DT 28544 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28544

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28544

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating — Difficulty */**Enjoyment ***

Hello everyone. I don’t have any idea who set today’s crossword. I quite enjoyed it but thought it was probably the most straightforward back page cryptic that we’ve had for some time. There are an average number of anagrams, a lurker and a homophone but no unusual words or sport or anything to upset anyone really.

In the hints the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden 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.


8a            Predict role left for recasting (8)
FORETELL — An anagram (for recasting) of ROLE LEFT

9a            Old fellow arresting detective? Very likely! (4,2)
ODDS ON — The abbreviation for O(ld) and a fellow, not a man or a chap but a university lecturer, contain (arresting) a two letter abbreviation for a fairly senior detective.

10a         School missing first of teachers for long time (3)
EON — A well known boys public school without its second letter (missing first of T[eachers]). I’m never sure if this kind of clue is fair on non-UK residents.

11a         Cook’s ultimate advantage concerning English rice dish (8)
KEDGEREE — Begin with the last letter (ultimate) of cooK, then an advantage or superiority, the usual two letters meaning concerning or about and, finally, E(nglish).

12a         Book that can be adjusted on radio? (6)
VOLUME — A double definition – a book or something that can be turned up or down on a radio. I wondered, briefly, if the radio bit was indicating a homophone – it isn’t.

13a         Bins, bollards and benches for urban loungers? (6,9)
STREET FURNITURE — A collective term for all the bits and pieces seen in a town centre which are for public use. I’d never heard of this but it is in the BRB

15a         Host politician close to office in centre (7)
COMPERE — The usual two letters for a politician and the last letter (close to) of (offic)E are contained in (in) another word for centre or nucleus.

18a         Writer with sex appeal in confines of rich Cumbrian town (7)
PENRITH — A writer, not a person but something you can write with, are followed by the first and last letters (confines) of RicH and these contain the two letters used to mean sex appeal – not SA but the other two. This is another answer that could be tricky for people who live outside the UK.

21a         Mid-year calamity disrupted Sandhurst, say (8,7)
MILITARY ACADEMY — An anagram (disrupted) of MID-YEAR CALAMITY.

24a         Some secret inadequacy found in sensitive element in a viewer (6)
RETINA — Our one and only lurker or hidden answer (found in) – it’s hiding in the middle of the second and third words of the clue.

25a         I moan terribly about female American of bad repute (8)
INFAMOUS — An anagram (terribly) of I MOAN which contains (about) the one letter abbreviation for F(emale) is followed by another abbreviation meaning American.

26a         Manage function (3)
RUN — Another double definition which probably doesn’t need any further explanation.

27a         Hazy, a bit, in pronouncing Chinese cuisine (3,3)
DIM SUM — A word that means hazy or not very bright is followed by a homophone (in pronouncing) for a bit or a little.

28a         My saintly character? (8)
GOODNESS — A double definition – the first is an interjection used to express surprise.



1d            Importance of mount holding sign (6)
MOMENT — The two letter abbreviation for mount contains (holding) a sign or warning.

2d            Measurement no longer used in competitive division (6)
LEAGUE — An old measure of length is also the word used to describe where sporting clubs rank in comparison to each other, or something along those lines.

3d            Volunteers summed up with word of thanks (11,4)
TERRITORIAL ARMY — The old term for the voluntary military force was often abbreviated (summed up) to two letters – these are an informal way of saying ‘thank you’.

4d            Joyous sensation arising in much of bay (7)
GLEEFUL — A bay or inlet without its final letter (much of) contains (in) a reversal (arising) of a word that means a sensation or perception. I’m not sure that the middle bit works but that might be ‘just me’. What does anyone else think?

5d            Assemble round unusually nice chef’s business for ready-made grub (11,4)
CONVENIENCE FOOD — A word that means assemble or meet countains (round) an anagram (unusually) of NICE. This is followed by a general word for what a chef might produce.

6d            Wedding vow delayed for one besotted? (8)
IDOLATER — Split the first three letters 1,2 – that’s the wedding vow bit and this is followed by a word meaning delayed or afterwards.

7d            Private try-out on a regular basis? Nonsense (8)
TOMMYROT — A private soldier in the British Army is followed by the alternate letters (on a regular basis) of tRyOuT.

14d         Strike sheep (3)
RAM — A double definition.

16d         Loves hosting in the flesh with the Italian part of Mediterranean diet (5,3)
OLIVE OIL — Two of the letters that look like a love score in tennis contain a word meaning in the flesh or in reality – then you need the Italian word for the.

17d         Most dear minister touring centre of Nice (8)
PRICIEST — This ‘dear’ is to do with cost not love. A member of the clergy contains (touring) the middle two letters (centre) of nICe.

19d         Something to put in drink or decorate a cake? (3)
ICE — A double definition.

20d         Medical accessory in grey’s redesigned (7)
SYRINGE — An anagram (redesigned) of IN GREY’S.

22d         Require partner for supply? (6)
DEMAND — A double definition.

23d         Uses bananas with instant dessert (6)
MOUSSE —An anagram (bananas) of USES comes after an instant or short space of time.

I liked 18 and 27a and 3 and 7d. My favourite was 28a.


75 comments on “DT 28544

  1. As Kath says, pretty straightforward today with nothing to particularly scare the nags. 6d made me laugh so I will select that as my favourite, and overall this was 2*/3* for me.

    Thanks to our Thursday setter and to a Kath.

  2. Kath, 4d. I think this clue is fine: It’s simply a truncated bay (GULf) containing a reversal of a sensation (FEEL giving LEEF), resulting in G(LEEF)UL. Or just what you said above.

    1. I think what I was getting at was that a sensation is a feeling rather than a feel. If you feel something you sense it. Gazza or CS, or anyone else – help, please?

      1. I agree with you, Kath but then I wondered whether ‘touch’ – one of the accepted five senses – was sufficiently close to the answer. It still seems a bit A=C to me.

      2. I think it’s being used as: the “feel” of a place, or the atmosphere, impression, feeling, sensation.

      3. It only really works if you forget about ‘a sensation’ translating to a feeling. The tense is wrong.
        It could be sensation, as in the use of a sense (at a stretch), which would be feel.
        So perhaps not ‘a sensation’, but ‘the sensation’ as in ‘the sensing of’.

        Scrappy little nose-wrinkler of a clue in my book, whatever it’s supposed to mean!

        1. Love your ‘scrappy little nose-wrinkler’ LbRoy – might feel the need to poach that one in the future!

        2. I see your point LR. The example “feel of a place” I used came straight out of the LRB. You could say something like: I don’t like this room – it has a funny feel about it. Or you might say: I don’t like this room – it has a funny sensation about it.

          1. I’m with you on your first suggestion – it has a funny feel about it – but not the second. I think you would be more likely to say that the feel of the room gave you a funny sensation.

            1. Yes, that’s an even better second example – all this just shows how some of these cryptic clues are more subjective than we think.

  3. You were bright and early this morning, Kath. Is that because you wanted to have more time today to tackle our ‘favourite’ in the Toughie slot?
    An enjoyable solve in which I had a ridiculous blind spot over 3d until a couple of checkers went in for the second word but no other problems to report.
    Like Kath, I had the odd doubt about the ‘filling’ of 4d but eventually concluded that it passed muster.
    Thought the setter deserved a ‘could try harder’ over the clue for 14d!

    Podium places went to the fun clues – 27&28a plus 3&7d.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Kath for the well illustrated review.

    1. 14d – Must try harder! That must have taken about a picosecond to ‘craft’, and probably done simultaneously with 26a. (Sorry setter)

  4. Completed at a gallop but not very enjoyable, to me there appeared to be some contrivance to fit the grid – */**.

    However there were still some candidates for a favourite – 11a, 13a, and 6d – and the winner is 11a, probably the cleverest clue in the puzzle.

    Thanks to the setter and Kath.

  5. Very straightforward today. Would have been more enjoyable if it had lasted longer. */***. Is 19d really cryptic? Nothing really stood out, maybe 7d?

  6. A pleasant saunter through today’s undemanding exercise. Two of the 15-letter solutions would seem to indicate the Setter may have a military bent. Needed help to parse my 16d bung-in. I’m a bit dubious about 4d and 28a. Thanks Mysteron and Kaath.

  7. I thought it was quite straightforward, too but really didn’t raise any smiles. 13A and 19D didn’t float my boat. I probably would have liked 28A more if there were not an identical answer and similar definition in the toughie, which I tackled first. Thanks to the setter and to Kath.

    My younger son and grandchildren are in the UK this week. First time for the grandkids. Hoping the rain and winds predicted for the weekend don’t materialize.

    1. Hi Chris,
      Following on from Kath’s comments re: 10&18a – my own feeling is that they’re fair enough in a crossword published primarily for a UK audience. I wonder whether you would agree?

      1. The crosswords are available to an international audience on the DT website. I think those of us who live outside of the UK and choose to do UK crosswords have to recognize that since the audience is primarily British there will be some clues that lean on GK that are more challenging. Being British by birth, I don’t have too much trouble except for modern slang and TV shows. As far as 10A is concerned, I think that school is quite well-known here. I’ve even seen Eton Mess on menus! 18A was very fairly clued and parsing revealed the answer readily. And there’s always Google to check! I get more irritated by what the BRB considers “Americanisms”. Also, there’s a fair sprinkling of clues in any given week that Americans would find easier. Swings and roundabouts.

        Going back to 10A, try explaining to an American, to whom a public school is a state school under the Department of Education, that a public school in the UK is fee-paying!

        1. Thanks for the input, Chris – much as I expected. If it’s any consolation, many of the newer slang words and TV shows are just as alien to me!
          Regarding the labelling of words as ‘Americanisms’ – we Brits seem to happily accept variations occasioned by Scots, Welsh, Irish, French etc without turning a hair but to see THOSE Americans mucking about with our language is considered unforgiveable. I’m not really sure why – but I have to confess to frequently being guilty!

        2. Well said, Chris, and I agree with you. I’ve often wondered if the French feel the same way about the Canadians mangling their language, or, God forbid, the Haitians who speak a barely recognisable French.

    2. It just proves that all languages are organic and grow and shift to suit the moment. The way the deaf kids mince up sign language is just the same.

      1. Aha – I think perhaps you intended your comment as a reply to Angellov?
        It keeps threads together better if, before you post a reply to someone, you click on the ‘reply’ thingie on the line below the name of the contributor you are directing the comment towards.

        1. Ah the “‘reply’ thingie”, top notch tech support. This blog has everything😂.

          This reply is to test just that. ☝️

  8. Big d’oh moment when I parsed 3d, Excellent wordplay-the same can be said for 11a.
    Somewhere around a **/*** and I did enjoy the solve which I thought was well clued throughout.
    Thanks to Kath and setter-liked the quickie pun!

  9. Thanks to the setter and Kath for the review and hints. Quite enjoyed it, very straightforward. 6d made me laugh, but my favourite was 27a. The only two clues that put up any resistance were 2d and 7d, the latter was last in. Was 1*/3* for me.

  10. The puzzles have been pretty mild this week and this one follows the pattern. The clues are all fine, well-written and without flaws – but mostly designed to be straightforward and unchallenging to parse/solve. I’ve got Beam’s Toughie to do later – that should give me something to think about for the rest of the day. 1.5*/2.5*.

  11. In 28a the word ‘My’ helped me to the solution as ‘me’ often follows the answer. I don’t know if this was deliberate but otherwise ‘My’ seems redundant.

    1. My is essential to the clue, which is a double definition. My (or My!) = Goodness (or Goodness!) is the first and saintly character = Goodness (one of the characters of a saint) is the second.

  12. 11a was probably favourite in the most unchallenging cryptic that I can remember!
    As a result it was not much fun to do either. Sorry setter.
    1/2* overall. Crikey, I’ve been reading Brian’s comment for too long…
    Thanks anyway to the setter, and to Kath for the review.

    1. Oh dear, Gwizz – is Brianitis catching?
      Whilst this may not have been the challenge of the week I still thought it was an enjoyable solve.

  13. Extremely benign.
    Nearly all of the across clues going straight in, and then a combination of:
    – the gentle clueing
    – a revealing grid
    – no obscure stuff,
    – some useful checking letters; and
    – bung-ins that “just had to be”
    Ied to my finishing in record time – and this, on a Thursday!
    No COTD for me today.
    Last one in 13a, (despite having what seemed to be about 14 checking letters).

    I needed the blog for the bung-ins. So thank you Kath, and mystery setter.

  14. No problems with the puzzle at all but have been having problems with the DT app on my IPad. It keeps crashing for the past two days and today I had to resort to the paper version.

    1. When this happens to me I get rid of the app and reload it via the App Store. Hope this helps.

      1. THanks for that. I did what you suggested but now it will not let me log on saying that my subscriber number and postcode combination is wrong!! The wonders of technology. I will phone tomorrow to see if some one human can help.

  15. 24a – I’m still having a problem in fully parsing this one.

    I thought the hidden clue indicator was “Some” … so what is “… found in … ” doing there?

    Thanks to setter & Kath.

      1. Jane – that’s not quite the point. What stanXYZ is saying is that we seem to have two bits in the clue that could each very nicely be the lurking indicator – ‘some’ and ‘found in’. That means that one of them is surplus to requirements. Maybe the first word in the clue is just a spot of padding to make it sound better – I don’t know.

        1. Hadn’t looked at it that way, Kath. I thought it was just – some (of) ‘secret inadequacy’ to be found in (the) sensitive element in a viewer (eye).

          1. I agree with your interpretation, Jane.

            I saw the hidden word indicator as “some …. found in”. It clues a structure like “some (of) this fodder is found in the answer”, being equivalent to “the answer gives some of this fodder”

      2. I think Stan can see that, he is saying that SOME and FOUND IN are both containment indicators so one or t’other is redundant.

    1. Surface padding? Don’t think this puzzle is in the running for any prizes… (Sorry again, setter)

    2. How’s about the word SOME is the lurker identifier and the words FOUND IN are a misdirection leading you to search for the lurker within the following words SENSITIVE ELEMENT IN A VIEWER. The answer is lurking in the words preceding FOUND IN. A clever clue, a great misdirection and it led to a natter on the blog. Just what we need

  16. A very straightforward puzzle today but nonetheless very enjoyable.
    I needed the hint to “get” 3d which was a bung in, but how clever was that? Loved it.
    I initially thought that 11a was my fave, yum, yum, but it was soon overtaken by 7d.
    Thanks for the fun setter, and to Kath for the hints.

  17. I found this very enjoyable on the whole, although it was interesting to see quite a few more quibbles than average raised today. Given the format of the grid, I was pleasantly surprised not to see all four fifteen-letter answers clued as anagrams, the setter did well in that respect.

    My personal favourite was 6d.

    Thanks to today’s compiler and to Kath. It was nice to meet RD for a chat yesterday at the cricket, although we both came close to being deafened by the PA system!

  18. Agree with Kath very straight forward but none the less enjoyable */*** 😃 Quite liked 7d and 18a possibly because my daughter lives there😬 Thanks to Kath and to the setter. Better than coming back from my hols to a Ray T 🤗

  19. Not much to be said that hasn’t been said already – but I’d like to express especial enthusiasm for 21a – it’s surprising what can emerge in the process of anagram construction! No doubt Mr. K. will confirm my suspicion that this one has been seen before? On the whole, a very nicely constructed crossword.

  20. Liked this one today, with clues needing thought but no specilalised or sports knowledge. Never heard of the term in 13a either. Thanks to setter and Kathe for the hints.

  21. **/*** Oh I do like these l-o-n-g clues ! My heart lifts up when I behold 4 full-length ones, – probably because they’re not too taxing for my old brain.

    Last one in was 7d. Maddening that I didn’t remember the WW idiom. What is its origin ? is it a gun and ,if so, why, please ?
    Thanks to setter.

  22. The four long answers were the key to this one. Once they were sorted out, and none of them was really tricky, there were plenty of checkers to help with the rest. We enjoyed it.
    To take up the point that Kath raised about non-UK solvers. 10a was no problem for us, 18a was something we worked out from the wordplay and then Google checked. We have a word for these type of clues, we call them ‘Droitisms’. We have made the point before that although these puzzles are primarily written for UK solvers they are distributed and published by newspapers throughout the world as well as on-line.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Kath.

    1. Hmm – ‘Droitisms’ – I suspect you’re referring to a town in BD’s county – also where I grew up – called Droitwich.

      1. You’re right Kath.
        Quite a stretch for us to know that Droit is a short form of Droitwich which is itself a shortening of Droitwich Spa. Hence we coined the word.
        We rest our case Your Honour.

  23. Very much on the easy side, but no less enjoyable for that. Last in the NW corner, with 4d the last to fall.

  24. At this hour I don’t think I can add anything new to what has been said already. It was a fairly quick grid fill, which I appreciated because the toughie was quite the opposite. I liked the original and impressive 21a anagram. Thanks to the setter and to Kath.

  25. Many thanks Kath and Setter.
    I spent more time on 3d and 27a than the rest of the puzzle put together.
    It lacked a bit of sparkle, and was pretty straight-forward.
    Fav was 6d

  26. Agree with most comments; 4d feels a bit of a stretch…
    I finished with a R&W, no need to reference any obscure authors or ancient Greeks – so must be a one *.
    I liked having four 15 letter clues.

    1. Why? The definition, as underlined in the hint, is nonsense. A Tommy is a private (soldier) followed by the alternate letters (on a regular basis) of the second (hyphenated) bit of the clue.

  27. Didn’t know the private in 7d nor the meaning of the answer so thanks to Kath for the explanations and to the setter for the crossword.

    1. Catching up on some old puzzles.

      Must admit I had forecast in at first for 1a as it was a lurker but had to review it to fit territorial army!

Comments are closed.