DT 28316 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28316

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28316

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hello everyone from a rather chilly Oxford. This isn’t a Ray T crossword and I’m not going to make any wild guesses as to who the setter might be. I don’t think many of you will have too much trouble today but I’m more than happy for anyone to disagree.

In the hints that follow the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under the bits that say ANSWER so only do that if you want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a            Fool keeping a black marsupial (7)
WALLABY — One of two ways of spelling this fool or inept person contains the A from the clue and B(lack).

9a            Problem giving Northern US prosecutor right to probe wharf (8)
QUANDARY — Begin with a wharf or pier – inside that (to probe) you need some abbreviations – N(orth), the two letters for a D(istrict) A(ttorney) and R(ight).

10a         Shame about a university campus principally in meagre condition (7)
PAUCITY — Shame here isn’t sympathy or embarrassment, it’s more ‘bad luck’ or ‘oh dear’, and is often preceded by ‘what a ****’ – it contains the A from the clue, the abbreviation for U(niversity) and the first letter (principally) of C(ampus).

11a         A few sort out computer programs (8)
SOFTWARE — An anagram (out) of A FEW SORT

12a         Core military authority announced (6)
KERNEL — A homophone (announced) of a senior army officer.

13a         Record quiet increase in business (10)
ENTERPRISE — Begin with another word for record or register, follow that with the one letter musical abbreviation meaning quiet and finish off with an increase or growth.

15a         Feel the absence of unmarried woman (4)
MISS — A double definition.

16a         Drunk riles chap getting round (9)
SPHERICAL — An anagram (drunk) of RILES CHAP.

21a         A thing placed on course, maybe, as support (4)
ABET — This course is not a golf course – it’s where horses run round in circles and people sometimes win large amounts of money if the right horse wins. The A from the clue is followed by what a person needs to have placed to win the money.

22a         Devoted follower around home and school (10)
DISCIPLINE — A devoted follower or believer contains (around) the little short word often used in crosswords to mean at home, or not out.

24a         A uniform rule defended by chap? It’s a telling sign (6)
AUGURY — The A from the clue and U(niform) are followed by a chap or bloke which contains (defended by or surrounded by) R(ule).

25a         Steep drain manufactured in West, perhaps (8)
MARINADE — This steep isn’t an adjective describing a hill, it means soak or infuse and West isn’t a direction, it’s the surname of an American actress (perhaps, meaning just an example of) – an anagram (manufactured) of DRAIN goes inside (in) the first name of that actress who was famous for her one-liners.

27a         Reportedly, movie star’s leading place for a driving break? (3,4)
PIT STOP — A homophone (reportedly) of the surname of a well –known American actor, with the ‘S’, is followed by a word meaning leading or outstanding.

28a         Period after which a ton may be delivered (8)
NINETIES — The period is a decade which is followed by another way of saying ‘hundreds’ or a ton. I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m missing something here so please feel free if you have a better way of explaining this one – I’ve tried to make it something to do with cricket because of the ‘delivered’ bit but . . .

29a         Number, say, occupying place in ground (7)
INTEGER — The two letter latin abbreviation for ‘say’ or for example goes inside (occupying) a verb meaning to place in the ground or bury.



2d            Intellectual shows facade, ignoring female with male in charge (8)
ACADEMIC — Façade without its first letter (ignoring [F]emale) is followed by (with) M(ale) and then a two letter abbreviation meaning I(n) C(harge).

3d            See what mate could finish around new tourist site (4,4)
LOCH NESS — An archaic way of saying ‘see’ or ‘behold’ is followed by the board game that ‘mate’ or ‘checkmate’ could finish – that game contains (around) the one letter abbreviation for N(ew).

4d            Before joint engagements, one fights in the main (10)
BATTLESHIP — The large joint at the top of your leg is preceded by some engagements or combats.

5d            Sport‘s just done making first-half appearances (4)
JUDO — This sport is based on unarmed self-defence techniques and comes from the first two letters (first half) of the second and third words of the clue.


6d            In the military one may advance thus, conforming (2,4)
IN STEP — A double definition.

7d            Zealot‘s found in cooler upstairs room, disheartened (7)
FANATIC — This ‘cooler’ is an apparatus which rotates and ventilates and it’s followed by an upstairs room or loft without its middle letter (disheartened).

8d            Form group to work as printers (7)
TYPESET — A form or style is followed by a group or crowd of people.

11d         In following heavenly body displaying rings, European’s showing gloomy disposition (9)
SATURNINE — The second largest planet in the solar system is encircled by a system of rings composed of small solid icy bodies (heavenly body displaying rings) – it is followed by IN (in following) and then the abbreviation for E(uropean).

14d         Regarding sculpture, for instance, in spare time (10)
RECREATION — The two letter abbreviation meaning regarding or concerning is followed by something of which a sculpture is just an example (for instance) – it’s something that someone has made.

17d         Bounty, great ship heading east (8)
LARGESSE — Begin with a word that means great or big, follow that with the usual crosswordland two letter abbreviation for a steamship and finish off with E(ast).

18d         Stormy sea for this person is terrifying (8)
FEARSOME — An anagram (stormy) of SEA FOR is followed by an objective pronoun meaning ‘this person’.

19d         A barrier, worker being stubborn (7)
ADAMANT — The A from the clue and a barrier used to restrain water are followed by a worker or a small insect.

20d         A train’s transported powerful Russian (7)
TSARINA — An anagram (transported) of A TRAIN’S.

23d         Upset, French and popular US soldier flare up (6)
IGNITE — Put together the French word for ‘and’, the usual short word meaning popular and a US soldier and then reverse the lot (upset).

26d         One with major corporation might follow this parliament (4)
DIET — This ‘major corporation’ isn’t a large company – it’s a fat tummy so a person with one might decide to eat a bit less or go on a ****. That word is also a legislative assembly (parliament) in some countries.

I liked 9 and 15a. My favourite was 26d.

The Quickie Pun:- PENN + SHUN = PENSION

51 comments on “DT 28316

  1. 3*/4*. This was quite tough but very enjoyable. The top half went in quite smoothly and also had me suspecting a pangram but 2 or 3 letters never showed up in the end.

    I found the SW corner generally the hardest, although 21a, my favourite, was my last one in. Also on the podium today were 27a & 28a.

    29a, which I had bunged in, took me an age to parse because I had wrongly assumed the definition must be “Number, say” on the basis that the answer is an example of a number but not every number is the answer.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron (Shamus?) and to Kath.

    1. P.S. Kath, 28a is definitely cricket related. A batsman approaching a century but cautiously taking his time is described as being in the “nervous 28a”. A feeling I know well. 2017 will be my 63rd season of playing cricket. I have never made a century but have been out in the 28a several times.

      1. Yes – thanks RD. A friend has just been round for coffee and he’s a cricketer, and also does crosswords – he said exactly what you did.
        Oh well, at least I was right about part of it – I knew I was missing something. :sad:

      2. 62 not out is something to be proud of RD. If I wore a hat I’d pass it round. Though I suppose that tradition has gone now.

  2. I had very few after the first run through so I started to do exactly what it said on the tin and charade after charade fell aided and abetted by a few easy anagrams. Job done. Thanks setter and thanks Kath for the review which I will read later. Kath, could you also ask the lad in the cartoon at 9ac to ask the fat judgemental one why he so elitist. The richer the kids the more presents they get, better quality too. The poorer kids get the cheap pound shop breakable stuff. Surely it should be shared out more equally.

  3. Wow! Four in a row 😄 Nice and straightforward again **/*** also had trouble with 21a after all the golfing references this week I was convinced it was a small thing that is stuck in the ground on a golf course 😕 Favourites 1a & 28a. Sorry Kath, thanks for the blog and also to the setter 🤗

  4. Completed comfortably before lights out last night and I just managed to creep under the bar for maximum bonus points – */****.

    I am not sure that I have seen the synonym for ‘fool’ in 1a being used before/recently.

    Totally puzzled by the parsing of 26d, so thanks to Kath for explaining it. Until I got 28a, I knew that it had to be one of three parliaments (duma and dail being the other two) that was settled by the checker from 28a.

    Candidates for long favourite 13a and 11d, with 13a winning by a nose. Short favourite joint winners 21a and 24a.

    Thanks to the setter and to Kath.

  5. Again found this quite tough, but enjoyable with not to much head scratching. Favourites clue 9a and 18d.
    Thanks to Kath and setter.
    ***/*** for me.

  6. All quite straightforward today until I had two left. Four letter answers often give me the most trouble so it took awhile for the penny to drop for 21a and 26d. I liked 28 ac. and 21ac once I finally tumbled (I wanted to invent a word ‘atee’ – had to look in dictionary to convince myself it didn’t exist). I’m fairly new here – just a week or two and I see it is etiquette to thank the setter and the organizer of the blog – so I do – thanks.

  7. After a great week so far, I just couldn’t get on with this one at all.
    I rarely comment on the quality of the clues as I am such a beginner, but I did find them ….well, inelegant is the best word I can come up with.
    I am happy to be corrected as I am sure that most of my problems came from within myself.
    I really didn’t like 25A or 27A ….having to guess people’s names ….and 12A is not a homophone of an army officer to my (Scottish) ears.

    Thanks to Kath for her review and hints and to the setter.

    1. Hi OM. I had the same feeling about most of theses clues. I don’t like overly wordy clues that use several bitty pieces put this way and that. We used to call them lego clues. It’s good to have so many setters with different styles though.

  8. 1 across my favourite in this entertaining and, I thought, fairly tricky puzzle. 21 across and 27 across held me up far too long, making this a 2.5*/3.5* crossword.

    Many thanks to the Thursday Mr Ron and Kath for a fine review.

  9. Very enjoyable – lot’s of ‘lego’ clues, homophones and a smattering of anagrams – nothing too taxing or obscure, just enough to make it interesting.

    Good fun!

    Paid my Self Assessment tax bill this morning, that’s the depressing way in which the New Year starts – grrrrr!

    1. Welcome

      If you read the other comments already posted, you’ll see that people have already pointed out the cricketing connection

  10. Good fun with only a couple of hiccups – initially wanting 13a to begin with ‘EP’ and, like Jaylegs & RayS, trying to invent a support called an ‘ATEE’.
    27a went in quickly based on Penelope of Whacky Races fame – parsing came later!

    Top two for me were 1&21a.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to Kath for a great blog. I also worried about cricket stuff for 28a but then decided that it didn’t really matter!

    If anyone’s considering the Toughie, Mr T in his Beam hat has been much kinder to us than either Giovanni or Shamus.

  11. Oh good – I’m really pleased to find that I wasn’t the only one who tried to invent something called an ‘atee’ for 21a.

  12. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Kath for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, thought it might be a pangram, having started at the top, but it never happened. I thought 28a was nineteen, but it didn’t seem right, so I used electronic help to find what else it could be. So, yes, it was cricket related. 1a made me laugh, I also liked 25&27a and 26d, but my favourite was the penultimate one in, 24a. An old chestnut in 17d. Good fun. Was 3*/4* for me. Beautiful blue skies in Central London.

    1. Heno, I was intrigued by your comment labelling 17d (which I had ticked) a chestnut, so I had a look in my list of clues. You’re quite right – the “big ship + E” construction has been seen before on the back page, in 2006, 2008, and 2009. Since those dates are all many years before I started solving, today I had the pleasure of meeting him for the first time.

  13. A puzzle of two halves for me. The top didn’t present much of a challenge or deliver too many smiles, but the bottom offered both more head-scratching and more enjoyment. I thought the clue construction in the lower half more original and more complex. Ticks there for 21a, 24a, 25a, 29a, 23d, 17d, and 26d. I was also among those misdirected by the setter at 21a into wondering if an atee was a thing. A very nice clue which I’m choosing as my favourite.

    Thanks to the setter and thanks to Kath for a fun blog. Great to see Calvin & Hobbes making an appearance.

    1. The amount of wriggling our MP’s are doing at the moment it could apply at Westminster !

  14. As MP says, quite a bit of Lego in evidence, but it was an enjoyable solve nevertheless.

    My three ticked clues haven’t yet made anyone’s favourite shortlist it appears, so I may be on my own in nominating 10a, 4d and 7d.

    Thanks to today’s setter and to Kath.

  15. My first run through yielded only two answers, the downs did a bit better, and then I was off! However, it was not a cake walk for me, but enjoyable.
    I singled out 25a and 5d for honourable mention, but fave was 1a, haven’t heard that term for fool for a long time and I love it!
    Thanks to setter, and to Kath for unravelling some clues, 27a in particular.

  16. Some of the clues slightly awkward rather than tricky, but all good. 21a is a good misdirection and penny-drop moment, so it gets my vote.
    Thanks to setter and Kath **/***

  17. Very enjoyable and tricky in parts. My favourite was 25a. Thanks to the setter and Kath for explaining 26d which I knew had to be right but not why.

  18. SW corner, 28a in particular held me up. Couldn’t find a unit to go with “nanot….” . Otherwise fine. Would have thought 20d should have been “former powerful Russian” though.
    Thanks to setter & Kath

  19. I agree with Kath’s ratings and comments.
    Though quite doable , it was still enjoyable.
    One clue in particle caught my eye, 26d, which I am sure some of us are deciding to do this month.I heard on the radio this morning the tail end of some expert advising us to give up eating breakfast and have a short but brisk walk instead. I’ve never skipped breakfast in my life , still I might give it a go.
    Thanks to Kath and the setter.

  20. We certainly thought that Shamus was the setter again. It seems to have become a pattern now that he and RayT alternate for the Thursday slot. Interesting that we were not the only ones to wonder and check whether there was an alternative spelling of the device that can support a golf ball. Great misdirection. We have put a favouritism star beside 25a. Good fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron (Shamus) and Kath.

  21. A pleasant enough assignment with 26d as my Fav but that was hotly pursued by 21a which was last one to dawn on me. Bunged in 28a so appreciated RD guidance to parse it. I do have a reservation re 25a – surely the clue calls for a verb which would mean a seventh letter “t” rather than a “d”? Thanks Mysteron and Kath for your usual clear hints. ***/***.

    1. In BRB the word with a D is either a noun or a verb. The version with a T is listed as an alternative spelling.

  22. After a fairly easy week of puzzles, this one was hard work for me. I am not a big fan of lego clues at the best of times, and too many here for my liking. The left hand side went in much easier than the right. 4*/1.5* Many thanks to the setter and Kath.

  23. 26d was my last one in what was an interesting crossword somewhat different from those earlier in the week. I enjoyed it in spite of a slow start. 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Kath for her usual excellent review.

  24. I only got in 4 answers at first pass, and then struggled for a while longer. Of course once I looked at Kath’s hints all became clear and I couldn’t understand why it seemed so tough. 24a was new to me, heard of the verb form, but not this noun.

  25. I solved quite late today, so I’m not sure whether this was fairly tough or I was just tired. Looking at the comments above, perhaps the former. A thoroughly enjoyable tussle throughout. Last in 28ac.

  26. Not sure how much I enjoyed that, ran out of steam in the SE corner, more down to fatigue than anything else. It was not particularly hard, just a slog.
    Thanks Kath and Mr.Ron…

  27. It seems that we’re still none the wiser as to who set today’s crossword but thanks to him or her.
    Thanks also to all for the comments and sorry about the screw up with the ‘crickety one’.
    I’m going to bed soon so night night all and sleep well. :yawn:

  28. We rattled through this in 2* time and we’ll give it 2* for entertainment as well.

    No standout favourites. Thanks to Kath and Mr Ron.

  29. After a really good week for some reason I just couldnt get on the right wavelength for this puzzle. Gave up on the SW corner despite all my best efforts.

  30. I liked it a lot and suspected Shamus, but he usually pops in to own up, so it’s probably a mysteron. Thanks and well done to him/her. Lots to like, but my favourite is one no one else has mentioned: 3d, which elicited a chuckle. Thanks to Kath for her typically readable blog. 2*/4*
    And thanks to Michael for reminding me that I haven’t done my tax return yet. Gulp.

    1. Hmm. I got to ‘nineteen’ for 28 across, as it was one short of the 20cwt that makes up a ton. But that didn’t explain ‘period’…so it looks as though it is cricket (again).

  31. This one was slightly more challenging than Wednesday’s and therefore more enjoyable. 2*/3*.

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