DT 28863 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28863 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28863 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

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The main site is having severe problems which are currently being investigated by the hosting company.  These hints are also available here: – I suggest that you bookmark this alternative site, which is where I post when the main site is down.

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    Escort service provider perhaps — bribe with £500 (6,6)
Nothing to do with provision of young ladies, but more to do with the servicing of Ford cars! A verb meaning to bribe is followed by the slang for a sum of £500

10a    See a book spy pocketed, not being secure (7)
This single-letter Latin abbreviation for see, as an instruction in a text to refer the reader to a specified passage, book, author, etc., for further information, is not often used in back-page puzzles – add the A from the clue and B(ook) and put them inside (pocketed) a spy

11a    Drip in hostelry coming back for lots of drinks (5-2)
A verb meaning to drip goes inside the reversal (coming back) of a hostelry like that run by Miffypops

14a    Strong wine and potatoes from Indian, they provide temporary relief (9)
A strong (fortified) wine is followed by an Indian word for potatoes (as the answer is plural and the word for Indian potatoes is a mass noun, this only works if you think of the potatoes as a two or more dishes in an Indian restaurant)

21a    Guide broadcast of person cooking spicy food (7)
I don’t know in which part of the country this sounds like a person cooking spicy food, but our setter thinks it does – what do you think?

23a    Large number move aimlessly forward round island (7)
A verb meaning to move in an aimless or confused manner and an adverb meaning forward around I(sland)

25a    Moves softly, softly forward in games (7)
The musical notation for playing softly and that adverb we saw in 23a go inside some games or matches

26a    Half-heartedly cleaning mule station (7,5)
Drop one of the middle letters of a verb meaning cleaning, typically by a “woman who does”, and add the type of animal of which a mule is an example (wot no definition by example indicator?) to get a London terminus


1d    Ran gaol cruelly as alternative to porridge (7)
An anagram (cruelly) of RAN GAOL

2d    Beg, heading off from downtown area before time (7)
The main commercial part of a town without its initial letter (heading of) followed by A(rea) and T(ime)

4d    Operatic heroine’s career’s beginning to take off (5)
An operatic heroine followed by the initial letter (beginning) of C[areer]

6d    Ban so restricts business expert (7)
The Latin word for so or therefore around a business qualification

7d    Husband cheating initially trapped by investigator, the old twister (6,7)
A five-letter colloquial word for a husband and the initial letter (initially) of C[heating] inside an investigator gives the name of the singer who popularised The Twist and Let’s Twist Again

8d    One working in the kitchen cooked sports cuisine (13)
To understand this anagram (cooked) of SPORTS CUISINE you will need to know which part of an orchestra is known as The Kitchen

19d    Song itinerant plays in company (7)
This clever anagram (itinerant) of PLAYS goes inside the abbreviation CO(mpany)

20d    Calamitous sport with oval ball in America takes over (7)
The abbreviation for one of the sports played with an oval ball is followed by IN from the clue and the two-letter abbreviation for America around (takes) O(ver)

22d    Geordie teacher got up out of bed (5)
The abbreviation for the area of England where one will find a Geordie and the common form of address for a male teacher, all reversed (got up in a down clue)

The Crossword Club is now open.

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The Quick Crossword pun: hype+potter+nus=hypotenuse (swipe with mouse to reveal)

32 comments on “DT 28863 (Hints)

  1. I hadn’t read your hint for 21a but I typed almost exactly the same thing in my draft review explanation for that clue

    Thank you for persevering in trying circumstances

  2. Welcome back .

    Very good crossword , lots to appreciate with 7D my outstanding favourite .

    Thanks to everyone .

  3. I enjoyed this apart from the most awful non-homophone I have ever come across but I guess it will work somewhere across the country. I wasn’t keen on 12a. It struck me as a bit of a contrived word (possibly originating from our US friends, although to be fair it is in the BRB without qualification). Fortunately I was aware of the particular “kitchen” referred to in 8d so that didn’t hold me up. My favourite was 26a.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to the long suffering BD whose efforts to keep this site going are heroic and very much appreciated.

  4. 21a homophone – Midlands perhaps?

    Huge thanks to BD for the hard work, it;s all working OK here now.

      1. I was told the famous ‘Korai’ dish was invented in Birmingham, and they simply spelt it phonetically. Happy to be told otherwise, but it amused me so it stuck.

      1. Here in Shropshire too. I cannot think of any other way to pronounce the word. My elder son words in the IT dept of one that has its head office in Sheffield and they pronounced it just the same.

  5. Thank you Dave for your, as always, sterling efforts battling against the gremlins.

    Very enjoyable except for the homophone that wasn’t!

    For reasons that should become obvious tomorrow, my favourite is 7d.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  6. My appreciation also for all yo do to keep this site going. I’m sure this wasn’t how you planned to spend your Saturday.

    Lots to like for me today. My top two are 1A and 7D, but I also liked 14A and 26A. Needed the hints to fully parse 10A. Thanks BD and the setter.

  7. Good to see the site restored. All I remember about this puzzle is that I thoroughly enjoyed it apart from that homophone which was truly awful.

    Belated thanks to our setter andvto BD for all his hard work.

  8. **/**** for me. Loved 1a and 26a and 7d which was my last one in and for which I needed all the “letters”, so to speak, apart from the last one.

  9. Very enjoyable. Quick start, slow middle, quick finish. I liked all but mainly 1a,11a,14a, 25a, and 7d, with 8d in top spot.

  10. Very enjoyable solve with a few smiles along the way. 1a was the stand out for me once the penny dropped. Thanks to all.

  11. I went on to the alternative site and am only the second person on there to leave a comment- rather sad and lonely. Am actually. In Birmingham at the moment visitiysenior grandson and am promised a good ‘*****’ tonight
    Do persevere with the site as it is such a joy, thank you all so much.

  12. Nice challenge.
    Got 12a but don’t know why.
    Thanks to the setter and BD for the review.

  13. That homophone was so awful that it was almost funny!
    Seem to remember that we’ve had something similar to 8d in a previous puzzle – something must have stirred the odd brain cell here.

    Top places going to 1&26a plus 3d.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to BD for bringing us the Saturday club despite the gremlins.

  14. My goodness BD you do have to face some predicaments on our behalf but you are a wizard and I’m sure your efforts are greatly appreciated by all your bloggers. This was a fun frolic over breakfast with several witty clues but also one or two which were IMHO a bit too clever by half and surely nobody pronounces a specialist cook as per 21a. 7d last to go in even with all the crossers there. South went in first. 14a raised a giggle. Thank you Mysteron and today especially BD. 👏🌹

  15. Many thanks to Setter and BD
    23a I loved – knew exactly where it came from have worked in Brum many years ago.
    Also thanks for explanation of 8d – had worked out the answer but that part of an orchestra new to me. As a ******* [a bit too much information BD] and non-cook I can now claim to work in the kitchen!

  16. Lots of fun, perhaps on the trickier side. The longer answers in particular took me a while.

  17. 3*/4*-for Thursday 4th, a RayT.
    Fancied the titan in 23D -also would have liked to have been part of the exclusive lot in 7D (comment 18 above v interesting).
    Sympathies to Orphan Annie (comment 3).
    Comment resubmited because original seems to have got lost in the ether-no luck, so please accept on this page.

  18. Big thanks to BD for fighting the nasties yet again for us. Have bookmarked the back up site for the next time they invade. Very good to know. Found this tough going today, but almost got there, just the northwest corner with a few holdouts. No real favourite. What a difference a day makes.

  19. I couldn’t believe it when I found that thr blog was down and out!
    What to do ? I was really struggling…It’s nearly midnight and it’s back.
    Well done BD! In the meantime I had got through to the last one somehow
    When eg 7d leapt off the page!
    Thanks BD for the last one 22d which was a mystery…
    The opera one was tricky until I worked that one out as I had it beginning with T…Very satisfying to finish

  20. Even later than usual – back home from being out for supper with friends and thought I’d have a quick peep to see if everything was back to normal.
    Three cheers to BD, as usual – what a pain to have to sort out the problem with the site – it’s quite a long time since this happened.
    I thought 1a was an absolutely brilliant clue – almost too brilliant – it took me ages and was definitely my favourite.
    With thanks to the setter and, again, to BD – I won’t risk blowing things up again by attempting a ‘thumbs up’ or a ‘flower’ but the thought is there!

  21. I spent Saturday in shock when I realised the site was down, I would have to work it out by myself – no hints… Did manage to complete it, but it was tough. Many thanks BD, I clearly need all the hints.

  22. 21a answer is a ****** [your comments are being deleted because they break the rules for comments on a prize puzzle]

  23. 4*/4*
    Liked the mechanic in 1A-difficulty rating up because some general knowledge I just happened not to know.

Comments are closed.