DT 28894 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28894

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28894

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating - Difficulty ** - Enjoyment **

Alas, woe is me. Last week was Dada's last Monday offering as he is now to take over the Sunday Prize puzzle slot. As a double bogey this is probably Chris Lancaster's final Monday puzzle. Since the retirement of Rufus my enjoyment of solving and blogging Monday's puzzles has risen greatly. Their originality and diversity have been a breath of fresh air. I have an inkling of what the future holds, and I feel we will be back to easy-peasy Mondays. Thanks to John Halpern and Chris Lancaster. I enjoyed my time with you.

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 group not bothered about chaps leaving (11)
ABANDONMENT: A nice four-part charade to start us off. Use the letter A from the clue. Add a group (of musicians perhaps). Place an anagram (bothered) of NOT around another world for chaps or blokes

9a Soft rock gets Blair in a lather? (9)
SOAPSTONE: This soft rock is also known as steatite. When split 5,4. It may suggest how one gets a former prime minister lathered up. I would get lathered up if I had his name and were referred to by the awful version used here.

10a Supporter: 'Five-nil? Well done!' (5)
BRAVO: This supporter supports breasts. Add the Roman numeral for five and the letter that looks like nil or nothing

11a Piece on board that is green (6)
ROOKIE: The chess piece that begins a game in the corner of the board is followed by the Latin for that is. Big Dave is short of puzzles for this section of the blog. If you have one to submit you will not wait long to see it published

12a Important friend facing hearing when leader quits (8)
MATERIAL: Place your friend or pal before a hearing by judge and jury but minus its first letter (when leader quits)

13a Shark served with last of salad was tender (6)
NURSED: A type of shark with the wonderful name ginglymostoma cirratum needs the last letter of the word salad to be added

15a Being tactile could be moving (8)
TOUCHING: The physical act of being tactile can also be used to describe a moving or emotional feeling

18a Authorise punitive measure (8)
SANCTION: A double definition

19a Slough needs men in service (6)
MORASS: Place the abbreviation for ordinary men inside a religious service led by a priest

21a One picking holes in fancy cake and tart (8)
ATTACKER: Anagram (fancy) of CAKE and TART

23a End exercise to seize power in French town (6)
DIEPPE: To end as in the extinction of life is followed by the abbreviation for physical exercise containing the abbreviation for Power

26a Dope from China going to Portugal (5)
CHUMP: Your China is your friend in Cockney rhyming slang. China plate = Mate. Find another word for your mate and add the IVA code for Portugal

27a Adult you and I hit is stunned (9)
AWESTRUCK: Begin with the abbreviation for Adult. Add the pronoun depicting you and I. Add a word meaning to have hit somebody or something

28a Not reliable, sadly, and beyond the pale (11)


1d Out-of-place athlete? (4-3)
ALSO-RAN: This athlete doesn't appear on the medals rostrum

2d Warning having lost right old battle (5)
ALAMO: A warning has the letter R (right) removed. What is left is followed by the letter O (old)

3d Rebel Democrat insisted on change? (9)
DISSIDENT: Begin with the abbreviation for Democrat. Add an anagram (on change) of INSISTED

4d Without agreement, retreat (4)
NOOK: SPLIT 2,2 this retreat or hidey hole can mean without agreement

5d Lift to reveal changes (8)
ELEVATOR: Anagram (changes) of TO REVEAL

6d Board rebel battleship, partly capsized (5)
TABLE: A hidden word. The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue indicated by the word partly. To complicate the matter and hinder your search the word is reversed as indicated by the word capsized

7d Kick member appearing as pirate (7)
BOOTLEG: A verb meaning to kick is followed by an archaic use of member to refer to a limb

8d Simple article about the Italian church (8)
BASILICA: Begin with a word meaning very simple. Add an article. The shortest there is. Now slip the Italian for The inside what you have

14d Call on faithful to stand up (4,4)
RING TRUE: Use a term meaning to call upon the phone. Add a synonym for faithful

16d Singer first to be seen in piece of work by Queen (9)
CHORISTER: First here is written as 1st. Change the number one to the letter that looks like the number one. Insert this into a dull mundane task. Add the abbreviation for Regina

17d Promise made by witches over a set of religious books (8)
COVENANT: The communal term for a meeting or group of witches is followed by the letter A from the clue and the second set of books of The Bible

18d Some sense ancestors -- at these? (7)
SEANCES: Our second hidden word indicated by the word some

20d Spot what hen does in case of small eggs, initially (7)
SPECKLE: Take the first and last letters (case) of the word small. Add the initial letter of  Eggs. Insert what a hen does. Hens do lots of things. This involves their beaks

22d Endless piracy ruined island (5)
CAPRI: Anagram (ruined) of PIRAC. (Endless Piracy)

24d Kind of line that's fruity, we hear (5)
PLUMB: This line for measuring depth or for marking the vertical sounds like a type of autumn fruit. Our tree fruited well this year. The Brandy made from them will be delicious

25d Do business in Kent town (4)
DEAL: The name of a town in Kent means the same as doing a business exchange

Quickie Pun: head+jog=hedgehog

64 comments on “DT 28894

  1. Appreciated this one the more it developed except for 9a which does not work for me .

    10a made me smile the most so is my favourite .

    Thanks to everyone .

  2. Nicely straightforward and pleasantly clued, apart from the hideous 9a. 4d was my favourite for the brevity of the clue. Quite often four letter answers seem to have multi-word clues.

    Many thanks to CL and MP. It seems it is all change with the compilers, so thanks and farewell to CL and Dada, and I look forward to the latter’s puzzles on a Sunday in future.

  3. Really enjoyed this one, and can’t possibly choose a favourite. Re 9a, I do remember that PM being referred to by that name (albeit probably more by satirists than friends of his) so wasn’t too bothered, but I can understand the complaints.

    Thanks to the setter and MP, and best birthday wishes to Sue.

  4. A very gentle start to the week after a hard weekend. I wasn’t too keen on 9a either, I don’t ever recall our exPM ever being called that. I was also unfamiliar with that meaning of 19a. Is that a regional usage?

    Many thanks to the setter and MP.

  5. 2* / 3*. Light and fun – just right for a rainy Monday morning (which it was when I solved the puzzle but the sun is shining now :smile: ).

    14d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to CL and to MP, and Happy Birthday CS.

  6. Hi

    An early visit from me today, and thanks to Miffypops for the blog. 9ac was inspired by an old friend of mine who used to go the same Durham gym as Tony Blair, before he (Blair, not my friend) was Prime Minister. My friend said that he had seen Blair naked in the shower on many occasions — and that his friends there called him ‘Tone’.

    Regarding the change of compilers, it’s purely a shuffle to take into account the Sunday change, rather than a change of personnel. My own puzzles will now be appearing on Tuesdays on a fairly regular basis.

    1. Thanks for the update, Chris.
      The thought of Tony Blair naked in the shower put me right of my sandwich.

  7. I struggled a bit with 13d.

    Shouldn’t the hint have underlined the ‘was’ as well as the ‘tender’, so it reflects the answer as a past participle?

  8. Thoroughly enjoyed this one and found it difficult to choose a favourite. On balance, I think I’ll side with RD and nominate 14d – with a mention for the Quickie pun which made me grin.

    Many thanks to CL and to MP for the blog. Where was the 15a pic taken?

    Best of birthday wishes to CS – enjoy your day.

      1. There are several Reconcilliation statues Jane. There is also one in Hiroshima Peace park. Placed there at the same time as the one in The Cathedral Ruins Coventry. We do have the worlds finest cathedral on our doorstep.

    1. Thank you both – I have seen ‘Reconciliation’ but couldn’t recall exactly where. It was indeed at Coventry cathedral.

      1. I wish I had been there with you Jane. I can be an excellent guide to anyone who wants to know the ins and outs and all of the little details. There is a story to every step.

  9. Good relaxing fun to kick off the week. NW was last to go in but no real problems. Yes 9a is indeed a horror and the thought of a soapy Blair (as per CL friend’s experience) unappealing. 13a only just works for me. Fav was 26a but also liked a couple of little ones – 1d and 4d. Thank you CL and MP. Tee hee to the Quickie pun.

  10. Thanks for your post Mr Lancaster. We had better draw a veil over 9a, as your comment on Mr Blair’s appearance might be ambiguous………

    ………..muscular firmness or something missing from the end?

    This is probably only relevant for cruciverbalists, who are the only folks lame enough to bother thinking of words in this way. Luckily all of us here are.

    i find myself tasteless at times………..

  11. A very enjoyable start to the work week – oh wait, we still have a holiday for Remembrance Day and as the ‘real day’ was yesterday today becomes the holiday. Anyway, a very enjoyable puzzle assisted by a sprinkling of oldies but goodies completed at a gallop – **/***.

    Difficult to pick a favourite, but 1d did bring an extra smile.

    Thanks to CL and GMoLI. I fully expect Dada’s Sunday offerings to be a little more tricky than some of his recent Monday examples.

    Birthday best wishes to CS.

  12. I need to stop imaging Mr Blair naked in the shower! Horrible thought.
    Nice, enjoyable crossword so thanks to CL.
    Only niggle is with 13a where tenses for me don’t agree unless bluebird is right.
    Thanks for the blog miffypops

  13. I wasn’t keen on 9a, but I liked 4d and 10a. I hadn’t heard of the 19a definition or the answer to the clue, so I struggled until a member of my household shouted the answer out. Many thanks setter and Miffypops.

    1. Florence – are you really HM The Queen? She is the only lady I know of who has a household!

  14. A pleasant start to the working week. 9a didn’t bother me too much to be honest, but then I am happy to give certain clues a license to be less then concise! 27a was my favourite clue.
    Thanks to CL for the fun, and to MP for the review.

  15. I was ok with 9a, though I understand the purists distaste.
    Very enjoyable as ever on a Monday.
    My favourite was 23a, thanks MP and CL.

  16. Overall I enjoyed this, lots of good fun to be had with podium places going to 10 and 26a plus 24d. Definitely a distant 1d was 9a which is possibly the worst clue I have encountered on here, not least for the hideous image it conjures up.
    Thanks to CL and MP

    1. Whatever you think of the 9a chap’s politics or moral character, the majority of leading politicians would certainly require more robust screening off in the showers,to avoid an acute onset of PTSD, especially that blonde one from the prepotent family who was fond of bikes and another one with yellow hair (I wonder if he hangs it on a hook during the shower?).

      Putin, of course, has celebrated torso tone-age, in his own opinion, so no issues there.
      Why has no one advised him of the unfortunate translation of his name in the romantic languages?

  17. 20d is the initial of eggs rather than the abbreviation for English surely.
    Didn’t like 9a either I don’t recall Blair being known by that name.
    Other than that a steady solve for me 19a was my penny drop moment I always forget those soldiers.
    Thanks to Miffypops and Mr Ed.

  18. I must be unlucky – all answers are shown. This has been happening for several days. Thought BD had fixed it.

    1. Same here and I need to get rid of the mental image of Mr Blair in the shower before I can face food again. It would be sausages for tea wouldn’t it.

  19. Help, please! For some reason, the answers are “exposed” when I use your lovely website now. It’s a new development in the last couple of days and I’ve cleared my browser down. Be grateful for advice..

    1. Hello, Di. I’ll be running a survey tomorrow in hopes of finding out more about why the answer spoiler buttons stopped working for some readers last week. In the meantime we’re experimenting with possible workarounds and sometimes, like today, they don’t work for everyone.

      1. Yes, sadly not working for me either. Seeing the answers when you just want a hint, oh dear. Appreciate the fact that this is being worked on. I tried reloading the page, but same result. It was like this last week, and then it was ok. Some naughty gremlin I guess.

      2. Spoiler buttons work for me. Only things tha that do not work are the three below name and email.

  20. Just about right for Monday. Agree with the grumbles about 9a. Double tick for 14d. Single ticks for 1d,2d and 18a.
    We are not allowed to say it was a’read and write’ otherwise I would. Thanks to Bob Dylan. Err, sorry. MP.

  21. Solved after I got back from a very wet walk with my friend – we are just a few more stretches of coast to complete to be able to say we’ve walked all the way from Faversham to Dungeness – today was Hythe to Folkestone and to say it was raining would be the understatement of the year.

    Thank you to the setter for the crossword – I was too tired to think about Mr B in the shower and wish I hadn’t read the comments before posting mine. Thanks to MP for the review, BD for the birthday banner and everyone for their birthday wishes.

    Now off to sort out birthday tea – which will include syrup sponge pudding – yum!

    1. Oh, C’Sue, I wanted to wish you the best of birthdays but my iPad packed it in just then and I forgot. So here goes, have a very, very special day and enjoy the tea. I must google syrup sponge pudding, sound yummy.

  22. **/**. A gentle start to the week but not, for me, inspiring. My favourites were 10a&8d. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  23. I enjoyed this, it must be an easy puzzle!
    I needed the hints to know why 26a was right, forgot the “China” bit and struggled to think what “hum” meant. The pic was perfect M’pops, hadn’t noticed the resemblance. I’d better be careful, comes the revolution I’ll be the first in the slammer.
    Thanks to CL and to M’pops for a good start to the week.

    1. I just typed Chimp Donald Trump and lots of images came up Merusa. Not as good as George Bush and chimp but very funny.

  24. For 23a I had the French town of Tippen which fits exactly the clue.
    So got stuck on 20d.
    Funny that.
    Many thanks to the setter and Miffypops for the review.

  25. Enjoyable, straightforward, and a good start to the week. Anyone else nervous we’ll be puzzle-less come Wednesday? :-)

  26. Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle to start the week. Quite tricky in places. I was completely beaten by 13a. Couldn’t think of the shark and couldn’t see that the answer equalled the definition. First in was 10a, which made me laugh. As did 9a. My favourite was 16d. Was 3*/4*for me.

  27. Apologies for the late post but I was in bed before the DT 28894 blog came on line. I’m on Fiji Time (literally), GMT + 13 hours now. A good start to the week and thanks to Chris Lancaster for the interesting Tony Blair story. 1-5 downs helped me with 9a but it was not till I read MP’s comment that the penny dropped🙄.

  28. How do you know who sets them?????
    Could you please text me on *********** as my email inbox is uncooperative at the moment!
    Paul Wharton

    1. You’ll find how much we know in the FAQ (which is due to be updated with the latest changes very soon).

      We don’t provide any services outside of these comments.

  29. just noticed an article in this week’s ‘Economist’ (dated 10-16th Nov) on Cryptic Crossowrds. It’s entitled ‘Hip to be square’. The article is chiefly about the general decline in newsprint together with younger audiences being put off by the puzzle’s impenetrable rules and how technology is helping.

  30. Very swift solve. Antidote to Sunday. 1a 14d and 13a last ones in. Did not parse 26a and therefore did not know where the “um” came from although it had to be what it is. Favourites 10 and 27a and 4 14 and 20d. 23a is one of my favourite French towns. Thanks Mr Lancaster and Mr M. Pops.

  31. Very enjoyable Monday.
    First thought there was something amiss in 9a as I wasn’t aware of that nickname and often wonder how a nickname can be as long as the original. Should be T1 surely.
    Liked the Basilica clue.
    Liked the picture in 24d. Could hear BD saying: “Told you, that David is just perfect!”
    Thanks to CL and to MP for the review.

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