DT 28976 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28976

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28976

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 16 February 2019

BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment **

This took me a longer than an average time for a Saturday (or indeed any other DT cryptic) hence the difficulty rating. It could definitely be described as a curate’s egg as some parts were much better clued than others – the NE corner in particular took longer to solve than the rest, although that corner does have the honour of containing my favourite clue, 5d

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Discharge rifle (4)
SACK – Double definition – one to discharge or dismiss from employment; the other ‘rifle’ to plunder or pillage

3a    Fellows in education may make kind lovers (10)
CLASSMATES – CLASS (kind) MATES (lovers)

9a    ‘Run, I’ve seen a mouse!’ — that creates a stink (4)
REEK – R (run) EEK (I’ve seen a mouse)

10a    Drew attention to being insufficiently padded? (10)
UNDERLINED – UNDER (insufficiently) LINED (padded)

11a    More than one brigand shown to be soft ‘hearties’ after he’s downed rum (7)
PIRATES – P (soft) followed by an anagram (rum) of heARTIES without the HE (he’s downed)

13a    Happiness, with no pressure — I must go in for a rest (7)
LEISURE – Remove the P (no pressure) from PLEASURE and then swap the A for an I as instructed by the clue

14a    Academic drunk cautioned by US city when reversing (11)
EDUCATIONAL – An anagram (drunk) of CAUTIONED followed by a reversal of LA (US city)

18a    Having put on underwear, I exit and check out (11)
INVESTIGATE – IN VEST (having put on underwear) I (from the clue) GATE (exit)

21a    Passion resulting from internet proposal, apparently (7)
EMOTION – An E MOTION (apparently a proposal on the internet)

22a    Extremely great legendary footballer, this person doubly good being boxed in (7)
BIGGEST – BEST (legendary footballer) boxing in I (this person) and GG (doubly good)

23a    They study the universe of insects — it’s weird! (10)
SCIENTISTS – An anagram (weird) of INSECTS ITS

24a    ‘Sun‘ reveals traitors from the East (4)
STAR – A reversal (from the East) of RATS (traitors)

25a    Left single, poetry beginning to sharpen this? (10)
LONELINESS – L (left) ONE (single) LINES (poetry) S (the ‘beginning’ to Sharpen)

26a    Supplements with small advertisements getting centre spread? (4)
ADDS – ADS (small or abbreviated advertisements) and spread or double the middle letter


1d    Went with speed trap being restricted, not generating enough cash? (8)
STRAPPED – SPED (went with speed) ‘restricting’ TRAP (from the clue)

2d    In new fashion, rule chef must be gay (8)
CHEERFUL – An anagram (in new fashion) of RULE CHEF

4d    Obtains combination of two sizes (5)
LANDS – L (large) AND S (small) – combination of two sizes

5d    Bow beau reviews revues there — they’re what distinguishes them? (9)
SPELLINGS – The best clue in the crossword

6d    ‘Times’ makes the connection between factors in this action (11)
MULTIPLYING – If you put ‘times’ between two factors, you are multiplying them

7d    Half of guests not turning up at first — rudely, one could be put out (6)
TONGUE – GUE (half of guests) preceded by (at first) a reversal (turned up) of NOT (from the clue)

8d    Swift in South of France hidey-hole (6)
SUDDEN – SUD (the French word for South) DEN (hidey-hole)

12d    Old-fashioned, perhaps, painting over oil — and it runs (11)
TRADITIONAL – A reversal (over)of ART (painting) followed by an anagram (runs) of OIL AND IT

15d    In Gap, love to fill in, displaying creativity (9)
INVENTION – IN (from the clue) VENT (gap) and O (love) inserted in (fill) IN (from the clue)

16d    Brilliant story, ‘Knight Time’ — needs editor (8)
TALENTED – TALE (story) N (knight in chess notation) T (time) ED (editor)

17d    Highlights face (8)
FEATURES – Double definition

19d    Rat wife’s seen on bit of artist’s kit (6)
WEASEL – W (wife) seen on EASEL (bit of artist’s kit)

20d    Thought rising weight should accompany one getting on (6)
NOTION – A reversal (rising) of TON (weight) I (one) ON (from the clue)

22d    Nips to get parts around Spain (5)
BITES – BITS (parts) ‘around’ E (the IVR code for Spain)

3 comments on “DT 28976

  1. Thanks Cs for the usual meticulous review, and thanks to the setter, especially for 4d, I was so pleased when I got that!
    As an aside, though I know few people will see this comment – I do wonder why so many contributors moan about a puzzle they don’t like – why carry on doing it if you’re not enjoying it?
    Just a thought….

    1. Because some of them are brilliant fun and you can follow the setter’s thinking. But some of them are irritatingly obscure and scratchy – picking individual letters out of a meaningless clue, for example. I suppose it comes down to the type of clue that suits your mindset.

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