DT 28554 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28554

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28554

Hints and tips by Mr Kitty

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


Hello, everyone, and welcome.  A fair bit of concatenating and contorting is required in today's puzzle, including a few clues where both are combined in some intricate wordplay.  That's all fine with me.  I very much enjoyed unscrambling it all while smiling at several clues and LOLing at one.  All in all, it's a fine puzzle for a Tuesday.

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    Steal  funds (6)
POCKET:  A straightforward double definition gets us underway

4a    Sylvester kicks shifty deceptive type (8)
SLYBOOTS:  Connect together a shortened form of Sylvester and a synonym of kicks.  I hadn't heard this word before.  Neither had the online Chambers dictionary, but the BRB and Collins knew him.

9a    Located far away in Baltimore motel (6)
REMOTE:  The answer is hidden in the remainder of the clue

10a   Really popular result (2,6)
IN EFFECT:  Combine our usual word for popular and a result or consequence

11a   Religious man in party, very short about article (9)
DOMINICAN:  Concatenate our usual party, an adjective meaning very short when applied to a skirt, a single-letter abbreviation for about or approximately, and one of the indefinite articles

13a   Depressing experience without doubt, initially, for proprietor (5)
OWNER:  Take an informal noun for a depressing experience and remove from it the first letter of Doubt (without doubt initially)

14a   Show  diversion (13)
ENTERTAINMENT:  Another double definition

17a   New cocktails I prepared the wrong way? (13)
ANTICLOCKWISE:  An anagram (prepared) of NEW COCKTAILS I.  Whether the answer is the wrong way depends on what you're trying to accomplish

21a   Dish quietly departed (5)
PLATE:  The musical abbreviation for quiet, followed by departed in the sense of being dead

23a   Heavy firepower, ominous positioned in middle of major road (9)
ARTILLERY:  A synonym of ominous (often used to describe a wind that blows nobody any good) is positioned in the middle of a major road (or blood vessel)

24a   Drawing can put over a tropical fruit (8)
PLANTAIN:  Link together a drawing or blueprint and a noun synonym of can containing (put over) A from the clue.  The answer looks like the fruit that goes in this great invention:

25a   Delighted, American introduced to remarkable dame (6)
AMUSED:  An abbreviation for American is inserted in (introduced to) an anagram (remarkable) of DAME

26a   Occupant let team inside (8)
RESIDENT:  A verb meaning let has another word for team inside it

27a   Second drink after work may cause rumour (6)
GOSSIP:  The abbreviation for second and a small drink are placed after a synonym of work (not the musical abbreviation, for a change) 



1d    Page with a notice in about procession (6)
PARADE:  Chain together the abbreviation for page, A from the clue, and the letter combination produced by placing a notice or sign in a usual word for about or concerning

2d    Representative feeding domestic pet cheese (9)
CAMEMBERT:  A representative in Parliament placed inside (feeding) the best domestic pet

3d    Formerly caught lying in shade like a mammoth? (7)
EXTINCT:  The usual prefix for formerly, followed by shade or hue with the cricket abbreviation for caught inserted (lying in . . .)

5d    Household receptacle, brand new, bishop takes out (5,6)
LINEN BASKET:  Take a deep breath.  To find this receptacle, we must concatenate a synonym of brand, the abbreviation for new, the chess symbol for bishop, and an anagram (out) of TAKES

6d    Foolish person, fan with nothing on (7)
BUFFOON:  Glue together a fan or enthusiast, the letter that looks like zero or nothing, and ON from the clue.  The answer provides an opportunity to use this picture featuring the topical word which is both the top lookup on the Merriam-Webster site and an ingredient in a great clue in this week's outstanding Rookie Corner crossword

7d    Once a warring Indian, perhaps (5)
OCEAN:  An anagram (warring) of ONCE A

8d    Artist brought in statue damaged in flood (8)
SATURATE:  Our usual artist is brought into an anagram (damaged) of STATUE

12d   Chapter on exploitation of poor helping large firm (11)
CORPORATION:  The abbreviation for chapter, followed by (on in a down clue) an anagram (exploitation of) of POOR and a helping or allocation

15d   Team with groups taking time out for tea break? (9)
ELEVENSES:  A name given to a cricket or football team reflecting its number of players, followed by a synonym of groups minus the physics symbol for time (taking time out)

16d   Skirted musician bringing silver flute into empty bar (8)
BAGPIPER:  Insert the chemical symbol for silver and a simple flute into the outer letters (empty . . .) of BAR

18d   Conservative, inflamed, violated rules (7)
CHEATED:  Fuse the single-letter abbreviation for Conservative and a synonym of inflamed

19d   Left hanging on one climbing astride branch (2,5)
IN LIMBO:  Join ON from the clue and the Roman for one and then reverse that lot (climbing in a down clue).  Then wrap that letter combination around (astride) a tree branch

20d   Looked at central spot on high, taking in diameter (4,2)
EYED UP:  The central spot of a storm, for example, and a short word meaning "on high" contain (taking in) the abbreviation for diameter

22d   Gather in the morning on a steamship (5)
AMASS:  And it's a charade to finish.  This time we stick together the Latin-derived abbreviation for "in the morning", A from the clue, and the usual abbreviation for steamship


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  Topping my list today is 16d for the laugh out loud moment that came right after the answer was constructed from the wordplay.  I also particularly enjoyed the complex clues like 5d and 12d, along, of course, with the wonderful 2d.  Which clues 25a you?


The Quick Crossword pun:  BILK+LYNN+TUN=BILL CLINTON

46 comments on “DT 28554

  1. Nice puzzle. Fairly straightforward and went in steadily. **/**** I liked 24a, 7d 16d with 4a a clear winner.

  2. Completed at a gallop, very enjoyable – 1.5*/2.5*.

    4a is in the BRB (13th Edition (Revised)), odd that it is not in the on-line version.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 24a and 12d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    1. The dictionary that Chambers makes available online is the “Chambers 21st Century Dictionary”. It’s only a subset of the BRB.

  3. 1*/2*. I found this very straightforward with only 1a & 4a requiring much thought. The latter was a new word for me necessitating a visit to my BRB for verification.

    I am sorry to say this was not at all to my taste due to some dodgy surfaces and a surfeit of charades. I am also unconvinced by 14a as a double definition as it seems to me that both definitions are the same.

    Thanks to Mr R & Mr K.

  4. Very enjoyable and a real feeling of achievement to unscramble some of the more complicated clues. Finished well before lights out last night!

    I really enjoyed it!

  5. I found this all a little bit familiar.

    Popular, religious man, very short, article, quietly, departed, drawing, can, a, American, side, second, drink, work, page, notice about, representative, domestic pet, formerly, caught, shade, artist, helping, team, silver, flute, conservative, inflamed, on high, in the morning, a, steamship

    All words that are givens, usual suspects or seen before, so the puzzle became a read and write. Helpful and obvious anagram indicators like prepared, remarkable, out, damaged, gave shoe ins all too easily (I did like warring and exploitation of).

    The show diversion has been seen before according to my radar as has going the wrong way.

    Last four in

    1ac which I liked.

    I also liked 4 across and did wonder whether our pal across the pond would know it. He may also be called a fox, a yape, a wily-man, a sneck-drawer (not lifter) and strangely enough a pie.

    5d floated my boat as I once bought Saint Sharon one for Christmas which we still use. The clue took some working out too.

    7d a nice anagram indicator

    Overall what should be a great confidence booster for newer solvers. It is very accessible. On the downside I have had time to write the above. Thanks very much to the setter and thanks to the speaker of American English for solving and reviewing in his second language. I doubt that I would get very far with the New York Times or The Boston Globes puzzles.

    By the way did I ever mention that my least favourite words all contain the hard letter C repeated. That is a concrete fact.

    1. Speaking of things that are a bit familiar, yes you have mentioned it, and caused quite enough trouble. May I please request that you give it a rest?

    2. MP. That’s a very thoughtful Christmas present you bought for Saint Sharon. This year, might I suggest getting her a pack of bespoke dusters, or a special ironing-board cover, or even a new galvanised mop bucket – something that she’ll really appreciate! :-)

  6. I really enjoyed this and thought it was straightforward with only 24a and 16d causing a bit of a hold-up. 2*/4* from me.
    I did have to ask Mr Google about Sylvester.
    I agree with Mr K that 17a isn’t necessarily wrong – if I got onto the M25 going clockwise on my way to see either Lamb I’d be wrong and it would take me a very long time to get there.
    Managed to convince myself that the second word of 5d just had to be bucket then had to have a re-think when I got 14a.
    I thought the anagram indicator in 7d was unusual – well, I missed it for ages anyway.
    I particularly appreciated 27a and 6d. My favourite was 16d.
    Thanks to whoever set today’s crossword and to Mr K.

  7. No hold-ups, though I agree with RD about a couple of the surface reads. The only one I ticked was 4A and that is simply because I like the word. Thanks Mr. K and setter.

  8. I’m afraid I solved this in a hurry, and am still in that hurry, so can’t comment in detail. I do remember enjoying it though.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the latest in a long line of consistently excellent reviews.

  9. A trifle convoluted in parts but solved easily apart from NE corner **/*** 😃 Liked 23 & 24a and 16d 😜 Thanks to Mr K and to the setter

  10. Quite enjoyed this one despite, as RD commented, a few rather dodgy surface reads, which prevented some from getting ticks from me.

    Those that made it to the podium included 10&27a along with 7d. 4a took the top spot – one of my Gran’s favourite words!

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr K for the review and some really amusing pics.

  11. Completed at a veritable gallop, indeed in record time – however that may be misleading as friendly checking lettersr revealed what seemed very obvious answers which I bunged in and then had to check the blog, (e.g. 3d and 19d).
    And I sometimes struggle on 1* puzzles – just shows the importance of being on the wavelength.

    COTD – 7d – my penultimate one in, despite being a very simple clue – but with wonderful misdirection (I didn’t spot the anagram indicator for what seemed ages). Talking of misdirection I did a double-take on the picture accompanying 24a. A most bizarre invention.

    Last one in 1a


    Thanks to the setter and to Mr. K.

  12. Apart from 1a -I still can’t really equate the answer with ‘funds’ except maybe if your out of pocket your broke ! am I missing something ?, otherwise a straight forward solve and going for a **/***.
    Vaguely remember 1a from my distant youth, as per Jane.
    No real stand out clue, quite liked 18d.
    Liked the quickie pun-thanks all .

    1. For 1a, how about this from the Telegraph: “The Inland Revenue is not slow to use every taxing statute to deplete the taxpayer’s pocket.”

  13. Straightforward but enjoyable. My only problem was equating funds with pocket in 1a, bit uncomfortable with this. Apart from that */***
    Thx to all

    1. B, 1a: As in “the fees are a drain on my pocket”. Here “pocket” means: resources, funds, means, money, finances, budget, assets, capital, wherewithal (all from LRB).

  14. Good afternoon everybody.

    Mostly straighforward stuuf today with the north east corner offering most resistance.


  15. No problems solving this. I echo RD’s comments on the surfaces and surfeit of charades. My top clue was 4a

  16. Pretty much in agreement with Mr. K.’s rating on this one. I thought that the 17a long anagram provided a good starter from which to quickly build confidence! Totally flunked on 4a – haven’t come across the expression before (plus ‘flyboys’ looked like a not too bad effort at fillingl the space). As for fav. – I thought that 2d tasted rather good.

  17. Enjoyable. Annoyed that for 1 across I wrote in packet when I should have got to pocket.

  18. Most enjoyable puzzle for ages. Several excellent clues, especially 16d, 2d, 3d, 11a.

  19. I didn’t think it was all that straightforward but more amusing for all that.
    I liked 7d, nicely misleading.
    Thanks to Mr Kitty and the setter.

  20. Enjoyed this today apart from 1a & 1d. Favourite clue was 7d.
    Thanks to Mr K for the hints.

  21. Started this in the Marches and finished at our hotel in Oxford where we are meeting friends for a few days. This was fairly straightforward, with no real hold-ups. Couldn’t identify a real favourite, and overall this was a 2*/3* puzzle for me.

    Thanks to both Misters involved.

  22. I began not expecting to enjoy the solve that much, for the same reasons that RD and MP have outlined, but in the end I actually thoroughly warmed to it and was prepared to cast aside my initial reservations.

    I ticked 27a, 7d, 12d and 15d as being the cream of the today’s crop. I could have sworn that Mr Kitty would have illustrated 2d with a cat picture, happy to be proved wrong and to see the obligatory feline, albeit bedraggled, elsewhere!

    Many thanks to our Tuesday setter and to Mr K.

  23. I enjoyed this, lots of smile stuff.
    Never heard of 4a but I liked it, have to store in my memory and use it one day.
    Fave was 16d, with 2d hot on its heels.
    Thanks to setter and to Mr. Kitty for his, as usual, very educational review.

  24. Bright and breezy crossword. The idea of a very large cat swallowing representatives of parliament is very appealing but my favourite is 4a both as a word not often used these days and for mentioning a star from long ago who popped up in guardians of the galaxy 2 but not often mentioned in the DT!

  25. Fairly straight forward and like yesterday, over a bit too soon. 4a was my top clue; I haven’t heard that expression for ages, or at least I don’t think so….
    2/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Mr Kitty for the review.

  26. We agree with Mr K’s assessment and we also laughed out loud at 16d.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

    1. Noun. Having money available. In possession of funds

      Verb. To take possession of for ones own. To appropriate, especially dishonestly

      Can’t see anything wrong with that.

  27. 16d was indeed very amusing, in a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle throughout. I found it quite tough to get a foothold, eventually getting a few clues in the SW corner, but from then on it was pretty plain sailing. The longer answers looked a little intimidating at first but fell with a few checking letters. Last in 4ac which was a bit of an (educated) guess.

  28. It’s been a busy day, and no time to spare. Looks like a good puzzle reading the review so I shall print it off tomorrow and save it for a rainy day. Many thanks setter and Mr Kitty

  29. Out all day but this was a pleasant walk in the park before breakfast. North beat the South to it. Hadn’t previously come across 4a or ominous synonym in 23a. Liked surface read of 17a. Thank you Mysteron and Mr. Kitty.

  30. Finished this late and took ages over it because I kept falling asleep. No reflection on the crossword which had a fairly unusual feel to it. That’s all.
    Thanks to the setting person and to Mr K.

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