DT 28901 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28901

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28901

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***


Hello, everyone, and welcome to another Tuesday back-page blog.  I'm expecting that today we won't have too many solvers reporting that they found the puzzle unreasonably hard or unreasonably easy.  I thought this crossword is just what a Tuesday calls for – accurate definitions, solid and fair wordplay, smooth surfaces, and quite a few smiles along the way.

BD and I modified the site overnight in hopes of fixing the caching problem that required pages to be manually reloaded to see the latest updates.  After clearing the cache on your browser, you will hopefully find that clicking on a link or entering a site URL in the browser address box delivers the latest version of the page.  It's possible that these changes have also fixed the issue with spoilers.  So, if (1) you have been seeing spoiler buttons appear as grey vertical lines, and (2) after clearing your browser cache you see the latest version of pages without a manual refresh, please report how the spoiler buttons in this blog appear now.  If they are not appearing as clickable buttons, details of the computer/tablet/phone and browser you're using would be helpful.

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions.  Clicking on the 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    Account by about 21 people in court? (7)
ACCUSED:  Join together an abbreviation for account, a single letter Latin abbreviation for about or approximately, and the answer to 21a

5a    Recover from fresh miracle (7)
RECLAIM:  An anagram (fresh) of MIRACLE

9a    Spontaneous remark from District Attorney upset lawyers in Boston, initially (2-3)
AD-LIB:  The abbreviation for District Attorney is reversed or anagrammed (upset) and followed the initial letters of LAWYERS IN BOSTON

10a   Cause of increase in damage? (9)
INFLATION:  A cryptic definition of something that makes damage (read with its informal meaning of cost or price) increase over time

11a   Specialist almost spoilt niece's encounter (10)
EXPERIENCE:  All but the last letter (… almost) of a generic specialist, followed by an anagram (spoilt) of NIECE

12a   Fish  deep (4)
BASS:  A double definition.  Deep in tone

14a   Provoke colleague from time to time (12)
OCCASIONALLY:  Stick together provoke or cause and a colleague or friend

18a   Results obtained from prisoner with chains (12)
CONSEQUENCES:  A usual prisoner with some chains or progressions appended

21a   Bond ignoring female with diamonds, pre-owned (4)
USED:  Nothing to do with James Bond.  A synonym of bond or join has the abbreviation for female deleted (ignoring female) and the playing card abbreviation for diamonds stuck on the end

22a   Appeal again for rehearsal (10)
REPETITION:  The answer split 2-8 could mean appeal or plead again

25a   Put out fire -- enter block (9)
INTERFERE:  An anagram (put out) of FIRE ENTER

26a   Financial help rejected by one northern country (5)
INDIA:  Some financial help that might be given to a disaster-stricken region is reversed (rejected) and placed after the Roman letter for one and an abbreviation for northern

27a   Do shout to limit male's sleeping (7)
DORMANT:  DO from the clue with a synonym of shout containing (to limit) the abbreviation for male

28a   Some get here safely in May? (7)
THERESA:  The question mark indicates that May is a definition by example of the answer, which is hiding as part of (some …) the second, third, and fourth words of the clue



1d    Inspire article about what follows funeral (6)
AWAKEN:  A grammatical article is wrapped about a function that follows a funeral

2d    Spiritual leader lacking energy in chapel I roused (6)
CALIPH:  An anagram (roused) of CHAP[e]L I minus the physics symbol for energy (lacking energy)

3d    Paper is after loan before editor's removed (10)
SUBTRACTED:  Using the ordering implied by after and before, we have here a charade of an informal word for a loan, a paper or leaflet, and the usual abbreviation for editor

4d    Go right inside disreputable bar (5)
DRIVE:  The single-letter abbreviation for right is placed inside a disreputable bar

5d    Thought to take out large meal (9)
REFECTION:  Thought or contemplation with the clothing abbreviation for large deleted (to take out large) produces an uncommon word for a meal 

6d    Cleaner reluctant to scrub yard (4)
CHAR:  An adjective meaning reluctant or cautious has a single-letter abbreviation for yard deleted (…to scrub yard)

7d    Before noon, one Liberal Democrat's friendly (8)
AMICABLE:  Cement together an abbreviation for before noon, the Roman letter for one, and surname of the current Leader of the Liberal Democrats

8d    Imagination Disney stirred up inside me (5,3)
MIND'S EYE:  An anagram (stirred up) of DISNEY placed inside ME from the clue

13d   Unsettled at home and fed up, I fool with ecstasy (10)
INDEFINITE:  Concatenate the usual short word for home, the reversal (up, in a down clue) of FED from the clue, I from the clue, a (3) fool, and the (1) informal abbreviation for the drug Ecstasy

15d   A goddess intended to be heartless for fun (9)
AMUSEMENT:  Assemble A from the clue, one of the nine Greek goddesses of the liberal arts, and a synonym of "intended" with its middle letter deleted (… to be heartless)

16d   Oscar caught by copper and possibly spotted getting tied up (8)
OCCUPIED:  Glue together the letter represented by Oscar in the NATO phonetic alphabet, the cricket abbreviation for caught, the chemical symbol for copper, and an adjective describing a pattern that could consist of spots (possibly spotted)

17d   Nuts aren't about to worry animal (8)
ANTEATER:  An anagram (nuts) of AREN'T is wrapped about a verb that can mean worry

19d   Toy  instrument (6)
FIDDLE:  A double definition.  Toy as in trifle with, and the instrument is the one played by Alison Krauss here

20d   Burbank -- a rather gripping city (6)
ANKARA:  The first three words of the clue are hiding (gripping) this city

23d   Plane on time for get-together (5)
EVENT:  Plane or flat followed by (on, in a down clue) the physics symbol for time

24d   Melody from American lifted atmosphere (4)
ARIA:  Put together a single letter for American and the reversal (lifted, in a down clue) of a synonym of atmosphere


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  Following the upheavals in the setting roster, I have no idea who created this puzzle.  Last Tuesday we were thrilled to have a visit from the setter (X-Type).  If today's setter is reading, please consider dropping in as well so that we know who to thank.  Top clues for me today were 10a for its penny drop moment, 14a for including some unexpected synonyms, 21a for a great surface, 28a for being a brilliant lurker, and 13d for another wonderfully smooth surface.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  STOREY + BORED = STORYBOARD

60 comments on “DT 28901

  1. This was very good, a little trickier than yesterday’s and for me just above average for a back-pager. So, a reasonable challenge, excellent clues and very enjoyable. Favs: 25a and 20d, a well constructed lurker. 3* / 4*

    1. PS. 5d is a fairly obscure word, but most people (especially crossword fans) will know its sister with the alternative ending ORY.

        1. We had a dinner hall at my school (well a concrete ” “temporary” building that is probably still there). I guess sago pudding tastes the same whether eaten in a refectpry or dinner hall.

  2. Finished in ** time, but I needed help parsing “damage” in 10a. The answer to 5d was a new one on me, but easily found from the checkers.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  3. Not yet tackled the puzzle.

    Re the overnight improvements – the spoilers are now working on 28643 and the other pages I have tried. When reaching the site via a bookmark, the page automatically refreshes and lands me on the current page, and the recent comments are now in sync. The page finishes loading properly too.

    Well done and thank you Mr K

  4. Another very enjoyable puzzle and some very clever clues especially 16d. Does anyone else get really really annoyed when the puzzle is on the inside back page of the paper? Who reads those whole page ads anyway!?

    Thanks to all

    1. Your comment reminds me of an incident I had some years ago whilst negotiating this cumbersome, arm-aching monstrosity. I was sitting in a train packed with commuters, both standing and seated, all around me. I decided to have a look at the cryptic crossword – it was on the inside page! As I manoeuvred the voluminous periodical the back of my hand brushed firmly across the buttock (rather shapely, I have to admit) of a closely adjacent woman. She looked around and down with a very stern look as if I’d done it on purpose! Rather embarrassing, that was…

  5. Yes that was definitely more my scene. Sailed through the greater part with a slight hold-up in the SE where I can’t believe 28a was last to go in – one would have thought that these days her name would have been indelibly engraved on one’s mind. Liked the surface of 6d. Thank you Mysteron and MrK – it ‘s always good to have you on stream de bonne heure. Fingers crossed that the caching problem has been fixed.

  6. 2* / 3*. This was enjoyable and not too difficult today. I’m a bit dubious about 10a but, that apart, everything else was good although I’ve no particular favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and also to Mr K, with extra thanks to him for all his sterling work to sort out the blog. I’ll report back when I’ve had a chance to see if the caching problem has been resolved.

    1. Yes, the caching problem seems to have vanished and the spoilers are working properly. Hooray and very well done , Mr K.

  7. A steady pleasant solve today. My only problem was trying to sort the reasoning behind 16d. I had ied (eyed) as the homophone for possibly spotted (seen). That led to shenanigans trying to include the letter P into the parsing. Thanks to Mr Kitty for sorting that one and thanks to the setter for today’s pastime. Our grandson of ten months is asleep which means we can bottle our plum brandy.

  8. Thank you, thank you, Mr K – we seem to have got the site back in full working order. What a huge relief.

    Enjoyed today’s puzzle but did have to check 5d – one of its meanings is enough to turn one’s stomach over.
    Had what Kath would refer to as a ‘dim’ moment over 28a – I’d got the lurker but kept seeing it as two words rather than a name!

    Thought 22a was a bit of a stretch and took a few minutes to work out the ’21 people’ in 1a but managed to complete the solve in a reasonable time.
    Favourite was 8d for its surface read.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and many thanks to Mr K for the blog and all the pics and clips – the bonus pic for 7d was a real smile inducer.

    1. Jane – re 5d….did you mean that rabbit habit?

      Although now I think of it, there is a trend amongst some Paltrowesque humans to have faecal transplants to improve health….in this case there is some scientific justification, but luckily it is introduced from below, rather than from above, which is a great improvement. I wonder if that is the zoological explanation?

  9. For the first time in quite a while, I now see the latest puzzle when using Chrome. Thanks Mr. K.

    Nice straightforward start to the Toughie week. 10 A and 1D were my favorites. Thanks to the setter and thanks to Mr K (again) for the blog.

  10. Terrific stuff this morning from our setter. Just the right amount of difficulty to keep the enjoyment going throughout the solving process. Lots to enjoy, particularly the well-disguised and topical lurker, and the excellent 1a/21a combo.

    Many thanks to our setter and to Mr K. Although I did not fall foul of the spoiler issue it still took skill, time and expertise to fix.

  11. I found this a nice even mixture of lurkers, abbreviations, charades and anagrams and surprised myself with a rating well below the blogger. Certainly the lowest for me this week.

    5d is OK for anyone who attended a traditional academic institution before the early 70s, or who like wandering about in ruined monasteries (me for both) and 16d included a word familiar to horsey people (not me, although I do like them).

        1. Strangely enough his dressage was good as long as it was a proper arena and not just a grass ring. His name was Tonto.

  12. Re the software issue:

    I’m still having to refresh the page to get the current day, but then I didn’t have any problem with the stripy answers on my iPad and it does give me a reminder to clear my caches, so I don’t mind. Thanks for all the advice or I would probably have taken the icon off my screen and gone the irl route.

  13. Took me a while to get into today’s. But once away…Two good lurkers! The concatenation in 13d led to the answer but I’m not convinced of the definition. Thanks Mr K for the clarification on the Lib Dems. They’re not in the news much Downunder. My favourite 10a. Thanks to the setter and Mr K for the cat shots.

  14. I agree with the intro in that I found this just right, neither too hard or too easy. My only problem was understanding 17d, never occurred to me that the middle word also meant worry. I did like 19d but must admit to my ignorance in that I had to google Alison Krauss!
    Thx to all

  15. Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the review and hints, and for fixing the cache & spoiler problems. A very nice puzzle, good mixture of clues, hardly any anagrams. Very enjoyable. My main hold up was initially having “comet” for 23d, thus making 22&25a impossible. Once sorted, all fell into place. Last in was 19d, favourite was 16d. Was 3*/3* for me.

  16. Wind Chill Factor back with a vengence here in S. Wales.

    Moderare solve but wanting to surround Oscar with copper in 16d held me up. Lack of any “fun factor” clues meant **/*** for me.
    Thanks to Messrs X & K . Second time to try to post means gremlins not fully sorted for me, sorry.

  17. Excellent puzzle with just the right amount of challenges but very well clued. 16d was COTD for me closely followed by 28a. Thanks to the setter and Mr K. My iPad worked fine (iOS 12.1).

  18. Try again .

    Thanks Mr K & BD for the fix .

    Nice steady crossword today , no outstanding favourite .

    Love the cats .

  19. Fine except for 17d.
    Couldn’t work out what the nuts were about. I was looking for a synonym for crazy.
    Also had never bothered to think where the word refectory came from..so that was a new one.
    A middling difficulty puzzle as you say,with no stand out favourites.

  20. Thanks Mr.K for everything, all seems in order now.
    Another excellent crossword, the scars from Sunday are now healed!
    I found the bottom tougher than the top, though that may well be because my brain works well in the morning and turns to mush in the afternoon.
    Cold, damp and miserable day jn London today.
    Thanks all
    PS. Mr.K, you couldn’t fix the fact that I have to go incognito to post from my android tablet could you?

    1. Hi, Hoofit. I don’t have an Android tablet, but if I can find one to borrow I will investigate. Have you cleared everything in the browser cache? How is your tablet connecting to the internet?

      1. Hi Mr.K, that’s very kind of you. Cache all cleared, and I connect via Wi-Fi.
        I think the problem is that against the actual URL, there is an exclamation mark, and if I click on it it tells me that ‘this site is not secure’. My guess that Android has something built in to stop me posting, unless I go incognito. Numerous calls to the Samsung unhelp line proved futile.

        1. HIYD,
          Not much help but my Samsung running Android sometimes doesn’t let me post saying “Site not working – Retry”. I do & everything disappears. I re-login & refresh & usually that works. Like a few, I suspect,emptying caches & looking at URLs I have to leave until daughter or son can talk me through the processes.
          Most of the time it works after a bit of effort although not always.

  21. No real problems other than my uusual stupidity with today’s crossword. Certainly a relief after the last few days that’s for sure! No real faves but a nice gentle solve.
    Thanks to Mr R and double thanks to Mr K for the review and techie duties.

  22. Nice puzzle that all went together smoothly for me. Great to have the site back to normal will no need for the constant refreshing.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  23. I got stuck in the NW and needed the hint for 1a to get going again. I also failed with 17d, but, all in all, a very pleasant solve.
    I did need Mr. K’s enlghtenment for the LibDem in 7d, which was a bung in.
    Thanks to our setter and to Mr. K for his work fixing the techie bits. Loved the pic at 1d, although too close to someone called Phoebe before dawn this morning.

  24. Everything running Ok on my windows phone. Browser is probably explorer. Not sure I have the choice.
    Good crossword today. Good charades in 13 and 16d.
    Favourite is the lurker in 28a.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the review.

  25. Completed together with a couple of glasses of red between St Pancras and Kettering. This does not contravene the rule on solving times as you do not know the length of the delay on the line due to an earlier bridge strike. Apparently things are so bad that even the bridges are on strike. 18aand 16d my favourites. No help needed but still not clear about the parsing of 10a. Thanks setter Mr K Big D and all. Everything works for me except that I have to enter my name and email address every time I post.

    1. Try reading the boxes below the ones you fill in. The one that says
      Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time has a box to tick next to itIcomment.

  26. Middle of the road difficulty, and enjoyable throughout. Don’t ask how long it took to spot 28ac, very well hidden indeed.

  27. Thanks to setter and Mr K for a pleasant solve today, to quote Brian, “just right”. Didn’t know 5d, and had some trouble with 17d, but other than that it just needed putting on your thinking head. I started and got half done, went off to bake a lemon meringue pie for upcoming Thanksgiving (we none of us care for pumpkin or pecan pie), and then rest fell into place.

  28. No idea how long that took as I was diverted to the toughie and did it in several stints. No particular favourites but just a good solve. Thanks to Mr K for the blog and the continuing work on the blog.everything seems ok on Samsung/android/chrome but still sometimes getting the blue loading line that fails to complete the journey eastwards particularly if I use firefox. But spoilers and posts are all ok.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Kenneth.

      That’s a good point. Under wake, Collins dictionary has “2.(in Ireland) festivities held after a funeral”, which is what I was thinking of when I wrote the hint. But the first definition is “1. A watch or vigil held over the body of a dead person during the night before burial”.

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