DT 28958 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28958

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28958

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment **

You can always tell when it is the turn of this particular Saturday Mysteron to provide the Prize Puzzle as every single bit of the space provided in the newspaper is filled up by his clues as was the case this week too (Mr CS having bought the paper after dropping me at the station). Solving this on the train to London using a print out from the Puzzles website, it took me a couple of clues to realise who the setter was. I found it quite tricky and didn’t enjoy it as much as his last one, not least because of 5a.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Seasonal visitors behave like hippos aboard ship (8)
SWALLOWS – WALLOW (behave like hippos) ‘aboard’ SS (ship)

5a    They make immature butts or fools (4)
KIDS – This was my last one in and, after I’d done a bit of working through the alphabet, caused me to mutter language unbecoming to a lady of mature years travelling on a train. Baby ‘butters’ or part of a verb meaning fools

9a    Sound of McCartney’s instrument designed after muffling a cellar (8)
BASEMENT – A homophone (sound) of BASS (Mr McCartney’s guitar) and MEaNT (designed) after the A has been ‘muffled’

10a    Hood’s weapon laid down after new fine (6)
NARROW – ARROW (Robin Hood’s weapon) ‘laid down’ after N (new)

11a    Most celebrated as King George renovated estate (8)
GREATEST – GR (George Rex, King George) plus an anagram (renovated) of ESTATE

12a    Menace seen in newsagents returned and trespassed (6)
SINNED – My favourite clue – a reversal (returned) of a menace seen in newsagents and other establishments where The Beano can be purchased

14a    Queenly dances interrupted by tango led by father again and again (10)
FREQUENTLY – An anagram (dances) of QUEENLY and T (interrupted by Tango) going after (led by) FR (father)

18a    Discipline needed by those working on their figures (10)
ARITHMETIC – cryptic definition

22a    Unfortunately rolled over railway that’s usually banked (6)
SALARY – A reversal (rolled over) of ALAS (unfortunately) over RY (railway)

23a    Kind of animal story with a message — all is lost (8)
CATEGORY – CAT (animal) and allEGORY (story with a message, losing the ALL)

24a    Language used by parliament on Guernsey (6)
TONGUE – Lurking in parliamenT ON GUErnsey

25a    Individual copies turned over with speed (8)
SEPARATE – A reversal (turned over) of APES (copies) followed by RATE (speed)

26a    Reproduction showing what’s next to delta (4)
ECHO – In the NATO Phonetic Alphabet, E for ECHO follows D for Delta

27a    Lads collecting rubbish before one’s train stops (8)
STATIONS – SONS (lads) ‘collecting’ TAT (rubbish) before I (one)


2d    It could give you a reaction (6)
ANSWER – A being the abbreviation for Answer

3d    Frontiers should be plain — main test, having no odd parts (6)
LIMITS – Having no odd parts tells you to use the even letters of pLaIn MaIn TeSt

4d    Snake vet found in part of vehicle (10)

6d    Thought alcohol should be present in rum I made (8)
IMAGINED – GIN (alcohol) should be present or inserted into an anagram (rum) of I MADE

7d    Might street measurement put right instead of left? (8)
STRENGTH – ST (street) LENGTH (measurement) the latter exchanging the L for Left with R (Right)

8d    A day’s absconding wouldn’t make a meaningful difference, in these times (8)
NOWADAYS – If you removed the letters A DAYS, you’d be left with NOW which also means in these times, so it wouldn’t make a meaningful difference

9d    Creepy-crawlies found in taps (4)
BUGS – Taps here being part of a verb referring to concealed listening

13d    Broadcast of Queen vital to get one corresponding (10)
EQUIVALENT – An anagram (broadcast) of QUEEN VITAL

15d    Social class consuming telly — bit of outdated technology? (8)
CASSETTE – CASTE (social class) ‘consuming’ SET (telly)

16d    Aggro as the French start to natter in subtly different voice (8)
VIOLENCE – LE (the French definite article) and N (the ‘start’ to natter) in an anagram (subtly different) of VOICE

17d    Careful, as a result of possessing nothing (8)
THOROUGH – THROUGH (as a result of) ‘possessing’ O (nothing)

19d    Heath maybe cut through by slate set up to make tracks (6)
DEPART – TED (Heath, maybe) into which is inserted (cut through) RAP (slate) and the result reversed (set up in a Down clue)

20d    Something food goes in — a covering to food (6)
POTATO – POT (something food goes in) A (from the clue) covering or going on top of in a Down clue TO (from the clue)

21d    Ring made of rubber seen as part of finery too, conversely (4)
TYRE – A reversal (conversely) of part of finERY Too

14 comments on “DT 28958

  1. Having woken up in an hotel room in Coventry and having to get to Little Venice for BB10 I did not solve this on Saturday morning as I usually would. At BB10 i overheard several people saying that they were baffled by 5ac so I was not surprised to be be as baffled as I was by it when i solved on Tuesday afternoon. Thanks to CS for the answer and Silvanus for the first warning sign.

  2. I too solved this on the train en route to the Big Bash but unlike CS I enjoyed it a lot, especially 5a which was my favourite, closely followed by 12a.
    Thanks to Mr R and CS.

  3. 5a. I assumed that “immature butts” meant immature rams (butts=rams, i.e. with the horns) and immature rams are kids. That’s why I asked if it represented some nounal/verbal punnery. I’m still not sure?

      1. I did think that male goats could be called rams, but on checking they’re only “billies”. The stuff you come across on here!

    1. A butt is a blow or hit with the head and young goats (kids) make immature or babyish hits with their head.

      1. Thank you, Gazza, it’s clear now. I had no problem getting the answer on the day but made a right pig’s ear of the parsing. I fear the old brain cells are dying off at an ever increasing speed these days…

  4. I enjoyed this, thanks setter …… surprised that so many people had trouble with 5a.

    Is it allowed for someone not in your ‘crêche’ to ask to which ‘particular Saturday Mysteron’ you refer?

    1. The Saturday setters these days like to remain mysterious – I just think the style of this one is different to the others so you can recognise when it is ‘their’ Saturday

  5. Thanks to the setter for a really tough workout today, took me two goes to complete – except I didn’t complete, totally foxed by 5ac. So thanks CS for the elucidation!

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