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DT 28821

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28821

A full review by gnomethang

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This puzzle was published on 18th August 2018

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Morning All! A fairly standard Saturday puzzle with some enjoyable clues and a couple of trickier offerings.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Men have one-legged race that raises cash for the needy? (8)
PAWNSHOP – A charade of PAWNS (men/pieces on a chessboard) and HOP (a one legged race).

5a           In sleep I composed great story (4)
EPIC – A hidden answer (in) sle EP I C omposed. Coleridge perhaps.

9a           Notice match is no great shakes (8)
ADEQUATE – An AD(vertisement) or notice followed by EQUATE for match.

10a         Fork for example used the wrong way getting journalist sacked (6)
LOOTED – Reverse (used the wrong way) a TOOL (of which a fork is an example) and then add ED for Editor/a journalist.

11a         Ninety in Brussels seem unexpectedly sorry (6,2)
EXCUSE ME – Place XC, ninety in Roman Numerals, inside the EU (‘Brussels’) and then make an anagram (unexpectedly) of SEEM.

12a         Avoid being opponents in game with champ (6)
ESCHEW – Opponents in bridge can be E(ast) and S9outh). Add CHEW for champ/chomp.

14a         Stirring cancan? Yes, when principal among dancers is in command … (10)
ASCENDANCY – Make an anagram (stirring) of CAN CAN YES and place the principal letter in D(ancer) inside.

18a         … much-loved touring company is revealing talents (10)
PRECOCIOUS – CO for Company inside PRECIOUS or much-loved.

22a         This person about to appear twice, carrying on like a superstar? (6)
ICONIC – I for this person and C for about twice with ON form the clue inside/carried.

23a         Something one’s burning to sing about? (8)
CAMPFIRE – A cryptic definition of where the flames around which the Scouts sing songs.

24a         Anger over admitting team will get special potion (6)
ELIXIR – A reversal (over) of RILE for anger which is letting in/admitting XI for 11 in Roman Numerals which is used as a synonym for e.g. a Cricket team comprising eleven players.

25a         A very wearing foxtrot, say, with daughter, 18 (8)
ADVANCED – A from the clue with a DANCE (foxtrot, say) around V for very and finally D for Daughter. A synonym of the answer to 18A.

26a         List of soldiers needing uniform (4)
MENU – MEN for soldiers and then U which is denoted by Uniform in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet.

27a         American should avoid some russet apples from here? (8)
SOMERSET – Here we are instructed to remove the US/American from SOME R (us) SET.


2d           Yank‘s right to interrupt old-fashioned waitress? (6)
WRENCH – Place R(ight) inside a serving WENCH.

3d           Pumpkin cordial (6)
SQUASH – Two definitions – the vegetable species and a watery drink.

4d           Pythonesque topic about film, independent looking on the bright side of life (10)
OPTIMISTIC – An anagram (indicated by Pythonesque!) of TOPIC around a MIST/film and I for Independent.

6d           Where the German invasion starts at 7am? Mere cheek! (8)
POOLSIDE – A MERE for a pool/small lake and a SIDE of e.g. the face or flank.

7d           What’s under pet whiskers maybe beginning to grow infectious (8)
CATCHING – What is under a pet’s whiskers might cryptically be a CAT CHIN. Add the beginning letter of G(row).

8d           On edge, using B-roads? (8)
SIDEWAYS – B roads are not main roads/ways so might be described as SIDE WAYS.

9d           Eager to say yes but not able to give the last word (4)
AMEN – To be eager to say yes is to be AMENABLE. Remove (but not) the ABLE.

13d         Leave pit with effort — drive! (3-2-3-2)
GET UP AND GO – To GET UP (leave the pit/bed) AND/with and finally GO/effort.

15d         Two stages of divorce making bit of a bad shock? (5,3)
SPLIT END – Two possible stages of a divorce are the initial SPLIT and finally the END (of the marriage).

16d         One should be bagged by postmen — unfortunately it leads to issue in post (8)
NEPOTISM – A nice definition here with issue meaning offspring. Place I for one inside an unfortunate anagram of POSTMEN.

17d         Power soiree perhaps attended by underling (8)
DOMINION – A soiree is a party or DO. Add a MINION for an underling.

19d         Kind of drug I consumed after work (6)
OPIATE – I ATE (I consumed) after OP – short for Opera or musical work.

20d         Endlessly talk about sports event (6)
DISCUS – Remove the last letter (endlessly) from DISCUSS or talk about.

21d         Proof of ownership that’s overturned all the same (4)
DEED – The proof of ownership of land or a house which is also a palindrome (all the same when reversed/overturned).



8 comments on “DT 28821

  1. I managed to resist using any help but therefore didn’t complete before the deadline – 2 to go. Some brilliant clues here – having spent a lot of time before the penny dropped with them, they were all worth the effort. Hope this level of difficulty does not happen every week!

    1. Welcome to the blog Keenhearing

      Please don’t leave comments about individual puzzles on the Comment page. I have moved your comment here as I presume this is the puzzle to which you are referring.

  2. Finished this puzzle last evening having eventually resorted to electronic help and your assistance! Now we wonder what all the fuss was about. I am sure there will be others who will say 9d to that.

  3. The Saturday prize puzzles have definitely improved of late. I particularly liked 18a and 16d.
    In 1a I can understand that ‘hop’ is a one-legged activity but in what sense is it a ‘race’?
    Thanks to the setter and to Gnomey for the review.

    1. Good point Gazza. It was easy to casually accept at the time, as analogous to how a run might be a running race (and perhaps the association of hop with an event was lurking in the back of my mind because of it being a dance), but there’s no justification for it that I can find.

  4. This was an outlier for me – it’s been quite some time since a back pager has held me up as long as this one did. Took me about as long as a 3* Toughie, perhaps partly because I wasn’t expecting to have to put my brain into the required gear.

    I liked 12a and 16d.

    Thanks to the setter and to Gnomey.

  5. Blimey, all I can say is that it’s no wonder I had so many unsolved last week. I’m obviously pretty thick compared to most of you chaps here! If the answers weren’t included, I doubt I would have understood, even with the hints.

  6. Thanks for the detailed review. I completed this but really had to think hard, what an absolutely excellent puzzle this was – superb surfaces and misleading-ness! So many thanks to the setter for the fine challenge.

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