DT 28068 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28068

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28068

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I was heading for a 1-star difficulty rating until I got to the bottom of the grid where I needed all the checkers (and a bit of investigoogling) to get 30a. Do let us know how you got on and how well you liked 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 ‘Scientific Equipment Solved Crime!’ — scoop (10)
MICROSCOPE – an anagram (solved) of CRIME SCOOP.

6a Animal hit with book (4)
LAMB – a verb to hit or strike and the abbreviation for book.

9a Wild cat on a single occasion grabbing coypu’s tail (5)
OUNCE – an adverb meaning on a single occasion contains (grabbing) the last letter of coypu.

10a Gain access to metal box containing a charm (9)
ENTERTAIN – start with a verb meaning to gain access to (a room, for example) and add a metal container with A inside it.

12a Suspect a trap after I’m on Ecstasy (7)
IMAGINE – A (from the clue) and a type of trap for catching wild animals follow I’M (from the clue) and all that precedes the abbreviation for Ecstasy.

13a Classic   room (5)
ATTIC – double definition, the first an adjective meaning classic or refined in the style of the ancient Greeks.

15a Club maybe in Paris and it’s brassy (7)
TRUMPET – start with what a club may be in a card game such as bridge or whist and add the word used in Paris for ‘and’.

17a Typical old city in region of Africa (7)
NATURAL – insert the usual old Biblical city into a region of South Africa.

19a Story about pond developing no new larva (7)
TADPOLE – put a story or account round an anagram (developing) of PO[n]D without the abbreviation for new.

21a Maiden and I trapped by bit of a cow, getting dirtier (7)
MUDDIER – start with the cricket abbreviation for a maiden over then insert I into a dangly bit of a cow.

22a Smell‘s nothing serious (5)
ODOUR – the letter that resembles nothing or zero is followed by an adjective meaning serious or grim.

24a Starr: ‘I’ve drummed, but only some insiders turned up‘ (7)
ARRIVED – a hidden word, indicated by ‘only some insiders’.

27a Type of gun: transport it to Macau (9)
AUTOMATIC – an anagram (transport) of IT TO MACAU.

28a Nick‘s angry about Conservative (5)
SCORE – an adjective meaning angry or peeved contains the single-letter abbreviation for Conservative.

29a Bringing back new fish? Sailor’s story (4)
YARN – join together the abbreviation for new and a broad flat fish and reverse (bringing back) it all.

30a Brains — two found in Henry Purcell (10)
SCIENTISTS – we have to separate Henry from Purcell to get two examples, both American, of the answer. I had heard of Joseph Henry, after whom the SI unit of inductance is named, but I had to scrabble around in Wikipedia to find Edward Mills Purcell, a Nobel prize-winning physicist.

Down Clues

1d Flipping ruin atmosphere (4)
MOOD – reverse (flipping) a word for ruin or disaster.

2d Proceeded to swindle money ahead of university education (9)
CONTINUED – string together a verb to swindle or hoax, a slang word for money and abbreviations for university and education.

3d Aida perhaps to make work is on time (5)
OPERA – the abbreviation for an artistic work precedes (is on, in a down clue) a long period of time. I can’t really see what the surface means.

4d Aggravated itches? Male’s in pharmacy (7)
CHEMIST – an anagram (aggravated) of ITCHES with the abbreviation for male inserted. This conjures up a picture of a bloke not wanting to explain his intimate problem to a female pharmacist.

5d Sales talk on new model (7)
PATTERN – the spiel from a salesperson is followed by N(ew).

7d A mouth lifted by itself (5)
APART – A (from the clue) is followed by the reversal (lifted, in a down clue) of a slang word for the mouth.

8d Best way to espy chirpy robin? Claus should deliver these (10)
BINOCULARS – an anagram (chirpy) of ROBIN CLAUS.

11d Criticised   how the meat was cooked? (7)
ROASTED – double definition, the first meaning criticised or reprimanded severely.

14d Stopped paper etc getting broadcast (10)
STATIONARY – this is a homophone (getting broadcast) of paper etc.

16d Computer application for grand slam (7)
PROGRAM – string together a preposition meaning for or ‘in favour of’, the abbreviation for a grand (a thousand dollars) and a verb to slam or smash into.

18d Source of water? Burst drains or pipes initially (9)
RAINDROPS – an anagram (burst) of DRAINS OR and the initial letter of P(ipes).

20d Drink up and stay mostly resilient (7)
ELASTIC – reverse (up, in a down clue) an alcoholic drink and follow that with all except the last letter of a verb to stay or linger.

21d Distance in which automobile reverses is a marvel (7)
MIRACLE – an imperial distance with an automobile reversed inside it.

23d One swims in the river with cad, topless (5)
OTTER – a cad or bounder without the first letter (topless).

25d Stop and rest after six (5)
VISIT – a verb to rest or take the weight off one’s feet follows the Roman numeral for six.

26d Flew east, with regular withdrawals for payments (4)
FEES – withdraw regular letters from ‘flew east’.

My top two clues today were 21a (where ‘bit of a cow’ made me laugh) and the semi-all-in-one 8d. Which one(s) did it for you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: PLAGUE + ROUND = PLAYGROUND


106 comments on “DT 28068

  1. I decided to do this first, instead of taking it home with me (I usually take the DT cryptic away and do it last, because it’s my favourite). It was soon over, but quite enjoyable to solve. 1.5*/2.5*

  2. felt different to usual – I was impressed by working “robin claus” into the surface. Knew the physicists but still took me a while to separate Henry from Purcell – nice find.
    Many thanks setter and Gazza – also for the song – that was a great movie.

  3. I wasn’t anywhere near a one star grade, more like three star. South East corner last to fall with 30a and 26d holding completion up – eventually 30a had to be but I was damned if I could fathom why. Thanks Gazza for sorting that and for the rest of your hints. Pity the computer programme ihas to be known by US spelling. I Always have to think twice about spelling both words indicated in 14d. Thanks Mr. Ron. ***/***.

    1. I think it’s quite useful that we use the American spelling for computer program. It means that we can differentiate between that and any other sort of programme, which the Americans can’t.

        1. The point I was making is that the ‘other’ programme is spelt differently in the UK and so we can differentiate between the two just from the spelling whereas in the US they can’t.

    2. A. 14d: I always got these two mixed up but there is a sort of mnemonic which makes you remember. Just recall E for envelope and that’s stationEry. Not stationary. Just thought I’d mention it – it always works for me……

    3. The only way I can remember which is which with 14d is that envelopes i.e. stationEry etc begins with an E and the other one is stationAry and a car has an A in it. Pathetic or what but it works!

      1. Kath: that’s fine, but it’s one mnemonic too many (yes, I’m a right pedant I know). There are only two spellings, so you only need to remember the statioEry one – stationary will look after itself because it isn’t stationEry. But maybe there’s nothing wrong with belt and braces :-)

          1. That’s the way I remember it. Enjoyable puzzle today, I don’t normally start until later but my routine has changed now that I have subscribed to the Ipad version and don’t have to collect the paper. I was also stuck on 30a, thanks to Gazza for the explanation, and also thanks of course to the setter.

            1. Hi Joyce. You’ve changed your alias so this comment needed moderation. Both aliases should work from now on.

    4. I was told by my university tutor that computer programs are *always* spelled without an ‘me’ on the end and that I would lose marks if I spelled it the British way :(

  4. Tuesday is always a pleasure.
    Some really good surface such as 10a (gain access) and 21d (distance in which).
    21a made me laugh too.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review.

  5. I found this fairly easy with the exception of 30a. I got the answer, but I only knew Henry Purcell as a composer, many thanks to Gazza for the explanation.

  6. 2* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment feels about right to me.
    30a was a massive problem – I couldn’t think of anything else that would fit but never got as far as separating Henry from Purcell so eventually admitted defeat.
    I thought there were some good anagrams – 1a and 8d and 18d.
    Nice to see Mr 9a making an appearance – we haven’t had him for a little while.
    I liked 19 and 21a (made me laugh too) and 21d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to gazza, especially for sorting out 30a – I’d never have managed it for myself – you’ll have to imagine the smiley face and/or the flower!

    1. Kath: you can still do a smiley face by typing a colon, a hyphen and a right hand bracket – which gets transformed automatically into a bog-standard smiley emoticon thus: :-)

        1. With my windows phone 📱, every time I type a word there’s an emoticon appearing. 😉

          1. Oh dear – what happened there? Think you might have put spaces between colon, hyphen and right hand bracket but whatever . . . :-)

            1. Kath: Domus has typed space, hyphen, space – and that automatically turns the hyphen into a dash, which is twice as long as a hyphen and won’t generate a smiley face.

  7. Completed comfortably before lights out last night; is it me, or is Tuesday becoming the easiest day of the week?
    Although, I have to admit that, while I knew what the answer to 30a had to be, I had no idea why that is what it was. So, I am grateful to Gazza for explaining it above.
    Favourites 1a and 8d.

  8. A steady solve which presented no real problems for me today. Fortunately I new both the physicists in 30a so no problem there. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for his review.

  9. I arrived at 30A backwards. I needed all the checking letters to get the probable answer, then worked out that there were two different gentlemen involved. I didn’t go to the length of Googling them, though. Otherwise, the puzzle presented no real challenges. 8D is my favorite. Thanks, Gazza.

  10. Why am I getting the answers when I go to big daves crossword blog, have been using this for ages and had no problem usually answers are hidden but last three days they are not

    1. Welcome to the blog, Jonbee.
      Several people are currently having this problem. BD is investigating it.

    2. Try clearing your history and refreshing the page and a reboot! I got that problem a couple of days ago and it worked for me.

      1. Many thanks, have just tried & worked for me too! (but cleared my ‘autocomplete’ name & email in form to post reply so hope I’ve remembered it correctly!)

  11. I have had better Tuesday’s. I worked out 9a as once+u, and thought the answer must be ounce, and wondered if it was a wild cat. Looked it up in my big red thesaurus…not mentioned. Left 9a alone, and ended up looking at the review, so thank you Gazza. In fact the answer was in my big red dictionary, so should have looked there first. Also came unstuck with the SE corner as put magical into 21d. When will I learn ? If you can’t work it out, don’t put it in!!!! There was no automobile that could be reversed. Still, I managed the rest of it, and liked 8d. Didn’t like 15a, only because as a bridge player I have to be desperate to have clubs as trumps, unless I’m really confident we have a lot of them, and not a lot of other things. Thank you setter, I got there in the end.

  12. Enjoyed this one. Similar to others with 30a but had a bit of a gnomethang moment. Just about to fire up Google when the penny dropped with a clang you might have heard in the UK. I’m well aware of the Henry one of these but forget that Purcell isn’t just a composer but one of these as well, d’oh!

    Otherwise fairly benign so I’ll go for **/*** as well. Fav was either 8d or 4d, take yer pick.

    Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

    P.S. Gazza’s video for 18d is a bit of a coincidence – I watched Butch and Sundance on Film 4 yesterday afternoon.

  13. Got there in the end, but *** for difficulty for me…..generally ok puzzle, except I didn’t like 30a at all – anything where a reasonably well informed solver needs google’s help to understand even once he has the answer is not for me….so * for enjoyment

  14. Well, it was solved in double quick time, but had to look up the parsing of 13a and 30a – not sure I liked the latter without an ‘and’ between the two names, though I realise that would not have had the same impact at all! Lots of lovely clues though, with top of the pond, 19a.
    1.5*/3*

  15. I would go along with most of the comments concerning the relatively easy yet enjoyable puzzle from our setter today. Nothing really held me up, and the number of comfortable anagrams meant a large slice of the grid was completed in double-quick time. 19 across probably just edged out a couple of others for my favourite.

    1.5*/3* from me as well, with thanks to our setter and Gazza.

  16. By the way, we now now no longer seem able to self-edit our comments within the normal time-frame of five minutes, which will probably lead to plenty of spelling mistakes and typos. Have I missed something, (entirely possible), or is a passing phenomenon?

      1. Sorry – it’s one of the facilities that I think may be responsible for the recent poor performance, If the site settles down I might try it again.

        1. Thanks Dave. No apologies necessary. We will all have to be more careful typing and checking before posting.

          1. YS. Just type your comment onto a Word document first, which will spell and grammar check it for you, then c/p it onto here!

  17. Have found it difficult to log on to the site recently, those little revolving circles just keep going round and round! Anyway managed it today. Is it just me or are we in a run of 1* crosswords ?, today’s another uninspiring example, prefer the Sunday Telegraph puzzles these days.
    Thanks Gazza for the 18d pic. Paul Newman shared my birthday but never knew it-loved him in ‘the hustler’ with Jackie Gleason.

  18. Fairly sprinted through this and, like Gazza, came to a stop at 30a. The answer was obvious and the word play pointed to a pair but I had to involve Mr Google to do a bit of research. There are a few nice clues to pick from but I’ll go for 21a as my favourite.

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

    If you haven’t already had a go at the Toughie – it’s worth trying.

  19. At the risk of being controversial, I didn’t enjoy this very much at all. It wasn’t especially difficult, but I found it riddled with unsatisfactory elements which detracted from any potential solving pleasure. It came across as considerably less polished than we are accustomed to see, so I’m left wondering if this might have been the work of a new setter in the Tuesday slot?

    I found the following very disappointing:
    17a – The African region no longer exists, being renamed in 1994.
    21a – “..bit of a cow” is so inelegant
    30a – Unsure what the clue is trying to say and the second gentleman in particular is fairly obscure general knowledge

    3d – An exceptionally clunky surface which, like Gazza, I can’t decipher either
    7d – Another dubious surface

    Not my cup of tea I’m afraid. It’s a pity Rabbit Dave is away as I suspect he would have been more excoriating in his comments than me!

    Thank you to today’s setter and to Gazza.

    1. Yes – where is RD? Surely he must be back from sunning himself by now, not that I can talk having only been back for three weeks after a seven week gap. Come back, RD – we miss you! :-) Now that I’ve discovered how to do this I might as well use it again.

      1. ‘ere, missus – just coz you’ve learned how to do them doesn’t mean you can start using smiley faces willy-nilly! That’s wasting them, that is :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

    2. Likewise.
      Perhaps my head was not quite on it today.
      Learnt a couple of new definitions…9a, 13a.
      Dont get me started on Henry Purcell…
      Thanks to Gazza for the hints (I needed a couple) and to the setter, though I think Mr. Ron has had better days.
      Finally, and I hope this is the right place to say it, thoughts are with those caught up in the appalling tragedy in Brussells this morning.

      1. I agree re Brussels. First Paris, now Brussels, where else are these bolshies going to hit? They are terrorizing the world by proxy, making people wonder “who next”!

      2. Yes – I think it’s absolutely the right place to say it, as is anywhere, damn and blast them. Just waiting to hear from younger Pet Lamb’s best buddy since they were four years old who lives in Brussels – statistically she ought to be fine but . . .

    3. S. 17a: Clue should have been – Typical old city in old region of Africa.
      21a: Bit of a cow is mildly humorous, but logical and fine by me.
      30a: An excellent clue – perfectly easy to parse.
      3d: The wordplay is OP(erate) + ERA (time).
      7d: A good clue – simple to parse.

  20. Yeeuch. Ugly, ugly puzzle. I do so hate it when I solve a clue and am left feeling slightly nauseous at the frayed logic to the cluing. Thanks to Gazza for the review.

  21. Another good Tuesday puzzle, though I found 30a esoteric in the extreme. I bunged it in anyway, after confirming with my gizmo that it was the only word that fit.
    Fave was 21a. I never did get 7d, I keep forgetting the slang word for mouth.
    Thanks to setter, and to Gazza for unravelling 30a; you must have a very convoluted brain to get that!

  22. Started off very well but a couple really held me up. Didn’t realise that Attic meant classic although it had to be the answer and the BRB. Does give the definition, 19a was involved and 30a was dreadful.
    Using obscure historical figures is I feel the stamp of the lazy setter.
    Thx to all

    1. Obscure historical figures in 30a? What rubbish Brian – Ye Gods, the Henry is the SI unit for inductance after all, whilst Purcell died less than 20 years ago & was instrumental in developing what became MRI scanners, one of the commonly used medical diagnostic aids.

  23. Found this one a bit of an oddball puzzle – starting out with possibly the easiest piece of scientific equipment to identify and ending up with two rather obscure scientists. In between were some good ones like 19&21a plus 8d and a couple of slightly ‘iffy’ definitions in 11&25d.
    Not very keen on the use of ‘in’ for part of the 15a clue – the club isn’t ‘in’ the French word for ‘and’, it comes before it.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron for his/her efforts and to Gazza for a great blog. Loved the pic for 8d (I’m sure I can utilise that one at the Bird Group!) and enjoyed the reminder of that great partnership of Newman and Redford.

    1. Hi Jane. How is the U3A going? My mate Jeff says it stands for The University Of The Third Reich.

      1. Umm….. I’ve heard that some of the branches can be a bit like that. Fortunately, mine puts fun and friendship first and foremost – it’s given me an incredible local social life. The ‘learning’ aspect is looked upon as a bonus rather than the ‘be all and end all’.

  24. I enjoyed this, quite a lot. LOI was 30a. I could see what the answer was but like Gazza I had to do a bit of Google work to figure out why. Plenty of smiles but the favourite goes to 1a with 8d getting an early Easter Egg.

    Seem to remember getting held up a bit with 13a. It matters not as I managed to ride out over lunch so I have a big smile on my face.

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

  25. It’s quite amazing how we get such a spread of opinions on occasion. This was, depending on your point of view, enjoyable, fun, oddball, ugly, unenjoyable, yeeuch, pleasureable, comfortable, fairly easy and steady.

  26. Good afternoon everbody.

    Mostly straightforward today with just a handful briefly holding things up. Nothing particularly stood out but 7d and 26d took more more headscratching than they probably should have so I’ll nominate them as favourites.

    **/***

  27. Strange crossword in parts ***/*** 😁 Most answers were r & w but 30a! The answer was the only word that fitted but I had no idea why until Gazza explained TUVM 😉 I must confess to having agape as the answer for 7d thought 18 & 19a quite clever 😊 Quite enjoyable though, thanks to Gazza & the setter

  28. Rock and roll all the way. Bunged 30ac in safe in the knowledge that no further thought was needed because good old Gazza The Oracle would fill me in. I bet he cannot explain this though. Car. Used daily. 10,00 miles done this year. Full service and MOT. £160. John Deere Ride on lawn mower. Used about thirty times for one hour each time. Full service £379.00.

  29. I’m not quite sure what I thought of this because my attention span is gnatty today. Even writing this comment is – oh look, a squirrel! Some surfaces didn’t really satisfy me, but no grrs. I agree with Gazza that it wasn’t hard for the most part, but 30a caused a facepalm. I knew all the ingredients and how they should be combined, but they didn’t come together for aaages. I enjoyed the penny-drop moment very much even as I called myself an idiot.

    21a made me smile so gets today’s cream.

    Cleaning frenzy today chez Kitty. Tired of filth. Not that there was much filth, I hasten to add. Food soon, and then the question: do I have a go at the Toughie before bed or read a good book?

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for another flawless review.

  30. Bit of a Marmite puzzle today but love it or hate it we are much agreed on where the difficulties came. I very much rattled through on the train and felt rather smug until I came to the SE. 28a took me an inordinate length of time but once I had got it 26d came. Cannot understand why 26d took me so long as I was looking at alternate letters and thinking of synonyms for payments including the right one but still could not see it! Had to alight at St Pancras without 30a in despite going through the alphabet to fill all the gaps. Arrived at my destination ready to look at the hint and then saw the answer right away but needed the hint for the explanation. Would never have got that and could not see beyond the composer. First part of 25d easy – I like Roman numerals. Got the answer but I do not associate visit with stop. Am I missing something?

    1. e.g. We’re going to stop with (visit with) my grandmother. I think that ‘visit with’ is mainly a North American usage.

  31. Great tips and blog – love it! For the past week or so we have been able to see all the answers. The ‘click here’ mask seems to have fallen away. A tad frustrating when we are only looking for a clue.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Carol.
      A number of people have reported this problem and BD is working hard to get to the bottom of it. In the meantime please bear with us.

  32. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much. Some of it was read and write, but some of it made me think. Very nice overall. Needed the hints to parse 15a. I’d heard of Henry, but not Purcell, had all the checkers, so I bunged it in. Last in and favourite was 7d. Was 2*/3* for me.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Jeremy.
      A number of people have reported this problem and BD is working hard to get to the bottom of it. In the meantime please bear with us.

  33. My finish time was about ** for difficulty, but it felt like a struggle throughout. A couple of wrong guesses along the way didn’t help I guess. Thanks for the explanation for 30ac – I got the answer easily enough, but was somewhat bemused by the cryptic.

  34. Not mad on this one. No stand outs, and didn’t like 30a, 21a or 20d. Perhaps not our wavelength, but horses for courses. Couldn’t have finished it without Gazza’s hints & tips, and thanks to the setter. However, a very pleasant day in Teesdale and a few camping pods were painted in preparation for the Easter rush!

  35. In the ‘love it’ camp, as with yesterday’s. Both great for a learner. Thank you to both setters, Miffypops, Gazza and all participants. Still don’t get 20d though.

  36. A doddle apart from 30a, really. Say 1.5*/3*. Having spent the day readying my boat for her return to the water, l hope soon to be in a position to spin a 29a or two, so that’s my favourite. Thanks to the setter, and to Gazza.

  37. Enjoyable solve. I am always late finishing as now the days are a bit longer I am in the garden most of the day. This means I dont get to the puzzle until after dinner.
    Although 30a was obvious I didnt understand why untill looking at the blog.
    two favourites 19a and21a.

  38. Beaten by 30a.
    To my shame.
    Never heard of those two but that’s no excuse as I should have realised the methodology.
    Must try harder, next time.
    Otherwise a very enjoyable tussle.
    Many thanks to the setter.
    And to Gazza for the review.

  39. Can I ask why the answers are now shown in plain text and not hidden under a button any more. It means that we have to somehow screen the answers from view if all we want is a little guidance. (We are using Windows 10).

    1. Welcome to the blog, Merlin.
      The answers are still being hidden but the facility is currently not working for some people. Big Dave is working to resolve the problem.

  40. All over too quickly for me. Nothing too strenuous and no particular favourites.
    1.5/2* overall.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza

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