DT 28015 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28015

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28015

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****


We are now at the stage of ‘counting the number of sleeps’ until our visitors from Oxford arrive. We have prepared a list of those people who have been breaking the rules about multiple favourites to be handed to Kath for action. Our weather has been a bit of a mixed bag lately and we have our fingers crossed that it will be in kind mood for the next couple of weeks.
Another pleasant offering from Jay this week. A few tricky ones in the SW just took it into *** time for us.

Please leave a comment telling us your thoughts.


1a     Congestion around street suffering high winds (3,6)
JET STREAM : A word meaning congestion, often applied to vehicles on the M25, surrounds an anagram (suffering) of STREET.

6a     Sweetener for guards ordered to ignore source of danger (5)
SUGAR : An anagram (ordered) of GUARdS loses the first letter of danger.

9a     Hint about European Union link (3,2)
TIE UP : A synonym for a hint (it appears on the heading for this puzzle) contains the abbreviation for European Union.

10a     Line adopted by new literary big guns (9)
ARTILLERY : An anagram (new) of LITERARY contains an extra L supplied by the abbreviation for line.

11a     Console jury, following prisoner and short internet abuser (7,5)
CONTROL PANEL : A word that describes a jury comes after a three letter prisoner and a word for an internet abuser that loses its last letter.

14a     Caprice married in one beat (7)
IMPULSE : The Roman numeral one, then the abbreviation for married and a beat, possibly given by the heart.

16a     Terrible mistake to have shot a student (3,4)
OWN GOAL : A word meaning to have or possess, then a word for a shot or a turn, A from the clue and a learner.

17a     Overturn marks in game played with matches (3)
NIM : Marks is the old German currency. We need the abbreviation for this, then IN from the clue and reverse it all.

18a     Return to take part in free lectures (2-5)
RE-ELECT : Return as you might do to your MP. The answer is hiding in the clue.

20a     Reveals attitudes struck by English Times (7)
EXPOSES : ‘Attitudes’ as an artist’s model might show, comes after the abbreviation for English and the mathematical symbol for multiplying.

22a     Compensation provided for variable costs in a Fiat (12)
SATISFACTION : An anagram (variable) of COSTS IN A FIAT.

26a     Rule established by limited company? (9)
OLIGARCHY : A cryptic definition of a government by a small exclusive class.

27a     Order forecast, ignoring PR (5)
EDICT : A word meaning to forecast has PR removed from its beginning.

28a     Try escorts, losing heart maybe (5)
ESSAY : The first and last letters (losing heart) of escorts and then a word meaning maybe, or for example.

29a     Row in estate perhaps about good fast food available here? (6-3)
DINING-CAR : A word for a row or loud noise, then IN from the clue, the abbreviation for good and what an estate could be an example of.


1d     Project on energy in fibre (4)
JUTE : Project here is a verb and is followed by E(nergy).

2d     Part of golf course millions swarm around (4)
TEEM : The part of golf course where the action starts and the abbreviation for millions.

3d     Earth summit’s social oddly ignored (7)
TOPSOIL : A word for summit then the S from the clue and alternate letters of social.

4d     Precise demand (5)
EXACT : A double definition, the second meaning as used in the Milton quote ‘ Doth God ***** day-labour light deny’d’.

5d     Bad omen, supporting underground timekeeper (9)
METRONOME : An anagram (bad) of OMEN follows what the underground railway is called in some parts of the world.

6d     Seasonal depression somewhere in desert? (4,3)
SALT PAN : A cryptic description of an area sometimes found in deserts. Seasonal here refers to our most common food seasoning.

7d     Ecofriendly sign, to be building for growth (10)
GREENHOUSE : A colour that means ecofriendly and another word that is used to describe a sign of the zodiac.

8d     Hand making blue blood turn red? (5,5)
ROYAL FLUSH : An adjective describing somebody purportedly having blue blood, and a word meaning to take on a rosy complexion.

12d     Very little opportunity for viewer? (10)
MICROSCOPE : A word meaning very little or extremely small is followed by one meaning an opportunity.

13d     Redesigned part in apse belongs (10)
APPERTAINS : An anagram (redesigned) of PART IN APSE.

15d      Sent daughter to pursue opening (9)
ENTRANCED : An opening, or a doorway perhaps, is followed by an abbreviation for daughter.

19d     Price reduced by nothing in simple drug (7)
ECSTASY : A word meaning price is ‘reduced by nothing’ by having its O removed and appears inside a word meaning simple.

21d     Radio programme that’s mostly fraudulent — and popular (5-2)
PHONE-IN : A word meaning fraudulent or false loses its last letter then the two letter word for popular. We enjoyed the accurate description given by the surface reading.

23d     Hear working is an attempt to deceive (3-2)
TRY-ON : Hear as a magistrate might do, and a short word for working.

24d     Something of jazz included in metal? (4)
ZINC : It’s hiding in the clue.

25d     Wake up in cooler (4)
STIR : A double definition. The cooler here could be a pen, a can, porridge etc, etc.

The SW gave us the most problems today so we will go for 26a as favourite.

Quickie pun   mulled   +   heat   +   asks   =   multitasks

95 comments on “DT 28015

  1. 2*/4*. I completed the first three quarters of this delightful puzzle very quickly but the SW corner put up more of a fight. I needed my BRB to find 17a which was a new word for me and my last one in (or, more accurately, the middle letter of 17a was my last letter in). Lots of great clues and I can’t pick a clear favourite.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    1. Said it all for me there RD. Agree **/****.

      Even after I put the last letter in 17a and it was accepted I didn’t bother looking it up. I’m sure we never used to call it that when we were kids. More something like “pick-up”!

      12d was my favourite, just beating 26a.

      Hope the NZ weather improves for Kath’s visit.

  2. Slowed down quite a bit in SW! Took me ages to see 18a (free lectures), very good. Took me a while to parse 19d (price reduced by nothing) and 28a (try escorts) as well.
    I hate it when the online version decides to type horizontally instead of vertically etc., as a result I spent ages trying to find something that fits N*R for the 3-letter answer – eventually I remembered I had started with an M.
    I liked the underground timekeeper (5d), the blue blood turn red (8d), and the very little opportunity (12d)

    Many thanks Jay and 2Kiwis. I guess i’ll be in Kath’s bad book, I’m hoping she’s given up on me as a lost cause.

    1. Funny, apparently unlike many others I remember the game well, called by that name (but I didn’t grow up in the UK). I think you can control the game if you start (or was it the other way around?)

    2. We had to google nam nem nim nom num to get that. Sounds like a tellytubbies nursery rhyme.

        1. I think we tried that as well! We also tried nxm thinking that there might be a pangram in the puzzle.

          1. Surely there’s another x to be found and it is a pangram. Thanks for the hints and excellent puzzle.

            1. Welcome to the site PhilG.
              Think you will find that there are Xs in both 4d and 20a. Can’t find a Q anywhere in this one so stopped looking for a pangram at that point. Cheers.

  3. Pleasant solve today with just a couple of problems in the SW, as per three above comments. Never heard of 17a game. Fav was 8d. Thank you Mr. Ron and the 2 Ks whose hints are a pleasure in store for me. **/***. :yes:

  4. Really thought it was a fantastic crossword.
    Took me a while to see the lurker in 18a and last one in was 19d.
    Only had to check the game in 17a and the synonym for project in 1d.
    I just love the English language. You just hear the French word for belongs (appartiens) , swap a few letters and bingo!
    Favourite is 16a.
    I recommend the toughie. Very pleasant.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review. Have a good time with Kath and Chris.

  5. 2*/4* for me. Dithered about trying to find a word meaning ‘despatched’ for 15d and left 26a until it couldn’t be anything else! Familiar enough with hearing about the doings of the ‘billionaire Russians’ but forgot about the ‘rule’.
    The game at 17a almost defeated me but I have a distant memory of it popping up in a puzzle a while ago – can’t recall whether it was a back-pager or a Toughie.
    Liked 8d for the smile value but my top two for the surface reads are 16a&21d.

    Many thanks to Jay and also to 2Ks for their usual high standard review. Hope you have a great time with Kath and Chris – please give Kath our love and tell her she’s very much missed. :heart:

  6. I was also held up by the SW. Never heard of the matches game or 27a but otherwise very enjoyable.

  7. Straightforward solve with the exception of 17a which I put in as Nap a card game once popular in pubs and I thought scored on a cribbage board with matches! 8d is also one of the top hands in Poker */*** Thanks to the 2 x Ks and to Jay Favourites 26a & 1a ?

  8. I’ll go along with the majority view so far at 2*/4*.

    Certainly the hardest backpager of the week, and for me the most enjoyable. I will nominate 5 down and 11 across as my two favourites. I freely admit I had never heard of the game with matches, but the wordplay got me there. Thanks Jay for a lovely Wednesday workout and the 2Ks for a very readable blog.

  9. For some reason I found this hard to get into today. The SW quadrant was my main stumbling block and completing the grid (except for 17A, which I’ve never heard of) took me twice as long as the Toughie did. Favorites are 5D and 8D. Thanks Jay and K2.

  10. Have to agree with the SW corner proving difficult, a consequence of 12d being cleverly clued, if somewhat ambiguously -hence the ? ; so *** for the SW and * for the rest giving a ** overall with **** for enjoyment .Last in was 17a-more in hope than expectation ! remember a book called Mrs Frisby and the rats is NIM, but may have been spelt differently .Thanks to the 2k’s for the excellent blog pics- ominous WW1 artillery.

    1. Wow. I remember (very hazily) Mrs Frisby and the rats of Nimh from primary school. I did need to look up the spelling.

  11. An enjoyable comparatively easy crossword, I score it 2 for difficulty and 3 for pleasure. Last in was the matchstick game, a new one for me. Fav 8d, always conjures thoughts of thrones and loos!

  12. A great puzzle from Jay. I loved the Lego at 16ac and the well hidden lurker at 18ac. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Doh! moment when I needed the blog to explain 6d. I couldn’t see the seasoning that peppered the clue. Thanks to the 2Ks. Your hints are always so precise. I wondered if you would offer a nod to the blogs header. I hope Kath and Chris will get Roast Kiwi followed by a Kiwi Fruit Cheesecake (or cucumber as one waitress described it to us). Nothing to do now and all day long to do it in.

  13. Like others got held up in the SW corner.

    The rest was a very enjoyable solve. Liked 26a and 21d.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis for a great blog as always.

  14. I must be a bit out of step with other folks this week as I found this a bit more straightforward than yesterday’s. No help needed even though it took a bit longer in the SW.
    Having said that, I didn’t actually know that match game. Isn’t the answer one of those “the people that say” from Monty Python and the Holy wotsit? Or was that just a shortened version of 17a? What has happened to all the surreal humour? I used to be very fond of The Living Carpets from The Big Night Out – I wish they would bring them back…….

  15. A bit of a struggle for mum and I today, we made it with the help of the tips though.
    We started learning to do cryptic crosswords after mum left hospital following a serious illness. At first we muddled along as best we could. Since I found this blog with all its useful information we have been improving steadily and enjoying ourselves more and more. Thanks everyone, especially Big Dave.

    1. Hi Peta and Hi to your Mum. Steve in St A said he thought Gazza was providing a public service yesterday. I think I can safely say on behalf of all who review the puzzles on this site that we do it because we can and because we enjoy doing so. We also remember the painful learning curve and the proud feeling of elation we got from our first completed grids. Thanks for your thanks. Please keep commenting and maybe one day we will see you on the toughie blog

      1. Thanks Miffypops…I have looked at one of the Toughies…curled up into a ball and wept! I will go back one day.

    2. Hi Peta

      It’s those sort of comments that make the whole thing worthwhile. I can only endorse what Miffypops has said.

  16. Enjoyable crossword with only the SW corner holding me up. Finally, after espying the lurker, the rest went in quite quickly. No particular stand out favourite today.

    Thanks to Ray T for the puzzle and the 2K’s for their review. Please pass on my regards to Kath when she arrives.

    1. It’s Wednesday (or at least it was when we solved the puzzle) so the setter is Jay not RayT. :unsure:

      1. Oops – don’t know why I put in Ray T :oops:

        Apologies to Jay. I best get it right next Thursday (28th) as I’m in the blogging chair although I don’t think it will be a Ray T

        1. SL…I sometimes comment on my tab instead of my laptop. When I do my tab remembers obviously what day it is but also who the setters and bloggers are! It’s quite spooky really.

                1. Oh very clever… Like it. :good:

                  Those things are everywhere though. Evidently they come in flavours too…a friend was very pleased she had found watermelon?

                  1. On our local news this evening, a man has had one blow up in his face. Seemingly it’s quite common in the US.

                    1. How on earth had he managed that? So the safe option of e-cigarettes can result in having your face blown off?

  17. The Wednesday Wizard strikes again! I really enjoyed this and will give it **/****.

    No real problems except the pesky match game which I’ve never come across before. I rather liked 1a, with the high meaning at altitude rather than strong as you would expect when associated with wind, but favourite was 26a.

    Many thanks to Jay and the Kiwis.

  18. Enjoyable but I do have Some niggles, house for sign of the Zodiac?, Times capitalised for multiplication and 26a very clumsy. Apart from these very iffy clues an enjoyable puddle generally a ** for difficulty except for the SW corner which I found *****.
    Thx to all

    1. Come on, Brian – it’s not that big a leap from astrological houses to signs of the Zodiac!

  19. I didn’t remember the 17a game because I never heard of it. It was certainly a three star for me.
    My favourite is 8d.
    Visitors from afar , countdowns of nights and lists being made …… sounds like a second Christmas. I am sure you will all have a lovely time.
    Thanks to the Kiwis and Jay.

  20. Good tussle.
    Possibly my *** for hardness.
    The SW corner fought back bravely but we prevailed.
    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis for their nicely illustrated review.

  21. Good fun, so many good ones I can’t choose a fave; 8d and 16a were very good.
    Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis.

  22. On a general note, I’ve always accessed this site as bigdave44.co.uk

    Since the Saturday ‘melt-down’, the blog stops at Jan 16th However, after googling (or equivalent) the site, I’ve now accessed it as bigdave44.com, with blogs up to date.

    Was this change of site recent, or indeed publicised? I’ve obviously missed something here, although all’s well that ends well.

    1. I wasn’t aware of any change – the .co.uk address was used during the transfer from wordpress.com a few years ago and I left it in place – I’ll look into it as I pay a biennial fee to keep the address going.

  23. Seems I’m in very good company in finding the SW corner trickier than the rest.

    I thought this was a delightful puzzle, with so many excellent clues. I’ve ticked four in particular, 16a, 26a, 7d and 8d.

    Terrific stuff, Mr. Mutch, many thanks to you and to the 2Kiwis.

  24. Good morning everyone. Well that is one more sleep out of the way until our guests arrive. We have just had an email from them just before they climb aboard a plane in Tahiti to fly to Auckland.
    It looks like most people, if they found difficulties with this puzzle, found them in the same sector as we did.

  25. I’m certainly in agreement regarding finding the SW tougher than the rest of the puzzle. I was ultimately defeated by 26ac but could kick myself as I had all the checkers and have been beaten by this clue before….

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

    p.s. The Toughie is worth a look for those who like Giovanni – pretty much like a Friday back-pager IMHO.

  26. Thanks to Jay and to the Two Kiwis for the review and hints. A very good offering from Jay as usual. No problems until I reached the SW corner. The last three took me longer than the rest of the puzzle. Favourite was 5d, had a vision of Gnomes on the French Tube. Last in was 26a. Was 3*/4* for me. More marking now in the Squash Tournament.

  27. Good evening everybody.

    Mostly a decent puzzle, with 12d being noted here as my favourite, but spoiled by the lamentable 17a. Dictionary plunderering should be confined to Scrabble.


  28. For the hard of thinking, what has the second part of 7d got to do with a sign???

      1. Thanks Hanni, if nothing else, doing crosswords increases your general knowledge, as a beginner, so many words and expressions I have not come across

        1. You’re welcome. You’ve probably already seen it but it’s worth looking at ‘The usual suspects’ etc in the menu. I think Prolixic also wrote an excellent crossword guide that was put on here. And oh yes…new solver or an old hand, there will always be something to learn! Stick with the blog. :yes:

          1. Will do, it’s superb.
            The learning curve is much reduced.
            It’s nice for me to have picked this up after about 35 years. I used to do it jointly with my dear Grandad, but when he passed away, the Telegraph went with him.

  29. A very nice puzzle, just the right degree of difficulty – 17a was a new one on me but I used Google as a crutch!

    I’ve had a bit of a disaster with a leak from an upstairs radiator causing a lot of water damage – British Gas have turned up to replace the radiator and Barclays Insurance have got builders ripping my house apart, one of the builders told me to expect 3-4 months before we get back to normal – it’s amazing the amount of stuff you accumulate!


    1. Poor you – commiserations. I begin to know what you are going through having had a similar happening years ago. It did take time to sort not helped by the vibration and weight of the dehumidifier they put in upstairs which fractured a main beam and that then had to be replaced however it was a Tudor cottage. Good luck with sorting it and I do hope it wont take as long as the builders indicate.

      1. Yes, they’ve started removing the plasterboard in the living room and dining room, tests are being done on the artex ceilings to make sure there’s no asbestos (I don’t like to contemplate what will happen if they find asbestos!) if the tests are negative then the ceilings can come down and dehumidifiers and heaters can come in – all the carpets have already gone – hey ho Insurance is a wonderful thing!

        Where am I going to put everything!!


  30. Very enjoyable. I found that in a few cases I got the word from the definition and then had to check the hints to work out the wordplay. Part of being a beginner, I guess.
    Many thanks to 2Kiwis and the setter, excellent work!!

    1. I get lots from definitions and work backwards to sort the wordplay. I also bung words in because they fit the checkers and then work out why they do or don’t fit the wordplay. There are no rules other than these.
      Rule one: There are no rules
      Rule two: If in doubt, see rule one
      Rule three: Nobody needs a pencil. Get an ipad and use a finger end.

        1. Hear, hear! Now I see how MP is able to brag about never writing down the anagrams – crafty! :roll:

  31. Another enjoyable puzzle from Jay.
    I will risk incurring the wrath of some by suggesting that if you can have joint favourites in horse racing then you can have multiple favourites in crossword clues – mine being 1a, 8d and 19d :)
    Fortunately the only unknown word today, 17a, was helped by only needing one letter and was solved by the parsing.
    2*/4* for me.

  32. I got held up by spotting a plausible lurker in 2d – MILLS!
    In 6d I was blind to the correct meaning of seasonal, though I got the answer.
    I didn’t know the game in 17a.
    Enjoyed the Christmas cracker feel of 29a, and also love the answer, ages since I have been in one!
    Thank you to the setter and to 2Kiwis for the hints.

  33. Oh dear…back to having to rely heavily on the hints today, but derived much from careful study thereof. I also learn a lot from the comments. So thanks to all and particularly for the nice clear hints from the 2 kiwis. The learning curve continues.

    1. Good for you, Ann – that’s exactly why the hints are there. Our wonderful bloggers would be redundant if nobody ever needed to use them!
      As for ‘learning a lot from the comments’ – you might learn more than you bargained for. :wink:

  34. Didn’t know nim. (More familiar with nom.) Should have got it from the wordplay. Had a couple of other minor brain fails but nothing to cry about. A very good quality puzzle and much enjoyed.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  35. Sorry, but I just have to share this one from my local paper’s Cryptic – Cry of joy from doctor at work (5).
    I know it’s easy but it did make me smile. :smile:

    1. :).That Doctor always makes me smile. I watched some vintage episodes this very evening on iPlayer.

  36. Hi TS – just to let you know that ‘The testament of Mary’ has arrived today. Obviously only a short book so I will probably have my review ready for tomorrow night!
    Your contributions of the past few nights seem to have been lacking your usual sense of humour – not that I’m complaining, but I am wondering how the water levels are at the moment?

    1. Hi Jane. Always good to hear from you. I do hope you enjoy Mary – I think you will. To mix metaphors, there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s a bit like taking my boat through the tunnel at Stoke Bruerne, you can see it, but it never seems to get any closer and there’s always something coming towards you that you have to avoid. I’ll fill you in on the 30th, if we both make it.

  37. My favourite setter has come up trumps again. My only hold-up, like most others, was 17a, my last one in. I had to go through the dictionary for the Middle letter and then saw that it was in the wordplay all the time. I liked 5d and 29a, but Her Majesty’s lavatory at 8d was the one that really pulled my chain.
    Many thanks to K-squared for the usual high standard of review and to Jay for a most satisfactory work-out.
    The Australians are back from their summer hols, and so I’m back on the air at an ungodly hour in the morning. As of now, I have nothing to say.

  38. Whoops! Late again! Smashing puzzle ( puddle) from Jay with some really good clues, viz. 16 and 18a, 19 and 8d; the latter being my favourite. 3/3* overall.
    Thanks Jay and thanks 2K’s for your as usual excellent review.

  39. I felt today I had had a good run for my money so many thanks to RayT and indeed Falcon. I stalled a bit in the NW corner mainly due to stupidly not sussing 9a ( I suppose it’s a row) but got there in the end. Don’t think I had heard of barrel in 20d so came near to settling on battier! Fav was 22a. ***/***. :yes:

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