DT 28038

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28038

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

For me this was an enjoyable puzzle although several of the surface readings (e.g. 21a) are somewhat disjointed. 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 For reflection, left a minute in pilgrimage at mausoleum (3,5)
TAJ MAHAL – there’s some fiddly wordplay here. Start with L(eft) and A (from the clue) then insert M(inute) into one of the spellings of the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. Append AT (from the clue) and, finally, reverse the lot (for reflection).

6a River featuring during deputy’s leave (6)
DECAMP – the name of a river in East Anglia gets inserted into an abbreviation for deputy.

9a Night light is unfinished, causing chaos (6)
BEDLAM – start with a night light (3,4) and drop the last letter. The usual term for the light has ‘side’ in it and Chambers doesn’t list the shortened form required here.

10a One offering ‘A stew, sir?’, taking order (8)
WAITRESS – an anagram (taking order) of A STEW SIR. This sketch always cracks me up:

11a Marciano cooked food from the old country? (8)
MACARONI – an anagram (cooked) of MARCIANO. Rocky Marciano, undefeated as the world heavyweight boxing champion in the 1950s, was a US citizen born to Italian immigrants.

12a Greek man really discontented in practice? The opposite (6)
THEORY – a Greek male forename is followed by the dis-contented form of R[eall]Y.

13a Voices rant on possibly in this (12)
CONVERSATION – an anagram (possibly) of VOICES RANT ON.

16a In the style of a gnome? (12)
PROVERBIALLY – a cryptic definition where the setter wants to mislead us into thinking that a gnome is a small creature, whereas its meaning here is a maxim or pithy saying.

19a Actor    not fully developed (6)
CALLOW – double definition, the second an adjective meaning immature or inexperienced.

21a Current measure with hard Latin put in favoured treatise (8)
PAMPHLET – insert the abbreviation for a measure of electric current together with the abbreviations for hard and Latin into an adjective meaning favoured or cherished.

23a Transported con’s last in jail but being reformed (8)
JUBILANT – insert the last letter of [co]N into an anagram (being reformed) of JAIL BUT.

24a Pass by Italian ladies missing sun (6)
IGNORE – drop the abbreviation for sun from the plural form of the Italian word for lady.

25a Come to rest in seat with high back (6)
SETTLE – double definition, the first a verb to come to rest or plonk oneself down.

26a Broadcaster with kind of entertainment opening that’s over one’s head (8)
SKYLIGHT – charade of a satellite broadcaster and a type of entertainment requiring little mental effort to enjoy.

Down Clues

2d In regions, start to need stadia (6)
ARENAS – another word for regions with the starting letter of N[eed] inserted in it.

3d Island state engaged in formal talks (5)
MALTA – hidden (engaged) in the clue.

4d One presumably not having to deal with letter? (9)
HOMEOWNER – cryptic definition of someone who doesn’t have to pay rent to a landlord.

5d Crime world‘s wise old bird placed in criminal file (3,4)
LOW LIFE – place the name of the old bird that symbolises wisdom into an anagram (criminal) of FILE.

A wise old owl lived in an oak,
The more he saw, the less he spoke
The less he spoke, the more he heard,
Now, wasn’t he a wise old bird?

6d Meaning of piled-up snow (5)
DRIFT – double definition, the first a meaning or general intention.

7d Trade in a chippy? (9)
CARPENTRY – chippy is a slang term for a specific type of tradesman so the answer is his or her trade. We’re obviously meant to think of chippy as a chip shop but the clue doesn’t really cut the mustard for me – ‘trade of a chippy’ fine, but how does ‘trade in a chippy’ work?

8d Breakfast ingredient    to expand enormously (8)
MUSHROOM – double definition, the second a verb to expand quickly or snowball.

13d Polite composer broadcast — it’s for royalty’s benefit? (5,4)
CIVIL LIST – this is the annual sum of money provided by the taxpayer to keep our head of state in the style to which she’s become accustomed. An adjective meaning polite or courteous is followed by what sounds like (broadcast) a Hungarian composer.

14d Only fool wearing surprised expression — or glumness (9)
SOLEMNITY – start with an adjective meaning only or solitary then insert a fool or ninny into an expression of surprise.

15d Prize  honey (8)
TREASURE – double definition, the second a term of endearment.

17d Momentum one found with working of temp (American) (7)
IMPETUS – string together the Roman numeral for one, an anagram (working) of TEMP and a two-letter abbreviation for American.

18d Explore curved building in Kent? (6)
SEARCH – split the answer 2,4 and it could be a curved building or structure in the region of the UK where Kent is to be found.

20d Make material depiction of European in part of sea (5)
WEAVE – insert the abbreviation for European into what you may see on the surface of the sea.

22d Language in church in dispute (5)
HINDI – as often happens the final down clue features a hidden word.

My clue of the day is 10a. Which one(s) had you in stitches?

Today’s Quickie Pun: TORQUE + THYME = TALKTIME


  1. Una

    I found this puzzle very odd.
    Tricky anagrams like 23a are more suited to the Toughie.
    I suppose mushrooms are eaten by some at breakfast.It is a free world after all, one can eat what one likes, but I wouldn’t list it as a breakfast ingredient.(8d)
    1a, I guessed it , otherwise ,same as 23a.
    In the end , I got so fed up that I just looked at the answers Gazza provided.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  2. bifield

    I enjoyed this puzzle although a few of the surface readings were a bit weak. A fine start to a cold but sunny morning. Thanks to setter And to Gazza for his usual clear explanations.

  3. JonP

    I found this a bit trickier than the last few Tuesdays and enjoyed solving it.

    Thanks to Gazza and setter **/***

  4. Rabbit Dave

    2.5*/3*. A curate’s egg of a puzzle today. The NW and SE corners were virtually R&W. The SW proved somewhat tougher and a few in the NE corner took me a very long time to solve. There were lots of different sorts of clue without too many of any one type. Some surfaces were smooth and some clunky.
    I didn’t like 12a (why does the man have to be Greek?), 7d (surely the answer is “the trade of a chippy”, not “in a chippy”), and 15d (what has the answer got to do with honey?) I particularly liked 16a & 13d.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to Gazza.

    • Rabbit Dave

      I just saw Gazza’s comment about 15d. It can’t be right to pick any random form of endearment as a synonym for another form of endearment. I know some people call their sweethearts “my cauliflower”. That wouldn’t make cauliflower a synonym of honey!

      I see also that Gazza makes the same point as me about 7d.

        • Rabbit Dave

          I have never watched Dragon’s Den but I have heard of Theo Paphitis. The reason I don’t like the wordplay is that Theo is not a uniquely Greek name. What about, for example, Theo Walcott, Theodore Roosevelt or even Theodore the Chipmunk, none of whom are/were Greek?

          Gazza makes a valid point (as usual!) in that just saying “man” or “girl” as part of the wordplay is a bit of a cop out, and we do get “Pat” as an Irishman and “Ian” as a Scotsman from time to time, so I’ll wave the white flag on this one.

          However I’m still not happy with either 7d or 15d.

          • HoofItYouDonkey

            Theo Paphitis is far more famous for being the Chairman of Millwall Football Club when we got to the cup final in 2004 than from appearing on any soppy TV program. LOL.
            I bought him a bottle of Becks once, still waiting for him to return the favour…

      • Jose

        RD. This is all very interesting – you certainly know how to stimulate debate. For me the answer has got quite a lot to do with honey because honey (especially in the USA) and the answer are both common/accepted terms of endearment (which nearly everyone will know) such as darling, love, sweetheart, etc. Cauliflower, squiffy or even “miffypops” wouldn’t qualify because they are personal/obscure and random terms, not in workaday usage. Taking punctiliousness to the nth degree with cryptic crossword clues isn’t the best policy – they are merely word puzzles.

    • Gazza

      12a Theo is Greek for “god-given”. We (rightly) get complaints if a setter just clues a name as “man” or “woman” so I suppose Mr Ron is trying to be more helpful.

  5. pete

    I got stuck in the SW corner, managed the rest ok, but all seemed a bit strange to me. I would never have got 16a,23a, I dont really understand the cryptic for 7d and I would eat 8d anytime of the day, wouldnt really call it a breakfast food.

  6. Spook

    I found this quite challenging lots of alterations in SW corner . However struggled through but needed assistance 19a and 17d. I should have realised that US would be in there somewhere.
    Thanks to Gazza and setter.

  7. Beaver

    As usual started in the NW corner and although the solution to 1a was obvious, the wordplay was to say the least somewhat convoluted, luckily the puzzle did not continue in this vein as I moved south! and became a thoroughly enjoyable solve, a **/*** for me- agree with Rabbit Dave re the trade OF a chippy .Favourite 16a, brought a chortle. Thanks to Gazza and Mr Ron.

  8. Ora Meringue

    Cannot say I enjoyed this one.
    Would never have got some but for the clues, which I think is a bad sign…..I prefer the doh! moments when the hints explain things to me.

    I have eaten mushrooms for breakfast, but very rarely so wouldn’t ever describe them as ‘breakfast food’.
    I have to confess to some doubts about ‘treasure’ as a term of endearment. I expect some people use it, but I doubt that there are many.
    And I would never ever have unscrambled the wordplay of 1a.
    Sorry, setter, I just didn’t like most of it. :sad:
    Thanks to Gazza .

  9. Heno

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle that I found very tricky. Did ok until I got to the bottom half, needed the hints for 14d,16&24a. Still don’t understand 16a can only think of small creatures, must be another meaning of Gnome. I thought 24a was senora, which didn’t make sense. Favourite was 1a. Was 4*/3* for me. Out for a walk in Kenwood glorious sunshine and a light breeze, fantastic!

  10. Expat Chris

    I was OK with most of it, but have a quibble or two. I would define an arch is a structure, not a building. There’s a difference. And I, too, feel that treasure is a bit of a stretch for 15D. I didn’t get 16A, not helped by having the man and not the trade for 7D. I did like 9A and 5D, though. Thanks to today’s setter and to Gazza.

    • Rabbit Dave

      Chris, I too wondered if an arch could be considered a building. It seems a bit tenuous but I suppose in its broadest sense an arch is built.

      I decided to look up Marble Arch in Wikipedia to see if there was any reference to it being a building. This didn’t help, but it does mention the problem of the white marble being quite quickly discoloured by the air pollution in 19th Century London. The exact quote in Wikipedia is:

      In 1847, Sharpe’s London Magazine described it as “discoloured by smoke and damp, and in appearance resembling a huge sugar erection in a confectioner’s shop window.”[

      • Expat Chris

        Been in the construction business myself for 35 years (albeit geotechnical) and on the periphery through Mr. Expat for 48. No civil engineer I know would refer to an arch as anything but a structure. it can be part of a building certainly, but not a building in and of itself .

      • Jose

        RD. 18d: I think the “building” in this clue is meant to be a verb, not a noun – as in an arch is an example of “curved building”. That’s how I read it, anyway.

  11. Miffypops

    I did this very early this morning betwixt sleeping and waiting. That way it just gets solved. So thank you setter. I think I enjoyed it but I am not going to hold an inquest over it. I enjoyed the mushrooms but prefer Olives. If you remember that for future puzzles you will not go far wrong.

    • Bluebird

      Waiting? Do you mean waiting on tables or just waiting……….?

      If the latter, how do you know when it has started?

      I did most of this between waking and then suddenly realising I was supposed to be 20 miles away…? Hence this late posting.

  12. George

    I know that the DT is a British newspaper, but I think there are many solvers who live in other parts of the world who are not familiar with general knowledge that is very specific to the UK. I find such references disappointing as it does mean that the newspaper is not interested in being more globally minded. So when there are references to British actors, British companies and British athletes I am often quite nonplussed. I have never heard of this fellow in19a and although I figured out what it had to be from the rest of the clue, I had to look him up on the web. I don’t doubt he is well known in the UK but unknown to this Canadian.

    Other than that I would agree with most comments her that this puzzle was uneven in its style. Aside from that, though, I would rate it as 3*/3* today.

  13. Gordon

    I found this more difficult than the Toughie. Had to finally admit defeat in the SW corner with only three in – one of which was wrong. I had Hamlet for 19.

  14. pommers

    A bit clunky in places and with a few chestnuts but overall an enjoyable puzzle. A little trickier than recent Tuesdays so I’ll agree with Gazza’s ratings, ***/*** it is..

    10a was favourite but the Italian ladies missing the sun is worth a mention, even if it is one of the chestnuts.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza, especially for the sketch which I haven’t seen for ages.

  15. Chris

    I enjoyed this and didn’t find it too difficult but agree 7d looks as if it should be the person not the trade. This, plus not knowing the meaning of ‘gnome’, led to difficulty with 16a. I liked 23a, my favourite clue – it took a second look to identify correctly which word was the anagram indicator. Thanks to Gazza and the setter.

  16. Shropshirelad

    I quite enjoyed this puzzle, even with it’s quirky bits. Definitely nothing to scare the horses as it was practically a R&W and I particularly liked 16a (last one in) as I had forgotten the alternative meaning. I’m sure setters contact each other and say ‘let’s all use the same word in a clue construction and see if anyone notices, teehee’. Pilgrimage seems to be the word of the moment in it’s various forms, still, it’s better than having ‘audi’ everywhere. :yes:

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

    The toughies by Warbler is enjoyable and quite doable. :good:

  17. Hilary

    Having crawled round supermarket this morning held up by trolley I arrived home in grouchy mood with very sore hip. This crossword did little to cheer me up. If I had not read comments I would not have got very far as 8d and 15d would not have come to mind. 8d does not appeal for breakfast I am a scrambled egg on toast person and does anyone use 15d as a term of endearment? Felt very much as some of earlier commenters slightly discombobulated. Bright but chilly here in East Suffolk. Thanks to setter and Gazza. :unsure:

  18. omar

    Like others, I really struggled with the SW corner…I STILL don’t understand 16a….can gnome really mean pithy maxim (or whatever)?

  19. Littlemart

    Well we got there eventually, but have to say I found several of the clues a bit unsatisfactory for reasons already covered. 7d, 8d 9a are some of the sinners.
    15d was so obtuse I had to come to this blog to check I had it right.

    However 13d made me smile.

    Thank you to both.

  20. jean-luc cheval

    Found it a bit harder than the toughie too.
    Was trying so hard to make sense of 7d for which I had carpenter first, wanting to reconcile Carp=Trade then enter for the in. Then when I solved 16a, went back with the idea of Caper + Entry. What a mess.
    SW corner was difficult. The actor took a while and it’s only when I picked up the thesaurus for undeveloped that the penny dropped. Had a good laugh as the first answers were amateurish callow.
    Wasn’t comfortable with wave being part of the sea. Mine is rather like a lake and others on the planet are totally still.
    Nice challenge overall.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review.

      • jean-luc cheval

        You are right. It should have been ours as in Mare Nostrum but you know the old saying:
        What’s mine is mine,
        What’s yours is yours,
        But what’s ours is mine.

        • Hanni

          OK that made me laugh!

          So what do you call the English Channel?

          I’m not sure what I’d do with a whole sea but I’d like one. And some olive trees.

          • jean-luc cheval

            The Channel is called La Manche or the sleeve as it were.
            We believe that an arm should be covered.

              • jean-luc cheval

                I’ve done it again.
                The English Channel or La Manche Française as I am going to call it from now on, is not a sea but a ” bras de mer” or sea arm. I thought you used the same word in English.

                • Hanni

                  I think my French is a little rusty..it’s been awhile since I spoke it (I have an ex that is French). I sort of of had half an image of you wanting to build a huge covering over the La Manche Français! But yes I can see why you would call it a bras de mer.

                • Big Dave

                  Funnily enough we call it a channel! We do use the phrase “arm of the sea” but more in the context of a narrow strip of water projecting from a larger body. I always thought “La Manche” was so named because it is shaped like a sleeve.

                  • Hanni

                    Golly. I’ve actually never heard of it described as that before! It makes sense but it is a new one for me. And I see what you mean about La Manche (Francaise). :good:

                    • jean-luc cheval

                      He named 15 different Manches but the only one that remained was the British one (not French afterall, never mind) the others were classified as detroits or canals according to their sizes.

                    • Hanni

                      Thank you. :smile:

                      Detroit is a new definition too. Turns out my French is terrible. Not sure I will ever think of the English Channel in the same way now…is it that, or La Manche or La Manche Francaise? How about “That bit of water between England and France with a lot of boats that some people swim”? Maybe not that catchy.

                    • Hanni

                      Oh wow…

                      I think I understand most of it but not what Antoine-Augustin Bruzen de La Martinière says about the “15 sleeves”? It’s in the ‘name’ bit.

                      I don’t think he’s mentioned in the English version…oddly enough.

  21. Hanni

    I’m still not sure what I make of this and I solved it hours ago, I didn’t know the second part of the DD in 19a but it was solvable. Thought 10a was just wonderful and gets the favourite award by a long shot. Figuring out the word play in 1a took a bit of time and writing out a couple of times. I share Gazza’s reservations about 7d too. 13 also made me smile.

    Overall I think I enjoyed it.

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

  22. Merusa

    I agree that 8d doesn’t spring to mind as breakfast food, but I suppose it’s not a “definitely NOT” breakfast food as, say, pork chops.
    Having put the chippy in for 7d and not his trade, I never did get 16a, even with help of my gizmo.
    Fave was 1a, runner up 23a.
    Thanks to setter and to Gazza for many explanations.

  23. Vancouverbc

    Agree with the rating. Difficulty went up as the SW corner took as long as the other 3 quadrants. Favourite clue 4d. Thanks to the setter and Gazza for the review.

  24. Kitty

    Overall I enjoyed this, notwithstanding a couple of hmms which have been raised already. I glided smoothly over the top half then had to take a little more time to get everything into the bottom.

    I had to dig deep inside to fetch the required meaning for 16a, which was my penultimate answer. 15d brought up the rear.

    Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  25. mre

    Good afternoon everybody.

    Clunky in parts and one or two tricky ones for me. Favourites 15d and 19a. Couldn’t rationalise 16a at all and I share the reviewer’s thoughts about 7d. Overall decent enough back page puzzle though.


  26. PP

    Porridge and coffee with a few blueberries. Should have had fish – I found this quite challenging today. Thank for help!

  27. Robin Newman

    a bit puzzled by 24A as it seems, to me anyway, to work for Italian men but not for “Italian ladies” ……?????

      • Robin Newman

        but if one adds an s to the beginning of the answer of 24A one gets a word for an Italian man;
        looked up “Italian Ladies” on Bing-results not very helpful.

        • Gazza

          An Italian lady (singular) is Signora (plural Signore).
          An Italian gentleman (singular) can be Signore (plural signors or signori).
          So the same word can mean one gentleman or multiple ladies.

        • jean-luc cheval

          Singular is signor for a man and plural is signori.
          A lady is signora and signore for the plural.

  28. silvanus

    Like Hanni, I’m still not sure what to make of this either. I certainly agree once again with RD that it has an odd curate’s egg quality. In some ways it reminded me of a puzzle that was still in draft form before it had been submitted for test-solving or before having its rough edges smoothed out.

    “Breakfast ingredient” in 8d and “building” in 18d certainly raised this solver’s eyebrows I have to say. I ticked two clues that I did like (26a and 5d) but I can’t pretend that it was one of my favourite Tuesday puzzles. The cruciverbalistic week has started fairly discouragingly, but I’m cautiously optimistic that the trend won’t continue tomorrow.

  29. KiwiColin

    This took quite a lot longer than Tuesday puzzles often do. Spent time trying to find the correct river (or even just R) for 6a and then more time trying to make ‘oast’ part of the answer for 18d. However I did get there in the end in slightly longer time than I needed for the Warbler Toughie. I’ll pick 16a as favourite as it was some time before I remembered the other meaning of gnome. Pleasant enough to solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

  30. kartoffel kopf

    Didn’t get there in the end, needed a few hints. Guessed that the gnome wasn’t the garden ornament so went searching for another definition, was very surprised with the result but got the clue and learned something on the way. Convinced.myself that 26a was skydiver on the opening over ones head premise so never got 19d. I think I liked the gnome best and 1a. Thanks to all again….

  31. Gwizz

    I found this to be fairly straight forward without too many problems. 9a was my favourite, although I don’t remember having referred to a bedlamp recently… ah well, nothing wrong with a bit of leeway occasionally.
    2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza.

  32. Bluebell

    Struggled with SW corner. I havn’t come across this definition of gnome before as in 16a. Wont forget though.

  33. Jane

    Have to say that I didn’t really enjoy the solve, but can’t exactly decide why.
    Learnt something new in the definition of 16a, bunged in 1a (sorry, Pommers) and wasn’t overly convinced by 7d.
    Leader board shows 9a plus 4&13d.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to Gazza – my real favourite was the rhyme in your hint for 5d!

  34. Angel

    Nothing to write home about today. SE corner delayed me but I made it in the end and then enjoyed reading the hints. Thanks Mr. Ron and Gazza. ***/***. :neutral:

  35. jean-luc cheval

    I think that a crossword setter is writing headlines for a French Newspaper.
    The title was : Ayrault comes out of the fridge with green ratatouille.
    Loved it.
    We just had a reshuffle and Mr Ayrault is our previous PM and the Greens all resigned from his previous government.
    Now everyone seems to come back.

    • Hanni

      I’ve heard of politicians coming out of the closet before but never out of a fridge.

      Going to add that one to my top headline list!

  36. Jon_S

    This felt decidedly tricky, time more on a par with one of the easier toughies. In retrospect, there wasn’t anything that difficult, so it’s probably just me.

  37. Michael

    A bit of a struggle today and I found it quite difficult, like a lot of others I got hung up on the SW corner and needed the blog to help me out – thanks for that!

    Ah well, tomorrow is another day!


  38. Tstrummer

    Nothing too tricky here, but lots of dubiousness about the place, most of which has already been mentioned. I’ve seen 15d at least twice before. If I have to pick a favourite, and I usually do, it would be 4d with 19a hard on its heels. I thought 6a was poor – I’ve never heard of deputy being abreviated to dep. Many thanks to Gazza, particularly for Two Soups, and to the setter. 2*/2*

    I had mushrooms for birthday brunch with my younger daughter this morning. She didn’t.

    • Gazza

      Welcome to the blog, Rex.
      I’ve changed your comment from upper-case to lower-case because using all capitals is akin to shouting.

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