DT 28839 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28839

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28839

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 8th September 2018

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

It is nice to see that, under the new editor, the Saturday Prize Puzzles have increased in difficulty and, consequently, enjoyment. I’ve checked and the Saturday puzzles now take me longer than most days’ Toughies (apart from Fridays) which is good for Saturday solving but I’m not quite sure what it says about the Toughies.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Cloth that’s small for top of beer mug (10)
SEERSUCKER – Replace the B at the ‘top’ of BEER with S for Small and add a SUCKER (mug)

6a    Prevent onset of bee sting (4)
BARB – BAR (prevent) B (the onset of Bee – another do something with a ‘first letter’ clue)

10a    Brand of computer program mostly needed for this product (5)
APPLE – Most of an APPLEt (computer program)

11a    Improve a financial centre’s dishonesty (9)
MENDACITY – MEND (improve) A (from the clue) CITY (financial centre)

12a    Wreck right to enter depot going round and round? (7)
TORPEDO – R (right) to enter a reversal (going round) of DEPOT, the result followed with O (round letter)

13a    Overall, Henman’s head over heels in love (7)
SMITTEN – A reversal (head over heels) of NET (overall) TIMS (Tim Henman’s)

14a    One engaged by president is put in to stop gloating over victory (12)
TRIUMPHALIST – I (one) engaged by or inserted into President TRUMP and then IS (from the clue) is put into HALT (stop)

18a    Incredible story Wilde’s valet fabricated after love (3,5,4)
OLD WIVES TALE – O (love) followed by an anagram (fabricated) of WILDES VALET

21a    What might keep a listener warm? (7)
EARFLAP – A large part of the DT’s Saturday solving population probably, like me, looked at the clue and wrote in ‘earmuff’. This doesn’t work for two reasons – one an earmuff keeps two ‘listeners’ warm and secondly the linked solution to 22d starts with a P not an F

23a    East German with lots of money, one sticking their head in the sand? (7)
OSTRICH – OST (The German word for East) and RICH (with lots of money)

24a    I’ll deliver crude oil with barter (9)
LIBERATOR – An anagram (crude) of OIL and BARTER

25a    Tree having been around longer (5)
ELDER – Double definition time

26a    Small, ultimately stunted and unwanted plant (4)
WEED – Ultimately stunted indicates the need to remove the final letter from WEEDy (small)

27a    Food served here is appetiser, fresh, penny off (10)
PATISSERIE – An anagram (fresh) of APPETISER once you have removed (off) one P for penny)


1d    What might be sung in shed (6)
SHANTY – a song sung by sailors or a roughly built shed

2d    Make effort to restrain piano virtuoso (6)
EXPERT – EXERT (make effort) to ‘restrain’ P (piano)

3d    Kit that’s sillier yet working without batteries (5-9)
SIEGE-ARTILLERY – An anagram (working) of SILLIER YET goes ‘without’ or outside GEAR (kit)

4d    Clegg’s friend certain to show calmness (9)
COMPOSURE – One for people who know the TV series Last of the Summer Wine – Clegg’s friend was, of course, COMPO who should be followed by SURE (certain)

5d    Olympic medallist taking time off from sport (5)
ENNIS – Jess ENNIS (now Ennis-Hill) is easily obtained by taking off the T for Time from tENNIS (sport)

7d    Miss flying air taxi that’s set out about five (8)
AVIATRIX – An anagram (that’s set out) of AIR TAXI about V (the Roman numeral for five)

8d    Sticking weapons in horse set on running (8)
BAYONETS – BAY (horse) plus an anagram (running) of SET ON

9d    They’re often blocks landlords with money to invest put up front (7,7)
CAPITAL LETTERS – LETTERS (landlords) go after (up front) CAPITAL (money to invest)

15d    Scent what Presbyterians oppose vocally (9)
POTPOURRI – Is potpourri necessarily a ‘scent’? Do you pronounce it in the same way the late Reverend Paisley would have said this hostile term for Roman Catholics?

16d    We locals prepared salad (8)
COLESLAW – An anagram (prepared) of WE LOCALS

17d    Lovely fit girl comes in (8)
ADORABLE – DORA (girl) comes into ABLE (fit)

19d    Stop back (6)
HINDER – A verb meaning to stop or a [Scottish] adjective meaning back

20d    Attack daily grind enthusiastically at first (6)
CHARGE – CHAR (daily cleaner) and the first letters of Grind and Enthusiastically

22d    One old prime minister or another gets a kind of bread (5)
PITTA – You can chose one of two old prime ministers – PITT the Elder or PITT the Younger, but whichever one you go for, just add A from the clue at the end

5 comments on “DT 28839

  1. Thanks for the explanations especially for 10a . The answer seemed too obvious to me as I did not know the program .

    Agree that prize puzzles should not be easy and this one set a good example . 15d , among others , caused a reaction which is a sign of difficulty .

  2. thanks for the detailed review, CS. I resisted the earmuff temptation! Struggled with the parsing for siege artillery, my LOI, and I thought the GK required was just a tad too much – Ennis, Clegg, hmmm. A fine puzzle overall, though, sothanks to the setter – and I loved potpourri, made me laugh anyway!

  3. Had this puzzle on the go for a week or so. & gave up today. Usually we can do them ok eventually & enjoy then. But this one was awful & just made us angry! Glad the recent ones have been taxing but enjoyable

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