DT 28170

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28170

Hints and tips by ShropshireLad

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment **

Good morning from my part of Shropshire that can only be described by the late, great Caroline Aherne as – Scorchio! Today’s back pager has a fair selection of clue constructs, we have ‘lurkers’, anagrams and a fair percentage of ‘Lego’ clues – no, I’m not working out the exact percentage. I don’t think the old heads will require my hints today, but those who are finding their feet in cryptic crosswordland should enjoy this as it will give you a good workout.

As usual, the definitions are underlined to give you the first bit of help and, if you find you need a bit more, hopefully my hints will be useful. If all else fails, you can reveal the answer by opening the ‘Click here!’ button.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Nuts for a bird (6)
CUCKOO: A double definition, the first seen in the picture clue. Hope that it doesn’t put you off your breakfast.

4a    A duke keeping goddess entertained (6)
AMUSED: Take the ‘A’ from the clue and the abbreviation of ‘Duke’ and insert (keeping) a term for a goddess.

8a    Either originally inside going hungry, or eating heartily (8)
FEASTING: We need the first letter of ‘either’ (either originally) to be inserted into (inside) a term for ‘going hungry’ – during Ramadan perhaps.

10a    Celebrity left, turning back on small French city (2,4)
LE MANS: A 4 letter synonym for ‘celebrity’ (no – not star) followed by the abbreviation for ‘left’ is reversed (turning back) and then has the abbreviation for ‘small’ added (on).

11a    Leader of march wearing superb top (4)
ACME: Take the first letter of ‘march’ (leader of march) and insert it into (wearing) a 3 letter synonym for ‘superb’. I know the picture clue doesn’t have a lot do with the definition – but I couldn’t resist it.

12a    Cleaner hit badly is no longer in danger (2,3,5)
IN THE CLEAR: An anagram (badly) of CLEANER HIT.

13a    Report of an alpine cat seen by followers, contained in New Testament (12)
ANNOUNCEMENT: First Lego clue of the day. Start with the ‘an’ from the clue, then put the name of an Alpine cat and a synonym for ‘followers’ into the abbreviation for the ‘New Testament’. Thank you to Gazza for teaching me how to parse a clue – it helps if you write the answer down and count the number of ‘n’s. Thanks again Gazza – top man.

16a    Let down after daughter is given a job (12)
DISAPPOINTED: Take the usual abbreviation for ‘daughter’ and follow that (after) with ‘is’ from the clue and a term for ‘given a job’.

20a    Group tackling soldier approaching cathedral city alone (10)
SEPARATELY: A 3 letter synonym of a ‘group’ contains (tackling) an abbreviation of a soldier who jumps out of a perfectly serviceable aircraft and follow it all (approaching) Crosswordland’s favourite Cathedral city.

21a    Bishop with group (4)
BAND: Take the standard abbreviation for ‘bishop’ followed by a synonym of ‘with’.

22a    One courting a woman may give diamonds, perhaps, then gold (6)
SUITOR: Not sure how to describe this – it could be an ‘all in one’ clue with the wordplay of ‘diamonds’ (as in a pack of cards) and a 2 letter heraldic term for ‘gold’ but it sort of works with ‘one courting a woman’ standing alone as the definition. I’ll let you decide.

23a    Anxiety of South American writers, English as well (8)
SUSPENSE: A round the world Lego clue of the abbreviation for ‘south’, followed by the abbreviation of ‘America’ then add a synonym for ‘writers’ (i.e. writing implements not used by Hanni for anagram circles) and the abbreviation for ‘English’.

24a    Cast bemused (6)
THROWN: Another double definition.

25a    Publicity involving husband by name, a joiner (6)
HYPHEN: Take a 4 letter synonym for ‘publicity’ and insert (involving) the abbreviation for ‘husband’ and follow that (by) with the abbreviation for ‘name’.


1d    Muslim symbol in street (8)
CRESCENT: Another double definition – the picture clue says it all really.

2d    Class actors close to stage (5)
CASTE: You will need a term for a group of actors and follow that with the last letter of ‘stage’ (close to stage.

3d    Work in one, on view (7)
OPINION: Standard abbreviation for ‘work’ followed by the ‘in’ from the clue then add the Roman numeral for ‘one’ and end it with ‘on’ from the clue.

5d    Dramatist has extra holding whopper (7)

MOLIÈRE: Take a synonym for ‘extra’ and put it round (holding) a term for an untruth (whopper).

6d    Son, mischievous child, revealed dope (9)
SIMPLETON: Again, take the abbreviation for ‘son’, followed by a synonym for ‘mischievous child’ and then a term for ‘revealed’ when split as 3,2.

7d    In Aden, I always find abstinence (6)
DENIAL: Our first ‘lurker’ of the day.

9d    Muck-rakers, say, amongst good crowd (6,5)
GUTTER PRESS: Take a synonym for ‘say’ and insert it in (amongst) the abbreviation for ‘good’ and a synonym of ‘crowd’.

14d    Art seldom represented as a great work (3,6)
OLD MASTER: An anagram (represented) of ART SELDOM.

15d    Poet‘s rewritten sonnet about New York (8)
TENNYSON: An anagram (rewritten) of SONNET containing the abbreviation of ‘New York’.

17d    Scatter seed round parking area by Rolls-Royce for a bird (7)
SPARROW: Take a term meaning to ‘scatter seed’ and contain (round) the abbreviations for ‘park’, ‘area’ and ‘Rolls-Royce’.

18d    Person’s heading off? Yes, northwards, making long journey (7)
ODYSSEY: Take a synonym for a ‘person’ minus it first letter (heading off), add the ‘s’ from the clue and follow it with a reversal (northwards – reversal indicator in a ‘down’ clue) of ‘yes’.

19d    Some closures, ultimately, in consequence (6)
RESULT: Our second ‘lurker’.

21d    Busy person starts to chamfer hard wood (5)
BEECH: A charade of a synonym for a ‘busy person’ followed by the leading letters of (starts to) ‘chamfer’ and ‘hard’.

I do hope my hints have been of use and that you all derived some fun from the puzzle. I liked 9d & 10a, but my favourite of the day is 25a – purely for the definition. Which one(s) brought a smile to your face today?

The Quick Crossword pun: dears+tore+cur=deerstalker


  1. Graham

    Nice & easy, not to taxing on the old grey cells in this heat, agree with the ratings & also my favourite clue today was 25A especially as I have a double barrelled sir name.Thanks to the setter & SL for his review.

  2. Young Salopian

    A very comfortable and enjoyable solve on this rarest of days in the Marches. Lots to like and no quibbles other than it was over too quickly. 25 across my favourite as well, and 1.5*\3* overall.

    Thanks to our Tuesday setter and my near neighbour for his review. Back outside now to get some sun.

  3. Una

    Very nice just right for today.Allegedly , we are warmer than some parts of Spain. That must be the top of some high mountain.
    8a is my favourite.
    Thanks to the setter and to SL . I loved the illustration at 6d.

  4. bifield

    At first I found this one a bit tricky but once I got started it was a nice steady solve. Now I can’t see what the hold-up was. Thanks to setter and to ShropshireLad for the excellent review.

  5. LabradorsruleOK

    For me */** but higher for enjoyment. Just right for the weather I felt.
    As with others 25a the favourite but ST visual for 6d best of all. If ever I visit the Arctic I hope I remember.
    Thanks to both.

  6. Jane

    All slotted in quite well apart from wasting too much time trying to get a symbol between S&T to give a type of Muslim!
    An enjoyable solve with podium places going to 22&25a plus 9d.
    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to SL for the review – nice to have you back on board again.

    We don’t seem to have had much contact with JL in the aftermath of the atrocity in Nice – I do hope he finds time to pop in again soon.

  7. cat

    A nice mix of clues but all pretty straightforward. 25a was my favourite, also my last in as I got adhere on the brain even though it clearly wasn’t.
    Thanks to setter and SL.

  8. Angel

    An improvement on the unusually prosaic task we were set yesterday. Today gives us a nice collection of well structured clues although I can’t pinpoint a Fav. Thank you Mysteron and MP. **/***.

  9. Gwizz

    Are Tuesday crosswords the new Monday versions? I ask only because today’s example was less of a challenge then yesterday’s, as has been the case for the last few weeks more often then not! Still fun to do but over too soon. 25a was my favourite and overall 1.5/3*.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to SL for his review.

  10. LetterboxRoy

    Nothing too taxing here; just as well as my brain is working very slowly at 31.9 degrees.
    I would do much better if a) I actually wrote down the word correctly once solved, and b) I could read my own handwriting!
    Rating as per BD.

    A nice puzzle, thanks to all as ever.

  11. Rabbit Dave

    1*/2.5*. As others have indicated this was straightforward but I did find it reasonably enjoyable. I’ll go along with those who have chosen 25a as favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to SL.

  12. Heno

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Shropshire Lad for the review and hints. I quite enjoyed this, but agree that there was a lot of Lego involved. Last in was 13a. Took me ages to get 1a&d. Favourite was 9d. Was 2*/2* for me. In the shade in Central London. Phew!

  13. omar

    */*** for me – nor too hard, but enjoyable with nothing too obscure or convoluted – thanks to the setter and reviewer

  14. Dr M

    Enjoyable stuff. Not too difficult, which is just as well as the grey matter is slowly being poached by the steamy heat.

  15. pete

    Just the right level for a hot and sweaty day, not too taxing but very enjoyable. 2*/4* Many thanks to the setter and to SL for the hints.

  16. jean-luc cheval

    Unlike Sir Graham Easy-Peasy, the hyphen is in my first name.
    Like Heno, 13a was my last one in and took a while to parse all these “N’s”.
    11a is a word I have seen since I was a kid as it always appears in cartoons for some reason, never knowing what it meant.
    20a favourite. Conjured up images of that parachutist getting stuck on the spire of Ste Mere Eglise during the Normandy landings.
    Thanks to the setter and to SL for the great review.

  17. Florence

    Seriously thinking of taking up dot to dot. I put ‘action party’ into 9d. I’d have been finished ages ago if it wasn’t for that. Rest of it was ok, though I did need to check a few things. My problem started with 12a and 16a straight in therefore I presumed too much. I put my mediocre effort down to being distracted by bees in the lawn. I have to have some excuse. Thank you SL and setter.

  18. Shropshirelad

    Lovely to ‘see’ you on the blog J-L. I can’t begin to imagine what the people of France are feeling at the moment. My thoughts are with you and your fellow countrymen & women.

    Oops, didn’t open up the ‘reply’ box.

    • jean-luc cheval

      Thanks SL.
      Such a shame that the fireworks in Nice were not cancelled due to the strong Mistral as they were all postponed in the neighborhood towns.
      Instead we had to fight with forest fires on the hills above Hyères.
      Not the best bank holiday weekend ever.

      • Merusa

        I am so sorry for your recent troubles. I have family in Vence, not that far away, and I just love that whole area. “Stop the world, I want to get off!”

  19. Ora Meringue

    This one took me longer than the rest of you…but I claim many interruptions from phone calls from people with poor signals and hanging out several loads of washing…..

    Enjoyed it very much.

    Thanks to the setter and to ShropshireLad for the hints.

    Thunderstorms tomorrow, they say….

  20. Jaylegs

    Pretty straight forward but when I started I thought it was Thursday 😏 But a quick switch to the down clues and it was Tuesday again 😊 Did take 5 minutes pondering on how a large snake was the answer to 25a 🤔 Favourites 13a & 25a Thanks to SL and to the setter

  21. silvanus

    A fairly undemanding yet enjoyable solve, although my IRR (Indicator Repetition Radar) did bleep when “by” cropped up in both 13a and 25a as a juxtapositional device.

    Two clues stood out for me, 8a and 18d.

    Many thanks to today’s setter and to SL on what is indeed a scorchio day.

    • Shropshirelad

      Well done silvanus . I didn’t mention them in the review – just to see if you or RD would pick them up :whistle:

      Btw – it is indeed ‘scorchio’. I just been out in the car to do a few errands and it informs me that it is 34 degrees here. It certainly feels like it – Phew!

      • Young Salopian

        We are just under a thousand feet up and hit 31.6C around 4pm. I think I read somewhere that you lose three degrees Celcius for every 300 metres above sea level.

  22. littlemart

    Enjoyed this. One of the ‘tightest’ and best written puzzles we have had for a while. Favourite was 25a which Mrs Littlemart and I thought was very clever. Last in was 8a. I am getting old . This weather is a bit too hot for me.

  23. dutch

    Very pleasant solving this in the back yard, even if 1d put up a fight for some reason.

    Liked 21d and 5d

    Many thanks SL and setter

  24. Merusa

    Most enjoyable! Over too soon, but good fun.
    Fave was 25a, but honourable mention should go to 9d and 18d.
    Thanks to setter, and to ShropshireLad for is entertaining blog.

  25. Jonathan

    I’m probably being very dim, but could someone explain to me what the alpine cat is in 13A. Other than that, I enjoyed the puzzle although I did need some hints in one or two places. I had deduced the right answer to 13A, but don’t understand OUNCE. All help gratefully received.

    • stanXYZ

      The “snow leopard” features very often in cryptic crosswords … far too often … some might say.

      • Jonathan

        Thanks to you both. I did try looking up Ounce, but only got back the unit of weight – I can’t have dug far enough. I’ll log that one away for future use

        • Jonathan

          It seems like it can mean a whole load of things i wasn’t aware of:

          Ounce may also be:

          Ounce-force, a unit of force, one sixteenth of a pound-force
          Fluid ounce, any of several units of volume
          Ounce, a unit of length used to measure the thickness of leather or hide
          Ounce, alternative name for the Snow leopard
          Ounce, an old name for the European lynx
          Ounce, in heraldry the same feline as the leopard (heraldry)
          Ounce (roman coin)

      • BusyLizzie

        Thanks. Been doing these puzzles since the dark ages so I must have totally missed the ounce references in the past. Will remember it going forward, thanks.

    • Shropshirelad

      Oops – was about to comment but Stan and pommers beat me to it. Isn’t it siesta time pommers?

      It also appears that you’ve beat me to it as well Jonathan – the cat pops up quite regularly. :)

  26. Michael Burley

    22a caused me serious problems. I got the answer quickly from “one courting” but I couldn’t and still can’t make the rest fit and so left it until last. Apart from that very easy today

    • Gazza

      You’ve expanded your alias since your last visit so your comment went into moderation. Both varieties of alias will work from now on.

    • Jonathan

      My take on this was that diamonds referred to the card “suit” and the gold was pulled up by the “or” at the end

    • Shropshirelad

      Hi Michael – when ‘diamonds’ appears in a clue it is normally seen as:

      1. D
      2. Suit (in a deck of cards)
      3. Ice

      When ‘gold’ appears, it’s normally ‘au’ or ‘or’.

      Hope that helps.

      • Michael Burley

        Thanks Shropshirelad and Jonathan. It is so obvious now but I just couldn’t see it. I see the comments on 13a. Similarly I got that on letters from down clues and the word ‘notice’ in the clue. Never heard of an alpine cat called ounce.

  27. Kath

    Late here today – too hot and too busy.
    I didn’t have many problems – I agree with SL’s ratings – might give it a bit more for enjoyment.
    For no reason I was slow with the 14d ‘great work’.
    We haven’t seen the jolly old snow leopard for a while – about time he had an outing.
    I had to think about 18d because my ‘person’ was a ‘bod’ rather than a ‘body’ – dim, fried brain due to 32C temp in Oxford.
    I liked 16 and 24a and 9d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to SL.

  28. HoofItYouDonkey

    Easy for many, difficult for me. Several hints needed.
    Considering knitting as a more productive pastime.
    Thanks SL for the hints and Mr Ron for another humbling.
    What a shame the old Evening News picture crossword does not exist any more.

  29. BusyLizzie

    Read that it is hotter in London today than here in South Florida, and we cheat with the air on running like mad… Nice puzzle today will well crafted clues, but still needed a few hints from Shropshirelad, thanks! Never heard of an alpine cat?

  30. mre

    Good evening everybody.

    All very straightforward with the exception of 13a which I couldn’t solve so despite otherwise being a nailed on two star I’ll have to say


  31. Kitty

    A perfect crossword for the energy-sapping weather.

    For 22a I would have taken “one courting a woman” as the definition. My favourite is probably 9d by a whisker. As for the alpine cat, there are regulars I’m far less happy to see than my snowy cousin. :)

    Many thanks to the mysterious setter and to the mostly comprehensible ShropshireLad.

  32. Jon_S

    As others have said an enjoyable if straightforward solve. The double definitions at 1ac and down were my last in.

  33. Hanni

    Enjoyable non too taxing solve on a hot day..apart from 13a.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to SL for a top blog.

  34. Salty Dog

    Not difficult, but quite fun: 1*/3*. I had little ticks against 9d, 13a and 25a, out of which I just prefer 9d. Thanks to Mr Ron, and ShropshireLad. It was pretty much Scorchio down in Plymouth Sound today as well – a perfect excuse to drop the hook in Jennycliff Bay for a leisurely picnic.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *