DT 28128 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28128

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28128

Hints and tips by ShropshireLad

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **/***

Good Morning from (at present) a bright and sunny Shropshire. Was it really a Bank Holiday yesterday? I only ask as we had no rain and I couldn’t for the life of me find the ‘Great Escape’ anywhere on the multitude of TV channels broadcast for our ‘enjoyment’.

Not too much here that will send any horses off to the hills at a gallop as it appears to be what is fast becoming the norm for a Tuesday ‘back pager’. Having said that, I’m pretty sure that not everyone will like the grid and double unches. There were a fair few smile moments but nothing ‘too’ difficult – although I expect that some will disagree.

I hope my hints and underlined definitions will help you to solve the puzzle. If not – fear not, as you can always view the answer by clicking on the grey ‘Click here!‘ button. Happy solving.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Ray breaking in to burgle, amateurishly (5)
GLEAM: A ‘lurker’ to start off the day.

4a    East Anglian river fringing lake — drink and relax (4,4)
CALM DOWN: Take a University city river over (fringing) the standard abbreviation for ‘lake’ and add a verb for ‘drink’ – as in ‘???? the hatch’.

8a    Facility in a function held aboard English ship (8)
EASINESS: Take the ‘a’ from the clue and add a ‘function’ (in this case a ‘trigonometrical function of an angle’) then insert that (held aboard) in the abbreviation for ‘English’ and the usual 2 letter term for a ‘ship’.

9a    Lowly countryman occupied by hard game (8)
PHEASANT: The usual crosswordland ‘lowly countryman’ and insert (occupied) the abbreviation for ‘hard’. Makes a difference from the ubiquitous ‘L’ I suppose.

11a    Evict number of voters (7)
TURNOUT: Split 4,3 – a term used to describe what you would do to ‘evict’ someone.

13a    Poor cafe’s wrong to offer view of skyline? (9)
ROOFSCAPE: An anagram (wrong) of POOR CAFES.

15a    Fair game entering a trade with nothing incriminating (5,2,1,7)
CLEAN AS A WHISTLE: Start with a synonym for ‘fair’ and then insert a card game between the letter ‘a’ from the clue and a term for ‘trade’.

18a    Consider what volunteers might do at home (9)
ENTERTAIN: Prefixed with ‘come into’ – the usual ‘male’ volunteers are then ‘at home’.

21a    Part of castle suitable for exercises? (4,3)
KEEP FIT: Take the innermost part of a castle and add a synonym for ‘suitable’.

22a    Pay still unsettled for scheduled recordings (8)
PLAYLIST: An anagram (unsettled) of PAY STILL.

24a    Opening routine with backing taken in by a father in France (8)
APERTURE: Take a 3 letter synonym for ‘routine’ and reverse it (backing) and insert it (taken in) in the letter ‘a’ from the clue and the French word for ‘father’.

25a    Lively departure with 100 on board (8)
EXCITING: The Roman numeral for 100 is contained (on board) a term for ‘departure’ (as in leaving).

26a    Exotic plant for all to see among many (5)
LOTUS: The standard single letter that is the film certificate meaning ‘anyone may view’ in (among) a synonym for ‘many’.


1d    A cruel gent that’s disturbed aged relative (5-5)
GREAT UNCLE: An anagram (that’s disturbed) of A CRUEL GENT.

2d    Preserve directions on right to wear glitter (8)
ENSHRINE: Take 2 compass points (directions) and a synonym for ‘glitter’ and insert (to wear) the abbreviation for ‘right’.

3d    Instrument produced by chap in old woolly (8)
MANDOLIN: Start with a 3 letter term for ‘chap’ and follow it with an anagram (woolly) of IN OLD.

4d    Son enters competition to make point (4)
CUSP: The usual abbreviation for ‘son’ is inserted (enters) in a competition with such a vessel as a prize.

5d    Soldiers blocking crowd in sticky situation (6)
MORASS: Insert (blocking) the abbreviation for ‘soldiers’ into a 4 letter synonym for ‘crowd’.

6d    Too much holidaying cut short in capital (6)
OTTAWA: Take a 3 letter acronym for ‘too much’ and a term meaning ‘you’re not at home’ (holidaying), minus the last letter (cut short).

7d    First of notes put away in good order (4)
NEAT: Take the first letter of ‘notes’ and add a term for ‘put away’ (food in this instance).

10d    Cheat to land grand in support of US locality (8)
HOODWINK: ‘To land’ a contract perhaps with the abbreviation for 1000 (grand) follows (in support of) an abbreviated Americanisation of the locale in which we live.

12d    Illegally enter three Italian resorts, heading south (8)
TRESPASS: Start with the Italian for ‘three’ add a couple of springs (water) resorts and finish with the first letter (heading) of ‘south’.

14d    Mention of the first person with ingenuity on headland as observer (10)
EYEWITNESS: A homophone (mention) of the nominative singular of the first personal pronoun, then add a 3 letter synonym of ‘ingenuity’ and, finally, one of the usual crosswordland names for a ‘headland’.

16d    Altering requires shift key (8)
INTEGRAL: An anagram (requires shift) of ALTERING.

17d    Overly fat lout misbehaving around area (2,1,5)
TO A FAULT: An anagram (misbehaving) of FAT LOUT containing (around) the abbreviation for ‘area’.

19d    Tabloid engaged in habitual action that’s disastrous (6)
TRAGIC: The usual 3 letter term for a ‘red top’ (tabloid) is inserted in (engaged in) an involuntary muscle movement (habitual action).

20d    Soften concerning period of austerity (6)
RELENT: Take one of the 2 letter term used for ‘concerning’ and add a religious fasting period starting on Ash Wednesday.

22d    Long stop in expensive houses (4)
PINE: Our second and final ‘lurker’ of the day.

23d    Smell from tiny creature lifted (4)
TANG: Take an insect (tiny creature) and reverse it (lifted). I normally associate this term with ‘taste’.

There we are, another set of (hopefully) useful tips from your usual Tuesday Back Page ‘hinty person’. Having now written up the clues, I think there’s a lot to like in this puzzle. I particularly liked 3d & 16d. Which clue(s) brought a smile to your face.

The Quick Crossword pun: dire+wrist=diarist

83 comments on “DT 28128

  1. A straightforward solve that took me slightly longer than the last couple of Tuesdays.

    Thanks to SL and setter 1.5*/3*

  2. 2*/2*. Nothing too difficult and reasonably pleasant unlike the miserable weather. I am a bit fed up today as I was supposed to have been playing cricket, but the rain has put paid to that.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to SL.

    P.S. SL, I think your review for 15a has gone a bit awry. You’ve revealed the synonym for fair and you haven’t mentioned the game.

    1. Yes – you’re absolutely correct – can’t read my own writing. Blush

      Perhaps someone who has the editing facility could bale me out?

  3. If you are all wondering who set today’s Toughie – the paper says ‘Sameul’ – and he won’t scare any of Hanni’s favourite creatures either IMHO

  4. Settled on a **/**, found some of the cluing a bit iffy-15a,18a,10d,assume SL was referring to a synonym for fair ie clean in 15a,not the other way round.
    Keep thinking its Monday and an OK crossword for a start to the week! Well done Mr Cook, great average for an opener.

  5. Typical.
    When I have a busy day ahead, the crosswords are always difficult and when I have nothing to do, two easy ones come along.
    Oh well. That kept me amused for a while.
    Liked the “in old woolly” in 3d and the lovely surface in 18a (consider what).
    Thanks to the setter and to SL for the review.

    1. That reminds me of, “Every night when we’re wide awake Mum makes us go to bed then, in the morning when we’re fast asleep she makes us get up”! Can’t remember where it came from.

      1. I know it as the more common, “I live my day backwards. I go to bed when I’m wide away, and get up when I’m tired.” Or very similar.

  6. Good morning from a grey and very wet West Sussex and there really wasn’t much consolation to be had in today’s puzzle which was virtually a R & W. Not sure about synonym for facility in 8a or for exotic in 26a and can’t say I have ever come across 13a. Stupidly failed to suss 22d which was last one in. Thanks Mysteron and SL. **/**.

    1. Cheer up, better weather may be on its way. We’ll be making our annual visit to
      the UK in just over a week, and on the last 3 trips, the UK has had the best weather for that summer 😊 Hope those are not famous last words…

  7. Nothing too taxing this morning.

    I held myself up for a bit by trying to make an anagram (altering) of ‘requires’ in 16d and it took me a bit to parse 15a after I bunged it in. Hiddens took awhile to spot too come to think of it.

    Enjoyed it while it lasted.

    Favourite is 18a.

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

    So so cold on the moors and blowing a gale. It is June tomorrow.

  8. A little more tricky than some recent Tuesdays, but still completed comfortable before lights out last night – **/*** for me.

    I try not to ‘analyse’ the grid when I see it, after all what can be done about it, so I did not notice that it was full of double inches until near the end and they did not bother me. In any event, the helpful quantity of anagrams and lurkers probably counterbalanced them.

    Nominations for favourite – 15a, 3d, 6d, and 10d; and the winner is 15a. I do like 15 letter non-anagram answers. 6d gets an honourable mention for its anagram indicator of woolly – can’t recall seeing that before (not to say that it hasn’t happened).

    Thanks to Mr Ron and SL.

  9. Nothing to hold me up here beyond an initial fear that 22d was going to be a cricket clue and that I haven’t ever heard anyone use the word at 13a.
    The exercise location in 21a raised a smile and I loved the chap in old woolly at 3d.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and also to SL – your depiction of 15a takes my prize for the day!

    1. Same for me on 13a; fortunately the clue was fairly obvious. I presume that it is a relatively ‘modern. manufactured’ word. Do you think that is why the setter put the ‘?’ at the end.

  10. I had “roofspace” for 13a – well, we did have a velux window installed last week, offering a view of the skyline. Thank you SL and setter.

    1. When I first read through the clues the first anagram to leap out at me for 13a was roofspace too.

  11. One of those puzzles where it is easier to get the answer than unpick the clue! Last in was 22d, what a well hidden lurker.
    Thx to all

  12. Enjoyable puzzle for a rainy day. I had more fun with this than yesterday’s curious offering.

  13. Enjoyed this very much and, for a change, didn’t need either electronic help or the hints to get the answers.
    Hints were, as always, invaluable for the parsing.

    Thanks to the setter and to ShropshireLad

  14. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Shropshire Lad for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, but found it a little tricky in places. Was beaten by 24a. Favourite was 8a. Was 2*/3* for me. Weather is diabolical in Central London. Can’t believe that it’s June tomorrow :-(

  15. Baffled by the hint to 10d….Can someone help???
    – ‘To land’ a contract???
    – The abbreviation for 1000 (grand) – I thought it was ‘M’????
    – An abbreviated Americanisation of the locale in which we live????
    Actually I’m baffled by the whole thing, much harder than yesterday’s!!

    1. OK – Maybe I’m not communicating too well today.

      Cheat to land grand in support of US locality – ‘Cheat’ is the definition – to ‘land’ a contract is taken as meaning to secure said contract as in ‘come first’. – K is a common abbreviation for 1000 – think kilowatt, kilometre etc. In this country ‘locale’ is construed as neighbourhood. In America it is neighborhood and the shortened version is ‘hood’ (as is Boyz in the ‘hood’).

      Hope that clears up any query :smile:

    2. HIYD, for 10d:

      – To land a contract is to “win” it
      – k also means a 1000, e.g. : kg = 1000 grammes
      – Americans abbreviate neighbourhood by omitting the first two syllables

      1. SL and I are saying the same thing, except of course that he is more correct in using neighborhood (yuk!) when referring to America!

    3. Hi Hoofit,
      ‘land’ – informal verb – to succeed in obtaining something, especially in the face of competition.
      Abbreviation for 1000 – M is the Roman numeral for 1000. K is from Kilo, the unit prefix in the metric system to indicate ‘times one thousand’.
      ‘hood’ is an abbreviated Americanisation of neighbourhood (or neighborhood as they would spell it!).

      1. Many thanks all, great that so many people come to my help…Confirmation of what a great site this is and how many lovely folk contribute.
        My fault totally…I always think ‘Latin’ when it comes to numbers – Wrong.
        I have never heard of the US use of ‘Hood’ to indicate neighbourhood – That’s one I wont forget, it’s pretty obvious really
        Cheers all….

      2. Sorry, guys – looks as though we all jumped in at virtually the same time. At least Hoofit can never complain about the lack of support on the BD site!

    4. It’s like London buses – nothing for half-an-hour and then three arrive at once. :wink:

          1. Thank you so much for that. They were playing in London when I lived there in the 1960s, oh happy days!

            1. Me too – such great memories of visits to the Fortune Theatre to see them. Nowadays Flanders’ daughter brings back some of those memories whenever she is talking economics in the media – a clever lady of whom Michael would surely be proud.

          2. Nice to hear that again :-)

            Armstrong and Miller regularly performed an affectionate pastiche of Flanders and Swann in their TV show I recall (as “Brabbins and Fyffe”), although the sketches tended towards the scatological in most cases…

  16. I noticed the strange grid as soon as I printed it out, but it really didn’t hamper me at all.
    There was a lot to like in this, 15a went in quickly and was most helpful.
    I needed the hint to understand the “why” of 10d, but it really couldn’t be anything else.
    I loved 15a, 3d and 6d, haven’t picked a fave yet.
    Thanks to setter and to ShropshireLad for the hints.

  17. We enjoyed this puzzle after getting soaked and frozen walking the dogs on Hampstead Heath in torrential rain! No real problems here – a **/*** from us. Thanks to Mr Ron and to SL for the review.

  18. I thought this a tiny bit trickier than recent Tuesdays. Whether that was the grid or my sleepiness I cannot tell. A few intricate bits of wordplay to fiddle about with after entry.

    With thanks to the setter and to ShropshireLad for another quality review. :good:

    It’s wetter than an otter’s pocket out, but I am stubborn and so refuse to stay inside. (I am also a procrastinator, so will go out in a bit.)

    1. Procrastination is a sin,
      It causes me much sorrow.
      I really must stop doing it.
      In fact, I will, tomorrow.

      1. My Dad always used to say, “Never do anything today that some other twit will probably do for you tomorrow”.

          1. It’s a very good principle, but doesn’t apply to everything. Still, given enough time, all problems disappear. Except (probably) that if the increase in entropy of the universe, if you count that.

          2. I notice you used the past tense – ours still do . . . sweet, aren’t they? :roll:

              1. I would, which is probably just as well as I did! Wonderful things they are. :nod:

                1. I notice you haven’t got a ‘crib sheet’ for activating the emoticons either Kath :smile:

                  Daughters? Yes, tell me about them :cool:

  19. Well, that was hopeless, I have no idea where I left my brain today.
    I think I needed more hints than I actually worked out for myself, double-unches are a big problem for me.
    Many thanks SL for doing the crossword for me, the hints were great and the typically entertaining blog.
    Thanks also, to Mr Ron for making me feel stupid.

  20. This was certainly easier than yesterday although one or two were a bit tricky – not helped by me getting 23d wrong early on and trying to fit the answer for 25a into the space for 26a! Well, I did get very wet and cold beforehand so perhaps my brain needed to warm up a bit and I got there in the end.
    Thanks to setter and SL.

  21. ***/***. I found this more difficult than some but the more enjoyable once I’d got there. Thanks to the setter and SL for the review. Another beautiful day in prospect.

  22. I’m not convinced I was on the setter’s wavelength today, as I made slower progress than I was expecting. The last two to go in were the two eight letter words beginning with “e” in the NW corner, the double unches contributing to the trickiness I felt.

    My favourite clue was 16d, possibly its juxtaposition on the page to the somewhat clunky 14d made it stand out more.

    Many thanks to today’s setter and to SL. Back to March weather again today here in the South East, glad that those in the West have something better, grrrr. Next week looking much drier and warmer thankfully.

  23. Quite good fun and not too tricky – I’d go for 2* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    As usual I didn’t notice anything about the grid or the double unches.
    Started off at a gallop then slowed right down for a while but, in general, nothing much in the way of hold-ups apart from never having heard of the slang US locality in 10d and always thinking of G for grand.
    !5a took a little while to untangle and, having spotted the first lurker without too much trouble I completely missed 22d having decided, like Jane, that it was cricket.
    I liked 15 and 21a and 12d. My favourite was the instrument produced by the scruffy chap in 3d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to SL.
    Very windy in Oxford this morning – flattened all my poppies. :sad: Pouring with rain since late morning.
    So much to do – haven’t had time to look at the Toughie yet and I like Samuel’s Toughies – haven’t looked at the Brendan in the Guardian either.

  24. Everything was fine till I put ‘clam bake’ in for 4a. ‘Ankara’ then followed for 6d and that was it really. Right up a gum tree. I knew I was wrong but……
    Stupid boy Pike…
    Eventually tunneled my way out of my difficulties and completed it. I’ll take the rethought 6d as my favorite (as they say) cos not only did I not get it immediately but when I did I thought it was quite clever.
    2/3* in spite of my waywardness. Thanks to the setter and to SL for the review.

  25. Good evening everybody.

    A not entirely unexpected joint solve today and finished fairly shortly.


  26. Thanks to Shropshirelad for helping me finish. Most fell into place relatively easily, better than my efforts yesterday certainly. Wet here today, but hot and wet, with black skies and lightning. Just had to tell the hedge guys not to come this afternoon as it would be dodgy up a metal ladder, with an electric hedge trimmer in hand…

  27. 1*/3* and my favourite clue 25a. Now, the question is – do l stand a chance of staying awake long enough to do the Toughie? I’ve just spent an enjoyable couple of days sailing down to Fowey and back, and the return leg was enlivened by a stiffening northerly which required me to spend most of the time standing on the side of the cockpit. No-one seems to believe me when I say solo sailing is tiring!

    Thanks to the setter, and to ShropshireLad for the review.

  28. The last one for us to parse was 10a. We were working on ‘hook’ meaning ‘land’ as a fisherman might do but the rest of the wordplay didn’t work. Back to square one eventually to get it sorted and then check the unfamiliar meaning of ‘hood’. No idea who the setter is for this one. Pleasant solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and SL.

  29. Pretty straightforward. Some problems with 2d, not helped by the double unches which seem to be appearing more often these days in the Telegraph. A lot more pleasurable than yesterday’s slog. :-)

  30. **/*** we thought, so fully agree with SL. We particularly enjoyed 3d, 6d, 22d (a beautifully disguised lurker) and 24a.

    Managed to play a round of golf and mow the lawn before the rain arrived here. Then horror of horrors, I pranged Mrs Sheffieldsy’s brand new (just 4 weeks old) car (gently, but noticeably). I am not popular for some duration, yet to be revealed to me.

    Thanks SL and to the setter.

    1. I know this doesn’t make things any better, but last week I had a chip in th windscreen repaired (near side).Went for a drive yesterday afternoon and guess what… now got a chip on the offside. I think there’s a certain law for this.

  31. Weird grid today. Whole thing made even more weird by fact printer is running out of ink, so has only printed the top half of each question. Thank you SL for your excellent review, very much needed to read the clues. Thank you too setter. No real problems today.

  32. Reasonably straightforward **/*** Had difficulty with 10d & 18a 😕 Liked 25a & 19d 😊
    Thanks to the SL and today’s setter 😬

  33. Happy Birthday from me as well, SL. Hope you’re doing something nice on your big day?

  34. Thank you BD ‘et al’. Number of comments = around 75. Just about my mental age – if you either:

    A – add the two numbers together.
    B – subtract the latter number from the former.
    C – (AB) – (BA) + C = X

    I have had a tad too much pre Birthday whisky, so I shall bid you all Good Night / Morning – whatever :bye:

    1. Welcome from me as well Sarah. Unfortunately, I am not a musician and would not be able to tell you the difference between a bass drum and a trombone – therefore, when providing a picture hint for a clue I am at the mercy of Mr Google. I had thought that the picture of the said instrument was correct – alas, that appears not to be the case.

      Please accept my apologies.

      1. Next time put a picture of a vegetable grater. It’s also called a mandolin.

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