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DT 28530

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28530

Hints and tips by Mr Kitty

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


Hello, everyone, and welcome to another Tuesday back-pager.  Well wishes to our blog friends located in the path of Hurricane Irma – I hope that you have all come through it unscathed.  After the opening gifts of 1a and 6a today I didn’t get too far on the first pass through the acrosses, but things started to come together nicely on the downs.  I found this crossword a satisfying and very enjoyable solve with quite a few smiles.

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 or do something else.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Very early lesson for those starting school of the best quality (5-5)
FIRST-CLASS:  Without its hyphen the answer could describe the initial lesson in the school day or [thanks, Gazza] the most junior group of pupils

6a    Second-hand abridged edition from the States? (4)
USED:  The abbreviation for the United States followed by the abbreviation (abridged) for edition

9a    Hostile alien in valley, leader of Klingons (5)
DALEK:  Put together a river valley and the first letter (leader of) Klingons.  This alien is particularly hostile towards Doctor Who

10a   Things of little importance in glass (5,4)
SMALL BEER:  Inconsequential stuff that might also come in a modest glass

12a   Groom star player? (3,2,3,5)
MAN OF THE MATCH:  A part-cryptic double definition.  The non-cryptic one describes the best player in a sporting encounter

14a   Get onto a couple of pages assigned to freshwater fish (8)
APPROACH:  Link together A from the clue, two copies of the abbreviation for page, and a freshwater fish

15a   Endless access for French painter (6)
INGRES:  This French painter famed for his portraits is found from a synonym for access without its last letter (endless)

17a   Lacking conviction initially, advocate of political reform spoke (6)
RADIAL:  An advocate of political reform, minus the first letter of Conviction (lacking ….. initially)

19a   Jam involving piano with cool quality (8)
PRESERVE:  Connect together the abbreviation for piano and some coolness or detachment

21a   Against crew helping to make payment (13)
CONSIDERATION:  Concatenate a three-letter argument against something, a crew or team, and a helping or allocation

24a   Gets eager getting free seasonal gift? (6,3)
EASTER EGG:  An anagram (getting free) of GETS EAGER

25a   Recognised at once in 'Heart of Darkness' (5)
KNOWN:  Put a word meaning “at once” between (in) the middle pair of letters of (heart of) darKNess

26a   Fish in streams (4)
RAYS:  A double definition.  Some flat fish and some streams of light, perhaps

27a   Desire, say, lacking in a journalist, and respect (6,4)
STREET CRED:  Start with the mode of transport that playwright Tennessee Williams named Desire.  Then remove its A (lacking in A) and append the usual journalist



1d    In golf, a delicate type of shot (4)
FADE:  This type of golf shot is hidden in the clue.  A very nice semi-all-in-one clue

2d    Piece of filleted fish and portion of bread, sponge to follow (7)
ROLLMOP:  Stick together an individual portion of bread and a synonym of sponge to get a filled pickled herring fillet

3d    Thus a passenger may be duped (5,3,1,4)
TAKEN FOR A RIDE:  Taken literally, the answer describes what happens to a passenger

4d    Suffer humiliation in circle within university, female one (4,4)
LOSE FACE:  Put the circular letter inside the abbreviation for a well-known London university, and then append the abbreviation for female and the name of the playing card with one pip

5d    Band covering Madonna's No. 1? Big hit (5)
SMASH:  A band worn over the shoulder contains (covering) the first letter of (…’s No. 1) Madonna

7d    Jersey: rainier, reportedly, after start of September (7)
SWEATER:  This American word for jersey is found as the first letter (start of) of September and a homophone (reportedly) of a word meaning rainier

8d    The records destroyed in county town (10)
DORCHESTER:  The county town of Dorset is an anagram (destroyed) of THE RECORDS

11d   Author's name inside one tickles my fancy (6,7)
LEMONY SNICKET:  Place the abbreviation for name inside an anagram (fancy) of ONE TICKLES MY to obtain the pen name of the author of “A Series of Unfortunate Events”

13d   Basilica replaced racecourse (5-5)
SACRE-COEUR:  An anagram (re-placed) of RACECOURSE yields a Parisian basilica

16d   Row about right current for instrument (8)
TRIANGLE:  A row or fight contains (about) the abbreviation for right and the physics symbol for electric current

18d   Extremely dirty and ugly house (7)
DYNASTY:  Cement together the outer letters (extremely) of DirtY and a synonym of ugly.  The answer is a series of family descendants, not a place to live

20d   Managed palace, mostly causing resentment? (7)
RANCOUR:  A usual word for managed and all but the last letter (mostly) of a palace (or a hall of justice)

22d   Public occasion, fair close to Haymarket (5)
EVENT:  Join together an adjective meaning fair or just and the last letter (close to) of HaymarkeT

23d   Geraint's lover, from Carmarthen I discover (4)
ENID:  Geraint’s lover is found lurking in (from) the last three words of the clue.  The surface reading refers to an old Welsh tale


Thanks to today’s setter for a most enjoyable solve.  I liked the fine charade of 21a, the neat construction of 25a, the clever semi-all-in-one 1d, and the smoothness of 7d.  But topping my list today for its laugh out loud penny drop is 27a.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  TRUE+BIRD+AWE=TROUBADOUR
“Texas Troubadour” is an outstanding compilation of the songs of Townes van Zandt.


68 comments on “DT 28530

      1. I only knew him because on one of my visits to London most of the buses were plastered with ads for the movie of “A Series of Unfortunate Events”

    1. ‘Lemony’ – my daughter’s self inflicted alias on the internet – otherwise I don’t think I’d been able to hack this one out!

  1. A very enjoyable puzzle – thanks to Messrs Ron and Kitty. I particularly liked 9a and 12a but favourite has to be 27a. I thought that 1a was a triple definition.
    The incomparable Arachne is in the Guardian – as entertaining as ever but not too tricky.

    1. Thanks, Gazza. I have added the third interpretation to the hint. I didn’t underline the other two definitions because those answers aren’t hyphenated and so don’t match the (5-5) enumeration in the clue. Perhaps our setter will drop in later and tell us what they had in mind?

  2. This took me a few minutes less than today’s Toughie. I found it very entertaining. Mr K’s favourite is indeed very good, but for me 9a exterminated all the competition. Many thanks.

    1. I heartily recommend today’s Toughie for relative beginners like me. I completed my first Toughie this morning, and it is no harder than a ** back pager.
      Give it a go.

  3. Well I do have to say 23d was definitely my favourite today as Carmarthen is the town I was born in and have lived in all my life!!!! Not only that but my brother has a friend called Geraint who is married to a lady called Enid :-) and the tale is a Welsh one Geraint being one of King Arthurs knights, apart from that I didn’t find todays too difficult, did I mention 23d is my favourite?? ;-)

  4. Quite difficult – a bit of a struggle – I learnt a couple of new things from it, the symbol for electric current and 11d that I got from my wordsearch program and then Google. Quite a work out and very enjoyable.

    I was at the Olympic Stadium last night and there was a very welcome win for West Ham – but Huddersfield looked hopeless, really lightweight.

  5. Top half went in fairly quickly, bottom half not so fast? Enjoyed several clues. Thank you Mr Kitty for the review. I needed to check that I had 17a right. It didn’t fit in with the ‘spoke’ I had in mind. Thank you setter. A good, fun puzzle. I had to bung in the lurker in 23d, then do a googlething.

  6. All thoroughly enjoyable, particularly 9a, 10a and the delightfully misleading 17a, not to mention the brilliant 27a and smooth 18d. Had not heard of 11d so this one took longer but found him in the end. 19a sparked feelings of self reproach as have made none this year despite incredible fruit harvest but am managing to quell the guilt without too much difficulty. Life is too short etc.

  7. Completed at a gallop (just), very enjoyable – 1.5*/3.5*.

    I did need to verify the author in 11a electronically; I thought that I had heard of him, but needed to make sure.

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 12a, 21a, 26a, 3d, 18d, and 22d – pick one, or two, or three.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  8. I had heard of the author in 11d and the construction of the anagram made this my favourite with 17a a close second. Loved the picture of the alien and the cat. This was an enjoyable and straighforward solve this morning, and worthy of a 2*/3.5* rating.

    Many thanks to the Tuesday setter and Mr K.

  9. Top half went in at a pace, then the bottom half slowed me down, but got there in the end. 11d! The only word I could make was the right one – confirmed by Mr Google. I don’t mind a bit of general knowledge, but that one was pretty obscure. Overall, though, very enjoyable. I liked 18d and 17a with 27a being my clear favourite. **/****

      1. Naughty it might have been, but it is a solution in a prize crossword that hasn’t reached its closing date yet, so you’ll have to come back on Friday when the review appears.

  10. An entertaining puzzle and blog. The recommended puzzle in the Guardian is looking very good so far as well.

  11. Pleasant and not overly taxing puzzle. I had some difficulty in parsing 27a but all became clear when I remembered the play alluded to. Tennessee Williams wrote some terrific plays didn’t he. My top clue is 27a. Thanks to the crossword I found out something about the author in 11d and his works.

  12. I loved 11D and ticked it as a favorite! 17A also made my favorites list. Top honors would have gone to 27A if I’d taken the time to parse it. Altogether a very nice puzzle. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

    Seems like my friends on the panhandle’s east coast made it through, but lots of property damage. Hoping to hear about our Tampa regional office personnel today.

  13. I have to confess to a **** rating on this one . About two thirds went in quite rapidly, but the remainder proved something of a struggle! Many thanks to Mr. K. for explaining 27a – I did get the answer, albeit purely on inspired guesswork. The New Orleans connection would never have occurred to me in a month of Sundays! I also guessed 13d – ashamed to say that this one is new to me. As for 11d, I have only the vaguest recollection of the novelist, but managed to extract the answer from the clue . The chestnut hunt pulls out 26a as a likely candidate. I’m pretty sure that Mr. Kitty will stand as witness on that one? I’ll pick 10a as favourite.

    1. The pairing of definitions in 26a is less common than I would have guessed. This is all that I can find in the Telegraph since 2001:

      Mon 29 Nov 04    Telegraph Cryptic 24537    Fishes in the sunshine? (4)
      Sun 25 Mar 07    Telegraph Cryptic 2373    Catches in the light (4)
      Fri 19 Aug 11    Telegraph Toughie 618    Shafts of skates? (4)

      The data shows that pairing the answer with a homophone of raise has been more popular with setters:

      Thu 5 Jun 03    Telegraph Cryptic 24073    Told to lift beams (4)
      Thu 23 Oct 03    Telegraph Cryptic 24193    Beams, hearing of salary hike (4)
      Mon 22 Oct 12    Telegraph Cryptic 27003    Fish to breed, say (4)
      Thu 21 Aug 14    Telegraph Cryptic 27574    Soundly construct beams (4)
      Fri 28 Jan 11    Telegraph Toughie 502    Echo of lift shafts (4)
      Fri 7 Dec 12    Telegraph Toughie 890    Jack up sound beams (4)
      Thu 24 Aug 17    Telegraph Toughie 1870    Lift articulated beams (4)
      1. On a similar theme, do you ever look at the Monday “site” prize cryptic? You often get the same words, and pretty near the same clue cropping up within a a day or two in a back pager. 18d here was not only in this weeks Monday offering, it was also 18d there too. Is this perhaps down to the grid filling program compilers (may or may not) use?

        1. Hi, John. I haven’t created a database for the puzzles on the site, but since the lead times on puzzle publication are many days I’m fairly sure that any answer repeats seen there are just those that we expect due to chance. I’ve described elsewhere how the probability of getting repeated answers by pure chance is higher than our intuition might suggest. See my blog intros here and here for details. In the example above I think that there aren’t too many ways to decompose RAYS into cryptic wordplay, so it’s probably not surprising that some of them end up looking similar.

          1. Thanks for your reply. I don’t know who sets the prize puzzle (usually quite gentle), but I do it every week and notice the answer duplication more often than other places.
            The 18D clue in question is the “house” one. Here – Extremely dirty and ugly house (7), there – Uninteresting empty and nasty house (7) – which feels ever so slightly like the same complaint as an indirect anagram. I’ll let you know if it happens again suspiciously soon.

            1. Ah, I had the wrong site in mind. When I get a chance I’ll see if I can analyse the Telegraph’s extra prize puzzles for repeated answers.

              Regarding the 18d answer, apart from a few attempts at cryptic definitions (e.g. “Power-line that could last for generations (7)”, “House rule (7)” and “‘House’ seen in American TV series (7)”), the corresponding clues seen in Telegraph back-pagers and Toughies all use the same decomposition as the two examples you mention:

              Powerful family makes Yard turn unpleasant (7)
              Extremely dingy and unpleasant house (7)
              Runs out of empty and unpleasant house (7)
              Dirty, empty squalid house (7)
              A lot of rulers can be extremely dastardly and disagreeable (7)
              Old soap’s colouring finally going unpleasant (7)
              Yard turned over vicious, powerful family (7)
              Vacated dirty and filthy house? (7)

              It looks like it might be another word that can only be clued in a limited number of ways.

  14. Well !, last one in was 11d, I guessed the name from the checking letters as it was the least improbable.
    Have to admit that I did not parse 27a but there could only be one answer – seen the play a couple of times, and the film-never mind .
    Probably was a ***/****, certainly tricky ,not sure about 13d , I suppose the French was admissible-had a similar sort of clue in the Sunday Telegraph general knowledge crossword Mon Dieu.
    Thanks all.

  15. Another excellent Tuesday offering, just beaten by the author.
    13d is an utterly brilliant anagram. I have been lucky enough to visit it and the sight over Paris is marvellous. If you are in Paris, check it out, but make sure you find the fenicular railway to the top (unlike me). Favourite clue today.
    18d has made another appearance.
    Thanks misters Ron and Kitty

  16. I really enjoyed this , especially that reminder of the childrens author.
    I was beaten by 27a.
    Thanks to Mr kitty and the setter.

  17. A day when the Toughie was far easier than the back page – well, it did not contain Lemony Snicket! Go try it.

  18. Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty for the review and hints. I enjoyed this puzzle, was quite on the gentle side. However, I was totally beaten by 11&13d, I’d never heard of either. I realised that the latter was an anagram, but not that the former was a partial anagram. I like the 1’s and 12a and the surface of 24a was superb, but my favourite was 17a. Was 2*/3* for me.

  19. Some head scratchers here and no mistake. I assumed 1d was some sort of movie camera shot so thanks Mr K for putting me right on that. I found the two anagrams at 11 and 13d almost impossible. Got the Lemony thing eventually by a process of elimination and Google and again needed Mr K for 13d, even after much fruitless googling. COTD has to be 17a. A ***/*** for me. Thanks to all.

  20. Remembered the writer in 11d. We definitly saw him before.
    Pleasant solve but over too soon.
    Just heard that Arachne was on the other broadsheet.
    Have to go.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty.

    1. I’m not finding any previous sightings of the 11d author in my Telegraph or Independent databases, but he did appear in Guardian 24927 back in February 2010.

      In Toughie 1501 (17 November, 2015) Giovanni cleverly clued the adjective forming his first name as “It’s the French bread, not English, that’s sour (6)”

  21. Enjoyable fare. 11d and 27 a were clever but 9a takes the honours. I don’t think I’ve laughed so much over a crossword clue!

  22. Like Mr K I got the first two across clues and thought it was going to be a doddle, then I changed my mind.
    I spent too long trying to use crosswordland’s favourite alien as part of 9a.
    Not sure I’ve heard of 10a – small fry, yes, but not this one.
    I always forget the 15a artist and, like Blackbaron, assumed that the 1d ‘shot’ was some sort of photo.
    27a had to be what it was but it took me for ever to see why.
    I’ve never heard of the 11d author – could see it was an anagram – had alternate letters in and still couldn’t make sense of it – then a friend came round and he knew him – he sounds like a girl, the author I mean, not the friend!
    I liked 12a and 2 and 13d. My favourite was 27a.
    Thanks to whoever set such a good crossword and to Mr K.
    Having just seen the forecast for tonight I’m off the cut the grass.
    I do hope we hear from some of those affected by Irma – it would be nice to know that they’re OK.

      1. Yes – thanks Sue – I did.
        Maybe we’ll get an update from her and, hopefully, hear from Merusa too.

        1. Depends how soon they get power – Liz did say that they’d told her it could be months rather than weeks :(

          1. Yes, it could be months for some areas. Much of Florida is currently without power. it’s not just the customers, but the big power companies themselves were deluged and have to get their infrastructure up and running too. It’s still dangerous for repair crews to go into some flooded areas because there could be live wires in the floodwater. I hear that thousands of power repairmen from other States are on their way to help the local crews.

      2. So relieved to get our power back yesterday. One daughter still without so they will be staying with us until their’s is also restored. Other daughter got power but her AC was fried, thankfully new part installed and ok now. Worst was Monday night when we couldn’t sleep and spent from 3:30am on outside with our legs in the pool to cool off. Humidity indoors was at 70% so difficult to breathe. Many still waiting so we are very lucky. It takes something like this to make you really appreciate everyday life and realize how much you take things for granted.

        Have not heard from Merusa. Probably a power/connection issue.

        Thanks for concern to all.

        1. Really glad to hear from you, BusyLizzie. Glad you have power back and that it wasn’t worse than it was. I’m trusting your “probably” regarding Merusa, but will definitely breathe more easily when she is able to get in touch. Thanks for the update, and good luck with getting things back to normal. :rose:

  23. Very interesting 🤔 Started off R & W but 27a, 11d & 13d took ages ***/*** Thanks to Mr K especially for explaining 27a, favourites 13d 😃 and 17a and thanks to setter

  24. Good afternoon everybody.

    Mostly very straightforward and rapidly left with just 16d, which I soon got but couldn’t and still can’t derive from the clue, and 15a which I had little chance with as I’ve limited exposure to the decorating business here let alone overseas. Nor do I have any idea what an enid is (a plant?) but the clue conveniently bypassed the need for any thinking about that one.

    Sadly failing to complete means a two/three must go down as


  25. I rattled through the top half and eased through the rest. An enjoyable solve with both 11d and 27a tickling my fancy…. ahem, I’ll go with the latter as favourite, and 2/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Mr K for the review.

  26. Very good. Thank you setter. Thank you Mr K as I could not parse 16d and 27a although got the answers, Favourites 12a and 19a and 2 13 18 20d, can understand people not having heard of the author and the painter but solvable with the checkers. Never met anyone who had not heard of 13d. Probably my overall favourite as I was completely misled by looking for s racecourse rather than an important Parisienne landmark,

  27. Mr Kitty has encapsulated my thoughts exactly, “a satisfying and very enjoyable solve with quite a few smiles” is how I saw it as well. Lovely surfaces too that I’m sure Jane and RD would appreciate, were they able to comment.

    I had heard of 11d, but Geraint’s lover was new to me, although not difficult to work out. Top clues for me were 12a, 17a, the delightful 27a (my LOI) and 2d.

    Many thanks to our Tuesday setter and to Mr K.

  28. Achieved the majority of this on the train en route to London to see the wonderfully nostalgic (and noisy!) Stephen Sondheim “Follies” musical but being bereft of electronic help ended up with some gaps in the South. I have however just managed to sort it all out once back chez moi and assisted by a drop of grape juice. I reckon 11a is beyond the pale. Couldn’t parse 4d without help. At the end of the day 7d was my Fav. Thank you Unknown Quantity and Mr. Kitty.

  29. Lots of cleverness here we thought. We did have all the GK that was needed, even the geography for 8d. 27a gets our vote for favourite because of the aha moment when we worked out the wordplay.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  30. I started at a gallop in the NW corner, gradually slowing as I made my south, finishing still at a canter to the SE. Time about ** overall, and thoroughly enjoyable it was too.

  31. Pleasant solve today just not enough time available to finish. I’d heard of the Lemony Snicket movie but not being a fan of Jim Carey have not watched it. Thanks Mr Ron and Mr Kitty your database always impresses – like playing with that kind of stuff!!

  32. 17a: ooh…stretched to the limit!
    22d: got it, but not from the clue!
    Otherwise, not bad at all.
    Bob Howat

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