DT 28140

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28140

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

ShropshireLad has been called away at short notice today.

I thought this was a workmanlike puzzle with, for me, no stand-out clues.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Opposition from Royal Engineers is over policy (10)
RESISTANCE: the abbreviation for the Royal Engineers followed by the reversal (over) of IS and a policy or viewpoint

6a    Wedge lobbed over bunker (4)
TRAP: the reversal (lobbed over) of a verb meaning to wedge or separate – the choice of wedge as a synonym of the answer seems to have been made to provide the golf-inspired surface reading

9a    Loud stringed instrument — or one in the woodwind section (5)
FLUTE: the musical notation for loud followed by a stringed instrument

10a    Alert lover abroad to get rid of old tourist (9)
TRAVELLER: an anagram (abroad) of ALERT L[O]VER after dropping (get rid of) the O(ld)

12a    Parrots are pets up in the air (7)
REPEATS: an anagram (up in the air) of ARE PETS

13a    Discrimination son’s shown in gallery (5)
TASTE: S(on) inside one of Crosswordland’s favourite galleries – the other one is the V AND A

15a    Polished table leg — antique, to an extent (7)
ELEGANT: hidden to an extent () inside the clue

17a    New place to film rears in bed creating clash (7)
CONTEST: N(ew) and the reversal (rears) of a three-letter place where films are made inside a child’s bed

19a    Keep dropping opener in jam (7)
RESERVE: drop the initial letter (opener) from the type of jam that you spread on bread and butter

21a    Compiling, gets agitated about money (7)
SETTING: An anagram (agitated) of GETS around a colloquial word for money

22a    Quiet expression of pain knight displayed (5)
SHOWN: an exhortation to keep quiet followed by an expression of pain and the chess notation for knight

24a    Prior to university, teach about a castle (7)
CHATEAU: an anagram (about) of TEACH in front of U(niversity)

27a    Pole chose to keep side of garden uncared-for (9)
NEGLECTED: the abbreviation for one of the two poles followed by a verb meaning chose or voted for around (to keep) the initial letter (side) of G[arden]

28a    Develop thick hair? Not at first (5)
HATCH: drop the initial letter (not at first) from a word meaning a mop of thick hair

29a    Delighted prison term’s reduced by 50 per cent (4)
SENT: the first half (50 per cent) of a prison term

30a    Teenager‘s party surrounded by beer smell (10)
ADOLESCENT: a two-letter party inside (surrounded by) a beer and followed by a smell


1d    Right behind basic river vessel (4)
RAFT: R(ight) followed by a nautical term for behind

2d    Without question, sir lures wild animals (9)
SQUIRRELS: around (without) Q(uestion) place an anagram (wild) of SIR LURES

3d    Animal the woman kept trimmed at both ends (5)
SHEEP: the female first person pronoun followed by [k]EP[t] without its outer letters (trimmed at both ends)

4d    Pull at vehicle, lifting bottom of boot (7)
ATTRACT: AT from the clue followed by the reversal (lifting) of a horse-drawn vehicle and the final letter (bottom) of [boo]T

5d    Traditional girl supporting Conservative in charge (7)
CLASSIC: a young girl preceded by C(onservative) and followed by the abbreviation for In Charge

7d    Luxury car goes for a spin (5)
ROLLS: two definitions

8d    Salesman turns up with money! Time for a share (10)
PERCENTAGE: The reversal (turns up) of a three-letter salesman followed by some foreign money and a long period of time

11d    Dead cross, being held by French and in court (7)
EXTINCT: the letter shaped like a cross inside the French word for “and” followed by IN from the clue and C(our)T

14d    Shows sign of hesitation over gifts (10)
REPRESENTS: the reversal of a two-letter sign of hesitation (not um, the other one) followed by some gifts

16d    Group called in time to make a comeback (7)
ARRANGE: a verb meaning called on the telephone inside the reversal (make a comeback) of another long period of time

18d    Tweet quite out of order — women ignored acceptable behaviour (9)
ETIQUETTE: an anagram (out of order) of T[W]EET QUITE after dropping (ignored) the W(omen)

20d    Cold, having got left outside? Hot! (7)
EXCITED: C(old) inside (having got … outside) a verb meaning left or departed

21d    Caught wearing lightweight shoe? Malicious gossip (7)
SCANDAL: C(aught) inside (wearing) a lightweight shoe

23d    Gold plating finally put on an instrument (5)
ORGAN: heraldic term for gold followed by the final letter of [platin]G and (put on in a down clue) AN

25d    Spirit from those ending up on top (5)
ETHOS: start with THOSE from the clue and move its final letter (ending) to the beginning (top)

26d    Try Southern baking (4)
SHOT: to get this try or attempt, S(outhern) is followed by an adjective meaning baking or heated

My opinion of this puzzle was unchanged by re-reading while writing the review.

The Quick Crossword pun: sir+kit+bored=circuit board


  1. Graham

    Not a lot to say about this one almost a R&W. Favourite clue for me was 30A,many thanks to the setter & BD for his review & nice picture of his car!

      • Graham

        Yes but to have your own golf course as well,now that is something to shout about,agree about the boat though!

        • Hanni

          Looking at the pic of the house I imagine the golf course is within the grounds. I do know that Mr and Mrs BD have an absolutely mint garden too. There’s pictures and everything. :yes:

  2. Jane

    As BD says, rather a workmanlike puzzle with nothing that really stood out for the favourite slot.
    Closest I came to finding a contender was the surface read of 30a!

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and also to BD for stepping in at short notice.

  3. Graham

    I’d say */** for today, almost a read and write. 30a my favourite for the surface reading. Thanks for the explanation of 28 which I didn’t understand. Back to the ironing now on a wet day in Gloucestershire.

  4. Una

    Workmanlike is exactly the word that sprung to mind when solving this.Nice pics !

    I liked 21a.

    Thanks BD and setter.

  5. Mary

    Good morning Dave et al … and thank you once more Dave for the wonderful birthday greetings on this page made my day :-)
    This is the first crossword I’ve completed in a while, I just haven’t had the time … I must get back to it because although todays is relatively easy I am finding them difficult!!!! I didn’t like 6a this was the only one I didn’t understand, no stand out favourites today … I have recently been learning to play Bridge, I have joined a Bridge club after ten lessons and am way out of my depth!!!! I didn’t realise it was so complicated … anyone else play? Dave????

    • Big Dave

      Welcome back to the fold.

      I used to play, in fact I was in the University Bridge team. Later on I played in the London Insurance League, but became disillusioned by those who held an inquest after the game on every single hand – I played for fun, and tired of answering questions like “Why did you play the 6 of spades on hand 11?”.

      • neveracrossword

        It’s a great game – spoilt by the people who play it. I play against the computer – it’s safer!

        • HoofItYouDonkey

          My granddad (who was a county bridge player), used to have a saying “many a man has been found on the embankment with the seat kicked out of his trousers for failing to lead trumps”.
          Much as I love the game, it’s played by people who take it far too seriously.

      • Hanni

        I once got dragged into playing 5’s and 3’s for a pub team at the last minute. I knew the rules, was in the pub anyway so thought why not? We won as a team and within our pair but I was the cause of losing one game…I have never been allowed to forget it and the discussion about every hand afterwards drove me up the wall.

        Never again. I could have quite happily added my hockey stick and made dominoes a contact sport that night.

      • Mary

        They are very kind and patient with me!!!! We play the acol system I just can’t retain all the information and ‘clues’ needed to inform your partner of your hand!!!!! What with ‘jumping’ ‘alerting’ transfer etc etc etc … too many conventions!!!!!

      • Florence

        Fully understood. I have just parted ways with my partner of six years. I used to do all the driving to the competitions, but couldn’t stand the inquisition every time we drove home. I do have other friends who play who are not so serious about the whole thing.

      • HoofItYouDonkey

        I always enjoyed two-person cribbage by the nature of the conversation it involves.
        “Fifteen-two and the rest won’t do”

    • Sheffieldsy

      Mary, I played from school through university and the first 15 years at work. I then stopped as family demands grew but after retirement I have taken it up again. I play Mondays with one partner, Thursdays with another and will soon add Wednesdays with Mrs Sheffieldsy. Mrs Sheffieldsy is is taking lessons – if you’re at ten she’s a little ahead of you but not much. She’s nine months into what they say is a two year course. It is, IMHO, the greatest card game in the world that you can play without the added frisson of gambling. Yes, there are some pillocks around, but most are fine I find but you will get a higher percentage of pillocks at bridge clubs. Have you tried your local U3A? You can enjoy it at almost any ability level, so stick with it and play lots as that’s how your game improves.

      • HoofItYouDonkey

        I agree, it’s the greatest card game of them all.
        People at the Golf Club try and talk me into playing, but as BD says, I can’t stand all that “why did you respond with two diamonds?? You should have replied two no-trumps!!!”
        I will stick to playing Peppa Pig snap with my Granddaugher

    • Merusa

      I used to play what I called kitchen bridge with a group, many years ago, and loved it. We never took it very seriously and it was such fun. Not at all sure that I would take it up again..

  6. Hanni

    Enjoyable enough whilst it lasted.

    The surface of 12a made me smile as did 30a so I shall name one of them as my favourite. I have not decided which…la donna e mobile.

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD for a great blog and for standing in at the last minute.

    There is a big yellow ball in the sky that hurts if you stare at it, it is giving out heat, making strangers talk to each other and scaring the bejesus out of me. Does anyone know what it is? Either way I don’t trust it.

  7. Jose

    Yes, workmanlike and straightforward but quite enjoyable. I rather liked the 2d clue, with its obscure without = around. Well, obscure outside crossword-world that is. 2*/2.5*

            • Jose

              Just for the record and with great respect to everyone, I re-researched the word “without” and came to the same conclusion as I did previously in 2012 (my second hobby is semantics). The primary definition in the current SOED is 1. On the outside or outer surface [thus implying around or surrounded by]; externally. And 2. Outside the place mentioned or implied; especially outside the house or room. Other definitions (some from the BRB) include outside or out; outside the limits of; beyond; out of doors; outside of; outside a house, building, etc.; the outside of a region, place area, room, etc. and also: beyond the compass, limits, range or scope of [certainly not the only definition of the word]. My conclusion is that the construct without = around is correct and legitimate for inclusion in a crossword clue. But I am a mere amateur and my research is limited to all the main dictionaries and the internet (which is what the setters use, I presume). I may still be misinformed, though and I would welcome re-education on this from any blog expert if it is backed up with factually researched info.

  8. Kitty

    Well, I found it perfectly pleasant. I think I’ll join Una in picking out 21a, even though it lacks misdirection, just because it could well be an adequate depiction of the process of creating this. Many thanks to the setter and to BD.

  9. silvanus

    No stand out clues for me either, but lots of Lego in evidence making me wish the occasional double or cryptic definition could have been used as a pleasant alternative.

    Still trying to get my head around the surface of 17a, is it clunky or saucy or maybe both?

    Thanks to today’s setter and to Big Dave for stepping into the breach for SL.

  10. Spook

    Back to fold after the demise of Boot the boxer and thanks for the kind comments.
    Defor for that is puppies name D for dog is finally settling down. Already showing an interest in the Crossword mainly by chewing the paper to get attention. He will be introduced to the boat in a couple of weeks, dog life jacket required.
    I found this puzzle pretty good got a bit held up on 12a but otherwise I did pretty well.
    Many thanks to Big Dave and setter.

  11. Miffypops

    The most exciting thing about this puzzle was the mole that our cat Itchy placed on the bed whilst I was solving. Both the mole and the puzzle were sorted without fuss. It’s not often that Saint Sharon and I get up to new things in bed but we live and learn

  12. jean-luc cheval

    The minute I opened the blog page, I thought of BD’s reaction to 2d.
    Not only the last time he had to intervene was on a Giovanni but this time the crossword contains one of his pet hate.
    Bad luck really.
    Very much a read and write but an excellent exercise of mechanical solving with the odd construction worth remembering such as 25d (spirit from those) and 11d (dead cross).
    Favourite is 26d ( try southern baking).
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to BD for the review.
    Bridge in France is reserved for ex army personnel and their partners. Never known anybody else playing.

        • jean-luc cheval

          It’s not exactly the same as fortune telling.
          The trump cards are images numbered 1 to 21 with the “excuse” or ” joker” and the rest is a normal 56 card game.

    • Kitty

      It could have been worse – I wanted to swap blogs with whoever was covering today, but when BD said he was doing it himself I took pity on him and stayed in my place, even though he did kindly offer me the choice! I’m glad I did, because I actually quite enjoyed the Toughie, and definitely had fun illustrating it.

      • jean-luc cheval

        The man has the word “sacrifice” tattooed somewhere I’m sure.
        He’s a gentleman and a saint.

  13. Angel

    A painless exercise today but not much to write home about. Thought 6a and, in fact, one or two others somewhat tenuous. Thanks Mysteron and BD for, as ever, being there for us at the drop of a hat. **/** for me too.

  14. Heno

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Big Dave for the review and hints. I found this quite straightforward apart from 22a, which I had wrong with “snore” notation for Knight inside pain/sore, definition quiet expression, all totally wrong. This stopped me getting 16d, until it was corrected. Favourite was 9a. Was 2*/2* for me.

  15. Sheffieldsy

    We seem to have enjoyed this a little more than most posters and certainly didn’t find it as dreary as some. A handful of clues lifted it from R&W to 2* for difficulty territory. We enjoyed 3d but our favourite was 25d. We arrived at 2*/2.5* for a rating.

    Thanks to BD for the review and Mr Ron.

  16. Young Salopian

    As I seem to have inherited my wife’s cold I don’t think my head could have coped with anything complicated or esoteric. This will do fine thanks. TVM to Mr Ron and BD for stepping in. Hope all is well with SL.


  17. Brian

    I feel depressed! I thought this was almost a aToughie in the wrong envelope. Although completed it took ages and for me was into the **** for difficulty.
    I did wonder at one stage if it was a sneaky Ray T with the absence of phrases.
    Very very difficult. No favourite, too tricky to enjoy.
    Thx for the hints.

    • Kitty

      Brian – if you want to have a go at the real Toughie, it might cheer you up. Not only is it by your favourite setter, it lacks obscurities and religious stuff.

  18. Florence

    So lovely to hear from you midweek BD. Thank you for the review. I did wonder where the ‘without’ fitted in re 2d. Felt as though it should have just been ‘with’ . Reading the review it looks as though the jury is out on it. Also questioned 13a, but it is in the BRB. I think that 30a should be (9) not (10) as an alepstink sums up a teenager as far as I am concerned! Thank you setter for entertaining me on yet another wet June day.

  19. Kath

    I’m with Sheffieldsy on this one as I seem to have enjoyed it more than most of the rest of you. 2* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    I did wonder why the 23a knight should be displaying a pouch – P = quiet and ouch for the expression of pain – but decided it could be part of his ceremonial regalia.
    Having sorted out 23a I thought the rest of it was fairly straightforward with only a couple of minor problems.
    6a was my last one as I was, as BD suggested, completely taken in by golf which made me go blind.
    I thought that some of the surface readings were good fun.
    I liked 19 and 30a and 4d. My favourite was 25d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD for stepping in at the last minute.
    Going to try the Toughie later but massive pile of ironing to do first. :sad:

    • Merusa

      I went the same route with 23a and spent far too much time trying to find why a knight would have a pouch. Pity, I rather liked our answer.

  20. Merusa

    Well, I enjoyed this, so there, you naysayers. I don’t need to tear my hair out to enjoy a crossword.
    I rather liked 13a and 30a, but fave is 24a.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for his standing in.

    P.S. Please say it isn’t so; the DT today says that the weather forecast for Wimbledon is a washout! Oh dear, oh dear!

  21. Gwizz

    I didn’t mind today’s offering; it kept me occupied whilst yet another downpour brought everything to a general halt outside. Favourite? Maybe 17a. Overall 2/2.5*
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to BD for his review.

  22. Vancouverbc

    Certainly not a R&W for me. I persevered to get there in there in the end. Not very satisfying as I had to reparse a number of the clues to explain why I’d got the right answer. Thanks to the setter and BD for the review.

  23. 2Kiwis

    There are no jottings around the margins on our printouts. A sure sign that it all went together without too much of a fight. Pleasant enough.
    Thanks Mr Ron and BD.

  24. sunny_h

    This one has given me a bit of my crossword solving confidence back as I have been struggling of late. Favourite is 27a for its elegance. Needed the explanation to understand 16d so thanks for the hints. Love this site and although a bit of a lurker I always try to find time to read other folks comments.

  25. Popeye

    Not been on for a while. Grand children demanding crossword time!!!! Finally had a look at today’s and yes it all fell apart quite nicely but on a Tuesday afternoon with time pressure I was actually quite pleased it did. Thanks BD and I love the boat!!

  26. Jon_S

    Almost a R&W, that got a little more difficult in the southern half. That said, my last two were in the NE corner. ;-) Good for the spirits after Monday’s tussle.

  27. Shropshirelad

    Just popping in to say thanks to BD for doing the blog – Thanks. Haven’t had the time to do any of the puzzles today, maybe I’ll try them tomorrow.

  28. HoofItYouDonkey

    Well, I really enjoyed that, sorry if it was a bit boring for the experts.
    A pity, I struggle with a certain type of clue (see below).
    25a, Was a bit confused by delighted = sent???
    16d, again undone by the reversal, they are just not ‘sticking’ for me at the moment
    25d, moving letters around, still goes over my head
    28a, another clue dropping letters, I just don’t interpret the clues at all
    Many thanks BD, off to France tomorrow, trying to convince the family that all will be well in Lille…
    Also the setter.
    Off to see Kitty’s blog for the Toughie now.

    • jan

      Me too, Bluebell – South Devon. Lovely though. Thank you to today’s setter and BD – most enjoyable, and solving more by the day.


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