DT 28841 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28841

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28841

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****


Hello, everyone, and welcome to my 100th solo set of hints and tips.  Today we have an excellent puzzle that reminds me of the gem we had two weeks ago, with smooth surface readings disguising some clever wordplay.  It generated several smiles and a couple of laugh out loud moments.  I recommend it.

In the hints below most indicators are italicized and precise definitions are underlined.  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    Good scope offered by initial moves (6)
GAMBIT:  Put together the single-letter abbreviation for good and scope or extent

5a    Money gets plain wool (8)
CASHMERE:  Fuse together synonyms of money and plain or 'no more than'

9a    Show wine store for the most part stocking popular red knocked back (10)
CINDERELLA:  All but the last letter (…for the most part) of a place to store wine containing (stocking) the usual word for popular and the reversal (knocked back) of RED from the clue

10a   Ready to complain if starter's not included (4)
RIPE:  A word meaning ready for harvest is found as a synonym of complain without its first letter (if starter's not included)

11a   Confuse playwright in Berlin? Not half! (8)
BEWILDER:  Playwright Oscar is inserted in one half (not half) of BERLIN

12a   Illegally obtained pet food? (3,3)
HOT DOG:  Illegally obtained or stolen is followed by the second best pet animal

13a   Previous  over (4)
PAST:  Nothing to do with cricket, this clue is a double definition.  Previous referring, perhaps, to a term of office now completed, and over just meaning completed

15a   Envoy's academic qualification, first from Trinity (8)
DIPLOMAT:  A document conferring an academic qualification comes before the first letter from TRINITY

18a   Indignant, well-informed elected members (2,2,4)
UP IN ARMS:  Concatenate well-informed (2), elected (2), and some members that are limbs (4)

19a   Almost perfect plan (4)
IDEA:  All but the last letter (almost) of a synonym of perfect

21a   Credit is doubled in emergency (6)
CRISIS:  Stick together an abbreviation for credit and two copies (…doubled) of IS from the clue

23a   Way to secure permit for gambling game (8)
ROULETTE:  A way or course containing (to secure) permit or allow 

25a   Prima donna very keen to return (4)
DIVA:  The reversal (to return) of an adjective meaning very keen 

26a   One into finance is enthralled by French painter and what he produced (10)
MONETARIST:  IS from the clue is contained by (enthralled by) the fusion of a French Impressionist painter and a generic (3) word for what he produced 

27a   Decidedly trendy black suit (2,6)
IN SPADES:  The usual word for trendy or popular with one of the black suits in a deck of playing cards

28a   In centre of Perth, mate there caught out thief (6)
ROBBER:  This Perth is in Australia.  Follow the centre letter of PERTH with an informal Australian word for mate or chum (mate there) from which the cricketing abbreviation for caught has been deleted (caught out)



2d    Quick taking a short breather before beginning of event (5)
AGILE:  Place A from the clue and all but the last letter (short) of an organ for breathing in water before the beginning letter of EVENT

3d    Ashamed to make money working in sport (9)
BADMINTON:  Amalgamate a synonym of ashamed, to literally make currency, and working or operating

4d    Rant made by one in commerce (6)
TIRADE:  The Roman numeral for one is inserted in a synonym of commerce

5d    Company calls about poor lads working in US city (8,7)
COLORADO SPRINGS:  The abbreviation for company and calls on the telephone are wrapped about an anagram (…working) of POOR LADS

6d    Horse-drawn carriage, second phaeton, abandoned (8)
STANHOPE:  The single letter for second followed by an anagram (abandoned) of PHAETON.  If, like me, you need a list of horse-drawn carriages to verify the answer, there's one here

7d    Worth millions, flag that's turned up (5)
MERIT:  The abbreviation for millions is followed by the reversal (…that's turned up, in a down clue) of flag or grow languid

8d    Unprincipled person could bring about authentication of a will (9)
REPROBATE:  Stick together the usual short word for about or concerning and a noun meaning authentication of a will

14d   Disparaging remark when being taken round island (9)
ASPERSION:  A (2) synonym of when is followed by a human being containing (taken around) an abbreviation for island

16d   Old poet wrong over colour (5,4)
OLIVE DRAB:  The abbreviation for old with the reversal (over, in a down clue) of the concatenation of a synonym of poet and wrong or wicked

17d   Page carried on, took it as read (8)
PRESUMED:  Cement together an abbreviation for page and carried on or took up again

20d   Pressure applied to speak in golf club (6)
PUTTER:  The physics symbol for pressure preceding (applied to) speak or say out loud

22d   Note coming from small plucked instrument (5)
SHARP:  The clothing abbreviation for small and a well-known plucked instrument

24d   A test in translation may give one experience (5)
TASTE:  An anagram (in translation) of A TEST


Thanks to today’s setter for a very enjoyable solve.  I ticked and smiled at 18a, 27a, 2d, 14d, and 16d.  They're all so good that I cannot pick a favourite.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  FOE + TOW + GRAF = PHOTOGRAPH

51 comments on “DT 28841

  1. Wow never first up. Really enjoyable solve and certainly a better option than a rather wet Coirnish Beach hence the early entry. Thanks to the setter and congrats to Mr K on your milestone

  2. Agree with you Mr K , another little gem , and many congratulations on your century . You and “the chef “ !

    Liked 28a best due to biggest smile and had to check that , last one in , 16d was correct .

    Thanks to everyone

  3. Good time to have a classic puzzle, rain beating against window. Dogs walked by Mrs Spook and coffee on. Favourite clues 26a amd 9a.
    Thanks to Mr K and setter.

  4. Agree with Mr K with a **/**** today and really enjoyed the puzzle ,excellent cluing.
    Failed to parse 14d-thanks Mr K for the ‘being’-and the cat picks .
    Favourite was 16d, remembered the colour from somewhere and liked the surface.
    Well done Alistair.

  5. An excellent, pretty straightforward but hugely enjoyable puzzle this drizzly morning. My top three were 9a, 26a and 28a.

    Many thanks to Mr K, both for today and the previous 99 blogs. Thanks, too, to our Tuesday setter for an excellent crossword.

  6. Slow start but gradually gathered speed. Recently I have for some reason struggled to get onto wavelength even with regular setters and today that was certainly the case. Never heard of Australian mate. IMHO 9a = ‘show’ is rather sweeping. Liked 18a, 27a and 7d. Thank you Mysteron and MrK.

  7. Congratulations, Mr K, and how fitting that you so much enjoyed the puzzle provided for our entertainment today.

    No real problems with this one although I did want 2d to be a word differentiating between the ‘quick and the dead’ until I couldn’t parse it.
    Top two here were 12&15a for their surface reads.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr K for the blog – I think there are several of us who may take issue with you over your assertion in the hint for 12a but my daughters certainly wouldn’t be amongst them!

  8. Thanks to whomsoever for the very enjoyable puzzle and to Mr K for the blog (and congratulations on reaching his ton – doesn’t time fly?).
    I thought that the two meanings in 13a were rather too similar.
    It’s difficult to pick a favourite but I’ll go for 28a.

    1. Thanks, Gazza. Time does indeed fly.

      I agree about the similarity in 13a, and I tried to reflect that in the hint. It’s odd, because the the rest of the puzzle is high quality.

  9. Very nice puzzle,6 & 16 D were bung ins initially ,but nice to complete one unaided for a change. A very warm thank you to the setter and Mr K for the hints.
    PS. Cats are not pets, they merely allow you to feed and house them.

  10. **/****. Back on track after a miserable attempt at yesterday’s puzzle. Had to look up 16d as not sure I’ve come across this before. Thanks to Mr K and congrats on your milestone and also to the setter for an enjoyable puzzle.

  11. Nice puzzle, a sprinkling of chestnuts thrown in and a pleasant solve.

    Congrats to Mr K on reaching a substantial milestone – long may it continue. Cheers

    1. Thanks, LbR.

      Since my database doesn’t go back all that far, it’s hard for me to identify chestnuts simply by searching for repeated answers. So, which of today’s clues would you (and Silvanus) regard as chestnuts?

      1. I can’t speak for Silvanus but 19a, 21a, 25a, 4d and possibly 5a & 10a are all familiar constructions.

        I suppose some words lend themselves to a certain type of clue ie idea(l), avid/diva, cr is is, , t i rade, (g)ripe etc…

        Looking forward to throwing IONISATION (which lends itself to nothing and is difficult to succinctly define) at Elkamere to clue later – should be interesting!

              1. Oh, is that succinctly what ionisation means, thanks :smile:

                Taking charge of satellite state over current society?

      2. Yes, LBR’s list would be roughly the same as mine, perhaps 6d could be added too, it used to crop up from time to time normally as an anagram of PHAETONS, so today’s construction is only slightly different.

        1. Interesting about 6d – I had never encountered either the answer or the fodder before today. Thanks.

          1. I think 6d could be described as a “chestnut”, I’ve seen the construct phaetons/stanhope many, many times (in the DT and other publications) since 1970.

  12. A terrific puzzle, even if, as LBR said, there were a few chestnuts in evidence – it is now the meteorological autumn after all! Top marks for the quality of the surfaces.

    My top two clues were 28a and 20d.

    Many thanks to our setter and to Mr K, congratulations on reaching your century.

  13. Thanks to the setter. I enjoyed this very much (even if I do agree with Gazza about 13a). New bit of lingo for me in 28a – am not down with the Antipodeans.

    I’m claiming those 100 for myself, Mr K, since I introduced you to cryptics and blogging, and because people are now calling the cat pictures your signature thing … grr!

    Only joking . Congrats! :yahoo:

    P.S. The pic for 1a looks rather like me when I was a kitten, only I had lighter ears shorter hair.

  14. Not very straight forward. but enjoyed what I could do .Put in 14d knowing it was right but still feel unconvinced by the explanation. Never heard of 16d.and wanted to use a poet renown for his elegy. Probably would not have got 1a, but in scrolling past the picture clues it was immediately obvious. Bit of a personal failure today .

  15. On the tricky side for me but an entertaining puzzle found some clues straightforward others a lot more challenging. 16d completely baffled me and solved by getting the colour from the checkers, still not sure I understand Mr K’s hints for that? Last in 7d should have got that earlier so no excuse for that. Liked the brevity of 12a a neat clue. Should have done better with today’s puzzle just not quite on the radar. Congratulations to Mr K on your century pity it wasn’t timed to coincide with The Chef’s.

    Clues of the day: 9a / 12a

    Rating: 3.5* / 3.5*

    Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

      1. Mr K, well done for reaching your “ton” – your excellent and accurate reviews, including some noteworthy improvements, haven’t gone unnoticed! Your confirmation of 16d reminds me of the 1970s when I used to solve the DT cryptic (and others), then write out/parse each clue as a sort of annotated maths equation to make sure I fully understood it. I still do it when explaining a clue to my goddaughter via a text message.

        1. Thank you, Jose, I appreciate that.

          In the first stage of blog creation I often write parsings in that compact maths style before translating them into plain English.

  16. Phew! 😃 What a relief after Saturday and yesterday’s difficulties. I agree with Mr K **/**** a very pleasant solve 😜 Favourites 9 & 27a & 20d. Thanks to Mr K and congratulations on his century and to the Setter 🤗

  17. Another enjoyable solve today. I did get stuck in the NW corner and had to get the hint for 1a to get me going again.
    I think the carriage in 6d is the same family as Lady Hester, a fascinating lady in her time, most interesting life, and I remember it from her.
    I liked lots here, not sure I can choose a fave, though 28a was smile worthy.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr. K for his usual enlightening review, congrats on the 100th blog.

  18. Could not get going, until i succeeded in the bottom right hand corner and from then on it was a breeze. Very strange. 11a was my fave.
    Thanks to the setter and well done and thanks to MrK for his century.

  19. Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty for the review and hints. A high quantity puzzle which I really enjoyed. I had “alive” for 2d, but couldn’t parse it, obviously in hindsight I was wrong. Managed to drag 16d up from the memory banks. Noticed that “stint” was lurking in 24d, but eventually got the answer. Last in was 10a. Favourite was 11a. Was 3*/4* for me.

        1. I thought that Feast was a great answer. Fast with an e.
          Held me up considerably.
          Most entertainung, thanks

  20. I thought that was an absolute cracker. Only gripe, like others, with 13a.
    16d had to be teased from the wordplay, I am not normally so hot on reversals.
    Thanks Mr.K and the settef

  21. Did much better than yesterday, although needed Mr K’s hint at 6d, never come across that carriage before. And couldn’t unscramble anagram. Didn’t know what I was looking for as the definition in 9a so that held me up until I got enough checkers. And gave up on 11a as just too many playwrights out there. It either sprang to mind or it didn’t. At least 14d did pop right in thank goodness. Most applause for 17d.

  22. We had to check the 6d vehicle and had some head scratching to do for the second word of 16d, but neither caused major delays. Really good fun and much enjoyed. Congratulations on the ton Mr K.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K

  23. Lots of fun to be had here, ** for difficulty about right. Didn’t know the carriage, though I must have seen hundreds of the things in various films and period dramas. Ditto the colour, though in this case what it actually looks like remains a mystery.

  24. Congratulations , Mr K on you centenary , and what a lovely puzzle it was .
    Tricky enough to be entertaining .
    I worked out 16d , though I couldn’t have put in words as to why .
    Thanks to all concerned .

  25. A nice puzzle, this. Not too demanding, but with mostly good clues and a pleasnat solve. I didn’t know the 16d colour, so it was the last one in – after some guessing and research. 2.5* / 3.5*

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