DT 28817 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28817

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28817

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***


Hello, everyone, and welcome to another fun and friendly Tuesday crossword.  It comes with a generous serving of anagrams and it mostly avoids obscurities, although I did learn a new word at 14a.

Under the following spoiler box is a single-question survey asking about the professions and passions of the BD community.  You can also open the survey in a new window by clicking here.  Thanks in advance to all those readers who take a minute to fill it out.  I've provided an 'Other' option at the end with a text box for the many possibilities not included in the list.  Results will be presented in next Tuesday's blog.

Click here to open the survey on reader professions and passions


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    In favour of action, daughter is moving ahead (7)
FORWARD:  Assemble 'in favour of', action in the military sense, and the genealogical abbreviation for daughter

5a    In block of flats, an actor returned for a card game (7)
CANASTA:  The card game is hidden in reverse (in block of … reversed) in the letters between those two indicators

9a    Sit with a revolutionary storyteller (5)
AESOP:  Sit or model with A from the clue, all reversed (revolutionary)

10a   Sweet fruit dip (5,4)
LEMON DROP:  Combine a citrus fruit and dip or fall

11a   Rags-to-riches story recalled in novel (10)
CINDERELLA:  An anagram (… novel) of RECALLED IN

12a   Fell in dock (4)
MOOR:  A double definition.  Fell in the geographical sense and dock a boat, for example

14a   Analytical essay -- it is on squid, I suspect (12)
DISQUISITION:  An anagram (suspect) of IT IS ON SQUID I

18a   Reportedly picked up crowd controller for trial (5,7)
COURT MARTIAL:  Homophones (reportedly) of picked up or heard and of a crowd control official (at a parade, perhaps)

21a   Turn back on monster (4)
OGRE:  A turn in a game is reversed (back) and followed by the usual short word meaning on or concerning

22a   Noble actor is portrayed differently in painting (10)
ARISTOCRAT:  An anagram (portrayed differently) of ACTOR IS inserted in a short synonym of painting

25a   Bad thing, stick in cabaret (9)
NIGHTCLUB:  Fuse together an anagram (bad) of THING and a stick used as a weapon

26a   Type of poplar tree in a small enclosure (5)
ASPEN:  Assemble A from the clue, the clothing abbreviation for small, and an enclosure for animals

27a   Followers reunite in resort (7)
RETINUE:  An anagram (… in re-sort) of REUNITE

28a   Former partner, big enough for a model (7)
EXAMPLE:  Put together the usual former partner and an adjective meaning big enough



1d    Firm reduced by half since company's disaster (6)
FIASCO:  Concatenate one half of FIRM (… reduced by half), a short synonym of since, and the usual abbreviation for company

2d    Feel bitter now having lost opener (6)
RESENT:  A synonym of now, minus its first letter (having lost opener)

3d    Go up for prize (10)
APPRECIATE:  A double definition.  Go up in value, for example, and prize as a verb

4d    Research done, primarily, on most of magical beings (5)
DELVE:  The first letter (… primarily) of DONE is followed by (on, in a down clue) all but the last letter (most of) some magical beings

5d    Disease in grouse (9)
COMPLAINT:  Another double definition.  Not the kind of grouse that was in danger two days ago on the Glorious Twelfth

6d    Socially unacceptable foreign noun (3-1)
NON-U:  An anagram (foreign) of NOUN.  Has anybody out there ever actually spoken the answer?  I've encountered it in crosswords, but never in real life

7d    Scornful of son having organised raid on clubs (8)
SARDONIC:  Cement together the genealogical abbreviation for son, an anagram (having organised…) of RAID ON, and the playing card abbreviation for clubs

8d    A page on pop, perhaps, is easy to understand (8)
APPARENT:  Glue together A from the clue, an abbreviation for page, and what pop (or mom) is an example of (…, perhaps)

13d   Fix a drink entertaining a duke -- cocktail required (4,6)
PINA COLADA:  Amalgamate fix or fasten, A from the clue, and a brown sugary drink containing (entertaining) A from the clue and the abbreviation for duke.  I'll spare you that song

15d   Bad in first half of reel after square dance (9)
QUADRILLE:  Bad or unwell is inserted in the first half of REEL, and then that lot is placed after a square space or courtyard

16d   Check on board earlier vessel (8)
SCHOONER:  The chess abbreviation for check is inserted in (on board) another word for earlier

17d   Completely unacceptable claim (8)
OUTRIGHT:   Connect unacceptable or not to be considered, and a claim or entitlement

19d   Surface cut short ahead (4,2)
CROP UP:  Link together a synonym of cut short and ahead or winning

20d   Immediately make amends round about (2,4)
AT ONCE:  Make amends or remedy containing (round) the single letter Latin abbreviation for about or approximately

23d   Fur, first of bargains in market (5)
SABLE:  The first letter of BARGAINS is inserted in a synonym of market

24d   Heads turned in shock (4)
STUN:  The reversal (turned) of the plural of an informal word for the head


Thanks to our setter for a fun solve.  Today I ticked 21a, 1d, 7d, and 17d.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  DELIUS + MYTH = DELIA SMITH

43 comments on “DT 28817

  1. This one was mild/friendly, with mostly fine clues and it was certainly enjoyable. 14a was a new word for me, too. 18a: I can’t quite justify ****** = caught as homophones, but maybe it’s my dialect. 2.5* / 3*

  2. ***/****. Very enjoyable crossword. Started like a train, then got derailed. Last in was 5d, COD was 11a. Thanks to Mr K.

  3. Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, with a few to make you think. Quite a few penny drop moments. 14a was a new word for me. Last in was 19d. Favourite was 18a. Was 3*/4* for me. Very enjoyable.

  4. Like other bloggers so far enjoyed today’s puzzle and a**/**** for me. For a change I liked two anagrams 11a and 6d for the surface.
    Thanks Mr K for the cat picks, liked 27a-looked like Chewbacca the wookie in star wars !

  5. Really enjoyed this one but for some reason just couldn’t parse 12a a real blind spot for some reason. Nevertheless most enjoyable. No stand out clues for me though.
    Thanks to Mr K and setter, I look forward to th survey being results being published.

  6. Busy day for me so pleased the cruciverbal challenge didn’t cause too much aggro but it was fun anyway. SW corner held out the longest. 25a component is hardly a stick and likewise for make amends in 20d. 14a is new one on me too. Can’t decide between 11a and 18a for Fav. Thanks Mysteron and the moggy fan.

  7. 2* / 3*. This was an enjoyable puzzle in which the top half was a breeze (even with what was a new word for me in 14a) but the bottom half proved to be quite challenging.

    18a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Messrs R&K.

  8. Good, solid clues this morning, with some clever anagrams amongst them, especially 11a. I also really enjoyed 13d. Overall this was a straightforward and enjoyable solve with very few hold-ups.

    Thanks to both Misters involved.

  9. There were times I found myself staring blankly at this, but think it was down to irksome external distractions more than the puzzle. Enjoyed the solve nonetheless.

    My picks are from the simpler clues: 21a and 6d, and I really liked “fix a drink” in 13d. Cheers.

  10. Pleased to see that I’m not the only person who hadn’t previously come across 14a but I do seem to be alone in taking ages to get the second word of 18a!
    Think I was slightly surprised to discover that ‘cabaret’ can refer to a place as well as a performance held there.

    Top three for me were 21a plus 1&24d.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr K for the blog. I’ll get the survey answered – now that I’ve looked up which subjects fall into which of the science categories!

  11. A little bitty for my taste. Don’t understand what the ‘in’ is for in 12a, why would one go into the other? Also have I missed the clue which says that on is re in 21a? OK puzzle but not my favourite by any means.
    Thx to all

    1. Hi Brian.

      I am with you regarding 12a but ‘on’ in 21a means ‘re’ e.g ‘on that matter’ = ‘re that matter’.

      A solid crossword.

    2. The ‘in’ in 12a is being a link word between the expected two routes to the answer. We often see clues constructed like ‘definition in wordplay’ or ‘wordplay in definition’. In this case it’s ‘definition 1 in definition 2’. It’s presumably included to give a surface reading that suggests a fall into water.

      1. Duly noted, Thank you, Mr K.

        Does a link word in a clue therefore weaken it a tad, i.e it’s not possible to have one in a perfect clue or are solvers, in general, relaxed about it?

        I appreciate you can’t speak for everyone, btw.

        1. I’d guess that it would be extremely difficult to write a crossword full of clues with decent surface readings without using some link words between wordplay and definition, so there are always going to be some. In today’s puzzle we have link words in 1a, 5a, 12a, 18a, 25a, 26a, 28a, 1d, 3d, 5d, 7d, 8d, and 24d. A setter might try to avoid using them because they can indicate where the break between wordplay and definition occurs, like the IS in 1a. On the other hand, that expectation can be exploited for misdirection by making a word that could a be link part of the wordplay, such as the IN in 11a and the IS in 22a. I suppose I regard them as another tool in the setter’s toolbox.

        2. A clue without a link word is rare, since the setter has to get definition from wordplay or wordplay for definition. It must be part of the art to disguise it.

          For example: ‘Downfall of loveless anoraks with bitches’ is definition of wordplay, whereas ‘Stream below, devoid of winter fish’ does not need a link word.

          The ‘of’ in the first example is nicely disguised, though it had to be used to make the surface work.

          Often, double definitions are hard to link, ‘Fell dock’ doesn’t work so ‘in’ is the best option, since someone could feasibly have fallen into the sea.

          Suppose it depends on a combination of the word to be clued and the device the setter uses to clue it – some words lend themselves very nicely to a certain type of clue.

          1. I’d say that clues without link words are actually more common, presumably because setters aim to make their clues as concise as possible. If I’ve counted correctly, 17 of the 30 clues today don’t have any link words.

            1. Having slept on it, I think the reason why I questioned the ‘in’ is that I’m not used to seeing link words in double definitions as they are usually two word clues. Is that the case?

              1. Yes, I think double definitions are, more often than not, just 2 words. But sometimes they just don’t work without a link word (as explained by LBR, above). 17d, in today’s (Wed) puzzle, works fine because it makes sense without a linker.

              2. Good question. Yes, my gut feeling is that on the back page double definition clues usually contain just two words. However, it’s not unusual to see link words employed to smooth the surface and/or add some misdirection. For example, all three double defs in this puzzle (12a, 3d, 5d) have links. It’s also possible for one or more of the definitions to use more than a single word (21d in last Friday’s Toughie is a particularly fine recent example).

                1. As always….thanks.

                  I think ‘in’ is a risky link word as it also has the meaning of ‘inside a word’.

                  But, a link word it is.

                  1. That ambiguity is what makes it a useful link word, at least from the setter’s perspective.

  12. Not too tricky, despite the new-to-me 14a. Lots to like and overall I thought the surfaces were exceptionally good. 11a stood out, with 13d & 9a also in the frame. 16d seems to crop up an awful lot. Couldn’t help but snigger at the 3d illustration – that’s corker, Mr K!

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr K – with extra thanks for taking the time to set up another survey, I do find them interesting.

  13. Phew, that was a bit tough in the SW otherwise straightforward. 18a held me up until it clicked – it was worth the wait – and I guess 25a was today’s winner for the misdirection in the clue. Had a question mark against 17d because I thought it was questionable. Good crossword. **/*** / ***
    Thank you setter and Mr K.

    Now then. I’ve never read Don Quixote. Should I?

  14. I found this one a bit tricky, so pleased with myself for finishing it eventually. SW corner, as with some of you, was the last quadrant to fall. I like the anagram indicator in 27a. Not come across that before. 18d and 27a my joint favourites. +++/****.

  15. I started as usual at the top but quickly ground to a halt. However after switching to the bottom everything rolled along nicely. 14a was a new word… not that I think I will rush to use it. No real favourite but overall a pretty good crossword.
    Thanks to Mr Ron, and MrK for the review.

  16. This is the first weekday puzzle I’ve completed since last Wednesday. Hopefully the start of another good run.
    Liked 9&11a.

    Thanks to Mr K for the hints.

  17. ***/***. Enjoyable while it lasted. 14a was new to me as well. Thanks to Messrs Ron and K.

  18. I thought this was an excellent puzzle, and agree with LBR about the surfaces.

    My ticked clues were 11a, 12a and 1d.

    Many thanks to today’s setter and Mr K, I look forward with interest to the results of the latest survey.

  19. Been doing these crosswords for the last year and pleased to finish this one. I really appreciate your blog.
    6a – yes I have actually used that expression. It was originally coined by Nancy Mitford, the outstanding writer and one of the peerless Mitford sisters. She meant it seriously tongue-in-cheek and it was poking gentle fun at some members of the upper classes. It’s often now seen as snobbery but that wasn’t how it started out.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Diana, and thanks for your comments, especially about the 6ad answer.

  20. I laughed at 3d, I always enjoy dumping on chump. I hope this works, I’m not technoclever:

    [long URL leading to gmail deleted]

  21. Re crossword, very enjoyable. I thought it was going to be a piece of cake to begin with, but it gradually got more difficult.
    There was lots to like, hard to choose a fave, but 11a and 1d stood out.
    It seems that no one has heard of 14a, I needed electronic help for that. I doubt very much that I’ll remember it again.
    Thanks to setter and to Mr. K for the pics and hints.

  22. 14a was a word that we had to check in BRB as we were not familiar with it and then within an hour of us solving the puzzle it was used by someone being interviewed on the radio.
    Enjoyable puzzle that went together smoothly for us.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  23. Like Merusa, 3d picture brought a big laugh in our house, thanks Mr K. Cannot wait to share the 2d pic with our eldest daughter. Ha ha. The feral cat which she adopted and has mostly domesticated, is all black like this one, and always glares at me when we visit.

    Had to work hard again today, and almost completed. Never heard of 14a, but most other holdouts were more from my own dimness rather than the difficulty level. Another good brain workout.

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