DT 28566 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28566

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28566

Hints and tips by Mr Kitty

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


Hello, everyone.  I found today’s puzzle somewhat tricky so I’m setting the difficulty rating at an average 3*.  Definitely above average for enjoyment though, in part because of some clever misdirection in a few places.  There is a sprinkling of general knowledge, but those answers are all gettable from the wordplay.  And once the grid is filled, I’m happy to learn about a poet or a showjumping genre that I didn’t know before.

A big thank you to everyone who filled out my demographics survey last week.  The fascinating results are posted here.  It was a revelation to discover that in a 13 hour period when about 35 readers posted comments on my blog, another 570 silently read and filled out the survey!  The realization that we know little about the solving experiences of the vast majority of serious blog readers has motivated me to create a second short survey requesting data about everybody’s experience with today’s puzzle.  If 600 readers tell us how things went and what difficulty rating they feel is appropriate for today’s crossword we might be able to provide more meaningful ratings and commentary in the future.  Thanks in advance for your participation and feedback.  I’ll summarise the data here next Tuesday. [EDIT 1 November, 2017: The survey is now closed. The results are posted here.]

Click here to open the survey. There are 5 questions. Please click the 'Finish Survey' button at the bottom when you're done.


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 enlarge it.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Antoine, developing student at college (7)
ETONIAN:  An anagram (developing) of ANTOINE gives a student at a college that seems to be a favourite of many setters

5a    Takes long steps in street, then trips (7)
STRIDES:  The abbreviation for street and a noun synonym of trips

9a    Rough seas in cup competition with jumps (9)
PUISSANCE:  An anagram (rough) of SEAS IN CUP is a kind of showjumping competition

10a   Wife returned, about to fly off the handle (5)
STORM:  Wrap the reversal (returned) of a title that a wife might use about TO from the clue 

11a   An introduction to Chaucer in capital tale (7)
ROMANCE:  Insert the AN from the clue and the first letter of (an introduction to) Chaucer into a capital city featured in a nearby clue 

12a   Discussion involving singular herb (7)
PARSLEY:  A discussion, perhaps with an enemy, containing (involving) the abbreviation for singular

13a   Anagram in bottom row (9)
REARRANGE:  The setter wants you to study the bottom row of the puzzle in search of something anagrammatical, but this clue is actually a charade.  Join synonyms of bottom or posterior and of row (of hills, perhaps).

16a   Having a spherical shape bored out (5)
ORBED:  An anagram (out) of BORED

17a   Drink needed after Foreign Office meeting (5)
FORUM:  Place some fermented sugar-cane drink after the obvious abbreviation for Foreign Office 

18a   Pure blue appropriate (9)
DOWNRIGHT:  Connect together adjectives meaning blue or sad and appropriate or correct

21a   Fancy better cereal (7)
CAPRICE:  A verb meaning better or outdo, followed by the world’s most widely consumed cereal grain

22a   I suffer, having backed lad’s affair (7)
LIAISON:  To the reversal (having backed) of a (1,3) phrase meaning “I suffer”, append another way of describing a lad

25a   Therefore cover is reliable (5)
SOLID:  Stick together a short synonym of therefore and a cover for a pot

26a   Queen in ruin or holding tax over (4,5)
MARY TUDOR:  We find this 16th century queen as a verb meaning ruin or spoil and the OR from the clue sandwiching (holding) the reversal (… over) of a kind of tax

27a   A loser staggering, out of energy, an unplaced competitor (4-3)
ALSO-RAN:  An anagram (staggering) of A LOSeR without its E (out of Energy), followed by AN from the clue

28a   Wonder about Lake poet (7)
MARVELL:  A synonym of wonder containing (about) the abbreviation for lake.  The answer is a 17th century English metaphysical poet




1d    Perhaps Nero‘s representative during Rome uprising (7)
EMPEROR:  An informal contraction of representative is inserted into (during) ROME, and then the whole lot is reversed (uprising, in a down clue)

2d    Widespread disgust shown by platform firing leader (5)
ODIUM:  A platform for a speaker without its first letter (firing leader)

3d    Playwright‘s single book: ‘Every Way But West’ (5)
IBSEN:  Concatenate the letter representing single or one, the abbreviation for book, and the major points of the compass excluding west (every way but west).  This playwright hails from Norway.

4d    Granny eager to find buff-coloured cloth (7)
NANKEEN:  A charade of alternative words for granny and for eager.  Here is more information about the cloth. 

5d    Sheer, the Parisian tower (7)
STEEPLE:  An adjective synonym of sheer, followed by a French definite article

6d    Ice, mostly, round edges of inner lake (9)
RESERVOIR:  Glue together all but the last letter (mostly) of ice or aloofness, the round letter, and the outer letters (edges of) of InneR

7d    Idly draw wire in bomb (9)
DOODLEBUG:  “Idly draw” and a wire or surveillance device.  The answer is, among other things, an informal name for a WWII flying bomb


8d    Dog someday must be trained (7)
SAMOYED:  An anagram (must be trained) of SOMEDAY

14d   A tower erected to store produce in citadel (9)
ACROPOLIS:  The A from the clue and the reversal (erected, in a down clue) of a tower for holding grain bracket (to store) a synonym of produce

15d   Cue employing a rest (9)
REMAINDER:  A cue or signal to do something containing (employing) A from the clue

17d   Female I found wearing such a plastic flower (7)
FUCHSIA:  The abbreviation for female, followed by I from the clue inside (found wearing) an anagram (plastic) of SUCH A.  It took me three attempts to get the interior letters in the right order

18d   Lecturer bringing in about a million? You wish! (5,2)
DREAM ON:  A lecturer or academic containing (bringing in) a usual word for about or concerning, A from the clue, and the abbreviation for million

19d   Animals (two of them) making heavy metal (7)
WOLFRAM:  Do just what it says in the clue, and join two animals to get another name for the dense metal tungsten.  I’m illustrating the clue with this great 1970 performance by the first heavy metal band.  It may not be for everybody.

20d   Climber to catch up on correct procedure detailed (7)
TENDRIL:  The reversal (up, in a down clue) of to catch a fish, followed by (on, in a down clue) all but the last letter (… de-tailed) of a correct procedure or routine

23d   One’s job is delivering someone else’s work (5)
ACTOR:  A cryptic definition of one delivering lines on a stage

24d   Plant‘s small advantage (5)
SEDGE:  Combine the abbreviation for small and a synonym of advantage or superiority


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  My favourite clue today is 13a.  What was yours?


The Quick Crossword pun:  BREST+BEAUNE=BREASTBONE

99 comments on “DT 28566

  1. Good morning everybody.

    Definitely tricky in places. Last in 26a should have come to me sooner. Don’t see 9a very often so I’ll nominate that as favourite even though it was fairly obvious.


  2. I found this meatier than most Tuesdays and very enjoyable. Agree with our reviewer’s choice of favourite, and love this illustration for that one too.

    Many thanks to setter and blogger.

    P.S. There appears to be a brand spanking new setter in the Toughie slot.

  3. Pleasant enough but IMHO nothing to write home about. Appreciated Mr. Kitty’s direction re 4d and 19d both of which I somehow think were in fact buried in my archives. 7d brought shivers – my family home was bombed by one but everyone thankfully survived so that’s my ‘Unfav’. Thank you Mysteron and Mr. Kitty.

  4. Very tricky and unsatisfying – some of the clues left me completely blank without an idea of what I was looking for.

    I was glad when it was finished!

  5. 2* / 4*. I enjoyed this but made life difficult for myself by confidently putting in “agent” initially as my answer to 23d, which rendered 26a & 28a impossible until I realised what the correct answer was.

    4d was a new word for me, and 13a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Messrs R & K.

    P.S. I see what is a new name to me for today’s Toughie setter. I plan to tackle that over lunch.

  6. Reasonably straightforward, quite enjoyable, and finished at a fast canter – **/***.

    Candidates for favourite – 3d, 14d, and 15d – and the winner is 3d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty.

  7. I found this to be a very tricky puzzle today with each solution being teased out, a bit like banging your head against a brick wall-good feeling when you stop!
    No new words, all clues logically constructed even if they teased the grey matter, for example 14d, going for a ***/**** like Mr Kitty-thanks for the blog pics

  8. Splendid puzzle. **/****. Nice general knowledge content. Didn’t know the poet, but Mr Google confirmed what I thought it must be. I liked 19d, 10a and 26a but first place is 26a for me. I am surprised that Mr Kitty’s stats reveal the large number of lurkers who don’t contribute, but this does show what a useful site this is. Thanks Big Dave.

  9. 1.5*/*** for me today. Top half went in fairly quickly but slowed down a bit by the SE corner. Had to check 28a was a poet (not known to me) after filling in the answer, otherwise no need to revert to on-line aids. Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  10. Also enjoyed 13a, but quite liked 10a as well.

    Many thanks setter and Mr Kitty

    I wonder if the toughie setter is anyone we know?

  11. There were some terrific clues , such as 7d and 18d and 13a.
    I didn’t like 20 down as in my view , a tendril is a part of a climber , not a climber itself.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  12. This was a little hooligan I started of well in NE corner the it all went slightly downhill, needed help with 26a and 28a. After that only slightly less of a tussle.
    I quite like these crosswords that exercise the old grey cells, write insane all very well but you can’t beat a good brain teaser.
    Thanks to Mr Kitty and setter.

  13. Distinctly tricky but some very clever clues such as 3d and 7d. Don’t remember coming across the cloth (4d) or the metal (19d) before but both were workable from the wordplay.
    Last in was 11a which I needed the hint to explain. However, for me the COTD was 26a!
    So it was difficult but enjoyable /
    Thx to all.

    1. The metal is more commonly known as Tungsten – its chemical symbol is W though – so you can see where it comes from..

    1. Welcome from me too. You have a bull and a lion but unfortunately they need to share a leg to fit the spaces a available.

  14. First time I’ve posted here prompted by reading the results of the survey! I found this puzzle very enjoyable and not too difficult, hadn’t heard of 28a, 13a was favourite.

  15. I made heavy weather of this to start with but anagrams of which there seemed to be a number came to my aid and everything fell into place nicely. 14a and 26d were my favourite clues

  16. Splendid crossword. Short clues, no redundant words and really good surfaces. Loved how “to” was fitted into 10a (about to fly off the handle) Thanks setter and Mr K

  17. So 1d and 11a share the same city. Eternal seems appropriate!

    I can recommend the new compiler of today’s Toughie. A nice doable mixture of old style and new.

  18. Gave myself a few problems by solving the 1’s before picking up a pen and stupidly entering both in the other’s place – 2d looked interesting for a while!
    The only other issue came with 17d – I would never spell it that way. However, my preferred spelling left few options for 25a.

    I did have to ask Mr G about the poet – reading through some of his output confirms why he’s never figured much on my radar.

    Didn’t find much gaiety in this one – 3,14&18d just about earned ticks with the laurels bestowed upon 18d.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to our resident statistician – I must print out your pictorial representation of 13a and try to work it out!

    PS I realise that you’ve already taken on quite a lot of ‘homework’ with the two surveys – and thank you very much for those – but could I ask you (allowing for BD’s permission) to look into some other stats.
    We get info from the DT as to how many back-pagers and Toughies have been produced along with mentions of milestones reached by various setters but what about our incredible band of BD bloggers?
    I know that Kitty has just chalked up her century as a solo blogger but there must be others, such as BD, Gazza, Prolixic & CS, who have put a remarkable amount of (unpaid!) time into producing decryptions for the benefit of the rest of us.
    I think the figures could take many people by surprise – we perhaps tend to simply take the daily reviews for granted.

    1. To use your words to LetterboxRoy, I am intrigued to know how else you might spell 17d?

        1. Hi LBR. I was actually asking Jane how else she might spell the flower in 17d but using the words she used to ask you how else you might spell the dog in 8d.
          Sorry for any confusion :wacko:

          1. Hi RD,

            I know of a house not too far away that has a sign on its wall proudly calling itself “The Fuschias” (sic). My guess is that it’s commonly misspelt because of its similarity in pronunciation to “fascia”.

              1. Haha, thanks for that MP!

                It’s even funnier if you know that the 16th Century botanist in whose honour the plants are named translates to “fox” in English :-)

                Coincidence or what?

      1. Obviously Fuschia! Very embarrassed now that I’ve been made aware of the gentleman concerned but still think it looks so much better spelled that way.

        1. I rearranged the letters of 17d a few times as the intersecting answers went it, until eventually I recalled that the flower was named after a person. It didn’t help that it was a down clue. I find sometimes that writing the letters on top of each other can make even common words unrecognizable.

        2. Most plants that end in IA were discovered by whosoever the name before the IA. The Buddleia was siscovered by The Reverend Buddle. You might want to google that just to see if I am telling the truth. I am.

    2. Please forgive me if it’s already been said Jane but the flower was named in honour of a German botanist whose surname is the first five letters. If you say his name how it should be said, followed by the last two letters it sounds a tad rude. There is no alternative spelling…..other than the wrong one, of course.

      When I do my school presentations, I test the teachers with the following ‘Filthy Five’….Supersede (the no 1 most commonly misspelt word by a country mile amongst educated people – the uneducated put an S as they can hear it), Minuscule, Tranquillity, Haemorrhage and the aformentioned. Out of the many thousand of teachers I have presented to over the years only three have ever got all five correct.

      1. Sir Linkalot, I hesitate to correct you but I think you mean “the uneducated put a C …” :wink:

        1. Nay nay, Rabbi D. The educated put a C thinking it derives from the word Cede meaning Yield (Latin Cedere)….Concede..etc. And this is where the Heads of English and Classics teachers get it wrong again and again by putting a C and I love it. The uneducated, i.e those who don’t know the word ‘Cede’ put an S as it’s pronounced ‘SuperSede’. It derives from the Latin ‘Sedere’ (to sit – Sedan chair, Sedentary…etc) and ‘Super’ (Above or beyond), i.e to sit above someone in office. It’s the daddy of misspells.

          1. Ah, I see. Does the fact that I know how to spell supersede correctly make me an uneducated rabbi (or rabbit even)?

            1. No. It’s put you in the ‘Elite/Demi-God’ bracket, way above the educated. I got Latin A Level and also fell for the ‘Cedere/Sedere’ trap. You are the man, Rabs. We, ‘The Great Unwashed’ are not worthy.

      2. Umm – if I’m being honest, I’d have failed on all of those – barring Haemorrhage, which I’d have known I needed to look up before writing it down!

        1. ‘Rrh’ is to flow in Greek which is also in the word DiaRRHoea where ‘Dia’ means to go through. So Diarrhoea literally means ‘To flow through’ which you have to be very happy with.

        1. Forgive me, Jose, I have just seen your question. 9 out of people 10 put one L, e.g Ability, Fragility, Responsibility, Mobility, Utility and many more. Verbs ending ‘il’, e.g mail, detail, spoil only have 1 L in the present participle (Mailing) but with others like Fulfil and Distil, it’s two (Fulfilling). There is only one adjective that ends ‘il’ and that is Tranquil. So, people go with the Ability/Fragility group and put 1 L. But the root of this group ends with an E (Mobile, Fragile). So ,people are wrong. They should put double L but, being the only adjective, it’s not so straightforward. When I tell the teachers and parents at my school gigs that they have got it wrong, I say that Tranquilliser has 2 Ls and then it hits them. It’s amazing how many people make this mistake.

          1. I have a suspicion that most people in the USA wil spel tranquility with one L. :wink:

            … and even worse “tranquilizer”.

            1. Here’s a good one which I found out only recently…..Did you realize (yes, realize) that the correct spelling of realize, recognize, generalize, emphasize, emphathize and organize is with a Z? They come from the Latin and Greek suffixes ‘izere’ and ‘izen’. The French (Latin-based, as you know) don’t like the letter Z so they softened it to an S which is what Billy the Conk brought over in 1066.

              The OED (don’t know about Chambers) has them as the first entry with ‘ise’ being a variant (empathise isn’t even an option!). But, the Americanization of words, e.g Analyze, Paralyze has got people thinking that the aforementioned are also Americanisms (or should that be ‘Americanizms’? Oh, stop it). But, I tell children to put ‘Realise’ in their work as nearly all teachers and examiners don’t realize this. So, they may lose a mark.

              Funny old world.

    3. I investigated your stats question, Jane, and this is what I get from counting posts authored by a blogger with category “Crosswords”. I hope that the list includes everybody on the current blogging team.

      2Kiwis     168
      Big Dave     1743
      bufo     338
      crypticsue     659
      Deep Threat     235
      Digby     19
      Dutch     107
      Falcon     82
      Gazza     1024
      gnomethang     347
      Kitty     102
      Kath     77
      Miffypops     173
      Mr Kitty     52
      pommers     148
      Prolixic     447
      Senf     42
      ShropshireLad     37
      tilsit     235
      1. Thank you very much, Mr K – there are some quite astonishing figures on that list.

        I do hope that all those who make use of the site (regulars and lurkers alike!) will read those stats and register just how much time and effort the BD team put into bringing us our daily blogs.

        Well done, guys and girls – and many thanks to all of you.

        1. I second that as well. Blimey, the mind boggles at how much time has been invested for our entertainment! Thanks to all.

  19. A very enjoyable solve, my only doubt as to whether “anagram” was actually a verb (as well as a noun) was dispelled by the BRB.

    My two favourite clues were 10a and 18d.

    Many thanks to today’s setter and to the indefatigable Mr K.

  20. Fairly straightforward for me today, with 8d & 28a left until last to make sure of the checkers. I initially guessed 8d wrong, but there is no way of knowing that as it could be any one of a number of possibilities. Not my favourite clue for that reason. Not sure about the ‘climber’ definition for 20d, either.

    Otherwise lots to like but I’ll nominate the simple 15d as my pick of the bunch.
    Many thanks to setter and to Mr Kitty for the blog.

    1. I’m intrigued to know how many other breeds of dog you can get out of an anagram of ‘someday’!

  21. I enjoyed this while it lasted all went in smoothly once I had a few checkers. Nothin outstanding but I do like 10ac

  22. Like a few others I found this hard going, mainly due to quite a few clues being overly convoluted or as I would put it, too clever by half. For me this certainly detracts from the enjoyment but might just be staving off my sitting in the corner dribbling in later years. Overall */. Many thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty.

  23. A very nice and gentle offering from today’s setter.

    I had even heard of the metaphysical poet – a sign of a misspent youth – I should have been out enjoying myself!

    Thanks to Mr Kitty for the review and the surveys.

  24. Nice and straightforward in the top half of the grid, slowing to a crawl in the far SW and SE, so *** for difficulty sounds about right to me. Mind you, a couple of interruptions may not have helped matters. I learnt along the way that I can’t spell 17d.

    1. I too have always had a problem with 17d and tend to reverse the third and fifth letters but today having 25a in place sorted that for me.

  25. I must have been on the wavelength today as it was only just out of 1* time. Fun while it lasted and I surprised myself by remembering the showjumping event.

    LOI and favourite was 10a.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty.

  26. Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but quite tricky. I liked 5d, but my favourite was 7d. Top half went in quite easily, but the SW&SE corners put a great deal of of resistance. Last in was 26a. Was 4/4 for me.

  27. I was defeated by the SE corner. Too many Toughie standard clues in one place!!
    Still, I was very pleased to have got so far as I though the rest was hard enough!
    Thanks all.

  28. Late on parade today as out all morning. An unusually high number of commenters for so relatively early in the day. I did not find this as easy as some, but it was a high quality and enjoyable tussle throughout. 13a was just my favourite from 3d, and overall this was 3* /4* for me.

    Thanks to both Misters involved in today’s production.

  29. Nice puzzle, not too demanding and therefore pleasant to solve. 7d was my favourite and 2.5/4 overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Mr K for his review.

  30. After yesterday’s canter on the flat, I found this one like the Aintree Grand National! A few words I have never come across and – for me – some clues I just could not work out. Needed Mr K’s help for 25% (yes, a quarter of the puzzle!) and would not have arrived at a solution without same in a long time. Still, that’s crosswordland and it certainly keeps you in your place!

    Again, thanks to Mr K and the setter (for a salutary lesson!)

  31. Sorry but I did not enjoy this ****/** 😟 I thought that it was far too convoluted, I even failed to get the phrase in the Quicky 😰 Thanks to Mr K for hints otherwise I would still be trying to solve it!! Quite a few new words 9 & 19d and 16a was odd 😳

  32. I also found this puzzle a bit of a grind. On my first pass having looked at the down clues first (well it usually works for me) my first answer was 27a and I felt as if I was one😥.

  33. Well, started at a sprint and ended limping to the finish. The top went in quite quickly, even knew 9a, but some of my problems were self-inflicted.
    I started spelling 17d incorrectly but I remembered the botanist in time. The other misspelling was 22a; I know I can’t spell it, so I should have looked it up. This meant that I never did get 23d.
    I’ve never heard of the poet in 28a but I think I’m in good company there.
    My fave was, natch, the dog in 8d, closely followed by 18d and 26a.
    Thanks to today’s setter and to Mr. Kitty for the fun, most enjoyable. Now to fill in your survey.

  34. There was a time when I would have given up on a puzzle of this level of difficulty, but I battled on and am so glad I did.
    Very satisfying and hugely enjoyable.
    Many thanks to all involved.

  35. Not a fan today, and would have to say ****/*, found it difficult for the most part and even when I got the answer it wasn’t an ahah moment, as you are with a clever clue that the answer clearly fits. Probably I was just miles off the wavelength. Oh well, had 3 good days in a row so mustn’t be greedy.

  36. I manged without using the excellent hints, but thought it was quite tricky. I would not have got further than halfway without the BD blog’s gentle tuition over the last couple of years. Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K. (Surveys are a great idea, btw).

  37. I put this aside yesterday thinking that I didn’t have time to look at it. It was finished before the toast was eaten this morning. Fun whilst it lasted. I spent longer reading the blog. Loved the tube map. It has given me an idea. Thank you setter and Mr Kitty.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Jezza.

      The definition in 13a is anagram. The Underground Map that I used to illustrate it has had every station name replaced by an anagram of that name:

      Victoria → Trivia Co

      Bond Street → Otter Bends

      Lancaster Gate → Castrate Angel, and so on.

      If you need a real Tube Map to compare it against, go here on the TFL site.

      1. Thank you Mr Kitty, I solved 13a but couldn’t see why the map was used to illustrate it. I didn’t analyse the station names! Excellent work Mr K :-)

        1. We now seem to have two regular commenters called Jezza which will be confusing. Since the other Jezza has been with us for a long time could you please make a slight change to your alias?

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