DT 28436 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28436

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28436

Hints and tips by Falcon

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

Greetings from Ottawa where the city is revelling in Playoff Fever. The NHL Stanley Cup Playoff series between our beloved Senators and the defending champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins, is even at three games apiece. The final and deciding game in this round will be played tonight in Pittsburgh with the winner advancing to the final round against the Nashville Predators. In the annals of improbable outcomes, the Senators’ run this year surely ranks up there with Leicester City’s 2016 path to victory.

On a more sombre note, as have my fellow bloggers from around the globe over the past couple of days, let me extend my condolences to those affected by the senseless atrocity we witnessed this week in Manchester. If only in the real world could we turn violence to generosity as easily as the setter has done in today’s puzzle what a better place it would be.

As for the puzzle, it clearly is not a RayT production. Beyond that, I dare not hazard a guess. Perhaps others will be more daring.

The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers can be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons (so please don’t click on them if you don’t want to see the answer).

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of the puzzle.


1a   Start term in broadcast radio provider? (11)
TRANSMITTER — an anagram (broadcast) of the first three words of the clue

7a   Expel the Spanish in Belgium and Switzerland (5)
BELCH — a Spanish definite article sandwiched between the IVR codes for Belgium and Switzerland

8a   Deluded sort of enthusiast requiring no change in Manx event (9)
FANTASIST — start with a devoted follower (of a sports team, for example), then add a (2,2) expression denoting requiring no change which has been entered into a motorcycle competition held on the Isle of Man

10a   Most unsophisticated Scotsman returned undergarment (7)
NAIVEST — a reversal of one of the usual Scotsmen and an undergarment covering the upper part of the body

11a   Win back pounds seized in a crime after resolution (7)
RECLAIM — put the abbreviation for pounds into an anagram of A CRIME

12a   Very short time to keep in university, being dim (5)
VAGUE — an abbreviation (short) for V(ery) followed by a long time around U(niversity)

13a   Dress, perhaps, additionally cited for second-in-command (6,3)
NUMBER TWO — an informal term for a dress (“She wore a sexy little ****** to the party”) followed by a word that sounds like (cited) additionally or also

16a   Nurse given approval, stern in new role (4,5)
LOOK AFTER — a two-letter indication of approval and another term for the stern of a ship are contained in an anagram (new) of ROLE

18a   A North African picked up for affair (5)
AMOUR — A (from the clue) and what sounds like a member of a North African people that once conquered present-day Spain

19a   Oddball teachers’ legal event? (7)
NUTCASE — split (3,4) this could be a lawsuit launched by a teachers’ union

22a   Downgrade area covered by revolutionary writer (7)
CHEAPEN — the abbreviation for A(rea) finds itself between a South American revolutionary and a writing implement

23a   A green sphere? (9)
ECOSYSTEM — a cryptic definition for a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment

24a   Distinctive spirit captured by sweet hosts (5)
ETHOS — the first lurker of the day is hidden in the final two words of the clue

25a   Same huge pit excavated? All is revealed (3,4,2,2)
THE GAME IS UP — an anagram (excavated) of the first three words of the clue


1d   Informal discussion got misconstrued as a lecture (7-2)
TALKING TO — an informal discussion (4-2) followed by an anagram (misconstrued) of GOT

2d   The first woman to go after a Greek character’s produce (7)
ACHIEVE — Adam’s mate follows the A (from the clue) and the twenty-second letter of the Greek alphabet

3d   Vault over River Trent’s estuary? Tightrope walkers fall in it (6,3)
SAFETY NET — place a vault in which valuables might be stored on top of (in a down clue) a river that flows past Newcastle and the first (or last) letter of T(ren)T; is an estuary the start or end of a river? I suppose it depends on whether one is travelling upstream or downstream; in this case, it really doesn’t matter

4d   Reprobate needing no introduction in private (5)
INNER — a Biblical reprobate suffering the loss of his (or her) head

5d   Note about American farm offering number of shares? (7)
TRANCHE — a musical note wrapped around a western spread produces a block of shares constituting a slice of a larger quantity

6d   In Ankara I tasted a yogurt-based dish (5)
RAITA — our second lurker of the day will sooth your burning mouth should you overestimate your capacity to handle hot dishes

7d   Note in queen maybe outrage, not one showing generosity (11)
BENEVOLENCE — N(ote) is consumed by one of our usual social insects, then followed by an atrocious act from which the Roman numeral for one has been excised

9d   Music-makers merit a bonus for playing (11)
TAMBOURINES — an anagram of the second, third and fourth words of the clue

14d   Resort‘s second park with first-rate award (9)
MORECAMBE — string together a short word for a short period of time, a short word for a piece of public land used for sports and games, a letter designating first-rate, and one of the usual awards or honours to get a holiday destination in Lancashire

15d   Vehicle in the main for those in an engagement? (9)
TROOPSHIP — cryptic definition of a sea-going transport for military combatants

17d   A new drink? Yes, being oddly imbibed in test (7)
ANALYSE — for this recipe, start with the A from the clue, add a dash of N(ew) and a pub drink; then toss in the odd letters of Y(e)S

18d   Forever young wife leaves unpaid (7)
AGELESS — an adjective describing someone who receives no pay has its leading letter lopped off

20d   Fish from river in time disclosed (5)
TROUT — R(iver) caught between T(ime) and an adjective denoting disclosed or known to the public

21d   Particularly  minor performer (5)
EXTRA — a double definition; the first an adverb and the second a noun

There’s lots to like in today’s puzzle. 7a made me smile but I’ll pick 8a as favourite.

50 comments on “DT 28436

  1. 3*/4*. We are really being spoilt on Thursdays, and today was no exception. With the SW the last corner to fall, I thought this was nicely challenging, slightly zany in places and great fun throughout. I am going to stick my neck out and attribute this to Mister Ron.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon.

    P.S. Falcon, I think a river flows from its source to its estuary so my take on 3d was that it refers to the final T.

    1. RD. Yes, I agree with you – a river starts at its source and finishes at its estuary. Travelling upstream from the estuary would be the start of a journey/voyage, not the start of the river.

    2. And just to add confusion, here’s this from Chief Inspector Morse: To make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we all start from.

    3. My initial thought was the same as yours. But then, I thought, the estuary is at the mouth of the river which denotes the beginning. I suspect the setter carefully chose this particular river to hedge his bets.

  2. Liked this a lot. Needed the blog to fully understand 1d 18a was clue of the day for me. There were a number of so called ‘lego clues’ , nice to have something to construct rather than staring at a word in the hope that a cryptic or double definition may eventually dawn on you. Ta to all.

  3. Very enjoyable. I didn’t spend too long on it, so failed to parse 3d and 14d. Thanks to Falcon for the explanations, and to Mister Ron or Mr Ron.

  4. Quite enjoyable and completed at a gallop, with at least one oldie but goodie which was made easy to solve as it was a lurker – */***.

    Three candidates for favourite – 7a, 8a, and 18a – and the winner is 7a.

    Thanks to the setter and Falcon – yes, I will be watching Game 7 tonight.

  5. Pleasant enough but for me nothing to write home about in today’s exercise which I solved in a haphazardly way. I failed to parse 16a and 8a took a while to sort but then became Fav. Falcon has found a suitably awful illustrative hint for the awful 7a word. Some kind of pea initially came to mind for 23a! Thank you Mysteron and Falcon. Good luck to the Senators tonight.

  6. I wrote down a */**** on completion as it was a R and W for me today, these things happen now and again, lots of my favourite charades probably helped like 8a and 14d.Liked 23a- reminded me of the Eden project, and the surface of13a..
    Thanks to Falcon for the amusing blog pics.

    1. You had a typo in your email address in case you were wondering why you needed rescuing from ‘moderation’

  7. I wasn’t really on the setter’s wavelength today and found several clues overly convoluted and clunky. Needed Falcon’s help with 17 & 18d. 3*/2* for me today. Many thanks to Falcon and the setter.

  8. Got there in the end.
    13a is i believe a double definition one of which is a military uniform. They run from 1 to 5 as i recall

    1. I was not aware of the “orders of dress” set out in the British Army Dress Regulations.

      However, according to Wikipedia, you appear to be overlooking quite a few “Fourteen numbered ‘orders’ of dress (in addition to full dress) are set out in Army Dress Regulations though individual Regiment and Corps dress committees do add to this.”.

      Although the surface reading might allude to military dress order No. 2 Service dress (temperate parade uniform), I do not see how this clue can be a double definition. The definition is clearly (in my opinion) “second-in-command” and the first part of the clue is a homophone involving TOO/TWO.

      Nevertheless, I always stand to be corrected.

      1. I agree with your parsing, Falcon. If it were a double definition then the ‘additionally cited’ wouldn’t be needed.

  9. Nothing to alarm the horses here although I thought it lacked a bit of pzazz somehow.
    2/2* overall and no real favourite today.
    Thanks to setter, and to Falcon for the review.

  10. To use a Senf equine metaphor I cantered through this. No particular favourites today. May I enquire why I have to enter my email and Name every day. Previously this information was already there under the space for comment on this page but not recently.

    1. I had the same problem and it lasted for weeks/months but then it suddenly sorted itself. 🤔

  11. I found this decidedly tricky but most enjoyable, huge feeling of accomplishment when I finished.
    I bunged in 14d solely on the checking letters and “resort”, but I had no idea why, so thanks to Falcon for unravelling that.
    I rather liked 25a but fave is definitely 7a.
    Thanks to whomsoever and to Falcon for his hints.

  12. If this is indeed from Mister Ron than I have to say that I found it rather less fun than is usual for one of his – probably just me as I note that RD really enjoyed it and I usually concur with him.
    Took me an unreasonable amount of time to sort out the 25a anagram (goodness knows why) and a bit of lateral thinking to get the answer for 23a, which gets my award for favourite.

    Thanks to Mr (Mister) Ron and to Falcon for the review – enjoy the game!

  13. 2.5*/4* feels about right for this entertaining and moderately taxing crossword. I had too many ticks to pick a favourite, although if pushed I would nominate 7a. 14d was my last one in.

    Thanks to the Thursday setter and Falcon.

  14. I’ve been enjoying this week’s puzzles, and todays is no exception. Thanks to the setter and falcon.

  15. 1*/3.5* for my money, and 14d was my stand-out favourite. Ta to the Mysteron, and to Falcon for the review.

  16. Having been gardening most of the day since 9.30 am I’m now very hot and very tired and my brain is frizzled.
    Because of the previously mentioned frizzled brain I’m not very sure what I thought of today’s crossword.
    I quite enjoyed it, I think, but had a few silly problems.
    3d took for ever to work out the ‘yes, but why’ part of it.
    I forgot the ‘Queen’ in 7d as an insect and all I could think of was a cat which didn’t help.
    I couldn’t spell 14d which became much more sensible once I had the sense to look it up.
    I wonder who did set this – it’s certainly not Ray T, it doesn’t feel like Shamus and we don’t , or I don’t anyway, ‘know’ Mister Ron well enough yet for me to guess at him.
    I liked 7a and 6d. My favourite was 9d.
    Thanks to whoever set today’s crossword and to Falcon for the hints and pics.

  17. I thought this had the feel of a Dada but that would be two in a row so unlikely. Perhaps a Petitjean as it was a bit off the wall in places, EMIT = BELCH for example. Anyway,whoever it was I thought it was great so it’s a **/**** from me.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and Falcon.

    P.S. As a born and bred Mancunian I echo all the thoughts expressed about the appalling happenings there.

  18. Found this on the harder side, although when I gave up and looked at Falcon’s hints to finish, not sure why the light bulb did not go off sooner. Favorite clue, because of the picture, is 14d, which just makes us laugh to look at it. What a wonderful comedian. 23a was last in.

  19. A few tricky clues in there that made us think that the setter usually is a Toughie setter but we are not prepared to guess which one. Filling the grid all went smoothly enough, it was sorting out the finer points of the parsing, eg 13a and 14d that took a little longer. We enjoyed the solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Falcon.

  20. The RHS was easier than the other half, but overall still only a high ** for difficulty, with lots to enjoy along the way. Last in 14d, which I can’t spell.

  21. I enjoyed it. 8a definitely the best clue for me. Problem came in SW. I got 14d but try as I might I could not fully parse it. I had all the checkers and got the award at the end so thought it must be right. I struggled with 17d and 23a. Picked it up later and 23a appeared as if by magic and then got 17d but needed help with the parsing. Thanks setter, Falcon and bloggers.

  22. Enjoyable straightforward puzzle, obviously not a Ray T ***/*** 😄 Liked 7a & 8a Thanks to Falcon for the blog and to the setter 🤠

  23. Too difficult, the clues made absolutely no sense to me again.
    Thanks all

    1. Having been through the hints, congratulations to those who could decipher this lot.
      Sort of crossword, great for the experts no good for the likes of me. Giovanni tomorrow, thank heavens.

      1. I do not think being an expert or not an expert has anything to do with it. I do not class myself as an expert but cannot agree with you about this one. We are all different and find different setters and types of clues easier or harder. Sometimes you have to think outside of the box.

        1. Third time…
          I make you right WW. I did not realise it was Shamus. I consistently fail to understand to clues, like I used to with Ray-T.

      2. As always it’s all to do with wave-length and whether or not you’re on the same one as the setter.

        1. Just seen that shamus popped in, that explains everything, I cannot seem to understand his clues at all

  24. Great puzzle …..though on several occasions it took me a while to work out why the solution was the answer to the clue!! i liked 8a best

  25. Dropping in very late to thank Falcon for his detailed blog and everyone for comments. Falcon is quite correct in his parsing of 13 across!

    1. Thanks for popping in Shamus. We had pencilled your name in the margin but were not sure enough to commit it to a comment. Thanks again for a fun puzzle.

    2. And thank you from myself as well. Visits from the setters are always greatly appreciated.

    3. Well – I don’t believe it! Back to the drawing board on setter-spotting for me. Well done, 2Ks and TS.

  26. Once again I had Seamus down for this one. I think he’s one of the few setters I can recognise. Enjoyed it but found it a bit of a tussle. Thanks to Him and Falcon. 7a favourite. 3*/4*

  27. No time yesterday, but solved it this morning quite steadily. 2.5*/4* for me. 14d was my pick of the day. Now for today’s.

  28. Thank you to everyone for your kind comments on the review.

    The Sens season came to an end last night. Unfortunately, it was not to be a fairy tale Leicester City outcome. However, they did push the defending champions to double overtime in game seven of the series.

  29. 14dn (my last in) was a tough one for a non-Brit, as I didn’t know about the place that was the solution, wasn’t familiar with the abbreviation for a park, and the particular award was fairly peculiarly British as well.

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