DT 28178 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28178

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28178

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating — Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Hello everyone – me again. I don’t know who set today’s crossword but it’s not a Ray T. I started off thinking that it was going to be a tricky one but then changed my mind. I enjoyed it. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.

Apologies if the hints are not quite up to scratch – I’ve had some ‘assistance’ today from a young and very beautiful border collie who is staying with us – rather a distraction!

In the hints below the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under the things that say ANSWER so only do that if you want to see them.


1a            Computer record incorporating a note to read further (6)
LAPTOP — Begin with the record – an old kind made of vinyl and played at 33 rpm – and inside that put the A from the clue and an instruction (note) to look at the other side of the piece of paper.


4a            A paper having liberal line over period despite everything (5,3)
AFTER ALL — The A from the clue and a newspaper – the pink one – a short period of time, or an age, are followed by (over) two abbreviations for L(ine) and L(iberal). I always have trouble writing a hint for this kind of clue – I know exactly what I’m trying to say but, somehow, it never turns out quite as I mean it to.

9a            Style of programme suitable to partner mostly (6)
FORMAT — A short word meaning suitable or appropriate to is followed by another word for a partner or your other half without its final letter (mostly).

10a         Effort completed for walk in the park (8)
PUSHOVER — This walk in the park is an expression meaning something that is easily achieved. An effort or strain is followed by another way of saying completed or finished.

12a         Tired officer’s area to patrol (4)
BEAT — This is a double definition, I think – the word for tired often being preceded by ‘dead’.

13a         Social and political organisation (5)
PARTY — Another double definition. I’m always a bit wary of saying a clue is a particular kind as I’m not always right.

14a         Cheese not lasting long, fine to ignore (4)
BRIE — A word meaning not lasting long or short without its final letter, which happens to be an F – F(ine to ignore) should give you this yummy squidgy French cheese.


17a         Foreign character creates law for regulating hazardous material (7,5)
NUCLEAR WASTE — The thirteenth letter of the Greek alphabet (foreign character) is followed by an anagram (for regulating) of CREATES LAW.

20a         Impropriety and hubris a movie dissected (12)
MISBEHAVIOUR — Another anagram (dissected) of HUBRIS A MOVIE.

'My objective is to have each student become more insightful, compassionate, introspective and empathetic. In your case I will settle for quiet.'

23a         Top copy, ten required (4)
APEX — A verb to copy or imitate is followed by the Roman numeral for ten.

24a         Plant close to fence devoured by small horse (5)
PEONY — A small horse or one that is less than 14.2 hands high contains (devoured by) the last letter (close to) of fencE.


25a         What goes into Genoa’s tipple? (4)
ASTI — Our first lurker, or hidden answer indicated by goes into – the answer is in the middle of the final two words of the clue.

28a         Deter daughter getting publicity in publication (8)
DISSUADE — Start off with the abbreviation for D(aughter) and follow that with another word for a publication or edition which contains (getting in) an abbreviation for publicity or an advertisement.

29a         Most of what riders do with one or two items of beachwear (6)
BIKINI — These ‘riders’ are cyclists. You need a verb for what they are doing without its final letter (most of) followed by (with) the letter that looks like the Roman numeral for one.


30a         National institution working to stop protest by yard (8)
MONARCHY — An organised protest or demonstration contains (to stop) a word meaning working (the opposite of off) and finished off (by) the abbreviation for Y(ard).

31a         Overturned pot — family’s table accessory (6)
NAPKIN — A reversal (overturned) of a pot or other cooking container is followed by a word meaning family or relatives.



1d            Deserted site gathering interest as artistic quarter (4,4)
LEFT BANK — A word meaning deserted or abandoned is followed by a financial institution or a site that takes interest on loans.


2d            Standard weapon in a manner of speaking (8)
PARLANCE — A short word for standard or usual is followed by a cavalry weapon or spearhead.

3d            Correct without marks exam (4)
ORAL — A word meaning correct in the ethical sense without its first letter – an M – (without M[arks])

5d            Rum chief in TA’s drunk as a pub staple? (5,7)
FRUIT MACHINE — An anagram (drunk) of RUM CHIEF IN TA.


6d            City house? ‘City house!’ (4)
ECHO — Two letters meaning the city, as in the centre of London, are followed by the two letter abbreviation for house and then do it again from the clue. Oh dear – one of those that’s much easier to solve than write a coherent hint for!

7d            State admitting duke and bishop regularly, say (6)
ADVERB — A verb, to state or declare, contains (admitting) the abbreviation for D(uke) and finished off with another abbreviation, this time the one for B(ishop).

8d            Pound yielding less in East End store (6)
LARDER — The one letter for pound, the money pound, is followed by a word meaning yielding less or firmer – this starts with an H so the H is dropped as pronounced by someone living in the East End of London.

11d         Habits harder to change in small measure (5-7)
HAIRS-BREADTH — An anagram (to change) of HABITS HARDER. This one took me ages.

15d         Worth found in former itinerary (5)
MERIT — Our second lurker of the day (found in) – the answer is in middle of the last two words of the clue

16d         A vet’s arranged place for notes (5)
STAVE — The notes are musical ones – an anagram (arranged) of A VET’S.

18d         Woman’s instant control in plane (8)
JOYSTICK — A short woman’s name with the ‘S is followed by an instant or short moment in time.


19d         Perhaps mandarin number one’s given rise for achievement (8)
FRUITION — The mandarin here is a small orange rather than a Chinese official and is just being used as an example (perhaps). It’s followed by a reversal (given rise) for how number one could be written.

21d         Bike not made for touring over passes (6)
TANDEM — An anagram (for touring) of NOT MADE without the O – O(ver) passes.

'Isn't the smell of the countryside just wonderful?'

22d         Motive concerning crime devoid of right (6)
REASON — The usual short preposition meaning concerning or on the subject of is followed by a specific crime – setting fire to something illegally – without its R (devoid of right).

26d         Sound of a queen maybe, largely untainted queen (4)
PURR — This ‘queen’ is a female cat and the sound is something she might make when very happy or contented. Begin with a word meaning untainted or righteous without its final letter (largely) and follow that with the one letter abbreviation for the Latin word for queen. For a little while my ‘queen’ was a bee but somehow ‘buzz’ didn’t seem to work.

27d         Singer that’s enthusiastic on the up (4)
DIVA — A reversal (on the up) of a word meaning enthusiastic or eager.

I liked 24a and 18 and 26d. My favourite was 21d.


76 comments on “DT 28178

  1. 2.5*/2.5*. I found this a bit of a mixture: some clues easy, some more difficult; some clues enjoyable, some less so. On balance it was reasonably enjoyable.

    Like Kath, I tried for a while to make “buzz” fit for 26d. When the penny finally dropped this one got my vote for favourite (and presumably Kitty’s too), although 6d & 18d ran it close.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Kath.

  2. Like Kath I thought at first that this was going to be a horror however it gradually began to fall into place with much enjoyment along the way. South soon completed followed by North which presented one or two hurdles. All good fun anyway. Thank you Mysteron for fun and Kath for splendidly illustrated hints. ***/***.

  3. I did find this quite tricky. I found many of the clues quite obtuse. While I managed to finish it, I did have to check the hints for verification of the wordplay in many of the clues. O stands for Over ????? Really????

    Ah well, 3*/2* for me I think.

    1. Yes – O is a recognised cricketing abbreviation for Over, or Overs, according to the BRB.
      Thank you for making history for me – it’s the first time ever that I managed a ‘crickety’ clue that anyone else had trouble with.

  4. Many thanks Kath

    esp for 21d where I had missed the parsing completely, I was talking myself into passes = making advances but not getting things to work, since this kind of bike might actually be ok for that. Oh well – but makes it a much nicer clue than I had originally seen.

    I also liked 1a, 17a and 7d
    Nice to have the crime in 22d not be treason for once.

    Thanks setter

  5. A very enjoyable solve, something I could not have said six months ago, but since finding this blog crosswords have become far more enjoyable and understandable.
    Great work Big Dave and all the bloggers for a very informative and friendly site.
    Now off to Goodwood where I hope to continue my success.

  6. The four long intersecting anagrams made it easier somehow.
    Liked the construction in 1a and 7d.
    Hope you don’t cut the cheese in 14a this way Kath.
    Thanks for the review and to the setter for a pleasant solve.

    1. The four intersecting anagrams were difficult today but no graphite or ink was wasted JLC

      1. Had to write down the letters for 11d. As for the pub staple, I was looking for a fruit dish until I realised the only fruit served in a pub is maybe a slice of apple in a ploughman’s lunch.

  7. Lovely puzzle followed by wonderfully honest hints from Kath. 20ac and 5d were my last ones in. Both tricky anagrams that did not shout out their solution as so many do. I am not prone to 20ac but somehow the cartoon seems familiar. 5d The pub staple threw me until I had all of the checkers. They are awful things and I don’t have one in my pub. Thank to the setter. Great fun puzzle and thanks to Kath. Your hint for 4ac is fine. Lego clues are better with fewer bricks.

  8. I took a while to get going so while I usually wait for checkers for long anagrams in order to do them in my head, this time I capitulated and shuffled the letters round in the squares of the app until the answers jumped out at me. From there, the SW – NE stripe fell readily enough, then the SE took a bit more thought and finally the NW took the longest.

    One thing I noticed was that the five letter words with only two checkers were non-obscurities, clued generously. This is in marked contrast to Mondays, where I can almost guarantee my last in will be one of those.

    Thought the publicity in publication (28a) was a good spot. I liked 6d, and your comment had me writing a hint for it, just as an exercise! The answer to 18d always makes me smile. I thought 19d worth a mention too, but as RD surmised my favourite is the clue to which the answer is not BUZZ: 26d!

    Many thanks to the setter and to Kath for the lovely and well-illustrated hints. The poor lady in the 21d cartoon!

  9. I took a while to get into this, but a really enjoyable puzzle in the end. Some quite clever and amusing clues. 6d and 7d were the last ones in.3.5*/4* Many thanks to the setter and to Kath.

  10. Again enjoyable – annoyed I needed the hint for 19d
    I understood the o from over but not so sure about “m” for “marks” unless it’s M&S Marks.
    Favourite was 26d like Kath buzz was first thought then hum before the penny dropped.
    Thanks to setter & Kath – sympathise with your struggle with parsing 6d without giving the answer.

      1. Thanks Kitty guess every letter must be an abbreviation for something even if only via the phoenetic alphabet.

  11. Not too tough and mainly enjoyable Thursday fare from today’s setter. 26 down was my favourite until I solved 1 across, both of which were clever and beautifully brief. There was a good mixture of clues with one or two which needed more thought; some offered good misdirection, intentional or otherwise, and sent me off at a tangent.

    Overall 2.5*/3* with thanks to our mystery setter and Kath for a top review.

  12. Too tough for me again today…but not as tough as Tuesday’s.

    Many thanks to Kath for the hints.

  13. I have to say this was a lovely puzzle. 5d, friut machines are not common in Irish pubs, I think there would be riots if they appeared.
    I guessed 17a, so thanks for decoding it , Kath.
    Thanks also to the setter.

  14. Another one who also thought of buzz.

    Thanks to setter and to Kath for the review (and the explanation for 21d – as did dutch above, I missed the parsing completely).

  15. A most enjoyable solve with some good surface reads, which always pleases me.
    No problems apart from 19d where, having got the right interpretation of ‘mandarin’, I tried to make an anagram out of ‘orange’ plus ‘1’s’. ‘Organise’ seemed fine but I couldn’t see how it could equal ‘achievement’. Needless to say, that was my last one in.

    Lots of ticks giving podium places to 1,23,28&30a with a special mention for 26d because I knew how much Kitty would enjoy it!

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and also to Kath for her usual bubbly style of review and perfect illustrations.

  16. A mixed bag of “treats” today, several excellent clues interspersed with a few overused crossword regulars like the answers to 14a, 25a, 27d plus the clue for 2d (which I’ve seen repeated quite a few times now) and the grammatically clunky 3d. The four twelve-letter anagrams were constructed very well and none were initially obvious.

    My ticks went to 10a, 6d and 8d. I was wondering if the setter included two queens in 26a for those missing RayT too much?

    Many thanks to today’s setter and to Kath.

    1. Hi Silvanus,
      Always pay great attention to your comments – we so often agree – but you really had me fooled today over the two queens in 26a. Wondered why I couldn’t find them no matter how hard I looked…………!

      1. 26a – I always love it when the pedants and nit-pickers make an obvious mistake in their comments!

        Something like “Schadenfreude” … but not so severe.

        1. Hi Stan, I’ll be sure to take an especially close interest in your posts from now on – woe betide you if you even have a comma out of place matey! ;-)

  17. Needed Kath’s explanation to parse 1a ,as I was looking to insert the A between the L and the first P leaving TOP, which obviously threw me, never mind, no other problems and overall a **/***, liked the surface of 10a and 29a while 6d produced a smile.
    Thought the small horse in 24a was going to be s-nag until 5d fell and I saw the light.

  18. Tricky and altogether rather nasty. Very involved and tortuous clues such as 26d and 19d and some really horrid clues such as 1d and 3d.
    The Quick one is equally unpleasent.
    One of those puzzles where it is often easier to see the answer without being able of fully parse the clue.
    For me ***/*
    Thx for the hints.

  19. Once again it took me a while to get going but once I had I found that I was working steadily upwards and finishing with the NW corner. Just for a change I liked the East End clue; normally they annoy me! So that is my favourite. 2.5/3* overall.
    Thanks to Mr Ron, and thanks to Kath for her review, and her explanation of 22a which I had only ‘bunged in’.

  20. For once I’m here on the same day as puzzle is published and I skipped through this one while waiting to entertain the Australians. 19d was my last one in, don’t know why, but all the others yielded in a couple of passes, but no standout clues for me (although I too thought of Kitty with 26d, so it gets a special mention). Thanks to the ever-willing Kath and the the setter. 1*/3*

    1. Hi TS – gosh, I miss your pithy remarks. No news of the London train system, head-banging on the pavement or alcohol intake for sooo long now!

      1. I know. Sorry, Jane. It’s not easy at the moment, but I hope normal service will resume as soon as possible …

        1. … meanwhile, here is some music

  21. Slow star for me today but soon got into my stride. I must have my anagram head on today because they gave me no problems. Overall a very enjoyable start to the day. Thanks to setter and to Kath for the review.

  22. An enjoyable puzzle except that I thought 4 across a bit abstruse despite Kaths’ valiant attempts at a hint .I got it but I wasn’t sure why

  23. I found this straightforward except for the NW corner which took me a little while to unravel.

    An entertaining puzzle with thanks to Kath and setter 1.5*/4*

  24. 4/3. Tricky for me. I liked some clues (6d was favourite) but struggled to get on the setters wavelength for some. Thanks to the setter and to Kath for unraveling my muddled thinking.

  25. Thanks for standing in Kath. At least I’m back home now after being out since 0700 this morning because of clients wanting to leave our friend’s apartment at 0800. No time for writing blogs this morning.

    I did, however, find time for the crossie which I thought was pretty good, ***/**** from me with 14a favourite because it reminded me of the BRB’s definition of eclair. I’ll take a stab at Shamus as setter but youall know my record on that score.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and again to Kath.

    Now for a well-earned siesta.

    1. Standing in was my pleasure – have a good doze – I should think you need it.
      If you think today’s was Shamus I reckon you’re probably right – you’re very good at spotting him but please don’t stab him! :sad:

      1. Just as well I’ve got my anti-stab suit on! Thanks to Kath for her amusing and comprehensive blog and everyone for commenting

        1. Thank you for calling in – it is, as always, much appreciated when setters take the trouble to do so – it turns them into proper human beings – not that anyone doubts that most of them are for one minute. Perhaps it’s time I shut up . . .

    2. OK – clever clogs. I think that you should now be the official blog ‘Shamus spotter’ – you’re almost always right about him.
      Well done to you. :yes:

  26. Yes ***/***. NW corner had me stumped for a while. 6d and 18d were my favourites until 1a the last one in; I’d been thinking all along that the definition was ‘to read further’.
    Thanks both.

  27. Quite tricky, not helped by putting ‘union’in for 13a, seemed to make sense.Ambition was a bung-in for 19d also – must concentrate more.

  28. Thank you for the review Kath. I did have to check a few. I find 14a rather yummy too. A couple of slices of French stick, a bit of 14 a on top with some sliced strawberries and black grapes. Pop under the grill, then drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Serve with a green salad. Quick and scrummy lunch. Now to the rest of the crossword. Really liked 6d, but was thrown by 26d. Wanted to put ‘buzz’. Enjoyed the anagram in 20a. Thank you setter.

    1. . . . it was all going really well until you added the strawberries and grapes and vinegar! :unsure:

      1. Oops, sorry. How about this one. Lots of Parmesan cheese mixed with a spoonful of mayo. Spread on sliced French stick, top with finely grated onion and pop under the grill. I can do lots of things with cheese.

  29. Way to difficult for me, but enjoyable going through the hints.
    Thanks Kath and the setter.

    1. Great clueing, I slowly got the hang of the setters wavelength.
      Lots of good clues. my favourite has to be 6d, very clever.
      Thanks again to Shamus and our two friends from NZ.
      Broad beans have chocolate spot :-(

  30. I got off to a good start then slowed right down, not helped by thinking a note to read further was a ps for a long time and that the crime was treason. I could see the answer for several clues but not why so thank you Kath. And your explanation for 4a was excellent. I thought this was 2.5*/3* as I found it quite tough but once I had finished it I found I had enjoyed it more than I had realised. Thanks to the setter and to Kath.

  31. I found this a delight from top to bottom. The last one in was 19d and I had to use my gizmo for help with that.
    Loved 30a, 6d and 18d, but fave was 26d – with six cats in the house, they made me do it!
    Thanks to setter, and to Kath for her most entertaining blog.

  32. If it were possible to hold up our completed grid, we could show you that we had confidently written Shamus in the margin. A really good fun puzzle for us that helped pass a stormy wintry day here (together with some of last week’s backlog).
    Thanks Shamus and Kath.

    1. OK – joint, with pommers, official blog ‘Shamus spotters’! You two are usually right too.
      I can just imagine the pair of you snuggled up by your wood burner doing crosswords . . .

      1. That picture is not quite right Kath. Only one of us was hunkered down in front of the fire for the backlog puzzles, Carol was in the other room diligently working on her writing. :smile:

  33. A mixed bag today, but very enjoyable, thanks to Shamus and Kath. Some fell in easily and some much harder. Went down the buzz road also and forgot about female cats (we’ve always had males but not for any reason) so that held me up. Spent ages on 5d trying to get a pub drink out of the anagram. Favorite was 4a.

  34. Thanks to Shamus and to Kath for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, but found it very tricky. Needed the hints to parse 1a,7d&22d, I was all over the place with the latter, kept thinking of treason without the t, but that did not make sense. I spelt 29a the American way, so added an S to make it fit. So that messed me up for 19d. Once corrected I still needed the hint, because I originally thought mandarin was CS and couldn’t get it out of my mind. Favourite was 11d, great anagram. Was 4*/3* for me.

    1. Welcome from me too.
      I confess that hadn’t occurred to me but it’s more than my brain can cope with now!
      Perhaps Shamus could clear this one up . . .
      Thanks for commenting – please keep doing so. :smile:

  35. Right – I know that it’s not very late but I’m off to bed pretty soon.
    Thanks again to Shamus for the crossword and to everyone else for their comments – all good fun.
    Night, night all and sleep well. :yawn:

    1. From Collins online:


      7. appropriate to; designed to meet the needs of; meant to be used in ⇒ these kennels are for puppies

      Over and out.

  36. This was a rather strange, inconsistent affair – some clues were very elementary and easy to solve, others being much more difficult/tricky (the sort I prefer); almost as if it was a joint effort by two different compilers. 6, 7 and 8d plus 10a in the NE sector stymied me for ages and I had to resort to finishing it in bed at 11pm. But overall, it was quite enjoyable. 2.5*/3*

Comments are closed.