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DT 28606

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28606

A full review by gnomethang

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This puzzle was published on 9th December 2017

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Morning All! I’m back from having to work long hours in a particularly unpleasant job. Many thanks to crypticsue for covering for me, I hope to be back to normal routines for the foreseeable. This was a fairly typical Saturday puzzle with a couple of easy starters and a couple of head scratchers.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


4a           Criticise a metropolitan area’s greed (8)
RAPACITY – A charade of RAP (criticise), A form the clue then CITY for a metropolitan area.

8a           Sacred text fellow’s appended to paintings from the East (6)
MANTRA – A MAN or fellow followed by the reversal (from the East) of ART or paintings.

9a           Brief a student — it’s not official (8)
INFORMAL – To INFORM or brief followed by A from the clue and L for Learner.

10a         Stuff in the sea rafter’s located by not capsizing (8)
PLANKTON – A PLANK or rafter/beam of wood followed by the reversal, indicated by ‘capsizing’, of NOT.

11a         Attendant about to upset soup (6)
POTAGE – A PAGE or attendant around/about the reversal (upset) of TO from the clue.

12a         Speaker’s prohibited articles from Left and Right that may go over one’s head (8)
BANDANNA – Start with BAND,  a homophone (the speaker’s) of BANNED/prohibited and then add the indefinite article AN from the left and its reversal NA (from the right).

13a         Trade union newspaper site originally having most small branches? (8)
TUFTIEST – TU (Trade Union) and the FT Newspaper followed by an anagram (originally i.e. newly) of SITE.

16a         Main goal to remove bloomer (8)
MAGNOLIA – A removed anagram of MAIN GOAL and a nice starter clue.

19a         Bit of food Greek character and I found in river (8)
NUTRIENT – You need to start with the Greek character NU and then place I inside the river TRENT.

21a         Cavalryman seen in northern county town strangely sat out (6)
LANCER – A bit odd this – Start with LANCASTER (a northern county town) and remove AST which is indicated by an anagram (strangely) of SAT. Nothing wrong with the device but maybe not so common for some.

23a         Set off for school in time (8)
DETONATE – The ubiquitous crosswordland school of ETON inside a DATE or time.

24a         Chord reproduced in opera gig (8)
ARPEGGIO – An anagram (reproduced) of OPERA GIG.

25a         In need of food country area’s lacking (6)
HUNGRY – Hungry for an easy clue?. Remove the A(rea) from the country of HUNG(a)ry.

26a         Take to court over retaining worth and title in retirement (8)
EMERITUS – Place MERIT (worth) inside (it is being retained by) a reversal (in retirement) of SUE or take to court.


1d           Lines of communication? (7)
RAILWAY – My least favourite clue (although the question mark helps). A cryptic definition of RAILWAY lines that may allow people to communicate face to face, I guess.

2d           Go off duty, keep a low profile? (5,4)
STAND DOWN – A definition and a cryptic definition – to STAND DOWN from e.g. a Fire Watch and also to make oneself smaller/to keep a lower profile in the vertical.

3d           Swallow most of drink (6)
MARTIN – All but the last letter/most of the delicious MARTIN(i) drink.

4d           Rule said pets will be needed for pelt (4,4,3,4)
RAIN CATS AND DOGS – Start with RAIN, a homophone (said) of reign/rule) and then add CATS AND DOGS for pets.

5d           Breathe out repeatedly making child’s engine for 1 (4-4)
PUFF-PUFF – Two instances of PUFF (breathe out) for an engine on the railway (the answer to 1 across).

6d           Vehicle’s parked over half that — it’s worth its weight in gold (5)
CARAT – A CAR/vehicle placed (or parked) over half of the word (th)AT.

7d           Great as rioting control material? (4,3)
TEAR GAS – An anagram (rioting) of GREAT AS.

14d         In burrow, northern insect getting heated (9)
INDIGNANT – A charade of IN (from the clue), DIG/burrow, N(orthern) and an ANT/insect.

15d         Very well, that’s 100 per cent accurate (3,5)
ALL RIGHT – The definition is the first very well (indication od assent) and the second cryptic means that ALL is RIGHT (correct).

17d         Wordplay involving a horse and another farmyard animal (7)
ANAGRAM – A NAG for a horse and then a RAM (another farmyard animal).

18d         Trendy shop arriving soon (2,5)
IN STORE – IN for trendy and a STORE for a shop.

20d         Irritable and so on in your old surroundings (6)
TETCHY – Place ETC (et cetera, and so on) inside THY – ‘your’ in e.g. Shakespearean times.

22d         Companion always providing comfort (5)
CHEER – CH for a Companion of Honour followed by E’ER – a poetic way of saying ‘ever’.

Thanks to the setter – I’ll be back next Thursday with a Sunday Puzzle review.


4 comments on “DT 28606

  1. Thanks to the setter and Gnomey (and welcome back). I shared your reservations about 1d but I see that Chambers has for communication ‘a means of transporting, especially troops and supplies’. So I suppose it’s ok.

  2. I’m not at all happy with 10a’s plank = rafter. Beams, rafters, purlins, joists, wooden lintels, etc. could all be termed “beams” because they are positioned in situ with their width in a vertical plane to provide maximum strength as long-spanning primary support structures. Planks and boards are much thinner and wider and are fixed with their width in a horizontal plane, primarily to give maximum coverage with only secondary short-spanned, structural support. For example, floorboards and scaffolding planks (also commonly called scaffolding boards). I know that some of the dictionaries list plank = rafter, but if you called a rafter a “plank” on a construction site you could expect some well-deserved ridicule. Glad I’ve got that off me chest…

  3. Welcome back and thanks to Sue for looking after us. Enjoyed this weekend offering and appear not to have shared the things that niggled others. I have got to an age when I am so grateful to have been able to complete a crossword that it would be churlish of me to raise objections. Thanks Gnomey.

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