DT 28871 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28871

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28871

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone.  Yesterday saw the debut of a new addition to the roster of Telegraph Cryptic setters.  But there is little doubt that today’s fine effort is the work of one of our Tuesday regulars, because the Quick Crossword uses a signature device that we have seen at least six times before (in Quick Crosswords 27943, 28158, 28282, 28354, 28506, and 28775).  The solve is aided by a generous sprinkling of anagrams and an absence of obscure vocabulary and general knowledge.  It’s perfect Tuesday fare.

In the hints below most indicators are italicized and definitions are underlined.  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 or display a bonus illustration.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a    Doctor behind plan (5)
DRAFT:  Put together an abbreviation for doctor and an adjective meaning behind or towards the stern of a vessel

4a    Arabs lost ground in handicap (9)
ALBATROSS:  An anagram (ground) of ARABS LOST

9a    List includes a respiratory organ set back in a reptile (9)
ALLIGATOR:  A list or roster contains (includes) A from the clue and a respiratory organ on a fish, and then it’s all reversed (set back)

10a   Stroll or walk without leader (5)
AMBLE:  A word meaning walk for recreation or pleasure with its first letter deleted (without leader)

11a   Won seat easily, so don't concern yourself (2,5)
NO SWEAT:  An anagram (easily) of WON SEAT

12a   Ride? Finished circuit (7)
OVERLAP:  Join finished or completed and a circuit of a race course, for example

13a   Thinly scattered, boxes by edge of Delamere (6)
SPARSE:  Boxes in a ring wearing gloves, followed by the last letter of (edge of) DELAMERE 

15a   Confused padre coming round with forest creature (3,5)
RED PANDA:  An anagram (confused) of PADRE containing (coming round) a synonym of with (as in ‘Scotch with soda’, for example)

18a   Fresh buns -- adjust heat to brown? (8)
SUNBATHE:  An anagram (fresh…) of BUNS followed by an anagram (adjust…) of HEAT

20a   Silver dollar ultimately pocketed by spy (6)
ARGENT:  The final letter (... ultimately) of DOLLAR is contained in (pocketed by) a spy

23a   Doorman, discontented bruiser, carrying little weight (7)
BOUNCER:  The outer letters (discontented…) of BRUISER containing (carrying) a small non-metric unit of weight

24a   Source of illumination, bad in the morning in work (3,4)
OIL LAMP:  Fuse together bad or wicked and the Latin abbreviation for ‘in the morning’, and insert all of that in the usual musical work

26a   Letter from Rochdale physician (5)
ALEPH:  This Hebrew letter is hidden in (from …) the remainder of the clue

27a   Untold pounds collected by earl's wife (9)
COUNTLESS:  The abbreviation for pounds sterling inserted in (collected by) the wife of an earl 

28a   Small mischievous child gave away mug (9)
SIMPLETON:  Concatenate the clothing abbreviation for small, a mischievous child, and a (3,2) phrase meaning ‘gave away’ or revealed

29a   A pot I ordered for courtyard (5)
PATIO:  An anagram (ordered) of A POT I


1d    Perhaps spiritual support needed over one's doctor's opinion (9)
DIAGNOSIS:  Glue together something of which a spiritual is an example (perhaps…) and support or aid.  That’s all reversed (over) and followed by the Roman one with its S from the clue

2d    Book unfortunately includes typos at the start (5)
ATLAS:  Find a book of maps as a synonym of unfortunately that includes the first letter of TYPOS (typos at the start)

3d    Fierce creature American soldier upset in lock (7)
TIGRESS:  The reversal (upset, in a down clue) of an American soldier is inserted in a lock of hair

4d    Shrewd like Egyptian king, last in line (6)
ASTUTE:  Cement together like or ‘in the same way that’, the informal contraction of a young Egyptian king, and the last letter in LINE

5d    Men had an argument after book taken from library? (8)
BORROWED:  Glue together some usual soldiery men and a verb meaning ‘had an argument’, and put all of that after the abbreviation for book

6d    Part-exchange due to be arranged in region to the north? (5,2)
TRADE UP:  An anagram (to be arranged) of DUE inserted in the reversal of (to the north, in a down clue) region or area

7d    Taking everything into consideration, loan can be arranged (2,7)
ON BALANCE:  An anagram (arranged, again) of LOAN CAN BE

8d    Lottery odds? Very small, essentially (5)
SWEEP:  The usual abbreviation for betting odds with a Scots word for very small inserted in it (essentially, meaning being the essence or the centre)

14d   Made sauna uncomfortable, to a sickening degree (2,7)
AD NAUSEAM:  An anagram (uncomfortable) of MADE SAUNA

16d   A new suggestion regarding course of finger food? (9)
ANTIPASTO:  Assemble A from the clue, the abbreviation for new, a suggestion or hint, and a (2,2) phrase meaning regarding or concerning

17d   Wanting to ignore quicker way (5,3)
SHORT CUT:  Stick together wanting or lacking, and ignore or pass intentionally without greeting

19d   Capone, unruffled swallowing hot drink (7)
ALCOHOL:  A charade of the first name of gangster Capone and an adjective meaning unruffled or unperturbed that’s containing (swallowing) the abbreviation for hot

21d   Swell, best kind of desk (4-3)
ROLL-TOP:  A swell or long sea wave, followed by a synonym of best

22d   Post  file (6)
COLUMN:  A double definition.  A support post in a building, and file as in single file

23d   Fish bringing in right money (5)
BRASS:  A type of fish containing (bringing in) a single-letter abbreviation for right

25d   Notice record time accomplished (5)
ADEPT:  Join together a notice selling something, an abbreviation for a record intermediate between a single and a long-player, and the physics symbol for time

Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  In addition to being impressed by the construction of the Quick Crossword, I especially liked 18a for its surface, 1d for its intricacy, and 8d for ‘essentially’.  Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  WANE + WRITE = WAINWRIGHT

52 comments on “DT 28871

  1. All pretty fair today. My only hold-up was putting the wrong two letter word into the bottom of 6d. That left me with N?N?A for the second word of 15a. Spent far too long trying to work out what sort of Ninja it was before realising that 15a was a partial anagram? I wish I’d started with 15a. I wouldn’t have been so confused. Everything else slotted in nicely. Many thanks setter and Mr Kitty. Off to get my flu jab.

    1. Same here re those ninjas.
      Crouching tiger, hidden dragon tree tops fighting…..
      Also had never heard of that subspecies (or variety) of creature.

    2. Me too. It took me as long to fix this than the rest of the puzzle. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  2. Thank you to Blogger and Setter.

    Lovely stuff. Liked the silver dollar and the lottery odds. Must be hard to maintain quality over many years.

  3. I came quite quickly to grips with this challenge but much enjoyed the mild puzzlement finishing up in the NE. 1d and 26d (finger?) were both bung-ins. No real Fav but enjoyed dissecting several including 28a. Thank you Tuesday Mysteron and MrK.

  4. Like Florence I also initially put N as the final letter of 6d before I parsed the clue properly as in seemed more appropriate than up !
    Anyway agree with Mr K that the puzzle was purrfect Tuesday fare and a **/*** for me also.
    Liked 4d, saw the group at the Manchester Arena a few years ago, but was disappointed that they did not attempt to play 4a- just put the record on as we all left -liked Steve Nicks though !

    1. I think of FM as two distinct bands, apart from the 2 namesakes. I don’t think the lineup with Stevie Nicks has ever played 4a. Someone might contradict me, though.

      I enjoyed some of Peter Green’s later work, although he’s never been quite the same as before. Shame.

      1. I too think of them as two different bands. The first one fresh, innovative and invigorating. The later version far too bland and poppy for me. So far removed from the original that a name change was warrranted

  5. I posted Comment No. 3 a little while ago but that has disappeared as has Comment No. 2 which I saw briefly. Oh dear, perhaps I will have another go later.😏

      1. Try hitting your refresh key on a tablet F5 works for me on the PC. If you are not sure google how to refresh whichever device

        1. Yes, a hard refresh is needed.

          Unfortunately, Angellov will need to refresh before she can see this comment ……

  6. This one fell into place very quickly for me, with very few clues not being solved at the first attempt. I would only rate it */**.

    COTD 15a.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr.K.

  7. Nice, but over too quickly, with too many anagrams or partial anagrams. I hadn’t come across 15a before. I thought they were all black and white. You live and learn. Enjoyed the picture for 18a. No particular favourite today.

  8. A fairly rapid and enjoyable solve this morning. I particularly liked 4a for its conciseness and surface reading.

    Thanks to our Tuesday setter and Mr K.

  9. Nothing to frighten the horses today, a gentke ramble through crossword land. Favourite for me 4a.
    Thanks to Mr K and Setter.

  10. I did have to check the Hebrew letter, although probably should have known it, and it took the BRB to convince me of the synonyms in 12a – I would have added a preposition to ‘ride’ – but overall I found this a very satisfying puzzle.
    4d particularly appealed.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr K for a great blog. The illustration for ‘fresh buns’ made me smile and I’m sure I need one of those 24a’s. Nice to hear Fleetwood Mac again.

    1. Hi Jane, as I was leaving my local driving range, I happened upon a white stork minding its own business, a life tick for me.

  11. Having solved all but three of the across clues on the first pass, the remainder surrendered very quickly afterwards. An enjoyable solve, which left bags of time for the myriad things that need to be done today. Thank yous to all concerned.

  12. Puzzled by 1a. In golf to which I assume the setter is referring, an albatross is 3 under par nothing to do with your handicap. The BRB also gives “Used symbolically to mean an oppressive and inescapable fact, influence” as a definition neither of which could be considered a handicap.
    Apart from
    The odd Hebrew word nothing to frighten the horses.

    1. Oh I don’t know, Brian. Something which is oppressive and inescapable is a bit of a handicap isn’t it?

    2. Hello, Brian. In 4a the setter is referring to the other meaning you quote from the BRB, which derives from Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner.

      Collins has that usage as “A constant and inescapable burden or handicap”, giving as an example “an albatross of debt”.

      1. Thank you for the elucidation. Like Brian I was thinking golf where an albatross would be, especially given my ageing body, a thing of wonder and joy.
        A really enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to the setter and Mr K

  13. Very pleasant stroll for a very pleasant day here in darkest South London.
    The only one that help me up was the DD for 22d.
    I could not parse 1d, so thanks Mr.K, but the spiritual thing is a bit obscure!!
    Thanks all.

  14. A very nice solveable puzzle 😃 **/*** Favorites 15a 😬 & 5d Thanks to the Setter and to the indomitable M. K 🤗

  15. ‘Easily’ as an anagram indicator is a new one on me.

    What does it mean…An easier version of the letters, implying that the two words in the clue are a tricky/difficult/hard/confusing order of letters?

    I don’t what stats you can get from your database, Mr K, but do you know how many times ‘easily’ has been used as an anagram indicator over the years?

    1. I’m OK with easy in the sense of relaxed, loose, unconstrained, etc. suggesting a rearrangement of letters.

      I have 258 clues in the database that include easily. I’ll try to go through them this evening to count up the number of times it was being used as an anagram indicator.

      1. U R der man!

        Easy works, even though it’s pushing it a tad, but I think Easily is one too far.

        All will be revealed by your good self…

        1. It appears that ‘uneasily’ is used far more often as an anagram indicator, but I did find this previous example in Guardian 26996 of ‘easily’ being used to indicate an anagram:

          Look to win easily — Portugal going through bad patch (3,5)   LOWPOINT

          If ‘easy’ is OK, then I’d say that ‘easily’, read as ‘in an easy fashion’, should be an acceptable anagram indicator.

    2. Hi Spanky, Spammy, Winkalot or whatever, ‘easily’ as in ‘not strictly’ – ie allowing for change

      PS – Postie Roy is no more a postman than Kitty is a cat

  16. Possibly our quickest solve for some time but very enjoyable indeed. We liked the quickie too with all those W’s.
    A number of years ago I had a minor operation to remove a cyst on my neck. It was called a wen (a boil or other swelling or
    growth on the skin, especially a sebaceous cyst.)

    Or the archaic version means a very large or overcrowded city…’the great wen of London’. The City where we live.

    On inspection my GP informed me that it was a wen and uttered ‘I don’t know why, I don’t know wherefore and I don’t know when!

    Thanks to the 2 Misters!

  17. Fairly straightforward, with very smooth surfaces and an elegant selection of clues in evidence I thought.

    My personal pick of today’s crop would be 4a, 1d and 16d.

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

  18. Agree with the general consenus as finished over breakfast but had to check the hint for 15a to explain the “and” inclusion .
    I offer the toast of “bottoms up “ to 18a ,
    As always , love the cat pictures .
    Thanks to everyone .

  19. For those of you, like me, who struggle with the Toughie, you might want to give it a go today.

  20. A most enjoyable solve today. I don’t get the “ride” in 12a, not in my Collins or thesaurus.
    Fave was 4a but 23a was close behind.
    Thanks to our Tuesday setter and to Mr. K for the catty pics and hints.

    1. Hi, Merusa. I wondered about “ride” too, but it is in the dictionaries. Under “ride”, the BRB has “to overlap”, and my Collins has as the 11th definition “11. (esp of a bone) to overlap or lie over (another structure or part)”. I found another example that talked about one tectonic plate riding another.

      Glad you liked the pics.

      1. Aha, thanks for that, now I understand it. I think I have a rather truncated version of the Collins, too miserly to pay for the full one.

            1. Thanks chaps! I saved it as a bookmark. I usually work from the one on my iPad, not computer, and I think that it’s probably not got enough memory, it’s pretty prehistoric. I’m saving points on my credit card for a new iPad, so far I’m up to $200, so I should have a new one soon.

          1. It’s not the full revised version, it seems. Try looking up the abbreviations for W. The online version gives ‘winter’ which is not supported in the printed version, or Collins

            1. Hi, LbR. What I said above is that the online version of Collins contains everything in the printed version of Collins. I believe that’s true.

              Perhaps you’re referring to the online Chambers dictionary? That’s the Chambers 21st Century Dictionary, which is a different beast to the flagship Chambers Dictionary often referred to here as the BRB.

              W for winter is in that online Chambers, but it’s not given in any of the three standard crosswording dictionaries (the BRB, Collins, and the Oxford Dictionary of English). It’s also not in the long lists of crossword abbreviations found here and here, nor is it given by abbreviations.com.

  21. Nothing too demanding in this fairly benign crossword. I quite liked 19d just for the tie up of Big Al and alcohol.
    Thanks to Mr Ron, and to Mr K for the review.

  22. Enjoyable and pretty straightforward, say */** for difficulty. Last in was 22d where I needed all the checking letters and a run through the alphabet to get it.

  23. Managed the crossword at work and am in concurrence with other commenters. Spent the rest of the day trying to set up new phone.
    Thanks to Mr K and setter. Might give Collins a go but I do like the online Chambers esp. the wordsearch thing.

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