DT 28362 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28362

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28362

Hints and tips by Mr Kitty

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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


Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Fat Tuesday edition of the back-page blog, coming to you this week from across the pond. There’s not much in the way of food and drink in this puzzle, so if you’re seeking sustenance I suggest heading over to the Toughie blog later because, as this picture shows , kitties do love their pancakes. I found this crossword a rather delicious mixture of clue varieties, with some easy starters preparing the way for several meatier clues to follow. I’m not going to speculate about the setter, but perhaps they’ll follow the fine example set recently by Mister Ron and post later so that we can thank them directly? (hint, hint).

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    Concerned with landlord giving party in America (10)
REPUBLICAN: A charade of a two-letter word for “concerned with” and the manager of a drinking establishment.

6a    Picture of dream life in retirement (4)
FILM: Hidden in (of) the reversal (in retirement) of the remaining words in the clue.

9a    Intermediary in affair (7)
LIAISON: A straightforward double definition.

10a    Local girl offering endless foolish help (7)
BARMAID: Link together a synonym of foolish, minus its last letter (endless), and a three-letter word for help.

12a    Arrangement subject to rank (13)
UNDERSTANDING: A charade of synonyms of “subject to” (a queen, for example) and of rank or reputation.

14a    Male attending racecourse, one bringing good fortune (6)
MASCOT: A charade of M(ale) and a well-known horse-racing course.

15a    Exchanges views about island’s trees (8)
CONIFERS: A synonym of “exchanges views” contains the single-letter abbreviation for island.

17a    Attacking tactic in round, getting on, close to hole (5,3)
ROUTE ONE: A charade of a round (of a postman, for example), ON from the clue, and the final letter (close to) of holE. The answer is a simple style of football often derided as being boring or desperate.

19a    A gun I pulled out facing a reptile (6)
IGUANA: An anagram (pulled out) of A GUN I followed by the A from the clue.

22a    Novel and daring symphony? (5,3,5)
BRAVE NEW WORLD: Follow a synonym of daring with the popular name of Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 to get a well-known futuristic novel written by Aldous Huxley.

24a    Terse editor filled in (7)
BRIEFED: Link together an adjective meaning terse and the usual two-letter abbreviation for editor.

25a    Phone about vase during the day (7)
DIURNAL: A dated verb synonym of phone contains (about) a type of vase popular with crossword setters.

26a    Woman in poem, ‘Maud’ (4)
EMMA: This lady is hidden inside (in) the clue.

27a    Soldiers, rangers, die on manoeuvres (10)
GRENADIERS: An anagram (on manoeuvres) of RANGERS DIE.



1d    Function of register to be announced (4)
ROLE: A type of register or list spoken aloud (to be announced) sounds like a word meaning the function of an object or person. One XXXX of Ms Riley is to do maths on the television.

2d    Trifling sum or what could make up a packet? (7)
PEANUTS: At one time you got a packet of these when flying.

3d    Overcome with worry concerning the others? (6,7)
BESIDE ONESELF: Taken literally, the answer could refer to everybody else.

4d    Take no notice of bombed region (6)
IGNORE: An anagram (bombed) of REGION.

5d    I’m in boat at sea achieving goal (8)
AMBITION: An anagram (at sea) of I’M IN BOAT.

7d    Conceive of silver being discovered in one excavation (7)
IMAGINE: The chemical symbol for silver is inserted into (being discovered in) the Roman numeral for one and a type of excavation.

8d    Crazy story going round about king in large island (10)
MADAGASCAR: Concatenate a three-letter synonym of crazy, the reversal (going round) of an epic story, a standard abbreviation for about, and the single letter abbreviation for king. This large island is famous for its population of fantastic creatures, such as this gecko.

11d    Show up and spin band’s disc (3,5,5)
RUN RINGS ROUND: A charade of a spin (perhaps in a car), a circular band, the ‘S from the clue, and a synonym of disc.

13d    Unlikely I’m in favour of very small person, about fifty (10)
IMPROBABLE: Concatenate the I’M from the clue, a short word for “in favour of”, and a very small brand-new person containing (about) the Roman numeral for fifty. You might have thought that KitKat sushi is unlikely, but it really is a thing in Japan. It’s sweet and it contains no seafood. Well, except for the seaweed. That’s real.

16d    Cause General to board small boat heading off (8)
ENGENDER: A small boat minus its first letter (heading off) contains the three-letter abbreviation for General.

18d    Greek character in a game, rising element (7)
URANIUM: Chain together the 12th letter of the Greek alphabet, IN and A from the clue, and the two-letter abbreviation for the national game of New Zealand. Then reverse the lot (rising, in a down clue).

20d    Play moderately slowly with stake money (7)
ANDANTE: A charade of a conjunction meaning “with” and the bet placed in a game of poker before the cards are dealt.

21d    Country we study after onset of storms (6)
SWEDEN: Follow the first letter (onset) of Storms with the WE from the clue and a study or room at home used as an office.

23d    A short final, unfortunately (4)
ALAS: The A from the clue followed by an adjective synonym of final minus its last letter (short).


Thanks to today’s mystery setter for an enjoyable solve. I put ticks beside 17a, 22a, 2d, 3d, 8d, 13d, 18d, and 21d. Of those, my pick for favourite is 13d, with 8d in second place. Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun: DOUGH+SEDGE=DOSAGE

There’s a second pun on the bottom row (thanks, DT, for pointing that out): SCREW+TINNY=SCRUTINY


86 comments on “DT 28362

  1. !*/3*. Congratulations to Leicester City on their victory last night.
    Thank you Messrs K and Ron.

  2. 17a was a phrase completely unknown to me and I could not parse the clue, so a dead end there.

    For reasons that are now unclear I struggled with 15a too….but overcame it in the end.

    Otherwise liked it.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty.

    1. It’s a football thing, where the defender or goalie lumps it upfield hoping that a striker can get on the end, very boring, much favoured by poor teams such as a Leicester.

    2. Hi, Ora. I agree that 17a is a bit specialized, and that’s one reason I bumped up my estimate of the difficulty rating. The picture for 17a shows exactly how the tactic works, and Brian’s comment illustrates perfectly what I meant about it being derided by many football fans.

  3. A nice little run out , but for some reason just couldn’t see 15a, having only vowels as checkers and convinced that an anagram of VIEWS was involved.

    **/** for me.

    Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

  4. 2*/3* feels about right for this comfortable and enjoyable Tuesday workout. 22a my favourite, although 15 and 25a came close. Thanks to the two Misters involved in the production.

  5. Made a note **/*** on completion which seems to be about average.
    No doubt 17a will be unfamiliar to the ladies !
    Liked the surface of 22a-hint of the movies today with 6a,8d and 26a-no lala land-what a stupid title, glad it did not win.
    Thanks Mr Kitty for the enterteraining pics

    1. 17a was unfamiliar to me, never mind the ladies! Obviously I have not been paying sufficient heed to Messrs Lineker & co ….

  6. I have never heard of 17a (and had dismissed the notion as I couldn’t see what ‘attacking’ had to do with a bus service). It took me far too long to see 1a. My favourite was 2d where I’d spent ages looking for a lurker or an anagram type answer involving a P and U. Many thanks, Mr K and the setter.

  7. Swept up the southern half fine with the Northern half presenting a bit more resistance here and there. Last on was 17a because I could not really parse the first bit. It had to be though so thanks Mr K for the explanation. */** with 6a and 4d joint favourites.

  8. A nice stroll in the park completed well before dog walking. Plenty of excellent clues so no real favourites. This of course included those “doh” moments shich we all know and love.
    Thanks to Mr Kitty and setter.
    **/*** for me also.

  9. 1*/2.5* for a light but pleasant puzzle, which provided a relatively short diversion. No pencils, rubbers, BRBs or margin scribbles were needed.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and Mr K.

  10. I made this hard with my first one in: SINE for 1d (function that sounds like register=sign).

    Hadn’t heard of the football strategy

    I liked 2d (what could make up a packet), 10a (local girl), and eventually 1a (party in America)

    many thanks Mrs Kitty and Ron

  11. Very much didn’t like this one at all. Far too many not quite right clues such as 12a (subject-under?), 17a (route-round), 15a (views-confers) which together with the nastiest lurker for a long time in 6a makes for an unsatisfactory puzzle in my view.
    For me ***/*.
    Thx for the hints.

    1. Brian, I think that “under” is “subject to” rather than just “subject”. Perfectly good clue, I thought. Similarly , in 15A look at “confers” as “exchanges views” rather than just “views.”

    2. Brian,
      In my view lurkers lurk, they aren’t “nasty” its our fault if we don’t see them!

    3. I’m assuming that you never had a job as a paper-boy, Brian, from your comment regarding 17a?!

    4. Brian, if encountering words used in unusual (but legal) ways annoys you, perhaps cryptics are not for you? :)

    5. B, although I wasn’t particularly enamoured generally with this crossword, I have to say that the clues you list above are all very much “quite right”. Subject to = under, route = round and exchange views = confers are all perfectly OK.

  12. Nice puzzle, the only one that held me up was 15a – for some unknown reason my Wordsearch program didn’t come up with it but I managed to finally got it through other methods.

    Incidentally, I hope whoever drunk those pints at 10a didn’t have any plans for the following morning!

    With regard to Leicester winning last night – it was a poor show from the players, what have they been up to all Season? Ranieri has been badly treated by his players, they should be ashamed of themselves!

    1. Michael,
      You shouldn’t malign those poor misunderstood players. They were so busy rehearsing for the production of Julius Caesar they forgot about football. They were successful though as they finished the job well before the ides of March.

  13. I found this more of a challenge than some commenters did, but finished without any help. I have not heard of 17A, and 2D didn’t float my boat. Found in the end that I hadn’t checked any as stand-outs, probably more due to still being sick and not very happy than to the puzzle itself. Thanks Mr. K and the setter.

    Mr. K, sound like you are on my land mass. New Orleans for Mardi Gras?

  14. In common with other folk, I had to guess 17a and 15a was my last one in by quite a long way.
    I enjoyed the solve – ticks going to 1,10&22a plus 2&23d.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron (?) and to Mr. K for a great blog – thought we might have got a bit of Abba for 20d but that’s probably well outside your sphere of reference, music-wise!

    1. Hi, Jane. I thought about including an ABBA clip, but since I thought I’d only find the recorded versions of songs that everybody already knows I didn’t even search. I should have.

      1. Thanks, Mr. K – although I was referring to their song ‘Andante’!
        Not to worry, the clip you added was probably sufficient to upset MP’s equilibrium…………

        1. Oops. You were right about that song being outside my musical sphere of reference. I thought you meant 21d. :)

        2. There is nothing wrong with Abba Jane. Top pop music that transcends the pop pap that does upset the equilibrium. I have never bought anything by Abba but their greatest hits album lurks with many others unopened and unplayed. Why oh why do people buy me this stuff?

        3. There is nothing wrong with Abba Jane. Top pop music that transcends the pop pap that does upset the equilibrium. I have never bought anything by Abba but their greatest hits album lurks with many others unopened and unplayed. Why oh why do people buy me this stuff?

      1. Take it easy with me, please
        Touch me gently like a summer evening breeze
        Take your time, make it slow
        Andante, Andante
        Just let the feeling grow

        Adante Adante, Abba

  15. Not too tricky until I got to my last few which took ages.
    Needless to say I’ve never heard of 17a – for some reason I thought it might be chess but although the BRB had never heard of it Mr Google had.
    I spent a while trying to squeeze crosswordland’s favourite General into 16d.
    Until I had a few checking letters in I wanted to make 11d an anagram.
    I liked 10a and 8d. My favourite was 8d.
    Thanks to Mr Ron – maybe we shouldn’t use that any more now that we know who he is – and to Mr K.

    1. We think it is still OK to use Mr Ron for a mystery setter as the alter ego of Samuel when he appears here is written as Mister Ron. :smile:

    2. Hi Kath. In my mind “Mr Ron” is generic, while “Mister Ron” is now owned by one of our regular setters who wishes to remain anonymous.

  16. Nothing very difficult here, but I agree with Brians comments with regards to some of the answers not being quite right. Last one in was 15a, no real favourites. 2*/2* Many thanks to the two Misters.

  17. I loved this one, it really hit the sweet spot for me. Not terribly difficult certainly, but some lovely surfaces and elegantly clued all round. Bravo to the setter. I gave four ticks to 14a, 22a, 2d and 20d.

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

    For those that like the idea of a drama centred around a cryptic crossword, could I recommend the latest Inside No 9 (“The Riddle of the Sphinx”) on BBC2 tonight at 10.00 pm. I was somewhat sceptical initially as to what the writers Messrs Pemberton and Shearsmith might know about cryptic puzzles, but when I saw that the name of the crossword setter is Squires (a.k.a. The Sphinx), and the name of the leading female character is Nina, it suggests that they actually know quite a lot! I shall watch it with interest.


    1. Can’t watch it tonight as we have to lose at crib again. The good news is that this program will be available on iPlayer shortly after being shown. Pemberton and Shearsmith are safe bets. I am looking forward to it. Thanks for the tip.

    2. The crossword is today’s Graun cryptic – I’ve solved it and highlighted some of the solutions that may be relevant to the ‘plot’

      1. That puzzle has generated some comments! I’ll tackle it later, and then watch the programme (as I would have anyway – it’s my shade of black) but am not going to worry about spoilers.

    3. I was well intrigued by the guardian crossword and the fifteensquared comments (the comments on the guardian site are less flattering)

      So I shall try and stay up beyond my normal bedtime to watch the show!

      1. You might find the previous episode in that series amusing too. (Though I think you’ll want to close your eyes during certain well-signposted scenes near the end.)

    4. Wow! That was not what we were expecting. My wife thinks she will be having disturbing dreams tonight. Edgar Allan Poe on the Telly!

  18. Slightly uncomfortable with one or two clues which have been mentioned, but on reflection I can’t find fault with any of them. Certainly didn’t flow nicely in. Least favourite 17a, favourite 10a.
    Many thanks to setter and to the real Mr K

  19. Once the first read through provided some checking letters this became a read a write with 16d and 17ac being the last two in. Kath’s General Lee didn’t want to play so I had to find another way in.
    Mr Kitty. You are right that I would never put Kitkat in Sushi food. Give me the fish every time. As a fish lover I am not a fan of the picture for 5d. Why can’t these beats stick to their natural diets – the contents of picnic baskets. Great music choice at 12ac. I have seen that chap live a few times. Ta to all as usual

  20. For me this puzzle was a game of two halfs, but only because I did one half before cooking pancakes and the remainder afterwards and like the cat pictured, our pooch also enjoyed his. Once again a very enjoyable solve with no real hold ups. Favourite clues were the four thirteen letter answers. Thanks to today’s setter.

    1. I have seen that before where the setter uses the bottom line for a second pun. I wonder if it is the same person

        1. When I used to blog the Tuesday back-pager we occasionally got a second pun on the bottom line of the Quickie (which I invariably missed because I only ever solve the Quickie down far enough to get the top line pun) so I agree that there is one (unidentified) setter at work. Other two-pun examples are DT 27590 and DT 27871.

    2. Thanks for pointing that out, DT – I’m one of those who’s generally guilty of only going as far as I need to with the Quickie to get the pun!

    3. Thanks for that, DT. I thought the top line pun was a little underwhelming, so I looked for a continuation on the next row. But it didn’t occur to me to look further down. I’ll add it to the hints.

  21. Not too tricky **/*** did not know 17a 😨 Quite liked 1a & 10a Thanks to messrs Kitty and Ron and to silvanus for the “heads up” 😊

  22. **/***. A good mix of clues and a couple of testers. Spelling 24a wrong held up 18d (silly billy). Liked 25a&11d. Thanks to messrs K and R. Our flurries turned into 5″ of snow yesterday but thankfully melting quickly.

  23. I enjoyed this one, but, natch, I never did get 17a and not surprised, nor disappointed.
    For some unknown reason, I got held up with 1d in the end and had to use gizmo to solve it – ridiculous, how dim can one get.
    Hard to choose a fave, definitely not 19a, they’re not native here and are everywhere, pushing out the natives and chewing all the flora. I rather liked 22a, first in, then 2d and 8d.
    Thanks to setter and Mr. Kitty for the pics and music.

  24. Good afternoon everybody.

    After a decent enough start this puzzle became strangely tricky. Eventually battled through to having just two unsolved clues (15a, 11d), which turn out to have been starightforward enough looking at the hints here, but struggled with the logic of several other clues such as 3d, 9a. Overall not a very enjoyable puzzle for me.


  25. For 17a we did know an answer that is sixty-five places further on but the one required here was totally new to us, and to BRB it seems. However from checkers, wordplay and Google we did get it sorted eventually. We found plenty to enjoy in the rest though and can’t decide between 15a and 23a for favourite.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  26. As Dutch, I wrote Sine in 1d and was trying the get the anagram in 5d to start with obtain.
    Once that was resolved everything went smoothly until I got to 17a which was my last.
    Liked the charades in 8d and 20d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the review.

  27. Original comment disappeared into the ether some how. Enjoyed the not-too-taxing solve. With 1a it was politically imbalanced though.
    22a COTD with 2d R/U.
    I’m sure Hoofit would empathise with 17a – straight from the Millwall tactics board.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and the half Kitkat for the illustrations & explanations.

    1. Re disappearing posts – when you get to the white page, try hitting the back button twice; your post should still be there and re-submitting it usually works. Usually. Refreshing the page immediately before posting also seems to work.

  28. Like LabradorsruleOK my first three attempts to post a Comment also disappeared into thin air so here goes again. No pain but some fun with today’s poser. 17a rang no bells and 25a now added to my vocabulary. None really qualifies as Fav for me. Thank you Mr. Ron and Mr. Kitty.

  29. Pretty straightforward: 1*/3* seems about right. I quite liked 22a, but found 11d rather contrived. Still, thanks the Mysteron, and to Mr Kitty for the review.

  30. Half went straight in, including 15a. Not sure why so many found that tough as I am definitely not the quickest solver. 17a was last in, and only with the hint. Favorite was 1a, but only as a crossword answer. Am I allowed to say that?

  31. Mmm, I found that one quite tricky. I got 17ac in the end, but was utterly bemused as to what it meant until I came here.

  32. No problems at all with this.
    17a has caused many problems, but of course, my pseudonym is based on this approach to the beautiful game.
    Much of this was done on the train home, before I fell asleep.
    I liked 10a as it reminded me of a romantic encounter many years ago.
    Thanks to Mr.Ron and Mr.Kitty,

    1. One girlfriend regularly fell asleep on the train from Birmingham to Coventry and ended up at Euston Station.
      Almost every answer reminds me of a romantic encounter.

  33. Quite an enjoyable puzzle while it lasted but I have no outstanding favourite. Although I did have a smile at 20d, 22a did nothing for me – should it be in a cryptic crossword? Also nice to see 25a making an appearance once again.

    Thanks to all involved.

    1. Hi, SL. According to my database, 25a last appeared on the back page in November of 2004. So presumably your recent sighting of it was in some other puzzle series?

  34. Another puzzle that seems to have divided the commentariat. I’m in the most satisfactory camp, with several excellent clues earning an extra star for both difficulty and fun. I’m also amazed at the number of solvers baffled by 17a – easily gettable from the word play and common parlance among even the most dilettante football watcher. The Oscar for best clue goes to 13d – oh no it doesn’t, it should be the pint-puller at 10a. Many thanks to the setter for the challenge and to Mr K for the ever-informative hints. 2*/4*

  35. This was a little better than Monday’s poor effort – at least the setter has made some effort to thwart us a bit. But still below average in both difficulty and enjoyment. 1.5*/2*

  36. Argh! I forgot……
    Good crossword with some nice clues. 1a floated my boat.
    2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Mr K and Mr Ron…..or should it be the other way round?

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