DT 28248 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28248

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28248

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment **

Good morning one and all. Having avoided blogging the eleven anagrams in yesterday’s puzzle I find that I have suffered nine of them today. They are offset by trips to Scotland Wales and France and several glasses of alcohol. I cannot help smiling at the answer to 26 across. Perhaps it reflects the article on page 11. Thanks to Big Dave for siting in yesterday while we were away fluffing up the clouds.

Below are some hints and tips which should either

  1. Give you a push towards an answer you have trouble solving
  2. Explain the workings of the clue so that you know why your answer is correct

Definitions are underlined. If none of the above helps please ask away. An explanation will quickly appear.

The illustrations provided may or may not have anything to do with the clue or the answer.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Two alcoholic drinks before my game (3,5)
GIN RUMMY: Mothers ruin and a sailor’s favourite tipple are followed by the word MY lifted straight from the clue to find a card game

5a All Blacks initially sit around filled with anger (6)
ABLAZE: Take the initial letters of the words All Blacks and add a verb meaning to sit around idly. We cruciverbalists do not sit around idly. We sit around with cryptic crossword puzzles.

10a Father had potato cooked just like that (2,3,4,2,1,3)

11a Without doubt, leader of competition left in good time (7)
CLEARLY: Take the leading letter of the word C(ompetition), add an L(eft) now put an adverb meaning before the usual or expected time

12a To thump counter is out of order (7)
TROUNCE: Anagram (out of order) of COUNTER

13a State of uproar in duma, so he agitated (8)
MADHOUSE: Anagram (agitated) of DUMA SO HE

15a Sound of hooter I installed (5)
NOISE: Insert the letter I into a word meaning one’s hooter or conk

18a Wedges demonstrated by male champion golfer (5)
HEELS: These wedges are parts of shoes or even the whole shoe. Start with the male pronoun and add the surname of a South African golfer nicknamed “The Big Easy”

20a Break down or break up? (8)
DISSOLVE: Double definition. The second being to cancel or annul a marriage

23a In university in part of London (7)
POPULAR: Place the U from University inside a district in the east of London

25a Clown and I make a mistake filling container (7)
PIERROT: Take the letter I straight from the clue and add a three letter verb meaning to sin or do wrong. Place the whole lot inside a container, possibly used for cooking

26a Options for gin drinker or thief? Please yourself (4,2,2,5,2)
TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT: This is the second time we have had gin today. Gin and Italian Vermouth was a popular drink way back when and known as Gin and It. This sits nicely with reference in the clue to the options a thief or a gin drinker may have.


27a Throw out Yankee dignitary (6)
WORTHY: Anagram (out) of THROW and add the Y from Y(ankee)

28a A pass splitting the French in game (8)
LACROSSE: A from the clue and a word meaning to pass in front of or behind somebody all placed within the French word for the


1d Briefly scan glossy in which knight appears (6)
GLANCE: start with a word meaning having a smooth glazed or glossy surface and insert the abbreviation for knight as used in chess

2d Famous cathedral in Rome Dante misrepresented … (5,4)
NOTRE DAME: Anagram (misrepresented) of ROME DANTE

3d … excavate in chateau near there (7)
UNEARTH: A Lurker or hidden word indicated by the simple word in.

4d Join quite contrary girl across river (5)
MARRY: Place the letters that make up the contrary girl’s name in the nursery rhyme around the R(iver)

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

6d Expert has nothing on clown (7)
BUFFOON: start with a four letter word meaning expert, enthusiast or aficionado add the letter that looks like a zero and the word on from the clue. This gives our second clown of the day. I shall look in the mirror to find a third.

7d Very pale female wearing a number (5)
ASHEN: place the female pronoun inside A from the clue and N(umber)

8d Nervously meet seed, highly regarded (8)
ESTEEMED: anagram (nervously) of MEET SEED. Enough is enough no further anagrams are necessary in this puzzle

9d Don’t see such a lot shining (8)
SPOTLESS. Split 4,4 the answer fits the first five words in the clue. As a whole word it suits the last word in the clue

14d Weaker party, a French boxer perhaps holding the German (8)
UNDERDOG: The French word for A and an example of what a boxer might be are placed around (holding) the German word for the. If you are struggling go back to the boxer and make less human and more canine

16d Fashionable French writer’s introduction to small northern city (9)
INVERNESS: This Scottish city can be found by using a short word meaning fashionable or popular. Adding a French author (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea) the apostrophe S (because it is there and we need it) and the S from S(mall)

17d The cows, roaming round quiet Welsh town (8)
CHEPSTOW: Anagram (roaming) of THE COWS around the letter P (quiet)

19d Looking after number one son, doctor flies to reach hospital (7)
SELFISH: S(on) anagram (doctor) of FLIES and the H from H(ospital)

21d Outdoor work — rain affected having dogged energy (4-3)
OPEN AIR: Our usual two lettered abbreviation for work or opus is followed by an anagram (affected) of RAIN. The live and learn bit for me is the E from energy being “dogged” apparently one meaning of the word dogged is gripped. So there we have it

22d Artwork of Nehru finally acquired by nation (6)
STATUE: This carved or cast figure of a person or animal can be found by placing the final letter of Nehru inside another word for a nation

24d Game fighter’s end following jab (5)
POKER: Place the final letter of the word fighter after a verb meaning to Jab or prod

25d Steps king’s installed in a dock to get up (5)
POLKA: We have a three-part charade and an inversion clued here in a mere nine words. A from the clue and a verb meaning to dock or cut back shrubbery or tree wood with K(ing) inserted (installed) between the two and the whole thing inverted (to get up) to reveal a dance.

Too many anagrams for my liking.

The Quick Crossword pun: alph+ray+doe=Alfredo

58 comments on “DT 28248

  1. Quite an easy ride today. Nice to have anagrams but perhaps rather too many today. As with yesterday, all over very quickly for me today.

  2. Not very inspiring or enjoyable & agree with Miffypops about the anagrams but thanks anyway to all concerned. */**

  3. I found this a little more difficult than most recent Tuesday puzzles, but I still completed it comfortably before lights out last night – **/***.

    Stand out favourite 26a, with 10a a close second (even though it is an anagram). I don’t think that I have seen so many words in 15 letter answers for a long time, if at all.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and MP.

  4. The two long ones went straight in, considerably helping the solve.

    I liked 25d (steps king’s installed.. my last one in) for the misdirection.
    Also 12a, simple anagram with great surface and 15a, simple and effective

    wasn’t keen on 20a – up, down, all feels like the same meaning to me

    Manythanks Miffypops and thank you setter

  5. Also managed this fairly easily today. Last in, 25d, had me puzzled for a while so could have kicked myself when I got it!
    Favourite 10a.
    Thanks to setter and Miffypops.

  6. I was a little slower to solve this than some of the earlier commenters, but only just, and enjoyed it slightly more, so 1.5*/2.5* just to be awkward. No particular favourite although I enjoyed the two long clues.

    Thanks to the Tuesday setter for a pleasantly diverting puzzle and to MP for his review.

  7. Hurrah another straightforward solve 😄 With some very good clues **/*** Particularly amused by 26a, 18a & 16d 😜 Thanks to MP for blog and to setter 🤓

  8. Anagram city – I enjoyed it!
    All the puzzles are finished, the breakfast stuff is all washed-up, now ready for the day – only problem is it’s raining – I wonder if there’s an old film on TV? Silly question really!

  9. Nothing to really test the old grey matter, but slightly tougher than yesterday. I did like 10a and 26a. 1.5*/2* Many thanks to the setter and Miffypops.

  10. I’m with MP on this one and yesterday’s – too many anagrams. Very straightforward – not sure if I took longer on today’s than yesterday’s as I was interrupted too often this morning. Worrying trend when the Sudoku takes nearly as long as the crossword and not because the Sudoku is getting harder! Thanks to the Tuesday setter and to MP for the review.

  11. Another ‘There it was gone’ puzzle for me. Again pleasant but hopefully it isn’t day 2 of “Anagram Week”. Like them but not in excess.
    Thanks to setter & MP for review. Nice picture of Chepstow, daughter lives just behind trees top left.
    MP were you aware of the connection between the new Nobel Laureate and Chepstow (well Aust to be precise)?

    1. There is a photo of Bob Dylan waiting for the ferry from Aust. The car in the photo has the number 540 CYM. The photo was used on the cover of the soundtrack to Martin Scorsese documentary on Dylan. The number on the car had been photoshopped to red 1235 RD. Nothing in Dylan’s world is what it seems.

      1. You do know your Dylan MP. Bridge opened in September 1966 so he was among the last to use the ferry in May that year. He would have been travelling between gigs in Bristol & Cardiff where he appeared on consecutive nights on his world tour.
        Imagine 3 months later & no iconic photograph!

  12. I can tell when it’s going to be a weird day. 1a of the cryptic goes straight in, but I have to resort to Google for 1a of the quickie.

    Apart from that, all fairly straightforward.

    Thanks to one and all.

  13. Agree with everyone. A little harder than yesterday. Needed to check the review a few times as I had answers but didn’t know why in some cases. I was looking for some sort of dock for ships in 25d, so that was one of my last ones in, along with 28a. Thank you setter and Miffypops. 1a has reminded me to buy some more slimline tonic.

  14. Well that really was the fastest R & W ever hence a sense of let-down on completion. Another basinful of anagrams. I parsed 18a clue but failed for a while to twig what the answer had to do with wedges – d’oh! Fav 9a. Of course the much missed Flanders and Swann came to mind with 10a – wot no illustrated hint!

  15. I agree with the rest of you – straightforward and lots of anagrams.
    Was I the only twit to make life a bit tricky for myself by putting in ‘separate’ for 20a? It seemed to work at the time but was quickly sorted out by 16d.
    For about the first time ever I remembered the 18a golfer.
    I liked 10 and 15a and 19 and 25d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to Miffypops.
    Garden later now that it’s stopped raining but going to have a go at the Toughie first.

  16. Well, I liked it. Sometimes it’s just nice to have a gentle puzzle to start the day with. My favorites are 26A and 25D. Thanks to MP and the setter.

  17. Apart from the fact that Bob Dylan has won the Nobel prize for literature, we are also pleased to hear that he managed to win a Telegraph pen for his faultless answers to a puzzle a couple of weeks ago.
    Nice puzzle, not too tricky and thanks to Mr. Ron and Miffypops….

  18. Hi – have only just had time for the first few clues so far, but it prompted me to ask a question that’s been bugging me for years. What is the significance of the …. after one clue and before the next. I assumed it was that there was some connection between the answers, but I can never see it. Today is no exception – unless it’s as simple as the language of the country of origin of the first answer being used in the second clue? In which case ….. why bother?
    No doubt you’ve been asked the question loads of times before.

      1. Thanks so much for the link – my work blocks this site, but will have a look when I’m at home.

  19. R&W/2.5*. A gentle but pleasant puzzle to start the day off nicely. Just what I needed as I had to go out today straight after breakfast.

    Many thanks to the setter and to MP.

  20. Wow two days in a row completed without to much difficulty just shows that perseverance in tackling cryptic crosswords really works, but I bet I will have problems tomorrow.
    Thanks to Miffypops and setter

  21. This week’s back-pagers are certainly being kind to us (so far!). Like MalcolmR, I found it amusing that I needed Mr. G for 1a in the Quickie but happily sailed through the Cryptic.
    No outright favourite but quite liked both of the long ones.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to MP – glad to hear that someone is keeping those clouds spruced up.

  22. Got the paper today and what a coincidence to read that article about grumpy old Bob. Maybe his number one fan should collect the prize on his behalf.
    The crossword didn’t exactly hit the spot for me today which is unusual for a Tuesday but it has been a day of rather bad news as far as I am concerned.
    Re 23a: Landing again at City Airport on Monday, the DLR goes through Poplar which seems to become very popular considering the number of new constructions along the Thames.
    Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for the review.

  23. Thank you for your kind words yesterday, Kath. You will be pleased to know that I solved this one unaided as well. Two days in a row. Unbelievable. I’ll have to take that gin!

  24. Despite having all the checkers the ‘three part charade and an inversion’ in 25d was a mystery to me, which just confirms my numpty status. Otherwise a relatively easy solve. Thanks to MP and the setter.

  25. Much trickier than 1* I thought especially given the complexity of 25d. At least a 2* if not a 2.5* at least for me. Cannot for the life of me see the link between Notre Dame and Unearth (2d and 3D). Could someone enlighten me. Whatever, overall great fun, very enjoyable.
    Thx to all.

    1. I think that the compiler was struggling to make a sensible clue. If the clue had been without the ellipsis, it wouldn’t have made much sense, but by their use, he is linking the “near there” to whatever place results from 2d. A little bit clumsy some might say, but I’m happy with it. As a general rule, I just ignore all punctuation.

    1. Kiss of death but I’m with you HIYD. We may not be 23a but MP is benevolent I think.
      Hope he holiday going well.

      1. Yes holiday good, my lady’s MS is playing up unfortunately, just need to turn the wind down a bit. Not her’s the weather’s!!
        I saw the most beautiful sunset over the Aegean last night so can’t be all bad.

  26. Just read the link that Senf refers to above and I repeat my question, why are the two clues linked. It adds nothing to the surface reading and there is no connection between the answers. If there is one device I would like to see banned in crosswords it is those damned ellipses.

    1. We can only assume that the setter thought that the use of ellipses was appropriate, or, perhaps, there was some editorial activity.

      I do agree somewhat that ellipses do not add a whole lot and, for the most part, they can be ignored. In this case, for me, the two clues do not read ‘smoothly’ together which I thought was part of the reason for using ellipses.

    2. I agree with Senf. In this particular case the ellipsis helps the wordplay in 3d make a little more sense than it would do as a stand-alone clue. However, if you don’t like ellipses, just ignore them.

    3. B. If two consecutive clues (sometimes, even three) are linked in any way the setters will often connect them with ellipses – they’ve been doing it for decades. It adds a mildly interesting, extra dimension to the solve. Sometimes the link is significantly crucial to solving one or both clues. With 3d the clues are linked (I reckon justifiably) by a slight French theme, plus the second clue follows on naturally because it uses the first clue as a germane reference point.

  27. Fairly straightforward for this solver too, although for some reason I did get a little bogged down in the SE corner.

    I thought the long crossing anagrams were first rate, and I also ticked 14d and 16d. I can’t recall ever seeing the penultimate letter in the phonetic alphabet ever clued as an abbreviation before. A very enjoyable solve.

    Interesting that the setter also seems to have jumped on the recent “clown” bandwagon, with two mentions appearing in the puzzle!

    Many thanks to today’s compiler and to Miffypops.

  28. Well, I enjoyed this, so there! I thought there were a lot of fun clues, regardless of how easy they were.
    I remember visiting the castle at 17d when I was a teen on a trip to UK, part of my parents educating us, and dear friends live west of 16d, so familiar with that.
    The two long clues, 10a and 26a, were very good, I think 26a wins.
    Thanks to setter and to M’pops for his hints. We need an updated pic of Harry!

  29. There were a lot of anagrams but again missed a few indicators, especially ‘doctor’ again😱

    Much prefer this type of puzzle to the more obtuse ones like yesterday 😕which was not for me

  30. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Miffypops for the review and hints. Very straightforward, lots of anagrams. I liked the two long across clues. 23a was a nice re-working of a very old chestnut. My favourite was 16d. Last in was 18a, luck I’d heard of the golfer. Was 1*/2* for me. Nice sunny afternoon in Central London.

  31. What a lot of grumpy contributors we have today! OK, it was a doddle of a puzzle, but I found plenty in it to enjoy. 1*/3.5* for my money. I had little approving ticks against 5 clues: 10a (one of my favourite LPs!), 15a, 17d (one of my favourite courses), 19a and 18a. Thanks to the setter, and to Miffypops.

  32. Another pleasant puzzle, and I was in the 25d last in club, although on reflection it should have been obvious. I am not holding my breath for an easy Wednesday though.

  33. An enjoyable, easy solve. I was slow to sort out 10ac which I should have spotted earlier, and got myself into a little bit of a pickle at 9/20. Enjoyable while it lasted.

  34. Very pleasant, I thought. No particular favourites but I don’t recall any grumbles either. Thanks to the setter and to the anagram-attracting MP.

  35. Good evening everybody.

    Very straightforward puzzle. Last in was 25d so I’ll nominate that as favourite. As the puzzle in another place was AWOL I had a rare attempt at the Toughie but didn’t finish that.


  36. I started this on the train home and finished with three stops to go, making it my record short solving time. Although it was a read and write, I still enjoyed the challenge, albeit briefly. Sadly, everyone else on the train was looking at their phones, so no one was at all impressed with my cruciverbal skills. 10a has to be the first out of the straw boater for the crisp oncer (only readers whose parents took the Sunday Express in the 1960s will get the reference) simply because of the genius that was Michael Flanders. Thanks to the setter and the unrequired MP. 1*/3*

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