DT 28907 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28907

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28907

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****


Hello, everyone, and welcome.  Usually a puzzle containing eight anagrams would sit at the less-difficult end of the back-page spectrum.  I did not find that to be the case today.  Some very well-disguised wordplay in the other clues delivered a succession of penny-drop moments and left me feeling grateful that those anagrams provided footholds on which to build the grid fill.  I'd be happy to see more puzzles like this.  I do hope that today's setter will post a comment so we know who to thank for this fine piece of entertainment.

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and definitions are underlined.  Clicking on the buttons will reveal the answers.  In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background.  Clicking on a picture will enlarge it.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Tributaries beginning to split farms (7)
RANCHES:  Some tributaries without their first letter (beginning to split)

5a    Gave away European wine? (7)
OFFERED:  Cement together a synonym of away, the single letter for European, and a generic type of wine

9a    Singular and tense -- a politician's character (5)
STAMP:  Fuse together the abbreviation for singular, the abbreviation for tense, A from the clue, and the usual abbreviated politican

10a   Meeting in French bar (9)
ENCOUNTER:  The French word for "in" is followed by a bar or work surface

11a   Holding uniform, tailor scans best materials (10)
SUBSTANCES:  An anagram (tailor…) of SCANS BEST containing (holding) the letter represented by uniform in the NATO phonetic alphabet

12a   Banker goes to check on that account (4)
ERGO:  The first two words of the clue are hiding (… to check…) the answer

14a   Still at sea, he resents vile island having left (12)
NEVERTHELESS:  An anagram (at sea) of HE RESENTS V[i]LE with the map abbreviation for island deleted (island having left)

18a   Notice I intended to limit chapter's importance (12)
SIGNIFICANCE:  Concatenate a notice or placard, I from the clue, and an intended or betrothed containing (to limit) an abbreviation for chapter

21a   Wrong answer precedes mocking (4)
AWRY:  The single letter abbreviation for answer precedes mocking or witty

22a   Criticism with transport manual for drivers in America? (5,5)
STICK SHIFT:  Some criticism is followed by transport or move.  Explanation of the answer here

25a   A student depressed before dance, missing first grant (9)
ALLOWANCE:  A charade of A from the clue, the letter indicating a student driver, depressed or down, and [d]ANCE from the clue missing its first letter

26a   Wise men promoting one European picture (5)
IMAGE:  In some wise men from the East, move the Roman one to the front of the word (promoting one), and attach the single letter for European

27a   Basic quality of perfume? (7)
ESSENCE:  A double definition.  A third, related, meaning refers to a concentrated extract of something

28a   Sharp witticism by chap (7)
PUNGENT:  A witticism often exploited in cryptic definitions is placed by a chap or man



1d    Repose cut short -- it's bad weather (6)
RESIST:  A synonym of repose loses its last letter (… cut short) and is followed by an anagram (… bad) of IT'S

2d    Terrible barney is close (6)
NEARBY:  An anagram (terrible) of BARNEY

3d    Eighty shops, roughly? Not good assumption (10)
HYPOTHESIS:  An anagram (… roughly) of EI[g]HTY SHOPS minus the abbreviation for good (not good)

4d    Shandy maker perhaps almost sober? (5)
STERN:  All but the last letter (… almost) of the "maker" of Tristram Shandy

5d    Horse and cart arranged for group in pit (9)
ORCHESTRA:  A solid chestnut anagram (… arranged) of HORSE CART

6d    Female expected to raise argument (4)
FEUD:  The abbreviation for female is followed by the reversal (to raise, in a down clue) of expected or scheduled

7d    Went back to roll in grass (8)
RETURNED:  A verb meaning to roll is inserted in a tall stiff marsh grass

8d    Resistance by shy person following party animal (8)
DORMOUSE:  The physics symbol for electrical resistance is placed by a shy or colourless person, and that lot's then positioned following a usual party

13d   Impact from supersonic flying (10)
PERCUSSION:  An anagram (flying) of SUPERSONIC

15d   Being drunk entices ex (9)
EXISTENCE:  An anagram (drunk …) of ENTICES EX

16d   Avoid taking in a daughter's adventure (8)
ESCAPADE:  Avoid or elude containing (taking in) both A from the clue and the genealogical abbreviation for daughter

17d   Part of picnic for one with grand car? (3,5)
EGG ROLLS:  Stick together an abbreviation for a Latin phrase that could mean "for one", a (1) abbreviation for grand, and a nickname for a brand of luxury car

19d   Angry after parking? That's appropriate (6)
PIRATE:  A synonym of angry is placed after the road sign abbreviation for parking

20d   Confirm a time to be on trial (6)
ATTEST:  A from the clue and the physics symbol for time are followed by (to be on, in a down clue) a trial or experiment

23d   Conservative lord -- flipping swine (5)
CREEP:  Combine the single-letter abbreviation for Conservative with the reversal (…flipping) of a member of the House of Lords

24d   Small, pale bird (4)
SWAN:  Join together the clothing abbreviation for small and a synonym of pale


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve. Top clues for me today were 5a, 10a, 12a, 22a, 15d, and 19d.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  LIEDER + BORED = LEADERBOARD

58 comments on “DT 28907

  1. Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, with quite a few smiles on the way. I had a feeling that the answer to 4d was “stern”, but didn’t know why. Thanks to Mr K for the explanation. I was beaten by 12a, I thought the definition was “banker” and thus put in “Arno”. 23d made me laugh, as did 17d. The latter was my favourite. Was 2*/4* for me.

      1. I think it was you MP who said a few months ago “if in doubt look for a lurker”
        A man who practices what he preaches!

        1. It came from Gazza I think, or CrypticSue or somebody else. I don’t have any original thoughts.

  2. A very enjoyable Tuesday puzzle completed at a gallop – **/***.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 22a and 16d, although 22a probably has the edge.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    P.S. A very doable Chalicea Toughie somewhere else in the paper today.

  3. Finished ok but needed the hint to explain 4D .

    Another admirable crossword to enjoy .

    Thanks to everyone .

  4. For me, this was about average difficulty for a back-pager but the clues were excellent, giving a very enjoyable/entertaining solve. I had to do some Googling to confirm the 4d answer. 2.5* / 3.5*

    1. PS. 17d: What’s that in the photo, an *** ****? I’ve never seen such a thing before! I assumed the items for a (UK) picnic were just slices of *** on a bread ****. Please explain…

      1. It appears to be *** in the form of a ****. Thought it made for a more interesting picture than the traditional version.

        1. Thank you Mr K. It is a form of *** **** , I suppose. I thought it may be something that was familiar in the US.

      2. Once seen in Chinese supermarket.! Can’t believe they are laid by a h*n so must be manufactured ! Didn’t buy it.

      3. I suspect they are made for the catering industry. Separate the yolks and whites, then cook together in a roll. Much easier to then make into egg slices than fighting with individual eggs which, when sliced, have an inconsistent appearance.

  5. That was pleasantly challenging if not somewhat over-anagrammed. I’m afraid I needed help with 4d and 9a. Fav has to be 23d. Thank you Mysteron and MrK.

  6. 2.5* / 3.5*. Today’s puzzle provided a very nice balance of difficulty and enjoyment. My favourite was 1d with its well disguised definition.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and Mr K.

  7. Started this one because I was waiting for a train delayed by ‘adverse weather’ (?). It turned the delay into enjoyment so thanks to the setter for that. I struggled with a few remainers and, like KFB, needed the hints to understand 4d.
    Thanks Mr K for the hints.
    Liked 12a today. 2.5/3.5

  8. Pleasantly tricky but eminently doable. With some excellent wordplay and a few decidedly awkward clues to decrypt, this was a real joy to complete. 19d was my favourite of many fine clues.

    Thanks to both Misters involved.

  9. Thank you for sorting out the hiccup with the spoilers not opening. Answer button working perfectly.

  10. Enjoyable puzzle while it lasted. Maybe a tad too many anagrams. 18a in top spot.

    I finished the Toughie pretty quickly – so, it can’t be too frightening today!

  11. Couldn’t agree more, Mr K – that was a reasonable challenge but very rewarding.
    Those pesky 4-letter jobs held out for quite a while and I had to admit defeat over the reasoning behind 4d. Thank goodness Mr K had done his homework!

    Not very convinced by 5a – the answer doesn’t necessarily mean ‘gave away’ as one may ***** something for sale.

    Squash on the podium today – 10,22 & 28a all up there along with 1,17 & 19d.

    Many thanks to our setter and to Mr K for the blog. Loved the 8d pic – I once took part in a survey of 8d’s and they are adorable little creatures.

    1. In 5a I think the definition is just “gave”, with “away” providing the first three letters of the answer.

          1. The salesman offered me the car for £1, so I gave him £1 – synonym doesn’t work.

            The interval offered some respite from the awful recital – gave as in delivered/provided/afforded, sort of works.

    1. Sorry about the pics – I’m short of time because I have to catch a plane very soon. Next week should see normal service resumed.

  12. Another Arno victim I’m afraid.
    After failing with the drink, for some reason I thought of Tristram and voila.
    The puzzle was a **/*** **** for me and I was glad ,like others, for the plethora of anagrams .
    Some excellent cluing and misdirection made for an enjoyable solve, thanks to setter and Mr K for the pics

  13. Very enjoyable and thx for the explanation of 4d, not a connection I would ever have made. Darent say any more in case I upset BD who seems quite sensitive at the moment 🤞🏽
    Thx to all

  14. A good crossword requiring some work from the little grey cells. I found the anagram clues to be a little perplexing in selecting the anagram fodder but I succeeded eventually. I liked 24d because the bird was anything but small.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Mr K for the review.

  15. I really enjoyed this, I thought it was packed with smooth surfaces and very clever wordplay, of which 1d and 25a were prime examples.
    I got slightly held up by having “Fig rolls” for 17d (it kinda works!) and didn’t see the shandy connection for 4d but otherwise only needed Mr K for a couple of parses.

    Thanks to setter and to Mr K for the review

  16. I wasn’t over enthralled with today’soffering possibly because of 4d and 12a 😬 ****/** thank goodness for all the anagrams 😉 Liked 25a & 1d. Thanks to Mr K for the hints and to the Setter 😊

  17. Very entertaining puzzle. My favourites were 4d and 22a. The former needed help from Mr Google but I’d guessed what Shandy maker was driving at. Despite the anagram feast this was a very well constructed puzzle. Thanks to all.

  18. A good fun puzzle with the two giving most trouble being 4d and 12a.
    The picture for 9a has to be our choice for favourite because of the nostalgic memory jog.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  19. I was up the Arno without a paddle too until the hints sorted me out. I agree that although it was anagram rich it was still a bit trickier than yesterday but that is how it should be.
    Thanks Mr K and setter too. If I can fi d the dead tree I will have a go at the toughie too.

  20. Pleasant solve today. 4d was a bung in based on ‘sober’and reference to the blog to see how it went together – still none the wiser – assume its a book character I have not heard of.

    1. “maker” in the 4d hint is a hyperlink. Click it to open a Wikipedia page with more information.

  21. Ideal for train journey from Crewe to Cardiff that stops everywhere.
    Very enjoyable and did stretch the grey matter.
    Knew that 4d had to be the author but didn’t know him so it is a “technical bung-in”.
    Thanks to setter, Mr K & the train company for providing usable wifi at long last – just as they have lost the franchise!

  22. I was totally on the wrong wavelength for this one, all my own fault. Looking at the hints not sure why I couldn’t get some of the answers. Just went down the wrong fork in the road. Nothing really difficult, although I would never have got 4d, never having heard of the author or book. Having said that, I did enjoy the challenge so thanks to setter and to Mr K whose hints helped me finish.

  23. Maybe ** for difficulty here, with no real hold ups. 1ac was one where the answer was plain as day, but it took an age to work out the parsing. Doh.

    1. I too bunged in 1a right at the outset and then forgot about it so have only just twigged! 😆

  24. Needed help with 11 across Not seen tailor used to signify an anagram before but it makes sense.
    So glad of blog when driven to exasperation solving a clue. Also when have the answer but can’t see why!

  25. I dashed out 8 answers in under an hour, thinking to myself I was finally getting better at this. Several hours later I reached 16 answers and that was it, I got out Chambers. Then your blog. I have definitely settled on the Telegraph, but I still enjoy the Times Quick Cryptic.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Tom, and thanks for sharing your experience with the puzzle. We’re glad that you find the hints and tips helpful.

  26. Can someone explain the connection between stamp and character in 9d please, I was thinking scamp?
    Also I got pirate but can’t see the connection to “That’s appropriate”

    1. Welcome to the blog,FishyChris

      For STAMP, I was OK with something like “He imposed his stamp/character on it”. For PIRATE, “appropriate” in the cryptic reading means “steal”. “That’s” is a link word – the clue construction is “wordplay that is definition”

      1. Thanks for that, – but not convinced about stamp/character though.

        however good quiz overall.

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