DT 28876 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28876

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28876

Hints and tips by a perspicacious Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Long Itchington rocked to the sounds of Scott Doonican on Saturday night.

Downtown LI is the happening place to be. Scott Doonican one week and the unveiling of our new war memorial the next.

I have no idea who set todays puzzle but would hint at Chris Lancaster our busy puzzles editor because we have not seen one of his back pagers for three weeks now. I enjoyed this romp across an animal free world. The quickie pun is worth a look today.

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    Sure wobbly as belly out! (10)
ABSOLUTELY: Anagram (wobbly) of AS BELLY OUT

6a    Old man greedy, taking every other bit (4)
AGED: The words “taking every other bit” are an instruction to use alternate letters from the two words preceding them

10a    Area of responsibility turning the clock back? (5)
REMIT: Find a synonym for a clock and reverse it.

11a    Transpose in mix-up that could result in woman signing sponsorship deal (9)
PATRONESS: Anagram (in mix up) of TRANSPOSE

12a    Always in container, English drink (8)
BEVERAGE: Place a word meaning always inside a flexible container with an opening at the top. Add the abbreviation for English

13a    Dance beat has vitality (5)
TANGO: Begin with a three-letter word that means to beat as a punishment. Add a synonym of the word vitality

15a    Dry sherry initially quaffed by two rugby union teams? (7)
THIRSTY: A Rugby team is often known as the number of players which comprise it. Two Rugby teams would be twice that number. If you choose the right version of Rugby and your mathematics is correct your number now needs to surround the initial letter of the word Sherry

17a    Excited as leant closer? (7)
SEALANT: Anagram (excited) of AS LEANT

19a    Root cut, average previously (7)
PARSNIP: A word meaning to cut is preceded by a word meaning average

21a    Bird that’s cold facing north (7)
BITTERN: A world describing extremely cold weather is followed by the abbreviation of north

22a    Foreign national occasionally fiery on a quiz show (5)
IRAQI: The alternative letters (occasionally) of fiery, the letter A from the clue and the name of a quiz show once hosted by Stephen Fry but now hosted by Sandi Toksvig give the name of a foreign national

24a    A tailless feline in toy box (3,5)
TEA CADDY: Insert the letter A from the clue and the name of a feline animal minus its last letter (tailless) inside a toy furry bear

27a    Not clever enough to bag first in physics? That’s fine (9)
TOOTHPICK: Find a 3,5 term meaning not clever enough. Insert the first letter of the word physics

28a    Kid was vacillating, by the sound of it? (5)
SUEDE: This kid is not human. It is a type of soft leather. Its name sounds like something that has vacillated

29a    Embraced by hero, legendary part (4)
ROLE: The answer lies within the words of the clue indicated by the words embraced by

30a    Measuring instrument for farm machinery (10)
PROTRACTOR: Split 3,7 we have a word meaning for or in favour of followed by an item of farm machinery.


1d    Area coming up in murder case (4)
ACRE: A reversed (coming up) hidden word indicated by the word in.

2d    Smile more fake, as wine waiter (9)
SOMMELIER: Anagram (fake) of SMILE MORE

3d    Drink at bedtime, perhaps? About time! (5)
LATTE: The time of night one retires to bed is placed around the abbreviation for time.  This does not work if one is early to bed.

4d    In play, pair reinterpreted clip art (7)
TOPIARY: An anagram (reinterpreted) of PAIR sits inside a verb meaning to play with something

5d    Characters, those renting rooms? (7)
LETTERS: A double definition. Both quite simple

7d    Inexperienced politician (5)
GREEN: Also a double definition. Also quite simple

8d    Unhappiness of knight in place for camp dancing? (10)
DISCONTENT: The abbreviation for a knight on a chessboard is placed between two words split 5,4 which describe where those on a campsite might go to dance to an awful style of music which was popular in the nineteen seventies. Not in our house though.

9d    Page covering right agreement (8)
CONTRACT: A word meaning to get in touch with by means of a pager has the abbreviation for right inserted

14d    Relative pace beginning to slow, tries shifting (10)
STEPSISTER: A three-part charade. 1. A pace. 2. The initial letter (beginning) of the word slow. 3. An anagram (shifting) of TRIES

16d    Foreign article held by small beams (8)
SUNLIGHT: The foreign article is French and has two letters. It sits between the abbreviation for small and what beams are inside an adjective meaning small [thanks Vince]

18d    Last word on capitalism’s ending in hollow reform (9)
AMENDMENT: The last word when praying is followed by a hollow which contains the last letter of the word capitalism

20d    Worker in ceramics nailing one more up the wall? (7)
POTTIER: A popular term for a ceramicist has a letter I inserted.

21d    Risk securing limp cover (7)
BLANKET: Two synonyms are required here. The first for risk or wager. The second meaning limp and often referring to hair. The first surrounds the second

23d    A price to pay for coral? (5)
ATOLL: Begin with the letter A from the clue. Add a price paid when using a bridge or a road

25d    Lost on a ship (2,3)
AT SEA: Where one might be after a ship has left port is also a term used when confused or unable to decide what to do

26d    Lower part to bring up (4)
REAR: A double definition. The second part being to bring up a child. The first is a bit dodgy to me.

A jolly puzzle with some smiles along the way. What amused you?

Quickie Pun: thesis+across+whirred=this is a crossword


41 comments on “DT 28876

  1. A thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding puzzle this sunny morning. My particular favourite was 27a, although there were several contenders. Not overly difficult, but great fun.

    Many thanks to CL, if it was indeed he, and to MP.

  2. A very pleasant start to the week. Nothing that needed to get any electrons excited, and finished in **/*** time.

    COTD for me was 15a.

    Many thanks to the setter and MP.

  3. 2* / 3*. This made a nice light start to the week. I am not sure about 27a as the answer doesn’t really match the definition. “Toothcomb” would seem to be more appropriate (although that wouldn’t fit with the wordplay and checkers!)

    24a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to MP.

    1. No such thing as a toothcomb anyway, Rabbit Dave! It really annoys me when books talk about a ‘fine toothcomb’ instead of fine-toothed comb.

      1. You are sort of right, but this is what the Oxford Dictionary of English has to say on the subject:
        “Usage: The forms toothcomb and fine toothcomb arose from a misreading of the compound noun fine-tooth comb, a comb with closely spaced teeth. However, in modern use all the forms are accepted in standard English.”

  4. Agree with RD regarding 27a,did not work at all for me, perhaps someone would explain.
    Apart from this I liked the cluing generally and enjoyed this start to the week, agree with Malcolm that 15a was the best clue.
    23d is a word I have a problem spelling no matter how hard I try to remember it.
    Thanks MP for the pics, liked the caddy from days when we ruled the world before the EU.

    1. My own personal proofreader. Thanks for that. I overcomplicated it somewhat. Probably over excited at the thought of spending £2,000 on fireworks.

  5. Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for the review and hints. Just what was needed on a lovely sunny Monday morning. Quite a few made me laugh. Good fun, but not too difficult. Favourite was 27a. Last in was 8d. was 2*/4* for me.

  6. Got there but felt it to be an uncomfortable ride. Just not picking up on the clues. However pleased to have done it. Last in was 28 across.
    Thanks to all.

  7. Gentle and pleasant start to the week. Even though I liked 27a, I’m with some of the others that it doesn’t quite work. 24a is my clue of the day.

  8. I just don’t get 27a at all. What has fine got to do with the answer?
    Apart, brilliant puzzle, many thanks to all involved.

  9. A pleasant kick-off to the week with 15a scoring an opening goal for me as Fav. Forgot the 23d reef. I agree that’s fine in 27a clue doesn’t quite fit the bill. 6a last to go in. Quickie pun is amusing. More glorious sunshine today but wow has the temperature ever dropped. Thank you Mysteron and MP.

  10. This one grew on me the more I progressed as a few quality clues became apparent . Agree with previous comments on 27a and my choice for favourite is 24a but only just ahead of 15a & 19a .
    Thanks to everyone .

  11. I found this quite tricky in places, but very rewarding.

    My top two clues were 15a and 4d.

    Many thanks to the setter and the perspicacious one.

  12. I’m in agreement with many of the previous contributors – 27a doesn’t quite seem to work and 24a is my favourite.
    I’d also commend the Quicke pun.

    Thanks to Mr Ron (CL?) and to MP for the blog.

  13. **/***. A steady solve with the odd pause needed to fathom some of the clues. Favourite was 27a. Thanks to all.

  14. Good crossword followed by a good blog. 4d is my favourite clue – loved the definition.

    Thanks to our Monday Mr Ron and to our discerning LI landlord. Don’t spend all the money on fireworks. Hand out a few sparklers and give the rest to the RBL ☺

  15. I made heavy weather of this, though I did have to climb up to replace a halogen bulb halfway through, which is incredibly fiddly and, I claim, incredibly distracting. Not knowing how many players are in a RU team didn’t help matters either.

  16. Generally a pretty fast solve but I agree a couple were a bit dodgy 26 d for example .
    I did titter a bit at 20d though and that gets my COTD.
    Thanks to Mr Ed if it is indeed he and to Miffypops for the blog.

    1. I’m late on parade with this one, but its fair to say that I echo your sentiments here JB.

  17. Well I thought it was a good crossword and particularly liked 27a. I shall look ou for animals tomorrow. I had to get help for 15a, I was trying to put in Quinn’s which completely ruined 14d.

  18. 3*/4*;
    Smiled at the wobbly belly (1A) and the unhappy knight (8D);
    Nice pictures in the hints and tips.

  19. My first ever comment and not really to do with the crossword! Just to say what a lovely surprise to get news of LI. My son lives there! I have really enjoyed all the helpful hints for several years but this was a bonus!

    1. Welcome to the blog. Call in and make yourself known to Miffypops at the Green Man when you next visit your son

    2. The village church looks lovely with hundreds of poppies draped from the tower. We have a new War Memorial that will be uncovered on Saturday. Thanks for commenting

  20. Top marks for maths but a much lower score for English.
    Surely it should read ” if your mathematics are correct” in the hint for 15a.
    But who am I to say?
    I’m becoming ever so perspicacious since I joined this blog.
    I think a toothpick is fine.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP for the review.

      1. Hi Stan,
        It was in August when Theresa and Philip May came to visit Emmanuel Macron at Bregancon.
        Been trying to change the picture but couldn’t access from my Windows phone. It now looks like I can, so I will.
        Thanks for reminding me.

  21. Don’t know who to contact but I can’t access any crosswords after 22nd October – have tried everything.

  22. Fine puzzle !! Many, i see, enjoyed 27a , …… BUT the clue — , ‘That’s fine’ ??!! Try – ‘ This can help to work it out !’ CHEERS :)

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