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DT 28154

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28154

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hello everyone. This isn’t a Ray T Thursday – I have an idea of who it might be but I’ve been wrong so many times that I think I’ll keep my suspicions to myself and wait and see if anyone calls in to take ownership. I really enjoyed it although I noticed quite a few anagrams which won’t suit all of you. I didn’t think it was too tricky but I am, as always, more than happy for you to disagree with me so what did you think? Please leave us a comment.

The definitions in the hints are underlined and the answers are hidden under the bits that say ANSWER so only do that if you need to see them.


1a            Greeting from Chicago — what are the odds? (4)
CIAO — An Italian greeting comes from the odd letters of Chicago.

3a            Someone getting up part of the staircase (5)
RISER — This is a double definition – the first is fairly obvious and the second is part of a step in a staircase even though I’m never really sure which part.p.txt

6a            Leaders of radical avant garde slated in tabloids (4)
RAGS — The first letters (leaders) of the third, fourth, fifth and sixth words in the clue give you some of the more disreputable newspapers.

8a            Ceremony from which bride and groom emerge with double-barrelled name? (7,8)
SHOTGUN MARRIAGE — A wedding involving coercion often by the armed father of the bride.


9a            Supposed setback for De Niro, tackling ‘Page’ instead of ‘King’ (6)
OPINED — Reverse (setback) of De Niro swapping (tackling) the one letter abbreviation for the Latin word for ‘King’ for another abbreviation, this time the one one for ‘Page’. This was much easier once I’d stopped trying to make it something to do with Robert.

10a         Mugs develop this flaw (8)
HALFWITS — An anagram (develop) of THIS FLAW.


11a         Rough justice rules when Bet ran the Rovers? (5-3)
LYNCH LAW — The surname of Bet in the pub in a long running soap opera is followed by a set of rules or statutes. Thank you, Mr Google, – having never watched this I was a bit sunk but did recognise the name of the pub.

13a         Mellow blend of tea and rum (6)
MATURE — An anagram (blend) of TEA and RUM.

15a         Half of short-form cricket score (6)
TWENTY — The word in this answer repeated is a fast-paced form of cricket. Oh dear – well how was I to know? I looked up forty which seemed to make sense but wasn’t helpful . . .


17a         Feel slur involved nationalism (4-4)
SELF-RULE — An anagram (involved) of FEEL SLUR

19a         Major temptation for the First Lady in Manhattan (3,5)
BIG APPLE — The capitalisation of ‘First Lady’ is a red herring – the first lady here got up to no good in the Garden of Eden when she succumbed to the offer of a piece of fruit.

21a         Getting through last course? (6)
COPING — A double definition – the second being the covering course of masonry of a wall.

22a         Smoke and mirrors in timeless political solution strangely not over (7,8)
OPTICAL ILLUSION — An anagram (strangely) of POLITICAL, without the T (timeless) and SOLUTION, without the abbreviation for O(ver) (not over).

23a         Relation of wholewheat bread without a majority of rye (4)
GRAN — Some wholewheat or brown bread – the kind with malted seeds in it – without the A from the clue and the first two letters (majority of) RYe.

24a         Artist’s agent is less flamboyant (5)
DRYER — A double definition – the first one being something an artist might use to dry some oils or paint.

25a         Extremely colourful flare (4)
VERY — A double definition (I think) – a word that means extremely, or ever so, is also the name of a coloured flare fired from a pistol and named after the naval officer of the same name.



1d            Cook ‘osculates’ French dish (9)
CASSOULET — An anagram (cook) of OSCULATES.


2d            Eternity with piercing pain arising due to wind (7)
AEOLIAN — A four letter word meaning an eternity or a very long time contains (piercing) a reversal (arising) of a word for pain or trouble.

3d            Only a rude drunken song and dance (9)
ROUNDELAY — An anagram (drunken) of ONLY A RUDE.

4d            East Londoner’s property and house in South West anyway (7)
SOMEHOW — The abbreviation for South West contains (in) how an East Londoner might refer to his (or her) abode, assuming he or she drops the H as all East Londoners are supposed to do certainly as far as crossword clues are concerned, and the two letter abbreviation for house.

5d            Rustic Murray limitlessly out of sorts before middle of Wimbledon (5)
RURAL — An anagram (out of sorts) of the middle four letters (limitlessly) of mURRAy is followed by the middle letter of wimbLedon. Very topical.


6d            Outcome of downpour in rocky terrain swamping western area (9)
RAINWATER — An anagram (rocky) of TERRAIN which contains (swamping) the abbreviations for W(estern) and A(rea).


7d            Comedian name-dropped Mafioso (7)
GAGSTER — A member of the Mafia or band of violent criminals without (dropped) the one letter abbreviation for N(ame).

12d         It can go on spreading disease (9)
CONTAGION — An anagram (spreading) of IT CAN GO ON.

13d         ‘Minuscule tooth-filling’ clue set (9)
MOLECULAR — This ‘tooth’ is one of the big ones at the back of your mouth – it contains (filling) an anagram (set) of CLUE.

14d         Internet boon, storing information in a crisis (9)
EMERGENCY — The one letter meaning anything to do with the internet is followed by a boon or a blessing which contains (storing) some information or data. I had a nasty moment or two when I first read this one – it all sounded very IT to me but turned out not to be at all – phew, what a relief.

16d         Women’s Institute’s admitting husband according to rumour (7)
WHISPER — The abbreviations for W(omen’s) I(nstitute) contain (admitting) the abbreviation for H(usband) – don’t forget the ‘S – these are followed by a short Latin word for according to, or by means of.


17d         Identify mushrooms served up I fancy superficially (7)
SPECIFY — Begin with a reversal (served up) of some edible mushrooms and follow that with the I from the clue and the first and last letters (superficially) of F(anc)Y.

18d         Take advantage of United match featuring oldies here and there (7)
UTILISE — The abbreviation for U(nited) is followed by a word meaning match or equal which contains (featuring) the alternate letters (here and there) of oLdIeS.

20d         Welsh party for squares? (5)
PLAID — When followed by Cymru this is the Welsh Nationalist Party – on its own it’s Welsh for party and it also means squares, as in tartan.

I liked lots of these but I’ll restrict myself to a few so will go for 10 and 19a. My favourite was 5d.


47 comments on “DT 28154

  1. Spent some time trying to remember who ran the Rovers Return. I couldn’t fit in Julie Goodyear anywhere (nor Doris Speed for that matter.)
    2.5*/3.5* for me. Thank you Kath and mystery setter.

  2. I thought this was excellent. My only hold up was 21a, my last one in, which took me into 3* time. 5* for enjoyment.
    Many thanks to Kath for the review, and to PJ (an uninformed guess as the setter of this puzzle).

      1. Thanks for calling in. That’s about the first time I’ve ever been right – wish I’d had the courage of my convictions and said so!

  3. I thought this was going well till the last few. I got some help with 2d and couldn’t decide which fitted as the other contender meant eternal- went for the right one though. Couldn’t see 24 across as I got fixated on the second letter being a vowel. Doh. And finally 25a – the free dictionary doesn’t say it’s a flare! ***/*** for me. Favourite was 22a. Thanks all

  4. 3* for difficulty / 2* for enjoyment. What a mixture! I thought this was a real curate’s egg of a puzzle today. A lot of great clues offset by some very clunky, contrived ones.

    Surely the correct expression for 8a should have wedding as the second word, but Kath’s cartoon more than makes up for that! 19a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to Kath.

  5. Our guess for setter was also Petitjean. Expect we will find out when we wake up tomorrow morning if we got it right. Several tricky clues in here for us, the answer for 2d a new word and we had forgotten the second meaning of 21a. Not a quick solve for us and plenty to enjoy.
    Thanks Mr Ron (PJ) and Kath.

  6. I had to check my soap operas and cricket knowledge, but I remembered the flare and the wind harp.

    I quite liked 1a (Greetings from Chicago) – don’t think I’ve seen that before

    Liked 19a too, though perhaps Manhattan is only part of it

    16d was very clever, using crosswordese to hide wordplay and definition

    Many thanks Kath & PJ

  7. 2*/3* from me for this enjoyable PJ puzzle. I enjoyed 8 across but my favourite was 14 down. Thanks to the aforementioned and to Kath.

    A mercifully dry day here in the Marches although not particularly summery. Trying to plan trips to watch some cricket is proving to be something of a nightmare due to incessant low pressures moving west to east.

  8. A pleasant walk in the park with several unusual and nicely esoteric clues. Needed help with 25a. Stupidly failed to parse 19a so will make that Fav with 8a and 15a as tied runners-up. Thanks Petitjean and Kath. **/***.

  9. Must admit, I shied away from naming PJ as a result of what I took to be a couple of ‘Americanisms’ in this one.
    As RD said, I think we are more familiar with ‘wedding’ as the second word of 8a and I’ve only come across ‘mob’ used as part of the 11a phrase.
    For once I have to thank those of our commenters who waffle on about cricket – without you I wouldn’t have known 15a!
    Had to look up 2d – new one for me.

    Thanks to PJ and also to Kath for the hard work – like you, my heart sank on the first read through of 14d!

  10. Well, I found this pretty stiff – in a good way – as Thursdays often are. I’m humbled to see this is not, as I supposed it would be, generally rated as a ****er. (I mean, a 4*-for-difficulty-er: those asterisks are not covering an obscenity!)

    I failed to get 11a, having never heard of the phrase with that second word. (Also, the only time I have ever watched the programme referenced is when I rented a room for a while with a family who liked to watch it. They had two cats: I’ll watch almost anything if I’m pinned to the sofa by a purring bundle of cute. I remember nothing about what was on the box.) I also needed the hints for 21a and 2d and to look up the flare.

    I agree with my estimable fellow commenters that 8a would work better with wedding, but it did raise a smile. Semi-unusually my choice of favourite is between anagrams. I am inclined to like a rude song and dance (3d) but Kath’s picture has firmed my decision to nominate 10a. Looking at the length of my comment, though, I’m a little red-faced at the implication … :oops:

    Many thanks to Kath and PJ for keeping Thursdays in crosswordland entertaining and fun.

  11. Having had a good day yesterday – this brought me back down to earth. *** time but **** for enjoyment. Like Jane, I had to look up 2d but alas also 3d – both new to me. 14d was one of the last in – unlike Kath and Jane I kept trying to get an IT answer! Still not sure about the synonym for boon – couldn’t find them in my BRBs. Favourites were 8a and 19a. Thanks to PJ and Kath

  12. Thanks to PJ and to Kath for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, but found it quite tricky in places. I had opened for 9a, so that made 2d impossible. Had bran for 23a doh :-( There were some very good clues, 12&13d, but my favourite was 5d. I never watch soaps, so I struggled with the first word of 11a, but got it eventually. Nice to see 7d again. Was 2*/3* for me. Please let Summer start.

  13. Going for a **/*** today , agree with RD, that the cluing was ‘uneven ‘ and wedding is the usual accompaniment to shotgun-as per the Roy ‘C’ record. On the same theme, ‘ Mob’ usually goes with Lynch- two in one day!.
    Liked 21 and 19 across, Last in was plaid, which I should have remembered as I once had one of the little green triangular badges in my buttonhole my grandad was welsh and they were good at rugby in the late 1960’s !

  14. Thanks for that Kath – an enjoyable puzzle today.
    BTW – the step is the horizontal bit of the staircase, and the riser is vertical!

  15. I am pretty useless at Mr Ron’s puzzles, but this one went in much better. The top half was a breeze, though got both ‘marriage’ and ‘law’ wrong. Like everyone else it seems.
    I didn’t like 24a
    The bottom half, not so easy, but got there in the end, I needed a hint for 21a.
    Thanks Kath for a super set of hints and blog.
    Thanks Mr Ron, I shall score that as a score-draw.

  16. This was relatively straightforward and enjoyable . 11a made me smile , the last time I watched ” coro ” this person was behind the bar . Needed the hints for 18d , grrrr and 2d although I was almost there with this one, the wind reference blew me of course .**/*** Thanks to Kath and the setter.

  17. I made a complete mess of this by putting Joining Together at 8a. It made total sense to me – guests witness a joining together of man/woman (or , these days, man/man, woman,woman) and when two names are linked by a hyphen you have a joining together of names.. However, this rather made the first 7 down clues more difficult than necessary! Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable tussle. Thanks to the composer of clues and writer of hints.

  18. Thank you Kath for your hints to 2d and 26ac which both eluded me. Thanks to PJ for a fine Thursday workout. Excellent stuff.

  19. Great fun today and did well (for me) but had trouble with 2d (new word for me) and 23a which was far more complicated than I realised. Also needed Kath to explain 17d.
    Really liked 21a, 7d, 8a, although tried putting in wedding before It clicked.
    Fave was 1d as it reminded me of my now grown up children’s insistence that we would feed them tinned cassoulet at every mealtime on our French camping holidays. We really didn’t!
    Thank you PJ for the pleasant challenge and Kath for the nice clear explanations.

  20. A real mixed bad for me. Some very clever constructions certainly, but there were several other clues where the surfaces were either too contrived (1d and 13d for example) or where the setter appeared a little too self-indulgent (9a and 5d in my opinion). When a setter has to resort on more than one occasion to putting elements of clues within commas tends to suggest that he or she is on rather shaky ground.

    I also thought that 19a deserved at least a question mark or preferably a “possibly” after Manhattan.

    The clues I particularly liked were 23a and 7d, although 20d did amuse.

    Many thanks to Mr. Pidgeon and to Kath.

  21. ***/****. Very enjoyable. The top half went in swiftly, however the south held me up for ages. Thanks to the setter and Kath for the review.

  22. Very enjoyable solve today, although I came unstuck with 2d. I went for eternity as the meaning, sought a bit of outside help and was given Aeonian – couldn’t make any sense of it but stuck it in, and that gave me enough letters to take a wild (and mercifully correct) guess at 11a. The rest was plain sailing. Certainly **** for enjoyment. Favourite clues 8a and 20d.

  23. This was HARD, but very enjoyable. There are too many “smile” clues to choose a fave, but 1a, 19a and 5d were standouts.
    Not having ever watched that soap, had no idea why 11a was correct.
    I had to google the Welsh party.
    I knew the 2d harp was also called a wind harp, so no problem there.
    Thanks to PJ for the fun, and to Kath for the explanations, e.g. 14d and 15a in particular.

  24. I found this difficult but did get there in the end even though I didn’t always understand why so thank you very much for your hints, Kath. And I did suspect the setter, his clues are so convoluted and a bit ‘mad’ but fair, so thank you to PJ too. ***/***

  25. As always a very enjoyable crossword from P-J!

    1d – Why is ‘osculates’ in quotation marks? (possibly in italics in the paper?)

    I’m sure that our French chef will be able to explain! Mais, je ne comprends pas!

    Thanks to PJ for the puzzle and to Kath for the blog

    1. Osculates is in quotation marks rather than italics in the paper too. I confess that it hadn’t occurred to me to wonder why.
      Perhaps we need to ask a clever person such as BD, Gazza, CS and anyone else who I’ve forgotten to mention . . .
      I’m not sure that our French chef will be able to explain this one but you never know!

      1. I am glad you didn’t mention me as being in the clever club Kath. I’m just a poorly schooled orphan boy you know.

  26. I knew that it was not a normal Thursday puzzle as I solved 90% without difficulty 😉
    Thanks Kath for the clever blog and to Little John for a solveable puzzle 😊 Really liked 13 & 17d I feel nice and relaxed and we have actually had a dry day 😜 I think a nice glass of Merlot is called for 🍷

  27. Thanks to Kath for the clues as I wasn’t really on the wavelength for a good half of this puzzle, found it harder than yesterday. Couldn’t recall Bet’s last name, but as my girls were toddlers then and in their 40s now (remember hurrying through their bedtime story time to get back downstairs for Coronation Street – pre DVR or I Player days) I am not surprised.

  28. Good evening everybody.

    A joint effort for the first time in a few weeks. Started well enough but a few tricky ones along the way. In the end I only bunged in a handful as most of the time was taken up with weightier matters viz the forthcoming football season and some election or other that apparently took place recently…


  29. For the most part this was pretty light and breezy, but then I needed to guess 25ac (the first definition was clear enough, but the other certainly wasn’t). And then there was 2d, which indeed took an age. *** for difficulty at the end then. 17ac I wasn’t very fond of – I wasn’t sure that the definition was quite right, and it seemed a bit off anyway in light of the continuing controversies of the past week.

  30. 2*/3.5*, I think. I was tempted by 1d – on the grounds that I love a good cassoulet – but 7d gets my vote for top clue. Thanks to Petitjean, and to Kath.

  31. Few problems , other than the wind at 2d and I forgot that light again at 25a.
    Very enjoyable .
    Thanks JP and Kath.

  32. I found this very tricky in places and getting a full grid took quite some time. A bit of a quibble with 19A since Manhattan is only a part of the answer, but I’m guessing it was a misdirection to the cocktail. 2D was the last one in and I had to check the spelling. I did remember Bet’s last name finally (haven’t seen that program for decades) after initial putting ‘local’ for the first word. 23A is my favorite today. Thanks Kath and PJ.

  33. The top half went in happily – apart from 2d! But the lower half was a different story. I got there eventually; 22a was my favourite. A good good puzzle overall I thought; most enjoyable. 3/4* overall.
    Thanks to PJ and to Kath for her usual sterling work.

  34. Beaten by 2D and 25A . Couldn’t find the alternative definition of very in the dictionary.13D and 9 A were clever.

  35. Didn’t get a chance to post before now.
    Already feels like I solved the crossword yesterday.
    Wasn’t too sure about my answer in 21a as I couldn’t understand the first bit.
    Thought 9a was a bit strange but now that we know who the setter is, I’m a bit less surprised.
    Thanks to PJ and to Kath for the review.

  36. First time for weeks, a clue stumped me and had to resort to coming here for a hint. 2d was my nemesis, I had aeonian for eternity and could not parse it!

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