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DT 28965

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28965

Hints and tips by Archie Andrews

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Well done England. I was not expecting that!

Today’s puzzle was reasonably easy for most of it but I found my last few in took some pondering. There are plenty of reversals but only two fairly benign anagrams

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 understanding the


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1a    Fall back in marathon, mutually (6)
AUTUMN: If all else fails look for a lurker. If that fails note the word back in the clue and look for a reversed lurker. The answer is reversed and hidden within the words forming the clue. I am impressed by this clue

4a    With the Italian during tense period towards the end of the day? (8)
TWILIGHT: Place the abbreviation for with and one of the seven Italian words for the (used for masculine singular nouns beginning with a consonant) inside an adjective meaning tense



10a    Private hotel, second in Queen Street (9)
INNERMOST: Begin with a hotel with a bar. Add our Queen’s regnal cipher. Add a short period of time (short for moment) Add the abbreviation for street. Don’t be put off by all the adding up. It is still an exercise in wordplay. Not a maths class.

11a    Regular returned to collect right bottle (5)
NERVE: Place the abbreviation for Right inside a reversed word meaning regular, flat, smooth or uniform

12a    Bring before a court American soldier over in Scottish isle (7)
ARRAIGN: Place the reversed (three reversals in five clues) usual suspect for an American soldier inside a Scottish Island. Scotland has 790 islands to choose from. This is the largest island in the Firth of Clyde and the seventh largest Scottish island

13a    Abbreviated answer printed in laborious parliamentary report (7)
HANSARD: The answer is the edited verbatim report of proceedings of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. It can be found by putting the abbreviation for answer inside an adverb which describes something as being laborious or done with a great deal of effort

14a    Primate‘s in capital, reportedly (5)
LEMUR: A soundalike or homophone. This primate found only in Madagascar (and I suppose some zoos) sounds like the capital city of a country in South America. Yes I could be more specific but I am not going to be.

15a    Glass vessel (8)
SCHOONER: A tired worn out old chestnut of a clue. A double definition of a type of glass used for sherry in the olden days and a type of sailing ship. One day a setter might use a new and original clue for this word

18a    Add weight when retiring, needing very large trousers (4,4)
PLUS TWOS: Begin with a preposition meaning with the addition of. Add the reversal of an abbreviation for weight. Add the clothing label meaning very large. The resulting article of clothing is worn by golfers and is explained here in a manner as boring as golf itself

Breeks, plus twos, plus fours, knickerbockers – are they all the same – what is the difference, and does it matter?


The design originally came from Europe and the name is not generally recognised here in Great Britain. It is usually a short Breek (just to the knee and no more) and quite tight on the leg – all right for walking in a straight line but not for climbing, bending etc. as there is not enough material and no give.


Again, a more European word than British – the garment can be more generous in leg width but is again short in length, fastening just below the knee and with no turnover they are more fitting and thus not much use in climbing, hunting etc. they are classed as more a fashion garment.

Plus Twos

Here we have the original British garment which are often confused with Breeks. First of all the length of the leg should finish exactly four inches below the bottom of the knee – when the garment is fastened correctly (just below the knee) a correct plus two should give a two inch fold (two inch down and two inch up). If one is doing a lot of bending an even longer leg length may be required or even wider in the leg, however Plus Twos are widely used in walking, golfing… any outdoor sporting pursuit.

Plus Fours

The old photographs of golfers and sports people generally show this garment which is not quite so popular today as it once was – very baggy and a four-inch fold over the knee (remember this would measure eight inches below the bottom of the knee when unfastened). These are generally ordered by people that are purely stalking or requiring a lot of bending and leg movement.

What are the benefits of Plus Twos/Fours?

Very practical for any outdoor activity – golfing, fishing, hunting, hill walking etc. giving, as it does, plenty of freedom to bend the legs – they are also currently extremely fashionable, comfortable and are supplied in a large variety of materials. Another benefit is that only the socks (stockings) would get wet or dirty thus ensuring the longevity of the garment. Indeed, those that try them out for the first time enthuse about them and wonder why they never tried them before.

20a    Vladimir’s OK with tea in his country cottage? (5)
DACHA: Vladimir is a Russian name. How would a Russian fellow say OK? What does a Chinaman call tea? Put these two words together and we go back to Russia for to stay in a country house or cottage typically used as a second or holiday home. I am feeling a little travel sick now

23a    Small company representative has to play a part (7)
COMPACT: Begin with the abbreviation for company. Add a member, not an arm or a leg but somebody elected to the House of Commons to ignore the will of the people. Add a verb meaning to play a part in a drama perhaps.

25a    They correspond with a line on page tucked into enclosures (3,4)
PEN PALS: The letter A from the clue together with the abbreviations for Page and Line sit inside enclosures used for keeping animals or chickens. You may need to tinker with the order of the letters here as suggested by the wording in the clue

26a    Man, we hear, behind European message (5)
EMAIL: A homophone of what gender a man is sits nicely after the abbreviation for European

27a    Working together, at home, by agreement (2,7)
IN CONCERT: The first word means at home. That is the easy bit. The second word, a noun meaning by agreement is less used but right up there in my online dictionary

28a    Leo perhaps in second warning about sailor (4,4)
STAR SIGN: place an informal dated word for a sailor (possibly now used only in cryptic crosswordland) between the abbreviation for second and a warning or omen. Leo is one of twelve of these.

29a    Study training stratagem (6)
PERUSE: The abbreviation for physical education is followed by an action or a trick usually intended to deceive someone


1d    Clever to take in mineral and cordial (8)
AMICABLE: a shiny silicate mineral with a layered structure, found as minute scales in granite and other rocks, or as crystals which is used as a thermal or electrical insulator is placed inside a synonym of the word clever meaning having considerable skill, proficiency, or intelligence.

2d    Paddy, worker having drink after time (7)
TANTRUM: This worker is a social insect. He or she sits after the abbreviation for time and before a drink. Which drink? One made from sugar cane residues or molasses

3d    Start of route shown in diagrams prepared for carnival (5,4)
MARDI GRAS: An anagram (prepared) of DIAGRAMS contains the initial (start) letter of the word route

5d    Look at what I’m doing with room: more information later (5,4,5)
WATCH THIS SPACE: The first two words of the answer are defined by the words look at what I am doing. The final word is a synonym of the word room

6d    Revolutionary leader left — number’s up? (5)
LENIN: The abbreviation for left is followed by yet another reversal. A reversal of a number. Not an anaesthetic but a regular number. Less than ten and more than eight. How helpful is that?

7d    Unwanted stuff bishop kept in lock-up (7)
GARBAGE: The lock-up where one might house one’s car (or the accumulation of junk, bicycles, large toys, mowers and white goods) surrounds the abbreviation of Bishop

8d    Hear about object, all the rage (6)
TRENDY: Hear as in a court of law surrounds an object or aim

9d    Go on NHS diet now out, or act independently (2,4,3,5)

16d    Island protected by munitions regulation (9)
ORDINANCE: The abbreviation of Island is surrounded (protected) by another word for munitions

17d    Put in order for recording device (8)
CASSETTE: My online dictionary gives the answer as a sealed plastic unit containing a length of audio tape, videotape, film, etc. wound on a pair of spools, for insertion into a recorder, playback device, or other machine. A verb meaning to put goes inside an order or social class

19d    Monk describing naughty dance (7)
LAMBADA: A Tibetan monk surrounds a synonym of the word naughty

21d    Tom, perhaps, installing hot water in French castle (7)
CHATEAU: This Tom is male and has four legs and appears on this site more often on Tuesdays. He surrounds the abbreviation for hot and precedes the French word for water

22d    Admission made by one catching cold on steamship (6)
ACCESS: The one in a pack of cards surrounds (caught catching) the abbreviation for cold. The regular abbreviation for a steamship is then added.

24d    One of the Titans finally cut down (5)
ATLAS: A son of Lapetus can be formed by removing the last letter (cut down) from a term meaning finally which is split 2,4

That is not a bad blog for something made out of Papier Mache and wood.

Quickie Puns: tay+bull+matt=table mat



47 comments on “DT 28965

  1. 1.5*/3*. Light fun. Just right for a Monday morning.

    I thought 27a was a bit “same-sidey” but, that apart, this was certainly enjoyable with 29a my favourite.

    Many thanks to Campbell (?) and to MP.

  2. Nicely Monday-ish, thanks to the Mysteron and Archie

    The appearance of the back page crossword on the actual back page is, I suppose, to cheer us up after we’ve discovered that they’ve snuck in an increase in the cost of the paper :cry:

    I recommend the Rookie if anyone has time to spare

  3. I though of you, MP as the tries were happening on Saturday. Mrs Hoofit enjoyed the rubgy too, though that is perhaps more to do with the size of the players thighs than the tactical ins and outs of the match.
    Todays offering needed some though in places, I had not heard of the ‘two’ version of the trousers, only the ‘four’, thanks for the explanation.
    Good stuff today, thanks all.

  4. Just lost a reply again. Must stop responding on my Iphone. Takes too long especially as I have to enter my name and email every time which is not the case with my IPad. Suffice to say I enjoyed it. Last one in 1a and I did not mind the old chestnut as I always drink my sherry out of one

  5. Pleasantly straightforward and completed at a fast Gallop – 1.5*/2.5*.

    15a – come on, there has to be at least one gimme, especially on a Monday, to ensure that everyone can solve at least one clue.

    Favourite – 5d.

    Thanks to the setter and GMoLI.

  6. Thought I’d got back into the site but apparently not -here goes again……..

    Enjoyable Monday puzzle although I was a little surprised that RD didn’t comment on the unindicated Americanisms – perhaps even he thinks they’ve been around long enough to be tolerated!
    I would agree with him about 27a and also his choice of 29a as favourite.

    Thanks to our setter and to AA for the blog.

  7. I thought this was a touch more difficult than the average Monday back pager but no less enjoyable, with lots of clever clues and tricky surfaces. I needed the hint to parse 10a (I really shouldn’t have) and 20a but other than that it all went in slowly but surely.
    I particularly the reverse lurker 1a, 2d and 5d.

    Many thanks to our setter and to MP for his trademark witty but explanatory review. (I did laugh at the final sentence of the hint for 18a) 😅

  8. A fairly straightforward but enjoyable start to the week, with some nice clues. Fav: 12a. 2* / 3*

  9. */***. Enjoyable while it lasted so a pleasant start to the week. Favourites were 1,18&29a. Thanks to all.

  10. Good Monday fare 3* enjoyment but not over difficult.
    10a my COTD.
    Thanks for the Nelson Eddy, my mother’s heart throb.
    Thanks to setter & the person sitting on Peter Brough’s knee

    1. That song was my Dad’s favourite, whenever we would go on long car drives, he’d sing Edwardian music hall songs, and that was his fave. Ah, the memories of my dear Dad.

  11. Fairly straightforward and quick to complete. Thanks for the information about the trousers. The answer came to mind, although I do not remember where I heard it but I had no idea it was so complex!

  12. An enjoyable, but gentle start to the week. That said, a couple of clues took me longer to solve than pretty much all of the rest of the puzzle, so purely for that reason I’ll nominate 27 and 29 across as my favourites. Thanks to setter and Peter Brough ;-)

  13. Somewhere around a **/*** , a straight forward solve all round, fine for a Monday .
    Liked the surface of 21d and 29a. Thanks Archie for the blog, recalling the puppet days and Peter Brough, I always marvelled how you can get away with a ventriloquist on the radio!
    I assume some of the bloggers tried Sunday’s puzzle which was a toughie in disguise for me.

    1. Peter Brough was never so popular after Television as he could not perform without moving his lips. Saw them in a variety show at the Nottingham Empire in the early 50s.

  14. I thought this a bit Brough 😬 but nonetheless enjoyable **/*** Favourites 1a & 21d Thanks to MP and to the Setter 😃 Note to self must remember the 2nd pun on a Monday! 🤔

    1. I thought it was Tuesdays when we often get two puns – one at the top and a spare one at the bottom.

      1. I think the Tuesday setters have taken over the Monday slot that was shared for a while between John Halpern (Dada) and our puzzles editor Chris Lancaster.

        1. I thought that Chris Lancaster had announced that Allan Scott (Campbell) was taking over the Monday slot on a regular basis when John Halpern moved to Sundays. Of course these things change and perhaps CL can clarify if he reads this message.

  15. We’ve had a very busy weekend so this is the first crossword that I’ve had time to do since Friday.
    I enjoyed it and thought it was reasonably straightforward until I got a bit stuck with the last few answers.
    I don’t know how many times I’ve been foxed by the 1a ‘fall’ but we haven’t had it for a while and it was a lurker so I missed it.
    I’d never heard of 18a and was slow to. get 29a for no obvious reason.
    I liked 20a and 7 and 19d. My favourite was 5d.
    Thanks to today’s setter and to MP.
    With such a back-log of crosswords I’m now spoilt for choice – maybe I’ll start with Mr Rookie and see where I get to . . .

  16. Dear moderator, you can let the comment stand. When I picked up the printout of the Virgilius I saw Brendan and didn’t put two and two together. I didn’t have time to research so I requested Delete.

  17. Very pleasantly Mondayish. No hold-ups, good fun and an entertaining blog from AA. Thanks to our setter for the puzzle. I really enjoyed 10a but my favourite was my last entry, 29a.

  18. 15a Sailboat training establishment around the North East with Starboard for Port (8)

    Nice easyish start to the week. Thanks to Archie and setter.

    1. Hi JB. I couldn’t help noticing your clue and we’ve done this before. Here’s my attempt:

      Former defense secretary visits southern rugby stadium to return glass (8)

        1. I have been there. We know the answer but it might be a bit tricky for solvers to dredge up the ex defense secretary😡

          1. I think a correction to ‘defence’ would be in order. Could send the solver looking for an American. Tut-tut!

  19. I am confused- is Archie Andrewsreally Miffypops ? MP. First crossword I have had time to do for several days and it was a nice one. My father used to wear plus fours- whilst he was in North Africa with Monty my mother made them into a tweed coat for my young brother!

  20. Thanks to the setter and to Archiepops for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one a lot. It was like 4 mini puzzles, which I almost completed. NE, SE, NW, then I got stuck in the SW corner. In the end I was completely beaten by 23a and 24d. I looked up the Titans, but didn’t know l was looking for the son of one of them. Favourite was 20a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  21. I enjoyed this a lot, though agree about 15a, a bit hackneyed.
    For some unexplained reason, I had the correct answer for 22d but didn’t know the why, so didn’t put it in. Seriously losing what’s left of my tiny brain.
    Fave was 4a hands down, primarily for Archie’s choice of music.
    Thanks to our setter for the fun and to M’pops aka Archie for his pics and hints.

  22. The golfing trousers were unknown to me and needed checking.
    Bunged in “watch this place” in 5d but soon rectified.
    No hesitation in 15a.
    Liked 7 and 8d the most.
    Thanks to our Monday setter and reviewer.

  23. Nice gentle kick-off to the working (although no more for me!) week. Needed help to parse 17a. The simple and smooth surface of 20a made it my Fav. Thank you Mysteron and cheers AA.

  24. An enjoyable, quite straightforward start to the week. 29ac had me fooled at the close, but fell with the whole done in */** time.

  25. A pleasant puzzle to get the week started. I didn’t mind 15a, the odd chestnut here and there helps the old grey matter wake up. 20a was COTD for me. Never heard of Plus Twos before, something learnt so the day is not a waste 😊. Thanks to setter and Miffypops, aka Archie Andrews, gosh that is going back a bit…

  26. Pleasant canter through the clues with added old chestnuts. Let us hope 13ac can print of such success in Brussels as a mighty England did over the weekend!
    Grateful thanks to MrRon & MP **/***

  27. Easy? EASY?? One week, almost exactly, to finish this; I’ve had this in my jacket pocket since Monday. Very enjoyable, though. I was about to complain that 1a was non-Ximenean, but I spotted the ‘hidden’ just as I was typing this. I biffed it based on the word ‘fall’ and the crossing letters. Oh god, if this is easy I’m going back to the Daily Mirror…

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