DT 28016 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28016

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28016

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa where we are emerging from a cold snap and heading for downright balmy conditions by the start of next week.

From a blogging perspective, I narrowly dodged a bullet this week. Yesterday all of my cable services (internet, television, and telephone) were down for close to 12 hours. Fortunately, they have all been restored and I am able to carry out my blogging assignment.

The puzzle bears the hallmarks of RayT — although some of them only faintly. Her Majesty makes her customary entrance, the clues in the Quickie are all single words, but the innuendo (while present) is rather subtle today. I will leave it to the 2Kiwis to do a word count on the clues in this puzzle (although a cursory glance suggests that it passes muster). Moreover, it has to be among the easiest RayTs ever.

The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers can be revealed by clicking on the “Click here!” buttons (so please don’t click if you don’t want to see the answer).

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a   Tree‘s stock lacking core (6)
POPLAR — an adjective denoting constantly in demand with its middle letter (core) removed

4a   Solitary ego torn apart about love (8)
ISOLATED — an English ego precedes a verb meaning reprimanded into which a nil score in tennis is inserted

9a   Corn reportedly in a row (6)
SERIAL — sounds like (reportedly) what corn is an example of

10a   Organ groove is endless after pot (8)
PANCREAS — a groove (found in one’s brow perhaps) without its final letter comes after a cooking vessel

11a   Extra work noticeable by current compiler (8)
OVERTIME — a charade of an adjective denoting open or public, the symbol for electrical resistance current in physics, and the pronoun by which the compiler would objectively refer to himself [Thank you Kitty for pointing out the miscue.]

13a   Wants to sell top Queen single initially (6)
OFFERS — string together a three-letter word describing a method of capital punishment (in all senses of the word capital), Her Majesty’s regnal cipher and S(ingle)

15a   Apparatus for landing gear in a cruder alternative (13)
UNDERCARRIAGE — an anagram (alternative) of the preceding four words

18a   One’s attractive to men with lager etc drunk (13)
ELECTROMAGNET — an anagram (drunk) of TO MEN with LAGER ETC

22a   Government’s leader expressed hesitation getting stuck (6)
GUMMED — G(overnment) followed by a verb meaning made a sound expressing hesitation or uncertainty

24a   Former wife in diet ends increased sugar (8)
DEXTROSE — the usual former wife finds herself between the outer letters of D(ie)T which is then followed by a verb meaning increased or ascended

26a   Inviting everyone round to catch United (8)
ALLURING — a word denoting everyone (or everything) and a round object that the wife above may have discarded trap U(nited)

27a   Recording of affair entrapping one (6)
FILING — a short-lived romantic affair catching the Roman one

28a   Housing people imprisoned by conviction (8)
TENEMENT — a term for people in general (much despised by radical feminists) is held inside a belief or doctrine

29a   Father meddles with Time (6)
PRIEST — a verb meaning to stick one’s nose in where its not wanted is followed by T(ime)


1d   Troop is told to carry weapon (6)
PISTOL — this not being Texas, there’s no “open carry” here; its a concealed weapon

2d   Hound is, by itself, endearing (9)
PERSECUTE — a Latin phrase meaning intrinsically, followed by an adjective denoting attractive or pretty

3d   Fused dead part without resistance is changed (7)
ADAPTED — anagram (fused) of DEAD PA(r)T having removed the symbol used for electrical resistance in physics

5d   Dodge seeing raincoat’s lifted (4)
SCAM — reversal (lifted in a down clue) of a short raincoat — and don’t forget the ‘s

6d   Matchone made in Heaven that fell? (7)
LUCIFER — double definition, the second being a fallen angel — and not just any fallen angel

7d   Note following article’s subject (5)
THEME — a definite article followed by a musical note

8d   Sticky end of girl’s flower (8)
DISASTER — this sticky end is the result of sticking together Crosswordland’s favourite girl (complete with her trailing ‘s) and a fall flower

12d   Animal, hurt cat is raised (6)
MARMOT — a verb meaning to injure or damage something precedes a climbing male cat

14d   Location occupied by heart of royalty? (6)
PALACE — this is a true all-in-one clue; a generic location contains the middle letter (heart) of royAlty

16d   Hires out a dodgy permit (9)
AUTHORISE — an anagram (dodgy) of the first three words of the clue

17d   Officer material, ace joining Nato oddly (8)
SERGEANT — the material from which an officer’s uniform might be made, the symbol for an ace in a deck of cards, and the odd letters of NaTo

19d   Blithe or emotionless accepting proposition (7)
THEOREM — blithely and emotionlessly hiding in the first three words of the clue

20d   More crackers in barrel overturned on floor (7)
NUTTIER — an upended wine barrel sits on top of a floor or storey in a building

21d   Boat crew supporting wide load (6)
WEIGHT — a crew from The Boat Race carrying W(ide)

23d   Little time to go round the Italian city (5)
MILAN — the abbreviation for a unit of time wrapped round the feminine singular form of the definite article in Italian

25d   Soon to be nameless, shortly (4)
ANON — double definition, the second being an abbreviated form

I enjoyed the two long anagrams at the heart of the puzzle. Between them, I will give the nod to 15a as my favourite.

The Quick Crossword pun: bare+leaf+lops=belly flops

102 comments on “DT 28016

  1. I agree with Falcon’s rating of 1*/3*. This was easy-peasy for a Ray T puzzle but nevertheless with plenty to enjoy. I found three quarters R&W and needed a smidgen more time to deal with the NE corner.

    I wonder what Brian will have made of this?

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Falcon.

  2. I felt really proud of myself finishing a RayT before 10am! :yahoo: Until I saw Falcons rating and RDs comment … Duh! I didn’t find it that easy and really disliked the clues at 1a, 9a,and 13…I thought the reading for this clue was awful, the two long ones took me a while though on reflection they shouldn’t have!! Although I was pleased to finish this, it was not, a puzzle I really enjoyed, a 1* for enjoyment and a 3* for difficulty for me today … and in case I haven’t said it yet … Happy New Year everyone :good:

    1. It took me my ‘average’ time for a Ray T and I find him trickier than most back page setters. I’d have given it at least 2.5* difficulty rating.

      Happy New Year to you too. I thought of you the other day when they were talking about cawl on the radio. I expect you’ve had quite a lot of it to keep out the cold winter chill.

      1. Hi Sue … don’t feel so bad now after hearing that, funnily enough have made cawl this week, nothing like it with chunks of corn bread and cheddar cheese xx I have been having difficulty with the site taking forever to download and post but it seems ok now, it was the only site I was having a problem with!

      2. Perhaps I was just tuned to the right wavelength today as I whizzed through the puzzle in record time.

  3. I found this a bit tricky in places but very enjoyable. The two long anagrams went in first and all fell into place after that. Thanks to Ray T and to Falcon for the review.

  4. Perfect.
    Both crosswords done, first review already up, beautiful day ahead with nice sunshine and temperature that goes with it.
    Again it took me ages to spot the lurker in 1d and never thought that stock would be a synonym of the heartless word in 1a.
    But often with RayT you have to dig deeply to find a straightforward synonym.
    No pencils were used for the anagrams, which is always nice.
    Favourite is 22a.
    Thanks to RayT and to Falcon for the review.

  5. Just discovered your page – fantastic! What a find for a learner in cryptic clues like myself. Thank you.

    1. Welcome to the blog, M J. Now that you’ve found us I hope that you’ll become a regular participant.

  6. I thought the two hidden words were brilliant, the two long anagrams were very nice (especially 15a), and I particularly liked 4a (solitary ego), 11a (current compiler), and the all-in-one at 14d (Location occupied by heart of royalty).

    Many thanks Falcon and RayT

  7. Thursday 21 January,

    Where are the answers to todays “quick ” crossword ? These are normally printed at the end of the cryptic one.

  8. I found this pretty difficult although my heart is not really in it this morning – hardly any sleep last night fretting about the house – it’s 11.20am and the Builders haven’t shown up yet – aaaaarrgghhhh!!


  9. Definitely Mr. T giving us an easy ride today but none the less enjoyable for that.
    Like JL, I pondered for a while over the ‘stock’ in 1a – just as well the tree was obvious.
    My top three are 22a plus 2&5d. Well done on the pic. for 5d, Falcon!

    Devotions to Mr. T as always and many thanks to Falcon for the review. Couldn’t believe the time the blog was posted until I realised it was your good self in the chair!

  10. I found this a hard slog but did manage to finish it, despite some awful clues. 1a, 9a and 13a really didnt do it for me.

  11. Falcon. In your comment, you point out that one of the hallmarks of Ray-T is that he’s (typically) used only one-word clues in the Quick Crossword. I must admit, I was totally unaware that the setters of the DT Cryptics also compiled the Quicks. Does this apply to them all, every day?

    1. I believe that the Quick Crossword is generally compiled by the same person who sets the Cryptic. However, that may not universally be the case. I am sure there are far more knowledgeable authorities than I who could provide a more definitive response.

      1. F. Thank you for the info and crypticsue for pointing out that it was secreted in the FAQs all along. I’ve been very regularly tackling the crosswords in the DT since about 1970 and it simply never occurred to me that each day they were both compiled by the same setter. And I would never have found out unless I’d began reading this blog a few months ago.

    2. By the way, it was Ray T himself who suggested we should check the Quick crossword for the single letter clues that are his trademark.

        1. Kitty, here’s a clue with NO letters – you probably remember it (I think it’s from the DT):

          1a. (1,6,3,1,4).

  12. Pleased so many of you are consumed with self congratulations this morning. I found it an unrewarding slog although I was able to finish it in decent time. The two long anagrams were helpful if uninspired, but several of the clues were not at all effective.

  13. For some reason Thursdays always seem to cause me more strain than usual but for a change this one seemed a little easier, with a few frustrating exceptions. Bit of a slog, but satisfying in its completion. No favourites today.
    Thanks Falcon for the hints and Ray T for reminding me I still have much to learn!

  14. Thanks to Ray T for a most enjoyable puzzle – we didn’t find as easy as some people did today and struggled a bit in Geordie corner. And thanks to Falcon for a lovely review. **/***.5

  15. Easier than most Ray T’s – I recognised him from Her Majesty’s presence, and although it was easier (to me) than usual, it took me a long time to get started. With Ray T’s and Toughies, I often need to get one clue and build from that, rather than simply putting them in as I read through in (boringly) straightforward order, starting with 1a. This was just like that (and I still got stuck on 9a – d’oh!)

  16. Definitely at the easier end of the Ray T (got it right today 2K’s :yes: ) spectrum. Very enjoyable but over far too quickly. I have several favourites but, as the 2K’s are keeping count for Kath, I will not mention them today – I’ll wait until she’s left NZ :wink:

    Thanks to Ray T for the puzzle and Falcon for his review.

    The toughie from Micawber is extremely funny and is well worth a go – that is also at the easy end of his range

          1. You know very well I was referring to the crossword, Falcon! – and so it must surely be she* who is lucky to be filled in by me.

            *I am of a mind to consider the crossword female due to being the best :yes:.

  17. On first quick read through last night nothing came immediately in the top half across clues (apart from 13a and 15a) so I started at the bottom and worked up and it all fell into place in about * time until two in the NE corner – 2d and 9a; the last two in for me and taking me into ** time. Must have been the late hour because after the penny dropped I couldn’t understand why I laboured so much with them! I guess it is always just sometimes like that! Bit like yesterday’s SW corner.

    So overall **/** for me

    Thanks to RT and to Falcon – nice to see you on the blog again, especially for taking the time to find clever photos.

    MP have you got a caption to suggest for 5d?

    1. We have a resident flasher here in Downtown LI. He was thinking of retiring but has decided to stick it out for another year..

  18. If this was indeed a wavelength thing, then I was not tuned in for a while. Once I got into my stride, however, it was a steady solve, with 13 across my last entry. 2 down, 15 and 18 across fill my podium positions, and overall I have to go 2.5*/3.5* because of the slow start.

    Many thanks to Ray T and Falcon.

    1. Sorry in advance YS – you’ve got me next Thursday and my typing is not renowned as ‘fast’. Therefore, you might have pictures – you might not :smile:

          1. Didn’t you blog a Toughie last time?

            Just having a quick break. Can click on them any time. :yes:

            1. Yes, my first one was an impromptu effort on an Excalibur Toughie and I covered for DT on a couple of Friday Giovannis.

              Did you watch the link about exploding cigarettes?

              1. In at the deep end on them. They were good too!

                Oh gosh yes I did. I mean how utterly bizarre? So much for the safe option.

  19. I was right on wavelength for this one but as I’m usually attuned to this setter I’d probably call it about average difficulty (compared to the whole week) but definitely a level or two below RayT’s usual hardness.

    I solved before sleeping because I seem to exist in a different time zone (some might suggest a different planet) so I can’t remember much about it now, but do recall lots of smiles.

    I wouldn’t have known the 6d match but have encountered it before in these pages.

    Some people (and I can see their point) don’t like girl/boy to clue a name, but I tend to fare better when that’s the case than when specific people are referenced, so for selfish reasons don’t mind it. Today, that device gave us the wonderful 8d which made me chuckle and so is my favourite. After having another look at the clues above I’ll give honourable mentions also to 15a, 18a, 14d and 19d.

    Thanks to RayT for all those smiles and for not keeping me from sleep for too long, and to Falcon for the review, especially the most amusing picture for 5d. The illustration for 21d was also a great fit to the clue and answer.

      1. We thought about starting a discussion on whether the quote should be “meddlesome” “troublesome” or “turbulent” but decided that that could go on for ever. :wacko:

  20. Thanks to Ray T and to Falcon for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, I found it quite straightforward, but was completely beaten by 9&29a. Favourite was 4a, lots of good clues though. Last in was 29a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  21. Not the most difficult offering from RayT but very enjoyable. Then again I completely missed the hidden in 1d for ages and tried to make the wrong anagram for 15a for a bit too. Minor holdups.

    Micawber later.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Falcon for a great blog.

  22. Oh dear another complete waste of newsprint for me. Total gibberish. I was hoping for better on my birthday. ?

  23. Complete waste of good newsprint for me. Completely unintelligible! Gibberish!
    I was hoping to be spared a Ray T on my birthday.

    1. Your Birthday Brian. Have a great day. Unfortunately it is just over a year until my next birthday.

      1. Thanks to everyone for their best wishes, much appreciated. Looking forward to tomorrows Giovanni :bye:

  24. Can’t equate stock with popular for 1a, surprised others have not mentioned this- except MARY, who like me, did not think much of the cluing of 9a either. Apart from these two ,pretty much a R & W and a **/*** overall .Thanks Falcon-the 5d pic caused a titter!

    1. Stock is being used here as an adjective. In the retail trade, a stock item is one of a standard type, size, etc, constantly in demand (i.e., popular) and therefore always kept in stock.

  25. I took a few minutes to get a foothold, but once I was in to the meat of the puzzle it all went in pretty easily, so 1*/3* seems about right. I liked 4a, but my favourite clue was my last in: 2d. Thanks to Ray T, and to Falcon.

  26. I thought this was quite tricky in places and it took me about as long as it normally does to solve a RayT puzzle.

    Thanks to Falcon and RayT **/****

  27. A bit held up in the NW due to my own stupidity. Thought the answer was persecute but then dropped my pen on the floor. Picked it up and proceeded to write in prosecute which made 9a a little tricky to say the least.

    All good fun and I agree with Falcon’s * difficulty but I’d go to **** for the fun.

    Thanks to RayT and Falcon.

  28. Well, the fact that C’Sue finds RayT more difficult than other setters, makes me feel much better. I usually find his puzzles so difficult, always having to use the hints for three or four, but today I actually completed it without any hand wringing. Solving the two long anagrams in the middle immediately really helped.
    Fave was 15a, but must give honourable mention to 6d, remembering that WWII song “while there’s a lucifer to light your fag, smile …”
    Thanks to RayT and to Falcon for his review.

  29. Good afternoon everybody.

    Started well but ultimately defeated with 10,13a and 6,8d unsolved. I was convinced the solution to 13a was, indeed, the solution but couldn’t make the connection. The solution to 6d entered my mind in consequence but again I couldn’t see the link.

    Agree the rest were on the easier side for Mr T so I’ll say


  30. I agree with Falcon’s rating and thanks for the review. I enjoyed the answers lurking in the clues and 24a and 20d were amusing when I solved them. Thanks to the setter for a gentle jog. The rain has started again and will be here through the weekend meaning wet walks for the dogs.

  31. I am in the trickier than Falcon thinks category.For example 9a ‘s “reportedly ” can be interpreted two ways, I chose ” cereal” initially. All the clues are very clear in retrospect. That said , there were quite a number of very easy clues. The north-east corner was the last to be filled.
    Thanks to Falcon and Ray T.

  32. I got the answer, but am stumped by the wordplay of 11a, would appreciate someone explaining the:
    charade of an adjective denoting open or public
    the symbol for electrical resistance in physics
    I assume the last bit is the last two letters

    1. Hi, HoofIt. The wordplay splits OVERT-I-ME, which highlights a slight slip in the review – it is electrical current, not resistance, which is denoted by the letter I.

      1. Oops!

        The electrical resistance was not supposed to appear on stage until 3d.

        The situation has now been sorted.

  33. For once, I’m not with Rabbit Dave (or Falcon for that matter) on this one, quite the reverse in fact. I’m normally tuned in to Ray T puzzles (not that he’s my favourite setter), but today’s effort I found trickier than normal, like Una. I also copied Una in interpreting 9a the wrong way round which meant a long time was spent looking for a non-existent homophone rather than a lurker in 1d!

    2d is the only clue to which I’ve given a tick, so that has to be my favourite by default. I so enjoyed Ray T’s previous Thursday appearance but found this puzzle somewhat disappointing in comparison.

    Many thanks to Mr. Terrell and to Falcon.

  34. Maybe it’s just me, but yesterday’s toughie was easier than this.
    Is it really only one star???
    I’m now beaten, so time to look at the hints….

  35. We were surprised to see the difficulty rating for this puzzle. It took us about the usual time that we spend on a RayT puzzle and that is certainly higher than one star in our reckoning. Well up there on the fun-ometer reading too. 1a had us head scratching until we had a couple of checkers and we did enjoy the two long anagrams. Yes you can depend on us to have done the clue word count and we can report that all is in order.
    Thanks RayT and Falcon.

    PS.. We had a phone call last evening from someone speaking in an Oxford accent to tell us that they were comfortably settled into a hotel in Auckland after their flight from Tahiti.

  36. We breezed through this one. It seems to us that all the back-pagers this week, so far, have been rather more benign than we’d normally expect. Falcon’s rating is spot on – although at the easier end of the spectrum it really was an enjoyable solve.

    We loved the non-obvious lurker in 1a and thought 14d was a truly elegant offering. Thanks also, to Ray T.

  37. Found this quite difficult ***/*** as I often do on Thursdays Thanks to Falcon & Ray T (if indeed it were he) ? Liked the two long anagrams, had difficulty in NW 1a, 1d & 2d Yesterday and again today the site appeared in a different format and I can no longer use the emojis ?

  38. No problems with thie challenge today – that is once I had the correct version of 9a installed. 14d gets my vote for fave. 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to RayT and to Falcon for the review.

  39. This took longer than normal because my grandson didn’t really want me to do it. Very enjoyable though as I expect from a RayT puzzle. Thanks to Falcon for the review and thanks to RayT.

  40. As a novice, I am very quickly realising that one’s brain tunes into certain setters clues (like the Friday, Saturday, Sunday, yesterday’s toughie), and is at a total juxtaposition to others (like every Thursday).
    I guess it is part of the learning curve.
    Thanks to Falcon for the much needed hints and the setter who I am happy to concede won this battle by a landslide

  41. Evening all. Setter here, with thanks to Falcon for the review and to all for your comments.


    1. Good evening, Mr. T and thank you for the puzzle. One week and counting to the birthday party. :smile:

      1. Hi PDs,
        I was talking about the blog birthday party! I’ve been trying for months to persuade Mr. T to come over for it – without much success, it would seem. :sad:

  42. Great challenge.
    Last in 2d, very clever, got me going.
    Many thanks Ray T and Falcon for the review.

  43. Something a bit strange today. If I access site via incoming BD email for 28015 the Comments end with No. 20 by Heno but if going via BigDave44 it ends with No. 43 by Hrothgar. My own comment earlier this evening seems to have gone by the board. :scratch:

    1. Hi Angel,
      Your comment on today’s puzzle has gone onto the 28015 list – did you perhaps put in the wrong number? Today’s is 28016.
      Probably all you need to do to bring up the latest comments is to press ‘refresh’.

      1. Glad to see that the BD blog help desk is in good hands Jane :good:

        I do hope you and Hanni behave yourselves in London next Friday. Wouldn’t want you both bleary eyed on the Saturday :whistle:

          1. As if…… :whistle:

            Off to catch some beauty sleep now, don’t know why – I don’t really need it.

      2. Thanks Jane for suggestion. Don’t see today’s comment in 28015 but it’s really not important. Whatever I’m sure it’s a case of mea culpa. End of story! :unsure:

  44. Hi TS. What to say about Mary? Not having heard of it previously, I came to it completely unprepared and it was something of a shock when the penny dropped (a few pages in) as to which particular Mary was giving her testament. To say I enjoyed it doesn’t sound quite right somehow – it was incredibly powerful, extremely well written and very plausible. Did it rock a few boats when it was first published?
    Nora Webster should be here any day now – I hope that is going to be a good read as well.
    Trust that you managed to fill your Australia slot adequately this morning.

    1. I think he’s one of the few male writers who can write women convincingly (at least to my rugged manly eyes). Hardy is another. If there was a rumpus on publication, it would only have been in Ireland – and they tend to cherish their writers far more than we Brits, so I guess not much of one.
      The Australians went ok, but the BBC tonight was better. I don’t like it if I can’t get a few good gags in there.

  45. I don’t normally get on so well with RayT, but this was different. I always enjoy them, but sometimes have to go outside and bang my head on the kerb mid-solve – but not tonight. Whizzed through in Falcon style, with only a couple of exceptions, notably 9a which was my last one in. Goodness knows why. When I saw I could have kicked myself (if I hadn’t been sitting down). Lots to like, but I’m going for 10a as teacher’s pet. Thanks to Falcon for the fun review and to Ray for keeping me off the street. 1.5*/3*

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