DT 28524 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28524

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28524

Hints and tips by Mr Kitty

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


Hello, everyone and welcome to another Tuesday back-pager.  I found today's offering a little easier than average, while still offering as much pleasure as most recent Tuesday puzzles.  Two things stood out – almost all of the clues have very smooth surface readings, and it felt like there were a lot of two-ingredient charades.

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.



7a    Where acne cream is applied immediately (2,3,4)
ON THE SPOT:  A double definition, the first being a bit cryptic

8a    Reportedly hostile country (5)
CHILE:  The country is a homophone (reportedly) of an adjective meaning hostile or aloof. It also sounds like this wonderful fruit

10a   Element that's PC? (6)
COPPER:  PC here is abbreviating Police Constable.  The answer is a slang name for one of those and also a metallic element

11a   Start seeing charmer in boy (6,2)
SWITCH ON:  Place a caster of charms and spells inside (in) a male child

12a   Club president's first, say (6)
PUTTER:  Link together the first letter (..'s first) of President and a verb meaning say or state.  This kind of club.

14a   Recall titles written about a mariner (6)
SEAMAN:  The reversal (recall) of a synonym of titles containing (written about) A from the clue

16a   Bird left old ship (4)
LARK:  Chain together L(eft) and a biblical ship

17a   Vehicle shuffled along sadly (5)
MOPED:  A double definition.  The first is a lightweight motorcycle and the second, pronounced differently, means moved aimlessly

18a   Monster thus returns (4)
OGRE:  The reversal (returns) of a Latin adverb meaning thus or therefore

19a   Dram for a baby (6)
NIPPER:  Stick together a small quantity of spirits and a preposition meaning "for a"

21a   River important for this animal (6)
DONKEY:  Glue together a Russian river that reputedly flows quietly and an adjective meaning important

24a   A resting drunk, one won’t react (5,3)
INERT GAS:  An anagram (drunk) of A RESTING.  This kind of react

26a   Empty vessels, one inside the other (6)
VACANT:  The vessels are a sealed metal container for food and a large tank used, for example, for fermentation.  Put the first inside the second (one inside the other)

27a   Ostentatious moment (5)
FLASH:  A double definition:  Ostentatious or showy, and a very short interval of time.

28a   Secret row developed in English city (9)
WORCESTER:  An anagram (developed) of SECRET ROW



1d    Bulb lit and lit again, one screwed in (5)
ONION:  The Roman symbol for one is sandwiched between (screwed in) two copies of another word for lit

2d    Rodent pink, much maligned! (8)
CHIPMUNK:  An anagram (maligned) of PINK MUCH

3d    Liveliness in frisky priest (6)
ESPRIT:  An anagram (frisky) of PRIEST

4d    Lack of American intelligence (4)
NOUS:  Cement together an adverb meaning "lack of" and an abbreviation for the United States of America.  There's more information about the picture here

5d    Repeated tea dance (3-3)
CHA-CHA:  A usual synonym for tea repeated

6d    Palace or monument ultimately rebuilt for old ruler (9)
CLEOPATRA:  An anagram (rebuilt) of PALACE OR and the last letter (ultimately) of monumenT

9d    Reportedly, film wasn't a hit (6)
MISSED:  Having failed to hit a ball with a bat, for example, sounds like (reportedly, again) a thin film of liquid

13d   Fast pace initially in attack (5)
RAPID:  Insert the first letter (initially) of Pace into a sudden attack

15d   Restrict distribution of beer -- it's basic logic (9)
RATIONALE:  Split (6,3), this basic logic or underlying explanation could mean "restrict distribution of beer"

17d   Illusory image -- the setter should preserve one on newspaper (6)
MIRAGE:  A pronoun that the setter would use for themselves encloses (should preserve) the Roman one and a derogatory term for a newspaper

18d   Some cricket players can be dull (8)
OVERCAST:  Six deliveries of a cricket ball (some cricket) followed by the collection of players in a theatrical production

20d   Capital gains hard for ecclesiastical district (6)
PARISH:  Concatenate the capital of France and the pencil abbreviation for hard

22d   Beginner without sin? (6)
NOVICE:  Splitting this beginner (2,4) yields a phrase that could mean "without sin"

23d   Mountains in Switzerland, especially (5)
ANDES:  These mountains are hidden in the last two works of the clue

25d   Reveal second question (4)
SHOW:  Put together the abbreviation for second and a questioning word


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  My list of ticked clues is long: 18a, 19a, 24a, 26a, 4d, 9d, 15d, and 18d, and I also got a big laugh out of the Quickie Pun.  I can't decide between 24a and 26a as favourite.  Which clue(s) topped your list?




38 comments on “DT 28524

  1. A lovely not too taxing puzzle with my favourite clue going to 21A. Many thanks to the setter & Mr Kitty for the review.

  2. **/****. Very pleasant solve once I got on the right wavelength. Thanks to the setter and Mr K. Only two days left in the sunny Algarve and then 14 hours of travel – deep joy 😫

  3. Another nice cup of tea for me. Thank you Messrs. Ron and Kitty. Here we go again with 1a in another guise. All very smooth surfaces. Look forward to tomorrow after two entertaining cruciverbal days. NE was last to go in as I failed to unravel 6d for sometime. A slight mispronunciation called for in Quickie pun!

  4. Very straightforward but plenty of enjoyment to be had along the way. Most of the clues were beautifully concise, such as my favourite 1d. Overall a 1.5*/4* rating feels about right.

    Many thanks to the Tuesday setter and Mr K.

  5. This would have been finished before coffee was over this morning, but the coffee was finished first. I spent far too long on the wrong sort of film for 9d, and didnt twig for ages that I need to rebuild stuff for 6d. I have lots of ticks for favourites. 1d, 4d, 22d and 17a to name a few. I didn’t need the review but thank you Mr Kitty for all your effort and the nice pics. Thank you too setter. The puzzle certainly floated my boat today.

  6. 7a. Mr K, I was just wondering… you rarely hear “combination/complex clues” mentioned on here – which include double definition clues where one or both definitions are themselves cryptic definitions. Here, the first definition is obscure/cryptic (ie, it wouldn’t appear thus in a dictionary) and the second is just a “straight” definition. So is this one a combination clue?

    1. Hi, Jose. I tend to avoid “combination clue” in the hints because that description doesn’t help the solver unless the constructs that have been combined are spelled out, which then renders the label irrelevant. Also, sometimes half of the puzzle can be combination clues.

      For clues like 7a, which I agree is a combination clue, I prefer BD’s “part cryptic double definition” as a more helpful description of how the clue is constructed.

      1. Yes, Mr K, thank you for that – very helpful. I was asking the question on behalf of my goddaughter (24), who recently brought this up and rekindled the same confusion I had when I asked this very question some time ago – but now you have provided a better/clearer answer. I agree that,in this case certainly, “part cryptic double definition” is a more helpful/apt description.

  7. The across clues were slow to go in, but the rapid addition of the down clues soon had this finished for me.

    In 9d, I’m not sure I like “film” as a synonym for “mist”. It’s not in the BRB. Apparently there was a movie “Mist”.

    Overall **/*** for me. Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty.

    1. The BRB includes “condensed vapour on a surface” as a definition of mist, and Chamber’s Thesaurus lists film as a synonym of mist. So I think it’s OK.

  8. One doesn’t need to go so far afield for the river in 21. S Yorkshire will do. There is one between Sheffield and its namesake downstream

  9. A very straightforward and enjoyable solve, despite the repetition of the same homophone indicator in two different clues.

    My favourite was 9d.

    Many thanks to setter and Mr K.

  10. After the first clues went in I thought that this would be R&W but inexplicably got held up by 8a and it took me some time to get 21a My favourite clue was 17a.

  11. 1*/3*. I found this to be an easy but pleasant diversion before taking a trip to the local stables to dig a large quantity of horse manure from a very large pile. Next stop after lunch – the bath.

    I have only ever known 17a to mean simply “felt sad”, and so I was surprised to find in my BRB that it can also mean “moved aimlessly or listlessly”.

    Many thanks to Mr R and Mr K.

  12. Nothing of any note either with respect to difficulty or entertainment. Still it’s a lot easier than the Quickie which could have come from the 1930s.
    For me */**
    Thx to all

  13. I agree with most of the previous comments – straightforward and quite good fun.
    I was a bit dim with 19a and looked up the answer to see if it can mean a dram having, yet again, missed the ‘for a’ bit – that’s one of the ones that I still forget.
    The 11a charmer took a little while, as did the 6d anagram.
    I liked 11 and 26a. I think my favourite was the simple 3d anagram – nice mental image!
    Thanks to whoever set today’s crossword and to Mr K.
    Off to do some clearing up in the garden – dodging raindrops at the same time.

  14. Yes indeed a very pleasant solve today. As most have said, smooth surfaces throughout. I’ll take 2d as favourite simply because I didn’t spot the anagram initially and tried to incorporate ‘mouse’ into the answer before the grey cells woke up.
    2/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to Misters Ron and Kitty for services provided.

  15. I particularly like 1d, partly for the “how many mice does it take to screw in a light bulb?” joke and 2d, partly for teh cute. Clicked to verify that the 4d story is real. Many thanks.

  16. I enjoyed this, not too difficult. Last in was 6d, don’t usually think of her as a ruler, but, of course, she was.
    Fave was 2d, but loved the pic, natch, made me add 4d to the place it up there. I am easily amused.
    Thanks to the Tuesday setter and to Mr. Kitty for his review.

    Spare a moment to think of those folks in Antigua where they are facing Irma, which is now up to 190 MPH. I believe Wahoo is there, or in one of the islands close to there.

    1. Thanks for the thought. Nevis actually. We have been taking a battering all night (it’s 4.00 am as I write this) and the highest winds will arrive in about an hour or so. The Eye of Irma is about 50 miles away approaching St Martin and Anguilla having gone straight over Barbuda. Over 185 mph. Highest I expect here is about 100, fingers crossed.

      Now I might look at Wednesday’s crossword to try to take my mind off Irma.

      1. Thanks for the update, sounds dire. I have fingers crossed for you and us! I don’t have windstorm insurance, far too expensive, so I’m a tad worried. I hope you come through this without too much damage.

        1. I have all fingers crossed for good outcomes for all of you in the path of this terrible storm.

      2. Wait, winds are 100mph and you’ve still got electricity? Wouldn’t happen here, unless you’ve got a generator!

        1. We have a generator. Mains power went off as the weather approached and is still off hours later due to fallen power lines. But all seems to be ok on our island as far as I can tell so far. My thoughts go to all those in Irma’s line of fire. Fairly compact but full of force. The “tail” is still causing heavy rain and moderate winds today. Tropical storm Jose (soon to be a hurricane) is following her.

  17. Lovely puzzle today, very much enjoyed, and I shouldn’t have sat here doing it when we should be prepping for Hurricane Irma… Thanks for the picture in 12a Mr. Kitty – looks like our Rupert escaped for a game of golf (although he is Tonkinese and not Siamese, but identical coloring and body shape) ☺️

    Oh well better start moving outside pots etc into the garage and keep our fingers crossed. We have Hurricane rated doors and Hurricane shutters but all bets are off with a Category 5. The good thing is you have plenty of time to prepare. The bad thing is you have plenty of time to worry (not supposed to be here until late Saturday or early Sunday) and stores are already out of water, batteries etc.

    1. How is Rupert doing? I see that Irma is up to 190MPH in Antigua. It’s not forecast to be that strong when it reaches us, but it’ll be plenty dangerous. I dread it.

      1. Rupert is doing well, thanks for asking. We suspect the diuretic he was put on for his heart may have caused his kidney/dehydration. His dose was then halved and we have decided to halve it again. Seems much better since. Takes his insulin shots like a trooper.

        Irma is very worrying, but I tell myself we can get through this. Heads down and fingers crossed.

  18. This one was very much a joint effort at this end. We cheerfully agreed that most of the puzzle was fairly plain sailing – albeit not without one or two impediments to truly rapid progress! Mrs. BC’s favourite was 24a, since the answer was something she hadn’t come across before. As for myself, the top clue was 6d – for no other reason than I happen to like the name. More or less agree with Mr. K’s rating. Nice puzzle!

  19. First across clue started me off smiling and the rest of the puzzle was just as enjoyable.
    Took a while to realise that I wasn’t looking for a type of ruler in 6d which held me up a bit with 8a.
    Another of those coincidences – 1d appeared in yesterday’s Rookie albeit it differently clued.

    Plenty of ticks – think I’ll award the top spots to 10 & 24a.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to Mr K – particularly liked the cartoon at 24a.

  20. Nice solveable puzzle with many amusing clues **/**** 😃 Favourites 10 & 12a Thanks to Mr K andto the setter 🤗

  21. The first thing we noted was how short the clues were so we did a quick count and found that they all fit into the limit that RayT puts on himself of a maximum of 8 words. We are certain though that this is not by RayT, the use of multi-word answers immediately counts that out.
    Nothing too tricky here and a pleasure to solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  22. Forgot to say how much I enjoyed and appreciated Mr Kitty’s picture hint at 4d … you couldn’t make this stuff up 😉

  23. Thanks to messers Ron and Kitty. A very enjoyable, but not too tricky puzzle. I liked 1d&10a, but my favourite was 26a. Last in was 14a. Was 2*/3* for me.

  24. Poor effort today, could not even get the mariner with all the checking letters.
    Thanks all

  25. Throughly enjoyable solve – some good chuckles along the way – hard to pick a favourite out!

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