DT 28008

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28008

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

This seemed to me a typical example of the puzzles we regularly get on Tuesdays. There’s nothing really wrong with it but it could benefit from a bit of sparkle. Do let us know how you fared and what you thought of it.

If you click on any of the areas showing ‘Click here!’ you’ll see the actual answer so only do that as a last resort.

Across Clues

1a Old man developing nice tan (7)
ANCIENT – an anagram (developing) of NICE TAN.

5a Fashion designer embracing new means of communication (7)
CHANNEL – the surname of a French fashion designer, famous for introducing the ‘little black dress’, contains N(ew).

9a Unattractively artificial closing in picture (7)
PLASTIC – an adjective meaning closing or final goes inside an informal term for a picture.

10a Returned embarrassed about movement in ballet (7)
REPLIED – an adjective meaning embarrassed contains a ballet movement involving bending the knees (I think it’s supposed to look elegant).

11a Security at home certain to restrict an onset in crime (9)
INSURANCE – start with an adverb meaning at home and follow this with an adjective meaning certain containing AN (from the clue) and the first letter of crime.

12a Heard to waste American’s increase in wages (5)
RAISE – this is a word used in the US for an increase in wages (we use a slightly shorter word). It sounds like a verb to lay waste or devastate.

13a Avoids  birds (5)
DUCKS – double definition, the first meaning avoids or dodges.

15a Rears cute wild animals (9)
CREATURES – an anagram (wild) of REARS CUTE.

17a Lass with belly changing? Babies — there’s two there (9)
SYLLABLES – an anagram (changing) of LASS and BELLY. There are two of the answer in the word babies.

19a Abandon  brush (5)
SCRUB – double definition, the second an area of shrubs and small trees.

22a Player’s first to leave golf club, say (5)
UTTER – remove the first letter of player from a golf club.

23a Philosopher’s following snake — they go round and round (9)
WINDMILLS – the surname of an English philosopher and the ‘S follow a verb to snake or meander.

25a Citrus tree almost devoured by cold weather (7)
CLIMATE – a citrus tree without its last letter (almost) and a verb meaning devoured all follow (by) the abbreviation for cold.

26a Mirror? One friend holds it (7)
IMITATE – the Roman numeral for one is followed by a friend containing IT.

27a Intimate guests ordered to go round back of building (7)
SUGGEST – the definition here is a verb not an adjective. It’s an anagram (ordered) of GUESTS containing the back letter of building.

28a Learning  what you’re filling in? (7)
LETTERS – two meanings, the first a word for scholarly learning or erudition and the second what you should have written or typed in the white squares of the grid.

Down Clues

1d Paid close attention — pages after article told a story (7)
APPLIED – string together an indefinite article, the abbreviation for multiple pages and a verb meaning made up a story.

2d Lesson by one Conservative of the highest rank (7)
CLASSIC – a lesson or period of instruction is followed by the Roman numeral for one and the abbreviation for Conservative.

3d Go in hospital department with expression of hesitation (5)
ENTER – the abbreviation for the most popular hospital department in Crosswordland followed by an expression of hesitation.

4d Difficult catch with line at sea (9)
TECHNICAL – an anagram (at sea) of CATCH and LINE.

5d Dog taken to vet with no tail to bend (5)
CURVE – a dog of little monetary value is followed by the word vet without its last letter.

6d Soldier wearing suitable American equipment (9)
APPARATUS – an airborne soldier goes inside an adjective meaning suitable or relevant. We finish with a two-letter abbreviation for American.

7d No one is turning the Queen more boisterous (7)
NOISIER – bring together NO (from the clue), the Roman numeral for one, the reversal (turning) of IS and the cipher of our current Queen.

8d They might put up with you (7)
LODGERS – cryptic definition. You’re meant to think that ‘put up with’ here means to tolerate but ‘put up’ also means to pay for temporary accommodation.

14d 12 cast off steps (9)
STAIRCASE – an anagram (off) of the answer to 12a and CAST.

16d German city ‘ethically’ neglected, oddly. It’s necessary (9)
ESSENTIAL – a German city in the Ruhr is followed by the even (neglected oddly) letters of ‘ethically’.

17d Becomes bitter, covering up Church origins (7)
SOURCES – a verb meaning becomes bitter contains the abbreviation for the established church in England.

18d Allowing the French time can start to grate (7)
LETTING – string together one of the French definite articles, T(ime), another word for a can and the starting letter of grate.

20d Concerned with rent? Save! (7)
RELEASE – a preposition meaning concerned with is followed by a verb to rent.

21d Hampers ventures, getting round request (7)
BASKETS – a verb meaning ventures or speculates goes round a verb to request.

23d Women warm source of food? (5)
WHEAT – the abbreviation for women is followed by a verb to warm up (food, for example).

24d Nothing in drizzle can make you damp (5)
MOIST – insert the letter that resembles nothing or zero into a drizzle or haze.

The clue I liked best was 5a. Which one(s) made your shortlist?

Today’s Quickie Pun: FREEZE + COOLS = FREE SCHOOLS


  1. dutch
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Thanks Gazza

    naturally I liked the things that go round and round (23a). I particularly liked “can start to grate” in 18d and the babies in 17a.

    With all checkers in place, I had entered LADDERS for 8d in what I thought was a rather quaint clue – I’m almost disappointed

    Many thanks setter

    • Jaylegs
      Posted January 12, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      I also entered ladders for 8d (great minds think alike) http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gifAgree with Gazza **/** whom I thank for the blog and to thanks to the setterhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gifQuite liked 6d & 25a

      • Hanni
        Posted January 12, 2016 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        Add me to the ‘ladders’ thing. I thought it was quiet good.

        Found the rest pretty much a R&W but more enjoyable than some.

        Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for a lovely blog.

    • från
      Posted January 12, 2016 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      Me to last one in ladders ; whoops ! Enjoyed 23 and 25a .Thanks to Gazza and the setter

    • Expat Chris
      Posted January 12, 2016 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      Me, too on ladders.

    • Jane
      Posted January 12, 2016 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Oh yes – snakes and ladders all the way!

    • Merusa
      Posted January 12, 2016 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      I, too, had ladders! Wotta lot of us had the same thing!

    • Una
      Posted January 12, 2016 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      Ik ook.

  2. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    1st pass – None!!
    Tuesday is always hard!!

    • HoofItYouDonkey
      Posted January 12, 2016 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Much better second time through, must remember to engage brain.

      • Michael
        Posted January 12, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        Me too – I thought I was really going to struggle but a couple of anagrams got me going and it all gradually fell into place. 21d and 19a were the last to go in – no electronic aids were used, quite pleased about that!

        Very enjoyable!


        West Ham away at Bournemouth tonight – setting off soon, I hope the M25 is behaving!

        • HoofItYouDonkey
          Posted January 12, 2016 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

          As a died-in-the-wool Millwall fan, I will of course be wishing West Ham all the best….http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

          • Michael
            Posted January 12, 2016 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

            ?Nobody like’s us – we don’t care!?

            • Jane
              Posted January 12, 2016 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

              Most impressive, Michael – I’ve never found an emoticon for music notes!

            • HoofItYouDonkey
              Posted January 12, 2016 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

              Enjoy the game Michael.
              For the record it’s ‘No-one likes us, we don’t care’, but the sentiments are the same!!

  3. Beaver
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Pleasant enough but a bit ‘flat’-like watching Man U,nothing taxing and a */** for me, no stand out clues or new words and it’s raining again in Cheshire !

  4. Rabbit Dave
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    I agree with Beaver’s rating 1*/2*. I found this unexciting offering R&W apart from 19a, 28a & 21d which needed a bit of thought. Perhaps watching MU tonight will be more exciting, but I doubt it.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  5. pete
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Not very taxing but quite enjoyable. Two days running I have managed to finish with no help, thats good for me.

  6. Paso Doble
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    We don’t think we have ever completed a puzzle so quickly! Agree with Rabbit Dave that this was pretty much R & W. Let’s hope Man U lose again and Van Gaal gets the sack – then they can get a proper manager. Thanks to Gazza and Setter. */** from us.

  7. Spook
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Pretty straightforward so **\** for me, for a bear of little brain I managed it without to much help. 23a caused a little head scratching but thanks to book of facts solved it
    Thanks to Gazza and setter. I bet Wednesday’s will be a stinker.
    Boat going back in water at weekend but no chance of cruising yet, hey ho for better weather.

  8. Kitty
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    A good quality crossword, I thought, even if very gentle and so not enough of a challenge for some.

    I held myself up in the SE by carelessly inputting a wrong answer for 19a, knowing that it was probably wrong, but forgetting about it. I did the same with 8d – had the same answer as Dutch (@1) – and so was confused when the app rejected my solution, but much preferred the correct answer once I’d had a second go at it. Moral of the story: avoid bung-ins, even if they are meant to be temporary.

    My favourite has to be 27a. 24d is a word that is famously hated by women – unless it precedes something like “cake” of course http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif.

    Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  9. Bluebird
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    I agree it was the second fast one in two days, but there were some cute little clues – 17a hung together nicely and, in fact many of the clues read really well and all made sense in themselves – sometimes I’m so focused on the various indicators and solving them that I forget that the way they read is an under-appreciated talent.

    I read through them all again after I finished, and I’m giving it a *\***. Thanks to whoever is the setter.

  10. Shropshirelad
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Pretty straightforward I thought but some good clue constructions going on (5 & 17a and 8d). I think the sparkle is there, albeit not too bright and glittering. A couple of old chestnuts (3d & 22a) but still enjoyable to solve. No particular favourite but I did like 8d.

    Thanks to Mr Ron for the puzzle and Gazza for his review. The Toughie is well worth a go for those wanting a slightly harder challenge (16a should start a bit of chatter)

    • Hanni
      Posted January 12, 2016 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif yup 16a is interesting.

  11. Jill
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    I must have been on fire today as I found this a write in – very satisfying however. I liked 17a best. */***

  12. Heno
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. I agree with Gazza’s comments, a bit of sparkle was needed, but the clues were all well constructed. Had never heard of of the ballet move, but got it from the definition and checkers. I’ve seen the same construction for 17a before. Favourite was 28a. Was 3*/3* for me. Off to the Toughie.

  13. jean-luc cheval
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Agree with Gazza’s rating but a couple of clues seems wrong to me.
    The first one is 1d. Can we have Apply = Pay attention? Apply oneself maybe unless I am missing something.
    The second is 4d. Does technical mean difficult necessarily?
    I call on the pedant brigade to enlighten me.
    Noticed that I didn’t parse 6d correctly. As we use the word Apparat in France for army display uniforms I thought the “soldier wearing suitable” was referring to this.
    Favourite is 27a.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review and I think a plié is so much more elegant when both feet remain together.

    • Gazza
      Posted January 12, 2016 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      The BRB has for the verb to apply: “to give close attention”. I think we see this meaning more often in the noun form, e.g. application meaning diligence or concentration, as in ‘His application at work was faultless’.

  14. Peta
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    We did ok today. Didn’t like 20d…

  15. Vancouverbc
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    **/**. Pretty straightforward but lacked a bit of fun although really liked 17a. Thanks to the setter and Gazza for the blog.

  16. Young Salopian
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    2*/2* about right. Really enjoyed 17 across which was my pick. I thought Gazza was being a little harsh, but I do understand his thought process. Thanks to him and Mr Ron for the workout.

    I was involved in the ladder thing too at first.

  17. mre
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon everybody.

    Failed on 10a and 21d. Pretty sure I had I had 21d starting with P so presumably had another across clue wrong. Gah!


  18. Jane
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Certainly wouldn’t have frightened even Hanni’s thoroughbreds but I found this a very satisfying solve. Every answer perfectly fitted the clue and there were a few smiles around. I did fall into the ‘ladders’ trap at 8d! 1*/3* for me.

    Leader board shows 17a plus 6&8d.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron (shame we never get to find out who he/they are on Tuesdays) and to Gazza, whom I suspect would rather blog any day other than a Tuesday! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    • Gazza
      Posted January 12, 2016 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      I’m not complaining about blogging Tuesdays, Jane. It was my choice to switch to Tuesdays after blogging Fridays for about four years. There is some variety on Tuesdays – a Shamus at regular intervals and occasionally a Petitjean. I do agree that it would be good if Messrs Ron & Ron (because I think there are two unknown setters) revealed themselves.

      • Jane
        Posted January 12, 2016 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        Do you really think there are only two Mr. Rons? I thought there might possibly be more.

    • Hanni
      Posted January 12, 2016 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      Jane, those things have been known to spoke at their own shadow, and leaves and bags and sheep and cows and other horses and hay fields and streams….you get the idea.

  19. Merusa
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed this, I have no objection to an easy puzzle if it involves some thought.
    Apart from having 8d incorrect, I had no problems. In fact, I thought “ladders” was a pretty good answer!
    Fave was 17a. Mr. Mills makes an appearance again.
    Thanks to setter and to Gazza for his review.

  20. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    For a beginner, following Gazza’s hint, in 11a, I’m not sure what indicates that ‘AN’ and the first letter of ‘crime’ should be inserted in a word for certain??
    Any advice would be welcome.
    Thanks to the setter for reducing my brain to mush today and to Gazza for his excellent (and much needed) hints…

    • silvanus
      Posted January 12, 2016 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      “Restrict” is the containment indicator you’re seeking.

  21. silvanus
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    I also found it workmanlike and solid and somewhat lacking in sparkle. There seemed to be an awful lot of containment clues, or at least it seemed that way.

    For the impeccable surface I’ll nominate 15a as my favourite.

    Many thanks to Gazza and our Tuesday setter.

  22. Gwizz
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Well, I didn’t go down (or up) the ‘Ladders’ route; my first thought was ‘Parents’. Then the grey cells came to life. I agree that the sparkle element was a bit flat. No real stand out clues for me… maybe at a push 6d. 2/2* overall.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review.

  23. 2Kiwis
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Yes, that is us waving to you from the top of our ladder in 8d. That will teach us for accusing the puzzle of being too easy. 17a held us up slightly and gets our vote for top clue today.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza

  24. Salty Dog
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    I too plumped rather too easily for “ladders” at 8d, and of course it doesn’t work as well as “lodgers” – sheer laziness on my part. Overall, 1*/3* and my favourite clue was 21d. Thanks to Mr Ron for the much-needed mental exercise, and to Gazza for the review.

  25. Angel
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    I agree this was nothing to write home about but quite undemanding about which I was quite pleased because I had guests for lunch and interrupted my preparations to see this off (what a long sentence!). Oh dear I have just discovered that I wrongly bunged in “pesters” for 21d although I couldn’t parse it – should have known better. None really worthy of a Fav rating I fear. Thanks Gazza and the mysterious Tuesday setter. **/**. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_arrow.gif

  26. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    As a novice, found this by far the hardest one I have attempted for the last couple of weeks. This is on the back of completing last Saturday’s and Monday’s.
    Many of the clues seemed to use crossword mnemonics that it will take me time to get used to.
    However, very enjoyable going through the hints (I still could not work them out sometimes), so thanks to Gazza and the setter for utterly bamboozling me!!

  27. Una
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    A very nice walk in the park.My favourite is 22a.
    Thanks Gazza and the setter.

  28. Maggie
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    Always feel good when I complete a healthy chunk before resorting to hints so thanks to setter and Gazza. Yet another person who had ladders and also managed to make it difficult for myself by putting apprise in 1d – dodgy reasoning I know. Favourites 17&15a.

  29. Tstrummer
    Posted January 13, 2016 at 1:56 am | Permalink

    OK, I suppose, but no real joy and a bit mechanical. I’ve had enough of the German city for a while and 22a seems to crop up at least once a week. I don’t quite see how Ladders could be the answer to 8d, because how do you explain the “with”? Thanks to Gazza for the usual (unneeded, but enjoyed) review and to the setter for not keeping me from my book for too long. 1*/2*

    • Jane
      Posted January 13, 2016 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Hi TS,
      I was thinking along the lines of ‘puts up with you’ as in ‘bears your weight’, which a ladder has to do when you’re climbing up it!