DT 28624 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28624

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28624

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty */**Enjoyment ***

Hello everyone and Happy New Year to you all. I didn’t know what to expect from the crossword today its being the first non-Rufus Monday. I thought it was a good start to the new year with nice concise clues, a sensible number of anagrams and nothing too difficult – perhaps the setter was anticipating a few thick heads this morning and was being kind to us! I only noticed when writing the hints that there seemed to be a lot of answers containing something – a letter or a word.

In the hints the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under the ANSWER thingies so only do that if you need to see one.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today.


1a            Learning about a hot city in Pakistan (6)
LAHORE — Some learning, the kind that gets handed down through generations, containing (about) the A from the clue and H(ot)

4a            OK to enter figure, seeing ability (8)
EYESIGHT — OK as an affirmative goes inside (to enter) a figure or number.

9a            With respect to problem marriage, finally continue (6)
RESUME — The usual two letters that mean with respect to or concerning are followed by a problem, a mathematical one, and then finish of with the last letter (finally) of (marriag)E.

10a         Primate takes bite into fruit (5,3)
GREAT APE — Some fruit – it could be black or green and with or without pips – containing bite or nibble.

12a         So in sci-fi film, boy is mysterious (8)
ESOTERIC — SO from the clue is contained by (in) a sci-fi film, the one about an ugly little alien, and that lot is followed by a boy’s name – I can’t really think of a way of helping with the last bit as there are quite a few to choose from.

13a         Believe short quote about communist (6)
CREDIT — Most of (short) a verb to quote or name containing (about) one of the usual crosswordland communists.

15a         Immediate sensation, aunt dancing (13)
INSTANTANEOUS — An anagram (dancing) of SENSATION AUNT.

18a         Around church, scattered epistles in a papal place of worship (7,6)
SISTINE CHAPEL — Oh, here comes another one – (scattered) of EPISTLES IN A around one of the two letter abbreviations for church.

20a         Find old moggy in middle of glen (6)
LOCATE — O(ld) and a moggy or feline go inside (in) the middle two letters of gLEn.

22a         Develop popular line (8)
INCREASE — The usual little word meaning popular are followed by a line or fold.

24a         Not thick, monarch using his brain? (8)
THINKING — The opposite of thick, in consistency rather than number of grey cells, are followed by a male monarch.

25a         Reptiles coming from opposite directions — fishes losing head (6)
SNAKES — Two opposite directions – not E and W but the other two – are followed by some fishes without their first letter (losing head). Not quite sure about the plural of fish?

26a         Approach organ that’s been sketched? (4,4)
DRAW NEAR — Split 5,3 this could be an organ of hearing that has been sketched or portrayed.

27a         Boring drivel a problem in the house? (3,3)
DRY ROT — Two three letter synonyms here – the first is one for boring or dull and second is for drivel or a load of tosh. This one caused a brief(ish) spot of bother as for some reason I got a bit fixated on the house being one of the houses of parliament.



1d            Bigger drink about right (6)
LARGER — A drink of the pale and beery variety contains (about) R(ight).

2d            Welcome novels, books about the past (9)
HISTORIES — A little short slangy word for welcome or hello is followed by novels or tales.

3d            Fairy tale spirit spins little shreds, impressing king (15)
RUMPELSTILTSKIN — A dark alcoholic spirit is followed by an anagram (shreds) of SPINS LITTLE which contains the abbreviation for K(ing).

5d            Narrative that may be woven? (4)
YARN — A fairly straightforward double definition.

6d            Rapper’s ranting upset gangster ultimately, fellow combatant (8,7)
SPARRING PARTNER — An anagram (upset) of RAPPER’S RANTING is followed by the last letter (ultimately) of (gangste)R.

7d            £1,000magnificent! (5)
GRAND — A double definition – a slang term for £1,000 and an interjection expressing enthusiasm.

8d            Source of pleasure is English essay (8)
TREATISE — A source of pleasure or an indulgence is followed by the IS from the clue and E(nglish).

11d         Buccaneers traipse all over the place (7)
PIRATES — An anagram (all over the place) of TRAIPSE.

14d         Initially lost, beautiful work of art (7)
ETCHING — An eight letter adjective meaning beautiful or charming without its first letter (initially lost).

16d         Ship’s lieutenant and equipment thrown overboard, we hear, after ten uprising (3,6)
OIL TANKER — I’m only saying this lot once. Start off with a reversal (uprising) of two letters that look like ten ie a one and a zero, follow them with a two letter abbreviation for lieutenant and finish off with a homophone of a piece of equipment that might get thrown overboard to stop the ship going anywhere. Is this one going to cause controversy as homophones sometimes do? I think it’s fine but . . .

17d         Complicated detail, so withdrawn (8)
ISOLATED — An anagram (complicated) of DETAIL SO.

19d         Accommodation to rent — county has it (6)
BEDSIT — An abbreviation of the county which has Luton airport and Milton Keynes (I think) Whipsnade Zoo in it is followed by the IT from the clue.

21d         Tea to keep in teacups etc? (5)
CHINA — A three letter word that means tea contains (to keep) the IN from the clue.

23d         Old South American appears during curtain call (4)
INCA —Our one and only lurker or hidden answer indicated by during – it’s hidden in the middle of the last two words of the clue.

I particularly liked 24 and 27a and 3 and 16d. My favourite was 20a although I did feel a bit sorry for the old moggy.

The Quickie pun:- MANURE + NIGH + TED = MAN UNITED

75 comments on “DT 28624

  1. I did not know what to expect either Kath. Very much on the benign side. Is this to be the regular thing I wonder? Most of them were straight in. Last two 25 and 10a. Not many stand out favourites. I have circled 4a and 6d. Shall be interested in the comments of others. Mixed reactions I think.

  2. Nice and straightforward for a New Year’s Day morning and a fair debut for what we assume will be our new Monday compiler. I am a sucker for a fifteen letter anagram so 3d became my favourite and 2* /3* overall.

    Thanks to the setter and to Kath for the early post.

  3. The puzzle began as they all do , me thinking I can’t possibly do this .After a slightly slow start I gathered pace quickly enough.
    Some very smooth surfaces such as 4a and I also really liked 24a and 14d.
    Thanks to Kath and the mysterious setter.

  4. Definitely easier today. I particularly liked 27a & 6d. Happy crosswording in 2018 to all crossword fans.

  5. Just about right for a tired brain… many thanks to the setter and to Kath for her first review of the new year.

  6. As very much division 3 or even lower in the crossword league, completed this one at a gallop, a boost to my ego! The Redwing visitors have departed having systematically stripped my large unkempt holly of berries from top to bottom.

  7. Good to see that the Monday tradition of straightforward puzzles seems to be continuing in the post-Rufus era. The four longest clues all consisted of anagrams which weren’t terribly tricky to decipher.My three for today’s podium were 10a, 26a and 14d.

    Many thanks to our new Monday setter and to Kath. (Milton Keynes is in Bucks by the way!).

    1. Rats – close though, and you can’t win ’em all! With a bit of luck that’s my only mistake today.

        1. Oh dear – please could we add UK geography to the long list of stuff that a Kath can’t do. :sad:

  8. Happy New Year to all !

    A nice gentle one to enjoy after a late night. A little bit of confusion in places – Dorset county, ENSA for a curtain call (some of us readers are getting on a bit!) and a delay by misspelling the goblin.
    Thanks and all best wishes for 2018.
    Tried Death Watch Beetle for 27a, but ran out of spaces!

  9. A nice gentle start to the year to allow for all the hangovers. Many many thanks for the explanation to 16d, weird or what!
    A Happy New Year to all the bloggers and hinters.

  10. A nice gentle start to the year – thanks to the mystery setter and to Kath and a Happy New Year to all.
    For some reason 24a made me laugh so that’s my favourite.

  11. Nice, concise clues with good surfaces made for a very pleasant start to the crosswording year. They don’t have to be hard to be entertaining. Pommette and I got all but two of the acrosses and then all of the downs on first pass, so the entertainment didn’t last long, so it’s a */**** from us.
    No stand-out favourite but if pushed I’d probably go for 18a – the place where Michelangelo famously said ” You want WHAT on the ******* ceiling?”

    Thanks to the setter and Kath and a Happy New Year to one and all.

  12. I’m already looking forward to next Monday! 4a, 10a and 2d were among several favourites, thanks to the setter, Kath for the spot on review, and a happy new year to all.

  13. I wonder whether this is from the pen of a new regular Monday setter or are we going to have a variety in the coming months – does anyone actually know? Perhaps comparing this with next Monday’s puzzle will give us more of a clue. Today’s Mr Ron certainly seems to have allowed for potentially sluggish brains on New Year’s Day but it was still an enjoyable solve.

    I’m giving top billing to 27a for its humorous surface read.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and especially to Kath for the blog – did you volunteer or did you just draw the short straw? Whichever, I hope blogging duties didn’t detract too greatly from your New Year’s Eve celebrations.

    1. I volunteered. I think running a pub must be hell at the best of times let alone on New Year’s Eve and if you add trying to do hints to that lot well . . .
      We were out at friends last night but, since I’m always the driver, I knew I’d have a clear head, even if I don’t know what county Milton Keynes is in!

    2. I was never going to do today’s hints Jane. I asked Sir Ringo Starr to do them in honour of his knighthood but he declined. I have mislaid Darcy Bushell’s number so couldn’t ask her. Donald Trump was too busy with his garden party. I was actually about to call Kate Cambridge to keep the K konnection live when Kath’s sweet offer came through. How could I resist, my heart melted and you have what you have. All being well I will produce next Monday’s hints and our setter will provide a plethora of musical opportunity. Stay warm and keep fighting.

      1. Do you get special dispensation to keep the pub open later on NYE? I was wondering if you still have to close at 2300h.

        1. I think last orders at 11pm ended years ago… the pub that I visit in the little village near Reading doesn’t even have a bell.

  14. Slightly more tricky than I was used to with a typical Rufus puzzle. Nevertheless, very enjoyable, and completed at a gallop – **/****.

    Immediate favourite – 20a.

    Thanks to the setter, it would be nice to find out who he or she is, and Kath (where’s the Green Man of Long Itchington today?).

  15. Yes, a nice easy one for New Years Day.
    I vaguely recall playing 3d at junior school so that went straight in.
    I shall miss Rufus on a Monday, but the King is dead, so long live the king!!
    Thanks Kath for standing in. My dad ran a pub for a while and it’s a job I would never do, I can imagine that MP had a very busy night!!
    Thanks also to Mr.Ron.

  16. A crossword doesn’t come much more straightforward than this for me but I did enjoy it while it lasted, particularly as it was a ‘wonder if I can solve this before I have to sort out lunch’ crossword.

    Thanks to Kath and the setter. I’m given to understand that a new permanent Monday setter won’t be in place for a while and that we’ll be getting ‘mix and match’ for a couple of months at least, like on Tuesdays or Thursdays, but things might have changed since I learned that fact. We’ll have to wait and see

  17. Thank you Kath. That kindness has helped a lot. Thanks to Kath for the hints, others for the geography lesson, Senf for reminding me what Michael Morpurgo called me, and today’s setter who done good in my opinion. Happy New Year

  18. Last one in 16d. Thanks to Kath for the explanation. I had forgotten the alternative to IO, and was trying to use NET. Now for the free download and printout of the FT cryptic.

  19. No hold-ups and an enjoyable solve, particularly liked 22a, 24a and 4a even though the latter is a bit of an elderly conker.
    I wonder if this might be the work of Samuel himself being gentle?

    Thanks to setter and to Kath for giving Mr Pops a day off.
    Happy New Year to All.

    1. Given the Quickie Pun, I thought it might be the work of someone from rather further north of the Watford Gap.

    2. I wondered if it might be Samuel with his ‘let’s give everyone a break’ hat on but I also thought the Quickie pun might be some kind of a hint as to the identity of the setter – don’t know.

  20. Happy New Year to one and all, nice easy start to 2018 🍾 */*** 😃 Thanks to Kath and to the setter. Favourites 16d ⚓️ and 19d 🛏🛌 😜

  21. Wow, that was easy, it must be the first time my wife and I have finished a DT crossword in less time than it took us to share an omelette! Almost literally a read and write and we rated it no more than a */**. The quick crossword actually took us longer but only because we couldn’t think of a sauce/dance for 17d. Still, it was fun while it lasted. Happy New Year to one and all.

  22. I though this puzzle was just about right for a Monday, Nice low baseline and then upwards through the rest of the week.

  23. It’s always good when the printed crossword takes such little room. It leaves plenty of space to write down the letters for these long anagrams.
    Very straightforward solve ending with 14d.
    Thanks to the new Monday setter and to Kath for the review. Glad to see that the accommodation in 19d has improved since my time in London. Very classy indeed.

      1. You seem to change your mind with impunity re the rights and wrongs of anagram solving!

        1. I always have to rewrite them in a different order, turn them into gobbledegook. (Do you have a word for that in French?). Otherwise I just can’t see beyond the words as given.

    1. I also noted the rather palatial 19d pic, a lot different in my day, especially as we had to go down two flights to get to the loo!

    2. I agree – the pic for 19d was hardly your average 19d but when I asked the nice helpful Mr Google images for an illustration some of the offerings were so unspeakably dismal that I decided against them – it is, after all, New Year’s Day and no-one would have wanted to look at them, let alone live in them. :negative:

      1. I lived in one. It did have it’s advantages though: a) being able to clean the bathroom standing in the same place, and b) if you fell over in the kitchen, at least you’d land on the bed.

  24. Not a lot to add to what others have said.
    14d and 22a were the last ones in today and the fairy tale was a bung in without total parsing of the clue so thanks for the explanation. As we don’t yet know if this is the work of a new regular Monday setter I’ll reserve judgement on the new Rufus until it settles down.

    1. Loving the way no-one whatsoever has taken any notice of my comment earlier this afternoon

  25. Nice benign challenge for the morning/afternoon after. Stupidly 3d stumped me for sometime in spite of having lots of letters. Fav 26a. Thank you (new?) Mysteron. Happy New Year everyone 🍾🌈☀️.

  26. Ticks all the boxes for me following the festivities really enjoyed it. As Kath noted a good mix of clues. Last in 10a took me a bit longer to see that one.

    Clue of the day 24a followed by 19d.

    Rating ** / ****

    Thanks to Kath and the setter.

  27. No voice of dissent here — I thought much the same as Kath and the majority: good Monday fare.

    Thanks to the setter and to Kath, and all the best for 2018 and beyond to all you lovely people.

  28. I agree with pommers, no need to be brain shattering to enjoy it, and there was so much to enjoy here.
    I did have a spot of bother with 3d as I spelt the top half incorrectly, soon sorted as 12a solved itself.
    Loved 24a and 26a, both smile worthy.
    Thanks to super setter and to Kath for her fun review.

    Happy New Year all.

  29. Hmm, any other day apart from a Bank Holiday and I would feel somewhat short changed! It was ok; but over way too soon. 3d was top clue because I would never have expected it to turn up in a DT Cryptic. Ok Mr K. prove me wrong!
    1.5/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Kath for her review.

    1. For 3d all I can find is one previous sighting in a DT Cryptic, plus a few elsewhere. I do like the Micawber Toughie clue.

            Fri 19 Mar 2010 Telegraph Cryptic 26192       Bottom golfer jousts with relations, one of little stature (15)
            Wed 23 Nov 2016      Telegraph Toughie 1713      Micawber      Legendary spinner in Trump kiss and tell broadcast (15)
            Thu 14 Feb 2002 Guardian Cryptic 22443 Shed Dwarf to rear the Spanish height-enhancer’s family (15)
            Tue 19 Nov 2013 Guardian Cryptic 26109 Puck Golfer lists family members following behind imp and trickster (15)
  30. Nice and straightforward today, with the RHS perhaps causing a few more difficulties, probably because it took me a while to spot 6d. * for difficulty overall. An enjoyable start to the new year.

  31. Glad I wasn’t alone in spelling 3d incorrectly which held me up at 12a until I saw the error of my ways. Had Tale for 5d which seemed right but wasn’t, so 4d was slow to fill in. No hangover to blame as I’m not an imbiber – no head for it. I can get really tipsy on half a shandy! I actually needed more hints than yesterday (thank you Kath) but quite enjoyed this.

  32. As Gazza has aready observed, a gentle start to the year. 1*/3.5*, l think. I liked 18a and 25a, as l did the quickie pun. Thanks to our new Monday setter, and to Kath for the review.

  33. Happy New Year to all. A rather gentle puzzle but much appreciated. 4a made me smile. I was a bit unsure about ‘fishes’ in 25a as I always thought that the plural of fish was ..fish. Still, it was all very enjoyable. Seeing as its ‘that time of year’, I read the quicky pun as ‘many are knighted’. Quite clearly I was the only one. Just the way my brain works. Thank you setter and thank you Kath.

  34. Thank you to our mystery setter for today’s crossword and thanks to everyone for their comments today.
    Night night all and sleep well.

  35. A late one as we have been to visit Mr Sheffieldsy’s mother in Wales whose 96th birthday it was today. We enjoyed this, there were some very nice surfaces. Rather on the easy side, though, leading to a 1* / 3* rating. If this is to be our regular Monday compiler we’re in for some treats but, please, toughen the clues up a bit.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and Kath and Happy New Year all.

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