DT 28164 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28164

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28164

Hints and tips by Hanni

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Greetings from the wet/sunny/cold/muggy/hot/haily (it’s a word!) moors. Your usual Tuesday blogger is off on his holidays (with Mrs SL), somewhere or other. I think it involves a cottage, no internet and his car looking good, so I am in the chair.

It’s a good job I like Lego as it involved a lot of it with this puzzle.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Trap king with fine forged blade (8)
PENKNIFE:    Start with a 3 letter word for trap followed by K(ing) and an anagram (forged) of FINE. All good Boy Scouts and Girl Guides have one of these, or they did. The Swiss quite like them too.


5a    Called over by head of department to get order (6)
DEMAND:    Reverse (over) a word for called or cited and add D(epartment) to it.

9a    Perhaps Oliver in meeting with government’s leader, spinning (8)
TWISTING:    Lego time. Begin the surname of a famous Oliver created by Dickens who wanted ‘more’ (don’t we all), follow this with IN from the clue and G(overnment).     

10a Steven set off matches (6)
EVENTS:    Pens, pencils and quills at the ready for an anagram (set off) of STEVEN.

12a    Walk around certain to be adored (9)
TREASURED:    A 5 letter word for walk or to step is placed around a word meaning to be certain or positive of something.

13a    Film actor leaving quietly (5)
LAYER:    This film, veneer or strata can be found by taking away (leaving) the musical term for quietly from an example of what an actor is.

14a    Examination for all? Just some (4)
ORAL:    This took me some time to spot. Hidden (just some) in the middle two words of the clue is an examination, often taken in a foreign language.

16a    Cost created by former lover with writer, she being vacuous (7)
EXPENSE:    More Lego. I like Lego, you can build stuff. Our usual 2 letter abbreviation for a former lover is followed by a writing implement. Finish with S(H)E missing the middle letter (vacuous).

19a    Grumble about North — it gets payout from government (7)
BENEFIT:    Insert N(orth) into a 4 letter word for having a bit of a complaint or grumble about someone. Then just add ‘IT’ from the clue.

21a    ‘Reposez’ primarily is French for ‘stand’ (4)
REST:    Did you pass your French 14a at school? It may help if you did. The French word for ‘IS’ is preceded by R(eposez) (primarily).

24a    One lives by the river, that’s comparatively warm in the East End (5)
OTTER:    This beautiful animal does indeed live near rivers and if you live in the East End of London it is how you might say the temperature of the day compares to yesterday. Bit warmer? Yeah..it’s *****!

25a    ‘Criminal is evil,’ CID educated (9)
CIVILISED:    What a clever clue. Here we have an anagram (criminal) of IS EVIL CID to leave you with a word for someone who is sophisticated or enlightened.

27a    Fruit — it could be crazy if you have more than one (6)
BANANA:    It is said that if we eat lots of this yellow fruit we might lose our composure or go *******!


28a    Queen in a fuddle? Bad — very bad (8)
DREADFUL:    A usual suspect for Queen, (look it up in the Usual Suspects, it’s probably there [sorry that one will be in the yet-to-be-completed Latin words and abbreviations BD], is in an anagram (bad) of A FUDDLE.

29a    More intelligent animal restricts physical exercise (6)
DEEPER:    A horned animal that could be Red or Fallow includes (restricts) an abbreviation for a type of exercise we all did at school. For the girls it was usually hockey and netball. I have no idea what the boys did. Rugby I think. Possibly football?

30a    Comprehensive education’s flipping pursued (8)
DETAILED:    Reverse (flipping) the abbreviation for education and add a word meaning chased.


1d    Pomp 50 per cent reduced thanks to King Edward? (6)
POTATO:    More Lego. The first 2 letters of ‘pomp’ (50 percent reduced) is followed by a diminutive form of ‘thanks’ and TO from the clue.

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

2d    Ian’s thrown up: was first to be hammered (6)
NAILED:    IAN in this clue is just reversed (thrown up), but follow him with a 3 letter word to be first or to be ahead and you’ll get the answer.

3d    Writes no publication for teachers (5)
NOTES:    NO from the clue followed by a 3 letter abbreviation for a popular weekly publication for teachers.

4d    Rock fan rule: everyone wears black here (7)
FUNERAL:    An anagram (rock) of FAN RULE.

6d    Postholders? (9)
ENVELOPES:    A lovely cryptic definition to describe where we may encase an important letter or document.

7d    Any gin? No? Awfully tiresome (8)
ANNOYING:    Gosh I do like a good anagram and this is one. Here ANY GIN NO (awfully), leaves you with a word meaning vexing.

8d    Walked out on sweet disheartened editor (8)
DESERTED:     A word for pudding with the middle letter removed (disheartened), is followed by the 2 letter abbreviation for editor. I like raspberries as pudding.

11d    Bite lip (4)
EDGE:    Double definition the latter being the rim of something.

15d    Testimonial from first choice beginning to be ignored (9)
REFERENCE:    Here a synonym for your first choice or proclivity is missing its first letter.

17d    Wrapped up sailor thus, right before bed (8)
ABSORBED: More Lego. Start with a 2 letter abbreviation for a sailor…like SL and Salty Dog, add to this another 2 letter word for ‘thus’, then R(ight) and finally follow this by BED from the clue. Did you get all that because I’ve made it sound quite complicated?

18d    In carriage, for example (8)
INSTANCE:    IN from the clue is followed by a 6 letter word for a person’s bearing or demeanour.

20d    Lorry driver finally mislaid food (4)
TUCK:    A word for lorry without (mislaid) the final letter of (drive)R leaves you with a word for food. Around these ‘ere parts it’s called your ‘bait’.

21d    Upset about poetry (7)
REVERSE:    Start with our usual abbreviation for ‘about’ and add a 5 letter word for poetry or prose.

22d American fuel reprocessing is practical (6)
USEFUL:    To find something practical here we begin with the 2 letter word for America and follow it with an anagram (reprocessing) of FUEL.

23d    Tot was in the van, confused (6)
ADDLED:    Van the Man who caused so much trouble at 4d on Friday makes a return appearance today. Tot here is a verb which means to tot up or calculate the sum of several numbers. To be in the van is to lead. The clue states ‘was in the van’ so we need the past participle of lead to complete the clue. Here’s a bit of Van Morrison.

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

26d    Everyone put up with mother’s animal (5)
LLAMA:    You can find this animal by reversing (put up), a 3 letter word for everyone followed by a 2 letter word for mother. These occasional ‘beasts of burden’ played an important part in the Incan empire. And they look weird.

No stand out favourites (maybe 25a). Did you have one? A little Mozart to finish.

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

The Quick Crossword pun: awe+son+wells=Orson Welles

77 comments on “DT 28164

  1. I’m glad that Hanni gave this 3 stars for difficulty. It took me a while to solve, but I thought I was having an off day. Surely, you are in the saddle, rather than the chair, Hanni? Lovely Mozart. Thanks to Hanni and setter.

  2. I found this easy – I thought! – and then spent nearly as long getting 1a and 3d as the rest of the crossword, although once I’d clicked with 3d, 1a fell into place. I couldn’t decide how to parse the clue and it was an odd combination of letters. Very enjoyable, 1.5*/***.
    Thanks to Hanni and setter.

  3. Difficulty *** why? Didn’t take me long omg must be turning into a crossword addict. I do like your daily blog. Thnks Tim

    1. Welcome to the blog Tim

      Many of the bloggers use a Word template that I developed several years ago. In that template both values are set to *** – some change them all of the time, some never (Miffypops) and others only if they remember. I expect Hanni will reveal where she stands on this.

    2. Hi Tim. Hello from me too. The star ratings are summed up in Hanni’s clip at 1d. The three stars might refer to the difficulty in writing the review. I would not have wanted to attempt an explanation for 13ac or 23d.

      1. Welcome from me too Tim.

        Yup…forgot to change them. Would have been **/***.

        MP I have no doubt that you would write brilliant clues for them.

  4. We have certainly been let off lightly today but the short/sweet session was fun while it lasted. Thank you Mysteron and also Hanni for so ably sitting in the blogging chair? In my experience 4d is not necessarily so these days. Enjoyed most of the clues so no stand-out favourite. */***.

    1. So much easier than yesterday although having said that I failed to get 3d even with a hint. Loved the clues and 4 favourites today 27a 1d 6d and 21a. Just on the Lego vs plugs thing I do think plugs are more painful although Lego is tricky as mostly its trodden in in the dark when sneaking out of a child’s room and you have to supress the yelps of pain in order not to wake up said sleeping child.

  5. Perhaps it was my brain making up for missing the “mystery’ anagram yesterday but found today 2* at most.
    Possibly it’s my age, but we were never allowed to confuse “games” (football, netball etc) with PE (climbing ropes, vaulting g etc). “Pirates” being my best memories of PE. (Hint for 29a)

    1. Football is not a game, it is a business. We have a black labrador in our village that we have nicknamed The Devil Dog. I hope it never gets to rule. I’ve not seen your name here before so welcome to the blog if you are new to us. We too differentiated between games and PE

      1. Thank you for the welcome.
        Sad the “beautiful game” has become business -the way I played it was a blood sport.
        Your Devil Dog must be the black Labrador of the family. My candidate for ruler is yellow (a later addition) and as soft and malleable as putty.

      2. Football we see on the TV is certainly a business, however I referee at senior county level, and it is certainly still a sport there.
        As you go higher up the tree the corruption occurs.
        All the failings of football in this country can be firmly laid at the feet of the Football Association.

        1. So, what makes a county senior. Are there junior counties. I do know the Warwickshire is a superior county.

        2. Wow I commented on games v PE & get to England football!
          Not to be over controversial but doesn’the blame really lie at the (expensive) 22 feet that turned up against Iceland (plus the person that specified non-stick material for your goalkeeper”s gloves). As “donkeys” they didn’the seem to know how to “hoof it” to one of their own.

    2. I am a Labrador lady, too, having had an assortment of black, yellow and chocolate over 60 years. In fact, my nom-de-plume is a combination of the first two letters of my most recent best friends, the “sa” at the end stands for Sadie, my present princess. Labs are the very best.

  6. Bit of a slow start but straight forward once the NW corner fell, agree with Hanni about the abundance of ‘ lego ‘ but I too enjoy charades, not keen on anagrams for some reason . Going for a **/***, I thought that the cluing was uneven with something of a scatter gun approach but everyone so far seems to have enjoyed it-me too.

  7. Quite easy today, but still enjoyable. Last one in was 3d, never heard of the teaching supplement, 27a, 13a and 20d were my favourites. Many thanks to the setter and to Hanni for the explanation for 3d.

  8. Great blog Hanni. Loved the discussion about Daily Telegraph Cryptic Crossword Puzzle homophone clues in the clip that illustrated 1d. The clip at 23d is one of Vans best songs. Orangefield was the school he attended in Belfast. Loved the duettino too. I find the easy bit is explaining the clue. The illustrations prove hardest. Well done. The puzzle? Easy peasy.

  9. I’m with Cat on this one. 1.5*/3* seems about right, as there were no significant hold-ups or obscurities. Straightforward and enjoyable, with no standout favourites, although perhaps an honourable mention to 13 across and 20 down.

    Many thanks all round.

  10. 1*/2.5*. I found this very straightforward and reasonably enjoyable although a little lacklustre with too much Lego for my taste.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Hanni.

  11. We found this one quite gentle for a Tuesday but thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless. A good variety of clues with lots of lego which we love. A */**** from us.

  12. I have struggled a bit lately, wondering whether the old grey matter was beginning to go into semi retirement, but breezed through this one in record time, renewing my faith in myself. Goes to show as others have found it more difficult that no one size fits all. Part of the fascination I suppose.

  13. Otters are just flea ridden opportunistic scavengers and should only be used to make fur coats or hats and King Edward makes lovely Gratin Dauphinois.
    Thanks to the setter and to Hanni for the fun review.

  14. Yep. Am in agreement with most here. */*** I think this was close to the quickest solve ever for me but ease does not always negatively correlate with enjoyment! I quite like those lego style clues. Having said that I think that 6d was probably my favourite (after the penny dropped). Thanks for an entertaining review.

  15. Having been to a few 10a this weekend for my 50th, I’ve felt 12a the 16a that people went to. Not sure I was 25a all the time , quite the 21d. Might 19a from 21a. Very 23d. Thanks to setter and Hanni

    1. I loved your comment – a belated happy birthday from me, Andy. A little :rose: for you.

  16. I agree that it was even more straightforward than yesterday’s Rufus puzzle, and the anagram count was similar.

    2d produced the widest smile, but I shall cast my favourite vote in favour of 4d.

    Many thanks to today’s compiler and to Hanni. I’m wondering if Heston Blumenthal might wish to consider using the delightful picture illustrating 1d for his Thamesside restaurant? It certainly looked like a fat duck to me.

    1. In our house Heston Blumenthal is always referred to as, “Bloomin’ Hestantal”. He’s a chemist and not a cook – well, that’s what I think anyway . . . :unsure:

  17. Took me a while to get going with this crossword. I eventually got started at the bottom of the grid and steadily worked upwards. It was alright I suppose, but it didn’t pull up any trees for me, so 2/2.5* overall. No particular favourites although 27a made me smile.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Hanni for taking time off from the moors to do the review.

  18. */****. Great fun, lots of smiles. Liked lots of this but 13,19,21,27a and 1,15,18,20&23d were all rewarding perhaps because of the sequence I solved them. Thanks to Hanni and the setter.

  19. I enjoyed this, but only ** for difficulty.
    Never heard of the publication for teachers, but it had to be.
    I rather liked 1a and 6d, clever, but fave has to be 20d. My Dad made me a tuck box with my name painted on the front, brought back memories.
    Thanks to setter, and many thanks to Hanni for taking the chair today, giving us such a fun blog.

  20. Funny after yesterday’s schizophrenic affair I finished this in one sitting. Must have been on the right wavelength from the off as had no great difficulties today. Entertaining puzzle with too many good clues to have a favourite. Thanks to the setter and Hanni.

  21. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Hanni for the review and hints. I found this quite straightforward, with a sprinkling of good clues. Had never heard of the publication in 3d, but what else could the answer be, so I bunged it in. 2d made me laugh, but my favourite was 23d. My last in was 30a. Was 2*/3* for me. Horrible and rainy ☔ in Central London.

  22. Some good anagrams today. I will point out 28a and 4d, and finally 7d.

    Thanks to today’s mysteron; well done to Hanni.

    13a reminded me of this:

    1. Thank you for that. It is difficult for those of us who want food from properly treated animals. I buy organic eggs and organic chicken, and I seldom eat red meat, but what do you do when you eat out? Or want something ready made? It would be so much easier if we could be sure that ALL products were humanely bred and slaughtered – oxymoron, I know, humanely slaughtered.

          1. It was a sensible speech, the choice language notwithstanding. But it does just go to illustrate that you shouldn’t believe everything random people from the internet tell you! Not to mention politicians …

  23. */*** for me 😊 Building up my confidence for the crash on Thursday 😨 Liked 13a & 23d 👍 Thanks to Hanni and to the setter, ou est l’ete ? 😰

    1. I don’t know, but I did read somewhere that yams (not sweet potatoes, as they call them in the US) are.

  24. Fairly gentle, 1*/2.5* we thought. No real favourites.

    Thank you Hanni and the compiler.

  25. I did this so long ago that I’ve forgotten what I thought of it – see, I told you – the memory and attention span of a gnat.
    I think that it was pretty straightforward so probably a 2* difficulty and a 3* for enjoyment – nothing is ever 1* difficulty for me.
    1a took me far too long – I’d have assumed that it was at least hyphenated, if not two words.
    9a – whenever I see ‘Oliver’ in a clue I just think of my biggest nephew – he’s not only the eldest but also the biggest at 6′ 5′.
    Does 29a really mean ‘more intelligent’ or is it just more difficult to understand? Just a thought . .
    No real problems – they were all kept for Giovanni’s Toughie.
    I liked 28a and 7d. My one and only favourite was 11d which I thought was clever.
    With thanks to today’s setter, whoever he or she may be, and to Hanni .

    1. Oh dear – whatever have I done? That lot wasn’t meant to be all in italics – oh, yes, now I see what I did, or rather didn’t do!

  26. Needed BRB confirmation for the publication in 3d. All the rest slotted in smoothly without too much fight. Pleasant solve’
    Thanks Mr Ron and Hanni.

  27. A little more straightforward then yesterday, but there again I usually struggle with the Monday puzzle. Perhaps ** for difficulty then. If I’d managed to think more quickly of the Oliver in question (despite him being the most obvious one there could be), my time would have been quicker again. A good solid Tuesday puzzle all in all.

  28. I was glad to see Hanni’s *** rating, as I found it a little tougher than yesterday’s, not sure why as there wasn’t anything convoluted about it. Might have been because we were hurrying through breakfast to go and buy a new lawnmower. Ours died this week and I don’t think the neighbors care for the half mown look😟 Favourite was 24a, enhanced by the cute picture.

  29. Sorry for being dim (nobody else has had problems with it), but I do not understand 28a. Why is AR representiative of ‘queen’? Fabulous site. Keep up the good work!

  30. After yesterday’s head-scratching, that was a great tonic.
    Solved with few issues, fav was 6d.
    Thanks Hanni for super hints and blog, and to AN Other for the puzzle.

  31. Still stuck inside of Nuneaton with those vet’s bill blues again, which at least meant I could get a paper. An enjoyable puzzle, with the Lego clues being more fun than real Lego, which is the second most painful thing to stand on in bare feet (after a land mine). Raced through it so quickly that no single clue stood out, although I reserve a special mention for 3d as I used to work for the TES and the altogether more pretentiously baffling THES. Thanks to Hanni for the blog and weather report and to the setter 1*/3*

    1. Have you ever stood on a electric plug prongs up in bare feet?
      I claim that as worse than standing on lego.

      Shuddering still at the memory after several decades.

      1. Whilst laying a hedge I got a whipback from blackthorn which punctured my eye and my arm. Try that one for size.

  32. Two in a row for me so far this week!
    Either things are looking up for me or the puzzles are easier this week.

    Thanks for the hints and to the setter.

  33. Very straightforward – one of the mildest I’ve ever done on the back page. 1.5*/2*

  34. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again . You’re a whizz Hanni. Thank you for the review. Running a day late, and now so late I will have to look at the video clips tomorrow. 1d brought a smile. Thank you setter.

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