DT 28768 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28768

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28768

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Now home amid the beer pumps of Downtown LI. Fresh as a daisy after a great holiday but fed up with football already. As for the Rugby? Don’t ask. (The Marston’s Pedigree went down well though)

Today’s puzzle is by Chris Lancaster. It’s a far cry from cuddly. My first pass yielded answers to no across clues and only four of the downs. Progress was slow from then on in. As puzzles go this is more to my liking.

Hints and Tips are provided by a well-meaning Miffypops who didn’t see the puzzle until he woke up this morning. Answers lie beneath the Click here! boxes. Definitions are underlined. If anything is not clear, please ask. The rapid response unit that makes up this happy community will rapidly respond.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a City‘s angriest criminal (8)
TANGIERS: Anagram (criminal) of ANGRIEST



6a Withdraw notice, accepting month in retirement (6)
SECEDE: A word meaning to notice has the reversed abbreviation of one of the twelve calendar months inside it. Start with Jan then Feb and keep going.

9a Miserable kind of shame? (6)
CRYING: A type of shame. Well how many shames are there?

10a Husband invested in capital with two Europeans? Hypocrite! (8)
PHARISEE: Place the abbreviation for husband inside one of the world’s capital cities and add two abbreviations for European. Note the plural. Which capital city? The one I took Saint Sharon to for Valentine’s Day. Which just happened to coincide with a five nations Rugby match.

11a Train in Spain with Shearer playing up front (8)
REHEARSE: Anagram (playing) of SHEARER upfront of the IVA code letter for Spain. My last one in and the perfect anagram. Note to self. Don’t read the clues. Misdirected or what.

12a Sturdy — or, on reflection, broken? (6)
ROBUST: Begin with the reverse of the word OR and add an informal adjective meaning broken

13a Costing nothing, like used batteries? (4,2,6)
FREE OF CHARGE: A double definition. Costing nothing or spent batteries

16a Rewritten horror finds a leading man (8,4)
HARRISON FORD: Anagram (rewritten) of HORROR FINDS A

19a Make headway in smooth rivers (6)
THRIVE: If all else fails look for a lurker. The answer is hidden the clue, indicated by the word in.

21a Anxious batting certain to entertain most of ECB (8)
INSECURE: In cricket you are either in or out. Begin with the side that are batting. Find a synonym for certain. Insert the first two (most of) letters of ECB.

23a Mike will leave retreat to find birthright (8)
HERITAGE: Remove the abbreviation for Mike from a word synonymous with a retreat, refuge, haven, sanctuary, sanctum, asylum, hideaway, hideout, shelter or hidey hole.

24a Exaggerate where hat might be found? (6)
OVERDO: The wordplay here split 4,2 suggests that your hat may be found above your hairstyle.

25a Be quick when one leaves naturalist’s ship (6)
BEAGLE: Begin with the word BE which your setter has generously donated. Add an adjective meaning able to move quickly and easily but without the letter that looks like the number one (one leaves)

26a Jeopardise peacekeeper’s advice? (8)
ENDANGER: A synonym of jeopardise can be split 3,5 to find advice from a peacekeeper


2d A sin? Yes! (6)
AGREED: Start with the letter A from the clue. Add one of the seven deadly sins

3d Beef‘s good and ready to eat (5)
GRIPE: Add a word meaning ready to eat (of vegetables or fruit perhaps) to the abbreviation for good

4d Sense rage damaged enthusiasm (9)
EAGERNESS: Anagram (damaged) of SENSE RAGE

5d Leader upset Euro MPs (7)
SUPREMO: Anagram (upset) of EURO MPS

6d Flight approaching landing? (5)
STAIR: Not a flight on an aeroplane. Part of the wooden hill you climb to bed.

7d Cut directors in sign of officialdom (9)
CLIPBOARD: Begin with a synonym of the word cut as a barber might do to your hair. Add the collective term for a group of directors

8d Doctor’s wise to conserve energy for horse-riding competition (8)
DRESSAGE: Place the abbreviation for energy inside an abbreviation for doctors. Add a word meaning profoundly wise.

13d In favour of charity, being magnanimous (9)
FORGIVING: Begin with a word meaning in favour of (not pro). Add a word meaning charitable.

14d Challenge laid out in front of you in black and white? (9)
CROSSWORD: A cryptic definition of a popular newspaper puzzle enjoyed by many

15d Scratch plain material (8)
CASHMERE: Begin with a synonym of the word scratch. It is a long stretch but you will find it way down the list of definitions. Add another vague synonym of the word plain. Together they make a fine soft woollen material

17d Simplicity of running event crossing A1 (7)
NAÏVETÉ: An anagram (running) of EVENT is placed around the A1 in the clue. You need to substitute the letter that looks like the number one for the number one because answers are always letters and not numbers. If you are filing in numbers you are solving a sudoku and have no place here.

18d Cross game (6)
BRIDGE: A double definition. A method of crossing a river or a card game played in silence

20d Avoid US state borders having gone east (5)
EVADE: Begin with one of America’s states. There are a few to choose from. Remove the first and last letters (borders gone) Add the letter E for East. Hands up if you thought of Dodge when you saw the word avoid

22d Completely spotless? (5)
CLEAN: A double definition, the first an adverb meaning used to emphasise the completeness of a reported action, condition, or experience

Solved to the sounds of Mr Bob Dylan singing the songs from his album Street Legal

Quickie Pun: Banger+Lore=Bangalore. The town of boiled beans.


53 comments on “DT 28768

  1. A strange mixture of easy and quite difficult clues .
    I likes 12a and 12d and 25a .
    Thanks to Miffypops and Chris Lancaster

  2. 2* / 4*. The usual light but fun start to the week, although my last three or four in slowed me down a bit and pushed my time up above 1*.

    I needed to search my BRB for the required synonym for “scratch” in 15d which was a new meaning to me. It’s one of those cases in Chambers where the equivalence is only shown one way round, and I started the wrong way!

    Many thanks to CL and to MP.

    1. Thank You. The clip should be If You See Her Say Hello, She might be in ******** but it came out as Lily Rosemary and the Jack Of Hearts.

  3. I honestly thought I wasn’t going to be able to finish this without assistance, but perseverance paid off.

    As for Rabbit Dave, it was 15d that was the last to go in. Easy enough when you know the answer.

    This took me well into **** time, but I did break off to complete the Quickie.

    Many thanks to CL and MP.

  4. Enjoyable puzzle today, needed the hint for 25a, though I suppose it could have been worked out. Liked 14d, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if it has been seen before. Thanks to all, I will be digging out my copy of Blood On The Tracks later.

  5. Similar experience to that of RD. Just held up by those last few – all towards the bottom of the puzzle in my case with 15d needing a check in the BRB.
    6d jarred a little – wanted it to have an ‘S’ on the end but I don’t doubt that it’s technically sound. Left 22d blank until all the checkers were in place as it didn’t seem to be particularly cryptic.

    Podium places went to 2,3&13d.
    Thanks to CL and to MP for the blog – you must have been pleased to see a name check for your grandson!

  6. Well I’m encouraged that my initial reading of the puzzle yielded more answers than for our estimable reviewer! More difficult than the average Monday offering but no less enjoyable for it. Thought 12a and 26a were very clever but couldn’t really see 15d?
    Thanks to setter and reviewer for entertaining me.

  7. I initially thought 7d was ‘Creditors’ which is an anagram (cut) of ‘Directors’.

    But, I soon spotted the error of my ways.

  8. Enjoyable Monday crossword, like others found the first half of 15d in a reference book, no delays today , a */**** for me.
    Liked 23a and 13a.
    Thanks to MP for the pics, liked the quickie pun-there were two solutions for the Quickie19a which fitted all the checking letters for the pepper type !-pedantic or what.

  9. That was fun. Right up my street. Too many ticks to mention the clues I liked.Thank you Mr Lancaster and Miffypops.

  10. Surprised the Pedantic Corner haven’t picked up that the place in 1a doesn’t actually have an S at the end :scratch:

    1. By the way, the correct local spelling of Tangiers/Tangier/Tanger/Tánger is: طنجة

      1. Goodness – I can’t even figure out how to get French accents on my laptop, how on earth did you manage that one!

  11. Out of the starting gate at a fast gallop but slowed down to a fast canter before I finished. Nevertheless, an enjoyable start to the work week – **/***.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 12a and 25a.

    Thanks to CL and GMoLI.

    MP – you have put the answer as the anagram material in 1a!

  12. It’s great that the daily cryptic seems these days to be rather more challenging. Not too keen on the two letter part of 24a. Failed to clock anagram in 17d. I suppose 7d is a sign of officialdom. 23a unparsed as my phonetic alphabet knowledge is out of date (Mary rather than Mike!). Thank you CL and MP.

  13. 24a. I don’t think the two-letter word for hairstyle can be used without “hair”in front of it.

    1. The BRB thinks that (informally) that two letter word can be used for a hair style.

  14. My online version of BRB doesn’t give it but, after further online research, I’ve found a dictionary that does.

  15. Very enjoyable. Held up by a few in the SW corner.
    Thanks MP as there were a few I could not parse.
    Blooming hot out here in Crete, looking forward to England overcoming a potential banana skin later.
    Thanks all.

        1. I don’t know what you are implying!! Mrs.Hoofit has a headache which is apparently quite a common female ailment when married.

  16. Thanks to the setter and Miffypops for the review and hints. A very nice puzzle to start the week, quite tricky in places. Needed the hints to parse 15d & 24a. Last in was 10a because I didn’t notice the last word of the clue, despite “reading” or trying to read it many times 😁. My favourite was 12a. Was 3*/4* for me.

  17. Didn’t get 15d…..the 2 synonyms were too obscure for me….though perhaps the second is not so bad…..

    Failed to see the lurker…doh!

    And bunged in 24a …not sure about ‘do’ but I see this has been resolved above.

    Otherwise a very enjoyable if quute difficult (for me) start to the week.

    Thanks to Miffypops and the setter.

  18. I enjoyed this one. Not as difficult as the weekenders have been but enough wit and challenge to recommend it.

  19. Like others I had a slow start but got going once the leading man appeared . Agree the “do” in 24a was a doh .
    Thanks to everyone

  20. Having been away in Devon for a few days at a wedding in what turned out to be a poor WiFi area, (not helped by forgetting to pack the iPad charger), it was good to get back in the saddle with this quite testing-in-places puzzle from our crossword editor. I think I liked 25a best, and overall this was 2.5* /4* for me overall.

    Thanks to CL and MP.

    1. In Coventry city centre all crossroads have red tarmac with no traffic lights or road markings. Nobody has any more right of way than anybody else wether a vehicle or a pedestrian.They are called shared spaces and they work exceptionally well. They do seem to be a challenge for some people though

  21. A lovely puzzle to start the week, like others the synonym for “scratch” was unfamiliar, but now I can see that a “scratchcard” can be interpreted in two different ways!

    Not sure if I’ve come across the abbreviated form of “hairdo” before, but as ever the BRB confirmed all. Favourite clues were 11a and 20d.

    Many thanks to Mr Ed and the well-meaning one.

  22. 6a 11a 13d are my candidates for the podium today. A steady solve over 2 coffee breaks left me 3 to finish when I got home. I thank Miffypops for the hints which helped me parse a few and Mr Ed for a pleasant start to the 14d week.
    I do like a pint of Pedigree and have added it to Tim Taylors Landord and Theakstons Riggwelter as beers to seek out on my travels.

  23. A great Monday puzzle with just the right level of difficulty to kick off the week. Started well with the top half but soon ground to a halt in the bottom half, particularly the SW corner due to stupidly putting lacerate in for 15d, how can lace be plain, however eventually sorted. Missed the lurker at 19a but got it anyway. Some great anagrams mixed with other top clues made for a satisfying solve, nice being on the setters radar for most of the time.

    Clues of the day: 7d / 14d

    Rating:3.5* / 4*

    Thanks to MP and Mr L.

  24. Agree with MP ***/**** very enjoyable nonetheless 😉 Favourites if I am permitted three 25a, 2d and 14d (which I must confess held me up for a while 😬) A big up (Grandchildren Speak) to Miffypops and to the DT Crossword Editor 👍

  25. I was about to post when I got involved with a very enjoyable, hour-long phone call with my Scots friends, but I do remember thinking what a super solve this was.
    Fave has to be 14d, but many others were smile clues.
    Thanks to Mr. Lancaster and to M’pops for the fun review.

      1. They’re called nun orchid because they look a bit like a nun’s wimple. I have them in a whisky barrel but they badly need thinning out and, alas, I’m no longer up to it! I hope they survive.

  26. I was struggling badly to make any headway with this, but then by a spot of luck my computer crashed at which point I had to start again and… Began to make pretty good progress, finishing in maybe ** time? Perhaps I should try that ploy every time when I’m struggling. I’m not convinced by 24ac, but the answer could be little else…

  27. Nice start to the week with a good challenge to face. 5d stood out for me.
    Thanks to CL and to MP for his characteristic review.

  28. Slow start but managed to complete without help😊. Some cracking clues but not convinced by 15d. No problem however with 24a. Thank you CL and MP for confirming my parsing correct.

  29. As usual at the moment I’m a bit late today.
    I think it’s all been said already.
    20d was my last answer – it had to be what it was but it took me ages to see why.
    15d took a while – didn’t know the ‘scratch’ bit – and I was in a dither about the ‘do’ in 24a.
    All very enjoyable and lots of good clues.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP.

  30. A challenge today especially 15d. I can usually finish the crossword at breakfast, but not today. Thank you for your help as usual.

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