DT 28755 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28755 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28755 (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    Next X-ray should be here in hospital directory (10)
Split as (5,5) this is where X-ray might be found in a hospital directory

6a    Sport where players change clubs with no transfer fee (4)
A cryptic definition of a sport where each player has several clubs and interchanges them depending on what he wants to do

12a    Cabinet perhaps goes off to the Left — maturity comes later? (7)
The reversal (to the left in an across clue) of a verb meaning goes off or bad followed by (comes later) a word meaning maturity

17a    Proclaim as leader of the Americans and French (7)
… the surname of the current US President is a gift to crossword setters!

21a    … following grasping half-idle mum (7)
An adverb meaning following around the second half of [id]LE

22a    One’s trapping in river areas (5)
A word meaning one and the S from ‘S around (trapping in) R(iver)

28a    King being shown in reduced one’s rank, having stripes (5)
K(ing) inside a verb meaning reduced gives a rank animal that has stripes

30a    This person tucking into meat shuns prepared relish (10)
The first person singular subjective pronoun (this person / the setter) inside an anagram (prepared) of MEAT SHUNS


1d    Most of capital area is upwardly mobile too (4)
Most of a European capital city and A(rea), all reversed (is upwardly mobile, in a down clue)

2d    Hoards made by 29 ground squirrels, oddly (9)
… 29 refers to the answer to 29 Across

3d    After artist died, half of score is set to be heard (5)
Our usual artist followed by D(ied) and a cryptic representation of half of twenty (score)

4d    Norm is too old, rejecting one blood type after another (7)
Start with an adjective meaning too old, drop the initial letter, which is a blood type, and add a different blood type

11d    Step-by-step rag for playing as a pair (7)
An anagram (for playing) of RAG and add a word meaning as a pair

14d    School captain‘s striking effort, blocked by post … (10)
An action in football that might lead to a goal (striking effort) around (blocked by) a post

16d    … roughly misses — he sets up these sessions (7)
… “he” is the answer to the previous clue

18d    Projection that water won’t quite go round (9)
A cryptic definition of a piece of land that projects into the sea – unlike an island the water won’t quite go round it

20d    Commander’s tracked vehicle reversed over animal (7)
The Commanding Officer follows (tracked) the reversal of a vehicle and is followed by a two-letter word meaning over or above

25d    Sulphur used in crop driers (5)
The chemical symbol for Sulphur (more accurately Sulfur in the current terminology) inside a cereal crop

26d    Small Korean ruler over-the-top scoop! (4)
S(mall) followed by the first name of a (North) Korean ruler – don’t you just love the definition?

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: pun+crock=punk rock

70 comments on “DT 28755 (Hints)

  1. Lovely lovely crossword . A classic for me and proud to finish before the hints appeared . In awe of the compilation and unable to pick a favourite as so many excellent clues .
    Enough said .

    1. With interruptions. this one took me just into **** territory, with an equal number of stars for enjoyment. I was particularly impressed with some of the definitions.

      1. Good morning Dave. Wondering about the word “ground” in 2d. Incidentally you have not underlined the word representing the answer in this hint.

        1. Isn’t “ground” an anagram indicator?

          Hope so as I have been using it in that context for more years than I care to remember.

          1. Thanks Stan. That is what I wondered so shall remember for the future. Glad the site is up and running again and will keep fingers crossed.

  2. An enjoyable challenge. Finished without help but will check BD’s hints (thank you) to make sure all my parsing is correct. Did not think I was going to get SE but persisted and I got 30a which was a way in followed by 21d and 21a. To my shame last one in was 18d as I spend quite some time on one of them. Assuming I have 9a right – not too happy with it. Favourites 1a (top spot), 17a and 4 and 16d. Will be interested to see how others get on. Thanks to setter whoever you may be.

  3. A cracking puzzle – the best Sat Prize for many a long while. Great clues with a refreshingly different/unusual style, a pretty stiff challenge and a very enjoyable solve. Too many really good clues to pick out a favourite. That’s 3 top-class puzzles in a row, now. 4* /4*

  4. My, how the Saturday crosswords have improved since the old days when BD brought in the “Not The Saturday Prize Puzzle” to make up for the fact that the Telegraph Prize puzzle was not very stimulating.
    I thought that this one was excellent with 1a being the standout clue.

    Happy Birthday, Kath – how felicitous to have been born on Coronation Day (though obviously several years later than the actual royal event).

  5. While in no way wishing on poor Gnomethang the sort of work week he had last week, there’s a bit of me mean enough to hope that I have to be a last-minute stand-in again, as I really loved today’s crossword.

    Far too many clues I really liked but I’ll select the ‘Virgilius-like 8d for the gold medal spot

    Thanks to the setter for the fun and to BD for the hints 000h – and, having scrolled to the top of the page – Happy Birthday Kath :rose:

  6. Well that was a real tussle and a worthy prize crossword. A genuine sense of achievement when I finished, and probably the toughest Telegraph puzzle I have attempted for some time. 1A the COTD, and 4* /5* for me overall.

    Thanks to our setter and BD.

  7. Long term lurker , moved to comment by this puzzle which I enjoyed very much and unusually , finishe before the masses.

    Stand out clue 1a. I wrote the answer in, stared at it for a minute, then had headslap moment when I worked out why it was right. Very witty.

  8. I didn’t have too many problems with this one and found it to be an enjoyable and steady solve.

    Thanks to BD and setter 2.5*/4*

  9. The best Saturday Prize Puzzle for quite some time.

    I bet that at least half of the commentariat will disagree.

    1. This one won’t disagree, Stan! I’ve just remembered that I haven’t commented and blame the lapse on a rather significant birthday on Tuesday…

  10. Oh good finally managed to get on the site fo comment on this pleasantly challenging Mysteron exercise. My Favs were a couple of shorties i.e. 6a and 3d. S W corner held out the longest. Thank you Mysteron and BD.

  11. A great puzzle with a humdinger of a doh moment with 1a! Particularly loved 8d too. I don’t understand how the first word of clue 9a is relevant but that’ll be just me mssing something.
    All good, fun, lively stuff. Many thanks to the setter and to BD.

    1. I believe the answer is an alternative word to ‘take’ in the retailing world.

  12. 22a One’s trapping in river areas (5)
    A word meaning one and the S from ‘S around R(iver)

    Should read

    A word meaning one’s “trapping” the R from “river”

    1. Welcome to the blog David

      I don’t agree – the S is shown because it is possessive (not short for is), which is why I emphasised it, and it’s not the R from river but the abbreviation for river [shown here as R(iver)]. I will add the inclusion indicator, which is “trapping in”.

  13. 4/4. Very demanding puzzle but very enjoyable. Favourite was 1a. Thanks to the setter and BD.

    1. That’s just about what I was going to say! (Apart from also mentioning 8d). Thanks to all.

  14. Glad the site is up and running again. I took the opportunity this morning to fill the answers in on the main computer, and then submitted in the hope of winning the pen or whatever else is on offer. I found this crossword a little more challenging than normal for a Saturday, but got there without help after two coffees, then a cup of tea. Not sure I really needed the tea. Favourite clues were 8d and 28a. Thank you setter and BD. Need to dash off to the kitchen and make caramel icecream for tonight’s BBQ. Many happy returns Kath.💐

  15. Lovely puzzle with subtle clueing. I need the hints to explain the answer to 22a after I’d filled it in correctly as it was the only thing I could think of to fit. Thanks to setter and blogger for and enjoyable time.

  16. This would have not been out of place as a Toughie. Some excellent clues, extremely well hidden definitions and a real mind stretcher. Still not totally sure about a couple (9a and 27a) but I think they are correct.
    For me ****/***
    Thx for the mental workout.
    In relation to 6a, can I change my clubs as the ones I’ve got don’t work!

    1. 9a is a double definition

      27a Schools with no one left to get bus, maybe (9)
      A verb meaning schools without (with no) I (one) followed by a four-letter term which means left, as opposed to right

  17. Not too bad today. 2d made no sense to me at all, it was my last one in and only because it was the only word that would fit.

  18. Found this very testing but thoroughly enjoyed it, some of the clues took some unravelling but with perseverance eventually got there. NE corner the sticking point and totally missed what 8d was about until the checkers were in. Last in 5d just couldn’t see that one, and needed BD help with 21a and still had difficulty parsing it?. A lot of good clues and difficult to pick favourite’s, but here goes.

    Clues of the day: 17a / 26d

    Rating 4* / 4*

    Thanks to BD and the setter

  19. Like others, I spent far too long staring at my answer to 1a before realising how it parsed – good old lateral thinking had obviously deserted me.

    A most enjoyable Saturday challenge with the podium spots going to 6,17&24a. Plenty of other contenders but the surface reads of those three particularly appealed.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD for the club – I’d forgotten all about dear old Jimmy Edwards, nice to see his amazing moustache again.

    Many happy returns to Kath – hope you make a bit of time for yourself today!

      1. Good spot. It hadn’t earlier when I posted. And I just got round to remembering to tick it.

  20. Happy Birthday, Kath!

    Very tricky for me but still hugely enjoyable. I needed the hints for a couple, still having vision problems so that could account for it.
    Fave was 1a, how clever was that, but close behind was 8d.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for his help in completing the solve.

  21. All done over two cappuccinos, great 😊. COTD definitely 1a for me. Amused that the answers included the two biggest pests that visit our back garden. When we were first here our then cat, who travelled here from England with us and thus was used to venturing outside (not encouraged for cats here) came home one night absolutely reeking after having antagonized the smaller pest. On advice, we bathed him with tomato juice, it worked.

    The larger pests took delight into wrecking our small fountain nightly. They would pull out the copper pipe, accessing the plastic coiled pipe, wrench that right out, chew it up and toss aside. Mr BL finally fooled them with a couple of dobs JB Weld to hold the copper spout etc in place. We should have got a night cam to watch their puzzled reaction after that.

    We were also visited one night by a King snake, deadly, right outside the screened patio door. Never a dull moment.

    Happy Birthday Kath 😊

    1. A King snake? That’s nasty, I didn’t know they ventured that far out of the Everglades!

  22. Too hard for me today …glad the rest of you enjoyed it.

    Can I have a little extra help for 16d , please?
    I have an answer but cannot see why, even with the hint given.


  23. In keeping with decent clueing today, there was this one in The Times:

    Important instruction to deputy about outgoing mail? (11)

    xxxxxxxxxx [Redacted as this is probably a current prize puzzle.]

    I’m sure the more experienced and seasoned solvers may regard it as a bit of a chestnut, but I’d never seen the word clued that way before.

    Sorry if any rules have been broken.

    1. I’m fairly sure it also featured a few weeks ( maybe months?) ago in the DT. A brilliant brilliant clue.

  24. Loved today and I agree the hardest Sat puzzle for a while. I am in agreement with others that 1a and 8d marginally ahead of a great bunch of clues.
    Hippo Burpday to Kath🎁
    Thanks to BD for the blog and the ongoing efforts to keep the trolls under control. Thanks to Mysteron too.

  25. Could not do any of this much too late in the day.
    Am I allowed to say this or will the thought police object??

  26. This felt challenging throughout but I still somehow managed to finish in about ** time. Perhaps panic set in. :-) Last in 22ac, but only because I forgot to solve it before the Submit button reminded me.

  27. 4* / 4*. Although the surfaces were a mixed bag with some being excellent and a few being slightly dodgy, overall this was a very enjoyable and very challenging puzzle with a rather different style to anything we have seen before.

    1a was my favourite with 6a, 17a & 8d running it close. Personally I don’t think the answer to 14d is a school captain, but that is a very minor quibble.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

  28. I only ever have trouble with the clues too simple to warrant a hint. I assume 9a is a straightforward double definition, and the word I have is an obvious synonym for “squander”. It doesn’t really work with “take”, though. Perhaps ll’m on the wrong track. Can anyone give me a hint?

  29. A very enjoyable offering today and I would concur with al those who have already commended it. Just the right level of difficulty for a Saturday prize puzzle. 1ac is priceless!

  30. That was hard and challenging at times and very satisfying .
    1a and 8d are my two top clues .
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  31. Something that puzzles me is how do the Telegraph puzzles staff select winners from the Saturday entries when some are online and some by post? I’m sure the answer is probably simple and I am showing up my ignorance!

    1. Years ago, I asked the same question to a friend who worked in publicity. For big prizes, he said that they chose someone who appeared to fit their customer profile (certainly not the first correct answer out of the postbag).
      For simple puzzles, one suspects that promoters try to make sure that winners are spread out over the country. You wouldn’t want to see that ‘Brenda from Bristol’ was winning more than once!

      1. But some do win more than once. I am sure it is the luck of the draw but agree I do not know how they pick some online and some by post to be fair. Perhaps in proportion to the number received in each medium?

  32. Not too difficult. Parsing was quite another matter.
    A 5-star crossword. More of the same quality, please, DT.

  33. Saturday puzzles seem to have been improving for a while and, as other have noted, this was a cracker. Tricky but doable. 1a and 8d are very good.

    Thanks to the setter and Big Dave for the hints.

    Virgilius next…

  34. Late to the piece, but oddly I found this not too hard – certainly a lot easier than last week’s that I got less than half of!(Mind you, I thought Thursday’s RayT was easier than most other days this week….) I needed the hint for 28a, couldn’t understand that at all, and the surface didn’t seem to make any sense to me.

  35. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A super puzzle that I’ve been wrestling with for 2 days. Needed the hints for 22a and 16d. There’s so many that I couldn’t parse, or don’t understand, even though I’ve read the hints and comments. Favourite was 1a. I’m looking forward to reading the review in a week’s time. Was 4*/4 * for me.

  36. Thanks to all for the birthday wishes and to BD for the banner – only just catching up on crosswords after a very busy and lovely day yesterday.
    What a good crossword – I thought it was difficult, much more so than the usual Saturday Prize Crosswords.
    I think everything else has already been said so thanks to the setter, whoever he or she may be, and to BD.
    At the considerable risk of being very dim I still don’t get 22a. Oh dear.

  37. Oops! Forgot to comment. Good challenge for a Saturday Prize Crossword.
    1a does take the laurels.
    Thanks to Mr Ron, and to BD for the hints.

  38. Ps. I know it didn’t meet with great approval, but I loved yesterday’s puzzle!
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Mr K for the review.
    I’ll go now…

  39. Completion on Saturday was a challenge, and took some time. The NW corner was last in with those remaining falling in quickly, but with some reservation…e.g. 9a…
    Even 30a took a while although the anagram was obvious, I was looking for ……..!
    My view was that the answers generally were a little obscure from the definition e.g. 26d but clever notwithstanding.
    Thanks to compiler and BD for the hints.

  40. Tough this week but very enjoyable and I shared the Doh! moment over 1a

    Spent a while on 30a thinking of a different meaning for relish


  41. Long time lurker, driven to comment after struggling to finish (with just a lift!e help from the hints)…

    …I’m probably being dim, but I just cannot see what “roughly misses” has to do with anything in 16d. Help!

    Many thanks to Big Dave for the very useful blog, and, of course, Mr Ron.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Sigismund.

      16d … roughly misses – he sets up these sessions (7)
      A single-character abbreviation meaning roughly or approximately and a synonym for misses (as a plural noun).

      1. Thanks. The penny finally dropped just before I saw your comment. In my defence, being a proud Scot, I would say the required synonym is definitely missing a letter!

  42. I only do this crossword on Saturdays and it seems to me that they are getting more difficult every week or could it just be that I’m getting older and more forgetful.
    Er . . .what was I saying?

    1. Up to two years ago, I only used to do the Saturday crossword, as it seemed to be easier than the other days, but it used to take me almost the whole week to complete it. After I retired I started tackling the other days as well, but found I couldn’t understand the clues even when I checked the answers the next day! Then I found Big Dave’s site which explained the parsing, and now I can confidently tackle most days. But I have noticed that the Saturday puzzles are now much harder, and if they had been this hard when I first started I would have given up.

      Many thanks to Big Dave and all the bloggers for your help in getting me started.

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