DT 28780 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28780

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28780

Hints and tips by an active Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

The sun has got its hat on. Hip Hip Hip Hooray. Strawberries and Pimms are the order of the day as the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championship begins. Two weeks’ worth of Pat-a-cake. Pat-a-cake. Grunt Grunt Grunt. The other W is serving up some surprises as Germany, Argentina and Ronaldo take an early return home. Here’s hoping for more success for England now they have learnt civility and restraint.

Thanks to Dada for this charming puzzle. There is a lot to enjoy. I feel the Jury will return a 7d on 7d. Where did the letter E go? [It’s one of those alternative, i.e. US, spellings. BD]

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    Be informed, as should an orchestral musician? (4,3,5)
KNOW THE SCORE: A musician should be aware of the dots in front of him

9a    Fuel for glass (7)
PROPANE: Begin with a preposition meaning in favour of. Add a noun meaning a piece of sheet glass.

10a    Skilled worker from Hobart is annoying (7)
ARTISAN: A hidden word. Lurking within the words of the clue

11a    Smokier bombs, irritating (7)
IRKSOME: Anagram (bombs) of SMOKIER

12a    Islamic office I consider to be behind me, contrarily (7)
EMIRATE: Place the I from the clue and a word meaning consider after (behind) the reverse (contrarily) of the word me

13a    Fine, daily limits? (5)
DANDY: The first and last letters (limits) of the word daily are split by the word and

14a    Duck managed to eviscerate an Asian animal (5-4)
ORANG UTAN: A four-part charade. 1. The letter that looks like the score known as a duck in cricket. 2. A word meaning managed. 3. A word meaning to eviscerate 4. The word AN straight from the clue

16a    Cross noted? (9)
CROTCHETY: A word meaning to be cross or grumpy could also mean being made up of musical notes, each having the value of half a minim

19a    Cram facts (5)
STUFF: A double definition

21a    Fiendish setters always take assumed names in crosswords, initially (7)
SATANIC: An acrostic clue. The initial letters of several words in the clue

23a    Spoons bent right back (7)
SPONSOR: Anagram (bent) of SPOONS with the abbreviation for right

24a    Work over, repeat in error (7)
OPERATE: The abbreviation for an over in cricket is followed by an anagram (in error) of REPEAT

25a    Ebbing brown river, pure (7)
NATURAL: Reverse (ebbing) either a synonym of the colour brown or a verb meaning to brown in the sun. Add a river that discharges into the Caspian Sea

26a    Flier spouse distributed in school (5,7)
HOUSE SPARROW: Place an anagram (distributed) of SPOUSE inside a famous public school


1d    Innings one short — foul play (5-2)
KNOCK ON: Begin with an informal term for an innings in cricket. Add the word one from the clue minus its last letter. The result is an offence in the game of Rugby Union from which I am suffering withdrawal symptoms

2d    Centre in form, a politician demonstrating eloquence (7)
ORATORY: Take the middle two letters of the word form. Add the letter A from the clue. Add a politician.

3d    So front is lower than that place (9)
THEREFORE: A word meaning situated to the front is placed under (“lower than” in a down clue ) a word meaning in that place

4d    Bring joy to people finally, pushing up the daisies (5)
ELATE: Begin with the last letter of the word people (ultimately). Add a word describing one who is dead (pushing up the daisies)

5d    Hurtful piece taken from newspaper (7)
CUTTING: A double definition

6d    After unfortunate arrest, time to begin afresh (7)
RESTART: An anagram (Unfortunate) of ARREST is followed by the abbreviation for time

7d    Judg/ment? (5,8)
SPLIT DECISION: What the setter has done to the word Judg/ment followed by what a judgement is. I am underlining nothing here. [maybe the question mark should be underlined! BD]

8d    Zero call for an end to change, finally (4,3,3,3)
ONCE AND FOR ALL: Anagram (to change) of CALL FOR AN END follows the letter that looks like a zero

15d    Very great depth in one, a nation of old (9)
ABYSSINIA: Begin with a deep chasm. Add the word IN from the clue. Add the letter that looks like the number one. Add the letter A from the clue

17d    Always busy, he got on badly (2,3,2)
ON THE GO: Anagram (badly) of HE GOT ON

18d    What politician may do with coarse material on son (7)
CANVASS: Begin with a rough material used by artists and sailmakers. Add the abbreviation for son

19d    Arm photographer? (7)
SHOOTER: Double definition. An arm here is a weapon or an informal term for one.

20d    Staff after cakes removing lid, so open (7)
UNSCREW: the staff of a ship perhaps follow small cakes typically containing currants minus their first letter (removing lid)

22d    The mating game? (5)
CHESS: The game in which the objective is to checkmate one’s opponent

As this is a Dada puzzle I am taking this opportunity to present this wonderful clue by Dada’s alter ego Paul which appeared in The Guardian last week.

In course of lifespan, is home let temporarily? It’s standard fare in Europe (7,8)
SPANISH OMELETTE. A fifteen-letter lurker.

Quickie Pun: Corps+Done+Blur=Cordon Bleu


54 comments on “DT 28780

  1. 2* / 4*. Light and enjoyable Monday fun. Good to see the “s” on the end of innings!

    I was going to cry “foul” regarding 7d but when I checked my BRB it shows both spellings.

    Many thanks to Dada and to MP.

  2. I didn’t find it as straightforward as RD or BD but I did enjoy myself. My particular favourites were 21a and 7d

    Thanks to Dada and Miffypops

    1. Based on my solving time I should have given this * for difficulty, but I realised that 7d would probably cause difficulty for some.

      1. I don’t think I’ve given a Monday backpager 1* for difficulty since the new Monday post-Rufus Regime started – very much a wavelength thing, I suppose

  3. A very mild start to the week with well- written/straightforward clues producing an enjoyable solve. I thought 12d was quite clever, with perfectly OK spelling. Where have all the 26a’s gone? 1.5* / 2.5*

  4. For a Monday, I found this quite tough and it took me a solid ****, with the SW putting up a stiff fight.

    I wasn’t quite able to see the double definition for 19d, so thanks to MP for the blog and Dada for the puzzle.

  5. I enjoyed this one and only 16a causing head scratching today. I join the others in liking 7d but there were several other good ones including 9a and 13a. Thanks to all.

  6. I wasn’t sure whether 7d was a stroke of genius or sloppy clueing, but I came down on the side of inspired genius and have no further hesitation in nominating it my COTD. I found the whole puzzle far from straightforward, but rewarding enough to solve and very enjoyable, so 2.5* /4* from me.

    Thanks to Dada for the challenge and to MP.

  7. So much to like in this really entertaining puzzle. As ever I needed the help of the reviewer to parse a couple so thanks to MP for explaining things so clearly (and for the bonus of the 15 letter lurker…..brilliant)
    7d, 1a, 9a and a few others made me smile so thanks to setter too.

  8. All appear to enjoy todays puzzle ,me too and around a **/****.
    Thanks Miffypops for the pics- 21a is probably my favourite album-well it gets the most plays in the car.
    7d my favourite for its brevity and wit.
    Remember 15d from my stamp collecting days, I’m sure the stamps had a range of wild animals on them.
    Great start to the week.

  9. Hurrah!

    I think I may be getting on the wavelength at last……famous last words……

    I liked 7d.

    Thanks to Miffypops and the setter.

  10. Nice to be back on dry land, wonderful sailing in Aegean, enough of that.
    What a nice start to the week, very enjoyable I agree possibly one* for difficulty but as others have said I think it a wavelength thing. We are off again to escape the two dreaded Ws
    Thanks to Miffypops and setter

  11. Entertaining puzzle. Quite gentle. 1.5*/3.5*. I didn’t have a problem with the missing ‘e’ myself, and I don’t believe that spelling is particularly down to our American friends. It was my favourite. Hon mentions as well to 1a, 13a, 16,a, 26a, 1d and 20d.

    1. As RD says above, the BRB, without attribution, gives both spellings, but, for me, without the ‘e’ it just looks plain wrong.

        1. I believe that is how it is always spelt when used to refer to judgments by courts.

  12. Very enjoyable, like CS I warmed to the acrostic in 21a, and also thought 7d was clever. 23a completed my podium.

    Many thanks to our setter and the active one. As it was a Dada puzzle last Monday, I was expecting one from Mr Ed today.

  13. Well last Monday I thought I was well and truly on Dada’s wavelength, today I am not so sure and not only because of 7d. The stallion was slowed down to a canter for completion so ***/**.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 9a and 18d.

    Thanks to Dada and GMoLI.

  14. Another Monday , another disappointment . Still miss Rufus .
    9a groan .
    I liked 3d and 14a .
    Thanks to all concerned .

  15. I am with the majority re 7D but would classify it as a dingbat and there are lots of them which could now be used by our astute setters .
    My COTD/LOL is 13a .
    Thanks to everyone .
    Late on parade today due to club bowls tournament and , wait for it , no shorts allowed for men although sweltering . (Ladies Yes). Message there !!

  16. What a relief after battling with yesterday’s S.Tel. puzzle. I’m with both Young Salopian and RayS comments re 7d particularly as I have always understood the correct spelling to be without an ‘e’ and I’m not American. Thank you Dada and MP (“pat-a-cake” – you must be joking these days viz the new British protégé, Harriet Dart, whom I have just watched at W). The Quickie today contains several dreadful slang words/phrases.

  17. I’ll read the blog later, rushing off for appointment with my eye man, hopefully get an Rx for glasses and be able to see again sans magnifying glass!

    Enjoyed this, thank you Dada. I’ve lived here for over 40 years and never seen 7d spelt like that! I thought that was clever and was my fave.

    Thanks M’pops for the review. It’s Pat-a-cake for you, but I bet you wouldn’t be able to score a point off one of them! However, I agree about the grunts. I have to turn the sound off when Sharapova is playing.

  18. Rattled through all bar 13a in first coffee break. After the hint and the penny drop I wonder why I couldn’t get it on my own. I think I am coming to terms with the new Mondays. Thanks to Miffypops and Dada. Fave 1d cricket and RU in the same clue. I too saw 7d as more of a dingbat thing rather than a spelling issue.
    Loved the 15 letter lurker too and I doubt I will see a better one. How about a 15 letter rekrul Paul?

    1. There are some other examples of long lurkers given in the intro to my blog for DT 28536. The longest rekrul I could find was 11 letters.

  19. Managed to get on Dada’s wavelength wththis one and that’s not always the case with this setter. An entertaining puzzle with lots of good clues and plenty of smiles plus a few giveaways to get an early foothold. Last in 3d for no particular reason. Think 7d was a clever clue.

    Clues of the day: 21a / 7d

    Rating: 3* / 4*

    Thanks to MP and Dada

  20. No problems with this, and some very clever clues.
    7d – hasn’t the word got a ‘E’ in it?????
    9a was a very good clue, probably an old chestnut to many, ditto 13a.
    Thanks MP and Dada

    1. Someone has just activated the smoke alarm on the train. Brilliant. The driver has to stop the train and investigate.
      Are these people thick or What??

  21. This was the easiest Monday puzzle for a long time. 7d was my favourite followed by 14a. Thanks to Dada and MP.

  22. Enjoyable but a bit too easy. Liked 7d and 26a. The other school for once. Thanks Miffypops.

  23. Raised an eyebrow over some of the surfaces eg 8&20d and 1d was a guess aided by helpful checkers, otherwise a very enjoyable puzzle.

    Ticks alongside 9,19& 23a plus 5&22d with top spot going to 7d.

    Thanks to Dada and to MP for the blog.

  24. A very enjoyable start to the ‘back page’ week. Re 7d – If it works for you, then that’s fine – and if it doesn’t, then that’s fine too. Reminds me of GEGS (9,4) and HIJKLMNO (5).

    I really enjoyed 13 & 19a for their brevity. :smile:

    Thanks to Dada for the puzzle and mp for his review.

    1. Two of my top clues of all time. Which I will leave for others to ponder.
      Does anyone else remember “Segs” they were tiny segments of iron you could hammer into the soles of shoes. They made sparks and a cool clicky noise that teachers (and caretakers who had to buff the floors) hated.

      1. Yes I do. They were all the fashion when I was a lad at secondary school. The assembly hall – which doubled (or even thirdeld) as the dance/disco hall and a theatre – was closely monitored by the 6th year prefects (the stasi) and if you were caught scuffing the parquet flooring – off to the Rector’s office you went.

        He never ever spoke to you as there was a set of lights just above his office door (red – to wait & green – to enter) to control your entry and be introduced to his 3 tongued leather belt which was shaped like a boomerang as it was concealed under his gown on his shoulder. God, it really used to hurt – :sad:

        1. Sounds familiar but not the silence. I can still hear “this hurts me more than you” and “I’m not angry just disappointed”

  25. Very nice crossword ***/**** 😃 Favourite 7d (did wonder if it was a typo at first😬) and 9 & 26a Thanks to Dada and to MP

  26. The original spelling of 7d is with an e as it derives from the French ‘Jugement’. But, when it ventured across La Manche, us Brits whacked a d in as we can’t deal with a ‘uge’ pronunciation.

    I appreciate that without an e is splashed over St James’ mother of all tomes but with an e is what purists put.

    It’s the classic ‘Through common misuse, it gets an entry in a dictionary’. e.g ‘With hindsight’ (the abridged form of ‘With the benefit of hindsight’) is correct but people, over the centuries, mix it up with ‘In retrospect’ and say ‘In hindsight’. So, the OED, Chambers and the like cracked and okayed it as a variant.

    I appreciate that language evolves but we need to keep our standards up.

    Before you know it, the dictionaries will give a roaring thumbs-up to ‘We was’ and ‘I did’ as they are in everyday use.

    Be strong, dictionary editors. Be strong.

  27. Well that was a lot of fun. I am still congested (sinuses) so put down the fact that I thought the 7a clue was just a misprint to the pounding headache – duh… and I have seen it written without the middle e over here so should have known better. (Ongoing peeve with my iPad is that it constantly corrects my spelling to the American version). Having said that, it was my favourite clue followed closely by 9a.

    I went to Google to check my spelling of the 14a animal, and everywhere I looked it had it as one word not two. But I remembered it as two words so assume that is another across the pond difference.

    Thanks to Dada and Miffypops for a great puzzle.

  28. A very good start to the week, with so much to enjoy. At a glance 9ac, 7d, 16ac… A ** for difficulty I suppose, though not solved in any particular hurry.

  29. A cracking crossword and one that I didn’t find quite as straightforward as most of you seem to have done.
    The wrong second bit of 1d did very little to help me get 13a but got there eventually once I spotted the mistake.
    When I first saw the clue for 7d I suspected a typo – still not sure whether I like it or not.
    I loved 16a – it made me laugh and was my favourite by a very long way.
    With thanks to Dada and to MP.

  30. 1 and 19a and 3d highly commended. Top prize to 7d. Excellent clue🇬🇧. No problem with the spelling. Certainly what iis used in the official law reports of England and Wales.

  31. Three ticks for the devilish compiler (21A) and for the majority verdict (7D).
    3*/4* for the puzzle.

  32. Did this a day late but rattled through it. Can’t be certain as I don’t keep precise timings, but it feels like it could have been my faster solve ever! No less enjoyable for it though. I particularly liked 21A and 7D which both raised a chuckle.
    1*/4* from me.
    Thanks to both Dada and Miffypops.

  33. Rather nice !! I particularly savoured the clue to 14a – & 8d is a fine, & serendipitous, clue ?!! :)

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