DT 28819 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28819

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28819

Hints and tips by pommers

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

Hola from the Vega Baja where the heat wave seems to have abated a little – it was only 32°C yesterday and it even rained a tad in the morning. 
I suspect today’s setter is the same one as in my last blog two weeks ago.  Similar quirky style which I quite enjoyed.  Again it’s a little tricky in places if you’re not on the wavelength so I’ve given it three stars even though I actually solved it well within two star time.  Last time the puzzle seemed to split the commentariat into two camps of tricky and benign so it will be interesting to see if the same is true this week.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Inconsiderate way, interrupting royal feasts regularly (10)
REGARDLESS:  Start with a word meaning royal and follow with the alternate letters (regularly) from feasts (ESS) and insert (interrupting) an abbreviation of a way, not street but the other one.  Unfortunately for me I spotted that the alternate letters from “royal feasts” gave RYLESS with the LESS being a suitable word ending.  Took some checkers to show me my error, d’oh!

6a           With father absconding, stops benefits (4)
USES:  Take the usual two-letter father away (with father absconding) from the beginning of a word meaning stops temporarily.

9a           Might underwear widen on vacation? (5)
BRAWN:  Might as in strength.  It’s a piece of lady’s underwear followed by the outer letters (on vacation) from WideNAny excuse for an F1 car . . .

10a         Not prepared to invest in dodgy vendor in debt (9)
OVERDRAWN:  A word meaning not prepared, as in uncooked, is inserted (to invest in) into an anagram (dodgy) of VENDOR.  Hand’s up those who thought this would involve an IOU.

12a         Understand and become wise about topics (3,3,7)
GET THE MESSAGE:  A phrase (3,4) meaning to become wise goes around (about) some topics or subjects.  I did try to parse PICTURE as the last word but couldn’t make it work.

14a        Washing up single handedly, one might bear such a bloomer (8).
MARIGOLD:  I think this is trying to be a sort of cryptic definition of what you might wear one of if you were washing up with just one hand.  It’s usually seen in the plural as you wear one on each hand.

15a         Shooter‘s plot is crushed (6)
PISTOL:  Anagram (crushed) of PLOT IS.  Short and sweet methinks.

17a         Fellow barred from plane trips disembarks (6)
LIGHTS:  A word for more than one trip in an aircraft has F(ellow) removed (barred from) the beginning.

19a         Shade okay in animal enclosure (3-5)
PEA GREEN:  A word meaning to OK as a verb is inserted into (in) an animal enclosure and then split (3-5).

21a         Tasty-looking man we outright mauled (13)

24a         Stationery salesman with a huff about retiring (9)
NOTEPAPER:  Stationery with an E is writing stuff.  To get it you need the usual salesman, the A from the clue, another word for a huff or paddy and finally a two letter word for about. All you have to do now is reverse the lot (retiring).

25a         Overpowering, like a boss? (5)
HEADY:  A double definition with the second one a bit cryptic.

26a         Last of cornflakes with mass of grains (4)
SAND:  The last letter of snowflakes followed by a word meaning “with” gives the mass of grains found on a beach or in a desert perhaps.  So, I’m a petrol head . . .

27a         Torturous clue one saw explained (10)
ELUCIDATED:  An anagram (torturous) of CLUE followed by I (one) and then a word meaning saw as in went out with.


1d           Wine overturned in hurly-burly (4)
RUBY:  This type of port wine is a reversed lurker (overturned in) in hurly-burly.

2d           US farmer phoned European in centre of Belgrade (7)
GRANGER:  The usual word for phoned and an E(uropean) inserted into GR (centre of belGRade).  Never come across this US word for a farmer before but it was pretty clear from the wordplay.

3d           Piranha furiously eating hosiery efficiently dealt with outfit (3,1,5,4)
RAN A TIGHT SHIP:  An anagram (furiously) of PIRANHA  with some hosiery inserted (eating).

4d           See old husband entering bar as means of evasion (8)
LOOPHOLE:  Start with a two-letter word meaning see or look then an O(ld).  After that an H(usband) inserted (entering) into a bar or rod.

5d           Way to cook small meal, starter of mussels (5)
STEAM:  S(mall), an afternoon meal which may or may not be small and an M (starter of Mussels) give a way of cooking said mussels.

7d           Blubbery creature atop insect creates sticky stuff (7)
SEALANT:  A sea creature which may have blubber, not a whale, followed by (atop in a down clue) an insect often clued as a soldier.

8d           Southern, apparently subterranean, English city (10)
SUNDERLAND:  S(outhern) followed by a phrase (5,4) which might mean subterranean gives a city in NE England whose football team play in red and white stripes.

11d         Recognised  noble (13)
DISTINGUISHED:  Double definition.

13d         Ground in temple’s probed by minute gadgets (10)
IMPLEMENTS:  An anagram (ground) of IN TEMPLE with M(inute) inserted (probed by).

16d         Alternative to imperial guards leads to emperor’s overruling very fast (8)
METEORIC:  An alternative to the Imperial system of measurement goes around (guards) the first letters (leads to) of  Emperor’s Overruling.  I tried to do something with DECIMAL and an E, d’oh!

18d         Gorger and girl unfit, both disheartened with great weight (7)
GLUTTON:  The first and last letters of both GirL and UnfiT (both disheartened) followed by a large weight.

20d         Receiving no good, after bust implant (7)
ENGRAFT:  You need an anagram (bust) of AFTER and insert (receiving) NG (no good).

22d         Shock from thunderclap palpable (5)
APPAL:  Another lurker.  It’s hidden in (from) the last two words.

23d         Dry head at intervals, having had shock treatment? (4)
DYED:  Alternate letters (at intervals) from DRY HEAD give a word describing someone’s shock of hair if they had had treatment to hide the grey bits for example.

A fair bit of blue but favourite was 27a because of its relevance to the blog.

Quick crossword pun:     PLACE     +     CRYPT     =     PLAY SCRIPT


61 comments on “DT 28819

  1. First run through of the clues was not very productive but then finished fairly quickly due to the links .
    14A brought the biggest smile although surprised at the “advert “ , my COTD for its originality .
    Could not parse 20d until seeing the hint but the answer was obvious .
    Thanks to everyone

  2. Towards trickier end of my personal inside back page difficulty spectrum but very enjoyable

    I’m torn between 14a (which appears to have some strange highlighting in the blog) and 27a for top spot.

    Thanks to the Thursday Mysteron and to Pommers

  3. Following Pommers’ remark that he thought this could be from the same setter whose puzzle he blogged two weeks ago, I had a look to see what my comment had been on that one. My feelings then were the same as those I had today – not particularly difficult but I didn’t really enjoy it. At least I’m consistent!

    Went down the same route as Pommers with regard to 1&12a – good company to be in – so those took a little longer than they should have done.

    Favourite was 25a.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Pommers for the blog – had a horrible feeling that the Stones were going to put in an appearance!

  4. I don’t really like brand names as answers.
    Apart, I thought many clues were brilliantly constructed and liked the long anagrams.
    Thanks to the setter and pommers.

  5. Benign I don’t think so I really atruggled for some reason. Finally got a start, thank goodness for hints from Pommers.
    It finally succumbed after waliking round garden.
    Thanks again to Pommers and setter

  6. For anyone with a bit more crosswording time available there’s a very pleasant puzzle from Beam in the Toughie slot today. No harder than this but very enjoyable.

  7. I liked this one – a good, steady, middle-of-the-road puzzle offering a slightly above average challenge. An enjoyable solve. 3* / 3.5*

  8. Tricky but very doable puzzle this morning that I found very rewarding to complete and fun to solve. 14a was my favourite clue, as it reminded me of the nickname we gave to the doctor my bank used in the City for annual checkups. You knew you were in trouble when he pulled on the gloves, and it was not to look down your throat.

    Thanks very much to our Thursday setter and pommers.

  9. I rather liked this one and in response to pommer’s enquiry – benign rather than tricky. The anagrams made the overall solving quite easy. 14a my clear favourite, although a brand name, it has become fairly generic for these items, a bit like Hoover for vacuum cleaners. I’ll also give honourable mentions to 18d, 25a and 27a.. Back to the Toughie.

  10. No idea what I said, if anything, two weeks ago, but I found this pretty straightforward – still debating wether 13d is an accurate definition though.
    Nothing outstanding, but pleasant enough to thanks to setter and to pommers

  11. I knew it would be one of those days when I struggled with 15a. More of a toil than enjoyment. Thanks to setter and pommers.

  12. A real struggle, very tricky. Eventually finished but needed the hints to explain 6a and 10a. In 2d I think putting US slang in an English crossword is naughty especially as the BRB doesn’t recongnise this meaning. The wordplay made the answer the only possible one but !!!
    Thx for the hints.

  13. Yum Yum. I loved this crossword from the start to the finish. Thanks to the setter and thanks to Pommers. I was totally flummoxed by 14ac and don’t really understand after reading the hint from Pommers. there are some strange things going on there which are best left off Miffypops radar.

    1. I could be wrong, Miffers, but washing-up with one hand means you have or carry (bear) one glove.

      1. Anyone who knows our friend from Long Itchington well, will know that it isn’t the clue or the solution he has the problem with, it is the concept of ‘washing up’ which, like other domestic chores, doesn’t feature on his radar but is left to the Saintly Sharon

    2. The only time I use 14a is when I do an impression of ‘Foghorn Leghorn’ (I say, I say) stretching it over my head to look like his comb.

  14. Thanks to the setter and Pommers for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much but found it very tricky, but I got there in the end. Had never heard of 2d, but got it from the wordplay, likewise with 20d. Favourite was 14a, but thought it was a strange clue. Just needed the hints to parse 4d&17a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  15. Not a fan. Too tough by half, with at least a three dodgy clues, IMHO. Never heard of a 2d in my 36 years over here. 25a like a boss? And 20d. Had forgotten about the uk brand of washing up wear, in 14a and tried to make foxglove work. Seems to have been hard work all week, and hoping for something more benign soon.

  16. It was a bit of a strain….
    A lot of the answers went in by luck or existing letters, but a few were, as BusyLizzie says, a bit dodgy, by which I mean you can parse them afterwards, but then you groan a bit.

    An example would be 27a – you could guess it after anagramming ‘clue’ and getting the short form of ‘one’, but the rest of it as a synonym for ‘saw’ was a long shot. Yes, it was torturous.
    There were a few more like that. Lego……but where the roof ends up at the bottom and the wheels are altogether on top, if you see what I mean.

    Thanks to Pommers for doing it!

  17. No surprise that I’m in the more tricky camp, and found half the clues fairly straightforward with the others much more challenging. Needed two of Pommers hints today 16d and 27a both tricky clues in my opinion, although last in 6a and eventually did manage to parse that. A really enjoyable puzzle for me and agree this setters style is a bit different but no issues for me with that.

    Clues of the day: Spoilt for choice today 12a / 14a / 24a / 8d.

    Rating 3.5* / 4*

    Thanks to Pommers and the setter

  18. ****/**. My first read through yielded very little. Gradually got a toe hold and finished with a flourish. I felt some of this was a tad contrived (e.g. 25a) which reduces the fun factor. Thanks to all. We now have a provincial state of emergency and whilst the forest fires are many many miles from me I can’t see the mountains for the smoke.

  19. Enjoyed this one. Can’t pick a favourite, but there would be plenty of possibilities.

    Thanks to the setter and pommers.

  20. I’m with BusyLizzie with this one. I gave up with fully half not solved, I think through boredom.
    I’ve been here for 42 years and the only “granger” I can remember is Mr. Granger in some Britcom years ago.
    “Marigold”? New to me, but in fairness, I looked on amazon and we have them here as well; like M’pops, I don’t do washing up, so it’s unlikely I would have met those.
    Of the ones I did solve, 19a was my fave for it’s reminder of the “owl and the pussycat” and their 19a boat.
    Thanks to whomsoever and to pommers for 27a-ing for me.

    1. Hi Merusa,

      Mr Granger was in ‘Are you being served’ – very enjoyable sitcom in its time.

      1. Aha – I’d forgotten about that. Someone told me the other day that it’s still shown on one of our networks!

    1. 17a – One of the 69 different meanings of LIGHT in Collins is “to get down from a horse, vehicle etc” so I guess that covers it.

  21. In reply to BuzyLizzie and Merusa.

    As i said I’d never heard of a granger as a farmer but it’s in Collins as US English. The BRB has a grange as a farmhouse with outbuildings and a granger as a keeper of a grange so I guess that would make him a farmer.

  22. I found this decidedly pesky with particular problems in the North. IMHO using trade names as per 14a is out of order. As with other US residents I never remember coming across 2d during several years living in the USA. I liked 9a and 23d. Thank you Mysteron and pommers.

    1. There are many brands of washing-up glove and, like hoover, jacuzzi and wellingtons, 14a has become a eponym.

      You never hear anyone referring to their washing-up gloves using another brand name.

      1. I certainly never refer to the 14a brand which I have in fact heard of but rather something like “rubber gloves”.

      2. The other brand names you mention are all in BRB and do have more than just UK usage. This does not seem to be the case for this answer.

        1. Do all answers have to be in the BRB or be known overseas?

          That’s a new one on me, if that is the case.

          Don’t we occasionally have a UK village/town that isn’t that well-known abroad or ‘not that famous’ a Brit as an answer?

          If so, then marigold is fine.

          1. Ah, the old question about what entries are valid as inclusions in a crossword, or “what makes a thing a thing“.

            Marigolds didn’t hit any alarm bells with me, but then I was born and bred dragged up in the Home Counties and thus very lucky in that most references (homophones in particular spring to mind) work perfectly for me. Being also a child of the eighties, I do sometimes struggle with older references though.

      3. To continue this banal exchange I see that Marigold Gloves was bought in 2013 by the German Freudenberg Group which also owns Vileda (mop manufacturer).

  23. Busylizzie has said everything that I think about today’s crossword, so I won’t reiterate.

    Thanks to Pommers and a tip of the hat to the setter.

  24. I didn’t really get on wavelength today so I had to graft to complete. However a good challenge with everything ‘gettable’ from the clueing. For the simplicity alone 11d was my favourite.
    Thanks to the setter, and to pommers for the review and the music.

  25. 14a was a real challenge for us. We got the answer from checkers and definition and then it was a case of ‘Guess and Google’ to sort out what the wordplay was about. Its ‘well-knownness’ has not reached to this part of the planet.
    We started off convinced that 2d was going to be RANCHER until the checkers did not work.
    So for us this was not a quick solve but nevertheless pleasant enough to work through.
    Thanks Mr Ron and pommers.

    1. I rather thought that 14a might pose a problem for you – I’ll have to get Kath to send you a pair of the lovely yellow bloomers for Christmas!

  26. There were a few clues that were beyond me, and of those that weren’t I found parsing some quite tricky. I didn’t like the style of cluing, finding it a little bit clunky and somewhat contrived. However one lives and (hopefully) learns so many thanks to Pommers for the elucidation and to the setter.
    Did anyone else have “heavy” in for 25a, which I thought worked equally as well as the solution.

    1. Yes, I’m another one who went for heavy and it’s only now I realise that I was wrong. However I really can’t go along with the correct solution = boss.

      1. It’s not a brill clue but HEADY isn’t boss. The boss is HEAD o if it were like a boss it woud be HEADY.

  27. I found this much easier than yesterday, but like others, I did not enjoy it very much. Some of the cluing I found very odd. 16d for example. Just needed a hint for 6a.
    Thanks all.

  28. Just wrote lots and now it’s inexplicably disappeared – damn.
    I’m in both camps today – quite tricky to begin with and didn’t really enjoy it much at the time of solving but then got going and began to appreciate it more – how’s that for sitting on the fence?
    1a took ages to untangle and so did 20d having missed the anagram indicator – dim.
    I particularly liked 12a and my favourite was either 25 or 27a.
    With thanks to whoever set this one and to pommers.

    1. 1a took me a while as well. As I said spotting the alternate letters from too many words basically left R—-YLESS as a word for inconsiderate but I couldn’t find a four letter way to insert. Spent far too long on that one.

  29. Generally save cryptic as alternative to evening TV! So last as usual. Bit of a struggle, did not think of 13d as gadgets or boss as 25a and could not parse12a until I wrote it and saw the ‘topics’. But slowly growing a better mindset!
    Is it my imagination or are there more anagrams in recent weeks?
    Thanks to all.

  30. I loved this one! Got just over halfway through before needing to resort to hints (which is the best I’ve ever done! I’m learning how to parse them slowly).
    My favourite clue was 27a.

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