DT 28853 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28853

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28853

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***


Hello, everyone.  I thought this puzzle was more straightforward than recent Tuesday offerings, despite having only four anagrams, no lurkers, and no multiple definitions.  I look forward to reading your assessments of it.

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions.  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.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



5a    Greek character hosting a dance (7)
LAMBADA:  A character in the Greek alphabet containing (hosting) A from the clue

7a    A role not being taken into account (5)
APART:  A from the clue is followed by a role in a play or a film, for example

9a    Groups of workers across English river (6)
GANGES:  Some groups of workers containing (across) a single letter abbreviation for English

10a   Form of verse member of the clergy abridged, then cut (8)
CLERIHEW:  A (6) member of the clergy without its last letter (abridged) followed by cut with an axe, for example.  Read about this form of verse here

11a   Check popular page in part of paper (10)
INSPECTION:  Put together the usual suspect for popular and an abbreviation for page inserted in a part of a newspaper 

13a   Ruin atmosphere in retreat (4)
DOOM:  The reversal (in retreat) of atmosphere or feeling

14a   Game chap who delivers, opening in second innings (8,5)
POSTMAN'S KNOCK:  Stick together the chap who delivers letters, the first letter of (opening in) SECOND, and an informal crickety word for a player’s innings with the bat.  Click here for an explanation of the game.

16a   Appear in court before foremost of magistrates (4)
SEEM:  Court or date comes before the first letter of (foremost of) MAGISTRATES 

17a   They may relieve tension in derby as row breaks out (5,5)
WORRY BEADS:  An anagram (… breaks out) of DERBY AS ROW

19a   Female diarist shot, gets immediate attention (5,3)
FIRST AID:  Glue together the abbreviation for female and an anagram (shot) of DIARIST

20a   Accepted elderly must imbibe red, mostly (6)
AGREED:  A synonym of elderly contains (must imbibe) all but the last letter (…mostly) of RED from the clue

22a   Private detective I use is rubbish! (2,3)
MY EYE:  This interjection expressing disagreement could, with the (3) read as an informal term for a private detective (it's in the BRB), be a reference to the private investigator one uses

23a   For example, leader of group, chief boffin (7)
EGGHEAD:  Assemble the usual abbreviation for ‘for example’, the first letter of (leader of) GROUP, and a chief or boss



1d    Complacent son, soft touch (4)
SMUG:  Join together the abbreviation for son and a soft touch or dupe

2d    Covers one with peppery seeds (8)
CAPSICUM:  Cement together covers or lids, the Roman one, and a Latin word meaning 'with'.  The creator of this censored graduation cake did not know that's what it means

3d    Adjusted TV near bar (6)
TAVERN:  An anagram (adjusted) of TV NEAR

4d    Mate in Italian city hugging daughter -- Anna, perhaps (10)
PALINDROME:  A mate or friend, IN from the clue, and the capital of Italy containing (hugging) the abbreviation for daughter.  Anna is a definition by example (…perhaps) of the answer

5d    Acquire a knowledge of humorist and knight (5)
LEARN:  Fuse together Edward the humorist and the chess symbol for a knight

6d    Where lots go to join game (7,6)
AUCTION BRIDGE:  The place where lots go to be sold is followed by join or connect.  The game is explained here

8d    Article on pitch in Gibraltar (3,4)
THE ROCK:  A grammatical article preceding (on, in a down clue) pitch like a ship at sea

12d   New spares sent round have to meet a required standard (4,6)
PASS MUSTER:  An anagram (new) of SPARES containing (sent round) a word meaning ‘have to’

14d   Cover charge? (7)
PREMIUM:  A cryptic definition of the charge for insurance coverage

15d   Left fabulous ship south of central island (3,5)
KEY LARGO:  The single letter for left and Jason’s fabulous ship both come after (south of, in a down clue) central or essential

17d   Treacherous type in West stand (6)
WEASEL:  Put together the compass abbreviation for west and an artist’s stand

18d   The old man ringing about object of fear (5)
DREAD:  Another informal term for ‘the old man’ containing (ringing) the usual short word for about or concerning

21d   Artist capturing male bird that can't fly (4)
RHEA:  The usual artist containing (capturing) a male pronoun


Thanks to the setter for an enjoyable solve  My favourite today was 12d.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  PAY + TREE + ARCS = PATRIARCHS

36 comments on “DT 28853

  1. At first sight I thought this was going to be quite tricky, but once I got started, it went in fairly evenly and I completed it in well inside my personal target time. I liked 10a because it’s a nice word also 14a, 2d and 4d with 12d in gold medal position. All very enjoyable.

    1. Thank you!

      I did know those (a long misspent youth?) but it’s been some time since I’ve heard 14a. Bit of a memory test today.

  2. 1.5* / 3*. This proved to be a light but pleasant reintroduction to the crosswording world after a couple of glorious weeks in Crete. I see from a quick look back at some of the blog comments left while I was away that David P was also in Crete at the same time as me. If you are reading this, David, where were (are) you staying? We were in Anissaras on the north of the island on the coast just east of Heraklion.

    The cricketer in me picks 14a as my favourite, although I must add that we don’t indulge in 14a at any of the cricket matches I play in. 12d ran it close in second place.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and Mr K.

    1. Lovely to see you back amongst us, RD, you have been much missed.
      Bet you’ve booked Crete again for next year!

      1. Thank you, Jane. I can’t say I’m pleased to be back particularly as it was a mere 25C lower than Crete when I woke here this morning, but I have missed the blog!

  3. I do enjoy the Tuesday puzzles from this setter – not overly difficult, sprinkled with humour and having decent surface reads.

    I think 5a has only entered my vocabulary courtesy of crosswords. Sadly, not a bit of knowledge that can be worked into the majority of conversations!

    Plenty of podium contenders but I think 22a & 12d surface above the rest – with a personal mention for my favourite dance at 5a. I remember one glorious night many moons ago………….

    Many thanks to today’s Mr Ron and to Mr K for a great blog with all his usual much-appreciated links to further info. Have to admit that I didn’t delve too far into the one for 6d!

      1. Oops – no, I meant to refer to 10a as the ‘crossword’ addition to my vocab. Obviously got too carried away with recollections of 5a!

  4. **/*** from my perspective – about the right difficulty, but a bit drab and lacking wit.

    I can forgive myself for not getting 10a or 15d, but the rest fell into place without much fuss or fanfare.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K for the hints.

  5. Agreed with Mr K on the **/*** rating, the only thing I didn’t like was the grid !
    Remembered 10a from the recesses and struggled to solve 14a even when I had the two Ks in place- then the penny dropped.
    23a across seems to occur with great regularity these days.
    Liked 15d and 12d-oh and the quickie pun.
    Thanks Mr K for the parsing of 2d,Latinwas never a strong subject for me.

  6. A pleasant solve with no real brain teasers. Liked 14d and 14a which I dimly failed to fathom on my tod and had forgotten 10a. Thank you Mysteron and MrK.

  7. A very straightforward and comfortable solve this morning. 14a will have to go down as my favourite, and overall this was an enjoyable and pleasant puzzle. Despite the sunshine, Mrs YS insisted that I should light the Aga yesterday, so summer has definitely ended for us.

    Thanks to both Misters.

  8. Never heard of 10a.

    I had CrEvIcEs in there as it fitted the checking letters – and a crevice is a sort of cut in the land, and it had an anagram of ‘verse’ and also ‘rev’ as the abridged member of the clergy.

    But it had some letters left over and used others multiple times so I wasn’t particularly convinced !

    Now I’ve written this, hopefully I’ll remember the answer for the next time it crops up.

  9. A nice easy solve whilst sitting in a hospital waiting room with my daughter. Miss Hamer told me that my years of Latin would stand me in good stead but I don’t imagine she was thinking of crosswords! I laughed at 4 down, what a delicious clue. I liked the quickie pun also. Many thanks to all.

  10. Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the review and hints. I enjoyed what I could do, but found it very difficult. Couldn’t see a lot of the definitions. Never heard of 10a, didn’t now the Latin in 2d, couldn’t get 9,13,14a and 4d. Not my day. Was 4*/2* for me. Favourite was 22a.

  11. I loved it, and would concur wholeheartedly with Jane’s opening sentence.

    My ticks went to 14a, 17a, 4d and 12d.

    Many thanks to today’s setter and to Mr K.

  12. 10a was new to me, and although I managed to get 2d from the checking letters, I had to look at the review. I didn’t do latin at school. Favourite was 14a. It reminded me of parties as a child. Thank you setter and Mr Kitty.

  13. Found this very difficult 😰 ****/** had to have too many hints to complete so thanks Mr K 😬 Favourites 4d and 5a. Thanks to the Setter

  14. I did Latin but did not connect it with the answer. Clerihew I dragged from thr deep recesses of my memory. Got stuck on 14d, 16a, 22a. Got it in the end, but didn’t like it very

  15. Struggled from the start just never on the radar. Plenty of bung ins not a puzzle that I ever felt comfortable with, tried to manage without the hints but used all the other help available not a very satisfying solve. Possibly the lack of anagrams to give me a foothold made it difficult? See what tomorrow brings?

    Clue of the day: 14a

    Rating: 4* / 2*

    Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

  16. After a hesitant start everything fell into place quite smoothly. 17a gets my vote for favourite.
    Thanks to today’s setter, and to Mr K for the review and pics.

  17. It seemed like a stinker in the making at first, but was mostly not too tough at all. Never heard of 10a, and never use the phrase in 22a. Thought both 14a and 4d were very clever. Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  18. We suspect that the fact that this grid only gives us 26 clues to deal with, contributed to a relatively quick exercise for us.
    Enjoyable to solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  19. For the most part pretty quick, though 2d seemed to come from a much harder puzzle altogether. I suppose if you knew it, it was easy enough, but I didn’t. :-)

  20. Slow start but I sped up towards the end. 16a defeated me but only because I had 14d wrong. Cover charge seemed a simple double definition but with the checkers I had PER DIEM seemed a perfect fit and I somehow chose to ignore the fact that it wasn’t enumerated 3,4
    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  21. Many thanks Mr.K and the setter.
    I thought that this was tricky but doable. I am not sure I liked 22a, and needed Mr.K’s hint to understand it.
    23a has appeared recently.
    I knew 14a but can’t for the life of remember how to play.
    Thanks again.

  22. Managed only two in first pass yesterday. Couldn’t sleep so just picked it up again and flew through it. 65 years since I did Latin so had to look at hints to parse 2d. 14a took me back even longer! Only remembered 10a from previous crosswords & 5a because Greek character is a sensor on a car exhaust.
    Thoroughly enjoyable. Thanks to all.

    1. I too often turn to cruciverbal exercise when I can’t sleep but find it counterproductive as it stimulates the brain rather than inducing sleep!

  23. I found this one a little tricky, but maybe because I tackled it in the late afternoon when I was tired after a long, gruelling day. A decent challenge and very enjoyable. I’ll rate it on a par with yesterday’s: 3* / 4*

  24. 3*/2*
    No particular favourite clues.
    Regarding 14D in the quickie, I am puzzled as to how the answer to the clue “chapel” is “Bethesda”.

  25. just discovered big dave

    – for 2d I relied on “et cum spiritu tuo” and for Bethesda in the quick, I remembered auntie marian in the sc4 programme, pobol y cwm

    – struggled a bit with 10a (que or hew) until I got 8d

    Challenging but enjoyable

    1. Welcome to the site, blennerhassett, and thanks for sharing your experience with this puzzle. I hope that you will keep commenting.

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