DT 28273 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28273

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28273

Hints and tips by a verbose Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Good Morning from the beating heart of Downtown LI. The poppy capital of leafy Warwickshire. Unspoilt and unchallenged by earthquakes I was able to walk to the village pond this morning in an effort to emulate the normal Wednesday blogging style and discuss the ducks We have plenty of ducks but no ducklings. We also have large Koi Carp, Terrapins and are overrun with bamboo. A naturally English oasis at its best. Then I walked past Holy Trinity Church which is bedecked as pictured. Now I wonder who thought of doing that?

In an effort to improve my blogs I bought a thesaurus from the pound shop. When I got it home every page was blank. There are no words to describe how angry I am.

Today’s puzzle amused me but did not require outside help or pencils.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Concede new hotel worth it having been rebuilt (5,2,3,5)
THROW IN THE TOWEL: Isn’t IT nice when you get a jumpoutatcha anagram at 1ac. It is even nicer when it is 15 letters long and gives a start letter to 8 of the down clues. As I said it is nice but not challenging. The fodder is NEW HOTEL WORTH IT and the anagram indicators are the words having been rebuilt.

9a    Hit back and prune plant (7)
PARSNIP: Reverse (back) a three letter verb meaning to hit sharply and add another verb meaning to prune. This meaning is slightly stretched. Pruning one’s hair with scissors perhaps. The two words together will give a decorative herb used daftly for garnishing or wisely in a delicious white sauce to accompany white fish or gammon. Mnnnn nom nom

10a    Offer a lot for sale? (7)
AUCTION: A cryptic definition of a sale where lots are sold to the highest bidder. I often say that is how I obtained Saint Sharon. I also often say that I met her on a bouncy castle. The truth is that I won her in a card game.

11a    The Italian politician is narrow-minded (9)
ILLIBERAL: Here we need the Italian word for the followed by a member of a particular political party. The translation is easy if you know it. Not like yesterday’s ES.

12a    Give way, leaving space demarcated (4)
CEDE: Here we have a lurker. Lurking away within the letters of the clue, peeping out and daring us to find him. The unusual indicator that there is a hidden word is the word leaving. I like this clue although the definition is far too easy.

13a    Sort of music book, one of four (6)
GOSPEL: Heigh Ho. A double definition. A type of music much loved by Miffypops and one of the four books of the bible possibly the one written by me. My father read the bible daily and called his eldest child Matthew. I came next and was named Mark. My little brother Luke followed. Dad died during Mums fourth pregnancy. Mum was not religious at all. Mum named the fourth son after her favourite singer. So there you have it. Matthew, Mark, Luke and Bing.

15a    Sinks vessels that carry fuel (8)
SCUTTLES: A double definition. The plural of a word meaning to sink a vessel and a container for solid fossil fuels.

18a    Food from the sea not rejected by board (8)
PLANKTON: Anagram (rejected) of NOT placed after a long piece of wood

19a    One who calls ‘Double’? (6)
RINGER: A cryptic double definition. One who calls ‘double’ is usually the captain of a bell tower. The clue splits to say ‘Double’?’ This is somebody who closely resembles somebody else. In Racing terms it is a horse or greyhound running under an assumed name usually to gain advantage over the bookies.

22a    Power cut? That’s a relief (4)
PHEW: Take the abbreviation for P(ower) and add a verb meaning to cut, not snip. This is a word more suited to the pruning at 9ac. The result is an exclamation expressing a strong reaction of relief, or of disgust at a smell

23a    Stag maybe cancelled — scurry along (6,3)
BEETLE OFF: The stag here is a very black insect, the largest of its type in the UK. Add a word meaning cancelled to find a phrase meaning scurry along. I often use the phrase scurry along but never the phrase in the solution to this clue.

26a    I get angry about working period (4,3)
IRON AGE: Charade or Lego time. I. Straight from the clue. A noun meaning angry. Not just angry but a violent uncontrolled anger. Wrap the anger around our usual crosswordland two lettered word for working and split it all 3,4 to find a period in time long long ago

27a    Girl who’s wet behind the ears, but possibly genuine (7)
INGÉNUE: Anagram (possibly) of GENUINE

28a    How James Bond may be like Jaws? (5,2,3,5)
ARMED TO THE TEETH: Having never read one of Ian Flemings novels or seen a James Bond film I found this clue puzzling but that is what checking letters are for. I can see that James Bond might be equipped thus but it is not a clue I like. I hope somebody out there can enlighten me.


1d    Excellent garnish for food (7)
TOPPING: A double definition as a garnish for food is there any dafter than 9ac

2d    Country sport, with Right and Left divided over answer (5)
RURAL: The sport here is the one mentioned at 5d played by teams of fifteen a side with an egg shaped ball administered by moneygrabbers at Twickenham. We need its initial letters. These are followed by the initial letters of R(ight) and L(eft) separated (divided) by the abbreviation for A(nswer)

3d    Breezeblock, when split, may give shelter (9)
WINDBREAK: Split the first word in this clue 6,5 to gain a definition of the solution.

4d    Unusual pedantry dismissing DT word for linen (6)
NAPERY: Anagram (unusual) of PEDANTRY minus (dismissing) the letters D and T

5d    Top player in rugby pack getting a grip (8)
HEADLOCK: Use a word meaning top as in the top master in a school. Add a Rugby player. Usually a bruiser. A second row forward. Together these words form a wrestling hold often used by second row forwards when welcoming their opposition with a thump. Well that was how it was when I played. All gone now sadly thanks to the yellow card system. When was the last time you enjoyed a mass brawl on a rugby pitch?

6d    Mark‘s second (4)
TICK: The symbol used by a teacher to denote a correct answer is also a tiny moment in time

7d    Sign of giving up after a few light exercises (5,4)
WHITE FLAG: Anagram (exercises) of A FEW LIGHT

8d    They tweet of profits attached to most of range (7)
LINNETS: The plural of profits is added to the shortened word for a range of commercial goods to find these birds who are the nickname for Burscough Football Club. Winners of the Football Association Trophy in 2003.

14d    Master too excited, getting such accommodation on board (9)
STATEROOM: Don’t we just love an easy anagram (excited) of MASTER TOO.

16d    Drunk getting to grips with a problem feature in American car (4-5)
TAIL LIGHT: Take an informal word meaning drunk, tipsy or inebriated and insert (getting to grips with) the A from the clue and a word meaning problem, possibly with one’s health. This feature is not in the American car. It is on the outside.

17d    Gloomy weather’s ending — love the hat! (8)
SOMBRERO: Take an adjective meaning dark or dull in colour or tone ad add the final (ending) letter to the word weather and the letter that denotes the love score in tennis

18d    Spice of father welcoming pointless risk (7)
PAPRIKA: Take a four letter childish form for Father and insert (welcoming) the word RISK from the clue minus one of the four points of the compass.

20d    Runs free in confusion before quiet jog (7)
REFRESH: Start with the cricketing abbreviation for R(uns) add an anagram (in confusion) of FREE and then add an instruction one might give to silence a child

21d    Angle to go round beat regularly — it’s an obsession (6)
FETISH: A verb meaning to angle using a rod and line is placed around the second and fourth letters (regularly) of the word BEAT

24d    Cat formerly found around west of Ukraine (5)
OUNCE: This regular crosswordland Snow Leopard can be found by placing an adverb meaning formerly or at some time in the past around the letter found on the eastern side of the word Ukraine the letter on the western side would be the letter E but that is not what is asked for.

25d    Plain wicked pinching girl’s rear (4)
BALD: Wrap (pinching) a word meaning wicked around the final (rear) letter of the word girl

Blogged to the soothing sounds of Bob Dylan and only Bob Dylan.

The Quick Crossword pun: sure+tans+wheat=short and sweet

49 comments on “DT 28273

  1. 2.5*/4*. This was another in a long line of consistently excellent Wednesday back-pagers, nicely challenging but not too difficult with lovely surfaces throughout.

    Double ticks went to 1a, 19a, 23a & 17d, but, although perhaps not 100% precise, 28a made me LOL and gets my vote as favourite.

    Many thanks to Jay and to MP for his verbosity and for blogging from a place which is over 11,000 miles away from our Wednesday regulars.

  2. Sitting in sunny Tenerife I enjoyed this puzzle, last one in Gospel. Thought topping to be good charade that released gospel

  3. Jaws is a character in Moonraker with sharp steel teeth (28a)

    12a “leaving space demarcated” is interesting, it suggests sort of an all-in-one hidden instruction fodder (the answer is demarcated when you leave the space?)

    The two long ones went in quickly making the rest easier

    Many thanks Jay and Miffypops

  4. Nice Wednesday offering clever but straightforward solve 😀 But I did manage to ” scupper” myself for a few moments at 15a 😬 Liked 9a & 28a 😄 Thanks to setter and to MP. I always learn something when MP does the blog today it was Burscough FC, the “Linnets” and the other thing is to never judge a book by it’s cover (especially in a Pound Shop) Up the “Canaries” 😜

  5. This s a crossword of two halves, the western side went in with no trouble, the rest required plenty of head scratching but overcame in the end. There is some very clever wordplay. Favourite among so many good clues 23a.
    I had to resort to thesaurus for 4d and I see that the old crossword favourite appeared at 24d. Many thanks to Miffypops and setter.

  6. A parsnip is not a herb used to garnish. It’s a vegetable like a white hairy carrot. Sorry to ram that back down your throat (nom nom), but it does feel good just for once to be better informed than the blogger.

    1. definition of PARSNIP in Oxford online dictionary:

      “the Eurasian plant of the PARSLEY family which yields parsnips”

      1. I see now.
        MP probably think that if he pulls his parsley, it will have a parsnip attached to it.

  7. Excellent stuff as ever from Mr. Mutch, without any of the most frequently appearing words identified by Mr. Kitty yesterday as far as I could see. Our favourite crossword cat (apart from Kitty and Mr. Kitty of course!) made another reappearance at 24d, just a few days after featuring in some stunning footage on Planet Earth 2. I can’t recall ever having seen the verb in 23a previously in a puzzle.

    19a was clever, 28a very humorous, but my overall favourite was 7d for its well-disguised anagram and superb surface.

    Many thanks to Jay and to MP.

  8. Found this to be less of a challenge and strangely unenjoyable. I did enjoy Miffypops comments however.

  9. All fairly straight-forward, getting 1a straight away always helps. 28a, though, was one of the last.

    Is this site having problems today? It seems to load very slowly and the Toughie hasn’t appeared yet.

  10. **/**. Started slowly but soon accelerated. A couple of obscure words (at least to me) needed checking. Thanks to the setter and MP for the review. The pineapple express is dimishing so much cooler weather approaching.

  11. Nice Wednesday offering clever but straightforward solve **/*** 😀 But I did manage to ” scupper” myself for a few moments at 15a 😬 Liked 9a & 28a 😄 Thanks to setter and to MP. I always learn something when MP does the blog today it was Burscough FC, the “Linnets” and the other thing is to never judge a book by it’s cover (especially in a Pound Shop) Up the “Canaries” 😜

  12. I didn’t know that K represented a tiny moment in time.Oh well , live and learn.
    My favourite is 18a and I liked 1a and 28a in particular.
    I was very tempted to put “bugger off ” for 23a.
    Thanks Miffypops and Jay.

  13. The explanation of parsnip did surprise me too. Always thought it was a root vegetable but maybe the stalks are edible too, like carrots. I’ll have to give it a trial.
    My first thought in 1d was topside but side=garnish didn’t really make sense.
    Thanks to Jay and to MP for the entertaining review.

  14. The usual excellent Wednesday fare from Jay. I wasn’t familiar with the expression in 23a, so I learned something new today. Like Dutch, I associated 28a with the Jaws character in one of the Bond films, although I still don’t see how the wordplay works.

    Thanks to Jay for the crossword and to MP for his entertaining blog. The garnish of deliberate errors makes it even more amusing.

  15. First time I’ve been able to access the site all day – poor BD presumably still battling with the problems.

    Have to say that I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I normally do a Jay puzzle – 15a was possibly the only one that raised a smile.
    Loved your 9a definition, MP – I presume that was a description of the first answer you (and I) both thought of!

    Apologies to Jay for lack of enthusiasm and thanks to MP for the review. I did think of you when 1a turned out to be one of your favourite type of clues.

    1. With regard to BD’s problems, it may be just coincidence, but since the ‘cyber-attack’, the amount of spam in my e-mail folder has at least quadrupled. Just a thought.

  16. Pleasant but hardly challenging! 2/2* overall with the favourite being 28a.
    Thanks to Jay, and to the bard of L.I. For his review.

  17. Dispiriting to see yet more problems with the site. Hackers are 18a, or the five letter name I use nowadays to describe any irritation large or small. They can 23a, or words to that effect.

    I did like the crossword, which I printed out to do over lunch and instead managed to finish over breakfast. My top three are 15a, 19a and 26a, and I also liked 8d. It did occur to me that we know someone who can tell us how often 24a makes an appearance.

    Many thanks to Jay, and to our chatty reviewer whose blog was half of the quickie pun.

    1. Easily done. There have been 25 appearances of OUNCE an answer on the back page. 17 of those clues were defining the cat.

  18. Poor little OA locked out of site all day, in the end I just set tablet to fInd BD and left it alone. Took nearly 15 minutes but got there in the end. Two long answers helped but I thoroughly enjoy myself with the rest and when I finally got here was delighted to find I had got it all correct. Thanks to Jay and MP. Go away nasty people, stop spoiling things. :phew:

  19. Curate’s egg for me. Nothing to really excite. .
    SE took forever I just had a mental block. I blame it MrK for getting me to think about the birthday paradox. I am too old to think.
    Didn’t like 16d – why American car? My car has tail lights (hopefully).
    Thanks to the setter & MP. Impressive that someone who claims not to know about football came up with the hint for 8d.

      1. Pommers
        Thanks: I agree I am probably incorrect, but for years have called them tail lights. I don’t like Americanisms but I have not regarded “tail lights” as, say, trunk and hood.
        It caused me to leave 16d until I was sure it could be nothing else.

  20. Not on the right wavelength with this at all.

    Managed the top half but needed a lot of electronic help for the bottom half.

    Not my day today.

    Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for the hints.

  21. I gained momentum once I got the top half.
    Burscough are my closest football club so I was made up to see the Linnets above :-)
    Top work as usual

  22. Wow can’t believe I have actually made contact after no joy all day except message saying “This site can’t be reached. BigDave44.com took too long to respond”. What a pain these hacking morons are. I feel for you BD in your predicament. ☹️ Dare you/we hope all could soon be completely well.
    Almost forgotten about the crossword which I seem to remember was good fun and just nicely demanding. Liked 19a, 22a and 25a. Needed MP to parse 16d for me (thanks
    for that). Another coincidental tie-in between 19a and Quick Crossword 23a? Thanks Jay. ***/***.
    MP – interested to see your church river of blood display. Our village had something similar made up of knitted poppies falling down the side of a large yew tree near entrance to church – very moving.

  23. I had topside for 1D. Here in the US a “side” refers to veggies and starch that accompanies the meat, fowl or fish, and it can also mean such as grilled onions, mushrooms, coleslaw and the like, which I consider a type of garnish. Consequently, I failed on 13A. Never mind. Just happy to be able to access the blog again! Thanks to the unnamed setter (Jay?) and to Miffypops.

  24. Thanks to whoever has got the site up and running again and long may it continue, especially as it’s me in the chair tomorrow.
    Today was a nice puzzle, as usual from Jay, and I was going to be an early commenter for once but couldn’t get in :sad: No pasa nada, as they say around here,
    No real favourite but 11a seems worthy of a mention.
    Thanks to Jay and the verbose one.

  25. When I started doing cryptic crosswords about a year ago, Jay was the first setter that I was able to make any headway with. Now he has replaced Ray-T as consistently the most difficult for me. I have utterly lost his wavelength.
    I did the top half in about 15 minutes, but the bottom half is a complete mystery. However, i shall persevere with this.
    Thanks to those who got the site up and running again.

    1. Thanks for the hints MP, much needed on what was for me, one of the most difficult crosswords in ages, I’m actually looking forward to Ray-T tomorrow.
      I missed just about every anagram indicator going. This is a constant problem for me.
      Thanks to Jay for the challenge.

  26. Plod, plod, plod – not too difficult really but it took me ages, I’ve got no idea why.

    I’ve hit upon a new way of doing the Quick Crossword – firstly I just do the down clues and once this is done I have to do the across clues in order – a bit peculiar maybe but it amuses me, mind it doesn’t take much to amuse me!

  27. First time ive been able to access this site for a week, really missed the hints. I enjoyed this puzzle very much, a good mix of clues. Never heard of 23a before but easy enough to work out. 2.3*/4* Many thanks to Jay and to Miffypops. Hope I dont need to wait another week before I can access the site again.

  28. I worry that at some point BD is going to 1a. Words fail me, who on earth gets their jollies by spoiling the fun for others. I have a doll that I’m sticking pins in, hope it works. Thanks BD, you are a star.

  29. Another great puzzle. Slow at first pass then everything came together. Three favorites, 1a, 18a, and 28a. But most of all thanks to Miffypops for the family anecdote of the naming of his brothers, gave us a good laugh. 4d was a new word for me, and bunged in the snow leopard answer without knowing why. The day is not a waste if you learn something.

  30. P.S. Could not open the site all day, until about 30 mins ago. Was totally having withdrawal symptons. So happy when I finally got in.

  31. First thing this morning for the first time for ages I managed to get onto the blog in the usual way but by the time I’d done the crossword I had no luck at all.
    I’ve been busy today but have tried numerous times with no luck at all – now it all seems fine – will I be able to post a comment? Who knows . . . ?
    I’ll keep this short – I enjoyed the crossword – perhaps one of the days for CS’s law about Wednesday crosswords – start with the down clues.
    I liked 22 and 23a and 17d. My favourite was 3d.
    With thanks to Jay and to MP and may all the malicious ones out there go to hell.
    Endless thanks to BD for all his hard work – please keep going. :rose:

  32. Thanks to Jay for some enjoyable clues and to the excellent Miffypops for some entertaining verbosity.
    So I wasn’t the only one who thought 1a was topside and failed to solve 13a as a result! 😢

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