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DT 28699

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28699

Hints and tips by Falcon

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa, where warm spring temperatures combined with a few days of light rain are rapidly depleting the snow cover.

About all I will venture to say about today’s puzzle is that it is definitely not a RayT creation. I seemed to be on the setter’s wavelength as I was able to solve the puzzle more quickly than I am accustomed to doing. Only the last two or three clues produced any serious head scratching.

In the hints below, underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions, and indicators are italicized. The answers will be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of the puzzle.


1a   Tramp reeking terribly — one that takes cash on the street? (7,5)
PARKING METER — an anagram (terribly) of the first two words of the clue

Parking Meter Tombstone

9a   Children having a holiday period before summer (9)
OFFSPRING — a charade of a word signifying away (from work) or ‘having a holiday’ and the period before summer

10a   Ointment — litres in reserve (5)
SALVE — L(itres) in a word meaning reserve or keep for future use

11a   All one’s possessions in extensive car (6)
ESTATE — double definition; one’s worldly goods as might be documented in a will and a large automobile

Estate Car

12a   Selfish outlook, say, from Gulf state area (8)
EGOMANIA — string together a brief way of stating say or for instance, an adjective denoting ‘from one of the Gulf states’, and A(rea)

13a   Discordant note about fine liberal that’s untouchable (6)
TEFLON — an anagram (discordant) of NOTE about the pencil indicia for fine and L(iberal)

President Ronald Reagan

15a   Attempt after cold spell to get record of event? (8)
SNAPSHOT — a colloquial term for an attempt following a brief period of cold weather

18a   Part of book fool’s written backwards, puncturing triumph (8)
GLOSSARY — reverse (‘s written backwards) another name for a fool and place it in (puncturing) a word denoting great honour and prestige

19a   Minister‘s circle reshuffled (6)
CLERIC — an anagram (reshuffled) of CIRCLE

21a   Material that’s shed source of light with time (8)
SPILLAGE — something one might use to light a pipe and a historical interval of time

23a   Bachelor working around park in Welsh town (6)
BRECON — B(achelor) and a word denoting working or functioning around a short area of land on which sports may be played

26a   Expression of pain allowed in big-eyed youngster (5)
OWLET — an expression of pain (shorter than OUCH) and a synonym for allowed


27a   Company time during course gets cut (9)
ENTRECOTE — CO(mpany) and T(ime) inserted into (during) the dish served before the main course produces a cut of meat

28a   Abrupt encore that’s broken out and swelling (12)
PROTUBERANCE — an anagram (that’s broken out) of the first two words of the clue


1d   Demolition of store in part brings expression of dissent (7)
PROTEST — an anagram of (demolition of) STORE in an abbreviation for part

2d   Official — that thing must get overhaul (5)
REFIT — an on-field sports official and a pronoun denoting that thing

3d   Rash troublemaker on film, posh old American (9)
IMPETUOUS — link together a mischievous child, Spielberg’s alien film, the usual letter symbolizing posh, and an abbreviation denoting American

4d   Profit made from a welcoming spirit? On the contrary (4)
GAINOn the contrary indicates that this (alcoholic) spirit welcomes the A from the clue rather than the other way round

5d   Attractive  employer’s activity? (8)
ENGAGING — double definition; an adjective and a noun (or, more precisely, a gerund serving as a noun)

6d   Look sullen on reflection bagging second in racing venue (5)
EPSOM — a reversal (on reflection) of a word meaning to look sullen containing (bagging) S(econd)

Epsom grandstand

7d   One that embraces  decisive argument (8)
CLINCHER — double definition; both nouns

8d   Quiet worker detaining journalist is fussy sort (6)
PEDANT — the musical notation for quiet and a six-legged worker containing (detaining) the usual abbreviated journalist

14d   Squadron of sports bosses stifling group with a complaint (8)
FLOTILLA — the governing body of English football containing (stifling) a term for a group (especially at an auction) and an adjective denoting ‘with a (medical) complaint’

16d   Dangerous creature moved a barrel below river (5,4)
POLAR BEAR — an anagram (moved) of A BARREL below a very short Italian river

Polar Bear Mother and Cubs

17d   Bit from newspaper chaps inserted in another (8)
FRAGMENT — a derogatory term for a newspaper and some chaps are inserted in another (more prestigious pink-hued) newspaper

18d   Workers’ ploy to be good with bridging capital (2-4)
GO-SLOW — the abbreviations for good and with around (bridging) a Scandinavian capital city

20d   Bring together enchanting women’s group around North and East (7)
CONVENE — place a group of women who cast spells around N(orth), then follow this with E(ast)

22d   Some recall a term or expression when parting (5)
LATER — lurking in the clue is a word of parting to an alligator

24d   Circus performer shows both sides of coin, depressed inside (5)
CLOWN — The first and last letters (both sides) of C(oi)N with a word meaning depressed or sad between them (inside)

25d   Objections raised, finding evidence of smoking (4)
STUB — another word for objections (often found in the company of ‘ifs’ & ‘ands’) is reversed (raised in a down clue) to give the telltale sign of one who lives by the dictum “the world is my ashtray”.

Giant Cigarette Butt in Trafalgar Square

The laurels today go to 27a, the clue that held out to the end and made me exercise the grey matter the most.

Quickie Pun:  DEIGN  +  TEASE   =   DAINTIES

52 comments on “DT 28699

  1. 1* / 2.5*. I can do no better than to steal Falcon’s words: “I was able to solve the puzzle more quickly than I am accustomed to doing. Only the last two or three clues produced any serious head scratching”. In my case the clues which held out the longest were 21a & 14d.

    I’ll also go along with Falcon’s choice of 27a as favourite.

    I was pleased to see me putting in a personal appearance in 8d, but oh how I hate it when someone uses 22d as a single word of goodbye(especially without pronouncing the middle letter, and even more especially in plural form) .

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Falcon.

    1. Many years ago on a bus in Saaf London, I saw a youth get up to leave, and then turn round to say goodbye to a few friends with the words ‘la-ers all round’ !

    2. I would go along with RD’s comments and particularly his feelings about the use of 22d, although I have to say that I’ve never heard it used as a single word on parting. The 8d in me, however, also has to point out that 13a is not untouchable, but just a bit slippery.

      Thanks setter and Falcon.

      1. 22d brings to mind Spanish “hasta luego” which is often abbreviated to “luego” or even “uego” in Pommersland.

        1. In the village where I live it’s pronounced “lugo”. :unsure:
          There again, good day isn’t buenos dias but “bwen”.

    3. ‘You Guys’ is my most disliked. ‘Bro’ is second and only then ‘La ers’ appears on an admittedly long list. ‘So-called’ is also on that list somewhere.

  2. I pretty much echo RD’s thoughts at #1 this morning. A very straightforward solve with no real hold-ups and the excellent 27a as a clear favourite and overall 1* /2.5* .

    Thanks to Mr Ron and Falcon.

  3. Our esteemed commenters above must be ablaze today. I found this harder than they did and a real joy. Ticked 20a and 18d and double-ticked 17d and 27a. I am going to go for **/****
    Thank you setter and to Falcon for the pictures. Someone will face a stiff fine for that grave offence!

    1. Apparently Barbara had a great sense of humour and always used to say that when she died she wanted a parking meter on her grave that says ‘Expired’.. So her nephew got her one on eBay!

      The epitaph reads “Her Humor Lives On”.

  4. No problems here beyond my usual dilemma over the spelling of 28a and a lull whilst I tried to make a single ‘L’ the source of light!

    Enjoyed this one and awarded podium spots to 1,9&27a.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Falcon – especially for the 1a pic!

    PS A new setter in today’s Toughie slot – see what you make of him.

        1. Bufo doesn’t illustrate so maybe not. I love unusual double letters in an answer. They look so wrong

    1. because I know without doubt that I can’t spell 28a, i don’t bother try and look it up first.

  5. I thought this was a rip snorter of a puzzle. It floated my boat. Thanks to the setter and thanks to Falcon especially for “the world being the smokers ashtray”

  6. Enjoyable, but over too quickly with no real hold-ups. Monday’s has been the trickiest of the week. Tuesday, Wednesday and today not much of a challenge. Probably going to get a stinker tomorrow now!! 21a my pick of the day with 13a, 18a 26a, 14d and 17d all worth a mention.

  7. I think this puzzle completes a week of */ ** difficulty ratings and ***/**** enjoyment, which illustrates that straight forward solves can be very enjoyable . Certainly a high standard of cluing today-thanks setter and Falcons for the pics-is 26a a little little owl or just a little owl ?
    I vaguely Remembered that 13a had a more general meaning.
    Hard to pick a favourite, going for 14d and/or 27a.

    1. Reagan earned the nickname “the Teflon President,” in that public perceptions of him were not tarnished by the controversies that arose during his administration. Like a Teflon skillet, nothing negative “stuck to” him. According to Colorado congresswoman Patricia Schroeder, who coined the phrase, and reporter Howard Kurtz, the epithet referred to Reagan’s ability to “do almost anything wrong and not get blamed for it.”

        1. In his case, I think it is the ability “do almost anything wrong” and not care what people think.

          1. I think that another one qualifies for Teflon President, no matter what he does, his base only loves him more.

  8. All over and done with in **/*** time for me today. 21a was last in, and for some reason I always want to add an extra R in 28a.

    Many thanks to the setter and Falcon.

  9. Was hoping to see the Quickie Pun, as I have a word I’m not 100% confident with. (I’ve had a good look, can’t see it).

    1. If I am correct, the answer to the Quickie pun is the plural of “small, delicate, and pretty.” often applied to iced cakes.

      1. Thanks to all those who offered this word. Twas indeed as I had it, just wasn’t 100%. Ta again all.

  10. Yes, all good stuff and in complete agreement that this week has been gentler (certainly than the previous week).
    Much to enjoy in today’s offering. 27a was the pick, but additionally mentioned in dispatches are 12a, 14d and 17d.
    I see that Mr. Lehman has resigned. As a lover of the game, I very much hope that Australian cricket will now embrace the spirit of the game. It has been interesting to hear the comments of Michael Clarke among others speaking in this vein. He seem to forget that it was he who said that he hoped Jimmy Anderson had ‘broken his f*****g arm’ after being hit.
    Rant over.
    Thanks all.

  11. A pleasant week at the Telegraph – so far!

    The dominoes are toppling in Australia!

  12. A ** for difficulty, with a little struggle at the close on 21ac and 27ac. The former was a bit of a guess – the time bit of the cryptic was clear enough, but that definition of spill was pretty obscure to say the least. Thankfully there weren’t too many letters that could sensibly fill the remaining spaces. Enjoyable throughout.

  13. **/****. Liked this puzzle once I got a toe hold. Liked 18a&3,14&17d. As to 22d my young grandson loves it when I say to him “see you later alligator, in a while crocodile”, not least because he starts creating new random versions of this with “elephant”, “gorilla” etc etc. Thanks to all.

  14. Well I found this tougher than all the other bloggers so far. Really got stuck in SW corner and the puzzle never really flowed for me, and not really on the wavelength. Fair dues to those that sailed through it as i thought some of the clues were very challenging. Amazing how we find the same puzzles so different at times. Overall the puzzle lacked a wee bit of sparkle for me.

    Clues of the day: 12a / 26a

    Rating 3.5* / 3*

    Thanks to Falcon and the setter.

  15. Like Howitzerx3, I found the SW corner quite tricky too, it clearly has to be a wavelength issue as he says. Following on from yesterday’s preponderance of single letter abbreviations, today there seemed to be a large number of containment or insertion constructions, particularly in the Down clues, but I thought the setter’s varied choice of indicators was superb.

    My top clues were 1a, 27a and 18d.

    Many thanks to today’s compiler and to Falcon.

  16. Enjoyable , but a few head scratchers which held me up for quite some time. However, putting it down and looking at it later proved to be productive – I always wonder why this works?
    Thanks to the Setter and Falcon

  17. I suppose in general the later bloggers find the puzzle more difficult than the earlier ones (as they don’t comment until they have finished or exhausted their creative juices) and I’m certainly in that category. It came in fits and starts after quite a bit of thinking and never really flowed for me

  18. I, too, found the SW corner a bit tricky, but the puzzle was wholly enjoyable for me.
    There was too much choice to be able to choose a fave.
    It seems that our favourite river is back in vogue.
    Looking at the clip at 22d, did we really, truly dance like that in our youth?
    Thanks to setter and to Falcon, wonder what tomorrow will bring.

  19. Glad to hear that I wasn’t the only one to struggle with the SW corner! An enjoyable test and completed without using the clues but certainly not completed at a gallop 😉 One man’s meat ……etc.

  20. Foxed by 21a, 27a and 17d so needed Falcon’s excellent hints.

    Thanks to Falcon and the setter.

  21. The top half went in pretty swiftly, and then some pondering was needed for the bottom half. Thanks to Falcon for the hints. I might have finished faster had I solved the 28a anagram a bit earlier. It was a while before the penny dropped on that one, but all very enjoyable.

  22. Well I was one of the strugglers and even browsed a hint or two to get me going again. (9a and 11a) but after that things flowed pretty well til I finished on the same 2 as RD with a vexing bit of head scratching.
    Thanks to Falcon for the hints and setter for the stretching.
    Agreed 27a was worthy of the title but 7d was good too and came to mind as I changed my bike tyres to a new set of 7d’s 🚲🚴

  23. Got there in the end but it’s been a very interrupted day. This combined with finding a few clues which transforme dame into plod Mose meant that I’ve only just finished.

    27a waslast to go in . Lots of great clues so difficult to identify a favourite

      1. Transformed dame into plod? Brought to mind Berwick Kaler who plays the dame in Yorks panto every year. I can still recall a fast change scene from PC to Dame while ducking as the wagon wheels flew into the audience.

  24. I enjoyed this one while it lasted. Either 27 or 28a could be favourite for me. 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Falcon for the review which I will now read.

  25. Liked the smelly tramp in 1A, and the hint thereto.
    Clever puzzle I thought.

  26. “spill” is something you like a pipe with???? 28,699, 21a. Never heard of that.

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