DT 28440 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28440

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28440

Hints and tips by Mr Kitty

+ - + - + - + - + - + - + - +

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


Hello, everyone.  For me, learning new words is one of the pleasures of solving cryptics.  Over the weekend I learned a new word, but in a different way, namely through meeting this impressive creature while hiking [Click for a bigger version]:

She’s an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.  Curiously, many of them had arranged themselves in clusters on an area of moist sand, like this:

After a little research I learned that this butterfly behaviour has a name – it’s called mud-puddling, an amusing word that I had never heard before.  Sadly, it’s not in Chambers, so I expect that we won’t be seeing it on the back page anytime soon.

Today’s crossword contains nothing that obscure, or indeed even a little obscure.  I felt like I was on wavelength today because it all came together with without any serious hold-ups.  No big penny drop moments this week, but by the end I did have a long list of clues with ticks beside them.

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.



1a    Dales town planned to evict a local community (10)
SETTLEMENT:  A market town in the Yorkshire Dales, followed by a synonym of planned with its A deleted (to evict a).  You’ll find a list of towns in the Yorkshire Dales here, and more about the town in question here.

6a    Kiddie chortles holding parrot (4)
ECHO:  The first two words in the clue are hiding (holding) the answer.

9a    Cleaner married for attractiveness (5)
CHARM:  A charade of a female cleaner and the single-letter abbreviation for married.

10a   Amazing bird caught in time? Just the opposite (9)
STARTLING:  “Just the opposite” here instructs us to invert the wordplay.  So, we are to insert the abbreviation for time into a common UK bird.

12a   Radical former lover, male, housed by elder perhaps (7)
EXTREME:  Crosswordland’s usual former lover, followed by M(ale) inserted into (housed by) a thing of which elder is an example (oak is another).

13a   After start of romance, current writer's become tender (5)
RIPEN:  Link together the first letter (start of) of Romance, the physics symbol for electric current, and a thing that writes.

15a   Leave Billie? (7)
HOLIDAY:  A double definition.  The question mark is indicating that here Billie is being a definition by example.

17a   Tees -- gear not allowed on the golf course? (1-6)
T-SHIRTS:  The wordplay is a cryptic definition of the answer, because to maintain decorum most golf courses apparently have a dress code and it usually forbids these items of clothing.  Here are some examples of dressing for the golf course with decorum.

19a   Biggest girl eats bananas, dropping one (7)
LARGEST:  An anagram (bananas) of GiRL EATS minus (dropping) the Roman numeral for one.

21a   Putin perhaps seeing his end after US airs broadcast (7)
RUSSIAN:  An anagram (broadcast) of US AIRS, followed by the last letter of (seeing his end after) PutiNThe picture on the easel refers to this meeting.

22a   Arrest spies, we're told (5)
SEIZE:  A word that sounds like (we’re told) a synonym of spies (in the sense of observe).

24a   Suggested maid avoids feuds on a regular basis (7)
ADVISED:  The even letters (on a regular basis) of mAiD aVoIdS fEuDs.

27a   Great spinning, fill up net (9)
PLENTIFUL:  An anagram (spinning) of FILL UP NET.

28a   A flower came up (5)
AROSE:  Sometimes in crosswordland a flower is just a flower.  That’s the case here, where the A from the clue is followed by a flower that’s a symbol of England.

29a   Squawk from chicken but no indication of pain (4)
YELL:  A colour associated with chicken used as an adjective, after deleting (but no) a two-letter exclamation indicating pain.

30a   Biologists, say, analysed insect's bits, taking out book (10)
SCIENTISTS:  An anagram (analysed) of INSECT’S bITS minus (taking out) the abbreviation for book.



1d    Not eager to put out large fire (4)
SACK:  A word meaning not eager or lazy, after deleting (to put out) the abbreviation for large.

2d    Bank worker eating most of party fare? (9)
TRAVELLER:  A word for one who works behind the counter in a bank, containing (eating) all but the last letter (most of) a type of dance party.

3d    Rim -- leg perhaps cut on it (5)
LIMIT:  A thing of which leg is an example (perhaps), minus its last letter (cut), and followed by IT from the clue.

4d    Closed book -- whodunnit (7)
MYSTERY:  A straightforward double definition.

5d    Closest sticks are in hideaway? (7)
NEAREST:  ARE from the clue inserted into (sticks …. in) a cosy hideaway.

7d    Biting piece of fried food (5)
CRISP:  Double definition.  The food that’s fried is potato sliced thin. This young lady claims to be addicted to them.

8d    Assembling musical instrument before I perform? (10)
ORGANISING:  Concatenate a large musical instrument, the I from the clue, and a verb meaning perform music without an instrument.

11d   Kindles modified her cost (7)
TORCHES:  An anagram (modified) of HER COST.

14d   Thinking of Socrates? (10)
PHILOSOPHY:  A cryptic definition of the discipline associated with Socrates.

16d   Scottish, Welsh, English or Irish flower blight -- which is most intense? (7)
DEEPEST:  Here flower is, as usual in crosswordland, indicating something that flows, i.e. a river.  So, take the name given to several rivers that flow in Scotland, Wales, England, and Ireland, and append a blight that might affect gardeners (and afflict their flowers).

18d   River rapids on rocks -- they could get you wet (9)
RAINDROPS:  The cartographic abbreviation for river, followed by an anagram (rocks) of RAPIDS ON.

20d   Buy and sell vehicles (7)
TRAFFIC:  A double definition.  This buying and selling is often illegal.

21d   Turn very regretful at heart after sweetheart's upset (7)
REVOLVE:  Place V(ery) and the central letter (at heart) of regrEtful after the reversal (upset, in a down clue) of another word for sweetheart.  This video explains how a free-falling cat with nothing to push against can turn itself to land on its feet.  It’s all physics.

23d   Island somewhere in Kent is perfect (5)
IDEAL:  The cartographic abbreviation for island, followed by a town in Kent situated on the English Channel.

25d   Strip to run round north slope (5)
SLANT:  A strip of wood containing (to run round) the single-letter abbreviation for north.

26d   Great waves from 22, we hear (4)
SEAS:  A homophone (we hear) of the answer to 22a.


Thanks to today’s setter for an enjoyable solve.  I had ticks next to 12a, 15a, 21a, 30a, 1d, 3d, 5d, 16d, and 21d.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  PAR+SUN+SNOWS=PARSON’S NOSE

68 comments on “DT 28440

  1. With my just about non-existent setter detector system, I hope that this was not a Mister Ron because I found it very disappointing, and, although there was some head scratching, it wasn’t very 10a – **/*.

    No obvious favourite(s).

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  2. Completed over the coffee pot this morning but some iffy definitions (11d, 26a & 2d) ate up more of my day that I would have preferred. A good crossword nonetheless. My underlines went to 10a, 22a and 18d. **/*** and ***

    Like Senf, I never really know who has set the thing except for Sundays of course.

    Having recently become something of a golf widower – and I also play the game quite a lot – it’s now my duty to attend to the list of chores that build and build. So.. on with them.

    Thanks setter and Mr K.

    1. Just perused Mr Kittys video offering – outstanding entertainment all. Thanks.

  3. A bit of a write-in today but I enjoyed the puzzle.

    Thanks to Mr K and setter */***

  4. Like Senf ,didn’t think this was a ‘Mysteron’ today as it seemed to lack a bit of sparkle and some convoluted clues to boot.
    I have to go for a */**.
    No favourites.
    Thanks Mr Kitty for the revolving cat-looked a bit put out!

  5. Back on dry land after a few days at sea, dogs have got new life jackets so they needed testing. Quite an enjoyable romp through today’s puzzle I didn’t spot the lurker in 6a until the very end an extreme doh moment.
    No favourites, thanks to setter and Mr Kitty always amusing.
    ***/*** for me.

  6. A good run through today but could not get my head around the maid in 24 a so my thanks to Kitty I can now get the washing hung out! Thank you to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle.

  7. 2*/2.5* for today’s reasonably easy, reasonably enjoyable puzzle. 1a was my last one in and 16d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr R and Mr K.

  8. 2*/3* with 16d my favourite in this comfortable solve from the Tuesday setter. I would agree with most of the comments above about the crossword lacking a bit of sparkle, but it was enjoyable enough and goes to show how spoilt we are on a regular basis.

    Many thanks to the two Misters involved in today’s production.

  9. Not very taxing and not that enjoyable for me. 1.5/2. A little contrived and clunky in places, but better, I am sure, than I could do so thanks to whoever set it.

    Not having the benefit of owning a BRB, can someone confirm my assumption last night that the synonym in 2d is to what I take to be a slang word for, say, a customer in the back of a taxi?

    1. Re 2d: It is probably a case of thesauritis (I think I have got that right) – the BRB has passenger in the definition for fare, and I suppose a 2d is a passenger.

    2. Re 2d, since a taxi picks up a fare, I thought the answer was OK as a slightly stretched synonym

  10. Easy enough solve. Agree with mcmillibar about the iffy definitions. No particular favourites. Thanks to Mr Kitty for the informatory blog I have come to expect from him.

  11. Enjoyable enough but nothing to make it memorable in my view.
    Favourite was the Quickie pun!

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to Mr. K for a most informative blog as always. I’ve seen butterflies engaging in what I now know is called mud-puddling, but never en masse. The cat video probably went down as well with me as it is likely to do with Kitty!

    1. Given Kitty’s affinity for physics, I am expecting that she will love the cat video :)

      Agree about the Quickie pun – I should have nominated that as favourite. It deserved an illustration.

  12. I think this is a Marmite crossword and I definitely fall into the hate it category.
    I had 8 clues I couldn’t fully parse and there were 3 very weak clues in 3d, 4d and 11d. Mrs B summed it up, this is a horrible crossword. It was one of those where you ended up seeing what words would fit rather than solving the clues.
    Not a good one to come home to.
    Thx for the hints

    1. Oh Brian – oh dear. No crosswords are horrible – it’s just that some appeal more to some people than others.
      But welcome home anyway.

  13. Well Brian, Marmite it is then, because I quite enjoyed it. Probably only */** but I like an easier test every now and then. There’s always the Toughie to challenge the old neurons.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr Ron.

  14. Thanks to messers Ron and Kitty. I enjoyed some of it, but found it a bit uninspiring. I thought that 6a was very well hidden. Favourite was 17a. Was 2*/2* for me.

  15. A bit of a ‘curate’s egg’ and not that many good bits. 16d one of those good bits. **/* for me, with many thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty.

  16. This one slipped in nicely. Enjoyed it. Not surprised to disagree with Brian but I thought there were some very good clues. I agree with the stretched synonym in 2d and took me a while to sort out. On the other hand I could not get on with Rufus yesterday. I gave up in the end although wondered why when I looked at the hints today! Thanks setters, hinters and all.

  17. Love Marmite but I neither loved nor hated this one – it’s just a puzzle to solve and the wordplay is all fair enough. Agree there’s a couple of scrappy little nose-wrinklers but that’s all. Thanks to setter and to Mr K for the interest and amusement as ever. **/**

    1. Love your ‘scrappy little nose-wrinklers’. Would you mind if I used it from time to time?

  18. I found this pretty tricky, I found too many stretched definitions.
    “Biting” for 7d? I needed the hints to understand 21d, but that was just me being dim.
    Fave was 16d – I didn’t know there were so many! Now I know.
    Thanks to setter and to Mr. Kitty for the hints, and for the usual entertaining lessons.

    1. I agree about 7d. Biting and the answer can both express the same characteristic, but I’d say to a significantly different degree.

  19. I’m clearly in the minority, but I found this really hard. I wasn’t on the same wavelength at all, with the NW corner being the last to fall. Many thanks to Mr. Kitty and the setter.

  20. Not my favourite on reflection although I’m not sure why. Nevertheless thanks to the setter and Mr K for an excellent review.

  21. Elements of fun and and elements of despair with this one. I liked 17a once I’d got my head round the ‘t?h’ checking letters I was trying to figure out. Snazzy set of kecks in the picture. Thank you setter and Mr Kitty.

    1. Also Encota in the cluing competition section. I was so keen I posted the above before finishing the article. And Beet wins Clue of the Fortnight!

  22. I found this easy in places and tricky in places, and some clues just didn’t hit the spot. I stupidly bunged in chips for 7d which held me up. Favorite, although I needed the hint to get it – always forget about the wet form of flower, was 16d. Kind of middle of the road, is that what a marmite puzzle is?

    1. No – I don’t think that’s what a marmite puzzle is. I think it’s one that people either love or hate – a bit like marmite.

  23. :phew: not crossword :phew: but just the kind of day I’ve had – tomorrow looks similar and the rest of the week doesn’t look much better.
    Late here today because I’ve been doing other stuff.
    I quite enjoyed this one and didn’t have too many problems with it apart from why 21d had to be what it was – how stupid – really dim.
    Not many anagrams – I made it four but maybe I’ve lost my ability to count.
    I really liked the 6a hidden answer, not just because I found it.
    I spent far too long trying to make 1a an anagram but couldn’t find anything that made up the right number of letters – just as well.
    3d looked like ‘cricket’ – anything with ‘leg’ in it does.
    I liked 21 and 29a and 4d. My favourite was 15a.
    Thanks to whoever set today’s crossword and to Mr Kitty.

    1. I thought 21d was tricky. I couldn’t parse it in my head – had to write it out horizontally on paper and then unpick it.

  24. 16d was my favourite clue in this very gentle Tuesday puzzle. Well, gentle once I got started that is. I find that if I don’t put my fave clue down early I will have forgotten which one it was. Should I be worried?
    Anyway, 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the review and cat facts. V.interesting…

  25. There were three clues here that stretched our geography knowledge a bit, 1a, 23d and 16d but we did manage to get them all. Think that the general knowledge of golf dress code needed to understand 17a would be a bit of a stretch for many solvers. We’re not going to guess a setter today.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr Kitty.

  26. On the easyish side today, maybe just about stretching into ** for difficulty? Geography isn’t my strong point, to say the least, but luckily wasn’t essential to muddling through given a few crossing letters. Nothing to object to, just a solid, enjoyable puzzle.

  27. Not really my cup of tea more completed “because it was there”. Still trying to get over the holiday from hell (no not due to BA) so that didn’t help my mood.
    Some good though with 16d my COTD with 12a r/u.
    Thanks to Messers Ron & Kitty.

      1. Went to US: SWMBO picked up acute bronchitis after 3 days.took all ” holiday” to recover. Temps. of 90+ are great except when you are not well. Then it took 2.5 hours from bag drop to get to the gate at LAX.

    1. Really glad to have you back! I’m sorry about the holiday, hope all is better now.

  28. 1*/2*: a few rather weak clues (4d, 17a) spoiled this for me. But I’ve always been a miserable old git, so what do l know? Thanks to the Mysteron and Mr Kitty.

  29. I thought I had posted earlier today but it seems to have got lost in the ether so I’ll try again. This offering was pleasant enough but IMHO nothing special. Once again my grey matter needed some assistance – parsing 13a and 21d. SE corner hung fire. No Fav to nominate. I agree with Jane and others that the Quickie pun was the highlight of today’s backpage. Thank you Messieurs Ron et Kitty.

  30. Like most others, straightforward fare from Mr.Ron today.
    Hard to pick a favourite, but 1a made me smile.
    Thanks all.

  31. 16d is worth the price of the paper alone. OK, maybe with the Sport section thrown in. What is the name of the singer in the church with her accordion-playing friend? Lovely song. D

    1. Just in case Mr. K isn’t about – the young lady’s name is Rhiannon Giddens. If you click on the youtube icon below the clip, you can hear more from her.

        1. Sorry, Mr. K – I wasn’t sure which country you are currently in or what time clock you are working to!

          1. I’m not always sure myself. That butterfly is found in North America, so I think that’s where I am this week.

            Don’t apologize – I was amused that we wrote pretty much exactly the same thing at the same time.

    2. She’s Rhiannon Giddens. I will probably feature her again.

      (When the embedded videos start to play there is a YouTube icon that appears in the lower right. Clicking on that will open the video in YouTube, with the title and other information visible.)

  32. Not as dull as some suggest, I thought. 16d was splendid. Thanks to Mr ‘Air Miles’ Kitty and setter. 2*/3*

  33. Found it quite hard to get into as the first read through only yielded a couple of answers here and there.
    Managed to finish with the two homophones in 22a and 26d which were quite good.
    Liked 16d a lot but favourite is 10a.
    Thanks to the 4d setter (another nice clue) and to jetsetting Mr Kitty.

Comments are closed.