DT 28044 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28044

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28044

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

There’s little to make the horses bolt today as it’s all pretty straightforward, although one cricket term may be new to some. 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 Programme includes student’s first multiplication aid (5,5)
TIMES TABLE – a programme or schedule contains the first letter of student.

6a Hereditary, in part? Correct (4)
EDIT – a hidden word, indicated by ‘in part’.

9a Mountain-dweller also described by the old man (5)
PANDA – a conjunction meaning also is contained inside (described by) an affectionate term for one’s old man. The verb to describe can mean to trace the outline of something such as a circle.

10a Acts I deny working for cartel (9)
SYNDICATE – an anagram (working) of ACTS I DENY.

12a Heard I was hard? Nonsense (7)
EYEWASH – string together a sound-alike (heard) of the letter I, WAS (from the clue) and the abbreviation for hard (as a category of lead pencils).

13a Fear of onset of darkness? Study needed (5)
DREAD – the first letter (onset) of darkness is followed by a verb to study.

15a Further   loan (7)
ADVANCE – double definition, the first a verb to further or help along.

16a Bone tossed initially into Spanish dish (7)
PATELLA – the initial letter of tossed goes into a rice-based Spanish dish.

18a Noisy celebration in joint’s at an end (5-2)
KNEES-UP – start with a bodily joint and add the ‘S and an adverb meaning ‘at an end’.

20a Envisage opponent tackling reserve by end of game (7)
FORESEE – an opponent or enemy contains (tackling) the abbreviation for reserve. Finally we need the end letter of game.

21a Article taken from grubby relative (5)
UNCLE – remove the indefinite article from an adjective meaning grubby or dirty.

23a Bird — I check on unfamiliar sort (7)
OSTRICH – I (from the clue) and the chess abbreviation for check follow an anagram (unfamiliar) of SORT.

25a Draughts, perhaps, made bar go uncomfortable (5,4)
BOARD GAME – an anagram (uncomfortable) of MADE BAR GO.

26a Saw a duke decline (5)
ADAGE – A is followed by the abbreviation of duke and a verb to decline or wither.

27a Peculiar piano seat (4)
RUMP – an adjective meaning peculiar or odd is followed by the abbreviation of piano.

28a Young landlord enclosing second bulletin (10)
NEWSLETTER – an adjective meaning young or inexperienced and a landlord (someone renting out property rather than an innkeeper) contain the abbreviation of second.

Down Clues

1d Record knock by opener for Essex (4)
TAPE – in the cricket world knock is an informal word for a batsman’s innings but for the wordplay it’s a light blow. Add the opening letter of Essex.

2d Handle work of art after staff (9)
MANOEUVRE – a word, from French, meaning work of art comes after a verb to staff or provide personnel.

3d Sounds like Arab leader with broken nose — point and show disbelief (5,4,4)
SHAKE ONE’S HEAD – start with a word which ostensibly sounds like an Arab leader or elder, add an anagram (broken) of NOSE and finish with a point or promontory. To me the ‘sound-alike’ here sounds as much like the Arab leader as back sounds like Bach.

4d In question, investment after a short time (2,5)
AT STAKE – an investment or financial involvement in a business follows A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for time.

5d Protracted dance, or friendly ball? (4,3)
LONG HOP – this is a short-pitched ball at cricket which should be easy to hit. It’s an adjective meaning protracted or lengthy and an informal word for a dance.

7d Navigator, one at home on second part of 8? (5)
DRAKE – double definition, the first the name of a famous Elizabethan sea captain, navigator and bowler. The second is a bird that lives on the last half of the answer to 8d. Does this clue seem a bit clunky to you?

8d We dart and tear all over the place, but fail to make progress! (5,5)
TREAD WATER – an anagram (all over the place) of WE DART and TEAR.

11d Enid treated, end not exactly established (13)
INDETERMINATE – an anagram (treated) of ENID is followed by a verb to end.

14d Advocate anaesthetic? Old issue (4,6)
BACK NUMBER – a verb to advocate or endorse is followed by a cryptic description of an anaesthetic. I hope that this causes fewer problems to solvers than the last time I had to provide a hint for this answer (in DT 27913) when the clue was ‘Old newspaper to make Net, conceivably (4,6)‘.

17d Fall in love, then become disillusioned (4,5)
LOSE HEART – double definition, the second a phrase meaning to become disillusioned or discouraged.

19d Foul-mouthed supporter, English, supporting old hand (7)
PROFANE – a supporter or devotee and E(nglish) follow (supporting, in a down clue) a short word for an old hand or experienced practitioner.

20d Female, Italian head, in good health (7)
FITNESS – string together the abbreviations for female and Italian vermouth and another word for a head or promontory.

22d Appeal of tea room (5)
CHARM – an informal word for tea (the drink, not the meal) followed by the abbreviation for room.

24d Try to listen (4)
HEAR – double definition, the first meaning to try as a judge in court.

My joint favourites today were 27a and 8d. Which one(s) did you have on the podium?

Today’s Quickie Pun: ROC + UNROLLED = ROCK ‘N’ ROLLED

81 comments on “DT 28044

  1. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much. The surfaces were very smooth, I had the feeling it might be one of the regular setters? Started with 1d, finished with 19d. needed the hints to parse 20a. i thought 25a was a brilliant anagram, but my favourite was 14d. Was 2*/3* for me. Lovely sunny day in Central London.

  2. Needed the hints for 2D even though I had main letters from the other answers,oh well never mind as it was plain sailing apart from that.Many thanks to the setter & to Gazza for his review.

  3. I’m watching the sun glinting on the ocean beyond the palm trees in Tenerife. The crossword was enjoyable too. Thanks to Gazza and setter.

  4. 1*/3*. I enjoyed this even though it all came together rather quickly.
    I agree with Gazza about 27a & 8d being joint favourites.
    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza.

  5. Gentle */**. Not much one can say beyond that. Maybe 8d could be favourite for the surface reading. Thanks to Mr Ron and G. Gazza, I thought the homophone in 3d worked – are you saying it is pronounced “eeek” and not “ayke”?

    1. I always thought it was pronounced that way too. However I shall wait for one of the blogs pendants to enlighten us. I agree about the back and Bach bit.

      1. I found this little gem on a blog debating the correct pronunciation of Sheikh:

        Everybody – all you people gather round
        And get your body busy – move it up and groove it down,
        We’re gonna use it up – gonna wear it out
        Ain’t nothin’ left in this whole world I care about,

        I said one two three SHEIKH your body down,
        (SHEIKH it down to me)
        One two three SHEIKH your body down to me,
        (SHEIKH it down to me)
        One two three SHEIKH your body down,
        (SHEIKH it down to me)
        One two three oh SHEIKH!

    2. Sheikh is an Arabic word and it’s pronounced as the first 4 letters of the French word chaise and the last 2 letters of loch.

        1. You’re right, Kitty – in English it’s usually pronounced shake. There was an old Saudi oil minister whose name (Sheikh Yamani) was always pronounced ‘Shake your money’ on the news here. It’s just one of those things that annoys me – in the same way that I dislike the assumption that we all pronounce poor to rhyme with paw.

          1. I suppose one can then get all the different dialects e.g. hard vowels in the North of England. Or the Scottish – how many ways can they pronounce what an English person just says “more” i.e. moor, more, moore, muir?

            So, what is the convention for crosswords – The Queen’s English? (I wonder if ER does crosswords?)

              1. Just to make things crystal clear about the “ostensible” homophone in 3d – the BRB gives one phonetic spelling for “shake” and two phonetic spellings for “sheikh” or “sheik.” The first one for “sheikh” or “sheik” is the same as the only one for “shake” – presumably gazza uses the second phonetic spelling of “sheikh” or “sheik” and not the first one?


      1. Gazza, are you saying that the last two letters of loch sound like the last two letters of lock? :negative:

        1. No – the last two letters of loch definitely do not sound like the last two letters of lock (just like, to me, the last bit of sheikh doesn’t sound like -ake).
          (I’m beginning to wish I hadn’t started this!).

  6. Relatively straight forward today but held up slightly with ‘issue’, as in share issue, for 10d,
    Favourite today was 28a. Very smooth.
    Thank you setter and Gazza.

  7. As Gazza said…nothing to scare the horses and mine are wrapped up in their lovely new rugs…which will no doubt be ripped by the end of the day.

    Enjoyed this although it was over quite quickly. Last in was 9a. It was obvious from the checkers but my brain refused to parse it for a long time. 5d was only vaguely familiar so double checked that.

    Lots to like with 8d, 14d and 27a standing out. 22a made me smile too.

    Freezing cold day here so I’m wrapped up in cosy socks with the fire on. Lovely. La dolce vita.

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

    1. Hanni – do you know if they have finished the work on shoring up the cliff sides on the road from Whitby to Sandsend yet? We’re coming up in May to the cottage we always go to & last time they were surveying the cliffs just below us?

      1. They were still sorting it last time I went past, but from what I can gather it should be done by the time you get here. :smile:

        Now to brave the chilling moors. Bright pink bobble hat at the ready. And yes I really do have a bright pink bobble hat. :cool:

          1. If that’s all Hanni is wearing then she will really feel the cold. I know Hanni’s part of the world & it’s a bit wild in Winter to say the least.

          2. I like to blend in MP. But my fire socks and bobble hat are devilishly epic. I love them.

            You’re very right Spindrift…it does get wild up here, in fact my avatar is a pic of the moors I took on a rare nice day. Being sensible I wore more than my hat and socks. I put a scarf on of course. :yes:

            1. Ah – I was thinking that your socks must be big enough to wrap you up completely. Fire socks sound awesome but rather dangerous!

        1. I am jealous I only have one hat which I am reliably informed makes me looks like a very elderly gnome, guess what I never wear it.

  8. This didn’t really tickle my fancy so not sorry it was all over quite quickly. :roll: If I had to pick a Fav I would probably plump for 14d. Thanks Mysteron and Gazza. */**.

  9. I liked this more than the average Tuesday, and though it was not intrinsically hard I managed to make it harder than it should be. I had to check 5d and am still working on the second bit of 2d which is proving frustrating. Grr!

    There were several I liked but my favourite has to be 27a. I have had some trouble with those (piano seats, that is) – there is the wobbly one stuffed with horse hair which prickles horribly and the one which collapses if you sit on it the wrong way. Unfortunately, the biggest problem of all exists between the seat and the piano :(.

    Many thanks to setter and to Gazza for the review which I’ll read once I’ve got the last part in.

  10. I loved 2d which did not give me any problem. I suppose you need to know the term for a work of art, French comes in handy. My problems were more basic I fear. I did not know that meaning of saw, and was fixated on stock (which did not fit the checkers) and share which did not make sense and could not see further than the end of my nose. First time I have done a week day one early or at all for ages – thanks to a train journey. Some clever ones I thought. Thanks setter and to Gazza for putting me out of my misery. 9a had to be what it is but I never would have parsed it in a million years.

    1. Nice to see you during the week! You should make it a regular occurrence and change your name to Everydaywanda.

  11. Fairly whistled through this but enjoyable nonetheless. I thought it to be a good puzzle for those new to cryptic crosswords as it has a fair selection on clue types so, with Gazza’s excellent hints, it should be plain sailing. The NE corner was the last to fall for some reason, with 12a the last one in. I thought we were in for a ‘body parts’ theme with 12a, 16a, 19a, 27a, 2d & 17d. – maybe there is.

    Thanks to our Tuesday Mr Ron for the puzzle (can you come back this Thursday?) and to Gazza for his review.

  12. Another day, another comfortable solve. 1.5*/3* with 14 down my favourite. Grateful thanks all round.

    Positively springlike in the Marches today. Like Tenerife but without the palm trees and sunscreen.

  13. OK so it’s just me who managed to mix up the vowels in 2d and then spent a while trying to figure out how ‘unearth’ would work for 12a!
    Apart from that and having to verify the cricket term in 5d, this was quite straightforward and good fun.
    Leader board shows 14&19d although I thought it unlikely that many of you would vote for the latter!

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to Gazza – lovely wildlife pics. :yes:

  14. Went down to the mine to check 5d even if it was obvious from the parsing. Google was no use as it only referred me to an English Pub in Paris. They must have paid good money to take so many pages.
    No problem with the homophone in 3d. Unlike the second part of 2d which you pronounce like a headless Hoover in this particular case and seem to pronounce it properly when it comes to hors d’oeuvres.
    The surface was good.
    Very pleasant solve.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review.

  15. Gentle, yes, and enjoyable too. I checked 9A, 2D and 14D as contenders for favorite today, with 9A coming out on top. Thanks to today’s setter and to Gazza for the review.

  16. I agree a reasonably easy solve **/*** I sailed through it until my last one in 4d :negative: Took me ages. Liked 12a & 14d :yahoo: Thanks to Gazza and Mysteron :good:

  17. Over quite quickly and not really my cup of tea today. Nevertheless thanks to the setter and Gazza for the review.

  18. Feeling smuggish because I had cracked Rookie (thanks to all concerned) I immediately hit a brick wall with this one. My pencil at the ready I strode out into the wilderness to find zilch, not one little answer. Decided I was exhausted by shopping so went off and had lunch. Over coffee I started to gradually get a few ideas and crawled my way to a completed grid. Thanks to Gazza and setter off to have a rest, OH watching latest James Bond DVD which was awaiting him on mat when we arrived home. :phew:

  19. A fairly routine sort of puzzle, not quite as straightforward as yesterday but not one to cause any real hold-ups either.

    My favourite was 16a.

    Many thank to today’s setter and to Gazza.

  20. Enjoyed this. I had to use a spellchecker to spell 2d.
    I loved 18a and 3d, but many other fun clues.
    Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the review.

  21. I also liked 16a, it reminded me of Rufus’ famous clue.
    Short and sweet.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  22. All plain sailing for us with this one but totally missed the various body parts scattered through the grid, Amazed at the coincidence with the two puzzles today. Not only are they almost identical grids but for exactly the same word to occur in exactly the same place in each one. It must be totally by chance and the odds against that happening must be astronomical.
    Have no idea who the setter might be. It does not feel like anyone we recognise.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

  23. Good evening everybody.

    All very straightforward until my inability to spell 2d correctly frustrated my attempt to solve 12a. Despite that 2d was probably my favorite clue.

    Not finishing makes it hard to rate this puzzle. In the spirit of transparency I’ll say ***/***

  24. Lots of fun…Not much time as I was busy ensuring the wheels of the Insurance Industry were turning correctly today.
    A few things to trip up a novice…Not sure why tackling = contains in 20a, can’t see that one, but one to remember. 20d, have to note ‘head’ = ‘ness’ in my little red book.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the hints, love the picture of the Ostrich, reminded me of an ex-girlfriend.

  25. Very straightforward, as noted above, but very enjoyable too. One or two went in with the first part of the wordplay and enumeration alone, without even having to glance at the definition. A good puzzle to encourage new and improving solvers.

  26. Struggled today. Finished with lots of help from the blog. Have never heard of M as an abbreviation for room. Favourite 23a but mainly for the photo :smile:

    1. I think it’s RM for room – and an R-less cup of cha(r) for the tea. I didn’t know that char could be spelled without the r until a crossword a few weeks back but actually remembered for today :)

      A pleasant enough solve. Last one in was 7d as it just didn’t seem cryptic to me, so spent some while considering alternatives.

      1.5*/3*. 25a favourite.

  27. Hi TS – for when you pop in – assuming Southern Rail get you home tonight! I have to use their ‘services’ for part of my journey to visit No.2 daughter and I don’t envy you one little bit.
    ‘A God in Ruins’ was every bit as good as ‘Life after Life’ and a friend has now lent me four more of Kate Atkinson’s novels to read. I think that the two recommended by Jan were rather a departure from her normal style so it will be interesting to see whether I find the others as enjoyable.
    Any news on the water levels?

    1. Hi Jane. Herself will be delighted that you are enjoying Ms Atkinson. The waters have subsided and normal service has been resumed, thank goodness. There will be a next time, I’m sure, but I hope not for some considerable while. Thank you for asking. I appreciate it.

  28. 22 years in the army and I still managed to miss spell 2d which didnt help with the rest of the solve. Managed to get there in the end after a bit of a struggle.

  29. Yes! Finished this one except for 26a so thanks to Gazza for putting me right on that. As someone said above, this was a good puzzle to encourage improvers such as myself. Thanks to today’s setter and to everyone…so entertaining and useful reading all your comments.

      1. Saw is one of those words, like see, which looks like a verb but can also be a noun. It means a saying or proverb and it’s worth remembering because it crops up quite a lot.

        1. Completely irrelevant but these comments reminded me of the childish rhyme:

          “I saw Esau sitting on a see-saw”

  30. Southern trains did it again tonight – another detour, another late-night bus. However, I got home eventually, turned the heating on, poured a pint and raced through this one without even taking a sip. It was very straightforward, but nonetheless offered some elegant clues. 2d and 21a still vying for pole position as I write, so I’ll leave them to get on with it. Thanks to setter and, as always, to Gazza. 1*/3*

  31. Yes indeed, a gentle exercise with some elegant clues as Tsrummer has pointed out.
    27a was a case in point, and was my favourite. 1.5/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza

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