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DT 28761

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28761

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 9th June 2018

BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment **

I found this very tricky for an inside back pager, let alone a Saturday Prize Puzzle which people always assume will be on the straightforward side to attract more entries into the competition. Not as much fun as most Saturdays either, so that’s why my ratings are what they are.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Suffering as Samson was, fatally (10)
DISTRESSED – Because after Samson had his hair cut off (dis-tressed), it had fatal consequences for both him and the Philistines

6a    A person on foot took off (4)
APED – A (from the clue) PED (abbreviated pedestrian, person on foot)

9a    Try on manoeuvres adopted by superior gold-digger (5-5)
FORTY-NINER – An anagram (manoeuvres) of TRY ON ‘adopted by’ FINER (superior). Forty-niners were, of course, people who took part in the Californian gold rush, most of whom arrived in 1849. I’d be interested to know if anyone else spent part of their Saturday singing Oh my darling Clementine, the lyrics of which tell us that Clementine’s father was a Forty-Niner?

10a    Shared resources Hank’s taken back (4)
POOL – A reversal (the first of several in this crossword) indicated by ‘taken back’ of LOOP (hank, especially of hair)

12a    Perhaps hen is female bird (4)
FOWL – F (female) OWL (bird)

13a    A military alliance film person dealing with bodies (9)
ANATOMIST – A (from the clue) NATO (military alliance) MIST (film)

15a    Dicky heading off from Bedfordshire town (8)
UNSTABLE – Remove the heading or first letter from the Bedfordshire town of DUNSTABLE

16a    Spies taking rebellious soldiers in films (6)
CINEMA – CIA (American spies) ‘taking’ a reversal (rebellious) of MEN (soldiers)

18a    Type that is breaking out? (6)
SORTIE – SORT (type) IE (that is)

20a    One often works on Sunday, roasting nuts (8)
ORGANIST – An anagram (nuts) of ROASTING

23a    Eroticism may provide such exercise (9)
ISOMETRIC – An anagram (may provide) of EROTICISM

24a    What rough sea does to ship (4)
TOSS – TO (from the clue) SS (ship)

26a    Follower of post-punk style obtained heroin initially (4)
GOTH – GOT (obtained) H (heroin initially)

27a    Mark a point with sharp beaks (10)
MAGISTRACY – Beaks here being an informal term for magistrates. M (mark) A (from the clue again) GIST (point) RACY (sharp – Mr CS and I didn’t think the two words meant the same thing, but the BRB definitions for both words have similar definitions so….)

28a    Unusual alternative forms of sun god (4)
RARE – The ancient Egyptian sun-god was known alternatively as either RA or RE

29a    Person handling money could make fortune returning wad of notes (10)
CHANCELLOR – CHANCE (fortune) plus a reversal (returning) of ROLL (wad of notes)


1d    Stupid daughter getting behind (4)
DAFT – D (daughter) AFT (behind)

2d    Major port in south-east America (7)
SERIOUS – RIO (port) inserted between SE (south-east) and US (America)

3d    I ran sole army mobile military unit (5,7)
ROYAL MARINES – An anagram (mobile) of I RAN SOLE ARMY

4d    Bites uppish friend in the back (8)
SPINALLY – A reversal (uppish in a Down clue) of NIPS (bits) followed by ALLY (friend)

5d    Cleansing procedures adopted by hygiene master (6)
ENEMAS – Lurking in (adopted by) hygiENE MASter

7d    Word in email regularly seen in plain language (7)
PROMISE – The ‘regular’ letters of eMaIl seen in PROSE (plain language)

8d    It gets confused with talented amateur (10)
DILETTANTE – An anagram (gets confused) of IT with TALENTED

11d    Mozart work aunt is playing with octet around France (4,3,5)
COSI FAN TUTTE – An anagram (playing) of AUNT IS OCTET ‘around’ F (the IVR code for France)

14d    Cowboy comfortable coming up with delay (10)
GUNSLINGER – A reversal (coming up in a Down clue) of SNUG (comfortable) with LINGER (delay)

17d    Conflict is right in novels (8)
FRICTION – R (right) in FICTION (novels)

19d    Roll filled with old poultry? (7)
ROOSTER – ROSTER (roll) filled with O (old)

21d    Set up where horse might be at start of race (7)
INSTALL – Split 2,5 this could be where a horse might be at the start of a race

22d    Opening note penned by German composer (6)
BREACH – RE (musical note) ‘penned by’ BACH (German composer)

25d    Doctor embracing the old? One adds colour (4)
DYER – DR (doctor) ’embracing’ YE (old or archaic way of saying ‘the’)

7 comments on “DT 28761

  1. As a regular solver of the back pager, this felt like one of my occasional forays into Toughie land. It took me 3 sittings to complete it over the course of the weekend, in between watching various televised rugby matches, but it was eventually quite satisfying to complete without having to revert to any outside assistance. I didn’t help myself by carelessly spelling the Mozart work with an i at the end, making 29a my last one in when I realised my mistake. I don’t know why I didn’t simply tick off the letters of the anagram like I usually do!

    I agree with your ratings Sue, and I too was unconvinced by the last part of 27a but acknowledge that my BRB thinks otherwise.

    Thanks to the setter for the challenge and to Sue for the review.

  2. Thank you very much for saying you found it difficult! I was beginning to think I had lost the plot as I really struggled. Good game as Brucie used to say.

  3. Tricky, but some very good clues I thought.
    Hints on the 9th, as well as the above, both appreciated.

  4. Aren’t we all different. I sailed through this one, just seemed to be on the setter’s wavelength. I liked the less obvious definitions in this, like ‘in the back’ – that was my LOI.
    Thanks for the review, CS, and many thanks to the setter whoever you are.

  5. Like Birdman I was so relieved when you said it was difficult! I thought it was very tricky. Not helped by starting off thinking 1 down was “dumb” ie. D for daughter followed by anagram of another word for a behind….. 😳 Thank you Big Dave once again for your fantastic blog without which I would often go stark raving mad.

    1. Welcome to the blog Mandy

      Glad you like the blog. By the way, if “umb” where to be clued by behind that would be an indirect, unindicated anagram, one of the biggest no-nos in Crosswordland.

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