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DT 28821 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28821 (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    Men have one-legged race that raises cash for the needy? (8)
Some chessmen are followed by what could be a one-legged race

10a    Fork for example used the wrong way getting journalist sacked (6)
This fork is an example of an implement, such as one might use in the garden – reverse the four-letter word and add our usual journalist

11a    Ninety in Brussels seem unexpectedly sorry (6,2)
The Roman numerals for ninety inside the much-maligned organisation that is based largely in Brussels and followed by an anagram (unexpectedly) of SEEM

12a    Avoid being opponents in game with champ (6)
Two of the opponents in the game of bridge are followed by a verb meaning to champ

18a    … much-loved touring company is revealing talents (10)
An adjective meaning much-loved around (touring) CO(mpany)

22a    This person about to appear twice, carrying on like a superstar? (6)
… be careful here, the phrase “to appear twice” refers to this person and the single-letter Latin abbreviation for about

23a    Something one’s burning to sing about? (8)
A cryptic definition of a conflagration that people, typically Boy Scouts, sit around and sing songs

24a    Anger over admitting team will get special potion (6)
… this “team” is the Roman numerals for the number of players in a football or cricket team

25a    A very wearing foxtrot, say, with daughter, 18 (8)
A from the clue followed by V(ery) inside the type of activity of which a foxtrot is an example (say) and then D(aughter) gives a synonym of the answer to 18 Across

27a    American should avoid some russet apples from here? (8)
Drop a two-letter abbreviation for American from two words in the clue (no anagram needed!)


2d    Yank‘s right to interrupt old-fashioned waitress? (6)
R(ight) goes inside what is now deemed a derogatory term for a waitress

4d    Pythonesque topic about film, independent looking on the bright side of life (10)
I’m not sure about Pythonesque (with or without the capitalisation) as an anagram indicator, nevertheless an anagram of TOPIC goes around a film or haze and I(ndependent) to give the answer

6d    Where the German invasion starts at 7am? Mere cheek! (8)
German tourists apocryphally invade this location with their towels before breakfast – a mere is followed by cheek or arrogance

8d    On edge, using B-roads? (8)
Split (4,4), these could be minor or B roads

13d    Leave pit with effort — drive! (3-2-3-2)
A charade of a phrasal verb meaning to leave the pit or rise from bed, a word meaning with and an effort or attempt

17d    Power soiree perhaps attended by underling (8)
A soiree is an example (perhaps) of this two-letter word meaning a party – then add an underling

20d    Endlessly talk about sports event (6)
A verb meaning to talk about without its final letter (endlessly)

21d    Proof of ownership that’s overturned all the same (4)
A palindromic (that’s overturned all the same) proof of ownership of, for example, a house

The Crossword Club is now open.

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The Quick Crossword pun: whim+bull+done=Wimbledon

67 comments on “DT 28821 (Hints)

  1. It’s been an enjoyable tussle with today’s setter and some of the clues have required some serious thinking about. I particularly liked the misdirection in 2d and there was a loud clunk when the penny dropped.

  2. This was a good challenge, more difficult than most Sat Prizes. Fine clues and very anjoyable. I haven’t quite finished yet, but so far: 3.75 / 4*

  3. I found this the most difficult Saturday ever. Needed lots and lots of electronic help and the hints to finish this.I think the DT crossword editor must be trying to limit the number of entries!

  4. No 600 points for me today. The German invasion clue had me stumped for a good hour… I was in the verge of googling World War history when I twigged it. Had a good giggle. An enjoyable crossword, I thought, but rather let down by the baffling use of ‘Pythonesque’.

  5. 5* / 2.5*. I found this very tough but rewarding for the most part. I didn’t like 6d (and needed BD’s help to understand “mere cheek”), and I don’t think that Brussels is synonymous with the two letters needed in 11a.

    13d was my favoruite.

    Many thanks to Mr Tough Ron and to BD.

  6. Not as difficult as it appeared after the first read through which was not very productive. Top half gradually opened up for me but , as the grid does not give many southerly links , the bottom half also was an enjoyable struggle .

    Cannot pick a favourite today as so many deserve an accolade for ingenuity and misdirection .

    Will read the comments now which , no doubt , will vary greatly .

    Thanks to everyone for a great crossword .

  7. After a tentative start this turned out to be for me probably the most enjoyable cruciverbal challenge ever. There were so many clever surfaces that it is difficult to pick Favs but among candidates would be 22a, 6d, 7d, 13d, 15d and 16d with 13d probably in pole position. NW was last to go in and have to admit I needed a prompt there. Many thanks indeed Mysteron and BD.

  8. At first look thought this would defeat me but once I got going it all started to fall in to place. Thought there were some excellent and amusing clues and enjoyed it lots.

  9. 4d. I think Pythonesque refers to their song ” Always look on the bright side of life ” hence *********.

    1. Welcome to the blog Pam
      That means it is part of the surface reading, and why I added the video of that song. However contextually it is being used as an anagram indicator, which is why it is questionable.

      1. I was going to suggest pythoneque might mean snaking, as in twisting and turning, but apparently pythons move forward in a straight line, which is known at rectilinear progression. So I’m still none the wiser.

      2. I assumed that the setter was using Pythonesque to mean unpredictable, zany, surreal (of humour) and transferring that meaning as an anagram indicator to the letters in the fodder word. But it might be a bit of a stretch.

  10. I thought this was the wittiest puzzle for a long time, and really enjoyed it. Have a good weekend all.

  11. :phew: Blimey, that was difficult but good fun too – whenever there was a possibility of getting misled I was.
    I confess that I needed a shove for 10a and 6d – thanks, BD, I’m glad that those were two of the clues you picked to give hints for.
    I was stuck with the definition in 25a having completely missed the 18 at the end of the clue.
    Very few anagrams today – I made it two and one partial one – which probably, for me anyway, contributed to the level of difficulty.
    Lots of good clues – 23a, and 2, 6 and 15d – my favourite was one of that lot.
    Thanks to whoever set today’s crossword and to BD for the hints – and the 6d clip which always cheers me up.

  12. Well – obviously we were on this setters wavelength. Got over half the across clues – although the left hand side was looking a bit bare – and all but 1 of the downs on first pass.
    We read Pythonesque to mean SNAKELIKE – so like it as a a anagram indicator. Quite witty!
    In fact, agree with Toadstone the whole crossword was really witty.
    Favourites were 6d and 7d
    Thanks to the setter and BD for the hints

    1. Pythonesque with a capital “P” = zany or surreal – fine by me as an anagram indicator.

  13. After a particularly trying morning, I’m relieved to see that I wasn’t the only one to find this tougher than usual for a Saturday, not helped, I think, by the grid where each corner is like a separate puzzle and there are double unches too

    Thanks to the setter for the fun, BD for the hints, and Gnomey in advance for the review

  14. Saturdays seem to be getting trickier lately, but all the better for it. This was a wonderfully witty
    crossword. Well done.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

    1. My favourite as well. Commenting today as ran out of time to finish last night, but a good sleep and a refreshed mind got me over the finishing line.

  15. This puzzle has done me a favour today having just been to the allotment and picked two big punnets of huge Autumn Raspberries. That’s time well spent instead of “trying” to do this puzzle. Scrumptious!

    Thanks to all

  16. This was Toughie plus territory.
    Thoroughly enjoyable for the mental workout needed.
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  17. It wasn’t just me then. This needed a few attempts to get it finished, and was undoubtedly the hardest Saturday Prize Puzzle for some time. 6d was my favourite of many fine clues. Tough, enjoyable and rewarding. Thanks to our setter and BD.

  18. ****/***. This was a bit of a tinker. Quite a stretch for my little grey cells but enjoyable nevertheless. My favourite was 6d. Thanks to all. The fires near Prince George made the town look like a scene from Blade Runner.

    1. You’ve changed your alias since your last comment back in January 2014 but both should work now

      I’ve had to redact your comment because, although the answer to your question is yes, you haven’t obeyed the instructions given in red at the end of the hints

  19. Waaaay beyond my ken! I don’t think I even got halfway, roll on tomorrow’s Virgilius!

  20. Too tough for me, only completed with help from Mr Google, so low satisfaction level. Didn’t find any easy this week, so glad I wasn’t a first timer or it would have put me right off, still don’t understand 9a, which was last in. Perhaps tomorrow’s setter will be kinder, fingers crossed.

  21. Wow! That was hard work. I really thought I was having a bad day until I read the comments. 16d had me running around in circles until I realized I had 26a wrong. Sigh. So eventually I completed successfully. I need a brandy…
    Oh, favourite was 27a which I also struggled with till the penny dropped.
    Thanks to the setter (I think) and to BD for the hints.

  22. Lovely hard work. Unusual for a Saturday. 27a my favourite. Took ages to see it even with all 3 helpers
    Great crossword
    Thanks to all

  23. A fairly tricky offering today I thought. I did enjoy the numerous misdirections and thought it a well crafted puzzle. I didn’t have a solving time as I picked it up and put it down in between being busy at work today, but I guess around a 3* at least.

    Thanks to BD and setter – definitely 4* for enjoyment.

  24. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one to find this tricky. I was a long time getting the first half dozen, then a few fell in to encourage me. In the end I had to resort to BD’s hints- how does he do it! Thanks. Like Jeremy at 4 above, I was thinking that 1939 was somewhere in the answer…how wrong can you be?
    There were some excellent clues eg 14 and 16a which I was pleased to get without assistance. Well done the setter -but don’t do it every week!

  25. I am so relieved to see that others had difficulty with this one , I really thought I had lost whatever little bit of whatever it takes to solve these things .
    Not that I didn’t enjoy it , but I was grateful for some tips .
    Thanks to all concerned .

  26. A new departure to have a toughie at the weekend. Thank you setter and BD. Btw, there are words missing in the clue at 1a above.

  27. That was the first Saturday puzzle that I’ve not been able to finish in quite some time.
    Reading through the comments I was served with an ad for Gaviscon, maybe a couple of those will help!

  28. Phew, what a stinker! Glad to see it wasn’t just me though.

    Hated it, because I used BD and all other electronic aids so much after only getting half a dozen myself. Normally I use these for one or two, but today it was for two thirds!

    Still haven’t got 14a, in spite of having all the checking letters. All the completers at my disposal couldn’t help – can someone help me out?

    This may extend to someone possibly pointing out wrong checking letters. Disappointment has turned into dogged determination to complete by any means.

    1. 14a Stirring cancan? Yes, when principal among dancers is in command
      An anagram of CANCAN YES containing the principal letter of dancers.

      1. Would have been mine as well if I’d realised it was an anagram. Just shows how a toughie can discombobulate.

  29. SW corner done with some electronic help. NW corner with even more electronic help.
    Still struggling with the remaining corners so I’m about to read the invaluable hints above.
    I hope I’ve remembered my alias correctly. My tablet usually stores it but it seems to have disappeared. Probably down to the recent changes to privacy laws.

  30. Yep, got it. Thanks

    Last checking letter was wrong. Should have realised 8d was a plural. Was systematically taking one checking letter out at a time, and putting it through my completer, when I realised it was an anagram.

    Still feeling fundamentally unsatisfied, even after finishing it. Perhaps I’ll have a go at Sunday’s.

  31. Phew! That was hard.Just managed to finish unaided in time to collect Sunday paper and start again. Liked 16d but struggled for ages trying to think of what a waitress used to called!
    Thanks to all

  32. Well I’ve never been so stuck. I want to bed muttering the clues for 15d and 24a.
    I woke up twice in the night convinced of improbable answers like scrambled egg and mesolithic.
    Woke up this morning hoping for a light bulb moment…nothing!
    Eventually decided to put them into the Bradford electronic thing.
    Bingo. Got them both.
    Now for today’s but the grandchildren are arriving for 3 days…

  33. I found this really difficult although when I finally got there, the answers seemed more straightforward than I had thought. I think I enjoyed it more in hindsight but it was an excellent challenge with some very clever clues.
    Thanks to all.

  34. Definitely a tad more tricky than usual, but good – it is a terrible grid though.

    Many thanks to setter and to BD for the hints.

  35. Started this briefly yesterday and couldn’t get started. Went out and resumed today and suddenly seemed to fit into place. Some excellent clues with some wonderful red herrings put in to provide distractions. Last one in was inexplicably 23ac which actually was quite straightforward. All in all very enjoyable.

  36. Late on parade with this one. Had a quick look yesterday but we were out and about with the kids so didn’t get chance to finish until today.

    I thought this was a fantastic puzzle. Very challenging in parts but very enjoyable with some cracking clues. Liked 7d, 12a, 15d, 23a and 27a with Gold Medal to 6d.

    Many thanks to the setter (more from him/her please!) and to BD.

    Virgilius next…

    1. It’s an anagram of postmen and I. Dead clever clue this one – best I’ve seen for ages.

  37. I found this one very difficult to get started but once I got my thinking cap on, managed to complete it with your help! Particularly liked the German invasion.

  38. Too clever for me. Got the answer to anagram but fail to see how it relates to rest of clue.

  39. Tough? You can say that again.
    This puzzle was on par with the ‘hardest crossword ever’ published in the Daily Mail 19th April.
    Very challenging. More, please.

  40. I enjoyed this puzzle although really tricky and I used a lot of digital help. Disappointed there was not a hint for 9d though. I was hoping for a hint to explain the clue to me! I think I have the right answer. As nobody else has mentioned this I assume I am being a bit thick! Wait. Ignore above! Have just twigged it.

  41. Two days behind as I am in Minorca with the grandkids. Will need a holiday when I get home.
    That was great, tough but very enjoyable.
    16d was brilliant, superb definition.
    Thanks BD and setter.

  42. Somewhat surprised to have submitted this enjoyable puzzle correctly-do wonder about 8D though, despite the hint.

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