DT 28074 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28074

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28074

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

There’s nothing too scary for the gee-gees today. Most of my time this morning was spent in trying to find the origin of the 1a term. 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 Sensational duck, wicket given after loud shout (6)
YELLOW – the letter that resembles a duck in cricket and the abbreviation for wicket follow a loud shout. The answer describes a sensational, lurid type of journalism that has little regard for the facts. It derives from the newspaper circulation war in New York in the 1890s but there is no agreement on the origin of the term – it may either relate to the colour of the ink sometimes used or to a popular cartoon character.

5a Unfair contest? Short young lady lighter (8)
MISMATCH – the title of a young lady without its last letter (short) is followed by something used to light or set burning.

10a Trim  tree with pendulous cones (6)
SPRUCE – double definition, the first an adjective meaning neat in dress and appearance.

11a Piece of pork, free on bar (5,3)
SPARE RIB – an adjective meaning free or not currently in use is followed by a strengthening bar or strut.

12a Hotel’s restraint must be misplaced, ultimately (2,3,4,6)
IN THE LAST RESORT – an anagram (must be misplaced) of HOTEL’S RESTRAINT.

16a Skittle 17 out — high point (8)
PINNACLE – another word for a skittle followed by an anagram (out) of the answer to 17d.

18a Wrong having commercial break (6)
ADRIFT – charade of a commercial and a break or crack.

20a Agree, surprisingly, about introduction of grunge style of music (6)
REGGAE – an anagram (surprisingly) of AGREE contains the introductory letter of grunge.

21a How mate’s changed a bit (8)
SOMEWHAT – an anagram (changed) of HOW MATE’S.

22a One banned, diplomatically, from Goa? So partner Ann broadcast (7,3,5)
PERSONA NON GRATA – our third anagram in a row (broadcast) of GOA SO PARTNER ANN.

27a Not the main attraction in area, plant storing hydrogen (8)
SIDESHOW – the name used for a city area (as in ‘the lower east **** in Manhattan’) is followed by a verb to plant or seed containing the chemical symbol for hydrogen.

28a Rule in gaming over non-members (6)
GOVERN – lurking in the clue.

29a Quits just after Goran’s first service (8)
EVENSONG – an adjective meaning quits or level is followed by a preposition meaning ‘just after’ and the first letter of Goran.

30a Rant in exchange about onset of inflation (6)
TIRADE – a verb to exchange or swap contains the first letter of inflation.

Down Clues

2d Thoughtful to support former partner, and costly! (9)
EXPENSIVE – an adjective meaning thoughtful or reflective follows (to support, in a down clue) the short word for a former partner.

3d Number haggling with a US criminal? (8,3)
LAUGHING GAS – in Crosswordland a flower can be something that flows so a number can be something that numbs. This is an anagram (criminal) of HAGGLING and A US.

4d Go round with list (5)
WHEEL – the abbreviation for ‘with’ followed by a verb to list (like a ship with an uneven load).

6d Popular place getting contribution (5)
INPUT – charade of an adverb meaning popular or trendy and a verb to place.

7d Mingle with grockles, initially, in pool (5)
MERGE – insert the initial letter of grockles in a pool or pond. Grockles is the somewhat derogatory term used for holidaymakers by some people in my part of the world.

8d Body temperature, approximately (5)
TORSO – the abbreviation for temperature and a phrase (2,2) meaning approximately.

9d Bowler perhaps receiving a mouthful in home ground (7)
HABITAT – what a bowler is an example of contains A (from the clue) and a mouthful or morsel.

13d Felt hat put back on after ending of nuptials (7)
STETSON – the instruction written on a document to put back or restore the original text is followed by the end letter of nuptials and ON (from the clue).

14d Actual capital of mythical royal domain (5)
REALM – an adjective meaning actual or concrete and the first letter (capital) of mythical.

15d Drink with team in small club (11)
SCREWDRIVER – insert a team or gang between the abbreviation for small and a type of golf club.

17d Laundered? Caught by bank (5)
CLEAN – the abbreviation used in cricket scorecards for caught is followed by a verb to bank or incline.

19d Sweet-talked female, embarrassed accepting coffee (9)
FLATTERED – the abbreviation for female and an adjective meaning embarrassed contain what you may order from a barista.

20d Swift reply from king that is sent round office (7)
RIPOSTE – an abbreviation for king or rex and the abbreviation for ‘that is’ contain an office or job.

23d Go on horseback astride good saddle (5)
RIDGE – saddle here is a geographical feature. A verb to go on horseback contains the abbreviation for good.

24d Watering hole, old, unaltered (5)
OASIS – O(ld) followed by a phrase (2,2) meaning unaltered.

25d Nut, a small hard growth (5)
ACORN – A (from the clue) followed by a small hard growth on one’s foot.

26d Weird thing, darkness (5)
NIGHT – an extremely easy anagram (weird) of THING.

My favourite clue today was 3d. Which one(s) beguiled you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: INK + EWE + BAIT = INCUBATE

93 comments on “DT 28074

  1. Just trying to see if I’m going to be able to post a comment – tried earlier and was told that I had to enter a valid email address.

  2. As Gazza said, nothing to scare the horses today. 1a was a new expression for me too but Google sorted that out for me. Thanks to setter and to Gazza for his review and hints.

  3. Nothing untoward with this one almost a R&W. 3D was also my favourite today, many thanks to the setter & Gazza for his review plus a big special thanks to BD for all his efforts in resolving the site issues.

  4. If you have time, today’s “toughie” won’t scare any horses either – has anyone ever shown a cryptic crossword to a horse and did they do anything other than want to eat the newspaper??

    1. No. But you have given me a great idea. I am going to find an Elgar puzzle (brilliant but terrifying) and show it to them.

      I shall explain that this is a scary thing. Pheasants are not scary and don’t want to eat horses but puzzles can be scary. Brilliant.

      Love it. :-)

  5. Definitely in the R&W category today, with the exception of 1a, where I struggled to justify ‘sensational’. Toyed with the idea of ‘bellow’ for a while but couldn’t make that work either. Many thanks for doing the homework for us, Gazza.
    3d definitely gets a place on the honours board but my favourite was 8d.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to the shining knight.

  6. Pretty straightforward today without much cause to LOL. Can’t really pinpoint a Fav. Thanks Mr. Ron and Gazza.

  7. I agree – no neurotic nags around here so 2* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    I’d never heard of 1a meaning sensational but it had to be what it was.
    Missed the anagram indicator in 3d for ages which was silly – it did look like a pretty unlikely answer for a while.
    I also got into a pickle with 12a – realised it was an anagram and just bunged in ‘at the last minute’ without thinking too much – fairly quickly sorted out but oh dear!
    There seemed to be quite a few answers that needed a first letter of another word in the clue to be put in.
    I liked 11a and 3 and 7d. My favourite was 15d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to gazza.
    Going to try Toughie but should probably cut grass before it rains . . .

    1. Re 3d, have you noticed how number hardly ever has the “counting” meaning these days? My first thought is always anaesthetic.

  8. I can’t see why “on” can mean “just after”. Am I missing something obvious? (“On Friday” means what it says, not Saturday at 00.01am!)
    Many thanks to Gazza, the setter, and Big Dave who’s doing a sterling job.
    PS Just been told I am “posting comments too quickly – slow down”. Encouraging to one who types at a snail’s pace.

    1. I’m with you Chris – there is no way you could replace “just after” by “on in either of the phrases “Just after the winning post”, or “just after the hotel”.
      “On leaving the hotel” to means translates to “When leaving the hotel”

  9. A pretty tame puzzle but bunged in 1a. Easy enough to get the answer but couldn’t figure out why it was correct. Ta Gazza. Learnt something new.

    The rest was plain sailing

    I agree about 3d being my favourite too but 15d came a close second.

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

    So cold on the moors. Right that’s it! I’m going to have some honey.

  10. An enjoyable crossword.I don’t think I have heard of the term in 1a before , though it was fairly clued.
    Thanks Gazza and setter.

  11. Straightforward – even for 1a which I got from Chambers crossword dictionary. Tuesdays seem to be the easiest day of the week now (for me at least). Favourite for me was 15d. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for explaining 1a.

  12. Hi BD,
    I have just read your note about the problems that you have been having and what you have done to resolve them.Well done. On behalf of other users I would like to thank you because,to most of us there would be a big hole in the day. By not completing the puzzles (except Thursday’s). So,thank you for your efforts.
    On a personal level I am not getting my daily e.mail with the clues explained and answers given. Do I have to apply again?

  13. An OK crossword but somewhat spoilt by 1a which was ridiculous and a leap of faith clue in 4d, no indication that one needed to use the abbreviation for with. Although both clues were easily solvable they indicate to me sloppiness on the part of the setter.
    For me **/**
    Thx to all

    1. The indication that you need to use the abbreviation for the word with in 4d is the inclusion of the word ‘with’ in the clue.

  14. 1*/3*. I thought this was going to be tough as on my first pass I only completed the two long anagrams. Then suddenly I got onto the setter’s wavelength and everything then went in as R&W. I had no particular favourite but it was nice to see such generally economical cluing.

    I didn’t know that 1a could mean sensational, but the answer was obvious from the wordplay and I confirmed it in my BRB.

    The rather obscure “grockles” seems an odd choice of word in 7 when anything beginning with a G which gives a smooth surface (e.g.: “girls”) would do. I like the construction for 8d, but isn’t it overdoing it slightly to use something so similar in 24d as well?

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza.

    1. I rather like the word “Grockle”

      What is the difference between a “grockle” and an “emmet”?

      Maybe someone from the south-west could explain?

      1. Emmet is specifically Cornish. Grockle was originally used in Devon but has spead a bit.

        1. Brockley was introduced to me years ago in a letter to the DT from John Fowles complaining about the annual influx to Lyme Regis. I rang him and asked if he’d do a 1,000 word oped piece expanding on his views. He said sure, when do you want it? About 5 o’clock? Oh no, it’ll take me at least three weeks. It seems that time moves very slowly in Dorset. He did it, though, and it was one of the most erudite rants I’ve ever read.

  15. Loved the constructs at 8d and 24d. A charming puzzle which I enjoyed greatly. Ta to all concerned.

  16. I’m familiar with the 1A term but didn’t know it’s origins. This was over far too quickly, but pleasant enough. No particular favorites. Thanks Gazza and setter.

  17. Pretty straightforward on the whole, although there seemed to be a disproportionate number of “select initial/single letter and insert” type of clues. Like RD, “grockles” in 7d struck me as odd, as did “Goran” in 29a when he has been retired for quite some time. Why not “Gasquet” or someone else current?

    I really liked the use of “approximately” in 8d and “unaltered” in 24d. Favourite was 3d, clever disguise of “number”.

    Enjoyable stuff, many thanks to today’s setter and to Gazza.

    1. You obviously think like pommers – as he’s just said exactly the same words to me”

      1. Haha, no offence taken, we’re not alone though, Miffypops is another to mention those two clues!

  18. I thought this was going to be a snorter but with perseverance managed the whole lot except for 29a. The rest took some teasing out but being a bear with little brain I’m quite pleased.
    Ants to Gazza, setter no of course BD.

  19. Oh dear, our Gravatars seem to have done a bunk but I notice Gazza and Cryptic Sue have still got theirs or possibly retrieved them?

    1. Yours seems OK! I suspect it is because they have admin access. I could be wrong. That’s not uncommon.

      And now mine has appeared.

      1. Oh yes Hanni, hey presto there’s my long lost garden gravatar again. Thank you BD if you maka de fix for me.

    2. Looks like they are OK’ish again now. I certainly have my gravatar.
      Weirdly though Hanni’s posts at 5 & 10 have a generic one whereas the one above is fine.
      Poor BD must be tearing his hair out!

  20. 1a had me foxed – I had ‘bellow’ – and the expression was new to me…..otherwise I was slow to get going but it all came together…..**/** …..

  21. 1*/3* from me too. Mr Ron in benign mood today apart from the totally obscure 1 across. It didn’t hold me up as it had to be what it was, but it’s the sort of clue that if you were asked it as a question, you wouldn’t have a chance of getting it right. That aside, this was enjoyable while it lasted, so many thanks to the aforementioned and Gazza for his review.

  22. Mr Ron definitely in benign mood today – got all but 1 of the downs and over half of the acrosses. So 1* / 3* for us.

    Like everyone else we got 1a fairly easily but had to check in the BRB what it meant – new term for both of us.

    Fave for me was 7d – I don’t really want to do this with the grockles though at the apartment. Yuck – visitors best avoided. And also like 12a where the “ultimately” was the definition rather “take the last letter” type of clue.

    So thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza for the blog.

    OMG – pommers has just declared it summer. He’s been and changed into his shorts and flipflops

    1. I hope it’s warm and he hasn’t just taken to randomly getting changed??? If it’s the latter I’d send him to the pub.

      1. 24C according to the airport weather centre and it’s usually a couple of degrees warmer inland where we are.

        I’ll go to the pub anyway!

      2. As you can see Hanni – I never have to send him to the pub, he goes of his own accord !!!! :D

            1. Now I get it. I just thought you were at the airport or something. Looks like you’re in for a nice week.

  23. Hi all. Only my second posting, but also my first (non bank-holiday) day off this year and it’s amazing how having the time to attempt the crossword without pressure of work makes a huge difference. Not ready to start ranking yet, but managed to complete it with no need to look at the hints and only a little help to derive 15d. 1a was also new to me, but got the right answer through elimination – thanks for the explanation. Looking forward to tomorrow’s – let’s see if the day off theory continues to hold :-)

  24. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. Quite an enjoyable puzzle. No real problems except for 1a, which I got wrong. I put bellow. Had never heard of this meaning of yellow, very interesting. Favourite was 3d. Was 2*/3* for me. Sun’s out now in Central London.

  25. Apart from 1a , this was straightforward .Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza because I finished it so quickly, */*** I went on to try the Toughie which usually leaves me floundering and finished it for the first time wow !

      1. :-) It works but not really a fair test as I logged in before trying. Will log out before trying again over in the ‘other’ place.

  26. Turning into a good day. Husband is decorating the shower room and I’ve completed both this crossword and the Toughie without needing any hints. Hooray. Thanks to setters and bloggers.

  27. Hello Dave
    I have not been able to get a Telegraph today. It does not appear to have reached Ashburton.
    I am trying build the grid but find it difficult.
    Would you please be able to send it to me.

  28. Yes, good puzzle today, very enjoyable. I lazily scribbled ‘RODEO’ into 23d once I had R_D__, serves me right, hence last in was 29a, which I thought was an excellent clue.
    Never heard the use of 1a, but once the scream was deciphered, it was pretty obvious.
    Lots of other good clues, 22a, 5a, 15d…
    I am getting better at this, I am even contemplating the Toughie, though I am worried that the experience could set me back years!!
    Thanks to Gazza for excellent hints, though I would have liked to have seen Bob Marley make a guest appearance for 20a!!
    Thanks to the setter

      1. I have done the NE corner, once the obvious Dickens novel went in (don’t bother read it!!). I have yet to solve any clue by the wordplay though!! I have checked the hints once I have the answer and I have to say that the wordplay is very complex and I can see it will take a long time to get my head around it.
        Thanks for the boot up the arse to give it a go though….

    1. Hi – Hfyd. Today’s Toughie does not live up to it’s name. Have a go as I’m sure you’ll enjoy the experience.

    2. If I had blogged today’s Toughie as a back pager it would have got **/**** and it was only just into ** time.

  29. An enjoyable romp through ‘back page land’. Definitely nothing to scare off Neddy (my trusty steed) but a lot of fun to be had nonetheless.

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

    The Toughie is very do-able – well worth a go.

  30. Good afternoon everybody.

    Took a while to get going (first in 20a) but subsequently straightforward enough. Wasn’t keen on 1a, 3d,10a, 18a and 29a. Favourite was probably 28a, although the disguise was certainly aided by the clue’s layout in the newspaper.


  31. Had bellow for 1a which couldn’t work at all, so many thanks for sorting that obscurity out.
    Otherwise a very enjoyable solve for me, one of the many at entry level who need the hints.

    Thank you to the setter and to Gazza.

    Special thanks to Big Dave for all his work with this site.

  32. Started off badly as for some reason I could only see the top line of each clue, but scrolling down sorted that. Then I didn’t see the first L in the clue in 7d, which caused a double take. After that I got reasonably smoothly through it, and thought they were entertaining clues. 8d reminded me of 24d, and I liked both. Also liked 16a.
    Thanks to the setter and Gazza – I did chuckle at your ‘with’ response.

  33. **/*. Finished ok but didn’t enjoy this puzzle at all. Too many (correct) bung ins with little joy in retrospective rationale. Nevertheless, thanks to the setter and Gazza for the review.

  34. Glad that Gazza spent some time finding why the answer in 1a was what it appeared to be from the obvious parsing.
    Had the same problem with 23d. Couldn’t reconcile the answer with “saddle”.
    Apart from these two, the rest fell in smoothly like a letter in the post box 📮.
    Also glad to see that many had a go at the toughie.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review

    1. J-L C. 23d: Yes, I couldn’t reconcile, either – the wordplay/definition seems to be the opposite of the answer, not synonymous with it.

  35. Oh woe, the WordPress gremlins struck again. One problem follows another. At least today the crossword was not one of them. Like Jane and others I considered bellow for 1a but that seemed less plausible than the right answer. Thanks to Gazza for the extra information there.

    I liked the smooth surface of 21a, the surface also of 2d and the 9d home ground.

    26d had me reflecting that it is in fact light which is the strange thing. Is it a particle or is it a wave? Is it in fact nothing of the sort and part of a much stranger universe than we have any conception of. My money’s on the last.

    To bring things back down to a base level, 15d had me working out the (admittedly obvious) alternative clue,
    Sex initiator’s tool (11).

    With thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

    1. LOL.
      How about as another alternative??? ‘Tool for an alternative way to pay for a taxi?’

  36. Very gentle – maybe half a star – but amusing in places. I liked 18a and 3d, and can’t really decide between them. Ta to Mr Ron and Gazza.

  37. Definitely * for difficulty, **** for enjoyment value. If I could have remembered how to spell 20d, having foolishly decided I didn’t need the cryptic, it would have been even quicker. The grid felt a bit odd, with some overly generous checking – 22ac being the prime culprit.

  38. Quite enjoyable but a couple of clues a bit obscure for me. I got them, but more by ESP than sound reasoning…eg 1a and 3d. I liked 15d and 9d. 1*/3* thanks to setter ans Gazza..needed the explanations for the above mentioned..

  39. It’s a long time since I can remember a puzzle this easy.
    Fave 15d, with 3D as runner up.
    Thanks to setter and to Gazza for his review.

  40. Over far too quickly. 2/2* overall and fave clue 8d.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the fine review.

  41. Well done setter for throwing me with 29a and 15d. I should really have got both of those. They weren’t that difficult. Favourite was 3d. Thank you Gazza for the review. If Hanni is still around, sorry I didn’t reply last night. I fell off to sleep. Had to go back in this morning and look at the review as I was convinced I hadn’t said thank you to Miffypops and the setter. In the end, all was well. Choir going well thank you Hanni. Big concert in a couple of weeks.

    1. Hi Florence.

      It’s OK. I’ve actually fallen asleep over my laptop before. :-)

      Yay! What are you singing?

        1. Golly…we have circus secrets on the other side and choir ones here. How intriguing. Can’t wait to hear how it went and fingers crossed. :-)

  42. Enjoyable but stumped by 1a, ended up putting in “bellow” as it seemed about the only thing that would fit. Realised I was wrong after checking the blog. Annoying after getting everything else right.

  43. Definition of 1a was new to me, but it couldn’t have been anything else. I doubt, though, that yellow ink was behind it. Newspapers didn’t get colour until decades later – and in this country, not for nearly a century. Clues were a mixture of gimmes and slightly dodgy definitions, but the very friendly grid helped no end. I’ll plump for 8d to get the cuddly toy. VMTs to setter and Gazza. 2*/3*

    1. According to Wikipedia the “New York World” newspaper introduced colour in 1896.
      In 1896, the World began using a four-color printing press; it was the first newspaper to launch a color supplement, which featured the Yellow Kid cartoon Hogan’s Alley. It joined a circulation battle with William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal American.

      1. I know, but I don’t count colour supplements as newspapers. We had colour supplements in Britain long before we had colour newspapers. Most of my career has been spent in black and white

  44. Gazza, 23d: To me, saddle and ridge are not synonymous – they’re almost opposites. A saddle is a concave, rounded, depressed, valley-like area surrounded on two sides by higher features (as your diagram) whereas a ridge is a long, elevated, sharply convex land formation with two (often steeply) sloping sides. Am I wrong (again)?

    1. You’re including an extra S in your email address which sent this comment into moderation.
      I think you’re right – it’s not the same as a ridge although it is a part of a ridge. The ODE defines it as “a low part of a ridge between two higher points or peaks”.

      1. Thanks, G – just sent a reply to J-L C with an extra S also – why am I doing that? Must be an “age thing”. But have got it right with this one.

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