DT 28811 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28811

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28811

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***


Hello, everyone, and welcome to a fine Tuesday puzzle.  I thought that this puzzle offered a nice mix of easy clues to get started and more complex clues to exercise the brain.  I recommend it.

I've always been curious about the backgrounds of the diverse BD community.  So, I'm planning to do a single-question survey on that topic next week.  The draft question is Please select all areas in which you have trained or studied, either formally or informally, and the list of options is currently Mathematics, Computer Science or Information Technology, Engineering, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Social Sciences, Medicine, Law, Finance, Literature, Art, Music, Languages, History, Geography, Religion, Other.  I welcome your suggestions for other areas that should be included in the list, and for improving the question to better capture what you'd like to know about your fellow solvers.  Thanks in advance for your help.

In the hints below most indicators are italicized and definitions are underlined.  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    Know-all's telegram about cracked case (8)
WISEACRE:  Another word for telegram is wrapped about an anagram (cracked) of CASE

5a    Conservative rebels in times of intense difficulty (6)
CRISES:  Put together an abbreviation for Conservative and a verb synonym of rebels

9a    Counterfeit note everyone rejected? Not so in Welsh resort (9)
LLANDUDNO:  Fuse together counterfeit or useless, an abbreviation for note, and a synonym of everyone.  That lot then needs to be reversed (rejected), and have a short word meaning 'not so' appended

11a   Bigwig in his wellingtons (5)
SWELL:  The answer is hidden in the rest of the clue

12a   Bright clubs and bar (6)
CLEVER:  Follow the playing card abbreviation for clubs with a bar that requires a fulcrum

13a   Fired back during fight? Not with this weapon! (8)
STILETTO:  The reversal (back) of fired or ignited inserted in (during) a usual (3,2) fight

15a   Check account suggesting restoration (13)
REINSTATEMENT:  Assemble check or slow and an account or report

18a   Kent town: tourist being corrected about name (13)
SITTINGBOURNE:  An anagram (…corrected) of TOURIST BEING is wrapped about the abbreviation for name

22a   Painter from Wiltshire, one I dismissed in error (8)
WHISTLER:  An anagram (in error) of WILTSH[i]RE with one I dismissed (deleted)

23a   A daze caused by winning in shop once last one scratched (6)
STUPOR:  Winning or ahead is inserted in a synonym of shop with its last letter deleted (… last one scratched)

26a   Reject incentive offered by knight (5)
SPURN:  An incentive or stimulus preceding (offered by) the chess abbreviation for knight

27a   Watch, for example, featured in American magazine article (9)
TIMEPIECE:  Combine an iconic American magazine with another word for an article in a magazine, newspaper, etc.

28a   Foremost of priests come to deliver a sermon (6)
PREACH:  The first letter of (foremost of) PRIESTS is followed by 'come to' or 'arrive at'

29a   Sort of trendy when seen dancing (2,1,5)
IN A SENSE:  Amalgamate the usual word for trendy or fashionable, a short synonym of when, and an anagram (dancing) of SEEN



1d    Short dramatist, eccentric, an unpredictable element (4,4)
WILD CARD:  Join together dramatist Oscar minus his last letter (short) and an eccentric person

2d    Small step in room (5)
SPACE:  The clothing abbreviation for small is followed by step or stride

3d    Notice groom making formal speech (7)
ADDRESS:  Cement together an informal word for a notice selling something, for example, and groom or style

4d    Travel about, carrying papers (4)
RIDE:  A usual short word for about or concerning is containing (carrying) some abbreviated identification papers

6d    Crack again? This could show strength of character (7)
RESOLVE:  The answer split (2-5) could mean crack or figure out again

7d    One watching actor step out (9)
SPECTATOR:  An anagram (out) of ACTOR STEP

8d    Round taken into parlour in bar (6)
SALOON:  The round letter is inserted in (taken into) a parlour or reception room

10d   Exceed available balance (8)
OUTWEIGH:  Fasten together available or released and balance or compare

14d   Clear policy declaration, lacking nothing (8)
MANIFEST:  A document laying out the policy of, for example, a political party, with the letter resembling zero deleted (lacking nothing)

16d   Start  school? (9)
INSTITUTE:  A double definition, the first a verb and the second a noun

17d   Rescue riveter working on base of bridge (8)
RETRIEVE:  An anagram (working) of RIVETER followed by (on, in a down clue) the final letter of (base of) BRIDGE

19d   Extremely large bird, a kind with no tail (7)
TITANIC:  Concatenate a small bird (famous in these parts for lurking in 'at it'), A from the clue, and kind or agreeable without its last letter (…with no tail)

20d   Cops out, deployed to find sea creature (7)
OCTOPUS:  An anagram (deployed) of COPS OUT

21d   Admits wife is in on matter raised (4,2)
OWNS UP:  The abbreviation for wife is inserted in ON from the clue, and that's all followed by the reversal (raised, in a down clue) of a thick fluid produced by inflammation and known technically as matter

24d   Father and dean dropping first hymn (5)
PAEAN:  An informal word for father and all but the first letter (dropping first) of [d]EAN

25d   Sign of some nepotism (4)
OMEN:  The answer is found hiding in (of, interpreted as 'from among') the letters of the remaining words in the clue


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  Today I ticked 9a, 29a, 4d, 19d, and 21d, with the latter edging 29a to emerge as favourite.  Which clues did you like best?
p.s. 1:  Brian Greer (Virgilius in the Telegraph, Brendan in the Guardian) has just created a special crossword for President Trump.  If you're interested and you haven't seen it already, it can be found in this article in yesterday's Guardian.
p.s. 2:  Thank you, Molly.  Much appreciated.


The Quick Crossword pun:  WRECK + TIFF + EYE = RECTIFY

67 comments on “DT 28811

  1. Just right combination of challenge plus a few doddles. My Fav was 19d after initially working around a large bird. Quickie pun is a good ‘un. Thank you Mysteron and MrK. Do hope the forecast imminent cooling off in the weather materialises.

  2. More Mondayish than Monday, as I usually find Tuesdays and Wednesdays these days. But I wouldn’t have been quoting a well-known song had this appeared yesterday, as I did like it.

    Sue tells us that local knowledge helped her get 18a, but I wasn’t familiar with it and that one took a bit of letter-juggling. (I juggle letters about as well as I juggle balls.)

    I’ll admit I didn’t know the matter in 21d and just waited for the blog for the full explanation of that one.

    Thanks to the setter and reviewer.

  3. After all that speculation, yesterday’s Quickie Pun was ‘Let Me Know’ (Letter Minnow) which is absolutely rubbish unless you happen to be Manuel from Flowery Dooberries. Then, it’s nailed on.

    Does anybody know who sets the Quick crosswords?

  4. I’m not so busy today, so can comment in “real time” instead of belatedly. I found this one a tad milder than yesterday’s but there were some really good clues and I’d have to go for 29a as a favourite. It was an enjoyable solve. I’ll rate it on a par with Monday’s. 1.5* / 3*

  5. Mr K. In your next planned survey maybe you could ask if people are chess-players and whether they regard themselves as being predominantly right-brained or left-brained. It’s just a suggestion…

  6. A very comfortable solve this morning, with no real delays. 29a emerged as my favourite, and overall this was diverting enough without being too difficult.

    Thanks to both Misters involved in today’s production.

  7. Mr K. In your next planned survey maybe you could ask if people are chess-players and whether they regard themselves as being predominantly right-brained or left-brained. It’s just a suggestion…

    1. Thanks, Jose. Perhaps a more general survey question about what other pastimes readers engage in would be interesting? Chess, quizzes, reading non-fiction, playing music, painting, sport, …..

  8. 1.5* / 3*. A mild but pleasant puzzle for another swelteringly hot day. I was helped with 18a having played cricket there last week. [Mr K, how about cricket, or perhaps sport in general, as a topic for your survey?]

    Joint favourites today: 29a & 19d.

    Many thanks to Mr R & Mr K.

    1. I could roll participation in sport into a survey on other interests, along the lines of what I suggested to Jose above. Would that work?

  9. I agree with Mr 2K that there was a balanced mix of easy and hard clues today.
    Took a while to parse 9a , more like a Toughie clue ,especially with the reversals.
    I needed the checking letters before I twigged 18a, going for a 2.5*/ 3* today. Liked the surface of 1d .
    Ive see 22a in London, I. think it was in the National- quite small

  10. A friendly Tuesday puzzle although I always feel for the likes of the 2Ks when something like 18a crops up.

    The Manx bird got my vote for favourite (of course) with the trendy dancer coming in close behind.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr K – I think we’ve had several of those 12a cats over the years!

  11. Nice puzzle which I made slightly harder by convincing myself that 10d had to be overdraw until 12 and 15a told me otherwise. I’ve never heard of matter being used as in 21d despite working and studying in medical microbiology for almost 40 years, just goes to prove the adage that you learn something new everyday! Thanks to all.

  12. Sir Linkalot – you can see from both of today’s puzzles there is a link (sorry!) – both have towns in Wales…………..
    Happens quite often.

  13. No problem until I reached 18a. That’s because I put 19d into 20d. Once I’d sorted 20d from the anagram, I moved 19d back to where it should have been…….only I had the wrong answer. I’d put in Ostrich for extremely large bird. Doh….. if you can’t parse it, don’t put it in. I managed to sort it in the end with our very own little bird, and a synonym for “kind” with its last letter missing. Phew….got there in the end. I did get the”matter” in 21d. (How disgusting). Perhaps it’s a northern thing. 24d was new to me. Thank you setter and Mr Kitty.

    1. I think ‘matter’ is less commonly used now, but back a few decades it would, I think, have been said as the more polite version of ‘pus’, which does always sound disgusting, although still better than ‘exudate’, which is descriptive, but vile, conjuring up movement rather than just a static mess……
      I hope no-one is eating a cream tea at the moment.

      1. I worked with a vet once and it was used all the time to denote pus, also “corruption”.

        1. In the world of crosswords surely “pus” is a Manx cat, particularly when Kitty or Mr K is involved. :wink:

  14. A lovely crossword for another hot day here in Cambridgeshire. Braved the sun to go and pick raspberries, apples, free gages and tomatoes. The runner beans look a bit sad. I never thought I would see 18a in a crossword, Annie Win used to live there and auntie Joan lived in 9a so a nice reminder of two lovely people. For some reason completely stuck on10d so thank you for the hint. Liked the cat clip!

  15. Oh dear, our first day back from our UK holiday, and it had to be a *** difficulty. After a week with no crosswords, apart from those I did on the plane rides there and back, I am obviously quite rusty. So relieved to find that our cousin had aircon in all bedrooms, a great treat in your current summer weather. Just glad we weren’t in Spain, even hotter. Was really great to be back, albeit briefly, in dear old blighty.

    Hope to do better with today’s puzzle later on today.

  16. Sorry, should be GREENGAGES but as it happens they were free gages. Did you know that reputedly all greengage stock come from the Melbourn Gage? It was the reason that the station was built to take the fruit to Covent Garden. Before the station was revamped it was Melbourn and Meldreth station but now it is just Meldreth! Boo hoo.

    1. Glad I scrolled down a bit further – I was just about to look up ‘free gages’ to see what I was missing!

    2. I don’t have greengages, which is a pity as I love them. Still picking blackcurrants, whitecurrants (pink) gooseberries (2 varieties) and some nice Dwarf French beans which behave themselves better than climbers in a drought.
      Didn’t bother with tomatoes this year, but excellent prospects for ripening chillies……..

  17. Clearly a wavelength thing. I took an age yesterday here in sunny St Mawes. Was in fact concerned that my brain was fried. Today as different as can be. I completed all but three as quick as quick can be. Had a rest (spritzer) and then managed 29a 24d and last of all 14d. Did have to check my answer to the hymn as built it up but the answer looked unlikely. Favourites 1d and 27a. Thanks Mr Ron. As usual I looked at the hints to check my parsing

  18. ***/****. A couple of words needed the BRB to confirm my conclusions but overall an enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  19. A very straightforward solve, but no less enjoyable for that.

    My pick of the clues were 9a, 13a and 22a.

    Many thanks to our setter and to Mr K.

    P.S. I think it’s worth adding “after leaving school (i.e. secondary education)” in your proposed question Mr K, as most, if not all, will have studied Maths, probably History and Geography and a foreign language, plus certain other subjects you’ve named up to the age of 16 or 18.

    As an additional question for a future survey, I’d be interested to know how many solvers can read or speak at least one non-native language.

    1. Oh dear – if Mr K adds that rider to the survey, that’s me scuppered!
      Can I have half a point in the language question for being able to pronounce Welsh place names?

      1. Me too, Jane, though I did go to secretarial school. Fat lot of good it did me, I never mastered shorthand or bookkeeping. My ability to type, quickly and accurately, has saved me many, many times in my life.

        1. I did OK with the shorthand and bookkeeping – it was typing accuracy that let me down. Thank goodness for Tippex!

    2. Thanks, Silvanus, the ‘post secondary school’ qualification is an interesting suggestion. I’d guess that subject choices at school provide some indication of whether a reader is inclined towards science, the arts, languages, etc. Because of that and the comments from Jane and Merusa that I’m inclined to leave the question as it is.

  20. On the right wave today as sailed through at a fast rate of knots .

    21D answer/parse caused the biggest reaction ( as usual) so must be my COTD .

    Looking forward to the survey results already and wonder if an active or retired indictator could be included .

    The Kit cat school video is great .

    Thanks to everyone.

  21. Nice challenge, not overly difficult and a pleasure to solve. 1a tickled my fancy just cos it’s an odd word.
    Thanks to Mr Ron, and to Mr K for the review.

  22. Agree with Mr K ***/*** and thoroughly enjoyed it. With weather and doing things outside, not much time for crosswording so nice to get my teeth into this one.
    4d and 10d were favs.

    Enjoyed the images and video, Mr K. You do know that dogs are much better though?

    1. Thanks, HP. There are undoubtedly some things that dogs are much better than, but my version of that list doesn’t include cats :)

  23. I too was an overdraw(n) ostrich but once I sorted thise errors the rest went reasonably smoothly.
    Thanks Mr K and Mr Tuesday.
    Is that you Mr K in the mankini or are you the one with the riot shield?

  24. Top half of the puzzle fell straight in bottom half took a bit more thinking about, but felt on the wavelength for all the puzzle. Last in 4d and although got the answer needed Mr K’s hints to parse the “paper” part of the clue obvious now. Thought the puzzle was slightly on the benign side but really enjoyed a satisfying solve with some good clues, about right for a stifling day.

    Clues of the day: 1a / 9a / 1d

    Rating: 2.5* / 3.5*

    Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

  25. I enjoyed today’s crossword and didn’t need help.Thanks to setter and Mr K.

    As regards the survey, it might help if the respondents graded their knowledge, say on a scale of 0 to 3 or 0 to 5. Most of us will have studied many of the subjects at achool, but there is a world of difference between a subject studied unwillingly up to age 16, and a subject that you love and perhaps used in your career.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Hec99. I’m trying to keep the surveys easy and fast to complete, hoping that will increase participation. Analysing and presenting four scores for each topic would be a pain too. So I prefer the simple yes/no type of question.

  26. Two bung-ins that were completely wrong 15a and 16d would have screwed me completely until I checked Mr.K’s hints and learnt a valuable lesson.
    Apart from that all good, NE corner held Mr up cotd was 15a.
    Thanks all.

    1. BD’s sage mantra – If you can’t parse it, it’s probably wrong
      I occasionally bung-in, but I don’t half feel silly when the penny drops
      I have taken pommer’s example and bought a tea tray – it doesn’t help you solve, but crikey, it’s therapeutic at times

      1. That has me wondering if a suitably engraved tea tray would make a good prize for the MPP? They could become more sought after than the Telegraph pens.

  27. Much more to my liking than Mondays dismal failure(on my part not the setters). 1 A & 24D were bung ins checked out with Google . Like Dr M I had overdraw in10D until i saw the error of my ways. Thanks to the setter and Mr K ,and as always Big Dave,

  28. Mr K you could also include Business, Philosophy, Classics and ask about the approx age at which people started doing cryptic puzzles?

    1. Hi, Shrimp. Thanks for those suggestions of extra areas. I will include them in the list.

      We know from Survey 1 that most readers are in their sixties and have been solving for over thirty years, so most started before their thirties. Age of first solve is an interesting question. I will add it to list of possible future surveys.

  29. I solved this earlier on but had visitors and my comment got put on hold.
    I needed hints for two, 12a and 2d, why, I don’t know, they seem simple enough.
    I googled a map of Kent and got 18a pretty easily, it’s such a long name it stood out.
    Lots that was good, but I think 1a gets my vote, such a lovely word.
    Thanks to setter and to Mr. K for his review, I love the cat pics.

  30. 18a was slightly embarrassing. As a proud Man of Kent I was going through my mind map of the county when I realised that it was an anagram giving the name of the place where I spent the first eighteen years of my life….d’oh.
    The clue is however flawed as any tourist in 18a must have got off the train early by mistake on their way to Canterbury 😂

    Thanks to all involved as usual

  31. No Mr K it seems, perhaps he was out with Prolixic?

    Q: What do you like best about solving a clue?

    a) Instantly recognizing the construction, and writing it in
    b) Being misdirected, then twigging a twist
    c) Having to look up details and finding new words or meanings
    d) Having no clue from the wordplay, finding something that fits then working backwards to see how it is parsed

    Hello, wherever you are

    1. Hi, LbR. Sadly I was not at the Prolixic party, just being kept very busy by the work thing.

      I like your question. I’ll add it to the list of future surveys.

  32. 18a was one of those clues where we read it and then let out a groan. Our only way of getting it is to sort out a few possible options from the anagram fodder and then go to Mr Google. A most unsatisfactory way to solve crosswords. At least the resort in 9a is more likely to be better known. We had heard of it. Plenty for us to enjoy in the rest of the puzzle though.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

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