DT 28761 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28761 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28761 (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.

Before complaining that this puzzle is difficult, please remember a) this is a prize puzzle and b) you have several days in which to complete it.

Some hints follow.


1a    Suffering as Samson was, fatally (10)
Look at this as (3-7) and it could describe what happened to Samson

6a    A person on foot took off (4)
The A from the clue followed by and the abbreviated form of a person travelling on foot

10a    Shared resources Hank’s taken back (4)
The reversal (taken back) of a hank or coil

13a    A military alliance film person dealing with bodies (9)
The A from the clue followed by a military alliance of Western powers and a film or spray

16a    Spies taking rebellious soldiers in films (6)
Our usual US spies around the reversal (rebellious – doesn’t work for me even though it is a synonym of revolutionary, what do you think?) of some soldiers – rebellious doesn’t serve as an anagram indicator as it would be indicating an indirect anagram

24a    What rough sea does to ship (4)
TO from the clue followed by our usual ship – a lot easier than it looks!

27a    Mark a point with sharp beaks (10)
M(ark) followed by the A from the clue, a point or nub and an adjective meaning sharp or pungent – these beaks are concerned with the administration of law

29a    Person handling money could make fortune returning wad of notes (10)
A six-letter word meaning fortune or luck followed by the reversal (returning) of a wad of [bank]notes


1d    Stupid daughter getting behind (4)
D(aughter) followed by a word meaning behind in a nautical sense

2d    Major port in south-east America (7)
This clue looks as if it has escaped from a General Knowledge puzzle! – a port (in South America) goes inside the two-letter abbreviations for south-east and the United States of America

4d    Bites uppish friend in the back (8)
The reversal (uppish) of a verb meaning bites followed by a friend

7d    Word in email regularly seen in plain language (7)
The even letters (regularly) of email inside some plain, unpoetic, language

14d    Cowboy comfortable coming up with delay (10)
The reversal (coming up in a down clue) of a four-letter adjective meaning comfortable followed by a verb meaning to delay or hang around

21d    Set up where horse might be at start of race (7)
Split as (2,5) this describes where a horse might be at start of race

22d    Opening note penned by German composer (6)
A note in the tonic sol-fa inside a German composer

25d    Doctor embracing the old? One adds colour (4)
An abbreviation for doctor around an old-fashioned word for “the”

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!

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The Quick Crossword pun: wreck+stiller+sun=Rex Tillerson – former US Secretary of State

49 comments on “DT 28761 (Hints)

  1. Most of this seemed to go in fairly well and most enjoyably until the last one, 27a, where I’d have been for a week without the hint. My favourite was 9a. Thanks for the blog.

  2. I did think it was difficult but that is not a complaint!
    9a, 20a, 29a and 7d all favourites.
    The thought of 5d induced a wince.
    Thank you setter, whoever you are.

  3. I am not complaining BD but phew that certainly was a battle without many lighter moments however I pressed on regardless whilst enjoying the sunshine and got there in the end. No Fav. No wonder I couldn’t make out the Quickie pun. Thank you Mysteron and BD. 😥

  4. 3* / 2.5*. I found this a bit of a curate’s egg today both in terms of difficulty and enjoyment epitomised by the brilliant definition in 27a contrasting with the very dodgy definition in 29a together with a mixture of good and iffy surfaces. The NE corner was the hardest although I didn’t help myself by writing in the answer for 10a in the space meant for 6a.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

    1. We should have joined forces Dave, I put the answer to 6a in the space for 10a.

  5. Try again.
    Enjoyed the challenge but had to wait for the hints to guarantee matters .A nice mixture of clues , easy if knowing hard if unknown . Liked Clint the best , never heard of the beaks .
    Thanks to everyone .

  6. Definitely something of a mixed bag for me. A couple of unconvincing reversal indicators in ‘rebellious’ and ‘uppish’ along with a few decidedly odd surface reads eg 20a & 25d.

    27a was the last to fall – needed all the checkers in place and I also had a blind spot where 7d was concerned.

    No particular favourite although I do now have an earworm for the day courtesy of 9a!

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to BD for the club.

    1. I totally agree with your comments, Jane, and, in particular, your second paragraph. Although I’d put in answers for both 7d and 27a, I wasn’t really sure why and so I’m grateful to Dave for his explanations. In mitigation, I would add that I was watching Trooping the Colour at the same time I was completing the puzzle…

  7. Took me over *** ***** with several attempts, yes it was tough. But got there in the end before the hints here appeared.

  8. I do not think that I am in any danger of winning the pen this week.

    Way above my paygrade.

    Thanks to Big Dave.

  9. Difficult, but got there in the end, and enjoyed it. To me, it seemed like a puzzle from a different newspaper – a bit of a change. Anyway, have a good weekend all.

  10. Excellent crossword. Only needed blog for 27a. Didn’t realise 20a was an anagram until I’d written it in.

  11. I enjoyed this. Well almost, I am completely stuck on 9a even though I have all the letters I can get, provided I have those clues right of course…..

    But I will say I was very proud of myself at 1.25 a.m. – yes a.m. – when I got 11d.

    LHS’s new job involves him doing 7 day/any 8 our shift in 24, bouts of shifts. Fist time since we were in our early 20’s. He is fine, loves the job. I am all over the place. His shifts change every 4 days to a different time slot and I seem to be up the creek all the time. Quite apart from having no idea that today is Saturday.

    Thanks BD and the setter.

  12. Slow to start but steady solve till I reached the NE. I did not help myself by spelling 8d incorrectly. As soon as I realised my mistake I solved16a with the correct last letter. Having got so far I was reluctant to look at the hints but gave in eventually, Got 6a with the hint. I did not like this clue particularly the short form for a person on foot. I was then able to get 7d which I have no complaints with. I had not thought of “word” in that sense. I did not have a problem at all with 27a but did take longer than normal with the other anagrams. Favourites probably 14d and 9a. Thanks setter for the challenge and Big D.

  13. Really enjoyed this after a slow and somewhat daunting start, pleased to have completed this challenging puzzle even though I needed two hints from the blog. Once again perseverance paid off and at one stage nearly gave up but ploughed on thank goodness. Know nothing about Mozart so got that one with electronic help. Last in 25d because lazily I put the obvious answer in for 27a with a letter incorrect that scuppered 25d until the penny dropped. Lots of excellent clues and very difficult to nominate favourites today but I will have a go anyway.

    Clues of the day: 13a / 4d / 14d

    Rating: 4* / 4*

    Thanks to BD and the setter.

    1. PS: Thanks to BD for his advice ‘re ‘this difficult puzzle’ at the top of the blog. It helped me to focus on it.

  14. As a rare passage migrant to the Saturday puzzle, the following observations might be based partly on a ‘wavelength’ issue – but this one did strike me as a lot closer to toughie level than the usual D.T. ‘back-pager’. Definitely a slow plod for me, eventually dipping-out at the North East corner, where a couple of dodgy answers were sheepishly pencilled in (I see from the review that one of them actually appears to have been a good guess). Time now to train my binocs on something a bit less taxing. :bye:

  15. Tough going I thought. Was very pleased to get 9a. Probably easier for over 60s who sang folk songs at school. Trouble with 20a. Forgot that nuts could be anagram indicator.

    1. Not sure what you think we got up to at school in the ‘dark ages’ – I don’t recall much in the way of singing folk songs!

      1. I’m not sure about the ‘dark ages’ but I can remember in junior school a regular weekly broadcast from the BBC where we (the class) had a book with all the words to various songs. Interestingly or strangely or bizarrely, I knew the words to some of the tunes the bands played at Trooping the Colour yesterday

      2. Nor do I, not at school, anyway. However, my grandmother had a ‘Community Song Book’ and would play the piano while I ‘sang’ (it must have sounded ghastly – what a tolerant gran) along – the 9a was a favourite.

  16. 27a was a bung-in from the checking letters and definition. I needed the review to explain how it was all put together. Many thanks setter and BD.

  17. Above my pay grade and only finished sadly with a lot of help. These crosswords are my daily brain exercise, so the prize aspect at weekends doesn’t factor in for me (and I know my limitations). If I can’t solve on the day, I am to to the latest next day. Clearly a good challenge for the brighter folks today.

  18. Certainly more difficult than I was expecting from a DT puzzle. The abbreviation used in 1ac was gettable but not one that’s in daily use, and I wasn’t impressed by “Hank” in the wordplay at 10ac which goes beyond being obscure, and would required a trip to the dictionary if you hadn’t guessed the answer. The wordplay in 27ac was also quite difficult, even if the definition was quite deliciously cryptic. :-)

    An odd one – if this puzzle had appeared in another paper I wouldn’t have blinked an eyelid, but it felt out of place here unless the new editor is seriously upping the difficulty level?

  19. At first go it was tough but stuck with it and got there in the end.

  20. I did need some help today -thanks BD! Some obscure ones today – the Hank one was new to me…
    I should have got 1a earlier as I was in a rush as off on holiday early Sunday!

  21. Yes to most of the comments about difficulty. I did get there in the end but needed hints for several and parsings to understand a few I had bunged in. 14d gave the most trouble and when the penny dropped I was able to get there. Thanks to BD for the hints and the setter.
    I was late to this one. I went to the mining museum to see the pitmen paintings and found it was also the miners picnic so I did the easy ones to a background of brass band music, cups of tea and ham and pease pudding sandwiches. I could have washed it down with broon ale but that would have impaired my solving even more and the drive home possibly fatally.

  22. Quite a head scratcher and needed the hint for 27a to prod me over the line. Thanks to all.

  23. What an odd prize crossword! A real curate’s egg. I took three attempts and ultimately resorted to the hints to complete it. Not amused! Strange things wavelengths.
    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints without which…..

  24. I did this yesterday afternoon but decided to hold back on commenting as I was totally unsure how to rate it. This morning I am still uncertain. It was a very slow start, then a gradual realisation of what the compiler was getting at. I did have a sense of achievement at the end. 27a just my favourite from 14d, and overall 3.5* /3* for me.

    Thanks to our setter and BD.

  25. I thought this a real head-scratcher and thoroughly enjoyable.
    Last in 4d.
    Got there eventually, unaided.
    Many thanks to all involved.

  26. I didn’t get round to looking at this one until yesterday evening so blamed being out of my normal routine on how difficult I found it.
    By the time we’d had supper and watched a film I still had a few answers left and they all came to me over coffee this morning.
    4d was my last one and although I’m pretty sure it’s right I still can’t quite see why the answer is synonymous with ‘in the back’.
    Glad to find that I wasn’t the only one to find this tricky.
    13, 27 and 29a were the clues that stood out for me today – well, yesterday!
    With thanks to whoever set the crossword and to BD.

    1. 4d An ********* adjective (hope I’m within the rules) [if you think about it that is an unfortunate choice of word! BD]

  27. Another cracking Saturday Prize, that’s 2 on the run, now. A good, taxing challenge, generally fine clues and providing prolonged enjoyment with a feeling of attainment at the end. 4* / 4.5*

  28. Good puzzle, even if there seems to me something odd about the hint for 7d?
    Thanks to all

  29. Did not know the gold diggers
    Had a fantastic (wrong) answer for 1d
    Daughter plus ***
    Is **** 😳

    [Please save discussion of incorrect answers for Friday’s review. BD]

    1. I had that!

      Oh and for the gold diggers I got it a either ‘******’ or ‘*******’ which took me down the wrong path there for ages. [Save it for Friday’s review. BD]

  30. Aaaaarghhhh I do not know the answer to 9 across – can anyone give me a hint
    Rest of the crossword done

    1. Welcome to the blog Trudy

      9a Try on manoeuvres adopted by superior gold-digger (5-5)
      An anagram (manoeuvres) of TRY ON inside (adopted by) an adjective meaning superior

  31. I think this is the trickiest prize puzzle I’ve seen. Only managed to get two clues on the first run through (apart from the Mozart clue which I guessed but couldn’t parse). Finally finished it with help from the blog and other electronic aids, but no real sense of satisfaction.

  32. Having trouble with 5d. Electronic help has revealed only one word but can’t parse it for the life of us! It’s the last one to fill in! Any clues/help gratefully received!

    1. Hi Fiona,
      5d – the definition is ‘cleansing procedure’ and you should be able to find the answer lurking in the clue.

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