DT 28912 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28912

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28912

Hints and tips by an Unblemished Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Only 27 answers required today so we all have more time for more leisure. As the weather is so poor I suggest indoor pursuits.

I flew through most of this puzzle and did not really take too long to pick off the stragglers. Gentle Monday puzzles seem to be back.

The hints and tips are there to help and I hope they do. The answers lie beneath the greyed-out boxes known as spoilers. You may reveal them if all else has failed or if you just can’t be bothered anymore


1a Morse upset by new lecture (6)
SERMON: Anagram (upset) of MORSE followed by the abbreviation of new

4a Team full of power beginning to respect spinner (6)
SPIDER: A sporting team holds (full of) the abbreviation for power. This is followed by the initial letter of respect

8a Victim at heart of sincere denial (8)
REBUTTAL: The victim of a joke perhaps sits in the middle of a word meaning sincere or genuine

10a Take it, heading off for start again (6)
RESUME: A word meaning to take it or to suppose something needs its first letter removing as instructed by the words heading off

11a Not wanting to work in Madrid, lecturing (4)
IDLE: One of two lurkers today. The answer lies hidden (in) within the words of the clue. Which words? I’m not telling you.

12a Lucrative for female, I suggest (10)
PROFITABLE: A four-parter. 1 a prefix meaning in favour of 2 The abbreviation for female 3 I from the clue 4 A word meaning to suggest as one might with a motion at a formal meeting

13a Fervent preacher, powerful active type full of charm (3,9)
HOT GOSPELLER: I will begin with the second word here. Find a word meaning an active type, one who stays the course or even a sexually unrestrained woman. Place at the heart of this word a magic charm. The first word is clued by the word powerful. My online dictionary does not recognise the answer as being synonymous with powerful. However, the first word of the definition fits most perfectly.

16a Causing great sadness, direction blocking trial (5-7)
HEART-RENDING: A trial in a court of law has a direction or fashionable leaning placed within its letters

20a Gay old eccentric prima donna, the subject of a legendary tale (4,6)
LADY GODIVA: An anagram (eccentric) of GAY OLD is followed by a synonym of prima donna to find a great heroine of Coventry

21a Go round almost all of French city (4)
TOUR: A French city, the gateway to The Loire Valley loses its last letter (most of)

22a European refinement (6)
POLISH: A double definition. The first being a nationality the second being refinement

23a Exploit amazingly large survey (4,4)
EXIT POLL: An anagram (amazingly) of EXPLOIT is followed by the abbreviation for large

24a Conjecture made by those people importing gold (6)
THEORY: A pronoun used to refer to two or more people has the heraldic term for gold inserted

25a Lethal dose heartlessly given by deranged lady (6)
DEADLY: The word dose has its middle letters removed (heartlessly) This is followed by an anagram (deranged) of LADY


1d Keep calm in stable, working (6,2)
STEADY ON: This term is used as a way of exhorting someone to calm down or be more reasonable. The first word is an adjective meaning firmly fixed and not moving. The second is Crosswordland’s favourite term for working

2d Drive off on East course (5)
ROUTE: A word meaning to defeat and cause to retreat is followed by the abbreviation for east

3d Leader of team employed by small company brought in work for ink producer (7)
OCTOPUS: A Russian doll of a clue with things inside things. The things are, the leading letter of the word team which fits inside (employed by) the abbreviation (small) of company. This in turn all fits inside a musical work. Easy if you know how. Even easier if like me you had all of the checkers and didn’t then need a clue.

5d The old man is on trial, unfortunately biased (7)
PARTIAL: An informal term for your father is followed by an anagram (unfortunately) of TRIAL

6d Southern couple, during performance, lost heart (9)
DESPAIRED: The abbreviation for small is placed before a word meaning a couple. Together they are placed inside a word meaning a performance or action

7d Go for a long walk with English novelist, right to the top (6)
RAMBLE: This English novelist needs the abbreviation for right moving to the beginning (top in a down clue) of his or her name. There, you need an English novelist with the letter R in their name. That narrows it down a bit. Fortunately, the definition is obvious and a lot kinder than the wordplay

9d Plant, most unconfined, abundant (11)
LOOSESTRIFE: Split 7,4 we need a word meaning most unconfined and a word meaning abundant. Together they make a tall border plant usually yellow but occasionally purple.

14d Drive way out in rental, then break down (2,7)
GO HAYWIRE: Begin with a two-lettered word meaning drive or energy. Place an anagram (out) of way inside a term meaning a rental or something rented

15d A nun abroad, joined by associate every year (8)
ANNUALLY: Begin with an anagram (abroad) of A NUN and add an associate

17d A further part of ‘Candida’? No, ‘The Rivals’ (7)
ANOTHER: The second hidden word (of) included within the words of the clue. Very clever it is too

18d Inspect former pit round area (7)
EXAMINE: Our two-letter word describing former husbands or wives is joined by the abbreviation for area and a pit or colliery

19d Pay and display (3,3)
LAY OUT: A nice double definition. Both fit the clue and the answer perfectly

21d Unenthusiastic in assembly over bringing in piano (5)
TEPID: The legislative assembly of certain countries is reversed and placed around the musical abbreviation for piano or soft.

Quickie Pun: Mars+Help+Roost=Marcel Proust ‘What a tiresome, affected ass he must have been, but what extraordinary, meticulous perception’ Noel Coward


34 comments on “DT 28912

  1. Weather is lovely here at the moment although we are promised rain this afternoon

    A nice Monday-ish inside back pager – I thought MP would like 20a

    Thanks to the Monday Mysteron and the Unblemished Blogger

  2. Straightforward, entertaining but over a little too quickly. 19d was my favourite. Never heard of the plant in 9d but it had to be what it was from the wordplay. This certainly cheered up a miserable, manky old day in the Marches.

    Thanks to our mystery setter and the Unblemished One.

  3. Nice and straight forward for a Monday. . Haven’t heard , or heard of, a 13a since Billy Graham died.

  4. As MP says, looks as as though we’re back to reasonably gentle Mondays – very acceptable as the working week kicks off.

    I hadn’t heard of the specific phrase in 13a. I do know several others to describe that type of preacher but not that one!

    19d was my runaway favourite.

    Thanks to our Monday setter and thanks to MP for the blog. No pics & clips today?

  5. Liked 13a, reminded me of the great Little Richard.
    The puzzle suited me today, and a **/***.
    Liked the surface of 20a, enjoyable start for all judging the by the blog.
    Clever quickie pun.

  6. Pleasant if undemanding way to start the working week (those were the days!). Presumably MP was otherwise occupied or he would doubtless have illustrated 20a. 9d plant a new one on me. No particular Fav but several goodies. Mad with myself for not fathoming the pun. Thank you Mysteron and MP.

  7. Definitely a gentle start to the work week completed at a fast gallop, low clue counts appear to be popular in recent puzzles – **/**.

    No stand out favourite, but 20a raised a smile.

    Thanks to the setter and GMoLI.

  8. I too am grateful for a return to the quieter starts to Mondays. Not that the term “working week” means anything to me anymore, but Sundays are the hardest day of the week, so a gentle start to Mondays is appreciated.

    Neverheard of the flower, but all the rest went in in **/*** time.

    Thanks to all.

  9. Does anyone know why there is a second cryptic on The Telegraph website – No. 528?


    1. To lure you in to their weekly ‘Win Prizes’ competition – if you click on the win prizes link you can also enter a Quick and a GK crossword. You’ll find though that the size of the grid is either so large that you can’t see the clues without lots of scrolling up and down, and if you minimise it, you then need a magnifying glass to read the clues, so it isn’t the best crossword solving experience of all time :(

      1. Yes, that is strange. Seems to be some issue with sizing the display to suit the viewing device, which is a standard header tag. Can’t be a simple as that though, surely..?

        1. Thanks, I printed the puzzle which was fine. I only realised something was wrong when the blog was about completely different clues.to the one I’d just done.
          Good puzzle, though.


      2. I made the same mistake as Brian. Printed up the Cryptic and settled down to work on it. Didn’t notice the strange No:528 until I opened up the blog to look at the hints and found a very different set of clues, for the 28912. No time left now to start over, so a bit annoying. Shame the DT didn’t email us about this extra puzzle along with all the other emails they send out. It’s nice to have an additional puzzle, I just would have preferred to do the usual one, and fit this one in later, time permitting.

    2. Fell in the same trap as you did.
      The print version was identical and thoroughly enjoyed both crosswords.

    3. I completed 582 and then came here to 28912 only to find a completely different crossword. Zero marks for observation! Anyway LOI was 13ac and I ‘m not sure I like the clue.

      Thanks MP and setter.

    4. And me, not sure what happened? I always do the prize cryptic on the DT website, I’m not sure how I ended up doing the wrong crossword. Anyway both finished.

    5. I did the same and eventually enjoyed both – hence the very late on parade response. Thanks to all. I’ll be more careful tomorrow.

  10. Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A nice gentle start to the week. My only holdup was 9d, which was last in. Had never heard of this plant, but managed to get it from the wordplay. Was amazed when I Googled it. Favourite was 20a. Was 2*/3* for me.

  11. A reasonable start to the week; top half almost a Read and… but the lower half made the little grey cells do some work. Some nice clues, no real favourite.
    Thanks to the setter, and to the Spotless One for the review.

  12. Lovely puzzle, so suitable for my little brain.
    Didn’t know the plant at 9d, I worked it out and googled. It’s very pretty.
    My fave was 20a, but there were many candidates.
    Thanks to our setter and to the unblemished one.

  13. Had trouble justifying the first word in 13a but went for what seems to be the right answer.
    Didn’t know the writer in 7d and wasn’t sure of Take it = presume.
    The other clues which held me up were 2d and 8a as I didn’t know that word for victim and again wasn’t sure about Drive off = rout.
    More question marks than ticks but enjoyable nonetheless.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP for the review.

  14. Late on parade today due to lunch with the boys ( youngest 75 ) .
    Finished ok this morning with 20A favourite .
    Nice crossword for a Monday morning although had to verify 9D .
    Thanks to everyone

  15. I didn’t struggle with this one thank goodness. I’m only struggling with the time to sit down, though everyone’s the same at this time of year. I’ve rather a lot of choir rehearsals going on for carol concerts etc. Many thanks to the setter and to the unblemished MP. 20a was my favourite.

  16. Good evening. At last I can access my computer. Thanks to Big Dave for copying and pasting my hints and tips and sorting the underlining of definitions. Thanks too for spotting that I was virginal and unblemished. Thanks once more for setting The Quickie pun as I wrote it. The Noel Coward quote has amused me for years. Thanks for all of your comments. 20ac did indeed float my boat and would have deserved an illustration, as would the plant at 9d which grows at our car park entrance. 25ac may have got the Bob Dylan track Shelter From The Storm ‘I bargained for salvation and they gave me a lethal dose. I offered up my innocence, got repaid with scorn. Come in she said I’ll give you, Shelter from the storm’

    1. Like others your visual on 20a was eagerly anticipated. I thought you had gone to do the Christmas shopping or some such (then again perhaps not).
      Today was straightforrward – ish didn’t know 9d. To me Billy Graham was an “evangelist” but I guess his style fitted 13a. Amazed he only died this year.
      Thanks to setter & MP for hints obviously composed in difficult circumstances.

  17. I felt a bit half a****d about this one but, as that’s how I’ve felt about everything else today, I’m probably not the best judge of the crossword.
    I agree – not too tricky which was something of a surprise after the last few Mondays.
    Nothing that caused trouble but also nothing that caused great excitement either.
    My favourite was 20a and, like others, I was expecting a clip from MP.
    With thanks to whoever set the crossword and to Miffypops.

  18. Just got round to the crossword after a hectic day and pleased to have an easy ride. The plant at 9d is usually known around here as purple L………….
    I loved the quickie pun.

  19. I’m in a fix – got to stay at home all day today (Tues), so can’t obtain my DT puzzle. Could some kind soul please email me today’s back-pager (Tues). Is that possible? Thank you if you can.

  20. Gentle start to the week, most enjoyable. Only needed help with 13a. It’s a cloudy, rainy day here but not cold. Thanks to setter and Miffypops.

  21. 2*/4*…
    liked 20A ( gay old eccentric prima donna, the subject of a legendary tale ).

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