DT 28623 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28623

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28623

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 30th December 2017

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

An enjoyable Saturday Prize Puzzle

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    Alternating study and employment in place of golf in Kent? (8,6)
SANDWICH COURSE – A way of alternating periods of study with paid employment could also describe a famous Kent golf course

9a    Riddle: what’s at head of stage coach? (8)
STRAINER – S (what’s at [the] head of Stage) TRAINER (coach)

10a    Amusing toy entertains Queen (5)
DROLL – DOLL (toy) ‘entertains’ R (Regina, Queen)

12a    Disappointed expression with railway being wonky (4)
AWRY – AW (disappointed expression) with RY (railway)

13a    Croatia cut out being dictatorial (10)
AUTOCRATIC – An anagram (out) of CROATIA CUT

15a    I speak ill of key resident (8)
ISLANDER – I (from the clue) SLANDER (speak ill of)

16a    Outlaw bishop with vermouth (6)
BANDIT – B (bishop) AND (with) IT (vermouth)

18a    Ridiculous sailors going by superior road (6)
ABSURD – ABS (Able-Bodied Seamen, sailors) U (superior) RD (road)

20a    Frivolous satirical sketch — this upset (8)
SKITTISH – SKIT (satirical sketch) and an anagram (upset) of THIS

23a    Two pieces of furniture I must move, being kind (10)
CHARITABLE – CHAIR and TABLE, the I in the CHAIR moving to the end of that word

24a    Mostly pick up title role in Shakespeare (4)
LEAR – Most of LEARn (pick up)

26a    `Advocate trade importing tropical fish (5)
TETRA – Imported into, or lurking within, advocaTE TRAde

27a    Book helps musicians (8)
BASSISTS – B (book) ASSISTS (helps)

28a    Criminal hated brother’s accepting of honour (5,2,3,4)
ORDER OF THE BATH – An anagram (criminal) of HATED BROTHER ‘accepting’ OF (from the clue)


2d    Note talented performer (7)
NATURAL – a double definition that took a moment to spot

3d    River erosion (4)
WEAR – Another double definition – a river in NE England or a synonym for erosion

4d    Cut off electric power after criminal’s perplexed (8)
CONFUSED – CON (criminal) FUSED (cut off electric power)

5d    Lad following vehicle shows bottle (6)
CARBOY – BOY (lad) following CAR (vehicle)

6d    Briefs international agency soldiers about communist uprising seizing power (10)
UNDERPANTS – UN (international agency) followed by ANTS (soldiers) ‘about’ a reversal of RED (communist) and P (power)

7d and 8: Songbirds caught sight of cobwebs perhaps (7,11)
SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS – SPOTTED (caught sight of) FLY CATCHERS (cobwebs perhaps)

8 See 7

11d    The holy see it appearing both ways in job opportunity (7,4)
VATICAN CITY – IT (from the clue) appearing ‘both ways’ – firstly TI and then IT – in VACANCY

14d    Develop a rendition that’s OTT (10)
INORDINATE – An anagram (develop) of A RENDITION

17d    What you need for job putting first drop of sauce in pan (5,3)
SKILL SET – S (the first ‘drop’ of Sauce) in SKILLET (pan)

19d    Second person at tea party in break (7)
SHATTER – S (second) HATTER (person at tea party)

21d    Sluggishness I retain when working (7)
INERTIA – An anagram (when working) of I RETAIN

22d    60 per cent flummoxed seeing what pandas eat (6)
BAMBOO – The first six letters (60%) of a ten-letter synonym for flummoxed – BAMBOOzled

25d    Axe tree with energy (4)
FIRE – FIR tree with E (energy)


3 comments on “DT 28623

  1. I found this very enjoyable if not overly taxing. I seem to remember 2d & 5d caused the most problems on the day.

    Many thanks to setter and to CS for the review. Agree with ** / *** and a bit.

  2. Thanks for the review, CS, and to the setter for an excellent puzzle, Tougher than the usual Saturday, I thought, but maybe that’s because sandwich course and spotted flycatcher proved so difficult!

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