DT 28092 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28092

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28092

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

This is my last back-page blog for the time being – from next week a new mystery blogger will be taking on the responsibility for the hints and tips on Tuesdays. I hope that everyone will give him or her a rapturous welcome.

This one’s not terribly difficult but it does have a few examples (e.g. 4d and 23d) where the definition requires a bit of thought. I didn’t notice it as much when solving but when I was writing the hints I became conscious that I was using the word ‘abbreviation’ an awful lot.

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 Regularly keen, therefore I am full of this, ultimately? (10)
ENTHUSIASM – this is an all-in-one clue, where the definition is the whole clue. Join regular letters from ‘keen’ and an adverb meaning therefore then add ‘I AM’ (from the clue) containing the ultimate letter of [thi]S.

6a Bird‘s caught — frown when head and tail are removed (4)
CROW – a cricket abbreviation for caught is followed by the word frown without its first and last letters.

9a After church, get a very loud teasing (5)
CHAFF – string together an abbreviation for church, A (from the clue) and the musical abbreviation meaning very loud.

10a I make a mark in one car’s front — and a learner’s the same (9)
IDENTICAL – there are no less than six little pieces to be assembled for this nine-letter word. I (from the clue) is followed by a verb to ‘make a mark or depression in’, the Roman numeral for one, the front letter of car, A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for a learner driver.

12a Pull at belt (7)
ATTRACT – a charade of AT and an area of land (belt, as in ‘the green belt’).

13a Seal — a nocturnal animal? Not right (5)
BADGE – a nocturnal, burrowing, animal without his final R[ight].

15a Drunk diner — we blame this? (3,4)
RED WINE – an anagram (drunk) of DINER WE.

17a A cricket club involved in run out with no backing up — one’s got black eyes! (7)
RACCOON – A and the abbreviation for cricket club go inside the abbreviation for ‘run out’. Finally add a reversal (backing up) of NO.

19a Very fine female lost rag over sauce (7)
VINEGAR – string together the abbreviation for very, the word ‘fine’ without the abbreviation for female and the word RAG reversed (over).

21a Picks clubs and hearts over diamonds and spades (7)
CHOICES – the definition here is a noun, not a verb. Start with the abbreviations for clubs, hearts and over. Now add a slang word for diamonds and the abbreviation for spades.

22a Portion of salade nicoise, piled high (5)
LADEN – concealed in the clue.

24a A battle to get a French female to come round, unconscious (7)
UNAWARE – A and an extended battle go inside the feminine form of the French indefinite article.

27a Eli struggling with Elgar’s long passages (9)
GALLERIES – an anagram (struggling) of ELI and ELGAR’S.

28a Volunteers knocked back by temperature — one cold room! (5)
ATTIC – reverse the old abbreviation for our part-time volunteer soldiers and add the abbreviation for temperature, the Roman numeral for one and the abbreviation for cold.

29a Outstanding first bit of tart — a piece for two (4)
DUET – an adjective meaning outstanding or ‘not yet paid’ followed by the first letter of tart.

30a Share ‘er American money with young servant outside (10)
PERCENTAGE – ER (from the clue) and a US monetary unit with a young male servant around them.

Down Clues

1d Gag not beginning to make a deep impression (4)
ETCH – gag here is a verb meaning to heave or be on the point of vomiting. Take away its first letter.

2d Great Dane barking — one provides food and drink (3,6)
TEA GARDEN – an anagram (barking) of GREAT DANE.

3d Item about France being out of shape (5)
UNFIT – put a single item around the IVR code for France.

4d Monkey I’m with that is eating rubbish (7)
IMITATE – monkey here is a verb and it can apparently mean to mimic or ape, though I can’t recall ever having seen it used in that way. Start with I’M (from the clue) and add the abbreviation for ‘that is’ containing a word for rubbish or cheap and poor quality goods.

5d Nicer pudding taken to the Queen (7)
SWEETER – a pudding or dessert followed by our Queen’s regnal cipher.

7d Rushed ruddy sandwiches roughly over (5)
RACED – a ruddy colour contains (sandwiches) the reversal of an abbreviation meaning roughly or approximately.

8d New dress I ordered around west end of Lambeth — a desolate place (10)
WILDERNESS – an anagram (ordered) of NEW DRESS I contains the leftmost letter (west end) of Lambeth.

11d To reversing taxi, starts to call out: ‘Put that in your pipe and smoke it!’ (7)
TOBACCO – join together TO, the reversal of a taxi and the starting letters of ‘call’ and ‘out’.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

14d Pedant admitting awful editor must be indulged (10)
PRIVILEGED – on this blog we like pedants for their accurate and precise use of language but in the clue pedant is a sanctimonious person who is critical of others’ failings. Put a word for such a person around an adjective meaning awful or repulsive. Finally, add the usual abbreviation for editor.

16d Genuine criminal’s innocent (7)
INGÉNUE – the definition (innocent) here is a noun meaning someone who’s young and naive. It’s an anagram (criminal) of GENUINE.

18d Arranged to search to save miner, finally — one could be in the pit (9)
ORCHESTRA – an anagram (arranged) of TO SEARCH contains (to save, in the sense of protect) the final letter of miner.

20d Usual way to squeeze in (7)
ROUTINE – a way or course containing (to squeeze) IN.

21d Conservative girl in charge? Excellent (7)
CLASSIC – string together the single-letter abbreviation for Conservative, a girl and the abbreviation for ‘in charge’.

23d Fish — 55 found in river (5)
DELVE – insert the Roman number 55 into the name of a river (of which there are several in the UK, including one in North Wales and one in Scotland). Fish here is a verb meaning to rummage around in search of something.

25d A profit — not for the first time! (5)
AGAIN – A and a profit.

26d Amount of land in far corner, oddly cropped (4)
ACRE – ‘far corner’ with the odd letters cropped or removed.

I liked 1a and 15a but my favourite clue, which is very clever, was 21a. Which were your 21a?

Today’s Quickie Pun: PASSED + TENTS = PAST TENSE

94 comments on “DT 28092

  1. 2*/4*. I enjoyed this. Three quarters went in quickly but the SW corner slowed me up slightly.

    Like Gazza, I hadn’t come across that meaning of monkey in 4d before, but I suppose the linguistic connection is ape. 21a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and especially to you, Gazza, for all your consistently concise and amusing reviews. You will be a hard act to follow,

  2. haha, 14d did feel like a dig at us pedants. I wasn’t very inspired at first but did find some clues I enjoyed: the “lost rag over” in 19a, and 21a using all four suits. And I like all-in-ones so I enjoyed 1a. I was struggling with the hidden at 22a because I had mentally stripped the “e” from salade – must remember to look at the clue!

    thanks setter and Gazza – who’s the comedian? ( ah, Jane has answered). Thanks for all your back page blogging, I take it you’re continuing with the toughie?

  3. What a great start to the day. I do enjoy this Tuesday setter’s puzzles – virtually ‘read and write’ but always spot on for accuracy and full of fun. Then that hilarious reminder of Bob Newhart’s tobacco conversation with Sir Walter!
    Top two for me were 1&21a.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron (wish you would reveal yourself) and to our lovely Gazza for the excellent blog.
    No more Tuesday back-page reviews from the knight in shining armour? Please don’t desert us completely – some of us would be lost without your all-encompassing crossword skills.

    1. Hi Jane. I’m not disappearing – I’ll be carrying on with the Wednesday Toughie blog.

      1. Thank goodness for that, Gazza. Thought I might have to ask BD to set up a ‘Gazza hot-line’!

  4. I must be taking the right drugs as I managed to complete by 0900!! And for a doughnut like me to do that, is some achievement.
    Thanks to Gazza for the hints, enjoy your time off.
    Thanks to Mr Ron.
    PS Congratulations to Peterhouse, Cambridge for a stunning performance last night in the final of University Challenge, it’s almost unnatural how much those young people know!!!

      1. Many thanks MP.
        Last in was 14d, so that’s my fav.
        I also enjoyed 17a, due to the cricket connections, and like Gazza, 21d was a clever clue.
        I am even contemplating the Toughie to bring me down to earth

  5. Not sure about this one. Too much Lego. Not enough mystique. The camping field is mown. The three lawns are mown. More turf ( not much ) has been laid. Raspberry canes have been dug out and planted elsewhere. What next I ask? Thanks very much to Gazza and all the best to whomsoever is taking the chair next week. Thanks also to our mystery setter. The quickie was a piece of cake too.

  6. Made a note on completion for a */***, as it was a bit R and W, but well clued; this seems to be the general consent on reading the blog. Liked the surface of 17a, I would feel pleased to have constructed constructed such a clue, well done setter -and Gazza for the pic.

  7. :cry: Oh – that’s really sad. I’ll miss you and your Tuesday hints, gazza. I’ve almost finished drying my soggy little eyes . . .
    Right, now the crossword. Like Jane I enjoyed this one – just goes to show that they don’t have to be tricky to be fun. I agree with 2* difficulty – nearer 4* for enjoyment.
    I spent too long being foxed into thinking that 27a was a long musical passage – presumably exactly as the setter intended – I’m easily fooled.
    I didn’t know the 4d kind of monkey and had to look it up to check.
    With 14d I immediately thought of RD – I’m quite sure he’s not a prig – are they really the same?
    I liked 15 and 21a and 2 and 11d. My favourite was 23d.
    With thanks to Mr Tuesday Ron and to gazza – not just for the hints today but for all the previous Tuesdays – I imagine the novel wears off after so long. Welcome to our new Tuesday blogger.

    I bumped into a friend this morning who told me she’d recently read something about internet trolls and how crossword blogs were, of all the blogs around, least afflicted. She also said that she only knows that there’s any such animal because of me.

    1. PS – Last time we had 17a as an answer I spent the rest of the day wandering around the garden singing “Rocky Racoon” – I can see that today is going to be the same!

          1. I put it on YouTube Kath with lyrics, I forgot I had autoplay on and now I have Her Majesty going around my head with the occasional raccoon popping in.

            That’s it. I’m putting Astral Weeks on.

              1. It’s really hitting the spot MP. The trouble is I’m not doing any work, just listening. Ahh well.

                I’ve just noticed that on the side of my CD, the writing is what I think is Korean. Cool.

  8. Nice sunny day, nice straightforward crossword 😎 **/*** Thanks to Gazza & to the Setter 👍 Liked 10a & 29a and the Bob Newhart clip 🤗 Will miss Gazza’ s Tuesday blog 😢

  9. Nothing to scare the equine world today. 14d made me smile and think of the blogs resident pedants. Also liked 1, 15 and 27a.

    Many thanks to the setter, nice solve.

    Gazza you will be very missed on a Tuesday here but I’m very happy we shall still see you on the other side.

    Beautiful day here on the Moors. Is spring here?

    Why does the animal in 17a always look like it’s up to something?

      1. You could be right. They all look like they have clearly just robbed a bank…or are going to.

      2. Hi Jane,
        There are raccoons round here and, while they might look cute and mischievous, they can be vicious. Even worse than those penguins Brian was describing the other day.

  10. Just realised that I didn’t need any outside references whatsoever while solving, which is always a joy.
    A nice selection of clues with clear indicators made it easy I suppose.
    Favourite is 21a as all the cards made an appearance.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza who shall be missed and I have an idea of who might take over. Bring on next Tuesday.

  11. The only problem I had was accepting that 19A is a sauce. Enjoyable puzzle. 15A is my favorite today. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza. See you on the other side, and hopefully as a NTSPP setter before too long!

  12. I have just counted fifteen Lego bricks in the first four clues. At this rate there will be more Lego bricks than the highest number I can count up to by clue number thirty two. Even the delightful 21ac has five bricks. Never mind the lovely anagram at 27ac reminded me of The Rose And Crown at Huish Episcopal. I think,I’ll have a pint.

  13. I didn’t notice the number of abbreviations, but did notice the number of –s in the middle of clues. Pleasant puzzle, gentle enough for me not to require hints, and 21a was a fantastic clue, a clear stand out for me.
    Thanks for all the hints Gazza, and thanks to the setter, too.

      1. The number of dashes in the middle of the clues: 6a, 10a, 13a, 15a, 17a, 28a, 29a, 2d, 8d, 18d, 23d, 25d. It’s a useful device, but in most cases separates the definition from the wordplay which may explain why the puzzle was quite easy.

        1. I never noticed that either and never really thought about it as a solving device. But I see what you mean.

  14. Red letter day! First time I have completed this crossword without electronic aid or use of books. I am not going to read the other comments in case you all say how terribly easy this was! 21A was my favourite. 13A and 4D were the last to go in.

      1. Framboise, I’m hoping you know someone called Martin Smith that once did? If not, that is potentially the most random question I’ve ever come across on the blog! :grin:

  15. Managed to finish without any help, but cant say I really enjoyed it very much. Too many answers taking a letter from here and there. Cant work out who the setter is.Many thanks to Gazza for the hints and have an enjoyable break.

  16. Over far too quickly but very enjoyable nevertheless. Thanks to the setter and Gazza for the review. It will be cooler today but only a little from the 27 degrees yesterday. Bliss!

  17. I must have forgotten to put my thinking head on today as for a long time I had wide white spaces. Then suddenly it all clicked into place and I finished quite quickly. I agree with Miffypops that there was a lot of Lego involved, and I had no real favourites, but it was an enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to Gazza and the setter.

  18. Thanks for all the reviews Gazza. I’m glad that you’ll be continuing to blog weekly – and like Expat Chris have a hope that you might use some of the liberated time to create a few NTSPPs :).

    I enjoyed the crossword which was at a perfect level of difficulty for a post-Toughie wind down.

    9a brought to mind yesterday’s winnow.
    15a made me smile (it’s rather too appropriate for me).
    Did you know 27a is an anagram of allergies? I didn’t until today.
    I also wasn’t familiar with that meaning of monkey (4d).
    I thought there’d be noises about 14d. Quite rightly – RD is not a prig!

    Gazza has once again picked a favourite I agree with, so all that remains is for me to thank the setter.

  19. It had to happen one day, I disagree with my normal soulmate Rabbit Dave! At least Pete and I seem to be on the same wavelength today.

    I’m actually starting to believe that Tuesday backpagers are becoming the least enjoyable of the week, as there aspects of this particular setter that are not really to my taste. It seems to bear similar hallmarks to last Tuesday’s puzzle, although it could be someone different I suppose.

    There were at least three questionable definitions for me, although I accept that “monkey” is defined as “imitate” in Chambers, but “fish” meaning “delve” and “vinegar” declared a sauce certainly raised this solver’s eyebrows. There must be over one hundred examples of sauce listed in the Chambers Crossword Dictionary but vinegar isn’t one of them. I thought that 11d was screaming “aren’t I clever” and to use eight words to provide the definition was pretty self-indulgent. Like Snape, I thought the dashes were definitely overdone (twelve), as were the abbreviations. I shook my head at 21d and 25d, thinking surely these are too easy.

    The only clue I ticked, and therefore my favourite by default, was 26d.

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza, whose Tuesday backpage blogs I shall miss.

    1. S. Monkey = imitate and fish = delve are certainly not questionable definitions. But, I have to agree about vinegar being a “sauce” – surely it’s a condiment.

  20. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. A quite straightforward puzzle, but nonetheless enjoyable. Favourite was 21a, last in was 14d. Was 2*/3* for me.

  21. Completed this with no H&T and as yesterday really enjoyed it, having no idea who the setters are, could it be Rufus again today? A lot of the clues seem to have the same slant I don’ really know, just thinking aloud? One thing is, I seem to improve and learn a lot from the two setters so far this week, maybe it just suits “my style.” Don’t know? Hard to believe how much I have improved in just over a couple of months using this blog, from never hardly completing to this! I’m amazed. Only posted on here for just over two weeks.
    Thanks to you all.

    Favourite clue 10a and liked my last one in 13a

    Thanks for your help on Tuesday’s Gazza and the setter for today

    Rating 2.5 / 4

    1. Well done, Howitzer. I don’t know who the setter is but I’m fairly confident that it’s not Rufus.

  22. Was sorry to put my last answer in, finished too quickly. I really enjoyed today’s offering so many thanks to Mysteron. Thought 14d was so clever. Loved 17d but my vote for favourite is 23d. 2*/4* for me. Un grand merci to Gazza for his helpful hints to parse a few of my answers!

  23. I must be in a ” Lemony” mood today, as I found it relied so much on the recognised conventions of cryptic crosswords that I began to feel the setter was being sarcastic. ie 6a,9a,12a,25d,26d,and many others.
    It would appear that it is just me.
    Thanks Gazza, for all the blogs and I will look forward to Wednesday’s Toughie.

  24. Well for me that was probably the shortest walk in the park ever but nevertheless it was fun while it lasted. Thanks Mysteron and Gazza who will be sorely missed here – do please come back. Can’t wait to find out who will try to step into your shoes. No Favs */**.

  25. Fairly gentle with a few not so obvious definitions causing minor delays. We find it amazing how often and in how many ways 18d appears in cryptics. When we first looked at the clue we saw ‘arranged’ as the first word in the clue and as we had an O already thought ‘organised’ and tried to parse it. Didn’t take long to sort it out though. Pleasant solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza, Tuesday’s won’t be the same without you.

  26. Good evening everybody.

    Failed with 14d, 19a and 20d. 20d was clever the other two less so for me. Fortunately didn’t spend much time worrying about these omissions as somehow sensed I wasn’t going to solve them. One of my better calls…


  27. Maybe I’m just in a good mood tonight after a rather splendid lunch but I really enjoyed this one. Not very tricky but it seemed to hit the spot very nicely. **/**** from me.

    Agree with Gazza about the favourite as I was tempted by CHOOSES at first but couldn’t fully parse it so it didn’t go in – good move methinks. I don’t subscribe to the “bung it in and parse it later” school.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza. And to Gazza a very special thanks for all his sterling service over the years. Enjoy a well-earned reduction in work load.

    1. Yes indeed! Many thanks to Gazza!

      Not only Tuesdays … but also very, very many Friday Giovannis !

  28. Really enjoyed this again today. Mostly because it was doable but a little bit tricky in places too. I was reminded of “winnow” from yesterday with 9a and in more or less the same position too. 24a and 20d were the last ones in. Liked 1a, the first one straight in and so that gave me hope of a good solving day. Thanks to Gazza and the mystery setter and to all for the fun today.

  29. Most enjoyable, and thanks to this blog and you, Gazza, for steering me in the right direction, needing less e-help all the time.

  30. Late on parade today as Mrs YS and I have been walking a sizeable chunk of the SW Coastal Path in the a South Hams. Then we went straight out for a very pleasant Chinese meal. This is definitely the time of year to experience our wonderful country before the tourist season kicks off properly. And when the sun shines, as it did for twelve hours straight, who wants to be abroad?

    I think this late in the day it’s pretty much all been said. 18 down my favourite of a fairly comfortable but slightly lacklustre Tuesday offering. Not sure who set this one, but thanks anyway and to Gazza. 2*/3* my rating.

  31. Thank you garza for all the help you gave me when I first joined the blog in its early days … I think you were the first person I ‘spoke’ to … I always appreciate it … Thanks to you, big Dave, Gnomey and prolixic … I am now able to complete the cryptic each day albeit still needing some help most days … I hope u are well gazza and still perservating with the cryptic so njoy your break and hope to see you back before too long xx

    1. It’s amazing what auto-correct reading can do… Didn’t spot a single mistake.

          1. Mary invented the word – some sort of mix of “perspiration” & “perseverance” – I think?

            But I may be wrong.

        1. Indeed you are right Stan, in the early days of my being a regular on the blog, I worked really hard to finish the cryptics thus the perseverance and perspiration … these days I just perservate

            1. Really …almost 6 years???? frightening!!! And its still not an accepted word except on this blog … still if it has to be accepted anywhere, this is THE place :-) … thanks for that Dave … can always rely on you x

  32. Great puzzle today. Finished with minimal help. Favourites 15a and 27a. Thanks for all your help on the past Gazza. I won’t be moving on to the toughie for a while yet.

  33. I should just like to post my thanks for Gazza and his blogs and past help. Certainly I am very appreciative of them. I do not have the health and strength nowadays to post regularly like I once did but this blog is one I look at regularly. My very best wishes to the person taking over the Tuesday slot – a hard act to follow.

  34. First of all, I need to take a moment to thank Gazza, for his erudition, his skill, his use of English and his endless patience with those of us who can only aspire to his level. Tuesday night’s with a puzzle and a pint of Pride will not be the same. As I only get around to the Toughies sporadically and never on the day, I fear I may suffer from Gazza withdrawal symptoms.
    As for this Tuesday challenge, it all slotted together in pretty short order, but I share some of the grumbles already mentioned, particularly vinegar, which is at best a condiment. However, seeing as I have to get up with the lark for the doctor, I’m grateful to the mystery setter for such a straightforward challenge this evening. 1*/3*

    1. Tsrummer, I share you sentiments about Gazza, Very much so.

      And I do hope that whatever is going on with your shoulder ‘stuff’ soon resolves itself. Take care.

  35. Thanks Gazza and I hope I can graduate to Wednesdays Toughie. I liked this crossword. It has the sort of clues that you can use to explain to someone just starting how cryptic crosswords work with good examples of most types of clue. I didn’t find it too easy and the range of easy to harder clues was good.

  36. Only printed this off late last night, so just finished this morning. Thanks for the review Gazza. Couldn’t get my head around 19a. Never classed it as a sauce. Loved 21a so that’s my favourite. Thank you setter for an enjoyable puzzle.

    1. Vinegar for sauce did jar a bit with me but the ODE defines sauce as ‘a liquid or semi-liquid served with food to add moistness and flavour’ so on that basis I think it works ok.

      1. Hi Gazza. How about sauce as in cheek? My online definition is – sourness or peevishness of behaviour, character, or speech.

  37. Gazza

    Many thanks from me too for all your help over several years. Your skills and knowledge have been invaluable in my improvement. (Such as it is)

    One day I hope to get to the toughie more regularly and I hope I’ll be able to learn from you again.

    Many thanks

    1. You’ve made a slight change to your alias so your comment needed moderation. Both variants will work from now on.

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