DT 28721 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28721

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28721

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****


Hello everyone.  I found this offering meatier than last week's puzzle, with some nice dollops of originality sprinkled throughout the clues.  Just right for a Tuesday, I'd say.

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions, cryptic definitions, and all-in-one definitions.  Clicking on the ANSWER buttons will reveal the answers.  In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background.  Clicking on a picture will usually enlarge it or display a bonus illustration.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Fixed price: English prescription (6)
RECIPE:  An anagram (fixed, as in repaired) of PRICE, followed by an abbreviation for English

4a    Elbow  joint (8)
SHOULDER:  A double definition.  Elbow meaning jostle or shove, and joint meaning a cut of meat, perhaps

10a   Describe round object in war game (9)
PAINTBALL:  Describe vividly, and a round object used, for example, in several sports

11a   Row round first of buoys in river (5)
TIBER:  A row or a bank containing (round) the first letter of Buoys is an Italian river

12a   Enjoying a run of success playing a wheel? (2,1,4)
ON A ROLL:  Put together a short synonym of playing, A from the clue, and a synonym of wheel

13a   Newspaper covering fields of study in distant countries (3,4)
FAR EAST:  A usual newspaper (the pink one) is wrapped around (covering) a simple word for fields of study 

14a   Explicit about Shakespearean hero (5)
CLEAR:  A usual single-letter abbreviation for about or approximately, and the title character of a Shakespearean tragedy 

15a   Home team needs passion up front (8)
FIRESIDE:  A generic sports team is preceded by passion or ardour (needs passion up front)

18a   Italian individual backing pub singer (8)
BARITONE:  The abbreviation for Italian and individual or single both come after (backing) another word for pub 

20a   Tea after instant coffee (5)
MOCHA:  An informal word for tea placed after an instant of time

23a   Give a false impression about alcoholic drink and soft drink (7)
LIMEADE:  Give a false impression or be untruthful containing (about) an alcoholic drink made by fermenting honey

25a   Able to grab time with single daughter (7)
TALONED:  Concatenate the physics symbol for time, single or solitary, and the genealogical abbreviation for daughter.  'Able to grab' like this Red-Tailed Hawk I once photographed

26a   Constant test for underwater growth (5)
CORAL:  A mathematical abbreviation for a constant, and a test that's not written

27a   Problem caused by damaged retina, certainly inside (9)
EYESTRAIN:  Find this vision problem as an anagram (damaged) of RETINA with a short word of affirmation inserted (certainly inside)

28a   Brought round, a top Conservative is slow to act (8)
DILATORY:  Join A from the clue and a top or cover (for a container, perhaps).  That lot is then reversed (brought round) and followed by a word for a Conservative politician

29a   Imagined Lauren being cast (6)
UNREAL:  An anagram (being cast) of LAUREN



1d    Tick off salesman over fish (8)
REPROACH:  A usual informal word for a salesman is followed by (over, in a down clue) a silvery freshwater fish

2d    Chance shifting round one part of track, perhaps (7)
CHICANE:  An anagram (shifting) of CHANCE is wrapped round the Roman numeral for one

3d    What's prior up to boiling a mixture of things? (9)
POTPOURRI:  An anagram (what's …. boiling) of PRIOR UP TO

5d    Much suffering priest accepting new role very quickly (4,3,7)
HELL FOR LEATHER:  Torment or great suffering, followed by a title used by Christian priests containing (accepting) an anagram (new) of ROLE

6d    Total, say (5)
UTTER:  A double definition.  One is an adjective meaning total or complete, the other a verb meaning say or state

7d    Fingerprint expert? (3,4)
DAB HAND:  Taken literally, the answer could describe how a person is fingerprinted.  Taken literally it could also describe what this artist is doing

8d    Find it in tracks artist laid down first? (6)
RARITY:  Insert (findin) IT from the clue into the (2) abbreviation for (railway) tracks.  Then prepend our usual artist (artist laid down first)
[Additional explanation and pic added at 2:50 pm]  The clue can also be parsed as the first word being a definition and the remainder wordplay.  But since the answer is used specifically to describe an early album or song by a recording artist that is now hard to find, the entire clue works as a more satisfying definition.  I expect that was the setter's intention, so I have underlined it as an all-in-one clue.  As always, it would be great if the setter dropped in to tell us what they had in mind

9d    Rule of law I care about, the result of suffering many blows? (11,3)
CAULIFLOWER EAR:  An anagram (about) of RULE OF LAW I CARE

16d   Dope may be easy to obtain, ultimately (9)
SIMPLETON:  Cement together easy or uncomplicated, TO from the clue, and the last letter of obtaiN (…ultimately)

17d   Chief character in a line (8)
CARDINAL:  Assemble a character or comical person, IN A from the clue, and the abbreviation for line

19d   Commander, awfully mad over broken rail (7)
ADMIRAL:  An anagram (awfully) of MAD followed by (over, in a down clue) an anagram (broken) of RAIL

21d   Depressed prisoner with word of warning (7)
CONCAVE:  A usual prisoner or criminal, and the Latin for beware (which Chambers says is dated schoolboy slang)

22d   Cool cats, initially in tartan (6)
PLACID:  The first letter (… initially) of Cats is inserted in a some tartan cloth

24d   Earmark a tax to be raised (5)
ALLOT:  A from the clue and the reversal (… to be raised, in a down clue) of a tax or a fee (for using a road, perhaps)


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  I liked 12a for its surface, 25a for its answer, 28a for its wordplay, 5d just because, 7d for its clever, 8d for being an &lit., 21d for the science kittens, and the second quickie pun because it made me smile.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun, plus a clever bonus pun in the last row:

55 comments on “DT 28721

  1. I liked this one a lot, just a tad more cogitation required than the usual Mon-Wed puzzles. All good clues, a reasonable challenge and a very entertaining solve. My favourite of an excellent bunch was 23a. 3* / 4*

  2. I agree that the all-on-one at 8d is very clever, and also liked the home team (15a), the pub singer (18a), the ones with drinks (20a and 23a) and the priest accepting a new role (5d).

    My thanks to setter and blogger.

  3. Some excellent, concise clueing this morning from our Tuesday setter. If pushed I would nominate 7d as my favourite, although there are several contenders, most of which our blogger has already mentioned. 2* /4* overall from me. Lovely second pun in the Quickie.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  4. I thought the definition in 8d was just ‘find’. I don’t see that the whole clue makes any sense unless I am missing something?

    1. Sorry, didn’t see you post before I posted…..totally agree with you re 8d.

      The clue is a mystery to me.

      1. Apologies for not being very clear with the hint. I’ve now expanded it and added a pic to explain what I had in mind

        1. Like Rick, I originally thought that 8d was a standard cryptic clue with Find as the definition and the rest of the clue wordplay. But in that case the “laid down” would be somewhat superfluous as the clue would work more concisely as something like: Find it in tracks: artist’s first. It probably is an a-i-o, but I’m still not sure?

        2. Thank you very much Mr K .

          I had no idea at all that the answer to 8d could be used in such a specific way.

          Tin ear as well as dim, I suppose.

          Anyway, that addition makes it much clearer now.

  5. What fun! Yes ***/**** A lovely balance of clues.
    Thanks setter, and Mr K for pictures and laughs

  6. Sorry, didn’t like this one. Probably me being dim and inexperienced in cryptics.

    Cannot understand the definition of 8d, see above re being dim.

    LHS went in swimmingly but struggled with the RHS.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the hints.

    1. Not necessarily dim – I’ve been doing these since the dark ages and I found it tough also. The answers just never leapt out at me.

      1. It’s a tricky puzzle. While writing the hints I went back and forth between assigning 3* or 4* for difficulty. In my view it’s at least a 3*.

  7. 2* / 4*. Very nice. Not too difficult and a lot of fun.

    I thought the surface for 3d was a bit iffy, but other than that there was a lot to like with 7d my favourite – concise and clever.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and Mr K.

  8. A quite straightforward exercise for me today. The answer to 4a is clear from the checkers, but I couldn’t parse it. Elbow? Really?

    Completed in ** time. COTD 20a for it’s simplicity.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  9. Didn’t see the second pun in the quickie until I read the blog. What a great workout for a Tuesday morning interspersed with gardening; mind and body!
    Thanks to Mr K and setter. 7d was my favourite, so simple but ……

  10. Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the review and hints. A very inventive puzzle, some good clueing. I liked 13a, but my favourite was 23a. Just needed the hints for 15a. Lot of fun. Was 3*/3* for me.

  11. 7d made me smile. Must be getting used to the new regime as I finished yesterdays. The first Monday in a while.
    Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  12. Lovely Crossword full of surprises 😜 **/**** Too Many favourites today 🤗 Podium places to: 13, 25 & 27 across 😃 Witha mention in dispatches to 7d Big thanks to Mr K and the setter 🐪 Thanks for the recipe, I think they are two for one at Waitrose 😉

    1. Part of the £10 meal deal at my branch. You also get 100 crème caramel and 6 crates of wine included.

  13. Very enjoyable puzzle

    Favourites were 5D and 25a. Last to go in 8D – without looking at the hint not sure that I understand why this fits the clue – apart from the artist bit

    Thanks to Mr K and setter

  14. Horses for courses for me. I wasn’t that enamoured with today’s puzzle I’m afraid. It was over too soon and no clue really jumped out at me.
    So a 2* for enjoyment and that’s it.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for his review.

    1. The phrase “horses for courses” has been ruined for me, as I can no longer hear it without thinking of Findus lasagne.

          1. You’ll have to get up very early in the morning to get one over on our Kitty, Gazza!

  15. I agree with Jaylegs and others that this puzzle was lovely and at times surprising .
    And a lovely blog too .
    Thanks to all concerned .

  16. Fun whilst it lasted. I have circled lots of clues because I had lots of favourites. I’d always thought of 3D as two words rather than one, so I stand corrected. Many thanks setter and Mr Kitty.

  17. More good fun today with no problems to report.

    Liked 25a, particularly for Mr K’s photo (well done you!) but my favourite was 7d – short, sweet and spot on definition.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr K for the blog and the recipe – promise to try it out the very next time I have 80-100 folk over for a meal!

  18. Slow start for me but as soon as 1 down went in iI gathered pace. LOI was 25ac and I had to visit blog for that not being able to get “talented” out of my brain which is swimming in Madiran bought on journey home. 7dn very good.

    Thanks setter and Mr K

  19. Judging by my fellow bloggers it’s just me but I was never able to get any momentum today, I found it a bit of a slog. I suspect, well hope, that ultimately I won’t be the only one.
    I did enjoy 7d and 4a though. Thanks to the reviewer for enlightening me.

  20. Agree with the majority of bloggers so far that this was an excellent puzzle very well clued. Got off to a flier and thought it was going to be straightforward, but soon got slowed down with some tricky clues particularly in SW corner. Apart from that it went well with lots of fun along the way. A really super Tuesday puzzle with a nice level of trickery. A good week so far with two excellent puzzles hopefully with more to follow.

    Clues of the day: Liked two of the longer clues today 5d / 9d

    Rating: 3* / 4*

    Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

  21. I really liked it too, some excellent constructions and plenty of enjoyment to be found. Like Howitzerx3, the two long Down clues (5d and 9d) received ticks from this solver too, as did 27a.

    Many thanks to our setter and to Mr K.

  22. An entertaining crossword that just crept into 3rd brew time.
    5d my fave but lots of other good clues too 9d was a nice anagram and 1a and d were a good start.
    I would have enumerated 3d (3,6) too but live and learn.
    Many thanks to Mr K and setter.
    Off to give the toughie a once over.

  23. Really enjoyed that, good fun.
    I needed to look up 3d, wasn’t aware of that meaning.
    I solved the long ones straight off, a huge help with the rest of the puzzle, so I’m nominating those for top place.
    Thanks to setter and to Mr. K for his blog, loved the pics.

  24. I am with the likes of OM and Gwizz in not being enamoured with today’s offering and am wondering if it’s a new setter? I quibble a bit re 27a, 5d and 24d. Use of synonyms for first words of 11a and first two of 13a do seem to be making frequent appearances these days. If I had to pick a Fav it would be 7d with 14a running up. Thank you Mysteron and Mr. Kitty.

    1. I’m not sure about the setter. It didn’t feel that unfamiliar and double quickie puns have appeared on a Tuesday several times before. On the other hand, we know that proXimal debuted as a back page setter last Thursday and Chris Lancaster’s listing of those who contributed to Toughie 2000 implies that Phil McNeill has also joined the back-page team. So there are definitely new setters appearing somewhere. I liked this, so if it is a new setter, more please!

        1. Indeed. This site would be a very dull place if we all felt the same way about every puzzle.

  25. I’m in the minority today, found this hard and not much fun. With perseverance the clues were workable, but outside my wavelength. Hoping to do better tomorrow.

  26. This one was right up my street and resulted in a nicely-paced and enjoyable solve. Favourite clues: 7d and 8d.

    Many thanks to the setter (more like this please) and Mr K.

  27. Our comment when we had sorted out 8d was that we were grateful that it wasn’t us who had to put together an explanation for that one. Lots of really good clues here that needed a bit of thinking about and then all fitted together smoothly.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

    1. Watched your PM address the Commonwealth meeting. I’m so impressed by that young lady, such wonderful self-possession and presence. May I have your permission to write her in as a candidate at our next election?

  28. Very quick to solve I thought. Left hand side went in first but no real hold up. SE last in but that is probably more about the order I tackled it in rather than the difficulty. Favourites 20 and 28a and 7d. 17a jumped out at me when I had the checkers but then worked it out afterwards. Very enjoyable.

  29. Nice crossword, I enjoyed it fully, if a day later. 8d I took as ‘find’, so the wordplay is perfect for that.
    Thanks to Mr.K and setter. **.5/ ****

    Wonder if anyone can answer this: If the former name of Thailand is Siam and the former name of Malawi is Nyasaland, what is the former name of Iceland ?

  30. A word of warning about the “prescription” in 1A….. I read that dromedaries now carry mad cow disease……
    Three ticks for 9D.
    3*/4* for the puzzle.

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