DT 28923 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28923 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28923 (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    Runs behind simple boat (4)
R(uns) followed by a word meaning behind

3a    Second Greek character taken short just after game (10)
Nothing to do with the second Greek character – a four-letter verb meaning to second is followed by most of (taken short) a Greek character and a preposition meaning just after

9a    Simpleton recalled party held by Musk (6)
The reversal of a two-letter party inside the first name of billionaire Musk

11a    Cover to protect a utensil for cooking (8)
Once you have identified the definition, this becomes a lot easier – it’s an anagram (for cooking) of A UTENSIL

14a    Virgo perhaps needs a large cue (6)
The astrological Virgo, not snooker player John Virgo, is followed by the A from the clue and L(arge)

23a    Order child to return tawdry articles (6)
The reversal of a three-letter child is followed by some tawdry articles

24a    Friendly question of identity for party leader (8)
Split as (2,1,5) this is a question this senile party leader could well ask himself

26a    Gets rid of important lines on graph (4)
Two definitions


1d    Tries to get involved in actual practice (9)
A verb meaning tries in a court of law inside (get involved in) a word meaning actual

3d    Wailer/whaler seeks this (7)
Two separate meanings of this word could apply to the wailer and the whaler

5d    Excited seeing son’s rock band (7)
An anagram (excited) of SEEING is followed by S(on)

6d    Has second job on Air Transport Auxiliary provided work for Joanna? (9,6)
A verb meaning has an unofficial second job is followed by ON from the clue and the abbreviation of Air Transport Auxiliary – Joanna here is rhyming slang for pianna (piano)

15d    Great size claimed by shifty sea-anglers when one’s got away (9)
An anagram (shifty) of SEA-ANGLERS without one of the As (one’s got away)

18d    Old movie star we will leave having upset gold expert (7)
Stat with an old movie star (3,4), drop WE (will leave) WE from her surname and follow what’s left with the reversal (upset) of the heraldic term for gold

19d    Leak instruction in cross-reference? (7)
Split as (3,4) this could be an instruction in a cross-reference

21d    Trainee detective comes up without notice (5)
The reversal (comes up in a down clue) of three-letter colloquial word for a detective around (without) a notice

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: canny+belies=cannibalise

67 comments on “DT 28923 (Hints)

  1. A perfect antidote for a cold, damp windy Saturday morning. Pleasantly tricky in places but very comfortable to solve. 6d was my COTD from many fine clues.

    Thanks very much to our setter for the challenge, and to BD.

  2. 3* / 3*. Nicely challenging and good fun to start the weekend.

    14a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD.

  3. Apart from 3A , cumbersome in my opinion , an exceedingly good crossword . Lots of smiles of satisfaction and appreciation .
    Plethora of favourites , too many to list .
    Terrible day in South Wales , cold , wet & gloomy but , to brighten matters up , the Severn Bridges will be toll free from this weekend .
    Thanks to everyone

    1. It’s absolutely freezing here in rural Derbyshire with a cutting, icy wind. I’ve got my thermal leggings on with thick trousers and two pairs of socks, and four layers up top. But our postman’s walking about wearing shorts with bare legs as if it was July; gloves on, though. Funny old world, innit…

      1. …. I regularly see walkers in shorts at all times of the year and my earliest BBQ was 14 January. My treatment continues ….

  4. I found this one a right old mixed bag. The first pass filled in over one third of the grid with very little resistance, then it all rather ground to a halt and the rest was quite tricky with some excellent clues. Overall, it was a very pleasing solve. I’ve ticked: 8a, 11a, 4d and 5d. 2.5* / 3.5*

  5. Had something of a problem with the 9a Musk and 19d exercised the old grey matter but everything else slotted in quite happily.
    Like YS, I’ll put 6d in the top slot. Nice clip to accompany that one but I kept wishing that lovely young lady would hitch her stool a little closer to the piano!

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to BD for the club.

    PS Very nice Christmas banner, BD, but isn’t it time for a bit of snow?

      1. It’s a bit like the Duchess of Sussex was videoed playing netball at Loughborough University in stilettos!

  6. A bit of trouble sorting out various men and women who appeared. 26a was bunged in wrong until 6d gave the correct checker. 2d my fave long clue today. 5d may be a bit of a stretch GK wise for some but I got it. 12d not fully understood here but have bunged again.
    Thanks BD and setter

  7. Up on the west coast of Cumbria visiting my folks this w/end and it’s absolutely Baltic here as well…

    The perfect morning to hunker down with a good cryptic. Really enjoyed today’s puzzle. Metaphorical ticks for 5d, 8a, 16a, and 23a. COTD: 10a

    LOI: 4d (new word for me)

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints.

  8. Very wet here too, with rain forecast for the entire day but a welcome 50F after some very low temps in the past week or so. I didn’t “get” 3A until the blog came up, but I did know the GK people. Thanks BD and the setter.

    Thanks also for the ‘snow’ reminder so I won’t think it’s another bout of eye floaters that are the bane of my life.

  9. Just to show that I have read the hints and tips …

    1d – The whole clue doesn’t appear in the hints.
    3a – “taken short” twice?

    Ps. Hopefully, it will not snow this year. Not good for my eyesight.

    1. I’m wondering if, not least because it is a busy time of year, BD might be out and so I’ve amended the clue for 1d and the hint for 3a

      Have a gold star for paying attention!

      1. I’m glad you added that, CS. I thought stanXYZ had gone completely potty…

        … although I see we’ve now got double practice!

      2. I was indeed out – remember that old joke “What was the former name of Iceland?” – well that’s where I was! About to go out to yet another party,

        For Stan’s benefit, i produce a lot of the blog using “drag and drop”, and that’s what happens if I let go of the Ctrl key too soon.

  10. Reasonably straightforward with the double unches ‘mitigated’ by some oldies but goodies, completed at a gallop – **/**.

    However, slightly spoiled by the amount of people-based GK.

    Favourite 6d.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  11. Sailed smoothly through this, slowing down a tad in the NW, and much enjoyed the trip. Imagine our younger bloggers may not be familiar with the likes of 13a and 18d. Fav for me too was 6d. Thank you Mysteron and BD.

  12. Another enjoyable Saturday puzzle. I have to say in all honesty I don’t think I would buy the DT if it were not for the excellent crossword. Some clever clues. Many thanks to BD and the setter for providing first-,class entertainment in these troubling times.

  13. Thanks to Big Dave and Miss Terry for a delightful morning’s romp for our synapses. We were disappointed by the piano hint since we thought it was his sister-in-law!

    Sunny and 48f here in Boston, still ice on the lake – I may ask Mr T to walk over to test the thin bit.

    Mrs T

  14. This provided for a fair amount of head scratching but I got there in the end, admittedly with the help of a couple of hints. Very enjoyable though.
    Favourites were 23a because the second syllable of the word describes so much of what is written these days and 24a for our hinter’s spot on description of the politician in question

    Thanks to all

  15. Warm and sunny here in Barbados, very pleasant to sit outside and tackle this puzzle.

    I loved it. Right on my rather low level. I found 18d the most difficult and admit to needing help.

    Thanks everyone for a great start to the day.

  16. Can I ask whether any other solvers of the paper version were as delighted as I was to find that, once they’d disposed of the wrap around advertising, the crossword was, for the first time in ages, in its rightful place on the back page of the paper?

    1. Yes absolutely delighted. It really really annoys me when it’s on the inside and you have to fold the paper. Good but quite doable puzzle and 4d a new word for me. Thanks to all.

    1. Welcome to the blog Scrabbling2002

      4d Cherubs with first bit of steak stuck in teeth (7)
      Some cherubs or winged children around (stuck in) the initial letter (first bit of) S[teak] gives these teeth with a single point, also known as canines

  17. ***/***. Nicely taxing but enjoyable. Favourite was 6d closely followed by 23a. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  18. Another lovely crossword just right for my tiny brain.
    I never solved 4d and, natch, there’s no hint for it. I tried electronic help but there’s no answer that fits, that must mean I’ve got something wrong.
    My dead on fave was 6d, but there were many more that could’ve been a nominee.
    I remembered the bod in 24a, can I get a gold star CrypticSue?
    Thanks to our setter and to BD for the hints and tips, not forgetting the banner to put us in the mood.

  19. This was a good challenge, especially for a Saturday. I took me a good while to complete but there were several clues of note including 24a which was my favourite.
    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints.

  20. Oddly, I didn’t find this too hard…needed e-help to find 4d – not a term I have heard before.

  21. Truly enjoyable puzzle. I started slowly but gradually got on wavelength with only 4d and 22a giving me pause. I had the wrong answer for 22a at first, but realized that when it messed with 20d and 15d. Thanks to BD and the setter for this one, girding my loins though for tomorrow’s challenge.

  22. As a long time lurker to this site and its delightful contributors I finally have to admit defeat and my ignorance. Please, he says plaintively, what is GK? And yes I have faithfully read the FAQ but could find no reference.

  23. As a morning after person completed pdq. Had a quick look last night before dropping off which only yielded 10a. All completed this am without hints save for looking up the teeth in 4d. There were a few gimmes such as 25a. Last one in 25a as did not know if I could be bothered to go through the alphabet but persistence paid off. Thanks setter – do we know whom? and BD for finding the time in the busy Christmas schedule.

  24. Needed a lot of help on this week’s one. Every time I think I’m getting better, another one bats me down!

    I have the answer to 13a, I think, but can’t parse it – any help without going on the naughty step (or list – at this time of year) :)

      1. Oh my goodness – I just didn’t see that!Idiot man. I was looking at a letter for expensive.

        Thank you Sue.

  25. I have an answer for 22a but I can’t work out why it relates to the first part of the clue (hope that won’t incur the naughty step). Please can anyone help or have I missed the boat? Enjoyed the puzzle – like lots of others, my favourite was 6d. Thanks to the setter and BD.

    1. Look up the first part of your solution and first word of the clue for 22a in the dictionary and all should, I hope, become clear

  26. I’m just wondering if I’m ever going to catch up on crosswords – I did Friday’s yesterday and yesterday’s this morning – if I now carry on and do todays’s and yesterday’s NTSPP Christmas may not happen in our house . . .
    I found the bottom of this one much more straightforward than the top.
    It didn’t occur to me to google the 9a ‘Musk’ so needed the hint to understand that one.
    I liked 22a and 4 and 5d. My favourite was 6d.
    With thanks to the setter and to BD.
    Think I’ll do another crossword now but don’t know which to go for first – what a dilemma!

  27. Completed yesterday -with a hint or two on the right hand side after doing all on the left side, most odd. Thanks BD! Some lovely clues, I also did not know Musk was a person, nor heard of 4d, you live and learn…13a very clever. However I did not breeze through it as many obviously did, put it down to age…

  28. I enjoyed that. 6d and 23a possible faves – I do graphs all the time so 26a okay but 4d was a new word for me

    13a last one – worked backwards for only word to fit then had that Doh! moment

    Thanks to BD and Setter


  29. 3*/5*….
    liked 3D ( wailer/whaler seeks this ) and 4D (cherubs with first bit of steak stuck in teeth) amongst others.

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