DT 28807 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28807

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28807

Hints and tips by pommers

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

Good morning from a lovely sunny morning in Los Alcázares.  The previous clients in our apartment went home last Monday and the next don’t arrive until tomorrow so we’re having a bit of a holiday.  A good idea in view of the heat wave currently gripping Spain.  It’s a lot cooler here by the sea than it is in Almoradí where we live.

I don’t know who today’s setter is but, whoever it is, he/she has done a great job.  I really enjoyed this puzzle which I found just tricky enough to exercise the brain but not so hard as to fry it which is something the heat wave can do without any assistance.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.  You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a           Is mum‘s seafood chowder out of the ordinary? (5,2)
CLAMS UPListen very carefully . . .   Start with the seafood that is found in chowder and then a word for what said chowder is an example of but without the O (out of the Ordinary) and then split it (5,2) and you’ll get a phrase which means IS MUM as in keeps quiet.  A tricky one to start with a well-concealed definition.

5a           Mean goblin bashed elf’s head (7)
IGNOBLE:  Anagram (bashed) of GOBLIN followed by an E (Elf’s head).  This conjurs up a weird mental image. Perhaps I’ve been watching too much Lord of the Rings.

9a           Arab megalomaniac’s not all there (5)
OMANI:  This particular Arab is lurking in  megalomaniac  (not all there).  Sorry, couldn’t find a picture of an Arab megalomaniac!

10a         Large antelope chasing bat over plateau (9)
TABLELAND:  Start with L(arge) and crosswordland’s favourite antelope and put them after (chasing) a reversal (over) of BAT (from the clue).

11a         Thoroughly chaotic in Lidl, get close to apoplexy (10)
DILIGENTLY:  Anagram (chaotic) of IN LIDL GET followed by a Y (close to apoplexY).  I think the setter must have been to the Lidl store here in Los Alcázares as this seems a pretty good description of it.  :lol:

12a         Hammer-wielder having appropriated gold from writer (4)
THOR:  This is the hammer-wielder from old Norse mythology.  You need to remove (having appropriated) the chemical symbol for gold from a writer

14a         Cracking any video game in first excursion (6,6)
MAIDEN VOYAGE:  Anagram (cracking) of ANY VIDEO GAME.

18a         Camouflaged creatures stay in groups (5,7)
STICK INSECTS:  Start with a word for stay or remain, then the IN from the clue and finally some groups of religious people then split that lot (5,7).  This creature was the answer to 1a in the very first blog I ever did.  It was DT26489 published on 2 March 2011.   

21a         Have confidence, dance with energy (4)
HOPE:  A colloquial term for a dance followed by E(nergy)

22a         Information terminal in store, share age (10)
GENERATIONThe information terminal is the things in your body which carry your info coded in DNA. Start with a short term for info and then the final letter (terminal in) of storE.  Follow that with a share or allotment.  Thanks to Gazza et al.

 25a         Rogue ignores an argument (9)
REASONING:  Anagram (rogue) of IGNORES AN.

26a         Month back, peeled oval fruit (5)
GUAVA:  Reverse a three letter abbreviation of one of the months and follow with VA (oVAl peeled).

27a         Discredit knight following mass in church (7)
CHEAPEN:  Take word for a mass or large pile and insert into (in) an abbreviation for the Church of England and follow with the knight from chess notation.

28a         Soldiers, exhausted, went to bed (7)
RETIRED:  Some of the usual soldier followed by a word meaning exhausted as in fatigued rather than used up.


1d           Grey hollow chimney muffles roaring (6)
CLOUDY:  Grey here is referring to the weather.  CY (hollow C(himne)Y) goes around (muffles) a word for roaring as in very noisy.

2d           Top moral tale potentially fruitful for one growing (6)
ARABLE:  Take a moral tale, there’s one about a good Samaritan, and remove the first letter (top)

3d           Chuck rugby player’s footwear (10)
SLINGBACKS:  Another word for chuck or throw followed by some rugby players, not props or locks for a change.  These must be female rugby players methinks.

4d           Misled  don (3,2)
PUT ON:  Double definition.  Don as in don an item of clothing.

5d           Unevenness of one motorway leads to blooming awful puncture (9)
IMBALANCE:  A charade of I (one), M(otorway), BA (leads to Blooming Awful) and a word meaning to puncture, a boil perhaps.  The setter has definitely been to Los Alcázares where the motorway road surface leaves something to be desired.

6d           Occasion in legend regularly overlooked (4)
NEED:  Alternate letters (regularly) from iN lEgEnD.

7d           Repaired chair ably, short of arm (8)
BRACHIAL:  Anagram (repaired) of CHAIR ABL(y) but without the last letter (short).

8d           Approved retailers getting rid of five European diamonds (8)
ENDORSED:  You need a word for some retailers and remove the V (five) from the beginning (getting rid of five). Follow that with E(uropean) and D(iamonds).

13d         Leaders in government office organised reform (2,8)
GO STRAIGHT:  Leaders in Government Office are GO so that’s the first word. The second word means organised as in lined up and the whole lot means to reform as in no longer be a criminal as Norman Stanley Fletcher did in the sequel to Porridge.

15d         One unwelcome in bed, periodically displaying clock (9)
DANDELION:  This bed is a flower bed.  This is a weed that periodically displays a bunch of seeds known as a clock.

16d         Chips are all over the place, but not totally global (8)
ASPHERIC:  Anagram (all over the place) of CHIPS ARE.

17d         Lose timid people outside climbing mountains (8)
MISPLACE:  Some timid people placed around (outside) a reversal (climbing in a down clue) of some European mountains.

19d         Welshman in Russian space station, far above ground (6)
MIDAIR:  A welsh male Christian name inside the Russian space station which came down to earth in 2001.

20d         Advanced hospital staff can be found here (6)
ONWARD:  If you split the answer (2,4) you get a description of where nurses may be found in a hospital.

23d         Keen flier, not student, right? (5)
EAGER:  You need a flier, in this case a bird of prey, and remove the L (not student) and finally put an R(ight) on the end of what’s left.

24d         Lark rising in the afternoon over river (4)
ROMP:  Start with the two letters for afternoon then O(ver) and R(iver) and reverse the lot (rising in a down clue).

A lot of blue today but favourite has to be 18a for the memory with 1a and 5d up on the podium.

Quick crossword pun:     NIGHT     +     SCUPPER     +     TEE     =     NICE CUP OF TEA


68 comments on “DT 28807

  1. A nice crossword which I thought quite tricky as I solved it, but it turned out to be at the top end of the inside backpager difficulty spectrum

    Two of us wondered whether rows 7 and 9 were implying that a certain Toughie setter had moved to the ‘back page’

    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers – our weather forecast this morning mentioned that parts of Spain and Portugal may today break the European temperature record currently standing at 47.5 C.

    1. I too had a brief wonder about rows 7 and 9. I reckon it’s too clear to have been done by accident.

  2. Quite a struggle for me today with only 15D bringing a smile so favourite .

    My iPad confirmed that my answers were correct but only by reading the hints has helped to fully understand everything .

    A bit to contrived for me today but admire the ingenuity .

    Thanks to everyone.

  3. 5* / 3*. Was this a wrong envelope day? Crikey it was tough – harder than both this week’s Toughies so far and probably the hardest back-pager I can recall. It had me reaching for my BRB more times than I care to remember. Most of it was enjoyable but I did find some parts a bit of a slog.

    I think the answer to 6d is synonymous with “have occasion for” but not simply “occasion”.

    My favourite was 18a (with a nod to yesterday’s Toughie setter) closely followed by 1a.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to pommers.

    1. I think this setter might be yesterday’s Toughie setter having mixed his envelopes ;) See comment 1 above

  4. I think 22 across isn’t dna so much as a short term for information followed by the last (terminal) letter of store and then a word for share or apportion. You get the same answer but I think this is how the clue works

  5. I thought that this was about as tough as back-pagers get (is Thursday the new Friday?) but very enjoyable. If rows 7 and 9 are telling us that we have a new back-page setter then welcome – I found this trickier (and more enjoyable) than yesterday’s Toughie.
    Top clues for me were 1a, 2d and 15d. Thanks to ??? and pommers.

    I parsed 22a slightly differently – starting with information (3) and the last letter of store.

    1. Of course you’re right Gazza. My problem is that if I get an even half viable bit of parsing I don’t usually look any further. Maybe one day I’ll learn but I doubt it.

  6. It would appear that I am at odds with earlier commenters as I sailed through this without any real hold-ups. 18a was my clear favourite, and overall I felt that the quality of the clues was excellent, with a good mix and plenty of imaginative thinking on the part of the setter.

    Thanks for the challenge to whomsoever compiled this, and to pommers.

    1. Yes, I’m a bit surprised that everyone seems to think it’s a brain-fryer. Tricky yes but not that bad.

  7. Didn’t find it particularly difficult beyond having to check 7&16d in the BRB, but can’t say that I really enjoyed the solve. Pleased to see that it met with approval elsewhere.

    The two that stood out for me were 18a & 15d.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Pommers for the blog – looks as though you’ve got even higher temperatures coming your way ‘ere long!

  8. I’m in the camp that didn’t struggle unduly with this, finding it at or a little above average back page difficulty.

    My favourites were as our favourite rabbit’s: 1a and 18a.

    Thanks to the setter and pommers.

  9. Not too hard but all good challenging fun and softly softly I caught the monkey. Very stupidly overlooked the indicator in 25a and in the early stages toyed with scallywag. Liked 18a, 4d and 13d. Thank you Mysteron and pommers.

  10. Quite a lot of head scratching required but I wouldn’t consider it to be a wrong envelope day (completed at a fast canter), very enjoyable – ***/****.

    Like jane, I had to check 7d and 16d in the BRB.

    Joint favourites – 18a and 22a.

    Thanks to the setter and pommers

  11. Apart from a pause at 7d, which was my last one in, I worked through this without any problems.

    No temperature records are expected today in our town of L’Eliana, Valencia, which is currently 35 C.

    Many thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle, and to pommers for the review.

  12. 4*/3*. Like many found this one tough. Last in was 15d. COD was 1a.
    Incidentally, why are the setters names never on the back page crossword.

  13. I completed this in fits and starts with a couple of ‘bung-ins’ for good measure. I was quite pleased to get it done. 18a was top clue.
    Thanks to the setter, and to pommers for the review.

  14. Must be me, for the first time for I don’t know how long I cannot manage to even start this puzzle!! For me it is way beyond my solving abilities.

    1. I couldn’t get started either, I had to use electronic help with a couple of anagrams to get me going.

  15. Found this the hardest for some time. Needed several clues from the excellent blog to complete. 16d new one on me.

  16. Yesterday’s Toughie was a walk in the park compared to this.
    If this is *** I never want to meet a **** puzzle.
    Thanks all.

  17. I wasn’t happy with 12a. Although the answer seems obvious, there is an ‘e’ in the writer’s name which is not accounted for in the clue (unless there is another writer of whom I am unaware – rather than the author of Walden).

    1. Welcome to the blog, Simpleton.
      You don’t want the name of a specific writer but another word for writer (one which you’ve actually used in your comment!).

  18. Thanks to the setter Stick Insect? And to Pommers for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, but found it very tricky. Just beaten by 7d in the end, knew it was an anagram but had never heard of this word. Must brush up on my biology. 19d made me laugh, but my favourite was 18a. Was 4*/4* for me.

  19. I didn’t find it anywhere near as difficult as RD, but then again I didn’t find it as straightforward as several others did, so I’m probably somewhere in the middle. Once more, it’s clearly a wavelength thing.

    Many examples of clever wordplay to enjoy, my top clue was 11a. LOI was 1a.

    Thanks to today’s setter and Pommers.

  20. Late today as changed car what a palaver, still this crossword goes on my hooligan list. Pretty difficult to get a start and the a struggle with much walking about the garden. Favourite for me although short 12a. Some clues difficult to parse. Last one in 7d. All in all though tough.
    Thanks to setter and to Pommers.

  21. I wonder if Kath is aware that the very first episode of her favourite detective Morse is currently showing on ITV3.

    1. Thanks – no, I didn’t know but I think we’ve already seen them all – there are a few that I didn’t understand the first time we saw them and still don’t understand completely even having watched them several times – you can call me dim if you like . . . . :sad:

  22. A corker of a crossword puzzle. A very enjoyable solve. I agree slightly more difficult than usual but all doable. Thanks to Pommers for the review and thanks to the setter for an agreeable puzzle. Thanks also for Pommers giving the number of his first blog. That made for fun reading and I even remembered some of the clues that day.

  23. I also did not find this too difficult and enjoyed the clues. Monday’s crossword took me longer to solve. Enjoyed the surface reads, particularly 11a. Last one in 6d. Thanks to ‘stick insect’ and pommers.

  24. Blimey, that was incredibly tough, needing my friendly anagram solver to start me off. I got bogged down in the NW corner, but a hint for 1a got me going again and was able to finish.
    This was fine as a one off, but I don’t want to have to spend that much time every day on a puzzle.
    That said, there were quite a few smiles along the way, fave was 18a. but others were award worthy, 19d for instance.
    Thanks to setter and to pommers for bailing me out in the end! You’ve got to be a very clever bloke to unravel that lot.

  25. I am obviously very tardy in adding my twopenneth ? I found it challenging and got 3/4 if the way through at lunchtime and have just finished it. 16d was last. I did like 3D which made me smile. How do you clever folk recognise the setters and have you ever asked the DT why they do not publish their names as they do for the toughie?

    1. It’s just a tradition. Both the DT and The Times have always published their daily cryptic anonymously. I suspect it was the Grauniad that started using pseudonyms some time in the fifties or sixties.

  26. this was the hardest DT crossword I have done in quite a while. I managed to complete it correctly but 15d had me stumped for some while – I knew it was dandelion but couldnt for the life of me work it out from the clue – once again it pays to be a horticultural expert!

        1. So you did, but that time you were Nicholas. The WordPress system matches on both name and email address, change your name and you become a “new” person!

  27. Abandoned this one with about 8 in.

    Way above mympayscale.

    Thanks to Pommers for the hints, an acknowledgement to the setter that s/he well and truly foxed me.

  28. I didn’t find this one particularly difficult. Only had a couple of slight problems. The first was that I couldn’t see where the ‘y’ came from in 11a. I forgot that ‘close to’ could mean ‘end of’ rather than ‘near to’. The second problem was with 26a where I had ‘yam’ firmly fixed in my head for ‘month back’. I managed to sort that one out once I had the g in place for 13d. Favourites were 4d, 12a and 18a. Thank you Pommers. Thank you too setter- please drop in and say “hello”.

  29. I do hope the DTs crossword editor reads this blog and takes note of the comments!
    Far too difficult

  30. I have to agree with Brian that this crossword had no place on the back page. Even after spending far too long, there were still three that I could not get without Pommers’ excellent and help and hints. 5* difficulty for me.

  31. My first comment for a long time – too much going on, too busy and too ****** hot.
    I found this quite difficult while I was actually doing it and didn’t enjoy it very much at the time but it’s grown on me since then and now I can’t really see why I thought it was tricky.
    I completely missed the anagram indicator in 14a which made that my last answer and I was a bit slow with 27a too.
    Quite a few anagrams – thank goodness for that or I’m not sure I’d have got started at all.
    My favourite was 18a and 5d was the runner-up – oh, and I also appreciated 3d.
    With thanks to Mr Setter and thanks and quite a lot of admiration to pommers.

    1. I wondered where on earth you were .Please don’t do these disappearing tricks .
      I think that in a far off time , twenty or thirty years away , we will have to leave our children a list of sites to sign off from , properly , on our behalf .
      Bit morbid , I confess .

  32. We did wonder who the setter might be and failed to note the potential significance of rows 9 and 7. Certainly quite a bit more challenging than normal but good fun all the way through.
    Thanks setter and pommers.

  33. *** for difficulty sounds about right, for a very good puzzle. This felt a little more like a Toughie, so – not that I noticed – I’m guessing that rows 7 and 9 are relevant. :-)

  34. Definitely not a toughie; I could do it – all except 1a that is. More like this please! (Loved the quickie pun)

  35. Well, this puzzle seems to have split the commentariat in the same way RayT used to do back in the day. Benign or horrific with little middle ground, apart from me.
    I thought it was great and perhaps just a bit above average difficulty, mainly caused by just a few of the clues. 1a for instance – I will now have to buy a new tea tray for the apartment as the current one received terminal damage when that penny dropped. I thought there were enough gimmes and fairly easy clues to give enough checkers to crack the solve, but others seem to disagree – wavelengths perhaps.
    Anyway, hot, sweaty and knackered – and that’s just pommette – so I’m off to bed.

    See y’all tomorrow

  36. Was a bit stuck on 2d. Makes sense now thanks to pommers.
    Quite enjoyed the difficulty level.
    Thanks to the setter and to pommers for the help.

  37. I found this very tough. Gave up yesterday, but managed to complete it this morning. Very satisfying. ****/****.

  38. This was a cracking puzzle! A good challenge, great clues providing plenty of head scratching and a very enjoyable/fulfilling sove. Favourite of an excellent bunch: 16d. 3.5* / 4.5*

  39. A slower solve than the norm, but all reasonably clued.
    i can’t honestly say I particularly enjoyed it, but it was satisfying to complete.

    Many thanks to setter and pommers

  40. Glad to see that some others found this difficult.
    Ref 11A, must say that my local Lidl is a model of efficiency !

  41. Started this one about 3 days ago and answered 4 clues. Kept coming back to it and finished all but 7 down. Very disappointing as usually complete.

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