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DT 28834

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28834

Hints and tips by a juxtapositionally-challenged Miffypops

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

Today’s puzzle is from our puzzles editor Chris Lancaster. It is a delight from start to finish.

Coventry 20 – Jersey 15. I am looking forward to the fixture in Jersey on April 27th. Sun Seafood and Rugby. Ooh yes.

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    Be eager to describe wife as seductive? (10)
BEWITCHING: When I solved this clue I knew that explaining it would be a treat. Those of you who are looking for a quick fix for an unanswered clue are out of luck. There is too much that I like in this clue for that. Our over generous setter has gifted us the word BE. He then asks us for a word of seven letters synonymous with the word eager, an informal verb describing a restless or strong desire to do something. Those of you with a mathematical mind will already realise that so far we only have nine of the ten letters required for the solution. The tenth letter is the abbreviation for wife which sits right in the middle of the two words given and found earlier. The word describes tells us to do this although I am not quite sure why. Altogether we have a word that perfectly describes my wife, Saint Sharon and goes perfectly with the last word of the clue. I sincerely hope this word describes your wives. So as not to leave the ladies out, I hope it describes your husbands too. Let us know in the comments below. If ever there was a reason to delurk, surely this is it

6a    Conservative deceived nation (4)
CHAD: Begin with the abbreviation for Conservative. Add the past tense of a verb that means to have been conned or tricked

9a    Former investigator, we hear (5)
PRIOR: A word meaning former sounds like (we hear) an investigator who might snoop into stuff

10a    Old king’s embracing French friends in their underwear (9)
CAMISOLES: This merry old sole of a king (the clue has an apostrophe S after the word king which you need to remember and use) embraces the French word for friends.

12a    Intelligent beagle knew old criminal (13)
KNOWLEDGEABLE: I suspect this might be an anagram of BEAGLE KNEW OLD. The word criminal is an anagram indicator. Do they get any easier than this?

14a    Happiness certain to follow appeal (8)
PLEASURE: A regularly used synonym of the word certain follows an appeal that might be used in court. Mine always starts with Not Guilty.

15a    Consider filling about right for dip (6)
CRATER: My last one in. A stretched synonym of the word consider is placed between (filling) the Latin letter that denotes about (circa) and the abbreviation for the word right.

17a    Horrified — price-tag has torn clothes (6)
AGHAST: A lurker. A hidden word. An included word. Take your pick and search out the answer which is written within the words of the clue indicated by the word clothes

19a    Stupidly gamble about a pound in sport (4,4)
BALL GAME: An anagram (stupidly) of GAMBLE is placed around (about) the letter A from the clue and the abbreviation for one pound sterling

21a    Like shipmates fated to sink or swim together? (2,3,4,4)
IN THE SAME BOAT: This well-known phrase describes the lot of people in a tricky situation.

24a    The setter’s disgusting, not about to be rash (9)
IMPULSIVE: Use the shortened form of I am to represent ‘The Setter’. Now find a word that means disgusting. Remove (not about) the two-lettered preposition meaning about or concerning

25a    Animal last to leave country (5)
ELAND: Use the last letter of the word leave. Add a noun describing a country. The resulting animal has appeared more times than enough in crosswords through the ages.

26a    Head’s mad (4)
NUTS: An informal term for one’s head is also an informal term for one who is mad. Not mad with anger. Bonkers mad.

27a    Sonnet king composed in part of London (10)
KENSINGTON: An original anagram so obvious that no thought is really necessary and which I cannot recall seeing before. Composed is the indicator. Pencils unnecessary


1d    More than one hit dance on first instalment of Strictly (4)
BOPS: To dance to pop music is followed by the initial letter of the word Strictly

2d    Line problem (7)
WRINKLE: This line begins to appear with age. It makes us look very distinguished. It doubles in definition as a minor difficulty or snag.

3d    Where naughty reptiles go when they pass … their home? (13)
TORTOISESHELL: Split 9,4 this is where Bill and Ben’s slowcoach would end up after death if he was sinful in life. For those of you too young to remember Bill and Ben slowcoach was a slow-moving typically herbivorous land reptile of warm climates, enclosed in a scaly or leathery domed shell into which it can retract its head and thick legs.

4d    Unwelcome callers during a performance? (8)
HECKLERS: My online dictionary describes the answer here as those who interrupt a performer. In today’s comedic arena. These people are needed to tell the likes of Frankie Boyle that jokes about blind children are not acceptable. Nor is the word mong. Are comedians funny. I have never seen a funny one. Well maybe Peter Kaye (warning, bad language)

5d    Lecturer flipped about graduate, one of no fixed abode (5)
NOMAD: A University lecturer is reversed (flipped) A graduate of even higher education is inserted to find this member of a people that travels from place to place to find fresh pasture for its animals and has no permanent home

7d    Henry I only comes to fish (7)
HALIBUT: A shortened form of the name Henry (possibly only used by William Shakespeare and crossword setters) is followed by the letter I from the clue and a preposition meaning except

8d    Put a damper on Danes and their cooking (10)
DISHEARTEN: Another easy anagram indicated by the word cooking. The fodder words are DANES and THEIR

11d    ‘African Queen’ seen in dodgy areas online (6,7)
SIERRA LEONEAN: An anagram (dodgy) of AREAS ONLINE includes the regal cipher of Queen Elizabeth

13d    A pair point out ghost (10)
APPARITION: Another Anagram (out) of A PAIR POINT.

16d    Sloppy cereal unsettled sons (8)
CARELESS: An anagram (unsettled) of CEREAL is followed by two abbreviations of the word son. Why two? The word is in the plural in the clue

18d    Source of wifi in nightclub (7)
HOTSPOT: A double definition. The second description nightclub brings back bad memories of my youth. I found these to be awful places best avoided.

20d    Draw a piece of land, with time to get absorbed (7)
ATTRACT: Use the letter A from the clue. Add a word that means an area of land. Include the abbreviation for time

22d    Active US serviceman overcome by booze (5)
AGILE: An American serviceman is known as a GI. Possibly because their equipment was stamped with the letters G I which stood for Government Issue. Place these initials inside a word for booze or beer

23d    God turned up in Benidorm (4)
ODIN: Here we have a similar clue construct to 17 across. Indicated by the word IN (what could be simpler)? However this word needs to be reversed as indicated by the words turned up. Even more simple.

A very nice start to the day. It can only get worse from here on

Quickie pun: stay+bull+eyes=stabilise


50 comments on “DT 28834

  1. Well, I am going to have to admit to a failure here. I had it all completed in *** time except for 1a. I could see the parsing, which was confirmed when I got the W from 2d. However, I just couldn’t find words to fit.

    This was because I didn’t have a modern dance in 1d but that of Fred Astaire, thus my first letter of 1a was wrong. DOH!

    Many thanks to ChrisL and MP.

    1. You have my sympathy Malcolm. I tried ‘taps’, ‘raps’. It was only when I got 1a that the penny dropped.

  2. What a cracking start to the week from our editor. Loads to enjoy, and several laugh out loud moments, my favourite of which was 3d. Pleasantly taxing, and hugely enjoyable.

    Thanks to CL and MP.

  3. I thought this was a little trickier than most “mild Monday” puzzles. Good clues, some requiring a fair amount of head-scratching, so a reasonable challenge and an enjoyable solve. 2.5* / 4*

  4. Very enjoyable start to week. Used a couple of hints to help me finish so I could actually get on with some pressing jobs !! Need to finish back page puzzles before I start the day’s work which is not good. Fortunately I am not yet hooked on the Quick crossword. Only do that if I am stuck in a waiting room or on a bus.

  5. I knew as I solved 1a that our blogger would have something to say about it and I wasn’t wrong

    Thanks to CL and MP

  6. What a lovely crossword. All went well until 3D which held me up for a while before the penny finally dropped. Very clever. Thanks to all as usual.

  7. Nice and difficult.
    Certainly, for me, *** and a half.
    Stuck on 11d. Came back to it and -duh- the penny dropped.
    Many thanks to the Editor and to Miffypops for the review.

  8. The bark here was worse than the bite and quite soon all began to fall into place until mission was accomplished. 11d is rather obtuse and needed some Seiko help. Overall not one of my favourite challenges but liked 3d and Quickie pun.

  9. I made a note of **/**** on completion, most time spent parsing the NW corner then straight forward, last in and my favourite was 11d for originality with 6a second for its brevity.
    Excellent start to the week for me. Thanks MP the blog-no sound on this computer so wll listen to Bob at home.
    Thought the Quickie pun was two words, which also worked !

  10. 2* / 4*. Lovely stuff with Miffypops’ splendid review of 1a providing the icing on the cake. I don’t need to look beyond 1a to find my favourite.

    Many thanks to CL and MP.

  11. Excellent and not too tricky.
    Unfortunately I spelt the African as ‘ian’ at the end without checking all the letters of the anagram. This made the animal at 25a impossible, a very basic error.
    1a was very good as has been pointed out by others.
    No obscurities so all good.
    Thanks MP and CL

  12. Thanks to Chris Lancaster and to Miffypops for the review and hints. What a fabulous puzzle to start the week. Took me an age to realise that 12a was an anagram, and the same to realise 11d was a partial anagram. Last in was 15a. Favourite was 3d, what a super clue. Was 3*/4* for me.

  13. I too had the wrong dance in 1d to give what I still think is a perfectly acceptable solution to the clue but this didn’t detract from the enjoyment of this wonderful puzzle.
    Thank you MP for the review and congratulations to Coventry on their initial victory.
    For future reference, for your impending trip to Jersey you might like to know that we in Guernsey, especially in a sporting context, like to refer to Jerseymen as Crappauds. Jersey has toads, we don’t, and it’s such a lovely word we feel that it’s usage should be encouraged…..😂

          1. A crapaud is a term used in France for a square of wood supported by 4 castors. It is extremely useful when moving furniture, or refrigerators, around the house.

  14. Usual Monday, finished but with little enjoyment. Just cannot get on with the new Monday setter puzzles. It’s not that they are particularly tough but the wordplay often seems clumsy. Having said that I did enjoy 3d which made me smile. Perhaps it’s just the metal picture of a tortoise with horns breathing fire.
    Thx to all

  15. An enjoyable start to the ‘back page’ week – even better as it actually was on the back page of the dead wood version. Just about the right number of anagrams to help people new to the joys of cryptic crossword puzzle solving and not too many for the ‘old hands’ to criticise. Lots to like apart from maybe 1d? It did feel that our illustrious setter had painted himself into a corner and left to find a word that would fit the 2 checkers :smile:

    So thanks to CL for the puzzle and MP for his review. I see the Van Morrison gig last Friday wasn’t particularly well organised :cool:

  16. 17a is an anagram as well as a lurker. I took “torn” to be an anagram indicator for “tag has”, which of course gave the correct solution. However, until the penny dropped, I couldn’t for the life of me see what “price” and “clothes” contributed to the clue.
    Thanks to Miffypops for his entertaining hints and to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle.

  17. A bewitching and pleasurable crossword in more ways than one .
    Slow start again today as I was half way through the across clues before successful .
    Last one in was 3D which I had the repeat to myself a few times before realising its cleverness then it became my favourite just beating 1A .
    Thanks to everyone and well done to Coventry .

  18. Nice start to the week. 1a as indicated by others is COTD if not week/month/year. And 3d a close second.
    Thanks to Miffypops and Mr Ed

  19. A perfect puzzle to start the week, particularly as we are in for a day of torrential rain as Tropical Storm Gordon passes over us in its way to batter poor New Orleans. I was completely on wavelength for this one, so a lot of fun. Last in was 15a, only clue that didn’t gel for me. 1a went in early strangely. 11a was a long time coming though. Thanks very much to Mr Lancaster and Miffypops. Going to have to find something else to tackle over lunch, as I fear we will not be going out today,

    1. Hope you don’t get too much flooding. Judging by our rainfall, there must be some pretty severe flooding round about.

  20. A great Monday puzzle both entertaining and satisfying to solve. A very good mix of clues and did sprint through a lot of it initially, however the SE corner did slow me down considerably, with 11d last in missed the queen bit at first.Got 25a from the word play and confirmed with BRB it was correct. Pleased to have been on the wavelength and really enjoyed the puzzle about the right pitch for a Monday.

    Clues of the day: 1a / 9a / 10a

    Rating: 3* / 4*

    Thanks to MP and Mr L.

  21. A very enjoyable puzzle done in the waiting room at Addenbrookes whilst my daughter was with a consultant. Completely stuck on 11d and 15a so thank you Miffypops for your clues. I liked your lengthy appreciation of 1a but it was the first one I got! My magical husband put in 2d – that was his contribution but it is a hot day here in Cambridge. Why did I think miffypops was a lady? How was I so misled?

  22. Pretty straightforward crossword **/*** apart from 11d which I did not get although everyone else seems to have solved 😳 Favourite is 3d and 9a 😃 Thanks to MP and to Chris. I wasted a lot of time “googling” the film in 11d to no avail!

    1. You are not alone on this one with 11d. Without the inclusion of Queen,which obviously for me was more a hindrance than help, I think I would have got this one. ( I already knew the second part was not the king of the beast ‘s companion as I already had the last letter)

  23. I think you’ll find crapaud only has one p – just in case you want to write it to anyone from Jersey …

  24. A most enjoyable puzzle, just right for me. I had to work a bit to solve but only needed electronic help for one answer and that was 1d. Even so, I wasn’t sure it was correct. It took a little longer than it should have as I was glued to the box watching the US Open.
    Any one could have been fave, but I’ll pick 1a as I enjoyed M’pops’ dissertation so much, but I must mention 3d for its smile worthiness.
    Thanks to CL for the fun and M’pops for his contribution.
    Tossing it down in stair-rods here, all lights on, there must be extensive flooding out there. Hope Storm Gordon doesn’t get too powerful for the folks in Louisiana.

  25. A great crossword and one that proves, yet again, that they don’t have to be too tricky to be really clever and enjoyable.
    15a was my last answer – don’t know why but I suppose something had to be and although 3d had to be what it was I didn’t quite ‘get’ it for too long.
    I’m not entirely sure that someone has to be intelligent to be 12a – just need a good memory – or vice versa but I’ll shut up now.
    Clues that stood out for me today were 1 and 6a and 3 and 23d (the thought of God turning up in Benidorm made me laugh!)
    With thanks to our Crossword Editor and to MP.

  26. Very enjoyable. Wide range from difficult to very easy clues; an ideal Monday exercise. Favourite definitely 3d!
    Thanks to all.

    1. The way I read it is that bop can mean hit (ie I gave him a bop on the head) and is also a type of dancing. “More than one” makes it plural. Hope I am right

      1. You are right WW. Maybe I should have mentioned the hit in my hint. I thought it obvious from the dance.

  27. Liked the god turning up in Benidorm (23A) and the tortoise descending to Hades (3D)..also Miffypops definition of said reptile.

  28. Always like to be the last contributor! Kept this one back for a flight to Barcelona. Great puzzle and did it all unassisted except for African Queen… was fixated on the film!

  29. Surprisingly straightforward, & entertaining, once having overcome a hang-up ( 6a TROY ?!!!) – & moved into Africa !! :)

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