DT 28212 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28212

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28212

Hints and tips by ShropshireLad

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BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment */**

Good morning from what looks to be a nice day (weather wise) here in Shropshire. Our Tuesday Mr Ron has given us a puzzle which I don’t think will trouble too many of you – there are a few ‘groaners and old chestnuts’ but it’s an enjoyable solve nonetheless. Happy solving.

As usual, the definitions are underlined to give you a leg up if required and then you have my hints and pictures to hopefully aid you in solving the puzzle. If all else fails – you can reveal the answer by pressing on the ‘click here’ button.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Give prisoner commendation (10)
CONTRIBUTE: A charade a synonym for ‘prisoner’ followed by another synonym for ‘commendation’.

6a    Dull poet makes a comeback (4)
DRAB: Mr Shakespeare perhaps? Reversed (makes a comeback).

9a    Tree from Rome raised in the centre? (5)
ROWAN: Start with what you would be called if you lived in Italy’s capital (from Rome) and turn the middle letter upside down (raised in the centre). I can’t recall having seen this device used before and I suppose if I were being pedantic – it would depend on what font you used. This was also the first type of tree I climbed as child and, subsequently, the first tree I fell out of.

10a    Host‘s hair formed into a rounded mass after a twirl (9)
ABUNDANCE: Start with name for how a person might wear their hair (hair formed into a rounded mass) and place it behind the ‘A’ from the clue (after a) and end with a ‘Viennese Waltz’ perhaps (twirl).

12a    Swimming deep, lad prayed (7)
PLEADED: An anagram (swimming) of DEEP LAD. The picture clue is for my fellow Tuesday blogger as a thank you for sending me the grid early this morning. Thanks Kitty.

13a    Six with place to stay (5)
VISIT: Take the Roman numeral for ‘six’ and follow it with a synonym for ‘place’.

15a    Former lover sat naked (7)
EXPOSED: Start with Crosswordland’s usual abbreviation for ‘former lover’ and then a verb for ‘sat’ (as for an artist). A bit of an old chestnut methinks.

17a    Concert — remember having no conclusion about it (7)
RECITAL: Take a synonym for ‘remember’ and remove the last letter (having no conclusion). What you are left with takes in (about) the ‘it’ from the clue.

19a    Working out four and ten — that’s a large sum (7)
FORTUNE: An anagram (working out) of FOUR & TEN.

21a    Notices time, getting hindered by difficult questions (7)
POSTERS: What difficult questions are sometimes called with the abbreviation for ‘time’ inserted in it (hindered by).

22a    Fury when moving Queen’s stove (5)
RANGE: Start with a synonym for ‘fury’ and move the single letter for ‘Queen’ – the clue doesn’t specify where to move her but I’ll tell you – to the front. At least we’re spared the cycling / recycling formula – that would have conjured up pictures of ‘Her Maj’ making her way round the ‘Tour de Londres’ on a velocipede.

24a    Check before opening (7)
PREVENT: Another charade of a synonym of ‘before’ and the frequent crosswordland for ‘opening’.

27a    Is fish tailless in river? That’s life (9)
EXISTENCE: Start with the ‘IS’ from the clue and a freshwater fish without its last letter (fish tailless) an insert them (in) into the name of a West Country river.

28a    This writer following article’s message (5)
THEME: A way the setter may describe himself to you after (following) a 3 letter article.

29a    The woman with diamonds to take off (4)
SHED: The woman here is the name of a song sung (?) by Charles Aznavour and covered by Elvis Costello followed by (with) the abbreviation of diamonds in a deck of cards.

30a    Theresa May almost moved to embrace leader of department, one high up in education (10)
HEADMASTER: An anagram (moved) of THERESA MAY without the last letter (almost) containing (to embrace) the first letter (leader) of ‘department’. I think the clue would have better if she’d served as Education Secretary – but I don’t think she was. I believe she was the Shadow spokesperson for schools.


1d    Better to catch river fish (4)
CARP: The ‘better’ here is not a gambler but is a verb ‘to do better’. Containing (to catch) the abbreviation for ‘river’.

2d    Weep with sprain, upset and losing one’s rag (9)
NEWSPAPER: An anagram (upset) of WEEP & SPRAIN without (losing) the Roman numeral for ‘one’.

3d    Rebel pinches new hair colouring (5)
RINSE: Nope, no ‘Che’ or any other revolutionary / rebel required today. Again we are looking for a ‘to do’ word for ‘rebel’ containing (pinches) the abbreviation for ‘new’.

4d    Jumped on wild pig and went belly up? Not I! (7)
BOARDED: A wild pig is required here to start us off and is followed by (and) a term for ‘shuffled off this mortal coil’ with the ‘I’ removed (not I).

5d    Aerial warning storm’s coming? (7)
THUNDER: A cryptic definition of what my Mother always told me was ‘Just God moving his furniture around’.

7d    Soldiers managed to go on skis regularly (5)
RANKS: The standard 3 letter synonym for ‘managed’ is followed by (to go on) every other (regularly) letter of ‘skis’. Not one of my favourites.

8d    Dead excited? (10)
BREATHLESS: Double definition, the latter maybe used to describe an eager young man in anticipation of his first sexual encounter. I suppose it could also ‘at a stretch’ be considered as a cryptic definition – or maybe not.

BD couldnt resist adding this video!  He saw Jerry Lee perform this song live at the Wimbledon Theatre back in the mid-sixties, on a bill that included Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers and Lee Dorsey.

  ARVE Error: need id and provider
  Jerry Lee Lewis Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers Lee Dorsey 1966 Programme

11d    Plans of French to cover up peccadillos (7)
DEVICES: Start with the French for ‘OF’ followed by a synonym for ‘peccadillos’. This one doesn’t work for me – maybe I’ve parsed it wrong. I’m sure BD will sort me out. [BD thinks it should say peccadillo then it could go inside the three-letter French word for “of”, or maybe more than one peccadillo could be considered singular, but, like SL, I don’t like it.]

14d    Company‘s salesman turning up earlier, first in store (10)
PERFORMERS: The usual abbreviation for ‘salesman’ is reversed (turning up in a down clue) followed by a synonym for ‘earlier’ and then the letter ‘S’ (first in store).

16d    Boss sent to dismiss second undergraduate (7)
STUDENT: The ‘boss’ here relates to use on a shaft or wheel followed by ‘sent’ without (dismiss) the abbreviation for ‘second’.

18d    Doctor Matt enters, not coming to a conclusion to give this? (9)
TREATMENT: An anagram (doctor) of MATT ENTERS without the last letter (not coming to a conclusion). I’d say this is an all in one clue. I’ve been known to be wrong.

20d    Cross when captivated by pen — see high price (7)
EXPENSE: The ‘cross’ you need is a mathematic cymbal (sic) for multiplication and is contained in (captivated) an anagram (high) of PEN SEE.

21d    Power concerned with minister is imaginary (7)
PRETEND: The standard abbreviation for ‘power’ is followed by another standard abbreviation for ‘concerned with’ and a verb for ‘to minister’.

23d    Sound emerging from soprano is exquisite (5)
NOISE: Our one and only ‘lurker’ of the day – I think.

25d    Spear carrier starts to tire, resourcefully flipping axe around (5)
EXTRA: You need the leading (starts) letters of ‘tire’ & ‘resourcefully’ and then surround them with a redistribution of the letters of AXE. I think CGI in films nowadays reduces the budget for these people.

26d    Indication of sadness right after meal (4)
TEAR: Take the abbreviation for ‘right’ and place it after a ‘meal’ you can take in the afternoon comprising of sandwiches, fancy’s etc.

Well, that’s me done for another Tuesday. Which clue(s) raised a smile for you today?

The Quick Crossword pun: way+tin+rheum=waiting room

55 comments on “DT 28212

  1. Never been first to comment! As SL says, must have been quite easy as I did it all by myself. Favourite 25d. Thanks to setter and SL.

    1. Hi HIYD – I did think about including a clip from Ben-Hurt or Gladiator but they weren’t as much fun as the ‘Braveheart’ clip :whistle:

  2. Another easy ride but not quite as straightforward as yesterday. No Fav to nominate. Was unaware of 25d in that thespian context. Thanks Mr. Ron and SL. **/**.

  3. About the same difficulty as today’s toughie.

    8d (dead excited) is brilliant, that is what a double definition should aspire to be.
    2d losing ones rag + 16d undergraduate I thought very clever
    9a (tree) is an unusual and fun device not often seen in the back pager.
    I was confused by the spear carrier until I looked it up.
    Good to see Theresa May make an appearance

    11d – I just read ‘to cover up’ as the position indicator (as in be over, or suppress perhaps)

    18d – not an all-in-one, maybe semi-all-in-one (since ‘to give this’ is not in the wordplay), but I don’t really think so since the rest of the clue doesn’t define the answer – so it’s a normal clue, with a bit of internal cross-referencing (to doctor) and ‘this’ as the definition.

    Many thanks SL and setter – and very pleased to see a bit of Jerry Lee, thanks BD

    1. Thanks Dutch

      Re 11d – whilst doing the puzzle, I never gave the answer another thought until I came to do the review. My first hint included ‘des’ (of French) with the containment indicator ‘cover up’ to enclose peccadillos. Then I thought – that doesn’t work as peccadillos is plural. I then wrote the hint as you see it above but that doesn’t work for me either. So neither way works for me – even – if you put peccadillo in as a singular. In the BRB peccadillo is ‘a trifling fault, a small misdemeanour’ – hardly a v**e imho.

      I take, and agree, with your point about 18d :)

  4. Strange how some crosswords for me at least fall into two distinct halves, the eastern side went in quite quickly and west taking a little sorting out.
    I think my favourite is also 9a.
    Many thanks to SL &. Mr Ron.

  5. Pretty straightforward fare from today’s Mysteron. I thought 8 down was real class, with 30 across a fun runner-up. I found this enjoyable enough, so I will go a little higher in the rating at 2*/3*.

    Thanks to my fellow Salopian and our setter. This heat wave doesn’t appear to have reached the Marches just yet.

  6. Completed comfortably before lights out last night.

    25d left me a little puzzled (sic), but my answer/guess was not rejected by the electronic checker on submission. Thanks to SL for his illustrated explanation.

    Favourite 30a, my first in, even though I consider that it was somewhat contrived with the deletion of one letter and the addition of another.

    Thanks to Mr Ron – */** for me.

  7. 11d: I think the clue could be OK as original. Isn’t the setter using vice as a mass/plural version (the uncountable noun) to = peccadillos? But I could well be wrong…

  8. Not as straighforward as yesterday’s but I got there in the end…..except for thinking that 24a was present for some unfathomable reason…..sorted it out, though!

    Thanks to the setter and to ShropshireLad for sorting out the parsing for me.

  9. 1.5*/2.5*. This was a pleasant if unchallenging solve with one absolutely outstanding clue – 8d. I can’t decide whether or not I like 9a but it’s certainly very inventive.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to SL.

  10. Not difficult but contains what I would consider a pathetic clue in 9a, dreadful.
    Nothing special and certainly no WOW clues.
    For me */**
    Thx to all

  11. Just my cup of tea & I thought enjoyable.
    8d the favourite but the trick to parse 9a arrived some time after the grid was completed.
    11d: BRB says pecadillo is a small misdemeanour so perhaps you need more than one of them for a vice?
    Thanks to setter & SL for the reassuring hints.

  12. 11d surely ‘plans’ as a verb is devises not devices. As a plural noun it doesn’t work for me

    1. In the Chambers Crossword Dictionary, plan is listed under both device and devise. So, whether we like it or not, it worked for today’s setter.

      1. I have no problem with plans as a plural noun being devices. Reminds me of working out chess openings/strategies.

  13. Slightly uncomfortable solve for me today – some of the parsing seems a bit odd; 9a, (clever, though) 20d and others.
    12a – I’m sure I was taught somewhere that “You cannot petition the Lord with prayer!” May have made that up, can’t remember. **/**
    Thanks to all as ever.

  14. Enjoyed this. I agree with SL’s ratings.
    Fave was 8d.
    Thanks to setter and to SL for the review.

  15. Did ‘nt manage to parse 9a-thanks SL- can’t remember seeing its like before.
    The blog pic for 25d amused-hope it wasn’t a game of ‘pitch and put’
    Oh and a **/** for me.

  16. I enjoyed this one, not too hard; learned a new word in 11d,(I’d heard of peccadillos, but thought they were some kind of espadrilles. Doh!); and a new device in 9a, thanks to SL for explaining. Had to cheat in 21d, couldn’t get a word for minister. Liked 10a, 27a, 8d, 18d, but 4d gets my medal today. **/*** Many thanks to ShropshireLad, BD, and setter.

  17. People seemed to find this one simple. I must have my stupid head on then as I struggled with this one! Or maybe I am stupid! Anyhoo I surrendered and needed SL to bail me out. Onwards and upwards.

  18. A curate’s egg of a puzzle for me, ranging from the brilliantly inventive (9a) to the inadequately executed (22a) – I agree with SL that “moving” on its own is an insufficient instruction to the solver. Somewhere in between was the repeated use of “missing conclusion” in both 17a and 18d, clearly one of the compiler’s favourite 11d. (For the latter clue, I tend to prefer BD’s interpretation by the way, although I’ve always thought that a peccadillo was the result of crossbreeding a peccary and an armadillo….!).

    Apart from the outstanding 9a (sorry, Brian), I also warmed to 16d and 25d.

    Thanks to today’s compiler and SL.

  19. This wasn’t particularly difficult, but I did find some of the answers were a bit less than precise. Maybe it was just me though; that wouldn’t be unusual…
    8d was favourite and 2/2.5* overall.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to SL for the review.

  20. Like Dutch, I didn’t have a problem with 11d but I was – and remain – a little dubious about 9a. Surely the middle of the ‘M’ in Roman is being lowered to make it into a ‘W’ if ‘tree’ is the definition. Otherwise you have to make two steps to get raise = lay siege to = turn upside down.
    Top two for me were 2&8d.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to our own Shropshire Lad. Your little ode at 27a raised a wry smile and I should think Kitty was very pleased with her special pic at 12a. Re. 5d – my Mum used to say it was just the clouds banging together!

  21. Good evening everybody.

    Didn’t get going until 30a but after that mostly straightforward. Didn’t understand 9a, 13a and 25d. Thought 10a was a poor clue too.


  22. Good fun today, with 8d as the favorite. A relief as I was expecting tougher stuff today. Sure we have had 30a across recently. Thanks to SL for hints.

  23. A nice, straightforward puzzle that maybe pushed a little into ** for difficulty for me. Thoroughly enjoyable.

  24. Very enjoyable, just needed a couple of hints as I am out for the rest of the evening,
    8d – Don’t remember running out of breath…
    Fav – 10a.
    Thanks SL for the usual high-quality hints and Mr. Ron.
    Knee-deep in runner beans at the moment.

  25. This took me a little longer than the average Tuesday. No problems although I didn’t know for certain that a 25d was known as a spear carrier. Makes sense though.

    9a was going to be controversial. More flipping than raising to my mind, but liked it anyway. I didn’t notice any problem with 11d and think it works ok with vice = peccadillos. I did expect Silvanus to comment on the two non-conclusions!

    8d is my favourite. Thanks to the setter and to SL. Thanks especially for the 12a picture, and apologies for initially sending you the wrong puzzle. Oops!

    Back to my wine now. Cheers!

  26. 1*/3*, I think. 10a made me smile, so gets my vote for favouritism. Many thanks to The Mysteron, and to ShropshireLad for the review.

  27. Well, I bombed today and without massive help from Shropshire I’d still be going round in ever decreasing circles. Just goes to show that one should never be complacent. (And that most of you guys have superior intellects)

    1. Hi SG – Trust me when I say it is not down to superior intellect completing a crossword – not in my case, that’s for sure. I would suggest that the majority of cruciverbil…..cruci…crossword solvers have difficulty with at least one setter – I know I do. Mr Halpern in Dada Toughie mode is fine – put him as Paul in the Guardian – enough said.

      I think the longer you do cryptic crosswords, the more knowledge you gain and it’s not cheating by using a Thesaurus or BD’s excellent ‘The mine’ for learning.

  28. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Shropshire Lad for the review and hints. I found this really hard going. Too much of letters missing for my taste. Still, there were some good clues. My favourite was 9a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  29. I remember a puzzle not long ago where we had to turn a N to make a Z so 9a has become my favourite.
    Very inventive clueing is always so refreshing and this crossword definitely contained a few surprises. At one point I thought it was another Rufus until I checked the date.
    Thanks to the mystery setter and to SL for the review.

  30. Raced through this in the hospital waiting room this morning before yet another session with my consultant.(and emerging with yet another big bag of assorted pills). Didn’t understand 9a but bunged it in anyway, so thanks to SL for the parsing. I can;t work out whether it’s clever, or too clever by half. I’ll go along with the majority and give 8d 5*. Overall, 1*/3*. Thanks to the mysteron and SL

    1. Hi TS – Great, as ever, to see you on the blog. I do hope that the quacks are getting somewhere close with sorting out whatever is ailing you. I’m going to the York do – will you be there? If not, hopefully we’ll see you at the next bash. In the meantime, take care. :)

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