DT28641 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28641

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 20th January 2018

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

I wasn’t entirely sure what I thought about this particular Prize Puzzle, both after I’d solved it and drafted the review. Quite a bit of ‘from the clue’ and things staring you in the face in some clues. I did like the sibling clue (20d) and I wasn’t keen on my last one in (28a) even though I do say both words in the same way

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1a    Detectives arresting sailor come over with all having their say (10)
DEMOCRATIC – CID (detectives) ‘arresting’ TAR (sailor) and COME (from the clue), the whole lot then being reversed (come over)

6a    Help to contain cold dangerous substance (4)
ACID – AID (help) to ‘contain’ C (cold)

9a    Very fit in woolly (5)
VAGUE – V (very) AGUE (fit)

10a    They show where letters should be posted (9)
SPELLINGS – A cryptic definition that initially sends you off on a letter box related solution

12a    This writer’s shown leading men’s energy is great (7)
IMMENSE – IM (this writer) shown leading MENS (from the clue) and E (energy)

13a    Female back exercises, these things counted when one retires (5)
SHEEP – SHE (female) followed by a reversal (back in an Across clue) of PE (exercises)

15a    Extraordinarily nice, she is from a far country (7)
CHINESE – An anagram (extraordinarily) of NICE SHE IS

17a    Hobbles in turning for example — short sight? (7)
GLIMPSE – One of those Specsavers moments when you need to look carefully at the newspaper clue to see whether it is ‘hobbies’ or ‘hobbles’ – you need LIMPS (hobbles) in a reversal (turning) of EG (for example)

19a    Posh Bond girl that’s torn off a strip (7)
UNDRESS – U (posh, upper class) ANDRESS (Ursula the Bond girl) without (torn off) the A

21a    Terrier or boxer, for instance (7)
FIGHTER – Not dogs but examples of people who fight

22a    Figure that becomes double after spitting (5)
IMAGE – Put your solution after spitting and you’ll get an exact likeness (double)

24a    Oh dear, rejected embracing bad actor in soap! (7)
SHAMPOO – A reversal (rejected) of OOPS (oh dear) ’embracing’ HAM (bad actor)

27a    One would require nineteen more such as this (9)
TWENTIETH – You need to have nineteen more of something for this one to be the twentieth

28a    It sounds like a female relative isn’t for you? (5)
AREN’T – A homophone (sounds like) AUNT (female relative). It does for me but my Yorkshire Granny would have pronounced this relative as an ANT or ANTI so she wouldn’t have thought this homophone worked at all.

29a    Go out together or go out of style (4)
DATE – Double definition

30a    Exploding star and new moon observed by Queen’s scientist (10)
ASTRONOMER – An anagram (exploding) of STAR and NEW MOON followed by ER (the regnal cipher of our current Queen)


1d    What cheats do in football club that’s dodgy? (4)
DIVE – Pretend to be tripped by an opposing player; a disreputable nightclub

2d    Find 22 rocks blown up (9)
MAGNIFIED – I ‘phoned a friend’ on this one and he agreed with me that we are straying into partial indirect anagram territory here. You need an anagram (rocks) of FIND and the solution to 22a IMAGE

3d    Shout going topless is best (5)
CREAM – Remove the first letter (going topless) from SCREAM (shout)

4d    Cab seen breaking down — it’s registered by someone not here (7)
ABSENCE – An anagram (breaking down) of CAB SEEN

5d    Diving bird caught one coming up, big thing mostly submerged (7)
ICERBERG – A reversal (coming up in a Down clue) of GREBE (diving bird) C (caught) I (one)

7d    Tin loaded on old English vessel (5)
CANOE – CAN (tin) on O (old) E (English)

8d    Withdraws expensive limiting ISA on behalf of son (10)
DISAPPEARS – DEAR (expensive) ‘limiting’ ISA (from the clue) PP (per pro, on behalf of) and then S (son) is added at the end

11d    TV guide entry on the slant (7)
LISTING – An entry in a TV guide or leaning to one side (on the slant)

14d    Familiar kind of service entertains twee daughter (10)
ACQUAINTED – ACE (kind of service in a game of tennis) ‘entertains’ QUAINT (twee) and then D (daughter) is added at the end

16d    Some ukulele men taking part (7)
ELEMENT – Hidden in some of ukulELE MEN Taking

18d    Troubled, let me pour oil? (9)
PETROLEUM – An anagram (troubled) of LET ME POUR  

20d    They’re girls and women, not only children (7)
SISTERS – Female siblings

21d    Man in monastery touring east wing part (7)
FEATHER – FATHER (man in monastery) ‘touring’ E (East)

23d    Beer and porter, at heart, will make one dozy? The opposite (5)
ALERT – ALE (beer) and the ‘heart’ of poRTer

25d    Learner in distress — you should get clear (5)
PLAIN – L (learner) inserted into PAIN (distress)

26d    Step, missing a beat (4)
STIR – STAIR (step) missing A


6 comments on “DT28641

  1. I’m just dropping in to say thank you for the review, and to tell you how much you are appreciated.

  2. Is it just me that finds the term “spitting image” irksome? The correct term is “splitting image” (from the ability of a prism to split an image into identical copies). Spitting Image was a satirical puppet TV show, the name being a parody of the correct term. If one means he is a satirical parody of the original then spitting image is fine – if one means he looks identical then splitting image is the right term. Shame on the setter on this occasion. Otherwise I enjoyed the crossword and didn’t need any hints.

    1. According to my favourite reference book -Brewers Dictionary of Phrase and Fable – the expression ‘spitting image’ comes from Spit and Image – an exact likeness or resemblance – just as if one person were to spit out of another’s mouth – which doesn’t sound very nice first thing on a sunny Sunday morning but I think the setter knew what he was talking about.

  3. Thank you for the review, CS. I wanted to confirm 10ac, spellings, my LOI and the only thing that seemed to vaguely fit – didn’t like it much, though the rest of the crossword was an excellent tussle for me.

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