DT 28034 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28034

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28034

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Hola from the Vega Baja where we’re having an unseasonably warm spell and no sign of Imogen. It was 24C yesterday afternoon and the forecast is for it to be similar into next week. I’m not complaining!

Those of you who like anagrams will be complaining today as there are only three in this puzzle.  There are, however a lot of charades and loads of messing about with single letters. Somehow it didn’t really float my boat but I’m sure others will like it. I’ll be interested to read your comments.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


7a           Bungle the Bear in winter (9)
HIBERNATE:  An anagram (bungle) of THE BEAR IN gives what bears do in order to winter.  Thanks Gazza.

8a           Writer pens a point — elementary (5)
BASIC:  A brand of cheap ball-point pens goes around (pens) the A from the clue and a point of the compass.

10a         In harem a concubine’s rejected — it’s for taking pictures (6)
CAMERA:  The answer is hidden in “harem a concubine” but it’s reversed (rejected).

11a         Holiday islands will be hit over disreputable bars (8)
MALDIVES:  One of crosswordland’s favourite three letter words for hit is reversed (over) and followed by some disreputable bars.  Sounds to me like the clue is describing Ibiza!

12a         Being tense during lesson (6)
MORTAL:  The sort of lesson one may take from a story or fable has T(ense) inserted (during).

14a         Select comfort initially over getting into fashionable shoe (6)
CHOOSE:  Start with a C (Comfort initially) and follow with an anagram (fashionable) of SHOE and insert an Over (getting into).

16a         Little bird, missing female, reveals part of foot (4)
INCH:  Take the F off the front of a breed of small bird (missing Female) and you’re left with part of a foot.  Not the one on the end of your leg but a unit of length.

17a         Exits not opening — they’re stuck near the top (5)
EAVES:  Stuck near the top of a building as they’re part of the roof.  You need a word for exits or goes away and remove the first letter (not opening).

18a         Fancy a fish first (4)
IDEA:  Start with A (from the clue) and before it (first) you need a type of fish also known as a silver orfe.

19a         Disc jockey taking Ecstasy, a very upper-class thing we’ve seen before (4,2)
DEJA VU:  A charade of the abbreviation for Disc Jockey with E(cstasy) inserted (taking), then the A from the clue followed by V(ery) and finally the one letter for Upper-class.  Split that lot (4,2) and you get that feeling that something has happened before.

21a         Discount political argument with Republican having ousted Democrat (6)
REBATE:  Tale the sort of political argument that goes on in the House of Commons and remove the D from the beginning and replace it with an R (Republican having ousted Democrat)

24a         Work time — involuntary reaction is to become histrionic (8)
OPERATIC:  The usual work followed by a three letter word for a long length of time and then an involuntary reaction.

26a         Primitive, we hear, as many boats should be? (6)
CREWED:  A large boat may be this. It means having more than one person to do the work.  The word sounds like (we hear) a word meaning primitive or 8 across.

27a         Popular amateur marquetry (5)
INLAY:  The usual popular followed by a word meaning amateur, often applied to preachers who are not clergymen.

28a         Musical yours truly left? Repulsive! (9)
MELODIOUS:  Not a musical like Evita but a word meaning tuneful.  Start with how the setter might refer to himself (yours truly), then L(eft) and follow with a word meaning repulsive.


1d           Prima donna’s new bed? (5)
DIVAN:  A word for a Prima Donna followed by N(ew) is a type of bed.  The chestnut alert is ringing loudly!

2d           Risk claiming mobile home height is mammoth (8)
BEHEMOTH:  Take a word meaning to risk or wager and insert (claiming) an anagram (mobile) of HOME.  Then follow that lot with H(eight). Apparently this word comes from Hebrew and the Old Testament – a gigantic beast, probably a hippopotamus, described in Job 40:15.  I’ve refrained from inflicting the Death Metal band on you.

. . . Changed my mind!

3d           Home on time with a cold and temperature — otherwise unscathed (6)
INTACT:  The usual two letters for  (at) home, T(ime), the A from the clue, C(old) and finally Temperature).

4d           Couple from Italy got together on the rebound (4)
ITEM:  The IVR code for Italy followed by a word meaning got together or ran into but it’s backwards (on the rebound).

5d           Where the odds are you’ll lose majority of cases by one negative vote (6)
CASINO:  Start with the first three letters of cases (majority of) and follow with the letter that looks like a number one and then a negative.

6d           Unorthodox scenarist with no right to enthral European film buffs (9)
CINEASTES:  This is an anagram (unorthodox) of SCENARIST but the R is removed (no R(ight)) and E(uropean) is inserted (to enthral).

9d           Go without wearing smalls in casual trousers (6)
SLACKS:  A word meaning go without or not to have goes inside (wearing) two S’s (Smalls)

13d         This may be pivotal advice expressed by Cockney agony aunt? (5)
LEVER:  This would certainly need a pivot or fulcrum in order to work.  If you split it (3,2) it could sound like (expressed) the way a Cockney might tell you to ditch your girlfriend.

15d         A pub landlord’s calling — forgetting a name is acceptable (2,7)
IN KEEPING:  Take a ten letter word for the profession (calling) of a pub landlord and remove an N (forgetting a Name).  Then split what’s left (2,7).

17d         Gave up, trapped by you once turning up offering fairness (6)
EQUITY:  An old word (once) for YOU is reversed (turning up in a down clue) and has inserted (trapped by) a word meaning gave up or retire from.

18d         Dire pint drunk without fear (8)
INTREPID:  An anagram (drunk) of DIRE PINT.

20d         Tunesmith, perhaps one with his head in the clouds? (6)
AIRMAN:  Cryptically this person could be seen as a person working with tunes or songs but in reality he’s a guy who literally has his head (and the rest of him) up in the clouds.

22d         Signal to advance bishop — consider sacrificing rook (6)
BECKON:  This is what you do to signal someone to advance towards you.  It’s B(ishop) followed by a word meaning consider or think without its R (sacrificing R(ook)).

23d         Madagascan native using both hands to throttle bird (5)
LEMUR:  The letters for each hand go around (to throttle) a large Australian bird.

25d         Roux, for example, essential to quiche? Fact! (4)
CHEF:  This Roux isn’t a mixture of fat and flour but could be Albert, Michel or Michel jr.  What those guys are is hidden in (essential to) the last two words of the clue.  Not sure you need a roux to cook a quiche but who cares?

Top of the podium for me is 15d supported by 25d and 11a.

The Quick Crossword pun: bum+purse+tic+curse=bumper stickers

98 comments on “DT 28034

  1. I enjoyed this – thanks to Mr Ron and pommers. My favourite clue was 9d.
    I think that the definition of 7a is just ‘winter’ (as an intransitive verb).

  2. Gosh – you surprise me, Pommers! I thought this was a really good puzzle. A bit ‘different’ and full of fun.
    Took far too long for the penny to drop over the ‘lesson’ and the ‘agony aunt’ and I went all round the houses (and the musicals) with 28a.
    6d was a new one for me.
    Liked 19a& the simple 4d but the laurel wreath goes to that cuddly bear from Rainbow.
    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and the rather dissatisfied Pommers!
    BTW – thought the Quickie pun was very well constructed.

    1. A bit ‘different’ and full of fun.

      It must be Petitjean, n’est-ce pas?

      If not … I’ll eat “mon chapeau”

      (Loved the Cockney Agony Aunt one)

      1. I was going to chance my arm there – but I’ve been spectacularly wrong recently!
        Think the Quickie pun was the clincher for me.

  3. Very pleasant indeed.
    Hoped for a pangram but last letters missing.
    9d and 13d made me laugh. So did 7a.
    Thanks to the setter and to pommers for the review.

  4. Several Doh moments in this one but enjoyable. Took three looks to finally sort out. This was a three coffee crossword. Got flustered by 12a but sorted in the end.
    Lovely day in North Cornwall. Thanks to Pommers and setter.

  5. 1ac made me smile when I read it and smile when I solved it there was lots to like in this lovely puzzle. Not so sure about the blogging style though. Dodgy musical choice and a dodgy pic at 15d (Thanks) Last ones in the lovely homophone at 26ac and the mental exercise at 6d. As for 15d I remember a Peter Kay sketch from Phoenix Nights where a hopeless applicant for a barstaff job was asked why he thought he was suitable for the job. “I used to be an innkeeper” he replied. When asked where and when he said “Mount Grace Infant School 1978 Nativity Play.

  6. To mix metaphors, this was a different kettle of fish from yesterday’s walk in the park. Initially thought it was going to be tortuous and then with a little application surprised myself as it all came together. Needed help with 12a and also 6d which I have added to my vocabulary. Thank you Mr. Ron and Pommers. Envy you the warmth, Pommers, as we in Sussex woke to a bit of a frost – brr! ***/***. :yes:

  7. 2*/3*. This had a bit of a different feel about it today. It was generally enjoyable but I found myself (probably unreasonably) very irritated by 6d. In my defence I am in bed with a high temperature, a very muzzy head and what feels like a knife sticking in my throat (but I am not expecting any sympathy from the dear ladies on our blog).

    It was the first clue I looked at and immediately I thought aha, it’s an anagram of scenarist with the R replaced by an E and most likely it will start with CINE and end with an S. However I still couldn’t come up with any sensible word, even at the end when I finally had all the checking letters in place as well. My only consolation is it has to be a very obscure word if you still can’t get it when you are sure of seven of the nine letters and know what the other two letters are.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to pommers, particularly for such a fine picture of an innkeeper!

            1. Umm – I seem to recall that our Brucie had rather a lot of favourites. Rather like ‘us lot’ when Kath’s away!

  8. The Toughie’s quite fun today and not much harder than this one. Would someone with the paper please let me know who it’s by, the website doesn’t say.

  9. I enjoyed this though slowed down in the bottom half. Wasn’t sure how “otherwise” worked in 3d, I guess it can be a link from wordplay to the answer, like “or”. I liked 5d and 9d. Great innkeeper pic.

    Many thanks pommers and setter

  10. Quite tricky but very enjoyable!

    I had to use my Wordsearch program to get a couple of clues and the blog for 7d – a new word to me!

    Thanks for that!


    1. My answer until I did the downs.It was then I realised that we had a pleasantly tricky puzzle.And there wasn’t any homophone indicator.

  11. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Pommers for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, tricky in places. Needed the hints for 12&26a. I laughed when I got 8&11a and 17&25d, lots of humour in this. Favourite was 11a, because it was lam backwards, but the “mal” also came into play, as in Malware. Was 3*/4* for me. Lovely and sunny in Central London.

  12. I enjoyed this one with a few smiles when the pennies dropped. 23d brought to mind Michael Parkinson who would have been only to happy to do just that.
    Struggled with the ‘righteous pivotal sailors’ but otherwise all went well. Thanks to setter and Pommers.

  13. Really enjoyable and all the better for being a bit different. Favourites were 15d and 12a. I have never heard of 6d before but got there with the help of the clues, seems a very strange word and not sure of the pronunciation. Thanks to the setter and for the hints.

  14. All in all a quite gentle but very enjoyable puzzle from our mystery setter. 6d was my last in and even though I had all the checkers and anagram fodder – I just couldn’t ‘see’ the answer and I have no idea why. :scratch: I was also searching for a pangram but to no avail although I’ve noticed that so far this week there have been quite a few puzzles ‘nearly a pangram’.

    I was very tempted to insert ‘canal’ in 8a and ‘taught’ in 12a on the first read through but decided to see what checkers came up when on the down clues.

    Thanks to the Thursday Mr Ron for the enjoyment and to pommers for his review.

    I thought that today’s pun on the ‘quickie’ was one of the best I’ve seen for ages. Very clever and funny – now, I wonder who could have set that…….

    Edit- I also agree with pommers that the toughie is very doable.

  15. Very enjoyable if a bit of hard work in parts. Screwed up the SE corner by putting in beacon for 22d (don’t know why) so 26a became a tad tricky. Thanks to the setter and Pommers for sorting out my error.

  16. I am firmly in the ‘I found it more enjoyable than pommers’ camp with this one. A good balance of clues, a couple of real head-scratchers and the wonderful 11 across, my favourite. It took a little longer than it should have done as the SE corner held me up. 26 across my last one in.

    2.5*/3.5* from me with thanks to our setter and pommers for his hard work.

  17. Good afternoon everybody.

    Mostly straightforward but with several tricky ones (at least for me) and I ultimately failed on 22d and 26a.

    Liked12a, 28a and, surprisingly, 13d. Chirpy crossword Cockernees usually invoke the same reaction as Spooner does but this turned out to be a very decent clue.


  18. Thank you to both.
    I found this a bit of a wrestle I’m afraid. It finally submitted about ten minutes ago with help from Mrs Littlemart. 6d was a new word for me and 23d is a work of genius. At least *** difficulty for me

  19. I’m in the enjoyment camp with this.
    I don’t know why, but 15d was my last one in, I loved it and think it’s my fave.
    So many other good ones, 11a, 12a, and so on.
    I had to resort to my anagram gizmo to get 6d, couldn’t figure it out.
    Thanks to setter and to pommers for his review.

  20. Very nice and tricky , but in a good way.Lots of slightly misleading clues such as 16a which had me thinking about arch etc and 28a, I tried all the versions of revolting until it hit me.
    13d was another slightly tricky clue, and humerus.
    Thanks Gaza and the setter.

    1. Much as I would have enjoyed blogging this very enjoyable puzzle it is in fact pommers to whom thanks are due for the review, not me.

  21. This was a struggle for me today. The final day of the kitchen being fitted. The builders have done a great job and goodbye to revolting Tesco’s microwaved lasagnes.
    I thought it was a very decent test, lots of good clues.
    Thanks to the setter and to pommers for the much-needed hints.

      1. Janet Street-Porter said that she has been eating them for years and it has had no noticeable affect on her

  22. I thought this another straightforward solve until I put beacon in for 22d :unsure: and this left me floundering in the SE corner, I ended up with Scaup for 23d, a bird which has never been within a thousand miles of the Island :cry: mind you I did get 16a. Thanks to Pommers and to the setter ***/*** Really liked 26a, once it had been explained and 23d ditto :bye:

  23. 1a set the tone for this puzzle, fresh innovative cluing with some clever and amusing constructions.

    The clues may not have had the snappy quality of a Ray T, but a very enjoyable solve nonetheless.

    My favourite was 13d as it produced the widest smile, with honourable mentions also going to 15d and 23d.

    Many thanks to today’s setter and to Pommers, and I hope RD gets well soon.

  24. I didn’t like this one at all.
    Cineastes???? really? I repeat a previous comment of mine. There’s clue setting and there’s showing off.
    Didn’t think much of 2d or 13d either.
    This one doesn’t even boil the kettle for my cup of tea.

    Thanks to Pommers for the hints.

  25. We thought this one was really good fun and particularly enjoyed 7a. It all went together smoothly for us with lots of smiles. Not going to say whose initials are pencilled in the margin as we seem to have made a habit of not getting that right lately. We’ll just wait hopefully until he pops in to acknowledge authorship.
    Thanks Mr Ron and pommers.

  26. Really nice puzzle and fun in parts. 2*/3*.

    Favourites were 8a and 13d.

    We thought including the word ‘stuck’ in 17a was falsely misleading and probably/possibly unnecessary. It doesn’t add anything to the elegance of the clue and there’s no ‘sticking’ involved with these things – those on our house are nailed on!

    Thanks to Pommers and the setter.

  27. I thought this was a really good crossword with lots to recommend it. Good interesting clues with some answers that made you think twice like 7d and 28a; and 2d is not a word that appears that often and therefore is my favourite – also ‘cos I like the way it sounds. 3/3.5 overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to pommers for his review.

  28. A little bit more to chew over than yesterday’s, though not by much. 15d and 26ac took a little time at the end, for reasons that elude me now. In retrospect they both look pretty easy. :smile:

  29. Afraid I am not with the majority. I didn’t enjoy the offering today and found it awkward as well as difficult. Still, t’would be a boring world if we were all the same. Sorry, Mr Ron and thanks pommers.

  30. No crosswords for a couple of days (broadband went u/s) but this was a reasonably gentle re-introduction: 2*/3*. My favourite was the annoyingly simple 16a, which I didn’t spot for some time. Thanks to the setter – I won’t try and guess – and to Pommers, upon whom I wish for a good healthy dose of rain. Sorry, but this winter is getting me down!

    1. A good healthy dose of rain would be most welcome as Alicante Province is in danger of desertification. Haven’t had any rain worth mentioning since about last November.

  31. Hi Guys

    Been out for the evening for a bit of bridge, bit of dinner and then some more bridge and overall too much vino collapso (pommette’s turn to drive).

    Returned to see I was right that others would enjoy this puzzle more than me. What irritated me was the number of clues (20 out of 30) that required fiddling about with single letters in some way or other. I didn’t notice when doing the solve but when you write the hints things like that leap out at you.

    PS I meant to put 26a in blue (if only for the boat pic opportunity) but missed it for some reason. Now done.

  32. Late to the party today.

    Sorry Pommers but I thought this was a marvellous puzzle. Favourites go to 7a, 11a, 15d and 18d. Bit of a hold up by convincing myself 16a was arch L(arch) but as the L doesn’t fit for female that didn’t work.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Pommers for a great blog…God awful music and an interesting pic for 15d but a great blog!

    Now to finish my small glass of wine, tiny toffee vodka and little damson gin (it’s nearly the weekend and they are not in the same glass).

  33. One man’s meat etc – see comment above.

    Didn’t realize the stuff at 2d was supposed to be music but what am I to know? :unsure:

    Have a second damson gin on me. I used to make it as we had two Damson trees in the garden when we were in the UK – better than sloes any day.

    1. It would be an odd world if we all liked the same thing, I can see your point about seeing a puzzle differently when you have to write the hints though.

      The ‘thing’ at 2d is not music…well none that I know of.

      Hope you both won at the impossible game of bridge?

      Thank you. The damson gin is really delicious and Jane is making me drink the toffee vodka. Do you have any fruit trees now? It always amazes me how much the fruit changes the taste of the gin.

      1. No trees now. Nowhere to grow them, although I do have a bit of space where I might plant an orange tree later this year. Mostly we have a paved courtyard with pots for some greenery. Pommette’s keen on toffee vodka (and honey rum) but they’re too sweet for me.

        I won the bridge! First time for a while as it’s usually pommette who gets the better of the rest of us.

        1. Oh you should plant the orange tree! Without a doubt. Sounds like you;re enjoying the heatwave…apart from the lack of rain. Wow never heard of honey rum…Google search for how to make that in a minute.

          Well done on the win! Although I’m sure Pommette will be back to her winning ways soon. I like Pommette. She sets awesome quizzes and once sailed in circles. :yes:

          Jane…utterly your fault. :yes:

          1. Don’t know how to make honey rum. We buy it in the local supermarket for about €5 a bottle.

            Any woman who can sail in circles without moving the sails gets my vote but that’s obvious as it’s our 40th wedding anniversary in June this year.

            For the bridge players among us the telling score was me making 3NT with 2 overtricks when doubled and vulnerable. Well pleased with that one.

            I used to test solve pommette’s quizzes and can only agree with you on that subject.

            1. I’m just about look re rum

              I’m still not sure how she did that? In fact I’m still not sure how that’s possible? Brilliant mind.

              Oh congratulations to you both for later this year. :rose:

              Yup no idea what the bridge score means but it sounds impressive. Oh gosh yes about the quiz..as you know I nicked half of Pommette’s clues last Christmas!

              1. Pommette doesn’t know how she did that, couldn’t do it again, it’s impossible under the laws of physics as we know them – but I am a witness to it actually happening.

                Unfortunately she didn’t know how to stop it happening so I had to swim out from the beach to rescue her – ever tried getting two on a Topper?

                1. I just can’t figure it out at all. I obviously believed it happened but I just don’t know how? And I’ve gone so far as to think of weird currents? Don’t care, it was genius and Pommette is my sailing idol.

                  Never done the swimming out to a Topper one mind…crashed the odd one..and a few Laser’s. but it’s quite a funny thought of you having to swim out..sorry!

                  1. It wasn’t genius as she didn’t do it on purpose – and then didn’t know how to stop it and then needed rescuing.
                    Weird wind patterns is my thought caused by a lot of high cliffs around they bay we were in. Otherwise it’s physically impossible without a preventer on the boom.

        1. Forcing people to drink anything at all? Jane -tut, tut., I have a firm affidavit from a night manager at a certain hotel in the Little Venice area in London that he was forced to re-open the bar by a certain young lady from an island North of Wales. Wonder who that could be :whistle:

              1. Umm….. I have a photo’ of said night manager writing that affidavit whilst a blonde Dutchman had his other arm pinned behind his back. :yes:

                1. Jane…as I blamed you for making me drink the vodka…and I may have teased you about 25a on the other side….

                  I’ve just realised that I thought Larch was a bird. It turns out it is a tree and I was thinking of Lark. You may take the p*** now. :yes:

  34. Well, as usual, I’ve missed lots of fun chat – not that I could have joined in: toffee vodka? Honey rum? Toppers? Lazers? Bridge? The drinks sound disgusting (although I make a fine damson gin). I sailed once and the skipper got so irate at my ineptitude that he pushed me in the Medway on our return. Bridge is a game too far for me.

    On the puzzle front, I half agree with Pommers that there were too many fiddly clues (and not enough anagrams), but I also half agree with those who loved it. And I gave a good smile on completion, rather than a sigh of relief, so I’m edging towards the lovers. And the winners are (opens envelope), in traditional reverse order, 28a, 23d and 28a. Wooden spoon goes to 10a, which was spoilt by such an obvious definition.

    Thanks to?PJ? For the challenge and to Pommers for taking the trouble. 2*/3*

    1. I wouldn’t worry. Bridge is inexplicable, the Medway incident sounds like some sort of hazing…that or your sailing skills are akin to mine. And Damson Gin is lush.

      Sort of reluctant to ask, but how is the hand post op now? I do hope it’s improving.


      1. Well, thanks for asking. I’ve just had half an hour of guitar picking with no problems from either hand, other than my own clumsiness. The surgeon did say, however, that it was only a matter of time before we met again …

    2. Yes Ts, absolutely agree about 10a. It’s one my pet hates – excellent cryptic wordplay spoiled by an inordinately and unnessarily transparent definition.

  35. Liked this one but stuffed myself right-royally with Beacon for 22d. Not too keen in Cineastes, but hey, if its in the Book.
    Fav was 12a which needed an over-night study of the back of my eyelids to figure out.
    Great to see the pictures of the ‘gathering’ really hope to meet some of you people before too much longer meantime it’s over and out from sunny Las vegas.

    1. Yes, I too scored an own goal and caused undue delay by first entering BEACON for 22d. Annoying innit!

  36. I did this one Thurs aft and still haven’t started yesterday’s yet, so will have two to do when I get home later. I thought this was excellent – second best of the week for me. Got 6d by having the partial answer and then looking in the BRB under Cine words because ‘film buffs’ was in the clue and found that I have heard/encountered the word before, so should have got it in the first place from the wordplay. 2.5*/3*

Comments are closed.