DT 28905 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28905 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28905 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club
Hosted by Tilsit

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Good morning all!

It’s the last Saturday of the month and while BD and Mrs BD go and ransack the Farmers’ Market, I’m here to look after things.

Today we have a puzzle that is rather on the gentle side, but has a couple of stings in the tail; it’s probably from one of the Mysterons. This should soothe brows after the steam generated over the puzzles yesterday. Some nice clues with a few favourites and one, I think, that should find favour with most people.

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.

I am off for an OU German tutorial at Manchester University, but will be around to arrange a trip to Matron for a dose of opening medicine for those who don’t play nicely.

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.


1. Mortgage deal not usually collected (12)
We start with an anagram. Rearrange 12 of the letters in the clue to get something mean collected.

4. Spiritual vessel? (4,5)
When you see a short clue like this, with a question mark at the end it usually means you are being asked to think outside the box. So for example: It’s brown and sticky? (5) Answer: STICK. This is similar here. So you are being asked for the name of something that could hold spirits.

Image result for pictures of shot glasses

12. Fashions without diamonds covering new veils (8)
This was my last one in today, and took me until I started to write the blog to see how it worked. A word that means fashions needs to lose the symbol for Diamonds in card games. Place it over the abbreviation for new and you get something meaning veils.

18. Path through Scottish mountains gets wider (8)
Take a name for mountains in Scotland, it goes before many of them and insert the name for a path.

19. Got in a tizzy with being carried by horse (6)
The name for a horse (or a proper Avenger, not a comic book one!) and inside goes an abbreviation for ‘with’.

  1. Image result for john steed and emma peel

27. What’s often used in evidence and, strangely, in frescos (9)
Rearrange the nine letters of two words in the clue to give something that is used at a criminal trial by the prosecution.

28. Did like others and pursued executive (8,4)
Something that means pursued and a nickname for an executive or businessman (often used in the City).

Image result for Ministry of silly walks


1. Playing tabs in a refrain (7)
Rearranging three words in the clue gives something that means refrain.

4. Dash to hide in desolate land (4)
Today’s hidden answer. Look between the words for something that means dash (or a car owned by one of the people in the pictures above!)

Image result for lotus elan

5. Harmonious like child with a set of books (8)
A word sum. A short word meaning ‘like’ + one meaning a child +a + an abbreviation for a group of books within a bigger Book.

7. Future friend of Dick and Harry or Barney? (8)
Clever clue, one of my favourites today. Take the name for a friend of the first two chaps, and then add ‘or’ and a word for a Barney.

8. Past, present and future contracts? (6)
Two definitions. What past, present and future could all be, plus something meaning contracts.

Image result for stack of Latin books


16 Girl reportedly twisted and dotty? (9)
A girl’s name (or a man’s, for that matter!) plus something that sounds like a word for twisted gives the slightly cryptic definition needed.

25. Bishop leads procession to find temple (4)
The chess abbreviation for the piece plus something that refers to a procession gives the required word.

Image result for bishops chess

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: [zzspoiler]FARMER[/zzspoiler]+[zzspoiler]SEIZE[/zzspoiler]=[zzspoiler]PHARMACIES[/zzspoiler]

80 comments on “DT 28905 (Hints)

  1. Apologies if the font appears small. I’ve had a few technical difficulties trying to get this posted.

    If you need to enlarge your post to read it, press Control and the Plus sign together on your key board and it will enlarge!

  2. Thought this was a lovely puzzle, with elements of Rufus-like elegance. I really enjoy good simple clues like 12a. I liked 1d, 7d and many others. Many thanks setter and thank you tilsit

          1. Hi Navy. Welcome to the blog and thank you very much for dropping in. It’s always much appreciated when setters do that.

            This was a very accomplished debut and I hope it will be the first of many.

            Well done!

      1. Welcome Navy. very glad you came and said hello. A fantastic achievement for you today, I know what it means to you. Just maybe, there’s a few more copies of the telegraph left in the shops for you.

        I’m also proud of our editor for giving you this opportunity.

        A great puzzle, looking forward to more.

  3. Not bad for a Sat Prize, which are often milder than this. I did enjoy it but it was over too quickly for me. 25d: Just to be pedantic, is the answer strictly speaking the same as the definition? They’re adjacent, admittedly, but one’s decidedly at the front with the other(s) at the side. Hope that isn’t naughty-step material, which has apparently been electrified today! 2.5* / 3*

  4. Enjoyable, reasonably straightforward and fairly clued. 12a my final entry due to my trying to get an anagram in, which was clearly impossible once all the checkers were in place. 7d my COTD.

    Thanks to our Mysteron and to Tilsit for occupying the blogger’s chair in BD’s absence.

  5. 2* / 4*. This was a light delight which was great fun from start to finish enhanced by lovely smooth surfaces throughout.

    My only (very minor) reservation is that I am never very keen on the device of using girl/boy/woman/man to clue a name as part of the wordplay.

    12a was my last one in and the brilliant 7d was my favourite. A special mention too for 14d as it’s such a splendid word.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  6. Like others I thought 7D was an excellent clue, last one in for me was 14D I just couldn’t fathom it out until the penny dropped (pun intended) off to the naughty step now. Thanks to the setter & to Tilsit.

  7. Real mixture of straightforward and devious. Simply do not understand the reference to harmonious in 5d. I can see the wordplay easily but no amount of cross referencing the answer with harmonious seems to make any sense at all.
    Best clue for me was 28a which made me smile.
    Thx to all

      1. Hmmm. I’ve tried the BRB and Chambers Thesaurus together with Collins and Google and I am still stumped.

        1. Brian – if you think of it musically (as is my bent), then the opposite of the answer (with a ‘dis’ prefix rather than the one suggested by ‘like’) means music which is very far from harmonious.

          Prize crosswords make it harder to be clearer…..
          Hope this makes some sense to you?

  8. Nicely done and a good mix of clues – just the synonym in 17d and a couple of surface reads that didn’t quite make the grade for me.

    From my selection of ticks, I’d single out 28a & 14d for mention but, like others, I’ve put 7d in pole position.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to Tilsit for manning the club with aplomb.

  9. A bit of a curate’s egg for me which had a Hmm here and there. I agree with RD on ‘name generation’ and with Jane on surface reads.

    No outstanding favourite today.

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  10. Enjoyed this one muchly.

    If I wanted to quibble I might ? at the placement of the ? in 8d, as it applies to the first definition. The use of oddly in 17d works for me, but some would only allow evenly, I think.

    My favourite was 7d too, but there’s plenty of other nice stuff, smoothly done.

    Thanks to the “Mysteron” and to the equally mysterious* hinter. ; )

    Explanatory edit:
    *not mysterious at all. Many of us knew the setter’s identity, but were complying with BD’s request to keep quiet about it unless/until she chose to comment here.

          1. I would imagine it is to make a sensible surface reading. I know several oddly useless people but no evenly useless ones

            1. LOL Crypticsue you made me giggle on this increasing dreary afternoon.

  11. Oh no – once more into the ether so here we go again….. This was good weekend entertainment. NE last quarter to fall. Temptress in 23a and 5d harmonious now added to my vocabulary for possible future reference. Not sure about 12a fashions, dotty in 16d or 25d procession. Hard to choose Fav from many clever candidates but 7d and 14d stood out for me. Thank you Mysteron and Tilsit.

  12. Enjoyable puzzle today. Not sure about 21a, does it mean a nightcap? More a Red Indian headdress in my book. Thanks to the setter.

  13. Many thanks to setter and tilsit for today’s lovely challenge. Overall a nice workout, not too hard, but I did struggle with 8d. My fav is 27ac for its simplicity.

  14. A reasonable gentle stroll Monday to Saturday.
    Still traumatised by Sunday even though I completed it.
    Does anyone use the BRB app? I.e. Chambers.
    Is it any good?i can’t buy a big book as I travel a lot.
    Thanks to setter and BD

  15. ‘Bishop leads procession etc’ is actually 25d – in the paper version, anyway………..

  16. Finished earlier before invasion of our 2 lovely grand daughters . Very enjoyable but over far too quickly .

    Thanks to everyone .

  17. I agree with most of what has already been said. Completed easily over lunch, I have the pen but husband is only allowed a pencil! Does anyone ever use 1a? Horrid word. We really liked 14d. Thanks to all who work so hard to keep this site flowing.

    1. We use 1a all the time in France but only in relation to concrete or cement.
      However, I think 1d is an horrid word. I won’t have any of it. Life is too short.

  18. I finished it! By myself, which is pretty unusual, I tend to need at least 4 or 5 extra hints.

    Favourite is 7d.

    5d took some time, I thought I knew the word but wasn’t sure so checked in the dictionary.
    16d also took time because I was barking up the wrong tree with the word ‘dotty’ in the clue
    Went off in the direction of my family’s description of me, well that and other words, daft, crazy and, funnily enough, barking. :-)

    Dotty is in the clue so hopefully no naughty step, electrified? ZAP! Ouch!

  19. Thank you all for your feedback! I really appreciate it :)

    Seems that 7D may be a popular clue- really interesting to see which type of clues you guys like- and also which could be improved on.

    Again, thank you and hope you enjoyed

    – Navy

    1. Excellent puzzle – thanks to Navy and Tilsit.

      Mr & Mrs T

      ps: Navy: you asked about Mysteron on twitter: this refers to one of the regular Saturday setters (aka Mr Ron). “Mysteron” harks from the days of a puppet show on TV called Captain Scarlet that aired when most of the readership was in primary school. Please use any clues about Thunderbirds, The Woodentops or Bill & Ben sparingly to avoid too much reminiscing.

  20. Agreed that that was a bit trickier than recent Saturdays but still a good brain workout. 14d my fave today. Wont say more for fear of tilsit’s electric chair.

  21. I use the online chambers. Is that the same as the app? I particularly like the word wizard feature for when checkers are not enough and use it for tricky anagrinds too. But neither needed today. Thanks to tilsit and thanks to Navy too for a great debut first of many I hope and thanks for dropping in too it is nice to “meet” setters.

  22. Sparkling debut from Navy.
    At her age I was several years from escaping the novice setter fallacy of hard=good; in fact I’m still in the process of doing it.
    Navy’s style shows uncanny maturity. I foresee an extremely rosy future, a proper star in the making.

  23. Thank you Navy for restoring my faith in the Daily Telegraph cryptic crossword after the trials and tribulations of the last couple of days. Very enjoyable and elegantly clued, look forward to more like this. Thanks to Tilsit too.

  24. I enjoyed this crossword and I think most of the rest of what I was going to say has already been said.
    My last two answers were 12 and 15a – don’t know why but something had to be.
    I probably wouldn’t have understood why, or even if, my second bit of 28a was right had we not had something like it recently.
    Lots of good clues including 9 and 13a (simple enough but it conjured up a nice image) and 7d. My favourite, because it made me laugh, was 14d.
    With thanks and congratulations on a terrific debut to Navy and thanks to Tilsit for holding the fort today.

  25. Well, Navy, that was a super-duper puzzle from start to finish – wotta star!
    I needed the hint to know why my bung in at 12a was correct.
    My 9a was also a bung in but I had my epiphany when I was about to consult the hint. As a “spiritualist” myself, I should have tumbled sooner.
    My fave is a toss up between 9a and the lovely 14d, such a descriptive word.
    Thanks to Navy for the enjoyment and to Tilsit for the hints and pics.

  26. Lovely puzzle for me brightened up a cold grey day here in S Wales.

    Thank you Navy a debut to savour, may you contribute many more. Thanks Tilsit for hints.

  27. I enjoyed this puzzle but I still can’t see 14d. I’ve all the checkers and still no enlightenment. Thanks to our new setter and Tilsit.

    1. I think Jane is looking at 14d in the NTSPP as ‘reschedule’ is not in 14d in the inside back page one which is the one that I’m going to assume you mean.
      The definition is frantic. You need a synonym for delay which contains a reversal (held up) of what ‘John’ means in slang terms – think it may be more an American term.

      1. Oops, my apologies – as Kath said – I was looking at the wrong puzzle!
        All this Christmas card writing is doing me no good at all…………

      2. Thanks Kath -see 21 above- got it now!
        The word is not in any of my solver aids, so that explains it
        Thanks to Tilsit and Navy!

  28. Excellent Saturday Prize Crossword! I thought I was going to rattle through it but the little grey cells had to work a little harder then usual to complete it.
    Toss up between 28a and 14d for top clue with the latter taking the podium.
    Thanks to Navy, and to Tilsit for the hints.

  29. Very pleasant Saturday prize.
    Liked the definition in 16d but favourite is 11a.
    Thanks and welcome to Navy and thanks to Tilsit for hosting the Saturday club.

  30. Hi Navy, thank you for a fabulous Saturday crossword cryptic. So enjoyable. Really weird because a couple of the clues ,14d especially, made me think you were on the lower age of the spectrum (other great setters, please don’t be offended!). Reading from all the above comments, it seems the majority need more of your brain power on the back page of the DT.

  31. Congratulations on a very accomplished debut, Navy.

    I remember your enthusiasm coming through in the live chat during Deano’s puzzle-setting video.

  32. Catching up on the weekend puzzles. This was an absolute delight. My favourite clue was 7d followed by 14d. Well done Navy and thank you Tilsit for the review.

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