DT 28284 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28284

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28284

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

I am delighted to welcome our regular commenter Senf to the blogging team.  BD

A few weeks ago, when Mr Kitty was being ‘volunteered,’ I was ‘volunteering.’ Although, having served Her Majesty for 24 years, where the mantra was ‘never volunteer for anything’ my sanity might be in question.

Mr Kitty is not available today, so here I am saying hello from the city of Winnipeg in the middle of Canada, which claims (without any supporting data – sorry Mr Kitty) to have the coldest and/or windiest street intersection in Canada at Portage Ave and Main St.

Winnipeg is also the indirect source of the name for Pooh bear. A A Milne named his bear after a real live bear in London Zoo which had been named after the city – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winnipeg_(bear)

Today’s Mr Ron continues to confirm that, for me, Tuesday is the easiest day of the week with several easy anagrams and a couple of oldies but goodies (OBG).

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the Click here! buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Stranded, like Noah on Ararat? (4,3,3)
HIGH AND DRY: How a boat is described when the tide goes out (or the flood recedes).

6a    Stone in ring friend’s put on (4)
OPAL: The letter that is a ring put on a three-letter friend (first OBG)

10a    Dance band’s leader entering strange area (5)
RUMBA: First letter (leader) of B(and) inside a favourite three letter word for strange and A(rea).

11a    Leading up to concert’s finale, playing a tuba, who would you like? (4,5)
WHAT ABOUT: An anagram (playing) of A TUBA WHO followed by (leading up to) last letter of concerT

12a    Yellow bird (7)
CHICKEN: Double definition. The much-maligned bird used to describe a coward.

13a    Hot? Bower provides shelter (7)
HARBOUR: Shelter for ships provided by abbreviation for H(ot) and a garden alcove.

14a    Complaining, returned post incorrectly delivered (5,7)
UNDER PROTEST: An anagram (incorrectly delivered) of RETURNED POST to describe complaining while doing.

18a    Bishop, agile soul, in play (6,6)
BLITHE SPIRIT: The first letter of B(ishop) and synonyms for agile and soul give a Noel Coward play (second OBG).

21a    Mutter vaguely about piano and brass instrument (7)
TRUMPET: An anagram (vaguely) of MUTTER around (about) P(iano).

23a    Tiresome outside broadcast (7)
TEDIOUS: An anagram (broadcast) of OUTSIDE.

24a    Sanction demolition (9)
CLEARANCE: Double definition, although IMHO SANCTION might be questionable.

25a    Picture of island the old lady, for example, brought back (5)
IMAGE: I(sland), a two-letter old female parent, and reversal (brought back) of the abbreviation of for example in Latin.

26a    Mount from Newmarket, napped (4)
ETNA: A lurker nothing to do with horses, but a volcanic mount.

27a    Got us a card at sea showing a maritime force (10)
COASTGUARD: An anagram (at sea) of GOT US A CARD for a maritime force that stays close to the shore(?).


1d    Introduction to Homer, or magnificent Roman poet (6)
HORACE: First letter (introduction) of H(omer), OR from the clue and a three-letter word for magnificent.

2d    Good scope offered by opening on board (6)
GAMBIT: Abbreviation for G(ood) and a synonym for scope give an opening in chess.

3d    A breeze that may be passing through Tivoli Gardens? (1,4,2,3,4)
A WALK IN THE PARK: A saying that means that a task is easy.

4d    Achieve marvellous results? Party is curious to know (2,7)
DO WONDERS: The usual two-letter party and a synonym for is curious.

5d    Come to religious education supported by a church (5)
REACH: Arrive at by way of R(eligious) E(ducation), A from the clue, and one of the usual abbreviations for church.

7d    Pushed doctor to appear in red-top needing circulation (8)
PROMOTED: An anagram of RED TOP containing one of the usual doctor designations.

8d    Learned line? Say again (8)
LITERATE: L(ine) and uttering repeatedly.

9d    OK playing violin tune to mass inside (4,2,8)
FAIR TO MIDDLING: Playing an alternative for violin, containing a frequent alternative for tune, TO and M(ass) from the clue.

15d    Ineffectual, like a team that always loses? (9)
POINTLESS: A team that always loses has not accumulated any of these.

16d    Old boy’s yarn about cold bar (8)
OBSTACLE: O(ld) B(oy’)S from the clue, and a story containing C(old).

17d    Anticipate number working (6,2)
FIGURE ON: A synonym for number and the usual two-letter working.

19d    Pitched, not as a composition for piano, perhaps (6)
SONATA: An anagram (not sure if it is pitched or perhaps, or both) of NOT AS A.

20d    Climb a post in audition? (6)
ASCEND: A homophone of a phrase that is A from the clue and a synonym for post(ing mail).

22d    Dance beat on grand disc (5)
TANGO: A three-letter word for beat, G(rand), and the letter that can be represented by a disc.

Thankfully, and using my usual terminology, I am able to say that both puzzle and hints were completed comfortably before lights out last night.

The Quick Crossword pun: die+know+sore=dinosaur

69 comments on “DT 28284

  1. Wow. Senf? Who would have thought it. Nice puzzle Nice blog Ta to all from outside the shops in Nottingham City Centre

    1. Well (tongue in cheek), I thought that if MP can do it, anyone can! On a more serious note, having occasionally provided hints for weekend clues not covered by BD, or the other weekend bloggers, I realised that the major challenge is completing the puzzle. After that, the rest is relatively easy.

      1. You can take your tongue out of your cheek Senf. If I can do it then most people can. I get it wrong as well occasionally. It gets easier as it goes. The hardest bit for me is choosing the music for Jane every week

            1. Neither have I but I get the impression that the object is to score as few points as possible – sound about right?

      2. We have very different blogging experiences it seems: though I’m not at all fast, the time I spend on solving is a small fraction of my overall blog-creation time.

        My biggest fear is still the solving/parsing, but only because there’s the ever present spectre of hitting a blank wall – or of either failing entirely to parse something or coming up with an embarrassingly wrong justification. With aids, realistically it’s always possible to fill the grid (unless the crossword is an impenetrable monster), but it’s very easy to do silly things in the write-up.

        But the real work for me lies in making improvements to the words, not to mention the search for good pictures and links, and that process ends only when the clock says there’s no more time left!

        1. Kitty – I agree with your comment on solving. As I said in my comment to Kath below, for my first blog, my biggest fear was that the Tuesday Mr Ron would buck the trend and give us a real stinker that I would not be able to finish. This was a very gentle introduction to the bloggerati (Gazza’s term), my next and subsequent goes may be very different, but I hope not.

            1. All I can add to this is that you guys and girls do a wonderful job that brings light to those of us where all is dark.
              Keep up the great work.

            1. I am not sure what you are asking Angel. I solve the puzzles without help. Writing the hints I use google definitions to make sure I am right in calling a verb a verb and an adjective an adjective but the puzzle is always done on my own. I would feel I had cheated you all otherwise

  2. Many thanks Senf, welcome to the blogging team and thanks for filling us in on everything that is exciting about Winnipeg. I spent 5 years in Vancouver, made it as far east as Calgary, but not beyond…

    Enjoyed the way the definition fits in 11a, thought 14a was nicely put together, 23a was elegantly simple, good double definition in 24a, liked 9d, and loads of clues with nice surfaces – a most enjoyable puzzle

    Many thanks setter

  3. Welome to the team from me too. I agree that there was nothing too taxing today.

    In 24a I think ‘sanction’ = ‘clearance’ is fine. The first definition of it in the BRB is ‘the act of ratifying or giving permission or authority’.

    1. Thanks DT. I think I was getting ‘hung up’ on sanction as a penalty, which can be denying a person or organisation some form of privilege, which leads (sort of) to the opposite of the answer.

  4. Not quite a R and W, but close so agree with Senf’s */***.
    Had a bit if trouble parsing the 9d charade as I thought the violin tune was a ‘fling’ -never mind got there in the end.
    Liked 18a and 11a was clever, thanks to all- shame about the cricket.

  5. Nothing very difficult today but still quite enjoyable. Welcome to the blog Senf and many thanks for your contribution. 2.5*/2* Many thanks also to Mr Ron.

  6. Senf. 24a: I think sanction = the answer is OK. Sanction, as a noun, can mean authorisation, permission, approval, etc – which are all synonyms of the answer.

  7. Welcome to the blogging chair, Senf. From your description of the Winnipeg wind it sounds a far cry from a breeze passing through Tivoli Gardens.

    I agree with the rating of 1*/3*. Although a straightforward solve, I thought this was a delightful puzzle with lovely smooth surfaces throughout.

    My favourite was 18a closely followed by 1a.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Senf.

  8. Welcome to the bloggerati, Senf, and congratulations on your first blog. I agree that this one was fairly benign but enjoyable. I’ll choose 1a and 3d as candidates for favouritism.

  9. Welcome to blogging duties Senf and good luck for the future. Agree with others a gentle stroll in the park, 21a was my fave today, fairly simple but a nice construct.

  10. I would be a little higher in the difficulty rating but agree with the enjoyment, so 1.5*/3* covers it. Hard to pick a favourite but 1 across just takes it.

    Thanks and congratulations to Senf on an excellent first review. Thanks, too, to Mr Ron for a pleasant challenge. We have just crept into positive territory temperaturewise here in the Marches.

  11. Hi Senf and a warm welcome from me too.

    Just off for a bite of lunch and the crossie so back soon to read your blog.

  12. Not much need to comment on the puzzle, but congrats to Senf.
    I’m assuming our weather is nearer to yours today……..am about to check that the Motorhome is happy as I hooked it up last night for a little warm up.

    1. I guess that depends where you are. Winter weather is late arriving in Manitoba this year. Temperatures are about 10 deg C above seasonal normal. However, it is snowing today with a forecast accumulation of 5 cm.

  13. Welcome and well done, Senf – I do hope that you weren’t as terrified as I was the first time I ever did the hints.
    Just as no crossword is ever what others call a read and write, no crossword is ever 1* difficulty for me – something always bites.
    I loved this one so it just goes to prove that a crossword doesn’t have to be really tricky to be very enjoyable.
    A sensible number of anagrams – some will probably say too many but I like them – and nice short clues.
    I did get a bit tangled up with 24a – it’s one of those slightly odd words, a bit like worst and best.
    I liked 1 and 11a and 3 and 9d and any one of those could possibly be my favourite. :unsure:
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to Senf.

    1. Kath – my biggest fear was that the Tuesday Mr Ron would buck the trend and give us a real stinker that I would not be able to finish.

      1. If I get stuck on the crossword I can scream for help. My biggest fear was, and still is, the IT stuff – I’m a bear of very little brain about all that, :sad: and oh dear!

      2. I think we all share that fear. The safety net is that you can ask the other bloggers who are always keen to help.

  14. One or two of the clues made me think that our American setter was at work here – 17d in particular.
    Not a difficult solve although I did do some darting about the grid rather then working through the clues in any particular order.

    Quite a lot to like – podium places going to 14&23a plus 3d.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and well done Senf – a great first blog.

  15. First day of winter in Hyeres. Quite shocking really as it has been so mild until now.
    Not exactly like Canada though. My sister lived in Montreal for 20 years but the West coast seems very interesting as I always check the places mentioned by Vancouverbc, Falcon and Senf.
    A big Welcome to you.
    Always like Tuesdays.
    This was no exception.
    Favourite 1a.
    Thanks to the setter and to Senf for an excellent first review.

  16. Thanks Senf and welcome from me also. A not too difficult solve to ease you into the vacancy – thanks Mr. Ron
    There must be something good in the Manitoba air, as my Aunt lived in Brandon, west of Winnipeg, until she passed away 4 months after her 100th. birthday.

  17. Nice one Senf – sure as heck I couldnt do it!
    Gentle challenge, nice array of clues well constructed. 1.5/3* overall and 14a was my favourite.
    Thanks to the setter and to Senf for his first foray.

  18. Good puzzle and even better blog so well done Senf. Tuesdays may be the easiest of the week at the moment but they are very enjoyable all the same. I’ll agree with the */*** rating with 1a as favourite, even though it is a bit of a chestnut.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and Senf.

  19. Congratulations Senf for the entertaining blog, beats me how you all do it. I did hind this a bit daunting at first the the grey cells kicked in and I found it vet enjoyable.
    Some nice anagrams and good word play, all we ask for really. We are changing our isp in the next few days who knows what joys that will bring.
    Thanks to you and Mr Ron.
    Favourite clue 18a.

    1. The ‘how to do it’ for me was a self-promised reward, for successful completion of puzzle and hints, of a (not so) wee dram of 15 year old Dalwhinnie which I thoroughly enjoyed.

  20. Welcome to the reviewing seat Senf.I have lots of relatives in Canada, some just outside Toronto and others near Vancouver. We are all hoping to meet up next year somewhere near Calgary. This puzzle was almost R&W but I put ‘spineless’ into 15d. Well I thought it fitted the clue. Thank you Senf for the review and Mr Ron for the crossword. I really liked 1a.

  21. Well done, Senf, your first blog and a corker! Brave you.
    I found this hugely enjoyable, even though some déjà vu, 1a and 6a in particular, but it didn’t take away from the fun in any way.
    My brain was in neutral at 18a, while I got the answer without difficulty, I spelt the first word like a name – dim! This made 17d a bit tricky until I saw the error of my ways.
    I liked 1a, 18a, 3d and 9d, but many more could qualify as special.
    Thanks to setter and to Senf.

  22. What a puzzle of 2 halves. The left side was fine and quite enjoyable, the right was almost unintelligible! For me ****/*
    All in all not a pleasant crossword which took ages to drudge through and solve.
    Thx for the hints.

  23. Well for me that was the shortest 3d ever but no less enjoyable for that; even the anagrams and lurkers were fun. 6a must be a candidate for Mr. Kitty’s records? Fav 9d. TVM Mr. Ron and welcome+thanks to Senf. */****.

  24. I’m sulking I wrote a dear little comment and when I posted it it vanished into the ether. Boo Hoo. :cry:

      1. Thank goodness I’m not the only one. Sorry to hear about all the gremlins whilst I’ve been away. Must be very frustrating for BD.

    1. Hi OA

      This has happened to me a few times too and it is frustrating. Obvious suggestion, I know, but I’ve started highlighting my comment and copying it into computer memory before I press Post Comment. Then, if the screen goes blank, it’s a heck of a lot easier to paste in and try again. Good luck!

  25. I’m very happy to be reconnected with the site after spending a day in travel hell.

    As others have said, today’s offering continues the recent Tuesday tradition of fairly straightforward yet enjoyable puzzles. I liked 23a, with its smoothly misleading surface, 15d, 17d, and the nice double definition 24a. The answer to 9d felt familiar, and a little research showed that’s because it appeared in a Toughie about a month ago. Speaking of Toughies, I’m told that today’s is also in the straightforward yet enjoyable category.

    Thanks to the setter for the fun. Many thanks to Senf for stepping up and congratulations on an excellent first blog. It certainly cuts the mustard.

        1. Well, since you and Angel asked….

          6a has appeared 34 times since 2001, placing it 64th out of 48,898 unique answers on the back page.

          It feels familiar because before today it had already appeared twice this month, in DT 28261 (Nov. 2) and in DT 28265 (Nov. 7).

          Incidentally, 18a is not common: There is only one previous appearance, in DT 24113 on 22 July 2003. The first word on its own is seen more often, with three appearances so far this year including Monday of last week. That word has a total of 12 appearances over the years. However, except for last week, it’s always been clued with the definition being some variant of merry.

  26. It’s not very often when the Tuesday backpager is more straightforward than the Monday one, but this is one of those weeks. Smooth surfaces certainly, although perhaps the setter overdid it somewhat with the number of colloquial expressions.

    My favourite clue was 14a.

    Many thanks to today’s compiler and congratulations to Senf for joining the blogging team.

  27. Fairly straightforward but enjoyable nevertheless. Congrats to Senf for the blog and thanks to Mr Ron for the puzzle. Senf, I listened to a piece recently on CBC radio one about Winnie the Pooh which was very interesting and totally new to me.

    1. Assuming that it is the same story as in the web link in my introduction, I agree, it is very interesting.

  28. Welcome to the team Senf and congratulations on a well put together maiden blog.
    Plenty of chuckles to keep us amused. A couple of places where we tried to go astray as we initially wanted to put ‘home’ as the first word in 1a and then thought about ‘obstruct’ for 16d until checkers (and the inability to parse) sorted them out. Good fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Senf.

  29. Very nice indeed. Well done Senf !
    I particularly liked 9d and 18a.
    Thanks to both the setter and Senf !

  30. I found this quite a bit more than 1* difficulty, but perhaps for the same reasons I didn’t breeze through the Toughie.

    1a got me off to a nice smiley start, and probably remains favourite, pipping 23a. Quite a musical/dancey feel to today’s, which is nice.

    I didn’t need to look up 24a’s sanction in the dictionary, but did have to check 2d’s ambit. I was surprised that that same book didn’t list 17d as American.

    Thanks to the setter and thanks, welcome and well done to Senf. :good:

  31. Thank goodness I am not the only one who did not find this puzzle a 3d, about half of it leapt off the page and then I needed Senf’s hints to finish the rest. Sometimes it feels as if the setter went off for a tea break and someone else finished it while he was gone. All excuses for a slow brain today. Will have to remember Horace for future puzzles.

  32. A fairly gentle, enjoyable puzzle. Is Tuesday the new Monday? I struggled yesterday, sailed through today.

  33. I thought that was tricky, but enjoyable. I needed a couple of hints to stagger over the line, I could not unpick the wordplay for 11 and missed a couple of anagram indicators.
    Favourite was 18a,
    Thanks to Senf and Mr.Ron

  34. Wasn’t planning on commenting as I’ve come to the blog quite late today but couldn’t miss the opportunity to add my voice to the chorus of welcome to and praise for Senf’s maiden review. A great start.

    Completed easily within the forty minute flight time from Birmingham to Dublin today (and, to my astonishment and delight, managed the Guardian on the way back – but we had a headwind which gave me a vital extra 10 minutes. It must be all the practice and tips I’m picking up here as it’s only the second time I’ve completed the Guardian. Both in the last fortnight.)

    23a was LOI as I completely failed to spot the anagrind and was trying to fit OB into my answer for ages. The other one I got stuck on was 17d where I guessed wrongly that ‘number’ was going to be some form of anaesthetist and it took a while before the penny dropped. Everything else was pretty straightforward today for me. 12a might qualify as an OBG? I liked all the clues for the long solutions and 3d probably my COTD for the smile it occasioned.

      1. Hello BD
        No idea if you’ll see this as I’m posting on yesterday’s page. I had never come across the word ‘anagrind’ until I started reading this blog. It’s where I discovered it and I just assumed it was used by cruciverbalists. I hadn’t appreciated it was non grata on the site and will avoid using it hereafter. (Though it’s interesting that a search of the Big Dave site throws up quite a number of instances where it’s appeared in 2016. So I hope I’ll be excused through a combination of ignorance and herd-behaviour!)

        1. It has always been policy to avoid it and similar jargon, hence the strapline at the top of the blog – crossword clues explained in plain English.

  35. For me this was no 3d so ***/** 😬 So big thanks to Senf for the much needed help! Congratulations on an excellent first blog 🤗 Liked 12a & 18a but did not like 11a & 24a 😳

  36. Like yesterday, I seem to have found this harder than everyone else. I could not have completed it on a return flight to Dublin, or a bicycle to Timbuktu. Got there in the end, of course, by which time it was warm enough in the flat for me to go to bed. I didn’t like 17d my LOI, or 11a, but 18a was marvellous and brought a grin when the penny dropped. In second place came 24a.
    I was in Calgary in February and the TV told everyone to wear sun cream as it was 22C – I was expecting blizzards, gales and a plague of shivering locusts, and was dressed accordingly.
    Well done to Senf for a terrific debut – it’s always good to hear a new voice. Thanks, too, to the setter for a challenging challenge. 3*/3*

Comments are closed.