DT 28799 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28799

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28799

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***


Hello, everyone.  After the up and down of the last two Tuesdays, today sees a return to something nearer the Tuesday norm.  I enjoyed solving today's puzzle and I look forward to hearing what everyone thought of it.

Thank you to the 674 readers who filled out the survey in last Tuesday's blog.  Only 11% of those respondents visited for reasons other than getting help.  So, even if it doesn't appear that way from the early comments, we now know that most blog readers come here seeking assistance with solving or parsing the puzzle.

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions, cryptic definitions, and definitions overlapping wordplay.  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    Complete first of circuits, ahead after British bloomer (9)
BUTTERCUP:  Concatenate complete or absolute, the first letter of CIRCUITS, and ahead or winning. Then put that letter collection after an abbreviation for British

6a    A container, partly open (4)
AJAR:  Stick together A from the clue and a type of container

10a   Extremist in Istanbul, trapped (5)
ULTRA:  The extremist is hidden in the remainder of the clue

11a   Loads in favour of merger (9)
PROFUSION:  Connect a short word meaning "in favour of" and a merger or meld.  La Tomatina is one way to deal with having loads of tomatoes

12a   Worry about fellow, the Parisian in a port not far from Perth (9)
FREMANTLE:  Worry or vex oneself is wrapped about a fellow or chap, and followed by "the" in French

14a   A dry, freezing cold, unfinished loft (5)
ATTIC:  Assemble A from the clue, a usual abbreviation for dry or abstaining, and all but the last letter (… unfinished) of an adjective meaning freezing cold

15a   Become physical? Don't be so naive (3,4)
GET REAL:  Amalgamate synonyms of become and of physical or actual

16a   Big boss, more vague after drink (7)
SUPREMO:  An anagram (vague) of MORE comes after a verb synonym of drink

18a   Coach beginning to toil, damaged in rear (7)
TRAINER:  The first letter of (beginning to) TOIL is followed by an anagram (damaged) of IN REAR

20a   A Burgundy wine can bring great joy, mostly after tea! (7)
CHABLIS:  After a three-letter informal word for tea goes all but the last letter (mostly) of some great joy

21a   Check about ending of gag rule (5)
REIGN:  Check or slow up containing (about) the last letter of (ending of) GAG

23a   Clubs dealt -- bar having a flutter on this? (4-5)
CARD-TABLE:  An abbreviation for clubs is followed by an anagram (having a flutter) of DEALT BAR

25a   Form of investment, one thing to have faith in (4,5)
UNIT TRUST:  Aggregate "one thing" and "to have faith in"

26a   Parachute failing to open -- wrong 'un (5)
ROGUE:  A small parachute used to reduce the speed of something has its first letter removed (failing to open)

28a   Hour with author (4)
HAND:  An abbreviation for hour followed by a synonym of with.  The answer is a general author, but for ease of illustration I've chosen a particular one

29a   Direct series causing a complete change in opinion (9)
TURNROUND:  Knit together direct or point and a series or cycle



1d    Outspoken, expert about lake (5)
BLUFF:  An expert or enthusiast is wrapped about the map abbreviation for lake

2d    Perfectly ignoring adult and small child (3)
TOT:  A (2,1,1) phrase meaning perfectly or ideally has the abbreviation for adult removed (ignoring adult)

3d    Dash round implausible island battle site (2,7)
EL ALAMEIN:  Dash or flair is wrapped round the union of implausible or weak and an abbreviation for island

4d    During depression, a point raised in State House (7)
CAPITOL:  Into a depression or pass in a mountain range are inserted (during) A from the clue and the reversal (raised, in a down clue) of the point on an arrow or a spear, for example

5d    Old wife hemmed in by crowd shows courage (7)
PROWESS:  Abbreviations for old and for wife are contained in (hemmed in by) crowd or squeeze

7d    Connect article with society? Me too! (4,3,4)
JOIN THE CLUB:  Combine a synonym of connect not found in these hints, a grammatical article, and a society or group of people who share a common interest

8d    Bump into ladder on a bridge (3,6)
RUN ACROSS:  A ladder in tights or stockings precedes (on, in a down clue) A from the clue and bridge or connect

9d    Fish and a fruit served up (4)
TUNA:  A from the clue and a generic fruit with an edible seed in a hard shell, all reversed (served up, in a down clue)

13d   Deportation, one-time practice (11)
EXTRADITION:  The answer split (2-9) could mean a practice that occurred at one time 

15d   Search finished after game (2,7)
GO THROUGH:  Finished or complete goes after a Japanese game

17d   Art repels crude artisan (9)
PLASTERER:  An anagram (crude) of ART REPELS

19d   Playing field -- game on it for conscript (7)
RECRUIT:  Bind together an informal name for an open area for sports or games, the abbreviation for the national game of New Zealand, and IT from the clue 

20d   Rude men flanking a museum administrator (7)
CURATOR:  Rude or short and some usual soldiering men are wrapped around (flanking) A from the clue

22d   Record  message (4)
NOTE:  A straightforward double definition

24d   Aim to tour Maine? Correct (5)
EMEND:  An aim or goal goes around (to tour) the abbreviation for the US state of Maine 

27d   Ruminant from foreign uplands (3)
GNU:  The answer is hiding among (from) the remaining letters in the clue


Thanks to the setter for a fun solve.  I gave ticks to 14a, 4d, and 9d.  But my favourite thing among today's offerings is the set of quickie puns (and now I have to wonder if I've overlooked any previous examples of this device).  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword puns: 
First columnLIMB + PITT = LIMPET
Last columnSIGH + KICK = PSYCHIC

38 comments on “DT 28799

  1. Completed the grid in ** time, but parsing them all took me into ***.

    I was still left with two that I couldn’t parse, 28a I just assumed was an author I didn’t know, Mr Google tells me there are a few of that name, but 2d had me stumped.

    COTD was 20d, very neat I thought.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr.K.

  2. Enjoyable and completed without too much effort . No particular favourite today .

    Love the banana picture , well , they are hands after all .

    Following the advice from Saint Sharon yesterday to delete/restart the DT App , stability of entries via the iPad has returned .

    Thanks to everyone .

    1. It’s about two or three weeks since I last deleted and reinstalled, I gave up doing it because it made no difference. However, yesterday and today there has been a turnaround!! Hooray, I can leave and return and my grid is still there. The acid test is now going to be the weekend, will it still be telling me that I didn’t get a single correct answer last weekend?

      Enjoyed today’s solve, many thanks to the setter and Mr K

      1. That is good news .
        I gathered previously from other bloggers that , for some strange reason , iPads always show a score of zero for the prize crossword answers submitted .
        More good news .I did win £50 a few years ago via my iPad entry . My wife spent it on a much loved electric blanket . Thankfully , it has dual controls !
        So , keep entering although the odds of winning are long .

  3. This one went in without much resistance. It was an enjoyable solve with good clueing. 1.5* / 3*

  4. I only looked for one quickie pun , should the pun clues all be in italics writing ? the fourth pun was my favourite.
    Agree with Mr K on a **/***, the Tuesday norm., thanks for the Rubic Cube pic ! used to know how to solve it in my youth-not a clue now.
    Liked 20a probably because it is my favourite wine, a flinty green delight.
    No real favourites ,as a cricket fan I remembered the ‘Doctor ‘ related to 14a.

  5. 20a my favourite in this straightforward and entertaining Tuesday puzzle. I can’t remember ever seeing four Quickie puns before, and would still be in the dark had our blogger not pointed them out.

    Thanks to both Misters involved.

  6. 2* / 3*. Apart from a few dodgy surfaces, this was a straightforward but entertaining puzzle as others have already commented.

    I wasn’t sure about the answer to 28a meaning “author” but it is in the BRB, and “Me too!” doesn’t seem quite right as the definition for 7d; I’ve always thought of that expression as something you say to someone else.

    Lots to like here, but I’ll settle for 12a as I remember Jonathan Agnew on Test Match Special frequently talking about the “doctor” mentioned by Beaver during various Perth Ashes Tests.

    Many thanks to Mr R & Mr K.

    1. A boatman in that Western Australian town told me that the wind was actually called The Docker, as it referred to the wind that blew in to help the old sailing ships drift into the docks. Since hearing that explanation it seems to have more historical accuracy than the usual name applied. Whatever it is called, it is still a very welcome afternoon breeze during the very hot summers there.

        1. So does Jamaica. Because of the mountains, you get a sea breeze during the day and land breeze at night. You get a lull when the winds change, that’s when the no-see-ums come out.

          1. They are a real pain on the west coast of Florida too, thank goodness they don’t seem to Ike the east coast.

    2. I hadn’t thought 7d through, but now I think about it I see your point, RD.

      However; if someone walked into a bar and said ‘Blimey I’m hot and thirsty’ and I replied ‘Join the club!’, I would effectively be saying ‘Me too, we all are’.

      Not quite as eloquently put as would Gazza, but hopefully that makes sense.

      1. Thanks veyr much, LbR. That’s probably the explanation (using a very topical example!)

  7. Enjoyable solve; not too challenging. No particular favourite. It’s hot here in Maidstone. We could do with a blast from the Doctor from 12a.

  8. I was on the wrong wavelength today because I had a sizeable number of bung-ins which went unparsed so not very satisfying. No particular Fav. Amazing the different contexts which enable MrK to utilise a feline illustration – this time Ernest Hemingway was the facilitator! Thank you Mysteron (would love to know who you are?) and MrK.

  9. Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, but found it very difficult. Managed all but the NW corner. Needed the hints for 1&11a and 1&4d. Favourite was 19d. Was 4*/3* for me.

  10. Very enjoyable and difficult to pick a favourite, but 3d just edged it for me.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    P.S. As well as the Western Australian wind, “The Doctor” was also used in Ashes Tests as a nickname for the former Australian TMS commentator Neville Oliver (after his initials). I think Brian Johnston coined the nickname originally, he was responsible for most of the others (Blowers, Aggers, The Boil, The Alderman etc.)

  11. Well, 20a has to be favourite of course! The rest of the puzzle was ok; no, actually it was a pleasure to solve even if it wasn’t particularly challenging.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and Mr K.

  12. Quite an enjoyable solve but no clues that particularly stood out. Haven’t we seen the 2d phrase used fairly recently?
    I did have to verify the author and check on the parachute – buried too far down to surface unaided!

    15a raised the biggest smile.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr K. I recall reading about La Tomatino in a novel I read recently – don’t think I’d be rushing to join in!

    1. Yes, the 2d phrase was used in a recent Sunday puzzle (in a clue that I thought was unfair because it lacked a definition and couldn’t be solved without using checkers).

  13. V pleasant with no great problems apart from 2d. No way could I see the ‘perfectly’ so thx to Mr K for the explanation of what seems like a weak clue.

  14. Never on the wavelength today and like others completed the puzzle but had real difficulty parsing a lot of clues with the puzzle never flowing for me. More of a bung in puzzle today and although completed not very satisfying. No real favourites but 15a probably the pick of the bunch. Special thanks to Mr K for helping me to understand some of the more tricky parsing even after getting the answers. Not a great puzzle for me perhaps it’s the heat?

    Rating: 4* / 2.5*

    Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

  15. I found this very tricky in parts. Lots of bung-ins, like most 2d was a mystery, so thanks to Mr.K for his sorting that out for me.
    I never solved the author nor 23a, my fault as I had a wrong letter at the start of 24d. All I had to do for 24d was follow instructions and I failed that.
    Fave was 7d but 12a was close.
    Thanks to setter and to Mr. K, especially for the pic at 18a.

  16. I usually comment before I read the comments as I can’t wait for the minutes to tick down. Today, however, I read them as I had been checking a lot of parsing.
    Like many others it was a definite bung in day today!
    Couldn’t spell the battle and don’t know the parachute.
    Favourite 21a
    One I could do!
    Thanks to both

  17. We took a little time to sort out how the wordplay for 2d worked but it was not a major hold up in what we thought was an enjoyable puzzle. Don’t ever remember seeing 4 puns in one Quickie puzzle before, very clever.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  18. Well a good result, in that I only needed 3 hints, but I filled in too many without the clue, from the letters I already had. My favourite clue has to be 18a, just because of the great picture Mr Kitty included, thank you! This looked like our dear old Rupert who went to kitty heaven earlier this year. He was a very smart cat, but we never thought to give him a Rubik’s cube 😻 We were in Budapest earlier this year where Erno Rubik, the inventor, is still alive and well, a professor of architecture and still teaching at the University there.

  19. About as * for difficulty as * could get here. Enjoyable for the fleeting moments it lasted. :-)

  20. Late start and not yet finished today I am going to the hints.
    Just wanted to share a snippet I heard on the radio today.
    “My new thesaurus is terrible. Not only that, but its also terrible.”
    Tee hee

  21. All done, though in truth, I never left truly on wavelength.
    Very enjoyable, favourite was 12a.
    Thanks Mr.K and Mr.Ron

  22. Absolutely not on the wavelength at all on this one. Abysmal failure on my part.

    Thanks to Mr K and to the setter.

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