DT 28747 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28747

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28747

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Hello everyone. I thought this was quite tricky in places – it certainly took me a while to get going. I have no idea as to the identity of the setter but it’s not a Ray T Thursday.

In the hints the definitions are underlined and the answers are under the bits that say ANSWER so only do that it you need to see one.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today.


1a        Brief commercial poll about early signs of consumer activity (8)
ADVOCATE — the usual crosswordland commercial is followed by a poll or ballot which contains the first letters (early signs) of the last two words in the clue

5a        Circle that’s disrupted minister (6)
CLERIC — an anagram (that’s disrupted) of CIRCLE

10a      Sloppy on onerous PR plan? That could be it! (8,7)
PERSONAL PRONOUN — an anagram (sloppy) of ON ONEROUS PR PLAN – not quite sure what to underline as the definition in this one

11a      Losers might do this in place for contemplation (7)
RETREAT — a double definition (I think)


12a      A line in shy note for trusty follower (7)
ACOLYTE — the A from the clue and a synonym for shy or demure which contains (in) the abbreviation for L(ine) followed by the last but one note in the musical scale

13a      A book with view about African party getting suspension (8)
ABEYANCE — the A from the clue and the abbreviation for B(ook) and then a verb to view or look at which contains (about) the three letter abbreviation for the South African ruling party

15a      Entice interest emptying bottles (5)
TEMPT — our first lurker or hidden answer indicated by the last word in the clue

18a      Material for Oxford perhaps moved around, we hear (5)
SUEDE — a homophone (we hear) of a word that means moved around or from side to side

20a      Manage with others to wear medal (3,5)
GET ALONG — a slang word for a medal contains the abbreviation for a Latin term meaning “and the rest of ‘em”

23a      Gather a lot of tough clothing to keep warm (7)
HARVEST — most (a lot of) of a four letter synonym for tough or difficult followed by some clothing worn (not sure who by) to keep warm – not sure about that one

25a      American soldier seen in country area or Italian city (7)
PERUGIA — a South American country and the abbreviation for A(rea) contain (seen in) our usual American soldier

26a      MP spoilt accord I formulated for foreign officialdom (10,5)
DIPLOMATIC CORPS — an anagram (formulated) of MP SPOILT ACCORD I

27a      Doddery old German, temporary resident (6)
LODGER — an anagram (doddery) of OLD is followed by the three letter abbreviation for German

28a      Titled figure in turn with early broadcast lacking a humorous quality (8)
DROLLERY — a reversal (in turn) of a titled person followed by an anagram (broadcast) of EaRLY – early without, or lacking, A



1d        Aim when facing pressure and anger (6)
ASPIRE — a little short word meaning when or while, the one letter abbreviation for P(ressure) and a synonym for anger or fury

2d        Free travel i.e. around Belgium? It’s true (9)
VERITABLE — an anagram (free) of TRAVEL I E which contains (around) the IVR for Belgium

3d        A class in creating courses? (7)
COOKERY — these courses are parts of a meal

4d        Characteristic element in extra item (5)
TRAIT — the second lurker of the day (element in) – it’s hiding in the middle of the last two words of the clue

6d        Take care in position on board (4,3)
LOOK OUT — a double definition, the first being an exclamation to warn of a disaster about to happen

7d        Skipper gracious describing big property? (5)
ROOMY — I might be missing something here but I think ‘Skipper’ is a kangaroo so the first three letters are a shortened word for a kangaroo and the last two are an exclamation meaning ‘gracious’ or ‘blow me down’ or something along those lines . . . If anyone has any better ideas please say so!

8d        A lot of worry with time over musical work (8)
CONCERTO — six of a seven letter word (a lot of) meaning worry or distress, the abbreviation for T(ime) and the ‘crickety’ abbreviaton for O(ver)

9d        Father upset mother perhaps? It’s plain to see (8)
APPARENT — a reversal (upset) of an affectionate way or referring to your father is followed by a word of which mother is an example (perhaps)

14d      Flier near pitch around the centre of Dijon (8)
NIGHTJAR — an archaic or poetic word meaning near is followed by pitch – the black shiny stuff that’s used on roofs and roads – which contains the middle letter (centre) of diJon

16d      Chaps get on trip taking day off to see animal sanctuary? (9)
MENAGERIE — some chaps or blokes, a synonym for get on or become older and then a trip or outing without its D

17d      Lad hopes to move plant (8)
ASPHODEL — an anagram (to move) of LAD HOPES

19d      Detective in audience witnessed ugly sight (7)
EYESORE — a kind of detective, often preceded by private, is followed by a homophone (in audience) of a synonym for witnessed or observed

21d      Imaginative famous songwriter almost restricted by unreliable ally (7)
LYRICAL — three of a four letter surname (almost) of a famous songwriter associated with Andrew Lloyd Webber is inside (restricted by) an anagram (unreliable) of ALLY

22d      Ignore a ship in lead over year (4,2)
PASS BY — the A from the clue and the usual two letter abbreviation for S(team) S(hip) are contained in the chemical symbol for lead and that lot is followed by the abbreviation for Y(ear)

24d      Quick criticism shown by papers? (5)
RAPID — a short word meaning criticism or blame is followed by some official papers that prove who you are

25d      Principal in order, one interfering it’s said (5)
PRIOR — a homophone (it’s said) of a nosey parker

I particularly liked 25a and 7 and 9d. My favourite was 16d

The Quickie pun:- BUOY + BANNED = BOY BAND

55 comments on “DT 28747

  1. I too thought it tricky in places but I ended up in a reasonable time for an inside back pager. Thanks to the Thursday Mysteron and to Kath for the blog – I particularly like the picture for 16d

  2. 18a and 19d my last two entries, with 16d my favourite. Luckily, 17d was also in the Quickie or I would not have got it unaided. I agree with Kath that this was fairly tricky for a Thursday, but all the more enjoyable for it, so 3* /4* overall for me.

    Thanks to Kath and to our setter. Summer starts today with the first test match at Lord’s.

  3. Not my favourite one of the week but must not complain as it kept me quiet for a while which pleases “the wife” . Happy wife , happy life .
    No particular favourite clue .
    Thanks to setter and Kath .

    1. I find wives in general are happiest when engaged in dull boring menial tasks. Subservient and obedient wives are the happiest of all.

      1. MP – you know how much I love you and what an absolute star I think you are but you’re seriously pushing your luck here. Only joking, as I think you are too.

  4. Left a comment but it got lost somewhere…I have seen other complain about this but it hasn’t happened to me before , as far as I can remember.

    Anyway, I found this one definitely tricky, even the anagrams foxed me for quite a while.
    I had seven clues where I had put in the answers but could not parse, so thanks to Kath for the enlightenment. This seems quite a lot, even for me….

    Thanks again to Kath and to the setter.

  5. I agree that this was a tricky little rascal and definitely, in my opinion, harder than today’s Toughie. Top clues for me were 20a and 16d (I’m not going to mention 19d).
    Thanks to the anonymous setter and to Kath.

  6. I too found this tricky but very enjoyable. it is nice to see Plumbum making a return. Off to see the grandchildren now.. Thanks Kath. Great blog. Thanks to today’s setter. See you all tomorrow

  7. I found this a bit challenging with one or two awkward clues, but nothing too scary. 25d was perhaps my favourite but 7d was a contender also.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Kath for her tip top review.

  8. After a very pleasant two day road trip for pleasure and business (including playing golf on an outstanding course in an outstanding setting) I was slowed down to a fast canter for solving this enjoyable puzzle – **/***.

    28a was a new word for me (I think) but, by the look of it, it must be an oldie but goodie and I must have missed previous ‘appearances.’

    Favourite – a toss-up between 23a and 14d.

    Thanks to the setter and Kath.

  9. Enjoyed this a lot but north west corner held me up for a while. Thanks as ever to Kath for her very helpful blog and to the setter whomsoever he/she might be. 20a was good. By the way, are there any female setters with the DT nowadays?

    1. There are certainly two ladies in the Toughie team – Warbler and Excalibur – but all of the back page setters whose names we know are male. Doesn’t mean to say that there isn’t a Miss or Mrs Ron lurking behind anonymity!

  10. Am I the only one who queries 10a as it didn’t work for me, obviously it was an anagram but the definition could have been anything that fitted.
    Apart from this glitch , really enjoyed the puzzle, and think ***/**** is about right.
    Did not know the solution to 21 was a synonym until I checked-wrong as usual-will make a note.
    Liked 22d.
    Assumed Oxford in 18a was a shoe, puzzled by Kath’s hat!

    1. Apologies for the hat and for underlining too much in the hint for 10a. Oh dear.
      Yes – ‘Oxford’ is a shoe but shoes aren’t the only things that can be made out of the answer which is why I chose a hat – I’m really not trying to be difficult here.
      I don’t have an excuse for 10a although I did have a bit of a dither about what to underline.

      1. I think that what you’ve underlined in 10a is fine, Kath. It’s just saying that ‘it’ is a definition by example.

      2. The illustration at 18 across if fine Kath. It illustrates the material which is the answer. The shoe is not the answer. I would have shown a Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat and used the Dylan track of the same name because it is the great man’s birthday today.

        1. Couldn’t get 18a at all, since to a South Walian that leather sounds nothing like “swayed”. Annoying to fail on that one since the rest made my brain hurt & I was so pleased to have completed apart from that!

  11. Unnecessarily obtuse. Much too cryptic for me. Might have to switch daily paper. Didn’t enjoy it at all.

    1. Ye Gods! The crossword & Allison Pearson’s column are the only two reasons left for buying the DT these days…

  12. Had to dart about the grid a little to mop up the last few but enjoyed the ride.

    Top two for me were 20a & 16d – especially Kath’s pic for the latter which was reminiscent of the inhabitants of my grandson’s cot!

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Kath for the blog – nice to see you back in the big red chair.

  13. Giving up for now, finding this tricky with strange clues. Perhaps I will have more patience later. Not ready to look at the hints yet.

  14. Had to resort to the hints for 3D but otherwise managed ok. No standouts but generally very clever. Thanks as always for the blog.

  15. Thanks to Kath for explaining my bung ins and throwing light on several clues which eluded me. Thanks also to the setter. The new feature which I hadn’t noticed meant me having to type this comment again. Cambridge Analytical and it’s ilk have a lot to be accountable for.

  16. A tricky challenge with several unfamiliar words. 17d didn’t know that plant needed electronic help to solve it, 28a also a new word, 12a last in needed Kaths hints to sort that. Made a good start but got stuck in NE corner and 7d was a “bung in” until l sussed the skipper, took ages to get that. Enjoyable puzzle with some interesting anagrams definitely need a bit more experience with this setter to get really on the radar.

    Clues of the day: 13a / 14d

    Rating: 3.5* / 4*

    Thanks to Kath and the setter

  17. Tougher than today’s Toughie.

    Somewhat disappointed that Kath, a resident of Oxford, didn’t include this
    in the hint for 18a.

    What’s hat all about?

  18. Definitely trickier than most backpagers, so I wouldn’t have been surprised to have seen it gracing the Toughie slot.

    As a last letter deletion indicator, “a lot of” isn’t used as often as other devices, but the setter is clearly partial to it, as it featured twice today.

    My favourite clue was 14d.

    Many thanks to today’s compiler and to Kath.

  19. Tricky one for me also. Especially having put APOSTLE for 12a. Needed help with 17d knew it was an anagram of Lad Hopes but I have never heard of it. Still it keeps the grey matter busy.

    1. Nobody needs to know just how long I spent trying to make sense of apostle for 12a.

  20. Yes! I fell for the apostle trick too..completely ignoring the shy part of the clue of course.
    The kangaroo got me back on track!
    A great puzzle..clever and funny.
    My favourite today was 28a very neat.
    Thanks to all.

  21. Yes , a bit tricky , in places though all the anagrams helped .
    Beaten by 3d .
    Thanks to the setter and Kath .

  22. We also found this a tricky puzzle and enjoyable to solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Kath.

  23. Didn’t find it any easier after second coffee. Thank you Kath for the hints, of which I needed far too many. Mostly because I was lost, but for several just because I had the right answer but didn’t understand how they quite fit. Never heard of the 17d, despite years of gardening, and when I saw the comment about it also being in today’s Quick, I was able to fill that in for Mr BL. I would rank as a **** difficulty and would have given up without Kath’s help. Thank goodness for this site.

  24. Because this has instigated several comments I’ll just go back to 17d in the cryptic (and the same in the Quickie).
    Firstly, for any of you who have never heard of it before it’s worth remembering because it turns up quite often.
    Secondly, it’s a bit like the snow leopard/ounce in that it’s only ever found in crosswordland.
    I do hope that they’re very happy together!

  25. Definitely on the tricky side, a *** and a bit for difficulty. Both 17d and 25ac struck me as being surprisingly obscure for a Telegraph back pager, but perfectly gettable in both cases.

  26. Had a few left after work. 3d 25d 13a and 28a
    A quick glance at the hints and I was able to get them before the dentist commenced her torture.
    25a my fave today
    Thanks to Kath and setter. Off to find a painkiller or two.

    Why are there no Aspirins in the Jungle?

    Because the Parrots eat ’em all…

  27. An enjoyable excursion with the North completing before the South. Like Kath, not too keen on 23a and not impressed by 7d but, in fact, that had been delayed by my error in 12a. Fav 16d with 3d following up. Thank you Jay and Kath (great to have you back on hinting parade).

  28. I was slow to start. I did however complete and parse unaided whilst enjoying a train journey. Last in was the plant which I had never heard of. Once I had all the checkers I worked out more or less how it had to be spelt and googled it to make sure. Favourites 23 and 28a and 3, 14, 19, and 25d. Some of those were slow to come but very much appreciated when they did. Luckily I did not think of apostle for 12a. Had I done so I could have been considerably delayed. It was one of the last in and only achieved after I got 7d. Thanks setter whoever you are and to Kath and all other commentators. I enjoyed the variety of responses.

  29. PS – Forgive me asking Kath but why did you use a cap to illustrate 18a? Just curious!

    1. I went for a hat/cap because it was made from 18a – I felt that the Oxford/shoe was just an example of something that could have been made out of it and so was neither here nor there. Having scoured Mr Google images I could have picked all kinds of things – jackets, belts etc etc – but the point was to find something, anything, made out of the answer. At this point I do rather feel that I’ve complicated things – apologies and oh dear!

  30. The least enjoyable puzzle for me for a long time. More bung-ins than I can ever remember.
    Thanks to Kath for unpicking it all.
    I think I should have done the Toughie today.

  31. I too went for apostle, but managed to parse by having “for” mean “post” goes in the a….le”. I’ve seen less logical constructions! Ok, it made 7d into ROOST, which is even more of a stretch, but not entirely implausible. Oh, and there must be a stack of songwriters writers leading to that part solution, but very appropriate. Never mind, very enjoyable for a mystery Thursday. Thanks to the setter, and to Kath for the enlightenment.

  32. That’s it from me this evening.
    Thank you to whoever set todays crossword and to everyone else for the comments.
    Off to bed to read my book although I’m not sure how far I’ll get – night night all :yawn:

  33. An enjoyable puzzle that took a little bit of teasing to cough up it’s secrets. i got a bit stuck in the SE corner (bottom rightt Kath :smile: ) for some reason although I don’t know why. Haven’t seen 28a for a while and not sure if ‘Oxford footwear’ equates to s****e – surely leather is the preferred material?

    Thanks to the setter for the puzzle and to Kath for her excellent blog :smile:

  34. I only started this with my morning cuppa today. Found it most enjoyable so surprised to read all the comments about diffuculty. I must be improving.
    The bit that has me stumped is the NE corner! At least I know now it isn’t apostle, so thank you all for that. I’ll take another look now.

  35. I did this one and Friday’s yesterday (Fri) afternoon and thought it was excellent – a good challenge, well-clued and very enjoyable, easily best of the week. 3* / 4*

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