DT 28774 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28774

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28774

Hints and tips by a suntanned Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Thanks to Dada for a short but pleasant trip around the tricks and traps of cryptic crossword puzzle land.

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    Party splits on script being manipulated — who’s responsible? (4,6)
SPIN DOCTOR: A two-lettered word for a party splits an anagram (being manipulated) of ON SCRIPT

6a    Smile that’s supportive (4)
BEAM: A double definition

9a    Stop claiming rotten giblets okay to eat (10)
DIGESTIBLE: A word meaning to pass away (stop) has an anagram (rotten) of GIBLETS inside it (claiming)

10a    Helpful type (4)
KIND: Another double definition

12a    Palm beginning to sway in the past (4)
SAGO: Take the beginning letter of the word sway and add a word meaning in the past.

13a    Church dealt with arch in disrepair (9)
CATHEDRAL: Anagram (in disrepair) of DEALT with ARCH

15a    Sceptical, a number turning back on little jerk (8)
AGNOSTIC: Begin with the letter A from the clue. Reverse a number, in this case not numeric but a number such as Ed Sheeran might croon. Add a short jerky movement

16a    Protected by faith, a Catholic Greek island (6)
ITHACA: A word hidden within (protected by) the words of the clue

18a    Head’s part in place of worship (6)
TEMPLE: A double definition. A part of the head between the forehead and the ear

20a    Media reporting finished in prison (8)
COVERAGE: Place a word meaning finished inside a word that can mean a prison or to imprison

23a    Constellation wonderful and simple, did you say? (5,4)
GREAT BEAR: The common name for the constellation Ursa Major. A synonym for wonderful followed by a homophone (sound alike) of an adjective which means basic and simple

24a    Country in Vanuatu reported back (4)
PERU: A word hidden within (in) the words of the clue. To make it harder to find it is reversed (reported back)

26a    River course has eighteen of these (4)
TEES: The name of a river. A full-sized golf course will have eighteen of these features.

27a    Conductor hearing German songs that are forbidden? (10)
BANDLEADER: The conductor of a musical group is made up of two homophones split 4,6 The first is a homophone of a word meaning forbidden or taboo. The second is a homophone of a type of German song of which Schubert was a great proponent

28a    Take out fruit (4)
DATE: A double definition the first being a romantic appointment

29a    Unpopular day, interminable (10)
FRIENDLESS: Begin with a three-lettered abbreviation for one of the days of the week. Add a synonym of the word interminable


1d    Team sounded exasperated in report? (4)
SIDE: Yet another homophone clue. Another word for a team sounds the emission of a long deep audible breath.

2d    Fix every second of six ‘Nigeria’ signs (7)
INGRAIN: Every Second letter of the last three words in the clue.

3d    Sad record on well past midnight? (12)
DISCONSOLATE: Begin with another word for a record. Add the word ON from the clue. Now add two words 2,4 than can mean well after midnight.

4d    Repeated feature cheers (4-4)
CHIN-CHIN: The feature is facial. Used twice it has the same meaning as cheers when drinking

5d    Nothing boring ending on plate recently (2,4)
OF LATE: A three-part charade. 1. The letter that looks like nothing. 2. A synonym for boring or dull. 3. The end letter of the word plate

7d    Nation tearier after collapse? (7)
ERITREA: Anagram (after collapse) of TEARIER

8d    Lead shot penetrating those causing irritation in medieval times (6,4)
MIDDLE AGES: An anagram (shot) of LEAD is placed between (penetrating) those blasted insects that cause misery to those in Scotland at this time of year

11d    Prominent image screened, part blurred (6,6)

14d    List of actors I shut up, reprimanded (10)
CASTIGATED: A three-part charade. 1. A list of actors 2. The letter I from the clue. 3. A word meaning confined to college.

17d    Breakfast that’s served inside? (8)
PORRIDGE: A slang term for prison is also a breakfast staple

19d    Actress using post to tether sheep (3,4)
MAE WEST: A female sheep is placed inside a post used to sling sails from on a ship

21d    Shorten a violin part (7)
ABRIDGE: Begin with the letter A from the clue. Add the part of the violin that supports the strings at the correct height

22d    Regarding couple, make good (6)
REPAIR: Start with a word meaning regarding. Add a couple or a twosome

25d    Flower from Dublin possibly, cut (4)
IRIS: The Nationality of one from Dublin becomes a flower when its last letter is removed (cut)

Blogged to the sounds of Bob Dylan and The Band from 1974

Quickie Pun: Odour+Clone=Eau de Cologne

56 comments on “DT 28774

  1. A very mild start to the week with with well-written clues and an enjoyable/fun solve. Favs:29a and 19d. 1* / 3*

  2. 1.5* / 3* for a nice light puzzle which was a lot of fun on a lovely hot Monday morning here in London. 29a was my favourite.

    Did England really win at football, cricket, rugby union, rugby league and Formula 1 over the weekend, or am I dreaming?

    Many thanks to Dada and to MP.

    1. Enjoy your moment of glory RD. I’ve got money on a win for the England football team – although the clerk at the bookies looked surprised when taking my bet as I was wearing a Brazil top and speaking in my native tongue. :smile:

  3. Pleasant start to a Monday morning . Liked 2D but 19D favourite . Afraid to open the hint to 11D but may look later with one eye .
    **/*** for me .
    Thanks again to everyone for their time and effort involved .

    1. 11d. Don’t open it – with this hot/steamy weather, it’s more than a man can take! :-)

          1. I haven’t watched the clip. It’s not Dylan or Tom Waits or Neil Young or Leonard Cohen or Van Morrison

  4. Hurrah for me, Hurrah for the setter and Hurrah for Miffypops!

    Great start for my week.

  5. Well I didn’t find it that straightforward at all. I think my first pass through the across clues netted me 4 answers. I got there in the end but it took me ***/**** to do it.

    COTD is 3d, that earned a full groan.

    Many thanks to Dada and MP.

  6. A welcome breeze on a very hot Monday morning here on Anglesey – I feel very sorry for those who are sweating it out in the cities!

    Tops for me were 18,28&29a along with 8d.

    Thanks to Dada for the puzzle and to MP for his inimitable style of blog.

    1. We have a breeze here. As always when UK has high pressure from the azores we get unstable weather … fresh and slightly humid … not good for olives or vines. Fingers crossed that our summer will pick up!

      So a breeze from my favourite setter. Thanks too to MP

  7. Another very good start to the work week, Dada certainly seems to have got the hang of Mondays, completed at a fast gallop- */***.

    Candidates for favourite – 27a, 4d, and 14d – and the winner is 27a.

    Thanks to Dada and GMoLI.

  8. I will go with 29a as my COTD for its brevity and fun. Pretty straightforward but enjoyable fare from Dada, and 2* /3* for me. I know memory can be deceptive, but this summer already feels like the best for many years. Long may it continue. Back outside now.

    Thanks Dada and MP.

    1. If it runs to form over here, Summer will last until the start of the school hols after which it’s all downhill until term starts in September!

  9. It was a pleasure to sail through this with very few hold-ups. 2d synonym new one on me and I didn’t fully parse 5d. Fav 26a. Thank you Dada and MP. Now to yet more TV tennis – meanwhile the gardening gets neglected.

  10. A perfect puzzle for a hot summer day .
    1a and 29a are my top picks .
    Thanks to Miffypops and Dada .

  11. I’d heartily echo Una’s opening comment. Good fun and a pleasure to solve.

    My top two clues were 9a and 8d.

    Many thanks to Mr Halpern and the suntanned one.

      1. Thank you,I’ve looked at this site many times and it has helped me enormously in understanding how the setters work,if anything it has increased my admiration for them and the reviewers.

  12. Slow start before lunch, then raced to the end. Good fun as usual for a Monday. Many thanks Dada and Miffypops. Favourites were 27a and 8d. Used to hate 12a as a child. Still hate it. We called it tadpole pudding at school.

    1. At my school your tadpole pudding was marginally more palatable than the frogspawn/tapioca. Yuck to both! 🤮

  13. **/***. Took me a while to get going but an enjoyable solve. Favourites were 3&19d. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  14. Breezed through that in 2 coffee breaks. The NW put up a bit of resistance 2d was last one in as I was trying to get VI in there.
    Thanks to Miffypops and Dada.
    Goes to click the link now he is home

  15. Enjoyed this one but took a while to get on the right wavelength. West side went in easier than East side although last in was 15a. Didn’t really know the island lurking on 16a but a quick check confirmed it. A good puzzle to start the working week.

    Clues of the day: 1a / 19d

    Rating: 3* / 3.5*

    Thanks to MP and Dada

  16. Good, fun puzzle to accompany an ‘al fresco’ lunch on the patio. Nothing too demanding but most enjoyable nevertheless. I wonder if I’ll ever remember how to correctly spell the ‘nation’ 7d even with all the checking letters :smile:

    Thanks to Dada for the puzzle and to the bronzed MP for the review.

    Now – off to start preparing the BBQ for tonight’s meal – accompanied with a slurp (or two).

      1. It should be my grandson Ethan reading the menu from the Rosevine Hotel to his Dad.

        1. It is now – a glitch appears every now and again. Is your grandson exceptionally talented at a young age or is Dad just not very clever?

    1. Does the following work for you, my Salopian chum…

      ”Did the awful AER Lingus return flight from this country TIRE you out?” (‘return’ means read the uppercase bits ‘AER’ and ‘TIRE’ backwards)

      No probs, if it doesn’t as it’s a tad crowbarred.

      1. Hi SL – ‘fraid not. I had a lot of trubbel at skool when i was a children – even trying to remember how to spell my name woz dificult :smile:

  17. About as straight forward and (almost) as enjoyable as England’s win over Panama. Thanks to setter and reviewer .

  18. A most enjoyable Monday morning solve.
    I liked lots, 27a could be fave, or maybe 8d?
    Thanks to Dada and M’pops for the fun. What cathedral is that at 13a?

      1. Shame on me! I remember taking the train with three friends from London to Coventry when I lived in UK in the early 1960s, maybe 1963, after it was consecrated and was so impressed. The Sutherland (I think) tapestry was lovely. We went in April and had a heavy snowstorm to contend with. I have a pic of us all in boots and winter coats.

  19. I found it a little tricker than most did ***/*** but agreeable. 😃 My favourites were: 26a, 29a, 3d & 4d 😬 Thanks to MP and to Dada

  20. An enjoyable start to the week. Would have been * for difficulty, but I mistyped 21d and then spent an age agonising over 27ac, my LOI, which took me into ** time. Not my most glorious moment.

  21. Late start today, still jet lagged, and didn’t think I would finish this one, but then it all came together. Only needed a couple of hints to finish, thank you Miffypops, and thanks to setter. A good solid puzzle, very enjoyable.

  22. We have hot weather, a rarity in the UK – am I the only grouch to say that I’m too hot and I worry about my Lambs who live in London? :phew:
    OK – now on to the crossword – very good and not too tricky once I got going.
    I confess to being very slow to get started – frizzled brain – too hot as I said before.
    My last one was 16a – no surprises there – why change the habits of a life time of doing crosswords . . .
    Too many good clues to pick out any in particular so thanks to Dada and to Miffypops.

  23. Very enjoyable – lots of starred (ticked) clues like 27a, 29a, 3d, 8d, and finished in reasonably quick time for me. Many thanks to setter and blog as always

  24. I have enjoyed reading all the comments this morning. My sticking point which no-one else has mentioned was 11d which severely extended my time. I always find vertical anagrams difficult to spot. Favourites 26 and 29a and 3 5 and 19d. Thanks setter and MP

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