DT 28203 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28203

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28203

“A, you’re a necessity ….”

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Greetings from tropical Warrington. Time for a Friday battle with the Don, although there were points today where it didn’t feel like one of his puzzles. Very enjoyable, although somewhat on the gentle side for the Friday spot. There were a couple of traps. I wrote in an answer to 14 without thinking too much about it and this led to problems with 7 down, although they were quickly resolved.

It’s a good day for solving today. Once you have finished this one, there’s Elgar on the rampage in the Toughie, but fans of the Sunday puzzle will be pleased to note Brian is over at Guardian Towers https://www.theguardian.com/crosswords/cryptic/26973 and he’s a little more risqué than in the Sunday spot.

Apologies for the late posting, had a nursing appointment which turned into an urgent doctor’s appointment! Home now, but off to work! 

[This has been further aggravated by performance problems on the site which finally necessitated a server reboot.  BD]

Let us know how you got on. Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a English bobby in helmet? A cool dude (6)
HEPCAT: A name for someone who is cool, a word not used much today and associated with the 1960’s. Inside a word for a helmet is an abbreviation for English and one for a policeman.

5a Celebrity female is accompanying husband, a swimmer (8)
STARFISH: A word meaning celebrity has F (female), IS and H (husband) added to give something found on many beaches.

9a Take lingerers apart in a situation wreaking havoc with the economy? (7,6)
GENERAL STRIKE: An anagram (shown by apart) of TAKE LINGERERS gives an action that invariably brings things to a halt and is often cited as a cause for poor economic results.

10a I concede, having admitted small number with insufficient know-how (8)
IGNORANT: The abbreviation (small) for number goes inside how you say I concede or allow something to give a word meaning not knowing.

11a Remember everyone at the sports ground (6)
RECALL: An old slang name for a sports ground is added to something meaning everyone to lead you to something that means remember.

12a A soldier enters a party in leisurely fashion (6)
ADAGIO: The musical instruction that means play in a leisurely manner, slowish, is found by taking A and the abbreviation for a US soldier and placing it inside A and a word for a party. It’s worth remembering that when you see A in a clue, it usually means it’s in the answer. As in the next clue as well….

14a I, having taken a bash after school, must get foot treatment (8)
PODIATRY: Without thinking too much, I wrote in PEDICURE, but had I read the clue properly, I would have realised it wouldn’t have worked. After the name for a school (of whales) goes I and A plus a word meaning bash, attempt or go. This gives the trendy word for CHIROPODY.

16a Given external stimulus, mean fellow almost made a commitment (8)
PROMISED: Indicated by ‘external’, Inside a word for a stimulus or kick-up-the-bum goes almost the full word for someone who’s mean with money and this leads you to a word meaning made a commitment.

19a ‘Character’ — a nut wandering about (6)
NATURE: A word for the character of something is shown by rearranging the letters of A NUT and adding the short indication that means about.

21a Crows left penned in by animals (6)
GLOATS: Inside a word for some animals goes L (an abbreviation for LEFT). This gives something that means crows about something.

23a Refuse to accept sailor, one hiding head by entrance (8)
ABNEGATE: Something that means refuse or decline is found by taking the standard abbreviation for a sailor, adding ONE without its first letter (hiding head) and a word for an entrance.

25a Some toiler got mad — a person who can tell what’s in the air (13)
METEOROLOGIST: The proper name for the clairvoyants at the end of the news on TV is found by rearranging the letters of SOME TOILER GOT. Here’s probably the most famous of all….

ARVE Error: need id and provider

26a Spotted having little kiss in winter vehicle (8)
SPECKLED: An adjective meaning spotted, is revealed by taking a word for a little kiss (on the cheek) and putting it inside the name of something to transport you over the snow.

27a Royal family exciting characters in Stroud (6)
TUDORS: The name of a royal dynasty is found by rearranging (exciting characters) of STROUD.


2d Occupied, showing purpose — good time to get stuck in (7)
ENGAGED: A word that means occupied (think public toilets – no, perhaps not!) is found by taking a word meaning a purpose and inserting G (good) and a word for a long time.

3d Worker in firm produces piece of poetry (5)
CANTO: Inside the abbreviation for company goes the name of an insect for which worker is a type. This gives the name for a type of verse, often sung.

4d Fighters moved very quickly, pursued by a blonde bombshell (9)
TOREADORS: The name for some bullfighters is found by taking a verb meaning moved very quickly, adding the A from the clue and the surname of a blonde bombshell from the fifties and sixties

5d Pulpits badly produced come apart (5,2)
SPLIT-UP: An anagram (badly produced) of PULPITS gives a word meaning to have come apart.

6d Female MP once in a never-ending rage (5)
ASTOR: The surname of a famous female MP, often the butt of jokes by Churchill, is found by taking another A and adding a word meaning rage or tempest, minus its last lette

7d Over-smart church sculptures? Such may be seen in lecture (4,5)
FLIP CHART: Something that is used as part of a lecture or presentation is found by taking an adjective that can mean too clever or over-smart and then adding CH (church) and a word for paintings or sculptures.

8d S. Pickwick’s valet, one to bulge out (7)
SWELLER: The name for someone who bulges a bit is found by taking the name of the assistant to the central character in Pickwick Papers and writing it in the style of the character shown. This is an occasional device used in crosswords and can just require that little bit of thought. So Samuel Pickwick appears as S PICKWICK, his side-kick, also called Sam would appear as S…..

13d My acting’s absurdly acrobatic (9)
GYMNASTIC: An anagram (absurdly) of MY ACTING’S leads to a word meaning acrobatic. Think Max Whitlock.


15d Maybe enjoying restaurant clamour and latest taste? (6,3)
DINING OUT: A phrase that means going for a meal is made up of a short word for noise, adding another way of saying latest or trendy, and an word borrowed from French for taste (or a nasty condition from drinking too much port!).

17d Go round with cleaner to get bit of food (7)
ROLLMOP: A small item of food (pretty disgusting IMHO) can be found by taking a word meaning move round and attend an item used for cleaning mucky floors.


18d Red cardfeature of a ball game (7)
DIAMOND: A double definition. The name for a red playing card is also the playing area of baseball or other sports.

20d One goes round rubbish dumped on a hill (7)
ROTATOR: Something that spins is found by taking a word meaning rubbish, adding another A and something that means hill in Devon.

22d Stolen stuff’s turning up in seat (5)
STOOL: The name for a type of chair is stolen property’s reversed.

24d Liberal admitted to good Scottish society (5)
GUILD: Inside the Scottish word for good goes L for Liberal to give the name for a society (think Townswomen).

Thanks to the Don for today’s battle. Apologies again for being late. Normal service resumed next week.

The Quick Crossword pun: Klee+moor=claymore

52 comments on “DT 28203

      1. Brilliant Brendan! I’m very embarrassed however to confess that 26d was my last one in!

        1. I did mean 26d which is a chess related clue in the Brendan puzzle from the Guardian for which CS kindly provided the link. This sort of confusion is why BD asks us not to comment on puzzles other than the one covered by the review.

          Sorry, boss. Guilty as charged. :oops:

    1. Yes, thoroughly enjoyed the Brendan puzzle although I was slow to catch on to the themes. I found it a bit tougher than I normally expect from Mr. Greer, though..

  1. Just missed being the first post, still second class gets there at the same time!
    Loved today’s cryptic – just my cup of tea, with just a little stretch. Thanks to the compiler. **/**** from me.

  2. Enjoyable, liked 4d and 15d. The Dickens character was new to me as far as I recall. Felt like we have seen 9a before – or something like it. Thanks to the Don, and(in advance) to Tilsit .

    1. I remember the outstanding thing about him was sounding his ‘v’s’ as ‘w’s’ (vees as doubles-ewes) ‘wery well Mr Pickwick’ and ‘wittles’ for ‘victuals’ – I think Harry Fowler played him in the old film!

      1. I remembered that, too, from the book which we studied at school – ah, so long, long a Good!

  3. */** from deepest Glos. Where it is a beautiful summer’s day.
    A lot of anagrams and for once it was pretty much a ‘write in’ here. Had to look up 23a – not a word we had seen before. Favourite was probably 14a which is quite clever
    Thanks to both in advance.

  4. Checked in for explanation for the lady in 6d but completed anyway. **/*** for me and my favourite among several is 12a. An unexpected result as it fell into place! (Similarly 23a).

  5. Thanks to Giovanni and to Tilsit in advance. A nice puzzle, quite gentle for a change. 1a made me laugh and was my favourite. Last in was 18d. Was 2*/3* for me. Will need the hints to parse 6&8d.

  6. **/*** for me. 24d had me flummoxed and was the last in.
    Heno, you’ll need a little Parlimentary history and a volume of Dickens for 6 and 8d

  7. Pretty good, though 24d took some staring time and I’m guessing at 6d & 8d – but since they are both name-related, couldn’t care less if they’re right or wrong.
    Thanks to all as ever – hope all is well with Tilsit.

  8. Really enjoyed today’s offering especially 26a, 4d, 7d and 17d. I didn’t know the name of Pickwick’s valet so had to look it up. I thought the answer to 23a had been in a puzzle a few weeks back but I may be mistaken on that. Thanks to the setter and advance thanks to Tilsit.

  9. I enjoyed this, some good fun.
    6d was Joyce Grenfell’s aunt; imagine remembering her for that when she was such a powerful lady in her own right!
    I rather liked 4d, so I’ll choose that as my fave. I wonder how many will remember the blonde bombshell?
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Tilsit for his hints. I hope you’re doing well now.

    1. DD from Swindon as I recall. Vied with Jane Russell on desk lid (underside of course). Just Googled to make sure & saw the quote about why she changed her name. “I suppose that they were afraid that if my real name, Diana Fluck was in lights and one blew…”
      I see bloggers ask about Nancy Astor but not about DD. Sign of the times perhaps.

  10. Think I was surprised to see that 1a is one word – I’ve never actually heard anyone use it but always assumed it would be two.
    The 8d valet was a guess and look-up. Must add Pickwick Papers to my reading list.
    No stand out favourite but quite liked 14a and 4d.

    Thanks to DG and also to Tilsit for bringing us the review in the face of adversity – trust all is now well. Have to disagree with your opinion of 17d – rather scrummy in my book!

  11. With 1a and the last part of 4d in particular, I wondered at times if the puzzle was actually compiled in 1966 rather than 2016, such references did appear somewhat dated.

    I ticked two clues for their combination of excellent constructions and surfaces, namely 26a and 18d.

    It’s probably a pure coincidence, but the format of today’s grid was identical to Jay’s of only two days ago.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Tilsit, and a good weekend to all.

  12. Took a while to get the first word in 7d as the presentation board was new to me.
    Apart from that. Nothing to declare.
    Thanks to the Don and to Tilsit for the review.

  13. 4d. Must be TORNADOES, They’re fighters, so put it in and await parsing from Tilsit. Result-a day of misery

  14. Like the weather here in S Wales the offering was perfect for me. Probably on the mild side for some but a lovely end to the week I thought. Liked 14a but as a soccer man with a more than passing interest in Baseball (Arizona D’backs) 18d COTD.
    Thanks to setter & Tilsit for hints.. Hope all OK now.

  15. Out with the thesaurus again. Not to bad fpr a Friday thanks to Tilset and setter.
    Lovely day here in North Cornwall all change tomorrow.

  16. Not really my cup of tea or goüt (to coin an RDism) and on that basis can’t believe I needed help parsing 15d. I’m with Tilsit on having plumped for wrong answer to 14a and Domus on solution for 4d – that’ll larn me. Thank you to The Don and Tilsit. ***/**.

  17. A very gentle offering from Mr Manley I thought – was that because we had Elgar over on ‘the dark side’? It all went rather smoothly with 7d as my last one in – I had the answer in my head but for some reason couldn’t parse it until the penny dropped. A nice end to the weekday back pager slot.

    Thanks to the Don for the puzzle and to Tilsit for his review. Lovely to see you in the blogging chair young man.

    Hope you all have a great weekend – as I mentioned on the ‘other side’, we are hosting my in-laws for Sunday Lunch. Can’t wait.

    1. I can sympathise, SL – we’re also about to have too much of a good thing in terms of family gatherings. Hope you manage to have a good one anyway.

  18. Not too many problems…although 1d held me up for a bit! Do people still use 7d?

    Many thanks to the Don and to Tilsit for a great blog. Hope you’re OK?

  19. I was expecting a real work out today from DG but it was very much a wolf in sheep’s clothing! 1a was a word I haven’t hear for ages; it always makes me think of beards and roll-neck sweaters…. anyway it’s my fave for the day.
    2/3* overall.
    Thanks to the Don, and Tilsit for his review.

  20. I have a headache now, but that’s not Giovanni’s fault. I’m glad this was on the gentle side and I found lots to appreciate.

    I only know 1a from crosswords, but that’s cool.

    Like our reviewer and others I spent a while trying to justify the wrong answer for 14a. When solving electronically I always leave out one letter of a word I haven’t parsed to indicate that it’s “pencilled in:” that it isn’t finished and may be wrong. I had to do that in a couple of places today.

    Was the “lette” in the hint for 6d deliberate? :)

    8d was a bit of a guess. I was held up with the parsing of 15d and 24d. In the latter I allowed myself to dwell for far too long on G being good.

    I liked 5a and 8d. My favourite is 26a.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to Tilsit for bringing us a fine blog in less than ideal circumstances. I hope things run smoothly for you from now on. Have a great weekend everyone. :bye:

  21. Held up by 1a and even though I was a teenager in the 60’s , I never heard this word spoken about anyone or anything , “hip cat ” possibly ” cool cat ” definitely . A relatively easy and enjoyable solve **/*** Thanks to the setter and Tilsit

  22. I think this must be my best attempt so far at a Friday puzzle.
    One wrong (4d) and had to use the electronic aid for 2 (21a and 18d….always forget about cards being either red or black).
    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the hints.

  23. We also had penciled in the wrong foot treatment for 14a until we realised the type of school in the wordplay. Soon sorted and everything else slotted together without too many problems. Elegantly crafted clues as usual.
    Thanks Giovanni and Tilsit.

  24. Right on the 1*/2* boundary for me, but 3* for enjoyment. I enjoyed 1a – it makes me think of the Jazz Club host on “The Fast Show” – but 14a is my favourite. Thanks to the Don and Tilsit. Don’t think much of the Quickie pun, though.

  25. Enjoyable puzzle again. Like Tilsit, I really, really wanted to put in pedicure for 14a but was certain 7d was right, having used many of those in my working life. Then had to go shopping and walked past store with a sign hanging outside, Podiatry…ah ha! Don’t recall ever seeing 23a before.

  26. Never heard the word hepcat before! Worked it out from the clue but thought it couldn’t be right. I almost made the same mistake as you with 14A. Nice crossword today.

  27. Pommette knew HEPCAT but the rest was a bit off piste IMHO. Only */** from us. The Don has been better.

    Anyway thanks to all concerned and best wishes to Tilsit for a speedy recovery.

  28. I thought this one was very good – above average for a weekday, with some great cluing. I didn’t help myself by putting in 3 early wrong answers: pedicure instead of podiatry, prompted (“given external stimulus”) instead of promised and abrogate instead of abnegate (which are almost synonymous, but not quite). 3*/3.5* Jazz fans are still called “cats” in certain circles, aren’t they?

Comments are closed.