DT 28952 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28952

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28952

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

An exceedingly straightforward Saturday puzzle – well I thought so anyway

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Time with teacher to frame question for difficult employer (10)
TASKMASTER – T (time) with MASTER (teacher) to ‘frame’ ASK (question)

6a    Some flirt with a fool (4)
TWIT – Lurking in part of (some) flirT WITh

9a    Body of soldiers, NCOs avoiding exam (5)
CORPS – CORPORALS (NCOs) ‘avoiding’ or omitting ORAL (exam)

10a    Strangely, his dogma united capital (9)
MOGADISHU – An anagram (strangely) of HIS DOGMA U (united)

12a    Senator grins wickedly about statesman’s first offence (13)
TRANSGRESSION – An anagram (wickedly) of SENATOR GRINS ‘about’ the S that is the first letter of Statesman

14a    Bearded woman finally entering American sanctuary (8)
UNSHAVEN – N (the final letter of woman) ‘entering’ US (American) HAVEN (sanctuary)

15a    Part of peaceful Hammersmith — or somewhere next door? (6)
FULHAM – Lurking in part of peaceFUL HAMmersmith is the next-door part of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham

17a    Call up about lifting mechanism (6)
PULLEY – A reversal (about) of YELL (call) and UP (from the clue)

19a    Snake coffee’s trendy, reportedly (8)
MOCCASIN – A homophone (reportedly) of MOCHAS (coffees) IN (trendy)

21a    On the way, like oil? (2,3,8)
IN THE PIPELINE – In preparation or where you’d find an oil supply

24a    Army’s revolutionary command (5,4)
ABOUT FACE – A cryptic definition of an army ‘revolutionary’ order – so who else put TURN before they realised it wouldn’t work with 22d?

25a    Sharp cold (5)
NIPPY – Biting or a timely reference to the weather at the time of solving/review typing

26a    Optimise the condition of air (4)
TUNE – A verb meaning to optimise the condition of or another word for a piece of music

27a    Steps adopted by coppers in epidemic (10)
PESTILENCE – STILE (steps) ‘adopted by’ PENCE (coppers)


1d    Get to grips with missing the French food (4)
TACK – Remove the French definite article – LE – from TACKLE (get to grips with)

2d    Special ceremonies for goblins? (7)
SPRITES – SP (special) RITES (ceremonies)

3d    Poor running in games meant running miles first (13)
MISMANAGEMENT – An anagram (running) of GAMES MEANT and M (miles ‘first’) Slightly odd to use running twice – once as part of the definition and again as the anagram (indicator)?

4d    See terms organised for part of the school year (8)
SEMESTER – An anagram (organised) of SEE TERMS

5d    Man behind the counter heading off for mountain (5)
EIGER – Remove the ‘heading’ or first letter of the surname of the man who invented the GEIGER counter

7d    Want to trap serpent that’s ill-tempered (7)
WASPISH – WISH (want) to ‘trap’ ASP (serpent)

8d    Competition our chap set up in temporary accommodation (10)
TOURNAMENT – OUR (from the clue) and a reversal (set up in a Down clue) of MAN (chap) inserted into TENT (temporary accommodation)

11d    Not working, manipulated city’s loan fund (13)
DYSFUNCTIONAL – An anagram (manipulated) of CITYS LOAN FUND

13d    One petitions current leader of Conservatives to block overthrow (10)
SUPPLICANT – I (electrical current) C (the ‘leader’ of Conservatives) to ‘block’ SUPPLANT (overthrow)

16d    Nobody opening — it’s a disappointing affair (3-5)
NON-EVENT – NONE (nobody) VENT (opening)

18f    Deflated and sad after service that’s not quite right (3,4)
LET DOWN – DOWN (sad) goes after LET (a service in a game of tennis that’s not quite right so the player gets to have another try)

20d    Stay out too long (5,2)
SLEEP IN – A cryptic definition

22d    One judge could be cross (5)
IRATE – I (one) RATE (judge)

23d    Farm building next to empty ravine (4)
BYRE – BY (next to) RavinE (empty telling you to remove the contents of ravine)

5 comments on “DT 28952

  1. Thanks to CS for the review.
    As discussed on the day I thought that 20d could equally well have been ‘sleep on’ as in “My alarm failed to go off so I slept on and missed my train” (which I’m hoping is not the case tomorrow!).

  2. I would agree with the given ratings, only 23d was new to me, but the wordplay is quite transparent.
    Thanks for the review CS.

  3. On Saturday’s blog, I commented about unindicated Americanisms saying that I would follow-up today, so here goes:

    24a is definitely an Americanism, About Turn is the ‘revolutionary’ command used in the UK which is why several of us could not complete 22d after completing 24a ‘incorrectly.’

    4d is a maybe Americanism because it implies two academic terms per year, which there are in the USA while there are three academic terms per year in the UK.

    20d is also a maybe Americanism, it certainly originated in the USA versus ‘lie in’ in the UK although it has probably crossed the Atlantic as the BRB does not indicate any ‘attribution.’

    Oh well, now I have to go and check that my Stallion ‘Pedant’ is comfortable in the stable.

  4. I’m not sure that I find the star rating of difficulty very useful. I found 28952 to be a stinker but I quite often find puzzles rated 2 or 3 star to be relatively easy. I think it’s the way my brain is wired as opposed to the reviewer’s brain is wired it’s just a personal thing. That said thanks for everything it’s always fun to contrast someone else’s experience as opposed to my own.

  5. Thanks for the review, CS, I found this much easier than usual for a Saturday puzzle. I agree with Senf about the Americanisms, semester was the stand-out annoyance for me this week. I hate the word! But thanks to the setter anyway for a sound well-constructed puzzle.

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