DT 28822 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28822

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28822

Hints and tips by a happy Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Good morning on this fine Miffypops Monday. Today we have another fine puzzle from Dada with a good mix of clue types including a couple of interesting cryptic definitions.

The hints and tips and rambling thoughts are here to help if you need them. The definitions are underlined, and the answers lie beneath the greyed-out boxes. Illustrations may or may not be relevant to the answer.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    King, say, up against joker (7,4)
PLAYING CARD: One of fifty-two in a pack which includes Queens and Jacks. Up against refers to a verb meaning competing against. A joker is a wag or a wit or a ****

9a    Be able to recognise a tear-jerker? (4,4,6)
KNOW ONE’S ONIONS: A cryptic definition of one who is expert in his field. This field has been ploughed and planted and is now being harvested of swollen edible bulbs that bring tears to the eyes of those cutting them up for use in cookery.

11a    Get stick (4)
TWIG: A double definition. To realise something or the smaller end of a branch

12a    A giant, anyway (2,3)
AT ALL: Split 1,4 we have the letter A from the clue. We then need a synonym of the word giant. Try a word meaning above average height. Aim a bit lower than giant. Giant may be an appropriate word but it is a bit of a stretch in my opinion.

13a    Odd bits missing, felt put in sewing case (4)
ETUI: The even numbered letters (odd bits missing) of the words FELT PUT IN will provide you with a word that you will find nowhere else but crosswordland. The answer is a small ornamental needle case. No such thing exists in the known world. Try a google image search of the answer and tell me if any of the images can be described as ornamental.

16a    Gas ring not designed to save energy (8)
NITROGEN: Anagram (designed) of RING NOT which includes the abbreviation for energy

17a    Particular deal — it collapsed (6)
DETAIL: Anagram (collapsed) of DEAL IT

19a    Too old, so about fifty! (6)
OVERLY: This word meaning excessively needs the abbreviation for old followed by a word meaning so which is used for emphasis. The Roman numeral for fifty needs to be inserted. Alternatively you could start with the Roman numeral for fifty and wrap the other bits around it as indicated by the word about in the clue. My last one in and a bugger to explain

20a    Good laugh recalled about a bird (5,3)
GREAT TIT: This beautiful little bird can be guessed from the enumeration or guessed with a couple of checking letters. However my job is to clearly explain how the clues lead to the answers so here we go. Begin with the abbreviation for good. Add a reversed (recalled) short half-suppressed laugh. Place what you have around the letter A from the clue. Guesswork was an easier solve. The short half-suppressed laugh made me think of Frankie Howerd and a possible illustration but he wasn’t funny then and is less funny now.

22a    Measure pay (4)
FOOT: An imperial measure of twelve inches is also a word which means to pay a bill

23a    Fast and crisp (5)
NIPPY: The answer can be used to describe somebody able to move quickly or to describe chilly weather

24a    Sign of hesitation before turn, thus (4)
ERGO: Start with an expression used when hesitating and add a term meaning ones turn to do something

27a    Do nothing to crush the manual workers? (3,2,4,5)
SIT ON ONE’S HANDS: to do nothing as described might crush the manual workers in your employ. I am slight of build and would not crush any of my employees if I did this.

28a    Try jumper in sporting contest (4,7)
TEST CRICKET: A word meaning to try something out is followed by an insect that jumps. This reveals a sporting contest being played out over the next couple of days. The event is sponsored by Specsavers. Maybe the England team should avail themselves of their services


2d    Old as Dracula? (4,2,3,5)
LONG IN THE TOOTH: A cryptic definition of Dracula is also a well-known saying referring to old age

3d    Open up North Street from below (4)
YAWN: Find an example of what a street is and add the abbreviation for North. Write what you have backwards (from below)

4d    Period of time Einstein transformed (8)
NINETIES: A much used anagram (transformed) of EINSTEIN

5d    Man given role starts to look exasperated (6)
CASTLE: A word meaning to be given a role in a drama is followed by the initial letters of the words look exasperated. The man is a piece on a chessboard

6d    Offensive and honest, but not loud (4)
RANK: Find a word meaning honest and remove the letter that represents loud in musical notation

7d    Catch, bit of a fiddle in game (8,6)
CONTRACT BRIDGE: To catch something like a disease is followed by the part of a fiddle over which the strings are stretched. I like the definition of this gentle pastime. It certainly is not a sport

8d    Colonialist abroad going back and forth (11)
OSCILLATION: Anagram (abroad) of COLONIALISTS. Note the lack of the letter G which means this cannot end with ING like it did when I typed it in

10d    Cool place in Billingsgate Market? (11)
STANDOFFISH: Split 5,2,4 we have what a market trader at Billingsgate market might use to display his wares

14d    Very merry (5)
JOLLY: A double definition, the second being more well known

15d    Plane diverted to find country (5)
NEPAL: Anagram (diverted) of PLANE

18d    One asking a question, paid model? (8)
PROPOSER: Begin with an abbreviation of professional (one being paid) and add a word meaning one sitting as a model for a painter perhaps

21d    Sounding like baby bird, old seal (6)
SIGNET: A homophone of a baby bird is a small seal set into a ring

25d    Queen able, not needing equerry initially (4)
ANNE: The initial letters of four of the words in the clue.

The Queen of Hearts
She made some tarts,
All on a summer’s day;

The Knave of Hearts
He stole those tarts,
And took them clean away.

The King of Hearts
Called for the tarts,
And beat the knave full sore;

The Knave of Hearts
Brought back the tarts,
And vowed he’d steal no more.

26d    Powder hidden in ornamental casket (4)
TALC: A lurker, the answer is hidden amongst the words of the clue

Dada has given us a King and a Queen today, so we can play 7d. I enjoyed this puzzle. Did you?

Quickie Pun: toil+literal=toilet roll


78 comments on “DT 28822

  1. A gentle start to the solving eeek from Dada. I liked the four long clues, and they certainly made the process of completion quite speedy once in. This was a good example of an enjoyable, fun puzzle that was not particularly taxing.

    Thanks Dada and MP.

  2. Pleasant enough with several nice surfaces including 9a, 19a, 2a, 2d and 10d. Thank you Dada and MP.

  3. I found this fairly mundane & easily solved. My COTD goes to 10D, many thanks to the setter & MP for his review.

  4. Perfectly pitched for Monday morning, fun and untaxing

    Reading the typo in YS comment at 1 did make me smile as there are definitely times when the crosswords are such that you can indeed have a solving ‘eeek’ :D

      1. Thank you for brightening up my morning – its been one of ‘those’ days so far at work today

  5. Straightforward and mild, a gentle start to the week. There were some nice clues and it was enjoyable enough. 9a: is it “your” or “one’s”? I put “your” at first – I always get it wrong with this type of answer. 1.5* / 2.5*

    1. There is an unwitten rule that in these situations “one’s” is the answer unless the wordplay definitively leads to “your”.

      1. Glad I read the review first. I was going to ask the same question. Unfortunately, I put the wrong word in, so it gave me a problem with 4d. It was put right quickly enough when I realised that 4d was an anagram. Thank you BD.

    2. I never know if it is ones or your in these clues either, so I just hold off until I get a checker in.

  6. I don’t think my mind works the same as other contributors as I found this quite challenging. I enjoyed it though, I just found it hard to get going.

    1. If you read enough comments you will realise that we all struggle one day and find it a breeze the next. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it.

  7. A pruney start to the week for me, just missing out on 600 points. The comestibles in 9A and 10D took a bit of chewing over., but all-in-all this puzzle was a tasty pre-breakfast treat on a Monday morning.

  8. Agree with the comments to date , enjoyable , 10D COTD & also wondered about “ ones / your “ in 9A & 27A .

    Great minds think alike ?

    Thanks to everyone .

  9. Oh, dear. 5d :negative:

    That apart, this was, to pinch YS’s words,” a good example of an enjoyable, fun puzzle that was not particularly taxing”. 1* / 3*.

    10d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and to MP.

    1. Good afternoon, Rabbi.

      I have looked up the definition of 5d in three online dictionaries (admittedly, not the best source of information) and the good old OED and they all say that it is another name for the rook. I appreciate that it may be an old-fashioned or informal term but, in the example of the OED, it just says ‘Rook’ without any of the aforementioned adjectives.

      Crosswords often have old-fashioned, archaic, informal, obsolete or slang terms as answers so why is it not okay to call 5d a rook?

      I have seen many people, on BD’s blog, baulk at this answer so I must be missing something.

      Please put me out of my misery….

      1. There is no chess piece called a castle. It’s notation is R for Rook. It’s something like calling the knight a horsey, or a cue a snooker racquet – it’s just wrong.

        1. So, I guess the OED and these other online dictionaries are wrong.

          I, and clearly they, stand corrected.

          1. The dictionaries are not wrong. Lexicographers are not arbiters of fact, merely recorders of usage and it is clear that castle has been used by many people as a synonym for rook for a very long time. It is therefore in the dictionaries and consequently fair game for setters. The pedants among us will just have to suck it up to use the modern expression.

            1. Thank you, Rick.

              You are either a lawyer or, indeed, a compiler as it was extremely well put.

        2. Im not sure why this raises hackles.

          The rook name derives from the Persian “rokh” meaning “tower”, which explains why it looks like one – obviously the battlement-like top causes English speaking people to have originally termed it a “ castle”.
          Incidentally the notation for this piece in German is T ( for Tur). I imagine it is similar in other languages.
          It also explains the move known as “castling”, indicating that the King is hiding in the tower for some protection.

          It doesn’t have anything to do with birds!

          I don’t know this – I just asked my OH, who happens to invigilate and manage international chess tournaments.

          1. Incidentally, whilst Hindi players think the rook is an elephant, the French think the bishop is a madman.

            Other nations have the knight down as a camel (although many do have horse – but not a horsey-)

            Reassuringly, in Gaelic and in Welsh, those rooks are Castles.

            Universally, the pawns are working class. They know their place – in all languages……

            1. Excellent work, Bluebird.

              I think this one has been well and truly put to bed…..or should we say…checkmate.

              1. And you’ll be delighted to know that checkmate comes from ( Persian again) ‘shah’ meaning king and ‘mat’ meaning defeated.
                So “ King defeated”.

    2. When I played chess in “Arabia” (in Libya with Lybians, Syrians and Lebanese) they were annoyed if I took the queen without previously announcing that it was under threat. They insisted that if the queen was threatened I should announce “queen” – or in the lingo “Wazir”. Similarly if the King was under threat I should say “King” which in Arabic is “Shah”, pronounced “shach” (the “ch” sounding like Scottish “loch”) thus “check”. When the game was finished, they said “the King is dead” – “shah mot”, which is where we get “checkmate”. When the Shah of Iran died many moons ago, they might have been heard to say “Shah Mot” – the King is dead – checkmate. I see no problem with the rook/tower being called a castle.

      1. It’s such a shame that Wazir isn’t Arabic for King.

        Wazirmate would be so much more fun to say.

    3. :yawn: Haven’t we had all this said so many times and in so many different ways by so many people (but mainly RD) that it’s now boring – or am I just being grumpy?

      1. Yes, I don’t think it’s new Kath, but there do seem to be a lot of new members lately, so….

      2. I have viewed this blog for 3 years and haven’t seen this information in such depth before.

        Fascinating stuff and certainly not boring for me.

        Thank you Kell and BB.

        1. SL. I’ve been commenting (and trying to educate people) on here for years about this subject. See the thread at #1 on DT 28005 by using the Google site search facility at top right, above. Just type in: DT 28005 and it’ll take you there.

          1. Thanks, Hose A. I have, indeed, looked at it.

            Nice to see Gio givin’ it sum, as well.

  10. Agree with Miffypops rating today and RD’S favourite 10d , light relief after the cricket, at least the series will be more interesting!
    Found the Quick Crossword quite taxing -the pun did not work for me.

  11. Yes agree with Mp */*** agree with favourite 10d so all is well with the world 😃 if we can use that expression in these troubled times 😬 Thanks to Mp and to Dada

  12. This was certainly on the gentler side but definitely non the less enjoyable for it. I didn’t spot the anagram indicator in 8d so spent far too long on that before I had enough checkers in for the penny to drop. Still don’t quite know why “castle” is a man but that’s probably just me. Lot’s of great clues though with 1a and (especially) the very clever 10d taking podium places.
    Many thanks to Dada and MP

    1. Chess pieces are known, especially in Crosswordland, as men. The trouble with a castle is that, as Rabbit Dave will tell you, not the correct name for the particular chess piece

  13. I seem to be alone in finding this harder than usual – perhaps the hangover is to blame – but also more enjoyable. I’m going for ***/****. Particularly liked 10d.

  14. I didn’t find this quite as easy as most of you. But it was fun and satisfying to solve in the end. Perhaps test matches and puzzles don’t mix. 10d was my clear favourite

    1. I didn’t find this easy , in fact quite the opposite . I managed to do the Saturday crossword in less time than this one took .Having said that once I had finished , I couldn’t for the life of me think why it had taken me so long to complete .

  15. Great way to start the week! A little trickier than normal but a pleasure to complete. 10d was my favourite but Dracula was pretty good too.
    Thanks to Dada, and to happy MP for the review.

  16. Thanks to Dada and to Miffypops for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, but found it quite tricky. Was completely beaten by 10d and 19a, needed the hints for those. My favourite was 16a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  17. 10d was favourite. 28a reminded me to switch the tv on. Switched it off again. I managed to get 13a from the clue, but I always forget that word for a sewing case. Good start to the week. Thank you Dada and Miffypops.

  18. I always find Monday’s these days very tricky. Just can’t get on the right wavelength. Many of the answers always seem not quite right.

  19. Not really my cup of tea. Favourites were 2&10d but disliked 12,19&23a. Thanks to all.

  20. Somewhat gentle but really good fun I liked it. Last in 13a not familiar with that word, a steady solve but not a total doddle in my opinion. Some clues on the odd side with some that I thought were outstanding. The right pitch from the setter for a Monday puzzle with a touch of Rufus about it perhaps?

    Clues of the day: 9a / 28a / 10d

    Rating: 2.5* / 3.5*

    Thanks to MP and Dada.

    1. Hi KS.

      Would you mind throwing some light on my post above below Rabbit Dave’s comment? (Postie Roy has said his bit)

      Here it is…

      Good afternoon, Rabbi.

      I have looked up the definition of 5d in three online dictionaries (admittedly, not the best source of information) and the good old OED and they all say that it is another name for the rook. I appreciate that it may be an old-fashioned or informal term but, in the example of the OED, it just says ‘Rook’ without any of the aforementioned adjectives.

      Crosswords often have old-fashioned, archaic, informal, obsolete or slang terms as answers so why is it not okay to call 5d a rook?

      I have seen many people, on BD’s blog, baulk at this answer so I must be missing something.

      Please put me out of my misery….

  21. Well, it took me ages to get a foothold but once I did, it all slotted in nicely. I did enjoy the challenge, and the only one I had a problem with was 10d! I had all the checking letters and thought the last four might be fish, but even with electronic help, the answer foiled me completely. I certainly can’t give it only * for difficulty.
    Thanks to Dada and M’pops for the fun.

  22. 2*/3* for me . Hard to finish after a 23a start . Still can’t reconcile “role” with “cast” as a noun in 5d ( A role ) 10d brilliant – but it was my last and I needed the clue as couldn’t solve 19a either :(
    Thanks to Dada .

  23. I found this one quite tricky, as I often do on Mondays now.

    Got it all except 23a where the best I could do with the checkers was Zippy.

    Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops.

  24. I think that one has to have the same accent as the Swedish cook in the muppets to get the quickie pun today.

  25. I found this to be another tricky Monday from Dada, certainly tougher than yesterday’s, and more than a * difficulty. The south east corner went in fairly quickly and then it took a while. Needed 10d hint, thanks Miffypops. Clever clue, but I would never have got it on my own, even though I thought it must end in fish. Not sure about 12a and giant either, and was slow to put 19a and too together. Favourite by far was 2d.

  26. Nice straightforward return to the crossword. I was in a wi fi desert last week and struggled to get the paper to download and the blog was beyond the hotel wifi. Friday was only puzzle I could finish unaided but I did enjoy today. For a while I was sharp instead of nippy and that slowed the completion. As others 10d COTD. Thanks to Miffypops and Dada.

  27. 3 things, if I may:

    I enjoyed the crossword.

    Re 5d it’s a puzzle! Get over it!

    Re Frankie Howard, he WAS funny then, not a little troubled and much loved my many.

  28. More like a ** for difficulty here, due to a bit of a struggle with the far left hand side. 11ac and 19ac in particular took an age to 11ac. :-)

  29. I found this trickier than most of you by the sound of it – took me a long time to get on the right wave-length.
    It’s too late and I’m too tired and there’s too much else going on to rabbit on at length now but I loved 2 and 10d so thanks to Dada and to MP.
    Night night . . .

  30. Bit of struggle to get started this evening but eventually got there with just 2 hints to finish. I had to look hard to parse 19a but loved 10d. Pleased to read advice on ones and yours. Learn something every day.
    Thanks to all.

  31. 10d outstanding favourite. I love the grid with the long answers. Other favourites 28a and 2d. Last two in 16a and 14d. Definitely on my wavelength. Thanks Dada and MP for confirming my answers and parsing

  32. That was harder than last saturday for me. A wavelength thing, I guess. I gave up very early.
    Thanks all.
    5d is not a chess piece any more than a knight is a horse.

  33. Very enjoyable, the right degree of diffi ulty for me. Loved 9a ,27a ,28a ,2d &10a.
    Thanks for the explanations.

  34. Gentle, & fun, Sat workout !! An alternate clue to 13a that i constructed is :- Sounds like a holder of……. Pine needles ?!! :o

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