DT 28936 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28936

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28936

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***


Hello everyone, and welcome to 2019.  Happy New Year!  This first puzzle of the year is a good one.  Not too taxing, but sprinkled with smiles and sparkles.  If the creator of this fine puzzle is reading, we'd love to hear from you in the comments below.

We're still collecting contributions for the upcoming 10th Birthday Bash from site users who would like to share their feelings about what the site has given them, express their thanks and well wishes to BD, etc.  If you haven't done so already, you can click here to leave your thoughts.

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 or display a bonus illustration.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Large bird once confused with seal (12)
CONSIDERABLE:  An anagram (confused) of BIRD ONCE SEAL.  Read more about the large cat here

9a    A river still spectacular (9)
ARRESTING:  Link together A from the clue, the map abbreviation for river, and a synonym of still or not moving

10a   Disease affecting dog hair good in cat hair, perhaps (5)
MANGE:  The abbreviation for good is inserted in some long hair sometimes found on the neck of a cat

11a   Looking back, quote work in verse (6)
POETIC:  One of those delightful clues where you follow the wordplay and the answer just appears.  It's the reversal (looking back) of the fusion of quote or name and the usual musical work

12a   Dark-haired beast about to score (8)
BRUNETTE:  Another word for a beast is wrapped about a verb synonym of score (in a sporting context)

13a   Painter -- very important person inspires one (6)
TITIAN:  A person so very important that they might be regarded as a giant contains (inspires) the Roman symbol for one.  Read about the painter here

15a   Red  first (8)
CARDINAL:  A double definition.  The shade of red is associated with some religious garb and gives its name to this North American bird

18a   Inspector very sour for a change (8)
SURVEYOR:  An anagram (for a change) of VERY SOUR

19a   Complex 'neath southern capital city (6)
ATHENS:  An anagram (complex) of NEATH is followed by the single letter abbreviation for southern

21a   Last of sugar in a possible sweet (8)
ADORABLE:  The last letter of SUGAR is inserted in the amalgamation of the A from the clue and possible or achievable

23a   Nick parties, going regularly (6)
PRISON:  Alternate letters (… regularly) of PARTIES GOING

26a   Text without padding encapsulating insignificant message (5)
TWEET:  The outer letters (… without padding) of TEXT containing (encapsulating) an adjective meaning insignificant or tiny

27a   One of the first leaves piglet ate, poisonous (5,4)
TITLE PAGE:  An anagram (poisonous, in the sense of corrupting) of PIGLET ATE

28a   Flies daring to tuck into cabbage and broccoli etc (12)
GREENBOTTLES:  A slang word for daring or courage is inserted in (to tuck into) the type of vegetables of which cabbage and broccoli are examples (the definition by example being indicated by … etc)



1d    Almost everything confiscated by officer, it is mine (7)
COALPIT:  A synonym of everything with its last letter deleted (almost …) is contained by (confiscated by) an informal word for a police officer, and then IT from the clue is stuck on the end of that lot.  Another clue where the answer emerges from following the wordplay

2d    A little Latin, or second language of old (5)
NORSE:  The answer is lurking as part of (a little …) the remainder of the clue

3d    Start knotting giant ties (9)
INSTIGATE:  An anagram (knotting) of GIANT TIES

4d    Utter brilliance from Bolshoi Ballet, all concluding (4)
EMIT:  The final letters (.. concluding) of all the remaining words in the clue

5d    Cook in a large African (8)
ALGERIAN:  An anagram (cook) of IN A LARGE

6d    Fruit no crossword setter likes, initially sent over (5)
LEMON:  Concatenate NO from the clue, a pronoun describing the crossword setter from their perspective, and the first letter (…initially) of LIKES.  That collection of letters then needs to be reversed (sent over)

7d    Popular viewpoint, for example (8)
INSTANCE:  The usual short word for popular and a viewpoint or attitude

8d    Breakfast show broadcast? (6)
CEREAL:  A homophone (… broadcast) of a show delivered as a sequence of episodes

14d   Business done, upset (8)
TURNOVER:  This monetary measure of an amount of business done could, when split (4,4), mean upset or flip

16d   Cleaning product put off man (9)
DETERGENT:  A charade of put off or discourage and one of the usual synonyms of man

17d   Game of chance allowed to get in the way (8)
ROULETTE:  Allowed or permitted is inserted in (to get in) the way or path to somewhere

18d   Revealing study, Tory gutted (6)
SCANTY:  A verb meaning study closely is followed by the outer letters (… gutted) of TORYFor more on this calendar featuring kittens with Australian firefighters in 18d outfits, click here

20d   Principally sensational, except when dull (7)
SUNLESS:  Put together the first letter (principally …) of SENSATIONAL and a conjunction meaning "except when"

22d   Discussed place in church for convert (5)
ALTER:  A homophone (discussed …) of a focal point in a church

24d   Sprinter's beginning to catch dawdler (5)
SNAIL:  The first letter of ('s beginning) of SPRINTER is followed by an informal verb meaning to catch or secure

25d   Attack creatures of the night from below (4)
STAB:  The reversal (from below, in a down clue) of some fluttery creatures of the night


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  I liked 11a, 1d, and 6d because the answers emerged from following the instructions in the wordplay.  I also liked 27a for its definition.  But my favourite thing today was the Quickie pun.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  MUST + ASHY + ODE = MOUSTACHIOED

34 comments on “DT 28936

  1. This felt like more familiar territory after Sunday’s “Toughie in Backpage-clothing”… and an opportunity to rebuild the confidence.

    About average level of trickiness, but a good bit above average for enjoyment. Liked 12a, 14d, 16d (very true), 26a and 27a. COTD for me was 1d for the nice surface. LOI: 21a.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the review.

    And Happy New Year to all.

  2. I have to agree with Mr K when he says, “Not too taxing, but sprinkled with smiles and sparkles.” All good fun and most enjoyable. My favourites include 15 across, 26 across and 27 across. Thanks to mystery setter and Mr K.

  3. 2*/3*. Agree not too taxing – just right after a very late night – and good fun in spite of a couple of dodgy surfaces (e.g. 19a & 5d).

    Favourite 28a.

    Many thanks to Messrs R & K and Happy New Year to all.

  4. Enjoyable puzzle. The penny has only just dropped, with your help, Mr K for 4d. Hadn’t heard of 28a before.

  5. Great, I enjoyed that a lot and almost completed it before becoming hooked on my annual treat, the New Year concert from Vienna (interval at the moment). Not sure about 22d being a ‘place’. Liked the poisonous 27a. Thank you Mysteron and MrK. Happy New Year to BD and all his cohorts and many thanks for the daily cruciverbal amusement. 🌈🍾💐☀️

  6. Happy New Year to all.
    Pleasant & not too taxing.
    Hope (forlorn probably) that it is the first of the editor’s New Year resolution to keep the back pager on the back page.
    Would have been nice to have seen Neath rather than ‘neath in 19a – it needs the publicity & would have improved the surface!
    Thanks to setter & Mr K.

  7. What a great puzzle to start 2019 with, full of super slick surfaces (with the exception of 5d) and gentle trickiness. 20d was my favourite.
    I’d like to wish everyone who contributes to this excellent site, which has heped me such a lot in the art of cryptic crossword solving, a very happy New Year, including of course today’s setter and Mr K.
    Ps as soon as I solved 12a I thought that Mr K would have a great accompanying picture and he hasn’t let me down 😉

  8. Pleasantly straightforward and good fun for a lazy morning. Lots to like, but my favourite was 28a.

    Many thanks to the Mysteron and to Mr K. HNY to all associated with this terrific site. Let’s hope there are some lurkers out there who have made it a new year resolution to delurk before long.

  9. An enjoyable start to the new year with plenty of smiles along the way.
    Hard to pick a favourite but 27a & 16d are up there with the best.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr K for a delightfully feline-filled blog. Happy New Year to both of you.

  10. What a great puzzle to start 2019 with, full of super slick surfaces (with the notable exception of 5d) and gentle trickiness. 20d was my favourite
    I’d like to wish everyone who contributes to this excellent site, which has helped me so much in learning the art of cryptic crossword solving, a very Happy New Year, including today’s setter and Mr K.
    Ps as soon as I soved 12a I thought that Mr K would have a great accompanying picture and he hasn’t let me down 😉

  11. Good start to the year , slow start for me but then steady progress . Will pick 28A as favourite but some others impressed eg 10A , 12A .

    I will not be surprised if there are a few adverse comments due to some clues being a little clunky and a scattering of anagrams .

    Thanks to everyone

  12. All very good but had some trouble parsing 12ac (had the wrong sport – the one with bat and ball) and took me far to long to see 1dn! Favourite was 21ac.

    Happy New Year everyone.

    Thanks setter and Mr K.

  13. First reading, Ithought it was Sunday.
    Then, starting from the SW, it seemed to fall, with a few problems, into place.
    Last in 15a, checking letters helped.
    For me ** to ***
    Quite a few laughs.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr. K.

  14. Happy new Year to all. Had a very poor start, it took a walk and being jumped all by a lively spaniel to get my brain working. Thank you Mr K I needed your explanations for a couple of my “that must be rights”. Thank you to the setter.

  15. Quite enjoyable, somewhat challenging as there was enough head scratching to slow me down to a fast canter for completion – **/***.

    I don’t think that I have seen poisonous (27a) as an anagram indicator before; something else to try to remember!

    Favourite – a toss-up between 15a and 7d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  16. Lets hope the compilers keep up the great standard this year, needed some help with beleive it or not 4d and 26a. Just starting to think about gardening the daffs are showing signs of life plus snowdrops, winter proper seems to get later. Wish we could get to birthday bash but will be in Amsterdam visiting friends.
    A happy new year to all, thanks to Mr K and setter.

  17. Nothing too demanding to start the year. It didn’t pull up any trees for me though; it was pleasant enough but I didn’t have to really work at it. 15a was my favourite.
    Thanks to Mr Ron,and to Mr K for the review and pics.
    Happy New Year one and all!

  18. What a lovely start to the New Year, a really enjoyable puzzle. Bottom half took longer than the top, but all fell into place with a couple of Mr K’s hints, thank you. Going to share all the cat pictures with the grandkids. We often get 15a in our garden, they love to bathe in our small fountain. Thanks to setter, hope to see more like this.

  19. Thanks to the setter and Mr K for the hints. I couldn’t see 19a for looking so needed help with that one, but otherwise a gentle joy from top to bottom.
    Very Happy New Year to BD and all contributors to this wonderful site.

  20. I agree with Mr Ks assessment of difficulty vs enjoyment. My favourite was 27a closely followed by 21a. I noticed this morning that I put on over 3lbs between yesterday and this morning and my blood sugar was too high for a type 2 diabetic. A feel a resolution or two coming on. HNY to one and all and thanks to the setter and Mr K for a good start to the year.

  21. I didn’t think this was easy but I did enjoy it a lot. I think in my old age I’ve become only 19/6 to the £ for I have no idea what held me up. I needed hints for a couple, but it’s been a busy morning with lots of distractions.
    Fave was 12a, not to mention all the pics that add so much enjoyment.
    Thanks to our setter and to Mr. K for the hints and kits. Happy New Year to all.

  22. The pet shop is getting more exotic as the weeks go by. I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle. Top banana. ta to all

  23. I’m quite cross with myself. I couldn’t get 4d, and having checked the review, it was such an easy clue. I really didn’t know where the Bolshoi Ballet fitted in. Many thanks Mr Kitty and setter, and a very happy New Year to all.

    1. Hi, Florence. I didn’t think 4d was easy. The setter used a definition that’s not obvious and they also did an excellent job of disguising the wordplay. I only got it once I had a checker in place.

  24. Thanks to everyone who commented today. I appreciate the kind words about the hints and the pics.

  25. Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, but found it quite tricky. Needed three sittings to complete it. Was interrupted by having to go to the Goonerium for a 3 o’clock kick off. Last in was 11a, favourite was 6d. Was 3*/3* for me. Happy New Year to all.

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