DT 28226 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28226

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28226

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Greetings from Ottawa where summer has been hanging around until the last possible moment — but it seems that it will make its exit both officially and in practice today.

I enjoyed today’s puzzle — which is certainly not from RayT. I made fairly quick progress until there remained but some half dozen clues or so at which point I ran into a brick wall pushing me into three star difficulty territory. However, once I donned my mad hat everything fell into place — which may or may not be a clue to the identity of the setter.

The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers can be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons (so please don’t click if you don’t want to see the answer).

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of the puzzle.


4a   Domestic lifting? (8)
BURGLARY — cryptic definition of the unauthorized removal of possessions from one’s residence



8a   Foreign dish in US city after spring’s back (6)
PAELLA — an abbreviated US West Coast city following a reversal of a word meaning spring or jump

9a   Scary weapon encapsulated in a way of speaking almost (8)
ALARMING — a nonspecific term for a weapon contained in the A from the clue and another word for way of speaking or argot with the final O removed

10a   Eleven divided by one makes two! (4,4)
PLUS SIGN — the solution (represented by the pronoun in the middle of the clue) is a symbol that when placed in the middle of the numerical representation of eleven would produce a mathematical operation that equates to two


11a   Obvious  protection for an inventive type (6)
PATENT — a double definition with the second being cryptic (alluding to the protection sought by inventive types such as Thomas Edison); I initially surmised that the inventive type might be a “liar” which brought to mind the expression “****** lie” which gave me the solution — albeit via the wrong route

12a   Legitimate object of ridicule in whack-a-mole? (4,4)
FAIR GAME — what “whack-a-mole” is an example of

13a   Stirring element in a service? (8)
TEASPOON — cryptic definition of an implement that might be deployed prior to consuming a cuppa


16a   Authority over soldier (8)
COMMANDO — a noun denoting the exercise of control (especially over armed forces) followed by the symbol representing an over on cricket scorecards

19a   Spiteful tennis player hiding old working method (8)
VENOMOUS — one of a sisterly tennis duo embraces O(ld) and an abbreviated modus operandi

21a   Hunk I love in architect’s workplace (6)
STUDIO — a man who has, or who sees himself as having, great sexual energy and prowess followed by I from the clue and a poor outcome for the lady in the previous clue


23a   It could be represented in caress? (8)
RACINESS — I’m calling this a semi-all-in-one clue where the entire clue is the definition and the wordplay is embedded in it; the wordplay is an anagram (re-presented, in the sense of presented again or presented in a different manner) of the final two words in the clue; while the word “it” can denote sex appeal, I don’t believe that factors into the clue

24a   Names oil that’s suffused pudding (8)
SEMOLINA — anagram (that’s suffused) of the first two words of the clue; I thought of illustrating this clue — but we do have to adhere to certain standards

25a   Nurse working to get sheet of tissue (6)
TENDON — charade of words meaning to nurse or care for and working or functioning

26a   Gambling activity permitted in course (8)
ROULETTE — a synonym for permitted contained in the way travelled on a regular journey


1d   Horse on meadow close to stiff // bit of laurel (3,4)
BAY LEAF — string together a type of horse (on the basis of its colour), a meadow, and the final letter of (close to) stifF

2d   Girl in credit rejected low place of learning (9)
CLASSROOM — place a Scottish girl in CR(edit) and append a reversal of the sound made by a cow

3d   Capital left in grip of unreasonable behaviour (6)
MANILA — L(eft) contained in a craze or obsession


4d   Chap with anger following featureless film advertising generally (7,8)
BLANKET COVERAGE — start with a charade of a dated term for a man (or somewhere you might shelter your boat) and a fit of anger; place this after a charade of an adjective denoting empty or unadorned and Steven Spielberg’s fantasy about an alien marooned on Earth; this gives you a term that one might apply to advertising distributed “generally” (i.e., aimed at the general public rather than targeted to a specific audience)

5d   Cut down fruit that’s come into view again (8)
REAPPEAR — harvest juicy fruit

6d   Slim Italian shows restraint (5)
LIMIT — a lurker

7d   Come across Republican not working after college (3,4)
RUN INTO — R(epublican), short term for a college or university, and an anagram (working) of NOT

14d   Full-time staff supports for each hospital department (9)
PERMANENT — the Latin term meaning for each is supported (in a down clue) by a verb meaning to staff or provide personnel which is then followed by the usual hospital department

15d   Equity, say, is beginning to trouble Belfast politician? (8)
UNIONIST — a charade of what the organization that represents theatrical workers is an example of, IS from the clue, and the initial letter of Trouble

17d   Goth, one that’s mobilised and very active (2,3,2)
ON THE GO — anagram (that’s mobilised) of GOTH ONE

18d   Fool’s stolen criminal record (7)
MUGSHOT — string together a dupe with its accompanying S and an adjective used to describe the figurative temperature of stolen goods


20d   Delicacy in French resort toyboy vacated (6)
NICETY — a French resort on the Riviera followed by the first and last letters (vacated) of ToyboY

22d   Peer over line that’s amusing (5)
DROLL — reversal (over) of a nobleman followed by L(ine)

Clues in the running for favourite include 4a, 10a, 19a and 23a. However, the laurels go to 4d.

The Quick Crossword pun: height+reason=high treason

77 comments on “DT 28226

  1. I found this one quite tricky. Certainly more than average difficulty time for me. Stand out favourite was 10a which was the last one to sort out but there were lots of other very good clues too. Much appreciated and enjoyed.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Falcon.

    1. Hi 1KC,
      Not crossword related. Am thinking of flying Air New Zealand Premium Economy to LAX. Have you done it on the 777-300? If so any comments / advice?

      1. Air New Zealand is a very good airline of which Kiwis are justifiably proud. I don’t recall ever having traveled in a 777-300. A plane to me is either ‘a big one’ or ‘a really big one’. I did Google Premium Economy and they appear to have new-look roomier seats than normal economy that could be nice on what is quite a long haul flight. (It is almost halfway to NZ.)
        So my conclusion is that it looks like a good plan – go for it.

        1. Thank you for the reply K1C. Hope the golf went well.
          The 777-300 is the biggest ANZ fly I think. Why I asked is their PE seats are somewhat differently configured.
          If the airline is half as good as your Rugby team the pride will be justified.

  2. Cleverest clue of the week so far for me is 10a. ‘Moo’ appeared again, the fair game was new to me, also liked 18d. The pudding provided an unwelcome reminder of school – thanks for not posting an image! Regards to all involved today.

  3. Not a lot of fun. I wondered if this might be the product of a novice as there were several for which IMHO the parsing didn’t really work. 24a reminded me of the dreadfulness of some school meals. No Fav. Thank you to the setter and Falcon. ***/*. (Have just read Toadson’s comment – presume we didn’t go to the same school?!)

      1. Exactly Toadson, my real name is in fact unusual as is the nom de plume which I use here but in any case certainly no ‘sons’ allowed at my school!

    1. As if semolina (wallpaper paste) wasn’t bad enough, our school served it with stewed prunes. Torture …… Were they trying to keep us regular?
      Tapioca (frogspawn) was marginally worse. I can’t remember what that was served with as I couldn’t look at it.

      We also had a strange tart, where sultanas nestled in a grey jelly on hard pastry.

      I could go on but I won’t.

      1. We usually had a spoonful of something that looked like raspberry jam with both wallpaper paste and frogspawn.

      2. Same here with the prunes usually on the day the main course was dire. Perhaps they were just trying to rush it through us before it did us harm.

      3. It seems that school food is dire wherever it is served. In Jamaica we called it frogspawn as well! Mud and worms, mince and macaroni. Our school was run by the Church of England, maybe no coincidence for the similarity.

      4. School dinner memory, cooked beetroot with white sauce. Puddings were mostly good, rice pudding with jam and murder on the alps which was sponge pudding cooked with jam at base of bowl then inverted to serve but the main meals were dire.

        1. The alternative to fried fish on a Friday at my school was a spam fritter. Couldn’t wait to reach sixth form when we were allowed to escape the school grounds at lunchtime. There would be an enormous queue outside the local butcher for pork buns with loads of home made stuffing. Delicious.

        2. Dare I admit that I serve baby beetroot in a creamy white sauce with horseradish added – delicious IMHO!

        3. School dinners were great, my favourite was suet pudding with apricots and the off-white custard made with milk powder – gorgeous!

          All sorts of puddings, jam roly-poly, eve’s pudding, spotted dick, rice pudding (with jam), etc etc – gave a life-long love of stodge!

  4. 10a held me up for a time. I still don’t see how it works, even with the benefit of the hint. Apart from that, reasonably straightforward. Never heard of “whack-a-mole” but it sounds a bit like mashed avocado. Thank you setter and Falcon.

    1. It’s right there, in the illustration – 1 + 1 = 2. Or 11 divided (separated) by the answer – 1 (plus sign) 1 = two.

      1. Yes, of course – I am particularly dim this morning after a tiring day yesterday. The penny dropped after I had a break.

  5. Tricky, and great fun. 3*/4* for me. Last in and my favourite was10a.
    Thank you to the setter, and to Falcon.

  6. I quite enjoyed this production, with several clues needing a little teasing out. 10a was my last in, too. I rather liked semolina pudding (with a sprinkling of desiccated coconut), Sago was something to avoid . Thanks to all concerned.

  7. Completed comfortably before lights out last night, but the trickiest of the week so far – 2.5*/3* for me.

    At first I thought that my favourite would be 4d, partly because of its use of a synonym for chap I have not seen for a long time, but when the penny finally dropped on 10a it became the absolute winner – what a brilliant clue.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and Falcon.

  8. Enjoyed this, especially 19a (spiteful tennis player).

    Also liked 4a (domestic lifting), 10a (eleven divided by one), 4a (whack-a-mole), and more

    I thought the ‘It’ could indeed be the definition in 23a

    Many thanks setter and thank you Falcon

    1. I had initially marked “it” as the definition but later changed my mind and decided to mark the entire clue. However, after sleeping on it, I think I might reverse myself again.

      In marking the entire clue, one is implying that a caress (a very passionate one) could depict raciness.

      On the other hand, “it” can be a euphemism for either sex appeal or sexual intercourse. The latter, especially, could not be anything but racy.

  9. Hardest of the week for me, but got there eventually. A tricky but enjoyable challenge. 19a and 23a were my favourites. 3.5*/3.5* Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Falcon for the explanations.

  10. What a quirky crossword , although virtually a R& W for me, It was full of lovely cryptic clues of the ‘see it or you don’t variety-like 4a,13a ‘.Think I had a good day judging by other bloggers comments ,the reverse if often true, every dog has his day!.
    I thought 10a was going to be most solvers favourite, and so it proved to be.
    Time for lunch, thanks setter and Falcon

  11. One of those days when I was way off the mark. I thought I was just not on the right wave length but now that I have consulted Falcon’s excellent hints and tips I agree that this was 3*/4*, the enjoyment consisting mainly of ‘doh’ moments when reading the blog and the realisation of just what a good crossword this was.

  12. I’ll go along with Falcon’s 3*/4*. This was quite tough, quirky (to pinch Beaver’s apposite word), and very enjoyable. I completed three quarters before having to visit the dentist, with the NW largely holding out. I don’t recommend it as a way of helping to solve a crossword puzzle but on my return the final corner fell quite quickly into place.

    I’m not convinced that 23a quite works, but apart from that there were lots of excellent clues here with 10a my stand-out favourite. I couldn’t completely parse 19a until I read the review which showed me that I had misspelt the answer leaving me wondering why EMO was an old working method! D’oh!

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Falcon.

    1. P.S. I adore 24a with lashings of apricot jam. I guess it’s a bit like Marmite, even though it doesn’t taste anything like Marmite.

      1. I haven’t had it (the pudding, that is) since I was in the sixth form at New Mills Grammar School in the late 60s. Then, we used to have it with a tablespoon of strawberry jam and stirred up till it went all pink. I used to love it.

      2. I read 23a as: It could be represented in caress. With the it = raciness, but I can’t fully convince myself that it works.

        1. See my reply to Dutch at Comment #9.

          “It” (sexual intercourse) when depicted in a novel or on the screen could certainly be deemed to be raciness.

          1. Yes, that’s true enough, but I’m not sure that “it” or “sex appeal” taken in isolation are definitions or very close synonyms of raciness – that’s why I can’t convince myself. They’re sort of “attributed/related”synonyms, if you know what I mean. It’s probably best to leave it as a semi all-in-one but, then again, I’m not sure why a “semi” either.

    2. Me too with the spelling of 19a – silly, isn’t it – I’m sure we know how to spell the snake toxin. :roll:

  13. 10 across my favourite clue just because it was so inventive with a ‘doh’ moment to follow. This was a really top workout from the Thursday Mysteron, and hugely enjoyable. A good mixture of clue types and overall 2.5*/4* sums up my thoughts.

    Thanks to our setter and Falcon for an excellent review.

  14. Brilliant – I loved this one – I also found it really difficult – the trickiest, for me anyway, for quite a while.
    It took me ages to get started at all and it wasn’t until I got to my last few answers that I felt anywhere near the right wave-length.
    I’ve never heard of the 12a game.
    I didn’t ‘see’ the lurker in 6d until I had some letters in – anyway the way the clue reads sounds just a bit unlikely to me.
    I liked 10 and 13a and 15d. My favourite was, by a very long way, 18d – it was also my last answer.
    With thanks to Mr Ron whoever he may be and to Falcon.

  15. A few bits of this proved to be something of a wake-up call for the old grey matter – especially 10a and 18d. The latter caused much gnashing of teeth as I know that we’ve met it before.
    Going along with others, I’d give the top spot to 10a but I also really liked 12&13a.

    Thanks indeed to the setter and well done, Falcon, for decrypting it all so well. I’d quite happily put this in mad hat territory – it will be interesting to see what Pommers has to say.

  16. 14d – Until I was made redundant recently, I was a permanent member of staff, but I was not full time, I did a 4 day week, so permanent does not = full time. Permanent relates to the type of contract, not how many hours you do.
    Held me up a bit, that

  17. Fun filled Thursday puzzle 19A I especially liked. Oh and in my school days our 24A was generally served with a dollop of strawberry jam in the middle which ended up turning the whole thing pink. 2 to 3* for difficulty 4 for enjoyment.

  18. I’m glad I did not spend too much time on this as today’s offering was miles over my pay grade, however I did enjoy going through the hints as it provides a great opportunity to learn, so thanks to Falcon for unraveling this for me and to Mr.Ron.

    1. Exactly the same for me. Way out of my league. Thought I was making progress until this one. But the hints are a great way to learn. Thank you to Mr Ron and Falcon, and all the wonderful bloggers.

  19. Thursday seems to be becoming the tricksy day of the week. We agree with Falcon’s ratings.

    Fav has to be 10a but 4d is running a close second and there’s a lot of other good stuff in there.

    Certainly it had the feel of a PJ puzzle and I know that setters are often a few puzzles ahead of the game so it’s quite possible, even though he passed away on 19th July this year.

    Anyway, thanks to PJ or the mysteron, whichever it was, and also to Falcon.

    1. Just as “setters are often a few puzzles ahead of the game”, I am always a few months behind the times (the syndicated puzzle currently appears here in Canada three and a half months after it was published in the UK). I was not aware of the passing of PJ when I wrote my intro today. However, it is gratifying to know that others found aspects of the puzzle to be reminiscent of his style.

      1. Many thanks to Falcon for the detailed blog and everyone as usual for comments – it’s actually one of mine!

        1. Spotting setters is a very inexact art — especially for me. You provided a very enjoyable workout today, so thank you for that. And thanks for dropping in to take a bow.

    2. I do hope it was from a stock of PJ’s puzzles. It would be nice to think that there are still some more to come from him.

  20. I finished this one on the bus home from the main library (where they have the DT), had my lunch at home, and am now in the local library. A significant improvement on the last 4 efforts – quite challenging, very good cluing and an enjoyable solve. 3*/3.5*

  21. Seem to be at odds with the majority again with this one, although unlike last week I found this easier rather than harder. Must have been on the right wavelength. Lots of good clues, I liked 4d but 12a gets my vote as it made me smile.

  22. Difficult to get anything at first look & nearly gave up. For me at the edge of what I can do but, in the end only needed the visual hint for 18d. Haven’t come across ‘whack-a-mole so needed checkers there.
    The groan when I twigged 10a could be heard in the next street. Brilliant clue.
    Thanks to setter & Falcon for hints.
    Only day I left the sweet at school dinners was when it was 24a.

  23. Glad this is ranked *** for difficulty by Falcon. Found it hard going and not that enjoyable sadly. Probably the wavelength thingy, but when I used Falcon’s helpful hints could not justify why I found some clues so elusive. Oh well, tomorrow is another day. Got to go and get lost in Ikea now.

  24. This took some getting in to, wasn’t sure on first go through that I would be able to finish, then it all seemed to start falling together and I loved it.
    There were so many fun clues, 4a (loved that), 13a, 4d and 18d, but runaway fave is 10a, which I bunged in at the end without any idea why.
    Thanks to super setter, and to Falcon for unravelling the lovely 10a.

  25. Look there’s the bruise on my ankle where I kicked myself when penny dropped on 10a. Think I am getting back into the swing as things are easing here. Have one of those birthdays looming with 0 on the end and not looking forward to it, cannot possibly be that old. Lots of electronic help so thanks to setter and Falcon for confusing then sorting me out.

    1. Glad to hear that things are looking up, Hilary. Congratulate yourself on reaching another ‘0’ – other people will be doing!

  26. Glad to be back commenting again regularly now that my jury service has ended and I have more time to devote to crosswords rather than the demands of the criminal justice system!

    Lots to like in this trickyish puzzle, including the very clever 10a, although I personally preferred 11a and 13a. I wasn’t convinced that the definition for 18d was quite right, it’s surely a photograph that forms part of a criminal record, no?

    Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon.

    1. Hi Silvanus. I’m pleased to see you putting in an appearance. I noticed your absence when I got back from my holiday, and wondered where you had gone.

      Welcome back!

      1. Thanks, RD.

        I’ve been managing to do the Monday to Friday puzzles every day, but sometimes not on the days of publication, so I thought it was best to wait until I could comment at a more reasonable time.

        First time juror in my case (no pun intended!), but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

  27. I thought this was a very good crossword. There were some good clues like the excellent 11a and 19a, oh, and 4d. The first of these was my favourite though.
    3/4* overall.
    Thanks to the setter and to Falcon for the review.

  28. Damn – left it too late. I was just about to suggest that it could be Shamus. I confess that my only two bits of reasoning were based on the fact that we haven’t had one of his for a while and although I do always really enjoy them I also always find them quite difficult.

  29. It took me a fair bit of time to establish a foothold, but once I’d got a few in the rest followed reasonably quickly.

    Thanks to Falcon and Shamus **/****

  30. I just wasn’t on the right wavelength at all with this one, and needed the review for several answers. There were some good clues, I just wasn’t bright enough to work them out. Bit demoralised. I don’t think it’s a RayT as I’ve just about cracked how to solve most RayT’s. Thank you setter. Hope to do better next time.Thank you Falcon for your much needed review.

  31. A quite tricky, thoroughly enjoyable and inventive puzzle. There was more than point at which I came badly unstuck and thought I wasn’t going to finish, but with a bit of patience, floundering around and good luck I got there. LOI 10ac, as I guess it would have been for many others, which I couldn’t parse so many thanks for the blog.

  32. Thanks to the setter and to Falcon for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much. I got stuck in the NW corner and needed the hints for 8a,and 10a, just couldn’t get the second word. Last in was 3d. Was 3*/3* for me.

  33. Top half more difficult than lower half. Probably just about a 3 but at the easier end. Agree with comments, 10 ac is clever clue

  34. Thoroughly enjoyed. As per others, I found it difficult to get going at the beginning. No hints needed today. Re the discussion on school meals, I was always so hungry that I thoroughly enjoyed them all. School years 1945 to 1958.

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