DT 28660 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28660

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28660

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

All is well with my world. Coventry Rugby club won away from home yet again. England delivered a big can of whoopass to the Welsh. Scotland outkicked the French (Why kick possession away when only six points up and two minutes to go? Stick it up your jumpers you numpties) Italy deserved a bonus point. Saint Sharon was saintlier than ever.

Oh! Sorry. There is a crossword around here somewhere. Oh well here we go. There are only twenty eight clues today so I feel somewhat short changed. However the difficulty level is upped by having sixteen of these with an unchecked first letter. Paul aka Dada is today’s setter as confirmed at 2.54am today by Crossword editor Chris Lancaster who commented that a crossword editor’s work is never done.


6a    Conservative footballer? (5-6)
RIGHT-WINGER: A double definition to begin with. Jason Robinson as I recall in Rome 2004

9a    Unfashionable deerstalker, perhaps (3,3)
OLD HAT: Another double definition with an iffy second part. It may be old fashioned but they can be bought new.

10a    Treading falteringly, something to climb? (8)
GRADIENT: Anagram (falteringly) of TREADING.

11a    Keen on the triple jump but very sore (7,3)
HOPPING MAD: For very sore in the clue read extremely angry. For the triple jump reference ignore the step (or skip) and the jump. If all else fails refer to the last three letters in the answer to 1 down. We do these hints for love you know. They are not always easy.

14a    Data within government department (4)
INFO: Begin with a word meaning within. Add a government department (ok since you ask the Foreign Office)

15a    Difficult situation upsetting medic and parent (11)
PREDICAMENT: Hopefully an anagram (upsetting) of MEDIC and PARENT

21a    Kitchen items break when knocked over (4)
PANS: These kitchen items used for making sauces or boiling vegetables can be reversed (when knocked over) to make a word meaning a break. If you have both words but are not sure which to use look for the definition at the beginning or the end of the clue. Failing that wait for checkers.

22a    Reveal top horse (10)
SHOWJUMPER: Split 4,6 to reveal here is a verb meaning to allow or cause to be visible as you would with a hand of cards when playing a gambling game such as brag or poker. The top is woollen and worn. Together they make a horse that competes in a ring with fences in a competition that is far more exciting to watch live than it is to watch on the telly.

25a    Lead dealer set off (5,3)
START OUT: Split 4,4 The lead here is the main actor in a popular role. The dealer is a person who buys up tickets for an event to resell them at a profit.

27a    Fake coin as used in place of betting? (6)
CASINO: Anagram (fake) of COIN AS

28a    Ship belonging to this person, back (11)
MINESWEEPER: Begin with a pronoun used to refer to a thing or things belonging to or associated with a person. Add another footballer. This time a player stationed behind the other defenders, free to defend at any point across the field and sometimes initiating and supporting attacks.


1d    Man is hot during dance (6)
BISHOP: This man is a piece on a chessboard. He sits or stands between the horsey and the king or queen. He is made up of the word IS which is generously gifted to us by today’s setter and the abbreviation of the word hot which together are inserted (during) within a word meaning a dance to pop music

2d    Country shed swiped by outlaw (6)
BHUTAN: Place a synonym for a wooden shed within (swiped) a verb meaning to prohibit something. This should lead you to the delightful Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas’ eastern edge which is known for its monasteries, fortresses (or dzongs) and dramatic landscapes that range from subtropical plains to steep mountains and valleys. In the High Himalayas, peaks such as 7,326m Jomolhari are popular trekking destinations. Paro Taktsang monastery (also known as Tiger’s Nest) clings to cliffs above the forested Paro Valley. I think I could enjoy a visit to this country

3d    Money stolen — part of workers’ wage-packets (4)
SWAG: Ooh Golly bongs. A lurker and about time too. The answer is hidden within the words of the clue. It is peeking out and daring you to find it. The words part of tell us so.

4d    Neat mind, arranged as a file (2,6)
IN TANDEM: Anagram (arranged) of NEAT MIND

5d    Encouraging rebellion ending in contentious issue (8)
SEDITION: The final letter (ending of) of contentious is followed by an issue, of a newspaper or magazine perhaps

7d    A dummy upside down, detached (5)
ALOOF: Begin with the letter A from the clue. Add the reverse (upside down) of a noun meaning a person who acts unwisely or imprudently or a silly person.

8d    Odd bits in sink, one very strong smell! (5)
SNIFF: Begin with the odd numbered letters of the word sink. Add the Roman numeral for the number one. Now add a double (very) letter that represents strong. Musically it represents loud. I am not sure that loud equates to strong. If you know otherwise please enlighten me.



The doggies held a meeting,
They came from near and far,
Some came by motor cycle,
And some by motor car
Each doggie passed the doorway,
Each doggie signed the book
Each one unclipped his asshole
And hung it on a hook.

One dog was not invited
It sorely raised his ire
He ran into the meeting hall
And loudly shouted, “Fire!”
It threw them in confusion
And without a second look
Each grabbed another’s asshole
From off another hook

And that’s the reason why sir,
When walking down the street
And that’s the reason why sir,
When doggies chance to meet
And that’s the reason why sir,
On land, abroad or home
They’ll sniff each other’s backside…
To see if it’s their own.

12d    Irish meeting English displeasure (3)
IRE: Join together the abbreviations for Irish and English

13d    Manly coat how short? (5)
MACHO: Use a shortened form of a raincoat. Add the word HOW from the clue minus its last letter (short)

16d    Limit holiday over wet weather (8)
RESTRAIN: Use a four- lettered stretched synonym for a holiday and add a word for the wet weather that may prevail for the duration of said holiday

17d    Find something round on top (8)
DISCOVER: Do what the clue asks. Place something round, flat and circular above a synonym for the word top

18d    Bird in poem, unusual (3)
EMU: Our second lurker. A bird. A friend of Rod Hull but not of Michael Parkinson.

19d    Do go doolally, finally (5)
PARTY: Go, as in depart followed by the last letter (finally) of the word doolally

20d    French writer, never translated (5)
VERNE: Anagram (translated) of NEVER

23d    Garment that’s worn by King Edward? (6)
JACKET: A King Edward is a variety of potato. When baked in its skin it is described thus which is also an outer garment. Served with butter, cheese and any pickle it is a true comfort food. Slop chilli con carne over it or a curry. Serve it with a salad. How do you like yours?

24d    Form stream for teacher (6)
MASTER: Anagram (form) of STREAM

26d    Capital of Turkey, individual urban area (4)
TOWN: Begin with the capital letter of Turkey and add a word meaning individual or to have possession of.

Yet another enjoyable solve.

Quickie Pun mask+carp+pony=mascarpone (what on earth is mascarpone)?


62 comments on “DT 28660

  1. 1* / 4*. What a lovely start to the week! This is a puzzle which proves that it doesn’t have to be tough to be enjoyable.

    The setter’s brevity (5.07 words per clue on average!) while maintaining smooth surfaces and accurate cluing is exemplary. Mr K, have we ever seen a “back-pager” with fewer words per clue?
    In the paper today the bottom row is more than half obscured by an advert for a nightdress. :wacko:

    Jostling in the race for favourite are 14a, 22a, 8d & 19d with, appropriately, 22a just getting its nose in front on the line.

    I did wonder, given what I thought might be a Nina in the right hand column, if the setter was Toro, but MP has disabused me of that idea. Many thanks to Dada and to MP.

  2. A short and sweet kick-off to the week with several clever clues from which I select 11a as Fav. Thank you Paul/Dada and MP. Quickie was nicely challenging today.

    1. MP – jacket potato topped with smoked salmon, sour cream (or soft cream cheese) and chives – mmm!

  3. Lovely if short-lived start to the week.

    Only one grump – and that’s with the person who set up the page at the printers – the bottom row of the crossword is hiding under an advert for Supersoft Jersey Nightwear :(
    Thanks to Dada and MP

    1. Not only do they put their wretched adverts there – they now have started to take over. It’s probably the thin end of the wedge. ☹️

      1. And we could add to our grumpiness, the fact that there’s that advert for that nice looking but probably very expensive necklace on the back page AGAIN

    2. “Sleep in supersoft jersey” is screaming to be a crossword clue e.g Nap or Kip inside PP meaning Cow but I can’t think of anything. Any geniuses out there?

      1. The headlines of the Nature Notes at the top left of the back page from Tuesday to Saturday often read like cryptic clues.

  4. A very straightforward and enjoyable solve from Dada this cold morning. 20d may be a chestnut but I enjoyed it, although my favourite was 23d. This was 1.5* /4* for me, with many thanks to Dada and to MP for an enjoyable and comprehensive blog.

  5. Good fun and I agree with RD’s comments about commendable cluing. 19d was my last one in and so gets the tick for fave. Thanks a lot to Dada and MP.

  6. Short concise and snappy clues today-a ‘ Bilco’ of a crossword .Going for a**/****
    Not a difficult solve,but there were some brain teasers, especially in the SW corner.
    Liked the brevity of 6a-thought of ‘miserable footballer’ as an alternative clue !
    Thanks Miffypops-trust the rugby went down well.

    1. Miserable footballer is a great clue – but we need to drop an ‘h’ somehow – an inaspirate miserable footballer, maybe? (If there is such a word)

  7. Lovely start to the week, a very enjoyable puzzle, such concise cluing. Completed at a steady pace with 22a being my favourite.
    Thanks to Dada and MP.

  8. It went so well – until I got stuck on 19d because I had POTS for 21a. Thanks MP for resolving my problem and thanks Dada for a very enjoyable crossword.

  9. An enjoyable solve although I did think there were a couple of dodgy surfaces in 7&13d and a few stretched synonyms in 9&11a plus 3&12d.

    22a took the gold medal here.

    Thanks to Dada and to MP for the blog.

    PS I bet our new puzzles editor was 11a about the obscured bottom line of the grid in the dead tree version!

  10. Absolutely brilliant – I loved it.
    Lots of really good clues.
    My only minor gripe, and it is a minor one, is wondering how fair it is to have more than one ‘footbally’ clue in a crossword.
    I particularly liked too many to mention all of them so a few are 11, 14 and 22a and 8, 13 and 19d. I’m not having a favourite today!
    With thanks to Dada for such a good crossword and to Miffypops for such a good batch of hints.
    Whatever is Brian going to make of this one? :unsure:

  11. All finished before the porridge got cold. I am ashamed to admit I know nothing about football, so despite guessing the first word of 6a, I had to do a googlething on football positions. If it had been a rugby or cricket question I would have been fine. Favourite clue was 19d. Thank you Dada and Miffypops. I’m glad England won the rugby on Saturday, but they’ll have to play better than that against Ireland.

    1. Oh boy. I’ve just had another look at 6a. Hadn’t realised it was a double definition. Only had footballer in my mind, not conservative. I’m full of cold, so I shall put it down to an addled brain.

  12. Straightforward-ish, but fun – a good start to the week on a beuatiful day starting with a panoply of stars and a bright crescent moon at 5.50……

  13. */****. Finished while waiting for daughter and number one grandson at the doctors surgery. Very enjoyable solve. Thanks to the setter and MP for the review. It’s colder here in Melbourne than back home and even a trace of snow on the ground.

  14. A slightly odd grid, which impacted on the enjoyment, that needed a little bit of head scratching to complete at a gallop – **/***.

    Candidates for favourite – 6a, 5d, and 23d – and the winner is 23d (but it might be an oldie but goodie).

    Thanks to the setter and GMoLI.

  15. Someone has obviously been listening to the comments about raising the level of difficulty as the week progresses. This setter can produce much trickier puzzles. Very enjoyable though. Thanks for the lovely poem MP.

  16. The rioting has borne fruit – a gentler start to the week again, almost Rufusesque.

    Completed at a pretty swift canter, although reading the blog I realise that for one or two of the clues I had got the wrong end of the stick, (and for one of them – the wrong end of the wrong stick).
    L.O.I. – 28a (I do hate it when nearly all of the checkers are “E”s).
    C.O.T.D – 20d – very nice surface, and I always enjoy en elegant anagram clue; and
    2d – simply because it brought back memories of wonderful holiday spent riding around the country, (on virtually its only road), on a Royal Enfield, twenty years ago.

    Thanks to Dada and MP

  17. An enjoyable * for difficulty. An odd looking grid that screamed out Nina, but there wasn’t one because we never do with the back pagers. Last in the SW corner, just because that was where I ended up.

  18. Took me a while to get on the right wavelength with some of the clever clues. Overall a nice Monday challenge. Think I found it more tricky than a lot of other bloggers but very enjoyable. Certainly a unique style has Dada.

    Clue of the day: Liked 28a

    Rating: 2.5* / 3.5*

    Thanks to MP and Dada

  19. Mondays ain’t what they used to be (imho), but thanks to setter and to mp especially for the clip at 1a – Good Old Billy Whizz!

  20. The sort of puzzle that makes RayT seem wordy, never thought I’d ever say that! Very unusual indeed to have only eleven across clues, if Mr K is around perhaps he will advise when that last occurred in a backpager.

    My ticks went to 11a, 1d, 19d and 23d.

    Extremely enjoyable, many thanks to Mr Halpern and to MP.

  21. I agree, this was a super fun puzzle to solve, and I wholeheartedly second RD’s remarks above.
    My fave was 22a with 23d following close behind, but it really could have been any clue.
    Thanks to Dada and to M’pops for his review.

  22. I rather like these Dada Mondays – long may they continue.

    This was great but I’m not naming a favourite simply because they were all great clues. **/**** from me.

    Many thanks to Dada and MP.

  23. Didn’t seem too difficult today and I had a full grid before 2nd coffee break was up but it said some answers were wrong. Turns out I was mixing up my Kitchen utensils and the checker didnt help as I had DOTTY as a synonym for doolally rather than the DO that would have given me the right checker. Thanks to Miiffypops for putting me right and setter for a good start to the week.

  24. Enjoyable and typically gentle start to the week. I went ‘ouch’ when I saw the grid lacking so many starting letters. 1.5*/3.5*. 8D was my winner today although 11a made me chuckle..

  25. I liked this crossword and the review , MP is always spot on with the added help. I can’t believe Melbourne is so cold, so I will check the forecast later. I’m not sure I like the idea of a more difficult crossword each day as the week progresses. Nor do I like routine as such. Surprises are much more interesting. Fav 28a.

    1. Two points to make here – firstly, neither can I believe that Melbourne is so cold and, secondly, I don’t like routine much which is why I love Thursday crosswords – you never know what you’re going to get – I think that they vary in difficulty more than any other day of the week.

  26. Entertaining start to the week. The concise clueing made things interesting.
    22a was my top clue. 2/4* overall.
    Thanks to Dada, and to the poet from LI for the review. Just where did that photo come from?!

  27. I loved this one! **/**** from me. Lovely tight clues. My favourite is 22a, but many are close behind in my estimation.

  28. A nice gentle start to the crosswording week and a fun poem for the hint at 8d , which has been duly nicked and copied to friends. Slow progress today due to blurred eyes – drops administered for an earlier eye screening test. I marked 9, 14 & 22 across as my favourites, with 14 holding me up the longest. A most enjoyable puzzle – thanks to Dada and MP. I needed your help to parse 5d. I bunged in the correct answer as it seemed to the first part of the clue, but I couldn’t figure out why.

  29. When the puzzle appeared on the screen, I thought I was about to print the quickie.
    Love the brevity of the clues.
    Didn’t understand the second part of 28a, so thanks to MP for the enlightenment.
    Enlightenment. Now that is something that the French Rugby team might need.
    Will be fighting for the wooden spoon with the Italians next.
    Thanks to Dada.
    Your biggest fan: Jean Luc.

  30. Nice crossword **/**** 😃 Difficult to choose a favourite but perhaps 22a with 11a, 14a, 7d vying for the silver 😜 Thanks to MP and to the setter

  31. Short but sweet; 1*/4*. What a pleasant start to the puzzling week! 25a was my favourite, with a mention for 19d. VMTs to Dada and Miffypops.

  32. A two-chunker. The first chunk done at 3am and the second twenty hours later after catching up on both rugby games and the sledging.
    Like this new MondayMan. **/***-*

  33. Surely the exact positioning of the adverts is not down to the advertisers themselves but rather the newspaper advertising manager who is the one depriving us of our ‘scribble space’? 😠

  34. A very mild start to the week. The clues were fine, well-written and mostly elegantly concise, but also fairly elementary and designed to be quite easy to parse. But that is no criticism of the setter – that’s what the DT demands on a Monday, presumably. I reckon any rookie setter should try to emulate these good, short clues instead of trying to produce an absolute stinker with their first effort. 1.5* / 3.5* – I’ve given a full extra * for enjoyment because the clues are so well constructed and succinct.

  35. Can anyone help me here. I found this almost ridiculously easy, apart from a couple, yet some days (when the reviewer gives a puzzle the same degree of difficulty) I find I just can’t work out the setters thinking and really struggle.
    As puzzling as some of the crosswords!

    1. Hmmm – different setters and different reviewers – it really is all down to whether or not you’re on the same wave-length
      Some reviewers award the number of stars for difficulty based on the length of time it takes them to do the crossword. I don’t – I just go on how I felt while I was actually doing it.
      It’s all a mystery to me too.

  36. Regarding 8d, although we tend to refer to the Italian term as “loud” or “very loud”, strong is a closer translation of the original word. I believe the Latin would be “fortis”.


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