DT 28941 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28941

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28941

Hints and tips by a xenodochial Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from the beating heart of Downtown LI which is slowly recovering from its annual invasion of motorcyclists from The Mayflower Motorcycle Club who camp out whatever the weather on the first weekend of every new year.

I enjoyed todays puzzle which raised a couple of smiles and didn’t take too long to solve

The hints and tips are written to help and I hope they do. Illustrations may or may not be relevant. 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 to think anymore

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


8a Powerful state embracing the Spanish song (5,10)
HOTEL CALIFORNIA: A somewhat stretched synonym of powerful and a west coast state of the USA are written around the Spanish word for the. The result is a tiresome song by a tiresome American group. Their music for the masses gigs later this year will not be attended by yours truly. Dear God no.

9a Star on the rocks? Not quite (3)
SUN: The past participle of sink needs its final letter removing to leave the star closest to the earth. I’m not quite sure with this one. To be on the rocks is not necessarily to be on the ocean floor. More like aground. Comments invited from those of a pedantic persuasion

10a Conservative blocking amendment causes heated dispute (11)
ALTERCATION: The abbreviation for Conservative is placed within a noun describing the process of amendment to reveal a noisy public argument

11a Problem children matter (5)
ISSUE: A rare triple definition

12a Make a face? Brit, grotesquely (9)
FABRICATE: Anagram (grotesquely) of A FACE BRIT

15a Ruined, stained across front of pants (7)
SPOILED: Stained like one’s pants may be but wrapped around the first letter (front) of the word pants

17a Book is on units of heredity (7)
GENESIS: The book is biblical Take your pick from the following two choices

  1. The word is (from the clue) follows the plural of a distinct sequence of nucleotides forming part of a chromosome, the order of which determines the order of monomers in a polypeptide or nucleic acid molecule which a cell (or virus) may synthesize.
  2. The word is (from the clue) follows the plural of a unit of heredity which is transferred from a parent to offspring and is held to determine some characteristic of the offspring.

We do try to explain the clues in plain English

19a Not a bona fide competitor in the arms race? (9)
GUN RUNNER: An all in one description of one who smuggles arms cleverly using the word race to point us towards the second word

20a Foremost of directors study fear (5)
DREAD: The initial (foremost) letter of the word directors is followed by a regular crosswordland synonym of study

21a In serious difficulty contending with Italian (2,7,2)
UP AGAINST IT: The first two words of the answer form a phrase meaning contending with. Like two boxers or two sports teams may be towards each other. The final word of the answer is the abbreviation for Italian

24a Reportedly purchase extra (3)
BYE: A run scored from a ball that by-passes the batsman without being struck sounds like (reportedly) a verb meaning to purchase

25a What one must do with litter to redeem a bad situation? (4,2,3,6)
PICK UP THE PIECES: A double definition, the first describing the action of clearing litter.


1d Resigns from partnerships in writing (6,4)
STANDS DOWN: How partnerships in cricket are described followed by a word meaning in writing or on the written page

2d Like people’s first charter? (6)
PLEASE: Take the initial letter of the word People’s and add a contract by which one party conveys land, property, services, etc. to another for a specified time, usually in return for a periodic payment.

3d Sent a Defoe novel, and one by Steinbeck (4,2,4)
EAST OF EDEN: Anagram (novel) of SENT A DEFOE

4d Bank calling me away (4)
TIER: Find a calling, vocation or occupation and remove the word Me from it (me away) Or draw upon your experience and write in the answer based upon the underlined definition

5d Club member in register managed to get one inside (8)
ROTARIAN: Make a charade of a list, and a verb meaning managed which contains the letter which resembles the number one

6d Opposed to substantial houses (4)
ANTI: The answer is a lurker. Hiding away in the words of the clue indicated by the verb houses

7d Remain involved in Hitchcock film (6)
MARNIE: Anagram (involved) of REMAIN. The film referred to here is 55 years old.

8d Show disapproval about Northern Ireland bishop’s mock title (3,4)
HIS NIBS: How we show disapproval at a pantomime goes around the abbreviations for Northern Ireland and Bishop

13d Autocratic leader runs into considerable trouble (3,7)
BIG BROTHER: A term 3,6 meaning considerable trouble has the cricket abbreviation for runs inserted to find the autocratic leader referred to in George Orwell’s 1984

14d We, in refurbished snack bar, reply impertinently (6,4)
ANSWER BACK: The word WE from the clue is inserted into an anagram (refurbished) of SNACK BAR

16d Praise article on socially acceptable male drug (8)
LAUDANUM: 1. Begin with a synonym of the word praise. 2. Add the form of the indefinite article used before words beginning with a vowel sound 3. Add the single letter usual suspect for socially acceptable 4. Add the abbreviation for Male

18d Small notice over head brings sorrow (7)
SADNESS: Begin with the abbreviation for small. Add a notice or advertisement finish off with a head or promontory

19d Heartless guy, pinching bottom, makes one cross (6)
GRUMPY: An informal term for ones bottom is placed inside (pinching) the outer letters (disheartened) of the word guy

20d Stop row involving Greek character (6)
DETAIN: A noise or row contains the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet

22d Leading parade miles away (4)
ARCH: A parade (of soldiers perhaps) loses the abbreviation for miles

23d Take this to heed short message (4)
NOTE: What one might take to heed something is also a short message.

Quickie Pun: Honour+Matter+Piers=Onomatopoeias The Doctor told me I had Onomatopoeia. I asked “what’s that” he replied “It’s exactly what it sounds like”

28 comments on “DT 28941

  1. Getting onto the site was more of a struggle than the puzzle.
    Not really my cuppa. Neither is 1a so needed all the checkers.
    Thanks to setter.& MP for hints.

    1. That should have been 8a of course.
      & should have thanked BD (have you any hair left?) for getting things running again.

  2. Welcome back.

    Thanks for the hints I needed a few. Glad of the backup blog today and have remembered to bookmark it.
    Thanks Miffypops and setter also BD and other tech wizards who keep this place going.

    1. I also had the backup bookmarked but they wanted my password, something I can never remember so I gave up.

    2. My comment from the backup blog.

      Miffypops may be xenodochial but the blog less so🙄
      Puzzle was a pleasant diversion and only needed a couple of hints from the friendly one. Agreed to a certain extent about the Eagles. God only knows why their greatest hits album contained more that 1 song or why it sold so much.

  3. Can”t believe I was first to show:
    My perseverance
    It was harder to log in ***** than solve **
    Poor MP no strangers to be friendly to.

  4. I enjoyed this, though was hard pressed to get 8a. Eventually I worked it out and, blow me, there is such a song!
    I rather liked 13a.
    Thanks to our setter and to M’pops for his hints and tips.
    Also huge thanks to BD for getting us back up again, aren’t you getting tired of these gremlins? Wotta headache for you.

  5. Got off to a bad start because I didn’t care for either of the first two across clues or the first down clue.
    Improved considerably after that and I particularly liked 21a.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to MP for the blog – shame you couldn’t bring yourself to include the Eagles clip.

  6. For the second time…

    2* / 3*. It seems a very long time ago that I solved this, and I agree precisely with Jane’s assessment.

    Many thanks to the setter (Campbell?) and to MP, and well done to BD for fighting off the mindless morons again.

  7. Found this one quite tricky-perhaps due to my lack of general media knowledge-did not know the Hitchcock film ( 7D), or the Steinbeck novel (3D) and thought the song in 1A was something to do with Brexit,
    3*/3* for the puzzle- liked 11A ( problem children matter).
    Glad to see the site up and running again.

    1. I think the song is something to do with Brexit…the last line goes something like…”you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave” LOL.

  8. My comments have disappeared due to a supposed programming error on the website – HTTP 405 method not allowed???

  9. I enjoyed 1a, great song. Coincidentally, the other long clue, 25a, is also the name of a song, a 1974 top 10 hit for The Average White Band.
    Can’t remember much else.
    Thanks all.

  10. Hello everyone – hurray and three cheers to whoever fixed this (BD I assume) and commiserations to MP who has put lots of effort into today’s hints and then no-one can see them or comment. Oh dear – perhaps a little bunch of :rose: would help.
    Back in a minute to do a proper comment but just thought I’d post this in case it all goes **** up again.

  11. Fourth time’s a charm!

    Asymmetric puzzles appear to be catching on! Reasonably enjoyable, I did have to Google Hitchcock films although I assumed that the answer I came up with for 3d was indeed a Steinbeck novel and carried on – **/**.

    A handful of potential favourites which I narrowed down to a toss-up between 8d and 16d.

    Thanks to the setter and GMoLI and, of course, BD.

  12. At last . Trust all ok and nothing serious happened .

    Another lovely puzzle , 8D biggest smile and favourite .

    Thanks to everyone .

    Night night

  13. I give up – just written a comment twice and twice they’ve vanished.
    Thanks to everyone and, just for the record, I love the Eagles and 8a – Don Henley is wonderful and has such lovely face – looks as if he’s a really kind person.

    1. Same with me. After submitting the comment the page goes blank.

      If this works my only gripe about the puzzle was a very unlikely synonym for powerful in 8a.

  14. Well done BD for getting us going m. Ironic today as my husband fetched me a paper early. I was then anxiously awaiting MPs hints to check that my last two in 9a and 1d were right. Could not parse. The latter because I did not know the cricketing term and the former because I just did not get how the clue worked. I had not heard of 8a song but got there eventually. Very enjoyable and just a pity we couldn’t all share experiences and express thanks. I have circled 10 17 and 25a and 5 8 and 13d as favourites.

  15. Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very nice start to the week. I was pleased that I knew all the GK type answers. Last in was 13d, favourite was 19a. Was 2*/3* for me. Sorry to witness the site troubles, thanks for fixing. I had the backup site bookmarked, but was unable to leave a comment.

  16. Pretty good Monday puzzle.3*/4* for me.Could not get into the blog,which was just as ,as I soldiered on and finished it.Loi 5d,which is quite amusing as I am one!Lovely sunny morning,off to golf.

  17. I liked this one a lot. It was a reasonable challenge, quite tricky in places,with fine clues and an enjoyable solve. 3* / 4*

  18. Try again….
    I too liked this crossword, even 24 hours later! Either 8a or 8d could be fave; I’ll go with the latter cos I like the phrase.
    Thanks to the setter, and to the alien lover for his review and take on life.

  19. A somewhat belated comment from me.

    I wasn’t sure what to make of this puzzle. I did enjoy most of it, but didn’t select any clues for special mention.

    I’ve not heard of 8a (I got as far as the first word of the answer) nor of 7d.

    Many thanks to Monday’s setter. And much appreciation to Miffypops for the lovely review and for answers to the two I didn’t know.

  20. Is it just me? I’m having a spot of bother loading comments. When I post the comment, it doesn’t stay, so I go back and post it for a second time when it succeeds. Strange.

Comments are closed.