DT 28719 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28719

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28719

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 21st April 2018

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

A strange solving experience – whether because the clues were quite wordy and very much crammed into the space left in the newspaper for them – or because quite a few of them weren’t as good as the rest, who knows?


1a    Admit home help for puzzle solvers will get 500 entering (7)
INCLUDE – IN (home) CLUE (help for puzzle solvers) will get D (the Roman numeral for 500) ‘entering’  – my immediate thoughts turned to the fact that over the next few weeks, people may be having help at home to complete a crossword or two and see if, like me,they can get a place at the Times Championship in October.  This being the Telegraph, however, the reference is more likely to refer to the (only?) 500 people who post off their completed Saturday prize puzzles in the hope of winning a pen.

5a    Flower requiring small spades digging in to come out (7)
BLOSSOM – S (small) and S (Spades in a pack of cards) ‘digging into’ BLOOM (come out)

9a    After large glass, regular’s making unfair demands on women? (6,9)
DOUBLE STANDARDS – DOUBLE (a large measure of a drink in a glass) STANDARDS (regulars)

10a    Place and time for strike on course (4)
PUTT – PUT (place) and T (time)

11a    Goes to sea, with trouble getting in ship (5)
SAILS – AIL (trouble) ‘getting in’ SS (steamship)

12a    In error, learner’s missed recess (4)
APSE – Remove the L for Learner from a LAPSE or error

15a    Tail girl? On the contrary, he’s a responsible lad (4,3)
HEAD BOY – The opposites (on the contrary) of tail and girl

16a    Well-formed plays he gets rewritten (7)
SHAPELY – An anagram (rewritten) of PLAYS HE

17a    Taking part out of sentiment, ice dancer was alluring (7)
ENTICED – Lurking in part of sentimENT ICE Dancer

19a    I must get in lift up that’s broken down — it’s pathetic (7)
PITIFUL – I (from the clue) inserted into an anagram (broken down) of LIFT UP

21a    My independent state (1,3)
I SAY – I (Independent) SAY (state)

22a    Heath perhaps follows account that’s appeared in 26? (5)
ACTED – TED (Heath perhaps) follows AC (account)

23a    What cocks did that cox won’t do? (4)
CREW – What a cockerel did but a cox in a rowing boat doesn’t

26a    Character shown by rugby-participating Lions maybe? That’s a charade (4-7,4)
ROLE-PLAYING GAME – ROLE (character) and PLAYING (participating) GAME (lions, maybe, or perhaps another of the five Big Game animals found in Africa). 

27a    Political doldrums? It’s where PM’s placed by gossip-monger (7)
MIDTERM You can see the letters P and M in the middle of gossiP-Monger

28a    If not dry, accommodating husband should meet that woman (7)
WHETHER – WET (not dry) ‘accommodating’ H (Husband) should meet HER (that woman)


1d    Pint he’d drunk at length (2,5)
IN DEPTH – An anagram (drunk) of PINT HED

2d    Yard man died covering up botched trial prosecuted by Army? (5-10)
COURT-MARTIALLED – COURT (yard) MALE (man) and D (died) ‘covering up’ an anagram (botched) of TRIAL

3d    Ignore odd bits of dung and clay being unsightly (4)
UGLY – Do as the clue says and ignore the odd letters of dUnG and cLaY

4d    Cold stone etched in simple pleasure (7)
ECSTASY – C (cold) and ST (stone) ‘etched in’ EASY (simple)

5d    Hounds black and golden birds? (7)
BEAGLES – B (black) EAGLES (golden birds)

6d    Chances   these will never be less than evens (4)
ODDS – The first definition relates to chances in gambling.   If you show the clue to someone who knows about mathematics, if you count to the end of time there will either be the number of odd and even numbers, or one more odd number – don’t ask me, I’m the ‘word’ person in our house

7d    Broke and beaten, professionally (8,3,4)
STRAPPED FOR CASH – Being beaten by someone paid to do so

8d    Command, apparently like some schoolteachers (7)
MASTERY – MASTER Y (like some schoolteachers)

13d    One’s shocked when one’s taken this (5)
ABACK – As in ‘taken ABACK’

14d    Drink‘s unpunctual, with limited temperature (5)
LATTE – LATE (unpunctual) into which is inserted (limited) T (temperature)

17d    Saw two farm animals after 4, in short (7)
EPIGRAM – PIG and RAM (two farm animals) go after E (the abbreviated way of referring to the drug named in 4d)

18d    Rant of the French about Conservative I am following (7)
DECLAIM – DE LA (of the in French) goes ‘about’ C (Conservative), the result followed with IM (I am)

19d    Vicar: ‘One must sit in seat in church and look ahead‘ (7)
PREVIEW – REV (vicar) and I (one) must sit or be inserted into PEW (seat in church)

20d    Sound of animal rage — in frenzy, this drives one uphill (3,4)
LOW GEAR – LOW (sound of animal, eg cattle) and an anagram (in frenzy) of RAGE

24d    Eastern European adopting exercises that can be used in personal combat (4)
EPEE – A type of sword is obtained by E (eastern) E (European) ‘adopting’ PE (exercises)

25d    Beastly person, so contrary (4)
OGRE – A reversal (contrary) of ERGO (so)

‘Nasturtiums’ were cast last week about whether my one and only contact lens was inserted into the correct eye when I said that the actual size of the crossword layout was the same as the week before. I can confirm that I got an independent arbitrator to measure and he agrees with me that the only thing different is the increase in number of clues compared to the previous Saturday and that the wordiness of some of them adds to the crammed in look of the whole crossword



7 comments on “DT 28719

  1. Thanks for the review, CS. Think I enjoyed this rather more in retrospect than I did at the time.
    The second part of 6d confused me at the time and I have to admit to being none the wiser after your explanation!

    1. I think CS is correct, although at the time my reasoning was that when they become less than evens in a betting sense they become “odds-on”.

      I think the mathematical explanation goes like this:

      1 – 1, 0
      2 – 1,1
      3 – 2,1
      4 – 2,2
      9 – 5,4
      10 – 5,5

      where the first column is the cardinal number, the second is the number of odd numbers up to that point, which is never less than the third, which is the number of even numbers

      1. Umm – how come there are two even numbers in the second column and three odd numbers in the third column? Don’t think I’m getting the hang of this, do you?!!

          1. Worry not, BD, I am now ‘with the programme’ courtesy of a very detailed explanation which shed light into my darkness!

  2. Who knew that CREW at 23a was the past tense of crow. Could have sworn that it was crowed – which is what Peter Pan did, if I recall correctly.

  3. Thank you CS, glad it wasn’t just me thought the clues looked squashed up!
    I have to confess to failing on putt and I say, can’t believe I missed those. Onward and upward!

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