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DT 28020

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28020

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

This is a pretty straightforward puzzle from one of the Tuesday Mysterons. 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

7a Master criminal amusing friend endlessly, in the morning back inside (2,6)
FU MANCHU – string together an adjective meaning amusing and a friend without the final letter. Finally insert the abbreviation for ‘in the morning’ reversed and you’ve constructed a fictional Oriental criminal genius.

9a Boast about a century in Polish city (6)
CRACOW – a verb to boast or brag contains A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for century.

10a When one chooses a woven cloth (2,4)
AT WILL – A (from the clue) and a woven fabric.

11a Put one in mind of watch left Eisenhower (4,4)
LOOK LIKE – a verb to watch is followed by the abbreviation for left and the nickname of President Eisenhower.

12a Expecting interfering parents and their children to intervene (2,3,6,3)
IN THE FAMILY WAY – a phrase (2,3,3) meaning interfering or impeding one’s progress has a word for parents and their children as a unit inserted (to intervene).

15a Expression of incredulity seen originally in a poem (2,2)
AS IF – the first letter of seen goes inside A (from the clue) and the title of a famous Kipling poem.

17a Bird, headless chicken (5)
RAVEN – remove the first letter (headless) from an adjective meaning chicken or cowardly.

19a Fall in ditch (4)
DROP – double definition, the second a verb to ditch or dump.

20a Sponge made by winning team, unhappy with loaf (6-4,4)
UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE – string together an adverb meaning winning or ahead, a sporting team, an adjective meaning unhappy or depressed and a small loaf.

23a T.S. Eliot wrong about leading edge of table knife (8)
STILETTO – an anagram (wrong) of T S ELIOT containing the first letter (leading edge) of table.

25a Number collecting wood for burning (2,4)
ON FIRE – a small number contains wood from a coniferous tree.

27a Forms an opinion on    book (6)
JUDGES – double definition, the second being the name of an Old Testament book.

28a Musical item making racket — surefire winner, opening in Oliver! (8)
CONCERTO – knit together a slang term for a racket or swindle, an informal word for a sure-fire winner and the opening letter of Oliver! Strictly speaking it should be the wordplay that makes the definition, not the other way round.

Down Clues

1d Only son entering project (4)
JUST – the abbreviation for son goes inside a verb to project or stick out.

2d Drive away one’s husband following disqualification (6)
BANISH – the Roman numeral for one, the ‘S and the abbreviation for husband all follow a disqualification (from driving, for example).

3d Lower   middle (4)
BULL – double definition, the first a creature that lows and the second the round bit at the centre of a target.

4d Hard in small unfriendly place of learning (6)
SCHOOL – insert the abbreviation for hard (a category of pencil) into S(mall) and an adjective meaning unfriendly or frosty.

5d Dedicated hospital given permission (8)
HALLOWED – the abbreviation for hospital is followed by a past participle meaning given permission.

6d Sweated labour in New York — OK, possibly, if supporting daughter (6-4)
DONKEY-WORK – an anagram (possibly) of NEW YORK OK follows (supporting, in a down clue) the abbreviation for daughter.

8d Pick up telephone of rising Republican (4,3)
CALL FOR – start with a verb to telephone or ring, add the reversal (rising) of OF and finish with the abbreviation for Republican.

13d Flower in autumn? It’s out around end of November (10)
NASTURTIUM – an anagram (out) of AUTUMN IT’S contains the last letter of November.

14d Proposed relocation day (5)
MOVED – a relocation or transfer is followed by the abbreviation for day.

16d Strong wind getting up breaks safety device in part of plane (8)
FUSELAGE – a strong wind (rating 8 on the Beaufort Scale) is reversed (getting up) and inserted (breaks) into an electrical safety device.

18d Its effect in the sky gets no women excited? (3,4)
NEW MOON – this is an anagram (excited) of NO WOMEN. There is a theory (which isn’t supported by much scientific opinion and is probably bunkum) that women get friskier during the opposite phase to the answer so that could mean that they don’t get very excited in this phase. The question mark is certainly needed here.

21d Hate extremely delicate examination (6)
DETEST – the outer (extremely) letters of delicate are followed by an examination.

22d Connoisseur’s top bid for chest (6)
COFFER – the first (top) letter of connoisseur is followed by a bid or tender.

24d Individual touring clubs long ago (4)
ONCE – an individual goes round the abbreviation for clubs in card games.

26d Admire Riviera terraced houses (4)
RATE – the clue contains (houses) a lurker.

My favourite clue was 12a. Which one(s) made you sit up and take notice?


73 comments on “DT 28020

  1. This was indeed quite undemanding but enjoyable nevertheless. Had to think a bit about 7a after working around Mafia personnel, etc. The 3d chestnut didn’t occur to me immediately. No particular Fav but 12a amused. Thanks Mysteron and Gazza. The Quickie today was more interesting than is sometimes the case. **/***. :good:

  2. Straightforward today. I’m picking 3d as favourite, having seen the illustration above. Thanks to Gazza and mysteron on this stormy day. Still need lights to write this and its past 11.00am.

  3. Loved it – good surfaces, good fun and most satisfying answers. 1.5*/4* for me.
    Hard to pick the podium places but I’ll go with 12&15a plus 3d.

    Thanks indeed to Mr. Ron and thank you, Gazza, for the review.

  4. I overuse the words “gentle” and “pleasant” in comments here, especially at this time of the week. Nonetheless, those are the two words that I must use today. I enjoyed the puzzle a little more than Gazza but maybe I’m just well-rested and in a good mood.

    Thanks to the setter and Gazza for the good work.

    I liked the illustration for 3d. Was hoping for something Poe-tic for 17a, so I’ve added a little extra something for you:

  5. 2*/2.5*. Pleasant but undemanding. Mostly nice short clues, which is fine by me.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD.

  6. Pleasant untaxing puzzle. The only hold-up for me was the spelling of 9a, it’s spelt different at my local airport so I had to do a quick google to confirm. Thanks to Mysteron and to Gazza for the review.

    1. I think that these days the almost universal spelling is with two “k”s (not 2Kiwis!)

      The old anglicised spelling used in 9a has all but died out, except clearly for use in crosswords!

  7. Not to taxing,& agree with the ratings. I have two favourite’s in 12A & 20A. Many thanks to the setter & Gazza for his review. :smile

  8. Agree with the difficulty rating but more for enjoyment. I bunged 3d in and waited for the penny to drop re the second definition. Clearly not on my game today. Especially as I made a lovely pencil circle of TS ELIOT + E …leading (E)dge for 23a. Oddly enough it didn’t make a knife. It made me confused for a bit mind. It’s easily done. Although I did spot the hidden in 26a.

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

    I shall now sneeze my way through the afternoon.

    1. Surely you’re not trying to wriggle out of your commitments for this week end by having a sniffle :cry: :cool:

    2. I put two L in 23a. Thought it was the edge of Leading and the whole thing a table knife

      1. That does actually make me feel better. I thought table knife too. Then again I’m taking lovely cold medicine so perfectly happy. :smile:

        1. Hope you get well soon.
          I thought I was getting something this morning but one Paracetamol 1000 and off it went.
          I’m flying on Friday. Don’t want anything to spoil my weekend.
          Everybody is going to be there. I can’t wait.

          1. Thank you J-L. Although I’ve no idea what on earth paracetamol 1000 are. I like cold medicine though. :yes:

          2. when do you arrive? I should get to the Paddington Novotel by 6pm friday – any chance of meeting up?

  9. Many thanks Gazza,

    enjoyed this and I particularly liked “seen originally in a poem” (15a)

    Many thanks Setter

  10. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. A very straightforward puzzle, but, once again, I was beaten by a double definition 3d. Favourite was 12a. Was 2*/2* for me.

  11. I don’t know – on my first pass through I got zilch and it took me quite a while before I could get going. Once I’d broke the ice it came together very nicely but slowly.

    A very nice puzzle with just about the right degree of difficulty for me – respect to all you guys who found it easy, I’ll keep on practicing and hopefully one day I’ll be in the same position!

    No progress on the house today, the good news is that the tests on the Artex on the Living Room ceiling has proved negative for asbestos so the guys can go ahead and take the ceiling down – hopefully later this week. Worse things happen at sea!


    1. Michael – definitely keep on practising. When I started doing crosswords with pommers I used to find them really hard. But I don’t struggle now on most day’s back pagers. Toughies are another matter though . . . maybe one day

  12. Nice and gentle. That’s OK by me. 15A gets my vote. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  13. Can’t quibble with the **/**,and agree with the bloggers favourable comments so far’
    Though our younger solvers would be flummoxed by7a-is Gazza’s blog pic Christopher Lee ?
    Liked 12a and 13d as the flowers do come out in the autumn.
    Shame about the England batting collapse-keel haul the lot of them.

  14. Nice puzzle that we found fairly easy too . . . so 2* / 3* for us as we also enjoyed it a bit more than Gazza
    My only gripe is 20a . . . cake = loaf. I know it’s been used before but I still don’t like it
    Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza

      1. I’ll give you that one Gazza – Collins & BRB say a cake is a flat thin mass of bread, esp unleavened bread
        Although I still think cake should have sugar in :)

  15. I know I’m late on this as I saw all the comments yesterday about the site format
    I now have a Windows Surface Pro – running Windows 10 of course.
    If I use Microsoft Edge I see the site I know and love in all it’s glory.
    If I use Firefox it gives me the mobile site and even when I told it yesterday to reject the mobile site absolutely no joy. Today however it seems to be back to “normal” on Firefox.
    Most frustrating

  16. Whoop! Whoop! First time Mum and I have finished a Tuesday puzzle without having to look at least one answer up. Feeling rather smug.

  17. Straightforward but enjoyable with some nice snappy clues and clever constructions.

    I’ve ticked three clues that I liked in particular, 12a, 17a and 3d.

    I wonder if anyone else was reminded by 20a of Private Godfrey’s sister’s culinary speciality? I do hope that the new film about to be released does not detract from the original classic series, but I fear it might. Thanks to Kitty for the Simpson’s clip – “quoth the raven, eat my shorts” indeed!

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

    1. Hi Silvanus – yes, I remember Dolly’s 20a but also her cucumber sandwiches. I think the main difference in the new film is that there are a lot more female characters involved – I believe we even get to see Mrs Mainwaring !

  18. Pretty straightforward fare for a Tuesday with nothing to send the nags galloping away to the hills. Pretty much liked all of this with some clever word play and good surfaces. Thought 1a was good (and first one in), had to remember the alternate spelling for 9a and 6d for it’s clever misdirection – but my favourite has to be 12a.

    Thanks to our Tuesday Mr Ron for the puzzle and Gazza for his fine review.

    Today’s toughie from Excalibur is not too difficult but she does appear to have borrowed PJ’s mad hat

  19. Reasonably straight forward, must confess to a little difficulty in the NW :mail: so I give it ***/*** Liked 17a & 10a :bye: Thanks to Gazza for explanations and to the setter

  20. Nice treat on a dismal,dingy Tuesday. Slight hiccup with oriental gentleman had to dig deep into memory for him. Favourite has to be 12a, thanks to Gazza and setter.

  21. Fairly straightforward but enjoyable with some interesting clues. I did this on the train to Leicester without Doble’s assistance so it took a bit longer than it should have done. Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza. 2/5* 3*

  22. A pleasant solve on a wet and miserable Tuesday. Nothing really outstanding but 7a and 12a made me smile. I’ll go with 7a as favourite; it doesn’t appear that often after all. 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review.

  23. Good afternoon everybody.

    Thought this was going to be an awkward puzzle, with 28a being first in, but the preponderance of very gentle down clues led to a finish at the lower end of two star time.


  24. */***. Over very quickly but enjoyable nevertheless. Thanks to the setter and Gazza for the review.

  25. Another entertaining Tuesday. Apart from the alternate spelling for 9a which held me up in that corner for some time, pretty straightforward and enjoyable.
    Fave was 15a, honourable mention to 7a and 12a, and 3D was neat.
    Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the review.

  26. Our three person team made short work of this one after our day out meeting real kiwis and other wildlife. 12a was the one we liked best.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

  27. Pretty straightforward but not unrewarding: 1*/3*. 7a and 15a I particularly enjoyed. Thanks to Mr Ron, and to Gazza.

  28. Really liked this crossword.
    Similar in a way as our Sunday setter.
    Number one only daughter is going to 9a this summer. The town holds the JMJ which means Journées Mondiale de la Jeunesse. I hope she meets the Pope.
    Best clue for me was 25a.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review.

  29. A fairly swift solve but with a pleasing aftertaste.

    Although obvious from the checkers, 1a was masterfully (dare I say ‘cunningly’?) clued. 12a takes our prize for favourite clue. 1.5*/2*. Thanks to Gazza and Mr Ron.

  30. Quite enjoyed this one although had I been doing it on my own I’d probably have had a battle with 7a.
    I liked 12 and 15a.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to gazza.

    I hope gazza doesn’t mind if I hijack his blog just briefly to say that we’ve had the most lovely three days staying with the K’s – if BD hadn’t got all this going almost seven years ago we would never have known of their existence so thanks and a great big bunch of :rose: to him and thanks and lots of :rose: and :heart: to the 2Kiwis for having us.

      1. Oh good – we’d all like to be missed. By Saturday when you’re all celebrating in London the Kiwis will still be here but Chris and I will be on our way to Queensland in Oz.
        Hope that everyone has a lovely time and that it’s as much as a success as these ‘dos’ always are – have fun and :bye: .

    1. As JL said – you will be really missed on Saturday. Sounds as though you’re having a great time – long may it continue. :bye:

  31. I certainly battled with 7a, but I got there in the end.I found very enjoyable and not particularly easy.There are too many good clues to pick just one.
    Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  32. 12a and 20a straight in, followed by 22d…’casket’. Thought of ‘ask’ for ‘bid’. Wondered where the ET fitted in, especially as there was no alien in the clue!! All put right once 25a went in. Wasn’t keen on 9a because of the spelling. Favourite was 28a probably because of the music theme. Which reminds me, must go off and learn a new song for tomorrow’s choir rehearsal.

    1. Oops, forgot to say thank you Mr Ron and Gazza. Sorry, was too busy thinking about the music I have to learn, and switched sites.

        1. Thanks for asking Hanni. Just typed back to you, and it seems to have disappeared!! Christmas Charity concert went well. New songs for this term are ‘A liitle respect’ Erasure. ‘Firework’ Katy Perry. Concert in June will be in aid of Greenfingers Charity. Classical choir will be singing Puccini’s Messa di Gloria. Haven’t sung it before, but it’s beautiful. Hope your cold gets better soon.

          1. Oh so glad the concert went well. It’s strange but if I hear Adele now I wonder how your recital went!

            A little respect? Oh my goodness. I can’t even imagine writing that for a choir. Can’t wait to hear about it.

            Oh Messa di Gloria…I’m so envious. Please keep me updated?

            Oh the cold will soon settle but thank you. :rose:

  33. In very late in from work, so no chance to have a go, but good for me (a relative beginner), to go through the hints. Many thanks Gazza.
    However the hint for 7a has gone over my head…
    What’s the “adjective meaning amusing”
    What’s “a friend without the final letter”
    What’s the abbreviation for ‘in the morning’
    Hopefully will have a chance with Wednesdays

    1. FUN (amusing) + CHU[M] (friend endlessly) with the reversal (back) of AM (in the morning) inside.

      We have a long-standing principle that the hint gives a “second chance” to solve the clue and that if you want further assistance then ask here (just like you have).

      1. Thanks Hanni and BD, feel a bit silly now…but when you have spent all day fixing computer systems that decide to go awol, the grey-cells were completely spent.

  34. Most of this slid in like an oily dipstick into a warm Camembert, with much to enjoy along the way. 7a stirred the memory banks for a moment or two, as did, oddly, 27a. Always pleased to see T S Eliot as anagram fodder – it was Auden who first pointed out that he is an anagram of Toilets – and so I’ll go for that as winner of the Foward Prize tonight, with 6d getting the book token and 15a the Crackerjack (Crackerjack) pencil. Thanks to Gazza for a typically scholarly review and to the mystery setter for allowing me an early night. 1*/3*

  35. More or less a write in except for 3d. Unlike some crossword aficionados I had never seen this one before. Even with *U*L just never twigged. Good clue though.

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