DT 28913 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28913

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28913

Hints and tips by Mr K

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

BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***


Hello, everyone, and welcome to Tuesday.  While solving it I thought that this puzzle was trickier than the Tuesday norm, but after writing the hints I couldn't see why.  Funny how that seems to happen.  How was it for you?

The countdown box over there on the right of the page shows that the 10th anniversary of this blog is rapidly approaching.  Everyone is invited to celebrate this event at the traditional Birthday Bash gathering at The Bridge House on January 26th, 2019.  I'm opening up a comment box survey to collect responses from all readers who would like to send along some words about what the site has given them, express their thanks and well wishes to BD, etc., etc..  We'll share hard copies of the contributions at the Bash and publish them on the site afterwards.  Click here to open the comment box and leave your thoughts.   

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions.  Clicking on the No Easter Egg this week 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    Drink left actor playing a subordinate part (7)
SUPPORT:  A verb synonym of drink is followed by the nautical word for left

5a    Give talk about what was in Thatcher's grasp? (7)
HANDBAG:  Put together give or pass and the reversal (about) of an informal word for talk, to get Margaret Thatcher's ever-present accessory

9a    Climb on  table (5)
BOARD:  A double definition.  Climb on a train or a boat, perhaps

10a   Rodent entertaining retreating cat with hard whiskers (9)
MOUSTACHE:  A small rodent containing (entertaining) both CAT from the clue reversed (retreating) and the pencil abbreviation for hard

11a   Knocked out a dishonest criminal (10)
ASTONISHED:  An anagram (criminal) of A DISHONEST

12a   Appears to scrub male's spots (4)
SEES:  A synonym of appears with the abbreviation for male deleted (to scrub male)

14a   Running over as rationing's broadcast (12)
ORGANISATION:  An anagram (… broadcast) of the cricket abbreviation for over and AS RATIONING from the clue

18a   Men loved step dancing events (12)
DEVELOPMENTS:  An anagram (dancing) of MEN LOVED STEP

21a   American with diamonds -- Detective Sergeant puts two and two together? (4)
ADDS:  Fuse together abbreviations for American, Diamonds (on playing cards), and Detective Sergeant.  The ? indicates that we have here a definition by example

22a   A primarily tight belt -- I have to get fit (10)
ATTRACTIVE:  Concatenate A from the clue, the first letter (primarily …) of TIGHT, a belt or region, and the contracted form of I HAVE from the clue.  Fit here has its informal meaning of sexually desirable

25a   Managed behaviour by editor (9)
CONDUCTED:  A charade of a synonym of behaviour and the usual abbreviation for editor

26a   Having lost gallons, wait around for vessel (5)
LINER:  A word meaning wait around or loiter with the abbreviation for gallons deleted (having lost gallons)

27a   Small steps? They go downhill in the snow (7)
SLEDGES:  The clothing abbreviation for small is followed by some steps or shelf-like projections

28a   Organ with a switch finally stuck in church -- it's a pain (7)
EARACHE:  Cement together the hearing organ, A from the clue, and the last letter (… finally) of SWITCH inserted in (stuck in) one of the usual abbreviations for church



1d    Slug oddly born far underground (6)
SUBWAY:  Assemble the odd letters (… oddly) of SLUG, the abbreviation for born, and an informal adverb synonym of far (used, for example, in constructions like "far better" or "far up the mountain") 

2d    Places rubbish in lake? On the contrary (6)
PLANTS:  On the contrary instructs us to reverse the word play, so we insert the map abbreviation for lake in an informal synonym of rubbish

3d    Exotic lady in Rio captivating king, by and large (10)
ORDINARILY:  An anagram (exotic…) of LADY IN RIO containing (captivating) the Latin abbreviation for king

4d    Some witches emitted upsetting spells (5)
TIMES:  The answer is hiding reversed (upsetting) in some of the remaining characters in the clue

5d    He is woeful, strangely, with student leaving her indoors? (9)
HOUSEWIFE:  An anagram (strangely) of HE IS WOEFU[l] minus the usual abbreviation for a student driver (with student leaving)

6d    Letter from school turning up (4)
NOTE:  The reversal (turning up, in a down clue) of one of crosswordland's favourite public schools

7d    Tossing a caber -- it's possible cause of ill-health (8)
BACTERIA:  An anagram (tossing) of A CABER IT

8d    Assuming visitor endlessly goes on Twitter (8)
GUESSING:  A visitor without his final letter (… endlessly) is followed by (goes on, in a down clue) a synonym of twitter

13d   Picky  individual (10)
PARTICULAR:  A double definition that must by now be a chestnut

15d   Urges dad to return with small spades (9)
APPETITES:  Amalgamate the reversal (…to return) of an informal word for dad, an adjective (of French origin) meaning small, and the playing card abbreviation for spades

16d   Adult cavorts, accepting volume rises (8)
ADVANCES:  The abbreviation for adult with a synonym of cavorts that's containing (accepting) the single-letter abbreviation for volume

17d   Dope in court? (8)
EVIDENCE:  A cryptic definition of information (dope) that might be presented in court

19d   Dine out (6)
PICNIC:  To dine not just out of the house, but out in the outdoors

20d   Order grass to be cut after 31 days? (6)
DECREE:  A tall marsh grass missing its last letter (… to be cut) is placed after an abbreviation for one of the months having 31 days

23d   Free, for example, to climb hill-range (5)
RIDGE:  Free or unburden is followed by the reversal (to climb, in a down clue) of the Latin abbreviation for "for example"

24d   Whip and head of government spoke (4)
RUNG:  A synonym of whip (as in "I'll just whip in the newsagent to get a paper") and the first letter of (head of) GOVERNMENT


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  Top clue for me today was 5d.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  SEWING + CEDES = SOWING SEEDS

30 comments on “DT 28913

  1. No real hold-ups with this one. I thought all the clues were well composed, with a healthy mixture of clue types. I agree with our blogger about 5d being the COTD, although the rekrul at 4d was a worthy runner-up.

    Thanks to both Misters involved in today’s production.

  2. No problems to report beyond having done a detour to arrive at 5a by trying to be too clever and employing a man to re-thatch a roof!

    No particular favourite, but an enjoyable solve. Can’t help but think that our Tuesday setter has been reading Ray T’s thesis on the merits of stretched synonyms.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K and his feline friends for the well-illustrated blog – loved the pair of pics at 13d, how very true.
    Brilliant idea to give non-attendees the opportunity to salute BD on the Big day. I do hope it’s taken up enthusiastically and look forward to seeing the results.

  3. ***/** for me with no particular problems agree with Jane that some of the synonyms were stretched to breaking point.

  4. Probably just me but many clues today seem to not quite right in the definitions such appetite for urge. All in all a bit messy.
    Having said that I did like 5a which was a smiler😀
    PS my apologies to Tantulus for the unforgivable misuse of an apostrophe on Sunday, Mea Cupla.

  5. Enjoyed this one, ‘pants’ cropped up again, and I did like 5a and 15d. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  6. SE corner held me up more than it should. Otherwise pleasant solve.
    Should not 7d be “they’re the possible cause….” as the answer is plural?
    Thanks to setter & Mr K for hints

    1. Hi, LrOK. What you say about 7d would be correct if the “it’s” was part of the definition. However, here “it’s” is contributing part of the wordplay and a link. The clue has the form “wordplay’s definition” = “wordplay is definition”, with the definition being just “possible cause of ill-health”.

      1. Maybe “the” instead of “it’s” as a link would have been better – eliminating any implication of “possession”.

        1. Hi Jose. I don’t understand what you mean, because the anagram doesn’t work if “it’s” is replaced by “the”?

          I thought that the replacement of an “is” link word by “‘s” was a nice bit of misdirection by the setter.

  7. Do we think Mrs T might have done a better job with Brexit than Mrs M seems to be doing?

    Straightforward puzzle **/***. Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  8. Done and dusted in *** time, but I agree with others that some of the synonyms were a bit tentative.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  9. Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty for the review and hints. A nice puzzle, but quite tricky in places. Had about 7 answers to go, and it took quite a while to whittle them down. Last in was 13d. Favourite was 10a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  10. A bit “ anagrammatical “ for my taste , nevertheless enjoyable and over too quickly .
    5A favourite .
    Thanks to everyone

  11. 2.5* / 3*. A pleasant return to the world of crosswords after a very long weekend away. I thought there were lots of good clues but I had no particular favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr K.

  12. Pleasant enough but I agree with those who thought some of the synonyms were stretched to near breaking point. I will go along with the majority – 5a, my favourite.

  13. Whilst I quite enjoyed this puzzle and managed to finish it without electronic help, I, like several other contributors, felt that there were quite few synonyms that were stretched too far. Thank you for the hints as there were several of my answers that I was unsure of.

  14. I too found this tricky at first but afterwards can’t really put my finger on why. Thanks for the hints Mr K and thanks to setter too. 24d was a bit of a reach but got there in the end. 5d my fave too.

  15. Enjoyable and fairly clued.
    There did seem a lot of anagrams, but maybe that’s just me.
    There were no particular favourites, just a good, solid puzzle.
    5a reminded me of the wonderful Edith Evans as Lady Bracknell, I have spent many years trying to purge Mrs.T. from my memory!!

  16. We hesitated for a time over the synonym for whip in the wordplay for 24d before writing it in. Lots of clever clues and good fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  17. I enjoyed this a lot, but I put a wrong answer in and didn’t notice. Hoist with my own petard would come to mind, taking longer than it should have.
    Lots to enjoy, 10a was fave. When oh when will I ever remember “pants”?
    Thanks to our Tuesday setter and to Mr. K for his hints and pics, how nice to be back in kitty land.

  18. Enjoyed this one, but do agree about too many stretched synonyms. 5a was smile worthy, but can’t say more or I would be straight in the naughty corner. Thanks to setter and Mr Kitty. Great pictures as usual.

  19. Some of the definitions were tenuous to say the least, but I got them still, so they’re alright, aren’t they? About ** for difficulty, though I never did feel that I was on the setter’s wavelength.

  20. Not one of my favourite exercises. I concur with several above comments re dodgy synonyms e.g. 3d (‘as a rule’ would have been OK but ….) and 24d. Regret DT’s increasing cruciverbal use of slang e.g. 2d. Not keen on 5a. Odd that feminine form of small is needed for 15d. Thank you Mysteron and MrK.

  21. An average-ish puzzle with mostly good clues, giving an enjoyable solve. No stand-out clue to pick a favourite. 2.5* / 3*

Comments are closed.