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DT 28729

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28729

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

Hola from the Vega Baja on a bright sunny morning. I solved this puzzle in ** time but I’ve gone for *** difficulty because there are a few obscure bits that required a bit of head scratching.  I’ve deducted a star from the enjoyment as there are no less than five clues which use the same containment indicator and I was beginning to get a bit irritated by the time I’d finished typing the hints.  I’ll be interested to see if anyone else noticed.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Single occupying spot in Jersey (4,4)
POLO NECK:  First you need to ignore the false capitalisation of the word Jersey. This is nothing to do with the Channel Islands but jersey as in a pullover.  Start with an old word for a spot or pustule caused by an eruptive disease such as smallpox and insert (occupying) a word meaning single or unaccompanied.  Split that lot (4,4) and you’ll get a style of jersey.

5a           A quiet learner with old doctor showing composure (6)
APLOMB:  A charade of A (from the clue), the usual single letter for quiet, L(earner), O(ld) and finally one of the several two letter doctors.  I like clues like this. You can put the answer together as you read the clue and when you get to the end – hey presto there’s the definition.

9a           Club, say, secure day to get some players (8)
WOODWIND:  A type of golf club, not an iron, followed by a word meaning to secure or gain and then D(ay) gives you a section of an orchestra (some players).

10a         Credit after student leaves in depression (6)
CRATER:  Start with the usual abbreviation of credit and then a word meaning after or afterwards with the L removed (student leaves).  I confess to wondering how taking the F out of after could be construed as student leaves, d’oh!

11a         Mostly large-scale work with second poem in part of series (7)
EPISODE:  A term for a large-scale work, often applied to films starring Charlton Heston, but without the last letter (mostly) the S(econd) and finally a lyric poem.

12a         Leave exposed one in this way behind schedule (7)
ISOLATE:  The letter that looks like a number one followed by a word meaning in this way or thus and lastly a word meaning behind schedule.

13a         A supreme team almost transformed? It shows the scale of things (4,7)
TAPE MEASURE:  Anagram (transformed) of A SUPREME TEA(m) (almost).

16a         A number clad wrongly for stand with branches (11)
CANDELABRUM:  Anagram (wrongly) of A NUMBER CLAD.

21a         Agree to parking twice in a British car with hidden rear (7)
APPROVE:  Take an A (from the clue) and follow with  British marque of car, which is no longer made, but without its last letter (with hidden rear) and insert (in) P(arking) twice.

22a         Measure of land, note, in a confined space (7)
ACREAGE:  Again it’s A (from the clue) followed by a confined space with one of the sol fa notes inserted (in).

23a         What is found in difficult situation in seat? (6)
BEHIND:  This is seat as in your bum. Insert (is found in) a colloquial term for what or pardon into a word for a difficult situation or tight spot. 

24a         Modest European among varied credits (8)
DISCREET:  Anagram (varied) of CREDITS  with E(uropean) inserted (among). 

25a         Respect establishment with judge losing head (6)
ESTEEM:  Abbreviation of establishment followed by a word meaning judge but without its first letter (losing head).

26a         Kind fellow, expert in print style (8)
TYPEFACE:  A word meaning kind, as in sort, followed by F(ellow) and then an expert.


1d           Mug wept about queen (6)
PEWTER:  Anagram (about) of WEPT followed by the usual two letters for Her Majesty.  I thought this was the material that a mug might be made from but apparently it can also mean the mug itself.

2d           Short call in card game with family (4-2)
LOOK IN:  A 17th century card game from the same family as nap and euchre is followed by the usual family and then it’s split (4,2).  I’d never heard of this game but apparently it’s also known as Lenterne, Lenturlu and Looterlu but I don’t suppose that helps much.

3d           Welsh town‘s original wine (7)
NEWPORT:  A charade of a word meaning original or fresh followed by the usual fortified wine.

4d           Ponder about working model (11)
CONTEMPLATE:  A single letter for about followed by a word meaning working, as in not switched off, and then a model or plan.

6d           Society enthralled by South American politician with a public image (7)
PERSONA:  Start with the South American politician whose wife is known as Evita and an A (from the clue) and insert (enthralled by) an S(ociety).  Here’s a bit of Evita . . .


7d           Prize more highly than public university in countryside area (8)
OUTVALUE:  A word meaning public or exposed followed by a word for a country area, which actually means valley, with U(niversity) inserted (in).  We’ve got that IN again!

8d           Canal workers say turning up among those offering drinks? (8)
BARGEMEN:  The usual two letters for say are reversed (turning up in a down clue) and inserted into (among) some people offering drinks in the pub.

12d         Theorist’s end is to stop wrong, transcending the passage of time (11)
IMMORTALITY: Insert (to stop) a T (theorisT’s end) a word for wrong or sin.

14d         Game namely supported by unruly lot (8)
SCRABBLE:  The Latin abbreviation meaning namely followed by (supported by in a down clue) a word for an unruly lot or mob.  Hand’s up those who thought there might be an anagram (unruly) of LOT involved here.

15d         Go after sudden cold spell to get instant record? (8)
SNAPSHOT:  A word for a go or try after a word for a sudden spell of cold weather.

17d         Proclaim part of speech in English church (7)
ENOUNCE:  Start with E(nglish) and two letters for the Anglican Church and insert (in) a part of speech.  

18d         Rescue service in race to create amazing achievement (7)
MIRACLE:  Insert (you’ve guessed it – in) a rescue service, which might come to your aid if you car breaks down, into a race which  takes the best runners slightly under four minutes.  There you go, that’s five uses of IN for insertion.

19d         Security device beginning to click over morning period (6)
CAMERA:  C (beginning to Click) followed by (over in a down clue) the usual two letters for morning and then a long period of time, not age but the other one.

20d         Perhaps lead, we hear, is showing spirit (6)
METTLE:  Not lead as in go in front but the element.  This word meaning spirit sounds like (we hear) what lead is an example of (perhaps).

Not my favourite puzzle but there’s a few good clues.  Favourite for me was 4d closely followed by 14d and 26a.

Quick crossword pun:   PITCHER     +     CHORD     =     PICTURE CORD


50 comments on “DT 28729

  1. Fairly average stuff – I also noticed the repeated containment indicators, perhaps it comes from noticing more of such things as a blogger and test solver. I too had to check whether 1d could be the mug as well as the ‘material’.

    Thanks to Pommers and the Thursday Mysteron

  2. Big thunderstorm in the Gargano today and maybe all over Italy so planned work in the vines on hold giving me a chance for an early solve. Really struggled to parse 7dn (not in Chambers) and I cannot remember ever hearing the word. Also LOI 23 ac was a doh(!) moment. Don’t really like 1ac answer but eventually parsed it too.

    Mistified by the first two letters of 14d – but I missed Latin at school. And don’t recall hearing of the card game in 2d, but that’s probably a memory fault!

    But an enjoyable solve – favourite 10ac.

    Thanks setter and pommers

      1. Thanks. Yes I guessed the abbreviation, but had know idea where it came from.

  3. I think this was slightly trickier than the previous three this week, it’s hard to tell, but still hovering in the middle-of-the-road/average area. I didn’t know that mug and the 1d answer are synonymous, but have, of course, heard of a “****** mug”.. Enjoyable, though. 3* / 4*

  4. Some difficult parsing today, not heard of the obscure Latin word in 14d and admit hand raised for ‘lot’, also failed to parse 12d, too long a clue for me-there could only be one solution with the checking letters.
    Solving the NW corner was somewhat painstaking, I seemed to tune in after this was completed.
    Going for a ***/** as Pommers.

  5. Some head scratching required, quite enjoyable, and completed at a fast canter – **/***.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 5a and 4d.

    Thanks to the setter and pommers.

  6. A little tricky but not impossible. I thought 4d was the pick of the clues. Like pommers, I tried initially to get an anagram of ‘lot’ into 14d, and some of the clueing I found a little awkward in the clunky sense of the word. That said, it was enjoyable enough, and 3* /3* overall for me.

    Thanks to the Thursday Mysteron and pommers.

  7. My first go earlier today was not productive but , after a shopping break and vet visit , finished eventually . Yes , fell into the 14 Down trap . My score **/** .
    Thanks again to everyone .

  8. 3* / 2.5*. This was a bit of a curate’s egg for me. I liked bits of it but parts of it irritated me not only with the repeated use of “in” but also repeated deletions of one letter (“leaves”, “mostly”, “almost”, “hidden”, “losing head”) became a bit tiresome. I made a slow start but gradually got onto the right wavelength so 3* for difficulty feels about right.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and pommers.

  9. Slow to get off the ground but eventually plenty of fun. Have never heard of 1d meaning a mug itself. In 10a I too tried to remove the ‘f’ rather than the learner. Not too keen on 23a. Thank you Mysteron and pommers.

  10. 10a – Maybe “after” implies later – so student leaving now fits in. Overall I found today trickier than normal. Thanks for the guidance!

    1. You’ve changed your alias since your previous comment so this needed moderation. Both versions will work henceforth.

    2. I think you will find that is what is in the hint. Pommers was adding that, like me and many others, he tried, and failed, to make it work by dropping the F from AFTER

  11. Well I’m afraid I did not enjoy this one much at all.

    Too many ‘drop one letter from a synonym ‘ type clues which I really do not like.

    Had not heard of 1d as a synonym for mug, had not heard of 7d at all and I thought they were bargees for 8d so spent a lot of time trying to fit other letters in it.

    Admit to trying to fit in ‘lot’ in 14d and to trying to see how F meant learner in 10a.

    Not my finest hour.

    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers

  12. Struggled through this one but thanks to BRB last one in 7d.
    Thanks to Pommers and setter

  13. Put this one in the ‘oh well, I suppose it’s OK’ category for the same reasons already mentioned by others.
    Don’t worry, Pommers, I put a ? alongside 10a thinking that ‘fellow’ was a bit of a stretch for a learner!
    I did check on the definition of 1d and the abbreviation in 14d – always assumed that it stood for ‘so called’.

    Thought 26a was probably the best of the bunch.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Pommers – hadn’t heard Karen Carpenter’s rendition of Evita before, most enjoyable.

  14. After trying with cows and potatoes, I finally hit the spot with a jumper.
    Apart from that an enjoyable puzzle today.

  15. Hmmm. Not certain about this one today. Finished it ok but it felt a bit unsatisfactory. Maybe just me. **/**. Hadn’t come across 17d before and it wasn’t even in my OED version when I checked. I’m sure it’s in the official dictionary, though.

  16. I struggled a little to get on to the setter’s wavelength, perhaps someone new in the alternate Thursday slot I wonder?

    Sadly, not my favourite puzzle either. In addition to the repeated containment indicators, “with” also featured five times as a juxtapositional indicator (5a, 11a, 25a, 2d and 6d).

    Thanks to today’s compiler and to Pommers.

  17. I found this a real challenge; it took me quite a while to get on the setter’s wavelength and even then I didn’t really kick on. However I eventually picked my way through to completion. I didn’t have the repetition problems that some have commented on and I did actually quite enjoy the battle, so 4* for that.
    1a was my favourite.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Pommers for the review.

  18. Thanks to the setter and Pommers for the review and hints. I don’t know why, but I didn’t really enjoy this one. Took ages to get 17d, thought it might be be “announce” with an alternative spelling for 16a to give the starting letter of “a”, but then there were too many letters for 17d. Got there in the end, with 21a being the last in. I thought 1a was original, but my favourite was 23a. Was 3.5*/2.5* for me. Spring has finally sprung in Central London.

  19. I quite enjoyed this … but now off to the Toughie which has a lot of four letter words.

  20. Had an appointment this afternoon but they’ve asked me to come in early, so I’m unable to finish this very tricky puzzle. I’m not sure I would have been able to complete even if I had ten hours more!
    Fave was 2d, if only because I knew the card game.
    Thanks to setter and to pommers for his hints.

  21. Not for me today’s puzzle needed far too much help, completed but with no satisfaction. Nothing else to add. Couldn’t get on the blog yesterday to comment but thought that puzzle was outstanding.

    Thanks to Pommers and the setter.

  22. I wasn’t enjoying it at all so I quit before finishing .
    Sorry pommers and setter .

  23. I couldn’t get on the setter’s wavelength. Finished the East side without resorting to the blog but needed help with too many to get any satisfaction. Too tricky for me but thanks for the help!

  24. Unless they jump out at me and say “boo!” I don’t generally spot repetitious elements when solving at leisure. I put my slightly “meh” frame of mind down to the fact that I made pretty heavy weather of this.

    Lots to like though. I share pommers’ favourite of 4d and also liked 10a, 1d and 2d.

    (My hand is up re 14d.)

    Thanks to the setter and pommers.

  25. We had a little hold-up with 24a as we could not remember in which order the last two letters go when that word has its two different meanings. Soon sorted when we got 20d. Took us a bit longer than we often spend on a back-pager, almost as long as the Toughie, and we enjoyed sorting it all out.
    Thanks Mr Ron and pommers.

  26. Difficult I thought – a tricky challenge. Not many in first time round. However, I persisted in bits and bobs without help and some fell quickly with checkers. I was left with NE. When I got them I did not go d’oh and think how clever but the sound I made was more of a groan. In particular, 7 and 8d and 10a. Was on the bargee wavelength. I had 10a as a possibility for some time but did not confirm till I had all the checkers. Again like others I thought L for student figured somewhere but could not parse (thanks Pommers). I have circled as favourites 1, 11,13 and 26a and 3 and 17d. Sorry setter not up my street but respect anyone who can set well enough for the DT backpage (I couldn’t)

  27. I am hesitating saying this as no one has mentioned it but 3d is a city (since 2002).

    So, why is the word ‘Town’ in there?

    Apologies if I’ve had a shocker.

    1. You are quite correct. The clue should be ” Welsh city’s original wine”. I never even thought about it.

  28. I found this quite difficult, not helped by interruptions throughout, or by the city of Newport which is a stone’s throw from here being referred to as a town. Last in 12d followed by 26ac.

  29. Late start on today’s back-pager for me after a long and frustrating day at work. Sadly, it didn’t improve the day…

    Thought this was a very average and rather humourless puzzle – repeated use of “in”, as has been mentioned, but also thought some of the clueing was suspect (e.g. race in 18d, secure in 9a). The latin abbreviation in 14d was new to me but was gettable – and at least there was some half-decent misdirection with unruly at the end (which I fell for).

    Several bung-ins which needed the blog to explain.

    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers.

  30. I agree with the others in that I didn’t find this very enjoyable. The obscure words were irritating and led me to get bored half way through, finishing off with the help of the hints.

  31. My ignorance was brutally exposed by this puzzle. Words/usages I’ve never come across; abbreviations I didn’t know and mystifying (to me) indicators. Why does ‘enthralled by’ mean ‘insert’? Oh well. I live to fight another day.

    1. “Enthralled by” is a quite common insertion indicator. Enthral = captivate/absorb and here the S(ociety) is absorbed/captivated by (or inserted into, if you like) the other element in the answer, thus: PER(S)ON + A.

          1. Thanks crypticsue. Heavy bank holiday gardening schedule ahead of me but I’ll definitely find time to have a look at that.

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