DT 28443 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28443

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28443

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hi everyone.  As Deep Threat is on hols you’ll just have to put up with me doing a bit of deputising.  I have blogged on Friday before but as far as I can see the last one was 27th December 2013 so it’s a fair while since the Don and I locked horns.  This was a pretty fine puzzle with no real obscurities and no religious bits so not one to overtax the little grey cells. I enjoyed it and will be interested to hear your views.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. 


1a           Some French chief returning, in charge and authoritarian (8)
DESPOTIC:  The French for “some” followed by a word for chief backwards (returning) and then the usual two letters for in charge.

6a           Very large vehicles getting awards (6)
OSCARS:  Very large in clothes size followed by some road vehicles give some film awards.

9a           In haste pupils advance (4,2)
STEP UP:  A lurker.  The answer’s hidden in (in) haste pupils.

10a         Begin a fight after series of tennis games (3,5)
SET ABOUT: Start with a series of tennis games and then (after) you need A (from the clue) and a fight as in a boxing match perhaps.

11a         Pole working with me embraces you as a member of staff (8)
EMPLOYEE:  Anagram (working) of POLE ME placed around (embraces) an old word for “you”.

12a         Something dry and fruity is favoured by artist (6)
RAISIN:  A dried fruit is the usual artist followed by IS (from the clue) and a word for favoured or fashionable.

13a         Mushrooms the French female provided for singers to eat (12)
CHANTERELLES:  For once “the French” isn’t le, la or les. Start with some singers and insert (to eat) the French word for she.

16a         Contradict part of argument that may be used by composer (12)
COUNTERPOINT:  A technique in musical composition is a word for contradict followed by a part or focus of an argument.

19a         An entrance’s gemstones (6)
AGATES:  Start with an indefinite article followed by an entrance, to the garden perhaps, and then the S to get some gemstones.

21a         Textual changes in respect of western ceremonies (8)
REWRITES:  Two letters for in respect of or about followed by W(estern) and the some religious ceremonies.

23a         Source of annoyance — undergarments I have rubbing (8)
ABRASIVE:  A (source of Annoyance) followed by some lady’s undergarments and the a short form of “I have”.

24a         Beyond redemption?  You can’t help that! (3,3)
TOO BAD:  Double definition.

25a         Bill gathers information, joining unknown business (6)
AGENCY:  Start with the usual two letters for a bill or account and insert (gathers) some information and the an algebraic unknown.

26a         Waiting is irksome — a visitor finally comes in (8)
TARRYING:  Take a word for irksome and insert A (from the clue) and R (visitoR finally).


2d           Ben excitedly grabs another man in Bury (6)
ENTOMB:  An anagram (excitedly) of BEN with a short man’s name inserted (grabs).  I really don’t like the use of “man” to indicate a bloke’s name where there are hundreds to choose from. Lazy IMHO.

3d           Badly written stuff, a line from the Vatican (5)
PAPAL:  Some bad prose followed by A (from the clue) and then L(ine).

4d           Sticky pea, horrible thing to munch (5,4)
TIPSY CAKE:  Anagram (horrible) of STICKY PEA.  This stuff certainly isn’t horrible!

5d           Little son that is joining another in bed becomes most comfortable (7)
COSIEST:  S (little Son) and the two letters for “that is” and then another S(on) all inserted into (in) a child’s bed.

6d           Animal showing excessive hesitation (5)
OTTER:  Three letters for excessive followed by one of the usual hesitations, not UM but the other one.

7d           Message coming on time outside port — carriage required (9)
CABRIOLET:  An old fashioned sort of message sent by telegraph and T(ime) placed around (outside) the main port of Brazil.  It was once a type of carriage but now it’s a word for a convertible car . . .

8d           Any number in erudite mingling, as old students meeting each other again? (8)
REUNITED:  N (any number) inserted into an anagram (mingling) of ERUDITE.

13d         Limit studies before school (9)
CONSTRAIN:  A word for studies followed by school or coach.

14d         Waiter ran around — something leaking through the roof? (9)
RAINWATER:  Anagram (around) of WAITER RAN.  We had this last December when we had twelve inches of rain in thirty six hours!

15d         Chow for the chow in this possibly? (5-3)
DOGGY BAG: Cryptic definition of what you might use to take home leftovers from a restaurant.

17d         Warning — river beginning to rise. shelter! (7)
PORTENT:  The famous Italian river followed by R (beginning to Rise) and then a canvas shelter beloved of boy scouts.

18d         Get back control, having penned good article (6)
REGAIN:  start with the control of a horse and insert (having penned) G(ood) and an indefinite article.

20d         Bright sun greeting American city (5)
SHINY:  A charade of S(un), an informal greeting and a US city, not LA but the other one.

22d         Particular use of language in club secretary’s conclusion (5)
IRONY:  A golf club followed by a Y (secretary’s conclusion).

I think my favourite is 15d because it’s silly.  What was it that walked your dog?

Quickie pun:     BERTH    +    DAY BOY    =    BIRTHDAY BOY

57 comments on “DT 28443

  1. A Balvenie (12 Year Doublewood) assisted gallop – */****.

    After solving, I did have to Google 4d to make sure it was real and it sounds delicious – sherry and brandy, no wonder it is named ***** ****!!

    Three candidates for favourite – 16a, 23a, and 17d – I can’t decide which, probably 17d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and pommers, and a very Happy Birthday to Kath.

  2. Enjoyable enough, but perhaps a bit too easy for a Friday. Liked 15d. Ta to Don G and Pommers.

  3. 2.5*/2.5*. I found this was reasonably enjoyable and it took me a bit over my 2* time to complete.

    The definition “thing to munch” in 4d struck me as a bit odd, as did “You can’t help that!” in 24d. I also couldn’t understand why “shelter” in 17d was lower case after the full stop – possibly a typo.

    15d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to pommers.

    Happy Birthday to Kath and to Giovanni!

  4. I don’t think we’ve had many read and write Giovanni’s before but that’s how I found this one which suited me fine for reasons that will become apparent after lunch

    Happy Birthday to Kath and Giovanni and apparently, looking at the list in today’s paper, quite a few cricketers too.

  5. 15d my favourite in this comfortable Giovanni puzzle. Overall this was 2*/3* for me.

    I liked the personal touch in the Quickie, which highlights I guess The Don’s birthday. A Happy one to all who are celebrating, and thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  6. Pretty good nearly completed ecept for getting 9a as an anagram which made 2d virtually impossible!
    Thanks to Pommers for putting me straight and for the entertainment, also to Giovanni for making Friday’s puzzle slightly easier. The dogs are grateful as they get to go out sooner for their long walk.Happy birthdays all round

  7. A very Happy Birthday to Kath and The Don. He was in a benevolent mood for his birthday and gave us a really enjoyable but not too difficult puzzle with some lovely wordplay and some nice lego. Thanks to Pommers and Giovanni. **/****

    1. You’re going into moderation because you’re omitting an ‘e’ from the first element of your email address.

  8. Nice straightforward puzzle from the birthday boy, just 14d that I thought was a little weak.
    Liked 24a & 6d but my favourite, in tune with other commenters, was 15d.

    Thanks to DG and to Pommers for manning the fort.
    I doubt that Kath will have time to pop in today but I hope she’s enjoying a wonderful birthday at the Hay festival.

  9. Very enjoyable today. For me **/****. Had a bit of a problem parsing 7d as I wasn’t familiar with cable for message and didn’t know a cabriolet was a carriage until I Googled it. Apart from that, no problems and for once Giovanni has misplaced his weird word dictionary. My fav today was definitely 22d.
    Thx to all, now off to watch the cricket weather permitting.
    And a happy birthday to my favourite setter.

  10. Was this easier than the usual Friday offering?? I usually ‘dread’ Fridays as the puzzles always seem particularly opaque to me – but today’s was fine, subject to some of the head scratching around things like ‘something to munch’ – see RD above (why the rabbit, Dave?)

    Happy birthday Kath – you’re an inspiration for me as when I started to ‘man up’ to the challenge of the cryptic crossword you were just a little way ahead of me …. and now you are a hinter and tipper!!!!

    I am however very happy if i actually get a puzzle out – and am definitely not suffering from tipper envy!

    1. As a rabbit I definitely like something to munch, but not 4d!

      It’s a long story, Aunty M but since you’ve asked here goes … When I (nearly) retired five years ago I resolved to start doing the Telegraph cryptic crossword every day and, as I suspect for most of us, in a moment of frustration I Googled a clue that I couldn’t do and found this wonderful blog. As the boss is called Big Dave and I am little and also called Dave, I started by calling myself Little Dave. However there is another blogger with that name, in honour of my now dear departed rabbit and being a rabbit at crosswords I changed my name to Rabbit Dave.

      1. I remember crying when you lost your lovely rabbit. Have you ever thought to give a home to another one?

        1. The support I got from the bloggers here was such a comfort, Merusa. He was a great character and I still miss him a lot even though it’s getting on for two years since he died. I don’t think we’ll take on another one.

          1. RD,
            I wasn’t a blogger then but in the last 20 years we have lost 6 labs. and I still miss the first. It is nearly 3 years since we lost our last & my wife still gets upset when someone mentios “Tyson”.
            I know only too well what you mean and empathise It does seem strange to some of those who have not known the pleasure a pet gives to understand. I hope you find the way to let another share your life, to the mutual benefit of both.

            1. I agree, I still miss my Lissa that I had 50 years ago. Each one is different and has a special place in memory. The softie, the clown, the garrulous one, and I presently have another softie. Whenever I lose a best friend I cry great wracking, uncontrollable sobs.

  11. Surprisingly straightforward for a Friday I found. Still enjoyable with a good mix of clues.
    22d my COTD although Biggles, as all Labradors, would go for 15d preferably containing the whole meal.
    Thanks & Happy Birthday to the Don, like the self-promotion with the pun! Thanks to pommers for the succinct review.
    Happy Birthday Kath, what a great present the Hay Festival Committee gave you.

  12. Nice crossword **/*** 😁 I don’t think of 4d as horrible but it was new to me 😏 But tipsy and cake surely can’t be bad 😜 Liked 13 & 16a Thanks to Pommers and to Giovanni have a lovely weekend all and safe journey to the 2x Ks 😎

  13. Good afternoon everybody.

    Mostly straight ahead today. 26a was new to me, at least with that meaning. Favourite clue was last in 22d.


  14. Thought this was going to be a R & W however the SE corner put paid to that. No standout Fav but several clever clues. Best wishes to the Quickie 1a and 4a and Felicitations also to Kath – Many Happy Returns of the Day to you both and thanks for the fun puzzle and excellent hints (not needed today!). 🍰🍾🍰

  15. A really enjoyable puzzle today, thanks Giovanni.
    The top half went in very quickly, the bottom half needing a little more thought.
    I couldn’t parse 17d as I thought the shelter was “port”, completely missed our friend the Italian river.
    Fave was 15d, yes, I know, I’m predictable, but 22d was also in the running.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to pommers for sorting 17d.

    I hope you’re having a really good Birthday bash in Hay, Kath. Cheers to you.

  16. A bit of a relief today after a fairly tricky week. I got 17d but needed the hint to see why, so thanks pommers.

    Fav. was 20d.

  17. Hi All. Been out shopping (and having a beer or two) but back now.

    Happy Birthday to Kath, Giovanni and anyone else having a birthday today, and to Rafa Nadal for tomorrow.

  18. This was enjoyable but over far too quickly. */***. I think I liked 13d the best. Happy birthday to all those that have successfully put on another year!

  19. A good, light and enjoyable puzzle, many thanks to the 1a and 4a of the Quick Crossword himself, and to Pommers. Many happy returns to Kath as well.

    My favourite clue was 23a.

    A good weekend to all.

  20. I’m pleased to report I very much enjoyed this offering, even 3d. Agree 17d must be a typo, but I did take a moment to see if I could use Trent as the river and ‘beginning to rise’ the ‘r’ to the top somehow – otherwise the ‘rising’ appears superfluous, but if that were the intention, the ‘shelter’ would be superfluous, and I can’t imagine that from G… dunno.

    Many thanks and Happy Birthday to The Don for a nice puzzle, and to Pommers for the review…. and Many Happy Returns to Kath too.

  21. A very well clued crossword (at least for me) so finished at a canter. Thanks to Giovanni and Kath for the review and many happy returns to you both.,

  22. I would have got there quicker if 17 down hadsaid going left to a hospital department, so thank you pommers for your help. I found this slightly easier than most Friday puzzles so thank you to the setter, I loved 6 down, definitely a favourite.

  23. Nice way to wrap up the working week (if I was still worked no that is). As Pommers says nothing to get alarmed about. 15a was my fave. 3/3* overall.
    Thanks to the Don, and to Pommers for stepping in.
    And Happy Birthday Kath!

  24. After being held up (stumped) by Thursday’s, this was much more enjoyable. Held up on 13d by trying to end it in Eton and then thinking that 15d should end in ie for the first part. Hints not needed but thanks to Pommers all the same and Giovanni for restoring some faith in my brain cells. Although birthday is a well known word it appears that, even though I came across it recently in a story I read, that deathday is not a word; strange.

    1. Unicorn,
      Perhaps “deathday” not really something the card makers would regard as commercial.
      Where would one address the card to?
      However I could think of some very interesting sentiments that could be expressed!

  25. Nothing here to scare the crows ( thought I would try a variant on the Senf equine theme). Never heard of the cake before and wouldn’t mind a slice. 16a and 15d were my favourites

  26. I solved this and immediately read Pommers hints and the ensuing comments. As I usually solve a silly o clock I have forgotten the puzzle by the time I read the blog. Not so today, all was fresh in my mind. A super puzzle from the Don. A fine blog from Pommers and a wonderful set of comments from everyone. There is a good mix of crosswordland comment and social observation and interaction. I join in with the birthday wishes. I share the grief felt at the time of loss of either person or pet. Well done to those who finished with or without the hints. Thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle, Pommers for the review and you lot for the comments.

  27. Birthday wishes to Kath and Giovanni.
    Just what we expect to find on a Friday. An enjoyable puzzle, elegantly clued.
    Thanks Giovanni and pommers.

  28. 13ac pushed this into ** time – one that definitely took a little unpicking for those of us who’d not heard of the answer. Enjoyable again from the Don, for the most part pretty straightforward, with a couple to get the old brain cells ticking over.

  29. Lovely crossword, beautifully clued.
    I had not heard of 4d, but it sounds lovely.
    13a was known to me, a lovely clue and my favourite.
    Today I decided to retire at the end of June. I started work on 22nd October 1979, 38 years without a break. When I started work, a pint of beer was 40p, now it’s about £4, well that’s inflation for you.
    I have much to keep me going for the future, my golf handicap needs some work, plenty of refereeing, plenty of birding and see if I can get back to grade 5 standard classical guitar standard. So I don’t know where I will find the time for the crossword!!
    Thanks to Pommers for standing in and Giovanni.

    1. Great decision, Hoofit! Believe me, after the first few weeks, you’ll wonder how you ever found time to go out to work!

      1. I’ll second that, Jane. Where on earth did I find time to work? I didn’t retire until I was 76, three years ago. I worked far too long.

        1. I have had too many friends die in their 50’s, including my Dad.
          I have enough to retire on , so can’t wait.
          It is a big scary though…

    2. That’s probably the best idea you’ve had since you started work. I did it eleven years ago and have never had a moment of regret, apart from regretting that I couldn’t do it earlier.

      Enjoy your retirement – you deserve it :good:

Comments are closed.