DT 28792 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28792

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28792

Hints and tips by a curmudgeonly Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Thanks to Dada Chris Lancaster  for today’s puzzle. (Apologies to all. Chris has just confessed to being today’s setter) As usual a fine start to the puzzling week.

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 Quickly appear fashionable (4,6)
LOOK SNAPPY: A short phrase used to hurry someone to action is also a definition of sartorial nattiness

6a Talk in second-class facility (4)
BLAB: The letter used to define a lower class of something is followed by a room used for scientific experiments

9a How one should build flat-pack furniture — and get it upstairs? (4-2-4)
STEP BY STEP: How to follow instructions and how to climb stairs.

10a Small Faces, briefly, could be arrogant (4)
SMUG: Begin with the abbreviation for small. Add a term meaning faces but without the letter used to make them plural

12a Tempt cricketer to take single (4)
BAIT: A run-scoring cricketer has the letter that looks like the number one (single) inserted

13a Share a French article in principle (9)
RATIONALE: Begin with a share of a commodity issued during a period of shortage. Add the letter A (article)and the French word for THE

15a Light quality’s somewhat fair, in essence (8)
AIRINESS: The first lurker of the day. The answer is hidden within the words of the clue, indicated by the word somewhat

6a Outdo someone gambling (6)
BETTER: A double definition. Both obvious.

18a Reach volunteers aboard a vessel (6)
ATTAIN: Place those volunteers from the Territorial Army within the letter A from the clue and a vessel or container. Maybe a container of baked beans.

20a Temporary accommodation left covered by one member (8)
TENTACLE: Begin with a temporary shelter used by campers. Then place the abbreviation for left inside the number one in a pack of playing cards

23a Rebellious pair hated segregation (9)
APARTHEID: Anagram (rebellious) of PAIR HATED

24a Cut meat? (4)
CHOP: A double definition. To cut with repeated sharp blows of an axe or a cut of pork or lamb typically including a rib

26a Performer‘s gloomy broadcast, according to some (4)
DOER: Oh dear. A homophone that I fear will not work for some. The words according to some suggest that this performer sounds dreary.

27a Place bet in error after account’s deemed satisfactory (10)
ACCEPTABLE: An anagram (in error) of PLACE BET is placed after the abbreviation of account

28a Flee ultimately strange old character (4)
RUNE: A verb meaning to flee is followed by the last or ultimate letter of the word strange

29a Deliberated dressing team in Conservative red! (10)
CONSIDERED: A synonym of a team is dressed by the abbreviation for the conservatives on the left and the colour red on the right. The colour red can be lifted straight from the clue. It is an act of generosity from the setter.


1d Fine to leave rich drunk (4)
LUSH: Find a word which means rich or awash with money and remove the abbreviation for fine

2d Write song after love outside (4-3)
OPEN-AIR: Place the letter that represents the love score in tennis in front of a term split 3,3 that could mean to write a song

3d Prove aunt is best at dancing (12)
SUBSTANTIATE: Anagram (dancing) of AUNT IS BEST AT. What a lovely clue. Short and sweet. A perfect surface. Excellent definition. Precise wordplay.

4d Sailor’s scheme to save time is hard to understand (8)
ABSTRUSE: Begin with some sailors. Preferably able-bodied ones. Add a scheme or plan to deceive or dupe somebody. Place these around the abbreviation for time (saving time)

5d Rather attractive (6)
PRETTY: Another double definition which is also obvious, and which has been seen before

7d Criticise gentle person sat around (7)
LAMBAST: An anagram (around) of SAT follows a description of a gentle person

8d Generous description of unambiguous? (3-7)
BIG-HEARTED: look where the first part of the answer can be found in “unambiguous”

11d Tame doc meditates after working (12)
DOMESTICATED: Anagram (after working) of DOC MEDITATES

14d Monster leaves having eaten bloke with Queen (10)
SALAMANDER: We have three components to this clue. A bloke or chap. A summery meal of green lettuce leaves. The Queen’s regnal cipher. Put them into the order suggested by the clue, i.e. the lettuce leaves around (having eaten) the bloke and followed by the Queen, to find a lizard. I needed a google check to find out about the description of this creature as a monster.

17d Unnecessary bad feeling on ship (8)
NEEDLESS: Begin with an informal verb meaning to provoke or annoy. Add the letters used to denote a ship

19d Novel I daren’t exchange (5-2)
TRADE-IN: Anagram (novel) of I DAREN’T

21d Hit gear (7)
CLOBBER: A double definition. To hit someone hard. Personal clothing or equipment. A third definition is to add enamelled decoration to porcelain

22d Sticky stuff seen in novel crop (6)
VELCRO: A hidden (seen in) word. The answer is clearly visible within the words of the clue

25d Fuel price finally dropped (4)
FEED: The price for a professional service is followed by the last letter of the word dropped

No tennis. No world cup. No Rugby until September. What is a boy supposed to do?

Quickie pun: soup+official=superficial


41 comments on “DT 28792

  1. 2* / 3*. A light and pleasant start to the week. The homophone in 26a doesn’t work for me, but the setter has covered himself nicely with “according to some”. 25d was my last one in – the penny as well as the fuel price took some time to drop finally.

    Many thanks to Dada and to MP.

  2. For me “Enjoyable struggle “ best describes today’s crossword . It did not flow uniformly with long pauses then sudden progress . Top right corner held out longest with 8d becoming favourite when finally appreciated .

    University Challenge starts again tonight which will impress yet demoralise at the same time . So young , so knowledgable .

    Thanks to everyone

  3. I thought 8d was very clever and my favourite in an enjoyable (and, for me at least, tough) puzzle

  4. For me this was a bit lacklustre and over-anagrammed. 6a depends on a double use of class. I suppose 20a can be considered a member. Had forgotten the old characters in 28a. If I had to pick a Fav it could be the simple 16a which no doubt is a chestnut but having now looked at hints I too think 8d is witty. Thanks Dada and the self-styled curmudgeon.

  5. Having abstract for 4d held me up with 15a otherwise an enjoyable solve after the trials and tribulations of last week. Thanks to everyone.

  6. A fair mix of clues today and after a slow start a an enjoyable solve took place, just the ticket for a Monday.
    Agree 8d was clever and 14d arrived after the checking letters were in, like MP a google monster check was required.
    Love the word Rune for some reason -remember a story called the casting of the runes- would be a good name for a heavy metal band !
    Thanks all.

  7. Found this fairly easy. Apart from 8d which I was happy with, until I saw the hints. I don’t get it!

    Sorry, just seen it, and think its a bit average.

  8. Nice Monday puzzle from Dada, slotted in well to the morning routine.

    Although obvious, 1a isn’t a phrase I’m very familiar with – I’d be more likely to say the first word followed by ‘sharp’ or the second word preceded by ‘make it’.

    No problem with the homophone although that isn’t the pronunciation I would instinctively use. If Mr Google is to be believed, the way in which our setter has employed it today used to be regarded as the only acceptable pronunciation.

    Tops for me were 3&25d.

    Thanks to Dada and to MP for the blog.

    1. I can’t tell you how long I spent looking for a sixth letter to hang onto “sharp”. Sharpy? Hardly!

  9. An appropriately gentle Monday puzzle, with 3d and 8d my two picks of a very good bunch.

    The regional homophone in 26a conjured up an image of John Laurie as Private Frazer in Dad’s Army, I could just imagine him pronouncing it that way, and it also aptly described his character’s usual demeanour.

    Many thanks to Mr Halpern and the curmudgeonly one.

  10. An enjoyable start to the week. Likes included the extremely clever 8d and my two COTD, 2d and 25d . Slight dislikes were 26a and 14d (as I just can’t see this rather cute little amphibian as a monster) 2*/4* for me.
    Thanks to setter and MP, I laughed out loud at both cartoons in the review.

  11. Got back from an early golf game today to find Mrs B had completed the whole thing for the first time ever. She is very chuffed!
    She just needed an explanation for the big in 8d – very clever clue.
    As I don’t like Dada puzzles I am officially turning Mondays over to her.

    1. B. I had to chuckle at the missus-doing-crossword anecdote. It reminded me of 10 – 15 years ago when I was even more obsessed with cryptic puzzles than I am now. When at a loose end with no cryptic to do (usually late afternoon) I used to wander round to the paper/cardboard recycling bins in the local car park (they’ve gone now) and rip out 10 or 20 puzzles from various newspapers. Then, at home, I would Tippex out any existing answers wearing my long-distance glasses so I couldn’t actually read them, and then proceed solving the now virgin grids wearing my reading-glasses. Now that’s what I call dedication!

      1. Jose

        That’s probably something you shouldn’t have confessed to so publicly!

  12. This was a case of having to temper my thoughts of the crossword after reading the esteemed opinions above. I thought it was a fun puzzle and was going for **/*****. Biggest smile for me was 26a when it clicked, again contrarily. So, due respect, I knock a star off the RHS.
    If this is Dada, I’m a fan.
    Thanks to him and MP the effervescent.

  13. Nice start to the week. Not too taxing today and as mentioned by others the homophone didn’t work for me and although the wordplay easily led to the salamander I too find it hard to accept as monstrous. None of the above distracted from the enjoyment though.
    13a and 4d my faves today
    Thanks to Miffypops and Mr Ed.
    (This boy is supposed to be watching the Tour de France but even they get a day off today)

  14. Really enjoyable start to the working week, just about the right challenge following a hot weekend. Started off well then had abstract incorrectly in for 4d that delayed things until the checkers went in and eventually the penny dropped. Slight delay in NE corner but last in 25d. Overall not too much head scratching but a fun puzzle with some great clues.

    Clues of the day: 3d / 8d and a few more.

    Rating: 2.5* / 4*

    Thanks to MP and Mr L.

  15. Enjoyable for me too. Any issues with 26a are alleviated by “according to some”. I pronounce “dower” but that is not to say there is not an alternative and perhaps better pronunciation. Funny old solve for me. I had answers dotted in all over the place with no long hold-ups but was surprised when I had only one !2a left which was a case of going through the alphabet. All parsed well for me today apart from 27a where I missed the anagram. 8d my clue of the day with other favourites all down clues 1, 2, and 14. Thanks to Mr Ed & MP. Always read the hints after completion to see what I have missed eg the anagram. Nice selection of clues. For the first time the answers were not covered for me today so lucky I did not check anything with the hints until I had finished all.

  16. The first crossword I’ve had time to do since last Thursday – lots of people here and no time – too hot to concentrate anyway.
    Not too many problems today although 14d took a while and I was a bit dim with 25d – don’t know why.
    I liked 1a and 8d and my favourite (just the one!) was 9a.
    With thanks to Mr Lancaster for the crossword and to MP for the hints.

  17. I really enjoyed this, many thanks to CL. That’s exactly how I pronounce 26a; put it down to being around too many Scots!
    I failed with 25d, but I see I was in good company. Why do the 4-letter words always give me the biggest problem?
    I, too, had to look up the 14d monster. I only knew the lizard-y animal and the expensive oven, now I’ve learned a third meaning.
    My fave was 8d, how clever is that?
    Many thanks to M’pops for his most amusing review.

  18. 25d my last entry, with 8d a very clever and worthy COTD. I did not find this as easy as some, but as we are on a short holiday in Dorset I think I have temporarily switched off the part of my brain that does these things.

    Many thanks to CL for the enjoyable challenge and to MP for an equally enjoyable blog.

  19. Good clueing throughout but over too soon.

    Favourite was 8d, a lovely clue.

    Thanks to Chris L and Miffypops.

  20. Thanks to Chris Lancaster and Miffypops for an enjoyable and doable puzzle. 8d was a very clever clue, just pipped at the post by 9a. Didn’t care for 26a, and would never have equated 14d with monster. But good exercise for the old grey cells.

    Any hope your weather is going to cool down soon? We well remember the summer of 1976 when we and our kids slept downstairs on the living room floor as the upstairs bedrooms were stifling. Some days you have been hotter than here in South Florida, and at least we have aircon (hurricanes permitting)…

    1. Google 14d with the word “monster”, very interesting as there is a connection with the answer to 28a. I’d never heard of it.

  21. I like short clues and there were lots today.
    So I liked it a lot.
    Thanks to CL and Miffypops for the review.

  22. An enjoyable * for difficulty. A few of the clues needed teasing out, particularly in the NE corner, but still finished comfortably in double quick time. A good Mondayish puzzle.

  23. I found that much more difficult than I should have done. I think my brain was still in weekend mode.
    Much to enjoy, I am warming to the new crossword editor.
    8d went straight in.
    26a was a bit of a stretch.
    Thanks MP and CL

  24. What has flat-pack to do with 9a? Isn’t that how one should build anything and everything?

  25. Some lovely anagrams & lurkers to get you started. I thought 12a & 26a a bit Dodge. Thanks for your site BD.

  26. Another gentle start to the week, but maybe not quite as gentle as the normal Monday production. Very good clues and an enjoyable solve. Favs: 27a, 4d and 14d, which has excellent wordplay with a definition that required research to confirm. My only slight quibble was 29a – using red in the clue to trigger RED in the answer! 2* / 3*

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