DT 28028 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28028

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28028

Hints and tips by Miffypops

Bring back Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Good morning from the heart of Downtown LI. There are six pubs in Long Itchington. Visiting five of them the night before blogging a Ray T puzzle was not one of my best ideas but hey ho, here we go. Thanks to the rest of the blogging team for allowing me the chance to blog this wonderful Ray T puzzle. Her majesty sends her apologies for her absence today. She is otherwise engaged bestowing a knighthood on Sir Ivan George Morrison

The hints and tips below can be used to help solve or understand the wordplay of clues you may have difficulty with. Definitions are underlined. The answers can be revealed by clicking on the greyed out boxes.

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    Understanding follows the compiler’s meaning (6)
IMPACT: An understanding or agreement is placed after I’M meaning the compiler’s (compiler is)

4a    Fellow criminal without a blemish (8)
FLAWLESS: F(ellow) plus a word meaning criminal or outside the law

ARVE Error: need id and provider

9a    Go on spilling secrets, invading privacy initially (6)
GOSSIP: Acrostically take the first letters (initially) of the first six words in the clue. I think RayT always includes one of these types of clue but I could be wrong. (Miffypops is never wrong)

ARVE Error: need id and provider

10a    Crazy Lear isn’t showing what’s inside (8)
ENTRAILS: Anagram (crazy) of LEAR ISNT

12a    Endlessly care for faithful pet (8)
TREASURE: Take a word meaning to care for as a doctor might with a patient and remove the last letter (endlessly). Now add a word meaning faithful or able to be relied on or trusted

13a    Spike troublemaker’s drink (6)
IMPALE: Take a three lettered troublemaker and add the drink sold in the pubs that I visited last night.

15a    Spreading unction’s aim, so unctuous (13)
SANCTIMONIOUS: An easy anagram (spreading) of UNCTIONS AIM SO.

18a    Eat dinner with time unusually vague (13)
INDETERMINATE: And another easy anagram (unusually of EAT DINNER with TIME

22a    Whack! Old man returning strikes with disgust (6)
APPALS: Whack as in to hit or strike with the palm of the hand followed by an informal term for one’s father (Old man) all reversed as indicated by the word returning

24a    Tea’s found in neat container to buy (8)
PURCHASE: Place a British informal noun meaning tea (that is what my google definitions says. I thought it came from China) inside a small pouch made from leather used to carry money. I was perplexed by the use of the word neat in this clue and can only surmise that neat = leather = cowhide.and the the S from ‘S inside an adjective meaning neat

26a    Time runs out in end (8)
TERMINUS: Anagram (out) of TIME RUNS

ARVE Error: need id and provider

27a    Tory leader’s hard disagreement on economy (6)
THRIFT: Take the first letter (leader) of Tory and add the initial letter of the word hard. Now add a noun meaning a serious break in friendly relations.

28a    Church increased time being consumed to baptise (8)
CHRISTEN: Take one of two usual suspects for church (not CE, Church of England) and add a verb meaning to have moved form a lower position to a higher one. The astute amongst you will realise that this leaves us one letter short so insert (consumed) the letter T(ime) into the only space that makes sense

29a    Informal contracted language in say, ‘gutted’ (6)
SLANGY: Place half of the word LANG(uage) inside the outer (gutted) letters of the word S[A]Y to find this rather dodgy word which I am sure appears in the BRB. If you are new to this blog the BRB is explained within the frequently asked questions FAQ which can be accessed by a simple search of the sites functions


1d    Hip received small metal bars (6)
INGOTS: Hip here means popular or trendy. Add the past participle of a verb meaning to receive and top it all off with the letter S from the word S(mall)

2d    Stewardesses, sophisticated, about turned mad (9)
POSSESSED: After much head scratching and lots of blank staring at this wonderful clue my mind turned to Kath who regularly blogs RayT’s puzzles. If parsing is impossible look for a lurker. In this case it is an inverted lurker. The answer to the clue is cleverly hidden away inside the clue itself but you will have to read backwards to find it. I think the word STEWARDESS is the indicator that the answer is hidden. (To think I volunteered to blog this puzzle, what was I thinking)?

3d    Red lips involved in cheating (7)
CRIMSON: These lips are the edges of things and are placed inside a regular crosswordland word meaning to cheat

5d    Tree trunk protecting new pine (4)
LONG: Place the letter N(ew) inside a part of a tree trunk that has fallen or been cut off to find a word meaning to yearn

6d    Heartless roughneck accepted by female labourer (7)
WORKMAN: Take the heart out of the word R(oughnec)K and place the two remaining letters inside a word meaning a female.

7d    Flower I caught in season (5)
ERICA: This could be our second lurker of the day but to get another name for heather put I and C(aught) inside a three-letter season or period of time instead.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

8d    Sun exploit employing birds results in excited anticipation (8)
SUSPENSE: This is a charade or a Lego clue which we can build up bit by bit doing exactly what the compiler asks us to do. There are three components to the clue. The letter S(un). A three letter word meaning to exploit and a rather obscure word for birds. In this case female swans. Start with the letter S, place the female swans inside the exploit and voila the solution is revealed.

11d    Eloquence over Right by Cameron perhaps (7)
ORATORY: O(ver) R(ight) followed by what David Cameron is an example of (1,4)

14d    Wicked one’s carrying dodgy opium (7)
IMPIOUS: Anagram (dodgy) of OPIUM inside the letter that looks like the number one and (note the apostrophe S) [I]S

16d    Performance of pantomime ends in speech (9)
OPERATION: We have another disembowelment clue here. Take the two end letters of the word P(antomim)E and place them inside a noun meaning a formal speech

17d    Great performance against clubs … (8)
GIGANTIC: A performance usually by a rock group is followed by a word meaning against or opposed to something and the initial letter of the word C(lubs)

19d    … matches entirely in draws (7)
TALLIES: A word meaning entirely inside some draws. I would be grateful for an explanation of the ellipsis linking this clue to the previous one.

20d    Drink for everybody, including company, on house (7)
ALCOHOL: take a word meaning everyone or everything and insert (including) our usual crosswordland abbreviations for Co(mpany) and ho(use)

21d    Where holy man gets appropriate covering (6)
VESTRY: Place an adjective meaning appropriate, exact or precise around our usual canonised holy man

23d    More natural expression of pleasure, embracing sweetheart (5)
PURER: Place the middle (heart) letter of the word sweet inside an expression of pleasure as made by a contented cat or occasional blogger

ARVE Error: need id and provider

25d    Dog beginning to eat kipper (4)
CURE: Place the initial or beginning letter of the word E(at) after a term for an aggressive or unkempt mongrel dog to find a verb meaning to kipper. Incidentally Saint Sharon is waiting for me to complete this blog before she cooks poached eggs and kippers for breakfast/lunch. Now the days are drawing out one of our hens has started laying again. Delicious.

It is forty one years ago today that my poor Mum passed away and set me off on the path to orphanhood. Before she died she taught me what she knew about Cryptic crosswords. Just one of so many things she guided me on. “You can be mischievous our Mark, but never wicked” God bless you Mum.

The Quick Crossword pun: plea+stay+shun=police station

84 comments on “DT 28028

  1. Not having done a pub crawl like MP I found this a fairly comfortable solve. Plenty of anagrams to part fill the grid is always good for starters. I really enjoyed the reversal in 2 down, but aside from the long anagrams 8 down was my favourite. 2*/3* with thanks to Mr T and of course MP. No doubt Kitty liked 23 down.

  2. Re 24A Neat is the old word for cattle. When at school we used Neatsfoot oil to soften and waterproof leather football boots. Very enjoyable crossword only needed two assists.

  3. Difficult cluing today for me, glad Kath awarded ***, which I agree with and can’t quibble with the **** enjoyment . I seemed to solve in in quarters , once one answer went in, the rest seemed to follow . Favourite has to be 2d, had completed the puzzle when I spotted why, liked 8d as well. Plaudits to setter and Kath.

  4. I thought this was going to be a stinker but once the anagrams had gone in it became very enjoyable. Favourite clue must be 24a, although some head scratching took place as I was trying to work in “caddy” but once others solved realised it was ad oh moment.
    As an aside my mother taught me to sail, and for at I am forever grateful.
    Many thanks to Miffypops Nd to Ray T.
    Definitely ***/**** for me.

  5. I read 24a as Tea’s = cha’s inside pure as in pure gold i.e. neat

    I don’t think cattle come into it

    I loved this challenge so thanks to Miffypops and Ray T

  6. A classic Ray T, completely incomprehensible and a waste of good newsprint as far as I am concerned.

  7. Finished a Ray T on a Thursday wow!
    :smile: Thanks to MP for blog an explanations and of course to Ray T for an enjoyable puzzle to fill in a morning when rain stopped golf :sad: ***/*** liked 2, 3, & 23d

  8. Thanks miffypops for a great blog. Seeing erica as a lurker had confused me. I also tried to find an anagram for red lips.

    Many thanks Ray T, very enjoyable

  9. 19d’s ellipsis is puzzling. I’m wondering if there is a link between gigantic and the tall in tallies.

    1. I took it to be a rather tenuous link between clubs, as in football or rugby, and matches. I didn’t particularly like it if that was the case, but I can’t think of anything else.

  10. I finished without hints, though 2D was a bung in. Pleasant enough, but for a Ray T. there was just something missing. No smiles and no stand-outs from me, I’m afraid. Thanks to all.

  11. Above my pay grade, but I enjoyed the bits I could do without electronic help or hints.

    I would be very grateful if someone could tell me, or tell me where I can find out, what the dot dot dot stuff between clues means. Miffypops referred to it as ellipsis, so I assume it means that some words have been left out….but I have to admit that this doesn’t help me.
    I have never understood this in crosswords so I just ignore it….but presumably it is intended as a help to solving the clues.
    And thanks to Miffypops and the setter.

    1. I don’t think it’s meant to help solve the clues, it’s just to help the surface reading by running the two clues together.

    2. It’s always best to ignore punctuation … if there are ellipses linking two clues … it doesn’t always mean that the two definitions are connected … but there again … sometimes they are!

      Cryptic or what?

    3. Ora. Ellipses are often used to link two (or sometimes more) consecutive clues that have a common theme. It can help in solving if you can identify the link. These two clues (but not necessarily the answers) are linked by the obvious sports game theme. But I’m no expert and would be happy to be corrected by others on here.

  12. I enjoyed this RayT puzzle and thought that it might be a bit tricky at first glance but I managed to solve it pretty quickly. I think I must’ve been on wavelength as maybe on another day I’d have taken longer.

    Thanks to MP and RayT */****

  13. Prince Charles dubbed Sir Van Morrison. I suppose his mum was running the training course

  14. Even without both Her Majesty and much of the famed innuendo, the master produces yet another great and tightly clued puzzle. Kath will be sorry she missed this one.
    I’m liking the ‘chas’ inside the neat whisky for 24a.
    Kitty will doubtless be purring over 23d!
    Neck and neck at the finish are 4a & 21d.

    Devotions to Mr. T – despite letting us down for the birthday party :cry: and thanks to MP for the review. The music clips at 26a&7d get the thumbs up and I always enjoy Simon’s Cat cartoons.

  15. It seems that the Queen had prior engagements as she didn’t make an appearance today.
    Didn’t spot the lurker in 7d either. Just put I C(aught) in an era and though 21d was an all in one.
    So thanks to Miffypops for putting me right.
    Rushed through this one as I needed a break from the toughie.
    No real favourite, just the usual crisp clueing from our Parisian setter.
    Thanks to RayT and to MP for the music.

    1. Hi J-L

      Jane passed on you message..thank you. Did you get back OK? Sorry to have missed you on Saturday..

  16. I started this last night and after an initial struggle to get going managed to complete it quite quickly with only 23a, 6d and 23d outstanding – the only one I needed help with was 6d which for some reason I just couldn’t see.

    A very nice, interesting puzzle a little harder than normal – very enjoyable!


  17. Oh dear.
    I was all psyched up for the hardest puzzle of the week but, alas, found it to be a wrong envelope day.
    This puzzle should have been in the envelope marked “Junior Telegraph, Beginners Crosswords’
    But, nevertheless, thank you Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms Setter and Miffypops for the colourful review.

      1. Sorry.
        I had no idea it was a Ray T, one of my favourite setters.
        He must be feeling generous.
        Thanks again for giving me a boost.

  18. Much to my amazement, have not needed hints or parsing for over two weeks. Today’s was reasonably straightforward although the stewardesses required several long stares before I got it (like the term lurker). I hate being beaten and often come back to complete a puzzle. For example, Last Wednesday’s lurgy took several days to get.

    Loved the musical hints here, brought back many memories.

  19. I actually finished this, albeit with some electronic help for a couple of clues.
    Fave was 2d, a very well disguised lurker.
    Thanks to RayT and to M’pops for his review.

  20. Is it a Ray T Thursday? A miffypops review – little if, any innuendo – no HM – only 1 lurker and Brian’s having a moan. Ah, if Brian’s having his usual Thursday rant, then it must be Ray T :whistle:

    Pretty straightforward puzzle but very enjoyable. Had a few ‘smile’ moments and glad it was at the easier end of his spectrum after the ‘Toughie’.

    Thanks to Ray T for the puzzle and to miffypops for his first Ray T review. Well done sir. :good:

    The toughie is most definitely NOT for the faint-hearted. :cool:

  21. The test set today by Ray T caused me lots of torment.

    I wascompletely saved from despair by the wonderful sounds of The Wilburys.

    God Bless the Big O, & thanks a million Miffypops, my wife can give me my belt & shoelaces back now.

  22. This one yielded its delights more slowly than I originally thought, as I found the bottom half (where I started) a little easier than the top.

    Much to admire in the construction of the puzzle, despite not previously having heard of 29a, and it’s a horrible word to boot.

    Favourite clue was 21d, LOI was 1a.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Miffypops.

  23. I agree with the 3*/4* rating today. Not for the first time I agree with everything Jane said.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to MP, and a big :good: for the Travelling Wilburys.

  24. I thought it was on the lighter side for a RayTwith only a few clues causing a hold-up.Some every nice surface readings, such as 2d, 3d, 20.
    Thanks Miffypops and Ray T.

  25. Finished all on my own so feeling very pleased with myself, maybe I am slowly getting there! Loved 2d and 21d, didn’t like 29a, just an ugly word. Thanks to all, the blog always brightens up my train out of London and continues to help enormously.

  26. I think it’s pretty much all been said. I did spot the lurker in 7d, but as I had no idea it was a flower I just bunged it in as the checkers fit. Nice anagrams for my now tiny pencil. Pleasant solve.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Miffypops for blogging.

    1. Hello Hanni, nice to see you back. I did the same with 7d. My memory bank seemed to bring back something about erica and heather from a clue a few months ago, so I took a chance and bunged it in. Missed you on Saturday, and hope to meet you on another occasion.

      1. Hi Florence. I’m glad it wasn’t just me re 7d. My horticultural knowledge is up there with my birding knowledge.

        Yes I was really sorry not to see you on Saturday. Hopefully next year? I looked on Youtube last week when you mentioned A little Respect as I couldn’t imagine it for choir. There were a few versions actually and I can ‘see’ the composition a little better now. Hope practice is still going well?

  27. My heart sank as first pass produced absolutely nothing. Then the magic words Ray T bit me, set it aside came back after lunch. Cannot say that I sailed through but with just a minimal amount of electronic aid I got there. Sad to see Brian back on his soapbox but in a way I can understand because the words Ray T used to send me off to the cupboard under the stairs. Thanks to Ray T and Miffypops for a delightful way to spend a rubbish afternoon. Loved the quickie pun.

  28. The queen might be missing but the word count was as ever spot on. Still showing on the side of our grid is the collection of letters put there to work out an anagram of RED LIPS for 3d. We needed to solve 1a before we could abandon that idea. Lots of good fun for us.
    Thanks RayT and Miffypops.

  29. Notwithstanding what I said yesterday, we solved this together when it came up at midnight. There was enough entertainment to keep us both happy. More innuendo is always welcome but when nobody gives me any I can always make my own.

    Like Dutch I saw erica lurking and it confused me, but Mr K got the parsing. Teamwork at its best.

    My favourites are 13a, 3d, 20d … and yes, 23d, which takes the cream. Purr!

    Thanks to RayT for the purrs and to MP for a fine review.

  30. A relatively benign offering from Ray T . **/****. Erica also known as Ling(Heather) Many years ago did countless field trips to the local moors , the Quadrants were full of it . Thanks to Miffypops ps. I thought purse was a neat container

  31. No time this a.m so pleased that this didn’t present too many problems when I got around to it this evening. Sometimes I can’t believe how thick I can be. I finished with little aggro apart from a couple of 4-letter words (5d and 25d) with which MP had to come to my assistance for which TVM and likewise RayT for today’s exercise. :neutral: ***/***.

  32. This was a very benign Ray T I must say! Perhaps it was because Her Maj had taken the day off. Anyway no real problems once the inverted lurker revealed itself. This was also my favourite. Overall 3/3*.
    Thanks to Ray T, and to his omnipotence for his review.

  33. I’ve only just started looking at today’s x word but 14 got my hackles rising. I don’t see why being 14 is wicked and the free online dictionary didn’t think so either. In fact I can think of pious people who I would regard as extremely wicked.

  34. Evening all. Many thanks to Miffypops for the musical review and to all for your comments. Always a pleasure to read…


  35. Maybe I’m just getting used to RayT, but I enjoyed this one far more than yesterday. I still needed help with a couple, but I’ve come a long way from last year when I could hardly do a RayT at all. Favourite was 15a. Thanks to RayT and to Miffypops for the review. Sorry I missed you on Saturday.

    1. Florence,
      Your last two comments went into moderation because you’re mis-spelling your email address.

      1. Sorry Gazza. Not sure how that happened. I have to fill in my name and email every time I write on the blog now, but at one time they came up automatically. Still, no excuse for getting my own email wrong.

  36. One of the easier Thursday puzzles we’ve had in a while, but no less enjoyable. Last in 11d and 29ac.

  37. This was proving largely beyond me I’m afraid so treating it as a learning opportunity and completing it alongside the blog…which is why this blog is so invaluable. Nice to read that Florence used not to be able to manage RayT last year, so there is hope! Thanks to Mr Setter and Miffypops.

    1. Hello AnntheArt, keep going and you will get there. It’s just a case of getting used to the different setters.

  38. This seemed tougher than my watch said it was: 2*/3.5*. Despite the attractions of 26a (almost entirely because of the Traveling Wilburys clip – the empty rocking chair does it for me every time), I take 2d as my favourite. Thanks to Ray T and Miffypops.

  39. Thanks to Ray T and to Miffypops for the review and hints. What a super puzzle, couldn’t get anywhere with the top half. Managed to complete in the end. SE,SW,NW,NE. Favourite was 21d. I noticed that 15a & 14d were opposite each other in the clues on paper, and the answers were also opposites, surely not by design???? Last in was 5d. Was 3*/4* for me.

  40. It’s been a long day for various reasons and I did wilt a bit in the lower half, so thanks for your assistance. I also rather liked 2 down.
    And good to at last to contribute to the blog in the presence of the legendary Miffypops – we had a chance encounter in St Mawes last May, going to the same apartment this May, will we see you there?
    Thanks to Ray T and MP.

      1. We’re there the 7th-14th so won’t see you…and I expect all my old DTels will have gone to the great recycling bin in the sky by then. Have a great week any way…we like those ‘Tresulians’ don’t we!

  41. Having a new kitchen so internet down. Went to the pub to use their WiFi. Sounds like I missed a good one.
    Thanks to mp for the hints as it allowed me, a mere novice to add some more bits to the jigsaw.

    1. Well he dropped in to claim it at comment 37. No clue longer than eight letters. An initial letter clue. Allowing her majesty time off to supervise her son dubbing Sir Van. plenty of innuendo if you have a mind like Kitty’s and single word clues in the quickie puzzle. Yup It’s a RayT. Gollly Bongs i would have them every day.

  42. ****/****. Started very late today. Clever clues and enjoyable for the most part. Thanks to MP for explaining why my bung in at 2d was right and for the blog. Thanks also to the setter for a challenging puzzle.

  43. Thanks for standing in MP. Kath will be back in the fullness of time and until then you’ve got to put up with a mixture of Shropshirelad and me (next week). Sad I know but that’s life – better than the alternative I guess.

    1. I will look forward to emailing that lad from Shropshire screenprints of the puzzle at 3.00am so he can sort the job. The things we do for the peeps that rely upon us. Ale, man, ale’s the stuff to drink
      For fellows whom it hurts to think.

  44. Well, most people found this easy for RayT. I didn’t. I found it very hard indeed after a very long nose-to-the-grindstone day. Although looking at it now, it’s difficult to why I struggled. Maybe it’s because I don’t really “get” his puzzles as much as some other setters. Not really much challenging for favouritism, but if pushed I’d plump for 2d, which was so well hidden it was my last one in. 4*/2*.

    Thanks, anyway, to Ray and to MP for a restrained review, spoilt only by the truly awful Travelling Wilburys. Jeff Lynne spent half a lifetime trying to get ELO to sound like the Beatles – and failed – and then he tried to get a Beatle to sound like ELO. Never in the history of popular music has so much talent been squandered. What did Bob, Roy and George think they were doing?

    1. I, too, find it difficult to get on RayT’s wavelength, but somehow this one wasn’t that bad. See above, I had to us my electronic gizmo for a few clues.

  45. Did this one yesterday afternoon, thoroughly enjoyable – Ray T is my favourite. He bends the rules a little, is a tad unconventional and a bit of a maverick (just like me, I suppose). I’m definitely on his wavelength: 3*/4*

  46. MP. I have just noticed the lurker in 7d. I solved the clue (the hard way) from the cryptic wordplay. Could it be an ‘accidental’ lurker? If not, it’s a brilliant “two for the price of one” clue.

Comments are closed.