DT 28835 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28835

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28835

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***


Hello, everyone, and welcome.  Today we have a fine puzzle with nothing super tricky in the wordplay and with smooth surfaces that produced quite a few smiles during the solve.  Just what we want on a Tuesday.

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions, cryptic definitions, and definitions overlapping wordplay.  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    Knowing about old pages becoming loose (6)
FLOPPY:  A slang adjective for knowing is wrapped about both the abbreviation for old and two copies of an abbreviation for page (two copies because the wordplay uses the plural pages)

4a    Part of speech given at one by male, word for word (8)
VERBATIM:  Concatenate the part of speech that's a doing word, AT from the clue, the Roman one, and the abbreviation for male

10a   Bad pint outside free house having a lot of problems (2,3,4)
IN THE SOUP:  An anagram (bad) of PINT is wrapped around (outside) an anagram (free) of HOUSE

11a   Frequently fall in value after shares initially dropped (5)
OFTEN:  A word meaning 'fall in value' (e.g. of a market or commodity or share) has the first letter of SHARES deleted (shares initially dropped

12a   Sailing ship's gone out with maximum on board (7)
GALLEON:  An anagram (out) of GONE containing maximum or everything (with maximum on board)

13a   'Everlasting Love' finally learnt with different arrangement (7)
ETERNAL:  The final letter (… finally) of LOVE is followed by an anagram (…with different arrangement) of LEARNT

14a   Prime Minister, extremely believable? Perhaps (5)
MAYBE:  Follow the Prime Minister today with the outer letters (extremely…) of BELIEVABLE

15a   Soft target not hard to come across, so it's said (4,4)
EASY MEAT:  Simple or not hard is followed by a homophone (…so it's said) of a word meaning come across or encounter

18a   Rich source of oil, also containing diamonds (4-2-2)
WELL-TO-DO:  Join together a (4) source of oil and a synonym of also containing the playing card abbreviation for diamonds

20a   Keen on securing right opening (5)
INTRO:  An informal word for keen on containing (securing) an abbreviation for right

23a   Thrifty management shown by small company spreading money about (7)
ECONOMY:  The usual abbreviation (small) for company has an anagram (spreading…) of MONEY wrapped about it

25a   Similar to barking wildly (4,3)
LIKE MAD:  Put together a synonym of 'similar to' and barking or crazy

26a   Some Chablis, seventh heaven (5)
BLISS:  The answer is hidden as some of the remaining letters in the clue

27a   Gathered adult son looked like failing to get on (9)
ASSEMBLED:  Stick together the abbreviation for adult, the abbreviation for son, and a word meaning 'looked like' with the usual short word for 'on' or concerning deleted (failing to get on)

28a   Ominous, nun ringing home (8)
SINISTER:  A nun (senior nurse) containing (ringing) the usual suspect for home

29a   Public brawl -- see Father after a fine a year later (6)
AFFRAY:  The abbreviation for a priestly father is placed after A from the clue and the pencil abbreviation for fine, with the second A from the clue and an abbreviation for year following all of that (later)



1d    A legitimate target, Aunt Sally for example (4,4)
FAIR GAME:  Aunt Sally is an example of a literal reading of the answer.  The surface refers to that Aunt Sally actually being a target

2d    Drama after away defeat? (7)
OUTPLAY:  A theatrical drama comes after a short word meaning away or not home

3d    Part flour, a little at a time (9)
PIECEMEAL:   Put together part or component and a generic word for grain that's been ground into powder

5d    Poker-faced, and lost for words? (14)
EXPRESSIONLESS:  A double definition.  Poker-faced or inscrutable, and cryptically lost for words

6d    Dealer, almost penniless (5)
BROKE:  All but the last letter (…almost) of a dealer who buys and sells for others

7d    Abridged film associated with a fairy queen (7)
TITANIA:  All but the last letter (abridged) of an Academy Award-winning film about a big boat, joined to (associated with) A from the clue.  This fairy queen appears in A Midsummer Night's Dream

8d    Complaint from team about leaders of Football League (3,3)
MAN FLU:  The shortened name of a team not currently leading any football leagues is wrapped about the initial letters of (leaders of) FOOTBALL LEAGUE.  Read what science has to say about the answer here 

9d    Depressed over note, and nearly drunk, take a trip here? (4,6,4)
DOWN MEMORY LANE:  Depressed or sad comes before (over, in a down clue) a short note.  That's all followed by an anagram (drunk) of NEARLY.  The illustrations for 1a and 14a could also work here

16d   Book me in King's Head with a member, female (4,5)
MEIN KAMPF:  Cement together ME IN from the clue, the initial letter (..'s head) of KING, A from the clue, the abbreviation for a Member of Parliament, and the abbreviation for female

17d   Cunning about soldiers discharged in a corrupt manner (8)
SORDIDLY:  An adjective meaning cunning is wrapped about the fusion of some usual soldiers and discharged or performed

19d   Feeling movement after onset of earthquake (7)
EMOTION:  A synonym of movement is placed after the first letter of (onset of) EARTHQUAKE

21d   Acrobat  one used to drink with? (7)
TUMBLER:  Another double definition.  The 'one used to drink with' is a container for drink

22d   Jobless heading off, possibly for a Greek island (6)
LESBOS:  An anagram (possibly) of JOBLESS minus its first letter (…heading off)

24d   Love unaltered watering hole (5)
OASIS:  The letter that looks like a love score in tennis is followed by a (2,2) phrase meaning unaltered


Thanks to today’s setter for an enjoyable solve.  This week I have 14a and 22d in the runner-up spots, with 8d taking favourite clue honours.  Which ones did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  WRAP + SEW + DEE = RHAPSODY

50 comments on “DT 28835

  1. 8d was comfortably my COTD and brought a big smile as I solved it. A thoroughly straightforward, enjoyable and rewarding puzzle to complete.

    Thanks to both Misters involved this morning.

  2. Thanks for the hints Mr.K.
    Nothing too tricky here, loi was 3d as it took a while for the ‘flour’ bit to surface.
    Some very clever surfaces, 4a wins the prize.
    Currently suffering with an infected ingrowing toe-nail which is a form of torture the inquisition would have been proud of.
    Thanks also to the setter.
    P.S. time in my hands today, so a clue as to the difficulty of the Toughie would be good.

    1. Hi Hoofit. I am just now writing a preamble recommending the Toughie to back page solvers. Should help take your mind off the torture (poor you :( ) without inflicting further pain!

      1. Thanks for the heads-up all.
        Certainly agree. Anyone else cranially challenged in the cruciverbal department is recommended to have a go.

  3. A nice puzzle, fairly mild with good clues and an enjoyable solve. Fav: 16d, which I got from the definition and checkers and fathomed the wordplay afterwards (which is how I solve a lot of clues). 2* / 3.5*

  4. A classic crossword with all the right ingredients so good , in fact , that picking a favourite would be unfair .

    Enough said .

    Thanks to everyone .

  5. Some concern from a pal that there are two possible answers to 1a – and I agree. What do others think?

    1. Welcome to the blog, Gary.

      Agreed – I wrote in the wrong one at first but 1d soon made clear which one was required.

      1. Yes, of course. Thanks for the welcome – I’ve been dipping into your excellent site for years, but haven’t commented before.

  6. Quite enjoyable and not overly challenging completed at a gallop – **/***.

    Favourite has to be the 14-letter non-anagram 5d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  7. Lovely surfaces providing a quick bit of fun before lights out last night. */***. A good one for beginners?

    Thanks to Mr Ron and Mr K.

  8. 2* / 3*. Pleasant and enjoyable with 8d my favourite and 5d runner-up.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and Mr K.

  9. */***. Nice gentle start to the day. I’m in agreement with most of you about 8d–clear winner for me.

    I can echo what some have remarked upon earlier – the Toughie is more of a normal back-pager today.

  10. Once again I seem to be at odds with the other commentators as I found this quite tricky ***/*** 5D favourite with 16D last in with a big DOH!

  11. Agree with Mr K on a **/***- loved the revolving cat , once had a Blue Persian called Dinky-looked a bit like our acrobat !
    Good fun today ,nicely mislead by 10a, I was looking for a bar or similar in the middle.
    Favourite 8d like everybody else, it seems that most people recognise when a clue has that bit extra.
    Cheers to Mr Cook, he picked the right time to go.

    1. And we have a very similar-looking young cat called Kinky who does exactly the same thing! Thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle – needed hints for a couple of clues. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

        1. He chose it himself on the first day we had him by pulling a book by Kinky Friedman out of the bookcase (and it had a picture of a cat on the front!).

  12. That was a delightfully cryptic walk in the park and I hope for more of the same on forthcoming Tuesdays. 9d was a bung- in as I overlooked the context of drunk. 8d was Fav with 23a running up. Many thanks indeed Mysteron and Mr.K.

  13. As near to a walk in the park as one is likely to come across here while still being high on the enjoyment factor. Lot’s of clever clues with 8d being foremost amongst them. Thanks to setter and Mr K for a typically well illustrated review.

  14. An enjoyable solve with no hold ups encountered. 8d clue of the day… not that I suffer from them… often.
    Thanks to Mr Ron, and Mr K for the review and pix.

  15. I enjoyed this, but my biggest smile was actually in the quickie where my answer to 4a was CAT. It didn’t matter that that didn’t fit with the checking or the pun. Stitch is the name of my favourite neighbour.

  16. Thought this was another cracking puzzle following on from Sunday and yesterday with lots of fun and plenty of smiles. 3d took a while for the light to come on and 17d was last in for no real reason? Agree with others 8d is a brilliant clue although I tried fitting ” team” around FL before the penny dropped followed by the doh moment. A really satisfying and enjoyable solve, more from this setter please.

    Clues of the day: 25a / 8d / 16d

    Rating: 2* / 4*

    Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

  17. A gentle canter through this very enjoyable puzzle. Like others, my FOI at 1a started with an S! Not a good start!

    In the interests of decency, I will not reveal my initial thought for 10a!

    Loved 8d and wonder whether the book in 16d has ever appeared in a crossword before?

    Has our esteemed PM been elevated to royalty? I thought the Queen was the only living person to appear in crosswords.

    Thanks setter and Mr K.

    1. I found two previous appearances of the 16d book, both by Paul:

      Something put on paper by me, a fascist leader and politician (written inside) (4,5) [Guardian Prize 21993 from 2000]

      Subject of autobiography writing material on a politician, fascist leader? (4,5) [Guardian Cryptic 24826 from 2009]

  18. ***/***. Very entertaining puzzle with a few ah-ha moments. Thanks to Messrs Ron and K. We still have nearly 500 fires in the province yet it snowed yesterday in the Okanagan. Nature, don’t you just love it!

  19. Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, there were a few to make you think, but nothing to frighten the horses. I liked 9d,but my favourite was 8d. Was 2*/3* for me.

  20. I enjoyed this though I found it a little trickier than 2 star .
    16d had a very smooth surface and a surprising solution .
    Thanks to Mr K and the setter .

  21. Just back from a couple of days camping in Cornwall, and what a treat to come home to.
    I’m in the 8d club for CotD, thanks to Mr K and today’s setter, I’m off to seek out a well earned pint.

  22. The left side was easier than the right but all fell into place eventually. Thanks to Mr K and setter. Loved the Kinky the cat story Sarah. There was an ad on the telly while I did this that had a cat playing with one of those touch operated lamps. I don’t know what it was flogging but the cat was cute.
    On recommendation I will go and try the toughie

  23. I made such a pig’s ear of this one. Firstly, I put the “s” word instead of the “f” word in 1a, then I put “hot” instead of “the” in 10a. These completely discombobulated me in that corner. I knew 10a was an anagram so I should have checked it again, but I think “hot” is better than “the”.
    I also didn’t get 16d, which goes to show that my brain has gone to mush, I had the checking letters, what else could it be?
    Thanks to setter, and to Mr. K for his help. Maybe I should take a break and reboot!

  24. Just about beginning to surface after two and a half weeks of hosting daughter, son-in-law and 14 month old grandson. Quite a shock to the system for someone who’s grown accustomed to living on their own!
    I now have one clean bedroom and bathroom and can see through the windows again – the rest can follow in the fullness of time.

    Enjoyable puzzle to come back to – only the ‘fall in value’ needed checking in the BRB.

    Top three for me were 14a plus 5&8d.

    Thanks to Mr Ron – like to see more from you – and to Mr K for the blog.

  25. This was one of those puzzles where I could bung in the answer without seeing how it quite fit the clue, and needed the hint to explain why, in several instances. 29a sprang immediately to mind because of that cricket bloke who got done for that offense recently, well he got off in the end. Otherwise the word have been still buried deep in my brain. Thanks to setter and Mr K, particularly for the picture at 21d. That cat must have the same genes as our younger daughter’s two cats, whose one aim in life is to destroy the dining room chairs…

  26. A good fun puzzle that after a slight hesitation in the NW corner all came together smoothly. 8d got the biggest chuckle from us.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  27. Agree with all the other comments except about 8D which for some reason irritated me. Perhaps it was because it was the only clue I needed help on. Thoroughly enjoyed this especially after yesterday’s which might as well have been written in Greek as far as I was concerned. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  28. A nice steady and enjoyable exercise this evening. 3 bung ins that I needed the hints to parse. Liked 9d as fun to assemble. Loved the cat pictures again Mr K. Came across the appropriate word for all of us; ailurophiles, while surfing the OED!
    Our furniture still has the claw marks from our much missed similarly acrobatic feline friend.

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