DT 28546 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28546

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28546

A full review by gnomethang

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This puzzle was published on 30th September 2017

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Morning All! I solved this very late in the week when very tired and enjoyed it less on the solve than on the review – all in all I quite enjoyed it. Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a           Leaves with agreement, offering comfort (3,3,8)
TEA AND SYMPATHY – The leaves are the TEA LEAVES AND (with) SYMPATHY or agreement.

9a           Terrible uproar involving a male lover (8)
PARAMOUR – A terrible anagram of UPROAR includes A from the clue and M(ale).

10a         Bass, perhaps, ditching river for burn (5)
SINGE – Remove the R for River from a SINGE(r) of which a bass register is an example. (indicated by perhaps).

12a         Unmatched son’s chances (4)
ODDS – ODD for unmatched (as in socks!) and then S for Son.

13a         Hoses quietly away — it’s an effect of the weather (10)
WATERSPOUT – A charade of WATERS (hoses), P for Piano (quietly in musical notation) and then OUT for away.

15a         Strange start to burglary with no alarm going off outside (8)
ABNORMAL – Place the start letter of B(urglary) with an anagram (going off) of NO ALARM on the outside.

16a         Keep transporting box? (6)
CARTON – To keep transporting might cryptically be said to CART ON!.

18a         Warning that’s pointless? (3-3)
TIP-OFF – A pointless thing might have had each TIP cut OFF.

20a         Trader‘s harangue about church being led by this writer (8)
MERCHANT – A RANT or harangue around CH for church being preceded (led) by ME (this writer.

23a         Study cafe and its cooking to take away (10)
CONFISCATE – CON for study and then an anagram (cooking) of CAFÉ and ITS.

24a         5 ignoring the odds with zero capital (4)
OSLO – The answer to 5d ignoring the odd letters is mOrSeL. Add O for zero/nothing.

26a         Newspaper article about a steamy place (5)
SAUNA – The SUN newspaper and A from the clue around/about A for an article.

27a         Not licked, like eggs before baking? (8)
UNBEATEN – The eggs before being prepared for baking would not yet be beaten.

28a         Where witness should sign? That’s putting it mildly (14)
UNDERTATEMENT – Two definitions – the first cryptic when split suggests that the witness signs UNDER the STATEMENT.


2d           A group playing in desert (7)
ABANDON – A chestnutty charade of A from the clue, BAND for group, and ON for playing.

3d           Close new Listener (4)
NEAR – N for New and an EAR for a listener.

4d           Secret tripper‘s pack? (8)
STOWAWAY – A STOWAWAY, when split as (4,4) also means to pack an item for an uncertain future date.

5d           Endeavour initially lacking bite (6)
MORSEL – Endeavour is the long-awaited revelation of the first name of Inspector MORSE. Add L – the initial letter in L(acking).

6d           When drunk, can siestas help? (10)
ASSISTANCE – A drunken anagram of SIESTAS CAN. A nice semi all-in-one.

7d           Somewhat foolish and outrageous leaflet (7)
HANDOUT – A hidden word (indicated by somewhat) that can be found in ‘foolis H AND OUT rageous’.

8d           Doctor stationed in place at the end of one’s road (11)
DESTINATION – Make an anagram (or doctor as a verb) STATIONED IN.

11d         Paint a fanciful picture of creationism, possibly (11)
ROMANTICISE – Another anagram, this time indicated by ‘possibly’ with the anagram fodder being CREATIONISM.

14d         Dissolute don briefly left with one way out (10)
PROFLIGATE – A brief way of writing a Don or professor is a PROF. Add L from the clue, I for one and a GATE or way out/exit.

17d         Backbone shown in public going topless with European underwear (8)
VERTEBRA – Remove the first letter (going topless) of (o)VERT or ‘in public and then add E for European and a BRA for underwear.

19d         Write piece about the first figure in Ancient Rome — emperor, maybe (7)
PENGUIN – We need to add PEN (write) and a GUN or (piece in the vernacular) around/about I which is the letter representing the number one in Roman Numerals.

21d         Spartan saint seen in gold before (7)
AUSTERE – Place ST, one abb. of a Saint, inside AU (Aurum, the chemical symbol for gold) and ERE (a poetic way of saying before).

22d         Youngsters working for BP? (6)
SCOUTS – A thoroughly confusing clue until you see the checking letters and realise that BP is Lord Baden-Powell the Scoutmaster.

25d         Food‘s beautiful, we hear (4)
FARE – A homophone (we hear) of FAIR or beautiful.

Thanks to the setter – I will see you next week.

12 comments on “DT 28546

  1. 22d. I just could not get this one for ages being fixated on petrol. As a lifelong member of the sister organisation I kicked myself. BP named his organisation after the scouts at Mafeking in the second Boer War. He wrote a book Aids to Scouting intended for the Military in 1899 which was popular with boys and which I think was the basis for “Scouting for Boys” when he founded the movement in 1908.

  2. 27a has a perfectly reasonable alternative solution which it ws clear from Saturday’s blog, I was not the only one to plump for. I had pencilled in “unbroken” (which, with the reference to eggs in the clue, could be argued was a better solution). When the down clues: 17, 21 & 22 fell into place with the correct checking letters, I inked it in. I was then left with 25d as my last, and impossible clue. Several appeals for further assistance with 25d received little sympathy from BD & CS who had apparently jumped straight to the correct answer for 27a and could therefore not see a problem with 25d. I make it a habit not to refer to the hints until I have either completed the crossword or given up. By Tuesday it was the latter and my first reading of the hints gave me no help at all. When I read through the comments it became apparent that there must be an alternative for 27a and, having found it, 25d became obvious.

    I think basically I am complaining about clues with alternative answers and to express my surprise that this was not highlighted last Saturday by the “experts”. A small complaint about a superb site – keep up the good work!

  3. Agree with BD. I temporarily thought of unbroken for the answer. However it could not be right as the clue would not be cryptic. It is not an alternative answer. Licked = beaten. It does not = broken.

  4. Somebody who is beaten is frequently referred to in literature as broken – at least that is certainly as close to licked as many other cryptic definitions. And I clearly was not the only one who thought that!

  5. I put sting in for 10a initially, this held me up for a while until I realised what 7d was :oops:

    Thank you for you sterling work – reviewers, setters and BD

  6. So did I Dawn! I guess if 7d had not ruled it out, I would have been making the same complaint about 10a as 27a. And to be fair (!) to BDs comment, I expect 22d, being an old chestnut for the experienced, was an early insertion. As it was we lesser mortals were left searching for a 4-letter food “-o-e” that sounded like beautiful!
    I heartily disagree with WW. In degrees of defeat, one suffering a simple defeat might be described as “beaten”, if heavily defeated they might be “licked” and comprehensively licked, they might be “broken”. Not too much forcing needed were it not for 22d..
    I will now see if I fare better today!

      1. I was thinking string on an instrument for bass, removing ‘r’ to get sting for burn, obviously in my own little world 🙂

  7. I Found 7down a bit tricky .I did find this crossword quite tricky ,having got 20across wrong at first it took me a 4 days to complete

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