DT 28786 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28786

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28786

Hints and tips by a truly blessed Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Thanks to Chris Lancaster for this tricky puzzle which has much to enjoy. Thanks also to the organisers of The Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod for booking Sir Van Morrison. Saint Sharon and I enjoyed the festival and the concert which was in such a beautiful setting.

Dare we believe in our national football team? What a delight it is to see a team playing football without recourse to histrionics. How refreshing to see the referee being respected. A welcome change for the better.

Hints and Tips are provided by a well-meaning Miffypops who didn’t see the puzzle until he woke up far too early 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 & 16a    One rotten actor is spoiling TV series (10,6)
CORONATION STREET: A rather obvious anagram (spoiling) of ONE ROTTEN ACTOR IS

6a    Actor Johnny, almost swallowing ecstasy, becomes profound (4)
DEEP: This actor Johnny is he of the Caribbean pirates. Most of his surname surrounds the abbreviation for ecstasy

9a    Just in time, survive with very little (4-6)
LAST MINUTE: Begin with a synonym for survive. Add a word meaning tiny or minuscule

10a    Fly very near the ground? Not quite (4)
SOLO: The wordplay here requires us to find a term split 2,3 which means very close to the ground and then to delete its last letter. (Not quite) The answer as a verb means to fly an aircraft unaccompanied.

12a    Express disapproval of new gift (4)
BOON: A three-letter word of disapproval is followed by the abbreviation for new

13a    One’s snappy seeing cool cider being drunk (9)
CROCODILE: Anagram (being drunk) of COOL CIDER

15a    Mostly unnecessary and overdue wave (8)
UNDULATE: Begin with a word meaning unnecessary. Remove its last letter (mostly) Add a word meaning overdue.

16a    See 1 Across
18a    Leading Russian swapping parts before son enters (6)
INPUTS: Split the name of the Russian President 3,2 and transpose these two parts. Add the abbreviation for son.

20a    Article must be rewritten by five, straight up! (8)
VERTICAL: An anagram (must be rewritten) of ARTICLE follows the Roman numeral for five.

23a    Exotic dancer seen by husband in bar (9)
HINDRANCE: An anagram (exotic) of DANCER follows the abbreviation for Husband and the word IN straight from the clue

24a    Cleaning equipment shocks? (4)
MOPS: A double definition. The shocks are those sported by the Beatles when they first became famous

26a    Give out what’s said to be money, on reflection (4)
EMIT: When reversed a word meaning to give out becomes a word which is often described as the money

27a    Delaying tactic from one coach overcome by strain (10)
FILIBUSTER: The letter that looks like the number one together with a common term for a people-carrying coach is surrounded (overcome) by a verb meaning to strain in order to remove unwanted material

28a    Beat king’s war machine (4)
TANK: A verb meaning to beat (ones hide perhaps) is followed by the abbreviation for King

29a    Families keep being taken in by star signs (10)
HOUSEHOLDS: A word meaning to keep is surrounded by (being taken in by) a word which categorises the twelve signs of the zodiac


1d    Reportedly dispose of part of prison (4)
CELL: A homophone likening a prisoner’s room to a means of disposal for cash reward.

2d    Answer some correspondence (7)
RESPOND: The answer is hidden (some) within the a word of the clue

3d    Evidently women only troubled at cruel name-calling? (12)
NOMENCLATURE: Begin with a term 2,3 which means women only. Add an anagram (troubled) of AT CRUEL

4d    Listen: a city-dweller will show resolve (8)
TENACITY: The answer here I also hidden (will show) within the words of the clue

5d    Choice of fostering when Bill leaves (6)
OPTION: The act of taking legal responsibility for rearing another’s child minus a two-letter abbreviation for an advertising poster

7d    Inflammatory reason to support English (7)
EMOTIVE: A word meaning a reason for doing something follows the abbreviation for English

8d    Scheme and lie about getting shot, possibly (10)
PROJECTILE: Begin with a synonym for a scheme or plan. Add an anagram (about) of LIE

11d    Life-saving treatment needed where estuaries meet? (5-2-5)
MOUTH-TO-MOUTH: A method of resuscitation could describe where two estuaries meet.

14d    See 21 Down (10)
17d    Cures seem dire somehow (8)
REMEDIES: Anagram (somehow) of SEEM DIRE

19d    Plan for retirement? (7)
PENSION: A cryptic definition of a financial plan for when one finishes work

21d & 14d    HANGING? (7)
CAPITAL PUNISHMENT: These upper case letters may describe the sentence for murder before 1965

22d    Trendy, like old colour (6)
INDIGO: A three part charade. 1. A two-letter word meaning trendy. 2. A word meaning to like something. 3. The abbreviation for old

25d    They’re handy when fighting members (4)
ARMS: These members are limbs. They are also weaponry.

Blogged to a poppy Beautiful South.

Quickie Pun: inner+scents=innocence


59 comments on “DT 28786

  1. Being first to comment always gives me a tingly feeling even though I have nothing to say.

    (I’m so childish)

  2. A very mild “fun” crossword and over far too quickly. Not really my cup of tea, but I’m sure plenty of people loved it. 1* / 2*

  3. Nice to get in early. I enjoyed this, some fun wordplay. Needed the help to get 10a which was the only holdout. Still don’t much like it if I’m honest but lots of others that raised a smile.

  4. For my part after a tough weekend this seems to have gone from one extreme to the other. It was painless but very enjoyable. I belatedly parsed 18a (is there a cruciverbal name for a swapping parts clue I wonder?). Lots of good clues but no particular Fav. Thank you CL and MP.

  5. 1* / 3*. Light and fun, although using 10a as a verb makes my teeth stand on edge even though it is in my BRB.

    My ticked clues were 23a, 27a, 3d & 21/14d.

    Many thanks to CL and to MP.

  6. I liked it apart from 10a which took me as long as the rest of the puzzle . Iffy though in my opinion .
    There were a number of clues that made me smile but must make the 14/21 combo my COTD for its simplicity and directness.
    Thanks to everyone on yet another hot day .
    Waiting for schools to break up to get back to normal .

  7. Fairly simple yet delightful puzzle from our Editor this morning. No hold-ups, no obscurities and nicely straightforward. The 1a/16a combo may have been obvious but still amusing, as was the 21d/14d combo. Good fun and 1.5* /3.5* for me.

    Thanks to CL and the truly blessed one.

  8. As others have said, it was the NE corner that held out for me, with 10a causing me to fall at the last fence.

    Thanks to CL and MP.

  9. Could hardly believe that our editor would bless us with such an easy starter for ten in the 1/16 combo but it certainly made this an easy solve although, like others, I wasn’t very happy with 10a.

    29a took far longer than it should have done and 8d was a fairly late entry due to the checkers that left me with for 10a.

    Favourite by a mile was the 21/14 combo with a mention for the exotic dancer.

    Thanks to CL and to MP for the blog. Had to smile over it being as much as you could stand to include a pic of The Beatles without an accompanying clip but all was forgiven by the sight of Johnny wearing his eye make-up (I don’t know why but it really appeals!) and the beautiful sound of Donna Taggart’s voice.

    1. Jane, I agree with you that Donna Taggart’s voice is beautiful but the truly 7d version of the song is that by Jenn Bostic. Jenn wrote it in memory of her father who died in car crash when she was 10. I’ve had the great pleasure twice this year of seeing her perform in very small venues, and each time there was not a dry eye in the house when she told the story behind Jealous of the Angels and then sang the song.

      1. Just listened to her and you’re quite right, RD, hard to hold back the tears.
        As a slight aside, we have an extremely good restaurant close by which is called Freckled Angel – named in memory of a close friend of the proprietors who died at a tragically young age and a song that was subsequently written about him by a mutual friend. All the signage comprises a single angel’s wing.

      1. I think we’ve been here before, Merusa. Basically I agree with you but there’s just something about the pirate costume and the eye make-up that does it for me. Mind you, I remember going to see a performance by the Lady Boys of Bangkok and coming away convinced that I could ‘turn’ one of them! Don’t know why – just a loose wire in the old grey matter I suppose………..

        I doubt that either Aidan Turner or Sean Connery (two of the others on my ‘hit’ list) would be overly impressed!

      2. I’ve never understood his attraction, I still see him as Edward Scissorhands, creepy. But youngest daughter thinks he is quite dishy, so perhaps it is an age thing.

  10. A gentle, enjoyable start to the week.

    My main hold-up was 1a/16 where the puzzles.telegraph site had “Across” written in full. And the wrong enumeration.

    This made it difficult to decide which bits made up the anagram fodder.

    1 & 16 Across One rotten actor is spoiling TV series (10)

    1. Just noticed that the correct enumeration is now in place on puzzles.telegraph.co.uk.


  11. Enjoyable start to the week. 1.5*/3.5*. 10a was my favourite because it provided one of those ‘doh’ moments and a grin.

  12. After the tussles with the prize puzzles over the weekend, this was a very welcome introduction to the work week and was completed at a gallop, helped, as Jane says, by the easy starter for ten (which, unfortunately, is shown on one of the Canadian TV stations) – **/***.

    Joint favourites – 27a and 29a.

    Thanks to CL and GMoLI.

  13. Needless to say 10a was the last solution and didn’t work for me too, apart from this blip a good start to the week and a **/***.Liked 27a-what a great sounding word.
    Favourite has to be 21/14d for originality. Thanks MP and setter.

  14. Has someone had a word? This was a lot easier than the last few Monday’s!

    Anyway, if the clues are straightforward to solve, the least the setter can do is have lovely surfaces and that’s what we had today.

    Hurrah and thanks to setter and to MP.

  15. A pleasant and not taxing puzzle. Fav was 13a simply for its rather silly definition.
    I don’t have a problem with 10a but, like others, I had it as my LOI with a bit of damage done to the tea tray.

    Thanks to the setter and MP.

  16. Like others foxed by 10a (thought it must be Dodo) but otherwise pretty straightforward with no special favourites

  17. A good threequarters of this was very friendly but 29a and 8d along with the aforementioned unpopular 10a (thank goodness I thought it was just me) held me up for ages and needed MP’s help. My COTD goes to 22d, which I thought was particularly clever. Thanks to setter and reviewer.
    Ps is it really coming home, I guess we’ll have a better idea by the time we’re scratching our heads over Thursday’s Ray T.

  18. 10a like others was my Betè Noire but the rest tripped off my fingers quite quickly for me.
    The blog cleared up a few parsings and was a pleasant read after an equally pleasant stroll round Roundhay Park. Thanks to Miffypops and Mr Ed.
    Minor point the piratical actor only partly (3/4) surrounds the abbreviation for the party drug.

    1. Not sure I get your point about the actor.
      Most of his name (“actor Johnny, almost”, I.e. drop the final P) does surround the abbreviation for ecstasy.
      Both the setter and MP made it straightforward.

      I actually liked the misdirection provided by the comma before the “almost”.

      1. I didn’t make it straightforward. My hint has been edited so John Bee was correct

  19. Light and enjoyable 1/3. Technically, to foster is not the same as to adopt(5d) and is 21/14d another dingbat like judg/ment the other day? Thanks to CL and MP.

    Last night we had the passage through the islands of out first tropical storm of the season, named Beryl. Nothing serious but she is bringing much needed rain. There is another storm off the coast of the states (Chris) heading north east which could bring some rain, so I understand, to the U.K. by the end of the week.

    1. This hurricane season has started off apace. The first named storm was in May, unheard of. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed, I’m too old for this malarkey.

  20. A much more manageable romp after the weekend puzzles.
    Like others I thought 10a a bit iffy but there were many more enjoyable clues. The synonym for like in 22d always makes me smile. Favourites probably 18a and 23a.

    Thank you to Chris Lancaster and Miffypops.

    1. Nice to see another comment from you, Don, – we’ll have you hooked in no time!

  21. I think the horrors of the weekend have destroyed too many brain cells as I found this a real struggle. Absolutely no reason for it, as it was an excellent crossword.
    Boris is gone now, Brexit could make a Whitehall farce if it wasn’t so serious. I think the EU is going to turn us over big-time.
    Thanks all

    1. Quite agree. Hopefully there is plenty of room in The Tower for some of them…

  22. */***. Over too quickly but a couple of clues amused me – 27a and 3d. Thanks to the setter and MP for the review.

  23. Tricky in parts but straightforward in others. Really enjoyed this puzzle with some great clues and the odd clue”out of the box.” Not familiar with the answer for 3d but worked it out from the word play and then confirmed with BRB. Last one in 27a not a word I use on a regular basis. NE corner today’s sticking point but feel more on todays setters radar than the other Monday setter Dada.

    Clues of the day: 20a / 21-14d.

    Rating: 2.5* / 4*

    Thanks to MP and Mr L.

  24. A nice gentle start to the week after the tussles of the last couple of days!
    No real favourites but a pleasure to solve.
    Thanks to CL, and to mine host in LI for the review.

  25. I’m a little surprised that so many disliked 10a. I thought it was very clever. But, each to their own.

    1. I agree with you about 10a a real smile moment when that one went in. Meant to include it in my favourites and then forgot.

    2. I didn’t dislike it just struggled to see the answer until I read the blog. After the event the answer seemed obvious and I am a bit narked at my own stupidity for not solving it unassisted.

  26. An excellent puzzle with some superb clues, my double ticks went to the two combos (1 and 16a and 21 and 14d) plus 23a and 3d.

    Many thanks to Mr Ed and the truly blessed one.

  27. Quite a nice start to the week but I thought ***/*** 😬 Favourites were: 3d, 5d & 8d 😃 Thanks to MP and to Chris Lancaster. I had golo for 10a 😜

  28. Well, after this weekend’s offerings, I enjoyed this one, so there. I even liked 10a. I did need my trusty electronics to solve 8d, and help from the thesaurus to know why 24a was what it had to be.
    My fave was the 21/14d joint clue, so clever.
    Thanks to CL and to M’pops for the review, always an entertainment in itself.

  29. How was Van the Man?
    I’ve seen him a few times but I don’t like this jazzy phase. That’s not what I liked about him in the first place.

    1. We got five songs from Astral Weeks which pleased me.

      1. Astral Weeks.
      2. Young Lovers Do.
      3. Sweet Thing.
      4. Baby Please Don’t Go/Don’t Start Crying Now/Got My Mojo Working/Jet Set Woman.
      5. Sometimes We Cry.
      6. One Irish Rover.
      7. Days Like This.
      8. Have I Told You Lately?
      9. Foreign Window.
      10. Beside You.
      11. Wild Night.
      12. Listen To The Lion.
      13. Little Village.
      14. Moondance.
      15. Broken Record.
      16. Did Ye Get Healed?
      17. Slim Slow Slider.
      18. Brown-eyed Girl

  30. Needed Miffypops on this one as I didn’t get 10a.
    Wasn’t very keen on the lurker in 4d but really liked 18a and 23a.
    Thanks to Mr Ed and to MP for the help.

  31. What a relief, after a weekend of feeling really stupid. Really enjoyed this one. No problem with 10a, but couldn’t for the life of me see what I wanted to put in for 24a was right, until I read Miffpops’ hint, ohhhh…. 26a was the other one that held me up, forgetting that equals money. Thanks to setter and Miffypops for a better day.
    Fingers crossed they get the last of the boys out tomorrow.

  32. While I agree with everything, especially the grumps about 10a, I can’t for the life of me understand why there has not been much of an outcry against 19d. Surely this was a GK clue, not belonging in cryptic. Apologies if I have missed similar thoughts above but I have quickly skimmed through and thanks for all the entertainment!

    1. It didn’t seem v cryptic to me either but apart from the obvious I was thinking along the lines of 19d as a Continental Boarding House and therefore a place you might plan on retiring to for the night on holiday.

      1. Agree totally with Sir Harry about 19d, I was so sure it couldn’t be the obvious that I waited for all the other indicators..! had a big laugh for 3D surprised nobody has mentioned that as a COTD. Enjoyed it tonight, thanks to setter and BD as always..

  33. Enjoyable and witty in the main. Last two in 11 and 10 a and did not particularly like either of them. Slight niggle with 27a as bus to Not a synonym for coach. Slightly greater niggle with 5d as adoption is certainly not fostering (already mentioned above by another blogger). Any other problems were of my making but did complete without help. I circled quite a few favourites but the 21 and 14 combo has to be the favourite.. Thanks.

  34. Finishing this over breakfast. I found it very difficult to solve yesterday. Blame it on the heat!

  35. I’ve just spent 10 days without access to the interweb thingy as a result of moving out to the sticks. The upside is that I now have a pile of xwords to solve over the coming days.

    Q? When will setters finally accept that words such as dig for like, in for popular & hip for
    trendy were last used some time during the sixties?

    Thanks to the setter & to MP.

  36. A pleasant Sunday stroll ( well train ride, actually !!) , with only my 12a -Down – not correlating with your preferred – Boon !! :)

Comments are closed.