DT 28039 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28039

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28039

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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


Jay has given another clever and amusing puzzle this week. We hope you all enjoy it as much as we did.

Please leave a comment telling us your thoughts.


1a     Employees using covert sign? (11)
SECRETARIES : A word meaning covert or under cover and one of the zodiac signs.

9a     Furnish with only half of rent, being thrifty (9)
PROVIDENT : The half of rent that you use is the last two letters and this follows a word meaning furnish or supply.

10a     Gather golfer misses regularly and finishes early (5)
GLEAN : Alternate letters from golfer go before the word ‘and’ when it loses its last letter (finishes early).

11a     Fear nerves must reveal cash job (6)
EARNER : This ‘under the counter’ source of income is hiding inside the clue.

12a     Queen falls in line! (8)
VICTORIA : A triple definition. A fourth one could be a type of carriage.

13a     Organise a late appearance (6)
EXHUME : Arrange for a dead body to be dug up.

15a     Promotes coats worn by the Queen (8)
FURTHERS : These coats are animal skins and surround ‘the’ from the clue and the one letter cypher for a queen or king.

18a     Tracks across poles to find supporters (8)
SPONSORS : Tracks left by animals include both magnetic poles.

19a     Mostly lying about one’s time served here (6)
PRISON : A word meaning lying down loses its last letter and includes the Roman number one and ‘s from the clue.

21a     Timorous farm animal with circle on end of nose (8)
COWERING : The farmyard animal that goes moo, then the last letter of nose and a word for a circle.

23a     Issues shares in carnival displays (6)
FLOATS : A double definition. The second could be the vehicles in a carnival parade.

26a     Latin American hiding his anxiety (5)
PANIC : A descriptive adjective for a Latin American loses its ‘his’ prefix.

27a     Discovered 26 held by jailbird showing no sign of life (9)
INANIMATE : Remove the first and last letters (dis-cover) the answer to 26ac and put this inside a word for somebody in 19ac.

28a     Cutting remark on past right to be transferred (7,4)
PARTING SHOT : An anagram (to be transferred) of ON PAST RIGHT.


1d     Highest rising American with power over British engineers (7)
There is a mistake in the newspaper version of this clue which reads “American backed power over British engineers”
SUPREME : Reverse the abbreviation for United States, then add P(ower) and then the four letter acronym for British military engineers.

2d     Task mostly incorporating one group of singers (5)
CHOIR : A word for a task, usually a domestic one, loses its last letter and has inside it the Roman one.

3d     Skin deep, sir? I’m in need of surgery (9)
EPIDERMIS : An anagram (in need of surgery) of DEEP SIR I’M.

4d     Top copy with signature of an illiterate (4)
APEX : A verb meaning to copy is followed by how an illiterate person would mark his name.

5d     Plot clandestine love affair (8)
INTRIGUE : Double definition.

6d     Good deal of vision? (5)
SIGHT : This is an informal use of a word meaning a good deal or a great many.

7d     Wreckers of museum also going unprotected (7)
VANDALS : The London museum normally known by its 1,3,1 abbreviation is followed by the two central letters (unprotected) of also.

8d     Plucky female, like Van Gogh’s left? (8)
FEARLESS : The abbreviation for female and how the left side of Van Gogh’s head looked.

14d     Fool — gangster to achieve victory over king (8)
HOODWINK : Another word for a gangster (not Al this time), then a word meaning to achieve victory and the chess abbreviation for king.

16d     Exhilarating obsession, crossing stream (9)
THRILLING : A four letter word for a stream or brook is inside an obsession or preoccupation.

17d     Error ultimately found in typeface that is right for the border (8)
FRONTIER : The last letter of error is inside a synonym for a typeface, then ‘that is’ written as two letters and finally R(ight).

18d     Poorly rewarded with this (4,3)
SICK PAY : A cryptic definition of remuneration for someone who is ill.

20d     Even without the First Lady, a trail is developing (7)
NASCENT : Remove Adam’s mate from the word ‘even’ then A from the clue and an animal trail detected by an olfactory organ.

22d     Go over limit after losing heart from race (5)
RECAP : A word meaning to limit or put a top on follows the two letters remaining when the central two are removed from race.

24d     Flooded area used to be source of hope (5)
AWASH : The abbreviation for area, a word meaning used to be, and the first letter of hope.

25d     Some unimaginative bearers of gifts? (4)
MAGI : Just like Gazza did yesterday we finish off with a lurker hiding in the clue.

The clue that set the tone for this good fun puzzle was 1a, so this is our favourite today.

Quickie pun   jury   +   leak   +   hair   =   Do you really care?

78 comments on “DT 28039

  1. A Start with the Downs day and no mistake. Given the day job, you won’t believe how long it took me to ‘get’ 1a :oops:

    Thanks to Jay and the Kiwis

    1. There was a real old chestnut recently that managed to make it last one in. Its a funny old game.

  2. I agree with the 2Ks’ rating of 3*/4* for this excellent offering from Jay today.

    This was one of those puzzles which steadily fell into place with each step adding to the overall satisfaction. My only problem was that, even I though I got the answer to 1d, I couldn’t see anything resembling a definition in the clue. Looking at the 2K’s review, this is yet another example of the paper version and on-line version being different! The clue in the paper is: “American backed power over British engineers”.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks

  3. I found this one really tricky but enjoyed every bit of it. Needed my reference books a few times. Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis for the review.

  4. Definitely well into 3* time for me but a highly enjoyable tussle was had along the way.

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

  5. Thought this was going to be pretty tough at first but it soon came together with a ‘little help from my friends!’ … too may clues using parts of words for my liking, this is my least favourite type of clue, however did have a favourite today 13a , thanks 2Ks for the blog … I did need a couple explanations of the answers I had, 3* difficulty for me and 2* enjoyment …

  6. Phew! I found this a real struggle, needed some help and I found some of the clues a bit confusing – to me anyway!

    For example, 10a – I can’t see why the word ‘misses’ is included in the clue and I tried to use alternate letters from it to get my answer – confusing!

    8d was amusing though!

    A real struggle and a feeling of achievement when completed!


    1. 1a is different in the paper from the online version – the newspaper version doesn’t start with the words ‘Highest rising’ – makes it pretty difficult!


      Sorry – I didn’t read the previous comment from RD – I never learn!

  7. I’m pleased that this puzzle received a warm welcome, as I made a note when solving it that the cluing was top notch throughout. No wonder I thought that 1d was a dreaded ‘all in one’, as Rabbit Dave points out, the paper/on line clues were different and highest was omitted ! Anyway a **/**** for me today, thanks Jay and the 2k’s-always seem to one star less than them for difficulty for some reason.

  8. As I have the paper version, all I could make of 1d was Sappers….which doesn’t fit anything and ruins 13a.

    Is there a ‘definition’ in the paper version? (American backed power over British engineers )

    Got through the rest but needed the hints for the parsing of quite a few.
    Infinitely better than yesterday’s for me.
    Thanks to the setter and to the Two Kiwis.

    1. There is no definition, as far as I am concerned. I spent ages trying to work out why sappers was the answer. The paper clue does not make any sense.

      1. Me too with Sappers although I realised first two letters had to be American in reverse with power and probably RE but overlooked ME after that.

    2. As someone who was in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. We dont class Sappers as real engineers

        1. Sapper is the title of a private soldier in the Royal Engneers. The name sappers is also used when referring to the Royal Engineers as a whole.
          I believe the term originates from the word sapping which refers to trench digging.

  9. 12 across my last one in and my favourite of many excellent clues in this hugely enjoyable crossword. I have been AWOL for a couple of days so it’s good to get back into the swing with a cracking puzzle.

    3*/4* feels right with grateful thanks to a Jay for a good workout, and to the 2Ks for the blog.

  10. Definitely thought this was at the trickier end of Jay’s repertoire. As others have commented, the paper version didn’t appear to contain a definition for 1d and I wasn’t very keen on the second definition of 6d.
    Missed the parsing of 26a for an embarrassingly long time!

    Top three were 1&12a plus 7d.

    Thanks to Jay and also to 2Ks. Only a couple of weeks to go before we get ‘our’ Kath back – hope she’s got plenty of pics from your days together?

  11. Definitely very tricky, but also very enjoyable.
    15a is a brilliant clue, as is 18a, 21a, 26a, and 7d.
    Thanks Kiwis and Jay.

  12. Another consistent and pleasant puzzle from Jay. For once the 2Ks seem a little tongue tied. I cannot believe that nothing at all is happening in NZ or in their lives. I hope all is well.

  13. Spoiled by a nonsense clue (1d) in the paper version. Unsurprisingly I did not finish – 5*/0*. Thanks to 2Ks and setter – but no thanks to the crossword editor!

  14. Such a joy last night compared with Tuesday’s puzzle. It all built together nicely moving around clockwise (even getting the answer to 26a from 27a rather than the other way round, if you see what I mean) but making one think far more than just a R&W. Excellent. Thanks Jay and 2Ks.

    So I agree ***/****. 18d, for its simplicity and a d’oh moment, just beating 15a (for its construction) as favourite.

  15. Couldn’t for the life of me see 15A, but other than that a very enjoyable puzzle. 13A is my one and only favorite today. thanks Jay and K2.

    1. 15 across:

      Types of a coat around ‘the’ and the one letter from the Latin for queen – exactly as put by the two Ks in their excellent hints.

  16. 1d proved a tad difficult! Glad it was the paper at fault because goodness knows I struggled with it.

    Not one of Jay’s easier puzzles but quite enjoyable. 1a and 7d made me smile. 12a was rather delicious.

    Many thanks to Jay and to Ksquared for a great blog.

    After yesterdays breakfast discussion I was inspired to try it…a perfect three items of tea, juice and croissant. Just wonderful.

    1. I thought about it but decided against. Should I have? Besides tea, juice and croissant (with butter and honey), the perfect three.

      I remember having Bucks Fizz for breakfast once and being back asleep by 10.

  17. Also foxed by the paper’s 1a – Sappers then gave me ‘scheme’ for 13a, but I couldn’t (of course) see quite why! Fully ***+
    for difficulty for me…I particularly liked 7d – 6d I got but needed the blog to explain it to me!

  18. I agree with crypticsue that it was definitely a ‘start with the downs’ day. We only got five of the acrosses but then all bar one of the downs. Even with all those checkers in place some of the acrosses remained pretty obstinate.

    The Kiwis have it about right with ***/****.

    Fav was 26a with 1a coming a close second.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  19. Very difficult for me, nowhere near finishing it. Some very obscure clues and answers. Hats off to anyone who managed to finish it without help. Not my cup of tea at all.

  20. **/****Really enjoyed this and felt pleased at completing it without help for once ! 14d my last clue in, as I couldn’t understand why 13a was what it was !! Still want to put “séance” in there but knew the “n” was really a “m” ! Still unsure of 13a answer – help,please ! :scratch:

    1. The Kiwis’ hint is very clear and if you are still stuck you can click on the ‘click here’ to reveal the answer

    2. Think I can see where you’re coming from, Mary, Mary. To my mind the answer to 13a is the actual act of digging up a body, rather than the organising of same, which is what the clue seems to suggest. Jay throwing in a bit of a curved ball, maybe?!!

  21. Thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis for the review and hints. Nice puzzle from Jay. 13a & 8d made me laugh. Currently stuck in the SW corner.

  22. Finished but with very little enjoyment. A really turgid and unpleasent slog with bizarre anagram indicators. Definitely not up to Jays usual standard.

  23. Either this was easier than usual for a Jay or I’m just having an on-wavelength day. The one exception was 26a – for the life of me I couldn’t work out why. Big facepalm! I also failed to spot the third of the triple definition. Anyway, it was a puzzle good enough to eat. (As was the Toughie which I highly recommend.)

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks, especially for saving my sanity re the quickie.

  24. Nicely challenging with several beguiling clues. Fav probably 8d with joint runners-up in 12a and 7d, both of which held me up a bit and made NE corner last to go in. TVM Jay and the 2Ks. ***/****.

  25. I found this really difficult today and needed help with several answers.
    Fave was 13a.
    Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis.

  26. Two wonderful crosswords on the same day.
    I ticked so many clues.
    Loved the “hiding his” in 26a, “even without the first lady” in 20d, “like Van Gogh’s left” in 8d and so many more.
    Shame about the paper solvers though.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review.

  27. Found this one a bit tricky ***/*** got it into my head that the answer to 10a was something that I miss regularly “the green” :scratch: thanks to the 2x Ks and to Jay Liked 1a & 17d :bye:

  28. An excellent puzzle that more than compensated for the relatively disappointing offerings of the last couple of days.

    Most of the clues required careful cogitation and as RD says, the satisfaction grew as each slotted into place. My only slight reservation concerns the use of “mostly” as an indicator in two separate clues (19a and 2d). I’ve noticed before that Jay seems not to concern himself if the same indicator is repeated, but since there are plenty of other options available, it’s a pity that this has to occur.

    I’ve ticked four clues that stood out for me, namely 26a, 7d, 8d and 17d.

    Many thanks to Mr. Mutch and to the 2Kiwis.

    P.S. I hope that Mr. McNeill and his team at Telegraph towers will do the decent thing and print an apology in tomorrow’s paper for the faux pas regarding 1d. I can never understand why there should be any differences whatsoever between the paper and online versions, but sadly it’s not a rare occurrence. I can’t recall a definition missing from the paper before.

    1. I believe that a single late change to a puzzle require that four separate changes be made, so it is very easy to miss one of them. I have the same problem with the NTSPP puzzles – there are java, javascript, AcrossLite and pdf versions as well as the version uploaded to Crossword Info.

    2. Thanks both CS and BD.

      In the hints it does say that the first two words of the online clue for 1d were omitted in the paper – that’s not actually the case. As Rabbit Dave was the first to point out, only the definition is missing in the paper, and “backed” was included instead of “rising” as the reversal indicator.

      1. Thanks Silvanus, I hadn’t noticed that. Have now amended our amendment so it should make sense now. :good:

  29. Good morning everyone. As we did not give a weather report in our preamble we had better add one here. Our long dry spell ended overnight and we woke this morning to heavy rain with thunder and lightning. Still warm though and guess it will soon pass as it tends to at this time of the year.
    We are a bit surprised that Kitty is the only one so far to comment on the Quickie pun. Perhaps the answer to the question that Jay asks is ‘NO’. It caused considerable beak scratching here before the penny dropped. Cheers. :bye:

  30. For some reason the DT was not delivered untill 1pm so I am a bit late in finishing.
    Enjoyed this puzzle had to check the blog to see if I had 15a correct.
    liked 8d and17d . Like most I found 1d strange but being ex REME knew it wasnt sappers as I had already solved 13a

  31. I had the paper version but 1d seemed to be a write in ? Couldn’t understand the fuss ; I’m with silvanus on this .Having said that it took me a long time to finish .8d and 20d both made me chuckle and were easily my favourites but parts if the puzzle were not particularly enjoyable. Not sure what to give maybe compromise 2.5*/2.5* .Thanks to the setter and the 2Kiwis

  32. Excellent crossword, tough, but excellent clues. Mentioned in despatches…1a, 9a, 8d, 12a.
    I found the top half much easier than the bottom half.
    Sorry to hear that the paper had 1d wrong, lucky I am online for £5 month…
    Thanks to 2k’s for the hints and the setter…

  33. Good evening everybody.

    A nice puzzle as far as I got, which was three unsolved (5d, 15a and 23a). There were a couple that I couldn’t rationalise fully but I seem to have mislaid the scrap of paper with my notes on and can’t now recall them.

    It turns out I also had 1d and 13a incorrectly, SCHEME being the only word I could think of for the latter. Perhaps a late reappearance would have been more apt. For 1d I somehow persuaded myself the SAPPERS was the correct answer.

    In happier news I was encouraged by the Times report that 25% of men over 85 are sexually active. Just 28 years to go then…


  34. Not a good day, first pass one answer, second pass two hours later nothing. So I compromised and looked at 1a and with an enormous amount of electronic help and a few penny drop moments I got there. I refuse to be beaten. MPs mentioned Stokes (of Suffolk) tomato sauce yesterday they also a splendid mustard and dill one as well as my favourite tartare sauce. :phew:

    1. Hi Hilary. I will try those. We see most of Stoke’s stuff locally. I had not noticed the Suffolk connection. We have (St Sharon has) relatives in Lowestoft. When we visit we usually stay at The Wherry Hotel in Oulton Broad.

      1. Very good website Stokes of Rendlesham, not much local supply we tend to use mail order but as P&P quite high we save up until we need several including apple sauce to make it worth ordering.

  35. A good, fairly challenging solve. Loved 1ac. Count me in as another one tempted by SAPPERS for 1d.

  36. We struggled a bit over this – not helped by yelping and fighting puppies around our feet. They are not conducive to cross-word solving. Many thanks to Jay for a most enjoyable puzzle and to the 2Ks for the blog.

    1. Just thought I’d offer a belated thank you for the excellent photographs you took on the birthday bash Paso. Mrs SL asked if my portrait had been ‘PhotoShopped’ as she didn’t recognise me. :sad:

    2. Let me add my thanks on the photographic front as well. Paso, you made me look like I always imagine I do, until I get into a mirrored lift. Enjoy your ES135. I have a lovely 1990 black Gibson Les Paul for sale if you’re interested …

  37. New here. How do you all know who the setter is?

    I thought 28,039 was a stinker, even though I solved it impeccably, despite the paper’s botch of 1d. But it took me far too long.

    1. Welcome to the blog from me as well wheatear. The ‘FAQ’ and ‘Features’ tabs are the font of all knowledge – they are well worth investigating :good:

  38. As a paper solver, I was thrown by the 1d cock-up, so Sappers and Scheme went in, even though I couldn’t parse them at all and hoped for enlightenment from K-squared. Which I got, but it only proved what I knew already, that both were wrong. The rest of the puzzle was Jay at his playful best, and I loved it. 7d and 20d are battling it out for the balon d’or. Thanks to the Ks and to Jay. I’m sure the howler was not his fault, but I’m going to have to deduct a star for it anyway. 2*/3*

  39. A great puzzle and hints as usual. My only regret is that I didn’t look earlier because I just couldn’t get 1D even after sleeping on it!

    Now I know why.

    Thanks again to all.

  40. From today’s paper:

    Apologies for the missing definition in yesterday’s 1 Down. The clue should have read “Highest rising American with power over British engineers (7)”

  41. That was a cracking crossword from Jay! I loved it. 12a was my fave. 3/4* overall.
    Thanks to Jay and to the 2K’s.

Comments are closed.