DT 28675 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28675

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28675

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Hello everyone. Another non-Ray T Thursday crossword and yet again I don’t have any idea who the setter might be. I thought it was of average difficulty and enjoyment.

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

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


1a            Senior officer and I hail RAF marches on manoeuvres (3,5,7)
AIR CHIEF MARSHAL — An anagram (on manoeuvres) of I HAIL RAF MARCHES

9a            South American doctor’s put by pass needed by old Scotsman (9)
COLOMBIAN — A mountain pass , O(ld), a two letter abbreviation for a medical degree (doctor) and a common Scottish first name. The answer is obvious but I had a spot of bother getting all the bits of the clue in the right order.

10a         Get up with cold leg? (5)
CLIMB — C(old) is followed by a part of the body of which a leg is an example

11a         Combined chant after time passes (2,3)
IN ONE — A verb to chant or sing without the abbreviation for T(ime) (time passes)

12a         This writer pronounced batsman to be startling phenomenon (3-6)
EYE-OPENER — A homophone (pronounced) of how the setter (this writer) might refer to himself is followed by one of two batsmen who start the whole thing off

13a         Greek character gets straw matting for bird (8)
NUTHATCH — The thirteenth letter of the Greek alphabet (Greek character) is followed by (gets) the kind of straw matting used as roofing

14a         Firearm recoiled many times, used by investigator (6)
PISTOL — The two letter abbreviation for an investigator of crimes, but not one in the police force, is followed by a reversal (recoiled) of a synonym for many times or a great number

16a         Stay with two bridge players in trip (6)
RESIDE — Two opposing bridge players are contained in a trip or outing

18a         Fantastic tenor and another briefly entering company, source of music (8)
CORNETTO — An anagram (fantastic) of TENOR and the one letter abbreviation for T(enor) (another briefly) are inside our usual two letter abbreviation for company

22a         Playwright encapsulating rogue fence (9)
BARRICADE — The surname of a Scottish novelist and playwright contains (encapsulating) a short synonym for a rogue or scoundrel

23a         Place in military unit journalist holding award (5)
EMBED — Our usual journalist contains (holding) one of the awards that the Queen dishes out at times like New Year and birthdays

24a         Modify introduction to text lacking force (5)
TWEAK — The first letter (introduction to) of T(ext) is followed by a synonym for lacking force or feeble

25a         An early form of fuel? (9)
APPETISER — This kind of fuel is what our bodies need to sustain them and the answer is served at the beginning of a meal (early form of) –  my last answer and I only got it when I couldn’t think of anything else that would fit

26a         None conceived of new-fangled burger, say (11,4)
CONVENIENCE FOOD — An anagram (new-fangled) of NONE CONCEIVED OF



1d            A dispute right off in public sale (7)
AUCTION — The A from the clue is followed by a dispute or quarrel without its first letter (right off)

2d            Launch posh car with final part not seen in public (4,3)
ROLL OUT — The first bit of a posh car (more often two words, 5,5) without its last letter (final part not seen) is followed by a synonym for public or in the open

3d            Slam troubled land embracing distasteful and ultimately obsolete emblem (6,3,6)
HAMMER AND SICKLE — A verb to slam or criticise (6) is followed by an anagram (troubled) of LAND which contains (embracing) a synonym for distasteful or offensive and then finish that lot off with the last letter (ultimately) of (obsolet)E

4d            Grounds for believing study going into European depravity (8)
EVIDENCE — Begin with the abbreviation for E(uropean) and follow that with another word for depravity or evil which contains a little word for a study

5d            Lord’s house that’s said to show style (6)
MANNER — A homophone (that’s said) of a large country house

6d            Precinct with one tree adapted for emergency facility? (9,6)
RECEPTION CENTRE — An anagram (adapted) of PRECINCT with ONE TREE – it took me a while to think of the right kind of ’emergency facility’

7d            Shock coverage? (7)
HAIRNET — This shock grows on your head

8d            Lavish bill to be settled — about time (7)
LIBERAL — An anagram (to be settled) of BILL which contains (about) a time or age

15d         Flat, perhaps — small verbal joke that’s unsophisticated (8)
HOMESPUN — Flat is just an example of a place in which you may live, follow that with S(mall) and finish off with a verbal joke or play on words

16d         Mechanical corrosion overwhelms old boy in charge (7)
ROBOTIC — A little word meaning corrosion or deterioration contains (overwhelms) the abbreviation for O(ld) B(oy) and that needs to be followed by I(n) C(harge)

17d         Lad must limit desire to be performer in theatre (7)
SURGEON — A lad or male offspring contains (must limit) a desire or drive

19d         Bill with a cost largely obscured for sauce (7)
TABASCO — A bill or account is followed by an anagram (obscured) of most of (largely) A COS(t)

20d         Given command, soldiers act to overcome resistance (7)
ORDERED — Some soldiers – members of the armed forces not holding commissions – are followed by an act or undertaking which contain (to overcome) the one letter abbreviation for R(esistance)

21d         Seasoned food served up in Lima — lashings! (6)
SALAMI —Our one and only lurker or hidden answer of the day – it’s also reversed (served up) – and it’s hiding in the last two words of the clue

I particularly liked 3 and 8d and my favourite was 13a

The Quickie Pun:- CREWE + DITTY = CRUDITY or CRUDITES – I don’t know so take your pick!

94 comments on “DT 28675

  1. It didn’t take long to solve but I did notice that there was quite a bit of ‘letter removing’ going on.

    Thanks to Kath and the Thursday Mr Ron

    I did notice our Florida correspondents information about their lovely temperatures yesterday – just to let them know it is still minus something here, with snow and strong winds blowing it all about. Add to that ‘working from home’ interfering with my crossword solving, I’m quite looking forward to 8 degrees and drizzle next week which should enable me to get the car down the ice rink that is our drive

    1. Oh dear, I really wasn’t gloating. We are hotter than normal for this time and pretty fed up about it. I used to wish for snow when we lived in England, but it rarely happened then. You really are going through it now, sorry.

    1. Mr Google Images seems to think he is but that doesn’t mean anything. I’m sure the Anglesey birdwatcher will be along to let us know in due course

      1. Rabbit Dave won’t be happy- it’s an American interloper, the White-Breasted Nuthatch, not our native species.

        1. Someone should tell ‘Google Images UK’ then. As Kath says, if we add pictures to our blog posts, we can only go by what we are given, there certainly isn’t time to check up on the country of origin of a particular illustrated item

          1. A Nuthatch is still a Nuthatch by any other name (ie – doesn’t really matter which actual species is involved!)

    2. Hmm – well, as CS says, Mr Google Images thinks he is so, sorry, but not my fault.
      Some time ago I found a picture of an Italian city – meant to be Bologna but it wasn’t as someone was very quick to point out.
      Maybe the answer is to stop doing picture hints.

      1. I love your pics Kath. Always clean and decent. It’s not your fault if googlething is wrong.

    3. The answer is a bird. The picture is of a bird. I am quite happy with that. (Wraps Kath in cotton wool and promises to protect her and stand up for her until my last breath is drawn).

    4. Think the pic is of the Asiatic variety of Nuthatch found in Russia & Scandinavia. The one we are more familiar with is the rufus-breasted Caesia.

  2. Brian (if you are here), this is easier than yesterday’s and is good fun. Don’t be disheartened, and carry on!

  3. Another freezing day, although Bodmin Moor looking lovely.
    This was in the difficult class for me and i needed several ekectronic hints. There were of course the usual doh moments
    Thanks to Kath and setter.

  4. 2* /3* for this pretty straightforward Thursday foray into crosswordland. I love a rekrul so 21d was my clear favourite. At risk of being shot down in flames, I thought that the meaning of the answer to 18a was Italian for a small horn, not the musical kind unless archaic, but the sort used to hold ice cream. Not a niggle, more a question.

    Many thanks to our setter and to Kath.

    1. The BRB has it as a small woodwind cornet. What I’d like to know is how many people were left singing that advertising jingle?

      1. Thanks CS. I am aflame as a I write and sing that wretched song. The power of advertising…….

      2. Not me – still have really sore throat and almost no speaking voice let alone one that would sing.
        And another thing – still -4C in Oxford – the more it snows tiddly-pom . . . .

          1. Thanks – actually I’m just making a fuss as I’m an awful lot better than I was and no longer feel grotty.

  5. The picture at 18a is neither a cornet nor a cornetto! It is a flugel horn!

    1. Oh dear – and here we go again. It’s a musical instrument and as one who can’t tell the difference between a crotchet and a hatchet that’s pretty much good enough for me.

      1. I wish I had £1 for every ‘discussion’ I’ve had with people quoting ‘facts’ they have found on Google.
        As for crotchet and hatchet – the former is found in music, the latter is more commonly found in supposed covers.

  6. Another fine puzzle. They do seem to be getting better these days. Ta to all concerned. 1ac featured in the obituaries on Monday. One Sir Peter Squire no less. I am enjoying the wintry weather and didn’t really mind the damage to the car. Is it time to start mowing the lawns yet Kath?

    1. What damage to the car? Not many people can find their lawns at the moment, so I’d say no

      1. Dented wing and scrazed bumper. I haven’t asked and will not ask. It still goes like stink and the HiFi is ok so all is well.

  7. An enjoyable solve completed at a fast canter, assisted, I am reasonably certain, by some oldies but goodies – **/***.

    18a makes me think of ice cream rather than music!

    Favourite – a toss-up between 12a and 4d.

    Thanks to the setter and Kath.

  8. I was going along nicely until I hit the two anagrams at 6d and 19d. This held up the SE corner, but still finished in **/*** time.

    Was anybody else trying to force CONCERTO into 18a?

    Weather here in the NW is very cold, very windy, snow on the ground. Perfect for another long walk in the country. It might even have to be three pairs of trousers today!

    Many thanks to the setter and Kath.

  9. I thought that this was a reasonable puzzle but it’s disappointing that three of the four 15-letter answers were full anagrams with the fourth being a partial anagram. My favourite clue was 25a.
    Thanks to our unknown setter and to Kath.

  10. Pleasant solve albeit over too quickly. 1.5*/4*. No outstanding clues for me today except maybe 12a.

  11. For my part could have done with a bit more of a challenge to fill the gap left by two cancelled activities for today plus the Quickie was duck soup. Fun while they both lasted though. Like Kath, the hors d’oeuvre in 25a foxed me for a while. No doubt a chestnut but 7d amused. Thank you Mysteron and Kath. Brrrr! but cosy by the fireside.

  12. This one did not give me too much trouble I’m happy to say.

    Like crypticsue, I noticed a lot of ‘letter removing’ … not my favourite clueing.

    Ice cream song now in my head too……

    Thanks to Kath and to the setter.

  13. Some bits of this I found easy, other bits I had to use electronic gizmos for, but all in all an enjoyable solve. I got there in the end which is the main thing. My favourites were 12a and 25a, although I think that clue can include the quickie pun. I was supposed to go to a friends birthday today but it’s been cancelled, so I shall dash back and forth to check a picture of our bird box on the tv. I gave my husband a bird box camera for Christmas and it’s just been installed. To be honest, it’s probably a little early for the bluetits, but the bad weather may be an incentive for them to investigate the box.

    1. Just how does one cancel a birthday? I do hope your bird box attracts a breeding pair. Lots of pleasure to come if it does.

      1. Thank for your comment MP. I stand corrected. The birthday was not cancelled. The birthday get-together was cancelled. I’m not sure what happens to people who have their birthday on Feb 29th and it’s not a leap year. Their birthday doesn’t exist. The bluetits are hanging off the bird feeder at the moment but I haven’t seen them move towards the box.

        1. Might as well correct myself this time. The first word above should read – Thanks.

        2. We were given same by lovely daughter. Put it up.. nothing. The box it replaced had raised kilos of Bluetits. This year I covered the Perspex window in the side with tape and we now have some action. I can’t tell if it will affect the picture quality until I fix the cable that I mowed last year. I know, First World problems.

          1. Thanks for your comment HP. Our concern is that we’ve had bluetits in the old box for several years and now it’s been replaced they just might not like the new box. Our box doesn’t have a perspex side, so fingers crossed.

  14. I had such a lovely snowy walk in this morning that I’ve already all but forgotten the crossword. I do remember that I enjoyed it, would agree with Kath’s ratings, and that the playwright was last in. “Place in military unit” was not a definition of 23a that easily sprang to mind.

    Thanks to the setter and to Kath. Get well soon. :rose:

    Google have just removed a lot of functionality from their image search, so I’m probably going to defect to other sources instead anyway.

    1. I dithered a bit about 23a too – then I looked it up which is usually a good plan. BRB says, among other things, “to place (a journalist) within a military unit to facilitate the reporting of a conflict”. That left me in a dither again – what to underline? Decided life was too short . . .

      1. Just like you I looked it up. Since taking up this hobby I’ve found myself regularly consulting the dictionary for all sorts of words which I think I know the meaning(s) of and learning all the time. I love it!

      2. I think the meaning used in today’s puzzle was ‘popularised’ in Desert Storm (expelling the Iraqis from Kuwait in 1991). I don’t recall it being used, for example, during our adventure in the South Atlantic in 1982. So, we can thank, or should it be blame, the USA for another episode of mangling the English language (definitely not an embellishment).

        1. Not mangling Senf. Merely developing their own variety of English. David Crystal explains it well here.

          1. An interesting clip MP. I had two Swedish pen pals during my teens. I thought that their letters were full of spelling mistakes until I discovered that their English teacher was American.

          2. Very good speaker should you get the opportunity to attend one of his talks. He wrote a book entitled ‘Just a phrase I’m going through’ which is worth a read.

  15. Contrary to a comment above, I found this one much harder than yesterday’s and couldn’t complete a lot of the right-hand side, so thanks Kath for explaining it all. One lives and learns…

    Thanks to the setter for the pasting.

  16. Enjoyable and a steady solve. 16d paints a strange picture in the surface, and reminds me of Whynot’s Rookie clue for the same answer on Monday.

    I would agree with Gazza regarding the four long clues. No clue stands out, but I quite like the simple but effective 10a. 15d & 22a last in.

    Also, couldn’t agree more with Kitty’s comment regarding looking up words you *think* you know the meaning of, only to discover an often subtle and surprising nuance. CS and I were discussing exactly that a week or two ago.

    Thanks to setter and to Kath, ** / *** from me.

  17. 2* / 2.5*. Not much to say about this other than it provided a reasonably pleasant diversion on a cold wintry day, although I did think 23a was a bit weird.

    Now for Mr Terrell with his Beam hat on …

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and Kath.

    1. I’m getting nowhere fast at the moment – got to love a Beam challenge…

        1. Done the left side, it’s the right side holding me up; got two in the NW so far… is the blogger struggling too d’ya reckon or just late on parade?

          1. I had to wait until Saint Sharon went downstairs for the paper.Now I am waiting for a glass of milk

  18. Don’t really know what to make of this one. We only got four of the acrosses so that makes it pretty tricky. Then we got every one of the downs and filled in the acrosses as the checkers went in so that makes it pretty easy :unsure:

    I guess **/*** just about covers it. No stand-out favourite but a pleasant diversion over lunch.

    Thanks to the setter and Kath.

  19. Thank you setter, thank you Kath, just my level.Like MalcolmR I fell for concerto. Fav was 9a, love those cols and Ian’s. They are comfortable and consistent in a fast moving world.

  20. A pleasant solve this morning watching the snow. 4×4’s now cannot get out of our village in Cumbria because of deep drifting. Found this the easiest so far this week, Tuesday’s was the hardest. Thank you to Kath and the setter.

  21. Something of a curate’s egg today, a few of the surfaces had me raising my eyebrows I must admit, it will be interesting to hear Jane’s thoughts on those. It’s often extremely hard to avoid resorting to anagrams when including fifteen-letter solutions in a grid, so the setter has my sympathies there.

    My two ticks went to 26a and 8d.

    Many thanks to today’s compiler and to Kath. Quite apart from the snow, I can’t recall a colder start to the meteorological Spring than today.

  22. This felt difficult when solving, and any second I thought I might get stuck, but at the close finished in */** time, so who can tell. I blame the arctic conditions. Top marks for entertainment.

  23. The 15-letter answers opened up this grid nicely. I hadn’t associated 6d with emergencies so I learned something today, which is always good. No standout favourite, although 22a made me smile. Thanks to the setter and to Kath. Time to resume battle with the Beam over on the other side.

  24. As Silvanus expected, I did tut a little over some of the surfaces – makes or mars a puzzle for me.
    Thought this was a rather unfamiliar style, wouldn’t like to hazard a guess as to the setter.

    20d probably gets my vote (decent surface read!) and I rather liked our feathered friend at 13a.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Kath for another excellent blog. Snow flurries here but none of it sticking for the moment thank goodness – will be somewhat marooned up here if it decides to settle. Arctic winds however – it’s soooo cold!

  25. Average all round for me. That’s not to say it was an easy solve (far from it) but just didn’t seem to have the “fun factor”. Maybe its the weather

  26. **/****. Despite all the discussion above 23a would work without “in military unit”. Nevertheless an enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to Kath and the setter.

  27. A very enjoyable Thursday puzzle that started well with a couple of big anagrams. Then came to a halt about halfway through. Eventually got SE corner sorted and all fell together. Lots of good clues and lots to like about the puzzle. Last in 7d couldn’t see that at all until the end, how stupid of me.

    Clues of the day: 7d / 23a / 21d.

    Rating *** / ****

    Thanks Kath and the setter.

  28. Now I know what it’s like to live in Irkutsk! Agree with most of the comments and did not have a favourite until I read Gazza’s (25a) and now I have.
    **/***. In a whiteout one can see neither sun nor yardarm yet can still visualise both with no problem. Wine does not seem apt today… perhaps neat vodka.
    Thanks Setter and Poorly Kath.

  29. A rather gentle puzzle for a Thursday, but once again some lovely clues. Initially I couldn’t decide whether I thought 25a was a poor clue or a clever one. After thinking about it I reckoned it quite brilliant and made it my clue of the day. Going off piste for a moment, I found the word ‘matoke’ as an answer in a crossword puzzle I solved recently. Being unfamiliar with the word I Googled it and found a few recipes for it. So matoke it is for tonight’s evening meal. Should be a nice warmer for a freezing March evening. Thanks to both setter and Kath – for the puzzle and hints, that is.

  30. Best one of the week so far. The bottom half took me twice as long as the top.

    Favourites were 15d & 25a.

    Thanks to Kath and the setter.

  31. Not bad, but it lacked the ‘fun’ element for me. 14a was probably my top clue, and 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Kath for her review, Get well soon Kath…

  32. It all went together smoothly, probably because the long anagrams fell easily and gave lots of checking letters. A pleasant solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Kath.
    If anyone feels deprived of lawn mowing duties because of the weather they could always visit NZ. Our summer, which started off very dry, has now become warm and wet. The grass just loves it.

  33. Nice crossword pretty straightforward but quirky in places **/*** 😏 Favourites 22a & 15d 😃 Thanks to Kath and to the Setter. Enjoyed the discourse on the Nuthatch. It probably is our American cousin the White-breasted Nuthatch but in a crossword does it matter 🤔 David Crystal tells us there are so many variations of the Queen’s English as there are different types of Nuthatch Q.E.D. I do enjoy this blog for discussions such as this!

  34. I found this more difficult than yesterday, and spent far too long trying to make Air field marshal fit 1a, even though it didn’t work as an anagram. Thanks for the hints and pictures Kath. When I am stuck I always look at the picture hints first and mostly that will get me back on track. This was one of those days when if my life depended on me solving 100% I would be a goner. The little birdie was very pretty and his homeland matters not one wit.

    Disappointingly, we have not been getting our usual balmy winter weather here in SF (we only had a handful of days without the AC on so far) but I for one would so love to be sitting by a log fire, looking out over a pretty English winterscape. .

  35. It looks as if the Toughie hints have been nobbled again. Or at least I’m unable to access them. :-(

  36. A rare day when:=
    a) Completed without hints
    b) Parsed everything

    Thanks for the hints and the blog, Kath. I get a Nuthatch regularly on my bird feeders.
    Thanks all.

    1. I’ve got Gazza on the case as something similar happened before and he fixed it then

  37. Thanks to today’s setter for the crossword and thanks to all for their comments.
    Apologies for the couple of mess-ups (that is, of course, the polite version) with the pics – please blame Mr Google Images.
    I know it’s quite early but, at the risk of sounding like a ‘feeble weeble’, I’m off to bed with my book and my hot water bottle.
    Night night and sleep well,
    Still snowing . . .

  38. I forgot to say thank you setter for the puzzle and thank you Kath for the review. Night night all.

  39. I’m another who forgot to say something – many thanks for the St David’s Day daffodil, BD – much appreciated.

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