DT 28881 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28881 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28881 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club
Hosted by crypticsue

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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.

My full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.

Some hints follow.

Good morning from East Kent where despite the sun, the five degree temperature and the northerly wind chill make it feel like an outpost of Siberia.

I’ve had one of those weeks at work where, because so many people were on leave, there’s been quite a lot of ‘I know it isn’t your job, but …’. It would appear that my weekend isn’t going to be any different as Tilsit, who normally provides the hints while Big Dave is at the monthly village market, hasn’t any prospect of his area’s broadband service being restored until this afternoon. It has been quite hard to pick which clues to hint, but if I haven’t given one where you need assistance, just ask and one of us will be pleased to assist.


1a It’s a job for company boss to get in old car, step on it (7,5)
The job a company boss does is also a step to assist people getting in an old motor car

10a Fast runner, one using unfair methods by the sound of it (7)
The fastest land mammal sounds like one using unfair methods

14a Timid beast — roam about, nibbling a herb (9)
An anagram (about) of ROAM ‘nibbling’ A (from the clue) and a herb

16a One denies advantage writer of detective stories detailed (9)
A synonym for advantage followed by almost all (detailed) of the surname of a lady detective story writer

24a Easy time I will get entertained by competitor (7)

The abbreviation for time followed by I (from the clue) ‘entertained by’ or inserted into a competitor


26a Record number seeing TV they turned off (7-5)
An anagram (turned off) of SEEING TV THEY


1d Kick off again with skill after half-time? (7)
Another word for skill follows what the football players, for example, might have done at half-time

2d I will cut inferior? Not at all (7)
I (from the clue) inserted into a synonym for inferior

3d Spruce woman goes after fashionable hospital (9)
The type of tree that a spruce is and a woman’s name go after the usual two-letter word meaning fashionable

7d These help to bring round humming sailors (8,5)
Having an unpleasant aroma (humming) plus one of the many terms used in Crosswordland for sailors

8d Funny men, twin heroes not around (3,3,7)
A fairly obvious anagram (around) of TWIN HEROES NOT but it gives the blogger a good photo opportunity!

19d Stolid trap for criminals in mission abroad (7)
Another way of saying stolid or humourless followed by a trap for criminals

22d Chapter in uplifting story draws applause (5)
The abbreviation for chapter inserted into a reversal (uplifting in a Down clue) of a story

The Crossword Club is now open.  Play nicely please and watch the overuse of hints.  I have wired up the naughty step.

Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

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!

Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

The Quick Crossword pun: whisk+eagle+awe=Whisky Galore

70 comments on “DT 28881 (Hints)

  1. Thanks Sue. My guess is that you found if hard to find the difficult clues to hint as this seemed a benign Saturday challenge.
    I got held up in the SW corner particularly 17d and 21a, for no good reason.
    I thought 26a was excellent as was the crossword overall, pleasing after yesterday’s typical Friday defeat.
    Thanks Sue and Mr.Ron.

      1. Me too! I’m still having a mental block with 17d and 21a. Time to go do something else for a bit.

  2. Very pleasant stroll in the park today and not too difficult.

    Can anyone explain to me ( as my frustration with the prize crosswords continues unabated) why, when I enter the puzzles section on a Saturday and Sunday, the solutions to last week’s puzzle quite often give me 0/28. Whilst I accept I may have got some wrong, usually via my own stupid typos, surely not all of them? Does this also mean I am not in the prize draw? Any remedies would be appreciated!

    1. There’s a regular commenter here who is always complaining about the same thing. I’m sure she’ll be along later to commiserate with you.

    2. I find the telegraph app quite unstable. Sometimes it won’t let me scroll to read the rest of an article.
      When this happens, I have to delete then reload the app.
      If you do that it gives you 0 in the cryptic solution.
      I’m not sure I believe that the correct solutions go into the draw.
      I have been sending them for years.
      I’ve never heard of anyone on here winning.
      Seems a bit suspicious to me!😎

    3. I expect CS is talking about me, HJ. I have had the same problem for months and months; every single Saturday and Sunday crossword shows that I didn’t get a single one right. I took to sending the DT a screenshot every time and they kept telling me to delete the app and reload and I kept telling them that I had done it over an over and it doesn’t work.

      They told me they were working on the problem and so when, about three weeks ago my Saturday crossword showed I had got them all correct I cheered and congratulated them by email.

      However I celebrated prematurely as that was the one and only time. I have given up now, I don’t think they know how to fix it

      1. Thank you for trying. It’s funny how it only happens spasmodically – but it’s Sunday morning now and there we go again!

      2. I’ve been submitting both the Saturday and Sunday crosswords for over 10 years and was wondering the same, but amazingly I’ve won 3 times and been runner up once in the last 2 years. So be suspicious no more!

  3. A very pleasant way to spend some time on this bitterly cold Matches morning. 1a stood out for me as my COTD, and overall it was just about the right degree of difficulty for a Prize Puzzle.

    Thanks to oor Saturday setter and for the guest appearance of CS.

  4. Good start to the weekend. This week has given a few tricky solves but today everything went in easily. Confidence restored.
    Many thanks to all

  5. Really enjoyed today’s offering , lots of laughs and admiration for the ingenuity .
    Got through it fairly quickly with a slight hold up following misspelling or typing of the ending to 10A .
    26A may confuse our younger solvers .
    Lots of favourites but will pick 13a for its simplicity yet crypticness .
    Thanks to everyone .

    1. I’m as old as Methuselah but I got held up by 26a! I solved it with electronic help but didn’t know why.

  6. 1.5* / 2.5*. A light but pleasant puzzle to start the weekend. No particular favourite.

    Thanks to the setter and to CS.

  7. This felt slightly more difficult than a normal Sat Prize puzzle, possible up to average for a general back-pager. It was mildish and quite enjoyable. 26a: without wanting to break any rules, is that photo, strictly-speaking, an example of the answer. 2* / 3*

    1. According to Mr Google, yes – I may change it later but at the moment I’m multi-tasking for England, so it will have to wait

  8. Definitely gentler than the last three or four Saturday’s which enabled completion at a gallop – **/***.

    Some very nice clues including the shared letter 21a/17d; but joint favourites are 1a and 7d.

    Thanks to the steer and CS.

  9. As others still struggling a bit in the SW.
    I am just about to head off to the York S&B where Mr Ed Chris Lancaster is due to attend. I will try and find out when the new website is due. I will also have a word with Elgar to see if he can ease me in to his NTSPP.
    Thanks to sue and setter.

    1. Unfortunately I’m not in York after all, so I’m sorry I won’t get to see you in person. However, I can say that the launch of the new site has just moved from ‘soon’ to ‘imminent’.

      1. Solved the trickier SW on the bus into York. Thanks for the update CL. Looking forward to seeing the update I may even subscribe to the puzzles!

  10. Slow off the starting blocks but then a steady run to the finish starting with northern section. Fav was 7d with 1a running up (old enough to remember those!). 20d works but is perhaps rather wide-ranging. Struggled a bit with the Quickie mainly due to some workaday vocabulary. Thank you Mysteron and welcome to the Saturday slot CS.

    1. Thank you for the welcome, but I’ve actually been in the Saturday chair several times over the years

  11. I enjoyed this one but definitely thought some of it was geared towards my generation which could cause some of our younger solvers a problem.
    I’m sure my old Dad used a different first word for 1a but I’m blessed if I can remember it!

    Don’t want to risk the naughty step, particularly now that CS has got it ‘wired up’, but have to say that there is one political commentator whose manner of speaking is extremely irritating………….

    Top two for me were the interlocking 21a & 17d.

    Thanks to Mr Saturday Ron and to CS for stepping into the breach yet again.

      1. Whether it is or it isn’t ;) I can say so in my review which will be published on Friday morning, but, you can’t as you are straying into red rule territory by providing an alternative clue

  12. Pleasant, if gentle, Saturday offering. I agree with some of the other commentators that there may be a couple of answers not readily knowable by the younger set. Still, history is good for them. In that vein, my joint favourites were 1a and 26a.

  13. A gentle stroll for this crossword, nothing really frightening although like others SW corner held me up but again perseverance and BRB help it gave it.
    Thanks to Crypticsue and setter.

  14. Enjoyable and fun. SW corner held me up too. 11a last to go in. Can anyone tell me why the Toughie is not available on a Kindle, I can then do them in bed if I can’t sleep! Thanks to all who keep this blog going, good stuff.

    1. Your question about the Toughie comes up so often it is probably almost ready for Frequently Asked Question status. Your expert on this particular question is Miffypops but he doesn’t often look in at the weekends, partly because he’s a busy publican, but more often than not so he doesn’t say anything that might result in him ending up in the Naughty Corner.

    2. I think, partly based on comments said Miffypops has posted before, that if you only have a ‘newspaper’ subscription you don’t get the Toughie. It is only available if you take out a ‘puzzle’ subscription.

  15. I liked the challenge of this but for me, it has been the SE corner that was tricky, the SW went in easily but there again I’ve been dealing with 17as recently so the word was already in my head!! I’m a tad too young for some clues but did recognise them when. The penny dropped. Thanks all for the help, though not needed today. Have a lovely weekend and don’t forget your extra hour!

  16. Husband watching rugby so had the crossword to myself. Freezing cold here in Cambridge, nothing between us and the Urals. SW corner last to go in as others have said. I too think we used to call 1a something else – it will come eventually. Many thanks to all.

  17. Delightful amusing solve, perfect for Saturday pint time . Particularly enjoyed the nostalgic 1 Across also Mrs J and I are big fans of 20 Across. Thank you Setter and charming Hinter who I suspect may have found herself a little less in demand today!

  18. A relief after yesterday’s usual Friday challenge, and if I can just figure out 15d and 18d, I will pass the finish line. Perhaps a second coffee will do the trick. In the meantime, 7d and 17d are joint favourites for me. Thanks to setter and CrypticSue.

  19. 2/3. A gentle start to my Saturday morning. My favourite was 26a but only because it leapt out of the page – strange how the brain works. Thanks to the setter and CS.

  20. I really struggles with 18d for some reason. Got it eventually.
    Enjoyable outing.
    Thanks to setter and CS

  21. Enjoyed this a lot, despite forgetting 26a. So much here for wrinklies to like, even the author in 16a was a loooong time ago.
    We used to have a Ford V8 with 1a during the war.
    I don’t understand the political commentator in 19a, I suspect it’s some obscure politico in UK.
    There was too much choice for fave here, so I’m going to pick the quickie pun.
    Thanks to setter and to Sue for her stepping in to help us today.

  22. Thanks Sarah, for helping me with SW corner. You gave me 17d, & now have 21a to finish puzzle. Thanks to all for the frequent help I get here. 26a def my fave.

  23. Thanks to the setter and to crypticSue for the hints. There a few good clues, but quite on the gentle side. I liked 7d & 21a, but my favourite was 26a. I also struggled with 19d, which was last in. Never heard of the political commentator, but I think I have the correct answer. Was 2*/3* for me.

  24. I believe the political commentator’s first name is ******, but after 25 years outside the UK, it needed some research. Many thanks to all on this blog for encouraging would be solvers in clever and creative ways.

  25. Another one held up in the SW corner. The rest though was pretty straightforward. A nice Saturday puzzle.

  26. Nice steady solve. Unlike most SE corner held me up for a while but got there in the end.
    Favourites 1a and 15d

  27. Much easier this evening than a usual Saturday Prize. After my earlier struggles this week really enjoyable & very satisfying to complete without assistance. Hope for me yet!
    1a, 7d, 16a, 26a nice clues for oldies like me.
    Thanks to all.

  28. Sw corner held me up for a while, especially 24a which was last in. 7d was favourite. Many thanks setter and CS.

    1. Probably not without going to the Naughty Corner. If you can’t wait for my review on Friday, where it is explained, I suggest looking up stolid in the dictionary, together with the entry for the first two letters of your solution.

      1. Hello crypticsue,
        where can we find your review on Friday ?
        we still are flummoxed by 24a and 22d.

  29. Top half fine but I am getting stuck in the bottom half. So I turned to Big Dave for some hints but none of the ones I want are there! Very frustrating. I shall have to sleep on it – it often helps if I am running this late.

  30. No need to sleep on it! Just writing the previous comment seemed to jerk the brain into action and it is now finished without hints and with a certain smugness.

  31. Most enjoyable, love this grid. Took a while for penny to drop on 19d, brain-fog cleared after sunny, bracing (freezing!) afternoon playing on New Brighton beach with Grandchildren. Laughed out loud at 7d! Many thanks.

  32. Bit of a challenge this week with no particular favourite. Once again thanks for the much needed hints.

  33. Finished half on Sat am, then off to watch Gloucester rugby in freezing cold!!
    All the rest fell in when I got back so happy days. I hope this will get accepted as last week it wouldn’t post!
    Enjoyed the challenge as it seems did many others …Many thanks Sue and the setter!

  34. We are very stuck on 24a and 22d. Even with the helpful hints.We are fairly new to Cryptic crosswords.
    Thank you Big Dave for suggestions. Your blog is always useful for newbies.

    1. Welcome to the blog Zelda

      I can’t improve on the hints already there, except to suggest that in 24a you concentrate initially on the definition and in 22d the wordplay is very simple so you may need to look up the answer in a dictionary to confirm.

  35. I have really enjoyed this weekend’s puzzles. Saturdays I really liked 7d and 8d and thank you so much crypticsue for putting in that photo of one of very favourite comedy duos, well and individually too. I miss the days when humour was clever and not shouted and not…. crude. I am not a prude, far from it, but it sometimes seems to me that comedians have lost some of the skill that used to be involved.

    Well enough moaning! I did actually manage to finish but only with a bit of help.

  36. 2*/2*-a few stretched synonyms I thought-easy (24A) and stolid (19D);

    liked the chic clothing (4D) and the humming sailors (7D).

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