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DT 28976 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28976 (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    Discharge rifle (4)
Two definitions – both are verbs

9a    ‘Run, I’ve seen a mouse!’ — that creates a stink (4)
R(un) followed by what one might say on seeing a mouse

10a    Drew attention to being insufficiently padded? (10)
… how I drew your attention to the definition!

13a    Happiness, with no pressure — I must go in for a rest (7)
Start with a word meaning happiness, drop the P(ressure) and insert (must go in) an I for the A

18a    Having put on underwear, I exit and check out (11)
Having put on an item of underwear (2,4) followed by the I from the clue and an exit

22a    Extremely great legendary footballer, this person doubly good being boxed in (7)
There are many legendary footballers, pick one of them with a four-letter surname (not Pele!) and insert the first person singular subjective pronoun and a pair of (doubly) G(ood)s

25a    Left single, poetry beginning to sharpen this? (10)
L(eft), a three-letter word for single, some poetry and the initial letter (beginning) of S[harpen]

26a    Supplements with small advertisements getting centre spread? (4)
Start with the small advertisements and double (spread) the middle (centre) letter


1d    Went with speed trap being restricted, not generating enough cash? (8)
A four-letter verb meaning went with speed around (being restricted) TRAP

4d    Obtains combination of two sizes (5)
Obtains, as in obtains a new job, is a combination of two sizes separated by a conjunction

5d    Bow beau reviews revues there — they’re what distinguishes them? (9)
Each of the first three pairs of words sound the same so you are looking for what distinguishes them

6d    ‘Times’ makes the connection between factors in this action (11)
Easier than it looks – factor times factor gives what (mathematical) action?

8d    Swift in South of France hidey-hole (6)
The French for South is followed by a hidey-hole

15d    In Gap, love to fill in, displaying creativity (9)
Simply follow the instructions – IN from the clue followed by a gap and then O (love in tennis) inside (to fill) the second IN from the clue

16d    Brilliant story, ‘Knight Time’ — needs editor (8)
As with the previous clue, simply follow the instructions – a story followed by the chess notation for a knight, T(ime) and ED(itor)

22d    Nips to get parts around Spain (5)
Some parts or pieces around the IVR code for Spain

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: lass+vaguest=Las Vegas

56 comments on “DT 28976 (Hints)

  1. I don’t know how to rate this. What a mixture – it almost seemed liked it could have been set by two different people. Some of the surfaces were awful and some were fine. Some of the clues were distinctly weird and some were good.

    Likes include: 10a, 21a, 23a, 4d, 6d and, my favourite, 5d.
    Dislikes include: 11a, 14a, 25a, 26a, 1d, 2d, 15d.

    Thanks to the setter(s) and to BD.

    P.S. BD, when I click to accept the site cookie alert, an empty box remains on the bottom of my screen. I’ve tried it with IE, Edge and Chrome.

    1. It’s a Catch 22 – if I put the code to invoke the cookie alert into Sidebar 1 then I get the box, if I put it into Sidebar 2 (which immediately follows Sidebar 1) then part of the WordPress software doesn’t recognise it.

    2. RD .. On reading ‘I don’t know how to rate this’, I said to myself ‘don’t bother then’. Just a thought!

  2. “ Don’t judge a book by its cover “ came to mind on completion . First impression was not good but admiration grew steadily as progressing .
    A few excellent clues but will go for 4D for the simplicity and resulting smile .
    Thanks to everyone .

  3. I ground to a halt in the NE, staring at it for a long time before any pennies started to drop. I agree with RD that it was a very odd mixture of clues that certainly required different wavelengths to solve as far as I was concerned.

    Definitely difficult to rate because 3/4 ish was straightforward and the NE was a tricky so and so.

    Thanks to BD and setter 3*/3* ..?

  4. This required rather more application than was the case for the rest of this week but it was an enjoyable challenge. Last in was 5d to which I ultimately awarded pole position. Not sure about 9a, 26a or the lovers in 3a. Thank you Mysteron and BD.

  5. This was partially a bit bizarre/unconventional (not necessarily always in a good way) but slightly more of a challenge than the average Sat Prize. Fav: 5d. I can only give it average ratings, 2.5* / 2.5* – it was only moderately enjoyable.

  6. Felt as though someone gave the bran tub a good old stir to come up with the clues for this one – what a bizarre collection!
    Most enjoyment came from unwrapping 21a & 4d.

    Thanks to today’s setter and to BD for the club.

  7. Some very convoluted clues here, particularly in the NE. It took me twice as long as usual to finish it but I quite enjoyed it in the end. The clues were mostly clever and varied but there were a few that I could not parse. Thanks to BD and the setter.

  8. Agree with RD’s first paragraph as an assessment of this one. Very much liked 5d but didn’t like 1d at all.

    Needed BD to explain my third letter of 26a. Many thanks to all.

      1. You’re welcome Aljanon, although I think we should both thank RD for putting in the initial work!

  9. Agree with RD about appears like two different setters. That gave an interesting concept of Ray T meets DaDa or Giovanni meets Jay. Has that been done I wonder?
    I didn’t find this too difficult although 5d, my COTD, held out longest.
    Thanks to setter & BD. Picture for 22a brought back memories. As you said there have been many great footballers, what would they be worth in today’s silly world?

  10. My brain felt well and truly scrambled at the end of this, I hope that it has returned to some semblance of order in twelve hours time when I start on the Sunday Dada.

    Plenty of candidates for favourite – 10a, 25a, 4d, and 20d – and that’s not the complete list.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  11. Mixed is the word today. I really liked 3a, as well as 26a.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

    Family invasion imminent (wish me luck!), but I’ll have to sneak away at some point to do the Gazza ntspp.

  12. Well I enjoyed what I could do myself, but had to use a hint or two too get me going again and largely enjoyed learning the shortcomings in me they revealed, but I still had too many gaps and had to resort to Mr Google to get me over the line. So “mixed” accurately sums up my experience today.
    Thanks to BD for the hints and thanks to however many setters contributed to this mixed bag.

  13. As others have commented before, I too was at a loss as to how to explain this one. As someone who prefers to use words rather than numbers to describe my reaction to a puzzle, this was generally not to my liking, although several clues were excellent, including my favourite, 5d. Overall not an enjoyable experience I am afraid.

    Thanks to our setter and BD.

  14. Took slightly longer than usual. LOI and favourite was 5dn. No particular comments from me about the style, just a little more challenging than normal. Needed the blog to parse 26ac.

    Thanks setter and BD

  15. For a novice, a real struggle, much trickier than usual Saturdays. I found that I was getting answers but struggling to understand why they were right. Not fun but a great sense of achievement!

  16. Well, all I can do now is agree with most of what has been said. I really did not like 11a. At least now I have finished it I can get down to my last batch of marmalade.

  17. I thoroughly enjoyed this today. It was quite a struggle but I got there in the end. Best of the week for me.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  18. ***/****. Definitely had to be on the right wavelength for a few of these clues. Some were simple and elegant (5d) and others were convoluted (13a). Overall very enjoyable for me. Thanks to all.

  19. I cannot add more than contributors to the blog have already made, except to thank BD for a couple of invaluable pointers & to the setter who made me mildly dizzy 🥴

  20. IMO Chris Lancaster hits the nail on the head with the last paragraph of his article in the DT today when he says that ‘In uncertain times’ we know we can rely on puzzles ‘to amuse, inform and provide that moment of pleasure when everything becomes clear’. Hear, hear! Long live the DT Cryptic Crossword and the endless moments of pleasure it provides. 👏💐.

  21. When I looked back on my finished effort I realised that it was far easier than I had made it as I had been looking for a more cryptic answer to several of the clues. Oh well.
    26a was a good case in point and once I twigged it was my favourite.
    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints.

  22. At first pass I thought it was going to be a stinker, but then I gradually got on wavelength and was surprised when I finished without too much difficulty. Rather enjoyed it in fact. Thanks to setter and Big Dave.

  23. Well this was the highlight of the solving week for me…..NOT. I thought it swung from the ridiculous to the fine and back again several times, not helped by some stodgy, to say the least, surfaces.
    My winners in a not very strong field were 10 and 18a plus 5d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD.

  24. :phew: I thought it was a ‘just me’ day!
    I found this tricky while I was doing it and the style felt unfamiliar – do we have a new setter today?
    Having now finished I thought it was a very fine crossword with a good mixture of clues and some humour.
    I don’t quite understand my answer to 11a but think it has to be right and I needed BD’s hint to understand 26a.
    The ‘times’ in 6d always catches me out and I admit to going a bit blind with clues like 22a but with so many checking letters it was OK.
    Now I’ll stop blathering – clues of note for me today were 3 and 9a and my favourite was 5d.
    With thanks to whoever set this one and to BD.

    1. PS – With just a little bit of will power I’ll store up Gazza’s NTSPP for tomorrow – they’re always brilliant.

    2. Me too re 11a. Can anyone explain (without risking the naughty step)? I’ve really struggled with this one and needed a lot of hints. Thanks to the mystery setter and BD.

      1. 11a More than one brigand shown to be soft ‘hearties’ after he’s downed rum (7)

        The abbreviation for soft followed by an anagram (indicated by rum) of a word in the clue after you’ve deleted ‘he’.

      1. Ditto although (not being adept at setting) I can think of several combinations with which this could be clued to arrive at this answer less clumsily.

        1. Ah, but it’s those sub-clauses or phrases that come in between the anagram letters and its indicator term that makes everything harder…….it might be clumsy, but it’s clever, isn’t it?

  25. I enjoyed the level of trickiness .
    I liked 9a and 22a in particular .
    I needed the hint to explain why 4d is what it is .
    The pic at 13a was me about 6 weeks ago .It was hilarious trying to get into the thing .
    Thanks to all concerned .

  26. Having read some comments but no hints yesterday I decided to leave to a leisurely solve in bed this morning. I succeeded without hints but needed BD’s hint to parse 26a and I see I am not alone. Also needed Gazza’s help in the comments above to parse 11a. My worry with these sorts of clues/answers is that I have gone for the obvious but there is a more obscure word which fits. Happily this was not the case here. Like others I found the NE the slowest to crack. I was trying to be too clever with 5d looking for a particular term to describe these words. Happily the appropriate one did not fit and the simple answer sprang to mind. I liked 3 10 13 and 22a and 6 and 8d which were clever but did find some of the other clues lacked finesse and I cannot identify the setter. But I thank him/her and BD and Gazza.

  27. I agree with WeW and others on the NE corner..this didn ‘t jump out at all!
    It didn’t help writing in 24a in the 26a space, so out with the blodger…I was helped by a couple of BD hints to get the NE under control as others did jump out then. Several excellent anagrams -not always obvious, and fooled me by thinking that 3a was amongst them! Anyone else?
    Thanks BD and setter for an interesting challenge!

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