DT 28618 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28618

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28618

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 23rd December 2017

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

Quite a few seasonal references, as we’ve come to expect on the Saturday before Christmas. Lots of double definitions, anagrams and ‘putting something after something later in the clue’.

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.


1a    Problem, queen possibly admits, is gossip (4-4)
CHIT-CHAT – CAT (queen possibly) ‘admits’ HITCH (problem)

5a    Artist designed channel (6)
STRAIT – An anagram (designed) of ARTIST

9a    Orange tongue (8)
MANDARIN – A type of orange or the most widely spoken form of Chinese (tongue here referring to language)

10a    Savage beating rather ugly then, after lunch all kicking off (6)
BRUTAL – The letters ‘kicking off’ Beating Rather Ugly Then After Lunch

12a    Tinseltown broadcaster with excellent backing in country (6)
LATVIA – LA (Los Angeles, Tinseltown) TV (broadcaster) with a reversal (backing) of AI (excellent)

13a    Very cold energy to give away? (8)
FREEZING- Split 4,4, this solution might well be energy to give away

15a    Go back over caterer’s cooking (7)
RETRACE – An anagram (cooking) of CATERER

16a    Greek character confined to maze, taurine (4)
ZETA – Lurking (confined to) in maZE TAurine

20a    Worker flush, perhaps? (4)
HAND – The reference to ‘flush, perhaps?’ referring to playing cards

21a    Given guidance, American English grasped by the masses (7)
USHERED – US (American) E (English), the latter ‘grasped by’ HERD (the amasses)

25a    A hang-up at Christmas? (8)
STOCKING – A seasonal cryptic definition

26a    Musketeer almost takes me in (2,4)
AT HOME – Almost all of ATHOs the Musketeer followed by ME (from the clue)

28a    Number in round, unknown figure (6)
NINETY – A reversal (round) of TEN (number) and IN (from the clue) followed by Y (mathematical unknown)

29a    Scoundrel heading for bar before match? (8)
BLIGHTER – B (the ‘heading’ for Bar) goes before LIGHTER (match?)

30a    Attempt to impress that man with old supposition (6)
THEORY – Insert (impress) HE (that man) and O (old) into TRY (attempt)

31a    By the sound of it wet, beloved animal (8)
REINDEER – Homophones (by the sound of it) of RAIN (wet) and DEAR (beloved)


1d    Pretty modest about me getting first in linguistics (6)
COMELY- COY (modest) ‘about’ ME (from the clue) and L (the ‘first’ in Linguistics)

2d    Native visited restaurant after pub (6)
INNATE – ATE (visited restaurant) goes after INN (pub)

3d    Wine bottles in — one’s blown (8)
CLARINET – CLARET (wine) ‘bottles’ IN (from the clue)

4d    Eager opera singer on the rise (4)
AVID – A reversal (on the rise in a Down clue) of DIVA (opera singer)

6d    Country that’s a let-down? (6)
TURKEY – A country or a play or film that is a complete failure

7d    Got date and ain’t bothered! (8)
ATTAINED – An anagram (bothered) of DATE and AINT

8d    Breaking metal chains say, right message (8)
TELEGRAM – An anagram (breaking) of METAL ‘chains’ or holds in EG (say) and R (right)

11d    Firework, a beauty (7)
CRACKER – Another double definition

14d    It’s wrapped up here (7)
PRESENT – And another – the first one being a cryptic definition

17a    Horse, old joke (8)
CHESTNUT – And yet another – could have been a triple definition if the clue had mentioned ‘old friends’ of the crossword solver

18d    Oz girl leads state (8)
ANNOUNCE – Misleading surface reading: I wonder how many solvers briefly ‘visited’ Australia while solving this one? – ANN (girl) leads OUNCE (oz being the abbreviation for ounce)

19d    Figure pathogen out (8)
HEPTAGON – An anagram (out) of PATHOGEN

22d    One slipping on ice takes off, ending on floor (6)
SKATER – An anagram (off) of SKATES and the ‘ending’ on flooR

23d    Type that is for attack (6)
SORTIE – SORT (type) IE (that is)

24d    Fear slip after tottering initially (6)
TERROR – ERROR (slip) goes after T (Tottering initially)

27d    Fruit that takes time, we hear? (4)
SLOE – A homophone (we hear) of SLOW (takes time)

I’m pretty sure I know who set this one but I’m not saying just in case I’m wrong.   I’d like to wish Cephas, the Saturday Mysterons and Mister Ron, a very Happy New Year.   I’m looking forward to blogging more of your Prize Puzzles in 2018


5 comments on “DT 28618

    1. Thank you too – we don’t get many comments on a weekend puzzle review, but comments like yours make it all worth while.

  1. I was wondering that lately a lot of puzzles have references to Christmas, but when I look at the date on the comments above, that explains it.

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