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DT 28878

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28878

Hints and tips by Tilsit

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

This post was sent at 12:13 but didn’t arrive until 18:51.  I have used it to replace my hurried effort.  BD

Morning! Apologies for being slightly tardy. A trip to the dentist took a bit longer than expected. I’m here covering for our regular Wednesday analyst and tackled this in the waiting room. All very pleasant as you’d expect from the Wednesday Wizard and nothing terribly demanding other than 18 across, which was my Last One In and held me up until the penny dropped.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Seeming attractive, having swapped sides (9)
APPEARING: Take a word that means attractive or pretty and replace L with R (change sides!).

6a Confronted church absorbed by short-lived fashion (5)
FACED: A word for a passing trend has an abbreviation for the Church (of England) inside to give something meaning confronted.

9a Slump sees daughter, impecunious, coming back (5)
DROOP: The abbreviation for daughter and the reverse of something impecunious gives a word meaning to slump.

10a A person who doesn’t know may be stupidly smug on air (9)
IGNORAMUS: Someone who is mentally challenged is and anagram (stupidly) of SMUG ON AIR

11a Lake in African republic only occupied by a tense business group (12)
CONGLOMERATE: Inside the name of an African republic (and river) goes L (lake) and likewise inside a word that means only goes A and T (tense). This gives the name for a large business organisation.

14a A pirate’s rude song to be broadcast (7)
CORSAIR: A word for a type of pirate is a homophone for a rude song.

16a Financial institution popular, of course, with Republican (7)
INSURER: A company specialising in particular financial transctions is found by taking a word meaning popular, adding a synonym for ‘of course’, and the abbreviation for Republican.

17a Soldier’s regular letters in verse. (3)
ODE: The alternate letters of SOLDIER give a type of verse.

18a Unwrapped smartest things to wear? (7)
NAPPIES: This was the last one in and I had two choices: NAPKINS or the answer, and I couldn’t see which until I realised that if you take a word meaning the smartest (as in well-dressed) and remove the first and last letters (unwrap), you get something else to wear.

20a Give back vacant residence and shop (7)
RESTORE: The reverse of the last one. This time take the first and last letters of residence (vacant) and add a type of shop, especially in the US, and you get something meaning give back.

22a Embarrassing church about call in front of dignitary (12)
CRINGEWORTHY: Something that means embarrassing is found by making another appearance for the church abbreviation and inserting a word meaning to call. Add to this an old name for a civic Dignitary and you have your entry. It’s also the surname of one of the Bash St Kids!

26a Genuine article pinched by relative in charge (9)
AUTHENTIC: Take a word for a (definite) article and put inside a name for a female relative. Add the abbreviation for in charge and you have something meaning real or genuine.

27a Spike protecting new weapon (5)
LANCE: A type of weapon is found by taking a word meaning to spike (a drink) and putting N (new) inside.

28a Conditions for parts of school year (5)
TERMS: A double definition. A word meaning conditions and parts of a school year.

29a Vacant role for each politician in theatre (9)
REPERTORY: A type of theatre is found by taking the first and last letters of ROLE (another appearance for vacant), and adding the Latin word meaning ‘for’ and a nickname for politician from the current ruling party.


1d Stage performance as if deaf intermittently (4)
AIDA: The name for a famous theatrical production (one with music) is revealed by taking the alternate letters (intermittently) of AS IF DEAF


2d Part of a garden scheme (4)
PLOT: A double definition. Something that means a piece of land or garden as well as a scheme or plan.

3d A jar in the morning for broadcast beginning to appeal (7)
AMPHORA: The name for a wine jar in ancient time is revealed by taking the abbreviation for morning, adding a homophone of ‘for’ and the first letter of appeal.


4d Classic ingenuity, boxing Victoria’s decoration? (5)
ICING: A hidden answer. Inside ‘classic ingenuity’ is the name for the covering on a cake. At the risk of being mauled by Mary Berry, Prue Leith or Paul Hollywood (or our very own Lemon Drizzle Queen), I thought proper Victoria sponges had a dusting of this type of sugar, rather than the covering implied by the answer. <Stands back and runs>


5d Punter injured leg in door (9)
GONDOLIER: An anagram (injured) of LEG IN DOOR gives a particular type of punter, i.e. one who punts a punt.

6d Instrument of pressure in armed services (7)
FORCEPS: Inside the name for the army, navy and other armed services goes P (pressure) to give a type of surgical instrument.

7d Fellow citizen moving camp to civil disturbance (10)
COMPATRIOT: A word for a fellow citizen is found by taking an anagram of CAMP to and adding word for a disturbance.

8d Depress detectives and try and catch up (10)
DISHEARTEN: Take an abbreviation for detectives and add a word for try as in a case in court. Then add the reverse of a word meaning catch and you’ll get something meaning to depress.

12d Heretic caught invading various locations (10)
ICONOCLAST: Inside an anagram (various) of LOCATIONS GOES C (caught) to give

13d Owner favouring voting system that’s to run (10)
PROPRIETOR Take a word meaning favouring, add the abbreviation for a voting system and the abbreviation for ‘that is’, plus TO and R (RUN). This gives the name for the owner of a business.

15d Got up wet to get perfume (9)
ROSEWATER: Add a word meaning to wet after one meaning to have got up and you have a type of perfume.

19d Resigns in order to make an entrance (7)
INGRESS: A posh word for an entrance is found by rearranging the letters (in order) of RESIGNS.

21d Student type of panel supplying energy welcomes central heating (7)
SCHOLAR: Another name for a student is found by taking a type of (energy) panel and inserting CH (central heating)

23d Right — step up and go through again (5)
RECAP: : Something meaning to go through once more is found by taking a word meaning step, reversing it and placing it after the abbreviation for right.

24d Very keen on batting — test opener originally! (4)
INTO: A word meaning mad keen on something is found by taking a synonym of batting in cricket and adding the first letters of test opener.

25d Refuse to acknowledge study on male chromosome (4)
DENY: A word meaning to study, plus the letter associated with the male chromosome gives you something meaning to refuse to acknowledge.

Once again apologies for the late posting. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did and a big thanks to our regular Wednesday Wizard. See you again at the weekend.

The Quick Crossword pun: nigh+sir+spy=nice as pie

38 comments on “DT 28878

  1. I may be going blind, but the only clue I can’t solve is 8d… where are the Down solutions? Help…
    5 seconds later…. husband solved it whilst I was penning this! Phew

  2. Thanks for the hints particularly 18a as could not work out why .
    Flew through this one today with the above last one in .
    No outstanding clue for me so will not nominate a COTD .
    Lovely day again with fantastic sunset last night .
    Greetings to everyone .

  3. Another gentle and very enjoyable mid-week challenge which was completed at a fast gallop – */** and ***.

    Joint favourites 11a and 29a.

    Thanks to Jay and BD.

  4. Great stuff from Jay this morning with some terrific clueing and plenty of fun to be had during it’s completion. I really enjoyed 11a and 5d.

    Many thanks to Jay for the challenge and to BD.

  5. Good puzzle from Jay. Thank you Jay. Good blog from Big Dave. Thank you Big Dave. These days we don’t usually see Big Dave blogging on a weekday. Some years ago it was quite different. Too few bloggers working far too hard. Thanks for those hard days you put in Dave and co. And thanks for getting the team together that you have now. The variety of blogging styles matches the variety of setting styles.
    A great job well done

    1. Totally agree. I wish I was clever enough to help out with the blog. Huge thanks to BD and all who do so

    2. I volunteer to do one of the weekly blogs. Only problem that I can foresee is that one of the prerequisites is that you have to actually be able to do the crossword!!

    3. Totally agree. Despite the gentle comments, I am not done yet, so would be useless as the solving blogger, and writer of hints.

  6. I failed to parse 27a till the hints, as I wasn’t thinking of drinks to be spiked.
    Thanks BD!

    I’m sure I won’t be the only person pointing out that a Victoria sponge or sandwich does not have 4d on it or in it or anywhere near it. By rights, it should just have raspberry jam in the middle and caster sugar on top.

    By all means, faff around with whipped cream, butter cream and fruit and any other Bake-off fol de rols, but don’t involve “Victoria”.

  7. Nice puzzle from Jay but nothing really jumped into the favourite slot. I did smile at 14a&2d but suspect that they’re both chestnuts.

    Thanks to Jay and to BD for filling the breach yet again.

  8. Jay certainly let us off lightly today so no sweat but not much fun either. Like KFB I struggled to parse 18a. No Fav(s). Thanks Jay for an easy ride and BD for coming to the hinting rescue.

  9. 2.5* / 3*. Thus was an enjoyable puzzle but for me lacking in the supreme level of excellence we have come to expect from this setter. Several clues had quite clunky surfaces and there were a few repeated devices which slightly took the gloss off the whole thing.

    14a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the long suffering BD who works tirelessly to keep this ship afloat..

  10. Thanks BD yet again for all the work behind the scenes and well said Miffypops but can you experts at some point explain to us mortals how you go about identifying the various setters?!

  11. **/***. An enjoyable solve but I needed BD to explain 18a. Thanks. My favourite was 11a. Thanks also to Jay.

  12. Very enjoyable for me,as is normal with the Jay puzzles. Completed without help(is that why I’m commenting?, definitely). 18A the last one in and my COTD . Thanks to Jay and BD.

  13. An enjoyable, fairly gentle puzzle. Last in was 20ac, not because it was particularly hard, but just because that was where I got to last.

  14. Nice gentle stroll only impeded by 18a which took quite a bit of unwrapping(!).
    My fav was 14a, a real smiler😁
    Thx to all

  15. Like some of the others an enjoyable a gentle solve, except for 18a which I felt I had to bung in without really knowing why. It did end up my COTD, therefore, once I had BD’s help.

  16. As I get older and find it more difficult to get the head in gear, the more I appreciate a puzzle on the gentler side.
    I shot myself in the foot, yet again, by putting an incorrect answer in 2d, making it impossible to solve 11a. I revisited 2d (full disclosure, using electronic help) and found the right answer, then 11a was immediately obvious.
    My fave was 22a, what a lovely word.
    Thanks to Jay and to BD for his stepping in once more.

    1. Ditto your “As I get older and find it more difficult to get the head in gear, the more I appreciate a puzzle on the gentler side.”😊

    2. Agree. Definitely prefer a user friendly crossword to one which just highlights my failings. A clever young crossword compiler by the name of Erik Agard is the current champion on Jeopardy, a very popular US weeknight game show, a young man with a low of knowledge (and a lot of hair 😊).

      1. I love that programme! I don’t know how they remember all that info and manage to bring it to mind so quickly.

  17. A benign Jay offering today. I was held up by the ‘try’ bit in 8d, a new use to remember. That was the LOI.
    12d was retrieved from somewhere deep in my brain.
    Thanks to BD for stepping in and Jay.

  18. It’s a funny old game… I didn’t find this quite the stroll in the park that most people are saying. In some ways it didn’t feel particularly Jay like!
    Anyway I successfully completed it with 22a being fave simple because of the word.
    Thanks to Jay, and to BD for dashing to the rescue with the review.
    Ah, hello Tilsit….

  19. Got there in the end but needed hints to get me over a few hurdles 12d and 22a for example and although I admire 18a I would never have got it myself without BD or tilsit’s help. At least the homophones in 14a and 3d worked for me. Nice to see the Bash Street Kids though I had forgotten Cuthberts surname until I followed the instructions In the hint.
    Thanks to BD Tilsit and Jay.

  20. Re 4d, a true Victoria sponge never has icing on top, just icing sugar, quite different. Guess Jay is not a cook. Best we ever had was at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.

  21. Yes, really agree with Miffypops. I always enjoy & appreciate the blog & comments. I regard them as an essential learning aid for my future struggles!
    Got bogged down tonight in SW by trying to justify ‘realistic’ in 26a which caused me problems. 22a favourite as it’s such an expressive word.
    Thanks to all.

  22. Thanks for the blog review and setter. Writing this in bed after not sleeping. Partially completed during grand children’s visit. We took them to the newly completed Gloucester Cathedral grounds and up into the whispering gallery. An excellent trip. Well worth a visit. Its good to see Gloucester going up in the world.
    As for the cross word, enjoyable, but a couple of clunky clues took the edge off for me. The sponge and the natty dresser. **/***

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