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DT 28882

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28882

Hints and tips by photogenic Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from Downtown LI. In MPs absence the village have unveiled a new War Memorial to commemorate those who fell during the first and second world wars. It is stunningly beautiful and a fitting tribute to those who gave their lives.

At the time of its unveiling Saint Sharon and I were in Barry Island. A bit of a contrast there. We later watched David Byrne in concert in Cardiff. A great show. Up there with the best.

I have no idea who set today’s puzzle. I did enjoy it though. Good fun throughout

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 answers or the clues. No animals were harmed or embarrassed during the production of today’s hints

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    River not going just around the corner (11)
FORTHCOMING: It is always pleasing when 1 across is an instant solve. Not so today when this was my last one in. Even with a full set of checkers it took some head scratching. Neither the abbreviation for River nor Crosswordland’s most popular river, The Po, were any help. In the end I found the Scottish river which rises in Loch Ard, meanders through Stirling and pours itself out into The North Sea. Followed by the opposite (not) of going.

9a    Where chimney may be designed too, for power (7)
ROOFTOP: A lovely little anagram (designed) of TOO FOR followed by the abbreviation of power

10a    At sixes and sevens, as nine crazy! (6)
INSANE: Anagram (at sixes and sevens) of AS NINE

12a    Queen, sweet little thing (7)
SULTANA: A female queen in an Islamic state shares her title with that of a grape dipped in acid and then dried (as opposed to a raisin which is dried naturally. Both taste delicious especially when eaten with mixed nuts.

13a    What’s responsible for sinking? Something in boat’s broken by it (7)
GRAVITY: The force that attracts a body towards the centre of the earth can be found by placing the word IT from the clue inside a sauce made from the cooked juices of meats and served in containers known as boats. Or in Miffypops case poured into wine glasses and drunk with gusto accompanied by Saint Sharon’s cry of “you can’t take him anywhere”.

14a    Courage never fails (5)
NERVE: Anagram (fails) of NEVER

15a    Michael perhaps getting caught by car, change lanes (9)
ARCHANGEL: The answer here lies hidden amongst the words of the clue indicated by the words getting caught. Which words? Have a look for yourself

17a    Establish a race isn’t fixed (9)
ASCERTAIN: Anagram (fixed) of A RACE ISN’T

20a    Placed bottom, fashionable material (5)
SATIN: This smooth glossy fabric is made up of two parts. To have placed ones bottom upon something such as a chair following by a two-lettered word meaning fashionable

22a    Primarily lazy, professional student (7)
LEARNER: The first letter (primarily) of the word Lazy followed by one who receives money for work or services

24a    Transport no longer seen in large volume? (7)
OMNIBUS: A double definition. An old form of transport or a volume containing several previously published books

25a    Corn like this? Scream in pain! (6)
YELLOW: The colour corn can be split 4,2 to satisfy the final three words of the clue

26a    Thus restricting doctor, a ban (7)
EMBARGO: A four letter word meaning thus is split by a Bachelor of Medicine and the letter A from the clue

27a    Very latest sword, say? (7-4)
CUTTING-EDGE: A term which means the very latest or most recent development can also be used to describe a sword, particularly its blade.


2d    Shock finding first of rats in period of darkness (7)
OUTRAGE: This period of darkness is caused by an electrical power cut. The word used for this is split by the first letter of the word rats

3d    Leader — the best on hand? (3,6)
TOP BANANA: The head person in an organisation may be known by a term that uses a fruit that grows in bunches known as hands

4d    Stick cap on coastal swimmer (5)
CLING: Begin with the initial letter (cap) of coastal and add a cod like fish

5d    Cosmetic with which mother covers a defect (7)
MASCARA: An informal name for your mum is placed around the letter A from the clue and a defect caused by healed wound

6d    Old woman and man in Chinese port (7)
NANKING: A lady and a gent. Yours mammie’s mammy or your dads mum followed by the partner of a Queen, as a chess piece

7d    Development of Lebanese port, not old, turned out well (11)
PRESENTABLE: Anagram (development of) of LEBANESE PORT without the abbreviation for old (not old)

8d    Wolf in error? (6)
HOWLER: A description of a wolf based on the noise it makes can also be used to describe an error

11d    How distant target was hit? That’s for sure! (2,1,4,4)
BY A LONG SHOT: A cryptic definition of how one might hit a target that is a long way off can also be used to mean ‘that’s for sure’ or without doubt

16d    Accents grasped by staff in Asian language (9)
CANTONESE: The plural of a noun meaning accent needs to be placed inside a word synonymous with a staff, a long thin staff made from bamboo. My advice here is to bung in the language from the checking letters and worry about the whys and wherefores later.

18d    Church consumed gold in castle (7)
CHATEAU: A three-part charade. 1 An abbreviation of church 2 A word meaning to have consumed food 3 The chemical symbol for gold

19d    Lock phone left with long-distance caller? (7)
RINGLET: This lock of hair can be found by an informal word meaning to phone someone. The abbreviation for left and cinemas cutest long-distance caller who famously phoned home in my all-time favourite film.

20d    Some ballast initially, a good defence against flooding (7)
SANDBAG: The two initial letters from the words Some and Ballast separated by the word AND (goodness knows why – the clue isn’t clear) followed by the letter A from the clue and the abbreviation for Good

21d    Old garment cheers poet (6)
TABARD: An informal word meaning cheers or thanks is followed by a poet such as William Shakespeare

23d    Tree line on middle of bank (5)
ROWAN: A number of things in a straight line followed by the central two letters in the word bank will give a tree. This tree is also known as The Mountain Ash and is considered to be lucky.

Quickie Pun: ticker+taboo=tickety-boo. Takia Babu.
n Hindi, “Tikai babu” means “It’s alright, Sir.” While India was governed under the British Empire, British airmen picked up the expression and it evolved into its current form. Canadian soldiers picked up the expression from their British allies during World War 2 and introduced it into Canadian jargon soon after. With thanks to Merusa.

52 comments on “DT 28882

  1. A couple of emasculated brass monkeys looking for a welder this bitter morning as I completed this enjoyable and straightforward offering. 25a appealed to my childish sense of humour, but my favourite was 1a, one of my last entries.

    If the all-knowing MP is not aware of the setter, then I shall merely thank whomsoever compiled this very pleasant crossword, and also the photogenic one.

  2. For some unknown reason I expected an easy ride today but first run through proved otherwise .
    Excellent crossword and kept changing my mind over the favourite but 3D & 20A gave the widest smiles so are my choices just ahead of several other quality clues .
    Thanks to everyone .

  3. Nice start to the week. Thought that this was going to be a R&W but then got held up by some tricky blighters in the NW corner.

    Liked 1a, 4d and 19d (as well as another good lurker) but favourite was 13a. LoI = 12a

    20d was a bung-in, and agree it’s not clear how you’d know to include “and”.

    Thanks to the setter and MP.

      1. Welcome to the blog Bear

        Isn’t that what it says in the hint? The question mark seems to be over how you are expected to derive the “AND” without any indication.

  4. A good start to the work week completed at a comfortable gallop – **/***.

    I generated a list of five or so favourites; so, I won’t list them all, I will pick the excellent 15a lurker as the 3d.

    Thanks to the setter and MP.

  5. 2* / 3*. Like bjs I thought this was going to be an unmentionable but I also got held up in the NW. All good fun though with 3d my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to MP.

  6. This was a bit of a struggle for a Monday especially in the NW corner but worth it all the way as I steadily unravelled the wordplay.

    Favourites 13ac, 25ac and 8dn.

    Thanks to setter and MP.

  7. After a hesitant kick-off this delightfully lighthearted puzzle was achieved in a somewhat haphazard sort of way eventually completing the West first. Difficult to pick an outright Fav from amongst 1a, 13a, 20a, 3d and 19d but think I will plump for 20a for its LOL moment. Thank you Mysteron. Thanks also to you MP for the hints but I do have to say your use of a cold (presumably) wine glass as container for the 13a component turns my stomach! 🤮

    1. I didn’t want to waste it and drinking directly from the gravy boat got ‘the look’ from Saint Sharon.

      1. You can’t waste the gravy, we always finish it up by placing a slice of bread on our dinner plates to sop up what’s left, and topping up with whatever is left in the gravy boat. Yum, delicious. Hadn’t thought of the wine glass thing though 🙂

    2. I don’t have gravy on anything but I understand using a teapot is favoured, not least because you can use the tea cosy to keep it warm

        1. I had a bad experience with liver as part of a school dinner back in the 60s so it was the only foodstuff my mother ever excused me from eating, with or without gravy.

          1. Lots and lots of onions. Alas, I stopped eating mammal some time ago, but I can still remember the pleasure.

  8. That Epstein sculpture has made me shiver every time I’ve looked at it since I was 10 years old.
    Given my atheistic position, this says a lot about the power of art, wouldn’t you say?

    Anyway, I made heavy weather of the top and bottom clues, as well as the 17 anagram, despite having all the letters. I still had “bellow” for 25a for no good reason – thx for the hint here.

    It was all achievable so no complaints from me, but thx to setter for some good misdirections.

  9. 20d. As the hints are provided by Miffypops, I feel compelled to comment! 😊 I read this simply as the initial letters from some (not sand, as MP says) ballast are S and B.

  10. I really enjoyed this, a proliferation of top clues, 1a and 13a prominent amongst them. Many thanks to the setter and to MP for his usual entertaining and imformative review.
    Pleased to note that the aforementioned MP has adopted my method of solving re his advice for 16d!!

    1. I think you’re right – ‘at sixes and sevens’ would be a bit OTT for a definition of the answer.

  11. An enjoyable solve but I did have an issue with some of the surface reads and a couple of queries elsewhere. I think the Chinese port has a different central letter and I’m not sure about the definition of ‘professional’ in 22a, unless the clue is intended as an all-in-one!
    As already mentioned, I think our publican may have mistaken the indicator in 10a.

    I went round all the same houses as MP in a bid to solve 1a so I guess it deserves a place on the leader board although my actual favourite was 27a followed by the smile-inducing Quickie pun.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to MP for both the blog and the variety of musical clips.

    1. The port in question is now written “Nanjing” in Mandarin pinyin but used to be transcribed “Nanking” in an old romanisation system; the same way that Peking is now written Beijing, and Mao Tsetung as Mao Zedong. Both systems used correctly actually represent the same pronunciation but the old system tended to be mispronounced.

  12. I thought this was going to be more tricky than it proved in the end. Very enjoyable. A few too many anagrams for my taste though. Good lurker at 15a. I liked 3d, 24a 8d and 13a with top place to 1a.

  13. Off to a roaring start then to a grinding halt in the NW corner. Put me into *** territory.
    Pennies eventually dropped,
    There seems to be two spellings of 6d in various sources.
    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to Miffypops for the review.

  14. **/***. Fairly gentle start to the week but as MP stated 20d could have done with “and” being clued. 1a was my favourite. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  15. Thanks to MP’s excellent hints I completed this fairly easily, except for 17a, the anagram looked strange somehow. Further thanks to MP for putting me on the right road again.

  16. Really late on today. I did enjoy this, puzzle and blog. The clip in 11d came up in my iPod shuffle while doing exercises in the pool yesterday, wotta coincidence. The Joni Mitchell clip was a pleasant memory as well.
    Lots and lots to like, the NW corner was the last to fall. No faves today, I’m spoilt for choices.
    Thanks to our setter, come back soon, and thanks to M’pops for the blog. I think the war memorial is beautiful.

  17. Similar experience here. 1a was the holdout for some time. I think I would drink gravy from a glass if the proviso of only cooking with wine that is good enough to drink was liberally used in the preparation of said gravy. As for the other pics Is your dry cleaner still on speaking terms?
    Thanks to Miffypops and setter.

  18. Ouch, that was really difficult, biggest struggle for ages. I would not have finished without a couple of MP’s hints.
    I shall need to go through the hints to sort out some parsing.
    Thanks all

  19. Another great Monday puzzle, just a few holdouts, with 1a being last in, and only after reading the hints. 27a was probably my COTD. Thanks to setter and Miffypops.

  20. This was one of the most enjoyable crosswords . IT MADE ME CHUCKLE OUT LOUD, More please, compiler!!

  21. I thought this was quite tricky, especially for a Monday. *** if not **** for difficulty. It was the top of the puzzle that did for me, and I ended up crawling a clue at a time from the NW to the NE corners. It’s always possible I’m just suffering from a severe case of Mondayitis of course.

  22. Spent more time on the last two than on the rest of the puzzle.
    8d and 12a finally required to call on a friend.
    Thanks to Miffypops for helping me over the last hurdles.
    Thanks to the setter for the challenge.

  23. That laugh at the end of ‘big yellow taxi’ sounds more ridiculous every time I hear it.

  24. My biggest mistake today was leaving solving this puzzle until late this evening and to until well after I’d spent the day wallpapering our dining room. Many clues (for me at least) were like extracting teeth without anesthetic. Probably nothing wrong at all with the puzzle and maybe it was simply my tired frame of mind, but zero for enjoyment from me. Sorry setter, not one of my favourites this one. (Makes a mental note to start crossword puzzles at the ‘crack of sparrows’ and not leave it so late in future) Night all.

  25. On 20D, I wondered whether the setter had used ‘ballast’ twice – for sand (a bit of a stretch, but maybe ballast as building sand), and then initial B. I don’t approve, but it saved me from worrying all night.

  26. Bit of a slog for me, not helped by a couple of senior moments. I put minibus in for 24a and for some reason sylvana for 12a. Thought 1a & 13a were brilliant.

  27. Busy day yesterday so couldn’t tackle this until porridge time this morning. 13a was favourite, but I’m too late to join the gravy trail. Many thanks setter and MP. I’ve been left wondering if a certain person did a mud run in a Gatsby suit.

    1. I was wondering what to wear for the run when I remembered I had an unworn suit. So I wore that. I wasn’t going to spoil my pink one.

  28. I thought 13 across was a great clue. Lovely misdirection. Laugh out loud moment on solving.
    Many thanks for ongoing help & encouragement.



  29. 2*/5*
    joint COD’s…12A (sweet little queen), 13A (sinking boat), 3D (best on hand) and 8D (erroneous wolf).

  30. I know I’m a fortnight late, MP, but I believe you’ll see this – thanks so much for the 15ac, that was my immediate mental picture when I solved the clue, having spent my teenage years in Coventry. And thanks also for the lovely Rowan Tree clip.

    1. My pleasure Molly. Maybe you will like today’s blog 28894. When you get around to it that is

  31. YES – that was a delightful puzzle – thoroughly enjoyable !! 13 a was a real corker of a clue – as was 19 d !! THANKS, guys !!! :)

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