DT 28054

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28054

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

This puzzle was published on Saturday, 5th March 2016

A fairly typical Saturday puzzle.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.  You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five best!


1a           Unnerve character returning in rickety old car (10)
RATTLETRAP –   RATTLE (unnerve) followed by a reversal (returning) of PART (character).

6a           Ruin in Madrid is here (4)
DISH –   As Richard said on Saturday, “if you can’t find out how a clue works, look for a lurker” – a verb (informal) meaning ruin is hidden in MadriD IS Here.   As for DISH meaning RUIN, Big Dave said “I expect it will be explained on Friday…”    everyone’s probably  forgotten all about it now but according to my favourite reference book Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, this informal term for ruin can mean exhausted or defeated (the allusion being to food, which when it is quite done, is dished up);   The verb DISH can also mean to distribute spiteful gossip, which again could lead to someone’s ruin.   So, if anyone out there is reading this, I hope you are now satisfied with the explanation.

9a           What a golfer may get on tee to one side? (5)
APART – A PAR (a score a golfer might get) and T (tee)

10a         Leading man drinking wine in it (9)
IMPORTANT –   MAN (from the clue) drinks PORT (wine) and the result is then inserted in IT (from the clue)

12a         One progresses rapidly in this designer outfit? (3,4)
TOP GEAR –   A gear selected when driving at speed might also be used to refer to a designer outfit.

13a         Hit it off, being mature (3,2)
GET ON – To be compatible.

15a         Very thirsty chap — red ordered (7)
PARCHED –   An anagram (ordered) of CHAP RED

17a         Awkward type wrestling endlessly for one-time payment? (4,3)
LUMP SUM – LUMP (awkward type) SUMo (wrestling ‘endlessly’)

19a         Annoyance shown by King George during succession (7)
CHAGRIN –   GR (George Rex) inserted into CHAIN (succession)

21a         Come clean about one written about female saints (7)
CONFESS –   C (circa, about), ONE (from the clue) written about or put round F (female) and then followed with SS (saints).

22a         Vessel in Scottish river coming back with companion on board (5)
YACHT –   A reversal (coming back) of the Scottish river TAY into which is inserted CH (the abbreviation for a Companion of Honour)

24a         Exotic brew in a bistro, perhaps (4,3)
WINE BAR – An anagram (exotic) of BREW IN A

27a         Therapist‘s in work, at hospital (9)
HOMEOPATH – HOME (in) OP (work) AT (from the clue) H (hospital)

28a         Sign in accounts — no comment (5)
ARIES – Simply remove the COMMENT from COMMENTARIES (accounts).

29a         Spoils play (4)
LOOT –   Plunder and stolen goods; a play by Joe Orton.

30a         Rugby ref’s award achieved by fine endeavour (7,3)
PENALTY TRY –   PENALTY (fine) TRY (endeavour)


1d           Actual region’s miles off (4)
REAL –   Remove (off) the M (miles) from REALM (region)

2d           Restaurant pastry dish knocked over — a riot breaks out (9)
TRATTORIA –   A reversal (knocked over in a Down clue) of TART (pastry dish) followed by an anagram (breaks out) of A RIOT.

3d           Drunk  started smoking (3,2)
LIT UP –   Drunk or put a match to a cigarette.

4d           Take care of fencing trouble — back part only (4,3)
TAIL END –   TEND (take care of) going round (fencing) AIL (trouble)

5d           Clothes variously appear on line (7)
APPAREL –   An anagram (variously) of APPEAR goes on or before L (line)

7d           I doze before end of broadcast — that’s not appropriate (5)
INAPT – I (from the clue) NAP (doze) T (the end of broadcasT)

8d           Unpredictable schoolgirl supporting it in writing (3-3-4)
HIT AND MISS –   IT (from the clue) goes in HAND (writing) and is supported or followed by MISS (schoolgirl).

11d         Most of army unit’s recommended diet (7)
REGIMEN –   Almost all of a REGIMENt.

14d         Carol happy to change? That’s questionable (10)
APOCRYPHAL – Of doubtful authority – an anagram (to change) of CAROL HAPPY.

16d         Hornblower and his capital short speech (7)
HORATIO – H (the capital of Hornblower) and ORATIOn (‘short’ speech)

18d         Small fruit with perfect flavour (9)
SPEARMINT – S (small) PEAR (fruit) MINT (perfect)

20d         Famous London prison — deny wife being incarcerated (7)
NEWGATE –   W (wife) being incarcerated or put inside NEGATE (deny)

21d         Girl, 22, in frolics (7)
CYNTHIA –  An anagram (frolics) of the solution to 22a and  IN from this clue.

23d         Jazz band — old doctor in company (5)
COMBO –   O (old) and MB (doctor) inserted into CO (company)

25d         Severely criticise book ending a series (5)
BLAST –   B (book) LAST (ending a series)

26d         Game is extremely pricey (1-3)
I-SPY –   IS (from the clue) and the ‘extreme’ letters of PriceY



  1. Wanda
    Posted March 14, 2016 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the explanation for 6a. I got the answer but was reluctant to write it in!

  2. Milvus
    Posted March 22, 2016 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Re 6a, BD said “I’m sure there are situations in which you will have heard it used.” Well, I’m not sure I’ve come across any instances where the two words would be used interchangeably, so I was rather hoping for an example of the answer’s use in this context.

    Also, I think your explanation for 13a overlooks the double definition, the second part being the verb “to mature” or “get older”. Well, that was my reading of it, anyway.

    • Posted March 22, 2016 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      From The Free Dictionary:

      Dish: informal British, to ruin or spoil: he dished his chances of getting the job

      • Milvus
        Posted March 22, 2016 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        Many thanks, Big Dave. I think that confirms that I haven’t heard it used. If I saw that sentence written down, I think I would assume it was a typo for dash (as in to dash the hopes). Having looked it up, I didn’t doubt the veracity of the answer; it was just your original assertion that intrigued me. Dare I suggest that this meaning may be slightly dated (my online source says archaic) and that you might need to be of a certain age to understand it?

        • Posted March 22, 2016 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

          I couldn’t possibly comment.

        • crypticsue
          Posted March 22, 2016 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

          I’m sticking with ‘relatively young, but extremely well read’ ;)

          • Milvus
            Posted March 22, 2016 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

            Yes, that’ll be it – I’m definitely not well read!