DT 28268 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28268

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28268

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hello everyone. This isn’t a Ray T Thursday and I really don’t have any idea at all who set today’s crossword – I don’t think many of you will have too much trouble with it.

In the hints below the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under the bits that say ANSWER so only do that if you need to see it.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today.


7a    Sailor following fine friend around to get something for tea? (8)
FLAPJACK — Begin with the abbreviation for F(ine), follow that with a reversal (around) of a short informal word for a friend and finish off with one of the many possible crosswordland sailors.

9a    A swine almost keeping quiet — that’s unexpected (6)
ABRUPT — The swine here is an unpleasant or bullying person without the final letter (almost) and containing (keeping) the letter that’s the instruction to play music quietly.

10a    Put favourable slant on cricketer’s skill? (4)
SPIN — A way of bowling in cricket that means the ball doesn’t end up where the batsman thinks it’s going to is also a favourable interpretation of a policy or a piece of news.

11a    Edgy orator at work that’s critical (10)
DEROGATORY — An anagram (at work) of EDGY ORATOR

12a    Disorganised lot in game played on board with first pair missing (6)
RABBLE — The word game played with little tile thingies on a board without its first two letters (first pair missing).

14a    Study period out for review during test (8)
TUTORIAL — An anagram (for review) of OUT inside (during) a test or an ordeal.

15a    Prize pub in ancient city (6)
TROPHY — The two letter abbreviation for a pub, or a P(ublic) H(ouse) as seen on maps, inside (in) an ancient Greek city.

17a    Performs religious duty, we hear, producing acclaim (6)
PRAISE — A homophone (we hear) of what people do in church (performs religious duty).

20a    Note I’m enthralled by Indian instrument and sword (8)
SCIMITAR — A one letter musical note and the I’m, from the clue, are contained in an Indian instrument with a long neck played by plucking the strings.

22a    Emergency call from PM before division in week (6)
MAYDAY — One of the seven divisions of a week is preceded by (before) the surname of our present Prime Minister

23a    In which one finds peers and English bishop in a grand conspiracy (3,7)
AGE BRACKET — The peers here are equals rather than nobles. The A from the clue, the abbreviation for G(rand) and a conspiracy or a fraudulent activity contain the abbreviations for E(nglish) and B(ishop).

24a    Top athletes defending course (4)
PATH — A lurker or a hidden answer indicated by defending.

25a    Nut chewed with regret? It’s like a pork pie (6)
UNTRUE — This pork pie is cockney rhyming slang – it’s an anagram (chewed) of NUT followed by (with) a word meaning to regret or be sorry for.

26a    Healthy bit of food found in inn? Utter rubbish (8)
NUTRIENT — An anagram (rubbish) of INN UTTER


1d    Cheek, being seen on pot in paper? It’s disrespectful (8)
FLIPPANT – An informal word meaning cheek or insolence and a pot or a cooking utensil are contained in (in) a daily newspaper – the pink one.

2d    Competition‘s not close (4)
OPEN — A kind of competition that anyone can enter is also the opposite (not) of close or shut.

3d    Name composer is given on radio (6)
HANDLE — An informal word for a name is a homophone (on the radio) of the surname of a German composer.

4d    Urge halt in development in response to cracks? (8)
LAUGHTER — An anagram (in development) of URGE HALT. The cracks are jokes.

5d    Female artist hereafter taking top off for male bonding? (10)
FRATERNITY — Start off with F(emale) and follow that with the usual two letter crosswordland artist – finish off with a word that means hereafter or in some future time without its first letter (taking top off).

6d    Role in Salvation Army in austere city (6)
SPARTA — A role or representation is contained in (in) the abbreviation for S(alvation) A(rmy).

8d    Source of kerfuffle, a judge in choppy exchange? (6)
KARATE — The first letter (source of) K(erfuffle), the A from the clue and a verb to judge or assess.

13d    Artistic quarter flourishes with place in ground (10)
BLOOMSBURY — A verb to flourish or blossom is followed by (with) another verb to place in the ground or inter.

16d    Trouble making essential part of tea? (3,5)
HOT WATER — A double definition.

18d    Love of old work on stage that’s difficult (8)
EXACTING — The two letters meaning love of old or a previous lover or partner are followed by working on stage or performing. I confess to a complete blind spot with this one – couldn’t see the relevance of the first word of the clue so thanks to the Kiwis for sorting me out.

19d    Faulty knowledge of Scotland — brother should be on top of it (6)
BROKEN — The Scottish word for knowledge – think of John Peel, the song not the DJ – is preceded by (should be on top of) the abbreviation for brother.

21d    Persuasive county fellow? (6)
COGENT — The two letter abbreviation for County is followed by a fellow or a man.

22d    Foreign character, arts benefactor, making change (6)
MUTATE — The twelfth letter of the Greek alphabet (foreign character) and a benefactor after whom one of the major London art galleries is named.

24d    Overly formal chief cut short (4)
PRIM — The first four of a five letter word (cut short) meaning chief or principal.

I liked 9 and 23a and 2d.

The Quickie Pun:- HALLEY + BUTT = HALIBUT

71 comments on “DT 28268

  1. An enjoyable one today. Agree with Kath’s rating. Favourite was 8d as it made me laugh when I got it.
    Thanks all.

    1. There seems to be some confusion here – there are two different Grahams at comments #1 and #2. Since the Graham at comment #2 is senior (in terms of the number of comments made) could you please make a slight change to your alias.

  2. Not on the same wavelength today, only managed 2/3 oh well onwards &’upwards.Thanks to the setter & Kath for sorting me out.

  3. BD. Just for info, today and yesterday (only) I have been unable to access the site using the Google Chrome browser – a blocking page comes up and is headed “Warning – visiting this website may harm your computer!”. I still have access using Internet Explorer, but some of the site features don’t work on this browser (such as Spellcheck and formatting when writing a comment). Just thought I’d mention it…

        1. Me too keeps going back to Google page nothing seems to clear it.
          I have run malware software and virus checker but all clear.
          I’m wondering if it was due to internet being overloaded with Trumpism. I now use bing.

    1. BD is fully aware and is at this very moment tearing his hair out with frustration. Bless his little cotton socks. He gives his all for us.

      1. Yes, it is amazing the obstacles he has to work through to enable us to have a little fun. I’m OK on the iPad but my computer won’t allow access.

    2. When I went in through my laptop (Windows 10 / Firefox) I got a warnng screen saying this was a reported attack site, though there was an ‘ignore’ option, which is how I can post this comment.

    3. OK, I am not trying to teach Granny to suck eggs; but sometimes I have found, and with no application/site in particular, that no matter what the device (laptop/tablet/phone) a complete power off/power on process fixes problems.

      1. Didn’t it give you an option to click saying “this is a fantastically wonderful site”?

  4. I would rate this slightly higher on the enjoyment side of the equation at 2*/4* because there were so many laugh out loud moments during the completion of the puzzle. I particularly enjoyed 4 down, with 8 down my favourite.

    Thanks to our mystery setter for a fun challenge, and to Kath for her review.

  5. The Montmartre I bunged into 13d (artistic quarter) with two checkers didn’t last long, 23a (in which one finds peers) took care of it.

    I was wondering when setters would start making use of the opportunities presented by our PM (22a). Deuce in Rookie corner can say he got there first

    I liked 8d, 4d, & 23a

    Many thanks Kath and setter

      1. The future Vice President offers a number of crossword cluing options too – my first idea was “US Vice President offers little change”?!

  6. I found this difficult. Needed electronic help with about half of it .😥
    Some head slapping moments but some mystifying ones too until I read the hints.

    Not on the wavelength at all today.

    Thanks to the setter and to Kath for the much needed hints.

    1. I was relieved to read your comment, OM. I struggled to answer ten clues, while everyone else seemed to find it doable. I’m glad to find I am not alone.

  7. Yep, definitely a wavelength thang! For once I was on it, so I almost raced through this one. I wasn’t bowled over by it to be honest; it was ok but….
    8d was favourite and 2/2* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Kath for her usual high class review.

  8. Greetings all from Melbourne where we arrived yesterday. Mrs Sheffieldsy went shopping today while I had a wonderful few hours on a tour of the MCG and a look round their National Sports Museum. To top it all, Mrs Sheffieldsy failed to find much to buy so the bank balance is not reeling.

    We found this puzzle reasonably straightforward and give it 2*/2.5*.

    Two top clues were 22a and 4d.

    Thanks to Kath and the unknown setter.

  9. Still getting errors when I try access to the site through Chrome, I can override this, but is it safe to do so?? Thanks

  10. 3*/4*. It took me some time to settle on the setter’s wavelength, but I when I did I really enjoyed the challenge despite a bit of an overdose of Lego.

    3d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Kath for a great review as always – I’ll forgive you for using a picture for 4d containing a ghastly American spelling!

    1. Sorry RD – I hadn’t even noticed. Dodgy American spelling was the least of my problems this morning.

      1. My iPad “corrects” my text to US spelling and I have given up keep going back and trying again…

  11. This was a particularly trying one for me, definitely a three coffee and ginger biscuit day. Finally managed to complete last one in 25a, I think it was particularly uninspiring but hey ho you are bound to get one or two in a year.
    With regard to access through Google I have had and am having problems nothing seems to clear the message. I have resorted to using bing strangely it’s affecting iPad and laptop.
    Thanks to Kath and mystery setter

  12. Hello again everyone. I still can’t get anywhere near the blog the usual way but can on the iPad – I don’t understand at all. I really just popped in to thank Gazza for his help – I emailed the hints to him and he published them as I couldn’t.
    He’s a star so a couple of :rose: :rose: for him.

    1. I have not been having any problems on 3 devices – Microsoft Edge on a Microsoft Surface, Internet Explorer on a Laptop, and Google something or other on an Android mobile phone.

      1. Strangely enough, I’ve been having problems for a couple of months with Internet Explorer on a laptop displaying warnings every time I’ve tried to access the site but now – when everyone else seems to be having problems – it is behaving normally!

  13. Nothing that caused too much trouble, just a slight hesitation as to the first word in 23a and, like Kath, a furrowed brow over the parsing of 18d.
    Visiting daughter left about an hour ago on her long trek back to IOW so I shall be suffering from empty nest syndrome for the next few days. In her honour, I shall name 7a as favourite – she’s rather addicted to the tubs of 7a bites sold by Mr. Waitrose!

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to Kath for still managing to bring us her much-loved style of review despite the present site problems.

  14. Nice straightforward solve. Thanks to Mr Ron and Kath (and Gazza)

    I’m really popping in to say that Matt has excelled himself with his cartoons today – I smiled at them all but laughed at the one on page 5

  15. 1.5*/3* for me. Two likes – 25a for the cockney slang, the first for a while(?), and 23a for misdirection, I immediately thought of the noble variety of peer and held on to it for quite a while.

    Favourite 19d. I got the brother part quite quickly, and had a big smile when the penny dropped on the knowledge part.

    Thanks to the setter (whoever he or she is) and to Kath for some very nice illustrations, especially for 10a.

  16. Quite enjoyable but I needed the hints to explain my answers to 9a, 1d and 24d, all very clumsy clues. Given we are facing the masters of 10a, it must go down as my clue of the day. Well done to the three centurions.
    Thx to all

  17. Although I managed to solve the crossword I found it on the tres side of difficile 😳 So ****/**** Some brilliant cluing best from a large field were perhaps 7 & 20 a 😊 Thanks to Kath for the blog and to the setter for a nice puzzle 🤔

    Re the access dire warnings yesterday and today when I typed “DT 28,268″ into my I-pad I received a page of red dire warnings !!! Today, in desperation, I typed in ” bigdave44.com” and lo and behold all was right with the World 🤗 I always do the crossword in the news paper and access the blog with an I-pad Hopefully I can now read yesterday’s blog 😕

  18. Lets start with a **/***, excellent fare today and some tricky parsing, liked the charade for 6d, and the surface read of 22a, love to be a fly on the wall when she meets Donald and takes the Micky !
    Thanks to Kath for the Pics.
    Still raining in Cheshire.

  19. Loved it. Great anagrams and I loved the definition ‘choppy exchange’ Thanks to Kath for the review and thanks to Mr Setter for an enjoyable puzzle

  20. Like RD, it took me a while too to get on to the setter’s wavelength, but thereafter everything seemed to slot into place without too much head scratching.

    Very enjoyable to solve, my only quibble was whether the addition of an extra “d” on to 2d (i.e. “closed” instead of “close”) would improve the clue or not. I can’t quite decide.

    23a was clever, but my favourite was 4d for its surface. 5d produced the biggest smile, although I was quite surprised that RD didn’t nominate it as his favourite knowing that he likes the odd bit of innuendo!

    Many thanks to today’s setter and to Kath.

    1. S. 2d: I think either is equally valid. Close the door is opposite to open the door and the door is closed is opposite to the door is open. I’m not sure why, but I think “closed” would be a marginal improvement. Have we agreement here!

  21. A puzzle of two halves today. The RHS went in quite easily, but I sweated bullets with the LHS, very, very tricky.
    I got the wrong answer in 23a, so couldn’t get 21d, but in retrospect, I should have tried harder with 21d as the answer is pretty easy.
    I had three unsolved in the NW corner and needed Kath’s help with that.
    Fave was 19d, loved that, and 20a.
    Thanks to setter, and special thanks to Kath for bailing me out.

    One very bright note, yesterday I went in the pool for the first time in over a year, having put a railing down the back steps and changed the pool steps to four-inch risers so that I could get out, once in. I did lots of exercises and today I feel a bit sore, but I’ll keep at it.

        1. M
          I’m glad the back is letting go you exercise in the pool.
          I’m sure Sadie will think the effort is worthwhile when our do walk her again.
          Think Bigsey would like us to have a pool – just so he had a bigger water bowl!

    1. Well done. I did not get in our pool once this year, and I have no excuse. It is just that big pretty blue water filled hole in our patio. Mr BL leaps in when he finishes mowing the grass though. Daughters are outraged that he won’t use a lawn service, ha. Hope you will soon be able to walk Sadie again, I am sure that would feel great. Although our lab, Toby, used to walk us. But never when raining as he could not bear to get wet. Big softie.

  22. Took a while to get going but things gradually fell into place. The most enjoyable puzzle of the week so far for me, so 2.5*/4*.

    Lots to like – 4d, 23a, the clever 19d, 18d because it presents a new (to me) way to clue EX. We had the answer to 14a just two days ago, which has got me wondering if these repetitions of answers we see really are just random coincidence. Time to do some research, I think.

    My favourite was the 8d choppy exchange because even with all the letters in place it took an embarrassingly long time to recognize the word and have the penny drop. That seems to happen to me with down clues.

    Thanks for the setter for an excellent crossword, and to Kath for a wonderful blog.

    p.s. I’m getting no warnings visiting the site on both Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer on a Windows 10 Surface Pro. I hope Microsoft know what they’re doing.

  23. I found this tricky, and like others, I never felt on the setters wavelength at any time, but soldiered on!
    I had no idea that 13d was an ‘artistic quarter’, favourite was 10a.
    On a more somber note, I know that part of Croydon where the tram overturned so well, the list of the dead has not been released, I just hope none of my friends were among the dead or injured. Thoughts with the families of the 7 who died, just going to do a day’s work.

  24. We note that the margins of the printed out puzzle are unsullied by jottings apart from our rather tentative guess at who might be the setter. A sure sign that we found everything slotted in without too much fight. The name that we had tentatively put down was Shamus. We will no doubt find out if that is correct. Plenty to keep us smiling so we are happy.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Kath. Well done under trying circumstances.

  25. Plod, plod, plod – phew that was a real grind thank god that’s finished – I can’t say I enjoyed it but it gave me a fair old workout.

  26. It all went in this morning with rather less of a fight than it took me to persuade myself to get out of bed afterwards. Enjoyable, and just what I needed to start the day. Many thanks to the mysteron and to Kath for another lovely review, and also to the knight in shining armour.

  27. I think that today’s setter is the same person who managed to totally befuddle me two weeks ago – ie the last time I did the hints – when I was expecting it to be a Ray T.
    There are a few similar characteristics but it clearly isn’t Ray T.
    As I said two weeks ago I think we have a new setter here.
    I suppose I’m about to be proved wrong but I really don’t think that this is a Shamus if only because I usually find him very tricky.
    Any thoughts anyone?

    1. Nothing really rang any definite Shamus bells for me but then – he can be a chameleon type little leprechaun!

    2. Oh dear, but I suppose it might get slightly boring if I was too instantly recognisable! Many thanks as usual to Kath for her blog and everyone for their comments

      1. Damn – I thought you were instantly recognisable by being very tricky, for me anyway, and good fun. You weren’t too tricky today which, given the circumstances, was probably just as well.
        Your crosswords could never be described as boring – one of yours was the only one that I’ve ever done a 5* enjoyment for – long time ago – it had ‘jumpy’ as an across answer about 2/3 of the way down – it made me giggle all day.
        Thanks for calling in and thanks for the crossword too.

  28. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Kath for the review and hints. I’ve no idea who this setter is. Quite a nice puzzle, but I found it very tricky. Needed the hints for the first word of 23a, & 21&24d. Favourite was 7a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  29. Thanks much to Kath for the hints as I really did not have my thinking head on today. It really was quite gentle, I was just thick this morning. Last in was 22d, with no particular favorite. Sorry that Big Dave is having all these problems. I am always on the iPad so no worries here, although I have not seen the star rating thingy at the bottom for months now. My laptop is an ancient Vaio and so slow I don’t have the patience to use it much. Have had Google Chrome warn me about sites that, like Big Dave, I am sure are safe.

  30. Try again – previous post erased and I was returned to warning message. Anyway am trying to remember my thoughts after finishing crossword over breakfast. My first thoughts are with BD who must be tearing his hair out over this vicious attack. Also TVM to Mr. Ron and Kath for a riveting challenge with Fav clue probably 4d but closely followed up by 22a, 23a and 25a. ***/****.

  31. Just over average difficulty for me. Went OK after slow start.
    Liked 4d & 8d, both brought a smile.
    Thanks to setter & Kath for hints, not needed but as always entertaining.

  32. 23a. Couldn’t get WET BLANKET out of my head. Well, you might find peers there, i.e. those who pee…

  33. Thanks to Kath for sorting out 12a. Just couldn’t think of which game to look for nor a word to fit the definition.
    Remember solving it on the TGV without any electronic help
    Thanks to the setter for a well constructed crossword.

Comments are closed.