DT 28057 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28057

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28057

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

One the more significant markers of the changing seasons for us is the arrival and departure on the estuary of bar-tailed godwits. We included pictures  and wrote of them in one of our very first blogs. At the moment they are making their last minute preparations before leaving again to fly to Alaska for another summer breeding season. We wish them well.
We thought that Jay has given us some quite tricky clues to enjoy this week.
How did you get on?


1a     Task force from a state free of prejudice? (10)
DETACHMENT : A double definition. The second could be aloofness.

6a     Small sweet potato (4)
SPUD : The abbreviation for small and an informal shortening of a dessert course.

9a     Managers of newspapers, for example, accepting one’s sign of hesitation (10)
ORGANISERS : A six letter word that can describe newspapers contains the Roman one, then ‘S from the clue and a two letter sound made by somebody hesitating.

10a     Bother to repair (4)
DARN : A double definition. The second is to use a needle and thread to mend a sock.

12a     Horrible struggle across line (4)
VILE : A word for struggle or compete includes the abbreviation for line.

13a     Stone altar base rebuilt (9)
ALABASTER : An anagram (rebuilt) of ALTAR BASE.

15a     About to go, welcoming a good degree of separation (8)
CLEAVAGE : The one letter abbreviation meaning about and a word meaning to go surrounds A from the clue and the abbreviation for good.

16a     Flyer wanting fuel by air (6)
PETREL : A sounds like clue indicated by ‘by air’.

18a     Fancy talk about the end of Man (6)
ORNATE : Talk or make a speech includes the last letter of man.

20a     Evocative area in field sport (8)
HAUNTING : The abbreviation for area is in a field sport that might involve a fox.

23a     Book for every graduate in group (9)
PAPERBACK : The group could be a group of cub scouts, and includes a three letter word meaning for every or for each, and a bachelor’s degree.

24a     Fat little girl’s twin with no victory (4)
SUET : A short form of a girl’s name (who might be very good at crosswords) and then remove a synonym for a victory from the word twin.

26a     Bird book is on island (4)
IBIS : The one letter abbreviation for island, then the abbreviation for book and IS from the clue.

27a     This setter’s stuff is irrelevant (10)
IMMATERIAL : The two letters that the setter might use to tell us, “this is me”, then a word meaning stuff or fabric.

28a     Simple to solve delay, say, regularly (4)
EASY : Alternate letters from two words in the clue.

29a     Dressed like vicar for capital (10)
INVESTMENT : We’re not looking for a city, but how the vicar could be clothed.


1d     Low returns following daughter’s ruin (4)
DOOM : A bovine noise and the abbreviation for daughter are all reversed.

2d     Advertising slogan putting Liberal in stew? (3,4)
TAG LINE : A stew that comes from North Africa , (or the pot in which it is cooked), includes the one letter abbreviation for Liberal.

3d     A politician supporting most of husband’s school of music (12)
CONSERVATORY : Husband here is a verb and we need a synonym for this. Now remove its last letter, then add A from the clue and a right wing politician.

4d     Small midge problem upset horses (8)
MUSTANGS : Starting from the bottom, the abbreviation for small, another name for a midge and an arithmetical problem.

5d     Country of new men and fashion (6)
NORWAY : The abbreviation for new, then men or ordinary soldiers and a word for a fashion or style.

7d     Theory oddly coming after scheme making pot (7)
PLANTER : A synonym for scheme and then alternate letters of the word ‘theory’.

8d     Scientific study of only red dog in doubt (10)
DENDROLOGY : An anagram (in doubt) of ONLY RED DOG.

11d     Tie the knot and manage to get by (4,4,4)
MAKE ENDS MEET : A double definition. The first one has nothing to do with marriage but rather, joining two pieces of string.

14d     A polemic possibly involving County Council associate (10)
ACCOMPLICE : An anagram (possibly) of A POLEMIC includes the abbreviation of a County Council.

17d     Plunder the nation — it’s a novelty event! (4,4)
SACK RACE : A synonym for plunder or rout and then a word for nation or people.

19d     Sleep on family’s table linen (7)
NAPKINS : A short sleep and a word for relatives, with the S from the clue.

21d     List that is including revised times (7)
ITEMISE : An anagram (revised) of TIMES is inside the short form of id est.

22d     Comic hero and outlaw pinching cash machine (6)
BATMAN : Outlaw is a verb and includes the letters for a hole in the wall cash machine.

25d     Dull set of rooms in a building (4)
FLAT : A double definition. The set of rooms is usually used for accommodation.

15a was our favourite because of the chuckle it gave us.

Just to remind you, here is another godwit picture.

Quickie pun    pope    +    hurry    =     potpourri

98 comments on “DT 28057

  1. A great Wednesday puzzle – I enjoyed 15a (and also chuckled at the answer), 23a (book for every graduate..) and 24a (fat little girl). Liked the stew in 2d. I don’t think the sport in 20a should be called as such.

    Many thanks 2Kiwis and Jay

  2. Quite a tricky puzzle that took me a little longer than normal for a Jay puzzle. Would anybody agree that the difficulty of Wednesday puzzles has gone up a smidge of late?

    Thanks to the 2Kiwis and Jay 2.5*/4*

  3. I always enjoy Jay’s puzzles, and this was no exception. A little trickier than normal, which made the enjoyment last longer. Plenty to savour; top of my list were 15a, 5d, and 11d.
    Thanks to Jay, and to 2Kiwis.

  4. Pleasing to see remarks re difficulty, as this is the first Wednesday puzzle for ages that I have been able to solve without outside help.

    Thanks to compiler and hinters.

  5. Plenty to smile about in this one plus the odd touch of deja-vu at 1a and 1d.
    Really liked 15,23&24a plus 22d – top slot goes to 6a because it made me laugh.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks – lovely pic. of the Godwits. :yes:

  6. I thought this was easier than yesterday or Monday, but was there an actual indicator of the meaning of 8d in the clue, or did I miss something clever? Thanks to you 2 kiwis.

    As far as 17 is concerned, were people “jumpers” or “runners”? I used to think running was cheating. Sacks, eggs and spoons and 3 legged were there to make sports day bearable, I think, especially for the staff. Were there any other novelty races that folks took part in?
    Me, I preferred lurking in the shrubbery……

  7. I agree – quite tricky – 3* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    For me the difficulty was increased by the dearth of anagrams – I make it four but, as usual, could very easily be wrong.
    As always on Wednesdays the last few answers took me longer than the rest of the crossword put together.
    I was very dim about 8d – I thought the ‘study’ was the first three letters which put me in a spot of bother – never heard of the answer anyway.
    Am I the only twit who had ‘damn’ for 10a? How lucky that it didn’t screw up anything else.
    I was slow with 16 and 24a for no obvious reason.
    We seem to be getting bovine noises a lot at the moment.
    I liked 6 and 10a and 4 and 22d. My favourite was 15a – I can’t think of many people who do the hints who would have resisted the opportunity for an illustration.
    With thanks to Jay and to both K’s.

    1. Kath, the mind boggles at the thought of how Gazza (or I for that matter) might have illustrated 15a :whistle:

        1. Hey, I passed up brassiere in my last blog! Well, at least there wasn’t a girl inside the one in the picture :wink:

          I never pass up an opportunity for a car or a boat however. :yes:

      1. A quick look at Google images leaves any number of options. You’d have to narrow it down. :yes:

        1. Golly…just had a look myself. Don’t think you could put those pics on the blog… the things you look at MP! Shocking. All those different shapes and sizes..and the colours!

    2. How nice that the 2Ks bucked the trend and showed decorum in their hint for 15a (I resist using a ! after that comment mindful of all the correspondence in the DT).

    3. 15a was on our list of pic potentials but we decided against it. As it turns out, not having a pic has attracted much more attention than having a picture of an axe striking a block of wood would probably have done. Furthermore, it could have been seen as duplication as the pic that Gazza has used for his first pic on the Toughie could easily have been used to illustrate the answer here. :wink:

  8. Nothing to frighten the 4 downs today. A very enjoyable solve with some excellent clues, notably 24 across, my favourite.

    2*/3.5* with many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    1. A change to a different host for the site has meant problems for lots of us. I can only normally access the blog from home these days but I’m hoping having got this far my comment will post.

        1. Short lived celebrations – the system suddently remembered BD’s blog was supposed to be on the other side of the firewall :cry:

    1. It wasn’t the case today, but usually on a Wednesday it is best to start with the Down clues – no idea why but it does work . Try it next Wednesday and see how you get on.

      1. Hi Sue,
        Not given up on today, the BRB is at home so that will help….
        Odd that starting on the down clues helps, I have never thought of that.

        1. Mary who hasn’t commented here for a while always starts with the last Down clue as she is (apparently mistakenly if you talk to setters) of the view that that was the last clue the setter wrote and they’d have been tired by then and made it an easy one!

          1. LOL
            26a – I get confused by this. As a birder, I got it once I had a checker, but the b (book) + is + i (island) = BISI – does the ‘on’ have some significance? I thought ‘on’ was only significant in ‘down’ clues?? Presumably the setter leaves it for the solver to sort out the order??
            Just a newcomer wondering???

            1. Yes, the ‘on’ is significant. B – book plus ‘IS’ from the clue need to be added ‘on’ to I for island.

          2. Maybe Jay starts in the bottom right corner with the down clues, a few easy ones, and then gets more difficult as he works up to the top!

            Anyway, I agree with you – starting with the downs in the bottom half – and it worked for me last night.

  9. What a lovely solve on a freezing stormy,

    Plenty of smiles including 20a, 23a, 24a, 27a, 2d and 5d, Favourite goes to 15a.

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

    Toughie time before braving the elements is my favourite pink hat. It has a bobble.

      1. Don’t worry about it, Hanni – my days have a very perverse habit of disappearing. More so as I get older……….

  10. I think Wednesday’s puzzles have become more difficult of late, but not today. 9 and 15a were my favourites and last one in 11d was , despite holding me up, worth a mention .**/****
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis

  11. What a splendid puzzle and certainly a wee bit trickier than some of Jay’s recent offerings. We agree with the ***/**** rating.

    First in was 6a (a bit of a chestnut) and last and favourite was 24a, fat little girl indeed! :lol:

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

    P.S. Don’t know about bar-tailed godwits but the swallows are back around here so it must be spring.

  12. Started at 6.30 am and got called out on flood alert duties before the first pass. Uptown LI was awash with flood water but we swept and pumped and kept it out of all of the houses so that’s all right then isn’t it. Well no actually because the water has moved to downtown LI where I live. I am cold wet and very grateful to Jay for the food in the clue at 2d and the answer at 6ac. Great puzzle from Jay today 24ac is a standout clue.

        1. RIP George Martin. On YouTube there is a wonderful interview about the making of ‘A Day In The Life’. Well worth a look.

  13. Straightforward for the most part, although the SE corner required a little more cogitation than the rest.

    I think Jay sets a very high standard of cluing indeed and his surfaces are exquisite.

    The two best clues for me were 11d and 22d.

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

    1. See comment 7 from Kath. You’d have needed a Pommers or a Gazza or a Dutch blog to get a suitable one. The stuff Miffypops looks at is just even more bizarre. Google at your peril.

        1. Tomorrow’s another day HIYD, tomorrow’s another day. And I think I know who’s in the chair. :cool:

  14. Thanks Jay and 2Ks for giving us an entertaining run for our money. Didn’t manage to parse 22d but it had to be. Was introduced to 8d some years ago when tree rings on historic timbers were used to date a windmill in my then home village in Suffolk.***/***. :yes:

  15. If yesterday’s was a good starter, this was one to frighten the horses esp 4d!
    Took a bit of completing and I needed an explanation for the answers to 4d and 9a.
    Having said it was tricky I did find it enjoyable and got the old grey matter going.
    Thx to all esp the 2kiwis for the hints. We are planning to get to NZ again this coming winter (NZ summer) to explore South Island this time. What a beautiful country!

  16. Agree with the rating. Very enjoyable and stretching enough without being punishing. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks for resisting the temptation to illustrate 15a.

  17. Quite tricky in parts but enjoyable ***/*** :scratch: 8d was new to me, favourites 16a & 11d :heart: Thanks to Jay and the 2x Ks especially for the Summer plumage Bar-tail photo :good:

    The new upgrade has made it much easier to use the emoticons, as you may have noticed :yahoo:

    1. Well done to spot the mating plumage Jaylegs. When they arrive back in September they will be looking much drabber and bedraggled. Not surprising after flying non-stop that huge distance.

      1. You should have seen me after flying non-stop for a huge distance – I was pretty bedraggled too. :sad:

  18. An enjoyable puzzle, tricky in places especially the NW corner, but finished it in the end. I liked most of the clues but the schoolboy in me smirked at 15 across and 22 down. 3 out of 3 this week, but I suspect that will change tomorrow and Friday. Thanks to Jay and the 2KIWIS.

  19. I must be getting the hang of Jay’s puzzles, today I only needed the hints for one, 11d. I had fixated on the second word being “ones”, totally misled me.
    My runaway fave was 15a, I make no comment re pics, with runner up 24a.
    Thanks to Jay, and to the 2Kiwis for the review, aren’t the godwits pretty!

        1. You may prefer it as a private email Merusa but basically a 20ft tall Zulu warrior opened a zoo in Coventry. By day he stood still as a statue guarding the zoo entrance and by night he travelled the world in seven league boots wrestling lions, giraffes, Tigers and other great species. If he won he carried them to the zoo on his broad shoulders.

          One day a recalcitrant schoolboy left his satchel behind and the Zulu read and committed to memory the whole of Verse Worth Remembering edited by Stanley Maxwell and that night he donned a piebald suit of many colours and charmed a multitude of Madagascan monkeys to follow him as he played merry tunes on a pipe he had made from a Triumph Herald exhaust and an old Wellington boot.

          The monkeys argued with the giant Zulu about pay and conditions after reading in the Coventry Evening Telegraph about the car industry strikes and refused to monkey around for the Zulu. After a stalemate that lasted thirteen weeks the Madagascan monkeys left the zoo and took up residence in the cemetery down the road where they live to this day. In The Monkey Cemetery, Coventry keeping respectfully quiet when funerals are taking place.

                  1. A “licence” is a French degree equivalent to a master I think.
                    And it’s also a ref to Inspecteur Clouseau in the Pink Panther.

  20. Loved this one. I was painfully slow getting started then, for no reason I can work out, whipped through it. Favourite clues: 15a, 29a and 22d.

  21. No midge problems here, though a few in the SE were a bit bitey.

    I liked 24a. Obviously my favourite it 15a, but I feel like 1a is saying “hey, I’m up here!” Not to mention 1d, with its lowing rising. I think any squares containing cow noises should be called lowlights – ideally to be solved by the light of the moo.

      1. Oh dear – In my excitement I forgot to thank you for the review. Thanks for that, and the thumbs up :). And of course, thanks to Jay for another great puzzle.

  22. Good morning all. The days must be getting shorter as the sun has not yet popped over the horizon. Looks like a blustery overcast day coming up for us. We suspect that the number of 4 letter words might have contributed to it being slightly on the tricky side. :bye:

  23. All went well until the NW corner which took it into *** territory, so ***/*** for me.
    Not familiar with 8d.
    I liked 6a for its simplicity, and 22d for the surface image.
    Thanks to Jay and 2 Kiwis.

  24. Very enjoyable, NW corner did for me, a few words/synonyms that I did not know.
    I spent about an hour and a half convinced that the ‘knot being tied’ was marriage, so setter 1, HIYD. Grrrrrr.
    Good stuff, thanks to the 2K’s for the hints, and to the setter…

  25. 20ac took a few moments at the end, but otherwise thought this pretty straightforward, on a par with yesterday’s.

  26. Tricky, but enjoyable solve, and thanks 2Ks for your help with 11d, we had fixed on ones for the second word, and darn was a doh for us! Thanks to the setter also, helped make a wet day in Teesdale manageable.

  27. An enjoyable challenge with some very nice clues. 1d and 24a were good examples but my fave was 27a. 2.5/3.5 overall.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2K’s for their usual hi class review.

  28. Found it a bit trickier than usual too.
    My last ones were the 4 letter words in 10a and 24a.
    4d was quite a toughie clue IMHO.
    8d was new to me and had to check it out.
    Same with the bird which I remembered as we use the same term in French. I say term because it’s not recognised as a bird’s name but an ambiguous term for some birds of the genus blah blah blah.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2ks for the review.
    Not sure in which hemisphere Hyères is as winter has just started. Freezing.
    22d was very good and favourite is 11d.

  29. Good evening everybody.

    Mostly straightforward with just a1,9 and d2,5,10 holding things up briefly at the end. I couldn’t rationalise 4d at the time but all is explained here. 8d was new to me. Must away and look up what it means.

    Probably marginally into three star time so ***/****

  30. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, but was completely beaten by the NW corner & 24a. Favourite was 22d. Needed the hints for 2,4,5d&24a. Nice early evening weather in Cumbria. Had a great walk from Grasmere to Easedale Tarn.

  31. We are very late in again which seems to appear the norm these days….We have too much work to do and too many things to sort out. However, we solved this delightful puzzle in gaps in the day but have only just finished it. Thanks to Jay for a great puzzle and to the 2 Ks for the review.

  32. Hi TS – hoping that you have time to pop in tonight. I did leave a message for you (Tues?) but may have been too late to catch you.
    Anyway – just wanted to say that I hope both of you have a brilliant time and enjoy a well-deserved break. Trust that you find young Master Strummer with all bones intact and no irate fathers chasing him!

  33. I haven’t done the puzzle nor read the blog, because I’m having an early night. I’ll take Jay on the plane with me tomorrow. For flight watchers, I leave Heathrow at 13.30 on Air Canada bound for Calgary, some 9 hours away. Then up to Banff to visit my youngest son. See you all in a couple of weeks (although I may pop in if the hotel wifi works). Please feel free to behave as badly as you like in my absence

    1. TS..

      I can promise you I’ll behave extremely badly in your absence. Enjoy Banff. The skiing is wonderful. The temperatures are ‘interesting’. Have a wonderful time with your son. :smile:

      Gosh not even a flight number for those of us that do Planefinder…worry not, easily found.

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