DT 28548 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28548

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28548

Hints and tips by Mr Kitty

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BD Rating  –  Difficulty ** –  Enjoyment ****


[Jump to Across or Down Hints, Quickie Pun, or CommentsHello, everyone, and welcome to another Tuesday blog.  I enjoyed solving this puzzle rather a lot.  There’s nothing especially complex or exotic in the wordplay, but some clever misdirection and obfuscation led to a succession of smile-inducing penny drops.  I recommend it.

We had a discussion several blogs ago about whether you could create cryptic crosswords in languages other than English.  In a similar vein, this week’s Guardian crossword blog asks whether you can be cryptic in German.  For the answer, and a decryption of In der Toscanawasserlieferantenschar ein kleinerer (3), click here to visit that blog.

In the hints below underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions.  The answers will be revealed by clicking on the buttons.  In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background.  Clicking on a picture will usually enlarge it.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Briefly Commander Bond’s put in danger (10)
COMPROMISE:  Nothing to do with 007 – the capitalisation of Bond here is just misdirection.  Combine the abbreviation (briefly) for Commander and a synonym of bond

6a    Further returns in private bank (4)
ABET:  The answer is hiding reversed (returns) in the remainder of the clue

9a    In favour of wearing an aid in the kitchen? (5)
APRON:  A short word meaning “in favour of” is placed inside (wearing) AN from the clue

10a   River rose high — it holds a lot of water (9)
RESERVOIR:  An anagram (high) of RIVER ROSE

12a   A permit held by the runner? (7)
ATHLETE:  A from the clue, followed by a verb meaning permit placed inside (held by) THE from the clue

13a   Mark gets married in dazed state (5)
COMMA:  Place the abbreviation for married inside a dazed state.

15a   Article I criticise about ‘brutes‘ (7)
ANIMALS:  Link together a grammatical article, I from the clue, and the reversal (about) of a verb meaning criticise

17a   A tragedy’s beginning in that place? (7)
THEATRE:  Insert A from the clue and the first letter of (. . . ‘s beginning) of Tragedy in a word meaning “that place”.  The entire clue is both wordplay and a cryptic definition of the answer, making this an all-in-one.

19a   Country dancing nice with lad (7)
ICELAND:  An anagram (dancing) of NICE LAD

21a   Wash out most of military clothing (7)
FATIGUE:  All but the last letter (most of) everyday military clothing

22a   Is to take legal action against children (5)
ISSUE:  Combine IS from the clue and a word meaning “to take legal action against”

24a   Help from gullible person, we hear (7)
SUCCOUR:  The answer sounds like (we hear) an informal term for a gullible person

27a   Same rice prepared around 100 desserts (3,6)
ICE CREAMS:  An anagram (prepared) of SAME RICE containing (around) the Roman numeral for 100

28a   Female informally is not dim (5)
FAINT:  Follow the abbreviation for female with an informal way of saying “is not”

29a   Odour getting rid of male hawk (4)
SELL:  Take a synonym of odour and get rid of the abbreviation for male

30a   What the captain possibly shows the Queen in metal vessel (10)
LEADERSHIP:  Place a usual abbreviation for the Queen between a dense metal and a seagoing vessel



1d    Rabbit caught beaver, perhaps (4)
CHAT:  Link together the cricket abbreviation for caught and the type of clothing of which beaver is an example (perhaps)

2d    Mother ordered Garnier product made with vegetable oil (9)
MARGARINE:  Take an informal term for mother and append an anagram (ordered) of GARNIER

3d    Managed cattle here, initially? (5)
RANCH:  A usual short word meaning managed, followed by the first letters (initially) of Cattle and Here

4d    Trades book and gets cover removed (7)
MARKETS:  Join together a book of the New Testament and GETS without its first letter (cover removed in a down clue)

5d    Dubious guess (7)
SUSPECT:  A straightforward double definition

7d    Black range is essential for a witch (5)
BROOM:  Connect together the abbreviation used on pencils for black and a synonym of range or space

8d    Intimidated small number clutching at study being overturned (10)
THREATENED:  A number between two and four contains (clutching) AT from the clue, and is followed by the reversal (being overturned) of another name for a room which Chambers describes as “devoted to study, actually or ostensibly”

11d   Most fruitful case to follow scripture lessons (7)
RICHEST:  A large case that one might find at the foot of the bed is placed after (to follow) the abbreviation for Religious Instruction (scripture lessons)

14d   Unfortunately cities fail to provide resources (10)
FACILITIES:  An anagram (unfortunately) of CITIES FAIL

16d   Lay a rug — with regret, that has to be taken up (7)
AMATEUR:  Concatenate A from the clue, a simple rug, and (with) the reversal (that has to be taken up in a down clue) of regret or “be sorry for”

18d   Fighter is swimming predator in African rivers (5,4)
TIGER FISH:  An anagram (swimming) of FIGHTER IS.  I was disappointed that the river predator wasn’t a piranha, but only until I researched the answer.  This creature really exists

20d   Illness in facility headed by detectives (7)
DISEASE:  Follow the plural of the abbreviation for Detective Inspector with facility or effortlessness

21d   Fixed chapter from rising American editor (7)
FOCUSED:  Join the abbreviation for chapter and another word for from.  That letter combination is then reversed (rising in a down clue) and followed by the usual abbreviations for American and editor

23d   Toff and wife stuck in traffic (5)
SWELL:  The abbreviation for wife is inserted in (stuck in) a verb meaning traffic or peddle

25d   Rotten pears not oddly tender (5)
OFFER:  A simple way of saying rotten, followed by the even letters (not oddly) of pEaRs

26d   Raised a large sum of money for Scotch (4)
STOP:  The capitalization of Scotch is misdirection again.  We’re looking for a verb synonym of scotch that’s the reversal (raised in a down clue) of an informal term for a large sum of money


Thanks to Mr Ron for a fun solve.  I ticked 6a, 17a, 16d, and 26d.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  HOE+LEE+WAUGH=HOLY WAR


The bad news just doesn’t stop.  RIP Tom Petty


82 comments on “DT 28548

  1. I struggled with this one, I gave up last night with six still left – when I had another look this morning I rattled them all off apart from 4d that I just couldn’t see. I had to use outside help to get that one – which was a ‘doh!’ when the penny finally dropped!

    A note to myself that when I see the word ‘book,’ I should think of the Bible first – it could save a lot of head scratching!

    A very nice puzzle!

  2. This was one of those that started real slow, then just gathered pace until I found it was complete.

    4d was last one in for me.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and Mr Kitty.

  3. all This was a real struggle for me. It was one of those where it is far easier to solve the clue than understand it. I needed the excellent hints to explain 13a, 4d, 21d and 25d. I missed the plural in 20d which made it tricky to understand. For me quite hard and not much fun, ***/**
    Thx forI the hints.

  4. Excellent H & Ts, Mr K! Really like the extra (optional) click-on features that explain/reference things in more detail. Also, the captions on the gimmes are all consistently upside-down/reversed (a good idea, that is) instead of being a mixture of that, normal text or partially absent altogether. They say that “consistency is the hobgoblin of the small mind”, but in this case it is a good thing. Well done!

    1. Thanks, Jose, I’m glad you appreciated those touches. I generally invert the captions when I can’t think of anything to put in there except the answer. But not always – I don’t want to be too predictable.

  5. This was quite straightforward but very enjoyable nevertheless. I spotted the reverse lurker only after after solving the clue with help from the checking letters. Thanks MR.K for the hyperlinks. I always have associated the headwear alluded to in 1d with Davy Crockett for some reason but now I know better.

  6. 4d also my last one in to complete this trickier than usual Tuesday puzzle. 16d was my favourite of several fine clues, and overall I thought this was a 3*/4* crossword. Many thanks to our setter and to Mr K for an interesting blog.

  7. 1*/3*. Good fun with mostly nice smooth surfaces. The first three quarters were R&W but the SE corner took a bit more teasing out. What else could my favourite be but 1d?

    Many thanks to Messrs R & K.

    P.S. RIP Tom Petty. I really like his music. I always thought he had the sort of voice that Bob Dylan would have liked to have had, although I suspect one of our bloggers won’t agree with me.

      1. Needless to say, Jane, you’re not the blogger I suspected might disagree with me!

  8. Completed at a gallop, very enjoyable – 1.5*/3*.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 6a and 24a – the (reverse) lurker and the homophone.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  9. Very enjoyable. Completed either side of a flight, (one does seem to spend more time waiting at either end of a flight than actually on it. Thank heavens for crosswords!)

    I was obviously in sync as this went in fairly easily.

    4d went in because it just had to be, but the”cover removal” didn’t help as I wanted to remove both the first and last letters, (“lid” removal wold have seem more logical to my little brain).
    Last one in was 6a – I seem to have a blind spot for reverse lurkers.

    Thanks to our setter and Mr. K

  10. Pretty straightforward **/*** favourites 30a & 23d Thanks to setter and to Mr K 😃 As I know you seek perfection shouldn’t 27a be plural 🤔

  11. Going to agree with Mr kitty on a **/****, today.
    Some nice deception from the setter , careful parsing and a little lateral thinking required.
    Favourites 1a, a new one for me, and 30a.
    Another fan of Tom Petty, not a great voice but kept it with age unlike Bob/Cliff/Elton/Paul who mistakenly still think they can sing!

      1. Hi Jane, For the avoidance of doubt, I meant I had not seen the clue charade before, not the meaning, but she has mine too!.

  12. Good puzzle solved quickly. We were lucky enough to see the great, late Tom Petty in Hyde Park during the summer.
    Thanks to the 2 Misters…Ron and Kitty.

  13. Must have been on the right wavelength this morning – went straight through this one in clue order.
    I liked the anagram indicator in 10a and the use of an actual manufacturer of beauty products in 2d but top slot was reserved for poor old Mark – bet he enjoyed his stag night!

    Thanks to Mr Ron for a great puzzle and to Mr K for an equally great blog – particularly for the Chambers definition of a study!

    1. That was the first time that I’ve just stumbled upon a humorous entry in Chambers, so I had to share it.

        1. :)

          I knew about that one and some of the other classics, but this was the first time that I just happened upon one that I hadn’t seen before. I love that the compilers of our crosswording dictionary have a sense of humour that wouldn’t be out of place in a cryptic crossword.

  14. Very enjoyable. Mostly straightforward with just the right amount of head scratching – for me. 2.5*/4*. I liked 1d, 7d, 8d,16d, 21d with 4d getting first prize because I felt so pleased with myself when I finally understood my answer!!

  15. I struggled with this as well as others. Losing my mojo, if I ever had it.
    I liked 16d .
    Thanks to Mr Kitty and the setter.

    1. Una,

      Do not give up! DO NOT give up! Us lesser skilled solvers have to carry on and stick together!

      I feel these things it go in waves sometimes. Sometimes I’m good. Sometimes I’m not.

      It’s just like golf.

        1. I find the more I practice the better I play – but as I very rarely practice I mostly play rubbish – that’s Golf!

    2. Una, I find I have a stretch when I am utter rubbish, then for some reason, I come good.
      I convince myself that the trend is up, albeit slowly!!

      1. I think my rubbishyness may have something to do with losing my chambers crossword dictionary a few months ago. I’d better replace it.But mood is hugely influential in my case. and it works in reverse too, a steady concentration on a crossword brings me calm and comfort.

  16. Bit of a hooligan this one, it was quite a struggle. So hey ho for Wednesday’s offering.
    Thanks to mr Kitty and setter

  17. This is/was a quality offering today. I agree with Mr K’s assessment. I always start in the SE but could not get a hook until I moved North and then anti-clocked my way round until back to that SE corner. I had to have a three hour break and then it yielded. Great fun.

    The long-awaited greenhouse is going up today. I have spent what seems most of the summer building the base after learning how on YouTube. Straightforward brickwork is quite easy but I take three times longer than a pro would.

    Thanks to Mr K and the creator.

  18. I enjoyed this. It felt trickier than the time elapsed suggested, but then again I do tend to get my skates on when solving the Tuesday puzzles.

    Lots of smiles, with my favourite out of a strong field being 1d.

    Thanks to the setter and to the perfection-loving Mr K.

  19. That’ll teach me! I struggled with the first few across, then thought I was on a roll and those blue hills remembered beckoned … but I never got there. Like Michael above I need to remember book = bible. As I got 1 across totally wrong, 1d and 4d remained unsolved as did 28a across (ironic or what – me fitting the clue) and 16 d I am to sure I yet fully understand.

      1. I just spotted the peach bellini flavoured one on the Amazon site – now we’re talking!

  20. Excellent crossword today, none too tricky, except that I stumbled a bit in the SE corner, 24a my last in, great clue that.
    I googled 18d as I was not familiar with said beast, I’m glad we don’t get any of those in the River Wandle!!
    Thanks Mr.K and Mr.Ron.

  21. I found this very, very tricky. I needed far too much electronic help here. That said, there was a lot of good stuff.
    I rather liked 24a, reminded me of a very funny episode from The Vicar of Dibley.
    Runner up was 30a, but fave was 16d. I needed hints to “get” 4d, and I find it hard to think of 6a as meaning further. Yes, I know, it’s in the thesaurus, but I still don’t see it.
    Thanks to setter and to Mr. Kitty for the entertaining blog.

      1. Aha, I knew that someone would give me an example that makes sense! Thanks for that, Jane.

  22. Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty for the review and hints. I found this very difficult, but persevered, and got there in the end. I had three goes at 17a, therein and thereat were entered, until I finally got the correct answer. This was my favourite. Last in was 4d. Was 4*/3* for me. Bit late commenting, as I just managed to finish the Toughie. Well worth a look.

  23. West didn’t present any serious problems but the East was a different kettle of fish and was only completed after much bunging-in. Toyed around with whisky for 26d then when the penny dropped it became a joint Fav with 28a. Thank you Mysteron and Mr. Kitty.

  24. Must have been on wavelength as it all went together very smoothly for me. Was a bit surprised that 23d and 29a were so similar so had a second look to make sure that I was not missing something there. Thought 1a was a very clever clue and set the tone for the rest of the puzzle. I enjoyed it.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  25. With regard to Mr Kitty’s comments about German crosswords, I remember seeing two young German lads, touring Brittain on motorcyles, solving an English crossword (not while they were on their motorcyles). I was most impressed at their grasp of the English language and idoms.

    However, they came unstuck on a clue which required knowledge of the difference between 4 square feet, and 4 feet square.

    Back on topic, I must have hit the right wavelength, and found this relatively straightforward, but a good mental workout.

    1. Thanks for telling us about the German crossword enthusiasts. As you say, that’s very impressive.

  26. This was a nice crossword. Specially for a Tuesday! Lots of good clues; my fave was 24a for some reason. 2/4* overall.
    Thanks to Mssrs R and K.

  27. For the most part fairly straightforward, but then there was the NW corner where I struggled for twice the time again. Finally working out what was going on in with 1ac proved to be the key to unlocking the rest, as I thought it would be, but getting that one… Perhaps today’s flu jab has stymied my mental processes.

  28. Difficult to fully rate this one, as solving was very much a joint effort between two of us, but I’d probably go for a figure around 2**. By and large, this was a workmanlike puzzle, with the outstanding clue for us being 30a, due to having come up with a rather silly answer – not exactly a ‘favourite’, but nonetheless outstanding in a funny kind of way!

  29. Did pretty good at this one, 1d held me up, but as it was cricket related I am not surprised. Lots of great clues where, if you put your thinking head on, were not too difficult but no real favourite. Having said that, thanks to Mr Kitty for the hints I needed to complete.

  30. I’m struck by the wide range of difficulty ratings reported above and by the diverse list of favourite clues. I think that must mean that the setter hit the sweet spot for a Tuesday. It would be great if the setter posted here so we knew who to thank for that.

  31. Not difficult, but entertaining: call it 1*/3.5*. I liked 28a. Thanks to Rufus, and Mr K for an equally entertaining review.

        1. Don’t know – I suppose it could be, although Mister Ron sometimes posts here or on Facebook when it’s one of his and we’re not seeing either of those today. I just thought that this didn’t feel like a Rufus whereas yesterday did.

          1. This ain’t a Rufus. As sure as sure as eggys are eyren. Now look that one up (or those two) in you OED.

            1. eyren defeated all of my dictionaries, necessitating a search on the interwebs to discover its meaning and origins. You might be interested to know that it has never appeared in any Telegraph crossword.

              1. T]hat comyn englysshe that is spoken in one shyre varyeth from a nother. In so moche that in my dayes happened that certayn marchauntes were in a ship in tamyse for to haue sayled ouer the see into zelande and for lacke of wynde thei taryed atte forlond. and wente to lande for to refreshe them And one of theym named sheffelde a mercer cam in to an hows and axed for mete. and specyally he axyd after eggys And the goode wyf answerde. that she coude speke no frenshe. And the marchaunt was angry. for he also coude speke no frenshe. but wolde haue hadde egges and she vnderstode hym not. And thenne at laste a nother sayd that he wolde haue eyren. then the good wyf sayd that she vnderstod hym wel. Loo what sholde a man in thyse dayes now wryte. egges or eyren. certaynly it is harde to playse euery man bycause of dyuersite & chaunge of langage.

                William Caxton 1490 preface to an English translation of Virgil’s Aeneid

                1. Caxton was also the author of the example my search turned up. I’m amused by the timeless last sentence, applying as it does to the never-ending discussions here about Americanisms infiltrating the language.

                  Thanks for posting that.

  32. Strange how 29a and 23d were so closely related. Thought I had one of the two wrong somehow until the rest fell in.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr Kitty.
    These links are quite handy as I can only open one page at a time on my phone.

    1. Do you mean the hyperlinks at the top that jump to across/down/pun/comments, or some other links?

    2. I also did those simultaneously and was bored from then on. If setter can’t be bothered to think a bit harder, why should we?

  33. Haven’t read all comments yet, I’m probably not the first to find the news heart-breaking.

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