DT 28003 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28003

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28003

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***


By the time this gets published on line we will be miles away in a tramping hut by the Orogorongo River in Rimutaka Forest Park. We will be at Turere Lodge with our two sons and four of our grandkids. (Clever people can probably Google all that.) To get there is about a two hour walk from the carpark through beautiful native bush and it is well away from any means of communication. So if we have made any mistakes that need correction, or any questions that need answering, we have to trust that another member of the blogging team will take care of them. We’ll be back to read all the comments in a couple of days. We trust you all to be on your best behaviour.
Good fun from Jay once again.

Please leave a comment telling us your thoughts.


1a     A dosser’s roll-up? (8,3)
SLEEPING BAG : A cryptic definition of what we will be using in our tramping hut tonight. (How did Jay know to include this?)

9a     Hoping to be sacked during strike’s climax (4,5)
HIGH POINT: An anagram (to be sacked) of HOPING  is inside a word meaning to strike.

10a     Apprentice in quandary is oblivious (5)
BLIND : The abbreviation for an apprentice or learner is inside a synonym for a quandary.

11a     Just bank on Mike losing heart (6)
MERELY : The first and last letters of Mike and then a verb meaning to bank on.

12a     Agitated nervous response by loud Frenchman (8)
FRENETIC : The musical notation for loud, then a Frenchman we know from ‘Allo ‘Allo, and a nervous jerk.

13a     Besides, is the boxing to stop? (6)
DESIST : The answer is hiding in the clue.

15a     Married vets regularly employed by Post Office (8)
ESPOUSED : The second and fourth letters of vets, then the abbreviation for Post Office and a word meaning employed.

18a     Paper that deceives crown? (8)
FOOLSCAP : Split the answer 5,3 to get a word meaning deceives and a word meaning put the top on.

19a     Quiet group boxed in by American troubles (6)
UPSETS : The musical quiet and a word meaning a group inside the abbreviation for American.

21a     Long Island cat’s salvation? (8)
LIFELINE : The abbreviation for Long Island and the descriptive adjective for the cat family.

23a     Kind of music college now without women (6)
TECHNO : A college where practical subjects used to be taught and then the word ‘now’ loses the abbreviation for women.

26a Pair off with student for a month (5)
APRIL : An anagram (off) of PAIR with a learner plate.

27a     Cuts credit for item of tableware that’s singularly useless (9)
CHOPSTICK : You need a pair of these to be able to eat anything. The answer split 5,4 gives a word meaning cuts and one for credit or delayed payment.

28a     Shock may be so definite (3,3,5)
CUT AND DRIED : This shock is hair and the answer is things that might be done to it.


1d     Planned key medical after school (7)
SCHEMED : The three letter abbreviation for school, a musical key and the shortened form of medical.

2d     English mature cheddar finally gets you hungry (5)
EAGER : E(nglish), a word meaning to mature and the last letter of cheddar.

3d     Democrats go off universal registers (9)
POPULISTS : Go off or explode in a small way, the abbreviation for universal, then registers or rolls.

4d     Nothing outside area is secure (4)
NAIL : A word meaning nothing contains the abbreviation for area.

5d     Prop up, only lock (8)
BUTTRESS : A three letter word for only, and then the hair that we met in another form in 28a.

6d     Talk about republic in Africa (5)
GABON : A colloquial word to talk and about or pertaining to.

7d     Undecided about sacking editor, yet keeping editor once persuaded (7)
INDUCED : An anagram (about) of UNDECIDed after one of the abbreviations for editor has been removed.

8d     Antipathy of detective as test develops (8)
DISTASTE : A detective inspector and then an anagram(develops) of AS TEST.

14d     People who deride small chests (8)
SCOFFERS : S(mall) and then chests for holding money or treasure.

16d     Crushed from work and in a hurry (9)
OPPRESSED : An artistic work and a word meaning in a hurry or pushed.

17d     Women on a popular Glaswegian panel (8)
WAINSCOT : The abbreviation for women, A from the clue, the two letter word for popular and the nationality of a Glaswegian.

18d     Oddly frail and delicate misconception (7)
FALLACY : The first, third and fifth letters of frail, and delicate as a fine fabric might be.

20d     Surprised, feeling the current? (7)
SHOCKED : The current here is an electrical one. No hair involved this time.

22d     Colour of one during visit climbing tree? (5)
LILAC : Two definitions here, at the start and the finish of the clue. The Roman numeral One is inside a word meaning visit that has been reversed.

24d     Exotic Thai island, or somewhere in the Caribbean? (5)
HAITI : An anagram (exotic) of THAI plus I(sland).

25d     Continue being a hired thug (4)
GOON : Split the answer 2,2, to get a phrase meaning continue.

We like the mini theme of the several clues that related to hair.

Quickie pun    mourned   +   deem   +   honey   =    Maundy money

62 comments on “DT 28003

  1. Fairly straightforward solve for the most part, but the clock ticked over into 2* territory whilst I was sorting out the remaining few.

    Thanks to the 2Kiwis and Jay **/****

  2. This is Jay at his most benign. Nothing too difficult, but some most enjoyable clues. Favourite goes to 27a.
    Finished all too quickly while the rain continues unabated. Its 11.00am and I still need the light on to write this.
    Thanks to Jay and 2Ks for dashing this off before going into the wilderness.

  3. First read through only revealed 1 answer put the paper down did a couple of chores returned & they gradually put their heads above the parapet & managed to complete without resorting to the hints.My favourite goes to 21A with 27A & 17D close seconds.Many thanks to the setter & the 2 k’s for the review, & hope they have a lovely break it does sound rather exciting.

  4. I particularly enjoyed the bottom half, for example 26a (Pair off with a student..), 27a (tableware – great definition) 28a (shock may be so definite) as well as 18d (frail and delicate misconception) and 20d (surprised feeling the current)

    I thought 9a was clever too (hoping to be sacked..).

    Did anyone spot the missing definition-by-example indicator?

    Many thanks Jay, most enjoyable, and thank you 2Kiwis

  5. I found this very interesting and just a little tricky – I was left with 23a and 25d last night and woke up this morning and got them both immediately. I’m not all that up with music of the ‘modern idiot’ but dredged that one up from somewhere!

    Good fun!


    Oh, and while I think of it, what’s a ‘tramping hut?’ – I imagine it’s a hut you tramp to, but I’ve never heard of the phrase before. Does New Zealand have horrible spiders, bugs or snakes – they really put me off when I was in Australia, my Cousin had to get his garden fumigated regularly to keep the wildlife at bay and we still came across horrible creatures – I’m not that keen on creepy-crawlies!

  6. Great improvement on yesterday – thank you Jay for some good fun. South presented no problems and then North was nicely challenging. 23a (possibly one for the younger ‘uns) and 9a were obvious but I failed to parse either. 27a probably Fav. Thank you to our two All Blacks for finding time for today’s hints before setting forth on your exciting sounding odyssey – enjoy! ***/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  7. I found this very hard indeed, it def took 4 * time to complete, just could not get on the setters wavelength at all so it was a real slog. Totally missed the anagram indicator in 9a and the various references to hair confused me no end. After my comments yesterday it was interesting to see a reference to modern music in 23a.
    Not my favourite but satisfying to complete.
    Thx to all

  8. 3*/4*. Tough in parts with the NW the last to fall, but great fun throughout. 27a just edged out 28a as my favourite.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

  9. Went into 2* time by trying to justify ‘seduced’ for 7d (missed the anagram indicator) and by having in mind the wrong definitions of both ‘just’ and ‘bank’ in 11a. 3* for enjoyment.
    Top places go to 21&27a.
    Thanks to Jay and to the intrepid 2Ks – hope you have a great time and don’t suffer too much stiffness from sleeping in the ‘roll-ups’!

    1. I saw “seduced” first, but sadly it didn’t parse so I had to work out the actual answer.

    2. Jane, you see a nice/helpful type – can you answer a basic (probably daft-sounding question) for me: How do you get a “proper” dash (like yours) on here? I am using a standard keyboard on a public computer but there isn’t a “dash” key. I have to use space/hyphen/space but it doesn’t look right because a dash is twice as long and of course they are both quite different things. Could you advise, please?

      1. PS. That’s weird! Now that my comment is embedded on the blog the hyphen has changed into a dash. Obviously it does it automacically! I’ll get me coat…………….http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  10. 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I agree with overtaxed – Jay at his most benign – no major trouble even allowing for a scrambled brain.
    I tried to make 7d more complicated than it really was so that took a little while to sort out.
    I missed the significance of the ‘singularly’ in 27a – not sure that two of them are much more use than one anyway.
    I didn’t think 1a was terribly cryptic – suppose we’re meant to be fooled into thinking of cigs for the roll-ups.
    I liked 11 and 28a and 20d. My favourite was either 27a or 14d because they both made me laugh.
    With thanks to Jay and to the camping Kiwis – have fun.
    Might try the Toughie although, having caught sight of gazza’s introduction, I don’t hold out much hope.

  11. A nice satisfying solve with some very convoluted clues ***/*** http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif Can’t believe that I fell at the easiest of hurdles 11a after clearing 17d http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif favourites were 27a & 15a. Thank you to J & 2Ks http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  12. 2.5*/3.5* from me today.

    27 across my favourite because it made me laugh, 23 across proof that you can like classical music but still be aware of newer genres (see yesterday’s interesting debate on attracting new solvers).

    Blue sky here this afternoon in the Marches, which comes as something of a shock after what has seemed like two months of continuous rain. Many thanks to the wilderness-seeking 2Ks and of course to Jay for a good workout.

  13. My normal reaction to a Jay puzzle. Solve a few clues, grimace at the awful wordplay then cast the Tel into the bin. Wainscot, for the love of God and I am a Glaswegian. I know many enjoy his efforts and I respect their views I just don’t.

    1. You’ve changed your alias so your comment went into moderation. All three of your aliases should work from now on.

  14. Good heavens my name is already in place, the first time for weeks. Much happier than yesterday only minimal help required mainly because I failed to read my own writing. Lovely laugh provoking moments including 18 and 27a and my real favourite was 21a which struck me as witty. Lovely afternoon here but chilly.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    1. Oh dear, so excited I forgot to say thank you to Jay and 2Kiwis, hope the trip went well. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  15. Tricky in places, but an enjoyable solve overall.

    Favourite was 27a, with close completion from 6d.

    Perhaps someone could enlighten me as to where in 11a there is any instruction to the solver that the order of the wordplay is reversed?

    Many thanks to Jay and to our intrepid Antipodean “trampers”.

    1. Thoroughly enjoyable, particularly the lurker in 13a (besides).
      I think the “reversal” instruction in 11a is “on”, which means it can be either side of Mike losing his heart. I take bank = rely, whereas bank on would be rely on, so “on” is not doing double duty.
      Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis

    2. Hi Silvanus,
      We had bank = rely before. The “on” is the indicator you are looking for.

    3. 11a: yes… “on” has a bit of a crossword convention as to what it means, in a down clue it clearly means before (as in on top of), but in an across clue the convention is “following” or as I like to think of it “added on to”. This convention is often challenged and you’ll see many clues where “on” is just interpreted to mean “by” or “next to” and that can mean either “put before” or “put after”, just like “by” and other similar juxtopositioners.

      You’ll sometimes notice the bloggers commenting on whether or not “on” has been used in the strict conventional sense.

      1. Thanks, “by” I’ve certainly seen used in that way but not “on” before.

        In fact, Chambers Crossword Dictionary specifically lists “on” for use in “down” clues only.

        1. Yes – for the clue to work, bank=rely (which is fine, bank on = rely on) and you need the “on” as the juxtaposition indicator.

  16. Good afternoon everybody,

    Found this a tricky solve but got there in the end. Some very good clues I thought with last in 18a probably being my favourite. Just about scraped home in three star time and very enjoyable


  17. Very entertaining , with lots of smiles, 25a , 24a , 27a , but 21a is my favourite or maybe 3d.
    Thanks Jay and the Kiwis.
    I have googled the park and the huts. It all looks amazing, though going by the vegetation it looks as though it might rain a lot.I hope by the time you both read this , Kiwis, that you have had a wonderful break.

  18. After a short break doing house chores, sat down again to enjoy this offering from Jay.
    Pretty much agree with Dutch for the clues that stood out.
    Specially 27a.
    Always thought the expression in 28a was cut and dry. Learned something.
    20d made me laugh as French people always say: I am shocking instead of shocked.
    Thanks to Jay and wish 2ks a great time off.

  19. What a difference a day makes! After my abysmal solving yesterday, this was a walk in the park for me. Over far too quickly, I really enjoyed it.
    I missed the anagram in 9a, I needed the hint to see that.
    Thanks to Jay for restoring my faith in myself. I hope the 2Kiwis enjoy their hiking trip, thanks for the hints.

  20. Found this almost a Read and Write, but hugely enjoyable to boot – so different from yesterday. Favourite clue describes itself – 9a. We’d give this one */***. Many thanks to the 2 Kiwis and Jay for a lovely romp.

    PS. Anybody got a clue why this site is running like a dog these days? Or is that in FAQs?

  21. Managed to get ‘morale’ for 11a after a bit of a struggle (last one in) only to be disappointed on final check. Got ‘techno’ for 23a after having ‘jethro’ for most of the time. Is Mr Tull still around ?

    1. Actually yes.
      I met him yesterday when solving the Kate Mepham from 26/12. Apparently he invented the seed drill. I always thought it was a made up name.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  22. I’ve not really been quite in the crossword zone for a while and that’s still the case today. Having said that, I’d estimate this at about average difficulty, but it seems I’m vastly outnumbered. It gave me above average enjoyment anyway :).

    Naturally, I liked 21a. I totally missed the mini theme.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks – hope you are having a lovely time.

    In other news, I have discovered that I can outrun a Yorkie (terrier, not chocolate bar). It jumped up at me, wanting to play, as I ran by so I decided a race was in order.

  23. Right on the 1*/2* boundary for difficulty, but 4* for enjoyment. My favourite clue was either 12a or 15a, with an honourable mention for 23a. Thanks to Jay, and thanks and happy trails to the 2Ks.

  24. I found this one trickier than normal for a Wednesday. Putting in “knockers” for 14d didn’t help and it does fit the clue quite well, if maybe a bit risqué for DT readers!

    1. It would indeed work well if the “small” wasn’t there, but you’re right that it’s not quite Telegraph!

      I chuckled at the happy trails above (sorry SD!) and now you’ve gone and mentioned knockers. So much for the Kiwis trusting everyone to be on best behaviour …

    2. I love ‘knockers’ – who cares whether or not it’s quite Telegraph, and anyway didn’t really work! As Kitty says the Kiwis should know better than to trust everyone to be on their best behaviour.

  25. Still not finished, but am enjoying this.
    Yesterday was my first day back after being away from crosswordland, so I was a bit surprised that I couldn’t get anywhere with yesterday’s crossword, and found it dull and unrewarding.
    This one is much more fun. What a difference.
    I love the feeling of getting 1a straight away – an unusual experience!
    So far, I like 18a and 27a most.

  26. Recently, the suitability of references to Dorothy Lamour and a lady I’d not heard of who apparently goes by the name of Hess were questioned, as they were likely to discourage the younger generation to enter crosswordland. Could the same not be said of today’s answer to 23a, in that it might well discourage those of more mature years? Can’t have one rule for one age group, and a different one for another…..

      1. Umm – not the sort of article I’d have been likely to read! I simply started off with ‘technophobia’ and worked sideways from there. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    1. I couldn’t get 23a – it’s been around for years but I don’t really think of it as music!

  27. ***/***. Held up by having to run errands and do other chores. Finally finished and had to give an extra star for difficulty as I didn’t get 23a without the help of the 2Ks, for whom much thanks. Thanks also to the setter for some good clues IMHO – 21&27a and 5&17d.

    1. You and John above both mention 23a. Mrs Sheffieldsy got that one in a flash. I wondered what she was talking about until she explained it to me! Guess we just have to stay on top of what’s topical…

  28. What are the words “keeping editor once” bringing to the party in 17d? In other words, the clue works perfectly well without them. 21a’s my favourite?

    1. You mean 7d? I think those words are just there to help the surface read better. I agree, it does work without them. Perhaps Jay might drop in and enlighten us.

    2. If the letter or letters to be removed appear more than once then setters often, but certainly not always, indicate that only one occurrence is to be dropped. Because it is also conventional that the removal of multiple letters does not need a separate anagram indicator if they appear in the same sequence in the fodder, what Jay is indicating is that while ED occurs twice in undEciDED only one of the two is to be dropped.

  29. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very nice puzzle from Jay, which I finished in two sittings. Did the bottom half first, then managed to make sense of the top half. 6d made me laugh, but my favourite was 7d. Last in was 2d. Was 3*/3* for me. Good luck to the 2 Kiwis on their trekking. I’ve booked up to visit Cumbria sometime in March.

  30. If Jay upped the difficulty kevel last week, according to K2, then this time he has lowered it. While nearly all the clues were jolly, they were also a bit R&W for me – but as I may have mentioned before, he is my favourite setter and I always seem to be intimate with his train of thought. No hold-ups, no quibbles and plenty of smiles. If they hadn’t all been staring at their phones on the train home, I would have attracted admiring glances (or not) at the speed of my solve, the quickest for weeks. 27a was first-class fare, 18a was business class and 23a was economy. Many thanks to the intrepid yompers and to Jay. 1*/3*

  31. A very speedy solve today but enjoyable nonetheless. 1*/4* with 21a and 5d my favourites.
    Still got another two clues to go on Monday’s though – and I thought the beginning of the week was supposed to be easiest http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  32. Back home again safe and sound. Two days of perfect weather and then some rain came in to dampen our walk back to the carpark this morning. Had a great time and really enjoyed spending it with family. Cheers all.

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