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DT 28410

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28410

Hints and tips by Mr Kitty

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BD Rating  - Difficulty **/*** - Enjoyment **/***


Hello everyone.  I suspect that today’s crossword may divide opinions.  I didn’t find anything particularly tricky in the construction of the clues, but I did encounter some difficulties arising from the setter’s use of some obscure (to me) words and place names.  All were gettable from the wordplay, but Mr Google was needed to verify the parsing.  I didn’t enjoy it a great deal, but that may be at least partly because I’m also frantically trying to meet a deadline at work.  For the same reason, there’s no cruciverbal research this week.  So, it’s straight on to the hinty part of the blog.

In the hints below the definitions are underlined and the answers will be revealed by clicking on the buttons.  In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background.  Clicking on a picture will enlarge it.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.  If you haven’t commented before, please consider delurking and sharing your thoughts on the puzzle or relating your history with cryptics.  Commenting is easy – just put a pseudonym and an email address in the boxes at the bottom of the page, type your thoughts, and press submit.



1a    Two teams divided or together? (4,2,4)
SIDE BY SIDE:  The answer might describe how sports teams line up at the start of a match.

6a    Primate playing host to southern sector of Church (4)
APSE:  A large primate containing (playing host to) the single-letter abbreviation for southern.

9a    Plants from cold climates initially bedded in at one (5)
CACTI:  Link together C(old), the AT from the clue containing the first letter (initially bedded in) of Climate, and the Roman numeral for one.

10a   Male hanging round mine for festival (5,4)
MARDI GRAS:  M(ale) followed by a wall hanging that contains (round) a three-letter verb synonym of mine.  These wall hangings are named for a French city that was a centre of fine tapestry during the Middle Ages. Here’s an example:

12a   Cheerful kind, wearing trendy shades (2,4,7)
IN GOOD SPIRITS:  An adjective synonym of kind, preceded by our usual short word for trendy or fashionable, and followed by a more common word for ghosts than the literary “shades” employed here by our setter.

14a   Carpentry tool one wants, badly (5,3)
TENON SAW:  An anagram (badly) of ONE WANTS.

15a   Star's black eye? (6)
SHINER:  This informal name for a black eye could also be a cryptic definition of a star, analogous to how flower is used in crosswordland for river.

17a   King careless concerning warning device (6)
KLAXON:  Concatenate the chess abbreviation for King, a three-letter synonym of careless, and a short word meaning concerning.

19a   Compete in a further sports centre in Scotland (8)
AVIEMORE:  Insert a three-letter word meaning compete between the A from the clue and a synonym of further or additional.  The answer is a town in the Cairngorms National Park.  Its name was familiar to me because there’s a namesake lake in New Zealand.

21a   Having amorous affairs is what 24's hubby enjoys? (7,6)
PLAYING AROUND:  Split (7,1,5) the answer could describe what 24a’s husband is likely doing.

24a   Her man on a course? Most of the time, it seems! (4,5)
GOLF WIDOW:  A cryptic definition of a wife neglected by a husband addicted to a game that is often the subject of some debate here.

25a   Freeloader given shelter by church (5)
LEECH:  A charade of the sheltered side of something and an abbreviation for church.

26a   Starts to see inconsistencies throughout elaborate plot (4)
SITE:  Take the initial letters (starts to) of the next four words in the clue.

27a   Many a cartoon strip is so extremely silly -- shown one I overlooked (10)
SYNDICATED:  The outer letters (extremely) of SillY, followed by a synonym of shown minus an I (one I overlooked).



1d    Discharge rifle (4)
SACK:  A double definition, both verbs.

2d    Speech in the novel beginning differently (7)
DICTION:  Take a word describing the type of prose found in novels and change its first letter (beginning differently).

3d    Put the spotlight on British rowing -- invite changes (5,4,4)
BRING INTO VIEW:  B(ritish) followed by an anagram (changes) of ROWING INVITE.

4d    A lot must, surprisingly revealing all? (3,5)
SUM TOTAL:  An anagram (surprisingly) of A LOT MUST.

5d    Shoots game (5)
DARTS:  A straightforward double definition.

7d    Left one on allotment (7)
PORTION:  Concatenate the nautical word for left, the first Roman numeral, and the ON from the clue.

8d    Simple way to achieve financial security (4,6)
EASY STREET:  Follow a synonym of simple with a synonym of way or road.

11d   Woman and husband with historical object being shown round bar in country, unofficially (5,8)
IRISH REPUBLIC:  Start with a four-letter female name and append to it the abbreviation for husband.  Follow that with an old historic object that contains an informal word for a drinking establishment.

13d   GP, too, seeks out village near Slough (5,5)
STOKE POGES:  An anagram (out) of GP TOO SEEKS.  If, like me, you’re in need of a list of villages near Slough, you’ll find one here.

16d   Unnerved seeing old girl take the plunge (8)
OVERAWED:  O(ld), followed by another four-letter female name and a more direct way of saying “take the plunge” or “get hitched”.

18d   Unscrupulous type in area instructed sailor to come over (1,3,3)
A BAD LOT:  Begin by appending one of our usual sailors to a word meaning instructed or directed.  Then reverse the lot (to come over), and place it after the single-letter abbreviation for area.

20d   Daughter coming in to mend broken bit (7)
ODDMENT:  Put the abbreviation for daughter inside (coming in) an anagram (broken) of TO MEND.

22d   Dizzy, theologian being held by foreign soldier close to sacristy (5)
GIDDY:  Insert a usual abbreviation for theologian between (being held by) a usual abbreviation for an American soldier and the final letter (close to) of sacristy.

23d   The woman duke got rid of (4)
SHED:  A pronoun describing “the woman”, followed by the abbreviation for duke.

Thanks to today’s setter for a pleasant solve.  No standout favourites for me today.  Did you have one?


The Quick Crossword pun:  PULL+PITT=PULPIT

78 comments on “DT 28410

  1. I agree with Mr K., this was a bit of a grind but I finished it in 2.5* time. I’d forgotten the “hanging” in 10a, but I think we have had it before. I didn’t know the “shades” in 12a and I still don’t see why the word “unofficially” is in 11d; isn’t that it’s formal title? Or am i out of date?

    Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

    1. From Wiki, (which as we all know is always right) “The constitutional name Ireland is normally used. However, the legal description Republic of Ireland is sometimes used when disambiguation is desired between the state and the island of Ireland. In colloquial use this is often shortened to ‘the Republic’.”

  2. No real problems, even with the village near Slough. Golf references not technical so shouldn’t trouble the unspoilt walkers . The link between the two reminded me of MP’s joke of a couple of weeks ago. Some long clues. Middle of the road with no real stand-outs.
    Thanks to setter & Mr K. You made the deadline for posting, hope it was the same for the secondary one too. From his grip the groom in the picture needs to go for some lessons

  3. I found this on the easier side. The only issue I had was with 27a, the answer was obvious once I had the rest of the letters in, but I didnt get the straight clue. Favourites 10 and 12 across. Many thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty

  4. Another instance of the bark being worse than the bite hence a slow start. Relevance of shades in 12a passed me by as did 1d. Fav was 21a hotly pursued by 16d. Thank you Messrs. Ron and Kitty.

  5. I quite enjoyed this one despite the wordiness of clues such as 11d, although I did wonder how our overseas friends would cope with the likes of 13d. I know nothing about the place but its name, once heard, is unlikely to be forgotten!

    I rather liked 7&8d but my vote of the day goes to 21a with its attendant 24a.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron (despite 11d I’m not citing the leprechaun) and to the deadline chasing Mr. K. I note that you’ve now gone in for back to front plus upside down for the spoilers. Maybe that’s a reflection of how you feel at this precise moment in time?!!

    1. I’m surprised that Mr Ron still has time to set puzzles now that he’s likely to be the next président de la république.

    2. Oh Jane, didn’t you learn in school “…curfew tolls the knell of parting day…” or something close to that?

      1. Certainly did and I think that’s the only reason why I knew of the name of the place. Have to admit that I didn’t realise that both Gray and his mother are buried in the churchyard there, I thought it was simply where he supposedly wrote the elegy. Live and learn – thank you, crosswords!

    3. Hi, Jane. Yes, I was feeling a bit back to front and upside down when I wrote the blog, but now that the deadline is looking achievable I can relax a little.

  6. 2.5*/2*. A mixed bag today. Three quarters fell into place quickly, but the SE put up quite a fight taking my time close to 3*. Although all the clues were accurately constructed, several had very iffy surfaces, notably 9a, 27a, 11d, 18d. On the other hand I really liked the linked 21a & 24a, which are my joint favourites.

    Interesting coincidence that it snowed heavily in 19a yesterday and it is pictured in today’s paper.

    16d doesn’t quite work for me as the verb comprising the last three letters is transitive but “take the plunge” is an intransitive verbal phrase.

    The wordplay for 12a eluded me as I had never heard of that meaning for “shades” before.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr K.

    1. The picture of the Torquay seagull in Page 6 of today’s paper is well worth a look too! If only it had happened in Massachusetts… ;-)

  7. Got through this one unaided….but with an awful lot of bung-ins , so needed the hints for parsing.

    Remembered 13d from English classes at school…..Gray’s Elegy… so got it from the crossers before realising that it was an anagram.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty.

    1. Grey’s Elegy. 32 verses of perfect iambic pentameter. Surely the finest English poem ever. (I didn’t learn that at school) Up there with the finest of Shakespeare

          1. Full many a gem of purest ray serene the dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear,
            Full many a bloom is born to blush unseen and waste its sweetness on the desert air.

      1. No it isn’t – it’s just a good ‘un, but there are plenty better; or should I say ‘more satisfying’ to this reader.

          1. Almost any by John Donne; Paradise Lost (9&10), Milton; Don Juan, Byron; Rain, Edward Thomas; In praise of limestone, Auden; Lay your sleeping head, Auden; Fern Hill, Dylan Thomas; Four Quartets, Eliot; An Arundel tomb, Larkin – and those are just for starters off the top of my head. Marvell should probably be in there somewhere, and maybe Shelley, but only maybe

            1. … and if I’m allowed an American, After Apple Picking and Stopping by woods on a snowy evening by Robert Frost

    2. Having had the misfortune to live in Slough from the age of 8 to 12, I didn’t need to remember the Elegy etc. as Stoke Poges immediately sprang to mind. Makes a change for it to be a place I actually knew 😉

  8. I found this at the easier end of Mr. Ron’s setting spectrum, and reasonably entertaining, so 1.5*/3* from me overall. I really enjoyed the 21 and 24a combination, like others before me. Thanks to the aforementioned and an under pressure Mr. K for his review.

  9. I found this pretty easy but enjoyable. Only held up temporarily by 20 because I’d foolishly spelt 25a with an ‘a’. Over a bit too quickly. 1*/3*. My favourites were 24a 16d

  10. No problems with either 13D or 19A. I’d heard of the former though not the latter, but the wordplay for them both was clear enough not to cause any hold-ups. My favorites were 10A and 27A. My thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  11. I can’t quite make up my mind what I thought of this one.
    After a good start I ground to a complete halt for a while and 27a and 11d caused a spot of bother.
    I’d forgotten about the 10a tapestries so untangling that one took a a while – I remember the floating gardens more than the tapestries.
    I’m not sure that 13d is very fair to non-UK residents.
    I wasn’t very happy about the 12a spirits = shades but have more or less sorted that one out in my head.
    I liked the 21a/24a combination and 16d.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr Kitty.

    1. What rubbish I talk sometimes – the floating gardens are in Amiens not Arras – well, they both begin with an A. :roll:

  12. Not difficult but a bit of a plod. Like others I’m not sure if I enjoyed it but it passed the time. Thanks Mr kitty and Mr Ron.

  13. Well I liked this one and anti-clocked it from the SE corner fairly smoothly. Agreed with Mr Ks assessment and liked the images in his blog despite being chased by the clock.
    Of favourites there were none.

  14. This certainly didn’t frighten any horses. Fortunately I’d heard of the village near Slough and, although I’d had forgotten about the hanging, I did remember that the town of the same name was once famous for tapestries so it all made some sort of sense.

    A pet hate of mine appears twice in this puzzle and that’s the use of words like WOMAN and GIRL or MAN being used to indicate a name. Personally I think it’s lazy clueing.

    */*** from us.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty.

  15. Today’s puzzle best described as ‘average’ and a **/** for me.
    Nothing too exciting, my favourite was 21a followed by 10a, remembered shades were spirits-hope Kath sorts it out !
    Must visit the floating gardens some time.
    Thanks Mr Kitty for the picks-liked 24a.

  16. Hadn’t come across the Scottish sports centre or the town in Slough but they were clear from wordplay.

    Favourite is 21a – excellent! the simple ones are the best. It works nicely together with 24a.

    I also missed the shades reference so thanks Mr Kitty, and thank you setter

    1. Went skying in Aviemore once.
      Miles from the pistes on the Cairngorms and the place shuts at 4 pm.

  17. Pretty straight forward **/*** 😊 Thanks to Mr Kitty and Mr Ron Favourite clue either 19a or 25a 🤔 Sorry but “shades” will always be sun glasses ! 😎 Quite liked 11d

      1. Doesn’t Dickens use it in A Christmas Carol? Not sure, was wondering where I had come across it.

  18. got it done, but not for me – too much general knowledge and others felt somehow contrived….

  19. All went well with this one except for 1d which of course I didn’t realise s a double definition again Mrs Spook supplied the answer for 9a and all be me clear. I rather enjoyed this puzzle not too taxing and a good spread of clue types if that is the correct term.
    Took the grandchildren sailing for the first time at the weekend, thank goodness they have good “sea legs” it was a bit choppy. They loved it and were asleep before we got out of the marina.
    Thanks to Mr Kitty I hope the deadline was met, and to Mr Ron

    1. I am taking Saint Sharon sailing on Thursday next week Spook. Well I’m taking her on The Sandbanks – Poole ferry.

  20. I spent most of yesterday travelling two time zones further West on a business trip, but I was still able to get a ‘paper’ copy of the puzzle at the ‘usual time.’ The only problem I had was with 18d, that had to wait until I reached my hotel. **/** for me.

    Favourite 11d, although I agree with pommers on the use of WOMAN to indicate a name.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    1. Giovanni has been known to use LITTLE CHAP to indicate an abbreviation of a name such as TIM, VIC, LES etc.

      1. He has indeed. Very recently in fact. I do actually prefer that to when setters clue names by referencing someone “famous” that I have never heard of.

  21. Not much fun for me, too many poor sloppy clues such as 5a, 19a, 12a, 27a, 5d, 3d and 8d. Finished but I think the setter needs to study some Giovanni puzzles.
    Thx for the help hints.

  22. Not my cup of tea today. I needed the review for four clues, 11d, 16d,18d and 19a. Sorry, I just couldn’t guess the names. I did manage a smile at 21 and 24a though. Thank you setter and Mr Kitty.

  23. I enjoyed today’s puzzle very much. There were some excellent clues,especially 15 and 21a.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty.

  24. I can imagine that the UK place names may have been rather obscure to some of our overseas solvers, but to anyone born and bred here they shouldn’t have posed any problems. I’ve not visited either place, but they both crop up with a fair degree of regularity in various guises.

    My one tick went to 16d, the last three letters of the answer can represent either a transitive or intransitive verb according to Chambers, so, unlike RD, I had no difficulty with it. I was surprised to see today’s puzzle having something in common with yesterday’s Rookie, namely each having two instances of “one” to clue the letter I.

    Thanks to today’s setter and to the stressed Mr. K.(hope you meet your deadline).

    1. Yes, after I posted my comment I checked my BRB which, as you say, indicates that “wed” can be intransitive. To satisfy myself I came up with an example “to take the plunge in haste could be risky” where “take the plunge” can be substituted by “wed”. My conclusion is that 16d is good, and it earns a belated tick.

  25. I don’t like dissing anybody’s crossword, but this one I did find somewhat underwhelming. No real problems, except self induced… especially 18d which I failed to notice was three words. As Kath says, oh dear. 16d possibly fave? Perhaps.
    2/2 overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Mr K for his review..

  26. Well, I enjoyed it Mr. Ron, so there. I particularly liked 13d as I visited the churchyard there when I lived in UK on a particularly brilliant and hot summer’s day. I thought there were some good clues, my fave was the linked 21a and 24a.
    Thanks to setter and to Mr. Kitty for explaining 11d, a bung in by me.

  27. More frustration, I did all bar four clues in the SE corner on the train to work this morning, thinking “I’ll finish this later”. Not on your life.
    I could not get the second half of 11, or 16, 19 or 27. When I look at the hints I have no idea why.
    No complaints about the puzzle from me, only my brain.
    Thanks to the two misters.

  28. I may be in a minority, but I enjoyed this one. Not difficult (1*) but some amusing and interesting clues. 11d, 17a and 18d all had little ticks of approval. Thanks to the Mysteron and Mr Kitty.

  29. A couple of years ago we invented a new word, ‘Droitism’. It is a word we use to describe places or people that might be well enough known to those from a specific region but do present extra challenges in other parts of the world where the puzzles are treated as the answer to 27a. The word arose when a setter, in cluing the word ‘ADROIT’ used the clue of a short form of a Midland town. One was supposed to know that Droitwich Spa is usually called just Droitwich and then further shortened to Droit. Both 19a and 13d qualify as Droitisms in our book, they have fewer than 8000 people between them according to Wikipedia. I did manage to get them both though. Had heard of 13d for some reason and, as Mr Kitty mentioned, 19a is also a hydro-electric dam and lake in NZ .
    No idea who the setter might be for this one.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr Kitty.

  30. I guessed the first part of the village and the rest followed, but the Scottish place name gave me more bother.
    Nonetheless , I enjoyed this puzzle , particularly 11d.
    I’m still on a slight high after my lovely weekend in London.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  31. This never felt easy while solving, but once I’d got a fair few answers in the grid fell rapidly, so I ended up finishing in about * time. It felt more like *** though. :-) Enjoyable, even if 13d was somewhat obscure.

  32. Being new to this game (cryptic crosswords) I was surprised to see Stoke Poges as an answer and agree that it is harsh on those not born/living in the UK. The golfers will of course know that Stoke Poges GC was the setting for the golf scenes (Oddjob and all) in Goldfinger and, more recently, Layer Cake starring future Bond Daniel Craig.

    1. Umm…….. tennis players succeeded in making the transition from grass to shale etc. I have no doubt that golfers would do the same if push came to shove.

    2. Welcome from me too, Martin. I hadn’t heard that term before so I just looked it up. Interesting.

  33. I enjoyed this with left side going in at breakfast, and returned to fill in right side at tea time. Must have woken up in the meantime as those I couldn’t get in the morning now seemed obvious. Except for 19a for which I needed Mr Kitty’s help, thank you.

  34. Thanks for the comments on the blog and well wishes about my deadline. I think I’m going to make it :)

    Thanks also to everybody in this remarkable community who contributed to the enlightening discussion about the significance of Stoke Poges. I had no idea about its history, so I’m happy that gap in my knowledge has been filled.

  35. Had trouble today but not with 13d as that’s where I play tennis & remember 19a from service north of the border. However was trying to get something to go with ARTS for 10a.
    Losing my touch halfway thru 8th decade, I fear. Thanks to Chambers & B.D.

  36. I quite enjoyed it. Baffled why some Brits found 19a obscure, it’s the country’s most famous ski venue and is always quoted on weather forecasts when the outlook is cold and always in the newspapers when there’s naw snaw. I liked the misdirection in 9a and the linked 21/24, but top of the pile is 27a. Thanks to the deadline-chasing Mr K (welcome to my world) and our setter.1*/3*

  37. The place in Slough had to be researched but knew the Scottish resort as I just told Dutch at comment 17.
    Very busy at the moment as the Fashion Festival is starting. Had 28 models for dinner tonight. Male or female, nobody was under 1.87m tall. Felt like being on the set of Avatar.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

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