DT 28453 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28453

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28453

Hints and tips by ShropshireLad

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

Good Morning to you all from a bright and sunny Shropshire where we are promised some BBQ-ing weather – scorchio. This is a really pleasant and enjoyable puzzle from Jay that I don’t think will prove to be too difficult for many of you. There are a couple of clues that, for the pedants amongst us, might grate a bit – but life is too short to bother about them too much.

As ever, the definitions are underlined (where applicable) and my hints are there as a backup. If you are still stuck, then the answer can be revealed by clicking on the grey ‘Click here!’ button.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Complain, and a student gives a bit of a hand (6)
CARPAL: We start with a 4 letter synonym for ‘complain’ (not of the bovine variety, more of the piscine sort), followed by the ‘A’ from the clue and Crosswordland’s favourite abbreviation for ‘student’.

5a    Check with pilot for person on board (8)
CHAIRMAN: The 2 letter abbreviation for ‘check’ is followed by a synonym for ‘pilot’ (or member of the RAF).

9a    Got time, having served teas, for such a thing as Marmite? (8,5)
ACQUIRED TASTE: You will need an 8 letter synonym for ‘got’, followed by abbreviation for ‘time’ and adding an anagram (served) of TEAS. Not quite sure about the anagram indicator here or the definition.

10a    Refiner working with energy and no constraints (4,4)
FREE REIN: An anagram (working) of REFINER and the abbreviation for ‘energy’.

11a    Fearless in command, chasing the girl’s love (6)
HEROIC: Start with a synonym for ‘the girl, followed by the character used in tennis to show a zero score and finish with (chasing) the standard abbreviation for ‘In Command’

12a    Rogue deed and its consequence? (6)
IMPACT: I would say that this is a ‘semi all in one’ clue. Start with a synonym for a ‘rogue’ and follow it with a synonym of ‘deed’.

14a    Quietly spoken — by a good man of the countryside (8)
PASTORAL: Start with the abbreviation for ‘quietly’ and a synonym for ‘spoken’ and insert (by) the ‘A’ from the clue and the abbreviation for a ‘good man’.

16a    Ducks walk when crossing road (8)
MALLARDS: Start with a synonym for ‘walk’ (as a noun, not a verb) and the 2-letter synonym for ‘when’ containing (crossing) the abbreviation for ‘road’.

19a    Such clues must be a burden (6)
ACROSS: This is an example of the type of clue we are looking for – found by using the ‘A’ from the clue and a synonym for a ‘burden’.

21a    Fearful Catholic’s first inhabitant of the Tower (6)
CRAVEN: Take the leading letter (first) of ‘Catholic’ and follow it with the name of a bird most associated with the Tower of London (an inhabitant of the Tower).

23a    Double feature offering cheers (4-4)
CHIN-CHIN: A repetition (double) of a feature of your face.

25a    Ultra-modern nation frequently needing courage (5-2-3-3)
STATE-OF-THE-ART: A nice ‘lego’ clue – starting with a synonym for ‘nation’ add an archaic term for ‘frequently’ and finish with (needing) a 5 letter synonym for ‘courage’.

26a    Unhappy with ring and flower (8)
BLUEBELL: Start with a colour that is most associated with ‘unhappy’ and add (with) a synonym of ‘ring’.

27a    New Yorker’s talk about name and borders of Eire (6)
YANKEE: Take the abbreviation for ‘name’ contained (about) by a 3-letter synonym of ‘talk’ and add the first and last letters (borders of) ‘Eire’


2d    Danger coming from garden, for example (7)
ANAGRAM: ‘Danger’ and ‘garden’ are examples of this type of clue sometimes overused by crossword setters. Ring any bells MP?

3d    Resentment’s highest point, reportedly (5)
PIQUE: A homophone (reportedly) of the ‘highest point’ of a mountain for example.

4d    Electioneers sacked after ignoring one city (9)
LEICESTER: An anagram (sacked) of ELECTIONEERS after removing (ignoring) ONE.

5d    Make a large profit from tip in trophy (5,2)
CLEAN UP: This way to profit comes from a synonym for ‘trophy’ containing (in) another synonym for ‘tip’.

6d    A long letter (5)
AITCH: A nice succinct clue. Start with the ‘A’ from the clue and follow it with a synonym for ‘long’ as in desire.

7d    Water is mostly ice on Loire, apart from the banks (9)
RESERVOIR: You will need a synonym for ‘ice’ without its last letter (mostly) and then add (on) the remaining letters of ‘Loire’ after removing the first and last characters (apart from banks).

8d    Crime waves among drivers in this country (7)
AMERICA: An anagram (waves) of CRIME inserted in (among) a 2-letter abbreviation for one of the UK’s leading breakdown services (drivers).

13d    A vile tale about moderate (9)
ALLEVIATE: An anagram (about) A VILE TALE.

15d    In the manner of a servant that’s wasteful, cloaked in cunning (9)
SLAVISHLY: Start with a synonym of ‘cunning’ and insert (cloaked) a term that could be considered as ‘wasteful’ (normally associated with the lifestyle of the rich).

17d    Spray a wild rose and look up (7)
AEROSOL: Start with the ‘A’ from the clue and add an anagram (wild) of ROSE and finish off with a 2 letter synonym for ‘look’ reversed (up in a down clue).

18d    Quantity of fire if fuel oddly absent? (7)
SACKFUL: You will need a synonym for ‘fire’ (as in dismiss) and then add the leftover letters of ‘if fuel’ after the odd characters are removed (oddly absent).

20d    Let off after satirical piece becomes target for bowler (7)
SKITTLE: The bowler here has nothing to do with cricket – you’ll be pleased to hear. An anagram (off) of LET follows (after) a synonym of a ‘satirical piece’. We used to call them ‘sods opera’ in the RN.

22d    Changes to Venice, apart from the west end, seen as relative (5)
NIECE: An anagram (changes to) of VENICE without (apart from) the first letter (west end).

24d    Distance one propels a bicycle (5)
CHAIN: I would say that this is a double definition, the latter is a linkage that in fact needs the power of a cyclist’s legs (via pedals and a crank) to ‘propel a bicycle’. Pedantic? Who me?

Well, there we are – another review done and dusted. I hope you enjoyed the puzzle and didn’t find it too difficult. My favourite clue of the day is 6d, just what a clue should be – succinct and to the point. Which one(s) brought a smile to your face?

The Quick Crossword pun: boules+sigh=bull’s-eye

86 comments on “DT 28453

  1. 2*/4* for another very enjoyable Wednesday puzzle.

    19a was my favourite, with 21a, 25a & 6d also deserving special mentions

    Many thanks to Jay and SL – great blog, Jim!

  2. **/**** for me too. Bottom half completed double quick and then slowed down slightly. I liked 9a – thought it had a nice surface reading. Suspect 2d is a bit of an old chestnut but it was my favourite and raised a smile when the penny dropped. Thanks to Jay and SL for an entertaining review.

      1. Hi Aunty – it’s how the clue actually reads a a sentence, not clunky or weird sounding just to make the clue work.

        The test is usually to read it out loud and see if it sounds like a normal, or at least sensible phrase.

        6d is a good surface, 7d not so good. Hope that helps.

        1. Good information there LR – I think we are all guilty at some point or other of using ‘crossword speak’ assuming that everyone knows what we’re talking about :)

  3. Very enjoyable, completed at a gallop – */****.

    One or two oldies but goodies or were they recent repeats?

    Stand-out favourite – 9a (I have a good story of an American lady sampling Twiglets, she was not impressed).

    Thanks to Jay and the Lad for a high quality blog – the 2 Kiwis will have to watch out; their ‘hold’ on the Wednesday blog might be under threat.

    1. Without even knowing the story, I feel for the American lady. If only someone had warned me that they taste of marmite…………

        1. That’s just weird – your dislike of marmite is obviously not sufficiently entrenched!

        2. Strange, I spoon the stuff on toast or cheese or both, but not overly keen on the salty cardboard sticks…

      1. About 10 years ago, if memory serves, I was in the American Airlines lounge at Heathrow. One of the snack items was the aforementioned Twiglets. A lady (from the USA) standing next to me picked up one to try it out. Her reaction was that she threw it down as if it was on fire. I smiled (very) inwardly – definitely a 9a!

    2. We have friends with Springer Spaniel called Trigger. His offspring are known as Triglets.

      1. Oh – I’d like to meet a Triglet – Springer Spaniels are second only to Border Collies as far as I’m concerned.

  4. Not overly taxing but nearly as enjoyable as the early dog walk on a beautiful morning here in S Wales. Took too long to see 2d, although I think an almost identical clue appeared quite recently – DOH!
    Unlike SL I liked 9a (although not Marmite) – COTD for me
    Thanks to Jay & SL for review.

  5. Just the one hiccup as I tried to make 5a ‘chessman’ – quite reasonable, I thought.
    Nearly had to go into Kath’s Dim Corner over 2d – the last one to fall.

    9a came out on top (even though I loathe the stuff) followed by 25a&6d.

    Thanks to Jay and to SL for an excellent blog.

    1. C for check. Rudolph HESS (had something to do with airborne activities) and person on board is a Man. I like your thinking Jane.

  6. Where does the letter S come from in 16C? I have lawns to mow and trees to prune.

  7. A R@ W today for me and made a note of */*** on completion that I liked the surface reading throughout . Lots of my favourite charades.
    No outstanding clues just an enjoyable solve.
    Thank SL for the pics .

  8. Really good crossword – just needed a bit of help from SL to parse 16a. Thanks to The Lad and Jay for an enjoyable start to the day. **/****

  9. Rather simple but nicely clued as is the norm from Jay. 19a fave by a whisker. */***
    Thanks to Jay, and yes, SL – agree with your point @24d – and thanks for the review.

    1. But – without the 24d you could pedal as hard as you like without progressing forward at all.

      1. … proving that the cyclist provides the propelling force, the ***** simply conveys that force from one place to another.
        Downhill, gravity (or one’s mass) would be the propelling force, with or without a you-know-what. :wink:

  10. It’s hard to find anything new to say on a Wednesday, so I suppose I’ll just have to repeat myself. Jay is consistently good and I thought this another high quality puzzle with too many contenders to pick a sensible number of favourites. Thanks to him and to ShropshireLad.

  11. Enjoyable puzzle – got stuck for a while with the spelling of ‘peeke’ (sic) until I spotted my mistake. Apart from that */****. 6d is my favourite, I think. And I love Marmite. Spread on toast with a poached egg on top – scrummy! Or a teaspoonful in a beef casserole!!

  12. For me this was not as easy as the blog suggests. Eventually everything fell into place and 7d the last one in.

  13. Good clean fun much enjoyed outside in beautiful sunshine. Couldn’t parse 5a without SL assistance. Top 3 clues for me were 23a, 25a and 26a (makes a change to have a bloomer rather than a river). Thanks Jay and SL.

  14. I agree with Kitty that it’s hard to find anything new to say about Jay’s crosswords as they’re always so good.
    I was a bit slow to get the 26a flower – confused by its being the wrong season for them – well, that’s my excuse anyway.
    16a was fine once I realised that it was the duck I was after and nothing to do with waddling.
    I liked 9a – and I do like Marmite, especially on toast with peanut butter – if you haven’t tried it don’t knock it.
    I also liked 16a and 2 and 7d.
    With thanks to Jay and to SL.

    1. For me it’s cheddar cheese, Marmite and coleslaw butties. Peanut butter is for toast and marmalade, yum :yes:

      1. No – absolutely not – can’t stand “nutty sweetnesss’. It did take me a long time to think up a comment that wouldn’t be construed as rude, knowing you lot as I do.

        1. Peanut butter, banana and pilchard sandwiches, Morris dancing and that other thing, you know instinctively you don’t need to try.

    2. Hear, hear Kath – it’s delicious. Don’t tell anyone this side of the Pond but I lived in US long enough to become an aficionado of various other combinations such as pb and “jelly” – mmm!

      1. My Dad always had a cheese and jam butty at least once a week for his ‘snap’ :)

          1. In the words of CS to Brian – have a look in the BRB :) That’s the synonym for Chambers btw :wink:

            1. OK – I give in but, having the attention span (did you notice the anagram there?) of a gnat I got fed-up before I got to the right bit. Oh dear.

      2. Oh yuk – see my reply to pommers re pb and marmalade.
        On a slightly different way of thinking – my Dad always loved fried bread (proper fried bread) with bacon and marmalade.

  15. Great stuff from Jay as ever on a Wednesday.

    My favourite was 6d for its succinctness.

    Many thanks to Mr. Mutch and to SL. Now back to see if England can somehow defend 211 at Cardiff, I’m not optimistic.

      1. I’m not actually there, just watching on TV, but it certainly looks a glorious day, as it is in most parts of the UK today.

  16. On the whole a superb crossword but let down by 7d – very poor.
    Loved 19a, 2d and 24d, all excellent clues I thought.
    For me 1.5*(7d spoilt the score)/****
    Thx to all

  17. Another good ‘un from Jay.
    Fave was 9a; I have Marmite every morning for breakfast, on toast with an egg, yum-yum.
    Thanks to Jay and to ShropshireLad for a most entertaining blog.

  18. Another nice one ☝️ three in a row Liked 5a & 16a, 3d & 2d 🙂 **/**** Thanks to Jay and to SL for a nice blog. What news of the 2x Ks 😳

    1. No news of 2K’s – maybe I’ll email them and report back. I don’t know exactly where they are but I think that it involved a long train journey from the South to the North of Australia. I can’t imagine that Kiwi Colin would be happy for long without internet so they’ll probably pick it up.

    2. I’m sorry to say that you have me in the blogging chair for one more week – thereafter, normal service will be resumed on the return of the 2K’s. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to blog some Jay puzzles – good fun :)

  19. A nice light summer offering */*** with a few harder clues here and there. A great confidence-builder for people who are cutting their teeth with cryptics. Thanks Jay and SL.
    Now to chase that builder up. Why oh why are they so difficult to pin down?

  20. Ha ha mcmillibar – cutting one’s teeth eh? I’ve been at this for years now and still get stuck on puzzles that most on here think are easy. Today it was the north west corner which took me ages to cut into. Perversely however I sometimes find ‘hard’ puzzles easy. Personally I think it’s something to do with my complete ignorance of anything to do with cricket, football and racing. However after many years tuition on this page I am gradually becoming familiar with a few terms – even if i haven’t got a clue what they mean.

    My favourite clue today was 15d

    Thanks to all.

  21. I didn’t find this as easy as some others. I did manage to work out 26a fairly quickly and hoped that there would be a nice picture. Thank you Jay, and thank you too SL for such a lovely pic.

  22. Enjoyed this one very much,apart from missing the anagram at 10a. Favourite was 19a.

    Am I the only person who has never tasted Marmite?

    Thanks Jay and SL.

    1. I was once told that veggiemite was a good substitute for marmite. It is definitely not. If I have run out of marmite , I will have a peanut butter and banana sandwich. Yummy.

  23. Just in case anyone’s still interested the ‘official’ pun for last Wednesday’s Quickie has now appeared on the online site. If you remember the relevant words were calf and hairy and the answer is given as ‘car ferry’ (not carvery).

    1. Thanks for the clarification Gazza – although I must admit that ‘carvery’ was a decent shout.

      On the Lions front, I am bereft that Hogg is on his way back home but, as he has said in his column in the Sport section today, if it’s the choice between playing or being blind in one eye then common sense should prevail. He could always play for the Cornish Pirates if he were of a mind Y’aar :)

  24. No horses were frightened during the solving of this puzzle. */**** from me and I’ll agree with SL that 6d was favourite but 24d deserves a mention for its great surface.

    Thanks to the Wednesday Wizard and to SL.

  25. Late today as spent the whole time outside listening to England have a rare failure in the cricket semi-final. A very pleasant, gentle and enjoyable puzzle from Jay for a sunny Wednesday. 6d seems a popular choice for COTD and I will join the consensus.

    Many thanks to Jay and to SL for an excellent blog.

  26. Hi all, this is not a comment on today’s hints though I like seeing Shropshire Lad’s screen name. We have lived all over but our last residence in the UK was in Oswestry so we did enjoy Shropshire for 3 years.

    My comment is more of an observation or two about the Telegraph Cryptic crosswords in general and this site.

    I have been in and out of hospital a lot lately, I’m kind of doing a Grand Tour of Ontario Health Care as I have to go to where ever there is a bed available. Next week Picton! So my hubby sent away for a couple of books of Telegraph puzzles. They’re nice. But they just don’t feel right. Anyone else feel this way?

    I have a subcription (digital) to the Telegraph and also separately to the crossword. I print off ‘tomorrow’s’ crossword every evening and so enjoy it even though I am not like you clever clogs and rarely finish it without your lovely hints (my second point below). I could use the online app to do the crossword because of my main subscription and not have to pay for the separate puzzle cost. But I just don’t like it as much. I have no idea why and can think of no logical reason. Clicking on a keyboard doesn’t compete with a piece of paper with my scribbled anagram attempts in the margins.

    So to my other point. Even if I do happen to finish a crossword on my own I come here anyway because I find the hints to the clues just as entertaining as the clues themselves. And all the comments. And I know I shouldn’t start a sentence with and. :-)

    So thank you Big Dave and all you hint givers. I will wave on Tuesday from Loyalist country – more Union Jacks(Flags really) than you can shake a stick at. Totally useless bit of information but who knows it might be a clue one day: Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Picton was in the British army and was killed in the battle of Waterloo, he was Wellington’s second-in-command apparently. Pretty town. Hope the hospital is nice.

    1. Carolyn – some while ago, someone explained that, I think but not absolutely certain, a newspaper subscription gave access to fewer puzzles, but definitely the cryptic. Sorry to hear about your health care tour, at least Picton is in a beautiful region. I remember a evry enjoyable Sunday afternoon driving tour of Prince Edward County many years ago.

      1. Thanks Senf. I will have another look. I thought it only gave me access to the clicky version but if I can print it off on the regular subscription that will be wonderful.

    2. With you all the way, Carolyn. I do purchase the paper version of the DT but any other puzzles I tackle (Rookie Corner, NTSPP, MPP etc.) are printed out before I tackle them – despite the cost of the printing ink over the years! I have yet to understand why, when almost everything I print out is in black and white, the printer’s colours still run out at a fairly rapid rate.

      As for puzzles in book form – they certainly have their place for travelling etc. but I’m not overly happy with them. I suspect it could be down to the ingrained admonition from my parents that I should NEVER, ever deface a book!

      Good luck with your hospital trips – hope the blog continues to give you something to look forward to.

      1. Yes Jane I feel the same way about writing in books.

        With regard to the colour cartridges running out and yes they do and they are flipping expensive. If you go to Printers – then select the printer, then select preferences and then Black and White – yes I know the puzzles are black and white but the printer uses up red/blue etc. to try to read the digital file to recreate the black colour. By selecting Black and White it will only use the black cartridge which is much much cheaper. Hope I am making sense here.

        1. Hi again,
          I do select the b/w option but then also go for grey/white as it supposedly saves 15% of toner. Maybe I’m not actually saving myself anything in the long term?

          1. Hi Jane, I’d try B&W for a while and see if it makes a difference.

            I think the printer sees grey as a mixture of colours. My husband’s comment is that printers must be female. Any time I am choosing paint I get those little test pots and say things like ‘Do you prefer whis white, or this white, or this white?’ and looks at me like I am completely mad. I am a bit daft but I can see the different ‘whites’. He just sees white.

      2. I do the Telegraph puzzles books abroad on holiday-quick and
        cryptic-googling the parsing of some answers I found out that the
        books contain puzzles that appeared in the newspaper about 8
        years ago-I know this because Google referred to antique Big
        Dave posts, and very useful they were too !
        I too prefer completing puzzles on paper rather than computer.
        Viz a viz Marmite-love it but it was blamed for a very mild
        attack of gout, so sadly banned.
        Regarding the puzzle-lots of ticks-COD 2D

    3. Hi Carolyn – what a lovely comment – thank you on behalf of my fellow hinters and bloggers . My fellow ‘county’ man (Young Salopian) lives in ‘The Marches’ so is probably closer to Oswestry than Telford. Like Senf, I’m also sorry to hear of your health trip round Canada and hope you get better soon.

      I have always preferred to solve a crossword on paper as it seems ‘the right thing to do’ – I’m by no means a ‘technophobe’ (now that’s a good word to clue) – just call me old fashioned :)

      Do please carry on commenting – the more the merrier (especially on the blog Birthday Bash in January).

    4. Hi Carolyn and how nice to ‘meet’ you – thank you for your lovely comments about this brilliant blog.
      Big Dave is an absolute star – he had the idea and works endlessly to keep the whole thing up and running.
      I am a bit of a technotwit but, somehow, manage to get some hints on the internet roughly every other Thursday.
      I agree with you about crosswords in books – they’re never quite the same but they keep me out of trouble sometimes.
      I can really only do crosswords on paper.
      I wish you good luck with all the hospital ‘stuff’.
      Please keep commenting – this is a very friendly and supportive ‘place’.

    5. Hi Carolyn- If starting a sentence with a preposition (and ) was good enough for William Blake, you go for it gal.
      Good luck for the future. TMcT.

    6. Thank you for those lovely comments Carolyn. Such comments keep me going. I am firmly committed to ipad solving using one finger only.

  27. Managed to find time to solve this lovely offering from Jay.
    I’m sure we saw 25a not long ago though. In the same format too.
    Another chestnut was 23a. Made me yawn but soon went back to enjoy the rest of the solve.
    I love things like Marmite. When I was a kid, I used to come back from school to eat mustard and gherkins sandwiches.
    Thanks to Jay and to SL for the blog.
    Sorry I missed it last week.

  28. The NW corner pushed this enjoyable puzzle into ** territory for difficulty. 2d was my last in, and my favourite clue today. If 9ac didn’t have a ? at the end I would have objected, because Marmite certainly isn’t a 9ac. :-)

  29. !8d caught me out. I read “quantity of fire” to be the first part of the answer. I then read “If fuel oddly” as IF-UL. I then tried to get S – – I F U L to fit!

  30. In between deciphering an obviously Chinese instruction manual for erecting a swing chair I endeavoured to complete today’s crossword. Neither was straight forward for me, but I think that was the manual’s fault rather than Jay’s.
    I guess the Marmite clue was my favourite, and overall 2/3.5*.
    Thanks to Jay, and to SL for the review.

  31. Top end of 1* difficulty, l thought, but enjoyable to solve (3.5*). I liked 20d. Ta to Jay and SL.

  32. Jay never fails. Thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish with just the right level of difficulty for those of us solving in the wee hours after a long and harrowing session at the coalface. To misquote Alan Bennett’s great line from The History Boys, “News? It’s just one thing after another” it wears you down. Thanks to SL and J. 1*/4*

  33. No problems with this, very late Ray-T for me tomorrow, looking forward to it.
    Thanks Jay and SL

  34. I do the Telegraph puzzles books abroad on holiday-quick and
    cryptic-googling the parsing of some answers I found out that the
    books contain puzzles that appeared in the newspaper about 8
    years ago-I know this because Google referred to antique Big
    Dave posts, and very useful they were too !
    I too prefer completing puzzles on paper rather than computer.
    Viz a viz Marmite-love it but it was blamed for a very mild
    attack of gout, so sadly banned.
    Regarding the puzzle-lots of ticks-COD 2D

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