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DT 28224

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28224

Hints and tips by ShropshireLad

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment **

Good Morning to you all from a drab and dreary Shropshire. Our Tuesday Mr Ron has presented us with a relatively benign puzzle but it does have its trickier moments. At first glance, I thought we were going to have a ‘secret agent’ theme with one particularly well known chap appearing a couple of times. However, that is not the case as you will see as you unravel its wordplay.

If you need help in solving, the first hint is having each definition underlined. I have also given you hints written, musical and pictorial. If all else fails to help you reach crossword Nirvana, then you can reveal the answers by clicking on the ‘click here!’ button to reveal the answer. Happy solving.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    The end of play is baffling (6)
STUMPS: Double definition, the former being a term used at the end of play in cricket. Or is it?

5a    Imagine, my dear, a rum after end of round (8)
DAYDREAM: An anagram (rum) of MY DEAR A, following (after) the last letter of (at end of) ’round’.

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

10a    Question in church about acceptable fruit (6)
QUINCE: Start with a single-letter abbreviation for ‘question’ followed by IN from the clue and the abbreviation of the Church of England and put that round (about) a single letter for ‘acceptable.

11a    Make-up of Universal screening ‘ET’? (8)
COSMETIC: Take a synonym of ‘universal’ with regard to the heavens and contain (screening) ET from the clue.

12a    Flight of rocket with this person wearing space body suit (6,9)
SPIRAL STAIRCASE: Take a synonym for ‘rocket’ and put the term for ‘meaning oneself’ (this person) in (wearing) a synonym for a ‘space body’ and a synonym for ‘suit in the legal sense.

16a    Line in funny gag (8)
STRANGLE: Does what it says on the tin – the abbreviation for ‘line’ is placed in a synonym for ‘funny’ for example ‘weird’.

18a    One going into town for fish? (6)
PLAICE: A generic term for a town or a city or somewhere has the Roman numeral for ‘one’ inserted (going in to)

20a    Common sense shown by British artist? In spades (6)
BRAINS: Lego time. Start with the letter B (Britain) and then add the usual abbreviation for ‘artist’ follow that with the ‘in’ from the clue and end with the abbreviation for ‘spades’ (as in a deck of cards).

21a    Fresh and clear schedule of events (8)
CALENDAR: An anagram (fresh) of AND CLEAR.

22a    As with a bareknuckle boxer, play hardball? (3,6,3,3)
THE GLOVES ARE OFF: Double definition the former being a cryptic definition of what a bareknuckle boxer wouldn’t be wearing.

27a    Savoury dish: ingredients in welcome letter (8)
OMELETTE: A ‘lurker’.

28a    Very strong, round number in gym (6)
POTENT: Start with the letter that would signify ’round’ and then a number (between 9 & 11) and insert that into the abbreviation for ‘physical training’ (gym).

29a    A gem may be gleaned from his paper (8)
SAPPHIRE: An anagram (gleaned from) of HIS PAPER. Can’t say I ever seen that type of anagram indicator before.

30a    Crude burrow close to spinney (6)
EARTHY: A synonym of ‘burrow’ with the end letter (close to) of ‘spinney’.


2d    Rupert met fantastic musician (9)
TRUMPETER: An anagram (fantastic) of RUPERT MET.

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

3d    Bond’s boss at the office, cringing at psychic’s skill? (4-7)
MIND-READING: Start with the letter used by James Bond’s boss and a term for ‘at the office’ (more commonly ‘at home’) and end with a synonym for ‘cringing’.

4d    Charm, first of pieces put in auction (5)
SPELL: Take the leading (first) letter of ‘pieces’ and insert it (put in) in a synonym for ‘to auction’.

6d    ‘Hello, Goodbye’ as performed in ‘South Pacific’ (5)
ALOHA: This is a greeting you would expect to hear in the South Pacific Islands and when you leave.

7d    Reserved reduced object (5)
DEMUR: A synonym for ‘reserved’ (as in coy) minus (reduced) its last letter.

8d    Former partner has taken up painting more (5)
EXTRA: The overused abbreviation for ‘former partner’ followed (taken) by the reversal (up in a down clue) a term used for painting or portrait.

9d    Pal packing revolutionary weapon (7)
MACHETE: A synonym for ‘pal’ contains (packing) one of our crosswordland revolutionaries.

13d    Refined fare tons put on cereal abroad (7)
TREACLE: Start with the abbreviation of ‘tons’ and add an anagram (abroad) of CEREAL.

14d    Troublemaker on the Spanish force (5)
IMPEL: A synonym for ‘troublemaker’ and the Spanish for ‘the’.

15d    Bond character that starts a pyramid scheme? (5,6)
CHAIN LETTER: No secret agent here – take a synonym for ‘Bond’ and add what a character is called in the alphabet.

17d    Enthusiasm one may see blow over (5)
GUSTO: A synonym for ‘blow’ as in wind followed by the cricketing abbreviation for ‘over’.

19d    Two chapters about a very loud and popular bird (9)
CHAFFINCH: We start with 2 abbreviations for ‘chapter’ and place them round (about) the letter ‘A’ from the clue – the abbreviation for ‘very loud’ and a synonym of ‘popular’. Best get the right picture here – is this one OK Jane?

20d    Pantomime character, stooge on stage at the start (7)
BUTTONS: A synonym for ‘stooge’ followed by the ‘on’ from the clue and then the first letter (at the start) of ‘stage’.

23d    Check out organ at university (3,2)
EYE UP: Most human beings have 2 of this ‘organ’ (mine are blue) and add the usual term for being at University.

24d    Freeloader in shelter? Check (5)
LEECH: A synonym for ‘shelter’ followed by a 2 letter abbreviation for ‘check’.

25d    One exercising veto by right? (5)
VOTER: Oh, I do not like this type of clue as I never seem to get it right. The answer comes from an anagram (exercising) of VETO followed by the abbreviation of ‘right’.

26d    More than enough beer member’s got in (5)
AMPLE: A synonym for ‘beer’ containing (got in) the abbreviation of your elected representative in Parliament (member).

Well that’s me for another week. I will pick 18a as my favourite as it gives me the chance to make you groan with my terrible joke.

Name three fish that begin and end with the letter ‘K’.

Killer Shark

Kwiksave breaded haddock


‘Surely Kilmarnock is not a fish’ I hear you cry

It’s a place – geddit? It also happens to be my home town

Did any clue give you a reason to smile?

The Quick Crossword pun: hart+seize=heartsease

88 comments on “DT 28224

  1. 1*/3*. This was virtually R&W but the cluing was commendably brief with some nice surfaces. I didn’t know the synonym for burrow in 30a and needed to check my BRB for confirmation. Interestingly burrow is listed as one meaning of the first five letters of the answer, but not vice versa.

    22a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to KilmarnockLad.

    1. RD – regarding ‘reverse’ look up of the answer and a word in the clue – I have found that happens frequently and is something worth remembering.

  2. Hi SL thanks for hints from rather sunny ‘at the moment’ West Wales!! I did finish this without the blog but couldn’t work out how I arrived at 3d and 12a … Duh!! a two session crossword for me today … now off to see Brigit Jones Baby .. soooooooo looking forward to a good laugh :-) :-)

    1. What you didn’t get a good laugh from SL’s epilogue?!
      Linking West Wales & SL: was in Borth on the weekend – amazed that it (& Aberystwyth) had a Shrewsbury postcode! Swansea is as near if not nearer.

  3. I agree with SL, a benign offering from Mr Ron completed comfortably before lights out last night. No real problems other than not ‘getting’ the parsing of 12a until I read SL’s hint – the only part I got on my own was flight as a reference to stairs which with all the checkers was enough to get the answer.

    I thought 13d was a little weak using fare as part of the definition. To my way of thinking the answer on its own is not something that you would consume on its own which is what fare implies to me in this context.

    Favourite 22a.

    1.5*/2* – thanks to Mr Ron and SL.

  4. Neither one thing nor the other but entertaining enough. Bunged in 12a and 20d so appreciated parsing help – thanks for that SL. No real Fav. Thanks Mysteron. ***/***.

  5. Thought this was going to be tricky at first but once the checking letters started going in the clues became clear. */***. Favourites were 27a 19d and last one in 21a (didn’t spot the anagram until after I’d got the answer!). Needed to read hint for 12a a couple of times before I understood it totally.
    Thanks all.

  6. The relative simplicity of this puzzle was certainly offset for me by the strong clueing and nice wordplay. 22 across was my favourite of several fine clues. Many thanks to the Tuesday setter and my fellow Salopian. 1.5*/3* overall.

  7. Not the most challenging of puzzles, but still enjoyable. 12a took some working out, never heard of button for stooge. 3d and 22a were my favourites. 2*/3* Many thanks to Mr Ron and SL

    1. not sure if it’s just a typo, but the stooge is button without the ‘on’ – (then add ‘on’ from the clue, as per hint)

  8. Like the morning I thought this was drab and dreary. Not difficult but far too much use of initials etc for my liking. The only decent clues for me were 22a & 1a.
    Thx to all

    1. It is an excellent clue, but I have a feeling that solvers who don’t follow cricket may find 1a baffling.

        1. You really are a ‘Mona Lisa’ character Brian – you openly state you don’t like or enjoy obscure or religious clues, yet you love Mr Manley on a Friday back pager. Beats me I’m afraid :)

  9. Straightforward solve that didn’t require too much use of the grey matter.

    Thanks to SL and setter */***

  10. Like Graham, I started off thinking this was going to be tricky but it proved not to be once I’d found a way in.
    Mightily relieved to get the cricket one without trauma and how nice to find a lurker that appeared all on one line in the printed version!
    12a gets my vote for favourite, closely followed by 19d. The pic for the latter was spot on, SL.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and also to SL – enjoyed the musical accompaniments (I’d forgotten just how young The Monkees were when they started out) and the reminder of Sapphire and Steel. I’m also rather enjoying the TV three-parter of Joanna Lumley’s journey through Japan – everything she sees is ‘absolutely fabulous’!

    1. Your comment hadn’t appeared when I was replying to Brian about 1a, so you’ve well and truly proved me wrong! Very well done!

    2. Nice to know that someone remembered Sapphire & Steel – absolutely rubbish programme but God – she’s a dish. I will never forget a very early Children In Need extravaganza when she paraded around……. no It’s not past the watershed time.

  11. I enjoyed this one – I only got a few answers from the across clues but the downs came to the rescue.
    With a few checking letters in the answer to 12a was clear but having turned it upside down and inside out several times I needed the hint to see why.
    Completely missed the 27a lurker – nothing new there.
    I’m not sure that 20a = common sense but whatever . . .
    I got held up with 28a because I always try to make gym PE rather than PT – one day I’ll learn.
    I liked 5a and 3 and 19d. My favourite was 16a – always want it to be an answer when I’m doing the hints so that I can use a music clip of the song by Berlin.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to SL.
    Want to have a go at the Samuel Toughie – love his crosswords but stuff to do first.

    1. Thank you, Kath. Your final comment prompted me to try the Toughie – albeit in my case before doing my “stuff to do”. I can highly recommend it, and it contains a remarkable piece of déjà vu.

  12. Needed the hint to fully explain 12a, so thanks to SL (or KL?) for that, for the memory-jogging clips, and the terrible joke. Thanks to the setter also.

  13. Some nicely misleading clues, like 15d, especially following 3d.
    12a a little too contrived for me, but fair enough I suppose. Didn’t think much of place in 18a-a bit on the vague side .
    Going for a **/***as I did like most of the solve.

  14. The only chance I get to look at the crossword is on my commute from Palmers Green to Moorgate in the morning, all of xxxxxxx. Half of which is usually spent standing whilst mentally entering the answers.

    So it’s not normal for me to complete the back page cryptic under such circumstances – but the last two Tuesdays have been the exception. So both must be 1* difficulty in my book.

    1a and 16a favourites today.

    I was lucky enough to have seen The Monkeys live at The Empire Pool Wembley back in 1968 (supported by Lulu) although legend dictates that there were, apparently, a multitude of session musicians playing beneath the stage whilst the daydream believers mimed along……………

    1. although it is technically a journey time not a solving time, I’ve deleted the number of minutes from your comment.

      Also are you the Anfield89 (capital A) who commented before using a different email address??

      1. No problem, I suppose should have read the Comment Etiquette first. I did after I posted and was about to edit myself………

        No recollection of posting on here before but I may be wrong if it was some time ago………

        1. Far easier to solve it on “The Last Train to Clarksville” – loads of empty seats (apparently?)

          1. Mr Corbyn didn’t see them either (apparently). The empty seats that is – not Jones, Dolenz, Tork & Nesmith :whistle:

  15. Having struggled with yesterday’s puzzle, this was pretty much R&W. */*** for me. A few enjoyable clues, 1a favourite, but also a few either too obvious or rather contrived. Thanks to Mr. Ron and SL.

  16. I found this more difficult than most due to the NE corner. Nevertheless an enjoyable challenge. Favourite was 12a. Thanks to all.

  17. A lot of insert one letter or take out one letter but the crossword had a distinctive character to it and was a pleasure to solve. Fairly straightforward, but like Kath I was not sure about 12a having solved it by the use of the check letters and had to check my reasoning with SL hints. 22a was my favourite. Thanks Mr Ron.

  18. Enjoyed today’s crossword very much whilst relaxing after a delicious lunch.

    Thanks to ShropshireLad for the hints …which I needed for the parsings …and to the setter.

    Looking forward to lots more delicious meals now whilst on hols in the Camargue…well I think we’re in the Camargue, geography has never been my strong suit. It’s warm and sunny and the locals speak French.

    1. If you are a meat eater you have to try a bull’s rib or cote de taureau. For seafood, tellines is very good too. Very small grey clams with parsley and garlic butter. Lovely.

      1. Thank you, Jean-Luc. Those both sound lovely to me.

        Apparently I am not in the Camargue, I am in Languedoc…..wherever I am it is very beautiful and the natives have so far been exceedingly friendly and very forgiving of my appalling French…or lack of it.

  19. Fairly straightforward & pleasant I thought (when I got rid of “seller” in 15d) i Liked “gleaned from” as anagram indicator so 27a COTD.
    Thanks to setter & SL for hints, needed to get to fathom 12a which was too contrived for me.

  20. Good crossword…I am lost in admiration for the people who set these…
    A few comments…
    10a – A bit confused as to what ‘about’ was doing there, seemed to me to be a charade of question + in + church????
    1a – Shouldn’t the definition be ‘baffles’???
    12a – What the?????? I needed to read the hint about three times before I got there
    Still no job, so plenty of time on my hands, especially as the veg is all coming to the end in the garden.
    I thought 15d was very clever, the Bond thing was a good bit of work by the setter, believe it or not at one time I was considering ‘Felix Leiter’ as the answer!! Is there any hope for me???
    Thanks to SL and Mr.Ron…good stuff

    1. I saw it as stumps = is baffling

      it baffles, it is baffling, it does baffle being the present tenses of baffle….well, you don’t see it does baffle very often, but I’m sure you catch my drift…..or are catching my drift.

  21. Not too difficult, just took a little time getting into the setter’s brain.
    The NE corner held me up a bit, but I got the crickety bit in 1a after much head scratching.
    Hawaii is in the South Pacific? Really?
    Fave was 22a.
    Thanks to setter and to ShropshireLad for his entertaining review.

    1. Good afternoon Merusa,
      Well it’s a long way South of the bit near Alaska. so it’s nearly right. When we go on our annual pilgrimage to the Grand Canyon & say we live in Wales nearly every time we’re asked “What part of England is that?”

      1. Better than when I was in the States, and a young lady asked me where I came from, when I told her ‘England’, she replied “Oh, you must know Paul McCartney then”

        1. As you both must realize, geography is not a strong point with Americans! I have an advantage, having worked for airlines for forty years, you sorta, kinda have to know where you are sending people.

            1. A while ago there were lots of spoof acronyms for the different airlines. One I remember was that DELTA was, “Divert Everyone’s Luggage To Atlanta”.

          1. When our youngest daughter was in high school and dating a dishy young tennis star, he blithely remarked one day that Iraq was probably about 200 miles away…the same distance as we are from Disney World… Probably not his fault as geography was sadly missing from their high school priorities, but the end of a beautiful relationship nonetheless.

        2. You didn’t recognise it as a chat-up line? Answer then depended on the circumstances but the positive one would have been “Of course what do you want to know?”

          1. The young lady had to be seen to be believed, she looked as though she had just walked off the set of The Beverley Hillbillys!!

            1. If she anything like Ellie May – I’d have said “surprisingly he’s my cousin, would you like to meet him?”. Bit slow there HIYD :whistle:

              1. Ah yes, Ellie Mae, as a kid, I could never decide whether I was going to marry her or Betty Rubble

    1. Hi Steve,
      This is how I see it
      “Take a synonym for ‘rocket’ and put the term for ‘meaning oneself’ (this person) in (wearing) a synonym for a ‘space body’ and a synonym for ‘suit in the legal sense.”

      Spiral = Synonym for Rocket
      I = meaning oneself
      Star = Space body
      case = Suit (think legal)

      Put I in Star and append case, spiral is the first word.
      Hope this helps. I only got it from the checking letters too!!

        1. You did very well to take it to bits in the first place, after I got the answer, I tried to work it out and failed miserably. You explained the answer beautifully, as you always do!!

          1. Be careful with that knowledge of how to understand clues – you’re very adept at explaining – BD might just have his eye on you :cool:

            1. Nice try!!
              Unfortunately one of the prerequisites of the job presumably, is always being able to do the crossword!!

      1. 12 Across. Look at the checkers. Bung in the only possible answer. Read the clue once again. Think to oneself “I’m glad I’m not blogging this one”. Move on. Forget all about answer and clue until reading the blog. Roll eyes upwards. Move on.

        1. I would hasten to add that this is Miffypops personal opinion and not one that I would encourage. By all means insert an answer that you are not sure about, but always try to explain it, with or without the help of the blog.

    2. Hi Steve

      Flight of rocket with this person wearing space body suit

      Fight – as in a flight of stairs – is the definition

      Think of rocket in the rapid progression of promotion in a career – that can also mean ‘spiral’

      Therefore the answer starts with ‘spiral’

      You then need to place the letter ‘I’ (this person) in (wearing) a ‘space body (star) and finish with what could be termed a lawsuit in court – ‘case’

      Does that help? :)

        1. Probably the same thing in my book – that’s the BRB btw :yes:

          I was going to mention ‘Inspiral Carpets’ but thought better of it.

          1. Had to ask Mr Google for ‘Inspiral Carpets’ & found they were a group from Oldham, my neck of the woods. A generation too late for me & pop music, having left Oldham in 1968.

          2. Inspiral Carpets, marvellous group and a parody of their song ‘This is How it Feels’ was sung at Old Trafford during Fergie years when we were really a good team. Those days seem a distant dream just now.

            We thought spiral as in spiral/rocket out of control.

  22. I was completely thrown by 12a, and was barking up the wrong tree completely. I was fixed on trying to find something to do with space. Thank you setter for misleading me so well. The lurker in 27a was first in. Thank you SL for the review.

  23. Something just tickled me about this one. Lots of bits that appealed, but I’m a bit too tired to list them now.

    Many thanks to the setter and to SL.

  24. I quite liked today’s crossword. It was a bit piecemeal to solve, very much one clue at a time and then another somewhere else on the grid. Yeah, good fun. 2/3* overall and 22a was fave.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to SL for the review. What joke? Sigh…..

  25. Started solving this one from the screen as I left my pen downstairs and was too lazy to go and get it.
    That gave me a chance to read all the clues and 15d had to be Pussy Galore surely. Wasn’t she the one doing acrobatic pyramids on airplanes?
    Never mind.
    Thought the first word in 22a was “all” for some reason which slowed me down a bit in the SW.
    Gave up on the parsing in 12a but the answer was quite obvious from the def.
    By the way. That picture intrigues me as it features in Richard Castle’s New York apartment. I love that photo. More info would be welcome.
    Thanks to the Tuesday setter and to SL for the great review.

    1. Hi J-L

      I remember years ago visiting Universal Studios in Florida where one of the attractions was a set that showed how Alfred Hitchcock filmed that particular falling scene in ‘Vertigo’. That man was very clever.

      1. I think both our memory is playing with us.
        Checked Richard Castle’s office and Vertigo and none of the staircases look like the one you chose.

  26. 12a messed me up, even with SL’s hint, as my brain shuts down when there are so many parts to one answer, just like it did in school when we were called upon to come up with a chemistry formula. 3d was the other stumbling block. Could see it started with m, and thus mind, but boggling or blowing did not fit. SL’s hint put me right of course. Not a cricket fan, but got stumps in 1a, probably from getting stumped on too many clues over the years! But agree with Hoofityoudonkey, that 1a needed to be baffles and not baffling in the clue.

    1. Probably too late now but the definition in 1a isn’t ‘baffling’ it’s is baffling therefore if something is baffling it stumps or baffles you.

  27. An enjoyable, not too taxing solve. Last in were 13/21 where the nicely done surface readings did a good job of hiding some pretty straightforward anagrams from me for a long time.

  28. Nothing too hard but congratulations to the mystery setter who has a nice style.

    1.5*/3* for us, with 19d as our favourite.

    Thanks SL and Mr. Ron.

  29. Gusting 2* difficulty, and 3.5* enjoyment. I enjoyed 11 and 12 across . Ta to the Mysteron, and to ShropshireLad for the review.

  30. This one was quite fun because I adopted the MIffypops approach with 12a – once the checkers were in, it couldn’t have been anything else – and so avoided brain ache trying to parse it. The rest was virtually R&W. Wasn’t keen on the use of “town” in18a but enjoyed the anagrams. Ta to SL and the setter. 1*/3*

  31. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Shropshire Lad for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle that I whizzed through with the exception of 12a & 7d, which required some thought. However I was completely stumped (pun intended) by a, and needed the hint. Favourite was 3d. Was 2*/3* for me.

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