DT 28532 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28532

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28532

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hello everyone. I’m not sure about this one. The cryptic crossword has most, but not all, of Ray T’s trademark clues but the Quickie doesn’t look like one of his and it’s not his week. In other words I’m sitting on the fence about who today’s setter is. I enjoyed it very much and once I got started didn’t have too much trouble.

In the hints below the definitions are underlined and the answers are under the bits that say ANSWER so only do that if you want to see one.

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


1a            Most scanty? Stick with these pants (10)
SKETCHIEST — An anagram (pants) of STICK and THESE

6a            Clothes to boast about (4)
GARB — A reversal (about) of a verb to boast or show-off.

9a            Creature of myth beginning to alarm all the animals (5)
FAUNA — In Roman mythology the creature who protects shepherds (creature of myth) is followed by the first letter (beginning to) of A(larm).

10a         Philosopher follows main point about run — it’s grinding (5-4)
GRIST-MILL — A word meaning the main point or essence containing (about) the cricketing abbreviation for R(un) is followed by a nineteenth century philosopher.

12a         Source of the biggest hits of the Proms? (7)
TYMPANI — A group of instruments – the only ones that I can think of that make the noise they’re supposed to make by being hit. This took me ages and I wasn’t sure if I was missing something – I’m still not.

13a         Charlie’s trapped by ravine (5)
ABYSS — A Charlie or a bit of a twit goes round (trapped) the ‘by’ from the clue.

15a         Big car smashed poodle’s tail bones (7)
RIBCAGE — An anagram (smashed) of BIG CAR and the last letter (tail) of (poodl)E

17a         Small crew with the Queen’s ship (7)
STEAMER — The one letter abbreviation for S(mall) a crew or gang and, finally, the two letters for our Queen.

19a         Welcomed desire to catch Spielberg film (7)
GREETED — A synonym for desire or hunger contains (to catch) the name of a Spielberg film – the one with the funny looking little alien.

21a         Happy to let in Penny, twice (7)
PLEASED — A verb to let or rent goes inside (in) the letter that is the abbreviation for a penny in decimal currency and the letter that was a penny in pre-decimal currency.

22a         Roman finally wearing appropriate clothing for kingdom (5)
TONGA — The last letter (finally) of (Roma)N is contained in (wearing) a piece of clothing that was worn in Roman times (appropriate clothing).

24a         Flour ma ordered for recipe (7)
FORMULA — An anagram (ordered) of FLOUR MA.

27a         Former lover is conservative in belief, mainly — that’s life (9)
EXISTENCE — The usual two letters meaning a former lover and the is from the clue are followed by most of (mainly) a five letter word that means a belief or principle which contains the one letter for C(onservative).

28a         Long for clubs and wild party (5)
CRAVE — The one letter for C(lubs) in a game of cards is followed by a wild party – one with flashing lights and very loud music.

29a         Predicts AS levels regularly falling (4)
SEES — The alternate letters (regularly falling) of AS levels.

30a         Local community‘s payment arrangement (10)
SETTLEMENT — This is a double definition.



1d            A place to sit until now cuts bottom (4)
SOFA — A way of saying until now or up to now (2,3) without its final letter (cuts bottom).

2d            Just fairly skilful, with central energy rising to the top (9)
EQUITABLE — A word meaning fairly or somewhat is followed by another that means skilful or adept – then you need to take the last letter of the first bit (an ‘E’ so the abbreviation for Energy) and put it at the beginning (central energy rising to the top). Oh dear – as soon as I tumbled to why this one was what it was I just knew I was going to have trouble doing a decent hint for it.

3d            Demand one eats shellfish? Just the opposite (5)
CLAIM — A small edible shellfish contains the letter that looks like a one. The first part of the clue suggests that the shellfish is inside the one but the second part tells us to do the opposite.

4d            Trendy bars? One’s not appreciative (7)
INGRATE — The usual short word meaning trendy is followed by some bars or a grille.

5d            Bottle’s alcoholic substances (7)
SPIRITS — Another double definition – the first one means nerve or bravery.

7d            Friendship? Girl embraces it (5)
AMITY — A three letter girls name contains (embraces) the it from the clue.

8d            Adults are moved behind black railing (10)
BALUSTRADE — An anagram (moved) of ADULTS ARE follow (behind) the abbreviation for B(lack)

11d         Entertaining swinger’s hang-out? (7)
TRAPEZE — The ‘entertaining swinger’ is a circus performer and it’s what he or she may hang from. The answer is also a device attached to the mast of a small sailing boat which allows a crew member to sit almost completely out of the boat (hang out).

14d         Light from Beth’s ring’s shimmering (10)
BRIGHTNESS — An anagram (shimmering) of BETH’S RING’S

16d         Draw a model of car on paper (7)
ATTRACT — The A from the clue, a one letter model of a car and then a paper or leaflet.

18d         Make a mess of surreal images chap’s collected (9)
MISMANAGE — An anagram (surreal) of IMAGES contains (collected) a chap or bloke.

20d         Protection from French dealer in stolen goods (7)
DEFENCE — The French word for from is followed by someone who handles stolen goods.

21d         Ideal school monitor, twisted about inside (7)
PERFECT — A school monitor – a goody-two-shoes who does exactly what he or she is supposed to do – with the second and third letters swapped round (twisted about inside).

23d         Sound from piano is excruciating (5)
NOISE — Our one and only lurker or hidden answer indicated by ‘from’ – it’s hiding in the third, fourth and fifth words of the clue. After comments on my last lot of hints I’ve decided that this time the lurker isn’t a ‘he’ – it’s just an ‘it’!

25d         Article removed from dirty relative (5)
UNCLE — The two letter indefinite article is removed from a word that means dirty or contaminated.

26d         Stroked fabric (4)
FELT —A nice simple double definition to end with.

I liked 13 and 21a and 5 and 16d. My favourite was 2d.

The Quickie pun:- SOW + POP + ERROR = SOAP OPERA

41 comments on “DT 28532

  1. Lots of fun today without too much cerebral exercise. Managed to complete apart from a couple in the NW viz 9a ‘cos the mythical creature was a new one on me although I should have guessed it anyway and 1d also held out but became Fav when penny dropped. Thank you RayT and Kath.

  2. Was looking for a pangram so my last one in 26d had to be jewt.
    That wasn’t the case.
    Never mind.
    Thanks to RayT and to Kath for the review.

  3. This was more like the gentle run in of a Monday puzzle, well to me.
    I found this not quite a walk in the park but a good workout all the same.
    Some misdirection which I suffer from nut enjoyable.
    Thanks to Kath and RayT if it is he

  4. Completed at a comfortable gallop, so I would agree with Kath on doubting that it is a Ray T. I think Ray T ‘indicators’ (such as HM in 17a) are being used by other setters to confuse us. However, still very enjoyable – */***.

    Standout favourite – 21a.

    Thanks to the setter (whoever he or she is) and Kath.

  5. A couple in the NW corner held me up a tad, but this was generally plain sailing with plenty of enjoyment to be had along the way. 2d my favourite and overall 2*/3.5* for the puzzle.

    This didn’t feel like a Ray T crossword, but thanks to whomsoever compiled it and to Kath for her hard work.

  6. My last in was 2d. Got an answer into my head which was the other thing I could think of to fit. Could not parse so persisted and finally got there. Probably has to be my favourite but certainly the crossword equivalent of a tongue twister. I even checked my surrounding answers in case I had mis-spelt something before settling on the right answer. Kath I do not think you have missed anything with 12a. I actually spelt it differently as I have not seen your spelling, but I think either must be acceptable. I think we have seen 30a recently. All in all very enjoyable. I would have guessed Ray T but am probably wrong about that. NW definitely my last corner but more or less r & w apart from the aforementioned 2d. Thanks setter and commiserations to Kath for the difficult task of parsing 2d.

    1. I agree that you did not miss anything with 12a. I think that the ‘?’ is the setter’s ‘get out of jail free’ card.

      Apparently, based on on-line submission, the setter opted for the other spelling.

  7. Didn’t seem like a RayT to me, very enjoyable all the same. **/***
    Thanks to setter and to Kath

  8. For the second time this week I made a complete hash of a synonym for “crew”. On Tuesday I could not get “eight”, today it was “team”, they won’t get past me again!
    I agree this is not Ray-T as I could do it, but I had a fair bit of trouble, particularly in the NW, I could not parse 1d for the life of me. My guess is Shamus.
    Nothing grabbed me favourite-wise, but an enjoyable romp anyway.
    Thanks Kath and Shamus?

  9. I really enjoyed this one early this morning. Especially the shellfish clue. There were smiles throughout . Not RayT but Thursday is my favourite solving day. Thanks to the setter and to Kath. I hope you haven’t read the comments about children’s names elsewhere in the paper. George is fine in my book

    1. I haven’t got as far as the paper yet – making lasagne in catering quantities but now I’ll have to go and have a look.

  10. After a prolonged absence from here its nice to get back to finding the time to complete a puzzle and comment on it. I liked this one a lot, going for **/****. 11d had me chuckle out loud. I was held up by 3 down because I had Tsunami in for 12a which I thought fair enough. I’ll leave it to others with more attuned ‘little grey cells’ to figure out who is responsible. Whomever you are, thenks for the fun and thanks to Kath too.

  11. I’m firmly in the “not a RayT” camp too, the word count alone immediately suggested Mr Terrell was not the compiler.

    I also thought a pangram might be on the cards halfway through the solve, but we’re a “J” and a “W” short.

    Very enjoyable, my three for the podium were 18d, 13a and 15a (not a pleasant mental image however). I think a good case can be made for 30a being a triple rather an a double definition, but the last two words of the clue are probably too close in meaning.

    Many thanks to today’s setter and to Kath.

    1. I think you are right in that 30a is a triple rather than a double. In my edition of the BRB payment and arrangement are given as separate synonyms for settlement.

      1. The first appearance of 30a in my list (DT 24218 from 12 Nov 2003) has it clued as “Payment arrangement (10)”, which was presumably intended to be seen as a double definition and implies that today’s clue is a triple definition.

        Wanda, you mentioned above that we had seen 30a recently. That’s true. In fact, today is its sixth back-page appearance of 2017. Interestingly five of those six had it as the final across clue (30a four times and 27a once). The exception was one appearance as 1a, the first across clue. I suppose it must provide a set of final (or initial) letters that are convenient for setters.

        1. Thank you Mr Kitty. The position of types of clues is interesting. If I am struggling with a short answer near the bottom (bottom right especially) I always look for a lurker. Interesting about Settlement both in terms of position and the third definition. I think of arrangement as an agreement or settlement which does not have to be financial. The clue as a triple definition is therefore more interesting than the first clue you mention.

  12. Got held up by putting cymbals for 12a, otherwise very enjoyable. Favourites were 21a&d.

    Thanks to Kath for the hints.

  13. I thought this was a very enjoyable puzzle and not at all easy.

    I’m not sure why we need central in 2d, it sent me off on the wrong track trying to move the middle two letters of enERgy.

    Plenty to like including 12a, 13a, but I also really liked the simple 23d.

    Many thanks setter and Kath

    1. 2d – As Kath has explained “quit(e)able” with the central energy rising to the top.

      As you blog the Friday Toughie seemingly without difficulty (Elgar included) this seems to be “teaching your grandmother to suck eggs”.

  14. I think that this was probably a 2** effort for us. I agree it’s not Ray T’s work – his usual trademarks are absent. I thought that 12a seemed familiar – I’m sure that this one has been around a bit! Wouldn’t really like to choose a favourite (no low points either, I’m glad to say). 18d was last to go in. Didn’t need the hints, but enjoyed looking at the pictures just the same!

  15. This was very straightforward for a Thursday. It can’t be a RayT surely?
    No real stand out favourite for me either. 1.5/2.5 overall.
    Thanks to the setter and to Kath for doing the business once again.

  16. Took a while to get going. 28a was last, I’d got 18d wrong, put in “mishandled” so needed the blog, Ta v much 😁

  17. Rather more than two star difficulty , for me. By the way , kath, the online version insists that 12a is spelled Timpani.
    Very enjoyable.
    Thanks to Kath and the setter.

  18. Very enjoyable and not too taxing – half a dozen anagrams, right up my street!

    I’ve thought that the Thursday offering has normally the toughest work-out of the week but not today, this was definitely on the easier end of the spectrum IMHO.

    It’s raining again – what a miserable September so far!

    Oh, and I’ve got no idea if it’s Ray T or not, I haven’t got to the stage yet where I can tell one setter from another – one day maybe, hopefully!

    1. I always tend to struggle with Thursday edition but not today. Possibly helped by having a 30 minute nap midway!! Stupidly assumed 5d ended with -ies so that was last to go in. Most enjoyable.

  19. Solved this on the train on the way back from a day trip to Lincoln. I agree with the hinter’s difficulty rating. I still do not ‘get’ 2d though I managed to solve the clue and the blog’s explanation did not help. My favourite clues were 12a and 11d

    1. You’re comments are going into moderation because there’s a typo in your email address. I’ve edited them for you.

  20. This is not a Ray T for the simple reason is that it contains phrases which are an anathema to him.
    I found this quite tricky for no good reason. All the answers were absolutely reasonable, I just had a problem getting on the right wavelength. Learnt that a Trapeze is something you hang onto on a boat, never knew that!
    Thx to all.

  21. We would stake our reputation as setter spotters on this NOT being by RayT. Lots of good fun with chuckles all along the way.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Kath.

  22. I got held up for a while in the SE corner, otherwise this would have been a * for difficulty indeed, but the rest pushed this to a high **.

  23. I won’t enter the “spot the setter” competition. Suffice it to say l thank him or her for the puzzle, and Kath for the review. 1*/3* seems about right, and l enjoyed 13a and 22a.

  24. No problems to report except that I spelled 12a Kath’s (valid) way, after having hit the wrong thing to begin with. Just don’t let me play in an orchestra …

    Liked the whole thing, but my favourite has to be 23d because it describes what happens whenever I get near that instrument. Just don’t let me play solo …

    I didn’t know the other meaning of 11d, so thanks to Kath for the enlightenment there, as well as the whole hinty business, of course. Thanks to the setter too.

  25. It’s now many hours since I completed this, but if I recall correctly it was a fairly straightforward solve. Wasn’t wild about some of the surface readings, such as 24a (flour ma) and 14d (Beth’s rings), but still good fun. Thanks to the setter for that and thanks to Kath for the blog.

    1. Welcome from me too. I also struggled a bit with the top left corner.
      Please keep commenting now that you’ve arrived here.

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