DT 28958 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28958 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28958 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Mr K

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +


Hello, everyone.  I’m standing in for BD today while he’s busy leading the blog’s tenth birthday celebration.  The Telegraph has gifted us an excellent puzzle for the occasion.

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.  In the hints below indicators are italicized and definitions are underlined.  Clicking on a picture will enlarge it or display a bonus illustration.

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.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Seasonal visitors behave like hippos aboard ship (8)
A word describing what hippos do in mud is inserted in (aboard) the usual ship

9a    Sound of McCartney’s instrument designed after muffling a cellar (8)
A homophone (sound of…) the instrument played by Paul McCartney is followed by a synonym of designed with its A deleted (after muffling a)

10a   Hood’s weapon laid down after new fine (6)
A weapon used by Robin Hood is placed after (laid down after) the abbreviation for new

12a   Menace seen in newsagents returned and trespassed (6)
This Menace is seen in cartoons in publications sold by newsagents.  Returned is instructing us to reverse his first name

22a   Unfortunately rolled over railway that’s usually banked (6)
Put together a synonym of unfortunately that’s been reversed (rolled over) and an abbreviation for railway

23a   Kind of animal story with a message — all is lost (8)
A charade of the best animal and a story with a message that’s had ALL from the clue deleted (all is lost)

25a   Individual copies turned over with speed (8)
Copies or imitates is reversed (turned over) and has a synonym of speed appended

27a   Lads collecting rubbish before one’s train stops (8)
The word describing how lads are related to their parents containing (collecting) the fusion of some rubbish and the Roman one.  In the cryptic reading of the clue the ‘s is a contraction of “is”, giving the clue structure wordplay is definition



2d    It could give you a reaction (6)
This synonym of reaction can be abbreviated as A

6d    Thought alcohol should be present in rum I made (8)
An alcoholic spirit is inserted in (should be present in) an anagram (rum) of I MADE

8d    A day’s absconding wouldn’t make a meaningful difference, in these times (8)
Deleting A DAY’S from the solution (a day’s absconding) leaves a word that means pretty much the same thing

15d   Social class consuming telly — bit of outdated technology? (8)
A Hindu social class containing (consuming) a television receiver

16d   Aggro as the French start to natter in subtly different voice (8)
A French definite article and the first letter of (start to) NATTER are placed together in a slight rearrangement of the letters in VOICE (subtly different voice)

19d   Heath maybe cut through by slate set up to make tracks (6)
The first name of Prime Minister Heath, for example (maybe), containing (cut through by) the reversal (set up, in a down clue) of a word meaning slate or criticize harshly

20d   Something food goes in — a covering to food (6)
Something food might be cooked in and A from the clue preceding (covering, in a down clue) TO from the clue

21d   Ring made of rubber seen as part of finery too, conversely (4)
The solution is lurking in (seen as part of) the reversal of (…conversely) the remainder of the clue


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:  WHIG + WHAM = WIGWAM

51 comments on “DT 28958 (Hints)

  1. Great cunning , devious , challenging and clever crossword today . Enjoyed every minute .

    Outstanding favourites 5A &. 9A .

    Have a good day at the Bash

  2. Another very enjoyable Saturday puzzle completed at a fast canter – ***/***.

    9a had an air of familiarity about it.

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 18a, and 15d – and the winner is 18a.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  3. Although it took me quite a while to get myself on the same wavelength as the compiler, there were some really interesting clues here. My favourites were 12 a and 23a. Today’s cat pictures were superb. Enjoy the Bash.

  4. What an excellent and pleasantly challenging Prize Crossword. KFB at #1 sums it all up nicely. 5a my LOI with 12a my favourite this morning.

    Thanks very much to our Saturday Setter and to Mr K. Have a great time in London at the Birthday Bash. I would love to be there.

  5. Dear me, that was tough but some really clever clues my favourite of which is 22a.
    Not sure 5a works properly, the first two words seem irrelevant given that the answer are already immature unless i am reading it wrongly or that my answer is wrong! Should it be butters rather than butts? This will probably of course get me sent to the naughty step.
    Thx for the hints

    1. Hello, Brian. I believe that 5a works. I would hint it as follows:

      5a  They make immature butts or fools (4)
      The solution also describes the immature stage of some animals that butt

      1. I’d go with butters rather than butts – I’ve never heard a mature 5a being called a butt. Maybe I’m just miffed because I was stuck before looking here!

        Of course, may still be missing it.

  6. For me only one word describes this prize puzzle – superb. Lots to enjoy, good fun and many brilliant clues. Too many favourites to list. As a wee note to Brian, read the clue again – there are no superfluous words and the answer makes perfect sense. Could today’s setter possibly be Mikawber? It seemed to me to be very similar to his style. Thanks anyway to whoever the setter is and also to Mr K. Enjoy today’s party those of you are off to London.

  7. Toughest Sat. for a while for me, particularly the NE corner which stretched me to the limit. Not sure I liked 5a, even after researching in BRB. I wrote that before reading other comments and now I am even more discontented with it. 12a was clever – hence a bold hint but I did manage to work it out before looking! Is the cartoon character still going?
    Thanks to compiler and ( unused, for once ) hints.


  8. This was a fine puzzle. Really good clues giving a reasonable challenge and much enjoyment. I can’t isolate a favourite from this excellent bunch of clues. 3* / 4*

  9. Super offering,clever clues, if a little tough. 2d fooled me into using my “O” level physics resulting in a delay with NW corner.
    Like others 12a COTD.
    Hope all have a great time at the Birthday Bash of the decade.
    Thanks to Mr Ron & Mr K getting a cat picture for 1a beat even you!

    1. Hi, LrOK. I went with the 1a pairing because I already had three cat pics lined up. But there’s a cat pic for every answer out there somewhere, such as this one showing how a cat 1a spaghetti

      1. One of ours ate any string, ribbon etc he could find like this. He totally devoured all those internal ties you find inside robes etc, and I had to hang anything with ties high up in the closet where he wouldn’t reach them. And he still lived to be 17…

  10. This was nothing like the normal Saturday fare, it seems like a ‘wrong envelope’ job to me! 😳

  11. It seems strange,. I stormed through this one with delight having struggled yesterday. Very often comments re. being on the same or right wave length come up and it certainly felt like it this end of the week. Many thanks to all involved.

  12. Followed BD for years but never commented until now, just had to say this is one of the best puzzles I have ever seen. Favourite was 1a and last in was 19d. Lots of “Aha” moments. Thanks to the setter and Mr K for the enlightenment on one or two bung ins.

  13. I printed this one off in the wee hours of this morning having returned from a Burn’s night supper. I took one look at it and couldn’t answer a thing. Funny what a good night’s sleep does. It all became clear. I blame last night on the whisky in the cranachan. I thoroughly enjoyed the crossword, with 5a as favourite. It certainly fooled me for a while. Thank you setter and Mr Kitty. Best wishes to BD and all at the 10th anniversary.

  14. Happy Tenth anniversary and many more to come. Your blog has allowed my husband, not a keen crossworder, to join me as we fight through each day!! He sorted out 15d and a couple of others. He reckons it must be the haggis, neeps tatties and whisky we had last night!! He is an Ian but not from Scotland!
    Have a great time.
    Cheers for the blog!!

  15. Am I alone in thinking 4D, if the clue had referred to a type of snake, could be a ********** viper? 😂

  16. I agree – a very good challenge and very satisfying to complete. I would love to be a fly on the wall at the birthday bash. What fun. Enormous thanks to all who contribute to the blog.

  17. Thank you so much Mr K your help was invaluable to me today. I am getting a bit better but still find a lot of the puzzles intimidating.

    1. Hello Joan – it’s best to post your comment on the puzzle’s dedicated page from the menu on the right, ie DT28958(Hints)

      BD is rather busy today, otherwise he would normally move your comment to the relevant page. [… but he has now!]

  18. Most of this went in fairly rapidly but I was faced with a handful of recalcitrant clues that upped my solving time.

    I, like Shropshirebloke, did think that this was reminiscent of Micawber, but I’m afraid my setter’s radar is a bit wonky generally.

    Thanks to Mr K and setter and I hope everyone attending the birthday bash enjoys themselves. Congrats on the 10th anniversary, here’s to another 10.

  19. I’m of the “not on my wavelength” brigade. I didn’t feel that the definitions matched some of the answers very well and I really needed the hints today to get a foothold. Still I’m nothing if not tenacious and I do like a challenge!

  20. Contrary to the majority of Comments I’m with Sarah in being way off wavelength for this horror. For me it was much more than a challenge in that it was a slog from beginning to end and I had to avail myself of a lot of hints. No satisfaction at all. I’m not a happy bunny but will hope for more fun tomorrow. Wonder who the setter was. Thanks to whomever he/she is and also to MrK for lots of help. Hope the Birthday Bashers are having a great time.

    1. Thank goodness, I thought I was the only one who found this one very hard work, and gave up.

  21. It took a while to get on wavelength but I did eventually and loved it. I still don’t understand 5a, despite the best efforts above and checking all the reference books I’ve got. I probably have it wrong. My answer is fools. I’ll have to wait for Sue’s blog.
    So much to like here I can’t choose a fave, maybe the cat pics!
    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to Mr. K for his hints and pics.
    Have a great time at the bash, wish I could join you.

  22. We managed the NE/SW diagonal this morning, then got stuck. Coming back to it this evening, all became clear. Particularly liked 12a, but it was all good fun! Many thanks to setter, and Mr K especially for help in parsing 2D.

  23. Failed to tackle this yesterday as had a hard day in the olive groves in freezing conditions … followed by a very alchoholic lunch! So solved in bed this morning except for 5ac – fair but just couldn’t get barrels out of my mind.

    So thanks Mr K for the later tips and to the setter.

    Hope all went well at the bash?

  24. Only got round to solving this morning. Quite tricky for a Saturday with an awful grid.

    Agree with Brian that 5a doesn’t really work. Not my favourite puzzle by a long way.

    Thanks to setter and Mr K for stepping in.

  25. Quite liked 5a! Found some of the others a bit odd. Might have been the Chablis. Stirred up the sludge at the bottom of our brains.

  26. Far too hard for me it would help if setters could put in one easy sclue so at least I can get started giving u on this one

    1. Welcome from me too, Angela.

      This puzzle does not contain the usual handful of straight anagrams that offer an easy path into the grid, and above I hinted what seemed to me the most difficult clues. So, here are a hints for a couple of the less complex clues. Perhaps they’ll help with getting a foothold in the grid.

      11a Most celebrated as King George renovated estate (8)
      The Latin abbreviation for King George is followed by an anagram (renovated) of ESTATE

      24a Language used by parliament on Guernsey (6)
      The answer is hiding inside (used by) the remaining words in the clue

  27. It was a grind but got there in the end..thanks to the hints. Away for the weekend so started late and was stuck for 5 hours in a jam on the M25 on the way back…At that stage had only 21d…
    Last one in was 5a until I realised that last word is a verb.
    At first I thought it was a hopeless task but subtle use of words made it different. Thanks for the hints -a good out turn.

  28. Come now, everyone knows that a hood is a gangster. I spent ages trying to fit ROD or GAT into 10a.

Comments are closed.