DT 28368 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28368

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28368

Hints and tips by Mr Kitty

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


Hello, everyone. I’m currently working my way through Don “Giovanni” Manley’s Chambers Crossword Manual, hoping to get better acquainted with the laws/rules/conventions of cryptic crosswords. I recently encountered an aside in that book saying that the Swahili word for crossword is “chemshebongo”, meaning “boil brains”. My first thought was that that fact would be an amusing titbit to put in a blog intro. My second thought was that I’d better check it, just to be sure. So, I typed “crossword” into the English side of the Google Translate box and asked for the Swahili translation. Back came “crossword”. Hmmm. Further investigoogling suggested that the origin of this supposed translation was the fine television programme QI, and there the trail stops. Which leads me to ask today if we might have any speakers of Swahili out there who could comment on its accuracy?

While today’s puzzle, unlike last Friday’s, isn’t a brain boiler, solving it certainly warmed my grey matter. It might be that wavelength thing, but I found it more challenging than some recent Tuesday puzzles. Several laugh out loud moments today mean that I have to rate it above average for enjoyment.

In the hints below the definitions are underlined and the answers will be revealed by clicking on the buttons. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Without waiters or waitresses? That’s inconsiderate (4-7)
SELF-SERVING:  Taken literally the answer implies that you’ll have to get your food yourself.

9a    Attorney-General mourns and causes distress (9)
AGGRIEVES:  Join together the abbreviation for Attorney-General and a synonym of mourns.

10a   Priest welcomed by Roman Catholic, 15 (5)
RELIC:  Crosswordland’s usual priest is inserted into (welcomed by) the abbreviation for Roman Catholic. The definition here is the answer to 15a.

11a   Most recent battles upset missing leader (6)
LATEST:  An anagram (upset) of bATTLES without its first letter (missing leader).

12a   Boring book about Kindles missing the beginning (8)
TIRESOME:  Start with a verb synonym of kindles. Remove its first letter (missing the beginning), and then place it inside a large, weighty book. The capitalisation of kindle here can be ignored. Cryptic convention allows the setter to add (but not remove) capitalisation to misdirect the solver.

13a   Aussie animal‘s wife fights without limits (6)
WOMBAT:  W(ife) followed by a synonym of fights that is missing its first and last letters (without limits).

15a   Hold on to Oriental drink as memento (8)
KEEPSAKE:  A charade of a word meaning “hold on to” and a Japanese drink made by fermenting rice.

18a   Induce scuffling in hospital department hearing (8)
AUDIENCE:  The two-letter hospital department also known as Casualty contains an anagram (scuffling) of INDUCE.

19a   Reportedly break part of gun? (6)
BREECH:  This part of a gun is a homophone of a word meaning break (through a fortification perhaps).

21a   Go with commanding officer and arrest gutless traitor (8)
TURNCOAT:  Concatenate a go in a board game, the abbreviation for Commanding Officer, and the outer letters (gutless) of ArresT.

23a   Dress warmly and put to bed (4,2)
WRAP UP:  This is a double definition. A third definition could be to prepare a gift, such as a cat, for giving:

26a   Regularly regretful over getting knocked back? Strange! (5)
OUTRE:  Follow REGRETFUL with the cricketing abbreviation for Over. Then take the even letters (regularly) of the result and reverse it (knocked back). Or, if you prefer, reverse the concatenation first (knocked back) and take the odd letters (regularly).

27a   General perhaps left following attack (9)
BROADSIDE:  “Perhaps left” indicates a thing of which left is an example (right is another). Put that after (following) a synonym of general as an adjective.

28a   Share tweets breaking down Romeo and Juliet, for instance (11)
SWEETHEARTS:  An anagram (breaking down) of SHARE TWEETS.



1d    Everything in performance is superficial (7)
SHALLOW:  A performance at a theatre contains a word meaning everything.

2d    Run above board (5)
LEGIT:  The answer is a short form of a word meaning “above board”. Split (3,2) the answer means run. That’s close enough to running to justify another instalment of Jackson Browne and David Lindley.

3d    Pointed at the front, square at the back? Neat! (9)
SHIPSHAPE:  The wordplay is a cryptic definition of the answer. Since the picture for 27a also illustrates this wordplay, I’ll repeat it here.

4d    ShoutParty!’ (4)
RAVE:  A straightforward double definition.

5d    Brilliant and trendy, like a church? (8)
INSPIRED:  The usual short word for trendy or fashionable, followed by an adjective that could describe the architecture of churches. In Oxford it might be preceded by “dreaming”.

6d    Wolf‘s throat (5)
GORGE:  Another double definition. The first is a verb meaning “eat greedily”, the second is a noun synonym.

7d    Cover up in Home Counties holiday destination (7)
SECRETE:  Follow the two letter abbreviation for the geographical region of England comprising the Home Counties with the largest Greek island.

8d    Assign contributors to meet a collaborator from the south (8)
ALLOCATE:  The answer is hidden inside (contributors to) the reversal (from the south, in a down clue) of the remaining words in the clue.

14d   Reduce the level of river in China (8)
MODERATE:  China here is indicating a word for friend that rhymes with the last word of “China plate”. To get the answer insert a large Central European river.

16d   Flier‘s role — crossing where British will have flown (9)
PARTRIDGE:  A role in a play, for example, followed by a river-crossing structure minus the single letter abbreviation for British (where British will have flown). On Christmas Day the flier may be found in a fruit tree.

17d   Hustle son on cold walk (8)
SCRAMBLE:  Concatenate the single-letter abbreviations for S(on) and for C(old) with a walk in the outdoors.

18d   Tour has upset writers (7)
AUTHORS:  An anagram (upset) of TOUR HAS.

20d   Doctor helps to restrain a second unfortunate (7)
HAPLESS:  An anagram (doctor) of HELPS contains (to restrain) the A from the clue and is followed by the single-letter abbreviation for S(econd). Mya the 20d cat was safely rescued from the watering can.

22d   Revolutionary seems to lose heart in game (5)
CHESS:  Crosswordland’s usual revolutionary followed by the outer letters (to lose heart) of SeemS.

24d   Former nosy parker, we hear (5)
PRIOR:  Spoken aloud, the answer sounds like somebody who pokes their nose into things private and personal.

25d   Low temperature is debatable (4)
MOOT:  Low here is clueing the noise that cows make. Add to that the single-letter abbreviation for T(emperature).


Thanks to today’s mystery setter for a most enjoyable solve. My favourite today was the clever 3d. I also ticked 1a, 13a, 26a, 27a, 2d, 7d, 14d, and 25d. Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun: HELL+SIN+QUAY=HELSINKI


107 comments on “DT 28368

  1. I didn’t have too many problems solving this puzzle but I didn’t find it to be a write-in. I thought it had a good balance of clues and some decent surfaces.

    Thanks to Mr K and setter 2*/4*

  2. A bit trickier today and very enjoyable.. The left hand half went in with no problems, but the right hand held me up for some time. 27a was my last one in. The lurker in 8d was well hidden (from me, anyway). My favourites were 2d and 16d. 3*/4*

  3. Had this puzzle down for a **/*** on completion, apart from the NE corner where I wanted to put Mindless for boring ,ie MS for book around K indles without the beginning and thought 7d would be seaside-for no particular reason in this case-apart from this everything went swimmingly!
    Entertaining all round , thanks Mr Kitty for the pics-don’t think I’ve seen a Wombat before-what a lovely name.

    1. Yes – I bunged in ‘mindless’ and it caused all sorts of problems.
      Also tried for ‘seaside’!

      1. I’m a “me too” on both counts. I wonder if the setter is out there smiling at how many of us fell into those traps?

  4. A waterlogged golf course gave me some unexpected free time to boil my brains on this puzzle. Definitely a good simmer at least. I found the whole experience very enjoyable with 8d and 26a being my personal favourites. Thank you to all involved and for compensating me for a lost morning paddling around looking for wayward balls.

    1. Our course too, would rather have been looking for balls than doing this rather 12a puzzle.

  5. Did anyone else have ‘mindless’ for 12 across?
    Kindles missing the beginning with MS I.e book about gives ‘mindless’ I.e. boring.
    No wonder the North East corner defeated me. 😄

  6. I found this harder than the other puzzle. Made life difficult for myself by entering MINDLESS for 12a – I was ready to hmm at ms for book, but thinking that such indirectness was at least countered by having indles imported wholesale. To quote another K, oh dear! Without much time to chew over everything, I asked the app to reveal my mistakes.

    EDIT: I see I wasn’t alone. Kitty, Beaver and Harport. I wonder who else is with us in the mindless club?

    Perhaps I’d have fared better on a different day of the week, but as it is I’d definitely have to give this an above average rating for difficulty. Equally above average enjoyment.

    The acceptability or not of using just those two letters of the 18a hospital department without the intervening & was discussed recently on fifteensquared, as it was used a week ago in the Sphinx puzzle.

    I liked lots, but didn’t note down any favourite. 13as look quite cute, but are not a patch on kiwis.

    Thanks to all. :)

    1. I would have put mindless in, if I had spotted it, but fortunately I had already got 8d. Excellent misdirection by the setter – I take it that it wasn’t accidental?

    2. I’m in the MINDLESS club too, and similarly to Kitty I wasn’t particularly enamoured with MS for book. I can’t sensibly rate this puzzle because I enjoyed most of it but took so long to unravel the NE corner that I got fed up with it. I’d even compounded the error by putting in ALIENATE for 8d which fitted my wrong checkers and can mean “assign” in legalese. I spent quite time too unsuccessfully trying to parse alienate.

      I thought the hospital department in this context was fine if you read the clue as an anagram of induce inserted in A & E.

      It is a shame this very good puzzle left me feeling a bit disgruntled.

      Many thanks to Messrs R & K.

      1. Mindless naturally leads to alienate (which I too put in) but which then becomes impossible to parse trying to think of some sort of contribution and, a reversal (from the south) of some sort of collaborators. The phrasing of 8d is not one of those clues that does not make any sense read literally and therefore I wasn’t looking for a lurker!

    3. Mindless seemed so right at the time. I often wonder if this is a deliberate and clever trap or a happy accident. Rather a pity that the setter never seems to comment on Tuesdays!

    4. Sorry – ‘mindless’ never entered my mind purely because I started on the down clues and had solved 6 & 7d. That also helped me not putting in ‘service’ in one across. Two clues that were very clever to try and misdirect the solver – glad I started with the ‘downs’. :phew:

  7. Made it more difficult putting in service in 1a. Thus 6d was a problem. Great fun and definitely *** Thanks to setter and solver.

    1. Sorry Domus, it sounds as though I was just repeating your comment, but your comment wasn’t there when I started to write mine !!!

  8. I wasn’t in the ‘mindless’ camp for 12a, other than putting the wrong ending for 1a, which meant that 6d began with an ‘e’. I had to check the review for 6d in the end, and could now kick myself. Thank you setter for a very enjoyable puzzle, and thank you Mr Kitty for your splendid review, without which 6d would have remained a complete mystery.

  9. I thought this was very enjoyable with a good variety of clues. I too put in Mindless in 12a which seemed fine but of course caused delay in NE corner until wolf/throat changed everything.

    Overall **/***

    Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  10. I agree this was a bit trickier than a normal Tuesday puzzle. No real problems until I got to the SE corner, took a long time to get 16d and I never managed to get 27a. Favourites were 18a & 20d. 3*/3* Many thanks to the two Misters.

  11. That was an enjoyable walk in the park beginning in the South and then swiftly moving onto the North. The only hiccup was 2d where I struggled to justify ‘light’ – d’oh I like it and now nominate it as my Fav with 3d as runner-up. I suppose the last part of 5d exists as an adjective/verb? Thanks Mysteron and Mr. K.

  12. Take that! Six of the best from Jay (is it?). I felt like I had to work for this one but it yielded eventually. Took a few hard body punches in the NE corner not helped by having the wrong ending on 1a. Made myself smile with my alternative answer Regu’r’ate for 14d – so much so I left it in in there for a while. The crossword opened for me with 25d in the SE corner which raised a chuckle straight off which was a good omen and the rest did not disappoint. 2d much the same and the laurel leaves go to….8d which was downright devious and had my mind all over the world.

    Thanks for a terrific puzzle after which my pencil needed sharpening again. ***/****. Oh, go on then, ***/*****

    1. Hi, mcmillibar. I just saw your comment on Friday’s blog regarding my data on Giovanni’s louts. Thanks for that, much appreciated. To answer your question, no, I’m by no means a statistician. I just use some statistics and some maths in my day job.

  13. A nice struggle this morning…made more difficult by putting in the wrong ending for 1a…..no possibility of solving 6d then until the penny dropped.

    I really liked 25d…..but I am a Meringue of very little brain, so am easily pleased…..

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the review and hints.

    All the best to Miffypops too. Hope you feel better soon. Take more water with it, as my grandmother used to say.

    1. I didn’t fall for mindless, but I did fall for the 1a ending, too. For that reason, 6d was last in. Starting with an ‘e’ had me thinking wolf = flow back and all sorts.

  14. What an excellent start to the day – plenty of humour and crafty cluing. Good morning to you, Shamus – 2d had your name written all over it!
    Plunged headlong into the ‘mindless’ trap – pleased to see that I wasn’t on my own there – which made the NE quadrant the last to fall, but no other problems to report.
    So hard to pick a favourite – 2d probably produced the widest grin.

    Thanks to Shamus and to Mr. K for an equally fun review with enjoyable musical accompaniment. Loved the 23a gift-wrapped present and thought the 13a’s looked rather cute.

    PS For anyone wanting another fun puzzle – the Toughie is quite benign and should raise a few more smiles.

    1. This wasn’t a Shamus puzzle!

      Thanks to those who have commented so far – and apologies to those who had MINDLESS. The alternative did occur to me, and I had planned to have the same clue to two different answers in the puzzle – but somehow forgot to include the second answer. D’oh!

      1. Oops! At least my error brought you out of the woodwork.
        Many thanks, Mister Ron – that was really good fun.

        1. Hi, Jane. I’m pretty sure I made the same error in a blog intro once, back in the days before Mister Ron started posting here. So, apologies to Mister Ron if I did in fact do that.

          Now, do you think you can get our other Tuesday Mr Rons to reveal themselves? :)

      2. Thank you for a very enjoyable puzzle (whoever you are – my setter radar detector is almost non-existent). I am not sure that you need to apologise for 12a – misdirection, a fundamental feature of a good puzzle.

      3. Yes indeed, Mister Ron. It’s always good to have our setters popping in, and my apologies for my earlier mindless grumpiness.

        For the uninitiated, there is a big difference between Mr Ron and Mister Ron (although I’m sure even Gazza will agree they are homophones :wink: ).

        Mr Ron (= Mysteron) is a generic name used on this site for any unknown setter. Mister Ron however is the soubriquet recently adopted by one of our clever and devious Tuesday solvers.

        Confusing? :wacko: You bet it is …

      4. Same clue, two answers… that would have been entertaining!
        Many thanks for the puzzles and for dropping by.

      5. Well done you and many thanks for dropping in. I think that clue was brilliant and I can only apologise for my wondering (above) if your beauriful misdirection was an accident!

      6. Thanks Mister Ron I found that very enjoyable.
        I was “mindless” but thought it a bit too easy to be right & so it proved.
        Something for (nearly) everyone is pretty good considering the spectrum of ability represented on the blog.
        I look forward to the next one!

  15. I agree with Mr K – this was appreciably more challenging and therefore better and more enjoyable than the usual Tuesday offering. Certainly not R+W. I liked 6d – two good, obscure but fair definitions and 26a – which contained a crafty reversed alternate lurker. Overall, about average – 2.5*/3.5*.

  16. **/*** – completed later than usual after a disappointing evening out, no significant problems other than brain fatigue and recognising the setter’s attempts at misdirection.

    Favourite 3d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty.

  17. Very enjoyable I avoided mindless service so the wolf clue went in quite nicely thank you. I don’t speak Swahili but I do understand QI. Look no further for an answer to your question Mr K. Ta to all from a speedily recovering MP

  18. Enjoyable. Fortunately for me I didn’t see ‘mindless’. Last in 6d. Thanks to all.

  19. Found it harder than the toughie too.
    Specially the SE corner as I was trying to justify “passerine” in 16d.
    Great misdirections.
    Great fun.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the review.

  20. I went the mindless route too, until I had difficulty solving 8D. Erasing it and taking another look sorted that problem out. Unfortunately, I also had service as the second word in 1A, making 6D impossible. Apart from that, I didn’t have any problems and enjoyed the solve. 3D is my favorite. Thanks to Mr. Ron and Mr. K.

  21. I agree this was a bit trickier than some Tuesday crosswords.
    I wasn’t ‘mindless’ but did go for the wrong ending for 1a which, as others have already said, made 6d impossible.
    I was slow with 19a and missed the anagram indicator in 20d for far too long – dim, just for a change.
    I liked 18 and 21a and 14 and 25d. My favourite by a long way was 3d – it made me laugh.
    With thanks to the genuine Mister Ron and to Mr Kitty.

    I do have a friend who lived in Kenya when he was very young and speaks Swahili, or did – I suspect it may now be limited to asking for a beer but I’ll see if he knows what the translation of crossword is.

  22. Quite tough with some very poor definitions. Hustle=Scramble? Not in my copy of the BRB. 27a was weak I thought and the capitalisation of Kindles was just plain nasty.
    I do wonder if there is a special circle of Hades reserved for those setters who use reverse and part lurkers?
    Although I finished this one, I did need explanations for 5 clues.
    For me ***/**
    Thx for the hints

  23. I’m in the “mindless” camp & SWMBO avers is where I should be. Well that or 10a.(probably both).
    8d nicely hidden rekrul but COTD for me was 14d with 12a R/U. I thought , it can’t be that simple, sure enough it wasn’t.
    Thanks to the two Misters Ron & Kitty. Biggles feels the absence of any dog photos should be reported to the Pet Discrimination Commission (it must exist, there’s one for everything else).

    1. Hi, LrOK. I didn’t mean to upset Biggles. To make amends, here’s the runner-up illustration for 18a.

    2. I would like to think that all the world’s cat pictures have been used up – but I’m sure I’ll be disappointed :cool:

  24. Nothing to send the nags racing to the hills – but a pleasant solve nonetheless. A good selection of clue constructs and fairly ‘nailed on’ definitions. My favourite of the day has to be the extremely well hidden reverse lurker in 8d.

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

    Todays Toughie is really well worth a go if you’ve never tried one before – fun, fun, fun all the way.

  25. Glad I wasn’t the only one who fell in the mindless trap. Tough today, and I am clearly not on the right wavelength for this one. Will plod on, but hoping for a better day tomorrow. Loved the wrapped up kitty clip, thanks Mr Kitty! Our cat also has to be right in the middle of everything, including squeezing in between us on the couch 😊

  26. Definitely tricky Tuesday but bigly enjoyable. I didn’t fall into the mindless trap as I already had 8d, which had to be right.
    My error was to put “tuck in” for 23a, that led to so many problems, but I sorted it out eventually.
    My fave was 13a, they are so cute, runner up was 15a, but I could name heaps more.
    Thanks to Mister Ron and to Mr. Kitty for a most enjoyable offering.

  27. Trickyish but in an enjoyable way.
    No particular favourite.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and Mr Kitty.

  28. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but for some reason I didn’t enjoy this as much as I was hoping to. Perhaps it was the fact that my judgement was clouded by 4d being one of my first answers, a strong candidate surely for least satisfactory clue of 2017 so far.

    I didn’t fall into the “Mindless” trap fortunately, and my one tick was reserved for 14d.

    Thanks to Mister Ron and to Mr. Kitty.

  29. 8d my favourite and 3*/3* overall for this entertaining and slightly more difficult Mister Ron offering. I do love a rekrul. Thanks to the two Misters involved in this production.

  30. All good fun with some old conkers, (2d, 5d etc) but also a little tricky in places just to keep us on our toes. Liked 27a fave 3d.
    Many thanks to Mister Ron and to Mr K

  31. ***/****. Quite a tough one for a Tuesday but very enjoyable. Favourites were 26a&3,14&16d. Thanks to messrs Ron & Kitty.

    1. … Mr K – chemsha bongo (nb spelling) does literally mean “boil” “brain” and as a phrase is used to mean “quiz”.

      1. Hi, Vbc. Thanks for the correction (unlike the Don to get an obscure word wrong), and the explanation.

  32. I am almost disappointed that I missed out on all the MINDLESS fun. I think I had 8d in place by then so it would not have fitted. The NE was the last one to solve though as I was looking for holiday destination as the definition for 7d instead of part of the wordplay. A most enjoyable puzzle and my thoughts about a possible setter proved to be accurate.
    Thanks Mister Ron and Mr K.

  33. I really enjoyed the challenge today. I was sure I had 12a but couldn’t see why without Mr Kitty’s help. Mister Ron certainly misdirected me with the capital K. Incidentally, Mr Kitty’s discussion about boiled brains is a salutory warning to not necessarily trust the written word. Fake news anyone?

  34. Very enjoyable today and my favourite clue had to be 12a for the elegant deception with 8d as my runner up. (I took ages to ‘see’ why my correct answer to the latter was what it was.)
    Thank you, Mister Ron, and Mr K.

  35. There was a lot to like and enjoy in this offering from Mr Ron. I loved what was for me the misdirection in 12 across and 3 down had me chuckling away. I’ve only recently started solving the Sunday Telegraph cryptic and thought today’s puzzle was at least as enjoyable as the last couple of Sundays ones have been. Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  36. Tuesday is becoming a good crossword day.for sure. This one was certainly good with a nice variety of clueing involved. I’ll go with 18a as my fave. 3/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to Mister Ron, and Mr K for the review.

  37. An enjoyable challenge, finished in ** maybe bordering on *** time. Clues that fell gracefully, but that needed a little thought first, and more than a bit of lateral thinking here and there. 3d raised a smile.

  38. A very enjoyable solve , liked 2 , 14 and 24d amongst others but 3d was the pick of todays offerings. The clues fell easily today with hardly any resistance , except for 6d . Didn’t have a problem with 12a ; log burners , kindling and fires , occupy much of my time on cold mornings such as these Thanks to the setter and Mr K .**/ ****

  39. Right on the 1*/2* borderline for difficulty, and 3* enjoyment. 2d made me smile – no mean feat with today’s weather – so gets my vote for top clue. Ta to the Mysteron, and to Mr Kitty for the review.

  40. I actually think MINDLESS is a more suitable answer to 12a than TIRESOME. The setter should be sure there are not alternative solutions to mislead us.

    1. The setter was aware of this, and originally intended to include the same clue to the two quoted possibilities, which is remarkable. See #14/2.
      1a ending in ‘……ice’ is similarly confusing and seems to work just as well with no proper indication of which is correct.
      Oh well, that’s cryptic crosswords for you…

      1. I thought 1a was a bit different to 12a. For the “….ice” answer the definition would be the first four words of the clue. But in that case the remaining words don’t make a very satisfying cryptic definition for the “… ice” answer.

  41. Very enjoyable.
    Not to many problems, but ran aground in the NE corner, I totally forgot the word for book in12a.
    Lots of very clever clues…
    Cheers the two Misters…
    Reading the ‘mindless’ posts, how is book = ‘MS’??

      1. What’s the use of having an Artful Dodger when all the Stoke-on-Trent goes down the frog ‘n’ toad on pig’s ears.
        I’ll get me nanny goat… and me bumbershoot. :smile:

  42. We finished this one very late today and too tired to think of much to say except lots of good clues – a most enjoyable challenge. Thanks to Mr K and Mr R – **/**** from us.

  43. Brilliant puzzle – and I was sorry when it was over. Nearly all the clues are best in breed, but best in show has to be 14d. Loved all the misdirections, the fiendishly clever reverse lurker and the brain-mangling 26a. Unlike Silvanus, I have no problem with the sparse scattering of easier ones – they help to provide checkers for the more baffling ones and (possibly) act as spurs to the less experienced solver and those of us who have had a hard day to plough on. Thanks to Mr K and Mister Ron. 3*/5*.

  44. Regarding Mr Kitty’s comment in the introduction I have a friend who is a Professor of linguistics and speaks Swahili fluently. “Chemshabongo” or “chemsha bongo” has been around a long time, at least since the publication of Swahili language newspapers. And it does literally mean “boil the brains”. But it does not just reference cross-word puzzles. In a more general sense it refers to any question or mental activity that challenges ones mental prowess and requires a quick answer.

    1. That’s perfect! Thanks for that information, Adrian, and welcome to the blog. I hope that you’ll keep posting here.

  45. I’m getting better at this now I’m getting used to the conventions. The huge enjoyment of tackling the CW is extended by the comments in this forum!
    But, what are the BRB Nd LRB to which you occasionally refer?
    Ps, my favs were 2d and25d- I’m a simple soul easily pleased, thinking cat will be put on for today’s try out! 😎

    1. Hi Sally. The BRB is the big red book, Chambers Dictionary. Your question is frequently asked and covered in the FAQ section above. It is worth having a scout around the site. There is a lot of useful stuff hidden away under the drop boxes at the top of the page. If you search enough you may even find photographs of what some of us look like. Have fun

  46. Hello, concerning the Swahili word for ‘crossword’, it’s not really ‘chemshabongo’ which literally means ‘boil brain’, that actually means ‘riddle’ or ‘brainteaser’, but since crosswords are not traditional fare here in Kenya, I guess the word could do (or ‘fumbo la mraba’ ie ‘square riddle’). I am a Swahili teacher, BTW.

  47. 14D was a poser for me. Even when I saw the answer I couldn’t reconcile the clue with the answer,

    1. I’m not sure if your comment means that the hint didn’t help? If it didn’t, the answer is formed as ODER (river) inside MATE (china, from the Cockney rhyming slang china plate)

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