DT 28889 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28889

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28889

Hints and tips by Mr K

+ - + - + - + - + - + - + - +

BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***


Hello, everyone, and welcome to a solid Tuesday cryptic.  I just realised that I've been writing the Tuesday hints for two years, because it's Election Day in the US and I remember well nervously writing my second blog on the day of the 2016 election.  It was quite a day. 

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    Section of Rubicon I consider very famous (6)
ICONIC:  The answer is hiding as a section of the remainder of the clue

5a    Turncoat failing men (8)
DEFECTOR:  Put together a failing or imperfection and some usual soldiery men

9a    Popular party game, unfinished as a result (2,11)
IN CONSEQUENCE:  The usual short word for popular is followed by all but the last letter (… unfinished) of a party game employing pen and paper

10a   American soldier cutting orange in pieces for girl (8)
GEORGINA:  A usual American soldier inserted in (cutting) an anagram (… in pieces) of ORANGE produces a girl's name

11a   Fertiliser in plant container has worked (6)
POTASH:  Join a container in which a plant is grown and an anagram (…worked) of HAS.  The Wikipedia page for the answer is here.  There's more to the stuff that I thought

12a   Dance, ignoring a Greek character (6)
LAMBDA:  A few Tuesdays ago we built up the dance in question by adding A to a Greek letter.  Today we reverse direction, subtracting (ignoring) the A in the clue from the dance to obtain that Greek letter

14a   Instrument: I'm clued cryptically, by first of reversals (8)
DULCIMER:  An anagram (cryptically) of I'M CLUED with the first letter of REVERSALS

In my internet search for a video to illustrate this clue I came across another interesting performance on an unusual instrument.  Since the wait for HURDY-GURDY to appear in a Tuesday grid might be long, I'll just include it here

16a   Visit Democrat in decline (2,2,4)
GO TO SEED:  Visit (2,2,3), followed by a single-letter abbreviation for Democrat

19a   Mentally slow, not acute? (6)
OBTUSE:  A double definition, the second describing an angle that is not acute

21a   A poet eating nothing on a train perhaps (6)
ABOARD:  A from the clue and a literary word for poet containing (eating) the letter that looks like zero (nothing)

23a   Clear French own goal in game (8)
LEAPFROG:  Concatenate clear or go over,  the abbreviation for France, and the football abbreviation for an own goal

25a   Astonished as lorry makes a loud noise at the front (13)
THUNDERSTRUCK:  A lorry is preceded (… at the front) by a verb meaning "makes a loud noise"

26a   Piece of evidence, not so great, leaves one bewildered (8)
CLUELESS:  Stick together a piece of evidence or an indication and a word for "not so great" or "not as much" 

27a   Stop working and go to bed (6)
RETIRE:  A straightforward double definition



2d    Fancy that man entering running race (7)
CHIMERA:  A pronoun for "that man" is inserted in (entering) an anagram (running) of RACE

3d    More attractive Mediterranean resort close to Gibraltar (5)
NICER:  A resort on the Mediterranean has the final letter of (close to) GIBRALTAR appended

4d    Potential MP maybe frank over high tea (9)
CANDIDATE:  Frank or open is followed by (over, in a down clue) an anagram (high) of TEA.  Maybe is indicating that "potential MP" is a definition by example of the answer.  Information about the one appearing in the two pictures is here

5d    Stop living with firm traditionalist (7)
DIEHARD:  Cement together "stop living" and a synonym of firm

6d    Dowdy woman following behind (5)
FRUMP:  Glue together the single-letter abbreviation for following and behind or buttocks 

7d    Against inflexible limit (9)
CONSTRICT:  A charade of synonyms of against and of inflexible or uncompromising 

8d    Be responsible for poetry written in Old English (7)
OVERSEE:  Some generic poetry is inserted between (written in) abbreviations for old and for English

13d   Lose one's temper with a female wearing shirt-like garment (4,1,4)
BLOW A FUSE:  Assemble an abbreviation for with, A from the clue, and an abbreviation for female.  That lot is then all contained by (wearing) a shirt-like garment

15d   Take care of a rook left injured (4,5)
LOOK AFTER:  An anagram (… injured) of A ROOK LEFT

17d   Like the M25 section spoken about? (7)
ORBITAL:  A section or piece has an adjective meaning spoken wrapped about it

18d   Spanish girl learning to gatecrash parties (7)
DOLORES:  Some learning or wisdom inserted in (to gatecrash) some usual parties gives another girl's name, this time from Spain

20d   Corner netted by rising reserve in game (7)
SNOOKER:  A corner or recess contained in (netted by) the reversal (rising, in a down clue) of an abbreviation for reserve

22d   Avoid bumper car? Not quite (5)
DODGE:  Another name for a bumper car, with its last letter deleted (… not quite)

24d   Source of inspiration in spring (5)
FOUNT:  A double definition.  A source of desirable things, such as inspiration, and a poetic word for a spring of water


Thanks to Setter A for a fun solve.  The standout clue for me was 14a.  Which clue topped your list?


The Quick Crossword puns: 

45 comments on “DT 28889

  1. A pleasant enough and smooth run through today ending up in the NE. 13d, 17d and 18d candidates for Fav but perhaps none quite up to standard. Thank you Messrs Ron and K.

  2. Had a complete mental block at 24d, and after the rest had gone so smoothly too. Couldn’t get a certain wrong word out of my furry head, so just shrugged and wordfindered.

    Other than that, nothing to get me reaching for the catnip. Liked the poetry in Old English (8d) and “with a female wearing” in 13d.

    Thanks to the setter and the (terrible?) two-year-old hinter.

  3. I would agree with a **/*** score. I was a little slow in getting it started, like many old bangers on a cold autumnal morning, but once up to speed, it went happily along.

    Last one in was 24d, which I can’t say I liked very much. COTD was 16a.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  4. 1.5* / 3*. Light but good fun. 17d was my favourite with 14a & 13d in joint second place.

    Many thanks to Messrs R & K.

  5. Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, lots of smiles along the way. Very straightforward for the most part, but like Kitty, I just couldn’t get a particular word out of my head, mine was “fruit”. Didn’t realise it was a double definition, that is the type of clue that often defeats me. Must think DD in future. I liked 11,12,23a and 13&18d, but my favourite was 16a. Was 2*/3* for me.

        1. And me.
          I inserted an “I” (source of inspiration) but couldn’t work out why “ frut “ meant anything, other than “turf” upside down………

  6. Nothing too difficult in this Tuesday offering. 17d was my COTD with 8d a worthy runner-up. A good mix of clues, I thought.

    Thanks to both Misters involved in today’s production.

  7. Like Heno, I couldn’t get “fruit” out of my head for 24d. Thank you BD for The Mine in Features. I needed it for the Greek alphabet. I was able to spot the dance with the ‘a’ missing. 13d was a favourite. Many thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty

  8. Bright and breezy – good puzzle with no standout favourite but I did enjoy the 14a performance.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr K for the blog. Well done for bringing us two years of eminently readable reviews.

  9. Nothing to frighten the horses but very pleasant. Not too sure about 20d, seems a little clumsy to me.
    Thx to all

  10. Re bottom line puns:
    Is this to do with particular setters?
    I didn’t notice it and I wondered if it was one of those esoteric things.

    1. Hi, Bluebird. One of the Tuesday setters likes to have some fun with the quickie. We’ve had several puzzles with puns on the first and last rows, and at least one with puns running along all four edges of the grid. There have also been a few where all of the across answers start with the same letter, often a W.

      1. Ah, thanks Mr K (and your database…)

        I’d like to think I’ll remember this, but I’ll inevitably forget.

  11. Once again fairly straightforward but good fun. 14a appealed to the little boy in me ( fortunately the adult that is me took over…) so that is my favourite.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr K.

  12. I did enjoy the busker for the 14a clue instrument.

    I didn’t enjoy the video for the hurdy gurdy though, Mr K. Sorry.

    Maybe the whole Me Too thing has made me a bit squeamish. And I’m by no means a snowflake ( too old…) but it felt as though some dodgy marketing executive or manager had their grubby hands all over it………”hang on, we can sell shedloads of units of traditional music as long as we put them in a forest and make it massively sexy”……..
    Well, I could go on and on about the objectification of women as stage “scenery” or “props” and all the cynical marketing strategies being used to promote classical and traditional music performers to new customers, but this is not that sort of Forum.
    I must be having a very grumpy day……..

    1. I get where you’re coming from re the second video, but I don’t think that kind of manipulation is going on here. The self-produced content on Patty’s YouTube channel suggests that what you see there is pretty much her. The video above is a cover version of a song by Irish rock musician Gary Moore.

      1. That’ll learn me not to go and look at the YT profile first. At least you can earn enough through Patreon and other partners, once you get over 100k subscribers, to present yourself direct to the public, so I approve in general, although I can’t say I’m a big fan of her.

        I have everything Gary Moore did and I still miss him. He lived round the corner from my daughter.

        1. I totally agree with you about Gary Moore. I had the great pleasure to see him live several times and he was without doubt one of the finest rock and blues guitarists ever.

  13. A game of 2 halves for me today as mostly the top section completed in Salcombe this morning then polished off on arriving home on Old South Wales .

    Also in the camps of “fruit” and 20d last one in .

    Love the two faced cat .

    Thanks to everyone .

  14. A gentle, pleasant stroll. But like so many others of you I couldn’t get ‘fruit’ out of my mind for some time. I did manage to resist the urge to bung it in since I knew it almost certainly couldn’t be right. I liked 25a but I suppose I had better make 24d my favourite.

  15. like most bloggers agree that todays puzzle was light enjoyable fun, like others fruit seemed inevitable until the penny dropped-brilliant pic , thanks Mr K- reminded me of our locals on new years eve !
    Liked 17d for a very good surface and 23a.

  16. Had a good run today and never even thought of fruit! Thank you to the setter and Mr K. Will now take a more interested look at the quickie.

  17. A very gentle, but excellently clued puzzle that I thoroughly enjoyed. 23a and 13d were my picks.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K, congratulations on your two year anniversary. Another superb choice of pics, my own cat earlier was doing the very same thing as the one illustrating 24d.

  18. Thanks Mr.K.
    No problems until 23a and 24d. Mark me down as another fruit. I would have blithely assumed it was correct until the app said ‘non’.
    Thanks all.

  19. Another puzzle that I could solve, I’m a happy soul, even though I had 24d wrong.
    I think that 25a is fave but 14a was close behind.
    Thanks to setter and to Mr. K for his hints and pics, especially the cats.
    I remember the day two years ago, a day of infamy that’ll be hard to forget. I’m almost not daring to breathe today in case I put a guzu on the Dems.

  20. I got held up in the SE corner for a while but apart from that quite straightforward and enjoyable. COTD for me 16a.
    Thanks to the setter and a special thanks to Mr K on his second anniversary of enlightening and entertaining us with the review

  21. **/***. Interesting puzzle as it definitely required wavelength alignment. Thanks to all. It’s going to be an interesting day south of the border.

  22. We’ll hold our hands up and admit to toying with FRUIT for 24d until we could not make it work. All good fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  23. Very straightforward today.
    I don’t understand the whole fruit issue. It never occurred to me either. Favourite clues today..16a and Dolores..hope she enjoyed the parties.
    Thank you Mr. K.I loved the thirsty kitten,and thanks to the setter.

  24. Agreed 14a was a fine clue. The rest was a pleasant romp. 20d was bunged in incorrectly but Mr K put me right and then 23a was LOI. Thanks to Mr K and happy 2nd birthday. Hope your 4th birthday sees a better pres.
    I did like 25a and was half hoping we might see some AC/DC but I hummed it to myself while finishing.
    Thanks to setter too.

    1. Thanks, John. Sorry about the missed AC/DC opportunity – I’m afraid that my knowledge of their music is a bit superficial.

  25. 23ac and 24d at the close gave me a little bother, but the rest went in without too much ado. An enjoyable, solid Tuesday offering.

  26. 18d made me laugh as the name always makes me think of Dolores De Lago, the toast of Chicago. I just love Bette Midler.
    Loved the charade in 23a but favourite is 13d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the review and pics.
    My cat Gingembre loves to drink from the tap in the bathroom. She often jumps up when I brush my teeth.

  27. Sorry to drop in late on this discussion but my ‘day job’ keeps me airborne for long periods. I must have had a deprived childhood, I’ve never heard of the party game ‘consequences’. Thanks to the setter and Mr K for the tips🐱

    1. Never too late to comment, Flyingfox. I included a link to the Wikipedia page on the game because I thought there might be readers out there who weren’t familiar with it. All I knew about it was the name.

      Thanks to you and to everyone else who commented today.

  28. A very enjoyable puzzle.

    Was held up by the superfluous “own goal” in 23a, but otherwise all in at a canter.

    Thank you to Setter and to Mr K

      1. Unfortunately not. I didn’t know the muse, the pottery, or even the tree.

        There’s is nearly always at least one Giovanni GK answer that is above my pay grade…..

Comments are closed.