DT 28630 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28630

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28630

Hints and tips by Grandad Mark – Yay, Yay, Yay

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good Morning and happy new year from the heart of Downtown LI. Thanks to Kath for volunteering to stand in for me last week.

Here are the predictions I made for 2017. All came true and I repeat them for 2018. The prediction I failed to make was that my daughter and son-in-law would provide a little brother for my grandson Harrison. Welcome to the world Ethan George Pope.


Here are my predictions for 2017

    •    Some people will die in 2017.

    •    Women will wear silly hats but still look prettier than they do without hats.

    •    Crossword puzzles will not matter

    •    The accumulation of unnecessary crap will continue in our household but I will contribute nothing to this.

    •    The Daily Telegraph will fail to realise the value of Big Dave’s site and continue trying to rip pounds from people’s pockets with their unfair and antiquated premium rate phone lines.

    •    Comedians will remain unfunny

    •    England will win the Six Nations Tournament without a grand slam.

Today’s puzzle has been set by Mister Ron. Soon to be The Daily Telegraph’s puzzles editor. I enjoyed the solve and I hope you do too.

As usual here are some hints tips and ramblings to help you to solve the clues you might be struggling with or to help you understand answers you have but cannot see why.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Putting money first, directors make cuts here? (10)
BREADBOARD: Split 5,5 your answer needs to comprise of a slang term for money and a word describing what the directors of a company make up when gathered together at a mahogany table sitting on plush chairs pretending to be important

6a    Censor’s given good report (4)
BANG: Begin with a three-lettered word meaning to censor something and add the abbreviation for good

9a    Drink the setter knocked over Pole? (5)
TOTEM: A small measure, usually of a strong alcoholic drink is followed by the reverse (knocked over) of how the setter might refer to himself

10a    Men overwhelmed by silent support back in garden (9)
ARBORETUM: A three-part charade with a reversal indicator and an insertion, all written within an eight-word clue. Simply brilliant.  Our regular abbreviation for the ordinary ranks (men) lies within (overwhelmed) a word meaning silent or lacking the ability to speak and an item of female underwear that supports breasts. The word back is the complication within the clue that tells us to reverse these two words. My colleague Kath would describe this clue as being easier to solve than to explain. Eight words in the clue. Sixty eight words in the explanation. Respect your setters. Of the answer, I have visited Westonbirt, Batsford and Walsall.

12a    Playful language? Move slowly, that’s scary! (6-2-5)
TONGUE-IN-CHEEK: Solved using checkers and the definition ‘playful language’ I have no idea what ‘moved slowly that’s scary’ has to do with either the clue or the solution. [The definition is playful and it’s a language followed by a four-letter verb meaning to move slowly and an exclamation that means “that’s scary”. BD]

14a    Insubstantial odds upset cartel (8)
SPECTRAL: The abbreviation for the odds at the beginning of a horse race (starting price) are followed by an anagram (upset) of CARTEL

15a    Paper good at absorbing blows? (6)
TISSUE: These blows are from noses. These papers are what are uses when noses are blown

17a    Make attractive finale with organ (6)
ENDEAR: A three-lettered word meaning final is followed by the organ of hearing.

19a    Ponder alcohol in stewed tea (8)
RUMINATE: Begin with an alcohol favoured by sailors. Add the word IN from the clue. Finish off with an anagram (stewed) of TEA

21a    Number-crunchers assist Titanic at sea (13)
STATISTICIANS: I suggest that this is an anagram (at sea) of ASSIST TITANIC. It was such a jumpoutatcha answer that it went straight in.


24a    Cook nine basil plants (9)
BIENNIALS: A fine anagram (cook) of NINE BASIL. One of my last ones in.

25a    Occasionally indulge then run briefly — lazybones (5)
IDLER: Every other letter (occasionally) of the word indulge followed by the cricketing abbreviation for runs.

26a    Stop ignoring cold comfort (4)
EASE: Find a five-lettered word that means come or bring to an end. Remove (ignoring) the letter that represents the abbreviation for cold.

27a    Chaos destroyed Greens — they might let one know! (10)
MESSENGERS: Begin with a word meaning chaos. Perhaps a word that might describe a teenager’s bedroom. Add an anagram (destroyed) of GREENS



1d    City in need of a plug? (4)
BATH: This city whose rugby union team beat Worcester on Friday is also a place of ablution

2d    Permit lent it legitimacy in part (7)
ENTITLE: The answer is a word hidden within the words of the clue. Seek it out. This type of clue is referred to as a lurker by your blogging team. Puzzle 28604 brought this jewel from Ora Meringue at comment 27 ‘I thought 23d was a lurker until I saw the blog……well at least I’m looking for them now’.  I suspect Ora is not the first or the last person to be informed by this site of the existence of hidden words as a type of clue

3d    Protest fiend with resistance occupying Waterloo maybe (13)
DEMONSTRATION: Begin with an evil spirit or devil, especially one thought to possess a person or act as a tormentor in hell. Add an example of what Waterloo may be. Not a battle but something .to do with trains. This word contains (occupying) the abbreviation for resistance

4d    Predicting vampire hasn’t died, or will come round (8)
ORACULAR: The world’s most famous vampire is needed here without the letter D (hasn’t died) the word OR given in the clue can be placed either side of what you have. (Or will come around) My last one in. The sparkliest of many sparkly clues

5d    Religious leader giving short talk (5)
RABBI: A religious leader of the Jewish faith can be found by using a word from Cockney rhyming slang (***** and pork) with its last letter removed (short). This Cockney rhyming slang word is also a song by Chas and Dave which is the second most irritating song ever recorded but very close to the single most irritating song ever. Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. What did I ever do that was so bad that my ears had to be tortured so?

7d    Player in area leaves — about time! (7)
ACTRESS: A from the clue. Some salad leaves that go well in egg sandwiches around the abbreviation for time

8d    Plucky player, one thwarting poacher’s goals? (10)
GAMEKEEPER: Begin with a four-lettered word meaning daring or courageous (daring). Add a player of sport. One who tries to prevent the opposition from scoring goals

11d    Main criterion changes — there’ll be a reprisal (13)
RECRIMINATION: Anagram (changes) of MAIN CRITERION. Another jumpoutatcha.

13d    Apparent teen slob is working (10)
OSTENSIBLE: Anagram (working) of TEEN SLOB IS

16d    Rejects revealed fisherman’s actions (8)
OUTCASTS: Split 3,5 the action carried out by a fisherman when beginning to fish. The act of getting his hook and bait into the water.

18d    Storage for artists (7)
DRAWERS: A double definition. The first being the plural of a box-like storage compartment without a lid, made to slide horizontally in and out of a desk, chest, or other piece of furniture.

20d    Forgive a bishop on crack (7)
ABSOLVE: Use the letter A from the clue. Add an abbreviation used in chess notation for a Bishop. Add a word meaning crack as in crack a problem or as you need to do here crack the clue.

22d    Rag supports broadcast (5)
TEASE: Find a word meaning to rag or chide that is also a homophone of golf ball supports

23d    If these are taken, it means war (4)
ARMS: The weapons that would be used if war broke out.

Happy new year to you all. Thanks for the comments and thanks throughout last year.

The Quick Crossword pun: cattle+lone+ear=Catalonia

56 comments on “DT 28630

  1. Very ‘friendly’ indeed and enjoyable – thank you to Mister Ron and MP and welcome to Ethan

  2. A straightforward and enjoyable solve for a bitterly cold Monday morning. 4d was my favourite by a fair distance ahead of 12a once I had successfully parsed the latter. Can’t disagree with the official rating of 2* /3*.

    Many thanks to our setter and MP.

  3. Well, this Monday offering was a bit of a slow starter for me, but when I spotted quite a few anagrams, the grid started to fill up nicely. Misspelling 19a didn’t help my cause in the SW, but it soon came together with a Doh! moment for 22d.

    1a was the penultimate to fall, and definitely my COTD. That just left 4d. Nope, no amount of head scratching could get that, electrons to the rescue.

    Overall ***/*** for me, many thanks to Mr Ron and MP.

  4. 2.5* / 4*. Mondays’ are big boots to fill, but I thought today’s offering was excellent. The SE corner was the last to fall and took my time over 2*. 20a made me laugh and gets my vote as favourite.

    Many thanks to MP and to the Monday setter who I hope we will be seeing more of this year.

    P.S. I wrote this before reading MP’s revelation of the setter!
    P.P.S. Chris, can I repeat my request for the Telegraph to reveal the aliases of the back page setters please? The Toughie setters are always shown and as far as I know other daily papers all give the setters’ names.

    1. As I said last week, what about the setters whose puzzles always attract nasty comments from certain quarters? Might they not wish to remain anonymous?

  5. A lovely fun way to start the DT week. I liked the bishop on crack and the undead vampire.

    Thanks to the setter and MP.

  6. Congratulations MP on the birth of your new grandson! Both of our sons are in the baby planning process & we hope to be grandparents again by the time this year closes and we begin another trip around the sun.

  7. I am not sure why but this took some head scratching to complete at a canter which reduced the enjoyment somewhat – ***/***.

    Stand out favourite – 20d.

    Thanks to Mister Ron and GMoLI and congratulations to the parents and grandparents of Ethan.

  8. A most enjoyable Monday offering from he who must now be obeyed in DT crossword land!
    Took a while to realise that we weren’t looking for a specific plant in 24a and the parsing of 12a was definitely arrived at retrospectively but no other problems to report.

    Top two for me were 1a&20d.

    Thanks to Sir Ron (hope to meet you at the Birthday Bash) and to MP for a glorious Dylan-free blog. Mind you, that 13d clip was rather bizarre! Hope that all is going well with Ethan and that his Mum is getting to grips with handling the ‘double trouble’.

    1. Thank you Jane. The intended Dylan clip that I forgot has now been added. Joni will cope but Harrison has been hyper since baby Ethan came home. I called in on Saturday after the rugby (Coventry 52 – 5 Old Albanians) and he was like a bottle of pop that had been shaken too much. Way too much energy.

  9. Welcome Ethan, there is nothing better thsn grandchlldren, they help tp keep us old codgers young. I needed electronic help for 4d they say you learn something everyday.
    On the whole though nice and entertaining for a mondsy.
    Thank tp MP amd Mr Ron.

  10. Very enjoyable and straightforward, only held up by putting a city from Southern Ireland in 1d.
    Thanks to MP for the usual excellent blog and congratulations on the new arrival. Take also to Mr Ron

  11. Enjoyable start to the week. Only held up slightly by putting ‘Cork’ into 1d, thinking that the definition was ‘a plug’. All sorted quickly. 4d was new to me. I hadn’t heard of the adjective, but understood where it came from. I think 7d was my favourite as I spent ages thinking of the wrong sort of ‘leaves’ before it all fell into place. Thank you setter, and thanks and congratulations to Miffypops.

  12. Congratulations on having expanded your grandfather role MP. I get to join the ranks of grand-fatherhood next month sometime.

    And thank you for Leon Redbone, always a pleasure.

    Not easy to step into the Rufus slot, but as RD mentioned, this filled the bill wonderfully, many thanks Mister Ron. Plenty to enjoy.

  13. Very slow start but once on the setters wavelength it fell into place reasonably well. Thanks to mr Ron and MP for the review. Congrats also re the grandson. Our second grandson is due in a few weeks so more jet lag in the calendar.

  14. I was beginning to panic for a while until I found a way in down the bottom half. After that it was so enjoyable. As good a crossword
    as I remember. Favourites were 1,5&20d and 15a.
    Thanks to all.

  15. Must be me, I found it very difficult indeed. Some really nasty clues such as 12a and 4d.
    For me ****/*. Finished but with very little enjoyment.
    Thx for the hints

  16. A pleasant workout today with the South presenting less hassle than the North. No real Fav but I did like 4d. Fair share of anagrams. Still can’t completely parse 12a. Felicitations to all generations of Ethan’s family. Thank you Mister Ron and Grandad Mark.

  17. I agree with everyone except Brian – all very good fun and not too tricky for an arctic Monday morning.
    Glad to see that I wasn’t the only twit to get 1d wrong at the first attempt – I obviously think more about wine than I do about washing.
    It took me a while to sort out 10a and, like Jane, was trying to make a specific plant in the 24a anagram.
    We had a clue very similar to 20d recently but can’t remember which crossword it was in.
    I particularly liked 10 and 12a and 8d – haven’t yet decided which of those is my favourite.
    With thanks to Mister Ron for the crossword and thanks for the hints and congratulations to Grandad.

    1. It’s not the first time I’ve been called a twit, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

  18. I reckon post-Rufus Mondays are turning out to be even better than Rufus Mondays. This was a great puzzle with 4d stand-out favourite.

    Many thanks to Mister Ron and thanks and congrats to MP.

  19. A great puzzle and really enjoyed many clues with some lovely light bulb moments. Best was 10a and most challenging 4d which I achieved through electronic help. Fortunately Mr Chambers had only one possibility with all other clues solved.

  20. No wonder Harold Robbins was “a popular author ” the other day! Just look at the number of grandparents who follow Big Dave. We are a bright lot aren’t we!

  21. A slow start and initially I thought it was going to be more difficult than it was. Good fun for a cold Monday with some excellent anagrams that gave me a foothold to get going. All fell in to place eventually without MP’s help, but enjoyed reading his comments as usual.

    Clue of the day 3d for me.

    Rating 2.5* / 3.5*

    Thanks to MP and many congratulations on the new arrival. Thanks to the setter as well.

  22. I thought this was brilliant, and it’s so gratifying to see the Monday legacy of Rufus continuing in such safe hands. Not quite an anagramfest, but seven is more than enough to keep up the Monday tradition.

    My five ticks went to 1a, 10a, 24a, 1d and, my overwhelming favourite, 4d. What a great surface.

    Many thanks to Mr Lancaster and to MP, and warmest congratulations on the new arrival to your family. Grandad Mark? Well ten out ten, of course ;-)

  23. Wotta treat! So much to enjoy here, I’m not going to choose a fave.
    Thanks for unravelling 12a, BD, I don’t know why it took me so long.
    I laughed at the clue for 20d, the vision of a bishop on crack is priceless!
    Thanks to Mister Ron, I hope your new duties don’t allow you to keep setting.
    Many thanks to M’pops for fun review. I’m so glad that a) we have a name and b) such a fine name.

  24. I enjoyed most of it , but I failed at 14a and 4d as these words are new to me.
    I really liked Miffypops hint about which particular type of chaos the setter had in mind.
    Thanks to all concerned and welcome to Ethan , a lovely name and a really sweet looking baby. Congrats !

  25. Wrote a little anagrammatic poem for your new grandson:

    Before an Egg
    Thereon a Pope
    Ethan George Pope

    Really enjoyed this crossword.
    For some quirky reasons, I liked to see some cryptic clues in 15a and 23d.
    Maybe it’s just there for the transition.
    Thanks to Mr Big and to MP for the wordy review.

  26. And glorious vctory for high flying Coventry City on Saturday….⚽️⚽️⚽️

  27. Firstly, congrats on baby Ethan’s arrival – make the most of the grandbaby years, as they turn into teenagers in the blink of an eye. Ours are very good teenagers I hasten to add…
    Secondly, found this harder than the weekend’s puzzles, not the gentle Monday I was hoping for. Like Miffypops I got 12a from the checkers and couldn’t relate it to the clue at all. 4d was a new word for me. Got off track at the start as I was confident 1a was breadlines, well directors cut lines don’t they? And I kept trying to make 24a into the name of a plant, rather than type. Obviously having a dim day here. Thanks to Miffypops without whom I would never have finished.

  28. For 12 across: move slowly = inch, as in “I inched my way gingerly across the landing!” Followed by scary, hence ‘eek!’
    Hope that helps…!

  29. Congratulations, Grandad Mark!

    Thanks for the write-up and to those who have commented — all appreciated. The possible alternative to 1dn hadn’t occurred to me, so apologies to anyone held up by this.

    I’m afraid I won’t be able to make the birthday bash, but hopefully next time around. It would be good to put faces to names!

    1. Thanks for popping in, Chris. So sorry that we won’t get to meet you on the 27th – hope you can make it next year.

  30. Lots to enjoy today.
    I struggled with the wavelength thingy, I do hope we get a regular Monday setter to replace the irreplaceable Rufus. Makes solving so much easier.
    I enjoyed 1a, but fav was 1d.
    Congrats MP, another Capricorn enters the world, like my own granddaughter.
    Thanks MP and Mr.Ron.

  31. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Miffypops for the review and hints. Congratulations Miffypops on the birth of Ethan. A super puzzle to start the week, I hope Mr Ron keeps this slot. A lot of the clues really made me think. I liked 23d for it’s brevity, 1d because of it’s humour, but my favourite was 4d, which was last in, I kept thinking of Dracula, and the penny eventually dropped. Was 3*/4* for me.

  32. Too hard for me for second day in a row….! I got slightly more than yesterday though.

  33. Hi. DT 28630 12 across! Tongue = language. Inch = move slowly. Eek= scary! Horrible clue but thanks for the help. Revd Cindy

  34. Thoroughly enjoyable, and easyish, though I did get myself into a bit of a pickle with 1ac and down. A good start to the week.

  35. Maybe I finished off the top half too late in the night but I found this one quite tough. 12a – Ugh. Fun in places though. ***/**

    Congratulations Miffy. At what age do your start them off on the back-pager then?

  36. Nice and easy in most parts, but 4d completely threw me. I think I’ve heard of the word now I see it, but the chances of dragging it out of the memory banks was a big fat zero!

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