DT 28864 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28864

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28864

Hints and tips by a Neanderthal Miffypops

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BD Rating (from BD) – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Dada once again. I don’t mind that. His puzzles are fun to solve and fun to review. I have noticed a distinct swing in recent weeks in favour of John Halpern’s puzzles. Today’s is a simple romp through do as you are told territory. Separate the definition from the wordplay and off you go.

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.


7a    Meat commercial with a dance (7)
LAMBADA: Sheep meat. An advert (abbreviated) The A from the clue.

10a    Spinning device that’s no different in reverse (7)
ROTATOR: A palindromic spinning device.

11a    Check fool is kept in dock (7)
MONITOR: This fool is the shortened form of a nitwit. Place him or her inside a verb meaning to dock as in secure a boat to the land

12a    Collapse three notes (7)
DEFLATE: Three consecutive notes. The fourth and fifth of an octave separated by the black piano key bet ween them. If this is musically incorrect then I apologise

13a    Musical success the egotist’s priority? (6,3)
NUMBER ONE: top of the pops pop pickers. Or yourself. Take your pick

15a    Quick writer (5)
SWIFT: A double definition. The writer wrote this “When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him”

16a    Elated, having reached the North Pole? (2,3,2,3,5)
ON TOP OF THE WORLD: if you consider the north to be the top and the south to be the bottom then this is where you would be if you were at the North Pole.

21a    On the fat side? Way off! (5)
STOUT: The way here is a street. Abbreviate it and add a word meaning not in. As in he’s gone off somewhere…

23a    Fan‘s to drink dark bitter (9)
SUPPORTER: To take a small drink followed by what one might take a small drink of. The previous answer perhaps

25a    Country show, say, US city rejected (7)
ALGERIA: A three part charade with a reversal . 1. To show or display. 2. The Latin for say (for example) 3. The initials of a US city (it’s only ever New York or Los Angeles) Rejected is the reversal indicator

26a    Little money for the police? (7)
COPPERS: The smallest coins we have share their name with an affectionate term for the police.

27a    Translation of dialect in fortress (7)
CITADEL: Our first anagram (translation of) of DIALECT

28a    Explosive device to drop, designed to catch fire ultimately (7)
TORPEDO: … Followed by our second Anagram (designed) of TO DROP which also includes the final letter (ultimately) of fire


1d    On the fire, perhaps, old flier (8)
FLAMINGO: Begin with a word that might describe something ablaze. Add the abbreviation for old.

2d    Blonde nothing special (4)
FAIR: A double definition. The hair colour should be all you need

3d    Cooler day starts to disappear, gradually ending (6)
FRIDGE: Begin with the abbreviation for the fifth day of the week and add the initial letters of (starts to) the last three words of the clue

4d    County supplies workers (6)
STAFFS: The shortened name of a midlands county which has Stoke on Trent as its largest city.

5d    All over the place, Emirates could be hotter (8)
STEAMIER: Anagram (all over the place) of EMIRATES.

6d    Cleric is meddling with opening of text (6)
PRIEST: enquires too inquisitively into someone else’s business followed by the initial letter of text

8d    Note short dress on male (5)
MINIM: This palindromic musical note can be found by beginning with a very short dress and adding the abbreviation for male

9d    Soldier almost cried about ending of war in Belgian province (7)
ANTWERP: begin with a soldier insect. Find a word meaning to have cried minus its last letter (nearly) and wrap it around the final letter (ending) of war. What a lot of doing described in just ten words

14d    Idiot of astonishing foolishness, primarily (3)
OAF: The initial letters (primarily) of three consecutive words from the clue.

17d    Opinions still extremely tedious (8)
THOUGHTS: Begin with a synonym of still or however. Add the outer letters (extremely) of tedious

18d    Trendy joint (3)
HIP: A double definition. The first being down and dirty with the kids. The second being a replaceable body part.

19d    Giant beginning to whimper over flea, perhaps? (7)
WHOPPER: place the initial letter (beginning) of whimper over a description of what a flea is or what it does.

20d    Lack of respect, inside or out (8)
DERISION: Anagram (out) of INSIDE OR

21d    Rare defect on church (6)
SCARCE: This defect is the mark of an old wound or burn. It sits atop the abbreviation for a church founded by Henry the Eighth

22d    Angry outburst — job to contain one (6)
TIRADE: A description of one’s job or calling sits outside the letter that resembles the number one.

23d    Regular fix (6)
STAPLE: A double definition, the second used to join papers together

24d    Time at this point for a comforting word (5)
THERE: The abbreviation for time is followed by an adverb meaning at this place. The answer when said twice is used by those who tend to the sick. Often after they have made their beds and provided a cup of tea whilst checking on the numbers of visitors.

26d    Quote attributed to Vespucci, tenuously (4)
CITE: A lurker lurking away within the words of the clue. Can you find it? I did

Lots of fun to be had today whilst it lasted.

Quickie Pun Yucca+Tee+Yak=Yakety Yak (Don’t talk back)

37 comments on “DT 28864

  1. Thoroughly enjoyed easy start to the week. finished at a gallop.
    Being picky but reference 3d – what is the first day of the week?
    Many thanks to Dada and Miffypops

    1. You can start counting from wherever you want but only my fifth day will give the answer.

  2. 16@ was straight in, then everything else just slotted in around it. A nice gentle start to the working week. I particularly liked the second part of 21@ once I’d understood it. Many thanks Dada and Miffypops and a huge thanks to BD. Glad the site is back.

  3. Nice and gentle start to the week with just one of the synonyms in 23d casting a bit of doubt.
    No particular favourite but a good all-rounder.

    Thanks to Dada and to MP for both the blog and for saving me the effort of having to investigate the proponents of the Quickie pun!

  4. Very straightforward and pleasantly enjoyable for a Monday morning. Nothing struck me as being particularly worthy of favourite status, but overall this was a fun and steady solve.

    Thanks to Dada and MP.

  5. Unusually gentle for a Monday, I have struggled with Dada but not today.
    Time on my hands today so I shall try my luck with the Guardian.
    Thanks to MP and Dada

  6. A gentle and enjoyable puzzle for the last day of a long weekend completed at a gallop – **/***.

    Like others, no standouts for favourite.

    Thanks to Dada and GMoLI.

  7. 2* / 3*. Light and great fun. Just right for a Monday.

    12a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and to MP.

  8. Lets start with a **/***, and an enjoyable beginning to the week.
    I was unsuccessfully looking for ‘meat’ in 7a before 1d came to the rescue, nearly put stable in for 21d which was a ‘nearly ‘fit – then I saw the light.
    Thanks to setter and MP.
    liked the quickie pun-reminded me of the Coasters record-just solved the Rookie Crossword for a change and would recommend it.

  9. I often find it hard to get on stream with Dada and today was no exception in spite of 16a having gone in immediately however all’s well that ends well. No outstanding Fav(s). Thank you Dada and MP.

  10. Agree with previous comments that the crossword is a gentle one . 12a was my last one to be completed due to the 3 notes element of the clue , still a mystery . Liked 1D and 19D although seen recently .
    Thanks to everyone .

      1. Thanks Miffypops, I get it now. My low level of musical knowledge meant I needed it spelling out! 25a and 12d were my last 2.

  11. Ditto to everything Rabbit Dave has said, even down to my choice of favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Halpern and MP.

  12. What can I say about this lovely puzzle that hasn’t already been said. Favourites 3,4 and 23d. Thanks to MP and Dada for the entertainment.

  13. Just what I needed after spending the day so far in bed with hacking cough and being totally ignored by my family! My husband says he had it for 24 hrs last week – I have been suffering since Friday. No one cares. All, I am convinced, as a result of the flu jab. Thanks to the setter and Miffypops. Feeling very sorry for myself.

  14. Yes a very enjoyable start to the week 😃 */**** Favourites 23a & 4d 🤗 Big thank you to MP and to Dada and to Big Dave for recovering the blog, you don’t realise you will miss it until it is gone especially this Saturday 😳

  15. The comment from KFB was interesting especially because my usual crossword correspondent, deep in Gloucestershire offered 5 notes as an option for 12a. When I checked this I found that spellings on the sol-fa scale were Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti, Do.
    I always took it to be Te and clearly education is a wonderful thing because several of us appear to be incorrect on this matter? Sorry to sound a wrong note in this instance!

  16. Hi BD, I made a comment under the ‘ Unwanted Pop-op Ads’, which seems to have become stuck in ‘ awaiting moderation’. For I too have suffered the dear user ‘disease’.

  17. Sympathetic start to the week. Did need Some Neanderthal assistance for 23d which had me kicking myself. Ho hum. I have favourites but threw the bit of paper away.
    Thanks setter and MP.

  18. Perfect Monday puzzle in my opinion.

    Liked 17d and 20d, but my favourite for the jolly surface is 21a.

    Thanks to Dada, MP and BD.

  19. Lovely Monday puzzle to start the week. Not sure if it was because I did not start until after our 3 mike walk, and some head down weeding in the garden (improving blood flow to the brain 😊), but all went in with only one hint needed. Thanks to Dada and Miffypops, much enjoyed. Favourite was probably 16a. Hurray, IPad has given up trying to correct my spelling of favourite,,,

    1. 3 mike walk?
      Parkinson Caine and Winner?

      Nice gentle start to the week. Started late because phone was playing up. I may have to get a new one. The blocks of 5 black squares in a row frightened me a bit at first but once I got on a roll no worries.
      Thanks to Miffypops Dada and as ever BD

  20. I like when I finish a crossword before breakfast.
    But again I don’t eat breakfast so it’s the case on most days, fifth or otherwise.
    Pleasant solve.
    Thanks to Dada and to MP for the review.

  21. Catch up time for me. Nice crossword to start the week; 11a was my favourite.
    Thanks to Dada and the Fifth man for the review.

  22. All pretty straight-forward ( except the reversal clues !! ;) ) – & enjoyable; many thanks !!! :)

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