DT 28731 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28731 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28731 (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    What to do during street to-dos? (12)
A two-letter word meaning during followed by ST(reet) and some to-dos or disturbances

11a    Date entraps Republican with organised plan (7)
A date or time around R(epublican) with a verb meaning organised

13a    Stick with small social media entries (5)
A somewhat large stick followed by S(mall)

14a    Beloved certain to be in step (9)
A four-letter word meaning certain inside a step or pace

21a    Sculpted Rodins, including ‘Duck Under a Roof‘ (7)
An anagram (sculpted) of RODINS around (including) a score of zero in cricket (duck)

24a    Discussed bargain that’s delivered as one leaves (7)
Split as (4,3) this sounds like (discussed) a bargain

25a    Brazilian player not using head and hands — feet finally bringing gold perhaps (7)
Brazil’s most famous football player without his initial letter (head) followed by some hands or workers and the final letter of [fee]T

26a    Article put by not at all diminished yet (12)
A grammatical article preceded by a word meaning not at all and followed by a word meaning diminished


1d    Damages panels one’s left propping up home (7)
Start with some panels of people, like those that reach verdicts, drop (has left. ‘s left) the I (one) and put what remains after (propping up in a down clue) our usual two-letter word meaning home

2d    Very little time for Oliver’s desire? (7)
Two definitions – the latter being what Oliver Twist was requesting

3d    Stayed in bed to preserve muscle that’s admired (9)
A verb meaning stayed in bed around (to preserve) a three-letter abbreviated form of a muscle

5d    Complaint from good person going in peace (7)
Drop (ging from) the two-letter abbreviation for a good person from the start of a word meaning peace or tranquillity

6d    Extra piercing seen as more curious when worn by this person (7)
An adjective meaning more curious around (worn by) the first person subjective pronoun

7d    Fading rum dip gains when fruit is added (12)
An anagram (rum) of DIP GAINS around (is added) a fruit

10d    Pompous secretary cuts unpaid childminders? (12)
A charade of an adjective meaning pompous, a two-letter abbreviation for a secretary and some cuts

17d    Little European wriggling baby (7)
A small quantity (little) and a European national

18d    Tchaikovsky’s silent introduction leads to his money problem (7)
I’m not at all sure that the initial letter of Tchaikovsky is “silent”, but assume that it is and add his national currency (money)

22d    Petals lacking a liquid dropped off (5)
An anagram (liquid) of PET[A]LS without (lacking) the A from the clue

The Crossword Club is now open.

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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: lieu+Assam+Elton=Lewis Hamilton

This morning, on Sounds of the Sixties, Tony Blackburn played this as the shortest track ever to appear in the charts.  Enjoy (for all 78 seconds!)


36 comments on “DT 28731 (Hints)

  1. Thought this was superb. Trickier than the last few Saturdays if memory serves, especially in the SW and SE corners. Lots of head-scratching but then smiles when the penny dropped.

    Slight quibble with 6d but otherwise so many excellent clues: 10d, 25a, 12a, 9a, 17d, 20d (LOI) and the winner 18d.


    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave.

  2. 2.5* / 3*. This was an enjoyable Saturday prize puzzle which fell into two distinct halves in terms of difficulty. After initially getting only a few answers in the top half, I moved onto the bottom half which came together very easily. I then went back to the top half and continued to struggle, eventually completing that part in half my normal 4* time, leading to my 2.5* time for the whole puzzle.

    There were some iffy surfaces and, unless I am missing something, I thought the definition 23a was a bit dodgy but this didn’t detract from the fun.

    24a was my favourite, with 18d running it close.

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD.

  3. Not much cerebral application required today but it was 26a good fun. Like RD I got to grips with the South before completing the upper half. Needed BD to parse 5d and I can’t quite make out 11a. Difficult to determine podium places from amongst 24a, 2d and 18d. Thank you Mysteron and BD.

    1. Like you I found this an average challenge with an easier bottom half. Like you I’m still adrift on the hint for 11a (haven’t anything to wrap around the R!).

        1. Thank you so much. I knew I wouldn’t get it when I woke on Sunday morning and the penny still hadn’t dropped! Appreciate being put out of my misery. Thank you sir.

  4. Agree with BJS, quite tricky but fun to solve, psrticulary liked 23A and 25A . ***/****

  5. Agree with the views expressed so far . First run through only produced 5 entries . After my dog walk , slowly but surely the pennies started to drop .
    Favourite 18d , ***/**** ratings .
    Thanks to everyone .

  6. You know it’s a going to be a good day when the puzzle’s on the back page of the paper and the sun’s shining… Yes, I thought that it required some serious thinking in places and, like Angellov, I appreciated 2d.

  7. As luck would have it, 1a went in straight away so I could work through methodically from top to bottom.
    Definitely a few dodgy surface reads and I thought 23a was more of an essential than a stand-by but by and large this was an enjoyable Saturday puzzle.

    Tops for humour were 1a plus 10&17d.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to BD for the club.

    1. 1ac was the one that held me up, but so did 6dn, 11ac and LOI 24ac all of which I liked. Very satisfying solve. Thanks setter and BD.

  8. 1a was a very nice introduction to an entertaining puzzle.

    I’ve studied a bit of Russian and Tchaikovsky’s first is definitely missing in the Cyrillic spelling. Didn’t expect many people to know that.

    Спасибо BD!

    Now back to the MPP which is causing much grief!

  9. It took me a while to break into this one and then it was a clue here and a clue there, and, when I finished, there were a couple of parsings that eluded me, finished at a canter – ***/**.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 1a and 10d.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  10. Sorry, folks, didn’t get on with this one at all.

    Needed almost all of the hints and lots of electronic help, so not a happy Saturday for me.

    Thanks to Big Dave.

    1. Glad I’m not the only one. I thought this was quite difficult for a Saturday back page.

    2. I’m in your camp – only six answers without hints. Afraid I’ve lost interest, so off to the pool before the rain comes.

  11. What a great puzzle. It is years since I commented here! Last in 6d, fav was 10d. Oops nearly put ****** instead of commented.

    1. Your alias has aged since your last comment (in 2012 !!) so this one needed moderation. Both forms of your alias will work from now on.
      Welcome back.

  12. Well, some clunky, awkward clues for me and a few good ones like 18d.
    Like others this was not a smooth or easy solve but got there over a ‘vento’ followed by a ‘Grande’ 2.5/2.5. It’s sunny in NYC but I’d prefer the sun at home.
    Thanks to BD and setter.
    Already salivating for tomorrow’s Virgilius.

  13. I’m in the ‘tricky ish for a Saturday crossword’ camp but having not done a crossword for several days I’m out of practice – awful how quickly that seems to happen.
    I wasn’t very keen on 20d as I don’t think the answer is the same as ‘spoils’ – to me anyway it’s more like ‘cares for’ or ‘looks after’.
    For no obvious reason untangling 11a took me far too long and my first attempt at 9a couldn’t have been more wrong if it had tried to be.
    I did like all the four long answers round the outside and 15d.
    With thanks to today’s setter and to BD.

    1. I think it was 20d that finally made me quit, I couldn’t agree more that I don’t think it is a synonym, so much so that I really doubted that must be the answer and spent far too long trying to find what I had wrong. Oh, well.

  14. Horses for courses. Loved it, any day when I can complete unaided is perfect in my book. Thanks to setter for a great puzzle. I started at a gallop with both 1a and 1d going straight in, and then slowed with 4 clues still open. Went off to help Mr BL with prep for,painting in the garage, and bingo, brain came to life when we broke for a coffee break.

  15. I have yet to do this puzzle, as I have been enjoying the beautiful weather in the garden, and sunshine and i-pads don’t go too well together. I shall do it later, but offer my thanks in advance to our setter and BD.

  16. I, like Old Roger, have not commented for years and have long since forgotten my alias, so, following his example I am submitting a new one. The reading of the comments of others has however long been part of my Saturday ritual, so thanks are due to BD and all those who have contributed to this excellent site.
    I thought today’s challenge was one of the best of recent weeks. Favourites were 17d and 14ac. I have an answer which I think is correct for 19d but don’t quite understand the word play. Any thoughts?

    1. Welcome in your new guise, Old Cruciverbalist. It must be a day for comebacks since you last commented in 2013!

      19d Famously moreish grub? Feasted on and off after having part by mouth (7)
      We want alternate letters (on and off) from ‘feasted’ following a part of the body near the mouth.

  17. I didn’t know it was so long ago! Many thanks – I see it now

    1. When you are replying to a comment it’s a good idea to use the ‘reply’ option on that comment. That way all the comments in a thread are kept together.

  18. An enjoyable puzzle that was a little trickier in places – held up at the close by 6d and 24ac, though in retrospect neither look that difficult!

  19. Much easier than yesterday but far too many clues I cannot parse to be enjoyable.
    Thanks all

  20. I did post a blog but it didn’t register, so I couldn’t, be bothered to do it all again….sorry
    Next time!,

Comments are closed.