DT 28738 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28738

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28738

Hints and tips by a relaxed Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Today we have a fine puzzle set by our puzzles editor Mr Chris Lancaster. Full of lovely clues. Easy anagrams will get you going. The rest should fall into place. There is a wonderful/ghastly (delete to suit) Spooner clue as well. The sun is shining. I have lunch booked with Saint Sharon and my Father and Brother in Law. What’s not to like about today? Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Lift humble criminal a small amount (10)
THIMBLEFUL: Anagram (criminal) of LIFT HUMBLE

6a    Swear copper succeeded framing son (4)
CUSS: Use the chemical symbol for copper together with the abbreviations for succeeded and son. The clue suggests which order these abbreviations should be placed in.

9a    Polish side’s first fans (5)
BUFFS: Begin with a verb meaning to polish. Add the initial (beginning) letter of the word sides

10a    Person picked up between programmes? (9)
ANNOUNCER: A cryptic definition of the person on television or radio who speaks between programmes

12a    Tea and dinner-time strangely uncertain (13)
INDETERMINATE: Anagram (strangely) of TEA and DINNER TIME

14a    Make a bigger leap away from home? (8)
OUTBOUND: Split 3,5 we have a phrase that means away to make a bigger leap.

15a    Stuck in Fiat on a lane without key (6)
ATONAL: The answer is written within the words of the clue indicated by the words stuck in. Often referred to as a lurker. Those who look at the site but do not comment are known as lurkers. If you are lurking away why not introduce yourself?

17a    Manager‘s mistake, right? (6)
GAFFER: Begin with a synonym for a mistake and add the abbreviation for the word right

19a    Sets off in boats (8)
LAUNCHES: A double definition

21a    Brute and villain played on unknown weakness (13)
VULNERABILITY: Anagram (played) of BRUTE and VILLAIN followed by the letter denoting a mathematical unknown

24a    Place to keep papers in short trial (9)
BRIEFCASE: This container for notes and documents can be split 5,4 to mean a short court action

25a    Broadcast denial that’s heard at Aintree? (5)
NEIGH: A homophone (broadcast) based upon a word meaning no (denial) which sounds like the sound a horse might make at Aintree, which is a racecourse in England

26a    Move slowly in extremity (4)
EDGE: A double definition

27a    Energy lacking in terribly sentimental episode (10)
INSTALMENT: Anagram (terribly) of SENTIMENTAL minus the letter E (lacking energy)


1d    Mug bishop during play (4)
TOBY: Place the abbreviation for a bishop (not RR which is right reverend) inside a verb meaning to play with as a cat might with a mouse

2d    Force Time to support popular short film (7)
INFLICT: we have three parts to this clue. An abbreviation for time. A slang word for a film or movie minus its last letter (short) and a two-letter word meaning popular. The wordplay suggests which order you need to place these words

3d    Very upset with a double? (6,7)
BESIDE ONESELF: A cryptic double definition. How one might describe standing next to their mirror image

4d    Difficult former deputy (8)
EXACTING: Begin with the regular crosswordland former partner wife, boyfriend or girlfriend. Add a word meaning deputy or stand-in

5d    Painful narrow segment of bone (5)
ULNAR: The answer is written within the words of the clue indicated by the words segment of. Often referred to as a lurker. Those who look at the site but do not comment are known as lurkers. If you are lurking away why not introduce yourself

7d    Free posh new shops (7)
UNCHAIN: Start with the usual suspect for posh. Add the abbreviation for new. Add the name of the type of shop which makes our town and city centres all look alike

8d    County contracted celebrity artist (10)
SURREALIST: Begin with the name of a county. There are a lot to choose from so choose carefully. My musical link will help here. You need to remove the counties last letter (contracted) Now add a phrase used to describe the highest level of stardom. Barbara Streisand for example or Bob Dylan or Tom Hanks or Mr Tumble.

11d    Camping in club with a student is not part of the plan (13)
UNINTENTIONAL: Are you sitting comfortably? Then I will begin.


    1. A club or society or association formed by people with a common interest or purpose

    2. Where you and your belongings are when camping (2,4)

    3. A from the clue

    4. The usual abbreviation for a student or learner

    Method. Fold 2 into 1. Add 3. Add 4. Smile.

13d    Possible to excuse lover if bag is repaired (10)
FORGIVABLE: Anagram (is repaired) of LOVER IF BAG

16d    Reveal short policy document (8)
MANIFEST: The policy document of a political party perhaps minus its last letter (short)

18d    Satisfying affair, one pound to get in (7)
FILLING: A little bit of hanky punky needs an insertion or two. In this case insert the letter that looks like the number one and the letter that represents one pound sterling into the affair

20d    According to Spooner, street rental is mad (7)
HAYWIRE: A dreaded Spooner clue. I usually leave these until last and bung in any word that fits the checkers without trying to work out whether or not it works with the clue. Like Marmite. You either love it or hate it.     The definition is Mad (as underlined) The Street is a way and a rental is a hire.

22d    A spirit boxing ace shows once more (5)
AGAIN: Use the letter A from the clue to begin and then put A(ce) inside (boxed by) a spirit. In this case Mothers Ruin.

23d    Scrap women’s strike (4)
WHIT: Use the abbreviation for women and add a verb meaning to strike.

Don’t forget tomorrow’s Sloggers and Betters meeting in London. Do try and show you face if you can. Details are on the home page

The Quick Crossword pun: inn+speck+tar+moors=Inspector Morse


66 comments on “DT 28738

  1. I found this at the top end of my (inside – today) back page spectrum for difficulty – No particular favourites but the Quick Pun made me think of Kath and smile

    Thanks to both setter and blogger

  2. 2.5* / 3.5*. Nicely challenging and great fun on a pleasant sunny day with 3d my favourite.

    Many thanks to CL and to MP.

  3. Thank you Miffypops needed your assistance with 8d. Like you dread / loathe the spoonerism. Otherwise an enjoyable gentle romp.

  4. With reference to 8d Mr Tumble has saved our sanity on more than one occasion while we have been looking after our grandson. He can do no wrong in our eyes. thanks to Mr Lancaster & to Miffypops.

    1. My Grandson Harrison saw Mr Tumble on Saturday whilst on a break with his Mum and dad.

      1. Henry is going to see him at Butlin’s in a few weeks time along with 1000 other rug rats. His Dad can’t wait….

  5. Overall a very enjoyable puzzle though I needed a ‘push’ to solve 9a, 1d (I’ve always called those things jugs, not mugs), and 23d where the ancient brain failed to see the connection scrap-whit. Was I alone?

    Thanks to both setter and blogger.

  6. Thank you for the Hints. I needed them. I just didn’t get on the right wavelength to start with. Hope you have an enjoyable lunch. Thanks also to Mr Lancaster.

  7. Only the second time I’ve commented, and only to say this is only the second time I have completed a puzzle without help. (but checked some answers).

  8. Slowed down to a fast canter by 8d, putting in an incorrect answer caused problems with the, as yet, unsolved 10a and 19a (and I originate from the county in question). All successfully unscrambled in the end – **/***.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 24a and the said 8d.

    Thanks to CL and GMoLI.

    1. 8d came swiftly to mind as I too originate from the county with a fringe on top although I now live across the border in West Sussex.

      1. Yes, same for me, to get the county I only had to look out of the window.

  9. Completed quite easily with the exception of 16d where I persisted in attempting to break the clue down into too many pieces. That one, plus the dreaded Spoonerism, were the last to fall.
    3d was my favourite today.

    Thanks to Chris L and to MP for the blog.

  10. You shamed me with your comment in 5d! I consult Big Dave most days and love what you all do. All finished with a bit of help, now to work.
    Thank you!!

  11. This is the first Monday back pager that I have solved since the new editor took over…..so either it is easier than usual or I am finally getting on to the wavelength.
    In any case, hurrah!

    Wonder how many folk got 20d without checkers?

    Miffypops….I am afraid that you have completely foxed me with your Barbara Streisand clip…..just not getting how it helps. Is it to do with a fringe?
    Mind you, I am biased as the song she is singing is probably my least favourite song ever, coming a close second to Cherry Ripe that we were forced to sing for what seemed like a millenium at school. Who was responsible for choosing those songs for adolescents?

    Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for the hints….with the exception of 8d.

  12. Took a while to get on wavelength but soon began to enjoy a comparatively straightforward solve completing the Western half before the Orient. Tied for Fav were 5d and 11d. Thank you CL and MP.

  13. My favourite, 11d. Took me a while to get 24a and I take one to work each day!😜

  14. Pretty good start to the week for me anyway. No favourites really just a nice quality crossword, still just enough head scratching though and BRB consultation.
    Thanks to Mr Lancaster and Miffypops.

  15. Good fun, enjoyable and not too mind bending for a sunny Monday morning. 8d was my runaway favourite and overall I found this to be 1.5* /4* .

    Thank you to CL and the relaxed MP.

  16. Struggled at first with only 12a a single solve. Then after a brew it all seemed to fall in. 9a made me smile.
    Thanks to CL and MP.

  17. I enjoyed the crossword. Missed a lurker initially and loved the spoonerisms.
    I’ll be a lurker no more!

  18. Struggled with this, despite solving most of the longer answers, finding it tougher than the weekend puzzles. Not on the wavelength and sorely missing the old gentle Monday starts to the week. Needed too many hints, thank you Miffypops, with 8d eluding me and of course the dreaded Spooner clue.

  19. I have lots of ticks today so can’t pick a favourite. I normally like spoonerisms but wasn’t keen on 20d. 23d was new to me but I managed to work it out from the clue. I really didn’t get the end of the quick pun. Moors v Morse. That rules out the whole of the north of England and Scotland. Thank you setter and Miffypops. The final blue tit egg hatched a few days ago, but we are now mystified. This morning there are two more eggs. Do they belong to Mrs Blue tit, or has another bird got into the box? I will have to do a googlething to find out what’s going on.

  20. Good start to the week. Just about my level. Lots of clever clues, especially 3&8d. 23d was a new word for me.

    Thanks to the setter and MP.

  21. I think I must be getting the hang of the new Mondays as that wasn’t too hard. I did leave the dreaded spoonerism til the end though and worked out what the Reverend said after the checkers gave me the answer. The final inspiration came as I was having a brew watching the Red Kites at Harewood and then the app thingy said I had some incorrect answers. First thought was the ending of 26a edge/y like the other day. Had to wait til I got home to find out I was Outgoing instead of Oubound😶. Should have checked my tickets for the train tomorrow as I have to activate the Outbound part tomorrow. Hope to see some of you tomorrow.
    Thanks to Mr Pops and Mr Ed.

        1. Just noticed you turned blue.
          I thought you inadvertently created a slapdash bolder dash hyperlink by filling something in the website box.
          Great vid John B.

          1. Thanks Jean
            Sir Linkalot dubbed me after the Beach Boys hit a while ago and when I found a you tube clip I put it in the little box and hey presto it worked. If I post from the desktop site rather than the mobile site it vanishes. I guess that names that change from black to blue and vice versa depend on how they are posted.

    1. We saw Red Kites rising and soaring whilst watching Otley v Coventry a few years ago. We were puzzled to see the Kites at Otley. Thanks to Google we found out about the Harewood project.

      1. If you’re ever in the area again I can recommend the Muddy Boots Cafe in the village hall at Harewood. (It is on google maps) They do a mean Lemon Drizzle and the Coffee and Walnut cake was to die for. And while we nibbled we saw up to 7 Red Kites in the air at once. They sometimes get fed on the roof outside the Cafe.

  22. Steady solve today. Enjoyed this as I disn’t have to go anywhere for help. Liked 10ac, 3dn, and 8dn. Even liked the Spoonerism!

    Thanks Mr Lancaster and MP.

  23. Really enjoyed today’s puzzle and being on the radar from the start helped. Lots of good clues with some a tad more difficult made for an entertaining solve. Not sure about the Spoonerism, got the answer then worked it out, a bit of a bung in I suppose? Last in18d for no particular reason, a good start to the working week, my sort of puzzle.

    Clues of the day: Thought 3d was very good. 17a also worth a mention.

    Rating: *** / ****

    Thanks to MP and Mr L.

  24. As Stone Waller aptly says, a steady solve with a few clues requiring more cogitation than used to be the case on Mondays, and some excellent anagrams.

    Favourite clue today was 21a.

    Many thanks to Mr Ed and the relaxed one.

  25. Nice crossword making for a good start to the week. 8d was my favourite clue.
    Thanks to CL, and to MP for the review.

  26. Very enjoyable. Thanks to Mr. Lancaster and M’pops. I love the new avatar M’pops, he’s getting big.

    1. We had a lovely walk through the village to The Two Boats and sat outside in the sun by the canal. Nice food nice beer and Saint Sharon selfishly hogging the baby Ethan.

  27. Oh why can’t all the crosswords be like this.
    Very enjoyable with some great clues, 3d and 14a springing to mind. For me it worked because it didn’t rely heavily on general knowledge, plus I seemed to be on the setter’s wavelength for a change. All downhill from here!
    Thanks to CL and MP

  28. Excellent puzzle. Took a while to get going, but went in smoothly after the first initial solves. I’m really enjoying the tougher Monday puzzles. Thank you CL. 2.5*/4*. I have nor problem with the occasional Spoonerism. 8d was tops for me today.

  29. Took longer than yesterdays, but completed in one go without assistance. Was reaching for the BRB for inspiration for 16d (my last one) when Gnomey’s Law sprang to my aid and the answer flashed into my consciousness. I liked the Spoonerism but not so fond of 19a. Double definition it may be but easy to answer as a “straight” clue. Thanks Mr Lancaster and MP. I always check the hints to see if I have missed anything.

  30. Don’t know who is driving the weather at the moment but he or she is of the Sunday type. After moving slowly on, an ugly depression went in full reverse, giving us the same dull day as yesterday. The result of that sudden unexpected decision is that the engine stalled and we shall have the same again tomorrow.
    At least today’s crossword brought a bit of sunshine.
    Enjoyed it a lot.
    Favourite band: The Spice Girls.
    Favourite clue: 20d.
    Thanks to Mr Ed and to MP.

  31. Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, but found it very tricky. Managed to whittle it down to 8, where I failed miserably by entering “surreyless” for a celebrity artist. Doh. I also had “outgoing” for 14a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  32. I too am a lurker. Always enjoy the blog
    and the camaraderie it brings. I am forever grateful for the hard work of setters and hinters alike. Never finished one without hints (yet) but I’m very trying. Maybe one day. Definitely at the lower end of the slogger spectrum so some room for improvement. Many thanks.

    1. Welcome to the blog John Henry. Keep on reading the hints and it will not be long before you are flying solo.

    2. I am also a shy secret lurker and thoroughly enjoy the blog. It’s helped with a recent bereavement.

      1. The blog is a little community all of its own making. We have celebrated births and mourned deaths together. Welcome to the site.

  33. A ** for difficulty sounds about right. Last in 8d as it seems to have been for many.

  34. No problems with this today. I even got the spoonerism, which is a first.
    A first rate blog today thanks to MP’s inimitable style.
    I am looking forward to meeting some bloggers tomorrow.
    Thanks all.

  35. Love Miffypops comments. I even got the Spoonerism without any help! My favourite clue.

  36. Ok – in line with Miffypops comments accompanying 15a – as I don’t want to be called a lurker, I shall ‘come out’ ! No sinister reasons for hiding except I am still learning the craft and am not yet in your league and often end up kicking myself when I realise ‘I should have got that one’! I am grateful to this site though as I am gradually improving. My attempts are a tribute to my late father who loved doing the Telegraph cryptic. Not sure how I could have failed on 8d (when I live in Surrey!) and Spooner when I had both way and hire – but probably as it said in my school reports “could try harder”… (sorry Dad!)

    1. Welcome to the blog. What a lovely first comment. I often think of my parents when solving. Both enjoyed solving any kind of crossword puzzle. Also what a great way to honour your Father. Keep at it and remember all the little tricks mentioned in our reviews. Most of all just ask about anything you don’t understand. An answer will quickly arrive. Thanks again for your comment

  37. I know I’m very late but hopefully the setter will see this. What an absolute delight from start to finish, thank you so much. A perfect crossword.

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