DT 28809 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28809 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28809 (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    When my speech is written, they should mark my words (8,6)
A cryptic definition of the punctuation usually wrapped around spoken words when written

10a    Charlie dances about following parking for reduced rate (4-5)
An anagram (dances) of CHARLIE around (about) F(ollowing) and P(arking)

13a    Note that one may leave quickly after hanky-panky (4-2)
A word meaning after is followed by a two-letter word meaning hanky-panky

17a    Vacant sty pens worried pet chicken (7-3)
The outer letters (vacant) of S[t]Y around a verb meaning worried and followed by a pet

20a    Amber nectar insect’s found by river (4)
An insect is followed by R(iver)

22a    Loves wearing different red suits, plus spectacles for a spell (6)
O and O (loves) inside (wearing) the abbreviations for the red suits in a pack of playing cards followed by what visually looks like a pair of spectacles

27a    Power lies with Europe manoeuvring around as it’s hard to see through (3-6)
P(ower) inside an anagram (manoeuvring) of EUROPE which then goes around the AS from the clue

28a    Wobbly bodies seen in these? (8,6)
An adjective meaning wobbly followed by a word meaning bodies or torsos gives an item of clothing in which said wobbly bodies may (indicated by the question mark) be seen


2d    Material from US city underwritten by 50% of capital (5)
The two-letter abbreviation of a US city followed by 50% of a capital city rather closer to home

4d    Smashed particle — it becomes more than double (10)
An anagram (smashed) of PARTICLE IT

6d    Motorway exit where tractors should go? (3-4)
Well deserving of its question mark, this word that could, at a pinch, describe a motorway exit is where tractors should go

7d    Looks painful, having ring inserted in facial feature (9)
A phrase that could mean looks painful (4,4) around the ring-shaped letter

8d    Weekly magazine’s laid on wine for Wimbledon tennis perhaps (9,5)
A weekly magazine is followed by the S from ‘S and a fortified wine

9d    Pictures, strangely shiny, set in process that gives everything more life (14)
Some pictures followed by an anagram (strangely) of SHINY SET

16d    Masses hit oil pool with no time to deviate (3,6)
An anagram (to deviate) of HI[t] OIL POOL without the T (no time)

21d    Lots of squares taking in arrangements of basic numbers — it’s puzzling (6)
A cryptic definition of what I regard as a particularly boring game – Mrs BD would disagree!

25d    Frank in love with writer (4)
O (love) followed by a writing implement

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: dock+tor+know=Dr. No

58 comments on “DT 28809 (Hints)

  1. I found this a bit of a slog without much light relief. Somehow several clues were too clever by half and that, added to numerous two word solutions, made for limited fun. 15a provided a penny-drop moment after spending time working around an association with East London and 13a did raise a giggle. Thank you Mysteron and BD.

  2. 2* / 2.5*. Nothing either to excite or to frighten the horses here today. I agree whole-heartedly with BD about 21d (which in any event didn’t work for me as a cryptic definition because the answer hit me immediately rather than the obtuse alternative reading of the clue).

    13a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD.

  3. Took a bit of scribbling and checking that I had the right fodder for some of the (partial) anagrams. 20a raised a grin re my avatar
    13a got a titter too.
    Which of the pics is a self portrait?
    Thanks to BD and setter.
    Oh the save my name etc. option has vanished.

  4. Re 10a, can somebody please explain how “Following” can be abbreviated to “F”? Ta.

      1. Thanks Kitty, I didn’t know that one.

        I had this finished in ***/**** time, but I didn’t really enjoy it. Some of the clues were too much of an attempt at humour. I know it’s silly season, but crossword solving is a serious matter!! Bah Humbug.

        Thanks to all.

  5. Really enjoyed this one . 13 ac and 17 ac in particular had me smiling, 22 ac took a while to fathom whilst listening to enthralling test match

    1. My sentiments entirely and I nearly spilled a mug of coffee when Virat Kohli was given out.

  6. Seems I liked the acrosses a lot more than the downs today. Loved 13a, 17a and 28a.

    Thought 9d’s def a bit odd and also questioned the first bit of 6d, plus the “frothy” on 19d – a bit poetic, that.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

    Many Happy Returns of the day Jane. :rose:

  7. First pass through the Acrosses produced nothing so I was beginning to think this was going to be a real stinker. Then, slowly but surely the clues started to give up their secrets and it was done with only a couple of ‘look ups’ in the Small Red Book and a necessary, as usual, check of the spelling of 21d – **/***.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 1a and 8d, which has a sense of familiarity about it.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

    And, Happy Birthday to our favourite Anglesonian!

  8. I really enjoyed this challenge, maybe as I needed no assistance electronic or otherwise. It just made a satisfying time after clearing up our four full milk bottles which local youths had smashed over the road. Thank yo to the setter and Big Dave.

  9. Lots of fun this morning and too many favourites to mention. Took a little while to finish as I’m watching the test cricket. It so exciting. Thank you setter and BD.

  10. I too have never seen the appeal of 21d but I know others who are almost addicted.

    Liked today’s puzzle. I love little puns anad jokes. However for the life of me I can’t get 26a. I have an idea as to what it is but I just don’t see why.

  11. Telegraph said this is a 5. Can’t be right.
    We finished it with no help this morning and we are relatively new.
    12a is elementally challenged!. Rolls in Waitrsose don’t have this!
    Accepted as a red herring!
    Enjoyed the puzzle.
    Many thanks to all.

  12. Firstly, many thanks to BD for my birthday banner and to those who’ve left me greetings. I’m making this birthday last as long as possible – three ‘birthday’ lunches with friends this week and two more to come next week, can’t be bad!

    Enjoyed today’s puzzle and no problems encountered once I’d sorted out the required ’10 items’ in 26a.

    Rather liked 17a & 7d but saved the top spot for 13a – really raised a chuckle.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to BD for the club.

    1. Many Happy Returns Jane. Treat yourself to a new book. “The Words In My Hand” by Guinevere Glasfurd……….but don’t read anything about Descartes first, otherwise you’ll spoil the story.

      1. I’ve placed my order – should be here by the end of next week. I’ll report back when I’ve read it.

        1. That’s nice to hear, hope you enjoy it. You’ve recommended good books in the past that I’ve enjoyed.

    2. Happy Birthday Jane! I have been absent lately for many reasons but hope to back in the Autumn.

      1. Thank you, SW. I guessed by your absence recently that you’re knee deep in the busy season – hope it goes well.

      1. I thought ‘hanky panky’ was an anagramatic indicator referring to ‘that’ in the clue.
        Sorry, a bit convoluted.

  13. Strange one this. I struggled through two thirds and was about to throw in the towel, when the rest suddenly fell into place. Very satisfying. I thought 1,17&27a were brilliant clues.
    Thanks to BD and the setter.

  14. I thought this puzzle was a bit quirky in places with some unusual answers.
    13a was a prime example and also my favourite. A good fun solve all told.
    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints.

  15. Fairly satisfying solve, though this hot weather befuddled the brain sufficiently to make 26A the last in. Couldn’t for the life of me figure out the significance of ‘10 items’ until the penny dropped. D’oh!
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  16. Liked this a lot, my sort of puzzle with lots of fun and a fair challenge. The SW corner took quite a bit of sorting, last in 26a and not sure I have sorted the ten items or certain my answer is correct, found this one difficult to parse? Lots of excellent clues and for most of the time on the right wavelength. A very good prize puzzle in my opinion and thoroughly enjoyed?

    Clues of the day: 1a / 22a / 8d / 14d to mention a few.

    Rating: 3* / 4*

    Thanks to BD and the setter.

  17. I was so far off wavelength here I wasn’t going to post, but I had to go online to wish Jane a very happy birthday. I’m so glad you’ve got so many celebrations, two weeks’ worth, that’s the way to do it, Jane.

  18. Quite a straightforward crossword for a Prize Puzzle. The only one that held me up was 26a. 13a just about my favourite of many. Enjoyable and satisfying to solve. Many thanks to BD and our Saturday setter.

    Horrified to see the football season underway while we have just completed the first test match.

    1. Welcome to the blog Silly Gilly

      I have removed your partial answer – please don’t do that in future.

      26a Article should be wrapped in less plastic, in which 10 items could go (5)
      I didn’t think it warranted a hint – it’s the indefinite article inside an anagram (plastic) of LESS – 10 in the clue should be replaced by the answer to 10a.

      1. I have been pondering all day. All checkers in and correct. The clue made no sense to me. Totally defeated me. The half hints at comments 11 and 18 from Angelov didn’t hit the spot. It’s been a long time since a single clue flummoxed me as this one did. Ireland’s Place in The World Cup Final, dinner at Mowgli in Birmingham, Matilda at The Birmingham Hippodrome and late drinking with Bongo Dave and Big Dave’s hint leading to the solution of 26 ac all make for a perfect day.

        1. Same here – thank goodness it was not only me. Thanks BD for the hint. Late start MP it was carnival day in St Mawes.

  19. I suspect 26a was a challenge for some of us because there different rules everywhere. I hadn’t realised there even was a 10 or less thing.

    But then I started off with ye olde string bag, progressed to a thingie hooked on the back of my sons’ pushchairs, then moved to the USofA ‘Paper or Plastic Ma’am?’ and on to Canada where can still get plastic bags, which we pay for, or buy those re-usable ones which is what we opt for.

    Hope this is not too specific and breaking the rules.

      1. I am more than likely wrong but I don’t think I’ve ever seen that kind of discount. I tend to take a list and shop to that to avoid impulse buys so perhaps I just missed them. We do have discounted good or ‘Buy 3 for $5’ type things but they are rarely restricted. For instance the local shop has sweetcorn at the moment 12 for $6, but they don’t care how many you buy as long as they get rid of it all.

        1. I think you’ve rather missed the large hint BD gave you in his reply, Carolyn.
          You will be kicking yourself come Friday’s review!

          1. OK lol I spend half my time kicking myself when I see the answers anyway :-) I thought he was asking me a question. I tend to take things at face value. My sons regularly dead-pan and tell me things and when I gasp ‘Really?!’ they reply. ‘No’ and then they all fall about laughing at how gullible their mother is.

  20. Thank you for the confirmation I must be in good company if MP was also flummoxed!

  21. Lovely Saturday crossword. Busy day yesterday but knocked it off in bed this morning with my cup of hot water!9d went in first which gave me a good start. I liked 17a and 22a. 21d was last to go in I went off on the wrong track. Did not need you today but love the blog so thanks again.

  22. Still haven’t got 10a, must be going way over my head, finished the rest ages ago?????

    1. From my hint you have all nine letters, five of them are checked, leaving four. If you have correctly completed the rest of the puzzle you have only to insert those four. I don’t think I can go any further without giving the answer.

  23. I quite enjoyed this one even though it was more of a “fun” puzzle than a seriously challenging cryptic. But the fun was over too quickly. 2* / 3*

  24. Mixed feelings on this…Agree that it was over elaborate and thanks for the odd hint BD. Liked 1a although it took me a while. Lately the clues have been excellent for about 50 % and convoluted for the rest- almost to despair!
    If not for BD l wouldn’t have sent them in! Thx again!

  25. Liked the 007 theme in the quickie;
    Very nice cryptic I thought-surprised to see some negative comments;
    -lucky insect in 20A and a nuclear 4D.

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