DT 28797 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28797 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28797 (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    Venomous creature with nemesis for Cleopatra? (4)
W(ith) followed by the venomous creature that was Cleopatra’s nemesis

3a    During race, say, fences left unfinished (10)
A two-letter word meaning during followed by a verb that could (say) mean to race around L(eft)

9a    Celebrity needs unlimited cover for teeth (4)
Start with the material that covers teeth and drop its outer letters (un-limited)

14a    Harbour staff reported tug in case that’s needed on voyage? (11)
A harbour is followed by a verb meaning to staff and what sounds like (reported) a verb meaning to tug

21a    Wearing pants, not quite sticking to the vital parts (2,5)
If one was wearing pants one could be (2,6) – drop the final letter (not quite)

22a    ‘Insect from Outer Space’ said to be crazy (7)
Split as (4,3) this sounds like (said) an insect from beyond the earth’s atmosphere (outer space)

24a    From an Asian land that lacks a border with India (4)
Start with THA[t] without its final letter (a border) and add the IVR code for India

26a    Creative works from Puerto de Santiago (4)
Hidden (from) inside the clue


1d    Turn to go down to Tube — one should take in the air (8)
A verb meaning to turn is followed by a tube

2d    Hat must be raised or placed at foot of grave (8)
The reversal (raised in a down clue) of OR is preceded by (placed at foot of, again in a down clue) an adjective meaning grave


5d    Broadcast Poe’s gripping verse — about fifty fail to be stirred? (9)
An anagram (broadcast) of POE around (gripping) VERSE itself around the Roman numeral for fifty

7d    Overtake roughly in British river, lapping over another going north (6)
The single-letter Latin abbreviation for roughly or about goes inside two British rivers – the second is reversed (going north in a down clue) – which share a letter (lapping over)

12d    Tame party with this person in charge — had a bite across street (11)
In this context tame is a verb – a two-letter party, the first person singular objective pronoun (this person, the setter), the abbreviation of In Charge and a verb meaning had a bite of food around (across) ST(reet)

17d    Oddly posey son, following fashionable prophets (8)
The odd letters of POSEY then S(on) following an adjective meaning fashionable

19d    Major forces Right to go in union with extra trouble and strife? (6)
A three-letter adjective meaning major and some fighting forces without (to go) the R(ight) – don’t forget that trouble and strife is Cockney rhyming slang!

22d    Grub is hot stuff — run to tuck in (5)
Start with some volcanic hot stuff and insert (to tuck in) R(un)


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: timer+sheen=time machine

A highlight from this morning’s Sounds of the Sixties


46 comments on “DT 28797 (Hints)

  1. 3.5* / 2.5*. I found this fairly tough today and, although it was a puzzle to admire, it contained far too many charades for my taste some of which were very convoluted and the surface of 16d is rather iffy.
    Although I understand the clever definition in 23a, I can’t completely parse my answer and was hoping this one might have been included in the hints. :sad:

    6d & 19d were brilliant and my joint favourites.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

    1. As you probably guessed, I thought it was too easy to warrant a hint!

      23a Constables perhaps assembled here, needing nerve to occupy big vessel (3,7)
      A four-letter word meaning nerve or cheek inside (to occupy) a big (blood) vessel

      1. D’oh!

        Thanks very much, Dave. I suspected that was the reason you hadn’t included it but I was completely transfixed by a very different “big vessel”.

        1. Were you also struggling to make *** ******* fit? [Tut, tut – please leave discussion of wrong answers for Friday! BD]

    2. Morning. I read 23a as a type of blood vessel wrapped around another word for nerve, as in sheer nerve. Hopefully I’ve got that right.
      Initially thought this was going to be a lot trickier than it turned out to be.
      Thank you Big Dave and setter.

  2. This was quite mild, an average Sat Prize regarding difficulty. The clues were generally good and It was an enjoyable solve. Favs: 3a, 23a and 19d. 2* / 3.5*

  3. First comment from me for quite a while; I’ve been qietly enjoying the puzzles on my ipad through a very nice crossword app, Crossword Classic. But no more as the Telegraph has stopped the app accessing the puzzles. I don’t know why as a subscription is still required. As the Telegraph puzzles website requires Adobe Flash Player ( not supported on Apple devices), I now have to go to my office at the bottom of the garden to print off the puzzles and complete using pen and ink. If anyone has bright ideas on how to continue using my ipad without spending a fortune on a Telegraph digital subscription, please let me know.
    As for today’s puzzle, it proved relatively straightforward after a slow start. 19d is magnificent.

    1. Hi, yes, same happened to me. I complained to the Telegraph and they said that soon the website will be revamped without the need for flash.
      In the meantime I am using Puffin browser as this uses flash and works on the IPad. It’s a bit finicky but will suffice until the new website.
      Shame about the crossword app as this was excellent. I subscribe to the puzzles section only which isn’t too bad an expense.

      1. Many thanks for this. Hopefully the Telegraph will incorporate the ease of use of the crossword app!

    2. But perhaps if enough of us don’t pay for the DT digital access to the crosswords we might lose them altogether? We pay for the on line newspaper and separately to be able print the puzzles, and for the level of enjoyment we get, well worth the small cost.

  4. Just right combination of challenge and amusement to accompany my breakfast. Mostly quite wordy clues which were fun to work out. NW corner was slowest to yield. After some deliberation I tend towards 22a as Fav with 23a running up. Many thanks Mysteron and BD.

  5. Took a while for me to get started. Thanks to the odd anagram, first one in was 10a. Then gradually filled in top RHS. Then around clockwise. Last one 19d needed the hints and gave me a smile.
    Was thrown by some of the wordy clues, being more used to the mid week style. However I smiled at more answers today, particulatly liking 16d, 23a(fav) 14a and several more. So thanks to BD and setter for making my Sat morning enjoyable

  6. Rather enjoyed this one despite the occasional dodgy surface read, e.g. 16d.

    Top spots went to 22&23a with bronze medal shared between 6&19d.

    Thanks to Mr Saturday Ron and to BD for the club – had a good sing-along with The Ronettes!

  7. I found that a bit easier than the last few Saturdays. 19d was the last to go in, with 21d probably my favourite (which tells you all you need to know about my sense of humour). Thanks to the setter and Big Dave, I hope everyone gets to enjoy the puzzle as much as I did.

  8. For me this was a bit ‘after the Lord Mayors Show’ after yesterday’s brilliant puzzle. I am not a fan of these wordy puzzles and I thought this one clumsier than most. Tricky and a bit of a slog.

  9. That there anagram in that nameless clue is the best anagram clue I have seen in years. Not only that, it reminded me of The Mermaid Inn

  10. A super Saturday puzzle and on the setters radar from the off. Not a walk in the park but a fair challenge with lots of great clues a really good puzzle in my opinion, I quite like these wordy clues and in fairness again I thought the vast majority of the clues could be solved from the wordplay. However needed to parse and justify my last in 9a with BD hints apart from that the others all justified ok, a very satisfying solve.

    Clues of the day: 14a / 21a / 6d / 19d and a few more.

    Rating: 3* / 4.5*

    Thanks to BD and the setter.

  11. Found this a bit tough and needed electronic help to get there in the end.
    A lot of charades which I always find tricky.
    But very enjoyable nevertheless.

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave.

  12. Nice puzzle completed unaided. Not my fastest but steady progress from the south NE corner last to yield.
    Isn’t the nerve of 23a also a type of 1a?
    21a my fave as we are all a bit sticky in parts in this weather.
    Thanks to BD for the hints and setter for the mental streching.
    Back to the cycling TTFN

  13. A seriously prize prize crossword. Quite hard in places with lots of ‘flat pack’ clues which I am not normally fond of but these were good. Seven clues earned ticks, four of those double ticks with 19d being prime. I am going for ***/**** which took two large coffees and an outrageously priced small bar of almond butter chocolate to complete.
    Thanks to setter and, of course, BD.

  14. Two particularly clever anagrams in 10 and 25a and 23a were on my podium for this fairly tricky Saturday puzzle. Apart from one or two forced charades I really enjoyed it and overall I thought it was a worthy challenge for a prize crossword.

    Many thanks to our setter and BD.

  15. Badly off wavelength today, needing a hint or two to get back on track and needing electronic help for the final stretch.
    I did like a lot, 23a was fave as it was my first solve.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for his help.

  16. No problems with this today, much easier than yesterday.
    I needed BD’s help to parse a few, luckily they were the ones selected which I suppose makes sense.
    Lots to like,I though 2d was very clever.
    Thanks all.

  17. Just finished , after 2 sessions , due to family visit and lunch out . The crossword was spoilt for me as my iPad , once again , blanked all squares twice for reasons unknown .

    19d outstanding favourite .

    Thanks to everyone

  18. An enjoyable puzzle that put up a little struggle here and there, but that was finished in about ** time. Last in 19d where I’d sort of guessed the answer from the start, but somehow getting a grasp on it eluded me until the very close.

  19. Very much enjoyed today, thanks to setter and Big Dave. Unusually, I was able to finish with no help other than a couple of hints. I must have been on the right wavelength today. Great start to the weekend. Favourite clues were 23a and 5d. All good stuff.

  20. 17d was my favourite in this somewhat ‘bitty’ challenge. I found myself skittering all over the grid with my answers, but I got there!
    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints.

  21. I really enjoyed this and managed it without recourse to the hints. A lovely way to spend a really hot afternoon when I could not raise the energy to do anything else. Many thanks.

  22. PS I really don’t like the picture you have given me – may I have a daisy?

  23. A pleasure to solve this yesterday in the sunshine. Some very clever clues.

  24. What worries me is the fact that many reported this as being easy,,,! I found it very difficult and didn’t ‘get’ quite a few early on. Perhaps the sun had got to me…Thanks to BD a couple of hints got .me going and I did finish it on Sunday. The last few Saturdays have become more convoluted I think.
    However it is an excuse to avoid the watering chores in the garden!

  25. Lots of ticks for this one-particularily liked 19D which seemed to be politically appropriate at the present time !

    1. Why do you always post so late, Robin? Are you on some far-flung island? You make me have to remember a puzzle from a few days ago!
      I always read your posts anyway so thanks for your contributions.
      I thought 19d was great too.

      1. I find it helps to have the answers available;
        wife monopolises the paper;
        struggling to catch up;

        any or all of the above !

        Thanks for the kind comment though.

        PS-I did not receive an email notification for your comment, or I would have responded earlier.

  26. For a change I am posting within the week – I note ‘letterboxes’ comment on Robin’s late response. Managed to do it all within deadline – I am a new to these and have a full time job!

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