DT 28118 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28118

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28118

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating — Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hello everyone. This is not a Ray T crossword – my first impression was that it was going to be a tricky one but once I got started things fell into place without too much trouble. I’ve given it a 2* for difficulty but, as always, I’m more than happy for anyone to disagree with me.

The answers are hidden under the things that say ANSWER so only do that it you need to see them.


1a            Drinks outlet belonging to criminal left in charge inside (3-7)
OFF-LICENCE — Start with a short word that means belonging to or derived from and follow that with a criminal who receives stolen goods which contains (inside) the abbreviations for L(eft) and I(n) C(harge).


6a            Report of star not working (4)
IDLE — A homophone (report of) a film star.

9a            Cases in which time is lost in game (5)
CHESS — These cases aren’t law suits or luggage – they’re the kind that might contain treasure – just take out (lost) the one letter abbreviation for T(ime).


10a         Carry off bit of a brightly-coloured suit in rally (4,5)
TAKE HEART — A word that means carry off or seize is followed by one of the suits in a pack of cards that’s red (brightly coloured).

12a         Noble ordered handy MG? It is seen as arrogant (4,3,6)
HIGH AND MIGHTY — Begin with another word for noble or aristocratic and follow that with an anagram (ordered) of HANDY MG IT.


14a         In East End, judge calls to get ornamental accessories (8)
EARRINGS — Another homophone (calls) – remove the letter that people living in the East End of London are supposed to drop.


15a         Duck coming from headland following two directions (6)
ESCAPE — Two points of the compass or directions are followed by another word for a headland or promontory.

17a         Tacit support derived from a global body? (6)
UNSAID — The two letter abbreviation for the global body responsible for peace keeping, with an ‘S that means derived from, is followed by another word for support or assistance.

19a         Firm with large mistake in ruin (8)
COLLAPSE — Begin with the usual two letters for a firm or business and follow them with the one letter abbreviation for L(arge) and another word for a mistake or omission.

21a         Porters active at work in entrepreneurial area (7,6)
PRIVATE SECTOR — An anagram (at work) of PORTERS ACTIVE

24a         Rash unionist, one originally taking part in drive (9)
IMPETUOUS — The abbreviation for U(nionist) and the first letter (originally) of O(ne) are contained in (taking part in) another word for drive or stimulus.

25a         Measure of intelligence about artist, one ME national (5)
IRAQI — Begin with the two letters used to measure a level of intelligence – inside them (about) you need another two letters, this time the ones usually used for an artist and all that lot is followed by the letter that looks like the Roman numeral for one.

26a         Standard kept by man or machine? (4)
NORM — Our first lurker of the day (kept by) – the answer is hidden in the last three words of the clue.

27a         Liable to be shot? (10)
PHOTOGENIC — Shot – with a camera rather than a gun.




1d            Head ignoring bishop previously (4)
ONCE — A slang word for your head (or a large marble) without its first letter, ignoring B(ishop)

2d            College student, one that was bound over, supported by that woman (7)
FRESHER — A reversal (over) of a slave or someone bound to work on the land is followed by (supported by) another way of saying that woman. For no particularly good reason the first bit of this one took me a while.


3d            Financing IT is reviewed as very minor (13)
INSIGNIFICANT — An anagram (reviewed) of FINANCING IT IS

4d            Trio in establishment going to shooting venue drive apart (8)
ESTRANGE — The first three letters (trio in) of EST(ablishment) are followed by (going to) a place where people go to shoot.

5d            Making use of a deck, get plastered (5)
CAKED — An anagram (making use of) of A DECK

7d            Companion in action on stage getting old money (7)
DRACHMA — The abbreviation for C(ompanion) of H(onour) are contained in (in) a word meaning a play at the theatre (action on stage).


8d            Field uniform designed for the inexperienced? (5-5)
ENTRY-LEVEL — Begin with a word for the field or competitors in an event and follow that with another way of saying uniform or even. I could add another comment to this but, in the interests of not stirring up any trouble, I’ll keep quiet.

11d         Shock line to interrupt antisocial behaviour? It characterises fusspots (4-9)
HAIR-SPLITTING — Right – first word – this shock is not what happens if someone says, “Boo” to you – it’s a mass of untidy or unkempt stuff growing from your head – second word – some antisocial behaviour – not bashing old ladies but something that more and more people seem to think is OK to do in public often following coughing – once you’ve got that you need to put the abbreviation for L(ine) in the middle of it (to interrupt). Sorry – not the greatest hint in the world!

13d         Umpires not prepared for fresh start (10)
RESUMPTION — An anagram (prepared) of UMPIRES NOT

16d         A number arranged to tour river in county (8)
SOMERSET — Not a particular number but an indefinite part of a whole number or quantity and another word for arranged or prepared – in between those two words (to tour) you need the one letter abbreviation for R(iver).


18d         One tending to avoid team leader (7)
SKIPPER — I think this is probably a double definition – the first being someone who avoids or ignores details and the second being the team leader or head honcho.

20d         Relate French marshal’s ringing resistance (7)
PERTAIN — Unless you’re a historian and have the name of this French marshall at your fingertips (I’m not, and I didn’t) I suspect the best way of going about this one is to think of a word that fits the clue and then do a spot of googling. The surname of a French marshall, sometimes known as the Lion of Verdun, contains (ringing) the one letter abbreviation for R(esistance).

22d         Record set by old church for long period (5)
EPOCH — An old vinyl record – the kind that was played at 45rpm and had a couple of tracks on each side – the one letter for O(ld) and one of the many two letter abbreviations for church.

23d         Element of fizz in Coke (4)
ZINC — Our final lurker of the day – as before the answer is hidden in the last three words of the clue.

The two that stood out for me today were 27a and 11d. What did you think?

The Quickie Pun:- (THYME) + (STABLE) = (TIMES TABLE)

89 comments on “DT 28118

  1. I found this hard to get going but one by one the answers slowly started coming,which puts it in ***/ **** territory for me,no outstanding clues but 1D raised a smile.Thanks to the setter & Kath for the review.

  2. This was slightly more difficult/challenging than the last two or three and therefore more enjoyable for me. Haven’t heard bonce for head for long time (1d) and until I realised 23a was a lurker I nearly put in ZING because I thought fizz was the definition. 2.5*/3.5*

  3. I thought this one was definitely not 8d, but agree with the 4 stars for enjoyment. Thank you Kath and setter.

  4. Thank you, Kath, for these hints. I didn’t really need them except for 8d, where I wanted to put something entirely different, but which wouldn’t have fitted with the across clues. Thanks to the setter also.

  5. 14a: Just realised while reading the review: calls=rings in 14a, and East-Enders just takes the H of the verb to judge. I had bunged the answer in.

    I somehow remembered the French marshall

    Particularly enjoyed 11d, 21a, 27a

    Many thanks Kath for the lovely review and thank you setter

    1. Yes – thanks re 14a – Kitty has just pointed out exactly the same thing. I knew there was something not quite right but couldn’t get my head round it – there’s always one – sorry, everyone. :sad:

      1. As we’re pointing outthings, Kath, in 10a, it’s not the complete suit of cards.

  6. I made heavy weather of this and it just took me into 3* time.

    Thanks to Kath and setter ***/***

  7. Football fans on here – after all the talk and hype, did Gary Lineker ever get his kit off and do some presenting in his undercrackers? I never saw him (not that I was unduly disappointed, you understand).

          1. I might if they let me have my gold-lined office, plus 397 other “special” stipulations.

  8. My run of managing to complete without assistance ended today. This was more challenging for me than the previous four days and, despite not being able to complete without a little help, was more enjoyable, therefore ***/****. Putting in PRIVATE ESCORT for 21a didn’t help matters either! Many thanks to Kath – good job!

    1. I was inclined to do the same Chris! I mean, once you’ve got private, how hard can a 6 letter anagram be? Well, as it turns out, quite hard if you are me (or you).

      How to stop Tina Turner singing in your head….

  9. Agree with dutch re 14a, just a little difficult to parse, but works when the penny drops, similar story for the ‘S’ in17a.Going for a 2.5*/ 3* as it was a little more difficult than yesterdays, but not quite as ‘ razor sharp’ Thanks Kath for the photos, liked 1a, saw a cattery the other day called ‘Puss Stop ‘!

    1. There is, or certainly used to be, a Chinese takeaway near where we grew up and also very close to where BD lives called “Wok ‘n Roll”.

  10. Back in the old routine of anagrams a’plenty but fun nevertheless. Dropped h’s as per 14a seem to make regular appearances these days. 11d just wins from several others as my Fav today. Needed help with 8d. ***/***. Thanks Mysteron and Kath.

  11. So Kath, do you have a photo credit for 2d?

    It looks very similar to many pics I have of Sussex.

  12. I didnt think I would get very far today, really struggled to get going. Managed all but 17a in the end, I never would have worked that one out. 4* for both difficulty and enjoyment and Many thanks to the setter and to Kath for the hints.

  13. I was initially confused by the homophone in 6a, because I was thinking of Eric. The 20d French Marshall was unknown to me but I was able to guess him.

    No single clue is begging me to be singled out today, though 8d did bring forth a “ha!” from my lips. My favourite hint is 2d for the unexpectedness of the illustration. Definitely Sussex – I recognised it instantly.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Kath for another of your trademark reviews.

    1. I thought of Eric too – he is a star, after all. I wasn’t clever enough to be confused, though

  14. Made life a bit difficult for myself by starting out looking for a ‘heavenly body’ type of star for 6a and a species of duck to fit 15a!
    Like Kath, the first part of 2d took a while to ‘click’ and I did do the reverse parsing thing with 20d.
    Still made good time and I’ll go for 17a&21a to head the leader board because I thought they had the best surface reads.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and well done to Kath – the photo credit for 27a possibly wouldn’t have impressed the parents of the youngster depicted!

    1. By the way – did anyone else think that the photo for 9a bore a passing resemblance to our own Toro? Speaking of which, he hasn’t been around on the blog for a while now – great shame.

  15. Thanks to the setter and to Kath for the review and hints. I shouldn’t have completed yesterday’s Toughie first thing this morning, because I got half way through this and completely ran out of brain power. I had 18&20d completely wrong. Then I just looked up the rest.

  16. Definitely nice to see a few anagrams back today in what was an interesting puzzle with some innovative cluing. My only quibble was with 8d, Chambers seems to confirm my thoughts that “field” can be a number of entries but not a singular one.

    I’ll opt for 27a as my favourite of the day.

    Many thanks to today’s setter and to Kath.

    1. Hi Silvanus. Field in the sense of an entry on a form or in a database would work. I’d just assumed Kath’s interpretation was also fine and didn’t double-check.

  17. Got through this one without help, which is good for me, seeing I am at 8d.

    Thanks to Kath and to the setter.

  18. Once again a fairly gentle examination of the little grey cells. I liked 7, 16 and 20d and the latter is my favourite. 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Kath for her review.

  19. Thought this was going to be ok after I found some anagrams but I slowed to a halt in the SE corner and in the end needed help for a couple from the excellent hints that Kath wrote in the blog.
    Gave it 3* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment in the end.

    27a my favourite for today.

    Thanks to setter and Kath.

  20. Found this very very difficult bordering on a *****.
    No fun, just a hard slog. Still don’t see how you get the S in 17a.
    Thx for the hints

  21. Kath – on the subject of shop names – there was a corner shop not far from my
    house in Germany that sold flowers. Its name was Blumen Ecke…………….

  22. I enjoyed this, I even knew the French Marshall, poor man, so misguided.
    I’m going to choose 27a as fave, but there are many contenders.
    You are to be commended for your restraint at 8d, Kath!
    Thanks to setter, and to Kath for entertaining blog.

  23. I thought this was a tricky little devil, and it took me a while before pennies started to drop. Nothing particularly difficult or obscure, but I was approaching 3* difficulty before I finished, with 11 down my last one in. Favourite? I’ll go for 27 across. Overall, this was 2.5*/3* for me, with many thanks to our mystery setter and Kath for her review.

    It’s raining, England lost early wickets in the first test match, so summer must be approaching.

  24. I actually found this easier then yesterday’s, though this may have been due to the distractions of having repairs done on my central heating on Wednesday. Much more relaxing doing this when watching the test match, even if England are struggling at the moment.
    Thanks to Kath and setter.

  25. I thought this was going to be a tricky little rascal when we only got four of the acrosses, However, ten downs came to the rescue and then the rest all slotted themselves in. Last one in was the one with the French Marshal – who else tried to get NEY into the answer until the checkers made it impossible?

    **/*** from us.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and Kath.

    1. Funny, his name didn’t come to mind at all, but he is much more famous! I suppose because Petain is more recent and I can remember, just barely, his shaming after the war.

    2. No – but only because I’ve never heard of him either – probably just as well as that could really have put the cat among the pigeons!

  26. Quite enjoyable I thought – but I certainly had to mull over a few clues to check I had the parsing right and, of course, the correct answer. I was also looking for a pangram as I had 25a & 23d early on – didn’t appear though :smile: I have no particular favourite but 7d did bring back memories of our holidays in Greece.

    We always, always came back off the holiday with ‘uncashed’ traveller’s cheques in our back pockets. On our first holiday after Greece went with the ‘Euro’ – we had to cash in everything just over half way through the holiday and the credit card took a bit of a hammering as well. Just like 15th February 1971 in the UK really.

    Thanks to our Thursday Mr Ron for the puzzle and to Kath for a lovely review.

  27. On first pass I thought this was going to be tricky but once a handful went in the rest followed OK. My now miniature pencil sorted out the anagrams and by some miracle I spotted the hiddens. Had trouble with them of late.

    Never did get why 6a was right so thanks for that Kath and the French Marshal had to be Googled so thanks Google. Thought there might be a pangram at one point.

    Plenty to like inc 17a and 19a with the favourite being 27a.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Kath for a top notch blog. Love the 1a pic.

    Might get to ride out soon!

  28. ***/***. Took a while to get going and not helped by putting graph at the end of 27a until I realised my error thanks to the lurker in 23d. Thanks to the setter and Kath for the review. A spot of rain today so a wet walk with the dogs.

  29. ****/*.
    Sometimes I just don’t quite get on the setters wavelength.
    I liked 27a.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  30. Not having a good run at the moment. A flying start with 1a straight in and then 3d, I thought we’re all right here, and several followed but then the inevitable wall and I then needed many of Kath’s hints, notably 24a and 17a and even 8d.
    I heard yesterday about a friend of a friend who has signed up for a WEA course on cryptic solving! I recommended this blog immediately.
    Thanks to Kath for the helpful review and to the setter.

  31. Not exactly the best Marechal in France’s history but we probably had worse characters in crosswords before.
    Elegant anagrams in 21a, 3d and 13d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Kath for the review.

  32. I can’t see why anyone else found this difficult, but that’s what is so engrossing about crosswords – often the ones I find impenetrable are easy meat for other contributors. I score this 1*/3*, and have no real favourite clue (OK, maybe 7d). Thanks to the setter, and to Kath.

    1. That’s quite a statement SD! FYI there are millions of people out there who aren’t capable of solving a single clue from today’s puzzle and then there’s those, like you, who found it very easy. To state that you can’t see why anyone else found today’s crossword difficult is, in my humble opinion, both arrogant and ill-conceived, to say the least. If, as I assume by your comment, you were seeking to impress, then I’m afraid as far as I’m concerned, you failed.

    2. It is, as always, to do with wave-lengths – it’s as simple (or not) as that.

    3. Excuse me for ‘chipping in’, but surely – what is one person’s meat is another person’s poison? See how ‘PC’ I was there – you can put any gender you wish in the analogy :smile:.

      Sadly, it appears to be todays 26a to have a lot of commenters complaining about other commenter’s views – re: difficult, easy, R&W, horrid, you obviously think we’re all stupid, terrible crossword, rubbish clue et al.

      Guys, it’s a forum where like minded people can have a chat, learn new skills and have a laugh. Come along to one of the many ‘soirée’s’ to see it’s not just about cruciverbalism. I only speak for myself – but we do sink far too much alcohol than is good for us (hic).

        1. Not at all Chris – I do hope you reconsider your decision and continue to contribute to the blog. I’d miss you :smile:

          I’ll even buy you a drink if you came to one of the ‘get togethers’. Did I just say that?

  33. We still can’t understand why it took us so long to get the second word of the 21a anagram, we even had a couple of checking letters. We had a bit of discussion about who the setter might be without coming to any conclusions that we are prepared to offer publicly so will just wait to see if anyone puts their hand up. Enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Kath.

    1. I’d be surprised if it was either one of our two ‘usual suspects’ – but I’m not going offer to appear either in my underpants or with a sausage anywhere near my nether regions if I’m wrong. :cool:

      1. I don’t think that it’s either of the two I was half expecting today, if only because it feels like some time since we’ve had a crossword from them – is that cryptic enough even if the grammar could be a touch on the dodgy side? Oh dear . . .

        1. As I’ve said recently – my grammar is c**p. So I have no idea what you’re on about Kath :cool:

        2. Late to the party but thanks to Kath for her entertaining blog as usual and everyone for comments

          1. Thanks for calling in. I’d pretty much ruled out you or PJ even though I was almost expecting yesterday’s to be one or the other of you.

  34. The LHS fell in no time at all, but the rest was a little trickier, in particular the NE corner. Last down 8d/15ac, partly because I was convinced GREEN must have been one of the words in the former. When I spotted the Z, Q and and V I thought we might be in for a pangram, but it appears not. All in all a pleasantly diverting puzzle.

  35. Late on parade again 😳 But then it is Thursday, but a different setter so no real excuse 😕 ***/*** Last in were 11d & 15a, liked 10a & 8d 😊 Big thanks to Kath for an entertaining blog and to the setter 👍

  36. I thought this was going to be really difficult, then it seemed to flow, then I got stuck again but got there in the end. Kath, I love your blogs, you are always so self-deprecating and kind to everyone.

  37. Struggle today, needed a few hints to complete. Brain just did not get on the right wavelength.
    Many thanks for the lovely hints, Kath and to the setter who brought me down to earth.

  38. Like Chris, today’s crossword broke the run of unaided completions, and probably a *** for me. Thanks Kath for the helpful hints. I did know 20d (it helps to have a history buff hubby and a lot of war movie watching). 1a went right in, but I spelt licence the American way (license) so 5d was a big hold up. Oops.

  39. A fairly steady solve without blockages or blemishes, for a change. Picked out 16a and 8d as extra enjoyable clues. I did think that the clueing for the second word of 10a was rather weak, though. 2*/3* here. Thanks to Kath and the unknown setter.

  40. Has anybody noticed some people are getting a bit touchy when we’re approaching the full moon?

      1. Only noticed the moon as the Cat at the Jardin was behaving in a peculiar way.
        Enough to give Mrs Slocombe script material to last her a few episodes.

    1. Not sure about touchy. Dumb leaps to mind. Just went to run a bath (takes ages)…went back, forgot to put the plug in. Start again. Eaten a square of ‘the’ chocolate.

      I like the orange full moons. Is it a harvest moon?

      1. Yes indeed the orange full moon is the harvest moon which I learn will this year be on September 16 (nearest the Autumn equinox).

      1. It’s just that recently there has been a lot of discussions about what people should or shouldn’t say.

        1. No JL – I understand the undercurrent of ‘statements’ on the blog. What I’m ‘miffed’ about is – all these ladies (no names, no pack drill) get treats, delicacies etc posted to them! I bought you a glass of wine in January and that’s a major thing for a Scotsman – and I’ve received nothing through the post :sad:

          Good Heavens – Hanni wasn’t even there and she gets all sorts of things posted to her. I am compiling detailed notes :cool:

          1. Where are my manners?
            And you did treat us to a lovely dinner too.
            I’ll definitely make it up to you. Need more details though.

            1. JL, it’s only a wind up – you owe me nothing at all. I had the enjoyment of your company through the day and I thought your choice of wine for the meal was……. well, OK :smile:

              I look forward to meeting you again in the near future – bonne nuit mon ami ne travaille pas trop dur – Does that make sense?

              You can get my email address from various sources if need be.

  41. I was slow to get started on this one too, also having trouble with “one that was bound” in 2dn, but in the end I only needed a hint for 11ac, as to which particular activity was being regarded as anti-social. Is a fusspot really the same as a pedant? I always thought that the former was better known for complaints about personal discomfort.

  42. Thanks, setter, for some really nice clues which brought a smile. (One of the best things about tackling a crossword). Take a bow for 27a, 11d and 1d. For me, I thought there was a good balance of straightforward and tricky clues. In 10a I thought of a suit of cards but ‘brightly-coloured’ threw me off the track. I did not like 8d, and needed the hint for that. Many thanks, Kath, for the hints and comments.

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