DT 28236 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28236

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28236

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Proof that an easy puzzle can still be enjoyable. Those answers that didn’t go in on the first pass were easily found with a few checking letters.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    State of panic in apartment with fast turnaround? (4,4)
FLAT SPIN: a charade of an apartment and the action of turning around quickly

6a    Powerful male, heavy, we dropped (6)
MIGHTY: M(ale) followed by a word meaning heavy from which the WE has been dropped

9a    Opera singer‘s brief song about us (6)
CARUSO: The name of this famous opera singer from yesteryear is derived by putting most of (brief) a song around US

10a    French wine old boy brought back – ring for a curry (8)
VINDALOO: the French word for wine is followed by the reversal (brought back) of O(ld) and a three-letter boy and then finally the ring-shaped letter

11a    Guide female lead in play, and her daughter (8)
SHEPHERD: the female pronoun is followed by the initial letter (lead) of P[lay], HER from the clue and D(aughter)

12a    Composed? Some composed, at ease (6)
SEDATE: hidden (some) inside the clue

13a    Alternative choice in back row (6,6)
SECOND STRING: a verb meaning to back is followed by a row or sequence

16a    Ever so pretty externally, its contents may be plain (9-3)
CHOCOLATE-BOX: a word that has come to be used as an adjective meaning pretty on the outside could, if the hyphen is replaced by a space, have plain, but edible, contents

19a    Gathers European rejected honour (6)
ESTEEM: a verb meaning gathers or congregates followed by E(uropean), all reversed (rejected)

21a    Very with it in Mediterranean country, so go (8)
VITALITY: start with V(ery) then put IT from the clue inside a Mediterranean country to get go or energy

23a    Princes bemused about hot dog (8)
PINSCHER: an anagram (bemused) of PRINCES around H(ot)

24a    Become aware of warning (6)
NOTICE: two definitions

25a    Assiduous searcher, bishop in the company of walkers (6)
FERRET: put the form of address for a bishop inside the parts of the body associated with walking

26a    Dislike a Biblical translation (8)
AVERSION: this old chestnut is a charade of the A from the clue and a biblical translation such as the one attributed to King James I


2d    Detest swear-word appearing in French article (6)
LOATHE: put a word meaning a swear-word inside (appearing in) the French definite article

3d    Outdo last in tournament, bottom (5)
TRUMP: the final letter (last) of [tournament]T followed by a word meaning bottom or rear

4d    Tested about Latin language (9)
PROVENÇAL: an adjective meaning tested or confirmed followed by the two-letter Latin abbreviation for about and L(atin)

5d    One coming from Las Vegas, perhaps in van Dean ordered (7)
NEVADAN: an anagram (ordered) of VAN DEAN

6d    Month in America, below zero (5)
MINUS: a charade of M(onth), IN from the clue and the two-letter abbreviation for America

7d    High-octane event in which farceur falls under £1,000 piano (5,4)
GRAND PRIX: the surname of an actor known for his appearances in farces, notably those performed at the Whitehall Theatre, is preceded by another word for £1000 and P(iano)

8d    Going off after short time harness racing (8)
TROTTING: a verb meaning going off or decaying preceded by the abbreviation (short) for T(ime)

13d    Triumph or one will take your place (9)
SUCCESSOR: a triumph is followed by OR from the clue

14d    Advance point of view in matter (9)
SUBSTANCE: a three-letter advance of a small amount of money followed by a point of view or opinion

15d    Severely scold model turning up to disrupt hunt (8)
CHASTISE: The reversal (turning up in a down clue) of a verb meaning to model or pose inside (to disrupt) a hunt

17d    Large tank erected near badly prepared restaurant (7)
TAVERNA: the reversal (erected in a down clue) of a large tank is followed by an anagram (badly prepared) of NEAR

18d    Reportedly up against a brick wall, old plaster (6)
STUCCO: what sounds like (reportedly) a word meaning up against a brick wall or baffled is followed by O(ld)

20d    A myth, terrible nonsense (2,3)
MY HAT: an anagram (terrible) of A MYTH

22d    Louts vandalised plant (5)
LOTUS: an anagram (vandalised) of LOUTS

While, for me, there were no stand-out clues, many of surface readings were enjoyable, with 11a being the pick of them.

The Quick Crossword pun: know+wear+Mann=Nowhere Man
ARVE Error: need id and provider

82 comments on “DT 28236

  1. All easy enough today although I had not thought of 4d as a language previously. I found the SW corner a bit more tricky than the rest. 1* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.

  2. It’s rather a long time since I last heard the name of the “farceur” in 7d, so it was good that he should make an appearance today. A fairly steady completion today. I liked 25a best – company of walkers, indeed. Thanks to all.

  3. Nice and gentle stroll for me, & I remember 24A from about 20 years ago where myself & a very intelligent friend of mine could not solve the clue,its funny how things are stored away in the memory bank.Thanks to the setter & to BD for his review.

  4. Can’t really get past a */** I notice the blog comments so far are short and sweet.
    Had trouble with the dogs name as I did not recall the spelling of 23a and it only became apparent when I remembered Doberman-wasn’t he in Bilko ?

  5. */*** – over before it began – not much else to be said for a quick enjoyable solve.

    Favourite, choose one of 13a, 16a, or 25a.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and BD.

  6. My favourite by far was the assiduous searcher (25a)

    I didn’t recognise the farceur(7d) and it took me a while to click that the expression in 13a was the same one that can end with “….to one’s bow”

    many thanks setter and BD

      1. ah – thanks – it never ceases to amaze me how many expressions I still learn from crosswords, after having lived here 25 years.

  7. As BD said – a puzzle doesn’t have to be difficult to be enjoyable and I really do like this Tuesday setter’s style.
    Top three for me were 1a plus 2&20d for their surface reads and humour.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD for the extra duties yet again. I do hope our Shropshire Lad is recovering well and may eventually return to us.

  8. Fairly straightforward but satisfying enough.
    COTD was 16a where I took the ‘plain’ referred to dark chocolate as opposed to milk. 25a ran it close though.
    As George wasn’t familiar with 4d as a language & that was last one in.
    Thanks to setter & BD for the review.

  9. 1*/3*. Light but fun with generally pleasant surfaces. I agree with LabradorsruleOK about 16a and that gets my vote as favourite, closely followed by 7d.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

  10. Very enjoyable and pretty straightforward **/**** 😁 Some interesting clues and answers e.g. 19 & 25a and 13 & 15d Thanks to BD and today’s setter. Must dash off and look up the meaning of “farceur” 🤔

  11. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Big Dave for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but quite straightforward. Only a slight hold up on 4d, which I didn’t realise that was a language. Favourite was 7d, those farces were so corny but still made me laugh. Last in was 20a. Was 1*/3* for me. Lovely day in Central London, long may it last, but it won’t. 😀

  12. I agree that today’s was a short but sweet cerebral workout for which thank you Mysteron and also to BD for drawing my attention away from something to do with stuffing and onto the farcical actor. Was trying to work around the extreme letters of pretty for 16a before the penny dropped. **/***.

  13. Mr Ron always stumps me, today the NW and SE corners stayed blank until BD helped. So many thanks to Big Dave for the review and hints.

    Strange why I find Mr Ron difficult. Obviously It is me because everyone says a 1 or 2* for difficulty. For me it is at least a 3*

    1. Wouldn’t take too much notice of the ratings; completely subjective.

      I used to have a mental block with some setters, so now I take no notice and just do my best regardless!

      I have certainly breezed through ****’s before, and also failed miserably at *’s!


    2. Mr Ron is difficult to get used to because he is many different setters. Tuesday is guest setter day. As such the setter became known as The Mysteron (of Captain Scarlet fame) which became shortened to Mr Ron. Tuesday’s puzzles are always fairly clued. The better ones have that extra sparkle that leaves us wanting more. As to the star ratings. I would bin them but who am I to comment on the workings of the world’s most popular crossword blog.

  14. Nice puzzle, some very clever clues. I needed the hint for 25 across only, had missed the bishop’s address.

    **/****. Thanks to setter and to BD.

  15. Agree with the general drift of most of the comments. Enjoyable but like Sunday morning. Thanks setter and BD.

  16. I struggled quite a bit with this oneand needed quite a bit of electronic help especially for the bottom half…..just not on the right wavelength at all .
    Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the much needed hints.

  17. I pretty much agree with those that found this gentle but enjoyable. Nothing stood out as a natural favourite, but 7 down was great fun. This was 1.5*/3* for me.

    Thanks to the Tuesday Mr Ron and BD.

  18. Extremely enjoyable with some excellent constructions and delightful surfaces. My only minor quibble was the disappointing quality of the anagrams, especially 22d where it was required to swap only two letters around!

    My two favourite clues were 16a and 25a. 7d conjured up an amusing image for sure.

    Many thanks to today’s setter and to BD.

  19. Very enjoyable for me too.
    Fave was 16a, but many other smile clues, 25a close runner up, walkers, indeed.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for his always entertaining hints.

    This damned Hurricane Matthew has jogged a tad to the west and now has me in a tizwaz! I really, really, really don’t need a hurricane in my life at this point. Poor, poor Haiti, they are getting the centre of it, 175 mph winds and 25+ inches of rain.

    1. Let’s hope the tizwaz is unnecessary and that the hurricane doesn’t enter your life.
      Good luck.

    2. Hope it swerves away. I was in a mini one April last year in, of all places, Sydney NSW That was bad enough. What Haiti is enduring doesn’t bear thinking about. Such a poor country too.

    3. Let’s hope it all fades away quickly. I was in a hurricane in Florida many years ago and had to tuck a baby and toddler under the staircase for the night. I’ll be thinking of you Merusa.

      1. Was that Hurricane Wilma? We spent that storm in our master closet and I could feel the interior wall moving behind my back, and that was just a category 1. We’ve had a good long break since then and at least you get plenty of warnings with hurricanes, unlike tornados and earthquakes.

    4. Stay safe! Problem is Matthew’s forward motion is so slow. And there is another large tropical wave heading towards the Windwards on a westerly track (just like Matthew this time last week) that looks ugly. Let’s hope it doesn’t develop.

      Crossword: was fun.

      1. Oh Lord, how many more? You escaped Matthew, didn’t you? I think you are in Antigua. I don’t like these late-season hurricanes, so powerful.

        1. Nevis. Matthew was nothing really when it went by the Lesser Antilles but because it was so far south,and so slow moving, it intensified so quickly in the southern Caribbean Sea. That might be the risk with this next one. (Sorry to BD for using the blog as a weather guide!)

    5. Same here Merusa, as Broward is also under a Hurricane Watch now. Spent last few hours taking down hanging baskets, moving pots, orchids etc. Will have to finish tomorrow. Schools will be closed tomorrow so grandkids might be put to use!

      1. I’ve been thinking of you, being just that bit north of me. Dread the hurricane shutters, but not going to do anything with the orchids, they’re pretty well embedded in the tree. Oh woe, why us! Poor Haiti!!

  20. Blimey – you lot aren’t very chatty today – I’ll soon put a stop to all that nonsense – a person could be forgiven for thinking this was just a crossword blog.
    I enjoyed this one too – I certainly wouldn’t call it ‘read and write’ but then nothing ever is for me – a few answers held me up towards the end.
    I was stupidly slow with the two long ones in the middle of the crossword – 13 and 16a – and couldn’t get 14d for ages.
    I spent too long trying to fit a B into 25a – the one time I remember the chess abbreviation and then it isn’t.
    Can’t spell 23a.
    I liked lots of these – just a few of them are 16 and 25a and 4, 13 and 15d. My favourite was 18d.
    With thanks to today’s Mr Ron – I wonder if we could ever get him to pop in – and to BD.

  21. I found myself 18d with the bottom third, my own fault – it helps when you put the right answers in! With the help of BD with a couple of clues it all fell into place. Not sure why I had trouble initially. Enjoyed this, especially 7d, not often you read about a farceur these days but when you hear the news you wonder why!

  22. Good afternoon everybody.

    I thought this was a very good back page puzzle with the right blend of fairly straightforward and rather trickier clues. My favourites were 4d and 25a, with 14d, 19a and 26a also good clues. I didn’t fully understand the logic for 13a. Thought last in 1a was a relatively poor clue. Into three star time for me, though not by much, so


  23. What a great leveler these crosswords are!!!
    There is me thinking that I have cracked the DT back-pager, as with the exception of Ray-T crosswords which I can’t do, I have been completing for about the last couple of weeks with just the odd hint.
    I couldn’t do this at all, I hope it’s just a Mr.Ron wavelength thing, though that in itself is an indication of my relative inexperience.
    I looked at the Toughie and actually got further with the Toughie than with this.
    Time for BD’s hints, and a search in the cupboard for the dunce’s hat.
    Definitely a *********/”Not Applicable” today.

    1. Your comments remind me of a recent Giovanni puzzle, it got 5 – 0 (in your parlance) from me!
      Wonderful that we all think so differently at times. Do go through it again with the hints, there are some good clues to be had.

    2. I agree with MP in post #14 abut difficulty rating it really is so subjective. Like you I am a relative newcomer & found this offering fairly OK. Kitty who, in her review of the Toughie shows she is leagues ahead of me, didn’t (although her “”embarrassingly slow” would probably be a “pb” for me!). So I would bin them but they do provide some controversy and provoke discussion.
      Enjoyment rating however I feel is relevant. As BD says you can get *** enjoyment from a * puzzle. Similarly you can get **** enjoyment often from a difficult one even when you don’t finish the grid.
      I think with today once you get a good start you may well get into this one, hopefully anyway.

      1. It clearly was a wavelength thing, as going through the hints, I felt that even if I had been on top form, I would have got nowhere with it, in many cases, I read far too much complexity into the clues. It recalls a few Tuesdays ago where I got nowhere, I wonder if it is the same setter?
        That said, there clearly was a brain issue, as I could not even solve the anagrams at 20d and 22d!!!
        Jay tomorrow, who I think is brilliant, so hoping for a return to form.
        Many thanks BD and Mr.Ron..
        PS Who carries £8M of tom about in a Paris hotel room??????

          1. Some idiot with 8m in jewelry. Perhaps we’re the idiots for watching her every move. Present company excepted.

  24. I found this more difficult than most but enjoyable nevertheless. For a while I thought it was going to be a pangram with the less used letters appearing, but no. Thanks to all.
    PS BD I had to retry the site several times as on my iPad the second response you made to comment 6 was a never ending blank page – obviously fixed now?

  25. I was rather embarrassingly slow with this one, so take heart Hoofit, Jaguar Pete, Ora Meringue and anyone else who found this meatier than the general consensus had it. Got there in the end, along the way meeting an opera singer (9a) and farceur (7d) which, although I am sure I’ve encountered before, I struggled to recall. I also didn’t know 8d as a thing and smiled at 20d. That’s not quite the version of the phrase that would spring first to my mind.

    My favourite is 25a.

    Thanks to the setter and Big Dave.

    1. If you found it a bit a struggle, Kitty, then there is hope for me yet.
      Thanks for a great blog on t’other side btw

  26. Wow! Just for once I’m in agreement with the majority. A gentle crossword indeed.
    16a was my favourite and 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for his review.

  27. I’m spending rather too much time following the US general election these days, so was much amused by 2d 3d

      1. American election is not politics is it? Thought it was about bridge with hopefully the majority bidding 1 no trump.

  28. To echo BD:
    Es pas bèu ço qu’es bèu. Es bèu ço qu’agrado.
    Thanks to the setter for 4d.
    Wasn’t too sure either about the second word in 13a, had to check and did get it wrong.
    Thanks to BD for the review.

    1. Ok. For those of you who don’t speak provençal, the phrase means:
      It’s not something beautiful that is beautiful. what is beautiful is what you like.

  29. Thanks to BD and mystery setter for a nice Tuesday afternoon treat, completed after our usual battle with shopping. Worked steadily through helped by 1a leaping off the page but 16a wins the top slot because I love plain chocolate. Lots of other delights, one of the better Tuesday setters.

    1. Your comments are going into moderation because you’re putting a rogue ‘a’ at the end of your email address.

  30. I started this one this morning, but had to go to a charity event where there were lots of nice stalls. Spent far too long drooling over Italian leather shoes. It did help me with 21a though. I found this puzzle a lot of fun. Thank you Mr Ron and thanks BD for the review. I needed it for 16a, and to check a few things. Managed to get 7d but only after I’d goggled ‘farceur’. Never heard of the word before.

  31. Right – here I go. This is nothing to do with any crossword, let alone today’s, but it made me really laugh and, as ‘wordy people’, I think it might make at least some of you laugh too.
    Without going into too much detail and making this too long I went to see our old vet today to sort out insulin for our feline visitor. He remembers my wonderful Annie (collie) and asked me if we were considering another one. I told him that we often have a very young and beautiful collie called Ted staying with us. Ted is in a not great home to put it mildly – he’s only two years old and is the calmest two year old anything, let alone collie, I’ve ever met – I suggested to the vet that the owner had to be doing something right to have such a calm dog. He said, “Yes, unless all the collie traits have just disappeared because of his up-bringing.” And then he said, “It puts a whole new meaning on ‘décolletage’.

    1. Thank you for that, I laughed and laughed. One up for your vet! I needed that, my “minder” and I stopped at the supermarket after a dr’s appointment and it was a madhouse. People stocking up with water and non perishable food. I had to stop for dog and cat food, natch.

    2. Brilliant, Kath – I like the sound of your vet!

      Merusa – hoping for your sake that Matthew jogs a little further away from you tonight and my heart goes out to those poor souls in Haiti.

    3. Great story can’t imagine out vet coming out with that. But what about poor Ted when he is not with you?

    4. Kath, on the feline and insulin issue, our cat, then 15 was diagnosed with diabetes a year ago, and put on insulin, with frequent checks. I googled and found lots of recommendations to reduce and then remove dried food from his diet, and within 3 months his diabetes disappeared and insulin no longer needed. Worth a try.

  32. Perhaps one of our fastest solves ever but also enjoyable. 1*/2.5* (can’t ever give less than 1* for difficulty).

    Thought 6a was rather nice.

    20d, like many others, was very obvious but, oh my, what a very dated expression it seems these days. Does anybody know of anyone who actually uses it any more?

    Thanks BD and Mr Ron.

  33. Just into 2* time, but fun to solve so 3* enjoyment. 7d was my favourite in honour of a great man. Thanks to the Mysteron, and to BD for the review. I echo all the above sentiments about the hurricane and those affected by it.

  34. Ok, the farceur was obscure, but the answer wasn’t. And if you didn’t know 9ac, then the wordplay was straightforward enough. Solved late in the day when my brain had long since given up the ghost, and finished in a reasonable enough time, so it must have been an easy one.

  35. Finished this over breakfast. Very enjoyable puzzle for me although some sharper folks found it too easy I am sure. Late commenting as been rushing around prepping for this darn hurricane which was supposed to miss us but has jogged west and getting rather more alarming. Guess we will be exercising our Hurricane shutters again.

  36. Loved it. By the way although a difficult clue I did not find the farceur obscure. Lord Rix died as recently as August this year at Denville Hall the home for old actors. I loved him as a child and remember well watching him at the Whitehall Theatre. He had a distinguished career in later life and was active until recently. I bumped into him in a corridor at the House of Lords once and resisted the temptation to say I did not recognise him with his trousers on. His obituary is well-worth reading. He did a great deal for Mencap inspired by his own daughter born at a time when parents ofchildren with Downes were often told to put them away and forget about them.

  37. I know i’m a day late but just finished after doing today’s. I had 2 left over – 9a and 4d. Funny how a break brings a different mind to it.

Comments are closed.