for puzzles as the Saturday supplement was not available at the petrol station shop…!

  32. I did this on Saturday evening and found it a pretty poor effort – very mild, not at all inspiring and only a bit enjoyable. 1* / 1* :-(

    1. 5a Flower requiring small spades digging in to come out (7)
      Insert the abbreviations for small and the card suit spades into another word for a flower.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      There’s lots of ‘conversation’ about 21a in the comments. As for 17a, when you see ‘taking part out’ it quite often involves looking carefully at the clue to see what’s hidden

      1. If you read what I said above, you’ll see that your suggestion is incorrect and so had to be redacted

  33. Big Dave

    I’ll look again at 17a but 21a I just don’t get at all and the only comments I can see are two posts and they don’t help me either. Is the answer x xxx (I assume it is not something hyphenated as the clue has a comma)

    1. You now have the correct solution for 21a but, as this is a Prize Puzzle, you can’t say so until after 9 am on Friday when the closing date for entries finishes.

  34. Two ticks for 23A & 27A.
    Was held up as the answer for 27A does not appear in crosswordpuzzlehelp.net with all the checking letters in.
    Liked the photo of our late PM !
    3*/3* for the puzzle.

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