DT 28032 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28032

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28032

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

It’s a calm and tranquil morning in North Devon after the high winds that we had yesterday (during which my fence decided to go for a holiday into next door’s garden).

This is an entertaining puzzle which I really enjoyed, although at nine the anagram count may be a trifle high. 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 Wager involving question put to everyone after British game (10)
BASKETBALL – start with a wager containing a verb to question then add B(ritish) and a word meaning everyone.

6a Hit low, mostly, and hard (4)
BASH – the word that we want for low could be either an adjective meaning dissolute or a different adjective meaning deep-toned. In either case we have to drop its last letter (mostly) and add the abbreviation for hard (used to categorise lead pencils).

10a Ardour lit? Oddly, being mature (5)
ADULT – the odd letters of the first two words in the clue.

11a Type of cricket clue, along with last (3-3-3)
TIP-AND-RUN – a clue (of the type that this blog seeks to provide) is followed by a conjunction meaning ‘along with’ and a verb to last or continue.

12a Rat on criminal, cheat and twister (7)
TORNADO – an anagram (criminal) of RAT ON is followed by an informal verb to cheat or swindle.

13a Endurance of man? It’s beaten by females at the centre (7)
STAMINA – an anagram (beaten) of MAN IT’S followed by the central letter of females.

14a Film somehow suited – see why? (4,4,4)
EYES WIDE SHUT – an anagram (somehow) of SUITED SEE WHY.

18a Railway buff returned pictures in protest after changes made (12)
TRAINSPOTTER – reverse (returned) a word for pictures or paintings and append an anagram (after changes made) of IN PROTEST. An opportunity for me to dust off one of my favourite pictures.

21a Note what Anglicanism has to offer? (6,1)
MIDDLE C – how one might describe the central letter of Anglicanism.

23a Struggle to survive in desert heat, perhaps (3,4)
RAT RACE – a verb to desert or turn traitor is followed by what a heat may be at an athletics or swimming event.

24a On hand, popular book (2,7)
IN RESERVE – an adverb meaning popular or trendy and a verb to book or arrange in advance.

25a Busy female leaving brew (2,3)
IN USE – start with a verb to brew or soak in liquid and take out the abbreviation for female.

26a Medal from Pentagon, gold (4)
GONG – hidden in the clue.

27a Cross, girl led astray making meal (5,5)
MIXED GRILL – start with a transitive verb to cross or interbreed and follow this with an anagram (astray) of GIRL LED.

Down Clues

1d Allure of Scottish isle, reportedly last for ferry (6)
BEAUTY – what sounds like (reportedly) the name of an island in the Firth of Clyde is followed by the last letter of ferry.

2d Piazza is level (6)
SQUARE – double definition, the second an adjective meaning level or equal in score.

3d European guys learn this foreign language? (7,7)
ESTUARY ENGLISH – start with the abbreviation for European and follow this with an anagram (foreign) of GUYS LEARN THIS.

4d Last drink? Here’s to you! (7,2)
BOTTOMS UP – charade of an adjective meaning last (in a league table, say) and a verb, used mainly in the North of England, meaning to drink. Considering the possibilities offered by Google Images I think that I’m being very restrained with this picture.

5d/19d Beautiful stone — there’s one in US plaza I’ll fancy (5,6)
LAPIS LAZULI – insert the Roman numeral for one into an anagram (fancy) of US PLAZA I’LL.

7d Impenetrable in appearance, even (8)
AIRTIGHT – charade of a word meaning appearance or mien and an adjective meaning even or closely-matched.

8d No blokes do (3,5)
HEN PARTY – cryptic definition of a ‘do’ without blokes.

9d Promising band put on prior to match (10,4)
ENGAGEMENT RING – another cryptic definition. This match may take place in a church.

15d Obstruct opening of inn, rent-free building (9)
INTERFERE – the opening letter of inn is followed by an anagram (building) of RENT-FREE.

16d Identifying a politician falling into police trap (8)
STAMPING – insert A (from the clue) and our usual elected politician into a carefully planned police trap for criminals involving deception.

17d Bureaucrat from Iran, possibly supporting Morocco’s leader also (8)
MANDARIN – an anagram (possibly) of IRAN follows (supporting, in a down clue) the leading letter of Morocco and a conjunction meaning also.

19d See 5d

20d Let on about meat (6)
REVEAL – a preposition meaning about or concerning is followed by a type of meat.

22d Soldier chasing my dog (5)
CORGI – a US soldier follows an expression of surprise (my!).

In a photo-finish for my top spot today were 12a, 4d and 8d. Which one(s) had you applauding?

Today’s Quickie Pun: WAIF + AIRING = WAYFARING

68 comments on “DT 28032

  1. Interesting I learnt some things today as in the film in 14A, the stone in 5D. I thought this was going to be a pangram but alas no must have wasted a lot of time trying to fit a J into 1D but never mind it was all very enjoyable.Many thanks to the setter & to Gazza for his review.

  2. Very enjoyable but finished without any assistance at all.

    There are a couple of clues I didn’t understand the wordplay – 25a – I didn’t cotton on to this until I read the blog – 27a I couldn’t understand where the leading ‘MI’ came from assuming that ‘cross’ meant ‘x’ – again the blog pointed me at ‘mix’ for ‘cross’.

    It’s easy when you know how? Thanks to the bloggee for that help!

  3. Wave length or time of night, but I found this a R&W last night but nevertheless I thought it was a great puzzle with excellent surface readings throughout, even the anagrams. */***. I’ll plump for the simplistic “No blokes do” as favourite.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza, the latter showing remarkable restraint in the photo department and not just with 4d and 8d!

  4. Not too difficult puzzle but thoroughly enjoyable. 3d and 21a were the hardest for me. Never heard of the type of cricket before. Favourites were 8d and one of my most loved films 14a. Many thanks to the compiler and for the hints.

  5. 0.5*/2.5* What a contrast! After a complete and utter failure with yesterday’s impenetrable Rookie Toughie, I dropped onto the right wavelength from the word go with today’s back-pager which I found virtually R&W. I did enjoy this but it was all over too quickly.

    My only hold up was with the first word of 3d. I bunged in the only word I could think of which fitted the checking letters, even though the overall answer seemed totally incomprehensible and had me reaching for my BRB. I was astonished to find the phrase listed, after which the penny finally dropped that “foreign” was an anagram indicator. D’oh! Not surprisingly, with its nice surface reading and now I understand it, 3d gets my vote as runaway favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter, particularly for the delightfully brief cluing, and to Gazza.

  6. Won’t be solving this one till I get home later, but did any of the pedants spot the “anomaly” in yesterday’s Quickie? 1d: Clue – Drowsy (8), an adjective. Answer – LETHARGY, a noun. Surely, if the answer is a noun its one-word clue must be a noun also (drowsiness in this case). Mustn’t it?

  7. Much calmer day today, very nearly a write in for me which in itself is pretty unusual.
    Interesting clues though some took a second and third reading.
    Definately ***/*** for me.
    Thanks to Gazza and setter

  8. I liked 21d (note) and “cricket clue” (11a). 14a was a rather amazing movie! I enjoyed the 9d surface – made me think of Cold Play at the Super Bowl. Last drink 4d made me chuckle, as did the no blokes do (8d)

    Many thanks setter and Gazza for the review – is the trainspotter someone we know?

    1. The trainspotter is not someone I know but it’s a photo I’ve used several times and it always amuses me.

  9. Just nicely exacting. Favs 8d and 9d. Missed anagram indicator in 3d but fathomed it anyway. Naive ingénue that I am was unaware of the “sexually charged erotic thriller” in 1a! ***/***. Thanks as always Mysteron and Gazza. :yes:

    1. Just noticed my typo – of couse I meant 14a not 1a.
      Oh dear moderation again – out of the frying pan into the fire – presumably problem with my identity? :oops:

  10. An enjoyable back pager which led me a merry dance looking for the pangram. Some really good cluing and surfaces. Thought 21a was clever and 4d for the chuckle, but my favourite of the day is 8d – very good :good:

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

    The toughies today is well worth a go

    1. I looked for the pangram too. For rather a long time actually. Today’s Toughie is indeed rather lovely.

  11. For me a **/***. Some really clever clues such as 21a and 11a but a poor clue I thought in 23a, desert=rat, doesn’t work for me. 27a confused the hell out of me trying to work out where the MI came from! Thx to Gazza for sorting that one out.
    All in all enjoyable.
    Thx to all.

  12. No real problems today, although I hadn’t heard of the cricket game before and didn’t know the 14a film. With only the two checkers in the middle word and the ‘w’ staring me in the face, I had quite a fight to get beyond West Side Story (yes, I know it’s the wrong word count!).
    5/19 reminded me of the time I first came across this stone, in a beautiful poem by Stephen Spender.
    My top three goes to 1&21a plus 8d.
    Thanks to Mr. Ron and also to Gazza – yes, you were very restrained over the 4d pic, but I bet you enjoyed looking through the alternatives. :wink:

    1. I’m shocked at the pic Gazza chose too! And I checked the alternatives…yup he was restrained.

  13. Tuesday’s can be a bit temperamental re puzzles but I loved this. Plenty of anagrams and not all that straightforward. I had not heard of 3d but after I got the second word the letters I had left could only be that. The MI in 27a took a but of head scratching too. Loved the ‘my’ bit of 22d.

    Lots of smiles so my favourites are (sorry Kath wherever you are in the world)…4d, 8d, 11a, 12a and 22d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for a great blog. I do hope you garden fence asked your permission before going on holiday and that you have got it back now?

    Lovely day.

  14. So MOOH at 6ac and OUTRIGHT at 7d are wrong. But Low is always MOO. Golly Bongs I will never get the hang of this. I really enjoyed this puzzle at 5.30 this morning. The aforementioned were the last two in despite 6ac going straight in with the correct parsing which I promptly forgot so took it out again. Dearie Dearie Me. Ta to gazza and the setter.

      1. If it fits then it is a word. Mooh is a verb meaning to thump very hard. If I had a BRB I would write it in. Then it would count.

        1. So it’s not a word? But it would be if you add it to the BRB? So if I write gurstammer into mine it becomes a word?

          1. If it is a good enough method for the BRB editors then it is good enough method for me. When I was on Countdown I won by making my final nine letters into gurstammer.

          2. Oh my head is in my hands…

            No no no.

            MP…gurstammer on countdown! Really?

            Dutch it does sound like a wine but surely I would have heard of it…or at least drunk it.

            However I’ve just found out that gur might be a language therefore gurstammer could be to stammer in gur.

            That does not make mooh a word.

            Hang on…gurstammer has 10 letters?

            1. Hanni – You have obviously forgotten all I’ve taught you about wine :unsure:

              Gewürztraminer – ring any bells?

                  1. Golly bongs to quote MP! Thank you. :rose: I’ve never heard of it, but I’ve just had a quick look. Something out of the ordinary and I like that. I shall try and locate some.

                    You haven’t mentioned it for awhile but how is the hand healing?

  15. Quite a few where I had the answer but I wasn’t sure why, so thanks for the enlightenment. ** to *** for me but *** for enjoyment.. Thanks to setter and Gazza.

  16. I again found today’s quite tricky and took considerable time to answer 11a, 14a 7d :scratch: so ***/*** Liked 21a & 1d :good: TUVM to Gazza and Mysteron :bye:

  17. A more benign challenge after yesterday’s. Pleasant but over very quickly. I liked 1 and 8d…. as Kath is bound to be watching somewhere in the world I’ll nominate 1d as my favourite. 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for his restrained review.

  18. 1.5/3. The extra .5 for difficulty as it took a little while to set the GPS and the wavelength. Enjoyable solve in the end. Thanks to the setter and Gazza for the review.

  19. An extremely enjoyable solve with some delightful clues, especially 21a, 1d and 3d.

    The anagram count might have been a little high, but actually it didn’t feel like it! 8d and 9d were perhaps a little too obvious I felt.

    Many thanks to our Tuesday setter and to Gazza, I’m sure everyone is glad that the winds have now abated.

  20. 21 across my pick of many excellent clues. 4 down a brilliant picture. Yes, there were a lot of anagrams, but I’d rather have them than any forced, obvious or clunky clues. A very thoughtful and intelligent puzzle and well worth a 3*/4* rating. Many thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

    Sleety, dull and cold here in the Marches.

  21. Thanks to Mr. Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. A very nice puzzle with some tricky clues. My favourite, like Rabbit Dave, is 3d, i got the answer, but completely failed to see that it was an anagram. Last in was 20d. Was 3*/3* for me. Lovely blue sky in Central London.

  22. Wotta fun puzzle! I had some difficulty with11a, a bungin, and was so surprised to see I was right.
    I loved 3d and 21a, and 1d and 27a, I could go on and on, so many good ones.
    Thanks to setter and to Gazza for his review and restrained pics!

  23. A very agreeable and fun puzzle . 8d was my last in and my favourite, although I really liked quite a few , including 21a.
    Thanks Gazza and setter.

  24. 3d was new to me but when I had all the checkers it had to be that and I was surprised to find it in BRB. I did recognise the old friend in the pic for 18a, think in the past it has been used for ‘anorak’ as well as today’s answer. Last Tuesday it looks like I picked the wrong setter with my guess but not to be put off I will confess that I have put the initials PJ with a question mark in the margin of this puzzle. Good fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

    1. Interesting … I don’t think it’s by PJ. I have Shamus pencilled in (very lightly). One (perhaps both) of us will be wrong.

      1. If someone held a gun to my head, I think I’d go along with you, Gazza. Something about 11a is pushing me in that direction.

  25. Very nice and 1* difficulty (and pace of solve) until we had 6a and 7d left. We couldn’t to see beyond straight for 7d but knew it was wrong. Needed Gazza’s help to understand 6a and then 7d was obvious. This blind spot takes it to 3* territory, sadly, but for enjoyment as well as difficulty. Favourite was 21a.

    Thanks to Gazza and Mr Ron

  26. Good evening everybody.

    Found this mostly straightforward but failed on 5/19d, 6a, 7d and 25a (very clever, don’t think I’d have ever seen that).


  27. Pretty straightforward, but enjoyable: 1*/4*. Plenty of candidates for favourite clue, but in the end it had to be 21a. VMTs to the setter, who I assume is Mr Ron, and Gazza.

  28. Pretty straightforward, though spent too much time pondering what letter to pick from the middle of Anglicanism. Maths not my strong point today.

  29. Managed to get to this with a G&T in hand after blasting the exterior of the house all day. Went in quite nicely and I liked the thing so **/***.
    Management brings home the Daily T which she gets free with the shopping. I am quite envious of all of you who have the thing delivered and get to it early.

    1. If you subscribe to the Telegraph Puzzles site you can get all the puzzles from midnight (at a cost of about 70p per week).

    1. Noooo. Don’t give up. Everyone can have an ‘off’ day or just not be on the setters wavelength. Tomorrow is another puzzle and another day. :smile:

  30. Nice puzzle today…not too difficult. Some lovely clues…I particularly liked 21a and 3d. Thanks to setter and Gazza for the hints…although didnt need them today. 1* /4*

  31. Hi TS. Please let Jan know that Life after Life turned up today – that should keep me occupied for quite a while! A God in Ruins arrived a few days ago but I thought I should read them in chronological order.
    Hope things are progressing in an acceptable fashion re: water levels around Strummer Towers and that you are now able to look forward to your holiday in the fleshpots of Canada! Also trust that the newly weds are still happy with their commitment!
    Kitty’s Mr. K took some lovely pics. at the birthday party – a couple of extremely nice ones of your good self and the odd one of this wrinkly old thing that is labelled as being me. No way, I’m never going to be that old! Anyway, I’m sure she’ll send the link to you when she gets back onto the blog – she’s off visiting an old uni friend at present.

    1. Just noticed you there. Always good to hear from you. Enjoy the books. I’m trying to compile a reading list to take to the snowy wasteland (fleshpots my bottom). Can’t make my mind up whether to go for the highbrow or shooting and running about. May have to take both.

      No word on the high waters yet, but time is running out, so there should, I hope, be good news on the horizon.

      Rick (Paso) took the first good photo of me that I’ve seen since 1976 at the party. I’m sure Mr K caught you looking lovely and me as a fat grey thing. Why are they not posted on the site?

      1. I should think BD reckons he’s put quite enough on already! Worry not – Kitty will post them when she gets back.

  32. Solved this little beauty in no time, but had to keep stopping to marvel at the excellence of the clues. Starting with down clues (always) I immediately thought 8d would be my favourite, but no; on the way back up the across clues I found the splendid 21a, which takes the biscuit. Many thanks to the setter, you can come again, and to Gazza for unneeded but beautifully concise hints. 1*/4*

    I raced through this while listening to Radcliffe and Maconie’s Monday Radio6 show on iPlayer to hear the interview with The Milk – but while the chat with the lads was all there, the music wasn’t. What’s the point of a music show if it doesn’t play the music?

  33. Was suitably heartened to see that Gazza thought this *** difficulty as had completed all but two or three hints for which Am indebted to Gazza. These crosswords are making me miss my beauty sleep.

  34. A late finish for me today, no hints needed, however, did need an explanation of 1d. Thanks to all above, enjoy all the comments and humorous asides.

  35. After having a real struggle with yesterday’s crossword, this was one of those rare occasions when I sat down and filled in all the answers one after another, with no need of hints. Delighted though I was (it doesn’t happen often), I suspect It might be more to do with the crossword being straightforward than anything to do with me. Enjoyed doing it, as always. Has to be 4* for enjoyment and I guess 1* for difficulty (though I would like to be wrong on that!). The last one I filled in was 7d, which held me up, despite having the first, third, fifth and seventh letters of an 8-letter word. Crosswords are funny like that.

  36. Didn’t get a chance to post yesterday as I spend the day with friends in Toulon who just came back from 5 weeks in Adelaide visiting their son. Lucky them.
    Really enjoyed this crossword.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review.

  37. I did this one yesterday afternoon. Average-ish difficulty but some very good clueing. Can’t understand how it could possibly be rated at 0.5* for difficulty or how some people struggled with the term ‘Estuary English’. Still, that’s the beauty of the blog I guess – such a variety of diverse people from all walks of life! 2*/3*

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