DT 28105 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28105

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28105

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

The Met Office tells us that we have just had an April that was warmer than usual but we have still lit our fire three times in the last week. There is something very welcoming about having a cheery glow in the grate even if the heat is not really required yet.
Now for this week’s offering from Jay.  We enjoyed it enough to give it four stars in that department.

 Please leave a comment telling us how you found it.


1a     North America’s first exploit precedes a feeling of revulsion (6)
NAUSEA : The abbreviation for North, the first letter of America, then a word meaning exploit and A from the clue.

5a     Begin hostilities after sack is given to writer on love (4,4)
OPEN FIRE : The elements of this one come in reverse order to how they appear in the clue. First the tennis score love, then a writing implement and then a word for sack or dismiss.

9a     Self-restraint needed seeing cheek after altercation during meal? (5,5,3)
STIFF UPPER LIP : A four letter word for a minor altercation is inside an evening meal and then a word for cheek or insolence.

10a     Question on pay as cause of inflation (4-4)
FOOT-PUMP : Question here is a verb and a word meaning this follows one that means to pay as in ‘ … the bill’.

11a     Puts one’s foot down and studies after start of term (6)
TREADS : The first letter of term and a word for studies at university.

12a     A radio presenter working to include one neighbour (6)
ADJOIN : A from the clue and the abbreviation for a radio or disco presenter. Next, a two letter word meaning working has the Roman numeral one included.

14a     A girl, ten, excitedly telling of events (8)
RELATING : An anagram (excitedly) of A GIRL TEN.

16a     Pure manoeuvring, to cross street in the morning against the flow (8)
UPSTREAM : An anagram (manoeuvring) of PURE includes the abbreviation for street and then the two letters that signify in the morning.

19a     Independent person elected to expose damage (6)
IMPAIR : The abbreviation for independent, a person elected to parliament and a word meaning expose or bring into the open.

21a     Person who rules, for example, in lease (6)
REGENT : The two letters meaning for example are inside lease or hold a tenancy.

23a     Beer in tea? (4-4)
HOME BREW : A word meaning ‘in’ or ‘at one’s residence’, and then an informal word for tea derived from the way it is prepared.

25a     Innumerable? About a hundred that cannot be explained (13)
UNACCOUNTABLE : Innumerable or not able to be tallied includes A from the clue and Roman numeral for a hundred.

26a     Players first locked in prison accommodation (8)
CELLISTS : What the rooms in a prison are called includes the abbreviated form of the ordinal number One.

27a     Face slump during struggle (6)
VISAGE : A word meaning slump is inside one meaning struggle or compete.


2d     Sailor back East drops out to go absent without leave (7)
ABSCOND : One of our many abbreviations for a sailor and then a word meaning back or support with the abbreviation for East removed from it.

3d     Flier‘s strain hugging women (5)
SWIFT : The abbreviation for women is inside a word meaning strain or filter.

4d     Wealth is a common disease in criminal surroundings (9)
AFFLUENCE : A from the clue and then somebody who deals in stolen goods surrounds a common winter ailment.

5d     Theoretically, often heartless treatise (2,5)
ON PAPER : The first and last letters (heartless) of OFTEN and then a word for a treatise or tract.

6d     Standing ruined broadcast after end of performance (5)
ERECT : The last letter of performance and then a word for what sounds like (broadcast) a word meaning ruined.

7d     Trifle ruined, mine’s gone up in smoke! (6,3)
FILTER TIP : We are looking for part of a cigarette. An anagram (ruined) of TRIFLE and the reversal of another word for a mine.

8d     Sculptor framing poet oddly gets volunteered (5,2)
ROPED IN : The creator of “The Thinker” has alternate letters of poet inside his name.

13d     Alert — yet dribbling? (2,3,4)
ON THE BALL : Where a football player who is dribbling will be found.

15d     Transferable vote limit? It’s a recurring theme! (9)
LEITMOTIV : An anagram (transferable) of VOTE LIMIT.

17d     Take for granted parking and carry on (7)
PRESUME : The abbreviation for parking and a word meaning carry on or start again.

18d     Jumbo pilots moving south after degree (7)
MAHOUTS : A university degree and an anagram (moving) of SOUTH.

20d     Danger at sea — heartily sick diver should come up (7)
ICEBERG : The central two letters of ‘sick’ and the reversal of a variety of diving bird.

22d     Suckers for correct marks (5)
TICKS : Double definition. The first definition being animal parasites.

24d     British ramblers regularly finding these in arms (5)
BABES : The abbreviation for British and alternate letters from the word ramblers.

Lots of nice clues from which to pick a favourite, but we’ll go with 10ac as it was our last one in.

Quickie pun   sigh   +   kicks   =   psychics

92 comments on “DT 28105

  1. 2.5*/4*. Another very enjoyable puzzle as ever on a Wednesday, with great surface readings throughout. 18d was a new word for me and my last one in, verified in my trusty BRB.

    Although I got the answer to 10a quite quickly it took much longer for the parsing penny to drop. When it did, it took today’s gold medal. A lovely clue!

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks.

    1. P.S. The picture for 26a reminded me of the comment that Sir Thomas Beecham once made to one of the cellists in his orchestra: “Madam, you have between your legs an instrument capable of giving pleasure to thousands, and all you can do is scratch it”.

      1. After studying for years to attain a place in an orchestra she deserved better than that. I am not a fan of sexism.

  2. Enjoyed this and finished without any outside help so I would say a 1.5* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment. I particularly liked 10a and 23a. Last in was 19a. I’m supposed to be working/studying from home today, hence me finishing the crossword by 11am!

  3. Not too tricky but chestnuts combined with novelties made for an all-round fun puzzle with no outstanding Fav. Thank you Jay and 2Ks for parsing 2d for me – d’oh! ***/***. Now for a walk in the sunshine (hopefully).

  4. Ahh, that’s better! Lots of fun from a setter who I am attuned to.

    I only knew 18d because it featured in a crossword some time ago, and I needed to wordplay to help recall it after all that time. Last one in was 27a – only because in 15d, despite the V being the very first letter of anagram fodder, I’d carelessly written it with an F on the end.

    My shortlist for the favourite position isn’t: 9a, 10a, 23a, 6d, 13d and 22d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis, all of whom have maintained the high Wednesday standards I have come to expect.

  5. Every six months or so, I’m forced to remember the name of the bloke who sits on an elephant, just behind its ears.
    And every six months or so, I fail dismally.
    Apart, an enjoyable mental tussle.
    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis.

  6. A very good puzzle today. A couple of the answers I have seen before in a different guise, but that did not detract from the enjoyment. 2*/4* for me.
    Many thanks to Jay, and to 2Kiwis.

  7. Excellent puzzle and I managed to finish without any help. I doubt I would have got 15d if it hadnt been an anagram. 10a was a bit confusing, got the answer, but wouldnt have worked out the parsing without the hint. Many thanks to Jay for another excellent puzzle and to 2kiwis for the explanations.

  8. I spent longer than I should’ve on 10ac but Apart from that found it to be a straightforward puzzle.

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

  9. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle from Jay as usual. Some nice clues, 18&20d get a mention, but my favourite was 23a. Last in was 17d. Was 2*/4* for me. Enjoying a lovely sunny walk in Kenwood. Warmth in the Sun at last.

  10. It’s Wednesday so it must be another excellent Jay puzzle: enjoyable, clever, witty and comfortably solvable. No standout favourites, but perhaps a special mention for 10 across and 8 down. 2*/4*

    Many thanks to the aforementioned for a very pleasant crossword, and to the 2Ks, back together again this week.

  11. Almost not completed before lights out last night because of 10a which took about a third of the total time and some hard staring down and the parsing of it took even longer. A deep inward groan when I solved it and a deeper one when the penny dropped on the parsing.

    The rest was most enjoyable with an absolute favourite of 9a; what a well constructed clue.

    **/**** without 10a, ****/** with 10a. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  12. Elegantly clued and beautifully reviewed. What more could one wish for?

    Lots of smiles inc 9a, 10a, 5d, 22d with the favourite going to 23a..of course!

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis for your usual excellent blog.

    Beautiful day here and I’m of to look at the crack in my wall.

  13. One of those that appears really tough on first pass but that gradually falls into place. I did need the hints to explain my (correct) answer to 10a, weird clue.
    If CrypticSue is online, I have eventually got the ‘conclusions’ clue but it did take me 3 days! Note to self, try to remember it for future reference.
    For me ***/***
    Thx to all


      And yes, I do know I’m shouting!!

      1. It shouldn’t, but it sometimes makes me laugh when Brian should be looking things up. Just have this image of you going “Oh for goodness sake Brain!!!!!”

        1. That’s a lot politer than what I actually said on Monday!

          Back in January 2015, I asked Brian to make a resolution that instead of saying ‘ how does x mean y’ or I didn’t know that… to actually look stuff up in the dictionary and increase his knowledge and ability to solve crosswords.

          Nearly a year and a half on, I just swear to myself and (from today onwards) shout at him!

          PS: Was Brain a Freudian slip? :D

          1. I did actually think “I wonder if CS might have said something less polite” :yes:

            Oh I remember the New Years Resolution very well! It worked for a bit too.

            Typo/Freudian slip…didn’t notice but yes… :grin:

            Hope the leg is healing Brian.

  14. Solved so long ago I have no idea what to say about it. Can I stop working please?

        1. In that case no, you can’t stop working. Sorry.

          You could have some olives.

  15. I really enjoyed this, 18D and 10A in particular. thanks Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  16. 10ac was my last-one-in as well, I was slow to figure out the exact species of pump. I liked “North America’s first exploit” (1a) and the girl excitedly telling of events (14a). Also the players first locked in prison accommodation (26a) and the tea-beer (23a). JL will have no problems with 27a. Nice to see old friends 15d and 20d again, and I remembered the Jumbo pilots this time.

    many thanks Jay and 2Kiwis

    1. Funny how word associations work sometimes. The first thing that came to mind when I saw the word “pump” was this.

      1. Hmm – word associations – funny things aren’t they. There was someone who used to comment on here, maybe still does as I can’t remember who it was, who said that whenever he or she saw the word “Oxford” in a clue he (or she) immediately thought of two things – the first was “shoe” and the second, because I used to bang on about the ******* things all the time, was “muntjac”.

          1. Well done, Kitty (aka Smartypants)

            (Forgot all about those sweet looking deer thingies!)


          2. Well done Kitty and sorry to Stan XYZ for not remembering that you were the one to make that association – and no, they’re absolutely not sweet looking deer thingiies – they’re one of the most destructive chomping beasts that ever were.

      2. Didn’t realise there was Buffy The Musical.
        Sorry but I don’t expect it to be a long run. Was that singing?

        1. It was a single musical episode, not a whole musical. The actors did their own vocals, which as you will agree was a brave decision!

  17. Nice easy solve 😍 Thanks to 2xKs and to Jay, whilst we are on a bird theme not too happy with the illustration for 3d 😕 Certainly not Apus apus that comes in the Summer to UK, possibly a species from the antipodes 😁 */*** Liked 20d, these mostly fresh water birds are beautiful at this time of year 😉

    1. Hi Jaylegs,
      Yes – I was a bit disconcerted by the 3d as well! Not in any of my books – must investigate further, unless the 2Ks can enlighten us?

    2. Hovering over the picture tells you it is a Chimney Swift which the interweb refers to as the American Swallow

      1. Hi CS,
        You must have a different ‘hover’ facility – mine just shows ‘swift’. Anyway, I’ve looked up Chimney Swift and it’s plumage is described as ‘dark, sooty olive above and grayish brown below’. Think Sid’s much closer to the mark with the House Martin.

    3. That bird in 3d.
      We have neither swifts nor martins in NZ. The nearest we have are Welcome swallows that self introduced from Australia several decades ago. Hence for the picture we had to trust our sources. We found the pic under ‘swift bird’ in Google images and then checked it by going to the source of the pic. This took us to a site called animalwonder.com where this picture is used to illustrate the entry for swift. We rest our case.
      If we are wrong, our apologies

      1. Sorry, 2Ks, there must be times when you regret adding pics to your reviews. At least it proves that we do read them and pay attention!

  18. Whatever happened to the “It’s Wednesday’ it’s Jay so start with the downs”?

    We got ten of the acrosses on first pass and then the rest sort of just fell together, but very enjoyable while it lasted so I’ll give it */****.

    Thanks to Jay and the Kiwis.

  19. Very enjoyable . If I had spelt 15d as Jay did it would have been a complete write-in but I had to choose the alternative spelling first and that slowed me down, just a bit. However a definite */****

  20. Excellent puzzle with good breadth of clues. Favourites 23 across and 20 down.

  21. Good afternoon everybody.

    Slowed considerably after a decent start. 23a was a good clue along with10a but last in 3d must go down as my favourite.

    Just about in three star time I think and very enjoyable so


  22. so much more enjoyable than yesterday’s offering. Lovely crossword, lovely weather, what more could you want?
    Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis.

  23. Best Jay we’ve had in some time imho. Tricksy enough but a few ‘gimmies’ to help get you on your way. I have lots of ticks (not on me I hasten to add) and I do think 10a is good but I’m going with the delightful 23a – just how a clue should be.

    Jumbo seems to be the word of the week in setterland. It brings to mind a sporting quiz show that was hosted by Nick Hancock in the 90’s / 00’s where two teams competed in different games. One of those games was ‘name the sportsman’ where a member of the team had to act out and hint at the name they had on their cards. In one of these games the name of the golfer ‘Jumbo Cummings’ came up – the hint given was ‘elephant sized e*********s’ – I’ll leave you to decipher what the *’s hide. :whistle: It still makes me laugh.

    Anyway, thanks to Jay for the puzzle and the 2K’s for their review – off to the naughty step I go.

    1. Just as well they didn’t try to mime it instead of giving a verbal hint. :D

    2. They Think It’s All Over was the quiz, I remember that episode too!

      As an aside, I was wandering through Highgate today (not my usual stamping ground) when I passed a house bearing a blue plaque stating that A.E. Housman’s most famous work was written while he lived there, now of course it’s far more famous as the name of Big Dave’s Tuesday blogger!

      Just prior to that, I was exiting Highgate tube station just as a certain Peter Capaldi was entering it, and there was I assuming he went everywhere by Tardis!

      1. Did you know that Kenneth Wolstenholme was unhappy with the use of the phrase for the title of the show. In his autobiography he stated ‘that he had contacted the BBC to find out what relevance the title had to his most famous line, uttered 30 years earlier’. However, when the show was first commissioned, he accepted a fee to re-record his famous commentary for the opening titles, as the original was unusable. Bless

  24. 1.5/3. Slowish start but once into my stride it fell into place quite quickly. I got 10a but needed the 2Ks to explain why – for which much thanks. Thanks also to the setter for a pleasant challenge.

  25. Enjoyed today’s puzzle, some excellent clues. Not that it matters, but for 3d I believe that a picture of a House Martin rather than a Swift has been included.

    1. Hi Sid,
      Yes, I reckon that’s far more likely and it is a member of the same family. Strange that it comes up in a search for a pic. of 3d though?

          1. Are you doubting my avian knowledge? I once had an app on my phone of the game Angry Birds (the same game that David Cameron got addicted to…true story). I think that is plenty of proof that I know all about birds…. and how to destroy ramshackle structures. The black birds are ace at that.

            1. Thanks for the welcome Dave.

              Jane and Hanni for clarity:- Swifts are members of the Apodidae family whereas Martins and Swallows are Hirundines :-)

              1. I was being too ‘loose’ in my definition of family. You are, of course, quite correct Sid – it’s Swallows and Martins that are familial.

              2. Hi Sid and welcome from me. My birding knowledge is appalling but Jane certainly knows her stuff. Hope you keep commenting. :-)

            2. Yep, just about the level of bird knowledge you can expect from ‘Hanni the Twitcher’ – everyone knows that the boomerang bird is best :cool:

      1. Having done a lot of image searching lately, nothing that would come up in response to any query would surprise me …

    2. Welcome from us too Sid.
      We have put a comment above explaining how the picture for 3d came to be there.

    3. When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him. Jonathan Swift. Welcome to the blog Sid

  26. Great fun. Lots of thoughtful clues with 8d my favourite. Last in was 9a; perhaps a lack of composure on my part.
    Many thanks to Jay and the two Kiwis.

  27. Like a lot of bloggers enjoyed this much more than yesterday.Some great clues, not easy for me, but got there in the end. Did need 2K’s help with 10a but still don’t fully get that one.

    Lots of clues I liked 9a / 14a but 7d today’s favourite.

    Overall 3* / 4* very enjoyable.p

    Thanks to the 2Ks for the hints and tips with thanks to the setter as well.

  28. Found this more challenging than normal for a Wednesday. 15d is a new word for me. I liked 23a and 26a. Thank you 2Ks and Jay. It was nice to sit out in the garden to complete this.

  29. I’m with SL on this one. Quite one of Jay’s best and I couldn’t begin to isolate a favourite.

    23a reminded me of the ex’s experiments in that direction. The spare bedroom absolutely stank for weeks during the process and the first we knew of something being slightly amiss was the evening when a dark stain began to spread across the ceiling of the living room below. In fairness, that wasn’t the reason for the eventual divorce, but it definitely earned him a few black marks at the time!

    16a put me in mind of the excellent play of the same name that I saw in Chichester – amazing stage set of a cruiser on a canal.

    Many thanks to Jay and much appreciation to the 2Ks for another excellent blog.

  30. The epitome of elegant cluing from Mr. Mutch, the surfaces were as smooth as a snake-oil salesman.

    Three down clues were my favourites, 4d, 7d and 13d, but I did like 10a too, RD!

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis. Conversely to you, most of the UK experienced a colder than average April, but since the start of May the weather has been hinting at warming up significantly.

  31. Last one in was 3d which was really dumb as these birds have arrived a week early to nest in our eaves as they have for over thirty years. They arrive usually on the 10 th of May and leave 10th of August. Anyway they are a welcome summer visitor. Enjoyed this one – thanks everyone.

  32. Had the same problem with 10a.
    Spent more time on that clue than the rest of the crossword.
    The parsing of 1a took a while too.
    7d made me laugh.
    Thanks to Jay for a great puzzle and to 2ks for the review.

    1. Glad you raised the matter of the parsing of 1a. Our first thought was to parse it as N for North, US for American first letter of exploit and A from the clue. Looks good until you try to justify the first A. That got us looking further and we got the correct parsing.
      As yours is the first comment on this it looks like everyone else got it right first time……or did they! :smile:

      1. For once I did, but I would agree that it’s by no means a regular occurrence!

  33. Actually finished this sans hints, but not all plain sailing. Got a teensie bit of help for 21a and 3d from the other half and bunged in an answer at 6d which was wrong so thanks to the 2kiwis for explaining that.
    Enjoyed many clues and so thanks to the setter and kiwisx2.

  34. Well I have to say I am surprised. I thought today’s puzzle was Jay at his most benign and not that much of a challenge. Just goes to show the different strokes for different folks I guess! 6d was my last one in and therefore my favourite. 2/2* overall.
    Thanks to Jay and to the Kiwis.

  35. Late here – a busy day as friends here for supper this evening combined with some very sad news this morning have left me feeling a bit frazzled.
    Didn’t even start this one until late afternoon – given the circumstances I thought it wasn’t too tricky so agree with both ratings that the K’s went for.
    Need to keep this short – when did I ever . . . ?
    Wrong answer for 3d (just don’t ask) screwed up 10a which was my last answer.
    Is 9a really self restraint – I always thought it was putting a brave face on stuff – maybe that’s the same thing.
    13a took a while – damned football . .
    I liked 1 and 27a and 7 and 22d. I think my favourite was 23a – took me ages.
    With thanks to Jay and the 2K’s – glad that you’re enjoying your fires – we’ve almost stopped having them now.

    1. Thanks very much MP, Hanni and SL – need to go to bed soonish – a bit on the knackered side now.

  36. Just wondering whether Merusa finally got her hip op today. If anyone’s in touch with her, please send her my best wishes.

  37. I did a few clues while driving to work,and a few more , intermittently , during the day . All very enjoyable.
    I don’t know why I remember Mahouts and not other words.7d down is my favourite.
    Thanks Kiwis and Jay.

  38. Morning all, still dark here but the sun can’t be too far below the horizon now. Forecast is for a fine ‘golfable’ day.
    Good to see that everyone seems to have enjoyed the puzzle as much as we did. Suspect that there is more discussion on swifts, martins and swallows still to come today, could be a great learning opportunity.
    Cheers :bye:

  39. As expected, my favourite setter served up another cruciverbal treat, which slotted in like a well-oiled ferret. Favourite was 7d. Ta to the Ks and Jay.
    Ps Thanks also to those who offered good wishes yesterday.

    1. Hi TS,
      You’re certainly going for it in style – couldn’t you just have settled for one medical issue at a time? I’m definitely worrying about the on-going state of health of the venerable Times and ABC without your input.
      Please tell Jan that I reckon she’ll look good in a Florence Nightingale style uniform and offer her my commiserations for the price she’s having to pay for her sojourn in Canada!
      Hope all is reasonably settled on the family front for now – you can do without any more dramas at the moment…

  40. Late on parade today, lovely crossword today.
    Had to Google the two down clues.
    Looks like a House Martin to me.

  41. This would have been * for difficulty, if it wasn’t for that pesky 19ac. Pleased to get 18d correct from the anagram.

  42. Thanks Jay and bloggers. Thanks Kiwis too, but not yet looked at the hints. Fascinating puzzle and response. Did mostly on train last night and finished this morning. I am amazed by the differences in the above comments. There is a great variety in levels of difficulty, last answer in etc. For me for some reason 2d was slow. No problem at all with 3d and when I had got it I got 12a. Apart from those two it was the SE where my answers were sparse. Eventually got 23a and then solved 15d and 18d. Last one in (as with some other commentators) was 19a.

  43. Giovanni let us off lightly today except, for my part, in the NW. Thought 9a a bit woolly. Fav probably 3d with memories of those grim days. Thanks Giovanni and DT. ***/***.

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