DT 28598 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28598

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28598

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Morning all from a rather dank and dismal Vega Baja.  Winter has certainly arrived at last.  I haven’t a clue who today’s setter is as the style doesn’t ring any bells at all.  There’s four longish anagrams to give you a way in, a couple of rather complicated charades and three cryptic definitions.  While solving I thought it was a bit tricky but looking at the website’s timer it’s a solid ** puzzle.  Perhaps I was just lucky in unravelling the anagrams fairly quickly.  

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Loyalty, say, found in union (10)
ALLEGIANCE:  Two letters for “say” inserted into a word for a union.

6a           Eccentric succeeded in betting (4)
ODDS:  A word for eccentric or strange followed by S(ucceeded).

9a           Follow graduate in teaching (5)
DOGMA:  A word meaning to follow or tail followed by a degree.

10a         Best meal cooked around island worthy of praise (9)
ESTIMABLE:  Anagram (cooked) of BEST MEAL around I(sland).

12a         List of those who could turn out for parties? (9,4)
ELECTORAL ROLL:  A cryptic definition of the list of people who are eligible to turn out to vote for the various political parties.

14a         Service care is shoddy — the end for many? (8)
MASSACRE:  A church service followed by an anagram (is shoddy) of CARE.

15a         Keep quiet about Conservative going after gear that’s tawdry (6)
KITSCH:  Take two letters meaning “keep quiet” and place them around (about) a C for Conservative.  Place that lot after some gear or equipment.

17a         Dwell on pretentious air (6)
RESIDE:  Two letters meaning on or about followed by a pretentious air or manner.

19a         I cut girl misbehaving regarding ceremony (8)
LITURGIC:  Anagram (misbehaving) of I CUT GIRL gives a word meaning regarding a religious ceremony.

21a         One covers the ground to get the lead and take the gold? (5,8)
METAL DETECTOR:  Cryptic definition of the piece of equipment you might use if you were searching the ground for pieces of lead or gold, or iron and steel for that matter.

24a         Northern land in front of Germany? It’s almost a disaster! (4,5)
NEAR THING:  Start with N(orthern) followed by some land or soil and then the IN from the clue followed by G (front of Germany).  Split all that (4,5) to get the answer.

25a         Swimmer in river, then bus avoiding cold (5)
ROACH:  This swimmer is a freshwater fish.  It’s R(iver) followed by a bus with the C removed (avoiding Cold).  Don’t do what I did and key this answer into Google images.  You don’t get pictures of a fish but some rather horrid looking insects which are quite common around here, ugh!

26a         Bumpkin left out wooden frame (4)
YOKE:  A country bumpkin loses the L from the end (Left out) to leave the wooden frame said bumpkin might use to harness two animals together to pull his plough or wagon.

27a         Sight least prepared is most deplorable (10)
GHASTLIEST:  Anagram (prepared) of SIGHT LEAST.


1d           Helper paid extra in part (4)
AIDE:  A lurker lurking (in part) in PAID EXTRA.

2d           Member not so intoxicated (7)
LEGLESS:  A member, not an arm but the other one, followed by a word meaning “not so” as in “not as much”.

3d           Serious measures used by group in night-time broadcast? (9,4)
GRAVEYARD SLOT:  Start with a word for serious and then some measures of distance and finally a slang term for a group of people. Split that lot (9,4) and you get a term for a late night TV or radio broadcast.

4d           Opening of a fresh flower in Yorkshire (8)
APERTURE:  A (from the clue)  followed by a word for fresh or cheeky and finally crosswordland’s favourite Yorkshire river (flower).  Where would setters be without this very useful river?  And here it is . . . 

5d           Provide food bound by intricate restrictions (5)
CATER:  Today’s second lurker is hidden in (bound by) INTRICATE RESTRICTIONS.

7d           Call promises of repayment questionable (7)
DUBIOUS:  A word meaning call or name followed by the usual promises of repayment.  These promises to repay are as useful to setters as the Yorkshire river in 4d.

8d           Disturbance after a past engagement? (5,5)
SHELL SHOCK:  A cryptic definition of a mental disturbance which might be suffered after a past military engagement.

11d         Showing diversity, it’s taken up sect with posh artist in Scottish island (13)
MULTICULTURALListen very carefully, I will say this only once . . . Start with IT (from the clue) and reverse it (taken up in a down clue). Follow with another word for a sect or religious group, the single letter for posh and then the usual two letter artist.  If you’re still with me you now need to insert all that lot into a Scottish island in the Inner Hebrides.  I didn’t work all that out up front. I guessed the answer from the checkers and definition and worked it out later.

13d         Ten mayors surprisingly holding millions to make clever investment? (5,5)
SMART MONEY:  Anagram (surprisingly) of TEN MAYORS placed around (holding) M(illions).

16d         One swimming off boat, maybe, gets on without introduction and alters course (8)
DIVERGES:  This one swimming isn’t a fish but a person swimming underwater perhaps.  Follow him with a word meaning gets on, as in gets older, but without the first letter (without introduction).

18d         Disappointment with TV returned (7)
SETBACK:  Crosswordland’s usual slang term for a television followed by a word meaning returned.

20d         Frankfurter, perhaps, adding energy is suitable (7)
GERMANE:  This Frankfurter isn’t a sausage but a person who hails from Frankfurt.  A word to describe him followed by E(nergy).  Berliner would have done just as well, as JFK once famously said “I am a sausage”.

22d         Cabaret singer familiarly seen in correct hotel (5)
EDITH:  As far as I can see this definition is an allusion to a very famous French cabaret singer.  The word “familiarly”  meaning we only need her Christian name.  It’s a word for to correct, a piece of prose perhaps, followed by H(otel). 

23d         Little ingenuity, we’re told (4)
WHIT:  A word meaning little or not much sounds like (we’re told) a word meaning ingenuity or cleverness.

My favourite today was 21a with 2d and 13d up there on the podium.  Which ones floated your boat?

Quick crossword pun:     PIER     +     KNEE     =     PEONY


45 comments on “DT 28598

  1. Painless run through this morning. Hadn’t consciously heard 3d previously. 22d had to be but I didn’t parse it. Fav was probably 4d. Thank you Mysteron and Pommers.

  2. Particularly liked 21a in a fairly straightforward puzzle. 11d took a little while to parse after I had got the answer, which was later confirmed by the hints. 23d was my last one in as I was unable to get Ella out of my head, but it was so obvious once the penny dropped…..
    Thanks to setter and Pommers .

  3. 16d was my last one in and 21a my favourite in this reasonably straightforward and enjoyable Thursday puzzle. It probably took a little longer than it should have done as a couple of parsings kept me awhile. That said, I found this to be 2.5* /3.5* overall.

    Many thanks to our mystery setter for the challenge and to pommers.

  4. Got through this one OK with the exception of 22d which had to be what it is, but I couldn’t see why, so thanks for the explanation, Pommers.

    Liked lots of the clues.

    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers.

  5. Quite enjoyable, but a bit of a flog for me. However, some more things learnt, which is always good. Thanks to the setter and to pommers for making things clear. By the way, re 20d, I think you’ll find that in JFK’s famous speech, he was calling himself a doughnut.

  6. A very enjoyable puzzle, some oldies but goodies in various guises, completed at a gallop – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 17a, and 11d – and the winner is 11d.

    Thanks to the setter and pommers.

  7. A brilliant week so far and this one is keeping the standards up – a very enjoyable work out with just the right degree of difficulty, really good fun!

    My anagram program failed me again with 27a and I had to resort to pen and paper and writing the letters in columns of three – I’m glad to say the old magic is still there!

    Another disaster last night for West Ham – we’re doomed I tell you – doomed!

  8. Very enjoyable puzzle. I thought it was going to be quite tricky, but the anagrams helped to get started, then I was away **/****. I liked 14a, 15a, 2d, 4d, and 16d with top spot going to 3d.

    Don’t despair (yet, anyway) Mick. West Ham’s season is often in 2 halves. After Christmas we shall surge up the league. Pity about Moyes, though – hope I’m wrong about him.

  9. I found this one mostly straightforward but a handful of clues held out for a little longer pushing my solving time into 2* territory.

    Thanks to pommers and setter **/***

  10. This was an interesting puzzle and enjoyable fibished in good tome although SW corner for some reason held me up. I had an idea for 25a but couldn’t parse. So thanks for the hint.
    Thanks to Pommers and setter

  11. Solved this one in a rather grumpy mood – I was expecting Mr T to be on parade today.
    I was being unfair to the setter – with hindsight it was quite a good puzzle if a little lacking in humour.

    The ending of 3d fooled me for a while as I’m only familiar with one of the keys on a typewriter forming the second word and I thought ‘cabaret singer’ was somewhat loose as a definition for 22d.
    Top clue for me was 21a – liked the way a dissection of the answer mirrored the last five words of the clue.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Pommers for the blog – enjoyed the reminder of Diversity’s first appearance.

  12. I liked this puzzle */*** 😃 Favourites are 15a, 11d and 20a Thanks to MP and to the setter 👍 Liked the clip for 22d “The Little Sparrow”

  13. Nothing too tricky, but I did take a little longer on one or two more wordy clues – eg the rather clunky 11d.

    Also liked Edith Piaf’s original – a song I first heard being covered by Half Man Half Biscuit on John Peel’s 3d.

    Thanks to setter and to pommers.

  14. This turned out to be less fiendish than at first glance thanks to the helpful anagrams. 3d took me a while to get but was very satisfied when I did. 21a was my favourite clue partly because it reminded me of the gentle tv series I enjoy enormously.

  15. Very enjoyable today; lots of good clues with 3d and 11d taking the prizes today. 25a was a correct guess on my part at first as you may know there is actually a river in Eastern Essex called the ***** which is a tributary of the River Crouch.

    Won’t mention WHU though……

    Thanks to the setter and pommers.

  16. Not much time to read and comment today. Completed over lunch with enjoyment. Thanks setter and Pommers for being there in case. **/***

  17. Thought this puzzle was a little bit more difficult than of late but plenty to like so a 2.5*/3***.
    With regard to 3d, I think I’ve heard of a ‘shift’ rather than a ‘slot’, anyway a good clue and something different.
    Not sure about the abbreviated S in 6a, why is it short for succeeded? thought odds for betting was a bit ‘iffy’ too.
    Liked 8d and the wordplay in 22d.
    Thought the quickie pun might have been the whole of the top line to give Pyrenee !

  18. Enjoyable crossword. Liked the wordplay for 8d. 19a was tough for me even with all the letters and check letter and was the last in, followed by a satisfied sigh.

  19. More straightforward than most Thursday puzzles, only 21a and 22d caused any head scratching, everything else slotted in fairly smoothly.

    11d is not an easy word to clue, so full marks to our setter for making a pretty good attempt, even if the surface wasn’t perhaps the greatest. My top three were 14a, 21a and 8d.

    Thanks to today’s compiler and to Pommers. Brief snow flurries today in London, an apt reminder that the meteorological winter begins tomorrow.

  20. Who’s the mystery setter?
    Many thanks to Him/Her for an enjoyable puzzle.
    And thanks to a wintery feeling Pommers too.

  21. Well, I’m a party of one today as I found this devilishly difficult. I was so far off wavelength that I nearly threw in the towel halfway. As it was, I missed three answers completely.
    My fave was 22d, she was so very special, but 15a was good too.
    Thanks to setter and to pommers for unravelling so much for me.
    P.S. Be sure to read Matt today!

  22. Just the ticket , as far as I am concerned.
    I can’t quite pick just one favourate , so I’ll say 4d , 22d and 20d are in the last three.
    Thanks pommers and setter.

  23. The second word in 3d held out until we had the last two checkers. Don’t recall having heard it before. The rest all went together smoothly. A pleasant solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and pommers.

  24. Steady solve, but got stuck on 16d, then a light bulb moment and the penny duly dropped. Enjoyable puzzle with some clever clues. Particularly liked 3d and that’s my clue of the day, followed by 25a.

    2.5 / 3.5

    Thanks to Pommers and the setter.

  25. I thought this was quite tricky and the general style felt unfamiliar – this is probably where we find out that it’s one of our regular setters.
    I could’t get the last word of 3d for ages – like others I’ve only heard of ‘shift’.
    I’ve never heard of the term in 13d – my Dad used to call it ‘funny money’.
    21a was my last answer.
    I’m slightly surprised that no-one has quibbled about the 23d homophone.
    I particularly liked 21 and 26a and 2 and 16d.
    Thanks very much to our mystery setter and to pommers, specially for the Edith Piaf.

    1. When I put the answer into 3d I thought I’d make a comment about it usually being “shift” but then I forgot – you know how it is when you’re trying to get the blog finished.

      I don’t mind the homophone and Gazza hasn’t been on so it must be OK :grin:

  26. A pleasant puzzle on a pleasant day – the last day of the current Hurricane season here, cheers! Plus, looking forward to winter, it’s cooler (but warm) weather the start of our gardening season, and the hope soon to turn off the air con. Of course the roads are busier, with all the “snowbirds” arriving from up north.

    This was another half and half day, with half going straight in and half holding out. Thanks to Pommers hints I was able to finish. 19a was not a word that slips off my tongue. COTD was a tie between 12a and 24a, lovely cryptics.

  27. Another enjoyable, fairly straightforward offering, say ** for difficulty. Last in 19ac, 20d and 8d, in that order.

  28. Thanks all.
    Enjoyable romp today, lots of anagrams, some took some head-scratching.
    Lots of good clues, 3d my fav.
    Bloomin cold in South London.

  29. Needed a hint for 23d, but otherwise no probs. Call it **/***. I enjoyed 2d, 3d, 4d and 22d. Thanks to setter and reviewer.

  30. 8d was last one in.
    After dismissing Spell Check, Swell Chick and a long list of potential answers, the penny finally dropped.
    The second word in 3d was also new to me.
    Very enjoyable solve.
    Thanks to the setter and to pommers for the review. Cold is coming our way too but only on Saturday.

  31. Thanks to the setter and Pommers for the review and hints. Quite a nice puzzle, that I found quite tricky in places. I couldn’t spell 1a correctly, so that made 3d impossible. Also needed the hints for 16d, realised that it ended in “ges”, but still couldn’t get it. No real favourites. Was 3 ✳ / 3 ✳ for me.

  32. Always enjoy puzzles with anagrams – I find the more the easier. Last one in was 14a and favourites 12a and 8d. Thanks to setter and Pommers.

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