DT 28852 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28852


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28852

Hints and tips by a little furry Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Good morning from the pulsating heart of Downtown LI where the waxing gibbous Moon shines above the shenanigans below. The annual fight with the squirrels over the walnuts is underway. I’d win if Saint Sharon stopped hiding the air rifle pellets, but she does hide them. Bless her little cotton socks.

Today’s puzzle was set by The Daily Telegraph’s Puzzles and Crossword editor Chris Lancaster. I found it a good fun solve. I liked the food suggested at 1 across. I had these as a starter and a main course in Glasgow last year. I would have had them as a dessert too if I could. I also like the meat suggested at 25 down when served at The Craven Arms and Cruck Barn in Appletreewick. There was much to savour between these two clues. Monday’s puzzles are a bloggers delight.

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 solutions.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Strong jump to follow marine creature, we hear (6-5)
MUSCLE-BOUND: A jump follows a homophone of a marine creature. Is it a homophone if it is an exact replication of a word but with a different spelling? The marine creature in question is edible. Ooh yes it is indeed edible. Nom nom.

9a    Cheat dealer? (4-5)
CARD-SHARP: One who cheats in order to win money using a deck of fifty-two specially prepared sequentially numbered bits of paper

10a    Question model (5)
POSER: A double definition. A difficult question or who sits as a model.

11a    Make priest fix radio before noon (6)
ORDAIN: Anagram (fix) of RADIO followed by the abbreviation for noon

12a    One favouring trees all over the place? (8)
FORESTER: One favouring is not one against. Add an anagram (all over the place) of TREES

13a    Book flight (6)
EXODUS: The book is biblical and appears early in the Old Testament


15a    Officer‘s information on armed criminal (8)
GENDARME: A three-lettered synonym of information is followed by an anagram (criminal) of ARMED

18a    Remake of ET, anyhow, is in progress (2,3,3)
ON THE WAY: Anagram (remake of) E T ANYHOW

19a    Bad detectives legged it first (6)
RANCID: Begin with a three-letter term meaning legged it. Add the regular abbreviation for the detectives from The Criminal Investigation Department

21a    What a footballer usually won’t want for free (8)
TRANSFER: A cryptic definition of the term used when a footballer moves from one club to another. A professional footballer may move between clubs for a fee of which he will be paid a percentage or for nothing with no percentage payment. The second is not what the footballer would want

23a    Check rower’s bench (6)
THWART: This double definition is a winner in the game of hangman. The second definition is the rarer of the two.

26a    Let on about John? (5)
ELTON: Anagram (about) of LET ON.

27a    Stop country curse (9)
DAMNATION: A stop of water in a river perhaps is followed by a synonym of a country

28a    ‘Act proper’ for man celebrating to some extent (11)
PERFORMANCE: A very clever lurker hidden within the words of the clue and indicated by the words to some extent


1d    This person’s upset about dress that’s very small (7)
MICROBE: Reverse (upset) the way a setter would say “I am”. Add the abbreviation for circa which means about in Latin. Add a synonym for a dress or gown.

2d    Mum, visibly embarrassed? A bit (5)
SHRED: Mum means keep quiet. Here it is used as a teacher might to quieten a class. This is followed by the colour we turn when embarrassed.

3d    Tiredness of girl on ‘The X Factor’ due to dance (9)
LASSITUDE: Begin with a word meaning a girl. Add what is known as the X Factor. Add an anagram (to dance) of DUE.

4d    Black 2 in card game (4)
BRAG: Begin with the abbreviation for Black. Add an example of what the answer to 2d is. An important rule here is that a number written out in full is a number, but a number written as digits frequently refers to the number of another clue.

5d    Like flatbread, perhaps, not made to stick (8)
UNPROVEN: Flatbread uses no yeast and does not rise and can be described by the answer to this clue. An accusation not being made to stick (particularly in a court of law) can also be described by the answer.

6d    Swindle involving Republican, one on the (big) fiddle? (2,3)
DU PRÉ: A verb meaning to swindle, trick or deceive has the abbreviation of Republican inserted to give the name of a great cellist who sadly passed away at a young age. Is a cello a big violin?

7d    Source of hot air exposed in Scottish town (7)
AIRDRIE: A source of hot air used for drying one’s locks has its first and last letters removed

8d    Mysterious drunk seen in East Morecambe? (8)
ESOTERIC: A three-lettered word for a drunk sits between the abbreviation for East and the first name of a comedian with the surname Morecambe

14d    People rejected unfashionable actors on first part of show (8)
OUTCASTS: Begin with a word meaning unfashionable. Add the list of players performing in a play. Add the initial letter of the word show. I am unsure of what to underline as a definition here so I have left it for BD to sort [which he has done!]

16d    Strange paradigm about hospital displaying body part (9)
DIAPHRAGM: Anagram (strange) of PARADIGM which also uses the abbreviation for hospital.

17d    Exotic dancer welcomes a student for series of dates (8)
CALENDAR: Anagram (exotic) of DANCER which includes the letter A from the clue and the abbreviation for learner

18d    Endless meatloaf served up as breakfast food (7)
OATMEAL: Anagram (served up) of MEATLOA (meatloaf minus its last letter as indicated by the word endless)

20d    Deem the end — then, oddly, a lessening of tensions (7)
DETENTE: Sift out the odd numbered letters from the first four words of the clue if written together with no spaces between words

22d    Dawn‘s a star at university (3-2)
SUN-UP: The star nearest to earth is followed by a word used to denote somebody is at University

24d    A Welsh girl from somewhere out east (5)
ASIAN: Begin with the letter A from the clue. Add a girl’s name popular in Wales.

25d    Something to shoot unlimited meat (4)
AMMO: A popular meat has its first and last letters removed (unlimited)

RIP Boris. For real this time.

Quickie Pun: pork+ewe+pine=porcupine


56 comments on “DT 28852

    1. Welcome to the blog Annemarie

      Please remember that any crossword “rule” can be broken at any time! It’s a percentage game – like “one’s” is the rule instead of “your” in phrases like “on one’s own”.

        1. I did write this in 2015 though

          The rules of completion according to Miffypops

          Rule 1. There are no rules

          Rule 2. See rule one

          There is much satisfaction gained upon completion of a cryptic crossword puzzle whatever your level of competence. Grizzled old campaigners will need little or no help due to their expertise having been gained over many years. Newcomers may be baffled by the simplest of clues.

          A completed grid is a completed grid and I don’t much care howsoever anybody gets there. The more experienced you are the less help you should need.

          Beginners should feel free to use to anything and everything to achieve completion, dictionaries, encyclopaedia, an atlas, books of crossword lists, and of course the internet. I have spent a couple of hours looking with amazement at just how much help is out there on the World Wide Web including this very blog itself.

          Scribble away in the newspaper margins or use a notepad. Make little circles of anagram fodder. Write a succession of dashes, put in your checkers and play with the clues to your hearts content

          Regard these aids as crutches, helping you along. With time and experience and a good memory it should be possible to throw these crutches away little by little as one becomes more proficient. For example, once someone learns to recognise how anagrams work i.e. Indicator, fodder and definition they really ought to stop using the anagram solver and work them out for themselves. One by one the aids should fall away until you sit there pencil-less with a quickly self-completed puzzle and think “Now what shall I do” as you reach for the toughie and contemplate volunteering to review puzzles for Big Dave.

          Happy solving to you all however you do it.

  1. Well this was a shoot from the hip puzzle ,sharp cluing throughout- bung in the definition then work out the parsing-I enjoyed the solve and agree with MP that it was fun.
    6d would have been difficult if you had not heard of the cellist .
    This crossword must hold the record for the longest lurker.
    Hard to pick a favourite ,going for 1a.7d

      1. There’s a Google search thing at the top right – just type in ‘statistics about lurkers’ or any other question you have about something on the blog and 99 times out of a hundred (now there’s a statistic) you’ll find what you do or don’t really want to know

  2. The answer to 6d was an amazing virtuoso. I agree died far too young. At least s/he left lots of wonderful recordings.

    1. Yes indeed and IMO outstanding amongst those recordings is her performance of the Elgar Cello Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Sir John Barbirolli. It moves me deeply every time I listen to it.

  3. Very nice gentle start to the week. 23a is a bit of a technical term, fortunately I knew it. I liked 25d and 7d. My favourite was 6d. It seems to be true that the good die young. I should be here for some time on that basis.

  4. A good enjoyable start to the work week, completed at a gallop – **/***.

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 23a, and 1d – and the winner is 1a.

    Thanks to CL and GMoLI.

  5. A nicely balanced puzzle. 7d and 23a stumped me but with hindsight I should have got them! Besides that, for me at least, enjoyable and straightforward enough.

    It gets ***/****, with 25d and 27a as favourites.

    Thanks to setter and Miffypops for the help.

  6. That’s more like it after what were for me a couple of mindbending days last week. West was more straightforward than the East. Once solved my Fav was certainly 6d although I must admit to having had to seek outside help to get it. ‘Not made to stick’ in 5d seems a bit far-fetched. Bench in 23a new to me. Thank you CL and MP.

  7. Interesting puzzle from our Crossword Editor and I had a ridiculously ‘dim’ moment over the parsing of 4d. That and the Scottish town were the last to fall.

    Top marks went to 8d.

    Thanks to CL and to MP for the blog.

  8. Thanks to Dada? And to Miffypops for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, a good start to the week. Found it very tricky, needed the hints for 6&24d. Hadn’t heard of the cellist, and could only think of Di as the Welsh girl. Also needed the hints to parse 7d. Had to Google 23a, never heard of that either. Liked 21a, but my favourite was 8d. Was 4*/3* for me.

  9. Very entertaining, some very straightforward clues (like 10a) that befit a Monday puzzle, with quite a few others that needed a little head scratching.

    My top three clues were 12a, 6d and 7d.

    Many thanks to Mr Ed and the little furry one.

  10. Think I made hard work of this a bit like ‘can’t see the wood for the trees’ and took an age trying to get on the right wavelength and felt sure this was a typical Monday Dada puzzle? As MP said a while ago, something like ‘I just did what the clue asked me to do’ think there’s a lesson there not to look too deep into the clue? First in 9a and last in 21a that was so obvious really but couldn’t see it. Once I got going it went well and enjoyed it.

    Clue of the day: 1a / 7d

    Rating: 3.5* / 3.5*

    Thanks to MP and Mr L.

  11. I’ll swap you some of my hazel nuts for some of your walnuts – and I am with you on squirrels and moules. I stupidly put minimum for 1d ( which would actually fit the clue) and that threw me for 9 and 11a. Thanks Mr M (why furry?) for putting me right.

  12. Just 23a’ed by 23a as I have never heard of a rowers bench. Sounds like another ‘crossword only word where nothing else will fit word’.
    Very enjoyable today, beautiful day today in London.
    Thanks all

  13. What a lovely start to the week 😃 A brilliant crossword and a blog containing my favourite Lonnie Donegan song and a a hilarious Eric & Ernie sketch 🤗 and to cap it all 🌞 ***/**** Favourites too many to list but 23, 27a and 3 & 24d are up there 😉 Big thank you to MP and to Chris Lancaster

  14. I had a dreadful time in the NE corner. It all began with my confidently ending 9a with a ‘k’ (I think that’s the second time I’ve done that in the last little while). I’m not quite sure how the flatbread works in 5d, and I didn’t get the Scottish town. Most disappointingly, I did not get the big fiddler in 6d which I thought was a wonderful clue, and I am kicking myself for missing it. However, by that time I was up the proverbial creek. I’m sorry, and with thanks to all, but this was not my puzzle at all.

    1. Tony,
      5d bread has to ‘prove’ to rise if that’s your query??
      Prove means put in a warmish oven I think so it does not kill the yeast.

        1. If you don’t give the dough enough “proving” time your bread will turn out flat.

          Doesn’t everyone watch The Great British Bake Off?

            1. Lady LBR watches it for inspiration as to what, seemingly, to destroy at the weekend.

              If you don’t hear from me for a while, Madam has probably read this post and given me pommers’ tea -tray therapy.

  15. I found this very hard to get on wavelength, but once I got it, it was super.
    I didn’t know the card game at 4d but I knew the Scottish town, and missed the cellist at 6d. Shame on me, she was so brilliant, how could I forget her?
    Fave, but not totally sure, was the Welsh girl.
    Thanks to CL and to M’pops for an entertaining Monday morning.

  16. Lurkers should be banned on a Monday, especially 11 letter jobs. And if I may refer to the Quick Crossword, I think the answer to 12a is disrespectful to ‘traders’ some of whom are quite honest.

  17. Great start to the week. An excellent puzzle from Mr L with some sharp cluing involved. 17d was my favourite.
    Thanks to CL, and to the ‘little furry one’ ? Blimey……

  18. Bottom half went in pretty smoothly, apart from 23a. Was certain 9a ended in a K so that messed me up. (Actually it ends in P in the UK, but with a K in the US, Canada and Australia, guess I’ve been here too long). Thanks to Miffypops for the hints, especially 4d, and to Mr Lancaster for the puzzle.

  19. A good puzzle that I found to be somewhat on the tricky side. At the close I was left struggling with 4d (which I should have got straight off), 23ac (not knowing the second, rarer definition), and my LOI 7d – geography, and Scottish geography in particular, not being my strong suit.

  20. Only one word from me to describe this horror – horrible!
    Finished with help from the clues but only for curiosity sake.
    Zero enjoyment for me.
    Thx for the hints

  21. Comments from my phone won’t work so trying on this steam driven laptop.

    Nice puzzle I struggled a bit but took Miffypops advice and found a way to solve in whatever manner I could.
    9a and 5d both had wrong terminal letters for a while. The card game the cellist and the scottish town proved the most elusive but fell after a few circles of fodder and dash checker dash checker ing.
    18d fave today and is recommended as a coating for kippers or a bit of crunch in raspberries and cream (aka Cranachan)
    I agree with Miffypops that any way to solve is fair game but the best way is to come here for some fine hints and amusing chat from bloggers setters and commenters alike.

  22. Most enjoyable – so many made me smile & so many head scratchers. Pleased you supplied some tidy up points eg G (ammo) n – Elton John was my lightbulb moment. VG love this site.

  23. I have just completed Monday’s crossword and I have a question to ask about 5 Down.

    For UNPROVEN I entered UNPROVED. I suspect this be incorrect as no-one else in
    the blog has mentioned this possibility. Would my solution be acceptable?

      1. I thought it was unproved that was the word applied to bread and that unproven was to do with Scottish law meaning not sure whether the person is guilty or innocent.

        1. Thank you both very much for your helpful replies.

          I think the verdict in Scots Law is normally given as ‘not proven’ and this probably influenced my decision to go for UNPROVED. I didn’t know that UNPROVEN was the only term which applied to bread.

          In the past, some newspapers gave solutions which allowed for alternatives – in this case
          (if either word was really possible) D/N would have been printed in the last square of the solution in the grid.

          Alternative solutions seem to be quite common – particularly in Quick Crosswords.
          I wish the old practice could be revived!

  24. As usual – gave me a very enjoyable Sunday, whilst also watching snooker on the box !! Many thanks, guys !! :)

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