DT 28422

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28422

Hints and tips by KitKat

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


Hello everyone.  Today’s blog comes to you from the Spanish side of the Pyrenees.  Since I’m both jet-lagged and short of time I have enlisted Kitty’s help, concatenating her across hints and my down hints to create another KitKat blog.  We both felt that this was a solid puzzle.  Perhaps not as much sparkle as some we’ve seen recently, but still an enjoyable solve.

In the hints below the definitions are underlined and the answers will be revealed by clicking on the buttons.  Clicking on a picture will enlarge it (or possibly do something else).  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Dropped brush by garden plot (8)
SCRUBBED:  Dropped or cancelled.  Some undergrowth by a part of the garden

6a    Travel with nomadic set and meet with disaster (2,4)
GO WEST:  Travel, W(ith) and then an anagram (nomadic) of SET

9a    Room wanted by the leading character in Greek region (6)
ATTICA:  A high room next to the first character in the alphabet

10a   Steal dress left after work inside (8)
SHOPLIFT:  Take a loose dress and put inside it, first work (2), then L(eft)

11a   Cricket team's season reportedly arranged (8)
SOMERSET:  A homophone of a season (there are only four to choose from – unless, like me, you also toy with some food seasonings) followed by arranged or placed.  Cricketophobes need not fear: the cricket team is just the name of an English county.  (I googled to see if there exists a word for cricket phobia but drew a blank.  I don’t think orthopterophobia is quite right …)

12a   Ponder about island's waste (6)
MISUSE:  Put a word meaning meditate or reflect around either the two letter abbreviation for island or the single letter one with the 'S from the clue (either works)

13a   Ride on farm vehicle cutting early -- it should be good for a laugh (5,7)
STRIP CARTOON:  Our ride is four letters, and we have a farm vehicle of equal length.  These are inside (cutting) a word meaning early (as in came too early).  This clue disregards the convention that on in an across clue means after.  It’s a convention I’m personally happy to disregard.  My difficulties here were in banishing the tractor from my mind.  It didn’t help any when that was replaced with a combine harvester!

16a   Supply what's lacking, seeing woman with old car needing gallons put in (6,3,3)
BRIDGE THE GAP:  We need to start with the name of a woman, perhaps Jones or Christie.  After her is an old car – not crate, but along those lines – and finally we need to insert G(allons)

19a   Agent of female player (6)
FACTOR:  F(emale) and a film or stage performer

21a   Prayer song after a verse to accompany English mass (3,5)
AVE MARIA:  An operatic song goes after A from the clue and abbreviations for verse, English and mass

23a   Rose and Gail unsettled in harem (8)
SERAGLIO:  An anagram (unsettled) of ROSE and GAIL

24a   Defy sister, out of order (6)
RESIST:  An anagram (out of order) of SISTER

25a   Author, one adding fuel to the fire? (6)
STOKER:  Two definitions.  I don’t think you’ll need more, but if you do the author wrote Dracula

26a   Use fine ointment (8)
FUNCTION:  F(ine) plus an ointment



2d    Against stocking too much material (6)
COTTON:  An argument against something containing (stocking) an informal three-letter acronym for too much or excessive.

3d    Join upper-class twit going to top of Everest (5)
UNITE:  Concatenate U(pper class), a twit or fool, and the first letter (top of) Everest.

4d    Face lake restaurant (9)
BRASSERIE:  Follow an informal English term for face or boldness with a great American lake to get a type of French restaurant.

5d    Computer database initially kept so badly (7)
DESKTOP:  The first letter (initially) of Database, followed by an anagram (badly) of KEPT SO.

6d    Good scope for stable lad (5)
GROOM:  G(ood), followed by scope or possibility (e.g., for improvement).

7d    After spring, business will be strongly built (4-3-2)
WELL-SET-UP:  A spring or source of fresh water, followed by a (3-2) synonym of business.

8d    Liking quiet place (4,4)
SOFT SPOT:  Link together synonyms of quiet and of place or location.

13d   Distract team on course (9)
SIDETRACK:  Join together noun synonyms of team and of course.

14d   Metal bracket in corner resting on golf club (5,4)
ANGLE IRON:  Chain together a noun synonym of corner and a type of golf club (not a wood).

15d   Injured marten on deck (8)
ORNAMENT:  An anagram (injured) of MARTEN ON.  Deck as in apply boughs of holly to halls.

17d   Intercept leader of force (4,3)
HEAD OFF:  Concatenate a noun synonym of leader, the OF from the clue, and the physics abbreviation for force.

18d   As if agitated over company exposing complete failure (6)
FIASCO:  An anagram (agitated) of AS IF, followed by the usual two-letter abbreviation for company.  The picture refers to a recent public relations failure by United Airlines.

20d   Chief measure (5)
RULER:  A simple double definition, both nouns.

22d   Useful thing when fixed (5)
ASSET:  Find the answer by joining synonyms of when and of fixed.  In a financial context, these useful things can be fixed or current.


Thanks to today’s mystery setter for a pleasant solve. I smiled at 4d and Kitty liked 6a.  What was your favourite?


The Quick Crossword pun:  DOLL+FINN=DOLPHIN



  1. bifield
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    No problems today, solved while waiting to be called for my late hospital appointment. No particular favourite today. Thanks to the setter and to Kit and Kat for the blog.

    • Tilsit
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Passed a train journey to Urmston. As mentioned above, solid but a little dull.

      See you in a bit for the Toughie.

      Thanks to the toothsome twosome for the blog and our setter for the puzzle.

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    1.5*/2*. I thought this was largely uninspiring today and 13a & 16a exemplify the type of wordy charade that I find unappealing. A few clues in NW corner took my time above 1*. 6a was my favourite.

    Thanks to Mr Ron & K-K.

  3. Toadson
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Liked this puzzle. Spent some time trying to work ‘alpha’ into 9a, and looked for a ship’s deck for a while with 15d. The music clips relate directly to the clues, which is how it used to be, I recall. Thanks to all.

  4. Senf
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Not quite as close to a R&W as yesterday’s Rufus, but almost, completed at a gallop – */***.

    I did have to look up Greek regions for 9a.

    Favourite 11a, but I expect there will be groans on the clue’s ‘theme’ from some other solvers.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K and K.

    • Kath
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      If you mean me with 11a even I managed that one – not too tricky at all although I confess I didn’t get it instantly.

      • Senf
        Posted May 9, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I have to admit you were one of the ‘other solvers’ that came to mind.

  5. pete
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Not sure about this one, lacking in any real fun or enjoyment for me. A lot of clunky clues, just not my cup of tea. 2.5*/1* Many thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty.

  6. Angellov
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Might be my frame of mind today but this didn’t turn me on. NW last to yield. 11a led me to wonder how many counties don’t have cricket sides. Unaware of 25a author. Definitely nothing verging on Fav material today. Thanks to Mysteron and

  7. Young Salopian
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    The NW corner was also my only hold up in tnis otherwise very comfortable solve. Overall it was 1.5*/2.5* with no stand out favourite. Thanks to the setter and to the dynamic duo for a very enjoyable set of hints.

  8. Heno
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to KitKat for the review and hints. I enjoyed this very much. The bottom half went in first, then I needed the hints for 1a&8d, just couldn’t think of either. Lots of good clues, especially in the top half. Favourite was 5d. Was 2*/4* for me.

  9. Kath
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Oh – I obviously enjoyed today’s crossword more than the rest of you, so far anyway – I thought it was good.
    With a few exceptions the clues were quite short which I like.
    There was a sensible number of anagrams – not too many and not too few.
    I interpreted 1a slightly differently, not that it makes any difference for the answer.
    I liked 16a and thought that 23a was a good anagram. I also liked 7 and 8d. My favourite was 1a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron, whoever her is, and to Mr K and Kitty.

    In her thirty-eight years our Elder Lamb has been called many things, not all of them complimentary, but as of today she’s called a Professor.

    • Posted May 9, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Congratulations Professor Lamb!

      • Kath
        Posted May 9, 2017 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Kitty – ‘Her Profiness’ will now be called Professor Lamb – she’ll absolutely love it.

        • Posted May 9, 2017 at 7:56 pm | Permalink


        • 2Kiwis
          Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

          That’s wonderful news Kath. Congratulations to Professor Lamb. You must be very proud of her.

        • BusyLizzie
          Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

          Somebody’s Mum must have done something right, congratulations!

    • Senf
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Congratulations and best wishes to the Elder Lamb.

    • Fran
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you , short and sweet but enjoyable .

    • Brian
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      What even 11a? 😂
      PS Apologies about yesterday’s typo, I meant to type Kath but the keys are tight on an iPad.

      • Kath
        Posted May 9, 2017 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        Yes Brian, even 11a. As for the typo yesterday I really don’t mind at all.

        • BusyLizzie
          Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

          And My iPad keeps insisting on changing Kath to Katherine… perhaps because our youngest is Katherine and it uses most often?

    • Merusa
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      Congrats to Elder Lamb, you must be sooo proud!

    • Kath
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      Thanks everyone – yes, absolutely busting with pride for the second time this year although I have to say that every time I think of either Lamb, which is umpteen times every day, I nearly pop! It’s a miracle that I haven’t exploded yet. :grin:

      • jane
        Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

        And all credit to the parents who fashioned the wings that have enabled them to fly so high.

  10. Jaylegs
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    I liked this crossword straight forward it may be */*** but some nice clues 6a, 11a & 4d to name but three 😊 Thanks to Kitkat for an excellent blog and to the setter 🤗

  11. LetterboxRoy
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Another very straightforward trot, but it did feel like one from the book. I think I probably parsed 1a the same way as Kath & 13a is rather odd in that the two words are usually the other way round. Liked 8d. Many thanks to setter and to KK for the blog.

    • Mr Kitty
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      I had the same initial reaction to 13a. But after finding that ordering missing from the BRB, I realized that the reversed form I was thinking of has a different, but synonymous, first word. That one is in the BRB.

      • LetterboxRoy
        Posted May 9, 2017 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        I should have checked – I just have and you are of course absolutely correct, thanks for that.

  12. RayS
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Quite a nice challenge for me today. Unlike most of you I enjoyed it.2*/4* for me. I particularly liked 1a, 10a , 11a, 16a and 8d, with 4d taking top spot.

  13. Brian
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Thought this was going to be tricky at first but once started it fell into place nicely except for parsing 13a which I gave up trying to do so thx for the explanation.
    Please please no more vids of cute kittens, I have a weak stomach at the moment and it makes me nauseous to look at!
    My fav was of course 11a, what a team when Richards and Botham were playing, once saw Sir Viv send the ball out of the ground at Barbados, don’t think they ever found it!
    Mind you they are probably still looking for the ones Brathwaite hit against England.
    Thx to all on this glorious day in Northumberland.😎

    • Fran
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      Wasn’t it a bowler from up your neck of the woods that bowled against Brathwaite ?

      • Brian
        Posted May 9, 2017 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        Yes it was Ben Stokes, he does have a tendency to get carried away with yorkers. 😣

  14. Beaver
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    On reading the blog this looks like a ‘Marmite ‘ crossword today, I’m somewhere in the middle with a */***.
    Quite liked 13a, thought many of the surface reads were amusing if not misleading.
    Thanks KitKat 8A pic star of the show-printed it off to see what would happen and got the kitten’s image without paws in the air !
    Mobius also worth a mention.

    • Posted May 9, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Yes, they haven’t mastered the 4th dimension in printing yet!

      Did you catch the surprise reveal under the Mobius strip?

      (Brian will probably want to give that one a miss too … )

      • Merusa
        Posted May 9, 2017 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        I got it, quite be accident. Good laugh.

      • Beaver
        Posted May 9, 2017 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        Just checked revelations-brilliant.
        Seem to remember if you do a double Mobius Strip, it doesn’t work !

      • Brian
        Posted May 9, 2017 at 7:44 pm | Permalink


  15. David Barnett
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 2:27 pm | Permalink
    • jane
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Umm – I thought it sounded rather like YMCA with different words!

  16. PLR
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Today’s offering brought some cheer on a grey and chilly day in Nottingham. I found it a bit more difficult than the blog’s rating. I have always associated the term which is the first part of the answer to 4d with other body parts such as the neck. But then what do I know of the idiom having learnt the language third hand at a school far away from these shores.

  17. mcmillibar
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    I ground this one out and found it a bit harder than most people, probably because I have been awake all night. Did not get very much. fun from it but did get the satisfaction of completing it. Did not know that harem – probably more truthfully, did not recall it, having seen it before. Of favourites, there were none.

    • Angellov
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      You’re obviously not a Mozart fan?!

  18. Merusa
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    I had a problem parsing a couple, 13a and 16a, but I knew they had to be correct, so thank you Kitty for unravelling those.
    I bunged 11a in and assumed all counties have their own team.
    I’m choosing my fave as 8d, based purely on Mr. Kitty’s choice of pic, but liked 4d a lot.
    Thanks to setter, and to KitKat for the entertaining review.

  19. jean-luc cheval
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Pretty steady solve finishing with 14d, 17d and 16a for which I couldn’t get “bridge too far” out of my head for a while.
    Thanks to the setter and to KitKat for the review.

  20. Portobella
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    I struggled with the top half today. Bottom half went in with no trouble.

    Just one of those days I suppose.

  21. jane
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Solid but rather uninspiring in my opinion. Like Kitty, I was somewhat fixated on fitting ‘tractor’ into 13a but have to say that I didn’t get as far as ‘combine harvester’!
    Relieved to find that 23a was an anagram – one of those words that I should remember by now but always have to think about.

    No real favourite although 16a raised a smile and the concise cluing of 8d earned a tick.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and also to KitKat – 8d gets the prize for best clip of the day.

    • crypticsue
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      Your favourite non Irishman is in friendly form in today’s FT

      • jane
        Posted May 9, 2017 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        Thank you. I’m sure I can make time for that one.

        • Posted May 9, 2017 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

          He’ll also appear here tomorrow, Toughieside.

          • jane
            Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

            Great news! Really enjoyed the FT one (thanks again, CS) and will look forward to meeting up with the leprechaun again tomorrow when I return home from foreign parts – Llandudno. Must hunt out the passport for inspection by the border guards on the Menai Bridge.

  22. silvanus
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this, although it seems to have divided opinion I see.

    My favourite clues were 11a and 4d.

    Thanks to today’s setter and to our favourite felines.

  23. Una
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    I’m with Jane , Angellov and Rabbit Dave on this one.
    Thanks to the setter and KitKat.

  24. 2Kiwis
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    We found this to be an enjoyable puzzle to solve so no complaints from us.
    Thanks Mr Ron and KitKat.

  25. Kath
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    In all the excitement here this morning I forgot to mention how much I loved the pic for 8d – it reminded me so much of when, about twenty years ago, we had nine like that all at once – they were just like little clockwork toys but nicer.

  26. Gwizz
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Well I don’t care, I liked it! Couldn’t get going from the top so had to work upwards finally finishing with 1a. 4d was my fave and 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to the felines for the review.

  27. Jon_S
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    I made heavy weather of this, edging towards the upper end of ** territory for difficulty. Had to lookup 23ac, even with all the crossing letters, and made a hash of the NE corner due to poor typing, so some of that difficulty was my own fault. 13ac was nice and devious, with lots of things we could be doing with the wordplay, and thus my favourite clue today.

  28. BusyLizzie
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    This puzzle reminds me of “it was not the best of times, it was not the worst of times”. I found it more than * difficulty, and clues just didn’t do it for me, unlike yesterday. Probably just me being dim today. Needed far too many of Mr. Kitty’s hints (thank you 😊) to be satisfactory.
    Loved the pseudo Judi Dench clip, I watch all and anything she is in, and the cat clip at 8d was adorable. Our nearly 17 year old cat still loves a tummy rub. Hopefully I will do a better job of solving tomorrow.

  29. Hoofityoudonkey
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    No, not for me either.
    I gave up with three to go in the NW corner, just rather lost interest, I think.
    Thanks all

  30. Salty Dog
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Not difficult, but not particularly inspiring either. 1*/2*, and no real favourite clue. Still, it no doubt served to keep the little grey cells in trim, and for that I thank the setter. Thanks to the feline duo too.

  31. Tstrummer
    Posted May 10, 2017 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    So-so, really. Nothing too tricky, nothing too inspiring. As they are one of my specialist subjects, I’ll plump for 13a for mention in dispatches, but only just. Thanks to the setter and, of course, to Pussy Galore. 1*/2*