DT 28326 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28326

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28326

Hints and tips by Mr Kitty

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***


Hello everyone. I found today’s offering somewhat easier than yesterday’s tussle with Rufus but certainly no less enjoyable. We have fewer anagrams this week, leaving room for some rather clever and elegant clueing of the longer answers.

I’m travelling this week so crossword research has been on the back burner. I did, however, just learn that today is the birthday of crosswordland’s favourite gangster and bootlegger Al Capone, and that yesterday was the anniversary of the January 16th, 1919 introduction of Prohibition in the US. Which left me wondering if Capone’s chosen career had anything to do being unable to have a drink on his 20th birthday.

Now, on to the hints. The definitions are underlined and the answers will be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER   buttons. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on and what you thought.



1a    Bald male by bar: ‘Like some drugs?’ (4-3-7)
OVER THE COUNTER: A charade of a word meaning bald or obvious, a pronoun for a male, and a bar that might be found in a bar or a shop.

9a    Lease, in writing, causes disappointment (3-4)
LET-DOWN: Follow a verb synonym of lease with an adverb meaning “in writing” (sometimes encountered in full as ” put **** in writing”).

10a    Lady whose husband’s gone in punt after party (7)
DOWAGER: A punt or a bet follows (after) crosswordland’s usual two-letter party.

11a    Improper noun, not socially acceptable (3-1)
NON-U: An anagram (improper) of NOUN.

12a    One sheepdog’s devouring the Spanish confections (3,7)
ICE LOLLIES: Join the Roman numeral for one, a breed of dog frequently employed as a sheepdog, and the S from the clue. Then insert “the” in Spanish. Here’s one of those dogs showing what it can do.

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

14a    First of a series of games is key (6)
OPENER: The key here is one that unlocks a door.

15a    Short bad-tempered note (8)
CROTCHET: Subtracting the last letter (short) from an adjective meaning bad-tempered gives a brief musical note.

17a    Sang together making record about solar god, Eastern (8)
CHORUSED: A two-letter record that’s more modern than crosswordland’s usual LP or EP contains (about) a falcon-headed Egyptian god of the sky and E(astern).

18a    Level pegging on board in game (6)
SEVENS: An adjective meaning level-pegging or tied is inserted into our usual two-letter ship (on board) to get a form of rugby.

21a    Time when nothing goes right in musical put on outside during recess (3,4,3)
BAD HAIR DAY: A verb synonym for “put on” or “join” contains (outside) a well-known 60’s rock musical. That letter combination is then inserted into (during) a recess in a coastline.

22a    Row right after game in Cup (4)
TIER: A sporting fixture followed by R(ight).

24a    Support partnership, extremely busy (5,2)
STAND BY: A cricketing partnership between two batsmen followed by the outer letters (extremely) of BusY.

25a    Resolute, a worker crossing weir (7)
ADAMANT: The A from the clue and crosswordland’s usual worker insect sandwich (crossing) a barrier in a stream or river.

26a    In prep, he sorted out English chapter giving a grammatical term (8,6)
REPORTED SPEECH: Place single-letter abbreviations for E(nglish) C(hapter) inside (in) an anagram (out) of PREP HE SORTED. The single letter abbreviation for chapter required to make the clue work is not in the BRB, but it is in Collins.



1d    Men come down over a city in Florida (7)
ORLANDO: The men are the O(other) R(anks). Follow them with a synonym for down or lower (e.g. an aircraft) and the cricket scoreboard abbreviation for O(ver).

2d    Certain need to broadcast the French agreement (7,8)
ENTENTE CORDIALE: An anagram (broadcast) of CERTAIN NEED TO followed by the French masculine definite article.

3d    Ancient city, partly destroyed (4)
TROY: Hidden (partly) inside the last word of the clue.

4d    Woman, English, upper-class, and refined (6)
EUNICE: Join together E(nglish), U(pper-class), and an adjective meaning refined or respectable to get a female name.

5d    Elderly take pride in flag (3,5)
OLD GLORY: Combine a simple three-letter word for elderly and a word meaning “take pride in” or “exult”.

6d    Current landlord’s brought round second bulletin (10)
NEWSLETTER: A synonym of current or modern and crosswordland’s favourite landlord sandwich (brought round) S(econd).

7d    Conservationists in Liege hear things to be rebuilt (7,8)
ENGLISH HERITAGE: This UK conservation organization is an anagram (to be rebuilt) of LIEGE HEAR THINGS.

8d    Toast for model (6)
PROSIT: Link together a three-letter word meaning for and a verb synonym of model to get a toast to good health.

13d    Enterprise, outfit with work (3-2-3-2)
GET-UP-AND-GO: A charade of a (3-2) outfit, a conjunction meaning with, and a verb synonym for work.

16d    Drama in gym — gentry involved (4,4)
PEER GYNT: The usual two-letter abbreviation for gym followed by an anagram (involved) of GENTRY.

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

17d    Painter like Picasso, bachelor, lives in style (6)
CUBIST: B(achelor) and a two-letter synonym of lives inside (in) a word meaning style, as in what a hairdresser might do to alter the appearance of one’s tresses.

19d    Withdraw claw (7)
SCRATCH: A verb double definition.

20d    False report in article penned by witty type (6)
CANARD: A two-letter indefinite article inside (penned by) a witty or eccentric person.

This article describes the consequences of that hoax advertisement for some gullible people.

23d    Fish caught on a river trip, finally (4)
CARP: A charade of C(aught), the A from the clue, R(iver), and the last letter (finally) of triP.


Thanks to today’s setter for a most enjoyable crossword. I put ticks beside 1a, 12a, 21a, 13d, and 17d. Of those, 17d gets my vote as today’s favourite. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun: CADDIE  +  LACK   = CADILLAC

  ARVE Error: need id and provider


73 comments on “DT 28326

  1. Quite a workout today but a good one. 8d and 26a new words to me but parseable. Had to resort to electrons to get the name of the flag at 5d. Satisfying to solve though and after getting a bit stuck in the S half I started again in the virgin top half – rarely have to do that. Thank you setter for a nice start to the day.

  2. Off to a flying start but then slowed down a bit for the last quarter. All good fun though. Not sure weir in 25a and upper-class in 4d are really synonyms for the words in solutions. 16d is a bit of a chestnut. Fav was 8d. TVM Messrs. Ron and Kitty. 🙂

    1. I reckon that 25a and 4d are both fine. Weir is a synonym for *** and U is an established symbol denoting “upper class”.

      1. José, I’m still not sure about 25a but I meant to say that to my mind the last four letters of 4d are not really synonymous with refined (I referred to upper-class by mistake – apologies). 🤦🏼‍♀️

        1. Angellov – In the Small Red Book, weir is listed in the entry for the three letter part of the answer for 25a, and refined is listed in the entry for the last four letters of 4d.

        2. Angel, I had the same negative reaction to XXXX as a synonym for refined because XXXX can imply a degree of blandness which refined does not. I still think it’s not a great synonym.

          But I eventually decided it was OK because, for example, complimenting the striking of a cricket ball with “XXXX shot” recognizes gracefulness or elegance. Similarly, “a XXXX whisky” usually implies that it is something special.

      2. A. 25a: a weir is most definitely a ***. 4d. Yes, I see the confusion, but refined is synonymous with **** in the answer.

  3. I have to disagree with Mr Kitty, I found this a lot harder than yesterday. I only managed about half of the puzzle before I got stuck and needed to resort to the hints. A lot of long winded clues and not much fun, not really my cup of tea. Many thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the much needed hints.

    1. I’m with you on this. I made a very poor fist of it and needed loads of help from Mr Kitty. I just didn’t see to get going and felt quite despondent. Hey ho, tomorrow’s another day.

    2. Me too. Much harder for me than yesterday. Not on my wavelength – although this is not a bad thing. Glad to get through it and needed hints for last clue in 16d.

      1. MetooIfoundittoughbutgotthereintheendthankstosetterandMrK.
        Note another LROK first a concatenated post!

  4. 2*/3*. This was an enjoyable but not difficult solve containing some interesting constructions. The cluing was mostly commendably concise and the surfaces were generally smooth with one exception: 17a was a very nice idea but it reads almost as if the setter thought, “I’m missing a letter so I’d better bung in Eastern at the end of clue”.

    I needed electronic help to solve 5d even though the first word was obvious, and then I discovered the answer was an unindicated US reference. :negative:

    21a was clear from the checkers but it took me quite a while to parse the first and third words.

    On my podium today are: 1a, 15a & 21a.

    Many thanks to Mr R and Mr K.

    1. RD. 17a. Perhaps the clue should have been: Sang together making record about solar god with energy (8)?

  5. For me, a little harder than yesterday. Needed the blog for full understanding of ‘horus’ and ‘bad hair day’. Ta to all.

  6. Thanks to Mr Ron for the enjoyable crossword and to Mr Kitty for the very eloquent review. The latest edition of the BRB does have c as an abbreviation for chapter and it also says that the plural of this is cc (something which I don’t think I’ve ever seen in a crossword but which I shall be looking out for from now on).

    1. That’s interesting. My BRB is the Android app, which claims to offer everything in the 13th edition. Is there a 14th edition now?

      1. My edition is the 13th (which is the latest as far as I know) but the abbreviation is also in my old 11th edition.

          1. Hi Kitties, I have the app and it’s there under the first small c or c.
            second entry 2. Caput (Latin), chapter (pl CC)

            1. Thanks, Werm, that explains the mystery. Since I was rushing to meet the blog posting deadline I just scanned the start of each entry in the long list of definitions. I stopped reading that line at caput because I didn’t know that caput was the origin, after a detour into French, of chapter (a fact that I just learned from Wikipedia).

              I’m happy to know that the app BRB is indeed complete.

              1. That’s a relief. The day the BRB proves to be fallible could mark the end of life as we know it.

                1. In my 13th edition i found a missing definition from one of the puzzles about a year ago which referred to “get” as a jewish document in a divorce process. I believe they will update (if not already) in the next edition. They also sent me a multi-page list of items excluded from the 13th edition. Fallible sometimes 😀

  7. Completely agree with Mcmillibar’s classification as a good workout today. Some enjoyable misdirection and plenty to smile at.

    Really liked 1a for its humour, 12a conjured up an image of my own dog of that breed chasing an ice cube around the kitchen, 18a is very smooth, 13d is cleverly constructed and not a phrase I hear that often these days, 20d is just a lovely word! Two favourites: 10a has a lovely smooth surface and nicely misdirects whilst 8d is inspired and witty.

    19d is a bit of a chestnut and 22a seems to pop up a lot, too.

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  8. For me, this one was a little more tricky than most recent Tuesdays and quite enjoyable – **/***.

    Of particular note was the relatively low anagram count. Although, it was disappointing that the two 15 letter clues, and one of the 14 letter clues were anagrams.

    Long favourites 1a (obvious as it was not an anagram) and 21a.

    Short favourites 8d (even though it is not an English word) and 19d – a nice double definition.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and MrK.

  9. I agree with Pete – a lot of the charades we’re a bit tedious, and probably more fun to set than to solve., although I enjoyed 21a (and its illustration,Mr K) and 13d.

    I didn’t know that name of the US flag, although I expect I will soon come across it, as I am currently reading the Springsteen autobiography, Born to Run, which I recommend. It’s obviously not ghost-written and all the fresher for it.

  10. I found this pretty tough but with perseverance managed to get through, except for getting 19d wrong it was actually the first one in so it held me up until much later. All in all though ***/**** a definite two cuppa crossword.
    Thanks to setter and Mr Kitty

  11. A pleasant puzzle to give the old grey matter a bit of a workout. Nothing to scare the nags and a decent collection of clue constructs to keep me interested. No particular stand out favourite but 12a did bring a smile to my lips. :)

    Thanks to our Tuesday Mr Ron for the puzzle and to Mr K for his review.

    Todays Toughie by Excalibur is well worth a go – as long as you have your universal interpreter set to ‘Yoda speak’. :cool:

  12. 2*/3*. Enjoyable, nicely clued and a comfortable solve. 15a my favourite with 20d my last one in.

    Thanks to Mr K and the Tuesday setter.

  13. Agreeing with Mr Kitty’s **/***, tended to ‘bung in ‘ the solutions today and then confirm with the charades/anagrams as per 1a /21a /2d and 26a.Liked 21a and Mr Kitty’s pic.
    Excellent cluing throughout.

  14. Found this one quite easy today in contrast to yesterday’s which took a good time to solve. Maybe */***. Maybe 15a and21a were my favourites.

  15. Managed better today than yesterday, but I’m afraid it was a bit of an exercise in bunging in and waiting for the hints for the parsing…..not as satisfying as ‘getting’ the whole clue.

    Many thanks to the setter and even more thanks to Mr Kitty.

  16. Yes, a couple of ‘bung-ins’ for me too, but no less enjoyable for that. My favourite was 17d and overall 3/3*.
    Thanks to the setter, and also to Mr K for his review.

  17. Minor electronic assistance required but quite enjoyable for a comparative neophyte. Never seen 8 down with an i previously. Best bit was the clip of The Boss with the Quick Crossword pun answer!

  18. I thought that it was easy at the start but got bogged down (well and truly in the SW 😰 So ***/*** I liked 12a (first one in) but favourite (last one in) 21a 😊 Thought 8d got the Silver 😏 As ever thanks to Mr K Mr Ron

  19. Something of a curate’s egg today I thought. Some excellent clues interspersed with a few long-winded charades, the odd clunky surface (17a and 21a), and an over-reliance on single letter abbreviations (I counted at least thirteen but there were possibly more).

    Still, it was fun to solve, and I awarded ticks to 10a, 12a and 15a.

    Thanks to today’s setter and to Mr. K.

  20. I finished this at home this afternoon and I’d rate it about the same as yesterday, which is about average for a back-pager. So 2.5*/3*. Incidentally and coincidentally, the first across clue (which because of the grid was enumerated as 6a) in today’s Daily Mail cryptic (which has improved significantly over the past year or so) had the same answer as 1a in this one. Their clue was: 1a. Aboveboard, with no need for prescription (4,3,7).

      1. I don’t buy the Mail (in fact, I don’t buy any newspaper) – I just do the cryptic in it. I’d say it’s certainly the best of the tabloids (best of a bad bunch, that is), excluding the Times. That’s about all I can say about it.

  21. An ok crossword which was finished without any problems, however I agree with Pete and bluebird. Thanks Mr kitty and the setter.

    1. Ah, but, there is Peer Gynt the play, written by Henrik Ibsen, with incidental music written by Edvard Grieg, at Ibsen’s request. However, over time the music has probably become more popular than the play (maybe because the play was written in Danish).

  22. A game of two halves. I raced through the west side of the puzzle and then slowed dramatically for the rest. A lot of penny dropping later all was well. My favourites were 21a&16&17d. Thanks to Messrs Ron and Kitty.

  23. Was beaten by the flag in 5d and it took me ages to get the right fodder in 26a as I thought the English (E) and chapter (CH) were at the end. I have the 13th edition too but was so sure of myself.
    Favourite 1a.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty.

  24. Good afternoon everybody.

    Found this hard work for some reason. Got there eventually but not overly enjoyably. Had to guess at 5d and couldn’t see the logic of 21a and 17d. Favourite clue was probably last in 20d.


  25. I think that was my speediest crossword solve to date and I enjoyed every bit of it.
    2d down has me very worried as we are all heading towards a treaty change which promises not to be cordial at all .I think Britain is big enough to survive the upheaval but , Ireland exports half of its goods to the UK , so basically we’re doomed.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty and his interesting observations on our favourite mobster.

  26. I knew at some point that those many years drinking in Germany would come in handy.
    8d being a good example.

  27. We also had problems getting past CH being the abbreviation needed for 26a and so took some time sorting out the correct anagram fodder. The conservationists in 7d were new to us but we did work them out without need of a reference. Enjoyable to solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  28. Thanks to Messers Ron & Kitty. A very enjoyable puzzle, which I found quite tricky. I had coraled for 17a, thus making 13d impossible. Needed the hint for 5d, wouldn’t ever have thought of that. Favourite was 15a. was 3*/3* for me.

  29. I wonder how much 2d there is going to be in the forthcoming hard Brexit negotiations!!

    1. Given the way everyone seems to be going out of their way to avoid her the PM will have to start using Lifebouy soap.

  30. A jolly romp of a puzzle: 1*/3.5*. I enjoyed 21a, 16d and 17d. Many thanks to the Mysteron and Mr Kitty.

  31. Late on parade today but I did have time to enjoy this one before going out to meet up with the ‘girls’ for lunch.
    No real problems encountered although I had to dig deep to recall the flag and checked the spelling of 8d as I’m only familiar with the toast minus the ‘I’.

    12a made me smile but the short bad-tempered note takes the honours.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to Mr.K – loved the pic at 21a and, whilst I don’t usually like to see performing animals, that very clever dog in the 12a clip seemed to be thoroughly enjoying itself – well worth watching.

    1. I agree about performing animal videos. I only put that one in after becoming sure that the dog was genuinely enjoying itself.

      What I can’t work out is whether it has memorized the entire routine or if it’s responding to prompts from its owner.

      1. I’m hedging my bets and going for a combination of the two – on the one hand it was quite a long routine for the dog to remember but equally it never seemed to be even half a beat behind its owner.

  32. Having found yesterday reasonable, today was much more tricky. (I finished the SW corner by finding some suitable words that fitted, then parsing them later – not a satisfying method even though they were all correct.) Many thanks to Mr K and Rufus.

  33. ** for difficulty sounds about right, and definitely a lot easier than yesterday’s epic struggle. I wanted the first word of 1ac to be BEHIND, but well, it couldn’t be could it, and so the NW corner was my last in.

  34. :phew: Late today – dentist this morning :sad: and La La Land this afternoon with several friends :smile:
    Hmm – not sure what to make of today’s crossword – it didn’t take me all that long but haven’t quite decided what I thought of it.
    I got into a terrible muddle with 1a which I did eventually sort out – a similar terrible muddle with 21a for which I did need the hint for the ‘why’ bit.
    8a – oh – that kind of toast. :roll:
    The dancing collie in 12a was fun – not something that the wonderful Annie and I ever went in for although we had lots of fun with agility.
    I liked 1 and 10a and my favourite was 13a.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr K.
    Supper now – going to keep the Toughie for tomorrow.

  35. Too difficult for me again.
    Good fun going through the hints though.
    Thanks Mr.K and Mr,Ron

  36. Yes, Ok. Nothing obscure, some chestnuts (I am really getting fed up with 22a in all its many forms – how hard can it be to come up with a different word to slot into *I*R). However, there was much to like, so mustn’t be too picky. I do enjoy multiple word answers and this offering had plenty, so gains an extra star. Thanks to Tom and the mysteron. 2*/3*

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