DT 28460 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28460

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28460

Hints and tips by Falcon

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

Greetings from Ottawa where preparations are in full swing for our 150th birthday party on July 1.

Having been travelling for much of the last month — two weeks in Northern Ireland and northern Ireland followed by a visit with relatives upon my return to Canada, this is the first puzzle that I have solved in quite some time (and the rust is clearly evident). I found the puzzle very enjoyable, although my enjoyment level may be influenced by having been deprived of the pleasure of solving a puzzle for such a lengthy period.

All indications point to this puzzle not being a RayT creation. Having eliminated him as a suspect, Shamus would seem to be next in line for consideration. However, to attribute the puzzle to him would be little more than a shot in the dark as I am still working on perfecting my Shamus detecting radar.

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   Drink quantity of beer, short and a soft drink, with Russian’s agreement (4,6)
PINA COLADA — string together a standard measure of beer with the final letter removed (short), A (from the clue), a carbonated beverage, and the word a Russian would use to indicate agreement

6a   Fight ancient city? No thanks (4)
SPAR — an ancient Greek city with a short British word for thanks removed

10a   Former partner joining group making comeback gets praise (5)
EXTOL — the usual former partner followed by the reversal of a set of items for sale at auction

11a   Infamous rejection for Brazilian city by America (9)
NOTORIOUS — a phrase (2,2,3) that would signify rejection for a Brazilian city followed by a short term for America (the country, not the continents)

12a   Attempts overturning iron citadels (7)
EFFORTS — a reversal of the symbol for the chemical element iron and some military strongholds

13a   Criticise résumé (7)
RUNDOWN — split (3,4) the solution could mean to denigrate

14a   Data’s vague on rambling being beneficial (12)
ADVANTAGEOUS — an anagram (rambling) of the first three words in the clue

18a   Dissident finally spent mint in Moscow? (12)
TROUBLEMAKER — the final letter of spenT plus what a production facility for money might be known as in Moscow

21a   Allow to tuck into chops as small pieces of meat (7)
CUTLETS — a synonym for allow inside another term for chops or hews

23a   The setter’s backed bet in error (7)
MISTAKE — a reversal of the contracted pronominal phrase the compiler of the puzzle would substitute for “the setter is” followed by a sum of money risked in betting

24a   Tunnel man damaged, causing cancellation (9)
ANNULMENT — an anagram (damaged) of the first two words of the clue

25a   Give address that’s fancy, not new (5)
ORATE — a synonym for highly decorated or fancy without the N(ew)

26a   Like two, say, in uniform (4)
EVEN — double definition; two could be described as this, but three could not

27a   March for breakaway? Not Home Counties (10)
PROCESSION — a term meaning for or in favour of followed by an act of breaking away without the geographic location of the Home Counties


1d   Umpire goes inside for a favour (6)
PREFER — a short name for an umpire contained in a preposition denoting ‘for a’ or ‘for each’

2d   Advise haberdashery: fit one’s clothes from the bottom up! (6)
NOTIFY — the phrase comprised of the second, third, and fourth words of the clue conceals (clothes) a reversal (from the bottom up — in a down clue) of the solution

3d   Perhaps King Edward’s affliction or state, maybe, worker let out (8,6)
COLORADO BEETLE — an American Mountain State, one of our usual insect workers, and an anagram (out) of LET gives us a pest that might afflict either a King Edward or an Irish Cobbler

4d   Painting secures international recognition by European (9)
LANDSCAPE — a charade of a colloquial expression denoting successfully obtains something of value, an item of headwear symbolizing membership on an international sports team, and E(uropean)

5d   Put off opening of tent with animals outside (5)
DETER — the first letter of Tent surrounded by some ruminant mammals often loathed by gardeners

7d   Passenger on vacation books train up for convention (8)
PROTOCOL — the phrase “on vacation” signifies ‘after the interior letters have been removed’; thus we have P(assenge)R, one of the usual sets of religious books, and a reversal (up in a down clue) of a colloquial short term for a train (or, more specifically, the engine pulling the train)

8d   Run as hunter’s regularly beginning to show impetuosity (8)
RASHNESS — string together R(un), AS (from the clue),a regular sequence of letters found in HuNtErS, and the initial letter of Show

9d   Anger stirs sons developing criminal acts (14)
TRANSGRESSIONS — anagram (developing) of the first three words of the clue

15d   Tangle in new haircut after husband leaves is upsetting (9)
TRAUMATIC — place a mass of tangled hair inside an anagram (new) of hAIRCUT after H(usband) has been removed

16d   Stupidly dock at point under bottom of Thames Barrier (8)
STOCKADE — start with an anagram (stupidly) of DOCK AT; then append a cardinal point and place the entire lot after the final letter (bottom in a down clue) of ThameS

17d   Study can set up Brussels and carry on (8)
CONTINUE — a charade of an archaic word meaning to study, another word for a can on the supermarket shelf, and a reversal (set up in a down clue) of the initials of an organization based in Brussels from which Britain is attempting to extricate itself

19d   Hunt a female wearing Indian dress (6)
SAFARI — A (from the clue) and F(emale) wrapped in an Indian woman’s garment

20d   Cut north to find river (6)
SEVERN — a verb meaning to cut off physically followed by N(orth)

22d   Singular cattle  drive (5)
STEER — double definition; a member of a herd of cattle and to control the direction of a vehicle

There are a number of deserving candidates in today’s puzzle, but I will award top spot to the Russian dissident (18a).

50 comments on “DT 28460

  1. A few bunged-in from definition and parsed later, but generally a straightforward solve today.

    Thanks to Falcon and setter */***

  2. 1.5*/2*. This was a straightforward solve but I found it a bit of a curate’s egg. There was plenty to enjoy offset by some iffy surfaces and several clunky charades, epitomised by 3d amongst others. 18a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Falcon.

  3. Mostly bunged because A. The word fit the checkers. B. The word matched the wordplay. Parsing can come later. Solved between Long Itchington and Kenilworth on the way to pick up our grandson Harrison who is intent upon building the most intricate Brio rail track ever.

  4. Well, I found this quite difficult but very enjoyable, like a more achievable Guardian crossword. To each their own, I suppose (unless it has something to do with sleep deprivation in this heat). I thought the ‘rouble-maker’ formed part of the best clue of the week.

    1. I agree – I’ve written ‘Dada?’ at the top of my sheet of paper. I agree also that 18a is a top clue. Thanks to Falcon for the review.

        1. You weren’t alone, Gazza. I even said to Kath this morning that I thought this one was probably penned by Dada!

  5. I’m not going to setter-guess today (translation: I have no idea) but will say that the quickie is unlike Dada’s previous two.

    I found it doable while half-asleep (though sometimes I think my sleeping brain works better than my awake one). I was pleased to be able to piece together 3d as I’m not sure I knew him. (This reminded me of a creature of a similar type I met while holidaying in Dorset: bright green and shiny, very pretty, with a slight dent. Naturally I called her Susie.)

    Our favourite also is the Russian Mint.

    Thanks to the setter and to Falcon – welcome back to crosswordland.

  6. All pretty straightforward but admit to a couple of bung-ins – 27a, 7d. Enjoyed fathoming 1a which could be Fav. Initially tried to justify spur for 6a using Ur as the ancient city. Thank you Mysteron for pleasant challenge and Falcon particularly for unfolding the bung- ins. Welcome brief spell of thundery rain ⚡️🌧 but now back to more sunshine ☀️however hope for less oppressive heat than last few days.

  7. Thursday’s puzzle is normally the toughest of the week but not this week, this one was pretty straightforward with some lovely anagrams, right up my street!

    Back to the decorating – big sigh!

  8. Popping in early to say that this wasn’t a Shamus or a Dada! Thanks for the blog and for the comments. Some nice animal pictures in the blog today :-)

    1. Nice to know I was right. Enjoyed the solve, which I thought perfectly pitched for the back page. Thanks to both setter and blogger

  9. */** – straightforward, and completed at a gallop.

    I agree with Rabbit Dave that some of the clues were ‘iffy’ and, to add to his identification of 3d, I would suggest that the ‘A’ in 1d was superfluous.

    Favourite a toss-up between 6a and 27a.

    Thanks to the setter and Falcon.

    1. I don’t think the ‘a’ is superfluous in 1d. Per can mean ‘for a’ as in ‘five for a pound’.

  10. Made the most of last night sitting under the stars with friends and laughter-juice so todays solve was a bit slower and harder than it should have been. (we never learn).
    Easy favourite was 18a. So thanks to Mister Ron and the refreshed Falcon.

  11. Finally got the rouble makers after one or two checking letters. The dissidents I came across were a bit more than troublemakers

  12. Very doable and enjoyable.
    2d was my favourite .
    Thanks Mr Ron( please come out of the closet) and Falcon.
    I had the weird experience of doing the Toughie first , by accident . I kept thinking “Even CS would agree this is a wrong envelope day “.

            1. We need to distinguish between the name ‘Mr Ron’ which we use to denote an unknown setter and ‘Mister Ron’ which is Samuel’s nom de plume on this blog.

  13. Enjoyed this one some very good clues to get the old grey matter working.
    Just got back from a few days at sea, I don’t usually do charter work, but I have to say this will be my last what a rude bunch of hooray Henries and Henriettas.
    That’s the rant over with.
    Thanks to Falcon and to Mr Ron I find his crosswords the entertaining but only by a short head.

  14. Difficult to look beyond 18a as the COTD. That apart, like others before me, I did bung a few in and parse them afterwards. Not too difficult but equally not a simple solve by virtue of some of the awkward (as I found it) clueing. Overall I marked this 2.5*/2.5*.

    Thanks to the Thursday Mr Ron and to Falcon.

  15. Thought this was more difficult than yesterdays solve ,so as I rated that *,I am awarding this ** and *** for enjoyment.
    Today’s puzzle confirmed that if there is an outstanding clue , then most solvers agree- in this case 18a.
    Liked 1a and 7d for the ‘passenger on vacation’-had me stumped for a while.
    Thanks to all.

  16. A bit of a curate’s egg today. Some very good clues and then some that were altogether too easy! However still quite pleasant to do and 2/3* overall. Fave clue possibly 18a ….or maybe 7d; I’ll go for the latter.
    Thanks to Mister Ron, and to the rusty Falcon for the review.

  17. Thanks to Mister Ron and to Falcon for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, but found it very tricky. Needed the hints for 7&15d, and to parse 11a&2d. Favourite was 18a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  18. Best back pager for a while IMHO. Like others it was the Rouble maker that did it for me :lol: **/**** from us.

    Many thanks to Mister Ron and Falcon.

  19. Good heavens! Find myself agreeing with RD for the second day in succession with regards to the difficulty rating and the clunky iffy clues. I have heard of the pest referred to in 3A but did not know that it attacked the tuber mentioned. When I was a lad in snooty Ooty I remember an entire harvest of the said tuber was wiped out by something called a golden nematode. My favourite clue by some distance was 18a.

  20. Flowed nicely and was a pleasurable solve. Nothing contentious, nor outlandish for me.
    Another vote for 18a COTD but 7d ran it close.
    Thanks to Mister Ron for the puzzle & for looking in. Also Falcon for review

  21. It would seem that most of the comments award fewer stars than I did for both difficulty and enjoyment. I am not surprised as my assessment for difficulty is likely influenced by my aforementioned rustiness due to a prolonged absence from solving puzzles. As for enjoyment, it may well be the case that even the simplest fare is a feast for a starving man.

  22. This was most enjoyable and am not surprised that it’s a Mister Ron offering.
    I needed the hints to parse 27a and 7d, but was very pleased that I remembered King Edward!
    I’m going with the popular vote for 18a, brilliant. I disagree with RD, I also liked 3d, maybe because I solved it.
    Thanks to Mister Ron, thanks for popping in, and to Falcon for his hints.

  23. I like back-pagers to have spot-on surface reads and a fair sprinkling of humour so this one didn’t really earn too many Brownie points from me.
    Just to be different, I’ll award top place to the succinct 13a.

    Thanks to Mister Ron and to Falcon – nice to see you back in harness!

  24. I’m another who had 18a as the stand-out clue, very enjoyable overall although I’m not surprised a few of the surfaces raised eyebrows.

    Many thanks to Mr. Lancaster (perhaps that’s one way to differentiate between Mister Ron and Mr Ron?) and to Falcon, safely back in his Ottawa roost.

  25. **/***. A bit of a curates egg. Some quite contrived surfaces but there were good ones as well. Favourites were 1&18a. Thanks to Falcon and the setter.

  26. I thought this was a cracking puzzle, and agree the Russian mint is outstanding.
    Excellent, Mister Ron and thanks to Falcon; agree with ***/****

  27. Finished but i thought this a horrible puzzle with lots of not quite right clues such as 17d, the EU is not Brussels and vice Versa. Nasty. Not for me. Very sloppy.
    Thx for the hints

    1. Brussels is being used as a metonym for the European Union just as Westminster is used as a metonym for the UK government, Ottawa for the Canadian government, and Washington for the US government.

      I cannot be sure if you are simply objecting to the use of Brussels as a metonym (a common practice) or if your objection is more nuanced in that the European Parliament is officially based in Strasbourg despite the fact that it meets for the most part in Brussels.

  28. Strangely, I found this easier than yesterday, but certainly did not find it easy. I am also suffering from rustiness, post vacation, and prodding brain back into action. Thank you Falcon for helpful hints which allowed me to finish. 18a is definitely COTD, although I did need the hint before the light bulb went off. As I said, definitely rusty right now. Back to the mountain of ironing now…

  29. About ** for difficulty, and lots of fun to be had along the way. 18ac was indeed a very good clue.

  30. It is a good thing we did not have to guess the setter for this one as we would have got it wrong too. An enjoyable solve that kept us smiling throughout, especially 18a.
    Thanks Mister Ron and Falcon.

  31. Late today – I enjoyed this but there’s too much else cluttering my brain to write at length or to have done justice to the crossword.
    I confess that I rather liked 1a and, along with everyone else it seems, 18a.
    Thanks to Mister Ron and to Falcon.
    PS It would have been one of those days when I wouldn’t have had the first idea who set the crossword but I knew it wasn’t a Ray T – it didn’t feel like a Shamus either.
    Night night all.

  32. I loved it. Sure, some of clues needed ironing but, hey … So many of the answers came to me before I understood why and I guess the pleasure came from the dissection of the answer rather than the clue. But that also, the theory goes, educates me for the next time. Good to see Falcon back and many thanks to Mister R 2*/4*

  33. After Wednesday’s travails, I really enjoyed this offering. Extremely enjoyable and especially liked 1 and 18 across. As usual done just before midnight last night, I really should try to do these in the daylight. :)

  34. I thought this one was very good, better than the Mon – Wed offerings, and therefore worthy of comment. Slightly above average difficulty for a back-pager and enjoyable enough. 2.5*/3*.

  35. A very late post to say I enjoyed this very much. 2*/4* for me. I especially liked 18a and 3d. Big thanks to ‘Mister Ron’ and to Falcon.

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