DT 28994 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28994 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28994 (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    A drudge mistakenly offered protection (7)
Anagram (mistakenly) of A DRUDGE

5a    About eleven, a tube making ore (7)
An anagram (processed) of A TUBE around the Roman numerals for eleven

11a    Outline of house with title removed (10)
An anagram (removed) of HOUSE with TITLE

18a    Looked likely to come down in Canaan (8,4)
A word meaning looked likely followed by a verb meaning to come down, typically when in an aeroplane

21a    Copyright on mouthpiece cut (4)
The letter that is used to represent copyright followed by (on?) part (piece) of the mouth – I struggled with this at first because the letter alone is part of the symbol and, in an across clue, “on” usually works the other way around (mouthpiece followed by copyright)

22a    In record time, one performing duet shows incompetence (10)
IN from the clue followed by an old-fashioned four-track record, T(ime), I (one) and an anagram (performing) of DUET

25a    Make material corroded (9)
Some material followed by a three-letter verb meaning corroded

28a    Almost certainly genuine, but bizarre (7)
Most of an interjection meaning certainly or undoubtedly followed by an adjective meaning genuine


1d    So dull on the outside but oily (6)
A two-letter word meaning so inside (on the outside) an adjective meaning dull

2d    Eagle I left in the water (6)
This word, of Latin derivation, for an eagle (as a genus or a constellation) is derived by putting I from the clue and L(eft) inside another word of Latin derivation, this time meaning water

4d    Doctor single small creature (5)
The abbreviation for D(octo)R followed by the number which represents a single

7d    To some extent at home before a hearing perhaps (2,1,5)
Our usual two-letter word meaning at home followed by the A from the clue and the faculty of which hearing is an example (perhaps)

15d    Stay in bed, stay to prepare for ambush (3,2,4)
A phrase meaning to stay in bet followed by a verb meaning to stay

16d    This heat is clearly defined (8)
A word which, when followed by heat, is defined by Chambers as “the number of heat units necessary to raise the unit of mass of a given substance one degree in temperature” is also an adjective meaning clearly defined

17d    Thus one in chain possibly is fond of others’ company (8)
A two-letter word meaning thus is followed by I (one) inside a chain

20d    Pulse taken by lady shortly going round hospital department (6)
This pulse is a vegetable (which makes excellent soup) – an abbreviated form of a lady’s name goes around our usual hospital department


24d    Element found by Zulu in chapter (4)
The letter represented by Zulu in the NATO Phonetic alphabet followed by IN from the clue and C(hapter)

The Crossword Club is now open.

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The Quick Crossword pun: lick+quid+ate=liquidate

61 comments on “DT 28994 (Hints)

  1. Appreciation grew as progressed to the bottom half when some great clues appeared . Will select 13D as COTD just ahead (!) of 27A .
    Thanks to everyone .

  2. Good fun for a breezy Saturday morning. Not too taxing but pleasantly enjoyable. I liked 28a as a favourite for the elegance of the surface.

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

  3. Good fun (as per YS!). Don’t remember previously seeing ‘fizzy’ in that context. Not keen on 12a slang. Lots of goodies including 18a, 27a, 13d and 15d in no particular order. Gorgeous sunshine in West Sussex Thank you Mysteron and BD.

  4. A nice, straightforward puzzle with well written and mostly gentle clues. I’ve ticked 5a, 10a, 2d, 5d and 19d. My favourite was 14a, which I didn’t know but was gettable from the clue and a little Google confirmation. 1.5* / 3.5*

  5. My rating for this light but pleasant pangram is 1.5*/2.5*. I have deducted 0.5* for enjoyment due to the appearance of a non-specific lady.

    18d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD.

    1. Don’t forget the ‘month’

      As I was solving the crossword I was saying ‘Brian won’t like this … and this’ and then I got on to RD won’t like this and this’ and Mr CS had to remind me that if I was timing myself, I really ought to concentrate rather than explaining to him how the clues related to my remarks.

      1. CS. I know you’ve mentioned “month” vicariously but on this subject, isn’t “month” enough of an indication in a cryptic clue – there’s only 12 of them to muse about. How easy do people want these clues to be?

        1. I don’t mind months or girls or ladies in crossword clues – I have a feeling if one didn’t use these terms then GK would come along and cause further mutterings

          1. Kitty expressed a similar opinion on the blog back in January. I thought her comments were well-reasoned and eloquently expressed.

  6. Finished over a second cup of coffee. 27a and 28a were worked out as the crossword was sliding out the printer, so I worked from the bottom of the puzzle up. I had to google 2d just to make sure, though I’d got the answer from the clue. The answer was the name of a game reserve I visited in South Africa just over a year ago. I didn’t take much notice at the time of why it might have been called so. Now I know. Many thanks setter and BD.

  7. Nice puzzle lots to like. 2d my fave reminded me of a kids programme my nephew enjoyed 5a a close 2nd. 3d LOI as I didn’t have the right creature in mind. The hospital dept reappeared for the 3rd time this week but as a usual suspect that’s fine by me.
    Thanks to BD and setter.

  8. It must have been at the easier level if I could breeze through it.. Liked 16d as it reminded me of school physics days – is that too much of a clue to others?? If so scrub that bit . All most enjoyable and many thanks.

  9. A nice gentle puzzle, which didn’t cause too many problems. Favourite clues were 5a, 14a and 18a. Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

  10. I really like clues which are so cleverly written that I can work out the answer and come up with a word I don’t know and which I can then check and find in the dictionary (2d). I also checked 5a although I was fairly certain of that one.

    Last one in was 11a and then I kicked myself for making such a meal of it.

    Thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle, many thanks BD and the setter

    1. Enjoyed this and the accompanying G+T. He says 5a was our favourite but I liked 13d!

  11. I always love a puzzle when I get the 1a inside a few seconds. As today’s. Top not too bad for me, bottom slowed me down, but overall a very enjoyable way to spend xxxxxxxx, which is no bad thing as I can’t go out due to the 60mph winds outside.

    1. You are allowed to mention wind speed on the blog, Alan, but not solving speed! :wink:

    2. Remember the rules Alan.
      Rule one. There are no rules
      Rule two. If in doubt see rule one

      Except at the weekend where you are not allowed to give right answers, wrong answers, partial answers, alternative answers or solving times.

      If you do you may be sent to the naughty corner.
      That is not so bad. There is cake and wine there. And some company

    3. The rule on not giving solving speeds may sound mean but it’s there to stop the blog becoming a competition and so as not to discourage less-skilled solvers. The intention of the star system for difficulty is to allow you to say whether your solving time was less than or more than your personal average which is a relative scale rather than an absolute one.

      By the way, another good rule is to always ignore what Miffypops says!

      1. Is it OK to say “this one took me a day and a half. ☺️
        Not this one obviously but Dada’s first Sunday crossword fits.
        I suppose it could be encouraging!

        1. Back in 2010, there was a Toughie that took me a day and a half which led me in despair to put a whole clue into Google, discover this blog and completely transform my crosswording life

          1. That’s how I got here Sue. I had a Beam Toughie with one four letter clue unsolved. I looked at several times a day for months and then googled it and here I am. What a sad day for the blog that was.

          2. That’s how we all got here , CS !
            My unfathomable clue was at the very start of my cryptic solving :
            Joy, Sue , Pearl , Dotty .

        2. Since you can’t say that until the next day it has to be OK. If there is a threshold it is in hours rather than minutes.

      2. I love this blog.
        I do visit it every day as I complete the crossword every day and occasionally need help.
        The only reason I don’t post every day is I’m too impatient to wait for 5 minutes for the post to be accepted.
        I always want to get back to my games!
        Bit pathetic really.

  12. Straightforward except for SW corner where “chain possibly” in 17d caused problems. Somewhat scientific leaning I thought
    Very enjoyable interlude after yet another wet walk with the dogs.
    Thank you Mr Ron & BD for concise hints.

  13. This has to be the gentlest Saturday puzzle for quite a while. A curious mix of a ‘Monday’ puzzle with a touch of a ‘Friday Giovanni’ with its ‘non-secular’ content. Very enjoyable and completed at a fast gallop – 1.5*/3.5*.

    Not bothered by months or mysterious short ladies because all the checkers were in.

    No outstanding favourite, although the somewhat macabre 13d did appeal to my darker side.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  14. Another nice stroll. Abroad again so I’ll probably get no marks for my submitted solution ( still there, Margaret?) having received 30/30 for last week’s!

    I am not a betting man, but I bet there is a typo in the 15d hint,


    1. I’m here HJ and I got 0/30 last week, surprise surprise. I’m sometimes tempted to deliberately enter a wrong letter somewhere and see what they make of that. Don’t want to do it though because the optimist in me still wonders whether my entry has a chance for the prize. Oh well!

  15. It’s not often I contribute so early, and before I did the vacuuming, my Saturday chore! However I am so fed up with Brexit and after reading Charles Moore, I moved to the Crossy…..Very entertaining and…no hints!
    Last in was 23d as I was looking for a four letter plural.
    Loved the biblical ones -reminded ,me of Sunday School many eons ago.
    So thanks to the setter and of course BD for his picturesque recipe!


  16. A little theological knowledge can be dangerous: I very nearly wrote in an answer for 14a without thinking and then realised that one specific letter would have been wrong… I can’t say any more for fear of being ostracised and ending up on the naughty step. I thought that this was a really enjoyable puzzle and I can now devote my attention to today’s rugby, particularly the game at Murrayfield and the team who’ve won all three of their matches.

  17. Really enjoyed this puzzle-who knows, I might even win a runner-up prize for the third time!

  18. An enjoyable Saturday stroll which leaves plenty of time for today’s NTSPP!

    Favourite was 28a.

    Thanks to our setter and to BD for the club.

  19. I really enjoyed this and didn’t have too much trouble with anything until I got to 21a which I couldn’t make any sense of at all.
    To begin with I felt as if there were quite a lot of anagrams but I think that’s because they were almost all in the across clues.
    For once I did spot the pangram.
    If I’ve ever heard of 16d I’d forgotten it and, likewise, 14a.
    I particularly liked 27a and 6d.
    Off to the garden – NTSPP later.
    Thanks to today’s setter and to BD, specially for sorting out 21a.

  20. A very enjoyable puzzle done without recourse to your hints Big Dave although thank you for pointing out it was a pangram. I always enjoy reading the comments and the obvious camaraderie between cruciverbalists!

  21. Thoroughly enjoyable puzzle except I got totally stumped on 14a and was so disappointed not to find a hint from BD. Got it eventually but for me it seemed out of place with the rest of the puzzle. I suppose the enjoyable clue for 18a should have set my antennae twitching but I missed it. Thanks to all!

  22. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable, but quite straightforward puzzle. I noticed quite early that a pangram was on the cards, and this helped me get 12d. Favourite was 16d. Was 1*/3* for me.

  23. I am still learning and need help but this was much easier than usual. Probably, very stupid but don’t understand the clue for 12a . Hints are usually very helpful but managed most of it today.

    1. You’ve left off the K that usually follows Patricia which is why you went into moderation.

      One of the definitions of facility is an informal term (in my dictionary it is the final definition of facility) Abbreviate this ‘facility’ and insert (consuming) the abbreviation for European and you’ll get some meat

        1. :oops: slick but alternative – I’ve just been sitting in the NC – no cake but some dark chocolate with tiny bits of salted caramel in it – yum

  24. **/***. Enjoyable pangram with 27a being one of my favourites closely followed by 13d. Thanks to all.

  25. This was a gem of a puzzle, easy but very slick, for me anyway. Because of my church-school education, 14a and 18a went in without hesitation.
    Like Kath, that pesky four-letter word at 21a beat me; thanks for the hint BD.
    The eagle at 2d was new to me but easily worked out. I do like when I learn a new word.
    Very hard to choose a fave but 28a was so smooth, maybe that qualifies.
    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to BD for his hints and tips.

  26. I liked this crossword! An excellent selection of clues lead to a very satisfying solve. 18, 27 and 28a were all worthy contenders – I’ll go with the latter as my top clue.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

  27. flew through this one mostly which was surprising after a very long day at Crufts yesterday. Loved 14a but foolishly had difficulty with 27a which on reflection was one of the more obvious clues

  28. A decent prize romp, sadly not as difficult as usual & over all too quickly.
    You never know we all may eventually get our 18ac 🙏🏻
    ATB to BD & setter

  29. A pretty straightforward, enjoyable solve. All over surprisingly quickly for a Saturday…

  30. Oh happy day. Another lovely puzzle, two days in a row. Got to it late, and almost finished at first pass. Returned after catching up on chores, and finished the rest. Thanks to setter for a very enjoyable puzzle, and Big Dave for everything he does.

  31. We found this very easy and, because of that, gone too fast truly to enjoy – 0.5*/2*.

    Thanks to the setter and BD for the site (which we found, like many others, by Googling entire clues; happy days).

  32. I thought for a Saturday back-pager this was about the right level.
    **/****. Thanks to setter and BD.

  33. Hello, this is my first ever post here. I’m one of those less skilled solvers whose feelings are protected by banning solving speeds, but this one was quicker than usual. 7 down held me up for a while and my favourite, by a country mile, was 3 down.

  34. I did Sunday’s first which was very difficult for me so this one much easier and proceeded at a steady pace. Most enjoyable – thanks to setter and BD.

  35. 2*/3*….
    liked 19D “girl disheartened during month in forest”…as well she might be…
    the quickie seems to be a pangram as well.

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