DT 28602 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28602

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28602

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  –  Difficulty ** –  Enjoyment ***


Hello everyone, and Happy International Ninja Day (I did not see that coming).  Welcome to another solid Tuesday back-page crossword, where a feast of anagrams will please those who enjoy them and annoy those who don’t.  Different strokes, as they say.

In the hints below underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions, and most indicators are italicized.  The answers will be revealed by clicking on the buttons.  In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background.  Clicking on a picture may do something.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Go crazy in retirement (4)
STAB:  The reversal (in retirement) of crazy or barmy is a go or attempt

3a    Fussy  individual (10)
PARTICULAR:  A double definition, both adjectives

9a    Remove some raucous troublemakers (4)
OUST:  The answer is hidden in some of the remaining letters in the clue

10a   Meet guru, worried about the old man in dire straits (2,1,3,4)
UP A GUM TREE:  An anagram (worried) of MEET GURU containing (about) an informal term for “the old man”.  Chambers explains that the answer is the opossum’s preferred place of refuge

11a   Creature at sea, old, injured flipper, we’re told (7)
DOLPHIN:  Follow an anagram (injured) of OLD by a letter combination that sounds like (we’re told) a flipper on a fish or, indeed, on an 11a

13a   Beer club in Madrid backed by articles in two languages (4,3)
REAL ALE:  Link together the first word of a football club in Madrid, an indefinite article in English, and a definite article in French

14a   Convalescent being thorough, taking in a book (3,3,5)
OUT AND ABOUT:  A (3-3-3) phrase meaning thorough or unqualified containing (taking in) A from the clue and the abbreviation for book

18a   Their sister trained a dog (5,6)
IRISH SETTER:  An anagram (trained) of THEIR SISTER

21a   Marriage shown in publication Buddhist priest brought back (7)
AMALGAM:  Join an informal contraction of a publication and a Buddhist priest, and then reverse the lot (brought back

22a   Defiant words from heavy drinker in this place (2,5)
SO THERE:  Glue together a heavy drinker and a four-letter word for “in this place”

23a   Economise in remote areas after failure (3,7)
CUT CORNERS:  A failure (e.g. of the electricity), followed by some remote areas (of which the biblical Earth has four)

24a   Fine  spring (4)
WELL:  Another double definition.  The first is an adjective, the second a noun

25a   Embarrassed-looking husband making mistake creates smokescreen (3,7)
RED HERRING:  Concatenate the colour associated with looking embarrassed, the abbreviation for husband, and “making mistake” or “going wrong”

26a   Joy needs shelter following onset of gale (4)
GLEE:  Shelter (or the sheltered side) following the first letter of (onset of) Gale



1d    Nasty words written about new work, one to appear in the spring (8)
SNOWDROP:  An anagram (nasty) of WORDS containing (written about) the abbreviation for new, and followed by the usual abbreviation for a musical work

2d    Consummate sailor terribly set on old instrument (8)
ABSOLUTE:  Chain together a usual sailor,  an adverb meaning terribly or very, and an old stringed musical instrument shaped, according to Chambers, like half a pear

4d    Tree in a small enclosure (5)
ASPEN:  Cement together A from the clue, the clothing abbreviation for small, and an enclosure for animals

5d    Insect flying right to me (5,4)
TIGER MOTH:  An anagram (flying) of RIGHT TO ME

6d    Remark about role in section (11)
COMPARTMENT:  Remark or point out containing (about) a role in a play or film

7d    Rope may appear after a trial gets rigged (6)
LARIAT:  An anagram (gets rigged) of A TRIAL

8d    Right price for taking up the Queen’s jacket (6)
REEFER:  Combine the abbreviation for right, the reversal (taking up, in a down clue) of the price or charge for something, and the usual abbreviation for Queen Elizabeth

12d   On intimate terms in passing romance (4,2,5)
HAND IN GLOVE:  Fuse together synonyms of passing (7) and romance (4)

15d   Historical land in area is Roman, I suspect (4,5)
ASIA MINOR:  The abbreviation for area, followed by an anagram (suspect) of IS ROMAN I

16d   Heavenly in Dorset, here alone (8)
ETHEREAL:  The answer is hidden in the remainder of the clue

17d   Staunch Conservative showing regret, depressed after time (4,4)
TRUE BLUE:  Synonyms of regret and of depressed come after the physics symbol for time

19d   Perhaps Fonteyn cared desperately about Nureyev at first (6)
DANCER:  An anagram (desperately) of CARED containing (about) the first letter of Nureyev (… at first)

20d   Stuff involving worker? Such may be classified (4,2)
WANT AD:  Stuff or compress containing (involving) the usual worker insect

22d   Alarm shown by father and son? Not so (5)
SIREN:  Father as a verb, followed by SON without its first two letters (not so)


Many thanks to the setter.  Today I smiled muchly at 1a, 10a, and 7d, and I had 20d on top of the podium.  Which clues had you wanting more?


The spoiler box below hides a comment box for readers who aren’t yet ready to go public.  I’ve titled it “Suggestion Box” because I’m also always interested in hearing suggestions for making my hints more effective.

Suggestion Box



The Quick Crossword pun:  FAIR+WELLES=FAREWELLS

51 comments on “DT 28602

  1. 2* /3* for this anagramfest. 22d was my last one in and just about my favourite. I would have liked to have seen a variety of clue types, so a little disappointed overall. Many thanks to both Misters involved in today’s production.

  2. I had some spare time this morning, so have managed to solve/comment in “real time”. The clues are well written but mostly rather tame, with quite a few answers jumping off the page at you without cogitation. It was pleasant enough, though. 1.5* / 3*.

  3. Nice puzzle, lots of anagrams again – I didn’t really understand the ‘parsing’ of 14a and needed the blog to see the wordplay. Some quite tricky wordplay here but very enjoyable.

  4. Pretty easy today – done in two ** minute sessions. Like 14a but hated 20d I don’t think I’ve heard that term very often. What to do now until tomorrow …….

    [solving time redacted – Mr K]

  5. 2.5* / 2.5*. A workmanlike puzzle which was reasonably enjoyable. The NW took my time over 2*.

    The answer to 20d is a ghastly phrase that I have never heard of before. I wonder where that came from?!

    On my podium today were 21a, 25a (been there, done that, got the T-shirt) & 19d.

    Many thanks to Messrs R & K.

      1. I had to check the answer for 20 down as I did not believe it could be correct and join you in agreeing that I did not like the clue. My thanks to the setter and Mr K for an otherwise enjoyable puzzle.

  6. Very pleasant but short lived. I like anagrams and though there were quite a few today none was particularly challenging. 12d was the only clue that I found interesting.

  7. Nothing too taxing today, nice leisurely solve, enjoyed 1a and 12d. My last one one in and an expression I hadn’t heard previously, was 20d.
    Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  8. Currently sat in Alicante airport waiting for our flight to Bristol to see Mrs Pom senior for her 92nd birthday.
    Solved in 2* time for us – like a few others not keen on 29d. Only ever heard it as ****ed ** with the ed on it.

    1. Not sure to what you refer by 29d (20d?). In any case felicitations and many happy returns of the day to Mrs. Pom. 🎂💐

  9. Quite enjoyable, completed at a gallop – **/***.

    I’m reasonably certain, but willing to be proved wrong, that 17d is somewhat familiar.

    Favourite – 6d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    1. The last time that 17d was seen in the Telegraph was DT 26280 in October 2009: Ceasefire caught out unhappy supporter (4,4)

      However, it did appear in Guardian Cryptic 27134 in March of this year: Loyal Tory Unionist, twice and thrice over (4,4)

  10. No gripes here – I liked the two succinct clues at 4&5d and gave podium places to 11a (nice reminder of the old TV series), 22a & 12d.
    Like Pommette, I’m only familiar with 20d with an extra couple of letters at the end of the first word.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr K for an extremely well-illustrated blog – the pic at 23a said it all.
    18a’s are beautiful, but often as mad as hatters and as defiant as small children!

    PS I see that we have another coincidence in today’s two puzzles.

    1. Meant to mention, Mr K – don’t think I’d have been applying for the 20d vacancy you advertised in the preamble!

  11. Agree with Mr K and his **/***, middle of the road puzzle today for me with untaxing clues producing a steady solve .
    Difficult to choose a favourite clue, probably 23a after Mr K’s biblical explanation.
    Reminded me of the two goldfish in a bowl listening to a football match, one says to the other-what’s a corner !
    Thanks all, cricketers fighting back.

  12. Found this a little trickier than perhaps it warranted, not quite on the setters wavelength. Not fond of 1a but apart from that ok.
    For me **/***
    Thx to all

  13. All OK but nowt spesh. Favourite is the illustration for 23a.

    We are fast approaching the 35 000 000th visitor to this site – quite a feat. Wonder who that will be!

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

    1. The site usually gets 15 to 22 thousand views per day, so the 35 millionth page view will probably be a lurker visiting on Thursday.

  14. Extremely happy with the clue for 1ac being virtually identical to 11d in the Teletubby (Tele Toughie).

  15. A higher than average number of anagrams certainly, but some of them were exceptionally well-crafted and for me were the best part of the puzzle.

    I could visualise steam coming from RD’s ears when he saw 20d, I’ve never heard that term used in the UK before either.

    Pick of today’s crop I thought were 18a, 1d, 5d and 12d. A little surprised to see “about” used no fewer than three times as a containment indicator.

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

  16. Took me a little longer than maybe it should have done, but still a pleasant enough solve. Top clues for me were either 10a or 12d. 2/3* overall. Oh alright, 12d.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and Mr K.

  17. Well, I liked this, “so there”. I was right on wavelength from start to finish.
    I loved the pic at 23a, that’s my guffaw for the day.
    I thought 5d was a little c. WWII airplane, live ‘n learn.
    Fave was 10a, my Dad used to say that often.
    Thanks to the Tuesday setter, and to Mr. Kitty for his usual fun blog.

    1. The Tiger Moth was mostly a trainer aircraft from the 1930’s made by de Haviland’s.

  18. Another excellent puzzle following on from Rufus yesterday. Some great clues and plenty of anagrams just right for me. However agree wth comments re 20d otherwise nice one Mr Ron.

    Clue of the day 12d followed by 10a enjoyed working both those out.

    Rating ** / ****

    Thanks to Mr K and Mr Ron

  19. It’s been a long time since we saw that old chestnut in 7d.
    Nice lurker in 16d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the review.

  20. Lots of anagrams and multi-word answers tended to make this a rather gentle solve for us. We also puzzled a bit about 20d as we were not familiar with this usage. Pleasant solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  21. Thanks to those who have commented via the suggestion box. I do encourage you all to de-lurk and share your interesting perspectives here in the regular comments. You will get a warm welcome.

    And to the 1:53PM commenter: unfortunately I have no influence with the iPad app crossword team. Sorry.

  22. I found parts of this on the tricky side ***/*** in fact I failed with 20d 😟 Some nice clues liked 1a, 11a and 20d, once I had revealed the answer 😬 Muchos Gratias to Mr K loved the photo accompanying 23a and to the setter

  23. Well I have to say I quite enjoyed this one, with just 14a giving me grief. I couldn’t even understand the hint. Not sure how any of it equates to unqualified? No problems with 20d, perhaps I have just got used to it over here. Loved 10a, now I know where the phrase comes from. Having learnt that, and a certain eel like fish from the Quick, the day is not a waste 😊

    1. 14a. With instances like this, where someone is struggling to understand even after reading the (excellent and lucid) hint, it’s probably wise to add on an extra “illustration” such as: out and (A,B)out. Just trying to be helpful…

  24. Got a flying start with the anagrams and 12 answers involving more than one word then got stuck on NW corner and 20d.

  25. Light entertainment with just enough cause for thought. Toss up for Fav between 22a and 12d. Failed to fully parse 8d and 22d. Thanks Mysteron and Mr. K.

  26. About ** for difficulty, with the SW corner a little trickier than the rest I thought. 20d was new to me, but perfectly gettable.

  27. */***, l think. I’m not sure that 20d is a sufficiently well-known phrase to warrant being the solution to a clue, but no doubt I’m mistaken. No real favourite for me, though, unless it’s 1d (because at this time of the year l yearn for the appearance of the first one). Thanks to the Mysteron and Mr K.

  28. With maybe the exception of 20d, I have no complaints about today’s puzzle. I enjoy anagrams too, so I was very happy. Starting so late in the day or rather the evening it was quite a relief to have a very uncomplicated cryptic to solve. No particular favourites as such, but I did like 1d & 12d. Thanks to setter and Mr K. Now for a late shot at the Toughie.

  29. Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, but found it very difficult. Needed the hints for 3&23a and 6d. Was 3 ✳ /3 ✳ for me.

  30. Kicking myself over 1a. For some reason I was convinced it was a double definition and ended up with a very dubious “stag”, thinking of young men going crazy on retirement from their bachelor days…

    Just shows that it doesn’t pay to get fixated on a single way of looking at a clue!

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for some very enjoyable illustrations.

  31. Some very nicely expressed clues. I thought there were a lot of straightforward clues today though, and with the plethora of anagrams, it made it quite easy to solve. Favourites were 1a, 3a, and 5d. I understand the parsing in 14a but am still not sure about the definition.
    There have certainly been plenty of tough crosswords recently, which have taken me a long while, and several attempts, to complete. Thanks to the setter and to Mr K. I don’t often have time to post a comment but I do often visit the site, and I think it is excellent. The comments, along with the photos and video clips, are much appreciated, and often make me laugh. Thank you. 1*/3*.

    1. Hello, Nigel. Glad that you enjoy the site and find it helpful.

      I too initially wondered about the rather specific definition implied in 14a, but Chambers says that it’s OK — under “out and about”, the BRB has:
      1. Able to go out, convalescent
      2. Active out of doors

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