DT 28959 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28959

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28959

Hints and tips by a Zippy Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Thanks to those who made the trip to Little Venice on Saturday for the blog’s tenth birthday bash. We had a great day meeting old friends and making new ones. Some of those who comment, some of those that set puzzles and most of those who blog these reviews were in attendance. Thanks especially to those who found me out to thank me personally. You know who you are. Thanks also to CrypticSue and John Bee for the cakes.

Today’s puzzle contains a fair mix of clue types with a small few that tested the grey matter. 2d and 10 ac were my last ones in. The enumeration for 20a got me all mixed up but soon sorted.  16d is quite a regular chestnut.

These hints and tips have been created lovingly to help those of you who may need help to solve a couple of clues or to understand why an answer is what it is. Usually a clue consists of two parts. 1. A definition, which is usually at the beginning or end of a clue. 2. Wordplay which tells to what to do to solve the clue. The hints and tips help with the wordplay of the clues. Definitions are underlined. Some hints are illustrated. These illustrations may or may not have a bearing on the understanding of the clue.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


3a    Mums complain about European cheese (10)
MASCARPONE: A four-part charade. 1 an informal way of saying mums or mothers. 2 A word meaning to complain or find fault with trivial matters. 3 one of Crosswordland’s two words indicated by about. Not re, the other one. 4 the abbreviation of European

8a    Some help a soldier in West Texas town (2,4)
EL PASO: A lurker. The answer is hidden within the words of the clue and indicated by the word some

Miffypops is too young to remember this Classic track from 1959!  BD.  Oh no he isn’t.  Its too schmaltzy for me. It was a choice between She’s Your lover Now or Billy. Both by Nobel laureate Bob Dylan

9a    Report part of speech dividing a northern church (8)
ANNOUNCE: A part of speech sits nicely between the letter A from the clue together with the abbreviation for northern and the abbreviation for the Church of England

10a    Commonplace, a penny-farthing years ago (8)
ORDINARY: A double definition. That which is not unusual or the name given to a Penny Farthing bicycle from years ago. My online dictionary suggests this to be of North American usage

11a    Consecrated area of land in outskirts of Stroud (6)
SACRED: A common measure of an area of land sits between the first and last letters (outskirts) of Stroud

12a    Domestic pet seen in seat as mice scattered (7,3)
SIAMESE CAT: Anagram (Scattered) of SEAT AS MICE This clue belongs in a Tuesday puzzle.

14a    All the rage, sauce on piece of offal? Not seriously (6-2-5)
TONGUE-IN-CHEEK: We have three words to parse here and three parts of wordplay. A word meaning all the rage, trendy, hip or popular. A word meaning sauce, lip or backchat and a type of offal usually beef and not liver or kidney. Place these in the order suggested by the clue in order to suit the underlined definition

20a    Horribly wrong, errant Sherpa took off (4-6)
PEAR-SHAPED: An anagram (errant) of SHERPA is followed by a word meaning copied. Don’t let the enumeration fool you.

22a    Put pen to paper about hospital making one feel acute embarrassment (6)
WRITHE: A word which means to put pen to paper needs to have the abbreviation for hospital included. This oh so simple clue is one that I would have struggled with at one time by over complicating it

23a    Conflict in the air, a clash between setters, perhaps (8)
DOGFIGHT: The setters in this clue do not set crossword puzzles. They are four legged animals kept as pets that should be outside and on the floor at all times

24a    Evil can spread round a Spanish city (8)
VALENCIA: An anagram (spread) of EVIL CAN is followed by the letter A gifted to us in the clue

25a    Approach a meeting place (6)
AVENUE: This tree lined approach can be split 1,5 to find a meeting place

26a    Question everyone about complicated bet after British game (10)
BASKETBALL: A three-letter verb meaning to question and a three-letter word meaning everyone surround an anagram (complicated) of BET. What you now have follows the abbreviation of British


1d    Member in a register, scaremonger (8)
ALARMIST: This member is a limb. It needs to be placed between the letter A from the clue and a synonym of register

2d    Endless chat is chap’s charm (8)
TALISMAN: Begin with a word meaning chat or speak and remove its last letter (endless). Add the word IS from the clue. Finish off with a chap or male adult

3d    Artist in boggy ground, marsh (6)
MORASS: Place an artist who is a member of the Royal Academy inside boggy ground to make a swamp. I’m not convinced about the boggy ground. More like a plant that thrives on wet soil. [I thought the same, but it’s in Chambers. BD]

4d    Board express to save time (4)
STAY: A word meaning to state or utter verbally surrounds the abbreviation of time. The answer means to lodge with somebody

5d    Sceptic acting so strangely (8)
AGNOSTIC: Anagram (strangely) of ACTING SO

6d    Vigorous blow catching a protruding stomach (6)
PAUNCH: A vigorous blow that might be thrown by a boxer includes (catching) the letter A

7d    A pound almost left, and five US cents (6)
NICKEL: An old slang term for £1 minus its last letter (almost) has the abbreviation for left added

I tried to find a clip from St Trinian’s where an angelic girl asks a bookie for “Fifty nicker on the nose” but couldn’t find it so Tom waits has stepped in with this beautiful haunting number

13d    Feature on area in Asian country (5)
CHINA: A facial feature has the letter A added

15d    Meal without starter shortened – a blow (8)
UPPERCUT: A late evening meal minus its first letter (without starter) has a verb meaning to shorten added to reveal yet another blow that might be used by the boxer in 6d

16d    Former collier framing a judge (8)
EXAMINER: How one might refer to a former partner is followed by the letter A from the clue and another word for a collier

17d    Fish in a hulk at sea – drag under vessel (8)
KEELHAUL: Place a long thin fish inside an anagram (at sea) of A HULK

18d    A drama unfolding for fleet (6)
ARMADA: Anagram (unfolding) of A DRAMA

19d    Run naked in street? About a kilometre! (6)
STREAK: Begin with the abbreviation of Street. Add a word meaning about. Add the letter A from the clue. Finish off with the abbreviation for Kilometre

21d    Conspicuous gesture (6)
SIGNAL: A double definition. The second of which can be a noun or a verb which conveys information. The first is an adjective which means striking in extent, seriousness, or importance.

23d    Stats turned up at short notice (4)
DATA: Place the word At (from the clue) before the short word for an advert (notice) and reverse what you have (turned up)

Quickie Pun: Hoar+Moan=Hormone

48 comments on “DT 28959

  1. Couldn’t figure out what 10a had to do with a penny farthing, but there it is in the dictionary.

    Other than that, only enjoyment to report.

    Thanks to the setter and to MP for the beer and blogging.

    1. You’ve made it easy for me, Kitty, by saying precisely what I want to say. Thank you, and thanks to Mr Ron and MP.

  2. A straightforward start to the solving week apart from the penny farthing and its rather odd alter ego. The rest went in smoothly enough;19d made me laugh the most so gets my top spot ahead of 14a.

    Thanks to our Monday setter and our ZMP.

  3. I managed to get 10a from the checking letters but needed the review to understand the penny-farthing. I did look in the dictionary, but must have scanned it too quickly. I’ll take another gander. I’m sure that Mr Kitty will enjoy 12a. 8a was last in. I could have kicked myself for missing the lurker, yet again. Glad everyone had a good time on Saturday. Many thanks setter and zippy MiffyPops.

  4. A most pleasant beginning to the week with nothing too obscure except maybe 10 across, which at the back of my mind I felt I knew, but needed my dictionary to confirm. No real firm favourites today, but 14 across made me chuckle. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  5. As stated above 10A was a surprising new meaning and the rest was a more comfortable enjoyable ride albeit short and sweet .

    Thanks to everyone .

  6. I’d never heard of 17d, and though the answer was obvious I didn’t know the penny farthing connection in 10a. Other than that not not too much to frighten the horses. I particularly liked 14a but it was just pipped by 23a as my clue of the day. 2.5*/3*
    Thanks to setter and to MP for his review

    I’d just like to say how much I enjoyed the bash on Saturday, having the opportunity to say hello to some of you and to thank personally those who have helped me in trying to understand the art of cryptic crossword solving.

  7. Easiest I’ve ever done. Got 10a from the letters I had – but had to resort to Chambers to find another word for Penny Farthing. Thanks setter and MP of course.

  8. Thoroughly Enjoyed. Ref 3d the soggy ground – think place names like RSPB Leighton ****.
    Thanks to setter and Miffypops – great illustrations

    1. Ah, RSPB Leighton **** is but a bittern’s boom from us here in Lancashire!
      Very enjoyable puzzle and over almost too quickly.
      Thanks Zippy and setter!

  9. A very pleasant start to the work week, assisted by some oldies but goodies and recent repeats, which resulted in completion at a fast gallop – 1.5*/3.5*.

    Favourite – 14a.

    Thanks to the setter and GMoLI.

  10. Enjoyed the puzzle today after the grind of yesterday.
    I suppose I should not expect too much as my age (86)and maybe it is just not the change in style of clues etc. but my impatience.

    I used to run the competition as a football score for the seven days and whilst the seven -noughts were rare they are even more rare nowadays.

    1. I went through a book of old DT crosswords while staying with my daughter in Canada over Christmas. I’m not quite as old as you (but catching up fast!). and I found them considerably easier than the ones we get today. Is it us or them?

    2. Ivor, keep it up. My mother still has a good bash at the Saturday Prize at 92, but I think she’ll need a little help this week!

      This was a breeze apart from 10ac. I guessed it but had to Google it. My favourite 23ac.

      Thanks Mr Ron and MP

    3. I am nearly with you in the age group and do agree these puzzles seem harder nowadays. A man of my vintage in a waiting room last week looked at my crossword and said they are much harder than they used to be!

  11. Nice easy romp. Strangely, I knew 10a from somewhere. I’ll make 17d my favourite.

    Glad everyone had a good time on Saturday. I would have liked to have made it and met you all, but not possible this time. Hope to in the future.

  12. Found this a mix of easy and hard clues today.

    COTD for me was 17d, made me smile.

    Last one in was 20a, just couldn’t find the other words in the anagram to go with Sherpa.

    Had come across the other name for the bike in 10a before so that went straight in.

    Overall a satisfying solve, thanks to all.

  13. A puzzle of two parts for me today: some clues easy and others I got stuck on. I’d never heard of 17d and.made heavy weather of 14a for some reason. Very enjoyable though. Glad you all had a good bash. Thanks to setter and MP.

  14. That was good fun and certainly a welcome relief after yesterday’s slog. Cross with myself for overlooking “took off” synonym in 20a. 10a and 17d new ones on me. 23a was probably my Fav – liked the setter’s double entendre.

  15. Nice straight forward crossword today.
    Still not sure about the clue for 4d
    Cheers Robin

  16. Thank you setter and zippymiffypops for helping me pass the time so enjoyably on a train from Cardiff to Paddington … and 15d floored me for a while. Wish I could have attended on Saturday when is the next one … please don’t say in 2029!

  17. I enjoyed all that – the crossword, the blog and the pics and music.
    Not too tricky at all which is as a Monday crossword is supposed to be, I think.
    I hadn’t heard of the 10a penny-farthing but got the answer from the checking letters and looked it up.
    I have heard of 17d but had forgotten it. Oh dear!
    As usual I missed the lurker.
    Clues that I particularly appreciated were 14 and 23a and 6 and 19d. My favourite was 1a.
    With thanks to today’s setter and to MP.
    A few more bits and pieces to do and then on to Mr Rookie.

  18. Perfect Monday fare, thank you to the setter and to MP, fitting in just nicely in what has turned out to be a very productive ‘day off’

    I had heard of the penny farthing but it did take a while to dredge the word out of the far depths of the memory banks

  19. A nice straightforward crossword to start the week. With reference to 3d, the RSPB wild life reserve at Leighton **** is a perfect example of an area of boggy ground, for which the second word is commonly used in North West England. Perfect for bird watchers! Glad the bash was enjoyed by all.

  20. Nice gentle start to the week. Needed a bit of a rest after all the beer and skittles of the weekend. Thanks to Miffypops for the hints which I needed. The bicycle was known to me and I remembered that our telly comes from Holme **** but I spelled the US coin wrong and was looking to fit pot (belly) where my recently expanded 6d had to go. Thanks to setter too and all those people I met at the weekend especially Cryptic Sue and her delightful lemon drizzle cake. I am off to tackle the puzzles from the weekend.

  21. Fortunately for me I knew the penny arthing so there was nothing at all to frighten the horses here. Just an enjoyable solve over a bit too quickly.

    8a was favourite but there’s quite a lot of good stuff here.

    Many thanks to the setter and MP, whom I finally had the pleasure of meeting at the BB.

  22. Hugely enjoyable today. I think, JB, that as you get older you get slower, I certainly take much longer to solve now.
    I didn’t know why 10a was a penny-farthing, so it was a bung in. In Jamaica, a penny-ha’penny was known as a quattie – which comes under the file of useless information.
    My fave was 23a, but I liked 12a as well.
    Thanks to our Monday setter and to our own M’pops for his hints and pics.

    1. P.S. last night we had a powerful storm with tornados close by, I slept through it all. A bit cold today.

  23. A lovely gentle Monday to start off the week, and a relief after yesterday’s Sunday puzzle. Like most others, never heard of 10a in connection with the penny farthing. As I am old school and much prefer a puzzle than I can tackle without any electronic help, Thesaurus or dictionary consultation, this one was right up my street. Big thanks to setter and Miffypops.

  24. As others have said, a straightforward puzzle today and enjoyable.

    Thanks to MP and setter */***

  25. A nice easy start to the week **/***😃 very enjoyable. Favourites 3a & 17d 👍 Thanks to musical MP and to the Setter

  26. Well, how’s this for convincing yourself of a wrong answer. I’d decided that the member in 1d was ‘leg’ (as opposed to the right answer ‘arm’) giving an answer of ALLEGIST (one who alleges ?) instead of ALARMIST. Needless to say 10a then became impossible (as if it wasn’t difficult enough) until I realised the error of my ways. Enjoyable nonetheless.

          1. Well that’s all right then BD as I’ve never seen anyone insulting Liverpool FC on this site, thank goodness!

  27. At least we have something in common. I love the St Trinians movies. Shame that you didn’t find a clip As for the music…well…enough said.
    I’m joking really and I feel that over the years I’ve had the pleasure to listen to Bob and Van’s entire collection.
    Found the crossword very accessible, solver friendly and quite enjoyable.
    Favourite 23a.
    Thanks to the setter and to Zippypops for the review.

  28. Thanks for the blog, sounds like everyone had a good time last Saturday.
    No problems today, 20a was the LOI.
    Thanks all.

  29. A very happy birthday and thanks for all the fun and assistance. I found today’s puzzle on the simpler end of the spectrum but no less fun for that. Thanks to all and glad you all had a great time at the bash

  30. I completed this one without your help MP.
    You missed a cracker on Saturday. 15 tries, no scrums until the second half and a try at the death for a Blues win!!! Good to see so many Cov people there. We get few supporters for the opponents at most games. All the best for the rest of the season and see you next year I hope.

    1. I was keeping tabs on the shoreline Jackie. Quite extraordinary. It’s a rarity to see a 105 point game decided by the odd point. At least we scored eight tries to Bedford’s seven. I have watched a video of the game. Your No’s 13 and 15 were outstanding. We have a large travelling contingent. We expect to outnumber the Jersey Fans when we go en masse for the match there on April 27th.

  31. 20a was my favourite in this very nice start to the week crossword.
    Thanks to the setter and to Zippo for the review.

  32. Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one a lot, but found a couple of clues quite difficult. I remember the clue about the penny farthing from ages ago, but just couldn’t summon up the answer. I remember it stopped me completing the puzzle then, as now. I’m sure it will stick in my mind if it ever comes up again. Favourite was 14a. Was 3*/3 * for me.

  33. I did this one in the afternoon (Mon) and found it gentle/straightforward but enjoyable enough. 10a: never heard of that other name for the penny-farthing bike. No stand-out clues today. 1.5* / 2.5*

Comments are closed.