DT 28446 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28446

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28446

Hints and tips by Mr Kitty

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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


Hello, everyone, and welcome to another Tuesday blog.  Today we have a puzzle packed full of clues with smooth surface readings and free of anything that required a visit to the interwebs for clarification.  I found it a steady solve producing plenty of smiles.  I have my suspicions about the setter’s identity, and I have illustrated accordingly, but I’m keeping my guess to myself because in hindsight I think I might have misattributed the pangram we saw a fortnight ago.  But please feel free to speculate, and perhaps we’ll be rewarded with a visit from the setter if you’re right (or even if you’re wrong).

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    Colour of biscuit about to be left out (6)
MAROON:  Take the name of a small circular cake, often made with coconut, and delete (to be left out) a two-letter abbreviation for about.

5a    The capacity to move in high society? Problem, ultimately, for knight (8)
MOBILITY:  In a word describing titled high society replace the chess abbreviation for knight by the last letter (ultimately) of probleM.

9a    Tremendously fast percussion playing (10)
SUPERSONIC:  An anagram (playing) of PERCUSSION.

10a   Fish pasty filled with tail of haddock (4)
PIKE:  A type of pasty containing (filled with) the last letter of (tail of) haddocK.

11a   Annual sporting event in English city, always after first of December (5,3)
DERBY DAY:  The (5) is a city in the east Midlands.  Follow that with the first letter of December and an adverb meaning always or ever.  According to Chambers, the adverb is Scot and N Eng dialect.

12a   Woollen coat to take to the cleaners (6)
FLEECE:  A straightforward double definition.  The picture is a before image of Shrek the sheep.  Click on it for the after image.

13a   A great deal of land in Kansas I auctioned (4)
ASIA:  The answer is hidden inside (in) the remaining words of the clue.

15a   Is about during a bachelor party, being coarse (8)
ABRASIVE:  Join together the A from the clue, the single letter abbreviation for bachelor (in a degree name), and crosswordland’s favourite four-letter party.  Inside that (during) put the reversal (about) of IS from the clue.

18a   Bureaucrat challenging short chap at the front (8)
MANDARIN:  A synonym of challenging, minus its last letter (short), preceded by (at the front) a synonym of chap.

19a   Master the choice between pounds and pence once (4)
LORD:  Take a two-letter word that separates two choices, and place it between the abbreviation for pounds (sterling) and the abbreviation for pence used before decimalisation (once).

21a   Mother accepting employment in V&A? (6)
MUSEUM:  An informal (3) term for mother contains (accepting) a synonym of employment (of a strategy, perhaps). The question mark here is indicating that V&A is being a definition by example.

23a   Agent, young woman, employed during difficult year (8)
EMISSARY:  A (4) word for a young woman is inserted into (employed during) an anagram (difficult) of YEAR.

25a   What seaquake projects, at heart? (4)
AQUA:  The answer is hidden inside the clue (at heart). 

26a   Bush region portrayed differently in soap (10)
NEIGHBOURS:  An anagram (portrayed differently) of BUSH REGION.  This soap is found on the TV.

27a   March from base, mostly slow going at first (8)
FOOTSLOG:  Chain together a base or bottom part, all but the last letter (mostly) of SLOw, and the initial letter (at first) of Going.

28a   Shake toy (6)
RATTLE:  Another straightforward double definition.



2d    A clipped English accent (5)
ACUTE:  Concatenate A from the clue, a word meaning clipped, and E(nglish).

3d    Like company chairman in need of a lifeline? (9)
OVERBOARD:  Split (4,5) the answer could describe where a chairman sits in the management hierarchy.

4d    End of game inventor set up (2-4)
NO-SIDE:  The reversal (set up, in a down clue) of the American inventor who seems to have become a crosswordland staple.  The answer is an expression for the end of a rugby match.

5d    Crime in Ireland — young men involved (5,10)
MONEY LAUNDERING:  An anagram (involved) of IRELAND YOUNG MEN.

6d    Shoot after defender’s rebound (8)
BACKFIRE:  A synonym of shoot (a gun) after another word for a football defender.

7d    Decline drinks, say (5)
LAPSE:  This decline sounds like (say) how a cat, for example, drinks.  It also sounds like an opportunity for some more cat physics.

8d    Hide in Cuba’s capital during coup (4,5)
TAKE COVER:  The capital letter in Cuba inserted into (during) a (4,4) coup.

14d   Existing situation in America? Question coming in to us at broadcast (6,3)
STATUS QUO:  Place abbreviations for the United States of America and question inside (coming in) an anagram (broadcast) of TO US AT.

16d   Underestimate singular redesign of the Rolls (4,5)
SELL SHORT:  S(ingular), followed by an anagram (redesign of) THE ROLLS.

17d   Offender in crashed minicar, learner driver (8)
CRIMINAL:  An anagram (crashed) of MINICAR, followed by the letter that indicates a learner driver.

20d   Spot leading player dropping old instrument? (6)
ZITHER:  An unwanted spot on a teenage face, followed by a word for the leading player in an account of strength or bravery, minus (dropping) O(ld).  The video to accompany this one was a toss-up between this cover version of “Rolling in the Deep” played on the instrument in question, or this song about those leading players.

22d   Court under fire over being correct (5)
EXACT:  The two-letter abbreviation for court after (under, in a down clue) the reversal (over) of a word meaning fire or terminate.

24d   In the countryside, artist breaking law no end (5)
RURAL:  Our usual artist placed inside (breaking) a synonym of law without its last letter (no end).


Thanks to today’s setter for a most enjoyable solve.  I liked the 9a anagram, 19a, 25a, 2d, 14d, and the topical (over here, at least) 22d.  My favourite today was 7d.  Which clues made you smile?


The Quick Crossword pun:  DULL+SIMMER=DULCIMER


63 comments on “DT 28446

  1. Lovely Pangram today presenting no probs and good satisfaction. My app insisted I had something amiss and on closer inspection with Mr Kitty’s help, eventually noticed I had carelessly written ‘sold’ as the first part of 16d.
    **/***, best clues were probably 2d and 9a
    Are we not supposed to be sitting outside eating strawberries at this time of year?

      1. I agree and unless I’m totally blind I don’t think I’ve got a ‘W’ either.

          1. I probably spent as much time trying to find the “j” as I did solving the whole puzzle; never did think about “w”.

  2. I managed to finish without resorting to any help, but I did find this all a bit strange. Even after getting the answers I couldnt work out a lot of the cryptic clues. It became a lot clearer with My Kitty’s Help. 3*/2* Many thanks to the mystery setter and especially to Mr Kitty.

  3. Mr K. 21a: Well done for explaining the ? That could be useful for younger, less experienced/casual solvers who are reading – many of whom may not know.

    1. Thanks, Jose. When I saw that the hyperlinks to the Usual Suspects page get hundreds of clicks I realized that there are a lot of learners reading the blog. So I thought it might be helpful to explain clueing conventions like that when they come up.

  4. Quite enjoyable, assisted by some oldies but goodies – 1.5*/2.5*.

    Plenty of choices for favourite – 2d is probably the winner.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  5. Lovely solve for me. Enjoyable but over too quickly.
    Am hopeless at identifying setters but if past experience is anything to go by I would say he may well pop in later.
    Liked 19a but 9a my COTD.
    Thanks to Mister Ron (I think) and Mr Kitty both for usual high standards.

  6. Smooth sailing today. Now about this pangram thingy, should there not be a J or have I got it wrong?

  7. I really enjoyed this one – not difficult at all but very good.
    15a was fine once I stopped trying to make ‘stag’ fit into it somehow.
    I might have had trouble with 4d if we hadn’t had it recently enough for it to be still in my head.
    I don’t think it is a pangram – well, mine isn’t.
    I liked 5 and 18a and 2 and 8d.
    Thanks to today’s setter and to Mr K.
    The torrential rain and strong winds that we’ve had in the last twenty-four hours have completely flattened my garden – all the tall stuff like lupins, delphiniums and poppies are now lying down. :sad:

    1. Sad about the garden, you must be so disappointed. However, I could say “be careful what you wish for”.

      1. I confess to being pretty grumpy – husband’s really fed-up with me going on about it – I only wished for rain not the gale force winds! :sad: again!

  8. Firstly agree with Mr Kitty’s **/**** and well clued throughout, great blog pics especially 19D- what an expression !
    Favourite 20D, hard to parce and I needed all the checking letters, also honourable mention for the surface of 5A.

  9. Only needed hints on 1a; just didn’t see it even with the fillers! Couldn’t get ‘oat’ out of my mind for first three letters! Ho hum……

    Favourite between 26a and 7d.

    Thanks to setter and Mr K.

    1. Welcome from me too, Le Duc, and thanks for sharing your experience with the puzzle.

  10. All fairly straightforward for me today, for some reason I often struggle on a Tuesday. A long missed friend of mine used to call it the Tuesday Twit. At least, I think that was the vowel he used.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr. K. Now let’s see what the Toughie is like.

  11. 8d my favourite in this very enjoyable and comfortable puzzle. All the surfaces are beautifully clued, and the there are no obscurities. Overall a fine crossword, and 2*/4* from me. Thanks to the Tuesday setter and Mr K for a fun review.

    40+ mph winds not very friendly in early June. At least we have missed the rain today.

  12. Enjoyed this one a few teasers and the usual head scratching .
    Sat watching the sea and listening to the wind what could be better except for a glass of Lagavulin.
    Thanks to Mr Kitty for the great blog and to setter.
    ***/*** for me.

  13. Found this very gentle last night but nevertheless very enjoyable */****

    Lots of great surfaces and mix of clues. My cup of tea. Favourite, just ahead of many others, is 19a for its simplicity, misdirection and memories of old coins. Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  14. A virtual R&W for me today, I just seemed to be on the setter’s wavelength. Lots of great clues but 20d for a fun favourite. */**** for me, and many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  15. Beautifully clued if over a bit too quickly. Only had to think twice about 22d and 27a. Perhaps one of my quickest solves. There were a lot of consonants among the checking letters which made the answers quick to get even without parsing – wrote in and then parsed. The only one I did not correctly parse was 14d as I was thinking States rather than the other short form of America. Ia makes me think of Jean-Luc. They seem to be very popular over here at the moment. Thanks setter and Mr K.

  16. Really disliked this one, too many not quite right messy clues i.e.
    11a ay=always – poor, 25a projects is redundant as is Driver in 17d. 22d is just plain weak. 27a is unnecessarily complicated, mostly and at first are redundant, slow going is a slog.
    On the plus side I did like 3d.
    Thx for the hints.

    1. Not surprised that you missed the pangram Brian as there is not one. Don’t folllow your complaints about certain clues. If the words you suggest are missed out they do not parse properly. Mr Kitty’s Hints explain very well. With regard to “ay” this is a recognised abbreviation (see dictionary) for always or ever albeit archaic or poetic. Perfectly acceptable. If I cannot immediately parse an answer I try different ways of doing it, and, if I fail, I check it in the hints. We all learn this way and avoid looking silly.

      1. Did Brian say he’d missed the pangram – have I missed something? But I do agree with you about his (erroneous) complaints about certain clues – he’s just plain wrong! But he’s entitled to his opinions like everyone else, I suppose.

        1. The first version of Brian’s comment (which is the one that goes out in the email announcements) had “Must admit I missed the pangram” after the comment about 3d. That text must have been removed in a later edit.

          1. Thanks for that – so I did miss something. I guess that’s one of the pitfalls of commenting the day after the published crossword, but often that’s the all I can do – I’m only online from 10.30am till noon and don’t usually solve most of the puzzle till the afternoon.

  17. A nice solveable puzzle **/**** for a horrible wet & windy day here in the East 🌧🌧 Lots of nice clues I particularly liked 3d, 4d & 6d 😁 Big thanks to Mr K for his informative and musical blog 🎶 and to Mr Ron if it is he? 😜

  18. I did this last night , very pleasant , short and sweet.
    After getting 25a , I thought it might be a panagram (which it wasn’t in the end) but that thought nudged me towards the “z” of 20d.
    There were lots of great clues , however I’m giving 5a and 23a shared top billing , or maybe I should give it to 3d.
    The weather !! No sooner had I hung the washing out than it started to rain.
    Nobody’s taken a guess at the setter today.
    Thanks to Mr kitty and to whom ever the setter is.

  19. R&W for me completed in order. Anybody else get a sense of deja vu at 13a? (MPP)
    No idea as to setter, but very smooth and bang on wavelength so it felt like Mr Mutch to me, even though I know it’s almost certainly not.
    Simple but very enjoyable. Many thanks to setter and to Mr K. */***

  20. One of the most entertaining puzzles so far this year, in the opinion of this solver. I warmed to it quite slowly, but by the final clue I was completely won over by its clever wordplay and inventiveness. Unusually I ticked as many as seven clues, 5a, 26a, 27a (sorry, Brian), 3d, 5d, 6d and 8d, and could have chosen several others. I’m only sorry that Rabbit Dave has missed this one, as I’m convinced he’d love it too.

    I found the right-hand side less straightforward than its counterpart, 20d was my last one in.

    Bravo and congratulations to the setter and thanks to Mr. K also.

  21. Good afternoon everybody.

    Overall fairly gentle. 26a I should have seen sooner. Last in was 20d so I’ll nominate that as my favourite clue today.


  22. Best one for a few days for me. Thought I was going to struggle but got there eventually.

    Liked 2d. but fav. was 19a.

    Thanks to Mr Kitty.

  23. Wotta super puzzle. I enjoyed it from start to finish, I can’t guess the setter but I hope that he/she revisits us often.
    I’m not even going to attempt a fave; 19a was nostalgic for our old currency, 1a made my mouth water, 5a was as smooth as glass, loved it all.
    Thanks to setter, many thanks to Mr. Kitty for his hints and pics, particularly 12a and 17d.

    It’s been raining here for three days. It’s so dark and overcast I have to have the lights on.

  24. Enjoyable puzzle solved after breakfast then after lunch

    Thanks to Setter and Mr K **/****

  25. I got off to a slow start with this one so left it for a while then came back to it and the down clues fell into place which gave sufficient check letters to complete the across clues. My rating is 2.5/4 Favourite clue is 2D a good smiler. My thanks to Mr K for the blog. By the way, when I solved 20D I immediately thought of Shirley Abicair, am I alone?

    1. I knew the name Shirley Abicair from the Ian Dury’s “Common as Muck”, but nothing more. I’ve just looked her up in Wikipedia and I see what you mean. And I’ve learned something new, so thanks for that.

      1. When I was a young lad in the early sixties she was a regular on a Sunday evening religious programme. Was not a fan but in those days when television was a rare treat we were fascinated just watching the test card!

  26. This was a puzzle of two parts for me. Couldn’t finish over breakfast but missing answers fell in over lunch. Not sure why I couldn’t see them earlier, needed to wake up a bit probably. Didn’t know the rugby term so needed help on 4d and had forgotten 27a expression. Luckily I had heard of the Soap in 26a, but never seen.

    1. I’m thinking of you! I believe this weather is worse in Broward, and I think there was even a tornado yesterday. Hope you’re not flooding.

  27. A nice steady solve without too many sticky moments involved. 1a and 9a were good; the latter is my fave just because I never thought of the two words as being anagrams!
    2/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Mr K for the review.

  28. A little slow to start, but finished in about * time so this was on the gentle side, and thoroughly enjoyable. Panicked a little at the close when I couldn’t quickly spot the parsing for 27ac, but the answer could be little else. I should have spotted the pangram, but didn’t.

  29. Sorry to be so late – gallivanting day here! Wonderful son-in-law is a gin aficionado and I discovered Snowdonia Distillery which sells small quantities of its own gin made from botanicals foraged from the Snowdonia National Park. There are only two retail outlets, neither of which is likely to open bottles for sampling purposes, so my search involved having lunch at one of the restaurants which sells both of their varieties (large measures only!). So………. two large G&T’s and the odd glass of wine later (plus a bit of food, I hasten to add) my friendly companion drove me into Conwy to purchase the preferred tipple. The alcohol consumed by then took a bit of the sting out of the price of same!

    Enough of that – enjoyable as it was – on to the puzzle.
    Solved this one early in the morning (perhaps as well!) and thought it was a ‘goodie’. 1a certainly reminded me of JL’s wonderful contributions to the birthday bashes and, like Kath, I was extremely relieved that 4d had put in a recent appearance.
    I did try, briefly, to make an anagram out of ‘region’ plus ‘soap’ for 26a but it was not to be.

    Podium places went to 19a along with 2,3&7d.
    Torn between the two main suspects for this one – last time that happened the actual culprit turned out to be Dada so – maybe?

    Thanks to whoever (please pop in) and to Mr. K for the blog – slightly disappointed not to get a head-banger from 14d but liked the alternative track for 20d. Don’t think I’ve seen the instrument played before today.

    PS Next time we meet up, I must take careful note of the way in which Miss Kitty laps her drinks!

    1. Hi, Jane. Clearly I have not yet worked out your musical tastes, because I was under the impression that head-banging tunes were not your thing. I shall bear that in mind in the future, although it would not have made a difference today because the one I used is my favourite song of theirs.

      I ended up listening to the 20d alternate several times. Somehow it works. YouTube also has a cover version of “Rolling in the Deep” played on the answer to the quickie pun.

      1. You’re correct – head-banging isn’t really my ‘thing’ but I do dimly recall enjoying a few rather drunken nights in my youth……..!

    2. Putting tonic – or anything else – in a truly fine gin should be punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment. Keep the elixir in the fridge and sip (or slurp) cold and neat. A magical experience. And you can pretend that you’re Scott Fitzgerald – or, rather, Zelda in your case. Times Gin (yes really) is only £45 a bottle!

  30. Not sure which I liked most, the crossword or Mr Kitty’s blog. Really look forward to Tuesdays!

  31. Found the anagrams in 9a, 5d and 26a very good indeed and enjoyed the rest enormously.
    Thanks to the Tuesday setter and to Mr Kitty for the explanations.

  32. Cracking puzzle that I thoroughly enjoyed, although I took longer to get there than many. I nominate 19a as the greatest smile-inducer. Thanks to the setter and Mr K for sparing us the 26a theme song. 2*/4*

    1. I’ve never seen 26a so I’m not familiar with its theme song. Sounds like that is probably a good thing.

  33. Goodish, but I found some of the answers hard to pass, so thanks Mr.K. for the explanations. Cheers go the Tuesday setter too.

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