DT 28500

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28500

Hints and tips by Mr Kitty

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****


Hello, everyone.  I thought today's puzzle was just excellent.  I found the bottom somewhat easier than the top, where some serious thinking was required in a few places.  The enjoyment level was way above average, with a few laugh out loud moments.  The puzzle has smooth surface readings, nothing too ancient or too obscure in the answers, and a few echoes scattered about.  Sounds like it could be the work of one of our regular Tuesday setters.

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    Source of fine piece in standard bill (7,6)
PARKING TICKET:  Place the most important piece on a chess board between a three-letter word for standard or normal and a synonym of bill.  On my first pass through the puzzle I fell for the setter's misdirection and wrote F (source of fine) in the NW corner.

9a    Frenchman pair backed in Lincolnshire town is braggart (9)
LOUDMOUTH:  Join a French Mr and a pair (of musicians, perhaps).  Then insert the reversal (backed in) of that four-letter combination into a town in Lincolnshire.  (Here is a handy list of Lincolnshire towns)

10a   High ball one enjoys getting down in sport (5)
SKIER:  A double definition.  The first comes from the game illustrated below, where it describes a ball hit high in the air.  The second, pronounced differently, is a participant in a sport where getting down is the good part.

11a   Sluggish trainer tires somewhat (5)
INERT:  The answer is hidden inside (somewhat) the other words in the clue

12a   Period of service in sunless French city (4)
TOUR:  Delete the single-letter abbreviation for sun (sunless) from a city located on the Loire, to get a period of service (in the military perhaps)

13a   Musicians not allowed to be heard (4)
BAND:  A homophone (to be heard) of a word meaning "not allowed".  Here are The 13a with The Staples

15a   High-flier from Russia or Georgia with mobile I rang (7)
GAGARIN:  The abbreviation for the US State of Georgia, followed by an anagram (mobile) of I RANG.  The answer is the surname of the Russian cosmonaut who was the first human to travel to outer space.

17a   Journalist provided with diamonds in town hall perhaps (7)
EDIFICE:  Concatenate the usual journalists, a synonym of provided or assuming, and a slang term for diamonds

18a   Support horse close to race, not yet fully formed? (7)
TEENAGE:  Link together a support for a golf ball, a not so great horse, and the last letter (close to) of racE

20a   Sailor confronts blokes after party, showing guts? (7)
ABDOMEN:  Assemble a usual sailor, a usual party, and the usual word for blokes

21a   Very small element with unknown character (4)
TINY:  A metallic chemical element, followed by one of the usual letters used in mathematics to represent an unknown variable

22a   Daily attraction falling short (4)
CHAR:  A five-letter word for attraction, minus its last letter (falling short). 

23a   Unspoken work of diplomat touring India (5)
TACIT:  An essential skill for a diplomat, containing (touring) the letter represented by India in the NATO phonetic alphabet

26a   Award mostly established with a pot? (5)
OBESE:  A usual honour or award, followed by a three-letter synonym of established minus its last letter (mostly)

27a   Bird, fish and insect (9)
COCKROACH:  Link together a male fowl and a small freshwater fish to get an extremely hardy insect usually regarded as a pest

28a   Fear about lard in a cooking method to achieve a solution (5,3,5)
TRIAL AND ERROR:  A synonym of fear containing (about) an anagram (cooking) of LARD IN A



1d    Place where everyone turns out for a party? (7,7)
POLLING STATION:  A cryptic definition of the place where one casts a vote

2d    Origin, it's said, in regular journey (5)
ROUTE:  A homophone (it's said) of a noun meaning origin or beginning

3d    I should appear before time alarm goes off? It's unimportant (10)
IMMATERIAL:  The I from the clue preceding (should appear before) an anagram (goes off) of TIME ALARM. 

4d    One putting away a large amount? (7)
GLUTTON:  A barely cryptic definition of a person with a very large appetite

5d    Popular hotel on river within a company (2-5)
IN HOUSE:  Stick together the usual word for popular, the letter represented by hotel in the NATO phonetic alphabet, and a river in Sussex (or Yorkshire)

6d    Neck in stork is stretched (4)
KISS:  Hidden inside (in) the remaining words of the clue

7d    Bishop in mistrial stirred primitive allegiance? (9)
TRIBALISM:  Insert the chess abbreviation for bishop into (in) an anagram (stirred) of MISTRIAL

8d    Catch slanderer that's upset older lover (6-8)
CRADLE-SNATCHER:  An anagram (that's upset) of CATCH SLANDERER

14d   Frenchman embracing girlfriend's home from home? (4-1-5)
PIED-A-TERRE:  A common French name (not Rene, for a change), containing (embracing) a word that could describe a girlfriend out with her boyfriend

16d   Place for putting punch -- vulnerable area that needs protection (5,4)
GREEN BELT:  Link together a place for putting (shown below) and a punch or a hit.

19d   Chalet rebuilt with correct source of investment? (7)
ETHICAL:  An anagram (rebuilt) of CHALET and the first letter of (source of) Investment.  I'm not sure about the role of correct here.  Suggestions welcome.

EDIT 14:40:  The printed crossword used this revised clue.  It now appears in the online version as well:
  At work, I teach learner what's right? (7)
ETHICAL:  An anagram (at work) of I TEACH, followed by L(earner)

20d   A devotee eating mostly staple food from Kenya? (7)
AFRICAN:  A from the clue, followed by a three-letter devotee or admirer containing (eating) all but the last letter (mostly) of a grain staple.

24d   Something to sit on right after tea (5)
CHAIR:  The Indian name for tea (or the Starbucks name for an Indian-spiced tea beverage) followed by R(ight)

25d   Distribution halved in food outlet (4)
DELI:  The first half of a synonym of distribution or supply DELIVERY is the short name for a shop selling exotic foreign food.  Like this, perhaps…


Thanks to Mr Ron for a fun solve. I ticked 9a, 10a, 15a, 26a, 5d, 14d, and 16d, and I liked the 4d/26a connection.  I have 26a in the runner-up spot today, with 16d on the top step.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  CANNES+BOROUGH=CANBERRA




  1. crypticsue
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink | Reply

    The paper clue for 19d reads ‘At work, I teach learner what’s right’ (7)

    The original online clue – as shown in the hints above – has now been changed to match the paper

    • Vince
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink | Reply

      That makes sense. The original made none!

  2. omar
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 11:05 am | Permalink | Reply

    Slightly marred by the obscure cricketing term in 10a but otherwise tough but fiar….***/**

  3. Graham
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink | Reply

    This one floated my boat & I have opted for 1A, 15A,8D & 20D with top marks going to 1A. Thanks to the setter & Mr kitty for the review.

  4. mcmillibar
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink | Reply

    I was not as enamoured by this one as our host today but quite enjoyed it. 1a and 19d (the new clue) tickled me the most.
    **/***. Thank you setter and Mr K. Now to retrospectively look at the Virgilius offering a few days ago.
    Nice summer’s day here in Riyadh

  5. Tony Triphook
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink | Reply

    I had a different clue for 19d
    At work, I teach learner what’s right.

    Same answer though

    • crypticsue
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink | Reply

      See comment 1

  6. Toadson
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink | Reply

    Ethical investments are socially/politically correct I was thinking Mr K. A tricky but very good puzzle today, and an enjoyable review (liked the cartoon for 28a).

  7. Jose
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink | Reply

    Mr K. 19d: Isn’t “correct” (on its own) the clue definition? One of those rare instances where the definition is in the middle of the clue, rather than at the end or beginning. No wonder they changed it before the paper was printed.

    • Mr Kitty
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi, Jose. I did wonder about that, but putting the definition inside of the anagram fodder didn’t feel 100% right either. Perhaps the setter will drop in and tell us what they had in mind? (Hint, hint)

      • Jose
        Posted August 9, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink | Reply

        I think “correct” must be the definition because it’s the only word in the clue that is synonymous with the answer. The rest of the clue is just straightforward wordplay for the answer. I wish setters would drop in to resolve things like this, but they rarely do.

  8. MalcolmR
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink | Reply

    Well, I found this one quite unremarkable. Completed in */** time and I can’t even pick a COTD.

    Many thanks to the compiler and Mr.K.

  9. Young Salopian
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 11:50 am | Permalink | Reply

    I pretty much concur with Mr K’s thoughts on this one. Enough head-scratching to make it interesting, and plenty of enjoyment to be had along the way. 1a was my pick, and overall this was 2.5*/4* from me.

    Thanks to the Tuesday setter and to Mr K.

  10. Rabbit Dave
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink | Reply

    2*/2*. I agree with MalcolmR’s comment that this was unremarkable. At least it gave Mr Kitty the excuse to post a video of one of my favourite 13as, whom I was lucky enough to see live at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1969.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr Kitty.

    • Graham
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I was there in 1969, was that you in the foam by any chance?

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted August 8, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Sh! Let’s just keep that a secret between us ….

        • Graham
          Posted August 8, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

          But I still have the photos you’ve got no chance!

  11. PLR
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I was surprised by Mr. K’s rating for difficulty. Must be this wave length thing because I dispatched this quite quickly. 14d and 16d were my top clues.

    • crypticsue
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

      You’ve changed your email address. Both should work from now on

    • Cryptic Mummy
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 8:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

      So were we! More like a */** for us but thoroughly enjoyable – obviously a wave length thing! 1d the favourite.

  12. Heno
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the review and hints. A fun puzzle, that I found quite tricky. Needed the hints for the last word of 16d, and the last two letters of 26a. Managed to get 20a once I’d seen the definition. I liked 21a,but my favourite was 15a, which I’d seen the answer before, but this was clued differently. Was 4*/3* for me. Off to GBBF later, so I’ll be late commenting tomorrow!

  13. dutch
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The 13a clip made my day, many thanks Mr Kitty.

    enjoyed the puzzle, many thanks setter

  14. LeDuc
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Enjoyed this one and make 22a my favourite as it took me a long, long while to appreciate the relevance of ‘daily’ in the clue! Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty for the review.

  15. Brian
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Found it slightly less than a 3* for difficulty but on the whole thought it was dull.
    Really didn’t like 1a, obvious answer but clumsy clue (ticket=bill, very weak).
    No favourite today, all a bit of a trudge.
    Thx for the hints.

    • Brian
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Great clip for 13a but who are The Staples?

      • Bluebird
        Posted August 8, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

        The Staples Singers.
        American family Gospel group

      • Mr Kitty
        Posted August 8, 2017 at 2:52 pm | Permalink | Reply


        The verse sung by Mavis Staples is one reason I picked that clip. Rick Danko’s verse is the other.

        Did you like the golf picture?

        • Merusa
          Posted August 8, 2017 at 5:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

          You are naughty! Golf picture, indeed.

      • Dutch
        Posted August 8, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Was this part of The Last Waltz?

        • Mr Kitty
          Posted August 8, 2017 at 5:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Yep. It’s in my DVD version of the movie and I’m pretty sure it was in the theatrical release.

  16. Venator
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    What a delightful Tuesday offering, beautifully balanced & varied.

    If this is “unremarkable”, then bring on the unremarkable.

    Thanks Setter & Mr. Kitty

  17. Kath
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’m in the difficult but very good crossword camp.
    For me it was more of a left/right divide than a top/bottom one – I really struggled with lots in the left hand side.
    I spent a long time trying to find a bird for 15a. :roll:
    Needless to say I’ve never heard of the 10a high ball or, more likely, have forgotten it.
    The last but one letter in 24d puzzled me but got there eventually.
    I liked the four long answers round the outside and 27a and 14d.
    With thanks to whoever set this one and to Mr Kitty.
    It’s absolutely chucking it down in Oxford and has been ever since I woke up – might have a go at the Toughie.

    • Una
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It just started to bucket down , here .

  18. Beaver
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I thought that it was a little tricky today , well certainly to start with and agree with Mr Kitty on the ‘serious thinking’.
    Difficult to rate ,settling for a 2.5/3*-I did like some of the surfaces like 1d and 15a.
    I thought this puzzle would divide opinion,
    Last in was 24d, couldn’t see where the i came from until I did some checking.

  19. Una
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 1:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Gosh , that was fun ! Just the right level of difficulty to keep it interesting.
    I ‘m going to pick two favourites : of the across clues 15a and of the down clues 14d.
    Many thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty.

  20. Blackbaron
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 1:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I agree with Mr K on this although probably 2** rather than 3*** for difficulty. I read 10a as a cocktail I’d never heard of and the sportsman and it worked so was quite surprised to see the correct parsing in Mr K’s blog. Definite favourite 15a. Many thanks to both setter and blogger.

  21. jane
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 2:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    RD will be amused to learn that 10a was my first one in – I’m sure he taught me that one from a previous puzzle.

    Like Mr. K, I tried to start 1a with an ‘F’ which slowed things up a bit but not for as long as trying to start 26a with most of an award and convincing myself that the middle word of 28a would be ‘the’. I was just about to ask Mr. Google whether apricots were grown in Kenya when the penny thudded to the floor.

    Think my favourite was 16d with 1&26a not far behind.
    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to Mr. K for the blog – very much enjoyed the 13a clip and the cartoons at 28a&3d.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 3:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

      What a good pupil you are!

  22. Donald Smith
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 2:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    After yesterday’s sweetshop of a puzzle, today I was in the supermarket where clues of many different styles were in evidence, leaving many distinct flavours in the mouth. 15a is delightful. 27a is nice. 24d is easy. 10a is obscure. Louth? It doesn’t even have a football team in the Conference North. 13a is a nice pun. 25d is nicely worded, but, in my opinion, a cop-out clue. Use the letters there, not imagined ones then subtracted. A good challenge for my brain, but I prefer the sweet shop. ***/** for me.

    • silvanus
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

      One of Louth’s claims to fame (or should that be infamy?) is that it once had Jeffrey Archer as its MP.

  23. busylizzie
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Tough to get going today, and definitely at least a 3* difficulty. But once I read a couple of Mr Kitty’s hints I got with the program and moved right along. 1a held me up for,the longest time. Loved the cat pictures… so typical…our cat loves to sit in the most inconvenient spot at the most awkward times and he would love these pics. He would probably sit over the hole if he ever visited a golf green. Before he chased the ball away of course. 😺

  24. bonkersconkers
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 3:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Perhaps too many bung-in-parse-later hits for me to claim any great victory with my 2* score. Also a bit held back by a weakish knowledge of French geography. I have a great memory of young daughter whirling round on a carousel to ‘Guantanamera’ – but couldn’t say exactly where in France that was! (not a very EU-themed melody, is it?). Favourite was 9a, due to family connection with the Lincs. town.

  25. silvanus
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 3:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’m in the solidly clued but unremarkable camp too, I’m very pleased that it’s made Mr Kitty roll over and have his tummy tickled though!

    I did think the surfaces were high quality, my two top clues were 20a and 14d.

    Thanks to today’s setter and to Mr K.

  26. Gwizz
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 4:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Gentle fun on a Tuesday. Not quite a R&W but almost! 16d was my favourite and 1.5/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Mr K for his review.

  27. Jaylegs
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 4:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Nice crossword **/**** 😃 Difficult to choose but 18a, 22a, 27a & 1d were up there 😉 Thanks to Mr K and to Mr X. Despite the dire forecast the other city of educational excellence has stayed dry 😬

  28. Proper Charlie
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 4:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Most enjoyable all the way through. I got the answers to 1a and 16d long before I managed to work out the parsing – but that eventual ‘doh’ moment is one of the best bits for me. A nice collection of misdirections in this puzzle and some good surface reading (am SO up with the jargon now!). Am glad the 19d clue was revised – I had the original online version and just couldn’t make it work).
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty.

    • Kath
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I admit to getting fed-up with the jargon too which is why, although I know that it’s the correct word, I never use the words ‘parse’ or ‘parsing’. You can all call me bloody minded if you like but why change the habits of a lifetime?

  29. Posted August 8, 2017 at 5:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I was pretty slow but then I’m having difficulty solving at the moment. It seemed like a good one to me but I’m too brain dead now to offer any sensible perspective on either difficulty or enjoyment. I will however not omit to thank the setter for the puzzle and Mr K for the usual carefully crafted, accurate and entertaining blog. Thanks!

  30. Merusa
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’m in the enjoyed but tricky camp. I’m just going to assume, from the pic, that the “high ball” of 10a refers to some sort of crickety game!
    Lots of good stuff, I’ve chosen 14d as my fave.
    Thanks to setter, please come back soon, and to Mr. Kitty for his hints.

  31. 2Kiwis
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 7:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    We agree with Mr Kitty’s ratings on this one but some of that time was spent on trying to make sense of the wordplay for the original version of 19d. Plenty to enjoy and one of our team had actually heard of the place in 9a so no hold up there. We have two potential setters in mind for this puzzle and hope that one of them will pop in soon to take a bow.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr Kitty.

    • Mr Kitty
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 7:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Same here on 19d :)

      If the puzzle had originally come with the revised clue, I’d have knocked at least half a star off the difficulty rating.

  32. MrVeryAngry
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    10a skyer in cricket is spelled, well, skyer. Grump.

    • Mr Kitty
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 7:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I don’t know who sets the rules about such things, but that Wikipedia article I linked to spells it with an I, not a Y.

      So does the BBC. For example, in http://www.bbc.com/sport/cricket/40125054 : “But Tamim skied to Jos Buttler and Mushfiqur holed to long on …..”

      So it looks like both spellings are in use. It would certainly make sense to spell it with a Y.

      • stanXYZ
        Posted August 8, 2017 at 8:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Someone somewhere once said that there are no rules!

  33. Jon_S
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 7:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thoroughly enjoyable. A puzzle that rewarded careful effort, falling gracefully. Final time mid ** ish for difficulty.

  34. Shamus
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 8:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Many thanks to Mr Kitty for his detailed and entertaining blog and everyone for commenting – this is me in my occasional Tuesday incarnation (in case you have enough of me on Thursdays!)

    • jane
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 8:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Nope, sorry – it wasn’t you. Not a leprechaun in sight!

    • Mr Kitty
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 8:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for dropping in and thanks for the excellent puzzle. I hope we’ll see more of your Tuesday incarnation.

    • Posted August 8, 2017 at 9:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the comment, Shamus (not to mention the puzzle!) – much appreciated.

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 9:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Shamus.

  35. Florence
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 10:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you Shamus and Mr Kitty. Great crossword. Great review.

  36. Salty Dog
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 11:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

    1*/3.5* for my money. Some nice clues, of which 15a was my favourite. Thanks to Shamus, and to Mr K for the review.

  37. Miffypops
    Posted August 9, 2017 at 2:46 am | Permalink | Reply

    Solved the day after publication. Nice one Shamus. Thanks Mr K. The Last Waltz was a sad occasion indeed but thanks for the clip. How I long to see the answer Coyote in a puzzle.

  38. Hoofityoudonkey
    Posted August 9, 2017 at 6:34 am | Permalink | Reply

    Nice puzzle, enjoyed the hints.
    Thanks all

  39. jean-luc cheval
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 9:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Found it excellent too.
    Noticed something strange in 19d but that didn’t even spoil the enjoyment.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the review.

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