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DT 28899 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28899 (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.

A problem that used to appear has reared its head again! It seems there are two types of apostrophe, one that the Telegraph software likes and one that it doesn’t. The former is in evidence in 2d, 16d and 17d and works in both online puzzle and pdf. The later, as seen in 14d and 19d, does not show in the online version and appears as in the pdf! These hints show the correct versions of both 14d and 19d. [Update.  The Puzzles Editor has now corrected the apostrophes! ]


1a    Magistrates push for weightlifting exercise (5,5)
Combine a collective word for magistrates with a verb meaning to push


9a    One unearthing facts about brand used by singer/actress (10)
A two-letter word meaning about (not the Latin one!) is followed by a verb meaning to brand or burn and a singer/actress

12a    Actor Stephen receiving East German with hostile demeanour (6)
The surname of actor Stephen around (receiving) the German for East

15a    Deem fit for work of some importance (12)
Split as (8,4) this could mean to deem to be fit for work

18a    Worrying about son is what could make one even happier (12)
Around S(on) place an anagram (could make) of even happier

22a    Fish both ways in sea (6)
The abbreviations for both ways or directions go inside a word meaning the sea

24a    A hospital rejected rocket scientists (4)
The A from the clue and the abbreviated form of a type of hospital, all reversed (rejected)

27a    Know someone without a partner spurning the French area of London (10)
A three-letter word meaning to know is followed by a nine-letter word meaning someone without a partner from which the French definite article has been dropped


1d    Wager about official having suffered loss (6)
A wager goes around a whistle-blowing sports official

3d    Frank talking with Heather excitedly about paintings etc nearby (5-2-5)
An anagram (excitedly) of HEATHER around a word for paintings and similar artefacts and a two-letter word that can mean nearby

5d    Woman waiting up? (10)
A cryptic definition of a woman who waits on passengers in an aircraft

7d    Strong words help upcoming set of people (8)
The reversal (upcoming in a down clue) of a three-letter word meaning help is followed by a set of people of common descent

11d    RAF perhaps flying around Belgium and Borneo occasionally (12)
A word meaning the art of flying aircraft goes around the IVR code for Belgium and the odd letters of BORNEO

14d    Noise belts out that’s apparent (10)
An anagram (out) of NOISE BELTS

16d    Detective’s assistant has to capture cheat (8)
What you need to do here is to work out which detective this person is assisting and it’s not Sherlock Holmes! Put HAS around (to capture) a verb meaning to cheat

19d    Space-traveller‘s aircraft on time (6)
The omission of the apostrophe in early online versions made the definition appear to be plural! An aircraft followed by (on in a down clue) T(ime) gives a space traveller

20d    Trainee told where to find tea in Yorkshire? (6)
Split the answer as (2,1’3) and you have a dreadful homophone of how a Yorkshireman might tell you where to find tea

23d    Regularly applauds good point (4)
The even letters (regularly) of the second word in the clue

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: gents+unbutton=Jenson Button

58 comments on “DT 28899 (Hints)

  1. Initially I thought this was going to be straightforward as the first few answered flew in but some excellent clues emerged .

    Difficult choice but my joint favourites 5D , 16D & 20D.

    A very enjoyable crossword with lots of smiles with much to admire and appreciate .

    Thanks to everyone.

  2. A comparatively easy ride with lots of smooth surfaces and only a few fences. Was slow in the uptake to parse 17d. Particularly liked 5d, 16d and 20d. Thank you Mysteron and BD.

  3. I got off to a slow start with this one and found it a reasonable challenge with some excellent clues giving an enjoyable solve. Fav: 11d. 2.5* / 4*

  4. 2.5* / 2.5*. Not too taxing and generally good fun but 20d was truly awful. 11d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

        1. Funnily enough, that’s an expression which I use from time to time, RD. I agree with your initial comments except my favourite was 8d, probably because I saw the answer straightaway.

            1. We agree on a lot, Jane, but I have to tell you I’m a marmite lover (and Earl Grey hater – give me English Breakfast tea any day).

          1. Marmite – love it! I think I have told this story before. A number of years in an American airline lounge at Heathrow, Twiglets were one of the ‘nibbles’ available. An American lady sampled one and after the first taste threw it down as if it was on fire!

            Earl Grey – in the afternoon with a slice of lemon or lime (no milk or sugar) – love it!

            English Breakfast – as the name implies. at breakfast.

          2. Love Marmite but I once sent one of those tiny samples that you get in hotel breakfast bars to an American friend who was convinced I was trying to poison her with used engine oil.

          3. Living here in the US, and having friends over visiting from the UK, we took them to a nearby beach, which has shaded picnic tables. We placed our picnic there, and went off for a quick swim, as we had done countless times before. When we got back, someone had stolen the marmite sandwiches… So wish we could have seen their faces when they bit into them 😂

  5. Nice puzzle I tackled in various formats to try out my new puzzle subscription. New site is ok but a few gremlins particularly on my mobile. The app version hasn’t changed much and it seems to work ok on my steam driven ancient laptop. Apostrophes aside I am quite happy with new subscription and now I want Santa to bring me a new laptop!
    As to the puzzle like it a lot. I am obliged to like 13a but also as a Geordie ex pat who has lived in Yorkshire for 52 of my 56 years I liked 20d too. Honourable mentions to 17d and19d too. I wont mention trouble with finding the right assistant for 16d as I need to cut down on my cake intake.
    Thanks to BD and setter.

  6. 11d was my last one in despite having all the checking letters in place, and it became my favourite once completed. The puzzle took a tad longer than necessary as I created problems for myself by over-complicating things. It didn’t flow particularly well, but that was just me I suspect. I actually enjoyed 20d as it made me laugh.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to BD.

  7. With apologies to RD, 20d was my favourite as well! I also rather liked the simple 2d (chestnut, maybe?) and applauded 16d which had me – and doubtless several others – struggling to rid myself of thoughts of another detective’s assistant.

    Thanks to Mr Ron for an enjoyable Saturday puzzle and thanks to BD for the Saturday club.

  8. Some head scratching required and a furrowed brow on completion – 4d totally mystifies me but the web site told me that my bung-in guess was accepted. It must be so obvious that I just cannot see it so I will have to wait until the full review is posted.

    Immediate favourite, sorry RD, is 20d.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  9. I’ve just noticed the side panel on this page which lists next week’s Daily Telegraph Toughie setters and I see that our very own Silvanus makes his debut on Wednesday 21st. Another graduate of BD’s Rookie Corner makes the big time!

    Very well done, Russell, and also to BD for providing the perfect training ground to give aspiring setters a start.

    1. Thought I was going to be the only one who’d noticed! Hasn’t the boy done good – and what a credit to the BD gang.
      No excuses accepted for folk not having a go at next Wednesday’s Toughie!

    2. Many thanks, all. Very excited, as you might imagine.

      If anyone can’t wait till Wednesday and/or would like to sample another one of my puzzles before then, I’m also in the Independent On Sunday tomorrow.

  10. Very enjoyable and went in quite smoothly. Since I like Marmite, I will also single out 20d as my favourite today.

  11. ***/****. Needed quite a bit of pen sucking but got there in the end. 16d was LOI and 20d was my favourite. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  12. Very enjoyable & a steady solve for me. Like others 20d COTD. Remember from when I worked in Yorkshire they didn’t brew their tea they ” mashed” it.
    Thank9s to setter & BD

    1. 50 years ago I had a boyfriend from Surrey. He visited my parents one Sunday and when my mother said “I’ll go and mash” he was understandably confused.

  13. Another very enjoyable puzzle. 20d my favourite. Believe it or not I love Marmite especially with raspberry jam on top! Sort of sweet and sour. Thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

    1. Yep, Marmite & peanut butter, Marmite & banana, but favourite is Marmite & strong cheddar cheese toastie – or just a spoon of Marmite = happy Roy!

      1. My recipe – take a ryvita, smother it with peanut butter, mash a banana on top, sprinkle with raisins and throw it in the bin.

        1. Sounds good to me, I’ll try that – better than minced cow, sliced pig or very unhappy chicken! (Not that the cow or the pig were particularly happy). Each to their own.

  14. I found this decidedly tricky, needing far too much electronic help for my satisfaction. However, I did solve in the end.
    Fave was 20d – I think you’ve been outnumbered RD!
    Thanks to setter and to BD for the Club.

  15. 16d was my favourite, 20d was ho-hum. As is marmite! Yes, different folks etc…
    I thought this was going to be a walk in the park to begin with but reality set in quite quickly. Nice puzzle though.
    Thanks to Mr Ron, and to BD for the hints.

  16. A little trouble in the far SE corner, but the rest went in without much ado. An enjoyable diversion. :-)

  17. Oh dear, bit rusty after a few weeks off so big thanks to BD as otherwise we wouldn’t have finished. Did like 20D though which managed to get after a few try-outs with a dreadful Yorkshire accent…

  18. Very much enjoyed today, although I struggled. No fault of the setter, mostly due to waking at 3:30am and reading until 5:00am, before nodding back off (Archer’s Heads You Win), then a day of too many errands, so got to this late and tired. COTD 15a. Thanks to setter and Big Dave.

    Love Marmite, hate Earl Grey. Did love English Breakfast tea but had to give up for digestive reasons, and now a lover of chamomile, plain, no milk.

  19. This is a bit embarrassing – I solved 16d correctly, but on the basis that xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Oh dear.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      Please note the instructions in red at the bottom of the hints asking that people don’t give alternative clues etc in their comments

  20. Enjoyable crossword but not as simple as I had originally thought it was going to be. My favourite was 11d. Once again, many thanks for the much needed hints.

  21. I have finally got up to date having been away.
    I though this was a superb puzzle, best for a while.
    Thanks all.

  22. It seems a lotta folk dunt understand ‘yorkie – in 20d!

    A good puzzle some answers came out and I had to look hard to justify them!
    A busy day with chores and rugby to interfere with the crossy. The Japs played well and had me worried all the first half!,

    Thanks to BD and Setter!

  23. Loved 20d so much that I had to return here to leave comment!
    Also love marmite and 11d was my second favourite.

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