DT 28739 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28739

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28739

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***


Hello, everyone.  In the hints below most indicators are italicized and definitions are underlined.  Clicking on the ANSWER buttons will reveal the answers.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Flag held by Communist no longer in position? (7)
RETIRED:  Flag or exhaust contained in (held by) the colour used as a synonym of Communist 

5a    Work attitude by daughter is resisted (7)
OPPOSED:  Concatenate the usual musical work, a synonym of attitude, and the genealogical abbreviation for daughter 

9a    Queen caught in fraudulent scheme? Get away! (5)
SCRAM:  The Latin abbreviation for Queen is inserted in (caught in) a fraudulent scheme

10a   Cleric with debts derived through the experience of others (9)
VICARIOUS:  Put together a Christian cleric and some debts typically acknowledged on a slip of paper

11a   Doctor ambles; she is avoiding hospital gatherings (10)
ASSEMBLIES:  An anagram (doctor) of AMBLES ShE IS  without the abbreviation for hospital (avoiding hospital)

12a   A female pair oddly picked out from a distance (4)
AFAR:  Join together A from the clue, the abbreviation for female and the even letters of PAIR (… oddly picked out)

14a   That man consumed by nerves lets drunk in at all events (12)
NEVERTHELESS:  A pronoun for "that man" contained in (consumed by) an anagram (drunk) of NERVES LETS

18a   Dense pupil should have done this in class (12)
CONCENTRATED:  The answer is also what a pupil should perhaps have done at school, especially if they weren't the brightest

21a   Old chest goes over lady's fingers (4)
OKRA:  The abbreviation for old, followed by the reversal (… goes over) of a chest or coffer

22a   Has replied obliquely? It's what we expect from PM (10)
LEADERSHIP:  An anagram (obliquely) of HAS REPLIED

25a   Surprise from a labyrinth meant adult is lost (9)
AMAZEMENT:  Combine A from the clue, a simple word for a labyrinth, and MEaNT minus an abbreviation for adult (adult is lost

26a   Weapon that shocks criminals? (5)
TASER:  A weapon that literally shocks criminals

27a   Set  views (7)
SCENERY:  A double definition.  A film or stage set, and views of countryside, for example

28a   Animal skin not in hole (7)
HIDEOUT:  The skin of an animal is followed by a word for "not in" 



1d    In character, a scallywag? (6)
RASCAL:  The answer is hidden in the rest of the clue

2d    Husband interrupts rubbish party (6)
THRASH:  The abbreviation for husband is inserted in (interrupts) rubbish or worthless 

3d    Thought of politician sitting in grass (10)
REMEMBERED:  The M in MP inserted in (sitting in) a tall marsh grass

4d    Monster was upset (5)
DEVIL:  The reversal (upset in a down clue) of was or existed

5d    Pit crew perhaps fixing car and others (9)
ORCHESTRA:  An anagram (fixing) of CAR OTHERS

6d    Father about to get cut off (4)
PARE:  A short word for father and the usual short word for about or concerning

7d    Without punishment, MacDonald maybe joins Frank (4-4)
SCOT-FREE:  A native of the country associated with the name MacDonald (maybe) and frank or candid 

8d    Harrow uniform is tight at first on the inside (8)
DISTRESS:  A uniform or ceremonial clothing, with both IS from the clue and the initial letter (… at first) of TIGHT inserted (on the inside)

13d   Noted Conservative bet leader changes (10)
CELEBRATED:  Follow an abbreviation for Conservative with an anagram (… changes) of BET LEADER

15d   Former lover half-trembled in front of city, fearfully (9)
EXTREMELY:  Cement together the usual former lover, half of TREMBLED, and a usual cathedral city in Cambridgeshire

16d   Coat, bras, pants, jumpers? (8)
ACROBATS:  An anagram (pants) of COAT BRAS

17d   Climb in groove (8)
INCREASE:  IN from the clue and a synonym of groove

19d   Drug-free treatment for athlete's foot? (6)
PHYSIO:  A shortened form of a drug-free treatment for an athlete's foot, or leg, or other body part

20d   Drink  bottle (6)
SPIRIT:  A double definition.  A generic strong alcoholic drink, and bottle or boldness

23d   Ultimately good dog losing its head? Ha-ha! (5)
DITCH:  The last letter (ultimately …) of GOOD, followed by a female dog without its first letter (dog losing its head)

24d   Hand over stone, we're told (4)
CEDE:  A homophone (we're told) of what the stone of a fruit is


Thanks to today’s setter.


The Quick Crossword pun:  SUITE+TORQUE=SWEET TALK

36 comments on “DT 28739

  1. I have to admit to a failure today. I just couldn’t see 19d. (And I wasn’t sure whether 26 could be spelled with a Z or not.) I had to come here to get Mr. K.’s hint. DOH.

    Could I question the overall meaning of 15d? Does that involve fear?

    Overall, a good steady solve, which made a pleasant start to the day.

    Many thanks to Mr. K. and the setter.

  2. Just nicely testing with SE holding out the longest mainly due to 19d abbreviation not immediately occurring to me although I did like it once the penny dropped. Thank you Mysteron and MrK.

  3. Bottom half was my problem but got there eventually . Liked a lot of clues so no favourite . Did not like some clues though but pleased to finish so ***/*** for me .
    Thanks to everyone .
    Lovely here in Crete , nothing to do and all day/night to do it and Telegraph helps to keep me active ie brain .

  4. My usual afternoon solve became a morning one today in view of the S & B gathering later (leaving shortly), but fortunately I found today’s puzzle fairly straightforward with fewer tricky aspects than yesterday’s, so time wasn’t an issue.

    Top clue for me was 22a, it’s certainly what we expect but is very seldom in evidence!

    Many thanks to setter and to Mr K.

  5. mr. K

    Enjoyed todays puzzle at a light canter

    I ilked 16 (involved underwear)
    23 I thought “her” would have been better than “its”.

    Regards to B. D. & yourself & the setter,

    D. D.

  6. 2* / 3.5*. An enjoyably different puzzle today with nothing too taxing, although the SE corner took a little teasing out. I’ll go along with Silvanus in choosing 22a as my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr R & Mr K.

  7. A good second day of the week cranial workout completed at a gallop – **/***.

    I had never heard of lady’s fingers being used as an alternate name for 21a – so that required electronic confirmation.

    Favourite – 10a.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    1. My problem was that I did know “lady’s fingers” but just couldn’t remember! Got it with the blog picture. Fast start, slow finish in the SW and couldn’t solve 19dn. All good though.

      Thanks setter and blogger.
      PS enjoy your day out in London today! Hope you had a good trip Jane and that you have a better one better one back.

  8. Top half went straight in: bottom half gave some pause for thought. **/****. Very enjoyable.. My favourite was 19d once the penny dropped, closely followed by 23d. With 28a, 22a, 17d and 16d also worthy of mentions.

  9. Nice puzzle complete in single cafetierre time. Favourite 5d.
    Thanks to Mr K and setter.

  10. Nice one. 19D was my last one in and hands down favorite. Thanks Mr. K and today’s setter.

  11. It took me a while to get into the groove with today’s. The SW corner took some time. I’m puzzled how pants can be an anagram indicator🤔. My favourite, 18a because I should have done that at school😜
    Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

  12. I thought this was fab. **/*****. So many made me smile (22a – wish we got more of it – non political, just a hope) but was on the wavelength right away. Wish they were like this every day!

  13. I loved this, the north was solved in record time but the south took much, much longer.
    I love the Brit name for 21a, that is such an elegant name for what is essentially soul food.
    Fave was 10a with 19d nipping at its heels.
    Thanks to setter and to Mr. K for his, as usual, informative review.

    1. Being one of the very few vegetables I really dislike, it would call it foul food 😊

  14. Like Merusa above, the top went in very quickly, but the bottom half took much longer. Not sure about 19d, but I did like 22a. Overall this was 2.5* /3.5* for me.

    Thanks to both Misters.

  15. Much as it pains me to acknowledge the use of the dreaded word, 16d is pure genius.

    No question mark required in my books.

    Top 10 of the year.

  16. Very enjoyable. I liked 10a too but found 19d a bit teasing. Never really thought of that kind of treatment as drug-free. Thanks setter and Mr K.

  17. 16d was my favourite clue in this very good Tuesday puzzle. There were no problems and it was completed at a gentle amble…
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr K for the review.

  18. In agreement with others that 22a has a ‘certain relevance to current affairs’ (in accordance with Big Dave’s rule re. political posting, I won’t say any more about that!).
    Nice puzzle with one or two subtleties – of which 17d had me in a grim headlock until the bitter end. Chestnut of the day surely = 20d? Thanks to all concerned!

  19. Mostly enjoyed. If 14a had said in any event instead of at all events, I would have twigged. Didn’t know 21a was lady’s fingers in England, thought that was what we used in trifles, the fingers not the yucky vegetable. My biggest problem was 15d, and don’t understand fearfully meaning extremely. If I am extremely happy, extremely healthy or even extremely tired, I wouldn’t be fearful. Otherwise a delightful puzzle, with joint favourites of 5d and 7d.

  20. Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, quite straightforward. I thought 19d was a bit weak. My favourite was 16a, very original. Was 2*/3* for me. Was very hot for hillwalking today, but I’m not complaining!

  21. Our biggest head scratch was also with 19d but it did not cause a major delay. Enjoyable to solve.
    We’ve been thinking of all of you in London. It is now three years since we were lucky enough to have been there and still fondly remember the occasion.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  22. For the most part pretty straightforward, expect for 26ac which I can’t spell, and 19d that took an age to spot. Enjoyable throughout as always.

  23. Safely home from the S&B meeting – greatly enjoyed renewing ‘old’ acquaintances and meeting several new members of the BD gang along with a sprinkling of DT setters. The autograph book is filling up nicely!

    Solved this one on the train this morning but don’t have one of those new-fangled phones so couldn’t post a comment when the review came up. Ticks went to 22a & 16d with a mention for the concise cluing of 4d.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr K for the blog, despite the non-appearance of the ‘extra cat pics’ he promised for this week!
    The pic for 26a worried me a little – for one thing, the article in question seemed to bear more than a passing resemblance to what I always assume are radar guns being wielded at the side of the road and for another – that police officer is definitely smiling……….

    1. Nice to meet you too, Jane. I am sorry that I had to dash off without saying goodbye, you were chatting away and I had to rush off to get the train.

      1. No problem, Hoofit, I think we all left it to the last minute before dashing off to catch trains – I made mine with very little time to spare.

        Hope the sun shines for you on the 14th – I’ll raise a glass to your happiness.

  24. Another successful solve for me.

    This week is so far proving to be better than last week.

    Thanks to he setter and to Mr Kitty.

  25. This one was fair to middling, not bad at all for a Tuesday puzzle. An enjoyable solve. 2.5* / 3.5*

Comments are closed.