DT 28919 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28919

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28919

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***


Hello, everyone, and welcome to a Tuesday puzzle that’s mostly straightforward and always entertaining.  As I might have said before, if our setter is reading, please consider making a comment below so we can all thank you in person, as it were.

Last week I announced the creation of a comment box survey to collect contributions for the upcoming 10th Birthday Bash from site users who would, on this significant anniversary, like to share their feelings about what the site has given them, express their thanks and well wishes to BD, etc..  We'll share hard copies of the contributions at the Bash and publish them on the site afterwards.  Please 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 answer 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.



4a    Famous race with grand start? (8)
NATIONAL:  A short name for a famous horse race.  Put GRAND at the start of it to get its full name

8a    Creeps from Winchester (6)
INCHES:  The answer can be found hiding among (from) the remaining characters of the clue

9a    Decorative wood was put round stylish bed (8)
WAINSCOT:  WAS from the clue is put round the usual short word for stylish or fashionable, and that’s all followed by a type of bed

10a   Where one might take off songs about drink (8)
AIRPORTS:  Some songs or tunes are wrapped about a fortified wine

11a   Young fliers, none with permits (6)
OWLETS:  Put together the character that looks like zero (none), the abbreviation for with, and permits or allows

12a   Aircraft startled your goat (8)
AUTOGYRO:  An anagram (startled) of YOUR GOAT

13a   The old and so decrepit climbers might need these (8)
TOEHOLDS:  An anagram (decrepit) of THE OLD SO

16a   Reportedly stopped woman getting headscarf (8)
BANDANNA:  A homophone (reportedly) of stopped or outlawed is followed by a woman’s name

19a   See drain in need of repair next to the kerb? (8)
NEARSIDE:  An anagram (… in need of repair) of SEE DRAIN

21a   Gold given to good revolutionary -- that's awkward (6)
GAUCHE:  The chemical symbol for gold is inserted in (given to) the abbreviation for good and crosswordland’s usual revolutionary

23a   Cowardly journalist showing signs of age (8)
YELLOWED:  Join together the colour associated with cowardice and the usual abbreviated journalist

24a   Maria, so upset about second-class and first-class fare (8)
AMBROSIA:  An anagram (…upset) of MARIA SO is wrapped about a letter associated with second-class.  Wikipedia entry for the answer is here

25a   A film of lubricant? (6)
GREASE:  A double definition.  I will spare you any clips of John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in the film

26a   Worshipped graven image: i.e. I'd sold out (8)
IDOLISED:  An anagram (…out) of I.E. I’D SOLD



1d    Very old article on wood, we hear (7)
ANTIQUE:  A grammatical article is followed by (on, in a down clue) a homophone (… we hear) of a type of wood

2d    Panel of people in charge of potato fries? (9)
CHIPBOARD:  Split (4,5), this panel fabricated from wood bits and glue might, whimsically, describe a group of people in charge of potato fries

3d    Large source of food for bird (6)
OSPREY:  A clothing size abbreviation that’s rather large is followed by a generic source of food for many animals

4d    Police HQ's worst DC, Andy Lane, in trouble (3,8,4)
NEW SCOTLAND YARD:  An anagram (…in trouble) of WORST DC ANDY LANE

5d    Well-suited little piece about island traditions? (8)
TAILORED:  A (3) little piece or small amount is wrapped about both the map abbreviation for island and some traditions or wisdom

6d    Winger seen in Scouse line-up (5)
OUSEL:  Winger here means something with wings.  He’s hiding in (seen in) the remainder of the clue

7d    Papa, in bother with Edward, took over (7)
ADOPTED:  The letter represented by papa in the NATO phonetic alphabet is inserted in the fusion of bother or fuss with a (3) short form of Edward

14d   Frank reveals information on Pikachu, say, when doctor leaves (9)
OUTSPOKEN:  “reveals information” or unmasks is followed by the Japanese phenomenon of which Pikachu is an example (Pikachu, say) with a usual abbreviation for a type of doctor deleted (when doctor leaves)

15d   Something smelly and small irritates (8)
INCENSES:  A substance that is smelly when burned and the clothing abbreviation for small

17d   Frightened gangster, tooled up? (7)
ALARMED:  Cement together the first name of crosswordland’s usual gangster and what “tooled up” might mean to him

18d   Publicity with rhyme that's poor (7)
ADVERSE:  The contraction of a form of publicity with a rhyme or piece of poetry

20d   Claim everything, for example, before end of marriage (6)
ALLEGE:  Concatenate a short word for everything, the Latin abbreviation for “for example”, and the last letter of (end of) MARRIAGE

22d   Girl in one of Noel's songs (5)
CAROL:  This Noel is not a singer or a songwriter.  He’s the time of year that is almost upon us


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  I smiled most at 11a, 2d, 7d, 17d, and 22d.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  PURL + FISSURES = PEARL FISHERS  Click here for an explanation of the answer

52 comments on “DT 28919

  1. I found this one about the same mildness as yesterday’s, but for some reason I enjoyed it a tad more. Fav: 13a. I’ve ticked 8a for the humour – no offence to the good people of Hampshire! 2*/ 3.5*

    1. No offence taken even though I should perhaps count myself as a creep having been at a school in Winchester for 8 years!

  2. Particularly liked 14d, and 15d was a face palm moment but a pleasant trip around the grid with NE last in.

    Will be asking for a book on ornithology for Christmas though..

    Thanks to Mr K and Setter

  3. Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, but found it to be on the gentle side. However I was completely beaten by 1d. Just couldn’t think of the right kind of wood. Thought there was a lot of humour in it. Favourite was 4d. Was 2*/3* for me.

  4. Nice and straightforward with an ornithological undertone 😃 **/**** Favourites 16a & 14d 😜 Though I did have to look up “Pikachu” anticipating an Incan temple and was quite surprised at the result 😳 Thanks to Mr K for his well illustrated blog and to the Setter 👍

  5. Quite enjoyable and only mildly challenging which allowed completion at a gallop – **/***.

    However, life must be passing me by because I had no idea who or what Pikachu is in 14d and had to resort to Google for identification.

    Favourite a toss-up between 11a and 7d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  6. I thought this was a little gem of a puzzle despite our setter’s over reliance on our feathered friends.
    I’d never heard of 9a but the rest fell into place nicely. I’ve marked the lurker in 8a along with 5 and 15d for places on the podium.
    Many thanks to Mr K and to the setter, and to the blog as a whole for providing an oasis of civility and sanity in a world of skullduggery and calamity.

  7. 1.5* / 3.5*. Although this was fairly straightforward (apart from needing to Google Pikachu) , I enjoyed it a lot with its brief cluing, touches of humour and generally nice surfaces.

    8a, 2d & 17d made it onto my podium.

    Many thanks to the setter (X-Type?) and to Mr K.

  8. Two comments have bitten the dust so for the third time of asking here goes yet again. Today’s challenge presented no real stumbling blocks so was speedily achieved with a couple of bung-ins. 12a new one on me and needed help to parse 14d. Not sure that 18d is really poor. No real Fav but did like 5d. Thank you to the dark horse and MrK.

    1. Exactly my thought re 18d. Stick both adjectives before “weather” and you can just about, at a stretch justify it!

    2. Your previous comment was stuck requiring moderation because you had a ‘d’ rather than an ‘s’ in your email address. I’ve now deleted that one because it’s very similar to this comment.

      1. Thanks Gazza but I’m not sure why I’m having to fill in my email address and name all the time nowadays.

        1. Angellov, have you ticked the box which says, “Save my name, e-mail … in this browser for the next time I comment.”?

          1. Yes RD and it works for a while and then out of the blue the problem reoccurs and I notice I need to input detail again. Guess I will just have to be on the lookout in future.

  9. Lovely example of ‘doesn’t have to be difficult to be enjoyable’ and certainly no complaints from here about the inclusion of a few of our feathered friends.
    Pleased to see that I wasn’t alone in having to look up Pikachu!

    Top two for me were 2&17d.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr K – particularly liked the pic of ‘the owl and the pussy cat’.

    1. When Charlie was about 5, we went on holidays in Thailand and we bought her a Pikachu shaped talking telephone. The “Hello, can I help you” in a strong Asian accent still rings in my head. That wasn’t helped by the fact that the battery lasted well past her 18th birthday. It’s still somewhere in her bedroom. I’m sure it still works. Spooky.

  10. 17d was my COTD for its humour and conciseness. I agree with Jane’s opening comment at #9, and found most of the clues nicely put together with good surface reading.

    Thanks very much to our mystery setter and to Mr K for the blog.

  11. Very pleasant and not too taxing. Makes a change to have a puzzle that can be done at coffee time without a committee input😀
    Thx to the setter and for the hints which for once I did not need.

  12. I saiked through this one, believe me that is not something I say regularly, or at all really. For some reason it all just fell in to place. Possibly because it was 3 in the morning….. Insomnia rules at the moment. Thanks as always to the setter and hinter.

  13. Good grief two amost write ins in two days, an entertaining crossword good clues and not too much brain ache.
    Thanks to Mr K and Setter.

  14. Totally agree with Jane and Brian, in that it doesn’t have to be a tough puzzle to be enjoyable. This one was just the ticket for my birthday breakfast, when I was quite happy to finish with just a couple of hints. Thanks very much to the setter and Mr. K. Loved the cat and bear video. Will have a go at the Toughie over lunch later.

  15. Once again fun while it lasted but over too soon. 5d was favourite.
    Thanks to Mr Ron, and to Mr K for the review.

  16. */***. Enjoyable if brief. 14d was my favourite closely followed by 9a for its smooth construction. I’ve never seen 16a spelled like that. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  17. Very enjoyable after a 30 mile and rather hilly ride today with our club of mainly over 60 year old cyclists – in glorious weather too. Just the thing to come back to. Consistent level of difficulty but still for me the obvious is not so obvious. Many thinks to setter and solver and I must say how much I appreciate this website which continues to teach me the black arts of the DT crossword.

  18. I sailed through this in almost record time … until I was left with 11a and 5d, which I spent longer on than all the rest put together. Had to resort to the hints in the end, so thanks, Mr K. Like others, I needed confirmation that I was on the right track with Pikachu … and the BRB to confirm the aircraft. Thanks to the mystery setter – most enjoyable. PS Loved the scaredy cat bear.

  19. Thanks to grandkids we knew who Pikachu was. Parsing 7d was our last bit to work out as we were thinking of a two letter Edward before the penny dropped.
    Good fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  20. Most enjoyable and a lotta fun, enhanced by Mr. Kitty’s usual pics. My, I didn’t know there were so many goats in the world, pic at 12a. I do like goats, nearly as intelligent as dogs.
    There’s too much choice here, I loved it all, can’t choose just one.
    Thanks to setter, come back soon, and to Mr. K for the hints and pics.

  21. It was indeed I – X-Type – and how glad I am to have a better response than for my last outing! I always aim to provide humour in my clues and puzzles: and I have never subscribed to the “more difficulty = better” school of setting and solving. Don’t forget: for every aficionado out there who reads or contributes to this blog, there are many, many humble “everyday” solvers who are glad to finish a puzzle now and again. THEY are my main audience – not the “I didn’t like it ‘cos I finished it whilst eating breakfast” grumblers…So thank you to all who commented with NICE comments

    1. I, for one, just loved it, perfect – even though have been solving for over 60 years sometimes I really struggle. So satisfying to solve without having to fry my poor tiny brain.

      1. Thanks – I’m really glad you enjoyed it – that’s why I bother to do them in the first place, to give pleasure and a bit of “fun”. I’m being allowed one a month at the moment…

        1. Thanks X-Type, come back soonest please to give us more light relief from the
          brainstorming days.

    2. Thanks for posting X-Type, and thanks for the fine puzzle. It looks like you have now found the Tuesday sweet spot. Looking forward to the next one.

    3. As I said, I loved your puzzle today, perfect. Anyone who found it too easy can always tackle the Toughie, which are above my pay grade. A puzzle that can be solved with the old grey matter, and without resorting to Mr Google for help, is truly satisfying in my book. Keep them coming.

    4. Hear hear! I’d vote for more than one a month. It’s so nice when the setters pop in, too, so thanks for that. I’m always pleased to see Mr T on “his” Thursdays. I’ll look forward to your next one, X-Type.

    5. Well X Type, with the amount of positive feedback let’s hope you’re up from one a month to one a week very soon. Thanks for yesterday’s entertainment

  22. Straightforward yes.
    Enjoyable yes.
    13a made me laugh.
    Didn’t know the contraption in 12a.
    Went for Cient for the wood in 1d before teak came to mind.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the review.

  23. Thanks Dave
    Can never quite get it done .I don’t feel
    Like I’m cheating but learning from the

  24. Well done Miffypops for spotting yesterday that my brain was still a bit addled! I wasn’t as successful today so I will blame that once again on the baby. The West side fell in easily enough but I struggled with the East. Fav was 2d; I’d love to be a Director on a Potato Fries Panel.

  25. Thanks for the fun that was just what the DocTor needed. 1d 11 tickled my fancy the most today and thanks to Mr K for an entertaining blog.

  26. Thank you all. My wife and I started the cryptic crossword 3 years ago but without your help we would have given up! Thanks
    Pete and Margaret Broad

  27. 2*/4*…

    COD 8A ( creeps from Winchester ) … would not have chosen this had I been an Old Wykehamist. !

    Thanks to X-Type and Mr K.

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