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DT 28785

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28785

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 7th July 2018

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

When I checked with a friend to find out whether it was just me suffering from the heatwave, plus an (more than usual) annoying husband, not to mention the unusual grid for this particular Saturday Prize Puzzle that made it so difficult, I asked whether this was Toughie we’d been waiting for ages. Not for the first time, I was delighted not to be alone in thinking that this was a difficult crossword, particularly so for a Saturday.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Place to hang hospital garment? (8)
WARDROBE – A place to hang clothes, including possibly a WARD ROBE (hospital garment)

5a    Reversible raincoats to take to the cleaners (4)
SCAM – reversible MACS (raincoats)

9a    Bar runner from club with pain needing treatment (8)
PUBLICAN – An anagram (needing treatment) of CLUB with PAIN

10a    Drive to find area next to concert hall maybe (6)
AVENUE – A (area) next to VENUE (concert hall maybe)

11a    Very loud penetrating poet is sadly on the wrong track … (3-5)
OFF-PISTE – FF (very loud – abbreviated musical instruction) inserted into (penetrating) an anagram (sadly) of POET IS

12a    … hence, having no beginning or end, poem causes scramble (6)
ENCODE – Remove the outside letters (having no beginning or end) from hENCe and follow with ODE (poem)

14a    Severe forecast — ring entrepreneurs for clothing (10)
ASTRINGENT – Lurking (clothing indicated that the word is covered by some of the clue) in forecAST RING ENTrepreneurs – I’d be interested to know how many other people besides me took a look at the definition, spotted what they thought were the correct letters for the lurker and then wrote STRINGENT before they found they got a spare square left over at the end!

18a    One relays creepy messages of courses in Paris and Berlin by management (5,5)
OUIJA BOARD – OUI and JA (French and German words of agreement – of courses – as used in Paris and Berlin) followed by BOARD (management)

22a    Drive home’s ending? (6)
ENERGY – The E at the end of home is an abbreviation for Energy

23a    Beg surgeon for facelift, having caught cold (8)
SCROUNGE – An anagram (for facelift) of SURGEON into which is inserted (having caught) C (cold)

24a    Bothered to take time for seconds, resulting in round figure (6)
THIRTY – Replace the S (seconds) at the start of SHIRTY (bothered) with a T for time

25a    Villain receiving old-fashioned look after page’s introduction (8)
PROLOGUE – ROGUE (villain) ‘receiving’ LO (old-fashioned word meaning look), the result going after P (Page’s introduction)

26a    Animal pelt (4)
HARE – An animal or a verb meaning to run fast (pelt)

27a    Risky material, ‘First Love’ penned by idiot (8)
ASBESTOS – BEST (first) O (love) ‘penned by’ ASS (idiot)


2d    After hesitation, turned up nude, getting slap in the face (6)
REBUFF – BUFF (nude) goes after a reversal (turned up in a Down clue) of ER (word of hesitation)

3d    Fruit is planted amid downpour (6)
RAISIN – IS (from the clue) ‘planted’ in the middle of RAIN (downpour)

4d    Fine meadow or riverside, perhaps, for Mole! (6,4)
BEAUTY SPOT – A fine piece of countryside or something put on the face to heighten beauty. Strange that a mole was once considered a beautiful thing whereas now we are more likely to rush off and get it checked out by a doctor!

6d    Binding agreement mysterious group’s used to crush worker (8)
COVENANT – COVEN (mysterious group) used to crush (put on top off in a Down clue) ANT (worker)

7d    Staffing that’s opposed by feminists? (8)
MANPOWER -Presumably feminists would insist on woman power

8d    Light meal the French originally shelled out for (8)
OMELETTE – Apparently the French were the original people to call this dish made by removing eggs from their shells, beating  them and cooking them quickly for a light meal

9d    Rugby player that’s employed in theatre (4)
PROP – A rugby player or something used in stage productions

13d    Makes tracks in advance of drunken rep’s order to come round clubs (10)
PRERECORDS – An anagram (drunken) of REPS ORDER into which is inserted (to come round) C (clubs)

15d    Row of homes? (8)
DOMESTIC – An informal term for a row between people living in the same house; or an adjective meaning belonging to the home

16d    Food supplement put team on course (4,4)
SIDE DISH – SIDE (team) DISH (course)

17d    Butcher cutting son causes hysterics? (8)
LAUGHTER – Cut the S for Son from sLAUGHTER (butcher)

19d    Club’s number one in part of India — tall story! (6)
GOALIE – The goalkeeper in a football team generally has a no 1 on the back of his shirt – GOA (part of India) LIE (tall story)

20d    Man whose limit may be one across and two down? (6)
KNIGHT – A cryptic description of the moves that this particular chess man is allowed to take

21d    Present that bloke goes on about (4)
HERE – HE (that bloke) goes on top of RE (about)


8 comments on “DT 28785

  1. Yes to 14a , great minds !

    Liked 18a , 19d and 20d particularly.

    Cannot remember how long it took to complete but found it enjoyable .

    The hot weather is tiring .

    Thanks .

  2. This took me longer than usual too. No problem with 14a, it was my first thought but finding it was less easy.
    I know I’ve come across 15d before, but could not for the life of me remember the answer.
    8d last in, bit of an odd clue I thought at the time.

    Thanks for the review CS

  3. Hardest Saturday puzzle for ages and ages. Yes, me too on 14a but most thanks for the plausible explanation of 8d, which finally makes sense. My favourite was 15d, beautifully neat and obscure. Thanks to all

  4. Yes, much stiffer than usually seen on the back page.

    I’m still not keen on 8d – so the French were the first to give a particular dish its French name? …

    Thanks to the setter and to Sue for the review.

    Sue – did you not see Mr K’s question on your blog post of yesterday?

    1. I had one of those days (in one of those fortnights) where I’ve been too busy to look/reply

  5. Thanks as ever, CS. Crikey, this was hard. I couldn’t get 8d even with the hint. I thought there was some very clever stuff in here, though, many thanks to setter and to your good self.

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