DT 28637 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28637

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28637

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****


Hello, everyone.  Today's setter has cooked us up a tasty and satisfying pangram containing several meaty clues, with a sprinkling of general knowledge that's all gettable from the word play.  That main course is complemented nicely by a Quick crossword that's also a pangram.

In the hints below underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions, and most indicators are italicized.  The answers will be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Fielder feeling funny (4,3)
FINE LEG:  A cricket fielding position is found as an anagram (funny) of FEELING

5a    Have doubts about American parking in camp (7)
SUSPECT:  Abbreviations for American and parking are inserted in a camp or faction

9a    Former examiner heard in Treasury department (9)
EXCHEQUER:  The usual short word for former, followed by two syllables that sound like (heard) someone who examines or verifies

10a   Family taking in English fair (5)
CLEAN:  A family or tribe containing (taking in) an abbreviation for English

11a   General manager keeping revised share for famous financier (7)
GRESHAM:  The abbreviation for General Manager containing (keeping) an anagram (revised) of SHARE.  Click here for the famous financier's Wikipedia page

12a   Ship's  barber? (7)
CLIPPER:  A fast sailing vessel is also a mildly cryptic definition of a barber

13a   Potter character half-heartedly took it round motorway two hours before midnight (3,6)
TOM KITTEN:  The Potter here is Beatrix, not Harry.  Find one of her animal characters by wrapping TOOK without one of its inner letters (half-heartedly) and IT round the abbreviation for motorway, and then appending the time that is two hours before midnight

16a   Follow, follow around river (5)
TRAIL:  A synonym of follow containing (around) the map abbreviation for river

17a   Woman, a fuddy-duddy, almost 50 (5)
APRIL:  Connect together A from the clue, all but the last letter (almost) of an adjective meaning fuddy-duddy, and the Roman numeral for 50 to obtain a female name.

18a   Jealous daughter after unsophisticated watch (5-4)
GREEN-EYED:  Concatenate unsophisticated or inexperienced, watch or observe, and the genealogical abbreviation for daughter

21a   Martial art and its engaging charm? Just the opposite (2-5)
JU-JITSU:  “Just the opposite” instructs us to invert the preceding wordplay.  So, we find the answer as a West African charm or fetish containing (engaging) ITS from the clue

22a   Unfilled post in Virginia prison, extremely cushy (7)
VACANCY:  Put together the abbreviation for the US state of Virginia, a slang word for prison used there (and elsewhere in the US), and the outer letters (extremely) of CUSHY

25a   Animal used in ceremony, a lamb (5)
NYALA:  The animal is a South African antelope, and it's hidden in (used in) the remainder of the clue

26a   Having no money, and depressed, burst into tears (5,4)
BROKE DOWN:  Combine words meaning “having no money” and depressed or sad

27a   Bar used by swingers? (7)
TRAPEZE:  A cryptic definition of the bar used by circus acrobats

28a   Chief beginning to size up British Army corps (7)
SUPREME:  Fuse together the first letter of (beginning to) SIZE,  UP from the clue, and the abbreviation for an engineering division of the British Army



1d    Shock involving eastern goods (7)
FREIGHT:  Shock or terror containing (involving) the abbreviation for eastern

2d    Ideal position of hotel in French city (5)
NICHE:  The letter represented by hotel in the NATO phonetic alphabet is inserted into (in) a resort city on the French Riviera

3d    Cold fish served up before hot sponge (5)
LEECH:  Combine the abbreviation for cold and a long thin fish, and then reverse the lot (served up, in a down clue).  That's all followed by (before) the abbreviation for hot

4d    Foodie understood about ancient city and me (7)
GOURMET:  Understood or "took in" is wrapped around (about) both the usual ancient city and ME from the clue

5d    Old Arab nation included in small article (7)
SARACEN:  A nation or people is inserted in (included in) the clothing abbreviation for small and one of the grammatical articles

6d    Church worker, councillor, is in the devil's clutches (9)
SACRISTAN:  The abbreviation for councillor and IS from the clue are joined and then inserted in another name for the devil (in the devil’s clutches)

7d    Former politician sitting in original early model (9)
EXEMPLARY:  Another appearance of that usual word for former, followed by our usual politician contained in (sitting in) an anagram (original) of EARLY

8d    Number exercise, cut off in part of plant (7)
TENDRIL:  Cement together a number between nine & eleven and all but the last letter ( … cut off) of an exercise or practice

14d   Pot made by Spanish girl, broken by Spanish boy (9)
MARIJUANA:  A Spanish female name containing (broken by) a Spanish male name

15d   Not well, a guy is embarrassed (3,2,4)
ILL AT EASE:  Combine unwell, A from the clue, and guy or ridicule

17d   Auxiliary judge's start in a dingy court (7)
ADJUNCT:  The first letter ( … ‘s start) of JUDGE is inserted in the combination of A from the clue, an adjective meaning dingy or dusky, and the map abbreviation for court

18d   Complain in centre of Vegas over gang fight there (7)
GRUMBLE:  The middle letter of (centre of) VEGAS, followed by (over, in a down clue) an American (… there) slang word for a gang fight

19d   Resentful, one's served up about six before us (7)
ENVIOUS:  The reversal of ONE (…’s served up, in a down clue) containing (about) the Roman for six, with all of that followed by (before) US from the clue

20d   Poet describing the old, most respected lady member of academy? (7)
DOYENNE:  An English metaphysical poet containing (describing) an old form of “the”

23d   Miserly fellow pocketing note (5)
CHEAP:  A fellow or man containing (pocketing) a letter that can represent a musical note

24d   Snare wild one, so (5)
NOOSE:  An anagram (wild) of ONE SO


Thank you to today’s setter for another of your excellent crosswords.  I ticked 1a, 13a, 22a, 28a, 3d, 6d, and 14d.  My favourite is of course 13a.  What was yours?


The Quick Crossword pun:  CHEF+HEALED=SHEFFIELD

70 comments on “DT 28637

  1. I didn’t notice the pangram here but I did in the Quickie which is set by the same setter. A quality puzzle. Just right for a Tuesday. Ta to all.

  2. I have learned so much about Harry Potter and all to no avail! I enjoyed the challenge of this crossword until I ground to a halt on 13a. Thank you Mr K – why couldn’t I think of Beatrix Potter?😩😩

  3. I thought this was excellent. 2*/5* for me.

    Many thanks to the setter, and to Mr K for the review.

  4. After yesterday’s walk in the park it was good to have to put the old thinking-cap on for this one which was just nicely challenging. Afraid I never think about pangrams. Bunged in 21a without considering charm and likewise guy in 15d didn’t occur to me. Fav was 20d with 14d running up. Thank you Messrs. Ron and K.

  5. What an excellent puzzle, and thoroughly enjoyable. This needed a bit of thought to complete, and there were many good clues to slow me down. Favourite is a toss up between 1a, 13a and 14d with the winner 13a because of the misdirection towards Harry rather than Beatrix. That will catch a few out I suspect. 2.5* /4* overall from me.

    Thanks to both Misters involved in this one.

    1. I can’t help but agree with my fellow ‘countyman’. Said it all for me young feller :-)

  6. 3* / 4.5*. I really enjoyed this pangram replete with clues sprinkled with humour with a range of difficulty varying from straightforward to quite tricky. I didn’t know the financier in 11a nor the church worker in 6d but both were easily derived from the wordplay.

    I really liked the alliterative cricket reference in 1a which joins 13a & 14d on my podium.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and Mr K.

  7. Very enjoyable. North West went in just like that, then I got slowed up a bit afterwards. Spotted the pangram quite early – got a Z and a Q. Which is also a cue (pun intended!). **/****. I liked 14d, 20d, 6d, and 27a with 13a maybe favourite.

  8. After yesterdays fairly easy canter this proved to be much more stubborn, nevertheless a pretty good brain teaser. And yes I fell for the Potter as well.
    For a favourite 9a and 14d.
    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  9. Excellent fare all round, started with 1a which second word I thought would be ‘off’-wrong! .
    Last in was 13a which I thought would be from Harry( Tom Riddle first came to mind ) wrong again ! As Poirot would say-‘it was the chase of the goose’
    In between I thoroughly enjoyed the solve and a ***/**** for me, thanks to setter and Mr K.
    Hard to choose a favourite, going for either 14d or 21a.

  10. I was on the right wavelength for this one so completed in a good time for me…..except for 17a which I could not see at all until I read Mr Kitty’s most excellent hint.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty.

  11. Most of this was a easy sail but the NW produced heavy weather. I am ashamed to say I thought of the most recent ‘Potter’ (and was grumbling that a setter would use such a character) then Dennis and finally…
    Just I think I have all these cricket positions memorised, out pops another one. This was my last in and favourite.
    Thanks to all

  12. I went for Harry and Dennis before eventually arriving at Beatrix. Enjoyable puzzle, thanks to all.

      1. I was nowhere near it, initially, thinking if “Pull leg” was a position I had never heard of. Being a cricketer, I was rapidly going down “Wind-up Avenue” until it hit me, square on the chops, like any good “Chin music” should.

        Oh, we do so love a “penny drop” moment, yes we do.

  13. Ia is indeed a superb clue , even though it is far too crickety for me.
    20d is another great clue.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    1. I hear this from time to time and am puzzled by it. How many is too many? How many is too few? What constitutes general knowledge? To which clues are you referring? You seem to have entered too many exclamation marks. Only one is ever necessary.

    2. Welcome to the blog, j neale, and thanks for sharing your impression of the puzzle. As you’ll see from the other comments, many solvers don’t mind a bit of GK as long as the wordplay offers a fighting chance of getting to the answer.

  14. Fine puzzle, and one in which I was on the setters wavelength which is unusual for a Tuesday. Must admit to not knowing the financier but it was clear from the clue what the answer was. Loved 1a and 21a, but for me man of the match was 14d.

  15. There was a nice phrase Angellov used yesterday about it all being over too soon, and that was certainly the case here. Once I’d realised that the fielder in 1a wasn’t in one of the ‘off’ positions and it was Beatrix rather than Harry in 13a I was home and dry.
    16a was my favourite, thank you to the setter, and Mr K for helping we work out how I solved 15d. I loved the Tom Petty too…

    1. I agree that Angellov’s comment was a good one but I like yours better ‘Thanks to Mr K for helping we work out how I solved 15d’ I reckon that sentence sums it up for a lot of our couples who solve together. Nice typo indeed.

  16. Not too difficult but some not quite right words such as Guy for Tease. Never heard of the financier or the church worker, or the Potter character so learned something today.
    Not sure I like Original as an anagram indicator, doesn’t quite work for me.
    Thx to all

    1. Mr. K – was it the Daily Mail story? Carrier craft which can transport 22 barges or even an oil rig.

    2. Trying to find pictures is fraught with danger. I have seen some awful images while searching the most innocent words. Some puzzles offer easy options such as yesterday’s Bird of Paradise which will always yield a pleaser. Some don’t. It’s great to find a chance to use a belter you have had in mind for a while. Tuesday’s always throw up some interesting options and it is always worth visiting Kitty’s Toughie blog to see what she might have come up with. The prize for the strangest clip ever goes to Deep Threat for ‘Avec Mon Sabot’s’ YouTube clip.

  17. I enjoyed this puzzle with several chuckles along the way. The financier was no problem as i work for a bank in a building on the street in London named after him!
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K for today’s lunchtime entertainment.

  18. I found this mostly ok but got held up a little in the NE. 11a was new to me but at least the clue was friendly. My last in (from the wordplay) was 6d.

    My favourite is obvious! (Though I think on balance I’m more of a Kitty in Boots than a 13a.)

    Many thanks.

  19. This was wonderful, tricky in places but an utter joy to solve. I still can’t quite fathom how anyone could find it easier than yesterday’s puzzle, but there you go.

    My top clues were 1a (like RD, I loved its alliteration), 21a (not easy to clue), 6d (great surface) and 14d (nice construction). The only small blot on a beautifully painted landscape was using “former” to clue “ex” on more than one occasion.

    Many thanks to setter and to Mr K.

    1. Hi, silvanus. Did your repetition radar miss “served up” used twice as a reversal indicator? I only noticed that one when I was writing the hints.

      1. That’s an interesting one, Mr K! I did notice the setter had used the phrase twice, but, perhaps to give him the benefit of the doubt, I interpreted “one’s served up” in 19d to be an anagram rather than a reversal. I think it can be parsed either way, actually. I wonder what the setter had in mind?

        1. Good point about 19d. It would be great if the setter dropped in to take a bow for creating this great crossword, and to tell us what he had in mind with that clue.

          1. Mr K, that was another excellent H & Ts – you seem to have risen from novice solver to expert reviewer in just 3 years! But surely one review per week isn’t enough for an ambitious chap like you – are you going to progress onto setting? I reckon you (maybe teaming up with Kitty) would be good at it. Or have you already started?

            1. Thanks, Jose. Like many before me, I found this site, including the fine collection of instructional material assembled by BD under the “CRYPTIC CROSSWORDS” tab at the top of the page, extremely helpful in getting up to speed with cryptics. Setting is an intriguing idea, but for now pressures of work mean that one review per week is more than enough.

  20. ***/****. Good clues and a test of GK but all pointed to so very fair. 6d was my favourite as I didn’t know the word but the clue and checkers revealed another learning moment. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  21. Find that the attitude I have towards a puzzle starts to form from the very first clue – 1a didn’t bode well! However, being one of RD’s diligent students, I clicked on the pic to enlarge it and thus refresh my knowledge of fielding positions. Wow – that was a surprise! Can’t help but think that some of our male commenters might have preferred that as the main illustration.

    In the event, it turned out to be an excellent puzzle and I only had the slightest of hesitations over which Potter – had to have a 10 in there somewhere!

    My favourite was 26a (possibly a chestnut?) followed by the swingers’ bar and the councillor in the clutch of the devil – I’m sure we’ve all met him.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr K for the great blog – nice selection of pics, almost good enough to forgive you for the video clip!

    1. Thank you, Jane, firstly, for being such a diligent student of cricket and, secondly, for mentioning that clicking on the picture of fielding positions might be illuminating. Indeed it shows that particular fielding position in a whole new light. Very nice work, Mr K!

      1. Thanks, RD.

        [Anyone in need of a legible diagram of cricket fielding positions will find one in BD’s Mine (of Useful Information). Clicking on the hyperlink in the clue will take you there.]

  22. Noticed the pangram as the left side was solved first and when solving the right I was hoping for a double pangram.
    Tom and Thomas didn’t cause any problems either.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the review.

      1. Me too. I had noticed the new avatar but, being half blind, I thought it said “Jesus, Brian”. I’ve just enlarged it and had another laugh.

  23. Another gem following yesterday’s treasure, but this one was far more tricky for me.
    Picked up the pangram early on, got 9a and 21a on first read through, it had to be one!
    Like Jane, seeing the crickety 1a clue at first nearly put me off, missed the anagram there. I had to consult BD’s mine to get that.
    I can’t choose a fave, too many choices and Kath would get cross with me.
    Thanks to setter, love your work, and to Mr. Kitty for the hints, particularly explaining 17a.

  24. A gentle canter of a puzzle, which succeeded in diverting my attention from the sleet on the conservatory roof. Call it 1*/3.5*, and my favourite was 1a. Thanks to the Mysteron and Mr Kitty.

  25. Really enjoyed this one and have to confess that we did not notice the pangram.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  26. Nice crossword **/*** must confess to bunging in the wrong female name in 17a 😳 My favourite was 14d followed by 3d 😃 Thanks to Mr Kitty and to Mr X 😉

  27. Silly mid-off came to mind for 1a except it didn’t fit the clue. No problem with 13a as I had the right Potter, but only because I saw the trailer for the new Peter Rabbit movie due out soon. Many thanks setter and Mr K

  28. Found this trickier than yesterday’s, which was right up my street. Nevertheless found it enjoyable. Learnt a new word, 6d, and animal, 25a, and the financier at 11a, which had to be from the other letters. Despite living across the pond for 35 years I have never heard of the word in 18d being used over here for a gang fight. Shows what a sheltered life I lead🙂

  29. Well, that was good. ** for difficulty overall, and a joy to solve throughout. Last in 13ac, where I basically panicked assuming it was a Harry Potter character I wouldn’t have heard of, whereas it was another character I hadn’t heard of that the cryptic described perfectly well…

  30. Nice puzzle with some left field clues involved. 18a was my fave and 2/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the review.

  31. Very enjoyable, trickier than yesterday, for me, though not, I am surprised to hear for everyone.
    1a – Brilliant clue COTD
    11a -Knowledge of City streets helped
    13a – Did not know the character, not the greatest clue IMHO
    21a – I knew the martial art, but not the charm so bung-in
    28a – Did not know the Army thing
    6d – Knew that word
    As ever thanks to Mr.K. and Mr.Ron.

  32. very enjoyable. Different from yesterday but equal for me in solving time and pleasure. Was very pleased, knowing no Harry Potter, when I realised it must be Beatrix. I am sure we have all had on our, or our children’s, shelves those beautifully illustrated books published by Warne which have remained constant in changing times and preferences. Thanks setter and to Mr K for confirming some of the parsing.

  33. Very enjoyable, with a lot of misdirection. Thought the almost 50 in 17 across meant it ended in il, one less than 50, which meant that I ended up putting Avril instead of April :(

  34. I liked this one a lot – better than the average Tuesday puzzle. Did’n’t know 11a and 13a but got them both from the wordplay/checkers. 1a was a wonderful and entertaining clue – I’ve upped the enjoyment rating by a whole 0.5* just for this one alone, it was that good! 3* / 4*.

  35. I have just found your blog, having given up on 13a, and agree with most of the other comments. I would never have thought of the Beatrix Potter connection. Also you helped me understand why my guessed answers to some other clues were right.Thank you for your efforts.

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