DT 28206 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28206

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28206

Hints and tips by ShropshireLad

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment **

Good morning from a rather sultry day here in Shropshire. Today’s puzzle from our Tuesday Mr Ron is a ‘pangram,’ but there is nothing here to send ‘Silver’ and his mates scampering off to the hills. I doubt that my hints will be needed today as it is a nice gentle puzzle for people new to cryptic crosswords to cut their teeth on.

As usual, the definitions are underlined to get you started and my hints are there to help if required. If all else fails to help you can reveal the answer by clicking on the ‘click here’ button.

Happy solving.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


5a    A parrot, variegated correspondingly (3,4)
PRO RATA: An anagram (variegated) of A PARROT.

7a    Pug dog (5)
BOXER: Double definition. The former being an abbreviation of what Sir Henry Cooper was.

9a    Wild animal in a lake, shown on card (6)
JACKAL: Start with a playing card next one up from a ten and add the ‘A’ from the clue with the abbreviation for ‘lake’.

10a    Question a tutor producing four lines of verse (8)
QUATRAIN: Take the 2 letter abbreviation for ‘question’ and follow that with the ‘A’ from the clue and end with a synonymous verb for ‘tutor’.

11a    A fruit, kind elected foremost of eaters (10)
CLEMENTINE: A synonym of ‘kind’ is followed by a term used for ‘elected’ (as to office) and the first letter (foremost) of ‘eaters’.

13a    Boast about what oarswomen do (4)
CROW: Start with the single letter abbreviation for ‘about’ and add the term for what ‘oarswomen’ do in a boat.

14a    He, since being treated, doesn’t eat cabbage (7,6)
CHINESE LEAVES: An anagram (being treated) of HE SINCE is followed by a synonym of ‘doesn’t eat’ (what’s on the plate).

16a    Endless ingrained dirt, ghastly (4)
GRIM: A synonym for ‘ingrained dirt’ without its last letter (endless).

17a    Explains what a voter does (4,6)
PUTS ACROSS: Split 4,1,5 is how a voter identifies his selected candidate.

19a    Free lass, terribly brave (8)
FEARLESS: An anagram (terribly) of FREE LASS.

20a    Brief: retain for murder cases (6)
INFORM: Our one and only lurker of the day.

22a    Something used by bakers still, while inside (5)
YEAST: Take a synonym for ‘still’ and insert (inside) another synonym for ‘while’.

23a    First in earlier on? Social worker, smart (7)
ELEGANT: Start with the first letter of ‘earlier’ and add a term synonymous with ‘on’ (in cricket) and finish with crosswordland’s favourite ‘social worker’ (not the one that flies).


1d    Show yellow card to reserve (4)
BOOK: Double definition. The latter being to ‘reserve’ a table perhaps.

2d    Standard cavalry weapon in a manner of speaking (8)
PARLANCE: Start with a synonym for ‘standard’ (in golf perhaps) and add a sharp pointy weapon carried by members of the cavalry.

3d    Head of brigade entering a lounge on fire (6)
ABLAZE: Take the first letter (head of) of ‘brigade’ and insert it in (entering) the ‘A’ from the clue and term meaning to be idle (lounge).

4d    More clothing a fielder required (5,5)
EXTRA COVER: Another cricket term I’m afraid – a position taken by a fielder which comes from a term to describe ‘more clothing’.

5d    Pawn nobleman’s gemstone (5)
PEARL: The standard chess abbreviation for ‘pawn’ is followed by a nobleman (well described by MP in his blog yesterday).

6d    One learns to like this strange state, having got over it (8,5)
ACQUIRED TASTE: An anagram (strange) of STATE is preceded (over it) by a synonym for ‘having got’.

8d    Game in Ohio, America, is exorbitant (7)
RUINOUS: One of Crosswordland’s usual abbreviation for a ‘game’ played by men with odd shaped balls is followed by the ‘in’ from the clue and the abbreviations for ‘Ohio’ and ‘America’.

12d    Legendary woman reportedly caused airman to crash (4,6)
MAID MARIAN: A homophone (reportedly) of ’caused’ is followed by an anagram (to crash) of AIRMAN.

14d    Saloon, perhaps ideal place in which to eat (7)
CARVERY: The saloon here is a vehicle followed by a synonym for ‘ideal’.

15d    Inspector, formerly a Bevin Boy? (8)
EXAMINER: The standard abbreviation for ‘formerly’ is followed by a term for a ‘Bevin Boy’. The picture has nothing whatsoever to do with the clue. I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to put Kath’s favourite Inspector.

17d    Rather small-minded about Rex (6)
PRETTY: Take a synonym of ‘small-minded’ and insert (about) the abbreviation for ‘Rex’.

18d    Tiff involving river fish (5)
SPRAT: Start with a synonym for a ‘tiff’ and insert (involving) the abbreviation for ‘river’.

21d    German partner in crime duke knocked out (4)
FRAU: You need a type of crime that involves a deceit without (knocked out) the abbreviation for a ‘Duke’.

No particular favourites but a pleasant enough solve. Did any particular clue bring a smile to your face?

The Quick Crossword pun: owe+verb+loan=overblown

77 comments on “DT 28206

  1. Well, it is good to be first to post but, unfortunately, it is a sign of my desperation.

    Yet again I couldn’t get on the setter’s wavelength so many thanks to Sl for the hints.

    Finished, but unsatisfied.

    3*/1* for me

  2. Not difficult to get the answers but tricky to parse some of the clues such as 14d (very=ideal?), 22a, 20a (I assume cases refers to it being a lurker?) and 8d for example.
    Had to Google 14a, not a familiar vegetable. Nice to see a pangram other than in Friday’s Quickie.
    Thx to all

    1. B. Just for the record, very=ideal does seem a rather unlikely synonym but it’s in the dictionaries, for example:



      1. exact, actual, precise, same, real, express, identical, unqualified, selfsame, v (text messaging) • Those were his very words to me.
      2. ideal, perfect, right, fitting, appropriate, suitable, spot on (British, informal), apt, just the job (British, informal), v (text 3. messaging) • the very person we need for the job
      3. mere, simple, plain, nothing more than, v (text messaging) • the very sound of a telephone ringing evoked fear

  3. Quatrain or Quartain finally turned out to be the former, after some searching.
    14a kept me thinking then applied the old word play ploy.
    Thanks to SL and Mr Ron, definitely ***/*** for me. Favourite clue 12d.

  4. Very much a do what it says on the tin sort of puzzle. It will test the newbies but the old heads will have an air of seen it all before about them.
    Variegated (Marked by variety) as an anagram indicator is probably the best part of this puzzle for me.
    The Bevan Boys should be consigned to The Museum of Crosswordland.
    Missed the 3,4 split in 14d until I read SLs hint but solved it anyway.
    Chortled at The Quickie Pun
    Missed the pangram (always do)
    Thanks to SL and thanks to the setter.

  5. Nice enough way to start the week. I always forget to look out for pangrams. 10a new one on me. Bar initially sprang to mind in 14d but 14a ruled that out. Failed to parse 8d. Fav 17a. Thanks Mysteron and SL. Quickie pun amused. ***/***.

  6. Spoiled for me by the incorrect abbreviation for Ohio. I don’t care what the BRB says (its far from infallible on things American) the official two-letter-abbreviation is OH. I did like 15D, though. Thanks anyway to the setter and to SL for the blog.

  7. Well just goes to show ..I finished it without it being a pangram … so had to check for my mistakes …!!!!!!
    I knew some of my answers sounded odd!!!! Duh!!!!!
    Thanks DT :-)

  8. Held up by putting “gets across” for 17a. Then realised the relevance of “does”. Thus17d then was my LOI. Overall middle of the road but pleasant enough
    Hope Geoff B. did German though.
    Did spot the pangram which helped with 22a.
    Thanks to setter & SL for hints.
    Noted Salop in news last week. They’ll have to rename the Black Country if FRESH get to hear of it.

  9. On a pedantic point of order, 1d, we ‘caution’ players with a yellow card, we don’t ‘book’ them any more.

  10. It took me quite a while to get onto anything approaching the right wave-length – don’t know why but it just did.
    I started off with the wrong answer for 1d which didn’t help 5a but sorted that out.
    I didn’t know 10a and always forget the 14a ‘cabbage’ – don’t even know what it looks like – maybe I’ll find out.
    Just for a change I missed the lurker and, just for a change again, the ‘crickety’ bit of 23a foxed me for too long.
    When I got 3d I thought ‘pangram’ but by the time I’d finished the crossword I’d forgotten about it – attention span of a gnat.
    I liked 9 and 17a and 6d. My favourite was 12d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to SL – the pic of my favourite inspector didn’t have the usual effect as it makes him look a bit snooty but thanks anyway!

    1. That 14a veg looks like a very anaemic sweetheart cabbage, Kath.
      Bit of a waste of time for me, I’m afraid and I never buy it….same with iceberg lettuce……why?

      I do grow quite a few other oriental salad and cooking leaves – the peppery and mustardy ones….you never know what’s going to come up.

      1. The only time I use iceberg lettuce is in a bowl of chilli – chopped up, it gives a lovely crunch!

      2. Thanks for reminding me of what I said I was going to do – see, the attention span and memory of a gnat!
        I’ve now asked the nice Mr Google (Images) about 14a – well, what a motley assortment. Some of the pics are of what I would call pak choi which, I think, is OK and can be quite useful.
        Lots of rather anaemic looking stuff too.
        Like you we (that’s the royal we as I’m the gardener here) grow endless salad stuff – proper lettuces, rocket and lots of the mixed leaves – lovely.
        Iceberg lettuce – a vehicle for a really good dressing and probably better than nothing in the dead of winter.

    2. Sorry Kath – I thought it was quite distinguished. I promise to try harder next time the opportunity presents itself :).

  11. I had mixed feelings about this puzzle. I thought the grid was a bit unusual at the start. Then I did wonder about some of the clue word plays.

    I did not find it difficult but it was one where I did some head scratching as I tried to match the obvious answer to the clue in several places. So as for a rating I would say 2*/2* for mew today.

  12. 8d, surely the clue should indicate just to use the “O” or “Ohio”, by some mechanism like “the capital of Ohio” or something, I spent ages trying to fit “OH” in there somewhere!!!

    1. As Expat Chris said in her comment above – I always thought that the abbreviation for Ohio was OH. The BRB seems to be at loggerheads with itself. Under the entry ‘O or O.’ it states ‘abbrev Ohio (US state)’ – however if you look under the entry ‘OH’ it says ‘abbrev Ohio (US state)’.

      I think our friends across the ‘pond’ know what is right :)

      1. I had a similar journey round the BRB with “pearl” as a gemstone as to me “stones” are inorganic . No mention of gemstone under °Pearl” but says it is “much prized as a gem”. Then “gem” is “any precious stone”. Under “stone”: a piece of rock; gem …. Thank goodness the answer was straightforward.

      2. Ohio is definitely OH, not O, and US postal service would undoubtedly return it as “undeliverable”…

  13. Gentle, straightforward and over pretty quickly. 1.5*/2.5* overall with no particular stand-out favourite.

    Thanks to the Tuesday setter and my neighbour. Good luck to England at Trent Bridge this afternoon.

  14. On a roll this morning getting both of the cricket clues and the yellow card but then scuppered it by putting Miss Marple into 12d. To be fair, I did have three correct checkers in place! 22d sorted me out which was just as well – 14a was starting to look somewhat difficult.
    Think I enjoyed this one more than SL appears to have done and particularly liked 11&17a.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to our Shropshire chairman.

  15. Was only held up by thinking the answer for 10a was Quattuor.
    Didn’t mind the sporty clues for once.
    Getting mellow.
    Thanks to the setter and to SL for the review.

    1. Off blog subject – are you attending the York do in October? If you are, I look forward to seeing you again mon ami.

  16. Entertaining if fairly unchallenging, although I always feel a little short-changed with a grid having only twenty six clues.

    12d and 14d were ticked, I also thought all US states had two letter abbreviations, not one. Glad that Expat Chris concurs.

    Thanks to today’s setter and to SL.

    1. Wikipedia tells us that the US Post Office now has two-letter (both capital) abbreviations for all states, but in the past there were variations. Ohio, which is now OH, was variously abbreviated to O, Oh, and (strangely) Ohio. California in the past could be Ca, or Cal, which still crops up in crosswordland.

      1. And Massachusetts is MA, not Mass, which also pops up in crosswords. Strangely, though, I’ve also seem Pennsylvania (PA) referred to as Penna on official Turnpike signs.

      2. I know there used to be 3 letter state abbreviations, I.e. Florida used to be FLA, and now FL. Was not aware there was ever one letter abbreviations though.

  17. All done, no hints needed.
    Yet for some reason it seemed a bit unsatisfactory, not sure why. I found it hard to get on the wavelength, but somehow it all seemed to come together.
    I did not know that 12d was only a lady of legend.
    Thanks SL for the great hint and to UN Owen (copyright Agatha Christie)

  18. A lovely, gentle puzzle and even better because I spotted the pangram for the first time ever. Only held up briefly ( long enough to consult the hint) by 21d. I’m not sure whether 17a made me smile or groan, but it produced a reaction anyway. Thanks to setter, and to ShropshireLad.

  19. Two nice straightforward crosswords in a row 😊 It won’t last! Thanks to SL and the setter. Liked 17a & 12d 😍

  20. Gentle stuff but entertaining also. Thanks to Mr Ron and the lad that lives quite near Wales….

  21. Managed without either electronic aids or hints..and spotted it was a pangram.
    Must be on the same wavelength today.

    Also started out with Gets Across for 17a which held me up, but the penny eventually dropped. Took ages to see the lurker until I remembered somebody from here advising that if the clue doesn’t make sense to you, look for a lurker…and there it was!
    The sun is shining here and all is well with my world!

    Many thanks to the setter and to ShropshireLad.

  22. I found this on wavelength by and large, but was held up by the crickety bits and pieces – for instance, waited to put 23a in until I had all the letters.
    Never heard of 14a, and was held up by 8d as had the wrong answer in 13a, then I realised that it wasn’t the past tense.
    Bevin Boys might be hackneyed for you, M’pops, but it took me a long time.
    Otherwise, it was pretty enjoyable. Fave was 12d
    Thanks to setter and to ShropshireLad for unravelling the cricket stuff.

    1. Think the Bevin Boys can stay around for a while yet, Merusa – at least until MP learns how to spell them!

    2. Re your comment about the weather yesterday.
      We saw a cloud too but it must have rained about 0.0019 inches.
      Definitely need some proper rain down here.

      1. You saw a cloud! I hoped you stopped to take a pic. I now have the Fast Show going through my head…Scorchio!!

    3. Very heavy rain here now with flood warnings. But hardly a drop when they actually put out the warnings for our area at the weekend. Glad the tree trimmers showed up early morning today.

      1. We have been having rain all day but certainly not what I would call flood rain, just a steady drizzle that is good for the garden. I trimmed my tree last week, the trimmer was about three weeks late.

        1. Hasn’t rained in my part of South London for weeks, a struggle to keep the veg watered.

  23. Forgot the game in 8d again, so that was my last one in, otherwise fairly straightforward for me. I only knew 10a because I have an interest in the writings of Nostradamus. It’s entirely proper ambiguous cryptic gibberish, but interesting to read.
    Thanks to all as ever.

  24. See it’s the wavelength thing again. Found yesterday’s *** easier than today’s *. Thanks Shropshirelad for helpful hints. Hadnt heard of 14a, and had to google Bevin Boys. Something learnt today. Favourites were 6d and 17a, clever clues. O vs OH threw me off in 8d.

  25. A good, fairly straightforward puzzle. That said, my first in was 9ac, and it took me a while to make much headway from there. 14ac looked like it might be something I didn’t know at first, but the wordplay was friendly enough and the separate bits weren’t that obscure.

  26. Good evening everybody.

    A joint effort today and a very brief affair. I led with the first half dozen or so and didn’t get a second turn. Surprisingly I hadn’t one across clue solved on pass one.


  27. I thought this was pretty good, and of a normal Tuesdayish level of difficulty – which, since it’s a Tuesday, is nothing to complain about.

    I did have to guess what Bevin Boy was, but that was ok and now I know. No crickety trouble for me today. 20a was a good lurker, and fits well with the slightly macabre tone on the other side.

    Many thanks to the setter and ShropshireLad.

  28. Pretty straight forward, apart from the O/OH conundrum. No real favourites. 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter and to SL for his review.

  29. Delighted to finish without hints so one star from me but also thought O not OH was a cheek for Ohio and spent ages trying to fit an ‘h’ into the word. Last one in 9a favourite clue 6d.

  30. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Shropshire Lad for the review and hints. I did what I could do very quickly, but was left with 5 unsolved. Had a brainstorm with 14a, I once had Chinese Leaf, but had no idea it was a cabbage! I put gets instead of puts for 17a, so that stopped me getting 17d. Once again, not my day. Favourite was 23a. A new word for me in 10a. Was 3*/2* for me. I’ll be commenting late for a while, as I’m in Cumbria, hillwalking.

  31. Nothing overly difficult at all but no real highlights..maybe 12d. Didn’t spot the pangram..again.

    Many thanks to the setter and SL for a great blog!

  32. R&W for me. Completed on the train home from work, which is good, because I need an early night. Doctor at 8am, which is a time I seldom see. No stand-out clues. Ta to SL and the setter 1*/3*

  33. One of the plus sides of occasional insomnia is completing a crossword at 4am without resorting to the hints and then boasting about it on this blog! Not that it will be read by anyone, ha! Enjoyed reading everyone’s comments and shall now peruse said hints. Thanks to SL and the setter.

    1. Congrats from this chronic insomniac who’s staring like a crazy woman at the toughie at 3:00 EST!

    2. Well done from me too – you should now have realised that nearly everyone round here reads nearly everything posted by someone else.

    3. Well done from me too. I’m not an insomniac – more the other way really. Husband once read that gorillas sleep for fourteen hours out of every twenty-four so decided that he was married to one.
      I agree with CS – most people read everything posted here at some stage or other.

      1. Yep – I’m in that camp as well. They always make good reading.

        Well done Ann – BD will be having you blogging in next to no time :)

  34. Managed the crossword myself, but just wanted to check on the reasoning behind one of the answers – just to kick myself for being so stupid not to have spotted why. You provide an essential service for the newly-retired who cannot get on with anything else until the crossword is finished. Thank you so much, I wish I had discovered your site years ago.

    1. Welcome to the blog.

      Now you’ve found us, we hope we’ll see more comments from you in the future

Comments are closed.