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DT 28870

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28870

Hints and tips by an obliging Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I suspect this is the work of our Puzzles editor Chris Lancaster making his return after two weeks of Dada (Oh no it isn’t. It is a new setter, so I am reliably informed) . It is a solid puzzle and nice Monday opener to the week. There are several mammals running amok throughout this puzzle. They are a day too early for the blog.

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    Vehicle with favourite floor covering (6)
CARPET: A vehicle is required here to begin with. Three letters long. Most of us own one. Saint Sharon owns two. A Lexus (ten days old) and a roller skate which I refuse to drive. I own none. Anyway, this personal means of transport needs to be followed by a synonym of the word favourite. A noun meaning a person treated with special favour or affection

4a    Make certain disc is about to be condemned (8)
CENSURED: A verb meaning to make certain that something will occur sits inside a disc. A compact disc. Hopefully a compilation of live music by Dylan, Waits, Young and Cohen

9a    Parents not married? Not us (6)
OTHERS: We are our parents’ offspring. We have mums and dads. Take the formal name of one and remove the abbreviation of married (this will not work with the other parent) Honour thy mother and thy father. Especially thy mother

10a    Making mark but not voting; sailor leaves (8)
STAINING: Find a verb meaning not voting. Remove the abbreviation for an able-bodied seaman

11a    News item resulting in furrowed brow? (8)
HEADLINE: The words at the top of a main newspaper story are also what shows on one’s forehead when perplexed

These headlines are killing me like. does nothing happen in this town?? Lmao "or else it will be destroyed"


13a    List stated a sexual identification (6)
AGENDA: Split 1,6 we have the letter A from the clue and a noun which describes one’s sexual identification (male or female) When spoken together (stated) these two words sound like a list of items to be addressed at a meeting

15a    Music to put one’s name to? (9,4)
SIGNATURE TUNE: A cryptic definition of a distinctive piece of music associated with on particular performer.

18a    Where to look for vest? (13)
UNDERCLOTHING: Split 5,8 where we would have to look for somebody’s vest when they are fully attired. Do they still sell vests? I have never worn one.

22a    Continually bother this wild creature (6)
BADGER: A verb meaning to repeatedly and annoyingly question somebody is also a nocturnal mammal

24a    Where to buy new tree? Liar! (8)
RETAILER: Anagram (new) of TREE LIAR

26a    Unfinished business gents possibly deliver around the beginning of Easter (5,3)
LOOSE END: A common name for the gents or the ladies is followed by a word meaning to deliver which is itself wrapped around the initial letter of the word Easter

27a    Last of tests? (6)
FINALS: A series of examinations at the end of a degree course

28a    She may serve ‘sir’ with a stew, carelessly (8)
WAITRESS: Anagram (carelessly) of SIR A STEW

29a    Clan uniting with alien group (6)
SEPTET: A sub division of a clan (especially Irish) is followed by the common name of a film about an alien and a little boy. Saint Sharon and I watched this film on Thursday afternoon. I was a mess at the end sobbing my way through the tissues. Heartless Saint Sharon remained unmoved


1d    This may be seen in allotment, or in church bordering Scottish lake (6)
CLOCHE: The abbreviation for the Church of England surround the general name for a Scottish lake

2d    Practised, as coffin put back in funeral carriage? (9)
REHEARSED: Practiced for a stage roll when split 2,7 could describe the action of placing a coffin back into a large funeral car.

3d    Promotion for hearing device that cuts down noise (7)
EARPLUG: The answer is a rubber bung to reduce the effects of noise. Split this 3,4 and your second word means to mention something in order to promote it.

5d    Consumes some of the contents of meatsafe (4)
EATS: Your answer is hidden amongst the words of the clue indicated by the words some of the contents of. This must be the most obvious hidden word indicator ever used

6d    Stones 7″ perhaps captivates husband (7)
SHINGLE: The name given to a grooved black plastic record which measured seven inches across incorporates the abbreviation for husband. My friend was playing an LP on his turntable recently and noticed his daughter watching the record turning. ‘I don’t suppose you know what that is’ he said. ‘Yes I do’ she replied ‘It’s one of them big black cds’

7d    Bad weather, we hear, as a rule (5)
REIGN: To rule, to rain,
it sounds the same.
Another twist
Of your setter’s game

8d    Worn down — or marked down, in one’s 27? (8)
DEGRADED: A double definition. To be worn down and reduced in quality or to be marked down in an exam such as those of 27 across

12d    Almost new before breakfast? (6)
NEARLY: Use the abbreviation for new and add the time of day one usually has breakfast

14d    Destroy the French, making a great commotion (6)
BUSTLE: A verb meaning to destroy something together with the French word for the gives a word that often goes with hustle to describe a commotion

16d    Not very brave UN soldier, maybe, harbouring ill-will (9)
UNGALLANT: A three-part charade with an insertion. Begin with the letters UN provided by the clue. Add a soldier, an insect soldier. Place between these a noun meaning annoyance or resentment

17d    Trimming hair somewhere underneath (8)
FURBELOW: The hair such as that of a rabbit or mink has a word meaning underneath added.

19d    Creature laying eggs on climbing grass (3,4)
ROE DEER: These eggs are fish eggs. Add the reverse (climbing) of a tall slender grass that grows in watery or marshy ground

20d    Pretend the writer’s a machine with energy (7)
IMAGINE: The shortened form of I am is followed by the A from the clue and the name of a machine that separates cotton from its seeds. Add the abbreviation for energy

21d    Peter’s excited to be ready in advance (6)
PRESET: Anagram (excited) of PETERS

23d    Garment making girl very warm in the middle (5)
DHOTI: A three letter word meaning very warm sits inside then shortened name of a girl. Think Dors, Ross, Wales or Krall.

25d    Star gundog ultimately turned up antelopes (4)
GNUS: Our nearest star and the last letter of the word gundog need to be reversed or turned up

Quickie Pun: Hatter+Chewed=Attitude On a golden autumn day a postman walked up the path to deliver a letter. A vicious dog attacked him and in the ensuing melee the postman’s hat fell off and was carried away and eaten by the dog. The postman knocked the door and complained to the dog’s owner who told him to bugger off. The postman said “I don’t like your attitude young man” The dog’s owner replied “It wasn’t my ‘at ‘e chewed”

72 comments on “DT 28870

  1. Ok and enjoyable crossword but had to look up up 17d & 23d to confirm correctness .Also , initially wanted to put “sectet” into 29a then “sextet” before realisation dawned .
    Monday morning !
    Thanks to everyone .

    1. 29ac fooled me too. Never seen Sept as a word on its own before other than number seven in French

  2. Very enjoyable. The top half went in very quickly, (or as quickly as is possible when doing the crossword on a Smartphone), and then – once on the PC – the bottom half fairly flew in as well.
    …..Apart from 29a and 17d, that is. Which, despite having more checking letters than gaps, refuse to reveal themselves to my now treacle-like grey matter.
    (Having now read the read the hints (thank you MP), I realise that I have never heard of a Sept, nor have I heard of 17d).
    I also came up with an alternative version of 14d – Hurtle.
    Using an archaic version of the word as a noun, and being as tenuous as some clues (typically on Thursdays) seem to be (at least to me anyway), it appears to fit.
    Although it is true, the right answer does fit better.
    Particularly enjoyed the true cryptics, i.e. 11a, 13a, 27a and also 2d and 18a – my joint COTD.
    Thank you to C.L. for a mostly simple, but very entertaining, Crossword. **/****

  3. 2* / 3*. A pleasant start for a wet Monday morning.

    I needed my BRB to check some meanings / new words for me. Not knowing the clan required to solve 29a, I followed in KFB’s footsteps first looking up “sectet”, then “sext” before getting third time lucky with “sept”. The answer to 17d was definitely a new one on me, as was the machine in 20d.

    2d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to CL and to MP.

  4. Solid, straightforward and enjoyable. Perfect for a Monday morning. 6d my favourite.

    Thanks CL and MP.

  5. Thank you to Slogger and Better.

    Very good puzzle to start the working week and not too hard. Apart from the first part of 29a.. had to guess the size of the group and use dictionary to find why the first bit was a clan. I see I am not alone!

  6. Our setter lulls us into a false sense of security with the top half and then slaps us down with the GK in the bottom section!
    I had to look up the trimming, the machine, the garment and the clan although, in fairness, I’d found the answers from the wordplay and checkers.

    18a made me smile so gets my vote for today.

    Thanks to CL and to MP for the blog. Never worn a vest? That has to be unusual for someone of our generation. My Mum always insisted on my wearing one for the walk to school in the winter months, along with a liberty bodice – which has to be a complete misnomer!

    1. I always remember the “garment” as Gandhi gave our Queen one he had spun himself as a wedding present!

    2. Ah yes, the liberty bodice, with its row of neat little rubbery buttons. I was always told it didn’t matter what you looked like, as long as you were warm. Of course we all walked to school in those days, whatever the weather. There weren’t rows of parents in cars blocking the roads outside schools before the bell went.

  7. A good start to the work week which, with some interruptions, was probably completed at a gallop – **/***.

    Even with the same experience as others with 29a, I only needed a couple of referrals to the Small Red Book for support.

    Joint favourites – 15a and 18a. And, speaking of joints, they will be legal in Canada as of two days time.

    Thanks to the setter (CL?) and GMoLI.

  8. Despite having a couple o’pints of Irish blood in my veins, I’d never heard of a 29a.

    Also, a red herring. The second word of 18a has an equally fitting description of ones threads, and so it’s taken me all morning to spot the error.

  9. Back to straightforward Mondays – not that I mind trickier Mondays – but just saying

    The word no-one knew in 29a is a crossword regular – or perhaps it is just in the crosswords I do

    Thanks to the setter and MP

  10. Super puzzle from the crossword editor. Like others have mentioned, the top half was easier than the bottom half, the SW corner in particular. I spent ages trying to make the first word of 19d ‘red’.
    I needed the internet to check 17d and the first part of 29d; nice to have worked the clues out from the wordplay for a change.
    Like MP, I have never worn a vest, though I do wear a T-shirt for golf on cold winter’s days.
    Thanks to CL and MP for a typically entertaining blog.

  11. Everything went in really quickly…except 29A and I ended up with the wrong third letter. That’ll teach me to check. My favorite, and a word that has always tickled my fancy, is 17D. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  12. A very enjoyable puzzle, a couple of new words but gettable from the checkers and wordplay. I liked 2,3 and 6d in particular.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP for the entertaining review, especially the list of estimable songwriters for 4a (which would surely benefit from the addition of one Mr B Springsteen?)

  13. Thanks for playing my 15a – or one of them anyway- Sloop John Bee being the other.
    Crossword went in as others said quite easily and a bit of a trip to mr google sorted out the trimming and clan stuff but generally an easyish start to week.
    Thanks to Mr Ed and Miffypops.

  14. Nice gentle start to the week. Sept turned up in another crossword not long ago – I didn’t know it then, but I did now!
    I liked 11a, 18a, and 17d – but top marks to 6d.

  15. I have just been told that this is not by Chris Lancaster. Apparently it is a setter new to The Daily Telegraph. Welcome to the team.

    1. I am that “new” setter – new to the DT, that is. Most of you know me, as I’ve been setting the harder stuff (thematics, etc) for forty years but now I’m coasting a bit….

      Chris L has very kindly offered to let me loose on the Back Page every so often…

        1. OK – so now the two of you are in on the secret but would either of you care to enlighten the rest of us lesser mortals? I’ve tried asking Mr Google about X-Type crossword setter but he seems to be as much in the dark as I am.

  16. Like others 17d was new as was the clan in 29a, the remainder were fine and made a note of **/*** on completion.
    I remembered the cotton gin from somewhere, overall a good start to the week-thanks all.
    Liked 27a, glad I had the checking letters in, for some reason I always get dhoti mixed with dhobi reason-never mind.
    Brexit looks a total mess-what next?

  17. A nice gentle start to the solving week, completed in a new record time for me. I see a different picture to illustrate 11 across on my tablet to that shown on my pc . . . I have to admit to laughing out loud at the saucier one of the two. Thanks to our new setter – welcome indeed. Thanks also to MP for hints and humour 😁

  18. A sub division of a clan is not the same as a clan really..is it ?
    No vest! I’m sure we were welded into them with liberty bodices on top, day and night for the whole winter !
    No golf today,too wet and windy, so pleasant to have a gentle amble through today’s puzzle.
    Thank you Miffypops for the hints and to our new setter.

    1. I always reckon to be sewn into my vest in October and have it cut off in April. Unless I need to wear an evening dress of course ………

  19. Will try and not loose this post end end up making an ‘erjut’ of myself by posting twice. Floored by 29 across today. Knew it was either ‘sept’ or ‘sext’ that would be the clan but impossible to guess so had to resort to Google. Thought a might tougher than 2 star but still below 2 pints. Mrs J due anytime now to extricate yours truly from the Abbot Ossis. Thanks to MP and Setter.

    1. Nice to see that you’re continuing to comment following your initial de-lurking, Jumbo, despite the ongoing problems with the site.
      Maybe you’ll join us for the 10th Birthday Bash in January – if the Abbot Oasis can spare you!

      1. The site is fine Jane, my eyesight on the other hand!!!…… Having joined the site feel the impetuous urge to Blog on completion but this means using my Mobile Phone whilst in the Abbot Oasis and the site seems (by my befuddled mind) hard to see and seems to work a little differently on Mobile to Laptop. Probably me. Almost certainly me. Have long (and enviously) read about your meet ups and Reading based so only half an hour on the Train from Paddington. Took best of ten years to drum up the confidence to join the blog so may need a little time (or vast quantities of Abbot) to make the next move. The beautiful Mrs Jumbo is not a Cruciverbalist but is a bit of a party animal so we will have to see!!

  20. Pleasant solve and a few words I had to check in the trusted BRB.
    Namely 4a which I thought was only in French, the clan in 29a and the word in 17d.
    Welcome and thanks to X-Type and to MP for the review.

  21. What a nice start to the week crossword **/*** and a nice musical blog 😃 I must confess 17d and sept were new to me 🤔 but easily worked out 😬 Favourites 6d and 26a, I do like a bit of toilet humour 😳 Thanks to MP and to X-type, he can definitely come again! 🤗

  22. A good solve to start the working week and pleased to be back on the blog (hopefully) following some technical issues. SW corner last to fall with last in 17d new to me also and needed MPs help to parse several clues having got the answers. All in all a fairly gentle puzzle but with lots to like.

    Clue of the day: 15a

    Rating: 2.5* / 3.5*

    Thanks to MP and the setter.

  23. I go along with all the above re the puzzle itself.

    Now, re vests.

    I believe that if you:
    A) are British
    B) are over 35
    C) had some sort of schooling outside the home

    …You will have worn a vest.

    Therefore I have to conclude that any vest-naysayers do not fit into the above categories……..which, given everything they have implied about their circumstances, is a bit surprising.

    1. I don’t know what my Mum put me in when I was tiny but I do remember seeing my brother and Father in vests and not wanting to wear one myself. So I didn’t. I still think they look very silly.

      1. This sort of passive resistance puts me in mind of Mr B, who, at the age of 5, refused point blank to sit at a desk on starting school. Instead, he sat underneath one for the first 3 weeks. The uncharacteristically sensible nuns decided to leave him till he changed his mind.

        He claims to have no knowledge of his underwear, but, knowing my mother-in-law, he still had to wear a vest. Non negotiable.

  24. Argh! Third attempt!
    Both Saturday’s and today’s were like the puzzles of old; both benign and over too soon! Today’s was a pleasant solve in spite of the ‘sept’. No real favourite for me.
    Thanks to X-type, and to the Obliging One for the review and music.

  25. 17d, a nice new word to commit to memory. Hadn’t heard of the first part of 29a used for clan. I still have to googlething it. I initially put “undergarments” into 18a then realised it didn’t work . Many thanks X Type and Miffypops.

  26. Relatively straightforward, but with some sweet clues. Setter perhaps more concerned with elegance than obscurity.

  27. I really enjoyed this one, but I got held up with the last three in the NE corner, looked at the hint for 4a and managed to get going again.
    I also didn’t know the clan in 29a, should have looked it up instead of just bunging in a guess.
    My fave was 17d, I also liked 1d.
    Thanks X-Type, welcome to the back pager, and to M’Pops for his fun review.

  28. Another great puzzle. Third day in a row, what a pleasure. Thanks to X-type and Miffypops, much enjoyed. Needed hints for 17d and 23d. Worn a vest, but never one of these 😊
    COTD was 20d.

  29. A good debut that started off very easy in the NW corner, averaged off throughout until 29ac at the close which was quite fiendish. Looking forward to more. :-)

  30. A nice easy end to an enjoyable though wet day in St Ives. Went on the guided bus with our passes and I definitely wore my vest. Delightful market, enormous lunch, picked up a huge brass lamp for peanuts in the auction rooms and came back to a benign crossword done in the bath with a whisky. Thanks to everyone.

  31. A very good start to what looks like a chaotic week for us.
    It’s too late now to rabbit on for ages so I’ll keep it short tonight.
    Without any shadow of a doubt my favourite was 17d because it made me laugh.
    With thanks to X-Type for the crossword and to MP for his usual good fun set of hints and pics.

  32. 6d – like the big black CD, my 7 year old grandson handed me a present saying ‘it’s a sort of Kindle but it’s made of paper’.

  33. Achieved yesterday’s fun puzzle without too much hassle at silly o’clock this morning. As per others, 23d and 17d plus part of 29a new to me but it’s good to live and learn. 20d solved thinking of the illegal animal trap as a ‘machine’ ‘cos hadn’t heard of the cotton one. Prime amusers probably 11a, 18a and 19d. Thanks X-Type (welcome) and MP. Now for today’s challenge.

  34. Is there still a computer problem with the Big Dave site ?
    Chrome will not open the latest site (seems to like the October 7th page)
    but, surprise, no problem with Internet Explorer.
    Can always obtain the puzzle I need by googling Big Dave with the
    puzzle number.

  35. 2*/3*
    Liked the careless server (28A)..also, new word for part of a clan (part of answer to 29A) as others have commented.

  36. Thoroughly enjoyed that – even if my first 7d answer – Rains – gave me a few head-scratching moments in the suburbs ?!!! :o

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