DT 28779 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28779 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28779 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club
Hosted by Tilsit

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Morning all.  It’s the last Saturday of the month and I’ve dropped in while the Boss pops to his local Farmers’ Market and gets some delicious comestibles for the weekend.  It looks like its our Saturday Mysteron, with an enjoyable, if slightly challenging puzzle.

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.


1   Meant to get lower classes free (10)
Social classes are often indicated by letters, and you need the two lowest letters used and add a word meaning to free.

12   Garden role not adapted by urban area (7,6)
Rearrange (adapted) the first three words to get the name of a major urban area.

14   Pointless friend losing head and gathering speed for Armstrong, perhaps? (8)
Probably my favourite clue today.  The surname of the ‘Pointless Friend’ in the popular TV quiz show loses its first letter and has inserted a word meaning speed.  This gives you a type of person that someone named Armstrong is very famous for being.

19   Mother crossing on old airline gets night light (8)
Take on and the abbreviation for an old airline from this country and outside this place a word for Mother.  This gives a natural form of light at night.

21   Avant-garde recordings could be so … um … eccentric (8,5)
The name given to an experimental type of sounds (i.e. dull and tuneless, as practiced by Karl-Heinz Stockhausen) is an anagram of the last three words.

26   Number regularly found in Indian tea (4)
Alternate letters of the last two words should reveal something.

27   Throws away meal given king — not the finest cut of meat (5,5)
An inferior type of meat used in stews etc., is revealed by taking a word meaning throws away, adding the name of a meal and an abbreviation for a monarch.


1   Female captivates very peaceful type (4)
The name for a female animal has the abbreviation for very inserted to give the name for someone who doesn’t like war.

3  British hail American dystopian novel (5,3,5)
An abbreviation for British takes the wordier how you greet someone in ancient Rome.  Add to this an old description of America to get a famous dystopian work of fiction.

7  When weather is miserable it sounds first-class (4,3)
Another clever clue.  A description of an occasion of miserable weather is a homophone of how you would describe something excellent.

8   Rebellion lacking enthusiasm for old comedy programme (6,4)
In the days of the old newspaper tailboards, one of the challenges that came up was to name your top ten ITV comedy shows.    Most people never got past six.  However this one always appeared.  The name for a rebellion takes a description of how you are if you have no enthusiasm for something.

13   Shield wounded guerrilla imprisoned by flipping beak (10)
This is a term in heraldry for a type of shield.  Inside the reverse of a word for your beak goes something that means wounded with a knife and the name of a famous guerrilla/freedom fighter.  This gives you the term which is also the name for one of these….

18  Camping equipment — something to bowl at, taking wicket ultimately (4,3)
The (slightly unusual) name for a piece of camping equipment is something you bowl at in a sport that’s not cricket with the last letter of wicket inserted.

23  Stupid person preserved beef (4)
A double definition.  The name for a stupid person is also that of a type of preserved beef that is a popular snack in various parts of the world.

Enjoy your solving!  Play nicely as usual.  I’ll pop in and out later to check!

I’ll leave you with a favourite tune that contains one of the finest lines ever written in a song.  It also contains the answer to one of the clues I haven’t blogged!  Enjoy!!


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The Quick Crossword pun: furs+twirled=first world

58 comments on “DT 28779 (Hints)

  1. Yet more good fun and, as is often the case, I was really sorry when it ended all too soon. The South went in smoothly but the North presented a couple of temporary hitches. Fav has to be 7d with several runners-up including 19a, 11d and 18d. Never heard of 21a. Thank you Mysteron and Tilsit.

    1. Your opening sentence has eloquently echoed my feelings, Angellov. I shall now have to amuse myself by switching to the GK puzzle…

  2. I found this quite challenging in places – mainly the SW and needed the wordplay to untangle 13d.

    Thanks to Tilsit and setter 2.5*/4*

  3. Not at all bad for a Saturday Prize; a reasonable challenge with some fine clues and enjoyable enough. Fav: 14a. 2.5* / 3.5*

  4. 14a clue of the week or even month in my humble opinion .
    Another great crossword and 5 stars from me .
    Greetings to everyone and goodbye to lovely June .

  5. Oh dear – I’m really not feeling the love for this one, perhaps it’s the hot weather making me grumpy.

    Struggled to parse 14a as I don’t watch the programme but I was fine with 8d which some others may not be so I guess it’s a case of ‘swings and roundabouts’.
    Think I’m quite relieved to discover that 21a passed me by………..

    Favourite was probably 27a.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Tilsit for manning the club.

  6. Not the best Saturday Prize Puzzle, somewhat parochial here and there with a few Hmms after solving some of the clues, such as 14a (a guess as I had no idea it related to a TV quiz programme), and the NE slowed me down to a fast canter – **/**.

    After solving 21a I did have to do a Google check to see if it exists and, apparently, it does.

    I agree with Tilsit that 18d is ‘slightly unusual,’ in fact, I might go further and say ‘very unusual.’

    Joint favourites – 27a and 4d.

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  7. I quite liked this puzzle, but I did wonder how any overseas solvers would get on with 14a. I did like 24a. I don’t know if it is the line Tilsit has in mind, but ‘I put you on a pedestal, you put me on the pill’ is pretty good isn’t it?

    1. I liked the ‘it’s wrong to wish on space hardware lines’ but that’s a bellter too!

          1. She was once married to a childhood friend, Steve Lillywhite. She is much missed.

    2. Coincidentally, I visited the Alexandra Road Estate today, which appears briefly in the video. After wandering around the Barbican earlier in the day, my daughter and I had a mini tour of some of London’s brutalist architecture!

      1. Oh, and thanks for the hints and to the setter; I wouldn’t have got there without you today, and I still don’t quite understand how 24a works.

  8. Enjoyable solve after a hesitant start. Like many I had no idea about the TV quiz in 14a, or the music in 21a. 18d foxed me for a while as I only play skittles, still popular in North Gloucestershire. Liked 7d a lot and quite a few of the others.

  9. Got there, but with a lot of bung ins, so hurrah but not a big hurrah today.

    Thanks to Tilsit and to the setter.

  10. No fountain pen for me today, sadly.

    Couldn’t get 21 across without help. Even though I do like the Kraftwerks and Tangerine Dreams of this World, I’ve never heard of this genre.

    Stockhausen syndrome?🤭🤣

  11. Not too sure what to make of this. It was far from easy, which is fine, and I got that sense of achievement once completed, but I seemed to miss out on the enjoyment. I did like the rekrul at 2d, and the excellent 27a. This 3.5* /3* for me today.

    Thanks to the Mysteron and Tilsit.

  12. I could have 7d wrong (and I don’t think I do), but I am have difficulty making the homophone work. Otherwise there were references that I struggled with (14a and 21a for example) but in general an enjoyable solve. Many thanks to Tilsit and the setter.

      1. Thanks also. Was struggling as well as had this as a bung in but the penny has dropped,thanks to further explanation.

  13. Did this most enjoyable crossword whilst attending the Chalk Valley History Festival and watching Spitfire and B17 Flying Fortess gracing the beautiful blue sky.
    14a is so good I explained its cleverness to my non cryptic better half.
    Many thanks to Mysteron and Tilsit

  14. I have an answer for 10a and sure it’s right but not keen on the word play/definition.

  15. Late start today and an even later finish. Got there in the end, but like Young Salopian I missed the usual enjoyment.
    I also had to google 21a to see if it existed.
    Overall a bit too tough for me.

    Thanks to BD and the team

  16. The SW was the most difficult for me. Some pretty esoteric stuff here, though I did dredge up 8d from the deepest recesses of my brain. Never did get 14a, I’ll do a bit of googling later.
    My fave was 19a as I worked for them when they were on Lower Regent Street. I had a flat in Buckingham Street and could walk to work. We were known as the “flat-earth society”.
    Thanks to setter and to Tilsit for his hints and pics.

  17. I have just deleted a comment that was along the lines of “I have L-M-N and can only get lemon”. Comments like this are not acceptable for weekend prize puzzles and will be deleted without warning. By all means ask for help, but do not divulge checking letters or possible answers in your comment.

  18. Thx for the explanation of 14a, never seen the program so was a bit at sea. The second half however was clever.
    For me a puzzle of two halves, the top was almost r&w but the lower half took a bit more thinking esp as I have never come across 21a before, sounds dreadful.

  19. Some difficulty in the SE corner, but after a tentative start the rest was completed without too much ado. 27ac was new to me, and 21ac sort of vaguely so. A good Saturday offering.

  20. Got there by a process of elimination but neither ‘er indoors nor I can fathom 10A!

  21. Nice puzzle that entertained educated and amused so fulfilled all I want for a puzzle.
    I did have a bit of trouble with 14a not because I didn’t know the TV programme but more because I went through pretty much every Armstrong known to man and beer drinker (make mine a Cameron) before the right one came to me. 13d was LOI and needed the hint. Lots of Brit TV new and old did make me wonder how well this would go down with some of our foreign correspondents but still a good start to the weekend. Thanks to Tilsit and setter.

  22. Fairly straight forward I thought. Fav was 24a. A couple I have but still not sure why 16d and 10a but an enjoyable crossword nonetheless.

  23. I’m glad I’m not the only one who’d never heard of 21a. I got it from the checking letters then had to do the old googlething. I used to love 8d. They just don’t make programmes like that anymore. Favourite clues were 14a ( I had to go through several Armstrong’s before I worked out which one was required), and 7d for the sound. Many thanks setter and Tilsit.

  24. The SW corner did me in today, but not bad considering a night spent coughing instead if sleeping, and too congested right now to think straight. Hopefully better tomorrow, both cold and my crossword abilities.

  25. I found this fairly straightforward, no hold ups today.
    I just could not parse 25a, I can’t se where ‘in agreement’ comes in??
    Beautiful day in 12a today.
    Thanks all.

  26. As per GMY1965 and NEWMINSTER AND HOOFIT, I can’t get the reasoning for 10a, can anyone help?

    1. It’s one of those all in one when the definition is also part of the wordplay.
      A 7 letter synonym of rails or ridicules in which you insert the letter for One and the first letter of Stairs to give you those rails.

      1. Jean-Luc – thank you so much – it was really annoying me not being able to work it out!

  27. Tricky enough at times , particularly as I’ve never seen any episode of 8d .
    Grateful for the illustration of 13d .
    I liked 11d . Thanks to all concerned .

  28. Very good Saturday indeed.
    Worked hard and played hard.
    Manage this and the Italicus in the same day.
    Liked the wordplay in 24a and the clue altogether.
    Thanks to the Saturday setter and to Tilsit for the club.

  29. Quickly flicking through the above comments, I could only find one reference to 10a, and none for 22d. I’m sure I have the correct answers, but can’t see why – help please.

    1. For 10a see Jean-Luc’s explanation above.

      22d Support article that’s reduced effective powers (5)
      A support (on the golf course) followed by a definite article without its last letter.

      1. thanks, Gazza , my synonym for rails had 4 letters,and I now see I needed 7 . I can’t really equate that word to rails, which has a connotation of anger, I would have thought, whereas the 7 letter word has a friendly, jokey, connotation, IMHO.

        1. That was my impression as well but Chambers has what’s needed as the third meaning of rail.

    2. 10a Rails bearing one by top of stairs? (9)
      This is an all-in-one clue where the entire clue forms the definition. Start with a verb meaning rails and insert (bearing) I (one) and the initial letter (top) of S[tairs]

      22d Support article that’s reduced effective powers (5)
      This is easier than it looks once definition is separated from wordplay – a support (typically for a golf ball) is followed by an article (you need to decide whether it is direct or indirect) without its final letter (reduced)

      1. Thanks Dave/Gazza, these all-in-one clues are still a bit beyond me.

      2. thanks, Big Dave , my synonym for rails had 4 letters,and I now see I needed 7 . I can’t really equate that word to rails, which has a connotation of anger, I would have thought, whereas the 7 letter word has a friendly, jokey, connotation, IMHO.

  30. Struggled with the bottom bit but managed it in the end – was away from home without my usual aids. Most of the tricky ones for me did not have hints, so made it trickier!
    Thanks to Tilsit for the clues, so I’ll send it in now!

  31. Have you any comments on the spelling of 2d? My cookbook gives a version that does not fit what I think 14a must be.

    1. Welcome to the blog AAV

      Two points:
      1. Chambers, which shows two spellings, should be your first point of reference, not a cookbook,
      2. The spelling to be used is very clearly indicated by the wordplay in the clue – it’s hidden in reverse (up) inside “rang a salad”

  32. Catch up time…..
    19a was my favourite in this very good Saturday crossword. Not the usual walk in the park either.
    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the hints and Kirsty MacColl.

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