DT 28927 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28927

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28927

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Hola from a slightly chilly but bright morning in the Vega Baja.  I’ve no idea who today’s setter is but whoever it is he/she has given us a treat, with just enough trickiness to make it more than just a walk in the park. I’ll be interested to see what you all thought of it.  
This will be my last blog of 2018 so I’d just like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Cleaned quietly inside vehicle (6)
MOPPED:  Put the usual letter for quietly inside a small, two-wheeled vehicle.

5a           Glimpsing first bit of gunk beside piercing (8)
GLANCING:  Start with a G (first bit of Gunk) and follow with a word for piercing, as a doctor might do to a boil.

9a           Appreciate eastern Cornwall town’s biscuits (10)
DIGESTIVES:  A charade of a nineteen sixties word for appreciate or like very much, E(astern) and a resort town on the north coast of Cornwall which attracts a lot of artists.  I like plain chocolate ones of these.

10a         Indulgence consumed by major gymnast (4)
ORGY: A lurker lurking in (consumed by) the last two words of the clue.

11a         Consider overwhelming Spain in marine attack (3,5)
SEE ABOUT:  Take the IVR code for Spain and insert it into (in) a word for marine followed by a word for an attack, of flu perhaps.  Then split that lot (3,5) to get the answer.

12a         Sloppiness from the French kiss, one totally discontented (6)
LAXITY:  A charade of a French definite article followed by a letter denoting a kiss, then the letter that looks like the number one and finally TY (TotallY discontented).

13a         Trim left side of boundary to make another (4)
EDGE:  Take the sort of boundary you might have around your garden and remove (trim) the first letter (left side) and you’ll be left with another word for a boundary.

15a         Long time wound up with former lover to begin with (8)
EXTENDED:  For once long has nothing to do with yearning but literally means long as in lengthy. Start with T(ime) followed by a word for wound up or completed and put the usual two letters for a former lover or spouse at the beginning  (to begin with).

18a         Work in a sty, I’d fancy there’s no worse place (8)
DYSTOPIA:  The usual two letter work is placed inside (in) an anagram (fancy) of A STY I’D.

19a         Unceremonious over leaving playing area (4)
CURT:  Take the O out of (O(ver) leaving) the playing area used for a game of tennis.

21a         Swordsman runs after handler of stolen goods (6)
FENCER:  R(uns) after a slang term for a handler of stolen goods.

23a         Got on space vessel within berth (8)
EMBARKED:  Start with a printers space, not EN but the other one, and follow with Noah’s vessel within a word for a berth or place to sleep.

25a         Sea creature is a food with shell on back (4)
TUNA:  A (from the clue) and something to eat that has a shell all reversed (back).

26a         Modern mobile few in England ordered (10)
NEWFANGLED:  Anagram (mobile) of FEW inserted into (in) and anagram (ordered) of ENGLAND.

27a         Trashy clubs girl in Putney regularly ignored (8)
UNCLASSY:  C(lubs) and a word for a girl are inserted into (in) the alternate letters (regularly ignored) from PUTNEY.

28a         Want expensive threads, leaving studies aside (6)
DEARTH:  Want as in lack of.  A word for expensive is followed by the word THREADS from the clue but remove  the word which means studies to leave just the first two letters (leaving . . . aside).


2d           Short boy who asked for more fruit (5)
OLIVE:  The Dickensian boy who asked for more without his last letter (short) is a fruit which is grown a lot around here.

3d           Common pal never dances tango (9)
PREVALENT:  Common as in widespread.  It’s an anagram (dances) of PAL NEVER followed by the letter designated by the word tango in the phonetic alphabet.

4d           On-line business boss bringing in nothing after October is upset (6)
DOTCOM:  Take two letters for a boss or chief executive and insert the short form of October and an O (nothing) and then reverse the lot (upset in a down clue).

5d           Let on  what poacher handing out freebies did (4,3,4,4)
GAVE THE GAME AWAY:  A double definition with the second part a bit cryptic.

6d           Certain hoop inside a bustle getting misshapen (8)
ABSOLUTE:  An O (hoop) inside an anagram (getting misshapen) of A BUSTLE.

7d           Maybe trainer announced requirement to make profiteroles (5)
CHOUX:  This stuff from which profiteroles are made sounds like (announced) what the sort of trainer you wear on your feet is an example of.  I had some of these with my lunch yesterday.

8d           Near rush to imbibe whiskey, that’s habit of one retiring (9)
NIGHTWEAR:  Take a word for near or close followed by a word meaning to rush or career and insert W(hiskey) to get the clothing (habit) of one going to bed (retiring).

14d         Heading off fraud suspect with entry ticket (3,6)
DAY RETURN: Take the first letter off FRAUD (heading off) and make an anagram (suspect) of what’s left along with ENTRY.

16d         Climbing in automobile, silver and gold, to go up country (9)
NICARAGUA:  Reverse (climbing in a down clue) the IN from the clue. Follow that with a common word for an automobile and the chemical symbol for silver. Finally you need the chemical symbol for gold but it’s reversed (to go up in a down clue).  After all that you’ll find you have a country in Central America.

17d         Clandestine groups entering unknown into vaults (3,5)
SPY RINGS:  Insert a letter for an unknown into a word for vaults, as in jumps, and split the result (3,5).

20d         Moving down river, overseas on boat, perhaps (6)
ABOARD:  Take a word describing where you are if you’re overseas and move the R(iver) a couple of places down.

22d         Stroke in slow movement (5)
CRAWL:  A swimming stroke is also a word meaning to move slowly.

24d         Something happening in square that’s close (5)
EVENT:  A word for square as in not owing anything followed by a T (thaT’s close)

Quite a lot of good stuff here but my favourite was 18a with 24d and 5d on the podium.

Quick crossword pun:     FORM     +     MICE     +     INNS     =     FOR MY SINS

44 comments on “DT 28927

  1. Thought this was a nice, well constructed puzzle of standard difficulty and above average enjoyment.

    Metaphorical ticks for: 7d, 12a, 18a and 20d. Favourite was 9a. LOI: 19a

    Only slight quibble was with 11a with seems a stretch.

    Many thanks to the setter and to to Pommers for the blog.

  2. 3* / 4*. This was a lot of fun with a good mixture of easy, medium and hard clues.

    14d & 24a (my favourite) took me ages to parse. 18a & 5d were also on my podium.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to pommers.

  3. 25a my final entry along with 14d. Pleasantly tricky overall, with 5a just my favourite from 28a. I really enjoyed the clue constructions in this fine puzzle.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron for the challenge, and to pommers.

  4. Very enjoyable and all went in steadily. 27a is an ugly word. I especially liked 23a, 28a, 7d, 14d and 20d, with 9a being my favourite. Toughie is not too challenging today.

  5. Thursday is my favourite day for The Daily Telegraph Cryptic puzzle. Great setters Great puzzles and a great reviewing team. Thanks setter. thanks pommers. I loved the anagram at 26ac. The clue at 9ac took some digesting and the fish with the shell at 25ac made me laugh. Only one sleep to go before i go to see Mary Poppins Returns. Can’t wait. I am so excited. Roll on tomorrow.

  6. Still getting great insight from the hints here, many thanks pommers…it’s tricky when one is still learning all the “indicators”.

    Loving the challenge and the fact that this site exists to help me learn how to overcome the challenges!

    9a gave great satisfaction. Even after revealing the answer, struggled with 11a although i get it now.

  7. Some head scratching required for completion at a fast canter with a big ‘Hmm’ when the penny finally dropped on 11a – ***/***.

    Favourite has to be 5d, 15 letter non-anagrams will always prevail in my book.

    Thanks to the setter and pommers

  8. I certainly didn’t achieve a fast canter, but I finished the course without outside help. 11a was my last fence. I would agree with the ***/**** rating.

    Many thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  9. Most enjoyable, apart from 27a which goes into my ‘not a proper word’ category.

    Top three here were 9&25a plus 7d. Unlike Pommers, I always liked the milk chocolate topped ones – two at a time made into a sandwich with the chocolate sides together!

    Thanks to our Thursday setter and to Pommers for the blog. I used to love Jasper’s TV series back in the day.

  10. Nice puzzle that needed a bit of thought to solve. Nothing too difficult but good fun. 7d was my favourite.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Pommers for the review.

  11. Thought this was a precisely clued puzzle that offered a most entertaining solve. Top clues for me included 9a, 11a, 5d and 7d, Many thanks to proXimal for the puzzle and to pommers for the review.

    1. Is that a definite attribution to proXimal, Mr K? If so he’s a welcome addition to the back-page band of setters.

      1. Hi Gazza. It’s either a definite attribution or Mr K is adopting Jane’s trick of thanking the wrong setter to encourage the right one to comment!

      2. Hi, Gazza. We know that proXimal is a member of the back-page team because he outed himself on his first puzzle (see http://bigdave44.com/2018/04/19/dt-28717/#comment-347190)

        Regarding today, I noticed recently that (approximately) every second Thursday proXimal retweets BD’s Twitter announcement of the new blog’s publication. It’s the only BD tweet that gets that treatment, so I assume it means that proXimal is the setter.

        1. Thanks for that Mr K. It had totally passed me by that proXimal was setting back-page puzzles (either that or I’d forgotten!).

  12. Finished this morning before yet another shopping expedition with darling wife . Did not need the hints but struggled compared to the previous crosswords this week .
    I expect a few grumbles when I read the comments but some crosswords are easier than others and , of course , vice versa .
    My favourite 9A , last in the iffy 13A . Apart from the relatively easy 21A ,most of the rest of the clues needed pause for thought .
    Enjoyed the challenge .
    Thanks to everyone .

  13. Got 11a by parsing the clue and thinking it couldn’t be anything else but even at a stretch I cannot really relate the answer to the definition, hence turning to the blog for its superior intellect!??

  14. ***/****. Apart from 27a I thought this was a good puzzle with a couple of standout clues for me (9a&7d). Thanks to Pommers and the setter.

  15. Another oddity for me in that I found this fairly easy. Along with all the other puzzles this week. The problem I have is that I can’t seem to move up a level. Perhaps it’s familiarity with the setters on the back page. Can anyone recommend a book to help. This site helps obviously and may it long continue. Thanks to all

  16. I agree with Pommers on this one. I didn’t find it a walk in the park. My print-out is absolutely covered in scribbles, but I got there in the end. 25a and 26a were my favourites. Thanks and Merry Christmas to the setter and Pommers.

  17. I found this to be the hardest puzzle of the week but non the less enjoyable for it. It seemed to me to be quite technical, with a few easier clues mixed with some real head scratchers, for which I needed the help of the blog, particularly for parsing.
    Lot’s to smile about though, 24d (for its surface) and 9a being the ones I “dug’ the most.
    3.5/ 3*
    Many thanks to Pommers (Happy Christmas to you sir) and the setter.

  18. A puzzle as tasty as chocolate 9a. (Might clarify that I like those – no backhanded compliments here!)

    Not much to add, except many thanks to Mr X and pommers – and a very Merry Christmas to you too.

  19. A tricky little number this but hugely enjoyable.
    I loved 5d, I solved it on first read and, being a long answer, it opened up a lot of territory.
    Several were fave candidates but I think 7d takes the cake, with 9a and 18a close behind.
    Thanks to proXimal and to pommers for his hints and pics.
    We’re in for storms tonight with tornado watches, then cold sets in tomorrow again.

  20. Ran aground with a couple in the SE corner, especially 20d where the r of river needed to be shuffled about, but the answer was obvious so no excuses.
    Thanks all.

  21. Thanks for all the appreciative comments on this one and others throughout the year. Special thanks to pommers, Kath and Dutch, who have reviewed most of my puzzles. Merry Christmas to all.

    1. Thanks for popping in. So, Mr. K was right, it was you. This was most enjoyable, but any more difficult than this would be too hard for us back pagers with tiny brains.

    2. Thanks for popping in and also thanks for a great puzzle – more like this please. I was very close to giving it 5* for enjoyment, but then what can I do if your next one’s even better?

    1. This simply wasn’t my cup of tea and it got the better of me particularly in the South. I struggled for quite sometime and then bunged in several but needed lots of Pommers’ help to finish. I’ll put it down to Christmas overkill and hope for better luck tomorrow. Thank you proXimal and pommers.

  22. Just finished having taken infinite * time. My excuse being I had to solve with a blank grid as the electronic copy wouldn’t download & no writing implement
    In hospital bed having had my appendix out in the middle of the night I had the time & I only needed 2 of Pommers hints to finish.
    Thanks to Proximal for whiling away hours pleasurably and Pommers for getting me across the line
    Thanks also to UHW: appendicitis diagnosed 6pm out same night hopefully home tomorrow: there are areas that the NHS is excellent (BD that’s not political just personal experience over many years)

    1. What bad luck, LrOK – but good that the op went smoothly. Impressive solving under the circumstances! I wish you a smooth and speedy recovery.

      1. Kitty
        Yes something “works” for nearly 77 years then packs in just before Christmas.
        Thank you for good wishe; except for rareish bactsrium all on track.
        I was pleased with myself I have never got so far with a blank solve before never had so much time of course!

    2. Oh dear! Poor you! Rotten timing or what?
      I agree that the NHS is absolutely fantastic for emergencies – nothing and nowhere does better in those situations.
      Get well soon and a little :rose: to help you recover.

    3. What rotten luck. Here’s to a speedy recovery. You don’t arrange your timing very well, do you! I had mine out when I was six, don’t remember much about it.

  23. I didn’t get round to this one until late last night so just thought I’d pop in now before starting on the endless list of ‘stuff to do’.
    What an enjoyable crossword – I whizzed through lots of it and then got completely stuck with my last few which took ages.
    My last answer was 4d and the fishy chap took a while too – shouldn’t have done but it just did.
    Too many good clues to mention all of them so thanks to proXimal and to pommers.

  24. This was a great puzzle, a good challenge with a wide range of excellent clues providing a very enjoyable solve. Really excellent. 3* / 4*

  25. 4*/3*…..
    liked 21A ( swordsman runs after handler of stolen goods )…
    also liked the quickie pun.

Comments are closed.