DT 28568 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28568

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28568

Hints and tips by Falcon

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

Greetings from Ottawa where we have enjoyed an exceptional autumn following a rather disappointing summer. For the last couple of months, we have enjoyed mid-summer-like weather. In the last day or two, it has become more autumn-like — but still gorgeous.

I have no idea who the setter may be — the puzzle certainly does not bear the hallmarks of RayT. I started off writing in the solutions to the first two clues and thought it might be a one-star effort. Although the left-hand side fell rapidly, and the lower right put up only slightly more resistance, the upper right mounted a stalwart defence.

The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers can be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons (so avoid clicking on them unless you really want to see an answer).

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of the puzzle.


1a   A strip needs dancing — these people are taking steps (11)
PEDESTRIANS — anagram (dancing) of the first three words in the clue

7a   Prickly shrub cutting taken from sapling or seedling (5)
GORSE — our first lurker of the day is hidden in (cutting taken from) the final three words of the clue

8a   Where elders may be seen between services? (9)
ARBORETUM — cryptic definition of a place where one may see not only elders and services, but also oaks, elms and maples

10a   Classic label retained by crime writer (7)
VINTAGE — a label that may show the price of the item to which it is attached is contained within a pseudonym sometimes used by the English author best known (under her real name) as the creator of Chief Inspector Wexford

11a   Thoughtlessly produce rubbish defended by solicitor (4,3)
TROT OUT — produce as put on display; a synonym for rubbish protected within an aggressive seller

12a   Private comment in a group in field? (5)
ASIDE — A (from the clue) and a sports team

13a   A fight’s cool to make a comeback in the main (5-4)
ABOUT-SHIP — a nautical term denoting the manoeuvring of a vessel onto a new tack is also a charade of A (from the clue), a boxing match including the ‘s, and a slangy term for fashionable; I hope pommers got this one easily

16a   Walk in the park to accommodate doctor, and a form of swimming (3-6)
DOG-PADDLE — a form of swimming not seen in the Olympics is an easy achievement in which is immersed a short family doctor and the A (from the clue)

18a   Retired Irish broadcaster liable to mishap (5)
RISKY — reverse the abbreviation for Irish and add a British satellite broadcaster

19a   Drove round bend in green convertible in promotion (7)
ANGERED — anagram (convertible) of GREEN contained in a short commercial message

22a   Composer somewhat cross in interview (7)
ROSSINI — the second lurker is hiding (somewhat) in the final three words of the clue

23a   Mysterious objects I store haphazardly carried by European roughly (9)
ESOTERICA — an anagram (haphazardly) of I STORE is preceded by E(uropean) and followed by an abbreviated Latin term denoting roughly or approximately

24a   It could be one’s reaction to flip stories heard (5)
TAILS — there are perhaps two possible responses to the admonition “Call it in the air”; one of them sounds like another name for stories or yarns

25a   Dislike of others making sad man this inadequate (11)
MISANTHROPY — anagram (sad) of MAN THIS followed by an adjective meaning poor in quality


1d   The old man not in his own place minding offspring? (9)
PARENTING — an informal term for father and a term denoting residing in unowned accommodations

2d   Outstanding romantic event — or time for the result? (3,4)
DUE DATE — string together an adjective meaning payable and a romantic get-together

In case it should be unfamiliar to British readers, Orville Redenbacher founded an American company which makes a brand of popcorn bearing his name.

3d   Covert aide for people on boards? (5,4)
STAGE HAND — a cryptic definition of one who assists a thespian behind the scenes

4d   Machine found in origin around Belgium (5)
ROBOT — a synonym for origin (money in the case of evil) wrapped around the IVR for Belgium

5d   Charles de Gaulle maybe left following broadcast (7)
AIRPORT — nautical left behind a verb meaning to broadcast gives us a place of which Charles de Gaulle (or Heathrow) is an example

6d   Argument prepared with books circulating (3-2)
SET-TO — an adjective denoting prepared or ready and a reversal (circulating) of one of our usual sets of religious books

7d   A date Kevin fixed after end of spring to make mutual concessions (4,3,4)
GIVE AND TAKE — anagram (fixed) of the first three words of the clue following the final letter of sprinG

9d   Team disseminated science — and type of philosophy (11)
METAPHYSICS — anagram (disseminated) of TEAM and one of the science disciplines

14d   Venture too far having completed stretch of river (9)
OVERREACH — an adjective meaning completed and a part of a river between two bends

15d   Unfriendliness of publican I fired before start of year (9)
HOSTILITY — chain together a proprietor like Miffypops, the I from the clue, a verb meaning ignited, and the initial letter of Year

17d   Stuffy East-ender’s thin on top (7)
AIRLESS — how a Cockney would describe someone with a bald pate

18d   Gentleman served up German dish (7)
RISOTTO — this Italian dish is a reversal (served up in a down clue) of an honorific applied to a gentleman followed by one of our customary Germans (not Hans)

20d   Prepare  man at union (5)
GROOM — double definition; the second being the principal man in the wedding party

21d   Condescend to make mention of Scandinavian (5)
DEIGN — sounds like a resident of one of the Scandinavian countries

I found the puzzle to contain a mix of clues of widely varying degrees of difficulty. Vying for top spot are 8a and 3d which teamed up to defend the northeast corner to the end. In my efforts to crack 3d — my last one in — I vacillated between thinking that “people on boards” must be actors, skiers, business executives or chessmen. However, top spot goes to 8a.

55 comments on “DT 28568

  1. 1* / 1.5*. I am sorry to say that I found this rather underwhelming. There were a lot of wordy clues some with rather clunky surfaces (e.g.: 19a & 23a). 8a was a shining beacon of light and my stand-out favourite.

    Thanks to setter (definitely not Ray T who is on Toughie duty today) and to Falcon.

    1. I read 8ac out to Saint Sharon and said “Trees” Thanks to Mrs Antrobus for that bit of knowledge.

  2. Disappointed to see nine words in the clue for 1ac. Solved at a rapid pace. Very unthurdayish. Off now to Newquay Airport to see Bloodhound SSC. It’s VIP day today. How on earth did I qualify for that? Thanks to the setter for the gentle exercise and thanks to Falcon.

      1. I read somewhere that the record attempt is in South Africa in 2019.
        The first public test run will be at 200 Mph, it won’t get out of 2nd gear!
        Ah, Here it is

      2. Very basically Jane. A car went very fast twice. As for ticking boxes. I saw the car. I saw the car run fast twice. I saw and shook hands with Richard Noble. I saw Andy Green.

        We are now drinking tea in The Bedruthan Hotel overlooking Bedruthan Steps beach.

        Heartland Quay and Point later. Home tomorrow

  3. As Miffypops says, very unthursdayish; I normally find the thursday puzzle a little more challenging…

    Thanks to setter, and to Falcon.

  4. Very enjoyable. I had to come here for help with 3d and 18 a. 23a was my favourite. Many thanks to setter and Falcon.

  5. I really quite liked this one. As observed, not the usual Thursday challenge, but I thought there were some entertaining clues. */***. I liked 11a, 24a, 17d with 5d and 8a in a tie for the gold medal.

  6. I’d forgotten the leafy kind of service as I haven’t seen her in a crossword for a while. So 8a went in once there were enough checkers to get it from the first part and then I came here to understand the “between services” … and then give myself a good kicking.

    Never heard 16a with only three letters for the first bit: it’s always been (5-6) for us. Of course, when I do it it’s Kitty-paddle, though I’m more of a breaststroke girl actually.

    Thanks to the setter and Falcon.

  7. Uncomplicated but enjoyable and a fine example of the First Law of Crosswords: the difficulty of any puzzle will always be in reverse proportion to the amount of time in which you have to solve it.

    1. Enjoyable enough for me. I’d not heard of 13a but it made sense from the breakdown of the clue and fitted in well. Like others, I ‘twigged’ the elders in 8a but am still unsure how services comes into play.

      1. The service (or service tree) is a Eurasian tree of the rose family, closely related to the rowan.

  8. That was a bit of a trudge, but satisfying to solve, anyway.
    I guessed the misdirection in 8a, but don’t understand the ‘services’ bit (see above), I am sure someone will enlighten me.
    I got in a bit of a mess with the endings of 23a and 25a,.
    Struggling to find a favourite.
    Thanks all.

  9. Once I’d realised that I could get my Mr T fix from the Toughie, I quite enjoyed solving this one. Most of it fell into place quite smoothly although 3d held out to the bitter end and it took a while for the old grey cells to remember the ‘service’.
    13a was new to me but fairly clued.

    Top spots went to 8a&3d with mentions for the humour in 18a&2d and the succinctness of 18d.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Falcon for the blog – just as well you mentioned the popcorn, I couldn’t figure out the cartoon at all!

    1. It’s always difficult to know whether products that are common here might be unfamiliar to those of you across the pond. A google check revealed that Orville Redenbacher popcorn is sold on Amazon UK — but perhaps that is just to cater to the expat US market. But the cartoon was too perfect to pass up, and I figured that with a tiny bit of explanation everyone would get the joke.

  10. 8a the clear favourite in this straightforward and fairly enjoyable Thursday puzzle. It certainly did not sparkle, but was a little better than lacklustre, so 2* /2.5* for me.

    Thanks to the setter and Falcon.

  11. There was no familiar ring to this so I will be fascinated to discover who the setter is. For me it was a mixed bag of several groan-worthies plus some goodies (e.g. 8a, 1d and 2d). Held back on some potential bung-ins in NE but then found them to be valid.
    Thank you Mysteron and Falcon. We have just had an unseasonally warm spell but apparently that is due to end this weekend so out with the winter woollies.

  12. This was definitely no R&W for me, I was jigging about all over the page. “Service” was a new one on me, but it’s there in the BRB. I know 16a as having a 5 or even 6 lettered first word. Strangely enough finished in a 2 star time.

    COTD 3d

    Many thanks to the setter and Falcon.

  13. Held up by 13 across. Thought answer was ‘ About Turn’ as no knowledge of nautical terms. On correction bottom RH corner fell into place.
    Enjoyed the puzzle very much

  14. I didn’t get 11a and needed the blogs help for that one. A Service Tree was a new one to me but it had to be from the clue.

    A very enjoyable puzzle, not too difficult (apart from my little blip) but good fun.

    Back to the Hospital this afternoon for redressing of my ‘wound’ – I think it’s getting better, it was a tremendous relief the other day when the staples were taken out.

  15. I enjoyed this one and whipped through it pretty quickly. As an east ender 17 down made me chuckle.

  16. So hard I couldn’t finish ne corner. Must be ill l thought.
    My nurse took bp reading 155/100. So I am I’ll….😦

  17. Not much enthusiasm from the bloggers today, perhaps it did lack a bit of sparkle and ‘brio’
    Somewhere in the middle for me so a 2.5/2.5.
    Last 8a I visited was at Jodrell bank, I too join the not heard of services club .
    Pencilled in materialism for 9d which proved to be wide of the mark !
    Fair clueing really so no real gripes, quite liked 16a.
    Thanks Falcon for his apposite pics.

    1. My first idea for 9d was “materealism” thinking that realism = science was somewhat of a stretch. Then I twigged that’s not how you spell materialism.

  18. Sorry but I thought this a bit of a poor effort. It was one of those where it was easier to find the answer than fully understand the clue I thought that 13a and 24a were particularly poor clues. Still don’t understand the inclusion of ‘covert’ in 3d, it seems superfluous. Didn’t know the author in 10a or understand 24d despite the hint.
    All in all not my favourite. For me */**
    Thx for the hints

    1. Hello Brian – I didn’t think this puzzle was particularly engaging either.

      3d covert is indicating that they are not seen.
      24a when a coin is tossed (or flipped), one party says either heads or tails. One of those two sounds like tales.


    2. In 3d “covert” is a cryptic allusion to the fact that these workers toil behind scenes and thus are unseen by the audience.

      If you mean 24a rather than 24d, when the game official flips the coin the captain is expected to react by saying either “heads” or “tails”, the latter which sounds like (heard) tales (stories or yarns).

  19. Another straightforward puzzle and a routine solve. Nothing to quicken the pulse and 8a the only clue that I found interesting.

  20. Well, wotta mixture! I started off by solving 1a without missing a beat, then it got harder and harder. However, I knew it wasn’t RayT as I did finish in the end.
    I didn’t know the author in 10a, the tree in 8a, and thought the second word in 3d was “card” so tried to think of another way of saying “cue card”. I also put “turn” in 13a, like Clematis. All in all, not my finest hour.
    Now I know the “why” of 8a, that’s my fave, with 16a as second.
    Thanks to setter and to Falcon for his review. We were in the 50sF this morning in Miami, ugh!

    1. Hi Merusa,

      I too initially went in the direction of card and even scoured my dictionaries to see if “stage card” might possibly be a British term for “cue card”.

  21. I was expecting a Ray T – working on alternate weeks I think it should have been him last week but wasn’t – where’s he got to, apart from in the Toughie slot today?
    We don’t seem to have had one by Shamus for ages either.
    Oh well, on to today’s crossword – I agree it was straightforward with no major hold-ups.
    I’d never heard of the order or expression or whatever 13a is but it was easy enough to work out.
    I have met the 8a services but had forgotten them.
    The 18a broadcaster is one that always catches me out and today was no exception.
    I particularly liked 8 and 18a and my favourite was 2d.
    Thanks to whoever set this one and to Falcon.

  22. Expecting the usual RT Thursday tussle I suddenly found I was halfway through it with no tussle in sight. Soon after I completed. It was alright I guess, but not particularly inspiring. 15d was my top clue. 2/2.5* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Falcon for the review.

  23. Oops! I inadvertently changed my name. Please ignore Grizzly… Spellcheck had a senior moment…

  24. A very enjoyable but relatively untesting puzzle: 1/4. My favourites were 24 and 25 across. Thanks to the setter, and to Falcon. I must say l envy you the Canadian fall, particularly as our cousins up in the Algonquin tell us it’s an absolute cracker. Maybe next year..

  25. Got off to a good start with this one, and then it got harder and needed Falcon’s hints to finish, thank you. Enjoyable though, as no convoluted answers needed. I knew it wouldn’t be smooth sailing when 1a went straight in – that’s never a good sign for me. I passed my swimming test in high school doing 16a 😉

  26. Straightforward on the LHS, less so to the right, overall about ** for difficulty. Last in 8ac which I had to check the spelling for.

  27. Good evening everybody.

    Somewhat trickier than yesterday. Liked 18a, 24a. Couldn’t see reasoning for 8a. Made life harder than necessary by writing in what turned out to be a wrong solution at 9d.


  28. I’ve just picked the crossword up at close to 10 PM EST. Ruth Rendell’s alter ego Barbara Vine (10A) is surely more of a writer of dark psychological thrillers than straight crime fiction.

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