DT 28805 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28805

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28805

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment **


Hello, everyone.  We have a solid puzzle today.  I can't think of much else to say about it.  In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and definitions overlapping wordplay.  Clicking on the Answer buttons will reveal the answers.  Clicking on a picture will enlarge it or display a bonus illustration.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Ship's company held at regular intervals after son's wound (7)
SCREWED:  Put a ship's company and alternate letters (… at regular intervals) of HELD after the abbreviation for son

5a    Happens to come from part of church with different conclusion (7)
CHANCES:  Take the name for the part of a church near the altar and change its final letter (…with different conclusion)

9a    Healthy drinks served here? (5)
LOCAL:  Hyphenating (2-3) the name for the place down the road that serves drinks gives, according to advertisers, something healthy

10a   Doctor sent Tom in for medicinal creams (9)
OINTMENTS:  An anagram (doctor…) of SENT TOM IN

11a   Deputises for The Queen, returning gifts (10)
REPRESENTS:  The usual Latin abbreviation for Queen Elizabeth is reversed (returning) and followed by some gifts

12a   We're told beach is safe (4)
SURE:  A homophone (we're told) of another word for beach

14a   Tailor contrite with sir's ties (12)
RESTRICTIONS:  An anagram (tailor…) of CONTRITE with SIR'S

18a   School test -- is rebellious group getting pleasure? (12)
SATISFACTION:  Put together a (3) abbreviation for a particular school test, IS from the clue, and a rebellious subset of a larger group

21a   I highly valued no Republican belief (4)
IDEA:  Put together I from the clue and a word meaning "highly valued", dropping the abbreviation for Republican (no Republican)

22a   Drunk, pa's despair vanishes (10)
DISAPPEARS:  An anagram (drunk…) of PA'S DESPAIR

25a   Winning -- something a cricketer might be doing? (9)
APPEALING:  Something that a cricketer in the fielding side might do several times could mean winning or attractive

26a   Dog ignoring black bird (5)
EAGLE:  A small hound, with the pencil abbreviation for black deleted (ignoring black)

27a   Oriental cuisine's finale: a small bird (7)
EASTERN:  Put together the final letter of (…'s finale) of CUISINE,  A from the clue, the abbreviation for small, and a bird that's similar to a gull

28a   Piece from singer Fitzgerald intended to be heard (7)
ELEMENT:  Homophones (…to be heard) of the first name of jazz singer Ms Fitzgerald and a synonym of intended



1d    Perhaps capturing tailless bird -- one brings it in (6)
SALARY:  Perhaps or "for example" containing (capturing) a songbird minus its last letter (…tailless)

2d    Instructions primarily crepe's prepared with? (6)
RECIPE:  An anagram (…'s prepared with) of the first letter (…primarily) of Instructions  and CREPE

3d    African animal beside wet ground around lake (10)
WILDEBEEST:  An anagram (… ground) of BESIDE WET is wrapped around the map abbreviation for lake

4d    Finished penning king's monotonous speech (5)
DRONE:  Finished or completed containing (penning) the usual Latin abbreviation for king

5d    Growth on foot? Run out with severe cramp (9)
CONSTRICT:  A growth or area of thickened skin on the foot has the cricket abbreviation for run deleted (…out), and has severe or rigorous appended

6d    Criticism rarely holds up fighting (4)
ARMS:  The answer is hidden reversed (…holds up, in a down clue) in the remainder of the clue

7d    Prisoner with court attendee -- one will try to deceive you (8)
CONJUROR:  Put together a usual prisoner and one of a group of twelve in attendance at a trial

8d    South American writers start to exhibit tension (8)
SUSPENSE:  Put together the abbreviation for south, an abbreviation for American, some writing implements, and the first letter of (start to …) EXHIBIT

13d   Tone from cash machine: two rings? (10)
ATMOSPHERE:  Put together an abbreviation for a cash machine and two rings, by which the setter apparently means round objects.  The first is the round letter and the second is a round three-dimensional object 

15d   Changing train -- do it for practice (9)
TRADITION:  An anagram (changing…) of TRAIN DO IT

16d   Esther half-ignored one friend's opinion (8)
ESTIMATE:  Put together one half (… half-ignored) of ESTHER, the Roman one, and a friend or partner

17d   Tries raising volunteers with invites (8)
ATTEMPTS:  Put together the reversal (raising in a down clue) of some usual volunteers and invites or entices 

19d   Confusion no good in middle of story (6)
TANGLE:  Abbreviations for no and for good are inserted in the middle of a story or narrative

20d   Look -- a second domesticated animal catches cold (6)
ASPECT:  Put together A from the clue, an abbreviation for second, and a domesticated animal like a cat or a dog which contains (catches) the abbreviation for cold

23d   Declare area good in street in Paris (5)
ARGUE:  Put together the abbreviation for area and the French word (… in Paris) for street with the abbreviation for good inserted (again)

24d   Dead  slow (4)
LATE:  A double definition.  Slow as in delayed


Thanks to today’s setter.  I couldn't identify a standout favourite today.  How about you?


The Quick Crossword pun:  SIGHED + ALMS = SIDEARMS

63 comments on “DT 28805

  1. In 9a I did not get the healthy bit until reading the hint and12a largely depends on your dialect ( not mine ) .
    Liked 5d but only in retrospect .
    Progressed in fits and starts today but enjoyed the challenge as usual
    Thanks to everyone .

  2. I found that today’s puzzle needed careful parsing.
    I made a stuttering start in the NW so moved south and completed the lower half before moving back north.
    Last in was 9a ,assumed a dual meaning clue but like KFB failed with the healthy bit .
    Thanks Mr K ,great cat pics -loved the spare ones !.
    Liked one across for the misleading direction with the wrong ‘wound’ and charades 13d and 18a.
    Going for a ***/***

  3. Like Beaver I’d probably have added a star both sides as there was nothing much wrong with it and I think it took me an average sort of back page time.

    I did wonder though if the exam in 18a is ok in the singular.

    Had a stupid moment where I carelessly misspelled 3d. Grr. :)

    My favourite was 13d until Mr K pointed out that the second ring is not a ring. Oh well!

    Thanks to the setter and blogger.

    1. Like you, Kitty, I’m not sure if the exam in 18a can be referred to in the singular.

      3d is a beast of a word to spell.

  4. I had a completed grid in *** time, bar one. When the penny dropped, I really liked 9a, so that is my COTD.

    The one I didn’t finish without electronic help was 24d. Am I alone in thinking that this is a rather unfair clue? Four letter answer with the checkers being our two most common vowels? My sources tell me that there are 186 common words (appearing in more than 10 dictionaries), that fit this pattern, but with just a two word clue? Not much to work with.

    Or am I just Mr Grumpy ‘cos I couldn’t see it?

    Thanks to the setter and Mr.K.

  5. 2.5* / 2.5*. I found this a bit tougher than my 2* time and reasonably enjoyable although I had no particular favourite (except for the Monty Python clip provided by Mr K for 23d).

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and Mr K.

  6. Despite Mr K’s views on rings, 13d was still my favourite, with 1a a close runner-up. Overall this was a thoroughly workmanlike puzzle, perhaps lacking in sparkle, but certainly enjoyable enough and not too testing.

    Thanks to our Tuesday setter and Mr K.

  7. Struggled through this one but got there in the end…..how often do I say this? I don’t really want to know the answer to that question .

    12a is definitely not a homonym for me so was the last in.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty….the cat pics are, as usual, wonderful.
    Particularly the magician.

    1. Being a Brummie, I certainly agree. The setter obviously speaks the “Queen’s English” .

  8. Great crossword.

    I’m all for modern portmanteau words (Chillax and the like) but I squirm when I hear Guess and 16d combined.

    There is never a need for it.

    I also twitched when the compiler used ‘invites’ as a noun but the clue grammatically wouldn’t work with ‘invitations’.

  9. A steady solve today. I did as asked and all fell into place. Agreed that a sphere is not a ring but I’m pretty certain that MENT isn’t a synonym of intended at 28ac. Thanks to Mr Kitty for the blog and thanks to our setter.

      1. Yes. I had thought that was clear enough from the hint (and the positioning of the homophone indicator in the clue) but have now edited it slightly to say homophones rather than homophone, removing any potential ambiguity.

        1. I’m sure I commented on this thread … it seems to have disappeared. Somewhere in the ether, I suppose!

    1. 13d: I took the ring = sphere to mean a class or circle in society, as in: we don’t move in that sphere/circle any more.

        1. I probably wouldn’t, but that doesn’t stop circle = ring = sphere (not as a globe/ball) – especially in the rather surreal world of cryptic clues. They are all pretty much synonymous with each other in that sense. I am quite confident that a professional setter wouldn’t use ring = sphere in any geometrical sense – but you never know!

          1. My understanding of the convention for an acceptable definition is that it should be interchangeable with the answer in a sentence without changing the meaning, or it should be given as a definition in one of the major dictionaries.

            1. My research from the three main dictionaries/thesauri gives sphere: a class/group/circle (of people), or ring, in society. As in: we don’t move in that sphere any more. Ring: a group/band of people who associate and act together. I would be quite happy to read: I don’t move in that sphere/circle/ring any more. As in a ring of thieves, gangsters, etc.

              I can’t find anything, anywhere, that gives ring = sphere in a geometrical sense.

              1. I’m not at all arguing that ring=sphere in a geometrical sense. The “apparently” in my hint was supposed to be a gentle indication that I didn’t agree with the wordplay.

                The alternative advanced by the 2Ks and yourself is less of a stretch. My dictionaries must be different than yours because the entries for sphere make no mention of ring. The closest I can find in the entries for sphere is:
                Chambers: 5.A circle of society or class, orig of the higher ranks (as if a planetary sphere)
                Collins: 7.A social class or stratum of society
                Oxford DE: 2.An area of activity, interest, or expertise; a section of society or an aspect of life distinguished and unified by a particular characteristic
                Shorter Oxford: A place, position, or station in society; a body of people of a certain (orig. only high) rank or standing

                One can of course have a ring of thieves, a circle of friends, and a sphere of influence. I agree that they express related concepts. All I’m saying is that I don’t think ring and sphere are interchangeable in that context – I wouldn’t talk about a ring of influence or a sphere of thieves. Google has 180,000 hits for “ring of thieves” and just 2 for “sphere of thieves”, making the phrase rarer than the nonsensical “sphere of cats” with its 4 hits. In your first response you said you wouldn’t use ‘I don’t move in that ring anymore” (and neither would I), but now you appear to have changed your mind?

                1. Yes, I have changed my mind somewhat – after doing more thinking and research, so I’m reasonably happy with “I don’t move in that ring anymore”, but using “ring” wouldn’t necessarily be my first be my first choice of word. It is agreed that ring = sphere is wrong in a geometrical sense and, because I’m interested in semantics, I am merely trying to establish what meaning the setter had in mind when they constructed the clue. The only conclusion that works for me is the one I’ve given above – based on aggregated research from the 3 main dictionaries/thesauri. I’d be very happy to hear a better/more valid explanation (there may be one!), but till then I’m sticking to my theory.

                  Am I right in assuming that you are now in (reluctant) agreement with that theory?

                  1. From Collins Online:

                    countable noun
                    A sphere of people is a group of them who are similar in social status or who have the same interests.

                  2. We can’t know what the setter had in mind. I agree, of course, that ring and sphere can both refer in some way to groups of people. But I don’t agree that they are interchangeable, and so in my opinion that clue doesn’t work.

                    The Chambers Crossword Dictionary lists almost 100 equivalent words under ring, but sphere is not among them. Sphere has over 30 entries, but none of them are ring.

                    In Chambers Thesaurus, the entry for ring does not contain sphere and the entry for sphere does not contain ring. Your desired meanings are all in there though – as synonyms for ring they give “group, cartel, syndicate, association, organization, league, alliance, combine, society, club, fraternity, sorority, gathering, circle, gang, crew, mob, band, cell, clique, coterie” and for sphere they include “2: domain, realm, province, department, territory, discipline, speciality, field, area, range, scope, compass, extent, rank, function, capacity. 3: a sphere of people: circle, class, group, set, band, crowd, clique”. The only place in that thesaurus where one finds sphere listed with ring is under the sub-entry for circle describing things that are round, and we both agree that doesn’t work here.

                    Google cannot find any examples of “move in that ring” or “move in those rings” which have the meaning that you want. The handful of hits are about wrestling or mounting a scope on a rifle.

                    Sorry, Jose, I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

                    1. I have a little time today to return and belatedly finish off my last comment. The 3 main dictionaries I use are the BRB, SOED and Collins Online, plus their associated thesauri and also, sometimes, Chambers 21st Century online. I assume that they are the same ones as you are using.

                      The definition from Collins Online I gave above, on its own, is enough for me to conclude that the meaning I have given is probably what the setter had in mind. That’s the only way I can make the clue (just about) work. Cryptic clues are not always back and white, sometimes they are subjective and occasionally they have definitions that are not direct, exact definitions of the answer but category 2 synonyms (ie, they have nearly the same meaning). That’s just the way it is – it’s not a precisely clear-cut, exact science like mathematics.

                      Incidentally, I wouldn’t rely too much on Google searches for particular phrases – there is considerably more prose, literature, written work of all kinds in existence than is contained within any searchable database/archive used by Google.

                      It’s OK, we can disagree – it’s just friendly, robust debate. At least we’ve made an effort to search for the truth about the clue.

                    2. (I’m replying to myself because we have exhausted the levels available for a thread)

                      When Google returns over 22,000 hits for “move in that sphere” and none (with the desired meaning) for “move in that ring”, that’s evidence enough for me to believe that the latter expression is not valid.

                      It looks like I prefer closer adherence to convention in my crossword clues than you do. In my opinion, and for the reasons I’ve given above, ring simply does not work as a definition of sphere. I believe that the setter has made a error, and so I have no idea which incorrect connection they had in mind. You see things differently, which is of course fine. It’s just a crossword puzzle.

  10. **/*** Today. Quite liked it. 10a first in. 9a last in. I found myself adding a few bung ins today and parsing later. Luckily I was right. Only 9a needed an explanation. So thanks all.

  11. Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the review and hints. A nice puzzle with some tricky clues. Needed the hints to parse 9a and 3d. Last in was 21a. My favourite was 13d, quite original. Was 3*/3* for me.

  12. I liked this, although I found it easier to solve than parse. Thanks to the setter and Mr k.

  13. ***/**. Not my cup of tea. I got there but needed some help to explain 9a and 12a which I’d bunged in. Thanks to Mr K for the insights and thanks to the setter. Hopefully we’re into a downward turn in the weather which has been unbearably hot.

  14. Found this puzzle quite difficult with the parsing coming after the answer in quite a lot of clues. I also misspelled 3d, and 9a needed Mr K’s hints to parse that, but what a brilliant clue it is when parsed. Last in 1d just couldn’t see that one for ages. So a mixed bag of a puzzle for me not really satisfying even having completed it, although some good clues, parsing others a real struggle. Somewhat a hit and miss puzzle but certainly more than 2* difficulty for this blogger.

    Clue of the day: 9a / 14a / 7d

    Rating: 3.5* / 3*

    Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

  15. Not difficult but some of the clueing was dire. Take 9a for example or 12a both very poor clues. Far too tricksy for my taste.

    1. Hi Brother Ian.

      Lo-cal is a term that’s been out there for 10, maybe 20 years (lo-cal diet)

      Maybe you’re not aware of it…..is that the case?

  16. I agree with Mr K’s summing up of this one – solid but, for me, lacking in sparkle. I would think that a certain contributor’s repetition radar bleeped loudly over 19&23d!

    Any that might have made the ‘favourite’ slot fell at the last hurdle owing to their surface reads – shame because 14a & 13d had great potential.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr K for the blog and excellent cat pics. I particularly liked the basket of spares!

  17. The crossword was fine, I too had only a couple of entries in the NW but once I attacked the lower half everything fell into place. 13d was my favourite, poetic licence and all.
    I liked the ‘box of spares’ too!
    Thanks to the setter, and to Mr K for the review and pix.

  18. Unlike some, I actually found this a lot of fun. I liked the misdirection in 1a, and the two penny drop moments of 9a and 13d. The only one that didn’t work for me was 12a. Not a bad day, apart from a trip to the dentist for a broken tooth, and having to abandon a trolley full of food after it had gone through the till because a power cut meant that the shop couldn’t give me the bill, and had to close for elf and safety. I had to go to another supermarket and start all over again. Still, for me, I had a rather nice puzzle to come back to. Many thanks setter and Mr K.

  19. We had a question mark beside the homophone for 12a but the rest of it we enjoyed. Our favourite was 13d and we were quite happy with a metaphorical use of the second ring being an area of influence rather than the strict geometrical figure. Plenty of smiles from us.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  20. A good solid ** for difficulty here too. I can’t spell 3d, and struggled with 1d at the close, but progress elsewhere was fairly steady.

  21. Well this took me *** and I just got it done today! Two minutes to spare. Completely brain dead on 1d and still don’t see it I had to resort to looking at the answer. I enjoyed 7d and 9a and 12a made me smile.
    Time for sleep. I shall look at the toughie over breakfast- my husband hogs the new paper whilst I go over yesterday’s again.

  22. I feel sorry for compilers.

    Many people today have said that ‘Shore’ isn’t a homophone of 12a.

    What planet are they on?????

    Of course, local dialect (forgive me, lo-cal dialect) throws the occasional homophone off kilter but just go with it, for goodness sake.

    Maybe these people just get a buzz out of it.

    I love you Miffs, I really do, but saying ‘ment’ is ever so slightly different to ‘meant’ is desperate stuff….isn’t it?

    Sorry to repeat myself but…..bagsy not be a complier..

      1. Forgive me, Miffs.

        But saying….”I’m pretty sure it’s not a synonym…..etc”…when Mr K clearly meant (sorry….ment) “homophoe” is desperate stuff…..isn’t it?

      2. Let me try that again…

        Forgive me, Miffs.

        But saying….”I’m pretty sure it’s not a synonym…..etc”…when Mr K clearly ment (sorry….”meant”) the second syllable sounds like “meant” is desperate stuff…..isn’t it?

        Maybe, being a fellow blogger, gives you licence to have a pop but I thought you would do it privately.

      3. 28a. To me “intended” is triggering a homophone of a synonym: MENT (the homphone) rhymes with MEANT (the synonym). So does that make it a “synophone” ? :-)

  23. I’ve been travelling all day and unable to comment until now. Thanks to everyone who contributed comments today. I particularly appreciated the thanks for the illustrations. That’s what keeps us scouring the web in the early hours every Tuesday.

  24. Mixed bag for me. Didn’t like,1d,21a,5d &6d. But liked 28a & 13d. Thanks for clarifying the explanations.

  25. Not a barrowload of laughs. I struggled in the early hours after a delightful (and thankfully profitable!) day at Glorious Goodwood but the outstanding solutions have only just now fallen into place. Bunged in 6d without parsing and also 9a having missed the type of healthy drink – ugh! I liked 28a. Thank you Mysteron and MysterK.

  26. I found this one a little tricky, it took me twice as long to complete as yesterday’s but with hindsight I can’t really understand why. A reasonable challenge, good clues and an enjoyable solve. 3* / 3.5*

  27. Just finished this, with lots of checking and help from Mr K! Found it trickier to get I to than usual, but maybe just my brain not working. CoTD for me was 28a. Thanks for all the help.

      1. Thanks for having me! Still learning the ropes of puzzling, but enjoying it very much.

        1. In case you haven’t seen it, BD’s “Crossword Guide”, found under the “Cryptic Crosswords” tab at the top of the page, is a very nice introduction to how cryptics work.

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