DT 28158 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28158

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28158

Hints and tips by ShropshireLad

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from a dull, cold and windy Shropshire. I really enjoyed this puzzle today as it is full of clues that I enjoy solving and is definitely higher up in the difficulty level than the past few Tuesday’s. There are no obscurities (that goes for 10a) and the clueing is fair.

As usual, the definitions are underlined to give you the first ‘leg up’ and my hints are also there to help that little bit more. If all else fails – ‘phone a friend or just click on the ‘click here!’ button to reveal the answer.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


3a    Problems associated with sudden withdrawal from remote country (4,6)
COLD TURKEY: A synonym for ‘remote’ as in ‘aloof’ followed by a Country.

8a    A tailing copper cut back round roof (6)
CUPOLA: Take the chemical abbreviation for ‘copper’ and add a synonym for ‘cut’ – reversed (back) and finish it all off with the ‘A’ from the clue (A tailing).

9a    Squirrel, an hour after 12 noon, seen tucking into thick piece of bread, perhaps (8)
CHIPMUNK: How ‘an hour after 12 noon’ could be written, inside (tucking into) a synonym for a ‘thick piece of bread’ or even cheese for that matter.

10a    Sort of spin on holiday (3,5)
LEG BREAK: Sorry Ladies – a sporting clue. The ‘on’ here is also known as ‘leg’ in cricket (don’t ask) and that is followed by a synonym for ‘holiday’.

11a    Wild cat devouring a rat’s head and part of body (6)
LARYNX: Take the name of a ‘wild cat’ and insert (devouring) the letter ‘a’ from the clue and the leading letter of ‘rat’ (rat’s head).

12a    Monk plugged in power tool and portable stove (10)
SALAMANDER: The ‘monk’ here is a Buddhist priest inside (plugged in) a power tool used to smooth wood.

14a    Assorted ‘semolina’ clues, cryptic (13)
MISCELLANEOUS: An anagram (cryptic) of SEMOLINA CLUES.

20a    Pretty area of land shown in musical from the east (10)
ATTRACTIVE: Take a well-known musical depicting an Argentinian woman’s life and reverse it (musical from the East) then insert (shown in) a synonym for an ‘area of land’.

22a    Foul play over Aintree champion? (3,3)
RED RUM: Take a heinous crime (foul play) and reverse it (over) and split the answer 3,3.

23a    Graduate runs into French port, mostly for squid (8)
CALAMARI: Usual crosswordland abbreviations for ‘graduate’ and ‘runs’ inserted (into) the name of a French port without its last letter (mostly).

24a    Number of fundamental importance? (8)
CARDINAL: Double definition.

25a    Fairy godmother finally admitted to malice (6)
SPRITE: Take the last letter (finally) of ‘godmother’ and insert it (admitted) into a synonym for ‘malice’.

26a    Superior soldiers leading troops at the front in advance (10)
BETTERMENT: A synonym for ‘superior’ with a term for ‘soldiers’ goes before (leading) the first letter of ‘troops’ (troops at the front).


1d    Rather cool early Christian with authority (8)
LUKEWARM: We need one of the gospel writers from the New Testament (early Christian) followed by the abbreviation for ‘with’ and a synonym for ‘authority’.

2d    High-ranking officials to lead gunners onto ship (3,5)
TOP BRASS: Take the ‘to’ from the clue and follow that with the chemical abbreviation for ‘lead’, then the usual abbreviations for ‘gunners’ and ‘ship’.

3d    Drew near artist, producer of pictures (6)
CAMERA: A 4 letter synonym for ‘drew near’ followed by the abbreviation for ‘artist’.

4d    Want chess player to sacrifice bishop (4)
LACK: The chess player who sits opposite to ‘white’ minus the abbreviation for ‘bishop’.

5d    Drag ladder leaving rehearsal (5,3)
TRIAL RUN: A synonym for ‘drag’ (as in – life’s a drag) and what a ladder in a stocking is known as.

6d    Comment on stain (6)
REMARK: A synonym for ‘on’ (as in – on the matter of) with another synonym for ‘stain’.

7d    It may affect the weather broadcast online (2,4)
EL NINO: An anagram (broadcast) of ONLINE.

13d    Earthenware daughter left out (5)
DELFT: The usual abbreviation for ‘daughter’ is followed by an anagram (out) of LEFT.

15d    Inspector, formerly a collier (8)
EXAMINER: Take the usual 2 letter term for ‘formerly’ add the ‘a’ from the clue and finish it all with a synonym of ‘collier’.

16d    Best in print, stylish (8)
OUTSMART: A term that is used if a paper or any other source of information is ‘in print’ – eg available for public knowledge followed by a synonym for ‘stylish’.

17d    Having to cut it by end of May shows harshness (8)
SEVERITY: A synonym of ‘to cut’ followed by the ‘it’ from the clue and the last letter of ‘May’ (by the end of May).

18d    Feel awkward about the old lady suggesting sex? (6)
FEMALE: An anagram (awkward) of FEEL contains (about) a term for mother (old lady).

19d    Extremely clever to revise trust (6)
CREDIT: Take the end letters (extremely) of ‘clever’ and add a term used to ‘revise’ a document before publication.

21d    In the end, book is printed on time (2,4)
AT LAST: The ‘book’ here is full of maps and add the abbreviation for ‘time’.

23d    The answer to this one must be written down (4)
CLUE: Does what it says on the tin.

There you go, hopefully my hints have helped those that needed them and apologies for the lateness of my review. My email is to blame. I liked far too many clues to pick a favourite – which one(s) gave you a smile.

I am away next week on holiday so I think you will be left in the capable hands of Hanni.

The Quick Crossword pun: suck+seeds=succeeds

68 comments on “DT 28158

  1. 3*/3* for me today. I was delayed because I put “off break” for 10a to start with. Thank you SL and setter.

    1. Me too with 10a, and I call myself a cricketer! Well a holiday is when you are off on a break, isn’t it?

      1. I have put ‘off break’…oops…better think again…
        Tricky today…

      2. Can’t tell you how pleased I am that you got 10a wrong, RD. Sorry, I know that’s uncharitable but I can’t help it……….

          1. Annoyed to get 10a wrong, I used to bowl the things years ago!!
            My wrong’un once got a 15 year-old Alec Stewart out!!

      3. Me too. I thought the “off” related to being on holiday, and only realised my mistake when 1d proved insoluble. All that took me into 2* time. It was fun, though, so 3.5* for enjoyment. 9a gets my vote for favourite clue, with 23a close behind. Thanks to the setter, and of course ShropshireLad.

    2. Played cricket for many years in the Cheshire county league as an off spinner, so fell for the leg trap too!

    3. There’s two sides in Cricket the ‘leg’ and the ‘off’ – it’s called ‘leg’ because your ..er legs are on it – the ‘leg’ side is also called the ‘on’ side because your legs are ‘on’ it – the other side is called the ‘off’ side – seems pretty straightforward to me!

      We could have a bit of – ‘one side is in and the other side is out, and the in side stay in until they’re all out and then the side that was out go in and they stay in until they’re all out’ etc etc – but that would be really boring!

      As far as the puzzle in concerned it was good fun, not too difficult – the only thing I had to look up was 12a – the BRB gave the portable stove definition.


  2. 10 a had me stumped .
    I particularly liked 3a and 23a , among others.
    Very enjoyable.
    Thanks SL and I wonder who the setter is.

  3. This was more than a 2* difficulty for me – maybe 3* or even a bit more and about the same for enjoyment.
    A bad case of wrong wave-length or I’m having a seriously off day – the style of the clues felt unfamiliar.
    I did my usual quick read through and was almost down to the bottom of the across clues before I got a single answer.
    I needed the hint for the first word of 10a – should have got that one but didn’t recognise the fact that it was ‘crickety’.
    Looking at all this again now I’m really not sure why I found it so difficult.
    I liked 11 and 22a and 16 and 23d. My favourite was 25a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to SL.

  4. I’ll go along with SL’s 2*/3* rating. This was good fun and a nice challenge. Putting in the wrong answer to start with for 10a delayed me rather with 1d, but all’s well that ends well. Ultimately the correct answer for 10a was my favourite, but many of the others came into the reckoning.

    12a was a new meaning of the answer for me.

    Many thanks to the setter and to SL.

  5. Oh, for goodness sake, that cricket stuff again! I had totally justified ‘tea break’ for 10a – the teapot spin in ice skating or my conversation with Mr. Google this morning about the art of tea spinning giving me a perfectly acceptable answer to a ‘sort of holiday’.

    Needed the checkers in for 12a (either never known or long forgotten) and struggled for ages to get 3a.

    Top three places go to 3a (very clever when I finally got there), 22a (never thought of that reversal plus – other than Dessie – the only horse I ever won money on at the races) and 18d for the superb surface read.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to SL, despite your insistence that 10a isn’t obscure – it is to some of us! Have a great holiday.

  6. R&W in the South but slightly more thought required in the North hence **/***. None to call Fav. Thanks Mr. Ron and SL.

  7. Favourite is 18d. Also liked “Fairy godmother”.
    Struggled to remember the portable stove – but I think I have seen it.

    Had no problems with the cricket. My game must be improving.

    Many thanks SL – enjoy your break

    and thank you setter

  8. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Shropshire Lad for the review and hints. I really enjoyed this, but found it very tricky. Had off break for 10a, which stopped me getting 1d. Couldn’t get 12a or 18d.I thought 22a & 2d were both very clever, but my favourite was 9a. Was 3*/4*for me. Very chilly in Central London, but the Sun is trying to come out.

  9. Thought some of the cluing quite difficult, especially the top half.
    Going to agree with S.L’S **/***.Liked 3a and 9a ,12a new to me. Why have i not I seen 22a before !
    Thanks to setter for a very well set puzzle and SL for the review/.

  10. A bit of a slow start and then it all came together nicely. It certainly needed a fair amount of thought, which increased the overall enjoyment and subsequent sense of satisfaction. 9 across my favourite and 2.5*/3.5* seems about right.

    Thanks very much Mr Ron and SL for an enjoyable blog.

  11. This was a R&W, (almost), for me. Very enjoyable.
    … Until I got here to discover that I, too, fell for the 10a twist – never played or watched cricket so not too disappointed though.

    Lots of fun clues and a few I’m sure I’ve seen somewhere before such as 15d, 6d, 20a & 22a.

    Liked 18d because it is so tidy, but top today for me is 9a. The time reference made me smile.

    Thanks to SL and setter (Mr Ron?)

  12. Fell into the offside trap as well. Not sure what to make of this puzzle. It seemed to lack a bit of fizz to me. Perhaps I’m grumpy about my dental check up later on!

  13. Agree with your rating, SL, good puzzle.
    I watched a cooking show yesterday and they had a 12a, so got that, no sweat.
    Not knowing bo-diddly about cricket, I guessed 10a and got it right. Ergo, guessing seems to be as good as knowing!
    Fave was 22a, with runner up as 9a.
    Thanks to setter and to ShropshireLad for the hints.

  14. Difficult for me! 9a, 11a and 12a all had me stumped……hope to do better tomorrow….

  15. ***/***. This needed two sittings. I got the bottom half filled in quite quickly but really struggled with the top. This morning the lights went on once I got into the setters wavelength. Fortunately I got 1d before I got to 10a so my instinctive thought of “off” had to be wrong. I liked a lot of these clues in retrospect particularly 8&26a. Thanks to the setter and SL for the review. Family arriving from Belgium tomorrow so probably off the air for the much of the next couple of weeks. Fingers crossed for the weather.

  16. Good afternoon everybody.

    An easy solve today as somebody had already kindly completed the grid , bizarrely excepting 3a! Not sure whether it was my sometime crossword companion or not but the bounder also had it away with the Toughie…

    I had a crack at the puzzle in another place but fell six out.


  17. A satisfying solve, slightly tricky in places, which definitely added to the enjoyment factor.

    I didn’t know the stove in 12a, and probably would have put “off” as the first part of 10a too, had I not already solved 1d!

    Although it was a little verbose, I really liked 9a for its surface, but my joint-favourites were 25a and 7d.

    Many thanks to today’s setter and to SL.

  18. For me not difficult ** but almost no enjoyment at all *
    Too wordy with too many almost definitions, a damn priest I had never heard of and 23d is still a total mystery although there is only one possible answer.
    Mind you I turned very grumpy when I couldnt fit off break into 10a!
    Thx for the hints which I needed to fully explain at least 7 answers.

      1. If he doesn’t know the (dalai) lama, he’s even more of a recluse and lives in his own little world.

  19. Honestly SL this was years harder than yesterday 😢 Not helped by being another “offer” and 12a has for me always been a colourful amphibian 🤔 But a quick look in my bible, no not the BRB but Ursula Harringman’s “The Complete Crossword Dictionary” does list it! So ***/***, some really nice clues 3a, 9a & 26a to name but three, many thanks for the blog and to the setter 😎 We have had two sunny days in a row 😊

  20. That was not much fun.
    I am fine with most of the setters, except for Mr Ron, as I find the wordplay fairly unintelligible.
    Jay’s clues, for example, I find are so much more enjoyable due to their simplicity. It does not mean that they are any easier to solve, just that I can at least have a crack at solving them Most of these, I cant.
    However, this is not a moan, merely an observation, as this is a consequence of my relative inexperience.
    Anyone who did this without a hint, the BRB, the internet or an electronic gizmo has my total respect.
    Much gratitude to SL for the hints as they at least allowed me to complete the puzzle, and to Mr Ron.

    1. We rarely know who the Tuesday setter is Oofit. There are several setters fledging their wings and waiting for a regular to ‘move on’ and make a space that they may fill. The Mysteron from Captain Scarlet has been shortened to Mr Ron for unidentifiable setters.

      1. Ah!! Thanks MP, that explains why I can sometimes do his puzzles, and sometimes not!!

  21. I also had off break 🤐

    In 1d, I eventually got there, but even with the hint am struggling with the ‘authority synonym’ bit…

    Thanks to the setter and to ShropshireLad

  22. I liked this one and I thought the style of the quickie puzzle and the style of this puzzle make this setter stand out like Ray T does. I enjoyed teasing out the answers from the wordplay and the checkers. Nice to see my little brother making an appearance in the first half of one down. We have a bird a rat a lizard a horse and something chewy from the sea in the across clues alone. More please. Oh. Have a go at the quickie, it should supply several subtle smiles. Sensational.

    1. Dear MPs – Had lovely email from your friend that I sent the donation to for the little boy with eye problems. Such a change as I rarely seem to hear from recipient so nice to know the money had arrived. H

      1. Ah Hilary. I have been wondering why Hilary is on my to do list and not crossed out. Now I know. Thank you for helping things along. Very generous indeed.

  23. Reasonably straightforward and fun, so 1.5*/2.5*.

    Anyone who has read Stephen King’s The Shining or seen the film (pretty sure the review picture is from the film) will have got 22a immediately. 26a was our nomination for top clue.

    Thanks for the review, SL, and to Mr Ron, whoever you are.

  24. We had ‘off’ for the first part of 10a until the gospel writer corrected us. 12a was new to us too but gettable from the checkers and then confirmed in BRB. Trickier than average for us, particularly the top half. we enjoyed it.
    Thanks Mr Ron and SL.

  25. Largely gentle, but a fair few had me pondering for a little longer. I enjoyed it. I have to admit that I’d caught sight of a comment about 10a by accident before the solve, so can’t tell how I would have fared on that score. The 12a stove was gettable even though I wasn’t familiar with it. I didn’t realise a 9a was a type of squirrel, so checked that. They are very cute.

    I liked 11a (even if it was a bit gory), as well as 25a and 7d (both very smooth). My favourite is 18d.

    Thanks to today’s mysteron and also to SL for the good work. Have a great week away. I’ll be on holiday too, but I’m not using that as an excuse! ;)

  26. Found it hard to get on Mr Ron’s wavelength, but SL’s hints saved the day. Never heard of that portable stove and cricket remains a complete mystery. Dug Red Rum up from brain recess, perhaps helped that we have been to The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO where the film was shot. The drive through the canyon from Fort Collins is spectacular, and Estes Park well worth visiting if you are in the area.

  27. I do (or try to)the DT Cryptic each day,but was flummoxed by this one….it felt unfamiliar…any idea who the setter was?…thanks.

    1. Hi Julian – The Tuesday back page setter is rarely identifiable and I’m pretty sure that he/she is not always the same. We (the blog that is) have always asked who it is – but no answer from the crossword team at the DT has been forthcoming.

    2. Hi Julian. I have been recognising this setter for a while but usually from their Quickie puzzles. The same setter does both each day. I loved them both.

      1. The Quickie today is very good, I learnt the name for a Curling Team Skipper!!
        I do them now on your advice to improve my synonym recognition.

  28. I thought this was quite difficult, I got stuck on the top half for a while and joined the tea break brigade,***/**. I found it difficult to get on the right wavelength today.
    Thanks to setter and SL, whose blogs I always enjoy.

  29. When you don’t know anything about cricket, you have to go to BD”s mine. It’s all there, believe me.
    Well, having the right checkers did help a bit.
    1d and 2d were a bit Lego like, and a couple more in 7d and 16d but that didn’t spoil the fun.
    Thanks to the setter and to SL for the review.

  30. Needless to say I fell into the Off Break team; but once that was reviewed the rest went in fairly regularly. The cooker I had heard of and the cardinal was dredged out by the grey cells. Favourite clue was 1a, and overall 2/3*
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to SL. Happy hols!

  31. Please don’t patronise us Ladies when a cricketing term is used – 10a. Perhaps you should’ve done the same to the Gents on 5d. How EVER would they know about stockings . . . ?!

    1. Welcome from me as well Sue.

      I apologise if you think my comment on 10a was patronising – when I said ‘Sorry Ladies – a sporting clue’, I was addressing some of the regular lady commenters on the blog who always express their displeasure when a ‘sporting clue’ appears. Maybe I should have given more thought before writing the hint.

      Anyway, nice to see that you’ve ‘de-lurked’ and I hope you continue to comment.

      1. Seeing as I really know little to nothing about most sports I didn’t find that at all patronising…

    2. Hi Sue. Some time ago there was a thread here about hold ups v stockings. We have also talked about pencils, rhubarb, gooseberries, Kaths garden. Hanni’s horse riding and goodness knows whatever else. Welcome aboard

  32. *** maybe **** for difficulty here. If the setter was on one wavelength, I was on another one entirely. An enjoyable tussle nevertheless. Another one who went with off break, until it became clear that nothing else would fit.

  33. V late on parade as I was late solving. In fact there will be another puzzle up already no doubt.

    However I loved this one. Cracking stuff.

    Thanks to the setter and to SL for a great blog as always.

  34. I was another off-breaker, which left me with only 1d unsolved – because it was unsolvable. A spot of lateral thinking sorted me out and I was able to finish without SL’s excellent hints. .22a wins after a photo-finish with 7d as today’s champion hurdler. Ta to Mr Ron and SL – and to all who have left encouraging comments for me to find when encouragement has been in short supply. 2*/3*

  35. Very very late with my comment but wanted to call in anyway to say that this was a bit of a steeplechaser for me…lots of impossible hurdles to clamber over and a good soaking on the other side. But MPs summary of why he thought it was good made me appreciate it better. Have had a good study of the reversals, Lego pieces, whole meaning options which often trip me up and so on. Good learning…I hope!
    I did get leg break…much good it did me.

    Thank you for the invaluable explanations SL and to the setter for teaching me more tricks.

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