DT28989 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28989

Hints and tips by Deputy Dawg

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment **

As you all played nicely over the weekend I will offer this little treat for you to peruse.

A recent Toughie set by Notabilis had identical clues for 26 and 27 down. This was done on purpose and not in error. Can you find two different answers to this brilliant clue?

European following tips from famous inglenook finally gets somewhere in Scotland (4)

Although it is a Toughie clue it would not be out of place in a back page puzzle.

As for today’s puzzle, on the first read through most of it was bunged in from the straightforward definitions. On the second read through most of it was bunged in because the words fit the checking letters. As usual the last ones in were those with unchecked first letters 20ac and 17d for instance. Solving The Quickie every day certainly helps my solving of cryptic clues from definition. The wordplay can be worked out later.

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 clue

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Live down under (5)
BELOW: Begin with a two-lettered verb which means to exist. Add a word which means to be down, depressed or sad

4a Paintings sent back, along with poems and crosses (9)
TRAVERSES: Find a word for paintings in general and reverse it (sent back) Add a word describing poems in general. Note the use of three plurals in the clue. Even without the answer to this clue it is a certainty that 8 down will begin with the letter S

9a Make much ado about nothing concerning faulty crate (9)
OVERREACT: Start with a word meaning concerning add an anagram (faulty) of CRATE

10a Member holding head of orchid with a distinctive smell (5)
AROMA: This member has come all the way from 25across in last week’s puzzle. The member in question is one of your limbs which collects the letter at the beginning of the word Orchid and is then followed by the letter A from the clue.

11a Almost all of team gathering at lift (7)
ELEVATE: The number of players in an association football team less the last letter gathers around the word AT from the clue

12a Pal entertaining wife with good talk (7)
CHINWAG: Begin with a Cockney rhyming slang term for a mate (pal). Use only the first word. Insert the abbreviation for wife and add the abbreviation for good.

13a Toff seen in Paris today (6)
ARISTO: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue. This is indicated by the words seen in

15a Runaway due, about to be returned (8)
DESERTER: A strange one this unless I am missing something. The last two letters are easily explained by reversing (to be returned) the regular two-lettered term for about. The first six letters are clued by the word due. I think we are looking for a word that follows the word due and which together with the word due means to suffer the consequences of one’s actions or to get what one deserves, especially punishment The word due can be replaced by the word Just

18a Viceroy in charge of small number in Greece (8)
GOVERNOR: Begin with the abbreviation for Greece. Insert a word meaning in charge of as a foreman is to his men. Insert after this the abbreviation for number (small number)

20a This I’m cooking — a shank? (6)
MISHIT: Anagram (cooking) of THIS I’M. Shank here is a verb used in golf which describes the hitting of the ball with the heel of the club

23a The type of hat that can be eaten! (4-3)
PORK PIE: A clue that explains itself. I believe the members of The Specials and Madness made these hats fashionable back in the day. The actual hats are not edible but the portable comestible is

24a Female, American, in genuine denial (7)
REFUSAL: Insert the usual abbreviation for female and the abbreviation of United States into an adjective meaning not artificial

26a Visibly embarrassed in company revealing set of beliefs (5)
CREDO: Insert the colour of embarrassment into the abbreviation for a company

27a Took trendy object, as intended (3,2,4)
HAD IN MIND: Synonyms of the first three words of the clue will lead to the answer

28a Time request to see church working party (4,5)
TASK FORCE: The abbreviation for time and the abbreviation for The Church of England surround what you do if you request something.

29a Gold rush territory, over there, enthralling our country (5)
YUKON: A word meaning over there surrounds (enthralling) the abbreviation of where most Daily Telegraph readers live. The result is the smallest and westernmost of Canada’s three federal territories which includes the Klondike region which was the scene of a gold rush some years ago


1d Missile‘s loud deep sound resonated round base (9)
BOOMERANG: A loud deep sound and the past tense of the sound of a bell surround the abbreviation for base for the natural logarithm; approximately 2.71828

2d Belgian city, for example, in piece of fiction (5)
LIEGE: The Latin abbreviation of “for example” sits inside an untruth

3d Justify tirade after conflict (7)
WARRANT: A verb meaning to speak or shout at length in an angry, impassioned way follows a major conflict. Not marriage, a conflict between two countries

4d Tricky question from a set prepared on the Queen (6)
TEASER: An anagram (prepared) of A SET is followed by our Queens regal cipher

5d Like apprentices, perhaps, in short item by editor (8)
ARTICLED: A particular item, thing, or object has its last letter removed. It is then put straight back again as it is the first letter of the abbreviation for editor. My first thought for this was indentured. These apprentices usually work as clerks for professional firms

6d Look closely at test question (7)
EXAMINE: To inspect thoroughly is also to test the knowledge of somebody

7d Sample includes best timing device (9)
STOPWATCH: a small sample of fabric intended to demonstrate the look of a larger piece contains a synonym of the word best

8d Coalmining waste across north, in jargon (5)
SLANG: The type of coal mining waste that formed hills outside mines surrounds the abbreviation for North. These heaps were taken away following the disaster at Aberfan. I spent a lot of time at school watching the heap at Binley colliery being levelled. The waste from the china clay industry formed The Cornish Alps just outside St Austell

14d Rum inns serve Highland city (9)
INVERNESS: Anagram (rum) of INNS SERVE  Please do not tell me you needed to write this one out to solve it.

16d Conductor and college fellow talked at length (7,2)
RATTLED ON: Begin with the name of a prominent conductor who led The City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra before leaving to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Add the title of a British University teacher. These two words have six letters and three letters respectively.

17d At the same time, move up, secured by rope? (8)
TOGETHER: A word meaning a move (one’s turn in a board game) is reversed and placed in a word meaning secured by rope as one might with a horse.

19d Rebuke agent over cover for house (7)
REPROOF: Our usual agent or travelling salesman is followed by the top covering of a house

21d Childhood home, expensive (7)
INFANCY: A word meaning at home is followed by a word meaning sophisticated and expensive in a way likely to impress

22d British band, cross (6)
BRIDGE: The single letter abbreviation for British is followed by a band of hills perhaps

23d Ornamental loop: special topic (5)
PICOT: small loop or series of small loops of twisted thread in lace or embroidery, typically decorating the border of a fabric is an anagram (special) of TOPIC

25d Tolerate criticism (5)
STICK: A double definition, the second meaning harsh criticism or treatment

I thought this was a little too easy for a Monday, but I hope you all enjoyed it.

Quickie Pun: purse+waders=Persuader

64 comments on “DT28989

  1. 1*/2.5* A pleasant Monday morning puzzle with nothing to frighten the horses.

    I took 6d to be a triple definition, and it gets my vote as favourite.

    I wasn’t sure about the definition for 21d which is not in my old BRB (I have ordered a new one but it’s been lost in the post!) but it appears in Collins on-line. 23d is a new word for me (I think).

    Many thanks to Campbell (?) and to DD aka MP.

    1. RD – is the ‘lost’ (how can a ‘brick’ get lost) BRB the Revised 13th Edition, because there is a 14th Edition expected some time this year?

      1. Yes, Senf, it’s the Revised 13th Edition. My existing one, which is now very dog-eared, strangely doesn’t have an edition number but it was published in 1998 so a less old model is most definitely required. I thought it likely that the application of sod’s law would mean a 14th Edition would put in an appearance as soon as I had placed my order but BD’s info reassures me that I have made the right decision.

        1. I purchased my Revised 13th Edition from Foyles during the weekend of BB8 and ‘hauled it back to Winnipeg in my carry-on bag – not a murmur from the two security checks I had to go though.

    2. Rabbit Dave
      My BRB is the 1983 edition and the word you were looking for is listed in there together with the definition so I’m not sure what’s happened in the intervening years.

  2. Another very pleasant run through cruciverbal land. It was fine in the South but North required a bit more application. Failed to completely parse 1d. Several nicely cryptic clues of which my Fav was 16d. Thank you Mysteron and Deputy Dawg aka MP.

  3. This was a very gentle start to the solving week,no real favourite’s thanks to the setter & MP for his usual excellent review.
    Also have solved his two places in Jockland.

  4. My only hold up was 20a. I got the anagram straight away but did not know the golfing term until I realised nothing else would do and looked it up.

    Just a “quickie” comment. The answer is in the singular.

  5. A gentle puzzle with some good geographical clues in 14d and 29a. Scotland seems to be the place in everyone’s minds today and thank you to DD/MP for the two extra clues from the Toughie, which I enjoyed solving. Favourites were 1d, 5d and 29a. Thanks to the setter for providing a nice distraction from my nasty head cold.

  6. Straight forward seems to be the general opinion, about a */** for me.
    Thought about 15a for a while then the penny dropped on the ‘due desert’
    23a was also new to me.Thanks DD for the illustration-it might keep it in my memory for next time !
    No stand out clues ,liked the surface of12a

  7. I filled the grid in ** time, but had to come here for a couple of the parsings, 15a and 18a.

    6d took me ages to parse, and I too decided it was a triple definition.

    Many thanks to the setter and MP.

  8. I will go with the flow on this one and agree that this was very comfortable for a Monday. Enjoyable enough while it lasted. Any triple definition is usually good enough to become my COTD so 6d it is.

    Many thanks to our setter and DD.

    We are looking forward to seeing the gentleman in 16d in a few weeks time in Birmingham conduct Beethoven’s Ninth. Should be quite a homecoming.

  9. A very pleasant start to the work week, although I did think 15a was a little ‘iffy,’ completed at a fast gallop – 1.5*/3.5*.

    Candidates for favourite – 23a, 29a, and 7d – and the winner is 29a!

    Thanks to the setter and GMoLI.

  10. I would up DD’s rating for both pleasure and difficulty by at least a half a point, certainly for the former.
    I’d never heard of 5d but bunged it in from the checkers, which gave the final piece of the jigsaw to confirm 15a. Other than that it all went in relatively smoothly if not as rapidly as some of the others have said. Joint favourites in a strong field are 4 and 27a. 2.5/3*

    Many thanks to the setter and to DD for making it all sound so easy.
    Incidentally, I think the hint for 22d may need amending (unless I’m missing something )

  11. The crossword I printed this morning was no.541 the Telegraph app shows 541. Not sure what is going on, can’t get 28989 online. Anyone???

    1. You’ve changed your email address – both old and new should work from now on

      If you are using the Telegraph puzzles site, crossword 541 is the ‘win prizes’ one on the top row of available puzzles. 28989 is on the next row down. If you are using an ‘app’ then some person who also uses the same app may be able to assist

      1. Thanks Sue, my other half always prints the crossword first thing and clearly didn’t realise there were two.
        But now I’m stuck on 2 clues in the “win prizes” one with no-one to turn to for help!

    2. I did that as well! I thought the review wasn’t making much sense. Will try the actual Monday puzzle tonight.

    3. I also inadvertently solved Cryptic No 541 before No 28, 989.

      Usually on Mondays the 3 “Win Prizes” crosswords appear on the bottom row… but not today.

      1. Finding the right puzzle is a puzzle in itself since the site was refurbished.
        Almost got caught as well.
        Sometimes the toughie is before the back page and the other way around.
        Print the lot and sort it out later.

  12. A gentle start to the week no real problems but pretty enjoyable. Storm Freya made it a bit interesting for us.
    Thanks to Miffypops and setter

  13. I enjoyed those two Notabilis clues. It would be really entertaining to see more of this in a lot of puzzles. Come on you setters!

    The 23a hats have circular or oval top creases and narrow, straightish brims – I mainly remember it as worn by Popeye Doyle in the French Connection. One member of Madness wore one, but Suggs wears a narrow brimmed trilby or soft Homburg, much like the Blues Brothers. Madness also sported bowlers and fezes. Van Morrison is also wearing a similar crease trilby with lowered brim…..typical 40s and 50s jazz and be-bop wear.

    I love hats………..and shoes………

  14. Thank you for the hints – didn’t need many so this was most enjoyable for me as a relative newbie. Out of interest how long did it take most of you to quickly spot identifiers, anagrams etc?

    1. We don’t generally discuss times since everyone has different levels of experience etc. Let’s just say the more puzzles you solve, the quicker you spot definitions and indicators. (Mostly!)

      1. I thought Sue meant years of solving rather than time taken per crossword.

        As someone who started solving back in the late 60s, I really can’t remember

    2. Days, weeks, months even.
      I have a pile of unfinished crosswords from Elgar, Radler, Elgar, Radler, Elgar and a few others.

  15. Good and perhaps a little too easy. Hence only two stars for difficulty!

  16. All fine except I couldn’t parse 15a & my bung-in (more a spy than a deserter) was consequently wrong. Thanks DD for pointing me in the right direction.
    No stand-outs I didn’t think.
    Thank you setter and DD,

  17. Another gentle Monday but no complaints here!

    Tops for me were the triple at 6d and the two gentlemen at 16d.

    Thanks to our setter and to MP for the blog and the sabre dance.

  18. This one was very mild but quite enjoyable while it lasted. 6d: I also took this to be a triple definition. 1.5* / 2*

    1. There’s no mistake – your “jest deserts” are what you deserve; desserts are puddings.

    2. Deserts, in the sense of ‘things deserved’ has been used in English since at least the 13th century. A citation in which it is linked with ‘just’ comes from 1599, in Warning Faire Women:
      “Upon a pillory – that al the world may see, A just desert for such impiety.”

    3. Deserts, in the sense of ‘things deserved’ has been used in English since at least the 13th century. A citation in which it is linked with ‘just’ comes from 1599, in Warning Faire Women:
      “Upon a pillory – that al the world may see, A just desert for such impiety.”

  19. Not wanting to chewed out by the ‘Deputy’ i spent a bit of time double-solving his ‘little treat’. The first Scottish place was obvious but the second took time until the farthing fell. Great clue! That one will go on the wall of the downstairs loo. Today’s puzzle was okay. **/*** for me and I was going for a favourite of 27a but then questioned myself in the light of fellow commenters views. Tripple-defs are impressive but I’m going to stick with my pick.

    That version of The Sabre Dance under the baton of SR was mesmerising and is the highlight of the day for me.

    Thanks to Captain Chaos and the setter.

  20. Nice start to the week with no major difficulties. Mum came to the rescue with the knitting term and it took a while to cotton on to the returning missile thanks to setter and DD. I remember Musky the musket but some of the other characters escape me.

  21. It’s definitely a friendly start to the week when the tiny brain can solve it with no help. I did bung in 15a, glad to know I wasn’t alone. I also remembered the conductor. Maybe I should quit when I’m so far ahead.
    Hard to choose a fave, love the sound of 1d, but I agree that 6d is really clever.
    Thanks to our setter and Deputy Dawg. Those two Scottish clues were just delightful and fun to solve, maybe they should be my faves.

    1. Two Scottish clues? I thought the crossword was about Australia with 1a and 1d. Thought 14d was also in Queensland. Can’t see a fourth one though.

      1. The preamble to the hints contains a clue set by Notabillis in Toughie 2174 on Friday 8th February. The clue appeared twice and had two different answers

        1. Ah! Yes. I remember now.
          The last clue was printed on a second page and i totally forgot about it. Never noticed the similarity.

  22. A nice start to the week 2*/3*, nothing over taxing but I admit 23d was new to me.
    Many thanks to setter & DD aka MP

  23. A gentle Monday. Love 12a, memories of my grandma doing exactly that with the lady next door. Usually talking about someone else. “Well (sniff) she’s no better than she should be! All fur coat and no knickers.’ seemed to be mentioned a lot.

    I got stuck on 20a. I too knew it was an anagram and had two options but for the silliest time I was mispronouncing it in my head. I was heading firmly in the direction of a possessive pronoun and a rude word. Ahem sorry about that. Reminds me about a little thing I used to do to my sons to get them to understand that reading is more than just seeing and to pay attention. It is almost imposible to put it in writing but this is how it goes.

    Verbal : what is M A C Donald? MacDonald.
    OK. What is M A C Dougal? MacDougal.
    Then a couple more similar words, generally surnames.
    Then: What is M A C Hine?
    Me: Well I suppose so but most people pronouce it masheen.

  24. Why Was The extra online crossword this morning (541) identical to last week(540)?

  25. Ah yes, I accidentally solved the prize cryptic first too. :-) Both were good, this one perhaps a little trickier, especially to the SE.

  26. Thanks to the setter and to DD for the review and hints. A very gentle but very enjoyable start to the week. I got 7d from the wordplay, so I guessed that a swatch is a sample, never heard of that before. 15a was last in, needed the hints to parse it. I liked 17d, but my favourite was 16d. Was 2*/3* for me.

  27. 1/2.5. Welcome easy start to the week. No particular favourites today. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  28. 1a gave the tone for this very enjoyable crossword.
    Not often that the first clue becomes favourite.
    Must admit that I hesitated with the anagram on 20 a as I wasn’t expecting the word to end with these four letters.
    Didn’t have my BRB and thought a shank, which I misread as shark at first, was a curtain rail.
    Loved the hint for 16d and wondered if I had to choose between the two orchestras, which one would I pick?
    Thanks to the setter and to Deputy Dawg.
    He’s just the coolest cop. I love him.

  29. I think ‘desert’ is getting mixed up with ‘dessert’ On gets what is ‘due’ which is ‘just desserts’ .

  30. Who knows where my post went I sent it ages ago. I’ll reiterate. It was just me who found it difficult then. 9a my last in. 15a due? 27a a toughie clue for me. 5d iffy. 23d never heard of it. 22d band? Off to bed.

  31. 13a Old fashioned I know but one is said to get one’s just deserts when getiing what is coming to us!

  32. A nice start to the week, even when done on a Tuesday. I quite liked 13a, just because it was a bit daft.
    Thanks to the setter, and to DD for the review.

  33. Thank you (belatedly) for the tips, Deputy Dawg. I got nearly all the down clues on the first pass, but hardly any of the across ones, and your hints were much appreciated.

    1d did resonate with me, but my favourite was 7d.

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