DT 28651 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28651

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28651

Hints and tips by Kath

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

Hello everyone. I’m not making any guesses about who our setter is today but if any of you out there would care to do so then please feel free. I thought it was of average difficulty with the right side being trickier than the left.

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

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


1a            Revenue including award close to unbelievable (6)
INCOME — Begin with the abbreviation for inc[luding], follow that with an award and finish off with the last letter (close to) of unbelievable.

4a            Means of communication developed in chalet (8)
CHATLINE — An anagram (developed) of IN CHALET

10a         Flight case? (9)
STAIRWELL — Flight here is nothing to do with flying, it’s a means of going from one level of a building to another and the case is the walls around it. Oh dear – only the third clue and a rubbishy hint already.

11a         Stylish seconds displayed by marketplace (5)
SMART — S[econds] followed by a marketplace.

12a         US city showing elegance in the past (7)
CHICAGO — A synonym for elegance or style is followed by a short word meaning in the past or since.

13a         First woman carrying official document recalled as devious (7)
EVASIVE — The name of the first woman, the one who achieved notoriety in the garden of Eden, contains (carrying) a reversal (recalled) of an official travel document.

14a         Tedium of bridge opponents facing night in Calais without end (5)
ENNUI — Two opposing people in a game of bridge are followed by the French word (in Calais) for night without its final letter (without end).

15a         Perhaps fat Greek character will accompany one in river (8)
NUTRIENT — Fat here is a noun and it’s just an example of the answer (perhaps) – the thirteenth letter of the Greek alphabet (character) is followed by the name of a river in Northern England which contains (in) the letter that looks like a one.

18a         Noted painting represented animals round circle (4,4)
MONA LISA — An anagram (represented) of ANIMALS which contains (round) the letter that looks like a circle.

20a         Crucial factor for a chef in style (5)
TASTE — A double definition , I think.

23a         A voluntary group see ship in confusion (2,1,4)
AT A LOSS — The A from the clue, the old name for a voluntary group which is now called the Army Reserve, a little short word meaning see or look and, finally, the two letter abbreviation for a S[team] S[hip]. I spent quite a while trying to make an anagram of something, thinking that the definition was an anagram indicator – oh dear!

25a         Car and tree obscured row of houses (7)
TERRACE — An anagram (obscured) of CAR and TREE.

26a         Motivated swarm of people (5)
DROVE — A double definition.

27a         ‘Knight time’ — humorous feature in advertising? (4,5)
NEON LIGHT —  Begin with the one letter chess abbreviation for Knight, follow that with a time, not the usual crossword land T but an age or era, and then the second word is a synonym for humorous or not serious. I confess that this one caused trouble – I stared at it for ages before making any sense of it at all.

28a         Term in EU devised for one defying authority (8)
MUTINEER — An anagram (devised) of TERM IN EU.

29a         Cross mongrel (6)
HYBRID — A double definition.



1d            At home, tight-knit group pens note privately? (2,6)
IN SECRET — The usual little word meaning at home is followed by a tight-knit group or cult which contains (pens) the second note of a musical scale.

2d            Tribal lot round port producing kind of trumpet (7)
CLARION — A tribal lot or a family contains (round) a South American port.

3d            Drink and spoil a ceremonial event almost in Georgia (9)
MARGARITA — A short word that means spoil or impair is followed by the two letter abbreviation for Georgia which contains the A from the clue and a ceremonial event or ritual without its final letter (almost).

5d            Hot and bothered author in hotel, irritatingly sanctimonious (6,4,4)
HOLIER THAN THOU — H[ot] is followed by an anagram (bothered) of AUTHOR IN HOTEL.

6d            Section of libretto’s captivating in opera (5)
TOSCA — Today’s one and only lurker, or hidden answer – it’s hiding in the middle two words of the clue.

7d            Fashionable to conceal trouble at rising type of restaurant (7)
ITALIAN — The usual little word that means fashionable or trendy contains (to conceal) a reversal (rising) of a synonym for trouble or upset and the AT from the clue

8d            Admission in course of dinner? (6)
ENTREE — A double definition.

9d            A sincere canon’s arranged initial survey (14)
RECONNAISSANCE — An anagram (arranged) of A SINCERE CANON’S.

16d         Mutual action in The Caretaker, for instance? Not initially (9)
INTERPLAYHmmm – another one that’s going to be tricky to give a hint for – if you were to describe ‘The Caretaker’ you might give the name of the playwright followed by the kind of production, so do exactly that but remove the first letter (not initially).

17d         Loathsome act surrounding trial (8)
DETESTED — An act or operation contains (surrounding) a trial or ordeal.

19d         Cockney has to enter old stronghold that’s rather inferior (2,1,4)
OF A SORT — Begin with O[ld] and follow that with a stronghold or castle which contains (to enter) the way in which a cockney might pronounce HAS

21d         ‘Small’ bet with grand in boastful style (7)
SWAGGER — S[mall] is followed by a bet or gamble which contains the abbreviation for G[rand].

22d         Managed to get on top of St Paul’s, say, briefly — that’s irregular (6)
RANDOM — A synonym for managed or organised is followed by what St Paul’s cathedral, or any other large building, has on its top without the last letter (briefly).

24d         Maybe Indian company brought up English article (5)
OCEAN — Indian here is just an example indicated by ‘maybe’ at the beginning of the clue – reverse (brought up) the two letter abbreviation for company and follow that with E[nglish] and an indefinite article.

I particularly liked 14 and 15a and 5d. My favourite was 29a for its simplicity.

The Quickie pun:- BRAKE + THYME = BREAK TIME

41 comments on “DT 28651

  1. I’m not going to play guess the setter either. I’d also agree about the average difficult/enjoyment factors

    Thanks to Kath and the Thursday Mysteron

  2. Completed, but it took two bites, so a *** time rating from me. I could see the answer for 5d but couldn’t work out the fodder. The writer in 16d was unknown to me (Yes, Eng. Lit., AGAIN) so again I had the answer but couldn’t parse it.

    1a was one of the last in, and therefore COTD.

    Many thanks to Kath and the setter.

  3. Needed help with 15a and 26a where I thought the clue was a bit off. To me, being motivated is ‘**iven’ Perhaps someone can enlighten me though! Other than that, a good workout at just about my level.

    Thanks to the setter and Kath for the tips.

    1. She motivated them.
      She 26a them.

      I’m sure somebody will explain the different tenses better than I could (Grade 6 Eng. Lang. O level!)

      1. Thanks MalcolmR.

        Sure you’re right but clue still seems clumsy to me! Can’t reconcile the answer in my reference books. The great thing about this sight is that relative newcomers like me can get help like this! Thanks again.

  4. I particularly liked 16d today, but no doubt it has been seen before. Anyhow, thanks to the setter and to Kath.

  5. Slightly more of a poser than the last few days, I needed to resort to some electronic help.
    Howevr still enjoyable favourite clue 10a.
    Thanks to Kath and mystery setter.

  6. Agree with Toadson, 16d is my man of the match. **/*** for the crossword with most time spent unravelling the SW corner which I thought had some unspectacular clues. Missed the sexy moon last night despite being in the Arabian Gulf.
    Thanks to setter and to the Blog’s Sweetheart.

  7. I enjoyed this one today; 3*/4* vote from me.

    Many thanks to Kath and to the mystery setter (if nobody else is going to play guess the setter, I’ll have a punt on Shamus).

  8. 16d my COTD as well in this very enjoyable Thursday puzzle wth 10a worthy of an honourable mention. 2* /4* overall from me, with many thanks to the mystery setter and to Kath.

  9. Enjoyed this , more of a challenge than the previous few days. 16d made me smile at the cleverness of it when the penny dropped. 15a was my second to last and a bung-in that made sense after I had written it in, if you know what I mean…. 27a eluded me for quite a while, yet once solved i wondered why. I think I was searching for the “humorous ” part of the clue too much, which threw me. Thanks to Kath for confirming my answers and to the setter.

  10. Quite enjoyable, and completed at a gallop. A couple of umms – 10a and 27a – **/***.

    Favourite – 3d.

    Thanks to the setter and Kath – you shouldn’t worry too much about the rubbishy hint for 10a, it was a rubbishy clue in the first place.

    1. STAIRWELL. Noun
      a shaft in a building in which a staircase is built.

      Seems alright to me.

      Now to call a clue rubbishy seems a bit Brianish.

      1. Bit more tricky than of late but that’ made it all the more satisfying.

        Many thanks for the hints Kath

        May I suggest it’s time to get off Brian’s case.

  11. 2* / 4*. After completing the first three quarters I was on course for my 1* time, but the SE proved much more of a challenge.

    I really enjoyed this with two very minor exceptions: “of people” in 26a is unnecessary (and I would have said the answer is normally used in the plural when referring to people); and, I think the two definitions in 29a are really just two sides of the same coin.

    16d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Kath.

  12. Got this one except for 27a which I would never have unravelled without the hint.

    I’m afraid a lot of these clues were not to my taste as they were so tortuous…but each to his own. Perhaps as I continue slogging away I will get to like what now appears ro me as tortuous.

    Thanks to the setter and to Kath .

  13. I enjoyed that while it lasted. Bottom left was last to cave in. Fav was 10a for its simplicity with 15a running up. Thank you Mysteron and Kath.

  14. I found this easier than yesterday, **/*** for me. I also found 27a confusing. Thank you Kath for comments.

  15. A few pauses for thought required for me – forgot that wretched ‘flight’ again and didn’t latch onto the workings of 27a until very late in the solve.
    Mr K might have smiled over 3d after our conversation at the Birthday Bash – at least that one didn’t cause any problems!

    Another vote here for 16d as clue of the day.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Kath for another of her refreshingly honest blogs.

    1. I did indeed smile at 3d, and it motivated me to investigate crosswordland’s favourite cocktails. It looks like our setters’ top three are the martini, the sidecar, and then the delicious 3d.

      I enjoyed this puzzle. It came together smoothly until 27a, which caused quite a bit of pondering. Thanks to the setter for the entertainment and thanks to Kath for the blog.

  16. More difficult than the first three puzzles this week so going for a **/****.
    A steady solve for me in four quarters, no real hold ups-SE and 27a, which was my favourite, last to fall.
    15a was nicely misleading , and 16d took a bit of parsing until I remembered Harold.
    Very enjoyable solve, thanks to unknown setter and Kath for the picks-liked the beach !

  17. A strange puzzle. Most of it seemed to write itself in. Then I puzzled for ages over 16d. What a great clue. 23a likewise caused problems, and I’ve never heard of the saying in 19d (thank goodness for the check letters). So the last three clues took as longer to solve than the rest of the puzzle! Thanks to the setter and Kath.

  18. Slightly more cogitation required than the previous three weekday puzzles, 16d stood out for me too as clue of the day. I suspect I may not be alone in having a feeling of 14a each time the overused 14a appears.

    Many thanks to our mystery setter and to Kath.

  19. No gallop for me today! I’m not sure how much I liked this puzzle. Most of the answers went in ok but I didn’t have a great sense of satisfaction. Guess I’m having an off day…
    Like Kath 29a was my top clue and overall 2/3*.
    Thanks to the setter and to Kath for her review.

  20. ***/***. Two attempts required but got there in the end. Some of the clues were a bit clunky for me. My favourite though was 3d. Thanks to the setter and Kath for the review.

  21. Bit of a curates egg today with some very easy clues such as 18a and 12a and possibly two of the worst clues we will see for a while in 27a and 16d. I never understand why setters put some words in inverted commas as in 27a, what does it add? Also how is one expected to find the author in 16d when there is absolutely no indication of same. The clue was only solvable through the first part given the checking letters.
    For me ***/* today.
    A poor effort
    Thx for the hints

      1. Exactly. The Caretaker must be one of the most celebrated plays of the 20th Century. Harold Pinter not exactly to my taste but this does not detract from the excellence of this clue. If there was an Awards Ceremony for crossword clues I would nominate this one.

  22. I started off at a gallop (yes, Senf, you have us all doing it now) but slowed to a walk.
    I struggled with 27a, last one in, but quite liked it in the end.
    My fave was 16d, with 5d running at its heels.
    Thanks to setter, and to Kath for unravelling a couple for me, eg, 3d.

  23. Got stuck in NE corner and struggled with 15a and 16d. Overall quite a bit of head scratching. Not as enjoyable as the other puzzles this week probably due to not being quiet on the right wavelength for some of the clues. A good challenge however and that’s what it’s all about.

    Clue of the day Thought 10a was clever.

    Rating 3.5* / 3*

    Thanks to Kath and the setter.

  24. Solved in two sittings. One waiting to see the Dentist. Two. On the way home from my Daughters after taking Harrison to Banbury to see The Monte Carlo Rally. Another nice but easy puzzle. Ta to all. Especially Kath.

  25. A **/***. My favourite was 16d. Almost stumped by 7d which is one of the gentler clues! I felt a bit smug when I got 22d without a second thought. I suppose this kind of twisted thinking is becoming second nature :-) Vissi d’arte.

  26. It all fitted together smoothly but some of them took a bit of pondering, 16d and 27a for example. Top award to 16d.
    I’m not even going to hazard a guess at the setter. Enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Kath

  27. More difficult than the first three this week, hence late arrival ***/*** 😳 Favourites 14a, 16& 22d. thanks to Kath and the Setter. Didn’t like 26a or 1a in the Quicky ☹️

  28. Definitely harder than the last few days, and I needed too many of Kath’s hints to finish, so low on the satisfaction level for me. Got off to a good start but then stalled.

  29. I found this to be pretty straightforward, * for difficulty, though I chucked in quite a few on definition and / or checking letters without looking at the wordplay… Last in 16d.

  30. Thanks to the setter and to Kath for the review and hints. I enjoyed what I could do, but found some of it very tricky. I always struggle with double definitions, so no surprise that I got 29a wrong, had “inbred” for my answer, thus stopping me from getting 16d. Also needed the for 20a, another double definition. Also needed the hints for 27a. Was 4*/2* for me.

  31. Late today – been catching up on other stuff. Perhaps that’s why, but I found this rather harder than the typical back pager, mainly because I found myself held up in the right hand side.

    Wasn’t overly fond of 10a and like RD I really didn’t think that 29a was much more than two versions of the same definition, even if the surface was nice, but I liked the rest, especially 27a.

    Thanks to the setter and Kath.

  32. Tricky for me but unlike some others I got the right hand side without too much difficulty with the exception of 27a. Was unimpressed with 27a until I had a flashbulb moment after I had completed it and then read Kath’s excellent hints and the other comments. Kath’s hint parsed it for me and justified my answer but I had not thought of the Piccadilly Circus type of advertising. For me the SW was last in and a struggle. Once I got 19d which I did not like the others fell – 26a being the last. Did not particularly like the latter but have no problem with the tense. Favourites the incomparable 16d, 14a for its construction and for being a splendid word.

  33. At the more difficult end for me, struggled with east side, west side came together far easier. Agree about 10a it was weak as dish water Last in 6d really struggled to get that one. Enjoyable with one or two smiles along the way particularly from 1d.

    Clues of the day : 1d / 13a.

    Rating 3.5* / 3.5*

    Thanks to Kath and the setter.

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