DT 28846 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28846

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28846

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Good morning from Bamburgh where Saint Sharon and I are staying at The Lord Crewe Hotel. After breakfast we are going to Gateshead to see The Sage and The Baltic Mill before we drive back to the grindstone. All good things come to an end.

Today’s puzzle was solved with more than enough bung-ins that fit in with the checking letters. Even so working backwards to unravel the wordplay wasn’t a walk in the park. This is often the case with puzzles by this setter. I do like his puzzles. As I said last week…

Insider information from a very good source tells me that this is the work of the setter known as Dada in The Daily Telegraph and Paul in The Guardian. As usual for this setter some clues need a leap of faith to unravel their mystery but when you see the reasoning it makes a smile appear.

The hints and tips and rambling thoughts are here to help if you need them. The definitions are underlined, and the answers ANSWER lie beneath the greyed out boxes.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    With opener dismissed, more than one drawing lots (6)
OODLES:    Find the plural of a word that means an absent-minded scribble. Remove its first letter (opener dismissed)

5a    Jog by, around border (8)
BOUNDARY:    Anagram (jog) of BY AROUND.

9a    Cursed swindle set up (10)
CONFOUNDED:    Begin with a regular three-lettered word meaning to swindle. Add a word meaning to have set up or established something

10a    A whip cut, I’m sorry to say (4)
ALAS:    Take the letter A which our kindly setter has given to us all. Add a verb meaning to strike with a whip but minus its last letter (cut)

11a    Airmen prepared to be caught by US soldier, writing on the wall (8)
GRAFFITI:    Place the collective abbreviated name for our military airmen together with a verb meaning prepared for action. Place these inside the abbreviation for a regular US soldier

12a    So I’m not convinced (6)
REALLY:    A double definition I think. The first word of the clue can be used emphasise one’s questioning of a statement. The last three words of the clue can be shortened to a one-word expression of doubt

13a    Long bag snipped at both ends (4)
ACHE:    The bag may be a sealed packet containing a small quantity of something. Remove both its first and last letters.

15a    Comprehensive done maintaining order, initially (8)
THOROUGH:    A word meaning done, completed, finished with keeps (maintains) the initial letter of Order.

18a    Orange tongue (8)
MANDARIN:    A type of orange is also one of the main Chinese languages or tongues

19a    Type of rock became hard (4)
GOTH:    Use a word meaning became. The past participle of get will do nicely. Add the abbreviation for hard to find a type of rock music that followed on from punk

21a    Little boy after somewhere for bathing suit (6)
SPADES:    Find a hot aerated mineral spring where one might bathe. Now add the name of a little boy. The word little is telling us that it is a name in its shortened form. The lads Decker and O’Connor may have been called it

23a    Great weight is in wood — stagger (8)
ASTONISH:    Place a twenty hundredweight measure and the word IS inside (in) a type of wood. Snooker cues are often made from this wood

25a    House party? Murder! (2,2)
DO IN:    A house party might be a party at home. Use the two regular two-lettered words used in crosswordland for a party and for at home

26a    Muddle bad, go in and ask for cleaner (6,4)
BAKING SODA:    An anagram (muddle) of the words BAD GO IN and ASK

27a    Centre is repaired privately (2,6)
IN SECRET:    Anagram (repaired) of CENTRE IS

28a    Finish offering loans, capital spent (6)
ENDING:    Find a synonym of loaning. Remove its first letter (capital spent)


2d    Nothing forbidding in reputation (5)
ODOUR:    Start with the letter that looks like nothing. Add an adjective that means relentlessly stern or gloomy in manner or appearance. The resulting word is defined as a lingering quality or impression attaching to something. Every day is a school day. One lives and learns

3d    Radical had been sent off? (4-5)
LEFT-FIELD:    What one would have done if sent off in a football match

4d    Error keeping shed fenced off (4,2)
SHUT IN:    Place a simple shed inside a transgression of divine law

5d    Fraud in equestrian competition? One’s taken to court (9,6)
BADMINTON RACKET:    The equestrian event is held annually in south Gloucestershire and named after the estate it is held on. A fraud is an illegal or dishonest scam. Together these may be taken to a court and used to bash a shuttlecock about the place

6d    Outsider grounded when misbehaving (8)
UNDERDOG:    Anagram (when misbehaving) of GROUNDED

7d    Measure drunk before a play (5)
DRAMA:    A wee measure of Scotch Whisky perhaps is followed by the letter A from the clue

8d    Stuffed by nobleman, Conservative gets a shiner (4,5)
REAR LIGHT:    The side a Conservative is said to lean to is stuffed (has inserted) with a member of the aristocracy

14d    Attempt to suppress principal in Cambridge, light blue (9)
CLAMPDOWN:    A three-part charade. 1. The initial letter (principal) of C[ambridge]. 2. A light on a car or bicycle perhaps 3. A word meaning blue, unhappy or sad.

16d    Broadcast aired, song in order (9)
ORGANISED:    Anagram (broadcast) of AIRED SONG

17d    From pass and save, some goal? (8)
CROSSBAR:    This physical part of the goal in football is made up of a pass of the ball towards the centre and a preposition meaning except for

20d    Position held by Pakistan, certainly (6)
STANCE:    A lurker. Hidden within the words of the clue

22d    Meeting covering new poet (5)
DANTE:    Meeting with a member of the opposite sex contains (covering) the abbreviation for new

24d    Old transporter in which Irishman carries daughter (5)
SEDAN:    The abbreviation for daughter sits inside an Irishman’s name.

Solved and blogged before breakfast.

Quickie Pun: peer+knuckle+larder=piña colada

Found this last night on a thread about weird neighbours. It made me smile so I will share it with y’all

“So I had a neighbour (80yo or more) widowed guy.

Every time I get the newspaper delivered to my mailbox, when I open it, I find the crosswords done (I don’t do them or give a damn).

One day I decided to try to catch who’s doing my crosswords.

Day 1: 8 am, they were already done.

Day 2 : 7:30 am already done.

Day 3: 7am I decide to give up.

One day, 4am, I was getting back home from a night out, while I was passing by the mailbox; nothing yet delivered, so I place my GoPro inside and went sleeping, the next day; FINALLY GOT IT, it was my neighbour, he has done the crosswords right up on my mailbox, for like 10min (I will try to find the video, but it was absolutely cute, staring at my door time to time, and scratching his head). Next day: I took him a 1000 crosswords book, drop it right his door, rang the bell and stayed on my car discretely. He took some time to open the door, then found it, I swear it was the happiest person like a kid that got a puppy. He stayed in his porch and passed like 2 hours doing crosswords then fell asleep lol.

The next day: I was getting back home from work, he came to apologise (like a kid that has to confess something) and brought some cookies. We stayed talking about his WW2 service and how the world changed.

I frequently bought him crosswords books, until he passed away 1 year ago…

May he Rest In Peace.”


57 comments on “DT 28846

  1. My last ones to fall were in the NW corner. Favourite was undoubtedly 8d, although there were several worthy contenders. No walk in the park, this, but thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding to solve.

    Thanks to Dada and MP.

  2. I thought this puzzle was more difficult than normal for a Monday, and like MP’s there were a few bung ins and ‘reverse solving’
    I thought this was an excellent puzzle and a 2.5/4*.
    Liked 14d for its surface and also 17d.
    Thanks all.

  3. Here we go again – first comment disappeared into thin air. Found this a straightforward solve but without any real highlights. Struggled to parse 2d and 3d and 19a was also a bung-in – new one on me. Loved the Quickie pun – cheers! Thank you Dada (?) and MP.

    1. You are correct. I have no means of correcting it at the moment. Perhaps BD will attend to it. The Sage is a wonderful modern building. Quite stunning

  4. No easy start today as thinking cap needed to be firmly in place before getting the show on the road . However , had a fast finish with 2D last in which , in my opinion , is a bit iffy ( rhymes with sniffy appropriately ) .
    Lots of great clues to admire and relish so cannot pick a favourite .
    Thanks to everyone yet again especially M & S in Gateshead .

  5. Some head scratching required with a couple of Hmms and raised eyebrows (do they equal GMoLI’s leap of faith?) for completion at a fast canter – ***/***.

    Favourite 17d.

    Thanks to Dada and GMoLI.

  6. These Monday puzzles are tough for me – I just don’t seem to be on Dada’s wavelength….still, some great clues and all fair and above board, so no complaints! 14d was last in and favourite….

  7. No problems to report here. The odd iffy surface jarred a little – 15a, for example doesn’t read particularly well to me.

    Many thanks to Dada and MP

  8. As some find, I am not quite on Dada’s wavelength. This doesn’t make the puzzles easy so it’s a 4 * for me. I can get most of the answers but parsing them is not easy. 4 * for enjoyment as lots of “doh” moments.
    As an aside I think the hint for 22d maybe considered a bit discriminatory by people such as me who date the same sex!. No offence taken.
    Thanks Dada and MP

  9. Hmm, I had to work a bit to complete this one. A worthy challenge for sure.
    I’ll go with 19a as favourite.
    Thanks to Dada, and to MP for the review and story.

  10. A very enjoyable challenge. Like some others, a number of reverse parsings of bung-ins. I particularly liked 1a, 21a, 23a, 3d, 8d, and 17d. 14d was my winner because ‘principal’ deflected me. At first I thought it was redundant, but then saw it applied to the first of Cambs–nice misdirection. Well, it misdirected me, anyway..

  11. Best Monday for a while I thought as I am usually not keen on this setters puzzles. My only slight gripe was with 12a, very weak I thought, needs a leap of faith to fully parse. 2d was a new definition for me but I did like 21a and my personal fav 17d.
    Thx to all

    1. Hi Brian.

      I was supposed to reply to your comment here but accidentally did it as a separate post (below Orphan Annie, no 20)

  12. if this weird neighbour died in 2017 aged 87 – he would have been 10 years old in 1940 — his world war 2 service ?

  13. I loved this, it kept me occupied for ages without ever feeling it was “above my pay grade”. Favourites today were 5d and 8d.
    Thanks to Dada and MP.

  14. I don’t normally get on with Dada, but with some wild guesses today managed all but 2 and 4 down. 4 down, when I saw the hint was obvious, but I still don’t really get 2 down.

    Thanks for the hints MP, and Dada for the puzzle.

  15. Sorry but I could not solve this without an awful lot of help from MP ****/** 😫So thanks to him and to Dada. 🤗 Quite liked 11 & 12a

  16. Like others I also often struggle with Dada but today a lot more on the radar. Excellent puzzle with quite a few smiles and really enjoyed it. Got off to a slow start but once under way it started to come together. First in 11a last in 19a a bit of a bung in along with 2d and needed the blog to parse both and forgot about what followed punk in the world of rock. Lots of very good clues difficult to pick the stars today.

    Clues of the day: 9a / 5d / 8d

    Rating: 3* / 4*

    Thanks to MP and Dada.

  17. ***/****. I always find these puzzles a challenge but also very rewarding. A lot of reverse engineering needed which produced a few smiles as the lights went on. 2d needed a definition search but it had to be right. 8d was my favourite. Thanks to Dada and MP for the review.

  18. Greetings from the cupboard under the stairs where I am residing along with a ginormous box of tissues. I fear my crossword days are coming to a close as most days I am unable to make much progress. Monday was always a good day but since Rufus retired I am defeated. Thanks to Miffypops and Dada for baffling me once again.

    1. Don’t give up, Annie. I have many days when I fear I’m losing it, then a good wavelength one comes along and it boosts the morale. Paige once posted that you struggle to solve as a beginner, then you get the bit between your teeth and run with them, then the unravelling when the ancient cells slow down. Reminds me of Shakespeare’s stages of man.

  19. Doesn’t ‘so’ in 12a mean…”It was ‘so’ exciting”, ie It was ‘******’ exciting?

  20. On hols in Crete, 1a of sunshine today! Lovely crossword, but found 12a and 8d a bit tricky to parse. Shouldn’t nobleman and conservative have been the other way round?? Thanks to setter and hints…

  21. I agree, M’pops, so many bung-ins, parsing was really difficult. I got 14d wrong as I put “crack” as the first part, not really “getting” some of the bung-ins, I just assumed it was me being thick! It didn’t ‘alf make a mess of 21a.
    By and large it was very enjoyable, even though I had to use too much electronic help for my taste. It was the SW corner that held me up the most.
    I’m so ancient, I still find the spelling of the second word in 5d a bit strange.
    I think my fave is 8d but many others could have qualified.
    Many thanks to Dada and to M’pops for sorting my answers out.

    P.S. Loved the story!

  22. Managed to complete this one without your help Miffypops. Interesting game on Saturday. Our defence went AWOL in the first half but came back in the second. We got two BP but your lads deserved the win. Looking forward to the return at our place.
    BTW I gave your supporters group a pennant from Bedford Rugby Followers. Paul took a photo.

  23. I did most of this at lunchtime before spending the afternoon gardening in glorious weather. Completely stuck on 13a (thanks Mr Miffypops for the answer, nice). 3d and 17d were right over my head and I do so agree with Merusa over racket. Taint fittin’. I just live the quickie pun.

  24. I am with the ones who struggled with this, but happily enjoyed miffypops help as I imagined him writing in Bamburgh and then off to Gateshead, all my own stamping grounds. Thank you Dada, (will I ever understand you?) and Miffypops

  25. No write-in this week, a ** for difficulty about right. I was never stuck, but never flying either, just steadily trundling along throughout.

  26. Not on my wavelength yet again. Too much checking to do. I am seriously thinking of joining Orphan Annie in the cupboard with the tissues. Thanks to all. Say goodbye to my homeland MP and have a safe trip home.

  27. I got 1 answer, the obvious anagram at 27, the rest of the clues were meaningless. Toughies are easier than this.
    I have actually found a setter who is more incomprehensible than Ray-T.
    I shall enjoy going through the hints.

    1. Hi MP, I think you mean ‘Cambridge’ not ‘Conservative’.
      Thanks for the hints, miles above my solving abilities.

        1. Hi Hoofit. My advice not to read the clues has led to the error at 14d. That and wanting a cup of tea, muesli, grapefruit and honey on toast for breakfast. Clues have definition and wordplay. The definition usually comes at the beginning or the end of the clue. They will often give an answer (a bung in). The wordplay asks you to do something. Sort the definition from the wordplay and you are halfway there. Break the clues up. I hope that will help.

  28. Hello Kell. I never use the star ratings and would be happy for them to be removed on Monday’s. Whilst being far from a genius I do have an ability to solve anagrams quickly and an ability to fill the spaces between checking letters. I often put an answer in without reading the clue. It is rarely wrong. 8d and 14d went in like that. That’s what a lifetime of solving cryptics and quickies does for you. Please don’t be discouraged. Look and learn.

  29. Very tough Monday again. Really miss the old gentle Monday starts to the week. Struggled with this, mostly because I cannot seem to get on the setters wavelength, but a few were a bit obscure, and several definitely fell into the reverse solving box. At least I remembered that suit isn’t necessarily something you wear. And I thought the scribbling hinted at in 1a was jotting, duh, so that threw a spanned in the works.

  30. Nah, there’s lots of us that struggle at times, probably even more that never comment. I have good days and bad days, but always learn something.

  31. Not a walk in the park but got there with Miffypops help for quite a few. I think I am beginning to get a grip with Dada’s style and am enjoying the Monday tussle.
    Hope you enjoyed Northumberland. I went on many hols there as a child and stayed in a little cottage just behind the Lord Crewe. The art in the Baltic can be a bit too modern for me and I don’t always understand some of the exhibits there but I alway enjoy the viewing platform where yiu can watch the Kittiwakes.

  32. The ratings have been a fundamental part of his site since its inception and I have no intention of changing that. I set the values for this puzzle in good faith – but they have only ever been subjective rather than objective. Feel free to give your own assessment.

  33. Oh dear – very late, very out of routine and very tired after an extremely busy/chaotic weekend.
    I really enjoyed this one and I agree with those who didn’t find it easy.
    1a was my last answer – no excuses really – just totally the wrong interpretation which would take too long to explain now.
    Lots of good clues so thanks to Dada for the crossword and to MP for the hints.

  34. Thanks to Dada and to Miffypops for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much. Some really good clues, I must have been on the right wavelength because I found it quite straightforward. Favourite was 14d, took a while for the penny to drop. Was 2*/4* for me. Great start to the week. I’m back in the Smoke now after a great 9 days in Langdale.

  35. That was 6 more than me.
    Ignore the star ratings. I found last Saturday’s straight-forward, many struggled and yet I could do none of this. They are only one person’s view of the puzzle and should be seen as just that.

  36. 3*/4*…found this one a little tricky for some reason.
    Clue for 25A reads like a synopsis for a whodunnit.

  37. PS -viz a viz Miffypop’s story re crossword books, it may be of interest that the Telegraph cryptic crossword books are a rerun of puzzles that are about 9 years old and one can still access the Big Dave blogs that relate to them…ie puzzle no 78 in the DT book no 9 was DT puzzle no 26043-type Big Dave 26043 into Bing and you have the blog for the puzzle that appeared on 25th September 2009.

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