DT 28763 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28763

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28763

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****


Hello, everyone.  Today we have a sparkling puzzle filled with opportunities to say nice things.  I thought it offered a well-judged balance of straightforward clues providing footholds and more complex constructions offering penny drops, topped off with several big smiles.  And it includes a generous selection of beverages.  Recommended.

In the hints below most indicators are italicized and definitions are underlined.  Clicking on the Answer buttons will reveal the answers.  In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background.  Clicking on a picture will enlarge it or display a bonus illustration.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Out of keeping, prom ripe for redevelopment (8)
IMPROPER:  An anagram (for redevelopment) of PROM RIPE

6a    Power feeding Tube centrally? The reverse in New York system (6)
SUBWAY:  The reverse instructs us to invert the first part of the clue, so the inner letters (… centrally) of TUBE are inserted into (feeding) power or influence

9a    Colour of gold by Scottish brook (6)
AUBURN:  Put together the chemical symbol for gold and the Scottish word for a brook or stream

10a   A brandy and soda knocked back after five, after short visit (8)
CALVADOS:  The reversal (knocked back) of SODA is placed after the Roman numeral for five, and all of that comes after a visit minus its last letter (short)

11a   What one may be brought in a taverna with fashionable new tiles (4,4)
WINE LIST:  Link together the abbreviation for with, a usual short word for fashionable, and an anagram (new) of TILES

12a   Extremely small and quiet nursing home (6)
MINUTE:  Quiet or silence containing (nursing) the usual short word for home

13a   Those seeking a relationship with belted earl, on the sly? (6,6)
LONELY HEARTS:  An anagram (belted) of EARL ON THE SLY

16a   Sweet bishop, say, having whisky (12)
BUTTERSCOTCH:  Assemble the chess abbreviation for a bishop, say or state, and whisky (not whiskey) 

19a   Impressionable one in factory (6)
PLIANT:  Insert the Roman one in a factory

21a   Demanding deep thought, expert discovered (8)
PROFOUND:  A short contraction used for an expert, followed by a synonym of discovered 

23a   Perplex foremost of gardeners, appearing with passion flower (8)
FOXGLOVE:  Stick together perplex or deceive, the first letter of (foremost of) GARDENERS, and passion or devotion

24a   Article, belt, I buckled, nevertheless (6)
ALBEIT:  The article is grammatical.  Follow it with an anagram (buckled) of BELT I

25a   Member of the clergy made a confession, to some extent (6)
DEACON:  The answer is hiding as part of (…, to some extent) of the rest of the clue

26a   A position on the cricket field, not long on (5,3)
SHORT LEG:  A word meaning "not long" followed by the other name for the on side of a cricket pitch.  The answer and long on are both positions on a cricket field



2d    & 3 Down Boundless humour, one girl recollected, in famous old nightspot (6)
MOULIN:  An anagram (recollected) of the interior letters of (boundless …) HUMOUR and ONE GIRL

3d    See 2 Down (5)

4d    Nice boarding house, I hesitate to say, for a senior citizen? (9)
PENSIONER:  A boarding house in Nice, or elsewhere in France, is followed by a short word of hesitation in speech

5d    Quote shortened during actual performance (7)
RECITAL:  A word meaning quote or "refer to" with its last letter dropped (shortened) is contained in (during) a synonym of actual

6d    Auction, first of many in state capital (5)
SALEM:  Cement together a synonym of auction and the first letter of MANY to get the capital of the US state of Oregon

7d    Exceptionally intelligent person was hard to indoctrinate (9)
BRAINWASH:  Concatenate an informal word for an exceptionally intelligent person, WAS from the clue, and the pencil abbreviation for hard

8d    A pale worried deserter (8)
APOSTATE:  Combine A from the clue, a pale or wooden stake, and an informal word for worried

13d   Sluggish? It could be the garlic (9)
LETHARGIC:  An anagram (it could be) of THE GARLIC

14d   Casserole at bistro, ultimately a controversial issue (3,6)
HOT POTATO:  Glue together a (3,3) casserole, AT from the clue, and the last letter of (… ultimately) BISTRO

15d   Speak without restraint appealing to have conveniences installed (3,5)
CUT LOOSE:  An adjective meaning appealing containing (to have … installed) an informal name for some conveniences or lavatories

17d   Constant battle over small wood (7)
CYPRESS:  Glue together the usual letter used in mathematics to represent a constant, a First World War battle in Belgium and the clothing abbreviation for small.  I knew the battle from this song based on part of a poem by Canadian poet Alden Nowlan.  Early evidence that Canadians "won't be pushed around"

18d   Popular team, fundamentally (6)
INSIDE:  The usual short word for popular, followed by another word for a sports team

20d   Old character beginning to tune musical instrument (5)
THORN:  Join the first letter of (beginning to) TUNE and a musical instrument that you blow into.  More information on the answer is here

22d   Complete circuit, or segment? (5)
ORBIT:  OR from the clue and a segment or piece of something


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve  I had ticks beside 6a, 11a, 12a, 26a, 4d, 7d, 15d, 17d, and 22d.  Which clues appealed to you?


The (pangram) Quick Crossword pun:  CRABBE + STYX = CRAB STICKS

44 comments on “DT 28763

  1. That was a real treat with lots of smiles and d’oh moments plus a French flavour once again. South came in before the North where stupidly a couple of wordy clues held me up. My Fav surface was 4d. Thank you Mysteron and MrK.

    1. I guess I date myself by having bunged in the wrong actor/swimmer for Quickie 1a. One died in 1966 and the other in 1983. Do I have any mates?

  2. This was very good! Not hugely difficult, but the clues were very well written/constructed, providing an enjoyable solve. Favs: 10a, 16a, 23a, 15d and 17d. 2.5* / 3.5*

  3. I agree with Mr K’s rating of 2* / 4* for this fun puzzle.

    My favourite is a toss up between 4d & 15d.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and Mr K.

  4. Very enjoyable crossword today and I had the satisfaction of finishing before the blog was posted! 8d was last in . Took a bit of brain searching to work out why.

  5. A steady solve, finished in ***/**** time. It was the SW corner that held me up, requiring a second brewing.

    I vaguely remember the character in 20d from an episode of QI a few years ago.

    Last one to fall, and COTD was 23a.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and Mr K.

  6. I can’t make my mind up on this. This very much felt like a new Mr.Ron and took me ages to get going.
    I finished it ok, but it broke the record for the number of bung-ins, that luckily worked for me. However that is down to me not being very good at this. I look forward to going through the hints.
    Last in was 17d, for the battle alone.
    No complaints though, thanks all.

  7. Yes , loved it . Too many favourites to list . 6a foxed me for a while as trying to get “upbeat” to reason in . Became obvious when 6d realised especially as visited the place once .
    Completed in 2 halves , before and after dentist . Perhaps, I had some sense drilled into me by my root canal work !
    Thanks to everyone .

  8. I agree with Mr K ‘s remarks , a delightful distraction .Thanks for the information on ” Thorn ” , voiceless laminal consonants and all.
    14d is my favourite .I surprised myself by getting 26a .
    Thanks to Mr K and the setter .

  9. This was a fun puzzle, taxing in places,amusing in others and brain stretching. At the moment the setters seem to excelling themselves. No fabourites as whole crossword full of good clues.
    Thanks to Mr K and setter

  10. I think Mr K summed this one up perfectly, an absolute joy and (for me) just the right degree of difficulty. Probably the most enjoyable one for a long while, and a very pleasant review too.
    Thanks to setter and reviewer

  11. Like most of you, I found this a very enjoyable and entertaining puzzle. I wish it could have lasted a little longer. 1.5*/****. 26a and 17d joint winners for me.

  12. Well it lasted long enough for me enjoyable but tricky 😳 ***/*** I thought 12a very clever! Favourites 17d & 10a 😊 Thanks as always to Mr K and to the unknown setter 🤔

  13. Well, that was a relief. I normally finish, or nearly finish the grid, but Saturday’s made me feel my brain had stopped. Even the hints didn’t help me much. I missed yesterday, so approached this one with extreme caution. However, I really enjoyed it, so normality has returned!

    I didn’t manage 23a or 20d, can’t think why not, now I see them. I liked 10a and 11a.

  14. Good fun, loads to enjoy and just the right amount of difficulty to make it interesting. 15d my favourite, and 3* /4* overall.

    Thanks to both Misters.

  15. Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, did what I could and was looking at a lot of blank spaces on the grid. Eventually managed to whittle them down. 11a was last in, but I couldn’t parse it. Got 20d, but the meaning was a new one on me. I liked 17d, but my favourite was 21a. Was 2.5*/3.5* for me.

  16. As Mr K said, this one certainly had some sparkle.
    We’ve seen the casserole quite recently so that went in easily which is more than can be said for 22a, for some reason the last to fall for me.
    I did check on the required definition of 15a – haven’t heard it used in that context previously.

    Plenty of ticks with the nod going to 17&22d.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr K for the blog – informative as ever and I particularly liked the bonus pic for 11a.
    PS Had to look up the swimmer/actor in the Quickie – what an unfortunate name!

  17. Sparkling it certainly was, a really top notch and well-crafted backpage puzzle I thought.

    My top two clues were 6a and 12a, but many were vying for contention.

    Many thanks to today’s setter and to Mr K.

  18. Really enjoyed this but a game of two halves today, unlike Angellov, North came in much before South for me and there proved to be several sticking points down there. Last in 17d kept trying to fit copse in that one, 20d also took some figuring out until the checkers were in. Overall a very good puzzle with some top clues although the shortage of anagrams possibly made it a bit tougher for me?

    Clues of the day: 16a / 17d

    Rating 3* / 4*

    Thanks to Mr K and Mr Ron

  19. Yes I too tried to use ‘copse’ in 17d. Eventually the penny dropped and the rest then went in quite quickly. 10a hit my sweet spot.
    Thanks to Mr Ron for an entertaining puzzle, and Mr K for an entertaining review.

  20. ***/****. Needed a couple of hints to finish this – thanks Mr K. However very enjoyable with 17d my COTD. Thanks to the setter for an excellent work out.

  21. I needed hints to complete this, 20d being the last one.
    Fave was 15d, but lots more to like. Fave pics were the two at 11a.
    Thanks to setter and to Mr. Kitty for his informative review.

  22. Nice puzzle today I consulted the hints to confirm a couple (8 and 17d) my fave was between 24a and 6d. We had a brief debate the other day about the drinky bit of 16a and although I do like the smoky peatier malts like Laphroaig the other suggestions would go down very well. I like most Speyside malts and Glenmorangie is a good tipple too. I even like a lot of Irish whiskey and the barley is malted over closed kilns so very little smokiness makes it to the whiskey. Talisker is another favourite and has seaweed notes as it is matured next to the sea.

  23. Haven’t finished yet, but will be traveling so just wanted to say loved Mr K’s aside on 17d.

  24. Wasn’t too difficult but I needed the blog to explain6a(power?), 11a (w=with), 26a(not On is Off), 8d(pale=post?), 18d (why is inside fundamentallly) and 20d (never heard of the old character).
    For me **/**

  25. Plenty to enjoy and it all slotted together smoothly for us.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  26. Well, that was very good. Not too difficult, but lots of sparkle, lots to appreciate, lots of smiles along the way.

  27. Late on parade tonight… just wanted to add my thanks to the setter and to Mr K. In keeping with the consensus, I thought this was an excellent puzzle. CotD 17d but many others to enjoy – more of the same please.

  28. Got in a lot of trouble in the SE as I thought the opposite of Long On in 26a was going to be Short Off.
    Still don’t know anything about cricket even after reading BD’s mine a hundred times.
    Lots of very witty clues.
    A real pleasure.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  29. It appears that the answer to 20d was unfamiliar to a lot of site visitors, because the explanatory hyperlink in the hint has been clicked 661 times just 12 hours after the blog was posted.

  30. Hard solve but enjoyable . Thanks for explanation of 20d & the lurker in 25a.

  31. Enjoyable with the exception of 26a where I thought it was obviously Short Off. I finally changed it to Leg when I couldn’t get 18d to work (although not sure I get why Fundamentally=Inside?). I don’t like cricket clues, never having played or watched the game.

  32. Didn’t enjoy this one. Too much putting in words that fit without knowing why. Still don’t understand 6a. And why “inside” for 18d?

    1. Hi, David. For 18d, I thought of the meaning associated with being at the core of something, such as “He’s fundamentally good” and “He’s good inside”. Does that work for you?

  33. Mr K – thanks for taking the time to reply – that makes sense. By the way, I can’t reply to comments on this site, only post new comments…

    1. Glad that helped.

      When you say you can’t reply, are you not seeing the REPLY hyperlink below the commenter’s name, or does something go wrong when you try to use it? If it’s an issue with the site, BD will have to fix it, in which case it would be helpful to know exactly how it fails and what computer/tablet/phone and what browser you’re using.

  34. Sorry for the VERY late reply to this. I didn’t get a chance to do it on the day and discovered it in my suitcase! I had to comment because I found it so enjoyable. Tricky in places but some very clever and amusing clues. Thought 17d was particularly good but one of many. The history of the character ‘thorn’ is fascinating, particularly the way it ended up being printed as a Y, hence “ye olde”.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Chris. It appears that many blog visitors were interested in learning more about thorn, because the link above to Wikipedia now has 959 clicks! It’s still getting attention, and in the next week or so it will likely become the blog’s most-clicked link to a Wikipedia article.

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