DT 28708 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28708

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28708

Hints and tips by a heuristic Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Today’s puzzle is by Toughie setter Dada who becomes a DT Monday floughie setter on alternating Mondays. He also sets clever puzzles as Paul in The Grauniad. The Grauniad’s puzzles can be accessed daily without cost or payment. Gratis, Free, Complimentary. Not a sausage needs to change hands. So it should be because the page is impossible to keep still on an iPad and the clues obscure the grid. The DT subscriptions site suits me better. I have no idea what the DT puzzles site looks like.

I liked today’s puzzle but it did seem to take longer to write the blog than normal. We have six anagrams today, all of which can be solved mentally.

The man who invented the anagram is buried in our local churchyard. Go through the gate and his plot is five down and two across. His headstone reads ERECT A PENIS. 4,2,5

Hints and tips

As usual here are some hints and tips to help you to solve the clues you might be struggling with or to help you understand answers you have but cannot see why. There will also be some random ramblings that may amuse or not. Illustrations may be tenuously linked to clues but are unlikely to lead to solutions. Pencils and pens are a no-no in Miffyland but if you do solve on paper the writing in of your last answer is a complete waste of time and a waste of the world’s resources. Think on.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Look to the orchestra to accept the consequences? (4,3,5)
FACE THE MUSIC: A double definition. The first meaning to be opposite the sound made by an orchestra and the second being exactly as stated.

9a    Listen in, as dope very briefly translated (9)
EAVESDROP: Anagram (translated) of AS DOPE VER(y). The word briefly tells us to cut short the word very

10a    Clever sting (5)
SMART: Also a double definition.

11a    Seen from behind, a chap with a soft hat (6)
PANAMA: A four-part charade with a reversal indicator. 1. A from the clue. 2. A three-lettered chap. 3. A. From the clue. 4. The musical instruction for soft. Reverse what you have (seen from behind) to find a hat controversially clued as a cap in a recent puzzle

12a    Keep mum in school, right away (8)
MAINTAIN: Begin with an endearing term for your Mum. Use the word IN from the clue. Find a verb meaning to school or teach and remove the letter R (right away)

13a    Warm to a dirty home (6)
TOASTY: The first three letters of the answer can be lifted straight from the second and third words of the clue. The dirty home may be lived in by a pig

15a    Dear me, article penned by communist is erudite (4-4)
WELL-READ: Begin with an exclamation meaning dear me, used to express a range of emotions including surprise, anger, resignation, or relief. Add the colourful crosswordland communist which contains the letter A. I don’t need of a nudge much to include the exquisite music of Bob Dylan. Here he is from 1966.

18a    Calorific food party lover eats that’s disgusting! (8)
DOUGHNUT: Use our regular word for a party and find a word meaning an enthusiastic aficionado of something. Insert between these (eating) a term of disgust or disapproval

19a    Drawing done, else half finished (6)
PASTEL: Begin with a word meaning done, gone by or beyond. Add half of the word else.

21a    Broken trust in a person exposed (8)
NATURIST: Anagram (broken) of TRUST IN A.

A man was sunbathing in the buff at the beach. For the sake of civility, and to keep it from getting sunburned, he had a hat over his private parts.
A woman walks past and says, snickering, “If you were a gentleman you’d lift your hat.”
He raised an eyebrow and replied, “If you weren’t so ugly it would lift itself”.

23a    Sexy man I love gets workshop (6)
STUDIO: Begin with an informal noun describing a young man thought to be very active sexually or regarded as a good sexual partner. Add the letter I from the clue and the letter than looks like the love score in tennis.

26a    Extra large mushroom (5)
MOREL: Begin with a word meaning extra or a greater amount and add the abbreviation for large

27a    One granny and one friend, lifeless (9)
INANIMATE: The two number 1s in this clue both refer to the letter that looks like the number one. They are split by an informal name for your granny and followed by your friend chum or mucker.

28a    Happy then, or poorly, youth’s beginning course of treatment (12)
HYPNOTHERAPY: Anagram (poorly) of HAPPY THEN OR followed by the initial (beginning) letter of Youth


1d    Spring in well, filthy place (7)
FLEAPIT: Place a verb meaning to spring or jump into a word meaning well or healthy

2d    Cauldron primarily, cooker for witches (5)
COVEN: Use the first letter (primarily)of the word cauldron and add a cooker

3d    Check light for Ashes encounter, perhaps? (4,5)
TEST MATCH: find synonyms for the first two words of the clue to find a description of a cricket contest between two nations. The ashes are a series of such games played between England and Australia

4d    Make listener listen, finally (4)
EARN: Begin with your organ with which you listen and add the final letter of the word listen.

5d    Leader of competition in plan due to fail, fourth or worse? (8)
UNPLACED: Put The initial (leader of) letter of the word Competition inside (in) an anagram (to fail) of PLAN DUE. In horse racing normally those outside the first three are said to be this. I was given Landfill on Saturday it came last by a mile. It was a rubbish tip.

6d    Playwright is barely surviving, eating nothing initially (5)
IBSEN: The initial letters of some of the words in the clue spell out the name of this playwright whose father’s name was Knud. With a name like Knud he surely deserved a part in Noggin the Nog

7d    Bird — canary perhaps captivating a collector in the garden (8)
PARAKEET: An example of what a Canary might be to some people (as a dog or cat is to others) has an implement used in the garden for collecting leaves inside it.


8d    In protest, one ducks out of it (6)
STONED: The answer is hidden amongst the words of the clue as indicated by the word in.

14d    Real duty abandoned, cheating (8)
ADULTERY: Anagram (abandoned) of REAL DUTY.

16d    If nothing else, most foolish? (9)
LEASTWISE: Split 5,4 this word means most foolish.

17d    Problem rewritten in quotes (8)
QUESTION: Anagram (rewritten) of IN QUOTES

18d    Generator country set up after disheartening day (6)
DYNAMO: Remove the central letter of the word day. Add a reversed (set up) middle eastern country

20d    Private rooms overlooking cathedral city, approximately (7)
LOOSELY: Start with the smallest rooms in your house. Add Crosswordland’s favourite cathedral city. Not the awful cheese the beautiful cathedral with the lantern.

22d    Romeo and friend get better (5)
RALLY: Use the letter represented by Romeo phonetic alphabet. Add a friend who sides with or supports you.

24d    Short, a theatrical production (5)
DRAMA: This short is a shot of whisky. It is followed by the letter A from the clue.

25d    Don’t eat quickly (4)
FAST: A double definition.

Many thanks to John Halpern for the illustrative opportunities.

Quickie Pun. Aver+Card+Owe=Avocado

45 comments on “DT 28708

  1. I can’t believe I’m first today. Well, I found this puzzle not too tricky and very enjoyable. Thanks to Dada for the puzzle fun and thanks to MP for the blogging fun.

  2. 1* / 4*. Not at all difficult but great fun on a miserable Monday morning. The only clue which held me up was 8d which, for some unknown reason, took me ages to realise it was a lurker.

    16d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and to MP.

  3. Well, this took me a full *** time, unusual for a Monday. Last one in, and therefore COTD was 7d.

    I didn’t like that use of the word “briefly” in 9a, I assumed that meant only one of the four letters, not three of them. I liked the surface in 28a.

    Many thanks to Dada and MP.

  4. Good fun while it lasted. Rather too easy even for a Monday. No particular favourites. */***.

  5. Either I’m getting better or this was on the gentler side. I suspect more (but not all) of the latter than the former. Very enjoyable start to the week, I suspect it won’t continue!
    Thanks to the setter and the contributers to the blog.

  6. Very straightforward, very enjoyable, and, probably assisted by some oldies but goodies, completed at a fast gallop – */****.

    I even managed to follow MP’s ‘no-rules rule’ of not circularly writing out the anagram material!

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 27a, and 3d – and the winner is 27a.

    Thanks to Dada and GMoLI.

  7. Judging by the headstone anagram and the joke attached to 21a, I think spring must be well and truly here – when a young (or getting on a bit) man’s fancy tuns to…

  8. Very enjoyable start to the week which flowed well for me and the grid filled quite quickly. Particulary liked 18a and 20d as they made me laugh, but 1a was favourite.
    Thanks to Dada and MP

  9. 1.5* /4* for this hugely enjoyable Dada offering. 8d was my last one in, a terrific lurker, and my favourite was MP’s gravestone anagram, closely followed by 16d.

    Thanks Dada and MP.

  10. Floughie it may have been but enjoyable it certainly was!

    Podium places awarded to 1&13a along with 16&25d.

    Thanks to Dada for enlivening a Monday morning and to MP for the blog – two out of four clips very acceptable here, not bad going for you!

    PS Today’s Rookie debut could well be from someone we know.

  11. Short sharp fun today. 8d last for me too. Favs for surfaces 26a, 20d and 25d. Thank you Dada and MP.

  12. I fairly rattled through the top half, then came to a sudden halt. Struggled with the bottom half for some reason. Eventually it gave in, atoughie but a goodie.
    Thanks to Dada and Miffypops

  13. Loved it */*** brightened up yet another rainy Monday 😰 Favourites 7d & 27a 😃 Thanks to Dada and to MP really enjoyed the clip accompanying 7d 👍

  14. Fun, and very doable but not a walkover. Favorites are 7D and 16D Thanks Dada and Miffypops.

  15. Like spook the top half was finished off quickly, whilst the bottom took longer. Great fun. I really enjoy dadas Monday puzzles. Thanks mp for the blog.

  16. This was probably the most Rufus-like puzzle we’ve had on a Monday since the great man’s retirement, so I hope that those who have found more recent offerings to be a sterner challenge will find this one more up their street. Extremely enjoyable, my joint-favourites were 21a and 3d. I seem to be in a minority of one so far in not knowing the 26a mushroom.

    1a evoked distant but fond memories of Joseph Cooper at the dummy keyboard, gently quizzing the classic line up of Robin Ray, Joyce Grenfell and, either Richard Baker or David Attenborough.

    Many thanks to Mr Halpern and the heuristic one, I loved the churchyard anecdote and anagram

    1. Goodness, I’d forgotten all about Joseph Cooper – I used to rather enjoy watching that programme although I rarely picked out the required answers.

  17. Another very easy but very entertaining Monday cryptic.

    I did it heuristically … is there any other way?

  18. that must be the ‘Wyrd Sisters’ at 2d. Time to re-read the works of Sir Pterry methinks. thanks to the setter for the floughie (new word of the day) & to MP for the amusing preamble which is always welcome on a driech Monday morning

  19. Nice way to start the week. The horses weren’t disturbed.
    8d was fave and 1.5/3* overall.
    Thanks to Dada and to MP for the review and music and poetry.

  20. A bit easier than some recent Mondays but v pleasant nonetheless. 21a gets my COTD by a nose from 7d.
    20d LOI and caused some headscratching for some reason best known to itself, as it was pretty obvious.
    Thanks to Miffypops and the benevolent Dada.
    I used heuristics to solve the anagram in the intro but don’t really understand why anyone would have PEES IN CRATE on their headstone! 😉

    1. Trying to determine whether you decided not to go back to work or have become so adept through the 10 day intensive training course that you managed to slot this one in during break times!

      1. Work from 06:00 14:30
        Two fifteen min coffee breaks left me with a few in the north east to do. Home by 15:00 and knocked the rest off with a cup of tea.
        I do think the 10 day intensive course has speeded (is speeded a word?)me up a bit.

  21. Agree with Silvanus a very Rufus like puzzle. A great puzzle full of smiles and clever clues totally entertaining and beats all the recent Monday puzzles for me. On the radar from the off and enjoyed all the anagrams, not seriously difficult but just the right level for a Monday. Last in 16d for no real reason other than the SE corner was the last to drop.

    Clues of the day: Not easy from so many top clues but 27a / 28a / 6d were ace.

    Rating: 2.5* / 4.5*

    Thanks to MP and Dada

  22. Fairly benign but enjoyable. 21a my favourite but not the clue but the hint. Thanks to the setter and MP for the review.

  23. Was a very quick solve. Only held up slightly with 12a and 7d the last one in. Made a mistake with 10 which was quickly corrected when I found the 8 lurker. Some I think were old chestnuts and some were easy to get as a synonym before checking it out to see how the clue worked. Favourites 1, 12 ac and 3, 16 and 18d. Looking at the other bloggers there seem to be a variety of favourites. Thanks setter and MP although amusing as they were hints not needed.

  24. Well, that was a little treasure. I loved it all, easy can still be loads of fun.
    Fave was 16d but it could have been any of them.
    Thanks to Dada and to M’pops.

  25. Very enoyable on a sad day when our Westie had to make the trip to that great dog-kennel in the sky. Still, he was 15, but a sad day.
    Thanks MP and Dada

    1. It’s never easy to say goodbye no matter how old they may be, Hoofit, but I’m sure you have plenty of fond memories to get you through the worst of the pain of parting. You obviously gave him a good life.

        1. Oh, Hoofit, I am so very, very sorry. Maybe not right away, but please consider adopting another friend. I’ve said goodbye to so many and I’ve always found that getting another lessens the pain, and there are so many who need good homes..

    2. Small though they are Hoofit, a Westie will always fill the whole house. Ours will be 12 in a couple of weeks and I can’t begin to imagine how my husband’s going to cope when it comes to it. Condolences

  26. I too usually spend more time on a Dada.
    But enjoyed the gallop.
    Had to rush to print the Guardian Arachne to keep me busy.
    Loved how the hat in 11a was.clued.
    Thanks to Dada and to MP for the most excellent review.

  27. Thanks to Dada for a very enjoyable puzzle, getting me off to a great start this week. SE corner was last to fill, but despite that 20d gets my vote for COTD, funny 😊 Thanks also to Miffypops.

  28. Had an almost puzzle free week on holiday but hopefully back to steady solving again now. This was a nice gentle start to the week. [**/***]
    No particular favourites today though.
    Thanks to Dada and MP!

  29. I did this one yesterday teatime. Very mild with just a few clues needing some cogitation, but still enjoyable. 7d was my favourite. 1.5* / 2.5*

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