DT 28995 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28995

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28995

Hints and tips by Ernie Ninepence

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

I am not sure how I feel about this puzzle. It was solvable with a bit of thought (aren’t they all). Some of the surfaces were a bit iffy which I forgave because of the generosity of our setter in gifting so many letters to us. All let down by that beast from the depths of hell. A spoonerism clue. Ye-uck!

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 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.


7a    Working daily, in theory (2,5)
ON PAPER: The regular term meaning working is followed by a daily. The Daily Telegraph is such a daily

9a    A game included in auction? Usually, but not always (2,1,4)
AS A RULE: Begin with the letter A from the clue. Then insert the initial letters of a game into what an auction is. Which game? One played by men with odd shaped balls. The finest team sport in the world.

10a    Sensation caused by gallery acquiring original of ‘Sunflowers’ (5)
TASTE: Place the initial letter of the word sunflowers into the name of one of four art galleries that carry the name of their sugar refining founder. None of these galleries has Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers which can be seen in The National Gallery Trafalgar Square. However, the most modern of these galleries displayed Sunflower Seeds by Kui Hua Zi from October 2010 to May 2011

11a    Take care of Spooner’s dog — pointer (6-3)
TOODLE-PIP: A spoonerism clue which divides the opinion of the crossword solving population. Like Marmite you either love them or hate them. The dog can be Standard, Miniature or Toy. The pointer is not a dog but a hint such as may be offered during The Cheltenham Festival which starts tomorrow. The first letters of both words need to be interchanged to make a phrase that I interpret to be a humorous way of saying goodbye and therefore I have no idea what to underline as a definition [but I’ve underlined the first two words BD]

12a    Moderate batting, then field in heat (10,5)
QUALIFYING ROUND: Split 7,2,6 we need a synonym of the word moderate. The term used to denote that a cricket team is at the crease. A field particularly one used for playing sport. The resulting heat is one used to decide who proceeds to the finals of a competition. At the Olympic Games the Marathon is always the final event. The heats are held in the morning with the final being run in the afternoon

13a    Former lover, smooth and articulate (7)
EXPRESS: Ones former partner is followed by a term that means to smooth or iron a shirt perhaps

16a    Disciplined person’s skill during bridge (7)
SPARTAN: A three-lettered word meaning a skill sits inside a word meaning the extent from side to side of a bridge

19a    Unwelcome intruder, slightly mad, I, at that time, locked in home (6,2,3,4)
CUCKOO IN THE NEST: Begin with a word meaning barmy. Add the letter I from the clue. Now find the home of a bird and insert a word meaning at that time.

23a    Deceive bishop in the morning having first drop of lime in alcoholic drink (9)
BAMBOOZLE: Begin with the single letter abbreviation for Bishop. Add the two-lettered abbreviation denoting the period before noon. Add a slang term meaning alcohol into which you need to insert the first letter of the word lime

24a    Extremely sorrowful, I leave Irish port (5)
SLIGO: “The land of hearts desire” W B Yeats”. Begin with the outer (extremely) letters of the word sorrowful. Add the letter I from the clue. Add a verb meaning to leave or depart. What a lovely place name this is. It makes me want to visit.

25a    Sink container carrying coal? (7)
SCUTTLE: A double definition. The first being to sink a ship deliberately

26a    Before foremost of experts, cracked codes, I see (7)
DIOCESE: An anagram (cracked) of CODES I precedes the letter E, the foremost or initial letter of the word experts


1d    Show disapproval of wood reportedly used in small shop (8)
BOUTIQUE: The word used to express disapproval at a theatre is followed by a type of hardwood. Put together they sound like a small sophisticated shop. The word reportedly suggests the homophonous nature of the clue

2d    Hunger of a pet in mine close to one (8)
APPETITE: Our generous setter has given us half of the answer to this clue with the words A PET. Find another word for a mine (3) and the final letter (close to) of the word one. A bit of juggling with these letters as clued will provide your answer

3d    Rather small-minded Republican within (6)
PRETTY: Find a word meaning small minded or trivial and insert the abbreviation for republican

4d    Fit men following behind (6)
TAILOR: The abbreviation for ordinary ranks (men) follows a word meaning behind or at the rear of

5d    One-piece garment bound to fit (8)
JUMPSUIT: Find a synonym of bound and add a word meaning to fit as made by the chap in the previous clue

6d    Perhaps remote flat — what may be used to gain access to it, initially? (6)
KEYPAD: The device that is used to open a lock followed by a nineteen sixties term for an apartment leads one to another device used to change TV channels

Thanks to Cryptic Sue for her help here

8d    Finished a dish of food (5)
PASTA: Start with a word meaning finished or done with. Add the letter A from the clue.

9d    Quantities increase when at the sides (7)
AMOUNTS: Find a word meaning to increase or grow larger inside a word meaning when.

14d    Stimulating drink? I could do with a lift (4-2-2)
PICK-ME-UP: This tonic is, without the hyphens, what one might ask for if a lift is required

15d    Mixed alcoholic drink, a great disappointment (7)
SWIZZLE: I think this must be a double definition. It is certainly a mixed alcoholic drink, especially a frothy one of rum or gin and bitters. I can only assume it also means a great disappointment. My online dictionary doesn’t back this up. The BRB probably does [yes, it does! BD].

17d    Hatred of a type (8)
AVERSION: The letter A from the clue is followed by a particular form of something

18d    Gas ring not working — microwave finally employed (8)
NITROGEN: An anagram (working) of RING NOT surrounds the final letter of the word microwave

19d    Painter like Picasso, British, lives in style (6)
CUBIST: Start with a single letter abbreviation for British. Add a word meaning lives or exists. Place these inside a word meaning style, the style one’s hairdresser might offer

20d    Bound to speak the truth, old biblical character about Ararat, ultimately (2,4)
ON OATH: He of the ark building skills needs to have the last letter of the word Ararat inserted. This all needs to follow the abbreviation of old.

21d    Try grabbing object with it (6)
TRENDY: Our setter is in a generous mood today. Begin with the word try from the clue. Insert a goal or purpose

22d    The best, some alternative literature (5)
ELITE: A hidden word. The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue and is indicated by the word some.

Quickie Pun: misses+beaten=Mrs Beeton “Mrs Beeton must have been the finest housekeeper in the world, therefore Mr. Beeton must have been the happiest and most comfortable man”. (Arthur Conan Doyle)


55 comments on “DT 28995

  1. A funny mix of ‘start with the Downs, end up with one corner left’ sort of a Monday crossword. It is, I think, a pangram which helped a bit too

    Thanks to Ernie and the Monday Mysteron (now there’s a name for a pop group!)

  2. This was rather a tricky crossword, containing two answers with which I was unfamiliar. I had never heard of a 15d and did not really think the phrase used in the clue was equivalent to theanswer in 11a. However 23a was amusing and some of the other clues were quite clever. Thanks to the setter and toour ever-inventive hint provider.

  3. I filled in the whole of the left hand side and thought “ Ooh, there are some interesting letters here, wonder if it’s a pangram?.” Sure enough. I wrote down some of the letters I hadn’t used yet, and that was really helpful in solving the right hand side. I know that some people don’t like spoonerisms, but I enjoy them. Many thanks setter and Miffypops.

  4. 2.5*/3.5*. A pleasant pangram which I found got progressively tougher as I worked from NW -> SW -> SE with the NE the last to fall having spent too long trying to parse “bodysuit” for 5d before I got 9a & 11a. I normally work clockwise but, on a whim, I went the other way round today.

    The surface of 19a seemed a bit strained but, that apart, I really enjoyed this with 11a (nice Spoonerism), 18d (nice surface) and, my favourite, 23a (nice clue and a lovely answer) making it to the podium.

    Many thanks to Campbell (?) and to MP.

  5. A pleasant start to the work week completed at a gallop – **/***.

    As usual, I missed the pangram; in any event, I consider them an ‘after the fact’ feature that does not really help in solving.

    I got the Spoonerism without too much difficulty; I must be getting used to them.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 12a and 16a.

    Thanks to the setter and GMoLI.

  6. I thought this was very good, compared to many past Monday puzzles. Slightly above average difficulty, nice clues and a quite enjoyable solve. I’ve ticked a few clues but will pick 21d as my favourite simple because of the unexpected two-word definition that had me thinking for a little while. 3* / 3.5*

  7. After yesterday’s hassle this was a pleasant kick-off to the week. IMO 11a is nearly as cringe-making as ‘take care’ and 12a excessively convoluted. 23a/15d led me to think about a pangram but I lazily waited for others to confirm that. No outstanding Fav. Thank you Mysteron and also MP plus all his aliases.

    1. Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, but it took me a while to get on the right wavelength. Started with the NW corner, then completed the bottom half, followed by the NE corner. Last in was 4d, by the time I noticed it was a pangram, I only had 4d left, so that didn’t really help me. Favourite was 23a, quite liked the Spoonerism. Was 3*/3* for me.

  8. I agree with Ernie, some iffy clues mixed in with some sound ones. Although normally a great fan of Spoonerisms which I know do annoy a lot of people, I deeply disliked 11a. This puzzle was one of those where you had to work hard to see the wood for the trees, many clues were too contrived in my opinion.
    Not my favourite Monday puzzle.
    Thx for the hints to explain 19d, 9a, 9d and12a.

    1. Brian, as a matter of interest. What was “your” really weird word in last Friday’s Quickie?

      DT 28993

      Stone tools = Eoliths

  9. Enjoyed this. Even thought the dreaded Spoonerism was fun. 12a proved to be my favourite clue which I solved late in the process as I was looking for the wrong sort of heat.

    Thanks a lot to our setter and MP.

  10. Bit stiffer than the average Monday puzzle and all the better for it. I don’t mind the occasional spoonerism myself. I was on pangram alert from early on and it helped me get my last in which was 5d where I was just a J short. No particular favourite this morning.

  11. Only looked through so far but also wanted to say that I hate Spoonerisms with a vengeance!

  12. I was lulled into a false sense of security by the first two across clues, thinking it would be a nice gentle start to the week. I ground to a halt halfway through and needed a couple of hints to regain momentum and with the aid of the checkers complete it. Like others have said a bit of a mixed bag with some confusing and “wordy” surfaces mixed with some good clues.
    I don’t think 15d works, to me the non beverage meaning is “to con” or “a con” not a disappointment and I didn’t like 11a on any level. I did like 12a, 13a 25a and 21d though.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr Ninepiece for the review and hints where needed.

  13. A step up from the usual Monday puzzle with some difficult parsing,I did like it though and a ***/****.
    Liked 12a and 19a.
    Thanks to EN for the pics , nice to see the late Mr Petty-liked his duets with Steve Nicks.
    Currently trying to solve the Rookie Puzzle- about half way there-not for the faint hearted.

  14. Took me a while to get going but slow and steady won. I quite like Spoonerisms. Any puzzle that can get 23a into it has to be fun.

    Off topic, I am pretty sure someone here commented about misuse of apostrophes. Our son owns a company that relies on a strong sales force. His sales managers have each come up with their team slogan. One sales manager got t-shirts printed for his lot.


    Our son took one look and said ‘Win Monday’s what?’

    Thhey are being reprinted :)

    1. Tee Hee – my sister recently asked me via sms for a lift to the dentist. I responded ‘Of course, but don’t let me forget!’. She replied ‘I won’t thank you’. Nice one sis.

  15. Completed before my dentist check up but tougher than the usual Monday offering . A few clues became obvious from the checking letters with the reasoning revealed retrospectively .
    Hoved / Lated 11A !!
    Thanks to everyone .

  16. I’m confused by 11a. My answer seems to have one meaning – “goodbye” but no part of the clue seems to lead to that directly. I can only see that there are two ways to get to the Spoonerised version which then leads to an undefined expression. Am I missing something?

    1. I have just had a look online and saying Take Care is another way of saying goodbye. Which is what your answer means.

  17. Most fairly straightforward,but 11a and 15d defeated me. Another dislikes of Spoonerisms.

  18. Doing 5d, I had the two Us, so obviously “burnouse” .
    Held me up for ages.My rule if I get stuck there is an error in answer or a lurker.

  19. In my paper the clue to 12a contains the word “theh” I see Ernie hasn’t made any reference to this but chose to use the word “then”.


    1. Welcome to the blog John

      “Ernie” uses the online version, as do many of us. The only way we know what is in the print version is if some kind person, such as yourself, tells us!

      My online copy is timed at 08:37 (which is when I sent Ernie his template), so it looks like that was always correct.

      1. My newspaper version has “then” for 12a. How does that happen? I would have assumed that the puzzles were all centrally typeset even if printed in different locations.

  20. 11a just totally defeated me and I had to rely on the much needed hint – which then generated lots of groans. I generally like Spoonerisms but not this one, “Beast From Hell” description very appropriate.

    Otherwise a very enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to setter and MP.

  21. The spoonerism required 3,9,4,5 & 6 down until I got it. Doh. Very enjoyable crossword and Ernie N’s explanations.

  22. Less demanding than yesterday. Needed excellent hint for 11a. An expression of Bertie Wooster’s I believe. 15d 1950s slang. Not many of us old enough to remember it! COTD for me 20d. Thanks to all concerned.

  23. I enjoyed this and most of it went swimmingly – then I got to the top right corner which took ages.
    I always like the ‘beasts from the depths of Hell’ but this one was my last answer and I didn’t quite see the definition – I do now but it’s an expression I hate – the ‘take care’ bit rather than the answer.
    I bunged in 12a without untangling it properly and, as usual, missed the pangram.
    Very few anagrams today.
    Clues of the day, for me anyway, were 23a and 1 and 5d. My favourite was 21d.
    Thanks to today’s setter and to Ernie Ninepence – where did he come from – not a Rugby player this week – I know – I’ve looked having been ‘had’ last week!
    Getting nowhere fast with Mr Rookie – off to garden for a couple of hours and will then ‘perservate’ a bit more.

  24. I was dreadfully slow to get 12a & 1d although getting one of them immediately led me to the answer for the other. Those two made me leader board along with the simple but effective 9a.

    Didn’t know the alcoholic drink meaning of 15d – I’m only familiar with its ‘stick’ variety which can be used to mix any drink, alcoholic or not!

    Thanks to our setter and to MP for the blog.

  25. Bit stiffer than the average Monday puzzle and all the better for it. I don’t mind the occasional spoonerism myself. I was on pangram alert from early on and it helped me get my last in which was 5d where I was just a J short. No particular favourite this morning.

  26. I found this a strange puzzle, the south was * for difficulty and solved in a trice, then the north 23a me, apart from four answers I was totally at sea.
    I had to refer to the hints to get going again, checked that awful spoonerism and that helped.
    That was really, really hard, and I got 9d wrong. Yes, BD , if you can’t unravel it, it’s probably wrong.
    My fave was 23a, lovely word, with 19a as runner up.
    Thanks to our Monday setter and Ernie Ninepence for his hints.

  27. Not a fan of Spoonerisms so 11a spoiled whst was otherwise a toughish Monday solve. With P*P I could not get pup out of my mind even though I knew it couldn’t be right!
    Thanks to setter & EN – if you Google it at least the Blog comes out top. Others pay money to get top listing so well done Ernie.

  28. I was almost 23a’d by the spoonerism but by leaving it till last it was obvious.
    I’m not good at solving them but I don’t mind the occasional one coming up.
    23a was my top clue just because its a great word.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP for his review and music choice.

  29. As others more eloquent than I have observed, a notch up on the usual Monday.
    I think the spoonerism is the first one I have ever solved!! Once the first word jumped out at me, it was clear what the answer was.
    I thought 12a was very clever.
    Thanks all

  30. Enjoyable and all went well apart from 11a which was last in because I couldn’t see why my answer could be right. Many thanks to Ernie for the blog and the lucid explanation and thank you to the setter.

  31. Did no one else have the apparent misprint in their paper for 12ac? Mine invented the word “theh” instead of “then”. No wonder I struggled

    1. No such misprint in my newspaper John . . . . I’ve just checked. Unlike yesterday’s ‘Sunday’ page where many of the puzzles were impossible to even attempt due to some extremely poor cut and pasting by the page make-up department – very shoddy, I thought.

      Loved today’s puzzle though – even the Spoonerism, as it’s a phrase which we often use here – in its ‘Spoonerised’ form, that is.

  32. Slightly harder start to the week but that’s no bad thing. 15d threw me as I had not heard of that reference to the drink.
    Still an enjoyable pangram so 2.5*/3.5* for a Monday early evening. Fav 19a, won’t say why!
    Thanks to Mr Ninepence & Monday’s mystery setter.

  33. I find myself in agreement with E Ninepence esq ***/** 😏 I was enjoying a nice stroll through the puzzle until I was blown of course in the NE 💨 where there were some strange clues 😳 and although I filled in the correct answers I needed the Monday Maestro to explain why 🤔 TUVM. I did think that 19a, 23a 1d & 5d good and also amusing 🤗 Thanks to all involved!

  34. Yes, it did need a little concentration, no, it didn’t take any longer than usual for a Monday. Perhaps I should just pay more attention on a Monday. 15d at the close I must admit went in on a bit of a wing and a prayer, but I couldn’t think what else would fit. Enjoyed.

  35. Sometimes it seems that, in order to inhabit Crosswordland successfully, one needs a time machine back to the days of my childhood. The answers to 11a, 15d and the second half of 6d, and the surface of 21d, have fallen out of normal usage. Consequently I struggled today and cringed when the penny dropped.Thanks due to Ernie Ninepence for the hints.

    1. I know exactly what you mean but hadn’t quite got round to putting it into words – probably never would have done so well done to you. :good:

  36. I was not expecting too much for a Monday but was ultimately well gruntled with this pangramuzzle. Like most, I roll my eyes when I see spoonerism which I normally tind fedious but this one ended up being my favourite clue – you just never know.
    Thanks to Ernie Nonsense for the words of guidance, wit and wisdom. The setter too, of course,

    Phew.. just got this done before my iPad battery faile——————

  37. I had a slightly different take on 6d for what it’s worth. I thought “perhaps remote” gives “key” (most car keys are “remotes” these days) and “flat” gives “pad”. Together they give what may be used to access said flat. And “Initially” seems to have no purpose at all. Thanks to all concerned.

  38. I thought difficult but enjoyable overall. Took an age with 1d when the pangram penny dropped. This gave me 12a which I was baffled by. Thought the other long across clue was great and quick to solve. Left like most people with the Ne. Left overnight although already had 5d. Last two in 6d and 11a. I was hung up on either pup or pin. I was on the wrong tack with “take care” and not being an expression I use as a synonym for goodbye thought it unnecessary over complicated a Spoonerism which many already find difficult. What about “bye bye to Spooner’s dog – pointer” or is that too simple? Thanks Setter and MP for the entertainment although just about managed without hints. Most of all thanks to all who comment.

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