DT 28787 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28787

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28787

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***


Hello, everyone.  I thought that today’s offering came from the less tricky end of the Tuesday spectrum, in part due to the setter’s inclusion of seven helpful anagrams.  This crossword demonstrates how a fairly straightforward puzzle can still provide an enjoyable solve.  If you still have time on your hands after completing it, today’s Toughie isn’t all that tough and, if you want to sample a new setter, this week’s Rookie Corner puzzle is getting some good reviews.

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and precise definitions and cryptic definitions are underlined.  Clicking on the Answer buttons will reveal the answers.  In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background.  Clicking on a picture will enlarge it or display a bonus illustration.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Here's good advice from roadshow, I tweet excitedly (1,4,2,3,4)
A WORD TO THE WISE:  An anagram (… excitedly) of ROADSHOW I TWEET

9a    A nobleman catching cold in story (7)
ACCOUNT:  A from the clue and a nobleman sandwiching (catching) an abbreviation for cold

10a   Famous Oxford don earlier than expected bringing page in (7)
SPOONER:  "earlier than expected" containing an abbreviation for page (bringing page in).  Here’s a rare picture of the Oxford don's beloved Manx cat Toenail

11a   Heading for Oberhausen with German miss (4)
OMIT:  Put together the first letter of (heading for) OBERHAUSEN and "with" in German

12a   Extra large meal that's all over the place (10)
WIDESPREAD:  One of the ways to score an extra run in cricket is followed by a large meal or array of food 

14a   Remain briefly with convict in camp (6)
STALAG:  A synonym of remain minus its last letter (briefly), with a usual convict or criminal

15a   Pot Republican placed in new cubicle (8)
CRUCIBLE:  An abbreviation for Republican is placed in an anagram (new) of CUBICLE

17a   Traveller with tale about fashionable shopkeeper (8)
MILLINER:  A story-telling traveller created by Chaucer is wrapped about the usual short word for fashionable

18a   Win playing Ulster (6)
RESULT:  An anagram (playing) of ULSTER

21a   Kill beautiful woman, reportedly a ringer? (6,4)
SLEIGH BELL:  Homophones (reportedly) of kill and a beautiful woman

22a   Party in power losing face (4)
TEAM:  A form of power developed by James Watt, with its first letter removed (losing face)

24a   Irish individual keeping gold, metal extracted from this? (4,3)
IRON ORE:  The abbreviation for Irish is followed by a synonym of individual containing (keeping) the usual heraldic abbreviation for gold

25a   Socialist recording reveals time-consuming bureaucracy (3,4)
RED TAPE:  Stick together the colour synonymous with a socialist and an old type of recording

26a   Comic mentioned bar ad for fruit machine (3-5,6)



1d    In deficit, uncertain what to do (2,1,4)
AT A LOSS:  Two definitions.  The enumeration is a big help here 

2d    I'm on oboe an uncle composed for very rarely (4,2,1,4,4)
ONCE IN A BLUE MOON:  An anagram (composed) of I'M ON OBOE AN UNCLE

3d    Redecorate at university after party (2,2)
DO UP:  The usual word for "at university" comes after the usual party

4d    Get damaged boat home (6)
OBTAIN:  An anagram (damaged) of BOAT followed by the usual word for home

5d    Great number right inside city pub? (8)
HOSTELRY:  Fuse together a great number or a swarm and crosswordland's favourite cathedral city with an abbreviation for right inserted inside

6d    Bird wife precooked, for a change (10)
WOODPECKER:  The abbreviation for wife is followed by an anagram (for a change) of PRECOOKED

7d    One way that may get you into Hollywood (6,9)
SUNSET BOULEVARD:  A cryptic definition.  Way here is being a road

8d    Game girl doesn't finish (6)
BRIDGE:  A girl's name (young Ms Jones, perhaps) with its last letter removed (…doesn't finish)

13d   Person going round a London college with a cleaning agent (6,4)
BAKING SODA:  An informal shortened word for a person is going around A from the clue and a top London university.  That lot is then followed by the second A from the clue 

16d   Join a bishop about to go inside for fish (3,5)
SEA BREAM:  A from the clue, the chess abbreviation for a bishop, and the usual short word for about or concerning are fused together and placed inside a type of join

17d   Nonconformist male is in good health (6)
MISFIT:  Cement together the abbreviation for male, IS from the clue, and a word meaning '"in good health"

19d   Set of questions about English politician causes violent disturbance (7)
TEMPEST:  A set of questions or examination wrapped about both an abbreviation for English and a usual politician

20d   Look initially within for papers, bright in colour (6)
FLORID:  The first letter (…initially) of LOOK is inserted within FOR from the clue.  That lot is followed by an abbreviation for identification papers

23d   Plan best left forgotten (4)
IDEA:  A synonym of best has the abbreviation for left deleted (left forgotten)


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  I particularly liked 1a and 4d for their surface readings and 10a for providing an opportunity to show Toenail.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  PURSE + PECKS = PERSPEX

55 comments on “DT 28787

  1. 0.5* / 2*. Apart from 22a, this was the easiest back-page puzzle I can remember.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and Mr K.

  2. Ditto RD – another walk in the park. No happy medium these days. Thanks Messrs. Ron and K.

  3. 21a was my fave in this very gentle crossword. Over far too soon but fun while it lasted.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Mr K for the review and pics, especially the one at 12a.

  4. In complete agreement with first two comments. 22a was also my only holdup, the parsing not the solving, and the whole crossword was incredibly straightforward.

    Thanks to our Tuesday setter and Mr K.

  5. More gentle than yesterday’s work week opener, completed at a fast gallop – */***.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 21a and 5d – and the winner is 21a, a very good homophone.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    P.S. Like the Samuel last week, the MynoT Toughie isn’t – I stayed out on the course and finished that at a gallop.

  6. I hesitate to post this, but I really can’t understand why Senf, Rabbit Dave and Angelov etc, bother to do the back page. Why not just go straight to the Toughie.
    I found this enjoyable and medium difficulty today, with some clues that needed a bit of thinking about.

    1. We consigned the term ‘read and write’ to the bin as it offended the newer solvers. Perhaps the more experienced solvers should leave the ‘oh so easy’ comments out. I love to see comments from people who have just finished unaided for the first time. Their total joy and elation shines through their comments.

      1. Do what I do and ignore all posts regarding difficult/easy before 1500.
        After that, people more of my standard tend to post, otherwise it all gets too depressing.

        1. Exactly. I realized quite a while ago that those that post early on are always going to be those who find these puzzles easier than us lesser mortals, I am lucky in that I am 5 hours behind anyway.

    2. I don’t usually comment on the back page puzzle unless it is one of the more tricky because I don’t want to upset those who are less experienced and still growing in ability. My first DT puzzle was about 60 years ago and one does get better over time! Although these days I worry about going down hill too as things don’t come quite as easily as they once did!

      Nevertheless, I still enjoy doing the puzzle every day over my morning cappuccino. sometimes I do the Toughie as well, if the time works out right.

      1. Ditto. I started as a new Mum in 1969, and slowly got better at solving. When baby #2 was a toddler, my crossword time was while they watched Playschool, and I had my mid morning coffee. Nowadays, it’s over my morning cappuccino. Didn’t really get much better at solving until we discovered this site. What a find. It has made such a difference. Hats off to Big Dave and his merry band.

        1. All we had then was the answers the day after. No explanations. Occasionally a fellow solver might have known the why or wherefore. Very solitary. I am glad I stuck with it though.

          1. Exactly. I looked at the results next day to try to fathom out what and why, but this is much better 😊

    3. To be fair, all of those mentioned, and most of us who solve, sometimes struggle with a puzzle that others find relatively simple – and they are happy to admit as much, including myself.

      I have done away with both R&W and the difficulty stars because they don’t really mean anything; totally subjective and can understandably be taken the wrong way.

      Personally, I have never watched TV and don’t possess one, I don’t read fiction including supposed ‘news’ papers and if I am not solving or creating a crossword, I will invariably have my head buried in a dictionary, encyclopedia, atlas or playing chess online.

      You might expect I’d be pretty good by now, but I am still learning. As MP says, I enjoy posts by folks coming up trumps with their achievements far more than old hands reporting that they have rattled off another puzzle – so they should.

      In answer to your question: many solvers do head straight to the Toughie, and most of those solvers also regularly take part in the Rookie Corner discussion which can be insightful and informative, particularly Prolixic’s reviews.

      What are we going to discuss if we can’t feedback on how we individually find a puzzle?

      The blog is here for you to tell us what you thought, whatever you thought, and long may it continue.

      1. Your points are well made, Roy and I agree that without subjective comments, what would be talk about. I have no problem with someone calling a puzzle ‘easy’, surprising as it sounds, I have even said it myself. To those of us not so gifted/experienced, if you can’t complete, the “easiest back-page puzzle I can remember”, then that’s a bit different. I am pretty thick-skinned, but that makes me feel like a bit of a lemon.
        There is always tomorrow, though, and these things pass pretty quickly, personally, the weekend knocked a lot of the stuffing out of me, and left me questioning whether this was for me.
        As I said, there is always tomorrow.

  7. I seem to be in the minority so far, but I really didn’t enjoy this one. I felt the puzzle was fragmented and failed to flow.

    Chaucer not being on my reading list, I didn’t know 17a, and I thought 22a a bit far fetched.

    I’ll just pop to the shops and get some more humbugs.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr.K.

  8. 17a is ‘miler’(traveller) containing (with) a word for fashionable inside a word for tale.

    1. A fine effort ‘No name’ (I guess that’s where it comes from) but you have used the e twice, i.e in ‘miler’ and the last letter of the word for ‘tale’.

      I like the ‘Miler/Traveller’ stab, though.

  9. Well I couldn’t finish this unaided and as it’s the “easiest back-page puzzle I can remember” , “another walk in the park” and “a very gentle crossword”, I feel pretty stupid.
    Thanks MR.K for the hints and Mr.Ron.

    1. Hi, Hoofit. I’m sure that hundreds of lurkers will be nodding their heads in agreement and appreciation as they read your comments. I know this because in the survey we did on a puzzle not much more difficult than this one, something like 90% of respondents said that they did not solve it unaided.

      I also know for a fact that the solving times that some commenters here associate with 1* difficulty are at least a factor of five longer than what the best solvers routinely achieve. Some commenters are not as fast as they think they are.

      The only thing that matters is that one derived some pleasure from the puzzle.

      1. Hi Mr.K, as ever, thanks for the hints, we have just rescued a pair of cats, so currently enjoying them settling in.
        With regard to your comments, the last word comes not from me but from CrypticSue, who I hope I am not misquoting, but she does not comment on the difficulty of the back-pager for just the reasons that you outline.

    2. I’m with you, Hoofit.

      I’d very much like to think that those who comment saying ‘the easiest back pager ever’ or the like are not just boasting and showing off, but I am not so sure.

      They certainly can make me feel pretty dumb.

  10. Well a */***, today,
    Took me a while to parse last in 17a as my traveller was MIR-the space station around in and lie ( tale )-which did not quite fit- then finally I spotted the Chaucer character-sometimes we make life too complicated !
    Loved Mr K’s pics, particularly 23a

  11. A strange one this, I managed to complete it (needed Mr K for 22a) without ever feeling I was on the setter’s wavelength. For me had a bit of a dated feel but quite enjoyable nontheless. Didn’t find it as easy as some of the earlier posters but I guess that’s logical as I’m not as good as them.

    1. Oops, posted without the obligatory thanks to setter, and to Mr K for making everything clear in an entertaining fashion

  12. As usual the cats are great , particularly , toenail . I have relatives in IOM so will copy and forward . Hated 22a , loved the clever/simple 23d .
    Good crossword although too many long anagrams for me which , on solving, made things easier .
    Thanks again to everyone .

    1. Thanks, KFB, glad you liked the Toenail pic. I trust that you also noted the “good advice” in the first illustration :)

      1. Sorry to report that I have had to go into great detail to explain the toenail spoonerism to my IOM relatives .
        Apparently , I have a twisted mind .

  13. Personally, I found this one very easy – and that is not always the case. Too many easy and long anagrams. Having said that I failed on 22a. Team=party – a stretch too far for me. Joint gold medals for the excellent 17a and 21a.

  14. This was an enjoyable solve with only 22a needing Mr K (thanks) to explain my bung in. Thanks also to the setter. We head for Chesterman Beach near Tofino for the next week with our grandchildren and enough food and drink to feed an army. The weather is supposed to be warm but you never know on the Pacific rim.

  15. Really enjoyed this. Last one in was 8d, I’d written my “d” looking like an “o”, totally threw me, darn it.
    I wanted to put Gulliver in 17a, I spent far too much time trying to parse it.
    Rushing off to dentist, will read comments later.
    Thanks to our Tuesday setter and to Mr. K for his review.

  16. Agree with Mr K **/*** 😃 Favourites 21a and 5d Thanks to Mr K I had to chuckle at the picture for 17d 😉 Thanks to Setter also. My longest time today was trying to get the second word of the “Quicky” My banker was “Avocet “ for 4d! plover is not specific as there are different types 😬

  17. Agree with HYD and Stephen Lord I found it more difficult than most and like them never felt on the wavelength, thank goodness for the long anagrams to give that needed foothold. Enjoyable puzzle though but I guess I should also sit on the stupid step as well. Pleased to have finished though SW corner caused a fair bit of havoc but last in was 11a and that was a bung in. Full marks to those bloggers that found this easy ( and I do understand your comments are not to put other people down.) but not a 2* level for me and the ratings are just a bit of fun in my opinion nothing too serious, after all it is just a crossword.

    Clues of the day: 14a / 13d

    Rating 3.5* / 3*

    Thanks to Mr K and the setter

  18. Three posts in a row!
    I enjoyed this but did find it on the benevolent end of the spectrum.
    21a was the last one in and and favourite – a proper face plant!
    I am a relative novice and enjoy the infrequent crossword wins I have!
    Thanks to the setter (one day I hope to be able work out who sets by just doing the crossword – I fear that is a long way off) and to Mr K for the hints (which I didn’t need – an unusual occurrence for me!!)

  19. Slowly getting there after about two months with Big Dave. Stuck on 17a as I was convinced that pilgrim was involved! Thought 14a was clever. Definitely for older solvers. Love the pussypics. Thanks Mr K.

  20. Late in today having been out in the Conwy Valley with a friend to investigate the wave machine at Surf Snowdonia.
    An amusing way to spend the day -sitting in the shade with a drink whilst watching folk making sterling attempts to drown themselves!

    Thought at the outset that we were in for a puzzle comprised solely of anagrams – they certainly gave a good way into the grid.
    No particular favourite but an enjoyable enough exercise.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr K for the blog – liked the feline planning his military strategy!

  21. Got through this one relatively well for me, except for 12a and 22a.
    Without the hints I would never have got either of these answers, so a bit of a downer today.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K , especially for the 22a cat.

  22. I remember when I first started solving these puzzles, I’d look at the difficulty stars through the week and then have a go at the ones that had 1 or 2 and be unable to get anywhere close to completing them. Slowly though, that began to change and I began to identify with the ratings that the more experienced solvers had awarded. I’ll never be able to compete with the real quickies and I only know my times because I generally solve on my tablets (electronic ones) and I can check the puzzle stats post solve. When I solve on paper which is not too often, I never bother with exact solving times.

    I hope that some solvers don’t get too discouraged by star ratings as I’m sure it’s not the intention of the regular posters here to show off, rather just supply feedback on how they found the difficulty level and too the enjoyment

    Also, considering that people like Magoo and Verlaine and a few of the regulars here can thunder through daily puzzles (Times, Independent and Guardian) in around 5mins sometimes, it should be considered that the star ratings (as Mr K alluded to earlier) are profoundly subjective and indeed one should solve to derive pleasure in some capacity.

  23. Second lovely day, this one was right up my street and very much enjoyed, so thanks to the setter and Mr. Kitty. Just needed the hints for 14a, 22d and very silly of me, 13d. I was quite stumped on that one, thinking there was some cleaning brand I had never heard of. Fingers crossed for another doable puzzle tomorrow to make it a hat trick.

  24. An enjoyable * for difficulty. The longer phrases and answers went in on enumeration and definition alone, which meant some of the other slightly trickier clues, suddenly, weren’t. Last in 16d.

  25. Plenty to enjoy in this puzzle and, unaccountably, there were a couple of clues that took longer than they should have to come to us. These were 12a and 21a.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  26. Hmm – I thought about replying to some of the previous comments but decided in the end to just write my thoughts.
    I stopped giving a number of stars for difficulty/enjoyment some time ago apart from the days when I do the hints.
    I don’t time myself mainly because I hardly ever do a crossword in one ‘sitting’ – the phone rings, the washing needs hanging out, someone calls in etc but mainly because I don’t care how long it takes me.
    How difficult someone finds a crossword depends on umpteen things – most importantly, I think, is wavelength – I don’t find Ray T too tricky but I know that others struggle whereas I often had a battle with Rufus crosswords which were supposed to be the most straightforward of the week and I always have a tough time on Fridays.
    A few other things contribute too – general frame of mind, routine and distractions.
    For me enjoyment depends on whether or not something makes me laugh and I know that’s a personal thing.
    Crosswords are meant to be enjoyable not a race or a competition so let’s carry on enjoying them and encouraging new solvers and commenters on this great blog.

    I enjoyed todays crossword.
    I got into a pickle with untangling 17a. My favourite was either the rather unseasonal 21a or 17d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K and apologies for the long ramble.

  27. Nice puzzle solved in many “innings” as I wandered round The Yorkshire Show. I have never timed my solves and usually do them in fits and starts but I value those who rate them as it helps me see when it is just me being stupid or other subjective things that slow me up. (I am looking at The Rev Spooner here)
    I needed a bit of help from the blog to parse the last few. In particular team beat me and my first thought on the Oxford Don was Lewis Caroll. The clunk as I realised that Toenail was a spoonerism of his most significant feature (or lack thereof) was probably audible throughout Yorkshire.
    Thanks to Mr K and setter.

  28. Took a while to get 5d and 12a.
    Nice penny drop moments.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the review.
    Btw. Did you see my post in last Thursday’s toughie? A 12 letters reversed lurker appeared just after you posted your listing.

    1. Hi, J-L. The work thing has been keeping me from both crosswording and reading the blog every day, so I hadn’t seen your comment last week or solved that Toughie. Thanks for highlighting that amazing reverse lurker. I will update my table so it’s included the next time there’s cause to show that data.

  29. Where would we be without this excellent blog and all the people that provide hints etc.
    So I hope I haven’t offended anyone with my previous comment.
    Keep the remarks coming that’s what I say.

  30. This one was similar to Monday’s – mild/straightforward and over too quickly, but enjoyable enough while it lasted. 1* / 2*

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