DT 28720 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28720

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28720

Hints and tips by a messy Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Today we have a cracking puzzle from Chris Lancaster. Not as stinky as last week. The user friendly grid led to some answers (9d for example) becoming obvious from the checkers. I don’t think we have any Americanisms but I did like Deep Threats comment at the beginning his blog on Friday. I have had no success posting pictures today so those wanting cute pictures of birds and marsupials will have to wait and see what is in the pet shop tomorrow.

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.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Start to understand wizard (3,8)
GET CRACKING: We need two synonyms here. One meaning to understand, perceive or discern and another meaning wonderful or excellent

7a    Fight and shout about ending in uproar (5)
BRAWL: A word meaning to shout is wrapped around the final letter (ending in) of the word uproar

8a    Brief article is thrown back into river (9)
TRANSIENT: Begin with the river that rises on the southern edge of Biddulph Moor. Place inside a two-lettered article and the reverse of the word IS from the clue

10a    General change brought about that flows with the wind (3,4)
LEE TIDE: The first word of the answer is a general who was buried without his shoes and who is now best known for his numerous appearances in cryptic crossword puzzles. The second word means to change as the head of a newspaper might. This word is reversed as indicated by the words brought about

11a    Saying first of prayers, itinerant heading for basilica (7)
PROVERB: Start with the initial letter (first of) of prayers. Add an itinerant, wanderer or nomad. Finish off with the first letter (heading of) Basilica

12a    Reportedly use woodland (5)
WEALD: A word meaning to hold or use as a weapon or tool sounds like (reportedly) a word meaning woodland (My online dictionary suggests this word means formerly woodland).

13a    Dame lacking guts, though bet she’s introduced to society (9)
DEBUTANTE: Remove the internal letters of the word dame (lacking) guts. Add a word meaning though. Finish off with a word meaning a bet placed before receiving cards or before a race.

16a    Business people need smart manoeuvres (9)
TRADESMEN: Anagram (manoeuvres) of NEED SMART

18a    Picture instant struggle (5)
MOVIE: Begin with a two-lettered instant and add a verb meaning to struggle or contend with.

19a    The setter’s weight is appropriate! (7)
IMPOUND: How the setter of this puzzle might refer to himself followed by a weight equalling sixteen ounces. The word appropriate here is a verb.

22a    Hormone is in lung, endlessly circulating (7)
INSULIN: Anagram (circulating) of IS IN LUN[G] minus the last letter (endlessly)

23a    Iran’s man trembling with love for republic (3,6)
SAN MARINO: Anagram (trembling) of IRAN’S MAN with the letter denoted by the word love in tennis

24a    Drunkard reversing after gold cars (5)
AUTOS: Take a three-lettered term for a drunkard. Reverse it and place it after the symbol for the element gold. Can you buy an Audi in Aldi? No. Not even a Lidl one.

25a    Agree it’s CI2I on the telephone? (3,3,2,3)
SEE EYE TO EYE: Read aloud “C. I. 2. I.” sounds like a term meaning to agree. The term ‘on the telephone’ is used as a homophone indicator. My telephone is as clear as a bell. As is my radio. Telecommunications technology has moved so much that this device is not as good as it once was.


1d    Country fair gatecrashed by United team after training (9)
GUATEMALA: Take a word meaning a fair or fete. Insert (gatecrashed by) the single letter abbreviation for United and an anagram (after training) of TEAM

2d    Bound to net everything, scored! (7)
TALLIED: insert a word meaning everything into a word meaning bound

3d    European city, where blackguard joins female (9)
ROTTERDAM: Begin with a blackguard bounder or cad and add a word for a female. Last week we had her mate, the sire

4d    Winner hard to be found in group (5)
CHAMP: Insert the abbreviation for the word hard into a group. Supporters of a political party or religious doctrine perhaps

5d    Briefly exposing knees? Not quite (2,5)
IN SHORT: A description of how one would be attired if showing one’s knees minus its last letter.

6d    Caged by ogre, beautiful bird (5)
GREBE: This diving water bird has dived in amongst the words in the clue.

7d    We Brits also worked in domestic service (5,6)
BELOW STAIRS: Anagram (worked) of WE BRITS ALSO

9d    Roughly nine accessing computers to see game (5,6)
TABLE TENNIS: An anagram (roughly) of NINE is inserted into the plural of a popular type of hand held computer such as the iPad used to write these hints

14d    Marsupial in company with one bird (9)
BANDICOOT: A three-part charade. 1 A group or company. Maybe of musicians. 2. The letter that resembles the number one. 3. An aquatic bird of the rail family.

15d    English character cut after month in story (9)
NOVELETTE: Begin with the common abbreviation for the eleventh month. Add the abbreviation for the word English. Finish off with a character of the alphabet minus its last character.

17d    School fees unlimited, old money invested (7)
EDUCATE: Invest or insert an old gold coin once common to most European countries inside the word fees unlimited by its first and last letters

18d    I’m up pole in error (7)
MISTAKE: Reverse the phrase I’m and add a strong pointed length of wood driven into the ground as a support.

20d    Criticise author Eliot, rubbish! (5)
PANTS: Begin with a verb meaning to criticise and add the initials of the author awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1948. He died of emphysema (smoking) in 1965 and was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium. I have no idea if he was wearing shoes or not. He does get a mention in Bob Dylan’s Desolation Row

21d    Last of spread, light as butter perhaps? (5)
DAIRY: Begin with the last letter of the word spread and add an adjective meaning well lit and well ventilated which appears in the first line of the poem The Fairies by William Allingham.

That’s all folks. Place nicely, eat well and stay warm

Quickie Pun. Coddle+Leaver+Royal=Cod-liver oil

64 comments on “DT 28720

  1. This took me far longer than a usual Monday, in ***/**** time according to my watch. Not quite sure why, spelling 1d wrong didn’t help, and 25a took longer than it should, until the inevitable Doh! moment.

    I couldn’t parse 14d, and on seeing MPs hints, that’s because I thought the answer was a bird. Whoops.

    An excellent start to the week, let’s now see if the weather is fine for a decent stride out.

    Many thanks to the setter and MP.

  2. A really enjoyable puzzle from our crossword editor this morning. 9d and 1d were both in my top three, with 25a taking the top podium position. Overall a satisfying and fun solve, so 2* /4* overall for me.

    Thanks to CL and a MMP.

  3. Tough, for me, but generally enjoyable – foxed by 10a, couldn’t get second word due to ignorance of the phenomenon!

  4. Thought this very good and lots of fun.
    But I couldn’t fathom the quickie pun.

    1a was a good start, and more smiles were had. I marked out 19a, 5d and 18d as highlights, but could have included more.

    Thanks to the setter and MP. And to BD for the pun and other extras.

        1. Big Dave does what I forget to do. He underlines on rare occasions. he adds the pun on rare occasions. He edits a little quite often. He sets it into wordpress and adds the spoilers.

            1. Usually when I am on holiday, If I have missed a clue at home the template acts as an alert.

  5. Mild, enjoyable start to the week. 1.5*/3.5*. I liked 1a 14d and 1d but gold medal to 20d because it made me laugh.

  6. I initially thought this was going to be a killer – perhaps as I’m still trying to get to grips with CL’s style – but in the end it turned out to be a barrow-load of fun which I thoroughly enjoyed. With 12a open Kent countryside comes to mind but, as per MP, presumably it is formerly woodland hence the German wald derivation. 14d new to me but banked for future reference. Podium places go to 13a, 5d and 18d but can’t pick a winner. Thank you CL and MP. Nice pun!

    1. The XXXXX is an area of South East England between the parallel chalk escarpments of the North and the South Downs. … The XXXXX once was covered with forest, and its name, Old English in origin, signifies “woodland”.

  7. 2* / 4*. Exactly as Kitty says, this was very good and lots of fun.

    As well as the clues mentioned by Kitty, I would add 20d.

    Many thanks to Mister Ron and MP.

  8. A very enjoyable start to the week **/**** 😃 especially welcome after last week’s struggles😳 Favourites the first and the last 1a and 25a 👍 Did not realise that 14d was one of “those” you live and learn. Thanks to Chris and to MP 😉

  9. A very enjoyable start to the work week completed at a fast gallop – */****.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 1a and 25a.

    Thanks to CL and GMoLI.

  10. Another fan here – easily solved but a great deal of fun to be had along the way.

    Plenty of podium contenders but 20d gets the nod for the gold medal.

    Many thanks to CL and to MP for the blog – thought it was shaping up to be a Dylan free day, should have known better!

  11. I really enjoyed this one, the crossword and the review. So many good clues to choose from for
    COTD but my favourites were 20d and 3d (if only for instigating the clip of the excellent Beautiful South). Thanks to setter and MP.

    1. Any reason however tenuous Toadson. Dylan doesn’t even sing the verse with TS ***** and Ezra Pound.

  12. Put down a rating**/**** on completion and this seems to be a majority verdict by the bloggers and Miffyipops.
    This was a little gem of a puzzle to start the week with lots of potential favourites-1a was such a good start and set the tone so going for this as favourite-25a also deserves a mention for originality and surface.
    Again thanks all.

  13. Very enjoyable puzzle

    Last to go in were 1a and 10a (initially used an S rather than a T)

    Lots of good clues – favourite was 8a

  14. Still not on cl wavelength but found this easier than usual. Unusually I filled most of the across clues to start with, although I needed check letters for 25a. Nice puzzle. Thanks to mp and setter.

  15. Maybe ** for difficulty, so not too tricky. The RHS fell before the LHS, mostly because it took me too long to spot 7d. An enjoyable start to the working week.

  16. I fully appreciate that language evolves but I am, to this day, amazed that 20d has taken off as an expression. It is truly a shocker.

    Anybody over-40 saying it sounds so wrong.

    Saying that, I recently heard it said by an octogenarian which made me titter.

      1. That really hurts.

        I can’t imagine all compilers have signed up to using it. There must be some stalwarts, like my good self, amongst them.

        1. I don’t like it either, in fact never heard it used as such, certainly not over here. Right up there with anorak, when it’s not used to mean a jacket.

    1. I find it refreshing that such expressions appear from time to time, it’s good to “get down with the kids” occasionally!

  17. A little more cogitation required than used to be the case on Mondays, but nothing really that should discourage those still coming to terms with the new regime.

    Like Sir Linkalot, I tend to cringe whenever I hear the 20d expression so it was never in the running for a tick, those went to 13a and 7d.

    Many thanks to Mr Ed and to the messy one.

  18. Sir linkalot you will never hear that word expressed by this octogenarian. Agree a surprise to find it here. I must get out more! I loved 25 across and a great start to a Monday. Many thanks to C L and M p.

  19. I was on the right wavelength for this one and they rattled off my keyboard before 2nd brew time. 9d my fave today.
    Thanks to Mr Ed and MP

  20. Great start to the working week felt almost Rufus like?
    Stupidly put the wrong city in for 3d by being lazy that delayed 1a for for a good period of time. The SE corner causing a delay but last in was 12a. Really enjoyed this puzzle with just the right amount of challenge for a Monday. Agree with MP a cracker.

    Clues of the day: 25a / 20d

    Rating 2.5* / 4*

    Thanks to MP and Mr L.

  21. Thanks MP and Chris. Well up to standard. I liked 25a but was floored for ages by 12a. Coming from the North we don’t have too many of them!

  22. This may appeal (maybe not)….

    ”Just a single dragon?” remarks George ”Give me 2, 3 or 4 of them…I’ll slay ’em all.”

    ‘234’ is St George’s Day, i.e 23/4

  23. Thanks to the setter, and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A nice puzzle to start the week. My favourite was 25a, which I thought was very original. Just needed the hints to get the second word of 10a. was 3*/3* for me. I’ve been unable to blog from my mobile devices lately, as the Cloudfare screen returns an error 405 when I try and post the comment. It works fine on my desktop machine, has anyone any idea how to solve this?

    1. I have the same problem. Put the browser into incognito mode and it works fine.

    2. When it happens to me I hit the back button twice and the comment is still in the box and then repost it and it usually works.

  24. I have a radio too. Only manage to get one station though. Probably due to the airport scrambling all the airwaves. Sometimes another one tries to budge in. I get the start of a song and the end of another.
    Enjoyed today’s offering. Great fun.
    Thanks to Mr the editor and to MP for the review.

  25. Very enjoyable puzzle. Enjoyed the clip of Bob Dylan at the London Palladium which Paso attended and made the local greengrocer’s year by donating his spare ticket. Thanks to MP and the Monday Setter.

  26. Absolutely right, M’pops, a cracker this morning, loved it all. For this reason I won’t choose a fave, too much choice.
    Thanks to Mr. L and to M’pops for his hints.
    The Matt today is priceless. I will also take the opportunity to welcome the new Prince.

      1. I just google telegraph.co.uk and it’s right there on the right side. I don’t deal in apps, I get totally confused!

          1. Oh dear, I went onto the computer to copy and send it to you but it’s already gone. I’m just not clever enough to find it, maybe one of our techie friends can do so. I’m sorry.

              1. Thanks.
                We get the vladimir one today in the app.
                Is this editorial interference on the lines of the different clues in different platforms I wonder?

  27. ***/***. Enjoyable fare. I do wonder whether 20d would ring a bell with anyone over 50 or living outside the UK? Thanks to the setter and MP for the review.

  28. I’ll go along with everyone else today – a very good crossword and not too tricky.
    I specially liked 5 and 20d and my favourite was 1a.
    I haven’t quite decided yet whether I really liked 25a or really didn’t like it. :unsure:
    Thanks to Mr L and to the Monday messed up one.

  29. A puzzle of two halves for me, loved 1a, 25a and 5d, but not a fan of 20d and sadly missing 14d from my limited bird knowledge. On reflection I think I found last Monday’s offering easier. Just my contrary nature I expect.

  30. Very enjoyable.
    I struggle with the new editor’s wavelength somewhat, but today I persevered.
    The NW corner held me up the longest and I am still not sure of some of the parsing.
    Thanks all.

  31. I liked the quickie pun, but yuk, I didn’t like the quickie pun. I thought I’d cracked 25a, then realised I couldn’t figure out 18d and 21d. I’d read 25a as see one to one, so had to go back to the drawing board. Well I had the right idea, it just wasn’t the right answer. 5d made me smile. Thank you setter and Miffypops. It’s been an exciting day today. Mrs Blutit has four eggs now, but continues to leave the nest and bring feathers in. I now understand the expression ‘feathering the nest’.

  32. A superb puzzle to begin the week – on a day which got even better, having this afternoon discovered two Daily Telegraphs from August 2011tucked away in my garage. Prize puzzle 26624, cryptic 26632 and Toughie 615 by Messinae – which seemed relatively gentle when compared with the other two puzzles. All good fun nevertheless. The blogs of the day made interesting reading too. Many familiar names and many who I did not recognise were there, but one character, moans and all, was most definitely making his feelings known. Some things never change ;-)

  33. 1a was favourite for obvious reasons in this excellent 4* Monday puzzle.
    I’m not a fan of 20d but I accept it as our language is constantly evolving and inevitably there will be some we like and probably many we won’t. But that’s progress for you!
    Thanks to CL and to MP for the review and good music.

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