DT 28472 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28472

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28472

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Hello everyone. I’m not quite sure what I thought of today’s crossword and I don’t have the first idea who set it but it’s not Ray T. I found it quite difficult while I was doing it but now I can’t see why unless it was the large number of double unchecked letters – something I rarely notice – and the small number of anagrams.

In the hints the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under the bits that say ANSWER so don’t do that unless you want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today.


1a            King also known to be absorbing fine novelist (5)
KAFKA — Start off with the abbreviation for King in cards and chess and follow that with the three letters that mean also known as which contain (absorbing) F(ine).

4a            Support second eleven in industrial area (8)
TEESSIDE — A support, the thingy that a golf ball sits on, the abbreviation for S(econd) and then an eleven or a team.

8a            Sister dined, it’s said, in Midlands town (8)
NUNEATON — A female member of a religious order is followed by a homophone (it’s said) of a synonym for dined.

9a            A comment online say close to blasphemy? It’s deplored in religion (8)
APOSTASY — A comment of the kind that lots of you will be making today, then say, and the last letter (close to) of blasphemy. I’m not sure about the ‘say’ here – maybe I’m missing something.

11a         Blueprint to create university west of Hollywood area (7)
FORMULA — A verb to create or make, the one letter for U(niversity) and the two letter abbreviation for the American city where Hollywood is.

13a         A line in advertising stunt that’s rife (9)
PREVALENT — The A from the clue and L(ine) go inside (in) the two letters associated with advertising and a stunt or incident.

15a         A chief’s enrolled to rebuild part of campus (4,2,9)
HALL OF RESIDENCE — An anagram (to rebuild) of A CHIEF’S ENROLLED.

18a         Quality of a broadcast wedding ritual (9)
RECEPTION — A double definition. I spent ages trying to make it a homophone.

21a         Work of engineers some disturb in error (7)
TURBINE — A lurker, or hidden answer indicated by the word ‘some’ – he’s hiding in the last three words of the clue.

22a         Primate needs way of working with group after ruin (8)
MARMOSET — A verb to ruin or spoil is followed by (after) a two letter abbreviation for the latin ‘way of working’ and a group or circle of people.

24a         Sign of danger after tea’s spilt (8)
ASTERISK — An anagram (spilt) of TEA’S is followed by (after) a danger or gamble.

25a         Labourer, one telling fibs over walking aid (8)
HANDRAIL — A labourer or worker is followed by the reversal (over) of someone telling porky pies or being a bit economical with the truth.

26a         Source of eggs in part of cake? (5)
LAYER — A double definition.



1d            Powerful piece with angle on head of state in flier (10)
KINGFISHER — Begin with one of the two most powerful pieces in a game of chess, follow that with a verb ‘to angle’ or sit for hours dangling a piece of string in a river and finish off with the two letters for our Queen (head of state).

2d            Woeful enjoyment before a library’s opening (8)
FUNEREAL — Some enjoyment or amusement, a poetic word for before, the A from the clue and the first letter (opening) of L(ibrary).

3d            A better firm round middle of July in foreign resort (8)
ACAPULCO — The A from the clue, a verb to better or surpass, the middle two letters of jULy and, finally, the usual two letter abbreviation for a firm or company.

4d            Evidence of appreciation when consuming a French fish (4)
TUNA — Spoken evidence of appreciation – a slang way of saying ‘thank you’ around (when consuming) the French word for A.

5d            Seat is shifted in period of rest (6)
SIESTA — An anagram (shifted) of SEAT IS.

6d            One’s detained fashionable colleague (6)
INMATE — The usual short word for fashionable is followed by a colleague or ally.

7d            Feeling of discontent with messenger dropping round (4)
ENVY — A five letter messenger or diplomat without the ‘O’ (dropping round, or the round letter)

10d         Inoffensive requests by a group of conservationists (8)
PLEASANT — Some requests or appeals are followed by the A from the clue and the abbreviation for a charity concerned with the preservation of historic buildings (conservationists).

12d         Judge‘s compliment supporting upset father (8)
APPRAISE — A reversal (upset) of a short affectionate name for your Dad is followed by compliment or express approval of.

14d         Row about English having rest in decisive part of game (3-7)
TIE-BREAKER — A row or bank contains (about) the abbreviation for E(nglish) and a rest or pause.

16d         Visitor may get a buzz out of this implement, or phone inventor (8)
DOORBELL — A verb to implement or put into effect, the OR from the clue and the surname of the inventor of the telephone.

17d         Lords taking in old boy I fired in US city (8)
NOBILITY — The two letter abbreviation for O(ld) B(oy), the I from the clue and fired or ignited are all inside (taking in) the two letter abbreviation for the largest city in the US.

19d         Fancy that professor? You need a barrier (6)
CORDON — An expression of surprise – fancy that, or blimey – is followed by a professor or fellow of a college or university.

20d         Decent and quiet ranch employee (6)
PROPER — The letter that is the musical instruction to play quietly is followed by someone working on a ranch catching horses or cattle with a lasso – the BRB says this is a US and Australian word.

22d         Old US TV series is pulp! (4)
MASH — A double definition.

23d         Barely credible saga when last character’s gone and left (4)
TALL —A four letter saga or story minus its last letter (when last character’s gone) is followed by (and) the abbreviation for L(eft). It took me far too long to sort this one out.

I liked 8 and 11a and 2d. My favourite was 14d.


63 comments on “DT 28472

  1. Held up for a long time by ‘Teesside’ today (though not that difficult once seen), and effectively beaten by ‘Apostasy’ – I put ‘Apostacy’ and couldn’t fully understand it. Yes, I know I could have looked it up in the hallowed book …. Anyway, thanks to the setter and to Kath.

    1. I put apostacy too, quite straightforward apart from that. Thanks to all.

  2. At first glance looked difficult but after a slow start It did not take too long to complete. For once I remembered the support referred to in 4a which made it easier to solve. Thanks Kath for your excellent blog and to the setter for a challenging puzzle.

  3. Nice one today – once 15a is in, the rest fall into place.
    Lots of witty clues – 19d my favourite!

  4. Completed this at a gentle trot while I was multitasking on a long phone call and eating supper – 1.5*/2.5*.

    Double unches again – three times in five days!

    I thought that 9a and 22a were a bit ‘clunky’ in their cluing.

    Candidates for favourite 8a, 16d, and 19d – and the winner is 16d.

    Thanks to the setter and Kath.

  5. Definitely a ***/*** for me. Looking back at it there really isn’t anything that should have delayed me, but it was a bit of an uphill struggle. Last one in was 19d. Whenever I see a professor, I want to fit a chair in somehow!

    Many thanks to the setter and Kath.

  6. A steady solve for me today and going for a **/***,Lots of good clues,liked the surface of 16d, and 25a which mislead nicely.
    Have to admit that 21a was the last in as looked for the lurker but failed to spot it!
    Thanks Kath for the blog pics.

  7. I regret to say that I didn’t enjoy this at all. Clumsy, with poor surfaces and lacking wit. A newbie?

  8. Nice to be back after sailing aroundGreek island a few days home then off again for a week. Then done for rest of summer.
    I found this tricky having only had book of cryptic crosswords to keep brain active, never heard of 9a but I suspect that I am not alone, also a eal “doh”moment at 16d.
    I missed the blogger comments as well so will make the most of it.
    Thanks to Kath and setter.

  9. I seem to have enjoyed this more than those who have commented so far. It was a quick solve and I seemed to be on the right wave length. I thought it was a Ray T but apparently not. Needed Kath’s hints after the event to confirm the parsing of 13a and 16d. I thought 7d was “sore”. Happily I did not put it in (A reversal of Eros). Needed some checkers to confirm answers which could have had alternative endings. SW last in for me but I think this was more to do with the order in which I solved than the difficulty. . I was looking for something more technical at 18a. Was relieved that 22d an easy one as my knowledge of old US TV series is nil! Only snag for me is that I must now do the ironing.

  10. I thought this was an entertaining puzzle which gave much pleasure to solve. Once I got started!
    17d was my favourite and 2.5/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Kath for taking time off from the garden.

  11. 13ac Say = as? I got mixed up with the student accommodation at 15ac as it is usually referred to in the plural. That would really have messed the page up in the olden pen and paper days. iPads rule ok. Missed the PR in 13ac and would have used the formula for solving quadrilateral equations which is a formula of great beauty. I enjoyed this puzzle as I enjoy them every day. I wouldn’t do them otherwise. The illustration at 1d is of a vainglorious bird full of its own importance. The Long Itchington Kingfisher Eradication group (LIKE) has successfully prevented kingfishers from nesting along The River Itchen for many years. They meet every Sunday in The Square at 8.00am. They are funded by the EU.

    1. I agree with you about ‘say’ = ‘as’. I was hoping that someone would throw some light on it – Gazza, CS?

      1. One of the meanings of ‘as’ in the BRB is ‘for instance’. I can’t come up with a very good example but I’ll offer “Some country roads, as the B1234, are in urgent need of repair” and hope that someone else can do better.

      2. Say and as meaning for instance? That is what I make of it having had to abandon apostate as the answer and then an anagram of say!

      3. Thanks Gazza and Weekendwanda – I admit to being rather at a loss with this one.

      4. I’m one of the oldies who still prefer pen and paper for solving, likewise reading a real book versus an ebook….

        1. I love my Kindle, though I do read the odd printed book. I’ve just finished “My Grandmother Says To Say She’s Sorry”, I just love Fredrik Backman.

    2. Why would anyone want to stop such beautiful birds from nesting?? Or have I just succumbed to one of MP’s wind-up’s?? I speak as one who once spent a week at RSPB Inch Marshes preventing scumbags from stealing Osprey eggs.

  12. ***/*. I thought this was very clunky and contrived. Not a pleasant puzzle for me. Congratulations to Kath for unravelling the clues.

  13. I’m with Vancouverbc on this one .All those double unches didn’t help.
    Thanks Kath for all the hard work.

  14. Bit clunky and my least favourite for a long while. I confess I got bored and made use of kaths excellent hints to finish it.

  15. One of those that’s takes two sittings plus Mrs B doing half whilst I am trying unsuccessfully to hit a stationary white ball!
    One of those puzzles that I felt there was nothing wrong with but nothing much right in the way of enjoyment either. Nothing made me smile or go ‘Oh that’s clever’
    Thx to all

  16. I found it quite smooth going today. Needed the explanation for 9a.
    Surely a formulae is not a blueprint. There are a lot of uses in crossword land which I find odd coming from a science background. Can’t think of any at the moment and will have to start making a list.

  17. After yesterday’s struggle, I quite liked this, even though it was a strange grid.
    I remembered 8a from the deep recesses of my brain. I solved 1a on first read, I like when I do that, sets the tone of the whole puzzle. Last in was 4a, didn’t know it had two “s”.
    Fave was 14d, with 16d coming in second.
    Thanks to setter and to Kath for the hints, needed your explanations for a couple.

  18. Not a barrowload of laughs today but that’s OK by me as I have one eye/ear on Wimbledon and hence 14d came quickly to mind. Bunged in 13a but failed to parse it so thanks Kath for putting me straight on that and also the setter for this rather unusual challenge.

  19. I was beginning to think that an old bear was losing his marbles as have struggled of late… then whizzed through this. Several made me chuckle loudly 8a, 22a & 19d

    Thank you for clearing up 3d though and as always thanks to Kath and setter.

  20. Thanks to the setter and to Kath for the review and hints. I found this a really long slog, which was not helped by all the double unches. I got there in the end. Last in was 4a. Was 3*/2* for me.

  21. I was ok with this, but I agree that it lacked a bit of sparkle. I needed a hint for 9a, as I had never heard of the word.
    I liked 8a, but I am sure it was an ‘old chestnut’ for the experienced.
    I thought 4a was a bit tough on our overseas cruciverbalists.
    22d was an absolute favourite of mine when I was (much) younger, though it was never the same after Frank Burns left.
    15a, I agree with MP. Even with one, I am sure they are known collectively as ‘Halls…”
    Many thanks Kath and the setter.

  22. I really enjoyed this, in part because I found answer after answer slotting in from the word play rather than from spotting the definition and then parsing afterwards. I agree that there were a few clunky surfaces, but almost every clue was a fine example of cryptic clueing. Impossible to pick a favourite. Thanks to the setter for many, many smiles and to Kath for the great blog, especially the 22a and 1d illustrations.

  23. Finished at last phew! 😬 I have found the puzzles this week a lot trickier than in previous weeks 😩 ***/*** I must confess to falling into the 9a trap and not twigging the reason for 7d. Still all in all quite a nice puzzle, favourites 11a, 22a & 25a Thanks to Kath for the blog and as I actually completed it it rules out Ray T to the unknown setter 🤔

  24. Some clues were quite elegant such as 4d, 10d and 23d, but the majority were a bit slapdash IMHO.
    With words like 2d, I put my money on Shamus.
    Thanks to the setter and to Kath for the review.

  25. Too hot to do the last couple. Apostasy did for me as did Teesside. Not sure about ‘as’ being ‘say’ or am I missing something too? Thanks for the help :)

  26. Tricky and a bit of a slog if I’m honest. Some good clues, a few iffy ones, and my enjoyment fell away as a result. Not a complete disaster, though, so 3*/2.5* overall.

    Many thanks to the setter and well done Kath.

  27. I don’t see why others seem to have struggled with this (but fair’s fair – l sometimes struggle with those others have described as easy-peasy): 1*/3*. Favourite either 1a or 2d. Thanks to the setter and reviewer.

    1. Well, I live and learn – had to ask the nice Mr Google about him. How did I not guess . . . ?

      1. I just googled him, never heard of him before. I think he’s quite pretty, Kath.

  28. I enjoyed the solve but on looking over the review take the point about surfaces.

    Like Kath I spend a long time in soundalikeland in 18a. The ranch employee in 20d was a bit of a guess but it had to be. I liked the idea of an implement giving visitors a buzz (16d). My favourite is 19d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Kath.

  29. I found this a bit of a slog, with zero across answers and just a few down ones at first pass. Slowly it came together, with 13a being last in. Not sure why I found this hard as there really aren’t any obscure or specialized knowledge clues (I.e cricket etc.). Just a different setter and a different mindset to figure out. Thanks to Kath (my iPad always corrects you to Katherine and I have to retype … not sure if it knows that is our second born’s name?) for helpful hints.

  30. A couple of clues here that were more obscure for us than for many solvers, 4a and 8a but we did manage to get them, and when you add to that the 16 double unches in this grid, it did up the difficulty level somewhat. AS = SAY in 9a took a bit of thinking about and we see we are not alone with this. 18a also had us fooled into looking for a homophone so will go with that one as favourite.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Kath.

  31. All the words had at least half of the letters interlocking. There is the bonus of having 5 out of 8 interlocking and 3 out of 4. I do not object to double unches when there is an above average interlock. It is not my puzzle.

    1. Thank you for calling in, Cephas.
      I admit that when I saw you’d left a comment I assumed, until I read it, that it was one of yours on an unusual day.
      Would you like to give us a hint as to who set this one?
      Please . . . ?

  32. The NW corner pushed this into ** for difficulty for me, but the rest I found to be pretty straightforward. The proliferation of double unches I suspect may have made this more difficult than it really was. A grid that should be confined to the rubbish heap… Enjoyable in spite of that.

  33. My first comment here – and my second ever full crossword completion, no hints. Hopefully a good omen for the Lions on Saturday. Really love the blog

    1. Welcome from me too.
      Well done on your second ever crossword completion – glad to hear that you love the blog – we do too – please keep commenting.
      I’m afraid that the Lions on Saturday is like talking a foreign language to me. :unsure:

    2. If equating puzzling success to our ability to defeat NZ works then this blog will need to be taken on to the coaching team

  34. ‘Double unch’, ‘interlocking’ – eh!

    I suppose I’ll have to wade through the faq’s etc to see what you’re going on about!

    As far as this puzzle is concerned I enjoyed it, I got 9a using my Wordsearch program but the rest were all home-grown!

    I was watching the Golf from Portstewart this afternoon, what a brilliant course!

    1. I didn’t say ‘double unch’. When I do the hints I’m very careful to avoid that kind of thing which is why my introduction said ‘double unchecked letters’.
      I’m aware that that kind of crossword jargon can be off-putting to someone new to this addictive thing called ‘crossword solving’.
      Interlocking just means letters that cross over with another answer but please go to BD’s FAQ’s – it’s fascinating and informative.
      Sorry but golf is :yawn: to me.

  35. I do not know whose puzzle it is. I forgot to mention that the first letter of every answer interlocked.

    1. You’re perfectly right, never noticed that. It’s always important to get the first letter, helps no end in solving. That’s why you’re a setter and we plebs (I speak for myself only) are solvers.

    2. Ah – so they did.
      As Merusa said, that’s why you’re a setter and us lesser mortals just enjoy the fruits of your labours.

  36. OK everyone – that’s about it from me today.
    Thank you to today’s setter – still a bit of ‘whodunnit’.
    Thank you, too, to all who have commented.
    Night night, sleep tight and I don’t think I’ll bother with the ‘mind the bugs don’t bite’ as they’re no longer hungry! :sad:

  37. Quite liked it, but no great joy. Liked 1a, but will pick 18a as top of the pile for the misdirection. Thanks to Kath and the mysteron. 2*/3*
    PS I shall be boating for the next fortnight and so am unlikely to be able to do the puzzles or comment here. Behave yourselves while I’m away

  38. I thought this was very good – a reasonable substitute for a Ray T. 1d: I’m not sure that the king is one of the two most powerful pieces on the chessboard. It is certainly the most important/precious piece and has to be defended at all costs, but in the opening and middlegame it is usually vulnerable and weak in its combative and defensive capabilities. The queen and rook (yes, I used its technical name, RD) are the most “powerful” pieces. 2.5*/3*.

  39. 9a I read as “a-post-asy” with anagram of say. The whole being “close to blasphemy”.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Brian, but please choose a different alias as we already have a ‘Brian’.

    2. Welcome from me too.
      I do see what you’re getting at with 9a but there’s nothing to tell us to make an anagram of ‘say’ so I suspect that may not be it.

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