DT 28332 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28332


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28332

Hints and tips by Mr Kitty

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **/*** Enjoyment ***


Hello everyone. I found today’s offering to be a step up in difficulty from yesterday’s crossword, although in hindsight it’s hard to see exactly why. Could just be that wavelength thing. Anyway, we have lots of charades and insertions today, with an average number of anagrams, and not a single standalone cryptic definition. And, as is always the case, there are a few answers here we’ve already met in recent weeks. I particularly enjoyed parsing the wordplay in several of these clues.

In the hints below 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    Sailor joining vessel gets top prize (7)
JACKPOT: A charade of one of crosswordland’s usual sailors and a three-letter container.

5a    Splendid member, one in the field? (4,3)
FINE LEG: A crickety clue. This fielder is found by linking a synonym for splendid and a member or limb. Here’s an illustration of the wordplay.

9a    Household skills of servants around disturbed niece (8,7)
DOMESTIC SCIENCE: Combine some servants, the single-letter abbreviation for around or concerning, and an anagram (disturbed) of NIECE.

10a    Start to pick every single fruit (5)
PEACH: The first letter (start to) of P(ick) and a word meaning “every single”.

11a    Docker set off, drove erratically close to edge (9)
STEVEDORE: Chain together an anagram (off) of SET, an anagram (erratically) of DROVE, and the last letter (close to) of edgE.

12a    Sudden mental aberration losing head in squall (9)
RAINSTORM: A sudden mental disturbance or inspiration without its first letter (losing head).

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

14a    Forward terms of reference (5)
REMIT: Double definition. Forward here as in send.

15a    Spread of craze to cover North (5)
RANGE: A noun synonym of craze or fad containing the single-letter abbreviation for N(orth).

16a    Restrains manual workers holding strike (9)
HANDCUFFS: Some manual workers, perhaps on a ship or a farm, contain (holding) a strike or a slap.

18a    Evergreen song about gold vehicle (9)
ARAUCARIA: Insert the chemical symbol for gold and the most common type of vehicle inside a melody to get an evergreen commonly known as the monkey puzzle tree. It’s also the pseudonym of a distinguished cryptic crossword setter.

21a    Father right next to the head (5)
PATER: An old word for the head is followed by (next to) R(right) to get a Latin term for father.

22a    A sign of growing older: forgotten times and pressure to study (6-3,6)
MIDDLE-AGE SPREAD: Join together the olden times between the end of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the Renaissance, the abbreviation for P(ressure), and a synonym for study at a university.

23a    Bore, upper-class type describing vase (4,3)
TURN OFF: A slang term for a member of the upper class containing (describing) a rounded vase.

24a    Spray article — could be looser afterwards (7)
AEROSOL: The shortest article followed by (afterwards) an anagram (could be) of LOOSER.



1d    Judge initially terribly proud about hospital in Indian city (7)
JODHPUR: The initial letter of Judge, followed by an anagram (terribly) of PROUD containing the abbreviation for H(ospital).

2d    Run after mate one’s located between decks (9,6)
COMPANION LADDER: A friend or partner followed by a run not in cricket but in a stocking. The answer allows one to move between decks on a ship.

3d    Model that’s changed inside very quickly (9)
POSTHASTE: Our usual verb synonym for model with an anagram (changed) of THATS inside.

4d    Suddenly sees divining rods? (5)
TWIGS: Double definition. A verb meaning to suddenly see or comprehend is also a name for divining rods. Who knew divining could locate energy fields, entities, and well-being.

5d    Angler is on Channel Island filling cooler (9)
FISHERMAN: IS from the clue and a small Channel Island near Guernsey are placed inside (filling) a device that cools by moving air around.

6d    Sound of organ I installed (5)
NOISE: The organ that smells containing (installed) the I from the clue.

7d    Taffy’s her old man, playing a patriotic song (4,2,2,7)
LAND OF MY FATHERS: An anagram (playing) of TAFFYS HER OLD MAN gives the Welsh national anthem.

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

8d    Most white, egrets flying across end of estuary (7)
GREYEST: An anagram (flying) of EGRETS contains (across) the last letter (end of) estuarY. Taken literally the answer means almost the opposite of the underlined definition. So here I believe that we are to consider it in the context of hair colour changing with age.

13d    Partner‘s second and last drink? (5,4)
OTHER HALF: If a thing that’s second is also last then there are only two such things. Join an adjective for that thing that’s not first to a drink that’s smaller than a pint.

14d    Palatable stuff provided by lyricist daily (4,5)
RICE PAPER: A lyricist best known for his work with Andrew Lloyd Webber and a daily that provides news. This edible sheet forms the outer layer of spring rolls.

15d    Let back in on a date briefly with German (7)
READMIT: Concatenate the usual two-letter abbreviation for on or concerning, the A from the clue, the first letter (briefly) of Date, and the German word for with.

17d    Pastry ruled out after stone put on (7)
STRUDEL: The abbreviation for ST(one) followed by (after … put on) an anagram (out) of RULED.

19d    In small room, old musical instrument (5)
CELLO: A charade of a small room followed by the abbreviation for O(ld).

20d    Bowl in field trapping last of batsmen (5)
ARENA: A field, of study, for example, contains (trapping) the final letter (last of) batsmeN.


Thanks to today’s mystery setter for an enjoyable solve. My runner-up for today’s honours was 15d for smoothly packing so many ingredients into a seven-letter answer. Top spot on my list of ticked clues goes to 13d. What was your favourite?


The Quick Crossword pun: KITSCH  +  IN SYNC  =  KITCHEN SINK


89 comments on “DT 28332

  1. I found today’s very easy – must have been a wavelength thing. No clues really stand out for me, but 18a was a new plant for me; however, it was easily workoutable. Good word that !

  2. Agree with Mr Kitty’s **/***. liked the 5a pic-didn’t help the solve when I put in long for the first word and only realised my error when 5d went in.
    Took a while to parse last one in18a -I was looking for an evergreen song! then the d’oh moment.
    Liked the surface of 22a and 9a.

  3. Very enjoyable and completed at a fast gallop; the only electronic assistance needed was to look at the recent MPP to check the spelling of 18a (where it was also 18a!), and there was less than usual thumbing of the Small Red Book – */****.

    It was good to see that only one of the 15 letter clues was an anagram.

    Long favourite 2d, short favourite 23a.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and MrK.

  4. Certainly a step up in difficulty following yesterday’s enjoyable walk in the park. I rated this 2*/3* with 22a my pick of the day. Thanks to Misters R and K.

  5. 2*/2*. Nothing here either to frighten or to excite the horses. Despite Mr K’s explanation, I remain baffled by the definition for 8d which is surely quite simply wrong. I was very surprised when I verified the enumeration for 3d in my BRB as I have only ever known this as (4,5) or (4-5). 7d was a very clever anagram.

    Favourite today? The picture for 5a!

    Thanks to Mr Ron and Mr Kitty.

    1. My initial reaction to 8d was also that the definition doesn’t make sense. The best I could come up with is thinking that the end of stage of one’s hair going **** is it becoming white. So in that sense the answer could mean most white. But that explanation feels a bit clunky and I may well be missing something…..

    2. 8d: Grey means ashen, pale, pallin, wan – so the greyest of the fading greys would ultimately become white, or the whitest (as in hair, for example).

      1. I’m totally unconvinced. White and grey are different both in general and specifically in terms of hair colour.

        1. Surely grey is any shade between 100% black and 100% white. Therefore if you start from white ‘most black’ is 8d, and if you start from black ‘more white’ is 8d.

          That is, of course unless you are trying to identify which shade is closest to exactly 50% grey.

          Photographers used to use an ‘18% Grey’ (18 parts black, 82 parts white) card to find the ideal exposure.

      2. To my mind dark grey is more grey than light grey so, as I said in my original hint, I’m with those who think the literal interpretation of the answer is wrong.

        According to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_hair_color#Aging_or_achromotrichia ), “Changes in hair color typically occur naturally as people age, eventually turning the hair gray and then white”. So in that context more grey could mean whiter.

        Perhaps the setter will drop by later and tell us what they had in mind. Hint, hint.

        1. RD, Mr K and Pete. Let me explain more lucidly, now I have more time. It’s best not to think of grey as an actual colour. Here, “greyest” doesn’t mean “most grey” (or darkest), it means most pale, pallid or wan – or having the least coulour/being the most colourless (or, indeed, being white). In this context, greyest (or palest/wannest) does = whitest.

            1. Because co writer Keith Reid got the title and starting point for the song at a party. He overheard someone at the party saying to a woman, “You’ve turned a whiter shade of pale,” and the phrase stuck in his mind.

              The song is as lyrically inept as Borap and both are banned in my house.

              1. But Mr K wants to know why that someone didn’t say: “You’ve turned a greyer shade of pale”. Possibly because they were not a cryptic crossword fan? :-)

            2. Logically, they could have – but it would have caused even more confusion than it has here. Like I said, don’t think of grey as a colour but as being colourless :-)

        2. Absolutely not Mr. Kitty and yes RD. My hair was blonde and gradually became white but thank goodness was never any shade of grey! 🤦🏼‍♀️

      3. Having lurked for a little while I am prompted to comment on this thread by the thought that a white horse is, I believe, known as a grey?
        Thanks to the setter, to Mr Kitty and to all contributors for the very helpful nature of this blog

        1. Welcome from me too. I hope you’ll continue to comment.

          I didn’t know about grey horses. According to Wikipedia, they start out dark when young and gradually lighten towards white as they age, in a processed called greying. It sounds quite analogous to the aging process of human hair.

          I’ve lost track of what that would imply for our understanding of 8d :)

          1. All white horses are called grey, except the Lipitzaners of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. So greyest means most white in the equine world of boots, saddles, 1d and Jilly Cooper

            1. Interesting. Thanks, Ts. I wonder now if horse colouration is what our setter had in mind. I guess we’ll never know.

    3. At the birthday bash you can look around and decide who has the whitest hair. That persons hair will be grey.

        1. Hi Angellov. I wasn’t disagreeing with you and RD up above. There is certainly more than one way to get white hair, and you have given us two fine examples of that. My point was that going grey is also a path to white hair, and that white hair is the furthest one can go along that path. So I claim that in that context greyest = most white. Same thing applies to those grey horses mentioned in several posts.

          It’s a shame that the setter didn’t drop by and tell us what interpretation they had in mind. I’d love to know what they were thinking.

  6. Yay – got this one out … AND it was rated 2/3! A first! If i solve them it usually means a 1/2!!!

    2d was the last to go in – and I had a bit of a puzzle over the evergreen. Is there anyone who actually knew the name of this tree before doing the puzzle. i got aria and gold (though it could have been or) and guessed car – but hey ho without looking it up (yes I cheated ) would never have known that there was a tree of this name

    Though now looking at the hints maybe some of you do – since this is the monkey puzzle tree.

    Perhaps it was these things that made it 2/3???

  7. A bit harder than yesterday, but not exactly taxing. Ive never heard of 18a before but easy enough to work out. Dont think I like 8d very much, doesnt really make sense to me. 1.5*/1.5* Many thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for trying to make some sense of 8d.

  8. Easily solved using fairly set wordplay and recognisable definitions. I didn’t baulk at 8d and do not mind it at all. 3d I bunged in so thank you Mr Kitty for explaining where the second word came from. I don’t think the modern ones run but I could be wrong. Nice to see and hear James Taylor again. I remember him having the longest hair possible. Ta to all as usual.

  9. Pleasant enough but nothing to write home about. SW corner last to fall not helped by my unfamiliarity with botanical word for evergreen in 18a. I’m definitely with RD and others re unacceptability of 8d. Never could spell trouser city in 1d. Fav was 13d. Thanks Mr. Tuesday Ron and Mr. Kitty. 😑

  10. Not posted before but felt it was appropriate as 4d my last answer in. Many thanks to all those providing hints and tips, they have proved invaluable over the years.

  11. Most enjoyable, albeit a fairly easy romp.
    Our illustrious 18a crossword setter has had quite a few outings recently – I can spell his name quite easily now, unlike 1d which fools me every time!
    I did have a question mark alongside 8d but Mr. K’s explanation is fine by me, as is his pictorial hint for 5a!

    Leader board here shows 5a plus 4&13d.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to Mr. K – especially for the James Taylor clip.

    PS Say what you like about the Welsh but they sure can sing!!!

    1. You never hear any syncopation from the welsh crowd though. Give me Tom Waits any time Jane

  12. I found this to be a really enjoyable crossword – lots of answers that brought back old memories. A nod to the late, great Rev Graham MBE (3 years last November), school lessons that my sister hated, access paths for changing deck levels and a state that needs sorting out on my corporation – but only after this weekend. :) Not too difficult by any stretch of the imagination but a well thought out piece of work (notwithstanding the ghastly clue at 8d – g**y is a colour all by itself). Far too many clues with ticks – so I will just reiterate that I really enjoyed this one.

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

  13. I liked this one more than 3* worth – for some reason it all felt slightly unfamiliar – don’t know why.
    I thought there were quite a few anagrams but that’s probably because five of them were in the down clues which I always read after the across ones.
    The pic for 18a is new to me – it’s a different kind to the one that I know – there’s a huge monkey puzzle tree in the Oxford University Parks.
    I was a bit dozy when it came to trying to untangle why 13d was what it obviously had to be.
    Not sure about 8d.
    I liked 16a and 2 and 7d. My favourite was 4d for its simplicity.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr Kitty, specially for the James Taylor.

  14. I’ll agree that this was a bit trickier than recent Tuesdays have been but a lot of our solving time was wasted trying to parse AURACARIA for 18a – D’OH :roll:

    Favourite was 5a but there’s a few good ones here.

    Many thanks to Messrs Ron and Kitty.

  15. A superb puzzle, with so much to enjoy, even if 8d is somewhat dubious.

    Eight anagrams (or nine if you count 11a as two) contributed greatly to the lack of difficulty, unlike yesterday’s Rookie puzzle! I’m surprised that Mr. K feels that eight or nine is average, perhaps his stats confirm this though?

    I ticked four clues, 22a, 23a, 7d and 17d. The surfaces were exceptionally smooth I felt.

    Many thanks to today’s setter and to Mr. K.

  16. I enjoyed this one. To me it had the sort of difficulty I would normally expect on a Monday! Regardless, it was fun. 22a was my favourite (not that it something I have any knowledge about of course)
    2/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Mr K for the review.

  17. Good afternoon everybody.

    Very straightforward fare today. I’m on the ‘what?’ side of the 8d controversy. Nothing worse than a synonym that isn’t an, er, synonym. Apart from a ‘Spooner’. And a ‘banker’. And quite a few other things now I think of it…


  18. Very straightforward today, only complicated by a) writing K instead of F at 13d; b) not being able to read my own scrawlings and c) putting the separator on the wrong line for 14d. I have a bonsai 18a on my desk, and I’ve been to 1d.

    11a is only guessable from the clue unless you know it, as the anagram could fit the grid in three ways.

    A good puzzle with 5d top clue. Many thanks to Mr K and to setter.

  19. Very nice puzzle indeed. Thanks to Mr K and Mr R. But Dulcie (aka Doble) has been fielding 5a (she doesn’t want me to put this on but I’m going to do it anyway ….)

      1. She is lovely and anybody who might be there this coming Saturday will have the privilege of meeting
        her and have their photograph taken by me on the new groovy Leica!

        1. When Mrs SL viewed the photos from last years bash – she commented on how photogenic Dulce was. Well done Dulce, you look stunning :)

        2. Lovely. I’m looking forward to both those things – and many others besides – on Saturday.

    1. Don’t blame you in the least for putting that on the blog, Paso – Dulcie is indeed lovely (both to look at and to meet). See you both on Friday for the warm-up session!

        1. Oh – what a shame, JL. I enjoyed your company so much at last year’s celebrations.
          Now who’s going to help me with all those Singapore noodles?!!

          1. Jane, I believe that you’ve seen Kitty eat. I don’t think you have to worry about leftover noodles. :)

          2. Oh B***** it.
            I’ve booked the flight and hotel (Novotel Paddington I believe).
            Coming over after all. There’s more to life than just work.
            See you all Friday night.

              1. Already made a new friend at the Novotel desk.
                Shanthi must be Asian and trying to give her my French email address was quite a feat in itself. Very nice lady.

              1. If we party on Saturday night, you will need to remind me that my flight is at 7.40 am in heathrow. It’s going to be a very short night.

      1. Thanks Kath and everyone else who has commented including
        StanXYZ, Jane, Shropshirelad, Merusa, Miffypops etc…
        She’s very excited and has castings galore!

    2. Wow. I’m all of aquiver now at the prospect of meeting one of Britain’s top models on Saturday!

  20. Despite the various attempts to explain it, I thought 8d was a terrible clue!! Otherwise, not easy but ok + 7d was really clever….

  21. I really enjoyed this, though I needed the hints to get 14a and 8d, just could not see those.
    My Dad drove us to see his old house in Gloucester where he grew up, and it had a monkey-puzzle tree in the front garden.
    The long clues were all good, but my fave was 7d, remembering so many lovely Welsh holidays. I think 13d also needs honourable mention.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr. Kitty for his help in my finishing this.

  22. We had discussion and then a look up to sort out where the H went in the answer for 1d when we started this one. It all went together smoothly and we kept smiling all the way through. What more could we ask for.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  23. Agree with Mr K **/*** 😊 Did not know 18a Favourites 13d & 16a Prize for the most talked about answer must go to 8d 😉 As a Countdown fan loved the illustration at 5a Thanks to Mr K and to the compiler

  24. Very similar to 2ks.
    1d gave me the first letter but had to check the spelling. This gave me the sailor in 1a and I was off.
    Very enjoyable solve.
    Had to check the second word in 2d as I went for ” handle” at first as I handle my business very well thank you.
    Thought that 8d was a bit strange but when a language accepts that bad=good, I’m ready for anything.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty.

  25. Thanks to messers Ron & Kitty, for the puzzle & review respectively. A very enjoyable puzzle, let down a bit perhaps by 8d. Last in was 20d, and penultimate was 18a, which was my favourite. Was 2*/3* for me.

  26. Enjoyable puzzle, but do agree with those who are not happy with 8d. If my white laundry came out like that I would be quite upset… 18a was a new plant for me. Misspelling 1d didn’t help. Favorite was 16a, made even better by the picture ☺️

  27. I thought it was a bit mean putting the fairly obscure 1d and 2d in the same bit of the grid, but the rest was pretty straightforward, and definitely easier than yesterday’s. Perhaps ** for difficulty in the end, but only just. 18ac I knew how to spell, I wonder why? ;-)

  28. At first glance on the train (yes! The trains are running again. Late, dirty and full of loud people, but they are running and my life has taken a turn for the better) I thought this was going to be what I used to call a two-pint puzzle, but it all popped in like my late mother’s next-door neighbour. Had to check 18a in the book, which didn’t have an entry for 2d. Slightly Teutonic feel to the down clues made a change, so I’m awarding favoured status to 15d. Thanks to Mr K and Mr Ron. 2*/3*

  29. Finished this morning, so much easier than yesterday’s horror.
    Nicely constructed clues, thanks Mr.K for the hints and Mr.Ron

  30. I finished this one yesterday afternoon – I found it slightly more challenging than Monday’s, about average for a back-pager and relatively enjoyable. 2*/3*.

Comments are closed.