DT 28260 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28260

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28260

Hints and tips by Mr Kitty

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

ShropshireLad’s sabbatical from the Tuesday slot, which we all hope will be brief, has provided an opening for somebody to volunteer me as today’s blogger. I suspect a connection with my having revealed a birthday a couple of weeks ago and I’m feeling that the culprit may not be far away. I viewed the offer to climb into the chair with some trepidation, since in terms of crosswords completed I am just a fledgling. I agreed to have a go because I thought a novice’s perspective might be useful for those starting out, and having learned almost everything I know about cryptics on these fine pages I can’t refuse an opportunity to give something back. So, with that said, here we go.

Tuesday’s mystery setter has obviously heard the recent grumbles on the blog about anagram proliferation because today we’ve been given a puzzle with just two full anagrams, supplemented by three partials and a reverse. Happily, she or he has also avoided any obscure plants, objects, people and the like that usually have me rushing off to consult Mr Google or the Mine. I found that having to think about blogging the puzzle while solving it distorted my perception of difficulty and enjoyment, but my best estimate is average difficulty for a Tuesday and above average enjoyment.

In the hints below the definitions are underlined and the answers will be revealed by clicking on the Click Here! buttons.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a    Joyous experience lying back with seabird endlessly crossing (7)
GLEEFUL: Reverse (lying back) a verb meaning experience and place it inside (crossing) a seabird missing its last letter (endlessly). Not Jane’s favourite terns, but something quite similar.

8a    Figure over hundred with name attached? (7)
OCTAGON: Concatenate the cricketing abbreviation for over, 100 in Roman numerals, and a (3,2) phrase that could indicate a way to display one’s name.

10a    Point of story I found in pub regarding men’s movement? (10)
LOGISTICAL: We’re looking for an adjective that could refer to the activities of forces on a battlefield. To find it, insert a word for the main point of a story and the I from the clue inside the pub down the road.

11a    Club that’s used in a decreasing way (4)
IRON: Putting a hyphen into “decreasing” makes the wordplay a cryptic definition of the answer. Brian owns a few of these.

12a    Pass large recess in ruin (8)
COLLAPSE: Put together Crosswordland’s favourite high mountain pass, the abbreviation for large, and a recess found in a church.

14a    Neighbour‘s pupil away from home, we hear (6)
BORDER: Homophone (we hear) of a pupil who attends school away from home.

15a    Replacement of landing in Sussex town characterising close co-operation (4,2,5)
HAND IN GLOVE: Insert an anagram (replacement of) of LANDING into a Sussex seaside town.

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

19a    Placate inspectors accompanied by a Marine (6)
DISARM: Another charade. Put together D(etective) I(nspector)S, the A from the clue, and the two-letter abbreviation for a UK Marine.

20a    Separate summary (8)
ABSTRACT: Double definition, with separate as a verb and summary as a noun.

22a    Worry where guitarist places his hand? (4)
FRET: Another double definition. The second is the part fingered by one playing.

23a    Peculiar talent in EU officer (10)
LIEUTENANT: Anagram (peculiar) of TALENT IN EU.

25a    See number mobbing vehicle in Swiss resort (7)
LOCARNO: Our usual archaic expression for See! and an abbreviation for number surround (mobbing) a type of vehicle, yielding a Swiss resort.

26a    Comic actor entertaining journalist is holiday host (7)
REDCOAT: An anagram (comic) of ACTOR contains (entertaining) our usual two letter journalist.


1d    A Liberal attempt to limit company producing intoxicating drink (7)
ALCOPOP: A from the clue, L(iberal), and an attempt (as in to have a ….) surround (to limit) an abbreviation for company.

2d    Food outlet in grandstand eliminated (4)
DELI: Hidden inside the clue.

3d    Disruption with statue overturned? (4-2)
BUST UP: A type of statue followed by a word that could mean overturned.

4d    Local bee could provide notice of environmental impact (3-5)
ECO-LABEL: Anagram (could provide) of LOCAL BEE.

5d    One whose business originates from rank? (4,6)
TAXI DRIVER: A cryptic definition of a worker whose customers are found waiting at a rank.

6d    Gracious individual getting time in ornamental headwear (7)
CORONET: A charade of an exclamation synonymous with gracious!, an individual, and T(ime).

9d    Vets rave about computer image (6-5)
SCREEN SAVER: A verb meaning vets followed by an anagram (about) of RAVE.


13d    Corrupt deal could be the outcome of this? (4,6)
LEAD ASTRAY: “deal” would be the result of considering the answer to this clue as fodder with an anagram indicator.

16d    Illegally getting rid of items — around 50 — to get some dough? (8)
DUMPLING: Insert a Roman numeral for 50 into a word for an illegal method for disposing of waste to get an edible lump of dough.

17d    Clown that shows seaside venue’s decline? (7)
PIERROT: The clown is revealed by appending to a structure found in seaside resorts a short word meaning decline.

18d    Examine US prosecutor left in disgrace (7)
SCANDAL: Obtain a noun meaning disgrace from a charade of a word for examine, the prosecutor in a US court of law, and L(eft).

21d    Elements of tennis and golf in part of suite (6)
SETTEE: The suite is one found in a living room. Joining a segment of a tennis match to an item of golfing equipment produces one of its components.

24d    Prison lift (4)
NICK: Double definition of a slang term for prison and for lift in the sense of stealing.

I found a lot to like in this puzzle. The clever 13d was my number one, with 8a earning an honourable mention. What were your favourites?

The Quick Crossword pun: truss+tease=trustees

53 comments on “DT 28260

  1. Thought this puzzle was quite difficult and for me the best for a while, going for a ***/****,some lateral thinking required for a change and well clued throughout, no grumbles today !
    Thanks to setter and Mr Kitty

  2. I quite enjoyed this one. Just needed to check 25a: Lovanno seemed less likely, so my first guess was it. Initially I thought 24d was stir, because I like to make things difficult for myself. Likewise, I was for the umpteenth time a little slow to see the decreasing sense of 11a. I do learn eventually.

    There were smiles on my face at the 15a town, as the kitties used to live in those parts, and at 22a too.

    Thanks to the setter and well done to Mr K for rising to the occasion.

  3. That was an enjoyable puzzle. Agree with Mr Kitty’s ratings. Favourites were 8a 10a 6d and 13d. Had to check I’d got 25a correct.

    Thanks all.

  4. Thank you for the review Mr K.i found this fairly straight forward with no problems encountered.My favourite was 15A with 8A runner up.

  5. I enjoyed this – lots of good clues, favourite for me 15a. I shall go for Shamus as being the mystery setter. Thanks to all.

  6. Welcome to the role Kitty and good luck. As a relative learner I value anagrams because they start you off and help to break blockages but I can understand highly competent crosslanders finding them a nuisance. You are very brave to take on this role

  7. I agree with Mr Kitty’s rating **/**** unfortunately I put the wrong word in 1d 😨 Very careless, my favourite two ( there were many) 11a & 17d 😍 Big thank you to Mr Kitty for excellent blog and to today’s compiler 😃

  8. Well done Mr Kitty I fairly sailed through this one, it was well constructed with some neat clues. Favourite for me 10a for the construction and 9d.
    Thanks again to Mr Kitty and setter, let’s hope we hear more from Mr Kitty.

  9. What a change from yesterday’s puzzle. Very slow to get going, just 6 definite answers on the first pass and quite a lot longer than usual to complete it. ****/*** for me.

  10. We just couldn’t get 7a, being mentally unable to separate joyous from experience. We’d have to give it 3*/3*.

    We agree with Mr Kitty’s selection of top clue and thank him and the setter.

    Early night here – we leave the hotel at 6.25am tomorrow to visit Uluru (Ayers Rock) which, we were astonished to find, is over 200 miles from Alice Springs. And we thought it was next door! Australia is very disconcerting like that.

  11. Solve of two halves with South slotting in but North, with a couple of exceptions, causing more problems.
    My Lancastrian vowels would never make 14a a homophone but I can think “posh” thankfully
    Some really good clues with 13d COTD for me.
    Thanks to setter & MrK for an accomplished debut. As a “fledgling” you were on a hiding to nothing with a Kitty in the house!

  12. 13 down just about takes the top of the podium in this enjoyable and tricky-in-places puzzle. I cannot disagree with the current view that this was a 2*/4* crossword.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to the very brave MK for his fine review.

  13. A bit trickier than recent Tuesdays methinks but enjoyable. Agree with Mr K’s ratings.
    Athough it’s a bit of a chestnut I think 22a was favourite, or perhaps 13d.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and thanks and welcome to the club to Mr Kitty.

  14. Congratulations to our new blogger on an excellent debut and thanks to Mr Ron for a more entertaining puzzle than we normally get on Tuesdays. The clues that I ticked were 1d, 9d and 13d.

  15. An unexpected surprise for a Tuesday! Good crossword needing a bit of lateral thinking and alert gray cells. I liked 9 and 13d with the latter being my favorite. 2/4* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and congrats to Kitty for an excellent debut.

  16. A very enjoyable challenge. I didnt think I was going to finish but got there in the end. Favourites were 10a and 13d. 3.5*/4* Many thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty

  17. Trickiest for a while, and although I finished, working out why I got the correct answer was part of the challenge. The parsing was not straightforward. An enjoyable puzzle for all that, thank you mysterious one. Thanks also to Mr kitty. Great job from a newbie. I feel like going into hibernation mode now, leaden skies and cold wind after the autumn sunshine of the past few weeks. Brr!

  18. I can’t say I enjoyed this puzzle – maybe it was that I was short of time or that my mood is not as happy as it might be, but I struggled with so many of the clues. Thanks very much Mr Kitty for an excellent first blog, couldn’t have done it without you.

  19. Well, what a come down after such a run of easy puzzles.
    Firstly, I got 1d wrong, don’t know what that is, but I think we’ve had it before.
    Secondly, I got 13d wrong as well, which meant I couldn’t get 25a, which is silly as I know the Swiss resort. I should have been able to work that out and correct my 13d.
    Never mind, thanks to setter and to Mr. Kitty for his braving the blogging chair. Well done, you, most entertaining.

  20. Good afternoon everybody.

    Joint effort today. All fairly straightforward. On a technical point I would say 22a’s are where guitarists place their finger(s). With luck I should be in the running for pedant of the day with that.


  21. I found it a bit mechanical, with a lot of similar clues.
    5 and 9d were the clues I liked best.
    Thanks Mr Kitty and setter.

  22. Terrific – I really enjoyed this rather testing exercise. Missed the expression in 6d but bunged in anyway. Lots of intriguing clues with 8a, 11a and 21d particularly catching my fancy. Thank you Mr. Ron and also Mr. Kitty for stepping into the breach on our behalf. I was determined to go it alone but will now enjoy reading the hints. ***/****.

  23. Mr Kitty? How on earth did that happen. I cannot begin to understand. Great puzzle Great blog. Ta to all

  24. I thought that the puzzle had a certain seaside/end of the pier flavour, quite a few of the clues seemed to conjure up such enjoyable images.

    Surprised to see a) so few comments and b) that it seems to have been considered tricky by many. Only the NW corner caused any real head scratching from this solver, with 10a my last one in.

    9d and 13d were clever, but my ticks went to 5d and 17d.

    Many thanks to today’s compiler and to Mr. Kitty for a purrfect debut in the Tuesday blogger’s chair.

  25. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr Kitty for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but quite tricky. Needed the hints for 7a,6&17d. A lot to smile at, some very inventive clues. Liked 8a,3,5,16d. Favourite was 21d. Was 3*/3 * for me.

  26. Welcome to the chair Mr Kitty. Great to see a fellow countryman taking up the challenge and an excellent blog is the result.
    We found it trickier than is often the case with Tuesday puzzles and really good fun. 7d had us trying to fit TER somewhere into the answer as a tail-less TERN and then 8a also took us longer than it should have. Shamus was the name that came to mind as the possible setter. If we are correct he will probably pop in for confirmation.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr Kitty.

      1. To our shame we did not recognise it from an aerial view. I have just done a check on Google Earth and now fully understand.

  27. A big welcome to Mr Kitty.
    I admire people who give their time for the welfare of suffering solvers like myself.
    Even though I managed to finish it, I didn’t find it easy by any means and parsing 1d totally eluded me.
    Wasn’t too sure about my answer in 20a either.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the explanations.

  28. Wow. Thanks to everyone above for all of your kind comments on my debut blog. I’m glad (and relieved) that it appears to have been useful.

  29. Congratulations Mr Kitty on taking on this role. I would rather take a long walk off a short pier than do that. It would scare me silly, particularly on days like today when I really didn’t enjoy the puzzle, sorry Mr Ron. Too many where I did not get it, or had the wrong answer, I.e. 1d. I am in the anagram fan camp so fewer is not good for me. I didn’t understand answer to 26a at first, thinking of soldiers, but then penny dropped and realized it must be to do with the folks a at Butlins, duh….

    1. Yes, I did remember the folks at Butlins, only just though. I seem to recall a TV docu about Butlins.
      Did you get 1d? I put in alcohol and was totally at sea as to why it might be right, just didn’t get the alcopop, something totally alien to me, though I seem to remember getting it before and being clueless!

      1. I too started out with alcohol for 1d, but I couldn’t parse that answer. I stared at the grid for a long time until finally the penny dropped. It probably helped that I was in the UK during alcopops’ heyday in the nineties.

  30. Thank you Mr K for review which was much needed today, not sure why but I had a dim day. Thank you also for 9d picture it brought back long forgotten memory. When I was early retired/ made redundant in 1993 I bought a PC and as a joke leaving present someone gave me a floppy disc with this screen saver on, we all thought it was magic. Thanks also to Mr Ron, off to have quiet lie-down in the forlorn hope that my brain cells sort themselves out by tomorrow. :phew:

  31. Wow – a Mr. K blog and where was I – out for lunch with birthday daughter!
    I really liked this puzzle and had Shamus pencilled in from early on in the solve. I’m quite surprised that only a couple of others have suggested him as the setter.
    Only real problem was trying to make sense of ‘alcohol’ for 1d – always forget those dreadful things.

    Very hard to isolate a favourite – I’ll give podium places to 15a, along with 5,9&13d.
    Thanks to Mr. Setter (any chance you’ll take a bow?) along with thanks and admiration to Mr. K. What a remarkably professional debut blog – has someone been coaching you?

    1. Thanks, Jane. If my first blog appears professional that’s because of what I learned watching all of the great bloggers who contribute on this site.

      The non-professional bits are all me. :)

      1. The non professional bits were all inspired by me although I am having trouble finding them. Well done again.

  32. Not sure how this has the same number of stars as yesterday, this is harder than last Sunday’s!!

    1. I was trying to predict the average rating among those posting here. Personally I give it ***, so I put it ** on the blog because I expected many here to find it easier than I did. But looking now at the ratings above it probably should have been closer to ***. Hopefully I’ll get better calibrated with time.

      1. No worries Mr K, thanks for an excellent debut blog, great hints of which I used all but about 10!! I got further with Kitty’s Toughie!!
        I’m glad I did not spend too long scratching my head as that was well beyond me. If it was a Shamus then that explains much as I have yet to get my head round his style.
        Looking forward to your next blog!!

  33. Quite testing for a back-pager, pretty close to 3* difficulty and a bit more than that for enjoyment. I liked 15a, 13d, 21d and 6d, but 16d gets my vote for best clue. Thanks to the Mysteron, and to Mr Kitty for the review.

  34. Very enjoyable and challenging. Fantastic blog from Mr Kitty – what a great debut – and thanks to Mr Ron.

  35. Most of this one fell over morning coffee but then I hit the buffers. Shame as I was thoroughly enjoying the clueing. Revisited it later just before Management served dinner and it gradually fell some more and I enjoyed it some more. 7a did not reveal it’s wordplay when I was determined that the seabird was a Fulmar.. Daft, I know. Best for me was 13d least fav 3d. A solid crossword in ***/*** territory. Liked the blog – very competent. Thanks Mr Kitty.

  36. Many thanks to Mr Kitty for such an assured first-time blog and everyone for commenting. Greetings from a chilly but beautiful Copenhagen!

    1. Hi Shamus, Many thanks for dropping by and for providing such a wonderful crossword for my debut blog.

  37. Thank you Mr Kitty a fine debut and nice clear hints for a novice like me. Favourite 5d. Lovely picture of Locarno which I had not heard of.

  38. Quite tricky today I thought. Or was it just attempting to solve far too late into the evening? Perhaps a bit of both looking at the comments above. A nice challenge that almost got the better of me. :-)

  39. Thank you Mr Kitty for your wonderful review. Very much needed today. I really wanted to put ‘manouevres’ into 10a and ‘Zermatt’ into 25a because I felt lazy, but realized I couldn’t just bung them in. I did actually bung in ‘alcohol’ for 1d, thinking that it had to be right, it was just I was missing something. Another case of being wrong again. Thank you Shamus for your offering. I enjoyed the bits I could do.

  40. Well yesterday I asked for an increase in the difficulty level, and Shamus provided it today. Half of it slotted in neatly on the train (half an hour late leaving London Bridge) but the other half put up quite a fight on the sofa back at Strummer Towers. King of the Hill has to be my last one in – 13d – although I’m still not sure that I can parse it even after reading Mr K’s splendid debut hints. Thanks to Shamus for the wrestling match and Mr K for a stellar start to, I hope, a long stint in the blogging chair, although I’m sure I’m not the only one who hopes to see Shropshire Lad back among our number sooner rather than later. Should you read this SL, I’m thinking of you at this difficult time. 3*/4*

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