DT 28888 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28888

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28888

Hints and tips by quaint and quirky Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from Downtown LI. A village abuzz with excitement about the spectacular bonfire and firework show that is scheduled for tonight.

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder treason and plot.
We see no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!

If only hosting a village event were as easy as this delightful puzzle from Dada. A nice beginning to the puzzling week. Now please don’t bother me. I’m busy.

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.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    A piece of paper under discussion (2,5)
AT ISSUE: Split 1,6 we need the letter A from the clue and the type of paper one uses to blow one’s nose. When this is split 2,5 it satisfies the definition in the clue

5a    Wonder when I’m clear to move (7)
MIRACLE: Anagram (to move) of I’M CLEAR

9a    Track runs back from an organ (5)
RENAL: One of a number of parallel strips of track or water for runners, rowers or swimmers in a race is followed by the cricket abbreviation for Runs. This is all reversed (back) to find something to do with kidneys. The best thing to do with kidneys is devil them and serve on toasted sourdough bread.

10a    Motoring panel, race directors (9)
DASHBOARD: A verb meaning to race is followed by a group of company directors to find a name for the driver’s instrument panel in a car. Why it ever got this name I do not know. They did look best when crafted from walnut though

11a    Failed actor sore about British language (5-5)
SERBO-CROAT: This language is an anagram (failed) of ACTOR SORE plus the letter B. The abbreviation of British

12a    Hide in desk, ingots (4)
SKIN: The answer here lies hidden within the words of the clue. The word in tells us so

14a    Best time, a hundred and one (6-2-4)
SECOND-TO-NONE: A three-part charade. Two parts to work out and a generous donation from the setter. Begin with a short division of time, one sixtieth of a minute. Add an informal noun meaning one hundred (miles an hour or a score in cricket). Add the generously given ONE from the clue

18a    Perfect, looking to double score (6-6)
TWENTY-TWENTY: This reference to perfect eyesight is the number referred to as a score written out twice

21a    Not good to be knocked over (4)
EVIL: A word meaning to be or to exist is reversed (knocked back)

22a    Fake unearthed, covering indefinite number below (10)
UNDERNEATH: Anagram (fake) of UNEARTHED and a mathematical indefinite number which seems to be the letter N. The mathematically minded among you might want to have another discussion about which letters can be used as unknowns and which are something else

25a    Vegetable chap has to leave (9)
MANGETOUT: This hilarious variety of pea can be split 3,3,3 do demand that a chap leaves a place. The enumeration here is given as 9 but my iPad wants it to be 5,4 as does my limited knowledge of French

26a    Mistake losing head in panic? (5)
ERROR: A word meaning panic has its first letter removed (losing head)

27a    Very raw, taste Welsh dish (7)
RAREBIT: Begin with the words very raw and think how one might cook a steak. Add a taste or small piece of something. The result is basically cheese on toast best eaten at the quarterdeck restaurant at The Nare Hotel

28a    Conspicuous lack of surface? (7)
NOTABLE: Split 2,5 we are without a surface to eat off or write at.


1d    Still treats to distribute (2,4)
AT REST: Anagram (to distribute) of TREATS

2d    Italian man disowning son — never mind (6)
IGNORE: An Italian gentleman needs to lose the abbreviation of Son

3d    Outline renovation of hotel suite (10)
SILHOUETTE: Anagram (renovation of) HOTEL SUITE

4d    Stop climbing with little hesitation — get down from this? (5)
EIDER: Begin with the reverse (climbing) of a word meaning to stop. The ultimate stopping of life for instance. Add a crosswordland hesitation. Not um, the other one. The down referred to in the clue is feathery and what we get it from is a duck

5d    Fluff man held is foul (9)
MISHANDLE: Although the answer was obvious from the checking letters the anagram eluded me for a while. MAN HELD IS are the words that make up the fodder while “is foul” is the anagram indicator

6d    Polish bottom of dirty stone (4)
RUBY: Begin with a verb meaning to polish. Add the final (bottom) letter of the word dirty

7d    Crazy attempt to sink snooker ball (8)
CRACKPOT: An informal noun meaning an attempt to try something is followed by a word meaning to strike a snooker ball into a pocket

8d    Put in precarious situation, stop getting annoyed? (8)
ENDANGER: When split 3,5 the answer suits the second part of the clue.

13d    Party beginning in Ghana in Africa, say? (10)
CONTINGENT: The initial letter (beginning) of Ghana is placed inside a land mass such as Africa

15d    Total caught and bowled, perhaps? (3-3-3)
OUT-AND-OUT: What you are when caught in cricket together with what you are when bowled

16d    Ship bearing right flag (8)
STREAMER: A type of ship has the abbreviation for right inserted

17d    Couturier resigned in a lather (8)
DESIGNER: Anagram (in a lather) of RESIGNED

19d    Ending in Vaduz, a tailless bird in European capital (6)
ZAGREB: The final letter of the word Vaduz is followed by the letter A from the clue and a long-necked diving water bird minus its last letter (tailless)

20d    Attack bill (6)
CHARGE: A double definition. The second being the cost of something

23d    Halved, each number taken down (5)
EATEN: Half of the word each is followed by a number. The mathematical amongst you will realise the number has only three letters. There are only four numbers with three letters. It should not take you long to work out which one works.

24d    Edible plant has eight round bits, all at the top (4)
HERB: Use the initial letters of four consecutive words from the clue as indicated by the words all at the top

Bonfire night
The stars shine bright
Three little angels dressed in white
One with a trumpet, one with a drum
One with a pancake stuck to her bum

Quickie Pun: Pepper+Roan+Knee=Pepperoni


43 comments on “DT 28888

  1. Thanks MP, a very enjoyable stroll after two tough examinations from the weekend. A 100% ‘parse rate’ too which is rare.
    Thanks both.

  2. Some lovely concise clueing made this pretty straightforward puzzle even more enjoyable. I will nominate 15d as my favourite in honour of the first test starting in Galle tomorrow morning.

    Not sure whether this is a Dada or a CL, but thanks anyway and to the quaint and quirky one.

  3. Bonfire day starts with a bang , lovely challenging crossword but not over difficult .
    COTD 25A .
    Thanks to everyone but look after your dogs tonight .We are in a quiet hotel in Devon .

  4. A nice start to the week. I suppose MP is busy setting up kegs for tonight’s revelry. My favourite: 25a. I had better than 18a, many years ago👓😜

  5. Very nice Monday puzzle, I thought. Favourite is 4d because I didn’t immediately tumble to the right kind of down.

    Thanks to the setter, BD and MP.

  6. A relatively easy romp home for Guy Fawkes day. Favourite 25a.
    Thanks to setter and MP.

    Can anyone help with my post from yesterday please?

    “Did I miss something? What is the IPad version? I was waiting for a revamp of the puzzles but nothing yet?
    I use the Puffin browser to get the puzzle on the IPad but the keyboard has lots to be desired? Used to use a crossword app that imported the puzzles but the Telegraph stopped them.
    Any updates on the new interface? “

    1. Crux still works on my iPad – but for some reason it doesn’t have the Sunday Telegraph puzzles.

      Easy **/*** for me too – ta to setter and MP

  7. A quite gentle, almost Rufusesque, start to the work week completed at a gallop – **/***.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 14a and 25a.

    Thanks to the setter and GMoLI.

  8. A perfect start to the week. Took a bit of time to get a toehold but then swept through it smoothly. Some good clues with 13d being todays star. A wee firecracker.

  9. A gentle kick-off to the week which was almost a piece of cake. The down in 4d held out to the end. Fav 25a followed by 15d. Quickie pun is amusing. Thank you Mysteron and MP.

  10. A step down from the weekends’ two rather testing puzzles.
    Nevertheless, elegant and enjoyable.
    Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for the review.

  11. 4d had me stumped for a while. Favourite 25a. Clever puzzle and not too tricky. Thanks to all.

  12. I agree with everything that has already been said. I have never heard the second rhyme before, where does that originate? Hope your fireworks party goes with a bang, although we always pray for rain on 5/11 as we are surrounded by thatched cottages! A burning thatch is a nohoper, thatch being designed to shed water.

    1. It came from the late Nineteen Fifties. Backstreet Coventry although I bet it was sang countrywide. Guy Guy Guy. Stick him in the eye. Tie him to a lampost and watch him die was another.

  13. Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A cracking puzzle to start the week, but not too tricky. Last in was 13d. Liked 24d, but my favourite was 25a. Luckily I saw 4d straight away. Was 2*/3.5* for me.

  14. Thanks to the setter for a great start to the week. Wonderful 25a has to be my favourite!! **/**** for me as very enjoyable.

  15. This one was generally quite mild but I found the clues to be mostly excellently constructed/written, giving an enjoyable solve. 2* / 3.5*

    1. PS. I just wanted to report a couple of very recent anomolies on the site:

      a. There’s a red “Not secure” warning next to the email address at the top of the page.

      b. Typing :, -, ) (without the commas) doesn’t produce a proper smiley face emoticon like it always used to.

      1. My tablet thinks the site is not secure – my home and work PCs don’t

        Just testing an emoticon :sad: – sadly my sad emoticon just appears as a box

  16. Just went back to completed puzzle on IPad and the grid is blank – anybody else had this problem before I report this?

    1. Yes. It always happened to me. Saint Sharon deleted the app and put it back on again. All was well after that.

  17. An enjoyable walk in the park which proved that, yes, I still can solve the Telegraph cryptic after a tricky couple of days. I stuttered a little in the SE corner and on 5d, but the rest went in without too much ado.

  18. As Senf says, this was very Rufusesque in places, and one can’t really give a Monday puzzle greater praise than that.

    My picks of the clues were 10a and 4d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the quaint and quirky one.

  19. I’m sure this wasn’t particularly difficult but I managed to make it so by virtue of several stupid slip-ups.
    Much enjoyed and I put 1,10&18a as my top three.

    Thanks to Dada and to MP for the blog. Now let’s see what sort of mess I can make of the Rookie!

  20. Really enjoyed this but made the stupid mistake of bunging in Elder for 4 down so referred to the blog for help with parsing. Cluing of the rest of it was so smooth I should have known it was me at fault!! Thanks to Setter and Hinter

  21. I have used this site before a long time ago and expressed my thanks for it but I want to do it again for reasons which will become evident. I am terminally ill with cancer, sympathy not required, and was told I had months to live in July 2017 so I am on borrowed time! I have been doing the Telegraph crossword for about 50 years (I am now 71) and in my few waking hours I still do it every day. I get extreme pleasure from this site because even if I have solved the crossword and OK with the parsing, which I sometimes need help with, I enjoy reading others comments, I read it every day, so a big thank you to the setters and the editor and a big thank you to Big Dave and all the bloggers. I also do the Times which I complete most days and I have a friend (a retired GP) who visits me each week and we do a couple of Telegraph toughies together. He says we should have done it years ago. A good friend and useful having a doctor visit me every week.

    Thanks again to everyone.
    Barry Dobson.

    1. I know you said you don’t want sympathy, but one can hardly not want to bring you comfort.

      I’m so glad that you’ve been able to get such pleasure from Big Dave’s wonderful site, as we all do. Please pop in from time to time to let us know how you are doing.

    2. How great that you have a friendly GP in regular attendance. Good luck for the future. 👍🏻.

  22. I loved this, just right for my level of solving, nothing obscure, no Britspeak, only one crickety thing! Perfect.
    Lots to like but I think 10a won by a nose.
    Thanks to Dada and to M’pops for the entertainment.
    Hope you have a rip-roaring bonfire night!

  23. Very straightforward solve but very pleasant nonetheless.
    Thanks to Dada.
    Thanks to MP. Have a good bonfire night.

  24. Straight forward start to the week with no holdups encountered. I too will go with 25a as favourite.
    Thanks to Dada, and to the busy one from LI for the review.

  25. Flying through this but put phone down and the android app shut itself down and won’t reopen. I’ll have to get the dead tree and hope that this is the start of the new app coming on line.
    PS to CS I can see your sad face :) that sounds bad I mean your emoticon has shown here.

  26. Thanks to setter and Miffypops for a fun challenge today. Not too hard, but tricky in places. Wish we could be there for the Bonfire party tonight, do miss those and the fireworks. I was once asked if July 4th was celebrated in England, probably by the same person who asked me what I did during the war…

  27. Thank you for this site which I use frequently to do the clues I find tricky. I had to look up origin of ‘dashboard’ and here it is:
    The word “dashboard” was originally used to describe the wooden board carriage makers attached to the front of carriages to prevent mud and rocks from being splashed (or “dashed”) onto drivers and their passengers by the horses that pulled them about. In essence, dashboards served as mud flaps for horses’ hooves.

    While the term “dashboard” didn’t work its way into popular English until the 1800’s, the concept of a “dashboard” existed long before then. In fact, Mesopotamian chariots dating as far back as 3,000 BC employed similar guards against mud and rocks.

    It wasn’t until the early 1900’s – when carriages became dependent on motors instead of horses – that “dashboards” were repurposed to house vehicle instruments, like speedometers and gas gauges.

    Shortly after, the word “carriage” was shortened to “car”; the term “instrument panel” replaced “dashboard”; and windshields were developed to guard drivers and passengers from light debris.

    Still, the term “dashboard” never quite disappeared.

  28. This all slotted in fairly nicely without a great deal of head scratching. 15d was the clear winner for me. Thank you setter and q&q MP. I did wonder after 19d if I should be looking for a pangram.

  29. I didn’t get round to this puzzle till today, so it’s a bit late to comment, but shouldn’t ‘perfect looking’ be underlined for 18ac? To the best of my knowledge 20/20 only implies perfection in vision.

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